Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Polish Days: Nail-Venturous Floam over Boots 17 - Spring Petal

Hello everyone, sorry not posted for a while, been pretty busy and whatnot. Today I am doing a post along with some other bloggers featuring a polish from Nail-Venturous called Floam, (after the childrens toy which is some sort of mouldable foam microbead stuff that was about in the 90's - I'm too old to remember that!).

 I will pop links to the other ladies after the photo's. Meanwhile here's a little badge that Hannah from Polly Polish created for days when lots of bloggers want to do a themed manicure!

This polish you can find many swatches for on it's own, but I thought I'd do something different and try layering over a totally different colour to what most people use (i.e a turquoise or green base). So I chose a pink polish with a subtle shimmer, from Boots 17 called Spring Petal. 

I think in hindsight I probably should have used something more neon like Illamasqua Collide to really make it bright, but I still like the colours together nonetheless.

Here's a picture and close up in direct sunlight:  

Here in natural daylight: 

I really like this polish although I did have to add a lot of thinner to it to make it spreadable, but I prefer thinner polishes. Once I did this, it applied like a dream and dried SO quickly, very impressive. The only downside was it took three layers of topcoat to get it even. 

Do you have Floam or have you tried anything different with it at all? 

Thankyou for looking! xxx

Here are the links to the other ladies who are participating in the Floam Day:

Hannah (Polly Polish) Post link
Sabine (My Polish Stash) Post link
Jen (The Nail Polish Project) Post link
A Lacquered Affair Post link
Jenny Hillerström (Beauty by Jenny) Post link
Deborah (Love Varnish) Post link
Melissa (The Crimson Petal) Post link

Rachel (Claws, Nails & Beauty) Post link
Mara (Mara in Polishland) Post link
Charlotte (Charlottes Nails) Post link
Stephanie (Sincerely Stephanie) Post link
Jasmine (Colour Coated) Post link
Carolina (Colores de Carol) Post link
Salla (OMG! Polish'Em!) Post link

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Carmex lipbalm review - Original, Cherry Carmex and Moisture Plus (Peach Sheer Tint)

Hello everyone, I was recently sent some products from Carmex to try, which included the following three items -  original Carmex lipbalm, a cherry flavoured lipbalm and a tinted lipbalm:

Carmex has been making lipbalm for what seems like forever (since 1937 to be precise), I even remember my mum using this occasionally in the 1980's and various friends having it at high school. My mum used the little pot of the original Carmex balm which is a set formula in a small pot with a screw lid. The cherry flavoured lipbalm has a thickish consistency which you can apply straight from the squeezy tube. The tinted lipbalm in this case is the Peach Sheer tint and is in the form of a lipstick style tube:

The cherry flavoured and Peach tint both have an SPF of 15 in the form of oxybenzone. Some people tend to avoid this ingredient and so if you know you don't like it, you may want to avoid these. The original lipbalm doesn't contain any oxybenzone.

This is the ingredients list for the Original lipbalm:

Whilst some of my friends at school were using this I used to use the little pots of Vaseline, but eventually gave up using that due to the ingredients i.e the petrolatum, which is also in this product. Although I feel occasional use is ok, it's not really the sort of thing I'd use on my lips regularly anymore. I just find too much use will lead to more drying of the lips and I don't really want to put petrochemicals on my lips, especially if it's the main ingredient.

The Cherry flavoured lipbalm has some similar ingredients, (this list was taken from the Boots website):

Petrolatum, Lanolin, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Aroma, Benzophenone-3, Cetyl Esters, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Cera Alba, Paraffin, Camphor, Menthol, Vanillin, Benzyl Alcohol, Hydroxycitronellal, Eugenol. Contains Oxybenzone

This product has quite a strong chemical cherry scent to it which some of you may like and does tingle a bit on the lips, but is good for pre-moisturising before applying lipstick.

