Friday, 29 March 2013

Orly Miss Conduct and Max Factor Fantasy Fire

Ever since I saw a post on Horcrux Nails about this colour I knew I had to have it! And that colour is Miss Conduct from Orly's Naughty or Nice collection. I managed to snag this off ebay for £7 which isn't bad for my very first Orly polish. Here are some swatches and a bit of failed holo nail art :)

So I was so excited to try this colour but once again (to my total disappointment) I discovered that this colour didn't suit me. As you might have read in my post about OPI You Only Live Twice, I was gutted to discover that hot pinks, fuscias and magentas just do not match my skin colour! How typical that the safer pinks that many people rely on are the one shades that don't suit me? Hand me a yellow, blue or a black and I'm fine, but pinks? Maybe not. 

I found this to be similar in colour to YOLT only a little bit lighter and a WHOLE LOAD more sparkly with a touch of holo shimmer! I still adore this polish! So to make me feel better I ordered Halo from the same collection in the hope that it will be as pretty just a better colour :) 

Again, echoing my YOLT post, I added some 17 holo polish to attempt to break up the pink but I felt that I just ruined it. I wasn't feeling very creative so I just stuck on some dots and stripes but I felt it took away some of the magic of the glitter. Hopefully I'll find a good way to use this in nail art so it doesn't go to waste! I'd be interested to know what colours my readers have to avoid, I think I'm just weird in the dark pink thing but I may be wrong! 

(note: Yes, I got polish on the bottle cap. So sue me)







Moving on, after reading in several blogs about a shade nicknamed "Unicorn Pee" I had to get my manicured paws on a bottle. That shade is Fantasy Fire by Max Factor, and as it's a UK brand only available in UK shops, and I'm a UK blogger, I felt it only fitting that it joined my stash. A mini bottle is £3.99 in Boots. 

I swatched a few coats over my thumb to try it out just before I removed the pink, and I was blown away! It's a colour changing holographic fantasy, purple in the bottle but purple, pink, green and gold on the nail (and that's just in this blurred pic!) and I can so see why this is so popular with my fellow bloggers! If you haven't got this, go and get it now, it's only a wee bottle but it's a must have in any stash. I ope to do a full mani with this another time, I'm thinking it'd look fab over Man Hunt from China Glaze but I can't decide if that would be too dark or not. Thoughts?


OPI Rainbow Connection from the Muppets Collection

Today I have swatches and review of OPI's The Rainbow Connection, which was part of the Muppet Collection a few years ago. First of all, I should mention that I received this by accident ... I had tried to order The Living Daylights, which is similar is style but not in colour, and I received this. Ebay seller fail. But I got a full refund and got to keep the polish so win win situation if you ask me! 

Rainbow connection is a multi coloured scattered glitter. Although it is beautiful I have now decided that I'm not a fan of scattered glitters. I just don't get it ... I mean it's great fun to have on my nails, and it looks like I got let loose in a nursery art area but I think I prefer normal glitters like Dorothy Who? and Ruby Pumps as I've swatched previously on here, or glitter polishes used in nails art. Hard to explain, but I just don't get it =/ I'll keep hold of it for now as I have nothing like this in my stash but if any of you lovely ladies want a swap then get in touch :) 

My dislike for this style aside, the colours in this are amazing! Application wise, I applied this over Zoya Pixie Dust in Dahlia (I was wearing it anyway - wouldn't waste such a stunning polish as an undercoat!) but if you were wearing it over something lighter or on its own you would fairly need to layer it up. This was two coats, maybe three. Also the larger hex glitters were a tad awkward, sometimes sticking together instead of spreading, and I got one right at the tip of my nail which just sat and bent over the tip. Not pretty. but as you can see in the last two pics in natural light, the colours are amazing. 

All in all this is a beautiful polish, amazing colours, very eye catching and I imagine it'd be a great polish to wear on a night out to get your nails some attention, however this style of polish just isn't for me. Also it took me 40 minutes to remove. Say what?! (no, I didn't try the foil thing, I just soaked my fingertips in polish remover until it softened. Still only used two cotton pads :D)







Nailtopia Orly Haul and Order Review

So today I thought that I would post a review of a website I recently used - Nailtopia.co.uk. Before I start I would like to point out that the information here is my opinion and is in no way influences by the company. This is based on my own personal experience :) 

I'm doing this because as a resident of the UK, and I'm sure you British girls will agree, ordering nail polish online can be expensive and risky, with hefty delivery charges from American sites and many fake websites offering too good to be true deals online. Every time I find a new website which has decent prices that I haven't heard of I Google search them to find out if there are any complaints and often I come across a review on a blog, so I thought I would do exactly that to help out anyone looking for a decent website. 

