Thursday, 19 November 2015

Floral Freehand Nails

Today's nails are some freehand floral nails. I haven't done flowers in far too long!

I started with a base of Barry M Sugar Apple, a pretty blue-green creme. I then used a fine brush to freehand the flowers. I used a combination of Konad White, then Barry M Pink Punch and Rose Hip for the petals, with Yellow for the centre, and Key Lime and MoYou London Spring Green for the leaves. 

I'm really pleased with how these turned out!

And just to show that I do always do my right hand, even if it's not quite as neat, here's my other hand! Sorry, I can't pose it properly or hold the camera level!

I kind of wish I'd added lots more flowers now!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Illamasqua Superstition

This is the second of my Illamasqua bargains I found in TK Maxx the other day. This is Superstition, a bright neon pink, which set me back a whole £3!

This is two coats, with topcoat.

The formula is really good, and I liked this a lot. There is some visible nail line at two coats, but I don't mind that. I checked before I took this off, and three coats is fully opaque. You could also paint this over a white base if you wanted an even brighter colour and no nail line.

The polish dries semi matte with a similar rubbery finish to Scorn (one of my favourite blacks) but I added topcoat for a glossy finish. Isn't this gorgeous? 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Illamasqua Prosperity

I picked up a bunch of bargains yesterday in TK Maxx - two full size Illamasqua polishes for £3 each, and a set of China Glaze minis for a tenner. Here is one of the Illamasqua colours, Prosperity.

This is two coats of Prosperity, with topcoat.

Prosperity is a vivid purple, very pigmented and vibrant. It's a fairly thin formula, but applied nicely without pooling or making a mess.  

It dries to a mattish rubbery finish, and I added topcoat for longevity and shine. 

I think this looks fantastic! It's a gorgeous colour!


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Pink & Zebra - NET Cancer Day

Today is NET Cancer Day and lots of the British Nail Bloggers are doing nails in support of this. I'd never heard of NET (neuroendocrine tumour) cancer until last year, when our nail blogger friend Emma (of Em's Little Corner)'s husband was diagnosed.  Thankfully, he is on the mend. 

The NET organisation uses the analogy of the zebra to raise awareness, effectively saying that if something looks like a horse and clops like a horse, the mostly likely chance is that it is a horse. However, it could possibly be a zebra, and so people shouldn't necessarily write symptoms off as the most likely cause, because it could be something else. Emma's post (see links below) explain it so much better than I can!

Anyway, on to the nails, which are pink and zebra, in honour of the NET Cancer logo. 

I was a bit scared of doing zebra nails, because I've never done them before. I don't have any zebra stamping plates, so I had to freehand these. I was quite apprehensive!

I started with a base of two coats of Barry M Coconut on three nails, and two coats of Barry M Pink Punch on the other two. I then used a black Barry M nail art pen to freehand the zebra stripes. I also added a tiny French tip on the pink nails using Models Own Gold Chrome. 

I topcoated over the pink nails, and used a matte topcoat over the zebra nails. 

I am so pleased with how these turned out! My right hand is also not bad at all, so I'm really chuffed with myself!  If I look at them too much, I start thinking they look like twigs instead of zebra stripes, so I'm trying not to look too closely!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Leighton Denny - Fireball

This is another of the polishes I found at the outlet mall place last week. I'm not sure how much Leighton Denny polishes, usually cost (over a tenner, I think) but these were £4.99 - I bought a couple of different colours. This is Fireball.

While this isn't that unique a colour - I have a few similar ones, I'm sure - it is just my kind of colour!

This is two coats, with no topcoat. 

Application is really nice - smooth and easy, nice brush, no messiness, dries well. And the colour is gorgeous! Glowy red with gold and orange particles that really shine. 

Close-up, you can see the blend of colours in there. 

Isn't this a pretty colour? I wore this to work for two days, and it lasted really nicely, no chips or wear or peeling or anything.  I then stamped over this with some guitars, because I was going to see Nils Lofgren in Sheffield on Thursday night. 

I used MoYou London Rockstar 01 and Konad Black. I didn't have time to do anything fancy, but I wanted to add something to the nails rather than just leaving them plain. 

The topcoat also really brought out the shine of the Leighton Denny polish!





Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Essie - Meet Me At Sunset

I went to an outlet shopping place at the weekend, acting on a Facebook tip-off! I'm not keen on shopping, and don't really care about clothes. But having heard there was a bargain make-up supply place, I headed off. They had a HUGE wall of polish, from cheapy bargain ones to standard high street, to Essie, OPI, Leighton Denny and loads more. I was quite restrained, and bought 6.

The first one I tried was this Essie, Meet Me at Sunset, which was apparently from their summer 2011 collection. I paid £3 for this. 

This is a lovely bright jelly-like orange. It's also got the old Essie brush, which I much prefer to their current brush as it's narrower and easier for me to use.

