Saturday, 28 December 2013

Pure Joy Glitter Bomb!


I wanted to try out another of my Christmas polishes, and as I was back at work yesterday, I wanted to go for something sparkly and Christmassy as it's still the festive season. My eye was immediately drawn to one of my Secret Santa gifts, a stunning red and gold glitter by China Glaze called Pure Joy. What a fab name for it! 

On all of my nails except from my ring-finger on each hand, I applied a base coat of red polish before adding two coats of pure joy. The glitter is so gorgeously dense that I don't think the base coat was really needed! It's a stunning shade, so sparkly!

On my accent nail on each hand, I applied two coats of Charm Bracelet by Seventeen. Have I mentioned before how much I love this?! To add an extra dimension to it, I added a coat of Party Shoes by Ciate, a polish from my advent calendar. It's gold glitter with added kind of blue/green iridescent pieces. Stunning, and really makes Charm Bracelet even more gorgeous, if at all possible.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

She Won My Heart: Nail Lacquer UK

She Won My Heart is one of the five Nail Lacquer UK polishes that I got for Christmas. They're all stunning in different ways, but my eye was immediately drawn to this one because of the multi-coloured glitter and milky base, both of which I adore, so this one is perfect for me! I applied one coat of it over a base-coat of white (Lavender Cloud by Sally Hansen) and finished with a topcoat of Insta-Dri. I love it!

Christmas Polish Presents!


I had a lovely Christmas and hope you all did too - it's gone too fast! I have been very lucky this year and got lots and lots of polish and polish-related gifts - everyone knew what I would like obviously! As well as receiving a ton of polishes from my lovely boyfriend, I also took part in two nail-related Secret Santa's, one through twitter and one through, a Casualty and Holby fansite I've been part of forever. Lots of us don't watch the show any more but we've all known each other about 10 years now. Quite a few of us have recently got into nail/nail art so we decided to do our own Secret Santa. 

Anyway - here is all my amazing nail gifts all together:

How amazing!? I'm so so so excited to have so many new ones at once to try out, especially all the Indies and brands I've never had before like China Glaze and piCture pOlish. I also didn't get anything I already had which is pretty impressive! Now where to put them all!?

Here's a little break-down of what's what. The ones that say "studio" on the front were a set that came with the loose glitter pots at the top. These were from my boyfriend. Can't wait to try the pink diamond loose glitter in a glitter placement mani! The Nail Lacquer UK polishes are also from my boyfriend and they're all stunners! They are all his choices, and I'm also desperate to give these a go, especially the two white-based ones and the big pink circle glitter! And the other two. So all of them, haha.

My 'twitter' Secret Santa got me these from the above:

So happy with the Tara's Talons polishes - I've seen these everywhere but never actually got round to getting myself any, so these are my first three ever! And they are all absolutely gorgeous- definitely what I would have chosen myself! The purple glitter one especially is just stunning. All three are such perfect choices for me! I also love the multi-coloured glitter from w7 - it's a gorgeous mix. Glitter is always a winner. And so are studs!! I got some gorgeous hearts, bows and SPIKES <3 Can't wait to use these. The pens are gorgeous too - colours I don't have, with the extra bonus of the rhinestones at the ends - one shade especially is crying out to be used. These were all wrapped so beautifully and it was so exciting to open everything:

I don't know who bought all of this for me but it's all just ideal and I adore it. Thank-you!

My second Secret Santa gift was also beautifully wrapped - here it is waiting to be opened. I love the candy cane and the little mittens - that are both now hanging on my tree!

And inside:

Three more beauties. Seriously, I love all three of these! I've never had any China Glaze before, but my boyfriend bought me two and I got this one above from my secret santa as well. This gold and red glitter is stunning and looks soooo amazing in the bottle, can't wait to try it out. The piCture pOlish was a complete surprise - I've heard of this brand but never owned one - and I don't think I've seen a polish as beautiful. I do think this manages to be my favourite of all the ones I got, if I had to choose. LOOK AT IT! <3 The Nails Inc Galaxy is obviously amazing, and as a bonus it came like this:

Thankyou Secret Santa!

