Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Gold Glitter with Black Rose Stamping

Today's nails are a pretty gold glitter with some black stamping. This is Binky Gold Rush - a full review coming soon! I stamped over it using Konad Black, and MoYou London stamping plate 11 from the Mother Nature collection.

I LOVE the MoYou London stamping plates; they're just so ridiculously pretty! The large plates are brilliant for stamping, because the designs are so varied, and designs are large enough to cover long nails, or multiple nails. I love these roses, I think they're so simple and pretty.  I smudged the little finger nail slightly, but I don't think it's too noticeable.

What do you think?

I am celebrating today, as I've been promoted slightly at work following a bit team restructure.  I'm really relieved to have a job, and very excited to be in a new role!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Holo Diamante Nail Charms - Born Pretty Store

Over the last few months I've developed a bit of a love for 3D nail charms. I always assumed I wouldn't like the bulkiness or the sticky-out bits, but it turns out I actually love them!  Today I have some stunning diamante 3D charms from the Born Pretty Store to show you!

As you can see, this is a wheel of 24 diamante charms, 12 each of a square design that's pure colourless diamante, and of an oval design that has a holo finish so it shows multiple colours. I used the oval ones for today's look. 

I applied these over yesterday's Essence polish, Me and My Lover (see here for details). They are just stuck down with topcoat. As the charms are nice and light in weight, topcoat is absolutely fine to stick them down with. These were secure and didn't feel at all bulky. 

I love these ovals, they are just SO sparkly, especially in the sunshine!

These are totally reuseable - I just wiped the polish off the bottom with a bit of nail varnish remover when I took them off, and they're good as new. 

Aren't they BEAUTIFUL? I think so!

You can get these from Born Pretty Store - they're item #14589 and cost $3.72, which works out at 15c per stud! And if you use my discount code, you can also get another 10% off on top of that, so they're a total bargain. 

  These charms were provided for review purposes. See my Disclaimer section for more details.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Essence - Me and My Lover

My friend Lorraine tipped me off that Wilko's is currently stocking Essence polishes, so today I toddled off to check them out. I've seen Essence on blogs, but not tried any, as I'd never seen them in actual shops. 

This is what I got! They were on 3-for-2, and they're all dirt cheap (£1.75 or £1.80, that sort of price). What I don't understand is WHY the bottles are all different shapes! That's already 4 different sorts of bottle, and possibly 5 if you look closely.

The first one I tried is the red one, Me and My Lover. This is a "sparkle sand effect" which I suppose is the equivalent of the Zoya Pixie Dusts, the Barry M Textured Glitters, and the OPI Liquid Sands. The brush is really nice - it's a flat handle and a wide, flat brush with a rounded end. It's not so wide that it's like a paddle (like some Sally Hansen brushes!) but was just the right size for my nails. 

Me and My Lover is a glittery red textured polish. This is two coats. 

I'm not thrilled with the texture to be honest. It's a pretty colour, and applies really evenly and easily with no pooling or need for cleanup. However, I think it's a bit ordinary as texture goes. It's not really textured enough in my opinion - if it wants to be textured it needs to be much more so, like the Zoyas or the OPIs. It's neither one thing or the other at the moment, I feel. It's a nice colour though.

Then I used the XXL shine gel-look topcoat to see what it looked like glossy. Nice! I like this a lot more with a glossy finish. It's much sparklier and brighter.

I've heard a lot about this topcoat, so I was pretty excited to try it. However, it was just an ordinary topcoat in my opinion. It was nice and glossy, but not more than many other topcoats. And I can't see much of a gel effect, it's just a glossy topcoat.  And I have to say - these nails did take quite a long time to dry, and with only three coats, I think that's not great. 

I'd say it's definitely worth checking out the Essence polishes in Wilko. They're cheap, and it's nice to see a different range to the usual high street polishes. But I'm not blown away by excellence. And I suppose at that price, it's fair enough.

Oh, I meant to add! My camera broke! I'm having to take photos on my phone for now til I can either get my very beloved camera fixed, or buy a new one.

Colour Me Crazy: Orange!

I have been rubbish at blogging this week. As in - I haven't posted at all! I also wore bare nails to work for FOUR days in a row. I know, I know... I'm ashamed.  
Anyway, this is only week 2 of the British Nail Bloggers' Colour Me Crazy challenge, so I can't give up already! I did these nails a few days ago (they were my one day where I didn't wear bare nails to work) and didn't like them much, so didn't write a post. But then I thought I might as well post them...

The orange is OPI's Juice Bar Hopping, from the new(ish) full size neon range. I didn't use a white base for this, because I like it as it is. This is two coats. Juice Bar Hopping is a fabulous bright, juicy orange, with a slightly sheer finish. It dries to a satiny sheen, so I added topcoat for these photos, which really brings out the oh-so-juicy colour!

I used W7 Black on my accent nail, and added a bunch of rhinestones that were a Christmas present. I love the rhinestone effect, but this is where I became unhappy with the design - I really like Juice Bar Hopping, and I like the accent nail, but I don't like them together. The rhinestones are a lovely colour, but next to Juice Bar Hopping, they look really washed out and pale. I should have paired them with an all-black look, or with something else that was a proper contrast. Oh well! 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Summer Gradient! Gold-Orange with Zoya Pixie Dust

I enjoyed wearing Zoya's Chyna yesterday, and it made me want to wear another of the Pixie Dust polishes. I couldn't choose between Solange (the gold one) and Dhara (the bright orange), so I did a gradient using both of them!

