Monday, 22 September 2014

Neon Stars featuring The Nail Arcade!

Hi!

Today I have some cute neon star studs from The Nail Arcade to share with you! I love anything neon on my nails, but haven't ventured into the world of neon studs yet, so these star shaped ones really appealed to me! I used a mix of the stars to accent some neon star stamping using Pueen 44 and my new Mundo de Unas stamping polishes (which I will do a separate post on soon). They were easy to apply (just popped them onto some wet topcoat, and then added another layer of topcoat to seal them in) and they've so far lasted three days with none pinging off or losing their colour! I think these are a great way to take your neon into Autumn/Winter if you want to be seasonally appropriate, and don't break the bank at just 95p for a wee bag of 50 studs. What's more, they are a UK based store, so you don't have to wait weeks for them to arrive, and you're supporting local business. Win win!




The lovely Rachel at The Nail Arcade sent me a sweet little package of goodies to try out, so you can expect more posts from me singing their praises! And in the meantime check them out on Etsy, Twitter and Facebook!

Hx

Some products in this post were provided free of charge for review purposes. As always all opinions are 100% my own. All other products were purchased myself.
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Friday, 19 September 2014

Barry M Autumn Gelly Collection Swatch and Review!

Hi!

It's not often (in fact, I think this is a first) that I swatch an entire collection, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's not often that I like an entire collection enough to buy the whole set, and as my polish budget is fairly limited I can't afford to buy a polish just to swatch if I don't love it. And secondly, I rarely have the time to sit and polish my nails over and over in one sitting. Nor do I think my pictures are anything special! However, when I saw the Autumn Gelly nail paint collection from Barry M I wanted, nay needed, them all, my youngest bubba just started full time school (sob) so I managed to spare an hour for some swatching, and the sun was shining so I hoped to get a decent pic. No excuses, so off I swatched!

Barry M has come up trumps with this collection of 6 polishes from their Hi-Shine Gelly range, all named after spices (with the exception of Cocoa) that are perfect Autumn colours. Most are unique to my collection, which is getting rarer and rarer these days, and I think filled a gap in Barry M's range too. It's great to see some more muted, unique colours. All of my swatches show two coats with no topcoat. The formula was thinner than I've come to expect from the Gelly range, which isn't a bad thing as some of them, especially the white-based colours (I'm looking at you Huckleberry) can be a little on the thick side. I had no issues with application, and the dry time was great.

Mustard is exactly that; a mustard yellow cream. This is probably the most unique of the set, unlike anything I've got in my collection. I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I do, but it has a warmth to it which means it avoids the baby-poo look!



Cocoa is the darkest of the bunch, a dark brown that's not too red but avoids looking black. I can imagine this looking beautifully cosy with some gold glitter.



Cardamom was my favourite, although it is slightly darker on the nail than in the bottle it is still a lovely dusty mid-green.



Chai is a perfect grey cream. It comes a close second to Cardamom for me and I've already worn this again.



Paprika is Cocoa's redder, paler sister and reminds me a silky melted milk chocolate.



Lastly, Chilli, which is the reddest of the collection, and I think it will make a lovely autumn pedicure colour.



It's hard for me to pick a favourite here, but if I was pushed I'd go for Cardamom with Chai a close second, and Mustard bringing up the rear! I've already worn Chai with some stamping, but I broke a nail before I could get a good picture :( Anyway, I can see myself reaching for these over and over in the next few months! Which is your favourite?

I purchased these myself from Superdrug, where they are currently on 3 for 2 - so you can get all 6 for a few pence less than £16. What a naughty enabler I am!

Hx
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Monday, 1 September 2014

Black and white and bling: Born Pretty Store Black and White Rhinestone review

Hi!

Today I have for you some simple blinged up monochrome nails thanks to Born Pretty Store! I chose these black and white pearlescent rhinestones from their huge range because they looked just a bit different to the other studs and gems I have in my nail art stash. They come in a wheel with circle, heart and elliptic shapes of each colour and there are 200 in total. As with most rhinestones they're easy to apply - I simply used an old eyeliner pencil to pick them up and popped them into my topcoat. I didn't use topcoat over them, as I find this alters the shape a little, but they lasted a day without accident! You could go very simple or very extravagant with these, they're a really versatile nail art gem!





These are just $2.80 with free shipping worldwide, but I warn you if you go to the Born Pretty website be prepared to lose a couple of hours as it's a veritable Aladdin's cave of nail and beauty goodies. They ship from China, but these came within about 10 days and were well packaged. You can also get a further 10% off your order by using my code NBL91.



I have a few more things to share with you over the next few days too :)

Hx

The item featured was provided to me for free in exchange for a review. My opinions are 100% my own and always honest.
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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Why does it have to be such a blue kiss?

Hi!

It's been a while since I've done a Sunday Stamping mani, and this weeks theme was to use a colour combination you've not used before. I had to think hard, but eventually decided to use pink and blue and a design inspired by Mod Nails. I left off the bow from her design, as I only have white ones, and replaced it with a stud, and moved the designs around a bit. The polishes used were OPI Pink Friday and Sally Hansen Insta Dry Blue By, and the glitter was China Glaze Snow Globe. The kisses were from two Bundle Monster plates and an Essence plate, and the stripes (first time I've got them straight!) from MoYou Pro 01. Oh, and I went back to almonds which I think suits my curvy bendy nails much better when they're long.





I like this as a colour combo, and I wouldn't have thought of it if it wasn't for the challenge. I love how challenges continue to push me, even if I'm not always happy with the result! This time, I was though. Happy Helly.

Hx
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Ahoy there!

Hi!

