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Blogiversary Giveaway!

Guys, my blog is NINE YEARS OLD! What? NINE! I can hardly believe it. There are very few things I have stuck to for so long. Blogging joins a short list of things I just keep doing. This blog has pulled me through so many things. Breaking up with My Evil Mother, the loss of our first child and the illness and death of my grandfather. There have been highs among these difficult times as well, not least of which were getting married and the birth of my children. Now that I have finally found a hobby and something that I am passionate about, it has spilled over here as well. Speaking of which, I’m running a giveaway to celebrate! The prize is nail related and I’m hoping you will like it!

 

I have a NailCandi nail ring up for grabs! If you’ve been reading my posts you will know that nail rings are the latest craze and if they are your thing, you could win this one:

 

Image courtesy of nailcandi.co.za

Image courtesy of nailcandi.co.za

 

I will also add 4 polishes to the prize. I have used these polishes once and decided I did not want to keep them. They are still in perfect condition, they just do not appeal to my personal taste and I’m hoping that someone else will give them the love that they deserve. The 4 polishes are Revlon Sunshine Sparkle, WW blue cracking polish, essence me & my lover and Revlon Cosmic duo.

WW Blue cracking polish – swatched here

Revlon Moon Candy Cosmic – swatched here

Revlon – Sunshine Sparkle – swatched here

essence – Me & My Lover – swatch not documented (what?!)

Thank you to everyone who comes here to read what I’ve written. I appreciate the support and the time that you sacrifice to be here with me :) Best of luck!

T’s and C’s:

Competition is open to residents of South Africa only.

Prize will be sent with a tracking number which will be provided to the winner when the package is posted.

Competition starts on Sunday 27 July, closes on 8 August and the winner will be announced on 11 August.

Falsified entries will be deleted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

acidicice

Secret Admirer, Shell We Dance?

I just love it when polish names make for a cool blog heading! There are some really cool polish names out there. I didn’t actually plan the mani around the polish names, it was just a happy coincidence :) Let’s get straight down to it!

 

I used my regular base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted 3 coats of China Glaze Shell We Dance? on my thumb, index and pinky nails. Shell We Dance is a lovely glittery texture from the China Glaze Sea Goddess collection. It is very pretty! The drying time and application were great, as with all my other China Glaze textures. On my ring and middle nails I painted two coats of Sinful Colors Secret Admirer. This polish is a black base packed with silver shimmer. I had just received my new squishy XL stamper from Born Pretty Store and was dying to try it out, so I pulled out PUEEN 43 and Tip Top Armour Plate to do some stamping on my accent nails. I did a few test stamps and decided that my stamper needed to be primed as it wasn’t picking up the images well. After I primed it, it stamped like a dream! All the stamps you see are my first attempts on the nail. I used the top and bottom image from the plate as they both have characteristics I wanted to test out. I absolutely adore how the stamper stamped right into my cuticles with no rolling motion. Because the stamper is so big, it covers my entire nail without me having to roll it. I have a suspicion I might be able to try and stamp straight lines and I will be attempting this very soon! I sealed the stamped nails with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:

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I really enjoyed wearing this mani and LOVED the stamping. I was so impressed with the stamper that I ordered a back up immediately. I think the stamping may look a little grainy, but I am certain it is because the base has a strong silver shimmer in it and the stamping is silver. I quite liked this colour combo too and enjoyed playing with the texture. I did, however, feel it necessary to foil this texture off. I don’t mind that though and it foiled off faster than other glitters. I might also add that I did this mani on a Wednesday night and by Saturday had visible chips in the texture. Textures are fairly simple to touch up since you don’t need things to be smooth. The wear time was just a bit shorter than I am used to. Perhaps I was harder than usual on my nails. This only happened on one hand mind you, so that is a strong possibility.

 

What do you think of this colour combo? Would you wear something like this?

