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Thursday, 28 June 2018

STELLA CHROMA - Prickly Pear Duo (Let's Hug & Prickly Pear Sugar Scrub)

Hi everyone! Today I have a custom created by one of my best friends in the nail polish world, Jen from My Nail Polish Obsession, with STELLA CHROMA. 

Jen creates customs with various brands each year to celebrate her birthday/blogiversary and it is SO fun to see what she comes up with each time. I'm lucky enough to own a few of these customs! This April, she created a duo with Pam from STELLA CHROMA called the Prickly Pear Duo inspired by her trip to Sedona, Arizona and the beautiful cacti she saw! You know STELLA CHROMA is one of my absolute favourite brands so this was a no-brainer for me. I just HAD to have this. 


The duo consists of a polish and a small scented sugar scrub. Let's Hug is a green crelly with gold flakes, red shimmer and iridescent shimmer. I used 3 thin coats of this polish due to the crelly formula and pale colour for best coverage. I finished with topcoat. The formula was nice and the shimmers are really unique. I have nothing like this polish and it is so pretty for spring and summer. I already can't wait to wear it again. 


The Prickly Pear scrub has a light, fresh plant scent that is super refreshing. You know I'm a huge fan of Pam's scrubs and this is no exception. I kind of wish it was a permanent scent (*cough cough* hey Pam if you read this...*ahem). The scent lingers on the skin for a while without being overpowering. Perfection. I realised while writing this post that I forgot to take photos of the scrub, hope you don't mind too much!

I'm really sorry to be raving about an unavailable product but I can only encourage you to check out Pam's creations and follow her to keep up with other LE's such as PPU or group customs etc. This sold out super quickly and I only received it a while after, with international muling. 

You can use the code THEMANICAFE to get 15% off your order if you find something you love!

I also wanted to remind you again about the STELLA CHROMA fan group on Facebook called stella chromatics. We’d love to have you join if you haven’t already!

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

STELLA CHROMA on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Alter Ego - Champagne Taste Beer Budget - Group Custom

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! Today I have a super fun and unique polish to share with you from Alter Ego. 

Champagne Taste Beer Budget is a group custom for the Alter Ego Fan group on Facebook, so be sure to join if you want to pick this one up! It is a lime green packed with UP type shimmer! 


This polish is definitely a sheer polish but the shimmer pay off is amazing. I used 3 coats alone so you can really see how this one is without a base. However you could use a base, a lime green for example, underneath for full coverage or even experiment with it over other colours. The formula is great otherwise and I don't have many polishes with this much shimmer! 



Champagne Taste Beer Budget will be available from July 6th and will be available in 2 sizes and for Cynthia's regular prices 8.5ml for $4.75 and 17ml for $9.50. Don't forget code The Mani Cafe for 20% off!!

Where to Buy:
Alter Ego Body Care Products (20% off with code The Mani Cafe)

Alter Ego on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram


The products in this post were provided for my honest review

Monday, 18 June 2018

Vintage Nail Art with OPI & Girly Bits

Hi everyone! Have you ever seen a manicure on a blog or social media and just thought 'wow! I have to do my own version of that'? Well today's post is exactly that. I recently came across this manicure by Lou 'Urban Nail Art' (@urbannailart) on Instagram and loved the feel of it. So I created my own version. Here it is! 


I used slightly different colours for mine, leaning more towards purple and pink as you know these are my favourites. I started out with 2 coats of OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh? which is a beige creme. I forget how much I love this polish sometimes, but its the perfect beige that doesn't give me lobster hands and the formula is great.


I then stamped a design from the Moyou Pro XL 06 plate using Essie Good as Gold, a gold metallic. I then coloured the flowers in using OPI My Very First Knockwurst and a detail brush and restamped the image using Girly Bits Acornucopia. The image I chose isn't quite as good for this effect as the original by Urban Nail Art but I do like how it turned out. I then sponged a little bit of Acornucopia on some of the edges of my nails to add to the 'vintage' feel. I topped with topcoat as always!



Thank you Lou Urban Nail Art for the inspiration! Your manicure is gorgeous and I had fun doing my own version! 

What do you think of this nail art? 

Where to Buy:
OPI & Essie - various retailers
Girly Bits Cosmetics
MoYou

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

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Girly Bits Custom - Minnie Birthday

Hi everyone! Today I have a special polish to share with you! This is Minnie Birthday, created by Girly Bits for my daughter's 3rd birthday! If you're a long time reader of my blog you might know that I have created a custom with Pam each year since the birth of my daughter. I'll apologise ahead for blogging a polish that isn't available to buy but I hope you enjoy the post anyway! Here is our inspiration picture! 



