Sunday, 30 September 2012

British Nail Bloggers - Weekly Round Up!

British Nail Bloggers

Emma has had a week of using Barry M Gelly polishes and created her most favourite mani ever multi coloured spots and stripes over at Emma's Little Corner.

Nada'sl penguin obsession is getting out of hand! the little minions are on her nails this week!!

This week on Pie's Eyes Lyndsay has used her new Cheeky stamping plates to create a Double Stamped Manicure plus there's a handy hint for stamping clean up too.

Claire at nuthin' but a nail thing is continuing with the 30 Day Challenge (the end is in sight!) and did a Panda Bear Manicure inspired by the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

It's been HoloWeek at the Nail Newbie, featuring lots of holo goodness such as a GOSH Holographic Hero wear test, a some tribal nail art and this holo cloudicure with a-England Tristam.

This week has been Carlyn's very first week of blogging featuring some of her favourite stamping designs Pretty Stamping on Sapphire Such a stand out design.

Well today is the last day of the 30 Day Challenge! at Northern Nails but on the Bright side it is Jo's birthday tommorrow !

Wendy from Wendy's Delights is having a cracking time with her Croc Effect nails by Barry M

As a collector of vodka bottles, a Smirnoff Vodka Manicure was in order on Enigmatic Rambles blog this week!

PishPosh and Polish's Kerrie is wearing shock horror! PINK this week!

Sally of Nail Pron has brightened up a sad week with the brightest green daisy doticure you have ever seen in your life.

PrettyKittyClaws is joined by a hare and a dog this week with the gorgeous Hare Dog Day Dream

Dimpal of Crazy Polishes has almost come to the end of the 30 days challenge and wearing this

Ruth has a new favourite polish that is purple and splarkly, yay!

Sarah Louise, creates a Ghostbuster Manicure Using Models Own and W7 Polishes.

Charlotte has decided her stash needs some cleansing, so she's set up a blog sale with some great British brands.

Kerry takes an adventure with GALAXY inspired nails.

Vic continues 30 days of untrieds with A Scream manicure inspired by art work

Glow in the Dark Nail Polish!

I saw this polish on Lucy's Stash recently and decided to order a few from Born Pretty to try them out.  I also found a couple of great photos which led me to Ducky's blog, I love pretty colours and to a post on The Polished Perfectionist all showing the polish glowing pretty strongly.
I've wanted to try a glow in the dark polish for some time now and these ones seemed both decent quality and an alright price so I went ahead and ordered 3 of them.  Here's what I chose, 02 a pale green shade, 05 a neon orange and 12 a shocking pink.

I tired 02 last night and was really pleased with the results, the polish isn't great to apply, it's quite thick and takes ages to dry and it smells very strong, I would hazard a guess this is not a 3 free product!  However, with a little patience and a couple of coats over a base of Barry M white polish I managed to get a look I was quite happy with.
As you can see, over a base coat the glow in the dark polish left my nails a very pale, mint green shade.  Nothing particularly special in itself but also not horrible and perfectly wearable.  The real test was when I turned out the lights, would the polish glow brightly?  The answer is YES!  I was really pleased with how bright and clear the glow from my nails was when I went to bed that evening and I couldn't wait to try taking a few pictures to show it off.
Unfortunately my phone does not take good dark pictures and these attempts are pathetic to say the least, you'll see now why I linked the three lovely blogs at the beginning who can take pictures properly!  Next time I'll have a go with my proper camera and a different shutter speed but for now these two grainy attempts are your lot:
Although the pictures are awful I can assure you that this polish really does glow in the dark, even my partner commented on it and said how he was surprised at just how well it worked.  I can't wait to try out the other two and I will definitely be using one of these polishes at Halloween to create a spooky manicure effect.
Have you tried glow in the dark polish before?  What do you think?

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Kiko 386 & Barry M Silver Foil Stamping

Today I used Kiko 386 and Barry M Silver Foil Effects along with Cheeky plate CH48 to create this thunder bolt manicure.

I don't love it but it's quite funky.

Kiko 251

I'm not sure why I haven't picked up this Kiko polish previously to add to my collection, it's a perfect sugary sweet Barbie pink shimmer and it's perfect for summer, sunshine and holidays.

Unfortunately all my other photos are a bit rubbish, and although you couldn't tell in person these two highlight the staining which is still on my nails after wearing Nails Inc Warwick Way weeks ago!

So, not the most opaque of polishes but absolutely lovely on the nails and perfect for a pop of summer colour.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Kiko 330 & Stamping

I tried out one of my new Kiko polishes today (330), along with one of the images from the new Cheeky Summer Collection image plates (CH53).  Unfortunately, I also had a bit of a cuticle mauling incident, so to avoid having to post any horrible injury photos I've just included the one three fingered shots of the stamp.

Considering how detailed the stamp is it worked beautifully, it came out really clearly and the new larger image size is excellent for covering every bit of nail space.  My first experience of the Summer Collection was very positive, I can't wait to try out some more designs.

Micellar Water Cleansing Solution

I've been keen to try a Micellar Water for quite a while now.  I decided to hold off buying one until I'd been away on holiday as I'd heard that they were generally much cheaper in France so I was hoping Spain was the same.

