Category Archives:Nails

Flag: NYC High Line Green, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Sally Hansen CSM Firey Island
Mar. 16.

Manicure Monday: St. Paddy’s Day Nails

mm-paddys-thIt’s that week again. A week for the whole world to celebrate their link to Ireland, no matter how tenuous the connection. Well, if you want your nails to look just a little more Irish, you need to check out this very simple job of St. Paddy’s Day Nails.

nails-paddys-bottles

The colours, and lots of green!

For this manicure, you need a green, a white and an orange. And a green, and another green, and 37 shades more green. Anywhere between two and 40 is grand though. I used three greens, as it allowed some difference between them, and one of them was glittery. Enough said about that. The colours I used were:

Flag: NYC High Line Green, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Sally Hansen CSM Firey Island

Flag: NYC High Line Green, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Sally Hansen CSM Firey Island

Wet'n'Wild Sage in The City, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Shamrock: Wet’n’Wild Sage in The City, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Yes Love glitter 7, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Glitter Nail: Yes Love glitter 7, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

I put a white undercoat under the green glitter, as I wasn’t sure of its coverage. If you know you have a full coverage polish, go for it without the undercoat.

It was then simply a case of laying down the main colours. I went for Green, White & Orange on my index, middle and ring fingers, while putting down white on my pinky and thumb, giving a solid base to work from. Then, using a fine paintbrush, it was a simple task to lay down the shamrock. Finally, I added the green glitter to my pinky fingers.

All done

All done

Et voila! It really was that simple to do, and I think it looks the part for holding a glass of green beer while saying “Kiss the Blarney Stone!”

What are you up to for St. Patrick’s Day? Are you dying the rivers green, painting the town red, or trying to avoid the madness of it all?

Robyn

*No patty’s were uttered in the making of this post. I trust it will stay that way.

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nails-noflash
Mar. 09.

Manicure Monday: Spring is Here!

mm-essie-thIt’s March, and while I personally believe spring starts in February, February just didn’t feel like spring. Now though, the weather is slowly getting better, Irish people are losing the run of themselves at the sight of sunshine and longer days, and it is time to start breaking out the brighter polishes that are most suitable for this time of year (though I totally agree that you should wear whatever polish you like whenever you like). So, to get in the spring mood, I am looking at two polishes that I picked up in the sales in January. Both are from Essie, and they are Naughty Nautical & Bikini So Teeny.

Both polishes come from the 2013 Summer collection, Anchors Aweigh. I apologise for only getting around to them in winter 2014/2015, but when the pair are on sale in Boots for €5 (regular price €16.99) how can you say no. It was an easy path from seeing to wanting to making them mine.

nails-bottles

Naughty Nautical, the green, is described by Essie as being an “oceanic blue-green shimmer”. It is definitely more green than blue, and does have a very subtle silver shimmer, which while more noticeable in the bottle, doesn’t really translate onto the nails, unless you know it’s there and are looking for it. Bikini So Teeny on the other hand is a “pretty yet provocative cornflower blue with a touch of sparkle”. The sparkle is again silver, and again is not visible unless you were really looking for it.

I think it applied well, spreading nicely, and while a little patchy after coat one, was nice and smooth after the second coat. These were applied on top of a coat of CND Stickey, and finished with a Rimmel Lycra Wear top coat. The pictures though, seem to be a little odd, showing up some weird defects. First up is nails taken without flash.

nails-noflash

The green nail in the middle on the left looks particularly off. I can’t for the life of me figure out where the kind of white streaks are coming from. They certainly don’t appear on the nail when I am looking at it normally.

nails-flash

Similarly, in the picture taken with flash, there seems to be a couple of spots on my nails where I have missed them altogether, which isn’t the case. I’ve never had this issue with polishes before!

That said, though, both are really pretty colours, especially when paired side-by-side. If I were to pick one to wear separately, it would be Bikini So Teeny. I think it is a bit more flattering than Naughty Nautical, particularly on my pale fingers. I think they would both look spectacular though, on tanned hands *makes note*, and I am certainly glad that I don’t have to put them under such close scrutiny with the camera again!

What are your go to spring shades? If you had to pick one, would it be Bikini So Teeny or Naughty Nautical? And what do you make of my phantom defects? Let me know in the comments!