Like last year, this polish was inspired by Minnie Mouse. My daughter is obsessed with her and requested a 'Minnie Birthday' this year so I threw her a Minnie Mouse themed party with a Minnie Mouse cake! Last year's custom and cake was more on the babyish, girly side with soft pinks and pastels. This year she's been all about red Minnie things so I went with a red theme.


Minnie Birthday is a vibrant cool-toned red full of tiny red and pink microflakes which are very shimmer-like. The flakes are metallic so they are reflective and sparkle like shimmer and the polish just glitters in the sun! You can really see the pink flash. I love it! I'm so grateful to Pam <3 



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+

Friday, 15 June 2018

ILNP Hi-Fi & Girly Bits Hit and Mist

Hi everyone! After a bunch of swatch posts, I'm back today with some nail art for you! This is actually a mani I wore a little while ago and didn't get around to posting here right away. 


Just before my birthday, I preordered the beautiful Hi-Fi by ILNP. This is a gorgeous metallic purple flake polish. I'm a sucker for this finish and didn't yet have a bright purple one so I just had to have this one. It is bright and so so shiny and sparkly. I wore it for my 30th birthday celebrations and then wore it again shortly after so that I could do some nail art over it! 


This is what I came up with. I used 2 coats of Hi-Fi and then used some striping tape and Girly Bits Hit and Mist to make the design. I love how simple yet striking it is and I love grey and purple together! The contrast of the creme against the metallic is fun too! Of course I finished with topcoat as always. 


What do you think of it? Do you like these metallic flake polishes too? 

Where to Buy: 
ILNP
Girly Bits Cosmetics

ILNP on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest - Youtube

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

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Alter Ego - Velocirapture Collection - Swatches & Review

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! Today I've got the upcoming Velocirapture collection from Alter Ego to show you. Someone in her fan group mentioned how cool a Jurassic Park inspired collection would be and Cynthia loved the idea and decided to make one! The colour scheme fits the inspiration really well I think. So without any more blah blah from me, here are my swatches!

Forever in Amber is an amber/golden yellow polish as you can guess from the name. This really does remind me of amber jewellery. An unusual colour but I like it! It is very Jurassic Park to me. I used 2 coats and topcoat. 



Clever Girl is a brown metallic. A nice chocolatey brown but original in my collection for sure with the shimmer/metallic. Again, another earthy polish well suited to the Jurassic Park inspiration. I used 2 coats and topcoat. 



Women Inherit the World is a peachy pink metallic. I used 2 coats and topcoat. This one dried a little more matte than the others or maybe it's the colour that made it seem that way. But I prefer it with a coat of glossy topcoat in any case. A nice colour and quite unexpected for me in the collection. A touch of girliness.



Hold Onto Your Butts is a rich metallic blue. I used 1 coat, yes only ONE and topcoat. I have to say, I love the name of this one, it made me smile for sure. The colour makes me think of denim. A good colour to have in your collection for sure and who doesn't love a good one-coater?!



Nice Boy is a sparkling lavender metallic. This one is my favourite of the collection. I'm so predictable I know, but I can't resist a pretty pink/purple and this one is beautiful! I used 2 coats and topcoat.



All 5 of these had a nice formula and are very opaque. I had no problems with application at all. I was particularly impressed with Hold Onto Your Butt. They all stamp well too! 


This collection is available now and you can get 20% off your order with code The Mani Cafe

Where to Buy:
Alter Ego Body Care Products (20% off with code The Mani Cafe)

Alter Ego on Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram


The products in this post were provided for my honest review

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Stella Chroma Summer Diversions Collection - Swatches & Review

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! Today I have the upcoming Summer Diversions collection from STELLA CHROMA to show you! This collection was inspired by some of Pam's favourite summer photos she found on IG while looking for inspiration on grey, rainy, sometimes snowy early March days. Here is a collage of her inspirations for this collection! 


Photo Credits (IG): Coral dress @julialongden, green leaves @cazza70, pink shoes
@epsadrilspain_, lemonade @krakowvodkatour, purple flowers
@emilycolwellflowers, watermelon stock photo

Summer Sandals - 'A vibrant, summer pink linear holo polish that is juicy and blingy at the same time'



I used 2 coats no topcoat. This is a gorgeous pink holo which I believe is actually unique in my collection. It's the perfect wearable shade of pink, not too pale yet definitely 'juicy' and exactly a go colour for me when I don't know what polish to wear.

