Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Rise Of Nail Art: Article For RetroCULT Magazine


Hi! Today I want to share something a little different with my lovely readers. You'll be well aware that one of my main passions is nail art (duh), but you might not know that I'm also a very keen writer. A few months ago, when I was trawling job sites on the hunt for the 'perfect' role, I came across an ad calling for writers to contribute to an up-and-coming magazine. I jumped on it immediately, and began creating articles to submit to the editor. Fortunately, he liked my ideas and decided to include two of my stories in Issue 1 of RetroCULT magazine.
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Friday, 29 November 2013

Winter Bouquet Nail Art


Hi everyone! First of all, I want to say a BIG thank you to all of my lovely readers - last weekend my blog hit an amazing 20,000 views, which I am super excited about. So thanks to everyone who has visited Little Tip Off over the past 8 months, you are absolute angels. I hope you continue to enjoy taking a peek at my nail art endeavours - I plan to keep on blogging for a very long time! Anyway, gushiness aside, today's manicure is my first attempt at something 'wintery'. I am a bit grinchy (it's my new favourite word) when it comes to Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore the giving and receiving of gifts, the visiting family and friends and, of course, the food and drink. But in terms of putting up a tree, wrapping presents and donning a reindeer jumper, I try not to think about it until the 1st December strikes. Thus, I have vowed to avoid overtly Christmassy nail art until next week at least! However, I can't see anything wrong with being slightly seasonal now the big day approaches, so when a desire for a floral mani struck, I decided to inject a bit of festivity into it and create a sparkly winter bouquet design.
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Monday, 25 November 2013

Disney Nail Art: Pocahontas


Hi everyone! Today I am super duper excited about my manicure, for two reasons. First, it's the third instalment of the Polish Party's monthly collaboration, with the theme of Disney. Secondly, this is my very first attempt at portrait nail art, which is something I've always been very scared of. I follow several amazing nail artists on Instagram who regularly post the most incredible, detailed portraits of characters. I've always envied their abilities to make a person look 'real' with the use of nail polish and a paint brush, and although I'm no where near their standards yet, I feel like my Pocahontas design is a few steps closer to their amazingness! 
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Friday, 22 November 2013

Little Tip Off Water Marbling: The Trickiest Kind of Nail Art!


Hi guys. Today's post is going to be quick, as I've got a rather busy day ahead of me. For some unbeknown reason, this morning saw the decision of water marbling attempt. I haven't had a go at this technique for months, mainly because it's so tricky and tends to end in disaster more often than success! I chose to incorporate my blog's design colours into the mani, as I love how pastel green and purple complement one another. Oooh, and please forgive me for the state of my cuticles/the clean up!
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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Patchwork Inspired Nail Art: Strawberries & Toadstools


Hi guys! Today my manicure is inspired by one of the patterns in Moxie Fab World's 'wonky fabric' post. I was feeling pretty stumped, so I decided to turn to good old Google images, and tried out the search term 'cartoon patchwork' as I fancied doing something bright and cheerful. Kokka Fabrics' 'Patchwork Fruit' grabbed my attention immediately, and I knew I had to try and recreate the combination of strawberries, toadstools and polkadots via my nails!
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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

My Nail Polish Storage Methods: Acrylic Racks, Vanity Cases & Fairy Lights!


Hi guys! For the past few months I've contemplated sharing a nail polish storage post, but have never quite plucked up the courage to snap away at (or tidy) my 'dressing room' (if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you've probably had a few sneak peeks at my lovely little space). Finally, the time has come! Recently, with my Master's degree finishing and my schedule opening up a considerable amount, I've had much more time to spend organising. Simultaneously, my polish collection has grown a lot, so I've had to enlist alternative storage methods. About a year ago, every single nail product I owned fit neatly into a cute little box. It then spread into a larger art box, and then overflowed into a plastic drawer unit. I soon realised that I needed to think outside the box (excuse the pun), and began my hunt for better storage. The requirements? It must be pretty, functional, space-saving, and most importantly, it had to showcase all my little bottles of loveliness!

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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Cath Kidston Tea Set Nail Art: A Mani for Tea Lovers

Hi guys! Today I've created a design that will (hopefully) be enjoyed by those of you with a serious floral and/or tea addiction. Now, while I am more likely to accept a huge mug of coffee than a dainty little cup of tea, I've always had a soft spot for the British tradition of obsessive compulsive tea drinking. After all, a cup of tea solves everything, right? I decided to make my tea set extremely girly, and added lots of roses and pink details. Though I hadn't checked prior to starting the design, I now realise that it's rather reminiscent of this Cath Kidston set. You probably won't believe me when I say that it was a really easy manicure, but seriously, it was! I was totally surprised when I managed to knock it together in an hour or so. So if you fancy having a go yourself, just keep on reading...
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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Curing Nail Artist's Block: A Mix & Match, Leopard Print Mani


Ever suffered from nail artist's block? It is one of the most frustrating things in the world. You sit there, dozens (if not hundreds) of beautiful polishes smiling up at you, begging to be used. Your nails are crying out: 'Please paint me, I'm so naked/chipped/sad!'. You scroll through your Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr feeds, greeted by so many gorgeous nail art designs, and immediately feel a pang of jealousy. 

You're desperate to do your nails, but you are fresh out of ideas.

Onlookers may roll their eyes and sigh with exasperation. 'Just paint them then? You've got so many nail polishes to choose from.' The thing is, when you dedicate a large portion of your life to coming up with new ideas, trying out techniques, executing complex designs and then sharing your creations across the good old Interweb, the simple 'slapping on' of a colour just doesn't cut it. You know that plain nails will bring nothing but disappointment, both for yourself, and for the friends that regularly anticipate a gorgeous, detailed manicure. 

So how do you solve this predicament? How do you cure the dreaded condition of nail artist's block? Well, my two failsafes are leopard print and mix & match. Leopard print is the go-to pattern for many; it is simple, yet effective, and allows for the use of any colour combination. Mix & match nails are also an excellent option: the most basic designs can be brought together, making for an eye-catching mani, and enabling you to combine tricky techniques with more modest methods. 

Here's what happens when you fuse the two...

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Birthday Haul: Lots of Naily Treats!


Hi everyone! Today I've decided to show you some of the nail-related gifts I received for my birthday last week. I turned 24 on November 3rd, and since then I've been so busy with various events and meetings, I haven't had a moment to spare for my poor little blog. Although I haven't had enough time to create a new nail art design, I thought that you may enjoy having a little nosy at some of my newest naily treats. I did extremely well in terms of presents this year - I'm pretty certain I've never received so much, and I felt spoiled rotten. It just goes to show that no matter how old you are, you can still feel like a child again when it's your birthday! 

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Thursday, 7 November 2013

A Mani for Zara Manchester's Launch Party: Leopard Print Curtains

Hi guys. Tonight I'm going to the relaunch party of Zara in Manchester, so I really wanted to create a striking, sparkly design that's easy enough to replicate on my Cinderella hand. I'm a bit of a sucker for coordination as well, so I wanted my mani to match my new bag. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably know that I turned 24 on the 3rd November, and I received the most beautiful handbag from my long-suffering boyfriend. I'll show you it at the end of this post! Anyway, I took inspiration from the wonderful One Nail To Rule Them All and created my own version of her Rose Curtain manicure, swapping the florals for leopard print. Oooh, I should probably also mention that Mum and Dad got me a camera for my birthday too - it's the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 and it's bloody marvellous. Hopefully you will be able to tell the difference between the following photos and my previous iPhone pictures!
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