Tuesday 4 December 2012

Bluesky Shellac - Diamond Plum

Today I have something a little different, (and perhaps controversial in some circles).  I looked up these Bluesky products before deciding whether to try them, and saw a sea of voices saying 'its not Shellac if its not CND'.  Well fair enough, most of these people were nail professionals and if I was going to a salon then yes, I would expect a premium product for the price. No different than if I was going for a manicure and polish, would I be happy paying salon prices to have my nails painted with a supermarket brand?  No, I would want my OPI dammit!

Here's the thing though, I am not a professional, I am a hobbyist. I have said this before to some of the nastier critics (yes there are some awful people out there who can be bullies about how you paint or shape your nails, seriously how wrong and tragic is that!)  But I digress.

So today, after deciding I would give them a whirl, I have a selection of colours and one full manicure to show you.  I was sent these from a lovely lady at Shellacworld (<<<clicky for link) after perusing the site, and deciding these were the colours I liked the most.  Obviously a UV nail lamp is needed, and I have an old UV lamp from a Rio gel nails kit that was purchased many moons ago from good old ebay, but it did the trick nicely even though it isn't particularly high powered.

First I had to decide which colour to choose, from these five pretties, to try a full manicure with.  Thumb to pinky are Crystal Flame, Crystal Curacao, Diamond Ocean, Diamond Plum, and Diamond Storm.

Once I had decided that if its purple, and its got bling, then that's the way I must go, I got started.  First I made sure my nails were clean and dry, and then wiped them with remover to remove any oil etc (or the mani can lift).  I then applied a base of Bluesky Soak Off Gel Basecoat, and added a thin layer of Bluesky Shellac in 'Diamond Plum.' Then another slightly thicker coat of Diamond Plum to reach the opacity I wanted, and finally finished off with Bluesky Soak Off Gel Topcoat.  I cured each layer for two minutes under my UV lamp before adding the next, and simply used isopropyl alcohol wipes to wipe off the sticky residue of the last layer when I was done.  Et voilĂ , lovely glittery nails that were surprisingly easy to do.  The colour, base and top coats were easy to apply, the colour being a bit thicker than a polish would be but nothing problematic, and the base and top coats applied as easily as polish does.


Shade, natural daylight

I do like them and I am glad I gave them a try.  Diamond Plum is a rich dark blue based purple that is jam packed with glitter, there are small and large sized holo glitter pieces in this that are so twinkly when it catches the light.  Of course that appeals to me anyway, purple and sparkly, hell yeah!  It has some lovely depth to it as well, with the glitter looking likes its floating in there, in layers of loveliness 

I was quite surprised that they turned out so well on my first try.  Lovely and smooth, no lumpiness at all, and nice and shiny too so no layers of topcoat to smooth out the glitter.  I have had them on for four days now, and they are not showing any wear at all, and I even had a girl at work admiring them and asking me what polish it was.  When I told her, she said 'ooo can you come to my house and do mine please!' which is quite a compliment I reckon!  My only criticism with this one is that it looks slightly thicker on the nail than a standard glitter polish and topcoat would, but its not obvious, and mostly I believe its down to it being so packed with glitter (for which I am prepared to forgive it, because, well its just soo pretty!).

I will be trying all the others as full manicures as well in due time, but for now I am happy looking at my purple pretties twinkling away at me.  I am happy with them, and I hope you like them too :D

(Products sent for review)

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Guess who's back...Back again! With China Glaze Riveting

*Sings* Guess who's back, back again, guess who's back, tell a friend....

Yes, I am back again (again!) wow has it really been sooo long since I posted!  Well I have been working on another non polish blog for the rescue I volunteer for which was good.  I have also been doing lots of tedious life stuff, life, death, the whole damn shooting match, but I won't bore you with the details.

