Tag Archives: Manicure

Aug. 10.

Manicure Monday: Nails Inc Optic Collection – Optic Wave

mm-nailsinc-thToday’s Manicure Monday is brought to you courtesy of toothpaste. I was shopping in Boots, and noticed that you could get nail polish free with toothpaste. As the toothpaste is much cheaper than the nail polish, it was a good deal, so I picked it up, along with Optic Wave, from the Nails Inc Optic Collection, which was made exclusively for the toothpaste offer.


One of a small handful of colours available as part of the Optic Collection (The Colgate Facebook page has a picture of three, a pink, a red and this blue), Optic Wave was the one that jumped off the shelf at me, as it is a really striking rich blue. It isn’t shimmery or sparkly, like some of my other blues are, but is really creamy. I generally find Nails Inc to be fairly pleasant to work with, and this was no exception, applying nicely with two coats, looking opaque and even. It dried in a reasonable space of time, which is ideal as I was applying it not too long before bed.

And this is how it looks on my nails. As usual, presented without, and then with flash, for comparison purposes.



I really like this colour. It is a little brighter, and doesn’t sparkle like my all time favourite blue (Sinful Colors Blue By You) but is one I can see myself wearing quite often when looking for something summery. What do you think?


P.S. My research tells me that this is the second time this offer has been done, as it was also done last year. Last year was also a pink, red and blue, but the red and blue shades are different. Interestingly, they carry the same names through both years. Here’s images of 2014 (top) and 2015 (bottom) from Colgate’s Facebook page.

2014 optic

2015 optic

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May. 25.

Manicure Monday: Heart Accent Nails

prairie-thWith being on such a fitness mission recently, I haven’t been putting much time into doing my nails. However, I recently got some nail vinyls from Prairie Charms, and I figured that the best way to show them off was to actually use them. So, today, for Manicure Monday I present to you my Heart Accent Nails.

Firstly, I needed a bright colour to use for most of my nails. To work with the pink hearts, I chose a bright pink polish, in the form of Ladies & Magenta-Men from OPI. This was a lovely polish to work with, and is one of my favourites, offering great workability, and solid colour in two coats.

Then, to provide a background on which the accent can really pop, I pondered, black or white. White could work, but I chose black, knowing that the gold and pink would really stand out against the dark background. The black polish I went with is from Wet n Wild’s Wild Shine range, and is simply called black creme. Again, this is an easy to work with polish, and was perfect in 2 coats (I love polishes like this)

After a little drying time, it was time to sort out the accent nails, which I did on ring finger and thumb of each hand. To start, I took a gold stripe vinyl (these come in packs of 20 – 10 thin, 10 thick – I used thick stripes here) and applied it diagonally across the nail, before adding a pink heart into the centre of the nail. It is useful to have a tweezers handy to aid placement, but there is a little give to allow you to reposition slightly, at least until you press them down. Then, there is no moving them!


Finally, to add a little bit of bling, I added a layer of topcoat (this seals over the vinyl designs) which allowed me to place a little jewel from a PS Love nail art wheel. A second layer of topcoat, across all nails, finished the job.

And here is how it all looks!



I’m really liking these vinyls for simple to do, great looking nail art. I don’t think I would do them across all 10 nails in one go, as you would use them up very quickly. As an accent nail though, these are perfect! What do you think?


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Apr. 20.

Manicure Monday: Nails to Match my Mood

nails-thumbLast week wasn’t the best of weeks for me. There was lots of medical stuff to handle, but I got through it, and it’s the start of a new week. It is always good to start the week off positively, especially with such lovely weather waiting just outside the window! To work with my mood, which is nice and upbeat (it helps that I am starting to see progress from my get fit work) I wanted something on my nails to match my mood. This is what I came up with.


It would be too easy to go for my favourite blue (Sinful Colors, Blue By You) which is packed with glitter and looks like the Mediterranean on my nails. Instead I went to a polish that has been on my shelf for a while without getting much love. It satisfies so many requirements for my mood inspired nails. It is light, springlike and pastel. It is an upbeat colour. It’s just what I need. It is I Need a Refresh-Mint, from the Wet n Wild Megalast Range. I also wanted some kind of accent that catches the light. Glitter would probably be too much. But, I had an alternative. One from Inglot. A shimmer in a clear base, which changes between gold and blue-green depending on how the light hits it. No clever or creative name here. Very simply it is shade 205.

Application of the mint was nice, but not without issues. It has quite a wide brush. For most nails that is grand, but I had a little difficulty with my little fingers, as when he brush spread, it spread over the sides. Nothing a quick cleanup couldn’t fix, but still mildly annoying. It also on coat 2 started to drag on a couple of nails a little. I believe it was down to my working too quickly, and got tidied easily on coat 3, which otherwise wouldn’t have been necessary. When it dried though, the colour was beautifully intense, so I would be happy to work with it. The shimmer was a delight, applying densely after a couple of passes, and added what looked like a opalescent fish-scale effect. I think it looked exceptionally pretty.

