Thanks Masuka…

So they say inspiration can come from anywhere, therefore I’d like to thank the character Masuka from the TV series ‘Dexter’. He’s well known for sporting terrible shirts, maybe that’s unkind so let me re-phrase that – shirts that are not to my taste. In this particular episode whilst I was pondering how to paint my nails he was wearing a turtle patterned, purple shirt *light bulb moment*. I’d like to think my turtle pattern has a much better colour combination, and wouldn’t actually be that bad printed on a shirt.

Turtle Pattern Nail Art.png

Shrimp Show…

So as you may or may not know I am an avid fishkeeper, this also includes the odd freshwater shrimp (nothing fancy just your usual). At the weekend, Scotland’s very first shrimp show was held so it was obvious I had to attend. It was actually in conjunction with a fish tabletop sale – think of a car boot-sale inside, on tables, for everything aquatic. I  actually picked up many a great bargain, but no fish as I was only in the market for tank decor, but anyway I’ve digressed. SHRIMP NAILS!

ShrimpNailArt
ShrimpShowShrimp
Did anyone else eat those pink, foamy shrimps when they were younger? I swear that’s all I could smell whenever I looked at my thumbnail, it was so weird. I created these shrimps by using a hehe stamping plate, and using the ‘stamping decal/reverse stamping’ technique with my clear stamper from BornPrettyStore, it just makes it so much easier to see where you’re painting and where you’re placing.

ShrimpNail

Caught in a FishNet…

So for this design I’ve used some ‘Nail Apps’ by OPI in the style called ‘Fishnet’. I’ve used them before, and they are really amazing for a nail wrap – they apply well as they’re flexible and sticky enough, and they don’t chip as easily as normal nail wraps (these are made from real nail lacquer), but they do smell rather strong.

OPI FishNet Nail Apps
I decided to elevate them from normal nail wraps to nail wraps of the sea gods by adding subtle and controlled sea-themed embellishments. I find it very hard not add to much and know when to stop. At first I only wanted to do an accent nail, but then the other nails looked to naked…

OPI Fishnet NailApps
As these are applied and not painted, my right hand was able to make my left hand look pretty for once. Fortunately my non-dominant hand could even manage the placement of some charms, so I went out looking even more like a normal person. (I only ever have one hand painted, and I doubt anyone ever notices but it does worry me in case they think I’m trying to start a strange trend or something.) Look how cute that wee seahorse is!

OPI Fishnet NailApps Collage

BornPrettyStore: Gold Sealife Stickers…

So I feel as if I’m getting back in to the swing of things after a flat period, so I decided to review these ‘Gold Gilding Summer Style Nail Art Stickers‘* from BornPrettyStore! Aren’t they just the cutest? (Or maybe it’s me as I’m pretty in to fishkeeping)

#22295 Gold Sealife Design
So on the sheet itself you get plenty of creatures to use including corals, seahorses and fish. The stickers are definitely gold, they really have that true metallic effect.

#22294 Gold Gilded Fish Stickers
The stickers are very sticky, which is fantastic, but I’d wouldn’t advise using your fingers to peel and place them. I found that the stickers stuck to my fingers too easily so tweezers are definitely a must for these guys! I know it’s better etiquette to use tweezers for stickers anyway but sometimes, you know, fingers are used…

UseTweezers
Once top-coated, the appearance of the stickers didn’t change. Occasionally with gold effect nail art items, the gold dulls or smudges off but not with these fish – still as bright and as gold as when they were first placed. If you’ve ever used a bad sticker you’ll be familiar with top-coat lifting if not, what happens is after being top-coated the sticker starts to curl and it’s edges lift up meaning they catch or fall off easily, but not these ones! There was zero lifting or curling, maybe it’s down to the stickiness of them or maybe even the material they’re made out of but it’s a great relief that they didn’t curl up.

Holo Blue Sealife Design
The shine on these stickers is amazing, and I love that the packet includes so many different styles and sizes of creatures. I can’t wait to use them again in a different style. If you fancy ordering them or anything else from Born Pretty Store remember to use my code to receive 10% off full priced items.

AZYW10
Now it’s time for some close-ups!
(As my index finger is still damaged I am still painting a false nail to cover it up)

Seahorse Close Up
Fish Sticker Close Up

Striping Tape Sea…

So I’ve never seen striping tape applied the way Cubbiful has on her Instagram – I immediately thought ‘I want to try that!’ and therefore did. I chose to change the colour pallet to hopefully look like less of a copy cat… Even though they were beautiful as they were, I added some pearls and Sea-Creature Water Decals* from BornPrettyStore anyway. I think it turned out really cute! Next time I do something like that with striping tape, I’m going to go for an ombre I reckon!