Well, look at me posting twice in a week and stuff! I really liked these nails and so I thought they deserved a post. They were inspired by my new phone case, which I bought from Born Pretty Store, and I just love it. I love all things nautical and particularly anchors, and the design was really easy to recreate. I used all Barry M polishes in my base; Huckleberry, which is a super pale blue, and I then dabbed on Damson and Matte White with scrunched up clingfilm to get the mottled background. I actually wore it like this for a day before adding the stamping, from Cheeky's Summer collection. Pictures ahoy! Please excuse the odd shape of my index finger, it has a patch on it which is making it flatter than usual, if that makes sense! They'll all be going back to almonds shortly!







And before the stamp...



I loved the subtle effect, and think I got a pretty good match to the phone case! Funny where we find inspiration sometimes :)

Thank you for all the lovely comments on Sunday's post, it means a lot.

Hx
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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Fight for Life and Live

Hi!

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it?! Almost 2 months since I blogged last, and I am so ashamed of that for a multitude of reasons. The thing is, life just sometimes gets in the way and recently a lot of "life" has happened. My beautiful Mummy was taken seriously ill, and as she doesn't live close to me a lot of two-ing and fro-ing has ensued. She's got a long journey of recovery ahead of her, but hopefully she's on the mend. My own health hasn't been fantastic, I'm having trouble with my eyes and earlier in the year I had two miscarriages within the space of 4 months, which was painful both physically and emotionally. We also lost our lovely cat George, who had been our furbaby for almost 10 years. Mr NN has had work trouble and was made unemployed (again), leaving us with no car and uncertainty over a lot of things. He's working now, but only agency work, which is never reliable and could end any day. The end of term was busy for me and my boys, and now they're on their summer holidays and running me ragged. We were planning a house move, which fell through at the last minute and was very stressful and upsetting. As a result of that, we decided to do some decorating and rearranging of the house we're in, which honestly was just as stressful! All of this sounds like excuses, right? I wont blog tonight, I'm too worried about Mum/ stressed about money/ tired from painting. But it all contributed to me feeling just too overwhelmed to take anything else on, or some days to even function enough to get dressed. Which is why today seemed like a fitting time to break the silence and make an effort to blog.

I've posted about depression and how it's affected me and my family before (you can read about it here), and recently I just can't keep the black dogs from creeping in closer. And I don't know what to do to make myself feel better. Nothing I do is going to lift this heavyness from my chest for now. It's there, it's real and it's bloody scary. Sometimes, when I feel like this I get obsessive about not feeling adequate. I've still been painting my nails, stamping, glittering and nail art-ing them, but feeling like the final result hasn't been good enough to post. And when they were good enough, the photos didn't come out well, when I even bothered to photograph them at all. But of course they're good enough (some of my photos have been cringeworthy and I still posted those!) It's just, in my mind, I'm not good enough. I'm the same with other things in my life. Food, make-up, my house. If it's not perfect I give up, binge eat, ignore the mess, hide away. But I enjoy blogging and the community surrounding it. I know my nails aren't perfect, that I don't photoshop my mistakes, I'm an honest blogger. It shouldn't be a stressful thing.

So, I'm going to make an attempt to get my blogging mojo back. I'm not putting too much pressure on myself, and I certainly wont be posting everyday or pushing myself to be perfect. I am what I am and it's about getting me to accept me. Any additional support is just a bonus.

The death and apparent suicide of Robin Williams on Monday hit me hard. I grew up watching Mork and Mindy, and I don't know anyone who could honestly say Mrs Doubtfire isn't one of their favourite films. It came as a shock to many that a comic genius could suffer so badly from depression that he would take his own life, but it just goes to show that these black dogs come in many shapes and sizes, and they don't discriminate. Whatever form it takes, if you even suspect that you're suffering, tell someone. No one is going to laugh, or tell you just t cheer up and get over it. Depression is real, and there are so many things you can do about it.

My green mani in support of depression awareness comes in the form of Picture Polish Tail Feather, which embodies so many of my favourite things - mint green, sparkles, peacocks and one of my favourite bloggers, Kayla Shevonne. Peacocks for me have huge connotations. Many people see them as bad omens, because of the eyes on their tail feathers, and because they have strong stomachs and can eat things that would poison other birds. But to me, this epitomizes strength, and only adds to their beauty. It reminds me to be proud of myself, that I am strong and beautiful despite, or even because of, my imperfections. I even have a peacock feather tattoo, a permanent reminder to just be me.








I hope I didn't ramble too much, and I hope to be able to post again sometime this week. Please have a look at everyone else's beautiful green manis - but if you only look at one please make it Debbie's over at The Crumpet. It's so beautifully written it made me cry.

Hx



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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Adventures in Stamping - World Music Day

Hi!

Apparently yesterday was world music day, so to celebrate this week's stamping Sunday theme was music. I decided on a bright gradient with some music notes in black for a summery look! The three polishes in the gradient were all from the Models Own Polish for Tans collection - Bikini (yellow), Beach Bag (peach) and Shades (pink) over Crabtree and Evelyn Snowdrop. The stamping was from Cheeky CH31 and I stamped with a new-to-me black - MUA Pitch Black. I usually use Konad Black, which is ever so slightly more opaque but an absolute pig to clean up. This is the only other black that I've been happy with stamping wise, and you can pick it up on the high street for a quid! I would suggest grabbing it if you see it as I've been looking for a while and kept coming up empty handed. Now I'll grab another as soon as I can!






I think keeping it simple over a bright busy base is the way to go. It looks striking without being too in your face. I really like and I'm glad it didn't chip after spending most of the day swimming today, so bonus!

Hx
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