Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Les Roses Ultimes de Chanel Collection, Swatches and Review

A post from my archive and another few polishes ticked off for my Chanel challenge today. Les Roses Ultimes de Chanel was released outside of the main seasonal collections and included four new polishes - Tentation, Distraction, Frisson and Attraction. When I visited the Chanel Pop-Up shop at Covent Garden (see my post here) I picked up three of the four polishes, swatches and review after the jump.

Chanel Le Vernis Tentation, Distraction and Frisson
Chanel Le Vernis Tentation, Distraction and Frisson

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Chanel Ēclats du Soir - Holiday 2013 Collection

Chanel have released details of their Holiday 2013 Collection and it's good news for those of you who like their festive season suitably golden and dramatic. The Ēclats du Soir collection focuses on evening makeup and is based on the idea of Chanel's classic Rouge Noir reimagined with stunning golden highlights. I've always loved Rouge Noir in nail polish and lipstick form so the idea of a Holiday collection based around that iconic colour was always going to appeal. There are lots of beautiful products in this collection including a new Eyeshadow Quad in Harmonie du Soir - £43.00, Illusion D’Ombre in Apparence - £23.00 and three new lipglosses in Allégorie, Mystery and Intrigue for £21.00.

Two products in particular from this collection have particularly caught my eye.....

Chanel Le Vernis in Malice - Image provided by Chanel

Chanel Le Vernis in Malice is the only polish in the collection and is described both as a "red with a black sheen" or a "burning black hue with a flamboyant heart of red glitter". Which ever description you prefer it's a beautiful twist on the classic Rouge Noir polish and looks like one of those lovely deep metallics that are perfect for Christmas. I do already have OPI Germanicure which is a similar style of polish and I'm hoping this will lean more towards the black than the brown tone of Germanicure so I don't double up. Malice will be on sale for £18:00.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in L'Impatiente - Image provided by Chanel
I don't normally feature lipsticks but this was too good to ignore. Again I already have the Rouge Noir lipstick which is pure gothic deep, dark red so I'm hoping this is a slightly more velvety twist on that one. L'Impatiente is meant to be coordinated with Malice and I think it's a good pairing. The deep metallic nail with a matt lip should look much more chic than a straight match of colour and finish and hopefully be more wearable. L'Impatiente will go on sale for £25:00.
The whole collection goes on sale on 9 November nationwide. 

Friday, 19 October 2012

OPI Euro Centrale Collection

Exciting news from OPI! OPI updated their Facebook page on Thursday with some details of their traditionally destination themed Spring collection. The Spring 2013 collection is Euro Centrale which is inspired by four European Countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

OPI Euro Centrale Collection
Picture from OPI's Facebook page
Colours from top to bottom, left to right are: Suzi's Hungary AGAIN!(coral pink), OY-Another Polish Joke!(gold shimmer), Vant to Bite My Neck? (dark grapey purple), A Woman's Prague-ative (copper shimmer), I Saw...You Saw...We Saw...Warsaw (deep teal), My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours!(hot spicy red), Can't Find My Czechbook (bright turquoise), Polka.com (blue & violet glitter), Hands Off My Kielbasa (bronzey rose-toned tan), OPI...Eurso Euro (bright Yves Kleinesq blue), My Vampire is Buff (light buff nude), You're Such A BudaPest (periwinkle lilac).

Thursday, 16 August 2012

OPI Holland Collection - Swatches and Review

I've been somewhat slack recently on posting for one reason and one reason only...the Olympics were in London! I've been glued to my TV firmly clutching my Team GB flag throughout and I’ve also been lucky enough to go to a few events, with appropriately themed nails which I will be doing a post on soon but I've been a bit of a slow coach catching up on my other posts.

Anyway making a tenuous segue to a post on archive polishes today featuring OPI's Holland collection for Spring/Summer 2012. The Holland collection is one of their traditional collections themed around destinations. If you were supporting the Netherlands in the Olympics you were royally spoilt for choice with this collection. They seemed to go with pretty classic (and possibly a smidge stereotypical?) Dutch imagery – it feels very wind and water inspired with nods to windmills, tulips, cheese, canals and errr...Amsterdam nightlife in shade and name selection.

