Monday, 10 September 2012

Mani Monday: Black & Gold Hodge Podge Mani

G’day dearies :)

I had my iPod on shuffle this past weekend jamming out, as one does, when Sam Sparro came on… the oldie but a goodie...Black & Gold track! I’ve been humming this song ever since and it totally inspired my Mani Monday! I’ve named it the Black & Gold Hodge Podge Mani, firstly due to the awesome track that inspired it and also because I finally got around to doing a mix & match mani where each nail has a different technique on, very much embracing the title of a ‘hodge podge’ of nail designs, however I still think while each nail is different it still comes together as one beautifully!


I used x1 coat Sally Hansen Instant Strength as a base coat, x2 coats of Essence Black is Black on the thumb, index and ring finger and x1 coat on pinky finger for half moon detail, x1 coat Essence Metallics Magnetic Nail Polish in Nothing Else Metals on the middle and pinky finger, x1 coat on the ring finger of Essence in Make it Golden and x1 topcoat of Essence Studio Nails Better than Gel Nails Top Sealer on all nails.

I got to try out two new buys with this mani, 1) Essence Studio Nails Better than Gel Nails Top Sealer, which I have read rave reviews about in the blogosphere as possibly the best top coat ever or close in the running with the Seche Vite top coat nail polish (which I have yet to try…it’s not stocked in SA >sad face!< ) and 2) Essence Nail Art Magnet in the star design( “for magical nail effects” .. as per packing!) …. verdicts below!

You will need:
  • Base coat nail polish
  • Two alternating base coat colour nail polishes (I used black & gold, if using the Essence Nail Art Magnet, you will need any colour from the Essence Magnetic Nail Polish range)
  • Reinforcement sticker
  • Orangewood stick / Toothpick / Dotting tool
  • Striping tape (or sticky tape)
  • Scissors
  • Essence Nail Art Magnet (optional)
  • Top coat nail polish

1) Apply base coat to nails, wait for it to dry completely. This mani will be be done in stages for each effect for each nail and we will be working on one nail at a time

2) Apply x2 coats of black nail polish to thumb, index and ring fingers, wait for it to dry completely

3) Apply gold nail polish to pinky finger, wait for it to dry completely, DO NOT apply the gold metallic magnetic nail polish to the middle finger until you are ready to use the magnet immediately as you need to magnetize the nail polish immediately for the effect to show up on the nail. I worked on all the other nails first and then did the middle finger last

4) The details for the thumb nail are fairly simple by utilising the dotting technique, pour a small bit of the gold nail polish on a nearby piece of paper and dip the sharp end of the orangewood stick into the polish and start applying the dots onto your thumb nail…I did the design of two ovals within each other, you may dot on the nail polish in whatever design you desire, wait for dotted design to dry completely


5) For the index finger, I used striping tape, I cut two small pieces of gold striping tape and placed both strips of striping tape vertically on my nail, if you don’t have striping tape you could always first paint x2 coats of gold nail polish as the base colour let it dry completely then apply two thin pieces of sticky tape cut into strips onto your nail and paint over with black nail polish thus when you lift off the sticky tape the gold nail polish will be peeking through getting you a similar effect as below, this technique is also discussed here)

DSC09757     DSC09760

6) For the ring finger, once the x2 coats of black nail polish was dry I applied x1 coat of Essence in Make it Golden and that was all that was needed…the laziest yet prettiest effect to achieve! The nail polish does all the work here as it is a gold glitter nail polish with bits of varying sized glitter in the polish

DSC09768     DSC09774

6) For the pinky finger, once the gold nail polish was dry I applied a reinforcement sticker to my nail with half the sticker stuck on the skin above my nail bed and the other half onto my nail, so that in effect the reinforcement sticker was only stuck in a half moon or semi circle shape on my nail. I then applied the black nail polish, and immediately gently removed the reinforcement sticker thus revealing a gold half moon design with black nail polish on the rest of the nail. (This technique is discussed more here)


7) Last but not least, the middle finger and the Essence Nail Art Magnet effect, you can’t really see the effect on the first photo but it looks like this:


8) The nail art magnet is about 3.5 cm length wise so it is quite a small little contraption and it has writing on the front of it, a space for placing a free finger from your other hand to hold the magnet steadily over the nail you want the magnetic design on and the bottom of the magnet is where the magnet is actually located and the bottom of this device in concave in shape. The magnet only works when used in conjuction with magnetic nail polish as each Essence nail art magnet is stamped with a different design (I chose the star design, but I have also seen stripes). When one places the magnet over the freshly painted nails, the magnet draws the magnetic particles towards itself thereby leaving an imprint of whatever design is on the magnet onto the nail


9) In order to get this look one has to work very quickly, paint on a medium layer (not too thin not too thick) of the Metallic Magnetic nail polish and immediately place the nail art magnet over your finger. I found it easiest to hold the magnet with my free hand over the nail I wanted the magnetic design on…there is a ridge on the magnet which you can rest the tip of your nail on, this helped me a great deal in keeping my finger steady. You have to hold the magnet over your nail for a good 20-30 seconds and the nail must be as close as possible but without touching the magnet. The finger you want the design on does NOT go into the the magnet, this space is actually for you to place a free finger from your other hand to hold the magnet steadily over the nail you want the magnetic design on

10) Once the 20-30 seconds are over, you can remove the magnet and look down at your handiwork, it took me quite a few tries to get this magnetic effect right!


11) Apply top coat to all nails, wait for it to dry

12) Totally put on some Sam Sparro Black & Gold on your iPod and have a little jam party…it’s ok you’re entitled it’s Monday after all we all need some pepping up and some vibey music is just the cure :) "But it's all just a bunch of matter, 'cause if you're not really here then I don't want to be either, I wanna be next to you, black and gold, black and gold, black and gold..." la la la :)

My review of the Essence Nail Art Magnet:


  • Took a while to get the hang of using the product 
  • Once I did get the hang of it I was rather underwhelmed by the result, in certain photos the magnetic star design is visible and in others it’s not visible at all. In real life the design is barely visible…I really did expect more bang for my buck. However I have not lost all hope yet as I do want to try various shades of the magnetic nail polish as I’ve seen others having better results with blue tones of magnetic nail polish
  • It’s not the most user friendly device as one needs extremely steady hands, countless times I accidently moved and my finger slipped or I shook and my freshly painted nail would smudge and I would need to re-start
  • I wouldn’t recommend you rush out and buy this piece of nail art equipment but before I totally bash it I do want to try it out again

My review of the Essence Studio Nails Better than Gel Nails Top Sealer:


  • This is my new FAV go to top coat, it’s even beats my previous favourite Essence Gel Look Topcoat as this Studio Nails range dries in half the time, score!
  • It was touch dry within 40 minutes and hardened within 2 hours
  • I had used this topcoat at night about 8pm and usually when I paint my nails at night I inevitably get bed nails with the imprints and creases of my duvet and pjs on my nails, when using this topcoat…not one single crease or crinkle on my nails the next morning…Miraculous by my standards!
  • A bargain at about R35 a pop from Dischem (SA drugstore) 

 What's your favourite song to pick up your spirits ?

As always, linking up to Mani Monday below, with the fabulous Heather and Heather!  I will also be joining the ladies over at The Nail Files.

Join the fun side of life and link up to Mani Monday and The Nail Files below :)


  1. Love how songs inspire your manis every week Renee! You are so creative :) Black and gold make sucha great combination!

  2. Thanks Sonal! I like trying to keep things a 'lil unique with my own twist on things (hence a song attached to almost every mani!) I do love classics, like black & gold! :)