Saturday, 23 March 2013

Pastel leopard print nails...

I have been a fan of experimenting with nail art for a while now and leopard print is one of my favourite designs because it looks really intricate but is actually really easy to do. So I thought I would show you a step by step guide to how I accomplish this look.
I chose to do a pastel theme for my leopard print seeing as we are coming into Spring and pastels will be huge. The great thing about this design is that you can change the colours around to match an outfit or to create a number of different looks. Leopard print has got a bit of a rep for being trashy (Kat Slater?) but I  love it and if it's worn in the right way I think it can look awesome. By choosing these pastel shades this leopard print looks very feminine and pretty. 
These are the products that I used to create this design, they were all very inexpensive but still give a great finish nonetheless. The lilac nail varnish is from the George range at Asda the colour is 'be mine' (aw Love Hearts:)) and was about £2. The aqua two way nail art pen has a pen with a nib and a brush (the brush is quite thick so not great for any intricate lines...I shall show you in bit) and was part of a set that I got from Ebay. The set was around £6 for 12 or so pens so rather cheap price-wise:) And the black two way nail art pen is similar to the other one just in different packaging, except the striping brush is much thinner, and this was part of my nail art kit for my Beauty Therapy course but I'm sure you can find similar ones on the internet.
Ok first you want to start by prepping you nails by filing them into your desired shape (mine are squoval). While you are filing you want to make sure that you don't 'saw' at your nails as this may damage them. Instead you want to file them using a smooth motion only going in one direction at a time. Next give your nails a  little bit of a buff to smooth out your nail (buffing also stimulates the blood flow to your nail making them healthier so is an important step). If your cuticles are looking a little bit worse for wear then rub some cuticle oil or cream into them and push them back gently. Apply a base coat to your nails to prevent any staining and also a base coat  helps the nail varnish last longer.
Now I couldn't find my base coat (boo I always loose things!) so instead I used one coat of a sheer nude varnish- Ciate Paint Pot in My Fair Lady. Let your base coat dry completely.
Oh and please excuse my wonky fingers!
Next you want to apply your lilac nail varnish (or whatever colour you want to be the background of your design). I only applied one coat as the varnish I used is pretty opaque and any streaks can be covered up with the leopard spots so you don't have to worry if it doesn't look perfect (yay time saver!). Leave this to dry completely.

With the aqua nail art pen, using the brush end, paint blobby (sorry I can't think how else to describe it) marks randomly on the nail. Make sure that the marks aren't too symmetrical, they can be different sizes but not too big as you want at least 3 on each nail. Once again these don't have to be super neat because any messy bits can be neatened up with the black outline. Let this dry.

Using the pen end of the black nail art pen (if you haven't used one before all you have to do is squeeze the bottle gently and the nail varnish will come out the nib and then you can draw your design) outline the aqua splodges with blobby, uneven semi-circles and curved lines. You may find it easier if you have a picture of leopard print to copy for this step so that you make it as authentic as you can. The fact that the nail varnish comes out of the nib unevenly (well it does with mine) seems to make it easier to get the look that I like.
I did previously try this pastel leopard print design but chose to do the outline colour white instead of black because I thought it would look softer against the lighter colours but for whatever reason it just didn't look right. So I would advise that you use a dark colour for the outline colour, even if you're not doing a pastel look, as it just defines the leopard pattern better. Generally when choosing the colours your are using the background should be the lightest, the splodges a medium colour and the outline a dark one.

Now this step isn't obligatory as you may be happy with your design how it is but i tend to add a few little marks and dots in the outline colour to fill in any gaps that I may have. Now let you nails dry completely then apply a topcoat to make your nails lovely and shiny and ensure the design lasts. Aaaaaaand.....

......TA DAH!! Here are your pastel leopard print nails:)

Hope you found this helpful :)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Barry M Ridley Road

This is one of my newest members of my nail collection, it is from the new Barry M textured nail paint range. I am already a big fan of Barry M products, especially their lip and nail paints, so was really excited to try this new formulation. 
This is in the colour Ridley Road and is a fabulous pastel shade which is somewhere between  mint green and duck egg blue. It looks so pretty when worn and makes me want the spring even more...not too long to wait!! I got this one for £3.99 from Superdrug.

