Mani Monday : Ninja Turtles!

In case you don’t know, I have an unhealthy obsession with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It started with my brothers who loved the cartoon when they were younger, and eventually I caught up with them when the remake of the movie came out in 2014. I cried with laughter at Michelangelo (the one in the orange mask for any newbies) and he quickly became my favourite. Since then, I’ve kind of fallen in love with the turtles. If you follow my instagram, you’ll have seen that it has gone so far that I know own a pair of Michelangelo Dr Martens. From those shoes were born these nails.

They’re relatively simple, and of course you can switch out Mikey for your favourite turtle.

Here’s what I used:


So firstly, I painted my pinkies, index fingers and thumbs in the darker green nail paint (Rimmel Rita Ora). Once that I was dry I painted a matte top coat on my pinkies and index fingers, and a glossy top coat on my thumbs – I’ll explain why later on.

On my ring fingers and middle fingers I painted half the nail orange and half the nail in the lighter green (Revlon Gel ColorStay Envy). Then it was a case of copying the design of my shoes on to my nails, using various sized dotting tools and a tiny nail art brush, as you can see here:

Back to my thumb, I tried something a little new for me. I purchased some nail vinyls from ebay, and I figured the shattered glass type one could pass for a turtle shell. So the reason I painted on a glossy top coat is so that the colour underneath is protected and doesn’t peel off when you peel away the vinyl. Once I’d laid down the vinyl, I painted over with a light brown polish, peeled away the vinyl and topped it with a matte top coat once it was dry.

As I said, they’re pretty simple nails as long as you have some pretty basic freehand skills. They’re perfect for my niece’s Princesses and Superheroes birthday party at the end of this week, but I also just love them because they’re Mikey.

Who else loves Mikey? Or are you a Donatello fan? Leonardo? Raphael? Let me know in the comments!

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Mani Monday : Black & Gold!

Here we are again at another Mani Monday! I have to say, this one might be my favourite so far and I have absolutely fallen in love with matte nails. This week saw me buying my first matte top coat from Barry M so I just had to try it out, so I came up with a look based on my new favourite polish: Lottie Tomlinson’s Good As Gold.

As always,  I started with a base coat. Since the spray can tends to make a tiny mess, I decided to start with that, so my ring fingers and middle fingers were given the golden treatment (if you want to find out more about the paint can you can click here). Then it was a case of painting my other fingers black. I used Barry M Black Nail Paint and I’m super surprised at how well it goes on. For a cheaper black nail paint, it only took one coat for it to be completely opaque which is something I’ve struggled to find. Well done Barry M!

On my pinky fingers, it was as simple as shoving it in some black glitter and topping it with the matte top coat. On my index fingers it was even easier. I stuck on a little gold star and topped it with the matte top coat.

For my ring fingers, I painted a black triangle at the bottom of the nails and stuck a gold heart in the centre before finishing with the matte top coat. Similarly, on my thumbs, I painted a white triangle at the bottom, but this time I stuck the heart at the tip of the triangles and finished with the matte top coat.

Finally, on my middle finger, I created a leopard print design using black and white paint and a dotting tool. First I made little splodges with the white, then around the outside in two or three places, I dotted some black in little comma shapes. Then in the gaps I put some more, smaller, black commas. To finish, I topped it with – you guessed it – the matte top coat.

Considering how simple this design was, I’m loving how it looks. It’s sleek and elegant but with a little bit of fun too.

I hope you like it, and maybe give it a go.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Mani Monday : Disney’s Tangled!

My new mani now features my favourite Disney movie : Tangled. I’m trying to practice my nail art skills so this took me a lot longer than I’d care to admit, but, I’m super happy with the result and I can even say painting with my left hand isn’t so dodgy anymore!

I kicked off with a base coat, and then on all my nails except for on my ring finger, I painted two coats of lilac polish. On my ring finger, I mixed a peach polish and a sort of light gold shimmery colour in order to get a skin tone.

On my little finger, I painted the tip green and used a dotting tool to make two bumps for the eyes at the top. Then using the same dotting tool I made eyes with white polish, and used black glitter for the pupil. With a darker green I added some nostrils and a smile and then outlined the top and there we have a little Pascal; Rapunzel’s little chameleon friend!

For Rapunzel herself on my ring finger, I used yellow polish to paint some hair around the edges of the nail. Repeating the same technique as I did on Pascal, I created eyes. Then, with a tiny nail art brush, I used pink polish to create some lips and a light brown polish to add details such as eyebrows, a nose and strands of hair.

