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33DC Day 17: Artwork With Your Favourite Brand

It’s day 17 and we’re now over the half way point in the Crumpet’s Nail Tarts 33 Day Challenge. Day 17 calls for artwork with your favourite brand. How can I decide which is my favourite brand?

I love my Chanel polishes. I only have 8 of them – because they’re so expensive, so just an occasional luxury.

I love L’Oréal Color Riche polishes too. I have thirty-one of them. They are also expensive in terms of price per millimetre, as they only come in 5ml bottles. But you can often get them for £1.30 or so at Fragrance Direct. They last really well on me. Plus, I consider the brand one of my favourites because over the year that I’ve been painting my nails, when I have really loved a polish, I have bought a backup bottle. I have 6 backup bottles and 4 of those are L’Oréals.

But I think I should judge my favourite brand to be Barry M. I have forty-seven bottles of Barry M – that’s more than any other polish. It’s inexpensive, easy to get hold of, comes in a great range of colours, and the brand is great at quickly bringing new trends to market (thermal colour-changing polish next please, Barry M!)

So I’ve chosen three Barry M colours for a braided manicure.

Braided nails using Barry M polishes
Braided nails using Barry M polishes: Turquoise, Blackberry and Christmas Blue (SLE 2012 A)

I’m rather proud of these nails. I’ve only previously done one braided finger as an accent, so I’m pleased that I did a whole manicure.


Crumpet's Nail Tarts 33DC


For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base colour: two coats of Barry M Turquoise
  • Briad colours: Barry M Turquoise, Barry M Christmas Blue (SLE 2012 A), Barry M Blackberry
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl


Have a look at what everyone else doing the challenge has come up with:


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All images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.




How to make your own cuticle oil

I’ve been making and using my own cuticle oil for some time now. It’s easy to do, and works out far cheaper than buying commercially made oil. Plus, because of the ingredients, it’s actually better too. I thought some of you might want to know how to make it, so I’ve put this guide together.

I’ve linked to the supplier I’ve used, but you may be able to find others that sell the same things.


Making cuticle oil: what you need

  • A bottle
  • Some oil
  • Some fragrance
How to make your own cuticle oil
My cuticle oil in its bottle (left) and jojoba oil and lime essential oil.

All of my supplies come from Naturallythinking, an online aromatherapy shop, but if you don’t want to use them you can probably find similar shops or suppliers.


The bottle

Blue glass bottle

I bought a 10ml, blue glass bottle for 20p. They also come in amber and green.


Then I added a glass pipette dropper lid, which cost 25p.


The oil

Jojoba oil

I bought 100ml of organic jojoba carrier oil for £7.00 – you can also buy non-organic for £5.00. Jojoba oil isn’t truly an oil – instead it’s what’s known as a wax ester – but at room temperature, it looks and behaves like an oil. It is very similar in properties to sebum, our body’s natural oil, and so it absorbs really easily into the skin and moisturises and softens the cuticles. It works far better than other oils, which due to their larger molecule size, have difficulty penetrating the skin.


The fragrance

Bergamot essential oil

Lime essential oil

You could just use the jojoba oil on its own, but I like to add some fragrance. To a (just under) 10ml bottle of jojoba oil, I typically add two drops of lime essential oil (£3.40) and three drops of bergamot essential oil (£3.40). But there are all sorts of fragrances available and if you’re into aromatherapy you can probably come up with some better fragrance mixtures than me.


The total cost

So, my total cost was £14.25. But if you buy non-organic oil and just one essential oil, it could cost you as little as  £8.85. I was lucky to find out that the shop is close to me, and I could order online and then collect, so I didn’t have to pay for delivery, which usually costs £3.95. Even with shipping, it’s a total cost of £12.80 to £18.20. And that’s enough oil and essential oil for ten bottles’ worth of home-made cuticle oil. So less than £2 a bottle. Bargain!

Actually, with the low cost of the bottles, I should really have bought several bottles and lids – then I could have one at home, one in the car, one in the office …



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Product images are courtesy of and copyright to Naturallythinking.
All other images are copyright to Kerruticles.





33DC Day 16: South America

So, day 16 – we’re nearly half way there in the Crumpet’s Nail Tarts 33 Day Challenge. I had no idea what to do – but this time it was because there was too much choice. South America is a huge continent, made up of lots of countries and spanning all manner of cultures and possible inspirations.

I was set on doing the Chilean flag, as it’s quite easy and I’m still recuperating from my foot operation, so I’m not up to a great deal at the moment.

