Pick 'N' Mix Challenge: Stained Glass/Mosaic & Pink/Orange

Monday 23 March 2015

Oooh I'm really liking the two themes this week loves! 
I already had an idea in mind for how I was going to execute the mosaic part, but the alcohol inks came out again at the last minute I just can't get enough of them!! Adding some more colours to my collection this week hahaha... If you want to try them out you can pick them up in Hobbycraft or the like, even online. I have been asked if they stain the skin and no they don't (if removed within a few minutes), a quick lick with a nail polish remover wipe and it's gone.


To kick off I did two coats of a crisp white for the base and left to dry thoroughly. I then cut lots of inch long strips of striping tape and positioned them in a grid over the thumb and ring finger. I placed crescent vinyls at the a little way down from the cuticles and added small pieces of striping tape vertically. Once I had got the tape firmly in position I used yellow and pink alcohol inks to sponge over the taped areas, blending and adding colour as needed. I removed the tape immediately after each nail was finished and once a hand was complete, sprayed the mani with a mist of hairspray and applied topcoat.

pink-orange-mosaic-ruffian-alcohol-ink-nail-art (2)

A tip for any that try this technique, use a white striping tape to avoid the alcohol inks bleeding some of the tape colour on to your base... Learned that one the hard way haha! The colours here have me longing for warm weather, I'm urging Spring on to become Summeras soon as possible. This would be a fab holiday mani...

pink-orange-mosaic-ruffian-alcohol-ink-nail-art (3)
Barry M: Cotton, 3in1. Adirondack Alcohol Ink: Sunshine Yellow, Raspberry, Blending Solution. She Sells Sea Shells: Cresent Vinyls. Striping Tape. Makeup Sponge.

Check out what the other 'nail tarts' have been up to below...

Rebecca x

Behind The Blog: The Nail Room

Sunday 22 March 2015

Hi loves!
I know, I know, I'm a week behind schedule with this one but the fog has cleared and I'm back in action... So tonight I'm bringing you into my favourite place in my house (apart from bed), the Nail Room! I'm fortunate enough to have a spare room that I can spread out, explode, create, make a mess and feel like a child in hehehe. To think that when I started blogging I literally had about ten nail polishes in a makeup bag, my phone and a laptop, moving with me from room to room like hobo's LOL!... And now this...

lanes-lacquers-nail-room (2)

Above is my nail desk where as you can see I practice my nail tech stuff on my resident client (nail trainer), study and do all my mani's. It's home to the essential nail products, towel and lamp. I also do some writing and planning on that second rather DIY desk back there which houses the laptop and essential stationary...

lanes-lacquers-nail-room (4)

You can see that as my needs have grown, so has my need for desk space! Soon I'm planning to get a whole new wrap-around setup going but for now, two floating shelves wedged between radiator (which is turned off) and slim window ledge it is. It actually works just fine and I like having the sun on my face whilst not on my screen! Down in the corner are all my nail related files, books and magazines...


So this is the what we see on the other side of the desk, I just love how light and calming this room is and with ALL those mini rainbows on the walls this is my happy place! That Models Own bag on the floor is packed full with polish that needs rehoming hahaha! I just noticed that you can also see my decopatch 'R' on the door, yet another hobby I dabble in now and then!...

lanes-lacquers-nail-room (3)

Here you can see the home for the rest of 'the stash'. In the drawers live all my polish and nail art surplus, my pro kit stock, packaging materials and umm... my day to day cosmetics. Up top in the Wah Nails case and cosmetic bag, is all my pro nail art stuff and the piggy is a piggy bank! The zebra case holds all my in-use pro kit including lamp and the lil purple case is where I store my stamping stuff. The owly box holds all my hobby stuff which includes planner/stationary goodies, painting/drawing/colouring-in bits and bobs, fimo clay, liquid latex, decopatch papers blah, blah, blah. On top of that magic box is one of my nail art displays that I did for my VTCT.

I hope you enjoyed the little tour around my haven?! Don't worry, you'll get a closer look at the stash next Sunday and if you're wondering about the shelves, you can make them like I did - Check out my DIY Nail Polish Shelf post!

Next Week: The Stash!

