Matte Stripe Nails

This design looked better when I pictured it in my mind, but I still think it turned out OK, even if it is a bit messy.

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I first painted all nails in 2 coats of my chosen base colour.

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I then added a normal top coat and allowed them to dry for about 30 minutes.

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Afterwards I used striping tape to add 3 stripes of tape to each nail. This was a bit fiddly, especially as the strips needed to be longer than the nail width so that I could grip them later.

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Then, 1 nail at a time I added a matte top coat and immediately removed the striping tape before it could dry in order to leave glossy stripes in between larger matte stripes.

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However on some nails the matte hadn’t coated the nail as well as I thought it had as I was rushing a bit and so the lines didn’t come out as perfect as I had hoped.

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Also it needed to be left to dry a bit longer before adding the striping tape I think. This is because on a couple of nails the tape pulled at the sides of the nail varnish as I tried to remove it, and so I had to attempt to touch up those nails.


Christmas Trees 2012 Nails

I did these nails last night and I have to say they are a lot better than my Christmas nails from last year.


I first painted the background colour to all my nails using Barry M’s Nude. I decided to do 3 coats of this in the end as I wanted to see the light pinkness of the shade more than the nudeness if that makes sense. I went for this colour to stop me using something too bright for the background which would have only resulted in overpowering the design instead.


After this had had a decent amount of time to dry, I took a nail art brush and used this to paint a green triangle on each nail to represent the tree. For the green I used Electric Green Arabian Glow Nailwear Pro by Avon.


I had considered using some striping tape to mask out the area where I would paint the tree. But this would have been more fiddly and would have taken more time than painting it freehand. Also real trees are not perfectly straight anyways so I figured it did not really matter if the line was slightly wobbly.


Next I added a star to the top of each tree. To do this I basically used the smallest dotting tool I have and dotted in the same shape as you would to make a flower. I used the Christmas Gold limited edition nail paint from Barry M to do this.


The last thing I did was to add baubles to my trees. I did this with a slightly bigger sized dotting tool and used both the Christmas Pink and Blue limited edition colours from Barry M. Then all that was left was to add my top coat. Hope you like them!

Berry Xmas Nails

The title of this one is named based on the two colours used for this design. Raspberry and the Superdrug Christmas limited edition glitter by Barry M. Like the post I did on the Boots limited edition Barry M nail paints for this year, there are also two for Superdrug. The other one is a Blue shimmery one like the Boots gold and pink ones which I plan to use soon.

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For this design I first used the Raspberry colour to paint all of my nails. I applied two coats of this and let them have plenty of time to dry. I really love this shade its such a deep colour. It looks great on toes.

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As I wanted to not do all nails identical, I next used a little bit of bright pink striping tape on two nails per hand only in a diagonal line across the nail.

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I then used the Christmas glitter on the entire ring fingers and the bottom halves of the nails that had the striping tape on them. This glitter is mainly a mixture of bright pink, blue and green hexagons and smaller flecks of blue and green glitter. It is quite festive and matched with the raspberry shade and striping tape colour quite well in my opinion.

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However, like with other glitter nail varnishes that have larger glitter pieces it can be hard to get the glitter to distribute well so I had to blob it on quite a bit. However this means that you end up with quite a thick layer of the clear base that the glitter was in. To get the amount of glitter that I wanted on the nail I had to do this three times which meant it took a lot longer to dry. I think having a stronger concentration of glitter in the bottle would have been better. But despite this I am very pleased with how the design turned out.

Christmas Pressie Nails

This weeks nails are meant to represent wrapped up Christmas presents. I think it turned out as quite a simple yet effective design in my opinion.

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To do this I painted all my nails red for the wrapping paper. I used the Barry M retro red nail paint. I love the amount of shimmer in this shade as it really helped to add to the festiveness of the design.

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Once the base colour had been left to dry well, I then added gold striping tape in a cross pattern to each nail to look as if it was ribbon tied around the present.

