Monday, 23 December 2013

December Haul Reloaded

This was the other delivery I received earlier in the month...

It's getting out of hand.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Beginner's Brocade

I first remember seeing brocade nails in this post by Amanda N and I fell in love.  I ordered both the Essie Sable Collar and now the Color Club Sugar Rays just so I could try a similar look.  While I wait for the Sugar Rays to arrive I decided to search out some brocade images when I came across the wrapping paper below.

I suppose it's a bit garish but I liked it so I thought why not?  This is my stab at it...

I started with a base of Revlon Cupid which was not the easiest to apply for me.  It did that weird thing where first coat is easy and subsequent coats are a pain.  Perhaps I don't allow enough drying time between coats?  Anyhoo, on top of that I used clingfilm to add the darker Barry M Shocking Pink which I think looked really nice with the paler pink of the Cupid.  Finally I stamped on a pattern form the Cheeky Jumbo Plate 8 Princess Charming using L'Oreal Sublime Platine.  I think the L'Oreal worked really well for stamping but wasn't so fond of the clean-up  around the edges of my nail because I couldn't seem to get rid of the shimmer of silver 100%, though  it seems okay now.

It's still a little full on for all my nails but I'm not taking it off because I really REALLY like it so those whose eyes find it hard to deal with will have to look away :D

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

December Haul

If a company or individual goes to all the trouble of making a polish then I feel it's my right - nay, my duty - to buy that polish.  Since I'm not one to shirk my responsibilities, this keeps happening...

I was so excited when these dropped through the door. I ordered them from a Canadian website and wasn't expecting them to arrive too quickly.  The first four, all by KBShimmer, are Clown Puke, Candy Cane Crush, Watercolor and Sand In My Stocking.

The next four are Jindie Nails Taste Like Snozberries, Happy Hands Tropical Storm, Cirque Electric Circus and Cirque Kaleidoscope.

And with that I leave to make some swatch sticks for these.  I've actually used the Candy Cane Crush already as you can see but really I don't like the way this came out.  I first tried using the pinks on their own but the pales ones seemed to need so many coats in was unreal.  I tried using a coat of white first and that was quite a bit better but I think maybe I picked the wrong combination of colours.

Shhh... More polish arrived today.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Seasonal Colours

This was what I had on before my Santa and Elves. They look battered but this was after a day or two of getting my hands bashed about at work so I'm not overly concerned although I'll try to be better about my application and clean up in future.  That may or may not be a lie.

The white is Zoya Purity which I found to be a little bit weird.  The first coat goes on thin and streaky which I'm learning is the nature of white polish but the second coat is hard to apply thinly.  I'll try again as it might be my technique but it definitely felt like something weird was going on.

The green is Zoya Holly.  When I first saw it in the bottle after delivery (I mostly order online) I was a little disappointed but something happens when you put it on and I'm glad I used it because it's lovely.

The red is Butter London Knees Up and the gold is 2Mad Striperz Gold Shimmer.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Santa-ish Nails

You know I was really excited about these nails and wore them with pride today but now I see a close-up picture I'm not so sure. Bah humbug to the harsh magnification and startlingly accurate view through a lens.

I used Zoya Logan for the elves suits, China Glaze Ruby Pumps for the santa suit, China Glaze Liquid Leather for the belts, OPI Solitaire for santa suit trim and 2Mad Striperz* Gold Shimmer for the buckles.

I'm slowly coming to the realisation that I may be forced to cut my nails down to get them all the same shape and length but I'm finding it so difficult to do.

*The use of the letter z here makes me want to "have a word"

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sticks A Plenty

I've just about completed swatching all the polish I've amassed in the last few months.  I plan to top coat the little buggers but I've been having too much fun playing with them so far.  I haven't quite decided if I should add a coat to some to reach opacity or leave them all at two coats of polish as they currently are, excluding glitters which I've left at one.  This is a quick post complete with shoddy photo as I'm off to get ready for work.  Toodlepip!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Driven To Distraction

I'm at work hence I should be working but all I can think about is the 300 brand new swatch sticks waiting for me at home. They were delivered before I left, enough time to unpack but not to play. Boooooo!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Disgusting Pig

I almost forgot I'd taken this photo.  I was out on my first ever bag 'em and tag 'em hunt for nail supplies at the end of August when in marched this 'lady' and her friend with a mission in mind.  She went straight to the polish, grasping for white.  Before I could formulate a "what the fuck?!?" in my head she'd done a quick little touch up of her manicure and placed the bottle back with me staring at her the whole time.  I must have had a look on my face like when you step in a dog turd but she cared not a jot!

