Tag Archives: Nails

Mani Monday | Shark Week

Mani Monday Shark Week

I’ve not done a Mani Monday post for ages but I thought one was due. I’ve actually not had nail polish on my nails for about three weeks which is crazy for me. Well, not crazy, just incredibly lazy! And nail art? Pfft… I think it’s been an entire year since I did anything. So I’m dipping my toe back in the water with a super quick shark week look.

Mani Monday Shark Week

I’m too out of practice to go for anything to rival some of the Shark Week looks by artists like Dull Like Glitter, or Miss Jen Fabulous, so I had to rely on some good old nail decals. These ones are from YRNails and are just £1.50 for 23 in three different sizes. I teamed it with Road Rage from the Barry M Speedy range and topped it off with the Gelly topcoat.

I like it. Might try a proper Jaws-like one soon.

OPI Hawaii Collection

OPI Hawaii Collection OPI Hawaii Collection

It’s been a while since I picked up an OPI mini set and to be honest, I’m not sure what attracted me to this one. But it’s here now and it’s actually very nice indeed! So that’s lucky. I bought this from good old Nail Polish Direct for the very reasonable price of £10.95. Yes, the bottles are a pretty dinky 3.75ml, but who ever finishes a full size one anyway? I’m not a massive fan of the OPI mini’s as they’re so tiny so the brush is pretty fiddly but they are good for travel (and for when you’re feeling patient).

OPI Hawaii Collection

The colours are: (left to right) ‘Suzi Shops & Island Hops’ a very pale pink; ‘That’s Hula-rious’ a proper pastel mint green; ‘Lost my Bikini in Molokini’ quite a dark purple; and ‘Aloha from OPI’ a bright red-based coral.

OPI Hawaii Collection

Both ‘That’s Hula-rious’ and ‘Suzy Shops and Island Hops’ need at least three coats to reach opacity, to be expected for this kind of pale shade really. They both scream ‘spring’ to me and I actually love them paired together in a kind of double scoop mint and strawberry ice cream sundae.

OPI Hawaii Collection

‘Aloha from OPI’ is slightly more red than coral in my opinion but it’s a very, very nice shade however you call it. Plus, this was one coat. ONE! If you like this colour, rush out and buy the full sized bottle, it’s perfect.

‘Lost my Bikini in Molokini’ is probably my least favourite of the collection. It’s just a little on the dark side for spring/summer for me. However, it’s a high quality polish which needs just two coats for a perfect finish. I’m sure it’ll appear on my rotation in the autumn.

All four polishes over a nice high shine finish and I have had them on for three – four days (full mani’s not the weird combo above) without chips. Overall, a very nice little collection. Success, considering the full Hawaii collection contains the ugliest glitter ever invented. Seriously, check it out – ‘Pineapples Have Peelings Too‘.

China Glaze Sunsational Collection

China Glaze Sunsational Collection

China Glaze Sunsational CollectionLeft to right: ‘That’s Shore Bright’; ‘Too Yacht to Handle’; ‘Neon and On and On’

I’ve been eyeing up these three particular nail polishes for the longest time. Well, two years, since the collection launched in 2013. The China Glaze Sunsational Collection consisted of 6 jellies and 6 cremes and I have three of the creme polishes. I bought these from Nail Polish Direct for just £3.95 each.

I don’t know why I waited to long to get these because I couldn’t love the colours more. ‘That’s Shore Bright’ is easily the brightest purple I own, but it has a bluey tone to it which makes it super cool. ‘Too Yacht to Handle’ is pure awesome for the name alone, but as a neon teal, it’s also a colour I want to wear all the time. It’s currently my toe shade and makes me so happy. And ‘Neon and On and On’ is a gorgeous neon coral. You can tell how bright this one is as it makes the other two look muted in the top photo. It’s definitely a shade that attracts admiring comments.

Unfortunately, the formula is not the best, but I wonder if that might be because the bottles are two years old? They take a little work – three thin layers with drying time in between is best – plus they dried semi matte, which I really wasn’t expecting and don’t like so they really need a glossy top coat as well. On me, I got chips after two days, I would normally hope for three or four days at least for China Glaze. However, I really don’t care. I’ll take the extra work for these babies.

Next time I just won’t wait so long.


Nicole by OPI | First Impressions

Nicole by OPI

I’m a big fan of OPI but I had never tried anything from their Nicole by OPI diffusion line. Originally designed for US drugstores, it’s now easily available on the UK high street with Superdrug carrying it. It is cheaper than the OPI range at £7.99. I was sent the above by Direct Cosmetics who have a selection of shades for just £1.99 each.

I’ve been using the Strengthener Plus* under my nail polish for about two weeks now and I am finding that my nails are peeling a lot less. They still not super strong but we’re getting there gradually.  And the treatment itself doesn’t effect how long nail polish lasts which is a good thing, nothing worse than base or top coats which peels your polish.

