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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

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

Hi everyone! Today I'm really happy to be participating in an A England 'Advent calendar'! You might have already seen some posts each day featuring a different A England polish. If not, you can check them out by searching the following hashtags on social media: #calendrieraventAEfans #AEnglandadventcalendar

Each participant's polish to feature was drawn at random. The polish I am featuring is The Virgin Queen, a stunning pewter from the Elizabeth & Mary collection. The shade is described by the brand as a 'Pewter prismatic hue with pink undertones and a complex grey/olive/copper cast, soft but visible scattered holographic effect'. 

A England Virgin Queen & Lancelot

I was happy to have been assigned this polish because I think it is perfect for the season. It is metallic, holographic and matches just about anything. I decided to create a festive but understated manicure and really let The Virgin Queen shine. 

A England Virgin Queen & Lancelot

I started out with 2 coats of The Virgin Queen. The formula, as we can expect from A England, is perfection. I then used Lancelot (a deep red, almost black when worn alone) and The Virgin Queen to create a gradient on two nails. Lancelot is really pretty over the lighter base and shows more red than when worn alone. I then used The Virgin Queen again to stamp snowflakes from the MoYou Festive 02 plate over the darker part of the nail and sealed everything with topcoat. 

A England Virgin Queen & Lancelot

I love the effect of the stamping which fades into the gradient. What do you think of it? 
#calendrieraventAEfans #AEnglandadventcalendar

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

MoYou

A England on Social Media:
Facebook 
Instagram
Twitter

MoYou on Social Media 
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Friday, 18 December 2015

Girly Bits Eggnogoholic & Freehand Holly

Hi everyone! Today I have some festive nails to share with you! I haven't gotten around to doing many Christmas manis yet but I'm hoping to get a few squeezed in before next week. But I did get around to wearing Girly Bits Eggnogoholic which, in my opinion, is a Christmas essential. It can easily be worn all year around but it is so pretty for the festive period and a nice refreshing change from the traditional red and green.

Girly Bits Cosmetics - Eggnogoholic & Freehand Holly

Pam, the genius behind Girly Bits, describes Eggnogoholic as 'a soft winter white with just the right amount of gold glitter'. The texture is the perfect mix between squishy and creamy. It's a great crelly which is super delicate and pretty. I used 3 thin coats and the formula was great.  

For my nail art to go with Eggnogoholic I decided to keep it quite simple and not cover the delicate base colour too much. So I decided to do some freehand holly as a nice contrast. I used red, green and white acrylic paints, a fine detail brush and a dotting tool to paint the holly next to my cuticles. I did two sprigs on each thumbnail but forgot to take photos of those to show you, duh! Sorry about that. 

Girly Bits Cosmetics - Eggnogoholic & Freehand Holly

I finished everything off with a coat of topcoat and enjoyed wearing this mani. I meant to matte it later on because I think it would also look great like that but unfortunately chipped a couple of nails before I got around to it (chipped due to my own fault banging my hand on something, not because of the polish!). But yeah, nevermind. Next time maybe! 

What do you think of Eggnogoholic? I honestly would recommend it as one of my top winter/festive polishes. It is such a classic. 

Where to Buy:
Girly Bits Cosmetics

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

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Colors by Llarowe - Love Actually

Hi everyone! Today I have a gorgeous red from Colors by Llarowe to show you. This stunner is Love Actually.

Love Actually has the same gorgeous velvety holo texture as The Mighty Red Baron, one of my all-time favourite red polishes. I absolutely love this finish and Leah Ann does it so well. Love Actually positively glows but is obviously much vampier.  

Colors By Llarowe - Love Actually

I used 2 coats of Love Actually and finished with a coat of topcoat. The colour and formula were perfection and I ended up wearing this mani for days and days without getting bored of it. It's a great basic for your collection but is also something special and unique because of the texture. The maker has warned that staining is possible with this shade. I used my normal basecoat and experienced some staining but it was easily fixed! 


