OPI Make Mine Sparkling Limited Edition Gift Set; Wine and Dine Me and Incognito in Sausalito

I haven’t done a polish review in a long time; largely because, for reasons I’m yet to figure out, my damn nails keep breaking! I don’t know why and it’s driving me up the freaking wall. I did manage to grow them out for New York, but the week I got back-literally that very week- they all broke off again, one by one, and I’ve not managed to get them back since. It was almost as if I had willed them to grow especially for the trip.

Close up of my nails in NYC. This legit makes me want to cry.

Close up of my nails in NYC. This legit makes me want to cry.

I’ve recently started a new nail hardening and growth regime, and they have managed to grow out a little, so I’m super hopeful. Come on nails!!!

In the meantime, the good people over at Just My Look offered me the chance to try out one of the OPI box sets, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity. My nails were looking just about on the good side of short, so I figured now could be a good time to re-explore my love for bold, glittery nails.

They send me over a gorgeous gift set containing two polishes; Wine and Dine Me and Incognito in Sausalito.

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I couldn’t really get a good angle on the polish inside the box due to the glare, so here they are again, sans packaging.

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These gorgeous colours are both right up my street. Any regular followers will know that I am a huge fan of dark shades and glitter, and here I have both! I’ll start with the dark blue, Incognito in Sausalito.

Incognito in Sausalito

This shade is a navy, bruise blue, so dark it’s almost black. I have an on-going love affair with black nails that I blame on watching Spike in Buffy, so I was over the moon to see this dark, rich shade in the box. It goes on beautifully, too; the pictures below are only one coat, making it that most elusive of things; a one coat wonder!

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Darker shades can sometimes require two or even three coats to give good coverage, so I am always on the lookout for polishes that do it in one coat, which is exactly what this one does. The coverage is amazing, and the colour is so beautifully rich and dark. It’s right on the cusp of black, but with a gorgeously rich and elegant blue tone to it. Lush.

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I couldn’t stop admiring my nails in this shade. I would definitely recommend a basecoat, as I imagine this would stain your nails, but the finish and colour are beautiful, and just perfect if you are looking for a dark shade that isn’t quite black.

The next shade was a glitter (huzzah!) called Wine and Dine Me. I deliberately blurred the second picture a little to give you an idea of the sparkles!

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The first thing I noticed about this polish was how heavy the glitter distribution is. A lot of glitter polishes are very sparse when you actually paint them on, so I was pleased to see that this one spread pretty thickly. I’ve done a montage below of several coats over bare nails to give you some idea of the build up.

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As you can see, it has a very pale blue base; this took me by surprise, as I couldn’t see it in the bottle, but it’s a fab idea as it means that you can wear this over bare nails if you feel so inclined. By coat three it was so thick and shiny it was even starting to resemble gel nails! I can’t remember the last time I had a glitter that you could wear bare, so that was very cool to discover.

For the rest of the pictures I layered 2 coats of glitter over Incognito in Sausalito, just as I think that is how I would wear it normally.

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I really loved the colour scheme of this glitter; lots of pinks, purples and blues, all blended together, with large chunks mixed with a very fine sprinkling of deep purple. The glitter dried slightly matte, which I love for glitter, but make sure you finish with a top coat if you want shine. I also noticed that the extra two laters made the blue base look even dark, almost black; this is obviously because of the blue tint to the glitter base. Not an issue, but also worth keeping in mind if you are planning on layering over a lighter colour.

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I am so happy with both these polishes; a dark blue/black and a purple glitter. What more could I want?? I’ve been wearing Incognito in Sausalito all week at work, and I think it’s the perfect work day polish; dark, without being too domineering. I’m planning on layering the glitter over it to jazz it up for the weekend, so in this box you truly do get a day to night nail look!

Naturally I don’t need to sell you on the virtues of OPI. Fab brush shapes, amazingly smooth application, speed drying, huge range of colours; we all know the drill. Just My Look have a frankly massive range of different shades, including the ones above, so if you fancy having a browse here’s the link!

In the meantime, I am carrying on steadfast with my nail growth regime, and I will update you-hopefully soon- as to whether it was successful. Mega talons will soon be mine!!