Surely it's not just me that finds that gross?  I suppose I should be grateful she wasn't in urgent need of cream for piles or something to soothe a "feminine itch" or God only knows what I'd have seen.  And photographed.

And almost as a side note, here was what I came back with... ooops!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Advent Nails

What with Sunday marking the start of Advent I figured I had the perfect excuse for my first ever Christmas nails.  I think they look cute if a little haphazard.

The background is done in my current favourite blue, Orly's Royal Navy.  It's a strange polish to me; if you don't give it a good hard shake you miss out on the shimmery aspect as it hides out in the bottom of the bottle and it dries (quickly) to a slightly matte texture.

Orly - Royal Navy
OPI - Pirouette My Whistle
Barry M - Lady (snowman & snow covered ground)
China Glaze - Ruby Pumps (scarf)
China Glaze - Liquid Leather (eyes & buttons)
China Glaze - Breakin' (carrot nose)
Zoya - Holly (tree)
Zoya - Louise (trunk)
Revlon - Golden (star impersonating splodge)

Monday, 18 November 2013

Not Enough Hours In The Day

Before a LONG day at work and a return home which signaled the start of a hand battering bonanza this looked okay.  I had a few compliments from both colleagues and customers which I shamefully lapped up and was going to keep it on for tomorrow to rinse some more mileage out of it but alas it shall not be so.  The polish is all chipped and really I should wait to do it again and get new pictures but I still want to have a record of this mani as it made me feel wonderful.

Left Hand:

Right Hand:

And now to deal with the drama of a belligerent ingrate of a teenager.  I thought a perk of not having kids was not having to deal with their shit but nonetheless here I am preparing for war :( 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

November Haul

I've kept the postman reasonably busy this week.  First up I had the Zoyas from in Giovanna, Logan and Louise.

Then there was the OPI from in Don't Talk Bach To Me, I Saw... U Saw... We Saw... Warsaw, I Juggle... Men and

And finally Nubar Moon Eclipse, NCLA Sugar Fix and Essie Kisses & Bises (not a mispelling) also from Beauty Bay.

This is how observant I'm not.  The glitters in Sugar Fix and are identical as far as I can tell.  To be honest I'd have still ordered both as they look totally different in the clear and grey bases but still.

Bearing in mind that I haven't actually worn any of these yet, I'm VERY pleased with my choices and look forward to trying them out.  I keep picking them up, oohing and aahing over them then putting them away, which I think has become a ritual for me.

I also had a lovely new Helmer delivered so that kept me busy yestereday with the putting together of the thing and then the filling of the thing and the changing my mind about what goes where so the emptying of the thing and the repacking of the thing...

Friday, 15 November 2013

Ruddy Bubbling Blue

Yesterday evening I dedided to try the Essie - Aruba Blue that I'd been lovingly admiring in the bottle for the last few days.  The only thing that stopped me putting it on the minute the postman dropped it off was the certain knowledge that it could only disappoint me.  The colour wouldn't be so rich, it would be too streaky to bother wearing or maybe it would stink like a festering sewer but yesterday I decided to give it a bash.  I was so wrong, everything about it was great!  I have mastered (almost) the art of making a cup of tea without ruining wet nails which I can then sit with while my nails dry fully.  As I sat down I noticed I'd gotten something on my nail "NOOO!" but it'd be okay I'd just redo it.  But wait, I'd messed up another?!?  Bubbles?!?

