Wednesday, 30 January 2013

NOTD: Collection Hot Looks "Wham" matte

I was sorting through all my stuff and was wondering what to put on... My nails are still too short to try the Elegant Touch Flawless French set I got from Superdrug so I had to chose a colour. After searching a bit in my drawers came across this grey beauty. I have already shown it in it's glossy state so I then dug out my Rimmel LycraPRO Matte Top Coat and slicked it on :) I love the result! Very chic. This is 3 thin coats and a thick-ish coat with the matte top coat. I still really love the mattes, I might do a matte pastel mint green next :)

Monday, 28 January 2013

NOTD: Bloom "Kate"

I have a million things to do but I needed something spring-like on my nails for work tomorrow as I'm coming down with some bug again and was feeling really unwell :O I may have had a craving for something similar to the super-hot new Barry M textured pastel polishes so it turned out I chose a baby blue creme. This had glooped up a bit since I last used it but was still OK to apply if you take a light touch. This is 2 coats and a coat of MegaShine.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

NOTD: Vivo Magnetic "Dream On"

I got this awesome polish from my pal for Xmas/Birthday and it rocks. I've got a massively sore mouth after having a stubborn wisdom tooth extracted yesterday so I needed cheering up so I took this out. The brush is crap, so makes a mess, but after I clean up after my shower tomorrow no one will suspect it was this messy :) It applies as a glittery mauve metallic which is pretty in itself, but I was surprised to discover that it changes to a charcoal glitter with mauve metallic magnetic effect after using the magnet :D Wow! I had to photograph the right hand for a change as the left one was left a bit messy after buggering up the top coat on two of the nails and making a weird effect... It does actually look OK in real life but not in a photo.

For magnetic polishes I generally do 2 coats of polish over base coat. I then put speed-dry top coat on one nail at a time then use the magnet - this always seals in a crisp imprint in the speed-dry top coat and adds a beautiful shine :) Do one nail at a time! Beautiful :)

Now for something different. I've used the Dashing Diva French Wrap Plus for clients before but didn't fancy buying a whole new salon pack of 300 tips or so just for my wedding French nails as I seem to do very little Frenchies on clients nowadays (nail art's all the rage!). Buying paracetamol in Superdrug on Thursday before my wisdom tooth extraction I spotted the new Elegant Touch version! And half price at £7.49. Don't mind if I do! :) I will grow my nails out for a couple of weeks then put these through the pre-wedding road test...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

NOTD: Revlon Nail Art French Mix "Over the moon"

So I was cruising for some late January bargains on the Boots website and came across these duo-polishes :D They were £5 just now so I thought why not! These are the same idea as the Andrea Fulerton polishes, as she used to do a flip-flop french, which was the idea behind these duos from Revlon. You couldn't layer these over each other like the Andrea Fulerton one I have reviewed previous. I haven't seen these Revlon polishes in store yet but saying that, my Boots/Superdrugs don't have the new Revlon polishes either.. :(

Tips for using the Revlon French Mix - let each layer dry thoroughly!! Including before you slap on the top coat - I thought it was dry enough but I managed to smear teal polish on the pink while applying top coat... Be careful with application, the pink is a bit gritty with glitter and pools if you are not careful. This is 2 coats of the pink and 2 coats on the tips with the teal. It can be a bit tricky doing your own French tips - I would have liked a different brush type on the teal polish to do the tips maybe? My hands are shaky from the medication I take for asthma so it's not as perfect as I wish it would be. I love the shades together though :)

I also scored a Stila palette for £9, "Written in the stars". It's a cute snowflake shape :) Some of the shades are too light to even show on my ghostly skin but might be useful for darker skins? The formula is probaby best applied with sponge applicator, my EcoTools eye shadow brush took a bit of work. Bargain for £9 though.

L to R:  1 Starlight, 2 Eden, 3 Luna, 4 Sun, 5 Ray, 6 Galaxy, 7 Asteroid, 8 Constellation,
9 Pigalle, 10 Bouquet, 11 Heaven, 12 Ariel

Monday, 14 January 2013

NOTD: Essie "Angora Cardi"

I felt like something cozy today seeing as there is a couple of inches of snow and still snowing! I chose this polish as it's just so soft and warm looking. Like a favourite old sweater :) I will team it with some beige wool tights, pink angora sweater, tan Ugg boots and a cosy grey scarf tomorrow!

The formula on this is flawless, this is 2 coats and a coat of Megashine. I discovered however that the brush must have had a few strands stuck to the neck of the bottle so it was all bent out of shape so application was not as good as last time :( very sad. I wish polish manufacturers would sell new bottle tops with brushes on their websites...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

NOTD: Essie "Vanity Fairest"

So here is what is likely my wedding manicure - a French manicure with Essie "Vanity Fairest"! I used my usual French tip white and 2 coats of "Vanity Fairest". I really need to start using my French tip guides when I'm doing them on myself, this looks a bit wonky... I love the milky sheer shimmer of the polish :) Makes it fresh and not as boring as a traditional French manicure.

