Friday, 26 August 2011

Make Up Musings - What do YOU want from Glitter Mountain?

So far, I have blogged only about nail polish. Initially, when setting up this blog, I actually planned to include other things, like reviews of lipsticks and other cosmetics, maybe other beauty-related products as well. But now I'm kind of torn. I'd quite enjoy doing reviews of other stuff too, but I don't want to turn people off my blog if they're only here for the nails. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? What would YOU like to see here at Glitter Mountain? Anything you want more of? Less of? Anything that isn't here yet that you'd like to see brought in?

Saturday, 20 August 2011

2 True Glossywear : Shade 14

First off, apologies for not having posted a mani for a while; I've been dealing with some RL issues that have kept me from blogging. I'm back though, and this time it's a dip into the GlitterVault again with 2 True Glossywear.

This uninventively named colour (don't you hate when things are just given a number? It's so uninspiring) has lurked at the bottom of my stash for a while now, though it's still available all new and shiny in the shops. 
(Apologies for the lack of cleanup - I originally didn't intend to blog this mani so pics are taken at my desk at work, later that day when I changed my mind about blogging it but had no cleanup kit at hand)

It's not that exciting looking in the bottle and it's depressingly sheer to apply (shown are three coats plus base and top, there are still some 'bald' patches though they're hard to see if you're not looking for them). It also dries slowly; hence the dent in my middle finger when, after half an hour, I gingerly tried to take my glasses out of my bag. And that's with a layer of quick drying topcoat, too.

Sounds terrible, doesn't it? But despite this rather negative write up, I actually really like this polish. It dries to a pretty decent, shiny, brushstroke-free metallic finish and is a good, bright, eyecatching blue that got me a surprising amount of compliments throughout the day. It also wears well, no chips and only a tiny bit of tip wear after almost a week, although it does tend to scratch a little bit owing to the metallic finish. It's not perfect, and if I come across another brand with a similar finish and colour that applies easier, I'll probably take the new one over this. But for now, I like this and will wear it again).

I also noticed something a little strange. My nails tasted kind of metallic whilst wearing this polish... not that I was sucking on them (!) but whenever I ate with my fingers or touched my mouth I noticed a faint metallic tang. It kind of reminded me of the smell of cheap, old fashioned tinsel. Now I'm wondering if this is common to all metallics and I just never noticed before, or if this is a unique phenomenon!

(Can you just picture me now, licking my nails every time I use a metallic from now on? If I disappear, I probably poisoned myself).

Monday, 8 August 2011

Essie : Bordeaux

An unseasonal vampy mani for today: Essie Bordeaux. I'll apologise in advance, it's going to be picture heavy - I'm a little bit in love with this colour, I'm afraid ;)

Bordeaux is a lush, deep berry-wine coloured jelly with a lovely formula that goes on smooth and dries super glossy. In full sunshine, like in this bottle shot here, you can really see the berry tones.

In shade, it darkens to a vampy red wine hue that makes your mouth water; anyone else fancy a nice glass of red now? Just me?

Even though it's a jelly, it's opaque in two coats (as in these pictures, where you see two coats plus a layer of Orly Sec'n'Dry), though if you add a third coat you'll get a less reddish colour that's closer to the dark wine it shows up as in the bottle.

Wear is good, and although I used quick dry top coat this time (the whole thing was done in ten minutes), I've used this colour before without any top coat and the drying time was just fine.

One little piece of celebrity trivia: Rihanna named this polish as her favourite in a Vanity Fair article this January, and no surprise, since it's the kind of shade she's often seen wearing. In honour of this accolade, here's a swatch against my bottle of Rihanna's new perfume, Reb'l Fleur.

I think the vampy wine looks good with the vampy stilletto shaped bottle!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Barry M Instant Nail Effects : Black Magic

Today's mani was at the request of my 7-year old son, who volunteered to choose my next colour, and picked out my bottle of Barry M's crackle polish (he likes the crackle effect and loves to watch it appear, and try to work out how it happens). There's a lot of crackle polishes out there; seems like every brand has jumped on the bandwagon in every colour thinkable, from black to pastels, brights and metallics, but Barry M was one of the first to start this craze and I still prefer their version to most of the others, mostly because its crackle pattern seems better and more reproducible than I've seen in swatches of other brands.

I thought it would look good over yesterday's gold mani, it looks pretty with the metallic gold peeking through the cracks don't you think? Here you see two coats of Aztec with one coat of Black Magic, no top coat. Application is interesting; if you put it on thinly you get a small crackle that reminds me of lizard skin, whilst thicker coats give this dry river-bed like effect with larger chunks of black and wider cracks between them.

Drying time is lightning-fast, a nice side effect of the crackle effect (it has to dry quickly to make the cracks form). Unfortunately this fast evaporation process also means it evaporates quickly in the bottle, too. I've only opened my bottle 3 or 4 times so far and yet it's starting to get claggy around the neck where I wipe the excess off the brush. This doesn't seem to affect the application, luckily - a couple of quick swipes of the standard style brush across the nail and you can watch the cracks appear!

Unfortunately, beyond the speed and thickness of application, and the fact they tend to follow the line of the brush strokes, you can't really control where the 'chunks' will appear. So sometimes you get a weird looking nail (that you probably notice more than other people, in all honesty) but despite this, it's a really fun effect that gets a lot of comments and compliments. I've used this polish with top coat before (it's usually matte) and it made it look kind of like snakeskin!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Beauty UK: Glam Nails - Aztec

OK so I admit it. I'm too addicted to last more than a couple of days without polish ;)

I caved yesterday and tried out a cute polish from Beauty UK. This is a brand I've only just started seeing round here, it's a pretty cheap drugstore type brand that I found hidden out of the way on a tiny, scruffy display in my local Superdrug and almost didn't look at it. On closer inspection, though, they seem to have some really nice stuff! Shame on the store for not putting it in a better spot!

They have some nice looking eye palettes, eye pencils and what not (including eyeliners with big sparkly gems on the packaging - the magpie in me is excited already), but as I am a polish addict first and foremost I decided to test the polishes first. I picked up two of them to try and here is the first: Glam Nails, in Aztec.

Glam Nails is the name for Beauty UK's standard polish collection: it doesn't make any wild claims about lasting forever or drying in milliseconds, but they do have cute, cheap little bottles and come in a pretty decent range of colours from brights to darks and in between. This one is a warm and shiny, metallic yellow gold and it applied nicely enough, nothing special about the formula or the brush but nothing horrible either. It took quite a long time to dry (shown here is three coats though it was opaque in two), but not painfully so, in order with most non-quick-drying polishes really, and didn't streak or bubble.

Once dried, the finish was pretty good: nicely metallic with a good foil sheen, but with minimal brush marks (something which can plague metallics and foils at times). Wear is good so far; after one day and plenty of typing there's minimal tip wear, nothing more. 

Overall I'm very impressed with this dinky cheapie; I'll definitely be trying out some more Beauty UK polishes and probably some of their other make up products too. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Slight hiatus

In case anyone's wondering what happened to the manicures...

I used some cream from the doctor to treat psoriasis under my eyes. I had a serious allergic reaction to that cream (both my eyes swelled completely shut and all the skin peeled off from eyebrow to cheekbone, it looks and feels horrendous, like someone attacked me with a baseball bat!). The doctor says it's the most extreme adverse reaction he's ever seen!

I'm ok but banned from using unnecessary chemicals on my body until it's sorted itself out, for fear of making it worse. This includes nail polish and remover :/

Normal service will resume in a couple of days, thanks for waiting!