Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Red Crocodile

Greetings All!

This is another classic 'try and use more of your stamping plates' manicure. I've gotten quite good at swatching new polishes in a timely fashion, but I have stamping plates from nearly two years ago that I haven't used yet! Of course not every image is going to appeal to me, but I've been making an effort to use new ones, instead of the same images.

Part of me would really like to knuckle down and use all my stamping plates, in order. I would then have a massive database to refer to! That would be lovely. However, it would take forever to do. I think it would take me about a year, if I could manage multiple manicures every day. Surely you all know by now that I do not have the organisational skills or the attention span for that! It would be nice though.

Back to today's nails. I usually find animal print stamps to be very wearable, so this one got used fairly promptly. Definitely weeks rather than years!

The image is from MoYou Pro XL05, stamped with Konad Black over OPI Just A Little Rosti at This. I decided to use JALRAT because I didn't have a good, dark green stamping polish. One of the great things about animal prints is you can have them in any colour! I guess that kind of works for everything though...

Monday, 28 July 2014

British Nail Bloggers Colour Me Crazy! Week 4 - Green

Greetings All!

I'm finally in full-on challenge mode. For the first three weeks of this challenge I was a bit lazy, but I have the next three weeks prepped and ready, and no stamping in sight!

I don't mean to say stamping is the lazy option in every case. I love stamping! I know it's a little art form all of its own, and it can be anything but easy! I just mean that personally I often use stamping as a bit of a cop out - I feel like I should do something more creative. but instead I just stamp something and voila! Instant creative looking nails without brushes and dotting tools and fiddling and squinting.

For today's prompt I've done splatter nails! That's proper fiddling - taping up my fingers, cutting up straws...effort! In the hot Summer heat too. I must be mad! I think it was worth it though.

My base is MUA Pistachio Ice Cream. You can't go wrong with a pretty colour named after something delicious! For the splattering, I used Color Club Pearl District (not green, but I fancied adding a bit of gold), Ciate Ditch The Heels and Color Club Artsy Craftsy. Most of the tutorials I've seen suggest dipping a straw in a puddle of polish, but I find it easier to dip straight in the bottle!

I still felt like it was missing a little something. Glitter! One coat of Darling Diva Polish Pendragon later...

...a strange camouflage manicure appears!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Purple Roses

Greetings All!

I recently got some new plates from MoYou London, and more than one of them had a rose design on it. Of course they're the first on my nails - I do love my roses!

The plate in question is MoYou Princess XL 12, stamped with Barry M Gelly in Plum over Color Club Wicker Park. To be honest, it's not my favourite rose design ever. I think it would make a good stamped decal though!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Lynnderella Chocolotta Love

Greetings All!

Good old eBay has been very quiet lately. In the last few months I've bagged all kinds of bargains, mostly polish. It started when I fell in love with Butter London but couldn't bear to pay full price for them!

This month I was fortunate enough to be the only bidder on a few Lynnderellas. I won't go into the drama surrounding this brand, but it does have a pretty cult status, and I did feel like my polish collection went up a level when I added some Lynns!

Of the couple I've tried, this is definitely my favourite so far. Chocolotta Love, 3 coats over OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys.

Isn't it a beauty? I love all the colourful flashes, and how the brown is really rich, but still sparkly! Such a pretty polish, and a very welcome addition to my collection!

Friday, 25 July 2014

British Nail Bloggers - Colour Me Crazy! Week 3 - Yellow

Greetings All!

My yellow nails for this week's challenge once again required no effort - they've been sitting in the vault for a good few weeks. I will be making the effort from now on though, because I don't have anything conveniently prepared! I'm currently working on my green nails (trying to find inspiration at least!)

I mentioned with my orange nails that I've been trying to use more of my MoYou London stamps. Actually, I've been trying to use all my stamps a little more. I seem to do so much stamping, and yet the majority of images in my collection have never been used! I bought the Bundle Monster CYO set at the beginning of the year, for example, and this is only the second plate I've used from it. I should really work through all my plates methodically, but that seems like such a hard task!

