Wednesday, 29 May 2013

1st Blogiversary! My Top Ten Nail Art Creations

Well I never, a year has passed already!  It doesn't seem like five minutes since I started. 

I have no idea why I started my blog on a seemingly random Tuesday, but you can see my first ever post (here)

My milestones seem to be coming around together.  I recently had a giveaway to celebrate my 100 followers, and did a 'what's on my bedside table' for my 100th post (link) so have been racking my brains thinking up a good post to do for the first birthday of my lil space on the internet.

Initially I thought I might do a "what I have learned during my first year of blogging" post, but decided that wouldn't be a good idea.  Number one, because they can come across as a bit 'know it all', which I most certainly don't (I can't even remember how I put Google Analytics on, which is a shame because I want to take it off, I don't use it and it's messing up my Bloglovin.  Can't figure it out, oh well...),  and number two, because actually, I haven't really learned that much, technically.  I came into this blogging malarkey without having any real knowledge of blogs, and because Blogger is so easy to get started with, I've just carried on doing the basics, and am not really bothered with all the extra bells & whistles.  So it wouldn't be a very long (or interesting) post.

So then I thought I might do a "My Favourite Blogs" post.  I might still do this one, but it didn't seem very celebratory so I'll save it for another day, probably when I'm not feeling the vibe to write about my nails.  Those days do happen from time to time.

Aaaand quite a few other, not so good, ideas.  Eventually I decided a nice way to do it would be to do a round up my favourites out of the nail art I've produced in the last year.  I'll also probably list a few of my favourite posts too, as there are some I'm quite proud of.  As you know I'm a blogger who doesn't know when to stop talking, or adding to posts, so I've limited myself to creating a top ten.  It took me a couple of hours to go through them all and whittle them down, but as I was doing it I realised, I actually REALLY like my blog! 

It's only when I look back now I see that I've created a nice little journal of my life, and yes I know it's not properly 'themed' like alot of blogs, I ramble off onto music posts, and current affairs, and general 'how I feel' posts, as well as the nails and beauty, but I like it like that.  If I feel I've got something important enough to say, I say it, whether it's what I'm supposed to be talking about or not.  My blog, my rules.  It's the only place where I am queen, and I plan to keep it that way. :-)

So then, let's get on with it.  I'm not going to put them in any order because I like them all.  I'm putting this one first, as it will be what shows on everyones feed, nice little trick there haha:
I called this 'Pastel Cloud Nail Art' and you can see the full post (here) which includes a review of the Marks & Spencer Limited Collection polishes.  It was based on another one of my posts which includes a photo tutorial for this look (here)

So let's pull another picture out of the magic nail art bag:
This was one of the first nailart posts I did, and it included a tutorial (link)

So from one of the oldest, to one of the newest.  I nearly didn't put this one in as it was so recent, but then I like it so much I decided to go with it anyway:
You can find the link to the full post (here) it was created using striping tape, Pretty Jelly Grape Escape, and Estee Lauder Pure Colour in Smashed.  I think the colour combo works excellently, I was so pleased with it.

So from a simple one, to quite a complicated one:
I also did a tutorial for this, which you can see by following this (link) and it wasn't as hard as you might think.

Well now, I haven't shown any Konad stamping yet!  Let's put that right:
It was only going through my blog that I remembered about this.  I'd completely forgotten about it, and I absolutely loved it when I did it.  The link to the full post is (here) but the base colour is Jessica Hologram Chic, which is a fab silver holographic polish.  I don't know what the weird hand pose is about haha, the clawwwww.  I like the length and shape of my nails in this pic though.

So from stamped to hand drawn.  If I had to pick a favourite, this one would be it, done for Halloween:
For once, my nail art worked out exactly as I planned it.  This doesn't happen that much, let me tell you.  Link to full post (here)

Another hand drawn design now, this was a bit of fun for Easter:
The background to this pic was an Easter egg box.  That egg is long gone now haha.  Link to the full post (here)

And we may as well stay on the holiday theme.  Here's one I did at Christmas, during a '12 Days of Christmas' challenge. This was the one I liked the most out of all 12:
The link to the full post is (here) and it too includes a tutorial.  I didn't realise I'd done so many tutorials, but there you go, I must have, because there they are.

