Friday, 30 September 2011

This made me laugh...

Happy Friday, everyone! It's the weekend!

Having a look on Ebay just now, I came across this listing from an OPI seller:


I think you mean, um, No Spain No Gain!?

I'm pretty sure that OPI wouldn't endorse people injuring themselves!

:)

Monday, 26 September 2011

China Glaze Skyscraper

Hi everyone!

It's early morning here in London so sorry if I still sound a bit sleepy and under-caffeinated!

So- now- China Glaze: Skyscraper!

What can I say? I love love love this polish. Adore it! It's so rich and beautiful. It reminds me of a starry sky, and funnily enough when I was putting it on, I was watching Titanic on TV, so the colour also reminded me of the huge 'Heart of the Ocean' diamond Cal gives Rose in the film.

In general, I wouldn't say I wear blue nail polish an awful lot, although I have been trying to get a bit more experimental in what I wear recently. But China Glaze Skyscraper? This one was love at first sight! It's, to me, kind of the blue version of China Glaze's Ruby Pumps, which is probably, at a push, my favourite red.

Anyways, enough of that! -Skyscraper: here it is!

China Glaze Skyscraper view I

Stunning, no? The colour of the base in this polish is beautiful too. I like the fact that the base does actually have a a colour, otherwise it would be like the other glitter in China Glaze's Metro Collection, CG In The City, which despite being very cool for layering, would be pretty tricky to wear alone, probably due to it's clear base.

 China Glaze Skyscraper view II

For China Glaze Skyscraper, I used two thickish coats for the deep, rich kind of opacity I was after. If you like to apply your lacquer thin and want the same sort of depth of colour and opacity, I'd apply three coats.

China Glaze Skyscraper view III

Such a gorgeous polish. I was kind of annoyed at myself for only purchasing one bottle!

Try this one out, for sure. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

OPI Samoan Sand & Konad M59

Hiya!

I thought I'd post about my current Mani.

I wanted a chic, neutral base this time (in contrast to all the crazy shades I've been rocking recently!) so I used the classic nude shade, OPI Samoan Sand.

I was pretty apprehensive yet seriously excited about doing this manicure, because it would be a first for me- I purchased three Konad plates at the Olympia Beauty Expo the other week, after years of wanting to try Konading out. For some daft reason, in all that time I failed to buy into the Konad system on the Internet, (no real idea why!) so when I discovered that Konad would be at Olympia... Well, the time had definitely come!
So yeah, I was so excited about doing these nails, but a bit worried that I'd screw up my nails, etc. as I'd had no prior Konading experience!

Turns out, I needn't have worried so much!

I decided to do a 1950's themed Mani, so did my Samoan Sand base and then dotted black spots onto all apart from my middle finger nails. On these, I used Konad plate M59 and used the plain bow (also using black lacquer) and honestly, I was so excited and happy at the way my nails turned out!

Have a look:
 OPI Samoan Sand & Konad M59 view I

OPI Samoan Sand & Konad M59 view II

OPI Samoan Sand & Konad M59 view III

They're cute, right?

Now that I've finally (!) hopped on the Konad bandwagon, already I can't get enough!

Stay tuned for way more Konading to come!

:)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Color Club Hot Like Lava

Hi everyone!

Hope you've all had a great weekend!

It's now the turn of Color Club Hot Like Lava to get reviewed.

I'll start by saying that, while I love foil/metallic finish lacquers, this wasn't a shade I thought I'd like that much... The colour made me a bit unsure, and I also worried that there would be visible brush stroke issues with this one.

However; when I actually swatched it, I was very pleasantly surprised! The colour is pretty dramatic, (good thing), the pigmentation is great (very good thing), and the sparkliness is brilliant- (great thing!)

Here it is:
Color Club Hot Like Lava view I

This shade is very rich and seems to glow on the nails. It was perfectly saturated in two coats.

Color Club Hot Like Lava view II

Judging by my very happy thoughts on this polish, I now wish I had more shades from this collection. I can't get enough of this finish!

On a side note, I think that it would be really interesting if someone brought out a collection of sludgy foil polishes! You know the sort- mushroomy purples, taupes, sludgy greens and greys.... I think that would be crazy cool!

