Thursday, 31 October 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 2: Halloween

Hey y'all,

Quick post to put up my Halloween mani.  This week's theme was Halloween, and I struggled a bit before I finally decided on something that I liked but wasn't too cliche.

Last month I picked up a couple of W7 crackle polishes at Poundland or somewhere similar (Americans: think Dollar Store) and hadn't really had a chance to use them yet, but one of them is a lovely cranberry purple and I thought it would make a nice Halloweeny hue.

To start, I put down a base color of elf Cranberry on my pinky, middle, and index fingers, and Maybelline Onyx Black on my ring and thumb.  Then I splotched on dabs and smears of Collections Scorched over all the nails, making sure I left some base color exposed.  I used Rimmel Black Graffiti over the pinky, middle, and index, and the W7 Crimson Crackle on the ring and thumb.

The effect was sort of wood-grainy, but in a dark and kind of vampy way.  I finished off the look by adding eyeballs with Fright Night Glow-in-the-Dark Claw Polish and added pupils with the Black Onyx. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge - Oktoberfest, plus some fantastic news!

Hey y'all!

I just got the best email and I'm so excited I have to share.   I just received my VIP invitation to the grand opening event of the European e.l.f. Cosmetics Store, which opened a couple of weeks ago in Cardiff!  I've been totally psyched about this store opening since I first heard the announcement just after I moved to England.  Cardiff is a little over an hour away, and I cannot WAIT to see the store!  I haven't really posted about it yet, but I'm a huge e.l.f. fan and about 90% of my cosmetics are e.l.f. brand.  In fact, part of my Texas haul was a huge e.l.f. order with a ginormous freebie inside, and I will be doing a post about that as well.

So the event is smart dress and I'm pretty sure I already know what I'm going to wear, but now I have to decide how to do hair, nails, and of course MAKEUP.  Squee!  Looking forward to rubbing elbows with some other beauty bloggers and maybe doing some networking while I'm there, as well.  I'm also sure Hubby will be bored to tears with me in yet another cosmetics shop, since he about had his fill of that while we were on vacation.

Either way... that's all I have to say about that.  Let's move on to some nails, shall we?

About a month ago, I joined a group on Facebook for nail bloggers called Llama Nails.  From what I can tell, this is a VERY talented group of girls and I'm very excited and happy to have been able to join them.  Like many other blogger groups, they do challenges, and I'm going to start my first challenge today.  Technically, I'm a week late, but since I was in Texas, I think I'm allowed.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to post week 2's challenge entry.  Anyway... here's the challenge schedule:

Monday, 28 October 2013

Texas Recap and Mani Parties!

Hey there guys and gals!

So I've had a very busy last two weeks.  Hubby and I have been on vacation to visit my family and friends back home, and I may or may not have gone a little kooky picking up new polishes to add to my collection.
Totally did.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The goodie parade is about to start!

Greetings, dolls! I've been having an adventure, which is why I haven't had a chance to post as often as I'd like, but I wanted to toss a quick mani up for you, using some new goodies I've recently hauled. There will be a full haul update soon, rest assured, and it's a HUGE one! 

In the mean time, however, I wanted to share something, not nail related.  I finished my first major crochet project!

I know it looks a little wonky, but it's folded in half for photography reasons.  My first small project was a scarf in a half-double stitch.  When I presented this scarf to my mother, she decided that she would rather have a blanket.  Moms, amirite?  So, in the spirit of complete laziness, I decided to just make a bunch of other scarves of the same length and then stitch them together.  Each scarf has a varying width on purpose, promise.  Mom seems impassive as ever.  *sigh*

Alright, how about some nails?  As I mentioned, I recently did some hauling, including some new OPIs.

For this mani, I started with a base color of OPI's I Knead Sourdough.  This is another of the San Francisco Fall/Winter 2013 Collection.  I had passed on it online, but when I saw it in person I knew I had to have this rich coppery brown shade.  I'll do full swatches in another post, because it really is gorgeous.

Then I used some striping tape to mark off the V shapes, and covered the nails in a coat of OPI Honey Ryder, which is a gold liquid sand from the OPI Bond Girls collection from Spring 2013.  This is my first of the liquid sand texture polishes, and I think I might be hooked!  I finished the look by placing triangular rhinestones centered inside the Vs. 

Have you tried any of the liquid sand texture polishes by any maker?  What do you think of them?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness mani!

Well hello again, friends!

So the last week I've been pretty quiet online because I was pushing really hard to finish an editing job.  I've learned more about Norse mythology over the past 6 weeks than I ever really cared to know.  If it tells you anything, I didn't even change my nail polish for a WHOLE WEEK!  Crazy.  Suffice it to say, I finished up the book and turned it in, so I had a bit of free time to do a pink mani for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is of course, October.

Now, I'm not a fan of pink.  In fact, I kind of loathe it.  I actually had a hard time when I started doing this mani because I didn't have much selection of pink polish with which to work.  However, the cause is dear to my heart, because my mother is a breast cancer survivor of over 15 years.  I've also seen several friends' mothers go through the process, and it's not pretty.  In the past year, a friend was diagnosed, and she is even younger than me, so it really hit home.  However, she's doing really well since her surgery and we're all hoping for a full recovery.  I'm not going to preach on it, but ladies, please check your tatas and get mammograms on the regs.  Early detection is key. 

Either way, I knew that I wasn't going to be content with just slapping on some pink polish with some ribbons, so I decided to do go holo and add pink french tips.  I also have an abundance of pink rhinestones that I will probably never use during any other month than October, so I plopped those on as well.  Did some underlining detail with a hot pink striper, and a white accent nail with a single pink ribbon in the same pink striper.

Colors used:
Born Pretty Holo Effect #1
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Kiss Nail Artist Paint in Beach Pink (from the MDK07 Kit)

I'm pretty happy with this mani, though it's fairly simple.  I'll be wearing it for a few days, anyway, or at least until I get my hands of a certain cache of new polishes.  Expect lots of swatches to happen over the next month (including another pink polish - oh well, can't win 'em all).

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Shh... Ali's working.

Working on a tight deadline to finish up an editing job before we take our holidays, so I'll be going dark this weekend.  With a little luck, I'll be back in time for Mani Monday.

In the mean time, here's what I'm currently wearing:

Essie's For The Twill Of It, then I attempted to marble on some holographic topcoat with plastic wrap.  Didn't exactly come out as glamorous as I'd planned, but it'll do for now.  No time for nails, Doctor Jones!

With flash and slightly blurred so you can see the holo.
Hope you're all having a fantastic week, and I'll see you soon!