Collection's Mardi Gras Collection - Swatches & Review

Friday, 27 June 2014

I have been thinking about grabbing Collection's Mardi Gras polishes for a couple of weeks now, there's something about a small Limited Edition Collection that just grabs my attention. Plus I haven't tried any of the polishes from this brand before so I thought it was the perfect taster.

Their newer style bottles look a lot nicer than the older ones but they are still only 8ml so although the price looks good at £1.99 each, you're not really getting much. However I can say that for the price, these polishes are great. They all applied well and the formula's were thick but not difficultly so.

There are only 3 colours in this little collection; a white creme, a yellow creme and a green shimmer. I grabbed the leaflet that was on the stand with these polishes and on the back were some instructions!

The leaflet said to wear the yellow and green over the white to make them pop ... so of course I had to do a quick comparison before I applied any polish to my nails. On the swatch wheel below the first of the 2 swatches per colour is over white. I feel that both do look nicer over white but it only makes a big enough difference to the yellow.

I don't know about you but I find white under coats a massive pain and tend to avoid them whenever I can.

White Out is the white creme base that Collection suggest you wear under the other 2 polishes. This is 2 coats on it's own, no topcoat.

Canary Yellow is a stunning bright sunny polish. I applied 2 coats over White Out.

Green With Envy is a lovely warm emerald with a slight silver shimmer. I applied 2 coats over White Out.

Overall I like these polishes. At the moment if you spend £3.99 on Collection cosmetics you can get a free lip balm. There were 3 flavours to choose from; apple, strawberry and orange. I had a little sniff of all 3 of the testers and knew immediately I had to have the orange. It smells amazing and feels lovely on.

My only little moan about these polishes is that the names of the individual colours are not linked very well to the collection name. I look forward to seeing many more little collections from Collection and will most definitely be picking up other colours from their permanent range.

Grab yours now from Boots or Superdrug for £1.99 each, check out the Collection website for your nearest stockist.

Orly Nail Rescue - #nomorenubs

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Imagine the scenario, you're making a cuppa. You go to open the fridge to get the milk out but your freshly moisturised hands slip on the door & your nail catches. You know before you look that it's broken. Weeks of hard work growing these babies out and you're doomed to nubs again, especially as the break is near the smile line, it'll take ages to grow it out. A little part of you dies inside, the part that has just bought lots of new polish and wants to complete the recent nail art challenge with the same length nails .... JUST FOR ONCE!

Well, the solution is here. I had been nursing a couple of small breaks on 2 of my nails for weeks by using thick layers of polish and topcoat. However Rica (@justricarda) had recently bought an emergency repair kit so I went on the hunt for one here in the UK. My first port of call in these cases is eBay and I found Orly Nail Rescue for around £10 delivered. It took over a week to arrive from Ireland but OMG it's worth it.

The kit is made up of 3 simple parts:
Nail Glue
Powder (the magic dust)

The process to mending your little break is easy.
1. Clean the nail with polish remover.
2. Apply nail glue to break area above and below if possible (it says do the whole nail but I only did the break area, I can't imagine the mess I'd make if I had to do the whole nail).
3. Quickly put nail tip (where the break is) into the powder.
4. Remove and allow to dry for a couple of minutes.
5. Wipe away spare powder with wet wipe and buff area flat.




By pairing the glue and powder the break becomes really solid. The set glue/powder combo can be removed using only acetone so there's no worry about it coming off after every manicure if you use an acetone free remover. I have found I need to re-do this process every week but it really is worth it as it's saved my nails from becoming nubs. It also claims to be able to re-join completely broken off parts of nail, but I haven't had to try that yet.

I have to say I love this product. It takes minutes to apply and is the perfect saviour for those horrid, gut wrenching moments when we break our nails. The 3 parts of this products are tiny and easy to carry around so I make sure that they are in my bag all the time! It will also last ages, you may need to replace the nail glue more than the powder but both should still last you at least 6 months - 1 year depending on your klutziness.

I have been doing my nails for years and have only just discovered this so I wanted to share with everyone so that there is no more sad, nub posts!

