Sunday, 31 March 2013

Monthly Haul: March

Hi ladies! Happy Easter, I hope you all haven't gauged yourself out on chocolate yet! As today marks the end of March (as if it's almost April already?!) it means it's time for my monthly haul post! Compared to Jan/Feb, I have been REALLY good this month, with the majority being sent for review, I haven't actually spent very much at all. Let's kick things off with the things I bought for myself shall we!

You may or may not be aware, I'm a qualified Nail Technician, but am currently learning all about Artificial Nail Structures and how to apply Gels/Acrylics/Overlays. So on my recent trip to Sallys to pick up a few essentials for my college course (which aren't included in the photo) I thought I'd try out some Nina polishes which were on a buy one get one half price offer as well as a Base and Top coat from China Glaze for an upcoming post. 

Next up are these Sation polishes which a lovely lady named Ameerah picked up for me. Ever since Let Them Have Polish has posted Sation, I've been drooling over them but as always, they're only available over seas. So armed with my Sation wish list, Ameerah was able to find these pretties for a really good deal! I just wish shipping wasn't so expensive!

And of course, a haul wouldn't be complete without a Sally Magpies order! When she announced she would be stocking Essence and Catrice, I did a little cartwheel in my head. As you may know, Essence/Catrice are polishes found in mainland Europe, and even though our little island is classed as European, we seem to be forgotten about when it comes to polishes! Unfortunately, Romeo lost it's twin to Sally's dog, so he's looking for a mate!

That concludes my purchases for the month, overall I was pretty good with keeping spending to a minimum. I was also really lucky with PR samples this month, which was a huge help in keeping spending down, so lets have a look what epic nail mail I was lucky enough to receive.

The brand new Spring/Summer collection from Headline Colours, formally known as Killer Colours. You can see the full post and swatches by clicking here.

Next up we have Invogue, a new brand available in selected Superdrug stores and on line now! Invogue is a sister brand to Eye Candy, which has been featured many a time on Polished Criminails. You can see swatches of these polishes here.

I was kindly sent these Gel Wrap base/top coat from Eye Candy to try out, I'm currently working on a post with these so stay tuned for that! I also received a set to giveaway to one of you ladies! Which will be featured shortly too!

I was also kindly sent 3 China Glaze polishes for review (one of which is 'Running In Circles' from the Cirque Du Soleil collection which I forgot to grab) I've already done a glitter gradient with Lorelei's Tiara, which you can see here, and will be reviewing the second polish shortly.

Bondi* is a new brand on the block, available currently on line in the US, I will be doing a full review on this polish next week, complete with all the information you need and a coupon code for your shopping pleasures, so stay tuned for that.

And finally we have the Nails Inc Bling It On: Leather & Skulls set, which you can see a full review of here.

So there you have all the polishes I bought/received in March. I can see another really low buy in April, but we'll have to find out just how low of a buy it was in 30 days time! What are your hauls like from March? Are they huge, small or somewhere in the middle? Did you manage to find a polish you REALLY wanted this month?

Monday, 25 March 2013

Swatch: Invogue - Matt Concrete Effect

Hi ladies! You may have seen the recent Press Release I posted featuring a new UK brand, Invogue, that is now available for purchase at and also swatches of their Feather Effects collection which I posted last month. Well, today I have their two Matt Concrete Effects to show you, Black Magic and Spell Bound.
Visually, these look identical in texture to the Nails Inc Concrete Effect polishes, but without having those in my possession, I can't fully compare them for you. I can tell you that they are more textured than the BarryM Textured Effects Nail Paints and the Nails Inc Leather Effect.

The formula of the Invogue Matt Concrete polishes are a little thicker than your average nail polish, I imagine this is due to it's textured nature. I found that the best way to achieve an even textured coverage is to apply thin coats, as you can see, where a thicker coat was applied, there isn't as much of a textured effect. That being said, I had no issues with applying the polishes, they went on like butter and started drying almost instantly. All photos are taken inside my light box without a top coat as adding one will ruin the textured nature of the polish.

Black Magic is just your average Black polish with added texture. I applied 2 thin coats for the photos above.

Spell Bound is a Red-toned Orange. I tried to get this as accurate as possible but as always my camera had a little freak out, so I did have to edit the colouring slightly. As far as I can remember, this is how the polish looked in real. Again this is 2 coats of Spell Bound.