Wild Blooms - 'A deep purple jelly polish with in-your-face green/yellow Aurora shimmer and grass green chrome flakies'






I used 2 coats and topcoat. This polish is EASILY my favourite of the collection. I mean, have you ever seen anything like it?! It's totally unique, a gorgeous colour and just magical with the flakes and shimmer. I was truly amazed by this colour and I KNOW I'm going to be wearing this a lot. It's jumped right into my favourite STELLA CHROMA polishes for sure and even into my all-time favourite polishes!

Garden Treasures - 'A creamy garden green that is highlighted by pink/blue shifting iridescent flakes'




I used 3 coats. It was opaque 2 but I preferred to add a thin third coat to be sure to cover a couple of ridges I have in my nails right now. No topcoat, this was beautifully shiny on it's own. I like the shade of this one, it kind of makes me think of a punchier version of milk glass. It is kind of delicate and soft but bright enough to look good on my pale skin without giving me lobster hands. Win win! The flakes add depth and iridescence.

Juicy Fruits - 'Juicy watermelon red polish with a heavy helping of red/green Aurora shimmer and some sparkling green flakies'



I used 2 coats, no topcoat. The shimmer is gorgeous and so prominent in this one! I love a good in your face shimmer and this didn't disappoint. I'm not normally a watermelon fan but this one makes me like it! So pretty and perfect for summer!

Lounging with Limoncello - 'Get your sunglasses ready! This neon yellow showstopper has a helping of shifting shimmer to set it even further apart'



I used 3 thin coats (again, for my annoying ridgy ring fingernail) and topcoat. What can I say about this one?! I don't think you'll find a brighter polish. The shimmer sets it apart from other yellow neons we have seen in the past and definitely makes it interesting. It screams summer and sunglasses!

Coral Couture - 'Inspired by a sheer summery coral floral dress, this coral jelly polish is packed to the gills with iridescent pastel flakes'



I used 3 thin coats to cover my visible nail line plus topcoat. You could more than likely get away with 2 coats on shorter nails or less visible tips depending on your application. I just prefer to get the finish I want for photos as well ;) The pink flakes in this are really beautiful and compliment the base colour well. This is another perfectly summery shade.

A quick note on formula, as all were similar. I found each formula to be great, easy to work with and no issues to report. Pretty much as I expect from STELLA CHROMA. The quality is fab. Pam did let me know that the flakies in Coral Couture and Garden Treasures have a smell to them (a bit like that sulfur-ish Blue polish smell if you're familiar with that). It was fairly strong in the mixing cups, and then much more faint in the polish bottles. Pam noted that it was very faint when she painted her nails and had gone once the polish had dried. Personally, I didn't notice any smell at all from either polish, and I'm usually very sensitive to smells. So yeah! All good! 


The Summer Diversions collection will be available for purchase on June 15th at noon EST. Polishes will retail for $12.00 each. 

You can use the code THEMANICAFE to get 15% off your order!

I also wanted to remind you again about the STELLA CHROMA fan group on Facebook called stella chromatics. We’d love to have you join if you haven’t already!

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

Friday, 1 June 2018

Léora Aquarelle Petit Verdot inspired nail art

Hi everyone! Today I have some nail art I wore a little while ago to show you. If you've followed my blog for a while, you might know I'm a babywearing mama and very into woven wraps. Its kind of geeky I guess when you're not familiar with it, I guess like we could say about the nail polish world to 'muggles' lol. But anyway, I really appreciate the craftsmanship, fabrics, colours and patterns of woven wraps and I've already done nail art inspired by them.  


This time, I was inspired by a wrap I tried recently by the french brand Léora. The wrap is called 'Aquarelle Petit Verdot' and is a gorgeous off white and vibrant grape purple wrap with the brand's signature hummingbird and bees Aquarelle pattern. I couldn't help but recreate it on my nails! 


I started out with 2 coats of Color Club Look, Don't Tusk and then freehanded the hummingbirds and the rest of the pattern onto my nails with Barry M Gelly Plum using a detail brush and dotting tool. I added the bees using Essie Good as Gold topped with OPI Goldeneye. I finished with topcoat as always. 


I was really happy with how these turned out and it was fun to photograph them with the wrap! I hope you like them too! 

Where to Buy:
Color Club
Barry M 
OPI - various retailers

Color Club on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
Barry M on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
OPI on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter