Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

My Easter manicure didn't really work out how it was supposed to, not least because it was very rushed and I couldn't find any of the other stamping plates I was sure I owned which had an Easter theme.  Anyway, here's my (rather rubbish) attempt.

I used Sinful Easy Going and Social Ladder for the base and a mash up of Barry M Gelly Hi-shines for the stamping (you can see them here and here)

I used plate HB38 for the egg and bunny designs.

I can't say I am overly impressed with this manicure, it isn't what I had in mind when I decided to theme for Easter.  I might have another crack at it tomorrow and see if I can do any better.

On a sort of related note, do you have any Easter themed nail stamping plates?  Where did you get them or what set are they part of, I am sure I had some somewhere but I couldn't find them when hunting last night and I need to be better prepared next year. ;)

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Kiko 331 - Stamped Spots and Stars

Today's nail of the day is a lovely light purple cream from Kiko, number 331.
I used Cheeky Plates Ch4 and CH6 and W7 Mauve Suede for the stamping

The Mauve Suede looks lovely with a top coat and stamped very well so despite not wearing brilliantly as a polish it definitely earns it's stripes for stamping.

Friday, 29 March 2013

W7 Suede Effects - Pink, Mauve & Aqua Suede

Today I am testing out the remainder of the W7 polishes I bought recently, you can see all of them here, I've previously posted about Night Suede and how I wasn't very impressed with the way the polish wore, although I did love the colour and application.

Today I have on the Pink, Mauve and Aqua Suedes.  This time I made sure I wrapped the tips of each nail to try and stop the horrible tip wear which I got with Night Suede.

Again, I love the colours and the application.  The polish goes on so smoothly, is totally opaque in one coat (although I did two) and dries super fast.  Each colour has a vivid base shade shot through with tiny silvery particles which make it seem both matte and yet shimmery at the same time, they give an almost foil effect to the colours.
Unfortunately these three are just as bad for tip wear and chipping as Night Suede is, even after wrapping my tips wear started to show fairly quickly.

Although this time I did manage to get pictures before it happened, sadly by the end of the working day typing had taken it's toll and there was obvious tip wear, along with a few chips.

I will definitely wear these polishes again because I love the colours but wrapping the tips and remembering that they will only last for a day is essential, the wear time on these is frankly RUBBISH which is such a shame as the formula and colours are great.
Hopefully they will all stamp nicely and I can use them for that, I'm also going to try them with a top coat and see what they look like un-mattified.
Have you tried any of these polishes?  How do you find the wear time?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

W7 Suede Effects - Night Suede

This is the first polish I've worn from the W7 Suede collection, you can see all the ones I purchased here, my first impressions were good.  The polish applies beautifully, it's really smooth and easy to put on, is almost opaque in one coat and seems like it will stamp nicely too, another bonus is that it dries super fast too.
Night suede is a black matte effect polish shot through with silvery gold shimmer (depending on what light you are in) and it does look nice on the nail, unfortunately not for long though.  The tip wear on this polish is terrible.
I applied it in the evening and it looked like this:

By the time I got up in the morning, before even doing anything, there was already a fair amount of tip wear which just got worse as the day went on.  It's also prone to chipping, particularly at the edges of my nails.

I really like the colour of the polish and how it applies but the wear time is terrible.  It's definitely tip wear rather than shrinkage as I didn't apply a topcoat to my nails (doing that would have changed the suede effect).  I am hoping that if I make a special effort to wrap my tips next time I use one of these polishes the tip wear won't be quite so bad.
On the plus side, since it applies so nicely and dries very fast it's not a huge issue that it only lasts a day, it's easy enough to change it the next night.  I'm curious as to whether all the suede effect polishes that are out at the moment are the same so if you've tried other brands then please let me know how you find them!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

In Vogue Feather Effects - Parakeet

After trying out swatches of all the new In Vogue Feather Effects polishes yesterday I decided I wanted to do a full manicure using just one shade, the one I chose was Parakeet and here's how it looks all on it's own (over a base of Barry M Mint Green) without the rest of the collection beside it.
The application and drying time were both still great, I am so impressed with how thick and easy to apply this glitter is.  The effect on the nail is lovely, it really does give a nice soft feathered look to my nails. 
I LOVE this colour too, it's the perfect mix for spring; soft peach, yellow and turquoise shades which blend together beautifully.

