Friday, 30 September 2011

Bulter and Wilson, Nails Inc and my current mani

Okay, so after the Collection 2000 launch, myself and Larry went off in search of a swift half, before bedtime.  As we wandered around, we came across some shop fronts that totally blew our minds. 

Check THESE out!

 We found these beauties at Butler and Wilson. These iPhone covers are not as expensive as you might think... Maybe if you're really good this year Santa might sort you out?

Nails Inc have also launched a Magnetic Polish range.

Apologies  for the poor quality shots; I had my face pressed up against the shop front window to get a snap of these bad boys. 

The display video in the window shows the nail technician painting the nails of a customer, taking the lid of the bottle (which has a magnet in it) and placing it near to the wet nail for a few seconds.  When the lid is removed, magnetic particles in the polish have been pulled into a pretty pattern. For those of you who haven't seen this before, it is definitely a sight to behold. Usually I don't rate Nails Inc polishes because I don't think the £10.50 - £11.00 price tag is always worth it. These bottles are £13 each! I don't know... would YOU buy these?

And now onto MY nails! This what I wore in the last post:

 Collection 2000's Fruit Salad with Nubar 2010 on the thumb, index and ring fingers. The stickers were a bit of a nightmare to get off the plastic backing sheet but I managed not to tear too many of them.

Hah. I tried to do an artsy shot like Anastacia but it wasn't quite the look I was going for. We don't have much in the way of plant life in our back garden!

Until next time!


Thursday, 29 September 2011

My jollies at Collection 2000's new line release party...pic heavy!

Hello friends, hope you are well.

This post will be diverting somewhat from the norm (nails). Why? Well, I was invited by the very lovely Lauren from Collection 2000 PR to attend an evening of cocktails and cosmetics last night.  In honour of the brand I thought I might buy one of their polishes for the first time.

Some of you may be familiar with Collection 2000, a cosmetics line available at...wait for it...Boots AND Superdrug.  If you know me in the flesh, you will be aware that I do not work in retail and my job is FAR removed from the world of beauty. In short, my opinions in this post are mine and no-one has asked me to do anything apart from attend and play with make-up. Larry, one of my everlasting girlfriends, came with me to peruse.

 The new face of Collection 2000's Autumn/Winter line is Diana Vickers, a young singer well known for her successes during X Factor 2008. The products used to style her (all of the below) will be available at Boots and Superdrug from 5th and 25th October respectively.

The soiree was located in Hush, a swanky restaurant fairly near to Claridges in the West End of London and upon arrival I was met with a flutes of champagne and browsing rights. Wanna see what I saw?

A 'Smokey Eyes' palette (£4.99) with 9 individual colours and instructions about how not to make yourself look like a panda, Metallic Cream Eyeshadows (£2.99) which have an applicator like a lip gloss and Luscious Lashes in Natural and Glam Volume (£2.99)

Glam Crystals Dazzling Gel Liner (£2.99)

Nail Smash - in only two colours (£2.99)  I tried this on someone whilst I was there (I didn't want to ruin my own mani!) and I have to say, the white cracked really well.  I can't help thinking that Collection 2000 left it preeetty late to bring out their version of crackle polish.  Other brands have a multitude of colours already...

Now these are cute and right up my alley, lol! Shimmy shake and Scarlet (£1.79 8ml). They are fast dry and I know this because the manicure I wore was the same brand in Fruit Punch.

 Illuminating Touch Concealer (£?), Super Size Fat Lashes (£2.99), Pump up the Volume (£4.99) and Sky Scraper Mascara (£?) These seem to be the tools to use for impact lashes. I only have the Pump up the Volume but I have high hopes for it...I'll review it and get back to you.

 Cream puff lip glosses. I had one of these already and it feels like you are putting a moisturiser on your lips. It does dry matte you may just want to put some other gloss over it if you don't like that effect. Like me. There is also the Lock n Hold lip gloss (which is supposed to last for up to 6 hours and I don't have a price for).
 Lasting Lipsticks at £3.49 I didn't get to look at any of these properly, because the room was low lit.

Lasting Perfection 16 hour wear powder. I don't know how much these are, but they come in fair, medium and um, dark. 
Unfortunately, the powder range is not something that a woman of darker skin tone would be able to wear. I'm a very light skinned black woman and these colours are no good for me.  In the corner there are some Colour Match Foundations (£5.99) which come in five shades...again none of which were appropriate for my skin tone.
There were other powders and polishes hanging around waiting to be played with but as the lighting was quite low, I didn't get an opportunity to get a good look.

My verdict on the new line? I liked what I saw. The nail polishes and eye products looked fantastic, along with the lashes. I'm also pretty eager to see if I can follow the instructions to create a smokey eye! I had a lovely evening and came away with some really nice products.  I also got to browse in Bond Street at 9pm (when I'm usually on my sofa zoning out) and see some stunning sights. Check back for my next blog post to find out more.

Disclaimer time!
I received these items for free and was NOT asked to review them or blog about them at all...although the pictures of Diana were on the cutest little USB stick which was in the goody bag stuffed full of cosmetics and product info...


Monday, 26 September 2011

Leopard gradient

Hey, hey!

Today I would like to introduce you to my first (and possibly last) animal print manicure.  I don't know what it is...I like looking at them on other people, but not so much on myself.

Inside picture:

I used three different polishes to do the gradient, a pink to make spots and then some black acrylic paint to outline them (click  for a gradient tutorial). As usual, Clever Clogs forgot to take bottle pictures, so if you really want to know what I used, let me know in the comments section.

