Monday, 15 September 2014

Barry M Gelly Paprika Mustard and Cardamom swatch and review

Hey there!

I hope you're all doing well?  Here we are at the change of the seasons again, and we're now getting into my favourite!  The leaves are starting to turn, and whether you call it Autumn or Fall, I reckon it's the most beautiful season there is.

Having been completely underwhelmed by high street nail polishes of late, and unwilling to pay the higher prices of indies when I already have so much polish, it means I've actually bought very little lately, and that's why I haven't had very much to show you.  I haven't even done much nail art, and that which I have done has been simple dots or stripes and not really worth shouting about.

However, I was in Superdrug last weekend, and ka-pow! Some polish that made me do a double take.  In fact I might have even said "ooh!" out loud, for here were some polish colours I didn't already own, and in wonderful Autumn colours.  There were 5 or 6 in the range, but Superdrug had a 3 for 2 offer on, so I rationed myself to three.

These were the three polishes I got:
Barry M Fall Gelly polishes review
From L-R they are Cardamom, Mustard and Paprika. 

I may as well now show them to you in the same order as this picture, which is just the order I picked them up in my hand (professional to a fault hehe).

For each colour polish I've taken three pictures.  One in direct sun, one in the shade and one showing the bottle so you can see how the polish on the nail compares with the colour in the bottle.

So lets go with Barry M Cardamom.  First in the shade:
The formula was lovely, if you've used Barry M Gellies before, it's pretty much their standard formula.  This is one coat with no top coat, and it had the lovely shine as they all do.  I find that this shine doesn't last long on me and if I manage to wear it for a couple of days without chipping (I'm tough on polish) I find I want to add a topcoat at that point just to get the shine back. 

Usually by a couple of days I've chipped any polish anyway, no matter what the make.  I think it's because I wash my hands alot, and am typing most of the day.

Here it is in direct sun:
I have had to do a little bit of electronic dry skin gardening on these pics.  Not to make my cuticles look marvellous (as I'm sure you can tell) but just to make sure I don't put you off your breakfast.  They were most incredibly dry, despite me treating them better than most Egyptian princesses day and night. They're so ungrateful and insist on shedding all the expensive moisture I try to pamper them with.  Sigh.

Here's the bottle comparison:
I have to say I was a little bit disappointed in this colour when it dried.  As you can see, the colour in the bottle is a more greyed out green, which I prefer, and it dried to a kind of light British Racing Green, which is not what I was looking for.  But still, it's not unpleasant, and I do think I'll wear it.  Dry time was the usual Gelly medium-fast.

Next up we have Barry M Gelly in Mustard, firstly in the shade:
Again this is one coat with no top coat, and for a light colour it gave pretty good coverage.  The same nice formula with a medium-quick dry time.  I do find I have to be quite careful when applying Gellys to wipe the brush stalk or else there is  a high possibility of a big blob of polish making its way onto my nail (or leg, or carpet, etc, in a nail polish russian roulette stylee). 

Here it is in the sunshine:
You can see on this pic, very slight VNL on my index finger and the edge of my thumb, but in real life that wasn't noticeable.  Another coat would have sorted it out, but to be honest, I was too lazy.

Here it is with its bottle comparison:
Again, a little bit darker than in the bottle.  When I first applied this colour I said, OMG this does absolutely nothing for my skin tone, but it was that fugly I actually fell a bit in love with it.  Of the three colours, this is my fave, and I think it will be my go-to Autumn colour this year.  Though not really office friendly in the conservative environment at mine so I'll have to reserve it for weekends.

And onto the third colour, Paprika:
A true russet red, this one really did need two coats.  However I didn't, because I'd only done one coat for the other two colours, I wanted to keep the same for this (see also, lazy).  Same formula and dry time as the others.  Reds are not really my thing, but this one is wearable as it's definitely more in the brown family.

Here it is in the sunshine:
This picture is actually pretty spot on colour wise, and is the most office friendly of the three I bought.

Here's its bottle comparison:
Again a bit darker than in the bottle, a recurring theme.

The three look lovely side by side, so I thought I'd mix them up a bit:
I used striping tape to section off the end and middle of my nails and just using the brush from the bottle I painted between the tape.  Leaf for topical interest ;-)

It's not the neatest nailart I've ever done but I absolutely love the end result.  So much so, I took another pic haha.  This time in the sun:
It was topped off with HK Girl Glisten and Glow top coat which is my current favourite.  It doesn't go gloopy and shrink like Seche can after a while.

