British Nail Bloggers GIVEAWAY - Winner Announcement

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Hello all!

Just a quick note to announce the winners of the recent British Nail Bloggers giveaway.  Firstly, thank you to all those that entered and followed our various blogs, we hope you'll stick around for a long time!

So, without further ado, the winners are:

1st Prize - $100 gift certificate to a nail polish e-tailer of your choice - LENA PAYNE 

2nd Prize - $50 gift certificate to a nail polish e-tailer of your choice - NINA WILSON
2nd Prize - $50 gift certificate to a nail polish e-tailer of your choice - COURTNEY BECK
2nd Prize - $50 gift certificate to a nail polish e-tailer of your choice - KRIS WILSON

Congratulations! To claim your prize, please email crumpet@the-crumpet.com, before the end of Wednesday 3rd July.  Happy spending!

A sparkley, blingy, polkaglitterydot explosion.

This is a bit of a random sparkley blingy polka glitter dot explosion of a manicure, I'm not sure what I was really trying to achieve, and lets just say there was some wine going on...

Anyway, I decided to use Sinful Colors Winterberry (dark purple), Sinful Colors Soul Mate (nude/peach colour), Lush Lacquer It's Electric (purple glitter) and China Glaze Too Yaucht To Handle (neon green), plus some polka dots, and then some added bling, with some heart shaped diamantes from Born Pretty Store, and some square diamantes I had knocking about in a cheap wheel of different shaped diamantes.

polka dot nail art bling glitterpolka dot nail art bling glitter

So, it's a bit of a mish mash of everything, but it kind of works, right? 

polka dot nail art bling glitterpolka dot nail art bling glitter
polka dot nail art bling glitterpolka dot nail art bling glitter
polka dot nail art bling glitterpolka dot nail art bling glitter

Born Pretty Store Holographic Polishes : Review

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Hello!  I've got some exciting polishes to show you today from Born Pretty Store.  They have recently brought out a range of holographic polishes and have sent me three to review.  So today I have got Number 8 (blue), Number 12 (teal) and Number 11 (purple) to show you.  These are currently on sale for $6.44 each, so they are a tremendous bargain, and holographic polishes are usually pretty tricky to get your hands on.


Born Pretty Store Holographic Polishes


For all these swatches I've done a comparison with dull light, (i.e. what they look like if you are not out in the sunshine) and then what they look like in unnatural light/sunshine.  I would have taken with a flash, however I have killed the flash on my camera, so I have taken with a lamp shining at the polish, which generates a very similar effect, and is true to how sparkly they looked in the sun / under the flouro-tubed lights of my office.  It is worth bearing in mind that you won't see the lovely holographic effect unless there is light shining onto the polish. 

So, starting with Number 8.  This is an aqua blue shade, of which I've applied three coats.  On the left we have no sunshine, on the right we have sunshine.  Out of the three polishes I've got to show you, I'd say this one was the least holographic, but as you can see, that is hardly a criticism; weeeeee!


Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes

Look at the lovely holographic effect!  This is so pretty.  I don't often wear holographic polishes as I find they are quite streaky to apply, but these applied beautifully, no hassle or faff.  Lovely.


Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes
Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes
Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes

Next we have Number 12, which is a gorgeous teal shade, three coats.  As before, left is in dull light, and right is sunlight.  As you can see, there is still an interesting tint/effect on the polish when it is in dull light, so it is a very pretty shade.  And then when you get the holographic effect:  KERBLAM!


Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes

Oh my actual goodness, I flipping love this colour!  Absolutely beautiful.


Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes
Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes
Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes
Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes

Finally we have Number 11, which is a purple shade.  Again, this is three coats.  Left is in dull light, and right is in sunlight.  Again, there is quite a holographic tint to this polish even in dull light.


Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes

This is a really beautiful shade also, easy to apply and quick drying.


Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes
Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes
Born Pretty Store Holographic PolishesBorn Pretty Store Holographic Polishes

Overall, I am really impressed with these polishes.  Obviously, we don't have a lot of sunshine, however I do spend most of my days sat under the flourescent lights in an office, so I had plenty of opportunity to admire the holo-goodness.  I would say the teal is my favourite, but they are all pretty impressive.

These polishes all apply brilliant, no streaking issues, and are quick drying.  I would point out that I haven't applied a top coat, as I find that can dull the effect on holographic polishes.  Also, I found that these polishes didn't chip badly at all after a day of wear on each, but I would also recommend that if you put a matte top coat on as a base coat, it really helps to keep the polish chip free for a few days.