So I thought, what says bang, I'm back.  I looked at my ever growing stash, and BAM right in the kisser!  Yep, its China Glaze Riveting, from their Hunger Games collection.  It is a vibrant, saturated, glass flecked screaming ORANGE!  It isn't quiet about it, it does need the caps lock, it shouts proudly.  I absolutely love it, it is loud, proud and gorgeous to behold.  If you don't have this, then you are missing out.  Ladies and gentlement, I present to you, Riveting :)

Monday 30 July 2012

piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2012

Wow exciting times, its blog fest 2012 organised by the wonderful girls at piCture pOlish there will be 80 bloggers around the world all posting today to launch the new shades from piCture pOlish, and I count myself honoured to be a part of this again :)

So, the polishes!  I was sent 'orbit' and 'warning' as my shades, and I am loving them both.  One is a one coater, oh yes!  First up though, we have 'warning'.

This one is such a hard one to describe, it is a duochrome sparkly interesting and beautiful polish, it doesn't really fall into any one category and I definitely don't have a dupe for this.  It has a mother of pearl type of effect, it is duochrome but not in the expected sense, in that all the colours can be seen mostly at the same time.  There is also a micro sparkle in there which catches the light and I can see blue, purple, silver and pink but this isn't apparent individually unless you look really hard.  It is a tough one to describe accurately, but all the ingredients make up to a lovely blue purple colour that is so pretty.  It was a little sheer, but not problematical and built nicely after three coats.  I wouldn't care if it took ten coats though, just look at it!  All sparkly and pretty and making me go all girly pah!  It makes me think of faeries and dragonfly wings and magical things.  I will try layering this one for sure, but right now I wanted to show the polish in all its own splendour.  Isn't she a pretty one.

Direct Sun - Look at those colours

Same polish in direct daylight

Second one up is 'orbit'.  Oh my!  I just love this one so much more than I thought I would.  It looks promising in the bottle, but on the nail, oh yeah it made me have a moment.  It is a perfect midnight blue with a hint of purple and a gorgeous sparkle.  In the shade it has a bit of a suede type finish, with silvery and blue particles in there giving it an extra dimension.  In the sun it sparkles like a glitter.  It is absolutely stunning.  I also slapped a shiny top coat on it because I just had to, and it really made it pop.  Oh and did I mention, its a one coater!  You betcha that made me happy shaped,  A quick mani that looks this good, oh yeah sign me up for some of that!

Without Top Coat

With Top Coat - Oooooo!

I hope you like these as much as I do, and believe me when I say they really do look better in real life.  The bottles all have a QR code which can be scanned and that will take you straight to piCture pOlish online or to a Network Member depending where the polish was purchased, pretty cool.  These can be ordered direct from www.picturepolish.com.au or from any of the girls in their international polish network.  You can also follow the girls at piCture pOlish on facebook or on Twitter or if Pinterest is your thing, you can follow them there too!

Monday 25 June 2012

Nails Inc. Nail Jewellery - Emerald, Sapphire and Pink Diamond

I bought three of the four Nail Jewellery Polishes by Nails Inc. because I am just too much of a magpie to resist when I see such shiny things!  The ones I bought were Piccadilly Arcade (Emerald), Royal Arcade (Sapphire) and Princes Arcade (Pink Diamond).  I left the Burlington Arcade (Diamond) as it looked like a few polishes I had seen before, and it just wasn't unique enough for me to shell out the rather expensive £11 price tag.  These are meant to be glitter toppers I believe, and I tried them all over dark underwear, but these three could be worn alone with a couple of generous coats in my opinion.  They applied really well, not too thick or goopy, and the polish stayed put where it should be without having to fish around for even distribution of the big bits of glitter.  My swatches are just one coat over the base colour and a layer of top coat, so they should last a fair while which goes some way for me to justify the expense.

I think my favourite out of the three I have has to be Sapphire, it is such a luscious shade, but all of them are really vibrant and rich colours, really striking to look at.  The blue and green both have small, medium and large glitter pieces.  The pink one has more uniform sized small and medium glitter but seems to have different hues, I see magenta, purple and silver holo-esque colours in there.  One thing they all have in common is that they catch the light wonderfully and really shine and sparkle.  All in all I think its a great collection, its just a shame the silver one isn't as dense as the other colours, or I would have bought that one too.

