Posts tagged Varnish
To celebrate the slow but sure arrival of the British summer, Barry M have launched two limited edition nail paints, exclusive to Superdrug. Both shades have a pastel bright colouring, which is very on trend this season, and a shimmer finish which looks stunning in the summer sunshine.
Promenade is a gorgeous pink shade, which is reminiscent of the candyfloss and sticks of peppermint rock that you find adorning the British prom. It’s such a happy colour, and really gets you in the mood for a fun day on the seafront!
Seaside, my favourite shade, is a glistening blue that brings to mind the sea and skies of a hot day in July. It’s so pretty, and I can just imagine a mermaid wearing this one.
As with all Barry M nail paints, Promenade and Seaside both apply like a dream, and dry incredibly quickly, which means more time outside enjoying the sun!
Barry M’s British Summer nail paints will be available in Superdrug, whilst stocks last, between 4th June and 1st July, and you can choose one for FREE when you spend £6! Which colour will you be snapping up?
*These Barry M Nail Paints were sent to me by Superdrug for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
You may remember that at the beginning of January I swatched and reviewed a gorgeous glitter varnish from GOSH’s Frosted Sand collection, called ‘Frosted Purple‘. Well, it officially became one of my favourite varnishes of all time, and I couldn’t wait to add more frosted shades to my collection. In particular I was trying to get hold of ‘Frosted Plum’, but the only bottle in my local Superdrug for months was a damaged one. Then, earlier this week, I noticed that they had a few more in stock, and luckily for me all of GOSH’s varnishes were on offer for £1.99 each! Obviously I bought it straight away and applied it when I got home, so today I thought I’d share the swatches with you.
Like its purple counterpart, ‘Frosted Plum’ is a pleasure to apply, looks opaque in just one coat (although I applied two), and dries really quickly. It’s also rather hard-wearing, and stays put for a good few days without chipping, even without a base or top coat.
The best thing about it though is the colour. The base shade, as you’d expect, is a beautiful deep plum purple, but throughout it are flecks of gold, bronze and bright pink, which give it a brilliant depth. It looks absolutely amazing in the sun, and even indoors it still looks impressive. The glitter in this one is a lot more consistently sized than in ‘Frosted Purple’, and I think it looks a bit like a caviar manicure.
I’ll stand by my previous statement that GOSH’s Frosted Sand glitters are honestly the best glitters I’ve tried, and I will continue to add to my collection! I have my eye on a couple of their spring pastel shades, ‘Soft Blue’ and ‘Soft Green’, which are also currently £1.99 in Superdrug (reduced from £3.99).
Will you be buying any of GOSH’s frosted glitters?
Earlier this week I nipped into Superdrug whilst shopping with my mum, and whilst browsing the make up stands I spotted this gorgeous nail varnish by GOSH. Most GOSH varnishes usually retail for £3.99 each, but the range of ‘Frosted Sand’ glitters, which are very similar to OPI’s Liquid Sand collection, are currently discounted to £1.99. I was instantly drawn to this shade, ‘Frosted Purple‘, as the colour looked incredible in the bottle, so I snapped it up and couldn’t wait to get it home to try it out.
‘Frosted Purple’ is a simply beautiful colour, and is neutral enough to wear with just about anything. It’s a dark silver tone with a lilac tinge, and consists of two sizes of glitter – a very fine micro glitter, with larger flecks throughout. The varnish dries matte, which is quite unusual for a glitter varnish in my experience, and is textured like ‘frosted sand’. It feels slightly rough to the touch, but I’ve used far rougher glitters in the past.
Now, I know this is a bold statement to make, but I think this varnish is the best glitter varnish that I have ever owned/tried. It even beats my trusty favourite brands, Barry M and Models Own. Most glitters need layers and layers for full coverage, but not this one. My swatches show the coverage after just one coat. That’s right, ONE COAT! And it really doesn’t need any more than that, as it’s completely opaque. The formula is lovely too – very smooth and not at all gloopy, so you can actually brush it on (the brush is nice and wide, yay) rather than dab it on, as is usually required with glitters. It also dries very quickly for a glitter.
