It’s more than I can do to write this post without pointing out the horrible spelling of a beautiful name.  It’s only my opinion so cool it with the evils oh “Layla’s” of the world.  But just so you know, it’s L.E.I.L.A.  Ok?

Anyway, back to the polishes… I’m just gonna let the pictures do the talking here.

Coral Glam

Mercury Twilight

Flash Black

Layla is an Italian brand of which I know practically nothing about.  Each shade shown above was a quick-drying three coater.  Wear was fairly crappy despite the nail prep (you’re supposed to buff the nail beds to a ridge-free shine before applying).  Admittedly, I didn’t experience chipping but I did have tip wear by the end of the first day (tried both with and without a top coat).  Still, when something is this beautiful – you tend to be a little more lenient on it no?

The bottles are 10ml each and the holographic effect is beautifully dramatic in each of them.  You should note that although Flash Black looks a touch duller than the other two, it’s only because the sun was starting to set by the time I was able to take photos.  Poor Flash Black, it’s just as a vibrantly blingy in real life.

Do you like these?

I paid £11.25 for each of these and bought them online from Simply Occasions, who I believe is the only UK stockist.

Breton Nails with Nails Inc. Hanover Square NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 18 - 2012

I thought I might have outgrown my Breton phase by now but it shows no signs of abating. Growing up, my Mum always told me that big girls can’t wear horizontal stripes without looking somewhat like a barrel.  Or a lot like a barrel.  Either way, I didn’t dare wear them until last Summer – I’m so not over them.  I even have a Pinterest board dedication, I’m sure it has more than a little something to do with the inimitable Jean Seberg’s styling.

I need to employ some sticky tape to get straight lines!  Here’s my rather messy attempt at a Breton-inspired mani.  Do you like it?!  I used my new KIKO white nail polish (designed for french tips), over two coats of Nails Inc. Hanover Square.  It may be a little early in the year to get all nautical but it puts a smile on my face!

Orly Spring Cool Romance Collection: Prelude to a Kiss NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 15 - 2012

Orly’s Spring 2012 Collection is out and pays homage to some of the gentlest pastels around.  We’re not talking sweet-shop pastels here, these are the slightly edgier, grungier cousins of the pastel world.  Just about.

I don’t generally go much on pastels, so Cool Romance’s dirtier take on the trend is right up my street.  Infact, I love the look of all of them except Steel Your Heart, the non pastel that gives me the “Geez, it’s Spring not Autumn/Winter!” feeling.

Prelude to a Kiss* is a pretty pale pink creme with a hint of peach.  It feels like it should be opaque in two coats but needed a third to even out a little bit of streakiness.  It’s a little bit thick in formula, like many pastels, but applies without too many frustrations.  I love these shades for lazy weeks when I can get away with a whole heap of tip wear!

Orly Cool Romance Collection is available to buy in two sizes: 18ml are £6.95 each from www.beautybay.com and the mini 5.3ml are £5 each at www.boots.com

Do you have a favourite from the collection?

* press sample

Get pretty with Pixi #20! Sparkly Red Valentine’s Nails!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 10 - 2012

I think there’s an unwritten law that allows only this much red glitter on two days of the year: Christmas Day and Valentine’s Day.  Pixi nail polish in #20 is a dense red glitter suspended in a pink/red jelly base… it’s a proper pow-pow bling-fest on the nails and needs 2/3 coats to ensure even distribution.

If you don’t like the rough finish, you’re gonna need a couple of coats of topper to smooth out that much of a glitter party but those brighter flakes sing out loud in the sunshine!

Pixi Nail Polishes are priced at £10 each and available instore or online from Pixi Beauty

Inexpensive Beauty Find: Spring/Summer Nails at Tesco!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 9 - 2012

Want the latest nail trends without the price tags?  Tesco have released their Spring/Summer shades, and all for a recession-busting 99p a-piece!

Which one is your favourite and will any be landing in your shopping trolley this weekend?

Butter London: HRH (Cadbury’s Purple Ahoy!)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2012

I think that when a girl is born, she’s born with two things: 1). girly bits and 2). a unwaivering adoration for “Cadbury’s purple”.  Butter London’s HRH fulfills that need to have a beautifully shiny Dairy Milk wrapper on your nails.

Perfect in three thin coats, though I would have preferred two – HRH looks indulgent, decadent and totally makes me want to lick my nails.  Priced at £11.95 and available online from PowderRooms.

What’s your favourite Cadbury’s purple shade?

If Liz Earle did nail polish…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 3 - 2012

…it would probably be a lot less stinky/toxic than this one!

However, I was bored and looking at a bottle of Instant Boost Skin Tonic when I decided that I wanted to do another franken polish.  The British brand are known for the packaging’s calming hue and I thought I’d have a go at replicating the iconic shade.  I think I did rather well (if I do say so myself!)

Mine is just a hint less green, a tiny hint – but enough to annoy me. (YOU’VE DONE IT WRONG!)

Still, it looks very pretty and now I’ve totally accessorised my skincare!

Sad?  Me?  Sod off.  You know that Liz Earle-coloured nail polish is the coolest thing you’ve seen all week (ignore the fact it’s Monday).

Color Club Ultra Violet NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 1 - 2012

I thought that this Color Club shade was going to be sheerer than it turned out…

Three coats gave me full coverage and results in a beautiful pink-violet with a strong blue/green flash.  My photograph hasn’t picked up the green but you should be able to see the strong blue hues lurking where the light reflects off the nail bed.  For a bargain brand, this shade is a cracker – I just wish it were more accessible in the UK.

I bought Color Club’s Ultra Violet on eBay and paid around £5 inc. postage (from the U.S.) – which nail polish brands do you wish had better availability in the UK?

