Nails

Pastille Beauty’s 3rd Birthday Celebrations

Posted on 4 min read

Up until last week I hadn’t attended a blog event in a good couple of months so to become reacquainted with an invite to 3rd birthday celebrations at a popular Leeds’ salon surrounded by lashings of prettiness, I’ve never felt so honoured. I’ve always heard so much great feedback from Pastille Beauty Bar, a place of pleasure and pampering located in the award winning Granary Wharf development (or as I call it, the posher part of Leeds) yet – to my shock horror – I’d never stepped foot in there for any treatments.

 

Greeted with friendly smiles, a glass of sparkly fizz and white walls that are instantly a hit with any blogger determined to accomplish that perfect shot with the natural lighting at a flattering angle, I knew I was in for a thrill. I mean the mention of the word tea party alone sounds persuasive enough but when it involves the indulgence of cake and you’re guaranteed to come out of there feeling alive and glammed up, it triples in significance. There were various activities going on from local businesses who had joined in the fun in the couple of hours I was there and never was there a dull moment to be seen.

Nails starting with their forte, we were all lucky enough to be given the opportunity to choose our nail shade made up of some of my favourite collectors; OPI, Essie, Morgan Taylor etc, for our complimentary dash manicures. If I’m truly honest it couldn’t have come at a better time because I was in real need of some nail tlc. A file, a buff and a nonchalant natter with the lovely girls on hand, later, I had glossy orangey red nails that matched my clothing choice, ushered on compliments and which made me feel as fresh as a daisy. Once I’d left my chair ready for the next person I also had a browse at the nail art on display and there were so many amazing, stand out designs that made me want to make my trip a regular occurrence (I’ll definitely be heading back there for some speciality styles!).

 

Cakes – in eye view from my entrance was the best looking dessert arrangement I ever did see, all made especially by Sugar Crush Bakes for the event. The feast was made up of white chocolate rocky road, lemon curd mini scones, mint brownies, lollies, a fanciful cake and much more – including some squeezed lemon juice and winsome paper cups and straws. Not only did they appear too delightful to eat, consisting of a whirl of bright colours, vintage themed platters and burnished perspective but once eaten they were extremely appetising and fed my sweet tooth with just one bite (along with the urge to devour a dozen more). Sugar Crush cater for all sorts; weddings. baby showers, tea parties, you name it, their culinary talent is endless. I’d highly recommend, not only for the presentation but for the modern taste that’s making me hungry just thinking about it. Mmmm.

 

 

Jewellery – jewellery that is out of the ordinary and unique to an individual is my guilty pleasure, especially when it’s created with such care and thought. Christina from Sweet Designs had a stand to showcase her fabulous pieces made from nail polish painted and sealed within the moonstones to mould an array of effects, along with the pendants that had compressed newspaper or magazine cut outs embedded. She was also offering an immediate service to produce a ring that would match your mani for the day. Silly me didn’t have any cash to hand but I did take a card and I’m certain I’ll be purchasing one of her eloquently innovative works of art soon enough.

 

 

Dresses – finally there was a genius movement in the corner that proposed a dress hire service suited to your preferences. Borrowed Couture allows you to rent a designer dress for up to three days at the fraction of the retail price. It’s brilliant for those of you (like me) who don’t go out often so don’t own that many desirable dresses but fancy a step up from the same old, and ideal for those impulsive buyers (once again, like me) who purchase one and then end up dumping it in your wardrobe never to be seen again. This way you don’t get a waste, you just get some seriously eye catching, dreamy garments that you can hand back at the end of an event you wowed at.

I had such a splendid time at Pastille; being in the company of lovely ladies, pleasing pastel interior, and silver foil balloons that are enough to make an instagram lovers’ eyes pop was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. Abra and Erene – the kick ass founders of Pastille – put on such a fantastic event filled with entertainment and support and I even went home with a goody bag filled with kind treats that I can’t wait to use. Thank you so much for inviting me along, girls. I’m planning my next trip as I speak.

 

Have you ever visited Pastille? Where’s your favourite place to appease in some me time?

