Friday, November 30, 2012

Crafty Christmas: DIY Pyramid Gift Boxes


In preparation for our wedding in October of this year, I went looking for favours. I couldn't find any I liked - they were either too generic or too expensive. I came across a blog called Simply Creative (with Pink Petticoat) and in particular this post about pyramid boxes - I fell in love with their simplicity straight away and knew I wanted to make them as favours. I printed them onto cream A4 card, and made 200 of them. I added personalised labels from eBay, some ribbon, popped a couple of mints into each one, and voila - inexpensive favours that went down a bomb!

For Christmas, I love giving nail polish as a present. BUT. And it's a big but (and I cannot lie) - even though some nail polish is expensive, I think it looks really mean as a present on its own. Something that costs e10 or under shouldn't look mean - right, it's not a huge amount of money, but to those of us watching the pennies it's important that we feel good about what we give to people.

So, on the hunt for something to make the small little presents look a bit more presentable, I remembered these boxes. They're perfect for nail polish (or loads of other things - an EOS lip sphere, some eyeshadow, earrings or some other small little present would work really well too. If you make homemade truffles you could also use them).

I'll take you through it step-by-step!

First, download the template found here. The template belongs to Pink Petticoat, so all credit should be given to Liz Armstrong.

You will need:

A4 card of your choice, contrasting card (if desired), Ruler,
Scissors, Ribbon, Paper Punch.
Print the template onto the sheet of A4 card. For my wedding favour boxes I printed 2 to a page to get smaller boxes, but for these, print one per page. Cut along the main outside lines, NOT the inside dotted ones. You should end up with something like this:

Next, use your punch to make one hole in each of the 4 main corners. I found it easiest to get the holes centered if I fed the pointy end into the punch, then make the hole.

Next, use a ruler to fold along the little dotted lines on the card. There are two versions of the template in the downloadable file - one with guide lines and one without. I use the one with the lines because I'm hopeless at cutting/folding in a straight line. Use your ruler to fold all 4 main parts and both sides of each part in towards the centre. Fold all corners in to make sure the top pieces match up.

Click to enlarge.
Next, take your ribbon and feed it through the holes. There's a specific way to do this so that you can open & close it properly - start by feeding one end of the ribbon through one hole towards the centre, and out through the hole in front of it. Then feed the other end through the hole next to it, and out through the hole in front. The ribbon should be visible on the outside, like so:

Now, the fun part! Get the little item you want to pop inside, and wrap in a little tissue paper. This isn't necessary but it adds a little extra protection. If you're picking nail polish, very few brands will have room to stand up, but you can put them lying down in them. You could also add in a few chocolate coins.

Full-sized Essie polishes cost e9.99 from new display stands in chemists
all over Ireland, and are the perfect size for the box.

Once you put your gift inside, close the box securely by gently pulling the ribbon taut and tying a knot, then a bow. If your ribbon has a tendency to fray, you can stop that by using a candle or lighter. Just hold the ribbon near to the flame (not ON the flame, bubbly blackness is not what we are aiming for here) to gently seal the ends. Any ribbon will work well for the boxes - I think this green one came from the packaging of a pair of pyjamas! 

To finish it off, I cut a little circle of green card, used a gold pen to write on it, and added a little bow. 

I'm definitely going to make some more of these for the little presents, they deserve to get some proper wrapping too!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas NOTD: Snowflakes!


With snow a very real prospect for Ireland this year (which I'm not entirely delighted about), I decided to kick off my Christmas nail ideas with some snowflakes. I was going to do the traditional white/blue colours but where's the fun in that, eh? Instead, let's go all Sam Sparro on it.

I used two polishes for this  - Barry M Black and Barry M Gold Foil Effects.

First, give your nails a couple of coats of the black. Any black, but I like this one. Then to do the snowflakes, get a cocktail stick or skewer, and draw one line down. Next, add diagonal lines. Then, add little arrows to the top of each line. If you have space, add more arrows. There is no right or wrong to drawing a snowflake - it's said that every single snowflake is unique, so let that be the same for you - here's a quick diagram to show you where to start. Where would I be without MS Paint, eh?

I added a little red rhinestone in the centre, but a blob of glittery red polish would be ideal too (think China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Barry M Red Glitter or Kleancolor Bite Me). 

