Sunday, 29 December 2013

CNTCWC D8: New Year's Eve

Hey y'all!

So today we come to the close of my first completed nail art challenge, and it's bittersweet.  I'm proud of a lot of the work I've done, but of course there's still a lot of room for improvement, so that will focus me going into 2014.  Today's final theme is New Year's Eve.  I knew I wanted to do something a bit glamorous and sparkly, and I found the perfect inspiration on a video by Lacquerstyle.  She uses purple/fuchsia and gold in her very elegant look, whereas I've changed the color scheme around to make it very NYE, in my not-so humble opinion.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Puke

Hey y'all!

Today I have a funny little mani fail to show you that I like to call Christmas Baubles, aka Christmas Puke.  Originally I had thought I would capture the effect of all the bits and bobs on a Christmas tree cascading down my nails.  In reality, it just looked awful, but it tickles me so I thought I'd show you.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

CNTCWC D7: Winter Characters

Hey y'all!

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, whether you celebrate the day or not!  Today is called Boxing Day in the UK (and assorted Commonwealth countries), where tradesmen and people in service positions traditionally receive a box of gifts or money from their bosses.  I still like to think it's called Boxing Day because that's when you clean up all the boxes and wrapping paper from Christmas presents, though.  It's kind of weird having the day after Christmas be a holiday, whereas in the States we celebrate Christmas Eve instead, but I guess either way it's two days for Christmas.  Today we've come to the penultimate challenge of the CNTCWC today, and our theme is Winter Characters.

I wanted to do a non-traditional take on the theme (I can hear you gasping in shock already) so I played around with ideas for a while and something about the thought of Santa's view of his reindeer as they were returning to the North Pole after Christmas struck me as cute, so today, you get REINDEER BUTTS!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 10: Christmas

Hey y'all!

First off, let me wish all of you a Merry Christmas!  I'm going to keep today's post relatively faff-free, but picture-heavy, because I kind of love this manicure for the Llama Nails challenge: Christmas.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

CNTCWC D6: Christmas Food

Hey y'all!

Christmas week is finally here, and last night, we finally got a bit of snow that stuck around til morning.  Of course it has all melted now by the afternoon, but it's something, right?  Today's theme in the CNTCWC is Christmas Food, which has already been on my mind as we get preparations done for Christmas day. I toyed with several ideas for what constituted Christmas food, but the one that *always* makes me think Christmas and nothing else is gingerbread houses, so that was the inspiration for today's manicure.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

CNTCWC D5: Christmas Toys

Hey y'all!

I made a few changes yesterday to my blog content, including the new banner up top (whee!) and I've changed my watermarking system for future pics.  Please do leave me some feedback, if you have any, because I'm curious to know what y'all think.  For today's theme, I did some experimenting with watercolor paints.  Granted, it probably wasn't the best idea to experiment during a nail art challenge, but there you have it.  The theme is Toys, and the scenario that played out in my head was that Santa got disoriented in a blizzard and crashed his sleigh, spilling his sack and all the toys and presents inside.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 9: Winter

Hey y'all!

Hard to believe Christmas is only a week away, isn't it?  Here in southwestern England, the weather has been quite mild for what I expected midway through December.  We've had a few nights of drizzling rain filled with teeny little tufts of micro snowflakes, which hubby says they call sleet.  After some research, it turns out that once again, this is another word that has completely different meanings in the UK vs US.  Back home, sleet is rain with actual ice in it, not to be confused with hail, which is bigger.  Apparently here, they call them "ice pellets".  It's true, we really are two countries divided by a common language.  In any event, the winter is here, but I expect it to get much worse before it gets better.

This week's theme for the Llama Nails challenge is, in fact, Winter.  I wanted to capture some traditional wintery images, even if we haven't really experienced much of it where I live.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

CNTCWC D4: Christmas Traditions

Hey y'all!

Today's theme in the CNTCWC is Christmas Traditions.  When I was a kid, of course, we had a few traditions around the house, mostly involving decorations and the like.  I think my favorite part of Christmas was in our stockings, Mom would always give us an orange, a few chocolates, and a LifeSavers Story Book.  For my non-American readers, LifeSavers are are little ring-shaped hard candies and mints that come in a foil-wrapped roll of about a dozen or so.  At Christmas time, they would bundle several different flavored rolls (including my favorite, butterscotch) together in a box that opened like a book and was filled with different Christmas images.  I'm not sure why that was my favorite stocking stuffer, but I always looked forward to that being in my stocking each year.

