Monday, 30 June 2014

Maybelline Color Show

I cannot believe it's July tomorrow.  Where has this year gone?  Seriously?  Is this just what happens when you get older?  All the fun starts this month :)  I have hen do number one on Saturday, hen do number two two weeks later, and then it won't be long before the wedding is upon us!  I'll be sad when it's all over though :(

So today I just wanted to show you a couple of quick swatches, both from the Maybelline Color Show collection.

First up, Wine Shimmer.


Now this has photographed quite pink, and whilst it is a pinky red, you'll have to take my word for it that it's more red in real life!  The above photo is taken in natural light and is pretty accurate, but I don't know what's going on in the next two in my lightbox (probably makes them pretty useless as swatches...oh well!).

This is a really great polish.  I picked it up partly because I was just having one of those days where I needed to buy some polish, and partly because I thought it looked quite unusual - a fairly ordinary shade of red but with an intriguing little sparkle.


This is a jelly polish I guess, but lovely and opaque in two coats.  Or three if you're feeling lavish.  And that little scattered holo sparkle is so darn pretty!  This was a seriously good find :D


Next up, Rain Forest Canopy.  That name really amuses me for some reason.


This is one of their Polka Dot polishes, which are available in a few different colours.  This particular one, as you can see, is a teal jelly base with loads of black and white hex glitters in all different sizes crammed in.  I feel like I'm always saying this, but I love to see high street brands producing the sorts of polishes that you could once only get from indies.


Pretty as this is, I would say you need undies with it.  Depends how much of an exhibitionist you are I suppose, but I used three coats here and wasn't really happy with the amount of visible nail line.  Nice matching teal undies would make it pretty darn perfect though.

I have to say, Maybelline isn't a brand I normally give a second glance.  In fact, according to my app, these are the only two Maybelline polishes I own!  Do we have any Maybelline lovers out there who could recommend some other colours I should try?

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Duochrome Leopards

Wouldn't it be awesome if duochrome leopards actually existed...?  Can't help but feel my nails are a bit of a let down now compared to these imaginary leopards!

I picked up a couple of the Revlon Chroma Chameleons a little while back, because a brand new polish collection being available in Poundland is just too much for me to resist.  Amongst the many I bought was Amethyst, a light purple with a green-greyish shift.  I wanted something a bit more than just a plain manicure in a hurry, so I decided a quick leopard print over this would fit the bill nicely!


I did these quickly before we went out, so the photos are from the next day - apologies for the dints and little chipped corners!


It's a very pretty subtle shift.  For a little bit more oomph you can use it over black as well, which helps to deepen the colours.  Not bad for a pound, although unfortunately I've come to expect a little more from multichromes thanks to the likes of Picture Polish and Hits!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

My Adventures with Fuse

A few months back, I was travelling back home from uni through London one evening, and I decided to pop into Boots to pick some Sudafed up for my fiance.  Because I'm caring like that.  As a reward for being so darn thoughtful, while I was there I bought myself a Fuse gel nail starter kit, plus a polish or two to go with it...

If you haven't heard of Fuse before, you can find out a little more here.  It's created by Sensationail, and it's marketed as an all-in-one one coat gel nail system.  The starter kit contains the lamp and USB cable, buffer, cleanser, lint-free wipes and one polish.  It's an LED lamp, and curing takes 30 seconds.  The starter kit retails for £35 in Boots (I haven't seen them anywhere else) and extra polishes are £15.  Don't tell my fiance.

A few notes about the lamp - it's only big enough for one finger at a time, but more about that later!  It comes with a USB cable, but no plug, so you can either plug it into your laptop, or use an adapter like you get with kindles/phones/cameras etc.  I'm sure everyone has at least one of those plugs lying around somewhere these days!  It's quite a short cable, so I personally don't have anywhere that I could plug it in and not end up having to sit behind the TV or something to paint my nails, so I plug it into my laptop.  That works quite well for me; I use my laptop as a little table and use it to do my nails on :D  It's fine, my laptop's used to the abuse.  I also has quite a cute feature, in that the top of the lamp (the bit that actually has the bulbs in) can be detached from the rest on the unit, and turned around to use on your toes, rather than trying to stick one toe in at a time which I can't imagine would be very comfortable!

Anyhoo, on to my adventures!  So I bought a starter kit that came with Na-no Way!, a hot pink creme, and I also bought Gone Fission (not just because I love a good physics pun) and Lights, Camera, Re-action!  I've also since bought E-motion.

So I got home, all very excited, got all my bits out to play (not like that).  I decided to just go for using the hot pink that came with the starter kit and doing a plain manicure.  I gently buffed my nails; the buffer is reeeeaally rough, like rougher than the nail file I normally used, so I was a bit wary of going too overboard with it.  I then used the cleanser, as instructed, and got started on applying the polish!