And back to Pretty Jelly Grape Escape now, one of two polishes that feature twice on the list.  This time with stamping, and a bonus hair on the end of my thumbnail.  Yeah, totally meant to put that there *cough*:
I was so glad Essies Borrowed and Blue stamped so well, because I really didn't like the formula much to paint my nails with.  Full post (here) which includes lots of pictures of the pretty holo.  Photographically that's my favourite post in my blog (so far).

And last, but not least, we have another design from an early post:
Out of all the designs in this post, this one probably took me the longest to do, but I think they came out OK.  This is the other polish that features twice on the list as the base is Hologram Chic again.

And there we have my favourites!  There were others, but I had to be brutal and stick with ten.

There are a couple of posts where I must have been having particularly eloquent days too, (this one) about Anne Franks Diary, and (this one) where I wrote about getting unfollowed on Twitter, are my favourites.

So, if you've just joined me, and you haven't scrolled back, this is what you've missed!  And if you've been with me from the beginning (you know who you are), thanks so SO much for sticking with me and supporting me through the last 12 months, you've been superstars x x x

Until next time...

MASPOOASE x x x
~Wendy~

Monday, 27 May 2013

Layla Hologram Effect Retro Pink review and swatches

Hi there everyone,

I hope you're enjoying your Bank Holiday Monday.  I was going to go shopping, but it's pouring with rain, so I thought I'd go with plan B.  It was lovely and sunny yesterday, so I thought I'd make the most of it with my most favourite things in the whole world - HOLOS!

I already own the Layla Hologram Effect polish in Flash Black, and I like it, so I thought I'd try a few more colours.  I had a look around and eventually decided on two, Retro Pink and Coffee Love.  After much deliberation (about two minutes haha), I decided to wear Retro Pink yesterday.  Here's how it came out:
I knowwwwww!  Heavenly pink holo goodness!

BUT (and there's always a but), don't be fooled by the pretty looks, this polish is a real horror story. 

I've painted my nails probably thousands of times, and I like to think I'm pretty good at it, but this polish made me feel like a gorilla wearing oven gloves.  If you don't get a perfectly even coat in three brilliantly executed and very swift passes, you end up with a lumpy bumpy, hole-y hot mess.

Plus it's pretty sheer too.  If you could manage not to get any holes, you could probably get away with 3 coats, but I guarantee you won't manage that.  It does dry VERY fast though.

As you can see on my ring finger, it does shrink a bit too, and after one day of wear it's pretty chipped.  Oh, and top coat kills the holo too.

Here it is in the shade:
You can see on my middle finger, it's so super holo, it's even showing some in the shade, that's pretty good.

But I can't make that the picture you remember of this polish, so lets have some more happy finger rainbows:
It's actually even more hologram-y in real life, but as anyone who's tried to take a picture of a holo knows, it's frustratingly hard to show the real life magic.

The brush actually wasn't that bad, wide, flat and quite stiff:
So, while you won't be able to stop looking at your nails in the sun, at the same time as admiring the beautiful rainbows, you'll also be wishing there weren't bare patches that won't, just won't, cover up.

Therefore, although it is mega-holo, and I should love it, I don't, and I'm sure there's better out there.  I bought it from Amazon (link) and I paid £5.29 with free shipping, which would have been a bargain if the formula had been right.  I couldn't find out if they are cruelty free, as it doesn't say on their website, but I have emailed them to ask, and will update when they reply.

A real 'Beauty and the Beast' polish.  Do you know of any better light pink holos I could get?

Until next time...

