Monday, 30 May 2016

Essie Gel Couture #essiexrankin

Hey everyone! This weekend in the UK was a bank holiday weekend, I know it was also Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. so I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Without sounding like I'm starting a pity party, I had the worst weekend. My car was smashed up with a hammer, I got food poisoning and my camera charger blew my electrics and set off my house alarm. They say bad things come in threes, that's a big enough three for me. Nevertheless, my nails have been a welcome distraction, and I've been writing up some blog posts to try and get ahead a bit.
Today's post is about my day at the #essiexrankin event a couple of weeks ago. I was kindly invited by Essie to join the event to promote their new Gel Couture range, and have my portrait done by the one and only Rankin. I'm still pinching myself that it actually happened, it was such an amazing opportunity, and one I definitely won't forget in a hurry. 

I was given the chance to pick out a shade from the Gel Couture range to highlight in my picture, this is the shade I chose, called Spiked With Style:

Friday, 27 May 2016

Celestial Cosmetics - The Valyrio Collection Review + Swatches

Hey everyone! Today I have a brand new (to my blog) brand to show you: Celestial Cosmetics! I was recently asked if I wanted to review for Celestial and I jumped at the chance, my new years resolution this year was to try more indies, so any chance to do so is great. And these certainly didn't disappoint. This is The Valyrio collection*, and it consists of three holo shades and three shimmery/glittery shades. Don't let the word 'shimmer' put you off because these really are stunning shades. The Valyrio collection was designed by my lovely friend Christine of Serenity Nails, based around Game of Thrones. I know this is shocking, but I've actually never seen Game of Thrones, so I don't understand the names. However, the names are actually based on the language of Valyria so I don't believe they're direct references to characters. I've also created some nail art with a few of the shades so keep an eye out for that over the coming weeks

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Marble Flowers

Hey everyone! We're past the half way point in the week already, I feel like an old woman moaning about how fast time goes but I genuinely can't believe it sometimes. 'Hump day' needs some fun nails to brighten it up (although hump day is technically over in the UK). For these nails I was playing around further with the L'Oreal Color Riche L'Huille collection* (review here), and I decided to create some marble nails using this tutorial from The Nailasaurus. I wasn't 100% happy with the finished product, so I decided that adding flowers over the top would brighten things up a bit. I'm still undecided on whether these are a nail fail or not, but they've definitely grown on me so I wanted to post them nevertheless. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Winstonia Henna Plates Review

Hey everyone! I've had such a lovely weekend, it's my boyfriend's birthday today and it was really nice to give him his presents, which I've been wanting to see his reaction to for weeks. Luckily he really liked them (or so he said!). I love giving presents, I'm sure my 10 year old self would be shocked to hear me say that but as I've got older I've really started to appreciate it more. I'm especially excited when I can't measure what their reaction will be! 

Anyway, today's post is a review of the new Winstonia Henna stamping plates*. I've recently been trying my hand at stamping a bit more, so when I was offered the chance to try this new plate duo by Winstonia I jumped at the chance. There are two plates in the collection, each containing intricate henna-inspired designs. When I first saw them I thought they would be out of my skill set but the Winstonia stamper picked the designs up with ease. I created 3 looks with the stamps to showcase them, but there are so many possibilities for great designs so I'm sure you'll see them again!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

OPI New Orleans Collection Review + Swatches

This post has been a very long time coming. I've had my swatches done for ages, but then I couldn't find the time to edit them, and when I'd edited them I couldn't find the time to write the post on them. So here I am, finally sitting down and writing a post on them. Let me start by saying that I love this collection, with the exception of a couple of polishes that I haven't actually featured here I love every single polish (so a whole 10 colours, although I could only fit nine in my collage image), and so it's definitely not a reflection on the polishes that it's taken me so long to write this. Just ... sometimes life gets in the way. And it especially gets in the way of a super long review (which in my book is anything more than 6 polishes). 

The OPI New Orleans Collection* was released for Spring 2016 (it's still spring so technically I'm not even late) and is typical of their yearly collections named after a place, or even sometimes twice yearly (correct me if I'm wrong?). I know very little about New Orleans, but I do know I like these polishes, there are so many fun shades in here. Whilst they're not all 100% unique, they're great for summer and great for nail art. I have actually been using these in nail art for months so you will have seen them popping up here and there. 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Candy Coat Gel Polish Review + Nail Art

Hey everyone! Today I want to introduce you to a new gel polish brand called Candy Coat, who are offering the latest subscription box to the market, but with a twist: their boxes contain only their own gel products. I always love to discover new and exciting brands, especially ones that are being innovative, and so this really stood out to me as an interesting concept. Candy Coat offer two options:

Option 1: The colour box. This is not a subscription, so you can buy whenever you please for as little as just £35 a month (if you're in the UK) you get 10 colours and a topcoat and basecoat, which is crazy cheap. Full prices here

Option 2: The subscription box. This is (as the titles suggests) a subscription, but with this you get 3 Candy Coat colours and goodies including accessories, tools and candy (of course) for £18 a month.

I received neither of the above, instead I received 7 gel colours* and a topcoat* and basecoat*, plus some goodies. So I decided to pull a few of the colours together and create some nail art, plus some flat lays because who doesn't love a good flat lay? More after the jump.

For this nail art I used 042* as my base colour, which is a really fun neon pink that stood out a lot more in person. Then I used 106* on my accent nail. For the marble I used 060* and 001* and 028* with a stamper and smushed it all together for this marble effect. Then I used regular white nail polish  with a Winstonia Striping Brush* for the lines and finished it off with the Candy Coat Topcoat*.

These are the gel polishes I was sent, from left to right 106*, 042*, 101*, 060*, 028*, 075*, 001. It's a shame that they don't have names, it always seems so odd to me to just have numbers.

One note is that I found the polishes to be a lot thicker in consistency than I'm used to for gels, I'm not sure if that's the intended effect but I definitely found them a lot thicker than other gels I've used. That's not necessarily a bad thing and it didn't impact the quality of the polish in my opinion but I thought it was worth noting.

I was also sent a box of goodies which you can see above and below, this included:

- Loose glitter
- Heart shaped soap
- Nail brush
- Cuticle Pusher
- Pen
- Straws
- Rhinestones
- Toe separators 
- Nail polish emoji pin 
- Glitter nail file

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

*Products in this post were provided to me for review but all opinions are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.

Friday, 13 May 2016

L'Oreal Color Riche L'Huile Nail Polish Collection Review + Nail Art

Recently I was asked if I would like to review the L'Oreal Color Riche L'Huile collection*. I've never tried L'Oreal polishes properly so I of course said yes, but ashamedly I did no further research into the collection. Next thing I know this massive parcel turns up, and it's got drawers and it contains a mountain of beautiful polishes. As soon as they arrived I tested 5 different colours on my left hand (because I was already wearing a design on my right) and I was blown away with the consistency. They promise to be opaque in 1 coat but as I always use 2 coats I stuck with that for my testing, but application was a breeze. 

L'Oreal says that these polishes have been years in the making with testing done to ensure a drip-free brush with over 400 bristles for a precise and quick application. That does of course mean it has a wide brush, but I know many prefer a wider brush for easy application. The polishes also have an oil based formula which adds to the ease of applying them as they glide on to the nail. There's quite a unique feeling to the application of the polish, I'm guessing due to the oil, which is difficult to explain. I'm sure you'll be seeing these polishes a lot more around my blog but for now I wanted to introduce you to the collection and show you some nail art I did using some of the polishes.