Friday, 28 February 2014

Golden Oldies Thursday - Belated orange nails

I haven't so far participated much in the GOT challenge, because I am a fairly new lacquer maniac, and I don't really have that many old polishes. But this week the orange prompt came up and I realised I may have just the right polishes for the task. I didn't get to photograph this until today, but I was wearing this manicure on Thursday, so it totally counts :D

Golden Oldies challenge - Orly Old School Orange and Sleek Rust 37
Orly Old School Orange was one of the first polishes I obtained from ebay back in March 2013. It's been sitting in my stash unused since then - I'm not a huge fan or orange polish, as it makes my skin look weirdly dirty. The dots are made with one of my first Poundland polishes, Rust 37 by Sleek. The whole look is finished with Orly Matte Top.

Orange dot manicure.
I had to colour correct the pictures, since my camera insisted the polish was more yellow than it really was, so I had to add more red - but it's still not 100% accurate. Surprisingly, I like this manicure in these photos much more than I do on my nails. Weird.

Polishes I used:
  • Orly Old School Orange - a muted orange that dries to a rubber-like finish. It's incredibly chalky and streaky - three coats still didn't achieve completely even finish, plus it took ages to dry. The semi-matte sheen doesn't seem to suit the colour, and the whole thing just looks greasy. In the end, this shade of orange makes my hands look dirty and pale at the same time.
  • Sleek Rust 37 - a rusty, shimmery dark orange which dries super frosty and plain ugly. I bought it for a pound, and wore it only once,  so I can't even say how many coats this would take on its own. As with most super frosty polishes, dotting changes it from 'ugh' to 'wow', since all that heavy shimmer can just sit in one place.
Thanks for looking!

Check out other GOT manicures below:

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Polish Party Chevrons

Polishes used: China Glaze Westside Warrior, China Glaze Trendsetter and OPI Goldeneye.

It's the end of the month, and time for a Polish Party! This month, the vote was for chevrons as the main theme for nail art. I'd never done them before, but hey, how hard could it be? Right...?

I picked out two one-coat polishes I had in green and blue, and started by painting my nails with each in turn. I prepared some masking tape, and once my nails were dry, I applied my first chevron pattern. It was a complete fail - the masking tape didn't fully adhere to the nail, and resulted in really jagged ugly lines. One nail ruined, I can deal with that. I took out my striping tape (which I hate using because it's so fiddly and thin), and did a chevron pattern on my second nail. No real luck either - the lines were ok, but the shape was lopsided, and the faffing with the tape took ages. I had to take a break and breathe deeply at this point. Maybe I could sponge it on? Nope. Use a different tape? Nope. Stamp some chevrons? No such plate. In a fit of desperation, I freehanded a chevron with a thin polish brush. Whoa! It actually worked! So I picked two complementing polishes with good opacity and thin brushes, and entered the brave new world of freehand.

Freehanded green dotted chevrons for the Polish Party.
I started with a single medium coat of the mustard green Trendsetter, which is probably my favourite weird colour ever. Once it dried, I freehanded the chevrons with army green Westside Warrior, and finally added a layer of Seche Vite The results were surprisingly good, although I didn't manage to get the lines very straight, or the chevron peaks fully centered. To cover that, I added some Goldeneye dots, cause nothing distracts from shoddy craftsmanship like dots :D

Green dotted chevrons for the Polish Party
I was actually happy with this manicure, largely because I love greens, but also because these were my first freehand nails, and I was determined to enjoy them regardless of any wonkiness. Plus, they look a bit like some military epaulettes, with all that green and gold.

Green dotted chevrons
Polishes I used:
  • China Glaze Westside Warrior - a murky, dark army green crème, with amazing coverage (one careful coat, or two thin ones). It dried fast, and works great for nail art. Did I mention it's green? I love green.
  • China Glaze Trendsetter - a muted, mustard green with a gold shimmer. I guess it could be called ugly, but I love it to bits. It works really well on my skin, is opaque in one coat (or two thin ones) and applies like a dream.
  • OPI Goldeneye - a gorgeous yellow gold shimmer that dries to a foil-like finish, essentially like gilded nails. On its own, opaque in three coats, but it dries fast and is brilliant for dots, the saran wrap technique or sponging. One of my go-to gold polishes for nail art.
Thanks for looking, and check out other Polish Party manicures here:

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Tri-Polish Tuesdays - February round four

This week is a goodbye to brown, grey and pink that were the theme for this month. I can't say that I am sad for them to leave, especially that in March I will get to play with my favourite colours!

