Amsterdam Adventures…

Hey ladies! Sorry I’ve been so quiet over the past couple of weeks – I was busy packing for a loooong romantic weekend in Amsterdam and I’m back with some big news…

I’M ENGAGED!

My very sneaky fiancé (!) got down on one knee and proposed in the butterfly house at Artis Zoo on Valentines Day – and even managed to get pictures and video! It was the biggest, most wonderful surprise I’ve ever had and I’m absolutely over the moon that everything worked out exactly how he had planned.

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Before we left for our trip, I attempted some random nail art inspired by the ridiculously talented Boom Nails London. I’ve followed @boomnailsldn on Instagram for a good while now and the amazing fine detail that she can achieve is mind-blowing – it’s definitely worth having a look at her work; if not for inspiration then simply to stare enviously at all the beautiful nail art.

Here’s a couple of before-the-bling snaps…

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And here’s one of my set right after Jamie popped a ring on it!

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I used the nib end of a nail art pen for all of the details – getting those fine lines is really, REALLY hard. I’m happy enough with these for a first attempt but I want to improve my fine detail work so I’ll keep practising!

We got home last night and obviously had to get out and see all the family today so I decided to quickly change to a simple mani that would let my beautiful ring be the centre of attention. I went with OPI ‘Got The Blues For Red’ from their new 50 Shades of Grey collection (‘Shine For Me’ may have fallen into my basket too!) and I’m glad I did! It’s a stunning, deep, blood red that screams passion. Perfect for an engagement!

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Visit Boom Nails London here

Follow Boom Nails London on Instagram here

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MUA Peel Off Base Coat

Here’s that post you were keeping your eyes peeled for!

As I mentioned in my first Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons post, I tried out a fantastic new base coat that will have glitter-fans running to Superdrug waving their purses in the air and screaming.

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I spotted MUA’s Peel Off Base while I was running around buying Christmas presents at the end of last year. I didn’t have much spare cash for a proper browse through polishes (there’s no point in looking if I can’t buy, I’d only be torturing myself) and didn’t intend on buying anything for myself at all but at a very reasonable £2, whether it worked well or not, I couldn’t resist picking one up. I’m so glad I did!

I worked in my local Superdrug briefly in 2013 where I learned about MUA – a Superdrug exclusive brand that offers top notch, high quality cosmetic and nail products at phenomenal prices, allowing anyone on any budget to make sure they look and feel great! And their products really are great quality – I’m not just saying that – I’ve been pleasantly surprised by every MUA product I have ever bought. Plus, as with all Superdrug own brand products, MUA is 100% cruelty free. Get into your local Superdrug and try them out!

Back to the base! I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical. With OPI Glitter Off costing almost SIX TIMES the price of this little gem, I wouldn’t even have been annoyed if it was rubbish, but it wasn’t. It really wasn’t! Seriously, go buy it!

MUA Peel Off is clear and has no weird scent to it. I had a sniff as I was wary that I had just paid £2 for 10mls of some sort of cheap glue but I couldn’t smell a thing. It applies clear and dries clear with a very slightly matt finish. My coat was fully dry within about 15 – 20 minutes, but it was quite a thick coat. The base is rather wet and runny so a little really goes a long way, bear this in mind and only use a couple of drops when applying.

I applied two coats of MUA Peel Off under two coats of Tara’s Talons ‘Fresh’ – a nude base polish stuffed to the brim with neon glitter shapes in all sizes – with some more regular polish and nail art on top. The base coat wore really well, I was very impressed. I must admit, my mani only lasted a day without a chip BUT I blame myself not the base coat as I was being very heavy handed and not too careful with my fingertips! And even at that, it was a tiny chip, right at the tip of my ring finger on my right hand.

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I used this base coat again the next day for another one of my Tara’s Talons glitter based polishes and wore my nails for 3 days and worked 2 full day shifts without any chips at all – so there you go, that first chip was most definitely not MUA Peel Off’s fault and I should be more careful when trying out new products!

So far, so good MUA. I was absolutely dying to peel my polish off and see how well the base really worked (so the chip was fate, really) and once again, I was amazed with the results of this phenomenal £2 product! I’m gushing, I know, but this is revolutionary for me! I’ve put off using glitter polishes in the past – as I’m sure a lot of you have – because I didn’t find an hour long session with the acetone and cotton pads to be worth it in the end. Now I don’t have to second guess picking out a stunning sparkly!

