Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Tuesdays in 2014 will be 'Inspired by..' days

Hey all!

I have seen some fantastic manis over the last year. Too many to count, but loads that I would love to recreate. So starting today and hopefully continuing throughout 2014, I will be doing an 'Inspired by..' feature where I show off some of my favourite manis from other bloggers and show you a look I have done that is either a copy or my own take on it.

I am not the most creative blogger on the planet, but I don't claim to be either - I take lots of inspiration from other bloggers I follow through various social media, and its them that keep me inspired to keep blogging and painting my nails. 

Here is the first - I actually only saw this posted on Facebook a few days ago. It's really stunning and you can't beat a bit of animal print. I loved it so much that I went for a pretty much full on copy of it on my nails.

Here is Kristine from Pink and Polished's mani:

You can see her full post here. Stunning!

And here is my attempt at it! I hope I did it justice!

The polishes I used were:

Kate Spade by Nails Inc - Soho Silver (thanks to Rachel from Monkey Nail Art for getting me this!)
The Nail Junkie - Tea
Sinful Colors - Black to Black

What do you think? I had so many comments on these nails, even the OH liked them! Shocker!

Rachael xxx

Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 in review - My favourite blog reads!

Hey all!

These are some of my favourite blog reads. Feel free to pop along and have a look - they really are good.


One of my favourite blogs - simply because she has such unique nails and hand poses - I would know them anywhere. She loves dots (so do I) and is honest in her opinion of anything she reviews, which means a lot when I'm going to spend my money. Emma is one of only a few bloggers who rocks short nails. She really does have beautiful nails and I am looking forward to what she brings in 2014.


The lady who runs the Pokémon Gen 2 challenge. She has beautiful nails and is my first stop every day on my blog reads. She is another shortie rocker, although she does go between short and long but she never lets this stop her from posting beautiful nails. She's also very quirky and posts all sorts of geekery which is another reason why I love reading her blog.


Possibly my biggest source of nail porn. EVER. Her swatches are unreal, photos are beautiful. I sometimes have to remind myself to stop drooling over the photos and read what she's written. 


My one stop shop for all things indie. Especially UK indie. She's also a wonderful stamper and has gorgeous nails!


AJ has beautiful nails. I often admire them over a cup of tea when we go into town. Even so, I still love to check out her reviews and her freehand nail art is just out of this world. Stunning!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013 in review - my favourite manis!

I can't believe 2013 is almost over! 

It hasn't been a particularly good or bad year for me.. but I have to say, I have passed much of it by painting my nails.. so I think thats definitely a good thing!

Here are some of my favourite manis from this year.

My first successful gradient!

My first attempts at tribal (below) and dreamcatcher (above) nails.

My favourite work polish.

My back to school nails (above and below) from September

Nails for the Black and white challenge. 'Faux Fur' above and 'Recreate with colour' below.

My Comic-con week nails - My favourite tv show Ranma 1/2 (above) and my favourite video game - Sonic the Hedgehog (below)

Beauty and the Beast Rose inspired nails for the Disney challenge

Poppies and sunflowers - my two most liked instagram pictures of the year (and some of my favourite manis) both from the Flowers for Mom challenge.

Rainbow weave nails and abstract skittle nails - both done as guest posts.

Jack o Lantern nails for the Halloween challenge

Golem freehand for the Pokémon Gen 1 challenge

Ampharos lightning nails using Sinful Colors Green Ocean

Cyndaquil freehand

Mew freehand nails

Corsola nails with Sinful Colors Blue Glitter

Chinchou nails using my favourite Mentality polish as a base.

Did you like these? Were there any others you liked? Let me know!

Rachael xxx

2013 in review - my achievements!

Hey all!

Don't worry - this isn't a long post! Just a few things that I am proud of this year.

1. I plucked up the courage to start nail blogging. It's harder than you think - especially with so many other beautiful nail bloggers out there! Here is a photo from my very first post. Cringe!

2. I got accepted to review items for companies - big thank you to all those who asked me to review for them!

3. I finally 'got' stamping!

4. I improved my photos - my hand poses, my lighting, pretty much all of my photography improved!

5. The best one - I made some fantastic new nail friends, and joined some fantastic nail communities. Thanks everyone!

What did you do in 2013? 

Rachael xxx

Saturday, 28 December 2013

My favourite hand and nail care products

Hey all!

It was decided way back (or at least I thought it was) that the British Nail Bloggers would do a colab post on our favourite hand and nail care products. Turns out, its for favourite base and top coats, so look out for that in the near future. Here is my post on hand and nail care products now that I've actually written it haha!

I don't think I have an absolute favourite, I do tend to swap quite a lot! But one thing does stay the same and thats my love of OPI Nail Envy.

When I first started nail blogging, I'd given up REAL nail biting for around 2 years. I had never painted my nails before this time and I regularly broke my nails and ended up occasionally chewing them back in stress - simply because my nails were weak, soft and bendy and I didn't look after them at all. Therefore it was much easier to bite them back, pull at them and generally try and ignore the fact they were attached to the end of my fingers! After following a number of blogs I discovered OPI Nail Envy and since then I have never looked back - and neither have my nails! I always wear one coat as a base, or two if I know my polish will be a stainer. My nails are much stronger, healthier and over the course of the year I have been blogging I have managed to lengthen my nail beds as well. Win win!

I won't lie, my cuticle routine could be better. I was once told I should cut my cuticles - this was definitely a mistake and I now have ridiculously fast growing ones. I do push them back, but not as regularly as I should - but I do try and keep them well nourished.  I have a few favourite cuticle products for this:

OPI Avoplex Oil - I have a bottle of this that I picked up from TK Maxx for £4.99 - bargain! It usually retails around £9-10. It's not really handy for carrying about, so I use this when I remove my polish and after I've done a new mani.

My own cuticle balm - these are surprisingly easy to make - this recipe (left) I made for carrying around, its great now the weather is taking its toll on my hands and I can apply when I like!

Sunny's Miracle Balms - where I got ideas for my own balm. Mine is nowhere near as refined, but it'll do until her samplers are back in stock.

The Nail Junkie Cutie Balm - a totally different texture of cuticle care - this has boat loads of Avocado oil and is wonderfully rich and oily. I apply this before bed usually as it takes its time to sink in and can leave your fingers quite greasy, but you can't deny the good it does for your hands!

Hand creams galore! I love hand creams - I don't think I've ever finished a bottle - but here are the ones currently in my handbag (yes, my handbag is bigger than Mary Poppin's!)

Boots Royal Jelly Pure Honey Hand and Nail Cream - I got this in a Royal Jelly set for Xmas. I've always associated Royal Jelly with old people.. but this is really lovely. Soft, silky, nicely scented but not overpowering, soaks in quickly and leaves your hands soft but not sticky or oily. It's a good price as well if you want to buy it on its own - only £2.09

Burts Bees Hand Salve - picked this up just before Xmas - it came in a pack with a beeswax lip balm. It's supposed to be peppermint scented, but it reminds me of disinfectant - not sure why. Its not overly strong though, and it has a nice texture. Its oily, but not overly so - its easy to apply and soaks in super fast. The weather has been viciously cold and icy the past few days and I've been turning to this more and more while I've been out. You can buy it on its own here or in many bigger cosmetics retailers.

Body Shop hand creams - I picked up 3 different ones in their sale - Cranberry Joy, Ginger Sparkle and Vanilla Bliss. All three are really nice - 30ml fits perfectly in my handbag and also in my going out bags, and they have a really thick texture and uplifting scents. Even though the texture is thick, its lovely to apply and sinks in dead easily - leaving your hands feeling soft and fresh. I am never sure whether I like vanilla scented things - sometimes its nice, sometimes its sickly sweet.. but its not a very strong scent in this hand cream anyway. If you like Body Shop products, these were only £2 each online and definitely worth the price!

Another Body Shop product I love is their Absinthe purifying hand cream. This comes in a metallic tube and you can buy in the much bigger 100ml tubes. I got mine as a miniature set with a matching nail file and I love it. It's meant to protect your hands and it does just that - my hands see bowl after bowl of washing up without gloves and this cream keeps them soft and moisturised. I've used this cream on and off for a long time - I used it when I used to work in the food industry and it transformed my hands from sore and chapped to beautifully soft. When I ran out, I didn't buy another as at the time I didn't look after my hands - I really wish I had! Glad I take the time to do so now! This retails at £5 for 30ml and £10 for 100ml. You can buy it in store or online.

And the one I am hovering for - hoping it will go on sale - I LOVE this hand cream - the texture is just unreal and it smells gorgeous. It has oatmeal in it. I discovered my work colleague has a massive bottle of it, so I've been sneaking a bit here and there when shes not about haha! Aveeno Emolient Hand Cream. It's pretty pricey for £5.45, so I'm still hovering for an offer in the future - currently living off the samples I got free in a magazine!

Friday, 27 December 2013

What's on my nails? #2

Hey all!

Well Xmas is over for another year, but I'm still enjoying the sparkly nails. I have another two prototypes to show you from R&R Lacquers.

#3 - this is what I am currently sporting. It's a lovely understated glittery-ness. One coat over black.

#4 - a bit more rainbow and sparkly! Again, one coat over black.

Go give the brand some love:

They'll be launching properly sometime in January - keep an eye out as I have some more swatches etc to come! I will be swatching these over other colours as well.

What do you think? 

And if you haven't seen - check out the other two I have swatched here

Rachael xxx

Saturday, 21 December 2013

What's on my nails?

Just a quick post today - to show you whats been on my nails recently. Two unnamed prototypes for R&R Lacquers, a new UK indie brand opening in 2014!



What do you think?

Rachael xxx

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