MASPOOASE x x x
~Wendy~

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Nails Inc Candy Shop Collection swatches and review

Hi All,

A Bank Holiday again hoorah!  What with two bank holiday weekends and a weeks annual leave, the month of May has been very kind to me.  I wish every month could be like this.  And here I am, sitting in the garden blogging, living the dream haha.  I almost didn't bring my laptop outside because I thought dodgy geezers might walk past, see I've got a laptop, and come back in the night to take it.  Then I realised, who am I kidding, they're probably all standing outside the pubs by now, smoking, with no tops on.  And that's just the girls haha

So anyway, I digress as usual.  If you've been following me on Twitter for more than a couple of weeks, you'll know I was in Torquay on holiday not long ago.  I'm wondering whether I should do a post on it, but I never read other peoples holiday posts, so I probably shouldn't.  So, while I was on holiday, I took a day trip to Plymouth.  I didn't like Plymouth much, but it does have a TK Maxx and surprisingly I "accidentally" wandered in and "just happened" to make my way over to the polishes.

What I saw made me happy:
I'd almost bought this at full price on the Nails Inc website, but had decided not to, and I'm glad I waited!  As you can see from the price sticker (over one of the polishes as usual), this collection has been priced, as the Nails Inc collections in there usually are, at £14.99.  As Nails Inc's can go for £11 each, £14.99 for 4 is a good deal!  So I snapped it up.  I was super excited too.  Other half said to me "If I'd known you'd get this excited over some polishes, I'd have bought you some of those instead of taking you on holiday", ha!

So this weekend is the first real chance I've had to swatch them properly, so here I am sharing them with you.  The first one I tried was the one I was most excited about in the shop, Wimbledon, in the shade:
Nails Inc Wimbledon review
And here it is in the sun, (with a hair that I didn't notice in real life, how does that even happen?):
Nails Inc Wimbledon swatch
Now I don't often say this about Nails Inc cremes, but I was a bit disappointed with the formula.  It was pretty watery, and it bubbled a bit too.  It felt.... over thinned.  Maybe as it gets a bit older it may improve.  I wonder if they've tried to make it extra fast drying, and this is the formula they came up with.  It did dry really fast, but when you need more coats, it's hardly worth it.  I had to do 3 coats to get a non-patchy finish, and I was surprised by that, not in a good way.  But still, it is a pretty green-yellow-green colour, and unique in my stash, so I have a feeling that I'll still be reaching for it again, despite its shortcomings.

Then when I was taking Wimbledon off, I managed to break off the corner of the nail on my middle finger, which had been peeling, and had to file my nails down a bit.  That's ok though, they were getting a bit deformed looking anyway, they always curl over on the edges when they get too long.

The next I tried was Oxford, a pretty baby blue.  Here it is in the shade:
Nails Inc Oxford review
This had a similar formulation to Wimbledon, but perhaps a tad more forgiving, as I only needed two coats.  I do like it, but I already own some very similar Nails Inc light blues, so even though I quite like it I'm not blown away.   Here it is in the sun.  As you can see, it dries darker on the nail than it shows in the bottle:
Nails Inc oxford swatch
The next one I tried was the final pastel in the set.  Cambridge, which is a delicate lilac.  Oh, just writing this I clicked, Oxford and Cambridge, doh!
Here it is in the shade:
Nails Inc Cambridge review
Maybe a little bit too much shade there haha.  Here it is in the sun:
Nails Inc Cambridge swatch
It was the same, slightly disappointing over thinned formula.  Three coats required to eliminate patchiness. 

Now don't get me wrong, it's not an awful formula, it's just that I know that Nails Inc can do cremes better than ANYONE when they choose to, so I always expect great things from them.  Most of my one coater cremes are Nails Inc.  If this had been my first ever Nails Inc purchase, I'd have been wondering what all the fuss was about.  Oh well.

The final polish in the set, doesn't really fit with the theme at all, it's not a pastel, and now I've noticed the name thing, it doesn't seem to match with that either.  I give you Richmond:
Nails Inc Richmond review
Again, it would seem I've slightly misjudged actually how shady it was in that corner, so here's the sunshine version:
Nails Inc Richmond swatch
Although I'm not the biggest fan of shimmers, this peach with blush colour shimmer would probably be a pretty nice combo if the peach polish wasn't so sheer.  This is 4 coats, and still you see the evil VNL.

