Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloweeeeeeeeeen Nails!

Halloween!  What better time of year for a theme manicure?  I had lots of different ideas, most of which could have been done as a full manicure by themselves, but lack of time meant that a Halloween skittle effort was the simpler option, here's what I came up with.

I used a combination of sprinkles, stamping and freehand nail art.  I stamped pumpkins, a spider and web and some skulls, did the two pinkies in Bumble Bee sprinkles which is an orange base with black glitter and then free-handed a mummy, ghost, Jack Skellington and Frankenstein monster.

I'm rather pleased with how these turned out, even the free-hand nail art turned out pretty well which is not always the case with my shaky hands.  I'm also pleased with how the double colour stamping worked out: 

To create this manicure I used the following polishes & nail plates.


Illamasqua Radium (base)
Kiko 357 Orange (base)
Kiko 275 Black (base & eyes)
Barry M Matt White (base)
Accessorize Bumble Bee (base)
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Satsuma & Watermelon (for stamping)
Sally Hansen Insta Dri 280 Rapid Red (eyes)
Easy Paris White nail art pen (stamping & eyes)

Nail Plates:

It took quite a while to complete this manicure but I do think it was worth the time and effort, I'm just a bit disappointed that I don't have a party to wear them out to so I can show them off. ;)

What did you do for Halloween?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

New Polish Haul

These are a few bits that I bought a while back but haven't had chance to write about before now, I placed an order on Cosmetics Fairy on a Thursday, my parcel arrived on Monday morning, it was sent second class so I think that was a pretty good delivery time.   It arrived well packaged and all the polishes were as I expected.
The first part of my delivery were 3 Sally Hansen Insta Dri polishes, Chartreuse Chase, Jade Jump & Blue-Away, I chose them as the Insta Dri polishes are meant to be great for stamping with and these pastel shades are different to anything else I have.  I'll report back once I've tried them out.

Next up, a brand I had never heard of - Hedy's - it turns out these are US releases which could explain why I have never heard of them before, again there are 3.  Way Out Fuchsia, Beyond Opal & Blaster.  All three are labelled 'holographic' but they aren't, they are in fact duochromes.
Blaster seems to be a close dupe for Sally Hansen DVD and Way Out Fuchsia is very similar to Sally Hansen Bite.  I think Beyond Opal is similar to a Kiko polish I have but I'll need to dig it out to check which number.
I think these polishes will look best over other colours, they are not very opaque on their own and I think they'd all need at least 4 coats to avoid a visible nail line but they look like they have the potential to be gorgeous over other cream polishes.
Finally I also got Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Lavender Envy, this is another sheer duochrome polish which I think will be gorgeous over creams.

The prices on these polishes were excellent, over all the order came to under £10 which for 7 polishes is a pretty good deal!  Hopefully I'll get a chance to try them all out soon and post some NOTD photos including them.  Which is your favourite?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Patchwork Shatter Manicure

I saw this manicure done on another blog a while back (which I can't remember the name of now, if you know please leave a comment and I will add a credit to the original one!).  It uses a selection of crackle polishes to create a sort of patchwork effect on the nails.

To create my version I used Kiko 372 as a base and then added Kiko Rock-top Shatter polish in 600, 605, 608 and 611 over the top to create the patchwork effect.

I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out, although it was definitely the sort of manicure which looks a little better from a distance rather than up close, like in these photos, where you can see all the joins and overlaps.

It's something I will probably try again in future because I do think it has potential to be a really cute manicure.  What do you think, is it something you would try?

Sunday, 28 October 2012

British Nail Bloggers - Weekly Round Up!

Time to catch up with our lovely British Nail Bloggers.  Read on to see what everyone has been up to this week and what they're wearing on their nails.

British Nail Bloggers

Rachel at Phoenix Nails wore it pink for Breast Cancer Campaign's Wear it Pink Day with a pretty Monarch Butterfly mani.

Emma's Quest for the Holy Grail continues with some unusually successful watermarbling and other foes to face including this triple colour striping mani at Emma's Little Corner.

Claire at nuthin' but a nail thing is getting Halloween started early with a SPOOKY MANICURE! Aroooooooooooooooo!

Jazz at Glitter Infatuation has been having fun with the new W7 Glitters, Mosaic, Glitter Dazzle and Salt and Pepper! Glitter is appropriate no matter what the occasion.

Over at Pie's Eyes Lyndsay shows off her Good Food Show Theme Manicure which she wore last weekend.

Jo at Northern Nails is going to a Halloween party tonight and will be wearing this mani!