In terms of hardiness, I’ve been wearing ‘Frosted Purple’ for three days now, and the tips of my nails are just starting to show signs of wear. There are no chips or anything though. I can tell it’s going to be a pain to remove as it has the same texture as Models Own ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Southern Lights’ which are really tough to get off, but it’s a small price to pay for such a high quality glitter.
EDIT: I was wrong! The varnish was actually really easy to remove with a normal nail varnish remover, and it barely took any soaking or rubbing to get it to budge. I’m very, very impressed.
I spotted four shades in the ‘Frosted Sand’ range, all of which are Toluene-free and Formaldehyde-free. ‘Frosted Silver’, ‘Frosted Gold’, ‘Frosted Purple’, and ‘Frosted Plum’, which I think is a new addition, and is next on my nail varnish shopping list! Will you be trying any? If so, get on down to Superdrug quick to take advantage of the £1.99 offer!
A few weeks ago I entered a competition on Twitter to win some Bad Apple Cosmetics nail varnishes from The Lady Boys of Bangkok, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of their winners. The prize I received consisted of three nail varnish shades from the Bad Apple range, and they are all absolutely gorgeous – thanks @TheLadyBoys!
Before entering the competition I had never heard of Bad Apple Cosmetics, but according to their Twitter account their products are all made in England and free from nasty chemicals, and they are apparently the first site in the world who will put any picture you send them onto nail wraps!
Since receiving my prize I have tried and tested all three varnishes, and I must say I am rather impressed. When I first saw them I immediately liked the little apple-shaped bottles, and the Bad Apple logo is pretty cool too. Each varnish comes with a wide brush which is easy to grip due to the large lid, which means it applies smoothly without any streaks. The varnish itself has a creamy consistency, but it is fairly sheer so two or three coats are needed for a completely opaque look. It also dries to the touch very quickly, within a minute or two, so you can create a beautiful smudge-free manicure in no time at all.
One of my favourite things about Bad Apple’s varnishes is that they last a very long time. I didn’t apply a top coat over any of the shades, and I wore each one for around four days before removing it, and signs of wear were minimal. At the worst I had a small chip on one or two nails, and that was all.
Here’s a closer look at each varnish… (Excuse the short nails – they were all breaking so I decided to cut them off and start again!)
Misty is a stunning dark slate grey which has an intense glossy shine. It’s a very unusual grey due to its azure undertone, but it’s really versatile as it’s neutral enough to go with anything.
Anna is a bright bubblegum pink with a shiny creme finish. This is my favourite of the three shades and the one I will wear the most, I imagine. I love how pretty and girly it is.
True to its name, Akane is a brilliant red, which has a Gothic feel to it due to its deep colouring, and like the other two varnishes it also has a lovely shine. This is a classic varnish which is perfect for a glamorous evening look. Simply beautiful.
Bad Apple’s varnishes cost £9.95 each, which considering their quality is well worth it and I’d be happy to pay that for them. In fact, I hope to add to my collection in the not too distant future! You can view the full range of Bad Apple products here, and you can also follow the company on Twitter.
Which of these shades do you like best?
Earlier this month, not long after I decided to ban myself from spending for a while, I received an email from Illamasqua to say that they had added more lines to their winter sale, and I couldn’t resist a browse. There were so many lovely things going cheap that I had to restrain myself, but I made a compromise and let myself buy two things that I wanted the most – a gorgeous red lipstick in the shade Tramp (which I will review at a later date), and this beautiful nail varnish, Velocity.
Illamasqua nail varnish usually retails for £13.50, but Velocity cost me just £5 in the sale, which is obviously a massive saving. I love Illamasqua for several reasons – they’re British, they’re cruelty-free, they challenge conventions, their packaging is chic and, importantly, their products are amazing quality, and this varnish is no different.
Velocity is a very beautiful shade with a bit of an edge, which oozes individuality and class. Illamasqua’s website describes it as a dusky grey-purple which is spot on, and it looks fantastic no matter what level of light you’re in. In natural light it looks the colour of vibrant purple heather, with a tinge of grey which stops it being overly bright, and indoors it has a deep plum look to it, which is equally as gorgeous. The varnish also has a glossy finish which gives incredible, eye-catching shine.
