Tuesday, 31 July 2012

[nails] Polishes everyone should own - Barry M Denim

Another non-challenge holiday post! I've been wanting to start swatching my collection for a while now, simply because I have so many gorgeous polishes that I don't really get the chance to show off. So here's the first in what will hopefully be an extensive series of posts showcasing polishes that I believe everyone should own!

The first polish I chose is by Barry M and is a relatively new release of theirs, 325 Denim. I'm sure anyone in the UK knows that Barry M is generally the go-to brand for cheap, basic polishes. Recently though, they've started releasing some really beautiful and quite unique shades. I think my next swatch post will be another of these releases, Copper, which I bought at the same time as Denim and I view them as a pair since they work well together. Today though, I'm focusing on just Denim. 

One coat of Denim - look at the pretty matte finish arghsobeautiful

Two coats of Denim. 

Two coats of Denim - the silver shows up well in this picture.
This is a dark, denim-blue polish with a hefty amount of fine silver micro-glitter, which dries to a semi-matte finish. In some lights there seems to be a sprinkle of light blue glitter but it's barely noticeable. The thing that really makes me adore this polish is the application. It's a true one-coater, going on smooth and thick on the first coat and drying extremely fast as well. I usually do two coats just to give a bit more depth and because my nails are naturally ridged and a bit rough. The only issue is that you can't use topcoat if you want to retain the beautiful matte finish - unless you sandwich it - which means chipping is going to happen more quickly. 

I was incredibly impressed with Barry M for this - a really unique polish with utterly flawless application and a beautiful colour. And I think most people would agree that the name fits perfectly too! Everyone needs their perfect pair of jeans, and now I think everyone needs this perfect Denim for their nails too ;) 

(Jeez, how cheesy. Somebody stop me if I start doing lines like that at the end of every post.)

Katy xo

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

[nails] Neon means SUMMER.

Now for a non-challenge post, since I'm on holiday! This mani is from a few weeks back now but you will all just have to cope ;)

I can't believe it's taken me till 19 years of age to finally acquire my first true neon polish. I was on a mini China Glaze shopping spree about a month ago and was trying to narrow down my wish list. My one definite was China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, which I'd been lusting after for a while but for some never got around to actually buying. Anyway, I ordered it and when it came I spent about half an hour just gazing at it, I couldn't believe how bright it was! 

I wore the polish once just plain to get the full neon effect, but then once my nails were a bit longer I felt the need to try it again. Yellow Polka Dot Bikini is very sheer and I think it would be near impossible to get it opaque without a base coat. In this mani I've used just two coats of Yellow Polka Dot Bikini over three coats of Laval White (a cheapy I picked up in a local shop), and as you can see it gives an incredibly bright neon. I decided to jazz it up with a technique I'd not tried before: half moons. I painted them on in white with a medium-length striper brush, and added the black dotted border with a dotting tool and Rimmel's 60 Seconds #800, Black Out. This was the result, and I was so happy with it that I wore it for almost a week:

Apologies once again for the disruption to the challenge, normal activity will be resumed soon ^_^ In the mean time, let me know what you think of this polish or design in the comments, and thank you for reading!

Katy xo

Monday, 16 July 2012

[nails] Day 3 - Yellow Nails

Howdy folks, may I present to you my Day Three nails of the 31 Day Challenge. Today's task was yellow nails and I was completely stuck for inspiration, until I asked my boyfriend if he had any ideas for yellow and he instantly replied 'Pikachu'. So of course, that was sorted. I feel somewhat ashamed that I hadn't come up with the idea myself! 

I actually only have a couple of yellows in my collection, one of which is China Glaze's Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini - a blindingly bright neon. I opted to use my other yellow which is from Barry M, and it seemed to be a decent shade for little Pikachu. I used my ring fingers and thumbs for the accent nails, and here is the result: 

When I uploaded this one to Facebook, my index finger was recognised as a face and FB demanded I tagged it!

I only just realised this one is a bit out of focus, but I wanted to show a close-up of one of the faces.
Unfortunately they ended up quite messy - I used a white base underneath the yellow nails but I had some shrinkage from the Seche Vite I put on top, so you can see the white at the tops and sides of some of the nails, as well as there being obvious shrinking at the tips. Overall though I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out and I'm excited to see what the boyfriend makes of them. 

Here's a list of the polishes used:
  • Laval - White
  • Barry M - 134 Yellow, 262 Red, 279 Bright Pink (for mouth)
  • Rimmel London 60 Seconds - 800 Black Out
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
I am sad to say that I won't be able to continue with the 31 Day Challenge for about three weeks time as I am going on holiday - plus next up is green nails and as green is my absolute favourite nail colour I don't want to rush them! However I will schedule some posts to go up while I'm away, and I'll have Wifi so I'll still be able to reply to comments and questions :)

Hope you like this design, let me know what you think in the comments, and thank you for reading. 