Colors By Llarowe - Love Actually

I really love this colour and I know I will wear it a lot. I can't get enough of red nail polishes at the moment! I have always liked them but recently I seem to want to wear red more than anything else! 

What do you think of this polish? 

Where to Buy:
Llarowe 
International Stockist list

Llarowe/Colors by Llarowe on Social Media:
Facebook 
Instagram
Twitter

Friday, 11 December 2015

Negative Space and Dots with Essie Butler Please & Penny Talk

Hi everyone! Today I have a simple but fun nail art to show you. 

I recently found myself wanting to wear an old favourite of mine, Essie's Butler Please which is a gorgeous bright blue creme and decided to do some fun negative space nail art with it. I like negative space designs with bright colours because it makes a great contrast. 

Negative Space & Dots - Essie Butler Please and Penny Talk

To start out my mani, I used my normal base coat then taped off the bottom part of my nail next to the cuticle. I then applied a generous coat of Butler Please and pulled away the tape. Butler Please has a great formula and worked well here in one coat with the tape. I almost decided to leave my mani as it was because I liked the effect of just the blue and the bare nail. But I decided to add a little bit of embellishment with Essie Penny Talk, a copper foil from the Mirror Metallics collection they did a few years ago. Theses are some of the best foils I have ever tried and they are so versatile (and stamp well of course). I love the copper colour so much and I always find new colours I want to pair it with. 

Negative Space & Dots - Essie Butler Please and Penny Talk

I used my dotting tools to add three dots of Penny Talk on each nail, then a dot of Butler Please on top of each metallic dot. I finished everything off with a coat of topcoat.

I think I will definitely be doing some more negative space manis soon. I really like them but don't often think to do them! 

Where to Buy:
Various retailers

Essie on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram 

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Candy Floss Gradient - M.A.C Just Jewels, Lime Crime Once In A Blue Mousse & Parfait Day

Hi everyone! Today I have a super girly and pretty mani to share with you today! I have had these two Lime Crime polishes sitting out on my desk for a while waiting to do this gradient and I finally got around to it. I knew they would be the perfect base for the gorgeous M.A.C topper... 

So I started out my mani with one coat of Sinful Colors Snow Me White, a basic white creme. I then used a triangular makeup sponge to do my gradient using Lime Crime Once In A Blue Mousse (pastel neon blue) and Parfait Day (pastel neon pink), both from the Les Desserts d'Antoinette collection. The two colours look so pretty together and remind me of candy floss. The combination of the two now also makes me think of the Pantone colours of the year which were just recently announced. These shades are brighter but I'm sure you see what I mean... 

Candy Floss Gradient - M.A.C. Just Jewels, Lime Crime Once In A Blue Mousse & Parfait Day

I then used one coat of the stunning Just Jewels by M.A.C from the Heirloom Mix collection for Holiday 2014. I'm not sure if this is intended to be worn alone or as a topper but I think it probably works both ways. It has a clear base, LOTS of pink and blue shimmer and sparse pink and blue glitter. I had been wanting to wear this over a pink and blue gradient and I absolutely love the effect. It's like having princess nails! I can't wait to try this polish over other colours and I can see myself wearing it a lot. It has been a long time since I found a glitter polish I love this much! I finished my mani with a coat of topcoat. I originally planned on stamping over this but didn't have time right away then enjoyed the mani as it was. 


Candy Floss Gradient - M.A.C. Just Jewels, Lime Crime Once In A Blue Mousse & Parfait Day
Candy Floss Gradient - M.A.C. Just Jewels, Lime Crime Once In A Blue Mousse & Parfait Day

What do you think of it? 

Where to Buy: 
Lime Crime
M.A.C

Lime Crime on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

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

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Turn it Around

Hi everyone! I'm sure you have all heard the news by now that Rescue Beauty Lounge is no more. All the talk around Ji closing up shop inspired me to pull out some of my RBL polishes to wear again. I don't have loads of this brand but the ones I have I do really like.