OPI Holland - Edited highlights (taken with Instagram)

Overall I really liked the shade selection in this collection but I only picked up four shades ( I Have a Herring Problem, Dutch Ya' Just Love OPI, I Don't give a Rotterdam and Wooden Shoe like to know) which are swatched below the break. I've also added a little bit about what I look for when picking out which shades to get as I'm interested to see how you guys make your choices.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Chanel Pop-Up Store at Covent Garden

If you've read my post on my Chanel collection (see it here) you'll know that when news of a Chanel Beauty Pop-Up Store opening in London was released I was unbelievably excited. It opened on 24 July (just in time for the Olympics!) and I made a trip last week to check it out. *Warning Picture Heavy Post coming up!*

Chanel Pop-Up Store at Covent Garden
Chanel Pop-Up Store at Covent Garden

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Chanel Pop-Up Store at Covent Garden

Temorary hiatus in posting due to exciting things happening in London (rhymes with schmolympics) but I made a little trip yesterday and will be doing a full post very soon.......

Chanel Pop-Up Store at Covent Garden
Chanel Pop-Up Store at Covent Garden - Taken with instagram
 As I said on Twitter, I feel like the mothership has finally called me home, lots of pics to follow so stay tuned!

Friday, 27 July 2012

OPI James Bond Collection

OPI updated their Facebook page on Thursday with some details of their Holiday 2012 collection which is a James Bond inspired collection.

OPI James Bond collection
OPI James Bond Collection - Picture from OPI Facebook page
 Colours left to right are: The Spy Who Loved Me, Casino Royale, You Only Live Twice, Die Another Day, Skyfall, GoldenEye, The World Is Not Enough, Moonraker, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Living Daylights, Live And Let Die, Tomorrow Never Dies

Apparently the collection will be available from 1st October in both the US and the UK. I love the idea of a James Bond collection because it makes for great polish names, although why no Goldfinger?? Possibly OPI are avoiding confusion with that one because as James Bond himself says -

 "Auric Goldfinger. Sounds like a French nail varnish"*

*geeky face

This will be the third year OPI have done a movie collaboration as their holiday collection (after Burlesque - 2010 and Muppets - 2011) and it's worth noting they've also done summer collections like Pirates of the Caribbean that were tie ins. I guess it must generate interest from both nail polish and film lover perspectives (of which I am both) but I'm not sure I'd normally buy a polish just because of a film tie in. I am susceptible to having a lemming for a shade when I've actually seen it worn on screen (take a bow Why Don't you love me video, Beyonce and Chanel's Nouvelle Vague!).

Colour wise I'm a bit undecided on these, they are very James Bond friendly - lots of gunmetal grey, red and the unavoidable gold - which is also kind of holiday/Christmas appropriate. Nothing hugely inspiring here though at first glance but I'm always hopeful swatches will show up something more unique. Currently it just feels very much like a rejigged OPI Switzerland collection. I love the fact the Living Daylights is a glitter but if it's another Rainbow Collection dupe I won't be bothering. Tomorrow Never Dies is the standout for me but again doesn't look terribly unique. Funnily enough I think in this case it is the names that will get me buying. I can just see myself wailing along to "Nobody does it better"** whilst painting my nails with "The Spy who Loved Me". So what do you think? Will you be swept away by James Bond this Christmas?

**Second best Bond theme ever, after We have all the time in the World - FACT


OPI have added an update to their Facebook page with an additional shade "The Man with the Golden Gun" an 18-karat gold leaf top coat that will also be included in the collection in celebration of James Bond’s Golden Anniversary. 

OPI The Man with the Golden Gun - Photo from OPI's Facebook page 

Apparently this is the first time OPI has released this kind of polish. I think it looks great and provided it's cheaper than the Rococo Gold Leaf polish which retails at the princely sum of £35 (Space NK stock it) I may well pick it up. If it's the same or more then I might be frankening my own version with art supplies! No details of the base colour are given but if they are keeping with the James Bond Collection I'm assuming, based on the top photo, that it's Casino Royale maybe at a push Skyfall. I think it'll look great over the non glitter shades in this collection and it's both Christmas and James Bond friendly so I think this is probably a smart move by OPI. Plus it's a special effect polish that is NOT A SHATTER!! Well played OPI, well played....

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel - Chanel Nouvelle Vague, Chanel Mistral & Chanel Riviera

Chanel Le Vernis Mistral Chanel Le Vernis Riviera Chanel Le Vernis Nouvelle Vague Swatches
Chanel Le Vernis Mistral, Riviera and Nouvelle Vague
Les Pop-Up de Chanel was released back in Summer 2010 and was a seaside vista inspired collection that was meant to capture the free spirited nature of Coco Chanel herself. The three Chanel nail polishes released as part of this collection were Mistral, Riviera and Nouvelle Vague. This one came hot on the heels of the nail polish that launched the revitalised interest in Chanel nail polish - Chanel Jade - which was launched in Fall 2009. As far as I can remember the Chanel releases between Jade and this collection were Trapeze (Chanel Holiday 2009) a silvery neutral and Inattendu, Tendresse and Particuliere (Chanel Spring 2010 Les Impressions de Chanel) nude, pale pink and infamous mushroom polishes. As such I always think that Nouvelle Vague was the first chance for those who missed out on Jade to get their hands on a must have Chanel bright polish. It was justifiably popular and it's a definite favourite of mine. Swatches and review after the jump.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Chanel Black Velvet and Chanel Illusion D'Or Swatches and review

