Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Phone Case Galaxy


I did these nails inspired by my phone case! I'm constantly seeing pretty patterns that I want to recreate on my nails, and I choose pretty patterns for my phone cases all the time so.....yeah!

I've done galaxy nails before but not for a long time so I looked forward to doing them again, and I'm really happy with how they turned out!

I started off with a base of Blue Lagoon (two coats) which is one of Seventeen's Gel-look polishes. I bought this a while ago to go with a dress I'd bought but didn't end up using it, so this was my first time applying it - I really liked it, it was smooth with a shiny finish and a really nice dark navy.

I then tore a little bit from a make-up sponge and painted on a blue polish. I dabbed this onto my nails in diagonal lines. I then repeated with different shades of blue, purple and pink, but tried not to go overboard as I've sometimes spoiled a galaxy mani by adding too much! I also used a glitter polish to dab onto certain bits of the galaxy. The polishes I used for this are all Barry M and were Malibu (blue), Rhossili (dark pink) Elderberry (grey/blue) and this years' Limited Edition purple.The glitter is Socialite (dark pink, Glitterati). The white dots/stars were done with a white Barry M nail art pen, and then I topcoated with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Nail Geek swatches


Last week I was contacted by a cosmetics brand called Makeup Revolution. They have just launched a new range of polishes called Nail Geek and they kindly sent me some to try out.

The polishes come separately or in 'collections' of five. I chose the Cool Nails Collection to try, as they were a fab selection of blues/greens. 

All the polishes here are shown swatched without topcoat (I did use base coat though) and I have mentioned for each how many coats of the polish I used. 

I'll start with the paler shades. The first one I tried was "Peppermint" - I can't resist a mint green, and this one was lovely. This took three coats for me to be happy with the opacity but you could probably get away with two!

This one is "Dreams", a lovely pale blue. Again, I used three coats.

Here is "Clear Skies", a darker and more dusky blue than Dreams, but still what I'd call pastel. Two coats was fine for this one. This one is my favourite of the five!

On to the darker shades, this one is "Inbetween" and is a vibrant turquoise shade. This would actually look really nice with just one coat as it's so pigmented but I applied two just to make sure there were no streaks.

The last one I tried is "Live Fearless". It's more on the blue side of turquoise/teal. As above, one coat would have been fine but I added an extra one just due to personal preference.

Overall, I was so impressed with these polishes! Because they are so cheap, I wasn't sure what kind of quality to expect. On opening the bottle they did have a bit that 'cheap polish' smell, but that didn't really bother me - it wasn't overpowering or anything. They applied really, really nicely, and were very creamy and smooth. The paler colours needed 2-3 coats to be fully opaque which I would expect for any pale polish. The darker colours only needed 1-2 coats, and all of the polishes dried quickly to a smooth, streak-free finish. They were also so shiny without topcoat, which I loved!!

Another bonus was that the brush was sturdy and wide, which I definitely prefer. I also liked the large chunky rectangle bottles - they all fit together nicely in my nail polish box.

Finally, I had a go at some nail art using the polishes (and a nail art pen) and this is what I came up with! As these are so opaque and brilliant shades they're great for nail art - they don't need too many layers to show up. I only needed two layers of "dabbing" for the gradient on my little finger!

The Cool Nails Collection of five polishes is available for just £7.95 and at the moment you get an extra polish free when you buy. There's other collections available, or you can get the polishes on their own for just £1.99. 
The different collections are here and the individual polishes are here - there are 45 shades!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Barry M Glitterati


Around Halloween I won a competition ran by Barry M on twitter.  They said my prize would be "a few goodies" - I expected one or two polishes or make-up items, and was amazed and very excited when it turned up a few days later and turned out to be the FULL Glitterati collection!

For those that don't know, the Glitterati collection was only recently released and consists of 6 brightly coloured glitter polishes that are really dense and packed full of coloured and holographic glitter. Here are all six of my lovely prizes:

I needed a quick nail update, but didn't have time to create any nail art, so I selected Socialite (the purple) and Starlet (the pink) from the collection to apply to my nails. The glitter is in a semi-transparent jelly-like base, and I'd read it took a good few coats to build them up to full opacity. I didn't want loads of layers of thick glitter, so I decided to match each polish to a similar shade to go underneath. I didn't need to look any further than my other Barry M shades. To go with Socialite I selected Rhosilli, and for Starlet I picked Grapefruit. Here are the four polishes I used, two coats of each on each nail, the glitter on top obviously! 

These polishes apply quite thickly and you need to apply it slowly and carefully, perhaps putting more polish on the brush than you usually would, but once you've realised all this they were fine to work with, especially over a similar shade. 

I looove this look, and my nails have had a few compliments after just one day! I think I love the pink nail the best - it's so vibrant and sparkly and I'd love to do a full mani in this colour.

I think that you could get slightly different effects with the Glitterati polishes (the ones I've tried anyway) depending on what colour you used as a base, or whether you used one at all. Swatches of these polishes I've seen on other blogs look a bit different due to no under-coat being used, but this is just a bonus as one polish can provide several looks!

I'll try out the others soon, and I'll definitely be returning to this collection over the Christmas season!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Tiny Little Roses


My nails today were totally inspired by Olivia from Pastille Beauty, where I've started to go to get a gel pedi done because they last for ages. I went earlier this week, and Olivia's nails were amazing - she'd done them herself with gel polish, and I was so impressed by how tiny the roses were, I loved the whole look in general and told her I was going to recreate them!