Remember to use discount code MXL91 for 10% off at Born Pretty Store.




born pretty store feather water decals

*These products were sent to me for review





Gradient Nails: Tutorial and Tips

Friday, 28 June 2013

Recently I've been working with Salons Direct to create some nail art and tutorials using China Glaze nail polish that they have very kindly provided me with, and today I've got another one for you: gradient nails.  I do love me a gradient! AGES ago I did a tutorial for gradient nails, and whilst I think the description was pretty accurate, there wasn't enough ACTION photos, so I've decided to do an updated version and I hope this is useful!

gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial

For a gradient manicure you need the following:

White polish
Top coat
Make-up sponge, dampened and squeezed out
Scrap paper
Nail varnish remover
Cotton buds

Nail Polish
What colours to use?  The big decision!  I love pastels for gradients, I also love mixing it up with dark and lights together, and also just using variants of the same colour.  Really, you can do just about anything, but what I would recommend is that you pick polishes with similar opaqueness after the same amount of coats (e.g. don't use one colour that you need 3 coats to get opaque with a one-coater, as this just won't merge together nicely, as one will over-power the other).  Decide how many colours you want to use.  Generally I will use at least three or four different polishes, but bear in mind the length of your nails, and what you will be able to fit on.  Also, last tip; try to keep the tones of the polish similar, e.g. all pastels, all brights, as mixtures are a bit trickier to merge together nicely. 


gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial


For this, I am using the following polishes:  Sun of a Peach, Heli-Yum, That's Shore Bright and Coconut Kiss.

First off, paint your nails a white base colour.  You do need a basecoat as you are sponging colour on, and you don't really want to be doing it onto naked nail, as you might not get a deep enough colour (depending on the colours you are using) and this helps the colour "pop" more.  It doesn't need to be totally perfect application, as you are going to be covering it up anyway. Ensure this is completely dry before you start your gradient, otherwise your make up sponge will pull off your base.


gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial

Right, now for the sponging!  So, what I'd recommend you doing is getting all your polishes ready, undone and lined up next to each other in the order that you are going to use them.  Get your make up sponge and run it under the tap, and squeeze out the excess, so it is damp.  Now, paint your polish onto the sponge in lines.  Bear in mind the length of your nails and the amount of colours you are using, to make sure you've got the right amount of polish onto your sponge.




Now!  Before you apply this to your nail, sponge it onto the paper (not too hard).  This will allow the colours to smoosh (technical term) together a bit first.


Then take the sponge, and sponge onto your nail 2-3 times.  Don't do this too hard, if you do, the colours won't apply well, and you run the risk of getting tiny bits of the sponge stuck to your nails.  I'd recommend sponging it on 2-3 times, quite quickly and fairly lightly.  




Also, move the sponge up a tiny bit for the second go, and slightly down a bit for the third go, again this will help the blending of the colours.  Repeat this for all your nails.  







Don't worry about getting polish over your fingers, you can tidy this up afterwards.  You can probably do 2/3 nails per application of polish to the sponge.  Also, the good thing about this is that your nails will dry pretty quickly.  I'd then repeat this process all over again one or two more times, so that your nails will then have good coverage. 





Once you are happy with your nails, then you will need to do some clean up.  However, before this, apply top coat to your nails and let it dry.  This helps seal in the design, and if you do nudge it slightly during clean up, you won't be taking the gradient off, only a little bit of top coat.






Tip a little bit of polish into the lid of the nail varnish remover and dip the cotton bud in.  Use the cotton bud to carefully wipe off any excess polish on your fingers.  Be careful not to wipe any of the polish off your nails.  If you've got a thin paintbrush, you could use that instead to be a bit more precise.

Then once you are done, final top coat, and it's good to go.


gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial
gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial
gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial
gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial

Whilst gradients look pretty smashing on their own, I am a massive fan as using them as a base for something else, so on this manicure I've kept it fairly simple and just covered my nails with white polka dots, but I think they look great for with leopard print, topped with a glitter, or with water decals over the top... or start with a base colour of white, add some striping tape, and put your gradient over the top of that.  The possibilities are endless!


gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial
gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial
gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial
gradient nails tutorialgradient nails tutorial

Anyway, I hope you've found this tutorial useful!  If you do give this a go, please feel free to share with me on my facebook page.

Visit Salons Directs website: http://www.salonsdirect.com/ Follow Salons Direct on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SalonsDirect Follow Salons Direct on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SalonsDirect



*The polishes used in this post were provided to me by Salons Direct





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