Sunday, July 29, 2012

Order Of The Garter - a-england & Fantasy Fire - Max Factor

As I said to you the other day, I got Max Factor 'Fantasy Fire' from Esther from Fab Fingertips. Well it was just sitting on top of my Helmer next to a-england's 'Order Of The Garter', so I just thought I'd try it on top of that first. I think this isn't the best combo to show you 'Fantasy Fire' in all its glory as it wasn't super obvious, but I still loved it...

Order Of The Garter - a-england, Fantasy Fire - Max Factor, swatch
In full sunlight, 'Fantasy Fire' (on my ring finger and pinky) is very subtle and really just gives 'Order Of The Garter' a little bit of extra red shimmer. Speaking of 'Order Of The Garter', this is one seriously magical polish. I originally didn't get this polish with the rest of The Legend collection and when I did finally get it, I could've slapped myself for taking so long! It has the most gorgeous turquoise-y glass flecks in it that just make it come alive! I love blue polish and I think this may well be at the top of my list of loves!

Order Of The Garter - a-england, Fantasy Fire - Max Factor, swatch
'Order Of The Garter' is such a beautiful vibrant blue. I think this is a really wearable blue as well. I know that some people tend to shy away from blues, but this polish, though quite bright, is one that will look beautiful on everyone, I think. See how 'Fantasy Fire' just seems to turn 'Order Of The Garter' into a shimmer bomb. Love.

Order Of The Garter - a-england, Fantasy Fire - Max Factor, swatch
In lower, indirect light, you can see a little better the red veil that 'Fantasy Fire' gives 'Order Of The Garter'. In artificial light, at night, 'Fantasy Fire' really comes out to play and becomes much more obvious. You can really see the duochrome action of it. Trouble is, I couldn't really capture it on my camera.

Order Of The Garter - a-england, Fantasy Fire - Max Factor, swatch
You can catch a glimpse of the duochrome effect of 'Fantasy Fire' here and other than that, you'll just have to take my word that this combo is absolutely gorgeous! One of those things you have to see in real life.

As far as formula goes... It's not a surprise to anyone that a-england gives me another perfect formula. I used 3 thin coats of 'Order Of The Garter'. Two coats was so close to being enough, but the third coat just gave it a little extra oomph. 'Fantasy Fire' is just one quick thin coat, no problems there.

As usual, a-england polishes are available from their website with free worldwide shipping. Unfortunately, 'Fantasy Fire' is a UK exclusive so unless you live there or know someone who does, it may well prove elusive :(

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fairy Princess - Sonia Kushuk

I am still pretty sick so this will be a little short and sweet. In the past week I've been feeling more than lousy, but I have received two packages that could not have come at a better time to cheer me up. One of them was from the wonderful Esther from Fab Fingertips, it contained two bottles of Max Factor 'Fantasy Fire'! The other was from the beautiful Mimi from MakeupWithdrawal. She organised a brilliant custom purchase for me and it was like christmas at my house when I opened my box of 12 (YES 12) polishes - including a few extras as a gift - thanks so much Mimi and Esther!

So today's polish is out of Mimi's parcel and it is a Sonia Kashuk polish called 'Fairy Princess'. I had never heard of this brand ever before, but I saw this polish over at The PolishAholic and loved the look of it...

Fairy Princess, Sonia Kashuk, Bellybutton Lint, swatch
'Fairy Princess' is an avocado green with a most gorgeous blue flash. There is a lot of shimmer in this pretty and in the sun, it gives off such an amazing glow.

Fairy Princess, Sonia Kashuk, Bellybutton Lint, swatch
On my ring finger is a franken that Mimi made and sent to me. I've never really been a big fan of bar glitter (I've said before it reminds me of something... hairy...), but I saw 'Bellybutton Lint' on Mimi's blog, along with the story behind the name, and I actually thought it looked really cool. Well lucky me, as Mimi had popped a bottle in my package and I love it :D

On to formula... 'Fairy Princess' had the strangest formula I've ever come across. It was textural in a weird way as though the shimmer was giving it texture, but not in a normal way. It kind of reminded me of spreading avocado mousse on my nails and it didn't like to spread easily. I used three coats to try to make it even but it was weirdly thick and foamy also, so there is a lot of polish on my nails. As is always the case with me, I won't put it entirely down to bad formula until I've retried it at a later date. Due to the thickness of the polish, the dry time was really quite long too and long after taking these photos, I managed to put all sorts of dents into my mani. Oh well, like I said, I'll definitely give it another go, I'm often pleasantly surprised the second time around when I know what to expect. I do love the colour though, although it really accentuates my incredibly pasty complexion  o.O

So thanks again to Esther and Mimi for brightening up my week! Hopefully I can get back to regular posts now, though I'm actually not out of bed yet so it might take a little longer. Thanks for bearing with me :D

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Touching Base


Just thought I'd quickly jump on here and let you know that I have not stopped blogging, but I am otherwise occupied right now with a very nasty bout of Whooping Cough (yes I know that sounds ridiculous!). Basically I haven't been able to leave my bed other than to see my doctor, so my poor lonely nails are naked and not very happy about it! As soon as I'm feeling better, I'll be back, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Anneke x

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Splatter Mani Take One...

