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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Shellac's Butterfly Queen - Pink Glitter Gel Polish!

Hi Everyone,

Recently I went out to Pacific Mall, just outside Toronto. I found a shop there called Phoenix Beauty Lounge. I recognised their name from their website, http://phoenixbeautylounge.com/.

There I found a great selection of polishes, including the full range of Shellac. I was so excited to see they had Butterfly Queen from the new Garden Muse collection. Butterfly Queen is a dense pink glitter in a pink jelly base.


I like to do my own gel nails a lot of the time. As this is Shellac, which is a gel polish, I used the Shellac base and top coat and cured under an LED light. Yes, Shellac is supposed to be cured with UV but I have found no difference in performance curing with LED and LED cures more quickly.


I used three coats of this but I didn't find it thick at all after that. There is a beautiful shine from it and it looks amazing in direct light!


Shellac is so much easier to remove than Gelish but I find the colours are always a little tamer. I wish they made more colours like this! This is definitely one of my favourite Shellac colours.


It's already been on for three days in these photos so hopefully I can get the full two weeks out of it! This colour is perfect for summer but I feel like it could be great for the Xmas party season too.

Hope you like it too!

xxx

Rachel

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

NOTD! Essie's Blossom Dandy with Gold Accent Nail

Hi Everyone,

I recently got Essie's Blossom Dandy from eBay. It's from the new spring 2015 collection. This was the colour that spoke to me most.


It's a bright creamy turquoise colour. The colour really pops. It's one of those great shades that is very creamy and white based but still feels almost neon.


I thought I would jazz it up a little so I added a striped accent nail. I used two coats of OPI's Alpine Snow. I let it try completely and a couple hours later I used striping tape and sponged on China Glaze's I'm Not Lion. I read that sponging works better with striping tape than painting over it as it's less likely to leak under the tape and ensures cleaner lines.


I've had it on for three days now and I've had two small chips but overall it's holding up well. I really love this colour and will definitely be wearing it again.


Hope you like it as much as I did!

xxx

Rach

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Recent Haul from NailPolishCanada.com

Hi Everyone,

Recently I made an order on NailPolishCanada.com. This is a website that has a lot of really great brands at good prices. Especially with the poor performance of the CAD against the USD, it makes sense to shop Canadian as the great value you used to get buying USD items isn't there right now.

They have some great brands like OPI, Essie, Shellac, China Glaze and Zoya as well as more indie brands like Emily de Molly and A England and shipping is free over $25 CAD.

I decided to pick up a few colours I have been wanting to try for a while. The total was $80 inc free shipping. I got 2x CND Vinylux, 2x Essie and 2x China Glaze Gelaze. The order took about a week to get to me and shipping via Canada Post from BC to me in Ontario. Overall I thought the experience was good and would happily buy more there again.

I haven't worn any of the polishes yet as it only just arrived but here they are:

I have wanted to try out Vinylux after getting it done in a salon and it not chipping. They have a new collection out so I got these two lovely colours. The first is 'Thistle Thicket'. It's a grey/light blue depending on the light (as you can see below).


The next is wild moss which is an olive green with a fine gold sparkle. It really does remind me of moss. I feel like this is a unique colour and I am excited to try it.


The two Essies were colours I have wanted for a long time so I finally decided to order them. The first is Van D'Go. It's a pale but still bright peachy colour. I think this will look great coming into summer.

I also got 'Topless and Barefoot'. I love these nude, skin colour type colours and this one looks like a great version. 


I also got two Chine Glaze Gelaze colours. Gelaze is a UV gel system which means it must be cured to set properly. I already have all the bits and pieces needed for gel so I decided to try these out. The colours seem to be matches of popular CG normal nail polish shades so I got one of my all time favourites - Flip Flop Fantasy. This is a neon orangey peach shade and looks great when the sun is shining!


I also picked up Purple Panic. I know from looking at swatches online that it's actually more of a pink so I thought I would try it out. You can see this from the photo below too that even though the bottle is purple the colour inside is more pink. I don't have the normal polish version of this one. Again, it's nice and bright. 


I also picked up two other Essies, one from Ebay and one from the local drug store.

Essie have a new collection out for spring 2015 called Flowerista. The 'Blossom Dandy' shade stuck out to me. It's a pale turquoise/green and is a colour tone that I don't have much of. 


The final polish I bought is Essie's 'Cocktail Bling'. I picked it up in Shoppers Drug Mart. I don't have enough grey colours so I thought this one would do nicely. It's also the shade I am wearing on my nails in the photos. After 3 days I am noticing some chips but it's a good polish overall.


Hope you enjoyed my haul! Looking forward to trying these all out!

xxx

Rach

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Recent Nail Looks

Hi Everyone,

I haven't been great at updating my blog recently, but I did try out a lot of fun nail colours over the Xmas period which I never posted up. Here is a quick rundown of some of the looks I had on my nails recently.


This was OPI's Red Fingers and Mistletoes from the Xmas 2014 collection with a fun glitter topper of Barry M's Starlight. This was very Christmassy!



I got Vinylux done recently in Sparks Salon in Liberty Village. This looks black but was actually a very deep purple. I was super impressed with Vinylux. It did last a week (would have lasted longer if I didn't remove it) and it was nice and glossy. I might buy some for myself. 


This was Morgan Taylor's Shock Therapy with an accent nail of Who's That Girl. I love the almost neon-ness of the purple. 


I'm not generally a big fan of textured polishes but I bought L'oreal's Sexy in Sequins by accident. I actually really liked the effect here though.


This was done at Get Gelled in Toronto. It's Japanese style. It's gel and it lasted over 2 weeks. I had it done over Xmas. I would have my nails in this style all the time if I could, but alas this is very expensive and just something that can be done every 2 weeks...


I moved house recently and there is a salon nearby called Sparks. They actually have two locations, one right by me in Liberty Village Toronto and another on King West. I got this done in King West. It's Gelish. There was a jewel on the middle finger too but it fell off :( This lasted over 2 weeks until I had it removed. I love bright neon pinks! What's exciting about this salon is they can do Japanese nail art too so I plan to get something more detailed in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this briefer run through of my recent manis!

xxx

Rachel

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Nude Holo Nails

Hi Everyone,

I haven't done my nails in a while, with moving into long term accommodation in Canada and giving my nails a break from polish as they got pretty weak. Last night I painted them again myself for the first time in 2015.


I used Barry M's Lychee, topped with a polish I bought on ebay a year or two ago called Spectraflair Topcoat by Piper Polish. This turns a normal flat coloured polish in to the holographic beauty you see above!


This topcoat is not over the top - the polish mainly looks the same colour in bad light but really sparkles when direct light shines on it.


A holo topcoat is a great way of getting an instant holo collection from your existing set of colours, without the expense of buying holographic colours separately.

I added a small stud to each nail using some top coat underneath to keep it in place, as well as a layer of topcoat over the full nail too. I think this is a nice subtle look that still incorporates a lot of fun into it. One day in and no chips or fallen-off studs either which is good!

xxx

Rachel

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Actuary Graduation and Trip to London

Hi Everyone,

As you may know, I qualified as an actuary (FIA) back in July.The final part of my qualification journey was attending a graduation ceremony in London.

Dress - Ted Baker 'Caree', shoes from Hogl at Fitzpatricks
I was in Ireland for two weeks (from Canada) so we flew to Gatwick and went to our hotel near London Bridge from there.

I went over on Thursday night and the ceremony was on Friday morning. The ceremony itself was not like a university ceremony in the sense that I already have the qualification, it's just ceremonial.


It's held in the Staple Inn Chambers, just near Holburn. I'm not totally sure on the history but it's a very old building which the Actuarial Profession own. It was a beautiful location, lots of old wood and stained glass.

There was a drinks reception before and after the actual ceremony. There were about 30 new actuaries there, plus family and people involved in the profession like council members and the current president. The ceremony itself was short enough - a speech plus each person coming on stage to receive a gift (engraved crystal).

Something that was really interesting was the display of parts of the archive the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries hold. It was fascinating to see the beginnings of my profession.




After the ceremony, my boyfriend and I went to Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium. I have wanted to go for some time so it was great to have the chance to.



It's basically a normal cafe with the added bonus of kitties sitting and walking around everywhere! As you can see, I had a slice of cake and a hot chocolate with the cutest kitty pattern on it while my partner had scones and tea.




We had to book this quite far in advance - about 2 months before from what I remember. I read some reviews where people were disappointed with this place. The kitties do mainly keep to themselves and they certainly are not going to jump up on your lap. It's more like having food in the presence of cats rather than doing much interacting. I was very happy with it and would go back again if I had the chance.

After this we went to the Royal Albert Hall for the 'Classical Spectacular'. It really was spectacular - they played a lot of well known classical tunes with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir as well as some tenors and a military band.


We got seats in a box near the stage so the view and the sound quality was amazing. We had a really great night!

The next day we went out to Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII's main palace. I didn't know much about history from that period so I learned an awful lot, especially with my history-buff boyfriend at my side.




It was very easy to get to from Waterloo station and it's well worth a day out. We had a drink at 'The Mute Swan' across the road before heading back to London.

The next day we went to The Tower of London. I have always wanted to go but never got the chance before. I've been to London a lot with work and often stayed only hundreds of metres away from it but work trips never give you the opportunity to do much sightseeing!

One of the famous Tower rooks
It was raining very heavily that day so we didn't take many photos. I was very thankful for the sturdy umbrellas the hotel gave us. Again, this place is just steeped in history. We spent about 4 or 5 hours here. We could have spent longer. I would highly recommend a day here


We also got to see the famous poppies. They were being dismantled but some parts were still intact.

Overall it was such a great weekend. If you are an actuary, definitely try to head over for the graduation ceremony, it's really worth it! There's so much to see and do in London, even if you have been there before.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

NOTD! OPI DS Extravagance

Hi Everyone,

I bought this lovely colour at the Irish Beauty Show in March this year but I haven't tried it until now. The DS stands for Designer Series and as a range, they are generally a cut above the normal OPI polishes.


This one is called 'Extravagance'. It is a dark cranberry red that can look brighter or deeper in different lighting. What is special about this is the beautiful holographic element through the polish.


It is such an eye-catching colour and one of my favourites, especially for the winter season.


While it is super sparkley, it's a lovely smooth finish and is more subtle than glitter. It is very 'work appropriate' while still being really fun.


In terms of application - I used two coats of this. It was really easy to apply and no chips after 1 day so it's wearing better than some other polishes I own!

I also have OPI DS Lapis which I got just recently - it's a sapphire-navy blue and is matte without a topcoat but looks like it's in the same family as this one.

I think the OPI DS series are a bit more expensive than the normal colours but if this is anything to do by, they are super worth it! Highly recommended!
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