So there we have it, the three I bought, and I'm very pleased with them.  I would definitely recommend them.  I paid £3.99 per bottle, but as I said I got them on a 3 for 2 offer which means I ended up paying just over £2.50 per bottle.

You can see the full range of the Barry M Gelly colours by following this (link) and the list of ingredients are also there.  Barry M are cruelty free, so guilt free polishing.

The next polish on my want list will be a thermal, I've only got a couple of those and the formula of the ones I have is not great.  Do you have a favourite I should be looking at?

Is Autumn your favourite like mine, or do you prefer another season?

Until next time....


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Barry M Gelly Nail Polish in Olive review plus freehand lace nailart

Woot!  I found some mojo! It's been a long time people, and good to be back.  What an up and down few months I've had. It's certainly true what they say about not fully appreciating your good health until you don't have it.  However, things are looking up now and so I've got room in my brain for the fun stuff.  So OBVS I've gone straight to my finger ends :-)

I've hardly bought any polish these last few months (I knowwwww), and have spent most of my time with just strengthener on them.  My cuticles are awful due to a dermatitis attack, despite constant moisturing I'm pretty sure I'll have to photoshop at least a couple of fingers to prevent my post looking like an episode of Casualty haha.

On a happier note I reached 100,000 pageviews yay!  Actually it's a bit past that, but for some reason I can't fathom, one of my Feelgood Friday posts is getting ALOT of love.  It must be linked somewhere in somebody populars' blog, but because I can't work Google Analytics properly I'll never know.  So I'm not counting the pageviews from that one post, because it makes me look much more popular than I actually am.

So, I went out shopping today and some new Barry M Gellys caught my eye.  I'm always on the lookout for pale green polishes and GNP23 Olive fits that bill perfectly.  A washed out khaki that reminds me very much of Essies Navigate Her, which I loved the colour of, but hated the formula.  I would do a comparison post for you, but am pretty sure I gave Navigate Her away.

So how was it I hear you ask?  Well, here's how the colour looks:
As you can see, a pale grey/green.

Here's the full hand swatch.  It has a coat of HK Girl Glisten & Glow topcoat on it as I forgot to take a picture before I applied it, doh!  It was the usual Gelly shiny finish though.
It's looking slightly more greyed out here than it looks in real life, and it is flattering to my skin tone.  I used two coats, but you could definitely get away with one thickish one if you're using a fast dry topcoat over it.  Dry time was pretty fast, and I didn't have any problem with the formula.  Nice and smooth, and no bubbles, lovely.

But of course, due to the aforementioned return of the mojo, I couldn't just leave them all blank and sensible.  So I went to YouTube to look for some inspiration.  I found some in the form of this video by LNETSA for some lovely lace nails.  Keeping with the Barry M theme, I used their nail art pen, which I reviewed in full (here)

And this is what I came up with:
I'm really pleased with how they came out, considering they didn't take much time at all, and I'm considering doing a step by step tutorial for them, if anyone would be interested?

As you can see in the background, the bluebells are back out in our garden and I couldn't resist giving them a part in the show:
How gorgeous are they?  And they smell divine.  They really do make something simple like walking up the garden path a pleasure.  Yes, I do stop to smell the flowers, I think we all should whenever we can.  How are your gardens going, do you have flowers out yet?

And finally, back to the polish, here's the brush shot:
This is probably the most accurate picture colour wise, and I would say it has dried to half a shade richer on my nails.  As I said, I had no problems with application and I'm very pleased with it.  I can see it becoming a regular for me.

I paid £3.99 in Superdrug, and because they had a 3 for 2 offer on, I got it a little bit cheaper than that.  In fact I didn't realise about the offer until I already had two things in my hand, so I felt like I got a bonus freebie.

So what do you think, is it a colour or design you'd go for? 

Until next time...


Friday, 28 February 2014

Feelgood Friday 3 - Fantasy Jukebox

I'm finally doing a Feelgood Friday post on a Friday, yay!  I have a big list of tunes I want to dance along to tonight.  I hope you've got a good weekend planned, if you haven't got any plans, why not stay a while and have a party here with me?

I've had to foray into the scary world of HTML for this one, as my videos weren't showing on mobile.  So if you're reading this post on your mobile, I went to alot of effort for you!

First up, let's be all cool & moody (whilst seat dancing of course, totally cool)

I remember when this came out, London seemed as far away as the moon.  I've still only ever been once.

