Category Archives: Bourjois

Valentines Nail Art for Luchessa and the Polish Alcoholic’s Contest

Happy Hump Day !

Luchessa and Sabrina of Polish Alcoholic are holding a Valentines Nail Art Contest… So here’s my entry 🙂

Bourjois - Bleu Modele & Rose Imaginaire - Valentines Day Nail Art-001

I used a white nail art pen by Barry M and two Bourjois nail polishes – Rose Imaginaire and Bleu Model. They are very cute colours, but they are absolutely AWFUL to work with! A shame, because I had bought them especially for this spring, but both are streaky, runny and hard to level out 😦
Bourjois - Bleu Modele & Rose Imaginaire - Valentines Day Nail Art

Still, at least I got some cute nail art done from them, or at least, I think so!

Bourjois - Bleu Modele & Rose Imaginaire - Valentines Day Nail Art-002

Check out the other entries here : 

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I believe in beauty without cruelty

So call me naïve – I agree that I am. But I was absolutely heartbroken when I found all of this out. It turns out that, in 2013, cosmetics manufacturers still believe that animal testing is necessary.

Before I get too deep into the topic, please note that :
1. I’m talking about testing cosmetics on animals, not medicine. That is a whole other minefield that I don’t feel ready to comment on.
2. This article is about my personal views. You don’t have to agree. You might think I’m overreacting, and I’m not here to judge anyone. I just feel that this is relevant to my blog.
3. When talking about testing products on animals, please do not imagine that they are getting free beauty treatments. I’m not going into gory details here. If you want to know those, you can use a search engine. Just know that I, personally, believe them to be unnecessary, cruel and torturous.

Since March 2013 (yes, only march 2013!), the European Union has banned companies from selling cosmetics that have been tested on animals since 2009/13 (depending on the type of test used).

Whilst I am very grateful that someone finally listened and decided to do something, many international brands are required to submit (and pay for) their products to be tested on animals in China if they wish to sell their products in mainland China. A lot of large cosmetic groups are therefore choosing to test on animals in order to make a profit in the Chinese market.

Again, I’m not saying you have to agree. I’m just saying that I do not believe that millions (or billions!) of dollars justifies causing (even minor) discomfort to one animal, let alone the millions of animals who are subjected to this treatment *every year*. According to this website, 15 million animals are used for testing every year!

Now one thing that I had no idea about – and I feel stupid about that, I should have done my research – is that (too) many of the companies from whom I have been buying nail polish are guilty of this.

Now, I’m not saying that these brands directly test on animals. Some even state that they do not. But their profits go to a corporation that does. Some of these same corporations also fund alternatives, and that is wonderful. But they still test on animals, and I feel totally disgusted that I have therefore (albeit indirectly) funded animal testing.

There is an argument for supporting the parts of these larger corporations to prove that they don’t need to test on animals to make a profit. Personally, I don’t agree. I don’t want a single cent of my money going towards testing cosmetics on animals.

So the upshot is, I’m not going to provide an exhaustive list. But there are some brands I will no longer feature unless they clean up their act. If I thought it would do any good to throw them away, I would. Unfortunately it won’t, so I may use them on manicures. But I will not quote the brand name or trademarks any longer.

Also, if I have made any mistakes, please let me know. It will be my pleasure to correct them, with an apology if appropriate.

Essie apparently does not test directly, but are owned by L’Oréal, who does. O.P.I.Rimmel and Sally Hansen are owned by Coty, who do submit to animal testing to sell in China. So does Procter & Gamble, who own Max Factor. Guerlain and Sephora are owned by LVMH, who have a similar policy. Sadly, so do Estée Lauder companies such as Clinique and M.A.C.

As far as I’m aware, the following companies do not test products or ingredients on animals at all. Note how many there are! :
Barry M
Butter London (though I’ve contacted them to be sure)
China Glaze
Color Club
Models Own (but not all of their polish is three free)
Nails Inc
Picture Polish

All indie brands that I have featured, including but not limited to :
Black Sheep Lacquer
Darling Diva
Different Dimension
Fanchromatic Nails
I Love Nail Polish
Hungry Asian
Lush Lacquer
Northern Star
Piper Polish
Pixie Polish
Pretty & Polished

These are just some nail polish brands, I hope to discover more! For more info about beauty brands, I urge you to check out their policies and those of their owners. Please be careful, some very clever wording is used – they might say that they do not test the final product on animals (that doesn’ t mean they don’t test individual ingredients on animals). They might say that they don’t do animal testing unless required by law. That means that if they have to test on animals to make a profit in China, they will.