Nailtopia sells mostly nail stickers, nail art decorations like studs etc, false nails and a selection of professional polish, such as China Glaze and Orly. They send round a newsletter on Facebook letting you know what offers they have each month. I used this site to make my first order of Orly as they had 25% off :) 

I ordered one holo polish from the Naughty or Nice collection (Halo) and two from the new Hope and Freedome Festival collection (Coachella Dweller and Melodious Utopia)

The polishes came in a box full of polystyrene peanuts, wrapped in tissue paper and in a Orly box, which I was quite pleasantly surprised by as I hadn't ordered a set from the same collection but it will be a great way to store them :) (is it weird that I get excited by a nice box?) 

Delivery wise, Nailtopia offers free delivery on any order over £10, also I placed my order on the Friday at 4pm, (according to their website they are out of office Fri-Sun) and it arrived on the Thursday, which I was more than happy about.

Price wise, for China Glaze you're around £7-£10, and Orly is £10.25 for a full sized bottle, so average prices for UK girls, maybe a bit cheaper for China Glaze on ebay where you can get for around a fiver but not bad for a retailer. Just keep an eye on those offers! FYI the 25% off Orly is still on ;) 



Bargain!




I don't know why this is upside down. It wasn't upside down on my phone ..



Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Barry M Textured Nail Effects

So today I have two colours to show you from the Barry M Textured collection - the mint green Ridley Road and the yellow Station Road. I hope that this is their real names as my bottle says that the Yellow is Atlantic Road which I have since found out is the baby blue ... moving on :) 

I've only just recently started on the textured nail polish and I am loving it! It's great fun and it means you can have pretty and different nails without nail art.  These colours are fab as well, so great fro Spring time (just ignore the snow and the freezing temperatures!). Ridely Road is a perfect mint green, almost like a Tiffany's green, dries super fast and is not quite as rough as the yellow. Station road is oh-so-slightly darker than lemon yellow and I adore it. This is the second wear in two weeks, even if it is only on my ring finger. The yellow is the only one in the collection to have a slight hint of glitter, just enough to catch your eye and make you "ooh, what did I just see?" and take a closer look. Although it is grittier and slightly harder to apply than the green. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to purchase the rest - I'm on a nail polish spending embargo until the new OPI liquid Sands come out as I already want most of them and (confession alert) I bought 20 polishes in the last two weeks =/ 

One major downside about these shades is that they are a pain in the neck to apply!! Slightly too thick a coat on half a nail and it just won't dry even. Its like a textured streak. Fortunately for me I'm improving my nail technique every time so this second wear of Barry M textured was so much easier than round one where I stared at one finger for about an hour waiting for it to dry before giving up, removing it, and starting from scratch. 

The green was difficult to photograph, I think only the first one caught its true colour, the bottom two pics look a bit too blue.
Bx







Monday, 25 March 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust in Dahlia

Swatches and review of my very first bottle of Zoya nail polish.


So after reading a lot about this brand but never trying it, the swatches of the pixie dust collection were enough to make me splash out and spend the £10.50 on a bottle of Dahlia. While on this subject, if anyone knows a cheaper way to get Zoya in the UK I'd be much obliged! But I digress.

Dahlia,  and to be honest,  the entire collection, are breath takingly beautiful. They are matte, textured glitters and I just found them so unique that one bottle was worth the hefty price tag.

Formula wise this needs a minimum of twoo coats but I used three to make it more black than grey. It was pretty easy to apply, although Zoya recommend not using a base or top coat I just put my base coat on an hour in advance as I don't like not using one and I had no problems with drying time, finding that it was fully matte in just over half an hour. Wear wise, I've had this on nearly four days and other than some tip wear it is still pretty perfect. It's also a little more charcoal grey then black but I stil absolutely love it =)







Wednesday, 20 March 2013

OPI You Only Live Twice and 17 Holo

I may have already mentioned this, but I LOVE OPI's Skyfall collection. (FYI I am currently wetting-myself-excited about the recent announcement from OPI that this Spring is going to see the release of a Bond Girls Liquid Sand Collection!!!!! AHHH my purse is crying already at the thought. For full details I recommend Swatch and Learn where Mary recently posted the press release - I love her blog!)