Turn It Around is probably one of the most unique polishes in my collection. It is a gorgeous moss green absolutely full of copper shimmer. The formula was okay on this one. It could have applied a little smoother but it wasn't unmanageable. I used 2 coats of Turn It Around and a coat of topcoat. 

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Turn It Around

Wear time was a couple of days for me, as usual with Rescue Beauty Lounge. I think it is just my chemistry because I know they last longer on some people. I just experience a lot of tip wear very quickly with them. But like I said, I love the shades I have and they're worth it but that is why I don't have more of the brand. I couldn't often justify the price knowing how they wear on me. 

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Turn It Around

That being said, I do absolutely love the strong shimmer in this and it had me staring at my nails. I love a good moss green/khaki polish and this one is really something special. I wish Ji had created more strong shimmer polishes before closing! 

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Turn It Around

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Turn It Around

Sorry to blog something which is no longer easily available to purchase. If you feel that you need this shade, I'd recommend checking out the polish sale and swap groups on Facebook. 

Rescue Beauty Lounge on Social Media:
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Instagram
Twitter

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Colors by Llarowe - Cornucopia (Polish of the Month November)

Hi everyone! Today I have the Polish of the Month for November from Colors by Llarowe to show you.

Colors by Llarowe - Cornucopia (PotM November)

From seeing the first swatches of this polish, I completely fell in love with it and just HAD to have it. Let me tell you, it didn't disappoint! 

Colors by Llarowe - Cornucopia (PotM November)

Cornucopia was described as a 'reddened burgundy intense linear holo with intense sparkle shimmer'. The shimmer is really intense and gorgeous! I used two coats of Cornucopia. The formula and application were great. I finished with one coat of topcoat. 

Colors by Llarowe - Cornucopia (PotM November)

I didn't even get around to doing any nail art on this because it was just so pretty on it's own! 

What do you think of it? Have you picked up any of the monthly polishes? 

As Cornucopia is a Polish of the Month, it is no longer available to purchase but do keep an eye out for the upcoming monthly polishes

Where to Buy:
Llarowe 
International Stockist list

Llarowe/Colors by Llarowe on Social Media:
Facebook 
Instagram
Twitter

Friday, 20 November 2015

A England Whispering Waves & Crown of Thistles Stamping

Hi everyone! Today I have a new A England polish to show you. Whispering Waves is one of two new additions to the Heavenly Quotes collection (along with Sparks Divine). 


A England Whispering Waves

Whispering Waves is a gorgeous holographic turquoise with a strong pink/purple flash. I love this type of colour on me and the pink/purple touch to it is just so pretty. I used 2 coats plus topcoat. I apologise in advance for the picture heavy post but this polish is just so gorgeous and I had a hard time narrowing down my photos!

A England Whispering Waves

A England Whispering Waves

The formula was perhaps a little thicker than some of my other A England polishes but it was almost a one-coater for me and still lovely to apply. 

A England Whispering Waves
 
A England Whispering Waves

A England Whispering Waves - Sunlight

I decided to add some subtle stamping using another A England polish, Crown of Thistles. This colour goes so well with Whispering Waves. I used a flower design from the Moyou Pro 06 plate. Crown of Thistles stamps so perfectly. The stamping turned out even more subtle than I had imagined but I liked the result anyway and enjoyed this as my full mani for a few days!

A England Whispering Waves stamped with Crown of Thistles
 
A England Whispering Waves stamped with Crown of Thistles

A England Whispering Waves stamped with Crown of Thistles - Sunlight

What do you think of this mani? Have you picked up either of the new Heavenly Quotes polishes? Where to Buy:
A England (UK shipping only) 
Various retailers (see list here) 
I purchased from the Pshiiit Boutique

MoYou

A England on Social Media:
Facebook 
Instagram
Twitter

MoYou on Social Media 
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Girly Bits Cosmetics - Defying Gravity (Collaboration with Phyrra)

Hi everyone! Today I have a simple swatch post for you but with some meaning behind it. Recently my friend Kim from The Ides of Polish asked if some of us would like to get together and do purple manis for a relative of her's named Angie, who has epilepsy and struggles with daily seizures. This month is epilepsy awareness month so it is a great time to do these manis for her. #purpleforangie


Girly Bits Cosmetics - Defying Gravity



So this is my purple mani for Angie. I chose to wear Defying Gravity by Girly Bits Cosmetics. This shade was created in collaboration with Phyrra and Pam describes it as a 'gorgeous bright purple, loaded with turquoise shimmer and a sprinkling of holographic sparkle'.
 
