Thursday, 31 July 2014

Alphabet Challenge: Cadillacquer Once More With Feeling

Today I am showing you a polish starting with 'O' for the Alphabet Challenge.
This is Once More With Feeling from the crush-worthy brand Cadillacquer from the Such Is Life collection. This is a cornflower blue crelly base that leans slightly purple, with a beautiful bright pink shimmer. As if that wasn't enough there are lots of white (and I think pink??) square glitter in there too! This is three thin coats with HK Girl topcoat.

This polish is so dreamy and delicate , I had no issues at all with application and it dried quickly and smoothly on the nail. I think we can safely say my crush with Cadillacquer will continue...

You can find the rest of the manicures done as part of this challenge (by some fab British Bloggers ) over at The Hub!  Go check 'em all out!

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

MyPure Review: Alva Rhassoul Mineral Wash Cream

Today I am sharing the second review with you from My Pure (who specialises in natural beauty and makeup products!) using Alva's products. Today's post is about the Mineral Wash Cream.

This is an anti-blemish wash however what drew me to the product was that it contains Volcanic Mineral Clay which is suppose to help deep cleanse your skin. You know I am always one to try out different and quirky products! Lava clay's 55% Silica content makes it great for helping your skin. This isn't the first time I have had great results from Silica (I was using it as a supplement for nail and hair growth a few months back) so I know that it has some good benefits to using it!

Anyway....this product can be used all over the body. Simply massage an amount into damp skin. If you have problem skin like I do you can let it sit for a few minuets before washing it off. One of the other things that drew me to this product (and the only reason I know this is from the listing on the MyPure page as it doesn't say it on the back of the tube) is that this can also be used on the scalp as a mineral treatment. I suffer from psoriasis of the scalp thanks to a bad Salon's dye-job so the fact this is a duel action product it great.

So my shower routine has involved using this product A LOT! Let me first say this is a very large tube of product and even though I have using a large amount of this product (150ml) there is still loads left. You do need to remember to shake up the tube before use as the clay sort of separates and you don't get the silty goodness. I was surprised by the consistency of the product it wasn't thick or mud like but rather a thin cream-like consistency that was easy to work into the skin and scalp (and it smelt really nice).

The first thing I noticed after using this was that it was very cleansing, both my face and hair felt clean and free from any residue. My scalp was less inflamed straight away and less painful to the touch. I also noticed that there was less shedding of skin. On my face I could feel my pores felt cleansed and clean and soft to the touch ( please note this product isn't designed for talking off make-up, I use a dedicated makeup remover for that). I think this product is great as creating a blank canvas so that you can then apply any additional spot/facial treatments without anything being left on the skin (including the facial tonic I shared with you yesterday). The fact it can be used on other parts of the body/scalp is just a bonus! I would really recommend trying this!

The inclusion of this graphic means that the product above was sent to me for review. All opinions are honest and all information is correct at the time of writing.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

MyPure Review: Alva Facial Tonic

Today I have a review of Alva Rhassoul Clear-Up Active Facial Tonic to share with you which you can purchase from the natural beauty products website MyPure.

This Facial Tonic really appealed to me as it is alcohol free and anti-bacterial. This tonic comes in a 100ml glass bottle which is really sturdy and looks really smart on my dressing table. I have applied a small amount to a cotton pad each morning and night for a month in the hope of helping reduce blemishes. I can tell that this bottle is going to last FOREVER as you get lots of product and don't need to use too much at once. This tonic smells quite strongly but I can't put my finger on a certain scent, however when I read the back of the bottle it says that it contains essential oils. These oils are suppose to combat spots while stopping further break-outs. Luckily this month my skin has been behaving alot better than it has done in the past and I feel that this is due to the Tonic (although I do have another Alva product to share with you from MyPure so that too might be helping!!).  The Tonic feels like it is purifying and stopping any blemishes on the skin in my problem areas. The tonic tightens the skin but not to the point of being uncomfortable. It does feel a little sticky but it dries and absorbs into the skin quickly.  The instructions do say not to apply to any delicate areas on the face including the thinner skin by the eyes, so this is just worth noting in advance. I was really surprised at how soft my skin felt too, as if it is trapping the moisture in my skin and it isn't at all drying, I assume this is because most alcohol based products can feel drying. In this super hot weather we have been having I find applying this feels really refreshing on my face.

