Saturday, 30 August 2014

Claire's Nail Polish Haul

I've been really curious about the Claire's nail polishes recently so bought 2 polishes and one nail art set. I posted this photo on my instagram and asked people which brand they thought it might be. One of the guesses was Orly, but no one expected it to be from Claires!

This holographic glitter beautify is called Magical Unicorn. It's a super gorgeous pale purple ultra beautiful scattered holographic micro glitter polish. I used 4 coats to get it fully opaque, but you can definitely get away with three thicker ones or some extra glitter placement at the tip.

I paired it with Kester Black Lilac and created a quick glitter gradient.

The second nail polish I bought is White Neon. It's a pastel neon, which are totally on trend this summer.

The formula on this was amazing. I used three coats to get it fully opaque. It was really easy to apply and I had no trouble with bald spots.

This is what I was hoping Grass Is Lime Greener from China Glaze would be like. The formula on that is pretty horrendous, streaky, bald patches, dries too quick and matte finish. White Neon is smooth and super glossy. Although the colours aren't identical (Grass Is Lime Greener is slightly more warm toned) I'd pick this over China Glaze any day!

The nail art set I bought are these neon studs. They come in this little wheel and have round and square studs in blue, orange, green, pink, yellow and purple.

The colours are really bright and will add a cool pop of colour to any manicure. I decided to apply the studs to a plain white base and paint my middle and ring finger with Peonies and Park Avenue by China Glaze.

What do you think about these items from Claires? Will you be stopping by and checking out their nail polishes?

xx Elaine

Friday, 29 August 2014

Rose Nail Art

I've never done anything even close to a french manicure... I'd say this is the closest!

These nails are inspired by @nailsandtowel on Instagram. I thought hers looked so classy, beautiful and elegant so I wanted to give them a go.

I painted my index finger, middle finger and pinky with one of my all time favourite deeper reds: OPI Just A Little Rosti At This. I've had this nail polish for almost a year and it was my first OPI bought in Australia. I am seriously in love with it! Especially because it's a one coater!

On my ring finger I just painted a base coat and covered the tip of my nail with OPI Alpine Snow. I then applied some large dots using JALRAT and before they dried swirled some white polish through.

This is probably one of the quickest manicures I've ever done, but I think it looks really classy for a special occasion.

What do you think of these?
xx Elaine

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Pastel Abstract Nail Art - Mani Swap

I asked one of my friends @annkristin0 on instagram if she wanted to do a mani swap with me and she said yes! Ann-Kristin is super talented and is one of my favourite nail artists on Instagram.

I decided to recreate her pastel abstract nail art and she recreated my Cath Kidston nails. I love her take on them, they're completely different but still obviously inspired by my design. So cute!


This was such a difficult manicure and it look me a long time to get perfect, but I'm super happy with the result. I used Essie Go Ginza on my pinky and Barry M Sugar Apple on my ring finger. Those colours look so nice together! I used Barry M Diamond Glitter for the gradient, but that's a silver glitter and Ann-Kirstin used a silver and blue glitter. Therefore, I added some extra blue glitters and carefully placed them to create a gradient.


For the abstract design I used OPI Alpine Snow as a base. I used Essie Go Ginza, Barry M Sugar Apple and Cotton On Body Candy Floss.

I'm really happy with how these look. I think the colour combination is beautiful and the glitter gradient turned out so nice! I am in love with Ann-Kirstins' original design, and I think I did quite a good job recreating it!

What do you think of these nails?
xx Elaine

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

H&M Serenity Now

H&M has come out with their own brand of nail polish quite a while ago and ever since I bought Serenity Now I've been using it over any other royal blue! I love the colour, the shine and the formula. It's a jelly-like polish - sheer on the first coat and fully opaque with three coats. It applies really smooth and not at all streaky. I love it.

I decided to create a Dutch style nail art using Orange, Red, White and Blue. I used three coats of Serenity Now on my index finger, ring finger and pinky. Doesn't it look so pretty!?

