Sunday, 13 July 2014

Colour Me Crazy: Red

Hello lovelies!

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend :)  I had to pop in to town yesterday for a few bits.  I somehow lost my shopping list en route though so I ended up just buying clothes.  Totally essential of course...  Today I had a MUCH needed lie in and general lazy day.  I'm so exhausted after going to Liverpool last weekend for my hen and home the weekend before for a wedding, I was desperate for a lie in!  Thank goodness I had a weekend off before hen night number two :p

So, I've been a member of British Nail Bloggers for aaaaages (you may have noticed the tab here).  This week they started the Colour Me Crazy! Challenge.  It's a once a week challenge, which I should hopefully be able to keep up with (I'm sure we all remember the 30 Day Challenge fiasco...).

So here is my manicure for the first challenge prompt - Red.


I finished putting all my polishes on swatch stick this week (well, okay...I underestimated my collection so I ran out of sticks) so an ombre seemed like the thing to do now that I have all my polishes in some sort of organised fashion where I can easily compare them :D  Rather unhelpfully, the last three polishes have photographed as almost the same colour though...

From dark to light, I used Max Factor Ruby Fruit, Ciate Dangerous Affair, OPI Chick Flick Cherry, Liz Earle Knockout and Ciate Mistress.  The random pattern - not sure what they're supposed to be but it's one of my go to patterns - was drawn on using my Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black.

Please take a little look at all the other lovely red manicures this week:

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Colourful Tree

This was actually a manicure that I did for a guest post for a fellow blogger who was getting married.  I guess things got even busier than she expected and this never got posted.  The plus side is I have a post ready written and just have to paste it here - woohoo!

Given the circumstances of the guest post, I thought it would be nice to do a weddingy manicure!  What with my wedding coming up (although this was a good year ago!) I thought it would be nice to try out a potential wedding manicure for myself. We’re having a beach theme, and sort of peachy-corally (okay, they're orange) bridesmaids.  So I whipped out my Barry M Peach Melba and every nail polish I own that could be considered shell-coloured, and started creating my masterpiece.  Er...unfortunately, it didn’t quite turn out as I’d envisioned, so out came the nail polish remover and I turned to good old Google for some inspiration.

I found this lovely picture:

I don’t quite have the skills to recreate that on my nails, so here’s what I came up with instead:

I used Barry M Matt White for my base.  For the tree trunk I used Barry M Bright Purple, and for all the dots and details I used Barry M Guava, Nails Inc Grosvenor Street and Knightsbridge Green, Max Factor Cactus Green and Bright Orange, and Rimmel Sunshine.  There’s a little bit of green Sharpie thrown into the grass as well, just for good measure.

For my thumb, I picked out a few of the details from the original image.

It’s not as neat as it could be, but it’s bright and summery, and perfect for the lovely weather we’re having here in the UK at the moment!  I shouldn’t imagine that’s going to last long though...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Glitter Comparison

A little while ago they had W7 Multi Dazzle in Poundland.  I got a little overexcited and bought three, despite the fact I already have ample supply of multicoloured glitter toppers.  But er...they're good for presents and stuff...?

Anyway, when I got them home, I thought it would be worth seeing just how similar it was to the glitters I already had.

Here's the line up:

Left to right we have: Technic Carnival, a classic cheap multicoloured glitter; W7 Multi Dazzle, my Poundland bargain; BeautyUK Intergalactic, which I was sent to review a little while ago, and Barry M Amethyst Glitter.

In the name of fairness, I used two coats of each polish.

The obvious one that stands out here is Barry M Amethyst Glitter - this is clearly intended to be a full coverage glitter rather than a topper.

Slightly less obvious is the difference between BeautyUK Intergalactic and the other two.  Intergalactic contains a mixture of square and hex glitters, whereas the other two only contain hexes.

So that leaves Carnival and Multi Dazzle.  They've swapped sides no just to confuse you - Multi Dazzle on the left, Technic on the right.

I really can't see a difference in composition here - they both seem to contain the same size and colour glitters.  Carnival is a little more dense though.

So, I've hopefully mostly justified owning several seemingly identical glitters.  And, added bonus, if you're after Technic Carnival but can't be bothered waiting for delivery, pop to your local pound shops and see if they have any W7 Multi Dazzle in stock :D

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Holo Gradient

A little while ago I bought my first ever Ciate polishes in one of their many massive sales (I picked up the Nail Lab in a more recent one - will blog about that soon!).  I'd never really been particularly interested in Ciate - I didn't think the polishes particularly looked anything special and I didn't like all the drama they'd created about people using the term caviar manicure.  But dammit I love a bargain.

