Sunday, 23 November 2014

Snowflake Stamping over a White-Grey Gradient

I've been feeling cold all weekend, so my mind turned to snowflakes.



I started this look with a white base of Barry M Coconut. This is another of the Gelly range, and is a really nice slightly off-white creme. I don't think it's as good as Models Own Coconut Cream, as the MO one is a bit more opaque (and smells nice into the bargain) but it's a nice polish. I then sponged using Essie Maximillian Strasse-her and Barry M Grey to get a gradient. 


I then stamped over everything using MoYou London Festive plate 02, and Barry M Silver Foil. The Barry M foils (silver, gold and lilac) are fantastic for stamping - they're opaque, shiny, smooth... I wish they'd do them in other colours! A red and a green would be awesome for Christmas.


Anyway, I'm really pleased with how well this came out! I don't think I've stamped over a gradient before, but I do like the effect.


Incidentally, I snapped this photo in the middle of the process because it amused me - gradient and stamping together is MESSY!

 
 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Models Own Oval Plum

I've had very little nail mojo this week, and I've been wearing the same polish for the last four days. Having said that, it is a lovely polish!


This is the last of the Models Own Diamond Dust polishes that I bought, Oval Plum. This is two coats, with topcoat. 


Formula on this is fantastic, really even and smooth. It's quite thick, but I find that makes it easier to apply as it can't overflow the cuticles.


Oval Plum is a really nice deep pinky purple that's packed with golden shimmery bits. I've been wearing this since Tuesday night and it still looks like I've only just applied it.


Is there anything you'd like to see me do with my nails this weekend? I have no ideas at all, so I'm open to any suggestions? 


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Barry M Mediterranean with Stamping

Today's nails were Barry M Mediterranean with some more MoYou London stamping. I can't get enough of stamping at the moment!


This is two coats of Barry M Mediterranean, which is a gorgeous pinky gold duochrome with hints of orange in certain lights. It's come out looking very orange in these photos, but it honestly looks more pink in most lights.


Over Mediterranean, I then stamped using Konad black and MoYou London Pro XL 06.  I was a bit disappointed with how this stamped in the end - the design hasn't come out clearly on all the nails. I honestly think this is the Konad! When I stamp with Barry M or something else, this never happens, but then when I stamp with Konad it often happens. I know Konad is meant to be designed especially for stamping, but it happens a lot for me!
 


Oh well, at arm's length, this looks fine, and I do like the overall effect. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

More Stamping! Purple and Lilac Flowers.

I haven't had enough of stamping and Barry M yet!   Today's nails are a base of two coats of Barry M Orchid, from the Silks collection, with a stamped design using Barry M Lilac Foil. 


I used the MoYou London Pro XL 14 plate. It's a lovely plate with lots of intricate curves and flowers. 


I love how pretty Orchid is with topcoat - you can get a good idea of the shimmery bits coming through here.  And I'm really chuffed with how the two colours turned out together.


The Barry M Foils (gold, silver, lilac) are really fantastic for stamping. I prefer them to my black and white Konad polishes. I really wish they'd make some other colours! A red would be awesome!
 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Red and Gold Mosaic Stamping

Just a quick post tonight, with some Barry M and some MoYou London stamping. 



This is two coats of Barry M Poppy, from the new Silks winter colours.  I then stamped using Barry M Gold Foil and MoYou London Artist collection plate 13.  


This plate is a Gaudi-inspired one, with lots of different mosaic patterns. I used this scallop pattern for this look, and then added topcoat for shine. 


I was really pleased with how these turned out!




Saturday, 8 November 2014

Vivien Kondor London - New British Nail Varnish Coming Soon!

I was contacted recently by a brand new British nail varnish company, Vivien Kondor London, and was offered the chance to try out some of their polishes! I love something new, especially if it's a British company, so I jumped at the chance!  Vivien Kondor is part of Elegance by London, and is about to launch a really big range of nail polish, which will be for sale on their website and on Amazon. (The colours on the website are still only a rough idea, as it's not finished yet!)

