Friday, 31 August 2012

nail mail :)

Here's a little Nail Mail received today (well it was attempted to be delivered on Wednesday, but collected today.)

Spot the lonely OPI! 

L-R Barry M British Racing Green, W7 Khaki, OPI unfor-Greta-bly Blue, W7 Mosaic, Strawberry Daiquiri, Multi-Glitter, Purple Paradise, Diamond Top Coat.

We had to visit the Apple store in Leicester recently to get a broken iPod repaired, when we came out we visited I dragged hubby into a few stores and oooohed and aaahed over different polishes.  

First place we went into was House of Fraser.  I was horrified to see W7 in there marked up at £4.99 a bottle. Needless to say I did not buy any in there.  The next place we went into was the John Lewis store, where I laid eyes on the OPI Germany collection and wouldn't you know it, the only one I have been looking at (the Oktober-fest one) would just happen to be the colour they didn't have.  However hubby started looking at Unfor-Greta-bly Blue and saying how unusual it was and how he liked it.  However I saw the retail price, laughed and walked away.

I last purchased OPI (excluding Nail Envy) quite a while ago.  I got a potential fake silver shatter from eBay, I say potential as it was crap.  Prior to that I last bought OPI in 2008 when I got some of the France collection, but as they were so similar to the Russian and the Indian collection I decided I had had enough of OPI and just stopped buying.  Back in those days OPI was approx £6 and there was no massive market of fakes on eBay.   Now we're talking decent sellers on eBay being £12, and the chance of getting a fake is much higher, so I don't tend to buy them.

More recently I have bought a lot of polishes from Nail Polish Direct website.  They have a huge range of China Glaze, Barry M and W7, they also sell OPI for £8.50, so given hubby really liked this shade of blue I picked it up from NPD and used the change I saved from buying in a shop to get a couple of W7s!

The picture about totalled about £20, the diamond top coat on the right was free with an offer for buying five W7's.  I did much better than if I'd picked up one OPI and two W7's in those shops!

I ordered these polishes on a Saturday.  On a normal turn around these would have arrived on the following Tuesday, but as we had the bank holiday they were dispatched on the next working day which was Tuesday and delivery was attempted Wednesday.

I love this website and they are now my go to site when I'm looking for a new polish.  And they accept PayPal which is the biggest "must" I have when shopping online :)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sally Hansen and a Girly Bits - picture heavy!

I got some Sally Hansen HD polishes a while ago and although I'd tried a couple when they came I still had a few to go at.  I went for some skittles over black, to make up the numbers I added Girly Bits Street Magic and a Sally Hansen Prism in Lavender Sky.  This post's a bit picture heavy...

Here's what I used....
On all pictures below I used 1x OPI Original Nail Envy, 1x a-england Camelot (the perfect one coat black!) 1x SH/GB then 1x Seche Vite.

Street Magic:


Prisms Lavender Sky:



All fingers (dunno why thumbs seem to hide!)

I then decided to go for same colours over a-england Excalibur (perfect one coat silver) to see the difference over light base as several look very similar over black.  Disaster struck before I cleaned up so after grabbing these photos I cleaned off and went for something else.


I hadn't used my dotting tools for a while so had a random Dotticure earlier this week. 

This is after I filed them into super-nubs. I am having a major eczema flare up on my hands at moment, but trying to get hands back in shape with lots of emollients!

For this I used 2x Nail Envy, 2xColor Club neutral from boho collection (names on bottles would help!) then dotted with Barry M Red Glitter and Coral, piCture pOlish Fake Tan, a-england Bridal Veil and Princess Tears and Orlys Halleys Comet.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Pink and Slate gradient

This gradient uses my favourite pairing of colours, pink and grey.  

The colours used for this were Matte Pink W7 and China Glaze Stone Cold, so all in all this should have been entirely matte, however....! I started off with usual base, two coats of original nail envy, then painted all my nails Matte Pink.  The matte polish was taking longer than I had to spare to dry, I sponged the first nail and ended up with a real mess, so decided to Seche Vite the pink to dry it off.  I then used a stripe of pink and a stripe of grey on a sponge and dabbed them on to get the gradient.  I was going to leave it at this and have it matte, but as my cuticles were incredibly dry I knew the oil and hand creams would end up ruining the matte look, so added Seche Vite for a full shiny finish.

I loved this mani, I was going to add a layer of matte top coat to it, but never got chance as it started to chipped off the next day so I ended up removing it.   One mistake I did make with this was using pink as my base when I wanted the slate at the bottom of the nail.  I was bloody covered in Stone Cold by the time I'd got to colour built up correctly on the nail.  Next time I'll definitely use the grey base and sponge over it with pink. 

The pink used is a very bright shade, almost neon when worn alone, sponging with grey did reduce the vibrancy of it.  

