Monday, 30 September 2013

33 Day Challenge day 4 - tribal!

Hi all!

Day 4's challenge was tribal, and I have sooooo many tribal mani's pinned, screencapped and saved to my 'nailspiration' folder you'd think it'd be easy to chose. Well no. However, I did decide to go for a gradient base (holy neon gradient Batman! This has to be one of my brightest.) My gradient consists of a white base with China Glaze Creative Fantasy (purple), Japanese Koi (orange) and Hanging In The Balance (blue) sponged over the top. I added a topcoat and once it was completely dry I went at it with my Barry M White Nail Art Pen. Tada! Proud of the result, which is a bloody good job as in total it took me two and a half hours!

I even managed a different (read: slightly more wobbly) pattern on the other hand!

I can't wait to see everyone else's tribal manis today :)


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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Un-girly Nails featuring Beauty UK Denim FX

Hi! Hope you've all had a good weekend!

I almost skipped Sunday Stamping this week, because the theme was un-girly nails (nothing pink, glittery, flowery, cutesy etc) and I didn't have a clue what to do! That is, until these lovely denim effect polishes dropped through my door on Saturday morning! I do love me an effect, and these really are something special. Matte black and dusty blue polishes, with teeny specks of silver that really do look like well-loved jeans and I couldn't resist some nail art!

I started with two coats of Black Denim on two fingers, and Blue Denim on the rest. The blue could have been a one coater, but the effect deepens with the second coat. Then I added studs in a pocket shape to the middle finger (popping them straight into the wet polish as topcoat would take away the matte effect) before stamping silver zips on the fingers either side. In all, it was a really quick, funky manicure! The polish dries quickly, and without topcoat adding another step, these are going to be a polishes I reach for when I'm a hurry!

Beauty UK are one of my favourite British brands, and these polishes don't disappoint. They're always on trend, affordable (£3.49 from Superdrug or the Beauty UK website) and good quality. I have some more to show you later in the week!


The product featured was a PR sample provided to me for free for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and 100% honest. Please see my disclaimer in the tab above for further details.
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Friday, 27 September 2013

33 Day Challenge day 3 - tape manicure!


Let it be known that I suck at tape manicures. They are not my bag. For some people it's watermarbling, others can't stamp. I can't get to grips with tape. I just don't have the patience or the co-ordination - something which you need for tape to work! So I went for something simple and fairly difficult to mess up and it came out ok (this was my second attempt mind...)

I went for a black base, lay down some tape in stripes and painted over them with matte topcoat, pulled off the tape and voila! Two stripy accent nails and shiny dots on matte on the rest and I called it a day before I messed something up!

I love the contrast between the shiny and matte, and I think this would make a great subtle Halloween mani. But who needs subtle at Halloween!


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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

33 Day Challenge day 2 - most used polish!


Day two and I'm still on time...I'm sure it wont last! Today's prompt was to feature your most used polish, excluding black and white and I struggled to think of one. It's rare that I use a polish a lot (as I have way too many!) and even with the most used ones there would be a few contenders. Looking through the tags on the blog I realised there was a polish that I reached for more than any other. So much in fact that I had to crack open my back up bottle for this manicure! Good old Barry M Gold Foil, my absolute favourite gold for stamping. And I stamp with gold a lot! This polish is perfect for stamping, it has never let me down right from the first use to the last scrape.

For this manicure I started with a base of two coats of Nails Inc George Street, and accented with Nails Inc St Martins Place - both from the recent Nails Inc Todays Special Value on QVC. George Street is a really nice nude, although the formula was thick it wasn't quite a one coater as it was still a little streaky. Once that was dry I stamped using my good old Barry M and Pueen 26.

A simple, elegant result, I hope you'll agree! You can (almost) always rely on Barry!

See you Friday for day three!


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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Off-Topic Tuesday - The Autumn Tag

Well, Autumn is well and truly here and I can't say I mind. I love summer, but I was looking forward to getting my cosy jumpers out and putting away the bronzer for another year! I saw this tag on MakeupSavvy (one of my favourite non-polish blogs, although Fee does do a wicked NOTD too!) and thought I'd join in before we descend into winter proper.

1. Favourite thing about Autumn? 
I think it's the colours. The complete change from fresh and green to crisp yellows, reds and oranges can be breathtaking at times. I also love the crisp, crunchy new season apples. And of course the excuse to get the vampy, autumn polishes out!

2. Favourite drink? 
I do love my coffee, but even though I'm constantly dieting I have a thing for listening to the rain with a hot chocolate, even f it is a low cal one.

