Monthly Archives: October 2010


Well folks, the witching hour is well and truly upon us,  so I thought I’d grace you all with another Halloween nail design I tried recently. First up, I painted my nails with Orly Holla, a neon orange creme.


side view

an orange comparison

indoors, the neon doing crazy things to my camera

Orly Holla is a spectacular colour, the camera really does no justice to the way this polish GLOWS. The wear on it was fantastic – not a chip for the three days I wore it. It’s actually an Orly mini – that said, the tiny brush was perfectly good, I had no application issues whatsoever. Like most neons, it dried semi-matte – so if you’re a strictly gloss fan, you’d need to add a top-coat.

Then I whacked a few black polka dots on, using W7 Black, to see how it would look…

sorta cute

my baby fingernail always turns out the neatest, somehow

Then I went a bit mad and started adding white tiger stripes (using Essence white Tip Painter), black smudges (with W7 Black) and gold smudges (using Barry M Gold). Check it out (and cringe).

mad stuff altogether

mangled tiger nail art, anyone?

Next time, I might skip the mangled tiger bit 😉

Just painted my nails white and added red nail polish in a blood splatter effect, will provide a little picture so you get the effect:


Happy Halloween folks! Have a spooktacular evening 😀




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Nails and Things: November 2010

Welcome to second instalment of my neverending series, Nails and Things!

November would certainly be sweet if you had Keanu Reeves on your shoulder

So tell me, did any of you try out Halloween nail art? You still have a few days left, so whip out the nail polish and start painting! I’m thinking about trying out a bloody nail design (white base with gloopy red tips). I’ve already done glow-in-the-dark, as you can see below. I also did neon orange with black polka dots, which I will tell you all about this weekend.

Anyway, in a few short days it will be November – Halloween will be behind us and we will be well on the road to the holiday that dare not speak its name – yup, Christmas. So, to get into the festive spirit many MANY weeks ahead of schedule, I’ve put together some photos of the holiday collections offered by big nail polish brands this Christmas (or holiday, sorry, for convenience sake, and because it’s usually what we call it here in Ireland, I’m going to say Christmas).

Christmas Nail Polish Collections

Check out these offerings from OPI, China Glaze, Orly and Lancôme. Note the similarities? This season it’s all about the glitz, the glamour, with deep reds, slate greys and glitter all round.

OPI Burlesque Holiday 2010, from

China Glaze Holiday 2010 -- Rejoice gift, from

Orly Tis The Season Holiday 2010, from

Lancôme LWren Scott Holiday 2010, from

I can’t wait to get my nails all jazzed up for Christmas – I’ve already bought a close cousin of China Glaze Ruby pumps and ADORE it. Okay – onto our next piece.

Celebrity Nail Polish

I feel like this blog is becoming more and more of an ode to Katy Perry. I may not have yet confessed my undying love for her (note to Katy – um, I wouldn’t hold your breath) but she does seem to pop up a lot. She has great nails, and now she’s releasing a line of polishes in conjunction with OPI. The collection contains 5 colours, including a black shatter (which is très awesome and cool at the moment). Have a peek at the range.

the Katy Perry collection, from OPI facebook

The blue on the far left, entitled Last Friday Night, has really caught my eye. The collection is due in stores (in Amerikay, at least) in January 2011.

The next person jumping on the nail polish bandwagon is Serena Williams. Serena is currently training to be a nail technician (that’s kind of awesome, just sayin’) when she’s not busy bouncing around a tennis court winning shiny silverware. Serena’s nail polish will also be an OPI affair – so far, a picture of one polish has been toted around the interwebs – it’s called Simply Smashing and is a lime-yellow metallic polish.

Simply Smashing, from

Serena's diamante manicure for Wimbledon 2010

Serena herself, from

Finally we have Justin Bieber, who recently inspired a nail collection from Nicole, an offshoot of OPI. The collection is called One Less Lonely Girl and six shades will be released in December 2010 (with another six to be released in January).