Since this mani I've had to super nubbin my nails again, I know they weren't particularly long but I have no free anymore: again this comes back to something I have mentioned a couple of times before, the broken finger and the subsequent damage it left on my nail.  The hole is getting close to the free edge of the nail now, leaving it feeling loose, so I figured it was easier to go right back to basics and grow through than risk it falling off or having a very bad break.

Sunday, 19 August 2012


I've been trying out my butter LONDON polishes, here's a few combinations I've worn over past week or so.

Firstly The Black Knight:

The Black Knight was a wedding candidate, I almost bought this to wear on my wedding day, in the end I only bought it a couple of weeks ago.  On the pictures above I wore base of two coats of nail envy, got perfect coverage in two coats and added a top coat, probably Seche, but I can't remember. I'd done my nails on the Friday evening and these were taken Saturday morning in the rare sunshine we get, there was already a peel starting on the ring finger. I didn't find wear time fantastic, it was less than 24 hours before it had all peeled off.  Glitter polishes and me just don't seem to get on, they either never set fully then smudge, or set rock hard and peel off in sheets then next day.

Last week I had squared my nails off when I'd had to file them back, but they didn't feel "right" so square, after only three days I had to reshape them back to normal "squoval" to avoid keep catching them.

Next was Tart with a Heart and Victoriana:

I layered Tart with a Heart over Victoriana, Victoriana being a gorgeous shimmery blue pictured alone in first of this group of pictures, in these pictures it was base of two coats of Nail Envy, one Victoriana, two Tart with a Heart and one W7 Diamond Top Coat.  The combination of micro gold glitter and larger holo glitter which makes up Tart with a Heart was mesmerising, however this is another mani which I put on in the evening on Thursday and by Friday afternoon it had peeled off in sheets.  I also had terrible shrinkage at the tips, despite using a top coat which does not normally cause shrinkage.

I have also worn Tart with a Heart over a-england Camelot, but this was smudged within an hour of application and never got photographed.

Tart with a Heart over All Hail the Queen:

This is another one which didn't make it to the 24 hour mark.  I think I'm going to have to experiment with base and top coats.  I also didn't realise how visible the bruising to my middle finger nail was until I saw this.  I recently saw that Kirsten of the Manicured Monkey has broken her finger, (pun intended) fingers crossed hers heals quicker and with less bruising that mine has, it's almost three months now and the bruising is still coming through.  The nail is feeling loose too, so I'm really keeping it short now to avoid any unnecessary catching of my fingers.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Today's Nail Mail

This is the last of my mad buying spree (this month...!) Butter LONDON Victoriana and Tart With A Heart. Can't wait to try them, am thinking these will be layered together the first time I use them. Scrangie did a great post of Tart with a Heart over Black Knight, so that's a combi I look forwards to trying.

Green Gradient

My green obsession continues!

After wearing "Joker green" I decided to go more to an olive colour and wear China Glaze's Capitol Collection green, Agro.  But when I went to fetch it I started looking at Watermelon Rind and found myself torn!  In a moment of indecisiveness I decided to go for a gradient mani and use both colours!

I started off with a layer of Argo over usual base of two coats of nail envy.  The picture below shows the coverage it achieves in just one coat, no clean up on this as things were about to get messy with the sponge.  I almost stopped at this stage and went with just Agro as originally planned, the olive green and coverage were amazing.

I used a small piece cut off a normal (unused) kitchen sponge to sponge with both shades of green and topped off with a layer of W7 diamond top coat.  Here's the just sponged nails, complete with green cuticles.

And here's the next day, after clean up.

(camera struggled to focus on most pics)

My green moments have passed for now, I'm currently wearing neon pink and grey gradient, photos may follow if I ever get the grey off my skin, I used CG Stone Cold and W7 matte pink, and the matte polishes seem to stick like glue.  As my poor skin is very dry at the moment, I've used some acetone to remove worst of sponging paint spillage, but relying on nature to help a little too along with lots of oil and moisturiser.  Bugger the matte finishes, I can add matte top coat if needed, but my skin needs oil right now!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Blackened Teal Comparisons

Since buying Nubar Earth, I found myself beginning to wonder if I had a dupe in my collection as when in the bottle it looked very similar to Saint George.  I'm quite pleased with myself for having 126 polishes and only three or four dupes (mainly as I bought Color Club Back to Boho without considering if they duped anything I already had.) 

I decided to layer the following over my existing mani (which was Nubar Reclaim) before removing it to compare them.  The following pix were a single layer, no topcoat.  As a curved  ball I threw in Glitter Gal Lizard Belly as this is a holo blackened teal.  The results surprised me.

In the bottle Nubar looks more blue than the others, Lizard Belly looks very black

ooops didn't rub cuticle cream in properly.  With flash LB and SG look very similar.  Holo is stronger with flash on LB.

without flash LB and SG look more similar than the ones I originally thought were dupes.