I had to whiten my nails before attempting this though and I used Originails Bubblewhite as usual. The trick is to soak them for 5 mins then use a stiff nail brush to get in there and scrub them good. It brightens nails yellowed by dark polish! I try not to do it more than a couple of times a year though as I find it dries my nails a bit.  So now here is what my nails look like 'naked' :)

Saturday, 12 January 2013

NOTD: L'Oreal Color Riche 201 Rose Paradis / 202 Marie Antoinette

I tried this on with a French tip as a possible wedding manicure. But it's a bit too opaque?... Hmmm... I made a French tip with an old trusty white tip polish and then put on one coat of 201 and a coat of 202 over it. I wanted to make a mix of milky white and pale pink like Kate's manicure for the Royal Wedding. It also balded a bit in places, I probably didn't leave the layers to dry long enough. I think I'd have to mix them together to get a similar result? But I've now decided to try the original shade I had in mind, Essie "Vanity Fairest" as a French Manicure. I'll put that on tomorrow and see how I like that.

I had my Bobbi Brown eye and lip part of my bridal trial on Thursday. Something in the eye makeup gave me an allergic reaction. I had a gel eyeliner put on which I think might be the culprit... Anyway, safe to say it wasn't a success, so I am still looking for a nice eye makeup! I did really like the other stuff I had though during my first trial and have worn the foundation again today, over Smashbox Photo Finish Light primer and it looks great :)

Monday, 7 January 2013

Happy Birthday Nails: Revlon "Ruby Ribbon"

I got this free with a 3 for 2 on all Revlon products in Superdrug a couple of weeks back :) I LOVE IT! You can't tell how cool it is in these photos. It's a rich pink microglitter with skinny pink threads glitter bits and lots of holographic bar glitter. AWE-SOME!! :D It's the perfect polish for my birthday tomorrow!

This is 3 coats just to load on the depth of the colour. I had to put on 2 coats of top coat here as it's a bit of a glitter eater! But totally worth it!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

DIY Bride: Complexion Craziness!

So I had the first part of my Bobbi Brown bridal makeup trial today, I did actually enjoy it! I rediscovered the magic of the corrector and concealer from the brand (I actually bought the shades recommended and came home with the exact matches I already had in my stash, so I hope I can exchange them for other products at my second part of the trial on Thursday night). I am still testing the foundation (Moisture Rich in no 3 Beige) so I won't say anything about that yet. The rep girl used the new Brightening Finishing Powder on me in the colour "Brightening Nudes" and I am in love. It comes in a lovely silver mirrored compact which also comes in it's own neoprene sock to protect it :) It's NOT cheap (RRP £40) but I can see myself getting use of this all year! I could see the difference once she had applied it, it just made my eyes pop a bit more! It will be great for photographs.

Please excuse the cheesy photo with the bad hair and eye wrinkles (caused by a lifetime of laughter so I love them), but I had to take it myself as The Man was busy...

Bobbi Brown Bridal Trial Part 1
Bobbi Brown products used:
Corrector: BISQUE
Concealer: BEIGE
Bronzer: MEDIUM
Blusher: SLOPES and NECTAR combo
Lip Balm
Lip Gloss: BRIGHT PINK (most has already been 'eaten' with my Yo! Sushi lunch)

The next part is the eye makeup, brows etc so here all I have on is a bit of Intensifying Long-Wearing Mascara. And it's possibly the worst mascara I've ever worn - 2 hrs after my trial it's falling onto my cheeks and has bled into my crow's feet. Safe to say I won't spend on this product! I have already decided just to go with my old classic Max Factor False Lash Effect Waterproof!

As  a bonus, here is my MUA Fur-Effect accent nail in "Fluffy Puff"! :) How cool! I can't wait to try the velvet burgundy colour I also got! That polish is L'Oreal Color Riche in 202 - it's one of my potential bridal manicures, but more on that later on in the month...

Friday, 4 January 2013

NOTD: China Glaze "Innocence"

I soaked off the Gellux last night. The colour was already annoying me something fierce. Then today, again, I decided on a nude polish. What the hell is wrong with me?.. Although the tone of this polish is kinder to my skin tone. I love "Innocence" but... But it's on now, so I won't bother removing it. This is 2 coats over a coat of Rimmel's nail whitening polish and a slick of MegaShine. I keep thinking I should have put on China Glaze "Zombie Zest"...

But instead of removing the current manicure, I will dust it with something new tomorrow instead after my bridal makeup trial - a cheap take on Ciate's Velvet Manicure! I picked up these two beauties in Superdrug today, they are £2 a pot just now :) I can't wait to try the stuff on!!! You've got to love the names on these - "Fluffy Puff", "Fluff & Cuddles" :D I am so impressed with MUA lately with their Nail Constellations and now these. Maybe not long lasting manicures but sure as hell cheap and a a lot of fun for a special occasion! And they are in the MUA online nail sale as well!

