Sunday, 30 June 2013

British Nail Blogger Giveaway winners.....




Are you feeling lucky?


Firstly, from all the British Nail Bloggers who participated, thank you for entering the Giveaway and following us.  We hope you'll stick around for a long time :)


We have 3 second prize winners, who each win a $50 voucher to a nail polish e-tailer of their choice.

Congratulations to .....
* Nina Wilson
* Courtney Beck
* Kris Wilson


and the BIIIIIIIIG winner of a $100 voucher to a nail polish e-tailer is .......

Lena Payne !!!


Congratulations to all of you - please email crumpet@the-crumpet.com, before the end of Wednesday 3rd July, to organise your prize!


Thank you xx :)

Born Pretty Store Fancy Feather review

Today's post is another review of an item from the Born Pretty Store, their 5 pack of Fancy Feathers in colour number one.  The feathers are available in 12 shades and usually retail at $1.99, however at time of writing this post they are currently retailing at $0.99.   The information on the item description says you may get 5-7 pieces and I actually did get six, one smaller feather and five larger ones.

I have never tried anything with feathers before and have to admit this was my third attempt.  The pictures below show I've still not fully "got" the application technique, but believe me it is certainly better than during my first two attempts.

I read a post by Sammy the Nailasaurus with a "how to" guide a while ago and remembered her instructions, apply base colour, add a fast drying top coat.  Once nails are dry add a slow drying top coat the add two layers of a thicker top coat and allow to dry before filing the excess edges back.  After my first attempts I also made sure I had some nail clippers on hand the cut the excess as close as possible (and had a breath stopping moment when I thought I'd clippered the nail on my ring finger off!)

Onto some pictures, I used a black base this time of Wet N Wild Black creme, I only topcoated the nails with feathers using Kiko Gel Effect top coat.





The feather  on my ring finger kept lifting so it's made my nail look a funny shape in the above pictures, next time I will use a different top coat to stick it down.  The ring finger feather doesn't really stand out on these pictures, but away from the light box it was more visible.  The thumb nail looks messy around the base as I put the feather on the wrong way (who would have thought it could have a top and bottom?) I ended up with overhang on the cuticle area and couldn't cut this off without pulling the whole thing off, but at least the thumb nail shows the colours!

I think that feathers can be a fun accent nail, I really must practise the application.

I've already mentioned that the feathers from the Born Pretty Store come in a range of colours, fundamentally they are the same design as the one above, but you can get alternate "spots" so where mine are green you could get hot pink accent colours.  I had already tried using these over a nude base, but it didn't really work as due to not being familiar with the application I ended up with gaps in the feather and the nude really ruined the look, in hindsight I'm wondering if Barry M Spring Green may have worked as a base colour?  I still have a couple of the feathers left so if I try them again with green and more practise behind me with better results I'll be sure to post an update :)

The Born Pretty Store are an online store who sell a whole range of products from holographic or thermal polishes which are very popular at moment, as well as nail accessories, phone accessories and even fashion accessories.  They offer free world wide shipping and using my code below you can get a further 10% discount.


Saturday, 29 June 2013

SpaRitual Imaginarium and Kindness

In this post I have two products which have been sent to me for review.

SpaRitual are a brand I have been aware of, but haven't yet tried (until now!)  They have a wide range of polishes available online here and I believe you can get them in some beauty salons (I think the local Aveda place may carry them, but I could be wrong.)

Here's the info from their website about the range...

Dedicated to the spa tradition, SpaRitual is committed to creating eco-friendly products and packaging perfectly crafted for the enlightened consumer. We use Vegan ingredients from around the world, including many specially sourced and selected plant essences that are wild crafted OR organic. The formulations are naturally coloured and free of synthetic dyes. SpaRitual is constantly monitoring sustainability issues and strives to be on the cutting edge of environmental awareness. Enlighten yourself. Be a SpaRitualist. Because we all deserve to live the good life.

I hadn't really considered how difficult buying polish could be if you are a Vegan, but I've never come across any other brands which advertise this.

Left is Imaginarium, right is Kindness

The bottles are the first thing I noticed, the rubberised grip on the handle gives great control and the shape of the bottle make it sit comfortably in your hand.  The brush itself was a nice size and shape (not too wide!)



Onto the polishes.

Imaginarium is a hot pink with a blue undertone, my favourite type of pink and perfect for summer.  This polish is slightly thin and watery.  I flooded my cuticles twice, which is rare for me nowadays.  I had to use three coats to get opacity.  I tried using a base of white on my ring and little fingers to see if it popped any brighter, but this wasn't necessary.  The three coats without a white base were already highlighter pink!

