Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Blues: Barry M Denim

Hello my lovelies! This Monday has been a little hectic for me so I'm posting this a bit late. For most of you it's still morning though so I think I can get away with it. I have an amazing British blue to show you today. The UK has been in the spotlight in the last days and I want to remind you that they have amazing nail polish as well. My a-england polishes have also showed up today and I will be swatching them in the next weeks. But today, it's Barry M's moment to shine!

Barry M Denim indoors, artificial light
 Barry M Denim is an amazing blue with silver shimmer, that closely resembles actual denim material. I've seen a lot of swatches of this online and most of them are lighter than the actual polish. My photos came out pretty close to the actual color, although it is a tad less indigo and more navy in real life. I would say the sun pictures are the most accurate ones. It is also said to be a dupe for Ciate Regatta. Not only would I never buy polish from Ciate, but Barry M is also a lot cheaper, so I would say it's great news!

Barry M Denim indoors, artificial light
The formula of this polish is outstanding! It's very opaque so what you are seeing in the pictures is just one coat. It's also very creamy and easy to apply. Going over the same spot with the brush can cause a bit of dragging, so you must avoid doing that. Other than that, application was great. It dries to a semi-matte finish so you have to add top coat if you want it to be shiny. My pictures are all with one coat of Seche Vite. 

Barry M Denim in the sun
Unfortunately there is a downside to this polish. It chipped on me too soon. I used my normal base coat and Seche Vite and it started chipping after only one day. Not sure what to think because Barry M's always wear great. Maybe it wasn't happy with the base coat underneath. I also wanted to see how it looks matte, but it already had some chips at the tips so I had to remove it. 

Barry M Denim in the sun

Hope you enjoyed this beautiful blue polish. Don't forget to check out what my fellow Monday Blues participants have come up with: 

Gosia from Life in Color!
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede
Marisa from Polish Obsession

Have a great week! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My 200th post

Hello my lovely readers and happy Sunday! I can't believe I made it this far! In less than one year of blogging, I have posted 200 times! I couldn't have made it without you and this is my way to thank you for coming over to my little corner of the internet. I would never quit blogging regarding how many followers I have, because I love it too much. But knowing that people enjoy my posts and are willing to read my ramblings makes me so happy! I did a little nail art to celebrate this moment. 

This is not my best work. I have to admit that I haven't done free hand nail art in a long time. Clearly I need to practice more. The base color is Flormar 423. I did my best to draw the 200 with a small nail art brush and some gold striping polish from Golden Rose. The balloons are stamped from plate FUN 1 and filled in with red. On my thumb I stamped some hearts from plate FUN 2 and used a little heart decal, to show the love and appreciation I have for all of you. 

The GFC followers are not the only ones I want to thank. There are many social media outlets that I use, even if it's a little hard to keep up with everything. To the ones following me on all the other social media outlets, I want to say a big thank you! I'm so glad I made it to 200 posts and I hope there will be many more in the future! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ruffle manicure

Hello loves! How is your Saturday going so far? I'm watching the Olympics but since there's only football on TV right now, I decided to write this post for you. This is the final post I'm doing using the Rimmel polishes. It has been kind of a Rimmel week here and I sure don't want to bore you. I think most of you have already seen the ruffle mani around. The inventor of this technique is the lovely Sarah from Chalkboard Nails, and you can see her tutorial here

The funny thing is that I don't like ruffles. Honestly, I would never wear clothes with ruffles but it's totally different with nails. I love how colorful this type of mani is. Of course you can choose colors in the same color family to keep it more conservative. But for me, the crazier the better. 

I used almost all the Rimmel 60 Seconds colors I have. I won't list them all because they are so many, but you can see them swatched here and here. I used Grey Matter as a base and then did the dots with 6 other polishes. The thumbnail is larger so I used 7 colors on it. 

The only color I skipped was the yellow, just because it's not that pigmented and it wouldn't have fit on my nails. My nails aren't that long right now and this still took quite a while to make. If you are planning on doing this you should have at least one hour and a lot of patience to spare. 