Robyn

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swatches
Jan. 12.

Manicure Monday: The Swatch Board

mm-swathboardI’ve previously admitted that I have a bit of a nail polish obsession. In fact, I have 162 (at the moment) nail polish obsessions, and most of them live harmoniously on the shelf just above my head, looking down on my desk. The trouble is, I tend to reach for the same ones over and over again, and that isn’t right. I decided recently to do something about it, and this is what I came up with…

board

This is the swatch board. 162 little reminders of what each polish looks like on nails, and hopefully reminders to try something new, something old, or something that catches my eye. The great news too, is that it was remarkably easy (but time consuming to do).

The backing is a piece of photographic mount board that I had lying around, things are held together with a roll of white electrical tape, and the nails came in a big box of 200 from Boots. They’re the Nailene ones that cost €10, and never mind that they are different sizes. You could go high class and try and find ones all the same size, but I was looking for easy and cheap! I did originally have each nail mounted on a cotton bud with the ends taken off, thinking of doing a peg board style job, but later decided that a 2D fixture would be easier to store, and less likely to lose parts of. It was then just a case of painting each individual nail a different colour (I used 2 coats each, so you also get an idea of coverage) and setting them aside to dry. In a situation like this, where you may be doing a large amount of them, I will advise you, batch working is your friend. I worked in batches of 10, which meant that process time left long enough for previous batches to dry enough to handle.

swatches

It is really handy to have all of them staring me down too, as I have already noticed some that have slipped through and never been used that I now absolutely must try, but there are also some older ones that I now remember why I bought them. All that remains is for me to make sure my Nail Polish Stash list online is updated too. I’m a bit behind on that!

What do you think of this idea? Daft, genius, or crazy in a good way? (FYI, I am crazy, I know that) Let me know in the comments!

Robyn

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red-gold-bottles
Dec. 08.

Manicure Monday: Red and Gold

mm-red-gold-thI said during Face Friday last week that there was a red and gold manicure to go with my red and gold face, and true to my word, here we are. As we all know, red and gold are perfect festive colours, and I’ve combined the two here into an alternative French Manicure.

red-gold-bottles

The colours chosen for this manicure are ones I’ve never used before. The red, a shade called Tate from Nails Inc. came free with the December issue of Glamour, while the gold is from Collection’s Work the Colour Nail Polish range and is shade 18, Going For Gold. After basecoating my nails with CND Stickey, my basecoat of choice, I applied three coats of Tate to all except for my ring finger, which got an equal number of coats of Going For Gold. I could have gotten away with two coats each, but in order to build up such a deep intensity of colour I thought three would be better suited (that and it’s the magic number).  I then took a modelling paintbrush, and working with the gold, freehanded French Tips onto the red nails, before adding a second coat to ensure a good solid colour. I would have used tip guides, and then the brush that comes with the polish, but I didn’t have any and wanted to challenge myself a little. Finally, I did the opposite over the gold, but instead of a French tip, I did a half moon in red.

Both polishes were really lovely to work with, with the brushes covering the nails evenly, and the polish spreading and moving with no dragging, leaving behind beautifully smooth coats. I’d happily work with the polishes again and again, such is my love for how well they applied.

Finally, let us have a look at the finished result. Pictures, as always, are taken with and without flash, and are presented for your viewing pleasure, firstly without flash.

red-gold-noflash

red-gold-flash

I am super impressed with how this turned out. Okay, my French tips could have been just that little bit tidier, but the colours work so harmoniously, that I’m not overly concerned by the tips. The contrasting red on gold just serves to do something different, but works in its own right. What do you think of them?

Robyn

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141
Dec. 01.

Manicure Monday: Oriflame Pure Colour Nail Polish in Berry Intense

mm-oriflame-thI’ve been meaning to try this polish for a while, after winning it in a giveaway organised by one of Oriflame’s independent consultants. Unfortunately though, with everything else going on in my life, it has been sitting in my to do pile for a while, until today, when I finally decided to take out Berry Intense, from the Pure Colour Nail Polish Collection, and give it a whirl.