I was initially trying to track down the now infamous Bioderm version (Bioderma Créaline H2O Micelle Solution) which everyone seems to have blogged about but nowhere seemed to stock it, although they did stock Bioderm products.  After several unsuccessful visits to various pharmacies and cosmetics stores I stumbled across this in the beauty section of a local Carrefour (a Spanish supermarket). 

It was 5,90 euros for the 500ml bottle so I decided to give it a try as it seemed very similar ingredient wise to all the others I have seen reviewed and looked to be a very similar product.

I used the Agua Micelar (I think we can safely assume this is the Spanish for Micellar Water, although I'm not 100% sure ;) ) for the majority of the 10 days I was away and although it felt nice enough on my skin and definitely didn't cause any break outs I really wasn't blown away initially.

I found for removing eye make up it really wasn't up to the job, it was fairly poor at removing eyeliner (I wear Urban Decay 24/7 liners around 95% of the time)  and in the end I resorted to removing my eye make up as normal and then using the Micellar Water afterwards.  It took off skin make up like foundation and powder fairly well, but the fact that it didn't remove all my eye make up put me off a bit.

However, I persevered and in time I have actually grown to really like this product.  I think initially my problem with eye makeup removal was that I was being too impatient.  I now find that when I thoroughly soak a cotton pad in the cleanser and hold it over my eye for a good few seconds it does remove the eye liner pretty well, with the bonus of being very gentle and not stinging my eyes at all.

It's definitely a very gentle product, and totally scent free, which may appeal to some people but doesn't really appeal to me.  I like my products scented and I like to feel they are really working and with this product there was no scent and it really did feel like rubbing a bit of water on my face which isn't conducive to me feeling like I have a squeaky clean, make up free face.

So, a mixed review in all.  I do like this product and I do use it a lot although I don't think it's suitable to be used alone to remove all your make up and complete your skin care routine (which Micellar Waters are sometimes sold as doing).  Personally, I like to use it either before properly cleansing my face or after I have already used a wash off cleanser, it does remove make up well and it is very gentle on my skin, I suppose the most telling thing is that I have asked my mum to bring me a second bottle over from Spain when she visits, so it can't be doing that badly.

Here's a final bottle shot just because it looks lovely in evening sun:

Have you tried another version of a similar product?  How did you find it?  Are they all similar or is it worth trying another brand when this bottle eventually runs out?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Stamping with Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint

Oh my goodness!  When I picked these up yesterday I was hoping they would stamp well but once I actually tried them out I was utterly delighted, they don't stamp well, they stamp BRILLIANTLY!  Technically I wasn't planning on posting about them on my blog today but I am so pleased with the results I just had to share! 
I decided to so a sort of skittle stamp so that I could use each of the colours at least once and I used Cheeky plate CH44 to stamp with, but I got over excited and didn't take a photo of the plate, it's another cracker with lots of lovely floral designs on it.
Now, on to the important bit, I think the photos speak for themselves here but I will add that every one of these stamps was my first attempt, the polish applies on the plate perfectly, was easy to scrape off, easy to pick up (I used my XL Stamper) and then printed onto the nail beautifully clearly and most importantly totally opaque.
Blue Plum, Pomegranate, Watermelon, Satsuma, Blackberry
Grapefruit, Blackberry, Blue Plum, Satsuma
Pomegranate, Watermelon, Satsuma, Blackberry
Grapefruit, Blackberry, Blue Plum, Satsuma
Pomegranate, Watermelon, Satsuma, Blackberry
Grapefruit, Blackberry, Blue Plum, Satsuma
Blackberry, Satsuma, Watermelon, Pomegranate
I am so delighted with these, to have 6 gorgeous cream colours in my collection to stamp with is just fantastic, often I feel I'm a bit tied into stamping in metallic shades which are pretty but can start to look same-y, no such problem now!
If you love stamping then I urge you to go out and try a couple of these, at least, they are a great addition to anyone's stamping polish collection.  Another total winner from Barry M, they are seriously raising the bar for drugstore polishes in the UK at the moment!

Barry M - Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint

When I saw the initial preview of these new polishes from Barry M I was very excited.  Then I went and looked at them in store and decided I didn't really need any of them, as pretty as they were the colours are nothing new and I have some very similar in my collection which can be given the same high gloss shine with a top coat, so I decided to pass. 
Then, while reading other blogs online, I came across several reviews of the Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints saying that they were suitable for stamping and I was sold again.  When I went back into Superdrug there was an offer one which meant if you bought 2 Barry M products you got a free Special Effects polish so obviously I was sold, who can turn down free polish?
I picked up 6, although I like the other three polishes I already have a red which stamps well and the two lighter shades don't seem to be quite so suitable for stamping with, so here's what I got:
Blackberry GNP 1, Blue Plum GNP 2, Watermelon GNP 3, Satsuma GNP 7, Grapefruit GNP 8, Pomegranate GNP 9
I chose, in order from left to right in the top two photos:
Blackberry - GNP 1
Blue Plum - GNP 2
Watermelon - GNP 3
Satsuma - GNP 7
Grapefruit - GNP 8
Pomegranate - GNP 9
I can't wait to try these out, if they do stamp as well as I hope then it'll mean I have lots of lovely new cream colours in my collection to stamp with, keep your eyes peeled for a stamping post testing them out very soon!  Edit: VERY soon in fact, after trying these polishes out with a stamping plate I had to post my, very favourable, results.
Along with the Gelly Hi Shine I got 3 free Special Effects polishes, Croc Effects in black (323) and Burgandy (343):
And a new, Limited Edition, Web Effects which I did a short post on here.
As soon as I track down an extra 3 or 4 hands I'll get a chance to test them all out!  Have you grabbed any of the new Barry M Gelly Hi Shine polishes yet, or taken advantage of Superdrug's free Special Effects offer?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Barry M - Limited Edition - Web Effect (239)