In order to make up for that, I'll review a different peach instead, which COULD have fitted nicely into this collection.  It's called You're a Peach, and it came free with Instyle Magazine.  I love freebies, me:
Nails Inc Youre a Peach review
That's more like it!  Two coats for peachy loveliness. 

And just to prove this was a better one for the set, I used the other pastels from the collection for a dotticure over it:
It's a little bit bumpy, could probably do with another coat of Seche, but you get the idea, right?  Somehow it reminds me of pyjama bottoms.

And there we have it, one collection swatched and reviewed, so what do you think?  What's your favourite brand in terms of formula, are there any others that do great cremes?

Until next time...

MASPOOASE x x x
~Wendy~

Monday, 20 May 2013

Striped Nailart Feat. Estee Lauder Smashed and Pretty Jelly Grape Escape

Hi everyone, happy Monday

I hope you're all well, and that you've had a fab weekend.  I've had my first day back to work today after my week off, shock to my system!

Still, I do feel all nicely refreshed, and I had a lovely time in Torquay.  I think once is enough though, there was quite a bit to do, but it was all driving distance rather than walking distance, and Torquay is hilly!  I didn't feel like I'd missed any gym time that's for sure.

The weather was so-so, we had some sunny/showery days, and a couple of miserable days.  I still managed to get sunburned on the Dartmouth ferry crossing, but only on my face because I was all wrapped up in my coat, as it was freezing.  It wasn't even a sunny day, I've been told since that if you're going on the ocean to always wear extra sun protection, as even when it's cloudy the suns rays bounce back off the water and you get twice as many rays.  Live and learn.  Well, I do anyway.

Anyway, the break has done me the power of good, and I'm back and raring to go.  The mani I'm sharing with you today was actually done before I went away, but I ran out of time to write up the post.  Usually when this happens, I lose the love for the mani, and end up not writing the post.  But this one came out so awesomely I'm eager to share.  Check out this little beauty:
I took ALOT of pictures of this, but you'll be glad to hear I whittled it down to just my favourites.  Funny enough, this Estee Lauder purple polish is one I loved when I first tried it, then never really bonded with it.  I reviewed it originally (here) and that's actually the only time I wore it.  I don't wear many darks anyway, and being a three-coater, it's never going to climb high up my pile.  That sounds wrong haha.

However, during some recent experimentations, I've discovered that its slight sheer-ness makes it ideal for doing layered stripey looks like this. 

The base for this mani is my awesome bottle of Pretty Jelly Grape Escape, which I loooooovvveee:
You can just see on my thumb the holo loveliness peeking through.  In real life this is super-holo, and a fab formula.  I reviewed it in full (here) where you can see the full holo in the sunshine, and fall in love with it like I did haha.

Happy news is that the plan is for some Pretty Jelly polishes to be available to buy internationally outside of the US via http://meimeisignatures.com/ and you'll know when this happens as I'll have new polishes to show you.  Thanks to the beautiful and talented Amy at Gotham Polish for the heads up!

Then I used striping tape to mask off my nails, and then applied the Estee Lauder.  Here's another pic, I tried to capture the holo at the same time as catching the flecks in the Estee Lauder:
I loved this so much I kept it on for the best part of a week, until some chipping made me take it off, and I wasn't bored of it, always a good sign!

Here's one last pic, in the sunshine this time:
Pretty Jelly polishes are 3-free and cruelty free, and can be bought (if you're in the US) (here) at $10 each for the large size and $5 for the small size.

You can get the Estee Lauder polish from Boots (here) like I did, it's now £14.50.  Not cruelty free sadly.

I think this has given me new hope in my too-large collection of sheer polishes.  At some point, I will separate them from the lovely opaque 2-coat polishes that I love, and put them in their own section to be used for things like this, and sponged gradients.

