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Monday, 30 May 2016

Alter Ego - Reformulated Shades and Shea Butter Cream - Swatches and Review

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! Today I have a swatch and review post for you featuring some colours from Alter Ego Body Care Products as well as a Shea Butter cream! 

Alter Ego - reformulated polishes and shea butter cream

Cynthia, the lady behind Alter Ego, has recently revamped her brand with a new formula (new base) as well as new bottles and logo! She has also branched out into hand and body care products including the Shea Butter cream I will be reviewing for you in this post. 

So let's get started with the polishes! First up is Secret Lover, a gorgeous sparkle-filled orange-toned red jelly. I used 2 coats and a coat of She Shines topcoat also by Alter Ego. The formula was fantastic and the polish applied really easily. I love the squishy finish! 

Alter Ego - Secret Lover

Next up is Vintner, a predominantly purple glitter topper in a clear base. I can also see green and blue glitters in here. It is a lovely mix of colours and sizes. I used 1 coat of Vintner over OPI Planks a Lot with a coat of She Shines topcoat. I'm afraid I lost the sun mid-swatching and it didn't come back out so sorry about that!

Alter Ego - Vintner
Alter Ego - Vintner

Finally, this is Jewelry Box Ballerina. This is a pale pink glass fleck polish. I wasn't too sure of this shade in the bottle as I thought it might be too frosty for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by the dense glass flecks which sparkle and the opacity! I used 2 coats and a coat of She Shines topcoat. I think this is pretty alone but it might also look good layered. This polish is a mini size but at 8.5ml I think it is a good size! I'm not usually a fan of minis but I liked this one! It doesn't feel like a classic mini and the brush and bottle are really just the same as the big ones but sized down a little. No change to quality and just as great to use.

Alter Ego - Jewelry Box Ballerina

And now for the Shea Butter cream! The cream comes in a good sized pot with a convenient spatula for application which I like because I hate sticking my nails into cream! I chose to review the patchouli-scented one but other scents and unscented are also available. I love the scent and it is not overpowering at all. The cream is quite dense when you scoop it out but melts quickly onto the skin and is very moisturising. Cynthia did let me know that because of the nature of Shea Butter, it can sometimes feel grainy but my cream is completely smooth. I have had more textured shea butter products in the past though and this doesn't bother me anyway.
I'd recommend this if you are a fan of essential oils or are looking for a good moisturiser! It can be used on the face or body but I have been using it on my hands and feet! 



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.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Colors by Llarowe - Courage, Brains, Heart

Hi everyone! Today I have a stunner of a polish to share with you that I don't think needs much introduction. 

Colors by Llarowe - Courage, Brains, Heart

This is Courage, Brains, Heart from CbL, a gorgeous magenta/hot pink linear holo that just glows with a purple flash! I used two coats and a coat of topcoat and ended up wearing my mani without nail art because it was just so pretty alone! The formula and application were both great and I'm so glad I have this stunning polish in my collection! 

Colors by Llarowe - Courage, Brains, Heart

Unfortunately this was a box exclusive polish for the April 2014 A Box Indied from Llarowe. I'm sorry to blog something that is no longer available but it was too pretty not to. Do check out some of the other CbL shades though because this is the type of colour that Leah Ann does really well and there are some other similar shades which are still available! 

Colors by Llarowe - Courage, Brains, Heart

Where to Buy:
Llarowe 
International Stockist list

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

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

L'Occitane en Provence inspired OPI Dotticure

Hi everyone! Today I have a fun nail art inspired by some gift set packaging from L'Occitane en Provence.

I love the classic L'Occitane hand cream and some of their other products like their hand scrubs. They're so moisturising and the scents are great. 

OPI Dotticure inspired by L'Occitane en Provence

The gift set that inspired my nail art is from their Christmas range but I like that it's not in your typical Christmas colours! Good for doing nail art in May! 

OPI Dotticure inspired by L'Occitane en Provence

So to recreate this design, I started out with 2 coats of OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby from the Gwen Stefani collection. This is a sparkling gold which dries to a satin finish. I actually prefer it shiny though because the sparkles show way more and I think it is more flattering on me like that. I find myself coming back to this colour a lot for nail art. 

OPI Dotticure inspired by L'Occitane en Provence

I then used more OPI polishes and 2 dotting tools to create the dotted gradient from the cuticles towards the tips. The colours I used are Big Apple Red, Planks A Lot, My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Pink Flamenco, Miami Beet, Honk If You Love OPI and Flamingo Tini Pink. I then finished off with a coat of topcoat as always. 

