NYX Gel Liner & Smudger – Danielle 05 Teal

I am really enjoying playing along with SuperGorgeousOctober… I know I set the themes myself, but it’s making me try things I wouldn’t normally. Like wearing a really bold green on my eyes. I’m normally a neutrals or smokey kinda gal – but today, the theme was green, so I dug out my NYX Gel Liner & Smudger in 05 Teal (Danielle) to have a bit of a play.

It’s a really blendable gel eyeliner that you can use as a standard liner, or, as I wore it, smudged out to create an all over colour. It has a slight iridescence to it which really shines through once it’s blended out giving a really pretty effect.

I applied it all over my lid, then blended the edges out. I added a line under my eyes and smudged that too. I found it transferred a little under my eyes so next time I would set it with a powder to help keep it in place, but perhaps that’s just my eyes.

I added some MAC Vanilla pigment into the inner corners of my eyes – I think it goes so nicely with these greeny blue kind of colours… then added black liner to my waterline and finished off with black mascara.

The green really makes brown eyes pop – I think I shall be wearing this more often. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Would you dare to wear?!

The NYX Gel Liner & Smudger costs £8 and is available from the NYX website and selected Next stores

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

I am one of these girls that seems to stick to the more neutral shades of shadows – give me a 100-pan palette of nudes, taupes and golds and I’m set for life. The Ammo Palette from Urban Decay looked a little scary to me at first sight – my eyes instantly darting to the end, golden toned shades. The thing is, I have brown eyes and I know that greens and purples are good colours for me to wear – it’s just hard to step out of that zone I have got so comfortable in for every-day make up.
When I swatched the shades from the Ammo Palette I had a nice surprise – for these are such beautiful versions of green, pinks and turquoise that it made me want to give them a go. The ten shades are all best selling Urban Decay shadows, and it’s easy to see why.
The palette is a thin, compact (easy to transport and put in your make up bag) mirrored palette, which comes with a travel sized 11ml sized Primer Potion – which is a great, colourless eyeshadow primer which helps to show the intensity of the colours, and helps them to last longer without creasing. There is also a small synthetic Good Karma eyeshadow brush inside the palette, which is a nice tapered shape making it easy to use (although not that great for blending),

 I had to do two lot of swatch photos – my kids are off school and wanted to get involved, natch!

There are some truly amazing colours in this palette. My favourite has to be Maui Wowie – it looks so metallic, like no other powder shadow I’ve seen before. Mildew is an amazing mossy green colour with hints of gold – just beautiful, and Last Call is a gorgeous cranberry shade – those are the stand out shades for me, although I think I can get good wear from all of the colours.

I like that there are neutral shades thrown in there with the colours – it means you can shake up a neutral look, or go for full-on colour. The colours have been laid out in a way that the shade opposite it compliments it perfectly – all of these pairs could be used with the lighter colour on the inner part of the lid, the darker on the outer part, and a little Oil Slick in the crease or outer V for definition. You could add some Polyester Bride to the tear duct and under the brown bone too – there are so many options!

The palette has been around for a while, but it has recently been re-released with a new formula for the shadow – they feel really creamy and velvety and really do pack some punch colour-wise. You do have to be careful when you apply – there is micro glitter in a few of the shades, which can fall down when you apply, so apply in thin layers rather than loads of product in one go – they’re so pigmented anyway that you really don’t need much.

Here are a couple of looks I created using the colours from this palette

For this look I used Maui Wowie all over the lid, then added chopper to the middle of my eye close to my lash line and blended it out to the outer corner of my eye. I then did the same with Last Call a little further over, and added black eyeliner which I blended out with a brush. I added Last Call under my lower lash line too.

For this look I applied Sin to the inner third of my eye, then Smog in the crease of my eye and blended out. I then added Mildew all over the rest of my lid and blended the colours together, then a small amount of Oil Slick in the outer corner. I used Mildew under the eye and finished with liquid liner and mascara.

There are really so many combinations that could be created with this palette – for £23 I think it is amazing value for money!