Whack on a topcoat and you're done. I really like this colour combination - I think I'm definitely going to try and steer clear of very bright reds/greens for my Christmas nails this year. This would also work really well on an accent nail if you want a bit of Christmas on your digits without going overboard. 

I'm putting my decorations up tomorrow just in time for the Late Late Toy Show, so I'll be wearing this mani until then (the rhinestones probably won't make it, picker's paradise).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Catrice Doris' Darling & NYX Girls Enchanted Forest


Doris' Darling is one of five limited edition shades in the "Hollywood's Fabulous 40ties" collection from Catrice. The others are equally well named - Red Butler (deep raspberry), Marlene's Favourite (coral/pink), The Nude Scene (peachy nude) and Holly Rose Wood (rose pink).

Right, firstly, I have to get this off my chest - we all know how much of a big freak I am when it comes to polish names, and while the polishes are well named, the name of this collection wrecks my head.

Anyway, leaving that aside, this is Doris' Darling.

It looks quite cool toned there, but depending on your skin tone it can look like a really nice warm plum - similar to Sally Hansen "Plum Luck" from the Complete Salon Manicure line, or the discontinued "Plum Play With Me" from Catrice.

As usual with Catrice, the formula & application were excellent. I used two coats and both dried quickly. Here's a look at it outside:

It's a lovely glossy plum, but it was crying out for a bit o' bling (or a Najazzle as I like to call it) - I got the cutest polish in my swap with Jenna a while back, and I'd been dying to use it. This is NYX Girls - Enchanted Forest.

I used 2-3 coats of Enchanted Forest and transformed Doris' Darling into a blingy, ballsy, weirdly space-like mani that Calamity Jane TOTALLY could have rocked. Y'know, if she were into nail polish.

I am in the love. I want to wear it forever.

Look how she sparkles in the (bizarre) cold November sun!

I'm going to stare at it now while I go and watch all Doris' Calamity Jane songs on Youtube, it's been WAY too long since I warbled along to this one in particular:

Have a good one,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Comparison: Goldfinger!


I recently picked up the new O.P.I Skyfall mini collection, and I have been raving about Goldeneye ever since. Hand on heart, it's the first gold polish I've ever really, really loved. So, with Christmas just around the corner (yay!) and after a conversation about gold polish with Cuti-Clue-Les on twitter, I thought I'd compare some of the best gold nail polishes around at the minute.

I picked 5 gold polishes from various brands, so everyone should be able to get at least one of them fairly easily. Here are the 5:

L-R: O.P.I "Goldeneye"; Catrice "Oh My Goldness"; Essence "Gold Fever"; Catrice "Goldfinger"; Revlon "Golden Charm".

Catrice "Goldfinger" looks like a bang-on dupe for GOSH "Gold", which I  no longer own, but if you fancy a lighter-toned gold polish this one will set you back a mere 2.79 as opposed to a ludicrous 8.50 for GOSH. Here's a closer look at all the polishes, swatched. First, inside wth no flash:

Thumb: Revlon; Index: Catrice Goldfinger; Middle: Essence;
Ring: Catrice Oh My Goldness!; Pinky: OPI.

Then, inside with flash:

Outside, natural light, no flash:

Catrice "Oh My Goldness!" is almost exactly the same as one of their limited edition polishes from 2010/2011 called "Spiced Bronze" - it's only a shade lighter. It's definitely on the bronze side more than gold, so maybe the name is a little off in this case. O.P.I "Goldeneye" is still my favourite, but I have found a new appreciation for Essence "Gold Finger" - it's really pretty and I love the red glitters in it, very Christmassy!

I'd be interested to know if there are any bang-on dupes for Goldeneye, because I can't think of any off the top of my head.

I'll leave you with a close-up of each shade (click to enlarge):

And a shot of my very own mini James Bond:

Totally getting his moneys worth out of that wedding suit.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Hey everyone!!!

I'm safely married, we had a mighty day, a brilliant band, great weather, lovely food and great company! I completely forgot to take a picture of my wedding manicure - but it was Nicole by OPI "It's All About the Glam" (Kardashian Kolors) with a load of diamonte rhinestones stuck on my ring finger. I haven't got any official pictures back yet but here are a few for you to have a look-see at!! Hit the pictures to enlarge.

Pictures Removed 

I've also realised that I've now hit 187 followers, so thanks a million - I'll hold a wee giveaway at 200.

Back properly soon!!