Crackle Nail Fun

Just repainted my nails and decided to have some fun with the Nail Effects nail varnish by Barry M that I recently purchased. I have them in colours 311 (black) and 316 (White).

The good thing about these is that they only cost £3.99 each and they are an easy way to make your nails look funky. The only problem though is that you have to work quickly with them as the consistency is quite thick and they become touch dry quite fast. I’ve only used the black four times and the top stick bit of the brush has quite a bit of clumpiness on it already where it has started to dry before I’ve finished painting it onto my nails.

To use these crackle nail varnishes you need to put a base coat onto the nail first. The reason for this is that without it they will not crackle. You can use a base coat from any brand in any colour meaning that there are endless colour possibilities with these. This time around I decided to use two different colours from Nails Inc.

The colours are part of their Cocktail Collection, which I got free from some vouchers when we brought some double Malib’s from a bar up town one weekend. There are three colours in total in the collection, the other being an orange colour. However the two I have were the colours I liked the look of the most, and I think they both go nicely with each other. They are called Cosmo and Mojito. Their quality is good and they apply smoothly. I find that these are the only varnishes out of all the different brands that I own that I can apply the neatest before it starts to go too tacky. The consistency is not too thick, nor to thin, which is the kind of quality that you would expect from a more expensive brand of nail varnish. Seeing as I got these free, when varnishes from Nails Inc normally cost £11 a bottle, there is nothing about them that I can complain about really lol.

The two images below show my nails after a coat of nail strengthener and two coats of my chosen base colours.

The next two images show my nails after the nail effects varnish was applied, allowed to dry, and then a clear topcoat was applied to help hold everything together and because the nail effects dries matte.

Overall I’m quite pleased with the outcome. What do you think of crackle nail polish and what colours do you think go well together?


Recent Nail Care Improvements

New Nail Strengthener

I’ve always liked to let my nails grow, and I only cut them once one or two have broken. This is because if they are all different lengths, the feeling of it just drives me mad. Especially when doing things like typing. However over the past year or so I’ve started wearing nail varnish a lot more often, up to the point that I always have nail colour on. I’ve found that since then that bits of the top layer of my nail peel off more often, especially when I chip my nail colour or after using nail varnish remover. Due to this I have found it harder to get them to grow as long as they used to.

I did have nail strengthener that I used under my colour, but it was part of a cheap Xmas gift given to me about 10 years ago or so lol. I figured that the time to buy some propper nail strengthener was more than overdue. I ended up buying the one pictured below. It is Collection 2000’s 2 in 1 Strengthener and Hardener with Calcium.

There were many types that I looked at when deciding on which to try. But based on my results from Googling the problems I have with my nails, it seemed that a good hardener is what I need. I learnt from my research that there are two main types of nails. Brittle nails or weak nails. If your nails are brittle then they break or snap cleanly. To fix this you need more moisture in your nails. However if your nails tear or have parts of the top layer peel away like mine, then you need to strengthen them by making them harder. I will talk about my opinions of the results of the product in the last section of my post. This is because at the same time as using this new strengthener, I also started using a new nail file, and so the results are a combination of both of these things.

My First Crystal Glass Nail File

I need to give a bit of a background story as to how I discovered this product, so bear with me as I appear to go completely into an off topic ramble for a while.

I’ve recently become addicted to using QVC as a method of helping me get tired enough to sleep on work nights. I’ve haven’t had access to a TV in my bedroom for long, and have never really watched TV much in the past. This is mainly because my computer takes up most of the spare space in my bedroom and so there has never been room to have a TV. However when I finally got my PS3, I wanted to be able to experience it properly both visually and auditory, and not through my crappy TV card in my computer that I ended up using when playing on my PS2. One of my brothers had gotten a TV last Xmas that supported HDMI, doubled up as his computer monitor and had Freeview. This is basically exactly what I needed too. Since I got it though, I’ve increasingly found myself more and more addicted to watching shopping channels lol. I’m sure my brothers think I have gone mad.

Anyways time to get back on topic. On QVC a few weeks ago they were selling this crystal glass nail file. This type of nail file was completely unheard of to me and so it immediately got my interest. Also all the benefits the woman selling it was talking about sounded quite good.

Now don’t get me wrong. Although I like watching, I’m quite sceptical about some of the things they say. A few times I couldn’t help but silently lol to myself when they blatantly lie. For example the once they was trying to sell some hair product that is supposed to boost the colour in coloured hair and stop the colour fading. They then showed a before and after image. The fact that it seemed the product had worked on the model’s top and on the wall in the background only proved that the ‘after results’ image had been edited somewhat. After all their job is to get you to buy no matter how good the product really is.

But despite this the 2o quid they wanted for just a nail file seemed a bit excessive to me anyway. So like everything else I see that interests me, I Google it, watch reviews on Youtube, and then if I still want it I’ll have a look on Ebay to see if I can buy it for any cheaper.

The results of my internet searching helped to confirm what I saw on QVC. I’ll briefly summarise them below.

  • These files are more hygienic as they can be cleaned easily.
  • Although the files themselves can break easily due to being glass, the filing surface is very durable and will last longer than your emery board or metal file will. Some sites call it the file for life.
  • The filing surface is very fine. Therefore when compared to other types of files, it is a lot less damaging to your nail. They will not leave the nail tips jagged or cause any tearing or splitting in the nail due to the damage filing can cause. Due to this the nail can grow stronger over time if this type of file is continued to be used. This was the main benefit that caught my attention and the main reason why I wanted such a file.
  • They also come in lots of different designs and colours, which make them feel extra special.

