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Mani Monday – Nails Inc Stafford Street

A simple mint green manicure this week – a look I like to wear at any time of the year. I had wanted to try out the new Gel Effect formula from Nails Inc for a little while so bought the shade Stafford Street. It came in the new chunky style bottle although you can remove the wide lid and use the thinner inside lid for a steadier application. I really love the thick brushes that these new bottles have which mean less brush strokes when applying.

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This is a pale pastel mint-green colour that looks almost blue in some lights. I liked this colour so much I actually used it on my toes too.

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As expected for a Gel Effect product, it was quite a thick formula. The good thing about this was that it was very pigmented so I only needed to use two layers however the thickness meant that it dried very quickly so you have to act fast when applying it.

The finish of this nail varnish was great – really glossy and quick-drying. You could get away without a top coat but for longevity, it always helps to add one.

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Nails Inc offer many of their shades in the original or Gel Effect formula, so which would I go for? That’s a tough one because the finish and longevity of the Gel Effect is better but I did find the formula a little difficult to work with and prefer a less thick formula. There’s really not too much in it for me if I’m being honest!

Mani Monday – Nails Inc Manor House Drive

I’m having a real moment with the new-look Nails Inc. Ever since they changed up their packaging, the nail varnishes seem to be more of a luxe, high-end brand, with new prices to reflect it too! The bottles have changed from round to rectangular ones but for me, the biggest improvement comes in the form of the chunky new brush which makes application a dream.

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I was recently gifted a couple of colours from ‘The New White’ range, a collection of light bases with a hint of colour for that off-white look. I love a crisp, white manicure but this range is a little more wearable.

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I began with a couple of layers of Manor House Drive, a subtle lilac colour that is almost grey in some lights. I was amazed I only needed two layers of this and it dried to a non-streaky, glossy finish.

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I wasn’t quite finished and decided to try out another new polish – a miniature bottle of Beaumont Mews. This is kind of like a grown-up version of glitter, containing matte pink and blue dots which give an almost polka-dot effect.

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These are both great quality nail varnishes and I love how they look together.

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Latest Purchases #78 – A Teeth and Nails Combo

Finally, it’s half term! The last week of term always seems longer than usual but I am happy to have a whole week off stretched out in front of me plus a three day weekend with Ian to enjoy.

Today, I wanted to share a little bargain I picked up in Boots recently. I meant to write this post as soon as I bought it so I hope the offer is still running! Nails Inc – one of my favourite nail varnish brands – has teamed up with Colgate for a great teeth and nails deal.

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When you buy a tube of Colgate’s Max White One Optic toothpaste, you can get a free Nails Inc nail varnish in a choice of three shades – a bright blue, an orange-toned red or a pastel pink. There have been similar deals like this in the past and everyone needs toothpaste, don’t they?!

The toothpaste itself is fine – a bright blue colour that claims to whiten teeth – but it was the nail varnish I was keen to try. I picked up the blue colour which reminded me so much of Baker Street – bright yet creamy and a real summery blue. This shade is called Optic Wave and I really like it. Annoyingly, I received an almost identical shade from Wah Nails in this month’s Birchbox but I can see myself wearing them a lot this summer.

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I painted the Nails Inc shade on my both my finger and toe nails straightaway but couldn’t resist jazzing my manicure up a bit.

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I love bright blue and white together (think Mediterranean buildings and china plates!) so used a layer of white Mosaic Effects nail varnish on my thumb and fourth finger. I’m not sure what the ‘mosaic’ name is all about as it was very similar to the standard crackle-effect nail polishes but I like the final look and love the fact this shade was a freebie! x

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This Week’s Nails – Peach and Glitter Tips

Am I the only one who found it that little bit more difficult getting up this morning after an extra day off?! I spent all of today not quite knowing what day it was, feeling more tired than usual and drinking cups of tea to offset the wind and rain outside.

Rather than come home and nod off on the sofa, I decided to try and wake myself up with some yoga and the difference in my productivity levels was really noticeable! I’m finding it very similar to Pilates and a quick half hour on my mat stretching and relaxing is my new favourite thing.

Afterwards I found myself whizzing around the kitchen making a chili con carne from scratch, a bowl of overnight oats for my breakfast and cous cous salads for mine and Ian’s lunches tomorrow as well as loading the dishwasher and tidying up after myself – I usually leave that last part to Ian!

