Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Pastel Perfect - Lilac and Green

So for a bit of a change today I decided to paint my nails using 2 colours instead of one, to create a bit more of an unusual design.  If you have seen many blogs recently you may have seen a few designs using accent nails and 2 colours in one nail combination, and I thought I would share my new combination with you.

I often find that when the weather is a bit dull, as it has been over the past few weeks, its often hard to wear brighter colours even though it is technically summer, I can't face wearing garish colours on my nails sometimes but fear not...I have a solution for you.

For my pastel combination I have chosen to wear a green colour as the basis for my nails but feeling as though I couldn't pull this off in the not so summery weather I combined this with a lilac purple colour which has created a nice duo in my opinion.

For my Green colour I have used NYC Expert Last Nail Polish number 253 and in colour Mint Macaroon, which I think is such a amazing name.  It is a slightly duller mint green colour which is perfect for the days where the sun is not shining so brightly where you are, and I also think this will be a lovely colour for the late summer/autumn time of year because you can still be wearing a bright colour even though if it is not quite the time for a neon green.

In terms of application it was pretty good, with a creamy consistency which applied very nicely and was almost completely opaque after 2 coats.  Also the polish claims to last for up 7 days which would be perfect if it did but as I have just applied this I can not tell you if that is true, but so far it has lasted pretty well and shows no sign of chipping after the first day, but I will try to update this throughout the week to see how this polish lasts.

NYC is a brand that I previously had not explored or heard of all that much but honestly I can not say much bad about it.  Their products are really cheap for their quality and can easily be picked up in Superdrug without breaking the bank, so definitely check them out the next time you are in your local Superdrug store.

For the other colour I used Ciaté paint pot in the colour Purple Sherbet which I got in Marie Claire last month.  I have already done a whole review based on this polish which you can see HERE but basically I love Ciaté polishes.  I previously had not seen or tried Ciaté because they are on the pricier end of the spectrum but I can totally see why they are more expensive and I am now a convert and I will definitely be picked some more to add to my collection in the future.

I think that this combination is really pretty and something that anyone can pull off and put together no matter how big your collection is, or what colours you have.  Another idea that I had is to combine different tones of polish into one design and also using a vivid colour for the summer as the accent colour.  I will probably be trying these designs out in the future, so watch this space!

Have you tried any accent nail designs?  What is your favourite colour combination?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

MaxFactor - Fantasy Fire

If you have been anywhere near the blogging and vlogging scene over the last couple of months then you have probably heard of Fantasy Fire being a nail varnish that has been sort after by many people, and finally now I have got my hands on this polish heres what I think...
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but I was drawn in by the look of Fantasy Fire immediately when I saw it.  I knew it was one of those products that everyone in the blog world seemed to want but I think until I saw it I never really understood why.  It is a gorgeous colour with  finely milled holographic glitter.  The polish is predominately but as you rotate the bottle the glitter changes colour from a bluey/greeny turquoise colour to a more orangey/coppery colour.  I don't think I have done it justice in my description or photos but if you check it out for yourself you'll see what I mean.
I am a fan of glittery shimmery polishes but I was concerned how dual toned this product would be but overall I really like it.  There is a subtle change of colour that is obvious to anyone paying close attention to your nails but is not too over the top and bright if you were concerned about how wearable this polish would be.  I guess this product is no brighter than a normal purple polish but instead this just has some holographic glitter to make it a little bit more unusual

Overall, I do really like this product and the colour is beautiful and perfect for the summer season, when it eventually decides to arrive, and in the mean time it is also a colour that can just brighten up an outfit or a dull monday morning.  For the unique colour polish this product would get a 5/5 from me and I can completely understand the hype around this product, but unfortunately there is, in my eyes a slight downside to this product.

Personally I love to be able to apply 2 coats of a polish and it would be totally opaque and long lasting and Fantasy Fire unfortunately does not tick all those boxes.  In terms of lasting without a top coat, again I can't really fault this product but in terms of opacity in my eyes it gets a 2/5.