...Next Autumn perhaps?

*Color Club Hot Like Lava was provided to me for reviewing purposes. I was not paid to review this polish or to say great things about it. All opinions, good or bad, are my own*

Friday, 23 September 2011

China Glaze CG In The City

CG In The city from- yep, no prizes for guessing here- China Glaze is a lacquer from their new Metro Collection. It's a complete sparkle fest, and has lavender, gold, silver and black glitter particles in a clear base. The sparkles in this polish are very small, so it looks very saturated with glitter.

Overall, looking at the bottle, it looks like a lavender/pewter colour... And the sparkliness is blinding!

I think this shade is really nice, but if I had one thing to say about it, I wish that the base holding it together was not clear- a grey shade perhaps would have made this one a bit easier to wear alone.

As it stands, it's probably best to use this one as a topcoat. It's still gonna be buildable of course, but you'll have more of a base. Some people using this polish may not mind that you'd probably have to use about seven coats to make it completely opaque, but I really don't have the patience to do a Mani like that.

Therefore, I decided to layer this polish over China Glaze's Street Chic, also from their Metro Collection. I felt these two lacquers would go quite nicely together, especially as they're from the same collection and season.

Application with CG In The City was good. No problems there! I used one thickish coat over my base.

Here is CG In The City over a Street Chic base Mani:

China Glaze CG In The City view I

CG In The City view II

CG In The City view III

Ooooh! Sophisticated and elegant yet blingy- I like this combo a lot.

Could you get away with wearing this Mani to work?

;)

*China Glaze CG In The City was provided to me for reviewing purposes. I was not paid to review this polish or to say great things about it. All opinions, good or bad, are my own*

Olympia Beauty 2012

For those of you who were wondering, (inc. Nails by Catherina and Manicure Maniac!) the Olympia Beauty Expo 2012 is going to be held on 23rd and 24th September. I just received an email confirming the dates from their PR.

I'm already super excited! :)

China Glaze Street Chic

Good morning from London, everyone! It's a lovely sunny day here today :)

Today I'm going to post on a new China Glaze acquisition- Street Chic, as part of the Uptown Set from their new (and may I say very lovely) Metro Collection.

Street Chic is an extremely creamy mushroomy dark taupe shade. It's also very Autumnal and work appropriate too, as it's very neutral, yet fashion forward too. Look at all this point scoring! :)

Get ready for the swatches!

China Glaze Street Chic

Literally this polish is so wonderfully creamy. It applied beautifully and the colour looks very sophisticated and ladylike, right?

It's not something I'd wear all the time because I tend to gravitate to sparkly shades a lot of the time, but sometimes I do like to go back to basics and just wear a plain creme, and this polish fits the bill!

China Glaze Street Chic view II

What do you guys think about this one?

*China Glaze Street Chic was provided to me for reviewing purposes. I was not paid to review these polishes or to say great things about them. All opinions, good or bad, are my own*

Thursday, 22 September 2011

OPI Warm & Fozzie

OPI Warm & Fozzie is the last swatch from the Muppettes Mini Lacquer collection.

It's a bronze foil shimmer with gold, rose gold plus greenish shimmer in there. This polish has quite a lot of depth and dimension to it, which is pretty cool.

Check it out:

OPI Warm & Fozzie

This one was a three coater too. Strange that all of these Muppets polishes have been three coaters, but there you go. If you're impatient and lazy like me, two thick coats will probably suffice... Just about!


Like Designer... de Better! I'm not a huge fan of Warm & Fozzie; there's nothing wrong with it at all, it's just that this colour doesn't make my heart skip a beat, but it's nice to be experimental with colours and not always go for the same sort of shade, right?

:)

OPI Designer... de Better!

This is the third polish in the Muppettes mini pack.

OPI Designer... de Better! is an interesting polish- it's an extremely shimmery chrome-look foil finish with scattered copper shimmer particles.

The shimmer particles aren't really that noticeable if you're looking at the nail polish from afar, but they make the overall hue of the polish more of a very pale champagne/beige shade than a silver.

