Thursday, 30 June 2011

Barry M ~ Spring Green

Barry M's Spring Green is such a happy, bright colour!
The formula of this crème is lovely as with almost all Barry M polishes. This is two coats.
I really feel like some nail art on top of this would be great, don't you agree?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

China Glaze ~ Knotty

I have to admit that I passed Knotty by several times before finally picking it up. I was worried it would be a bit "middle aged lady at the office", but I can promise it's not!
It's a beautiful sparkly glass flecked toffee nude that catches the light in the most spectacular way! I loved the application, it was nice and flowing just as I like it :)
This is two coats, but three would have been better.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

OPI ~ Suzi Says Feng Shui

OPI's Suzi Says Feng Shui is a very pretty, dusty blue creme.
I loved this polish in the bottle, but I'm not sure it really suits me all that well. I was a bit disappointed when I had it on.


I decided to add a couple of coats of I Juggle...Men by the same brand, but again, I was left a bit long in the face! I was expecting duochrome glittery goodness, but I could hardly even see it. It just made my nails look a bit dirty.
I have to try this top coat with another polish underneath and see if it looks better.
All in all a pretty meh manicure, but I suppose we need them in order to appreciate the fab ones!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Base Coat Experiment Update

As promised before I went on holiday I have taken pictures of my nails to see if there is any difference in the wear depending on the base coat used.

I have to say I'm pretty impressed overall how well the polish actually held up! I could have kept it on longer, but as beautiful as Zombie Zest is, I was absolutely dying to put something else on after almost a week!

NT, ChG, NT, ChG

As you can see on the third day pictures above the wear is most noticeable on my middle finger. This is a Strong Adhesion finger. It's not as obvious, but there is also some wear and a tiny chip on my index finger, which is wearing Nail Tek. The chip is because of a weakness in the nail more than anything.

Not much has happened since the previous day. Still very wearable in my opinion, although to someone who is polish mad even this amount of wear feels a bit scruffy! The little chip on my index finger is more noticeable in this picture.

Left hand
Right hand
I was out and about and never took a picture on the fifth day, so above is a picture of how my nails looked just before I removed my mani on the sixth day. I have included a picture of my right (dominant) hand as well, so you can see the wear on all fingers.
There really is very little difference between the two base coats. Bit of an anti climax maybe, but I think it's safe to say that both base coats are very good!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Back From Holiday and Awards!

I came back from a lovely holiday to find that I have been tagged for several fantastic awards! Thank you so much! I'm constantly amazed that so many of you read my blog and like it <3

I know that the rules state that 10 blogs should be tagged for the awards, but I'm cheating and nominating 3 for each award, I hope there will be no hard feelings!

Top 10 Award


I was tagged for this award by Opinionated Little Finger, So Nailed and Varnish Me. Thank you so much ladies!

The rules for this award includes listing your top 10 cosmetics, and for me my must have products are:

Seche Vite. No explanation needed, right?
Cuticle Butter - home made or Lemony Flutter from Lush
Cuticle remover - I use Blue Cross (Bought from Tiffany Nail Supply)
Lucy Minerals Mineral Foundation, custom blended. I love this stuff, it's the only foundation I use. Plus Annie who owns the company and makes the makeup is so nice.
Natural Lip Balm. I'm a total lip balm addict, and my substance of choice is natural and preferably organic. I love Badger Balm, Crazy Rumors and Honeybee Gardens. I buy them all from Supersmoocher.
Mineral Blush from The All Natural Face. Super cheap and amazing (amazing!) colours that suit my difficult pale skin tone so well. I love Every Day Is a Good Day in particular.
Mirror Shine Lip Stick by 17. I'm not a lip stick gal at all, so this sheer, glossy lip stick is perfection for me!
Wild Curl Mascara also by 17. My all time fave. Easily rivals L'Oreal Voluminous, and unlike L'Oreal it's cruelty free.
Laura Geller Baked Cake Eyeliner. This is a super pigmented baked eyeliner that I use either dry or wet with an angled brush. It's my all time fave eyeliner for the upper lash line.
Last but not least, the most obvious one - Nail Polish!

I'm tagging:

Mini Nail Blog - What this girl can't make in acrylics isn't worth making!
Addicted To Polish  - Beautiful nails and fun colour choices.
Acetone and Old Lacquer -  There seems to be something in the water in Finland, making some of the ladies there super talented? This is no exception!

Then I got tagged for no less than four awards by the talented Minnie from Mini Nail Blog

Sunshine Award

“The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and
creativity inspire others in the blogging world.
The Sunshine Award is given by bloggers to bloggers
as a way to spread the bloggy love.”

I'm tagging some bloggers who are really creative with their photos and nails, and make me smile:

Painted Lady Fingers - Creative nails and beautiful photos.
Wacky Laki - Wonderful photos and perfectly maintained and painted nails.
Das Experiment - Amazing nails, amazing photos.

Inspiration Award

"given for blogs that inspire hope, love and joy in daily life!"

These tagged ladies all have some serious nail art skills:

Fab Ur Nails - No idea how she does it! I'm in awe.
Art Of Nail - Another amazing nail artist with super long natural nails.
Pieni Kynsiblogi - She doesn't update all that often, but the posts are well worth waiting for!

