Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Barry M: Autumn/Winter Shades

L-R: Nightshade*, Vintage Violet*, Ballerina*, Twilight*
Our next set of Barry M swatches are the new Autumn/Winter shades which have been added to the main polish collection, along with a Limited Edition glitter. We were absolutely itching to get our hands on the three polish shades as they are just right for the coming seasons, and so darn pretty! I'll run through each colour individually for you.

This is Nightshade* the darkest polish of the trio. The swatch makes it look a shade darker than it actually is, so bear that in mind. The true life colour is a dark, dusty, purple shade and it's gorgeous! Perfect for someone who likes dark nails but doesn't quite want to go full goth with black polish. I used two coats for the swatches, topped with Seche Vite. 

Next is Vintage Violet*, again this shade has a dusty colour tone to it, hinted at by the word vintage in it's name we suppose. Barry M have managed to succeed at something I wasn't sure was possible, they've created a lovely soft purple shade which is actually wearable as a full mani. I'm often disappointed with purple shades once they're on, but this one is stunning. A true autumnal shade, this is a must-have!

Lastly, Ballerina*, the lightest of the three polishes. This polish moves away from the purple tones and over to pink, whilst keeping the lovely dusty tone. It's almost a nude making it hugely wearable, and like the other two polishes, it's a very 'grown up' shade. I have a feeling this will become a firm favourite for office nails, and I'm predicting it as Emma's favourite of the bunch.

Along with the three new colours, there is also a new glitter, Twilight* although we believe this is Limted Edition. Unfortunately I haven't swatched this very well for you, so apologies for that! I wanted to show off the glitter in all it's glory so didn't use any base polish, which is why you can see my nails. I got good, but not full coverage with two coats of glitter. It's a gorgeous mix of large and small silver and blue glitter pieces, but I'd recommend using it as a topper over a base colour of your choice, rather than onto bare nails as I did.

I can't choose a favourite, help! Which one of these do you like best?

These polishes are available now at Superdrug, priced at £2.99 each!


Monday, 29 September 2014

Riotous Roots

I'm not really sure how or why I came up with this idea. I must have been thinking about winter coming.  My nails always seem to be influenced by the weather! Anyway, I really like the colours I used for this mani but I wish my tree had turned out a little better. I know a good workman should never blame his tools but I think I need some better nail art brushes. The ones I have just don't seem to work for me. 

I used four Barry M's for this look: White, Watermelon, Vanilla and Majesty

Jo kindly swatched the new AW Gelly range from Barry M and while I love pretty much all of the new shades I am still loving the matte collection from last year. Vanilla in particular remains a real favourite. 

Do you find the weather influences your nail art or is it just me??


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Berlin Marathon Nails

I was supposed to be on holiday this week, so didn't think that I would get to create any Berlin marathon nails for Charlie, which has become a bit of a tradition. The silver lining of a last minute holiday change meant I got to design some German themed nails to spur Charlie on in the race today!

Unsurprisingly we went for a black, red and yellow colour scheme, based on the German flag. As usual we included the flag of the hosting country, the marathon distance (26.2 miles!!) and Charlie chose to add a mustache and beer mug. 

As you can tell we used a number of polishes including Barry M - Espresso*, Gold Foil and White, O.P.I - Red My Fortune Cookie*, Maybelline - Electric Yellow, Models Own - Gold Finger. We also used Barry M nail art pens in black and white.

I love the colour scheme for this mani, it's great fun and perfect for A/W. Definitely one I'll be trying again, but perhaps without the marathon theme next time!

Good luck Charlie, we hope your nails help to keep you going!


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Zoella Beauty Guinea In Glasses

Zoella Beauty Nails

I am a huuuuuge Zoella fan so I was really excited when I found out that she was releasing a beauty range. Now, I don't think that I am her target market (I'm probably a little bit old *sob*) but that won't stop me from buying a few bits when they go into Superdrug on Monday. One such bit is this cute little make-up bag. 

I wish I had captured the little guinea pig better on my nails as he is so cute and my version looks nothing like him but nevermind! This is just a fun little look in homage to one of our all-time fave bloggers and YouTubers and her amazing success so it doesn't really matter.

Are you fans of Zoella? Will you be buying anything from the Zoella Beauty range? You can see the whole range over on her blog. 


Friday, 26 September 2014

Barry M: Glitterati

L-R: Fashion Icon*, Catwalk Queen*, Starlet*, Socialite*, VIP*, Rockstar*
Barry M just dropped FIFTEEN new polishes on us without any warning. Best. Day. Ever! We were so lucky to receive testers of all the polishes to swatch and review for you. We've separated them into a few different posts so look out for them over the next week or so.

Today we start with Glitterati, a set of six new luminescent glitter polishes. These polishes are formed of a tinted jelly base, packed full of iridescent glitter pieces which give off an unbelievable sparkle! The full effect of the glitter was hard to capture on the camera so we fully recommend getting yourself to Superdrug to see these first hand. 

