Thursday, 31 July 2014

Greenberry Palmistry

A little while ago I created a palm tree mani and enjoyed it so much that I thought I'd create another. This time I went for something a bit brighter inspired by the amazing @elleandish. I used Barry M's Greenberry for the predominant colour of this mani and chose to use gold as an accent. For the palm trunks I used Models Own's Bora Bora. I also used this on my ring finger with a top coat of Victoria's Secret's Flash. I overdosed on the palms a little but they are so cute I think the more the merrier! 

Hope you enjoy!

Hugs

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

W7 Cosmetics - Polish Review

The wonderful team at W7 Cosmetics recently sent us a couple of their polishes to test out for you. We received bold pink, Rasperry Sorbet* from their new summer range, and the sheer and shimmery Lavender Pearl*.  


Today we have swatched Raspberry Sorbet* for you. Unfortunately I couldn't get the Lavender Shimmer* to show up well in photos due to the light, will try again to get this swatched for you another time. In the meantime I can reliably inform you that it is a beautiful sheer lavender shimmer, perfect for a subtle mani or as a top coat. 


Raspberry Sorbet* is such a lovely polish. The formula is really smooth and the colour is dense, bright and fully opaque in two thin coats. It's definitely a bright pink, but it's a matt colour with no shimmer or neon elements, making it much more wearable than first impressions suggested. If you're embracing barbie-esque nails, with more of an adult feel, this is the perfect pink tone. 

Of course, we had to add some nail art, taking us out of the mature and sophisticated bracket and back to fun and silly! This bright bold colour demanded some matching nail art, so zebra print seemed totally appropriate. I chose another polish called Raspberry, this time from Barry M. I'm not sure how both polishes classify as Raspberry as they are very different! Barry M's version is a dark plummy maroon shade, which was brightened a little by the pink base colour. I added the zebra print on in a random pattern using a small brush. It doesn't matter too much if you make a mistake as I think animal patterns look more natural (if pink zebra could ever be natural!) when they're non-uniform.


Both of these polishes are priced at £4.95 RRP and are available at a number of stockists - see the list here.

Love,
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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Kim K X Balmain Glam


source
I'm not a huge Kim K fan. I used to love 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' but Kim was never my favourite. Foul-mouthed, slightly out of place looking Khloe was. Nowadays I don't really keep up with the clan but I did stop to take notice of Kim in this gorgeous Balmain dress. I think the style really suited her curvy figure and the embellishments are to die for. 

Unfortunately my nails didn't turn out quite so perfect but I was quite happy with how they turned out. Not an everyday look that's for sure but cool for a special occasion. Maybe to compliment a classic black dress? 

The blue base is Breakfast In Bed* and the white is Hot White Love*, both from the Rita Ora for Rimmel range. The pearls were purchased on Amazon. I tried to get a bit of a ragged/tapestry look with the white outline of my flowers but didn't quite achieve the look I was going for. 


This mani is a little bit bonkers but I kind of like it! I hope you do too. Are you big KK fans?

Hugs
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Monday, 28 July 2014

Wallpaper Nails

Essie's Cocktail Bling is one of my favourite grey polishes. The formula is gorgeous and the curved polish brush makes it so easy to apply. I've used it so much I'm almost out, which is difficult to do when you have as many polishes as we do!

I've seen this traditional pattern used in nail art quite a few times on Instagram - although I can't remember who the artists were any more sorry. I created the pattern using a dotting tool. The white shapes are just four large interconnected dots. Using a dotting tool helps to get them evenly sized and shaped, but you could do it by hand if you prefer. I then added the same shape inside the first ones, using a smaller dotting tool. I used grey for four nails and then chose Maybelline - Electric Yellow for an accent nail. Yellow and grey are beautiful together, I almost regret not using yellow centres on every nail!

I topped this design with Essie - Matte About You top coat to give it a smooth matte finish. I don't know about you, but the matte finish makes it look a little bit like wallpaper to me!




This pattern translates perfectly into nail art and is remarkably simple to achieve, although you do need some patience - lots of dotting! This design is really wearable and slightly more sophisticated than some of our other manis, even though it does look a little like wallpaper!

Love,
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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Toothpick Marble Effect


L-R: Cancun*, Blueberry Ice Cream, Huckleberry*
Toothpick marbling is super easy. I hadn't tried it before because for some reason I'd got it into my head that it was quite tricky. 

