Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Greetings All!

The worst has happened - my laptop is broken! So while it is being fixed, I won't be posting. Hopefully just for a couple of days, but please bear with me, and cross your fingers that they can at least recover my (thousands of) photos! I'll still be checking the blog/emails etc every couple of days, but I can't really post photos as this isn't my computer : (

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sun-Tried-Day: Claire's Leather Look Polishes

Greetings All!

I read on a Facebook group I'm in that the polishes in Claire's are £1 each at the moment (normal price - £2.25 to £4!). I don't have a lot of experience with their polishes, but I have a few of their pretty glitters, so I leaped into action and headed down there! I can't resist a bargain.

They actually have a pretty decent range of polishes - lots of pretty pastel cremes, a decent selection of glitters, some speckled polishes (glitters in a coloured base) and some 'effects' polishes. I was fairly restrained, and only got 6 - 2 of the speckles (I can't resist glitter in a coloured base. I think because when I was young, you had to do the base and the glitter separately. Now it's all in one bottle!), a peacocky metallic that is some kind of multichrome, but weird, and three of their Leather Look polishes. I love my Nails Inc leather polishes, and the whole textured trend in general, so I was interested to see what the '£1 leather polish' would be like. They also had an interesting selection of colours, some of which I've not seen before!

So, let's start with the best one, shall we? Oh, they don't have names, btw. Apparently they do on the receipt, which of course I lost. So I'm making up names for them! This one is Burgundy Leather, which is the least textured/ most leathery of the three. This is 2 coats, although you could probably get away with one thick coat.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Cheeky Spiral Stamping

Greetings All!

How is your weekend thus far? Mine got off to a great start - my Cheeky 2013 Jumbo plates finally arrived, after 3 long, long weeks. There are some amazing patterns on them (like snails, light bulbs and spanners!), very random, but a lot of fun! I'm so glad I got the whole set - I think I have a stamp for every occasion now, and I might never need to freehand again lol. Now, how do I decide which ones to use first?!

As a little tribute to the awesomeness of Cheeky (their full nail bat design is...just...I mean, tattoo that straight on my nails lol), here is a little manicure I cheekily (yay!) wore to work this week. I bought some Sally Hansen Insta Dri's recently, as I've heard such good things about their stampability, and this was just a random combination that I really loved, for some reason. They aren't my favourite colours, it isn't my favourite stamp, but something in the combination was just gorgeous! I couldn't bear to take it off!

Is it weirdly perfect? Or maybe I'm just perfectly weird. Actually looking at these pics, I'm struggling a little to see why I liked them so much, but I literally just couldn't take them off. I wore them for nearly 2 days, which is a long time for me, especially without glitter or holo in there! I think it's the simplicity, and these two colours obviously like each other quite a bit! They are Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in Choco Latte, and Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Wined Up (that Sally, she really knows what she's doing!). The plate is CH16.

I'm on a real stamping kick at the moment. When I haven't stamped for a while, I get put off, mostly by the cleanup, but once I start again, it's all I want to do!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Relaxed 31DC Week 13: Animal Print

Greetings All!

Second post today! I've been keeping the Double Challenge Friday spirit alive, earlier with She Who Does Nail Art Challenges, and now the relaxed 31 day/week challenge hosted by Rambles of a Polish Addict. This week the theme is animal print, so of course I did leopard print!

This was originally going to be sponged, but some of the polishes (Toxic Apple, I'm looking at you!) just did not want to play. In the end I just painted them straight on the nail! It's more of a patchwork effect, but I was this close to taking it all off, so never mind!

My base is OPI Alpine Snow, the neons are from the OPI Outrageous Neons mini set, the green is Models Own Toxic Apple (and he might be a bad apple!), and the spots were drawn with a black Barry M pen (which is, like, so amazing btw). I was working in low light, so I didn't notice how jaundiced my little finger looks!

Remember to have a look at how animalistic everyone else is today!

She Who Does Nail Art Challenges: Reptiles - Part Two!

Greetings All!

This is my 200th post!!! Would you believe it?! I have been very busy. That means almost 200 manicures in the last six months or so (if you count swatching, then a lot more than 200!). That's a lot of polishing. And plenty more to come!