When I first applied this product I was shocked at how transparent this turned out and unfortunately I was very disappointed.  If you only applied 1-2 coats the polish made your nails turn a strange purple colour and did not great so this is something that you definitely have to be prepared to put time into this to get the desired colour.   But do not fear with a few coats this product looks amazing on your nails and is very long lasting, but if something that you look for in your "perfect product" is opacity in a few coats then this may not be for you.

In this photo I have applied 5-6 coats and although they do not take too long to dry it is just a pain to have to apply this many coats to achieve the colour and opacity that I wanted.  I do love this product and it is just a shame that the opacity is not great otherwise I would not be able to fault this product, but I think that it is definitely worth a try so if you can get your hands on this colour do give it a go.

You can pick up MaxFactor pretty easily from Boots or Superdrug in store or on Boots website or Superdrug website.  It will cost you £3.99 and you don't get a load of product because it is in MacFActor's mini nail polish range, but for the colour I think this is totally worth it, especially if you can pick it up in a deal like I did a few weeks ago in a 3 for 2 in Superdrug where I got 2 other MaxFactor polishes which will be reviewed on here soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Have you tried Fantasy Fire?  Did you have a problem with the opacity?  Do you think its worth all the hype?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Ciaté Purple Sherbet Update

As I said in my previous post which can be seen HERE I have decided to include an update on how this polish has worn, to test how long lasting it is, because sometimes what appears to be an amazing polish can often fall down on how long it lasts on the nails before chipping.

1-3 days after applying the polish there was relatively little wear on the nail varnish which I found amazing because normally without a top coat you can begin to see slight chipping and just overall wear on the nails in this time frame.

4 days after applying the polish I developed a small amount of chipping on corners of the nails, but this was not extremely noticeable to anyone else apart from me, and it was not bad enough to have to reapply the whole nail varnish layer on your nails.  But in the same respect, if you were particularly bothered by this small amount of chipping you can easily reapply 1 or 2 coats of nail polish on top to hide this, but personally it was not bad enough for me to do this yet.

So far I have been particularly amazed by the long lasting finish of this polish especially without applying a top coat, suggesting that if you did it would last for much much longer than without.  I will continue to update this throughout the remainder of the week to see how this continues to progress, but so far I have been extremely impressed.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Ciaté Paint Pot - "Purple Sherbet"

I have to admit that I am in fact a Ciaté newbie and prior to this purchase I had never tried a Ciaté polish before.  They are not the easiest polish to get your hands on in the UK and so I had never really picked one up, even though I had heard rave reviews about their products.

So when I heard that Marie Claire were giving away Ciaté polishes as a freebee with their magazine this month, I decided that this was an offer to good to resist.  Marie Claire are currently offering a choice of 3 Ciaté polishes in pretty summer shades called; Bon Bon (a taupe/nude colour), Jelly Bean (a bright pink shade) and Purple Sherbet (a pastel lilac/purple).  I have currently only picked up Purple Sherbet but after this purchase I am tempted to pick up the others too!

Normally Ciaté Paint Pots are around the £9 mark here in the UK but with the magazine you can pick these ones up for a fraction of the price at £3.70 each.  This means for all you Ciaté addicts I am sure you agree with me that this is an offer too good to resist as you can collect all 3 polishes for £11.10 which if you bought them normally would come to £27!  Also for all you Ciaté newbies like me it is a great way to try out the brand before committing to the full priced bottles.

Now onto what I though about the product, overall I was very pleased with the product, the consistency was very creamy and the coverage was excellent and I can easily see why they are normally priced at £9. I am yet to see how long this lasts on my nails but I will update this later in the week to let you know how this polish wears throughout the week.  But at the moment I find it very hard to criticise anything about this polish and I am I defintiely considering buying some more Ciaté polishes in the near future.

Another thing that I was also very impressed about was the bottle of this polish.  It has a very unique shape as it is a curved bottle, which instantly caught my eye when I took it out the packaging, and now stands out in my collection.  I thought this was a nice little addition to the whole Ciaté brand as it makes a difference to the bog standard nail varnish bottle shape.  Also the lid is slightly longer than the typical nail varnish lid which made applying the polish very easy.  As well as this, application was made easy by the large brush which meant you didn't have to make too many brush strokes to cover the nail which just made the whole application process easy and simple.