141

Oriflame are another in the style of Avon and Mary Kay, themselves coming from Sweden. The idea is that you order online, or through their catalog and one of their independent beauty consultants, and receive your delivery. Surprisingly, I have never used a service like this, as I tend to prefer in most cases to play with my makeup before I buy it. However, some of the items in the catalog do draw me in, so I wouldn’t rule out buying something, as it does appear to be good value.

Berry intense is a rich shade, somewhere between a wine and a berry. It was one of two to jump out at me from the website, but looking at the bottle, compared to the online swatch, the bottle runs more wine/red. The bottle is a little shorter, and wider than others, with the lid being nearly as wide as the bottle, and taking up about half the height. This means that you do get quite close to your nails when you are working, and in use I did tap my nails with the lid a couple of times.

And here is how the polish looks on my nails. As usual, pictures are both without and with flash.

oriflame-noflash

oriflame-flash

I’m unbelievably torn by this polish. I really do like the colour, but something is letting it down for me, and that is either the brush or formula of the polish is leading to it dragging and ruining the finish. I don’t have the patience to take so long with my nails, being so super gentle with the application of polish. And normally that doesn’t matter, except here. Where this would have been a polish I may have looked to if I wanted to do my nails in a hurry, it may end up sitting on my polish shelf for some time, until I can take enough time to figure out how to make it work, and that is a shame.

Robyn

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red-noflash
Nov. 24.

Manicure Monday: Red & Sparkles

red-sparkles-thToday’s Manicure Monday post is another Christmas Party Inspiration manicure, and is based on a couple of simple principles. The first is that red is really the most perfect festive colour, and the second is that every Christmas party goes better with sparkles! For that reason, here is my super simple red & sparkles manicure!

pumps

Now, there is one polish that I immediately think of when it comes to red and sparkles. It is a polish that everyone should own, and if you don’t, why not? Are you insane? It is quite possibly the best red sparkly polish ever. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I am of course talking about Ruby Pumps, that classic from China Glaze. However, a solid set of Ruby Pumps coated talons is just too simple, so today I have it paired with another China Glaze red, one that is more shimmery and has the depth of a bottle of fine wine. It is Red-y and Willing.

red-y

The China Glaze formula is a joy to work with, even for the glittery polish. It applies beautifully and is so richly pigmented, you really could use just one coat, especially with the smoother Red-y and Willing. Below there is a picture of my nails after the first coat to show you what I mean, but to ensure depth and uniformity of colour, I did a second coat. This was beneficial to Ruby Pumps, which needs just a little more care and attention to build up.

And of course, here is how it looks. The pictures show the first coat (top), after both coats but without flash (middle) and finally with flash (bottom):

red-1coat

red-noflash

red-flash

This manicure is a great one to have when you are in a hurry to get ready. It requires no special skills, no tools, and with the polishes being so pigmented, not much time either.

Are you reaching for a red polish this party season? Which ones do you recommend? And how much sparkle is too much sparkle? Let me know in the comments!

Robyn

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starry-flash
Nov. 10.

Manicure Monday: Starry Night Nails

starry-thWith the holiday party season rapidly approaching, I have gotten to thinking about how to wear my nails. Classic reds always work, but what other options are available. Taking inspiration from the night sky, and the classic combination of black and silver, today’s Manicure Monday is inspired by the starry night sky.

polishes

The 4 polishes included in this manicure are a delightful mix. The black is a black creme polish from the Wet n Wild Wild Shine range (conveniently called black creme), with a top coat from No.7 (silver glitter top coat from a gift set last Christmas). The silver is a basecoat of Sinful Colors (Out of This World) topped with two coats of the unbelievably gorgeous Ignite The Night from Essie.

As for how it looks – See for yourself!

Without flash:

starry-noflash

With flash:

starry-flash

I am in love with this. Normally I wouldn’t wear black polish, as I find it can look very harsh. This one though, is amazingly shiny, is priest’s socks black, and sets off the mix of different sized glitters perfectly. Ignite The Night then provides an amazing accent, as the densely packed glitter catches the light from every angle. It is a veritable feast of stars on your fingertips.

What do you think of this? What other glitters would you try with it? I’m thinking that a light sprinkling of gold on top of the silver glitter would add yet another dimension to it, but let me know what you think!

Robyn

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polish-noflash
Oct. 13.

