Halloween Confetti: Pumpkin Manicure

Halloween confetti text 1

Another manicure inspired by Pinterest (specifically this one), this is pretty much a copy, except it’s matte. So, in essence, it’s a completely original idea I had all by myself. Hooray!

I’ve been totally obsessed with matte nails for ages, and it’s fascinating what a difference it can make to the overall look just to take off the shine. Somehow it looks more… I’m trying to think of a word other than polished, but I can’t. Holy contradiction, Batman!

Halloween confetti mosiac

At my local Boots, I found a grand total of three different orange polishes and ended up plumping for Maybelline Orange Attack, as it was the most vibrant. I always use Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus on my nails, as they are very weak and need all the help they can get. After that, a couple of coats of Orange Attack, then a couple of L’Oreal Confetti Top Coat, then one of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Then, the finishing touch – a swipe of OPI’s Matte Top Coat to finish.

Halloween confetti text 2

An easy, effective Halloween manicure that looks much more complex than it actually is. One word of caution – the Confetti Top Coat is incredibly difficult to remove! You have been warned… WHOOOOO! (Insert spooky sound effect.)

Square logo initials

Ciate Mini Mani Month 2013 Sneak Preview

Mini Mani Month 2013 sneek peek sideMini Mani Month 2013 sneek peek backMini Mani Month 2013 frontMini Mani Month 2013 front sneak peek wholeDec 24 SerendipityDec 24 Serendipity back
Dec 24 peekDec 23 peekDec 23 LocketDec 23 Locket backDec 22 peekDec 22 Christmas Tree Caviar
Dec 22 Christmas Tree Caviar backDec 21 peekDec 21 ConfettiDec 21 Confetti backDec 20 peekDec 20 Ivory Queen
Dec 20 Ivory Queen backDec 19 UnderwearDec 19 Underwear backDec 18 peekDec 18 Amazing GracieDec 18 Amazing Gracie back

I’ve noticed a lot of traffic coming my way from people searching for Ciate’s Mini Mani Month. So, here is a sneak peek of every single bottle inside the advent calendar, for those of you (like me!) who just can’t wait until December! Just click above to be taken to my Flickr photostream.

Square logo initials

A starry night manicure for Halloween

I love Halloween, and I usually spend most of October getting ready for it – can you tell? While Halloween itself is but one day a year, you can still let a little magic into your life this month with this pretty matte navy and gold mani, originally inspired by this Pin I found, which sadly leads nowhere now! The thing I like about this look is that it’s smart enough to be worn any time of year, but still has that special spooky something if you want to show some Halloween love without resorting to the obvious green, orange and black.

Halloween manicure OPI

Creating this look couldn’t be easier – you just need a dark blue colour, plus a top coat with gold flecks, and a matte finish. I used OPI’s Keeping Suzi At Bay, The Man With The Golden Gun, and Matte Top Coat.

Halloween manicure OPI

All I did was layer on one coat of Suzi (top), then two of Golden Gun (left), and then one of the Matte (right). I don’t know whether I prefer it glossy or matte, because either way I totally love this look! It took me ages to decide which blue to get, because usually I end up with a dark navy that winds up just looking black on my nails. But this colour is deep and beautiful, with a pretty pigment that’s perfect for autumn and winter!

Halloween manicure OPI

So, whether you’re celebrating Halloween, Bonfire Night, or any other wintery holiday, I think this is a great look that’s  opulent, classic and stylish all at the same time. Though, I still fall in love with pretty much any colour topped with The Man With The Golden Gun, so I may be biased!

Square logo initials

Burberry Nail Varnish A/W 2013: Oxblood and Stone

Burberry varnish

Following their runway show at London Fashion Week, Burberry has just branched out into a new range of nail varnish for autumn and winter 2013. The key colours that are available to buy  individually (priced at £15 each for 8ml) are Black, Oxblood and Stone. (You can also buy the colours from LFW in a limited edition box of six for £90.) When I visited Burberry’s flagship store at the weekend, I picked up the Stone and Oxblood colours, as I couldn’t resist – even though the range was so new, they didn’t even have testers available yet!

Burberry nail montage

As you can see from the picture above, the silver patterned cap comes off to reveal the applicator and brush top underneath – so you don’t have to struggle with a giant, rectangular handle when applying. However, I wonder whether the bottle top is a little too small for ease of use – I definitely struggled to get a neat finish with the Oxblood colour. The nail varnish is marketed as a quick drying formula – and that is definitely the case, because this dried superfast even though I couldn’t apply it evenly thanks to the thickness. I ended up using two coats and topping off with Seche Vite for a glossy finish.

Burberry Oxblood nails 2

Oxblood is just another trendy name for dark red that comes back around every A/W season, it feels like – although I get the feeling that this season no one can decide whether it should be called burgundy, oxblood or berry. Either way, I love it, and although you can argue there are differences between all these colours (berry is more purple… burgundy more bright) it certainly doesn’t matter to me about the specifics of the pantone chart. Dark red rocks, period. (Urgh, should I leave that in? Yeah, go for it.) Funnily enough, the sales assistant told me that the staff at Burberry’s stores aren’t even allowed to wear the Black or Oxblood colours, as their uniform guidelines specify only natural colours for nails. But, apparently, they are protesting about it!