Emerald over Nails Inc Cadogan Lane

Sapphire over Sinful Colors See You Soon

Pink Diamond over piCture pOlish aphrodisiac

Sunday 10 June 2012

OPI DS Radiance

I am a sucker for a shiny polish, and foils are no exception.  I long for the day when there can be a true 'chrome' nail polish, but foil polishes, if they are done well, go some way to satisfying my cravings for mirror nails.  OPI DS Radiance is one that is done well.  I got this in a swap from the lovely Kelly at musings of a slightly mad mother because it didn't really wow her, but I'm glad she didn't like it now (sorry Kelly!).  I had no application problems, dry time was normal, and it didn't seem to show the brush marks as much as some foil finish polishes tend to do.  Once it dried, I went in the sun to check out my bling, and I was all happy shaped after that :) it sparkles in the sun and looks lush in the shade.  It really does look just like the silver bottle cap, and the freak in me liked that uniformity of that, 'oo look the polish matches the bottle perfectly!'  I don't think I would shell out for the full price of this one when there are so many good foil polishes around at the moment, (Color Club Foiled Collection instantly springs to mind) but I am glad I have it, and I'm not going to be swapping it out, its a keeper for me.

Direct Sun
Shade - Natural Daylight

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Jubilee Nails

Being British I couldn't let the Queens Diamond Jubilee pass by without having a burst of patriotism and doing a jubilee manicure in our lovely Queenies honour could I.  There's not much to say about my mani except that if I put both my hands together, tip to tip, I have a Union Jack flag but I couldn't manage a pic without serious peril to my camera sadly!  For my polishes I used Nails Inc Bakers Street for the blue, and Nails Inc Villers Street for the red.  I used China Glaze Snow for the white.  The blue glitter is Pure Ice Strapless, and the red glitter is Barry M.  I'm really pleased at how it came out, and I have had lots of compliments so it must look alright to others as well.  So, without further ado *trumpet fanfare* I present in honour of you our lovely Monarch, my Jubilee Nails :)

Sunday 27 May 2012

Sally Hansen Purple Diamond over Illamasqua Jo'Mina

Wow whats this, no posts for ages then two in one day!  Well, its way overdue isn't it!  Now in my last post you may recall I said my nails today were blinging, and Sally Hansen Purple Diamond is the reason why.  Who would have thought this battered old bottle contained such an explosion of holo goodness.  I had been wearing Jo'Mina for a day or so, and decided to try this layered over it.  I put it on and smiled, and have been waving my hands around in the sunshine like a mad hippy on too much acid ever since.  Its a lovely sunny day, and this polish has made me all happy shaped today :)

This is just one coat over Illamasqua Jo'Mina, and isn't it just the most beautiful thing.  It applied really easily, and dried super shiny too which was a nice surprise.  I will go without wearing holo polish for ages, then when I go back I wonder why I left it so long.  Oh yeah, that's right, grey crappy Winters with no sun, that's why!  Well the sun is here today, and has brought my happy holo head back with it.  I hope you like it as much as me, I am smitten.

Illamasqua Jo'Mina

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and my nails are blinging!  Oh yeah!  First of all I want to show you a fantastic colour, Illamasqua Jo'Mina.  This is my first Illamasqua polish and I LOVE it.  The colour is unique in my collection and is hard to describe, but best is a contradiction, in that it is a bright pastel.  It is a stunning lilac purple, in some lights it is a vibrant paler purple, but in others really bright.  Hard to capture as well but I believe the pic I chose is pretty colour accurate.  The formula was fantastic and applied like butter and dried fairly quickly.  The pic is 2 coats with no top coat and look how luscious it looks.  I will definitely be trying some more from Illamasqua, I was impressed with this one, and it has gone straight on to my favourite purples list!

Sunday 15 April 2012

China Glaze - Blue Sparrow (Neon)

The sun has been shining (through the rain, and snow, and hail.  Typical British weather!) but I am ever optimistic and decided to go for a bright neon.  Apparently blues and neons are popular at the moment so I'm told, so I went for both.  I had China Glaze Blue Sparrow on my untried pile, and thought what the heck, so on it went.  I really like it!  It applied well for a neon, and dried fast with a matte finish as neons tend to do.  It looks a little gritty on the pics but it was no where near that textured to the naked eye, and I left it matte because I thought it looked kind of cool.  I know, I am a bit late to the 'mattes' party, but I didn't used to like them, I have been changing my mind recently though.  I don't think theres a lot else to say about it really (unusual for me to be not so wordy I know!) so, on with the pic.  I hope you like it :)

Monday 2 April 2012

piCture pOlish - Opulence Shades

I have today all three of the new Opulence shades from piCture pOlish in Australia, launched today and selling fast, and I can see why!