What do you think, is this a look you would try? 

Until next time...

MASPOOASE x x x
~Wendy~

Friday, 10 May 2013

Barry M Gelly Lychee vs OPI My Vampire is Buff - comparison and review

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all doing really well.  I've finally made it to my week off work, am off on my hols tomorrow woohoo!  Of course I'm taking my laptop so I'm hoping I might even get some cheeky blogging in   :-)

So, I was having a rant a while back on Twitter about my work printer taking a million clicks to print one page, and I called the printer a "beige git".  I finished this with a disclaimer stating I wasn't beige-ist, which led to a bit of a discussion with Liloo of Le Petit Jardin of Liloo (link) about whether I was beige-ist or not, all tongue in cheek of course!  If you haven't checked out her blog before, you should give it a look, especially if you're into make-up as well as nails, it's fab, and she's beautiful inside and out, I love her and her blog. :-)  Anyway, this conversation led round to a chain of thought, because I'd bought Barry M Lychee the previous week and not used it yet, and it's kind of beige. 

I got to wondering how close it was in colour to My Vampire is Buff by OPI.  And usually, if I've wondered it, other people have too.  And because I own both I thought I would do a quick comparison and review for you.

So here we have the polishes side by side:
You can immediately see that they're close, but in no way dupes.  The Barry M is more of a taupe, whereas the OPI is whiter and pinker, although the pink hue doesn't come out very well in photos, it is there in real life, just the slightest blush tone.

So here they are side by side on my nails:
Lychee is on my index and middle finger, and My Vampire is Buff is on my ring and little (pinkie) finger.  Both two coats.

I think this shows the difference in tone better than it shows in the bottle.  But of course, if it was just a case of choosing which colour we like best, there would be no need at all for nail polish reviews, would there?  So how do they compare in application?

MVIB: First coat a bit streaky and still some visible nail line
Lychee: Not as streaky and shinier

MVIB: Consistency just right, easy to apply
Lychee: A bit runnier, need to be careful about leaving polish on stalk as it could drip, but still easy to apply

MVIB: Not as self levelling as some Nails Inc cremes but still OK
Lychee: More self levelling, pretty good

MVIB: Brush typical OPI brush, just right softness, nice shape
Lychee: Main let down, too square at top so made shaping at cuticles more difficult, and a bit too stiff, although released polish well

MVIB: One coat touch dry time 3 min 45 sec
Lychee: One coat touch dry time 3 minutes

MVIB: 2 coats left only very slight nail line
Lychee: 2 coats left no nail line, could be a one coater with medium thickness application

MVIB: £7.85 from Amazon UK (link)
Lychee: £3.99 from Amazon UK (link)

So lets have full swatches then.  Here's Barry M Gelly Lychee swatched on all fingers:
Barry M Lychee Swatch
And here's OPI my Vampire is Buff swatched on all fingers:
So which is the winner?  Lets recap:

Barry M Gelly in Lychee dries faster, is more opaque, is more shiny, and importantly it costs less. 
 
OPI My Vampire is Buff has a slightly better formula and much better brush.  So there's pros and cons to each.

At the end of the day then, for me it comes down to which colour I prefer.  I personally prefer My Vampire is Buff, because I like white-based polishes, and I find Lychee a little bit uninspiring. 

However, the happy news is that to polish nuts like me, they're different enough to justify owning both, which is always a good thing.  They're not the same, they're SIMILAR  ;-)

Until next time...

MASPOOASE x x x
~Wendy~

Saturday, 4 May 2013

What's on my Bedside Table? *100th Post*

Hi there again everyone,

My 100th post!  Woohoo!  No surprise to me though, because I know how much I can ramble on haha.  To celebrate I thought I would make this post both personal and beauty related, a good summary of how my blog is shaping up.  I get bored if I write about the same thing too often, although obviously nails are my number one obsession. 

