Monday, 28 January 2013

Colour Switch Swatch

I'll admit it. I'm a nail polish addict. I can't go into town these days without a quick pop into Boots or Superdrug to see if there are any new colours that take my fancy.  Saturday was such a day.  I've seen lots of this type of colour switch nail polish - where you pop on a top coat and the polish changes colour, but haven't got around to trying one yet.  I got a Boots 17 one, in the imaginatively named 'blue', which is hardly blue at all when you've got it on your nails but in fact more purpley. [Edit - strangely it's now looking a lot more like blue] I figured it'd be fun to do some nail art with this one, so out came the scotch tape again.

The polish itself wasn't particularly easy to paint on.  Because of the metallic nature of it it was a little streaky and the brush is horrible.  This was two coats of the polish, then I let it dry completely for an hour or so (it didn't take long to be dry to the touch) before I put on the scotch tape and used Butter London's PD Quick on the top to change the colour.  I left the scotch tape in place for probably 2 hours before taking it off to ensure it was completely dry - and I wanted really crisp lines.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, but not sure how long it's going to stay chip free (it's a bit annoying not being able to put a top coat on to protect/smooth the lines!)

Have you tried any colour switch polishes? What designs did you do?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snowflake Sunday

So while the Los Angeleans are complaining about their 'Arctic' 12°C temperatures, we are actually having a properly cold snap here in London with snow descending on Friday (to the extent that we got sent home from school early, SNOW DAY!) and a steady fall today since 8am - now we just need it to carry on for the rest of the night so we're told not to come in again tomorrow. After all, what's the point of snow unless you get a snow day?

I took inspiration from Elanor's red snowflake nails and decided to do my own version whilst I've been working today. So this is what I came up with... I used Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Blackberry (gnp2) as the base. I hadn't tried the Gellys from Barry M before this one - it's a really thick polish, supposed to give the same sort of effect as Shellac, but about 7 times cheaper (and probably lasts 7 times less time) - it does give great opacity from just one coat (as seen below) but you have to be really careful when it's drying as it takes longer than most polishes due to its consistency. It is smooth to paint on, though, which is always a bonus.

On top I used the pen end of Model's Own Nail Art Pen in white to do the snow dots and the snowflake as an accent nail. I gave it all a top coat of Butter London PD Quick which is my standard go-to now, bit worried how low my bottle is getting!

Thanks for stopping by! Have you ever tried snowflake-inspired nails? What do you think of Barry M's Gelly range? I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else posts for Glitter and Gloss's Mani Monday this week...

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Holographic Happiness

I was impressed by how long my last purple and silver starburst nails lasted this week - a whole 5 days which is pretty good. I was very excited this week to receive in the post my Layla Mercury Twilight holographic nail polish (Layla isn't stocked that widely in the UK, but this bridal website sells them for £11.25 + p&p and it arrived very quickly).  So here is how it looks with three coats:

Layla Mercury Twilight holographic polish
 Photo without flash

Layla Mercury Twilight holographic polish
Photo with flash

Layla Mercury Twilight holographic polish
Layla Mercury Twilight

There a few tricky bits about this polish. You need to buff and shine your nails before application as it doesn't work so well on ridges (apparently - I went straight for the buffing). Simply Occasions kindly popped in a Layla nail buffer in the cute pink organza bag with the nail polish so I used that one, but I'm pretty sure it would work with any normal nail buffer. Another thing was that I ended up having to redo a couple of nails because it seemed that if I pressed a bit too hard with the second coat it took off some of the first and made the pattern patchy.  The last thing is that apparently normal top coat takes away the holographic effect (I haven't tried this) so you're supposed to use the special Layla one, but seeing as it was another £10 I skipped that.  Anyway, I think it looks quite fun and I'm looking forward to wearing it out tonight and seeing how it looks under the lights. Will update on how long it stays chip-free! *Update - day 2 and it's already chipping! Looks like this is a paint-the-day-you-want-to-wear-it nail polish!