Observe:

 OPI Designer... de Better!

Shimmery, no?

It's quite a unique shade, I don't think I've seen any kind of dupe for this one.

This lacquer went on very smoothly again, I'm very impressed with what I've tried so far in the Muppets collection with this in mind.
Again, in keeping with the Muppets formula, this polish needed three coats as it was pretty thin.

I must say, I'm not the world's biggest fan of this colour, but that's just a personal preference...

What do you think about this shade, hit or miss?

OPI Excuse Moi!

Another polish from my OPI Muppettes mini collection for you now!

This one is pretty cool, it's a saturated pink glitter. Not as saturated in base shade as OPI DS Bold, but saturated all the same. It's a light, feminine pink shade, but definitely not work appropriate!
This polish pretty much contains all the colours of the rainbow!

Obviously, the base is light pink, and inside there's red, purple, green, blue, pink, silver, gold glitter... You get the idea!

All that makes for a pretty darn sparkly manicure!

Here it is:


OPI Excuse Moi!

This looks, to me, like a lighter pink version of DS Bold and with multi colour glitter instead of DS Bold's pink/silver glitter.

Also, there are two different sized glitters in Excuse Moi!- a very fine glitter which makes up the base, and then the addition of the multi coloured glitter pieces.


This polish was very easy to paint with, it spread onto my nails very well. I went with two thickish coats for my swatching, but three thin ones would probably be better and longer lasting for a complete Mani.

It's a pretty polish, no? :)

OPI Wocka Wocka!

Hi!

I've got something very cool to show you guys now- Wocka Wocka! from the as yet unreleased in stores Muppets collection by OPI!
Exciting!
I got this shade from the Muppettes Mini Nail Lacquers pack at the OPI Trade stall at the Olympia Beauty Expo here in London last weekend. It was a great show, I loved every minute of it, and I especially enjoyed getting my mitts on this mini Muppets pack!

So- here is Wocka Wocka!
OPI Wocka Wocka!

I think this shade is really pretty. I must admit, I was surprised by it because, as a red lacquer lover, I have so many reds (especially shimmery reds as I'm a big fan) in my collection already, and I was just kind of expecting it to be a bit sort of mehhhh, seen this before...

But no!


It's a gorgeous cherry red, with a pinkish shimmer to it, which gives it much more depth. It's a shade that's perhaps a contender for a more subtle and lighter toned I'm Not Really A Waitress... Definitely cherry in colour.

OPI describes it as a 'berry' shade....

Is a cherry a berry or not!?

Answers on a postcard, please! :)

The Impatience Test: Crackle/Shatter Lacquers

A bit of background for you guys before I get started on this post:

I've lived in London for six years now and it's a fast paced life- running round the city on the Tube, battling the crowds on Oxford Street (don't ever do that on Christmas Eve- what a complete and utter nightmare!), darting from one friend to another, attempting to prevent myself getting flattened by black taxis....
You get the picture.

London has transformed me into one of those city types who wants it all, and wants it now!

With my patience and attention span of a flea, I've found my ventures into crackle/shatter nail polishes very interesting. I've already reviewed OPI and Barry M shatters, if you haven't seen them yet you can check them out here-

http://london-lacquer.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-come-on-opi.html (OPI)

 ...And here:

http://london-lacquer.blogspot.com/2011/08/opi-and-barry-m-combo.html (Barry M)

...Anyways, today is the turn of China Glaze Tarnished Gold Crackle Glaze, and Color Club Smash Hit (pure Black shatter)

Let me just start the review by saying that, because this is an Impatience Test, I didn't let the colours I used on the base dry in either case with these shatters. I was swatching that day and didn't use my Seche Vite topcoat, as I always do when doing a complete Mani for either swatches I tried the shatters out on.

Also, the base colours (and finishes) I used in the Impatience Test were different. With both of the bases I waited until I had taken pictures and both of the Manis in question were touch dry when I put the shatter coats on.

With that said, let's get started!

First up, China Glaze Tarnished Gold Crackle:

Great shade, I must say. This is a beautiful shimmery gold crackle containing gold and silver pigment, which I layered over OPI DS Temptation.