I've read a LOT about applying polish in the last couple of months and though gutted that I'd have to start again I was fairly confident I could beat this.  I would start from scratch, make sure each of my two coats of colour were fully dry before moving onto the next step and just to be sure I'd try a different base coat... In fact I used TWO different base coats the second time round, one on each hand.  I applied the colour as thinly as I could as I'd read that would be the most likely culprit, the solvent in the bottom of the thick layer getting trapped in the semi dry surface area.  After much faffing around I looked down proudly at my nails and yes all was well with the world but some time later IT HAPPENED AGAIN!  MORE CHUFFING BUBBLES!  I don't know the cause and although it's not hugely obvious till you get up close it bothers me quite a bit and it's sucked all the love out of this polish for me.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Every Month Is Oktoberfest

I knew I liked OPI - Every Month Is Oktoberfest when I saw it in the bottle and I knew I liked it when I saw it on my nails but then I wasn't sure where else to go with it.  I was going to take it off and try something else and figured I'd use the opportunity to practice placing striping tape since I have real trouble with that and end up wasting loads in frustration.  You wouldn't think the painting of nails would lead to so much swearing but then it's nothing compared to my knitting swears.  Anyhoo, I grabbed Sally Hansen - Pennies For Heaven and got to work.

As it turned out I really REALLY like this combination of colours and think they work well together.  So much so that I decided to try Pennies for stamping.  My stamp placement leaves a little (lot) to be desired but things can only get better right? Right?!?

And yes that's my poor damaged digit which I'd tried to cover with a glue on when the nail tore below the edge of my finger but which I think suffered more due to being smothered.  It's recovering and growing out slowly but surely.

I'm not sure if anyone else would think these stripes work but I really like it and it's the best result I think I've had so far.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Christmas Red

I've been hunting for a sparkly, rich and vibrant red that I can use over Christmas as I'm really excited to try out some themed nail art. One I've seen mentioned in a lot of places was China Glaze - Ruby Pumps and I have to say it doesn't disappoint.  Covered here with Poshe - Super-Fast Drying Top Coat.

I keep finding myself distracted by my nails which is a good thing, I think.  This is definitely going on my list of favourites.  It applied pretty easily and although I used three coats I think I would have been fine with two.  It dries to a slightly rough texture which isn't unpleasant, just different.

The Poshe top coat is new to me but one I'll use again.  It's not nearly as thick to apply as others I've been using lately and it seems to add quite a bit of shine.  It also dries nice and quick which I suppose is the very least it should do!  The colour in the picture below isn't all that accurate - the polish is pretty dark in comparison - but I like it.

I'm not sure if it's down to the polish being easy to apply or the fact that I'm improving but I found that I hardly had to do any clean up this time round. Bonus!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


My flatmate saw these two box sets of Revlon in Costco and picked them up as he knows about my burgeoning nail polish addiction.  Well done that man!  Each set was a little over £11 which is pretty bloody good for ten bottles if you ask me.  And the kicker... One of the sets contains the colour Royal which I've been pining after and thought I'd not be able to buy.

There are duplicates across the two boxes but still well worth buying.  Shades included were:
Black Star 880
Cupid 120
Electric 305
Espresso 840
Fire 510
Golden 830 (x2)
Grape 660
Hazy 810
Ignite 400
Jelly 210
Metallic 860 (x2)
Mistletoe 350
Poppy 420
Royal 730
Spice It Up 552
Varnished 360
Vintage 570 (x2)

I also got these goodies in the mail which was unexpected as had warned of a delay due to them having a busy period.  Still took less than a week to arrive so I'm happy.

I only bought the Black Shatter because it's on sale for £2, it's not really an effect I like that much if I'm honest.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Bluey Blueness

This was what I had on my nails some time last week. I painted all my nails with the Lapiz then taped off sections to add the other blues since I can't draw or paint straight to save my life. This has now become my favourite "manicure" and I'll try it again using different colours.

Base Coat: OPI - Natural Nail
Essie - Lapiz Of Luxury
OPI - Tiffany Case
Orly - Royal Navy
Zoya - Dream
Zoya - Liberty
Orly - Platinum Glitter striper

The Tiffany Case and Liberty are both textured but that was lost with my use of top coat, either Seche - Vite or Essie - Good To Go but I can't remember which.

I'm Just Following Orders

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Saturday, 9 November 2013

My Early Attempts Part 3

My final catch up post so I'll soon be able to check my phone without feeling guilty when I see the picture icon.

A England - Briarwood
OPI - Matte Top Coat
Additionally used Andrea Fulerton Nail Gems

I REALLY enjoyed how my nails looked in this get up. I don't think it's TOO fussy and the matte looked really great with this shade.  I'm not sure how obvious it is but I tried to cover a ripped nail on my index finger with a stick on.  I wouldn't have bothered but it was so low down that I couldn't have cut the others to match.

