Apologies first - I've been resting on my laurels. I've been having a quiet week and have quite enjoyed taking a rest. I got a taster for it at Christmas and it seems to taken hold again. Oh and I have just got addicted to playing mahjong on the Ipad again in bed. Instead of putting a post together, I've been going to bed a bit earlier and playing mahjong. I keep getting stuck at level 30. I need to get past level 30. I M-U-S-T get past level 30! even though I keep dropping the iPad on my face because I'm so tired sometimes and I can't keep my eyes open. When I get past level 30, I'll be back to normal blogging mode. Don't hold your breath - I may be some time.

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Something which I don't talk very much about on the blog is beauty stuff. Because I am rubbish at beauty stuff. I don't know very much and I don't do very much. Cleansing and toning - I use whatever comes to hand. Makeup - whatever came free with a magazine and bonus time. Hair - I whizz a dryer through it and say a prayer. However, I'm rather partial to a spot of nail varnish. I like to buy myself a little bottle as a treat sometimes. It's cheaper than a new thing to wear and makes me smile when I have perfect ... toes.

I think I may be a little addicted!

That's right. Toes. Those funny digit like things on the end of your feet. I love nail varnish on my toes but not my fingers. This is because I am right handed and I am a perfectionist. I am right handed and can paint the nails on my left hand beautifully and precisely. However, I am a cack-handed moron when I use my left hand to paint the nails on my right hand. And being a perfectionist means I cannot stomach badly painted nails especially on me. I actually had a manicure done the day before I got married. It was okayish but not great but I thought I could do better. I took the lot off as soon as I got home and forgot to put some more on. Naked nails on my wedding day. The shame. But better than imperfect ones in my eyes.

However, with my right hand, I can paint my toes beautifully even if I do say so myself.  But it does take time. A stupidly long time. Some people go swish swish - all done. I do it in slow motion and some. It takes me an hour (sometimes more) and I'm usually faint with the effort and the lack of blood not reaching my brain having spent the that amount of time crouched over my toes. I'm not really one of those who just puts it on and wipes up the splashes and overlaps afterwards. It goes on right and that's it. Having said that, I have just bought myself a nail corrector pen set. And I love it. Because it only costs £1.99 from Aldi and you get 3 replacement nibs with each pen and two pens in a pack. That is one fab bargain! I had a similar corrector pen from years back which I've just thrown away recently and had been on the lookout for a replacement. I found one in Boots for £8. Feeling a bit tight and preferring to spend my money on a new polish instead - I was delighted to come across the Aldi alternative for just £2.

Love all these!

Anyway, I always prep my toes (soak in bath, trim and file, cuticles etc) and then its a simple base coat to prevent colour transfer to the toe nails. Then the difficult bit ... choosing a colour. Now should I have purpley grey, greeny grey or bluey grey? Err yes - I have a slight addiction to grey toned nail varnishes. I didn't realise I had this problem until I tipped out my nail polish bag to try and find a colour for a friend and she lined up my nail polishes and it was like a Dulux colour chart with a sliding scale of the same colour. Purple Grey1, Purple Grey 2, Purple Grey 3 or Purple Grey 4. You get the picture.

Blacky greys

Pinky, purples (with a hint of grey)

Beigy, browns.

Greens (with a touch of grey)

Navys 

Deep reds

I have tried other colours like red and orange and pink but they're not very me and don't stay long on my toes - maybe a day at the most and then I have to take the colour off and go back to one of my greys.

The weirdos and misfits.

Out of the many many bottles of varnish that I have, I've found I stick to a trusty few. These are my colours and the ones I rate for application and coverage.

My Favourites
  • Models Own - Purple Grey. Is the colour it says on the bottle - purple grey. Very similar to Chanel's Paradoxal but more solid in tone.
  • Collection 2000 - All That Jazz. Charcoal grey with a tiny hint of shimmer. Better than all my Chanel dark grey/black polishes put together. When I fail to put on my Chanel ones successfully, I turn to this one. This is the one which never fails me and the one you will usually find me sporting.
  • Boots 17 - Smoke Signal. Smokey navy grey. My personal favourite colour. Goes on well and looks expensive on but very cheap to buy. Recommended. Recommended. Recommended!
  • Models Own - Grey. Solid mid grey - goes on beautifully. For those not feeling the charcoals.
  • Essie - Sew Psyched. A cashmere soft sage pewter - that's their description on the Essie site (not mine). My first Essie purchase and it was a successful one. Goes on well. Yeah - I'm loving it
  • Barry M - Mushroom. Cheap dupe of Chanel's Particuliere. A kind of milky mid brown. Goes on well and good coverage.
  • Chanel - Particuliere. Expensive version of Barry M's Mushroom. Very wearable. Nice consistency. One of my more successful Chanel varnishes.