So without further waffle, first up we have 'a classic Hollywood icon' Monroe.  This is described by the girls at piCture pOlish as a blood red holographic shade. This one needs 2 - 3 coats for full coverage, my swatch pics have 2 generous coats and no top coat.  It is a jelly type polish which applied great and dried so super shiny, it is really lovely.  Its a lovely vampy rich red with subtle holographic particles which sparkle and catch the light in the sun, and look like a very subtle silver shimmer in the shade.

Next up, is 'do you wanna see my...' Peacock.  First of all I love the oo err missus cheeky name of this one, second thing, I LOVE this shade.  It is an unusual glitter having vivid emerald green glitter in a purple base.  I have nothing like this one in my collection, and I love how it looks.  The girls at piCture pOlish describe is as 'an emerald green glitter, blue/white sparks with a purple base and definitely needs a top coat to achieve full gloss due to the purple fluro that dries off matte.'  I think theirs is a pretty accurate description really, it does dry off a little matte but I actually liked how it looked.  For my swatches I applied 2 coats and a dollop of shiny top coat, and it is just stunning.  It is hard to capture properly in pics, but the glitter doesn't swamp the purple, the whole thing just works.  I have heard others say that the formula was a little thick, and I don't know it if it is perhaps due to a different climate or temperature but mine was fine.  It wasn't difficult to work with and was comparable to the OPI glitters I have.

Lastly, arriving fashionably last in order to make an entrance, we have the magnificent 'look beyond the sparkle!' mask-a-rade.  Well, wow, I mean really WOW!  If you have seen the Ozotic Elytra polishes, imagine grabbing one of each shade, mixing them all together shaking the hell out of them and putting the results in its own bottle, and you would have this.  It is stunning.  The girls at piCture pOlish say it is 'multi chromatic particles (every kind we could find) and definitely needs a black/dark base to achieve full effect!'.  It has a clear base so is best layered, and who am I to argue with the creators of this wonderful potion, so I used a standard black creme as my base.  I then applied 2 coats of mask-a-rade and heard angels sing.  I have reached polish nirvana!  This is gorgeous and very hard to photograph, so I just took lots of pics and will let you see for yourself.  I also took an underwater picture to capture the colours as best I could.  The application was trouble free, and the look...swoon.

Underwater Shot (damn the water was cold, why didn't I use warm water, d'oh!)
I hope you like this collection as much as I do, I love all three but especially the glitters.  You can order yours at piCture pOlish here, and they deliver international (yay!), or look for details of one of their polish network girls for a distributor near you.

(products sent for review)

Thursday 1 March 2012

Nails Inc. OMP!

I got this polish along with another from a friend who had collected it from some magazine or other, and she isn't a fan of polish so yay lucky me!  They have sat in my untried pile for too long, and I was feeling very much like Spring may be springing and wanted a bright colour, and I thought I would finally try this one.  I had never tried any of Nails Inc. polishes before, but I am going to be trying many more now I have tried this one!  It went on without issue, good formula and colour saturation, and lovely shiny finish before I even added top coat (but I added one anyway of course).  That was enough to make me think I may want some more of this brand, but the clincher for me was the wear.  I don't know if all their polish is so hardy but this one I had on for four full days, which included cleaning, dog walking, cooking and going to work.  Filing and typing typically isn't kind to nails but after four days it still looked good with not a chip in sight, and only minimal tip wear.  I could have touched it up and wore it for a few more days no problem at all!  How good is that, made me happy I can tell you :)

I also happened to love the colour of this one as well.  Not quite red, not quite pink, really hard to photograph but a stunning creme, nearest I can think of is a bright raspberry creme, it sometimes looks pink, and in other lights darker almost red.  I can't believe it sat untried for so long, its so pretty.  I have started to remedy the lack of Nails Inc. polishes in my stash though by joining their VIP program, and by ordering a special offer 'lucky dip' promotion that they apparently run quite frequently, so keep your eyes peeled for those, and for more Nails Inc. posts very soon :)

