Monday, 30 January 2012

"Say hello to my little friend..."

This isn't nail polish related, but I'm so excited I have to share my news anyway. Drum roll, please...


Before you ask - no, I'm not twelve years old, I'm twenty-four. The great thing about hamsters is that they make wonderful pets no matter what your age. I had a previous hamster called Roxy who died last September. She was a bit of a nutter, but completely adorable, too - it's funny how hamsters, even though they're tiny, have such distinct personalities.


Having had a respectable period of mourning, I decided it was time to get another pet. I toddled off to the pet shop on Saturday and immediately laid eyes on a little black and white male hamster. It was love at first sight (at least on my end), so he came home with me. So without further ado, may I present Claude to you:


Isn't he cute?! I had such trouble persuading him to stay still long enough for me to take photos. His colouring in the first picture (taken with flash) is a lot truer to life than the second. Claude is still a bit shy and unsure of me at the moment, but he's getting a lot bolder. He wouldn't take food from me on Saturday - now he'll quite happily eat from my hand and let me stroke him.

Claude, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

Saturday, 28 January 2012

a-england Perceval & China Glaze Golden Enchantment

I am a huge fan of a-england polishes. The formula is always flawless and the colours are always interesting. I don't wear many red nail polishes as I feel it's a bit too mainstream - not that I'm exactly what you'd call cool, but I prefer to wear slightly more unusual colours. Having said that, a-england Perceval is an exception to the rule. It's an incredible shimmery red that looks like it's lit from within. It's stunning. Most recently, I wore it with China Glaze Golden Enchantment, a gold holographic glitter top coat.

I didn't manage to take a single photo that didn't come out a bit blurry, for some reason, but it still shows the colour of Perceval well, as well as showing how sparkly and holographic Golden Enchantment is.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Nubar Prism Collection 2010

This collection came out almost exactly two years ago, but this was before I had even heard of Nubar. It's just not that widely available in the UK, which is a pity as they do some amazing colours. (The ones I do have are from BeautyBay, which has a pretty good selection.) Anyway, I recently purchased two of the colours from the Prism Collection, which I thought I'd show you today.

First up is Absolute, a light blue scattered holographic. I've heard some people have found it a bit sheer, but for me it was opaque in two coats. It dried surprisingly shiny although I did use a top coat for these photos. The first shows it under natural light, the second in artifical light, which really shows off the holographic effect. I don't have any photos of it in the sun because, well, there wasn't any. :(

The second one I have is Gem, which is a grey/taupe holographic. In some lights it almost looks a dusky pink. It's really interesting - I don't have any other holographic polishes this shade.

I found the formula of Gem very different to Absolute. While Absolute dried with a smooth finish, Gem was much rougher. I used two layers of top coat and it still looks kind of gritty. It makes it look like it bubbled, which it didn't. You can see what I mean better here:

See? Gem dries with a much rougher finish. I think the holographic particles are chunkier than in Absolute. Still, it does have the advantage of making the holographic effect more pronounced. The grittiness really bothers me for some reason, but I'm still glad I have both these colours in my collection.

Monday, 23 January 2012

China Glaze Frostbite

My favourite nail colours - and in fact, colours in general - to wear are blues and purples. Sometimes I like them dark and vampy; more often than not, however, I like them as bright as possible. Especially when it's winter and the weather is grim, it cheers me up to look down at my brightly-coloured nails. Given that today is supposedly the most depressing day of the year, what better polish to show you than the brightest blue in my collection?

One of my favourite blues to wear is China Glaze Frostbite. It's a shimmery, lit-from-within blue. I find it to be a bit runny so you have to be more careful than usual during application, but it's such an incredibly vivid colour that I think it's worth the extra effort.

I was playing around with it the other day and layered a coat of Nails Inc Privileged, a blue/green flakie top coat, over it to make it even glowier. Then - as though that weren't enough - I stuck a couple of snowflake nail stickers that I found in my local Sally's on my thumb and ring finger.

Although not outrageous by my standards, the final design was the sort that made my parents give me a bemused look. So really, I consider it a success!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Checkered Mani

I did this manicure a little while ago for my grandfather's 85th birthday party. Perhaps unsurprisingly my nails completely escaped his notice, but I'm really pleased with how this manicure turned out regardless!

I began with two coats of China Glaze Devotion, which I have previously blogged about here. (In hindsight, I have no idea what possessed me to use this silver. It bubbles every time I wear it. Doh.) Once this had dried thoroughly I used Scotch tape to tape off three quarters of each nail. I painted this quarter with a-england's Avalon, the most amazing glowy purple. It's actually one of my favourite purples to wear. I only needed one coat to make it opaque. I waited for it to dry, then changed the tape so that it left the opposite quarter of each nail uncovered, and painted them with Avalon again. I then sealed it all with a top coat.

Despite the bubbling on Devotion, I'm really pleased with how this turned out. I think the combination of purple and silver is so eye-catching.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

GOSH Purple Heart

I wore this GOSH polish a couple of weeks ago. In the bottle it looks like an incredible multichrome concoction, all purple and green and blue and yellow - kind of like petrol, actually. On the nail, the only prominent colours are purple and green. Mostly it looks like a blackened purple until you tilt it, and then the green comes out to play. It's still pretty cool, and it's the perfect vampy colour for winter, but it's not quite as out-of-this-world as I was hoping.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Nail Art Tools

I bought some nail art brushes and dotting tools on Amazon the other day. I'm really excited to try them out, because before now I've had to improvise with hair pins and things like that, with mixed results. I don't remember exactly how much I paid for them, but they were pretty inexpensive.

My only question is what on earth does one use the fan brush for?!

OPI DS Extravagance & Reflection

I was lucky enough to stumble upon two OPI Designer Series shades not that long ago that were being sold for £8 each - half the price that I've seen them sold for everywhere else! So naturally, they had to come home with me. These colours aren't linear holographics like some of the older DS ones, but they're pretty glorious all the same. I believe they originally came out in 2008, but both are now part of the OPI DS permanent line.

First I have Extravagance, which is a rich berry purple with a scattered holographic shimmer. I can't even begin to describe how lovely this colour is. I'm a sucker for purples anyway, but this one is truly special.

The first two photos were taken in the sun; the third in the shade. Even indoors it looks incredible!

The other shade I have is Reflection. It's very similar to Extravagance in that it has a subtle holographic shimmer, but the colour itself is hot pink. I don't like it quite as much as I do Extravagance, but that's really only because I prefer purples to pinks in general.

I can't tell you how many compliments I received when I wore these two polishes. They're simply stunning, and would suit most skin tones. Yes they're expensive, and I'm not sure I would ever pay £16 (!) for them, but if you happen to find them anywhere for less than that, I highly recommend you snap them up!