Monthly Archives: August 2014

HOMEMADE Nail Polish by Allison Rose Spiekermann

Hey there chickadees,

Today’s post is a first for me; my first ever book review.

HOMEMADE Nail Polish Book

I bought this book on a whim and if I’d had time to talk myself out of it I would have said “You’ll never find the time, money and effort to actually begin producing your own nail polish, despite the appeal of being a bona fide indie maker” However thanks to Kindle One-Click it was downloaded before the voices in my head had chance to dissuade me, and I’m very glad of that.

Firstly, the book is short. I read the whole thing cover to cover in less than an hour! But this is not a book to be read in one sitting. Think of it more as a recipe book and though it will sit on your shelf a number of weeks untouched, it will be a staple for you to dip in and out of and come back to for tips and advice. (Why didn’t that work? How do I change this consistency? I wonder what it mentions about glitters?)

The book starts with the basics of what polishes are made up of – what the ingredients of nail polish are and what they do. More than that though, Allison warns not to run out and buy bulk orders of chemicals but simple tips on where to start and advice for dabblers (like me) who might want to cobble together things they already have!

empty polish bottles

Even if you’re not planning on making your own but are just curious what actually goes into the process there are some gems of advice for any polish lover; some more obvious (NEVER use nail polish remover to thin a polish) and others super useful (look for HDPE on plastic bottles to ensure they’re suitable for acetone storage). I literally streaked highlighter all through this book as it was packed full of interesting tips.

If you do decide to jump in with both feet the how-tos/recipes are easy to follow and the results are very sleek and professional looking. If becoming your own polish creator is something you’ve ever considered then this book will be an essential read.

The book layout (or my KindleFire version) is very simple and clean. All the polishes have clear photographs of the ideal finished product and the methods used are also illustrated throughout with step by step photographs.

I was particularly keen on the ‘Deconstructing Nail Polish’ section as it can not only be used to help troubleshoot polishes you’ve created yourself but can also help you to tweak existing polishes in your collection that are in need of a little improvement. Lumpy, too opaque, not jellifying? Skip ahead to this section for advice.

The resources section is also an invaluable resource in finding ingredients and inspiration online.

So if you want to find out how eye-shadow, silicone baking cups, and an eye-dropper fit into polish making you’ll just have to get your own copy here (currently £6.99 on Amazon)

Have you thought about creating your own polish? Would you like to know more about polish making? Have you read this book? Are there any other recommended reads for would-be indie polish producers?

If you’ve liked today’s post keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming review of How I Nailed It by Leighton Denny.


North West Nails Meet – a peek in the goodie bags

Meet up goodies

My first thought when contacting polish brands for goodie bag content was to ask Tara’s Talons. Tara is a blogger and indie polish maker who has always been friendly and approachable and most importantly creates some wonderful polishes.You can check out my most recent review of some of her polish here. Tara kindly donated some of bottles of loveliness for every blogger who attended, in a variety of colours, and discount vouchers too!

Taras Talons VillainTara Polish glitter cuTarasTalons Polish

The polish I received was the lusciously deep purple sparkle of Villian. It’s the perfect autumn colour and I can’t wait to try it out. I also got a bag full of glitter pieces in a shimmering mix of colours and textures.

Bag of nail glitter

Rio Nail Art has been a firm favourite of mine for so long and I was delighted when they not only offered to send nail art pens and discount voucher but also two competition prizes. Each attendee received a black and a a white nail art pen. The nail art possibilities are endless with these pens; a fine line striping brush and a metal nib, great formula and cleaner pin all make for great results (especially compared to cheap alternatives).

Rio Nail Art Pens

Some of my first furores into nail art were about 20 years ago using brushes similar to these. I’m going to have to get my thinking cap on to create some nail art to show these off to their full potential.

Another of my favourite British brands is She Sells Sea Shells. My all-time favourite nail decal came from them (see my unicorn mani here) and I was delighted they offered some of their new nail stickers for the bloggers to test out. There are zig-zags, straight lines, curves and the ultimate – unicorn heads! They come in an array of bright colours too so will easy to spot among my nail art supplies.

SheSellsSeaShells Stickers

As if it couldn’t get better the lovely Annette of Rainbow Connection donated discount vouchers. The site sells an assortment of indie polishes from all over the world (and ships across Europe). If you haven’t already visited I suggest you check out the site now.