3. Favourite scent/candle? 
I'm getting into my Yankee Candles again, and I'm loving November Rain. It's airy and fresh, and really calming. I'm also loving their new Salted Caramel, but it makes me hungry!

4. Best lipstick? 
This is hard. My most recent lipstick purchase has been Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon, which is a lovely red but not very autumnal! I'm planning on hunting down a berry-toned lipstick or two as I have a few berry-ish glosses but am favouring lipstick at the moment, so if you have any suggestions let me know!

5. Go to moisturiser? 
My skin is a little dry and I'm starting to see some signs of ageing (how very dare you, fine lines) so my skin is drinking up Superdrug Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream (cheap and cheerful at £2.99!)

6. Go to colours for the eyes? 
I'm going from a simple flick of liquid liner to using taupes and shimmery nudes on my eyes as the season changes, and I've just ordered a couple of metallic Maybelline Colour Tattoo cream eyeshadows that I can't wait to play with.

7. Favourite music or band/singer to listen to? 
I'm loving London Grammar's Strong at the moment. The lead singer Hannah Reid has a beautifully haunting voice that gives me shimmers. And I must confess I kinda like Miley Cyrus's new song, although why she has to lick everything I'll never know...

8. Favourite outfit to wear (i.e. boots & a scarf combo)? 
Coloured skinny jeans and boots, with a cosy jumper or cardigan. Although I did just buy some new tights in different colours so I'll have to expand my dress/skirt collection to match I think!

9. Autumn treat? 
There's an owl print scarf I've got my eye on, as I love anything owl! 

10. Favourite place to be? 
Wrapped up in layers, coat, scarf, gloves and boots walking on Dunstable Downs or by the River Ouse with my boys, and a hot, sweet coffee to warm up afterwards. 

I tag anyone who wants to join in! And let me know if you do, I'm nosey!

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Monday, 23 September 2013

33 Day Challenge Day 1 - Dots!

Well here we are, day 1 of the 33 day challenge! What am I getting myself in for...?

Day 1 calls for dots, so I recreated this design, but in more autumnal colours. I used 2True Crystal shade 9 as the base and then layered up my dots in China Glaze Bend Over Backwards, Models Own Nude Beige and Barry M Indigo.

Such an effective design, but so simple and virtually impossible to mess up! Perfect when you're a plonker like me!

Check out the rest of the lovelies taking part!


PS Don't forget my giveaway!

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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Adventures in Stamping - Shall I compare thee to an autumn day?

Hi! And what a lovely autumn day it is!

This week's adventures in stamping theme was autumn, and I don't think my manicure could get much more autumnal! I'm so pleased with how it came out, for once it was exactly how I pictured. I started with one coat of China Glaze Desert Sun, and then added random strokes of China Glaze Cranberry Splash, Avon Lucky Penny and Chanel Peridot. Once that was dry I stamped over it using Barry M Gold Foil and Gals Fairy GA35. Here is the result!

And here is the base before I stamped. super easy to do and minimal effort for a really effective result!

What do you think, autumnal enough? I love it and I'm torn between leaving it on another day and taking it off to get another couple of 33 day challenge manis (which starts tomorrow, eek!) done this evening...decisions decisions!

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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Storage Saturday - Tools and Nail Art Supplies


Another storage Saturday, and this time I'm treating you to a view of how I store all my nail care and nail art bits and bobs. Rest assured that there is less of this than there is polish! Just three drawers in fact. In we go!

These are the drawers I have all my crap supplies in. Nothing special, just a plastic unit that my children have lovingly adorned with a sticker here and there! On top I have a little tray which holds my current base and top coats, a couple of files and orange sticks, a buffing block, clean up brush and a hand cream. There's probably a couple of lip balms and hair clips/elastics in there too! There's also my favourite remover and an old candle jar with some cotton pads inside. These don't usually sit on top of the unit, rather on a side table next to where I sit but I thought I should show you. There's also a massive bottle of Soap and Glory Hand Food, my favourite hand lotion, that sits permanently by my side.

Drawer one holds lots and lots of nail files, my brushes and dotting tools, spare orange sticks and cuticle pushers, base and top coats that I'm not currently using (including my PVA glue base), cuticle remover, buffing blocks, toe separators, pure acetone (which I only use for cleanup and stamping), acetone free remover and a Nails Inc express remover pot (useful for cleaning brushes!). There are also a couple of magnets for magnetic polish, and usually a bag of make-up sponges and a bag of cotton buds which I took out so you could see everything else! Really annoyingly, when I sorted everything out to go in these drawers I accidentally threw away my matte top coat, thinking it was an old base coat. Grrr!