For this design I just painted a white base then blobbed on three polishes, all from Barry M - Cancun*, Blueberry Ice Cream and Huckleberry*. I then used a toothpick to mix the colours together, creating a marbled effect. You might need to use two coats of top coat, as the marbling doesn't leave a completely smooth finish.

In hindsight I should have used colours which contrasted each other more as they did end up merging together a bit more than I thought. 

This design was so quick and easy, definitely one to try if you love fun nails but aren't that confident at nail art. 

We're pleased to announce that we are Coloristiq Bloggers Of The Week this week! Coloristiq is a new polish renting service, launching soon. Check them out at www.coloristiq.com

Love,
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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Three Peaks Challenge!


This weekend, today in fact, four of my wonderful friends are taking on the Three Peaks Challenge. The challenge consists of climbing (and descending) three mountains, in three countries, in 24 hours. They'll probably be somewhere on mountain two by the time this is posted! It's an immensely tough physical and mental challenge where you have to battle sleep deprivation along with the changing elements. I definitely do not have the fitness levels required to join them on this adventure, so am getting involved in my own way - good luck nails!

As the challenge starts in Scotland at Ben Nevis, then moves into England at Scarfell Pike, and finally onto Wales to tackle Snowden, I chose to include the flags of each country in my design. Scotland and England are pretty simple, but Wales was a nightmare. A dragon, seriously, I thought flags were supposed to be minimalistic!!

I added the pink nails and ribbon to highlight the charity that all this is in aid of - Breast Cancer Haven, 'the only national charity that provides free, one-to-one, personal emotional and physical support and therapies to improve the lives of everyone affected by breast cancer'. Please donate to this brilliant cause and support the girls via their fundraising page here.


GOOD LUCK!!

Love,
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Friday, 25 July 2014

Textured Rims

I recently rediscovered my love of the Barry M textured collection. The finish itself is a bit annoying as it collects fluff like nobody's business but I like the interest it gives to basic manis. I love the colours in this collection too - they're perfect for this glorious sunshine we are having. 

I have seen black outline manis floating around but thought I would try the look with a white edge instead as it seemed more fitting for summer. Whenever I have tried this before it has turned out really badly as I could never seem to get the lines even but it seems that months of nail art practise are finally paying off. 

I really liked this look but forgot how much of a hassle these polishes are to take off! 

Hope you're all enjoying the sunshine. 

Hugs
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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Revlon Nail Art Duos

I was recently given a couple of Revlon's new nail art duos, one in blue, one in dark red. The duos are made up of a matte polish with a normal brush, and a coordinating metallic with a striper brush. They looked really interesting and the colours are gorgeous so I thought I'd put a review of them here for you. 


I started with the blue version. The matte polish is really dark navy, such a lovely colour. I was a bit disappointed as the polish was thick and gloopy, but even so, it applied well and dried with a really lovely matte finish. I didn't need to top it up with a matte topcoat as you do with some matte finish polishes. The metallic polish has a great formula which is opaque in one coat, although I used two here. It wasn't easy using the striper brush for a full nail, but that's not what it was designed for! I used a dotting tool to add the detailing on my ring finger.


The red formula was much better than the blue, making me think that maybe I was unlucky getting a gloopy one. It went on so smoothly and dried to a lovely matte finish nice and quickly - important if you're not adding a top coat to help the process! I went for a simple design again, with one metallic nail. The metallic in this duo is a pale gold, again opaque in one coat and really easy to use. Again, I used a different tool to add my design, as the built in striper is quite thin. I used a small brush to draw on leopard print, the gold and the red lent themselves perfectly to a bit of animal print! 


These duos are really cute colours, lovely polishes and easy to use. You may need to additional tools to create intricate designs, but the built in striper is perfect for french tips, half and half nails or stripes. If you want to have a go at nail art without buying a load of bits and bobs these are definitely worth trying out!

These are available in Boots and other UK stores, RRP £7.99.

Love,
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sweet Like Sugar

I'm not a fan of diets as food is one of my favourite things. So much so, I've piled on the pounds recently and had to force myself into a strict new regime - including a complete sugar detox. This, teamed with the heatwave we're having, means that I'm seriously craving ice cream and other tasty treats! What better way to satisfy these cravings than drawing tiny little pictures of them on my nails! 



