Thursday, 31 March 2011

Haul =D

My first official haul :)

They are:

17 Nail Xtras Nail Tip Whitener, Matte Topcoat and Glitter Topcoat
Natural Collection Raspberry, Maybelline Express Finish Diamonds Cosmic Flash
Barry M Lavender Hexograms, Hologram Hexograms and Silver Cascade

Pretty Happy with that little lot :) Ordering more when we get paid, including a silver shatter polish :) Can't wait x
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NOTD - Natural Collection Raspberry

My first NOTD! I might not do one every day, but I am going to try to - even if it's not a full new mani, just a change to the previous day. So for example tonight I'm going to add either a glittery or matte topcoat to this NOTD and post it tomorrow :)

Natural Collection is a range of cosmetics sold in Boots stores in the UK. I don't know if it's available anywhere else. The range is very cheap affordable but still, I think, good quality. I've been using their tinted moisturiser since I was about 14 (a long time ago...)! These pictures were taken after I'd worn the polish a whole day, so there is some tip wear, but surprisingly few chips, especially as I went without a topcoat.

Sorry about the state of my skin, especially on the middle finger (and that is photoshopped a little to save you from the real horror).

I think it could use a third coat to get it completely opaque, but I don't mind it a little sheer. I think this is a great polish for such a bargain price (under £2) and I will be adding more :) The only downside is that the colours tend to be more traditional, reds and pinks, rather than blue, purple and glitter, but good staple colours nonetheless. Are there any bargain brands you can recommend?
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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Barbara Daly Honeycomb

Barbara Daly is a make-up line stocked at Tesco, and since Tesco is the only place that sells nail polish in my small town I have a few BD polishes. The Tesco pharmacy stocks Rimmel, Maybelline, BD and something else I can't remember... But anyway, that's where a lot of my polishes will be from!

However, whenever I get a BD polish I am always disappointed. I loved the colour of this one, but it was a pig to apply. Streaky and thick, and now it's dry it's bubbled. The pics below are two coats plus Natural Collection Crystal Clear as a top coat in natural sunlight. You can see how much I had to cull my nails too :(

Like I say I loved the colour. My three year old said it looked like chocolate, and I guess it does have a melted milk chocolate feel to ti. But it was such a pig to apply and looks messy now so I probably wont use it again, at least not for a full manicure.
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Monday, 28 March 2011

Calamity Jane...

Major sadface here, I broke two nails and 3 more have splits in them :( All in the space of a day! So, I bit the bullet and trimmed all my nails down short (the ones with the splits in are too far down on the nail bed so I have to hope they last until they grow out a little bit). But short nails can still be cute and I'll still be keeping this up to date! I'm going to paint them in a while, and I also need to post the mini-haul I got yesterday :) And update my wishlist...this blogging business is keeping me busy!
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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Tee hee

Quick post before I go to bed - my significant other let me paint his nails tonight! Of course I picked the most girly colours I have and added a flower using a pin head as a dotting tool ;)

Colours are Collection 2000 Maxiflex Pink Passion on thumb, middle and little, and Beauty UK Lilac Girl with the flower in Maybelline Forever Strong Couture Orange (middle) and Collection 2000 Maxiflex Hot Purple (petals)

One good thing to come out of this is that I think I found the right camera setting lol

Right bed for me, any UK peeps remember the clocks go forward tonight *yawn*

Nanight x
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April Monthly Wishlist

Well the Maybelline Forever Strong Pro that's meant to last up to 7 days hasn't survived half a day of housework without a few chips and I have to say I officially hate the polish. I don't know if it's just this one from the range as it's a neon and has a sort of jelly finish, but it's not a nice finish on my nails. Oh well, at least I now have an orange, and I'm sure it will come in useful for nail art when I get more into it. Which leads me to the real reason for this post. I've decided every month to post a wishlist of polishes etc that I want to add to my stash. At the moment it wont be in any particular order, just a list of things for me to look out for (and for anyone following to suggest brands/items to try out - once I get more than one follower lol). As March is almost over already I'll start with April and update it throughout the month as I pick things up (and lust over more)!

April's Monthly Wishlist Last Updated 20/04

Maybelline Express Finish Diamonds
Barry M Cyan or Cobalt got cobalt :)

Striper brush/es 
At least one konad/fauxnad - on their way, hurry up so I can tick this off!
White polish 
Green polish 
Gold glitter polish on it's way :)
Cuticle oil 
Matte top coat? (tried one this morning and not sure if I like it enough yet)
Seche vite on it's way!
Models Own crackles purple and silver got W7 silver instead

Added 31/3
Slate grey/pewter polish
Good basecoat

Added 12/4
Pale blue, pale pink and yellow creme polishes

This morning I ordered Barry M Hologram Hexograms, Lavender Hexograms and Silver Cascade, and am bidding on Blue Glitter, Cyan Blue and Blueberry on ebay (although I keep getting outbid and there are almost 4 days left still :/) Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to go to Boots and have a mooch around as a friend of mine picked up the maybelline polish I want in there this morning (apparently it's a topcoat with flakies - WANT!) and although I'll be going to a different branch and it's not on the Boots website I've got my fingers crossed! If not, I have a voucher for £10 and almost £10 worth of advantage points so I'm sure I'll find something! 