Urban Decay is available at House of Fraser, Debenhams and online at lookfantastic.com and beautybay.com

Illamasqua I’mperfection Speckled Nail Polish

Nail art and decoration are all the rage – now so more than ever it is acceptable, and even, somewhat the norm, to go out with bows stuck on your nails, nails like sand or even fur. So many trends seem to have come about, then copied by other brands – so it was lovely to see something totally new to me from Illamasqua for their latest range of nail polishes in their I’mperfection Collection for spring.

There are 5 shades in the range of speckled polish – I have two of them – Freckle, and Mottle. The purple polish in the collection (Speckle) reminds me of Mini Eggs, but the two I have take me straight to the beach with a double ice cream cone – one side chocolate chip, the other mint choc chip!

Freckle is an orangey beige toffee colour, Mottle is a pale, cool green – both have the I’mperfection trademark matt black glitter inside. Some of it is tiny flecks, like the scrapings from a vanilla pod, the others are chunky pieces of glitter. The two coats of polish I used meant that the placement of the pieces was totally random. 
I found the polish to be really long wearing and resistant to chips. It dried to a semi-matt finish, but with top coat on it became much more glossy. I found it as easy to apply as any non-textured nail varnish, however you do have to be careful with the placement of some of the large pieces of glitter (see my 4th finger on my Mottle swatch) as it can make it look less neat round the edges, which I hadn’t taken into consideration until my nails were dry and it was too late!
It’s not my favourite polish to remove – it’s far nicer than full-on glitter polish, but it does take a bit of effort to get it off. Be warned – don’t use a dippy nail varnish remover pot with this as you will end up with black dots over your nails for ever more! I can see past that though, as the length of time it lasts on my nails, and how pretty it looks makes up for it!
Illamasqua speckled nail polish is available at Illamasqua for £14.50 per bottle.

Ciaté Very Colourfoil Manicure – Kaleidoscope Klash

There’s one thing for certain about this year, and that’s that nail trends are coming in from every direction and going off in all different angles. So far we’ve had standard nail art, textured polish, 3d manicures – and now, Ciaté have released a limited edition set of Very Colourfoil Manicure – which contains everything you need to create a professional foiley finish in your own home.

There are three sets in the range, Carnival Queen, Wonderland and Kaleidoscope Klash. Each set has a different coloured Ciaté nail polish in it, and different coloured foils. I’ve been testing out Kaleidoscope Klash which includes a full sized Pepperminty Ciaté Paint Pot, and holographic ‘Colourfoil’ foils in Blaze (red), Babe (pink), Bounce (gold), Beaut (blue), Bloom (silver dotty pattern) and Brill (silver squarish pattern), as well as the Foil Fix Glue and a nail wheel to practise on.

It’s really simple to do – you paint your nails with two coats of the polish, then once it’s dry, apply the Foil Fix, leave it for a minute, then press the foil onto the nail and pull away quickly, then seal using a top coat.

The instructions say to dot the Foil Fix on where you want it, but when I had a go on the nail wheel, I much preferred the effect left by painting the whole nail with the Foil Fix and then adding big chunks of foil in random places, not to mention this makes the job a lot quicker and less fiddly!

The look was inspired by urban street artists – and it’s definitely the kind of feel it gives me when wearing it. It’s funky and rough and effortless and pretty all at the same time. It’s not the kind of thing I’d wear for a posh meal out, but it’s certainly something I’d do again! I love the Pepperminty polish and next time I think I may just use the gold or silver foils over the polish for a different kind of look again. There are so many possible outcomes with this kit! Here is my first attempt, using all of the foils in random places.

What do you think? Will it catch on!?

Ciaté limited edition Very Colourfoil Manicure sets are available at Selfridges for £18

Nails of the Day – Barry M Mint Green

I have had this polish for ages, and for some reason have never tried it. This season I seem to be far more open to trying different colours, perhaps influenced by the colour blocking trend. When I looked in my box of polishes last night this was the one that jumped out at me.

Barry M do a great range of polish colours, and are very commonly on promotions such as 2 for £5 in Superdrug. Considering their quality and range, I think they are excellent value for money.

