Inexpensive Beauty Find: H&M Wintersky Nail Polish

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 12 - 2013

Loves me a good duochrome I do!

The problem with some duochromes is that no matter how delightfully galactic they look in the bottle, once on the nail… they require about a billion coats before reaching full opacity.  I mean, I know that I’ll have some extra time on my hands once Leila starts school in September (oh God, I’m not ready) but, five fucking coats is pushing it somewhat, no?

And that my friends, is why you need this H&M cheapie in your lives…

H&M Wintersky

H&M Wintersky

H&M Wintersky is a swoon-worthy polish.  It looks like it’s majorly accentuating my nail ridges in the second photo… but it’s quite an unkind photo to this poor polish which applies beautifully in just. two. coats.  The brush has a tendency to overload so you do have to be careful to scrape the excess back into the bottle but the formula is one of the fastest-drying (without making any application sacrifices) that I’ve yet to encounter.  Fastest-drying yet.  It’s like pixie-pee or something.

You should be able to tell from the photos that the duochrome shifts from a silvery green/blue to pink/lilac gorgeousness.  I’m also not wearing a top-coat in these shots because I was having a major swatch-session.

H&M Wintersky is currently available in H&M stores… it’s also online (if you can navigate their abomination of a website).  Priced at £2.99, it’s worth picking up next time you’re instore.


Glitter Gal Hot Chilli Holographic NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 7 - 2013

If you follow my new tumblr account, you would have seen this particular beauty pop up on there last week. When I challenged you to guess the shade from the swatch most of you said China Glaze Ruby Pumps… well, you were wrong! Glitter Gal Hot Chilli is just as sparkle-tastic but with the added bonus of some major holographic loveliness.

Non-gritty and richly-pigmented, the warm slightly wine-y base will be perfect for autumn and has enough of a jelly type of quality to make it look all squishy and scrummy on the nails.

glitter-gal-hot-chilli-bottle-web

Application was a dream, two easy coats later and the colour is fully opaque with a strong holographic effect in sunlight. In my experience, the Aussie-based brand (now available in the UK exclusively at PowderRooms) has always made some of the most beautiful holographic reds available and this one is no exception.

glitter-gal-hot-chilli-web

Glitter Gal Hot Chilli is priced at £10 for 10ml and is available to buy online at powderrooms.com, this one’s a limited edition shade so if you want to get it in your collection in time for Autumn, be quick!

* press sample

Urban Decay Autumn 2013 Nail Colour – Vice

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 5 - 2013

Have I told you before that Urban Decay were one of the first brands that made me sit up and take a proper interest in nail polish? Remember some of those early polishes… I still have a bottle of Cult and O somewhere, such a gorgeous pink!

Anyway, reminiscing aside… Urban Decay have been lightly dabbling with the (re)creation of nail polishes via some lovely mini-sets these past few years but this Autumn sees the return of full-size bottles.

Well, I say Autumn… they’re actually live on BeautyBay.com and the Debenhams website as I type.  The brand will be looking to release two limited edition shades each season, and I’ve got one of Autumn’s offerings on the blog today for your swatch-swooning pleasure!

Urban Decay Autumn 2013 Nail Polish Vice Purple (2)

Vice, one of the two limited edition shades available with their skull-topped bottles, is a rich purple with a not-so-hidden red/blue shimmer.  It’s not as duochrome as the stock images might have you believe but it is a deeply sexy royal purple with that inner glow of gorgeousness that darkens at the edges.  I’ve included a macro shot below to give you a better idea of how the polish reflects the light.

Urban Decay Autumn 2013 Nail Polish Vice Purple

The 3-three formula is bloody faultless, practically a one coater though I always do two when my nails are under swatch-scrutiny!  The polish glides on smoothly and dries quickly to a high shine, I’m not wearing a top coat in the above pictures.

If you’re in the market for a stunning purple, you’d be hard pushed to find better on the market at the moment.