 

Bridie x

 

Share

Beauty: Winter nail shades

Posted on 2 min read

 

 

I’m a firm believer that just because it’s dark and dismal outside, your nails don’t have to match the mood. During the Autumn/Winter period I don’t always tend to stick to colourless shades. Despite how much I love the burgundies, berries and browns I think the light nudes, greys and purples are just as effective and it means you can mix it up a little.

 

Starting from the left swatch, we have Essie Bahama Mama, one of my all time faves. It’s such a rich, plum wine colour, not quite a red but more of a warmer tone. It’s the perfect classic staple and is suited for any skin tone. In particular, those pale individuals like myself. I feel the saturation really brings out the winter glow and as with all Essie polishes, the formula is excellent and long lasting.

 

Next, there’s Barry M Vintage Violet, a gorgeous delicate purple shade with a lovely shine to it. It’s almost the epitome of purples, a balance between warm and cool. Traditional at its best! Further along is Ciate Chinchilla, a cross between a grey and blue shade. This is one of the most versatile polishes I own; ideal for all seasons it’s softness gives your nails that hint of subtle quirkiness.

 

My fourth choice is a varnish I absolutely adore. Every time I fancy painting my nails, this seems to be the colour I reach for. Essie All Tied Up is a bronzed shade with a sensual shimmer finish. It is said to be part of the summer collection but I think you can easily pass it off as an all rounder. The colour is hard to describe; it’s a rose pinkish gold with a dusky undertone and a tint of brown, the perfect neutral mixture that looks amazing when struck against the hands.

 

Lastly, we have Maybelline NY Forever Strong Professional in the shade Rose Poudre. This gel like high shine polish is the ideal nude to see you through each day. You do need to apply a few coats to get the desired pigmentation but if you’re looking for a barely there but pretty enough to highlight your nails polish, this is the one!

 

Have you got a favourite nail shade which is different from the stereotypical winter shades?

 

Bridie x

Share

Shop My Favourites

Summer Blogger Challenge: Pastel Nails

Posted on 3 min read

 

For this weeks #summerbloggerchallenge, the topic is ‘Summer Trends’. Now, when I think about the numerous trends that pass through the summer, I could be thinking forever. There’s the fashion side of things which can be highly dangerous when I move my focus over to that (I am 100% sure I have a clothes, shoes and accessories addiction, especially the lovely colours and patterns around in the summer!), then there’s the makeup trends that I’m still experimenting with, but one reoccurring trend that I think sticks throughout the summer are the vibrant nail polishes that can make such a difference to your appearance for the day. Nail varnishes are so effortless yet so gorgeous, the colours you choose can highlight your outfit, your makeup, and even your hair colour. At the moment, I can’t get enough of pastel colours. They’re the perfect neutral pick with that ounce of colour and look so effective whatever you do and wherever you go.

 

 

1. It’s only recently I’ve moved on to the more expensive nail polishes and Essie was the first on my list. It’s most definitely worth the money, I love the shape of the brush and how smoothly it glides on the fingernail without making a mess at the sides. Cute As A Button is a stunning bright coral colour, not too dark, and not too light. It stands out against my pale complexion but I think it will also be handy to take abroad with me as I can imagine it looking just as lovely on tanned skin.

 

2. Topshop nail varnish is another bandwagon I’ve jumped on. The colour range they have are gorgeous and there’s plenty of choice when it comes down to the typical summer colours. Flamingo Coral is a peachy coral colour that is of the uplifting kind and once again I think it will suit you whatever your skin tone. If nail polish did facial expressions, this one would be cheerful.

 

3. Ah, my trusty Barry M Gelly’s, I don’t know where I’d be without them. I’ve found them to be the most reliable drugstore brand when it comes down to long lasting colour and chip resistance. They’ve always been my favourite and the pastel colours they have on show at the moment haven’t let me down. Sugar Apple is a beautiful mint green colour and is elegantly flamboyant. It’s the colour that everyone notices and compliments, an absolute staple for when the sun is shining!