I used a ton of polishes for this mani, if you hadn't guessed! I wanted it to be as colourful as possible to pulled out most of my pastels collection. The total polish list is:

Barry M - Lemon Ice Cream, Strawberry Ice Cream, Blueberry Ice Cream, Mint Green, Caramel, Peach Melba, Bright Green, Bright Red and Mushroom. Black, White and Pink nail art pens. 

Models Own - Magpie Green, Duck Blue and Swan Lilac.

Rimmel - Ultra Violet 



I tried cupcake nails a while back and they were rubbish so I gave up. I'm really pleased with how they turned out this time, although I regret not adding some lines to the cupcake casing. I love baking so creating something yummy looking on my nails was really good fun. 

I did intend to have a cupcake on each nail but thought I'd mix it up a bit with an ice cream instead, seeing as it's been so hot. London has been getting temperatures up to 30 degrees this week, which is not comfortable in a crowded city. I've been so jealous of people cooling off with delicious looking ice cream!

Rather than continue the same theme, I chose to fill the remaining three nails with Models Own Speckled Eggs polishes, which remind me of mini eggs - so maybe they do continue with the theme!! The mint one also makes me think of mint choc chip ice cream mmmm my fave!

I totally love this mani, it's so silly and fun - perfect for summer fetes or parties!

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Love,
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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer Ready Leopard

We are having a bit of a heatwave in London at the moment which is making me feel a bit ill! I'm an autumn baby through and through and need a bit of a cold chill to function at full capacity. Having said this I am still enjoying showcasing my summer nails which look even better when I've caught the Sun a little bit. I took the opportunity this weekend to wear one colour that definitely looks better with a bit of a tan - white. 

To add a bit of a colour pop I used my new faves from the Maybelline Bleached Neons range: Sun Flare and Coral Heat (I know, I know, I'm using them again but I'm obsessed!). I decided on a simple leopard print as it was easy for me to do on both hands so that I could wear outside and blind everyone even more than the sunshine. 

What colours do you wear to show off a tan?

Hugs
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Monday, 21 July 2014

Barry M Half Stripes

This design was inspired by a total stranger, a girl I saw on the street wearing a really cute mint and striped top. I almost stopped her to ask where she got it but didn't want to chase after her down a busy street! I was feeling bit uninspired, nail art wise, so was really pleased to stumble upon such a cute pattern and colour combo.

I used all Barry M polishes to create this design, Bikini*, Greenberry, Black and White. I started with a white base on every nail. Once this was dry I applied 2 or 3 pieces of striping tape to the top half of each nail. I filled the bottom half of the nails with the blue and mint polishes, and added black on the top half. When I removed the striping tape I was left with black and white stripes across the end of each nail, with block colour at the base. 


I absolutely love how simple yet striking this design is. The striping tape requires a modicum of patience, but if you have that then you're set! Another good thing about this design is that you can use pretty much any colours. You can team monochrome stripes with whatever base colour you like, or mix up the stripe colours too. I was contemplating an all pastel design for a more subtle look - perhaps pink and white stripes with a pale lilac base. 

I'm getting better at taking striping tape off without smudging it now, although I did smear the black lines with my top coat on this attempt, grr! Black lines just love smudging into white, so if you try this out make sure you wait until they're fully dry and take extra care with your top coat.

Love,
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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Pinkie Shimmer

My nails have been in an awful state of disrepair at the moment. When my nails are in bad shape I try to stick to simple manis as the pictures don't look as good and I feel like all of the effort spent creating an epic design is a bit wasted. This look is a bit random as I was trying out colour combos but I quite liked the result so thought I would share with you all.

I used H&M's Misty Lilac on my nails, except for the ring finger where I used Barry M's Matt White. I used a black nail art pen for the dots and a top coat of Morning Mist Glitter* by Graffiti Nails on my pinkie.

Hugs
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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Pretty Panda

You may have spotted that I've got a bit of a thing for animal themed nail art at the moment. I've already posted Siamese cats, ladybirds, a pug, bees and now it's panda time! I think it's the lovely summery weather we've been having recently which has been inspiring me to bring some nature to my nails.
 
It was my colleague, Taz, who suggested panda nails. I have done some in the past, but just when I was starting out and they were pretty rubbish - you'll have to take my word for that as I'm not sharing any pics! This time round I used the same technique as with my siamese cats and pugs - drawing the shape on in white and filling in the details by layering on top. Being monochrome, pandas are nice and simple with not too many layers (meaning less drying time in between!) I used black and white Barry M nail pens for the whole panda - no brushes or tools required.
 