In summary this is a really good product, the only con being the scent which could be a bit strong for some. However this really isn't a problem for me and I think this is a very good product. 

The inclusion of this graphic means that the product above was sent to me for review. All opinions are honest and all information is correct at the time of writing.
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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Nail Doodles: The Runes Collection

After my interview yesterday I promised you a review of some lovely Nail Doodles Decals today. So here you go. I really loved these Runes decals as soon as I saw them, they are so different. I have a love of all things mystic as well as language and history so I knew straight away that these were something I would love and I wasn't wrong!

Let me first say  how much I love the packaging on these, everything is handwritten and illustrated, it is these little touches that really makes me love the Nail Doodles branding.

As you can see you get two sizes of each decal (each letter of the Runic Alphabet), I found the smaller size worked better for my nail as they are nubbins but most people will be able to use both sizes!

Again the back is really well laid out, you get a full set of instructions as well as some tricks and tips for application. All you do is cut out your design, remove the backing and then stick it down on your nail. Like temporary tattoos you then just wet the back until you can see the design through the paper and the backing should just slide away! 

As a extra touch with the Runes Collection you get a translation sheet too which I thought was really thoughtful!

So what were these like on the nail?

I had no issues at all with application and then I topped my manicure with a thick coat of Seche Vite to stop the decals from cracking. (This manicure uses a base of China Glaze Petal to the Metal which was applied for me when I had my nails professionally shaped this week, it is much more neon than my camera shows it as!)

For those of you too lazy to translate this I wrote 'Ker' which shockingly is my nickname.

The decals are really crisp, there was no bleeding or blurring of the design once it was applied. In fact it looks really professional.

In all I am SO impressed by these and knowing they are handdrawn is even more fabulous, I adore the presentation and packaging and I know I will be ordering more. I also have a second set of decals to share with you so keep your eyes peeled for that too. You can buy these from Nail Doodles on Etsy.

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The inclusion of this graphic means that the product above was sent to me for review. All opinions are honest and all information is correct at the time of writing.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Stash It! Why are more and more women buying nail polish?

As  part of my new Stash It! series I promised I would take a quick look at why more and more of us are now buying nail polish. This is not a conclusive list by any means and I would love to hear your reasons for starting on the slippery nail polish slope.

“The appeal, and power of the nail category is both the permission to play, and the accessibility in price,” Karen Grant, vice president and global industry analyst, The NPD Group

I suppose the main reason more and more ladies are buying polish is because less and less are going to the Salon, with the economy in the state that is is, there is less money for 'frivolous' concerns, most of us are becoming more frugal at the moment, yet we still live in a materialist society. women are still expected to be be attired in the latest fashion trends.  There is certainly a push towards a do-it-yourself culture, with more people cutting there own hair, making and modifying their own clothes why wouldn't it be the same for polishing your nails? So it is easy to see that one bottle of polish can cost half the price of a manicure in a salon and one bottle of polish can do infinitely more full manicures for that price.  You can even easily get at home gel or gel-lookalike polishes now! Personally I have only been to a salon a handful of times for a manicure while I have countless bottles of polish so I can certainly count myself as in this category.

Color is another main factor influencing consumer purchases, with more than 60 percent of nail product buyers reporting that as long as they get the color they want, they do not pay attention to the brand. This is where my Stash It! Series comes in, can a cheaper polishes really compete with named brands? (my personal answer is yes!). But in a wider context, there are far more colours on the market nowadays. Again I am generalising here but when I go to the Salon there are lots of red and pink polishes but hardly any other colours. When I go to the store I can pick exactly what colour I want!  There is also such a wide range of products on the market today, at-home experimentation is ripe with 6 out of 10 women saying that  want to try new nail care products. You can get so many  special effects polishes in the store such as  such as glitter, crackle, magnetic or whatever else that you can not get in the salon.