So for my next trick, lets go a bit more fun:

This was used in the Crocodile Dundee film, which I LOVED

And now for something completely different:

But you're still dancing, right?

So now, I think it's about time we gave the ladies a chance. I only listened to this again tonight and remembered how much I like it:

So, so, jolly! Brilliant.  But Gloria's not the only girl to get my foot tapping....

Deniece Williams is another lady who can, the film this time is Footloose:

So let me see.... what else do I enjoy boogying to?  Oh, I know!

And I think that'll do us for one day!  The other two posts in this series can be found (HERE) and (HERE) and I hope you've enjoyed the stroll down memory lane as much as I have.  Have a great weekend, whatever you're doing.

What's your go-to feelgood track?

Until next time...


Liquid Sky Lacquer Holo Top Coat Review and Swatch

Well hi there, long time no blog!  Life is just too annoying getting in the way of my nail polish fun.  Today not only has the sun finally come out, but I also have a day off work, yay! I am, of course, using the time wisely to finally show you my new nail polish.

You must know by now that I love holos.  LOVE them.  Somewhere along the way, I saw someone talking about a holo top coat, and was instantly intrigued.  I went onto Google (as you do) to have a look for reviews.  I found alot of swatches but nothing easily findable in the way of reviews, so I thought I'd buy it anyway and do my own review.  So here I am.

Firstly, lets see it:
Pretty rainbows hooray!  In real life it looks mega holo in the bottle, I could look at it all day.  I like the simplicity of the label too, I don't think it needs any more than that.

So lets have a look at some swatches.  The thing I was looking online for the most, and couldn't find, was a swatch of it by itself.  Well, I did one for you.  Here it is:
Just a linear holo sheen which is eminently safe for work.  I really enjoyed having the polish on my nails this way.  It was like my own secret portable rainbow.

But of course, that's not what it's designed for.  I got a nail wheel out and experimented:
It really pops over black!  I think you can click the picture to zoom in.  The two I was most pleased with were the yellow and the white.  All too often yellow holos are actually gold.  A yellow holo makes me happy.  And I don't think I've ever seen a white holo, it does work.

So how about on my nails?  I thought I would go double whammy and swatch over a thermal polish.  I chose In the Mood polish in a shade called Devious.  Here is is "naked":
It is pretty by itself, despite having tricky application, I still use it because I love the end result.  It dries semi-matte though, so I'm thinking a holo top coat might be just the thing.

Here's how it looked:
Application was easy, with no clumping or dragging, and the polish itself was fast drying.  No hassle at all.  This is without top coat, but I did apply a coat of HK Girl Glisten & Glow Topcoat after I took this picture, for longevity.  It didn't dull the holo, so that's another plus.  I got lots of compliments on this mani, and quite a few people asked me where I'd had them done *smug face*.

So what do I think?  I love it!  I don't know how I'm going to resist using it over everything.  I highly recommend.  I bought mine from Mei Mei's Signatures who ship internationally (link) for 17SGD which equates to roughly £8, plus shipping.  It probably worked out around £10 overall as I bought other polishes while I was there so combined shipping.  You can pay by PayPal so don't have to worry about exchange rates and currencies too much.  Considering how much it will save me from buying other coloured holo polishes, I think it's well worth it!  This is my first Liquid Sky Lacquer, and I'm sure it won't be my last.  Any recommendations?

So what do you think?  Are you mad on holos like me?

Until next time...


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Fairy Dust vs Electric Lane Comparison

Hey there people, now here's a question.  Who doesn't want sparkly rainbows on their nails?  I know I do!  Nails Inc Electric Lane is the nail polish that made number one on my all time top ten polish list. If you want to look at that, here's the (link) which also includes a couple of Electric Lane swatches.

But I've seen manicures online using China Glaze Fairy Dust.  The difference between these two polishes is something I've been wondering for ages.  Finally, I couldn't wonder any longer so I bought some Fairy Dust so I can compare the two. 

