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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Black French & Roses

Hi everyone! Today I have something a little bit different for you. As my nails were finally a bit longer, I really wanted to wear a french mani. I decided on a black french to make it a bit funky with some handpainted roses. I was loosely inspired by my new Dr Martens! 



I started out with a coat of Essie BBF Best Boyfriend on all my nails to even out the colour a little then freehanded the french tips using A England Camelot. I then used acrylic paints and a fine detail brush to paint the roses and finished with some tiny dots of Essie Good as Gold for a metallic accent then topcoat as always. 



I really loved how these turned out. It has been ages since I wore a french mani but I still love them just as much as ever, especially as a base for nail art. What do you think of this mani? 

Where to Buy: A England (UK shipping only) and various retailers (see list here)
Essie - Various retailers

A England on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
Essie on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter

Saturday, 18 November 2017

OPI Pastel Gradient & MAC Just Jewels

Hi everyone! I have some nails from the vault of forgotten photos to share with you today. I wore this a long time ago and never got around to posting it but it seems too pretty not to share. 

OPI Gradient & MAC Just Jewels

I used 3 pastel OPI shades which I'm actually forgetting the names of for sure. I know for sure I used Mod About You (pale pink) and I think the lilac and blue are You're Such A BudaPest and What's With The Cattitude? 

In any case, I started with a base of Mod About You and used a triangular makeup sponge to create the gradient. I topped with a coat of MAC Just Jewels, which you might have seen me post before. I love this polish, so super shimmery! I feel like these fit with the current unicorn trend/obsession between the pastel gradient with the shimmer and glitter of the topper. I topped with normal topcoat to finish. 

OPI Gradient & MAC Just Jewels

What do you think of this? This MAC polish just makes me so happy every time I wear it! 

Where to Buy:
OPI - Various retailers
M.A.C (though unfortunately this was an LE, I think there are some similar polishes though from time to time)

OPI on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter

M.A.C on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram -  Twitter

Alter Ego - Mystery Shopper

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! Today I have an exclusive from Alter Ego for the Indie Brand Collective

I wasn't familiar with this sale concept so I will do my best to explain all the useful info for you! 

Alter Ego participates in this collective which sees makers get together to offer one identical sales code to be used across their stores. The idea is that one sales code is easy to remember and buyers can shop around from the participating shops with just that one code. Although this event has taken place before, this is the first time the organisers have made exclusive products for it.

The Alter Ego exclusive is Mystery Shopper. Cynthia describes it as 'a green micro glitter (green like money) with purple shard glitter (representing the various industries judged by the mystery shopper)'. 

Alter Ego - Mystery Shopper

I used one coat of Mystery Shopper over a black creme and finished with topcoat. The formula was great and there is plenty of glitter in just one coat. I like the green and purple combination and I don't have many polishes with shard glitter but it's kind of cool! I forget how fun a glitter polish can be and how they were so popular just a few years back. This is a nice reminder and I think it would be nice paired with other base colours too. 

Alter Ego - Mystery Shopper

Sorry I wasn't able to get any sunlight shots of this one for you, Winter is fast approaching here which means it's dark most of the time and the weather is not co-operating. I'm hoping to rework my indoor setup to get some better artificially lighted photos for you soon. 

Mystery Shopper will be available along with more exclusives from the other indie brands participating in the sale from November 24th to November 27th (Black Friday to Cyber Monday). The discount code IBCFRIDAY will get you 20% off. 

Alter Ego's regular prices are $4.50 for minis and $9 for full size.

Alter Ego:
Store
Facebook 
Instagram


Indie Brand Collective:
Facebook page
Facebook group

The products in this post were provided for my honest review

Friday, 17 November 2017

Alter Ego - Not A Mother Day (Polish Pick Up December 2017)

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! I have the November Polish Pick Up Exclusive from Alter Ego for you today! 

