Friday, 27 April 2012

Ladybugs or Ladybirds?

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Today I wanted to do a mani to brighten up my day. It's been so grey in London for so long is getting depressing. I wanted something Spring-like and to add my cure for grey days - a bit of sparkly! I love ladybugs/ ladybirds, they make me smile and I associate them with spring, so decided to do a ladybug inspired mani.

I saw this look a little while ago on Pinterest (here) and wanted to duplicate it. Now I personally think this look is super cute as a pedicure. In fact I like it better on toenails than on fingernails, but I know a lot of people have a thing against adult womens toes. Cute baby toes are fine but not grown ups. Eew! Right?

I'm fine with toes and pedicures adult or otherwise, but for people who don't like them my pedicure pics are all linked and not part of this main post. You must click on the links, at the bottom of this post, to see them....therefore only click if you want to!

I started off with one coat of the red polish from Beauty UKs "Wild Child" collection/set. It's a bright primary red colour. If you're in the UK it's definitely a set of polishes worth having for summer. The set costs just £4.99 for 6 bright colourful polishes and is available from Superdrug and the Beauty UK website here. In fact I think some of them are dupes for the NARS Thankoon collection. That's a near future dupe mission of mine and I hope to update you with a post soon!

On my monitor this looks more orange than it is. It's a bright post-box red in real life.

I wanted my mani-pedi to be different from the lady bug looks I've seen before so I added glitter! Two coats of Barry M Red Glitter. Love this, it's a very dense bright red glitter polish, and I know I'll be wearing this polish again on my toes and fingers. It's very Wizard of Oz ruby slippers, don't you think?

Next for the black details of the lady bugs I used MUA Extreme felt eyeliner. It's a liquid eyeliner but I use it as a nail art pen. Kudos to Enigmatic Rambles, she came up with the idea!

The extreme felt eyeliners retail for only £2.00 and are available at Superdrug here and the Makeup Academy online shop here. The great thing about this eyeliner is that it's got great staying power even though it's not waterproof. It took about a weeks worth of swimming sessions before it started to fade. Impressive!

Lastly for the white dots I used my Sally Hansen white polish and a tooth pick. I decided not to use a topcoat as I wanted the black colour to stay matte. Hrmm, though now that I think about it lady bugs are pretty glossy...oops.

I think this design suits really short and round nails rather than my long rectangular shaped nails (compare my index finger with the others). Still had fun painting my lady bugs and will be sporting glittery lady bug nails again for sure this summer!

Hope you liked this mani, and for those of you without pedicure issues you can see the "foot shots" here.

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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Urban Peacock

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Hi everyone, today I have a polish review for you. While shopping in Urban Outfitters the other day I noticed they had a mini polish stand. There were only 6 polishes, but three of them looked interesting enough for me to pick up. They cost £6 per polish on their own or 3 for £15 and are available in store or on the Urban Outfitters website here. The brand name is W.I.P. but I think it's a brand exclusive to Urban Outfitters, because I haven't seen it anywhere else.

First up I present to you - W.I.P. Peacock, an almost black metallic blue/teal polish. The formula is a bit runny but workable. I'm wearing 3 coats in the pics below.

Sorry about the slightly fuzzy pics, it was another beautiful grey day in the UK, and I was having major trouble with getting decent lighting. In strong sunlight or artificial light you can see the blue shine, but try as I might it was almost impossible to get a good picture of it. The effect is very weak.

My verdict is "Meh". There are so many other polish brands making "peacock" type colours, and they're better than W.I.P. Peacock. I'd invest in one of the Models Own polishes, or KIKO or GOSH, or any other polish than this. I think I'll just be using it as a black base for layering other polishes.

Right so as I had it on my nails already, I decided to try out a tape mani. I love Chloe's Nails "checker board" style nails (see her tape mani here), and so here is my version with W.I.P. Peacock. I used ordinary cheap stationary tape and one coat of matte top coat by Beauty UK.

I hope you like the look, I think it's more interesting than Peacock alone and I really like wearing dark polishes this way.

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Dupe Mission - Nails Inc Kensington Park Road

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Today I have another polish comparison for you. I wanted to try and find a dupe for Nails Inc Kensington Park Road, so I swatched it at the Nails Inc counter and went on my search.

Now I didn't find an exact dupe but I got pretty close. Check it out below.

Cyan Blue by Barry M comes pretty close to Kensington Park Road (KPR) although KPR is just slightly more green than Cyan Blue. Just slightly...

Kensington Park Road by Nails Inc retails for £11.00 and is available here. Cyan Blue by Barry M is just £2.99 and is available at Superdrug here and the Barry M website here.

What do you guys think? Are they different enough that you'd want to own both?

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Monday, 23 April 2012

Can crackle be chic?

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Now I know many people are so over crackle polishes. They've kind of had their time right? Still they they've been invented and exist as part of our polish arsenal (lol, that came out weird - but it's true no?) so I want to try and find new ways of using them.

For this mani I used two coats of Rimmel Grey Matter (I like that name, effort was made). The crackle topcoat is Nails Inc Islington, a bright Barbie pink.

The formula on this was thicker than I expected, so I think I'll thin it down for future use. Still it cracked so can't really complain. For the white dots I used my Sally Hansen white polish and my trusty dotting tool (a toothpick).

Now it's just my first go, so I admit that I haven't come up with the most unique look, but my excuse is that I needed something "work appropriate". I'm going to try again for a fun and wacky weekend mani, so be sure to check back if you want to see the results of my experimenting.

