All The Eggs In One Basket

I know I already posted an Easter mani today, but I had an idea for more Easter nails so I thought I would sneak another one in quickly before Easter is done and dusted.

 

I thought another pastel mani would be great and thought it would be cute to do a little Easter basket with eggs. I started off with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy and painted two coats of essence that’s what I mint on all my nails. I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White and essence wanna be your sunshine to make the flowers using a dotting tool. The basket was done with a dotting tool and L.A. Girl Sandstorm. Sandstorm is textured and it is *one* of the reasons I chose it to make the basket, but it turned out to be pointless since I top coated everything anyway. The eggs are Sinful Colors Sugar ‘n Spice (pink), essence Elves Like Lilac (purple), Tip Top Gold Digger (gold), Tip Top Armour Plate (silver) and China Glaze Just Be-Claws (red).  The bow on the basket is a sticker from one of the essence sticker sets.

 

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This mani felt very busy from the moment I finished doing it, but looking at this photo I actually kind of like it. What do you think?

 

Again, enjoy your long weekend!

On purpose Easter Nails

Although I didn’t feel very pressured to, I did want to do an Easter mani this year. I wasn’t quite full into the swing of the nail art thing this time last year, although the bug had already bitten. I decided to do one mani with all things Easter in one shot.

 

I started off with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy. I painted my index nails with essence wanne be your sunshine and used a dotting tool to make eyes and a beak to represent a chick.  On my ring nails I painted two coats of China Glaze Dance Baby and used Sinful Colors Snow Me White and a dotting tool to “draw” a bunny. On my pinky I painted two coats of essence hello marshmallow. I used my black Madame Zingara nail art pen to draw two zig zag lines across my nails and used some of the other colours to dot around the zig zags to represent an Easter egg. Spring seems to be associated with Easter. I assume the reason for this is because it coincides with Spring in America (who commercialised it all?). Anyway, since this is such a strong reference, I decided to bring it into my mani. For the first time ever I decided to try flocking powder. I wanted “grass” nails to tie into the Easter/nature/spring theme, so I purchased green flocking powder.  I watched some video tutorials on how to use the flocking powder and followed the instructions. My experience with the powder has been hit and miss. I find it easy to apply and it looks great for a short while after application. Personally, before I’ve washed my hands or applied lotion, after that most of it is gone or it looks really patchy. In fact, I re-flocked my nail just to do take the photo below.  The flocking came out really unevenly on the second coat, but since it is meant to represent grass this fit in perfectly with my “theme”. I wasn’t super impressed with how these turned out and I think struggling with the flocking has something to do with it. Also feeling very ill is making me feel meh about everything, so perhaps that is why. Opinons?

 

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And if I hold my fingers right, the bunny is popping out from the grass :)

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A very blessed Easter to you and yours. Stay safe and enjoy the long weekend!

Brokitis (bro-kite-is)

I am so very tired of being sick and having sick people in the house. In the last two and a half weeks we have “spent” around R5 500 on doctors. Appointments, meds, x-rays, blood tests, etc. Cherry on the cake? We’re not much better off.

 

It all started with Elijah. He came home with a horrible cough. We took him to the doctor and he came home with antibiotics. He then passed the germ on to Gabby and just as he started to get better, she passed it back to him and to me. Gabby and Elijah went to the doc and both came home with antibiotics. Gabby got better, but Elijah didn’t really and I got worse. Elijah and I went back to the doctor and came home with antibiotics. 3 courses of antibiotics later and Elijah still has a horrible bark and this morning was complaining of a sore ear. I phoned the doctor yesterday because I feel no better after completing my course and he extended the script and my antibiotics.

 

I still have no idea what is going on with my joints. After blood tests and x-rays they still can’t find anything wrong, so I’m off to see a specialist in May. Once you factor in the specialist appointment the cost of the doctors is closer to R7 000. It is only April. It is not even winter yet. FOR REAL?! Rudi also told me that he isn’t feeling well today. It is just a vicious cycle and I am terrified we will keep on reinfecting each other until we run out of money/resources. What then?

 

I have been a real pain to be around lately. I’ve been utterly miserable with this bout of bronchitis that just won’t quit, so if I’ve snapped at you or moaned your ear off, I’m sorry. I promise once I am feeling better I’ll get up out of my grump and be nice again.

Spice Route

I haven’t seen my friend Warren for about 2 years. We were at school together and were good friends and like to touch base with each other every now and then. After wishing him for his birthday we communicated briefly and decided to get together. He suggested we go to Spice Route in Paarl.

 

It was a scorcher in Cape Town and Paarl is well known to be one of the hottest areas in the peninsula, when it’s hot, it’s hottest there. I was worried about the kids and sunburn, but packed well to prepare.  We arrived just before 14:00 and headed over to the pizzeria which was abuzz with families, probably still from the lunchtime rush. While we were waiting for a table we sat outside on the green lawn under a tree and had something to drink. Once our table was ready we headed inside to enjoy some lunch. Elijah ran off at regular intervals as he had made friends. He really is a sociable chap. Gabby decided that daddy shouldn’t drink and drive and toppled over his draught. I enjoyed a gorgeous red wine with toasted garlic bread, brie and salami on a bed of lettuce. Rudi and Elijah shared a pizza while Gabby had some chicken nuggets and chips. We also had a cheese platter which came in handy when I ran out of cheese for my bread.

 

Once we were done with lunch we headed off to have ice cream. As we approached the building where the ice cream is sold we were overwhelmed by the most gorgeous smell of chocolate. I was intoxicated. It was heavenly. We went in to have some ice cream. They only have 3 flavours, chocolate, vanilla and espresso and they do them very, very well. The ice cream was hands down the best I’ve ever had.  I also bought some chocolate, which everyone in my household hates. I bought the cinnamon and chilli as well as the nib and salt which are both very dark chocolate and if you don’t like dark chocolate it won’t go down well. The flavours are subtle and mix in nicely with the smooth dark chocolate which does not just taste like cocoa. If you appreciate dark chocolate, try it!

 

Warren was lovely enough to buy me two bottles of wine which I am treasuring! I can’t wait till a day arrives where I can indulge in some wine again. I do have a glass every now and then, but find that it makes Gabby a bit cranky so I try to avoid it. If I only have one glass the bottle doesn’t keep very well either. Not sure if I’m storing it incorrectly or what, but I find the red wine sours quickly after I’ve opened it, even if I keep it on its side out of direct sunlight and heat.  You can also enjoy beer and biltong tasting on the farm, they have a wine cellar and a restaurant for the more refined palate.

 

Even though it was a hot day, we didn’t need hats or sunscreen. There was plenty of shade or we were indoors. There really is something for everyone here and I would definitely recommend a trip to this wine farm! I will certainly go again! We had such a lovely day I didn’t take a single photo. Maybe next time.

Accidental Easter Nails

I wanted to use more of my Born Pretty Store decals. I bought some larger flower decals with yellow, blue and pink flowers. I was also in the mood to wear my pastel yellow as I haven’t worn it for a very long time.

 
 

I started off with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy. I painted two coats of China Glaze Lemon Fizz on my thumb, middle and ring nails. I painted two coats of Sinful Colors Over It on my index and two coats of Essie Coat Azure on my pinky. After that had dried I started trying to apply the flower decals over my middle and ring nails that had the pastel yellow base. I struggled endlessly. Because these decals were much larger than the others I had used I had to try and cut them to the shape of my nails. Personally I find this hard. Once the decal is on it is very hard to cut them and it is difficult for me to measure and cut them beforehand. Some people manage just fine, but not me. So in a desperate attempt to save the mani I tried to use another set of small feather decals I had ordered since some of them were yellow and pink too. Another fail. I was just having a bad decal day. I decided to pack it in and write it off as a bad joke, but I couldn’t waste the pretty bases I had painted. At this point in time I had already spent ages on my nails, much to the husband and toddler’s dismay, so the quickest and easiest thing for me to do was a dotticure. I alternated colours and dotted random dots in different sizes over all my nails and sealed it in with a coat of Seche Vite. Somehow, even though it wasn’t conceptualized as such, this mani turned out to look rather Easter-ish, probably because of the colours I used. So I present to you, my first Easter mani:

 
 

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In the end it wasn’t too much of a fail. I like the way it turned out. What do you think?

Peacock Nails

A while ago @sanitashimmy ordered some full nail peacock decals from luckystarstyle. On my latest Born Pretty Store order, I also ordered peacock decals. I picked up the Born Pretty Store order and decided I wanted to use my peacock decals immediately! I mentioned it to Sanita and she said she would do a peacock mani too. It’s a peacock showdown! So let’s see which peacock wins, shall we?

 

Sanita used a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results and painted two coats of China Glaze Rare and Radiant. She applied the luckystarstyle decals to her thumb, middle and pinky nails over Rare and Radiant. On her index and ring nails she placed an emerald green 1.5 mm rhinestone from Born Pretty Store. She used her Seche Vite top coat to seal it all in. Her results:

 

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These decals look AMAZING in the sun! I really like how this mani turned out. You can find photos of Sanita’s other manis on her Pinterest board.

 

For my mani I used OPI Nail Envy as my base coat. I painted two coats of essence that’s what I mint on my ring and middle nails. On the rest of my nails I painted 3 coats of Sinful Colors Nail Junkie. Stop the bus. I fell in love with this glitter when I saw Ordinary Misfit’s swatch of it. I had never seen it in store though and when I did come across it, it didn’t appeal to me in the bottle. When I read the name though, I knew it was one of the polishes I had wanted and I picked it up. Boy, am I glad! This glitter is WOW. It is a gorgeous mix of gold, blue and green glitter in a blue jelly base. The formula was a bit thick and I found it slightly hard to work with, BUT the tiny bit of effort was TOTALLY worth it. I couldn’t stop staring at these glitter nails the entire time I was wearing them. Gorgeous! Start the bus. I applied my Born Pretty Store decals. There a slight learning curve here as the apply differently to the luckystarstyle decals. I figured it out easily enough though and sealed everything with a coat of Seche Vite. My results:

 

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I was right about that glitter hey? Amazing! So absolutely gorgeous it is mesmerising.

In the end I don’t think either peacock wins. These manis are vastly different and both beautiful in their own way. What do you think?

Melting Marshmallows with Crazy Fancy Love

When Ordinary Misfit stamped with essence Crazy Fancy Love and mentioned that the pink colour shift seemed more apparent to her when the colour was stamped, I had the idea to stamp it over pink to see how that would turn out.  I loved it!

 

I started off with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy. I painted 2 coats of Tip Top Melting Marshmallows on all my nails and a 3rd coat on my ring which I would not be stamping over. I used essence Crazy Fancy Love and the top image of my PUEEN 26 stamping plate. I used a 3mm clear pink rhinestone from Born Pretty Store as an accent on my ring nail. I sealed everything except the ring nail with a coat of Seche Vite.

 

For me the pink colour shift wasn’t very obvious when this was stamped, but I suspect that is because I was wearing it over pink and the surrounding pink dominated over the crazy fancy love’s. There were times that the stamping seemed to ‘melt’ into the background, perhaps that was when the pink was more apparent. If you look at the picture with the bottle below you can clearly see the colour shift in the bottle. This does not take away from how pretty I felt the stamping looked. I loved it’s subtlety, but it wasn’t so subtle that you missed it completely. A lovely mani which I really enjoyed wearing!

 

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Nice huh?

Water Marble

I generally need a day’s leave if I want to do a water marble mani, or at least I wait until I have a day off to take it on. When a leave day dawned and my nails were naked, I grabbed the opportunity to do a water marble again. There are tons of water marble tutorials online and loads of people can share the technique with you better than I can. My Simple Little Pleasures is a water marble genius and I often watch her videos to try and catch tips and figure out how I can improve my technique. It is worth the data!

 

For this mani I started off with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy. I painted two coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White on my index, middle and ring nails. I painted my thumb and pinky with two coats of China Glaze Tart-y for the Party. I used Snow Me White and Tart-y for the Party to create my bullseye on the surface of the water, used a toothpick to draw a pattern in the polish and dipped my fingers into the pattern one by one.  I am by no means good enough at marbling yet to try and dip more than one finger at a time! I had a different colour scheme in mind when I started trying to marble, but none of the other polishes I tried would spread well in the water making it impossible to use them. Snow Me White was spreading well and when I tried Tart-y for the Party it spread like a boss, so I changed my entire plan for the mani.  I taped around my cuticles and the tip of my fingers to try and minimize mess as this can be quite a mission to clean up if you don’t try to prevent it somehow. I carefully removed the tape and cleaned up with my clean up brush and acetone. I painted a coat of a glitter topper over my thumb and pinky. I wish I could tell you the brand or name of this glitter, but it was given to me by someone else and all she could tell me was that she bought it as some Chinese shop. No clear indication of brand and no name. It contains holographic lilac hexes, matte white hexes and white bar glitter. I loved this glitter so much I was able to see past the bar glitter which I normally steer clear of. I sealed everything in with Seche Vite top coat.

 

 

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What do you think? Would you attempt to do a water marble if you haven’t already?

Validation

Sometimes, someone just reaches out and makes your day. It doesn’t even have to be someone you know. The world of social media has opened up a whole new world of connectedness (I am fully aware that is not a real word :P) and it is nice to know that among the internet trolls and people who pick fights from behind their screens, there are those that choose to encourage and uplift others.

 

This morning I woke up to a tweet that was sent to me after I posted a pic of my last mani onto IG/Twitter/Facebook. It really made my day and made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Here it is:

 

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Thank you so much, Tiffany Markman, for your kind words and taking time out of your day to make me feel good.

 

I hope to pay it forward :)

Be-Jeweled

When Sanita told me she found Sally Hansen Gem Crushes on sale I asked her to pick up Lady Luck and Be-Jeweled for me. I was super excited to lay my hands on them, and was extra excited about Be-Jeweled because it is a purple glitter bomb!

 

For this mani I started off with OPI Nail Envy as my base coat. Leebeesa had an almost full bottle that she didn’t want anymore and thought of me. I was so very stoked! I would buy this base coat for myself if I could afford it, but it is out of my price range, as are most OPI products. I painted three coats of Sally Hansen Be-Jeweled on my thumb, index and pinky nails. This glitter is quite sheer, but opaque in three coats. You can still see through it if you hold your nails up to the sun, but isn’t apparent when just looking at your nails in regular light. Be-Jeweled is a fine purple glitter packed with slightly larger pink glitter hexes. The glitters have the most amazing holographic sparkle! I couldn’t stop staring at my nails while turning them from side to side to catch the light. People must think I’m really crazy! Anyway, I painted my middle and ring nail with two coats of China Glaze Gamer Glam. Once that was dry I used essence colour and change in sweet surprise and the top image of my PUEEN 36 plate to stamp on those nails and sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. Sweet surprise is one of the colour changing polishes from essence. I found mine marked down in a discount bin at Dischem and I’m not sure if they are still available. The colour changes when you top coat it. This one changes from light pink to a darker pink. The purple glitter in the gem crush and Gamer Glam are very similar and I wanted to wear them together. I had the idea to somehow represent the pink glitter on my accent nails and using pink to stamp with seemed perfect. I first tried to stamp with Sinful Colors Sugar ‘n Spice, but you could literally not see the stamping at all, so I had to shift gears and find another pink to stamp with and it worked out rather nicely. Even though I had to adjust my plans mid execution, this mani turned out to be exactly what I had in mind so I was very happy with the results. I took quite a few pictures to try and do it justice, but I don’t think the pictures show the true beauty!

 

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What do you think? Would you wear a glitter polish as blingy as this?