8th July, 2012
A quick post before I leave on holiday to Rotterdam for the week! A few months ago I came across these leopard nails by Lisa’s Nails, they quickly became one of my favourite leopard nails ever. I’ve been meaning to try them out and I needed a quick nail art fix before I left. The perfect occasion arose!
I used quite a number of polishes for this. Including one of the China Glaze On Safari collection, swatches should follow soon!
- China Glaze Kalahari Kiss
- China Glaze Dress Me Up
- Illamasqua Load
- Illamasqua Swinger
- China Glaze Lighthouse
- It’s So Easy Stripe Rite in Black
- Essence Sealing Top Coat
Hope you like it! I still like her originals a lot more than mine, I especially love how they look so different. I definitely need to try them again!
3rd June, 2012
If you know me a little, then you know I have a weakness for everything British. I’m a huge Anglophile, always have been for as long as I can remember. I love going to the UK, it feels like going home to me. This weekend it’s the Queens Diamond Jubilee. It’s been 60 years since Elizabeth II was crowned Queen! A reason to celebrate because it’s a very unique occasion to have a monarch with such a long reign.
I simply had to create nails celebrating the Queen! I admire her a lot, she’s a strong and incredibly bright woman. An inspiration to many! I created these on nail tips since I wanted to keep my design, I now have all the nails attached to a display hand in my room so I can look at them every day! Really proud of how they turned out.
Here’s what I used for each nail:
- Pink Finger “Union Flag”: BK White, China Glaze Hey Sailor, China Glaze First Mate, Glitter Stripers in Red and Blue, Essence Sealing Top Coat
- Ring Finger “Cameo Nail”: BK White, It’s So Easy Stripe Rite in White and Black, 2mm silver rhinestones, Essence Sealing Top Coat
- Middle Finger “Diamond Nail”: Illamasqua Swinger, BK White, It’s So Easy Stripe Rite in Silver Glitter and Black, Essence Sealing Top Coat
- Index Finger “Crown Nail”: China Glaze Phat Santa, 2mm gold rhinestones, 2mm and 3mm red rhinestones, red elliptic rhinestones, silver steel balls
- Thumb “Union Flag 3D Nail”: China Glaze First Mate, 2mm and 3mm red rhinestones, silver steel balls
My favourites are the index finger and thumb. The index finger was inspired by the St Edwards Crown, the one she wore during her coronation. The thumb definitely pops out the most in person, it’s so in-your-face! I love it!
Here’s a close-up of the thumb. I think this one took me the longest since I had to apply all the gems one by one. This is probably the longest I’ve worked on a set of nails! Definitely worth the effort though.
I hope you liked my Jubilee nails and for those celebrating, have a wonderful weekend!
31st May, 2012
As promised, finally some nail art! I know I’ve been slacking with my nail art lately. Today I did a quick and simple leopard print and teal accent nails with studs. I used:
- A England – Galahad
- Illamasqua – Swinger
- It’s So Easy Stripe Rite in black
- Born Pretty Store studs
- Essence Sealing Top Coat
That’s two of my favourite polishes combined! A England Galahad is seriously gorgeous. It’s slightly more teal in person and less turquoise though. And as for Illamasqua Swinger, I’ve told you guys before, it’s simply the best gold polish ever!
30th May, 2012
For this summer season, Illamasqua released a mini collection called Naked Strangers. All about the sultry naked tones and rich golds, this collection is right up my alley! They released three nail varnishes in this collection, of which I received two. The third shade is a gorgeous creamy pink with matte finish called Monogamous.
The two shades I received along with a personalized card, such a nice touch. Thank you Illamasqua!
The two nail varnishes called Faithful and Swinger. How gorgeous are the gold leaves in the background?
Faithful – A beautiful warm brown with copper shimmer. I wasn’t completely sold on this shade until I wore it on my nails, it’s truly stunning! It looks like there’s a few glass fleck/flakie bits in it as well. Really unique and beautiful. I used two coats for this.
Swinger – So sparkly! If you’re looking for the perfect gold foil, look no further. This is it! It’s utter perfection! I used two thin coats but one thicker coat is enough to make this gold completely opaque. It leaves no brush strokes, application is flawless. I’m truly blown away by the quality and beauty of this polish! You seriously need this!
The Illamasqua Naked Strangers collection is now exclusively available on their website during the early launch before it goes live next week. Will you be picking anything up from this collection? I think I might be getting Monogamous (the third shade of the collection) soon, it looks like the perfect flesh toned pink. I need it!
Also, I know I’ve been slacking in the nail art department lately. I promise you my next post will be a nail art manicure, featuring none other than Illamasqua Swinger! Get excited!
23rd May, 2012
Seeing as I ordered a few Illamasqua polishes in the past few weeks I decided to do a little swatch post with my current (mini) Illamasqua collection. My latest additions are Jo’Mina and Lament, I ordered those during the Bank Holiday sale they had not too long ago for 45% off. Load is another one of my latest additions and I bought that one from my friend Rachel. She didn’t love it as much as she was hoping to, so she sold it to me! And Load just happened to be my number one polish on my wishlist! Lucky me! You’ve probably seen swatches of Nomad and Faux Pas on my blog already but I redid those for consistency purposes!
