Tuesday, 31 May 2011

100 Follower Giveaway! *CLOSED*

I am over the moon that so many of you want to follow my blog! Thank you so much to each and every one of you :)

I have put together a little giveaway as a thank you. It's not the biggest or fanciest, but it's all things that I love myself, and hopefully you will too.

The giveaway is open internationally and will end 3 July.




 
 
This is what you can win:
 
Nina Ultra Pro - Satin Doll
China Glaze - Jolly Holly
China Glaze - Ruby Pumps
Barry M - Indigo
Barry M - Dusky Mauve
Barry M - Bright Red
 
Not pictured:
6 dotting tools
Nail art wheel (mixed rhinestones)



Monday, 30 May 2011

ELF ~ Fluorescent Pink, with Funky French

The base for today's mani is Fluorescent Pink by ELF. ELF is a brand I don't rate particularly high to be honest. I know they are a budget brand, but there are other affordable brands out there with much much better quality - but that's just my opinion.

I own about 6 ELF polishes, and they have been a bit hit and miss. Mostly the formula seems ok though. This one was fine. Didn't blow my mind, but no problems with application.
Some of the brushes are truly awful, but I was lucky with this particular one. I applied three pretty thin coats, and there was a small hint of VNL after that.
The surface isn't particularly glossy, but with a top coat it looks fine.

As for the shade - I would call it granny pink rather than fluorescent pink. It's a slightly coral pink with a micro shimmer that's very pretty.

 
 
 

 
 
I stamped my tips with my own franken polish made from a frankened Barry M dazzle dust. I think it's quite pretty, what do you think?
It's a dusty grey purple with flecks of gold and green. It worked really well for stamping, probably because it's so pigmented. The image used is from Bundle Monster BM218
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
I want to say a huge thank you to all my readers! I'm so excited that there are now more than a hundred of you who find my blog follow-able :)
 
<3
 

Sunday, 29 May 2011

OPI ~ A Grape Fit

I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of purple. I like it, but it's not very high on my list. In spite of this I have been eyeing up A Grape Fit by OPI a few times in my local Sally's, and the other day I finally picked it up.
A Grape Fit reminds me strongly of the colour of lilacs, and it's a somewhat dusty purple crème.
I do like this colour, but I find it a tad dull on its own. I think partly because it doesn't go great with my skin tone.
 
Application was very nice, perfect in two coats.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TNB's ABC, and Some Awwww!

I have seen this tag in a few places, and thought it would be a fun one to do. I love reading a bit about the people behind the blogs I follow, and hopefully you will too! If you haven't done it already, why not go ahead and share a bit about yourself too? :)

A. Age:
33

B. Bed size:
King

C. Chore you hate:
Cleaning up after people who don't give a rats ass 

D. Day:
Midsummer's Eve! Preferably celebrated in the Swedish countryside :)


E. Essential start to your day:
A shower! 

F. Favorite color:
I love green in all shapes, forms and shades. Other colours depend on what they are on. For nails I love aqua and blue. I also like pink - in moderation.

G. Gold or Silver:
Silver

H. Height:
1.67 or 6'5

I. Instruments:
I used to play the piano, saxophone and guitar, but I don't play anything any more. I would love to play the violin.

J. Job title:
Clerical assistant and freelance translator

K. Kids:
None, through choice.

L. Live:
UK

M. Mom’s name:
Won't answer that sorry

N. Nicknames:
Never had a "regular" nickname, although my boyfriend obviously has lots of pet names for me.

O. Overnight hospital stays:
None

P. Pet peeve:
Littering! Pick up your own rubbish people! Bah! *mutters*

Q. Quote from a movie:
"All it takes is pressure and time" - Shawshank Redemption (I have a platonic crush on Morgan Freeman)

R. Right or left handed:
Right

S. Siblings:

None

T. Time you wake up:

Usually 6 on a working day. 8 if I can choose.

U. Underwear:

Clean and present!

V. Vegetables you dislike:
Overcooked, sad and limp.

W. What makes you run late:

Public transport. I'm punctual to a fault.