Imaginarium could probably be used for a neon jelly sandwich as the top layer, I must try this at some point!

I've had to try and adjust the colours on some of the pictures, neons are notorious for being hard to photograph!  These are three coats, no top coat.




The other polish I have is Kindness.  I don't really wear or own many oranges, but this polish has really won me over!  The photos have captured the micro-glitters, but what you can't really see is that the glitter is a lime green colour!

Kindness was perfect to apply, it has quite a thick texture which I like.  It was so pigmented that it was almost perfect in one coat. No flooded cuticles and no clean up needed for the following pictures as the control given by the brush and the thicker formulation meant to polish went precisely where I wanted it to and nowhere else!

The finish of Kindness is fantastic, it dries to a smooth semi matte finish with glittery hints: in this sense it reminded me a lot of the Cirque polish I posted about a couple of weeks ago.

The following pictures are two coats without any top coat.






When I first knew the colours being sent were an orange and a pink I did consider the idea of pairing the two for some final pictures as a gradient.  The two polishes are so different that the gradient didn't really work for me: the pink is a sheer jelly finish and the glittery semi matte orange dominated the pairing, I got as far as one nail and decided not to carry on.

Overall I am impressed with these two polishes, considering they have natural colours it must be hard work getting highlighter pink in a bottle without lots of artificial help!  The bottle shape and brush are winners.  It's also worth noting the bottles are full 15ml bottles, so many polish ranges now are smaller size bottles.

Also impressive was the speed with which these were sent to me, they arrived in less than 24hrs!

SpaRitual have a range of products for hand and nail care including strengtheners, cuticle care and top coats as well as nail files and of course polishes.  They also have bath products, candles, fragrance mists and lip glosses.  At present the website has sale polishes starting from £5 which is certainly tempting me.

Attempt at following Instagram Tutorial.....

I've become a bit of an Instagram addict.  There are some amazingly talented people out there sharing nail art and creating tutorials in one simple square picture!  Today's nails were created following a tutorial by iheartnailpolish_xo

I took the screen shot above on my tablet so I'd remember who to credit the tutorial to!

I did my own spin on this by using different colours.  I used Kiko 336, China Glaze Tart-y for the Party and Sun-day Funday, Barry M Dragonfruit and Greenberry.  My white was OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and my white was a-england Camelot.




I've not used my striping brush for a while,

Friday, 28 June 2013

Dutch Ya Just Love OPI / Color Club Kismet Stamping

I've had Dutch Ya Just Love OPI a while and not swatched or worn it until this post.  I seem to have worn a lot of purple recently!

DYJLOPI is a purple with orange shimmer, I think I've caught the shimmer pretty well below.  The pictures show two coats over Nail Envy, without top coat.  There is some bubbling on the polish which I think was down to my hurried application.

I fancied practising my stamping and these seemed a good base.




After taking pictures the polish was dry enough to stamp over, but I added some Seche and left it an additional 20 mins before stamping.  I was glad I did as the cat knocked me not once but twice and I ended up having to clean off the stamping and start over, if I hadn't used Seche I'd have had to start painting again.

After stamping I added some additional Seche and all uneveness was gone, the holo really came to life!




The stamping plate I used was a mega plate with about thirty images, it was called plate A, I believe it's a plate made by cheeky which I purchased from Amazon about a two and half years ago.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Magis Home Soak Off Kit review

 I recently read a review of this kit by Claire on Kerruticles blog and was delighted when Magis contacted me asking if I'd like to review this product too!  The product I have been sent is intended for the home removal of gel nail polish.  I don't actually have any gel polishes or I would try this kit with them, but I do see the ideal use of this kit for removing glitter polishes.



I was sent a starter kit which contains some pre-made wraps with an absorbent pad for acetone, an orange stick and a 50ml bottle of acetone which is in an easy dispenser bottle.  The acetone bottle reminds me a little of hair-dye bottles, with a nozzle for direct and precise application.  The only word of warning I would offer regarding this bottle is that acetone in transit seems to make the bottle a little ready to "pffffttttt" on opening, so point the bottle away from your face as I got a couple of drops which were over eager to get on those pads!


The back of the box offers the instructions for use.  I had been over eager and already opened the box before taking this picture!


In order to try out this product, I went for some polishes I rarely wear, despite loving them, as they are a horrible pain to remove.  I used China Glaze It's a Trap-eze and W7 Mosaic.  I photographed my right hand, the left hand was reversed, using CG as an accent.  The picture below is after 24hrs wear as I wanted to be sure that glitter was set hard!!


I applied the wraps in the quickest time ever, if I use the "tin foil" method of removal it takes much longer messing about with small pieces of cotton wool, wrapping up my fingers.  The whole hand only took a minute.


