Friday, 31 August 2012

[nails] Peacock Feather Nails

Hi everyone, I have another of my sister's manis to show you today! Her nails were looking all chipped and nasty so I took it upon myself to restore them to something pretty ;)

Once again I told her to pick out a design she liked, and she opted for this peacock feather design which was in my Tumblr archive. I hunted for a while but I couldn't find the original source of the design, so I'm sorry for not being able to provide credit. I tried to copy the design as closely as possible but I know mine didn't come out nearly as well! Still, I think it gives a passable impression of peacock feathers so I was pretty pleased:

As usual, the lighting for these pictures isn't great due to the British weather, but they're still pretty colour-accurate.

I won't list all the polishes used here since it would take me about a week, but I started with a blue glitter base and layered on greens in lines, finishing with the eye shapes in gold and blue. I will draw attention to one polish though, Cosmic Green by W7. At least, I'm 99% sure that's what it is - my bottle is unlabelled. It's a clear base absolutely packed with tiny green and blue glitters which was near perfect for this design! I had to do a macro shot of the bottle just to show off how pretty it is:

Holly was pleased with this design, and it's lasted well despite her tendency to destroy any and all nail art in a matter of minutes. I shall leave you with the ever-present Nail Platypus, standing between his bottles of China Glaze Four-Leaf Clover, and W7 Cosmic Green. 


Katy xo

Friday, 24 August 2012

[nails] Day 9 - Rainbow Nails

Greetings one and all, today I bring you instalment number 9 of the 31 Day Challenge - rainbow nails. I am so in love with today's design, but I have to admit, I have gone against my usual nail rule which is to make things as colourful and over-the-top as possible. You would think that with a challenge like rainbow nails I would take full advantage of the opportunity for blinding colours - but guess what I chose as my main colour? Grey!

All right, so it's a contradiction of the fundamental laws of Katyism (aka Platypusism?) but I adore these nails so much. I went for a really simple look, a grey base with a single line of rainbow dots down the centre of the nail. I cut my nails a bit shorter so the dots had to be small, but they were simple to do and the design has come out understated and preeeeeetttyy. You can tell I like these ones, right?

The polishes I used for this were:

  • Rimmel London 60 Seconds - 805 Grey Matter (wonderful wonderful polish, buy it now!)
  • Barry M - Bright Red, Block Orange, Yellow, Spring Green, Cyan Blue, Cobalt Blue, Indigo
  • Seche Vite Dryfast Top Coat

I think that's pretty much all I have to say for this one - if I drivel on much longer about how pleased I am with it I think people will probably start to vomit. As usual, the Nail Platypus bids you a fond farewell...

...and so do I!

Katy xo

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

[nails] Day 8 - Metallic Nails

Howdy folks! 

Today is day 8 of my 31 Day Challenge, and the task was metallic nails. My first thought was to turn to my Barry M Foil Effect polishes which I have in gold and silver, since they are brilliant at giving a clean metallic foil finish in one or two coats. But I knew I couldn't just do plain nails with one colour on each, so I fished out a couple of other metallic polishes and they came together to form a rather simple but still quite pretty (in my opinion anyway) tape mani. 

I have to apologise for the state of my cuticles/nail sides here, I've been swimming a fair bit recently so I think the chlorine is drying out my skin! I didn't realise how bad it was until I'd taken these pictures so I've been putting a bit more maintenance work in since then.

I chose to use my index and middle fingers as the accents for this design, just because I wanted the colour combinations to be in blocks. The polishes I used are as follows:
  • Barry M Instant Nail Effects - Silver Foil, Gold Foil
  • Rimmel London 60 Seconds - Camouflage
  • Max Factor - Dazzling Blue
  • Seche Vite Dryfast Top Coat
Overall I was pretty happy with this design (despite the messy fingers) because I really loved the gold/green and silver/blue colour combinations. It's not the most metallic design since the green and blue aren't foils, but they're still reasonably shimmery so I think it counts ;)

And now, to wave you a fond farewell, the Nail Platypus:

So long!

Katy xo

Monday, 20 August 2012

[nails] Day 7 - Black and White Nails

I'm back! Sorry it's been a few days since my last post - although I'd done these nails on Thursday, I went shopping on Friday and then visited my grandfather on Saturday so I'm only just getting around to posting them. The theme for day 7 of the 31 Day Challenge is black and white nails, which I struggled with for a bit before opting for a relatively simple stamping design. 

I used my ring finger and thumb as accent nails, and stamped chevrons onto part of the nail before blocking the section off with striping tape. Here's the final result:

Seems like I all I ever do in these captions is apologise for the shocking lighting - damn living in North Yorkshire!

