Thursday, 28 March 2013

Simple Flower Chain Nail Art

Technically Spring has sprung but you wouldn't know it in the UK with all the snow outside!  So there I sat shivering and wearing gloves during the editing of this summery flower design lol.

Easy Flower Chain Nail Art

In daylight the base colour is much less green, and has a grey hue....

Simple Flower Chain Nail Art Daylight

I used China Glaze 'Sea Spray' for my base, and FolkArt and DecoArt acrylic paints for the art work.
I finished it off with Color Club topcoat although I'm not keen on it, I'm just using it up.  My favourites are Essie Good To Go and Posche topcoat :)

Here's the tutorial....

Arcadia  x

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Oh Dear...Brushes of Models Own Mirrorball Collection Are Screwed :(

Six months ago I made a swatch video of the Models Own MirrorBall collection.  I had only ever bought one of their polishes before so was excited to see what they'd be like, and on first impressions I was pretty pleased with them considering the price.

I've bought so many polishes recently so they've stayed sat in a drawer for the last few months, only being used once.

Well, today I open them to find that 3 out of the 5 have totally unusable brushes!  I've taken a photo as you can see...

Models Own Mirrorball Glitter

They're actually worse than they look when you start using them.

I'm mad because this just shouldn't happen.  The quality should be good enough for the polishes to last in an acceptable condition for years, not months.  The bristles must have reacted badly to the polish and have curled, making it very difficult to paint on the polish.  I'll have to use a nail art brush to apply those 3 from now on, and won't be surprised when the other 2 go weird :(

This seals the deal for me on Models Own now.  The very first time I ever used them I thought 'hmm...they smell like the polish I used to use as a kid'  i.e. not that great and probably containing some of the chemicals that other brands take out nowadays.  I can't confirm this, just a hunch from the smell.

The quality of the polish itself is okay, but the fact that I've had one bottle smash as I unscrewed the cap, another's brush became unstuck on the first use, and now this, I won't be buying any more.

Besides, I can buy a bottle of China Glaze for less than a fiver from a US seller on UK ebay.  Sure I have to wait a week or two for delivery but the quality of the polish and the brushes/bottles is FAR superior.  In my opinion anyways.

Arcadia  xx

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Retro Space Nail Art

Galaxy nails have been done by tonnes of people so I decided to do a different take on it and make a retro space design, inspired by 1960's cartoons with a rocket ship and stylised star.

Space Nails by Arcadianailart

If I could do it again I'd make the star on my ring finger smaller and more irregular like the one on my thumb *doh*

Remember that the purple polish (Creative Fantasy by China Glaze) is more pink in real life, so the finished look is more violet toned off camera.  I used acrylic paints by FolkArt and DecoArt for the images.

Arcadia  x

Friday, 8 March 2013

Faux Studded Nails

Lots of people are loving nail art studs right now, but they're not very practical to wear and you may not be able to get hold of them.  I was inspired to create my own version using purely nail polish, it's very easy to do and just uses metallic polishes.

Easy Studded Nails

I'd recommend using 2 or 3 colours but if you don't have that many you can always mix one with some black to produce a darker shade.

Here's the video....

Arcadia  x

Monday, 4 March 2013

Music Notes....a collaboration

I'm working with ProfessionalDQ again on our third collaboration together!

Music Note Nail Art

We chose to do music note nails, I went with a more elegant, classic design and ProfessionalDQ chose to do a bright colourful rainbow version, take a look...

My Design

ProfessionalDQ's Design

It was so much fun working with Beth again, if you haven't found her blog yet you take a look HERE.

Thank you so much for reading, and watching....bye!

Arcadia   x

Friday, 1 March 2013

Money Saving Nail Art Tips

Getting all the tools and supplies that most nail artists use can cost a lot of money, not to mention buying nail polish, so here are some tips to save money and create great nail art on a budget!

I was inspired to write this post after seeing a tweet from ChalkboardNails about a wonderful idea that she's judging from, where bloggers are asked for their best money saving ideas.  Check it out by clicking HERE.