Barry M vs Chanel. The difference! About £15.

Excuse my cuticles - my hands are ruined by housework!
And the rough and ready application - 6 out of 10 for effort.

Oh yes - the reason for me talking about nail varnish today? I painted my toes in my new Essie varnish.

Can't wait for summer!

Having given the toes a bit of a rest over winter, I thought I needed a pick me up and painted my toes. I feel so much better.

Have you got any favourite colours and polishes? Any good grey recommendations?


42 comments:

  1. So it's coats and nail polish you collect then! Funnily enough, nail polish is where I'm super edited :-) I used to love Revlon as well as Chanel but found Revlon rather bad for drying and longevity or perhaps it just happened to be the colour I was using.
    Anyway I just stick to a natural and 3 Chanel reds plus a coral shade. I totally understand about how nice painted toes are! I rarely do my hands since the polish rarely last for more than a couple of days so not worth the effort even though my left hand is pretty good at working on the right! I may explore more colours once Spring arrives and ready for the Summer holidays.

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    1. I need to super edit my nail varnish collection. I really only use the ones I listed in detail. The others are actually surplus to requirement. I buy, I try and a lot fail be it for one reason or another. But I still keep them - why - I'm not sure. Some are really old and I really should get rid. Maybe that should be one of my resolutions?

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  2. Oooh you have perfect feet! I have inherited weird toes and from working out I like to get a good pedi - but there is something really therapeutic about doing your own nails. I love Revlon polishes - they apply well and stay put. I painted my nails a purply color last night with an Opi polish - I think it is from their Holland collection but don't have the bottle next to me now:) You like a bit of grey in your colors don't you :) I LOVE turquioses and corals for the summer on the beach...

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    1. Funny - I don't think I have any Revlon ones. I have in the past but can't think where they've all gone. I tried turquoise the other year and although I did a good job, I felt a bit like an alien so I had to give it away to my friend. That's not to say that you will look like an alien with your turquoise toes!

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  3. Whoa. You may just have me beat on the nail polish front. I never do my toes (as a dancer I've just resigned myself to not being able to hold onto color on my toenails, rubs right off in a day or two), but I do my fingernails fairly often. I'm not so demanding as you though as far as execution goes, I paint them like a drunken monkey, and then when it's dry I find it fairly easy to scrape any extra color off my actual skin. No, it's not a technique recommended by many manicurists, but hey, gets the job done. Even better though, have you ever tried those Sally Hansen stickers? Those things are magic. I bet you'd love them, no mess, no fuss, and they last at least a week. And no, Sally didn't pay me for that endorsement ;)

    www.nomadicd.com

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    1. I beat you on the nail polish? Wow. Now I thought you'd be rolling in bottles of the stuff. I never do my hands - only my toes as I have the reverse problem. My hands are always in water - cleaning up after the boys and wiping things down so they are subjected to a lot. My feet are cocooned through the winter and let free in the summer but generally get an easy time of it and I've been quite good to them not shoe-horning them into painful footwear. If a shoe pinches my toes - I always give my feet time to recover because I like to have nice feet. I'm weird about feet but only my feet. I don't mind what anyone elses looks likes. Interesting technique this drunken monkey one - sounds fun especially the picking off bits after - very monkey.

      The stickers - I saw some the other week in a Rouge Noir tone - I was so tempted. But I resisted.

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    2. Well let me know if you try the stickers, I'm curious to hear if they last on your supermom hands. And let me know if you try the drunken monkey manicure technique as well :)

      www.nomadicd.com

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  4. Hi there!! You've a great selection and collection of nail polishes, all such lovely colours and shades and your nails look fabulous-shame it's not summer yet to show them off! xx

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    1. I know - really looking forward to the summer - sick to death of grey layers and cold winds. I want to feel the wind between my toes :o)

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  5. Wow - I am seriously impressed by your nail polish collection! I have about 5 I think!!! Then again, I am lazy and during the summer, I get a couple of pedi's rather than do my own. My fav salon treatment by a long shot. Avril x

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    1. I wish I had 5. I only use about 5. But I can't resist a new polish. I always reason I can buy 3 or 4 polishes for the price of a manicure and that's always a good argument. Besides I've not found anyone who can do a good manicure round my parts yet. It's a fact well known amongst my group of mums that I don't do manicures for the sole reason that I take the varnish off before they've dried if they are not done well. I don't think I've had a manicure that's lasted more than 4 hours on me (i.e. the time between application and time it's taken me to get home to take it off again).