 

Product Provided by PR. All opinions are my own.

China Glaze Water You Waiting For

The first nail polish I ever got was blue. I was quite young, I’d guess about 7 or 8, and it was free with a magazine I wanted. (Maybe Shout? What a great read that was!) I was beyond thrilled, and I painted all my fingers and toes (badly) as soon as I got home. It was a perfectly hideous colour. At the time I didn’t care, but as I got older and actually started to buy my own stuff, I remembered how awful the blue was and instinctively stayed away from blue polish. That prejudice lasted years and years. Even now, I hesitate before buying a blue polish, which is why I ummed and aaahed for a while before ordering this one.

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My red and gold Hunger Games polish (reviewed here) was solely responsible for me buying this, as I loved that one so much. This one is from their Cirque du Soleil collection, which I think is a few years old? I got mine on ebay for a few pounds.

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It’s a very dense glitter, made of dark and light blue chunks, and just looking at the bottle made me think of the ocean. I wasn’t sure how much coverage it would have, so I painted it over a plain blue, but I honestly don’t think I needed to. This is 3 coats, which gave me a heavy coat of glitter.

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It really does look like the ocean, multi-tonal and shimmery, and very beautiful! This picture is true to the colour, but doesn’t show how sparkly it is. I took this second, out of focus picture to demonstrate the ultra-glitter effect.

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Sparkly much! With the combo of the blue shades and the ultra-shine, this really does look like you’ve painted to ocean on your nails. The closest to a starlit sea I’ve ever seen!

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I was looking for a gorgeously glitter polish that looked like the sea, and this definitely ticks those boxes. I was super happy with it.

And yet….I just don’t love it. I don’t blame the polish; I can see it’s beautiful. I think it’s just my own stupid prejudice! My pre-teen self has totally ruined me for any blue polish, even a gorgeous one! I wore it for a day or two, and I just couldn’t convince myself to fall head over heels. It’s the weirdest thing; I could look at it and see how fab it was, but I just couldn’t stop myself feeling ‘meh’ about it. Random. I like it, sure. But through no fault of it’s own, it’s likely to take a backseat in my collection. Don’t let this put you off if you are interested; I can wholeheartedly recommend it as a gorgeous shade. I just can’t handle blue!

 

 

Boots Advent Calendar Days 3, 4 & 5

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Day 4: Mavala Nail Polish Shade 213, Pure Diamond

Day 4 was a fantastic Mini Mavala nail polish in the perfect Christmas shade, silver holo glitter.

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I love glitter, and this is a beautiful one, but it is made of very fine particles; it takes a long time to build up. Below are 1, 2, 3 and 4 coats.

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Definitely a top coat only, but a nice one all the same, and fab for painting over red for Christmas toenails!

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Day 5: Nina L’Eau Nina Ricci Perfume Mini

I knew there would be perfume samples in here, so that’s fair enough, but I wasn’t a fan of this one at all. It’s very floral and sharp, and smelt like old women to me. It was a little better after it settled, with richer undertones, but still not one I’ll wear.

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Day 6: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation, Shade 100 Ivory

This foundation is FANTASTIC. I bought it earlier this year and haven’t got around to reviewing yet; I’ll put one up soon, but it really is fab. It has great coverage, and the liquid mousse texture is lovely. My only issue here is that this shade will be too dark for me. The shade I already have is shade 010, Light Porcelain, which is the perfect pale colour, and this one is a lot darker compared, as you can see.

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I’ll probably pass this on to one of my olive skinned sisters, see if I can convince them it’s amazing, which it really is. It’s a shame this is too dark for me, as I’d have been elated to have a travel size, but obviously they need to put the most common shade in, and not everybody is ghostly pale! Great product, though!

MUA Magnet Nail Polish

On a recent review of MUA nail polish I mentioned that I only owned one other varnish- one that I had bought for the magnet. That too was a recent purchase, and here it is.

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This is Piccadilly Circus, a dusky pink, and whilst it’s rather pretty I really only bought it for the pattern, a cool swirl that comes out like this.

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Sooo cool huh?! I have loads of magnets already, but none with a pattern that I like as much as this one. I recently decided, after buying the awesome Barry M ones, that I was only getting glittery magnet polishes from now on, but I couldn’t resist this just for the swirl.

