Beauty: Easy Ombre Nail Art DIY featuring Illamasqua Speckled Varnishes

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You guys will probably say I am being all obsessive again, but when I find a brand I really love I get a bit carried away with it! I always say I’m not a huge beauty product buyer, but now my dressing table is fighting for space I think its time to admit, I have become a beauty junky. My main loves are always going to be Chanel for their nail colours and lipsticks, Benefit for their innovative products and Bobbi Brown for their sheer natural perfection and long wear products. But I have been getting into nail art lately, I blame Sharon1 nails taking me behind the scenes at London Fashion Week and getting into YouTube (a post on my fav channels to come). I think its the summer (well the thought of it), which really has me in the mood for some fun, bright and creative make up. I still love my classic red lips and slick of eye liner but it’s nice to try something different.

Yesterday afternoon @Illamasqua reached 50,000 Twitter followers and to celebrate they offered 50% off all products for a few hours! I really couldn’t believe it, so generous! Having only just discovered the brand there were a few products I had earmarked to go and check out next time I was at the counter, but I didn’t think I would ever get chance for such a high discount again so I snapped up a few things. Fighting the clock and the frustraitingly slow website, due to the amount of people on it, I had to check out before I added everything I wanted. I wanted to make sure I at least got soemthings. Then Illamasqua announced they would run the offer again at midnight for just one hour for those who missed out. This time I was prepared, I added items to my basket so that when the clock struck 12 I could just check out. There may have been a few extra items that crept into my basket!

How to Create Ombre Tips

Whilst I was waiting up for the sale to start I had a play around with the two new nail colours I got from Illamasqua earlier in the week. Speckle (Lilac) and Mottle (Mint Green) from the Speckled Egg inspired collection. This is such an easy manicure to do but it looks really striking, you can easily do this with any nail varnish too.

1. Apply Base Coat

2. Apply two coats of your first colour all over the nail

3. For you accent colour at the tips, make sure you wipe most of the varnish from the brush on the side of the bottle. Very little varnish is needed for this stage. Carefully, using tiny strokes, apply the varnish to the very tips of your nails. In fast strokes, keeping pressure light dab on the varnish to the tips, extending as far down as desired.

4. As the varnish dries it will blend together, I didn’t use a Topcoat as I like the matt textured effect of the varnish I used but you can choose to use Top Coat if you wish. Just be sure the bottom layers are dry first to avoid smudging.

You can play around with this effect, have cascading levels of colour or have them all the same length, try using three colours to build up the Ombre effect and so on.

TIP: If you are struggling to get the Ombre effect try using a sponge to apply the accent colour. You can lightly sponge the varnish onto the tips which will give you a softer application and be easier to blend.

 

 

 

Illamasqua Make Over!

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Couldn’t wait to share this amazing make over I got at Illamasqua. It isn’t a brand I had tried before, in fact I admit I avoided it with the scary looking bright colours – nope not for me, not at all…

The more I walked past the counter every time I visited Selfridges, I would edge closer, just out of intrigue you understand. The ethereal make up artists, with butterfly eyes so alluring, but no still not for me.

It started with a nail varnish. My friend Rich insisted I go and see them. They were exactly like mini-eggs and I do love mini-eggs. I tested a couple of colours on my nails, oh yes I agreed they were gorgeous. But still not for me.

Without plan we found ourselves at Selfridges Summer Beauty event. Chance to go round and talk with the MUA’s, learn some new tips. Suddenly I decided I wanted to try some of those butterfly eyes for myself. A pallet with mint green, pollen yellow, deep purple and a shimmering pewter caught my eye. How on earth do you use such colours? I had no idea what to expect as a result. But I didn’t have to change my entire make-up look at all, MUA Paddy created a sultry smoky eye yet made it pop with a dot of yellow in each corner. I was sold, I took home the pallet. Oh yes and those nail varnishes too.

Converted.

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I simply adore this make up look, it is my summer party look for sure! All I need to add are my blond and pink hair extensions

a slick of nail polish and I’m done!

Beauty: Winter Make-Up Bag Updates

I do love discovering new make-up products, even more so in winter when I like to slap it on like there is no tomorrow. So what have I been buying as we get well┬á into the festive season? The first thing I bought was this YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in ’17’. I actually got this in September but totally forgot about it as I was given the Bobbi Brown ‘Old Hollywood’ red a few days later which is perfect. The YSL colour is just as lovely but a tiny bit more orange, whilst still being blue toned. The fabulously decadent chunky gold tube also appealed to my magpie eye. This is one I need to keep out and actually get around to wearing. The other lipstick I bought is Chanel’s new Rogue Allure Velvet in L’Impatiente a rich matt plum colour. The Chanel matt lipsticks are surprisingly moisturising for a matt and very easy to wear unlike some brands I have tried (*side-eyes Mac*). This lippie along with the nail varnish Malice appear in the Chanel Christmas 2012 campaign. Malice is a glimmering blood red with hits of plum. I have been wearing it with the OPI real gold top-coat which looks stunning.