The varnish itself has a lovely creamy consistency, which when paired with Illamasqua’s quality varnish brush allows for smooth, easy coverage. It’s also very highly pigmented and gives full coverage with only one coat, but I applied two for a more intense look. The varnish dries quickly too… I was playing Balderdash with my family about ten minutes after painting my nails with Velocity, and I didn’t suffer any smudges or dents!
I’m also really impressed with how long this has lasted so far. For some reason, I didn’t apply a top coat over the top, and after three days the varnish is still wearing well. One nail on my left hand has chipped a bit, but the rest look almost as good as new!
Here is how Velocity looks on the nails, in natural light, after two coats…
I really can’t put into words how much I love this varnish! The colour is stunning and you can really tell when using it that it’s a good quality product. I would happily pay full-price for Illamasqua nail varnish, so I feel very lucky that I managed to get this little gem for only £5. If you want to follow in my footsteps, it’s actually still available in the sale here, but be quick because I think the sale ends soon!
Which Illamasqua nail varnish shade is your favourite?
First off, I would like to wish my sister, Freya, a very Happy Birthday! Today she turns 21, an important age, but she’ll still always be my baby sister, wanting all my things. HAPPY BIRTHDAY FREYA!!
Now, down to business… Today I opened the door of Day 18 on my Ciate Mini Mani Month advent calendar, which means it’s time for another weekly round-up! This post will feature Day 13 up to Day 18, and I have swatches of all but one of the Paint Pots this time. I must admit, my feelings were mixed this week. There were a couple that I really liked, and one or two that I wasn’t keen on at all, but you can’t win them all as they say!
Day 13 – Glass Slipper and Day 14 – Speed Dial
On Day 13 I opened the door to Glass Slipper, a lovely blue glitter polish, and the first of the calendar’s three exclusive shades. The glitter is very fine and beautiful, and doesn’t feel too rough in texture, but it isn’t really dense enough to wear on its own (unless you’re willing to apply 3+ coats). It works perfectly as a top coat however, and is surprisingly easy to remove for a glitter.
Speed Dial is an unusual shade – it looks bright orange in the bottle, but I found it applies somewhere between a red and an orange. It is more orange in real life than it looks in the photo above though. I just can’t quite decide whether I like it or not! It definitely doesn’t look that good with Glass Slipper over the top, but with the right outfit I can see it working. Not one of my favourites, but not bad. It applied evenly and has a creamy formula at least!
Day 15 – Headliner
Headliner is my absolute favourite this week… I seem to have a thing for blues at the minute! It is a dark turquoise blue shade with a stunning creme finish and I love it! As you’d expect, the formula is great and, quite impressively, it only takes one coat to achieve a completely opaque finish (the photo above show two coats, however). Headliner got me a lot of compliments when I wore it, and without a doubt I’ll be wearing this one a lot!
Day 16 – Big Yellow Taxi
Ick, I’m not liking Big Yellow Taxi. I initially thought this looked okay as it appeared quite a creamy banana yellow in the bottle, but when I applied it I was soon disappointed. It has a really strange gloopy formula, so it went on very streaky, and no number of coats seemed to be able to even the finish out. The yellow shade is slightly too bright, and in all honestly it looks like tippex coloured in with yellow highlighter pen – not pretty! On the plus side, it doesn’t leave any stains behind at all. I don’t think I have the skin tone to pull this off, but it would probably look great against darker skin… I may use it for Batman nail art though!
Day 17 – Power Dressing
I haven’t tried Power Dressing yet so I can’t comment much on the formula and colour, but in the bottle it looks like a classic deep navy blue, and I imagine it will have a lovely shiny finish. I’m looking forward to using this!
Day 18 – Candy Shop Caviar Pearls
Candy Shop is the third out of four bottles of Caviar Pearls in the calendar, and so far they are my favourite. The beads are very small and coloured in three shades – turquoise blue, pink and orange. As with the other pearls that I have tried, these are very easy to apply (just pour over a wet nail, press down, and leave to set for 15 minutes), and look really striking against a bright varnish. The purple shade I chose to pair the pearls with is actually Cabaret, one of the shades I didn’t swatch in Part 1, so now you can see what it looks like.