Nicole by OPI

This is the appropriately named ‘I Orchid You Not’* – nice to see OPI continue their punderful names to all their ranges. This is a darker take on the 2014 colour of the year, Radiant Orchid. I used two coats with applied really easily and dried well. One thing I would say is that it’s quite a bit darker than it looks in the bottle and I’m not too sure why.

Nicole by OPI

The second colour I have is ‘I’m A Pool For Love’*. I tried really hard to take a decent photo of this and failed miserably so sorry about that. It is actually a dark, duochrome shimmer with purple base which flashes electric blue and bronze. It really reminds me of OPI’s ‘Ink’ but with an added golden bronze shimmer. I love this kind of ‘black but not black’ look so I love this.

Both polishes benefit from having the same kind of brush as the main OPI range – flattish, a slight fan and not too wide which is my favourite kind of brush. This makes application super easy and quick. I used three coats for each and they dried fairly quickly between coats and didn’t drag. Staying power was pretty standard for me – about three or four days before it was badly chipped.

Overall, I can’t see much difference between OPI and Nicole by OPI. The main OPI range has more shades but Nicole is definitely catching up so I will definitely be keeping my eye on this more affordable option.


China Glaze | Point Me to the Party

China Glaze Point Me to the Party

I have to share this as it’s my new favourite thing ever! It’s China Glaze’s ‘Point Me to the Party’ from their new Electric Nights summer 2015 collection.

China Glaze Point Me to the Party China Glaze Point Me to the Party

I paired it with the pure white ‘Cotton’ from the Barry M Gelly collection to really make the neon pop. ‘Point Me to the Party’ is a clear base with hexagonal glitter in neon pink, orange, blue and purple. The glitter is in two sizes and gives fairly even coverages. This is one coat applied normally, and then some deliberate glitter placement on the second coat.

Summer nails sorted! I bought this from Nail Polish Direct for £3.95 (£5 off RRP) which is a website I really rate.

Barry M Gelly Plumpy Topcoat

Barry M Gelly Plumpy Topcoat

Building on their success with the Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paints, Barry M have released their first topcoat from the range. The Plumpy Topcoat promises to give any mani the high shine finish of the Gelly nail polishes and a plumped up, gel effect that you would expect from a salon manicure. Being a big fan of the Gelly range I was excited to try this and was hoping for a possible Seche Vite dupe.

Barry M Gelly Plumpy Topcoat

I found that it certainly delivers in terms of shine. My nails looked very glossy and polished as you can clearly see from the above photo. I also love the shape the brush which is flat and wide – but not too wide. I have small nails beds and my pinky is tiny but the brush is the exact same width so by happy coincidence is pretty perfect for me.

A couple of negatives – I did find this to be very slow at drying. I think that the 3D plumped effect would only be noticeable with two or  three coats which is fine… if you have the time. This took at least 30 mins to dry all the way through which is way too long for a topcoat in my mind. It also has the tendency to peel, I’ve used the same (Barry M) polish with and without the Plumpy Topcoat and sadly it lasts longer without.

So, a good topcoat if you’re looking for a high shine (I think this would look amazing over glitter, shimmer or matte shades like the Barry M Silk collection) for a short time, but not one for people in a hurry or looking for a long-lasting mani.

At £2.99 you can’t grumble about the price but unfortunately I would say to save your pennies and invest in the Seche Vite.

Have you tried the Barry M Plumpy Topcoat? What is your favourite topper?


New From Barry M | Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint

Barry M are gearing up for a pastel spring with their new Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paints. The collection offers nine soft shades with a fast drying formula and a new, wide brush. They are priced at £3.99 each and currently available in Superdug at two for £7.

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint

Left to right: “Pole Position” (mint green); “In a Heart Beat” (coral pink); “Road Rage” (pale blue/green); “Full Throttle” (creamy orange).

The names and lids are obviously inspired by racing  and make a nice point of difference to their other collections. As well as the colours above there is a pale pink, a lilac, a greige, pale yellow, and a sky blue so they have created a capsule collection with all the colours you’ll need for spring.

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail PaintBarry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint

These apply best with several thin coats. The green and the blue definitely need three to even out streaks but the stronger hued coral was fine with just two. And thankfully, they do live up to their quick-drying promise. I found them to be touch dry within minutes and fully dry within 15. Again, this was with thin layers that dried between coats.

The new flat brush is a great addition too. It’s wider but not too wide (I have tiny pinky nails!) with a curved tip so allows for a neat, even application.

Overall, I’d say this collection is a winner. Good formula, great colours. I hope that they will continue to add to the collection seasonally as they have with the Gelly range, and introduce the new shape of brush throughout.

What do you think of these new colours? Are they making you feel like Spring has sprung?