Saturday, 11 December 2010

Avon - Green with Envy

The last of my Avon's - Green with Envy. Not a very original name but I think the colour is a little more unusual.

Green with Envy is a very dark green creme, like a school blackboard. It is very dark green but for me never looked black, but perhaps that's the view of a polish colour obsessive!

This swatch is 2 coats, the formula was great and look how shiny it is without a topcoat.

Overall I think the Avon's are good quality polishes, with somewhat unusual colours for a great price (on sale) - but actually not a bad polish for the full price either, especially given the size of the bottles.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Avon - Decadance

Another Avon Nailwear Pro, Decadance

I love this one, it did cause some problems as you'll see but such a gorgeous polish

Decadance is a purply pink shimmer with pink and purple fine glitter.  I think it looks gorgeous in the sunlight.

This is 2 coats and I'm afraid not the neatest swatch - check out that big bubble/blob on my ring finger. Basecoat but no top coat

Another oddity - this was my last swatch of the day, I went to bed 7 hours after this swatch and woke up another 7 hours later with sheet marks! So I think it's fair to say without a fast drying top coat this is not a fast dryer!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Avon - Dynamo

Next up from the Avon Nailwear Pro range is Dynamo

Dynamo is a medium pink, slightly purply, slightly dusky foil
This is 2 coats, no topcoat

It's pretty but not massively unique I don't think.

Again application and formula were great.  And as you can see they're big bottles for your £3!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Avon - Splendid Blue

Shortwidenails asked me to swatch the Avons I recently posted haul pictures of, so here goes.

First up is Splendid Blue

Splendid Blue is a dark blue with sparkly blue, turquoise and silver shimmer
This is 2 coats with no topcoat.

It's a really lovely polish, the sparkle is always visible but still subtle.  Application and formula were top.  Overall a great polish for a great price (I got these half price from the Avon site for £3 each)

Anyone else tried any of these?

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Accessorize - Magical Mocha

Now this is better than Pin-up and I think this is one that Helen-Nice-Things might like

Magical Mocha is a cool brown packed with silver shimmer
This is 2 coats, no top coat.

I really like this one..

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Accessorize - Pin-Up

Hmmm, not quite sure why I bought this one - it must've looked better/more interesting on the web site.

Pin Up is a peachy pale pink with gold shimmer and slightly larger silver shimmery pieces.
This is 3 coats, no top coat and I still have visible nail line.

There's nothing really wrong with it, it's pretty enough but not really my kinda thing!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Accesorize - Mermaid

Gah - I'm so behind with posting! I'm going to do up the frequency a bit to try and catch up.

Over the next few days I'll show the rest of the Accessorize I got.

First is Mermaid - slightly unimaginative name for a blue polish but it does tie in very well with this turquoise/blue foil - you can almost see the scales and hear the sound of the sea.

2 coats, no top coat.


3 Pics to show the gorgeousness. There's a hint of duochrome in the bottle that doesn't make it to the nail but it's still so pretty.

As I'm sure you know this one is a dupe of Zoya Charla, Orly Halleys Comet, OPI Catch Me in Your Net and prob. some others. But I don't have any of those....

Monday, 22 November 2010

Ciaté - Main Stage

This is my second polish from Ciaté's S/S 2010 collection, Festival Fever. Although checking the blog I haven't posted Talent Scout yet - doh, although it does feature as a comparison here

This is Main Stage, a cool-toned slightly dusky pink creme

This is 2 coats with no top coat. It's a pretty colour but, like most pink cremes, makes me feel all Betty Draper elegant rather than Festival grunge!

Festival Fever is a collection of 6 polishes themed around music festivals. The others are Access All Areas (Coral), Ditch the Heels (Mint Green), Fun Fair (Lilac) and Headliner (Turquoise blue).

Ciaté polishes retail for £9 from Ciaté or ASOS and the Festival Fever collection is still widely available.

This was sent to me for review by the lovely Rachel

Catrice - Looking Greyt

And the last from the Expect the Unexpected LE Collection that I got is Looking Greyt - I think there was one other, a pinky purple creme?

Looking Greyt is a darkish blue-toned grey.
And this is that rare beast, a one coat wonder!

Again great formula and application - these really are fab for drugstore polishes - I wish they sold them in the UK...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Catrice- Purposely Purple

Next up is Purposely Purple, again from the Expect the Unexpected LE Collection

It's a mid purple creme, not massively unique but nice all the same.
This is 2 coats, no top coat. Again the formula was great and super opaque.

