31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 29

And we are winding down so quickly!  Let me be completely honest with you – I have really enjoyed this challenge,  but I am soooooo ready to enjoy the design on my nails for more than a few hours.

Like today’s INSPIRED BY THE SUPERNATURAL nails. I’ve actually managed to get 2 days wear out of these, cause I did them early … sneaky aye!

My favourite verse from the Bible is from Psalm 91:11 –  “He shall give His angels charge of you to keep you in all your ways.” It was with this verse in mind that I created today’s look, with the help of this tutorial, for the wings. This nail artist is amazing, by the way, and it makes me feel a little inferior looking back at the video now and what is on my nails.


I used 2 coats of Cairuo 16 and then one coat of Jordana Lemon Tropic, which is a sheer shimmery blue. Using a paint brush and Miki #17 I made the shape of the wings. The inside feathers of the wings were done in Jordana White. The nails with the wings got a fine coat of Jordana Silver Glitter, and some small individual glitters on the tips of each wing.

All the other nails got a glitter gradient with Jordana Silver Glitter, and Jordana Silver Jewel ( I think… it was left on the table and I think le kitty stole it :-/).






I’m actually stoaked with how these came out, and I’m totally going to try this again sometime once I have proper brushes …. my crappy little $2 shop ones are just not cutting it anymore!

31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 28

INSPIRED BY A FLAG… I could have done any flag. Any flag would have been fine;  but what kind of New Zealander would I be if I didn’t do my own flag?

I’m proud to be a New Zealander. I feel so privileged to live in a country where, compared to others, crime is low and the living standard is high.  I love that I grew up near the ocean, and that since NZ is still a relatively young country,  we all are an integral part of its making and its future history. I appreciate the fact that I’ve lived in both city and country and experienced both styles of living,  and that I can proudly say “once a Westie, always a Westie” – even though I don’t remember living in West Auckland. I love Pineapple Lumps, L&P, sandy fish and chips on the beach, and Marmite.

When I was little I used to get confused between the New Zealand and Australian flags – both have the Union Jack in the corner and both have stars. I don’t even know what it was that triggered my recognition – I think the fact that our stars are red fixed it for me.

For this design I started with  2 coats of Jordana Blue Flash over my base coat. This is a colour I’ve only used once before – it really is a stunning shade of blue, with teeny silver glitter and some bar glitter too.

Then  on my thumb using my very thick, mostly past it LA Colors Art deco striper in White, I made two wide stripes vertically and horizontally,  and then four little smaller lines. I went inside the lines with Cairuo 03, using a toothpick cause I’m yet to get fine brushes or a red striper.

With that done I got on to the tricky part. The stars. I can’t do stars at the best of times. Yikes. Using Jordana White on a toothpick again I created the outlinen of a single star on each nail, and filled it in. Then I got my red again (Cairuo 03) and filled in the middle of the stars, leaving some white space visible.

Only problem with this design is awkward hand positioning for photos -_-





And with that,  God Defend our Free Land.

31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 27

This was by far the hardest of the challenges so far. INSPIRED BY ART is a broad spectrum theme, and then poses the question – What is Art? Shall we get philosophical for a moment? Isn’t Nail Art, art? Aren’t album and book covers art? What about photographs, background images?

I wanted to replicate a precious painting my Gran did for my 21st birthday, but after three tries, I just couldn’t do it justice. Perhaps when I’m a little more skilled with a paintbrush… or nail art brush.

Instead, I went and searched online for art, and then melted crayon art (cause I LOVE that look!) and then finally rainbow art, when I came across the picture below from Blue Clementine Art.


I started with Jordana White for my canvas, then outlined and filled in the shape of the head on my pointer finger  and rainbow bubble right across pointer to pinky with a superfine black ink pen. This was difficult – I’m not the best with drawing at the best of times, let alone on a tiny nail. I’m not convinced I got it >_<

In colour order, using lots of Cairuo (03, 24,15), LA Colors Lime, Jordana Boy of Boy and finally Cairuo 13,  I then used a paintbrush that I tried trimming down tiny, and created the small thin lines for the rainbow. Finally, I stippled the black pen alone to outline the colours.