I can't help thinking that this stamp would look better with something like burgundy and gold. I do like this combination though, because it reminds me a little of Party Rings, my favourite biscuit!

The stamp is BM404, in Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Speedy Sunburst over SHID in Butter-fly Stroke (yes, I've been testing them out for stamping too!).

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

UK Indies - Freckles Polish A Typical British Summer Swatches

*These products were provided at a discount in exchange for review*

Greetings All!

Freckles Polish has been very busy this Summer! In addition to the second part of the Happy Hour Holos collection and the Holiday Destination collection, the latest Summery set, A Typical British Summer, will be released on August 1st.

Today I have swatches of two of the polishes in this collection. Over the last few months I've been really impressed with the quality of Freckles Polish, from the stunning holos to the charming glitter combinations, so I was excited to see this latest collection!

First up is Sand In My Sandwich, a glitter topper, and a terrible experience I'm sure most of us has had! I hate getting sand in food. Fortunately this polish isn't the equivalent of sand in my food!

This is one coat over Models Own Hypergel in Cornflower Gleam.

My first thought when picking a base colour was pink, but I'm glad I chose this blue because it shows off all the colours in the glitter nicely. Lots of different yellow glitters, with a sprinkle of peach and red. It actually reminds me of ice cream, like a rich (yellow) ice cream sundae with sauce and fruit...whether ice cream or sand, it definitely very Summery! Also, one coat. Gotta love a one coat glitter!

Next up is Pitch A Tent. This is two coats solo.

This first coat was a little sheer, and I didn't have a base colour that quite matches this. Fortunately the second coat covered perfectly, leaving nothing but the faintest whisper of vnl behind this lovely jelly. What looks like a sprinkle of icing sugar is actually holo sparkle that my camera refused to acknowledge! But it's super pretty. As with just about all the Freckles I've seen, this has a lovely glitter combination. I especially like the purple and yellow together, and the little white rectangles.

This collection is released on August 1st. You can buy Freckles Polish on Etsy, and keep up to date with news and releases on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Picture Polish Jasmine

Greetings All!

Just a quick indie swatch to kick off the week. I've never really been a big fan of PP. I know they're extremely popular, and they are pretty, but they're quite expensive, and that always put me off a bit. Not to the point where I dislike them, just to the point where I've never really sought them out. However, I've had the chance to pick up a few at a reasonable price over the last couple of months, and although I'm still not convinced I would pay full price for them, I do have a few I quite like (it's worth mentioning that I also wouldn't pay full price for Butter London, and I love Butter London. I'm just cheap!).

This is Picture Polish Jasmine, two coats.

I couldn't resist the pretty glitter combination!

 I was very pleased with the application. I have a real 'thing' about glitters in a crelly base - I hate using more than two coats. Two coats is perfect - the glitter from the first coat peeks through, with a brighter layer over the top. Three coats and the first layer gets buried, layers of glitter get built up and look lumpy... I hate it. Either be perfect in two coats, or prepare to wear undies, polishes! This is perfect in two coats. So, one point to you, Picture Polish...

Are there any really poplar polishes that you just can't get excited over?

Friday, 18 July 2014

Imagine Dragon Scales

Greetings All!

So, Summer has definitely made it's presence felt here this week! Here in the South East it's 30C today (about 86F for all you internationals!), which is just about as hot as it gets in the UK. Cue people walking about nearly naked (when most of them are best kept covered), and society grinding to a halt because no one can cope with the heat. Next week they'll be complaining that the hot weather is gone, however!

I've been taking it easy - plenty of cold drinks, and a snooze in the afternoon whenever possible. That's the same thing I do all year round though!

Today's nails reflect this weather in no way. I just thought I'd acknowledge it so that later I can pinpoint when Summer was (that week in July).