Drawer number two contains all the embellishments you'll ever need! I has caviar beads, studs, rhinestones of all shapes, colours and sizes, loose glitter, fimo canes, fuzzy stuff (what's it called - flocking powder?), bows, striping tape, dried flowers, mylar flakes, glequins, nail wraps, stickers, foils...lots of yummy stuff!

And the final drawer. The pink box holds striping polishes and nail art pens (I have a set of Rio ones, all 4 Barry M pens and a few randoms), stamping polishes and acrylic paint (which I tried to use once and then gave up in disgust). The little bag at the back holds all of my stampers and scrapers (old gift cards etc mostly) and the little plastic box next to that is holding a lint roller, for cleaning my temperamental squishy stamper in between stamps (and a spare one behind that).

So that's it! How I store all my nail art gumpf. Well all except my stamping plates, which I'll show you next week!

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Friday, 20 September 2013

Crumpets Nail Tarts presents the 33 Day Challenge!

Hi everyone!

This is all a wee bit last minute but I decided yesterday that I was going to take part in a new nail art challenge starting on Monday. Now, I know that that seems like I've got plenty of time, but this has been planned for months and I've been dithering over it and just decided to go for it yesterday morning! The challenge runs for the next 11 weeks, three days a week and you can see the themes below - they look fab!

So far I'm just three manis in (I think some of the ladies are almost finished!) but I think it's totally do-able. Right? It is do-able. It is. It is? We'll see I guess!

If you want to join in, there's still time! Come and join us!

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

2 good to be true? 2True review + Giveaway!

Hi loves!

I was contacted recently by budget brand 2true who asked if I'd like to share some of their products with you. Recently they've created a 'pro' range and made some additions to their usual line of nail polish and make up available in Superdrug. Nothing in their regular line costs more than £2, and you can usually get 3 products for £5, so it's well worth a gander! For such inexpensive products they really are great quality too, so you can't go wrong.

The products I was sent were 2 creams from their Fast Dry Colour Quick range, 2 shimmery foils from their Crystal range, 2 new beautiful glitters from their Pro Sequins range and some new loose nail glitter.

The ones I was most excited to try were the Sequins, and I was not disappointed. They're all named after supermodels and I was sent Naomi (purple) and Tyra (gold), and they are super pretty! They're a mix of different sized glitters, teeny tiny ones through to larger hexes and they aren't dissimilar to liquid sands and textured polishes without topcoat. Of course if you prefer things shiny, a good topcoat sorts that out but for those of us in the UK these are a great, easy to find (and affordable) liquid sand/fairy dust/sugar coat alternative. I paired Naomi with Shade 14 from the Fast Dry Colour Quick range, as it's a lovely, two coat uber pale lilac, that screamed at me to use them together for a glitter gradient! I used a topcoat on this one.

Next, I teamed Fast Dry Colour Quick shade 10 with Tyra. Shade 10 is a perfect navy creme - in fact, it was already my go-to dark blue. What you see here is one perfect coat, and no topcoat. The shine! If you have this, there is no need to have any other navy blue in your stash. Trust me. It does dry fast, is so glossy and doesn't stain when you take it off either (always use base coat though kids!) I used it as an accent with Tyra, and left it plain this time so you could see the textured effect. I couldn't stop looking at my nails, and couldn't resist adding a little anchor to the accent for a nautical twist.

Finally, the two polishes I was sent from the Crystal range. These are pretty, shimmer packed foil finish polishes and these two shades are perfect for autumn. Shade 8 has a purple base with flecks of blue, silver and red running through it and took 3 coats, while shade 9 has a copper base with gold and red flecks, opaque in two coats. Shade 9 is going to be my next pedi colour, I love it!
The Crystal and Fast Dry Colour Quick lines are just £1.99 each (their Glitterati line, squishy jellies packed with glitter are also worth checking out at this price), while the Sequins are from the Pro range and so cost a little more at £4, all from Superdrug. In the pro range they also have Metallica foil polishes (great for stamping apparently) and a Salon Shine line, giving a gel effect. Definitely worth checking out!

Since I already have two of the polishes I was sent in my stash, 2true kindly agreed I could give them away to one of my lovely readers! I'm afraid this giveaway is UK only due to postage restrictions. The polishes you will receive are brand new and unused, as I used my own polishes for this post. For your chance to win a bottle of Fast Dry Colour Quick shade 10 (navy), and Crystal shade 8 (purple), just fill out the Rafflecopter below before midnight on October 17th and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The product featured was a PR sample provided to me for free for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and 100% honest. Please see my disclaimer in the tab above for further details.
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