Thumb got stripy dripping paint…

And right hand (poor little right hand has been neglected recently) got a skittle…

I’m pretty happy with how it came out, but what do you think?

Also, my friend Jessie from Nailed it NZ is having another giveaway! She’s giving away credit to Born Pretty Store – Woohoo!! If you haven’t been to her blog, nows a good time. She’s insanely talented, and totally deserves your page views ans subscriptions!

Later my babes!

31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 25

Today’s theme got me stuck for a moment or three. I’m not the most aware of fashion trends, and my own wardrobe leaves a lot to be desired at this point in time. So what does one do when they need to present nails INSPIRED BY FASHION? They jump on Google Images.

I bought a new Cairuo polish the other day (actually, 3 new ones) in the most grape-purple (#13) I’ve ever owned, so I really wanted to use it… I searched Purple Fashion, and came up with this gorgeous dress: image

Here is my tale of the frustration that comes with using tape to create a design. I knew I wanted to use Jordana Lavender Fields as the purple contrast to the Cairuo polish, and I knew I wanted to try using tape to create the pattern. After painstakingly cutting my tape (actually, my friend Ashlee did that) to size, and laying the tape in the right pattern on each dry nail, I painted a coat of Lavender Fields over and then pulled the tape straight away, since that’s how I read you get clean lines.

It only worked on one finger. Just one. I don’t know why. With all the other nails the polish pulled, and I very nearly threw a temper tantrum, until I realised I had 2 purple stripers I could use on the other nails. So, using 4 purple shades all up, here is today’s design:





The stripers were Purple Impression on the pointer finger and Artsy Purple on the others, both from Jordana Pop Art.

I’m definitely going to try the tape idea again, maybe once the challenge has finished.

31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 24

Today’s theme is INSPIRED BY A BOOK. I really struggled with this one, not because I don’t read but because I read copiously. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but couldn’t execute it in a way that did my favourite series of all time, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, justice.

I went to another book I really enjoy…


The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor is a book I bought a few years ago while I was looking for books to share with potential classes. It has however become one of those books I go to again and again when I have nothing new to read. It follows the ‘real’ story of Alice in Wonderland – Alice is actually Alyss, the Cheshire Cat is a lean mean killing machine. I highly recommend it!

I chose not to replicate the cover, but to incorporate some of the main colours from the sleeve here. Starting with one coat of Cairuo #14(I’ve used so many of these since I started this polish, but they are genuinely amazing for $2!) I then randomly sponged on a light blue – QY #27, an orange – Cairuo #24, and a gold glitter – Miki #19.





I really like how these turned out, and it was nice to do something a little less complicated than the last few days!

31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 23

A bookworm, lost in her own little world, but strong enough in character to fend off a chauvinistic he-man; a prince once with a distorted view of his own importance, now trapped in another body until he can learn to love; a tale of understanding and patience; a tea pot, a clock, porridge, some wolves and a rose.

Can you guess today’s MOVIE INSPIRED nail design?


Image from fanpop.com

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite Disney Princess Movies. I really connect with the idea of love with no conditions and with selfless sacrifice.

So here are my nails…


Thumb and pinky are done in 3 coats of Jordana Super Star, pointer finger is Belle’s dress, using Cairuo # 15, and individually placed gold micro beads over thin ruffles in Super Star. The middle finger is the rose – 3 coats of Jordana White Pearl and then CR #52 and LA Colors Lime for the leaves and stalk. Finally the ring finger is Beast’s coat and cravat, done with a base of White Pearl and then 4me #18 done free hand to leave a triangle of white, Jordana Super Star to line the coat, and a wee blue gem from a big pack I got from a friend. Phew! These designs are getting so much more complicated!




I am really super proud of this design, which is a good thing because it could be staying for a while… I’ve run out of polish remover!

