Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DIY: From Yankee Candle to Storage Jar


I'm a huge fan of Yankee Candles and regularly stock up on the tarts, but I rarely ever buy a jar. I have two - one that I got with some birthday money (Fireside Treats) and one that I received as a present ages ago (Sandalwood). Now - while I adore the majority of the scents, some just don't appeal to me at all. Unfortunately, the Sandalwood one was one of them. I think because I didn't choose it myself, I got completely sick of the smell pretty quick. I can't even remember who gave it to me, but it's been knocking round the house for at least 4-5 years. I came across loads of ideas for jars on one of my many Pinterest sprees, and thought that instead of having it lying around gathering dust, I'd do something to make it useful again.

Here's the offending candle:

As you can see, there was still an awful lot of wax left in it.

Now - how to get the wax out? We all know that the one thing that melts wax is heat, so I boiled the kettle and poured boiling water into the jar, figuring it would soften the wax. BE CAREFUL if you're doing this. Make sure the jar is on a non-flammable surface, don't touch the glass once the water is in, and pour it in very slowly to avoid cracking. Leave the jar for a while until the water cools to a warm temperature (mine took about 45 minutes). You'll be able to see the wax rising to the surface like a lava lamp.

When the water has cooled down enough so that you can pick the jar up without it being hot, get a spoon and a container and start to scoop the wax out. Don't go with your initial instinct if it's like mine and it tells you to pour that down the sink. MAJOR plumbing issues. The minute it hits the air it's going to harden, so don't use a fancy spoon either. Scoop it out into a container, bag it, and bin it. Pour the water outside.

After a lot of scraping and stabbing, I was left with a big lump of wax that loosened from the bottom. It was soft enough to push a knife through, so I stuck the knife into it, cut it in half, and pulled out the pieces.

A brillo pad got rid of any little bits of wax that were left, and I peeled the label off the front. After a good scrub, I was left with this:

You could use it to store ribbons, craft items, buttons, change, hair accessories - whatever. I use mine to store my cotton pads for nail art.

If you have some Washi tape or ribbon you can pretty it up some more, but I kinda like it plain.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A-England Tristam & Wet n Wild I Need a Refresh-Mint


If there's one thing a heatwave calls for, it's a holo. I decided to break out A-England's Tristam, which was a lovely surprise present a while back from Róisín, who is an absolute sweetheart and one of my favourite nail bloggers.

Tristam is part of The Mythicals collection. Sadly, A-England are no longer shipping internationally due to a huge amount of their packages being destroyed by Royal Mail during the huge nail polish debacle a while ago, but they are still available through international nail polish distributors like Llarowe, Ninja Polish, and Mei Mei's Signatures. You could also use Parcel Motel - I've asked them about nail polish and they confirmed that because most parcels are sent from mainland UK to NI via ferry or courier, nail polish should be okay to order using your Parcel Motel address. Good news!

Tristam is a dark denim blue with scattered holo microglitter, and it's the perfect polish to wear in direct sunlight. Even though the holo isn't apparent all the time, it's still quite sparkly but not overpowering. The third picture was taken with a flash to show you how holographic the glitter is. I used two coats of Tristam and one coat of Poshé topcoat.

I decided to get the striping tape out again and have a play around with different shapes and directions. I used Wet n Wild's I Need a Refresh-mint from their Megalast range. It's a gorgeous mint cream that I received last year in a swap with the lovely Jenna. It's a perfect polish to use for striping, because it's almost completely opaque in one coat. The brushes on this range are enormous, though, so you may need to do a little cleanup if you have small nails. Here's a comparison picture I posted before - a Megalast brush vs a Barry M brush.

On to the striping. I just placed the tape in random directions and did one at a time, removing the tape with tweezers to give a clean line.

I think my favourite is the little finger, but I'm going to keep trying to find new ways to use striping tape, I love the effect.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

O.P.I - My Vampire is Buff


Firstly, I completely blame Deborah over at lovevarnish for this - she's done some amazing looks with this polish over the last couple of months, and every time I saw another one I drooled over it a little more. O.P.I is expensive enough here, and as much as I love polish I'm not in the habit of paying €15 for one before you even add delivery. I got mine from Universal Nail Supplies on eBay here - it cost just under €10 including postage and arrived from America within 4 days. If you want to buy from an Irish site, millies.ie have hundreds of O.P.I colours for €11.99 but unfortunately, they didn't have this one.

This is two coats and one coat of Poshé. It was completely opaque after the two coats, and not streaky at all, which was a pleasant surprise considering it's a pale polish.

After I ordered it, I got a little attack of the guilts, because I thought it might have been too similar to Essie's Fiji (swatched here), but it's much warmer and creamier.

It's definitely one of my must-have polishes of 2013.

And yes, I'm delighted at the very, very mild Buffy reference.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Flormar Super Neon NO12


I've been sans laptop for a couple of days, so forgive me for the little gap since my last post. Today I have an amazing neon polish, it's NO12 (grr to no proper name) from the Super Neon Colors range by Flormar.

[Image Source: flormar.com]
I hadn't heard of Flormar until we got a local stockist last year. They're a Turkish makeup brand who do a really affordable range of products in super bright eye-catching colours. I haven't tried anything else from the brand apart from their polish, which I really like. The Irish website has just launched - you can find it at www.flormar.ie.

On to the polish - a neon polish that doesn't streak, dries almost opaque in 3 coats, and has a gorgeous jelly finish instead of the usual rubbery almost-matte? YES PLEASE!

This is a little bit pinker in reality than I could get it - it's insanely bright, far brighter than the China Glaze ones I swatched in this post. The above picture shows three coats.

Here it is inside - it freaked the camera out no end:

And in low light:

It's super, super bright and the formula was amazing. I took a picture in direct sunlight for you today - this is after four days of wear, you can see how well it lasted with only minor tipwear. I took it off my index nail and painted one coat to show you how good the formula is:

I got this in a local chemist for €2.49, but you can get it online at flormar.ie for €2.70.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Nail Art


I'm putting these up today because I really want to keep up my 10 Day You Challenge every second day. I decided to go with a simpler mani this year after last year's eagle/statue of liberty combo (lolz at the one massive long nail amongst the nubbins), and what's more simple than stars and stripes?

Here are the polishes I used:

The Debby polish is a brand I hadn't tried before, and it was a very kind gift from a friend, thank you K!

I used Sally Hansen's Crinoline for the base, because it's a little warmer than white.

Striping tape has become my new best friend - I can't get enough of it. I remembered I had a little U.S.A ring from one of my many eBay hauls, so I popped it on.

For the ring finger, I used one coat of Color Club's Bright Night (from their extremely underrated Kaleidoscope collection) and dabbed on dots of Crinoline with a dotting tool. I used a Rio nail art pen for the red dots, then fished around for some of the Debby stars and added them. I used one coat of Poshé on all nails, but you have to be super quick or the red WILL run. Boo.

It's definitely a bit less in-your-face than my 2012 effort!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Despicable Me 2: Minion Nail Art


I know, there are minion nails everywhere. I was going to wait until they died down a bit, but when I saw this tutorial from Cutepolish and then this tweet from Kirstie of Beaut.ie fame and fab new website Frillseeker (there's a linky button thing over there on the sidebar, give it a click if you like to peruse all things fabulous), I had to do my own take on them.

Unfortunately, I only copped a particularly silly mistake as I was editing these photos, but I'll rectify that in a moment, for now - more pictures.

I used 2 coats of China Glaze Sunshine Pop on all nails, then left it to dry completely. I added a topcoat, then I had fun with striping tape and Essence Grumpy from the Snow White LE a while back. (Similar blues: Color Club Bright Night, Nails Inc. Baker Street, Essie Butler, Please). The minion was pretty easy to do, just tape off the parts you want blue and black, then fill in the colours, use a cotton bud dipped in grey and then fill in with white and add a pupil with a  dot of black. I topped everything off with a layer of Poshé and cleaned up with Acetone and a lip brush.

Now for the silly mistake - don't do what I did and forget to give your minion a mouth! I went back and added one with a small striping brush.

I still haven't seen the second movie, but it's on my to-watch list!