I thought this could be pretty dupey so I did a quick & dirty comparison with Ciate Talent Scout and Nails Inc Duchess Street.

l-r Talent Scout, Duchess Street, Purposely Purple, Purposely Purple

IRL Talent Scout is close but slightly lighter & pinker, Duchess Street is darker.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Catrice - Spruced Up

Here's the first of those Catrice's from Germany

This is Spruced Up from the Expect the Unexpected LE Collection

As hinted by the name this is a fir green/teal creme. Formula and application were great and this is 2 coats.

It's a lovely colour and I can see myself wearing this a lot over the winter.

And I really like how Catrice add different prints to the bottle for their limited edition collections.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mini Germany Haul

Hey, I'm back from *another* trip to Germany. Unfortunately the strong storms in the UK last week meant our flight was delayed and we got back a day late.

Sadly this didn't give me more time for polish shopping as the town we were staying in, Herrenberg, is pretty small and didn't have any great places to buy polish.

I did pick up a few from Ihr Platz, the local drugstore though - hey what's a business trip without polish!

Catrice LE's

More Catrice LE's and a sparkly Maybelline

And these were waiting for me when I got home

Swatches to follow

Monday, 15 November 2010

Fireworks Party Mani

Just a quick post to share the manicure I sported over the weekend for my family's annual bonfire/fireworks party. We were a little late this year as Guy Fawkes was last week but I wanted something sparkly to compliment the sparkly fireworks.

I'd picked up some Nails Inc glitters in their recent sale so decided to give the red one a go. It didn't look like it was going to be opaque in any reasonable number of coats so I went for a layered manicure.

This is one coat of American Apparel 'Downtown LA', a classic red that's pretty opaque in one coat and then 2 coats of Nails Inc 'Trafalgar Square' and then 3 coats of Seche Vite. I'd say this was a medium bumpy glitter.

Closeup to show the glitter

I really liked how this turned out and three (3!) members of my family commented positively on my manicure and usually they're pretty oblivious to my np madness! Obviously the bling was noticed and liked.

Because of the vast amounts of SV this didn't wear that well, I had some visible tip pull on the second day.

It was also firmly in the glitter polish territory for removal, felt acetone and scrubbing.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Bad Fairy/Pink Spice - Wear Update

Excuse the bad photo and the hideous state of my nails but I thought this pic of my nails several days after my Bad Fairy / Pink Spice comparison was interesting.

L-R Pink Spice, Bad Fairy, Pink Spice, Bad Fairy

I didn't set out to do a wear test but after a heavy weekend of cleaning, sorting, washing and painting I was surprised to see a distinct difference in the wear of the two polishes.

So for us UK/parts of Europe gals, not only is Pink Spice a very close dupe and is cheaper - it also wears better!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Barry M - Indigo

After the disappointment of the Lil Blings I thought I'd share a recent polish that exceeded my expectations.

A few weeks ago I shared Barry M Mushroom which I'd been seeking after seeing mentions in blogland. As Barry M was 2 for £5 it seemed rude not to get two, I was looking for Dusky Mauve, the Chanel Paradoxal dupe but no luck so I picked up Indigo instead.

Indigo is a stunning blurple creme- this is 2 coats, no topcoat. I tweaked the first photo to make it more colour accurate - all others pics are as is and not colour accurate, all polishes are more purple and less blue.

As soon as I applied it I thought it might be similar to several others in my collection, namely Collection 2000 Parma Violets, Nails Inc Belgrave Place, Models Own Blu Gem and Bourjois Bleu Violet so I thought I'd do some quick comparisons.

l-r Bourjois Bleu Violet, Collecion 2000 Parma Violet, BarryM Indigo, BarryM Indigo

Although it doesn't look like it in the picture Bleu Violet looked a total dupe IRL whereas Parma Violets was slightly darker and more purple

l-r Models Own Blu Gem, Nails Inc Belgrave Place, BarryM Indigo, BarryM Indigo

As you can see these weren't as similar as I thought, Blu Gem is lighter and Belgrave Place is lighter still and has more of a dusky tone. And Blu Gem is not as shiny as the others.

All of these are 2 coats with no top coat.

I swatched Indigo right after Mushroom and loved it so much I reapplied it as a full mani after the comparison shots and wore it on my recent 4-day business trip to Germany. I wasn't expecting too much from a £2.50 polish and took remover and other polish with me expecting to have to replace it, but it held up amazingly well.

This pic is after 4½ days - unfortunately as I'd already swatched the colour I didn't make note of the base or topcoat but IIRC it was a nails inc basecoat and either nails inc or seche vite or Diamont as top coat!!

I love this polish, IRL it's much more intense that the pics show and the wear was amazing for me with any polish let alone a cheapie!