As I've grown and since I have no children of my own, Christmas has taken a back burner for me.  It all seems far too commercial and hectic and ugly, and I haven't put up a tree in probably 15 years.  The past several years I've spent Christmas dog- and house-sitting for Mom so she could go visit family who couldn't let us bring our dogs, and I was okay with the arrangement because I just haven't "felt it" for so very long.  Today's theme gave me an opportunity to really play around and have some fun with Christmas traditions, so I've opted to show off two of the less-popular traditions that a lot of people struggle with every year - untangling Christmas lights and dealing with kitty cats in Christmas trees.  Most of the polishes and the stamping plate in this mani were in The Pink PrincessZ's giveaway I won and posted about in my Giveaway Mania post.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

CNTCWC D3: Holiday Colors

Hey y'all!

So today's theme is Holiday Colors (actually, the list says Holiday Colours, but yanno, I'm a 'murkin), and this is the first time that I've ever had a mani ready to go with pics and everything and then completely changed it on the day of posting.  I got some nail mail this morning of two limited edition Quirk polishes (and by limited edition, I mean there were like, 3 of each made) and was so excited that I scrapped my Christmas baubles mani altogether, though it may show up later in the challenge.

Quirk is another UK indie, created by Kerrie of PishPosh and Polish.  They are handmade, 3-free, and currently consist of glitter toppers, but since the line is new, I imagine this will not always be the case.  I purchased her two holiday LEs, one called Candy Land and the other called Evergreen.

Since the theme is Holiday Colors, I thought what better way to play with new polish than to use them in the nail art challenge THAT VERY SAME DAY???

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 8: Kwanzaa

Hey y'all!

So, this has been an interesting week so far.  I had a ginormous fail on my first attempt at today's challenge theme (pic at the bottom of the post), I received a great prize I won in a giveaway (and posted about it yesterday), picked a winner for my giveaway, and almost adopted another dog who wandered into our garden yesterday.  He's back home where he belongs now, but since he didn't have tags, I was sorely tempted to convince Hubby to let me keep him, because he really is very sweet and I feel bad because I have listened to him whine and cry outside pretty much since the neighbors got him earlier this summer.  However, he has a little buddy who did not follow him through the fence, so I feel better at least knowing he's not just a little dog living outside by himself.

I'm also in the process of working with an independent rep in the US to get some content that I'm fairly sure will be the first UK introduction to this cosmetic line.  The line is planning on expanding into the UK in 2014 and I'm psyched to be on the front lines of it.  Samples should be coming to me soon, and I'll have some reviews and swatches for you when that happens.  Exciting!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Giveaway Mania up in hurr! (CLOSED)

Hey y'all!

Short post, but today's an exciting day at Camp Faff.  Last night a winner was selected for my elf Gift Bag giveaway, and the winner responded to my email this morning, so her prize will be mailed out later today.  Congratulations to Lucy of the Lucy Loves, who is also a newbie beauty blogger like myself, but she's covering a whole range of beauty, fashion, and nail stuff.  Give her a peek! 

Additionally, I received a prize that *I* won from the beautiful Zoe of The Pink PrincessZ!  I am SO excited about this prize set, you guys.  I just can't even.  Over the course of the giveaway, Zoe made improvements to the original prize pack, upgrading all of the nail polishes to Essies.  I currently have only 2 Essies in my collection, not including their ridge filler, so that made me really happy, but what I was REALLY drooling over was the MoYou Christmas Collection 01 plate.

Click to expand - this is worth taking a look at!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Hey, Swatch It! Belle Glamour UK Indie swatch and review

Hey y'all!

So I'm very excited to be reviewing my first UK Indie polish today!  I received four shades from Catriona's Cosmetics Belle Glamour line of polishes, which will be officially launched on January 24, 2014.  In addition to selling some really pretty polishes from her own line as well as some other brands, she also sells hand-painted false nails and loose glitter.

There were SO many polishes to choose from, I really had to have a long sit-down with myself and figure out the best way to select a decent review sample.  In the end, I selected 4 polishes (3 shimmers and 1 glitter) across the color wheel.