JB himself, raking in the big bucks!

part of the Justin Bieber nail polish collection, from

Is anyone else a wee bit sceptical of the Justin Bieber nail polish? I mean, coat-tail riding and young girls being exploited are some words that spring to mind. Anyway, onto our final topic of the evening…

Winter Hand Care

I’m one of those people who develops dry skin the moment the temperature drops below 15 degrees Celsius. It’s a sad fact of my life, but I’m used to it – buying crates of moisturisers once the leaves start to fall off the trees. In fact, my cuticles have been having a rough time of it lately – I haven’t taken a swatch picture in about two weeks! They look terrible and I want to rehabilitate them before bringing their bashful selves back into the public eye.

So, I would like to say this now – taking care of your hands and cuticles is very important in winter, if you want them to look half-decent with a bit of nail polish on. I highly recommend finding a cuticle butter/lotion that works well for you – and apply it before pushing back your cuticles. Try and do this every time you repaint your nails, or at least once a week. It keeps them supple and soft, and reduces the likelihood of hangnails and dry bits.

Badger cuticle care, from

Burt's Bees is always a winner for me, from

remember to moisturise your hands too! from

Another important tip – please, always use rubber gloves when cleaning or washing the dishes! It took me many years to realise what a difference a pair of gloves can make. Buy yourself a cute pair, like the ones below.

adorable cleaning gloves, from

Also, if you’re going outdoors, wear a pair of woolly gloves to keep your mitts warm and reduce the risk of dry skin from those harsh winter winds. Check out the gorgeous leather pair in the pic below – then do I as I do and head to Penneys/Dunnes for the cute knock-off version.

Alannah Hill, from

That’s all for this edition of Nails and Things – I hope you’ve enjoyed it! If you have any suggestions for the next edition, or indeed any ideas for what you’d like to see covered in a future post, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below 🙂



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Glow In The Dark

It’s almost Halloween, and I’ve been busy trying out different nail polishes to get the perfect spooky nails for Sunday the 31st. In Tesco a few weeks ago, I spotted glow-in-the-dark nail polish amongst a pile of acrylic wigs and fake witch fingers. It was €1.49 and came with a free miniature red lipstick, so how could I pass it up? The bottle isn’t the most beautiful thing, and has the dubious honour of being my only bottle of nail polish made from plastic. Hmm. Let’s take a closer look.

index, middle and ring finger are polished, baby and thumb are bare for comparison

again, baby is left bare

As you can probably tell, the nail polish doesn’t leave the most attractive veneer on your nails. It started to crackle almost immediately after I applied it. Also, it made my nails look as if they were in the preliminary stages of gangrene. I suppose, it being Halloween, you could probably get away with that, though. It also feels disgusting, slightly tacky to the touch, and it accumulates dust because it never really dries properly. For a nail polish that cost so little, what can you really expect? Anyway, these are but minor issues. The polish is designed to be looked at in the dark.

with one coat

three coats

look how much polish I already used!

Like any other glow-in-the-dark polish, this one requires a bit of charging time. It needs a few hours under any sort of normal light to acquire a glow when you turn the lights out. I charged my nails up under a lamp for a few minutes to get it to glow like that for the pictures.

So, the verdict? I would wear this again, but only for a one-time occasion. I hate the way it makes my nails look in natural light (scummy, dirty, gross, etc.) so I would reserve it for night-time wear only. All in all though, fairly decent for the price!




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Nail Inspiration, Part III: Fergie

Joining Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in the kickass manicure stable today, ladies and gentlemen, is Miss Fergalicious herself, Fergie. The My Humps crooner has sported some cute and playful nail art in the past number of years, as well as some over-the-top nail bling for stage performances.

Below we see Fergie wearing a celeb tried-and-true favourite, Minx. The cool thing about Minx is that all their designs are available for purchase on the website, so it’s easy to emulate celebrity manicures.

silver with black stripes


I love this domino design. I’m not sure if it’s Minx or freehand nail art, but I would guess the latter. Anyhow, it’s a quirky, cute nail design for anyone who is adept at making straight lines and polka dots. *raises hand*

quirky nail art

One thing I like about Fergie is that she’s not afraid to go au naturel once in a while. Check out some photos of her with nearly-nude nails.

natural and relaxed

neatly shaped and well-maintained

vampy and conservative in one

Fergie has been known to kick it up a notch for her stage performances – have a gawk at these incredible things.