Overall I am incredibly impressed by my Ciaté Paint Pot and I am now a convert that is more than prepared to pay the £9 price tag for this polish.  You get 13.5ml in a bottle which is a good amount and the quality is superb so definitely check out the Marie Claire this month if you are yet to try Ciaté, and maybe collect all 3 colours...I am very tempted after this first Ciaté addition to my collection!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Pinks and glitter inspired by Sprinkleofglitter

After doing my previous post on the gorgeous colour by MUA "U R FAB" and seeing Sprinkleofglitter's post about pink sparkly nail varnish for the summer I decided the create my own version of her summer designs.  If you haven't seen the Louise's post you can click HERE to see her beautiful summery polishes.  I took the base coat of MUA's "U R FAB" which I have done a blog post on HERE if you wish to see it, I decided to see how the polish looked as a base to some glittery top coats.

The first glittery colour I decided to use was Revlon's Facetts of Fushia which was available in the autumn/winter of 2011 and is a gorgeous and very unusual polish.  It is actually I very deep purple/almost black polish with a range of purple glitter segments suspended in the polish.  It is a pretty shade but due to the dark colour of the polish it hides the purple/pink underneath so I would say its not really worth using the MUA shade under this glitter polish. But it does make a pretty design if you use this colour for one nail with the rest of your nails in the MUA shade.

Another design is using the blue and silver glitter polish by NYC called "Lights, Camera, Glitter" which is a pretty polish to use over the top of another polish to jazz up the design, which can be seen on the middle finger of the photo below.  Although this polish only has very small reflects of purple in the polish which is barely noticeable the finely milled silver glitter really adds something to the design.  You can still currently still buy this polish in Superdrug for just under £3...bargain for this sparkle top coat.

Here are all 3 of the glitter polishes that I used over the top of my MUA "U R FAB" polish and I think all of them look amazing, and could all be worn for different events and occasions.  From right to left MUA "U R FAB" base colour, MUA & Revlon Facetts of Fushia, MUA & NYC "Lights, Camera Glitter" and MUA & Models Own "Ibiza Mix"

My final glitter colour I have decided to use is Models Own Ibiza Mix which you can currently pick up from Boots, on the Boots website, or in a Models Own store or on their website for £5.  I have previously done a blog post on this polish over a yellow base which you can see HERE but I thought I would try it out over this shade too.  I have to say that every time I use this polish I fall a little but more in love with it!  It is probably the most versatile glitter top coat I have ever used and I just love the way it looks on the nails.  Since creating this design and trying it out on one nail I have painted all my nails in this combination and it is definitely my favourite out of the 3.

MUA Love Heart Collection - "U R FAB"

When I was looking around Superdrug I spotted this beauty on the MUA stand.  Although I had been aware of the Love Heart Collection that MUA have brought out I hadn't seen this colour before in the shops, so whilst it was still there I had to snap it up.  When I first heard the collaboration I couldn't wait to try them out as they are some of my favourite things, who doesn't love the cute messages on the sweets!  I was therefore so excited to the see the label on the top of the polish was in the style of a Love Hearts message, so the packaging was an instant win.
This colour is a gorgeous cranberry/dark pinky colour, called "U R FAB", which is great if maybe you aren't such a girly candy floss pink kind of gal, like me, so this is a nice compromise between a pink and purple.  It would also make a nice change from the traditional baby pinks that can be found in almost every shop anywhere in the world, and personally I don't have a polish this colour in my collection.  I would be happy to pay more money to find this colour but now I don't have to!

I love MUA products but had never really tried that many of their nail polishes before this one, so I was a bit sceptical as sometimes the low cost of the products can make the quality not so good.  But how wrong I was.  This is such a glossy and creamy consistency that it glides onto your nails beautifully and with 2 coats is almost completely opaque.

I was also amazed at how quickly this dries, but within at least 2 mins the polish was completely dry with 2 coats on, which is not normally the case for me to get a completely opaque finish, even with a 60 seconds polish.  It came as a surprise when I brushed my nail on something, and looking down fearing I had just smudged the polish I was pleasantly surprised that it was already dry!  I think that this would be perfect for when your'e in a rush, or a great polish to throw in your bag for touch ups throughout the week.

