14th October, 2011
I hauled these polishes a few weeks ago but never got around to posting them. Most of them are part of the new core range of Essence and Catrice.
From left to right and top to bottom:
- Essence Nail Art Cracking Top Coat in Crack Me Blue
- Essence Colour & Go in Be Optimistic
- Essence Colour & Go in Make It Golden
- Essence Colour & Go in Blue Addicted
- Catrice in After Eight
- Catrice in Marilyn & Me
- Catrice in Rusty But Sexy
- Catrice in Bye, Bye Birdy
- Catrice in Jade Is Not My Name
- Catrice in It’s Rambo No.5
From left to right: Marilyn & me, Be Optimistic, Rusty But Sexy, Make It Golden, Bye Bye Birdy, It’s Rambo No.5, Jade Is Not My Name, After Eight, Blue Addicted and Crack Me Blue over Gosh Lavender Love.
I love the combination of Gosh Lavender Love and the Essence Crack Me Blue crackle. Even though I’m not hugely excited by crackle polishes I really like how these two look together. Essence Blue Addicted is really nice as well, it’s a close dupe of Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe. I accidentally bought two very similar colours, the rusty oranges. Neither of them look good on me so they were definitely a fail! I think Catrice Marilyn & Me might be based on China Glaze Ruby Pumps, I’m not sure it’s a dupe but in the bottle it looked similar. Overall really nice colours, I love Catrice Jade Is Not My Name but I wish they wouldn’t have replaced it with my all time favourite, Sold Out For Ever. Sad times!
Did you buy anything from the new colours? Let me know in the comments below!
7th July, 2011
This post will be a bit all over the place so you are warned! I have several things to share so thought I’d add them all together in one big post.
First up are two manicures I did this week.
For this one I used Essence You Belong To Me as a base and added some hot pink bows I made with my molds. I really loved this though it didn’t last very long. The bows were so huge that I kept getting stuck in my hair or anything I tried to touch so instead I just kept one on each of my ring fingers.
Here’s a swatch of the Born Pretty Store pink crackle I bought. The base is Catrice Snow Motion. It’s very hot pink, even more so in real life. Very pretty, though it did take getting used to on my part. I hardly never wear pinks so this was a bit of a shock! Pretty as it is, I’m not sure it’s really “me”.
I planned a surprise trip to the zoo for my boyfriend. He helped me so much with all the redecorating in my room I wanted to give him a little gift. Since he’s been moaning to go to the zoo again for months I immediately knew with what I could make him happiest. I have a very hard time keeping things from him and I managed to keep my mouth shut but alas, he figured it out! I really can’t keep anything from him, even if I don’t say anything. Guess he just knows me too well
Anyway the above picture is of a seal, my favourite picture of that day.
And this is the boyfriend looking at some penguins. They were so adorable, totally showing off and posing for us.
And here’s Marie, she’s Dries’ five year old cousin. When I visited the boyfriends house we planned a little visit with Dries’ cousin Maaike and her two kids Marie and Ella. Marie is the sweetest thing ever, I love her to death! I did her nails and toes in white with pink hearts.
And her toes, sporting some sparkly silver sandals. Was really lovely to see her again, I’ll miss her so much! Don’t see her very often since we live so far away but when we do we have the best time together.
28th June, 2011
A fortnight ago I placed an order with Born Pretty Store. I had been wanting to for a very long time but since I found out more about acrylic systems I went ahead and placed my order. These weren’t sent to me for review, I purchased them all myself with my own money! Get ready for a picture spam! Here’s what I received on Wednesday:
Ohmygawd look at that pile of goodies! *swoon*
I splurged and bought a ton of items! This is what I got:
- Heart Shape 3D Acrylic Mold 5 = $2.51 – €1,70
- Bow Shape 3D Acylic Mold 31 = $2.51 – €1,70
- Acrylic System = $11.83 – €8,20
- 18 Color Acrylic Powder = $9.50 – €6,60
- White Buffer Block = $1.89 – €1,20
- 100 pcs Fimo Canes w/ Cutter = $13.66 – €9,50
- 3 Sizes Pearl Rhinestone Decoration= $4.14 – €2,80
- Gold & Silver 3D Steel Ball Nail Art Decoration = $4.17 – €2,90
- 12x Dried Flowers = $6.15 – €4,30
- 5pcs Nail Art Acrylic brush = $9.10 – €6,30
- Pink Instant Cracking Nail Polish = $5.50 – €3,80
- Gold Glitter Nail Polish 80 = $4.22 – €2,90
So in total I paid €50 (including tracking number which was €2,10). That is an AMAZING deal! I know what the prices are locally and on eBay and honestly, nothing compares to BPS prices. They have FREE SHIPPING which is amazing, though I do recommend getting the tracking number, just in case your package gets lost you have some sort of insurance. So basically I paid €2,10 for shipping, what a steal! I was afraid that some items might get damaged on the way to me but everything was packaged very well, all the breakables were wrapped safely and everything arrived in perfect order.