My middle finger was pretty simple; just a pink glitter top coat! On my index finger, I first painted a shimmering pink line down the centre and then using a small dotting tool and white polish, I leaned each side with white dots to emulate a frill, almost like Rapunzel’s dress.

Finally on my thumb, I used a tiny dotting tool and white polish to make three tiny flowers and used yellow polish to make the centres. In the gaps I placed little pink flower gems that I had, drawing inspiration from the flowers the children put in Rapuzel’s hair when they braid it.

A coat of top coat, and I was done!

Though it was difficult and time consuming, I love them! I take my hat off to all nail artists who do this on the regular because that must take real time.

Here’s a list of the products I used:


I hope you like these as much as I do.

Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Mani Monday : Pink Diamonds and Gold

Welcome to the start of a new installment on this blog, we have Mani Monday! I love doing nail art and trying out new and quirky designs and so I’ve decided that I’m going to share each new one I do with you on a Monday (mostly because the repetition is cool, not because I do a new mani every Monday 🙊).

For the first one, I have a little something I did with my new paint can, which I’m obsessed with and you can find a full review on it here, and the nail polish I received free for becoming a NailsInc VIP.

I decided to do each finger a little bit different. After painting on my base coat, I went ahead and sprayed my ring fingers with the Good As Gold paint can just so I could get the messy bit out of the way. I then painted the rest of my fingers with NailsInc Westbourne Park Road.

On my little fingers, I painted a chevron tip in white polish and stuck a tiny pink diamond in the centre of the bottom of the nail. Using a dotting tool, I created tiny flowers on my middle finger and used the same pink diamonds as the centres. If you don’t have a dotting tool you could always make one from a hairpin or toothpick! On my index finger, I first drew a straight line (or as straight as I could make it) down the centre of the nail and then used the large dotting tool to make three dots along the line. In the centre of each of those went a pink diamond. And finally, on the thumbs, just to keep it simple, I placed a single diamond in the centre of the bottom of the nail. To finish I applied a top coat and voila!

I really love the way it came out. I think the colours look classy and I like having a different design on each nail. It keeps things interesting!

Here’s a list of the nail products I used:


Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Review : Lottie Tomlinson Nail Paint Can

If you’re familiar with Nails Inc you’ll be familiar with the concept of their nail paint can which is essentially spray paint for your nails for a super fast manicure. If you’re familiar with Lottie Tomlinson, you’ll know she’s an up and coming makeup artist and has collaborated with Nails Inc to make a new shade for the paint cans.

I present to you, Good As Gold.

Good As Gold is exactly what it says on the tin – quite literally. It’s a gorgeous glimmering gold shade which is perfect for summer.

The application process is simple – as long as you remember a base coat! Just shake the can and hold 10-15cm away from the nail and spray in short, sharp bursts. I’d say don’t hold it down for more than a split second otherwise you won’t just be spraying your nail gold, you’ll be redecorating the room you’re doing it in. Let the first coat dry and then go in for a second coat. The amazing thing about this is that whatever magical formula Nails Inc have come up with in order to make it sprayable (and washable which I’ll talk more about in a minute) also means that it dries super duper quick so there’s no waiting around or risk of chipping before you’ve even finished. Then to make it last a bit longer, apply a top coat and you’re done. It’s that easy. Take a look at the result!


Obviously with a spray, it does get on your fingers a little bit so there’s two options. You can either just wash it off like the back of the can recommends and it absolutely does come off easily with a bit of warm water, or you can purchase a little bottle of Simply Peel, which is a liquid latex that you paint on the skin around the nail and peels off all the collateral damage once you’ve finished.

I, for one, think this product is great. It’s super fast and easy. The colour is gorgeous and the wear time is also really good. It doesn’t last as long as other polishes, but I’ve been wearing it for three days now and its only just starting to chip at the tips of my nails. I also think it’s going to be great for nail art. Because the formula is lighter I think its going to be easier to peel off the nail art stencils allowing for a neater design – this is a theory I shall be testing.

For those of you who follow my instragram, you may have already seen my picture of this, which Lottie Tomlinson and Nails Inc both liked and commented on (I died a little), but I wanted to do a full review in case any of you were on the fence about trying it.

I’ve left links below to buy the paint can, but also to the base and top coast I used which is the one Nails Inc recommend. If you’re a nail varnish lover, I’d definitely recommend becoming a Nails Inc VIP for £5 a year to get 10% discount every time you shop online (I did!).

All in all, this might be my new favourite.


Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Good As Gold Nail Paint Can
The Paint Can’s Best Friend Top and Base Coat
Simply Peel

New Nails : Rimmel’s Rita Ora Collection

My nails have been calling out for a fresh manicure for a couple of days because it’s been about two or three weeks since my last gel manicure. The only problem is, now that I’ve moved away from uni, I’ve also moved away from my salon, so whilst saving for my own gel manicure kit, I’m going to have to do them myself. So, I therefore decided to treat myself to some new nail polish.

Whilst doing my usual shop in Asda, I came across Rita Ora’s collection for Rimmel. The colours are all beautiful and bright, perfect for the summer and festival season. The price is pretty brilliant too with each one just costing £2.98. I therefore chose two; a lovely soft peach colour called Peachella, and a lilac toned blue called Bestival Blue (pictured below).


Design wise, I decided to paint all except my ring fingers in Peachella, and my ring fingers in Bestival Blue. Then I used some fine silver glitter to do a light dusting on the tips of the peach. Using a dotting tool and the peach polish, I created little flowers all over my ring finger and dotted the centres using some silver nail art polish. I sealed the whole thing with Rimmel’s Ultra Shine Top Coat.

I’m super pleased with the results. The formula was fast drying and the look is cute and fresh, perfect for summer! Below you can find my before and after and a list of the products I used.



Sparkle On! – Ellie .xx

Acrylic Nails vs Gel Nails – Which is best?

The debate between which is better, gel or acrylic is an ongoing one. Anyone who does acrylic nails is going to argue that acrylic is better and doesn’t damage your nails like a lot of people claim, and obviously anyone who does gel nails is going to argue in favour of gels.

So which one is actually better?

As someone who has had both acrylic and gel nails, the answer is simple: Gel nails are 1000 times better.

I used to be obsessed with acrylic nails. I thought they were gorgeous and elegant and there’s an endless amount of styles you can have. And of course it’s true, they do look gorgeous and they can be elegant. But in all honesty, they’re not worth the damage you put your nails through, because as much as acrylic nail artists claim that if you take care of them, acrylics won’t damage your nails, they do damage them. A lot.

For starters, just having them put on does a lot damage. In a lot of places, artists remove up to 70% of your nail when they file them down before putting the nail tips on. That’s really unhealthy for your nails. Especially when they use electric nail files. If you feel a burning sensation when they do it, that’s also unhealthy. That’s a build up of friction from working in one place for too long. You should never feel that which is why it’s a lot better to use an emery board rather than an electric nail file. It may be more time consuming, but at least there’s less damage.

Once they are on, yes they look pretty but they’re weakening your nails. And personally, I don’t think they look very natural at all. They’re a lot thicker than natural nails, even with nail varnish on. And when you knock them against something, it hurts as much as standing on a piece of lego. I’ve known people who’ve had their nail snapped off to painful degrees because of acrylics and people who’ve had infections because of them. And when they eventually get taken off, have you ever noticed how paper thin and fragile your nails are?  They’re supposed to be a means of helping your natural nails grow to a length where you don’t have to wear tips anymore. But how can that happen if they’re getting weaker instead of stronger?

Hence why I converted.

Gel nails have done wonders for my nails. I started out with getting tips, and after two treatments with the tips on, they were ready to be soaked off and the nails underneath were strong enough and long enough that I could just get gel straight onto my natural nail.

When I first went in, I’d just had my acrylics taken off and I cringed at the sight of my nails. They looked awful and they constantly peeled and snapped. After just one round with the gels, they were so much healthier and they grew so much faster. Yes, that can be a downside because you need infills more often, but for me it’s great. I change my mind so much about colour and style that two or three weeks between treatments is the perfect amount of time.

In my opinion, they also look much better. They look just like you’re wearing nail varnish because really, you’re not adding anything extra to the nail. While you can’t do any of the wacky things like aquarium nails or bubble nails with gels, the colour range and manicure options are the same as with acrylics. In fact, the manicure I’ve just had done is colour changing so one minute they’re blue and then they get this really cool gradient into purple when the temperature changes and sometimes they’re completely purple!

In terms of price, it obviously depends on where you go. In the salon I go to, I can get my gels soaked off and reapplied for £21. The start off manicure is a meagre £12.50. That is a price I can never argue with. I’ve yet to find an acrylic manicure for less than £20. I’m sure if I could, people would tell me it was of lesser quality.

But of course, each to their own. If you’re obsessed with acrylics and all you ever want to wear is acrylics, then go for it. But if you eventually want to show your natural nails off to the world and you want something a little less harsh, I would advise that you go for gels. Gels for me have so many more pros than cons, but you can make up your own mind.

Sparkle on! -Ellie .xx