Friday, 28 August 2015

Top 12 Nail Polishes for Autumn Swatches

It's almost September which means it's almost time for Autumn! This year England hasn't had much of a summer so moving into Autumn isn't going to be a huge change. I picked out my top 12 favourite nail polishes for Autumn. I tried to get a bit of everything in there from OPI to Barry M and indies as well as brights, holos and neutrals. I feel like Autumn is a transition period between the bright neons and muted/dark shades for winter. I have included some of my all time favourite polishes! Of course you can wear whatever you want whenever you want, these are just my personal picks! I'm kind of going to go through colour order.

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

First up is OPI I Saw...U Saw...We Saw...Warsaw.

This is the darkest colour in the bunch. It's a very deep navy with a hint of teal. I love this polish because even though it's very dark it's still a vibrant blue and it'll never look black.

I love this polish on its own as well as in nail art.

I only used 1 coat for the swatch!

I reckon if you added a second coat it might slightly deepen the colour, but I love how it looks just on 1 coat.

The formula is very opaque, easy to work with and dries to a glossy finish.

Next up is Kester Black Blue Raspberry.

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I'm obsessed with Kester Black.

This is a very vibrant cobalt blue. This has been the colour of the year for me so far. I literally 1can't get enough of it, and not just for my nails!

I used 2 coats for the swatch.

The first coat was very sheer but the second coat fully covered up my nail line. I reckon you could add a third coat as it's still slightly deeper of a colour in the bottle than it is on my nails.

It dried to a beautiful glossy finish.

Barry M Guava is one of my go-to colours for Autumn. It's still very very bright, but not as in your face as a neon is. This is a great pop of colour for Autumn.

This is part of the Gelly range from Barry M. These polishes tend to have a slightly thicker formula and dry with a high shine finish. The formula definitely wasn't difficult to work with. I tend to like thicker formulas more anyway.

I used 2 coats for the swatch.

The first coat was pretty streaky but as it dried the streaks seemed to disappear. It was still slightly uneven so I would recommend a second coat.

Next is OPI Mermaid's Tears.

This was a huge lemming of mine! I think I finally own the entire Pirates Of The Caribbean collection!

This is a beautiful muted seafoam green. This has a hint more colour than Thanks A Windmillion, also from OPI, and that's why I much prefer this one.

The formula was very thin.

I used 2 coats for the swatch. The first coat was very sheer and streaky, but the second coat covered everything up. It dries with a glossy finish.

This is Be There In A Prosecco from OPI's new Venice Collection.

The Venice collection was beautiful but this is the only one I added to my top 12 polishes for Autumn.

This is a stunningly beautiful ivory creme nude. This is a great palette cleanser for all the brights and darks. This is a very sophisticated looking colour and I'm officially obsessed.

I used 2 coats for the swatch.

It is quite a thin formula and streaky on the first coat, but the second coat covered everything up. It dries with a glossy finish.

Next up OPI Designer...De Better.

This was another HUGE lemming of mine and I was looking for it eeeeverywhere! Until I finally found it in an auction of eBay for about £5!

This is seriously stunning and so worth the hunt. It's a white gold shimmery polish with some coppery bits. It's similar to Worth A Pretty Penne from the new Venice collection, but this is much more of that white gold, whereas that one is much more rosey toned.

I used 2 coats for the swatch, but it was fully opaque in just 1 coat. I did apply topcoat to the swatch.

Next is Kester Black French Lavender.

This is the perfect muted purple. This is quite similar to Planks A Lot from OPI, but this has a slightly better formula.

This is a very light muted purple. OPI came out with a muted purple in the Hawaii collection which was much darker which I wasn't a huge fan of.

I used 2 coats for the swatch. If you're in a rush you could easily get away with just 1 coat as it is very opaque and even coverage. The second coat will slightly deepen up the colour.

It dries with a glossy finish.

Of course I had to include holos too. I've been obsessed with holos this year and want them ALL.