Burberry Stone nails

This is Stone – and I really like it! I have a big crush on neutrals and Ciate’s Cookies and Cream is one of my favourite colours. (Favourite of all time is probably still China Glaze’s Fast Track, but I’ve not even done a post about that! Hmm!).  Now, this colour is beautiful, but considering the price makes it almost triple what Ciate costs (£9 for 13.5ml) I’ll probably not be making a lot of repeat purchases. I found this colour slightly easier to apply – perhaps because the shade is lighter so I didn’t notice mistakes as much, perhaps because I wasn’t as tired this time around – but I still think the squared off brush needs to be a little more shaped to help application.

I think I’ll plan a neutral nail-off at some point in the future, between Fast Track, Cookies and Cream, Stone and whatever else have knocking around here! Do you dig neutral nails, or do you prefer a bit of drama?

Square logo initials

Nailed it! Dotty manicure with Nails Inc Porchester Square and Ciate Minis

When I saw this pin on Pinterest a while ago, I knew I had to make my own version! Creating using dotting tools, this simple manicure doesn’t take too much skill to create, but it certainly makes an impact. So, I ordered some tools from eBay, and got to work…

Untitled

Thanks to Ciate’s Mini Mani Month, I had plenty of colours to choose from, so I decided to layer my Porchester Square mini from Nails Inc (which I got in my first GlossyBox back in November) with dots from Dangerous Affair, Power Dressing and Cookies and Cream.

First of all, I painted my nails with Porchester Square (really good formula, only needed one coat!) and then, when it dried, I dipped the largest dotting tool into my first colour, and just blobbed circles of varnish on the nail. A tip for this is to not use too much, as you end up with a raised bump of paint which takes forever to dry, and looks a bit weird. Dab on one colour, then allow to dry before placing the second – the paints will mix otherwise. And, it looks really cool if you can overlap some too!

Dotty nails

Here’s the finished product! I thought this was fun – and the colours really worked well together too, but of course, you can use any scheme you like for a special event. I’ll definitely be doing this again.

Anyone else tried the dotty manicure?

14 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Speed Dial

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

Today’s post is a bit late because I was on deadline – ugh! Anyway, I still managed to find time to get the snaps in during daylight, so there’s that! The shade is called Speed Dial, and it’s a deep coral pink – although the website describes it as orange…

Untitled

It definitely doesn’t look like the colour on Ciate’s site, where the description reads: “An extremely juicy orange. Wear two coats to induce a sunny smile every time you catch a glimpse of your nails.”

Untitled

It’s definitely a vibrant shade – a bit of sunshine in December, maybe? Not something I’d pick myself, but it looked better on my nails than in the bottle… What did you think – was your shade as pink hued as mine?

9 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Mistress

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

Yes! I am a massive fan of classic red nails, and this is truly a brilliant colour – and very festive, too! A tiny hint of pink, but an overall bold, brassy red – perfect for modern and vintage looks. Here’s what Ciate says: “Everyone loves and needs a classic pillar box red. It’s the ideal go-to colour if you need to get noticed no matter what you are wearing.”

Untitled
Untitled

I think of all the colours I’ve had so far, this is the one I’d be most likely to have purchased anyway, and it’s good to know that there’s a really good go-to red in the Ciate range for me!

7 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Cutie Pie

Untitled Untitled Untitled

Today it’s Cutie Pie! In the bottle, it’s a solid baby pink hue, but it actually goes on very sheer, giving your nails a French manicure look. Here’s what the Ciate website says about this creme: “A soft, girly pink. Apply one coat for a hint of pink gloss on your nails or three coats for clean light pink hue.”

Untitled

I’m wearing three coats in this photo, and it’s still very sheer. It was also hard to apply without streaks, but I think I just about managed it. This is the kind of colour I wouldn’t pick up usually, but after applying it I realised that I already have a very similar colour (French Rose from Rimmel) that I bought to do French manicures! I don’t think this sheer colour suits my damaged nails, but if yours are in good condition it’s a lovely neutral tone. Very romantic and subtle – good for weddings, maybe!
Untitled

6 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Angel Wings

Untitled Untitled Untitled

Day six of the Mini Mani Month, and today’s colour is Angel Wings, a pretty, shimmery white. Ciate says: “The perfect pretty pearl. Clean fresh and perfect for the ultimate high fashion look. Team with your cropped jacket and pearls for a finish of class and luxury.”

Untitled

In all honesty, I found this hard to apply – it was quite streaky and I needed three coats to get rid of all traces of my nail colour. Also, because my nails often peel (ugh, I know), the shimmer caught the imperfections of my nails and showed them up, rather than helping to conceal them.

Untitled

That said, the colour is very pretty and pearlescent, especially under soft lighting.

I had a Christmas present delivery today for my sister in law, and of course, I couldn’t resist adding a little something for myself too (the old one for me, one for you rule, I’m sure you’re familiar with it…) – a lovely new bottle of Pirouette My Whistle from OPI, which is part of the New York City Ballet collection, but is also beautiful for frosty, winter nails! It’s a subtle glitter in a clear top coat, with white hexagonal shapes inside (tricky to get those to stay on my nails, but I persevered!).

Untitled

I think it adds the perfect festive finish to these nails – an extra dimension of Christmassy-ness!