I've already done one manicure for this challenge, hosted by She Who Does Nails, but this is the one I planned to do, before I got distracted by Ninja Turtles lol. It's a recreation of the first stamped manicure I ever did, in November 2012 (before then was just practice!), so you get a little 'then and now' post for my 200th! Be warned, there is some ugliness up ahead! I remember doing this manicure, but it seems like a lot longer than six months ago. I guess in polishing terms, it was very long ago!

So, here is the 'now' version

Collection 2000 Ninja, stamped with BM214 and 224, and Boots No7 Totally Teal. A lot of the No7 polishes I own seem to stamp, not amazingly, but well enough. It's a sort of crocodile print, I think the leaves are supposed to be like, reeds in the water or something - I can't remember what I was thinking lol!

Now, I need you to prepare yourself for this. Don't throw anything at your screen. Don't scream and run away. Bear in mind I had been stamping for only a couple of weeks, and I hadn't even heard of cleaning up, although I had been growing my nails/polishing for about 5 months, so I should have known better! Are you ready? OK, my first ever stamped manicure.

Aaaarrrgh! Kill it! Lol why do I even have pictures of this? Well, it was a 'milestone moment' at the time. I guess it isn't really all that bad considering - it's the lack of cleanup that makes it look so bad. Plus the neat little gouge on my middle finger (I used to get that all the time from my stamper, until I switched to a double ended one). I was also using my non-dominant hand to polish and stamp (my left hand still sometimes looks this bad pre-cleanup!). But look how long my nails were! I can't remember them being that long. How did I even fit the stamp on?! Crazy. Rocking the rounded tips too. Bless.

Same stamps and stamping polish (at least I think it is, I mean, I'm holding the bottle lol), the base is an Avon polish, I believe it's called Arabian Glow (it's since been binned!).

I'll have some more 'then and now' posts coming in October (last year I took pictures of my Halloween nails so I would always have them lol), so watch out for them! (If you like Halloween, October round here is going to be EPIC).

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Tri Polish Challenge May 2013: Manicure 2

Greetings All!

As I previously mentioned, I'm very happy with all my TPC manicures this month. The hardest part has been choosing which order to post them in! I'm going to be lazy and not tell you the rules again - surely you know them by now! Here's a quick reminder of the polishes I am using for all four TPC manicures this month.

Sally Hansen Thinking of Blue, Asda Witchcraft and OPI The Thrill of Brazil. These are also the only polishes I used (no black or white etc). It's a separate little challenge I set myself - I kind of pretend that these are the only three polishes I own! (Ugh, the horror!)

Here's today's manicure:

After my adventure with striping tape last week, I was eager to use it again! They aren't 100% straight (especially my troublesome index finger), but I'm still happy with them. I also 'upped my game' by sponging a gradient over the striping tape!

I started with a base of Witchcraft (I considered a reciprocal gradient, but I thought that was probably stretching myself too far!). I applied striping tape, then sponged a gradient of Thinking of Blue and The Thrill of Brazil and removed the tape. There is a bit of purple where these two mixed, which I think might be frowned upon (we aren't allowed to use any other colours), but it isn't really purple, it's just some red and blue mixed together lol!

I'm pretty proud of these - they aren't perfect, but they did involve using two techniques, and I'm always happier when I put the effort in. At least I tried, even when I don't succeed! I think these are successful though.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Fleur De Lys Stamping

Greetings All!

Just a quick post today - I had zero sleep last night, so I spent the afternoon/evening napping! Is there anything better than sleeping? Yes. But it's still brilliant.

When I got my DRK-B stamping plate, I saw a design and I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it. The design is a fleur-de-lys pattern, and I wanted to stamp it in gold, over blue, for a sort of French, regal effect. This was back when I thought Revlon Royal was just misplaced, and not up-and-left-me lost. And my blue collection was (and is) fairly limited.

Recently I got my sticky mitts on Barry M Gelly in Blackberry (which is ridiculous, because it's blue) and although it isn't quite the shade of blue I wanted for this, it'll do for now! It's a lovely dark blue, slightly petrol-y and kind of dull (but in a good way!). I needed 2 coats, but only just.

