Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Nails Inc Lily and Justice Walk - Amber Nail Jewellery

I did have a manicure planned for today but somehow I wasn't in the mood for it so I decided to go for the Amber Nail Jewellery instead.
I considered Black Taxi as my base but went for Lily in the end, thinking its just a touch warmer to combine with the Amber.
I LOVE Lily, it's beautiful on its own and a wonderful base for so many other glitters and other special effects. I did two coats although it was pretty good after one and had I known how much coverage the Justice Walk would give, one would have been sufficient, and look how shiny Lily is !
Justice Walk was a lot denser than I expected, thinking it would be more along the lines of Burlington/Diamond Arcade, so I actually ended up with more on the nail than I really wanted, but you can't go back once you've started! When I use it again, I'll try to wipe more off the brush.
I like the colour of the amber glitter, but there are large gold hexagons in there that I wasn't so keen on, I tried to avoid them and actually picked a few off before it dried. I think I'll like this more if I can get less glitter on the nail.
Anyway, here are a few shots of the finished mani, indoors, and out in my daughters black & yellow mitts and my own multi-coloured ones.

QVC Beauty Bash January 2013

I was lucky enough to be invited to the QVC Beauty Bash, as a last minute thing when a friend was unfortunately unable to attend. I could fill a whole page with how excited I was, don't worry, I won't, but I was excited!!! and eternally grateful to the friend who very kindly invited me along!
There were lots of stands there although I have to say I focussed my attention on the brands I already knew, and I was a complete tourist asking to have photo's with Lee & SJ from Bare Minerals, Lisa & Julie from OPI, Nina from Leighton Denny, Zoe also now with the LD team but originally a friend through a facebook page.
We had our nails painted on the LD stand, Drama Queen seemed very popular, and hand massage on the SBC stand, where I met the lovely Adele who presents on QVC.
So a couple of pics of Drama Queen:
It's a lovely colour isn't it and a struggle to decide which gloves went best!!! It's a very Cadbury's purple!

Unfortunately this chipped on the ring finger the next day and obviously I couldn't touch it up since I don't own this colour, so when Nails Inc Henley Feathers arrived courtesy of a lovely lady on the Nail Sale page, I just had to have a try.
I've never done a ring finger manicure before, wasn't quite sure but decided to give it a go, they are only nails after all!! These top coats dry very quickly and I think I need to get a bit more practice in at rearranging the glitters so its not perfect and I've seen much nicer swatches over paler colours but I think it worked quite well. The bar glitters are mostly silver, with black and copper but the black is not that evident here.
This look did grow on me, I might try it again one day.

Just for fun : Leighton Denny Brick Road

It was Australia week in one of the facebook groups and I wracked my brain unsuccessfully for what to post, and then I had a cheeky flash of inspiration. I know it's the wrong "Aus", but I decided to post Leighton Denny's Brick Road. I don't actually know if my Brick Road is the old one or the new one that came out in the Friends of Dorothy collection. Since I don't like yellow, I wasn't that fussed either way and I only have the yellow in my collection because it was up for swap and my daughter wanted to try it.
So here it is, painted on nicely in 2 coats but it didn't really photograph too well, its actually more yellow than it looks here. I did give it the benefit of the doubt and took as much care as I could to do it neatly but no, woolly fans, I do not have any yellow knitwear or gloves.
Then I had a little try of something I'd been thinking of for ages, the graffiti top coats add a new dimension to some colours that I would otherwise never wear, like white or pillar box red (never say never!), so still tongue in cheek, here is Brick Road, with Nails inc Brick Lane.
I like it better than just plain yellow, but it is still yellow!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Leighton Denny In the Buff

This was one of the first Leighton Denny varnishes I ever owned and I love it. Its a beautiful very slightly pinky nude, understated and sophisticated I think, perfect for when you want your nails to look great but not attract attention.
It painted on well and 2 coats gave good coverage.
I don't have any "nude" gloves so here it is with pale green, one shot inside with flash, and one out in the snow - far too cold to be "In the Buff"

Nails Inc Shoreditch Lane

Shoreditch Lane is one of the new special effects varnishes by Nails Inc. When I first heard about leather effect I thought, oh no, that won't be one for me, but then I saw a couple of swatches and thought actually I'm quite intrigued.
The first 2 colours to be launched were black & tan, but they came in sets with skull adornments and I think that might be step too far for me. The mulberry leather, Shoreditch Lane, was included in the latest TSV on QVC and because I think the general nail varnish world seems to be a bit divided on this one, there were actually a good few to be snapped up on the Facebook nail pages, so here it is.