There is a lot of information out there, and it’s evolving all the time, so do check it out. Maybe you’re not against animal testing. That’s entirely up to you, and as I said, I’m not passing judgement, I’m just informing, because I was surprised to find this all out myself, and it directly affects the brands that I will now be using for this blog.

Of course, many chemicals that are currently used for cosmetics were tested on animals a long time ago, and though I don’t think that “everyone else did it” is an excuse, I don’t think it is practical (or, indeed possible) for any cosmetics to be made without them.

If you would like to find out more

PETA (and i’m not endorsing all of their tactics) have some helpful lists.

PETA article on animal testing

PETA database of companies

PETA list of companies that test on animals

The National Anti-Vivisection Society

‘Shop Ethical’ Companies to avoid list

‘Not Tested’ online guide to home and beauty products 

The RSPCA (Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) – section about laboratory animals.

L’Oréal on animal testing

Please feel free to comment openly, but I will remove any comments that are insulting, as there is no place for that here.

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Bourjois – So Laque – Adora-bleu

Hello girlies, sorry for my absence yesterday. I’ve caught a big fat cold (thank you, horrible cold, wet May!) and wasn’t feeling too clever at all.

However, this week hasn’t been a total fail, I got given the most beautiful gift from a friend – nail polish of course !

In the words of the great Run DMC : “Check this out !”

Bourjois - So Laque - Adora-bleu

Continue reading

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Comparing Crackles! Ft O.P.I./Barry M/Stargazer/Model’s Own/Bourjois

There are so many crackles out on the market right now; it’s hard to know which one to choose ! It doesn’t matter if you call it crackle, shatter, smash-up, nail effects, or whatever, these are all polishes that dry unevenly to show a base coat through. I don’t know if it’s just a fad or if they are here to stay, but a lot of brands seem to be on the band wagon.

There are a few golden rules when applying these, to get it right :

  1. Use a coloured base coat
  2. For your base coat, pick a contrasting colour for maximum effect
  3. Follow the instructions ! If the bottle says apply over dry varnish, make sure it’s really dry. If the bottle says apply over tacky varnish, do that !
  4. Put at least one layer of topcoat on. Crackle polish usually dries matte, and even if you like the matte effect, it is likely to flake off if you don’t put a topcoat on. If you want to keep it matte, why not try a matte topcoat?
  5. Work quickly. Crackles dry very fast, and you only get one coat, so get it right

I haven’t got any from China Glaze yet (my second favourite brand) as I get my CGs from a discount online store that doesn’t carry them (yet?) but I have a few Barry M‘s, including a couple of what I call my ‘Croc Crackles‘. Apart from that, I will be swatching offerings from Bourjois, Model’s Own, Stargazer and O.P.I. :

First and foremost, here’s my ranking. This is all personal opinion, and none of these bottles were sent to me free, I bought every single one, and of course, I might have just been unlucky with the batches :

The sad #7 : Bourjois – Python Top Coat (Red)

#6 : Stargazer – Hot Pink Crackle (604)

#5 : O.P.I. – Turquoise Shatter (NL E64)

#4 : Barry M – Gold Glitter Instant Nail Effects (321)

#3 : Models Own (Wah Nails) – Smash-Up (Silver)

#2 : Barry M – Black Instant Nail Effects (311)

#1 : Barry M – Red Croc Instant Nail Effects (343)

So that is the order in which I shall take you through them ! It is worth noting that these photos have all been taken before topcoat.


Bourjois – Python Top Coat (Red)

I was very intrigued to see what a ‘python’ top coat would be like, and imagined it might be a bit like the Barry M Croc Effects.

I tried this twice over very dry varnish, and the thicker coat didn’t crackle at all ! The thinner coat did, but had a rather unfortunate effect :

It’s a pretty red, as it goes.

