Gold and Silver Gradient Nails

This was a very quick and simple design I did when I was in a rush to be somewhere one week. However it still looks quite effective. I really cant stand just plain nail varnish on my nails so I have to at least do something with it.

_IMG_0100 copy

First I painted all nails with 2 coats of a dark green shade.

_IMG_0103 copy

Then using a makeup sponge I sponged on the colour I was using to add the gradient.

_IMG_0108 copy

I built this up in layers until I was happy with the result.

_IMG_0111 copy

On the ring fingers I sponged on gold and on the rest I used silver.


Mosaic Crackle Nails

I bought one of the Avon crackle effects recently even though I have a few crackle polishes, but I was drawn to this because of the shimmer in it and also because I don’t have a green crackle. I got it in colour Gleaming Emerald.

_IMG_5684 copy

I found the application slightly less forgiving than the Barry M crackles are. Therefore you will need a bit of experimentation to get it right. I decided to try it over a lilac base.

_IMG_5686 copy

However generally I found that if it was too thin you would end up with a translucent coat with very thin vertical lines forming the cracks. If it was too thick then you wouldn’t get enough cracks to see that it was supposed to be an effect.

_IMG_5687 copy

I preferred to aim mine around a medium thickness as I wanted the green crackle to stand out boldly, but I also like thick cracks going both horizontally and vertically in between. The only thing that I do love about this crackle over other brands that I have tried is simply the fact that it has a lot of glitter in it.

_IMG_5689 copy

Another thing I noticed about this one was that it took quite a while for the full effect to come out. At first I did not think it was working, because with the other brands I have tried the effect is very quick. However it does need some time to look its best.

Chameleon Pink Nails

So here is the last of the Chameleon nail paints from Barry M that I have tested out.

This one is a dark pink shade that turns to a dark purple shade wherever you use the top coat.

My favourite thing about these nail paints is that they make doing designs less messy, especially when using your less dominant hand. This is because when trying to do detail you can end up getting it on your skin in the process. However it is not that noticeable if the colour you are using is clear. Another thing I love is that they have a metallic finish to them.

What I don’t like about these nail paints though is that they are less durable. This is because you can’t use a topcoat over the whole design to prolong its life because obviously that would change the whole design to the same colour. Also you could say that you are restricted to the colours that these nail paints come in.

What are other people’s thoughts on these nail paints. Do you love them or not see the need for them?

Barry M Neptune Sea Nails

So as promised here is my first in depth look of the latest Barry M magnetic nail paints. From my initial play with them, the blue one stood out the most to me and so I just had to make it the first one I tried out. This one is called Neptune Sea.

As mentioned in my last blog on these, the consistency seems thinner and more sheer. However I think this may be an improvement. Despite this 2 coats was still all I needed.

In the old magnetic paints I found that I sometimes struggled to get the effect to work well, and so would have to make another attempt on a few of the nails. Sometimes one half of the nail would have become tacky instead of wet by the time I placed the magnet over it. This meant that the effect only worked on half the nail. However I did not have this happen once to me.

Also the magnet seemed to be able to pull the effect out with a lot more ease. With the old magnetic paints, mainly the dark silver one, I sometimes struggled to get the effect to stand out well. I feel this is due to the difference in consistency. Whether Barry M have done this on purpose as a way of improving the formula I am not sure of.

I know that the fact that I have found them easier to work as I expect them to this time around, could be due to having more practice with them. However I feel I did the exact same as I did with the original colours. Also the fact that I found the consistency different between the old and new colours could just be due to the batches I got, and so this might not appear to be the same for everyone.

Also the main difference with these magnetics is that they are glittery. The old magnetics gave a metallic finish. This one however is more of a metallic grey/silver colour with blue glitter in. If you look closely you can see that the magnetic pulls the darker grey colour and the blue glitter into one area of the pattern, and the rest is just a metallic silver colour with no glitter.

The coverage of the magnet is also very good. It was able to make the effect reach across my entire nail area on both my fingers and toes. I think this particular magnet pattern looks very good on the big toe nail. One thing I found with the old magnetics was that because my fingernails have quite a lot of curve to them, the pattern didn’t seem to reach around to the sides well. My mom’s nails are much flatter than mine and she did not have this problem with the old magnetic paints. However this could also be related to the differences I noticed in the consistency this time around.

The main negative I had with the old magnetic colours was that even after waiting around 30 minutes for my nails to dry, when I applied my topcoat it ended up ‘dragging/smudging’ the effect underneath to an extent. This time around I did not want this to happen because they came out so well lol. In these pictures, I took them about 24 hours after applying them. It was not until after these pictures were taken that I applied my topcoat. It did not drag the effect this time, but obviously that was because they were let to harden for so long. Next time I will apply my topcoat after a more sensible amount of time to see what happens.