How To: Vintage Roses

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

So it's Tuesday again and I really wanted to do a tutorial on vintages roses. I love rose designs on my nails and have often used them, below are a selection of some of my favourite mani's.

Many people have asked me how I create these style roses so I will share what I do. However the key is to practise and continually keep using the skill and then you'll find it'll evolve naturally for you and you'll create your own 'rose' style.

Nails painted in base colour,
Pot of water,
Paper towel,
Acrylic paint - 1 coloured, 1 white. Use the coloured as your dark tone, and then create 2 lighter tones using the white.

I tend to use acrylic paints.
1 - because I can easily mix up the 3 different shades needed to create the roses.
2 - because the paint doesn't dry out and become gloopy so you can easily go back to it for up to an hour with a little addition of water to loosen it up.
3 - nail polish can be a fiddly medium to work with and I find paint a lot smoother, I can get thinner lines and therefore more detail.

However if you don't have acrylic paints find 3 shades of polish in varying tones and use them, example below.

First step is to create a rose shape using the darkest tone pink. It doesn't matter at this stage if you don't like the shape, it's only a base to work on.

Always clean you brush in water and dampen and excess off on a paper towel before using a different colour. The key is to create contrast within the design to make it look like they're petals.

Then, using the lightest toned pink you add a dot into the middle of the rose (see pic 1).
Either side you draw half moons/semi circles (see pic 3).
The you create larger semi circles but rotated (see pic 4).
Then shape out some rough petal designs along the edge of the rose (see pic 5).

Now using the mid toned pink, lightly trace underneath all the light tone semi circles (see pic 6).

As paint keeps its moisture you can now use a slightly we brush to start mixing the 2 lighter pinks together so it blends (see pic 7).

Final step in creating the rose is to get tiny amounts of your base, dark coloured pink and re define the rose using the same steps in pic's 3 - 5. You may want to also keep using little bits of the lighter paint to re define the shapes created above so that it's clear where the petals are. This stage takes the longest for me (see pic 8).

Then if you want you can add some small green leaves and you're done (pic 9).

Hope this has helped some people, I know we all want our nails to look beautiful and I have to say, whatever the base colour or pattern, there are few mani's that a rose can not improve.
Have fun painting and let me know if you have any questions.

Leighton Denny Prize - Swatches and Review

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Last week I was lucky enough to win Leighton Denny's instagram giveaway and the prize was 2 of their amazing nail polishes from their International Collection S/S 2014. I was so excited yesterday when I received it.

I was blown away by these two bottles, although I don't tend to wear yellows and green very much, these shimmery polishes are gorgeous! I couldn't wait to swatch them.

Passport to Shine is a stunning silky sunshine yellow. It reflects the light and looks so vibrant on your nails. I always have difficulty applying these type of metallic shimmer polishes as they tend to dry quickly and leave brush strokes on the nail. However I adore this polish, I can't help it! I used 3 coats, no topcoat.

Leighton Denny's Passport To Shine

Glamazone is a stunning emerald green with a golden shimmer. It was difficult to capture the shimmer on camera but it's there, clear as day on your nails. I think this looks amazing on my nails and so much so that I decided this may very well be my new fave green polish. I used 2 coats with topcoat (I wish I had used topcoat for the previous swatch so I learnt my lesson).

Leighton Denny's Glamazone

I enjoyed reading through 'The Little Book of Nail Glamour' they were kind enough to send through with the polishes. I have already put a couple of their nail maintenance products on my birthday list.

The more polishes I try from this brand, the more I love them. The other 4 colours in The International Collection look stunning. As a greedy polish addict I will be looking to complete the collection, although it may have to wait until I have a spare £44 ... uh that will be a long wait but it may happen.

Although they are pricey at £11 each, they are so worth it, esp if you want to build up a small collection of quality polishes. Everything about them from their sophisticated bottle shape and lid to the brush is perfect! I am wishing I had grabbed a couple of these polishes with the recent Harper's Bazaar magazine. Oh well, I will most certainly be stocking up next time they are on sale or come free with a magazine.

Leighton Denny can be purchased online from their website.

