Tuesday, 2 February 2016

'Ard As Nails Tindledale Collection Review

Hi everyone!
It's been a while since I've last blogged. My YouTube channel kind of took over and my blog got left behind... but iMovie isn't working and I really wanted to get a review up so what better way to get back into blogging!

Today I have three stunning 'Ard As Nails polishes to show you. 'Ard As Nails is a relatively new UK 5 free indie brand. They are created by the owner of Soap Dodger, and I'm so happy she decided to brand out into nail polish. This has quickly become one of my favourite new indie brands! They have some of the best creme polishes ever, as well as some gorgeous holos and colour shifting polishes.

The three polishes I have to show you today are from the Tindledale collection. The first polish is a stunning raspberry scattered holographic polish called Plum Crumble At Kitty's Cafe.

For the swatch I used 2 coats plus topcoat. It was almost fully opaque in just 1 coat, and if you're in a rush you can definitely get away with just 1 coat, but the second coat slightly deepened up the colour and completely covered my nail line.

It dries a little dull, like most holos do, so I did apply a topcoat to make it nice and glossy.

The formula was incredibly easy to work with. For being such an opaque polish, the formula was very smooth and just the right consistency.

The second polish is this silver linear holographic called Twinkling Night Over The Village Green.

This is a slightly more charcoal silver than most other silver holos, which is a nice change in my collection.

The linear holo isn't quite as strong as others in dull lighting, but as soon as the sun (or my phone's torch..) hits it it comes alive.

For the swatch I used 3 coats. It was a little on the thin side as was a little sheer. It built up really nicely though and the coats dried very quickly.

It was fully opaque in 3 coats. Again I used a topcoat for the swatch photos as holos do tend to dry a little dull.

I was amazed by how beautiful this is at its full potential. STUNNING!

The last polish is Honeysuckle Bliss in the Lane. This is a yellowy golden flakie polish.

This really reminds me of OPI Goldeneye, but this is slightly more yellow toned. It's the same concept though.

I used 3 coats for full opacity, although this is a polish that could also be sponged on for full opacity.

The coats dried very quickly so it wasn't an issue having to apply 3 coats. It's a very dense flakie so although you could use it as a topper, I would recommend wearing it on its own.

This was so stunning in real life, it's so reflective and just shines off your nails, which is definitely something I need with this depressing grey weather in the UK! It's like sunshine on your nails!

Those are the 3 'Ard As Nails polishes I have to show you. I am in love with them, like ALL the other 'Ard As Nails polishes I own!

As soon as iMovie decides to start working again I'll upload the video and link it here, but this blog post will have to do for now!

Let me know which one of these polishes is your favourite! Have you tried 'Ard As Nails?

xx Elaine

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Bonprix UK Nail Art Competition #PartyPolished

Today I have a very late entry to the Bonprix UK nail art competition! Bon prix is an online clothing retailer with tons of beautiful outfits! For the competition I had to take inspiration from one of their affordable party wear collection dresses. They gave 6 different dresses ranging from colour block to animal print, sequin, lace, everything! I literally had an idea for every dress. The first prize winner will win a £50 voucher to spend at Bonprix as well as lots of Barry M goodies. Second and Third place will win the dress that they were inspired by along with 4 Barry M speedy quick dry nail polishes.

I was in LOVE with this gorgeous lace dress and if I were to win any of the dresses, this is the one that I'd want! :D

I had a very clear idea in my mind, but it's a technique I'd never done before... I was very nervous!

I am absolutely rubbish at anything stamping, I just fail every single time. But the only way to get a gorgeous lace pattern was to stamp, I am rubbish at stamping, but trying to create a design like this freehand would be an even bigger disaster!

I started off by creating my own sheer black polish. I just added a few drops of my black polish into a topcoat that I never use. I applied to coats to my nails.

I used Pretty Serious cosmetics Absence for the stamping. It worked great at picking up the full image, but for some reason I had issues trying to transfer the image onto my Uber Chic mat. That's probably my fault - like I said, I can't stamp to save my life!

So I applied a topcoat to my design on my stamper. I let it fully dry and then slowly and carefully peeled it off using tweezers. I applied topcoat and then applied it onto my nails, almost like a sticker (see below!).

I used my clean up brush to get rid of the excess nail polish.

I then used the same technique to add the white lace bits.

This time I used Pretty Serious Cosmetics Presence, it's a 1 coat white!

I carefully placed the white lace design onto the edges of my middle finger and ring finger.

I applied a topcoat to smooth everything out.

To finish off the design I added a black outline. I feel like it makes the design look much more completed.

I am seriously in love with it.

