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Friday, 9 December 2016

Alter Ego - Reformulated Shades - Swatches and Review

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! Today I have a swatch and review post for you with a couple of reformulated colours from Alter Ego Body Care Products. 

Cynthia has revamped her brand with a new formula (new base). I have previously reviewed her brand and I have to say that the new base is really nice and the formulas are much improved.

First up is my favourite of the two I was sent to review. Violet Grower is a bright pink jelly packed with purple shimmer and flakes. This is definitely a unique polish in my collection. I used 2 coats of Violet Grower and a coat of She Shines topcoat also by Alter Ego. I love a good pink polish and this one is unique in my collection!

Alter Ego - Violet Grower

Salmon Smoker is a shimmery coral with a touch of shimmer. The formula is good to work with although more on the sheer side. I used 3 coats here. Slightly brushstroke-y but not too much and the shimmer shows up nicely on the nail. I finished with a coat of topcoat. 

Alter Ego - Salmon Smoker

These newly reformulated shades will soon be available to puchase. I don't own the original formula of Violet Grower but I do have the original of Salmon Smoker and I can definitely see the difference in the revamped formula and colour. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Alter Ego has generously shared a discount code for The Mani Café readers. You can enter the code The Mani Café to get 20% off your order!

Where to Buy:
Alter Ego Body Care Products

Alter Ego on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram

The products in this post were provided for my honest review.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

A England Advent Calendar - Calendrier de l'Avent A England

Hi everyone! Today I'm really happy to be participating in this year's A England 'Advent calendar'! This was a lot of fun last year and I was glad to see it was organised again this year! You might have already seen some posts on blogs and social media each day featuring a different A England polish. If not, you can check them out by searching the following hashtags: #calendrieraventAEfans #AEnglandadventcalendar

Each participant's polish to feature was drawn at random according to which ones we own! The polish I am featuring is Polovetsian Dances, a stunning deep purple from the Russian Soul collection. The shade is described by the brand as a 'deep intense purple enhanced by the luscious prismatic hologram finish'. 

A England Polovetsian Dances

I was really pleased to be assigned this polish because it is one of my favourites as I mentioned here in my swatch post!

For this mani, I applied 2 coats of Polovetsian Dances and topcoat. I decided to do only an accent nail with nail art so as to let the polish be the star. For the design, I was inspired by this IG video by Mejika9i_nails which is like Christmas ornaments. I used round silver glitters then white acrylic paint and a fine detail brush to create the design. I then used some gel topcoat on top of the glitters to create the 3D ornaments.  

I love the effect and I'll definitely be doing more designs like this! What do you think of it? Be sure to check out the other Advent calendar participations by searching the hashtags #calendrieraventAEFans #AEnglandadventcalendar #AEFans2016

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

A England on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Indie Spotlight: Paint Box Polish - Mama Lion

Hi everyone! It's already the beginning of December and that means its time for this month's Indie Spotlight! If you missed it last month, Indie Spotlight is where a group of bloggers get together and highlight a different indie brand each month! You can see my post from last month here. 

This month, the Indie Spotlight is on Paint Box Polish. I absolutely had to join in this month as Pam's brand is one of my favourites! If you're a regular reader, you might already know that. Her polishes are wonderful and I love the inspiration behind them, especially the Harry Potter themed ones! 

Paint Box Polish - Mama Lion

For today's post I decided to pull out one of my first ever Paint Box Polishes. This stunning shimmery brown is called Mama Lion and it is inspired by Molly Weasley from Harry Potter! I love Pam's description: Molly Weasley is a great source of comfort through the series, but ask Bellatrix Lestrange how fierce she can be. Molly is always draped in browns, golds, and oranges. Those colors translated beautifully in this shimmery brown polish.

I love a good brown polish and this one is really lovely. So perfect for autumn. I used 2 coats and topcoat. For the accent nail I used the Color Club/Art Club liner in You're Golden to freehand the Deathly Hallows symbol. I didn't actually use the liner brush in the polish but a fine detail brush instead. I thought why not add a little more Harry Potter to the mani! As always, I finished with a coat of topcoat. 