After just 4 mins I "wiggled" my fingers out of the wraps, when removing foils I always apply gentle pressure on the nail area, then pull the finger out of the wrap whilst twisting it side to side.

WARNING STAINED NAILS AHEAD!!

This last photo shows my stained nails, I posted the green dots earlier today and commented that the Barry M Green leaves me with Simpson nails, it was no different on this occasion.  When I had applied the glitter ready to try these wraps I realised I hadn't buffed or tried anything to remove the stains, so they are here in full horrific glory!


The last couple of hex's moved off the nail with the greatest of ease, I just used the pad from one of the wraps and the glitter lifted instantly.  A quick hand wash later and there were no traces of glitter - application and waiting time all together meant my nails were glitter free in 5 minutes which is a major win in my opinion.

My other thoughts on this kit, speed and ease of use aside:

  • The foil used is different to normal kitchen foil, it feels much better quality and stronger (maybe that's a reflection on my buying crap to use in our kitchen?!)  
  • The design of the wraps is magical, when I normally use home made foils, I find that the acetone / whatever remover I use runs from beneath the wrap, down my fingers and virtually all the way down to the wrist, with the Magis wraps I didn't have any drips.  
  • When I use home made foils to remove glitter I find that after a couple of minutes the foil feels very hot and my (very sensitive, eczema prone) skin starts to feel like it's burning so I remove the wraps due to discomfort: the Magis kit comes with pure acetone and the wraps remained cool when on, there was no discomfort experienced by me at all.  
  • The remaining couple of "stubborn" hexes shown on the final picture removed so easily with slight rubbing too.  
I considered trying one nail using a home made wrap to see the difference in overall removal, but I look in the cupboard and realised we were all out of foil!  This is another positive about buying specific foils for my nails, I'll never find that hubby has used all the foil, not told me and that I am now faced with half an hour of scrubbing to remove glitter!

All in all I think I am a convert!

The Magis wraps can be bought in a couple of options, they have kits for acrylic nails and gel nails, they offer sets of just wraps or wraps and acetone.  The wraps have a multi purpose use and can be used with oil to nourish nails.  They also offer wraps desiged for toe nails.


The online store can be found here.

Whilst this product was sent to me free of charge, the positive opinions are all my own feelings after trying this out!


DOTS!!!!

Before going on to today's post, a quick reminder that the British Nail Blogger giveaway ends tomorrow. If you haven't entered and want to, there is a link above in my menu bar.

In the words of Sheryl Crow "If it makes you happy it can't be that bad"

I had a very bad nail day, I'd broken my index finger and had to file off my nails, I noticed the start of a potential break on my middle finger nail too and everything I was trying to do wasn't turning out the way I wanted (see my Born Pretty Stamping plate review where everything went wrong) so I reached for a fab green and my dotting tools.  Barry M Spring Green and a-england Camelot.  Perfect combination.





I know the green stains like a bitch and my nails will all be a Simpson shade of yellow when I take it off (no matter how much base I use) yet still these make me happy!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Butterfly Nail Art

I've been wanting to try butterfly nails since getting my Barry M Nail art pen in black!

I started off with Sally Hansen Commander In Chic and topped this with Seche.  I then applied China Glaze Snap My Dragon, Sally Hansen Greige Gardens, Courtesan and Temptation in a watercolour fashion, mixing them with acetone and dabbing them on with a paintbrush.  I topped this with more Seche, then once dry used my black pen to draw and fill in the wing shape, before dotting with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and topping with W7 Diamond Top Coat.




I finished these nails at 19.45 on Weds last week, by the time I sat down to watch the Apprentice at 21.00 I was feeling the edge of my index finger starting to bug me, looked at it and thought I'd saved it from a tear by filing the edge slightly.  Oh no, I didn't.... by 21.15 the Sky was pause and I'd filed all my nails down then had to remove this as my nails looked stupid after filing the tips off.  So I wore these for less than two damned hours!

Still hubby said he thought they were paw prints in the snow, so obvs I'd not done a good job!


Here's the British Blogger link up for this week!
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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Purple Skittlette

This one looked better in my head than on the nails.  The purples used on my thumb, ring and little finger were too dark compared with the stamping and the stamping left me with purple on my skin which stained when removing GRRRRR!

This post has two firsts for me: first time stamping using pink polish (the pink of Pomegranate is the exact same shade as my stamper, so it's difficult to see if the polish has picked up fully) and also my first time using more than one colour to stamp.  I used three.  Polishes used were Cirque Planet Caravan on ring finger and thumb, index got a base of soft pink Sally Hansen Crinolene then was stamped using Barry M Gellys in Blackberry, Pomegranate and Grapefruit, littlefinger was Revlon Facets of Fuchsia.