Anyway, that's all for now back to the grind. I'm excited today because I'm going to the cinema tomorrow for the first time in YEARS! Last time I went it was to see Borat and I just checked and that came out in 2006! And also my Mummy is coming to stay for a few days =) Happy Helly! I'm changing my nails tomorrow afternoon hopefully so I'll charge my camera ready to take some pics (and figure out a better setting...)

Until tomorrow!
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Friday, 25 March 2011

Not sure - Maybelline Orange Couture with my first nail art in a long time!

My life is so glam - I spent my Friday evening on my hands and knees scrubbing my living room rug! How thrilling! At least I got to paint my nails after though :)

These pictures are bad. Just a warning! I will take some better ones in the morning in natural light but I just wanted to get some done in case it chips in the meantime. I'm not sure about the colour. Actually I like it, just not on me! It's way too bright for me, or rather, way too bright compared to what I usually wear anyway. This was too coats and could have done with another but I was being impatient :p

I really must practice and find the right setting on my camera. In these pics the colour looks a little corally, but it really is a lot more orange on the nail.

And the little crackle hearts on my ring finger :) LOVE this idea, must admit I stole it from another blog, A Polish Problem although I didn't draw the heart freehand, I used a tape stencil and just did one central heart as accents on my ring fingers. Ok, I'm a 29 year old woman, maybe I shouldn't have little hearts on my nails, but I like them! I have been browsing Konads...dangerous territory!

I am a little down about this mani though. Firstly, I have a tear on my right thumb nail and my attempts at patching it are awful, so it's all lumpy and bumpy. I don't know whether to persevere with patching or put a falsie over it until it grows out because it is so far down it's going to HURT if it tears right off. I don't like using falsies because they damage the nail underneath and it's a slippery slope. Secondly, my fiance took the mickey out of the colour and my cute hearts, saying they were stupid and because of the crackle they don't even look like hearts. I could have cried. He just doesn't get that I want a hobby for myself instead of running around after everyone else all the time. *LeSigh*

Anyway, I'm not sure how long this will last as I'm not sure about it and I'm actually going out on Sunday evening for a meal and to the cinema and this will not go with the dress I'm planning on wearing at all. So if I get a chance to change it on Sunday afternoon I'll finally try out the nude colour I bought a week or so ago (maybe with a cheeky crackle heart or two ;) )

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Small purchase...

I popped into the pharmacy this morning after the school run and picked up the orange polish I wanted, some orange sticks and a polish corrector pen (I am quite messy when painting my nails, but trying to clean up with a cotton bud and polish remover is worse). The orange I got is Maybelline Forever Strong Pro Orange Couture. It's quite a pinky orange, and not flat like others I've seen, but I thought it would ease me into wearing brighter colours! I'm changing my manicure this evening and can't wait to try it out, and I'll take pics then :)
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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Barry M Black crackle over Beauty UK Glam Nails Lilac Girl

Ok, so I mentioned that I am a housewife and Mum to two young boys which means life is very hard on my nails! I don't have the time (or the inclination - yet!) to change my manicure every day, so I need nail colour to be adaptable and touch-up-able. The perfect polish for this, for me, is a crackle top-coat. I painted my nails with 2 coats of the Lilac Girl on Monday, touched up the chips and added another coat on Tuesday, followed by a top coat of Natural Collection Crystal Clear. It still looked good and unless you were looking really closely you wouldn't notice that I'd filled in the chips. There were more chips yesterday (Wednesday) so I did the same, but this time the polish started to look a little lumpy. So before the clear top coat I added a layer of Barry M black crackle which has disguised the lumps and bumps and will hopefully make the manicure last until tomorrow evening when I'll have time to take it off completely and try a new look. I'm quite pleased with how ingenious I've been in making the manicure last this long! Usually if I don't have time for a complete removal and re-paint I either take if off and leave my nails plain or I shamefully wear the polish all chipped and looking slutty!

I know this wont work for all looks, for example I'm going to try out a nude polish and a sponged french-tip look over the next week or so, and I don't think these would look good with a crackle over them. I guess I'll have to think of another solution for those!

I took a few pictures - again in my too-bright conservatory. Also I didn't get the angle quite right so my nails look shorter than they are. They're a fairly short squoval just a few millimeters past the tips of my finger. Please excuse the messiness - I've always been a sloppy nail-painter! I'm going to invest in a clean-up brush I promise! Also, my cuticles and the skin on my hands are very dry. I've been suffering with contact dermatitis on my hands due to using a lot of detergent (with a baby I seem to be washing my hands every 5 minutes - every time I feed, him, change his nappy, prepare food - as well as when I go the toilet or am doing any cleaning at home) and in the winter they got really bad. I've been using Lotil cream as a moisturiser and a hydrocortisone on the bad parts, and hopefully now the weather is improving they'll get better quickly. As always, any sugesstiongs of products to help would really be appreciated!

