Sunday, 13 May 2012

InStyle Bluebell swatch.

So I've decided to properly swatch all of my polishes, in a bid to stop myself from buying any new one until I've completed the job. So today I'm swatching the lush InStyle Bluebell shade from Nails Inc.

The polish came free with the latest InStyle magazine, which cost me around £3.80, and you can get it in pretty much any news agents.

It's a beautiful pale, dusky blue, and it paints like a dream. Usually, as I said in my post about Models Own Blooboo, I tend to expect paler tones to take two or three coats to gain a nice even coverage, however, this shade is super pigmented and could easily pass with just coat. (The picture above of my thumb is purposely painted with just the one coat, so you can compare with the picture below where the nails have been painted with two coats, also sorry about those dry looking cuticles!) Which we always love! Especially if you're like me and forget to paint your nails and always end up painting right at the last minute just before going out.
It's a beautiful thin consistency, so really easy to paint on, absolutely no gloop to it, which means the drying time is lovely and quick too! Overall I'd say this is a really great buy, at under £4 for a polish which would normally cost £11 and a magazine, you can't really lose! I would say it's a really great option if you don't own any Nails Inc at the moment and want to try out the brand without committing to a full price bottle! Serious recommendations on this one, give it a cheeky try! Xxx.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Maybe Marble Arch?

So with my recent spending spree I need to help myself justify it, so here's a quick little post to review one of the polishes I've recently acquired, and for this I have chosen one of my Nails Inc collection, which is apparently called "Marble Arch". However, this may be a lie. As I briefly explained, the collections of polishes I bought were really quite cheap and part of the reason for this was some mix ups with labels on the bottom of the bottles, and unfortunately I think that may have happened with this little beaut.

Moving on from the mystery of this polish, it is very lovely. It has great formulation to it, thin, but still very pigmented, making it almost a one coat wonder, which we love! I thought perhaps that there might be some issues with the consistency of these polishes because of their low price but I was delightfully wrong, and it paints on beautifully!

It's a lovely, almost pinky lilac shade, which is nice if you want a bit of pink on the nails without feeling like it's a little too "Barbie". Overall, excluding not knowing what it's actually called, I'd say this was a very good buy, especially when you consider that the RRP for a Nail Inc polish is around £11 per polish, and the individual polish price from the collection I bought, works out at around £3.60.

If you have any idea what this polish is actually called, pop a comment below! Will review the rest over the coming days! Xxx.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Spending too much money, bargain hunting, Lemony Flutter & another new nail art pen.

Oh dear! I've done it again! I think I'm developing an issue with spending all of my money on pretty things, I just can't stop myself. Anyway, this is a story of two halves, and two days of massively over spending, on lots of little lovelies, but I'll keep to the nail relating lovelies for now.

So, let's start at the very beginning, I hear it's a very good place to start. I went back to Bristol for the day to finalise some uni stuff and see my lovely friend Becka. Whilst there, the pair of us decided to pop into town and hunt for pretty things. Whilst wondering around, we decided to go to TKMAXX, as they're currently selling, Nails Inc, Essie and Colour Club at really low prices.

With some of the sets I have no idea why they're selling at such low prices but with the others, it's because the sets either don't fully match, this is more so with the Essie polishes, or the colour stickers on the polishes are mixed up or missing, but if I'm being honest I don't really mind this. I get top brand polish for a fraction of the price, and lets face it, there's a cheeky hint of mystery!

After leaving TKMAXX with seven sexy new polishes, we went forth to TopShop. We wondered around looking at the clothes for a little while, where I picked up a cute little t-shirt dress, yay, and they looked at their make-up offerings. Obviously I was drawn more to polishes than foundations etc, and it was here that I picked up the TopShop nail art pen in the "Nightrider" shade. Mainly because I have a few traditional style nail art pens, like the Models Own or Nail Star pens I've previously mentioned, and I always like to try something new and this one is completely different. It is very much a "pen", same style, really similar style nib to a pen and looks pretty promising, so I'm quite looking forward to testing it out!

The next stop on our, bank-manager upsetting, journey was to Lush. Now I have decided, if I am posting about a shop in which you need or would expect help from a member of there team, for example a Debenhams or Mac shop that sort of thing, I will drop a little note in about the service I received in store that day, because we all know that if you're entering a store like that for the first time sometimes it can be a little bit daunting. Now I have been brought up to believe that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. So, if they service I receive is less that satisfactory I will just state "No comment". In saying this however, the service I received at the Bristol Lush was amazing! I was served by the loveliest Lush assistant ever, I believe she was called Nadia, and she was really very helpful. Sometimes in these sorts of shops the assistants walk a fine line between helping and pestering, not our Nadia!

I invested in the brilliant "Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter" and it was well worth the money, it cost me £5.95, but you can tell by the consistency of the product that it will last forever. It's a beautiful, buttery texture and when you apply it takes quite a while to sink into the skin, which means that it moisturises over a longer period of time but also, you don't have to use great amounts of the product to do the job. Another plus side, it smells awesome! Which you would expect from most Lush products, but as Nadia put it, it smells so good it makes you want to spread it on toast. It's gorgeous! So far I've used it twice and I can already see a noticeable difference in my cuticles, when soft and smooth, but I'll do a full review at a later date.

