Tag Archives: black




Happy Halloween everybody!

This is a Dracula-themed design. I created it using Barry M Gelly in Lychee (which gave Dracula an unusually healthy skin tone; in retrospect I would have used a white!), Nails Inc Victoria for the eyes, and Rio nail art pens in black and white.

If you’d like to see my other Halloween posts, you can  click here



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New Year Fireworks


This is a gradient dot design that’s kinda similar to one I did for Bonfire Night, which you can see here

Created using Nails Inc New York Noir, Nails Inc Soho Silver and Bourjois 1 Seconde Gold, with the gold and silver applied using a dotting tool.

You can find out what everyone else from the Nail Linkup has been doing here http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=345418


Happy 2014 everyone!

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DIY Chalkboard Mani

So, firstly Ciate brought out their own Chalkboard manicure kit, which retails for £25 at Selfridges. It includes a matte black paint pot, a mattifying top coat, and four nail art pens.

One of Ciate's promo images

One of Ciate’s promo images

Now, to be fair, that’s not bad value if you don’t own any nail art kit, but Revlon has brought out its own version for £7.99 a pop at Boots

The Revlon offering

The Revlon offering

But, like many of you out there, I already have all the kit I need to create the same effect! So, I used a regular black nail polish (Nails Inc New York Noir) as a base coat. I then used a nail art brush to add some different designs using other colours of regular nail polish (Barry M Gelly in Mango, Rimmel Hot Shot, Rio nail art pen in white, Sinful Colors in Innocent and Barry M Gelly in Blueberry). Finally, I topped off the whole design with my favourite mattifying top coat – Bourjois So Matt – and the design was finished!


Bourjois So Matt top coat


Anything Ciate can do I can do… just as well for a fraction of the price!

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Liquid Gold


So I decided to experiment a bit with my polishes, and see what I could do. I’ve never seen anyone else use this technique, so I like to think that I’ve invented it, though someone else probably got there first!

To create the look, paint a coat of black nail polish (I used Nails Inc New York Noir) onto one nail at a time. Whilst it was still wet, I used the normal brush from a bottle of nail polish to drop bits of gold nail polish onto the nail. It naturally self-settles and flattens out, leaving a black line between each dot. Leave to dry, and finish with a top coat.

Pro tip: give the bottle of gold nail polish a good shake first, as this gives the drops a sharper edge.

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I love these little stylised penguin faces – very wintery without being specifically Christmassy.

To recreate this look, follow the diagram from left to right.
1. Paint your nail entirely in white (I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls)
2. Using a fine nail art brush, or a Rio nail art pen, draw an arch on the nail
3. Fill it in using more black nail polish
4. Using a small dotting tool, apply a triangle of orange nail polish for the beak. I used Barry M Gelly in Mango.
5. Using a large dotting tool, apply two white dots for the eyes
6. When dry, use a  small dotting tool to add a drop of black nail polish onto the eye



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Tutorial: Christmas Tux


Christmas is coming up, and that normally means that people reach for the glitter and snowflake stickers when it comes to nails. I decided to be a bit different, and swap glitter for monochrome! These nails are a nod towards what the other sex will be wearing to all those Christmas balls – a tux!


To recreate this look
1. Start by painting your nails white – I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
2. Use a black Rio nail art pen to draw two lines from the middle of your cuticle to the tip of your nail, making sure that they cross slightly at the end.
3. Fill in the outer areas
4. Using the pen attachment, put three small dots for buttons
5. Still using the pen attachment, draw a larger dot towards the end of your nail
6. ‘Drag’ out the excess polish to form a bow shape.

These are a lot easier than they look, I promise!

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Yin Yang



Yin and Yang (or Yin-Yang) is a Chinese way of representing how seemingly opposite forces are interdependent and give rise to one another. Examples in the natural way include hot and cold, light and dark, and life and death.  It’s often depicted in the Taijitu symbol, which is what I’ve depicted on my nails.

Created using a basecoat of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, and Rio nail art pens in black for the black parts, plus the white one for the white dot.

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Masking Tape


When I say masking tape, I really mean striping tape that’s been used a bit like masking tape!

To create this look, I first used one coat of Nails Inc King Edward Street, and then let it dry completely. Next, I put several pieces of striping tape (I got what seems like a lifetime supply for £1.36 inc. P&P here) onto each nail, making sure that I left a ‘tail’ so that I could remove them easily. Next, I painted one nail at a time with Nails Inc New York Noir (currently free on the front of Glamour magazine). Immediately after, I removed each piece of striping tape in reverse order (i.e. the last one that was put on was taken off first). Finally, when dry, apply a clear top coat to protect the design.

Top tips

  • make sure your base coat is completely dry before you apply the striping tape
  • remember the order in which you put the strips on, as this makes removing them far easier
  • you can use any colours you like, but remember that the top coat must be opaque enough to offer complete coverage in one coat
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