Mint Green is a slightly peppermint, slightly apple colour. It was easy to apply, but was very streaky with just one coat. I did two but could even have gone for a third. It has chipped slightly on my right hand already, which is a bit of a disappointment, especially as I haven’t been doing anything hardcore enough to warrant it.

It is a pretty colour, and I think their polishes are a great way to experiment with colours you’re a little unsure of.

Nails of the Day – OPI Skull & Glossbones

On 1st May, OPI launched a new collection of nail polishes, inspired by the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. They are a range of pastel shades but some of them are completely unique to anything I’ve seen before. I ordered Skull & Glossbones, Steady as She Rose, and Sparrow Me The Drama. The latter two only arrived today so keep your eyes peeled for a nails of the day featuring those some time soon.

Today it’s all about Skull & Glossbones, which I adore! I don’t think it’s much of a summery colour, but it’s nice to chop and change the brights for something a little more muted every once in a while. This is one of those unique colours I spoke about above. There is no doubt that this is a grey polish, but it has a slight green tint to it – really beautiful and intriguing. I also love the name, in fact all of the polishes in this collection have been really cleverly named. This is one of those extra special polishes with great formulation – went on fantastically, is totally opaque and perfect with two coats and topcoat.

Remember, if you’re outside of the USA and want to buy these polishes, try eBay Worldwide – the RRP in the UK is £10.50 for an OPI polish, but I paid £6.53 (including p&p from USA) using this eBay seller.

Free Nails Inc Polish with InStyle Magazine: Electric Teal

Free with the June issue of InStyle magazine (priced at £3.70 – with Thandie Newton on the cover), is a full size Nails Inc varnish, worth £11.

There are a choice of 3 colours, Electric Teal, Candy Orange, and Fashion Fawn. I had had the intention of buying all 3 – they are colours that Nails Inc have created specifically for the magazine, so if you’d like to get your hands on some high quality nail polish at a fraction of the normal price, get thee to thy local news agents!

When I saw the three shades in the flesh I decided to leave the Candy Orange and Fashion Fawn – they look to me like colours that have been done too many times before and I thought I must own something near enough spot on to both, so I settled on the Electric Teal.

In the bottle I thought it looked rather like OPI’s Ski Teal We Drop, but once it’s on the nail it looks very different. For starters it is lighter and brighter. The OPI is more blue with a dash of green, Nails Inc seems more green with a dash of blue. If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting Elstree, the polish is the same colour that their bins and bus stops are painted, as I discovered today!

Also inluded in the magazine is a promo code to use online until 9th June: INSTYLE20 for 20% off at www.nailsinc.co.uk and a voucher for 20% off services Sunday-Wednesday in store.

Another magazine freebie for May, is a free 50ml Body Shop body lotion with Marie Claire (£3.60 with Olivia Palmero on the cover) choose from Mango, Shea and Dreams Unlimited – each retail at £5 in store.

Nails of the Day – China Glaze Sea Spray

Today I have painted my nails in Sea Spray by China Gaze, part of their Anchors Away collection. It is a muted turquoise, a bit like a dusty Tiffany blue. It’s finish is highly glossy – so much so that it makes me think there are tiny specks of shimmer in it… although I’ve looked as closely as I can but can’t see any! I’m not 100% sold on the shade yet, think it will look a lot better on tanned skin. What do you think?

Nails of the Day – Essie Sew Psyched

When I saw the press images for the Chanel Khaki Collection of polishes, I fell in love, but if I were to buy them all at £19 each, my purse would not be impressed. I saw that as part of the Fall 2010 Collection, Essie had a khaki colour similar to Chanel’s Khaki Vert for a fraction of the cost. I bought mine from an American seller on eBay and it arrived within a few days.

I am yet to see The Real Deal in real life so unsure as to how much of a dupe it is, but I’m really happy with this polish and it’s satisfied my craving. Of course now I need to find an alternative to the Khaki Rose – I’ve seen Models Own have released the Car Key Collection (how subtle!) so I may have to check that out. The Essie brush is annoyingly thin, but I can get over it for this – I love it.