Tuesday, December 31, 2013

NOTD: Femme Fatale Cosmetics Custom 'Runeweaver'

   *waves* Hey y'all! Hope all's been well (: With the Christmas rush dying down I've been able to do my nails a lot more frequently again. For today's NOTD post, I have another Femme Fatale Cosmetics custom polish to share with you all ^^ This time it's a deep purple holo named Runeweaver. 

Bottle shot of Runeweaver

Monday, December 30, 2013

NOTD: Femme Fatale Cosmetics Custom 'Lucky'

   Morning y'all! Hoping everyone's enjoying the holidays - mine's been filled with food comas, drinks, and fun and games (with a side dish of work, which was somewhat more pleasant than last year's Christmas rush in retail, so that's a plus). 

    Today's post will be show casing this gorgeous custom Lucky I ordered from Sophie over at Femme Fatale Cosmetics

Bottle Shot of Lucky

Thursday, December 26, 2013

NOTD: Christmas Eve Manicure

   Hey y'all! It's been a while eh? 

   Wishing all my readers Happy Holidays and hoping everyone's Christmas was filled with fun and joy! The lead up to the big day was so darn busy, I had the same mani on for 10 days, and hence my absence also. But thankfully, the Christmas rush is almost over. I finally had time to sit down and do my nails on Christmas Eve (of all nights!). I didn't want something real festive, I wasn't in the mood for red and green glitters, candy canes or reindeers on my nails, so I went for a simple glam look, if you could call it that haha

   On my pointer and pink is Zoya Godiva - such a beautiful neutral texture; on my ring finger is a reverse glitter gradient using Revlon Stunning over a black polish; and on my middle finger is a Sally Hansen nail strip. I reallllllly wanted writing on my nails but since 1. I don't have a plate with that image on it (free handing that seemed too hard!) and 2. I suck at stamping anyway, I cheated and used strips :P 

   In other news, I also broke a nail on my right hand at work. The break was terrible and had me sulking for days ): But on the plus side, it was the nudge I needed to file down and trim my nails.

   I filed the nails down quite a bit - they sort of look like mini claws now :P plus a super nub on my middle finger hehe Overall I don't mind so much, they'll grow back, and it really is quite liberating every time I shorten my nails - no more holes in my pastry when I bake, and soooo much easier getting cream from a tub  without getting it under my nails :P

   Until my next post, wishing you all safe holidays! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NOTD: Illamasqua Muse

   Hey y'all! Now, if you follow me on Instagram, you would already know that I won Kierra's giveaway on her blog Look What The Bats Dragged In and that last week I received the prize! It was the Limited Edition Illamasqua Bat Lash and Swarm Nail Polish Duo for Halloween; as well as Illamasqua Muse which was the polish that started Kierra's obsession with Illamasqua in the first place. Oooh how I was so excited to rip open the package!

   The top half are custom orders from Sophie at Femme Fatale Cosmetics - all Christmas presents unfortunately.. I'm having a hard time actually parting with them! - and the bottom half is my Illamasqua prize - gawsh just look at those lashes! Can't wait to actually try them out :P

   I decided to go with Muse first, and I was pleasantly surprised that it's a beautiful one coater! Of course I did two because I'm obsessive like that, but totally doable in one coat! 

   Just how gorgeous does it look? No wonder Kierra fell in love with it! But then came the tricky part.. finding a muse for my Muse. Not that it wasn't lovely on its owns, but I was completely stuck on what nail art to top it with. Then this is what my brain did on its own: Muse -> Art Nouveau -> Roses... And so roses it was! Though I'm not too proud of these, they look really messy: the flowers look rushed, and the leaves look dodgy haha I think I've lost my touch with florals - must practice! 

