Behind Saturday’s door on the Mini Mani Month advent calendar was Ivory Queen. I wasn’t all that excited when I saw it behind the door as I thought it was yet another pink, albeit a nice peachy one, but when I took it out if the calendar and looked at it in the light I noticed it had a pretty gold shimmer to it and I became a lot more interested. It’s a very wearable shade which is subtle and neutral but with a fun edge to it when you catch it in the right light and see the gold shimmer. It had a fairly nice formula, a little on the thin side but not too streaky and looked beautiful in 3 coats. I enjoyed wearing it much more than I expected to and will probably return to it on days when subtle nails are required!
The next day I got a pot of glitter. This was my first time using loose glitter so I was a bit nervous and watched a couple of tutorials on YouTube before I tried it out. It was much easier to apply than I’d imagined and Twinkle Toes is an absolutely stunning glitter – I couldn’t stop looking at my nails! I wasn’t particularly good at the tidy up and I was disappointed that I couldn’t stop bits of glitter getting stuck to my topcoat brush and spreading across the nail on the ones I attempted glitter French tips on – I guess it’s something that takes practise and careful use of the brush. I did use a cheap topcoat as suggested by one of the tutorials I watched so it didn’t ruin any of my good stuff!
I’ll definitely come back to using loose glitter in future as it’s fun, easy and has a stunning result and Twinkle Toes is just so gorgeous with its holographic rainbows in bright sunshine! My skin looks a bit of an odd colour in this picture but I really wanted to take the picture in bright sunshine to try and capture the sparkle!
On Friday I got Encore, a tomato red polish from my advent calendar. It looked more orange in the bottle but was a really nice red once on my nails with just a hint of orange. Tomato really is the best description of colour I can think of. It applied easily and looked perfect in two coats. I’ve never been a red nails girl but I quite like this one and will certainly use it in nail art and maybe on it’s own occasionally.
I was excited to see a beautiful mint colour behind day 11 of the Ciaté advent calendar. It has a nice but slightly thin formula and looked pretty good after 3 coats, even better with a topcoat. It reminds me of Essie’s Where’s My Chauffeur? which is one of my all time favourite polishes and I absolutely loved having this colour on my nails.
The following day I got more caviar pearls, gold this time. I wasn’t quite ready to take Pepperminty off my nails and I thought the turquoise and gold combination would be a great one, so just added caviar pearls as an accent nail. I topcoated this one so I could wear them all day long at work without worrying about the beads coming off everywhere. They lasted really well, although some colour bled when I applied the topcoat, and the manicure still looked perfect 24 hours later.
I was pretty excited when I opened the door to see this behind day 10 of the calendar. For one, it wasn’t pink (!) and secondly I am rather fond of a nice grey polish but it’s not a colour I own many different shades of.
The application was much smoother than the other polishes (2 coats in the photo) and I loved the slight hint of purple in the grey which made it a very flattering shade for my skin tone. It’s a lovely polish which I’m looking forward to getting lots of wear out of. A great addition to my small collection of greys.
I don’t think I mentioned before but behind each door on the advent calendar there are also little messages – quotations etc and behind Tuesday’s door there was a message that just felt so appropriate “On a bad day there’s always nail polish”. It was the end of a 4 day weekend, I was going back to work with a bit of a cold, had assignments to hand in for a training course I’d been doing and reports to write. My little bottle of Pillow Fight polish certainly made my bad day seem a bit better!
My next polish was another pink! Quite a pretty one and with slightly better application than the others I’ve swatched so far. It was almost perfect in 2 coats but I added a third just to make sure no streaks were visible. I like this one for bright nail art I’ll probably use it up in the future.
While thinking about how nice it would be for bright colourful nail art I started thinking of a polish it reminded me of: Grosvenor Street by Nails Inc. I got the Nails Inc polish out and from the nail to the bottle it looked like almost an exact dupe, so I decided to test it on my nails. It’s not a perfect dupe – Grosvenor Street is slightly darker than Candy Floss but they are pretty close and if you have one you probably don’t need the other.
In this picture my index finger and ring finger are painted with Grosvenor Street and the others with Candy Floss.
Another pink polish for day 7 of the calendar – it seems strange that I’ve had almost all pinks so far – I’m sure I remember seeing a wider range of colours on the back of the box when I looked (I have the calendar up against a wall precisely so I don’t look and spoil the surprise!) Not to complain – I love pinks and this one is my favourite shade of pink so far…
I had problems with the application again – it dried so quickly that when I put a second stroke on the nail (the brush isn’t wide enough to coat my nail in one stroke) it dragged a bit. With a topcoat over two coats of polish it looked great though and I can definitely see this polish getting lots of outings.