Using the Feather Effects polish again, this time for a full manicure, has just made me love it more.  I can't wait to try out the other three colours over different base shades as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

In Vogue Feather Effect Swatches

I have been so excited to get my hands on these, first posted about here, so when they arrived I had to immediately try them all out at once, after quickly taking a bottle shot. 

The colours are (from left to right) Parakeet, Sunset, On the money and Jaye Bird; you can see some comparison bottle shots  beside their Nails Inc cousins here.

Up close shot of some sample swatches I did before I got home and tried them out on my nails, I think this picture shows the colours of the bar glitter really well.

Now some pictures of them on the nail, I love how these polishes look!

From top to bottom; Parakeet, Jaye Bird, On the money and Sunset. 
All the feather effects are two coats over a base colour of Barry M Blue Moon.

I was so pleased with the way the feather effect polishes applied, the glitter is thick and dense in the clear base which means that the polish is almost totally opaque in just two coats and really covers the base shade I used.  The polish applies beautifully, it's really easy to move it about on the nail to get an even coverage, much less faff than a lot of glitter top coats I own!

Now for some close ups to properly show the beautiful colours of the bar glitter in these polishes.  First up Parakeet.

Jaye Bird.

On the Money.

And finally, Sunset.

As you can see (in the last close up shot) there are odd pieces of glitter which do very slightly overhang the nail edge leaving a bit of a rough effect, I didn't find it a huge issue and it's definitely something you could avoid with careful application.  For the odd pieces of glitter which did end up overhanging my nail edge I found it easy enough to remove with a quick file.

The polish dries to a slightly rough texture which might not suit everyone but it's easily enough covered with an extra coat of top coat of you prefer a smooth finish.

The polish also dried surprisingly fast which was a pleasant surprise, often layering glitters can take forever to dry but these ones were touch dry within a few minutes.

Overall I am delighted with these polishes; I love how they look, I love how they apply and most of all I love that they are a fraction of the cost of the Nails Inc collection that they emulate.  A total win for In Vogue, I'll definitely be making sure to keep an eye on the polishes they release in the future, if this initial collection is anything to go by then they could very well be the next high street brand to look out for.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Spring Stamping

I am hoping to bring in spring by painting my nails in a bright and springy fashion, so far there has been limited success.

I used Kiko 297 as the base, the stamping was done with a white nail art pen and then I used Kiko 279 as the yellow in the centre of the daisies.

I also added a few little holographic glitter pieces to the centre of some of the flowers.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

W7 Suede Effects

When I saw these beauties on Claire's blog, nuthin but a nail thing, I knew I had to have them.  I decided to check out my trusty supplier of W7, Nail Polish Direct, and sure enough they had the polishes for just £1.95 each!
There are 6 colours in the collection; pink, mauve, aqua, night, silver and golden.  I decided to be good and just order 4, here they are:
I am now lamenting the fact I didn't order golden as well.
As you can see from the little swatches below the polish has a sort of shimmer effect to it although they dry matte on the nail, which is what gives them the suede effect.
I can't wait to try these out.  The formula seems pretty thick so they might even stamp which would be an added extra.  Check back soon for swatches!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Revlon 260 Girly

I did a twin post using this polish the other day but I thought I'd also post a couple of pictures of it on it's own so you can properly see what the polish looks like. 
It's a very pretty pink jelly with pink, lilac and some holographic glitter through it.  You can't really see the holographic glitter until you're under very bright light, but it is there!
You can almost see it in this shot...
These pictures are three coats of Girly.
My one complaint about this polish is that is is VERY sheer, next time I would definitely layer it over something, most likely Barry M Dragon Fruit.
I do love this polish though, it's so nice to see big high street brands bringing us more indie inspired polishes.

Friday, 22 March 2013

In Vogue Feather Effect Polishes, Nails Inc Feather dupes?