So there you go, a mixed bag of mostly brights this week. Which is your favourite? Please vote below! Check back for Part 4 next Monday, on Christmas Eve, and if you want to see the previous shades in the Ciate Mini Mani Month, they are swatched in my Part 1 and Part 2 posts.
Six days have already passed since my last Ciate Mini Mani Month post, can you believe it? The days are flying by and before we know it, it will soon be Christmas day! But for now, as promised, here is Part 2 of my Mini Mani Round-Up, featuring the surprises hidden behind advent calendar doors 7 to 12.
You may be pleased to know that I managed to swatch every single varnish this time, so you can get a more accurate feel for what each one is really like. As usual, they all have that deliciously creamy signature Ciate formula, which applies evenly, dries quickly and is extremely chip resistant. Here they all are in their bottles…
Day 7 – Cutie Pie
Cutie Pie is a pretty, feminine, powdery pale pink shade with a creme finish. I usually prefer bold, bright varnishes to pastels, but this one really is quite lovely and clean-looking. The above look was achieved using two coats of varnish and it’s still quite sheer, but I think three would be plenty enough for a more opaque appearance.
Day 8 – Vintage
Vintage is my favourite varnish from this week. It’s a deep grey colour, but it has a tinge of greeny blue to it which makes it more unusual than most greys. I got so many compliments about my nails on the day I wore this. I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of Vintage – it goes with anything!
Day 9 – Mistress
Mistress is a classic, very bright scarlet red, with a slight orange undertone and a high shine finish. I’m not the biggest fan of orange varnishes so I wasn’t too keen on this when I first saw it, but once I applied it I instantly changed my mind. I think shades like this can look a bit tacky sometimes, but because Ciate is such good quality, it actually looks really beautiful on. The only issue I have with this is that it stained my skin when I removed it! You can see evidence of the staining around my cuticles on the photo below…
Day 10 – Ladylike Luxe & Day 11 – Bumble Bee Caviar Pearls
Ladylike Luxe is a shimmery yellow gold shade, and it’s the best gold varnish I’ve ever tried. For some reason, gold and silver varnishes tend to show up any imperfections on your nails (no matter how small) and though this one isn’t perfect, it definitely disguises imperfections more than any other metal colour I’ve used. Overall this is a fab varnish – very Christmassy!
The Bumble Bee Caviar Pearls consist of two different coloured pearls – black and yellowy gold. I gave myself a ring finger mani with them yesterday, and as you can see it turned out rather well for a first attempt! The pearls were very easy to use… You just pour them over your wet nail, press them down and leave them to set for 15-20 minutes. I absolutely love how they look and feel, but they haven’t lasted very well. This morning when I woke up I noticed that the colour on the gold pearls had faded/rubbed off slightly, and after 24 hours a lot of the beads have already fallen off. I’m not sure how long they’re supposed to last, but I thought it’d be longer than a day!
Day 12 – Twilight
Last but not least, today’s varnish is Twilight – a black base with a gold fleck shimmer running through it, which also looks greeny brown depending on the light. I have a feeling this was intended to go with the Bumble Bee Caviar Pearls, and indeed it is a great match. A gorgeous, classy shade to round off the week.
Which one of this week’s minis is your favourite?
Don’t forget, you can read Part 1 of my Ciate Mini Mani Month Round-Up here. Check back next Tuesday for Part 3!
To celebrate receiving my first pay cheque from my new job, earlier this month I treated myself to one of this festive season’s highly sought after beauty products – Ciaté’s Mini Mani Month! I first heard about the Ciaté Mini Mani Month from my mum, who had seen it on QVC with a special price of £31.20. At first I thought that was a lot of money to spend on what was essentially a glorified advent calendar, but after doing some research I realised three things… 1) £31.20 is a VERY good price as the Mani Month is/was being sold elsewhere (Selfridges etc) for a lot more, 2) £31.20 is also VERY good value considering the contents of the box, and 3) I HAD TO HAVE IT! So, rather excitedly, I placed my order with QVC, and a few days later this is what I received…
The Mini Mani Month comes in a luxe, on trend Aztec-style print box. It’s hard to tell from my photographs but the box is actually quite large. It’s about A4 sized (maybe slightly bigger), and a few inches thick. It opens out like a book to reveal 24 windows inside, each of which hides a gorgeous nail treasure to be discovered on the corresponding day! There’s also a small funnel slotted inside the box, to be used with the Caviar pearls which the Mani Month features.