Urban Decay Nail Colour in Vice is priced at £10 and available to buy online from beautybay.com and instore/online at debenhams.com

* press sample

There are more silver holos on the market than there are old-enough-to-know-better 1D fans on twitter but Dodgy Barnett is different.  This particular holo-infused polish blurs the lines between silver and grey, leaning more to the understated sophistication of a cool-toned grey than the usual bling of a silver holo.

Butter-London-Dodgy-Barnett

As you can see, it’s a pretty unassuming polish when worn indoors and in the shade but as with many holos, its true beauty comes alive when you get outside and find a patch of sunlight…

Butter-London-Dodgy-Barnett2

Dodgy Barnett sparkles a multitude of rainbow colours but ultimately keeps that wispy, pastelly grey thing going on… perfect if you’re looking for something sophisticated but with a little something different to show off about!

Butter London’s Dodgy Barnett is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online at PowderRooms.com who are offering 25% off all Butter London products with the code “butter”.  But hurry, today’s the last day to take advantage of the promotion.

* press sample

Tried & Tested: Red Carpet Manicure vs. Sensationail

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 25 - 2013

The lure of a manicure that delivers long-lasting wear, minimal fuss, and one that can be done in the comfort of your own home is a strong pull.  Once upon a time, the only way we could have achieved something like this would have been to visit our nearest nail technician for acrylics and gel overlays (I used to love Bio-Sculpture).

Nowadays technologies have moved on and things have become a lot let fussy since the advent of Shellac and Gellish-type polishes… and even more so, now that we can use similar UV-cured polish technology at home!

I’m not a newbie to at-home gel polish systems, having previously trialled and reviewed Red Carpet Manicure’s major competitor in the UK market: Sensationail, infact… I’m in a priviliged position where I’m able to deduce any differences between the two systems.  So, without further ado, let’s get down to it.

Red Carpet Manicure_1

Red Carpet Manicure

The first point to note between the two at-home nail systems is that of the two… the Sensationail Kit is slightly cheaper at £60, compared to the Red Carpet Manicure Starter Kit at £65.

The Red Carpet Manicure kit contains pretty much the same product as the Sensational in terms of: prepping products, base coat, colour, top coat… the systems both work in a similar way when it comes to application and use.  The major difference between the two kits is the lamp.

Sensationail’s kit comes with a “pro” lamp as standard.  In this instance, you can take that to mean… a lamp with a timer.  The Sensationail lamp cuts out after 1-minute and “chirps” after 30-seconds.  Red Carpet Manicure’s smaller footprint lamp… doesn’t do this, you need a clock handy.  No real problem for those of us with our smartphones glued to our fingers anyway but curing time is also longer after each step with the Red Carpet Manicure system.

Red Carpet Manicure_2

Red Carpet Manicure

In terms of value for money… the Red Carpet Manicure system provides you with larger-sized bottles in your starter kit.  Over double the amount of base/top coat, something that is fundamental to the system working… and generous quantities of nail cleanse and remover.  Sensationail’s offering, at around 3.6ml is pretty stingy… it won’t be long before you’re buying topups to be fair.

Back to the lamps for a moment… although the Red Carpet Manicure’s lamp has the convenience of being able to be powered by USB (laptop powered nails yeahh!!), I did find the design a little awkward.  My longest, middle finder had to contort in order to fit under the UV bulbs.  It’s no biggie… you don’t have to keep your hands locked in position for hours but it’s worth mentioning as a point of difference.  Red Carpet Manicure also do a less-portable lamp (with timer) in one of their more expensive kits.

Red Carpet Manicure_3

What’s included in the Red Carpet Manicure kit

Lamps compared, quantity of product and price compared… things are working out to be pretty even between the two contenders for the at-home manicure crown.  But wait… because I’m about to blow this thing apart.  The Red Carpet Manicure system is easier to apply on the nail than the Sensationail kit.  And for a novice, this is an important distinction.