Paint Box Polish - Mama Lion

What do you think of this mani? Do you have any polishes from Paint Box Polish? If you don't, I'd highly recommend checking them out! Pam also makes my favourite cuticle oils in loads of different scents as well as gorgeous mani fizzes! Her Intense Butter Balm is one of my go-to items for winter as well! 

Where to Buy:
Paint Box Polish
(Enter the code THEMANICAFE for 15% off your order!)

Paint Box Polish on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Pink Chrome - Girly Bits Mirror Chrome Effect Powder

Hi everyone! Today I finally have some chrome nails to show you! I've been having so much fun using the Girly Bits Mirror Chrome Effect Powder and hadn't got around to blogging any of my manis yet! 

Pink Chrome - Girly Bits Mirror Chrome Effect Powder over Le Mini Macaron Fraise (Strawberry Pink)

I'm not generally a huge gel polish fan so I was hesitant to get the supplies just to use the chrome powder but I caved when I found the little sets from Le Mini Macaron. They do simple gel polish with a small lamp for curing and it was the perfect solution for me. I like to change my nails too often to wear gel polish much but with this I can do chrome nails without investing in a regular size lamp that will take up space. I'm also looking forward to doing pedis with it because I don't like to do those really often (ha!). 

Pink Chrome - Girly Bits Mirror Chrome Effect Powder over Le Mini Macaron Fraise (Strawberry Pink)

So for this chrome mani, I decided to use a pink base to get a pink chrome effect with the silver chrome powder. I used 2 coats of Le Mini Macaron Fraise (Strawberry Pink), curing between coats. I then applied the Girly Bits Mirror Chrome Effect powder and finished with Le Mini Macaron 3X Shine Topcoat. 

Pink Chrome - Girly Bits Mirror Chrome Effect Powder over Le Mini Macaron Fraise (Strawberry Pink)

For these nails I used Dance Legend Peel Off basecoat (also purchased from Girly Bits) as I only wanted to wear them for a couple of days. Like this, I can avoid the annoying process of soaking off the gel polish! It works perfectly for me! 

Pink Chrome - Girly Bits Mirror Chrome Effect Powder over Le Mini Macaron Fraise (Strawberry Pink)

I really love how these turned out. I like that they feel edgy but girly at the same time. A friend of mine said they looked delicate and badass at the same time. I can definitely go with that! They were really fun to wear and simple to do. I'm a bit obsessed and want to try out all sorts of looks with these. I've also been loving wearing the powder on a black base for the normal silver chrome look. 

What do you think? Do you like the chrome nails trend? 

Where to Buy:
Girly Bits Cosmetics

Le Mini Macaron

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

Saturday, 26 November 2016

OPI Mermaid Tears & Indigo Mermaid Effect Pigment

Hi everyone! Today I have a simple but pretty mani to share with you using some mermaid effect pigment from Indigo which I absolutely love. 

When I was in London in the summer on the tube, I was sitting next to a girl who had some amazing sparkly nails and I just HAD to ask her what she was wearing. It was Indigo mermaid pigment over an aqua polish. I immediately ordered some when I was home and I'm not disappointed. I picked up a few of the colours. This is the 'regular' one which is just called 'Mermaid Effect/Efekt Syrenki'. 

OPI Mermaid Tears & Indigo Mermaid Effect Pigment

For this mani I started out with 2 coats of OPI Mermaid Tears, a dusty green polish appropriately named for this mermaid pigment mani. I then dabbed some pigment onto the polish while it was still slightly tacky and finished with topcoat. 


OPI Mermaid Tears & Indigo Mermaid Effect Pigment

This mani was incredibly hard to photograph and I feel like it looked cooler in real life but I hope you can get the idea enough from my photos. The effect is really pretty and definitely mermaid-like. I've tried this pigment over a few colours and it looks pretty over anything! 

What do you think of it? Have you tried any mermaid pigments? 