31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 22

I am super excited to share today’s manicure with you. I’ve had a ton of compliments on it, though mostly from 9 year olds who had no idea what it was representing. INSPIRED BY A SONG was the theme, and I’ve been planning this since I first started this challenge.

The song I was inspired by was…

Sailor Moon!

You betcha the Nineties was the best decade for kids T.V … and I was Sailor Jupiter, thank you very much!

Here is the design I did on my left hand:




Sorry for the photo spam… I did these late last night and was rushed to get pictures before I chipped the design, so photos were taken in some random places…. we won’t go there!

This is all free handed, with no striping tape or anything. All the gem stones in the bows are from the $2 shop, and the collars are outlined with Jordana White, which I had to use with a toothpick in lieu of my striper cause I can’t find it :-/

For Sailor Moon (thumb) I used Sally Hansen Thinking of Blue for the collar, the bow was in an unnamed red mini from LA Girl. Sailor Mars is using the LA Girl mini and Jordana Lavender Fields for the bow. Sailor Mercury’s collar is in Cairuo #16, with Thinking of Blue for the bow, Sailor Jupiter’s collar should have been darker, but I don’t have a dark green creme, so it was LA Colors Lime, with Cairuo #10. Finally, Sailor Venus was with my newest Cairuo, #24, which is a totally gorgeous orange. Remember Day 2? I hate orange usually… but this one is awesome!

No pictures of my right hand today, but I just painted a full nail of the corresponding colour from the left.

I’m feeling pretty excited about tomorrow’s nails… I’ve just finished them and am so amped to show them off tomorrow!

31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 20

This is the one I’ve been dreading.  WATER MARBLING. I don’t understand how some people can make it look so amazing… mine just looks “bleh.” If you want a tutorial on this, look to anyone but me! You can find one by Colette from My Simple Little Pleasures here, and then you totally need to subscribe to her channel and her blog!

Short postie, since I dont like this and will not be gushing about it. I used Sally Hansen Dorian Grey for my base, then used Dorian, Jordana Bright Blue & Mint Candy (a favourite, but I discovered it’s too sheer to show up in this, other than a really fine shimmer in places) and Cairuo #15.




Aaand a right hand shot…

Tomorrow starts the most complicated of the challenges… the INSPIRED BY themes. Wish me luck!

31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 17&18/Nostalgic Nail Lacquer Swatch/More Awards!

Hello my lovely readers – I was determined to get this post up for you, despite the fact that my hand is going to feel like it wants to fall off after this. I’m not entirely sure what I did to it, but I’ve been suffering inflammation and pain across the back of my hand and wrist, which has made it really hard to do simple things like wash my hair, or text properly. Believe it or not, this post is mostly being typed up with my left hand. It’s slooooooow. And this is going to be a long post, if you hadn’t worked that out from the number of things in the title >.<

Anyway, there is a reason I wanted to get this up, and its because on Thursday I got my first ever international order, and an Indie brand to boot. Nostalgic Nail Lacquer makes the most delectable shades of polish, that I am sooooo excited to say I now own two bottles of. I was so excited when I got my order (I made Husband drive me to the depot because I initially missed the drop off) that I did a quick paint in the car…


The little honey I want to show you today, is called Possibly Maybe; it is sweetest baby yellow jelly filled with purple, green and silver glitters. My swatches are showing 6 (yes six – this polish applies thin and dries super quick, so it really didn’t bother me to use so many) thin coats with only a base coat. I wanted to show this little beauty in it’s purest unadulterated form.  Can you tell I’m in love?









I died a little inside every time I looked at this gorgeous creature, and I’m definitely glad I endured burning pain in my tendons to apply it. Having said that, I have two days worth of Challenge posts for you, which both use Possibly Maybe a) because I couldn’t bear to take it off, and b) because I couldn’t bear to take it off.

Day 17’s theme was GLITTER – which was easy enough! I just swapped up some fingers by applying Miki #25 underneath, aside from the ring finger.


I went out with some friends, and found a chocolate (Vodka and Lime! *drool*) that matched my mani!




