Sunday, 29 April 2012

Andrea Fulerton Rain Fall

Given how much rain there's been here recently, I couldn't not try out a polish called Rain Fall! This is actually an Andrea Fulerton Trio - it's comprised of two polishes that you can wear alone or layer together to create a third colour. Rain Fall consists of a bright metallic blue polish and a darker blue one with green/blue flakies. I forgot to photograph the former before layering the latter over it (oops!), so here they are together:

Ironically, the sun emerged just as I was photographing it. Thank you, Mother Nature!

The formula was unremarkable. I used one coat of the metallic blue and one coat of the flakie polish, which gave full coverage. I really like this combination - it reminds me less of rain than it does a tropical ocean. Which gave me an idea...

I bought some Big Ruby nail tattoos ages ago and keep forgetting to use them. One of the designs I got was sea creatures, so I dug them out and used a different picture for each nail. I think they turned out pretty well:

At the risk of giving anyone else an earworm, I now have 'Under the Sea' from The Little Mermaid stuck in my head...

Friday, 27 April 2012

Topshop Hypnotic

I realised the other day that I've been wearing a ridiculous amount of blues and purples on my nails recently, so here's something a bit different. Topshop Hypnotic is a silver frost with a pink duochrome shimmer. The pink is a bit camera shy; it's much more obvious in the shade than in the sun. It is a very pretty polish though - it's a nice change from your average silver frost.

In my opinion, Topshop nail polishes are really underrated. I hardly ever find them mentioned on other blogs, which is a shame as they have interesting colours and a fantastic formula. Hypnotic is no exception. It applied perfectly and built up well - this is three coats. I believe it's part of a collection of four polishes called Sisters of the New Moon, priced at £6.50 each.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Illamasqua Jo'mina + Max Factor Fantasy Fire = A Match Made in Heaven

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know by now how much I love purple polishes. Illamasqua Jo'mina has been on my wishlist for quite some time, and I am happy to say that it is no longer a wish but a reality!

Jo'mina is a vivid light purple. I wouldn't call it lilac because it's too bright. I've heard it's very difficult to photograph the colour accurately, and it's true! I almost wanted to cry with frustration when I was taking photos of it because it just looked too blue. Happily, when I looked at the photos on my laptop they weren't too bad, but just imagine this colour as a thousand times more bright and in-your-face in real life, okay?

Pretty gorgeous, isn't it? I wore it like this for a couple of days before realising that the only thing that could possibly top it on its own...was with Max Factor Fantasy Fire on top. I've shown you Fantasy Fire before here, and unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard of it. It's a sheer purple polish with a red/gold/green multichrome shimmer. I like it with Barry M Indigo as a base - but I love it with Illamasqua Jo'mina. The brightness of Jo'mina still shines through but doesn't overpower the shimmery loveliness. I used two coats (eh, I have four bottles, I don't need to be stingy!) over Jo'mina. Take a look:

And a bonus photo of it blurry so you can see how sparkly it is:

What do you think of this combination? Do you have a favourite polish to layer Fantasy Fire or other dupes over?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy St George's Day!

Happy St George's Day (and Shakespeare's birthday, and JMW Turner's birthday)! I did festive nails for St Patrick's Day last month, so it's only fair I do them to celebrate England's patron saint too. (In case you were wondering, I am mostly English but with a couple of Irish great-grandparents, and a French grandfather.)

An-y-way, I decided to use the English flag as my inspiration as it's patriotic *cough* and easy *cough* but with a little twist. I used a recent addition to my nail polish collection, Layla Mercury Twilight, a silver linear holographic, as my base (you will be seeing proper swatches of this polish very soon). I then used a striper brush to make the cross shape using China Glaze Ruby Pumps, a red glitter. On with the photos!

So there we have it: my blingy English nails. Is anyone else doing anything to celebrate St George's Day?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

My First Water Marble

Yup, you read that right... I decided to try my hand at water marbling the other day. I wouldn't call it an unqualified success, but at least it actually worked (which is more than I was expecting)!