OPI Dotticure inspired by L'Occitane en Provence

I absolutely loved wearing this mani and was sad to take it off! I loved the colour combination! What do you think of it? 

Where to Buy:
Various retailers 

OPI on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 5 - Glow in the Dark Tinkerbell

Hi everyone! Today is the last day of Digit-al Dozen Whimsy week and I have loved seeing all of these fun, cute manis! I'll admit the theme didn't thrill me at first but I have actually really enjoyed coming up with my designs for this week! 

Today I actually have my mam to thank for this idea. I asked her for help for my last mani and she thought of fairies and Tinkerbell so I went with it! 

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 5 - Glow in the Dark Tinkerbell with Serum No. 5 Day Glow

I started out my mani with 3 coats of Serum No. 5 Day Glow, a pale yellow which glows in the dark! The formula is quite thin hence the 3 coats but nothing I wouldn't expect with a pale yellow anyway! It builds up just fine. The glow in the dark effect on this is so strong. You don't even have to be in total darkness for it to start glowing! I love it.  

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 5 - Glow in the Dark Tinkerbell with Serum No. 5 Day Glow


The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 5 - Glow in the Dark Tinkerbell with Serum No. 5 Day Glow

I then used black acrylic paint and a fine detail brush to freehand a Tinkerbell silhouette and then used a small dotting tool to add the 'pixie dust' from her wand across my other nails. As always, I finished with a coat of topcoat. 

What do you think of this design? Hope you've enjoyed this month's theme and check out the manis from the other ladies as well! 

Where to Buy:
Serum No. 5 

Serum No. 5 on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest



The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy

An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, 12 May 2016

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 4 - Whimsy Wunderland

Hi everyone! Today I have a fun, bright design for you! When thinking of ideas for this 'whimsy' week, I had this design from a baby wrap pop into my head. Since having my baby just over a year ago, I've gotten in to babywearing and woven wraps. This design is inspired by a woven wrap by Kokadi, called Erna im Wunderland

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 4 - Kokadi Erna im Wunderland inspired design

Kokadi Erna im Wunderland woven wrap - Image by Kokadi

This design with a swirly tree with hearts and cute little deer is definitely whimsical. Unfortunately, I don't own this wrap, but I definitely would love to! I love the bright colours and adorable design. 

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 4 - Kokadi Erna im Wunderland inspired design

To recreate it on my nails I started out with 2 coats of Pipe Dream Polish Celebration, a bright blue with shimmer from the Street Carnival Collection. I then used a fine detail brush and white acrylic paint to freehand the design in order for it to pop over the blue base when adding colour afterwards. I then used a small dotting tool to colour the design with Pipe Dream Polis Masquerader, a neon pink also from the SCC collection. I finished everything with a coat of topcoat as always. I'm sorry for my super dry cuticles in these pics! :(

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 4 - Kokadi Erna im Wunderland inspired design

What do you think of this design? I loved getting inspiration from a wrap and can definitely see myself doing more wrap-inspired designs! So fun! 

Where to Buy: 
Pipe Dream Polish

Pipe Dream Polish on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest


  

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 3 - Holographic Unicorn

Hi everyone! It is Day 3 of Whimsy Week with The Digit-al Dozen and I could not let this week go by without doing some unicorn nail art! 

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 3 - Color Club Halo Hues & Unicorn Stamping

I started out my mani with a holographic base. Holographic and unicorns just go together right?! I applied 2 thin coats of Color Club Harp On It, a silver holo. I then used other colours from the Color Club Halo Hues collections and sponged them randomly onto the silver base. The colours I used are Over The Moon (blue), Kismet (gold yellow), Eternal Beauty (purple) and Miss Bliss (pink). 

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 3 - Color Club Halo Hues & Unicorn Stamping

I then used Konad black stamping polish and my Girly Bits clear stamper to stamp the unicorn image from the Nailz Craze NC02 plate on my ring fingernails. I love love love my clear stamper for designs like this. It makes placement so easy! No more wonky unicorns for me! I then used the swirly image from the same plate for the rest of the nails. I feel it matches the unicorns perfectly and it is probably my most used design from the plates I own. As always, I finished everything with a coat of topcoat.  

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 3 - Color Club Halo Hues & Unicorn Stamping

I think this one fits the Whimsy theme really well! What do you think?

Where to Buy:
Color Club & Various retailers
Nailz Craze

Color Club on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest 

 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 2 - Dandelion Clock Pond Mani with Chanel Sunrise Trip

Hi everyone! It's Day 2 of Digit-al Dozen Whimsy week and today I've done a pond mani! 