Chanel Black Velvet and Chanel Illusion D'Or were released in Spring 2010 as part of Chanel’s Noir Et Or Paris-Shanghai Collection. The collection was a follow up to the Chanel Metiers D’Art fashion show in Shanghai. Apparently the show was intended to be a study of dark and light which mixed together different textures and reflected Coco Chanel's impression of Shanghai in the 1930's and 40's.

When I was checking the dates for this post I actually learnt some things I didn't know about the Metiers d'Art collections. Since 2002 Karl Lagerfeld has shown yearly Metiers d'Art collections  to recognise the work of the artisans who create those beautiful details that set Chanel apart. The show takes place in a different city each year spots have included Moscow, London and New York and of course Shanghai. The Chanel Paris-Moscou Metiers d'Art show resulted in the now infamous trio of polishes - Nuit De Russie, Feu De Russie and Or De Russie which Peter Philips created for the 2008 show. This year's Metier d'Art was the Paris-Bombay collection that gave is Diwali as seen in my previous post

Chanel Black Velvet Le Vernis Nail Polish Swatch
Chanel Black Velvet Le Vernis
Chanel Black Velvet was, I believe, advertised as a true matte polish but as you can see it's not. It is however a perfect, buttery, satin finish black polish. It has some of the best application I used, super smooth amazing finish in two coats. The crystal detail was me testing some new nail art supplies I had, so a bit of unrelated extra. On a slightly random note I love the frosted bottle for this one, don't think they've done it for another polish but it really works here.

Chanel Le Vernis Illusion D'Or Nail Polish Swatch
Chanel Le Vernis Illusion D'Or
Chanel Illusion D'Or was the polish that I think everyone was most excited about when the collection was released and for good reason. It's a truly stunning shimmering gold polish with round opalescent flakies. It's definitely a layering polish not a buildable glitter. You could try multiple coats but you'd have to waste a lot of polish before it was even close to opaque, besides I think it looks best over another polish as it is here.

Chanel Le Vernis Illusion D'Or Nail Polish Swatch Close Up
Chanel Le Vernis Illusion D'Or  Close Up
It has a very fine warm gold shimmer base with a scattering of large gold particles. The final element are the round opalescent flakes which shimmer a range of colours from blue, through green to lilac. They shift and change colour as you move your nails so in the top swatch you can't necessarily see all of the flakes on the nail. In the bottle picture above you can get an idea of how many there are in the base and the range of colours.

There was a third polish in this collection was a medium gold called Gold Lamé which I didn't pick up as it didn't feel hugely unique to me. These were limited edition so if you want them you'll have to scour eBay.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A-England Offer - 5 Day Mythical Fair

A-England Mythical Fair Promotion
A-England Mythical Fair Promotion - Picture from A-England Facebook page
 I've blogged about A-England before with a review of some of the polishes in the Legend Collection. I follow the lovely Adina (the brains behind A-England) on twitter and she tweeted asking people to like the A-England Facebook page with the promise of a mysterious surprise if it got over 5,000 likes.

Well it seems that just like me all the other A-England fans rallied round and that target has been smashed and the likes just keep on coming. Adina has now announced that our wonderful surprise is a special limited discount on the gorgeous Mythicals collection with all polishes reduced from £9 to £5. I've had a major lemming for Tristam and Lady of the Lake for a long time so I grabbed those two but Avalon also caught my eye so that found its way into my basket too....

There is free shipping, including for international orders so really there's no excuse not to pick something up. You can shop the collection here, which colours will you be going for?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Chanel Delight and Holiday Le Vernis - Swatches and Review

Chanel Le Vernis in Delight and Holiday Nail polish
Chanel Le Vernis in Delight and Holiday
 These two are from a trio of polishes that are part of the Summertime de Chanel collection that’s currently in stores. The third polish in this collection is a shimmery pink beige called Island which is pretty but a very sheer pearly neutral so it wasn’t really for me. There are apparently dupes for these out there but clearly I have no self control so couldn’t resist!The collection was inspired by the summer sun and the colour palette definitely fits with that image. Neutrals, bronze-golds and orange brights are perfect summer desert island shades. I thought I’d only go for Holiday when I saw the promo pics but Delight was lovely too so I ended up getting both.  