This week The Teenage Shopaholic has been... scaring herself silly! She was wearing China Glaze Midtown Magic to a horror movie marathon sleepover!

Sam at Polished Art is 'feeling the love tonight' with her Lion King inspired manicure for the 31 Day Challenge (yep, that's still going!).

Wendy at Wendy's Delights shows us her Green Glitter Nails for Llama Nails A-Z challenge.

PishPosh and Polish's Kerrie has been having fun with her new Brazilian polishes this week. Also she has been swatching Pretty and Polished Candy Corn Is it orange? Is It Yellow? This mood changing polish is both!

Danielle has had a busy week this week so drafted in some help from Rachel at Phoenix Nails who created an awesome Halloween Mani for her Guest Post at Totally Nailed.

Enigmatic Rambles has been getting her freehand on this week with MEG and MOG do you remember them?

Kerry at JustTalkNails has done a manicure of Ghoulish Ghosts with a host of Barry M nail paints.

Laura at She Who Does Nails had a go at freehanding a pattern she found on Pinterest this week.

Carlyn has spent the week decorating so not many posts but friday she went nail polish crazy Nail Polish Haul Going to have fun swatching all these.

Vic's been playing with some of the Orly Fired Up collection for Fall and creating some Autumn Jewels.

Abi at Volatile Varnish experiemented with silver stamping over Gosh Holographic Hero and got some really cool results.

Saturday, 27 October 2012


I'm now all linked up on Bloglovin.  If you want to follow me there then click on the link below or on the button over to the right.

Kiko 372

I love this nail varnish, it's by far one of my favourites in my whole collection which is a little weird considering the amount of time I spend buying and lusting after glitter filled, flakies with extra duochrome.  372 is pretty bland but in the most amazing way, it's a pinky taupe kind of colour, best described as putty, to me it's the perfect putty. 
These pictures highlight why you shouldn't take nail photos until after you have moisturised, particularly if you've just used pure acetone to take off your glitter polish from the other day, it does show the colour and application off quite well though.
It's a very lady-like colour and would be suitable to wear pretty much anywhere, very definitely a slightly different take on the perfect nude.

It's hard to photograph in daylight, as it just won't show up properly.

 Aside from loving the colour of this polish the application is a total dream, these pictures show 2 coats, it's totally opaque and even on the nails and really does go on as smoothly as butter.  The polish also has a nice shine when it dries.

Basically I really can't recommend this polish enough, I adore most of the Kiko creams but this one really is a stand out to me in application and colour, if you're going to try one Kiko polish out then make it this one.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Wear it Pink

The 26th of October is one of the many days during October where people are trying to promote and publicise breast cancer awareness and charities.  Today is Wear It Pink day, a chance to get involved by wearing something pink and also hopefully donating to The Breast Cancer Campaign too.

It also fits in nicely timing wise with my partner's mum finishing her Radiotherapy treatment, so this one is dedicated to her.  Here's my Wear It Pink manicure.

To create this look I used a base of Kiko 372, an accent nail of Topping Lane from the Nails Inc Sprinkles collection and some stamping in Barry M Grapefruit.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

W7 Candy Floss

I thought I would do a quick review of this product today as I absolutely love it and use it almost every day, it's such a firm favourite that I currently have a back up and another one on the way.
Candy Floss by W7 is touted online as a very reasonable dupe to Benefit's Dandelion, and I can't say that I disagree with that assessment.  It's has similar soft pink shimmer which makes your complexion look brighter on application and the similarities in the packaging and brush are hard to miss.
The major difference is definitely in the price, Dandelion sells for £22.50 whereas Candy Floss is available in a variety of places online for around £3, or even cheaper if you want to pay P&P on top, although they generally all work out at much the same price.

I love how this blush applies, it's soft and smooth to apply.  The brush is another nice surprise for such a budget cosmetic; it's super soft, feels nice on your face and doesn't shed hair everywhere, more than can be said for a lot of more expensive brushes!

Until recently I didn't wear blush at all except on very rare occasions but I've been trying to branch out a bit more and now use it most days.  Despite having quite a large selection to choose from I find it hard to go past Candy Floss when I'm doing my face in the morning. 

The colour you get from it is a soft, subtle pink - it's very hard to go overboard with this blush unless you are REALLY trowelling it on which is another selling point for me, too much blusher always makes me feel like a clown - it adds a gentle, natural flush to the cheeks along with a hint of shimmer. 

The shimmer is very subtle, more a soft glow than a full on disco ball.  It's perfect for chucking on to give yourself a naturally flushed glow without too much thought and the neutral pink shade goes with pretty much any make up look.