Have you tried any holographic nail polishes? Layla or another brand?

This is the second week I'm linking up with - what's super exciting is that my silver and purple starburst nails were featured on this week's Mani Monday! (But I'm now a little bit embarrassed by how messy they look close up... will work harder on that in future!)

Monday, 7 January 2013

Starting As I Mean To Go On...

So I have two manicures to share today.  The first is one I had on for a couple of days but the pink I used (Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme wear in Twisted Pink) was a bit of a nuisance (a bit too thick and gloopy) so it ended up looking a bit rubbish quite quickly.  But here's how it started out looking (apologies for photo quality, it was late at night and so light was limited)...

Barry M Silver Foil and Sally Hansen Twisted Pink manicure

This was completely inspired by the same post as before on Love Maegen.

This second one came about after finding this awesome page on Buzzfeed with 12 different nail art designs using Scotch tape. I reverted to purple and silver, as before, because I just can't get enough of the silver. It's a different purple this time - another Sally Hansen Hard as Nails one (in Deep Purple) which I got when I was in California in October (if only we had Target in the UK - I swear I do most of my shopping there when I'm in the US). Anyway, this purple like the pink one above was a bit heavy and so I smudged a good couple of nails and had to repaint before I had a perfect set of nails. Frustrating. That said, the purple it came out with was pretty lovely - dark but bright (oxymoron?) with a little shimmer to it, but just so shiny - even without a top coat.

Sally Hansen Deep Purple
Two coats of Deep Purple, without top coat.

Once I'd got that done, I waited for a good hour or two so that the polish was totally dry, then it was time for the Scotch tape and silver! I used Barry M Instant Effects silver foil (np319) (I actually have all three of these colours - and at £3.99 each they are a complete steal. I may have to buy a few more in case they stop making them!)

To put my design on, I cut a rectangle of Scotch tape, which I then cut diagonally to make two triangles, and then one of those I cut down the middle of the straight edge to make two more triangles - so I had three pieces in total, which I positioned and then painted over with the silver as below:

Barry M Silver Foil Scotch tape manicure

I did two coats of the silver and then waited again before removing the Scotch tape as I didn't want it to mess up the design.  Finally I let myself take them off to see what it looked like and put a coat of Butter London P.D. Quick (I'll do a Butter London post soon - it's one of my new obsessions) over the top... and now for the big reveal...

Barry M Silver Foil and Sally Hansen Deep Purple Scotch tape starburst manicure

For a first attempt at this sort of technique, I'm pretty pleased and think it came out quite well! Now I just have to finish my right hand... and then hope that it doesn't all chip off before I go back to work on Wednesday!

Have you tried Scotch taping nail art before? How did it work for you?

This is my first linking up with Mani Monday over at

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year, New Nails

So much for my 'will blog more' resolution last year. I gave up on the photo challenges in about March and I think my final post was in May. Poor effort. Anyway, it's a new year and once again I have the same old resolutions: be more productive, be more organised, blog more, see friends more often - at least this year I'm adding to these 'do more in London' and 'buy a flat'. Hopefully at least one of those will work out. I'm also throwing into the mix 'be more experimental with my nails'. Over the past few months I've become increasingly addicted to buying nail polish - but I'm now starting to look at nail art too (inspired by someone I know who is so creative with her nails). Today's nails aren't exactly creative, but I've been meaning to try them out for a while since I saw a similar design on Love Maegen.
Barry M Silver Foil and Rimmel Pompous manicure

Barry M Silver Foil and Rimmel Pompous manicure
I used Rimmel 610 'Pompous' which is a shimmery decadent purple, topped with Barry M's instand effects silver foil (np319) which was possibly one of my favourite polishes of last year - smooth and clean and really striking, particularly with some glossy top coat over it.

So here's to a 2013 with lots of nail adventures. I really will try to put some of my photography up too. And maybe a few posts documenting my foray into pie-making. Perhaps this will be the year I stick to my resolutions...

Happy New Year everyone!