Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Honeymoon Nails: Honu

Hello all :)  I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and have some exciting plans for tomorrow night!  I just thought I'd squeeze in a quick post before the new year.

As I've mentioned before (once or twice..), in August this year, my husband and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon.  I've previously shown you some dragonfly nails inspired by Hawaii, which you can see here, and today I have some more Hawaii-inspired nails to show you.

Our hotel had a tidal lagoon that was FULL of turtles!  It was totally amazing.  We went out snorkeling everyday (me with my life jacket on, since I float like a brick) and there were so many lovely turtles around.  They'd also come up on to the beach every afternoon to soak up some sun before sunset.  Turtles have well and truly established themselves in my top 5 animals, which of course is where every animal aspires to be...

So, first a real turtle:

And now my attempt:


I sponged on some turtley colours - this is super simple and I love the effect, but if you're not sure how to do it you can take a look at my tutorial here - and then added my little gold honu.  Looks just like the real thing, no..?

What do you think?  Do you think I managed to capture enough turtliness with the sponged background, or would you have gone for something different?

PS. Happy new year!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Halloween Challenge #4: Inspired by a Film or TV

It's finally here!  It's still Halloween week so it isn't really that late (we'll just ignore the fact it's November).  the next challenge I shall be more prepared, honestly!

So the prompt for the final day of the challenge is Halloween themed TV or movie inspired.

I'll be honest...mine aren't inspired by a TV or film (is that cheating?), so take your pick - Sabrina, The Worst Witch...

Here's what I did anyway:


Let's just take a moment to appreciate the fact that my camera has managed to accurately capture the colour of a purple polish :o

Moment over.  Anyhoo, hopefully you can tell I was going for witchy nails!  I used China Glaze Put A Bow On It for my base, and then all details were added using my Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black and White, with a touch of Barry M Gold Foil on my thumb.  Apologies for the very poor tip-wrapping on my thumb!

What are your thoughts?  I did fully intend on actually using tape on my ring finger, but laziness got the better of me.  Plus I flipping hate tape.  I also intended to colour the hat in a dark grey so that the creases would be black, but I decided maybe it'd look odd that nail being more grey when the others were black?

As always, don't forget to check out the final challenge manicures from all the other lovely bloggers participating!

I hope you all had a great Halloween!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween Challenge #3: Halloween Villains

Evening all!  Just a quick post tonight, because I've been to the pub for tea and I am sleepy (possibly wine-induced).  Also, I shall be honest...these nails were supposed to be for tomorrow, but I haven't done my nails for tonight, so I'll just have to make tomorrow's nails that would have been tonight's nails fit tomorrow's theme.  That makes sense right...?

Here's a reminder of the prompts:

So my Halloween villain of choice...mummies!

I'm aware that these are not remotely original, but it's something I've seen a lot and wanted to try :)  Believe it or not, I sponged three colours for my base.  And then, it would seem, the brightness of my lamp just washed it all out.  I had the same problem last night with getting the lines on my pumpkin to show up...think I need a rejig of my setup.  The three colours, not that you can see them, are OPI My Vampire is Buff, Don't Pretzel My Buttons and Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh.  I was aiming for a bit of an aged/yellowing look, which did work in person, but you'll just have to take my word for it :D Then I used a black striper pen for my lines - these probably could have been thinner!

Don't forget to have a look and see what villains everyone else chose!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Halloween Challenge #2: Pumpkin Faces

It's 10:27pm here, and I should really be in bed, but instead I've just finished off my second challenge manicure for the Halloween Nail Art Challenge.  Too much good TV on a Wednesday night, that's the problem...

So, here's a reminder of the challenge prompts - today we're on pumpkin faces:

I actually attempted some pumpkin nails a couple of years back, which you can see here if you fancy a laugh.

To be honest, I didn't think I could do a much better job this time, so I decided to go down a slightly different route and attempt a pumpkin that spanned all my nails.  He's got a bit of a wonky nose...


I can only apologise for the atrocious clean up - I just could not get that stuff off my skin!

I used OPI A Roll in the Hague, Max Factor Bright Orange and Viva La Colour Creme Brulee for the pumpkin and then my Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black for all the detail.

Now I just need to carve my actual pumpkin...

Don't forget to check out all the other pumpkin manicures!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Halloween Challenge #1: Classic Orange and Black


So I decided a little while ago that I was going to join in with the Halloween Nail Art Challenge in the Challenge Your Nail Art group on Facebook.  Here are the prompts (and a very cute graphic!):

I saw this a little while in advance, giving me plenty of time to prepare.  And it's only 4 prompts, so there is some small chance that I may actually finish it.  So how many manicures did I prepare in advance?