I applied one coat of Alpine Snow on my middle finger and marbled Alpine Snow, Red Lights Ahead... Where? and A Roll In The Hague.

I originally wanted to do a red white and blue water marble, but I couldn't get any of my blues to marble.

What do you think of the result?
xx Elaine

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Models Own Sweet Shop - Gumball and Liquorish Allsorts

When Models Own released their new Sweet Shop collection I knew I wanted them. Then I found out they were scented and wanted them even more. Then I found out there was a liquorice fragrance. I couldn't resist. Liquorice is my all time favourite sweet in the whole world.

I'm really proud of myself for only buying two out of 5. I much prefer creme polishes and the other 3 had glitters/flakies in it.

First up is Gumball. It's a super glossy and opaque hot pink that smells of bubblegum. Can it get any better?

I'm always very impressed with the formula on Models Own nail polishes and this was no exception. I used two coats for the swatch. And look at that glossiness!! I didn't use a top coat!

It smells super sweet, but it isn't overwhelming. I always kind of forget about the scent, until I brush my hair out of my face or apply mascara or something. It's always a pleasant surprise!

The colour itself isn't very unique, but you can never have enough hot pinks!

The second nail polish is Liquorish Allsorts. Another super glossy, opaque and scented polish.

The formula is just as amazing as Gumball, I used two easy coats for the swatch. And it's so so glossy! I love it!

It smells exactly like liquorice. I can eat liquorice all day everyday and not get tired of it.. maybe fat.. but I'll never have enough.

Again, the colour isn't the most unique, it's an opaque black. I used to always think black polish was very gothic, but it doesn't have to be at all! Sometimes it's nice to have black nails, but it's also great for nail art!

What do you think of the new Sweet Shop collection? Have you tried out any of the other three polishes?
xx Elaine

Monday, 25 August 2014

Abstract Nail Art

One of my favourite style of nail art is abstract. It always looks so interesting and you can do just about anything and it'll look great! For this design I was inspired by the amazing @kt_tk1 on Instagram, but I gave it my own twist.

I used OPI Red Lights Ahead... Where?, Alpine Snow and my black Barry M nail art pen. I also used some chevron nail art stencils from Nail Mail on Etsy.

I started off painting my index finger and pinky red. I love OPI Red Lights Ahead... Where? from the Holland Collection. I'm Dutch so am obviously going to be biased for the whole collection. This is such a creamy red that's super opaque. I painted my middle and ring finger both white using Alpine Snow. Once that fully dried, I taped off half of my middle finger and painted it red. I used the chevron nail art stencils on my middle finger. I carefully applied them and painted over them using RLAW. When the nail polish was still wet, I slowly pulled them off, following the zigzag.

I then used my Barry M nail art pen and drew a diagonal line on my middle finger. I used a tiny nail art brush to draw the design.

What do you think of the result?
xx Elaine

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Floral Nail Art Match OOTD

The summer weather has been amazing and I've been wearing some lovely floral dresses and skirts so I decided to match my nails to my outfit!

I bought the dress in the photo to the left from Camden a few years ago. Camden is such an interesting place in London, it's literally got a bit of everything!

I used OPI Alpine Snow for the base, what else?! For the base of the flowers I used Models Own Grape Juice (purple) and Leighton Denny Blue Lagoon (blue). I used Ulta3 Spring Break for the darker purple detail and Color Club Glossy Seal for the darker blue detail. I used Essie Navigate Her for the leaves.

I really like how these turned out, the colour combination is great and not something I would traditionally use for floral nails.

The second design is recreated from a skirt I bought at Primark last year. It's another pretty spring/summer floral outfit and great for nail art!

For the base I used Models Own Coconut Cream, which is an off white and smells like sweet coconuts.. yum! I used Kester Black Peach Melba and OPI Toucan Do It If You Try for the base of the flowers. I used Coconut Cream for the detail of the dark flowers and Toucan Do It If You Try for the detail of the lighter flowers. I used Kester Black Blueberry Tart for the leaves and Barry M Damson for the detail of the leaves.