Alter Ego - Not A Mother Day

This month's Polish Pick Up theme is 'Holidays Around The World'. Once again, Cynthia chose something a little outside the box. She originally was going to do a Mother's Day inspired polish but was prompted to do something a little different! Here is what she had to say about her inspiration : 

'The holiday Alter Ego chose really is not a holiday but I am making it one! A member mentioned in the holiday inspo thread that those who cannot be mothers should have a day and another agreed, as I do too. Such a shame that women who truly want children but by whatever life hands them cannot have any children and as much as some would say, “why not adopt”, that is a costly and years long effort most cannot afford. So I went searching for some kind of recognition. After many pages later, all I found was a support group for those are childless-by-circumstance, whatever those circumstances are. Although I never had children, I am old now & thought it may be deemed inappropriate for me to join so all I have is this link. The home page says it is US wide and offers support groups in several cities. “Not A Mother Day” will be the colors of this group’s logo. Please do not burn me at the stake for trying to give comfort, solace and recognition to those who need it.'

This is inspiration photo for the polish. Here is a group for those who are childless by circumstance. This is the group that Cynthia found and she used their logo as the color inspiration for her polish.




Not A Mother Day is a shimmery white full of black and red microglitter. I used 2 coats and finished with topcoat. The finish looks a little textured because of the microglitter but is actually quite smooth with topcoat. I used a thin topcoat but you could also use something thicker like Seche Vite to be sure. 

Alter Ego - Not A Mother Day

Not A Mother Day will be available from December 1st at 11am EST until December 4th at 11:59pm EST along with polishes from other brands with the 'Holidays Around The World' theme!

Polish Pickup:
Store
Facebook

Alter Ego:
Store
Facebook 
Instagram

The products in this post were provided for my honest review

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

STELLA CHROMA - Into The Woods Collection - Swatches & Review

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! Today I have a new collection from STELLA CHROMA to show you! This is a beautiful autumn/winter collection with something for everyone I think! See end of post for purchase info and a discount code! 

The Into The Woods collection is a collaboration between Pam and her husband inspired by animals they see in the woods at their home in Indiana. Pam was was shocked when Mr STELLA CHROMA  told her that several of the animals they enjoy watching were once endangered there. This is what inspired this collection! Years ago, deer, turkeys, foxes, and eagles were endangered in Indiana. Through the end of the year, a portion of sales for these polishes will be donated to the Indiana Wildlife Federation! I've never been to Indiana (or much of the USA for that matter) but this collection feels like a little visit there from here in France. 

So let's get to the swatches! 

   
Sight For Soar Eyes 'a deep chocolate brown with a prominent orange shimmer just like the body of the bald eagle. It's highlighted by gold and white flakies as a nod to the standout head and beak of this majestic bird.'

STELLA CHROMA - Sight For Soar Eyes

STELLA CHROMA - Sight For Soar Eyes
STELLA CHROMA - Sight For Soar Eyes

This colour is just my cup of tea. I love a good brown polish and this one is so interesting with the shimmer and unique in my collection. The flakes are a lovely touch and catch the light. This is one of my favourites from this collection. I used 2 coats and topcoat.
 
Ugly Peacock 'a lighter brown based, mildly shifty polish that hits shades of green, gold, and orange depending on the lighting you're viewing it in. This polish was designed after the feathers of that "other" peacock... the turkey!'
 
STELLA CHROMA - Ugly Peacock

STELLA CHROMA - Ugly Peacock

STELLA CHROMA - Ugly Peacock

This is a stunning green with a nice subtle shift. I've actually had Chanel Alchimie on my wishlist forever but never pulled the trigger. I'm glad I didn't as this is similar but better in my opinion. Again like Sight for Soar eyes it seems to catch the light with a hint of sparkle. Beautiful. Formula was lovely as well. I used 2 coats and topcoat.
 
Whiskey Tango Fox... 'a deep red/orange polish with a healthy helping of holo flakies to help it shine!'

STELLA CHROMA - Whiskey Tango Fox

STELLA CHROMA - Whiskey Tango Fox
 
STELLA CHROMA - Whiskey Tango Fox

I have to say, I love the name of this one haha! This is a juicy orange packed with holo flakies and I absolutely love it, despite orange not being my favourite. This is the perfect fall or summer polish to me. STELLA CHROMA does this colour better than anyone I'm sure! I used 2 coats and topcoat. The formula was excellent.

