Sunday, 30 September 2012

Spain Haulage

Spanish, French and German/European brands...

Apologies for the delay in posting, dear readers, I've been away for a week in Mallorca with my Mum for a relaxing holiday and didn't manage to post anything in the week before or create any scheduled posts #badblogger

We had a lovely relaxing week, the weather was fab, 25°C+ and lots of sunshine.  We shopped, swam and generally relaxed.

I managed to fit in a little polish shopping, we were staying in a fairly small town so there wasn't much opportunity but it did have a few of those perfume/cosmetic shops.  Not an extensive range of brands, I saw OPI and Essie, but I decided to focus on brands that were new to me and some of the new Essence polishes as Essence isn't available in the UK :-(

I'm not sure if these are called LOOK or OK or something else entirely!  They're made by a company called  Impacto Cosmetics based in Valencia.  The bottles are 12ml.  And that's about all the info I can make out from the tiny, tiny print on the bottle.

 Two luscious green toned polishes from Rare and Lola .  The Rare bottle is 10ml and the Lola 11ml.  These two brands are both based in Madrid, Spain but the polish is made in France.

And lastly the Essences I picked up.  Unfortunately we were severely restricted on weight with our (shared) suitcase so I couldn't pick up as many of these as I would've liked...

I quite like the new bottles, they're pleasantly stubby and chunky.  I do hope they haven't mucked about with the brush though.

And on the right is Essences take on the double-ended layering polishes called Nail Colour³.  I chose Midnight Date/City That Never Sleeps as  CTNS looks like an interesting glittery/flakey purple/green combo.

Smallish but hopefully interesting haul.  Looking forward to swatching these soon as my ring finger nail is finally growing back, all my treatments and a week in the sun seem to have done the trick!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Butter London - Artful Dodger

Teal creme

A few months ago Brand Alley, one of those designer sale sites, had a sale on Butter London.  They had sets of three polishes for £18.50 which seemed like a pretty good deal to me.  I may have gone a little crazy and spent over £100 on Butter London polishes!!

My willpower goes all to pot when confronted with pretty polish for a bargain price.  I bought 20 in the end and they averaged out at just over £6 each which didn't seem too bad as I think the RRP for BL is £12

Unfortunately I only swatched some of them at the time and now my nails are all stubby so you'll get to see some now and the rest later....

First up is Artful Dodger

Butter London describe this as a 'true teal' and I think I'd agree. It's a mid to light toned teal and there's a little hint of dustiness there too.  I'd say it was significantly lighter than the clutch of teal polishes that came out a few years ago - check out my comparison review of the time

Overall it's gorgeous and so shiny.

It did take 3 coats but I forgive it....

Totally missing my nails at this length - I should use this picture as a reminder to do my treatment regime to try to get them back to here....

Any tips on growing them back?  At the moment they're all short and seem to break very easily, crumbly rather than brittle if that makes sense?

I'm taking Biotin and general B-vitamins, applying Nailtiques 2 and Barielle Growth Activator for Natural Nails and attempting to remember to do Solar Oil and Revlon Nail Builders Intense Therapy on my cuticles and general hand/nail cream - phew!  That little lot's gotta work, right?!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Catrice - Am I Blue or Green

Pastel turquoise creme

My first thought on looking at this was how much it reminded me of Illamasqua Nudge but I don't have that polish to compare and couldn't find any comparisons in the blogosphere.  So just know that in my mind they're pretty dupey!

Am I Blue or Green is a pastel blue leaning turquoise creme.

This polish claims to only need 2 coats and I'd say it meets that claim.  And for a pastel the application and coverage were great

My swatch shows 2 coats on each except pointer which has 3 as I overspread the first coat - d'oh

Oh I wish Catrice were available in the UK....

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Max Factor - Odyssey Blue

Mid blue foil

On one of my Fantasy Fire seeking searches earlier in the year I picked up some other Max Factor Max Effect minis.

So here is Odyssey Blue..

Odyssey Blue is a rich mid blue foil effect finish with lighter silvery blue small flecks

Application and formula were great, I had no problems with the tiny bottles and brushes.

I like the style of the tiny bottles, they seem identical to the Alessandro polish I've bought in Germany and are chunky and solid feeling.

Swatch shown is 2 coats, no top coat.

Downsides?  Tiny bottles, only 5ml - not much for the price (£3.99)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

OPI - Mermaids Tears

Pale jade green creme 

Mermaids Tears is a pale jade green creme

I struggled a bit with the application with this one, it has the pro-wide brush which I generally find tricky.

The pro-wide style brushes are just too big and unweildly for my teeny nails.

Also you can see in the photos that it dried a bit brushstrokey, like it didn't level properly. Anyone else had this problem with Mermaids Tears?

Swatch is 2 coats with no topcoat.

Overall I like the colour, love the name but am a bit meh about the application and brush....

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

OPI - Don't mess with OPI

Dusky pine green creme

Regular readers will know I'm not a huge fan of OPI, I had some bad experiences with the first OPI's I bought and I still find the quality a bit variable.  Which means they don't get a lot of love on this blog.

Plus they're kinda pricey in the UK.

But of course I'm a sucker for a bargain so when some interesting colours popped up for £5 on the OPI UK sale I snapped a few up.

First up is Don't Mess With OPI

Absolutely love this colour!

Don't Mess with OPI is a slightly dusky blue toned deep green creme

Swatch is 2 coats with no top coat and the polish consistency and application was great.

This polish has put a big tick in the plus column for OPI.

Are there any brands that you have taken a dislike to?  (even if it's slightly irrational!)

Monday, 3 September 2012

Studio - Christmas Nail Collection!

Low priced cremes some with hidden shimmer  

Studio is from Superdrug (UK drugstore) - it's a real cheapy line but I've found the quality to be fine.

The following is the Studio Christmas collection 2011, I know, I know, it's September 2012!

The bottles are not big but not mini, probably 7 or 8ml

Greige - like the name implies this is your usual purple toned grey/brown creme, quite a dark version and  with silver micro shimmer

The micro shimmer is what lifts this above all the other 'greige' polishes.

Swatch is 2 coats with no top coat

Willow - lovely greyed green creme, again not super unique but nicely done.

Swatch is 2 coats with no top coat

Shadow - blue toned grey creme, but again with the microshimmer.  The shimmer is pretty subtle but adds a nice speckled effect to the polish

Again swatch is 2 coats with no top coat

Jade - bright green leaning blue creme, almost neon and it's a one-coat wonder.

Swatch - one coat!

Orchid - neon purply pink

Swatch is 2 coats again but this one dries semi-matte due to it's neon tendancies so I added a top coat for shine

To me this collection didn't scream Christmas, it was just a bundle of random but good polishes

Overall this was a great collection for the price which was well below £10 and in a 3 for 2 deal.

Obviously you can't just go and pick this collection up but the Studio range is still sold in Superdrug  and judging by the polish names I don't think they are special Christmas colours