Friday, 30 May 2014

Distressed Neon nails with Formula X

First mani using my haul from the States. Formula X neon distressed nails. I used White Matter, Turbo (yellow), Kapow! (blue) and Hyped (purple). The colours are part of the Electrics collection. 

First up, I was surprised to discover the neons where shimmery, rather than creme. The white is a little thick, but it's white and whites are annoying to put on. The blue was the most disappointing. It developed cracks in some of the patches. A later play with it painting a whole nail proved to be tricky too.

But... having these polishes in my collection makes me feel extra special. After all, there are no Sephora stores here!

Left to right: White Matter, Turbo, Kapow! and Hyped

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Watch this space!

I know I've been quiet lately, life's crazy as usual and I've gone through my backlog of photos. Also, broke the corner off my left index finger. I've cut them all down and... Nail art just doesn't look as fancy on nubbins!

But I have some fun stuff on my camera to share from before the break, including some goodies from the States. It's not all nail polish either! 

Here is some of what's to come.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Fish en Papillote - Baked Salmon parcels

My cooking tends to go in cycles. I get a dish or two and will cook it or a variation of it for weeks. And then I'd get inspired to something else, and that becomes my go-to meal. My current go-to is baked fish (namely Salmon, because I don't love other fish like I love salmon). 

I started with a recipe from Nom Nom Paleo called Fish en Papillote. It's been the perfect meal-for-one after I finally get home from work/gym/class. I don't follow the recipe that closely, just turn my oven on to about 220C and bake for about 10 mins.

My crazy schedule makes it too easy to fall into lazy, unhealthy meals or expensive eating out. This eases some of that - not that salmon is really 'cheap'.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Low volume glitter bomb nail art

When I started this manicure, I thought I was inspired by this one from Globe and Nail. My thought process was, "Oh that's elegant. I have some similar to that. I should do it!"

It is only after I finished it and went back to look at the post that inspired me that I realised that the glitter polish is not merely SIMILAR to what I have, but is in fact the SAME ONE.

So here's my take, using two polishes I received from Polish and Prejudice. As you can see, I went for a different base. Cult Nails Princess with Crows Toes Your Potions Master. I recently got the Essence Gel Look topcoat which I think really helped smooth out the glitters.

I love this understated look. Must do it again soon, but with a different, maybe more adventurous, base colour.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Blue Glitter

Another of the mani that's been sitting in my draft for a little while. I adore the Maybelline Sequins collection, and although this is the last one I picked up, Sea-quins, it is actually my favourite colour of the set.* You should consider getting it, it's such a pretty bright blue! They've got another glitter line out now (I've been good thus far, and have resisted buying more), but I think you might still find a few bottles in Priceline or Chemist Warehouse. 

Alas, however, it's probably a bit much to have all glitter nails and the removal would have been a huge pain. So I tried to mix it up. Except... The plain light blue nails (Natio, I think) seem so plain, like I got halfway through doing my nails and ran out of time!

* I just googled, hoping for a link to the Maybelline site, but found this other blog that shows a lavender that I never, ever saw on the shelf! I thought i had the whole set! I spent ages trying to catch Sea-quins in stock! I need some purple glitter!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Celestial Cosmetic Nail Art - Random shapes

One of my more time consuming art work, done with all Celestial Cosmetics products. Literally, everything came from there. They are:
  • Stuck on Blu! basecoat
  • Ayra Stark as the base colour
  • Birth of a Sar, Nebula and Harley Dyna as the fill-in colours
  • HK Girl top coat

I don't need to write anymore, you may just enjoy the photos now.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Baked Kale Chips and Mussels Makes a Lazy Lunch

My recent food obsession includes baked kale chips. I adore it and it's so easy too! And the guinea piggies love it too and even deign to eat the stems up too! Win-win for all!

I started with Nom Nom Paleo's recipe and have adjusted it to suit me.

The steps are:
  1. Preheat oven to about 150C
  2. wash kale, dry and tear into pieces
  3. Toss in oil (I have been using olive oil)
  4. Place on baking tray
  5. Bake in oven for about 10 mins - watch it closely so it does not burn
  6. Take out and season as desired (I usually crack some salt and a touch of MSG)
NB: I had to dial down both the temp and time from the recipe. It probably depends on your oven, play around.

And to make it a complete meal, I also made Mussels with green curry sauce. 

The steps are:
  1. Heater water in a steamer
  2. Chuck in mussels steaming section
  3. In saucepan heat green curry paste
  4. Add coconut milk and fish sauce and extra chilli if you want an extra kick
  5. By this time, mussels shells should have popped opened
  6. Serve mussels with green curry soup poured above

Sunday, 4 May 2014

I found the perfect coral shade in Emily de Molly Setting Sun!

I wasn't planning on doing any nail polish shopping for a while. I have a nice haul coming back from the States with my sister, after all. But then new shades were being released at Emily de Molly and the owner was closing shop from 5 May for an undetermined length of time because she is having a baby - so I went and had a look at the store. I clicked on Setting Sun and read the description. I got as far as bright (almost neon) coral... and that was it. I had to have it.

So I got it.

I also picked up Turbulence because my collection is lacking a dark blue jelly glitter bomb and stamping. Because I am determined to find my stamping mojo one day.

Setting Sun perfectly matches the colour of the top that inspired my obsession with finding a bright coral polish.

My order from the Born Pretty Store arrived on the same day, so I got to do some nail art with the neon studs at the same time. I can't wait to use the neon nail stickers and do more swatching!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The ongoing search for the perfect bright coral - some comparisons

After a rather horrid day at work, which was followed by a rather disastrous exam, whereby I left my exam notes at work, I need some pick-me-up. I treated myself to some Celestial Cosmetics, however, after placing my order, I had nothing to show for it (yet). 

Then the following day I had to go into hospital for a procedure, so of course I checked out their sales bin for nail polishes. I found some Revlon polishes going for $5 each, so I got two. 

The one I have here is Mai Tai Ask? (Rather OPI-esque name, I thought) I painted these immediately after my procedure at the hospital was over. Literally, I went and purchased my polishes, got some food, ate it, and then started painting at the food court.

I since now realised that I have a couple really close to this colour. I guess everyone finds that they are always drawn to certain shades. This particular one went with me on a visit my old workplace for after work drinks... that became a wild night of partying and champagne.  

Anyway, the next morning, beyond a hangover, I also realised that it was more orange than coral and I had things similar. So I pulled out my bottles and compared.

L-R: Ulta3 Carrot Top, Kit, Revlon Mai Tai Ask? and Revlon Tropical Temptation
Index to pinky as above

As you can see, I keep leaning too far into orange. And I have three barely distinguishable colours (they're a bit more noticeably different in real life). Tropical Temptation is not quite as bright or opaque as I like. So, I am still on the hunt for a good bright/neon coral. I do have OPI Live.Love.Carnival coming as my of my sister's USA goodies-for-me, but I am still after something more neon and pink-leaning. Any tips??