One of the items I bought was the Mini Paint Palette.  Seemed like a good way to try out their polishes :)


I used a base of Amazing Grace, a pretty soft pink jelly.  I then painted on Looking Glass to create a gradient.  I actually really wasn't expecting Looking Glass to look like that; I thought it was a glitter, but it's actually a stealth holo!  Happy days!


I really like the effect of the holo blending into the non-holo base - I should definitely do more of these!  All-in-all I can't criticise the quality of the Ciate polishes I've tried.  Although, as always, there are about 5 from this set still sitting unused...I should really stop buying polish.

Friday, 4 July 2014


I am utterly convinced I've already posted this, but I can't find it apologies if you've already seen this.  It is entirely possible though I just dreamt posting it.

So this was actually supposed to be for a guest post for Sincerely Stephanie.  I overwhelmed, shall we say, to be doing a guest post on such a massive blog.  I spent ages trying to think up something to do, something that could possibly be good enough to be posted on Stephanie's blog.  I finally came up with the idea of doing an aboriginal art inspired manicure.  When I was in school, we did a module in art on Aboriginal art and I really used to enjoy drawing animals and filling them with various patterns (the platypus was my particular favourite).  The original plan was to do a different animal on each nail, so I googled a few ideas, but I decided it would just end up looking too busy and I wouldn't be able to get the kind of detail I wanted on such a small scale.  So I decided one animal across all the nails would be best, and settled on a lizard since that's sort of the right proportions to draw across your nails! Then I did it, decided it was rubbish, and did something else for the guest post instead (you can see that here if you're interested).

So here's what I ended up with:


I used the DIY decal technique for this, and it was one of my first times doing it, so I used like 2 or three coats of Seche for the base of it - turns out you don't need it that thick!  So that meant when I was trying to stick the pieces on my nails they were a bit too stiff to mould to the curve of my nail and they got a bit creased and cracked.  I still think the idea was cute though, even if the execution left a lot to be desired!

What do you think?  Do you prefer this or the manicure I ended up using for the guest post instead?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Wavy Stamping

Three days until hen do number one!  Need to figure out what I'm going to do on my nails.  Should probably work out what I'm going to wear first...hmmm...

Aaaaanyway, today I have a pretty little Revlon polish to show you.  This is Revlon Popular, which I think is also known by another name, but I can't for the life of me think what.  I picked this up from Fragrance Direct - if you've never bought from there, go now!  The colour range tends to be a bit limited, but they are super cheap.

It's actually a lot prettier than I was expecting (what? No, I didn't just buy it because it was cheap and I have no self control!).  It's a super super soft pink base with different size silver hex glitters.  I don't really know whether to call this a jelly or a creme....which I suppose makes it a crelly?  Above is three coats with no undies, and as you can see, no problems with VNL!

Then, because my first MoYou London plates had recently arrived, I decided to do a bit of stamping.


This is from the Sailor Collection Plate 4, stamped with Konad stamping polish.  I wanted something a little chunky that wouldn't be lost amongst the glitter...although then I felt a little sad that so much of the polish was covered up!  Some people are just never happy :p

Also, can I just add, I stamped EVERY nail.  That is quite the achievement for a rubbish stamper like me.

Unfortuntely, I just looked on the MoYou website to check which number plate this was I think I have to go buy a few more plates now...

Monday, 30 June 2014

Maybelline Color Show

I cannot believe it's July tomorrow.  Where has this year gone?  Seriously?  Is this just what happens when you get older?  All the fun starts this month :)  I have hen do number one on Saturday, hen do number two two weeks later, and then it won't be long before the wedding is upon us!  I'll be sad when it's all over though :(

So today I just wanted to show you a couple of quick swatches, both from the Maybelline Color Show collection.

First up, Wine Shimmer.


Now this has photographed quite pink, and whilst it is a pinky red, you'll have to take my word for it that it's more red in real life!  The above photo is taken in natural light and is pretty accurate, but I don't know what's going on in the next two in my lightbox (probably makes them pretty useless as swatches...oh well!).

This is a really great polish.  I picked it up partly because I was just having one of those days where I needed to buy some polish, and partly because I thought it looked quite unusual - a fairly ordinary shade of red but with an intriguing little sparkle.


This is a jelly polish I guess, but lovely and opaque in two coats.  Or three if you're feeling lavish.  And that little scattered holo sparkle is so darn pretty!  This was a seriously good find :D


Next up, Rain Forest Canopy.  That name really amuses me for some reason.


