Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Searching the perfect white

It's been some weeks that I wanted to do a sailor/marina-inspired manicure.  I attempted one in two occasions, and in both I ended up frustrated because the white I used did not cover well my nails, despite my using 2 coats of it.

The white I used is Margaret Astor Perfect Stay Gel Shine (White Snow).  Avoid it like the plague!  The worst thing is I bought it this season, so the bottle is almost full, and I do not think I will use it anymore.

Today I bought an Essie nail polish (my first Essie purchase), called Blanc.  I just returned home and my curiosity took the best of me: I tried it on my pinkie finger: one coat, no base; I just wanted to check the coverage. And it is perfect!  One stroke and my nail was perfectly white.

Hopefully the next sailor manicure attempt will be better.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Nail design of the week

This week's design is based on a beautiful French manicure that I saw in The Model Stage blog:

Picture from The Model Stage Blog
I love the grey color, and the subtlety of the fine line for the tips!  So this the result of my manicure:

It is in no way as perfect as hers; but I normally use the nail tip whitener following my own white lines, and since this time I did not have them, it was difficult for me to be precise.  I think I should buy tip guides for this kind of work (I hate using tape!).  These are the tools I used:
Unglax nail hardener as base coat
Margaret Astor Quick'N Go (I believe it is #360, although I am not sure)
Seche Vite top coat
Naio coconut cuticle oil for the cuticles when everything is finished and dry

While Ana used a nude color for the tips, I used my nail tip whitener.  I do not like nude colors.  I do not even own one.

Now that I have done it, I am not sure if I like the results on my own nails.  Probably I will like it more when it's Winter and I will be using darker colors to dress.  But I do not think it works during Summer.  Very classy and elegant, yes, but not suitable for a day at the beach, me thinks...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another visit to the pool

So today I went again for a swim at the town pool.  

It was almost empty, I spent all the time alone in my lane, just swimming up and down.  No kids today.  

But I had two staff members coming to check out my mermaid tail.  One of them asked if she could take pictures, and we chatted a bit about how I began to swim like this.  They had never seen, or even heard of, mermaid tails and I referred them to YouTube for videos.

A good thing is, I was not very tired when I finished my session; I mean, my core and leg muscles were a bit sore, but my lungs and diafragm were not tired after all the breath holding, which I found very rewarding.  Last week I was able to swim all the pool lenght in one breath, which was also exhilarating.  Must try that again tomorrow.  Almost 8 years without swimming can put a strain in your lung capacity.  Mine used to be great, but not anymore.  I am trying to improve on that...

And, remember I put pearls on my toes?  They were fine after one hour of swimming with the monofin on, which was great.  I will be doing the mermaid scale manicure again this week, sans the pearls.  Hubby does not really like them.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nail design of the week

Pearls!  I am in love with pearls lately - which is odd, because the pearl is a jewel that has never appealed much to me.  My favorites have always been dark stones like onyx and garnet.  Must be the Summer, and the mermaids...

So, this week's manicure is inspired by mermaids and pearls:

These are the tools I used:
Unglax nail hardener as base coat
Margaret Astor Fashion Studio Lilly of the Valley (#244)
White half pearls in sizes 1.5, 2 and 3 mm
Konad clear top coat
Seche Vite top coat
Naio coconut cuticle oil for the cuticles when everything is finished and dry

I love how well they turned out!  They remind me a bit of my mermaid tail color.  It is a nice alternative to the mermaid scale pattern; after I saw this beautiful mermaid top I figured maybe mermaids like to wear pearls in their nails (oh how I covet a top like that!).  I have lately thought of how would a mermaid have her nails; the best I have imagined is that they are somehow scales matching the color of their tails (lol!).  So maybe some pearls on them is not a far fetched thought...

I have even put some pearls on my toes:

But not color.  I hate painting my toe nails, because my eyesight is not very good, and it's troublesome for me to see if they are OK or not.  Just the base coat, the 3 mm pearls and the top coat to protect them.

I saw this mermaid scale tutorial yesterday and maybe I will try with the pearls next time I do the Mash scale stamping.  What do you think?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy mermaid-related news

Today I went to a town-regulated pool.  Yesterday I had asked if swimfins were allowed, and was told yes.  And sure enough, today I brought my mermaid tail - after all, it has a monofin in it, right?