This is something I've never done before, I photographed every step of the way, just in case I messed up somewhere!

I love how delicate it is, it's very feminine and unique.

Check out Bon Prix and all their lovely dresses!

The competition ends TONIGHT at midnight!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Watermarble Nail Art - Monthly Challenge

Last month I took part in a monthly nail art challenge, not only is there a different theme every couple of days, but I'm doing bestie twin nails for every theme! The theme for the 23rd of September was Marble and I collaborated with @fun.nails.love from IG. We wanted to create a mermaid tail kind of watermarble but both use a different colour scheme. I went for pink and Galia went for purple!

I didn't create a tutorial, honestly dipping my hand in the water and all that clean up... I think it would turn into a huge mess!!

I started off with a white base - 'Ard As Nails White Van Girl.

I then applied a HUGE amount of Practical Magic by Charming Tale around my nails. It's a liquid latex and will REALLY help with clean up.

For marbling I use room temperature bottled water. This works best for me. I added drops from 'Ard As Nails Sharona (nude), Juju (barbie pink) and Gregory's Girl (berry). The polishes spread really easily on the surface of the water. The only one that didn't spread as well was Juju, but I didn't really have any issues.

To get these really thin lines I first drew the floral design. Then I dragged it back and forth. This way the colours are mixed better. I wasn't 100% happy yet so I actually dragged the polish up and down to get the lines even thinner.

I then dipped my fingers in the water (one by one!), removed the liquid latex and did a little bit of cleaning around my cuticles. I finished off with a glossy topcoat.

That's it!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Nail Mail Nail Art Stencils - How To

I've been using nail art stencils from Nail Mail for the longest time and although I use them in tons of tutorials, I've never actually done a post exclusively on the stencils!

I bought my first nail art stencils ever from Nail Mail and sent Kelly, the mastermind behind Nail Mail, a few photos of my designs. They were pretty rubbish back then to be honest. I didn't really know what I was doing!

Ever since then Kelly and I have been working together. She has sent my crazy amounts of her stencils and I happily use them for my nail art. She never asked me to use them, promote them or review them, I just genuinely enjoy using them.

I created this single chevron zig zag-y look. This stencil is called the Chevron Points.

I started off with a cobalt blue base. I applied 2 coats and then applied a fast drying topcoat. I waited for a good 10 minutes before doing anything else.

It's important to wait until the nails are 100% dry. If your nails touch dry but still wet underneath you'll pull the nail polish off with the stencil! I have to say... this is something I've done more than once!!

Once you've waited (at least) 10 min, you can apply the stencil. Just pull it off the paper and carefully put it on your nails. I tend to just use my hands for this, no fancy tweezers! But I know a lot of people find it easier to apply it with tweezers. I don't have very steady hands using my hands gives that extra bit of support.

Once you've put the stencil on your nail you have to make sure it's pushed down properly. Not just the top of you nail, but you also have to push it down properly around your cuticles. Again you can use the tweezers to push it down, or a cuticle pusher.. I just use my nails. If the stencil isn't pushed down properly you can have polish leaking underneath the stencils and you won't have those crips lines.

Now it's time to apply your second colour!

I used a contrasting black polish.

When applying the nail polish I try to stick to the design of the stencils. So for this stencil I painted the cuticle area first, and then just filled in the zig zags.

I find that when I just paint my nail like I normally would I get too much polish on the stencil itself and it could get a little messy removing it.

Another easy peasy way of getting crisp lines without any risk is the sponge the second colour on. Like you're doing a gradient, but just 1 solid colour! This way you won't run the risk of adding a too thick of a coat and ruining the design when you're pulling the stencil off.

Once you've applied your second colour it's time to remove the stencil. You want to remove the stencil when the nail polish is still went. Do it ASAP! If the nail polish dries you'll pull off all your nail polish or the stencil could break. Don't rush though, take your time when pulling the stencil off. I follow the design of the stencil so for these I pull it up and down following the zig zag. The stencil is pretty sturdy so as long as the polish is still wet, you won't break it.

The last step is to apply top coat!

I wait another 10+ minutes before applying top coat to any design. Topcoat has this horrible tendency to smear designs. It's literally THE worst.

Normally I take photos pre top coat and after - JUST in case I smudge a design.

If you're really worried about ruining your design, you can apply 2 coats of topcoat. The first coat will follow the zig zag design, once that's dry you can add a normal topcoat. This way you won't run the risk of smudging the 2 colours together.

I used to apply top coat like I would apply any polish, but I've learned to only have the polish touch your nail, not the brush. Does that make sense? I use a very very light touch so I'm not pressing the brush onto my nail. This also helps eliminate the design smearing all over the place.

That's it!