This is one of their Polka Dot polishes, which are available in a few different colours.  This particular one, as you can see, is a teal jelly base with loads of black and white hex glitters in all different sizes crammed in.  I feel like I'm always saying this, but I love to see high street brands producing the sorts of polishes that you could once only get from indies.


Pretty as this is, I would say you need undies with it.  Depends how much of an exhibitionist you are I suppose, but I used three coats here and wasn't really happy with the amount of visible nail line.  Nice matching teal undies would make it pretty darn perfect though.

I have to say, Maybelline isn't a brand I normally give a second glance.  In fact, according to my app, these are the only two Maybelline polishes I own!  Do we have any Maybelline lovers out there who could recommend some other colours I should try?

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Duochrome Leopards

Wouldn't it be awesome if duochrome leopards actually existed...?  Can't help but feel my nails are a bit of a let down now compared to these imaginary leopards!

I picked up a couple of the Revlon Chroma Chameleons a little while back, because a brand new polish collection being available in Poundland is just too much for me to resist.  Amongst the many I bought was Amethyst, a light purple with a green-greyish shift.  I wanted something a bit more than just a plain manicure in a hurry, so I decided a quick leopard print over this would fit the bill nicely!


I did these quickly before we went out, so the photos are from the next day - apologies for the dints and little chipped corners!


It's a very pretty subtle shift.  For a little bit more oomph you can use it over black as well, which helps to deepen the colours.  Not bad for a pound, although unfortunately I've come to expect a little more from multichromes thanks to the likes of Picture Polish and Hits!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

My Adventures with Fuse

A few months back, I was travelling back home from uni through London one evening, and I decided to pop into Boots to pick some Sudafed up for my fiance.  Because I'm caring like that.  As a reward for being so darn thoughtful, while I was there I bought myself a Fuse gel nail starter kit, plus a polish or two to go with it...

If you haven't heard of Fuse before, you can find out a little more here.  It's created by Sensationail, and it's marketed as an all-in-one one coat gel nail system.  The starter kit contains the lamp and USB cable, buffer, cleanser, lint-free wipes and one polish.  It's an LED lamp, and curing takes 30 seconds.  The starter kit retails for £35 in Boots (I haven't seen them anywhere else) and extra polishes are £15.  Don't tell my fiance.

A few notes about the lamp - it's only big enough for one finger at a time, but more about that later!  It comes with a USB cable, but no plug, so you can either plug it into your laptop, or use an adapter like you get with kindles/phones/cameras etc.  I'm sure everyone has at least one of those plugs lying around somewhere these days!  It's quite a short cable, so I personally don't have anywhere that I could plug it in and not end up having to sit behind the TV or something to paint my nails, so I plug it into my laptop.  That works quite well for me; I use my laptop as a little table and use it to do my nails on :D  It's fine, my laptop's used to the abuse.  I also has quite a cute feature, in that the top of the lamp (the bit that actually has the bulbs in) can be detached from the rest on the unit, and turned around to use on your toes, rather than trying to stick one toe in at a time which I can't imagine would be very comfortable!

Anyhoo, on to my adventures!  So I bought a starter kit that came with Na-no Way!, a hot pink creme, and I also bought Gone Fission (not just because I love a good physics pun) and Lights, Camera, Re-action!  I've also since bought E-motion.

So I got home, all very excited, got all my bits out to play (not like that).  I decided to just go for using the hot pink that came with the starter kit and doing a plain manicure.  I gently buffed my nails; the buffer is reeeeaally rough, like rougher than the nail file I normally used, so I was a bit wary of going too overboard with it.  I then used the cleanser, as instructed, and got started on applying the polish!

So here's my issue number one.  Some people may thing "You can only cure one nail at a time?? That'll take ages! I can't be bothered with that!".  However, since this is a one-step system, and you have 10 nails to sure once each, that amounts to a total of 5 minutes curing time.  To be honest, I didn't find that a problem, I just painted one nail and cured it while I painted the next.  For a normal gel nail system you'll have your base, two coats of colour, plus top coat.  You have to cure in three goes, so that's 6 minutes total curing time.  And thus...Fuse is actually quicker!

Except for one thing.  These are by no stretch of the imagination one coaters.  Like seriously.  That's not just be being fussy, you couldn't leave the house with one coat, you'd look like an idiot.  For this pink, I used three coats to get an opaque finish.

Issue number 2: it buuuurns!  I have no idea why.  I've used Red Carpet Manicure which is also LED and that didn't burn.  I don't know if it's because you have to apply this polish quite thickly (it's like applying treacle).  But seriously, I didn't even know my nails could burn.  Ow!