This is Freckles Polish The Treblemakers from the new Pitch Perfect Collection (released today!!). This is a warm plum purple linear holographic polish.

I used 2 coats for the swatch. There was a slight visible nail line of the first coat. The second coat really deepened up the colour.

The second holo is Glam Polish Indigo Sparkle.

This is a much cooler toned brighter purple holo.

I used 3 coats for the swatch.

The first coat was very sheer, but the polish built up beautifully in 3 coats.

This is another great pop of colour for the Autumn.

It dried to a bit of a dull finish so I did apply topcoat.

Next up is OPI I Sâo Paulo Over There.

I wore the crap out of this polish last year. I never thought I would like a brown polish, but I think it's beautiful towards the middle/end of Autumn. It looks really elegant and sophisticated.

I used 2 coats for the swatch.

The formula was very easy to work with, it was slightly sheer on the first coat but the second coat covered everything up.

Next is OPI Just A Little Rösti At This.

This is my all time favourite OPI.

This is a beautiful deep red. It's still very vibrant but much darker than a traditional red. This makes it the perfect shade for Autumn.

The formula is incredible! I only used 1 coat for the swatch.

You could apply a second coat and it will slightly deepen the colour, but I love how it looks with just 1 coat. It has great coverage and a very even finish. It dries super glossy.

I'm obsessed.

The last polish is another favourite of mine.

this is Mecca Cosmetica Timandra. Mecca Cosmetica is an Australian brand.

How beautiful is this colour!? It's a purpley fuchsia and it's AMAZING.

I used 2 coats for the swatch, although if you're picky you might want to add a third.

It's a little sheer on the 1st coat and it dries to a matte finish so I added a topcoat for the swatch.

This is a very vibrant shade, but a great transition shade.

Those are my Autumn picks! What will you be wearing for this season?
xx Elaine

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Meebox UK Swatch & Review (and nail art!)

Hi everyone!
Today I have something else exciting to share with you! I feel like I start every post like this lately, but I am just honestly so excited with all the new launched here in the UK.

Meebox is the latest launch and it is a brand new monthly subscription service dedicated to all things nails! Meebox has just launched and this is their very first box. They were kind enough to send one to me for review. Meebox will feature the worlds most sought after polish and nail treatment brands and colours as well as the best independent polishes.

I have LIVE SWATCHES of this box on my YouTube channel!

Every month on the 1st Meebox will announce the theme. This month is California Dreaming'. Boxes are limited so you have to be quick! You can either do a one off payment of £20, or receive a discount for long term subscriptions. This way you'll be saving money and you'll never miss a box! The box will ship around the middle of the month with tracking!

Lets get started with the box! The second photo in the post is how I received the box, how cute!? And the third photo is what you see when you open the box. Meebox really took their time when creating this box and these details make a huge difference.

The reason I love subscription boxes is because it's like a little present every month.

Everything was wrapped up nicely so that nothing could break during transit.

The box contains 3 full size nail polishes, 1 mini almond cuticle oil, nail vinyls from What's Up Nail Art Store and 3 empty swatch sticks.

The theme this month was California Dreaming' and I think these colours are perfect, they're bright, vibrant neon colours perfect for hot summer days (if the english weather would cooperate....). The nail vinyls are shaped like palm trees!

First up is Models Own Turquoise Gloss.

This is a beautiful green toned turquoise. It's very vibrant and perfect for summer.

This is part of the hypergel line from Models Own, meaning it's glossy and long lasting like gel polish, but without the curing UV light.

The formula was great. I used 2 coats for the swatch.

The first coat was pretty streaky, but as it dried the streaks actually disappeared! It was still slightly uneven so I did apply a second coat.

It dried super glossy so I didn't need a topcoat.

Next is Disco Dress from Color Club.

This is a very saturated, bright, deep purple.

The formula was a little on the thick side and I needed 2 coats for full opacity.

The first coat was very opaque, but I had some spots that weren't quite covered.

This dried matte so I did apply a topcoat for the swatch.