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Onto this week’s nail and I wanted a fun summery look as well as a chance to try out a new Nails Inc shade. This isn’t a new release – in fact it has been sat in my ‘to try’ pile of nail varnishes for a while –  but I love this pastel, peachy coral shade which is also named after a London Street. Kensington Palace is a perfect summery pastel shade that will look great with a tan. It was opaque within two coats and had a lovely glossy finish.

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I decided to add some gradient glitter tips using Celestial by Ciate. This is a silver and holographic formula, packed with glitter pieces, that looks amazing when it catches the light. To achieve this look, I did a light layer of glitter covering the top two-thirds of the nail then added another layer on the top third of the nail for that graduated look.

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Sadly, my bottle of Seche Vite is starting to go a bit gloopy so whilst I am waiting for a replacement bottle, I decided to go back to an old favourite – Calvin Klein’s Splendid Glaze Quick Dry Top Coat.

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This is a fun summery look and I’m glad to have found another winning Nails Inc shade! x

This Week’s Nails – The Perfect Grey/Lilac Shade

DIY can give you an enormous sense of achievement but there is one thing that just ruins it for me and that is the effect it has on my nails. Before I started work on our guest bedroom this week I removed my nail varnish as I hate chipped nails but within hours I had broken a nail and the others were looking decidedly ropey. I would never let my nails stop me from decorating but I did do a fair few emergency filings and a whole lot of cuticle oil applications to make up for the damage.

A weekend in London and an Easter wedding means a few days break from DIY for me so I jumped at the chance to get my nail varnishes out and give myself a quick manicure.

I was recently given a selection of Nails Inc polishes by a good friend and Pembridge Crescent really stood out as being a lovely grey-lilac colour that was unlike anything I own.

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I am currently undecided on what to wear to the wedding we are attending this weekend but both of my dress options have a lilac or pink element to them so I thought this would be an ideal shade.

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After a layer of Orly’s Bonder basecoat, I applied two layers of this lilac shade which looks grey in some lights and purple in others. To be honest, I liked this colour so much I would have been happy to leave my nails like this but I recently bought this glitter from Avon in Blue Bursts and thought it would be a perfect option for an accent nail.

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This glitter is another product that looks different in some lights, switching from an electric blue to purple. The glitter pay off wasn’t brilliant and I did have to go hunting for some of the bigger glitter pieces but I’m pleased with the final look.

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In the hope of making this last until the weekend, I sealed the look with a layer of Seche Vite.

Have a great Easter weekend – I hope you have already cracked out the hot cross buns and mini eggs! x

This Week’s Nails – Red Spots

I knew I fancied a bright red on my nails this week and had a hard choice deciding between my favourite red shades…

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The Nails Inc bottle won in the end – it is a lovely bright scarlet shade with really good staying power after two coats on top of my Orly base coat.

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I then decided to use my dotting tool to add a strip of tiny white dots along the centre of each nail. These were really easy to do, although they definitely got a bit wonky when using my left hand!

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A good layer of Seche Vite next and this subtle nail art look was complete. It actually lasted for over a week without chipping so I can see myself using this combination of base/colour/topcoat again.

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I have now had ‘naked nails’ for two days and they are just crying out for some colour…I am definitely leaning towards something bright and spring-like so may try out a new look.

I don’t have much else planned this week apart from celebrating the fact that tomorrow will be my last ‘get-up’ for two weeks as it’s the last day of term! x

This Week’s Nails – A 10-day Polish?

By now, we are used to beauty products making outrageous claims: ‘Look 10 years younger’; ’24-hour wear’; ‘Tattoo-style eyeliner’ and so on.

When I saw the promise of ’10 Day Wear’ on this nail varnish bottle by Seventeen I knew I had to put this to the test (although they have very cleverly used the term ‘up to’ in front of this timescale!)

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I got this fuschia-pink shade (Miami) in last year’s Boots advent calendar and love the bright colour of it. It has a nice wide brush and two coats give a lovely shine and good coverage.

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I decided to add one of my favourite layers – L’Oréal’s black and white confetti top coat and sealed the look with Nails Inc’s Kensington Caviar Effect Plumping Top Coat.

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In retrospect, I guess I really should have left out the Nails Inc top coat to make it a truly fair test but I always wear a top coat over nail varnish so it is a fair test on my nails!

So…did it last 10 days I hear you ask?

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Here are my nails after exactly 10 days with this manicure. Apart from a tiny bit of wear at the tips, this pretty much stayed put. Obviously, there is a gap of colour at the base of my nails where they have grown in those 10 days which is the reason why, despite its obvious wear-time, I still probably wouldn’t keep the same nail varnish on for that length of time.