Deer Abby 'a creamy white with a dusting of copper holo glitter. Modeled after the beautiful antlers seen on male deer in the summer and fall. (Fun fact! Deer shed their antlers - usually winter to late spring - and they regrow every year.)'

STELLA CHROMA - Deer Abby

STELLA CHROMA - Deer Abby

STELLA CHROMA - Deer Abby

This is the polish that stood out most to me when I opened the collection. I love a good white or cream polish and the combination of the white base and copper glitter is stunning. Neutral and simple but with a bit of sparkle. Plus I'm a sucker for copper so I love this. The formula is slightly thicker than the others but I think that's often just the nature of white polishes. I used 3 coats for full opacity. You could probably get away with two but as I was taking photos and have some slight ridges on some nails, I preferred to use 3 to be sure. I finished with topcoat of course. 

The Into The Woods collection will retail for $12 each and will be offered as a set for $44 through the end of November. It will launch November 17th at noon EST.
Don't forget, you can use code THEMANICAFE for 15% off your order at STELLA CHROMA! 

Where to Buy:
STELLA CHROMA (code THEMANICAFE for 15% off!)

STELLA CHROMA on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter


The products in this post were provided for my honest review 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Custom Girly Bits - Mimi Minnie

Hi everyone! Today I have a very special polish from my collection to share with you! This is a custom created by Girly Bits for my daughter's 2nd birthday. She loves Minnie Mouse and I made her a Minnie Mouse birthday cake so of course the choice for the custom's inspiration was easy! 


I knew I wanted to make a soft and girly cake going with the pale pink outfits Minnie wears rather than the red so I decided to stick to this for my polish too. 

Girly Bits Custom - Mimi Minnie

Mimi Minnie is a pale pink with red shimmer, white shimmer, and holo flakes that appear more white than holo. The overall effect is stunning. The red shimmer is hard to capture in photos but it catches the light and the white shimmer and flakes make it so soft and pretty. Pam captured exactly what I was hoping for in this polish and I really love it. 

Girly Bits Custom - Mimi Minnie

Girly Bits Custom - Mimi Minnie

What do you think of this? What polishes from your collection are special to you? I'd love to hear! 

As mentioned above, this is a custom polish and not available for purchase but do check out the  Girly Bits Cosmetics store. There is a huuuuge choice of polishes and I just love Pam's complex finishes and this brand is for sure one of my absolute all-time favourites! 

Girly Bits on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest - Google+

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Ted Baker Perfectly Polished Set - Watermarble

Hi everyone! Today you'll be glad to know that I have a non-stamping mani to show you! I've been meaning to blog this one for a while and here it is! 

Last Chrismas I got this Ted Baker Perfectly Polished set as a gift. The gift box contains 4 polishes, a metallic bronze shade, a pale pink creme, a greige/taupe creme and a sheer peach/nude. Unfortunately, the polishes don't have names which sort of irritates me but nevermind. The packaging is really pretty and the bottles are nice with the removable plastic top cap (like Chanel or Dior). 


I decided to use 3 of the 4 shades (all except the sheer peach, which isn't quite my cup of tea) for a watermarble! 

Ted Baker - Perfectly Polished Watermarble

The polishes spread on the water really well and I had no trouble with them at all. I used a base of the light pink before the marble and finished with topcoat afterwards. I liked this colour combo, very soft and feminine and the mix of the cremes with the metallic.

Ted Baker - Perfectly Polished Watermarble

Overall, I'd recommend these polishes. It was my first time trying Ted Baker polishes but I had wondered before what they were like in terms of quality. I think if you want to grab a gift set for someone, or yourself, they're worth trying. 

Where to Buy:
Ted Baker (though I don't think this set is available anymore as it was a Christmas item, perhaps they will re-release?)

Ted Baker on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter