Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sunshine Blog Award Nomination

 

Hello lovelies,

Today I’d like to say a great big thank you to Lauren of The Adventures of a Nail Artoholic for nominating me for my very first blog award; the Sunshine Blogger Award!

Sunshine Award

I am so pleased that someone out there is not only reading this blog but enjoying it. I hope to keep improving things around here so please keep checking back to see what’s new and feel free to offer any advice. My brain has all these ideas but my tech skills are sadly lacking.

Here are the five simple rules* of the Sunshine Award:

1. Display the award logo on your blog


2. Show appreciation by acknowledging the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post


3. Share 7 random, interesting facts about yourself


4. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and happily pass on this award, making sure to link their blog into your post


5. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know that they have been nominated

I’m not great at writing things about myself; what do you guys want to know? Anyway, here are my seven random facts (I’ll let you judge if they’re interesting!):

  • I just bought my first house!

  • I studied English Language with Creative Writing at Lancaster University (“Bowland ’til I die”)

  • I love watching make-up tutorials online but never attempt any myself

  • I have a nut allergy

  • (*whispers*) I don’t like animals

  • I’m a big Batman fan

  • I lived in Florida when I was four

There are 20 categories in total but all my nominations come from the Best Blog on Fashion/Shopping/Beauty category (specifically nails). I love the idea behind this award so much as it helps bloggers not only connect with others they might never have found otherwise, but also is an opportunity to show the other bloggers your appreciation for all their hard work.

Without further ado, my nominees are:

  1. For the love of nail art – http://vmoller.wordpress.com/

  2. The bubbly brunette – http://thebubblybrunette.wordpress.com/

  3. Polished Tickles and Beauty – http://polishedticklesandbeauty.com/

  4. Lisionok2004’s blog – http://lisionok2004.wordpress.com/

  5. Taneja’s Bride – http://tanejasbride.com/

  6. Pocket Money Polishes – http://pocketmoneypolishes.wordpress.com/

  7. NAILEYMABOB – http://naileymabob.blogspot.co.uk/

  8. Ninja Blossom Nails – http://www.ninjablossomnails.com/

  9. Timeless Topcoats – http://amberleynolan.wordpress.com/

  10. Sparkles and Statutes – http://sparklesandstatutes.wordpress.com/

  11. Nuthin but a nail thing – http://www.nuthinbutanailthing.com/

  12. The Crumpet – http://www.the-crumpet.com/

  13. Sincerely Stephanie – http://www.sincerelystephanienails.com/

  14. Spit & Polish – http://spitpolish.blogspot.co.uk/

  15. Lacquerheads of OZ – http://www.lacquerheadsofoz.com/

I am so happy to be nominated and to be able to participate in this award -thank you again Lauren. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit more about me and I hope you manage to find a few more quality blogs to follow too!

*There are variations on these rules but I am following those set down by Lauren who nominated me

 

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10 Money saving tips for Lacquer Lovers

 

Dosh

  1. Back to bases. By using cheaper polish as your base for expensive polishes, you’ll still get the colour you love but with just one coat instead of three (saving you over 1/3 of your nail polish costs!)

  2. Use cheaper polish for nail art. Don’t open up your Deborah Lippmann to paint those little daisies. When your working on small designs any polish will do. No need to worry about fancy self-levelling, high-gloss or fast drying polishes when painting intricate designs

  3. Invest in good tools. If your going to spend a little extra, spend it on a quality clean-up brush and a set of quality nail art brushes. Shedding bristles will not only ruin a good manicure but buy sh*te and you will certainly buy twice

Fan brush

4. Invest in a good topcoat. Hours of hard work spent creating a masterpiece can soon be undone by a poor topcoat – smudging, streaking, bubbling, etc. Your nail art will not only look better with a quality quick-dry top coat but will stay looking good for longer hence less need for you to redo your manicure so often

5. Messy manicures. Water-marbling, Sugar Spun manicures, Paint Splatter effect, and sponging are just a few of the messiest manicures you’re likely to encounter, and therefore use a huge amount of nail polish. If you do decide to do these manicures make sure you once again use cheaper polish and not your high-end, limited edition, favourites.