Polishes used: Nars Super Orgasm, Essence Wanna Say Hello, Technic Lustre

For this last manicure, I actually broke, and only used two colours. It's permissible, but I still feel bad about it. Still, I just couldn't find any inspiration for a grey, so I ended up using only pink, brown and a bit of gold as one of the allowed extras.

Pink, brown and gold manicure
I opted for a simple manicure, driven by the pink and gold NARS Super Orgasm. I used it on my accent finger, and painted the rest with the gorgeous chocolate brown Essence Wanna Say Hello. Then I created a reverse glitter gradient with the gold glitter that matched the fine glitter in the NARS polish.

Tri-polish challenge manicure
It's a very simple manicure, but I just couldn't find any inspiration when I was making it. And then my bottle of Picture Polish Aurora arrived, so I probably wore this for less than 3 hours :D

Polishes I used:
  • NARS Super Orgasm - a pale, salmon pink crelly with fine gold glitter. Opaque in two coats, and reasonably easy to apply, even with a mini brush. I found it in a charity shop, and that's probably the only reason I own it. It promises pretty and has a very boastful name, but doesn't seem to deliver on the nail.
  • Essence Wanna Say Hello - the most delicious, shiny and opaque chocolate brown. I wanted to nibble on my nails, it's so much like milk chocolate. The application is a dream, it's opaque in tow coats, although you can get away with one thicker one. I love the wide rounded Essence brush.
  • Technic Lustre - a fine, uniform gold glitter in a lightly tinted yellow base. It's cheap, and a bit boring, but it worked for this manicure.
Thanks for looking!

Check out other Tri-Polish manicures below:

Sunday, 23 February 2014

FingerFood's Theme Weeks - Cute

Polishes used: Glam Polish Twister, Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Razzle-Berry and Sally Hansen Ion

This week the FingerFood challenge is all about cuteness. Now, I can't draw puppies, or kittens, or cupcakes - but I can draw googly eyes like a pro. So, I present to you my cute manicure:

FingerFood's Cute challenge - rainbows and googly eyes all around
I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Ion - a wonderful neutral crème that I love using as a base for nail art. On my accent finger, I opted for two coats of Sally Hansen Razzle-Berry - a deep saturated blue texture. I snagged both of these polishes for £1 at Poundland, along with other Sally Hansen finds. I then added a coat of Glam Polish Twister on my remaining fingers. I love that neon topper to bits.

It's staring right into your soul :D
To finish the look off, I topped the glitter with Orly Matte Top coat, and dotted the eyes with OPI Alpine Snow. The pupils and smile were added with a black Sharpie. I really love using Sharpies for nail art - much better than nail art pens, and they come in metallic colours as well!

I loved wearing this manicure, and I got a lot of compliments for it. I really need to use Twister more often - it's such a happy polish :)

Polishes I used:
  • Glam Polish Twister - A mix of neon matte pink, yellow, blue and green hexes in three sizes in a clear base. The glitter payoff is amazing, each nail was done with a single coat - although some dabbing may be needed to achieve even coverage. The glitters lay flat, the base takes a while to fully dry, and the removal is as one would expect with a dense glitter polish.
  • Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Razzle-Berry - an intense, saturated blue texture polish without any glitter. Easy to apply and opaque in two medium coats. I wasn't convinced about crème textures, but decided to give it a go for a pound. I have to say I enjoyed wearing this a lot - I love the blue, the texture is interesting, and removal fairly easy. I heard that it stains, so I used a double base coat layer and had no issues after 2 days of wear. I did find it dried fairly slowly, but this may be because of the extra base coat.
  • Sally Hansen Ion - a cool neutral crème, ideal as a nail art base. The brush is wide and perfect for my nails, the polish was very easy to apply and opaque in two coats (although if I was wearing it alone I'd have gone for three), and it dried fairly fast. I'm a fan of all Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes.
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Gold waterfall manicure

Today I want to show you a manicure inspired by the amazing Nailasaurus and her waterfall nails technique.

Polishes used: Barry M Majesty, unnamed Cynthia Rowley gold, Orly Dazzle, Orly Flare, Barry M Gold Foil and Ciate Cookies and Cream.