 Don't know what this colour is because I gave it away shortly afterwards, when I realised I had a dupe for the gold AND the purple. I don't like to hoard duplicates. If I have two colours that are similar, it's either by accident or because I want a back-up bottle.

 That pink flower? That was one of my sculpted acrylic trials. I don't have any hot pink acrylic; it was white and I painted it with the same colour polish I used for the spots! This picture shows the gradient a little better.

Hope you like it! Have a great week.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Sculpted acrylic flowers: first attempt...pic heavy!

Hey everyone.

I've been trying my hand at making acrylic flowers for 3D nail art.  I know that it's possible to buy embellishments for your nails without having to do all the hard work yourself, but I wanted to try it out.  As this is my first attempt (and it's not perfection) I can't really call the rest of this post a tutorial...rather, it's a step-by-step of what I did.

I started with white acrylic powder and acrylic liquid that I bought on Ebay.
 I stuck a false nail onto a practice finger and wrapped it in cling film with the intentions of removing the flower once I had finished creating it.

 I don't have a glass dappen dish to put my acrylic liquid into (yet), so I used a lid from an old bottle of acetone I had.

 I soaked the brush in the liquid,wiped the excess off and drew it across the top of the powder to form a ball.

 I put the ball of acrylic onto the nail to start shaping it. It became quite liquified...I'm not sure that it was supposed to be so wet. Perhaps my liquid to powder ratio was a bit off.

 I pressed the tip of the brush into the acrylic.

Something that bares a slight resemblance to petals

Continue making petals in the same way...

 I tried to take flower off the clingfilm and it didn't want to budge. So I tried again with kitchen foil - much better. You can see the end result in the corner -------------------------------------^^

 This time I tried to angle the first set of petals. I then made smaller petals on top of those.

 I was able to slid the flower off the foil and can put it onto my own nail with a bit of clear polish.  Making the flowers on a fake nail will give it the curvature it needs for it to lay nicely against the nail.

Don't worry about the top two - I was messing around on this thumb nail. I actually sculpted the largest flower (or blob) straight onto my thumbnail.

In future, I will need to try to find a better liquid to powder ratio so that the acrylic is more pliable; mine was a little too wet. I think I will try to go for less layers on my flowers too. I may also try using different acrylic powder/liquids to see if that makes any difference.

Have you done this before? What have you come up with (provide your links so I can see!)
If you need details on the products I used, just send me an email/put your questions in the comments section.

Thanks for reading xx

Friday, 16 September 2011

Boots Bargains

Happy Friday friends! I've had a murderous week and now I'm taking five minutes (whilst the baby sleeps) to post  little something for the weekend.

If you read my blog regularly, you'll know that I only tend to shop for nail polish in three places; Boots, Superdrug or online.  As I am forever in Boots buying nappies and baby wipes, I've been using my Boots Advantage Card to collect, store and use points. You get 4 points for every £1 spent and one point is equivalent to one FREE penny. Now, a penny on its own is not very much at all, but if you buy nappies at the price of , say, £10 every week, that's 40p for the week and £1.60 for the month. I never come out of there without spending less than £15 in one visit on baby bits or items for the bathroom so for me, the points build quickly.  To top it off, as a member of the mother and baby club, I get extra points on baby products.  I usually wait until I'm a little cash strapped before redeeming my points on pretty things for myself.

Long story short, if you have a Boots near you, get yourself an advantage card. They really come in handy, especially at Christmas. Save your points and you can do haul posts like this spending little to no money!

The Rimmels were spend £6 and get a FREE eyeliner
Maybelline - Buy two, get one FREE
Revlon Facets of deal, bit it was too gorgeous to leave behind

Honestly, I can't remember the full total, but after using my points, I paid about £4 extra. Not bad eh?

Pretty, pretty polish (minus the tip wear). Thin black jelly with fuschia hexagon and micro glitters.

I'll be back with some art next post. Have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Practice makes perfect.

Hellooooooooo and kisses to my readers (seasoned and brand-new)

School is back in and the weather has started it's steady decline. I shudder when I see conkers on the ground, because it means that the leaves are soon to follow...and the rain will start.

Speaking of school, my 6-year-old started back at school on Wednesday and was a little concerned about the 'difficultness' of the new work she will have to do. The extra long words in her spelling tests, new sums, new kids, a new teacher; all of these things were making her nervous.  I told her that if there is something new that she doesn't get right straight away she shouldn't panic. She's a Leo though, so failure is NOT an option for her. Daddy and I tell her regularly that 'practice makes perfect' and now, this is her mantra. She yelled this at me the other day when she swung back and forth on the monkey bars that used to taunt her at our local park.

So what does this have to do with nails?

I don't know about you, but I usually start off my manicures by staring at my nails for ages and then adding bits until I come out with a good (or bad) result.  Quite often, the manicures are wrong 'uns so I don't post them! Surely if I actually PRACTICED the design first, it would reduce the likelihood of creating a doozie? I think so.

Here is what I've done so far.

L-R Bubble Hearts, Pearly Blouse and Polka Heart

L-R Okay, so the first one IS a doozie (lol) and the second is Coral Floral

I liked Coral Floral so I tried it again and came up with the below:

I think they look better than the original.

So, if you are like me and marvel at the gorgeous designs some other blogger's are producing, just remember that they make doozies too. Whilst some are born with an artistic flair, others (like moi) have to work towards one! Keep watching those tutorials and practicing your designs!!