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Mani Monday – Autumn Tips

I think I saw a picture of a similar manicure on Nails Inc’s website recently and I couldn’t get the combination of coral and burgundy out of my head so I knew exactly what colours I would be using on my nails this week.

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I began with two layers of Fire Coral by ELF which is a vibrant shade I wear over the summer months.

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Paired with that I chose Essie’s Sole Mate, my favourite autumnal berry shade. I bought a selection of nail tip stickers and decided to use my triangular ones for this look.

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All I did was place the sticker on the nail (about two-thirds of the way up), paint on a layer of the Essie polish, wait a few seconds then remove leaving a crisp line.

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I sealed the look with my new bottle of Seche Vite and love how this has turned out! x

Mani Monday – Nude and Rose Gold Glitter

We did it – we finally caved and put the heating on meaning the cosiness factor has doubled in our house! I admit I had a hot flush about an hour after we turned it on but I always think it signifies a turning point in the seasons.

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This week’s manicure is an old favourite teamed with a newbie (which may be my new favourite glitter polish.)

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I began with a couple of layers of Innocent by ELF. This is one of my favourite nudes and I think it really suits my skin tone.

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To add a bit of sparkle, I applied a couple of layers of a new Essie glitter polish. A Cut Above is from Essie’s ‘Luxeffects’ range and has a good mix of larger, hexagonal pieces mixed with smaller glitter pieces suspended in a clear polish. Described as a ‘pink diamond’ colour, this is a beautiful rose gold when applied and I think it looks great with a nude base.

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This Week’s Nails – Purple Candy Cane Ombre

Aaaaand I’ve finished work for the year! Such a good feeling to drive home knowing I can switch off and relax for a few weeks. I started today with a little lie-in then drove over to Salisbury for lunch and present-swapping with one of my besties Cat. I plan to spend much of my holidays this way: catching up on sleep, eating and seeing friends and family!

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When pondering my manicure this week, I was slightly overwhelmed and spoiled for choice with all the gorgeous shades I am getting on a daily basis from my Ciate advent calendar. I cannot wait to get swatching them but I found these lovely little purple and white candy canes in my nail art box (yes, I have a box!)  and decided to go for a purple gradient to compliment these nail decals.

Going from dark to light I used: MUA’s Frozen Yoghurt, ELF’s Lilac, Barry M’s Prickly Pear, Hello Kitty’s Darling Pink and Essie’s Go Ginza.

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I love all these shades individually and like the look of them altogether too.

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I placed the candy cane decals onto wet nails then sealed them with a couple of generous layers of Seche Vite. They are quite raised on the nail so I wasn’t expecting them to last for longer than a few days but we are on Day 5 now with no signs of them budging…God Bless that Seche Vite!

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Time for Christmas Day nails next…pass the glitter! x

This Week’s Nails – Glittery Polka Dots

It’s been a good weekend so far; quiet, but a good’un. There have been Christmas lights, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Ian’s pulled pork and some more meal planning for the week ahead.

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Quiet weekends also mean there is more time for the things you can put off when you’re busy and that includes some pampering! I love a hair and face mask whilst soaking in a long bubble bath on a Sunday night and my weekly manicure usually happens then too.

I don’t believe you need to banish all pastel shades from your nails in the colder months, especially when you can add a little festive sparkle with some glittery polka dots!

Mint green is probably one of my favourite colours to wear on my nails. I think it looks fresh and seems to stay on trend.

For my base colour this week, I painted on two layers of ELF’s Mint Cream.

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I then took a nail dotter and Essie’s Beyond Cosy and added my polka dots in a random pattern. I even did my right hand which proves this nail art is very simple and straightforward to attempt!

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Finished off with a layer of Seche Vite, this manicure lasted me a week with only one nail chipping after some rigorous washing up.

These glittery polka dots are quite subtle on a pastel nail but I think you could swap the base colour for a deep burgundy or navy blue for a little sparkle in December.

This Week’s Nails – Matte Dogstooth

Dogstooth, Houndstooth…I’m not really sure which is correct but I do know I am in love with this autumnal manicure!

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As I mentioned previously, when Ian and I went to Palma for the day, I tracked down a Sephora and treated myself to a few sets of their nail wraps.

Over the years I have worked my way through several brands of wraps and the Sephora ones are by far the best I have ever tried. They don’t pucker, they are really easy to apply and seem to last as long as a normal manicure without any peeling.

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Here is a really quick nail tutorial on how to apply these wraps:

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  • Select a nail wrap that is the correct width for your finger, remove the top film and the peel the nail wrap (sticker) off
  • Place it on your nail, smoothing it down from the cuticle upwardsdog8
  • You can use scissors to trim the wrap but I like to use a nail file and file off the excessdog7
  • If you have tiny nails like me, you can also make one nail wrap stretch to two nails, doubling your manicures from the pack!dog2
  • Finish the look with a generous layer of top coat. I couldn’t resist using a matte top coat for this look and I think it really goes

I even persuaded Ian to let me have a go at applying one on his big toe so I could see what it would look like as a pedicure….ahhhh the things my husband does for me.

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I love this print on clothes and like it just as much on my nails. I think this would also look great as a statement nail paired with a deep jewel-toned autumnal colour.

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If you are ever in Sephora, I highly recommend these wraps – in fact, I am kicking myself for not investing in a few more designs!

This Week’s Nails – My Holiday Mani/ Pedi

We are off on holiday today so just a quick post to share my holiday manicure and pedicure.