Here is the ingredients list and product information for the Peach Sheer Tint:

Out of the three products sent to me, the Sheer Tint in Peach was my favourite. I have actually reached for this a few times - it imparts a slight sheen with a hint of colour and looks quite natural on my lips which are quite pigmented. It's a good one to take on a night out if you need less than a lipstick but want more than a non-coloured lipbalm. This was also I feel the most moisturising out of the three lipbalms too with not needing to reapply too often.

All of these items can be bought from Boots at a price of £2.69 for the Original and Cherry flavoured and for £4.49 for the Peach Sheer Tint. I have also seen these in lots of other places including most chemists on the high street.

Thankyou for reading, will be back soon with more nails and lipstick! xxx

* These products were sent for review.*

Monday, May 7, 2012

ELF - Lilac and Claire's Nail polish (no name) in glitter sandwich

Hello again everyone, I hope you have been busy trying out dotty manicures after my 2 part post showing you how to achieve the look.

Today I am doing a quick post showing the nails I wore for the weekend. I've had this idea going round my head for a while now but only just got round to trying it! ELF - Lilac is a sheer polish that I knew was asking to have some glitter sandwiched between it and I had the perfect polish for it. Claire's Cosmetics have done a really pretty pastel coloured glitter that annoyingly has no name or number to it!

For the manicure I did two thinnish coats of the Lilac and then one average layer of the glitter. It contains pale gold, pink and green larger hexagonal shapes and smaller square or hexagonal pieces - I can't tell really due to camera issues and don't think my eyesight is any better! Then another average coat of the Lilac to top the sandwich. All finished with a garnish of Revlon topcoat.

Here is the glitter without the final layer of Lilac so you can see the colour of it properly in natural light:

With the final layer of Lilac over the glitter the reflection of light against the glitter is stopped revealing the perfect pastel colours of the glitter and I really like this so much. Even removal was pretty painless as I didn't want to layer too much of the glitter on - keeping it delicate and in keeping with the subdued colour of the lilac. 

Below is in natural light:

This is under artificial light:

Close up, not great focus but enough!:

I hope you liked this look, have any of you tried this glitter sandwich? What are your favourite combinations if so? xxx

Friday, May 4, 2012

Polka Dot Nails Tutorial Part 2 - The Manicures

Hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed and found useful Part 1 of the polka dot tutorial, which covered the basics of dotting. This part will show how I did the actual manicure using a-england Camelot and Boots 17 matte topcoat instead of a colour. You can see the original look by scrolling down this post - a-england Camelot and Polka Dot nails. Here is a link to Part 1 covering the basics of dotting.

Using the same spacing as the 'staggered dotting method', we do exactly the same as in the previous tutorial but using a matte topcoat for the dotting instead of a colour. You'll find if using a matte topcoat it will be less liable to having runny streaks as the matte topcoat , well this particular one anyway has more of a gel like formula. This also makes it easier to go over a dot if you have made a mistake perhaps if it is too small.

Below shows the ring finger but don't forget to allow for the sizing of the little finger and thumb (see part 1) - you can click any picture to enlarge:

Stage 1 - Paint on your black base colour and add a clear shiny topcoat.

Stage 2 - Dot just off centre from tip to cuticle with the matte topcoat, keeping the dots evenly spaced.

Stage 3 - Complete one side of the nail first, don't forget it may be easier to turn the nail by 90 degrees to help with dotting.

Stage 4 - Complete the other side of the nail, and you are done!

You should end up with something like this (from original post):

I also did a quick try of a dark grey (middle) and light grey (left) to see how it looked with matte dots:

Why not try putting a matte topcoat over your base colour and then adding glossy dots such as in the example below for a different take on the look? (Personally I prefer the matte dots):

Dots can also be used to make other patterns such as flowers, as shown here:

Stage 1 - Base colour and using a dotting tool of some sort place dots in a circle, as little or as many as you like.

Stage 2 - Add more flowers if you like, across all fingers or just as an accent nail.