Invogue's Matt Concrete Effects are now available to purchase here for £3.49 as well as various other textures and finishes, to see Invogue's full range of colours, see this Press Release! To keep up with the latest happenings of Invogue, be sure to follow them on their Facebook/Twitter!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Swatch: Catrice - I'm Dynamite

Hi ladies! Just a quick swatch to show you today of I'm Dynamite by Catrice. If you're in the UK and aren't aware, Sally Magpies are now carrying Essence and Catrice polishes! Catrice are priced at £4 for their regular line and Essence is £2.75 for their regular line! This is the first place I've ever seen Essence/Catrice available in the UK and for such a good price!

I'm Dynamite is a mixture of medium/small Blue toned Silver hex glitter in a clear base. The glitter looks slightly taco'd in the photo, but I can assure you it's just due to the way the light hit the glitter, they all lay perfectly flat in real time. I layered 1 coat of I'm Dynamite over Sation - Suede Shoes, which is where the micro-shimmer you can see comes from, this is not part of I'm Dynamite.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Swatch: My OPI - Euro-Centrale Picks

Hi ladies! I've had these swatches sat on my computer for a couple weeks now and I haven't gotten around to posting them, which explains why my nails look a little shorter than they do now. When I saw the PR photos of the Euro-Centrale collection, I automatically knew I wanted all the Blues/Purples in the collection, so when I saw them at Professional Beauty, I didn't hesitate to pick them up. To my surprise, once I saw swatches cropping up online, I really liked the Pink in the collection, and as you can see, I also picked that one up too.

As always, the formula with the Euro-Centrale polishes were flawless. I had no issues with application besides slight patches on some first coats, but that was easily rectified. All the photos you see below are taken without a base/top coat inside of my lightbox, using only natural lighting (no lamps were used) I tried to make all as colour accurate as possible, but I do have a love/hate relationship with my camera when it comes to colour accuracy. 
Since there are quite a few photos, I took the liberty of adding a jump break.

Press Release: Invogue New Pro Formula Polishes

- New, affordable nail polishes in array of cutting edge colours and effects -

The perfect manicure can instantly update your look and spring/summer 2013 is the perfect time to dip nails in this season's hottest hues and update your nail wardrobe. Keeping up with the latest trends couldn’t be easier (or cheaper!) with the new range of affordable, professionally formulated polishes from Invogue. Offering a wide selection of innovative and cutting edge colours and effects, these high quality polishes are available now, from £2.99 at Superdrug Online and in stores nationwide from mid March 2013 - just in time for your spring style update.

Choose from pastels, brights, dark tones or diamond base or top coats, available in 10 on-trend shades for just £2.99 each!

♥ Diamond Top - This innovative Top Coat acts like a gel polish. Drying instantly and setting your colour for a long lasting manicure.
♥ Diamond Base - Along with the Top Coat, the Base works to help with setting your colour for a long lasting manicure.
♥ In The Navy - Deep, Rich and Regal long lasting Colour.
♥ Barely Beige - Bang on trend, this nude core colour adds full colour without streaks.
♥ Passionate - Pearly Purple rich colour.
♥ Sugar Daddy - Pop of Pink, Perfect for toes!
♥ Delicious - Tangy Orange Zesty colour.
♥ Christian - A cold, taupe. Perfect for adding an edge to neutral.
♥ Tea Leaf - An unusual minty green. Perfect spring shade.
♥ French Maid - Flirty, fun and with a subtle shimmer. It’s all in the name!

Nails will never be boring with these 3, on- trend, neon nail polishes for just £3.49 each

♥ Firecracker - Don’t head for festival season without this gem of a colour; tangy, lively and girly
♥ All That Jazz - An unusual blended purple. This neon purple is a one off !
♥ Green Light - Party till dawn with the most daring neon in the range

Guaranteed to give an instant WOW factor to nails, these innovative nail polishes will give you this seasons key look….for as little as £3.49 each

♥ Sunset -  Soft, dreamy and perfect
♥ Jaye Bird  - Perfect blue sky
♥ On the Money -  Peacock with a touch of neon. A truly unique polish
♥ Parakeet - Candy coloured and looks good enough to eat

Transform nails in an instant with these sparkly, spangly nail polishes in 3 bright hues for just £2.99 each!

♥ Guilty Pleasure - A beautiful combination of purple and blue, this hi res polish is bursting with strong pigment to make a real statement
♥ Desire - Bright, sassy and high glam
♥ Feeling Fruity - Gorgeous and zesty and fruity with a touch of glitter

Set to be a big nail trend for 2013, choose from 2, on trend concrete effect polishes for as little as £3.49 each!

♥ Spell Bound - A potion of radiant orange with a concrete effect finish
♥ Black Magic - Classic black with a twist

Give your nails a futuristic finish with these gorgeous liquid metal polishes in 3 hot hues priced at £2.99 each!

♥ Green Sheen - A beautiful blue blend for high glamour
♥ Fools Gold - A treasure of a colour
♥ Saucy Sundae - Beautiful, fluid, soft yet sassy pink

Spruce up your nails with these fabulous and fashionable suede effect polishes. Choose from 4 hot hues for just £3.49 each

♥ Domination - Industrial chic, the perfect polish for tomboys
♥ Sophisticated - Velvety purple with a suede finish
♥ Hot Gossip - Sassy, shimmery perfection
♥ Emerald Dust - Lime with a suede effect, first seen here!

How amazing do these polishes look? You can already see swatches of the Feathers by clicking here! I'll hopefully be showing you some more of these beauties over the next few weeks, but make sure to look out for them in Superdrug stores or you can already purchase them online by clicking here! Are there any in particular that catch your eye?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Swatch: Nails Inc Bling It On - Leather & Skulls

Hi ladies! I have the Nails Inc Bling It On Leather & Skulls kit to show you today, which was the first in the Leather Effect series to be released, you can now also buy them in Tan and Red. When I first saw the release of the Leather Effect polish, I was a little intrigued, there weren't as many 'textured' polishes on the market at that point so everything was new and exciting, of course now brands are throwing out Textured polishes left, right and centre, especially drugstore brands, which is a good thing if you're not wanting to pay a huge amount of money for just one polish.

I really liked the way Noho applied it was so smooth and depending on how thick you apply the polish, it's pretty much a one coater. I found it did take a little while to dry, but if you're not in a hurry to be anywhere it shouldn't matter. Once dried, the polish is supposed to resemble Leather, which, in my opinion, it does. It also dries to a matte finish - I suggest not applying a top coat if you don't want the effect to disappear.
As well as the Leather Effect polish, the Bling It On Leather & Skulls kit also includes 4 crystal skull embellishments, Nail Glue and a wooden stick.
Let's have a look at the kit shall we?

And here they are will a Skull embellishment. I applied the skull to my nail using tweezers and adding a little bit of the Nail Glue to the top and bottom of the skull. One thing to take into consideration when applying the skulls, is that they are quite large, and do have trouble sitting on your nails, since the skulls are flat. I definitely wouldn't wear the skulls day-to-day but would wear them on a special occasion or a night out on the town to add a little something to my nails. You can remove the skulls by soaking the Nail in Acetone until the glue has dissolved, if done carefully, the Skulls can also be reused!

Overall, I really like the way this polish looks when on the nails. I wore this polish *sans skulls* without a top coat for about 3/4 days with minimal tip wear, which is amazing, considering I spend the majority of my day typing on a keyboard! You can purchase the Bling It On Leather & Skulls kit directly from Nails Inc here, for £19 and is also available for purchase at Littlewoods here, or you can purchase Noho alone, here, for £12. What are your thoughts on the Textured Effects that are taking the Nail Polish world by storm, are you a lover or a hater?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Ask A British Blogger: My Nail Care Routine

Hi ladies! So you may or may not be aware, I am part of a Facebook group solely for British Nail Bloggers to get together and promote one another. A while back we started doing a British Round Up post every Sunday, but many (myself included) started to forget about the deadline for the post and it kinda died out. Recently came the idea that every other week, we answer a question about a subject chosen by the group, this weeks being our Nail Care Routine. Since I've been meaning to post mine for a while now, I thought what better way to promote my fellow British Bloggers and also nail *pun intended* something I've been meaning to do. The products I use generally change every few months or so, but the actual 'routine' stays the same. I tend to give myself a full manicure once every 2 weeks, and use all the tools/products you see below. So let's get into it shall we?