Chanel Delight Le Vernis Nail polish swatch
Chanel Delight Le Vernis
Delight is like Graphite’s lighter bronze-gold little sister, it has that same super sparkly but non-gritty formula. Application with these kind of Chanel shades is a dream, really smooth with a perfect finish. This was only two coats but it's completely opaque. The base is a shimmery warm champagne gold with a hefty whack of bronze microglitter. It makes me think of sandy beaches and sunshine, definitely a beautiful summer shade. It has a similar base to Chanel Diwali (as reviewed here - Chanel Diwali) but Diwali has silvery glitter in place of Delight's warmer bronze tone. They are part of the same family but they are distinct shades so no dupes there. 

Chanel Le Vernis nail polish Holiday swatch
Chanel Le Vernis in Holiday
Apologies for the difference in photos here, I took this photo before I had my new camera and the Delight photo after so you'll  have to bear with my super pale zombie skin tone! Holiday is a bright medium orange that has a slight jelly feel. Application on this one was good too, this was three coats and dried to a great glossy finish. It's more opaque than the OPI Texas sorbet finish shades but it has a very definite jelly squishiness to it. I personally think it's great that Chanel decided to go with such different finishes for this collection. Chanel Island, the third shade in the trio is different again with more of a pearly frost finish. Whilst I loved April, May and June having three cremes in a collection wasn't the most interesting range ever. Chanel Holiday is a perfect, bright, beach pedicure colour and it's jelly feel makes it more unique among Chanel's so I think it's worth picking up too.

Overall I love both of these so should you be lucky enough to be going somewhere other than the UK that's hot and sunny, pack these two for your perfect holiday nails duo. If you are coming the UK I'd recommend something more wet weather...possibly Illamasqua Raindrops...we're getting a lot of that at the moment....

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Rainbow Polkadot Nail Art

Rainbow Polkadot Nail Art
I don't know about you but I find if a magazine is giving away free nail polish I can very rarely resist buying it.    That generally means I end up with at least a couple of copies of the same magazine as I try to collect all of the shades. It's as a result of this that the majority of my Nails Inc collection are magazine freebies, given that they cost £10 retail and the magazines only really ever cost £5 max it always seems like a pretty good saving to me....

Anyway, I wanted to do some simple nail art that used some of my freebie stash so I did some quick polkadot nail art using some of my Nails Inc shades and come other brands. I always feel better using these kinds of shades for nail art as it's less likely I'll be wasting any of my more expensive polishes. What about you, do you have a weakness for freebies? Or are you happy to use your most prized polishes for your designs?

Base - Nail Inc Teal

Spots (Red to Blue) - Nails Inc Beach, Nails Inc Candy Orange, Mavala Acid Yellow, Barry M Spring Green, Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream

Friday, 13 July 2012

Chanel Sky Line - Swatches, Review and Comparison with Essie Blue Rhapsody

Chanel Sky Line Chanel_Skyline
Chanel Sky Line
This is Chanel Sky Line nail polish, it's part of a limited edition Bleu Illusion collection that also includes eyeliner, blusher, lipstick and pencil and new Illusion D'Ombres shadows. This collection came out today in the UK and it's all limited edition so get it while you can.

Chanel Spring 2012 Couture Nails - Picture from Glamour

It was first seen as part of Chanel's Spring 2012 Couture runway show which was shown in a mock space shuttle which seems in keeping with the airy blue of Sky Line. It reminds me of light summer skies which I can only vaguely remember given the weather we've had recently in the UK. Onwards to swatches...

chanel_sky_line_swatch chanel_skyline_swatch
Chanel Sky Line Swatch

Formula wise it's along the lines of another Chanel polish, Pearl Drop. This is three coats so it takes a little while to go completely opaque but the formula is very smooth and applies well. The base colour is a light periwinkle blue with a hefty amount of pearly light shimmer. It's lovely but, there's no way of getting round this, it has a very definite frost finish. Whilst frost finish polishes are normally my nemesis I think if anyone can make it look good Chanel can. You will get brush strokes with Sky Line but it does settle down as it dries and because there's so much of the pearl pigment in there you end up with buildable ribbons of shimmer rather than obnoxious streaks.

Black Opal Nails with Andrea Fulerton Gemstone Overcoat

Andrea Fulerton Gemstone Overcoat
Another post kicking off a long term challenge for me. I love opals and fire opals especially and I've always wanted to recreate the look of them on the nail. The ones I particularly love are the Black Fire Opals or Harlequin Opals - the ones that are a beautiful deep blue with intense flashes of colour running through them. I've had a bottle of Andrea Fulerton Gemstone Overcoat for ages that I picked up in Superdrug but it was only when I started looking for shades in my stash to create the look I wanted that I revisited it. It's a stunning duochrome flakie topcoat with a really strong shift from red through to green.