Left to right: Nomad, Load, Lament, Jo’Mina and Faux Pas.
I usually never buy expensive polishes, I like to stick to my drugstore brands and tend not to spend over €5 ($6) per polish unless it’s really special. With Illamasqua however, I like to make an exception. They are way out of my usual price range but the quality is so flawless, they are just worth every penny! They glide on like butter, and they stay on! Plus I have a weakness for the bottles, they are just so gorgeous.
Nomad – This is no doubt my favourite out of the five. I love anything teal, mint, turquoise. I have no other shade like this, it’s so gorgeous! I have to try and refrain myself from not wearing this shade every day, even though I am wearing it right now while I’m writing this, oops. I used three coats for this one.
Load – Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve had this polish on my wishlist for ages. When I saw Rachel mention she wanted to get rid of it I immediately jumped at her and begged her to sell it to me. So a big thank you to Rachel! I can understand this shade isn’t for everyone but I think it’s just so stunning and perfect as a base for nail art. Plus the cheeky name is kind of hilarious. I used four coats.
Lament – A lament is usually a poem or piece of music expressing grief or pain, those aren’t feelings I would associate with this polish! It’s definitely the hardest one to capture though, my swatch isn’t completely colour accurate. This coral pink looks so different in just about every light setting. I would say it’s slighty more pastel/chalky in person and not as bright. This was three coats I believe.
Jo’Mina – This is a bright electric purple. Not my usual shade since I rarely wear purple but I just had to grab this. It’s really stunning! I used two coats for this.
Faux Pas – And finally this velvet finish blueish purple. As you might have noticed the cap on this polish is different from the rest of the bottles cause of the finish. I think that’s a really nice touch. I used two coats for this, it’s pretty much a dream to apply!
You can find Illamasqua polishes on their site, they are priced at £13.50 – €16 – $21 on the Illamasqua website. In the US you can find these at Sephora (for $14) as well I believe, and at Selfridges and Debenhams in the UK.
Do you own any Illamasqua nail polishes? Which ones are your favourites? Let me know!
18th May, 2012
Now the weather is slowly but surely getting better I can finally start practicing acrylic (sculpting) again. Acrylic monomer has a strong smell so I need to be able to sit outside or open a window to vent my room, which is why I haven’t practiced acrylic in a while! To ease myself back into it I started with these simple but fun roses, which I made with the help of a mold.
If anyone is interested I could make a how-to post on how to get started with acrylic, which supplies you need, what the pros and cons are and explain the basics of the technique. I always love trying new nail art techniques and when I first read about acrylic sculpting I knew it was something I would love. It requires a lot of practice but you don’t necessarily need expensive schooling to try your hand at some fun and simple 3D pieces. I wouldn’t recommend full nail sculpting without extensive research and lessons or help from a professional though.
Here’s a list of the supplies I used for this manicure:
Please let me know if acrylic 3D art is something you’d like to read more about! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway if you haven’t already! It’s open until May 22.
2nd April, 2012
I always love doing mix & match nails and since it had been a while I went for a black/white + mint green combo. I did a leopard nail inspired by Dominique Renee, zebra with cross, mint green union flag, a stud nail and diagonal stripes.
Polishes and supplies I used to create this:
- Illamasqua Nomad
- Dearlee 034
- China Glaze Snow
- China Glaze Midnight Kiss
- It’s So Easy Strip Rite in White
- It’s So Easy Stripe Rite in Black
- China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat
- Essence Studio Nails Top Sealer
- Gold 4mm Square Stud
I also wanted to show you guys this! When I do nail art I often make sketches so I have an idea of what I am going to do. If I don’t make sketches, it takes me a few hours and several tries to come up with something I often still don’t end up liking. I make mine with Adobe Ideas for the iPad. When I got it this was still a free App but it’s about €7.99 or $9.99 now which is pretty pricey! There are several free drawing Apps as well though so this one isn’t a must.
Do any of you make sketches when you are doing nail art?
27th March, 2012
For Spring 2012 Illamasqua released the collection Human Fundamentalism. This is what they have to say about the collection:
“Human Fundamentalism is an explosion of your alter ego. It’s becoming who you are and not who you’re told to be. Because beauty isn’t conformity, but the fundamental human desire is to express your inner self on the outside.”
This is what I love so much about Illamasqua. It’s about being different, unique and bringing out the best in yourself. It of course helps that they have amazing products! Let’s take a look at a few items from the Human Fundamentalism collection.
The lovely Hayley sent me the Sealing Gel, Nail Varnish in Nomad and Powder Eye Shadow in Obsidian and Cancan.
Let’s take a look at all the items up close!
Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Nomad – £13.50.
I have to say I am hugely in love with this polish. You all know I am all about the mint greens and own many in my stash but I honestly have nothing like this. It is different to all the other mint greens I have. It’s a lot darker and greener to China Glaze Re-Freshmint for example. I love it so much! It’s a perfect two coater, the Illamasqua formula never disappoints. In my opinion they are the Rolls Royce brand of polishes!