   So really, I don't think I've given justice to just how pretty this colour is. I was thinking maybe next time a black tribal print? Or have you got any other suggestions? 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

AN Monday: Snowflakes

   Hey hey hey... it's Monday today! And I'm on time with my AN Monday mani this week :D So obviously, judging from the title of this post, and the fact that there are huge snowflakes on my nails, the theme was snow! (Or snowmen lol) 

   I reallllly wanted a pale pink polish that wasn't too sheer (Sally Hansen Shall We Dance is my usual soft pink go-to but this time I wanted something a little more opaque) but the closest I could get was Ulta3 Pale Dahlia. Although it's got a pearl shimmer finish to it - and I'm not fond of shimmers/ pearly polishes at all - I was going to be covering it up with a holo glitter gradient and snowflakes anyway, so it wasn't too big a deal. For the glitter gradient, I used Chi Chi Celebrity Melt Down (which I feel like I've been using a lot lately) and Essence Black is Back for the snowflakes.

   Before painting on the snowflakes, I fell in love with just the holo gradient over the pink! I was this close *motions with fingers exactly how close* to leaving it like that and just pretending it was an abstract representation of snow falling :P But I cheated last week with the scribble Christmas tree, so thought I may as well practice my free hand drawing skills this week.

   And by golly gosh are snowflakes finicky little turds! I had to practice multiple times on a piece of paper before being confident enough to try it on my nails. And whenever two spikes touched, I'd quickly go between them with acetone and redraw them straight again. 

   They're actually pretty basic compared to all the other snowflake manis I've seen floating around, but this is the best mine are going to get this year :P I have no intentions of revisiting this little monster until at least next Christmas haha

   To see all the other snowy manis by the other AN Monday girls, just click on through to the Aussie Nails Monday page of the blog (:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

COMPARISON: My Cherry Amour, Blaze and Extravagance

   Hey y'all! Wishing everyone a Happy Friday, and *cheers* to the weekend! :D Today I have for you a comparison between 3 polishes I thought were pretty good dupes of each other.

   So the polish that kicked this off was Nicole by OPI My Cherry Amour; I saw it at Target and immediately thought of OPI DS Extravagance, and of course, had to buy it :P 

   It's actually a textured polish - should have known by the "gumdrop" wrapping around the bottle's lid *woops* This is 2 coats over 1 coat of Chi Chi Mother In Law. 

   Unfortunately, I'm not too fond of it as a texture polish, it was too dull and the holo barely shone out. So I topped it with top coat, and et voila: shiny, glossy, holo-y nails :D I definitely like it A WHOLE LOT BETTER with top coat rather than without!

   For some reason, seeing My Cherry Amour in its bottle really reminded me of Extravagance. But looking at the bottle shots below... I was kind of off the mark! Then I remembered Zoya Blaze, and that was a much closer match to MCA!

   On my thumb is Blaze, on my index and middle finger is Extravagance, and on my ring finger and pinky is My Cherry Amour. As you can see, Blaze and MCA are almost exact dupes, just that Blaze is a shade darker and the holo particles are slightly different in each. But I was way off with Extravagance - it's much darker, and more of a plum colour.

   So all in all, although I quite like MCA with top coat, it's too similar to Blaze and the texture isn't enough to sway me, so it's probably headed to the blog sale/ swap pile!

   What are some polishes you fell in love with at first sight in their bottles, but were a little underwhelmed after putting it on?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday NOTD: White and Silver

   Hey y'all! So everyone on Instagram knows what #tbt or #throwbackthursday is, so let's bring that over here and do a #tbt of our own!

   A few months ago, I did this gold and white mani which I absolutely loved. It was so clean and simple, but oh so blingy too!

   Although I already did a white and silver remake of this design last week, I wasn't too keen on it, so in the spirit of #tbt I thought I'd try another white and silver recreation, and I gotta admit, I may like this version more :P 

   I used my ever faithful Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Revlon Silver Screen, Chi Chi Celebrity Meltdown, and an assortment of loose glitters and studs from the Born Pretty Store online.

   It actually came together pretty well, and is the sort of mani I would wear on my own wedding day: clean, classy, and complete with cut outs and studs!

   I mean, I'd love to wear something fun, bright and neon but deep down I know I want that fairytale white dress to walk down the aisle in, so these would be a perfect match. Not too splashy, but not too subdued either :P

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

AN Monday: Christmas Tree

   *Oops* Another AN Monday mani a couple days late :P So this week's theme was Christmas trees, and I was cheeky and took the easy way out (;

   I used Sinful Colors San Francisco, Ulta3 Luck of the Irish and China Glaze Twinkle Lights for the gradient, and a simple gold on black Christmas tree scribble for an accent (Orly Glitzy over Sinful Colors Black on Black). Though it's terribly simple, I still love how it turned out! They sparkle so bright in the sun, they're quite the attention seekers :P

   To check out all the other girls participating in AN Monday, check out the AN Monday page on my blog :D

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

NOTD: Round - Up

   Hey y'all! So you all would realize by now that there's two different quality photos I upload: one from my phone's camera, and the other using a DSLR camera. The DSLR belongs to my dad, so I have very limited access to it at times, and so use my S4 camera a lot more often. When using my phone camera, sometimes I only take one or two pics, and upload it straight onto my Instagram (another reason for y'all to follow me on IG if you're not already! :P @xtinemayyy) and don't blog about it here (as there's really not much else to say about them lol).

   There were a few manis I did this week that I haven't blogged about, so instead of not showing you them at all, I've just decided to roll them into this one blog post, here.

Still can't get enough of cut out nails!

I don't have a scale stamp, so I free handed these mermaid nails instead :P 

Silver version of my gold and white mani from a while back - it's a lot cleaner looking, but I still love the look of the gold and white even though I'm more of a silver girl myself.

And a pop of neon to round it all up :P This Tony Moly green is now my favourite neon green - just look at it! It screams: LOOK AT ME! :P

   And that's all for now (: If you're interested in any of the specific colours used in each mani, just leave a comment below and I'll reply to you asap. 

Announcement: Money Milk Honey

   Hey guys! Today I have some news I can finally share with y'all! For the past few months I've been working with Anne from Money Milk Honey on showcasing her nail art bundles that she has for sale on her Etsy store. She sent me 4 bundle packs to play around with: Chanel Belle, Louis Vee, Gucci 2 Timez and Dolla Bill. Every bundle came with 10 flat gold brand labels (Chanel, Gucci etc), 2-5" gold chains, 100 rhinestones and 1 pack of gold striping tape. And I can now share with you all the looks I created using them! :D

Using the Chanel Belle gold labels, with the gold striping tape and rhinestones
Using the Gucci 2 Timez gold labels, with the gold chain

Using the Louis Vee gold labels, with the gold chain and rhinestones
Using the Dolla Bill gold labels, with the gold chain and rhinestones

   If you are interested in any of these nail art bundles, be sure to check out her Etsy store :D 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Top 5 Polish: Most Used

   Mornin' all! Today's post is something a little different.. I pose to you all a question: have you ever finished a bottle of nail polish? Of course I don't mean top and base coats, or black and white polishes used for nail art! :P 

   Why I ask this? Well recently, I've realised that I'm actually running low on a few bottles of polish, and that I need to buy a second bottle of all of them! Shocking isn't it?! 

This post reveals my 5 most used polishes!

   First up is Butter London Pillar Box Red. It's my go to 'classic' red and still glides on as smoothly as it did the first day I got it - so much love for this polish seriously ♥ It's only got about 1/4 of the bottle left... I'm absolutely dreading the day I can no longer scrape the remaining dregs of polish from the bottom of the bottle *sobs in the corner* Unfortunately, BL isn't available in stores here in Australia, so my only option is to buy them online, or through someone in the US willing to ship it to me here (even then, the shipping will kill me now that postage has been hiked up again!) 