Last Sunday, the last day of my holidays, I thought I'd like to try one more technique. So splatter mani it is...

Splatter Mani, a-england - King Arthur, Avalon, Perceval, Order of the Garter, Essie - Trophy Wife
I have to say, this was just as fun but not quite as messy as you all say it is to do! I took forever to decide which colours would go perfectly together and I ended up back with my old favourites, yes of course, I used 4 a-englands and a little Essie to top it off. On these four nails, left to right, all a-england - 'King Arthur', 'Avalon', 'Perceval' and 'Order Of The Garter'. Underneath is Sally Hansen 'White On', two coats.

Splatter Mani, a-england - King Arthur, Avalon, Perceval, Order of the Garter, Essie - Trophy Wife
This photo was taken mainly without top coat. There is top coat on my index finger, but it smeared the colour so the rest is without. I love how everything has a matte sort of look about it. All the other pictures are with top coat but a different one (on the index finger is Cult Nails 'Wicked Fast' and the rest are using Essie 'Good To Go').

Splatter Mani, a-england - King Arthur, Avalon, Perceval, Order of the Garter, Essie - Trophy Wife
I know this is a weird picture but I just popped my left thumb in here so I could show you all the colours together! On my thumb is Essie 'Trophy Wife'.

Splatter Mani, a-england - King Arthur, Avalon, Perceval, Order of the Garter, Essie - Trophy Wife
I really loved this fun look and will definitely have to try it again some time. The only thing was that I kept doing double takes, as my middle finger looked like I had ripped off a large piece of cuticle out the corner of my eye! I think these a-england colours played so nicely with Essie's 'Trophy Wife'.

And to make life a little sweeter, the ever-generous Adina has a massive promotion happening from now until the 22nd July and all the Mythicals are only £5 with free shipping, so hop on over to the a-england website and get shopping. The three polishes on the left are all from The Mythicals collection.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

IKB: 2012 - Rescue Beauty Lounge & Splish Splash - China Glaze

I can't beleive it's already time to go back to uni! It's going to be a shock to the system being in class at 8am on Monday morning. Oh well I have one more day to relax and spend as much time as I want painting my nails. :) I had a really good nail mail this week including a box of polish from Transdesign. I ordered a fair few of the China Glaze Summer Neons, including 'Splish Splash', a gorgeous blue that just had to be used ASAP, so...

Splish Splash - Chine Glaze, IKB: 2012 - Rescue Beauty Lounge, swatch
'Splish Splash' is adorned with some glitters that I ordered from the Born Pretty Store. These have been termed as "glequins" by Sammy from The Nailasaurus (a cross between glitter and sequins). On my index and pinky fingers is 'IKB: 2012' from Rescue Beauty Lounge.

Splish Splash - Chine Glaze, IKB: 2012 - Rescue Beauty Lounge, swatch
We all know that blues are notoriously hard to photograph correctly. This particular photo seems to portray 'IKB: 2012' fairly well. It's such a gorgeously clean colour, but it's very complex. I have no clue how best to describe it (other than amazing). It's so vivid and saturated and has a really intriguing purpley hue about it in certain lighting.

Splish Splash - Chine Glaze, IKB: 2012 - Rescue Beauty Lounge, swatch
'Splish Splash' proved a bit more evasive. It's so bright and just the perfect summery blue. Even better than that, is the beautiful shimmer in this polish. In the earlier photos, the shimmer has taken over a bit and 'Splish Splash' looks a little bit paler in those than it does in real life.

I loved wearing this mani so very much. I am such a blue lover (I know I say this about every colour)! Both of these were pretty easy to apply. 'Splish Splash' has a really nice consistency and covered with perfect opacity in two coats. 'IKB: 2012' was not too bad either. First coat was a bit streaky but the second coat smoothed everything over beautifully. It doesn't really dry shiny (in fact neither of these do) so top coat is needed. Also in order to keep the glitters on, I needed a few coats of top coat. I lost one within an hour of it being on (with only one thick-ish layer of top coat), but they're so easy to use I just popped another one on and some more top coat - good as new. For applying these, I used the same technique as for the studs.

