Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Truth is .. My nails are Iron Man (and Barry M Nail Art Pens review)

No prizes for guessing what I went to see in the cinema at the weekend! As you may have picked up from my other Geeky nail art post I'm a bit of a nerd gal. Sci-fi, comic book, fantasy, you name it I love it, and I also love doing nail art about it :) 

I did a bit of internet trailing first as I remembered Work Play Polish doing an Iron Man nail art a wee while ago, so I used her mani as a bit of a template so I didn't just wing it and make a total mess! If you don't already follow her blog or facebook page, you should, her nail art is fabulous! 

I started off with a base of China Glaze Ruby Pumps (swatches here) which surprisingly was a perfect Iron Man red, and the I added a gradient of OPI Goldeneye from the Skyfall collection, which again was a pretty perfect gold, if a little shimmery. I think it just looked like Tony Stark was off to a disco! 

On my middle finger I used the Goldeneye brush to make a sort of weird U shape, then I used Barry M's new nail art pens to draw on the black lines and fill in the eyes with silver.

Now. About the Barry M pens. Am I the only one who doesn't understand the design. Don't get me wrong, once you get going they are fab, but the nibs are solid and you have to pump the nib to get the colour flowing down the outside of the tip, which you can't do on your nail and it will leave lovely bit dents in your polish, so you have to do it on some hard surface. Also, if you don't have enough colour on the outsides of the nib you end up just digging lines into your nails which you then have to fill in again with the colour. This was the second time I'd used them and I admit it was better now I knew what I was doing but trying to test them out was really .. weird. Is it just me? Anyway, the colour is opaque, it does lovely fine lines, so I will just have to get used to using them! 

And now some photos. I've even included the fabled right hand, as the mask looks totally different on my right hand (funnily enough) and I can't decide which looks better! 

And now to see how other British Nail bloggers have spent the week :) 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Very First Glossybox - April 2013

Look at what was sitting waiting for me at my front door when I got home!! My very first Glossybox! (be prepared for many pictures!)

For those of you who don't know, Glossybox is a monthly beauty box which comes filled with lovely samples of beauty products. For £10 + P&P you receive a box full of mystery goodies to try out.  I think what made me decide to order this Glossybox was that I saw a picture of this months box on their Facebook page with the specially designed floral box (designed by designer and singer Pearl Lowe) and fell in love. Although I admit I did cheat before ordering, as I've been humming and hawing over beauty boxes for months! The cheating came when I had a nosy on several blogs to try and decide whether or not the box was worth it by the contents. most of the reviews were encouraging so I placed my order. As I've subscribed for 3 months the next two boxes will be a total surprise (no peeking next time!) And I was lucky enough to receive exactly what I would have chosen as my perfect box!! 

Look at all its pretty-ness!

The box itself is stunning. It's pretty solid, not just some cheap flimsy thing, which makes me feel like I've got even better value for money as I will definitely be able to use this to store my ever-growing polish stash! And as you can see - it's pretty stunning. 

Leaflet containing interview with the designer and details on the products inside

The packaging was also lovely, I so enjoyed opening it, I was like a kid at Christmas! 

I will admit to a small amount of squealing once I saw what I had inside! And now a quick look at the products themselves:

First I received an Essie nail polish in the baby pink shade Sugar Daddy. I'm yet to really try Essie so I was quite excited by this, also many of the girls whose posts I read didn't receive any polish, so as a total nailphile I was chuffed that I got one! And I don't really own many normal colours like pinks so I don't have a single dupe.
Price for full size (13.5ml): £7.99
Sample received: Full size

Next is Nip and Fab body butter. I have heard good things about this brand on blogs before but never tried it, but I am always on the hunt for a new moisturiser and this smells beautiful! 
Price for full size (200ml): £9.95
Sample received: 50ml  