Tonight I have 5 different colours to show you. First up is Shiny Baby Pink. This is two coats, with no topcoat. 



Shiny Baby Pink is just that - a pretty pale baby pink, with a metallic finish. 


As with most metallics, this does show the brushstrokes a bit, but I don't find them too obvious in this polish. The formula is really nice - this is smooth and buttery, and didn't need any clean up. The brush is good - not too stiff, not too floppy, not too wide (something I find a real issue for my narrow nails with some brands).    I think this is really pretty! It's not my usual style - maybe a bit too pink and sweet for my usual taste, but it is pretty. 

Next up is Cobalt Blue. This one has a gorgeous jelly-like quality to it. 
This is three coats, as it's more sheer than Shiny Baby Pink. This time though I did add topcoat for extra shine. 


The formula on this one is really good, and I love the vibrancy of the colour. 


Isn't it gorgeous?  Because the colour on this is so pigmented, I worried that it might be a stainer, but I'm happy to report that it isn't at all. 

Before I took this off though, I thought I'd try one of the other polishes over it. Lilac is quite sheer, so I layered one coat over Cobalt Blue. 

Oh wow! Isn't it gorgeous? Lilac transforms Cobalt into a shimmery, duochromey purpley-blue stunner!

I love these two together. 

Next up is Lilac on its own. This is three thin coats as it's on the sheer side. 


This is another lovely one - this is a shimmery bluey purple. I bet it would look fantastic over black too. 


This one has a good formula, but is a touch on the slow side to dry. It's really pretty though!

Next up is one called Neon Gold. This is the one I was most excited about in advance, because I LOVE a gold, and I've never heard of a NEON gold! The company tells me that this one is still being tinkered with, as they don't think Neon Gold is the right name for it at the moment.  I have to say, I'd agree with that. 


This is two coats of Neon Gold, with no topcoat. Formula is nice, like Shiny Baby Pink. I like this colour a lot. But I don't think it's gold, and it's certainly not neon. It's a bit of an odd colour - a sort of peachy orangey gold, but I'm a fan of orange and of gold, so that's fine with me. 


Actually, this totally reminds me of butternut squash!


The company would like some feedback about this one - what do you think? Should they try and make it more gold? More neon? Try a different name? I don't even know what a neon gold would look like - I'm struggling to imagine such a thing!

The last one is imaginatively called Gold Glitter, and I think it's my favourite. It's a straightforward gold glitter, with tiny square pieces in a slightly yellow-tinted base. The glitter is dense, so it's got great coverage. 


You could certainly use this as a glitter topper over a coloured base, but I wanted to see what it would be like on its own, whether I could get complete coverage without a base colour. 


The answer is yes! The tinted base really helps with this. 


The accent nail is 2 coats of Cobalt Blue with one coat of Gold Glitter. I think that works well. But I love the other nails! They're three coats of glitter on its own. As you can see, there are some tiny gaps, but the tinted base evens this out. 

Overall, I think these polishes are good - nice colours, high quality, decent brushes. I don't know how much the company are planning to charge, so I'd be interested to know. I like the look of a lot of the other colours too. 

On a very very trivial note - I like the lids! The shape makes the brush nice and easy to hold, but also mirrors the zig zag shape of the VK in the logo, which makes me smile! 

You can follow the company on Twitter @Vivien_Kondor for news of the range launch. 


These polishes were provided by the company for my honest review. Please see my Disclaimer section for more information.




















   

Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Nails Were Made in Chesterfield!

I live in Chesterfield, in lovely Derbyshire, and I love it here. This week I was feeling very uninspired for nail designs, but then on Monday I saw a competition to make "something" inspired by Chesterfield, which gave me some ideas!  It may well not be what they're wanting, and it's not about winning, but at least I got some inspiration!