Okay that *may* be a little too cat-lady-esque for my liking – but hell, she’s performing, so anything goes! The design on them is very similar to the one she’s wearing in the Minx pictures above. Do they even make Minx that long? Who knows.

I also caught a cute screenshot of a manicure she wore in the video for Clumsy.

black and white

Firstly, please ignore the blatant product placement! Then, look at her nails. Remind you of anything?

black and white cookie!

Yep, black and white cookies!! G, if you’re reading this – remember when I said I wanted to do a b&w cookie manicure, and you were like ew that wouldn’t look nice at all? Well, FERGIE did it! So there! Haha, no, I still get why it might look a bit odd 😉

So there you have Fergie and her Ferga-fabulous nails. Play us out, Fergie Ferg!




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All White On The Night

After my attempt at Necco Candy Buttons, I decided it was about time I bought myself a proper white nail polish. I assumed I’d be using it mainly for nail art, so I plumped for a cheap little bottle of Essence Colour & Go 02 White Secret, €1.29 in all good pharmacies.

white secret

The polish is a sheer, creamy white. I used four coats to get it nicely opaque. This would be a good polish to use in a French manicure, and is super office-appropriate! I think it would be a nice alternative to the French for special occasions, as well (wedding, anyone? Give me a few years… I’m working on it…).

4 coats, natural light

indoors, with flash

clutchin' a scarf

What a pretty colour for so cheap, and it wore brilliantly as well. The formula is very thin and sheer, so it really requires multiple coats to build up a nice colour. It wasn’t quite the white I was looking for, but I still love it.

Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so – voilá – ice-cream sprinkle manicure!

ice cream sprinkle statement nail


natural light

in sunlight, on my lace skirt

the ingredients!

To create the sprinkle effect, I did layers of polka dots on each nail, one colour at a time. I used ~

red: Wet n Wild Red Red

orange: Essence Watch Out!

yellow: L.A. Colors Art Deco Yellow

green: Essence Check Me Out

blue: Miss Sporty Pop Fiction

pink: New York Color Fuschia Shock Creme

I’ve realised that most of my nail art consists of variations on a theme of polka dot 😉 It’s about all I’m good at, so expect it to continue! I’ll leave you now with a gem I discovered on Facebook. Gotta love Jersey Shore 🙂



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Tacky, Wacky or Cool? Questionable Nails…

There are many nail trends that I’m on the fence about. Like anything influenced by fashion, the nail world can get it so very right sometimes… and sometimes, so very wrong. So here are a few of the trends I’m not entirely sure about.

Nail Piercing

I recall this being popular when I was a young un, around the time cutesy girls wore butterfly clips in their glitter-sprayed hair, and Mandy Moore crooned inappropriately about her craving for candy. I never really understood this trend – doesn’t it weaken your nails? And how often do you have to re-pierce? Do you just cut if off when you get bored? And wouldn’t it catch in your hair and your clothes? What if it caught in someone else’s hair or clothes? So many questions.

would you?

I was searching for suitable pictures of nail piercing, thinking it would be all old photos I’d get – apparently not, though. It’s still going strong in some quarters, with the little rings now referred to as “nail dangles”.

nice nails... but does the piercing add anything?

So, would you add a dangleberry to YOUR nails? Or is this a 90s trend that should be firmly locked away with hair mascara and your Carter Twins tapes? (don’t pretend that you didn’t…)

J-Spark decided to wear her jewellery on her nails

Nicole Richie takes nail rings to a whole new level

3D Nail Art

This is a trend that is very much alive and kicking, albeit mainly south of the Equator. 3D Nail Art does what it says on the tin – it’s nail decorations that sit on your nails, accumulating into little mountains of kawaii Hello Kitty madness, if that’s your style.

eh... can someone open the tin of Batchelors for me?