In this type of nail art, you choose a bunch of complementing colours and make thin, disappearing stripes with a fine brush starting at the cuticle line and going around halfway through the nail. I used the nude Ciate for my base - and I have to say this might be my new favourite nude. The shade complements my skin perfectly, and just looks so light and airy. Once that was dry, I added the gold and silver lines.

Gold waterfall manicure, with glossy top coat - shade
I made the stripes with a pared down art brush, but it's a bit stiff and nowhere near as long as it should be to make the trails look really wispy and fluid. You can see places where it was too stiff and it sort of separated the polish into two lines.

Gold waterfall manicure with glossy top coat - direct light
Once the lines were dry, I secured everything with Seche Vite. I used the lovely Barry M Majesty as an accent nail and on my thumb, and it really looked fabulous - I wasn't really able to capture how sparkly and pretty this textured polish is.

Gold waterfall manicure with matte top coat.
I then added my Orly Matte Top coat on the non-textured nails, making the manicure look even more airy and smooth. I have to say I absolutely loved wearing it, and I didn't take it off for two days - a rarity for me these days! The amount of effort needed for it was fairly low, and the results just speak for themselves. I am looking forward to getting my Born Pretty shipment with some decent nail art detailing brushes, so I can give it another go.

Polishes I used:
  • Barry M Majesty - a gorgeous champagne gold textured glitter. It was a breeze to apply and opaque in two medium coats, but it took quite a long time to dry completely. The texture is fairly rough, but pleasant, the removal is a bit of a pain.
  • Cynthia Rowley gold - an unnamed, and unnumbered camel-gold polish that I got in a set at TK Max. On its own, it would take two coats and look fairly frosty, but it works pretty well for details like these. I hate that this line has no identifiers for the polishes.
  • Orly Dazzle - silver shimmery foil, very easy to apply and very sparkly. On its own, it would take two coats to be opaque, and it's one of my favourite silver polishes.
  • Orly Flare - a gold sister of Dazzle, but with less talent. On its own it takes three coats to be fully opaque, and has weird drying issues. But again, it worked perfect for this nail art.
  • Barry M Gold Foil - a dark gold foil polish, amazing for stamping and nail art. Very opaque, and easy to apply.
  • Ciate Cookies and Cream - a cool-leaning pale nude crème. Opaque in three coats, but each dried very quickly, and the end result was definitely worth it. The Ciate mini brush was surprisingly good for application.
  • Orly Matte Top - a matte top coat I've had for a year now. It's gotten a bit goopy, but it was nothing a few drops of polish thinner wouldn't fix. It dries to a delicious matte finish, doesn't change the base colour and is easy to apply. Drying time, as for all matte polishes, is excellent. I've never tried a different matte top coat, so can't compare it.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Dance Legend Thermo 175 Swatches

I recently got a few gorgeous polishes from Rainbow Connection, including two absolutely amazing thermals from Dance Legend. I love thermals - it's like wearing two nail polishes at the same time, with accidental, ever changing nail art! The Dance Legend Thermal I'll be showing you today is the 175 (I'm so sad they don't have proper names) - a shimmery purple to pink polish.

 In it's cold state, it's a magnificent plum purple with gold and pink shimmer. It's absolutely unbelievable - it's lit from within, complex, gorgeous and I may run out of adjectives here. I would wear it even without the thermal effect.

Dance Legend Thermo 175 with top coat - cold state
When it warms up, Thermo 175 shifts into a bright warm pink with the same gorgeous shimmer as the cold state had. It's stunning, and despite my lack of love for pink, even I have to say I dig it.

Dance Legend Thermo 175 with top coat - warm state
The real fun starts when your nails have a temperature gradient to them - something my nails, with their short nail beds and lots of free hanging nail do very well.

Dance Legend Thermo 175 with top coat - gradient effect
This is the world's most effortless gradient manicure, and how my hands looked like when they were warming up. The gradual shift is beautiful, and so watchable!

Dance Legend Thermo 175 with top coat - gradient effect
I may have taken way too many photos of this polish, but I just couldn't resist.

Dance Legend Thermo 175 with top coat - warm nails, cold tips
Finally, you can see how reactive the polish is - my warm hands were touching the cool bottle, and that part of the nails shifted to purple. When I was washing my hands, single drops of cool or warm water would cause small circular shift areas. It's hypnotising!

The application was a breeze - two coats achieved complete opacity, and the wide Dance Legend brush was amazingly easy to use. I had barely any clean up at all. The polish dries to an odd matte finish that dulls the shimmer, so topcoat is recommended - I used Seche Vite.