Candy Floss Swatch
Overall, I can't sing the praises of this product enough, it combines two of my favourite qualities; cheapness & effectiveness, so I find it hard not to love.
If your in the market for a versatile, good quality blush then I seriously suggest you check out this little beauty.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Starry Night Stamping

After yesterdays manicure with Glitz Gal I wanted to do a little bit of stamping, I still have Dashica plates to try out and one of the designs on the plate seemed ideal against the evening sky like background of Glitz Gal. The plate I used was XL SdP 69, I chose the scene with the trees and the moon for accents and the shooting stars / star bursts for the other fingers.

I was hoping that against the Glitz Gal background it would look like a little nighttime woodland scene.  Unfortunately I still have a duff finger and these photos haven't turned out really well but I wanted to share them anyway, in person the 'sky' effect is much prettier and sparklier.

I'm quite happy with how it turned out but I think I might need to put this manicure in the 'ones that looked better in my head' category.
As for the Dashica plates, I remain undecided, when my order initially arrive 2 of the plates didn't stamp well at all, I sent them back and a replacement pair were sent to me, when they arrived they didn't stamp properly either.  By this point Shirley who runs the website has notified people online to a problem with a whole batch of plates which seemed to have affected the ones I bought too so she agreed to send me another replacement set, unfortunately in the end I didn't get my full order until the 16th of October, well over 3 months after I ordered and paid (I ordered near the beginning of July).

In her defence, Shirley was fabulous to deal with; helpful, friendly and very keen to sort out the issues I was having, I was definitely impressed with her customer service and that wouldn't put me off using Dashica again in any way.  However the quality of the plates might.

After all that time the plates would really have had to be stand out to impress me and so far I haven't found that to be the case, they are ok, most images stamp pretty well but some are a bit tricky.  I'm hoping it's just a matter of practice because I love the designs and would like to get lots of use out of them.  I have tried them with a couple of different polishes and stampers and the results have been a little varied, I'll stick at it but they aren't like other brands of plate I own which have stamped wonderfully right away. 

I've seen plenty of example of maniucres done using these plates online and they all look great, so I am hoping with more practice I'll be able to get similar effects from my plates.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Sally Hansen - Gem Crush - Glitz Gal

How excited was I when I found this display in Superdrug recently?!  Sally Hansen polishes in the UK and not only that but the gorgeous Gem Crush Collection.

The one downside?  The price!  £6.99 per bottle!  It really annoys me when I know fine well I could buy it in America for 1/4 of that price!  I was going to be good and not buy anything but I simply couldn't pass up on this little beauty, Glitz Gal (08):

It's a beautiful charcoal grey shade of glitter rammed full of little holographic sequins.  On first look I thought this was a grey based polish but it's actually a clear base with loads and loads of really fine charcoal glitter. It's so pretty under bright lights which is part of the reason I couldn't get out of the very brightly lit Superdrug without it!

 Here are a couple of bottle shots to get you in the mood.

I applied it over a dark grey Kiko base (381) to make sure it was fully opaque:

On the nail it doesn't disappoint, this polish is like a galaxy on your nails, I love it.  Two coats of base and two of Glitz Gal achieved the look below, apologies for the pre clean-up picture but it's the one which really shows off the polish in the most true to life way, as with all holographic glitters it's very hard to capture how lovely it is on camera.

Yet again, I am having cuticle issues so excuse the lack of pinkie in some shots, it's currently rocking a style all of it's own.

Have you tried any of the Gem Crush polishes?  What others would you recommend?

Monday, 22 October 2012

BBC Good Food Show Manicure

Yesterday my partner and I headed off the The BBC Good Food Show at the SECC, we were lucky enough to win tickets from the lovely people at the Taste of Glasgow blog.  I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to do a proper themed manicure and The Good Food Show means only one thing... FOOD!

I'm really pleased with how they turned out and most pleased that some lovely girls on one of the stalls noticed them and asked if they could take a picture!

 I used a combination of stickers and stamping to get the effect.  All my nails are painted using Barry M White as a base with the exception of the two citrus accent nails which are Kiko 355, a sunshine yellow.  The stamping is done using Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Satsuma, Watermelon, Blackberry, Pomegranate & Blue Plum and the stickers are from a selection I bought in Spain while visiting my parents.

And here's our haul, thank goodness we got the tickets for free in a competition it cost us a small fortune, there was so much delicious food and products to try and buy!

Caramel rum; chocolate wine; thai, curry & smoked sea salt and grinder; venison osso buco; a special knife sharpener AND mint, lemon, chilli, ginger and garlic rapeseed oils.
All in all a very successful event both nail and delicious goodies wise. :)