I used an orange stick and pushed the polish away from my nail working from base to tip and around the edges. The polish came away in one piece without any need for excessive force or scraping – the ease of removal was consistent across all of my nails – and there was no real need at all to use any polish remover. Click here to view my removal video on YouTube!

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I really can’t stop saying it; I AM AMAZED! I looooooove this product and will most definitely be buying more. MUA Peel Off Base is now officially on my ‘nail essentials’ list. Since discovering this little beauty I would only buy OPI Glitter Off to see the comparison between the two and that’s only because I’m an OPI fan – but MUA Peel Off Base will have a permanent home in my stash now!

Go get it glitter fans! Gooooo!

Buy MUA Peel Off Base here

Browse MUA here

To visit my original post and find out how I created this look click here

Tara’s Talons Giveaway Shortlist!

The Tara’s Talons giveaway shortlist is up and I’m thrilled to say that the Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons series has made the cut!

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As I’ve said, I really really enjoyed participating in this giveaway but it would be the icing on the cake to win a whole new bunch of Tara’s Talons polishes to create more wonderful manis with!

It’s public vote time and the final closing date is noon on February 9th – click here to view all three final entries and vote for your favourite.

Click here to follow Tara’s Talons on Instagram and keep up to date with offers and giveaways.

Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons ‘Holographic Topcoat’

Here’s another Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons post and this one will most likely be the last in my series of entries (unless I can squeeze another cheeky one in before the closing date – that’s February 1st if you’re wondering!)

This one goes out to the ultimate holographic polish – Tara’s Talons Holographic Topcoat. This is most definitely the most wearable and versatile polish I own – it looks beautiful worn alone or over pretty much any colour of polish, taking the base colour to the highest of rainbow-ey, glittery heights! I value my holo topcoat stash so much that I own the whole family – a 5ml, 10ml and my prized GIANT bottle (I think it’s 4oz, which is a little over 100ml!) – obsessive? YES. I’m not ashamed to admit it: I’m Emma and I am a Tara’s Talons holo-aholic.

I really liked the idea of doing some negative space nail art with a few coats of this baby but my fine striping tape was too fiddly and I couldn’t be doing with the stress (PS if anyone has any helpful tips about using fine tape feel free to pop them into the comments below ;)) so I painted three coats (because I’m glitter-greedy!) and waited for inspiration to smack me in the face.

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(one coat, dull light, flash)

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(two coats, dull light, flash)

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(three coats under home halogen bulb, no flash)

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(three coats, dull light, flash)

As you can see, one coat is plenty, particularly if you use your holo topcoat over a base colour and two is pretty perfect. But, as I’ve proven before, I can’t help myself and three coats gives an utterly devine shimmer. And unsurprisingly, it’s up to the usual Tara Talons polish standard: easy application, quick dry time and fab quality!

I eventually stuck with my negative space idea but in a reverse, flipped around, upside down kinda way. I stamped each nail using my MoYou Sailor 5 plate and alternating between Barry M Gellys in Grapefruit and Kiwi, added topcoat (okay, maybe two…again because I’m greedy but also, I’m not sure if it really does but it seems to make things even shinier) a really, really good clean up with acetone and a fine brush and I’m all done. I’m quite chuffed with my stamping progress – confidence seems to be key so I’m going with it!

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(dull light, flash)

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(dull light, flash)

Be prepared for quite a few pictures, I wanted to catch these in different lights and the holo base is so pretty I AGAIN have no restraint and cannot, caaaaannot help showing these sparklies off 😀

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(dull light, outdoors, no flash)

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(dull light, outdoors, no flash)

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(bright light, outdoors, no flash)

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(bright light, outdoors, no flash, close up)

Click here to find out how you could be in with a chance of winning a Tara’s Talons haul of polish and goodies!

Click here to follow Tara’s Talons on Instagram.

Click here to browse Tara’s Talons Etsy store.

Click here to browse MoYou London stamping plates and accessories.

Click here to browse Barry M nail polish and accessories.

Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons ‘Phillip’

Here’s another Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons post – have you entered Tara’s giveaway yet? Click here to find out how to get involved!

This one – like all of them – is another beaut.

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Introducing ‘Phillip’ – a delicious blue glitter that is so sparkly that every time I put it on I find myself getting lost, gazing into it’s glittery depths! It’s so densely glitter packed that two coats gives full coverage (but I can’t help myself and always end up doing three!)

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(one coat under home halogen bulb)

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(two coats under home halogen bulb)

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(three coats under home halogen bulb)

‘Phillip’ dries to the touch in almost no time; give it another 5 – 10 minutes before pulling any risky moves though, just to be sure. As I said, two coats gives a really nice full finish but a third adds more blue and sparkle and I still have over half a bottle so while I can afford the extra coat, I shall have it!

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(three coats under whiter lighting in my work corridor – I think it may be LED strips? I’ll try to find out!)

This is the sparkliest, prettiest polish I own making it one of my absolute favourites in my stash!

I added a little stamped pattern to the tip of my ‘Phillip’ accent nail using my MoYou London Explorer 3 plate to incorporate some nail art and finish my mani off.

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Browse Tara’s Talons Etsy store here
Browse MoYou London products here

Braw Claws Loves Taras Talons ‘Fresh’

Seeing as this is the first post of my Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons series I thought I should start by creating a mani with the polish that prompted me to make my first ever Tara’s Talons purchase.
I spotted a swatch of ‘Fresh’ on Instagram last year and HAD to have it. Tara was offering a pick and mix bag in her Etsy store at the time containing four 10ml polishes of your choice for £20 plus she was offering a 15% discount code to her followers (something she does frequently on social media so click here to keep up to date with Tara’s Instagram account) – I’m a sucker for a bargain! ‘Fresh’ was top of my list and my addiction to Tara’s Talons had begun.
‘Fresh’ is a creamy nude base jam packed with neon shapes in all sizes – dots, hexes and squares galore! It’s a party in a bottle, cupcakes and sweeties and all the pretty! As I’ve found with most of my Tara collection, ‘Fresh’ dries quickly – by the time I finish painting my second hand the first is pretty much fully dry – and it applies well. One coat gives a really light and subtle nude base coverage with plenty of bright pops of neon colour dotted around. Use two coats for a full base coverage and a “glitter sandwich”-ish effect.

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(one coat under home halogen bulb – please excuse any patchy bits, I was rushing as usual!)

I’ve learned through experience that applying glitter polishes is slightly different to applying regular polish (it’s logical really, when you take the differences in consistency into account). I apply glitter polish by painting my nail using the regular two/three stroke method to get base coverage, then I dab the now slightly drier but still glitter-packed brush onto the wet polish on my nail to maximise the glitter coverage on top.

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(home halogen bulb)

I painted a base coat – keep your eyes peeled for more details in a later post 😉 – and allowed it to dry. I used two coats of ‘Fresh’ as my base colour and a nail art pen striper brush in white to create a triangle at the tip of my nail. Then, I carefully applied two coats of Barry M Nail Paint in Berry Lilac from the base of my nail out towards the edges to block out my base in the area around the triangle. After allowing this to dry, I repainted the white lines of the triangle tip to define the area and used the dotting nib end of the nail art pen to add dots. Topcoat, as always, to finish it all off 😀

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(home halogen bulb)

To find out more about the Tara’s Talons giveaway click here
Browse Tara’s Talons Etsy store here
Shop Barry M polishes here

Tara’s Talons Giveaway

Tara’s having a giveaway! All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is show your love for Tara’s Talons through social media – your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or even your blog. Tara will choose her three favourite entries on February 1st at noon then the three favourites will be placed into a public vote on Tara’s blog. Whoever has the most votes by noon on February 9th will win a haul of eight 10ml and two 5ml Tara’s Talons polishes, nail art bits and pieces and extra goodies! You can find all the details on how to enter by clicking here.

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To show my love, I’ll be posting a special series of manis featuring polishes from my sacred Tara stash! Follow my blog or click here to follow my Instagram and keep up to date with my Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons posts.

Good luck!

Follow Tara’s Talons on Instagram here

Visit Tara’s Talons blog here

Visit my first Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons post here