There seem to have been a lot of polishes released like this over the last few years including Nubar 2010, Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure and Essie Shine of the Times. None of them seem to be completely unique but they are very, very pretty and Andrea Fulerton's Gemstone Overcoat is no exception. 

This swatch was done over Nars Night Flight, a very dark sparkly blue and I think Gemstone Overcoat looks best over darker colours like this. You could wear it on its own but it's pretty sheer so you need numerous coats before it would even be close to opaque. The formula is on the thicker side so one coat will give you a good scattered layer of flakes. This is two coats with one coat of Essie Matte about You over the top so you can see the colour shift more clearly. 

This isn't quite the look I want for the finished Opal nail as the blue is a bit dark. I'm thinking a jelly sandwich with a royal blue jelly might be more what I'm looking for, any suggestions?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Chanel April, May and June

Chanel April, May and June

Whilst I was writing my post on the Chanel Fall 2012 couture nails (you can find it here - Link)I was looking at the images wondering if my new camera had slightly washed out the colour of the Chanel nail polish in May that I used for the top layer. It may just be the way my screen was displaying but I'd taken these images for my Tumblr laliqueheart so I thought I do a follow up post here as a comparison.

The April, May and June Le Vernis nail polishes were released as part of Chanel's Harmonie De Printemps collection for Spring 2012. All three are standard creme two coaters, there's no hint of the classic Chanel nail polish shimmer here a la Paradoxal, Mimosa etc. April is a dusty berry red, May a medium bubblegum pink and June a soft apricot. Although this is a Spring collection (I bought these back at the end of January) what these shades really remind me of is beautiful summer garden roses like the picture below, which I guess just about fits with the months they're named after!

Rachel Rose - taken with Instagram

As soon as I had them I did some quick swatches to get an idea of what all three were like. As Chanel nail polishes have a nice small brush I used the same technique for my Confetti Nails tutorial so I could get the best idea of how all three colours came out.

Chanel April, May and June Confetti Nails
They are genuinely lovely colours and the formula is pretty good although my bottle of May has thickened ever so slightly, not really sure why. You can still pick these up in some stores if you've got a real passion for one of them. My favourite is April which was quite unexpected as I thought it would be quite boring but it's lovely on the nail. June is the one I thought I'd love the most and whilst it's really nice it's a little sheerer than April so that pips it for me. May is a good standard bubblegum pink but it is in no way unique so go for it if you want a classic Chanel pink but otherwise it's the most standard colour from the collection I would have said. Now if only I could convince Chanel to release an October nail polish.... 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

OPI Reflecting Pool

OPI Reflecting Pool

Japan/UK Exclusive from the Reflection Glitters Collection (circa 2009 ish). Weirdly this was the first OPI I ever owned, found in a random chemist in a dusty corner all on its own. 

It’s one of my favourite OPIs, perfect smooth formula with icy teal-blue teeny micro glitter and larger gold micro glitter.This was two coats, it's not opaque at one but builds nicely.

It’s a great winter colour rather than the classic vampy dark shades, feels like the kind of thing the White Witch from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe would wear. It was a limited edition but has a famous dupe in Zoya Crystal so you can get that if you can’t find this one.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Crosshatch Nails Tutorial

Crosshatch tape mani with Illamasqua Blow & Essie Mint Candy Apple

I originally posted this on one of my tumblr accounts but I’m reposting it here as part of my mass migration of all of my nail posts.


You paint the base coat first (the yellow in the pic) then make sure you let it dry completely (more than an hour probably).
Once it’s dry, cut strips out of Scotch Tape (the opaque matte one), if you use that you’ll be able to see any air bubbles as you lay the strips across the nail so the lines won’t bleed. Arrange the strips in the pattern you want making sure you press them down to push out the bubbles.

Paint your top colour over the tape in one thickish coat and remove the strips immediately in the reverse of the order you put them on (i.e. take the last one you put on off first). If you try and lift a strip that is underneath another one it will either break and you’ll have to fish around for the end or you’ll make a mess of the line.

That’s it, the only other advice I’d have is if you decide to use a matte polish only use it as a base not a top layer. It dries too fast and you’ll end up pulling the polish off. Good luck!

Monday, 9 July 2012

OPI Alice in Wonderland Collection

These were released way back in Spring 2010 but I'm slogging through all of my swatches trying to get them loaded up here rather than dotted around different blog platforms. These are the first of a series of archive posts trying to clear my backlog.

OPI's Alice in Wonderland Collection was released in conjunction with Tim Burton's film of the same name. There were four polishes but the ones I'm going to show you here are the glitters from the collection. There were two others - "Thanks so muchness!" a red shimmer and "Off with her red!" a tomato red creme - but I already had very similar ones in my stash so I passed on those.