Polish Addict Imagine Dragons is the base for this manicure - two coats over Sally Hansen Insta Dri in S-teal a Base. It's lovely, but a little sheer, hence the undies. I have this thing lately where my nails have to look like the polish in the bottle, and nothing else will do. I like to think I'm getting rather good at picking a base though, or rather my collection is so big now, I'm bound to have the right shade!

As my circle glitter fishing trip proved rather unsuccessful (I think I got two in total), I decided to go for a bit of stamping. I used Mentality Dapper and MoYou London Sailor XL 05 for the scales. Admittedly, they don't look super Dragon-y to me - the Dragons in my head are a darker green, or red or purple! Maybe more Mermaid scales...

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

British Nail Bloggers - Colour Me Crazy! Week 2 - Orange

Greetings All!

After last week's lack of inspiration, I feel like I'm being a little cheeky with this week's offering. I have an orange manicure sitting in the vault that I'm posting. I feel like I should have done a fresh new manicure, but that seems a little silly when this one is sitting here already. I'll probably do the same for next week (yellow), as again I have one just sitting there. I am however pledging to make an effort for green!

Lately I've been trying to use more of my MoYou stamps, instead of the two or three I love from each plate. I pick a design, then try to imagine what colours would look nice! Hopefully eventually I'll use all of them at least once.

For this...slightly 70's looking design, my base is Barry M Gelly in Satsuma. I stamped with Barry M Gelly in Plum and MoYou Pro XL 03. It's quite obvious with designs like these that I still can't manage to get my placement 100% perfect. I am improving though!

Now go check out some people who have actually put the effort in!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Gold Leaf Tips

Greetings All!

I've had gold and silver leaf for nail art for ages, and in fact I've had this exact manicure in my head for a few months. I won't lie - I've been put off by how fiddly it is. At least, it sounded really fiddly whenever anyone else has used it. I thought that awareness might work in my favour.

It didn't! People, it's the most fiddly, frustrating stuff ever! It's weightless, and uncooperative, but at the same time it's strangely satisfying. Probably because it's been rattling round my head for ages. Would I use it again? Absolutely. Only on a day when I have a lot of patience though!

I've been picturing hot pink nails with shredded gold leaf tips. In my head they looked like flames (everything looks like flames in my head - what's up with that?!). Judge for yourself!

My thumb went a little bit wrong, and ended up mostly gold. Apart from that, I'm actually really pleased with how these turned out. They look quite close to how they did in my head, they're nice and 'shreddy' (it's a word!), and apart from the fiddliness, they weren't actually too difficult to do.

I started with two coats of Barielle Now That's Hot! I then prepped the gold leaf, shredding it with tweezers and scissors. You have to be careful with even your breathing near gold leaf, because any air seems to carry it off! I forgot that, and accidentally coughed...bye bye bits of gold!

I applied some slow drying clear polish to about two thirds of my nail. I started with the best, pointiest shreds to get my nails looking like gold flames, then added more to the tips to make it more solid. Little flecks of the leaf did get stuck to my fingers, but I managed to get a few of them on the nail nearer the top, and I like the effect! Two coats of SV got it smooth...enough.

Next time I'm going to attempt gold and silver together. Famous last words...

Saturday, 12 July 2014

British Nail Bloggers Colour Me Crazy! Challenge. Week 1 - Red

Greetings All!

Yes, it's true, I'm taking part in my first challenge of the year!! Not bad, considering we're over halfway through it already. I've been taking time off from challenges this year, so that I can just wear what I want to wear on my nails. I did so many challenges last year, it seemed like most of the time I just had 'random challenge nails' on, and no time for the nails I wanted! However I am becoming something of a recluse, so it's time to join in with something.

Thanks to Kerrie for putting this all together. 

This is the schedule - one manicure a week, for the next twelve weeks. Surely even I can manage that?!