StripingTapeSea
StripingTapeNailArt
P.S what a difference the application of cuticle cream makes huh! I’ve never had a sort of ‘before and after’ photo to compare but wow.

OMD3 – Day 23 Under the Sea…

So another entry for the OMD3 challenge. I honestly thought my leaves would be the last one, however I hadn’t checked the closing date – duh – so I actually have a few more days to cram some more nail art in. Yaay!

For this design, I used some sea creature water decals* from BornPrettyStore. The sheet has loads of decals on them, and I’ve actually used some before for my jellyfish design. If you use my code ‘AZYW10’ you’ll get 10% off full priced items in your order.

OMD3 - Day 23 Under the Sea

OMD3 – Day 14 Fish…

So for this prompt I went for JellyFISH. Still counts right, even though they’re technically not fish? I’ve previously hand painted some Jellyfish, but for this design I chose to use some BornPrettyStore Jellyfish Water Decals* and they did not disappoint!

OMD3 Day14 Fish
I chose to use them in a ‘pond mani’ meaning I applied a decal, layered glitter polish on top, top coated it all and then repeated a few times to give the effect of depth. The pictures do make it look a little flat but trust me, in reality it looks super cool.

Jellyfish Closeup2
The decals gave me a little bit of a shock at first when they arrived – it looked like they’d forgotten to put the decals on the sheet or something, but then I remember they were white! White on white could be an issue but fortunately you can see them if you turn the sheet towards the light as the decals shine differently, meaning you can chose what shapes you want to use.  Once the decals have been in the water they actually get easier to see meaning you will always pick up the design you want anyway.

CoralWaterDecal
DecalsinWater
Fortunately BornPrettyStore decals are super easy to use (so I’d ignore the strangely translated instructions on the back); you just cut round the desired decal, submerge it in water for around 10 seconds, slide it off the backing paper, apply it to your nail and then gently dab away any excess water. Always top coat it to seal it onto your nail of-course.

BPS WaterDecal Instructions
If you look closely you’ll see that for the first layer of jellyfish have short tentacles which is how the decals actually are. For the second and third layers I painted some tentacles on to them to add extra interest – it works really well don’t you think!

JellyFish Close up1
I’m so impressed with the sheet of water decals – it includes coral, starfish, seahorses, ‘beach’ words, shells and jellyfish meaning it’s a very versatile sheet to have! Expect to see me using them again. If you fancy adding these decals to your nail stash or anything else from BornPrettyStore you can use my code ‘AZYW10’ to get 10% off all full priced items.

Jellyfish…

So for this design I used some BornPrettyStore water decals. I’ve been really impressed with the others I’ve used, however this sheet was a let down. Once I’d soaked them long enough for the decal to slide off the backing paper, it wasn’t as adhesive as other decals and also had a strange plastic feel. As you can see from the photos they applied more like non-sticky nail wraps with crinkles and everything. To convince them to stay put, I top coated them with ‘Seche Vite’ – now everyone knows what a wonder product that is but it actually made these decals go ‘weird’. If you look at the non-coated decals and then the jellyfish photos you’ll see how the whole look of them has changed – they no longer have the wispy, watermarble look but instead have a sort of pixelated appearance. The wrinkles disappeared though! Over-all it works for the jellyfish theme but I was a little sad the decal didn’t really work.

Jellyfish Nail Art
Jellyfish Nail Art
You have to cut the decal to fit your nail size, also what's with the 'background vector' taking up a whole heap of space?
You have to cut the decal to fit your nail size, but what’s with  ‘background vector’ taking up a whole heap of space?
Here's the water decal placed on my pinky. I cleaned up the excess with an acetone soaked cotton bud.
Here’s the water decal placed on my pinky. I cleaned up the excess with an acetone soaked cotton bud.
Wrinkly looking water decals, but they do have a pretty pattern!
Wrinkly looking water decals, but they do have a pretty pattern!

OMD2 – Day 19 Ombre…

So I must say this isn’t one of my best ombre designs – a bit messy, a bit rough and a bit rushed to be honest. I tried to keep it kind of playful looking though instead of being realistic so hopefully I’ve got away with it.

OMD2 Ombre
Also I realise I’ve not yet included a link to the challenge for anyone who wants to check it out – I’ve been using this reference page on CraftyNail’s Blog.