I messed up my index finger a little - my fault, not the stamp's! My finger decided to spasm weirdly when I tried to stamp it. I stamped with Barry M Gold Foil, which is all I seem to stamp with these days. I would make an effort to not use it, but I can't because I love it! I'm about a third of the way through the bottle, and I've only used it as a base for one manicure - the rest is all stamping!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tri Polish Challenge May 2013: Manicure 1

Greetings All!

It's time for another Tri Polish Challenge! I'm excited about this month's - I've already prepped all my manicures,and I'm really happy with all of them! I'm also trying to be as concise as possible with the rules, as although they aren't complicated, they can get a little...wordy. So here goes!

  • 3 colours
  • 1 polish to represent each colour
  • 4 manicures
  • Use at least 2 colours for each manicure
  • Use all 3 colours for at least one manicure
  • Free use of black, white, gold, silver and glitter
If you want to join in (I highly recommend it!), you have to be a Crumpet's Nail Tart. You can become one HERE.

The colours for this month are blue, grey and red. Here are the polishes I have chosen:

They are: Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in Thinking of Blue, Asda Witchcraft, and OPI The Thrill of Brazil.

As soon as I read the colours, I knew I wanted to use fairly dark, muted colours. I also had several ideas for what to do with them (none of which I used in the end!). This month I made sure I included a polish I could stamp with - it just gives you so many more options to work with! I guess I could stamp with black or white, but this month I have used all 3 polishes for each manicure, and nothing else. I'm like a tri polish purist lol. It's just an extra little challenge I give myself.

On to today's nails. I'm rather happy with them (like all this month's TPC nails!)

I started with a base of WItchcraft, then I did a coat of Thinking of Blue and used cling film to remove some of the polish. I then stamped with The Thrill of Brazil and plate BM323. I was really impressed with TTOB - she's a great stamping polish, but I wasn't sure how she would do over such a dark blue - I wouldn't try stamping her over black, for example. That's just mean. She did really well! (Is it weird that I'm anthropomorphising a polish?). I figured that in the pictures at least, you would be able to see the stamping even if it was a bit rubbish, but these worked in real life and everything!

I'm loving these darker colours together - they give quite a 'grown up' look, and I love the stamping over the mottled base. 

There will be another TPC manicure on Thursday, until then make sure to check out everyone else's!

Monday, 20 May 2013

She Who Does Nail Art Challenges: Reptiles

Greetings All!

So, we begin another new week. That means a new theme for She Who Does Nail Art Challenges, hosted by She Who Does Nails. The theme this week is reptiles, which is a bit random, but very cool and unusual. I actually have two manicures for this theme, as partway through doing the first, I was struck by inspiration! So  much so that I put my first idea on hold while I did this one!

I'll explain. The base colour I was using is Collection 2000 Ninja, a bright green, and I soon found myself humming a certain cartoon theme song. A cartoon about ninjas and reptiles. It was too perfect not to do - can you guess what it is yet?

Heroes in a half shell, turtle power!
Yes, it's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Fun fact - here in the UK, they were called Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, because apparently 'Ninja' was too violent for our British sensibilities.

I loved the turtles - they were so cool, and for some reason their pizza always looked so tasty! So I geeked out a bit, and created a manicure in their honour.

My base is Collection 2000 Ninja, and I drew on their...blindfold thingies using Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in Model Behavior (Leonardo), Good To Grape (Donatello), Fired Up (Michelangelo) and Right Said Red (Raphael). I then drew a turtle shell using my new Barry M Black Nail Art Pen.

In case you were wondering, my favourite was Donatello, because he was the clever one. However acoording to THIS quiz, I am most like Michelangelo (also, how scary are the 'new' turtles?! They're the stuff of nightmares! My manicure honours the old turtles!).

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sun-Tried-Day: Essie Action, Bikini So Teeny, and Mojito Madness

Greetings All!

Hope you all had a good weekend! Mine wasn't great - I lost my favourite nail on Saturday (my left thumb nail - my longest and strongest is now my shortest *sniff*).Today for Sun-Tried-Day I have three more essies bought from Fragrance Direct, for £1.99 each! Unfortunately since then their stocks have been seriously depleted, but I'm always browsing over there, so if they do get them back in stock, I'll definitely pick up a couple more! They're a great brand - I can see why people rave about them. I'm just too cheap to pay £8 for them!