Katy xo

Sunday, 15 July 2012

[nails] Day 2 - Orange Nails

Hello again, and behold my day two nails of the 31 Day Challenge. Today was orange nails and I struggled with inspiration for a while before coming up with the idea to do goldfish nails. I'd not tried out the 'mermaid' technique before but I'd seen Rosie from Little Nails' awesome tutorial here and thought it was a good time to try it out. The look I was aiming for was goldfish scales in all different shades of orange, and without meaning to sound big-headed, I think I pulled it off pretty well! Here's a few pictures:

I actually managed to get some natural sunlight for taking pictures this time!

And here's a close-up of the thumb to show the overlapping effect.
I have to admit, it was a very time-consuming technique since I was having to switch between polishes for each dot, so I only finished the one hand (my right was just plain orange, the same colour as you can see on the base at the top of these nails), but I really loved the final effect. As you can tell, I used a pretty big selection of polishes; actually all the orange polishes in my house as I borrowed any that my sister had too. Most of these were very very old polishes so as you can tell, I had a bit of a struggle listing them:
  • Barry M - Tangerine (metallic), Block Orange
  • La Femme Beauty - 108 Orange Cream, 130 Ultra Orange, 132 Ultra Pink (more like a coral when applied), and a metallic red orange which is labelled 99 Turquoise - hey, it's a cheap brand.
  • Laval - Gold
  • Unnamed Sephora polish (very old)
  • Metallic coral shade called Sundown, but no idea what brand/shop it's from.
So there you have it, I promised the quality would be higher after day one ;) Let me know what you think of these nails in the comments, and thanks for reading ^_^

Katy xo

Friday, 13 July 2012

[nails] Day 1 - Red Nails

Afternoon, folks. Hope everybody is well and is experiencing better weather than we are having in crappy old north England! 

Today is the proper beginning of the 31 Day Challenge, and day one means red nails. I have to admit that I'm really not a big fan of wearing red nail polish on its own, it feels kind of... too traditional? And perhaps a bit too grown up for me. So I only really have one red nail polish, that's Barry M's red. Naturally this meant that my options were somewhat limited, so here's what I came up with:

I'm afraid you only get one picture because I'm not particularly happy with these... they're messy and I had to finish them in a rush so they don't exactly look professional. But still, strawberries are pretty cute no matter how badly they're done, and my family and friends seemed to like this design so I won't label it a complete failure ;)

The base I used is Maybelline Express Finish #40 'Blushing Bride'. It's a very sheer colour and I'm wearing about four coats here, but I like the colour on my skintone and it dries almost instantly which is good for when you're in a rush. I then used Barry M's red, yellow, and spring green, and a little bit of Sinful Colors' 'Irish Green', which unfortunately barely shows up on this picture (damn the lack of sunshine in my town!). 

So there you have it. I'm afraid the first day of the challenge has been rather more of a whimper than a bang, but rest assured that the other 30 days will hold nothing but the highest quality - that I can manage anyway. 

Fingers crossed you like the nails, let me know in the comments what you think, or if you're doing the challenge as well, or just if you like strawberries. Om nom nom. 

Katy xo

Thursday, 12 July 2012

[nails] The beginning of a blog, and of a challenge


Welcome to Platypus Nails, the real blog. I'm guessing that some of you will know me from my Tumblr, which was started at the beginning of 2012 as a way for me to follow other people's nail art and occasionally post some of my own. It mostly consisted of reblogged posts, so I could keep a collection of nail art I really liked and wanted to emulate. But now I figure it's time to have a place that showcases my own nails properly, plus somewhere I can be a bit more talkative about it - hence the new blog! 

I should probably give you a bit of an introduction, so hi, I'm Katy, I'm 19 and I'm a student from the UK. I've loved painting my nails for as long as I can remember, since I was about 9 or 10 probably, and like a lot of people I got into nail art when I heard about Konad and nail stamping. I continued from there and in the last year and a half or so I've become completely addicted to nail art and am trying to improve my skills as much as possible. I'm also gradually building up a collection of polishes which just hit 100 bottles, although I tend to stick to cheaper brands because there's no way I could be buying hundreds of OPIs or Deborah Lippmann's on a student budget!

So although I'm nowhere near professional, I'd like to think I'm improving with my nail art and hopefully this blog will give me a better way to showcase it - if people don't get too tired of me waffling on and on in every post like I am doing now ;)

And now we come to the actual point of this post... the 31 Day Challenge. To coincide with the beginning of this blog, I decided to start the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge which I expect most of you in the online nail art community will have come across at some point. I'm afraid I'm not entirely sure of the origins of the challenge, so I take no credit for it, but here it is in full: 

I won't be completing it on a daily basis - I take far too long with my nails to fit in painting them every day - but hopefully it won't take too long to complete, although I expect I'll probably want to give up on the whole thing when I get to water marble day since I've never had any success with that...

Anyway, the first post of the challenge should be up tomorrow, and I look forward to trying out new designs throughout all the days. I guess all that's left to say if you're reading is thank you for coming to my little blog, and I hope you enjoy my future nails/ramblings.

Hugs for you all,

Katy xo