In my previous Sensationail review, I complained about the shoddy packaging of the Sensationail bottles… and it’s only after using superior packaging that I can appreciate how much more smoothly the product applies.  Now, don’t get me wrong… I got on “ok” with the Sensationail during application, a little pooling at the cuticles that I was quick to clean up… but…

The Red Carpet Manicure products apply like a dream.  The brushes are cut more carefully and I found it remarkably easy to apply each layer thinly.  Don’t underestimate the importance of applying this type of gel system in super-thin layers.  Thickly-cured gel on your nails is u.g.l.y.

Red Carpet Manicure_5

Applying the base coat

The polish stays complete wet and workable right up until the moment you begin to cure it, leaving you ample time to push the product around the nail… capping the tips, keep the polish clear of the cuticles.  It’s almost therapeutic.

Red Carpet Manicure_6

Applying the colour

You can see my funny finger contortion in the picture below… this was taken mid-cure.  You can also see how teeny-tiny the lamp is – it looks like a stapler!  Two minutes later and my colour was cured and ready for a top-coat.  All in all, it took around 25 minutes to complete a full manicure.

Looking back, I see that this is less time than it took to complete with the Sensationail kit.  Considering curing times are slower with this kit, I’m surprised at the difference.  I can only put it down to the speed at which I was able to apply the product to the nail thanks to easier application.

Red Carpet Manicure_4

The curing process

Ta-da!  Here’s how the finished manicure looked.  My one complaint is that it was a little sheerer than I would have liked after two coats as my nail-line is still visible but in all honesty that’s my fault.  I was asked to choose a colour to receive with my kit and I didn’t look closely enough at the Pinterest photos linked on their colour range page (nice touch btw) that would have given me a better idea!

Red Carpet Manicure_7

The finished result

Red Carpet Manicure_8

The finished result

And so… manicure down… how did it last?

Well, really well actually!  I didn’t experience any of the “lifting” that I occassionally experience with the Sensationail kit and after 12-days (see picture below, please excuse the eczema), you’ll see that there’s no chipping of the nails.  The same does apply to all the other nails, I promise – I just didn’t think when I took the photo that you might want to see all of them, sorry!

By the way, check out my amazing nail growth!  I’m putting that down to Dr. Lewinn’s Renunail (review coming soon, it’s taken me a very long time to discover what it actually does!)

Removal was easy… I previously complained about the removal for the Sensationail system but I got the hang of it in the end.  Both are very similar… you simply need to buff the surface of the nail first, do the tin-foil trick (with pure acetone) and scrape off any remnants.  Give it 10-minutes with the foil on your fingertips first.  I will say however, that I didn’t need to buff my natural nail after removal with the Red Carpet Manicure kit… there were no remnants at all.

Red Carpet Manicure_9

…and 12 days later!

So… all being said and done… yes, I do have a clear favourite out of the two systems.  The Red Carpet Manicure performs better for me across all levels except one, I’m not a fan of the ultra-portable lamp.  But I will happily trade a contorted finger for easier application and a better shot at being able to create some funky nail art with the system(!), greater value-for-money, and a wider range of colours.

The Red Carpet Manicure Starter Kit* is available to buy online from redcarpetmanicure.co.uk, priced at £65.00

* press sample

* please find my Sensationail reviews here and here.

A graphic NOTD from BarryM Gelly Papaya!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 3 - 2013

Like a four year old with a brand new craft set, I’ve finally gotten to grips with my nail striping tapes that I bought about a million years ago before promptly relegating to the back of a drawer.

You see, when I first applied BarryM’s Gelly polish in Papaya, I didn’t really like it… it’s not quite as “peachy” as I was hoping for, a little too bright against my pale skintone. Especially for a school day.

A graphic NOTD from BarryM Gelly Papaya!

So, I grabbed a muted green polish and with the help of a few strips of tape, managed to create quite the neatest lines I’ve ever accomplished!  Go me!  This was all a complete fluke you understand, even the fact that the colours kinda go together was not part of a greater master plan.  I simply got lucky.

