Nail The Week: Being Watched!


So those around me are cottoning on to the fact that my nail art obsession is here to stay and I recently received my very first request, courtesy of my cousin Samantha! She recommended I recreate this nude eye design, seen on Emmy Rossum. As you can imagine, I was hugely excited at the prospect of this challenge, particularly as I immediately spied that it involved one of my favourite nail art techniques, the half moon!

Creating this design was much simpler than it first appeared. I started off with a white base and used the technique described here to create a half moon. I chose to switch the design up by using grey polish instead of nude. I decided to incorporate brown, blue and green eyes, so after the half moon stage I used a large dotting tool to create the colourful iris of each eye (I was going to add one red eye for extra quirkiness but I forgot.) I then added a blob of the darker colours with a medium dotting tool for the pupil and finally a tiny white dot to give the image dimension. Of course I finished by sealing with a top coat.

Overall I’m very pleased with how this design turned out. I’ve received lots of compliments from all sorts of people from friends and family to the lady in Superdrug and even, oddly enough, the radiator delivery man, although he might’ve been hankering for a cuppa! If I were to change anything I would use a grey polish with a thicker opacity than the Ciate as it’s almost impossible and certainly outside the constraints of my patience to do two coats on a half moon. I’d also definitely add the red eye next time. I thoroughly enjoyed my first nail request, though, so if you have any ideas you’d like me to try, send them my way!


The colours I used are as follows:

– Barry M Matt White

– Ciate Pillow Fight

– Barry M Navy

– Barry M Cyan Blue

– Rimmel Beige Babe

-Barry M Copper

– Bourjois Bleu Model

– Barry M Watermelon

Five Cornerstone Lipsticks For All Eventualities

Today I thought I’d share with you my five ‘go to’ lipsticks; a capsule collection which will see a girl through any season and occasion. I’ve given some general colour guidelines as well as specific examples which I thought fitted the bill perfectly. So let’s begin!

1. The one that goes with everything.

Seems pretty obvious, but an all-purpose lip colour that goes with everything and is appropriate for both work and play  is a must. This one can sit in a handbag innocuously until it’s needed; when its owner is in a rush and has no time to ponder which lipstick to wear, when no other shade quite matches an outfit or when an ‘easy make-up’ look is the order of the day!

My essential ‘everything’ lip colour is Maybelline’s Moisture Extreme Lipstick in ‘Natural Rosewood’. In the photos this shade looks more red/ pink than neutral, but as it’s pretty close to my natural lip colour it works perfectly for me as an all-purpose colour and the formula is every bit as moisturising as it claims. Unfortunately I don’t think this colour is available in stores any more (do correct me if I’m wrong!) But it’s easy to get hold of on Amazon or Ebay for around £4.50.

2. A bright red.

Fact: bright red lipstick can be worn by anyone, the trick is to find the shade that works for you. For me, this is Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in ‘Kiss of Life’. This bright, slightly orange-tinged red is eye-catching but not obnoxious, probably because of the matte finish. It’s only downside is that the formula is a bit on the dry side, so I find it best to use a lip balm before application. It costs around £5.50.

3. A deep red/ burgundy

Like a bright red, only more wearable and arguably more sultry! If you’re feeling a bit daunted by the prospect of a vivid red shade or it’s simply not that kind of day, this can be a subtler, easier option. Wine and berry shades are perfect for the autumn or winter and look ultra glamorous at night but don’t feel restricted to these occasions- deep reds can work just about anywhere if you find the perfect shade. My personal favourite deep red is Barry M’s Ultra Moisturising Lip Paint in Cranberry Red. At £4.49, this lippy is a bargain, although this formula can be a bit dry (despite what it says on the tin,) so I use a lip balm beforehand.

4. Your favourite pink.

Who doesn’t love pink lipstick? There’s a shade to suit all skin tones and occasions, so take some time to find the one that does it for you. My pink weapon of choice is Rimmel’s Moisture Renew Lipstick in Lily Extase. It’s pretty unusual because it’s a strong pink with cool blue undertones, whereas many bright pinks are of the hot variety. It retails at around £6.49 which I think is good value considering how long-lasting the colour is.

5. The special one.

As my mother likes to say, a great lippy is an investment piece- words to live by. I found this holy grail in the form of YSL’s Rouge Volupté Shine in Brun in Secure which is a shiny brown with reddish tones. The texture of this lipstick is dreamy, it feels just like a lip balm and you can play with colour opacity by adding more layers for a dramatic look or fewer for subtler tones. As it’s so shiny, I always use Lipcote or Rimmel’s Lipstick Lock to keep it in place. At £24 this gem does not come cheap but who doesn’t like a little luxury once in a while?

Nail the week: expanding the half moon- peacock nails!

The mani and the inspiration behind it!

Hello all, massive apologies for the lack of posting of late, it’s been a hectic couple of weeks. Today I thought I’d share with you a mani design  inspired by some peacock feathers which I keep next to my desk. Peacocks are one of my favourite animals so I love this design, and like a lot of my manicures, it looks quite complicated but is actually really easy to create and, best of all, it can be worn on long or short nails.

To create this look I started with a base coat and a coat of gold polish. I could have used my Barry M Gold Foil Effect for this, but I thought that the peacock design warranted something a little more sheer and whimsical, so I opted for my MaxFactor Mini Effect in Ivory (which isn’t Ivory at all, it’s a shimmery gold, but never mind). I then used the hole enforcer technique as described in my Silver and Satsuma post here to leave a gold half moon with a sea green nail. To complete the peacock colour palette and mirror the eye effect of the feather, I used the same technique to add a royal blue curved tip to the nails. I found the hole enforcers slightly too narrow for this step,  so I used small circular white labels instead. I really love the finished look of these nails and definitely plan to use the technique again soon, possibly with yellow, orange and red for a sunset effect or white, grey and black for a monochrome style. I’d love to see your take on this design, so please feel free to share it with me in the comments below! Bye for now.

Materials used:

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Base Coat

MaxFactor Mini Effect in Ivory

Nails Inc in Symons Street

Barry M Nail Paint in Navy

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Hole Re-inforcers and small circular labels, from W H Smith