But burning aside, I was very excited about my gel nails :D I excitedly showed them off to everyone in uni the next day, and then got very sad when I got a chip :(  And then more chips.  And then, issue number 3, the next day just as I was about to leave for work, this happened:


Perfect.  And, issue number 4, it stained!  I suppose it's not surprising really that you buff away the surface of your nail, apply a colour to it with no barrier in between and it stains.  But still.  Not happy.  Happy I hadn't bought the blue though.  Removal though was easy (ha, not surprising!).  I used the foil method and they came off no problem :)

I figured that, being new to the game, it was probably my application that was the problem.  So, not to be defeated so easily, I tried again!  And this time I really buffed!  I was working away with the Environment Agency for a fortnight and couldn't really take any polish with me so I wanted something that would last.  This time I went for Gone Fission.  I'm never quite sure how people will react to nail polish, so I thought something pale was probably sensible (and glitter's sensible too.  Right?).

Here it is.  All four coats of it.  I really think it's too dense to be a topper though so who knows what they were thinking.  This was seriously thick by the time I was done as well.  However, to give credit where it's due, these did last without chipping until I removed them because of growth.


Yeah, glitter, pretty etc etc.  ISSUE NUMBER FIVE!!! Look at that bottle.  What do you see?  Pale pink with flakies?  Indeedy.  Do you see any flakies on my nails?  No you do not.  The bottle is a LIE.  The polish is just a 'full coverage' glitter.  It has a couple of different shades of pink glitter, but no lovely creme base, no beautiful flakies.  Hmph.


 And then...Ugh, I shudder just thinking about it.  The removal.  It just wouldn't come off.  I soaked and I soaked and I soaked and it wasn't going anywhere.  I had to...sob...pick...sob...and buff...and weep gently as I whispered lovingly to my nails "it'll be'll all be okay".  I was using that Poundland stuff though, which I could swear used to be pure acetone but now has jojoba oil in, so maybe if I'd used pure acetone it would have been okay.  But still.  All very traumatic.

I've had one more go since, using the other two polishes (which did look like the bottle).  I was back to the issues I had with the pink - the corners lifted and started peeling by the next morning.  So currently for me, these polishes are utterly pointless because they don't last as long as normal polish.

I have pretty much assumed I'm just rubbish at application.  But then, I've used two other gel systems (full gel systems) with no problems - they haven't chipped on me, even with constant abuse from being painted over and that polish removed time and time again, and removal has been easy with both.  So I don't know...  Whilst I don't think the small lamp is an issue, I do of course think that fact that the polishes don't last is!  And I'm also very upset at the misleading bottle for Gone Fission.  In hindsight, I wish I'd done a but more research and bought a decent gel system rather than just impulse buying this because it was in a cute little box.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has used Fuse and what your experiences were.  Or any other one-step gel system for that matter!  Leave your thoughts in the comments :)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Born Pretty Store Shells


I hope you're all having a lovely Tuesday.  They're better than Mondays at least.

I have another Born Pretty Store product to show you today.  Born Pretty Store sell about a million and one nail art products (don't quote me on that...), amongst which are these little shells.


I don't know what to call them...charms? Studs?  Anyway, you get the idea!

Now, I do like to use a stud or gem near the bottom of my nail (I did a post about it here in fact), so I thought that could be a manicure to do with these :)  Plus a little glitter gradient.  I toyed with using an aqua-ish colour for a nice mermaidy look, but I settled on a light purple in the end.


Now, because I'm a terrible blogger I can't actually tell you what polish this is.  Oops!  It's either OPI Planks A Lot or You're Such a Budapest.  I really should start making notes...  The glitter I do know!  It's Saffron 07.  I think the glitter is too chunky really - the shells are a bit lost amongst it.  Does anyone know a good fine silver glitter?  Ideally like Barry M Gold Glitter but silver (hopefully I'm not just being stupid and haven't noticed they also do a silver!).

The shells are easy to work with though :)  Could pick them up with a dampened toothpick as I normally do with all my studs, stuck on well with topcoat, and although they're a little bit 3D they don't stick out too much from the nail to be a problem.

If you'd like to 'get your shell on', check them out here.  They're only £1.63 a pack, and I didn't count how many there were, but suffice to say there's plenty for a fair few manicures..  I've shown you the 3mm ones here, but there's also a 5mm available, and both sizes available in gold.  As always, you can use the code LKL91 to get 10% off your order, and shipping is free worldwide.