Tuesday, 30 December 2014

New Dior Polish


I had a lovely Christmas, and hope everyone else did too! I got lots of great presents, plus a few bottles of polish! I don't usually ask for polish as I've got so much already it's hard for people to know what to get, but I got some fab stuff from some friends who know me well enough to know what I need/like!! I got a glittery polish from Topshop that came in a mini bauble to hang on the tree (thanks Bob!), a pink holo polish from Freckles Polish (that I'd actually been wanting for ages - thanks SecretSantaNina!) and the Ciate Chalkboard Nails set (thanks Kathie!).

I also got two of the new Dior polishes from my boyfriend. I'd pointed them out in a magazine a month or so ago but then forgot about them, so I was so excited to open them up on Christmas day! I got 'Shock' which is a bright red, and 'Golden Shock', a gold flakie. They're both stunning, and I don't want to put them away because I just want to be able to see the bottles all the time!

I tried them out yesterday, and came up with this manicure. I used the red on all my fingernails except my little one, which got two coats of a gold polish ('Goldie but Goodie') by China Glaze. I then topped them all with the gold flakie. This took a bit of work to get the flakies spread evenly - you had to load the brush up with quite a lot of polish, and then dab on more flakies into any bare patches! I finished off with a generous coat of Insta-Dri by Sally Hansen to smooth out any sharp edges on the glitter.

I then decided to go a step further (as I thought the flakies over the red was a bit too predictable to do with the two polishes!) ...and add gold underneath my nails - I've heard this called a flip mani, or Louboutin nails (when it's done with black and red anyway). I just used the brush from the bottle of my China Glaze gold, and carefully painted on two coats of gold under each nail - luckily they're quite long so you can see a lot of it. I then used a little brush dipped in acetone to clean away any of the gold that got onto my fingers in the process!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Ciate Mini Mani Manor Day 24


I've just opened the last door of my Ciate advent calendar; the Mini Mani Manor. I've loved opening this calendar every day of December and getting new nail goodies every day! Here's the fully opened calendar:

I love all the polishes in there, my favourite one is definitely Candy Cane, the pink glitter featured in my last post:

I'm not so keen on all the pots of loose glitter (there was about 6 or 7 in total) - they're so pretty, gorgeous colours, but if I want glitter on my nails I'll just use a glitter polish - much easier and quicker, with way less mess to clean up! I will have to think of a way of using the glitter pots though, they are lovely and I don't want them to go to waste.

In number 24, there was an extra special treat of a full-size bottle of polish - this bottle looked massive after all the minis! It turned out to be a beautiful holo glitter with different sized pieces, called Celestial. I decided to use it for my mani that I'm going to wear on Christmas day. I decided against nail art, and just picked my favourite nail shade, mint green (I used Sugar Apple by Barry M) and then one layer of Celestial over the top. Wintery and glittery!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Pink Christmas Mani


I've been so busy this month that I've not been posting here as much as usual, although I have still been doing my nails! I've also been enjoying opening my Ciate Mini Mani Manor advent calendar. All the polishes have been so pretty, although I've not had a chance yet to try out most of them. As well as polish, I've got quite a few bottles of loose glitter, and the other day it was some nail-art stickers. Everything is very pretty and xmassy!

I created this mani a few days ago using two of the polishes I got from the advent calendar. The hot pink (Cupcake Queen) is beautiful, but this pink glitter (Candy Cane) is definitely my favourite from the calendar so far - it's just stunning!
I also used the Nails Inc Kate Spade black, and the black and white nail art pens. I changed them a bit after a day as well - I thought the pink spotty index nail looked a bit too bright, so I swapped it for a black with pink spots. Both versions are below!

I wasn't really sure about the outcome of these, I thought they were a bit random and not the right colours to be Christmassy, but I've had some really nice comments on them while I've been wearing them!!

Also, it seems that some days in the advent calendar, it differed which polish people received - I kept seeing on Instagram/Twitter people posting swatches or bottle-shots of what they'd got and they were sometimes not the same as what I'd got - does anyone know if there was a bit of random placement going on?

Now to decide what nails to do for Christmas day - I don't know!!!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Holo Gradient with Snowflakes


Some more festive nails. I started these with no real idea of what I wanted them to finally look like, but I really like the outcome!

I started off with a gradient using three scattered holo polishes - Princess Sabra (gold) and Rose Bower (pink) by a england, and Amazon Rainforest by Magic Goose polish. These blended really well and created a super colourful gradient that I loved!

To make these a bit more festive, I added a snowflake design using the Barry M black nail art pen!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Quick Christmas Trees


I created these festive nails a couple of days ago. I went for pastel colours as I was at work and pastel is less in-your-face. The three main colours (pink, purple and green) are Nail Geek polishes that I'd been sent to review (see previous posts for reviews!). 

I did three coats of pink/purple on alternate fingers and left them to dry. I then used straight vinyls (you could use striping tape, or normal tape) to section off triangles on each nail. I filled in each with green, and added dots of gold and silver polish with a dotting tool to finish them off!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Winter Chevrons


I did these nails a few days ago as I wanted something wintery for when I went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do - I was initially going to do a gradient with some snowflakes over the top, but I did that last year and wanted something a bit different. I eventually settled on this design.

I started off with two coats of Elderberry (the blue) by Barry M, and topped it with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri to speed up the drying process. I then left it for about an hour to make sure it was really dry.

I then took my zigzag chevron vinyls from She Sells Seashells.These are like stickers, and I used tweezers to put a set of five chevrons onto a nail, using the pointed tip of my nail as a guide. I then peeled off every second vinyl, and filled in the gaps with a silvery foil polish that I got in last years' Ciate calendar (and I'm loving this years' too so far!!) ....I removed the remaining vinyls carefully with the tweezers, then topcoated.

It took a while to do this design on all my nails but the overall effect is really striking, I love them!! The contrast between the reflective silver polish against the duller blue is really pretty and keeps catching my eye.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Nail Geek Swatches #2


I was sent another lovely batch of Nail Geek polishes to swatch and review again this week. This is Beauty Not Beast collection which is five pretty-pink-pastel shades. Here they are!

I started off with the palest shade - this is "Eu Natural" and is an off-white. I was really interested to see how this would apply as I'm always looking for a cheap white that gives good coverage. In the pic I've used three coats. This is a pretty shade but doesn't give full coverage even with three coats - it still looked a bit streaky, so this won't be my new "go-to" white polish unfortunately!

The second and third shades are sooo similar and it's hard to see the difference between them in my pics! They're both pale pinks. The slightly paler of the two is "Calming". In this picture I've used three coats, and it's still not fully opaque. 

Here's the third one, "Ballet Shoes". Like I said, this is similar to the above shade, but I like it better because it built up much better in three coats and had a lovely finish!

This one is "Down To Earth", and has a shimmer through it - which I didn't realise from looking at the pics on the website. This one is really pretty, and this picture is three coats!

I've saved my favourite one for last. This pale purple is called "Sleep", and I used three coats again. The coverage and finish was perfect and I ended up wearing this one to work for a couple of days (very work-appropriate shade!) and got quite a few compliments on the shade. 

These polishes sell for £1.99 each or £7.95 for the set of 5. I'd definitely recommend getting the purple, "Sleep", and the other collection I reviewed is definitely worth a look too as it had some gorgeous pastel green and blues!