Illamasqua Powder Eye Shadow in Obsidian and Can Can - £15.50 each. (scroll down for swatches)
This is my first experience with Illamasqua eyeshadows and I have to say I am very impressed. The quality and pigmentation is gorgeous. I was expecting these to be amazing since I knew how great the quality of their nail varnishes are. They really lived up to my expectations!
Illamasqua Sealing Gel – £10.50 for two bottles.
This is such an awesome little product. It turns any eyeshadow into an eyeliner! I think it’s so amazing. The possibilities with eyeliners are now endless! The product comes in a small bottle and you drop it onto the eyeshadow, quickly take an eyeliner brush, mix it and use the paste to create a line. It dries very quickly so you have to work fast. I haven’t tried it as an eyeliner yet only for swatches so I can’t comment on staying power or smudging.
This is Obsidian and Can Can swatched, the lines were made with the Sealing Gel. Both eyeshadow are matte and you get 2 grams per pan. The pigmentation of Obsidian is seriously impressive. You won’t find anything blacker than this! It is so gorgeous.
Overall I am once again hugely impressed with these lovely Illamasqua products. From packaging to quality to concept there is nothing I don’t like about Illamasqua! Perhaps that the price tag hurts my wallet! But in my opinion, the quality makes it worth it. I think Nomad is a must-own for any mint green nail polish lover and Obsidian is the perfect black eyeshadow, they are great items to splurge on. Take a look on the Illamasqua website to check out the other items from this wonderful collection.
Finally, I will leave you with two of my favourite make-up looks and two manicures from the Human Fundamentalism imagery up close. Feast your eyes on these beautiful images!
True masterpieces! With each new Illamasqua collection the first thing I am dying to see is the creative imagery. They always come up with the most inspiring looks.
How amazing are these nails? Simply gorgeous!
7th September, 2011
A few days ago I received a package from Illamasqua in the mail. I came home to find a beautiful black padded envelope waiting for me. Inside I found a nail varnish by the name of Faux Pas and a precision ink eyeliner called Havoc. Both are products from their new collection called Theatre of the Nameless. It’s the new Illamasqua Autumn/Winter 2011 collection inspired by 1920s Berlin.
“Illamasqua is for the bolder person hiding inside all of us. It is an act and an attitude. A symbol of tolerance. A celebration of idiosyncrasies. A confident statement of self-ownership.”
First off the nail polish of course! This collection has 4 autumn colours, I received the purple called Faux Pas. There’s a picture of the other 3 colours down below.
Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Faux Pas, a blue violet.
If you read my blog you might know that I’m not huge on purple, it’s a colour I don’t wear that often. However the finish on this is a bit different, it gives a really nice twist to a colour I’m not usually fond of. Illamasqua describes the finish of this polish as waxy “rubber-look” which is pretty accurate. It’s a dull kind of finish, it’s not like matte polish either so it really is something different. I absolutely love the finish but if it’s not for you just add a topcoat and you will get a stunning shiny purple!
I needed just one coat to get complete coverage! I added a second purely because I had to take a macro shot of my nails. In other words the formula is absolutely amazing. I think I might even go as far as saying that this is the best formulated polish I have ever tried. Big words eh? Great formula isn’t the only thing, what makes this polish so outstanding is the brush. Once you apply this you can immediately tell that the quality of the brush is miles away from drugstore brands. With quality comes a price of course! They are a little pricey at £13,50 for a 15ml bottle but if you find quality very important this is the brand for you.
The others shades in the Theatre of the Nameless collection. From left to right: Faux Pas, Vice, Taint and Kink.
Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc, a burgundy red.
A simple and quick winged eyeliner.
It’s a liquid eyeliner which might be a struggle for some (including me!) but because of the felt tip and the formula it is actually quite easy to work with. It’s also waterproof so once you’ve let it dry for a few seconds it will stay put the entire day. I love wearing a winged eyeliner but unfortunately because of my somewhat unusual lids it usually ends up transferring and smearing after a few hours. I applied the Precision Ink in the morning and by the end of the day it was still as perfect as though I just applied it… I am honestly blown away! Once I run out, I will have to repurchase because it’s such an amazing product.
The Precision Ink I received was in the colour Havoc, which is not a black even though it might look black at first glance. Illamasqua calls it an aubergine, I would call it a dark burgundy red. It’s really unique, I’ve never seen an eyeliner in this shade so I’m definitely intrigued. I think it gives more depth than a normal black eyeliner, so I would definitely recommend getting this one, instead of the black eyeliner they have called Abyss. Illamasqua Precision Ink retails at £17.
13th February, 2011
The unique and wonderful UK brand Illamasqua recently released an “anti” Valentine’s collection called Throb. This was the amazing imagery they created to go with the collection. I was in love with it from the first moment I saw it, isn’t it gorgeous?
Here is my recreation of the heart shaped nail by Illamasqua! I like that it’s different from what you’d expect to see on Valentine’s Day. I used China Glaze Snow and Essence I Love My Jeans to achieve this manicure.