I also forgot to include the Ciate caviar set in the top pic that my boyfriend got me. Here's another pic I took where it features, and where my other polishes are still in their box. Also at the bottom, the pink thing is like a pillow to rest my hands on whilst I'm painting my nails, another idea from my boyfriend!

Honestly can't wait to try all these out, I'm so spoilt for choice! I've picked out a Nail Lacquer UK I'm going to go with first. I'm going to be kept busy/happy for months with all of my new pretties!! 

Hope you all had a lovely time and were spoilt too <3

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Loose Glitter Nails & Ciate Calendar Again


This post is going to be both to show off my Christmas nails, and to post again about my Ciate calendar now I have opened all the doors! So if you've not opened the last door today yet, don't read this until you have, haha.

Firstly - my nails today! I used all Ciate advent polishes for this. The base is three coats of a beautiful shimmery nude called Ivory Queen - fab name, and a lovely shade - I love discovering different nude shades. Here it is before I added the glitter. Pretty! It has a shimmer to it that isn't too obvious in this photo, and which makes it different (in a good way!) from other nude polishes I own.

I then picked up one of the bottles of loose glitter I received in the calendar. This mix of gold, pink and red looked lush! It's called Miss Mistletoe. I've only used loose glitter once before and it was very messy - this time was no exception - and it takes ages too! I laid out a sheet of paper, and then nail by nail, I painted about half the tip with a clear, slow-drying polish. I then tipped the glitter from the bottle over my fingertip, and patted it down gently so no pieces were stuck up, and they were all flat on my nail. I then tapped my nail gently over the paper so any bits not stuck would fall off. I then used my dotting tool to pick up discarded glitter pieces one by one, and sticking them anywhere there was a gap, and also using a few to create a gentle gradient down the nail.

I finished off with a few coats of Ciate's topcoat - I was actually really impressed! It's called Speed Coat, and I do love topcoats that dry quickly. Can't wait to try it over a smoother manicure to see how shiny it makes my nails, but it's worked well at holding these glitter pieces in so far.

Here's a pic of the work in progress - glitter everywhere! And of course, chocs and coffee (in my awesome Wicked Witch of the West mug) feature too...

And some more snaps of the finished look! Not sure how long they will last, as they're still catching on stuff occasionally despite the thick layers of topcoat. But they do look very sparkly - I love the overlapping glitter!

So I created these nails using my pretty new Ciate polishes. I have loooooved getting a new polish each day over advent, and the selection has really been fab - I thought with it being a high-end brand, I might just get lots of shades of nude and red. I did get a few of these, but I wasn't expecting the lovely glitters and pastels too. Really chuffed with having 24 new polishes all at once to play with! 

Number 24 was an amazing surprise - couldn't have been better! As I said before, I'd not looked on the back of the box or online to see what polishes were included the calendar so I had no idea what I would get each day, and no idea what number 24 would be. I opened the door to find a massive bottle of pink glitter polish!! It's like it was made for me. My two favourites when it comes to nails are pink and glitter, so WAHAY! I also love how big the bottle is. Next to the minis, it looks like an absolute giant!

Here are all my pretties together:

Quick run-down - from the top:
top row: my beautiful number 24 polish, pink glitter <3 (these do have names but I'm not going to type them all out, just want to describe the polishes and what I think of them!)
second row: Top and base coat. Didn't expect these but they're always good to have. V impressed with topcoat!
third: Three shades of red and orange, with a fourth at the end of the fourth row. All quite similar but I've already used the darker red twice, and can see myself using the more orange-tinged shades in summer.

fourth: These first three are stunners - I've used the grey and the lilac already, and the pink is so pretty - pastel, but still bright. Not used that one yet but I can't wait to - love it!
fifth: Two very similar shades of shimmery nude - one perhaps more sheer than the other? I used the more dense one in today's mani. Then there's the beautiful silver foil-like one I used in my xmas lights mani, a silver-foil with glitter pieces in it, and an irridescent flakie that I did give a quick try but found a bit gloopy - will try again!
sixth: a very pale pink that I love - always love a pink! Two bottles of Caviar beads - pretty colours but I'm not sure I'll use them - too fiddly. A holo silver glitter polish, then two bottles of loose glitter - fine gold/pink and the chunky one I've used today.
Bottom row: Love these three too! A pale blue and pale green that I used in my snowflakes mani as a gradient, and a beautiful gold/irridescent glitter that's a really nice mix - very unusual. 