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ModCloth – Nails inspired by Fashion

I was approached by a ModStylist from ModCloth to take part in their Nail Klub and Dresses challenge. A challenge sounded like a fun idea and I went to check out the selection of summer dresses I could use for inspiration. There is an article published on their blog showing off two nail designs inspired by party dresses. You can view the post here. They have such a huge selection of dresses it was hard to pick one! I found one or two that I really liked and that sparked some ideas for a mani, but when I came across the Soiree Stunner Dress the ideas flooded in and I knew I had found “the one”. It isn’t necessarily a dress I would wear, but it definitely inspired this mani and got my creative juices flowing. Here is a picture of the dress:

Image courtesy of ModCloth.com

Image courtesy of ModCloth.com

Not only is this dress a lovely mint shade, but the black is a beautiful contrast to the soft pastel colour. I just love the lace detail at the bottom of the dress and at the neckline. The little black bow at the waist also gave me an idea. Here is what I came up with:

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I hope you like them!

Can I just say that I really love this site? Not only do their sizes accommodate for plus sized women, the photos on their website are of normal women of all shapes and sizes. They don’t only have waif-like models showing off their clothes, but every day women. For me, that is a huge brand plus!

While I wish this challenge was to win one of these gorgeous dresses, unfortunately I’ll have to keep vicariously living these designs through my nail art. These dresses are not only beautiful and come in my size, they are totally out of my league, especially when you factor in the exchange rate.

What do you think? Could you rock this dress? Would you pair up your mani to match?

Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated for this post. I was approached by the company to take part in the challenge and chose to do so.

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Glitter Me This

This mani was inspired by a post Arkwife found on the Gems in a Bottle blog. You can view the post by clicking here. It was the glitter accent nail that caught Arkwife’s attention and inspired me to try something similar. The rest of the mani is completely unrelated, but I’m really excited about how it turned out.

I started off with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of a blue polish that was gifted to me by @tatibble. She received it in a Rubybox, but doesn’t really use polish, so she passed it on. Yay! It is a beautiful blue with a nice shimmer in it. The polish doesn’t have a name or number. Once that was dry I stamped on all of my nails except the ring nails with essence wonderlicious green colour changing polish using the right hand image on my PUEEN 37 plate. On my ring nails I painted a generous amount of a regular (not fast drying) top coat and scattered loose glitter over my nail. I gently pressed it down onto my nail and used a fan brush to gently sweep away loose glitter. I then used an orange stick to push stray glitter out of my cuticles, sometimes onto the nail, otherwise away from the nail. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite. The glitter accent required two coats to smooth it out. The result:

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Close up of the glitter accent:

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Look how sparkly!

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Although somehow the essence colour changing polish didn’t react properly to the top coat, I really like the way this mani turned out. Somehow only certain parts of the polish reacted to the top coat and the colour became patchy. It turned out okay regardless. I’m not usually a fan of blue polish, but my tastes are expanding and I really love this! The glitter accent was easier than I anticipated. I was going to manually place the glitter, thinking they were as big as glequins, but when I pulled them out I realized they were smaller than I had remembered and scattering them over wet top coat seemed a much more viable option and it worked really well! This was easier to use for me than the flocking powder I tried out during Easter. I am also quite chuffed at how the stamping turned out. Back in the stamping game with full force!

What do you think?

 

Edit: I did this mani on a Sunday and on Tuesday morning my entire glitter nail popped off in a sheet. Luckily someone had a polish close to it at work and I could save the situation. I’m not sure if I did something wrong or if it was bound to happen. Anyone else experienced something like this?

acidicice

Green Ocean

I have had Sinful Colors Green Ocean for the longest time. It was a gift from Ordinary Misfit for my last birthday. It is almost my birthday again, so I have had it for at least a year. I first fell in love with this sparkly topper when I saw it on Voni’s blog. It has been staring at me from my untried shelf for a long while and I have swatched it over a few colours on my nail wheel trying to find a nice combination that isn’t predictable. I tried it over lilac, nude and some other colours and I just didn’t like it over anything I tried. I knew it would look nice over black and green, so eventually I relented and predictably painted it over green. I don’t have very many greens, I have two minty shades which I am fond of and I reached for the one I haven’t used for a while.