Stage 3 - Using a different colour add the centre to the flowers (or fried eggs as they look to me!).
Stage 4 - Add a topcoat to even out and prolong the manicure. 

                                                                       *    *     *    *    *    *    *

Those were just examples of a myriad of manicures you could undertake, now I am going to give you some links to some of my favourite manicures by other bloggers based around dots or using dotting tools. These are in no particular order, I love them all equally!

I follow Spektor's Nails who has done quite a few different dotty looks, here's one of them using big dots: Black and White Polka dot nails

One of the most unique and beautiful dotted manicures I've seen in a while from one of my fellow B&W challenge mates, Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie: Sno-Caps 

Sammy from The Nailasaurus has done these cute flowers not unlike the ones above, along with a great little video tutorial: Simple Flower Nail Art. 

Every time I click on a link to AmyGrace at The Polished Perfectionist I want to do a Wayne's World style 'we're not worthy!' and here's a link to perfect dots combined with a skittle manicure: Polka Dots 

Rie for her amazing 31 day challenge effort (phew!!) did this bright and cheerful look with an accent nail ( I always want to do 'we're not worthy' with Rie too!):31 day challenge - Polka Dots 

Another of my B&W challenge buddies did this beautiful dot over dot manicure, from Cris at Let Them Have Polish: Blue Dots for Autism 

If you type into Google Images the words 'polka dot nails' or 'polka dot manicure', it will bring up so many different looks for you to be inspired by so now you are armed with the know how, do some dots and send me a link to what you've done in the comments box below! You KNOW I love dots so would love to see. Thankyou for reading everyone. xxx

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Polka Dot Nails Tutorial Part 1 - The Basics (warning picture heavy!)

Hello everyone, back again, this time with a tutorial as requested by those lovely ladies over at EyeGraffiti after I did these polka dot nails -  click here for link.

It was a while ago that I did those nails and after discussion with Phlox from Eyegraffiti, I decided to do a whole tutorial including how to place the dots. For the tutorial I used two contrasting colours rather than the black and matte as this is much easier to see (but see part 2 for tutorial with matte) .
For the left hand I adopted a 'staggered dotting method' and for the right hand a 'linear dotting method' - might trademark those ;-)  There is also a 'random method'.

Firstly we need to generally talk about what to use to create the dots on the nail, I personally use dotting tools that are available cheaply from EBay. (They only cost about £5 at the most and I prefer to pay slightly more than to order from China for cheaper, if they are already in the country no need to get more sent over!).  These have different sized ends depending on what you need.

Now if you don't have any dotting tools, you don't necessarily need them. I do a lot of dots so like them but if done occasionally try using the end of a bobby pin/kirby grip once unfolded, a pinhead, the end of a pencil or paintbrush, to be honest anything pointy that can be dipped in polish! 

So on with the tutorial..... (general hints & tips at end of post!)

Staggered method - Little finger:  (click to enlarge photos if needed.)

Stage 1 - After applying a basecoat add your base colour, this was a quick 2 coats but I would normally do 3. You can at this stage do a quick rough clean up, I did hence dry cuticles but at the end you'll clean up again and moisturise anyway.

Stage 2 - Place dots evenly spaced down the centre of the nail. Depending on the size dots or how many you want you'll need to choose the size of tool you need, I used a small/med one. (This meant I could have 3 'columns' on my little finger.) 

Stage 3 -  Off one side of the centre dots place another line of dots not next to but 'between' where the other dots are, try to keep the line from cuticle to tip straight.

Stage 4 - Repeat for other side. Little finger done!


Ring/middle and index fingers:

In order for the spacing between the dots to be consistent across nails you will need to think about the placing of the dots, if you were to do a line down the middle as in the little finger then it will cause them to be too spaced out if you did 3 columns or too packed if 5 columns. Therefore for these three fingers (which have roughly the same width) you will need to start off centre to do 4 lines/columns.

Stage 1 - Till you get practice it may be easier to do a line on a piece of paper as a centre marker, so you can see where to place the dots just off from this point.