This kind of nail art is frequently displayed at competitions and trade events. Honestly, the crazier the better. Have a peep at some of the competitors from a recent European nail competition.




super wow

Mad, no? So, would you partake in this trend? It seems a bit impractical to me. I remember an episode of some talk show, maybe Ricki Lake, and she was interviewing this woman whose nails were so long she had to make her bed using only her elbows. She did it pretty well, actually. So maybe there are ways around it? Disclosure: I also once attempted to make my bed with my elbows. It is NOT as easy as it sounds.

much frustration involved in making a bed using only your elbows

Couple more pictures of 3D nail art before we move onto our next questionable trend…

pimp my... nails?

careful! you'll poke your eye out with those things!

French Manicure

Ah, this is always a contentious one. There will forever be advocates of the nude nail with the white tip. As for me… I didn’t mind them for a long time. I actually sort of admired them. All the well turned-out ladies had them, especially for occasions like weddings and christenings and big Saturday nights out. It just seemed like the de facto “classy” nail. And when it’s done right, the French can look very classy.

see, that's not too bad

The term “French Manicure” was first trademarked by Orly in the late 1970s, but the style is thought to have originated from 18th century Paris. Unfortunately, I think the style has now been taken too far… and Parisian chic has been replaced by garish, white-tipped common blech.

perfect wedding nails? umm, no thanks...

can you see Coco Chanel sporting these megawatt tips? me neither.

sorry - just not for me!

the nail art is kinda cute - but still no

Brit Brit really encapsulates the classiness of this trend

Okay, I’m sorry – I know there are plenty of you out there who like the French manicure, and can achieve much prettier versions of it than the ones I’ve posted above. And to you – I salute you! But I don’t think this trend is for me…

Stiletto Nails

This is one trend I am still very much on the fence about. Stiletto nails is basically a fancy name for really long pointy nails. They can look fantastic on some people, like Lady Gaga and Fergie –


...and yes

– but it’s a trend that can easily look silly. Here are some wackier examples –


convenient for... letter-opening?

not recommended for children's birthday parties - "oh shit, another balloon... sorry..."

This is still a relatively new trend, and there’s still plenty of time for it to take off. I would recommend proceeding with caution, literally and figuratively, those things are weapons! And they can look stunning, worn properly. Just take care not to look like this.

ah... shoulda listened to New York Lady...

So tell me ladies, what your take? Would you try any of the trends above? Have I been too mean about the French? Spill!



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Red-y To Go

I’m a little slow this morning, so I’m including a little peppy musical accompaniment with this post – a 90s flashback by way of Republica’s Ready To Go.

Now, onto the nail polish!

Red is one of my all-time favourite nail polish colours. Everyone has a particular shade of red that complements them best, and for me I think it’s a bright, cherry-red. It’s hot, it’s versatile, and adds instant glamour to any outfit. I think it looks best with shorter nails – long red nails can be a little harder to pull off.

New York Color’s Big Apple Red Creme is a classic cherry-red. It’s probably one of the cheapest polishes I own (a whopping 99 American cents) and the bottle isn’t anything to write home about but – my God – the polish is.

indoors, natural light

This is one coat of Big Apple Red with my usual base coat of Rimmel Stronger Try Harder. It’s opaque in one clean coat. Love it.

indoors again

I added a second coat for more colour saturation and it looked even better, unfortunately the picture is a bit blurred…

with a second coat

2 coats, in direct sunlight

I decided to jazz up my thumb and, inspired by posts and pictures of ladybird nail art, I created this. It’s not exactly a ladybird, because I’m not that talented. You know, pretty much all my nail art consists of Variations on a Theme of Polka Dot. It’s my specialty 😛

ladybird inspired polka-dot

macro shot


I used W7 black to add the polka dots and tip to my nail, no special brush, just used extra care with the regular one. I also used a top-coat of Essence 01 Absolute Pure to even out the bumpiness created by the black polish.

Saffron FTW

Wear on this was brilliant, no tips or chips for at least three days. The formula of Big Apple Red is a little thick, but I’ve already used half the bottle, and when I got it first it was definitely thinner. I can’t believe it was only 99c. LOVE IT!!

Now to add red streak to hair in a bid to fulfil my inner 13 year old’s dream of looking like Saffron…


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