Butter London 'Pillar Box Red' topped with Shades of Phoenix 'Chaos'

Next is Sally Hansen Cafe Au Lait. And this bottle is completely and utterly empty!! The first ever bottle of polish that I've finished, and my most favourite nude shade! It's been with me through my nubbins and claws, and I've bought two back ups already, so I won't be running out any time soon :P

Sally Hansen 'Cafe Au Lait' with lace accent using Ulta3 'Black Satin'

   Third up is Australis #totesamaze and I took advantage of the recent 40% off priceline sale to grab me another bottle, because, like Cafe Au Lait, it's also empty! It's the perfect shade of pink - nice and bright without being neon, but not too dark a hot pink that it looks almost red on my skin - love love love it... and its name, as cheesy as it is :P

Australis '#totesamaze' tribal mix n match

   Next up is Sinful Colors Endless Blue. Since I couldn't get my hands on Essie Butler Please or Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, Endless Blue was what I settled for, and now I can't get enough of it! It's a gorgeous vibrant blue, and is pretty much my go-to blue when doing nail art. There's about 1/3 of the bottle left.. may have to take advantage of the 2 for $6 Sinful Colors sale at Target this week :P

Sinful Colors 'Endless Blue' topped with Katt Claws 'Community Pool'

   Last, but definitely not the least, is Femme Fatale Cosmetics Eventide. Yes, it's an indie polish, and yes it's almost finished! This is the only 'top 5 most used polishes' that also holds a spot in my 'top 5 favourite polishes of all time' - I love it that much! But alas, it's been discontinued and I wasn't fast enough at grabbing back ups, so now I'll be using it sparingly!

2 generous coats of 'Eventide'  on its own as accents on the index and pinky

   And there you have it - my 5 most used polishes! Have you ever actually finished a bottle of polish? I thought it was impossible, until now :P

Thursday, November 28, 2013

NOTD: Drag Marble Nails

   Mornin' all! Just a quick NOTD post for today - or more like NOLW (Nails of last week) :P I posted these on my IG last week, and am only getting around to writing this blog post now *oops* 

   This is a basic drag marble mani, using 3 neon BYS colours: Anyone For Tennis?, Steal the Limelight and Baby Let's Cruise. I started with a coat of white, topped with a generous layer of each colour, then with a needle (or toothpick, or long striping brush - whichever works best for you) drag the polish from one side to the other. A coat of top coat will then smoothe everything out (: 

   I was going to top it off with something on top, but I just couldn't figure out what would go with it - water marble, tribal, dots? So I ended up leaving it as is, but I couldn't really complain, I quite like it simple like this, looked like a smooth gradient too from afar! :D

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Announcement: Polish Blog Sale

   Hey y'all! It's been one hell of a week, so I do apologize for the absence. But I have been working on a couple of blog posts, organizing the little celebratory give away for after Christmas, and I've also been destashing and compiling a blog sale!

   About 10 months ago, I built this polish rack for my wall. Most of the top two shelves of polish were top coats and base coats. Now, after a almost a year of hoarding...

   It's completely and utterly full! I've taken out the top coats, base coats, black and white polishes, and I've still got about 50-60 polishes just sitting on my desk with no where to fit! 

   And so, A BLOG SALE it is!! Please help me destash by heading over to the blog sale page and taking a look to see if there's anything you fancy (:

Monday, November 18, 2013

TUTORIAL: Neon Cut-Out Nails

   'Ello 'ello 'ello! How are we all today? :D So you all remember my most recent neon cut-out nails right? 

   Well today, for all my beautiful followers, I've put together a (hopefully simple to follow) picture tutorial - I have left it unfiltered so you get the joy of seeing my naked nails in all their stained glory ♥

What you'll need:
Top Coat 
White Polish/ Black Polish
2 Neon Polishes
Small Nail Art Brush

   1. Start off by marking out the cut-out design with some black polish - I used Sinful Colors Black on Black - and a small nail art brush.
   2. Again with the small brush, colour in the panels you want to be coloured later in a white polish - I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White.
   3. Alternating between your 2 neon colours of choice - mine were BYS Anyone for Tennis? and Australis #totesamaze - colour in the panels. Depending on your polish, you may need more than 1 coat - I used 2 coats of each colour.
   4. With your black polish and small brush, re-trace over the black outline making each coloured panel more defined. If you make a mistake, dipping the small brush into acetone and "rubbing out" your mistake on the nail like an eraser really helps in keeping the lines straight!
   5. Wait for the black polish to dry before painting a layer of top coat on to seal it all in! Make sure to give it all time to dry before top coating - or use a top coat you know won't smudge - so you don't smear the design.