Next up is Sleep Makeup's blusher in Flamingo (fabulous name!) which again I was quite excited by as I have only just started experimenting with blusher and am beginning to be confident enough with it to want to try a shade like this (so far I only use brown toned blush). Although the blush isn't a crazy pink on my skin as it appears in the tub, as you can see on my hand below. It's a lovely sleek little black box with a mirror inside and I love it already! 
Price for full size (8g): £4.49
Sample received: Full size

It took me a while to figure out what this was as the instructions are all in another language (French? Italian? no idea) but the leaflet enclosed in the box informs me that this is A-Derma's Intense Repair Lip Balm. I've been wearing it for about an hour and it feels totally absorbed, no tackiness or movement, and my lips feel lovely and smooth. Think that this will be a winner as well! 
Price for full size (15ml): £7.95
Sample received: Full size

And lastly a perfume. a girl can never have too many perfumes! This is Yves Rocher France (never heard of them... suppose that's the point of the box though!) and the perfume is called So Elixir Purple. This is actually a really nice scent, again I've had it on my wrists for about an hour (and just a tiny bit at that!) and I can still smell it, it is a light fragrance that isn't too overpowering but at the same time isn't a flowery day time perfume. This is right up my street. The bottle size is generous, seeing as it actually is a bottle, and I can see that living in my handbag for the next few months.
Price for full size (50ml): £44 (30ml): £29
Sample recieved: 5ml

So all in all I am now a solid fan of Glossybox and I hope that my next two boxes live up to what are now rather high expectations! But for a tenner a month you can't go far wrong with this - I got three full sized samples, two very generous samples and a new box to house my nail polish in - bargain! 

I hope you enjoyed this post (seeing as there will at least two more to come :P)- I'd be interested to know if you ordered one and what you got inside it, or if you receive a different Beauty Box such as Birchbox.
If you have never tried Glossybox you can order them by clicking HERE
If I recommend friends I earn points which in turn can be redeemed against a future Glossybox! 
As ever please comment away, I'd love to hear from you :) 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Colour Club haul - Take Wing and Kaleidoscope

So thanks to a very helpful post on the British Nail Bloggers Group by Megan Box Nails about TK Maxx having loads of new collections in I managed to snag these lovelies by Colour Club for a bargain price! I bought the entire full size Take Wing collection for only £7.99 and four minis from the Kaleidoscope collection for £3.99. I could have walked away with five complete collections but as this is my first dabble with Colour Club I did a cheeky Google of swatches and went for the eye catching glitters and the sample of Kaleidoscope.  

First we have Take Wing. This collection is beautiful, and although I am yet to try them all I can already tell that I am going to love every polish in that box! The colours are (from left to right) Daisy Does It - Sparkle and Soar - Fly With Me - Metamorphosis - Sky High - Wing Fling.

I have been struggling with the best way to describe these polishes - I believe the technical nail term would be duochrome. They are all beautiful hi-voltage shimmers, with hints of other colours in among the glass flecks. They apply rather thinly but are super easy to build up. They are almost foil-like in finish with a sheen reminiscent of the best metallics.
I recommend a fast dry topcoat though as by the time I had applied enough layers to be thick enough for my liking it too nearly an hour to dry! I ended up taking off most of the polish on my thumb on my way out the door when I put my keys in my bag, so I had to go back inside to fix it! In my book - these are must haves! So ladies- get to your nearest TK Maxx on the double! 

The reason I never bought the entire collection of Kaleidoscope was simply because I wasn't as blown away by the crème, solid colours as I was by the sparkly duochromes of Take Wing (Magpie alert!), and also the mini bottles are still a pretty decent size. The only colours missing are In Theory and Evolution - a sky blue and a coral pink, both of which I probably have dupes of. The colours in the box are (from left to right) Pearl Spective, Abyss, Endless and Bright Night. The last three are solid, highly pigmented crèmes  and Pearl Spective is the iridescent top coat.  

For my first Colour Club mani I went for the green polishes to match the green dress I wore to an interview today. I wore Metamorphosis on my thumb, middle and pinkie with Abyss on my first and ring fingers. I should point out the Abyss is a LOT more green in person, almost like a blue toned Jade colour. 