There was one issue with the shimmer though, which these pictures demonstrate.



Without flash, everything looks delightful. You can see the shimmer on my ring finger perfectly. Under flash however, the light hitting part of the nail at an angle causes the shimmer to look green (which it is meant to do), but on top of a green background, it doesn’t do the polish justice, in a static image. Imagine it catching light as the hand is moving though, and the colours are changing between green and gold constantly. It really works, and I think suits my mood perfectly.


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old park lane bottle
Apr. 13.

Manicure Monday: Old Park Lane by Nails Inc

mm-old park lane-thThere are times where a polish or a manicure doesn’t need any kind of embellishment to stand out. It does it all by itself. Today I am looking at a polish that does just that. It is rich, it is opulent and it looks spectacular. It is a rose gold colour, and it is called Old Park Lane, by Nails Inc.

I got this some time ago, as a set of four in TK Maxx. It is a little curious in that the other three in the set were glitters, while this is a metallic. It’s sister, Park Lane was in the set too, and is a purple glitter. Maybe I am drawn to this one because it is a bit different to the others in the box. It looks striking in the bottle, with a kind of metallic wave through the polish.

old park lane bottle

The brush is easy to work with. I was able to do my wide nails in just three strokes, and the formula is divine. It moves and spreads like a thin polish, but was opaque in a single coat. It is extremely pigmented. I added a second coat just to ensure the depth of colour, but it wasn’t strictly needed.

And here’s how it looks:

old park lane noflash

old park lane flash

Under flash you can see the rose gold shininess. It does look almost like liquid gold on your fingertips. In lower light, the colour turns much deeper, almost going copper in colour. It is a joy to behold on your nails, and is one I’ll be looking to wear again soon!


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Mar. 23.

Manicure Monday: Perfectly Pretty Pinky Coral

mm-pinkcoral-thThere are some times you don’t want a manicure with bells and whistles. No glitter, no art, no flashing lights or gimmicks. Sometimes all you want is a pretty colour to go on your nails. This is one of those weeks. I wanted something bright and springlike, just to give my nails a pop of colour. Looking at my swatchboard, I came across Flamingo from Champney’s Christmas 2014 box, which at first sight dragged me in as a perfectly pretty pinky coral.




This one came as part of a set of 5 polishes and a base/top coat, sold in Boots in the run up to Christmas, and sold off after, which is where I picked it up (I do love bargains). This one drew me in as being ideal for what I wanted this week, as it was a bright, pinky coral, not bright enough to need sunglasses, but bright enough to acknowledge that yes it’s spring and my dark colours are not needed right now.

Coverage with this was okay, but not great. I could have gotten away with two coats if I was in a hurry, but I got better coverage with three. Once the top coat went over the top though, everything got evened out nicely, leaving a delightful glossy finish.

And of course, we must ask how it looks. Here it is, three coats and top coat, on my decidedly pale digits, without and with flash.

Without flash

Without flash

With flash

With flash

I think this could be a great summertime colour, when your skin has a bit of colour to it too. Or, I could break out a self tan and not need to wait for the sun. That is quite tempting, I think. What do you think, and importantly, what colour do you have on your nails right now?


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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.


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?


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

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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…


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.


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!


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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.


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:


With 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!


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wnw box
Nov. 08.

Something Else Saturday: Upcoming Reviews on Robyn Rants & Raves

SES-Upcoming-THI know things have been a bit sparse on the review front here on Robyn Rants and Raves over the past while due to hospitals taking up my time and energy. But that doesn’t mean I am not looking for great things for to share with you. So, today, for Something Else Saturday, I want to show you a selection of what you can expect to see soon!

As you know I try to follow a particular theme each day, be it a manicure, trying out products (new and old), waffling on about something, really testing a product, or showing you a face of makeup, along with what products and tools I used to create it. It has created some amazing opportunities for me, chances to work with awesome brands, learn more about makeup & beauty, and share my experiences. I do, of course, fully intend for that to continue! So, here is what I am looking forward to showing you!

CND Solar Oil

Picture 1 of 21

Of course, in addition to all of this, I will continue ranting, raving, and trying to make use of my massive nail polish collection to see what I can come up with. I already have my eyes on a number of ideas for the upcoming party season, but need to decide which looks to work on first!

But, you, my dear readers, are very important to me. While I write Robyn Rants & Raves, I am led by you! So, tell me, what do you really want to see? I wouldn’t be here without you, so let me know, and consider it done.


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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.



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.


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