Best Blog Award

Best Blog Award is
passed along to other bloggers who you think have the best blog.

Some truly inspirational nails:

ANOTHER Bottle Of Polish - The queen of frankens, with some of the most beautiful nails I have seen.
The Polished Perfectionist - Her nails are perfect AND she is a wicked cake maker.
All You Desire - Another girl with perfect nails.

Blogger Luxury Award

For this award you are supposed to share 7 random facts about yourself, and fill in a form.
I have already shared 10 random facts with you all, so I'll go straight to the form :)

1. Name your favourite colour 
2. Name your favourite song
I really can't pick just one, but I love just about everything by Kent and Three Days Grace.
3. Name your fav dessert
Fruit salad
4. What makes you mad?
Animal cruelty and people who just don't give a sh*t
5. When you're upset, you...
6. Your favourite pet
I love both my animals, and all animals from days past.
7. Black or White?
Black if I have to pick.
8. Your biggest fear is...
Losing those I love
9. Your best feature is...
According to others my eyes, so I'll go with that.
10. Everyday attitude
The future looks bright
11. What is perfection?
When nothing else can be removed
12. Guilty pleasure
Watching make over shows

I'm tagging:

The Nail Addict - I hope this doesn't sound patronising, but the fact that this super talented blogger is only 16 completely blows me away! Her nails are master pieces!
Beauty By Kayla Shevonne - A lovely mix of things, but above all really fun and pretty nails.
Oooh, Shinies! - I love how pretty and neat, yet creative her nails are!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

China Glaze ~ In The Lime Light

This China Glaze polish is SO bright! I love it! In The Lime Light really is a highlighter green, but the beautiful microshimmer/glass flecks prevents it from looking too prepubescent.
I added some stamping on top, but it was pretty much a fail, although my boyfriend liked it. He commented that my nails looked "alien green with crop circles". I don't know about you, but I can live with that!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

OPI ~ Skull and Glossbones

I completely fell in love with Skull and Glossbones when I saw it swatched, and it did not disappoint on the nails! I love this beige/green grey so much! I have no other colours like it, and I haven't seen many out there that are.
Application was good, if a little bit on the thick side for me. This is two coats.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

China Glaze ~ Tree Hugger, with Flowers

I absolutely adore Tree Hugger by China Glaze. It's such a pretty, sparkly grass green that can't but help putting you in a good mood :)
I couldn't stop looking at my nails when I wore this, and almost drove my boyfriend to tears with my incessant "look, look, aren't they pretty!"
This colour just totally lends itself to something nature-y, so off I went and dotted on some childish flowers! More colourful than precise, but a bit of fun none the less, right?


Thursday, 16 June 2011

China Glaze ~ Zombie Zest and an Experiment!

As you may know I'm away on holiday tomorrow, and as promised I will do a little test while away!
I have chosen China Glaze's Zombie Zest for my going away mani, and since this polish is friggen awesome I want it to last as long as possible for once!
So, what I have decided to do is test out two different popular base coats, and see if they have any impact on how long the polish will last!
These are the two contenders in this little test - Nail Tek Foundation II and China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat.
I have made a proper zombie sandwich on my nails!
I started with one coat of base coat, starting with China Glaze on my left thumb, and doing alternate nails on both hands (so my right hand's thumb has Nail Tek).
Then I painted two coats of Zombie Zest, one coat of Seche Vite, one coat of Zombie Zest, and finally one coat of Seche Vite.
There was no difference in application over the two base coats. Nail Tek dries very matte, whereas the China Glaze is more like a "normal" base coat, but both of them gripped the polish well, and they both dried nice and quick.
The plan is to photograph my nails each day I wear this manicure, and see if there is any discernible difference in the wear.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

TNB is going on holiday!

On Friday I will be going away for a week's holiday with my boyfriend, can't wait! I have prepared a few posts to publish automatically while I'm away, but it won't be as many as usual.
As I was thinking of what to bring, I thought it would be fun to share with you what I find essential to bring on a trip.
Now this will obviously depend on what kind of holiday you are going on - we are going camping, so I am packing for a bit of Glamping!
This is what I decided on bringing:
Cuticle Balm
Always. I love my Lemony Flutter. Would not travel without it!
Multi-way Nail Buffer
I chose this little compact version as it fits in my rather small bag. I am not planning on doing any hard core filing when away, so it will be a case of smoothing out possible snags and nothing else.
Cuticle Clipper
I always have one with me, because I have the worst cuticles in the world. I used to be a big cuticle picker, so this travels everywhere. If I see a tiny little piece of cuticle sticking out and tempting me to pull or pick, I'll gently snip it. Please note though that I don't cut my cuticles as part of my manicures! Think hangnail rather than cuticle for this.
Orangewood Stick
Good for keeping the nails clean and for tidying up polish when painting my nails (if I'm messy!)

Top Coat
Seche Vite. I never use anything else. I love this stuff. Seche, you may slowly be killing me with your toxins, but I still adore you.