I am a fool.

I am DETERMINED to actually do this though, so I have just been furiously painting my nails, and here's my first challenge manicure!


Yes, I did indeed attempt a water marble.  Yes, I have lost my mind.  I think it's not my worst attempt though...?

I used Barry M Black and Max Factor Bright Orange.  Then I added W7 Orange Dazzle on my little finger nail, and painted the stem of my pumpkin with Barry M Spring Green.  I'm pretty happy with this actually :)  Although, I confess, it's only on the one hand...  Must remember to take it off before work tomorrow!

Have you done any Halloween nail art yet?  I'd love to see - leave your links in the comments or post a picture on my Facebook page!

And don't forget to take a look at all the other orange and black manicures!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Honeymoon Nails: Dragonflies


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.


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 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:


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 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.


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 okay...it'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.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Barry M Countess (+dupe?)

Hello hello hello!

So yet again I've been rubbish at posting - it's this wedding I tell you!  Come September I'll actually have time to paint my nails again.  The other half is away this weekend on his stag, and I've actually run out of wedding-related things to do (for the time being...) so I thought I should take the opportunity to write a few blog posts!

I'm still working through the back log of photos, so today I have a swatch of Countess, from the Barry M Royal textured glitter collection.  This is yet another polish that I bought really soon after it became available thinking I could get some swatches up while there still weren't many about...and then didn't post them for several months.

I decided just to pick up the one polish from this collection, since I have a well-established dislike of textured polish.  I thought at least one was worth a go though, since I hadn't tried any sparkly textures before.  For some reason I chose Countess - it is a mystery to me why I keep buying colours like this when I hate them on me, but there we go.

Here it is in all it's lumpy glory!


Yum...  So yeah, I hate it just as much as I hated all textures I tried before this.  It is super sparkly though!


So anyway, I was looking at this abomination on my nails and thinking it looked quite similar in colour to Cirque Planet Caravan.  Except that the Cirque isn't a texture of course.  So I did a quick comparison, adding some Seche Vite to the Barry M to smooth it out.  Cirque on index and ring, Barry M on the others!


So...I was kind of right?  Clearly not dupes but the colours are very similar - that sort of black base with purple shimmery particles through it.  The particles in Countess are clearly bigger than in Planet Caravan though.

I actually prefer the Barry M, it's more sparkly and I do love me some sparkle!  For me, the Cirque is just too dark and vampy.  In terms of formula though, you obviously need to topcoat the Barry M if you want it to look like this, and although I haven't done a wear-test with this particular polish, I generally find Barry M polishes chip after a day or two.  This is the only Cirque I own, and the application is lovely.  You may remember I used this for a comparison of two different top coats - turns out this polish just does not chip!  And it smells of lavender, always a bonus!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend, whatever you're doing :)

Friday, 6 June 2014

GIVEAWAY! More prizes added!

Hello lovely ladies!  Just a reminder that there's still time to enter my #guessthepolish giveaway!  The competition will close at midnight Sunday, so get your guesses in before then.

A quick recap:

Just guess which UK brand the polish featured is from.  One winner will be chosen at random from all those who guess correctly to win a bottle of the mystery polish along with some other nail goodies (and maybe even some sweets if I'm feeling generous).

EXTRA PRIZE!  Another winner will be chosen from all remaining entries to win a bottle of the mystery polish.

So make sure you get your guesses in before the deadline.  You don't even need to be right to be in with a chance of winning!

If you'd rather enter on Facebook, you can do so HERE.

Monday, 2 June 2014


Evening ladies!

So, as promised, a little competition...

I was contacted by a company asking me to participate in hosting this competition (so you may have seen this on a few other blogs as well!) and it seemed like fun, so why the heck not!

It's simple enough, just guess what brand the polish is!


This colour is one of 22 released in a new core collection by this brand.  It's like seriously super shiny (not that it really matters because everything gets Seche Vited anyway, but I'm still impressed by a shiny polish).  I've had it on for 5 days now and my left hand is still chip-free (my right hand would be too but I broke a nail).  That's pretty good going seeing as everything seems to chip on me at the moment.  Nothing to do with the fact that my nails are feeling slightly sorry for themselves after I picked off gel polish (I'm suitably ashamed of myself).  I also love this colour - it's a proper true red.  Not pinky, not orangey, not dark, just RED.  Faaaabulous.

So...should I give you some clues?  Hmm...

