It was my sister's birthday earlier this month. I miss her a lot because she lives very far away from me and we don't get to see each other very often. I think the last time I saw her in person was 2 years ago!

She's been following my website and sending me emails with comments on which nail colour she likes best. *hint**hint* So this year, I've decided to send her a set of nails for her birthday.

Nail Polish Used: OPI - Royal Rajah Ruby


 To get the correct nail tip size for my sister, I've asked her to use a soft measuring tape to measure the width of her nail bed. I didn't realise she's got such a small nail bed! 



 
 

 

 

By the way, I've just bought a new table lamp! It's super sleek and bright. Totally in love with it hehe :)


 
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I'm trying to get more practise using gels to create a french mani. However, I didn't want to use the classic french manicure colours. I've chosen a black tip colour this time and pair it with antique looking roses.

Materials used to create this look:

The base was created using clear gel, black gel and a builder gel. I've also used a gel bonder to prevent lifting as well as a shining top gel to seal the entire nail and to make it look shiny. I created the black french mani last Tuesday. It took me 4 hours to complete! That's including time spent to remove the previous nail art and to clean my nails, cuticles and to prep it for the gel overlay.

I've also used white and 2 shades of pink acrylic to create the roses and 3 shades of green for the leaves. A darker shade of acrylic paint is also used to draw the veins on for the leaves. The 3D acrylic roses and leaves were created last Wednesday night and they took me 4 hours to complete as well. I was so tired on Thursday night I fell asleep the moment I hit the pillow hehe


My sister says they look like the roses on antique chinese porcelain plates :) These photos were taken on Saturday evening. That's nearly 4 days after I've made the gel overlay.


I tried creating some patterns on the black french tips by running the orange stick across it before curing the gel. This was done to all fingers except the thumb. I purposely left it black without any patterns just to see which one looks better.



Day 4, and my cuticles are already a mess! Good thing is that there are no signs of lifting yet. I'm trying to see how well this stays on the nail.

During the weekend I met up with fellow Perth blogger Ena from 'Shanghainese Dumpling' for dinner. She took some photos of my nails during our meeting at Subiaco. It was so much fun meeting up over dinner. We had such a great time chatting about everything under the sun, I think I ended up with a slight sore throat by the end of the evening hahaha! I've recently bought a tube of  Vitacreme B12 from Ena and she's also kindly given me some Vitacreme B12 Serum to sample. I've heard a lot about this cream (brought to fame by Japanese Actress Norika Fujiwara) and have always wanted to try it. I'll be using this cream for the next month or so and will let you guys know how it feels.

For more information about Vitacream B12 please visit - http://www.shanghainesedumpling.com
Ena is the exclusive distributor for Vitacreme B12 in AUS/NZ and there's an amazing link on her page showing the lifting and tightening effect of the new serum! The serum was only applied onto half of the face using a massage 'lifting' technique and you can see the effects immediately. Can't wait to start trying this serum :)
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This is my second attempt using the water marbling technique since September last year (See Water Swirl Nail Design). I really like using this technique as you can experiment with different colours and pattens.



 
First time using crushed shells. They give a very interesting textured look on the nails.


Marbling's only done on the thumb, index and ring finger. I did this set of nails on a boiling hot day. For some reason (maybe due to the heat), the nail polish refused to set! I nearly died from frustration as I had to redo a few of them several times.



  
I love crushed shells! The camera did not capture it's pearly shine.
  

  

On a totally different subject, I went shopping last week to get a dress for my friend's baby girl from this shop called gumboots. I saw this brooch and bought it for myself! Can't believe I actually bought a brooch from a kiddy clothes store! I've been wearinng it on my jacket lapel :) hehe


Oh I bought new nail art goodies again! This my new trial acrylic kit from this brand called Young Nails. I'm going to try using it for acrylic overlay over my natural nails. There's also another Young Nails product I bought called Protein Bond. I did't take a photo of it yet but I've heard many good reviews about this product. Protein Bond acts as a non acidic primer and leaves a slight sticky surface for the gel or acrylic to adhere to. It's also good as a base coat prior to nail polish application. You'll get longer wear form your nail polish especially for those people who experience chipping easily. I'm going to try this first to see if it actually works. Will let you guys know :)

I also got some coloured acrylic and a black gel.