Messy Sponging cu

6. Blogsales. Why pay full price and high shipping charges for nail polishes on their release. Many bloggers will swatch the polish once and then sell it on days later for a fraction of the price. It’s so easy to be persuaded by new releases but if you can hold out and be patient you can grab yourself a bargain

7. Shop around. Many brands will introduce nail techniques and trends that pertain to be new out. However a search on Ebay, Etsy or Amazon means you can find the same decals, feathers, shells, caviar beads, etc. much cheaper than if you buy them off the bigger brands

Caviar Clear

8. Get friendly. Having fellow polish-addicts as friends can bring untold happiness, not least because of the opportunity to swap polishes or exchange gifts. This is even more mutually beneficial if you have polish friends all over the globe as what is an expensive import in your country may be a discount, drug-store polish in theirs, and vice-versa.

9. Get creative. Instead of throwing away your half used nail wraps save them to do some embellishment on your next manicure. Or how about using the very last drops of polish in the bottle to create a saran wrap manicure. Or even keep hold of that freebie eye-liner as an outliner for your next nail art.

Nail Wrap Tips

10. Get together. It’s no secret that the best deals come when you buy in bulk. Next time you decide to make a big polish purchase, ask around if any of your polish friends would also like to buy something. Free shipping, massive discounts and free gifts all come with bigger buying power

So there you have it, my top ten tips. Do you have more money saving tips I’ve forgotten to mention?

Ola Amigo!

So England’s out of the world cup; boo! But that doesn’t mean we have to stop with the football themed nail art; yay!

 

My offering today is less literal than many of the Brazil manis I’ve seen out there. I just took three polishes – yellow, green and a flakie topcoat – to produce a Brazil-esque carnival manicure.

World Cup Nails

The colours are representative of Brazil and the pattern and shimmering flakes are in homage to the dynamic, carnival spirit.

Brazil Nails

If anyone’s looking for a sunshine yellow polish with good coverage, I’d highly recommend Rimmel Mellow Yellow.

Carnival Nails

So what do you think of my Brazil nail art? Have you painted a World Cup manicure of your own yet?

Announcing the full list of themes for the OMD2 Nail Art Challenge

Check out this awesomenail art challenge. Anyone can join in and there’s even prizes!

Down the rabbit hole

Hello peeps, if like me you often find yourself flitting from one blog to another and then wondering where you saw that awesome nail art idea or who wrote that controversial piece about storing nail polish in the freezer (not advisable by the way!) then have no fear. Allow me to suggest the following:

 

1. FOLLOW the blogs you like. Find somewhere to store them altogether so you never have to wandert around the internet again.

If you don’t have a WordPress account but still want to follow me you can do it via Feedburner here

LUSH feedburner

2. LIKE ME? LIKE MY LIKES? If you find a blogger you like why not see who their favourite bloggers are – chances are you’ll like them too.

I have handily put all the links to my favourite nail bloggers all in one place; check out my Blogroll page and see if any tickle your fancy

 

I personally use Bloglovin as I can scroll through all my favourite blogs easily in one place! I also find it’s a quick way to check out current trends and new polish releases.

 

I hope you find this helpful!

Are there any other tips you have for finding your favourites and discovering new bloggers? I’d love to hear them.

 

 

LUSH’s Weekly WANT

*not sponsored

Dance Legend - Candy Flakes

Dance Legend – Candy Flakes

 

Love him or hate him this should still make for interesting reading

You may love his nail polish. You may want to pry more into his celebrity connections and clients. You might love a story of triumph over adversity. You might wanna pick up some entrepreneurial tips from one of the nail industries biggest successes.

Whatever your reasons for reading I can see Leighton Denny’s biography flying off the shelves.

I predict there will be lots of interest from those inside the industry and polish muggles alike.

image

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00L123RME/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1402926795&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

At just £6.07 I’ll be downloading it so keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming review!

Is this something you would read? Can you recommend any other essential reading for nail polish addicts?

Is choosing a nail polish by it’s name akin to choosing a book by it’s cover?

 

My I do…(Part 2) post featured a lot of polishes with wedding-related names but does that really make them the best/most appropriate polish? Shouldn’t we be screening by colour and not by name?