Recently I have been toying with the idea of ordering some of the Nails Inc Feather Effect polishes, they're clear polishes laden with different shades of bar glitter and they look really pretty, however, I am not a huge fan of the quality of  Nails Inc polish and at £11 each they were quite a big expense.
While I was wondering if W7 might produce a similar line, as they did with the Sprinkles from last year, my attention was drawn to the new line of In Vogue polishes which are now in stock at Superdrug online.  This new budget brand has a whole range of different finishes and to my delight one of those finishes was Feather Effects!
The best news?  They're only £3.49 each, which means that all 4 of them cost under £14, not much more than one of the Nails Inc versions! 
Here are a few comparison shots of the In Vogue polishes alongside the Nails Inc.  First up Nails Inc York vs In Vogue Sunset, these two look like exact dupes to me; a clear base filled with peach and white bar glitter.
Next up Nails Inc Cornwall and In Vogue Jaye Bird, again an exact dupe as far as I can tell; a clear base with royal blue and white bar glitter.
Then we have Nails Inc Brighton and In Vogue On the money (these both remind me of the rather cult-ish indie polish Floam, which is good because I've fancied it for a while), again a very close match dupe wise; this polish is another clear base this time with pale yellow and turquoise bar glitter.
Finally we have Nails In Chester and In Vogue Parakeet, again these two polishes are a good match so I would call 4 for 4 dupes, which is pretty good going; the final polish is also a clear base this time with turquoise, yellow and peach bar glitter through it.
There is a fifth polish in the Nails Inc Feather collection, Edinburgh, and so far there is no sign of a dupe for it, you can see it below; it's a combination of peach and pale blur bar glitter in a clear base.
Of the 4 polishes that In Vogue have included in their collection all 4 look VERY close to the Nails Inc polishes, great news for anyone like me who wanted to try out the Feathers look but couldn't quite stretch their budget to buying a full set at Nails Inc prices.
In Vogue polishes are available online from Superdrug now and due to hit the stores in 'mid March', so hopefully soon.  Obviously I couldn't wait until they appeared in store so I have ordered all 4 and should have them within the next few days, expect swatches as soon as I get my grubby mits on them.
Have you tried any of the In Vogue polishes yet?  Are there others I should try from their collection, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Chinese inspired stamping

I decided to stamp over Viva la Diva before taking it off and the bright red colour reminded me of the beautiful Chinese fabric you get, so I decided to try and emulate that.
I used Cheeky plate CH44 for the flower pattern.  Although it's not really the right sort of flower for a Chinese design I am still pleased with the overall effect.  Excuse the horrible state of my nails, apparently taking photos right after you get out of the shower doesn't so your cuticles any favours!
The stamping is done with Barry M Gold Foil Effect polish.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Leighton Denny - Viva La Diva

I love a good red polish, and this is a GOOD red polish.  
I'm wearing 3 coats of Viva La Diva in all the photos.

I got this polish free with a magazine quite a while back and it's definitely one of the best freebies I've had, it applies beautifully and has a super shiny, glossy finish to it.

It's a true tomato red.  For some reason I seem to get more comments when I wear red nail polish than any other colour but that's no bad thing.

Have you tried any Leighton Denny polishes, what do you think of them?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Revlon 260 - Girly - Twin post with Nuthin but a nail thing!

When I saw this little beauty in Superdrug I knew I had to have it.  Girly is a sheer pink polish packed full of different shades of pink and lilac glitter, yet another fantastic indie copy from a high street brand, the more of these that turn up the better!

At £6.49 Revlon's polishes aren't the cheapest but you do get a large bottle and their polishes are generally good quality so for a stand out shade I don't mind paying it (especially when I have some Superdrug Beauty Card points to use up which lower the price).

Claire at Nuthin but a nail thing has also recently bought this polish so we decided to do a twin post to show a couple of ways to wear it, our hive mid was clearly switched on again because we both did sweet themed manicures!  You can see Claire's gorgeous effort here.  And my slightly less professional results below.
I was aiming for a sort of humbug design...

I used Cheeky stamping plate CH10 for the lines but I decided that it was still lacking something after the lines had been stamped so I added this little guy as an accent nail on both hands, a cupcake with a face!
The stamping was done with Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Plum and a white nail are pen for the cupcake accent nail.

I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out, although I'm not sure if it looks more like deckchairs than humbug sweets now that it's finished.

Here's a close up of the cupcake, despite this not being the best stamping effort ever you can see how clearly the image has transferred onto my nail, I was pretty impressed with how well it showed up considering the fine detail of the image.  I used plate CH16 for the cupcake stamp.


I really hope the addition of Girly to the Revlon UK collection means Whimsical might not be too far behind. *fingers crossed*
I love Girly but my top tip would be to use a base coat when applying it, these pictures are 3 thick coats and it's still not perfectly opaque.  Claire did the sensible thing and used Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Dragon Fruit under hers which is definitely what I will be doing next time!  Make sure you head over and check out Claire's half of the twin post too.