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I finished off by adding a flower shaped nail art gem in the same colour over the place where the striping tape overlapped. This was to act as the bow on the present. I felt this would be neater and easier than trying to make a bow in any other way.

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The whole thing was finished off with 2 coats of topcoat to help hold everything in place for as long as possible. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. What do you think?

Handmade Christmas Tree Decorations

Here are a couple of pictures of some Christmas tree decorations that I attempted to make a few years ago. My wire wrapping skills have never been much good so they didn’t turn out as neat as I would have liked, but they still look nice hung on the tree. What do you think? They are supposed to be snowflake/stars.

Duochrome Comparrisons

I actually took the pictures for this post probably back at the start of the summer. However more interesting posts ended up taking priority when I came to write up this post, and the pictures have been sitting on my computer waiting ever since. I figured it was about time I used them before it was too late. I do have a couple of other sets of pictures that seem to have ended up the same which I will try to post soon.

Anyways for this post I wanted to compare two different duochrome polishes that I have. The first is by Leighton Denny and is called Your Planet Or Mine.

In the bottle this looks like a lovely petrol effect, however on the nail I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I found the consistency was a bit thick for my liking as well when trying to apply it. On the nail it appears as a black base with a dark turquoise shimmer to it. If you are lucky and you can catch it in the right light this turns to a dark purple shimmer instead.

As you can tell from my lack of good pictures I had trouble trying to capture this with the camera. I was hoping that it would look as it does in the bottle, or at the very least that the effect would be easily noticeable. I found the whole thing was too dark to be easily spotted as a duochrome by people seeing your fingers. I like my nails to stand out as they are the part of me I feel I use to express my personality the most easily.

I also found that the wear wasn’t all that good. By the day after applying it the tips were starting to wear down. You can see this in the above picture even, which was taken after I got home from work on the Monday (I usually paint my nails on a Sunday night before bed, which is why half of my manicures end up with bed sheet imprint on them lol). By the day after that they were chipping. For a bottle that retails at £11 quid I kind of expected something better to be completely honest.

The second duochrome I want to look at in this post is one of the colours by a brand called Stargazer and is #307. This one does look like it does in the bottle and the consistency was thinner which made it easier to apply.

The colouring is lighter in this one and it changes mainly between  green, gold and purple bright shiny shimmer. There are other colours that come through which are shades in between these main colours. I used two coats for these pictures but a third coat would probably be the best option.

The wear wasn’t anything great on this one when compared to other brands of nail polish that I have tried, but for a bottle that only costs £2.50 and looks this nice you can’t really complain.

In conclusion the stargazer was my favourite of the two. This is because it looked how I expected it to, the quality just seemed better and the effect stood out a lot more. I realise that the Leighton Denny shade is supposed to be a darker look, but it looks so beautiful and more colourful in the bottle, unlike on the nail. Despite this I think this would not put me off trying other Leighton Denny colours yet. After all I use the Bio Build treatment and base coat by Leighton Denny weekly and have no problems with this. However as the  only ever nail colour I have tried by this brand has not been what I expected, I think I would research online and look at swatches a lot more before investing £11 on a bottle of nail colour in the future. I am interested in what other people’s experiences are of the polishes I have compared in this post. Do you agree or do you think I just got unlucky this time around?

A Hair Must Have

I just wanted to share my thoughts on one of those products, that once you start using it, it becomes that much of a necessity that you don’t know how you would ever go back to not using it. The product in question is dry shampoo.

I don’t like to wash my hair every single day as I feel it does more harm than good so I wash it every other day instead. The problem is my forehead and scalp can be quite oily, which of course makes my roots and the front sections of my hair on either side of my face oily quite quickly also. I have quite long hair though however and so the ends stay fresh looking without any problems.

I remember talking about random things with work friends when a similar conversation came up and one of them mentioned that I should try out dry shampoo. So the next time I was at the supermarket I had a look and picked up a can. At the time the one by Treseme was on special offer so I picked up that one. I was very pleased with the results and it really does make you hair look fresh for longer. It also has a nice scent to it which leaves your hair smelling nice at the same time.

