Monday, 30 September 2013

NOTW: Razzle Dazzle Black Cherries

Hello dearies! I hope you're all well this week :-)

I have yet another lovely mani for you today! It had been a while since I'd done a reverse gradient, so I reached for a nice jelly glitter and set to work: 

Black cherries dazzle my digits *.* - oh the alliteration!

This was such an amazing mani in real life; the photo just doesn't do it justice! Unfortunately, I had a bad case of the shakes that day, so the pic is a bit out of focus... but isn't it pretty!? I wasn't sure if the hot pink KBShimmer It's Razz-ical would 'pop' over the dark base, but it really did; it's surprisingly pigmented for a jelly! I didn't use a sponge for this mani; I simply applied the jelly carefully with the polish bottle brush. This is a great technique for when you're pushed for time; it will look horrendous before you tc your digits because of the multiple layers of polish, but you'll end up with a lovely fade. I managed this better on some fingers than others (cf. ring finger), but I still adored this mani; I was truly sad to take it off!

What, then, is the base colour for this lovely mani? You're looking at Rimmel Black Cherries, and you've already seen it on this post here. Let's take another look: 

Expand to check out that beautiful, beautiful shimmer ;-)

First of all, let's take a moment to appreciate that GOSH haven't my photos improved over the past year?! It's hard to believe I've almost hit my one-year anniversary! This is a gorgeous, rich polish true to its name, a vampy deep purple with a hidden red/brown shimmer. I once declared Black Cherries to be my favourite polish ever. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but it remains a firm favourite which I reach for time and time again, especially when I do nail art. The formula isn't perfect but the colour just makes me smile.

What do you think of today's mani? Isn't it fun when an idea really comes together! For the past year, I've been trying to track down dupes for Black Cherries, since I love the colour but I'm not so keen on the formula. Unfortunately, I've not come up trumps. If you know of any polishes that might fit the bill, please do let me know in the comments!

Otherwise, 'til next time, curlettes ;-)

- Skye x

Monday, 23 September 2013

NOTW: Criss-crossed At Ease

Hello my lovelies! How are you today? :-)

In line with my summer catch-up posts, I'd like to share with you a new striping tape mani! This had been on my mind for a long time, so I'm glad I finally got to try it. Let's take a look:

Look, it's me! :P (indirect sunlight)
Direct sunlight :-) :-)

Soooooo... what do you think?! I just loved this mani - especially the juxtaposition of neutral and bright, creme and shimmer (Rimmel At Ease vs Catrice Heavy Metal-lilac) :-) I originally planned to do this to all of my fingers, but the striping tape was actually a little tricky to use, so I decided to just criss-cross three fingers (incl. my thumb). I think it actually worked better this way! I bet this mani would be great for work if you had time to do all your fingers :-)

Of course, no post is complete without a look at the base colour - Catrice Heavy Metal-lilac:

Shimmery, shimmery goodness *.*
Indirect light :-)

You've already seen this colour on this post, and also on this post, but I have STILL failed to do a full post on the polish. I will once again reiterate how awesome it is - it's a FAVOURITE of mine, and I promise I'll do a proper post on it one day. I love, love, love it, and you should all own it.

Despite this mani being a summer mani, it has a very autumnal feel. I think I'm straddling both seasons right now ;-) I really do love this combination of nude (my new favourite tone!) and bright, and I definitely think I'll try it again - do you have any colour requests? Help me out by leaving a comment with your ideas! :D

'Til next time, curlettes :-)

- Skye x

Monday, 16 September 2013

NOTW: Accessorize Those Scales!

Hello my lovelies! How are you? :-)

I have something short and sweet for you today; another play around with my Barry M nail art pens! Let's take a look:

This is my dragon scales/chainmail nail art! I really just had an image in my head of this looking like an abstract pattern, but close up I guess it kinda looks like weird flowers, or like I let a child scribble on my nails! I did actually really like it though; from a distance (head to hand) it looked pretty cool, and the black over multichrome polish was a fun look I hadn't tried before! :-)

I promised you a short post, and I wasn't joking. It's already time to show you the beautiful base colour for this mani - Accessorize Bronze!

This gorgeous multichrome is an oldie but SUCH a goodie; just check out that shift! Yellow gold, bronze, copper and dusty pink-brown tones make this the perfect autumnal polish for those who want a subtle polish with a bit of punch. Oxymoronic? Perhaps. A problem? Absolutely not. This polish has so many different facets that it was really difficult to photograph, but the photo up there is a good attempt at revealing its personality. In some lights it looks a deep, dusky pink-brown and in others you get the full shift. This polish is a real stunner and I'm never disappointed when I wear it. The formula and brush are also fantastic.

I actually adore multichromes, but own very few of them. I think I can count three at the most in my collection. That said, I have already taken steps to rectify this; I pre-ordered the entire ILVP Ultra Chrome collection :D I've never pre-ordered anything before, but I'm really glad I did. Not only have I added to my multichrome stash, I also didn't have to be involved in the mad run on the store on the official release date! I wish more of my favourite brands would do this. Needless to say, I'll be swatching those AS SOON AS THEY ARRIVE. I'll then possibly not post for several weeks while I just stare at my fingers in awe ;-)

What are your favourite duochromes and multichromes? Do you have any swatches you'd like to share? Share a link in the comments so we can all check them out!

'Til next time, curlettes :-)

- Skye x

Monday, 9 September 2013

NOTW: Not-so-showy summer gradient

Hello lovelies!