Blue - Rimmel London Aqua Cool
Lilac - OPI Done Out in Deco
White - OPI Alpine Snow

The pattern isn't very exciting and it bubbled a little, but oh well. Hopefully once I've done it a few more times I'll be able to iron out any kinks. I only did it as an accent on my thumb and ring finger because it was quicker/easier. I used a cutepolish tutorial on YouTube, which I found very helpful.

The water marble actually worked best on the thumb of my right hand:

Now that I've lost my water marbling virginity and it wasn't as much of a faff as I expected, I'm keen to try other patterns/colours. So watch this space...

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Nails Inc Belgrave Square

I'm ashamed to admit that I have had Nails Inc Belgrave Square in my collection for about two years, and this is the first time I've worn it. I think it was a freebie when I bought a certain amount of things off their website, because I wouldn't have chosen this colour myself. So it languished in its storage box, unloved, until I was looking for something bright and cheerful the other day and thought, 'Hmmm...'

In the bottle, Belgrave Square is a bright pink shimmer. On the nails, it is so much more. The big surprise's a jelly! Nails Inc are really known for their creme shades (although their glitters are amazing too) so I was pleasantly surprised to find this polish is different. It reminds me of strawberry sorbet. It's so cute and squishy-looking.

I used three coats, which made it more or less opaque. As with most Nails Inc polishes, the formula was superlative. I actually ended up wearing this for several days, I liked it so much.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

China Glaze Electric Beat

There's not a lot to say about China Glaze Electric Beat that probably hasn't already been said by other bloggers. It's a rather pretty cornflower blue; the sort of blue shade I tend to reach for in the spring. It's very similar, if not identical, to Rimmel London Aqua Cool, which I showed you last month. This is three coats.

Electric Beat and Sweet Hook are the only two polishes I picked up from the Electropop Collection. I wanted Gothic Lolita as well, but by the time I got down to my nearest Sally's it had sold out. Sad.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Neon Leopard Mani

After a couple of weeks of glorious sunshine the weather has turned rubbish. We've had so little rain in Surrey for the last few months that I didn't even know where my umbrella was (I still don't). I decided that the best cure for miserable weather is...neon nail polish!

I've had China Glaze Purple Panic and Flip Flop Fantasy in my collection since December, but it seemed a bit weird to wear neons in the winter so they've been languishing in one of my storage containers. They both got their first outing in this manicure! Purple Panic is a neon hot pink with purple shimmer and Flip Flop Fantasy is a neon coral pink. They are both eye-wateringly bright.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the photos (ironically, the sun did appear a little while I was taking them):

What do you think?! :)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


You may have noticed that my nails have been getting progressively shorter and shorter for the last few weeks. This is because they have been splitting and breaking like nobody's business! While I'm very lucky in that I can wear whatever nail polish I fancy to work, what I do is not very kind towards my nails. It probably doesn't help that I change my polish every couple of days at the moment - so I'm using nail polish remover more and therefore drying my nails out more.

Here is what I have done so far to try and combat the damage:

- Switched to a nail polish remover that doesn't contain acetone. It works fine on cremes but is useless on glitter
- Started taking skin, hair & nail vitamins (as of today)
- Considered changing my nail shape to something more oval than squoval as I believe they will snag less...but I'm awfully attached to the squoval shape and not sure I can bear to change it!

What I'd like to know is if anyone has any suggestions for anything else I can do? For example, can you recommend a nourishing base coat (preferably an inexpensive one) that really works? I normally use OPI Natural Nail Base Coat, which is fine beneath polish but does nothing for the nails themselves. I would really appreciate some advice. I know breaking a nail is very much a first world problem, but it still bothers me!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Topshop AWOL

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I bought Topshop AWOL, and I finally got around to wearing it the other day. It's a bright and bold electric blue that is apparently quite similar to Nails Inc Baker Street, although I don't have that polish so I can't say for certain. (I can tell you that it's lighter than OPI Dating a Royal, if that helps.) I'm a sucker for blue polishes, so this is pretty much my perfect colour. Even better, the formula was fantastic - I only needed two coats to achieve full opacity, and it was so easy to apply.