 

4. Models Own is another brand I’ve freshly ventured in to. The hyped up (pardon the pun) hyper gel was first on my list due to their pretty colour variety that is always something I go for. Pink Veneer is the perfect pastel pink, girly but not too sleazy. It has just the right amount of balance and can be paired with any sort of outfit, especially for a classy night out!

 

5. Lilac Sheen is another Hypergel colour I purchased a month or so ago. I’ve not used it much but I think it’s one of those nail varnishes which you save for a special occasion or a really warm day. I absolutely love the sleekness of the colour, it’s so gorgeous, light and refreshing and the sort of purple you can get on with. I find it difficult to find a desirable purple, but this one ticks all boxes.

 

6. Another one of my Barry M Gelly’s that I have featured before on my blog, is Huckleberry. It’s very similar to Sugar Apple but has more of an aqua blue tint to it that is bang on trend this summer. I adore how shiny and classy this looks on the nails, it’s highly pigmented so lets out a dash of colour.

 

7. Finally, we have one of my definite all time favourite shades of nail varnish, Essie’s Bikini So Teeny. I do class it as more of a summer colour and one that you can show off more throughout summer, but this would work just as well through the colder months with the fabulous pop of blue it throws out. The easy application and intense colour is an instant winner.

 

So they’re just a few of my favourite summer colours in terms of nail varnish. Do you have a favourite?

 

Share

Vote for me: Pastel patterned nails

Posted on 4 min read

 

You may remember a few months back, I entered an eye makeup competition that the lovely Roch and Tash kindly asked me to take part in. I didn’t win but I enjoyed creating and getting my entry together so when the ladies popped up in my DM’s on Twitter for the second time asking if I’d like to partake in their brand new ‘favourites’ competition, I didn’t hesitate and whipped out the equipment and the camera. The competition involves a mixture of favourite hairstyles, make up looks and nail designs. As I’m still a novice in the beauty department, I decided to stick with the easiest option and show off my current favourite nail design using the basic pastel colours from Barry M, combined with some spots and one statement bow to finish off the look. My ideas for nail designs are usually spurted from Google images and my own thoughts ticking away on what would match the best. I’m not exactly an expert but I thought I’d do a step by step tutorial on how you can achieve this simplistic but pretty design in just a short amount of time.

 

What you’ll need:

1 | Nail tools (a file, buffer, cuticle pusher/nipper etc).
| A base coat/top coat: I used Collection 2 in 1 Top Coat Gloss Enhancer.
| Two colours of your choice: I decided on Barry M in Rosehip and Huckleberry as they pair really nicely together.
| A third colour for the small detail: I used my Barry M Silk as the purple contrasted well with the two block colours.
5 | A dotting tool/nail art pen: I went for the DIY version and used the end of a bobby pin and dipped it into my nail polish.

 

Step one | Prep the nails: This is what I usually do before I paint my nails just to ensure they’re clean and maintained. I soak my hands in warm water for a minute or so to get rid of the oils and then file and shape, followed by cuticle pushing and buffing to raise the shine. I then add a base coat and let that dry for 5 minutes.


Step two | Paint all nails in your chosen base colour. Make sure the colour is opaque as you need it light enough to be able to see the detail/pattern at the final stage.

Step three | Use a pen, a striper or the tip of your brush (which I did) to mark 1/2 way across your base colour with your second chosen colour. It doesn’t have to be precise as you can neaten that up once you carry on painting.

Step four | Glide your brush across the remaining space where your second colour should be. To make sure it is smooth, it is best to add a couple of thin coats instead of one large thick coat. Once again, this doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect as the spots will be covering the middle, just as long as the two colours meet parallel.

Step five | Take your chosen dotting tool and dip it in your nail varnish. I used an ordinary bobby pin and poured a small amount of nail varnish onto paper ready to plunge.

Step six | Carefully dab the end of the dotting tool into the middle of your nail and do this for each finger. Mentally make note of where you want to place the row of spots to make sure they’re all level.

