24 February 2015

My picks from the Barry M Speedy collection and new gellys

Just after the new Speedy range from Barry M was released, I took my sister shopping for her birthday and I think between us, we brought home the whole collection! This isn't quite how I wanted to show my picks, but I spent hours swatching them and then realised when I plugged my camera in, that most of them were out of focus or too dark. That'll teach me to take photos when my contact lenses aren't completely settled!

Since I haven't been feeling too well and my hands and nails are suffering because of the cold, I decided not to re-swatch my selection in the traditional way. I decided to show these on some swatch sticks (excuse my bad handwriting on the sticks) to show the colour without anything underneath. I picked this way 1 because it means that I can get this post out quicker and 2 because I know that these colours look different on different skin tones so I thought that a neutral base would look better.

I picked up 5 of the 9 new speedy polishes. A couple of the shades were out of stock at my Superdrug and the other couple were very similar to colours that I already own. 

From left to right (Incase you can't read my writing) we have In A Heart Beat, Eat My Dust, Pit Stop, Lap of Honour and Stop the Clock.

All of these are gorgeous colours for spring and summer and I've already been wearing some of these. The formula is brilliant, but a little hard to work with if you're not used to quick dry polish. The new wide brush is fantastic and it means that I can do quite a few of my nails in just one swipe instead of three. These certainly live up to their name and they dry within about 45 seconds before you're ready for the next coat, which means these are brilliant for when you only have 5 minutes to do your nails.

Before we move on the new Gelly polishes, can we take a moment to admire the speedy bottle lids. I love quirky lids like this and think they look incredibly cute! Because they're so different, these won't be joining the rest of my Barry M collection in my Helmer, these will be up on display on one of my shelves for everyone to admire.

There were only 3 new Gelly releases this time, hopefully more will follow later in the year and I bought all 3 of them. 

From left to right we have Cotton, Fondant and Blue Sky. 

Cotton is a very crisp, clean white that is almost a one coater (if you do fairly thick coats like I do) and I've never used a white quite like it. Fondant is a lovely pink/lilac colour that reminds me a lot of Berry Ice Cream - which is a good thing as my bottle is quickly running out. Sky Blue is exactly what it says in the bottle, a gorgeous bright blue. 

All of these are perfect for spring and summer and they should be creeping in to lots of my designs. I will try to put proper swatches up on my Instagram as I wear them all.

Which one is your favourite from the new releases?

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23 February 2015

Gradients, roses and super sparkly glitter!

I'm still fed up of winter... I want nice warm sunshine from now on please Mr Weatherman! Since I'm fed up of winter and dark colours, I've done another bright gradient!

I started with a base of Barry M Sugar Apple on all fingers except my ring finger and thumbs. I then used a make up sponge with Barry M Sugar Apple, Guava and Blue Grape to create a very pretty gradient. I don't always like the gradients to go straight up my nail, so this one goes diagonally and I love it! I left this for a couple of minutes, topcoated and moved on to my other nails while I waited for this to dry.

I found a new UK Indie a few weeks ago and I love them! I only have one of their polishes (though I will be going back for more) but I've already used this a few times and had to fend off my mum and sister who keep trying to steal it.

This Indie is Danglefoot Nail Polish who can be found here. I picked up Cosmic Girl because let's face it, I'm a magpie and I love anything that's sparkly.... This is two gorgeous coats (with the brush, no sponges) and it's magical in the sunlight! I actually posted a little video over on my Instagram here showing the incredible sparkle when I wore this to work last week. 

Once my gradient was dry, I decided to make it a little more interesting and dug out some pretty rose water decals to use. These are from Born Pretty Store and they're very pretty and very easy to use. The pattern I have is the Black Rose pattern (XF1450) and you can get 10% off using the code AH10K31. To use these, I just cut out whichever size I want to use, peel off the front plastic and then rest them on my nail (pattern down) and use a cotton bud to put water on the paper backing. I know that this isn't the usual way to use water decals, but it's what works best for me as after a few seconds, the decal comes away from the backing.

Here is the finished result! I love how these look and they really cheered me up this weekend! Ignore the roses on my pointer finger... I topcoated too early and pulled some of the pattern off. 

Here's a close up of Cosmic Girl too... isn't it stunning!

What do you guys think?

*disclaimer - water decals were sent for honest review - all opinions are my own. 

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15 February 2015

Watercolour Flowers

I'd spotted a new nail art technique a few weeks ago, but didn't know how to incorporate it into some nail art... until I went out yesterday and bought some of the new Barry M polishes!

Polishes Used:
Barry M - Cotton
Barry M - Sky Blue
Barry M - Lap of Honour
Acrylic paint - various colours
Studs from Born Pretty Store (*disclaimer - these were sent to me for review, but all opinions are my own)

I started off with a base of Cotton on my middle two fingers and Lap of Honour on all my other fingers. I then diluted my acrylic paint down with some water and got two brushes ready.