I'm also really happy with how these nails turned out. It's nice to match your nails to your outfit, but both manicures have used colours I don't ordinarily use for floral designs. It's nice to try something new!

What do you think of these floral manicures?
xx Elaine

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Ice Cream Nail Art

I feel like I've seen so many ice cream nails floating around on Instagram so decided to join in. These are inspired by the super talented @trendypolish.

I used OPI Sorry I'm Fizzy Today from the new Coca Cola collection. I'm in love with this new coral pink. It's such a flattering colour and not a super girlie barbie pink, so I feel it's much more wearable!

The formula on this is amazing, I used two easy coats for the application and no top coat. It's so glossy!

I used OPI Alpine Snow for my ring finger and used acrylic paint and a tiny brush to outline the ice cream. I used OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons from the Germany Collection and I Sao Paulo Over There from the Brazil Collection to create the ice cream cone and Sorry I'm Fizzy Today for the ice.

I used some beautiful fake diamonds to add a little extra cute-ness to the design! These are from Paperchase (of all places!) and I received them as a gift so I have no idea how much they cost.

What do you think of these ice cream nails? Have you tried any colours from the Coca Cola collection?
xx Elaine

Friday, 22 August 2014

Minion Nail Art Mani Swap

I did a mani swap with one of my friends on Instagram, @Shann0n_xx. She's got lots of cute designs, and I decided to recreate her Minion nails! I've never seen the movie.... but have seen these nails all over instagram so wanted to give them a go too!

She recreated my pooh bear nails from about a year ago.

I used OPI I Just Can't Cope-acabana from the Brazil collection for the base. It's such a great bright yellow with an easy formula! I then used Barry M Damson for the blue. I used my Barry M Nail art pen for all the black, Sally Hansen Wet Cement for the outline of the eyes and OPI Alpine Snow for the eyes and teeth. And finally Leighton Denny Lollipop for the tongue.

I think they look really cute and I'm happy with how they turned out!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Essie Hide And Go Chic

I have been loving the Essie collections that have come out and have surprised myself with how many Essie's I've bought recently... I bought Essie Hide And Go Chic, a gorgeous covetable azure blue - part of the Hide And Go Chic spring collection. 

This blue is so unique! I'm not quite sure how to describe it. It's a very bright and rich colour, but at the same time has a hint of teal? It's gorgeous. 

The formula was so easy! It just glided onto my nail without any problems. I used two coats for the swatch and no top coat. Look how glossy it is! 

Best of all, it didn't stain when I took it off! 

So.. the nail art is a bit of a fail, but I'll post it anyway! I decided to do a gradient using Barry M Huckleberry, Nails Inc Optic Wave and Essie Hide And Go Chic. I then covered it up with some random abstract drawings using my Barry M Nail Art pen. It didn't quite end up the way I wanted it to look, but everyone has nail fails right?? 

What do you think of Essie's new releases?
xx Elaine 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Louboutin Rouge Swatch

Well..... This happened.....

I have been working hard and earning lots of money and so I decided to treat myself to the most expensive nail polish I'll ever buy... Louboutin Rouge. It costs £36, plus another £10 delivery.... It's crazy!! But before I go into the nail polish, the service was amazing! I've never ordered anything from Louboutin before, or any other expensive company ever! I think my most expensive nail polish is OPI?

Anyway, I ordered the nail polish yesterday afternoon (20th of August) and I received it today at 14.00! It came all the way from Milan Italy and was shipped with DHL and I received it within 24 hours. Amazing.

The packaging is phenomenal, and that's not a word I ever use. It comes in this 'box' which you pull over the spike and pull off the bottom to reveal the unique glass gradient bottle.

The bottle is inspired by the Ballerina Ultima that Christian Louboutin invented. Something I would literally never wear. I knew the nail polish bottle would be massive, but it was even bigger than I expected. In fact, it was difficult to get the whole thing in one photo! It's 8 inches!

The photo to the left shows just one coat! Yes, it's a OCW (One Coat Wonder), which isn't really a wonder considering the price.