After this my next stop was Ebay. They had a huge range of different glass files from many different sellers in terms of size, colour and designs. There are ones with coloured tops to the file, ones with gems glued to them and even hand painted ones. The price ranges also differ greatly. As this was my first time buying such a file however I didn’t want to risk buying an expensive one. In the end I settled on the one pictured below.

Although this one cost just over £4, there were much cheaper ones available. However this was the cheapest one I found that had a hard case come with it. Most of them had just a plastic sleeve to protect it. I also got one the same but in a different colour for my mom.

The Results

I can say that my nails are a lot stronger and healthier than they were before. They are not as bendy as they once were. I remember once I bent my middle nail right back against the bathroom wall when pushing a towel onto the towel rack lol. Also in just a couple of weeks they have stopped flaking, and I have only broken one nail since I started using the strengthener. They are also starting to grow as long as they used to get again, despite the fact that I type using the tips of my nails. I hate when my nails are short and I type because my fingertips always start to ache quite easily.

As for the file it does file quite nicely. Obviously it takes a little longer to file them into the shape you want as the surface of the file is finer. But you can feel that it is a lot gentler on the nails and you get a much smoother finish. You also do not get any of the jaggy bits to the underside of the tip that I always seemed to get when using other files. The one time I did break a nail, was when I was at work and the only file I had on me was an emery board. After using the glass file and then going back to an emery board really pointed out to me the difference between them both. I could not help but feel how rough and damaging the emery board was on the nail, despite the fact that I was using the finer side. I couldn’t wait to get home and go over the tip of the nail with my glass file to make it smoother neater, and feel healthier. The only thing that I don’t like about the particular file that I purchased, is that a slightly longer file may be a bit more comfortable to use.

I know one thing that I will be definatley buying for people at work as Xmas presents this year lol.

Barry M Lip Stuff

Party Pink Lip Lacquer Crayon

I saw one of these advertised in a magazine a month or so ago and they caught my eye. I had a look on their website, and saw that they only do a handful of colours, which was a bit off-putting. This was partly because the colours seemed either too dark or way too light. However after a bit of thought I decided to give the party pink colour a go, as it was somewhere in between the other colours.

I love the way it reminds me of a Crayola wax crayon lol. I went for this shade as I don’t think I could pull off the deep red colours, and the only pink lighter than this is very pale and I’m not a fan of lip colours lighter than my natural lip colour.

It applies quite nicely and easily and is a lot more glittery and shiny than I expected. The colour is very pigmented, and like the name ‘party pink’ suggests its more the kind of bold colour you would wear when going out rather than for in the office.

However to me it felt quite thick and heavy whilst on my lips, whereas I prefer a quite lightweight feel. I also found that it wore off quicker than I expected. But overall I am happy with the product.

Touch Of Magic Lip Paint

Whilst looking at the lip lacquer crayons on their website, I also stumbled across this strange colour of lip paint. My first thought was something along the lines of ‘WTF, who would wear green! lol’.

However upon closer inspection I realised that it does not colour your lips green at all. It actually reacts with the alkali in your lips to turn into a shade of pink. Due to this the intensity of the colour basically depends on how your body naturally is. Intrigued by this, I watched a few Youtube videos of people trying it on before deciding that I just had to try it for myself.

One thing I really like about this lip paint, is the tube itself. The plastic has that rubbery feel to it, which makes it feel nice and special in your hands. As for the paint itself, I really like how it applied. It felt nice and lightweight on the lips and wasn’t sticky or anything. It felt exactly like a lip balm when rubbing my lips together, which made them feel nice and moisturised. It also seems to be very long lasting and durable. Hours after applying it and drinking and eating, my lips were still coloured by the lip paint, although to the touch it felt like it had wore off completely. This may be because it stains the lips to an extent, as I also found it harder to wash off than other lipsticks and such.

As for the colour, for me at least I was happy with the shade that the lip paint turned into. However, I found that the shade of pink was not always as even across the lips as I would have liked and expected it to. For example I found that sometimes along the line where the lip goes from being outside of your mouth to being inside your mouth, that the pink was a lot more bolder and brighter (I hope that makes sense lol). I assume that this is because as it reacts with the pH of your skin, and that the shade of colour produced will vary depending on this, then this will cause unevenness if the pH across your lips are uneven. Despite this, I am overall happy with it. I love the idea behind it and it will be something that I continue to use.

Photo Comparison

The pictures below compare the results I got from both of these lip products. The first image is of the lip lacquer crayon, the second of my bare lip, and the last of the touch of magic lip paint.


Hi and welcome to my first propper blog. I’ve never been much into writing before, but I wanted something new to do so I thought I would give it a try.

I’ve recently started to really get into nail art. I like to do a different nail design to wear every week and thought that a blog would be a great way to share my creative nail ideas with everyone else. I hope I can help to inspire the ideas of others, just like I gain inspiration from images and other peoples blogs that I look at online.

I’ve decided that I would also  use this blog to ramble on about my favourite things, or my thoughts on any recent purchases etc. Another reason why I have decided on this is because whenever I am considering buying something, or have already brought something, I like to look it up online. This is for various reasons such as to see what people’s opinions are about whatever it is, too see how popular it is, as well as to look at pictures and things for example. However for some things I have found that there is not as much as I expected to be found online and so would also like to fill out this gaps a bit.

I like to be creative from time to time so I will also make posts about anything I make as well. For example jewellery or origami etc. All of this will be accompanied by plenty of photographs of course. I’ve always preferred images to words lol.

I hope everyone reading my blog likes it. I’ll be making posts as and when I can. I have quite a few things in mind that I would like to do posts about to get me started off.