Sorry for the epic length of this post! I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, and I'm so excited to open my Nail Secret Santa presents that are under my tree, and hope to be back ASAP after xmas to post about what I get. Very excited! x x x

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Monochrome Christmas Trees

My beautiful a-england nails were very pretty, a stunning shade with no embellishment needed, but I decided tonight that it wasn't the season for plain nails! 

So I decided to get out my trusty black and white nail-art pens from good old Barry M to doodle on a design. A lot of my designs end up being monochrome! I'd love a red, green and blue nail-art pen as well, please Barry M!

I've seen lots of xmas tree manis done with tape but I suck at using striping tape so I just freehanded these on. I was going to add some glequins as little baubles, but I think they would have looked too chunky on these delicate little trees, so I just left them how they are! Only one pic because it's so hard to capture the pretty holo of Rose Bower (the pink/red!)

I also have a little celebration - I reached 100 followers on Bloglovin, yay! I don't go on about how many followers I have, but I like to see my count rising - and I'm happy I got to 100 just before Christmas :-) woo! x

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Rose Bower: A England

Second post of the day! Yesterday I was reading some blogs, and saw quite a few mentions of a-england. I've been aware of this brand for some time but never really properly looked into it. However I had a good browse of their beautiful website, and eventually decided to treat myself to the one that stood out the most. I was very impressed that postage was free and I think that's what swayed me to eventually buy one (as I don't usually like just buying one polish and paying lots of postage, so I usually buy a couple to make it worth it...but couldn't afford to do that this time!)

The one I picked is called Rose Bower and is a beautiful, rich dark pink/red with a holographic shimmer. I just fell in love with the colour, it looks so vibrant! Having ordered it yesterday morning, I was amazed to find it on my doormat today! And had to immediately try it out because it looked sooo stunning in the bottle. 

And on the nail! Looooook:

<3 <3 <3 OMG I have no words <3

Bling Nails for Xmas Night Out


It was my work's xmas do yesterday evening, and I wanted to go for really bling nails for the occasion. I really like the idea of lots of sparkles/studs on nails anyway, and what better chance to have a go than for a Christmas party? I also wanted something a bit OTT and wacky since I can't have that kind of thing at work.

I started with two coats of the beautiful Charm Bracelet by Seventeen. I loooove this beautiful gold textured glitter, and it's fab for Xmas! I then grabbed all of my studs, rhinestones and gems from various places - some of these are from nail wheels from Poundland, some came in little kits where you get a nail art pen with some gems, and the more metallic studs are from Born Pretty. 

I decided I definitely wanted to go for the big, pearly coloured gems. I added two or three of these onto my nails, pressing them into a thin coat of wet topcoat to stick them down. I was going to leave it at that, but all my other gems were calling out to me. I decided to add green, pink and gold, as well as the odd different-shaped or coloured stud to add to the randomness. 

I finished off by adding a good few more coats of topcoat to seal them all in. They look so sparkly and chunky and fab- very OTT but that's what I wanted! And I think I only lost one or two gems throughout the night - and I've even done the washing up this morning and they're all still in place. They're not as obtrusive as you'd think to have stuck to your nails - I felt sure they'd ping off at the slightest thing but they all seem very well stuck down!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas Light String


More Christmas nail-art to show off today! My red nails yesterday were sooo shiny and pretty, but it meant that any tiny chip was really obvious (to me, anyway) and I wanted to try something else. So I took it all off and came up with this. 

This is another use of the beautiful silver I got in my Ciate calendar. I then added wobbly lines with a black nail-art pen and festive-coloured glequins, which I added one by one, and sealed in with a few coats of Insta-Dri topcoat. I'm hoping it looks like a string of xmas lights!!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Stripes + a Reindeer

I've had some free time this afternoon after work, and decided to try and do some more Christmassy nail art, as my snowflakes were starting to chip :-( 

I began by painting my nails red, using Boudoir by Ciate. I'm really impressed with all my advent calendar polishes so far! This is two coats, still quite jelly-like and a bit see-through, but lovely colour.

