Thursday, 19 September 2013

Blue 'Ikat Beach Tote' Nail Art

Hihi! This is really going to be a quick post because I'm really going to go to bed. Honest.

These nails were inspired by this beach tote bag which appeared as an a sidebar ad during a recent blog-reading spate - who'd have thought there was inspiration to be found in internet adverts?! If you have a better name for this design, let me know!

I began with a base of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure 'Thinking of Blue' (two coats), which I love. It has a slight dustiness, but also a certain richness and perhaps the littlest hint of 'blurple'. I really like the CSM brush, too (although you can get wonky ones) - flat and quite broad with a rounded tip which fits my cuticles nicely. I added the white pattern with a nail art brush and finished off with the teal detailing, using A England 'Galahad'. If you've been reading my blog from the start, you'll know I love A England and Galahad is another delight - sometimes he looks dusty and sometimes bright, but always beautiful.

It would have been nice to be able to fit a little more of the original pattern onto my nails, but I had to enlarge individual elements of it in order to give Galahad a fair showing. I am very pleased with this design, but I felt a little let down by my execution - I was just having one of those nights where nothing would behave as I wanted it to! Still, I think it looks quite lovely in person since the imperfections are less noticeable when I'm not inspecting them microscopically!

Owning the awkward thumb. 

So, what do you think? Do you dig the design? What about the bag itself? Apart from anything else, I think these colours make a really great pair - even if I need to get back to practising my freehand skills. My index finger with the little diamond is probably my favourite - how about you?

Hope you're all well - not long 'til the weekend...!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Seventeen Cameo Crush Textured Polish | Swatch & Review

Hiiii! I know, I 'don't do' swatch posts...but today I do! 

I had no idea that Boots' own brand Seventeen (or 17, whichever you prefer) was even making textured polishes. I had been planning on picking up one or two of the GOSH ones until I happened to spot these while waiting on a prescription.  Boy, am I glad I did!

Seventeen Rock Hard Couture Nail Effects in Cameo Crush (mouthful!) is a turquoise-based matte textured polish with an insane quantity of golden sparkle and also (I think) some holographic or at least iridescent sparkle, too. It was impossible to capture the true beauty of Cameo Crush on camera but please trust me when I tell you it's a mega GLITTERBOMB and utterly gorgeous. I'm not entirely au fait with the plethora of textured polishes available, but this one seems unique to me! I can sum up how this polish made me feel in two words: mermaid princess. Seriously.

Formula & Application: Dreamy! It may seem a little thick if you are used to applying very thin coats, presumably due to all the particles in it, but I found it incredibly easy to control. These pictures show two coats and next to no clean-up, even on my 'other' hand - massive bonus! In terms of opacity, you could probably get away with one thick coat, but two definitely looks better - the sparkle is intensified and you get an even distribution of texture. The brush is flat, quite small and nicely pliable - no complaints! 

I waited a good ten or fifteen minutes between my coats. I don't know if that was strictly necessary but it seemed to work well. My second coat tended to be thicker so it could glide over the already-textured nail and seemed to take a little longer to dry. If you haven't used textured polishes before (I hadn't), watching them dry is a fascinating thing. At first stroke, this seems like a fairly ordinary glittery polish, shiny and not textured at all. When it's half-way dry it develops some texture and also a metallic sort of 'sheen' - I was glad it didn't stop there! As it dries down completely, it becomes matte and the texture and sparkle come into their own. The shade also appears a little lighter when dry.

Removal: More difficult than a crème polish, but nothing like an all-out glitter. Really it just requires a little patience. I might consider using foil in the future, at least in part to try to avoid getting glitter particles all over my hands, haha. I had half expected some staining given the colour, but if there was any at all it was minimal and easily removed by a little scrubbing with a nail brush.

Blurry sparkles!

These Rock Hard Couture polishes are priced at £3.99 each and are currently buy one get one half price. The other shades are a gold called 'Charm Bracelet' (which I'm wearing right now) and an iridescent white ('Celestial Pearl' - next on my list) and a pink with gold sparkle ('Bijoux Baby').

Overall, I'm absolutely blown away by this polish. I was a texture-sceptic, but I have been converted! I'm delighted that the British high street has come up with such a high quality alternative to brands which are more difficult and expensive to get hold of in the UK; and in particular that they've produced some original shades. I really hope these polishes get the attention they deserve and that Seventeen makes more colours! I know I'm going to be hassling them to...

So, how was my first swatch post? Did I cover everything you might want to know? Do you love this polish like I do? Please also let me know if you'd be happy to see more swatch posts - it's not something I envision doing a great deal of, but occasionally I come across something I love enough to want to share!