Monday, 16 May 2011

OPI Stranger Tides and gold glitter

New blog post! How long has it been? Sorry for my AWOL!

Anyway, I got the POTC OPI mini set, and the first one I’ve tried is Stranger Tides, which is a kind of musty grey-green but in an attractive way!
I’ve used three coats over my OPI nail envy base, and then I topped with a thick coat of Seche Vite. The texture of this one was runny and a little hard to get a nice, smooth, even finish which is why I used a thick top coat.
On my accent nails I used a gold glitter as a top coat and I really like how that turned out! Everyone is using the silver shatter so I thought the gold glitter was something different. The one I used is by Stargazer, which is easily accessible and great quality.

On the topic of that silver shatter, I don’t have it just yet, (one bottle is on it’s way to me in the post) but I do have a lovely silver shatter from a brand in Boots called 17. Someone I worked with (I had to leave my part time job L) bought it so I went and got one too. It works really well, it’s about the same quality as the Barry M polishes, which have been insanely popular!
I don’t have any pics right now, I’m waiting for the OPI one to come through and then I’ll compare for ya!

And hey, check how long my nails are now! My new job isn’t as hard on my nails, so less chips and breakages means they have just sprouted out of nowhere! They’re difficult to type with though, my laptop broke so all I have is my netbook and its tiny keyboard!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Primark Glo Baby Glo: UV Reactive polish and a little crackle glaze!

These polishes have been sitting in my collection for a while now. I have used them before, but I pulled them out again so I could share them with you.
Last time I was in Primark (maybe a week ago) these polishes were still available in the make-up section, but not the two colours that I have. They could have simply sold out and are awaiting a new delivery!

These polishes are actually great! They apply quite easily but you do need 3 coats to get a nice even finish. They dry sort-of-semi-quickly and they last a decent amount of time. Considering the price, I'd say they were excellent value for money!
Now, The polishes are one colour, but when you get under UV light, they glow so bright! I have tested this myself and it really works and looks great, but I don't have a UV light so I can show you pictures, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

Here is Limelight with China Glaze's Fault Line crackle on my accent finger.
 And then with China Glaze's Lightening Bolt crackle over the other fingers.

And here is Orange Appeal with China Glaze's Fault Line crackle on my accent finger

 And now with China Glaze's Lightening Bolt on the rest of the fingers

I tried to use the brush sideways with this one so that I would get a different type of crackle. It was OK, but I think I applied the crackle a bit thick.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A simple half-moon french.

This is the first time I've tried the half-moon french manicure. It's quite simple and looks really great!
I only did this design on one nail, my accent nail and the rest are just painted with one nail polish.
So, to achieve this look, I painted most of my nails with Color Club's Revvvolution. This was my first time using a Colour Club polish. Application was a little tricky, the formula was a bit thick, but it does have a nice finish with a top coat over the top! Revvvolution is supposed to be a holographic black, but I'm having trouble seeing any holographic-ness to it.
On the accent nail, I started with a full coat of China Glaze's Millenium. I taped off the half-moons with french tip stickers (not as round as I would have liked, but all I had to hand) and then painted the rest of the nail with Color Club's Revvvolution. After this, I stuck on 3 little gems and topped with a top coat. It was quick and easy and the finished product looks great!

More shatter/crackle!

I'm starting to think that we're going a bit overboard on the crackle/shatter polishes, Barry M have released some new colours!
Still the cheapest of the bunch, and if the black is anything to go by, it's great quality!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Blue, Matte, Glitter and crackle!

This is quite an indulgent manicure, but like I said in my previous post, I wanted to make myself feel better!
First off, I painted my nails with Claire's Accessories matte blue. I seriously love Claire's nail polishes, they are so cheap and they rarely disappoint! This matte is lovely. It's not a true matte finish, more of a pleather look and it's beautiful. These pictures are after just 2 coats.

Next, I used OPI Last Friday Night from the Katy Perry collection to add some glitter. This is 2 coats:

After this, I threw on a thick coat of China Glaze's Crackle Glaze in Crushed Candy

You can't really see it very well, but I topped the whole lot off with a coat of Seche Vite to make everything smooth and even, and then No. 7 Matte Top Coat to make it all matte.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Exciting new shatter polishes!

Hello readers! Sorry I haven't been posting lately, my nails have not been very healthy, they started to chip and peel quite a lot and I broke TWO nails very far down. All that combined with them STILL being yellowed and discoloured due to China Glaze's Entourage!