The last colour is the very famous Flip Flop Fantasy by China Glaze.

This is impossible to photograph so please don't take this swatch to be true to colour.

This is definitely a neon. It's a very orange with a hint of pink.

This is famous for a few reasons. Firstly because it's an absolutely stunning neon. Secondly because the formula has changed and everyone is obsessed with getting both formula. Thirdly because it has the most difficult formula in the world. I might be over exaggerating a little, but it does have a difficult formula.

I used 3 coats for the swatch. The first coat was very streak and uneven. This polish also doesn't self level meaning you don't have a smooth finish on your nail. I applied a thicker second coat, but it was still quite streaky. I used 3 coats for the swatch, but it still wasn't perfect. I would recommend using this over a white base.

It dries matte so I did apply a topcoat for the swatch.

I am definitely a fan of Meebox.

I think it's a great colour selection and the three polishes included come from very popular brands. The nail vinyl from What's Up Nail Store is also a great addition to this box. I also love the fact they added swatch sticks to the box, this way you can try out the polishes even if you've just painted your nails. It's also great if this is your way of organising your stash. I haven't tried the cuticle oil yet, but I'm seriously in love with the smell, it reminds of of almond spicy biscuits I used to eat in Holland <3

And now moving on to the nail art!

I won't go into detail because I have a whole tutorial of these featured in my review video!

I used all three polishes from the box for the gradient and I used the stencil from What's Up Nails. I also used by Barry M Nail Art Pen to draw the ground for the palm trees.

What do you think of the first Meebox? Will you be getting the next one? I can't wait to hear the theme!!

Check out Meebox on Facebook and Instagram for more details!

Meebox Website!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Owl Nails - Born Pretty Store Nail Art Liner Brush #18519

This month I am taking part in a monthly nail art challenge! I am intending to post all of the nail art on my blog, but it's been a little crazy lately so I haven't had the time! If you want to see the rest of the nail art from this month check out my Instagram or YouTube as everything is posted there already!

Anyway, for the 22nd of August the challenge was birds. The only birds I can draw are the V shaped ones flying.... so I decided to go for owl nails. An owl is a bird right?! Pretty much the same thing..... ;) 

This design is inspired by (copied from) on Instagram.

For this design I used a super small detail brush from Born Pretty Store

They sent me a few items for review as this was one of them. The brush is called the Nail Art Liner Brush. Click here to find the brush! The product number is 18519. You can use my code ELAIQ10 for 10% off your order!

It has a transparant crystal handle, making it look very fancy. It has the thinest brush I've ever seen. I have been really into detailed nail art since I started doing my nails but I never had the right products to make it look good. This brush is amazing. I used it with acrylic paint as well as nail polish. 

The following pictures are all screenshots from my YouTube tutorial, check out the video here!

I started off with a white base and I used acrylic paint to draw the outline of the owl. I used acrylic paint instead of nail polish because nail polish is very thick and dries very quickly. This makes it difficult to paint. Acrylic paint is much thinner and a little goes much longer. It's also easy to wipe off if you've made a mistake. 

Next I used a dotting tool and coloured the owl in. I used a dotting tool because it's a larger surface area so fills in the space quicker than a brush, but at the same time it's small enough to be precise. 

Next I added some random dot's around the owl in blue and green. 

I used a smaller dotting tool for this for smaller dots. 

Next I went into more detail of the owl. I added the white of the eyes with a dotting tool and added the pupils using the detail brush from Born Pretty Store. I also added a little beak and legs using the same brush. 

I added wings using the small dotting tool. 

Once everything is dry, apply a topcoat. 

Acrylic paint does take a little longer to dry than nail polish so be careful when you apply it to not drag the design. 

That's it! 

I really love this brush, it created such fine lines. It depends on how much product you add to the brush and how much pressure you apply when drawing for the thickness of the lines. The outline of the hour is a little thicker, whereas the legs and feet are very fine lines. 