X. X-Rays you’ve had:

Apart from dental x-rays only the one - I broke my leg when I was around 10.

Y. Yummy food you make:
My most popular dishes are my curries and my chocolate balls.

Z. Zoo:
Torn, but generally against. I don't feel informed enough to completely dismiss that they may do good work for endangered species though.


If you managed to get through all that - here is a reward for you. The cutest video ever.



Saturday, 28 May 2011

Comparing Starlings

Today I have another comparison for you. You seemed to think the last one was ok, so I thought I would continue and do a few more. This next one up is a comparison of deep, cool, sparkly greens - which I adore!
The name of the post is because this kind of deep, shimmery green reminds me of the beautiful starling :)

 
 
 
From left to right the polishes are Racing Green by Barry M, Emerald City by Nina Ultra Pro, Akyra by Zoya and Cuckoo For This Color by OPI.

L-R: Racing Green, Emerald City, Akyra, Cuckoo For This Color

 
All polishes have been applied in two coats, 1 layer of base coat and no top coat.
 
Racing Green is one of my most loved polishes, as you can possibly tell from the bottle. It's no secret that I love Barry M, and this is one of the colours that I love most. (A whole lotta luv there!) It's a very cool toned, opaque green with a beautiful glossy finish. It's pretty much opaque after one coat, but for the comparison I applied two.
 
Emerald City is very similar to Racing Green, but not as blue, and a bit less glossy. It's the warmest of the bunch. A full mani is found here. This polish is also lovely to apply - goes on evenly and is perfect in two coats.
 
Akyra is without a doubt my least favourite of the four. It's the bluest, but also the sheerest and streakiest. I would definitely have needed another coat to make it opaque. There was also some dragging. The surface would possibly look glossier with a more saturated application, but after two it's a bit on the dull side. The colour is very pretty though.
 
Cuckoo For This Color is the darkest and smokiest out of them all. It bears resemblance to both Emerald City and Racing Green, but mostly to Racing Green as it leans quite blue. A full mani can be found here
 
 
 
 
Please let me know in the comments if there are any particular comparisons you would like to see in the future!
 

Friday, 27 May 2011

George ~ Twister

I have been working late this week, and as a consequence there has been a marked lack of posts! I keep going on about a lamp, but I really need to go get one. This weekend hopefully.
And while I get my boyfriend to drive me around, I'm going to see if he wants to take me to the ASDA as well, to check out some more of the seemingly awesome George polishes!
 
Here is another gift from a sweet colleague of mine, who originally bought it for herself, but when she saw that it was matte she didn't like it. Everyone knows how much I love my polish, so she passed it on to me.
The colour is called Twister, and it's beautiful! Or so I think anyway :)
It dries super fast, and the formula and finish are perfect! This little beauty is a plummy brown that dries to a satin finish.
 
The bottles are small - identical to the No7 bottles incidentally - but for £1.75 you can't knock it! I think this polish would be perfect for a trip, as it's small, inexpensive, very easy to apply and dries really quickly.
 
I don't know about you, but I think it's gorgeous!
The uneven surface has nothing to do with the polish and everything to do with my lack of base coat.
Sometimes I like to live life on the edge.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Revlon ~ Bubble Gum and Tape Crackle

I tried to get swatches for you of Bubble Gum from Revlon, but for some reason my camera (which I love btw!) decided to not capture the full barbieness of this polish, so it will have to wait for another time.
Bubble Gum is a very hot pink crème that applied really nicely. I have not been very impressed with Revlon so far, but this one I like!
 
I taped off half of the nail and added Barry M's Instant Nail Effects Pink. I love the result!
In case you were wondering I have used top coat over the crackle - it's normally matte which is really pretty too.
Finally I added three hot pink stars to my ring finger as an accent.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

Monday, 23 May 2011

China Glaze ~ Electric Pineapple (Braeburn?)

Today I have another China Glaze for you, this one is from the Island Escape collection.
This chartreuse crème is called Electric Pineapple. It applied ok, but not great. I found it a bit on the thick side, and I had to use three coats to get a smooth finish. The end result looks nice and even, but my nails just look a bit - painty.
I was tempted to add something more to this mani, but truth be told I have been way too busy with uni.
 