To get these "glequins", have a look on the Born Pretty Store and just like I said with the studs, check out your favourite blogs because some of them are bound to have discount codes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rampage - Illamasqua & The Hero Of Time - Dollish Polish

I got my first Illamasqua polishes in the mail recently and I was so excited! A little bit ago, Jeanette from The Swatchaholic had a giveaway going and for everyone who entered, they sent out a discount code (THANK YOU!). I've always wanted to try Illamasqua polishes so I jumped at this and ended up ordering four. They arrived safe and sound and I was so excited and then this happened...

Just a quick instagram pic, but it does the trick. Three of the four polishes lids, when screwed back down after first removing them, didn't line up! This is one of those things that just REALLY bugs me! I have to say, I expected a bit more from a brand like Illamasqua. Lucky for me though, the polishes are gorgeous. Today, I want to show you 'Rampage' and a bit of Dollish Polish, 'The Hero Of Time', to dress it up a little...

Rampage - Illamasqua, The Hero Of Time - Dollish Polish, swatch
'Rampage' is so incredibly pretty! A wonderful forest green. Actually the best way I can describe this, would be classic British Racing Green. I don't really have anything like this so it is such a welcome addition to my little collection. I didn't originally intend to add 'The Hero Of Time' but it was begging to be added to this polish.

Rampage - Illamasqua, The Hero Of Time - Dollish Polish, swatch
Generally in any bright-ish light, the green was very obvious and so pretty...

Rampage - Illamasqua, The Hero Of Time - Dollish Polish, swatch
However, in any sort of lower lighting, it looked a lot more blackened (sometimes looking entirely black). It's all ok by me though as it's pretty cold here and I love a good dark polish in Winter any time. I'm so glad that the green isn't too shy though and does often come out to play.

Rampage - Illamasqua, The Hero Of Time - Dollish Polish, swatch
'The Hero Of Time' is part of the Legend Of  Zelda duo from Dollish Polish. This was actually another polish I was unsure if I'd like so much, but I loved the other polish in this set so I just went for it. Once more, I should trust Dolly. This is gorgeous, and really unique to my ever growing stash of glitters. I love how the gold glitters are square! Such an interesting mix of glitters that just works perfectly.

'Rampage' was lovely to apply. Somewhere between two and three coats were needed. I think I used three coats on this hand to ensure opacity for photos but with a steady hand, I'd say two would suffice. As for 'The Hero Of Time', easy peasy. No problem at all with coverage or dragging or any of that. I used just one thin coat.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gym Tan Laundry - Dollish Polish (& a few studs)

I have been loving this past week so much and am so glad I'm on holiday, mainly because it coincided with Wimbledon! We are currently 11 hours ahead of England, so Wimbledon generally starts here at midnight (hence the joy of being on holiday)! Anyway I'm so much looking forward to tonight between the Silverstone Grand Prix (F1) and the Men's Wimbledon final, it is set to be a good night! :)

Anyway back to the land of polish... I'm also rather happy about showing you this little mani. For one of the recent Dollish Polish restocks (the time before last), it just so happened that the polishes Dolly decided to list were pretty much all ones I didn't have. I leapt at the chance to get a bunch more and 'Gym Tan Laundry' was one of those ones. I originally wasn't going to get it, but I just thought to myself I'm yet to be disappointed by anything Dolly makes so how, really, could I not like it. Well I'm so pleased I got it! It turned out to be the first one of that lot that I tried and here it is...

Gym Tan Laundry, Dollish Polish, swatch, Studs
'Gym Tan Laundry' is gorgeous! It's a pale blue that is jam packed with super fine blue shimmer and also has blue hex glitter and some coppery hex glitter.

Gym Tan Laundry, Dollish Polish, swatch, Studs
I love how obvious the shimmer is. It really makes the polish come alive! I have to say the coppery glitter was what made me think that I didn't really need this polish. I don't know why I ever thought that, because it's what makes this polish so interesting and unique.

Gym Tan Laundry, Dollish Polish, swatch, Studs
I also recently received some studs that I ordered from the Born Pretty Store. I've seen all these manis around with things stuck onto the nail and always thought it's not really my thing. But these studs were super cheap and I'd seen them on Sammy's blog, The Nailasaurus, and they seemed to be pretty small and subtle and most importantly lie quite flat against the nail. They arrived and they were even tinier than I expected and I'm so pleased I got them. They look kinda big here, but in fact they're only 1.5mm across! I love the little extra spice they give a mani and they're really easy to use - BONUS!

Gym Tan Laundry, Dollish Polish, swatch, Studs
I followed Sammy's tutorial for applying rhinestones and it was really simple. And the best part... These little fellas held tight for several work days :) And while you're here, take a closer look at the awesome that is 'Gym Tan Laundry'! I love a glitter polish that acts kind of like a jelly sandwich (minus the jelly part) where some glitters just peek out from a deeper layer.