   Et Voila! Neon cut out nails! Hopefully that was easy enough to understand, and if not, feel free to shoot me a message or leave a comment, and I'll get back to you as soon as I read it!

   I'd also love to see your recreations using this tutorial if you do choose to recreate it! Just post it onto my facebook page Nails at 2am, or tag me on Instagram @xtinemayyy!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Review: Bella's Touch Lacquer

   Hey y'all! And a happy Friday arvo to all my Australian readers - it's finally the weekend :D In today's post I'll be sharing swatches/reviews of another wonderful Australian indie brand: Bella's Touch Lacquer by Ellie Roczniak.

   First up is Pinky Promise. It's a dark pink jelly polish filled with tons of blue and purple matte glitters. This is 3 coats on it's own and you can see just how much glitter comes with each coat - it's like I dipped my nails in coloured sprinkles!

   It was a little sheer for me, and I don't particularly like having to do 3 coats for full opacity, so I tried it over a base colour as well. This is 1 coat over Australis #totesamaze (my favourite pink) and just look at that pop! Definitely will be a favourite combo in the future (my mum's already wearing it herself :P)!

   Next up is Beautiful Nightmare. It's a very sheer black jelly (I'd say it's more tinted black than an actual jelly) jam packed with different sized holo hexes. It looked absolutely stunning in the bottle! I tried layering this on its own until full opacity, but that wasn't going to happen without overloading my nails with glitter haha So I layered 2 coats of Beautiful Nightmare over a base coat of Sinful Colors Black on Black, and bam just look at that glitter! I'd actually like to try sandwiching this between a black jelly polish just to tone down the glitter a little - maybe for a post in the near future :D

   Last, but definitely not the least, is Aquamarine. It's an explosion of tiny blue, silver and holo glitters suspended in a sheer blue jelly base. This is 2 coats over Australis Sky's The Limit. And if you're a glitter fiend like I can be at times :P it's perfect for adding that little bit of sparkle to an otherwise plain blue mani. 

   You can find these beautiful polishes over on Ellie's etsy Bella's Touch Lacquer, though her store is currently closed for a make over, but should re-open in a couple of weeks, so keep an eye out! :D She's also on Instagram @bellastouchlacquer so you can check there for updates also.

   So which is your favourite? Mine is definitely Pinky Promise!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NOTD: Neon Cut-Outs

   Sick of neons yet? I hope not! 'cos I'm in a serious neon mood swing :P

Outdoors in the sun

Outdoors in the sun

   I was going to do a skittle mani... but after seeing my old cut out nails (from this post in March) I decided to recreate them instead - though this time I used a neon pink and yellow (Australis #totesamaze and BYS Anyone For Tennis) and a couple of pink neon studs from the Born Pretty Store. And as per usual, to make the colours stand out, I used two coats each, over a white base (Sinful Colors Snow Me White).

   For the black I used Sinful Colors Black on Black. For some reason I just can't work with black acrylic paint, maybe my paint's just not pigmented enough, or maybe I just suck at using it *shrugs*. And the black lines are a little thicker than I wanted, but I think that just means my brush needs replacing (I sat on it and didn't realise.. now the bristles are all frayed woops).

   Despite all my complaints, I absolutely love these :D Neons, triangles and studs, what's not to love right?!

Artificial light in a light box

Artificial light in a light box

   Sorry for the picture spam (not really :P) but I couldn't just pick 3 to show you all! 

   On another note, Nails a 2am has reached 100 followers on blogger! That's a big milestone in my opinion and, with the opening of the Nails at 2am facebook page, I think this calls for a celebration :D So stay tuned for that!

   Okay, so maybe just one more picture? :P

Artificial light in a light box