1. Cutex Nail Polish Remover - I always start off my Nail Care Routine by removing any old Nail Polish or Residue I may have on my nails. I'm not partial to any particular polish remover as long as it does the job it's supposed to, but since Cutex is stocked at my local Supermarket, I generally use that, It's usually the one with the Blue cap, but they were out of stock on that when I went recently so I picked up this instead. I always choose Remover that contains Acetone just because it saves a lot of time when removing tough glitters. 
2. Sallys Cuticle Massage Cream - After removing all of my old polish, I apply some Cuticle softener around my cuticles and onto my nail plate ready for pushing back.
3. Cuticle Pusher - Once my cuticles have softened, I grab a Cuticle Pusher and gently go around the Nail Plate and Side Walls and push back any dead skin on/around my nail. I tend to vary between a rubber cuticle pusher and a metal one, I do find the metal ones work a lot better than the rubber ones. The metal ones generally have a scraper on the other end, which helps to dislodge any tough to remove skin from the Nail Plate. I then go around and scrape off all the excess skin around my nails from pushing back.
4. Cuticle Nippers - I only use these when the scraper is unable to remove a piece of skin from the cuticle area. I also use these to *attempt* to get rid of the annoying bits of skin you often see at the side of my Nails in photos.
5. IBD 'Emerald' (240 grit) Nail File - Once the Cuticles have been taken care of, I now shape my nail using a 240 grit Nail File. Like the remover, I'm not partial to a particular brand of Nail Files, any thing will do the job.
6. Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme - This is my everyday 'go to' cuticle balm. I generally apply it in the morning when I wake up and just before I go to bed. If my cuticles are feeling particularly dry or I have been swatching multiple Nail Polishes that day, I will also apply it during the day.
7. The Beauty Parlour Hand Lotion - I saw this brand on offer during my weekly trip to the Supermarket and at the time was running extremely low on my Soap & Glory Hand Food moisturiser. A little of this really does go a long way and makes my Hands feel and smell amazing. It's a true life saver during the harsh Winter days. I sometimes apply a generous amount of this before going to sleep. 
8. Nail Clippers - I only use these when my nails are getting on my nerves and I want them cutting down shorter, or if I've had a particularly bad nail break and need to even out my other nails. If it's a minor trimming they need, I generally use a Nail File. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading this, it's a little different to what I usually do! If you'd like to see more posts like this, or if you have a request for a post you'd like to see, leave it in the comments and I'll get around to it! If you'd like to see other British Nail Bloggers routines, just click on their names below!

Swatch: Headline Colors - Catwalk Collection for Spring/Summer 2013

Hi ladies! I have a semi-new UK brand to show you today. I say semi-new since Headline Colors is actually a re-brand of Killer Colours which I reviewed two of their shades here. Like Killer Colours, Headline Colors release 5 limited edition 'on trend' shades twice a year, from Spring/Summer to Autumn/Winter, each a representation of what is appearing on the catwalk at that particular time. All Headline Colors are professional formula that contains intense pigments for rich, deep colour payoff. A blend of 4 plasticisers provides the ideal 'flex' on the nail to prevent chipping, flaking or peeling and are also free of Toluene, Formaldehyde and DBP.

Before I show you the swatches, I thought I would comment on the formula as a whole. Each polish had a good consistency and applied well with little to no issues, I found that most of the polishes were streaky with the first application but evened out with the second. They all seemed to dry reasonably fast to a high shine finish without the aid of a top coat.

Since there are a lot of swatches in this post, I took the liberty of adding in a jump break.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

NOTD: My First Glitter Gradient & New Blog Layout

Hi ladies! You may notice Polished Criminails has had a little make over. It's been a long time coming, and I'm not 100% happy with the layout as it is at the moment but since I received my brand new customised blog banner from the amazingly talented Gia from Lovely Serendipity yesterday, I needed a new layout to match! I'm still getting used to using X-Large pictures on my blog, to me they seem a little too big, but I'm sure as time goes on I will get used to that!

To celebrate my new banner and layout I thought I would also match my first post with the colour scheme by attempting my first ever glitter gradient! I started out with a base of Headline Colours - Poolside Party* (collection post coming soon) and used China Glaze - Lorelei's Tiara* for the gradient. I smoothed everything over with Eye Candy London - Gel Wrap Top Coat*! I'm really happy with how everything turned out, especially since this was my first ever attempt at a glitter gradient! Enough talk...let's see the finished result!

What do you think to my brand new layout and my first attempt at a glitter gradient? I love the way the colours work together! Stay tuned for some upcoming posts including the brand new Spring/Summer Collection from Headline Colours, formerly known as Killer Colours, Nails Inc Leather Effect in Noho and some swatch spam from Sation, Catrice and Essence!

The product(s) in this post that are marked with a (*) have been sent to me by the company or their PR team for my honest review.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Swatch: A England - Tristam & Saint George

Hi ladies! You may notice a drastic change in my nail length, that's because I've had these sitting in my 'to post' pile for a while and never gotten around to it. Since March has turned into a little 'holo' month so far, I thought I may as well continue that trend and have a clear out at the same time. 

Saint George is a gorgeous Emerald Green scattered holo. I love A England polishes, they're so easy to apply and have some serious staying power as well as a wow factor. I applied 2 coats of Saint George without a base/top coat.

 Tristam is a deep Purple a scattered holo with leanings towards Blue. I applied 2 coats of Tristam without a base/top coat.