Thursday, 28 July 2016

Nailbox! UK Subscription Polish Box

I was so excited to be asked to review the June Nailbox! I've seen so many of these subscription boxes around for everything from dog toys to makeup to sweets, and only fairly recently heard about Nailbox. I'd heard good things, so I jumped at the chance. 

Nailbox is a subscription service where for £13.50 a month, you get a box with
three or four different nail polishes, and one or two nail care or nail art items. These include lots of big brands like OPI, China Glaze, MoYou London, Nails Inc and many others.  I was skeptical at first - I have so much nail varnish already, surely I would get a duplicate or colours that are similar to what I already have? 

The June 2016 box is themed around Festival Fever, and contains 4 polishes and some nail art tape. 

OPI Is Mai Tai Crooked - usually costs at least £9
Bourjois Turquoise Block - usually costs around £5.99
Rimmel Cheeky Chap - usually costs around £2.99
Essie Jazzy Jubilant - usually costs around £7.99
Elegant Touch Metalllic Nail Art Tape - usually costs around £4

So I calculate the value of the box at around £30, which is obviously lots more than the £13.50 the box costs! In fact in some shops, you couldn't buy one bottle of OPI for that amount. 

It was also a big plus in that there were no duplicates in my collection, and the OPI and the Essie weren't even similar to any polishes I own. The nail art tape is gorgeous! There are five long strips each of 6 different colours. I use striping tape from time to time, and not as often as I'd like, because I generally find the rolls really fiddly to use. I love the idea of having nice short strips all ready for you to peel off the card! Plus, look at that third one down! It's copper, but it's full of rainbows in the light!

So, what did I do with the contents?  I decided to try two different looks. First up is a floral design. I started with a base of the Rimmel, which is a one coater that applies nicely and dries to a matte finish. Then I freehanded some leaves with the Bourjois, and flowers with the OPI. I found that the green didn't really contrast with the blue enough to show clearly in the photos, but it was more obvious in real life.  I sponged a bit of the glitter from the Essie into the flower centres and topcoated everything. I wore these nails for two days. 

My thoughts about the polishes after making this first design was that the Rimmel was really nice, and I really really like the peachy orange of the OPI. I didn't feel I used enough of the Essie or the Bourjois to really comment. 

Next up I wanted to swatch all the colours individually.  I made a skittle across all my nails, and then used the tape to make a rays design on two of my nails. 

The green swatched beautifully - it applies really well and is another one coater. The OPI is a gorgeous colour, but is a bit thinner and streakier than the other two, and needed two coats. I preferred to topcoat the Rimmel one, as I wasn't crazy about the matte finish. 

I did the ray design freehand and then added the tape to cover any wobbles on the joins.  I topcoated over everything just in case the tape wasn't sticky enough (I think it was though) and because I want to wear these for a couple of days. 

Overall, I'm massively impressed! I'm trying really hard to spend less at the moment, but I am so tempted to sign up. The August box is called "Into the Sunset", which sounds gorgeous. It's my birthday in early September, so maybe I need to treat myself!

You can check out Nailbox on their website here

This box was provided by Nailbox for my honest review. See my Disclaimer for more details. 


Saturday, 2 July 2016

Lolly Gloss Watermarble

Here are some more nails I wore in the last couple of weeks, that I hadn't got round to blogging.  I thought I'd see whether the Barry M Lolly Gloss polishes work for watermarbling.... and they do! 

I started with a base of Barry M Cotton, and then watermarbled using Pink Candy, Purple Pop, Orange Fizz and Cherry Drop. 

As you can see, they work really well.  I'd wondered before about water marbling with sheer polishes, but the OPI Color Paints I have are only minis, and I wasn't keen to waste loads of polish. The Barry Ms are a fraction of the price, and are easier to replace, so I went with those. Plus these smell pretty!

What do you think? I really love how these look, and I'll be doing this again. I wish they did a green and a yellow as well!


Friday, 1 July 2016

Pink Gradient with Gold Mesh Stencil

As promised, here are some of the nails I've worn recently, but hadn't got round to posting. 

I wore these a couple of weeks ago. The pink gradient is sponged on and used Barry M Cotton and Sugar Plum.

I then used the mesh vinyls from Whats Up Nails, and painted on a stamping polish by Colors by Llarowe, Golden Rule.  Because this was a stamping polish, it was a bit on the thick side, and maybe wasn't ideal for nail vinyls, as you can see in some spots the pattern isn't completely sharp.

Still, I think these looked pretty good! I especially like how Golden Rule looks in the sunshine.


Thursday, 30 June 2016

Mermaid Nails

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks - sorry! I don't even have any reasons. I've been doing my nails, just not posting. 

Anyway, here is what I have on right now, some mermaid fish-scale nails using more of my stencils from Whats Up Nails. 

I started with a base of Barry M Pacific, which is a greeny blue metallic polish. This was two coats. 

I then used the vinyls and splodged on a random pattern using 3 textured glitters: 2true Christy (silver) and Barry M VIP (blues) and Fashion Icon (purples).  The final design was very very textured, so I added one coat of Seche for a little bit of smoothness and shine. 

I really like how these came out, and they are really sparkly in the sunlight.