I used the green first and blobbed some of the watered down green paint onto my nails in the rough shape of the leaves. I left the blobs on my nails for a few minutes, then used my second brush (which needs to be dry) to suck the excess paint off my nails. It leaves a really cool effect where the outside edge is really dark, but the inside has just a wash of colour and it looks incredibly pretty! I then repeated this with the pink and purple paints to make petal shapes over the leaves. Just make sure that you only do one colour at a time otherwise they make one big blob on your nails and you have to start over (I did this a few times). 

I don't really like having empty space on my patterned nails, so I filled in the gaps using Sky Blue and a small dotting tool.

I then topcoated everything with a quick dry top coat and left them for about 15 minutes. I was feeling very brave today (because I love the pattern) and I decided to get my gel topcoat out!

I brushed a thin layer over my nails (making sure not to go too close to the edge of the nail) and used a small dotting tool to place these incredibly beautiful studs from Born Pretty Store. I then flash cured each nail as I placed the studs for around 15 seconds to make sure they didn't slide around. 

Once I was happy with the placement, I completely cured the nails and sealed with another layer of gel top coat.

These studs can be found here and you can get 10% off using the code AH10K31.

I love how unique these studs are! I don't have anything like them in my collection - my only slight issue is that they stick quite high up off my nail which might become annoying.

What do you guys think?

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12 February 2015

Valentines nails

Now I'm not your typical girly girl. I don't really do pink and I'm not a fan of red on my nails either. So I faced a problem when trying to think of valentines nails. Then I spotted Britpop by Rimmel in my collection and just had to use it!

So here are my alternative Valentine's nails.

Polishes used:
Rimmel Salon Pro (Kate Moss) - Britpop
OPI - My Vampire is Buff
OPI - My Dogsled is a Hybrid
OPI - Can't find my Czechbook
Barry M - Berry Ice Cream

I started by painting my ring finger and thumb with My Vampire is Buff and the rest of my nails with Britpop. Then I used the remaining three colours to do some splatter patterns (using a straw) on the cream nails. Once this was dry, I used a small dotting tool to draw hearts over the splatter using Britpop. 

I love how this looks - it's girly and Valentine-y without being pink. I've had lots of people grabbing my hands when I'm at work asking me how I did my nails. Plus - I must admit that I'm falling back in love with Rimmel!

Thanks for reading!

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9 February 2015

Floral nails inspired by Dahlia Nails

When I spotted this post on Dahlia Nails, I knew that I had to re-crete it. I love floral patterns like this, though I'm a little rusty on doing them. 

Polishes used:

Nails Inc - Royal Botanical Gardens
I Love Nail Polish - Iconic
Barry M - Pomegranate
China Glaze - Something Sweet
White and green acrylic paint.

I painted my ring finger with Iconic (a gorgeous gold holo) and painted the rest of my nails with Royal Botanical Gardens. This minty shade is one of my favourites for spring and summer and will probably crop up in quite a few posts!

I used white acrylic paint and a dotting tool to form the polka dots and went over a few with Iconic to make the pattern stand out a little. I then painted the roses on my middle finger and thumb and topcoated everything.

This is the final result!

I love this mani, even though my roses need some work and I love how springy it is. It really cheers you up when you're sat in the miserable weather, stuck in traffic on the way to work!

Go check out the girls (Emma and Jo) at Dahlia Nails, they're lovely and very talented!

Thanks for reading!

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8 February 2015

Delush Polish - Nue Collection

I've had my eye on this brand for a while, but as with all US Indie brands, I held off because of the high shipping costs. I now really wish that I hadn't!

Rather than doing my usual trick of buying a few polishes from all different collections, I picked up a mini set of the 'Nue Collection'. This set contains 6 polishes - 2 glitters and 4 regular shades and I really wish that I'd picked it up sooner!

They came in a cute little white bag, complete with a Delush business card and a little tip card telling you the best way to apply the polishes. As you can see, the mini bottles are rather cute and I love them!

Eat Sleep Chic - This is a gorgeous, deep blue metallic shade and it's perfect for the winter months. This shows two very easy coats (no top coat) and I love the finish that this polish gives. As with all dark colours, if your skin is a little dry, then cleanup can be a little tricky. But this colour is worth the extra work.

In Nude We Trust - A gorgeous, almost rose gold metallic polish. This is two coats with no top coat.. I found the formula on this one to be a little trickier than the others in the collection - maybe because it's such a light polish. There is a tiny bit of streaking, but that evens out once you've applied top coat. 

Trendsetter - This is one of my favourites from the collection. It's a very pretty light to mid blue metallic - almost a denim blue. This applies wonderfully and this is two coats with no top coat. 