If you don't know Chesterfield (and you probably don't!) then it's a smallish town near the Peak District, and the most famous thing is the Crooked Spire, which you can see from the train if you're going THROUGH Chesterfield, which if you've ever travelled north-south in England, then you've probably done. But there's more to Chesterfield than the Crooked Spire!

So here are my inspirations:

The Crooked Spire:



Linked to this, the logo of my workplace (although we often use this in lime green):






Photo credit: Chesterfield College, chesterfield.ac.uk 


The historic market:


Photo credit: chesterfield.gov.uk 


The half-timbered buildings of Knifesmithgate:


Photo credit: geograph.org.uk 


The super cool snail sculpture. This is a sculpture by an artist called Liz Lemon, and can be found near the train station.
 



Photo credit: Waymarking.com

And of course, the football team!

Photo credit: chesterfield-fc.co.uk  

And here are my nails!


I used a base of Barry M Pearl on my little, ring and middle fingers, a base of Barry M Mist on my thumb, and Barry M Blue Grape on my index finger. 

I then painted the snail freehand using a fine brush and OPI Push and Shove. I accented this with Barry M nail art pens in black and white. I also used the Barry M pens to do the CFC logo on my index finger. I didn't add the red that's in the proper logo, as I don't have a fine enough brush to do this or a red nail art pen. 

I used She Sells Seashells straight stencils to make the chevrons for the market stalls, using Barry M Spring Green. I painted the spire and the frame round it using Barry M Key Lime and a fine brush.  The little finger is a bit messy! I used Barry M Cocoa, and a fine (not fine enough!) brush. I wasn't thrilled with how that one in particular turned out, but I suppose the half timbered buildings are a bit rustic too... 

These weren't hugely successful!  Most of my colleagues didn't know what most of this was meant to represent - EVEN THE ONE THAT IS OUR WORK LOGO!  Oh well, at least I had fun!





Monday, 3 November 2014

Autumn Chevrons

Today's nails are an autumnal colour combination, using more She Sells Seashells chevron stencils.



The orange nails are two coats of Essence Flashy Pumpkin, with a stud from the Born Pretty Store added as an accent. 


The other nails are a base of two coats of Models Own Coconut Cream, and then the stencils used with Barry M Cocoa. 


I love these stencils - they're so easy to use, and so much better than sellotape, as they're that bit stronger, and less sticky. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

October Round-Up

I was really pleased with my October nails overall!

I liked both sets of Hallowe'en nails, and I wore some stamping that I was very happy with. I tried two UK indies that I won in the Digit-al Dozen giveaway and I really liked the lightning bolt design using the Barry M Glitterati.



I also got the funniest spam in a while:



Which was your favourite design this month?


 

Friday, 31 October 2014

Hallowe'en 2 - Bleeding Zombie Fingers!

About two months ago, I saw this pack of temporary tattoo things in Accessorize, and snapped them up! Finally this week I got the chance to use them.


These were £4 for a pack of 14. As you can see, there are a variety of sizes of dripping blood designs. The instructions are simple - you peel off the covering plastic, place them on the fingers, press down with a wet piece of fabric or kitchen roll and then peel off the paper.


First I painted my nails - I started with a base of Barry M Vanilla, and then sponged over a whole variety of splodges, all with Barry M colours. I used Mustard, Black, Grey, Berry Ice Cream and Blackberry, in varying amounts for that bruised and battered effect.  I then added a coat of Barry M Matte Topcoat. 


The transfers came out looking really shiny and blood-like, which I think looked fab! I loved how gory these look!


I like how the slightly gluey bits where they touch my cuticles in places actually make them look more realistic. 


I had hoped to keep them on all night and then wear them for work tomorrow, but sadly, the shiny finish was a bit sticky, and they got quite grubby rubbing against clothes and so on. I think if you were at a party or something, and only handling drinks, then you'd be fine, but these don't last overnight!


Still, I was pretty pleased with this look! 

 
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