The colour actually reminds me of Leighton Denny Crushed Grape although I think this is a bit darker, but it is a lovely shade and very me. I did 2 coats, although the effect was similar and coverage was good after one. You don't use a top coat, although I did have a little try to see what would happen, it lessened the leather effect, but did not completely smooth the surface. The finish is not matte, it has a lovely sheen to it and I actually liked the slightly rough texture. My husband hated it, my daughter loved it. I loved it too and it was wearing well on the 3rd day before I took it off.
I had a look around for something leather to compare it to. My red Hotter boots - pretty good match I think.
And finally one more pic because I loved it so much, think I will have to get the black one too.

Red Gloves

Well, this is my latest piece of knitting. I had some red wool left over from something I made for my daughter about 8 years ago. Not enough to make anything much and it has sat in my "small balls of wool" box for all that time.
Then along came A England Perceval, a stunning deep red and there I was with painted nails and no gloves to match, so off I went of Ravelry to find something suitable that I could make with my red wool.
I am extremely pleased with the results, I haven't made any gloves with such fine wool 3mm gauge needles, so it made a nice change. They took a while compared to my usual chunky knits but the cables have come up beautifully, and I think they go rather well with my nails. I knitted these on double pointed needles, which used to terrify me but now I love this way of knitting, not least because there is no sewing up at the end!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A England Perceval with Nails Inc Elystan Street

Well, I always said I wouldn't wear red and here we are, 2 weeks into January and I am blogging my 2nd red. When A England had a sale just before Christmas and I wanted Jane Eyre, something made me buy the duo of JE and this one, Perceval. It's a beautiful deep red with a shimmer. It painted on beautifully, one coat was almost enough but I did 2 as you always should, no brush strokes, the finish is perfect and I am so pleased that I went for this one!
Just after Christmas, a fellow nail fan put up a photo using Elystan Street graduated tips. I'd seen swatches before and thought how pretty it was but now I had to have it! So I searched all the facebook groups looking for one since its a QVC exclusive so it can't readily be bought. Luckily for me a chance comment on one of the swap pages resulted in a lovely lady selling me this one and Bedford Square, which I had also fallen in love with. In my mind I knew that I wanted to put Elystan Street with Perceval, I was sure that they would work together and when I came to do this manicure I was so nervous that it would be a disaster.
Well I have to say I was delighted, not only that Elystan Street was every bit as gorgeous as I thought it would be (they are not always!), but also that I managed to paint freehand tips on all 10 nails without making too many mistakes and I think the colours go brilliantly together. Elystan Street is a very fine red & sliver glitter, and the red is just right with Perceval.
As I was knitting the jumper in the previous blog, one of the things that spurred me on was the thought that the colours would work well with this planned manicure and I think they do.

And finally a lovely shot of the beautiful bottle that has sat looking at me for almost a week waiting to be used. I love it!

Something fluffy & cheerful to brighten up January

I love knitting, never just sit and watch TV, I have to be knitting too and can never pass up a bargain wool! A couple of years ago I ordered some wool, I can't actually remember what I ordered but it was out of stock so they sent something else and it sat there for 2 years while I tried to decide what to do with it. Then I discovered Ravelry, where I can type in any search criteria and find a pattern for pretty much anything!
This Sirdar Tuscany is stunning to look at but so complex that when you knit it up any fancy stitches and cables are lost. Its also got fine metal strands in so not really one to wear against your skin. I decided a simple jumper that I could wear over shirts and polonecks would be lovely in these colours so off I went to Ravelry search and found this pattern by Drops Design.
I enjoyed knitting this, it grew quite quickly but the metal strands were a bit rough on the fingers so I am glad I chose a pattern that I'd wear over something otherwise I don't think I'd ever wear it.
It goes in at the waist so its really flattering, I need to get a pic of me wearing it. Never realised photographing a jumper could be so challenging.
This is a close up of the finished knitting, as you can see its just a mass of pretty pinks, reds, green and orange and a bit of sparkle - you can't see the stitches at all.
It  looks really fluffy and apart from the metal strands it is really soft. If Felix was still around, he'd have loved it.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Nails Inc Sloane Gardens