Liv's nails:

For my version, I used Barry M Rose Hip for the pale pink base, and the flowers are Cerise Shine by Models Own. I used a dotting tool for them, then added the leaves with Barry M Cardamom. This was the bit I was worried about because I'm rubbish at using nail art brushes! I can't be neat and accurate with them, so the leaves are more like blobs, but I suppose they're so small it doesn't really matter. I added the black detail to the roses with my Barry M pen.

I topcoated with Sally Hansen insta-dri to make them all shiny! 

The flash on my camera has washed the colour out on these a bit, especially in the pic with both hands in, but they're the best I can do at the moment!!

Everyone needs to go and follow Olivia on Instagram now to see more of her creations, and we will hopefully be doing more mani swaps in the future :-D

Friday, 14 November 2014

Mint Mix


I'm so excited to show you this mani because I love it so much! I only got to wear it for two days sadly, but I was really pleased with it. This is a mix-and-match mani I came up with based around this gorgeous mint green shade which is of course Sugar Apple by Barry M. 

For my index and little finger, I created a simple glitter gradient using a gorgeous, dense silver glitter I have by No.7. Sadly after I'd done this manicure I had to throw it away because it'd ran out! I really want to get another bottle though as it's fab for gradients. 

On my ring finger, I used some silver triangle studs I got from Born Pretty Store - another item I was sent to review. I had this design in mind and luckily they fit nicely in a row! I stuck them down onto wet polish and topcoated to hold them in place.

On my middle finger I did some simple leopard print by adding blobs of Sugar Apple to a white base. Once they dried I added the silver outlines using a nail art pen.

On my thumb I did a simple gradient using a make-up sponge with the two shades, and topcoated with a holo sparkly Barry M polish to finish it off.

I was so happy with the outcome and wanted to keep these on forever!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Water Decal Review: Born Pretty Store


Last month I was contacted by Born Pretty Store and they offered to send me some items to try out in return for a review. I love Born Pretty for cheap nail art supplies and have bought from them lots of times before, so I was more than happy to review some items for them - I even got to choose what I wanted!

One of the items I chose was these pretty leaf water decals. I thought they'd be good to use in autumn, and when I chose them I was already picturing them paired with the new Barry M gelly shades! I've never actually used water decals before, which is another reason why I picked these; to give me the opportunity to do so.

I also selected some studs and charms, which I will show you in the coming weeks.

For this mani, I started with a base of Chilli by Barry M, my favourite of the new autumn gelly range. I almost didn't buy this one - I initially preferred the look of Mustard, Chai and Cardamom, but I picked this one up as part of a 3-for-2 and I'm so glad I did! Here it is before I added anything.

I had to have a quick Google to see how best to apply the decals. There were some brief instructions on the back of the packet, but I didn't think they were that clear. 

Basically, you need to take the sheet of decals and carefully cut out the one(s) you want to use. Then you carefully place one into a cup of room temperature water, letting it float upside down on the surface. After about 20 seconds, remove the decal with the tweezers. I then slid the decal off the backing paper onto my fingertip (on opposite hand) then placed it from my fingertip onto my nail. The decal will slip around your nail a bit due to the water, which means you can gently position it how you want. Then gently pat dry - I used a tea towel! I did one hand, then topcoated before doing the other hand, because if you get water on them before topcoating they'll move/come off.

I really enjoyed applying these and I love the finished look. And I still have lots of leaves left! I was impressed by how many decals there were in this set, and all the different leaf designs that were included - they were all different sizes so I could pick exactly what I wanted for each nail. My favourite ones are the fern-type ones. A few of the decals had a white line around one edge, which I couldn't decide if it was part of the pattern or whether the decal wasn't printed exactly right? Either way it's not really noticeable unless you look closely. I definitely want to try decals again in the future!!

If you feel like buying anything from Born Pretty, you should! Postage is free, and although delivery takes a while as they are based in Hong Kong (mine took about 5 weeks) it's worth the wait for the cheap prices and the massive range of pretty things they stock. If you buy anything, please use my discount code which is HHBQ10 - you can also find it in the image to the right of my blog - for 10% off. :-)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Polish Me Silly: Guilty Pleasure


Another indie polish to show you today. This is another duochrome (or multichrome) by Polish me Silly - I loved the other one I bought so treated myself to two more, another thermal and this duochrome I'm showing you today, called Guilty Pleasure.

You can buy Polish Me Silly polishes from Rainbow Connection, but I actually bought them direct from https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PolishMeSilly - I had a discount code, and although postage was expensive, the discount on the polishes made it slightly more affordable, and I got a few to make it worth it! These polishes are made in Canada, but they only took between 1 and 2 weeks (can't remember the exact length of time I waited) for them to come.

I started with a base of dark red, and then used two coats of Guilty Pleasure.

This polish looks purple from straight-on, but from an angle it shimmers red and blue too. I think the best way to show it off is in a range of pics I took both on my phone and camera, in different lights and from different angles. Here you go:


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Patterned Jumper Inspired


I was inspired by one of my favourite jumpers for my nails today!

I've loved the graphic patterns on this jumper since I bought it last year from River Island. I was wearing it the other day and decided that the three different patterns would look fab on my nails, so I gave it a go today.

I started with a base of Cerise Shine (Models Own) on my index fingers, Barry M (Summer limited edition)  pink on my ring fingers and Snow White (Models Own) on all the rest. I let this dry for a few hours, then when I had some spare time this afternoon I sat down in front of the TV with my trusty black nail art pen from Barry M.

I copied the patterns onto my nails - the grid on my index finger and the stripes on my little finger and thumb (to match the cuffs and hem) were simple enough. It was a bit more difficult to do my two middle fingers, but I'm quite pleased with how they came out! 

I topped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri and cleaned up around the edges.