This was my first gradient and while it didn't look brilliant I'm sure it looked better in person. I hope so anyway! I can't remember what polish I used other than one was black and one was red.

OPI - Blue My Mind
OPI - Dining Al Frisco

This looks a bit naff I think but at least I got to practice my gradient technique a bit more and I used those snowflake stickers for the first time.  They're really cute but they are like an impervious shield to nail polish remover, a problem that should be solved now that I'm thinking about ordering some snowflake stamping plates.

This is a bit OTT but I wore it with pride nonetheless.  I liked that all the nails were different.  Something to try again once I have a decent set of nails which are all the same length and shape!

Now this is my first Halloween manicure.  I used printing plates by Cheeky which I ordered from Amazon.  They took FOREVER to arrive from Hong Kong and while I'm glad I got them the stress of not knowing if I'd been ripped off means I'll likely not do that again.  The background I stamped onto was a cling film technique I've seen online in a couple of tutorials and which I fell in love with.  I have more to waffle on about but this is just a catch up so I'll save it for another time.

Having got a bit tired of the garishness of my first Halloween manicure I tried something a little less bright.  I drew the eyes, nose and mouth on my orange finger with a Black Barry M Nail Art Pen.  The tombstone nail was the cling film technique again but this time in grey.  The eyes were done with a dotting tool.

Right!  I think that's me almost caught up for now.  I hope that over time I see an improvement in the condition of my hands and nails although subjecting them to remover every day likely isn't helping.  That said, I'm making sure to use oil and cream to give them a fighting chance.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Not Using My Loaf

My local supermarket recently had a refurb and now contains a manicurist (wtf?) and a boat load of polish/make-up.  And so it was that I went to buy a loaf of bread and came back with this little lot.

Yes.  Yes I did buy two of the same shade because while I was super careful to avoid buying anything I already have at home, it didn't occur to me to check what I'd already placed in my basket.  Eejit.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

My Early Attempts Part 2

And the whistle-stop tour continues...

A England - Perceval
OPI - Lady In Black
OPI - Alpine White

A bit wobbly with my dotting tool here but I like how this turned out. I became a fan of A England right away as it's easy to apply and has a depth that other brands don't seem to share.

OPI - Suzi & The 7 Dusseldorfs

This is a particularly bad representation of the colour but I blame my iPhone. Must try harder.

If I remember rightly I was tired from working lates so instead of redoing my nails I tried to do something to try and lively it up. Not sure how well it worked but I AM sure that this picture also doesn't accurately reflect the actual colour of Suze & The 7 Dusseldorfs. Ho hum.

This is truly dreadful. I think it might have looked better if I hadn't added a matte top coat but it would still be pretty awful. I saw something like this on Pinterest and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Here's one I liked from the beginning of October. I can't remember what colours I used but the glittery part was OPI - Pirouette My Whistle.  I'm pretty sure this counts as an action shot :)

I didn't realise just how many pictures of my nails I'd saved on my phone. Looks like this will end up being a three parter.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

My Early Attempts Part 1

A whistle-stop tour of my nail costumes to date might be in order so here goes.  I didn't think to take a picture of my first few attempts at militant nails but these are what followed...

Polish used:
Revlon - Chroma Chameleon - Topaz
OPI - When Monkeys Fly!
Ted Baker - Totally Twinkie

This was me trying to run before I could walk, at the end of August.  My hands look really ragged and dry but I think I've made improvements along the way and they're looking much more cared for now, if not perfect.

 Polish used:
Ted Baker - Golden Girl
OPI - When Monkeys Fly! (Only on my middle finger)
Rimmel - Salon Pro - Beige Babe
I used another brown but can't remember which.

I kinda liked this combination which looked better in real life I swear, although a bit messy as I hadn't really got the hang of tidying up closer to my nail.

I can't remember what polish I used on these two but they were my first foray into the world of stamping, taken at the beginning of September.  I like stamping because I don't have the most steady of hands and it gives me the chance to try out some fun shapes.

I did this following a youtube tutorial and at the time I was chuffed to bits but now I'm looking at it and thinking it looks a bit of a sight but hey ho I was learning and it's only nail polish at the end of the day.  I think I might try this again now but in different colours.

I'm still pleased with this one, taken in the last week of September, because I think it looks cute and it was my first glitter gradient.

That's enough catch up for today but hopefully I'll get the rest finished tomorrow.