OPI Mad as a Hatter

First up is Mad as a Hatter which is a silver based multicolour glitter. This was the first glitter polish I had that gave full coverage without needing a base colour. It has a medium silver glitter base with extra silver micro glitter and pretty much every other colour of medium sized glitter you could want. The best count I've been able to do has found pink, purple, green, turquoise, gold and orange, the close up swatch below gives you a better idea of just how many colours are in there.

OPI Absolutely Alice Close Up

It's still one of the best glitters I have in my collection, these pictures really can't capture just how sparkly it is. There are still a few bottles floating round out there so if you do manage to find one grab it while you can.

OPI Absolutely Alice

Absolutely Alice is another full coverage glitter, this time turquoise medium sized glitter with a scattering of gold. I've always assumed they used the traditional Disney interpretation of Alice as the inspiration for this shade with the bright blue of her dress and the yellow gold to represent her hair? Either way it's great, very sparkly and good coverage.

Some notes about the formula on these, they are pretty thick so you need to be careful during application so they don't clump and drag. They also chip pretty quickly if you don't use a heavy duty top coat so make sure you double up. Removing them is also a bit of a nightmare, as is often the case with glitters so you can either go the cotton wool soaked with acetone and covered with tinfoil route or just be prepared to go through a LOT of standard remover and have impressively sparkly cuticles. They do also lift off in one complete piece if you happen to be someone who picks at nail varnish but obviously none of you do that...right?....

Disclosure: This polish was bought with my own money

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Chanel Le Vernis Collection

Chanel Le Vernis Collection

So that Chanel problem I mentioned? About that....
Top Row: Riva, Nouvelle Vague, Mimosa, Miami Peach, Ming, Bengal, Mistral, Riviera, Particuliére
Middle Row: Magnétique, Pulsion, Marilyn, Fire, Fantastic, Tulipe Noire, Gondola, Rouge Noir, Paradoxal
Bottom Row: Pearl Drop, Jade Rose, Illusion D’Or, Peridot, Graphite, Black Pearl, Black Velvet, Blue Satin, Vendetta

There have been several additions since I took this so should probably do an updated one at some point. Sky Line comes out next Friday so I think it might be growing even more then....

I'm setting myself a bit of a challenge here - I'm going to try to swatch my entire collection. I'll be tagging all of these posts as "Chanel challenge" and updating the following list as I go, wish me luck...

Models Own Hedonist with Ibiza Mix and Disco Heaven

Models Own Hedonist with Ibiza Mix and Disco Heaven

Hedonist (the base colour) is a bright neon red with a hint of coral, it looks like it leans more towards the coral here but trust me it’s very definitely at the red end of the spectrum. It’s a true neon so it dries matte but obviously the glitter top coats meant that was lost, although I did add a coat of Essie Matte about You to try and show the colours of the glitter off better. Coverage is pretty good, this was two coats and I didn’t really have any issues with streaks but it has the typical neon application which can be a bit thick in places.

Ibiza Mix is the large multi coloured glitter you can see, it’s a blend of small turquoise, pink, copper and gold glitter and larger hexagonal glitter in the same colours with a bit of extra teal-green thrown in for good luck. Application on this was fine as a one coat top layer as shown here but you may need to move some of the glitter around to get the effect you want.
Disco Heaven is a fine gold glitter with a scattering of opalescent blue glitter. It’s actually really pretty and gives good scattered coverage on the nail with one coat.

Dupes? - I don’t have anything for these (which was why I felt ok splashing out!) but I’m pretty sure Hedonist has a match out there. There are some posts out there querying whether Ibiza Mix is a dupe for OPI Rainbow Connection. I have both and to my mind it’s really not. The effect in terms of sizes and shapes of glitter is very similar but the colour bases are different, I promise you. Rainbow Connection is the colourful, silver based sister with bright green, orange, yellow and cerise versus Ibiza Mix which is the pastel, gold based sister with the more subtle tones. I also think Ibiza Mix may have a very, very slight grey toned base but it makes zero difference on the nail. If I had to pick I think Ibiza Mix wins for me.

The only thing I have that’s even in the same ball park as Disco Heaven is the limited edition Chanel Illusion D’Or. The Chanel is much, much subtler (and prettier in my opinion) but DH is a possible substitute if you have a lemming that just won’t go away. I’ll do some side by side comparisons to show the differences when I get a chance.

All of these are part of the Models Own Hed Kandi collection that’s available now on their website and in stores now.