MUA can be picked up in your local Superdrug store, on the Superdrug website or on the MUA website.  Also at the moment Superdrug are having a 3 for 2 offer so why not collect more of the Love Hearts collection, at only £2 each you can't afford to miss this gorgeous collection and I definitely can't wait to pick some more shades up soon!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Future Giveaway

If you haven't already subscribed to this blog and you like all things to do with nails and nail varnish then feel free to subscribe for instant updates on my latest reviews and designs.  Once I get to a certain number of subscribers I will be doing a nail product giveaway, so for a chance to be entered into this subscribe and share my blog on twitter, Facebook or the good old fashioned word of mouth.

Thanks for all your support and views, it means the world to me and hopefully I can announce the giveaway!!

Jubilee Nails

For an easy way to navigate around my blog I have create a compilation of all the photos of Jubilee designs that I created so that if you like the design you can click on the matching number to the design that you like and you will be taken to that thats what I call magic!

Have a wonderful Jubilee bank holiday and let me know if you try out any of my designs!

Jubilee Nails - A spot of colour

For my final post of the Jubilee bank holiday I have decided to go for something that isn't the traditional designs that I have mostly shown before, instead this is something a little different but still with the red, white and blue theme.

For this I used the same colours as I used in the first design which can be found HERE but you can use whichever colours you already have or that take your fancy.  I simply painted my nails a white colour all over, before adding the colour detailing on top.

You can obviously use more technical tools such as dotters along with many others but what I used, which is just as good and much much cheaper...a hair grip, curvy grip or bobby pin whatever you want to call it.  I got a pack of 50 for £1 at Poundland and they are in my eyes just as effective.  Just dip the curvy grip into the nail polish, and the more you use the bigger the dots that you create, simple.

For the first part of this design I chose to use alternating colours of blue and red dots on the design, which you can leave as a final design, but I then decided to add to this design by also using the opposite colour to the one that I had already applied to the nails to create more of a busy design what incorporated red, white and blue into all nails.

I think that these nails are very easy to complete and are something that you could even wear after the Jubilee celebrations because they aren't as obviously Jubilee related, unlike some of the designs that have Union Jacks on.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jubilee Nails - Patriotic spots

When I created my previous design, a twist on the traditional French manicure which you can find HERE, I decided that I actually wanted to develop this idea to make it more unusual than the first design.  So after creating the design which you can see from the previous post I had a white tip design, which I then decided to decorate into another design.  I wanted to keep the design of red, white and blue for the obvious patriotic theme that I have tried to show in all of my designs.  I wanted to create an interesting design in the small space that I had left on the tips of my fingers and so I decided to create a dot pattern.
These patterns can often be over thought and seen as too difficult to even attempt but I think this is actually much easier than people expect, so you can make people think you have amazing skill, when in reality it doesn't take much.  

You can obviously use more technical tools such as dotters along with many others but what I used, which is just as good and much much cheaper...a hair grip, curvy grip or bobby pin whatever you want to call it.  I got a pack of 50 for £1 at Poundland and they are in my eyes just as effective.  Just dip the curvy grip into the nail polish, and the more you use the bigger the dots that you create, simple.  

I personally chose to use contrasting colours to the base of nail colour, but you could also use 2  or more colours on the nail tip for different designs and ideas.  Overall I think that these nails are very interesting designs that incorporate very simple and quick techniques to make a nail design that looks like it takes a lot more time and effort.

Jubilee Nails - British Manicure

For this design I created a unique take on a French Manicure design, which looks a lot harder to achieve than it actually is.  To see what colours I used as part of the design click HERE to see the original post I did about Jubilee colours.

For this I simply painted my nails alternating blue and red colours, I deliberately left out the white nail because I wanted to use the white for the tip of the nail, but you could easily have a white nail and use alternating red, white and blue tips for another design idea.
After painting my nails a block colour I then used a white colour to create a French tip, however recreating the perfect French tip can be a tricky manoeuvre especially to get 10 nails looking vaguely similar.  So I changed the design slightly and made the white tip slightly diagonal as to create an interest to the nail as well as making it easier for myself as they could be slightly different and also allowed for error!