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  6. You're a lady after my own heart! I love nail polish (buying it, arranging it, gazing at it) but never on my hands. I don't know what it is exactly, but I've always thought that it never suited me. Toes are different though; nail polish on toes looks so cute with sandals in the summer :) I own about 5 nail polishes - all by Barry M or Chanel. I an so envious of your collection, especially the greys... xx

    p.s. AWESOME sandals!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've built up that collection over a number of years - I wasn't even aware it was that big till I emptied the bag out and went "whoa!". I'm not a hands girl either though I think it looks lovely on everyone else and so polished. On my hands if I can be bothered, I do a buff and shine for the natural look. Do try the Boots 17 - Smoke Signal. It's the perfect navy grey - would go lovely with your most recent post outfit! I'm going to replicate that outfit this summer but probably with my sandals - I can't justify another pair when I've got these from last year. I hope to get a lot more wear out of them this year if the summer is a lot better than our last one. Fingers crossed.

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  7. I'd be scared to lay mine out! Just got the three new Chanel spring ones. Say no more!

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    1. Oh please do Sharon, I'd love to see them all!

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    2. Oh go on. Please from me as well. That's two pleases - got to be worth a picture! I'll have to check out the new Chanel ones - I do love the colours they do - they seem to get it spot on somehow.

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  8. A little addicted? :-D

    I can't use nail polish at all because at 30, I still bite my nails and they're all little stubby things. I use color only my toes and was using Butter London before and recently switched to Kure Bazaar. I wish I could be as adventurous as you, but I stick mostly to champagne/rose colors. I love your sandals as well!

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    1. Okay - maybe more than a little addicted. I don't know how it happened. But even if you were to buy one a month, that's twelve a year and it soon builds up. I've heard good things about Butter London but haven't come across it yet in the shops so I haven't tried. I can't buy online - I need to see the colours in the shop to make a decision. I'm not really that adventurous - I don't wear any of the reds or pinks. Just greys - they are actually a really good neutral - works for nails just like clothes. I started off with only beige tones - my favourite was Estee Lauders White Beige which is a lovely soft shade - so very neutral - infact perfect for this year's natural nails look which is looking to be the big thing.

      And thanks about the sandals - Simple in shape but I couldn't resist the glitter.

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  9. Wow that is impressive and inspirational. Agree that nail varnish makes you feel more gam. I have the Barry M mushroom, Dior Excus (similar but with gold through it). Wore Revlon Stormy a lot this A/W ( grey), Jessica Venus was her name (grey,purple you'd love), deep red and deep purple. Struggle with pinks . But my best ever product is Jessica pure brilliance top coat....fab stuff. Great post.

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    1. I don't do pinks but I like the look of them when I buy them and when they're on me, I feel too meh. So back to the greys. For some reason, they blend with my skin tone really well and with tan sandals so I can wear any colour I like. If I wear red varnish on my toes, I find it jars with my outfits or stands out too much. Told you I'm not really an exhibitionist. Will have a look at the Revlon Stormy - can't resist a grey.

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  10. Omg who would have thought there are so many shades of grey nail polishes available! Personally I like bright colours on my toes so usually go for coral, pink and red's I hate my toes not painted it totally freaks me out! I can never keep my finger nails nice for more than a few days and keep having to re do them so I tend not to bother unless it's for a special occasion.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I also hate it when my toes are unpainted - feel positively naked but I thought it's winter, who's looking at my toes anyway. But it all got too much and I feel better now that they've had a little lick of polish. When I meet up with my mums group, they all do their nails (on their hands) except me. I always feel a bit unfinished but I just hate trying to paint my nails with my left hand.

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  11. Gosh, your toes are painted beautifully. And you have so many nail varnishes....much more than me.
    BTW, what's that sally hansen anti-chip top coat like? I'm still looking for the perfect one.

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    1. I love the Sally Hansen top coat. It's my third bottle as I find the brush is a great size for coverage and it works. I find that it keeps polish on up 3 weeks with no chipping (on my toes). I apply an extra coat every 3-4 days if I think it might benefit. I recommend it. I tried another one recently after my bottle ran out and I had to go and buy another Sally one.