Girly Bits Cosmetics - Defying Gravity

It really is stunning. I used 2 coats of Defying Gravity and one coat of topcoat to finish. The shimmer is so amazing in this. It is probably one of the strongest shimmers I have ever seen and I absolutely love it. The formula and application were perfection. 


Girly Bits Cosmetics - Defying Gravity

So that's it! What do you think of this polish? Check out the hashtag #purpleforangie to see the other purple manis for this lovely little girl!

Where to Buy:
Girly Bits Cosmetics

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

Friday, 6 November 2015

Little Old Lady at 12 'o' Clock! - Paint Box Polish The Knight Bus

 Press Sample/Review 

Hi everyone! Today I have a bit of nail art for you. The new Paint Box Polish Knight Bus collection (see swatches here) inspired me to do some Knight Bus nail art!

I started out this mani with 2 coats of The Knight Bus then used black and white acrylic paints and a fine detail brush for the design. I like the black and white against the vivid purple, like silhouettes at night time. My favourite part of this scene is when the little old lady is crossing the road, forcing the Knight Bus to stop very quickly. I love the countdown until they can speed away again! So I decided to paint the Knight Bus and the little old lady at 12 'o' clock! 

Paint Boc Polish - The Knight Bus

I like how this design turned out, it's not too bad for a quick freehand one. I mostly like the colour combo though. What do you think of it?

The Knight Bus Collection will be released at noon EST on November 7th. Pam has generously made a discount code for me to share with you! Enter the code THEMANICAFE for 15% off your order

I also wanted to remind you again about the new fan group on Facebook called Paint Box Mani Mafia (which I co-admin). We’d love to have you join if you haven’t already! 

Where to Buy:
Paint Box Polish Big Cartel Store 

Paint Box Polish on Social Media:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter


Products in this post were provided for my honest review.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Paint Box Polish - The Knight Bus Collection - Swatches & Review

 Press Sample/Review
Hi everyone! Today I have a new collection from Paint Box Polish to show you! This is The Knight Bus collection inspired by the Knight Bus scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! Like Pam, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan so I was super excited about this collection! 

For each polish, I've included Pam's description in italic text then my comments after. Please see the end of the post for release info and a discount code!

Paint Box Polish - The Knight Bus Collection

The Knight Bus 
A buttery, blue-leaning purple that is a nod to the emergency transport vehicle itself! Creamy formula is opaque in 2 coats.

Paint Box Polish - The Knight Bus
Paint Box Polish - The Knight Bus
Paint Box Polish - The Knight Bus

This is a gorgeous, extremely smooth and buttery purple. Purple is my absolute favourite colour and know already that this is going to be a favourite in my stash! Flawless formula and application. It's a tricky colour to photograph so I've included a few photos for you to get a good idea of what it looks like. I used 2 coats plus topcoat but it's really shiny on it's own.

What ‘Choo Fell Over For? 
Did you see the beautiful, dark, glistening asphalt that Harry planted his buns on when the Knight Bus appears out of nowhere? My goal was to recreate that in this polish. A dark grey creme base that is packed with white, blue, and purple flecks. Slightly sheer on the first coat, it builds nicely in 2 or 3.

Paint Box Polish - What 'Choo Fell Over For?
Paint Box Polish - What 'Choo Fell Over For?
Paint Box Polish - What 'Choo Fell Over For?

This is a really original polish in my collection. I love the blue and purple flecks against the grey base. A lovely 'neutral' with a bit more to it. I used 2 coats and topcoat. Formula and application were also great. 