I am working on a nice sparkly manicure at the moment, something bright to cheer me up, and I'll have that post up maybe tonight or tomorrow, tomorrow at the latest.

Anyway on to the main point of todays post, there's a brand called Models Own, pretty cheap and some beautiful colours available, and they are bringing out a range of shatter polishes in some lovely bright colours, including a silver! If the quality is good then this one could rival the OPI silver shatter that will be coming out in May for the Pirates of the Caribbean launch.
That orange! That yellow! That silver! Eeeeeeee!

As OPI and China Glaze are mainly USA brands and not so readily available without huge price increases or ridiculous shipping charges, this is excellent news for those of us in the UK and not to mention the price; £6 each is almost half the price of the OPI shatter polishes!
Here's the Model's Own blog where you can read more information about the release

Oh, one more point I'd like to make; I have 25 followers. I would have never thought I would have so many of you reading my blog, so I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all. I will be repaying the favour by following your blogs if you have one, and I will be doing a small giveaway in the near future. Thank you all, you're all fantastic!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Nails Inc - Heather Grey

I have finally gotten round to trying a Nails Inc polish. They are a brand that has been going for a while now and they have gotten themselves a lot of followers and fans.
I have two Nails Inc polishes, both of which I got free when I bought Diet Coke. I believe this offer is now finished. The one I am wearing today is Heather Grey, which is a dusky pink colour, quite neutral.
The formula of the polish is quite thick, so I only needed two coats for complete coverage. The brush was a nice size and shape so application was easy.  
There doesn’t seem to be anything that stands out about this polish, it is good, but not absolutely fantastic, especially considering the RRP of each bottle.
I have heard that Nails Inc do some good deals when you buy more than one polish, and quite often do sales. If you want to buy some Nails Inc polish, I would recommend holding out until there is a sale on and then you can get a good bargain.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Theme: DC Comics - Wonder Woman

This is the design I have created for Wonder Woman based on her original costume in the comic books and the TV series, not the new covered-up look she’s been sporting recently.
Wonder Woman’s origin has been rewritten many times, one popular origin being that she was made from clay and blessed by the deities to receive beauty, strength, power, hunting instincts, speed and flight.
Her costume is red on the top with a gold design across, a gold belt and blue shorts with white stars on them.
I started with a base colour of Barry M’s Bright Red. I then taped off the upper half of my nail and painted the bottom with Orly’s Royal Navy. In my opinion this colour was a little too dark over the red. It would have looked great if I had laid down some white first.
For the gold, I used a medium length nail painting brush and stroked on China Glaze’s GR8 in stripes until I achieved the thickness I wanted. I made a large bubble of white on the gold belt and used the tip of a pin to flick out five points to create that star.
My nails didn’t provide enough room to draw multiple stars on for the blue shorts, so I used a dotting tool and added white dots instead.
I topped the whole thing off with Seche Vite and the design was complete!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Illusion Aztec by Accessorize

Last year MAC released some nail polishes with the Venomous Villains collection that were insanely popular! I did not manage to get any of them while but I heard that MAC’s Formidable was very similar to Orly’s Galaxy Girl, and MAC’s Mean and Green was similar to Orly’s Space Cadet.
You can see swatches of the MAC polishes and the mentioned Orly dupes here.

Here in the UK, we have our own little gems, some dupes for the MAC and Orly colours hidden away in Accesorize! They are only £4 a bottle but they look so similar that it is almost impossible to tell the difference.
I picked up one recently, Shade 38 Illusion Aztec. The main colour of the polish seems to be a deep moss green with a purplish red duo chrome and rose gold shimmer. It is beautiful!
The polishes are really good quality, the formula is excellent and it goes on smoothly without streaking. You can achieve best results from 3 coats. The brush, while being a little short, is a great size and shape.