As you can see from the pictures the nail varnish dries to 'gritty' texture, the best way to describe it is  to imagine mixing fine sand with nail varnish...yep that's what it's like. I applied two coats over a base coat but did not apply a topcoat because, firstly, I didn't know if it would interfere with the texture of the nail varnish and also because I like to test the wear-time of new nail varnishes. You could probably get away with only one coat if you applied it thickly but to increase drying time (it's just the bane of my life waiting for my nails to dry!) I applied two thin coats and the result was super opaque. It didn't take very long to dry anyway and I was less conscious of smudging it because a small smudge wouldn't notice so much in this textured finish as opposed to a smooth glossy one. I wore this varnish for five days and there was only minimal chipping at the very tips of my nail and they weren't really that noticeable. This really impressed me as I have the worst luck with nail varnish; it just always seems to chip so soon no matter what I wear, which is why I tend not to fork out too much on the ones I buy. Now this texture took a little while to get used to, I have a weird habit of stroking my nails all the time and it would take me by surprise when they were rough not smooth but apart from that I really like the effect they give. I'm tempted to buy some more from the textured range, I've only seen pastel shades so far but maybe Barry M will branch out and do some bright and dark colours. I'm guessing a textured black would be a good dupe of Nail Inc's leather one?
Oh and the best bit is that it was pretty easy to remove, I was worried it was going to be similar to removing glitter nail varnish and I would end up picking the textured particles off my nails leaving them worse for wear. I pressed a cotton pad soaked in nail varnish remover (think it was the ElegantTouch non acetone one) onto each nail for about a thirty seconds and then wiped it off nice and easily:)

Thank you everyone

Friday, 8 March 2013

A few purchases :)

Over the last month I have treated myself to a few bits and bobs, nothing extravagant, so thought I would share what I found...
Now this set of earrings from New Look was an absolute bargain. Firstly that's six pairs of earrings, none of which I don't like and the best bit ...they were half price! I paid only £2.25 for them , no doubt about it I would not have scoffed at paying the full price. Oh and if any of you think 'hmm the top studs don't match?!' then do not worry it's meant to be like that and that leads me on to the other reason I love this set...well sort of said it anyway but yeah the studs are mismatched. I have 11 ear piercings and very rarely wear matching pairs because I like to have lots of different designs in my ears all at once :)
I obviously was thinking about summer when I bought these rather pretty shorts from Primark but I'm sure I will get some wear out of them while the sun is on holiday. These were another bargain at only £4.
How pretty is this rose and butterfly design?
Ah another pair of shorts! I have been considering buying some distressed denim shorts but the truth of the matter is I have a fair few already BUT I do not have a pair with cool rainbow Aztec patches...well actually I do now cos I got 'em! These beauties were from Primark for £12.

The only little negative point is that there are only patches on the front of the shorts but hey ho we can't have it all :)
These (are they called..?) friendship bands were in sets of three from Primark, £1.50 each, but I can't remember which three went together so I have shown them all at once. There was another set with a more pastel/spring theme which I may have to pick up on my next trip.
This picture does not do these shoes justice but my camera isn't very good and lighting blah blah.. These were in the New Look shoes sale but are from the teens bit, you know Generation or 915? I can't remember now, and were only £8. I actually bought these quite a while a go but haven't worn them yet so they still count as new... Think they will look really cute with printed dresses and tights or skinnies and a tee.
I bought this T-shirt for only £4 in New Look, oh I do love sales. 

See the American Flag (does it have a proper name or am I being stupid?)? And the studs and rhinestones? Very much like this:)

Thanks everyone

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Old nails...?

  So when I say this post is going to be me reviewing my first Essie nail varnishes you may well ask yourself 'has she been living under a rock?!' Well I have of course heard of Essie and 'oohed' and 'aahed' at all the amazing colours the brand has BUT I have never actually purchased one! Shock horror I pick up your jaws..
  Now I buy nail varnishes all the time and the ones I tend to buy carry a friendly price tag that never really goes over the £5 mark, one of my favourite nail varnishes is actually a George @ Asda one which was around £2. Although Essie isn't hugely expensive, they retail for about £8, they are just a teensy bit more than the usual ones I buy. (I love Collection 2000 and 17 nail varnishes if you are at all interested.).....However I have recently discovered a website called Cosmetics Fairy that stocks Essie nail varnishes for about £4-5 and so I thought I would give them a go to see if they are worth the hype. Cosmetics Fairy don't stock all the Essie range and there were only about 10 to choose from.
The one that I chose came as a little set which was £3.49. It included 5ml mini bottles of Braziliant (the orange one) and Super Bossa Nova (the pink one). 
They are both beautifully vibrant colours that will be perfect for summer as they will be super flattering with a tan, but look equally good with paler skin (good for my wintery pallor!). Super Bossa Nova is a hot pink  with a magenta iridescent shimmer running through it. Braziliant is a bright zesty orange that has a pinky/coral shimmer in it. Both shades come out true to colour on the nail which is lovely.
I couldn't make up my mind which shade I wanted to try first so I painted all my nails with Super Bossa Nova except my index fingers which I painted with Braziliant......ah the ever trendy accent nail! Thought I would be, y'know, ca-razy and switch it up to my index instead of my ring finger, got to keep things fresh i guess...

When applying both the colours I saw that they were really opaque with only one coat (the above picture shows two coats) and I didn't apply a topcoat because I wanted to see how long they would last by themselves. It's been three days and there are a few tiny chips which aren't really noticeable, so far so good :)
Yes, I am glad I decided to try out these Essie nail varnishes and am looking forward to choosing some more of their fabulous colours from the extensive range!

Thank you :)
Did you spot my, ahem, witty pun on old news...old nails..?? 

Monday, 4 March 2013

February favourites... 

Hi there, I'm Gilli I am 21 years old and am studying Beauty Therapy at the moment. I have always wanted to write a blog so here goes...

Here are a few of the things beauty and fashion-wise I have been enjoying in February.
These are my wedge desert boots from New Look and they should really be classed as my all time favourite shoe of winter as I have been wearing them almost non-stop recently. I actually bought them sometime in 2011 but for some reason didn't wear them much. However at the end of last year I dug them out and realised they sort of went with everything and were perfect for dressing up daytime outfits because of their heel, which is still very comfortable to walk in. I will include these in an outfit of the day soon so you can see what they look like as part of an outfit because I can imagine some might think 'oh...brown shoes..:/'
I got this Marc Jacobs perfume as a Christmas present from my boyfriend and just like the shoes above I have been wearing it all winter. It has a fresh and floral fragrance which I just love!
 I recieved the Lee Stafford My Big Fat Healthy Hair shampoo and conditioner as a part of a gift set for Christmas but have only just started using it as I was waiting to use up my previous shampoo. They boast they will give you 'bigger, fuller, fatter, hair' by ridding your hair of 'dulling deposits that make hair go lank and limp'. Well my hair totally goes lank and limp all the time and I would normally skip conditioner so my hair didn't cling to my scalp on the second day. I wouldn't say I have massive fat hair now(now that would be nothing short of a miracle!) but they definately don't weigh my hair down and they smell yummy which is pretty important.

Now this Batiste dry shampoo also smells gorgeous and is a blooming saviour seeing as I don't like to wash my hair everyday(don't worry I still shower every day!). It's great for adding a bit of oomph and texture to squeaky clean hair too.
So onto skincare...this Biore scrub has been great for my skin; it's oil free and contains salicylic acid which is good for oily skin, like mine, that is prone to breakouts. I've found it hard in the past to choose a scrub because my skin is a bit of a mixture as its oily/dry combination and sensitive aswell so normally scrubs either are ineffective or dry out/irritate my skin. This one does none of this, it gets rid of those bothersome flaky bits and leave my skin looking really yay that's a winner! Oh and also it was only about £5-6 :)

This eye cream from Institut Esthederm is actually an anti-aging one which I guess I don't really need but I got it free a while a go so thought I wouldn't let it go to waste. Its a lovely consistency; moisturising but not too thick. I try to use it morning and night and it really helps my concealer not go horrible and cakey :)
I have blue eyes so I tend to wear bronze and gold eyeshadows as they make my eyes 'pop' and this Barry M trio (the shade on the back has worn off sorry) has been in my makeup bag all this month. I wear the middle gold shade all over the lid with the dark brown shade in the crease and outer corner. These eyeshadows are highly pigmented and last hours without creasing and retail for around £4-5 so whats not to love? 

This Kryolan lipstick is in the shade LC334, a bright coral/pink, and is bloody amazing! On the packaging it is not advertised as a longwearing lipstick but has quite some staying power! I can easily put this on in the morning and not reapply all day, and most importantly, not need to! I could rave about this lipstick for quite some time so I will probably do an entire post dedicated to it soon :)
When my skin is having a day where it needs perking up, unfortunately this seems to be most days! I wear this Healthy Mix Serum by Bourjois as it has medium to full coverage and leaves you skin looking fresh and dewy but not in an oil slick kind of way. It also doesn't stick to and accentuate any dry patches. I have it in the shade Vanilla which is a nice neutral colour that isn't too pink or orange. I apply it with my Real Techniques buffing brush(which is awesome by the way) and it blends seamlessly into my skin.

Super Volume Mascara from Body Shop was one of those products you just don't like at first but gradually grow on you. When I first started using it, for whatever reason, it just DIDN'T work. My lashes would end up all clumped together (how attractive I must have looked..!) after many layers of me trying to get those ever sought after big thick lashes which are sadly far from what I have. However after a week or so of me sticking with it, I hate wasting things, this mascara managed to transform my little lashes into a near enough approximation of  eyelash perfection:) so yep I like it now!

OK hope you enjoyed the first of many posts:)