I loved this mani so much that I didn't want to take it off. The Rimmel polish solved the problem by chipping at the tips. I can't wait to try this with different shades of blue. Credit goes entirely to Sarah for coming up with this amazing mani. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Belated leap day mani

Hello my lovelies and TGIF! I'm so excited because the Olympics are finally starting today and I can't wait. I will be watching athletics, swimming, gymnastics and some of the other stuff on the side. Will you be watching? What are your favorite sports? 

Today's manicure has a bit of a story behind it. A few weeks ago I watched the "30 Rock" episode entitled "Leap Day". One of the main ideas in the show was that on leap day you're supposed to wear yellow and blue. I just love how these two colors look together, so the combination has stuck with me ever since and I had to use it for a mani. Even though leap day was months ago, it is still leap year so I guess it counts. 

I won't call this a gradient because in my opinion it's not. A gradient has colors that fade into each other and this one can't be called fading at all. The base color is Rimmel Sunny Days from the 60 Seconds line, which I've talked about here. Here's a picture in case you missed it. 

Rimmel Sunny Days in the sun
A beautiful vibrant yellow with golden shimmer. I wore this for a day before putting the blue on top. The blue is Astor Fashion Studio 070, a cobalt blue that I'm not too crazy about formula-wise. It's the closest I have to Nails Inc Baker Street, so I guess for now it will do, but I do plan on getting my hands on the NI eventually. 

I used a sponge to apply the blue. First I sponged from the half of the nail and then a second time concentrating more on the tips. I wish my gradients were better but I just can't find the perfect sponge to do them. The one I used is a makeup sponge but I wasn't able to blend the colors properly with it. I even tried it  wet. I've tried following a bunch of tutorials and nothing works. I guess I just have to find a different sponge. 

in the sun
I really loved this mani, even if it wasn't perfectly blended. This color combo is one of my favorites and I'm sure I'm gonna use it again sometime. It's just perfect for summer! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rimmel 60 Seconds review and swatches part 2

Hello everybody! This is the second post in my Rimmel 60 Seconds series. To read the review of the polishes and see the first 4 swatches click here for part 1. 

I still have 5 more swatches for you after the jump. 

Rimmel 60 Seconds review and swatches part 1

Hello loves! Over the last few weeks I've acquired a lot of Rimmel 60 Seconds polishes, just because they are new to our market and were on sale. They have a wide color range and I would say that the colors are not boring at all. I decided to do an extensive review and show you all the colors I have (9 to be precise). Because they are so many, I will split it into two posts, but the posts will go live together. Also I've inserted page jumps just because the pictures are so many, so make sure to click on "read more" to see all the swatches. 

I will start by talking a bit about what these polishes claim. Firstly they claim to be one-coat polishes. From the ones I have, only two are one coaters (Stand To Attention and Blue Eyed Girl) and the majority need at least 2 coats, some of them even 3 coats to be opaque. Secondly, they claim to have a drying time of "less than 60 seconds". Now they might dry fast but they certainly do not dry as fast as they say. For the one-coaters drying time can be around a few minutes, while for the majority of them you have to wait quite a while for them to dry, considering the multiple coats. Another claim is that they make your nails up to 5 times stronger. My nails are a mess right now and I don't think a polish can make my nails stronger (considering I always use a base coat), so I won't comment on that one. Finally, I want to talk a bit about the brush. The Xpress Flat Brush is a wide brush that promises a one second application. Let's take a look! 

Rimmel Xpress Flat Brush versus OPI ProWide brush
Compared to the OPI brush, the Rimmel brush is shorter and wider. It has a lot more hairs and I can tell you it's stiff and doesn't have a very precise cut. I've noticed unevenness on some of the brushes. The top is rounded and might suggest better application at the cuticle, but because it's so stiff and doesn't spread on the nail, it's quite hard to use. I wasn't too keen on the OPI brush in the past, but it's very easy to use once you get the hang of it. The Rimmel brush, on the other hand, is still a mystery to me. My personal advice is to use light strokes and not push it too hard on the nail, because it will leave streaks, especially with the lighter colors. 

Now let's look at some of the polishes. The swatches are after the jump. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Blues: Orly Skinny Dip

Hello loves! Another Monday and another blue coming your way! This is one that is already famous and I heard so much about. It's Gosia's favorite so naturally, I had to try it right away. It was definitely a win! 