I recently learned a new nail art technique using these tools (see below). I'll show you how it's done once I get some practice!
 

 

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This is my first attempt to create a tutorial, as requested by Danielle from The Diva's Polish. It's not easy trying to take photos and draw at the same time, however I hope you'll get some insight into how the 3D acrylic flowers are made. Please let me know if you've got any questions.

 
One of my new purchase. OPI - Royal Rajah Ruby.

Beautiful dark burgundy with tiny sparkles (2 coats).
1 coat Colour Club Vivid Colour Intensifying Top Coat.
 
Items used: Nfu.Oh Monomer, Nfu.Oh White Acrylic Powder, Size 4 Kolinsky Nail Art Brush, Dappen Dish

Pour some monomer into the Dappen Dish. Dip your brush into the monomer.
Note: Make sure your room is well ventilated because the Monomer smells really bad and inhaling in large quantities is really bad for your health.
Push your brush against the side of the dish to remove excess monomer.
 
Note: The brush used is flat with a pointed tip.
 
Dip your brush into the acrylic powder and pick up a tiny ball of acrylic. Depending on the size of the flower you're creating, the amount of acrylic picked up will differ. The longer your brush stay in the acrylic powder, the more it will pick up. The brush cannot be too wet or else you'll get a runny blob of acrylic. If it's too dry, the acrylic powder will fall all over the place and it'll be too hard to mould into shape. This comes with some practice, but you'll eventually get the hang of it.
 
Place the blob of acrylic ball onto the surface of the nail. It should be of a sticky consistancy. 
If it's a little bit too wet, you can allow it to sit for a while before moulding. Sometimes you may need to dry your brush a bit on a piece of tissue before proceeding to mould the acrylic into shape.

I'm creating a simple flower here. All you need to do is to push your brush at an angle (see above) against the acrylic ball. You may need to drag your brush slightly against the pointy part to create the desired effect.
 
Repeat the same process with the rest of the petals.

The flower will start to take shape.
 
Depending on how big your petals are and how far apart you place them, this will determine how many petals you'll get on your flower.

To complete the look, I'm going to add a tiny yellow acrylic ball in the centre of the flower. Using the same technique as above, wet your brush and pick up a tiny ball of yellow acrylic powder.
 
You have to be very quick when picking up a small amount of acrylic.

Flower Complete!
 
I have heaps of monomer left in the Dappen Dish, so I made another flower.

This is a slightly more complicated design. I'll create another tutorial for moulding the rose next time.
 
I hope this tutorial is beneficial in helping you with your 3D acrylic flower design.

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This is my current nail art work space. It's grown a lot in size since my previous Work Station post!


The original orange work station. I'm running out of space for my nail polish. Luckily I found these storage trays (see white try on the bottom right and next few photos). I'm going to use these trays to store my nail polish according to their colour and place them in proper shelves in the future.
 
 Added a nail art table. The drawers on the right are filled with all my nail art stuff!
  
 I love these storage trays! I'm going to get more of them. The tray on the right contain all my un-tried nail polishes.
  
 My UV lamp.
  
 A peek inside some of the drawers. Coloured acrylic powders, glitter pots, coloured shells...etc...
  
 My out of control rhinestones and pearls collection.
  
 Other bits and pieces.
  
 Storage containers. I need to get more soon!

My sister-in-law just came back from Japan. Look what she got me!

  
Nail Art Magazines ... yay!
More Nail Art stuff...
 I love this set of Swarovski Crystals. They are super bling as compared to normal rhinestones.
HAPPY :)
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