Colors listed:
Sunlight in the Water (blue)
Grass is Always Greener (green)
Bloodstain (pink)
Amulet (purple)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

CNTCWC D2: Winter Nature

Hey y'all!

Hope everyone's getting into the Christmas spirit by now.  I'm certainly lagging behind on Christmas cheer, but then I'll be honest; it's never been my favorite holiday.  This nail art challenge is certainly helping me to think Christmas, but I've never been a home decorating type, and I can't remember the last time I had a Christmas tree in the house.  Call me a Scrooge if you will.  It's not that I dislike the holiday, more that I just don't get into it the way most people do.  The dog certainly doesn't seem to care, anyway. :)

So I've decided not to type out "Crumpet's Nail Tarts Christmas Winter Challenge" twice a week for the next month in my post titles, so when you see "CNTCWC" - that's what it means.  Today's theme is Winter Nature.  I had a plan for this look that involved having a lot more time to work than I wound up with.  Unfortunately, the morning I was going to work on this mani, I woke with a start and ended up flapping my hand on poor Isis' head, cracking a nail in the process.  Crisis!  Luckily I had put down base coat, base color, and a matte topcoat the night before, so the nail didn't fly off.  It is definitely damaged but I was able to do some surgery with a teabag and nail glue to save the nail.  Losing this length would've been a calamity for my plans for the rest of this winter nail art challenge!

In the end, I would up with this:

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Crumpet's Nail Tarts Christmas Winter Challenge D1: White Christmas

Hey y'all!

So yesterday I went to my first British dental appointment.  I have to say that the Brits get a bad rap when it comes to dentistry in general.  Although it's been many years since I'd seen a dentist in the States because I've not had dental coverage for a long while, I have to say that the experience was not at all different from any other dental appointment I've had.  Got a couple of fillings and the colors match and they're just as good as any work I've had done before.  The only noticeable difference was that she didn't have nitrous oxide (which I usually prefer, as it helps keeps me from having anxiety problems in the chair) - but overall I was able to breathe through my nerves and was only there for an hour.  I'm very pleased and not at all as nervous as I had been about the series of appointments to come, as I've got a few issues to address (like I said, I've not had coverage for a while).

Anyway... so today starts a new challenge I've taken up, which I mentioned in yesterday's post, hosted by Crumpet's Nail Tarts on Facebook.  I'll be posting new nail art twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays.  Today's theme is White Christmas.

Personally, I've never seen a White Christmas, since I hail from Central Texas and we only see snow once every few years.  Even the winters I spent in Chicago and England last year didn't see snow on Christmas day, so I can only imagine and look at pictures for inspiration.  Also, the movie White Christmas was oddly uninspiring, although I do love hearing Bing sing and Vera-Ellen dance, and Danny Kaye cracks me up.

So here's what I did:

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Llama Nails Holiday Challenge week 7: Hanukkah

Hey y'all!

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving break.  Here in jolly ol' England, business was much the same as usual:  chilly weather punctuated with days of "nice" weather.  By nice, of course, I simply mean I wasn't freezing my ovaries off.  It's officially December now, which brings with it a new nail art challenge and continuation of the existing challenge I've been working on for Llama Nails.  Doing two challenges at once will be interesting, and by interesting I mean "oh god, oh god, we're all gonna die."  The new challenge comes from the FB group Crumpet's Nail Tarts which is spearheaded by Debbie of The Crumpet, and is a really large group of nail enthusiasts.  The challenge is winter/Christmas themed and will only last for the month of December.  My first challenge nails will be posted tomorrow.  I'm really looking forward to this theme as I have some great ideas for it.

Today, however, I continue on the path of the Holiday themed manis with this week's entry: Hanukkah.

Monday, 2 December 2013

#2014BloggerChallenge - I'm in! Are you?

Hey y'all!

I was browsing some beauty blogs the other day, as I often do, and came across an intriguing post from Dawn of Sassy Little Nails, where she talked about joining a blogger challenge that sounded like fun, called the #2014BloggerChallenge.  The event is the brainchild of Gaby from Another Girly Blog.  I ran down the list of participants and saw a lot of familiar blogs, so I opted to join in, and you can too!