Tag Archives: NOTD

nails-noflash
Oct. 05.

Manicure Monday: NYC Foil Explosion Nails

mm-nyc-thIt is October. The nights are drawing in. The weather is getting worse, mostly. I am starting to root out the darker polishes that just work with this time of year. And yet, with the unseasonable (can we talk about seasons in Ireland?) warm weather, I don’t want to give up on brightness too much too soon. That is why this is a perfect polish to work with this week. This week’s Manicure Monday is from New York Colour, and is from their Foil Explosion range, called Power of Elements.

nails-bottle

I’ve had the Foil Explosion range in my collection for a while now. I think I got them in 2013, but the internet is telling me that the set of 5 is still available. In addition to Power of Elements, this purple, there is a pink, green, blue and a copper coloured one. As you can kind of pick up from the name too, they are all a metallic foil finish. Now, let’s look at Power of Elements a little closer.

NYC, as a brand, has almost always punched well above its weight with me. There was only ever one product, a foundation, that I didn’t agree with. For a budget brand, that is good going. I would reasonably expect this to be no different. The lid fits in my hand well enough, without it being anything special, and the brush is, well, a brush. It flexes and spreads just as it should. It does the job. The polish, on the other hand, is something a bit more worthy of talking about. It is PIGMENTED! Some polishes claim to be one coat, and yeah, you would get away with it. This really is a one coat polish. From the moment it it my nails, they were colourful. Out of habit I went for a second coat, just because, but if I was in a hurry, I could go without. Then there is the finish of it…

nails-noflash

nails-flash

You are buying it for the metallic foil finish, right? That is what you get, no doubt about it! It delivers what it promises, and then some. Not only that, but it has staying power too. I once did my toes with this polish, and it was still there weeks later.

When you get a pocket friendly product, sometimes you are willing to put up with it being only okay. With this one, your €2.99 (if memory serves me correctly) gets you much more than that. It can be difficult at times to impress me, but this did impress me!

Robyn

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garnet-bottle
Sep. 14.

Manicure Monday: Champneys Nail Polish in Garnet

mm-garnet-thIt can be very difficult to enamour me with a red nail polish. I have a few I know and love, and I am fiercely loyal to them. But at the same time I am a blogger (or a collector, or a hoarder) and that means every so often I have to try another one. So, after having it on my desk for a long time, I finally got around to trying Garnet, from the Champneys Nail Polish collection.

garnet-bottle

This came as part of a set of six in a Christmas gift set in 2014. I picked it up in January 2015, when Boots were selling them off, and as it is more of an Autumn/Winter shade I didn’t do much outside swatching it for my nail polish board. It was time recently to start looking at those colours again (goodbye summer, we’ll miss all 3 days of you) and this was the one to try out.

The bottle, and the brush, is the same as that of the Max Factor Gel Shine Lacquers. I quite liked the brush of them, and I quite like the brush of this. The formula was workable, but, especially on the first coat, not very spreadable. It fared better on the second coat, but it really took three coats to really build up the colour intensity. I locked it in with a coat of their own base/top coat, which was part of the set.

Here’s how it looked.

Garnet-noflash

garnet-flash

I could be harsher on this, but I wont be. It is a nice enough colour. I quite like it, but I have similar from China Glaze. Obviously, with the CG being much more expensive, I expect, and get more out of it. This however, as a set of 6, had a box price of €15. I paid half that in the sale, so it was great value. It lasted 4 days before chipping too much to last any longer, and it looked good on my nails. If you are the kind of person who will gladly spend €20 plus on a single polish, you may choose to give these a miss. If you gotta have them all, or are buying as a gift for someone (that season is coming, y’know) then this is definitely something to consider. It’s not great, but it is certainly not bad either.

Robyn

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nails-flash
Sep. 07.

Manicure Monday: Flormar Jelly Look Nail Enamel

nails-flormar-thI was recently at the Irish launch of Flormar, an Italian makeup brand, founded in the 1970’s in Milan before going global. While there I was told there is a choice of 1,000 nail polish shades to choose from. Yes, you heard that right, 1,000! (Yes, I do want all of them). Fortunately I have the first in my collection, in this case shade JL10, simply called Turquoise Green, from their Jelly Look collection.

nails-bottle

Turquoise happens to be a great fit for me, being the December birthstone, and it helps that it is such a bright blue green, considering we are rapidly running out of good weather. The brush included is quite wide and quite flat, allowing great movement of the polish. The polish itself though concerned me a little. After one coat the coverage left a lot to be desired. It was patchy and streaky and wasn’t looking promising. The second coat though made things so much happier. Having a base layer of the polish really allowed the coverage to pick up, and the difference was plain to see. I added a third coat though, just to ensure that the colour was perfect. I’m glad I persevered, as the finish is spectacular. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves though.

nails-noflash

nails-flash

It is gorgeous, isn’t it? I am annoyed with myself for trying it so late in the year when I will end up switching to darker colours, but I am thinking that this will be high on my spring list, and that I need to find a Flormar stand soon to check out the other colours! I will let you know when I find out more about stockists and prices (though this particular range of polishes is about €4.50 IIRC), but the EXCELLENT news is that these are very pocket friendly!