I chose to add some bamboo to accompany the little panda. I wasn't 100% sure about adding green to the pale pink and monochrome design, but I like that it added a bit more colour and depth to the design. I painted on rough white stripes, topped these with Rimmel's Round and Round the Garden, and then added detailing with a black nail art pen. They're not the neatest bamboos but that's the look I was going for - honest! The base colour is the gorgeous baby pink Models Own - Pink Veneer Hypergel polish.
 
@theprincessandthepolish posted a similar mani on Instagram yesterday using panda decals from Born Pretty Store. Yes! We're definitely up for a panda nails craze, come on people, join the club! If you fancy trying out some decals make sure you use Alexandra's Born Pretty 10% discount code - FDJ61.
 
I don't see this animal theme dying out any time soon so if you have any requests for us please comment!
 
Love,
 
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Friday, 18 July 2014

The Life Aquatic



Since getting the Barry M Aquarium collection a few months ago I have to confess that I hadn't actually tried them. Jo swatched them here for you and although I quite liked the look of them I just couldn't figure out what to do with them. My initial thought was mermaid nails but I opted for this shell and seaweed look that I rediscovered in an old Company magazine. 

For the base I used Arabian* but felt as though it wasn't quite blue enough (it's the one I'm holding in this pic and it looks a lot bluer in the bottle than it applies) so I added a touch of Pacific* on one half of the nail. You can't really tell that there are two shades as the design covers quite a lot and my camera didn't pick up the colours very well. 

I like the design and I really do like the Aquarium collection but the colours are a bit full on for me on their own. 

Have you tried the range? What are your thoughts?

Hugs

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Busy Bees


I spent all day thinking about how to do some cute bee nails, and eventually settled on lots of little bees. My first attempt failed massively as I did them too small and the outlines all just merged together. Take two was better, but there is still a lot of room for improvement - like the fact that bees don't have yellow faces!

This mani took a little while as it was fiddly with a nail pen, but there's actually only a few steps. I started with a base of O.P.I - Put A Coat On! then added blobs of Maybelline - Electric Yellow. Once dry I outlined the yellow blobs and added stripes, wings and eyes, all with a black nail art pen. There was a bit too much white space between the bees, so I added some random black dots around to break it up a bit. 

This pattern turned out so cute, it reminds me of baby clothes or linen! Perfect fun mani for summer, maybe it will even scare the real bees off!

Love,
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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Neon Pineapples

Oh gosh! I am well and truly obsessed with Maybelline's Bleached Neons range. They suit me perfectly as I LOVE bright shades but sometimes find them a bit too in your face. Anyway, I am going to stop rambling about them or you'll start to think they pay me for these posts!

For this simple design I used Maybelline's Coral Heat for the main colour. The accent nail has a base of Barry M's Matt White with little pineapples painted on using a nail art brush. I used Maybelline's Sun Flare and Chic Chartreuse for the pineapples and then a white nail art pen for the tiny dots. You could probably leave the little dots off but I thought they looked quite cute. 

I'll try not to use the neons for a little while but it's going to be difficult! 

Hugs
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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Pug Life

Pug nails have been lurking in the back of my mind for a while, ever since I saw @iscreamnails do them on Instagram. I knew I'd have to get a bit more practice before attempting it, as usually I stick to patterns and am not great at designs that actually need to look like something! After creating my Siamese cat nails I was almost confident that I could pull off a little pug face. 
 

I picked out a few polishes from my Barry M collection - Caramel*, Mushroom, Elderberry* and their black, white and pink nail art pens. I used Elderberry* as the base colour as I've been itching to use it since we got our hands on it. Such a gorgeous subtle blue, it works perfectly as a base for nail art. 

I drew the pug shape on with the white nail art pen, and then added the black outlines. The colours and detailing were then applied between the lines. I used the white nail pen to write PUG LIFE on my ring finger. The original plan was for this nail to read 'Pugs Not Drugs' but my titchy nails just weren't having it! For the final touch I added pink polka dots on the bare nails using the pink nail art pen. I love how this adds a girly edge to link in with our pug's cute bow. 
 

Our little pug has a bit of a wonky eye, which really bugs me, but I suppose it adds to her derpy look! I'm glad I finally gave this mani a go, as although it's not something you would wear every day it's super cute and fun! 

I'm not sure what to name her, does anyone have any ideas?!

Love,

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