Stage 2 Place your dots, it may be better to start from the tip and work back to cuticle for this first line if doing this, makes it easier!

Stage 3 - Complete the dots, best to do one side of the nail first and then work on the other. Sometimes it can be helpful to turn your hand by 90 degrees to dot, a different perspective can help with the spacing. Start to dot on the other side, this line you will find will also be off centre if spaced correctly.

Stage 4 -  Finish off the dots on the other side. As you can see the dot near the cuticle has gone over the blue, but once cleaned up at end of manicure this will look ok, if this dot wasn't placed there, that part of nail will look a bit bare and odd! Some of the dots are not perfect but at end of post I will discuss how to avoid messing up.


Now the thumb being wider still than the other fingers will need more columns, so you can go back to doing a centre line and treating it like the little finger, except adding an extra column each side.

Stage 1 - Place dots down centre keeping evenly spaced to tip.

Stage 2 - Complete dots on one side, doing an extra line of dots. 

Stage 3 - Finish the thumb by dotting the other side and do your other hand!

Wait for all dotting to completely dry, this will take a while if the dots are quite raised due to amount of polish. Once dry you can then clean up and add a topcoat to smooth out and give shine. It's best to 'float' the topcoat onto nail, i.e  not let brush touch the actual dots/nail but let the topcoat flow over the nail.  After adequate drying time, wash hands to get rid of any polish remover residue and then throughly moisturise/use cuticle oil or as I do - both!

Linear method:

For this method it's pretty much the same as the staggered method when doing the spacing for lines except the PLACEMENT of the dots is different, you simply place the dots adjacent to the other dots and not across and 'between'. (The little fingers spacing is a bit awry! Oops.)

Random method:

The last dotting method is of course randomly al over the nail, place the dots wherever you feel like it and any size or colour (excuse colour in first 2 photos, next 2 in sunlight!) Start with base coat and build up different colours, as many or little as you like. You can add topcoat at the end but for this method you can see it sort of removes the 'texture' of the dots. If not using a topcoat be prepared to wait for a while to dry! 


Helpful hints:

1) When using polish to dot for the nails, I prefer to decant a bit of polish onto another surface, trying to dip into a polish bottle is messy and most dotting tools wont fit! Below on the left you can see I have decanted into an old plastic pot lid, which I then prop up so the whole end of the dotter can be dipped into the polish. I also prefer to decant little and often so you are not wasting any of the polish.


2) Try visualising where the dot will go before dotting the polish, believe me this helps!

3) Make sure the dots are of a similar size to keep consistent, although if slightly different it shouldn't show too much on the nails, unless taking macro photo's. You can see below that on the right hand side of photo I did a dot that was a bit too small and went back over it, it looks a mess! If you need to go over it make sure you get it perfectly central over the previous dot and don't press too hard or you will leave a 'well'.

4) When dotting make sure there is enough polish on the dotter but not TOO much, you will run the risk of leaving a trail of polish as seen below. This can also happen if the polish is too dry and it has gone stringy.

5) Regularly clean the dotting tool between every few dots (on kitchen roll or cotton wool pad) to prevent too much polish building up - again this can lead to disparity in dot size or trailing of stringy old polish. 

6) To reiterate earlier, if you have time ( which you will need if you want to dot neatly) wait for as long as possible for the dots to dry before adding topcoat or you will streak the dots and ruin the nail. When you do add a topcoat 'float' the topcoat onto the nail just using to brush to guide rather than brush it on, again this helps prevent streaking of dot.

Now you know how to do dotting, you can try all sorts of colour combinations, there really are no limits apart from your imagination!

I hope some of you have found this interesting and helpful, well at least for the new to nail polish amongst you. Thankyou for looking and don't forget to see part 2 coming soon, which will show the tutorial using matte topcoat (but only on one nail) and a few other different ideas. There will also be some links to my favourite dotty manicures from some of my favourite bloggers! xxx