Rebecca x

Pick 'N' Mix Challenge: Mermaid & Lilac/Green

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Ok so I was going to share my nail room post today, but I realised I hadn't posted this challenge mani yet and I was soooo pleased with it I can't even tell you! That's rare for me as I'm very critical of my own nails, I think we all are our own worst critics... I hope you guys like it as much as I do?! I combined the themes and added lace, glitter and a teeny tiny pearl into the mix. I adored The Little Mermaid when I was a child, in fact I still do and after doing this nail art I might just have to give it another watch!

barry-m-disney-little-mermaid-ariel-lace-glitter-nail-art (2)

For the lilac and green nails I used three coats of each, then stamped the lace pattern in a white before popping on one coat of two different glitters - one blue-ish, one white/gold - and topcoating. Ariels face was a little more work... Started with two coats of an off white followed by two of a peachy colour to warm it up to a skin base. I then took a small detailer brush and a light brown to paint on the hair and facial details and used the same brush again to fill in with the colours. The black pupil and eyelashes were drawn on with a nail art pen. Once all that was completely dry I topcoated and placed the little pearl earring.


I really enjoyed not only the result of my efforts, but my effort itself; the process was so enjoyable with so many different bits to do, I even had to mix a red and orange to get the specific hair colour I wanted, harking back to my canvas painting days which I really must get back to sometime! Drawing this face is a prime example of when a template makes life so much easier, getting the layout decided before starting was crucial!

Barry M: Sugar Apple, Fondant, Cotton, Coconut, Nude, Mushroom, Passion Fruit, Mango, Seaside, Promenade, Plumpy Topcoat, Black Nail Art Pen. Pocket Money Polishes: Like A Virgin. Glam Polish: I Guess That's Why They Call It Sin City. Ciate: . MoYou London: Bridal 07. Detailer Brush.

Another mani where I am thankful for my large polish collection! 

Rebecca x

St Patrick's Day Manicure

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Happy St Patrick's Day!
I needed a nice simple mani in my life today and St Patty nails gave me the ideal chance to try out my Glam Polish 'Lucky' which I bought in someone's nail sale a while back and was yet to be swatched. I adore the mix of blue, golds and greens of different sizes within the blue jelly base.


For a base I used two coats of an aqua blue creme polish which was similar in shade to the blue jelly base of the Glam; I used just one coat of Lucky over the top. For the accent nail I simply drew out a shamrock/clover shape in black nail art pen and filled with a couple of coats of green polish before going over the black outline again. Finished with topcoat.

glam-polish-lucky-swatch-st-patricks-day-manicure (2)

This is just the sort of mani I needed to cheer me up, here's hoping it brings us all a little luck too eh?!

China Glaze:Too Yacht To Handle. Glam Polish: Lucky. Barry M: Spring Green, 3in1, Black Nail Art Pen. Detailer Brush.

I've had a rough couple of days, my mood and my face have been on the floor lol! So will be catching you up on the nail room post tomorrow after missing it on Sunday...

Rebecca x

Mother Of Pearl Foil Manicure

Friday 13 March 2015

Happy Friday 13th!
Today also happens to be my mum's birthday - "Happy birthday mum!" - and with mother's day coming up in the UK this Sunday I thought it appropriate to dedicate a mani to my mumsy and what better than mother of pearl?! I bought this foil from GlitterArty Nails a while back now and had no idea what to expect from it but I'm pleased to report a successful experience and the resulting look is quite unusual!


I painted one coat of clear as the base for the foil, which in hindsight was a little daft because it was harder to tell when the foil glue had dried to a full clear finish on my natural nail colour, you live and learn! Once the foil glue had dried, I simply cut out a square of the foil and placed down in the centre of the nail, rubbing out from the centre to the edges with a dry cotton ball repeatedly. Once I was satisfied all the pattern had transferred I carefully lifted the plastic film and finished with topcoat.


Isn't this different??? I don't think I've seen anything like it before! I was really impressed with the quality of the image and the true mother of pearl sheen, that sort of 'oil on water' reflective thing it has going on is perfect. You could do a mani all in the light finish or all in the dark too...

Barry M: 3in1, Foil Glue, GlitterArty Nails: Mother Of Pearl Foil

I'm not sure I can say I love this look but it's growing on me! I think I'll be experimenting with this foil some more! Do you like or loathe??

Rebecca x

Exploring with Alcohol Inks!

Thursday 12 March 2015

Fellow nail lovers, if you haven't tried alcohol inks, you need to!
I absolutely love these things!!! You can pick them up relatively cheaply in various craft stores on the high street and online and they can be used for a number of hobbies including nail art! If you missed my first post on them you can check it out HERE where there is a link to a how-to video... You'll be seeing a lot of them in a variety of combinations on the blog over the next few weeks but tonight I'm sharing pastels and some MoYou London Explorer stamping with you, inspired by this gorgeous spring weather we've been enjoying!