But I did one more quick Google of ideas and came across the Copacabana beach promenade. It’s apparently very famous, but I’ve never seen or heard of it before.

The Copacabana Promenade is a black and white Portuguese pavement in the design of a geometric wave. I’m very taken with it and would love to visit one day. Anyway, this became my inspiration and I set about recreating it by hand-drawing it onto a home-made decal.

South America Copacabana Promenade
33DC: Day 16 – South America – a take on the Copacabana Promenade using Barry M Matt White and Barry M black nail art pen

I thought my decal was too thin and was worried it wouldn’t come off the plastic, so I added a second layer of top coat after I had drawn the black. In the event, this made it too thick and so it was quite difficult to stick it down on my nail. I was left with some air bubbles and smudges. All the black looked OK; it was just the white. So I went over the patchy bits with some more white nail polish and a very fine brush and then top coated again. It’s an OK job, but not brilliant close up.

Crumpet's Nail Tarts 33DC


For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base colour: three coats of Barry M Matt White
  • Black wavy lines: hand-drawn decals using Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black; then touched up with Barry M Matt White
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl


Have a look at what everyone else doing the challenge has come up with:


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All images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.




SpaRitual Intellect

Intellect is my second polish from the just launched SpaRitual Illuminate Christmas 2013 collection.

The collection comprises six polishes that “borrow luminous colour from the master glassmakers of Italy. Cool electric hues reflect a rich heritage of craftsmanship. Iridescent shades catch and play with light. Recycled glass beads magnify vibrant colours.”

Intellect is a sheer blue jelly, flecked with silver, blue and violet. It’s more sheer than Intention, so I needed four coats but they dried really quickly so it wasn’t a problem.

The polish looks like a blue-violet duochrome in the bottle, but on the nail that doesn’t translate and it just looks blue.

As with the other polish in this collection that I’ve tried, as it’s being painted on, it really does look like flecked liquid glass, but it dries quite matte, so I used a top coat to give it more shine and sparkle.

SpaRitual Intellect
SpaRitual Intellect

This is a wonderful colour for winter, and would be a great base for some seasonal nail art.

In the UK, you can buy the SpaRitual Illuminate collection of polishes from and from


For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Colour: four coats of SpaRitual Intellect
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl

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All images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.

Products shown in this post were sent to me for review. All views expressed in this post are my own, honest and unbiased opinions.



33DC Day 15: Animals

This was another prompt in the Crumpet’s Nail Tarts 33 Day Challenge that I went back and forth with ideas for.

I thought about doing penguins (might leave those until Christmas now), then an animal print like leopard or zebra. I Googled for inspiration but nothing was jumping out at me.

I was starting to get somewhere when I was looking at images of cartoon character animals. Mickey Mouse and the like are quite hard for me to replicate, but I suddenly saw an image of good old Roobarb and Custard and knew I shouldn’t have any problems reproducing them.

For those of you who aren’t British, Roobarb was a fantastic children’s cartoon, shown at tea time back when I was a child in the mid 1970s. Roobarb was a green dog and Custard, his nemesis, a pink cat. It was voiced by the wonderful Richard Briers and drawn in a very sketchy way – hence why I thought I could manage to draw it!

I hand drew the characters onto some home-made decals, rather than drawing them straight onto my nails. It was a straightforward process, and although my drawing isn’t perfect (the mouths are missing some teeth for example), it certainly represents the characters I remember so well.

I used Model’s Own Raspberry Crush for Custard. I meant to use Pink Blush, which is a brighter, more Barbie pink, but I grabbed the wrong one out of the Helmer and didn’t realise until it was too late.

Roobarb is done in Barry M Lime Green.

Roobarb and Custard nails
Day 15: Animals – Roobarb and Custard nails, using Barry M Lime Green, Model’s Own Raspberry Crush, China Glaze White On White and Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black

For those of you who have never seen it, here’s an episode of Roobarb, called When The Day Wouldn’t Keep Still:

It’s “South America” next – I have no ideas yet!

Crumpet's Nail Tarts 33DC


For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base colour: two coats of Model’s Own Raspberry Crush, two coats of China Glaze White on White, or two coats of Barry M Lime Green over one coat of China Glaze White On White
  • DIY decals: hand-drawn using Barry M nail art pen in Black and filled in with Barry M Lime Green, Model’s Own Raspberry Crush and China Glaze White On White
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl


Have a look at what everyone else doing the challenge has come up with:


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All images are copyright to Kerruticles unless otherwise mentioned.