Manicure Monday: China Glaze Bizarre Blurple

polish-thAfter last weeks bright pink, it is time to get back to darker autumnal nails this week, and so I took a polish that I bought last year off the shelf that I surprisingly haven’t gotten around to wearing yet. Maybe that just goes to show the extent of my nail polish addiction, but this week I have a China Glaze polish in a rather interesting shade called Bizarre Blurple.

polish-bottle

I’ll freely admit that I bought this shade specifically because of the name. Just what colour is “blurple”? Is it Blue, is it Purple, or is it somewhere in between? I was determined to find out, so I bought it, but got distracted by a million other things. Anyway, it is time to put it right. I am a great fan of China Glaze polish. The formula and pigmentation is a joy, and Ruby Pumps is one of my all time favourites. Yes, it is a b*tch to get back off my nails, but when I’m wearing it, I don’t want to take it off. The same holds up with the formula for Bizarre Blurple. The brush length and firmness is ideal, and the polish goes on smooth and glossy, becoming nicely opaque in two coats, but I added a third, just to really amplify the depth of the colour, and even out the little bits hat my cack-handed application messes up.

Now, lets answer the colour issue. Take a look at my nails, top picture taken without flash, and bottom with, as usual.

polish-noflash

polish-flash

It is blue. It is purple. It is somewhere in between. It is all these things and more. It is, in fact, bizarre, the way that the colour changes so much depending on the light hitting it. I am not sure if it is magic, alchemy or witchcraft, but I love both the two main shades of blue and purple that it comes up with, and the in between shades too. It may have sat on my shelf for a year, but it will not be another year before I go to wear it again!

Robyn

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pinkribbon
Oct. 06.

Manicure Monday: Pink Ribbon Nails

pinkribbon-thAs I may have mentioned in last Friday’s post, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While Friday was about painting everything pink, today is just about my nails, with this super quick and easy mani, incorporating the symbol of Breast Cancer Awareness, the pink ribbon.

For this mani I needed two colours, one for the pink ribbon, and the other for the background. Wanting the ribbon to be the centre of attention on the hand, I decided to go with a nude pink for the background, opting for one of the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure range in 160 – Shall We Dance, which is in itself a brilliant neutral shade. Then, for the ribbon and the accent thumb, I wanted something glittery and stand out, which came in the form of a polish from Nails Inc, shade 082 – Buckingham Street. As it is a clear base it can be a little tricky to work with, but the glitter is so fine that two coats were enough on the thumb to achieve full coverage, while I used a fine paint brush with copious amounts of polish for the ribbon.

pinkribbon-noflash

pinkribbon-flash

And here is how it turned out. The nude base really does allow the glittery pink to shine through, and it really is glittery, even if the bottom photo, taken with flash, doesn’t really show it. The ribbon also is the first thing you pick up on, which worked out exceptionally well.

And again, to repeat what I said on Friday, please do what you can to support Breast Cancer Awareness month. Wear something pink, paint your nails, buy a pink ribbon, or text pink to 50300 to donate €4. Anything that can be done to raise awareness or funds is always going to be welcome.

Robyn

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nude-nails
Sep. 29.

Manicure Monday: Nicely Nude Nails

nude-thI’ll admit that I am a massive fan of colourful nails. There is a good reason why I own so many colourful nail polishes. However, sometimes a nude nail can look as good as, if not better than their colourful counterparts. There is something so chic about a nicely done nude nail, and I do have several in my collection for when I want something neutral but nice looking adorning my fingers. One such example, that I will show you today is from the Supreme Shine range by 17, and is called mink.

nude-polish

Mink is at the deeper end of the nude spectrum, veering to a milky coffee shade, Its wide brush does allow for easy application, but I found it a little streaky on coat one. On coat two though, it had evened out into a tidy shiny finish. It’s not the best formula in the world, but I have certainly tried to work with far worse!

nude-nails

As for how it looks on my nails. I actually had difficulty trying to photograph this one. It looks deeper in the picture than it actually is. In reality it is a bit milkier than seen here, and while darker than my own skin tone is still quite a pleasant choice to wear when I don’t want to blind someone with bright colours!

Is there a nude shade you regularly turn to? Or are you one of the colours for all brigade? Please do let me know!

Robyn

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