We swatched each polish individually, using a base colour to match the tint of the polish. As the colour in this range is not that dense using a matching base colour helps to show off the polish without having to add multiple coats. As you know, multiple coats of glitter polish can end up getting a bit lumpy. Doing it this way we only needed to use one coat of Glitterati, almost as a polish 'topper'. We then added a generous coat of Seche Vite to finish the manis.







This whole range is absolutely beautiful but my fave is definitely Rockstar*. Over a black base coat the glitter looks so bright and really glows. I can see this being used a lot in galaxy manis, actually all of them could! You could use the polishes on their own, or as a topper over any base colour of your choice. 

These polishes are perfect for the party season, we can't wait to wear them with a little black dress!

Available now in Superdrug for £3.99 each


Thursday, 25 September 2014

"It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how"

For the past two weeks I've had Dr Seuss nails stuck in my head, so some reason I've been absolutely desperate to do them. Unfortunately my artistic ability doesn't really stretch to the same level as most of the books illustration, so I have a couple of complete nail fails along the way. Eventually I settled on a fairly simple The Cat in the Hat inspired design.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. 
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Dr Seuss

I focused the design on Thing One and Thing Two, the identical, blue-haired troublemakers! My two middle fingers have the Things name badges, as worn on the chests of their little red suits. My index and pinky represent the Things' mass of messy blue hair, and my thumb has the Cat in the Hat's trademark red and white stripes.

I used all Barry M polishes for this bright and fun mani, their colours are perfect for it! The polishes I used were Blood Orange, Blueberry Ice Cream, and White, along with black and white nail art pens. I think the simplicity of this colour scheme really helped bring it together. Some of the Dr Seuss stories are full of clashing colours which might not have transferred well across to nail art. White, red and blue come together to create a bold and fun design that doesn't make you feel queasy!

I love the story of The Cat in the Hat, it's so chaotic one minute and the next it's like nothing ever happened, if only it was that easy to clean and tidy in real life! Dr Seuss is an inspiration to many people and his books will continue to entertain (and educate) children for many generations to come. I'm sure we all have our own favourite, and could probably recite at least a few lines of his rhymes from memory. What's your favourite Dr Seuss story?


Wednesday, 24 September 2014


We knew back in May when we got the Barry M Summer Gellies that we would be wearing some of them into autumn. Elderberry is one of those transitional shades. It's a beautiful, dusky blue that is great for this time of year as it's not too wintery but not so summery that people wonder what on Earth you're playing at! 
I used two coats of Elderberry on all of my nails except the one on my ring finger. For this I used two coats of Coconut* from the same collection. Coconut* has quickly become one of my all time favourite shades. It's great on its own or, as we prefer, as a base for designs. It's not as in your face as white which makes such a difference to how our designs turn out. I used my black and white Barry M nail art pens to create the grid pattern. I just drew on lines to form squares, no great science behind it!
When we kindly get donated shades from Barry M we end up sharing. This usually works quite well as we have different tastes in colours but the ranges this year have been so hard to split. I ended up buying this shade as I loved it so much and kept getting jealous when Jo used it! I'm pretty sure she purchased her own Coconut too. We can't get enough!

Jo reviewed the new autumn shades recently but we think we'll be wearing a lot of the summer ones for a while too. How about you?


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Artist Inspo: Piet Mondrian

I have loved Piet Mondrian's abstract geometric artwork since I saw it at the Tate Modern when I was young. The bright colours, bold shapes, and geometric design really appeal to my taste. I think I like it as there's an element of pop art about it even though Mondrian was around in the early 1900's, way before pop art came to the scene. 

Composition No.II 1920 by Piet Mondrian
Composition No.II, 1920
Today's design is inspired by Mondrian's abstract geometric 'Neo-Plasticism' work, using primary colours and straight black lines. I've seen this style replicated in nail art before, but to be honest I've been a bit scared to try it out. I wanted to attempt the style, but I knew I would be unhappy if I didn't get it spot on, and as Mondrian was so precise with his work that would be quite a challenge! Eventually I plucked up the courage and, using Composition No.II as a guide, I set to work.                                             

I toyed with a couple of methods of creating this design including using striping tape, but in the end decided to go free hand. I started with two coats of Rimmel - White Hot Love* as a base. Once this was dry I drew on the outlines of the boxes and lines with a white Barry M nail art pen. Using the white lines as a template I filled in boxes with O.P.I - Red My Fortune Cookie*, Maybelline - Electric Yellow and Barry M - Damson*. Finally I, very carefully, drew on the black lines and filled in a couple of boxes using a Barry M nail art pen. My lines aren't dead straight but neither are my nails so I think the hand drawn look fits quite well. I didn't want to attempt perfect neatness and just end up with a mess!  

As my nails are only small I filled in more boxes with colour than Mondrian's pieces usually feature. I wanted to make sure I displayed every colour on each nail so they looked good individually as well as overall.