Overall, it's an amazing thermal polish, and I would definitely recommend it.
Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

An award? For me? Liebster awards!

The lovely Gracinthey from Addicted to Nails has tagged me with a Liebster award! I kinda made a high pitched squee noise when I found out. I'd never heard of it before, but it sounds like a great idea!

It's a chain designed to help blogs with less than 200 followers get noticed. The rules are:
  • If you get nominated you must acknowledge the blogger who nominated you 
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger who nominated you asked
  • Nominate 11 people who have less than 200 followers and create 11 questions for them to answer
  • Let the 11 nominees know that you are nominating them
So, here goes my contribution!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tri-Polish Tuesdays - February round three!

The third Tuesday of February is upon us, and so is the Tri-Polish challenge, with its monthly pick of pink, grey and brown.

Polishes used: Rimmel Grey Matter, Color Club Endless, Leighton Denny On The Rocks

I had picked out the three colours for this week's manicure a few days ahead, and I was planning to make them into some sort of a gradient. Sadly, once I started dabbing the sponge on my nails, I realised it wouldn't work - the colours just ended up looking dirty and ugly. After some deliberation, I decided on a tape manicure. I then proceeded to bump and smudge my base coats of nail polish at least twice on different nails, so the painting took much longer than I anticipated. It was just one of those days, I guess.

Striped nails in pink, brown and grey
I started by painting my nails with the delicate brown On The Rocks and the Grey Matter, and adding a coat of Seche Vite. Once everything was completely dry and solid, I placed some striping tape pieces diagonally (and my ability to position these in equal distances is sorely lacking) and then went over each nail with a contrasting polish. As usually with striping, making sure that the tape is completely flat on the nail and removing it while the polish is still wet is really important. I admit I had some issues with the first rule - as you can see in the dodgy stripes. I topcoated it all with Color Club fast drying topcoat, to avoid the smudging Seche Vite would entail.

Striped nails with pink, brown and grey
Despite the imperfections, I'm quite happy with this manicure. It looks quite grown up, and I love the combination of the brown and grey. Nonetheless, I am really looking forward to March, and the new colour set.

Polishes I used:
  • Rimmel Grey Matter - a mid-grey crème, cool leaning and soft. The Rimmel brush is brilliant for a drugstore brand, medium width and nicely rounded, and the application was pretty painless. This polish is opaque in two coats, and worked well for striping.
  • Color Club Endless - a pale, cool-toned pink crème from the Kaleidoscope collection. It's goopy and patchy, and doesn't self-level very well - it would take three coats to be opaque on it's own. I only got it because it was in a set.
  • Leighton Denny On The Rocks - a gorgeous pale brown base with a complex gold and pinkish fine shimmer. On the nail, the shimmer is barely visible, but it lends the polish some depth and light. It's like wearing praline on my fingers - I'm not a fan of browns, but this polish I can wear on its own. The application was flawless, despite the fairly thin brush. The first coat was fairly sheer, but the second one achieved full coverage. I got this polish on a TK Max sale, along with a few other bottles of LD.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

FingerFood's Theme Week - Abstract

Polishes used: OPI Alpine Snow, Sinful Colors striper, Rimmel Sunshine, Orly Monroe's Red and Orly Shockwave.
I was really anticipating this week's theme. I had just the idea for the set of abstract nails, I just wasn't sure if I had the skills. I'd never used a striper before, so I had a bit of trial run on some swatching sticks. In the end, after a lot of careful taping, striping and some colourful language, they are not nearly as neat as I had envisioned - but I'm rocking them nonetheless. I present to you my Mondrian nails:

Mondrian inspired abstract nails.
My right hand is a simple skittle of the basic colours I used in my left hand. I'd not want to repeat this process with my non-dominant hand! This challenge was rally fun, and again, it made me learn quite a bit about new techniques.

Additionally, we had a sunny day here in Scotland today, and I found out that two polishes I believed to be crèmes were in fact gorgeous hidden shimmers. I honestly never looked at them in sunlight before.