 
 
 
When I went to get an apple I noticed that my nails were the exact same colour as the green/yellow part of a Braeburn, how cool is that!
 
 
 

 
 
 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

China Glaze ~ Blue Sparrow

Blue Sparrow by China Glaze is quite an old polish - it came out together with Flying Dragon in the Ink collection Summer 2008.
It has that same neon finish which I quite honestly don't like. It's neither here nor there - just a bit ugly.
With a top coat however, this polish is gorgeous! A vibrant blue with turquoise glass flecks.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 20 May 2011

China Glaze ~ Papaya Punch, with China Glaze ~ Lighthouse

Today I have more China Glaze for you!
I need to apologise for both the lighting in my pictures and my awful cuticles. It's soak day tomorrow :p
I got loads of compliments for this colour combo, and it was one of those manis that made me happy when I looked at my hands :) Don't you just love those? That's one of the reasons I love polish so much, it can really brighten up your day!
 
This lovely orange crème is one of the latest China Glazes from the Island Escape collection, it's called Papaya Punch. As much as I loved it I wanted something more, so I sponged on Lighthouse on the tips, also by China Glaze (from the Anchors Away collection).
It's a bit tricky at times to capture glitter, my nails kept looking a bit... dirty almost - which I can assure you they are not!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
For fun I decided to stamp a pattern from Bundle Monster BM225 over the top at the end of the day, but I wanted it a bit different. I went over the stamping with lots of strokes of top coat to try to pull the colour in streaks downwards, to mimic fur. Unfortunately I left the stamp to dry too much, so it didn't turn out quite as I wanted it to, but I like that it's a bit different.
What do you think?
 

 
 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

China Glaze ~ Avalanche, with China Glaze ~ Lightning Bolt

I have to start off by saying that I'm not really a huge fan of the whole crackle thing that's so popular right now. Having that said I do enjoy using the crackle from time to time, and I particularly like how it can transform (or mask!) a polish that's maybe a bit boring or a bit loud.
 
In the case of Avalanche by China Glaze it would be the first option. I think the colour is nice, and the finish is nice, but seriously, who want's to settle for nice when awesome is an option?
Avalanche is a muted steel grey lavender frost/metallic that covers really nicely and evenly in two coats. The problem with frosts are that no matter how careful you are you are pretty much guaranteed brush strokes. And while I don't mind them so much in pearly polishes I don't really like them in frosts.
Supposedly the finish was described by China Glaze as a "high lustre pearl".
 
After having painted my nails with Avalanche, they still looked very undone to me, so I decided to add another China Glaze on top - Lightning Bolt, which is their white crackle polish.
 
I really really like how it turned out! So much that I wore it for two days!
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

OPI ~ Cuckoo For This Color

I have to admit that I am.
Cuckoo For This Color that is. I'm a major sucker for green, especially deep, vibrant emeraldy or bottle greens.
Isn't this one lovely?
Two coats for a perfect application of this beauty from OPI.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Barry M ~ Bright Red

Barry M might not be the most creative at naming his polishes, but at least the names are accurate! Does what it says on the tin kind of thing.
This tomato bright beauty is called Bright Red, and yes, it's bright, and yes, it's red!
I think it's a really lovely pillar box red with orange undertones.
The application is what I would expect of a Barry M polish - smooth and even. This is two coats, and there is some VNL. I don't mind so much when the finish is so nice and even, but if I was planning on wearing it for more than an afternoon I would have added another coat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I like playing around with my mani before taking it off, and for this one I tried tape for the first time. I painted half my nail white, added a few white hearts, silver tape and opalescent glitter.
 
Meh. That's all I'll say about that!

 
 
 
 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Comparing Mermaids

Today's post is my first comparison.
I have mentioned previously how much I love "mermaid" colours - shimmering turquoise/aqua polishes.
 
I thought it could be interesting to look at a few such colours side by side.
 