Please forgive my dry cuticles, Winter is not a kind month to my hands, and excuse the tip wear showing BUT this had been on for three days at this point before I got chance to photograph it, so pretty impressive I think.  I know I know, I should take pics when its fresh on yadda yadda yadda, but life doesn't always give you charged batteries at the same time as it hands you a spare half hour ;)

Monday 13 February 2012

Max Factor Fantasy Fire layered over W7 Purple Paradise

I got my hands on this mini marvel courtesy of a good friend (thanks deborah!) as a birthday present, how nice was that!  I haven't been able to find any near me so she snagged me one and sent me it.  When it arrived I admit, I may have drooled a little bit, it is such a pretty little jewel.  I have been reading a lot about this polish being a fairly good dupe for Clarins legendary 230 polish.  Since I don't have the wonderful 230 to compare it with (unless someone wants to send me a bottle, no, really?!  Shocker!) I will just post my pics and thoughts about the Max Factor polish in its own right.

It is a lovely blue based violet purple base, with amazing micro shimmer which changes colour with the light.  It flashes predominantly from fiery red, to orange, to green.  Turquoise and blue flashes are visible in the bottle but didn't show up on the nail for me, but I don't care, it is one gorgeous little pot of polish!  I didn't want to waste any as it is quite sheer so I went for layering it.  I searched through my stash and plucked W7 Purple Paradise out, it seemed to be the best match for a base, and I think it worked pretty well.  It is a nice polish on its own, but I will visit it again another day for its own post.

The pics are two thin coats of Purple Paradise, then 2 coats of Fantasy Fire, with a shiny top coat.  I kept this mani on for a whole week, I loved it that much!  OK I did add a flakie top coat for the last couple of days, but still, a week!  Thats a long time for me.  So, given that info, yes it wore very well too, went on without issue, and dry time was good.  Nothing left to do but bring on the pics.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

China Glaze Prismatics - Liquid Crystal (with topcoat)

Today I wanted to show you what one of those China Glaze Prismatic collection looks like with a shiny top coat, since I have read some comments online that some would like to see that.  It does make the glitter pop a lot more, but it is a hungry glitter and this was two rather generous coats of top coat, one being a standard one, and then a fast dry.  I have also tried to capture the duochrome colour shift a little more, if you look at the bottle shot in the second pic, it looks more purple than the first which pulls more towards blue.  I don't think I need to say anymore about the actual polish, as I also wrote lots in the collection swatches.

Speaking of the collection swatches, I would also like to take this opportunity to say that the swatches I did previously were a little messier than I would have liked, but please bear in mind I usually post and photograph a full mani which I am wearing, and tend not to do a whole collection in a limited time (not many good light days in winter here!)  Plus I am really busy at the moment with my work for dog rescue and have a foster dog in at the moment, so yeah, I don't always have a lot of time!

Also I have heard mention that some are put off because my middle finger nail is a different length to the others (because it got broke sadly!) not to mention a few other comments that were a little rude to be honest.  Well, I aren't going to do squat about it, I am not ready to file all the rest down just for one nail in order to please someone I have never met!  I will say however that it doesn't look as unbalanced in real life size but obviously the pics are close up so amplify everything tenfold!  Besides, at the risk of possibly sounding rude myself, its just not that important in the grand scheme of things is it?

Right then, now thats said and done, on with the pics I came here to post :)  I hope you like them of course and I take all constructive criticism on board, but please remember this is a hobby of mine, I am not a professional, so lets be kind and play nice OK?  Thanks :D

Monday 30 January 2012

China Glaze Prismatic Collection Swatches

Yeahh!  I have been waiting for these to come out and I have been lucky enough to be able to buy the whole set *does a happy dance* ohhh yeahhh!  So once the euphoria of having so much new and pretty bling arrive in one bundle, the real test was to see if they were as nice as we have all hoped they were going to be, or is there going to be a major anti climax approaching.  I'm sure by now everyone has seen the promo blurb.  This is what China Glaze say about these polishes in their PR "This limited edition collection was inspired by the beauty and magic of multi-coloured prisms. Complete with glitter and holographic-like technology. These six icy shades give the appearance of multi-layers of iridescent color. So add this incredible illusion of color to your line up today"