The range of nail polishes can be found online at Accesorize's website. From what I’ve seen Illusion Bronze is the dupe for MAC’s Bad Fairy, and Illusion Purple Dream is the Dupe for MAC’s Formidable, so I may be getting those soon!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Theme: DC Comics - Superman

Finally, a DC Hero rather than a villain, and he isn't even from Gotham!
A background on Superman

Just before the impending destruction of their home planet, Krypton, Jor-El and Lara lovingly place their baby son into a space ship and send him to a far away planet where he will grow up to a great destiny.
Kal-El crash lands in a small town called Smallville and the infant is discovered by a human couple, Jonathon and Martha Kent.  The couple decide to keep the child as if he were their own. Giving him the human name, Clark Kent, they raise him with great love and great kindness, but they soon discover he is not like normal children.  Clark, powered by Earth’s yellow sun, has superhuman speed, strength, hearing, super breath, heat and x-ray vision, the ability to fly and is invulnerable, except to radioactive pieces of his home planet, Kryptonite.
Clark faces his destiny, helped out by the wisdom of his birth father living on through the fortress of solitude,  and puts on a blue suit with a red cape and proudly wears the House of El crest on his chest, the S shape prompts Lois Lane to give him his title “Superman”.
The House of El crest has also been worn by Supergirl, Superboy and Krypto.

Onto the nails!! 
For this nail design, I painted my nails with Orly’s Royal blue.
Using a short nail art brush, I painted the yellow diamond shape with China Glaze’s Solar Power and allowed to dry. Next I painted an outline for the diamond shape and a small S with Barry M’s Bright Red.

Not bad for my first ever free-hand design!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Some simple French tips

I was thinking of calling this blog post "Interview Nails" but I guess they're still a bit too much for a formal interview, despite the fact that I am actually wearing one of these looks to two interviews today.

For the first look, I used Barry M Grey as an all over colour, 2 coats for perfection, and then topped it off with Seche Vite dry fast top coat. I left it until it was completely dry and hardened and added Eyeko's Vintage polish for tips, then used my Konad to add some shooting stars with GOSH's Holographic and topped the whole thing off with more Seche Vite.

For the second look, I used China Glaze's Sea Spray from the Anchors Away collection. I got a lovely finish from just 2 coats with this one also. This is a pale baby blue creme polish and it's a new purchase of mine. I absolutely love it! I am really into these more subdued, pale colours at the moment.
I topped Sea Spray off with Seche Vite, waited until it was fully dry and hardened and then added OPI's Austin-tatious Turquoise for the tips. I then added a cute little mermaid stamp in Konad's white special polish, and more Seche Vite to finish the whole look.
This one turned out very nautical themed! I think the colours work well together and that mermaid is just too cute! This is the one that I am wearing to my interview today, I hope they like it!

Oh, and I've been looking at other bloggers nail swatches and I see them holding the most random things! I decided to grab the nearest thing to me rather than a related nail polish, so here you have my pokewalker. Heehee....

Don't you just love how shiny Seche Vite makes the polish look? Since I started this blog I've used about a fifth of my bottle already!

So, off to my interview I go!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Kelier Crack Polish: FAIL

I have read about this polish in other blogs so I thought that I would give it a try. It is available from an online store called Born Pretty and it’s ridiculously cheap! I believe the shipping was free, but don’t quote me on that.
The Kelier Crack Polishes are a little different to the regular shatter polishes that you can get from Barry M, OPI and China Glaze, this one shrinks slowly and leaves you with a veining pattern on each nail, whereas the others look more like shattered pieces.

There is a wide variety of colours available in the Born Pretty online store, I opted for purple and red.
Delivery took a while, but the package was coming from Singapore and I ordered while they were away on holiday. When the package got here, it was quite confusing as the customs label read “electronics” and I was wondering what on earth I’d been sent. Inside was my two Kelier Crack polishes. It’s good news that the polishes did get here, I keep thinking about the possibility of customs looking inside the package and seeing that it doesn’t match the description!
With the shatter/crackle polishes, I find that they are really good if you have had a polish on for a few days and it’s just starting to chip. You just throw on the shatter polish and you have a quick, easy, revamped manicure ready to go for another few days.
That’s exactly what I did with the purple Kelier. I had been wearing my a-england Guinevere polish for 3 days with a top coat, then I applied the Kelier right over the top. Big mistake. The polish cracked alright, but the slightest touch and it flaked right off my nail.  Heck, I even blew on one nail and pieces blew right off. Yuck!
I decided to play around with the polish, to see if there was a trick to getting it right. I wanted to cover all my bases before I simply wrote it off.
I removed my nail polish and tried over bare, clean nails. Same thing, blew away and the rest rubbed right off.
I then grabbed two polishes that I thought would look good with the colours, grey for the purple crack and black for the red crack.
Now, the purple one is a really nice colour, it’s a dark purple, almost a violet and I would love to have a regular polish in this colour. The red however, is horrible. It is the colour of Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup. It also does not layer well over darker polishes.
I got a nice pattern of veining from the purple crack over a Barry M grey, I also got a nice pattern from the red crack over a Barry M black, but the colour was terrible.
It seems that this polish is meant to be applied over a fresh colour that is still slightly wet, almost tacky if you like, but not a top coat or polish that has fully dried and hardened.

