Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Another Day, Another Floral Manicure

It's been 2 weeks since my last DIY Floral manicure post, but I just can't get enough of the flower power inspired nails. As I'm writing this the weather outside is currently 50 shades of grey (maybe bit of an exaggeration, but 5 shades of grey doesn't sound right does it?) and it's started to rain - it finally feels like I'm back in Britain. 

I was shopping yesterday and saw this cushion out of the corner of my eye -

 I managed to resist buying it but I did feel inspired to do a nail art from the pattern (when I said I get inspired by anything and everything, I meant it). 
I removed any left over nail polish on my nails already and applied a clear base coat to protect the nails.

I used two coats of Natural Collection's White polish to act as the base colour.
I used two shades of blue - mixing Barry M's Guava and Collection 2000's Electric Dreams - and made two really rough flower shapes on each nail (the more abstract the better in my opinion).
I used three shades of green for the stems - Revlon's Mint Green and Marks and Spencer's Jade and Emerald - the medium shade as the main stem colour, the darker one to give it dimension and the pale green for the leaf. I also applied 3 or 4 black dots to each flower using a Rimmel polish.
This is my palette of colours I used - I find it easiest to paint a blob of each colour onto a blank piece of paper and dot the nail art tools into the colour this way.
And finito.
I also applied a clear top coat to give it some shine and protection.

I hope this has inspired you in some way or form to go and do something pretty with your nails.
If you recreate this look, please send me a tweet @kcallen_xo - I'd love to see them!

Kate xo

Thursday, 18 July 2013

How to: Store your Nail Polish

 Attention all you nail polish addicts out there - yes, you.

If like me you sometimes run out of space to store all your pretty polishes, here are a few ideas of how to store them in an attractive and easy way!


I picked up one of these vintage style ridged jars from Dunelm Mill for just £3.99, a perfect way of storing your nail polishes in a neat and pretty way. I keep mine on my book shelf to create less clutter on my desk and it breaks up the monotony of just books and photo frames. I put a piece of white tissue paper on the base to keep all that noisy (and annoying) clinking at bay.


I bought this clear angled storage jar last year in an attempt to tidy up my clutter, and it works in the exact same way as the previous jar I mentioned. I tend to keep my glitter and nail effect polishes in this one, making it easier for me when I am choosing what shade to wear. You can pick these jars up at any home or DIY store, also TK Maxx are great at stocking storage solutions like this.

This was how I first began storing my polishes - in a cardboard box! Probably the most simple and effective way of all the ways you can store your nail collection (and cheap too!). All you need is a box, preferably one that is approximately the same height as your polish bottles as it makes it easier when picking them out. You can choose to keep the lid on or off, I keep mine off as I like to see the rainbow of colours it creates when you dot the top of the lid with the polish colour.

All you need is a pack of white round sticky adhesive labels, then you just need to dot the polish colour onto the label before removing it from the sheet. Once dry, remove the sticky label and apply it to the top of the nail polish lid. If you do not have white adhesive labels, you could also use a piece of plain white paper and stick it on with Pritt Stick. I organise mine in colour order, because I'm a little OCD like this - but look how pretty it looks!

Here are some other ways of storing your growing collection of polish: 


How do you store yours? Leave me a comment below or tweet me a photo @kcallen_xo :)

Kate xo

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

How to: Create a Floral inspired Mani

After spending a lot more time in the garden over the past couple of weeks (thank you British sunshine!) I have been admiring all the beautiful plants and flowers and gave some thought into creating something floral on my nails. I took inspiration from a Lilly Pulitzer rose print I love,and thought that I would share with you how I created this look.

I started off by using Rimmel's 5-in-1 base coat to protect my nails. It does state you can use it as a top coat as well, but I find it to slow down the drying process - very annoying.

I recently purchased this Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polish and was excited to try it out, luckily this was a perfect colour for this floral design.