Would you believe me if I said I had no idea Action was a neon until I put it on? Because that's the truth lol. In the bottle it looks like a bright orange, sure, but not neon! So I didn't put a white base on. This is 3 coats for full opacity (with a white base, you would only need 1 or 2).

I hurt my arm, so my 'claw' pics look a bit weird - sorry!
Mmm, I do love that rubbery finish. It's like my nails have a latex fetish or something! (btw, if anyone knows of a rubbery topcoat, I would love that!). This is your fairly standard orange neon, bright, garish, but I don't actually hate it! It would make for some pretty amazing tiger nails I think, or with something black over it. I like it better than my mini OPI neon - it's a much more yellow shade of orange, whereas the OPI one is quite pink/red.

I would say this is a lesson to Google swatches before buying, but I actually did! I still didn't realise it was neon lol (the pictures were all with topcoat - sneaky!)

Bikini So Teeny is a colour I've seen a lot of online, and I'm trying to expand my blue collection, so in the basket it went. This is 2 coats.

Still struggling with the old hand position!

It's ever so pretty - a pale, pastel cornflowery blue, soft and dusty. It reminds me of a hot, still, summer afternoon, and it's very different to the sky blues I have a hundred of. To be honest I need darker blues (I don't own a navy creme!), but this is a welcome addition to my blue collection.

Mojito Madness I threw in my basket, just because it was green! I've accepted the fact that I love green polish. I might not be happy about it, but I've accepted it. This is 2 coats.

I suppose that from the name, this is a lime green polish, but personally I wouldn't describe it as lime. I would describe it as an appley, grassy green, which is why I'm not in charge of colours lol. This isn't my favourite green - it has a slightly dull, muted quality that I love in some shades, but dislike in this one. I'm contrary! But I would probably reach for Revlon Emerald, or OPI Jade is the New Black over this one. They can't all be winners! It might grow on me though.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Face Shop Yogurt Nails

Greetings All!

Regular readers will know I have a little bit of an obsession with Korean nail polish at the moment. I think that for the price, you would find it difficult to find such pretty polishes - delicate colours, fabulous glitter combinations, and that hint of the exotic - you aren't going to see the same polish on everyone's nails!

Today I have a new-to-me brand, The Face Shop, and some of their Yogurt Nails range. The name is a little off-putting, I admit, but bear with me because they are worth it! The range has five polishes (I bought mine HERE), I chose three but I'm already considering going back for the other two!

Housekeeping - all these polishes applied brilliantly, minimal dabbing (which is always good with a coloured base), the glitter distribution was very good, they dried quickly and although I used topcoat, it wasn't absolutely necessary - they were smooth enough to go without. I used three coats for all these swatches, 2 coats left a hint of vnl that normally I would be happy with, but as I was taking pictures I went for full opacity.

First up is Grape Juice Yogurt (do they even make grape yogurt? I've never seen it!). This was the first to fall into my basket - who can resist a pretty purple full of glitter?!

As you can see, it's a soft lilac shade, filled with light pink, magenta, purple, turquoise and gold hexes, and purple and silver glitter. It's sheer enough so that you can see the glitter underneath, but it gives full coverage in 3 coats (as I said, normally I would probably just stick with 2). It's very clean and pretty, perfect for Spring, and I love the combination of colours in the glitter.

Strawberry Milk Yogurt is quite similar, but with different glitters in a pink base.

This glitter combination is pink, purple and turquoise hexes, white squares and purple glitter. I don't know why, but I'm not as in love with this shade, I think it's the blue-green glitter in the pink but I'm not sure. I don't hate it - I just don't love it either!

Vanilla Sugar Yogurt got added at the last minute - I have CG It's A Trap-eze, so I didn't think I needed another glitter-in-a-white-base combo. I was very, very wrong. Everyone needs this polish.

This is my favourite! Look at it!!! All the colours of the rainbow, both hexes and glitter, in a bright white base. While IAT is a bit lumpy and textured, this is fresh, clean and smooth. I know there are several indie polishes that are very similar to this, but this one was under $5, with free shipping! I would definitely recommend this over China Glaze (sorry China Glaze!).

These polishes cost me $4.99 each, free shipping, and they took about 10 days to get to me! I'm sure they're all over eBay, but THIS is the seller I use, and they always arrive quickly and well packaged. I would definitely recommend them, especially Vanilla! Now, can I live without the other two?