We love artist-inspo nails and tend to get fairly good feedback from our followers. The request for Mondrian nails actually came from one of our Instagram followers, @eleanor_amelia, thank you for giving us that final shove!!

Mondrian's artwork is on display at the Tate Modern in London if you want to check him out for yourself!


Monday, 22 September 2014

Oppa Barbie Style

My new favourite Instagram account is, shock horror, not a nail art one. It's the account of a true legend: Barbie. @barbiestyle is hilarious. My favourite posts are of the tiny little Barbie accessories because I can imagine someone labouring over the positioning of the teeny little shoes. Now I think about it, that's kind of my ideal job! 

The main reason I love the account is because of all the nail art ideas I get from Barbie's little outfits. As soon as I saw this pic I knew I wanted to recreate the look on my nails. How chic does she look?! It does make me laugh though - imagine the setup for this pic: someone took Barbie to Milan, chose her outfit, took her out on the streets, probably had someone hold her legs so that she stayed upright, and then crouched down to snap her with the Duomo Milano in the background. Effort!

I used Barry M's Black for my thumb, index, and middle finger and Caramel* for the ring and little finger nails. On top of Caramel* I used a dotting tool with the black polish to create some big polka dots. These turned out a bit randomly shaped and sized as my black polish is past its best and was quite hard to work with. Still, I really like how this turned out. It was so easy to create and perfect for an autumn night out. 

What do you think of Barbie style nails?


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Back to School Doodles

I keep seeing 'back to school' themed nails on Instagram at the moment. It got me thinking about the start of a school year when you got to decorate all your new books etc, and everything was clean and new just waiting to be doodled on! I started each year so well, neatly covering my books, but inevitably as the months passed they would get scruffier and doodles would start to creep across the pages. I was an avid doodler, to the point where my teachers would bring it up at parents evenings, oops! I still find myself scribbling away in meetings, it helps me concentrate, and keeps me awake! 

Now my doodles are usually nail ideas, but then they were just mindless scribbles. I thought it might be fun to recreate one of my most prominent school-time doodles on my nails. I used to cover whole workbooks with one continuous line making up a totally random pattern from a mixture of swirls and zig zags. It was a bit different doing the same design on my dinky little nails! 

I used Rimmel's newest I Heart Lasting Finish colour range to form a skittle mani, with White Hot Love* on the thumbnail. Onto this I used to a white nail art pen to draw my doodles. It was tough getting the lines thin enough to add the detailing, as I'm used to a larger surface area! This doodle pattern looks more impressive in bulk, I wish I still had the Maths book which I covered entirely, it looked awesome!

I assume most of you nail gals are doodlers too? Emma and I have whole notebooks of nail doodles and ideas which we look through for inspo when we're stuck!


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Fashion Week Nail Inspo

We love Fashion Week season! Not only is it amazing to see all the new styles and designs coming out, but there is tons of inspiration around for our nails! We get inspiration from everywhere so are always keeping an eye out for the latest trends, patterns, colours and textures. 

Today's nails were inspired by Fashion Week in a very literal sense. I think I saw this design at WAH Nails originally, or they have done something similar, and for some reason I always associated it with a fashion theme. It occurred to me that I could combine the WAH Nails design, with the Fashion Week locations for a simple, but fun, Fashion Week mani! 

To create this mani I started with two coats of Rimmel - White Hot Love* and waited (uncharacteristically patiently) for it to dry fully. Once dry I wrote on the names of each city using a Barry M nail art pen. I used the same nail pen to add small dots to my thumbnail. I originally planned to leave my thumbnail blank but it looked a bit stark so I added some cute polka dots. Once finished I topped it with a generous coat of Seche Vite.

Have you enjoyed Fashion Week season this year? Did you get any nail inspo?



Friday, 19 September 2014

Off The Wall. Vans Inspired Nails

Before going to New York earlier this year I purchased my first ever pair of Vans. They are Blue Chambray slip-ons with little white polka dots and I love them! They did give me blisters at first but I wore them in and now I wear them everywhere as they are so comfy. I was looking for other pairs to buy (black perforated slip-ons consider yourselves mine) when I thought how cute some of the patterns might look on my nails. I was tempted to go for a full on mix and match but stuck with classic checks and my own polka dots. 

Despite having 400+ polishes in my collection it was very difficult finding a blue to match my trainers. In the end I settled on 2True's Athena* which is a very pretty metallic blue. I'm not a huge fan of metallic polishes but this blue looks kind of cute with the dots. The formula of this one applied relatively streak free which helped. 

For the checks I used OPI's Yoga-Then-Yogurt* from the Nicole range and drew the checks on with my black Barry M nail art pen. The checks would probably have looked better if I'd drawn the lines straight but I did not have the patience time for that!
I can't wait to purchase some more Vans. I have been banned from buying the checked ones as I wouldn't wear them as much as I like to think I would. Plus I'm not 15 any more so they look kind of silly on me. I guess you could say the same about the dotty ones but I don't care too much as they are so gosh-darned cute!

Do any of you have Vans? What pattern is your favourite pair?

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