I found this polish in Superdrug today, it's part of a special offer; buy 2 Barry M products get a Special Effects polish free.  The choice was either a red or black Croc Effect or this new (limited edition) Web Effect, in a striking orange shade.

I can't find anything online about it at all, so I am guessing it's fairly new, probably launched in time for Halloween at the end of next month.  Barry M are churning out so many new polishes at the moment they don't seem to be able to keep us up to date with what is coming next!

It says Web Effects 239 on the sticker on the base of the bottle.  Here are a few quick bottle shots:

I'll report back when I've tried it properly but initial tests weren't great, a friend at work lent me a finger to test it out on and it barely showed up at all, at best it looks like a weak, orange version of the Croc Effects, definitely no spider web pattern that I could see.

I'll give it a proper test soon over a light coloured polish and see how it does but my initial trial doesn't leave me full of confidence which is a shame as a spider web effect would be a great addition to my Halloween suited polishes.

Have you seen this polish yet?  Better yet, have you tried it and if so how did you get on?

Kiko Gel Look Topcoat

While I was in Kiko this visit I decided to try one of their topcoats to see how it fared in comparison to my current favourites.  I decided to try their Gel Look topcoat as an assistant had given me a demonstration of it on a previous visit and it seemed both fast drying and nicely shiny.

It was 4,90 euros in Spain and is available on the Kiko UK site for £4.90 - here.

Here's what Kiko have to say about it:
Ultra shine and fast-drying gel top coat.
A professional formulation to set and prolong the polish's hold, with a special "acrylic nails" effect and an extra-shine result.

Thanks to the professional flat brush, application is fast and easy.

Gel Look is formulated without adding abrasive ingredients such as Toluene, Camphor, DBP or Formaldehyde.

Hypoallergenic = formulated to ensure minimum instance of allergic reactions.

I was pretty impressed with how quickly the topcoat dried and it does leave a nice glossy finish on the nails, my polish lasted really well while I was wearing it too which is always a bonus, even though I was in and out of the sea and pool regularly.

The one small criticism I have of this top coat is that it seems prone to bubbling.  As you take the brush in and out of the bottle it seems to create small air bubbles in the polish which are then transferred onto your nails, although you can remove most of these by sweeping them off the nail any that remain end up leaving a little circular hole in your polish which really doesn't look good at all.

Although this didn't happen on every finger of every manicure it did happen fairly often which disappointed me a little, I was careful with application after I first noticed the issue so I don't think it's due to my technique.

It may however be due to weather, the heat in Spain seems to make polish much harder to work with - I often find colours don't apply quite so well while I'm out there as they do when I get them back to cool, damp Scotland - so I am keen to try this topcoat out now I'm back in the UK and see if the bubbles are heat related.

Overall this is not a bad topcoat at all, bubbling aside, but I'm not sure I would buy another bottle when Sally Hansen's Insta Dri is available for a similar price.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

More Double Stamping

I really loved this look when I did it before so I thought I'd try a similar look again but with slightly different colours.
I started off with Kiko 381 as a base, a gorgeous slate grey cream.
Then I added some stamping with Barry M Chameleon pink (words cannot describe how well this polish stamps) and Cheeky plate 50:
As a quick aside, I had been cleaning up my stamping mess with acetone and a brush but I found that often the colour bled around my cuticle or stained my skin slightly and ended up looking a little imperfect so this time I decided to try another way to remove the excess polish.
Once my nails were dry I simply massages Body Shop Hemp Moisture High Balm (Lush Lemon Flutter Cuticle Butter works just as well) into my cuticles and fingertips while I watched TV, the oil in the balm helped to lift all the excess polish right off my nails and leave them looking perfect.  It took a while but it's not something that takes much concentration so I was quite happy to spend 20 minutes while watching TV doing it, with the added bonus you have beautifully well moisturised hands afterwards (excuse the rouge cat hair).
Here are a couple of the initial stamp in daylight, I loved this stamp alone and I'll definitely be using it again soon, it stamps beautifully, especially considering how intricate the design is.
Then I used Cheeky plate 15 to add a little bow, in Barry M Gold Foil, over the top:
And here's how it turned out:

Look out for my other exciting stamping related find this week, very successful stamping with the new Barry M Gelly Hi Shine polishes. More awesome stamping suitable polishes from the lovely Barry M!