Sunday, 19 October 2014

Honeymoon Nails: Dragonflies

Aloha!

As I mentioned a few months back, we went to Hawaii on our honeymoon.  It was literally the most amazing thing ever.  We stayed at the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island, and oh my word, it was paradise.  I was all for just staying there (I think we'd have got away with it for a few months at least?) but my husband said we had to leave :(

So, these are not the nails I wore on my honeymoon.  My honeymoon nails were just my wedding nails, which after about two days of playing in the sea were frankly disgraceful.  So they came off, and I went naked for the rest of the honeymoon.  Oo-er.

Rather, these are nails inspired by our honeymoon :)  I have a few of these to show you, but I'm starting with dragonflies!

The resort had loads of these lovely koi ponds all around.  I thought Bridal Falls was the most appropriate to share!


While we were standing looking at the fish one day, we saw these lovely purple dragonflies flying over the pond.  So pretty! More creatures should be purple, definitely.  So I decided a purple dragonfly manicure was in order.


I used a base of Barry M Elderberry.  I drew my dragonflies using my trusty Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black (seriously, when are they going to make more colours...?) and filled them in using Barry M Vivid Purple and Star Gazer 232.  I then added a little Above the Curve Diva P onto the tips and wings for a bit of sparkle.

This was actually the first time I'd been outside of Europe.  I'm not really much of a holidayer, although I do enjoy city breaks and sightseeing.   I've now totally got the bug though, although I basically just want to keep going back to Hawaii lol. What's the best holiday you've ever been on?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

I'm Married!

Okay so I've actually been married for two months, BUT I am now finally getting round to blogging!  I have been working away doing lots of manicures today to show you over the next few weeks, but I thought today I'd show you what nails I had for my wedding :)

I'm just not a french manicure kind of person (plus I'm absolutely flipping terrible at doing them).  I wanted something a little different, but also didn't want to go wild and do something that I'd look back on in a few years and say "what on earth was I thinking...?".  So, I decided to keep it simple and go for a plain colour.  Believe it or not, it genuinely took my like a year to decide on these nails, and I now own about 7 different nail polishes in this shade, but in the end it had to be the polish that inspired the whole colour scheme (don't tell my husband) - Barry M Peach Melba.



For my bridesmaids, I went with a glitter gradient of Barry M Gold Glitter over OPI My Vampire is Buff, to match their gold and pearl accessories.



What are your thoughts?  Would you go more traditional or more adventurous?

(Shout out to Amber Skye Photography for our wonderful photos :) )

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.

british-nail-bloggers-colour-me-crazy-challenge-week-one-red-ombre-max-factor-ciate-opi-liz-earle

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 :)

ciate-amazing-grace-looking-glass-holo-gradient

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!

ciate-amazing-grace-looking-glass-holo-gradient

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

Lizard!

I am utterly convinced I've already posted this, but I can't find it anywhere...so 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 was...um...somewhat 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:

aboriginal-lizard-ombre-decal-nail-art

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.
revlon-popular-swatch

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.

revlon-popular-moyou-stamping-sailor-collection-04

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 and..er...well 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.

maybelline-color-show-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.

maybelline-color-show-wine-shimmer-swatch

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

maybelline-color-show-wine-shimmer-swatch

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

maybelline-color-show-polka-dots-rain-forest-canopy-swatch

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.

maybelline-color-show-polka-dots-rain-forest-canopy-swatch

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!

revlon-chroma-chameleon-amethyst-swatch-leopard

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

revlon-chroma-chameleon-amethyst-swatch-leopard

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!