Orly Skinny Dip in the sun
Skinny Dip is a shimmery light blue. I can't say that it's a neon, but it's bright nonetheless. The shimmer flashes almost purple in the bottle, but that doesn't show up on the nail. It is however a very evident blue shimmer. 

To give you an idea of the shimmer, I also took an artificial light photo that doesn't show the color very well. It's lighter in reality so the sun pictures are the accurate ones. 

Orly Skinny Dip indoors, artificial light
I really like the formula on this one although it is rather sheer. I did 3 thin coats to achieve this look. It's easy to apply and I love the Orly brush because it has the perfect size and the polish doesn't drip down the stem while you work with it, like with some other brands. It dries rather slow but you will need a fast-drying top coat anyway because you have to make it shiny. Being a so-called neon, it dries to a semi-matte finish. It was also a bit streaky, but nothing a good coat of Seche Vite won't fix. 

Orly Skinny Dip in the sun
I really like this polish but China Glaze Splish Splash still remains my number one when it comes to summer blues. Don't forget to stop by the other blogs that participate in the Monday Blues challenge: 

Gosia from Life in Color!
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede
Marisa from Polish Obsession
Marta from ChitChat Nails

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Red and roses

Hello my lovelies! Happy Sunday! I have another stamping mani for you today. This week's challenge in the Adventures In Stamping group was "Your favorite new stamp". This one was really easy as we didn't have any restrictions regarding plate numbers, colors or anything. My newest plates are the ones from the first Cheeky set and even if I got them a couple of months ago, most of them are still covered with the plastic film. I really love flower stamps so I wanted to pick one from the unused stamps. Here's what I came up with! 

The base color is another color from the Rimmel 60 Seconds line. I still have a ton of these to show and I was thinking I could do a couple of posts with all the ones I have (9 at the moment). Let me know what you think! This is Stand To Attention, a cool toned red creme. Some of you might know that I don't own many reds because it's hard for me to find ones that look good on me. This one is a winner and although it came out a little warmer in the swatch picture, I can assure you it is cool-toned in reality. 

Rimmel Stand To Attention in the sun
From all the 60 seconds colors I own, this one is the first that was actually a one coater (still have about 3 left to swatch though). What you see in the picture is one thicker coat, just because it has a thicker consistency that may create bubbles if you are not too careful. It dries fast to a shiny finish so there's no top coat in the picture. One thing I would like to mention is that cleanup for this polish is a nightmare from hell. Literally, that is what I wrote in my notebook when I swatched it. What I recommend is cleaning up immediately after you applied it. Don't let it dry or else it won't come off anymore! 

For the stamping I chose this rose pattern from plate CH6. It might not be very evident in the pictures but the lines form little rose shapes. I stamped with China Glaze Awaken from the Romantique collection, a dark silver foil that is great for stamping. I wish the pattern would be more clear in the pictures, as it was in reality. 

in the sun
I really like this stamp and I'm gonna use it with other color combos. Maybe a bigger contrast between the base color and the stamping color would make it pop more. Thanks for stopping by and have a great Sunday!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Flormar 49

Hello loves! I bet most of you are excited because the weekend is here. For me it's just a regular day because I'm on vacation anyway. But to celebrate I have a crazy weekend or vacation color for you. I hope you've brought your sunglasses because this polish is bright bright bright!

Flormar Supershine 49 indoors, artificial light
I think this could be unofficially called a neon because it freaked my camera out, especially in the sun. The color is very hard to describe. It's a lime green that has sort of a warmer tone to it, like pistachio ice cream, only darker and brighter.

The sun pictures made it almost look yellow but I assure you it is not. I will include the picture to show you how it pops, but don't get fooled by the color. 

Flormar Supershine 49 in the sun (not color accurate)
The  formula on this one wasn't too bad. This was just before I started to write in my notebook about every polish I swatch, so I'll have to use my memory. It depends on the thickness of your coats but I decided to do 3 thin ones, just to avoid bubbling and chalkiness. The coverage is pretty good and you don't need a white base underneath, like with some neons. It also dries to a shine, but I did put Seche Vite over it to make it dry faster so pictures are with top coat. 