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So yes, I liked the shade, but as I said, I’m a total glitter magnet convert. With this in mind, and given the fact that I think the swirl looks kind of spacey, I used it with one of my fave glitter polishes- Barry M shade 347, Supernova.

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AWESOME. OH MAN. SO AWESOME. SO. AWESOME. I loved this, LOVED it. The iridescent glitter on the black looks like a starry sky, and the silver circles look like the milky way. Beautiful. It’s a stunning finish, even more magical in real life when the light catches the colours. Just pure nail heaven!

Rimmel Precious Stones Nail Polish: Diamond Dust

A little while back I reviewed the other varnish in the Rimmel Precious Stones line: Ruby Crush. I totally loved it, and as a result it was only a matter of time before I laid my hands on its sister polish, Diamond Dust.

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I was instantly smitten by the bottle- a dusky, gun-metal grey with tiny silver particles and large silver chunks that catch the light with rainbow sparkles.

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The thing I liked most about the original ruby polish was the high coverage level- it only took a few strokes to get a really thick, glitter heavy finish, and I’m happy to say this one was the same. On first application, I wasn’t sure it would be- the finish of this polish is very different from the ruby, which was very sparkly and high shine. This has an intriguing matte look, and as a result the first layer looked very pale and flimsy. I was convinced it would take forever to build up, but it didn’t- this is only 2 coats.

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Like I said it has a fascinating finish, a kind of muted shine that makes it look like damp sand. Lovely! It may not be for everyone, and the Ruby is undoubtedly more of a crowd pleaser, but I liked it.

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It would need a few more layers to be totally opaque; I’ve been told that layering it over black looks great, so I’ll try that next, but in the meantime I’m super happy with this one. I do think Rimmel missed a trick only releasing 2, though: a whole line of jewel inspired polishes would have been impossible to resist! Imagine a Pearl one! Or Amethyst! Emerald, Sapphire…… the results would have been gorgeous! But what can you do? In the meantime, I’ll happily add this one to my glitter collection and keep an eye out for any more of the same ‘matte glitter’ texture. It’s love! ♥

Nails Inc Jubilee Glitter Polish

Potentially the most exciting beauty gift I got for Christmas this year was a special edition Nails Inc nail polish. It was the one made to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee, and was entitled, naturally, ‘Jubilee’.

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I’m a glitter whore, and a massive Nails Inc. fan, so this varnish ticked all the boxes.  I was extra excited to receive it, however, as I had been angling for a red, white and blue glitter ever since hearing about Barry M’s ‘Jewel Britannia’, which is exactly that. I read some so-so reviews of that polish, however, so steered clear, and was very disappointed not to be able to have lovely English nails for the Olympics. I don’t know how I managed to not hear about this one, since it’s utterly perfect.

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Fortunately for me my little sister was able to hunt it down, and I’ve been cooing over it ever since. The downfall of the Barry M version, as far as I can tell, was that it was far too sparse to build up a good effect.

DSCN0582Fortunately this is not something that the nails Inc one is afflicted with, and as with most Nails Inc glitter it is incredibly thick with sparkle. The particles are a mixture of large and small speckles, and as a result you can build it up fast. This is 3 coats:

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This has immediately joined the ranks of my favourite polishes ever- I ADORE glitter, particularly ones that build up fast, and this one is perfect for that. It’s up there with China Glaze for fast glitter build up, and the finish is fabulous. It’s worth noting 2 things- firstly, that to my eyes the finish here was ever so slightly matte. This could just be the way I was seeing it, but it was definitely less sparkly than I thought it would be. No matter, a quick coat of Nails Inc caviar fixed that!

IMG_3635The second thing is that, as with most glitter, the staying power is only so-so. Three days later I still have pretty much full coverage, but the ends are definitely chipping off in small bits. Give it a few more days and I’ll have massive chunks missing. Still, for a gorgeous polish this doesn’t really matter, and it’s definitely got more staying power than most.

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So, (big shock to nobody), Nails Inc was a winner. A fabulous, gorgeous glitter for my next big English event- perhaps the birth of will and Kate’s baby?!?