After becoming obsessed with Bobbi Brown in the summer I’ve been back a few times, coming away with something new each visit. The first thing I went back for was a mascara but I want to talk about the mascaras in depth so will come back to that in a separate post. One of the products I really can’t get enough of are the Long-wear cream eye shadows. They are amazing, they don’t budge one bit and come in the most fabulous colours. The first one I tried was a nude colour called ‘Shore’ which I wore over the summer with the limited edition Sparkle eye shadow ‘Bone’. They gave a pretty nude look with a hint of silver sparkle. For winter I wanted something still on the nude side but a little more dramatic. I picked up the cream shadow in Cement which is a slightly beige-grey colour and the Sparkle eye shadow in Taupe. Together they give a mushroomy colour with a hint of golden shimmer.

One eye shadow I couldn’t resist was the Metallic long-wear cream shadow in Starry Night, it is jam packed with gorgeous blue and purple shimmer! You can wear it as a subtle wash or build up the colour for an intense smoky eye. One tip I can give with the Metallic is to apply it alone over an eye shadow base, I use Urban Decay Primer Potion. Use a brush and let each coat dry before applying another for a smooth finish. I found applying over too wet a base – over eye cream or trying to build up too fast resulted in an uneven, clumpy finish.

There you have it my new season must haves. Do you have a favorite make up product this season? Got you eye on anything with a sparkle?

Beauty: 18k Gold Nail Varnish – DIY or OPI?

After seeing my nails in my last post I got so many questions about them, were they a DIY or one of the expensive real gold nail varnishes?

Rarely for me they were a DIY! Ah now don’t get too excited it doesn’t end well – it never does. I first came across the gold leaf nail varnish when I saw the limited edition OPI ‘Man with the Golden Gun’ in honour of the new James Bond film. I tested it and was really taken with the shimmering, gold flakes – real 18k gold, but at ┬ú30 I was a bit hesitant about paying so much for a nail varnish, real gold or not. I went home and deliberated over it, agonised on Twitter where we debated trying it as a DIY.

Hmm I thought, lets see how much gold leaf costs – ┬ú2 for ten sheets of real 24k gold leaf, bargain. So I ordered it, it came, I scrunched it up, cut it into tiny pieces with sharp scissors, used a folded sheet of card as a funnel to pour it into a bottle of spare clear top coat, poked it in with the brush, gave it a good shake and that was it, simples! I painted it on and the results you can see on my nails above.

As you know I suck big time at DIY, so I was amazed I’d managed to pull this off. About an hour later I went to get my newly made nail polish to show off and erm it was starting to turn green. Yep that’s right real gold leaf dissolves in nail polish, in fact it totally dissolved over night and left me with a green lagoon coloured varnish yuck! I scoped around online to see if anyone else had managed to pull this off and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can do this so long as you use fake gold nail art foil and not real gold leaf foil, the fake gold foil doesn’t dissolve woop! But if you are a bit like me and find the beauty in this being the sheer luxury of having real gold on your nails there still is another DIY option. Cut up the gold leaf and just sprinkle it onto the nail, you can use a clear base coat or a colour, the leaf will stick to dry polish so let it dry or it gets messy, sprinkle it on and press down – I just used my fingers but you could use tweezers, then use a clear top coat to seal the gold onto the nail. This is what I did on my toes below, over Chanel ‘Rouge Carat’.

The DIY’s were very easy to do and they achieved a nice larger piece effect – you could cut smaller if you wanted to, I also think it would be great if you wanted to cover the whole nail. Whilst I was on ebay I managed to snag an OPI polish for half price, because by then I really wanted to try it for comparison. You can see the OPI varnish in the first photo over Chanel ‘Blue Satin’. The OPI is a richer, warmer toned gold and is in smaller pieces than my own DIY, the flakes sit flat on the nail bed but I put a clear top coat over to seal it. As the bottle is opaque it is hard to see how much you are getting onto the brush, so be sure to give it a good mix up. You can also use the brush to move the pieces around if you end up with a bald patch and of course layer it up for a more dramatic effect. I have to say I really do love the OPI and I think it is worth the money, however this is such an easy DIY if you only want to spend ┬ú2 then go for it. I will be trying out some different looks with the OPI and the DIY. Yes, I did wear my OPI to go see Skyfall, I confess!

Which do you prefer OPI or DIY?