Flormar Supershine 49 in direct artificial light
I really love this polish. It makes my skin look tan even if it's so pale. But mostly I love how much it pops. It makes me think of vacation and the beach. It's definitely gonna be my next pedi color, and I doubt that it will ever leave my toes this summer. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Essie Orange, It's Obvious!

Hello my lovelies! How are you all doing today? I have a premiere on the blog today and I want you all to see it. Until yesterday I had never worn orange on my nails. Never! I had orange toes almost the whole of last summer, but never orange fingers. So here's me sporting orange on my nails for the first time!

Essie Orange, It's Obvious! in the sun
The reason why I never tried orange on my nails is because of my freakishly pale skin. I hate how warm colors look on me and orange is the warmest color ever. This one from Essie is a red orange and not a typical orange, which makes it more suitable for my skin tone. Plus I've recently found out that warm colors are not that bad for me as long as they're bright. And this one definitely is! The name is perfect because this color is nothing but obvious. I won it in a contest and it's not something I would typically purchase myself. Now that I've tried it I'm glad I did. It's actually not as bad as I expected. 

Now let me tell you that I find the formula of this polish a little weird. Both this and Ole Caliente from the same collection have kind of a rubbery formula. It's hard for me to explain but they kinda feel like liquid rubber. That makes them pigmented and sheer at the same time. The first coat was almost opaque but with a lot of bald spots. The second coat solved some of them but still left a few. I do love the Essie brush though and I didn't have to do almost any cleanup. Of course the advantage of this weird texture is that it dries fast to a high gloss, so all pictures are without any top coat. 

The more sun hits it, the more the color becomes lighter. It actually dries darker than in the bottle and the color is closer to the first picture. I put it on yesterday and didn't put any top coat over it. It was perfect when I went to bed, but I woke up to see a chip on my middle finger. Not sure what I did in my sleep. I do have the tendency to hit the wall near my bed sometimes. I do hope this was not the polish's fault. All in all, I'm glad to have this in my collection but don't think I'm gonna reach for it too much. I'm sure I'm gonna use it for my toes though. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Barry M Aqua Glitter

Hello beautiful readers! I hope your day is going great so far! Today is a great day in the polish world because Adina, the lovely creator of the a-england polishes, has announced the greatest sale ever. All polishes from the Mythicals collection are 5₤ for the next 5 days, so hurry and get yours from the website! I've already placed my order this morning and got Elaine, Guinevere, Galahad and Avalon to join Tristam and Excalibur, that are already in my stash. And shipping is free worldwide. So hurry because I'm sure some of the polishes will run out! 

Today's post is about another British brand, namely Barry M. This is one of the new glitters they have and I've layered it over Cyan Blue. If you missed my Monday Blues post about this beautiful blue, you can check it out here

Barry M Aqua Glitter over Cyan Blue, indoors, artificial light
Aqua Glitter is made out of tiny glitter that is greener and some larger hex glitter particles that are lighter and turquoise, all suspended in a clear base. It's more of a layering glitter from my point of view, but you can probably get it opaque in 3-4 coats. I did one thicker coat for these swatches. The main argument that made me get this polish was the fact that it's supposed to be a dupe for Nails Inc Fitzroy Square, a glitter that has been on my wishlist for a long while. This is only 3₤ (compared to the 11₤ you have to pay for the Nails Inc), plus I'm not sure Fitzroy Square is available anymore. 

in the sun
The glitter is really easy to apply because the base makes it spread nicely on the nails, without sticking to the brush like some other glitters do. You get nice coverage with one coat, but getting it opaque is a little problematic because of the small size of the glitter particles. It dries to a gritty finish and is a very hungry glitter. The swatches are with only one coat of Seche Vite and the grittiness was back after it dried, so it needed at least one more coat. 

artificial light
In my opinion this polish is a must have and Barry M really outdid themselves with this one. I can't wait to try more of their glitters. I also have two more Barry M polishes to show you in the following week and I'm so excited, especially about the amazing Denim. So stay tuned! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Blues: Barry M Cyan Blue

Hello loves! I'm sure you're not too happy about the fact that today is Monday, but I'm here again to cheer you up with some blue polish. As I've told you a few posts ago, I tragically broke a nail last week and had to reduce them all to nubs. The pointer of my right hand (my swatching hand as I'm a lefty) had a break deep into the nail bed, so it's extra short. I also had a lot of housework to do last week so my hands are a mess in these pictures. I decided however that I won't stop blogging and enjoy what I do even with very short nails. Hope you won't mind too much! 