I know it’s wrong to choose a book by it’s cover because it’s the content inside that counts, but with nail polish it’s the exact opposite! Instead of putting them all in plain glass bottles so we can say to ourselves ‘Isn’t that just the perfect shade of blue?’ the polish makers bamboozle us with words, of all things! Is Rimmel’s Breakfast in Bed any prettier than Barry M’s Mint Green?

Then there are brands like OPI or Essie who can’t resist a tongue in cheek reference that makes us polish-lovers snigger; I’m not really a waitress and Jamaica me crazy being my respective faves.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get better (more difficult to choose) PicturePolish showed us it’s not just the names that make us smile but the tag lines too – ‘naughty girl, nice nails’ accompanying Badass on the bottle front.

Essie Mirror Metallics

Blue Rhapsody, Nothing Else Metals, No Place Like Chrome

Recently I’ve also seen a lot of nail polishes with ladies names (Zoya has definitely cornered the market on this trick though) and the main problem with these polishes is that I find myself drawn to PicturePolish’s Aurora (oh, the lady in work just had a grandchild of that name, I wonder if she’d like it) or AEngland’s Margot (oh, my sisters step-mother-in law might like that one) despite the fact that I’d never ordinarily buy polish for these people, I just like that there’s a personal connection there.

And don’t even get me started on my own name – Anna Sui (yes the whole collection is adorable) or Anna Andre Paris (what a cute logo!) get my attention purely for egotistical reasons.

Eiffel Tower

Another temptation a lacquer lover might find difficult to resist is buying a polish that represents your holiday. For example:

Nails Inc Bond Street – “I had to buy it we were ON Bond Street during our London Trip”

Jessica Nails Samba Parade – “well I had to get it whilst we were on our holiday in Rio”

OPI Vampsterdam – “it was the perfect souvenir from our girls weekend in Amsterdam”

Though in the defence of polish buyers everywhere if there’s one time you can treat yourself it’s on your holidays!

 

 

So tell me, what is in a name? Are you tempted in by polish names? Have you got a polish named after you?

Ciate Feather Manicure Kit

 

Evening nail lovers, I hope you’re all enjoying your weekends so far? I’ve been busy with chores today so what better way to unwind after a busy day than try out a new manicure.

A few weeks ago I posted the Ciate Feather manicure kit as my Weekly WANT and for once I actually bought it. The kit was on sale at ASOS and had free shipping so this box of loveliness cost me just £10.50 -bargain!

Ciate Feather kit

I had been wanting to try the feather technique for a while but couldn’t decide what kind of feathers would work best. The great thing about these Ciate kits is they take all the guesswork out of things; with their ‘how-to’ guide and every item you could possibly need all in one place. I have a few other Ciate kits now: Caviar and Chalkboard. I love keeping them in their original boxes because they’re easy to store and keeps everything you need for the manicure in one place.

Feather box contents

So here it is, my very first attempt at the feather manicure. Like many of these creative kits I am sure practice makes perfect and after a little fine tuning this manicure could be looking much sleeker so please bare with me.

Feather overhang

Step one – I painted my nails with two coats of Ivory Queen. I did consider choosing another base colour from my own collection (white maybe?) but for ease I tried out the polish that came in the set.

Step two – paint over the polish with a generous helping of top coat.

Step three – Whilst the top coat is still tacky lay a feather over the top and gently dab into place. This part was a bit of a struggle. You want the coat wet enough to stick the feather but dry enough not to smudge the polish as you smooth the feather down – tricky!

Pink feather hang

Step four – trim around the sides of the nail to neatly fit the feather onto the nail.

Feather fan

Step five – and this step is just my own; dab a little more topcoat under any edges of the feather that may be lifting at this point. I found the denser feather at the nail edge took a little more polish to fully stick down. I also spent a few extra seconds this time holding the edges in place.