Base Coat
I will bring China Glaze's Strong Adhesion, but I don't exclusively use this base coat. I have a little experiment planned for you, that I will do while away :)
Nail Polishes
My criteria for picking polishes were:
  • Easy application - meaning max two coats
  • Tolerant to tip wear - no colours that are too dark, and no polishes that start to show wear after a day.
  • Easy to remove - no glitter, no smurf fingers!
  • No super expensive, discontinued, HTF polishes! 
  • Colours I would be happy to see more than one day :)
I picked two of my favourite colours - Satin Doll (you can never go wrong with an opaque nude imo!) and Emerald (because it's GREEN!). I also decided to bring a black crackle, because it's such an easy quick way to renew your mani (and as my friend said - hide a multitude of sins!)
And also, not pictured:
Polish Remover
I bought a small bottle of Superdrugs own brand stuff - the one with an acetone formula. That's the remover I normally use anyway. I will of course also bring some cotton pads for removing the polish with. This will go in my wash bag.


And that's it! I plan on not bringing too much of anything, and be *gasp* low maintenance!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Comparing Taupes

Time for another comparison! This time around I have picked four taupe polishes to compare.
I love this type of colour, and even though they are a bit "last year", I still find myself drawn to them.

From left to right the polishes are: Barry M Mushroom, ELF Smoky Brown, OPI Over The Taupe and OPI You Don't Know Jacques.
One coat

Two coats

Three coats

Three coats, indirect sunlight
Three coats, artificial light.

All polishes are applied with one layer of base coat and no top coat.
Mushroom has a fantastic formula. As you can see from the pictures it's pretty much opaque in one coat, and it's really nice and glossy. Have I mentioned before how much I love Barry M?
This shade is the most yellow out of the four, it almost looks a bit like mud, or chocolate.
Smoky Brown is very close to Over The Taupe colour wise. I would almost say that the application is easier with this ELF polish than the OPI. It has by far the least appealing finish, but a top coat would take care of that. This is perhaps the truest "brown" out of the four.
Over The Taupe was one of those polishes that when I saw it swatched I had to have it. I love the colour, but the application isn't great. This polish is the reason I decided on three coats for the comparison, as it was still pretty streaky after two. This polish leans a little towards pink.
You Don't Know Jacques is the darkest out of them all, and the coolest toned. It almost leans a bit purple. It's the second easiest to apply alongside Mushroom. I like this polish a lot!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Wet n Wild ~ Rockin in Rubies

I don't own may reds, and I don't own many Wet n Wilds, so this polish is actually pretty unusual for me!
It's not really particularly unique, but Rockin in Rubies is still stash worthy in my opinion!
The formula is good, no streaking and pretty opaque in two coats. There is a hint of VNL, but not so much as to bother me.
Aren’t the gold glass flecks just lovely!
I'm normally not a fan of gaudy packaging, but the "diamond" on the top of the lid is just too cute!

I have seen so many beautiful mattified shimmers, so I decided to try it with this one. I deem it a partial success! I think it looks nice, but not amazing in any way. I used the ELF mattifying top coat.
I didn't stop there, oh no! I added a french tip with Barry M Red Glitter.



Saturday, 11 June 2011

Barry M ~ Pale Purple

Yes, I have nubbins! On Thursday night after work I got home and just chopped! Chop chop.
I was alternating between being horrified and thinking "oh they look cute".
I think I have settled for thinking they are quite cute. I got fed up with my nails being in less than perfect condition, so it felt like time to take them down a bit. I have now also cut away the tear that I repaired with a tea bag.
My nails grow quickly anyway, so it's not like it's permanent.
The first polish to grace my shorties is one of my favourite pastels - Barry M Pale Purple. I do believe that since buying this polish it has changed name to Blueberry Ice Cream.
Edited to add: Thank you Clare for setting me straight on the names. Pale Purple (308) is now called Berry Ice Cream, whereas Blueberry Ice Cream (306) is the pale blue from the same collection.
Application was faultless - this is two coats.

I would love to hear what you think of the new, short nails! Do you prefer longer nails, or do short ones look the best to you?

Friday, 10 June 2011

OPI ~ Hot & Spicy!

I picked up this OPI polish on a whim. I have mentioned before that I seem to be going through some kind of orange craze at the moment. Well, it extends to corals too!
Hot & Spicy is a very orange coral crème that I personally think suits my skin tone better than I expected it to. I even got told my hands looked a bit tanned! Now I wouldn't put too much stock in that, but hey, it was kind of nice to hear :p
Application was good, the polish was pretty opaque after two coats, but better with three. The polish was very tricky to photograph! The pictures are slightly off, but not by a great deal. The way the polish looks in the bottle is probably closest to the truth.



Thursday, 9 June 2011

China Glaze ~ Sea Spray

I actually didn’t pick up any of the polishes from the China Glaze Anchors Away collection until very recently. There wasn’t much that stood out for me, but eventually I did get most of them.

I’m particularly happy I picked up Sea Spray! It’s such a unique colour in my collection, a lovely storm grey with a subtle micro shimmer that prevents the polish from looking like putty.

This is two coats and the application was perfect.