As you can see, the crackle hasn’t dried matte as they usually do. The crackle is very fine, and peeling right off the base coat. Honestly, it just brushes off, you could never even get a topcoat on it to stick it down. Gross !

This retails at about 10€ a bottle out here, and IMHO, it would be a waste to pick it up, even if it were free…


Stargazer – Hot Pink Crackle (604)

Stargazer is a cheaper brand but in my experience does some really respectable nail polishes, especially the Chrome and glitter collections.

I got this one in hot pink, as, well, a tonne of crackles all of the same colour aren’t going to be very much use to me, right?!

This is over Stargazer’s Chrome in Light Blue.

The finish looks matte, and it isn’t flaky at all, but the colour isn’t very opaque (which is a shame, considering it is made to go over other coloured varnishes) and it has cracked really nicely vertically, but there are no horizontal cracks… Each to their own, but this one is not for me !


O.P.I. – Turquoise Shatter (NL E64)

I fell in love with this one for the iridescent blue shade of it.

It’s a good, reliable crackle, but I wouldn’t rate it higher for the simple fact that it dries out horribly. I have thinned it several times, but it’s gloopy every time I open it. So that doesn’t make it very nice to apply, and it can only be applied in a thick layer, which doesn’t  feel very nice on your nails!

It retails at about 15€, and I feel that’s a bit of a waste for a polish that dries out in just a couple of weeks.

Having said that, the colour really packs a punch, and is just as pretty as it looks in the bottle :

This is over the Stargazer Chrome gold shade, but it also looks stunning over dark blues for a beetle-like finish.


Barry M – Gold Glitter Instant Nail Effects (321)

This one cracks very nicely, doesn’t flake and is quite pretty. The only reason I haven’t ranked it higher is that it isn’t very opaque. So that’s probably normal considering that the colour is quite pale, but I feel that it makes it less ‘punchy’.

The glitter in it makes it feel a little ‘grainy’ and personally, I would have preferred a smoother formula. But the layer of crackle polish isn’t too thick, which is nice.

Still, it is quite pretty over the relatively pale blue Chrome varnish.


 Models Own (Wah Nails) – Smash-Up (Silver)

This is another pale colour that covers a bit better. I really like how it looks over the darker Model’s Own Pinky Brown Beetlejuice!

This leaves some nice, wide, evenly distributed cracks that I feel show off the colour underneath beautifully. It’s not too thick, either. Model’s Own isn’t a brand that’s available everywhere, but I do recommend this shade. It dried out a little in the bottle, but remains use-able about a year after I bought it.


Barry M – Black Instant Nail Effects (311)

This is a great crackle, in a classic black.

I layered it over a pink/red ombre, which was several months old, it couldn’t have been dryer and you can see it pulled on it a little, so do be careful to only put this on thoroughly dry varnish.

It is a little thick, that’s due to the application.

I’ve used this one several times and in a thin layer the crackle is very fine, this is a thicker layer as I personally prefer that look, but I think it’s nice to be able to modify the thickness to get a different finish.

This is one of the cheaper crackles, and I have had it for as long as the Model’s Own, but it hasn’t dried out at all !


Barry M – Red Croc Instant Nail Effects (343)

This is my very favourite !

It comes in two shades, black and deep red, and like the above Barry M “classic” crackle, you can adjust the crackle by adjusting the thickness that you apply it at. The larger scales are where I applied it more thickly and the fine ones are where it was applied more thinly.

This is over Models Own Golden Green Beetlejuice for contrast, it looks especially gorgeous over golds, bright reds and blacks.

This is one that you need to apply to tacky (not wet, not dry) varnish, or it won’t crackle at all. But I love the rounded corners, it looks more subtle than the others.

It’s a bit odd to apply as it has an inky consistency, but you mustn’t put it on too thickly or it won’t crackle at all. A thin-to-medium coat is about right and anywhere that there are streaks will leave you with a well-defined vertical crackle.

I found it a bit harder than the others to handle, and it takes longer to dry (more like a ‘normal’ varnish), but personally I think that it’s well worth it ! It is amongst the cheapest I have tested at about 5€, but it is certainly the most original.

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