Then I used a pink polish from Accessorize (not too dark, not too pale) and left a couple of splodges on each nail, using a thin paint brush (you can pick these up in any DIY store).

To give the flower some dimension, I used Essie's famous 'Fiji' shade and painted 'C' strokes around the splodges.

As far as I'm aware this 17 polish doesn't have a name, but it is a bright shimmery pink and gave the flower even more dimension.


For the leaves, I used two green shades (the dark first, and then the paler one on top), painting them around the flowers. I used a Marks and Spencer's green polish, and Essie's well-loved 'Mint Candy Apple'.

I used Marks and Spencer's Autograph 'Quick Dry' top coat, which helps to instantly dry your nails - amazing!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and it inspires you to go and create something on your own nails.

Kate xo

Friday, 5 July 2013

50 (Nail) Shades of Summer

Summer is ready - but are your nails?

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While most people are perfecting their summer attire, I am sat here sorting out my nail polish collection.

Hi I'm Kate, and I am a Nail Polish-aholic

One shade of red is not enough, and do not get me started on blues and greens. If you are like me, then you will appreciate how a little drop of colour on your finger nails can make you smile, aside from the fact it can help make (or break) an outfit. From nail art to bold brights and neutrals, painted nails are the best accessory for this summer (and the rest of the year, in my opinion) - and one that most designers and celebrities are fully embracing. Check out some of the best here:

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Chanel, D&G, Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney are amongst those who are using a lot of neutral nail shades for this summer; while designers like Vera Wang and Marchesa are going to the dark side, using bolder and deeper tones. It is hard to forget that nail art has become a huge fashion statement on and off the catwalk, the 'two-tone mani' also features on models for the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Phillip Lim and Tracy Reese - using both bold and pale shades to create a statement nail.

I decided to raid my nail paints and pick out shades and nail trends that are perfect for Summer 2013:

The Nude and Pastels:

(From left to right: Topshop 'Threadbare', No7 'So Simple', Nails Inc 'Elizabeth Street', Revlon 'Frostiest Pink', Models Own 'Nude Beige', Essie 'Fiji', Rimmel 60 Seconds 'How Do You Lilac It?', Barry M 'Blue Moon', Revlon 'Minted' and Essie 'Mint Candy Apple' - all with one coat of polish)

The Brights: 

(From left to right: Barry M Gelly 'Blood Orange', Nails Inc 'St James', Rimmel 60 Seconds 'Coralicious', Natural Collection 'Hibiscus', OPI 'Elephantastic Pink', Marks & Spencer Limited Collection 'Pale Peach', Seventeen 'Lemon Tart', Barry M Gelly 'Greenberry', Barry M Gelly 'Guava', Barry M Gelly 'Blue Grape' - all with one coat of polish)

The Dark and the Bolds:

(From left to right: Nails Inc 'Tate', Nails Inc 'Savile Row', Essie 'Bahama Mama', 17 in purple, Marks and Spencer 'Tea Rose', Barry M 'Mushroom', Topshop 'Utilitarian', Barry M '292', Nails Inc 'Motcomb Street', Rimmel 60 Seconds 'Black Out' - all with one coat of polish)

The Metallics:

(From left to right: 17 in a pink shimmer, Rimmel 60 Seconds 'Euphoria', No7 'Passion Pink', Accessorize 'Pink Spice', Avon Mirror Shine in purple, Marks and Spencer Limited Collection 'Emerald', Barry M 'Aqua glitter', Barry M 'Amethyst glitter', Barry M 'Magnetic Blue', 17 in a gold shimmer - all with one coat of polish)

The Two-Tone Mani:

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I am definatly going to try out a two-tone mani again soon, I really had fun creating mine (sorry about the bad quality photos!) 
So many shades, so little time - I hope this has inspired you in some way to go out and do something fun with your nails! 

Which is your favourite trend for this summer? 
Post your comments and photos of your own nail shades down below :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

 Kate xo