I used three thin coats of 'GTL' and that gave perfect opacity. The glitter coverage was really good and even. No problems with application at all. As for the studs, I already mentioned that they were simple to work with. I can't wait to use these little studs for many more manis to come!

You can purchase these studs here. I've just seen that there's currently a discount on all studs and a bunch of blogs also have discount codes you can use (for example Chit Chat Nails has a 10% discount code - see the sidebar on Marta's blog). On top of that, Born Pretty Store has free worldwide shipping also :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Striping Tape Mani... Camelot - a-england & Aurora Borealis - Dollish Polish

True to my word, I'm busy trying my hand at different types of nails and todays... Striping tape. I recently bought a whole lifetime worth of striping tape from the Born Pretty Store for $8.99 USD and I gotta say I really enjoyed this mani a lot too!

Aurora Borealis, Dollish Polish, Camelot, a-england, Stripping Tape
For this mani, I used 2 coats of Sally Hansen 'White On', I then added the striping tape in the design that you can see, next I added 1 awesome coat of a-england 'Camelot', pulled the tape off and topped everything off with one quick coat of Dollish Polish 'Aurora Borealis'. Please excuse the tip wear you can see here - I'd already worn this for around a day and a half and I didn't wrap the tips with black (knowing me and my butter fingers, I would've got black all around the pretty white lines!)!

Aurora Borealis, Dollish Polish, Camelot, a-england, Stripping Tape
Holy duochrome batman!!! 'Aurora Borealis' is so incredibly GORGEOUS!! look at the duochrome action!

Aurora Borealis, Dollish Polish, Camelot, a-england, Stripping Tape
You can see the electric tealy blue that shines through in this photo...

Aurora Borealis, Dollish Polish, Camelot, a-england, Stripping Tape
Now see the purple! Serious love of this polish right now!

Aurora Borealis, Dollish Polish, Camelot, a-england, Stripping Tape
And still the colours keep changing! My index finger shows how pinky 'Aurora Borealis' can appear. I love how my index finger has its own little gradient thing going on in this pic :)

I loved wearing this mani and I really liked the contrast between the black and the white. I won't bore you with details about the formulas because to be honest, they were all great. I just recently purchased Sally Hansen 'White On' because I've never had much luck with my only other white polish (OPI's 'Alpine Snow'), 'White On' is really really thin but it's certainly easy enough to work with. The only thing I had a bit of trouble with, was that the striping tape seemed to leave little marks on the white polish. Not so obvious in real life though as they appear in theses photos. Anyway, overall fairly successful I think :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Kismet Elated - Sinful Colors

My Mum is so cute! She sent me a little parcel the other day with a polish in it for me that she's had put away for a little while. It is a Sinful Colors polish called 'Kismet Elated' and the reason this is special for me is because Kismet is actually my middle name. I've gone through most of my life HATING this name with everything I have, until several years ago when I learnt its meaning and I have since loved it. I have always been a believer in fate and basically "if it's meant to be, it will be" and that's essentially what Kismet means :) Anyway, naturally I put the polish straight on so here you go...

Kismet Elated, Sinful Colors, swatch, BM315 Barry M Gold Foil
'Kismet Elated' is gorgeous. A really pretty pinky purple with an insane amount of rose gold shimmer (reminds me a lot of OPI's 'Rally Pretty Pink' but with fine shimmer instead of coarse glittery shimmer). When I first started applying this pretty, I thought uh-oh frosty looking shimmer, but nope, no such worry!

Kismet Elated, Sinful Colors, swatch, BM315 Barry M Gold Foil
I love the shimmer! This polish isn't one I'd typically gravitate towards and who would've known I'd enjoy it so much. Thanks Mum!

Kismet Elated, Sinful Colors, swatch, BM315 Barry M Gold Foil
When I first put this on, all I could think of was grandma colour (in the best possible way - I love me a nana colour every now and then), so what better to add to it than PAISLEY!! I just received the new Bundle Monster plates earlier in the week and I've been dying to give them a go and so far so fantastic. The stamping was really easy (even for a rookie). I used Barry M 'Gold Foil' with BM315 for the stamping. The design on my pinky finger is slightly blurred due to my awesome twisting motion that I've added to the rolling motion - DOH!

Kismet Elated, Sinful Colors, swatch, BM315 Barry M Gold Foil
The design's pretty detailed but like I said, easy to stamp. Hopefully this is how all the designs on the new plates are going to be :)

'Kismet Elated' is fairly sheer but entirely able to be built up. I actually only used two thin coats and you can see VNL, but the large amount of shimmer made it much less obvious in real life. If you are a stickler for no VNL then I think three coats would be perfect.
Anyway, thanks Mum for finding me this polish! xx