Step six – use the buffing block to shave off any smaller feather pieces by running across the nail edge. This part worked perfectly as the harder block buffed away the tiniest feather pieces to create a really smooth finish

Final feathers bright

Step 7 – more copious amounts of topcoat help to seal the feathers down. Just make sure you run the brush the same direction as the feathers; the opposite way to what you usually paint. This is another difficult one to get your head/hands around and I ended up with A LOT of polish over my cuticles and fingers, Clean up most definitely required!

Feather fingers

So here is it, the finished feather manicure. I love all these bright feather colours but especially the green feathers as the smaller green dots were more defined. You get four different feather colours in the box – I can’t help thinking if only it was five there would be a different colour for each nail.

Bright Ciate feathers

Overall

I love the finished effect and I am positive with a bit more practiced I could create a more polished finish in a quicker time. However, it was a bit of a faff – the dry times, the sticking up bits, and the uneven bit were my finger smudged the polish all make it a lot of effort.

Perhaps if I try this again I’ll just use the feather as an accent nail.

Ciate does describe this manicure as ‘long lasing’ though so depending on how many days wear I get out of it the effort may be worth it. I’ll let you know once I’ve had them on longer.

Feather mani

So what do you think? Have you tried the feather manicure technique? Would you be tempted to get the Ciate kit?

 

Scholl Night Mask review

Evening lovelies,

I know some of you will be looking for a distraction from the World Cup football so I thought I’d briefly tell you about a new product I tried and LOVED.

This month’s Glossybox contained, amongst many other summer goodies, a tube of Scholl Velvet Smooth Night Mask. Now I have not mentioned my Glossy boxes previously as this is, and always will be,  a nail-centred blog. However, what I love about this subscription box is you can dip in and out for a month at a time (whenever something featured in the previews takes your fancy). The only downfall, and one I am constantly scuppered by is you can’t tell them what you absolutely don’t want. For me, and my nut allergy, this is a bit of a bummer.

Glossybox

I should also add, for those squeamish about feet that THERE ARE NO PICTURES OF FEET IN THIS REVIEW! I personally don’t mind a pedi pic but I know there are A LOT of feet haters out there.

I loved the look of this box; it was colourful and summery and it was a celebration for 50 years of Superdrug. For some people this was a negative. I saw a lot of people complaining that Glossybox’s original aim was to showcase ‘high-end’ brands. For me the Superdrug box was a winner. Who wants to fall in love with a product they can’t afford or get hold of easily anyway?

Superdrug is one of my preferred high-street beauty stores. It offers all the essentials at a really reasonable price – and that’s not counting all their regular 342 offers.

So the one product I tried the same night I received it was the Night Mask. I did a full at-home pedicure:

  • soak feet in hot, bubbly water
  • trim nails
  • cut cuticles (optional – I actually never do this. 1. my cuticles aren’t very noticeable 2. who’s got time for that?)
  • use a scrub all over the feet (granulated sugar works just as well as expensive scrubs but shh don’t tell anyone)
  • soak again
  • dry off feet on a warm, fluffy towel
  • buff and file nails
  • for stubborn hard skin you can also use a foot file at this point (again it’s optional, some might find it unnecessary)
  • smooth over an intensively moisturising foot cream
  • apply cotton socks while feet are still tacky
  • go to bed (you don’t have to go to bed right away, just leave the socks on overnight)

Another tip here is to do foot treatment and nail painting on two separate evenings. I find that way it helps you concentrate more time and effort on the condition of your feet. Also it means there’s no excess oils lingering on the nail bed that could interfere with polish adhesion.

Scholl Velvet Smooth

So the Scholl Night Mask was lurverly! It had a thick, intensive feel on massaging into the skin that made it feel like it was working to soften the skin right away. The product claims to hydrate for up to 24 hours but I felt the affect days after using – even asking my man days later to ‘feel how soft my feet are’ as I was so impressed with it (and yes, that request was met with the cold, hard stare of indignance).

I’m sure you could skip the socks step but I love to feel my products working hard and the added heat and extra absorption is definitely worth the extra effort.

The 60ml tube costs £7.99, which when you consider how many pedicures you’ll get out of it is a good price for such pleasing results. It’s also the perfect time of year for getting your feet in tip-top condition and sandal ready.

Do you have any pedicure tricks that I missed? Will you be trying Scholl Night Mask?

 

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