To end my Bristol haul, the beautiful Becka gave me a delicious chocolate brown polish by Essie, another mystery TKMAXX buy. However, the story does not end there. After spending the day in Bristol I travelled up to my mummy's house and the spending continued, mainly because I was buying her lovely make-up for her birthday and once I'm buying cosmetics I just can't stop. However my first purchase of the day came within an InStyle magazine at a news agents. The tone of the day was set. So went to Debenhams to buy my mummy's presents, and I can't really comment on the service there because it was my boyfriend's sister who helped me. After that I returned to a different branch of the wonderful TKMAXX, just out of curiosity, just to see what colours or brands they were stocking. Poor choice on my part I will admit, but I did come out with some bargains. I bought another Nails Inc collection, it was a smaller set of three, but they're beautiful pastel shades, so right on trend, still slightly unsure on the name of each polish, but when I swatch and reviews I'll post them up. I also came away with three beauts Essie polishes, a gorgeous deep red and dark purple, perfect for when I'm feeling like a complete goth. Again mystery polishes now, but I'll do some research into their names before I swatch them up. I will say though, that all of the mystery polishes I've bought the formulation and consistency has been lovely, so there's nothing wrong with the actual polish, just a minor imperfection with the packaging, which is good to know.

Anyway that does conclude my massive overspend, I'm going to do a huge swatch/review post really soon from this and my last haul as well as full reviews on my flutter and some cute nail art tool I've recently bought.

P.S Dont judge me for this, not like my bank will! Xxx.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

O.P.I Ombre.

So I've been feeling terribly lazy with my nails at the moment, I just can't seem to find the motivation to spend the time hand painting pretty little designs on them, and with this I've been exploring simpler but still striking designs, more detailed posts on this are coming very soon. In my quest for cute but easy nail art I have been playing around with Ombre or Faded nails, and I think I've landed on techniques for me!

There are a few different ombre options floating around the net, many of which I've attempted or ignored. Why did I ignore some of them? Time. I am a terribly impatient and busy individual, and as therapeutic and relaxing as painting nails can be, I simply can not justify 30 something minutes on fading.

I have two favoured ways of creating the ombre effect, the first one I'm posting on is the sponging method. Sponging is great for a really dramatic fade on your nails. I think it works really nicely with some super bright shades and really catches your eye. Now I've found, in my experimentations, that there are some really key tips or rules to stick to when taking this route.

One - Let your base coat dry fully. If your get too impatient and start to stamp before everything's dried you're going to find that the polish you're stamping with pulls up the base colour, and you'll need to start again.

Two - Less is more. Apply less polish, than you think you need to your sponge, this allows you to build up your colour and means that you don't create two solid blocks of colour and no fade.

Three - Use a nice thin polish. This one goes hand in hand with number two. The thinner the polish, the easier it is to create a fade by building colour gradually, and it also means that each layer dries a little quicker, cutting down the time it takes to mani. The Nicki Minaj O.P.I's I chose for this post are just the right consistency for this.

Four - Top coat. A top coat is pretty vital to sponging, it really helps to smooth everything out, as you would expect, but it also helps to pull all the fade together merging the colour slightly, stopping it look so stamped on.

So anyway, start with your chosen base colour, after a base coat of course, and let that dry completely. After that paint your fade colour on a sponge wedge, the reason I choose to do it this way and not spread the polish on a piece of paper then dab on the sponge is simple, it just means less unwanted polish on the sponge and of course your nail, and it makes it easier to avoid your cuticles. So there's less mess to clean up, yay! Stamp your painted sponge on to the nail, and let that dry as much as possible, then use the brush to paint a very thin tip to the nail, allow this to dry fully. Now use the excess on the sponge to dab and blend the fade together. Don't worry if it starts to look or feel tacky, because your top coat will fix a multitude of sins! Apply a fairly decent top coat, to make the most of your hard work, and keep those nails looking fresh!

Tahdahhhhhhhhh ombre nails!

Keep a look out, and I'll post again soon on another quick, easy and stunning way to ombre your nails!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Oh dear...

So I was left unsupervised for about an hour in a shopping centre, and the result is as follows. Wondering from shop to shop in a misguided attempt to kill time I popped briefly into Topshop. Whilst I was in there, I fully intended to, and honestly believed I would, take a playsuit back, get a refund and leave. This is not how things played out... I ended up raiding Topshop, Boots and Claire's coming out with around 17 new polishes and a very sad bank card. So ashamed/proud am I at my binge I thought I would share my new little treasures, in a bid to justify my ridiculous spend.

They're all so pretty, I really can't be blamed for my actions at all. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do some sexy swatches of them and post them up very soon!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

My new toy.

So I made the investment into a lovely new camera, which my wonderful boyfriend spent ages picking out for me, and I'm very excited about it! It's a Canon EOS 1000D, and I'm a tiny bit in love with it. It's basically an entry level digital SLR and for my needs, close up pictures of nails, capturing true to life colours in swatches and none nail specific photos, it's perfect. Anyway, was just a quick little post so I could be a little bit of a show off really, hehehe, hopefully will be posting some sexy, new, not instagrammed piccys soon!