The back of the Mani Month box shows 21 of the 24 nail colours that the calendar contains. The other 3 are secret shades made especially for the Mini Mani Month, which adds an extra touch of excitement to opening the doors, as you don’t always know what you’re getting. I have actually watched a couple of video reviews of this, but I managed to avoid seeing the surprise colours so I still don’t really know what they are, and (hopefully) won’t until I open whichever days they’re behind!
I am yet to open any of the doors (I’m being a good girl and saving it for its intended use as an advent calendar!) so I can’t comment on the shades, but looking at the picture there seems to be a wide selection of different colours and finishes, including four bottles of Caviar pearls. Each bottle of varnish is a mini 5ml version of a classic 13.5ml Ciaté Paint Pot, and the Caviar Pearl bottles each contain 10g of pearls. Full-size Ciaté Paint Pots retail for £9, so these mini versions are worth around £4 each. At the price I paid for this, however, they work out at £1.40 each – what a bargain!
Throughout December, I will be revealing the shades behind each door in a weekly Ciaté Mini Mani Month round-up post, so if you want to know more about the nail shades inside, please keep an eye out for those. I’ll try to include as many swatches as possible too!
Unfortunately, the Ciaté Mini Mani Month is no longer available on the QVC website, and I’m struggling to find it for sale anywhere else in the UK other than on eBay, so if you want one of these for yourself you might struggle to find one I’m afraid! However, my American readers may be pleased to know that it is currently available on the Sephora website for $58.
As an avid nail painter with a penchant for nail art I am always on the look out for new and exciting nail varnishes to add to my collection. So, when Rosalie from Dielle UK offered to send me a couple of her beautiful nail colours, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. A few weeks ago, after a short wait, I received a beautifully packaged little parcel from Ros in the post, and was instantly wowed by the bold brightness of Dielle’s colours.
Dielle translates as ‘Modern Goddess’, and the brand aims to provide sophisticated nail shades which look as amazing on the nail as they do in the bottle, and which help to enhance every woman’s natural beauty and inspire confident self-expression. All of Dielle’s nail varnishes are free of toxic ingredients, including the big three, and come in a wide range of impressive colours. Every bottle contains 12ml of varnish, which is a generous size, and they retail for £12.00 each. Dielle also support charities that work with women and children in Haiti, so every nail colour you buy will not only benefit you and your nails, but will go towards helping others.
The two shades I have been lucky enough to try are ‘Bliss’, an eye-catching azure glitter, and ‘Imperial Crown’, a pretty purple with an undertone of pink. Over the last couple of weeks I have tested and enjoyed both colours, and here’s what I think of them…
Bliss is one of the latest colours to be added to the Dielle collection, and also a limited edition. As mentioned before, the bulk of Bliss is made up of a fine azure glitter, which to me invites images of a tropical ocean – pure ‘Bliss’! It has larger flecks of gold and silver glitter running throughout too, which gives it an amazing depth when on the nails.
The varnish itself has a fantastic consistency so it smooths on easily and not too thickly, and the glitter is distributed evenly and not at all sparsely. As such, Bliss looks fabulous over Imperial Crown after just one coat, but I always add one more coat for an even bolder look. What really impresses me about Bliss is how quickly it dries… Without fail, it is completely dry to the touch in less than one minute, so it is almost impossible to smudge. I know, it seems too good to be true, but every time I use it it dries quick as a flash!
This is how two coats of Dielle’s Bliss looks over Imperial Crown…
Isn’t it stunning? You can really see from the photo above how the glitter sits evenly and doesn’t clump together into a lumpy mess, and how fantastically it shines. I love it!