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Friday, 20 April 2012

DUPE ALERT!!! KIKO Electric Blue IS Nails Inc Baker Street

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I've been craving Nails Inc Baker Street since I saw this cool Smashbox MUA wearing it a few weeks ago. Then I saw a Fish Eggs/Kaviar mani by Catrine at unnakednails and I knew I had to have that polish!  Sigh, but £11.00 for a blue creme polish is a bit much in my books, even if it's an awesome cobalt blue.

And so my mission was clear. Find a dupe for Baker Street!

This afternoon I swatched Nails Inc Baker Street on my ring finger in Debenhams at Westfield (for an accurate reference on-hand (no pun intended)) and then set out on my hunt!

Ladies, today I am happy to report that this polish ninja has succeeded in finding an EXACT dupe for Baker Street! It is KIKO Electric Blue (336). It's on sale now for £2.50 in the KIKO store in Westfield (for you London gals) and on the KIKO website here.

Below I have the side by side comparison. Nails Inc Baker Street is on my ring finger, KIKO Electric Blue is on the rest.

 Can you tell the difference? Neither can I! ;)

The formula is the same as Baker St, the brush is good and it's opaque in 2 thin coats. What more could a blue polish obsessed girl want? Finding this has made my week and I'm so happy to be able to share it with you!

(manicured fist pump!)

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This is a quick post today after yesterdays marathon. I was inspired by a post by Sheba at The Lovely Nail. She'd just done an enviable haul, part of which were these amazing nail stickers called Color Me Beautiful by Dashing Diva Design from their FX Bling collection.

To quote Sheba herself, "They are effin' COOL!"

To see her post and for info on where to order these nail strips if you are in the US click here. She's going to do a "swatch" and review in the near future so we can see how they look on. Very exciting! I will link to her post as soon as it is up.

So I knew when I saw those colourful shiny strips that I had to have a go at recreating that cool dotty design. So here is my DIY version.

The polishes I used were 2 coats of Rimmel Black Out and MUA shade #13 . It's a lovely deep metallic green and only costs £1.00! I picked up both these polishes in my local Superdrug but MUA polishes are also available at the MUA website here.

To make the dots I used toothpicks for the smaller dots and a bent hair/bobby pin for the bigger dots. I sealed things in with a coat of Seche Vite. I think the pattern looks a bit like lizard skin, don't you think so?

I hope you like it. I like it, and I know I'm going to try this mani again in other colours. Dotting is fun!
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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Mixing Magnetics by Barry M

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Today I have a LONG, but very exciting post for you guys! Browsing in my local Superdrug I came across new polishes by Barry M. New MAGNETIC polishes!

Several other polish companies have launched their own magnetic polishes before but I always hesitated buying them because they were expensive and because of the mixed reviews they were given. However, I saw these for just £4.99 each and snatched them up.

There are 3 colours, Dark Silver, Burgundy and Blue. Each polish has a different magnet. I've heard rumours that there is a 4th "violet" colour but haven't seen it.

First up is Burgundy, with the striped magnet. This polish was my least favorite in the bottle, but it's actually my favorite on my nails. It's a rich pink toned red, which suits my skin tone, but I think this is a colour that would go with all skin tones.

The thing that I love about these polishes is their "depth". There are little glass flecks in this polish, which I haven't seen in magnetic polishes before. All three colours have this finish so I've taken close-up pics of each polish to try and show you guys. My camera doesn't capture it fully, the glass flecks are much more sparkly in real life! Nice twist with the glass flecks Barry M!

Yes, there are more pics below. I thought it could be nice to include pics with a white background too, to really give an accurate idea of what this polish looks like in different lighting, etc. Let me know if it's too much or annoying.

Ok, next up is Dark Silver. I was really intrigued by the pattern on the magnet when I bought this. I would describe it as a lattice or fish net type pattern. Based on the results with Burgundy I had high hopes for this magnet.

Unfortunately this magnet is just awful! Horrible, blotchy, I could not make it work no matter what I tried. I think the only way this magnet would work is on nails that don't curve at all. Perfectly flat nails, which I don't think anyone has. So disappointing...

Luckily to make up for the awful lattice magnet we have beautiful steely Blue with the star pattern magnet. Love this one! I had been lemming for Pull Me Close by China Glaze, and thought maybe this could be a dupe. 

 See the glass flecks?

While I don't have Pull Me Close on hand for a side by side comparison, I think the colour is pretty spot on as a dupe for Pull Me Close, and the pattern that is produced, while it isn't the China Glaze star, is it's own star pattern. To me it kind of looks like a Union Jack! That gave me the inspiration for a whole other mani....

I just had to try and and do a mani mixing together different magnetic polishes. For my Union Jack inspired mani I used the Burgundy and Blue polishes with the "Star" magnet. It's kind of messy and reminds me of tie dying but I love this look. It makes me want to collect more magnetic polishes so I can combine them!

I did a set of white background pics for this mani, cause I love it so!

So to sum up: The magnets are strong, the star magnet and the stripes are great, but the lattice thing is awful. Love Burgundy, it's an original colour - no dupes that I can think of. Finally have to say it again, nice one with the glass flecks Barry M! I'm happy to these polishes in my collection.

The polishes aren't available on the Superdrug or Barry M website yet, but will update this post with links when they are.

Feed back time. Was this post WAY too long? Or is it ok to be wordy when it's a review post?

What do you think of mixing and combining magnetic polishes? Has anyone made a magnetic Franken?
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