This is the Acrylic system I got for €8,20 which included three jars of acrylic powder in pink, white and clear. A 120ml bottle of acrylic liquid, a dappen dish and two sable hair brushes. My main issue with this was the overpowering smell of the acrylic liquid. I was prepared for a strong smelling liquid since I knew that acrylic tends to have that but I wasn’t ready for this. It’s so strong it hurts my lungs and make me cough and gag like it wasn’t pretty and it’s basically impossible for me to use. I tried using it outdoors with a mask and still it was too strong for me so I’m going to look for an alternative, if there is one. I still think this is a great deal for the amount of powders and items you get. In my personal case the acrylic liquid is unusable but this may not be the case for you.
These are a selection of acrylic powders I got for €6,60. A very good deal since you get a lot of colours. The jars hold about 6gr of powder according to the website, which I am not sure is accurate since they’re only filled about halfway. They come in a very cute box and they sit in a plastic tray. I love the selection of colours and have tried this set and they work very well. I have noticed they tend to lose their colour if you leave them to dry for too long but this seems to be fixed by using a topcoat. I haven’t used these an awful lot so can’t really comment any further.
This is an acrylic mold, I got one with heart shapes and one with bows. They were €1,70 each. The heart on my thumb was made with this mold as you can see. I will be getting more molds cause they are very easy to use and so much fun! I might not use them as much when I start to get better at making acrylic designs but right now they’re perfect! You can use these molds not just to create nail art, you can stick these hearts (or whatever design you might have) to anything with some glue!
These are a set of 5 acrylic sable brushes I got for €6,30. One of my local nail wholesalers sells these exact brushes for €7,99 a piece so basically, this is a bargain! They are very high in quality and they are absolutely stunning. You can take off the end and put the brush in there so you can safely store them when travelling or to protect them from dust. I would buy these again in a heartbeat! Born Pretty Store also sells the exact same set of regular nail art brushes I bought on Ebay for a bit less than what I paid, if you need a few nail art brushes I would totally recommend them.
This is by far my favourite order at just €9,50 for 100 fimo canes, two nail wheels, 10 cutters and glue. It’s the best deal out there if you like fimo canes, GET THIS! I felt like a kid in a candy store when I saw this, it’s absolutely amazing. I really can’t applaud and compliment this set enough. You get flowers, fruits, brands, cute animals and so much more. Two nail wheels isn’t enough to store all your canes so I recommend getting the set of 10 wheels they sell. I’m getting that one with my next order because I want to be able to have all my canes cut up and on display! Love love love it.
This is one of the two polishes I bought. This is a glitter polish I got for €2,90. I really love the bottle, it’s similar to that of OPI I believe but the cap is crackled which is really cute. It has small gold glitter particles and red and blue hexagon glitters. I was afraid that these might smell strong since they’re of an unknown asian brand but there’s no unpleasant smell. I just wish they had more different coloured glitters like this one!
This crackle polish was €3,80. It’s hot pink and very cute! The bottle has the same crackled effect as the glitter polish and the bottle itself is matte. I have a weakness for nice bottles so seeing this bottle made me very happy. Crackle dries matte so the top pink swatch is without topcoat, it dries a lot lighter so if you don’t like that you can add topcoat (bottom swatch) which brings out the colour of the bottle itself. I didn’t use a base colour on my swatch wheel so you can’t see the crackles that well but they do crackle very nicely, my swatch is somewhat unrepresentative of this polishes crackling abilities. How many times did I say “crackle” now? Eek!
These are steel decoration balls. I got them for just €2,90. I have been eyeing these steel balls up for aaaaages. I first saw them on eBay but either didn’t like the colours they had or the prices but this was just what I was looking for. Gold and silver and a very good price. I am planning on getting the coloured steel balls next time I order because they look very cute as well.
Aren’t these the prettiest? They’re dried flowers I got for just €4,30. They’re almost too pretty to use. I’m not sure when or how I’m going to use these but I absolutely loved them so I got them anyway. Oops!