I was pleasantly surprised with how this design came out - the contrast between the base and the stamp showed up well and it was one of those designs that looked unbelievably cool from a distance. I didn't keep the design long, partly because the striping tape was peeling a bit, and partly because I got a couple of new polishes on my shopping trip the next day that I couldn't wait to try out! 

The polishes I used in this design wereeeee:

  • Laval - White
  • Rimmel London 60 Seconds - Black Out
  • Konad Special Nail Polish - Black, White (for the stamping)
  • Stamped with Bundle Monster plate BM201
  • Striping tape from Born Pretty Store

And now, to bid you a fond farewell, I present the Nail Platypus with a couple of the polishes I used:

Free hugs for all, 

Katy xo

Thursday, 16 August 2012

[nails] Day 6 - Violet Nails

Anyone else think the name of today's challenge is a little weird? All the other colours have been pretty basic, so why not just purple? I reckon violet and purple are pretty much the same thing so I give you, purple nails!

I have to admit that I wasn't particularly looking forward to this day - although purple is probably my favourite colour (well, deep blue-toned purples), I don't wear it often on my nails because I tend to steer away from darker colours. I was also lacking in inspiration so I turned to a simple taping design using Nailside's explosion tutorial

I used Barry M - Indigo for the base coat (two coats shown here), and then created the explosion design using Max Factor Fantasy Fire (another two coats). Here's the final look:

I guess most of you will probably have heard of Fantasy Fire since the interwebs went crazy for it recently, and it really is a gorgeous polish. The shimmer in it switches between red, pink, blue, purple, gold, and green depending on the angle you see it. Here's a couple of pictures I took to show that transition:

Weird angle looking out of my sister's window onto our street, but at least you can see the green!

This one really shows off the gold/orange/red shimmer.
 And of course, here's the now-compulsory shot of the Nail Platypus with the polishes used for this design:

I'm afraid I didn't actually keep this mani very long - I just can't deal with dark colours on my nails - but I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, and I'm always a fan of designs using Nailside's taping techniques. Hope you liked this design, and stay tuned for more challenge posts coming up shortly :)

Katy xo

Saturday, 11 August 2012

[nails] Day 5 - Blue Nails

Hi everyone, happy Saturday! Today I have my fifth post of my 31 Day Challenge, which is blue nails. I got the inspiration for this one from my all-time favourite t-shirt, which I got from Qwertee a couple of months ago. I have a massive love for whales (I think I actually was a whale in a former life) so when I saw this tee design on sale I had no hesitation in buying it.

The best thing is that the design is entirely blue, so it was pretty easy to translate onto my nails. I created a blue glitter sandwich on all my fingers except my ring and thumb, then painted little whales onto those as accent fingers. Here's how it turned out (oh, and I finally got some sunlight for taking pictures!):

Hopefully these pictures show up the glitter sandwich properly. I used one coat of blue jelly polish, followed by the big holographic glitter polish, followed by another blue coat, and topped with an iridescent glitter. I was trying to achieve a look that suggested bubbles under the sea, and I personally am so pleased with how it came out! It's subtle but still sparkly in the light, and I think it looks like an indie polish instead of layers of separate ones! I'm actually considering buying more of the individual polishes and mixing them so I can have this in my collection.

Here you can see the whale on my thumb a little closer. I think I mentioned in my previous post that I have naturally unsteady hands so my brushwork isn't great, but I was pretty pleased with the detail on the whale, and it didn't take long to paint at all. 

The polishes I used for this design were:

  • La Femme - Electric Blue (the jelly used for layering - very cheap and this is reflected in the difficulty of the application, but it has such a lovely shimmer finish that it's worth the struggle)
  • Barry M - Hologram Hexograms (the chunky holographic glitter used in the sandwich), Blueberry Ice-Cream (whale's water-spout)
  • Claire's - Unnamed blue/purple iridescent glitter
  • China Glaze - Electric Beat (for the whale's body)
  • Max Factor - Dazzling Blue (whale's water-spout)
  • Laval - White (spray on the water-spout)
  • Rimmel 60 Seconds - Black Out (eyes and mouth)
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat
Phew, big list! I've included a couple more pictures for you, close-up bottle shots of the two glitters used in the sandwiches on my non-whale nails, since they are ridiculously pretty on their own as well, and I highly recommend them both:

Barry M - Hologram Hexograms

Claire's unnamed blue/purple iridescent glitter (I couldn't quite capture the purple in pictures but it's there in real life)
Finally, I shall leave you with a shot of my lovely platypus mascot with three of the polishes from this design. Wait, actually, I just realised that my little mascot has no name! I think I might have to ask you guys for suggestions... anyone?