The John Lewis Blogger Nail Art Challenge

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 30 - 2012

I don’t do nail art very often, or even… ever, you just need to look back through my ‘nail of the day’ archives to see that.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate it, I look longingly on tumblr at all the cool kids and their striping brushes but the problem is that I’ve got an essential familial tremor.  It’s genetic – you can hear my Dad carrying a tea tray from the other side of town.  Because I’m still (fairly) young, you’d be hard pushed to notice it in everyday tasks but when it comes to something that takes skill, precision and a delicate touch… I get the shakey jakes and the more I concentrate, the worse it gets.

Which is why, I’m pretty damn impressed with my attempt at some Valentine’s themed nail art.  It’s not massively complicated and thank God for being able to play dot-to-dot with a dotting tool BUT, it took me about 3 hours to finish (stop laughing), and I feel like ronseal-ing it to my nail beds to last for all eternity.

So why on Earth am I spending frankly ridiculous amounts of time drawing not very symmetrical hearts on my nails?  Well, because John Lewis sent an email out to some bloggers, challenging them to create some eye-catching nail art using a selection of shades that they would send out for this purpose.  Here are the shades they sent me:

YSL La Laque in Sparkling Garnet | Nails Inc. Magnetic Polish in Trafalgar Square | NARS Space Odyssey | YSL La Laque in Copyright Red

Dudes, I even tried to magnetize the hearts.  Dedication.  Not that it worked very well.

I’m not sure who else is taking part in the challenge (Sophy Robson’s blogging twin knowing my luck) but the participants stand a chance at winning a £150 John Lewis voucher so I am totally trying to bring my a-game!

Good luck to my fellow nail art(istes) taking part and cheers to John Lewis (and the makeup and beauty team) for the polishes and the opportunity to play along.

Do you ‘do’ nail art?  Who are your biggest sources of inspiration?

Gilding the Lily – My First Polish Franken!

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 28 - 2012

I always remember my Mum accusing me of ‘gilding the lily’ – taking something that was already lovely and needlessly attempting to improve it.  I can’t remember what the context would have been, I’ve never been a crafty/arty person so I’m assuming it was probably something silly like decorating biscuits.  No doubt, I was pouring sprinkles ontop of silver balls on top of pink icing.

Anyway, that phrase came to mind when I had to physically restrain myself from adding MOAR pigments/polishes/sparkles to my first polish Franken – and so the name has stuck.

For my first, I used some stuffs that I didn’t mind wasting.  An old ASOS by Ciate paint called Pixie… a jade creme that is infinitely dupable.  A Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Night Lights that looks amazing in the bottle (holo) but is watery and pretty crappy on the nails.  Then I decided I wanted to give the green a warm, golden edge and dug out a pair of pigments that I hoped would do just that.

The result works.  Almost.  The BellaPierre pigment in Celebration (the copper one) isn’t as finely-milled as I would have hoped and gives the polish a lumpy feel which is a shame.  The other, golden-olive pigment which I believe was from a now-defunct indie brand worked beautifully in the polish and gave it a mossy, golden sheen.

The above shows two coats and a layer of top coat.  The scattered holo is really understated and gives more of a multi-dimensional, multi-coloured sparkle than any holo ‘effect’.  Now, I need to do some more!  I want some Spectraflair pigment!  Oh God, not another addiction!

What do you think?  Be kind, it’s my first!

Spring into Pink with Nicki Minaj for OPI’s Pink Friday

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 23 - 2012

As part of Nicki Minaj’s collaboration with OPI this month, her collection features the infamous pale, bubblegum-esque Pink Friday* shade that first reared its head with last year’s MAC partnership.  It’s not pepto-bright but the chalky pink will stand out against most skintones – it’s not one for shrinking violets.

The formula was thick and you’ll need a little patience to ensure a smooth finish unless you’re willing to go the 3-coat option which will obscure any streakiness from the first two coats.  I’m sure the shade isn’t massively unique but I don’t actually own any dupes and infact, only two others that are remotely similar – I don’t usually go in for these finger-popping pale shades but I do like how this one looks once applied.

Pink Friday (and the rest of the Nicki Minaj collection) is available to buy online priced at £10.50 from official stockists, Lena White.

While I was comparing pinks, I thought I’d paint up a nail wheel showing some of my favourite pinks…

1. ByTerry Terrybly Nail Laque – #2
2. Nails Inc. – China Town
3. Spa Ritual – Knowledge Is Power
4. Orly – Flirty
5. Butter London – Primrose Hill Picnic
6. George at Asda – Groove
7. Mavala – Sweety
8. Nails Inc. – Pelham Crescent
9. Barry M – Fuchsia
10. Eyeko – Punk Polish
11. Mavala – Graphic
12. H&M – Sinful Senorita (holo)
13. Ciate – Plastic Fantastic
14. Butter London – Twee (layering polish)
15. Ciate – Main Stage
16. Accessorize – Pink Spice
17. China Glaze – Ahoy!
18. OPI – Pink Friday
19. Mavala – Miami
20. Ciate – Fun Fair

What are your favourite pink nail picks for Spring?

* press sample

NOTD: Butter London Hoorah Henri

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 20 - 2012

I’m going all demure and sophistimicated with today’s nails courtesy of Butter London…

Hoorah Henri is a pale, creamy nude that would make a beautiful French mani with clean, white tips.  The above photo shows three coats because I wanted to see how it built up – not too badly as it happens because three coats were just about enough to disguise the ‘orrible stains on my nails.  The formula was good and drying time perfectly adequate.  What do you think, too pale?  I don’t actually own anything quite like this and it may well inspire me to attempt a Frenchie before the month is out.

Butter London Hoorah Henri is priced at £11.95 and available online from PowderRooms

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