I repainted my nails with a-england Guinevere and then OPI top coat, let it set for 20 minutes then applied the purple crack over the top. Horrible. Absolutely yucky. It barely cracked and started peeling away, taking Guinevere with it.
I have also tried it over a matte top coat, which also failed miserably. It flaked right off my nails.

I have to say that I am thoroughly disappointed in this polish. I had high expectations and it has let me down.
I will not be buying anymore, and I would not recommend it to anyone. It’s too much of a pain in the backside to get right.

 Over fresh polish, refusing to crack 

Over old, fully dried polish and flaking off the nails at the slightest touch, or even breeze.

The "red". My camera made the colour look a lot better than IRL. 
The darker areas are where it's stuck to my polish, the rest is ready to flake right off the nail.

First and middle finger is over bare nails. Look how disgusting that red is.
Ring and pinky are over Barry M polishes. The purple kinda worked here, but again, red = disgusting.

I just don't understand why other blogs have been giving this polish high reviews. Maybe because they were sent for free?

Friday, 18 February 2011

a-england: The Love of My Life

I ordered two a-england nail polishes on Sunday 13th Feb and received them on Tuesday 15th Feb, brilliant turn-around time. I had a little card in my package thanking me for my purchase and was signed by Adina, I love those little cards, I keep them in my purse!
As I’ve mentioned before, I have spoken to Adina via email and she is lovely, customer service is the best!

I was already wearing polish on the Tuesday when I received my a-england order, I had only just applied it the day before but I was so excited by the new polishes that I took it off instantly and applied Guinevere. Guinevere is described as a sophisticated pale mauve grey.
I didn’t actually use my Chip Skip and Nail Envy this time, I used Seche ridge filling base as I hadn’t sorted out my cuticles or buffed out my ridges in a while and I was too impatient to try my new polish!
The bottles and brushes of a-england polishes are very sturdy and good quality. I found that the brush was a good size to get easy application. There’s no strong, horrible nail polish smell either.
I did find that the formula of the polish was a little thick, so slightly harder to work with than other polishes. This can easily be remedied with a couple of drops of nail polish thinner and a good shake. This isn’t too much of a problem as a nail-polish-nut like me should have thinner to revive my old polishes anyway!
I found that the polish dried quickly and it looked very professional and shiny before I had even applied a top coat. I did apply a top coat anyway, out of habit and because it is recommended on the a-england website.

This polish is the reason you haven’t seen many manicures on my website lately. I’ve been test driving Guinevere! I have to say that I am impressed. I have done all of my chores as usual, had countless showers, been to work and used my hands a lot and the polish has lasted very well. Only on Thursday, 3 days after application, did I notice a tiny little chip on the corner of one nail.
I did take off the polish on Friday as I had some new crackle polishes that I tried over the top and they failed miserably (blog post coming soon). However, I have put Guinevere back on again.

On one hand I have added the second polish that I bought, Morgan Le Fay which is described as a luminescent white silver, and also touted as the most versatile and easiest shade to apply.
I agree whole-heartedly. Application was insanely quick and easy and from what I see of the finished product, this shade has some serious potential to be paired up with a great many different polishes. It would look great under a shatter polish, it would jazz up a simple black polish, it would make interesting French tips… Those are just a few I can come up with and this is while the polish is still drying!

Above: 3 coats of Guinevere, 1 coat of Morgan Le Fay

 Above: 3 coats of Guinevere + OPI top coat

Here’s my overall thoughts of a-england polishes in general:
+ Beautiful colours
+The theme! The names!
+Elegant bottle design
+Good sized brush, no defects
+Very shiny finish
+hard wearing and long lasting
+Beautiful Website and the best customer service

-A bit pricey
-Formula was a little thick for me

Overall, I am very impressed. I think they are worth the money because you’re getting a product of great quality. I will definitely be getting some more of these polishes and I will definitely be keeping my eye on the website to see what collection comes out next!