Anyway, Bondettes mini set was not enough, so I ordered a full size You Only Live Twice, which was one of my favourites from the collection. I was a bit gutted when I realised (for like the hundreth time) that although I love magentas and hot pinks, they don't love me. I have a pretty decent skin tone in that most colours look alright on me, not amazing and not awful, but dark pinks just DO NOT SUIT. That being said this is still beautiful. So easy to apply, very little mess on my cuticles and fingers, so shiny and a lovely colour. 




I wore this polish a full day itself then I made the mistake of wandering into Boots for a meal deal and left with four new nail polishes - woops! One of these was one of 17's new holo collection which I've been meaning to pick up. This goes perfectly with the pink and even made it settle down and match my skin tone a bit better. The colour of the holo is great and I loved that it was so opaque with just one dot - unlike most silvers I have used in nail art!! 
Also I signed up for Instagram today, hence the altered photo at the bottom. I think the alterations make the colours really pop :) fell free to follow me on Instagram as I will probably use it just for nails to be honest =) http://instagram.com/bathelen

Apologies for the many many posts today - I'm playing catch up from the last week or two.




via Bathelen on Instagram

China Glaze Frostbite nail art (disaster!)

Ladies and (possibly) Gentlemen! I am proud to announce that last week I had my very first outing into my local Sallys! I've gone from not even knowning such a magical place existed to constantly stalking the place for new goodies. I must admit, after I got over the initial "wow, I'm in beauty heaven" I was not so blown away by the prices, as I'm sure is a normal complaint in my neck of the woods. China Glaze polishes were limited in choice and still cost nearly £7 (around $10.60) and OPI is around £11!! ($16.60) so my purse was not happy. Luckily they had a 3 for 2 offer in China Glaze so I walked away with two staple colours (Liquid Leather and White on White) and two treats (Frostbite and Flirty Femininity). I also treated myself to the mini set of four from OPI's new(ish) Euro Centrale collection which I was so pleased with and it was only £10 and the colours are stunning (I'm sure I'll share them another time)

Anyway, this post is to share my love for Frostbite. I had previously read in many blogs raving reviews from girls saying how this was the best blue ever so I decided to try it and I was so please with it! It is stunning and so bright and eye catching, it is a lovely bright colour and still easy to wear for girls who tend to shy away from bright colours AND those of us who don't =P

It was so easy to apply, and easy to apply neatly at that (I'm a messy painter) and I required a lot less clean up than I usually do - these photos were pre-cleanup! It has a slightly frosted finish, but it's really glossy, even without a top coat. I wore it by itself all day! 

And then I ruined it ... 




I was going out that night and decided that I would wear a top that I thought would match the blue of Frostbite perfectly! Then I decided to add some design to my nails to match the top. Bad idea. 
Disaster number 1: I just wanted something simple so I used Maybelline Forever Strong in gold and some French manicure templates to so some tips and half moons. However, my template stickers were pretty old and when I took them off they left sticky papery lumps on my nails!! So I rashly decided to try and even it out free hand ... big mistake. Gold everywhere.
Disaster number 2: I had been looking at the newish trend of old fashioned roses and floral designs on nails earlier in the day and tried to replicate it on my ring finger. It looked like blobs with black dots. I wish I had taken a photo now but I was devastated and in a hurry by this point so I removed it and re-frostbited my nails.
Disaster number 3: After the roses incident I thought simple stripes would be the answer and thought I would try my unused Models Own gold nail art pen and striping brush. As it was new, it kept flooding the brush halfway through a stripe, so I would either have to go over it to even it out, or try to mop up the excess.

So all in all a bad idea. Worse, I had run out of time so had to leave the house with them as they were! I must admit, I still think they matched the top - but they were so rubbish I tried to hide them all night, which doesn't work when all your friends know you love nail art so stare at your fingers every time you go out.



New Stash Storage

So I recently realised that although the little make up bags I was using to store my polish were dead cute,  using four of them and needing a fifth was just not practical anymore so I set out to find a new way of storing.  I thought about a Helmers which a lot of you gals seem to use but decided that I'm not at that stage just yet!!

So I ambled into WH Smith and found this cute desk tidy which suited my needs perfectly.





I use the top three smaller drawers for top coats, glitters and effects polish, and nail art supplies like stickers and striping tape. The two middle drawers I use for most of my polish and the big bottom one for polish remover,  cotton buds and paint brushes.  My China glaze collection still lives in one of my gorgeous fossil make up bags.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Shimmery Leopard Print Nails featuring OPI James Bond collection

This is a trend I have long wanted to try but never got around to,  but I am so glad I finally tried it! Leopard print nails are so hit and miss in my opinion and I was worried that I would choose the wrong colours or something!
As it is these were so simple to do and I was so pleased with how they turned out



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