I have to stay I was very impressed with the staying power of this Seventeen ‘Supreme Shine’ nail varnish and it would tempt me to purchase another shade in this range…I’ve already got my eyes on ‘Mink’!

 

This Week’s Nails – An Alexa Heart Dupe

Seeing as today is the last proper day of my half term break, I am in a get-stuff-done mood. I have already done a Pilates session, painted a wall, washed my hair, been to the doctors, picked up a prescription and been food shopping for the week all before midday – phew!

I keep my ear to the ground for any new and exciting beauty releases and had a good nosy at Alexa Chung’s recent offerings for Nails Inc, one of my favourite nail brands. The top coats all looked lovely but at about £15 a bottle, they aren’t cheap for a glitter topcoat.

 

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I nipped in to my local Poundland recently and noticed a dupe for the heart topcoat that is getting a lot of love at the moment. Seeing as it was only a pound, I thought I may as well give it a try and as I was about to pay I noticed a new nail varnish stand stocking ‘Jess’ products. I have to admit I hadn’t heard of this brand before but decided to pick up two shades; a fiery red (matador) and a creamy blue (swan lake).

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I tried out matador first of all. My first impressions weren’t great – the formula was very thin and patchy and I needed three coats for opacity. However, after a bit of effort, I did really like the shade and it had a nice glossy finish to it.

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Now for the hearts! This bottle contains metallic gold hearts in a red tinted gloss. Part of me through that it would be better in a clear gloss as the red did affect the gold colour of the hearts. Rather than end up with a thick layer of the coloured gloss on my nails, I dabbed the brush onto a piece of paper and picked out the hearts with some tweezers before placing them on my nails.

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The hearts were slightly raised on the nail but a few generous layers of topcoat smoothed these down and I think the finished look is quite effective.

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I was slightly less pleased with the staying power of the Jess nail varnish. It chipped dreadfully within a few days and my manicure didn’t last the week. I haven’t tried the swan lake shade yet but I am hoping it performs slightly better!

This Week’s Nails – Daisy Print

Despite the weather turning rather autumnal lately, I decided to do a very fresh and summery bit of nail art this week. I actually managed to do this design freehand but only on one hand I’m afraid!

I have a mini hamper of nail varnish and one colour I never wear is the bright yellow shade I own. I saw it again this week when I was trying to decide what to paint on my nails and decided the only time I think I would wear yellow would be when drawing a flower. Henceforth, the daisy design idea was born! Am I alone here…would yellow look good on nails?!

Anyway, this is the kit I used for this look:

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  • Sephora Nail Varnish in Jacuzzi
  • Missguided Nail Varnish in Misslead
  • Dotting tool
  • Thin nail art pen in white (this one is from Primark and is perfect for thin, intricate work)
  • Nails Inc Top Coat

I began with three coats of Jacuzzi as, although I love the colour, this formula isn’t great.

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Next, I dipped the end of my dotting tool into the yellow shade and made some dots on my nails.

Then , I carefully painted on the white leaves using the nail art pen.

The final layer of topcoat sealed the look and also blurred the edges slightly which was great for any ‘wobbles’ I had when applying the white!

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This is a really easy and fun nail art and one that you could easily use different colours with.

We are off out for another tasting menu tonight, at our local pub this time, so there will no doubt be a foodie review coming up soon! x

This Week’s Nails – Pink Glitter

Another fun weekend has come and gone here and we are now winding down and with a roast dinner in the oven and a Sky Box full of programmes to catch up on…I love a lazy Sunday afternoon!

My brother and his girlfriend arrived on Friday night so we headed up to the pub before I cooked us some Mexican food and we played a few hilarious rounds of Cards Against Humanity. Yesterday we headed into Bath for burgers and a wander before Ian and I headed out to a party. It was such a lovely and mild evening we were sat out in the garden until about midnight!

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Today’s manicure is really all about my new Barry M glitter topcoat in Pink Sapphire. This is a lovely formula, packed with silver strands and pink and silver hexes.

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I wanted a pale colour underneath so chose this lovely pastel pink by Nails Inc in Bloomsbury Way which I think was the perfect background.

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Some of the glitter pieces were slightly raised so I finished this look with a generous topcoat using Nails Inc’s Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Topcoat. I was really impressed at the longevity of this manicure – it lasted for 8 days with no chipping at all and despite not really being a huge fan of all things pink, I really loved this look!

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