Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Jelly Sandwich Attempt #2

Hi Everyone,

A while ago I posted a picture of OPI's Be A Dahlia Won't You with some black glitter over the tips. Initially, I had intended to turn that mani into a jelly sandwich, and in true Charlotte style, I got side tracked and did something different instead! Typical haha!!

This time, I got out my Be A Dahlia and a Claire's Accessories multi-glitter, and followed through to the end of my mission! Woot me!

Here's what I came up with!

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This looked at least twice as good in real life. Also typical. The glitter has large pale pink hexes, with medium purple hexes and blue glitter. On the nail, the larger hexes gave the mani a rather mirrored effect - they really did catch the light and shine!

This was two coats of Be A Dahlia Won't You, one coat of glitter, and then one coat of BADWY, one more coat of glitter and a final coat of BADWY. I love how the manicure turned out, I just wish the photo's could show what I saw!

One day, I will bring you a perfect jelly sandwich manicure - until then, I'll just keep playing with polish!

Love Charlotte x

Monday, 28 May 2012

Happy Monday to You!

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to let you know, that as well as trying out some floral nails for yourselves, you can also follow me on twitter @charNailsnTales

See you there!!

Love Charlotte x

Summer Floral Nails

Hi Everyone!

We have sunshine!! Omgissummerfinallyhere?? It feels like we have been waiting for so long to get a few rays of sunshine up North (yes, it has been grim up North). Whilst a lot of the UK has had a hose-pipe ban, we have had gallons of rain. And finally, the clouds have broken away and we have sunshine!

As a self confessed sun-bunny, this makes me very happy. I love it, the smell of sun-tan lotion, the warmth on my skin, a good book to read and a glass of something cheeky nearby!

This gives us the perfect opportunity to break out our neon polishes - the ones we look at lovingly all Winter long, but can't bring ourselves to wear. We only find ourselves looking at our nails with longing and regret, for Summer-days gone by, where we should have worn that polish.

Anyway, seeing as the sun made an appearance, out came the neons. As usual, I couldn't pick just one... So here are a few of them! All at once!!

I used a plain white base, with a few China Glaze polishes. I do love me some China Glaze. Here, I used Purple Panic (Neon), Papaya Punch for the flowers and Turned Up Turquoise (Neon) for the leaves. I added a few tiny black dots to the centre of the flowers and finished with my Fast Forward Top Coat. Then I sat back to admire my own nails.

This is so easy. It is basically a series of splodges, all done with the brush from the bottle - except for the black dots of course - I did those with a tooth pick. No accuracy required or involved - but a gorgeous effect overall. It makes me so happy as I was not the only person to admire these, I did get a fair few compliments!

The perfect, quick Summer manicure - it kinda reminds me of a Hawaiian shirt!

I hope you like it! Go try it yourself!

Love Charlotte x

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Color Club Swatches - Part Deux!

Hi Everyone,

Here we are again with some more swatches of my Color Club Collection which I started yesterday! As I said last time, these were done with speed in mind, so please excuse the fact that they are not the best swatches you will ever see - I just wanted to avoid the glitter-removal nightmare!

First up is one of my favourites - Sexy Siren. This, I believe was from the Glitter Vixen collection of 2010.

These polishes all applied much better than I expected - especially for a glitter polish. This one was a particular delight though. This was just two coats.

I adore the switch from subtle to BAM! SPARKLE!! In the light, this is full on nail bling. The multicoloured effect is beautiful - I would say this has a silver base with a hint of lilac - perhaps more 'grilac', one might say, and a rainbow of holographic glitters.

 Yes, I am aware I love the blurred photo thing a bit too much, but ooooh, its shiny!!

This polish was an absolute pleasure - however I must admit that I did actually wear this one for a day. It was beautiful. Squeal-worthy. Utter nail porn. And a must for any self confessed glitter lover. I'm afraid that I can't remember what it was like during removal, but I know it wasn't as bad as some I have tried. And you will see that it was a few days before I got round to the rest of the swatches as my nails are different lengths! Ooops!!

Next is Candy Cane, a sweet pale pink glitter that looks good enough to eat! This had a much thicker consistency, and is still pretty sheer after two thick coats. This one will be lovely for layering.

Excuse my naked nails underneath - there will be swatches of this with a base soon. Promise!

This reminded me of a more luxurious version of Barry M's Pink Iridescent. A slightly darker pink too, but on the nail, that would hardly be noticeable. Here they are side by side on paper, so you can see the difference.

I love the Color Club version, but it will be difficult to source in the UK. I would be inclined to recommend getting the Barry M version if you feel the need for some pink sparkles (who doesn't?) in your life!

Last, but certainly not least, is Diamond Drops. This is a gawjus shimmery flakies polish in a clear base. I see silver and gold, blue, lilac and pink and just a hint of green. Holographic flakies then, to be precise. Say it with me now... Oooooooh!!

Here it is over a variety of polishes!

A variety of pictures - I don't have the ability to take photo where each nail looks its best, so I just added photos so each nail had a complimentary picture! That's much easier than being a skilled photographer!

On a side note, I can not wait to wear Diamond Drops over the black polish! It really makes the flakies look their best, and more noticeable. The white looked better in real life than is shown in the photos - it made me think of fairy wings, very girly and sweet!

So there we have it! The conclusion of my Color Club Collection! Alliteration - woot! I hope you liked them! Don't forget, TK Maxx is your friend, especially for finds like these!!

Happy shopping,

Love Charlotte x

Friday, 25 May 2012

My Little Color Club Collection - Part One!

Hi Everyone!

Ok, first of all, did that title make anyone else think of My Little Pony? Even as I was typing it, I was having flashbacks to the 80's - there was something  about the smell of My Little Ponies that made me want them ALL! Ah, thems were the days!

Anyway, seeing as I've started going off topic if the first paragraph now I best get back to the important and interesting stuff! Polish! Wooooo!

A little while ago, whilst on an exciting expedition into my local TK Maxx, I came across some nail polish. I always check out their beauty shelves as they have some amazing bargains - but you have to be willing to root around, under and behind things. So far, I have only come away empty handed once. Not even I could use three bottle of OPI's Who The Shrek Are You, even if they were £5 for all three. Lime green? Its so not me!

What is me, is holographic glittery goodness. I have been keeping a little lemming lust wish-list for a while now. Just a few polishes that I feel I need to own, and if I have a bit of spare cash - I treat myself. One of these was Color Club's Sugar Plum Fairy from their 2011 Christmas collection, Beyond The Mistletoe.

So, picture the scene - I'm in TK Maxx, and the shelves are a mess. If you've been there, you know just what I mean. I had not long finished a loooong day in work, and was very low in energy (and stupidly walked past a Costa without getting myself a coffee). There was only one thing for it. I put my game face on and dived in. Not quite the epic William Wallace Braveheart charge - there was no blue face paint, or me yelling 'you'll never take my POLISH!!!' But still, I had a battle ahead.

In I go, handbag at me feet - my work handbag is one of those magic ones, you shove everything in and it's fine until you go shopping with it. Then it triples in weight. Magic.

I start having a rummage - there were some un-tempting Nails Inc collections in the way, some random-branded box sets of old lady pinks cluttering the shelf and oddly, a pair of shoes. Men's shoes. (I told you it was a mess!) And then, with what felt like bolts of heavenly light coming from the sky (yes, even though it IS of course indoors) I saw them. Color Club Box sets.

Anyone living in the UK will tell you how RARE it is to find Color Club on a shelf here. Rare. I felt like Indiana  Jones finding a hidden treasure.

 Now, I know that this isn't the Glitter Vixen Collection, in fact it seems to be a mix of two separate collections, but who cares? POLISH!!

I did what anyone else would have done. I bought the only two boxes of this they had left. One for me (insert cheesy grin here) and one for Beth.

Want me to upset you and tell you something really wonderful? Yes?? The sets were only £7.99 each. (Insert silly happy dance here!)

Now, I will start with a few swatches, but please be aware that I kind of cheated here. Many of us will know the annoyance of removing glitter polish. You know, the whole foil wrapped around your fingers for five minutes thing - and having your husband mock you because he thinks, that you think, that aliens might be after your nails and the foil will stop them from seeing them?!  Or is that just me and my daft other half?

Because of the time it takes to get it off, I basically slapped on the polish, took very quick photos, and took it off whilst it was still wet. So much easier for the blogging swatchathons, but did leave the odd random glitter particle on my fingers! And yes, I can paint my nails better than these pictures will dictate, but I just wanted to be quick!

Sorry! :)

First up is Sugar Plum Fairy - I spotted this and realised the packaging was labelled incorrectly and that I was be the world's biggest idiot if I didn't buy it immediately.

These photo's don't seem to pick up the beautiful lavender shimmer this has, but this is only two rushed coats. The polish itself is literally packed with chunky holographic glitter. I am in love with this polish. I heart it. I would sell my virtual first-born for it.

Next, is Beyond The Mistletoe - a gorgeous blue holo glitter. This one was slightly thinner, and required three coats in all. Still, its beautiful and I can't wait to wear this one properly.

Finally - for this post at least, I'll show you Gingerbread. Oddly, this is my least favourite of the collection, despite how pretty it is. I think its a psychological thing, as I don't really like gingerbread. The smell, yes. The biscuit/cookie/thingy - not so much.
This is a thinner polish, with what I felt were smaller glitter pieces. However, by this point I had inhaled a lot of nail polish remover fumes...! This was just two coats, but looking back, I could have done with a third.

I'm not sure why I don't love this one, I suppose there has to be one in each collection that makes you go meh! This is mine!

What do you think? Next time, I'll show you Candy Cane, Sexy Siren and Diamond Drops. Those of you eagle-eyed enough to know I missed a polish, the last one in the box is an unlabelled clear polish. I'm running with the assumption that its a top coat.

The moral of this story, is that if you see a Color Club polish set - buy it, and TK Maxx is the home of random and wonderful polish that is particularly bargainous!

Happy polish hunting!!

Love Charlotte x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Topshop Hypnotic

Hi Everyone,

Whilst searching through my random folders of random photo's, I found a couple of swatches of a polish that I had almost forgotten about. Which is daft, seeing as it's only about 3 months old to me. Whilst at the height of my duochrome rampage, I picked this up after hearing many fantastic things about many Topshop polishes.

Side note: look at how long my nails were! Such talons!


The bottle shows promise with a lovely petrol-y effect - a silver base with a purple and green duochrome. As you can see though, this doesn't translate so well to the nail.

All nails have about three coats on, except for the ring finger - this is two coats over Sally Hansen's Eel Skin. For the silvery effect, this will be my choice of combination in the future, to avoid the bleurgh VNL - especially seen on my thumb. I do wonder what this will look like layered over other colours too...?

All in all, a pretty polish, but it doesn't deliver the duochrome fantastic-ness I had hoped for. Still, this might make for some interesting layering experiments!
Thanks for reading,

Love Charlotte x

Monday, 21 May 2012

Not-So-French Tips

Hi Everyone,

I thought I would share a more muted manicure with you today. Something a bit different for me.

Many years ago, when I had much expendable income, I was a huge fan of having acrylic nails and tips. I thought it looked elegant and stylish (until my nails started to grow and I needed a backfill...). Despite the fact I can't afford to maintain acrylics any more, I do still love the way a simple white tip looks - in fact I went for the typical french manicure on my wedding day.

Sometimes, it's nice to go back to an old classic, and give it a bit of an update. I wanted something a bit more subtle than a full mani, but not so simple as a french mani - so here are my purple tips!

I used Leighton Denny Tiffany's as a base - it's such a sheer pink you can hardly tell it's there. The tips are two of my favourite purples: OPI's Pamplona Purple and Planks A Lot, with some slight silver detailing from my Claire's Accessories nail art pen.

Thanks for reading,

Love Charlotte x

Friday, 18 May 2012

Blue Gradient Nails

Hi Everyone,

Today I am going to show you a mani which I can't wait to try again - only next time, with a tan!

I love gradient manicures - they look awesome and can be relatively simple to do, however, sometimes they can be a bit hit or miss for me.

This mani has a few faults - but I know exactly where I went wrong and will try my hardest not to make that mistake again.

My base layers would not dry. The colour I used (2true Glossywear Polish in shade number 49) would not dry within a reasonable time, and it hated a quick dry top coat. The colour itself is lovely - a bright and bold shimmery blue. And if I had given it 10 years to dry, it would have been gorgeous. But, I was slightly impatient.

I know, nail fail!

I sponged on a new polish from Barry M - well, one I haven't seen before anyway! This one is called Denim and I got it as part of a little haul from my local Superdrug. They had a buy two, save £1 thing going one. And then there was the three for £5 on the 2true polishes. Yes, yes, resistance is futile.

Anyway, I digress! Back to the nails!

Unfortunately, you can see where the sponge ripped up some of my base layer, and I have tried to fix it. And unfortunately, I think I made it worse. But if you ignore that teensy bit, this manicure will surely make you want to go on holiday! There is just something about those blues that make me think of a bright summer sky and a tropical sea begging for someone to swim in it!

I love the mix of colours here. I don't often wear blue. I'm not sure why, I just prefer it's cousin purple. But these two blues have really changed my mind. Bring on the Blue!!

What do you think - is this a great holiday manicure?

Thanks for reading,

Love Charlotte x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

H+M Urban Spirit

Hi Everyone,

It seems that I keep on saying that I don't really wear blue polishes very often, but then completely contradict myself by buying yet another blue polish. With this one, I couldn't help myself. It wasn't just the crazy bottle that called to me, it was the sparkles.

In the shade, this is a beautiful steely, purplish blue. A beautiful modern and elegant colour.

 When it catches the light, it truly is stunning. It has a holographic shimmer. The particles are far too tiny to be considered glitter. This definitely shimmers.

Yes it's blurred - but I wanted to share the magic holo particles!

 Unfortunately, this was a bitch to apply.It was thick and gloopy and refused to dry, even with a trusty quick dry top coat. Bitch! I so wanted this to become a new favourite, but the formula sucks. I've had a few awesome polishes from H+M - this lets the side down. I don't know if this is just my bottle being a dud, or what. Bitch!!

Crazy bottle.

And yes, it has a crazy-funky bottle.

This polish gets a sigh from me. Sooooo much potential, its a beautiful colour and is very pretty on the nail, but it feels like a battle to get it on nicely.


Have you had better luck with this polish? If so, let me know. At £2.50 a bottle, I would happily buy another one if only it would play nice with me!

Love Charlotte x

Monday, 14 May 2012

Nails Inc Polishes - Free with In Style Magazine

Hi Everyone,

Today I am going to share my swatches of the Nails Inc polishes I got free with this Month's In Style Magazine.

I have to say, I like the fact that Nails Inc give away full sized product like this, and I wish more nail companies did it - that way we can try their products and decide whether we are going to become addicted to their products, without making costly mistakes.
I have managed to pick up a fair few Nails Inc freebies over the past year, which is always nice. However, sadly none of them have inspired me to pay the full £11 price tag for one of their polishes. I don't know what it is, but given the choice I would rather take a sum like that to the OPI counter instead. I wait until I see them reduced, or on offer instead. TK Maxx often seem to have to Nails Inc packages for rather good prices!

Saying that, these two have made me re-think some of my previous negative thoughts about Nails Inc polishes. The formula on these seems much improved - a thicker, more pleasant formula. There was still a tiny bit of drag, but overall, a noted improvement. I just hate the feeling that I am gambling if I buy one of their polishes. I know that there are many people who adore Nails Inc polishes - I'm afraid I just haven't tried a polish from them that made me squeal with happiness. And yes, I do squeal with happiness when I find an awesome polish. For £11 - I want squeal-worthy polish!!

Anyway, enough of my chatter! The first swatch is of Bluebell, which is a gorgeous periwinkle blue colour:

I have to admit, I am somewhat fond of this colour. My biggest issue is that I don't think there is anything particularly unique about it. Truth be told, I wouldn't have paid full price for this, but I'm glad I have it. I'm a tough girl to please, I know! And full of contradictions too, if you don't mind.I used a top coat with this, and used it as a base for some stamping I did, and had almost two days wear with only minor tip wear. I only took it off through boredom and the desire to do some more stamping!

Next is Power Pink. I hate the name. It makes me think of flower power, and big garish pictures of multi-colour vomit inducing cartoonish flowers. The colour is rather nice, just a shame about the name. Power Pink? Seriously??

I do love a good pink, and this is a good pink! It's a blue-toned pink which I think is rather flattering. It is very girly, has great coverage with two coats and definitely worthy of a better name. It dries to a very glossy finish, but has a sort of plastic-y feel to it. It also chipped like mad, and looked as though it would have peeled off if I had been in the mood to try. As it dried relatively quickly, I didn't use my usual fast-dry top coat, but next time I will, to extend the wear time.

Another slight gripe is that the polishes didn't have the names printed on them. I had to peel the stickers off the tatty boxes they came in, and stick them to the bottom of the bottle. They were the perfect size for the bottle, so why bother with putting it on the box? Gah!

Both of these polishes would have been opaque in one thick coat, but I feel they both needed a second coat to cover the patchy bits left by the drag. Whilst wet, the polish looked like it had streak marks, but thankfully both dried to a smooth and glossy finish.

All in all, who doesn't love a free polish? And these are definitely worth the £3.80 for the cost of the magazine. Personally, considering the full retail price, I don't think these stand up to competition like OPI and Leighton Denny, or even China Glaze which are a bit cheaper! That being said, I'm still glad I have them!

Love Charlotte x

LA Colors - Swatches and Fun Part Two!

Hi Everyone,

As promised, here is part two of my LA Colors swatchathon. And look at me go, I'm making even more words up now! Oh well, I have to unleash my creative side somehow!

So...! Let's get to it!

From L-R: Pacific Blue, Wired, Fun In The Sun, Fiji Purple and Glistening Purple

Pacific Blue is not the kind of blue I would normally buy. And what a pity that would have been as this is gorgeous! This is a stunning sea-green blue frost, with a slight green shimmer. It only took two coats for full coverage, and applied really well. I love this blue.

Natural Light


For some extra pretty, here it is with Sassy Sparkle over the top.

Natural Light

Wired is your typical Royal Blue Jelly. Very similar to Nails Inc's Chando's Place, if I remember correctly. I apologise, I thought I had a swatch, but apparently not! My computer monster ate it.

Anyway, this is the thinnest LA Colors Polish from my collection.This took three coats to cover my nail to a suitable standard, but still left a bit of VNL. Still, a beautiful colour, and if you need a blue like this, get the LA Colors one instead of the Nails Inc version. It's 90% cheaper!

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Next is Fun In The Sun! A purple - woot! A glossy purple - also woot! This is another thin polish, but this time the hardest to apply as there was a bit of drag. This needed a third coat to cover the patchy bits. It did dry quite nicely though. A lovely sort of Cadbury's purple, which everyone needs in their collection. Or at least some Cadbury's chocolate stashed away!

Natural Light


And with sparkles, courtesy of Glistening Purple:

Natural Light

Finally, we have my favourite polish from the bunch. Predictable, I might be, for this is a stunning purple. Fiji Purple to be precise. I'm not sure how Fiji comes into this, but it's very welcome for this lovely shade! In fact, if anyone wants to send me on an expedition to Fiji in the name of research, I would be glad to oblige. All expenses paid, yes?

Ahhh, enough dreaming and back to the polish. This was in the middle of being thick and thin. Confused? Me too! It felt as though I wanted it to be a bit thicker, but wasn't the thinnest of the polishes. Alas, this bled into my nail beds a little bit too much, and as my photo's prove, I didn't clean up as well as I thought I had. Oh well...! A rich blend of fuchsia and plum, which I think is appropriate for Summer or Winter - I do love a multi-tasker!

Natural Light


And last but not least. Fiji Purple with both Sassy Sparkle and Glistening Purple.

Natural Light


There we have it, my new collection of LA Colors polish. I recommend these. They have a great colour selection, are fantastic value for money and mostly have awesome, quick drying formulas. They are also cruelty free.

Thank you again to Beth for buying these for me, and thanks to you for reading my epic swatchathon!

Love Charlotte x