Polishes I used:
  • OPI Alpine Snow - white crème polish, opaque in three coats. A bit of a pain to apply, but at least it dries fast .
  • Sinful Colors Time Off - a black striper I nabbed from Poundland. The polish is very opaque, and the brush is long, thin and flexible. Then again, I never used any other stripers before, so I don't have much to compare it with.
  • Rimmel Sunshine - a medium yellow hidden shimmer. Fairly sheer and streaky in application, it would take four coats to be opaque on its own, but was good for this mani with one thick coat over white.
  • Orly Monroe's Red - a cool leaning bright red with a hidden red shimmer. Great application, and full opacity in three thin coats, but I used two thicker ones on my right hand. Over white, it's bright and uniform in one coat.
  • Orly Shockwave - a warm-leaning navy blue crème, one of my favourite blues in my collection. On it's own opaque in two easy coats.
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Ravishing Romance - a jelly sandwich

My Valentine's manicure inspired me to try wearing more red - and to see what effects I can achieve with the deep red jelly polish I found buried in my stash - China Glaze Ravishing, Dahling. I had bought it months ago at a Sally Express sale for £1.50, and from what I saw recently, it's still available as a bargain on their website.

After some faffing about with a piece of paper and trying out different layering solutions (I usually do it on plain paper in my notebook), I ended up with a duo of Essence Time for Romance and China Glaze Ravishing, Dahling.

Here are the results!

Jelly sandwich with Essence Time for Romance and China Glaze Ravishing, Dahling.

I used a single coat of Time for Romance as the base. It wasn't opaque, but considering I was going to cover it with a fairly dark jelly, the lack of full coverage was not an issue. Additionally, I didn't want to layer the glitter too much to make removal a bit easier. You can see the bottle look of Time for Romance in the photograph below.

Jelly sandwich with Essence Time for Romance and China Glaze Ravishing, Dahling.
I then covered the dry glitter with a medium coat of China Glaze Ravishing, Dahling. The pink-leaning wine jelly is very manageable, and there were no issues with streakiness, at least over the busy glitter background. I had once layered it over white, and it was much harder to get the uniform colour dictribution.

Jelly sandwich with Essence Time for Romance and China Glaze Ravishing, Dahling.
The jelly layer smoothed out the glitter on it's own pretty well, so a single generous coat of Seche Vite was enough to ensure a smooth glossy finish. The end result was simply magnificent - like rubies drowned in syrup, or cherry jello. I don't happen to own any polishes even remotely close to this effect, but I guess China Glaze Ruby Pumps would be in the general ballpark. And with Ravishing, Dahling I have full control over the glitter I use underneath, which makes it a very versatile solution. I need to try it out over a glitter gradient next!

Polishes I used:
  • Essence Time for Romance - a dusky rose glitter of various sizes in a tinted base. On its own it would be fully opaque in three coats, although it would be fairly lumpy by then. The Essence brush is very wide, and slightly unwieldy, especially when bits of glitter get stuck between the bristles and fluff it up too much. The glitter removal is hard, and the foil method is definitely recommended.
  • China Glaze Ravishing, Dahling - a pink-leaning red wine jelly, perfect for layering. It would be opaque on its own in three coats. Fairly easy to apply, although I found that for me the narrow China Glaze brush doesn't really lend itself to clean cuticle lines. The one serious minus is that it stains the cuticles, and is very hard to clean up - my hands looked a bit mangled, as I wasn't able to fully fix all the staining.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Belle Glamour - Lagoon swatch

I need to get this off my chest. I love thermal polishes. I can stare at them for hours, and I can always provide visible evidence that my hands are icy cold, or more rarely warm. Plus, I have very short nail beds and a lot of free hanging nail, which means I tend to get the French tip look most of the time. Finally, I am in love with the science of thermal polishes - you can read here how Lab Muffin explains how they work.

This week I wore a thermal from a UK indie brand, Belle Glamour. It's a gorgeous blue shimmer that shifts from a light blue to a deeper sky blue.

Belle Glamour Lagoon - warm and cold state

Both colours are really pretty, and as I love blue, it's right up my alley. Unfortunately, despite my normally thermal-friendly nails, I was not able to catch the colour transition - it seems like it's taking place at a temperature lower than my free hanging nail, and that it's a gradual rather than on/off process.

Belle Glamour Lagoon - three coats, warm state
As you can see, in the warm state the polish looks somewhat patchy - and that's with the three generous coats I applied. It feels like the thermal pigment spheres are quite big in this polish, and don't achieve good opacity easily. Next time I might use undies that are similar to the warm state shade.

Belle Glamour Lagoon - three coats, warm state
As you can see, Lagoon is very sparkly - it shimmers with a few lovely shades of blue, and the layering gives it amazing depth.