Overall I think these magnetics are better than their first lot. The magnets seem to have a better chance of working perfectly and the effect stands out very noticeably. I also love the colour and the way that the colour comes from the addition of glitter particles.

New Barry M Magnetic Nail Paints

Just a quick post to share what I received in the post this morning. Barry M announced some new magnetic colours recently and I just couldn’t wait to try them out. My nails are still completely unchipped from when I painted them last Sunday, so I managed to persuade my mom to let me try them out on her toenails instead, as you can see in the pictures below.

These were painted very quickly as I just wanted to experiment to see how they looked. I plan on trying out each colour separately over the coming weeks to give you a more in depth look at them individually.

So far from my first impressions, I like the blue one the most. It feels very summery and reminds me of the sea, and so I think I will start with trying out that one first. Unlike the previous magnetic paints, these are lighter in colour, although you wouldn’t realise this from looking at them in the bottle.

One other main difference with these is that you can see very visible flecks of glitter and/or shimmer in each one. With the previous magnetics it was more of a subtle shimmer to give you a metallic effect type finish. With the new shades I also found that the consistency was a bit thinner and they are slightly a bit more sheer. However, 2 coats is still all you need to get the desired effect. I think this may be due to the fact that the colours are lighter. I also found these ones easier to apply and to get the effect to come out on successfully. This may just be because I have more experience with magnetic nail paints now though.

On the Barry M facebook page the colours are called as follows (going form left to right): Neptune Sea (Blue), Cosmic Glow (Green), Moon Dust (Gold), Super Nova (Multi) and Venus Sunset (Red). However on the bottles they are labelled as: Magnetic Sparkle Blue #345, Magnetic Green Sparkle #348, Magnetic Sparkle Gold #344, Magnetic Multi Sparkle #347 and Magnetic Sparkle Red #346, which reflects the colours of the glitter in each.

Who else will be purchasing these new shades? I can’t wait to try them out properly.

Barry M Magnetic Dark Silver Nails

So this week I tried out the last of the Magnetic Nail Paints by Barry M that I purchased. They do also have a purple. But I already have a purple magnetic by Nails Inc so decided to skip that shade.

I couldn’t get them to photograph too well but anyways here are the pictures of how it turned out:

I have to say this is my least favourite of the three, with the burgundy being my favourite. I feel that the shade is more black than a dark silver, and the colour difference between the magnetised and non magnetised areas are not far enough apart from each other for the effect to be as noticeable as I would like.

However, I have looked at images online from other blogs and such and it looks really good in those photos. So maybe I just had a bad attempt with this one this time around. In other people’s photos the effect reminds me of a fishnet effect, which is what I was expecting, whereas how mine came out is more like some wavy lines lol.

I think before passing a final judgement on this shade I need to be brave and not apply a top coat on top, or maybe wait a whole day before applying the top coat. I feel it is this which is the main damage to the final effect that I have experienced.

I would also be interested to see how the magnet from the burgundy shade looks on this shade. That magnet seemed to make strong noticeable lines, which is one of the reasons why I liked the burgundy so much.

Barry M Magnetic Burgundy Nails

So this is another of the Barry M magnetic effects that I picked up. This time the burgundy shade that comes with a magnet to make diagonal stripes.

I don’t normally go for reddish colours, but I have to say I really love this colour. Even on the first coat before using the magnet, the colour looked so nice lol. When buying these I thought the blue would be my favourite as I am more of a cold colours person. However I think this is actually my favourite of the two I have tried. I think I might try the stripy magnet with the blue to see if that makes any difference as to which is my favourite.

If you’ve looked at any of my previous posts, then please don’t be too alarmed by the sudden disappearance to the length of my nails lol. The index nail of my right hand snapped as low down as it possibly could. I can’t stand such a huge difference in length so they all had to come off. My fingers feel so stumpy, childlike and boyish when they are like this. Which is strange because when I see short nails on other women it seems perfectly normal to me.

Like with the blue the magnet was good enough to easily produce the pattern across the whole nail providing you held it over the nail before any chance of drying could start. Also, once again I cant stop admiring how the light hits the pattern when you move your fingers in the light. This pattern reminds me a bit of a stripy stick of seaside rock.

As with the blue I again had trouble protecting the effect when applying the top coat. In the end I just blobbed the topcoat around instead of applying it in brush strokes. However this meant that quite a lot of top coat ended up on the nail which caused some bubbling whilst drying.

However overall I am again pleased. Who else has tried the Barry M magnetic nail paints and which one is your favourite?

Lastly I would just like to wish my amazing boyfriend a Happy 24th Birthday!!