Cleaning the brush was very easy too. For the acrylic paint you can just wash it in some water and for the nail polish I used nail polish remover without damaging the brush. 

Check out Born Pretty store for all their nail art items, they have LOADS! You can find the brush here! And don't forget to use my 10% off code ELAIQ10! 

xx Elaine 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

'Ard As Nails Colour Shifting Polishes Swatch & Review

Hi everyone! Today I have some more 'Ard As Nails polishes to share with you! 'Ard As Nails is a brand new UK indie brand created by Soap Dodger, a handmade bath & body care shop. They've recently branched out into creating home fragrances and nail polishes! Check out my first review to see some of their gorrrrrgeous creme, jelly and holographic polishes!

The polishes I have today are part of the soon to be released Colour Shifting polishes. I don't think these have names yet so I'll be referring to them as their shifting colours. There are 4 polishes in this collection. They're very sheer polishes so need to be applied over a black base to make the colours pop and to get the most out of the shift.

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

First up is this super vibrant blue.

This is a multi chrome and reflects blue, purple and pink. As you can see it looks totally different in the bottle than on my nails and that's because of the black base.

I applied 2 coats over Ulta3 Black Satin.

The colour shift is seriously amazing.

I have a harder time to pick up the colour shift in my studio than I did in "real" lighting. When I was sitting downstairs editing my video I couldn't stop staring at my nails. One minute they look blue, the next they look pink.

The blue is incredibly vibrant. I think this would be a fantastic polish for the Autumn. It's still very bright for a multi chrome, but it has a little mystery and darkness to it.

If you check out my live swatches you'll see the polish in action.

Next is a yellow gold to fuchsia duo chrome.

Again I used 2 coats over Ulta3 Black Satin.

The shift in this polish is a little more apparent than the previous polish. For the blue/purple/pink multi chrome when you look at it directly from the front all you see is blue, whereas this one you can see fuchsia in the middle and gold around the edges.

This polish reminds me of Autumn leaves.

In England we don't get the super bright multi coloured trees, but when I lived in New Jersey the trees in Autumn would look like a painting with a hundred different colours.

This is something I'd love to wear around the start of Autumn, when the trees start changing colour, the leaves have fallen on the ground and it's time for pumpkins with EVERYTHING.... sometimes I wish I was back in America, the UK just doesn't go all out!

Anyway back to the polish! Again the colours are very vibrant, especially the fuchsia and the colour shift is much more obvious in "real" lighting than my studio.

Check out my youtube video to see the colour shift in action!

Check out Soap Dodger's website for all polishes. At the moment there are only creme polishes available (which have incredible formulas!!) but a few collections are in the making, including this colour shifting collection, holographics and maybe even some gorgeous bright neons!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Charming Tale Indie Nail Polish Swatch & Review

Hi everyone! I have something super exciting to share with you today! A brand new UK based indie brand!!

Leanne (@leasnails on IG) has created her own line of handmade polishes called Charming Tale. Anyone reading my blog must know that I LOVE UK indie brands so I'm probably just as excited as Leanne is!!

Charming Tale is launching tomorrow, the 22nd of August, and it's a 5 free lacquer. From having a little stalk of the Facebook page it looks like Leanne has created 2 collections: The Fairest Of Them All and the Fairy Godmother collection.

I have the very exclusive Mistress Of All Evil polish to show you from the Fairest Of Them All collection. Leanne has only created 2 bottles of this polish! If it's popular she might make more... so be quick! This collection consist of 3 polishes, this one alongside Poison Apple, a shimmery red, and Magic Mirror, a beautiful glittery gold. I also received a Liquid Latex called Practical Magic which I'll be using in an upcoming nail art tutorial.

Mistress Of All Evil is a deep dark vampy purple with a gorgeous silver shimmer.

In the close up above you can see it has a hint of blue as well, on the nail, without a super macro, it reflects silver.

It's definitely a very dark purple but it's not so dark that it looks black. I think this is going to be a must have for Autumn around Halloween when the days are getting shorter, darker and colder. That being said, I think it would also be great for a night out. The shimmer really pops and makes the polish look luxurious.