I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I then painted two coats of Sinful Colors Mint Apple on all of my nails. I used Sinful Colors Green Ocean over the Mint Apple. I had to blob and spread the glitter for even distribution. Make sure all the flakes and shards of glitter are laying flat on your nail before you paint a top coat, otherwise they can be quite annoying. I placed an emerald green rhinestone on my ring and middle nails at the cuticle and sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:

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These iridescent flakies and glitters flash from blue to green. It is truly gorgeous! I will definitely wear this over black or navy sometime in the future. In certain lights the rhinestones sort of blended into the nails and weren’t very obvious and I thought I might have chosen the wrong colour rhinestone to wear, but when the light hit them just right it looked stunning! This is a very quick and easy mani that I managed to do while my children were both home with me. Yes, okay, the baby was sleeping…but it didn’t take very long.

 

What do you think? Do you like this combination?

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Madame Zingara Minis

I am constantly working through my ever expanding pile of untried polishes and nothing gives me more pleasure than swatting a few off my untried shelf in just one mani. Ordinary Misfit noted that I should make a point of using my Madame Zingara polishes when I asked her if she had any suggestions. I was still stumped for what to do. The Madame Zingara polishes are jellies, which means there is sandwich potential, but that would be rather predictable, wouldn’t it? Then while I was in the shower one night I had an idea that didn’t use just one, or even two, but THREE of my Madame Zingara polishes in one mani! I bought these polishes in a box set on sale at Clicks, so I don’t know if you can still get your hands on them. It also came with loose glitter which I haven’t quite figured out how to use yet.

 

I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results (pictured below) to protect my natural nails. The polishes have no names, so I’ll need to refer to them by colour. I painted 3 coats of the white on my thumb, middle and ring nails. I am not fond of this white. It is only the second on that I have used, but I found it very difficult to get even, despite 3 coats. That issue sorted itself out with top coat, but I still prefer Sinful Colors Snow Me White to this one. I also painted 3 coats of the pink on my index and 3 coats of the purple on my pinky. On my thumb I used the pink and purple to make leopard print and alternated the colours on the rest of my nails. I used Sinful Colors Black on Black to complete the leopard print and sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. I placed a tear drop shaped rhinestone on my index and pinky nails at the cuticle which I bought in a wheel of clear rhinestones in various shapes from Planet Nails. The results:

 

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The pink and purple Madame Zingara polishes have the most gorgeous shimmer in them. You can see it in the purple in the photo, but not very clearly in the pink. The shimmer is much more apparent in real life. I learnt with this mani that using a colour that is too dark to do leopard print isn’t such a great idea. I ends up looking more like cow patches.

 

These nails were pretty eye catching, I think the stark contrast between the white and the leopard print make them very easy to spot (see what I did there? ;) ) A lot of people commented on them. I really enjoyed wearing this mani. I am a sucker for a funky and eye catching design and this definitely fit the bill. What do you think? Do you wear white nail polish? Do you like animal print nails?

 

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Neon & On & On

This mani started out as one thing and ended up completely differently. I planned to paint all my nails a neutral colour and then use a glitter to make a gradient on my accent nails. It was, however, not meant to be. Let me tell you about it as I explain what I did.

 

I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I then painted 3 coats of Revlon Cabana Queen which is a light grey with a lovely shimmer. You can’t really see the shimmer in the bottle, so I was surprised when I saw it when I painted. I needed 3 coats for opacity. I then took China Glaze Be Merry, Be Bright and tried to do a glitter gradient on my ring and middle nail. So very little glitter came out I started to realize it was going to get thick if I did too many coats, so I switched to sponging it on instead of using the brush to do the gradient. This was also a fail because I got too much glitter off and it cake up in one place and looked too opaque. Even though I tried this out on my nail wheel first, I couldn’t gradient my way out of a paper bag when I tried it this time. Then I decided to just paint the whole nail full of the glitter…it became a gloopy, thick mess on my nails. I got frustrated and took it all off. I grabbed my new bottle of China Glaze Neon & On & On and painted my accent nails with 3 coats (after redoing my base coat, of course). I used Neon & On & On and Maskscara Sugar Plum to make random, overlapping dots on the grey nails and sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. The results:

