Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Essence Meet Me @Holografics.com : Lil@c

Today's manicure is Lil@c, from the limited edition Meet Me @Holografics.com collection released by Essence recently. The nail polish section of this collection includes five colours - Lil@c, Blue Ray, Gagalectric, Prism@tic White and Holoberry, and despite the name, not one of them is holographic in any way! They are, however, duochromes, and since I'm rather partial to a nice two-tone effect I decided I wanted some anyway.

Essence is sadly not available in the UK, but thanks to the efforts of a fellow polish addict in Switzerland, I now have my glittery tips on a number of Essence polishes - including Lil@c, shown here.

Lil@c comes with a long, thin, quite flexible brush which holds just the right amount of polish (with a scrape) and is soft enough to splay out a little on the nail, which makes a tidy cuticle line much easier to achieve. It's a gorgeous purple colour (all these pictures show it slightly more blue than in real life, as purples are hard to capture accurately) with a green duochrome sheen, is very pigmented - opaque in two coats, though the duochrome effect is more obvious with three - and dries reasonably fast to a fairly glossy shine (though it could be improved with topcoat).

(Excuse the ding in the index nail. I was in a hurry to catch the daylight and didn't wait for it to dry properly!)

Wear is very good, after two days I've yet to see much in the way of tip wear despite lots of typing. 
The green duochrome sheen is actually pretty muted compared to some other duochromes I've seen, even compared to the other duochromes in the same collection... with two coats and indoors light I couldn't see it at all, and it wasn't til I added another coat that I noticed it (and even then it's only really in certain light, when you hold your hand at a funny angle and squint a bit). The effect is much clearer in daylight.

Overall I really like this polish - one thing I noticed (but found it hard to capture on camera) was that despite the slightly disappointing duochrome effect, Lil@c did have a really nice metallic sheen to it that reminded me of some of the coloured Minx overlays (not as metallic as silver lightning - but then again, is anything??). It's a pity they didn't do a fuchsia pink version of Lil@c as I've been hunting for a really metallic fuchsia that wasn't too foil-y or glittery for ages now.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish : Double Espresso

Just a short post today; I had a severe allergic reaction to something (not sure what yet) earlier this week that lasted several days and I haven't felt up to epic blog posts (or indeed painting my nails in the first place).

However, my naked nails have been taunting me and today I caved in and did this quickie manicure: Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish in Double Espresso.

This is a rich chocolate brown micro-shimmer; smooth and glossy when dry. The brown is shot through with very fine gold metallic particles which are most visible in the bottle (colour shown lighter than real life to highlight the gold sheen more clearly):

They also show up fairly well in pictures of the polish once applied (please excuse the messy cuticles - it's actually coloured hair spray from DS's 'messy hair day' at school, which washes easily out of hair but stains cuticles so completely it even laughs in the face of acetone!):

Frustratingly, however, in 'real life' the shimmer is very hard to see without squinting at it from less than an inch away. This doesn't really matter though; it's a rich, dark velvety brown which is pretty with or without the shimmer. 

Pictured are two coats over a single base coat, no top coat. Application is good, like most Rimmel polishes; the brush is the traditional shape and holds just enough polish for one coat without smearing, applying unevenly or blobbing everywhere. The polish flows nicely and drying time isn't bad; a few minutes for the first coat, maybe ten for the second (and I did pretty thick coats as I was in a hurry at the time and didn't waste too much time scraping the brush after each dunk!).

Wear: I Love Lasting Finish is formulated to resist colour fade and chipping. After one day of wear without topcoat, I had no chips, and only a little tip wear on two nails (and I did a lot of typing today so that's not bad). 

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

My First Award!

Today Stephanie at The Polish Diary tweeted me to say she nominated me for two blog awards - thanks Stephanie! So exciting to have my first awards so early after starting this blog!

The first award is the Sunshine Award.

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award
  • Write a post about it
  • Pass it on to 10 bloggers who you think really deserve it and send them message to let them know

And here is the second award!

The rules for this award are:
  • Link back to the person who passed you the award
  • Complete the form below
  • Share 7 random things about yourself
  • Award 15 blogs
  • Drop them a line and tell them about it

This is the form to be completed:

Name you favorite color:
It kind of depends on the item, my mood etc but I do love red, the brighter the better :D
Name you favorite song:
 I don't have just one favourite... I have hundreds, depending on how I feel at the time. 
Name you favorite dessert:
What makes you mad?
How long do you have???
When you're upset you...
Go quiet, stop eating, stew, then crack up over something minor and cry my eyes out
Your favorite pet:
My cats Merlin and Poppy

Black or white?

Your biggest fear is... :
That something bad could happen to my son.

Your best feature is... :
My eyes.

