Long time, no swatch.

Oops. Life’s been pretty busy lately, and my job is getting more interesting by the day, so I’ve not had a lot of time for doing my nails, and really they’re much too short for me to really enjoy them at the moment. However, it’s been such a long drag since I last posted, that I thought I should go digging around in my photo archives and find a swatch I haven’t posted yet, so here it is.

Another polish in my series of “This Shit Looks A Lot Better Over Black” polishes, I dug out Model’s Own Purple Blue (£5/Boots) from the Beetlejuice Collection. I’d been told this was a decent facsimile for ORLY Galaxy Girl from the Cosmic FX Collection, which I should note, has been an absolute bitch to track down in the UK, so better a dupe than a hole in my collection!

Flash.

Flash.

Rather unsurprisingly, it’s a purple/blue duochrome shimmer, shown here is 2 coats over Revlon Blackout. As you can see, it’s not really anything special under direct artificial light, but it comes alive in natural light!

Indoors.

Indoors.

Indirect sunlight.

Indirect sunlight.

The second shot shows how beautiful the colour shift is. I nearly binned this polish because it was so thin, but I’m slowly learning that some things just have to be worn with undies, especially duochromes and multichromes.

I should be back next week with some fresh swatches. My Lent promise to not buy any new polish is holding up very well. I have been tempted once or twice, but I have yet to succumb. I can’t wait to have a big blowout after Easter though! Any recommendations?

Take Two

I had so much fun doing the first water marbling that I had another go the very next day! It’s still a bit messy, but the results are wonderful! I may not ever get this technique completely right, but as long as I can keep producing quirky manicures like this, I’ll keep doing it. Again, I forgot to write down all the colours I used. D’oh!

Left hand, natural light.

Left hand, natural light.

Right hand, flash + natural light.

Right hand, flash + natural light.

In sad news, on the third attempt I realised that my nails were an absolute state, so I’ve had to cut them all down, and will be putting them through an intensive care treatment for the next few days. Lots of moisturising, and no acetone! I have a few things in the backlog to post anyway, so I shouldn’t be off radar for too long.

Saturday night’s alright

I had other plans last night; plans to go out and see friends and maybe get a little drunk, but I couldn’t quite muster the get up and go required, so I decided to stay in, pop on my onesie and do silly things to my nails. I used the wikihow tutorial for water marbled nails, but substituted tape for PVA glue, which was still very messy, so I will be trying with tape and vaseline on subsequent attempts.

It’s not perfect, but for a first attempt I’m pretty pleased with myself, so much so that I think I’m going to have another go tonight! I can’t remember all the colours I used, but I used Revlon Timeless as a base, which is a pale grey creme. I took photos of both hands, because the beauty of this mani is that every nail came out different.

Left hand, flash.

Left hand, flash.

Right hand, flash.

Right hand, flash.

Left hand, natural light.

Left hand, natural light.

Right hand, natural light.

Right hand, natural light.

So yes, despite the mess, an excellent result, and tons of fun! I look forward to doing an even better job next time.

Fade to blue

There’s an awful lot of weather going on outside my house, that’s for sure. It’s put a bit of a damper on my social life, but on the plus side, I’ve had plenty of time to faff around with my nails! Alas, the lack of outdoor daylight has pissed all over my photo taking skills, so it’s just the one today, a new blue gradient using Barielle Sky’s The Limit and Rimmel Azure.

Flash.

Flash.

Despite the mess involved, I’m really loving gradients at the moment. I could’ve done better on this one, but I’ve got the technique down, so it’s just a case of luck and practice. Now that my nails are getting really long, I may soon try adding a third or even fourth colour in!

Updated: ZOMG the sun came out!

Sunlight! Huzzah!

Sunlight! Huzzah!

Independent woman

I know, I know, I said I’d never do indie brands. I was weak and I couldn’t resist, I’m sorry! If it’s any consolation, I completely blew my polish budget for about the next 3 months on them. Worth every single penny though! The following two polishes are from the newly rebranded Polish Me Silly Multichromes collection. I could only afford two, so these are the ones I chose; all swatches shown here are 2 coats over black.

First up is Love The Hue (£16.41 for 2 including postage from the US/Etsy), which is a purple/pink/blue/turquoise multichrome. It is utterly stunning, and the shift is really visible. Unfortunately, I did a rotten job on the photos for this one, but you can get a sense of the effect.

With flash.

With flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

Natural light, tilted to show colour shift.

Natural light, tilted to show colour shift.

The other one is Guilty Pleasure, a blue/pink/red/orange multichrome. You can see the shift much better in these shots, and just like it’s predecessor, it was glorious. My photos make it hard to see the difference between them, but it’s definitely there.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light, tilted.