I feel like it sounds a whole lot more complicated that it really is. The most important step is actually the first step. Make sure your base colour is 110% dry before even starting anything else. It's happened so many times that I create this great design, pull off the stencil and the nail polish comes off with it! Trying to fix that is more work than starting all over again...

I hope this was a helpful guide on how to apply nail stencils!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Jungle Nail Art - Monthly Challenge

This month I'm taking part in a monthly nail art challenge Clairestelle8 created on Instagram. Every couple of days there is a different theme. To make it even crazier, I decided to do bestie twin nails for every theme!

The theme for the 19th was Jungle and I collaborated with Ebba from @nailsby_ebba.

We decided to do a colourful leopard print design!

I don't have a tutorial for these, honestly I'm not very good at leopard print!

To check out all the other themes this month, click here!

I started off with a white base using Pretty Serious Presence. This is a 1 coat white!!

After that I just apply some random blobs in different colours. Yep very technical!

I used all Kester Black polishes for this:
Tutti Fruiti (gorgeous purple I'm holding in the other photo!), Alimony (the turquoisey green), Blue Raspberry (cobalt blue) and Sorbet (raspberry pink).

I finished it off by outlining the blogs using my Barry M nail art pen. This is pretty much like a sharpie! It's super easy to use. You don't get the thinnest lines, but for something like this it's perfect!

That's it!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Fav Song Nail Art - Monthly Challenge

The theme for the 15th of September was Fav Song.

This month I'm taking part in a monthly nail art challenge. Every couple of days there is a different theme. On top of all that I am doing #bestietwinnails for every theme! For the 12th I collaborated with Gemma from @_nailgems_.

Thinking of something to do for favourite song was difficult enough, but to do something together.... no way.

So I decided to think a little (a lot) outside the box and think of children's songs... which then lead to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star... and galaxy nails.

Makes sense right?!?

I do have a tutorial of these coming up on my YouTube channel and as soon as it's ready I'll post the link here :)

I started off with a dark blue base. I used The Lacquer Lab Blue Jean Baby.

I used a liquid latex around my nails and stared sponging on random colours. I used Nail Mail's Mess Free Mani.

I wanted to have quite a bright galaxy so I used lots of brighter blues and a pink.

I started off by sponging on white, just to make the other colours pop.

Next I sponged on Barry M Guava - the polish I'm holding in the photo. This is a great bright pop of colour!

I then applied Ulta3 Fruit Tingle a bright neon pink.

This was followed by Barry M Blue Grape. This is a dark cobalt blue and I used this just to mix the other colours into the background.

At this stage, it looks pretty rubbish! But adding a glitter topper makes ALL the difference. I used Barry M Diamond Glitter and it's a stunning silver holo. This is probably my most used polish of all time.

That's it!


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Mermaid Nail Art Born Pretty Store Review - Monthly Challenge

Today I have another nail art design to show you from #clairestelle8sept monthly challenge!

This month I'm taking part in a nail art challenge where every couple of days there is a different theme. To make it even crazier, I decided to do bestie twin nails for every theme!

The theme for the 12th of September was Mermaid and I collaborated with Bethany from @bnailedtoperfection. We decided on doing the mermaid design on the middle and ring fingers and using shell studs on the pinky and index finger. And our general theme was blue.

I loved how both of ours turned out!

I didn't create a tutorial on these, however I have something very similar on my channel already here!

Check out all my other designs for this challenge here!

I started off by painting my outer 2 fingers black and my middle 2 fingers white.

I applied a fast drying topcoat to my middle and ring finger and waited for a good 10 min before doing anything else.

I applied some liquid latex around my nails (Charming Tale Practical Magic) and once that was dry I placed the mermaid scale stencil onto my nails.

I first sponged black polish over the stencil. The black base will really make the shimmery polishes pop.

I used a cheap Primark cosmetics sponge and applied Charming Tale The Huntsman and Frightfully Spectacular Orinoco Flow in random positions on the sponge.

I then dabbed it onto my nail, like any other gradient.

I applied 2 "coats".

When the nail polish was still wet, I gently pulled the stencil off, the liquid latex barrier will peel off at the same time.

For the studs I used this set up studs from Born Pretty Store (#20312). This comes in a case and has all sorts of different studs including stars, hearts, seashells, pointed studs, square studs and much more! Most things come in both silver and gold!

I love that it comes in a little box instead of little plastic bags. It's incredibly easy to keep organised this way!

I used the silver seashell studs. They're super cute and worked perfectly with the mermaid scale design.

I applied a dot of topcoat onto the base of my index finger and pinky. I can carefully picked up a seashell stud with a pair of tweezers and applied it onto my nail.