As a nosy parker, I love reading posts about what other people have on their bedside tables, so I thought I would share my own.  I admit to dusting it before showing you, as otherwise you wouldn't have been able to see anything.

So without further ado, here's what it looks like:
Those baskets to the left of my bedside table are where I keep my beloved nail polish.  I got them from Wilkinsons and they were only £15 each.  I've got some smaller ones of the same design too which only cost £8 each.  You can buy them online (here) .  The yellow item hanging off the end of my bed is a torch, in case there is a power cut in the night.  Be prepared is my motto, I should have been a Scout!

So now we get on to the close ups.  Here's my clock radio:
I have had this clock radio for the LONGEST time, probably over 25 years (scary).  The cassette player doesn't work properly any more, as it plays the tapes slowly.  I think I could probably have it mended quite cheaply if I wanted to, but even though I've still got a ton of cassettes, I don't listen to them that much.  My phone's never far from me and that means no fast forwarding.  However the radio gets all the obscure stations, even in low signal areas like ours, and the illuminated display is just the right brightness not to bother me at night, so after all these years I'm still happy with it.  It wasn't expensive when I got it, things were built to last back then don'tyaknow.  Oops, I see I knocked my lampshade wonky when I was dusting.  That's going to drive me bonkers later if I don't put it straight.

The next biggest things on my bedside table are my books. I've always got a couple on the go, and I decide which to read depending on what kind of mood I'm in.  Here's my current ones:
The Real Heroes of Telemark was recommended to me after I mentioned on Twitter about being inspired by a clip I saw on the Antiques Roadshow about the Norwegian WW2 resistance fighters.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it, it's an awe inspiring true story of amazing bravery and strength despite deadly peril.  As you can see it's by Ray Mears, who I'm totally in *LOVE* with.  If we were marooned on a desert island, let's just say he'd have some other jobs to do before he started collecting firewood heehee.  TX Maxx receipt as a bookmark, classy.

I love a good ghost story, and I've read this compilation book a few times.  I have no problems with reading a book many times if it's a good one.  I've read Desperation by Stephen King more times than I can count, but it's my favourite so I forgive myself for not minding that I already know the ending (and most of the words).

Guarding my books is Bun.  I've had Bun since school and he's a professional book guarder:
Because he lives on my bedside table he does get quite dusty.  Luckily I can just throw him in the washing machine and he comes out as good as new, although I do feel a bit guilty when I see his little face going round and round in the machine.  Thats a bell from a Lindt bunny round his neck, as other half thinks it's funny to take Bun away and torment (hide) him while I'm not looking.  Because we've got a small house I can hear the bell even if I'm downstairs, and run to Buns rescue.  He sits on my belly and guards me instead while I'm reading.

So enough of my nonesensicalness (is that even a word?), let's get on with the products.  There are a few on there that I don't use anymore and should really move somewhere else.  These are they:
I had quite high hopes for Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep.  I drink ALOT of tea, and my teeth get quite badly teastained.  So a product that worked in the night when I'm not eating or drinking anything for long periods of time sounded ideal.  However, after using it for about 3 weeks, I couldn't see any difference, so I got a bit tired of doing it.  I don't think I've used it for a couple of months now, so I should really either start using it again, or bin it.

Aqueous Cream does a brilliant job, expecially if you're on a tight budget, as it moisturises well, and costs next to nothing.  I did a full post on it (here) last June, and this is still the same tub, with hardly a dent in it.  That's not because I never use it, but just because there's so much of it!  The reason it shouldn't really be on my bedside table any more is when I want a body moisturiser, I find I'm reaching for the Aveeno more often.

So here's some other not-so-glam items that I keep at my bedside:
The aforementioned Aveeno body moisturiser.  This really does sooth itchy dry skin.  It claims to moisturise for 24 hours, and I would agree that it does.  You can get it for around a fiver from most supermarkets, so it won't break the bank either.