So here's my issue number one.  Some people may thing "You can only cure one nail at a time?? That'll take ages! I can't be bothered with that!".  However, since this is a one-step system, and you have 10 nails to sure once each, that amounts to a total of 5 minutes curing time.  To be honest, I didn't find that a problem, I just painted one nail and cured it while I painted the next.  For a normal gel nail system you'll have your base, two coats of colour, plus top coat.  You have to cure in three goes, so that's 6 minutes total curing time.  And thus...Fuse is actually quicker!

Except for one thing.  These are by no stretch of the imagination one coaters.  Like seriously.  That's not just be being fussy, you couldn't leave the house with one coat, you'd look like an idiot.  For this pink, I used three coats to get an opaque finish.

Issue number 2: it buuuurns!  I have no idea why.  I've used Red Carpet Manicure which is also LED and that didn't burn.  I don't know if it's because you have to apply this polish quite thickly (it's like applying treacle).  But seriously, I didn't even know my nails could burn.  Ow!

But burning aside, I was very excited about my gel nails :D I excitedly showed them off to everyone in uni the next day, and then got very sad when I got a chip :(  And then more chips.  And then, issue number 3, the next day just as I was about to leave for work, this happened:


Perfect.  And, issue number 4, it stained!  I suppose it's not surprising really that you buff away the surface of your nail, apply a colour to it with no barrier in between and it stains.  But still.  Not happy.  Happy I hadn't bought the blue though.  Removal though was easy (ha, not surprising!).  I used the foil method and they came off no problem :)

I figured that, being new to the game, it was probably my application that was the problem.  So, not to be defeated so easily, I tried again!  And this time I really buffed!  I was working away with the Environment Agency for a fortnight and couldn't really take any polish with me so I wanted something that would last.  This time I went for Gone Fission.  I'm never quite sure how people will react to nail polish, so I thought something pale was probably sensible (and glitter's sensible too.  Right?).

Here it is.  All four coats of it.  I really think it's too dense to be a topper though so who knows what they were thinking.  This was seriously thick by the time I was done as well.  However, to give credit where it's due, these did last without chipping until I removed them because of growth.


Yeah, glitter, pretty etc etc.  ISSUE NUMBER FIVE!!! Look at that bottle.  What do you see?  Pale pink with flakies?  Indeedy.  Do you see any flakies on my nails?  No you do not.  The bottle is a LIE.  The polish is just a 'full coverage' glitter.  It has a couple of different shades of pink glitter, but no lovely creme base, no beautiful flakies.  Hmph.


 And then...Ugh, I shudder just thinking about it.  The removal.  It just wouldn't come off.  I soaked and I soaked and I soaked and it wasn't going anywhere.  I had to...sob...pick...sob...and buff...and weep gently as I whispered lovingly to my nails "it'll be'll all be okay".  I was using that Poundland stuff though, which I could swear used to be pure acetone but now has jojoba oil in, so maybe if I'd used pure acetone it would have been okay.  But still.  All very traumatic.

I've had one more go since, using the other two polishes (which did look like the bottle).  I was back to the issues I had with the pink - the corners lifted and started peeling by the next morning.  So currently for me, these polishes are utterly pointless because they don't last as long as normal polish.

I have pretty much assumed I'm just rubbish at application.  But then, I've used two other gel systems (full gel systems) with no problems - they haven't chipped on me, even with constant abuse from being painted over and that polish removed time and time again, and removal has been easy with both.  So I don't know...  Whilst I don't think the small lamp is an issue, I do of course think that fact that the polishes don't last is!  And I'm also very upset at the misleading bottle for Gone Fission.  In hindsight, I wish I'd done a but more research and bought a decent gel system rather than just impulse buying this because it was in a cute little box.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has used Fuse and what your experiences were.  Or any other one-step gel system for that matter!  Leave your thoughts in the comments :)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Born Pretty Store Shells


I hope you're all having a lovely Tuesday.  They're better than Mondays at least.

I have another Born Pretty Store product to show you today.  Born Pretty Store sell about a million and one nail art products (don't quote me on that...), amongst which are these little shells.


I don't know what to call them...charms? Studs?  Anyway, you get the idea!

Now, I do like to use a stud or gem near the bottom of my nail (I did a post about it here in fact), so I thought that could be a manicure to do with these :)  Plus a little glitter gradient.  I toyed with using an aqua-ish colour for a nice mermaidy look, but I settled on a light purple in the end.


Now, because I'm a terrible blogger I can't actually tell you what polish this is.  Oops!  It's either OPI Planks A Lot or You're Such a Budapest.  I really should start making notes...  The glitter I do know!  It's Saffron 07.  I think the glitter is too chunky really - the shells are a bit lost amongst it.  Does anyone know a good fine silver glitter?  Ideally like Barry M Gold Glitter but silver (hopefully I'm not just being stupid and haven't noticed they also do a silver!).

The shells are easy to work with though :)  Could pick them up with a dampened toothpick as I normally do with all my studs, stuck on well with topcoat, and although they're a little bit 3D they don't stick out too much from the nail to be a problem.