OK...let's see...this is a British brand and it's widely available in the UK.  That's all you're getting.

To enter, just leave your guess of what brand this polish is from in the comments (or on the Facebook post here if you'd rather).  All those who guess correctly will be entered in to a prize draw (well...an Excel spreadsheet with a random number generator) and one winner chosen at random.  The winner will receive one bottle of the mystery polish plus a few extra goodies from myself :)  

Giveaway closes midnight on Sunday 8th June 2014.

This is unfortunately UK only - sorry international ladies, but if I try to send it abroad Royal Mail will just destroy it because they're mean like that :(  Also, goes without saying, but anonymous comments won't be eligible, as I'll have no idea who to contact if they win! Winners will be contacted through the account they use to enter - so if you use Facebook please keep an eye on your others folder. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.

I think that's everything you need to know.  Good luck everyone!

EDIT:  Another prize added!  One winner will be chosen at random from ALL entries (even uncorrect ones) to win a second bottle of the mystery polish!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Born Pretty Lace Decals

Hello lovelies!

So it's a bank holiday weekend and naturally the weather is glorious!  Haha, I jest of course.  It's the middle of the afternoon and it's so grey outside that I've actually had to put the lights on.  And genuinely, I don't know how it's possible for there to be so much rain.  Another one of those moments I'm glad I love in a top floor flat.

British summer is the best.

Anyway, I really need to give the flat a good clean today ready for my fiance's return tomorrow.  But obviously I (and my nails) hate cleaning, so instead I'm posting this Born Pretty Store review.  This time I have some more of their wonderful decals, for quick, simple nail art :)

So these are the decals!

They're lace sort of designs, and you get 10 black and 10 white.

Let me firstly apologise for the quality of this photo...I did these while I was up in Liverpool and didn't have my light box!

Anyway, so yes, this is what I did with them:


I used them over OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons.  I think from the shape of them they're really intended for almond shaped nails, so they kind of didn't really fit very well on my nails.  And some on them I thought were very small compared to others (i.e. my middle finger) so I had to add in a few little black dots on all the nails to try and balance them out a bit.  And then I thought they still looked a bit odd with just a touch of black lace on the tips, so I sponged some Barry M Gold Foil on to try and make the rest of the nail a bit more interesting.  In hindsight, I'd sponge the gold on first so that you could put the lace overlapping it.

If you've read any of my Born Pretty Store reviews before, you'll know I'm a HUGE fan of their water decals.  But honestly?  I was really disappointed with these.  Not just the shape, because that might be fine for other nail shapes.  Not just the size, because that's down to personal taste.  But they were NOT easy to use.  They kept folding over on themselves when I slid them off the backing paper and I couldn't unstick them, which meant I ended up with bits that I couldn't use (so I stuck them off the end of my nail) making the decals smaller.  I've never had this problem with any other Born Pretty Store decals, so I don't know if these were thinner than all the others I've used or is it was just because of the sort of long thin shape of them.

If I haven't put you off though and you do want to try these out, you can see them here.  Each sheet costs £1.18, and as always you can get 10% off these or anything else on the website with the code LKL91.

Happy shopping! And I hope you all have a lovely weekend (fingers crossed for some sunshine tomorrow...).

Monday, 12 May 2014

Born Pretty Store Chains

I didn't disappear again, honest!  I had an exam last week so I went in to hermit revision mode.  Don't know why I bothered though - it was awful!  Wine in the pub afterwards was lovely though...all's well that ends well.

I have a few Born Pretty Store nail art products to show you again, the first of which is this chain:

I've seen these around for a while, and I'm always somewhat intrigued by them.  They don't seem like they'd be the easiest thing to use!

It turns out they weren't too bad actually :)  I snipped them with some nail scissors (easy enough as long as you cut between the beads!) and stuck them on with top coat.  I actually - you may want to sit down for this - used tweezers to position the chains.  I know right...  My mum bought me some great angled tweezers for Christmas which I now use for everything.

I did some skittles so you could get a few ideas how to wear them - that's a heart on my thumb in case you can't tell (it's totally obvious from a different angle, ahem...).  I just did this manicure for this review, but if I was wearing it longer I'd probably file down the beads overhanging the tip of my little finger if going for that sort of look.  The beads aren't too dense so I think it would be do-able.  And I almost forgot!  The polish is OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes.

If you like what you see, you can purchase this chain (and a whole host of other colours) here.  It's £1.54 and you get a whole metre.  That's a lot of beads.  Don't forget, you can use the code LKL91 for 10% off and shipping is free to wherever you may be in the world.  Happy shopping :)