Have you tried, or seen Flormar? What do you think of this colour? And do you follow the whole bright in summer, dark in winter thing? Please do let me know!

Robyn

*Product was provided for review

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nailsinc-noflash
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.

nailsinc-bottle

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.

nailsinc-noflash

nailsinc-flash

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?

Robyn

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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shellac-flash
Jul. 13.

Manicure Monday: CND Shellac in Lilac Longing

mm-shellac-thI love my nail polish collection. I really do. Sometimes though, I prefer to leave my nails to professionals. And when I do leave them to professionals, I hate using polish that chips after a couple of days. So, on my recent trip to get my nails done I went for something more long lasting, that would look good for a while. I went for CND Shellac, in Lilac Longing.

lilac longing

Shellac has been around for a while now. I remember discovering it and going WOW! It was glossy, perfectly smooth and remained chip free for ages. Expanding from its original (very) limited range of colours, there are now a huge variety of colours and finishes available. Being summertime, I wanted something fairly light and bright. I was originally thinking of a blue, but when Lilac Longing was put in front of me I was sold!

My nails were tended to, shaping them (I prefer round nails), removing ridges and tidying up my cuticles before applying the Shellac. It includes a specialist basecoat, colour and topcoat, cured under a UV light. The whole process took under 30 minutes, and leaves you with perfect looking nails for two weeks. I personally think that it was worth the €19 I paid for it!

So, here is how it looks. You can see some regrowth at the bottom of the nails, but that is due to 11 days of growth. Aside from that, they still look perfectly finished.

shellac-noflash

shellac-flash

What do you think of the finish? Do you love the idea of Shellac, or are you a do-it-yourself kind of girl? Let me know below!

Robyn

Bottle pic credit: CND.com

 

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prairie-noflash
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!

prairie-accent

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!

prairie-noflash

prairie-flash

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?

Robyn

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nails-inglot
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.

nails-both

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.

nails-noflash

nails-flash

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.

Robyn

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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!

Robyn

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Sinful Mauve Nail Art
Mar. 30.

Manicure Monday: Mauve & Spotty

mm-sinfulmauve-thI am a divil for picking up polishes from Sinful Colors in Dealz. They’re €1.49 (comparison – €2.49 on boots.ie, $1.99 on Walgreens.com) and come in a range of delightful colours. I’ve written about them several times before, and they are taking up more and more space in my Nail Polish Stash. It is probably not surprising, then, to tell you that I have added 3 more bottles to my stash, including the one I am talking about today, a shade called Mauve.

First, according to Wikipedia, Mauve is a pale purple colour, typically containing more grey and more blue. Asking WordPress here to reproduce the colour code for mauve gives us this. Now, let’s look at the bottle.

Sinful Mauve Bottle

So far, so fairly close I think. This does have the slight purple tint to it that works for a mauve shade, and I was drawn to it for the purpleness. In keeping with its equally sinful sisters it is pigmented and creamy, and applies really well, becoming nicely opaque in two coats. However, this on its own, while pretty, could do with some jazzing up, if you are not in a situation where spotty nails are frowned upon. Fortunately I’m not, so I broke out this wheel of colouredy goodness.

Sinful Mauve Nail Art

This wheel comes from the PS Love range at Penneys, and as you can see is a batch of various coloured shapes. It came in a pack with two cuticle sticks and a nail file for the budget busting price of €1.30. There are a couple of different styles too, depending on what you are in to (I also have one that is various jewels). And with this I embellished my ring finger a little, sealing it with a coat of top coat. The end result is like this, as always, shot without and then with flash.

Sinful Mauve Noflash

Sinful Mauve Flash

In the picture without flash, you can just about make out a violet/lilac tinge to it, which just washes out under the intense light, leaving a blue grey, which is in no way unpleasant. I like how the pink spots add a bit of colour to it, but if I had to, I would be in no way against wearing Mauve on its own. Another good pick I think!

Robyn

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pink-coral-bottle
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.

pink-coral-bottle

Flamingo

 

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?

Robyn

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