I bought my China Glaze Fairy Dust from Amazon, and when it arrived, I couldn't see much difference at first glance:
The glitter pieces seem to be exactly the same size and colour to me.  So I made up some nail wheels with lots of different colours to try over:
Black: Deborah Lippmann - Fade to Black
White: Poundland Jess (link to full review)
Grey : Leighton Denny - Zero Gravity
Green: Barry M Gelly - Key Lime
Blue: Bourjois One Seconde - Bleu Water
Red: OPI- Big Hair...Big Nails
I decided to do one coat of each and no topcoat so you can fully tell the difference (if any).  Here's what I got:
I think you'll be able to guess, but the N's are the Nails Inc Electric Lane, and the C's are the China Glaze Fairy Dust.  As you can tell, more noticeably on the red and black is that the Electric Lane has a denser consistency.  However, in this light you can't really tell so well.  I have a couple of close ups which show it better:
Firstly the black:
I think this shows the difference in density much better, although in this lighting my photo seemed to come out a bit blurry, strange.  I think it might be the holo freaking my camera out.
Here's the red:
Again, a heavier glitter presence from the Nails Inc.  However, in my opinion, for a glitter topper, that's not necessarily a good thing.  The heavier covering of glitter is hiding the base polish somewhat, rather than enhancing it.
Also, Electric Lane dries to quite a sandy matte finish, which I like, but is another difference from Fairy Dust, which dries to more of a gloss as you can see.
Here's a picture I took in a rare sunny moment:
Definitely on the black you're starting to see the holo.
Here's how the brushes differ:
They both performed admirably, no problems with blobbing during application, and both glitters went on pretty evenly.
Here's a full nail swatch of Electric Lane over Nails Inc Devonshire Row:
So how much do they cost?
Nails Inc Electric Lane costs £12 for 10ml
China Glaze Fairy Dust costs £6.49 for 14ml
However, there isn't anywhere on the high street I can buy China Glaze, and Amazon have stopped free Super Saver Delivery unless you spend £10, so there will be extra to pay for shipping.  There is a Nails Inc stand in larger branches of Boots, so you can get them with no P&P to pay.
However, even with this taken into account, Fairy Dust is cheaper, and you get more.
I have managed to get full coverage on my nails with Electric Lane with four coats, I doubt you'd ever manage that with Fairy Dust.
So, which do I recommend?  Amazingly, I actually recommend Fairy Dust!  Electric Lane definitely has more bling, but I prefer the glossier and less overwhelming finish of the China Glaze.  Plus of course it's cheaper.
No one could be more surprised about this outcome than me, but that's the conclusion I came to.  I still like them both though in different ways, so you could certainly justify owning both.
Do you own either of these polishes? Or do you have a different favourite holo glitter topcoat?  Would love to hear about it if you do.
Until next time...

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Poundland Jess White Polish review and swatch

You probably all know by now how much I love a nice cheapie (hee hee).  When I was doing the rounds at Poundland last weekend, I spotted a whole rack of a new polish range called Jess so I thought I'd give it a go. 

For anyone not living in the UK, I should explain that Poundland is (I'm imagining) our version of the Dollar Store, although at the moment a dollar is worth about 61 pence, so I wish it really was the equivalent.  Let's make the "61p Store" a thing people!

They had a pretty good range of colours actually, but because I didn't know anything about the brand, I thought I'd just try one.  My bottle of Alpine Snow is getting a bit gloopy, so I thought I'd go for the white.  White is always a good test of formulation and brush.  I've had quite a few disappointments, most notably a Calvin Klein white polish which had an awful brush, although the polish itself was okay.

So anyway, without further ado, let's get on with it.  Apologies in advance, I know my nails and cuticles aren't top notch right now.  I had to use my leftie for this because the cuticles on my right hand were cracked and bleeding, yuck.  I did take photos, but they were just too gory to use.

Wait a minute, didn't I say without further ado?  Here's the bottle and brush shot:
The brush was actually pretty good, no different from a regular high street polish, think Rimmel or Barry M.  A slim flattish oval, I could do one finger in three or four strokes.  Reasonably flexible but not floppy, the polish had a pretty good flow from it.  I did notice a tiny amount of bubbling during application, but they weren't left on my nails at the end.

Here's the first swatch, natural light, but indoors at the window because it was raining:
Here we have two coats.  As you can see, the line at my cuticle is quite neat, this is with no clean up.  The first coat was quite patchy, and I did find the formulation slightly gloopy, but actually no different to OPI Alpine Snow.  It didn't remove any first coat when I applied the second coat, as can sometimes happen.

Here's another swatch, this time under artificial light:
I wish I'd done another coat on my ring finger, it is heavily ridged, and they show through on the finish.  All these pictures are taken without top coat, and still it had a pretty decent shine to it, which can be tricky for a white polish.