That's it! I really like how this design turned out! I love the subtle mixed gradient of the mermaid nails and the studs really help bring the look together.

xx Elaine

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Mosaic Nail Art Tutorial - Monthly Challenge

This month I'm taking part in #clairestell8sept monthly challenge! Every couple of days there is a different theme. To make it even crazier for myself, I actually decided to do #bestietwinnails for every theme!

Check out the other posts here!

For the 9th of September the theme was mosaic and I collaborated with Shakuh_05 from Instagram.

This design is inspired by @MaryMonkett.

I have a tutorial for these on my YouTube channel!

I started off with a nude base using 'Ard As Nails Sharona.

I then used the dry brush technique and applied brush strokes of different neutral colours. I used Pretty Serious Presence (white), OPI Designer De Better (shimmer), OPI I Sâo Paulo Over There (brown), and just to blend it all together I applied 'Ard As Nails Sharona over the top.

I then applied a fast drying topcoat and waited a good 10 minutes.

I then used a geometric stencil from Nail Mail for the triangle design.

I just applied the whole stencil onto my nail and filled in the triangles that I wanted using a black nail polish - Pretty Serious Absence.

I then carefully pulled the stencil off - while the nail polish was still wet! I waited another 5-10 minutes and then applied a topcoat.

That's it!


Dark Metal Lacquer Autumn 2015 Swatch & Review

Today I have probably my favourite collection ever to show you. Yes that's a big statement... I feel like I get more and more excited about nail polish. But seriously... just wait. This collection is pretty epic.

I have the Autumn 2015 collection from Dark Metal Lacquer!

I have reviewed for them before and I loved the polishes so when Kam told me she had some more polishes she needed swatched.... I wasn't going to say no!

This collection consists of 6 polishes. Two linear holographics, 1 flakie in a dark brown base and 3 flakies in a clear base. The polishes retail for £6.50 for a 11ml sized bottle. You can also buy the whole set for £36 or just the 3 flakies for £17.50.

As always, I have LIVE SWATCHES of these on my YouTube channel!

First up is Benighted.

This is a deep navy linear holographic polish. It's not too in your face, a little deeper and muted than a traditional navy. It the perfect Autumn shade and I love that it'll be blue no matter what lighting your in.

I used 2 coats for the swatch. It was almost fully opaque in just 1 coat and you could easily get away with just doing the 1. The second coat does deepen up the colour.

The formula is incredibly easy to worth with, very smooth, not streaky, dries quick. Perfect!

Next up is Black Rose Immortal.

This is a dark plum linear holographic polish.

This is quite similar to the previous purple holo that I reviewed, but this is much more muted and has a hint of berry.

I used 2 coats for the swatch.

This had that same amazing formula. It applied really beautifully and smooth and it was almost opaque in just 1 coat. I did apply a second coat to deepen up the colour.

Next up is Harvest.

This is so uniquely beautiful. This is a multicoloured colour shifting flakie in a deep dark brown jelly base. The base is so dark it's almost black.

I used 2 coats for the swatch. It is fully opaque, however I reckon a third coat would really deepen up the base.

It looks like this has the same flakies as the next polish.

Ok.. now get ready for 1048987598 photos. I was kind of in love.

You really want to see all these polishes in action, photos really don't do them justice!!

This is Nectar.

This is the most amazing multicoloured colour shifting flakie I've ever seen!

It goes from this vibrant pink fuchsia to a yellow gold, but there is also green and purple and a hint of blue. Seriously. A-Ma-Zing.

I applied one coat over a deep dark plum creme. The photos below, where it's fully opaque, I sponged the flakies onto my nail - like doing a gradient, but then just flakies.

Just look at the flakie goodness.

Next up is Hope Leaves.

Aarrrgghh This is so amazing too!

This is another flakie that goes from red/fuschia to a yellowy gold.

I used 1 coat over black, but I also sponged it onto my nail.

The last flakie is Patterns In The Ivy.

This isn't quite as colour shifting as the others, but it's still very unique.

When you're looking at it from the front you see green and silvery pink flakies, but as you tilt your hand it turns purple. You'll see the shift best in the video.

I applied 1 coat over a deep navy base.

So that's the Autumn 2015 collection from Dark Metal Lacquer. I obviously love the holos, but the highlight of this collection are the three flakies!

They are such incredibly densely packed that you could probably get them opaque on their own rather than sponging it on.

I love them layered, but just LOOK how gorgeous they are sponged on. Such an incredible effect. My all time favourite is Nectar. I literally couldn't stop taking photos.

These polishes are available right now! So check out Dark Metal Lacquers shop!

xx Elaine