Although not technically part of the goodie bags I feel compelled to mention Guppy Graphics here. Sophia a local graphic designer kindly designed the logo for the event. She creates blog designs, webiste, logos, etc. You may have seen her work on The Hotel Inspector logo. If any bloggers out there are looking for a redesign check out her website.


Once again I’d like to say a big thank you to all the people and brands who have shown their support. Here’s hoping the next meet up is even bigger and better.

LUSH’s Weekly WANT

*not sponsored

Epic Nail Foils

       Epic Nail Foils

The Nail Trail kindly allowed me to use her picture (above) for this post – thank you!

North West Nails Meet


Hello lovelies,

Today’s post, as promised, is all about the North West Nails Meet I organised. The meet was last month (sorry I’m late posting this – the big move and lack of internet made posting impossible) and was held at The Sir Thomas Hotel in Liverpool city centre.

Table layoutTable set up

The venue itself is one of my favourites. Unlike some city centre hotels it has a really relaxed atmosphere and female-friendly bar. They host lots of lovely events from Chick Flick Thursdays to Tribute nights and I’d highly recommend them to anyone. It’s also a great central location to meet the girls for afternoon tea (right across from the Met Quarter).


North West Bloggers were invited to meet for drinks, cakes and a good old nail natter. I love connecting with other polish fans and it’s nice to have someone who I can chat to about holos, frankens and helmers without looks of confusion. I would love to organise another event in the future for all those who couldn’t make it this time around – keep your eyes peeled for more meet up news in the coming months.

The highlight for me was finally meeting Cecilia from Nailipedia. She was a real help in organising the event and such a lovely person too. Can’t wait to plan a trip to Sally’s soon!

Cecilia (left) & I (right)

Cecilia (left) & I (right)

We organised a nail art competition with prizes provided by Rio Nails – first prize, an awesome nail art starter kit, went to Cecilia for her stud-embellished black and white nails. Our loose theme was ‘Germany’ as they were the world cup winners.

Black and white stud nails

The winning manicure

In keeping with the competition theme I did my own nails in the colours of the German flag using a simple dry brush technique cross-hatched across the nail. This is the perfect mani for anyone wanting to punk up their nails in a hurry.

Fire brush mani

The biggest thanks to She Sells Sea Shells, Rio, Rainbow Connection, Guppy Graphics, and Tara’s Talons, for their support. I will be posting separately on these awesome brands and what we got in our goodie bags but I was really overwhelmed with their generosity.

I can’t wait to have myself a shopping spree using the vouchers from our goodie bags – what polish to get…?

Stamping Saturdays

Hello lovelies,

I’m so sorry I’ve been away so long. The big move happened and it took such a long time to finally get the internet installed in the new house, but I’m finally back! I’ve really missed blogging so much, however I’ve still been polishing and writing and have lots of lovely posts coming up for you over the next few weeks so stay tuned (subscribed)


This evening I have something new for you; Stamping Saturday! So this may not actually be new to many of you as the concept has been around forever (…not technically true. See oflifeandlacquer‘s site for full info), but I have never actually posted a stamped manicure on a Saturday before. I have also only ever stamped with the polish that came in the Konad stamping kit I have (white, green and red) but low and behold you can actually stamp with many different polishes.

My choice of polish to stamp was easy peasy; LacquerLust’s Aquamarine is a stunning blue with full rainbow holo. It’s a totally dreamy polish so I knew it would look just as beautiful stamped over another polish.

LacquerLust Aquamarine


The other polish choice was trickier. I wanted a contrasting muted blue so as not to take away the limelight of the holo stamp so I chose NailsInc‘s Holland Park Gardens. I got this mini polish in a flower decal set and had only used it once previously so thought it was about time it had an outing.

The plate I used was This Circus plate (NC05) by NailCraze. The only thing better than holo polish, is holo polish stars.

Star stamping plate

Rather than go for a full stamped mani I decided instead to just stamp over the tips. To do this I applied these white tip marker stickers and stamped over the top.

Tip stickers

And here is my final design…

Holographic polish tips

 Finished stamp mani

Holo tips

What do you think? Will you be joining in the Stamping Saturday Phenomenon? 

LUSH’s Weekly WANT


Illamasqua Melange

The 31 Day Nail Art Challenge: FAQ and Other Information

Hello there,  it’s that time of year again. CHALKBOARD has all the info in the link below.

The 31 Day Nail Art Challenge: FAQ and Other Information

(Via Bloglovin’)

I may take part again this year. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with! Let me know if you’re taking part too!


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