Disclosure: I bought this polish myself and have no involvement with the brand

Quick note on this post. My point and shoot camera had finally given up the ghost so had to take this with an Iphone hence the dodgy focus and slight lighting issues. I originally posted this review on my tumblr - http://www.theboxesunderthebed.tumblr.com/

Chanel Fall 2012 Couture Nails featuring Chanel Diwali & Harrods Customer Service

Chanel Diwali

This is Chanel Diwali from the Bombay Express collection.It was featured in the Chanel Métiers d’Art runway collection back in December. It's silver-gold loveliness from the same Chanel family as Delight and Graphite. Chanel have really been nailing this super shimmery metallic formula recently and Diwali is no exception. Application is good although you will need more than one coat to make it opaque. It's a very light shimmery champagne gold that is named for Diwali, the festival of lights that is celebrated between mid-October to mid-December.

This post has ended up being a kill two birds with one stone one for me as I had a post in mind on the manicure featured at the Chanel Fall 2012 Couture runway show. The following image is from of Style.com
Chanel Fall 2012 Couture Nails
The colours used for this were Chanel May which I do have and Chanel Silver, which is a discontinued shade from 2007 which is not part of my collection. I toyed with the idea of using another silver polish from my stash but decided to use Diwali instead to recreate a similar effect.

Chanel Fall 2012 Couture Nails with Chanel Diwali and May
 This is a super easy technique to use provided you have a relatively steady hand when it comes to standard nail painting. I just did two thin coats of Diwali first, starting close to my cuticle and  once they were dry, added one coat of May starting slightly inside the first colour line.

Just a quick addition about customer service that I wanted to share. I'd managed to completely miss that this collection was coming out last week, so whereas I normally drop in to the store on the day it comes out to make sure I can pick up a bottle, it was over a week after release that I suddenly saw an article on the Stylist website saying the collection had been released in a limited number of stores. I wasn't really relishing traipsing round the shops on a fruitless quest to track down a bottle but I remembered that Harrods have a twitter account - @Harrods

I sent them a tweet asking if they had it in stock (if you want to see the exchange I was using my other twitter account @laliqueheart so you can see it here - Tweet They not only got back to me to say they did but had obviously actually gone to the Chanel counter to check and tweeted a picture of the display - Picture

Whilst nail varnish probably doesn't move the needle in terms of the cost of items in their store, Chanel polishes aren't cheap in nail polish terms so if I'm going to part with my own money for them I'd rather give it to a store that will take the time to go out of their way to help a customer. The staff on the Chanel counter confirmed that the collection featuring Sky Line will be out next Friday so I'll be back then to pick that up as well.

Disclosure: I bought this polish with my own money and just to clarify neither I or anyone I know are associated with Harrods!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Chanel & Ladurée

Chanel Le Vernis & Ladurée Macarons

 Two of my great loves in life - Chanel nail polish and Ladurée macarons.  

Pink - Riviera & Strawberry Candy
Orange - June & Salted Caramel
Yellow - Mimosa & Lemon
Green - Nouvelle Vague & Pistachio
Blue - Riva & Iced Mint
Purple -  Paradoxal & Violet 
Ladurée started in Paris and are slowly opening more stores in other countries but I get them mostly from the concession at Harrods in London. They are hands down the most delicious thing ever, two crisp shells with a chewy centre and with a variety of soft fillings (jam, cream, ganache and so on). They have a set core of flavours that are available all year alongside seasonal varieties like Gingerbread at Christmas, Lily of the Valley in Spring and Strawberry Poppy in Summer. I'm a sucker for any kind of floral flavour so my favourites are Rose and Orange Blossom but the Salted Caramel is awesome too.

They do regular collaborations with different people to create limited edition boxes and flavours. Previous collaborations have included Christian Louboutin, Marni and Matthew Williamson. Currently you can get boxes as part of their collaboration with Hello Kitty.

For more info see their website - http://www.laduree.fr/

A-England - The Legend Collection

A-England is a relatively small British brand that is the brainchild of Adina Bodana. All of her polishes are based on English myths and legends. Her first collection - The Mythicals - was named for the legends of King Arthur and his court. The Legend is based on the story of George and the Dragon with all of the polishes named after different elements of the legend. The collection has seven polishes - St George, Dragon, Ascalon, Princess Sabra (Tristam Eyes), Bridal Veil, Princess Tears and Order of the Garter. I've swatched the first three here, all of them are scattered holos with great formulas that are slightly on the thicker side. These were all two coats but you can definitely get away with one.

A-England Ascalon

 Ascalon is apparently the name of St. George's sword/lance although apparently that was a later addition that wasn't in the original text alongside the Princess first being identified as Sabra. Either way it's a great name for this polish which has a steely lavender base with scattered holo with a LOT of duochrome. You see how it looks more green towards my cuticle then shifts to pinkish by the nail tip? That's not the holo effect, it's the duochrome and it's amazing. Whenever I wear this I spend a significant amount of time doing the duo finger dance* it's really stunning.