Anyway, here's the pics. I guess you would say they are taken in natural sunlight.

Please excuse my three year old's arm in the picture! I don't have time to crop it out at the moment - I guess he just wanted to join in! I'll have to tell you a funny story about him and nail polish sometime - I bet you can tell how it ends!

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My starting point

Now, if I can figure out how to upload a picture here are the 23 nail polishes that I currently own...

They are: 
Top row, left to right - Barry M Instant Effects, Wet and Wild Wild Shine Black Creme, Wet and Wild Wild Shine Denim Chrome, 17 Lasting Fix Exquisite, Barry M Indigo, Collection 2000 Maxiflex Hot Purple, Barbara Daly Velour, Beauty UK Glam Nails Lilac Girl, Barbara Daly Denim, NYC Long Wearing Nail Enamel Starry Silver Glitter, Rimmel Lasting FinishYour Majesty
Bottom row, left to right - Natural Collection Crystal Clear, Nails Inc. Victoria, Barry M Red Glitter, Barbara Daly Envy, 17 Fast Finish Knockout Red, Collection 2000 Maxiflex? (deep red with gold shimmer - name has worn off the bottle!), Collection 2000 Maxiflex Pink Passion, 17 Fast Finish Lilac Storm, nails Inc. Jermyn Street, Barbara Daly Honeycomb, Catrice Just Seconds Sophisticated Chic, Collection 2000 nailcare Growth Promoter

I don't think this is a bad starting point! The picture isn't great as the only place I could take it away from little fingers is in my conservatory and as it's a sunny day it's too bright in there, but I hope it will give you a feel for some of the colours I have. I want to add some more blue-y colours - possibly Barry M Cobalt Blue or Cyan Blue, some more pinks, and also an orange. I also used to have some brown polishes in various shades, but they seem to have been mislaid, so they need replacing. Then some more glitters - a large gold glitter and some different coloured smaller glitters. I'll also shortly be needing a new base coat (I use the collection 2000 nailcare at the moment) as the bottle is over half gone and getting gloopy. Oh, and when Models Own bring out their new crackles in a few weeks I am getting a purple and silver one!

My favourites at the moment are the 17 Exquisite which I currently have on my toes, and the Barry M Indigo. I know there are no true greens there, and I would like at least one green polish, but it's finding the right one at an affordable price.

So, that's my small stash, I'm sure I'll grow it over the coming weeks! If you have any suggestions for colours I need, good base and top coats, or anything else please comment!

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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Let's start at the beginning...

Hi! My name's Helen and I am a nail addict! Well, I'm fast becoming one at least. I am a stay at home Mum to two boys aged 3 and a half and 8 months, so as you can imagine I don't get much time to myself. There was a time when I wouldn't leave the house without make-up on, but now doing the school run at 8.30 in the morning I'm lucky if I've had the time to brush my hair! All joking aside, being so unglamorous was getting me down - almost all of my friends managed at least a coat of mascara and a clean pair of jeans most days. So, I decided that I was going to make more time for me, whether it be a weekly bubble bath (without one of the boys getting in with me), making time to pluck my eyebrows or shave my legs, and find my inner girlie girl again! After picking up a bottle of Barry M Nail Paint instant nail effects on impulse and loving taking the time to do my nails, I decided that would be where I started - nails. As a teenager I loved doing my nails and I had hundreds of nail polished lined up along my book shelves (which drove my mother mad!). I would pierce my nails, use embellishments, glitter, do my own falsies and have lots of fun with it, even using a pin head to draw little flower designs on my nails. Since then things have come a long way, my mantra this week is stay away from ebay!
Now, I don't have fantastic nails. They are ridged and they peel, and since I do all the housework without gloves (wrist slap, if you will, but I am allergic) polish doesn't last very long before it chips. At the moment though, after a few weeks of twice weekly manicures, they are probably almost the best they've ever been (apart from a dangerous split on my right thumbnail - desperately praying it holds a while or it's gonna hurt). It's probably not helped by the products I use either. See I'm on a tight budget, bargain hunting on ebay or in supermarkets to source things, so they're often not best quality. I wish I could splurge on O.P.I or Chanel nail colours, but I just can't justify it when I have mouths to feed and nappies to buy.
So, that's all about me and why I'm here. My next two posts will be a picture of all the nail colours I currently own, and then the manicure I'm wearing at the moment (which I'll write about in more detail then, but I've made it last 4 days with a bit of ingenuity, which is a record for me!)
So, thanks for reading! Please feel free to suggest any hints and tips, or other blogs I should subscribe to. I'm determined to get good at this, and make doing my nails a fun new hobby :)
Helen x

EDIT: Just thought I'd add that I'm from the UK - a lot of the blogs I've glanced at are US based and some of the awesome products used aren't available here :( Another reason I can't spend a lot on polish - often the postage is more than the polish itself!
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