I already have an orange and yellow manicure in the vault, so all I really had to worry about was a red manicure. As red is one of my favourite colours, this should have been easy. Could I find any inspiration anywhere? No. As the deadline approached, I started to feel pressured, because I couldn't think of anything to do, and I knew that if I missed this prompt, chances are I just wouldn't bother with the rest of the challenge. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl.

At times like these, I reach for my favourite stamping image and just use that. As it is my favourite, I always think every manicure using it looks awesome!

It's not super exciting, but I got it done, so I'm still taking that as a small victory!

For my base I dug out a lovely red I haven't used in ages, Collection Big Hair. I guess this is a coral red, but I always think of it as peppery, or paprika! Either way, it's a lovely shade, and a bit different from th Sally Hansen Right Said Red I always seem to wear! I then stamped with Konad Black and DRK-B.

Next week's Orange nails are sat ready and waiting, as are Yellow. So I have plenty of time to work on Green!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Revlon Leather In Downtown (Plus Skulls!)

Greetings All!

I was perusing a Revlon stand recently, specifically the new Parfumerie range. I'm a sucker for a scented polish - I know it's a little gimmicky, but I really like them! I did end up getting Pink Pineapple, but they were on offer, 2 for £10. Of course that meant I had to buy two!

My mum pointed out the Leather polishes just underneath the scented ones. I couldn't believe I'd been so distracted, that I'd completely missed them! Leather polishes are way more exciting than boring old scented ones!

So this is Downtown, two coats.

This is maybe just a touch shinier than I would like, but otherwise it's pretty good! Some patches are a little grainier/smoother, I'm not sure if that's was my fault for polishing unevenly, but I think it actually adds to the leather effect. I really like the colour too - rich purple. I just wish they had a few more shades, as the other two don't really 'grab' me.

I also recently got some new MoYou London plates, and what could be better than leather and skulls?!

M new favourite all over skull stamp! I actually have a lot of skull stamps now (yay!), but most would work better as accent nails, and I desperately needed one for 'all over' designs. This is from Biker XL 10, stamped with Barry M Silver Foil. I love it!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

UK Indies - Indy's Indies Elements Polishes

Greetings All!

A little while ago I entered a giveaway over at A Shi...pload Of Polish. There were a lot of UK indie polish prizes, so how could I resist?! Imagine my excitement when I won not only a prize, but the one I wanted most! These four super cute polishes from Indy's Indies (aka A Shi...pload Of Polish!).

I'm going to jump straight onto Fire, because not only is it my favourite of the four, it's instantly become one of my favourite glitter toppers. I've used about 1 1/2 coats here - one coat plus a couple of touchups. Definitely less than two coats, over black.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Polish Like An Egyptian

Greetings All!

I've been trying to 'force' myself to use the MoYou London large image plates more. Don't get me wrong, I think they look absolutely beautiful, and in the right hands the possibilities with them would be endless. I just struggle a bit with deciding how to use them.

One of my favourites is Artist 07, I love all the Egyptian images. This manicure is inspired by a couple I did late last year using this plate. They never got posted because after Christmas my nails were considerably shorter, and all my long nails pictures depressed me! I'll be brave, and share a couple of pictures.

My base is Color Club Williamsburg. I was a little surprised by how much I liked this polish - it's very dark, and very sparkly at the same time. I stamped with Barry M Gold Foil and MoYou London Artist 07.

And here are the two manicures that inspired it.

Look at my nails - they are disgustingly long. And by disgustingly, I mean that I hate that they don't look like that now! I don't have the lifestyle for long nails, and I'm still amazed they ever got to this length, but I loved having big long talons and I still miss them!

The top one is the same polish combo, and the bottom one is Color Club Pearl District. Both the Color Clubs are from the Girl About Town collection. I planned a whole big swatch post with nail art, that never got posted, along with dozens of other talony picctures! Daft, I know. Maybe I'll do a few more 'recreations'!