Here is the result:
 China Glaze Tarnished Gold Crackle over OPI DS Temptation
A close up of China Glaze Tarnished Gold Crackle over OPI DS Temptation

And now for Color Club Smash Hit over Color Club Hot Like Lava:

L-R: Index finger- thin crackle coat, Middle finger- thick crackle coat, Ring finger- thin crackle coat, Little finger- thick crackle coat

So after doing these two Crackle swatches, I thought- well, obviously the Color Club turned out out a lot better than the China Glaze Crackle... I also really liked the fact that with the Color Club, it seemed easier to get a thicker or thinner Crackle effect, as demonstrated in the photo above. Color Club had won the Crackle battle!...

...At least for now. I later thought that it might have been unfair to judge China Glaze perhaps too fast, and so I decided to experiment with the polishes further and conduct a completely fair test.

For my bases, I used different finishes:

* Color Club Artsy Crafty: Creme
* Color Club Hot Like Lava: Metal/Foil
* OPI DS Original: Holographic
* China Glaze It's Alive: Glitter

I painted all four colours twice on a nail wheel and left them to dry to touch, before layering over the China Glaze and Color Club crackles.

Here are the results:

Left Set: Afore mentioned colours plus Color Club Smash Hit (Black Crackle) and Right Set: Afore mentioned colours plus China Glaze Tarnished Gold Crackle

Color Club crackle close up. I lightened the the Artsy Crafty nail a bit to let you guys see the crackle effect better.
A close up of the China Glaze set.

I still prefer the Color Club crackle. I like the way it 'separates' more than the China Glaze, and I mentioned, I really like that the color Club crackle seems more versatile- it can easily be crackled thin or thick for different effects.

Color Club wins for me!

What do you guys think?

*China Glaze Tarnished Gold Crackle and Color Club Smash Hit were provided to me for reviewing purposes. I was not paid to review these polishes or to say great things about them. All opinions, good or bad, are my own*

OPI DS Bold and OPI DS Temptation

Hi everyone!

New OPI DS shades here for you today!

These two are OPI's diamond dust formulation, and are brand new releases. I picked up my bottles last weekend at the Olympia Beauty event. I hadn't seen them in person before, and DS Temptation especially caught my eye immediately. These two shades are such a riot of glitter and colour!

Have a look:
First up is OPI DS Bold

OPI DS Temptation

Nice, huh?

Firstly, about the application on Bold. I liked this one because the base is pretty saturated with colour, so you can wear this polish on it's own. Some of OPI's polishes, such as Last Friday Night and Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry collection, had such an undersaturated base colour that it pretty much became necessary to layer them to prevent a washed out (yet amazingly sparkly) looking Mani.

So yeah, no problems with OPI DS Bold. Application was great, perfect and saturated (no bald spots!) in two standard coats.

Some images:

 OPI DS Bold view I

OPI DS Bold view II

As you can see, the glitter in this polish is very saturated. I definitely prefer that over sparse glitter polishes, but OPI has been great at producing saturated glitter polishes recently, probably my favourite would be Crown Me Already! from their Miss Universe collection- it's incredible!

Onto OPI DS Temptation now-

OPI DS Temptation view I

OPI DS Temptation view II

I really like OPI DS Temptation. The base in this one is pretty blue, and it isn't as saturated as Bold so I used three coats of colour for Temptation. The application was excellent.

It's a beautiful polish. It reminded me of the wonderfully deep hued Tanzanites I've seen in jewellery shops in Cape Town, South Africa. Lots of purple, blue and also pinkish glitter in this polish produces more depth in the shade.

Talk about dramatic!

I think both of these polishes are lovely. Not exactly work appropriate, unless you work for someone like Zandra Rhodes, but for everything else, big thumbs up!

With both of these polishes you'll need a nice big thick swoop of a topcoat like Seche (which I personally love) to make the sparkliness as eye catching and blingy as possible!

Great stuff, OPI!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Olympia Beauty 2011

Hello everyone!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! Yesterday, Sunday 18th and Monday 19th of September, were days I had been looking forward to for nearly two months! The reason? It was the the Olympia Beauty event in Kensington Olympia, London.