I think I must have held my hand at a weird angle when taking these photos, because it almost looks like an ombre manicure - getting a lighter shade of blue on each nail towards my pinkie. Weiiiiird...

I really can't express how much I love AWOL - I actually think this might be one of my favourite polishes that I've worn so far this year! I believe it originally came out last spring and I've heard it's getting quite hard to find, but my nearest Topshop still has a plentiful supply of it. (Mind you, the Boots just down the road from it still has bottles of Max Factor Fantasy Fire in clearly the people in my area do not appreciate inredible nail polishes when they see them!)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! I'm not religious, so for me today is more about celebrating the fact I get to eat a ridiculous amount of chocolate than it is anything else. XD I hope everyone has had/is having a brilliant Easter. I was working this morning (no four-day weekend for me - I'm working every day of it!) but I've spent the afternoon baking Easter-themed cupcakes. Yum.

Anyway, today's nails are a variant on what I've seen on a few other blogs recently and are inspired by Easter eggs - the painted kind, not the kind you eat. Pictures first (featuring the special guest appearance of my thumb!):

Why yes, that is a Cadbury Creme Egg. And yes, I did eat it after taking these photos!

I painted my nails at 11 o'clock last night so I wasn't entirely awake and alert during the whole thing, but I'm still rather pleased with my efforts all the same. For the most part I used the same polishes as in my rainbow cheetah manicure, as you may notice I also did a rainbow with the base colours:

Peach - Barry M Peach Melba
Yellow - OPI Banana Bandanna
Green - Revlon Minted
Blue - Barry M Blue Moon
Lilac - Barry M Berry Ice Cream
White - Models Own Wah Nail Art Pen

And one more bonus photo:

Saturday, 7 April 2012

China Glaze Flying Dragon

Here's an interesting/weird (interestingly weird?) polish for you today: China Glaze Flying Dragon. It's a fuchsia-purple hybrid with very small pink and blue glitter. I did some Googling and apparently there are two versions of this polish - it sounds like I have the newer one, which is fuchsia rather than a blue-toned purple.

Flying Dragon calls itself a neon, and although it packs a punch in the sun I wouldn't say it's that bright - in normal light it looks much darker. The formula was okay, it needed three coats for opacity, and the glitter in it is so fine that it felt a little like I was painting wet sand onto my nails. It dried with a gritty, matte finish, so I suppose it really is a neon! I finished with a coat of Seche Vite, which was promptly slurped up by the polish, but I, erm, couldn't be arsed to do a second coat.

(Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain hair on my nail.)

Flying Dragon seems to have pretty mixed reviews from what I've read online, and although I'm not a fan of its gritty texture, I have to say that I fall firmly into the 'like' camp.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

China Glaze Sweet Hook

I haven't featured China Glaze on here that much compared to other brands. This is because, until recently, I had no way of getting hold of it - but since I discovered a Sally's in my local area (okay, 10 miles away - that's local when you live in the countryside!), I have been making up for this gap in my nail polish collection. Today's polish is Sweet Hook, a gorgeous creamy shade from this spring's Electropop Collection.

Sweet Hook is a pink-toned lilac that's just perfect for spring. I kept admiring my nails while I was wearing it! Depending on the light I noticed it shifts between looking more purple or more pink - you'll see what I mean in my photos. It was a tad sheer so I used three coats. I had no problems with the application, but it looks like there was some fluff on my brush when I did a coat of Seche Vite over the top and it transferred onto two nails! I didn't notice this while I was wearing it. *sad face*

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Spring Flowers

Here's a quick and easy manicure I did using a dotting tool. The base is two coats of China Glaze For Audrey, the white centres are done with OPI Alpine Snow, and the two petal colours are Nails Inc Little Miss Naughty (purple) and OPI Strawberry Margarita (pink).

Again, my cuticles look rubbish. Sorry! I'm working on moisturising my hands more effectively, but now that the weather has turned a bit cooler again it should be easier. My skin just wasn't used to 20C or more in March!

And as a bonus, here's a photo of some actual spring flowers - the magnolia that overhangs my garden fence.