YooMoo #guiltfreeze Nail Art Competition

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Press Sample

Ever tried frozen yogurt? It's delicious and yoomoo do some amazing flavours that are amongst the best I've tasted. I was so honoured to be approached by the lovely Rosie at yoomoo who offered me the opportunity to give you all the chance to win a bottle of their exclusive 'Udderly Shocking Pink' nail polish in collaboration with Nails Inc.

Here is a swatch of the polish, its a gorgeous creamy pink that applies perfectly in 2 coats.

So to the juicy details... how to win one of three exclusive bottles yourself.
  1. Create a mani with nail art inspired by the Yoomoo range of frozen yogurt.
  2. Once you've decorated your digits in your yogurty design you will need to pose with a pot of yoomoo frozen yogurt and upload your photo to instagram.
  3. Tag @yoomoo, @thepolishlist
  4. Hashtag #guiltfreeze #guiltfreezetpl
I will then pick 3 winners on the 1st of July 2014, who will each receive a bottle of 'Udderly Shocking Pink' from me.

However by hash tagging #guiltfreeze you will also be entered into the yoomoo main competition. Their prizes consist of exclusive bottles of yoomoo Nails Inc. ‘udderly shocking pink’ nail polish, Nails Inc. nails bar vouchers, and the grand prize of a trip to Ibiza. Their main competition deadline is the 13th July so it's well worth it to keep entering!

A trip to Ibiza! Wow, I have seen so much talent on instagram and can not believe that one of you may win a trip to Ibiza by doing what you do best.

1. Follow @yoomoo & @thepolishlist
2. Must have a public profile so I & yoomoo can view your entry.
3. Live in the UK to win 1 of my 3 bottles (make it clear in your post). However still enter if you don't live in the UK as yoomoo will still count your entry and you could still win the prizes!
4. Be sure to tag #guiltfreeze & #guiltfreezetpl
5. Enter as many times as you like.

So go shopping for a yummy treat, get painting and enter the competition.

Facebook - here
Instagram - here

How To - Nail Art with Paint

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Firstly, prepare yourself for a long post. Grab a cuppa, a kitkat and get yourself cosy, How To: Nail Art with Paint 101 is in session!

I love creating detailed nail art. It is very time consuming and therapeutic for me but you have to be prepared to put the time in to these little masterpieces. Anything from flowers to martians can take up to 2hrs but its so worth it in the end. Usually around half way through when I've gone wrong for the umpteenth time and want to give up I must remind myself that pushing on in true English bulldog spirit will get me there in the end. That and lots of tea (sponsored by PG - not officially but I should be!).

Sometimes pictures you see, things people say or the name of polishes can inspire these little works of art. You never know when the inspiration may hit, I have a massive list on the 'notes' app on my phone of all the great nail art ideas I get. I also screen snap others manis or pictures and store them in a separate album on my phone because my liked photos feed on IG tends to move quickly, it also can't store screen snaps/photos from any other page that I look at or photos I take while out.

My equipment:

I use a variety of brushes, all bought off eBay. I tend to trim them down myself using nail clippers so they're thin and short. However the length of a brush and it's thickness depends on what you are going to create and also how you work. Practise on nail wheels but always give it a go. You'll never know what you can do until you try ... believe me time, patience and practise will see you right in the end. I have these brushes set 1set 2 and lots of others which I find cheap and randomly by.

I know a lot of people pride themselves on creating nail art using only nail polish, but honestly, as a medium it is incredibly difficult to work with when you want to create detail. I have found using acrylic art type paint so much easier. Plus you can quickly wipe away mistakes without ruining your base polish. I use Docrafts All Purpose Acrylic Paint that I buy from The Range. Each little pot costs around £1.25 but because you only use tiny quantities they will last for years. Plus if you buy the main primary colours and lots of white you can easily mix up your own colours.

Acetone is a must have in any nail artists arsenal. I buy mine from the Poundshop for .... well for £1 and a bottle will maybe last me a month. I use an old wine bottle, bottle cap as a storage for my acetone while working. It's a very volatile liquid so will evaporate incredibly quickly so I tend to only tip out tiny amounts when I need it and then cover it with a cotton pad when I am painting.

