31 August 2014

#31dc2014 - How to conquer the challenge!

With all the new exciting stock we have been getting in at DQN over the past few months, Jules and I have been so busy packing orders and sending goodies on their way that the 31 day nail art challenge almost snuck up on us! Luckily in the knick of time that familiar anxious feeling rolled around as if on cue to remind and make us question....seriously, are we going to take this on again? We must be bonkers! 31 days, 31 new nail designs....dear nail gods please give us the strength to be creative and may our cuticles endure! 

The challenge starts on Monday 1st September 2014 and continues for the whole month. Please check in on our social media sites to cheer us on, we will need the encouragement. This will be the third year that we have done the challenge.

Here are some REAL tips for those thinking about doing the challenge:

  1. You CAN do it! Really...you can! You will be so proud of yourself when you are done, its a real achievement! 
  2. It's perfectly OK to just paint one hand. Bah! Ain't NO shame in that! Match your other hand to the colour scheme of your nail art hand, or carry your design over with an accent nail on your non dominant hand. 
  3. Prepare yourself. Clean up your nail art desk, put all your polishes away, clean your brushes and tools, restock your remover pads, refill your nail polish remover pump. You need to be a nail art machine so get your work space ready for the challenge.
  4. Thin or Restore your top coat and refill the bottle. It just makes sense people, you need your topcoat to help you! I will be using Seche mostly. I use Zoya Anchor as a base these days. 
  5. Repeat this step for your fav black and white base polish, thin or restore them so they are in prime condition, they will come in handy.
  6. Using a gorgeous feature polish, think chunky glitter jellies (EDM - Cosmic Forces) or sparkly textures (Pixies/Liquid Sands) is a GREAT way to add colour elements if you are running short of time, but don't go crazy, you will need time to remove that chunky glitter the next day. Accent nail!
  7. Troll through your own nail art pics, your IG likes, Tumblr likes, nail art mags, google etc to start writing a loose plan. I look for workable nail art colour combos and my stamping plates. Stamping plates are a great source of inspo. For example, see a dinosaur stamp...dinos are green....green day sorted! My list is really simple, just an idea and I draw one nail to remind myself what I was going for. 
  8. Your house will be a complete disaster by the end of the challenge. Laundry piled high, dishes in the sink. Whatevs! 
  9. If you start crying over failed nail art at any point throughout the challenge you are not alone. It's going to be ok. I cry on water marble day...every year!

The above pic is a little sample of our designs from last year. For the full 2013 round up, check out our 2013 attempt. And our first ever go 2012.

Some of my best work has come out of this challenge so whilst its daunting and will push you, its really rewarding, especially when you look back over the month and see all your art together and the amount you grow each year. 

To join in the challenge just follow the schedule above and post your pics to social media with the hashtag #31dc2014 Thanks again to Sarah from Chalkboard Nails who each year encourages us all and makes lovely pictures for us to share.  Best of luck to everyone joining in on the challenge xx

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30 August 2014

Resinail - new Aussie indie

New to the market, the first release polishes from new Aussie indie Resinail cater for a range of polish lovers; there's holos, thermals, glitter toppers and more, a little something for everyone!  Thank you Michelle for sending 3 fab polishes my way. Let's take a closer look.

The first polish I tried was this silver linear holo. Resinail - Fizzy Water. 4 coats direct sunlight.  Gorgeous sparkle but its very sheer so you need a few coats but look how beautiful it is! This would work well with silver undies. Its very comparable to a spectraflair topcoat. Rainbows! Rainbows! Rainbows!

Fizzy Water - 4 coats indoors with flash. I wish this polish was just a bit more opaque but then again you can wear it over lots of different colours so that's a bonus. The formula was consistent across the 3 polishes and the 5 free suspension base is great quality. The brush in the full size bottle was a good size and the polishes applied well. I also really like Michelle's bottle labels, I love that you can see the polish through the "R", its funky! Now onto my absolute fav. 

Ooooh dreamy! Fuchsia Fade (thermal) - 2 coats direct sunlight. Eeeee! Devine! This is a pic of the polish in transition from warm to cool on the tips. The cool colour is a bright cerise pink shimmer. In warm phase its a light musk pink shimmer. And I'm not a massive thermal polish person, but I really, really like this. For me this is the state the polish stayed in most often.