The PR pics and bottle shots are all very tantalising but they are never true to life are they, so what do they really look like?  So far I think they look totally gorgeous, they are like China Glaze said "hey we have a whole vat of fairy dust and a free afternoon, lets mess around".  They have very fine micro holo glitter, just like China Glaze Fairy Dust, mixed in with some other colours of micro glitter, and some larger multicoloured round glitter pieces.  So, lots of glitter then!  Do I love glitter, oh yes, yes I do!

Want to know a secret?  I was a little disappointed when I first opened them, I thought, "oh, pretty glitters but do they deserve the word 'prismatic'?", they were not quite what I had imagined.  But after looking at them closer, I am changing my mind.  They do have the appearance of multi layers so the PR blurb was right there, but the more I look at them, the more I notice.  Things like they aren't holo polishes, but they do have some lovely holo glitter in there but it is more subtle than I had anticipated.  A nice touch is that they have a subtle colour shift that I wasn't expecting, which combined with the holo glitter does justify the 'prismatic' part of the name after all.

So without further waffle, because you will all probably skim the words and go straight to the swatches (which is fair enough in this case!) here they are.

First up, Ray-Diant - Gold/Pale Green
Micro holo, mint green and gold glitter, with larger round blue, silver, orange, and pink glitter.

This one seems to shift from green to gold depending on the light.

Prism - Pale Purple
Micro holo and purple glitter, with larger round blue, silver, orange, and pink glitter.

Love it, well it is purple!  The colour shift isn't as evident in this one, I think purple is a predominant 'shift' colour.  Since this is purple already, then theres no real discernible change.  Still very pretty though.

Full Spectrum - Pale Pink
Micro holo and baby pink glitter, with larger round blue, silver, orange, and pink glitter.
This shifts subtly from pink to purple.  Very pretty girly colour, not sure if its really 'me' though, I don't tend to do baby pink things!  Perhaps because its a pastel shade I will probably still wear it though.

Optical Illusion - Teal 
Micro holo, and teal glitter, with larger round blue, silver, orange, and pink glitter.

Please excuse that there are only three fingers, but I had a big ding missing from my pinky and didn't realise until I came to look at the pics, and its night time now so too late to re-swatch!  Its a shame because this is one of the stars of the collection, lovely teal which changes to gold and purple, and is one of those polishes you end up walking into walls whilst wearing because you can't stop looking at your nails.

Polarised - Silver 
Micro holo, and silver glitter, with larger round blue, silver, orange, and pink glitter.

This is really blingy and sparkly, but it is the least imaginative of the collection.  It is basically, well, silver.  Don't get me wrong, it is a good silver polish and I like silvers so this will definitely be happily adorning my fingers again.

Liquid Crystal - Blue
Micro holo, and blue glitter, with larger round blue, silver, orange, and pink glitter.

The other star of this collection, and the one I ended up wearing as a full mani after my messy swatch-athon (I swear there is glitter everywhere now!).  This changes from an ice blue to mid blurple to purple, love it!

So there we have it, the whole collection for your viewing pleasure.  Please forgive the slowly degrading polish clean ups, but it was getting harder and harder to shift all the glitter in between swatches, and of course my poor cuticles look the worse for wear in the end too!

All these pics are 3 coats, the polishes all covered well and the formula was easy to work with.  They did dry gritty and a little matte, and all of the swatch pics were taken without top coat in weak but direct sunshine.  These were quite hungry when it did come to adding a top coat, but not the worst I have seen.  A generous dollop or two of topcoat evened my final mani out nicely and they are now shiny happy nails.

Just out of interest, I was asked would they make a good layering polish over a dark colour especially, so I took a quick snap of Optical Illusion over a Butter London Dark Knight dupe, I think the answer would have to be a yes, don't you!

So what do you think?  Love them, hate them, disappointed or excited, leave a comment and let me know :)