This started life with two coats of white followed by stamping of the explorer image in grey, being left to dry thoroughly. I then used a mix of pink, yellow and blue pastel alcohol inks on cosmetic sponge and dabbed them here and there following up with the blending solution on a sponge to um... blend hehe. Once I had the desired amount of colour built up I simply gave a quick mist of hairspray and topcoated.

pastel-alcohol-inks-moyou-london-explorer-nail-art (2)

These inks are just so versatile! You can use them alone over white or colours to create marbles, with stamping, freehand art or glitter, you can have it as the main focus of your design or fade them into the background; and if you don't like something you've done, you can practically erase it with some mixing alcohol. They can even be used with gel polish too!

pastel-alcohol-inks-moyou-london-explorer-nail-art (3)
Barry M: Cotton, Chai, Plumpy Topcoat, Adirondack Alcohol Inks: Pink Sherbert, Lemonade, Cool Blue, Blending Solution. MoYou London: Explorer 09

I can't wait to share my other alcohol inks mani's with you, they totally play to my bohohemian, kawaii lover style!! In the meantime, let me know if you've given them a go yet!

Rebecca x

Mani Swap: My Mint Nails

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Good afternoon everyone!
I'm very excited to be sharing my first ever mani swap with you lovelies today!... And I'm swapping with the fabulous Sarah from My Mint Nails! We each chose a mani of each other's to recreate and are both posting today; Sarah chose to do my Big Leopard nail art and I chose her Cath Kidston Roses design...


You can see Sarah's original roses design HERE.

I had chopped and changed my mind so many times over which of Sarah's amazing mani's to recreate, she has so many bold and original ideas to choose from, just my style! In the end the design I chose turned out to be just perfect for today!... It's a gorgeous spring/summer look and it's a gorgous spring/summer day here in London, I love it when a plan comes together! This was nice and simple to do and was my first attempt at freehand roses...


I started with three coats of the sky blue followed by using a small dotting tool to add the white spots. I then used a the rubber end of a pencil to add large dots of the light pink polish. Once dry I used a darker pink nail art pen to add a few curved dashes to build up the rose effect and finished with topcoat.


This mani is just so pretty. Thanks for the inspiration Sarah!

Barry M: Sky Blue, Kiss Me Quick, Plumpy Topcoat, Pink & White Nail Art Pens, Dotting Tool & Pencil

If any of my fellow bloggers would like to join in on the mani swap action, please do get in touch! It's so enjoyable to take part in a collaboration, I think I'll put myself out there and contact a few people myself!

Rebecca x

Pick 'N' Mix Challenge: Kids TV & Non US Brand

Monday 9 March 2015

Hello beautiful people!
It's a yukky Monday but I have some fun nails to share with you that might just cheer you up! 
The non US brand was not the difficult part of this combined theme because I generally use the best of British Barry M for my nail art anyway, the kids tv on the other hand was a little more difficult to decide on!... After much mulling over I plumped for the Powerpuff Girls. Though not a programme I ever particularly liked watching, I did enjoy drawing them in my teens and they were ideal for transferring into nail art!


For the thumb and pinky finger I did two coats of red and then used a pink nail art pen to draw on the hearts, twice over to get clear lines. For the other fingers I started with two coats of an off white followed by a coat of a sheer peachy colour to warm it up to a better skin tone shade. Next I used a black nail art pen to draw out the hair and feature details. I filled in the different hair colours and then white in the eyes, two or three thin coats as needed with a small detailer brush. I then drew the black pupils, again with the pen, before using a dotting tool to add the white highlights and the detailer brush to add a ring of colour to the eyes. I went over my initial outlines again with the black pen and finished with topcoat.

barry-m-powerpuff-girls-cute-kawaii-cartoon-nail-art (2)

I love this mani, I really didn't think it would turn out as well as it has! The only thing I've found is that the more I look at it the more I see the mouths as noses lol... Nevertheless it definitely brightens my up my Monday and hope it does yours too!

 Barry M: Coconut, Nude, Cotton, Passion Fruit, Sky Blue, Yellow, Mango, Black, Key Lime, Dragon Fruit, Plumpy Topcoat, Black & Pink Nail Art Pens, Dotting Tool (Ebay)

I must say, I was never so pleased to have my bulging Bazza collection, I needed so many colours for this one! I could have used acrylic paints but I just prefer to use polish when I can.

