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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Lacquer Legion - Garden - Gardens of Versailles

Hi everyone! It's Lacquer Legion time again today and this month's theme is 'Garden' (#LLgarden). 


I decided to steer myself away from a floral mani, even though it was difficult because I love doing them. 

I was inspired to create this textured manicure inspired by the gardens of Versailles with its perfect hedges and rows of trees! I find this type of garden really stunning. As I live in France, a famous French garden seemed like a good choice for inspiration! 
 
The Lacquer Legion - Garden - Gardens of Versailles - Elevation Polish Cerro Torre 2 & Julie G Mistletoe

To create this manicure I started off by painting my nails with two coats of Cerro Torre 2 from Elevation Polish. I am obsessed with this polish right now (see more manis with it here and here). It's a perfect nude creme with a fantastic formula. I then used Butter London's Matte Finish topcoat. 

The Lacquer Legion - Garden - Gardens of Versailles - Elevation Polish Cerro Torre 2 & Julie G Mistletoe

I used a fine detail brush and some acrylic paint to sketch myself a guide, placing the main shapes of the design I wanted to recreate. I then used Julie G Mistletoe from the Frosted Gumdrops Holiday 2013 collection to fill in the hedge parts of the garden. This is a super sparkly bright green textured polish, and I wanted to imitate the texture of the hedges against the smooth sandy ground. 

The Lacquer Legion - Garden - Gardens of Versailles - Elevation Polish Cerro Torre 2 & Julie G Mistletoe

I'm happy with how this mani turned out and glad I decided to step away from what I would normally have done. I love the end result. What do you think of it? 

Be sure to check out all of the other #LLgarden manis with the hashtag on social media!
You can follow me on Instagram (@themanicafe) here.

Elevation polishes can be purchased from the Elevation Polish store and Llarowe.    
Julie G polishes are available at various retailers and the Jesse's Girl Cosmetics site

Friday, 23 May 2014

A England Hurt No Living Thing

Hi everyone! Today I have a beautiful recent release from A England to show you today. 

Easily one of my favourite brands ever, A England comes up with unique, versatile shades which have an amazing formula. I'm sure there is not one A England polish which isn't a pleasure to apply. 

Hurt No Living Thing is no exception. Adina describes this polish as a 'delicate muted shade fluctuating between dove grey and dusty pink to suggest to be gentle and kind to all creatures'

Hurt No Living Thing is a sheer shade which can be worn as a topper over another colour or alone. The soft grey sheer base is packed full of pink shimmer. I chose to wear it over a gradient of two other A Englands, Guinevere and Galahad. 

A England - Hurt No Living Thing over a gradient of Guinevere and Galahad

I started out with 2 coats of Guinevere then gradiented with both shades using a sponge. I then applied one coat of Hurt No Living Thing. As you can see, the shimmer payoff for one coat is amazing! I finished things off with a coat of topcoat. 

I love how delicate this manicure turned out. The shimmer looks beautiful over both shades and I'm looking forward to trying more colour combinations with it. 


A England - Hurt No Living Thing over a gradient of Guinevere and Galahad

Thank you to Adina for another fantastic polish. 

A-England polishes can be purchased from the A-England website for those of you in the UK and various other retailers (see the complete list here).

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Superficially Colorful Lacquer - Fascinated

Hi everyone! I've got another stunning thermal polish from Superficially Colorful Lacquer to show you today.

This beauty is Fascinated and is another one of my favourites from Jin's thermal collection. Fascinated is a royal blue when warm and a rich purple when cold and like the others, is also packed with shimmer visible in both shades! 

Superficially Colorful Lacquer - Fascinated

Formula and application were excellent, as I have mentioned many times before. The colour change works very efficiently with your body temperature and surroundings. 

Superficially Colorful Lacquer - Fascinated - Cold

Superficially Colorful Lacquer - Fascinated - Warm

I used two coats of Fascinated then one coat of topcoat. Thermal polishes tend to dry to a satin matte finish which is also pretty but because of the shimmer, I prefer these with topcoat to make them pop! 

Superficially Colorful Lacquer - Fascinated

Superficially Colorful polishes are available for purchase from the Superficially Colorful site. You can like Superficially Colorful Lacquer on Facebook to keep up with releases, restocks and other info!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Alter Ego Nail Enamel - New Releases for Summer 2014

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! Today I have swatches of the new collection from Alter Ego Nail Enamel to show you.

This is a lovely varied collection for summer drawn from a variety of inspirations. You can find useful links at the end of the post. Alter Egos dry to a satin-matte finish. I swatched some of these with and without topcoat. The topcoat I used is She Shines! also from Alter Ego (See notes on this at the end of the post). So here goes...

Perfect Panache is one of my favourites from this collection. This is a bright magenta-pink squishy jelly base full of blue iridescent glitter. This is one I definitely prefer with topcoat which reveals the blue. I used two coats and the formula was really good. 


Alter Ego Nail Enamel - Perfect Panache - With Topcoat

Well Read is a beautiful red jelly with a hint of holographic pigment.

Alter Ego Nail Enamel - Well Read - With Topcoat

I used 2 coats of Well Read. The formula and application are nice but this one does have a very strong smell (think monomer/acrylics). Other than that, this is a other of my faves from this collection. 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Elevation Polish Pa'ako & Plumeria with One-Stroke Flowers

Hi everyone! Today I have a cheery spring manicure for you! 

This is a wonderful combination of two Elevation Polishes, both from the January Heights of Hawaii collection, and some freehand nail art. Pa'ako is a beautiful peach-leaning pink creme perfect for summer. I started out my mani with two coats on each nail. Application and formula were like all Elevation Polish cremes, perfection sums it up. 

Elevation Polish Pa'ako & Plumeria with One-Stroke Flowers

Plumeria is a the happiest, cheeriest glitter topper I have ever seen. Composed entirely of circle glitter in a variety of colours, it adds fun to any base colour! I think this is what Lulu had in mind when creating such a beauty judging from her description of it : 'Hooray! Circle glitters a plenty. Complex blend of matte circle glitters in a slight shimmering base (blue shimmer)'. 

I used one coat of Plumeria over three nails (index, middle and thumb). 


Elevation Polish Plumeria - Bottle Macro

On the remaining plain Pa'ako nails, I used acrylic paints to paint some one-stroke flowers loosely inspired by Plumeria flowers. I then outlined them using white acrylic paint and a fine detail brush before adding a few dots to finish things off. I added a coat of topcoat to seal everything. 

Elevation Polish Pa'ako & Plumeria with One-Stroke Flowers

I loved this manicure for the sunny weather we have been having (intermittently between rain but still!) What do you think of it?

Elevation polishes can be purchased from the Elevation Polish store and Llarowe.