 
 
The colours I have swatched are Catch Me in Your Net by OPI, Peacock by 17, Dumped by Sally Girl and Austin-tatious Turquoise by OPI.
 
Catch Me in Your Net goes on beautifully. I love the application, and most of all the colour! This is one of my favourites of my stash, and I only have the teensy tinsy bottle of this limited edition :(
I have searched the trusty Google and found that some clever girls (All Lacquered Up, Scrangie) have discovered a dupe for this beauty - Zoya Charla. I will make it mine!
 
Peacock has been previously swatched here. It's a pretty true turquoise in my opinion. Three coats is perfect for this one.
 
Dumped by Sally Girl is another mini. I hesitated using it, as I'm not sure if it's cruelty free. Can anyone enlighten me? I was given this by a friend who bought it to wear once with an outfit. The formula is really nice, it looks ok after two coats but three is better. This is the bluest out of the four.
 
Austin-tatious Turquoise by OPI has also been swatched - click here to see the full mani. This polish is the greenest out of the four. And the worst by far application wise. As you can see three coats is not nearly enough. It's sheer and streaky. Thumbs down for formula, but the colour is quite nice. My least favourite out of them all.

Two Coats
 
 
Three Coats
 
 
Three Coats
 
 
Do you like comparison posts? Would you like to see more?
If you have any opinions or requests for comparisons please leave a comment!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

OPI ~ Panda-monium Pink, with Flowers

Today I was in the mood for pastels :)
My inspiration for today's mani is from Emily's Nail Files - her Daisy, daisy design which I just loved, and Nail Newbie's super cute pink design with flowers!
 
As my base I used Panda-monium Pink by OPI, which is a cool, purple-toned pastel pink creme.
This is three coats. I always found the application a bit tricky with this one, it tends to streak a bit for me.
 
Then I sponged a gradient on my tips using Significant Other Color, also by OPI.
This is such a lovely polish! A purple duochrome with flashes of gold and green. I haven't fully been able to capture the beauty in my photos, but I hope you can get an idea.
Then I added a few daisies with a dotter using white (China Glaze White on White) and yellow (Barry M Lemon Ice Cream)

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

Youtube Favourites

I'm sure I'm not the only one who loves to watch nail art videos on Youtube :)
There are some insanely talented girls out there, and I thought I would share some of my favourites with you.

Please share your own favourites in the comments!

3Tanja3
RobinMoses
Love4Nails
Meliney
ann569
Tartofraises
IHaveACupcake
Cutepolish
Yummynails
happybutterfly08

Friday, 13 May 2011

Nina Ultra Pro ~ Sailor

This lovely navy creme from Nina Ultra Pro is called Sailor. Now I must admit that I haven't bought any polishes from the Anchors Away collection, but when looking at swatches and bottles this one looks pretty much like a dupe for First Mate.
Is there anyone who can confirm/dispute this?
I might go pick a few up from the collection now that Sally's have a 3 for 2 on China Glaze come to think about it!
 
I like the polish on its own, but I felt that some stamping could be fun. I'm going through a bit of a stamping phase at the moment I think!
I decided on a plate that was not one of the new Bundle Monsters! Yes, shocking!
The pattern is from one of those cheap e-bay plates that have a hexagonal shape. They are actually quite nice, if a bit samey.
 
I stamped with Powder Puff by the same brand.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Revlon ~ Beach, with Stamping

After the nice but dull mani of yesterday I wanted something bright.
This is another Revlon polish - a scented supposed limited edition chartreuse called Beach. Don't ask me why, it doesn't look very beachy to me.
 
I let my boyfriend decide on what colour to stamp with, and after rejecting my suggestion of purple (that would have been cool, right? Right?) he decided on black.
 
Because, to put it in his words, black and yellow is always cool, that's why bees are so awesome.
 
The plate used is Bundle Monster's BM208
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here are some pictures of Beach without the stamping. Once again I have to apologise for the quality of light in my photos. It's been really grey and dull here lately, so it's difficult to get a good photo.
 
Now I'm asking you my lovely readers - can you recommend a good daylight lamp for me? I feel I desperately need one.