My husband recently gave me Chanel Sunrise Trip as a gift and I couldn't wait to try it out! This beauty is a 'nail gloss' as Chanel calls it from their LA Sunrise collection for Spring. It is a rich purple jelly with a very shiny finish. I like that Chanel are branching out a little and doing finishes like this and it is unique in my Chanel polishes for sure! 

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 2 - Chanel Sunrise Trip Dandelion Pond Mani

I felt compelled to try it out for a pond mani. Dandelion clocks are a very whimsy design to me so that's what I chose to stamp. I started off with a thin coat of Sunrise Trip. Unfortunately, unlike most Chanels I have tried, the formula wasn't amazing on this one. It was a little bit thick and hard to apply smoothly. My brush seems a little wonky too but that's another issue. I didn't have too much trouble but I may have to eventually add some thinner to this one to make it a bit easier to use. At least the colour is great! 

After the first coat of Sunrise Trip, I added some stamping using the Nailz Craze NC01 plate and Barry M Foil Effects polish in Silver (319). I then added another coat of Sunrise Trip then stamped again. 

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 2 - Chanel Sunrise Trip Dandelion Pond Mani

I finished everything off with a coat of topcoat as usual. However, adding topcoat made the purple tint my top layer of stamping so instead of being bright silver, it went more purple, like another pond mani layer. It is a little more discreet than intended but I really liked the result and decided to leave it that way. But at least I know now for next time I wear Sunrise Trip! 

What do you think of this mani? Did you pick up this polish? If so, I'd love to hear what you thought of it! 

Where to Buy:
Chanel & Barry M - Various retailers
Nailz Craze

Chanel on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Barry M on Social Media: 
Facebook
Instagram 
Twitter


Monday, 9 May 2016

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 1 - Revlon Whimsical & Swirly Stamping

Hi everyone! Today's post kicks off another Digit-al Dozen week! This month, our theme is Whimsy! 

For Day 1 I've gone for a 'cheaty' take on the theme and used Revlon Whimsical! Hey, if it has the name, it works right? I think it does! I remember when this polish was crazy popular and everyone wanted it, myself included! It is a dupe for Deborah Lippman's Glitter in the Air. I was so excited to get it from the US in my early days of swapping through Facebook groups! I loved it back then and I still do now. It is a really pretty and delicate polish with a light blue jelly base and pink and blue hex glitters. 

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 1 - Revlon Whimsical & China Glaze Admire

I started out my mani with 2 thin coats of Kiko 345 because I wanted a more opaque look than Whimsical provides on its own for this mani. I then applied a coat of Whimsical, and dabbed to get a few more glitters here and there. 

The Digit-al Dozen does Whimsy - Day 1 - Revlon Whimsical & China Glaze Admire

I then used China Glaze Admire, a pink metallic, to stamp with a swirly design from the Moyou Enchanted 16 plate. I finished everything with topcoat as always. And that's it! My first 'whimsy' mani for this week. I hope you like it and will also check out the manis from the other Digit-al Dozen ladies! 

Where to Buy:  
Various retailers

Revlon on Social Media:

MoYou on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter 

China Glaze on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

 

Friday, 6 May 2016

Zoya Desiree & Color Club Cosmic Fate Wavy Stamping

Hi everyone! Today I have a stamped mani to show you that I absolutely loved wearing! This was actually a combination I did recently on my mam's nails, her colour and stamp choices! I loved it so much on her nails that I wanted to wear it too! 

I started out with 2 coats of Zoya Desiree. You might have noticed that I am obsessed with this polish right now. It is the perfect chocolate brown creme with a fantastic formula. I find it so classy and it matches anything! 

Zoya Desiree & Color Club Cosmic Fate

I then used the wavy lines image from the Moyou Sailor 07 plate and Color Club Cosmic Fate for the stamping. The Color Club Halo Hues stamp so perfectly and I love how this design looks in holo! As usual I finished everything off with a coat of topcoat. 

Zoya Desiree & Color Club Cosmic Fate

I also wanted to mention the other product I have been loving for months but never think to talk about here on the blog...Girly Bits Border Control latex barrier. I used to use liquid artist's gum for stamping or gradients etc but since trying this, I won't ever use anything else. The drying time is fast and there is no disgusting smell! I need a huge refill bottle of this for sure! If you're looking for a latex barrier product, then I'd highly recommend this one! 

Girly Bits Border Control - Latex Barrier

Where to Buy:
Zoya
Color Club
MoYou 
Girly Bits Cosmetics

Zoya on Social Media:  
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter


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