Belle Glamour Lagoon - three coats, cool state
The cold colour for Lagoon is a deep sky/sea blue - very intense and saturated. The image was taken after dunking my hand in cold water, so there are still some droplets here and there! I was also able to reach this state when going out for a walk in the cold, or even spending a lot of time at my desk next to large window (cold!), so you won't need to use iced water for the effect.

Belle Glamour Lagoon - three coats, cool state
As you can see, the cold state looks less patchy that the warm - and is also very sparkly. I really loved the colour, and I found myself being oddly happy when my fingers were cold :D

The application for this polish was weird, but manageable. It's very thick, and you can feel that it's packed with shimmer and pigment particles. The first coat is a bit tricky, but the next ones stick very well to the gritty finish the first one leaves. It doesn't flood the cuticles, and it dries pretty fast. The finish on Lagoon alone is very gritty, so a generous layer of top coat is needed to bring out the full sparkle. The gritty texture makes itself known during removal - use the foil method if you can.

Overall, it's a really beautiful polish, sparkly and shifting between two gorgeous blue shades. While it's not as 'shifty' as my other thermals, I love it nonetheless.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Tri-Polish Tuesdays - February round two!

Polishes used: Bella Pierre Pink Cadillac, OPI You Don't Know Jacques and Essence Here's My Number

The Tri-Polish Tuesdays is a weekly challenge that requires the use of three set polish colours throughout one month. With a limited colour palette, you have to get creative. This month is all about pink, grey and brown and since we're allowed to change polishes between weeks, I picked out three new bottles to show off. Last week my nails were about contrasts, this week they are much more subdued.

Tri-Polish Skittlette, and a bottle of Bella Pierre Pink Cadillac
I used Essence Here's My Number as the framing colour on my index and pinky fingers, and painted the middle and ring fingers with OPI You Don't Know Jacques. Then I sponged a glitter gradient on the middle finger with Bella Pierre Pink Cadillac, and used striping tape and layered the rough Essence Here's My Number on top of the brown on my ring finger.

Tri-Polish Skittlette - much sparkle.
The effect is at the same time subdued, and sparkly - almost classy! I really love the contrast of texture between the rough Here's My Number and smooth You Don't Know Jacques. Although, next time I would probably layer the grey over pink for a better visibility of the stripes.

Tri-Polish Skittlette in daylight.

Polishes I used:
  • Bella Pierre Pink Cadillac - a mix of pale pink, silver and deeper pink glitters in two sizes, in a clear base. I bought it in a set in TK Max, and didn't use it much - but it turns out to be absolutely perfect for glitter gradients.
  • OPI You Don't Know Jacques - gorgeous taupe that I insist counts as brown for this challenge. Two easy coats, excellent application and the perfect background for the pink glitter.
  • Essence Here's My Number - a liquid sand type polish, with a gunmetal grey base and a smattering of holographic glitter which sparkles in every colour of the rainbow. Two coats for full coverage (one thick for striping). This polish is pleasantly textured - no sandpaper feel, or snagging here - and very pretty.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 10 February 2014

FingerFood's Theme Weeks - Hearts

Colours I used - Orly LA Sashay, OPI Off With Her Red, China Glaze Ravishing, Dahling and Color Club Poetic Hues
It's the week before Valentine's, so hearts are everywhere. While I'm not really fond of this holiday (call me a Grinch :D), I have recently found myself really enjoying red nail polish - and what better occasion for it than this?

I started with a skittle of the reds, with two nails painted in the lovely Color Club Poetic Hues. But actually getting the hearts onto my nails was a bit of a problem. I don't own any stamps, or stickers or charms that I could just slap on and call it a day. Oh, how I wish I did. I had to bring out my dotting tools, and <gasp> my detail brush, which I had made by clipping off most hair from a small paintbrush I had owned.

Heart skittle, with a dotted multi-red heart and painted tiny hearts. My middle finger has two coats of OPI Off With Her Red, and my pinky has two coats of Orly LA Sashay
As you can see, the tiny painted hearts are not perfect, but it was the fist time I wielded a detail brush, so I'm rewarding myself with some chocolate for that one. I actually had to erase and redo my index finger twice. The dotted heart was much more fun to do.

Heart skittle. The tiny hearts were pained with OPI Off With Her Red.

Overall, this was definitely a fun manicure to plan, and I learned quite a bit while doing it! Especially the fact that Seche Vite will smudge my dots even an hour after they'd been made (my right hand is a mess), and the Color Club Top Coat I've been getting in all those sets is actually good for something.