My trusty old gift cards are the site for my paint storage/mixing. These can then easily be put in the washing up bowl at the end of your round of washing up to clean. However I may invest in one of these posh paint palettes! Haha.

Lastly have faith in yourself and give it a go. Doubting yourself will only stop you from creating. It's so easy to stick to our comfort zone, but sometimes the most exciting and interesting things happen when we venture out!

My first detailed nail art using paint:
Seriously, this fish was a huge surprise for me and it took me about 3.5hrs! I was so proud I sent a picture of it in a text to my mum, haha!

Other detailed nail art using paint.

Any questions or queries please feel free to ask. Let me know if you create anything after reading this!

The Lacquer Lab - Marrakech Collection

Friday, 6 June 2014

Firstly, can I tell you how excited I am to be the swatcher for the amazing Emily over at The Lacquer Lab! I have been bursting to speak of this news ever since she contacted me. I am equally nervous as I know there are loads of far more talented nail artists/swatchers out there but I am giving it my best shot!

The first in their new City Series is the Marrakech collection.

This gorgeous 5 piece takes inspiration from the heady and exotic vibes of Morocco’s most ancient and vibrant citadel. As always these stunning lacquers are made to the highest standard and are 5 toxin-free. The collection includes 4 luxe-crème hues and their first crème-jelly lacquer.

'Hypnotic, heady and sun-soaked; Marrakech is the perfect way to kick-start an enchanting summer season' - I couldn't have said it better myself!

Karma Sutra is a gorgeous fuchsia toned red, it's like hot fiery passion on your nails. I used 2 coats, plus topcoat for the photo below.

The Lacquer Lab's Karma Sutra

Souk & The City is a stunning terracotta coloured lacquer, it's the perfect colour for this collection. This was a massive surprise for me because it looks so stunning on! I used 2 coats, plus topcoat for the photo below.

The Lacquer Lab's Souk & The City

Rock The Kasbah is a gorgeously bright peach. I can't help singing the song when I hear the name of this lacquer. It's beautiful and I will definitely be rocking this beauty this summer! I used 3 coats, plus topcoat for the photo below.

The Lacquer Lab's Rock The Kasbah

Snake Charmer is the most amazing teal toned cyan. I am loving blues this summer! I used 2 coats, plus topcoat for the photo below.

The Lacquer Lab's Snake Charmer

Fountain Of Youth is TLL's first crème-jelly lacquer. It is a little thinner in consistency than the others but is gorgeous when built up because of the little gold glitters. I love the sparkly, watery feel this lacquer has because of the pale green, gold combo. I used 4 thin coats plus topcoat for the photo below.

The Lacquer Lab's Fountain Of Youth

This collection is all kinds of incredible. Its hard to pick a favourite but I may have to go with Rock The Kasbah. You can buy these for £7 each from The Lacquer Lab's website, or treat yourself to the whole 5 piece collection for only £29! I highly recommend it! This is a brand who has quality at the heart of what they do and you will want to own every single one of their lacquers!

How To: Little Hearts

Monday, 2 June 2014

A few people have asked me how I created the little hearts on my accent nail of my recent Barry M Limited Edition swatches so I thought it would be the perfect thing to share for today's tutorial Tuesday.

All you need to create these hearts (as well as polish of course) is ...

First paint your nails the base colour then follow the steps:
1. Place 2 dots side by side.
2. Draw a V shape to join then.
3. Fill in the V shape.

Easy peasy!

These hearts are so simple to create and the size can be altered depending on the size of the dotting tool you use. Have fun!

Monthly Challenge Roundup - May 2014

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Wow, I can not believe another month is done and dusted. Its been an amazing month for me in terms of nails and polish.

I have finally changed my IG name to ThePolishList to match all my other social media pages and I have had a few exciting developments, including hitting and exceeding 5K followers on instagram.

Here is my month challenge roundup for #nailartmay by @californails.

I have also include a collage of my favourite mani's this month that were not part of the challenge. I have to admit, I love the flower mani's the most.

I'm looking forward to June and all the mani's it'll bring!
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