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.

Take my wife. Please!

Now now, before you get any ideas. She’s not actually my wife, but she’s my very best friend and partner in minor infractions, so we do tend to spend a lot of time doing our nails together.

Anyway, she has a bit of a thing for nail wraps, which I sadly don’t get on with because my nail beds are so insanely deep. So when I’m out and about, I tend to pick up cheap wraps whenever I see them for her to play with. Recently, I’ve picked things up in Poundland, TKMaxx, Poundworld, Primark, New Look and Boots, but she decided to go for a set from New Look, that I picked up in their sale for £1.50.

Unfortunately, these are not particularly good wraps. This happens a lot when you buy cheap, but it’s worth a try as some of the cheap ones are really brilliant and the expensive ones are really fucking expensive. Anyway, they didn’t stick well, or wrap well, so the lovely wife pulled one of them off – and left an excellent jagged-edged cartoon graffiti style tip on her nail. She made the best of a bad situation, carefully ripped a few more and then filled in the other tips straight, using ORLY In The Navy (£3.99/TKMaxx); a simple, yet beautiful navy blue shimmer. The result is a really cute off-beat French manicure.

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I think it’s adorable, and it just goes to show that sometimes the very best manicures are completely accidental!

As above, so below.

Two beautiful polishes for you today, both from my last trawl of the discount stores. First up, here’s Revlon Black Star (£1/Poundland), which is a drop-dead gorgeous black shimmer. It’s just packed with sparkle, and even though it looks quite tame in the bottle, it really comes alive on the nail. This may well be my new favourite black!

Flash.

Flash.

Then, I coupled it with ORLY Go Deeper (£4.99/TKMaxx), a blue/green hex glitter mix in a delicate blue jelly base. I’ve got a few blue/green glitters, and this isn’t the best of them, but it’s perfectly pleasant, and as it’s ORLY, it’s a great quality polish.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

I do like that it has a few different sizes of glitter in it, but it’s not quite the right balance, and I think it needs to be a little more dramatic to match up to similar things I’ve tried.

Stay frosty!

I got bored last night, and decided to break out the toys. So here it is, my first ever sponged glitter gradient!

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I started off with a base of China Glaze Tongue & Chic (£4.29/eBay seller: nailswestcom), from the new fall collection. It’s a gorgeous deep teal shimmer, which is about as close to a one coat polish I’ve ever seen, though the formula was a little on the thick side. I then sponged over a layer of Model’s Own Southern Lights (£5/Boots), a dense silver holo micro glitter, and then a final layer of ORLY Angel Eyes (£6.79/Beauty Bay), which is a blue micro glitter with slightly larger holo pieces.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

The result is pretty fantastic; I can’t stop looking at it. It’s so sparkly! I will definitely be repeating this one, probably for Christmas. Sponging turned out to be a lot easier than I feared, so I’m keen to try some 2 colour gradients in the very near future. My shaky hands prevent me from doing a lot of really skilled technical stuff, but I’m pretty sure I can get to grips with gradients!

I’ll leave my stamp on your heart

I finally swallowed my fear and decided to try my Konad stamping kit. I thought I’d just try one nail until I got it nailed (hur hur), and truth be told I need a lot more practice, but here is ORLY Sea Gurl (£4/TKMaxx), with a feature nail from Konad plate M64 (£1.79/eBay). I totally failed to get the whole design onto my nail, but the idea is there. I think I like it!

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I can do a lot better, but the whole process was a lot less scary than I had thought it would be, so I’ll be having another soon!