I then added a top coat of Pearl Spective over Abyss to bring a bit more glitz to the mani. OH MY NAILS this is pretty. This is only a small handful of the pics I took to try and get the colour right. It's a gold ish based top coat with a pink sheen to it in the right light. It is so lovely! 

So overall a very good first experience with Colour Club! Keep your eyes peeled for heavy use of Take Wing in the future! 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Spring Fling and a Fishbraid

Yesterday was the first day of Spring/Summer in the North East of Scotland, and to celebrate I wanted nice Spring/Summer nails :) as I mentioned before I had two colours from Orly's Hope and Freedom Festival and had not got around to trying Melodious Utopia yet, which is a rather sheer yellow with a pink shimmer. Sounds odd doesn't it? It's actually a really nice colour but for now Barry M's Station Road remains my favourite yellow. but I digress.

I had originally just meant to swatch on the yellow and go but I decided to go back to my old friend the Fishbraid nail art, which I initially tried in January and can be seen here. I used Orly Coachella Dweller for the green, because I am in love with the ceramic finish of that polish, and Barry M Gelly in Papaya for the pink. 

To create a fishtail braid pattern is super easy - this only took about ten minutes before I left for class. Begin with a base coat of one of the colours, then just paint a line one ontop of the other just like if you were braiding hair, one line from the left, one line from the right, and so on. If anyone wants a photo tutorial then just ask :) 

As for Melodious Utopia, I totally forgot to get a swatch pic (my bad) but it takes at least 3 coats to be opaque and I can still see dark shadows on my nails. It is very sheer, maybe not the best colour to use when overlapping over a hi shine pink like the Gelly, but I think I like it. the pink shimmer in it is so unusual but I've gotten used to it. I tried to get some pics to show the pink in it but it didn't come out too clear.

So there we are - summer came and left again almost as quickly, but I still have summer on my nails :) 

I apologies for my shoe being in this picture .. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

charity nails

Apologies for the major gap in posts this week, it's been a busy week with uni work and planning a charity concert for my trip to Kilimanjaro. And that leads me nicely to this mani :) 

In June I will climbing Kilimanjaro to raise around £2500 for a charity called Childreach International. I'm delighted to say that we made my target on Saturday after a hugely successful concert featuring some local bands and singers. My nails for the night were electric blue with white detail to match the very sexy bright blue tshirt I have to wear on my trip, but as  wasn't going to wear it that night when I could dress up, I made my nails advertise the charity!

I started with China Glaze Towel Boy Toy. 

I was convinced for a while that TBT and OPI Can't find My Czechbook were dupes, but a cheeky swatch of OPI on my ring finger shows the difference.

For the details I used ChG Dorothy Who? On my ring finger, Models Own white dotting pen for the child on my middle finger and the CR, striping tape for my first finger and normal sticky tape for the stripes on my pinky and ChG White on White. This is my first successful striping tape mani so I'm delighted to be able to show you it :)

Using striping tape was tricky so I didn't bother on my right hand ... 

As you can see it matches the tshirt pretty closely! 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Barry M Magnetic - Neptune Sea

Today I have my swatches and review of Barry M's Magnetic polish in Neptune Sea. This caught my eye because it looked promisingly hologram-y in the bottle and I was not disappointed!

This polish applied easily but it did drag a little, resulting in it looking like a slightly streaky warm silver foil. I say warm because it was a dark brownish silver, similar in tone to the World Is Not Enough by OPI. The instructions on the bottle stated that I should apply one coat, dry, then apply a second and immediately hold the magnet over the top for around 5 seconds. The magnet I chose when buying this (the pattern on the lid shows you how it will turn out) was very interesting, at first I thought it was like a star but realised it's a bit more complex, you can see it in one of the natural light photos below. Anyway I thought the effect was amazing! The lines became light silver while the background went a holo blue colours which was green, silver or even pink in some lights! This effect is seen best in the sunlight pics at the bottom, which are bit blurry as I took them while moving as I was walking to work! But the polish really caught my eye in the sun so I had to take the pics :) 