Fuchsia Fade (thermal) - 2 coats indoors with flash. This polish underwhelms in the bottle, its looks like a dirty pink shimmer but when you put it on your nails...BAM! It's so girly! Lets see what it looks like in cool state now.

Fuchsia Fade (thermal) - 2 coats direct sunlight. Cool colour state. Living in QLD I had to put my nails under the tap to get the polish to change to this colour fully. It's a dreamy barbie pink. Makes washing your hands just a bit too much fun!

Fuchsia Fade (thermal) - 2 coats indoors with flash. Cool colour. You can see on my pinkie where its starting to transition again near the cuticle. Its cause I'm so hawt! :P Now to the glitter topper.

Resinail - Tropical Treat, a silver and lime green scattered holo glitter topper in a clear base. It's a beautiful colour of green glitter and the holo sparkle is beautiful. This polish is again quite sheer. I tried it on its own and it definitely needs undies. I used China Glaze - I'm with the lifeguard which is a neon green jelly. I then put 3 coats of the glitter topper on to get coverage I was happy with. The glitter spreads nice and evenly.

Look at that sparkle! Tropical Treat - Direct sunlight

Tropical Treat indoors with flash. 

Michelle has released lots of other gorgeous sparkly Resinail polishes which you can check out at her store HERE.  Best of luck Michelle, can't wait to see what's next for Resinail. If I get a vote more thermals please :) 

29 August 2014

Paint Splatters...the easy way!

One of the things that I love most about nail art is its close links with craft....yes I know that makes me sound geeky but for those of us not blessed with amazing freehand skills....craft is king! For today's design I was inspired to see what I could create using a craft paint blower. Read on for the tutorial. 

I was motivated to investigate an alternative splatter method to using a straw as it uses a tonne of polish and its hard to control the amount of paint that splatters. Sometimes with the straw I end up with big globs of paint versus actual splatters and sometimes when you blow on the straw nothing happens...its just annoyingly random! I'm pleased to say that the paint blower worked an absolute treat, no more straws for me! 

For this experiment I used cheap craft paint because I wasn't sure if it was going to work or how much polish I was going to need and I didn't want to use up my precious goodies. I squirted out quite a bit of paint but I really only needed to put a tiny dab onto the scratch paper because I ended up using a minuscule amount. After I took these photos and removed the design I tried this method with polish and it works perfectly! 

Step 1: Start by sucking up a bit of paint into the blower. Put the blower to the paint with the accordion part squeezed down and as you release your thumb the blower will suck the paint up into the nozzle. You only need a tiny bit.

Step 2: Now to thin down the paint. I could have used water but I had my pump bottle of acetone right in front of me so being lazy, I used that. Repeat step one, squeeze the accordion part and put the nozzle in the liquid and as you remove your thumb the blower will suck up the water/acetone. Again you only need a tiny bit. 

Step 3: Aim the blower at your nails and squeeze the pump  and tiny little splatters come out. Gorgeous squiggles and wonderful dribbles create such a cool pattern. No more big globs! The harder and quicker your squeeze the accordion part, the bigger the splatter. Also vary the angle which you aim the blower at your nail as it alters the splatter trail, very cool! 

So your desk doesn't get splatters on it, place your hand over an object that will clean up easily. The manicure bowl worked a treat and caught the excess liquid that sprayed out. It was also prefect for when I cleaned out the blower. To do this just repeat step 2 a few times until your blower nozzle is clear.

If you try out this method I would love to see. Share your pic to any of our DQN social media sites with the hashtag #DQN 

8 August 2014

Stamping with Pueen Encore

I haven't stamped my nails in ages but the new Pueen Encore set was begging me to take it for a spin. I sat there staring at the plates for 10 minutes going back and forth between images, spoiled for choice. Thankfully everything goes with rainbow colours!

I used plate SE04A. 
Zoya - Yummy (blue)
OPI - Jade is the new black (green)
Zoya - Pippa (yellow)
China Glaze - Japanese Koi Neon (orange)
OPI - Funky Dunky (purple)
Stamped with Konad white
Coloured glass crystals available here

This is a picture outside in the sun, the glass crystals are beautiful and sparkly. Hope you like these everyone, they are one of my favs from this year.


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