I think that these nails are very simple but overall look pretty and are a nice alternative to French manicure or a block nail colour of red, white and blue.  Of course if you have a steady hand or have a tip for getting the perfect French tip then you can also use this for the nails instead of the diagonal design.  Also this diagonal tip can also be transferred into any other design throughout the year, as well as adding this to a nail that has begun to chip and wear throughout the days as a quick touch up tip.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubilee Nails - Union Jack accent nail

If you do not feel brave enough to for the full Union Jack nails then here is a less bold alternative.  If you haven't seen the previous design using these nails you can see it HERE.
I used the same nails so if you want to find out about where I got these from then you can look at the previous post HERE.  I have also used the same base blue and red colours that I used in my basic jubilee nails post which you can also see HERE and for the low down on the glitter polishes that I used then feast your eyes on this post HERE.
Okay so now we are all down with those things, here is my other alternative nail design that I have created using a Union Jack nail design as an accent nail.  As I am sure you know, accent nails are currently very popular whether it is just another colour to the rest of your nails or a totally different design as I have used they are a great way to add a pop of extra detail or colour to your nails.  I have used a false nail but you can easily use a nail transfer, wrap or if your'e feeling particularly skilful you could always paint your own Union Jack design.

I think that this is a nice design that can worn by most people to add a little more interest to the nails instead of simply having plain red, white and blue, but by including a flag.  Also you only have to use 2 of the nails in that case and you still have lots left to reuse and maybe pack in a bag in case some come a little loose.  Also if you have decided to paint your own Union Jack design you only have to paint 2 flags instead of 10 which will be a lot less time consuming and less pressure to get them all the same!

Jubilee Nails - Union Jacks

Quite a while ago I saw these Union Jack nails  in Savers for about 60-70p and thought that I just had to pick them up, as they were an offer just too good to pass by.  I'm not sure if you can still pick these up anywhere else but I know that there are probably a few nail wraps or stickers or something that will give the same impression.  Also if you were feeling really creative and you have a steady hand, you could also paint a Union Jack design onto your nails.
Unlike most false nails or stick on nails that require glue to apply them, these were really simple to use.  They came with sticky adhesive patches that you simply stick onto your nails and then press the nail design on top to secure.  The patches were also really easy to adjust to the size of your nail by simply using scissors to cut off any excess from the surrounding nail.  These nails came with a squared off nails design which can be seen in the photo, but the pack also comes with a small nail file so you could always file these to the desired shape and size.

These were surprisingly simple to apply and there was non of the mess or sticky patches left that you normally get from the nail glue which makes them easy to apply in a rush.  You can also easily peel the nail off the adhesive patch after you have finished and keep them at the back of your cupboard for another time where you are feeling a bit patriotic or there is another royal celebration.

I think that for the price these nails are really good, and extremely relevant if you want to get into the patriotic mood this weekend.  They aren't necessarily something that I would wear everyday but for a special occasion, like this bank holiday, I think that you can go full out on the design for a very eye catching design that will get peoples heads turning.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Jubilee Nails - Diamond Crackle

To celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee here is another nail idea that you can try out over this bank holiday weekend.  I started with the same base colours as I did in the first nail design, so if you haven't seen that post yet you can look at it by clicking HERE.

After creating the base for my design using an alternating red and blue design I decided that I wanted to create a different design on the nails to the other designs where I did full block nail colours.  You can use any crackle polish for this design and nearly every brand of nail varnish has their own version with a variety of colours, as well as matt and glitter ones.

I have chosen to use MUA's Nail Quake in a grey/silver colour called "Shattered Ice" which I think is a very interesting combination.  I chose this silver tone to link back to the Diamond Jubilee, but you could also use a white crackle so that your nails have the red, white and blue theme of the union jack.  

I applied this polish relatively thickly to create an overall silver appearance so that the blue and red only peek through the gaps in the polish, so this idea might be better for you if you wanted a more subtle nail design rather than the brighter blue and red designs that you can see HERE and HERE.

The application of the polish was very easy and creates a very unusual effect that no matter how many times you use this polish you can never not be amazed by this type of nail varnish as it magically disappears from your nails.  If you haven't tried this kind of crackling polish then you can pick this MUA one up at superdrug, on the superdrug website or on the MUA website for £2.99.