Day 18 (today’s) is supposed to be HALF MOON … buuuuuuut I couldn’t find my French Manicure stickers, and couldn’t get any ring binger stickers (you know those paper strengtheners we all used before kids started taking their school work in on USB keys and laptops) and so I had to improvise. Using ordinary sellotape I just taped off the bottom half of my nail, and threw on a coat or two of Cairuo #21. It’s no where near straight, or beautiful – just go and put Half Moon Mani into Google Image Search and you’ll see what I mean, but … never mind.




Finally – The gorgeous Nailluxxe nominated me for the Sunshine Award – I’m totally honoured and a little bit in awe of two nominations in just about as many days.

The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!




The questions Nailluxxe posed me and my fellow nominees (check them out – I did, and discovered a whole lot of new bloggers to follow!), and my answers are below:

1. How did you come up with the title of your blog?

– -Funny story – Husband and I both came up with it in the car one day. We were brainstorming names for businesses, and I said (jokingly) “if I had a nail polish shop I’d call it beyond nails, or something…” and then he replied “what about beyond the – what is that stuff that you put on first called?”

“Base Coat! Yes! Beyond the Base Coat” … and that was how both name and blog were born, since the name was too good to waste floating around in my brain.

2. Flowers or chocolate (gift)?

– -Flowers any day

3. Relaxed beach holiday or crazy city break get-away?

– -Beach holiday – I love the beach, the sun, and the water.

4. Favourite thing about blogging?

— Being as silly as I want, and the awesome people I keep meeting through it!

5. Beauty product you can’t live without?

— Uhh… I’m not really into beauty products, aside from polish, but I guess it would probably be pressed powder for mah shiiiiiny face.

6. Most embarrassing song on your ipod/in your music collection?

— One Direction – the “that’s what makes you beautiful” one … I swear it’s the only one of theirs I have, and it’s not even their version, it’s Glee’s. Which I suppose is the next most embarrassing playlist I have – 159 Glee songs..

7. One thing you hope to achieve in the future?

— I would love to make a living out of blogging, but since I don’t see that happening any time in the near future, the next thing I hope to achieve is to be a Mummy.

8. Best thing you purchased in the last 3 months?

— uuuuuhhhhm… I haven’t really bought anything in the last three months aside from my Nostalgic order which I am in LOVE with.

9. Describe your blog using ONLY three words

— Budget But Beautiful (that’s not too big headed is it?)

10. Thing/person/memory that puts a smile on your face after a tough day?

— Easy; Husband and Kitty. No arguments there – they never fail to make me smile.


And without further ado, the blogs and bloggers who inspire me, and make my day just that little bit better, and whom I want to nominate for this award are:


  1. Nail Mania
  2. Color Coated
  3. Polish You Pretty
  4. Tips and Top Coats
  5. Lekker Lacquer
  6. Nail Polish Anon
  7. Twenty Six Nails
  8. Intense Polish Therapy
  9. Lani Loves
  10. Leona Carolina


And their questions are…

1. What was your favourite Childhood TV program or movie
2.  What is your current guilty pleasure besides polish/nail art/beauty related products?
3. Are you a summer or winter person?
4. If you had $500 to spend on anything you wanted what would it be?
5. What has been your most frustrating blogging moment
6. Who is your most hated villain character of all time?
7. What is your go to comfort food?
8. What hopes and dreams do you have for your blog?
9. Kitties or puppies?
10. If your life was a movie what genre would it be, who would play you?


Phew! 4 hours later, and this post is finally ready to go. I’ve got something special for you tomorrow, so long as my hand doesn’t decide to pack it in again!


31 Day Nail Challenge – Day 12

STRIPES was another one I had grand ideas for and then failed. This is another quick post and then tomorrow you get a proper decent one because I loooooooooooove the nails I have for day 13!

Here I used Jordana Lavender Fields and White  Jordana Pop Art Stripers in Purple Impression and Modern Art, and Cairuo #10.



In other exciting news, I was away for the weekend and when I got home Hubby had started making me a light box! There’s still a few things we need to tweak, but you’ll get my first. Light box photos tomorrow!