Polishes & Acrylic Paints

You really don't need a huge catalogue of polishes at your finger tips. Every time I do a design I mix the colours I need from the polishes or acrylic paints I already own, and when I first started out I simply bought some super cheap polishes from the supermarket in green and yellow (the colours I didn't already own) to use specifically for mixing new colours.

However for painting nail art acrylic paints are by far the best and cheapest option around. Buying a few basic colours is inexpensive, and from them you can make any colour you like.  The shelf life of acrylic paints is much MUCH longer than that of polishes, and of course they can also be used for other craft projects.   They never streak when you put topcoat over them like polishes can often do, can be wiped off if you make a mistake, and one bottle will last you for years and years.  I recommend FolkArt, Apple Barrel or Americana, if you can't get them try children's paints as they will be non-toxic and safe to use just as those afore mentioned brands are.


By far the most daunting aspect when you start out is knowing what tools you will need.

The absolute basics in my opinion would be a good detail brush and a dotting tool.

My favourite detail brush comes from a cheap set of 7 nail art brushes I found on ebay. You can also try buying a small brush from an art store, but make sure the bristles are long, not short.  Somehow the length of the bristles makes a huge difference, and this is the only tool that you will ever really need for nail art.  Stripes, dots and everything inbetween can be created with it.  You can see the brush I use in this video below -

Dotting tools are extremely cheap on ebay or amazon, but you can also make them easily.  The tip of a toothpick is perfect for fine dots, and just chop the toothpick in half and file the end smooth for making larger dots.

Very big dots can be made with the end of a chopstick, wooden kebab skewer or the end of a paintbrush or pencil.

Probably the cheapest nail art tool is sticky tape!  I used it in this starburst tutorial below, and it's a wonderful way for beginners and those who can't paint freehand to enjoy nail art.

Using Up Old Polishes 

When you're trying to save money, seeing all the old unwanted polishes in your collection and totting up in your head how much you spent on them can be heartbreaking.

Fear not, there are ways to use them up!

If the consistency is still good I use up varnishes I don't like for water marbling, and I'll paint colours I'm not keen on any more on my nails and then put an amazing glitter polish over the top to transform them in to a brand new (and unique) manicure.  Also, iridescent polishes and sheer polishes can completely change the appearance of a colour you no longer like when added over the top.

Sometimes old polishes end up goopy and unusable, so you should throw them out right?


I have a little section in my drawer for just those offenders....many can be saved by using nail polish thinner (never use nail polish remover, it destroys the polish!), but for those that can't be saved or that I don't like there is another use.  They're great for removing nail polish!

If your nails split, peel or break easily it has no doubt occured to you that your nail polish could be to blame.  Well of course it can be, but have you thought about the nail polish remover you're using too?

Nail polish remover (especially those with acetone) contain nasty chemicals.  They have to to remove all that nail polish so well.  This can of course sink in too your skin which isn't very healthy, and also sink in to your nails.  

My nails are very weak and pathetic, so to try and keep them healthier this is what I do to remove old manicures - I use a thick layer of those thick goopy polishes over my nails and wait 5 minutes.  It will sink through your polish melting it to the point where you can wipe off a couple of layers and therefore halve the time you'll need to spend using regular remover.  This tip is especially good if you're trying to remove a glitter polish.

There Are Some Things Worth Spending Money On...

Finding the perfect base coat, top coat or nail strengthener for your specific nail type will take time and cost money.  There's no way around that especially if you have issues with your nails.

My favourite top coat could perform terribly on your nails and visa versa.  Everyone is different and there's not a polish out there that will work for everyone.

I've bought dozens of products trying to find what's right for me and I'm close to getting there, but yes I have spent a lot of money in the process.

My advice would be to read recommendations, reviews, and ask for advice from either the online nail polish/nail art community or your friends and family.  Don't forget the best prices are often found online,  I live in the UK and buy most of my nail products from American sellers on the UK Ebay site as I save the most money that way.  Sure I have to wait 2 weeks to receive the products but the saving is worth is for me.

I hope some of these tips have helped you, and of course if you have any questions or indeed any tips or your own, share them with us in the comments!

Arcadia  x