“These days nail polish serves as both a fashion accessory and an identity statement. Celebrities like Beyonce, Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry flaunt their flamboyant nails on the red carpet, inspiring young women to emulate their style without the expense of a designer frock. And with a myriad of different colours and effects to choose from, there’s a polish to cater to every taste."
Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research

Another reason for the boom in nail polish sales is the internet, today you can find almost every nail shape, polish shade and type of nail art imaginable with only a few clicks.  When I started blogging almost three years ago you couldn't buy nail art products easily, now nail art is another way to express yourself and you can buy the products everywhere, From nail art pens to flocking or 'caviar' style beads to stickers you can get it all easily (and cheaply).

Nail Polish is now a Women's warpaint according to The Daily Mail.  Nail Polish can play a big role in boosting confidence. I have issues with anxiety and find that wish a set of freshly painted nails I can face the world much more easily.  I know lots of ladies in the nail polish community who will agree with me on this!  It also appeals to our completionist natures, we want to get the full set of shades, we want this rare of discontinued colour. Something about a line of pretty bottles in a row is very satisfying.  Nail polish  therefore is seen as an affordable indulgence. 

But whatever the reasons for the New Age of Nails it has created a fabulous community of like-minded ladies (and some gents). If you are a nail newbie were any of these factors pushing you towards polishing, for the older polish-aholic do you think the new nail polish culture is a good thing with more accessibility or has it become over saturated?    

I am going to finish the introduction to the Stash It series, with where are the best places to buy polishes, so if you live in the UK and have a shop that you regularly buy polish from feel free to contact me and submit a photo and it might make it into my post!  Then we can start focusing on the polishes themselves. (I might also do a side post on different polish finishes for the nail newbies out there if  people want it!  so let me know!)

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An Indie Interview: Nail Doodles ( Handamde Nail Decals)

Even though I myself am no longer an indie polish maker I think it is important to support other UK based Indie brands. It is easy to forget behind the brand is a real person- a person who puts alot of time and effort into producing a high quality products. This little series helps to put a face to the brand and get to know the brands a little better. Today is something a little different it is a interview with a brand who produces high quality hand drawn nail decals.  Please show your love by leaving a comment and supporting an independent business.

Abbie also kindly sent me some nail decals to try which I will be showing you tomorrow, let me say now I am super impressed!

1. Who are you, what is your brand and where can we find you?

My name is Abbie (aka Reet Petite), and I'm a freelance designer/illustrator from South Wales, who is also a trained nail technician. My brand is the hybrid baby of a combined love for nail art and illustration, entitled Nail Doodles, and I try my best to make quirky nail art easy and accessible by selling hand-drawn handmade water decals. You can find both Nail Doodles and myself on most social media platforms like twitter, instagram and facebook, and my little online store has settled itself into etsy. I'll leave all the links below!:

Nail Doodles

2.  How long have you been selling for?

Nail Doodles is a very new, very young adventure, and has been live since the 26th May, 2014.

3. What made you start making decals?

The concept behind my brand was born towards the end of 2013, a few months after I qualified as a nail tech, when I was experimenting with nail art and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my skills, and where I would fit in. Eventually I discovered nail decals and fell in love with them, and the idea that they could give anyone, no matter what their creative skill or budget, beautiful unique nails. The hand-drawn nature of my decals were simply because there are hardly any out there, especially in the UK, and it made sense to combine my nail skills with my graphic design background. It took me a long time to test and perfect the product that I have today, but I'm really proud of my achievements and have nothing but big hopes and dreams for the business.

4. What inspires your designs?

Everything!! I take my inspiration from whatever catches my eye, be that something from the fashion, art & design or entertainment world, or simply from nature itself. That's the beauty of being creative, you can find inspiration from anything.

5. What was the  first decals you made and why?

I think the first decals I wanted to do were the runes collection. I've always been fascinated by witchcraft and one of my main design passions is typography, so after watching The Mortal Instuments: City of Bones and seeing how beautiful the ancient alphabet really is, I did loads and loads of research as well as looking for them in decal form, and though there are a few out there, I did not find any that were hand-drawn so jumped at the chance. 

6. What is your favourite image and is it the same as your most popular one?

I would say that my favourite collection at the moment is sweetheart v.2. There are two versions basically because I drew so many different things for the collection, and couldn't narrow it down to just 20, so I decided to just include them all! In terms of my most popular, there has been quite a broad range of purchases, and my top sets at the moment are sweetheart v.2 and old english v.1. But I love all my collections and design them as something I would want to wear on my nails, so I'm just happy that other people like them too.