Originally I only put this on to swatch it, but I liked it that much that I actually kept it on for work the next day, and I did have a few favourable comments.  I did have some chipping at the end of day two, but I am pretty hard on polish, so I wasn't surprised.  Next time I wear it I'll topcoat it, just for longevity.

Talking of the white stuff, we've had some snow here in Cumbria last week!  This is near to where I work, luckily the roads around the base of the mountain didn't get any:
Snow just the way I like it.  Beautiful, but quite far away, haha.  The lines through the middle of the photo are power cables.

Thankfully my blog mojo is starting to return.  I have a few comparison posts to do, and some pretties on the way from Mei Mei's Signatures and Born Pretty Store which I can't wait to show you.

I haven't done any nail art at all since Christmas, which is unheard of for me, to be honest I think I burned out a bit, having to post regularly got on top of me.  I was always just used to posting as the inspiration took me, and have come to realise that scheduled posts just aren't for me.  I like to create, then let it fly baby, yeah!

So, have you tried any of the Jess nail polishes?  Any colours that you'd recommend, or any I should steer clear of?  Would be interested to hear!  If you've reviewed any, pop a link in the comments.

Until next time,


Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Top Ten Nail Art 2013

And so we say goodbye to 2013.  It's been a pretty boring year for me, and looking back at last years New Year blog post, I see the year before was too.  Hmm should probably do something about that.

I managed to keep off the ciggies for another year though, which is a success.  On New Years' Day, I will be two years quit.  £2,800 saved.  WHERE'S THAT MONEY??  Haha, I must have spent it on something I suppose!  Books and CD's, probably.

So how did I do on my resolutions?
Decide what I want to do with my life, and do something about it. - Nope, didn't do that
Do something with my hair and eyebrows. - Hair yes, eyebrows nope

Get more organised. - Definitely didn't do that one
Start a creative thoughts, dreams and blog idea notebook. - Nope
Carry on the healthy eating. - Yes for most of the year, failed in Sept/Oct.  Weight back on.
So, in all, not very well.  I'll carry them forward and use them as this years resolutions.
Aaaannywayyy.... let's get on with the run down of my favourites of the nailart I've done this year.  I'll put them in order of date, and then none will get jealous haha.
Oh, just as a sidenote, there were two I couldn't choose between, so there are actually 11 here....
First we have a stamping design using Essie's Borrowed and Blue over Pretty Jelly's Grape escape:
You can see the full post (here) I was really surprised at how well the Essie stamped

Next we have another Pretty Jelly polish used as a base, Diamond S-teal-er, with a dotting tool used to create the daisies:
I love Pretty Jelly holos.  Link to the full post is (here).  In the sunshine this one's a real bobby dazzler.  Too much daytime TV Wendy?

Next up we have a sponged gradient inspired by a friends art:
I was so much in love with this when I did it, I can't even begin to tell you.  Link to the full post is (here)

Now, we're getting into spring, and a flowery look happened that I loved:
The link to this post, which includes a tutorial, can be found (here)
Next, another outing for Grape Escape, been rocking those Pretty Jellys this year!  This time I teamed it with Estee Lauders Pure Colour Smashed, which I didn't like on its own, but has been fab for doing nailart with:
The link for this one can be found (here) I think its bold simplicity is part of the reason I liked it so much
Next up, more holos!  A stamped/freehand combo:
Gotta love that rainbow nails look!  Link to the post is (here)

Now for another one.  This one completely freehand:

The post for this one also included a tutorial, and can be found (here)

Getting in to the summer now, and this one is probably my favourite of the year.  Inspired by a beautiful chair by Joris Laarman:
grey nailart
The organic look really appeals to me, and the colour came out just how I wanted.  There's a picture of the chair that inspired it on the original blog post (here)

Next up, one that other people seemed to like more than I did.  I've included it just because it got so many positive comments:

The link to this post can be found (here) along with a mini tutorial

Next up, probably my second favourite of the year.  A freehand/nail sticker combo for Alice in Wonderland:

Link to the full post is (here) and that's not the Cheshire Cats body, he's mid-disappearance on a branch hee hee.

And last but not least, more flowers. Bright and cheery:

The link for that post is (here)
And there we have it!  My 2013 in nails.

I hope you've enjoyed my stroll through nostalgia land, and thank you for joining my nailscapades in 2013.

I wish you all the best for 2014, lets make every day colourful!

Until next year,