Polishes I used:
  • Color Club Poetic Hues - a lovely pale peach shade, like a peach yoghurt. Opaque in two medium coats, somewhat streaky but easy to manage on the nail. A great base for nail art.
  • OPI Off With Her Red - possibly my favourite red. Saturated, warm orange-leaning and opaque in two thin easy coats. It's actually slightly darker than the photos show.
  • Orly LA Sashay - a shimmery deep burgundy, toeing the line between classic and vampy. Two suer easy coats.
  • China Glaze Ravishing Dahling - a deep wine jelly that I used for dotting, and on my thumb. Opaque in two generous coats, and it would be excellent for layering over shimmer polish.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Saturday swatches - Jess glitters

I'm getting into the swatching rhythm - put on a podcasts, grab the polishes I want to show off and start painting! I still need to figure out a way to make sure my cuticles don't suffer throughout the constant acetone assault. Today, I'd like to show off a range of glitters from a brand called Jess. It's available in the UK at Poundland stores - they even have their own rack! As the retail place suggests, they are £1 per 9ml bottle, which is amazing value. The glitter range is pretty impressive - they have the basic gold, silver, holo and a variety of coloured ones.

A few general notes about the polishes as a group: They are all smelly, in the usual cheap nail polish way. They are goopy, but not overly so, and the glitter payoff is really great on each bottle. Sometimes a bit of dabbing is needed, especially if the larger glitters are concerned, but overall the application of these is painless. The brush is a standard round one - nothing bad, but also nothing worth writing home about.

So, let's get the swatches started.

First off, Jess Poppy - a pretty raspberry red microglitter in a clear base, with some lighter pink and holographic glitters mixed in.

Jess Poppy - one coat over Tiger 04, daylight
This polish was very camera-shy, and I couldn't really capture how sparkly it is. Perhaps I should have layered it over a more contrasting polish - I'm sure it would look amazing over black.

Jess Poppy - one coat over Tiger 04

The next polish is Jess Disco Diva. It's a mix of small hex lavender and pale blue glitters, with some large iridescent, holographic and lavender glitters thrown in. It's surprisingly complex, and very much cool toned.

Jess Disco Diva - one coat over NYC Wild With Passion
I layered it over a saturated berry purple, and it looked fab. I think it would also work very well with blue, black and pastel shades. The image below shows just how lovely the holographic sparkle is on this one.

Jess Disco Diva - one coat over NYC Wild With Passion. The sparkle!

Jess Bling is a mix of tiny green, gold and holographic glitters, with some large green hexes thrown in. Three glitter sizes, and a lot of large hexes give it a fair bit of coverage - I guess this one could be fine on it's own with 3 coats.

Jess Bling - one coat over Rimmel Sage Green
I layered it over a muted sage green, and it definitely blinged it up. I love greens, but for some reason I can't really bring myself to love this one, or at least not as a full mani. Weird.

Jess Bling - one coat over Rimmel Sage Green

Now we are getting to my two favourites. Jess Rock Chick is a complex mix of tiny red, black, silver and holographic glitters.I layered it over a pink foil, and it instantly brought it from flirty to edgy.

Jess Rock Chick - one coat over Body Collection Iced Violet
It's awesome - very sparkly, but not overly girly. Rock Chick is an apt name, and I can definitely see myself using it a lot in the future. Just look at the sparkle, and the complexity of this one. I also love how it's made up of really small glitters, and there's no fishing or dabbing needed.

Jess Rock Chick - one coat over Body Collection Iced Violet

Finally, my personal winner. It's Jess Ibiza - a mix of small blue, silver and holographic glitters in a clear base. It shines, it sparkles, and the blue is the most perfect deep blue sky ever.

Jess Ibiza - one coat over Jess Joy
I layered it over an icy blue foil, and it worked marvellously. This one seemed to have the strongest holographic sparkle, and the warm colours of the sparks contrast so well with the blue glitter. Just look at how it shines in normal daylight!

Jess Ibiza - one coat over Jess Joy

Overall, all of these glitters are great. None of the large hexes suffere from taco curving, although it wasn't exactly easy to get an even spread of them. The tiny glitters are excellent, and the addition of holographic sparkle to each polish elevates it from OK to a firm wow in my opinion. Definitely a quid well spent.

Thanks for reading!