The next day was more caviar beads which I put over Main Stage. Midnight in Manhattan is a really nice mix of pearls with black, silver and shimmery translucent pink and blue pearls. I thought they looked really good over the dark pink and this time I didn’t use a topcoat. (Not sure why the pink looks less vibrant here – they were both taken in natural sunlight and the top photo is probably a more accurate one for colour)
The first time I washed my hands I lost half the beads and my nails didn’t look so pretty anymore. 😦 So I decided to topcoat what was left on one of the nails and leave the other nail topcoat free and see what happened. The topcoated nail looked marginally less pretty but lasted the rest of the day. The topcoat free nail lost all its pearls by lunchtime.
You can see a close-up with topcoat here. Yes, it looks a little less pretty and you can see that all the beads are stuck together, but it think it’s worth it if you want to actually wear these pearls (and be a nice clean human being and wash your hands!)
I’m back from my very relaxing long weekend in Portugal and catching up with my advent calendar posts. On December 6th I got Sugar Plum from my calendar. It’s a really pretty pale lilac but again I wasn’t all that impressed with the formula. It really dragged as I applied it and looked horrible and patchy. Even after three coats it didn’t look perfect and certainly needed a top coat to smooth it out and make it look nice. It’s a shame because the colour is beautiful and I would definitely enjoy wearing this colour if only the application was a little smoother.
December 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th swatches coming really soon (or as soon as my poor fiancé can sort through the hundreds of photos he took on the trip and find the nail pics!)
Next up is Hoopla which is a peachy pink and a pretty shade. It wasn’t the easiest to apply and getting even coverage was tricky even with the three coats you can see in the photo. I do really like the colour though – it’s a very soft and feminine shade which I can imagine would be useful for all kinds of situations. I’m not sure I’ll use it much for nail art due to it’s thin formula but as a base colour I think it’ll probably get a few outings on my nails.
It’s a long (4 day!) weekend here in Spain at the moment so I’m off for a little break over the border in Portugal. I probably won’t get much posting done this weekend but I’m packing my nail art supplies (and my advent calendar!) so I’ll be back on Tuesday!
I bought the calendar for the polish really but I knew there would also be some caviar pearls and glitter bottles in there. December 4th had the first of the caviar pearls in silver. I’m not much of an expert on caviar pearls having only used them a couple of times before but here are my thoughts on them…
I decided to try these over a black base and a white base on my thumb and accent nail to see how different they look over each. Initially I preferred them over white as the gaps between the pearls were not so noticeable at first but later on as the odd pearl started to fall off here and there I realised it was actually much more noticeable in the white where there were clear holes as apposed to the black where it didn’t look particularly strange. The black also makes the silver pearls look shinier and more contrasting.
A funnel is provided with the advent calendar but no tray to catch the excess pearls in so I used a little Tupperware box – it did take some practise to get used to using the funnel to pour the pearls over the nail but I started to get the hang of it towards the end and had less clearing up to do!
In the information leaflet which comes with the kit it says a top coat is not required. Now I have mixed feeling about this. I like the idea of caviar pearls but have never really been sure about how practical they are and using a topcoat makes me feel like they might just last long enough to get you through a party/event/day etc. Without a topcoat I feel you are doomed to have pearls falling off all day long until you have bare pit-marked nails.
The picture you see here has no topcoat but I did topcoat them after taking the photo just to see what would happen. A few pearls seemed to dissolve and left weird silver pits in the base polish but the rest looked fine and with these silver pearls I would definitely use a topcoat if you plan on wearing these for any length of time. I have used coloured Ciaté caviar pearls before which lost their colour after being top coated – I’ll report more on that once the next lot of caviar pearls come out of the calendar (presuming they’re coloured ones)
On day 3 my nail polish advent calendar gave me a pale pink. I’ve never had much luck with pale pinks despite having several in my collection. I always find they’re too sheer and milky looking and need coat after coat to get them looking anywhere near decent. Amazing Gracie is probably the palest pink in my collection and just like the others it takes several coats to start looking nice. In the photo I have 4 coats on and there’s still VNL and a little bit of streakiness. I love the colour and it has pretty good drying time, but waiting for 4 coats to dry is always going to feel long even in a polish with a good drying time!
I will probably only wear this soft, girly polish if I have a particular outfit or occasion that calls for it and I’d probably pick it over most of the other pale pinks I own.