Rebecca x

Behind The Blog: The Blogging Process

Sunday 8 March 2015

Welcome back to Behind The Blog!
Tonight I'm going to take you into the world of how I get a blog post out there... It's pretty simple, but also time consuming and it basically consists of the four P's: Planning, Prepping, Posting and Promoting...

The most important part of my process is planning! Deciding what I want to post and when and getting it down on paper is vital to the smooth running of my posts. To be honest it's only something I started doing to any great effect late last year and boy does it make a difference, especially when a challenge is coming up. It's the getting it down on paper that seemed to do it for me, using the calendar on my phone or laptop just didn't work for me, I've enjoyed planning on paper so much it's now practically another hobby. Let's take a look in the diary...


I use this to plan everything in my life including the blog posts which are always on cute bits of washi tape and case studies which are on little luminous tabs. I used to write a journal so I also use it for a bit of that as well as motivational quotes, doodles, stickers, stamping and all sorts. I love it! To go along with my planner, I also use these nail templates to sketch out my designs...


These are almost essential during something like a 31 Day Challenge and much like with planning, I didn't realise until I started using them how much easier they could make doing my manicures! Having the layout of a design pre-drawn makes such a difference to the speed I create a design, just tweaking it as I go if needed. You can find the ones I use from Nail Lacquer UK HERE.

Of course prepping a post includes doing the manicures, and I tend to do them in bulk - say five or so on a weekend, but you see the results of that in almost every one of my posts and I will be taking you into my nail room and sharing my stash in further posts so for this installment it's all about the photo's... Taking pictures,choosing one and editing it takes as long as the mani itself sometimes! The camera I use is actually just my mobile phone...


I use my trusty Samsung Galaxy S5 to take ALL my photo's! Prior to that it was my S3 and many moons ago when I started it was a lil ol' iPhone. I also use mobile apps to edit my photos; PicsArt to add my watermarks, PhotoGrid to create collages and almost always Instagram to crop and filter my photos using the Valencia filter between 50 and 100%. As for where I take my snaps... This should make you laugh!

...That's right, it's my downstairs loo!!! LOL! Believe me I have tried light boxes, lamps, daylight bulbs, led's and every room in my house to get good pictures; but none of them ever produced consistent results. My downstairs loo is the one haha! The combination of the ridiculously bright - so that it warms your head - bulb in the huge overhead spotlight and the daylight from the window create the perfect environment for mani snaps. Now you know me really well!!

When it comes to posting on my blog, I tend to write each one on the day so I do a lot of it, editing over and over. Although I do my mani's in bulk I prefer writing the content itself on the day and making it relevant, though I think I need to start scheduling at this point to stay on track. My platform is Blogger and I always use my laptop! I love my HP Folio and it's hard to get hold of now. You can't beat a small lightweight, super-fast, hard wearing laptop for blogging and other constant internetting/writing activities. So this is life through my eyes a lot of the time...


Yep, we're in the bathroom again hehehe, but more usually I am sitting on the floor in the living room with my hamster Humbug joining in on the action...


How cute is that?! I just had to include it in the post!

You may think that I can relax once I've hit 'publish' but no, now I have to share on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest! Plus I now upload to Nailpolis... It can get overwhelming but I am getting better at it!

There are other places to share such as Google+, but for now I think I'm full to capacity on this front! It definitely makes a difference to your blog to be visable in multiple locations and have people be able to interect with you the way THEY prefer; it will also be essential when it comes to running a nail tech business! Always thinking ahead...

All in all I probably spend 20 hours a week on the blog and manicures, it's no small undertaking that's for sure... But I love it!

That's all for tonight, if you're left wondering anything else just drop me a comment below... 

Next Week: The Nail Room

Rebecca x

Picture Polish: Moscow

Saturday 7 March 2015

Late one tonight loves! 
Dare I say it, but I have been absorbed in a rather good war in Clash of Clans lol! Anyhoo, I thought it was about time I swatched a recent purchase, the very lovely Moscow from Picture Polish. I'm not usually one for a maroon but after having it applied to my nails when training at nail school, I rather liked it with my skin tone and this holo beauty did not disappoint either. I didn't fancy a plain swatch so I threw in a little Moscow skyline and sparkly snow...


This is two coats of the PP and then building drawn from a google image with a silver nail art pen. I added three very thin coats of glitter to the tips to build up the sparkle without having raised bumps and popped a splash on the building too. Finished with topcoat.

picture-polish-moscow-swatch-skyline-snow-glitter-nail-art (2)

I adooooore this colour! It's a lovely deep maroon colour but it sparkles with holo particles and coloured flecks which dance in the sunlight; greens, golds, reds and blues can all be seen!