So on comparison I originally worried I had some dupes in Earth and Saint George, yet actually Lizard Belly looks more like a dupe of Saint George.  However there are differences, Saint George doesn't have the blackened base and shows up as a rich green in many lights, also with a hint of holo, I find Lizard Belly comes out more black than green and the holo is quite weak.  Given the comparable pricing I would probably opt for the a-england over the Glitter Gal as whilst both go on in one coat, the bottle sizes are very different and on value for money I'd say a-england wins out easily. 

Nubar Reclaim

I recently killed a lemming I had been harbouring for a year, by giving in and buying Nubar Reclaim, a gorgeous green holo.  No sooner then I had completed my order on Amazon a whole host of bloggers posted some gorgeous swatches of this polish.  And when it arrived I was drawn to it.  Here's my (not so gorgeous!) swatches of it.  Some with flash, some without, the holo is ever present even in low light.  The shade of green almost feels pastel, it's not too harsh on my pale skin.  I was staring at this all the time!

I found the application of this polish a dream, I used usual two layers of nail envy, then I applied one coat and found the Nubar to be almost perfect at that, but I went on to add a second layer.  Then I topped this off with Poshe, only to find I had bubbling - grrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!!! - on a couple of fingers.  The lumpy texture of the bubbling drove me mad, so I tried my Orly smudge fixer then a layer of a different topcoat.  This got rid of the bumpy feeling on the nail but the bubbling was still visible on those nails (it was about six bubbles per nail) so I didn't wear this for long, only 24 hrs.  Long enough to take lots of pictures!

"The Joker"

I seem to be into greens at the moment, the particular green I am wearing today reminds me of the Joker from Batman and the shade of green his hair was in the old 60s tv series.

I originally had something else planned for this mani which didn't work out so I cleaned everything off and went for W7 Matt Green (yes I know matte has an e on it but this is how W7 spell it) and an accent nail where I sponged using piCture pOlish Fake Tan (it's very orange) and Barry M Coral. 

I used two coats of nail envy, two layers of Matt Green and topped it off with W7 Diamond top coat as matte polish and the current damage on my middle finger don't play nicely.  For accent nail I used two coats of nail envy, one layer of Barry M Coral, then I took a freezer bag and painted a stripe of each colour then dabbed it with a bit of sponge.  I had cut a bit off an unused dish washing sponge.  I'm really pleased with the gradient I achieved with the way of doing it (normally I just paint on to the sponge and skip the plastic bag.)

The piCture pOlish is the one I won in Llarowe's big giveaway, the Barry M was the freebie on a recent offer in Boots, the W7 green was a 99p bargain purchase and the W7 topcoat was free when I bought a number of W7 polishes from nailpolishdirect.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

butter LONDON All Hail the Queen and Rosie Lee

I couldn't wait to try out the butter LONDON nail mail!  I decided to start with All Hail the Queen and an accent nail of Rosie Lee.  

I had seen on blogs that the cap is removable on the butter LONDON bottle, and almost broke a nail tugging on Rosie Lee's lid, then noticed there was a clear sticker on the side (doh!) Once I had the lid off I was a little dubious as I looked at the teeny stump that was left,   as I particularly like Nubar and Orly bottles for their lid shape and brush control, however I was pleasantly surprised as the small grip was fine.

I think this colour combi could be classed as an "office appropriate" manicure.  I could almost imagine that All Hail the Queen would be suitable for bridesmaids and wedding manis.  The colour of All Hail the Queen is hard to describe, a soft grey mauve with flashes of beige and lilac perhaps?

Natural light

Natural light - My rarely seen thumb!  The hole in my middle finger is obvious on this picture.



After applying All Hail the Queen I kept frowning at my nails as the colour reminded me of something, really reminded me of something.  Then I realised it was on old OPI black label colour I lived in for months, Wyatt Earple Purple from their Wild West Collection back in 1999.  I no longer have this to do a side by side comparison but  I managed to find some swatches here (thanks Google images) and a bottle shot.  The swatches reminded me that Wyatt Earple Purple was a frosty finish and brush strokey whilst All Hail the Queen is a micro glitter which almost looks holographic depending on the light.

bottle shot found on Google images

In the pictures above I am wearing two coats of Nail Envy, two coats of All Hail the Queen, one coat Seche Vite, for accent nail it took three coats of Rosie Lee to get full coverage.

The wear time wasn't very long on the pink glitter Rosie Lee, half the nail peeled off within 24 hours, so I removed the whole mani, next time I will probably layer one coat Rosie Lee over All Hail the Queen rather than build up three layers for full coverage.

Wearing this colour made me wonder what Adina of a-england could conjour up if she set to to create this type of colour: probably a one coater with a bit more holo.