Glam Squad - A bright red, metallic shade that isn't too in your face. This is my favourite from the collection and I actually wore this on Christmas day, though it can be worn all year round. The formula is fantastic on this and if you're careful, you might be able to get away with just one coat. The only downside for me is the cleanup. Reds are notorious for being a pain to tidy up and I thought that I'd done a pretty good job - until I opened the pictures up on my laptop and saw the usual red marks around my cuticles. This however, shouldn't be too noticable unless you're looking really closely at your nails. 

Gilded Diva (gold) & Nue Girl (silver) - I decided to swatch both of the glitters at the same time (I'm lazy and I was tired and didn't want to have to repaint the nude base). This is one coat of each glitter over Toffee by BellaLunaCosmetics. Both of these are lovely toppers and have a good distribution of glitters. Although I'm not sure if they could be built up to full coverage without using a sponge. 

The standouts for me from this collection are definitely Glam Squad and Trendsetter. Which ones do you love?

Delush Polish can be bought here!

Thanks for reading!

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Nicole by OPI haul.

I went shopping with a friend last week and decided to treat myself to a few nice new nail polishes. I went into Superdrug and saw that they had a 3 for 2 offer on their polishes and I had a gift card with some money on it too. Long story short, I walked out with 6 new colours trusting the fact that my friend said they're really good polishes. 

I actually love all of them!

First up we have Sweet Daisy from the Carrie Underwood Collection. This is a lovely pastel/coral creme and it's perfect for summer! This is three coats and the formula was lovely on it. I can see this being worn a lot this year and I think it would work well in a gradient too.

Next there's Blue-Berry Sweet On you which is from the Gumdrops collection and this shows two coats. It's a Metallic almost periwinkle blue base but it also has lots of glitter in it too! It dries to a slightly matte finish as it's one of their textured polishes, but the texture isn't particularly rough so this would be fine to wear on it own. Or just add 2 coats of top coat for a smoother finish.

This was the first polish on the shelf that caught my eye and it's called Hello World. It's a bright coral/orange that has a jelly finish. I was worried when I started applying this as I'm not used to jellies and I thought it would take forever to make it opaque. But the below photos are just three coats! I love this and again, it will get worn a lot. 

Those of you who read regularly will know that I'm a bit of a magpie and pretty much love anything that's glittery! So of course I had to pick up Haley Good Lookin' as soon as I saw it. It's a dusky pink glitter polish and I don't have any glitters even close to this colour in my collection (though I do now!). The below photos show on coats over Hello World. I think this glitter would be very versatile and since it's got a lot of glitter in the bottle, this would layer up easily with a sponge to give full coverage. 

This is A Like-Haley Story and it comes from the Modern Family collection. It's a bright, almost neon pink polish that also has a shimmer running through it. This is two coats and I was very surprised that this actually gave full coverage after just one coat! But I added a second coat just to make sure. 

 I had my hand out the window here trying to catch the shimmer and I think I just about got it!

Lastly there's Rich in Spirit. This is a beautiful, light, metallic blue that has lots of sparkle and shimmer to it. I used to have a polish very similar to this when I was younger and hadn't been able to find it since. I love this to just add a hint of sparkle to everyday nails and it looks amazing in the sun!

I absolutely adore all of this colours! The bottles are cute and unlike any other brand that I've seen, plus the formulas and brush are fantastic. My favourite buy is definitely Blue-Berry Sweet On You. It's such a lovely shade and all of these colours will be getting used a lot. 

Thanks for reading!

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5 February 2015

Summer Gradient and MoYou Stamping

I don't know about you, but I'm well and truly fed up of winter now. I'm fed up of being permenantly cold and having really dry hands from the cold and amount of paper I handle at work. This also means that I'm getting fed up of using my darker colours, so I decided to do something bright and fun!

 Polishes used, from left to right are :

NYC - Pinstripe White
Nails Inc - Showfield Street
Nails Inc - Chelsea Manor Gardens
Nails Inc - Royal Botanical Gardens
OPI - Planks A Lot

I started off with two coats of white and topcoated these to make sure they were dry before I started my gradient. I think that it's important to topcoat otherwise I always end up with fluff stuck in the white that's then stuck in my gradient.

Once your base is dry, just paint your gradient colours in stripes onto a make up sponge and apply to your nails (I did three coats of my gradient here). I know that that probably doesn't make much sense, but there are plenty of tutorials on google or a rather good one here.

I topcoated and let it dry again and then used OPI - Planks A Lot with stamping plate 125 from MoYou which can be found here.

And here's a closeup showing my horrible dry cuticles =(. I think I need some serious hand therapy this weekend!

I am absolutely in love with these and love how bright and summery they look! Now if only someone would tell this awful British weather to warm up to match my nails then that would be lovely. I've had quite a few comments on these today and they really cheer you up when the weather outside is not very nice.