Barry M Crackle vs Croc Nail Effects

So Barry M recently released a new type of nail effect called ‘croc’ nail effects. From the images in their advertisement it does not seem that much different to their normal crackle, apart from the fact that it seems like it makes more circular patterns whereas the normal crackle is more stripy.

Either way I still couldn’t help get myself a bottle so that I could compare the two to see the differences and decide how much it is worth getting if you already own their normal crackles.

I ordered mine from their website and kind of went a bit mad and bought a load of other nail varnish colours to experiment with later. I guess that’s what happens after a depressing day at work lol. Anyways, although mine arrived on Tuesday, I was liking my current nails too much to clean them off. I usually only do my nails on a Sunday night anyways as I’m bit of a creature of habit. So last night I got around to trying it out.

I’ve decided that to compare them it would be best to alternate nails between the normal crackle and the croc effect.  All base colours and my top coat are also from Barry M, as I like to think the best results would come from using everything from the same brand. You can see the finished results below:

Some first impressions of the croc effect are as follows:

The first thing to note is they are actually quite the opposite to each other in several ways.

  • Unlike the normal crackle the croc takes ages in comparison to work. I find the crackle takes effect and dries very quickly (almost too quickly sometimes) but the crock must have took at least 5 minutes. At first I thought I had messed it up and it wasn’t going to work lol.
  • The normal crackle is also matte and dries matte. The croc is the complete opposite and is quite glossy.
  • Due to this the consistency of the normal crackle is quite thick, whereas the croc is much more watery. Unfortunately this also means the normal crackle can get a bit clumpy by the time you get to your second hand.
  • One major difference to note is that with the normal crackle, as long as you have some sort of base on the nail, it doesn’t matter how dry it is as it will still work. I also have found that with cheaper brands, if the base hasn’t had chance to dry completely, then the crackle will pull the base apart a little with it. However with the croc it clearly states on the side of the bottle that you can’t use it on top of dry nail varnish. It recommends that you give the base only a minute or two and to then use the croc while its still tacky.
  • For the normal crackle the effect is quite noticeable and there are large gaps between the cracks allowing you too see a lot of your base. I would say that on average half of the nail area would show the crackle colour and the other half the base colour. However, with the croc the cracks are very thin lines in comparison and so you mostly see the colour of the croc rather than the base. It made the care I took in painting on my base layers feel quite pointless lol.
  • Due to this I found that you have to be quite neat and apply the coat evenly with the croc effect. This is because as you see more of the croc colour than anything else, any imperfections in it’s application will be quite noticeable. The good thing about the fact that it dries a lot slower, means that you have the chance to take your time applying it to the nail. With the normal crackle however there is no time to be neat as you have to get it on quick before it starts to dry and crack. This is also why it is recommended that you do not overlap your strokes of the normal crackle whilst applying it. However, in the case of the normal crackle, as you end up seeing more of the base underneath, it does not matter as much if it is applied a bit sloppily as the imperfections will mostly dissapear into the effect.
  • The shape of the two effects are also quite different. The normal crackle breaks up into square and rectangular shapes. With the croc the effect is thin curved lines, which kind of remind me of veins or something.
  • One thing that is similar about both effects however, other than their colour, is that the image printed onto the lid of the bottle does not really represent how the effect looks in reality lol. With the normal crackle they depict it as more of a uniform stripy effect than it is. With the croc they depict it as rows of circles that are the same size, which is kind of what you would expect from something labled ‘croc’ effect. However the reality was far from this, although I think it is important to not that this was only my first use of the effect and so maybe I just need to figure out how to use it properly to make it look more ‘crocish’.

After wearing this for about a day now, I have to say that so far I still prefer their original crackle effect over the croc one. My reasons for this are simple:

  • The effect is more noticeable as you can clearly see both the base and the effect.
  • It dries faster and the crackle appears quite quickly.
  • To an extent, you can get away with being a little sloppy with its application.
  • As a fan of all things colourful, I prefer to be able to see a lot of the base colour beneath the effect. With the croc I was left feeling as if the time I had spent applying my base colour was a waste lol.

However I can also see why some people would prefer the new croc effect. If you want a more subtle curved effect that you don’t have to rush to apply then this would be perfect for you.

I feel that if all nails had the croc effect on and all had the same base colour, instead of mixing it up as much as I did here, then I would have liked the effect a bit more when compared to the normal crackle. I think that if they release more of this effect then for me it would depend on the colours released as to whether or not I purchase more. If they are colours that I already have in the normal crackle effect then I would probably give it a miss. I also wonder if I would prefer the look of the effect more if the croc was in a light colour and the base was dark. If they release a white colour I may get it, but I am unsure at this time.

Has anyone else tried this yet, and what are your opinions on it? I’m interested in how many people prefer this over their normal crackle effect, as ultimately, the fact that I like the look of their normal crackle more is the main reason why I like the croc effect less.

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?