Barry M Cyan Blue indoors, artificial light, no top coat
Barry M is a brand I enjoy a lot, although I don't have many of their polishes. They are great quality and great value for money, and the color range is also very nice. Cyan Blue was on my wishlist for a very long time and when it showed up on Asos (with free shipping), I had to place an order. Now the word cyan was new to me so I did a little research. Wikipedia claims that cyan is a mix between an equal amount of blue and green, in other words, turquoise. But this polish is not that color. It is similar to what they call process cyan or hex #00B7EB, which according to this site has 92% blue and only 71% green. This seems about right because the color is a tad more green in reality compared to my pictures. Ok, enough with the science! For all the polish lovers I can say that the closest thing I have is China Glaze Flyin' High, but that one is more dusty and muted while the Barry M is very bright.

Barry M Cyan Blue indoors, artificial light, no top coat
The formula of these polishes is great and I would have had no trouble applying it, had I been used to the tininess of my nails. Let me tell you it's such a challenge to go from almost double the size to this. Nonetheless, it leveled out nicely and dried fast to a shiny finish, which you can see in the first two photos, that are without top coat. The polish is pretty opaque, but I applied two thinner coats for this look. 

Barry M Cyan Blue in the sun, with top coat
I managed to snap some pictures in the sun the next day and the way the top coat reflects the light makes it look like there's some kind of tiny shimmer in there. But I assure you there is not. What I like about this is that even without having any shimmer or glitter in it it's such a unique color. I really haven't seen such a vivid and creamy medium blue in any brand. And that's why I love Barry M.

Barry M Cyan Blue in direct artificial light, with top coat
Please check out what the other Blue Monday participants have come up with today:

Gosia from Life in Color!
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede
Marisa from Polish Obsession

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rimmel Purple Reign and my first saran wrap mani

Hello my lovelies and happy Sunday! I hope your weekend was relaxing and fun! I'm finally done with all the hassle in my house and I can enjoy some piece and quiet. Today's post is the last one that features my long nails. Tomorrow is Blue Monday and you'll be seeing the nubs. Hope it won't be that bad! I'm very excited to show you this manicure. Let's get started! 

I did this last week for my boyfriend's graduation. I asked him what nails he wanted me to do and he chose purple, so purple it was! I wanted to try this technique for a really long time and this was a perfect opportunity. Oh how I loved this effect on my nails! I started with two coats of Rimmel Purple Reign from the 60 seconds line. I bought like a gazillion of these polishes because they were on sale, so you will be seeing a lot of them. 

Rimmel Purple Reign in the sun
I tried very hard to capture the shimmer in this polish. It's a medium purple with a light purple iridescent shimmer that is not always visible but definitely comes out to play in the sun. The formula of this polish was a little thick so a few bubbles showed up. It might need a few drops of thinner to make it perfect. I didn't apply it very neatly because I knew I was going to cover it anyway. 

Rimmel Purple Reign in the sun
After the Rimmel polish was dry I did the nail art using Illamasqua Jo'Mina and saran wrap. I won't get into detail about how I did it because there's already a great tutorial here. My experience with this technique was pretty smooth. I still have to practice because my fingers are a bit uneven, but all in all I'm happy with how it came out. 

You do have to work fast because if you take too much time applying the polish on top it can dry and not pick up anymore. It would also help if the polish on top would be one that doesn't dry very fast. Top coat makes all the difference in this technique. You need one that levels and blends everything together. I used Seche Vite and I was very pleased with the result. 

in the sun
 Of course this wouldn't photograph as nice as it was in reality but I assure you that it looked great, especially from a distance. I can't wait to try this technique again with many other color combos. What do you think? 

Pin It button on image hover