Toes first as, let’s face it, they aren’t quite as interesting!

I don’t really tend to attempt much nail art on my toes and I wanted a bright shade that will look good with a tan. I chose ELF’s Fire Coral, a lovely coral red colour.

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For my nails, I went for another ELF shade, this time Mint Cream, which is one of my favourite colours. I was going to leave them plain but at the last minute decided to add some glitter half moons using Essie’s Beyond Cosy. I use nail tip stickers to create this effect as I don’t have a steady enough hand to paint it on freehand!

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I sealed both colours with a layer of Seche Vite and am hoping they will last the week with no chipping.

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Well I need to go and finish packing now so I will see you again in a week’s time! x

This Week’s Nails – Matte Pastels

Hello and long-time no see! Quite literally for me actually as I have been in bed for the past week suffering with a hideous eye infection (hence my absence on here.) My body seems to have punished me for working and playing too hard over the last few weeks so I have spent days in bed catching up on sleep and working my way through several books and a good quantity of eye drops!

Today was the first day I felt like myself again and I have so many cool things to blog about in the next few weeks so I thought I would start my recovery with a little nails post.

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This manicure is so summery and the matte topcoat gives it a bit of a twist.

First of all, I narrowed down five of my favourite pastel-coloured nail varnishes:

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(From left to right: Eternal Optimist by Essie, Jacuzzi by Sephora, Bloomsbury Way by Nails Inc, Pistachio Ice Cream by MUA and Prickly Pear by Barry M.

Then gave my nails 2-3 coats, depending on the formula.

There are lots of good matte top coats available now – I used ELF’s Matte Finisher which only needed one coat and lasted for about 5 days until some slight wear appeared at the tips.

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Wearing different shades on nail varnish on each finger has been a bit of a trend recently and I think this is a really easy way to wear it…my only problem was narrowing it down to 5 shades!

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Finally, I had to mention the immense delight I took in hearing that Michael Gove has been reshuffled out of Education today…I think a glass of champers is definitely in order! x

This Week’s Nails – Turquoise Tips

I could get used to these sunny weekends!

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We had Ian’s parents come to stay which meant a long walk with George and our first beer garden and cider of the year…hopefully the first of many.

I have started a wardrobe overhaul and have already sent a huge bag of stuff to the charity shop. My mum is coming to stay this week too and she is much more ruthless than I am so I should have a lovely, condensed and more streamlined wardrobe soon!

This is a really fun manicure and I actually braved it and did it freehand as opposed to using tape to get the straight lines. My lines aren’t completely straight but I don’t mind that too much!

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I decided to go with a mint/ turquoise theme but I can see myself experimenting with a variety of different colour schemes as I love the effect this gives.

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I began with two coats of ELF’s Mint Cream, a lovely pastel mint green.

I then brushed on my first diagonal line of Teal or No Teal which I picked up in Primark.

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I finished with the darkest shade, a deep bluey-green colour by Rosie and Roses, simply named 402.

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A final layer of Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat was the last step needed for this manicure.

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This Week’s Nails – Nude Ombre

I am at home today, on strike, like thousands of other like-minded teachers who quite frankly have had enough of being made to feel like we are not doing the very best for the children we teach and care about. I love my job and this is what I felt I needed to do to make a stand for what I believe in and also a stand against the dangerous direction I feel the profession is going. I could go on (and on and on!) but hopefully a change will come soon.

I was sorting through my nail varnish collection the other night and found myself starting to colour-code them all.

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This led to me planning several ombre manicures, starting with this nude one.

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Ombre nails are a simple yet effective look and it will work with a variety of shades.

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I used 5 different nail varnishes for this look: Smoke Brown by ELF, Desert Haze by ELF, Innocent by ELF, Nude by ELF and Pearl Wisdom by Sally Hansen.

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I really like this subtle look and look forward to experimenting with different colour palettes!

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This Week’s Nails – Waterfall Nails

TFI FRIDAY!!! Did anyone else mutter this to themselves on the way home too?! I usually enjoy the last week of term but this weather is making work a real struggle at the moment. I’m not sleeping properly so feel exhausted and the heat is making both me and the kids very irritable. Ha, so British of me to start a post off by talking about the weather!

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For this week’s nails, I wanted to try out a trend that I am seeing more and more of – waterfall nails. These are basically different coloured stripes which cover about two thirds of your nails and it meant I could try out my new nail brushes.

I got these from ebay for a couple of quid and they are so handy for different types of nail art.

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 I decided to go for a purple themed look this week so had a rifle through my nail varnishes and decided on these shades:

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I began with a lovely nude base colour on all my nails in Innocent by ELF. This is a great nude colour for pale types like me and has a pink-purple hue to it too meaning it complemented my chosen colour palette.

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Once the base colour had dried, I started on my first colour, Ultra Violet which I picked up on a whim in Primark. I decided to start with the darkest colour first as a sort of guide for the other colours. Unfortunately, I get very shaky hands so the lines weren’t quite as defined as I was hoping for!

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Next was Prickly Pear by Barry M which I painted on the left of the darker stripes.

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Finally I used Lilac by ELF, a pastel colour, which I painted to the right of the darker stripes to complete the look. I only had time for two nails this week but if I did this again I would set aside the time do all ten fingers as I think it is a very fun and wearable look.

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I sealed the manicure with a layer of Seche Vite and there you go!

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Have a great weekend! x