Everyday attitude:
Friendly, smiley, tries to please everyone

What is perfection?
True perfection doesn't exist. It's a concept we torture ourselves with unnecessarily:  'good enough' is much easier to achieve and is just as satisfying.
Guilty Pleasure:
Nail polish, chocolate, singing loudly on my own in the car, writing until 3am

NOW 7 random things about me:
1. I'm double jointed: my elbows and knees bend the wrong way
2. I am scared of clowns, deep water and heights
3. I love post-apocalyptic/dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy/vampire movies
4. I'm allergic to rabbits, superglue, latex and mould
5. I love the smell of coconut, cherry, rose, cinammon and patchouli
6. I'm a night owl; I can't stand to go to bed before midnight, no matter how tired I am
7. I'm named after a horse: my dad's favorite brood mare!

I would like to pass these awards on to the following bloggers. There are more than 15: never mind eh? All of these (and they are in NO PARTICLAR ORDER) are people who have been particularly welcoming, friendly, helpful or inspirational to me in my quest to join the beauty blogging world, which can sometimes be rather cliquey and unwelcoming towards 'newbies' (plus their blogs are just nice to look at and interesting to read) and I've included them here as a way of saying thank you!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Layering: Revlon Gold Get 'Em over Avon Green With Envy

Morning everyone!

Today I want to show you this accidental layering that I did just to test out the bottle of Revlon: Gold Get 'Em I bought at the weekend. I wondered what the finish was like, so I painted it over one nail of my existing mani for a quick look-see and I liked the effect so much I kept it and did the other 9 the same!

On it's own, Gold Get 'Em is a really sheer, shimmery gold (I'll do a post with it on its lonesome at a later date) but layered over the dark green of Green With Envy, it transforms into a beautiful rich colour that reminds me of aged copper verdigris.

It's bronzey and shiny and antique-metallic and (I'm told) expensive looking; I had quite a few compliments on this manicure :)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Avon Nailwear Pro: Green with Envy

Morning all!

Today's mani is Avon Nailwear Pro in Green with Envy. Here we have two coats of basecoat and two coats of polish.

I have quite a few Avon polishes and they tend to vary in quality/longevity (the older ones I own are terrible for chipping but they seem to have improved their formula recently and the newer ones are much improved) -  this is one of the newer, and better ones I own. It's a very, very dark green creme (and quite hard to photograph without it just looking black -hence the strange lighting in these pictures, which was the only way I could seem to get the green to show). There isn't any shimmer or glitter, just a plain rich green which dries very glossy (all these pictures are without topcoat) and is opaque in two coats although you could get away with just one thick one if you preferred.

Green with Envy comes in the same standard 12ml square bottle as most Avon polishes. It goes on quite smoothly, although it's a little runny for my tastes - which makes it harder to do an even, thin coat without it blobbing all over the place. Because of this, both coats I applied were quite thick and took a long time to dry. I waited 45 minutes after the 2nd coat before going to bed - and woke up with not-too-bad-but-definitely-there sheet marks on the hand I did last :(
Two days after dong this mani I was still chip-free and the polish looked great, with only slight tip wear despite the lack of top coat. (Pictures were taken at the two day mark - you might be able to see the wear if you look closely). I think I'll get at least another two days out of it before the wear is too much to put up with.

Interestingly, Avon in the US uses different names for some of their polish colours- Green With Envy is the UK name, I'm not sure what it's called across the pond. But it's the only dark green they have so it shouldn't be too hard to spot!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Laval Crystal Finish: Silver Glitter

So… Hai. These are my nails!

As you can see, they're not square like most bloggers (square doesn't suit me), but they are sparkly! That's because they're wearing my first ever blog mani: Laval Crystal Finish, in Silver Glitter.

There's a special reason for starting with this mani: it's the first nail polish I ever tried! (No, really. The same bottle and everything. Talk about a blast from my past!). 

Laval are still around today, and have probably changed their packaging and formula and just about everything else about a million times since I was given this particular bottle almost seventeen years ago. It's nothing special (not surprising considering its age), just small round particles of silver glitter in a clear base, but back then I thought it was the bomb. Glitter? On your nails? I was hooked instantly.

Originally, it was easy to apply, but now is so thick and gloopy, that it bears almost no resemblance to the original polish - you have to kind of 'splodge' it on rather than brush it, and it takes over half an hour for just one coat to dry. Pictured here are two coats, with basecoat but no topcoat (it really needed at least one or two more layers of glitter, but I was losing the will to live by then - second coat took almost two hours to dry!). But it's sparkly (more so in real life than in this picture), reminds me of being a teenager again, and it still makes me smile. It even got me three compliments on my 'pretty nails' today! Interestingly though, despite the mammoth drying time, this ancient relic has amazing staying power. Three days on and it hasn't even thought about chipping!

(Seeing as this is my first post, I should also probably apologise for how lame my camera is. It’s actually a phone camera, and not a very good one at that. Sadly, I can’t afford a new one right now, so I'm making do with this one until my birthday... in the meantime, hopefully you can at least get an idea of colour/texture etc from these shots, even if they don't look like they fell straight out of a glossy magazine!)