Deal Alert: Layla Holographic polishes, better than half price!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 7 - 2014

Remember when I got all excited about Layla Hologram Nail Polishes? It was a while ago, so I’ll forgive you if your memory is kinda rusty. You can remind yourself by clicking through to my post here which contains a few swatches, alternatively… fire up Google Images and prepare to part ways with your pennies.

You see, as I scoured Amazon late last night for nothing in particular, I noticed that the Layla nail polishes appear to be prettily heavily discounted to the tune of 50% or more.  Whereas I originally paid over £11 a polish, you can now pick them up for under a fiver in some cases!  The only catch is that stock appears to be a little on the short side, so if you wanted to snag a couple, don’t leave it too long!

Here’s what I just picked up for my collection, please don’t tell my husband… I’m supposed to be saving for the “baby”.

layla-nail-polish-purchases

There’s also a couple of rather beautiful flakies that nearly found their way into my basket… but I was determined to keep my total in the £20s and not go any higher!

Are you tempted?  If you buy any… please tell me which ones caught your eye!

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Butter London Stratford Honey NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 27 - 2014

This sparkly little number from Butter London looks great in the bottle.  A blitz of golden glitter, suspended in a clear base.  But when all is said, done, and painted… I’m left feeling distinctly underwhelmed by this one.  Take a look for yourselves…

butter-london-stratford-honey

Now, I’m all for a bit of understated glamour, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I need it to look like the interior of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Strictly nights before I coo over a bit of sparkle.

However… let’s be honest, I could have snorted from Leila’s stash and phyically sneezed more glitter in a single coat.

Sponging the polish on results in a slightly-more-mpressive topper but with the number of golden glittered top coats available across the market, this is one I’d leave on the shelves.

Butter London Stratford Honey is available to buy online, priced at £11.95 from powderrooms.com

* press sample

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Butter London Crumpet NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 26 - 2014

Have you seen the square crumpets that Asda do? Oh my… they’re huge and fill the toaster to the edges…crying out for a slathering of butter, jam, nutella or whatever gets your taste buds excited in the morning!

I can’t have them at the moment because anything that tastes deliciously carby in the mornings makes my obstetrician shake his head at me.  And so, instead of a hot, buttery treat… I’ll have to make do with this tasty morsel of another kind…

Butter London’s Crumpet was released last year as part of the brand’s Starkers collection, a trio of nudes to suit most skintones.  Of the three, crumpet is the middle-toned shade… and as you can see, looks fairly happy sitting against my uber-cool skintone.

Butter-London-Crumpet-web

The brand describe this one as a “warm caramel creme” and it’s opaque in a couple of coats.  I find wear to be pretty standard throughout the Butter London range and I easily get 5-days before the tip wear begins to appear.  Of course, with shades such as these, this isn’t hugely noticeable even when it does set in.

Butter London Crumpet is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from powderrooms.com

* press sample

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Nails Inc. designer collaboration for London Fashion Week: Sloane Street

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 13 - 2014

Do you remember when Nails Inc. polishes used to be the pinnacle for British nail polish junkies everywhere?  Our sisters across the pond would be desperate to get their hands on the London street-themed bottles via generous MakeUp Alley swappers and eBayers who were willing to risk sending flammable items overseas.

I’ve had a niggling feeling for a long time that the brand hadn’t been improving with age.

My feelings have been confirmed after taking delivery of a press sample from their latest collaboration with emerging British design talent for London Fashion Week which feels – and looks – like the most half-hearted attempt at spinning a bit of money from a loyal customer base.

So, what exactly is wrong with this new collaboration then?  I’ll start at the beginning…

Nail-Inc-Teatum-Jones-London-Fashion-Week-Collaboration

On paper, the press release is impressive.  It makes the collaboration sound as buzzing and inspirational as it should be.  Nails Inc. founder Thea Green waxes lyrical about how “Fashion is at the heart of everything Nails Inc creates. Each designer was given complete creative control to design packaging for three new fashion forward shades in celebration of London Fashion Week 2014.  I am thrilled to be able to showcase such amazing talent”.

Great.

Except for a few things…

1. There are three shades available in the collection: a pink, a nude, and a dusky purple.  So blindingly fashion-forward, I can hardly contain my excitement.

2. The designer-created packaging doesn’t actually fit the bottles.  The boxes bulge at the front, it looks untidy.  How can you not get that right?

3. The standard Nails Inc. bottles that we’re now entirely used to grabbing as freebies on the front cover of magazines have a transparent sticker on the caps announcing the name of the designer who created the ill-fitting box (poor designer).  Hilariously, the sticker on mine hasn’t been applied properly and has air bubbles… oh, it’s also a bit wonky.

Nail-Inc-Teatum-Jones-London-Fashion-Week-Collaboration2

Nail-Inc-Teatum-Jones-London-Fashion-Week-Collaboration3

Nail-Inc-Teatum-Jones-London-Fashion-Week-Collaboration4

Am I being fussy?  I am when the brand are making such a fuss about “showcasing” emerging talent.  If I were a designer and they offered to showcase my talent as shoddily as this… I’d politely decline.

Also, let’s not forget that these are being marketed as “collector pieces” at £12.00 a pop and in this competitive market, brands are saturating the market with high-quality nail polishes for less than half the price Nails Inc are demanding.  The majority of these will be available at a cut-price from your nearest TKMaxx in less than 5-months.

The formula on the polish itself is infact, alright.  I used two coats which offers complete coverage as-long as you apply with a fairly heavy-hand.  You’ll absolutely need a top-coat to conceal the dull but not-quite-matte finish which polish-heads will know to expect from an almost-neon shade.  The finished manicure is nice, it’s a pretty hot pink.  It doesn’t scream cutting-edge fashion to me though, I own a billion hot pinks.

I haven’t been this critical of a brand on my blog in a very, very long time but I’m left feeling annoyed by this collaboration, mostly at the quality control issues that do nothing to showcase the designers who got involved and most of all, lets down the paying public.

All three of the Nails Inc. Designer Collaboration for London Fashion Week polishes are available nationwide and online from nailsinc.com, priced at £12 each

* press sample

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EDIT: (update: 13/02/14) – Nails Inc. were good enough to respond to my criticism(s), here’s what they had to say:

We are sorry that you were disappointed with our young Designers Collaboration.  At nails inc we are genuinely passionate about supporting our talented British colleagues in the Fashion Industry. The association with nails inc and the mentions on the various nails inc platforms is a real benefit in helping to raise the profile of emerging talent.

The colours of these limited edition polishes, which will only be available for six weeks, were chosen to complement the designers’ collections, not necessarily to start a new trend in nail fashion.

We recognise how passionate you are about nails and the importance of this on your site, so we very much hope that you will like our future collections and collaborations more.

Butter London Giddy Kipper NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 13 - 2014

Autumn 2013 saw Butter London release Giddy Kipper, a vibrant blue polish with a hidden shimmer that seemed somehow better-suited to Summer than Fall (as did the rest of the Autumn collection).  It reminded me of the blue seas and skies that us UK’ers could only dream of at that time of year.

On paper, it should have been beautiful… in other people’s swatches… I’m still mesemerised.  But both times I’ve worn it, I’ve been a little disappointed!

Butter-London-Giddy-Kipper

Now, don’t get me wrong… it’s a beautiful blue.  But, BUT… I’m really missing out on the extra dimension from its hidden shimmer.  In order to appreciate this beauty in the same way that other (U.S. bloggers) have been able to do, you need a good sprinkling of direct sunshine.

There’s nothing wrong with that, a delicate holo will only show its true colours when the sun has got his hat on!  But I think I’ll be putting this one away for the Winter and Spring and bringing it back out for an outing once June rolls around, then… and only then will I really be able to appreciate this little number for its hidden surprises!

Application was fine, a two-coater… nothing unusual to report with the formula, your standard solid Butter London fare!

Butter London’s Giddy Kipper is priced at £11.95, and is available to buy online from powderrooms.com

What’s been your favourite blue this season?

* press sample

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Butter London Shandy NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 10 - 2014

Is there room in your collection for a pale apricot creme nail polish?

Butter London’s Shandy from last year’s Starkers collection delivered a trio of nudes and this one is an extremely pale hue which leans warmer than neutral.  It would make a great nude shade for fellow sun-dodgers who have less pink in their skin-tones than I do.

Butter-London-Shandy-web

On me, it’s a little stark because it’s yellow-tones stand out against my skin but it’s not unnervingly so and thanks to a great formula, it was easy to build this one up to full opacity in three coats.

The only thing I wasn’t sure about was that as wear-time increased, it began to look a little dirty in a nicotine-kinda way.  However, as an ex-smoker, I may well be a little more sensitive to this than others!

Butter London Shandy is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from powderrooms.com

* press sample

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Butter London Poole NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2014

I’m watching the poor postman out the window in his flourescent orange windcheater. He’s got an armful of a envelopes and is being blown all over the place… I’d have even more sympathy if he’d already passed my flat but I’m guessing that a couple of those envelopes might belong to me… so hurry it along mister.  It’s wild out there today, truly horrible and from what I read on Twitter, our capital city has gone into a transportation meltdown thanks to a number of tube strikes across the network.  Nice week for it.

So, in a bid to inject a little calm and tranquility into an otherwise turbulent week, let me introduce you to a polish from Butter London’s Summer 2013 collection.  A collection that was based mostly upon metallics, except for this little odd-one-out.  Butter London Poole is a dusky aqua blue with a hint of green… it’s namesake, a town not far down the coast from me, is an absolutely beautiful place to go in the Summer and the birthplace of LUSH Cosmetics dontchano?

butter-london-poole

What a lovely shade eh?  Not entirely undupe-able but very pretty nonetheless.  The formula was ok, not one of Butter’s best… it needed a bit of smoothing and lacked the nice, even flow that most of their polishes provide.  Opacity was good in two coats, I thought it might need three but the second coat pulled it all together.

Butter London Poole is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from powderrooms.com

What shades are  you loving at the moment, do I need to prise your fingers away from your Winter staples yet?

* press sample

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Butter London Molly Coddled NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 30 - 2014

Oh, I can’t take it any longer! It’s so dreary! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Summer’s biggest fan… but c’mon, give a girl a break! I’ve got some gorgeous, suede boots that I haven’t been able to wear for about two-months thanks to my lack of initiative in getting them scotchgarded**

Not only that but I had to wade through a field of mud picking Leila up from school yesterday after the wind had uprooted a monster tree onto the path and to add insult to injury, the workmen chopping it into teeny, tiny pieces weren’t even hot.  No 3pm Diet Coke break for any of us Mums, just a bloody quagmire to wade through.

So I’m taking it upon myself to Spring things up a bit with this cheerful little number from Butter London.  Molly Coddled is from last Spring’s “Sweetie Shop” collection and has the perfect amount of chalkiness to keep it looking fresh without pushing into starkness territory.

Butter-London-Molly-Coddled-web

The more astute, or simply fashion-aware among us may also be getting seal-clappy about the fact that this lavender orchid would work nicely with the current Pantone Color of the Year.  If you give a shit about that sort of thing.

The formula is superb on this one with no patchiness or streaking like you’d often get with pastels.  I definitely recommend picking this one up if you’re feeling a little Spring-resistant like me today.

Butter London Molly Coddled is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from www.powderrooms.com

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* press sample

** 1st world problems

First Look: Avon’s NEW Gel Finish Nailwear, not impressed!

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 28 - 2014

Well, colour me confused.  The Avon Gel Finish Nailwear range has been getting rave reviews across the pond since its introduction over there a couple of months ago.  Not only for its far-reaching shade range that spans a variety of different finishes aswell as colours, but for its impressive wear time.

The coming-soon-to-the-UK range of 24-shades promises a gel like shine and intense colour, delivered in just one coat… a salon finish at home, and no need for a top-coat.  That’s a lot of promises for a small bottle of polish… I was sent a small selection from the new range to see if it lived up to my expectation… and I’m sorry to say, that so far, it’s fallen short.

Avon Gel Finish Nailwear

The shade range however, is indeed impressive… but then again, so is Avon’s current Nailwear Pro+ enamel, of which I count myself a fan.  So for me, this range really has to deliver on and above an already fairly high benchmark.

Every single shade that I was sent needed more than a single coat to achieve opacity.  Infact, they all needed a total of three coats for full-on no translucent patches coverage.  Which flagrantly laughs in the face of their one-coat claims, no?  Bad enough you say… but listen, because the formula is thicker than most… not in an unworkable way, quite the opposite actually as it flows nicely onto the nail.  So what’s the problem?  Well, the problem is, that this ain’t no speed-dry polish and when you’re testing claims that a nail polish needs no top-coat, you’re in for a damn long wait until you can pull your knickers up when you’re piling three coats of thickly-formulated polish onto your fingertips.

I painted my nails at around 9pm.  At 11.30pm, I took myself off to bed… my nails felt completely dry to the touch but they weren’t.  Ok, so I didn’t wake up with duvet marks but they had lost A LOT of the shine, as if the surface had been lightly buffed by premature contact with bedsheets etc.  I just don’t have 3hrs to hang around waiting for my nails to completely dry.  You can probably see that there is barely any shine on my nails in the photo below.

Avon Gel Finish Nailwear 2

In addition to this, look at the tip wear I’m starting to get (without a top-coat, remember how it says it doesn’t need one?) after a period of no more than 17-hours!  Now, all of the issues I’ve encountered can (probably) be solved with the addition of a quick-dry top coat.

But then, I just don’t see why I’d need this range when there’s a brilliant Nailwear Pro+ range already fortified with acrylic gel for strength, which doesn’t make any claims that it doesn’t (for me at least) live up to.  I’m going to work my way through the rest of the shades with a proper wear-test and if I’m forced to eat my words, I promise I’ll be back to provide a further update!

Avon Gel Finish Nail Enamels are due to launch in April, priced at £7 for 12ml.

* press sample

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Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 21 - 2014

If you ever had reason to think that beige is boring, think again.  Clinique have recently released a lovely, understated collection of nail polishes that range from the palest skin-suiting shade right up to the darkest.  In addition to these eight new limited-edition nail polishes, there’s also an eye shadow palette featuring another eight complimentary neutrals.

Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection

Focusing first on the eyeshadow palette, the limited edition All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette (£32.00/€39.00) includes an essential wardrobe of work-friendly neutrals, from the softest sparkling white right through to the smokiest dark brown.  The textures are soft and blendable with a creaminess that belies their powder form.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2

The first five shades in the palette (from left-to-right) contain a very subtle shimmer that reflects a luminosity rather than a glitter but the final three, darker shades, are the ones that will carry your look from day into night, featuring a (slightly) more prominent sparkle.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Close

The palette contains a large mirror and applicator with a sponge tip on one end and a blending brush on the other.  As much as I take issue with sponge tips, I won’t deny that the addition of a brush on the other end does ensure that you can get a decent application without carrying your own arsenal of tools around with you.

One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is the size of the palette.  As much as I love my Urban Decay Naked Palettes, I find them far too big to offer any kind of portability.  This one is small enough to pop in a handbag with ease.  Most interestingly, despite its minute size, each pan contains more product (gram for gram) than the Naked Palette, although the Naked palette offers a total of twelve pans to Clinique’s eight.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Swatches

Now, onto the new, limited edition A Different Nail Enamel (£12.00/€16.00) shades…

I’ve got two of the eight shades to show you, so naturally, I swatched one shade on each hand!  The colours that I received are almost similar enough in shade depth to get away without anyone noticing I’m sporting completely different polishes on each hand!

Clinique Nude Nail Polish Beige

First up is the lighter of the two: Peek A Boo, I See You which is described as a nude peach.  I’m not sure I’d agree with that description… in my experience, peaches tend to be a lot warmer in tone and this one isn’t quite warm enough to qualify in my opinion.  Having said that, for me, this is no bad thing as it complements my pale skin-tone beautifully.  It gives a soft, clean finish that’s effortlessly chic and lengthens my fingers.

Clinique Peek A Boo Nail Polish

Following this is the next tone darker in the collection: Birthday Suit.  It’s a slightly deeper version of the above with just the tiniest hint of a mocha hue.  Both polishes took three coats for a smooth application, but each covered easily without pooling in the cuticles or any other application issues.

Clinique Birthday Suit Nail Polish

What do you think?  Does the collection offer enough interest for you to be tempted or are you of the opinion that beige really is boring?

The Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection is available to buy online from clinique.co.uk now.  Alternatively, the collection will roll out across Clinique counters nationwide from the 7th February.  I imagine the eyeshadow palette might sell out pretty quickly though!

* press sample

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Butter London Stardust Overcoat NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 16 - 2014

I don’t care what the newspapers are saying, put down those pastel shades ‘cos it ain’t Spring yet!  Until I see a daffodil or tulip with my own eyes, we’re still firmly in the depths of Winter as far as I’m concerned.  I have an odd love/hate relationship with pastels anyway so I’m not gonna be grumbling about a couple more months of Winter trends.

Talking Winter trends, here’s a lovely top-coat from Butter London.  It’s all holographic n’ stuff.

Butter London Stardust Overcoat NOTD

In the photo above, I sponged the top coat over the tips… graduating the density on the way down toward the cuticle, it’s much easier than it sounds; You just need a high-density makeup sponge (you can pick up bags of them in Poundland/99p shops) before simply stippling the glitter over your existing polish.  I can’t even tell you how much easier it is doing it this way than trying to graduate the polish smoothly with a brush.

The above swatch doesn’t pick up the holographic sparkle too well, you really need to be a little out-of-focus to appreciate the fairy light-esque quality of this polish, so if you could all just go cross-eyed for a moment, that would be great.  Failing that, here’s an instagram which shows off the sparkle a little better.

As with all glitters, removal isn’t the highlight of my day, but the particles aren’t too chunky and to be fair, didn’t pose enough of a problem to send me reaching for the tin-foil.

Butter London Stardust Overcoat is available to buy online from powderrooms.com, priced at £11.95

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Butter London Bramble NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 13 - 2014

Is it purple? Is it blue? Neither, this is AUBERGINE bitch!  Well, kinda

It also happens to be a one-coat wonder, unless you’re ridiculously meticulous and couldn’t possibly leave it at that.  Me?  I left it at that.  The finish is smooth and glossy and application harks back to some of Butter London’s best from a couple of years back.  When you’re dealing with bold colours, you really appreciate a faultless application and this can unquestionably be described as an easy-to-work-with polish.

Butter-London-Bramble-web

Butter London Bramble was released as part of the Holiday 2013 Illusionists collection alongside a trio of top-coats and I’ll be blogging it again, combined with one of the top coats from the set: Stardust, which gives a wondrous, galaxy-esque finish.

I’m loving these chic darker shades at the moment, especially on shorter nails, what colours are you loving at the minute?

Butter London Bramble is available to buy online from powderrooms.com, priced at £11.95

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