If you'd like to 'get your shell on', check them out here.  They're only £1.63 a pack, and I didn't count how many there were, but suffice to say there's plenty for a fair few manicures..  I've shown you the 3mm ones here, but there's also a 5mm available, and both sizes available in gold.  As always, you can use the code LKL91 to get 10% off your order, and shipping is free worldwide.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Barry M Countess (+dupe?)

Hello hello hello!

So yet again I've been rubbish at posting - it's this wedding I tell you!  Come September I'll actually have time to paint my nails again.  The other half is away this weekend on his stag, and I've actually run out of wedding-related things to do (for the time being...) so I thought I should take the opportunity to write a few blog posts!

I'm still working through the back log of photos, so today I have a swatch of Countess, from the Barry M Royal textured glitter collection.  This is yet another polish that I bought really soon after it became available thinking I could get some swatches up while there still weren't many about...and then didn't post them for several months.

I decided just to pick up the one polish from this collection, since I have a well-established dislike of textured polish.  I thought at least one was worth a go though, since I hadn't tried any sparkly textures before.  For some reason I chose Countess - it is a mystery to me why I keep buying colours like this when I hate them on me, but there we go.

Here it is in all it's lumpy glory!


Yum...  So yeah, I hate it just as much as I hated all textures I tried before this.  It is super sparkly though!


So anyway, I was looking at this abomination on my nails and thinking it looked quite similar in colour to Cirque Planet Caravan.  Except that the Cirque isn't a texture of course.  So I did a quick comparison, adding some Seche Vite to the Barry M to smooth it out.  Cirque on index and ring, Barry M on the others!


So...I was kind of right?  Clearly not dupes but the colours are very similar - that sort of black base with purple shimmery particles through it.  The particles in Countess are clearly bigger than in Planet Caravan though.

I actually prefer the Barry M, it's more sparkly and I do love me some sparkle!  For me, the Cirque is just too dark and vampy.  In terms of formula though, you obviously need to topcoat the Barry M if you want it to look like this, and although I haven't done a wear-test with this particular polish, I generally find Barry M polishes chip after a day or two.  This is the only Cirque I own, and the application is lovely.  You may remember I used this for a comparison of two different top coats - turns out this polish just does not chip!  And it smells of lavender, always a bonus!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend, whatever you're doing :)

Friday, 6 June 2014

GIVEAWAY! More prizes added!

Hello lovely ladies!  Just a reminder that there's still time to enter my #guessthepolish giveaway!  The competition will close at midnight Sunday, so get your guesses in before then.

A quick recap:

Just guess which UK brand the polish featured is from.  One winner will be chosen at random from all those who guess correctly to win a bottle of the mystery polish along with some other nail goodies (and maybe even some sweets if I'm feeling generous).

EXTRA PRIZE!  Another winner will be chosen from all remaining entries to win a bottle of the mystery polish.

So make sure you get your guesses in before the deadline.  You don't even need to be right to be in with a chance of winning!

If you'd rather enter on Facebook, you can do so HERE.

Monday, 2 June 2014


Evening ladies!

So, as promised, a little competition...

I was contacted by a company asking me to participate in hosting this competition (so you may have seen this on a few other blogs as well!) and it seemed like fun, so why the heck not!

It's simple enough, just guess what brand the polish is!


This colour is one of 22 released in a new core collection by this brand.  It's like seriously super shiny (not that it really matters because everything gets Seche Vited anyway, but I'm still impressed by a shiny polish).  I've had it on for 5 days now and my left hand is still chip-free (my right hand would be too but I broke a nail).  That's pretty good going seeing as everything seems to chip on me at the moment.  Nothing to do with the fact that my nails are feeling slightly sorry for themselves after I picked off gel polish (I'm suitably ashamed of myself).  I also love this colour - it's a proper true red.  Not pinky, not orangey, not dark, just RED.  Faaaabulous.

So...should I give you some clues?  Hmm...

OK...let's see...this is a British brand and it's widely available in the UK.  That's all you're getting.

To enter, just leave your guess of what brand this polish is from in the comments (or on the Facebook post here if you'd rather).  All those who guess correctly will be entered in to a prize draw ( Excel spreadsheet with a random number generator) and one winner chosen at random.  The winner will receive one bottle of the mystery polish plus a few extra goodies from myself :)  

Giveaway closes midnight on Sunday 8th June 2014.

This is unfortunately UK only - sorry international ladies, but if I try to send it abroad Royal Mail will just destroy it because they're mean like that :(  Also, goes without saying, but anonymous comments won't be eligible, as I'll have no idea who to contact if they win! Winners will be contacted through the account they use to enter - so if you use Facebook please keep an eye on your others folder. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.

I think that's everything you need to know.  Good luck everyone!

EDIT:  Another prize added!  One winner will be chosen at random from ALL entries (even uncorrect ones) to win a second bottle of the mystery polish!