Sunday, 23 June 2013

Born Pretty Flower stencil and nail wraps

I've got a couple more products here for review sent by the Born Pretty Store.  I'm posting them together as they are both florals.

I'm really loving florals at the moment, I've been dotting flowers and drawing roses on for the last two months so these really fit in with my current favourite nail art.

The first product in this post is Super Soft Easy Application Glitter Nail Art Polish Sticker in pattern KG29.  These come in a pack of 12 for $5.37 which is somewhere in region of £3.50 although a further 10% reduction is available using the discount code in my side bar and at the end of this post.

The nail wraps are quite long, I was able to cut them in half and to do both hands I needed just six of the twelve strips (I ruined one when it stuck on at a funny angle and I tore it trying to straighten it.)

The following pictures were taken after a day of wearing, so there is some tip wear.





I love the quick and instant nature of these.  They go on and provide full coverage, the pattern is bold and bright.  I applied them straight to bare nails then topped with Seche.

I wore these for a day then removed them as I was getting annoyed by the wrinkles I'd created during the application process - this was more me than the wrap to blame, I'm new to using them and hadn't expected them to be quite so sticky!

Removal was simple, I used polish remover to take the Seche off and then peeled the wrap off.  I had some residue left on my nails so I wiped with more polish remover and all traces were gone.  There was no damage to my nails caused by peeling (one reason I've always avoided wraps is worrying that my nails would peel too.)

Onto the other floral.

The next product I was sent to review was a Nail Art Stencil in #3.  These retail at $5.68 for a pack of 10, which is approximately £3.70.  These are a thick tape with a cut out pattern, the tape reminds me of electrical tape in that it's thicker than normal sticky tape, yet not quite as sticky.  Not being as sticky is a good thing as you're less likely to rip your polish off when removing!  I used these over Sally Hansen Black Platinum then filled in the stencil with Layla Cloudy Violet and Nubar Reclaim.  I also dotted a couple of nails using these colours.  I guess you could just use one colour for the flower and stem, but I preferred to have a green stem.



I smudged the nail above when wet so ended up making my ring and middle fingers dotty nails, accenting the flowers on my little and index fingers along with my thumb.



I found the stencils were slightly too large for my nails, which lead to them wanting to lift and meant I wasn't getting as sharper image as possible.  To rectify this I carefully trimmed them so they were no wider than my nail bed and didn't cover my cuticle.  People with longer nails probably won't experience this so much!

I really liked the fact these provide an alternative to stamping, giving a uniform pattern.

 I don't have many texture polishes (just the black leather and two SugarMat Kikos) but I think you probably could get an ace result applying texture polishes with these stencils. I'd also like to try sponging over these.

Born Pretty Store offer free worldwide shipping and have a fantastic array of items, nail art related and otherwise. If you take a look at their store and order anything you can get 10% off with the code below at checkout.



Born Pretty Stamping plate review

I have to start this post with two disclaimers: one this was sent to me by Born Pretty Store for me to review, two this post shows just how awful my stamping skills are.  I really should work on this, but I prefer to go for patterns where it's not so obvious when it's not straight instead!

The plate I'm featuring is QA64, which has some great flower designs, some stars, a cross pattern, a circular pattern and some skulls with a warning "absolutely dangerous" on them.

Image from Born Pretty Store (source)


I tried these on paper using Barry M Indigo, not a specialist stamping polish.  I was particularly impressed at the transfer of the words absolutely dangerous and the round pattern as they are both very fine and they stamped perfectly.


So on paper this stamping plate is great, all the images are cut perfectly.  I guess my stamping mojo may have abandoned me when I was trying this plate as my results don't please me...

I smudgeded all the blue middle finger flowers applying topcoat.


On my silver crosses I managed to get 0/5 straight.


This one is also not straight, but that fine writing all stamped perfectly.

 

This one is my most favourite design, it's not so apparent that there is a "straight" way to stamp. I used an accent star shaped glitter, this is also from Born Pretty Store, but these were purchased by me not sent to review.



My overall impressions of this plate are that it's got some great images and the stamping plate is of very good quality, even if my stamping isn't all that good.  The toxic warning of "absolutely dangerous" is probably the most unique image, I've never seen anything like this.

I'm going to practise my stamping and hopefully next time I use this stamp I'll be posting some much better pictures.

Born Pretty Store sell stamping plates, stampers and special polishes along with other nail polish and none nail polish related items.  They have free worldwide shipping.  I've been impressed with every item I have purchased or been kindly sent for review.  If you want to purchase any items you can get 10% off using my code shown below.