I then used my white nail art pen to draw on the lines - I was kind of thinking candy canes... and then I drew on the reindeer, after practicing on paper first because drawing isn't my strong point. For inspiration for the shape of him, I used this reindeer from Brit Nails' xmas jumper nail art. I thought it was a really simple but realistic outline for a reindeer that even I could manage with practice (beautiful mani Allie!)

I finished off with a topcoat to make them all shiny!

I then decided that this was just a bit too bright/busy/noticable for work. So I reluctantly decided to revert them all back to red, but keep the reindeer.... however as I started going over the white with another coat of red, I realised you could sort of still see the design underneath, which was kind of cool, and less obvious! So I went over all my nails again with one thin coat of the red Ciate polish, now quite thankful for it's sheerness!


Saturday, 14 December 2013

My Mint Snowflakes


I've got a pretty manicure to show you tonight, using two more of my Ciaté polishes from my advent calendar. I loved both of these and couldn't decide which to use first, so I decided to put them together to create a wintery gradient, as they were quite similar in colour. 

The blue is called Ferris Wheel and the mint green is Pepperminty. I was especially chuffed with the mint green one, firstly because it kind of matches my blog name, and secondly because my w7 mint colour had gone all glooply and I've recently chucked it away - so it's great to have a new one, especially one as pretty as this. 

I used a make-up sponge to create the gradient. It helps that the colours are so similar - they blend really well - perhaps they're a bit too similar, meaning this gradient is very subtle. I then used my trusty Barry M white nail-art pen for the snowflakes, using some ideas from my first snowflake manicure that I did a few weeks ago. I was really happy with that manicure as I found I could actually draw snowflakes reasonably, which is why I wanted to do it again, with a more wintery colour scheme this time.

After drawing on all the snowflakes, I topped it all off with my pretty holo glitter from Claire's. I picked this as a topper because you can hardly see it in some lights, meaning you can still see the design below with no problems, but in other lights it shimmers and sparkles lots of wintery shades. 

Here's everything I used, apart from my base coat (Nail Envy) and topcoat (Insta-Dri) that aren't in the pic but are used in every mani :-D

...and here are a few more pictures of the end result. These pics (apart from the one I used at the top of this post) look a bit more blue-y than it looks in real life, but still show off the pretty snowflakes and glitter!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Pink Glitter Gradient

Quick post to show off my current nails. This was another product of trying something too complicated, getting annoyed because it wouldn't work, taking it off and needing another idea quick! So I went with a simple glitter gradient. 

The base colour is by Color Club, and then I used Claire's holo glitter, No7's silver glitter, Barry M's gold glitter and w7's pink glitter to create the gradient. It was hard to control how much glitter went on so I think the pink went on a bit too much on some fingers, but the general effect is okay. I want to change them already though! 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmassy Bob: Nail Lacquer UK

Quick post today to show off an early Christmas present! This was from my fab friend Naileymabob who had the polish made specially and designed it with AJ of Nail Lacquer UK. This beauty is called Christmassy Bob and is a really pretty, delicate mix of pink and very light blue glitter in a pastel pink base, with some snowflakes mixed in too! I love how it's still christmassy, because of the snowflakes, despite it not being a 'traditional' Christmas colour. And pink is my favourite shade too, winner! 

Here's mine and my two friends' bottles - I think four of us got a bottle as a present from Bob. <3 Each one came with a pretty Christmassy charm too - mine was a Christmas tree :-)

This applied really nicely. I think I applied a couple of coats here. The only difficult thing was getting the snowflakes out - even with fishing it was hard and I only managed to get one per hand in this application (you can see it on my index finger) - I will definitely try again though - maybe the more I use it the easier it will be to get them! I love how pretty this is, with the subtle glitters, and I love that it was specially made for me and my friends. Thanks Bob, such a fab idea! :-D