Where to Buy:
Indigo Nails (see country specific sites, I ordered from Indigo Nails France)
OPI - various retailers

OPI on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
Indigo on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Girly Bits Give Me One Good Raisin & Seashell Stamping

Hi everyone! Today I'm finally getting around to posting another mani I have been meaning to share for a while. I wore Give Me One Good Raisin almost immediately when it arrived in my Girly Bits order because I just couldn't wait to get it on my nails! 

Girly Bits Give Me One Good Raisin

Give Me One Good Raisin is described as a 'deep bruised plum holographic polish, with a strong gold and copper flash' and it is just beautiful. If you're a regular reader you might know that purple is my favourite colour and when I saw this I just knew I had to have it. It isn't your typical purple holo.

Girly Bits - Give Me One Good Raisin

The formula was really good and I used 2 coats. I then used Barry M Silver Foil and Moyou Sailor 05 plate for the stamping. I love this design, it's so pretty and delicate. I finished off with a coat of topcoat as usual.

Where to Buy:
Girly Bits Cosmetics

MoYou

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

Saturday, 5 November 2016

A England Tennyson's Romance Collection - Swatches & Review

Press Sample/Review 

Hi everyone! Today I'm so excited to share my swatches of the new collection from A England called Tennyson's Romance! I was recently lucky enough to visit Adina at A England HQ and see a sneak peek of the new collection and even help out with selection! So needless to say, I'm so excited to have these in my collection now. 

The inspiration for this collection comes from the poem by Tennyson called The Beggar Maid about a King who fell in love at first sight with a beggar maid and married her. The colours are inspired by the painting by Burne-Jones named King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid. The common theme in both works is universal love and equality with humbleness in front of love and beauty! I find it fascinating to see where Adina gets her inspiration from and you can tell that she is really passionate about her products and process of creating them

 

So here goes! For each colour, you'll find the beautiful description from the brand in italics and then my thoughts on each. 

Angel Grace: soft, delicate periwinkle hologram suffused with lilac blush 

A gorgeous velvety purple holographic. 2 coats, no topcoat. Excellent formula as I expect from A England. I love the soft velvety diffused holo effect. 

A England - Angel Grace

A England - Angel Grace

A England - Angel Grace

The Beggar Maid: complex hologram in medium warm grey with metallic sheen

A surprise favourite in this collection for me. I knew I would like this shade but not this much! The metallic sheen with the holo is gorgeous. 2 coats, no topcoat. 

A England - The Beggar Maid

A England - The Beggar Maid

A England - The Beggar Maid

King Cophetua: a holographic blackened green delicately shimmering like a forest in the starlight

This is a really unique shade, almost black but with a green tinge. Again I like the soft velvet texture and shimmer. 2 coats, no topcoat. 

A England - King Cophetua

A England - King Cophetua

A England - King Cophetua
 
In Robe and Crown: dark lavish red garnet resplendent in its prismatic hologram light

The colour I was most excited about after seeing it when I visited Adina. A deep and vampy wine with glowing soft holo. Just my kind of polish. 2 coats, no topcoat. 

A England - In Robe and Crown

A England - In Robe and Crown

A England - In Robe and Crown

A England - In Robe and Crown

Shall Be My Queen: dazzling imperial red brimming with holographic particles 

I was honoured to have some input on this shade when visiting A England HQ and I'm glad to say I find it as beautiful now as I did then. This is a gorgeous glowing red which pulls a bit pink on me and I love it. Exactly the kind of colour I can wear on it's own when I need a simple mani I know I will love. 2 coats, no topcoat. 

A England - Shall Be My Queen

A England - Shall Be My Queen

A England - Shall Be My Queen

As usual, this is a stunning collection from A England which completely fits the inspiration behind it. My favourites are definitely The Beggar Maid, In Robe and Crown and Shall Be My Queen. I didn't have any issues with formula and most of these were almost one coaters, like many A England polishes. Are you picking up any of the colours from this collection? 

A England - Tennyson's Romance

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

A England on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
 
The products in this post were provided for my honest review