 

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Of course my camera and this picture do absolutely no justice to this GORGEOUS neon pink. It is officially my favourite neon EVER, with Flip Flop Fantasy coming a close second. It is vibrant and bright. Every single time I spotted it on my nails it brought a smile to my face! I actually can’t wait to wear it again! Polish Insomniac has a nice swatch of it and her photo is more colour accurate, if you would like to see her swatch, click here.

 

So despite being an incredibly frustrating mani, it didn’t turn out too badly and my new favourite polish of all time cheered me up to no end! What do you do when you get frustrated during a mani?

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Dotty Sandals

I was standing in Dischem one day and literally squealed when I saw that L.A. Girl had released new colours in their Sand Blast textured polish range. I picked up the red (Sand Dune) and orange (Glissand) immediately as I didn’t have red or orange textures. I had the pink one in my hand, but put it back because I already have a pink China Glaze texture. I later regretted the decision. Last time I hesitated picking up L.A. Girl textures from my Dischem they sold out and never got new stock. I was simply delighted when they still had of the pink left over when I went to Dischem again. I immediately grabbed a bottle and hugged it tightly to my chest whispering “My preciousssss”.  Ok, I’m exaggerating, but I was so glad they still had some left and that I managed to get my hands on one. After using it, I can say with certainty that it is a completely different pink to my other texture and they both have a place in my collection :)

 

I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of L.A. Girl Sandals on my thumb, index and pinky nails. I would like to note that this particular texture had a great drying time. I had issues with another L.A. Girl texture which took AGES to dry, but this one was perfect as texture drying times go. When you can’t sneak in a fast drying top coat, drying time can be critical! On my middle and ring nails I painted two coat of a dark purple M.O.D. matte polish. I also bought this polish from Dischem for R19.95 almost a year ago. There is no name or number on the bottle from what I saw. It was one of the first polishes I ever bought and it has been sitting on my untried shelf for AGES. Since all my nails would be matte and this is a matte polish anyway, I decided to add a matte top coat to extend wear. I used my GOSH matte top coat here. To be honest, adding a matte top coat took away from this polish. I’m going to wear it again with a shiny top coat to show you how beautiful it really is. It has a subtle shimmer in it which completely disappeared after the matte top coat, but I’m sure it would be enhanced with a glossy one. I digress. I used Sandals and my largest dotting tool to add polka dots to the purple nails. I needed to do two coats of dots to make them stand out nicely. The result:

 

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I really enjoyed wearing this simple mani. I got loads of positive feedback from people that spotted me wearing it (heh. See what I did there?). Even from men! Most men don’t really take note of nails or when they do they don’t necessarily say something about it, so when a man takes the time to comment on my mani, I know I’ve done something right ;)

 

Would you try this? It is so easy and eye catching! I think using two contrasting colours makes it pop and the texture just adds something special. If you do try it, please show me!

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Nitpicking

A little while ago the day mother advised us that there were sisters staying there who had lice. She advised the parents of this, which led to an altercation between the mother and herself and ended in the two children being removed from the day mother. The youngest sister, however, continued to attend school with Elijah. Their teacher was also notified. The children were checked at the day mother, but nobody seemed to be infected. Nicole is one of the day mother’s granddaughters (she is in high school already) and often plays with the children’s hair. She was the first to spot the lice infestation and she does spot checks while she is playing with their hair every now and then.