Natural light, tilted.

Natural light.

Natural light.

I really can’t say enough good things about these shades. The formula is incredibly thin, but given it looks so great over black, I don’t think I’ll use them up too fast. If you’re interested in some much better photos and the rest of the collection, pop on over to Very Emily’s posts; part one, part two and part three (which features the polishes I chose). Both her swatches and her nails are about a million times better than mine anyway!

Back to the non-indie brands next post, I promise; I’ve got some fab stuff from Barielle, L’Oreal and Sally Hansen to show off. Also coming soon, a big post that doesn’t feature any nail polish, in case the rest of my accessorizing and nail care is of any interest to my readers. Oh, and PS… I’m on Instagram now! I’ll be using it for polish teasers and also the odd glance into my general style and so forth. See the link in the sidebar, or check me out here: @manimancy. Cheers!

Let me be your fantasy

Been looking forward to this post for a while. A few days ago, I replaced my bottle of Max Factor Fantasy Fire (£3.99/Boots). I’d owned it before, but passed it on because I was still a neophyte in the nail polish world, and I easily gave up on polishes that still weren’t opaque in 4 coats. However, it is basically the internet’s favourite polish, so I thought I’d give it another go.

I started with 2 coats of ORLY In The Navy, and then put two coats of Fantasy Fire over the top, and sealed it with Seche Vite. I sometimes have trouble replicating other people’s amazing swatches, but I was blown away. Yes, it’s very sheer, but with a dark base, it comes alive! The duochrome is very strong, and I had great fun wiggling my fingers to see all the shimmery green to pink to purple to orange micro-glitter. Like a lot of the best duochromes and multichromes, full flash tends to wash it out, but in sunlight and natural lighting, it’s glorious.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

Then out of curiousity, I popped a coat of Boots No7 Matte Top Coat (£7/exclusive to Boots) over it, which I’d picked up on a whim because I had No7 coupons and I’m still trying to find the best matte for me. Folks, I think this is it! It’s a really strong matte, definitely closer to the chalkboard end of the spectrum than the satin end, but it goes on really smoothly and has a lovely feel to it when it’s dry. It’s not at all rough like some mattes can be. And you could still see Fantasy Fire‘s amazing colour shift underneath it!

Mattified, flash.

Mattified, flash.

Mattified, sunlight.

Mattified, sunlight.

It’s so delicious that I feel kinda silly for getting rid of my first bottle, but I hope the recipient sees this and has a good go with it herself. I’m going to have a lot of fun playing around with different base colours. And I’m so happy that I’ve finally found a matte top coat that I really like, it’s been a long arduous search!

In other news, I am soon to receive my first indie polishes. I know I said that I wouldn’t be showing indie brands on this blog, but I think I’ll have to, if they are anything like as stunning as I’m hoping they’ll be. I’m really excited, and they’re a lovely reward after spending most of the last 3 months only buying discounted polishes.

Graffiti my heart

Six new polishes, and three new manicures today! I recently picked up a small handful of the new Maybelline Color Show Street Artist top coats, so I’m showing them off over some other polishes I haven’t have time to swatch before.

First up, Maybelline White Splatter (£3.99/Boots) over two coats of Sally Hansen Blue-Ming Fast (Poundland). White Splatter is made up of various sized white, metallic green, blue and pink hex glitters, small circle glitters and large white strands. It’s not too dense, but also you get enough glitter pieces on the brush that you don’t have to muck around dabbing it on to fill it out. Blue-Ming Fast is a warm sky blue creme, quick-drying and hard-wearing, and lovely on it’s own.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

Next, here’s Maybelline Boom Box Black (£3.99/Boots) over Revlon Emerald (Poundland). Boom Box Black is a mix of black and pale lime green hex and small strand glitters. As with White Splatter, it gives great coverage without fuss and looked fabulous over Emerald, a forest green creme which was fully opaque in two coats.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

And finally, this is Maybelline Alley Attitude (£3.99/Boots) over Nicole By OPI Back To Reality…TV (£3.99/TKMaxx). Alley Attitude is the same mix as Boom Box Black, only the glitter pieces are cyan blue instead of green. It really pops over Back To Reality…TV, a deep mauve with pink shimmer – the formula is quite thin, but dried super quick and built up nicely.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I think Boom Box Black will be the one that gets the most wear. There was a fourth shade available in Boots called Urban Vibe, which is the same again with orange glitters. I didn’t pick it up first time round, but I might have to go back and get it; I’m not a big fan of orange, but I think I could make it work over a fire red or something similar. But whatever colour you like best, they’re a great collection of top coats from an excellent brand. Highly recommended!