Barry M Free Christmas Gift: Superdrug Edition

So here it is, my final Christmas freebie post, just 2 weeks after the end of Christmas! Ha! I hope you all had as busy and fabulous Christmas’s as I did!

When I posted my first Barry M review, I mentioned that the freebies were different in Boots and Superdrug, and this is the latter- and in my opinion, better! In this case you could choose between a shimmery, frosty blue/green, very similar in texture to the Boots freebies, and then a GLITTER. Hells yea. Regular readers will know that I am a total glitter whore, so this nearly caused my eyes to burst from my skull. I took me only a few minutes to snap up the nail polishes I wanted, and then I got my glitter! Huzzah!

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The first varnish was an easy choice, as it was one I had been hoping to get for a while. The only reason I didn’t pick it up in Boots when I got my previous freebie was that it was sold out. Sad times! Anyway, it’s one of the Gelly effect range, in shade ‘Plum’.

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It’s a gorgeous, deep purple, which is my favourite colour of all time, and it comes out in a very high shine, glossy finish. It’s not quite the same as getting actual gels, but it’s pretty darn good all the same!

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IMG_3703I was very happy with the finish, and I spotted another few shades in this range I liked (namely pomegranate) so I imagine I will pick up some more soon!

I didn’t really have another Barry M in mind, so I ended up having a bit of a peruse. It’s always nice when I get to browse, as I normally have a very strict wish list in mind, so it’s a bit of extra indulgence to pick and choose. I ended up landing on shade 299, Racing Green.

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It’s a gorgeously rich, dark, bright green, with that kind of warm shimmer that beetles have. It looked stunning in the bottle, and I’m happy to say that translated to the nail. Here’s 2 coats:

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The depth of the shade makes it look gorgeous on the nail, very striking, and it’s jumped right to the top of my favourite greens. If you’re a fan of teal or turquoise I highly recommend it!

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So now we get to my freebie, the final freebie of Christmas 2012. It’s a high to end on, a rather fabulous and intriguing glitter.

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It has a terribly dull and uninspiring name- Superdrug Xmas LE 2012-B – but the polish itself is utterly inspiring. Its full of differently sized chunks of glitter in red, green and blue- basically, very Christmassy! It didn’t layer too well, so I stuck a few coats over a pale, swampy green, which seemed to go with all the shades.

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I LOVE this glitter- I wasn’t expecting it to go quite as well as it did with the green, but it really does. It strikes me as one of those glitters you won’t see around much- a very unique combo, which looks awesome. I can’t wait to try it over a funky pink or red, I imagine it will look very alien!

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So there we have it folks, my final Christmas freebie. Starting on my next post I’ll be back to the usual, which in this case means reviews of all the awesome stuff I got for Christmas! Be still my beating heart!

Barry M Free Christmas Gift: Boots Edition

Today’s entry in my list of Christmas Freebie’s is Barry M. Well, technically Barry M: round one, since I discovered a few days after I bought this that Superdrug is offering completely different freebies, and after that I obviously had to go and buy more to get my hands on those too. Obviously.

Anyway, this is my Boots Barry M shop, in which you had to spend £5.99 to qualify for one of 2 free nail polishes.

Unlike in previous cases, I had nothing in mind that I wanted from Barry M, but that turned out to be more fun as I got to have a proper peruse and pick some fun, ‘just because’ stuff. The first item I landed on was a nail polish I have had my eye on for a while, shade 333 entitled ‘Black Multi Glitter’.

Basically the name says it all- it’s a black polish containing extremely fine multicoloured glitter particles, and in the bottle it looks stunning. Excuse the blurry pictures, but that’s the best way to show the colours!

The particles look silver, but when they catch the light they come up multi coloured and EXTREMELY gorgeous. Here’s two coats, and again the shot is blurred to show the rainbow effect.

Despite the fact that it’s a bold, black nail, this was actually quite an understated effect in my opinion, as the glitter is fine and more light-catching than eye-catching. It’s a really beautiful finish, very subtle – if you can call black subtle-  and the tiny particles, silver in some lights, are stunning when the light hits them just right. Mega pleased.