Thanks for reading!

3 February 2015

How to turn a plain pot into an awesome desk accessory

I have lots of accessories/bits and pieces for doing my nails and finding places to put them all is quite a challenge! I struggle with forgetting to take things out of bags, so I try to keep everything out in the open where I can. Unfortunately, with things like cuticle sticks and cotton buds, this just results in them rolling off my desk and me getting very annoyed. 

So I went to Ikea to see what I could find that I could adapt to my needs and found these gorgeous pink mini bins. I took them home, completely in love with them and then realised that since the bins are taller than my cuticles sticks, they get stuck when I'm trying to take them out. 

So I had a problem with my gorgeous new accessories. Then, when I was having a sort out over the weekend, I realised that I have lots of wrapping paper that doesn't get used and realised that I could use this to my advantage. I'm a sucker for pretty paper, especially when it's in the sales. So now I have a pile of beautiful paper that wasn't getting used at all (there just aren't that many birthdays in a year!). 

I decided to use some of my pretty paper to turn my pink bin into something that was useable and actually gave me my cuticle sticks instead of holding on to them.

This is the original bin (with compulsory candle next to it) with my cuticle sticks and cotton buds inside. As you can see, they're quite a bit lower than the sides and this was why they were getting stuck.

The only things that you will need for this are: wrapping paper, a pen, tape/glue and some scissors. Plus the item that you are decorating of course!

Start by opening out your paper out on a flat surface, with the plain/non patterned side facing up and lying your bin/item down flat. Draw around the outline (it doesn't matter if it's not neat), then roll your item over and repeat until  you have gone all the way round. Leave a little extra at the end (for taping it closed) and cut our your template. 

You should end up with something like this. It really doesn't matter if it's not very neat, no one is going to see any messy edges. Then you simply fold along the lines, making sure that they are in the right place by fitting the folded paper into your pot. When you're happy with the fit (you can cut extra bits off if you're like me and can't cut in a straight line) simply tape/glue your new liner shut using the extra flap from earlier and you're done!

This is how my pot now looks and I love it! All of my cuticle sticks and buds still fit in nicely but now they don't get stuck and make me smudge my nails when I'm trying to get them out. Plus, if I ever get bored of the design, it's really easy to grab some different paper and re-do it!

Has anyone else tried this?

Thanks for reading!

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2 February 2015

My favourite Barry M Nail Polishes.

I've spent the weekend drooling over swatches from the new Barry M collection that is launching next week and they all look fantastic! Since I can't get my grubby little mitts on them yet, I delved into my Helmer and dug out a few of my favourites and thought I would share them with you!

I did notice after I'd picked these out that I gravitate more towards the blue and purple shades, but I don't mind because they're my favourites =).

And here is the lineup! My bottles are looking a little bit worse for wear because I use them so much. Plus I'm pretty clumsy so I make a lot of mess when I watermarble (which these are fantastic for)

Blueberry Ice Cream - This was one of my very first Barry M polishes and I think I'm not on my third bottle. It's a gorgeous bright blue cream that's almost a one coater! I think that this is quite possibly the perfect summer blue and it get's used lots in the warmer months. This picture shows two coats, though you can get away with one if you're in a rush.

Plum - This was my first buy from the Gelly range and I'm glad I branched out into them. The Gelly polishes are one of the best ranges that I have used and you get a fantastic shiny finish without using any topcoat! This is a lovely deep purple shade that is perfect in two coats. I'm not sure if you can see in the picture, but this bottle is now less than half full so I think I'll be needing a new one soon! This also looks fantastic under glitter polishes. My favourite glitter to pair this is is Amethyst which is also from the Barry M range. 

Blue Grape - This is a gorgeous, bright, blue that is also from the gelly range. This one is bright enough to be able to wear it in summer, but is also dark enough for the colder months. This is two very easy coats and it looks rather jelly like which I love.

Prickly Pear - this a gorgeous, light lilac Gelly polish and I love it! This looks stunning on it's own in spring and summer. But it's also fantastic for nail art as the formula is a little thinner than the others. I personally love to use this in gradients because it's thinner formula means that it mixes with the other colours better. This picture shows two coats.

Greenberry - I think that this bright mint shade is a must have for any polish collection. It's perfect in summer and it reminds me of the smelly gel pens that were in fashion when I was in high school (does anyone else remember those). This is two easy coats and i can see this being used lots this year. 

Fashion Icon - This is from one of the newer collections that Barry M has released - the Glitterati Collection that was released before Christmas. It's a beautiful purple, almost jelly base that's filled with holographic and iridescent glitters. I love purple and I love glitter... put them together and you'll almost definitely be on to a winner from me! This is two coats of the polish on it's own, but I'm sure this would also look amazing layered over other colours. 

 What do you guys think of my favourites? Which ones do you love?

Thanks for reading!

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