This was about 6 months ago and I have been using dry shampoo ever since. I only wish I had discovered it sooner lol. However the first can I bought I got through quite quickly and when I went to buy more the Treseme one was back up to full price. For the time it took to get through it, I felt it was a bit expensive and so I looked for an alternative and came across a brand called Batiste.

Although the Treseme one does what it is supposed to, I have to say I found this brand a lot better. You get more in a can and it costs a lot less. I also found the overall quality better as I needed less product to achieve what I needed it to do, which means it lasts longer. How I use it is to part sections of my hair in order to spray it into my roots. I also will then spray a bit around the top of my hair and focus on the front sections of my hair which pick up oil from my forehead. I do this once on the mornings in between hair washes and that is all that is necessary. After leaving it to sit for a few minutes I will massage it in the roots a bit and then brush thoroughly. One other thing I love about this brand is that it comes in many different fragrances which make your hair smell great. So far my favourite has to be the tropical one.

The only downside is that as dry shampoos are a powder, and my hair is dark brown, you can see the white of the powder in your hair. I found this is more noticeable with the Batiste one than the Treseme one. However as long as you massage and brush it in it will no longer be noticeable. If you can still see any all I do is run my fingers over them places and it will look fine then. This usually happens around the parting in my hair. However Batiste also do dry shampoo sprays with hints of colour to them for brunette, blone and red hair. I am yet to try this out yet however.

I would recommend dry shampoo to anyone that likes to give their hair a day off in between washes but still wants it too look fresh. Who else has tried similar products and what would you recommend the most?

Royal Cadbury Nails

As the colours used for this design are purple and gold they remind me of royalty colours and Cadbury’s Chocolate packaging lol. Hence the title choice.

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This look was quite easy to create, yet I think it looks really effective. I think it would look especially good for the party season this Christmas.

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I also felt it would be the perfect use for the new limited edition Christmas Gold nail paint by Barry M that I picked up from Boots last week.

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I painted all of my nails with Barry M’s Gelly nail paint in Blackberry. I love this shade of purple. After this was dry I sponged the gold nail paint onto the tips using a makeup sponge.

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I think the sparkly gold glittery foil effect goes really well with the shiny boldness of the purple. However I think a couple of the nails could have done with a bit more of the gold concentrated onto the very end of the tip to give it a bit more coverage.

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I find that the current colours of the gelly nail paint are all quite bold. This makes them good choices as the base for nail art, which you can then add more fancy nail varnish to the top of. This prevents things form getting too busy.

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What do you think of this look? I would love to see what else people have done with the limited edition nail paints.

Christmas Limited Edition Nail Paints from Barry M from Boots 2012

Barry M have released two limited edition nail paints for Christmas 2012 which you can only find in Boots.

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They were released on November the 28th and you get one free when you spend over £6 on Barry M products.

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The colours are called Christmas Pink and Christmas Gold. Superdrug are also going to have limited edition colours of their own on the 5th Dec, which I am also looking forward to.

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To try them out I painted my left hand with the pink and my right with the gold and did the ring fingers in the opposite colour.

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I think they look really pretty and will be perfect for any parties over the festive season. I have a few ideas of how I want to use the gold one.

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They remind me of the foil nail paints except a foil made up of tiny pieces of shimmery glitter. This gives them a glittery textured look.

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They applied quite well. In these pictures I used two coats. One coat covered well but when I held my fingers up to the light you could see light coming through a bit. I always prefer to do two coats anyways to help get an even coverage.

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They also seem to be quite durable as they have not chipped or worn at the tips at all since I painted them on the 28th. However I have a feeling that they may be more like glitter nail varnish when I come to remove it.

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I also love the lids on the bottles. They look so cool and shiny lol. They relay do reflect the product inside. If you are a Barry M fan like me then these are a must.

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Looking closely at the gold you can see a fine gold shimmer with a slightly bigger and darker shade of gold in there as well as a fine silver shimmer.


In the pink as well as the fine pink shimmer you can also see a fine silver shimmer and the slightly bigger gold flecks in there.