When I first saw Sloane Gardens I knew I had to have it, then I ummed and aahed for quite some time, I did need, I didn't and then someone was selling it at such a good price I knew it was fate! I had to have it, blue is my most favourite colour for nails and I am recently addicted to sparkles so it was a must!!
I did do a couple of swatches to start, firstly to satisfy myself it wasn't a too similar to China Glaze Skyscraper, and secondly to see if I'd get full coverage.
Here we have 3 coats of Sloane Gardens and CG Skyscraper, and then 1 coat of each over 2 coats of Motcomb Street - CG is much more of a silver and blue combination - love them both!
Although I did get full coverage I opted for 1 coat of Motcomb Street (which I also love) and 2 coats of Sloane Gardens so that there would be no bare patches and I hoped it might be a bit easier to remove.
Sloane Gardens is a fine navy glitter, actually not as sparkly as I was expecting and in some lights looks quite matte but I love it and it reminds me of the look I got with 3 coats of North row. It is quite textured and with 1 coat of top coat I can feel the glitter particles, I quite like that but I may add a 2nd coat.
3 days later and I have added 2 more coats of top coat. It now feels a lot smoother but not sure it looks much different. As you can see, it still looks beautiful x

Neon Week ! Leighton Denny Maroon me Knot

Well it was still neon week and I remembered Leighton Denny Maroon me Knot so it was the perfect opportunity to try this one again. This proved to be a major challenge.
I had forgotten that you should really have a white/solid base under a neon so the coverage on this seemed rather streaky and of course it dries matte so its not until you put a top coat on that you can see the final effect. 2 coats was not good, and 3 wasn't really perfect. I used Chelsea Bridge UV top coat here.
As the finish wasn't great, and I could see the visible nail line I tried glitter tips but that didn't help so I went for full pink nail jewellery, Nails Inc Princes Arcade. It does look thicker at the tips as the glitter tips were still there and I didn't do the greatest job of blending them out but overall I was happy with this, Maroon me Knot is such a gorgeous shade and goes perfectly with the pink nail jewellery.
I wore it for 5 days and this is how it looked on the 5th day - barely any tip wear. I loved this and only took it off because other varnishes were calling to me :) It was not to bad to take off, using the nail soakers.

January Blues ? - Kleancolour Neon Sapphire

One of my facebook groups suggested Neon week. I couldn't think of any neons that I had so I decided to use one that strangely has Neon in its name. Kleancolor Neon Sapphire is blue but as far as I can see not Neon.
It's a lovely colour, but for me not really spectacular. It applied well but took forever to dry. It's pictured here with no top coat as I needed to try out a new flakey.
I managed to get hold of Nails Inc It Girl and had been looking forward to a chance to use it. I love the effect of flakies but I have to say this combo was pretty but didn't really wow me in the way others had. It was very difficult to photograph and in most lights wasn't really noticeable at all.
I think I'll need to try this again over different blues and maybe black to get a better contrast. I think maybe it was just the wrong blue but it did leave me feeling a little disappointed - definitely January blues :(

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years Day, St James, Ruby Glitter and Nubar White Polka Dots

New Years Day and not much planned: I kept looking at my nails and in natural light I could see the ruby in the Ruby glitter so I took a few pics to try and pick that up.
Natural light - I can see them but my camera can't :(
With flash...

Later, I decided that more was needed! So I added Nubar white polka dots. This was a challenge. The fine shimmery glitter came out fine, looking very pretty over the existing manicure but not a single polka dot! So I fished around and eventually managed to get one on each nail but that looked a bit forced, tried again and finally got a result I am quite pleased with. If I had been applying this over a dark colour on its own I think it would have taken me an age to get it looking good!
So the end result: Nubar White Polka dots, Barry M Ruby glitter and Nails Inc St James