Jubilee Nails - A glittery twist

For this next design I have simply developed the first of my Jubilee designs so if you haven't seen that post yet then you can click HERE.  I have used the same base colours as previously but this time I have added a slight glittery touch to the nails to make design slightly different and a bit more fun than a simple red, white and blue pattern.

                                     On top of my Rimmel "Rapid Ruby" base I have added a coat of Barry M's polish number 150 which doesn't have a name but I would call it ruby slipper or something along those lines as the bottle is purely red glitter and reminds me of Dorothy's shoes.  This polish is amazing and unlike many glitter polishes that normally tend to have hardly any polish and you have to do about a million coats to get a vaguely opaque colour, this probably could have been done with a couple of coats.  I only used 1 coat though as I already had the red base underneath.  This adds a subtle touch of glitter and sparkle to your Jubilee design and is perfect if you are going to be going to any parties or even if you are just sitting in the garden having a BBQ with family and friends as the glitter will catch the light.

On top of the white polish I decided to use a clear polish with finely milled multi-coloured glitter, but from far away this looks relatively silver and just gives a sparkly touch to your nails and for this I used MaxFactors "Sheer Glitter" polish number 866.  I have to admit that I have had this polish for years and you can probably tell from the old bottle shape, but it is such a gorgeous polish that I still have it and still love to use it.  Although I doubt you can still get this exact shade there are bound to be many other glittery polishes out there so you can take your pick on the exact shade for your Jubilee nail designs.

Over the blue polish I chose to use NYC's polish "Lights, camera, glitter" number 105 which is a glittery polish that has finely milled silver glitter throughout with larger glitter pieces of blue.  This polish is amazing and so amazing, especially over a darker blue, or any other dark polish, because you can see how much silver glitter there is as well as the larger, more obvious chunks of blue.  Although I wouldn't want to use this completely on its own because I think that it would take a fair amount of coats to create an opaque finish, over another colour I think this polish is amazing.
Red glitter- Barry M 150, White glitter- MaxFactor- "Sheer Glitter" 866, Blue glitter- NYC "Lights, Camera, Glitter" 105
This simple addition of a glitter polish over the top of the basic red, white and blue design, makes this design more jazzy and good if you want to have a slight glittery appearance that is perfect for this time of year and the jubilee celebration.

Jubilee Nails - Simple Red, White & Blue

As we are gearing up for the Jubilee weekend I have decided to create a serious of blog posts linked to jubilee nail designs that can hopefully inspired you to get a little patriotic and bring out the red, white and blue.

First I started with just a basic nail design using red, white and blue to reflect the colours in the Union Jack.  This is a simple design that can be done in a rush before that jubilee party you are off to with just a couple of coats of red, white and blue and you're ready to go!

     The red that I used for this deign is a Rimmel London polish in "Rapid Ruby" number 320 and is a deeper red than most of the other reds that I have, which I thought was more true to the colours of the Union Jack.  This polish was really opaque and after one coat was pretty much perfect to go, but I used 2 just to make sure it was completely opaque, this would also make it super quick to apply if you are in a rush and no one needs to know that you didn't spend hours creating the perfect opaque red!

The blue that I used is Mavala's "Deep Blue" number 269 and is a gorgeous deep blue as the name suggests, but it has a beautiful green and turquoise shimmer through it.  Although this shimmer isn't essentially seen in the Union Jack I think that this shimmer adds a little something to the nails, and it is not obvious unless it catches the light.  You could also use a plain navy colour as this would link back into the union jack theme, but I love this Mavala one as it has such a creamy formulation which applies like a dream onto the nails.

The white that I used here was a basic white that I got in a Primark french manicure set for christmas a couple of years ago, and whilst it may not be the best quality, for these designs it is perfect.  The consistency of this polish is quite thick and gloopy but in regards to creating a white nail that is relatively opaque and a true white colour then this one does the job.

So here is my basic Jubilee nail design that I will build upon in future posts and show how you can either just use this simple design, or use this as a base to build on and create a more interesting and unique design.

Red- Rimmel London "Rapid Ruby" 320, Blue- Mavala "Deep Blue" 269, White- Primark