Katy xo

Friday, 10 August 2012

[nails] Purple Glitter Swirls/Dots

Greetings, lovely people!

I'm afraid this isn't a challenge post, but my Day 5 nails will be up tomorrow. Since we just got back from holiday, my sister Holly's nails were in need of some attention too, so here I present the first of my sister-manicures! I quite often do her nails but usually forget to photograph them. I think she actually has better nails than me - a bit longer and more uniform in shape - but I have to make do with what I've got! 

I was lacking in inspiration so I told her to have a look through my extensive Tumblr archive where I reblogged tons of posts by other nail artists to give me ideas. After about five minutes she turned the laptop round and said, 'Are you capable of this?' - I pulled a face but said yes - it's good to challenge yourself, right? 

So, the design these nails are based on is this wonderful Koi Pond design by Brittney of Precious Polish. Holly liked the swirl/dot design so I skipped the accent nails, and she chose her own colour scheme of pink, purple, and blue (with the main focus being purple). I used a white base and gradually sponged on the colours, then used striper brushes and dotting tools for the details. 

I've uploaded two pictures because I couldn't decide which was the better one. Unfortunately the lighting wasn't great when I was taking these so apologies for that, but I was really pleased with how these nails turned out! I have naturally quite shaky hands so some of the swirls are a bit wonky, but overall once the dots were added and the little bits of glitter, they looked pretty striking. A bit too girly for me personally to wear, but they suited Holly very well. 

The polishes I used were:

  • Laval - White 
  • Rimmel 60 Seconds - 809 Blue Me Away, 619 Pulsating, 605 Purple Rain
  • Barry M - 47 Black, 264 Pink Iridescent
  • W7 - My bottle isn't named but I had a good Google and I'm pretty sure the shade is 'Cosmic Mauve' - purpley-pink glitter.
  • Seche Vite Dryfast Topcoat
Hope you like this design, and look forward to seeing more of my sister's nails in the future :)

Katy xo

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

[nails] Day 4 - Green Nails (plus my new nail mascot - wait, what?)

Hello again everyone! 

I'm finally back from holiday, and have had the chance to give some attention to my poor little nails. As expected, I broke almost all of them while I was away (there was a lot of scrambling across rocks on beaches), so I'm afraid I only have short stubby nails now. However, I'm getting back to my 31 Day Challenge with the fourth day, green nails. 

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that green is my absolute favourite colour of polish, and if I'm stuck for inspiration I will instinctively reach for a green to start off a design. For that reason I had a bit of a struggle trying to decide on a design for this challenge since there were too many greens I wanted to use! In the end I settled for four of my favourites, and painted them on somewhat randomly. I added some big glitters onto the non-glitter polish fingers and this is what I came up with:

Unfortunately we've had no natural sunlight for the past few days so apologies for the crappy lighting :(

The lack of sunlight also means you can barely see the holo on my middle finger, but it is there in real life!

Close-up of thumb, with silver glitter (and Seche Vite shrinkage, grr)

Close-up of the beautiful Sinful Colors glitter on my index finger.
The polishes I used were:
  • Sinful Colors - Irish Green (pinkie and thumb), Call You Later (index)
  • Nubar - Reclaim (middle)
  • Claire's - unnamed green glitter (ring)
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat

The glitters used on my pinkie and thumb come in little pots from Born Pretty Store, and are very easy to place using a cocktail stick and a little bit of clear polish, but they need a good topcoat to smooth them out and keep them on! 

Overall I was pretty pleased with this design - I love how bright Irish Green is, and how well it went with the silver and gold glitters, plus any time I use Call You Later I fall in love with it even more, it's such a beautiful glitter. 

Now we come to the slightly more off-topic part of the post. Whilst waiting in Manchester Airport before jetting off on holiday, I happened to wander into Claire's with my sister. I immediately went towards the nail polish stand but she had a look at the sale stuff, and came across this little guy! 

When she first showed him to me I thought he was just a bird, but then I saw the tail and realised he was a platypus - too good not to buy, right? He's little and cute and furry and although he has a slightly angry-looking face I figured he could act as a kind of Platypus Nails mascot. So despite the continuing lack of sunshine I took a picture of him with my two favourite polishes from this look, Sinful Colors Irish Green and Call You Later:

He's just the right size to sit next to polish bottles too - it was fate, I tell you! Anyway, it's probably time for me to stop wittering now. I hope you enjoyed today's nails, and didn't miss me too much while I was gone ;)

Hugs for all,

Katy xo