The varnish was £2.99, so I had to spend £3 to get my freebie. I landed on another dazzle dust- I say another because I already have at least 10, but really- nobody does eye dust like Barry. Since I am a fan of the dark, smoky eye, I picked a sparkly granite silver, shade 91.

This shade is exactly the reason I love Barry M- you can build it up. One coat gave me a dusty grey with glitter particles, but there was a density to it that told me it could get waaay darker if I kept layering. It’s absolutely perfect to blend between a silver and a black for an intense smoky eye, so I was happy as larry with this one. Hardly a risk, of course, since Barry M eye dust never fails to impress!

So now on to my freebie. At Boots you could choose between 2 frosty metallic shades- pink or gold. I’m not a massive fan of pink, but since I already have tons of gold I ended up taking the pink one home. It’s shade number 242 and its name, originally, is ‘Boots Xmas LE 2012 B’.  Smooth.

I’ll quickly mention the bottle- when I spotted these on top of the stand I literally swooped in, loving the matching lids and the general ‘Christmasness’ of them. Gorge. And despite my aversion to pink, so is the varnish- it has silver shimmers running through it, making me think of frosting or ice. Here’s 2 coats:

To my surprise I actually loved this. The frosty effect is so pretty, and the shade is bright and lovely. I can imagine it looking great with some pink or purple glitter on top, or maybe under a black croc effect. Fabulous!

Unsurprisingly I’m happy with all of my purchases; another win from freebie Christmas! Will you be investing in the free Barry M? Would you rather have the gold? Let me know, and keep your eyes peeled for the Superdrug freebie I picked up- coming in the next few days!

 

Collection Christmas Free Gift: Bedazzled Nail Polish & Glam Crystals Eyeliner

Today’s Christmas freebie comes courtesy of Collection at Boots. Whilst in the previous instances I’ve had no trouble picking items in order to get my free gift, this was quite the opposite- it was the free gift I had been eying for weeks, so I had to pick other stuff in order to grab it!

The gift was a glittery nail polish from the bedazzled range- there are four shades available, and I picked the silvery one: Shade 1, Razzle Dazzle.

The bottle looked awesome on the shelf, full of large and small silver chunks with little pale blue ones scattered in it. I was expecting it to have quite good levels of coverage, but I’m afraid it didn’t. Here’s two coats:

The glitter was still very pretty, but not the full on sparkle fest you get from, say, a good Barry M. not to be outdone, I dragged out a black polish (Essie: Liquorice) and wacked 2 coats of sparkle on top of that.

That, I’m happy to say, made it a lot more effective. You can’t see the blue too well in the picture, but that is what really makes this pop. It’s almost multi dimensional, with the funky shapes and colours giving it that extra edge of magic. I did really like it, and it’s one of my prettier silver glitters, but to be honest I wish I had picked a coloured one, just to make it extra special. They also had purple, blue and gold, and if you plan on investing I would say they might be more striking! This one was pretty, of course, but nothing too amazing.

In order to get this polish, I had to spent £4.99- pretty reasonable considering the polish is £2.99 alone! The first thing I landed on was a rather awesome glittery eyeliner called ‘Glam Crystals’, only £2.99.

I love doing big, sparkly eyes for a night out, and the glitter particles in this looked really dense, holographic and fabulously light-catching. I tried to catch the magical sparkles on camera, but didn’t have much luck- trust me when I say this is a surprisingly good eyeliner, very glittery and longwearing with a LOT of sparkle for your money!

I’m yet to use this on my eyes, but can see it being extra fabulous for Christmas. It’s very dense, the glitter spreads well, and in only one coat you can get a really eye catching, glitzy look. Fab!

I only had £2 left to spend now, and one of their £2.19 single shadows caught my eye- a very pretty, silver/khaki shimmer called Steel Grey, shade 6.

I think you can never have too many eyeshadows, especially if they are kind of medium neutral shades like this one. It’s the type you can dress up or down, wear with a matte beige or cream for the day or jazz up with green, gold or dark brown to make a gorgeous evening eye. This particular shadow was really bendable, which makes it perfect for either occasion, and a lovely, shimmery, grey/green/gold shade. The top picture is more ‘colour accurate’, the bottom shows the shimmer!