So this week, I decided to get on the summer bandwagon and try out my new makeup sponges again in a bright gradient:

Indirect light... *meh*
In the sunlight... still not orange :-/

*ahem* Yeah. Not so bright. My usually-very-bright orange (Rimmel Pop!) doesn't really pop over the pink base, so it basically looks like a big red stripe, making me a sad panda :-( I'm not really sure I like it too much... I had been planning to do some silly drawings over the top of the gradient, however, the polish started chipping on the day I sat down to do it, and so I ended up taking it off and creating a whole new mani! Tune in next week to see that one ;-)

Finally, the base colour for this mani was, yet again, Rimmel Show Off:

You've heard all about this one already here, so I won't go on. All I'm-a say is that the formula and brush were, as always, impeccable. I can always rely on a tidy mani when I reach for this polish.

So: WOW well wasn't that short and sweet! I guess it just goes to show that I do eventually run out of things to say!

Are you still doing summer manis or have you moved onto Autumn styles? Link me to your pics in the comments!

'Til next time, curlettes :-)

- Skye x

Monday, 2 September 2013

NOTW: Splattered irises

Hello my lovelies! Long time, no see!

I'm so sorry that I've been AWOL lately. So much has been going on that I've barely had time to eat, sleep and breathe, let alone update my lovely followers on my latest mani experiments!

A quick(ish) summary before we start, just so you know I'm not joking (polish stuff starts after the bullets end):
  • Wrist is still (still?!) causing me trouble from my Scotland trip three/four months back, making me a sad, sad panda - hospital appt. for scary nerve tests now pending to see what on EARTH I did to it!
  • Busiest week at work EVERRRRR - an entire month's worth of work in a week from a new client!
  • Did I say new client? I've had about four of those over the past month!
  • Banking issues - banks gave me free money, which I was honest about, and they took forever to sort things out (kind deeds... unpunished)
  • Business accounting and tax returns - 'nuff said
  • Started a legal secretaries course for work which is eating into my free time some
  • Parents away on holiday so I'm house-sitting (and apparently babysitting my grown-up toddler brother; he's 20 years old, but disgusting - I found toenail clippings on kitchen worktops the other day - yuck)
  • Impromptu weekend trip with Chemistry Guy to Edinburgh for the city's famous Fringe Festival - the biggest arts festival in the world :)
  • Mahoosive 13k-word proofreading job that took about double the time I thought it would WHILST I WAS ON HOLIDAY :(
  • I GOT A JOB IN AUSTRIA!!!! I was on the waiting list for a part-time teaching job in the best country in the world, and got notified last week that I'm being slingshotted out there in February for a few months - lots of preparations now underway to get that sorted (incl. immigration, police checks, banking and accommodation issues). Interesting side note: YAY European polish :D
  • General exhaustion because all of the above was squeezed into just a couple of weeks

So you see: I'm not kidding! Crazy times, crazy times! But let me show you something else crazy... my FIRST EVER SPLATTER MANI YO!

Left hand ^^
Right hand *basks in awesomeness*

OK, I'm not gonna lie, this mani was messy as... but sooooooooo awesome. I didn't wanna take it off; it may just be one of my favourite ever manis EVER! It's so spring/summer/flowers/purple and the shimmery purple polish gave it so much depth! I was just thrilled to bits that my random colour choices (incl. an untried) and splattering turned out so lovely :) :) I can't believe it took me this long to finally try the technique out *beams with pride*

My NOTW totally looks like... IRISES! :)

I'm also kind of loving that my NOTW totally looks like irises! This was a total fluke, but after a couple of days I realised what my fingers looked like. If I'm honest, this only made me love the mani more; irises are pretty and smell lovely :) 

The polishes I used for my splattering of awesomeness were:
  • Collection 2000 (Hot Looks) Lemon Soda (base)
  • Barry M Prickly Pear (lilac)
  • Catrice Heavy Metal-lilac (purple shimmer)

Now for a quick word on the mess: Splatter manis ARE messy, however, with the right preparation, you can avoid a lot of the headaches that come about as a result: 
Messy fun!
  1. Lay down some newspaper/old sheets before you start to avoid accidentally splattering (or dripping!) polish all over your best dinner chairs/nice wooden dresser/carpet, depending on how messy you are. Prevention is WAY better than cure on this one!
  2. Prep. your fingers using Vaseline; if you apply some vaseline right the way around your nail and on the pad of your finger (incl. under the nail), extending down to your first knuckle, you'll be covered for any stray splats. This will allow you to grab a Q-tip/cotton bud after you're done splatting and just swipe away the messy polish like it wasn't ever there. Let me assure you that this is easier than taping and far easier than forgetting altogether; I accidentally did the wrong finger on my right hand (lol yes, go back and check the photos) and clean-up was a real PITA!
  3. Practice on the paper first to get a feel for how that specific polish is going to move inside that specific straw. You might need to experiment a little; I ended up chopping my straws much shorter to get a good splatter.

Finally, as always, I'd like to share with you the base coat for this mani: Collection 2000 (Hot Looks) Lemon Soda!

Poor wrist, still in a splinty thingy :/

This is what I'd describe as a butter yellow that looks really quite vibrant in the sunshine (as you saw in the photo of the splatter mani above). The formula was pretty good, as I recall, but not perfect - Hot Looks tend to get gloopier over time. I think this might be a bottle design flaw; perhaps they don't create enough of a seal between the bottle and the lid? Can't fault the colour though, and for the price it's worth it!

Sooooooooo :) What do you think?! I've been waiting to share this mani with you all for weeks and weeks, and I'm so glad the time finally arrived! I can't wait to try more splatter manis. What crazy colour combos would you like to see? Hit me up in the comments and let me know!

'Til next time, curlettes :-)

- Skye x