BIG woooooo!

...Anyways, more about that in a minute. First let me show you guys the manicure I did for the event. Seeing as I blog about Nails, I wanted to create a really special, completely blinged out Mani for the event.
This is what I came up with:

Nail Expo Special Mani!

A close up-

Pretty, no?

For this Mani, first of all I used two coats of Orly Dazzle, then two coats of OPI Crown Me Already!, then glued a Swarovski crystal onto each nail with nail glue.
It came out pretty cool I think, I felt a bit like GaGa or something- this is one impractical manicure! Still, I got lots of compliments on them whilst going round all the stalls, so that was nice.

To start, can I just say, omg! The event was so much fun!

OPI was there, as was Nubar, China Glaze, Color Club, Essie, Jessica and more!

Here's a video I shot on my phone- as you can see, it was busy, busy busy!

video
Olympia Beauty Event

Some pictures of the stalls:

The OPI stall was insanely busy the whole time! -Look at those brand new, unavailable in shops Muppets Mini packs! I picked one up, of course! Swatches coming soon... :)

To prove how busy the OPI stall was all the time, here's a picture of the queue:

OPI Mania! (And yes, in case you were wondering, the queue was this long all the time! Go OPI!)

...And who can blame people when OPI was being sold at trade price!? Discontinued Lacquers were discounted to £3.00!

£3.00 OPI's!? Thank you very much!

I also had a lot of fun getting my greedy little polish loving mitts on some lemmings I've had for certain polishes from other brands:

The China Glaze stall view I

China Glaze view II

Here's the Nubar Stall:

The Nubar Stall

Discontinued Lacquers at Nubar were only £2.00!

 What a bargain!

The Color Club stall was brilliant. I was really excited to see this stall here because I've only ever seen Color Club available on the Internet. It was great to see all the shades in person...

Color Club view I

Color Club view II

And some general shots of the Exhibition Centre:

View I

View II

View III

As you can guess, I was loving every minute of it!

My Top 5 new acquisitions from the Expo are (in no particular order):

* China Glaze Skyscraper
* OPI DS Temptation
* Color Club Wish Upon A Rock-Star
* Nubar Purple Rain Glitter
* OPI I Brake For Manicures

Lots of new swatches to come soon for your viewing pleasure!

Have a great day, everyone! :)

Friday, 16 September 2011

Nail Philia: A Nail Art Exhibition!

Hello everyone!

Yesterday I went up to London for the afternoon, and one of my To Do's for the day was go to a Nail Art Exhibition in Cambridge Heath (Near Hackney/Bethnal Green).

I first learned of this exhibition a few days ago on the Daily Mail's website, and immediately I knew that I'd have to go along and do a report for my lovely London-Lacquer readers- It looked incredible, and so innovative! According to the Press Release I picked up on-site, this exhibition is the first ever covering Nail Art in London! (Well, better late than never, right!?)

 The exhibition space...

DegreeArt.com collaborated with London's best Nail technicians and big names in the Fashion world for this exhibition, which coincides with the dates of London Fashion Week 2011.

The incredible Nails showcased in the exhibition are by established Nail techs such as Marian Newman, Sophy Robson, Sam Biddle, Mike Pocock, Megumi Mizuno, Anthony Buckley, Jenny Longworth and Sue Marsh.
Google any of their names to find very inspiring websites and blogs!

Anyways, enough of that, about the exhibition now... It's incredible, I LOVED it! I mean, of course I would, but seriously people, if you're into Nails or Nail Art or even Art and live in London, go along to this exhibition. It's a brilliant fusion of Nails and Art, there are some stunning designs showcased there.

Some images for you now:








Beyonce's nails from her 'Run the World' video- Wooo! Here's a screen grab, courtesy of YouTube, to prove it!

Wow! :)





All Images taken on my iphone- Sorry if the quality's not brilliant...!

...Well, these images just speak for themselves, I think, really. 'Nuff said! :)

The exhibition runs until September 26th, and is on between 12 and 6pm daily at 12A Vyner Street, London E2 9DG, nearest station Cambridge Heath.

Check it out, you will not regret it! Incredible.