7. What is coming next from your brand? Can you give us a sneak peek?

I am currently in the process of drawing up three new collections: Bohemian Love, British Seaside and Tiki Party, one of which will be a limited run for the summer, and since you asked so nicely, here is a sneak peak of the drawings for Tiki Party

 8. Do you have any tricks for applying them?

I try to make my decals as vibrant as possible, but because they are handmade they are semi-sheer, so work best over lighter shades like whites, nudes and pastels. Make sure your base colour is dry before applying them, and always use a good top coat for extended wear. My favourite is seche vite. Also don't be afraid to cut down the designs, and experiment by maybe using one image over two nails. 

9. What makes your decals different from all the other ones out there?

I think what makes my decals stand out the most, is that they are all hand-drawn, and I think it gives them a more personal touch. As well as the decals being hand-drawn, every aspect of the product is handmade by me, from the envelopes recycled from magazines to the hand cut collection stickers. Plus, I have combined the technique of applying water decals with temporary tattoos to make my decals, to eliminate air bubbles and make them adhere better. I have also tried to cater to all nail forms by having each design in three different sizes, so theres something for everyone :) AND I offer a custom design service. So if you have a special birthday or event coming up, maybe launching a new business, or just want your own personal set, we can definitely make that happen!

 10. Have you got a picture of a design that never made it to your shop and why it didn't make the final cut

I drew a whole other version of my runic alphabet to go with the one I currently have on offer, but the designs didn't look great on a small scale. Sometimes I have to be strict with myself on the detail that goes into my decals, which sometimes can be hard. I am disappointed that they couldn't be used because I put a lot of time and effort into drawing them, but I now know for future collections what works and what doesn't.

Abbie xx

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

N is for KB Shimmer Newsprint

Today I have the next polish to show you in the alphabet series for the letter 'N', this polish must be one of my oldest untried polishes so it was nice to finally wear it, even if it isn't exactly a summer shade.

Newsprint is a grey crelly polish filled with black, white and red glitter hex's, bar glitter and square glitter with a slight red shimmer. This is three coats but you could really get away with two, by three you can see some of the glitter from the first coat was a little bit too obscured by the base of the next layers. Rookie mistake.

I really love the pops of red against the grey, they really add something extra to this monochrome concoction.  But I am bias I guess as I am a massive fan of KB Shimmer anyway!

Newsprint is one of the older shades and I don't think it is for sale anymore sadly. 

You can find the rest of the manicures done as part of this challenge (by some fab British Bloggers ) over at The Hub!  Go check 'em all out!

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Colour Me Crazy: Yellow (with Born Pretty Review)

Today's theme for the British Nail Bloggers Colour Me Crazy Challenge is Yellow. Yellow is such an odd colour to me, it is so happy yet I am yet to find a decent yellow nail polish that both applies well and looks good with my skin tone.  ANYWAY...  I persevered on and chose NYC Lexington Yellow. I found this polish a bit goopy and it took four coats and Seche Vite topcoat to even out.

I then decided to cheer this manicure up with these oh-so-cute glasses-and-mustache embellishments from The Born Pretty Store, which does a great range of nail art supplies.

 If you order these cute little embellishments (which you can do so here or by quoting the name and number: 5pcs Rhinestoned Cute Mustache-shaped design stud 3d nail art sticker nail art decoration #10443) you receive a pack of 5. I found they were very sturdy without feeling bulky on the nail. They are also slightly rounded instead of being a flat-backed embellishment which is a fantastic touch as it means they have a better fit against the nail bed. 

I adhered the embellishment to the nail using some topcoat but for a stronger bond you could use nail glue. I was however amazed at how long he lasted on my nails with just topcoat (a whole day of typing and generally using  my hands).

This is such a fun design and it really is oh so cute!

Remember you can get all your nail art products as Born Pretty- they stock so much!. If you are planning to order from Born Pretty don't forget you can 10% off your order with the code "BA5X31" which is also on my blog sidebar!

You can find the rest of The British Nail Blogger's Yellow manicures below!

The inclusion of this graphic means that the product above was sent to me for review. All opinions are honest and all information is correct at the time of writing.
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