Whilst this wasn’t my favourite Christmas set this year, I was still pleased with everything I got. I also think that this particular promotion was probably the most successful, as it introduced me to some products I would not have tried otherwise! Let me know if you invest, and which nail polish you get if you do!

Models Own Ibiza and Disco Mix Plus Free Christmas Gift

Ladies and gentlemen, its that time of year again. the time that causes your heart to skip a beat, your smile to stretch a little wider and a magical sparkle to surround you wherever you go. That’s right, it’s….the moment when all the high street brands introduce their Christmas free gifts!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!!!!

I for one am a sucker for a freebie, especially and utterly pointless one that comes in a nice box and with miniatures. A total and utter win. I knew the time would soon be upon us, so I had been putting off buying a few key items in preparation and as a result I went to Boots this Saturday as a woman on a mission. One eye wateringly large purchase later, I left with every single freebie I could find. That’s right folks, all of them. I have THAT little self control. I’ll be putting one up every day so that you can check out the awesome gifts available in plenty of time to buy them, and today I’ll be starting with the nail varnish overload, as I’m a total nail sucker. Step on up contestant number one: Models Own.

Models Own were offering a free nail art set when you bought any two products. This was utterly ideal for me, as there were exactly 2 nails own varnishes that I had been putting of buying, so I just grabbed them and carried on. Total no brainer.

The first one I picked is Ibiza, a majorly funky mix of purple, gold, blue, silver, peach and aquamarine green glitter particles in different sizes. I’d had my eye on this for a while, so I was thrilled to finally get it.

It totally screams Ibiza to me, the mix of abstract shades and shapes make me think of lights flashing over a dance floor. Awesome. This is  two plain coats

A little bit flat and dull, obviously, but I felt obligated to put a plain one up. It improved vastly over colour- here’s two coats over my favourite black, Liquorice by Essie.

I will admit to not loving it as much as I thought, but despite this I liked it. Over the black the quirky colours are even more striking, even more like disco lights in the dark, and it’s definitely not a mix you would find anywhere else.

It’s quite sparse, so I can’t imagine it being one of those you can build up, but I think the chunky, funky colours are better spread out over a dark shade anyway, so I’m pleased. A very individual and striking mix!

The second colour I picked is one I only spotted a week ago, one that I loved so much it nearly made me break my self-imposed fast and grab it right there. It’s called Disco Mix, a fab blend of purple and blue glitter particles.

I ADORED this one as soon as I saw it. Purple is my all time favourite colour, and combined with the blue it just had something magical. Even better, since the particles are so small it took barely any coats to build it up- this is only 2.

If you put It over a purple basecoat I really think one could nail it. As usual, the pictures don’t do the sparkle justice, and it’s the glitteriest glitter I’ve had in ages. I love it. LOVE it.

It’s the best purple I’ve had in a while, and has just jumped into my top ten favourite polishes. Sparkly, dense, and the prettiest colour ever. Amazing.

So now onto the freebie, which was a nail art kit consisting of a light gold polish and a black nail art pen.

The gold was a very light, shimmery shade, didn’t look to have much in the way of substance but I thought might make a very pretty topcoat over a darker, heavier gold.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the staying power. I would definitely recommend using a gold base, but it held its own better than I thought- this is 3 coats.

You can see the outline of my nail under the colour, which I think is a little unflattering, but I liked the shimmer- it was very frosty and pretty, very Christmas, and would definitely jazz up my Gosh gold, which is rather dull, so I’ll play around with it.

The nail pen was very basic, but something that’s always useful. I raved about the Andrea Fullerton one a while ago, which is exactly the same- a fine brush and a dotter.

The black was great, very heavy and inky and great for doing designs with staying power, and the application was easy too- a fine brush and a great dotter. The dotter was actually better than the Andrea Fullerton one I think, which was a nice surprise!

I apologise for my lack of imagination in the design, but I was just trying to give you an idea, show you the lines and dots it was capable of. As I said, I was very happy with it and would definitely go to Models Own for more of their nail pens.

So ends the first summary of my Christmas freebies. I was very happy with this one, since the gift is obviously useful and the only things I had to buy were items I wanted already. Over the moon. If you’ve had your eye on any Models Own, I recommend grabbing them now whilst this is still around!