I used 2 coats for the swatch.

It was almost fully opaque in just 1 coat, and if you're in a rush you could easily get away with just 1 coat.

I could very very slightly see the pink of my nail through the first coat. Adding a second coat really deepened the colour.

For the polish being so opaque, the shimmer doesn't get lost. It's very apparent on the nails no matter what lighting your in.

It dried to a glossy finish and I didn't use topcoat for the swatch. If you're in a rush I'd recommend using a fast dry topcoat. It was touch dry very quickly but still dentable.

Check out Leasnails on Instagram because she does absolutely fantastic swatches. Also make sure to check out Charming Tale on Instagram for more sneak peaks and details about the launch TOMORROW!!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

'Ard As Nails Swatch & Review

Today I have swatches of the brand new indie nail polish line called 'Ard As Nails. This is created by the brand Soap Dodger and they've recently expanded into nail polish! Soap Dodgers is a family run company set up in 2013 specialising in bath and body products. Earlier this year they also expanded into home fragrances. All their products follow the UK and EU regulations, they're not tested on animals and contain no harsh ingredients. Most products can be used for people with sensitive skin. Their nail polish line is the same. It's 5 free and cruelty free. The nail polishes cost £5.50 each for a 15ml bottle. At the moment they have an introductory offer where you buy 4 nail polishes for £18 and pay no postage.

I received 4 nail polishes to swatch. 2 cremes, 1 jelly and a holo.

The polishes come in a square bottle and the cap is removable for easy grip and application.

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

First up is Dolly's Day.

This is a pink coral creme polish. It's very bright, definitely not neon but still very very bright.

This photographed slightly darker than it is in person - my camera has issues with pinky corals....

The application was incredibly easy.

I used 2 coats for the swatch.

It was almost fully opaque on 1 coat, but it had very slight unevenness and it did need a second coat.

It dried quickly and very glossy.

Next up is Crime Scene.

Is this not the most perfect Autumn red ever?!

Crime Scene is a jelly polish, meaning it's very sheer and build able. Below I will show some photos of how 1 and 2 coats compares to the colour in the bottle.

This is such a deep gorgeous rich red. I think Crime Scene is an excellent name because it looks like blood. To me it reminds me of a glass of Merlot!

I used 3 coats for the swatch.

The application was very even, and if you like the sheer look you could definitely do fewer coats.

I reckon if I added 1 more coat it would be as dark as in the bottle

It dries super super glossy. It's touch dry pretty quick, but it's still dentable.

The formula was a little bit thinner than the other polishes because it's a jelly. In the live swatches you'll see I had a bit too much on my index finger and I had to brush some off. Once you're aware of the thinner formula it's very easy to work with.

1 coat

2 coats

Next up is this holographic tester polish. It's still in the testing phase so it doesn't have an official name.

This is a beautiful raspberry red with a linear holographic effect.

I used 2 coats for the swatch.

There is a very slight visible nail line, but it's not very apparent in person.

The first coat was on the sheer side, but the second coat deepened the colour and covered up my nail line.

The macro shot is in direct sunlight. It's so gorgeous!!

The last polish I received to review is Sharona.

This is a beige nude and it's so beautiful!! I used to love pinky nudes, but I feel like these beige ivory type nudes are just so elegant, chic and sophisticated.

This had the most amazing formula.

It was almost fully opaque in just 1 coat!!

If you're in a rush you could definitely get away with just 1 coat, but I applied 2 for the swatch as I had very slight unevenness.

Again it dries to a glossy finish so no topcoat needed.

I'm so impressed with this new line of nail polishes by 'Ard As Nails. The cremes are super creamy and opaque and easy to work with. The jelly, Crime Scene, is probably my favourite, together with Sharona. But it's honestly so hard to choose!

Check out Soap Dodger's website for all their products and check out 'Ard As Nails on Instagram for more swatches!