I've never really caught on to the craze of holo polishes, I love them but I prefer to wear colours I can experiment with, I imagine it would be weird having properly holo nail art (I'd love to be proved wrong so if you've tried it let me know!) but I really enjoyed wearing this - however I get the feeling that it was kind of a novelty, so I still doubt I will be investing in that many holos in the future.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Fundraiser profile page - BT MyDonate

Fundraiser profile page - BT MyDonate

Bit of blogger news now - in June of this year I will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro(!) to raise money for a charity called Childreach International.  I have a target figure of £2450 and am currently 64% of my way there, with the deadline in just a few weeks time. 

To raise the money I have been getting sponsorships from local companies, colleagues  family and friends, I am being sponsored to run a 10K in Aberdeen and I am holding a concert also in Aberdeen (which any local girls are welcome to attend!)

If any of you nailpolish addicts would like to make a donation to this worthwhile charity the link is above. Also if anyone has any requests or challenges for me in exchange for a donation then I would love to hear them!  

Orly Coachella Dweller and half moons

Today I have for you Coachella Dweller from Orly's new Hope and Freedom Festival Spring collection. The collection itself is full of lovely spring and summer colours with hippie names and I think is going to be a must have as some of the shades are so unique! 

Coachella Dweller (I'll apologise now if I spell the name differently all the way through this post) is a light, apple-y green, too dark to be mint or lime, and it is frustratingly difficult to photograph its true shade! The photos without flash make it too pale and minty and the  one with flash makes it too yellow. Such a fussy colour! However it is a lovely colour, after I got over the initial "hmm .. its darker than I hoped" I realised that it really is a lovely colour. (Edit: last two photos match the colour so much better than the first three!) With only one flaw.

Application of this shade was absolutely horrendous, the first coat was streaky and uneven, I couldn't get the polish to move around the nail so I was left with bald patches next to really thick smudges! Second coat was better but still not great, I had to really concentrate to make sure it had an even finish. I still have gaps down the sides of some of my nails where I just wasn't able to fix it. 

Another issue was with the 'amazing' gripper cap. Award winning it may be, that didn't stop it from collecting a load of polish in the cap and dripping it all over my table mid-application. Which cause my other half to burst out laughing after all my raving about the famous cap. Whoops. 

I really hope that this polish settles down and becomes easier to apply once it is no longer a newbie as once I was done it looked stunning - it has a smooth and shiny perfect finish, even without a top coat, and it looked a little like green porcelain. If it does become easier to apply I can see this becoming a fast favourite in my stash. 

I didn't want to wear this on its own so I decided to add a bit of a half moon nail art using Orly Halo. I never realised Halo was so sheer - appears to me to be more of a glitter than a polish, so the half moons turned out to be a bit more like a glitter gradient but I still think the effect is lovely. With the silver/gold glitter and the perfect finish of Coachella Dweller this is a manicure worthy of the best nights out - its elegant and classy but the green brings a touch of fun. I will definitely be wearing this again! 

Overall, the polish was expensive to get in the UK, (I got it on offer from Nailtopia as mentioned previously on my blog) it was awful to apply and took a lot of work to make it sit nice, the 'award winning' gripper cap leaked, but the final result was worth the issues as it made my heart skip a beat! 

I hope you all like it as much as I do :) 

EDIT: It finally dawned on me what this mani reminds me of! So silly as its been sitting next to me at my desk all day =/ but it is the perfect colour of my favourite Cath Kidston mug! It's white with the apple green dots and they are spot on the same colours. The photos I took are much more true to life than the posed pics above as well, maybe it was because of different lighting or maybe the colour of the cup helped to emphasise the green. Either way - I feel a lot happier now I've figured that out! 

It's pretty difficult to take a photo of my nails holding a mug though ...

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