I love how this turned out!

The Pixie Dust polishes are quite hard to clean up if you get them on the skin round your nails, as you can see here. This isn't an issue usually, as they're really easy to control when you paint your nails normally, but sponging the gradient did make a lot of mess, that wouldn't all clean up. 

I love how summery these look.

I added topcoat too, just to see what they looked like shiny....

Fabulous is clearly the answer to that!

I don't like my nail shape at the moment - several nails have broken short or been broken at the corners, so they're all really short, and several are rounded off. I wish they'd grow! I was looking back at old photos from last year, when they were really long and strong, and I don't know what happened!  Oh well...   

Friday, 11 July 2014

Colour Me Crazy! Week 1:Red.

This week the British Nail Bloggers have started a new challenge, based on colours. This is a weekly theme - you can find more details here

The first week's challenge is RED. I knew I wanted to do something that involved only using red polish, I didn't want to include other colours. I eventually settled on this, another version of the quilted design I tried previously (see here).  

This uses Barry M Blood Orange as the glossy base - I used one coat. I then used striping tape to mark off a grid pattern, and added a coat of Zoya Chyna, the textured red glitter from the Pixie Dust collection.

I'm really pleased with how these came out!

I like the contrast between the glossy and the matte, and of the creme and the glitter. I should do quilted nails more often, they're easy to do and pretty effective. 

Check out everyone else's red-themed nails here:

Monday, 7 July 2014

Multi Coloured Matte Circle Glitter

Today I have some beautiful glitter from the Born Pretty Store to show you! 

This is officially called 1-2mm Mixed Nail Art Glitter Decoration, and costs $4.36 for this pot. Click here for details.  As you can see, it's jam packed full of multi coloured matte glitter in all sorts of bright, zingy colours, in two different sizes. 

I used a base of Barry M Rose Hip (this is two coats) and used a different colour on each nail, with a selection of colours on the accent nail. These are just stuck down with topcoat.   The glitters are thin and light, so lie smooth on the nail.  The colours are nicely opaque too, so would show easily over dark colours. I love the matte finish too.

And just look at them under UV light!

I love these glitters, and am pretty certain I'll be getting a lot of use out of the pot! The amount I used here have hardly made a dent in the jar yet! 

As always, you can get 10% off any order using my discount code - just enter AKJ61 at the checkout.

  These glitters were provided for review purposes. See my Disclaimer section for more details.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Wimbledon Nails!

I was lucky enough to get Wimbledon Centre Court tickets in the draw this year, so yesterday my mother and I were watching tennis all day. We had two fabulous matches! And some really good fish and chips. I'm home now, so I've done Wimbledon nails to go with my mini tennis ball. I decided not to do grass or nets this year, and went with the Wimbledon colours of purple and green instead.


This is Models Own Pukka Purple, and Barry M Watermelon, done as a fifty/fifty using tape. I then added white striping tape. 

I used my stupid broken short nail as an excuse to make a fuzzy tennis ball as an accent.  This was Models Own Bikini with flocking powder dusted over before the polish dried.

I like these! Nothing too elaborate or complicated, but is clearly Wimbledon. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Huckleberry & Rose Hip Gradient

My broken nail is growing back! I took the falsie off this morning and there is enough free edge showing that my finger isn't in pain any more, hurrah! It looks a bit ugly like this, but it's better than it was, and it will grow, so I'm not too worried.  Today I did another gradient - I was so excited to finally understand how to do them (see yesterday's post) that I wanted to do another.

This is Barry M Rose Hip and Huckleberry from the new Gelly colours. I love how pretty they are, such delicate colours. 

This isn't the most obvious of colour contrasts, but I'm happy with it.  

Here's what the rest of the British Bloggers are up to at the moment.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Finally! A Successful Gradient!

The theme for this month's Polish Party nails is Gradients. I've never been very successful at these (you can see my previous efforts by clicking on my 'gradient' tag) and wasn't really relishing the theme. But then I watched a couple of tutorials online again, and realised I'd been doing them all wrong! So I thought it was worth another go.

I used these three Models Own polishes - Coconut Cream, Sun Hat and Bubblegum. When I did gradients before, I didn't really sponge on both colours at once - I did one first and then the other. I also used really narrow bits of sponge, thinking it would be neater and give me more control. It turns out that it is a million times better to sponge both colours together (or three, or whatever) and to use a sponge that's wider than the whole nail. I should have known that tutorials by The Nailasaurus should not be ignored!  Anyway, this is what I got:

It's so much better than previous gradients I've done!

It's not perfect (there are bits of sponge in there, ha!) but it is a huge improvement and I'm delighted. 

I then decided to jazz it up a bit more with a matte glitter topper I bought a couple of weeks ago - this is L'Oreal Graffiti d'Amour, a mix of white, pink and red glitter, which works perfectly with the polish colours I'd used. Then just for good measure, I added a coat of the new Barry M Matte topcoat as well. 

I'm really pleased with how this turned out! Now I know how to do a gradient properly, I'm going to do more!

You can see the rest of the Polish Party's gradient nails here. Please do click and have a look at everyone else's designs! (Come back later as more are added!)


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