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  12. Ah I love what you've done with the heart shape - pictures look fab! Wish you lived near me - the lady I use is soooo good, you wouldn't be taking them off, trust me! x

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    1. Honestly - I am super super picky about finish. Even my friends tell me not to bother with a manicure anymore and when they've had one done, even they say, they're good but not enough for you.

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  13. You have quite the collection!

    My favourite polishes at the mo are the Revlon Colorstay polishes (way way WAY better than the regular Revlon stuff) and the L'Oreal long wearing ones. I really regret not buying more when I was over in the US.

    As for top coats I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT Butter London PD Quick Topcoat. This stuff is unreal. It seals the colour and shine in, plus it dries the varnish and makes it super hard. You can literally do your nails 30 mins before bed and not wake up with sheet marks on your nails the next morn.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Everyone seems to be recommending the Revlon ones here. I must take another look at them. And the Butter London PDQ sounds good - I have done that before when I have woken up with wrinkly toe nails - it kills me especially if I've spent ages getting them perfect. I have been known to sleep with my toes peeping out to make sure they air dry adequately. Weird I know.

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    2. I used to do this too... but not since discovering this Butter London stuff ;)

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  14. You're a girl after my own heart! I have about 3 baskets filled to the brim with nail polishes .. all different makes. I favour the dark purpley black shades or else the greige ones. Also just for my toes as since developing psoriasis on my hands I get the gel nail manicure done on my fingernails every three weeks. I can't resist nail polish. I've even been known to buy mad colours such as yellow or bright blue .. just cos I like the colour, even though I never apply it! My daughter loves it .. has tremendous fun playing with them. She was beyond impressed a few years ago, when on St. Patrick's Day I emerged triumphant after a rummage, with an emerald green, an orange and a white nail polish. Ta dah! A short while later she was sporting little Irish flags on her nails :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Phew! Thought it was just me who had a nail polish addiction. And sounds like we like similar shades. I've resisted the gel and shellac manicures incase I have a job taking them off if I don't think the manicurist has done a good enough job painting them on. You need acetone or something and then I think my nails are fragile enough without slapping acetone on and stripping them of anything good left in them.

      Irish flags - creative!

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  15. Yay, great to see someone with as many nail varnishes as I have. Like you I'm not really an expert on make up and other beauty products but I do love my nail varnish! I feel all dressed up when I have some on. I do like wearing in on my fingers though and only do my toes in the summer generally.

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    1. Oh cool. Thing is - I didn't think I had that many till I tipped them out and then I thought "crikey oh riley". We all have our weaknesses eh :o)

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    2. I knew I had a lot when I stopped being able to zip up the make up back I kept them in!

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  16. Oh my god you have so many nail polishes! My collection is pretty meagre in comparison, they just fill up one of those small boxes from NAP!

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    1. Oh I have one of those boxes from NAP. Never thought of using it for nail polishes but I think that might be a jolly good idea. Thanks!

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  17. Hahaha, I love your nail polish collection! Mine isn't as large as yours, it fills the bottom of a shoe box when the bottles are sitting upright, but then again I have given quite a few away lately. Unlike you I love to paint the nails on my hands and I rarely go without any color on my hands :) I do love a nice pedicure, but it feels a bit pointless when they're only ever visible for those few minutes in the changing rooms at the gym. I've been loving deep jewel tones for months now, only to get instantly fed up last week and pulling out my pastels!

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    1. It does feel a bit pointless at the moment but it makes me feel happy to have nice toes again even if they are for my eyes only. I have a ritual in the summer where every Sunday evening is nail varnish changeover time so I always have nice toes for my sandals and flip flops. Roll on summer!

      That's so strange - I would have had you for dark polish all the way over the pastels.

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  18. Hey dear I really like your blog! What about following each other? Also on bloglovin, facebook and even lookbook if you want...just let me know :3 <3


    JOIN my GIVEAWAY :)

    NEW POST UP!

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    1. Thanks for popping past. Will pop along to have a read of your blog!

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  19. Love your blog and all of your polishes! You've inspired me to head out for a pedicure. Summer is much too far away to wait.

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    1. I pretty much thought that too - summer is too far away but no reason why I can't have pretty toes regardless. Thanks for popping past Martha!

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Hi, I'm Sue.

Mum to Ben & George, married to the Grumps, living in suburbia, somewhere in the north of England.

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