Well, the pool was almost empty when I arrived, and I sat just by the water to put my feet inside the monofin, and I finished pulling the tail up in the water.  It was exhilarating when I began to swam with it, after one year of not using it.  And this time, there were no waves, no muddy water and no sand to bother me.  So I swam one length of the pool and when I was coming back I saw a staff person waiting for me by the side of the pool.  My first thought was that I was going to be asked to take it off, but then the girl just kneeled down and asked "Would it be OK if I took a picture of you?".  I was so relieved it was not against the rules!  And of course, I sat in the edge and she took the pics.  We chatted for a bit; she said a co-worker had said to her "You have a mermaid in lane one".  She was curious and she came by to check; she said she had never seen something like it.  

After some minutes more staff came - some were literally speechless; one asked if she could touch my tail (my fabric tail!) and she kept saying "It´s so cool!".  

But the best part was when the kids came for a lesson.  The staff said "Hey guys, look, we have a mermaid in the pool!"  Oh my... It was all shouts, mesmerized looks, questions... One kid said "It's a real mermaid" and his friend said, "No it is not, she is wearing a costume", but the kid insisted ""It's a real mermaid!".  That was so so sweet.  They asked if they could touch me, asked me to swim for them, how do I get out, it is really real... It was so much fun.

Now that I have seen it is not against regulations, I will keep bringing the tail to the pool.  Hell yes!  I need to perfect my movements.  I was exhausted when I left, so hopefully I will begin to develop strenght in my core muscles and legs.

I have seen that some parts of the tail have suffered a bit with friction when walls or bottom where touched.  But I rather have a worn-out tail that a like-new one.  Now that Kirsten Söller sells replacement skins I can buy another one if mine breaks.

I'll let you know how things go tomorrow!

Happy mermaid is happy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Showing some new things

Even though I made my own H2O crystal necklaces, I found one on eBay with a beautiful bead that I could not resist to buy.  Here are some pics of it:

Isn't it amazing the difference that it makes to photograph a necklace on a dummy, instead of on a table?  I had totally forgot that I had that dummy, and since I had it out I took pictures too of Elena's locket, the H2O locket and The Illusionist locket.

I have had this necklace for some time, but I forgot to put up the pics.  

But today, I got the Messy Mansion stamping plate:

It's amazing!  The details are incredible, and the central stampings are big enough to cover all my nail surfaces, including my wide thumbs!  I cannot wait to try it!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Keeping my sterling silver lockets shiny

Today I noticed some tarnish in my H2O locket, so I took 5 minutes to clean it.  Afterwards I thought maybe you do not know how to keep clean your silver, so here is a bit of help.

The product that I use is called Sidol Aladdin.  I use it because my trusted jeweler recommended me to do so - I do trust him because my mom has been his customer for years, and they have built a good professional relationship.

This is what the product looks like:

It is also called "Magic Cotton", because the product itself is a pink cotton that is soaked in the cleaning solution.  You take a piece and rub it onto your silver.  You know it's working because it changes color to black.  Then you buff it up with a soft clean cloth, and the piece looks like new.  

I do not know if this is available out of Spain; when I lived in the US I used Wright's Anti Tarnish Silver Polish:

This one is a white liquid paste that you rub with a cloth onto your silver or silver plated object, and buff with a soft clean cloth.  Then you rinse it with water and dry it.

Be sure to wear gloves (not made of rubber!) when using these products, because they are a bit abrasive.  I also found you a guide to clean silver by the Bishop Museum.

Hope this helps you taking care of your silver!

Friday, July 12, 2013

A new stamping plate for my collection

Just a few days ago I purchased a nail stamping plate from Messy Mansion:

Picture from the Messy Mansion store

It is great, isn't it?  This is the first plate that I have found that is not what I call "girly", i.e. no butterflies, flowers, kittens, smileys or hearts.  Instead, dragons, knights, axes and castles, along with a crest and a background.  So awesome!!

Messy Mansion also has a website for you to peruse full of nail art goodies.  

I will let you know when the plate arrives, and how well it performs.  I am dying to try it out!