‘But isn’t it a pain to remove?’, I hear you cry. The answer? NO! No it isn’t! What makes Dielle’s glitter a cut above the other glitters out there is that it comes off as easily as a normal varnish, so there’s no need to spend hours scrubbing at your nails with countless cotton wool balls and gallons of industrial strength nail varnish remover. Hallelujah! The glitter flecks don’t rip the cotton wool to shreds either, which means fluff free nails.
Overall, Bliss is a very high quality glitter which gives a burst of shine and colour, without the worry that it will be stubborn to take off – definitely worth the £12.00 price tag!
Imperial Crown is a regal plum purple with strong dusky pink undertones, and is part of Dielle’s Brights collection. I’m a sucker for purple varnishes, as my regular readers will know, and Imperial Crown is one of the more charmingly feminine purples in my collection, and is quickly becoming one of my go-to purples. The varnish has a high shine, creme finish too, which looks luxuriously classy and just so happens to be one of my favourite nail varnish finishes.
Like Bliss, Imperial Crown is very smooth and also very creamy, so it applies easily and evenly. Two thin coats is plenty enough for a completely opaque look, and as you can see below, the colour looks identical on the nail to how it looks in the bottle, which is a rare thing I find. Imperial Crown dries quickly too, which makes me think that’s a positive trait which runs across the whole range!
I didn’t comment on the lasting power of Bliss as glitters are notorious for sticking around, but even without Bliss over the top Imperial Crown lasts for a good few days before showing any signs of wear.
Overall, Imperial Crown is an extremely high quality varnish, which looks absolutely gorgeous both on the nail and in the bottle, and given its lasting power and large bottle it is great value for money too. Both varnishes have an incredibly luxe feel to them, which is difficult to match with a cheaper high street varnish.
I definitely plan on adding more Dielle nail colours to my collection in the future – I’m officially hooked! And I hope you’ll try the range too. If you’d like to check out Dielle’s full range of nail colours, you can do so by visiting their website, or by following Dielle on Twitter and Facebook. Oh and you bargain hunters out there may be pleased to know that Dielle are currently running two amazing offers… 25% off Classy Christmas Cheer shades, and 40% off Lustre Gel Coat, so now’s your chance to try a high-end product at a low price!
*I was sent these Dielle Nail Colours by Dielle for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own*
Here in the UK we celebrate Bonfire Night on the 5th of November, to remember Guy Fawkes’ plot to blow up the houses of parliament. Celebrations always involve a lot of beautiful fireworks, and this year I was lucky enough to see not one, but TWO displays! The first was a small one in our back garden last Friday, with some of the extended family. We ate homemade pizzas, jacket potatoes, burgers and hotdogs, as well as some of my extra special homemade chocolate dipped shortbread, whilst we set off a few boxes of rockets and fountains. Then, on Saturday, I went to the big display they hold at a local park, which I’ve been to every year since I was about three years old. They had a huge bonfire with a Guy on top and a 20 minute long display with some of the biggest, loudest fireworks I have ever seen! We had hot, sugary doughnuts too which tasted amazing.
I absolutely love fireworks so this time of year is always a lot of fun for me. My city is also currently celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, so there are twice as many fireworks for me to enjoy. To show my love for the firework season, I decided to give my nails a colourful, sparkly makeover, using No7 Stay Perfect ‘Violetta’ and Technic ‘Carnival’.
To create this look I applied two thin coats of No7 Stay Perfect ‘Violetta’, then layered Technic ‘Carnival’ over the top. I attempted to graduate the glitter by applying more to the tips of my nails, but it didn’t work as well as I wanted it to, probably due to the mixed size of the glitter flakes! I still love how they look though. I chose the dark background to represent the night sky, and the bright glitter gives a firework-like burst of colour over the top.
Technic ‘Carnival’ is an amazing mix of almost every colour glitter you can imagine, including pink, purple, red, blue, green, gold and silver. Isn’t it pretty? I picked this varnish up from Leicester Market last year for just £1, and for the price it is fantastic quality. The glitter is suspended in a clear varnish which isn’t gloopy or runny, but the consistency is thick enough to keep the glitter firmly in place when on the nail, whilst acting as a decent top coat. It dries really quickly too which is always a bonus.
What do you think of this glittery look? I hope you all had a brilliant Bonfire Night!