Won’t The Muggles See Us? 
This film is saturated with varying shades of blue and grey. This polish is a nod to that. The palest blue is peppered with grey and violet flakies and highlighted with white and blue flecks. Opaque in 2 coats.

Paint Box Polish - Won't The Muggles See Us?
Paint Box Polish - Won't The Muggles See Us?
Paint Box Polish - Won't The Muggles See Us?

This is a lovely pastel creamy polish. I love light coloured polishes with flecks and flakies! formula is a little thicker than the others but that is to be expected with such a light colour. The application was just as easy though. My first coat was a little patchy but everything evened out with the second. I loved this one so much that when I finished swatching, I put it back on as my full mani!

The Leaky Cauldron  
One of the few places in this film with a warm feel is The Leaky Cauldron. It’s polish is a dusty, warm, dirty orange with linear holo and fiery, copper flecks. Kinda like the tavern itself. (But we took some liberties with the rainbow holo thing). This squishy polish is opaque in 2-3 coats.

Paint Box Polish - The Leaky Cauldron
Paint Box Polish - The Leaky Cauldron
Paint Box Polish - The Leaky Cauldron
Paint Box Polish - The Leaky Cauldron (shade)

A really unique dusty orange that feels very autumnal. A nice change from the vivid orange polishes that make me think of halloween more than anything else. This one feels wearable and perfect for the season. I love the squishy texture which is pretty unusual with holo polishes! Formula and application, like the others, were good. I used two coats plus topcoat. Again, I've included photos in different light for you to get a better idea of the colour. 

Pumpkin Juice Cuticle Oil
A blend of organic apricot kernel, sweet almond, jojoba, and vitamin E oils. It absorbs quickly and provides exactly the right moisture to strengthen nails, prevent peeling, and add needed flexibility. The scent is a pumpkin-based combination that also refreshing and fruity! 
You may already know that I'm a big fan of Pam's cuticle oils (and mani fizzies too). The Pumpkin Juice scent is so fun and is the perfect addition to a Harry Potter collection! Genius! This scent is exactly what I imagine the pumpkin juices of the Hogwarts Express smell like! This cuticle oil is very moisturising and absorbs well. The scent isn't too heavy or too light and lasts on your skin for a while. I love it. This was my first time trying the brush pen applicator and I have to say, I'm a fan. It is very practical for application because it allows you to get exactly the right amount of product right where you want it and its good for carrying with me in my handbag. 


The Knight Bus Collection will be released at noon EST on November 7th. Pam has generously made a discount code for me to share with you! Enter the code THEMANICAFE for 15% off your order! (it never expires!)

I also wanted to mention the new fan group on Facebook called Paint Box Mani Mafia. We’d love to have you join if you haven’t already! We share info there first, and there may be see giveaways and group customs in our future! 

Where to Buy:
Paint Box Polish Big Cartel Store 

Paint Box Polish on Social Media:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter


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

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween - Jack Skellington

Hi everyone! Today I have a short and sweet post for you with some Halloween nail art. 

This manicure is pretty much a classic among Halloween designs (I'm not sure who to credit for doing it first but its been redone many times by many people). I really love it though and fancied something fun. I love a good black and white design. 

Halloween - Jack Skellington

For this design I started out with 2 coats of Sinful Colors Snow me White on all my nails except my ring finger where I used 2 coats of Black on Black, also by Sinful Colors. I'm a fan of Sinful Colors cremes for nail art. The ones I have have a good formula and coverage. 

I then used a fine detail brush and black and white acrylic paints to freehand stripes on the white nails and Jack Skellington on my black accent nail. I finished everything off with a coat of topcoat. 

Halloween - Jack Skellington

I like how this mani turned out, despite generally not being a huge fan of Halloween manis for myself. I think The Nightmare Before Christmas always works, especially with the black and white colour scheme. 

What do you think of this mani? What are you wearing on your nails today? 

Happy Halloween!