Picture Polish: Moscow, Barry M: 3in1, Diamond Glitter, Silver Nail Art Pen.

As my polish collection grows, I have limited my indie brands to just five brands, safe to say Picture Polish was number one on the list to remain and grow, grow, grow! Next on that wishlist is siren song, I need it in my life this spring/summer hahaha.

Rebecca x

Pick 'N' Mix Challenge: Ikat & Metallic

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Evening peeps!
It's hump day and boy does it feel it. I have had the most horrible headache and back pain for the last couple of days and it's making me super grumpy because there is so much I want to be doing! Blah! 
Nevertheless I managed to paint my nails today and I have of course combined the two themes again this week. I was much looking forward to, and dreading the ikat part of this in equal measures; I've never tried the design before and that always makes me apprehensive... But I think it was a relative success, phew!


Started with two coats of this lovely pink followed by using a small detailer brush to paint on some random aqua diamond shapes, two or three coats as needed. I then used the same little brush to paint in the small gold diamonds in the centre of the aqua ones. Once completely dry I used a black nail art pen to draw lots of little vertical lines to build up the shaggy outlines around each of those diamond shapes and finished with topcoat.

barry-m-ikat-gold-metallic-accents-nail-art (2)

There is definitely room for improvement as far as placement goes and I think I should have done more, smaller shapes on the thumb but it certainly wasn't as much of a disaster as I was expecting for a first go... Love the colour combo!

Barry M: Pink Punch, Greenberry, Gold Foil Effect, Plumpy Topcoat, Black Nail Art Pen; Small Detailer Brush

See everyone else's take on the ikat down below...

Rebecca x

Behind The Blog: The Blogger

Sunday 1 March 2015

Hello lovely people!
I've been blogging for roughly two and a half years now and I thought it was about time I take you behind the blog with a little series of posts lined up over the next few Sunday's as I approach my big ol' 30th birthday! This first one is about the blogger and I guess that would be me...

Who am I?
For any that don't know already: I'm Rebecca (nearly thirty as mentioned above), a nail blogger living in London with my lovely boyfriend and our hamster Humbug. Depression and anxiety are regular visitors haha. Up until recently I was a full time medical secretary for the NHS but now I'm lucky enough to be part-time agency staff in order to pursue my passion for all things nails! 

So why did I start blogging and why Lane's Lacquers?...
I've always been the creative type and in the summer of 2012 myself and a friend had a little love affair with nail art and it just stuck on me! I started hoarding polish and nail art supplies and then it clicked, this is the creative opportunity I've been looking for to go self-employed! I then decided I was going to start a blog to document my many manicures, my future studies and eventually my work on clients... So it was never really a blog for a blogs sake, more that it would one day be the ideal 'shop window' and website for a future business.

I chose the name Lane's Lacquers because Lane is my surname and Lacquers is what I do, but more than that I wanted it to be short and snappy; a good name for both a blog and a nail tech business, and perhaps one day my own line of polishes?!... Prior to starting the blog I didn't know others existed, let alone how massive the blogosphere and nail blogging community was... or even how much I would enjoy blogging for bloggings sake!

How have things evolved?...
From my most humble and naive of beginnings I have enjoyed a slow and steady increase in my readers across all my platforms, have been lucky enough to win a few little nail art competitions and received items to review. I've also met some lovely, supportive women who I would now consider friends or at least kindred spirits, and been happy in the company of a few nail groups! 

My stats at the moment show hundreds of followers on GFC, Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and thousands on Facebook! The blog has received over 100,000 hits and now regularly sees at least 200 hits a day with interaction improving across the board as my content has become more regular recently; I had some very haphazard months last year! I have never really put myself out there in the way of blogging communities or PR opportunities because that's not the angle I came from, so I'm pretty pleased with progress so far.

What's next for Lane's Lacquers?
Well I am also pleased to be studying my VTCT Nail Technology with a local beauty academy after much penny saving and ball growing lol - Going back to education as you're nearing thirty can be preeeeety daunting, but so worth it! I should be fully qualified and in business in the next few months which is very exciting indeed. I will be sharing more about all of that in my last post of this series!

Aside from all the VTCT stuff, I'll be getting on with regular nail art posts, swatches and the like will be continuing. There will also be more posts like this and there are some 'Not Nail Related' ideas I have in the works before hopefully, some of my pro work and my journey into the biz join the party later this year!

Any other questions? Just ask!

Next week: The Blogging Process

Rebecca x

Blogger Template created by Just Blog It