 

Nicole noticed Elijah was scratching his hair and checked but didn’t find anything. We started to notice at home too and asked that she check again. When we checked we only saw what looked like dandruff. Sure enough, when she checked again, both Elijah and Gabby had an infestation! She couldn’t find any live bugs in Elijah’s hair, but found a couple in Gabby’s hair. The horror! I arranged to leave work early as I wanted her to check me as well. I share a bed with Gabby and on the nights where Rudi plays darts Elijah sleeps with me too. I stopped off at Dischem and purchased Controlice products and quite an awesome comb for combing out lice/nits. I already had all the Tea Tree stuff and have been using it as a preventative measure, but one of the other mothers contacted me and advised me to get something else as she found the Tea Tree products ineffective. R300.00 later I collected the kids and Nicole went home with us. The kids were put in the bath and we started putting them through the treatments. The products have a strong liquorice smell, which isn’t too bad and it seemed gentle enough as the kids didn’t complain of any burning or anything other discomfort. While Nicole was combing and applying treatments I was stripping the bedding that had been changed two days prior, as well as scarves and caps that they have recently worn and filling the washing machine with buckets of hot water. After the wash everything went into the tumble dryer on a hot cycle. Rinse and repeat in 7 days. What a mission!

 

I had 3 people check my own hair, including the nurse at work and Nicole. Everybody said it was clear, but when I took Gabby to the doctor today I had him check me too…at least I got the green light! It would also seem that my children are the only children at the day mother that were infected. That is so strange to me, but it sort of confirms the suspicion that Elijah picked it up at school and likely passed it on to Gabby. It is a good thing though, since this will minimize the chances of the lice coming back. I don’t know how thorough other parents would be about getting rid of the infestation (the mother of the girls where it started was in complete denial about them having lice), so I would be worried about the kids picking it up again if there were other children infected. I think perhaps some people are ashamed of it as there seems to be a stigma attached to it. It seems that people are completely unaware that lice actually like clean hair and find it easier to cling to. A lot of people seem to think it is due to poor hygiene that lice infestations occur, which simply isn’t true.

 

I have also sealed all our hair accessories in an airtight container for a few days, washed my brushes with hot water and disinfectant and thrown my own scarves in the wash. Can you say “Paranoid”? Hopefully we’ve wiped them all out…I really don’t feel like going through this again!

acidicice

Twin Nails with Ordinary Misfit!

For the longest time Misfit and I have been talking about doing “twin nails” which seems to be the latest craze in the nail art community. I have always shied away from it. Nobody wants to be directly compared to a pro when they feel like a novice themselves, you know? I finally decided to ditch my hangups about not feeling good enough and do something I love with someone who taught me to love this! Enough about my self esteem issues, onto the nails!

We took turns picking the polishes and tools that we would both use for our manis. We only discussed this and no specifics about what we would be doing. This post is a big reveal for both of us. I have no idea what Misfit has done and visa versa. This is what we chose:

  • Sinful Colors I Love You
  • Tip Top Armour Plate
  • Right hand image on PUEEN 44
  • Clear or purple rhinestones of any shape

I started off with my usual base of Tip Top Miraculous Results. I painted 2 coats of Tip Top Armour Plate on my thumb and pinky nails. I painted 2 coats of Sinful Colors I Love You on my index, middle and ring nails. Once that was dry I stamped with Tip Top Armour Plate and the right hand image on my PUEEN 44 plate onto my middle and ring nails. On my index nail I used a clear heart rhinestone that I found in a nail wheel I bought from Planet Nails. I thought a heart rhinestone would fit nicely with a polish named ‘I Love You’ :) I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:

Twin Nails

 

I didn’t know how to feel about this mani. I think I love it. Somehow the stamping looks blurry in all the pics I took, but I think it has to do with the glitter underneath and the way the light is reflecting off the silver stamping rather than a problem with the camera focusing, everything else is clear. Or the camera was really confused by all the sparkly ;) I Love You is simply gorgeous! I used a beautiful little compact mirror I got in a China Glaze gift set as my prop for this image. I was really in need of a nice mirror and now I have one! You might see it again in future ;)

You can view Ordinary Misfit’s post by clicking here. What do you think of this mani?