The formula was good - a little on the runny side, but nice and smooth. This is three thin coats, although I could have got away with two. I wanted a third for extra opacity. 

The jelly finish convinced me that this would peel straight off - somehow, these sorts of polishes never seem to stay on my nails very well. But I wore this to work for three days and was only just starting to get a little tip wear, so I'd say this was excellent. This also had a beautiful shiny finish, which I loved. 


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Hallowe'en Graveyard Nails & Purple Gradient

I don't do Hallowe'en, but I'd seen lots of nails like this recently and wanted to do some too!

I started with 4 purple polishes and made a gradient. I used Barry M Black Currant and Blackberry, Jacava Holbein Place and Barry M Fondant, to take it from an almost-black purple to a pale lilac. I started with a base of Jacava Holbein Place, and then sponged on the gradient.

I really like how this came out, and I wore this on its own for a day, with topcoat to make it glossy. 

The cleanup round the cuticles was quite awkward - that Barry M Black Currant again! I still liked this though.

I then tried this matte, just to see what it was like. I like this too!

I then used a Barry M nail art pen to freehand a tree and some gravestones. 

I like the contrast of the black against the sort of sunset sky, and the glossy against the matte. 

I wish Black Currant wasn't so messy round the edges though!



Sunday, 25 October 2015

Bright Check Water Decals

I haven't used water decals in ages, and I've never tried full nail water decals before. I was a touch apprehensive about trying these decals from the Born Pretty Store as when I've used full nail foils or wraps in the past, they've been fiddly, awkward and ended up wrinkled or spoiled. 

However, these are water decals, and it turns out they're very different to wraps!

This particular design is available here at the Born Pretty Store, for the bargain price of 99c!  As you can see, this comes as two strips of pattern, which is just enough for 10 nails. 

I started with a base of white polish (I used Essie Blanc) and then cut the pattern into nail-sized strips. I then dropped them in a bowl of water one by one. The decals slide off the card into the water, and they're easy to manoeuvre into position on the nail. I then pressed my nail into some kitchen roll to soak up the water and fix it in place. Then came the magic bit! I added a coat of Seche Vite, and the extra decal that was sticking out past my nail just melted away! 

As you can see, the decals haven't stayed totally perfect - there is a tiny bit of messiness at some of the edges. However, this is only just visible in extreme closeup, and at arm's length, they look really fabulous!

I love bright colours and bold patterns, so this design is perfect for me. I really like it. Since I put these on this afternoon, my nails have held up well to cooking and washing up, and typing, so I have high hopes for the lasting quality of these. 

If you want to try these decals, or similar ones from Born Pretty Store, you can get 10% off using my discount code. 

These decals were provided for my honest review. See my Disclaimer section for more information.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Pantone Universe Gift Set & Silver Rays

A friend recently gave me a surprise present - look how cute this set is!

I've heard of the brand but only very vaguely, and never seen it in shops at all. My first try is the silver one.

This is two coats of the silver. I don't think it has a name, although perhaps the number is the identifier. 

The formula of this was really nice. This is two coats, but it was almost a one coater. The polish is smooth, easy to apply neatly and dries quickly. I'm not crazy about the brush, as the square lid is quite awkward to hold, but it's not so difficult that it spoils the application.

Of the silver polishes I've tried, this is one of the better ones by a long way. It's not brush strokey, and it didn't chip or peel in the three days I wore this. The shine is really nice, and seems to have a real glow to it.

After two days I used striping tape and Barry M Black Currant to make a rays design. 

I like this look too, although Black Currant still just looks black to me - it's very hard to see any purple there!


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Glossy/Matte Stamped Nails

This is possibly a very geeky admission, but today's nails were inspired by Alex Hassell's costume in the RSC's current production of Henry V.  I saw it in Stratford a couple of weeks ago, and will be seeing it in the cinema (there's a live screening link across the UK) again on the 21st.  I can't find a decent photo of his costume, but he wore a lot of dark reds. He had a fancy brocade coat thing, and a leather jacket, with fleur de lys.  

This stamp isn't actually a fleur de lys, but it's the closest I have to it. I started with a base of Barry M Crush, the matte dark red.  I then stamped using Barry M Chilli, a glossy red almost identical to Crush, and Barry M Gold Foil. The stamping plate is MoYou London Steampunk 07. 

The stamping here is quite subtle, but I love how it looks! It isn't at all obvious unless you're staring closely at my nails. 

I feel quite elegant with these nails for once. I don't often do elegant.  

If it helps, I'm currently sitting in my pyjamas and covered in cat hair, so it's only my nails that are elegant. 

If you're at all interested in theatre, or Shakespeare, I can highly recommend this production of Henry V, which is on in cinemas all over the UK on Wednesday. 


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