Anyone else had amazing wear from cheap polish?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

myface Lil' Bling - Crystalline Green & Sp'ice'y

Myface cosmetics is a UK brand available in Boots drugstores. Created by makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury their USP is around grouping the products into 3 different skin tones, fair, medium and dark.

Being of the fair, but not Nicola Roberts pale, persuasion I have tried out the foundation (light coverage & dewy) and concealer (best skintone match I have and reasonable coverage) and been impressed so when I saw they'd added nail polish to the range I was definitely intrigued.

Called Lil' Bling and designed to match the Blingtone eyeshadows (intense pearl packed shadows designed to create a wet look shine - according to their website) I picked up a couple from the Boots website (2 for £8).

They come in chunky bottles holding 15ml. The bottles look good although the chunkiness does make the brush a bit hard to handle. If you find Nails Inc brush tricky because of the lid these are even worse.

First I tried Crystalline Green, a not as vibrant as I'd hoped, green chrome.

Oh boy, this polish really tested my patience - it wouldn't play nice with the first base coat I tried. Finally I got it to work, kind of.

This is two coats, application was so-so, the brush was terrible - fat, splodgy and will so many sticking out strands I had to give it a haircut half-way through! The finish isn't too brush-strokey given it's a chrome but generally, yuk.

Several days later after I'd recovered I decided to brave the second one which you'll be pleased to hear was a slightly more positive experience.

This is 2 coats of Sp”ice”y - a brown chrome.

For a start the brush was fine, not amazing, not a splodgy fat mess, just fine.

The colour is a bit more saturated and I didn't struggle with the application.

And a big apology - boy I should've put a ridge filling basecoat under this. These photos justify my buffing habit.

I really wanted to love these - but I couldn't, in fact, especially the green, really quite annoyed me. It didn't help that the first one I tried had a dodgy brush and I really struggled to get a good finish.

I know other folk have had more positive experiences - what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

MAC Bad Fairy and Accessorize Pink Spice Comparison

There's been a lot of mutterings in the np world about possible dupes for the much sought after Bad Fairy from MAC's Venomous Villans collection.

As I was lucky enough to score a bottle at the airport and then got my hands on some Accessorize polishes from their online store I thought I'd do a comparison.

First up, ignore horrible state of my hands/cuticles. One day I will remember to apply handcream *before* taking the pics :-) And ignore the fluff (where does it come from?)

All of these pics are 3 coats of each plus seche vite top coat

Pointer & ring finger are BF, index and pinkie are Pink Spice

Sorry for so many pics but I wanted to show the polishes in different lights and from different angles.

In terms of application they were very similar, very sheer and uneven on the first coat and then the colour builds. If anything the Accessorize brush was better, my MAC brush was a bit fat and splayed at the end. Similar drying times too. The MAC brush was easier to hold though, the Accessorize one is like a fat stubby nails inc brush.

I can see the difference between the two, but most people, certainly what Liz Hurley would call the 'civilians' of the nail polish world, won't be able to tell!

So, in conclusion, for me they're not *exact* dupes, Bad Fairy has slightly more bling, like the sparkle/foil particles are slight bigger and in certain lights you can see the copper duochrome more in Bad Fairy.

But Pink Spice is a very close sibling and for the UK gals (and the limited countries that the Accessorize website will ship to) I think it's a damn fine alternative.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Accessorize Nail Polish Stack!

Look what arrived today!

Sorry for the terrible pics - I've been out at with a customer most of today and the weather here in my part of the UK has been grey and wet this afternoon but I wanted to share the bottle pics at least....

But then I couldn't resist a quick swatch of Aztec over the top of my existing mani (nails inc - palace garden terrace, a chocolate/purple creme)

Natural Light (what there was of it!)

Halogen assisted (so prob. more yellow toned)

Aztec is nicely sparkly after just one coat although it doesn't look as duochrome on the nail.  Can't wait to see it as a full mani.

Fabulous gifts from US of A

My dear and lovely friend Liz recently spent a fabulous holiday in New York and Canada with her fab husband, Matt.

And look what they bought me back!

RBL 360 and Diddy Mow

I've worn both of these already (sorry no mani pics yet) and of course they are the usual RBL perfection.  I don't know how they make these polishes but they apply like they are 90% pigment and 10% buttery application solution.  Wonderful.

And if that wasn't enough (which of course it was and was far more than I was expecting) I also got a couple of OPI variants - Nicole by OPI and Sephora by OPI
l-r Queen of Everything, Respect the World (which is greener and more acqua than shown in this pic)

How lucky am I to have friends like this?!