Dove Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena deodorant.  I was intrigued by how it would smell, it's nice, but it's still a 'Dove' smell, if you know what I mean.  You're not going to go out smelling like a fruit shop, which is what I was expecting.  It's still got a bit of floweriness to it, I will get it again when this one runs out though as I never feel sweaty when I've got it on.

Daktarin Aktiv spray foot powder.  I don't have athletes foot, but other half and I went through a phase of giving it to each other, so if my feet feel hot or itchy, I always give them a blast just as a preventative measure.

Next up we have the totally random items:
No, that's not false teeth!  When I get stressed I grind my teeth in my sleep, so I sent off for a moulding kit to have my own toothguard made.  It was pretty quick and easy, and about £30.  It's one of those things I'm always saying "I should do a blog post about that" about.  Hopefully it will prevent any more of my teeth splitting, which is what has happened to one of them, and the thing that spurred me on to buy a guard.

Cedarwood Essential Oil.  This one is organic and I got it from Amazon (here) it's supposed to be really good for your skin, but I've never used it for that.  I bought it because the scent of Cedarwood is supposed to repel moths and spiders, and I don't want either of those things in my bedroom, so I dot it about the room occasionally.  I definitely have seen less moths since, not so sure about less spiders, but I'll keep trying it anyway just in case.

Hair bands, because I take them off after I get into bed and they build up there until I move them back to where they belong in the spare room.  These ones are supposed to cause less damage to your hair.

The pretty rainbow items are actually anklets.  As you probably know I've suffered terribly with my achilles for the last 12 months.  I have a cousin who's really into crystal healing, and I asked him which crystals would be good for my achilles.  He told me haematite would be good to use as it aids circulation.  Now, I don't know if it's true or not, but as I already had this pretty haematite in my jewellery making kit, I made myself a couple of elasticated anklets, and I wear them in bed.  You never know, right?

Next up we get to all the hand and nail stuff:
Nu-Nale nail strengthening cream.  My go-to nail cream.  I did a post about it (here) and have bought it quite a few times over now.

My cuticles have been dastardly this last couple of months, so I have all the big guns out.

Flexitol cuticle and nail cream.  The one on the left seems to be the old formula, which is more gloopy and I prefer it.  The one on the right, which seems to be the new formulation, smells better, but doesn't seem as moisturising or powerful.

Leighton Denny Remove & Rectify cuticle cream.  It seems that all cuticle removers are not created equal, and this is the best one I've found so far.  I use the cream, leave it to soak in for a bit while I'm reading, then use the orange sticks on my cuticles, and then the cotton pad to wipe off the excess.  You can get it direct from the Leighton Denny site (here) but I have seen it a bit cheaper on Amazon.  I got mine from a kit in TK Maxx, no surprise there.

Healthy Cuticles Now by Sally Hansen.  I've only just started using this again, as I seem to remember my cuticles were in pretty good shape last time I was using it.  I bought a twin pack from Amazon, as it was cheaper that way, link (here)

Finally, we have a tube of Hydrocortisone Steroid Cream, which believe it or not, I also got from Amazon. (link) It's much cheaper than a prescription from the doctor, but I very much doubt if it's as potent.  As soon as the weather warms up, or if I get stressed, I get dermatitis on my hands quite badly.  This cream doesn't cure it, but it does make it less 'angry', and also shortens the amount of time I have an attack for. 

I wonder if the fact my dermatitis is flared up could be part of the reason my cuticles are suffering?  Unsure because my dermatitis is only on my palms, and my cuticle area doesn't seem to be affected this time at all dermatitis-ly (another made up word methinks).  Anyway, hopefully it'll all clear up nice and fast and it won't be an issue for long.

And last, but not least, we get on to my 'glam' items.  There's not as many of those, I am getting on a bit haha:
The Amazing Grace perfume oil was a gift from the beautiful Catrine at Unnaked Nails (link) 
I use it whenever I want to feel a bit special or chilled out, it has a lovely floral scent and it makes me feel calm and fragrant, and who doesn't like that? :-)

Nivea Pearly Shine is a really pleasant lip balm that I'm enjoying greatly.  I put a thick layer on when I go to bed, and my lips feel all nice and moisturised in the morning.  My lips are super thirsty when it comes to balms, so it must be good for me to be impressed.  I actually have another one of these in my handbag that I use during the day.