I also bought another Real Techniques brush - "Shading Brush". It's for eye makeup and I am going to use it to blend eye concealer :) I now need somewhere new and snazzy to store all my brushes!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

First NOTD of 2013: Gellux "Rosie Anna"

I for some reason wanted to do a nude gel polish manicure last night... In a moment of madness, I chose Gellux's "Rosie Anna", a nude pink with very secret shimmer. Hmmmm. Let's see how long I can stand it without applying some random nail wraps over it (a gel polish actually works great under nail wraps!)... The Chanel lady in Debenhams seemed to like it a lot but it feels like a 'grandma manicure' for me. I've done it on other ladies and it's looked great, I just don't love it with my skin tone! This is 2 coats of gel polish and base and top coats (I used Gellux's own Base and Top Coat).

I spent the day browsing makeup counters and testing potential wedding makeup products. I am soooooo pale right now and I doubt I will put on any colour before my wedding (23 March) so I am struggling to find some nice foundation colours. The best offerings I had was at the Bobbi Brown counter in John Lewis - apparently they do a 2-part bridal makeup class. I booked myself in - I am all for getting some new 'skillz' for my big day and hopefully finding that elusive perfect foundation colour and finish...

I also found some new stuff - a great looking foundation brush! It's called 'Expert Face Brush' and is by RealTechniques by Samantha Chapman. I can't wait to try it tomorrow :) It gets rave reviews on MUA. Anyway, I'm off to find some cool nail wraps before this gel manicure ruins my mood further.

'Expert Face Brush' - RealTechniques

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Polishes and Products in Review 2012

So after ringing in 2013 with raclette grilling and chocolate fondue I thought I would do a short post about the stuff I got really excited about in 2012! There was a lot of new stuff but I thought I would go for my most memorable things. I did discovered I haven't featured as many reviews as I would have thought I did from the amount of stuff I've tried, so I must do better! :)

4th Year Anniversary!
Can't believe it's been 4 years already?! I am still loving my blog and I hope to be doing it for a while yet, for as long as I enjoy it. I have had another blog for the last year or so about my little invertebrate pets, but my main passion is still for nails and beauty :) I expect to feature some more gel polish manicures and more product reviews this year and as I am getting married in March, features on DIY wedding makeup, so stick around!

Favourite Nail Polishes of 2012

OPI "Goldeneye"
KBShimmer "Oh splat!"
China Glaze "Flirty Tankini"
Depend Holographic "Plum 2030"

TO BE FEATURED ON MY BIRTHDAY on 8th JANUARY - Revlon "Ruby Ribbon" Limited Edition
MUA Nail Constellations

Barry M "Ruby Glitter"
Barry M "Christmas Pink" Limited Edition
Barry M "Pink Sapphire"
Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers "Once Upon A Time"
Mavala "Pure Diamond" Xmas bauble
Isadora "Polar Nights"

Other Top Favourite Products of 2012!

L'oreal Everpure Shampoo and Conditioner
I love this hair care series - it's made all the difference to my so-called hair. They are in the price range of the John Frieda shampoos etc so still very affordable but producing salon brand results!

Gel Polish Home Kits
I just *love* gel polish, although I am sooooo fickle about colour (I get bored REALLY quickly). But you can't beat the convenience of only doing your nails every 2 weeks. My fave is still Sensationail, but I also like the Red Carpet Manicure, which have some more colours that are offbeat. The beauty is that the home kits will also work with the salon brand gel polishes, like OPI Gelcolor, Gelish and Shellac.

Bourjois 1 Second Nail Polish Remover
This is killer nail polish remover, as you can see in my video it literally takes a second to remove a creme polish. I find it takes about 20 sec per nail to take off a heavy glitter but it's still less painful than normal acetone remover. And it's ok for my asthma!

bareMinerals READY SPF 15 Touch Up Veil
I have grown out of wearing foundation in the last few years but I do like a bit of polish, and this is just the ticket. It calms a bit of redness but doesn't make me look like a vampire dusted with flour. And it doesn't break me out, AND it comes in a compact. What else do you need?? :)

Redken All Soft Argan-6 hair oil
I love the modern hair oils like this one, they just settle so nicely on the hair if used on wet hair and blowdried. You can also use a little drop to smooth the flyaways on dry hair as well :)

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters and Kissable Balm Stain
I couldn't decide which of these fabulous new lip products from Revlon to feature, so I chose both. Then searched the blog but couldn't find any posts about these?? I will have to remedy that with a review later on this month :)

For a full list of my fave stuff, go to my "Favourite Products" page!

Other Cool Things About 2012!

The new series of 'Dallas' kicked ass and I was really sad to hear of the death of Larry Hagman. I look forward to seeing the second series in 2013, and I am sure that it will do justice to his memory!

The Olympics
I *love* watching the Olympics and this year was no different :)

My new manicure table!
I now have a nice little setup for doing my nails, using the Jansjo clamp lamp from IKEA and the Rio Nail Studio. I am now going to work on the lighting for taking my photographs, as I am still not convinced they are coming out as well as they should.

So Happy New Year everyone and all the best to you and yours! I hope 2013 is a great year for all of us!