The photos from here onwards all have two coats, as the website description suggests.

The polish is so smooth and applies like butter. It was almost like it was applying itself. It was so effortless and easy. The photo to the right shows no clean up, this is how it applied to my nails. Effortless.

It dried really quickly and ultra glossy. In my index finger you can easily see my three windows! It's incredible!

I thought applying the nail polish might be a bit tricky with this massive handle, but it didn't actually make an impact. My boyfriend described it was a pen, which doesn't really sound very glamorous, but I guess makes sense! Seeing as the formula nearly applied itself, it doesn't really matter what kind of handle it has.

The brush is great too, it's a slightly wide brush, but no where near as wide as the OPI brush. You definitely can't cover your whole nail with one brush stroke, but that's not a problem. I actually prefer a brush this size to the thicker ones out there. I easily managed to paint close to my cuticles without touching any of them.

As you can see, the formula is super opaque. It's also the perfect consistency, not too thick, but not too thin either. Just perfect.

Now the most important part.... is it worth the money!? I'd say £36 (£46 including shipping) is a little excessive, it's perfect, unique and special but it's a lot of money! I'm definitely not going to go out and buy another nail polish this expensive... ever. And another point is that it's read. It isn't the most unique colour in the world, I'm sure you can easily find a dupe of it.

At the same time, this is the most amazing formula I've ever used. The bottle is phenomenal,  and it's Louboutin! You're not just paying for the nail polish and the bottle, but also the brand. Everything about it is so luxurious and it LOOKS expensive!

For me, it's definitely worth it. It's almost as good as buying a pair of Louboutin shoes.

What do you think of Louboutin Rouge? Is it worth the money?
xx Elaine

China Glaze At Vase Value

I have slowly started to get more and more into China Glaze nail polishes - particularly the neons! China Glaze nail polish formulas aren't the best out there, so I have never really been too interested int hem... until the new City Flourish collection came out! I already reviewed and swatched Petal To The Metal, Grass Is Lime Greener and Peonies And Park Avenue. Today I have At Vase Value to swatch.

When I saw swatches of this nail polish online I thought it was a gorgeous bright pastel blue, however it's actually much more minty than I expected. I'm in love with both pastel blues and mints so either way I knew I'd love it.

Although it's minty, and I have 1000 mints, this is very different to any of the other ones as it's much more bright.

The formula is ok, it's not the easiest to work with and was quite streaky. I used three coats to get it even. The colour is definitely worth it though.

I decided to give leopard nails a go. I'm pretty rubbish at leopard print and always stay away from them!

The neutral shade is OPI You're So Vain-illa, from the recent Coca Cola collection. The black lines are by the Barry M nail art pen.

What do you think of the new City Flourish Collection from China Glaze?
xx Elaine

Monday, 18 August 2014

Floral & Polka Dot Nails - Mani Swap

I decided to do a mani-swap with my good friend @shakun_05 on Instagram. For a mani-swap I choose one of the other persons designs to recreate and they recreate one of mine. Then we put them into a collage and post them on Instagram! This is my first ever mani-swap and I loved it! It was really difficult to choose one of Shakun's designs as she is so talented, but I ended up going for a rose and polka dot design and she recreated my Cath Kidston nails!

I started off applying a base coat on my index finger, middle finger and pinky and my  DIY peel off base coat on my ring finger. Once that all dried, I applied OPI Alpine Snow on my three fingers and Butter London Scallywag on my ring finger. Scallywag is a very dense glitter and is easily opaque in 2-3 coats. It could be used as a topper, but since it's so dense I always just go all out and cover my whole nail. It's super sparkly and beautiful and works great for glitter gradients too!

I used H&M Serenity Now for the blue polka dots and the roses. It has a jelly finish so the dots aren't fully opaque. If I were to do it again I would use Barry M Damson as it's wouldn't leave the dots inside the dots (if that makes sense). I then used Alpine Snow again and a tiny brush to add some detail to the roses and Essie Navigate Her to apply the leaves.