Doesn’t it look nice though?  If you don’t Pinterest the shit out of it, I’m not talking to any of you again.

Don’t own any nail striping tape?  Oh, you should!!  It’s only taken me a couple of years to get round to using it… I bought mine on eBay.  Next time, I’ll actually try leaving the tape ON the nail… but you know, baby steps…

Are you sporting any nail art at the moment?

Butter London Fiddlesticks NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 27 - 2013

fid·dle·stick

exclamation /ˈfidlˌstik/ 

Nonsense

butter-london-fiddlesticks-web

Who knew such a bunch of "nonsense" could look so pretty?

Butter London Fiddlesticks is a deep magenta glitter suspended in a raspberry base.  It was released as part of their Holiday 2012 collection and thus, horribly inappropriate to be wearing in June.  Whatever.  It's pretty and I like it… so I'm gonna wear it.

The coverage is pretty full-on and the above photo shows it worn with 3-coats, which as you can see, delivers full and complete opacity.

butter-london-fiddlesticks-web2.

Removal is a minor bitch… what with it being glitter and all.  You could layer this one over something like Butter London Blowing Raspberries and I'm sure that a single coat would have much the same effect with less irritation during the removal process.

Butter London Fiddlesticks is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from PowderRooms.com

Nails Inc. launches the Green Queen Manicure. Feeling arty? DIY it!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 25 - 2013

Keeping up with the latest trends in the fast-moving world of many manicures can be pretty hard work!  In light of this, Nails Inc have recently launched their Guest Manicure initiative which allows you to get to grips with a new nail trend for just £15, available from Nails Inc bars across the country.

This month sees the launch of the Green Queen manicure, a nod to the colour of the season, worn in a slightly more demure way than going all out HULK on your tips.

nails-inc-green-queen-manicure-1371812262

Nails Inc. say:  This is the Queen of all manicures for the festival season – a base of Royal Botanical Gardens in mint with with stunning emerald green Queen Victoria Street tips.  This is a subtle look to make your nails pop all festival long.  It’s the perfect way to accessorise your outfit – through rain, mudslides, thunder or sunshine, whatever the weather throws at us this summer, your nails will be bold, beautiful and bursting with colour.

I say… this one’s a bit manageable innit!  For once, will I be on trend?

Grabbing the closest colours I could muster, I did a pretty neat job (even if I do say so myself).

DIY-green-queen-manicure

Not got the time for such frivolities?

Your life is undoubtedly more exciting than mine… perhaps you’re off to Glastonbury this week to sample the delights of the long-drops and the she-pees.  In that case, skip the am-drams and get a pro to sort you out.

Book in for your Green Queen Manicure at your nearest Nails Inc. via their online booking service, here

Tealing kinda blue! Boots No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Cruising

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 21 - 2013

Whenever I get given one of those nifty till spits treating me to X amount off Boots No7, I make a beeline.  Well, two actually… my first port of call are the brushes, I must have a million No7 brushes that I always take with me on holidays.  You know the sort of thing… not so rubbish that they’re unusable, not so amazing/expensive that you’d cry if they got bent out of shape! Makeup bag staples.

My second stop-off is in front of the Boots No7 Stay Perfect nail polishes.  I’m a little bit reluctant to hand over full-price for the range but when you’ve got £3 off… well, things don’t seem quite so expensive after-all!

Especially when they look as pretty as this…

Boots-No7-Stay-Perfect-Nail-Colour-in-Cruising-Teal_1

Boots-No7-Stay-Perfect-Nail-Colour-in-Cruising-Teal_2

How lovely is that teal?  Next stop, it’s going on my toes!

I generally find the No7 formula to be a two-coater, the brushes have improved recently and now I can generally cover the nail in 3 strokes with an extra one thrown in to tidy up.  Drying time is average but the gloss is usually out of this world.  My biggest bug bear with the formula is that so many of the strong shades stain my skin and require more acetone in removal than I’d usually like to use.