I think next time I would use a more contrasting base colour though, so the fish scale pattern shows a bit more clearly. Having said that, the vinyl stencils themselves are really good. I bought loads of designs, so I have lots more coming up!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Crucible Theatre Nails v2

I've posted before about how much I love the Crucible Theatre (see here for my previous nails) and I was there on Thursday night for Artistic Director Daniel Evans' leaving do, so I decided it was the perfect time to redo my Crucible nails. 

I love the Crucible so much! It's my far my favourite theatre ever, and I go often (although not often enough for my liking!)

These are just a straightforward chevron skittle. I used nail vinyls from What's Up Nails to make these. The base colours are Barry M Blue Grape, Essence Flashy Pumpkin, Barry M Blood Orange, Illamasqua Prosperity and Barry M Key Lime. The black top colour is OPI 4 In the Morning.  

I'm happy with how these came out. They're much tidier than my previous effort, and the colours are clearer. 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Geometric Pink and Holo Nails

I'm not very well at the moment, and haven't done my nails in a few days. In the meantime, here are some nails I wore last week. 

The base is Mood Maker Pink, a cheap thermal polish that goes from dark pink when cold to a paler pink when warm.  

I then used geometric stencils from What's Up Nails, and a holo stamping polish by Colors by Llarowe, This Heart Bleeds for the design on my thumb and ring finger.

I love how crisp and clean the lines are with this stencil and with the stamping holo.  I'm sorry about the shadow on the sunshine photo, but it was the only one I got showing how sparkly the holo is in sunshine. 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Bruuuuce! Springsteen Nails for The River Tour 2016

Sorry for the lack of blog posts recently - I've been off and about jumping up and down at Springsteen concerts. It's been far too long since I got the chance! 

This tour is based around the 35th anniversary River boxset that Bruce released last year, and the album sleeve of the original River album is what I used as (very loose) inspiration for my nails. 

I decided to use the colour scheme, and my favourite MoYou London stamping plate (Rockstar 01). I started with a base of OPI 4 In the Morning, and then stamped using the guitar designs and Konad White.   I then painted over the white with OPI Turquoise Aesthetic, from the Color Paints collection, to get the teal-blue colour. I then freehanded the plaid thumbnail using a base of Barry M Coconut and Chai, and OPI 4 In the Morning. 

The plaid came out a bit rough round the edges, but somehow that seems appropriate for Bruce...

I wouldn't normally take blog photos in the evening sunlight like this, but again, it seemed appropriate for Bruce. There's something about that evening light around sunset that just goes perfectly with a Bruce show...

You can see my previous Springsteen nails here

Friday, 13 May 2016

Gradient Droplets

I recently had a splurge on exciting nail vinyls from a US store, Whats Up Nails, after seeing them in some gorgeous blogger photos on Instagram. I was SO excited when the package came!

I've been wearing these nails for three days, and have only taken them off now because I managed to chip one.   The base is Barry M Cotton. I then used the droplet vinyl stencils, and splodged on three of the new Barry M Lolly Gloss polishes, the orange one (Orange Fizz), the pink one (Pink Candy) and the red one (Cherry Drop) in a gradient-ish design. You can't actually see the change from red to pink that clearly, but I still think this works.

The vinyls are fantastic - they stick down and lie flat, and then lift off easily without leaving any sticky residue, just beautiful crisp lines. 

The Lolly Gloss polishes are lovely - translucent and super shiny, and they smell of boiled sweets! 

You can see the range of stencils and vinyls at Whats Up Nails here.  I bought these, and used a discount code from Vics Nails, who did the gorgeous nails where I first spotted these vinyls.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Twinsie Nails! 80s Inspired

My friend Wendy and I have both been lacking inspiration a bit recently, and on Friday we challenged each other to do 80s nails. Here are mine!

My nails are inspired by an awesome top I had around 1985ish. It was a batwing, slash neck, off the shoulder, cropped delight, with a graffiti style turquoise grid pattern, and some big orange roses. I have managed to recreate the pattern, if not the batwing amazingness.

The base is Barry M Cotton. I then stamped using Barry M Guava and Born Pretty stamping plate BP-40. I then freehanded the roses using lots of different oranges, and a yellow, and two greens.  

I'm really pleased with how these turned out. They're a bit garish, but they're certainly how I remember the 80s. After I'd been wearing these for a few hours, it struck me what the background reminded me of - J cloths!

I wore these Out last night (yes, I did both hands) and just as I got home, one nail on my left hand broke right off! Luckily it didn't break down past the nail line, but I've had to file all my nails down pretty short to match. 

Here are Wendy's! Aren't they ace? They're SO 80s.

Check her out on Instagram!



Friday, 29 April 2016

Pink and Grey Flowers

These are the nails I've been wearing for the last couple of days. 

I used some more Barry M Gelly colours that I hadn't tried before, Chai (the grey one) and Pink Lemonade (the pale pink one) as the base. Both of these are really really nice - Chai is definitely a one coater, and Pink Lemonade could be if you're careful, although I did two thin ones. 

I then freehanded the flowers using Barry M Aloha (one of the new Coconut Infusion range) and Pink Lemonade, and MoYou London Bahamas Punch for the flower centres. 

I love pink and grey together. It was my favourite part of the 80s, and I do miss how common it was as a combo! I had a gorgeous ankle length pink and grey flannel skirt with big pockets trimmed with pink rickrack.... Oh dear. Maybe these things are best left back in the 80s!
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