Every since I started instagram (over a year ago!) I have always used Essie Navigate Her for flower leaves. It's the perfect green that isn't too in your face, but just adds a bit of subtle colour. It really completes the look!

I absolutely love how this turned out. And I'm also in love with how Shakun's mani turned out! It's beautiful.

What do you think of the mani's and recreations?
xx Elaine

Sunday, 3 August 2014

OPI Nordic Collection Swatches and Comparisons

The new Autumn 2014 collection by OPI is the Nordic Collection. It consists of 12 new polishes including 1 glitter, 2 shimmer and the rest are all cremes.  I picked up the mini set which includes My Dogsled Is A Hybrid, Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm?, My Voice Is A Little Norse, How Great Is Your Dane?

The collection will be released on the 6th of August, although I purchased this set from Nail Polish Direct early.

First up is My Dogsled is a Hybrid, a bright sea foam green creme formula. It's a really nice bright pop of colour for the autumn, without being too in your face.

I used 2-3 coats for the swatch, some of my nails only needed 2 coats, whereas other needed a third coat to even out any streakiness.

When I saw the colour I immediately thought of OPI Thanks a Windmillion and Barry M Greenberry. I have MDIAH on my middle finger and pinky, Barry M Greenberry on my index finger and OPI Thanks A Windmillion on my ring finger. They're not close at all! Greenberry is much brighter and more blue toned, whereas Thanks A Windmillion is much more muted and green toned. My Dogsled Is A Hybrid is right in the middle of the two.

I also swatched My Dogsled Is A Hybrid alongside Kester Black Alimony. Alimony has a similar brightness, but is MDIAH bluer sister.

Next up is Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm. That's such a great name! And also such a great colour! Opi describes this to be an icy blue violet. It's a very bright, dark, blue toned purple.. if that makes sense?

I again used 2-3 coats for the swatch. The first coat seemed very sheer and a bit jelly-like, but the second coat covered it up beautifully. I did have an issue with a bald spot (probably not letting it dry) so I did apply a third coat on one nail. I think with the wider OPI brushes the application would be easier.

I know I don't have anything like this in my collection, but I just wanted to compare it with a few other purples that I love. I have DYHTCIS (that's long!) on my index and ring finger. I used Kester Black Deep Violet on my middle finger and Ulta3 Spring Break on my pinky. Kester Black Deep Violet is a much darker and warmer purple. Spring Break has a similar brightness, but is much more pink toned.

The third nail polish is My Voice Is A Little Norse, a holographic glitter. I love holographic nail polishes so was excited to try this one out! On my index finger I applied one coat over DYHTCIS, and on my ring finger I applied one coat over MDIAH. On my middle finger and pinky I applied 4 coats.

I think the glitter works better as a topper than on its own as you can still see my nail line underneath. The holo effect also works better over the purple than any other nail as you can see in the blurred shot.

It does have a beautiful holographic shimmer, these photos are taken in the shade.

I compared this to Kester Black Milkyway. You can immediately notice a difference in the two bottles. Milkyway is a lighter silver holographic glitter, whereas MVIALN is slightly darker and less holographic. I used one coat of MVIALN over Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm and  4 coats on its own on my middle finger. I again applied one coat of Milkyway over Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm on my ring finger and 3 coats of Milkyway on my pinky. Milkyway is more of a dense glitter as 3 coats equal to 4 coats of MVIALN. This photos are taken in the shade.

The final colour is How Great Is Your Dane? It's a dark brown 'cinnamon coffee' shade. During the Autumn in Australia I really started to get into darker brown shades like this one so I think this'll be another great colour this season. This had the easiest application out of the cremes and I only used 2 easy coats.

I compared it to OPI I Sao Paulo Over There from the Brazil Collection and OPI I Brake For Manicures. They're all very different. ISPOT is on my index finger, HGIYD is on my middle finger and pinky and IBFM is on my ring finger. ISPOT is much lighter and cooler toned, whereas IBFM is much darker and slightly more purple toned.

What do you think of the new Nordic Collection? Will you be picking up the minis or going straight to the full sized bottles?
xx Elaine