* Duo finger dance - point your nails away, now point them back, now wiggle your fingers, now repeat

A-England Dragon

Dragon for um, the Dragon. Dusty leafy green base with a strong bronze flash and more of that gorgeous scattered holo. I assume this is meant to be a play on the idea of the dragon's scales, that's certainly what it reminds me of. The bronze flash adds a kind of armoured element to the idea, you can see it best up the right side of the bottle, that's not just sunlight it's actually the bronze shining through. Definitely puts me in mind of a reptile basking in the sun but maybe that's just me......

A-England St. George

St. George for, well, you know. This is also stunning (are you sensing a theme here?) it's a deep teal based forest green with scattered holo. I always slightly wondered why Adina went for another green on this one. Don't get me wrong it's totally gorgeous but I've always associated dark green with the Dragon, although Dragon the polish works very well in evoking the lizardy-scaley feel as I said above. I wonder if I've missed an association somewhere? I guess I was expecting maybe a red or something like the St. George's cross? There is already a red metallic in the Mythicals collection (Perceval) but a deep dark red holo here would have worked well.

Overall these are fantastic and I'd recommend them to anyone with a lemming for holos or just a love for good formula. I love a polish (and a brand!) that tries to capture the feel of the shade with the name (or vice versa). These feel genuinely mystical and Legen..wait for it...dary*

* ©B.Stinson

The rest of the collection are beautiful scattered holos like the three swatched here apart from Order of the Garter which is apparently a bright blue glass fleck. I also have Princess Sabra which is an olive toned gold holo but the UK weather is conspiring to thwart any chance I have of getting a sunlight picture of that one. If I ever get a chance I'll swatch that too and update the post.

These were released a while ago but my slow shift to blogger following various Tumblr misadventures means I'm only swatching them now. You can purchase them via the A-england website - http://www.a-england.co.uk/

Disclosure: I bought these with my own pennies, yay me!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Confetti Nails Tutorial

Confetti Nails

A simple and very quick tutorial for you that you can do without any tools or brushes. The best thing to do if you want to recreate this is choose a brand of polish that comes with a nice thin brush. I have relatively narrow nails and I wanted to be able to make smallish dots clustered at the tips so I went with predominantly Barry M colours with a little added Essie and Illamasqua to get the mix of colours I wanted.

First I painted one coat of my base colour which is Barry M Grey. Barry M polishes are some of the best value polishes I have in my collection. They come in a wide range of colours and tend to be one coaters that dry to a great high shine finish. I didn't have any topcoat on here so you can get an idea of just how shiny they are straight out of the bottle.
Once the base coat is completely dry you can add your spots. For the spots here I used a mix of Barry M Spring Green & Cyan Blue, Essie Bright Tights (orange)and Illamasqua Jo’Mina (lilac). I started with one colour and went over all of my nails making dots in that colour. I applied them directly from the bottle making sure to wipe off any excess polish so you don't end up with overly large spots. I then repeated this with the other colours in sequence. I didn't wait for the spots to dry completely although I did avoid overlapping any spots until I was sure the spot I was overlapping was dry. Once your spots are dry you're done! The possibilities for colour combinations on this are endless so you can experiment with different looks really easily, I'm planning a future post on this with an ombré twist to look out for that one!

Rainbow Nails

Rainbow Nails with Essie Mesmerize

In celebration of the fact that I have a camera again some quick rainbow nails. Base colour is Essie Mesmerize which is a deep cobalt royal blue. Great coverage on this one, you really only need one coat. Totally worth having the postman wake me up before 8:00am on a Saturday!

Essie Blue Rhapsody

Essie Blue Rhapsody
Essie Blue Rhapsody

This one is from the Mirror Metallics Collection which is available now. It’s a strong silver-blue chrome, one of the best I’ve tried. You really only need one coat but this is two. Application is great but like all chrome style polishes this will chip if you don’t use a top coat, although the quick wear test I did on this seemed to come off better than most.
When I saw the promo images for this collection I wasn’t that bothered but picked Blue Rhapsody up as part of a Boots haul as I liked the look of it. Having tried this one I definitely going to go back to get more from the collection. They are some of the best chromes I’ve seen with a true solid metallic finish. The others in the collection are Good as gold (gold chrome), Penny talk (copper metallic), Nothing else metals (lavender metallic) and No place like chrome (silver chrome)

In other news I finally have a new point and shoot on order so I won’t have to use am Iphone to take dodgy nail pictures any more, yay!

First posted on my tumblr - theboxesunderthebed.tumblr.com