And there we have it!  Another monstrously long post from me, but I can't help it if I've got lots of things on my bedside table!  And as it's my 100th post, I will forgive myself.

So do you have any of these items?  What do you think of them?  If you have a 'bedside table' post, leave me a link to it in the comments section, I'd love to give it a read!

Until next time (and the next 100 times too)...

MASPOOASE x x x
~Wendy~

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Artsy Wednesday - use a colour you usually hate

Here we are at Wednesday again, the weeks are whizzing away!  I can't believe it's May already.

The Artsy Wednesday challenge this time is to create nailart based on a colour you usually hate. 

Well, I don't hate any colour, but the colour I like least on me, and wear the least, is red.  I get lobster fingers extraordinaire.  I don't know who said it, but somebody wise once said "there's no such thing as the wrong colour, just the wrong shade", and I agree wholeheartedly with this.  If I am going to wear red, I'll usually stick with maroon reds rather than bright primary reds.

So, to stick with the theme, I've used the bright primary reds that I don't usually wear in this challenge.  It's two designs for the price of one this time.  I did one design, and although I liked it, it didn't seem very inspired so I did another one which I preferred.  But as I've done them now, I may as well show you both.

Backwardly, I'll start with the second design, as it's the one I prefer.  It's a take on the the Russian Doll design which I originally did (here) and I kept telling myself I'd return to.  Despite the fact that it's not perfect, I love the colour combo.  The red is Nails Inc St James, and the pink is Sinful Colours Innocent:
I have to admit, if I'd have remembered how long Innocent takes to dry, I'd have used a different pink, but am loving the raspberry ripple colour combination.

Here's a pic in the shade:
This design was really easy to do, and it doesn't need any nailart tools at all.  All you do is paint your nails red, use the pink to paint them again, but a bit further inside your nail leaving a border, then the red over the top of that, and keep going until you have a design you're happy with.  A top coat to smooth the layers (I used Seche Vite), and you're done.  In real life this was a super punchy design, and I'd like to try it in some other colour combinations. 

So, the original design I did was a stamping design.  I painted my nails with a different red, Rimmel Lasting Finish in Double Decker Red.  I tested a few polishes over it, and the one I liked the most was Nails Inc Old Park Lane.  You can see a swatch of Old Park Lane (here) if you want to see it full nail.  Here's how my design looked:
I used some studs (which I got from Amazon) on my ring finger, and I tried to mirror the stamping design.  The plate I used was Gals GA3, which kind of reminds me of either leaves, or the pattern you get in metal stairs on fire escapes.  Either way it goes nicely with the red I think.  Here it is in the shade:
My cleanup wasn't brilliant, but never mind.  I'm considering getting some neat acetone so cleanup is a bit more straightforward, but for some reason I couldn't find it in Superdrug or Boots, so it looks like I'll have to order it online.

As I said earlier in the post, I didn't feel that this stamping design was 'Artsy' enough, but actually looking at the pictures, it's starting to grow on me.

So what do you think, do you have a favourite? Is there a colour you usually keep away from like me with reds?

Don't forget to check out what all the other Artsy Wednesday girls came up with:

Michelle - Lab Muffin http://www.labmuffin.com/

Alanna - Pretty Purple Polish http://www.prettypurplepolish.com/

Maria - Maria's Nail Polish Blog http://mariasnailpolishblog.blogspot.co.uk/

Melanie - Nail & Polish http://nailandpolish.blogspot.co.uk/

Jessica - Beauty Gnome http://beautygnome.blogspot.co.uk/

Emily - An Accent Nail http://anaccentnail.blogspot.co.uk/

Ameerah - Valiantly Varnished http://www.valiantlyvarnished.com/

Until next time...

MASPOOASE x x x
~Wendy~