Not pictured but also purchased: a white buffer block which is very good and very cheap and a nail wheel with 3 different shapes of pearl rhinestones for just €2,80.
So here’s the design I made using my BPS goodies! I made hearts with the acrylic mold, added the steel balls around one of the hearts and one of the pearls. Added pearls for a half moon effect and steel balls around a french. I used China Glaze Snow for the white and H&M Check Me Out for the pink.
And this is my very very first attempt at acrylic 3D art. I know it’s not much and the bow isn’t perfect but I’m really pleased and proud with how it turned out. It’s not bad for a first try I think! Since I couldn’t use it for my nails I stuck it to my favourite bottle of topcoat, Barielle Instant Liquid Nail Hardener, since the colour matched the polish.
I can definitely recommend Born Pretty Store, their range of products is great and the prices are amazing not to mention free shipping which is almost unheard of these days. I’m overly excited and in love with BPS and can’t wait to order again. I sound like I am addicted, haha, I think I am.
19th June, 2011
My sincere apologies for not posting anything for a week but I’ve been super busy! I’m redecorating my room and helped my mum redecorate her study/hobby room. We’ve been non-stop painting, moving and redecorating for 6 days now. I’m really tired but it’s coming together quite nicely. My room is getting a fresh lick of white paint to brighten everything up (instead of a dark grey which it was before). My desk is moving to a different corner and my clothes are moving to another closet. I’m also buying an IKEA Expedit to house all my books and things. The main issue was lack of space in my room, it was jam packed full of stuff from floor to ceiling. I’m sure this new cupboard will give my room more space and air.
I do have to say that all this change takes a while getting used to. I’m not usually so taken aback when I move things around in my room but these changes are pretty radical and take getting used to. I’m sure it will be a lot better though! If anyone’s interested I will post before and after pictures once everything is finished.
Since I’m so busy I haven’t had time to do my nails, in fact they have taken a serious beating with all this labour. One of them broke off entirely while putting IKEA boxes together but I was able to fix it with Essence SOS Nail Glue. I seriously love that stuff. It’s very tough and my nail is as strong -if not stronger- than before. So since all of the above I’m afraid an old manicure will have to do!
I did this random manicure a few weeks ago, I wanted to do a different design on each nail and got inspired by WAH Nails and Sophy Robson.
- Thumb: Barry M Effect Nails over gold nail art pen
- Index finger: China Glaze Snow, Barry M Mushroom and black nail art pen
- Middle finger: China Glaze Sunset Sail and black nail art pen
- Ring finger: Barry M Mushroom and gold nail art pen
- Pinky: China Glaze Snow, China Glaze Sunset Sail and black nail art pen
…and Seche Vite to seal everything in. This manicure lasted almost a full week on me. I usually change my nails very quickly (after a day or two maximum) but this one only went off once it started to chip. Which is a feat in itself!
10th June, 2011
So since so many brands are jumping on the hot wagon that is crackle I’m sure it’s starting to get boring to a lot of us. To me at least! That’s why I decided to come up with a few ways to make the crackle manicures fresh again. First up are a few different ways of applying crackle. For all of these I used the black crackle by Essence.
Base colour is a metallic silver, China Glaze Cheers To You.
- pressing down and patting instead of pulling
- sideways stroke
- regular upwards stroke
- horizontal stroke
- random strokes in all directions
French crackle, a fun twist to a regular French manicure but still classic. If you use a horizontal stroke, thinly layered, it looks very similar to a zebra print which is a fun effect. (I forgot to do so, so mine are with a regular upwards stroke)
A few different ways to incorporate crackle into a pattern design. I used American Apparel Army Jacket and Barry M Bright Purple. My middle finger was inspired by the tape crackles by Flouncyskirts.
And lastly, crackle over a pattern! For this one I topped crackle over a union jack which creates a sort of punk feel. Random colours or rainbows would also make for a nice effect.
It’s really all about preference! Which is yours?
If all of these still aren’t enough for your tastes you can always try new crackle colours! Apart from black you can try white or even these:
The new metallic crackles by China Glaze! These look so much fun. From left to right you see:
- Tarnished Gold: Warm, honeyed hue
- Cracked Medallion: Bold bronze
- Haute Metal: Pale pink
- Latticed Lilac: Soft lavender
- Platinum Pieces: Shimmering silver
- Oxidized Aqua: Deep aquamarine blue
p.s. If you are wondering what the curved edges in my pictures are, I shot them THROUGH my new lamp.