Despite the moniker, Stay Perfect doesn’t actually stay all that perfect.  I usually get significant tip wear within a few days and the odd chip here and there, noteworthy for someone whose nails rarely suffer from chips!

That being said, I’m almost tempted to forgive it for being such a rich, glossy shade that looks as though it’s been poured on rather than painted.  Lush.

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Cruising is priced at £6 (without a voucher) and available to buy instore and online at boots.com

Are you a fan of the No7 Stay Perfect nail range?

* press sample

Swatched: Leighton Denny Holographic Collection

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 11 - 2013

Look lively beauty-lovers, there’s a new holographic collection coming to town…

Leighton Denny is launching a trio of kaleidoscopic-dazzlers exclusively with The Urban Retreat Beautique and I’m delighted to have a genuine sneak peek* for you, so without further ado…

Leighton Denny Holographic Hollo Rose

Hollo Rose

Leighton Denny Holographic Holo Skye

Hollo Skye

Leighton Denny Holograpic Hollo Silva

Hollo Silva

The new shades deliver a medium holographic effect from what is most interestingly, a matte nail.  Ignoring the press release (which describes these as high-gloss) the trio actually imparts a matte/suede finish that can be topped off with a top-coat should you require more shine.  The matte effect doesn’t do anything to downplay the light reflection and indeed, gives a really interesting twist on a tried and tested formula.

Talking of the formula, it’s an odd one although consistent across the three shades.  Laying down the first coat, the polish grabs to the surface of the nail almost too vigorously and has a tendency to leave bald patches.  I quickly surmised that the best way forward was a very thin bottom layer followed by a thicker second coat which helped smooth out any imperfections. The polish dries remarkably quickly and is touch dry within a couple of minutes.

Those of you who are familiar with matte nail formulas will understand the difficulties that can sometimes be had with these formulas, especially if your nails suffer with excessive ridging or chipping.  I would definitely consider pairing these with a ridge-filling base coat next time.  Either way by the third coat, you’re fully opaque and ready to go!

The Leighton Denny Holographic Collection will be coming online exclusively at The Urban Retreat Beautique in the next week or so priced at £13.25 each.

ETA: As of 12/06/13 – these polishes are now available via the above link.

* press sample

Butter London Trustafarian NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 5 - 2013

Why are some nail polishes so damn hard to capture on screen? In real life, they can be as pretty as a flower… but through my camera lens? We be talking cauliflower.

Powder Rooms sent me this polish to photograph for their site late last year, back in the murky depths of dark nights and well, even darker days.  It made for a frustrating assignment.  Butter London’s Trustafarian basically only sings in the sun, it needs strong daylight like I need intravenously feeding Pepsi Max.

Check it out.

indoors

indoors

outdoors

outdoors

Ahhh, you beauty. You pain in the arse beauty.

It applies with three smooth coats and dries quickly enough not to give me any major application issues. You can see that the holographic effect, although fairly subtle, is still super-pretty in a pixie-esque, twinkly kind of way.

Do you need this in your life? Possibly, particularly if you live in a country whose weather patterns consist of more than just perma-drizzle.

Butter London Trustafarian holographic nail polish is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from powderrooms.com

Carolyn K Armineh NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 14 - 2013

If you’re a fan of classic shades, Carolyn K’s Armineh is about as classic as it gets.  This beige-toned nude should work well on most skin-tones as it leans neither too cool nor too warm in tone.  I often find that nude shades (unless pink-toned) can pull orange against my colouring so a true neutral is most welcome.

carolynk-armineh

Application was smooth but this one did unfortunately need a full three coats before it even considered becoming opaque on the nails.  The formula has been infused with Pro Vitamin B5 for stronger, healthier nails and employs a flat brush for an easy (and speedy) application.

Carolyn K’s Armineh is part of a three-piece set, available online from www.powderrooms.com, priced at £12.99

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