Step seven | Once this is dry, you can start to add your bow. Use the tip of your brush or a thinner cut brush to draw a small triangle about a 1/4 across the nail. Make sure you leave enough room to complete the bow.

Step eight | Do the same as above for the other side of the triangle to form a bow. It should end up mid nail with a couple of spots still showing in line. Once that is dry and you apply a top coat (and tidy up your nails if you’re like me and have the unsteadiest hands possible), you’re done and ready to see the end result!

 

Whatever colour you choose (as long as the colours are similar tones) and whether you leave them blank without a bow and just the spots, or even try out different patterns as an alternate, this is an uncomplicated nail design that looks as though it’s taken much more effort and time than it actually has. It’s a sheer design that would work well in all seasons, particular summer when you can match your nails to your clothes and accessories.

I hope you managed to follow my mini tutorial and feel free to let me know if you’ve tried the design yourselves! I would be extremely appreciative if you took the time out to vote for me here, I’m number 12 and there’s only a few days left to vote. All you need to do is leave a comment with my name ‘Bridie Kirsopp’, or the number 12 and voila that’s it. Thank you so much in advance if you do!

P.S. I treated myself to some new lenses for my Nikon (thank you Argos for your buy now, pay later scheme!) and I’ve been out in the sunshine today with the family trying them out. I’m absolutely loving the 35mm lens and I can’t wait to play around with the blog side of things and insert much higher quality pictures into my posts.

Share

Happy Easter – my Easter nails

Posted on 2 min read

 

Happy Easter, guys! I know it officially started on Friday but as today is Easter Sunday I thought it’d be the best time to share my own Easter nail design with you. Once again, it’s not perfect nor professional but I just fancied treating my nails to an overload of cuteness and painting them with that spring feeling. If you haven’t guessed already, I have a bunny and a chick on my middle fingers, where as the rest are a sparkly, nude colour to represent a pretty egg. I did want to purchase and try out the Models Own Speckled Eggs Dove Pink nail varnish which would have been ideal to use as the main polish but it seemed my local Boots’ stores didn’t stock it and it’d sold out EVERYWHERE so my trusty Barry M Gelly’s in Rose Hip and Huckleberry did the trick, along with the Barry M Sequin Nail Effect (although it isn’t my favourite due to the bumpiness and clumpy texture it leaves). The added flowers and the mini eggs that I very guiltily devoured completed the perfect picture of a bright and happy day which doesn’t really fit the reality of today but it’s the image you create in your head that matters. Easter makes me want to skip through a field of flowers with bunnies hopping behind me but it also makes me want to eat my body weight in Easter eggs you’re never too old for which at this point, is my cue to leave and indulge.

Hope you all enjoy your bank holiday, whether you’re doing something special or just sitting at home being greedy, like I am!

Share

Christmas nails

Posted on 2 min read

Practicing nail art has become a delectable hobby of mine recently and when it comes to Christmas, there are so many options as to what scene or character you can paint onto your nails. I’m no expert and I often have an issue getting the designs spot on with the shakiness of my hands and without having the proper tools to do it with but as it’s something I enjoy and am doing more of, I will most likely purchase the needed equipment and if it’s something you would like to see more of, I will consider doing tutorials on each of my creations the next time round.

I honestly couldn’t choose between the distinctive patterns and tips I searched for online, which is how I produce my own individual ideas, so I ended up doing a few designs which all summed up my idea of what Christmas is all about. From puddings, to reindeer’s and snowy days to starry nights, the outcome showed just what I love about Christmas – in nail form! (You may just have to excuse the poor lighting and the fact my nails needed tidying up but these were just quick snaps of each hand).

Christmas pudding nails

 

Santa and his suit nails

 

Snow themed nails

 

A sweet, happy, bright and fun Christmas nails

 

Reindeer nails

 

Starry night themed nails

Do feel free let me know what you think of these, because I love to hear my readers’ views on what I post and if I don’t manage to gather up another post before Wednesday (I’m hoping I can squeeze an outfit post in from my fabulous night out last night) then have a very merry Christmas and have a wonderful time with your loved ones!

Lots of love…

 

Share