Monday, 7 January 2013

Dark (nail) Arts

Morning :) I hope you all had a great weekend! Despite being ill I enjoyed my weekend playing with nail goodies (which you can see below) and watching DVD's. 

Recently I was asked by FrontCover (who turn the latest catwalk trends into ready to wear cosmetics kits) to review one of their nail kits called Dark Arts. I was extra excited about this because I had bought (and had bought for me) their makeup kits and I always loved them but I had never got my talons on their nail kits before now! 

Here's what you get in the Dark Arts kit

Nail decorations - red diamantes, clear diamantes, metallic gold squares and holographic diamond glitter
Four nail polishes; black - oil slick, vampy red - cardinal, gold - hit the jackpot and orange - saffron stigma
Glossy top coat (that works well over nail art and doesn't smudge anything!)
Dotting sticks
Mini scissors
Mini tweezers
Orange stick/cuticle stick
Nail art brush/striping brush
Nail file
Three sets of nail stickers
Nail glue

Firstly, here's the decorations. They're fab and the tweezers that come in the kit actually pick up the diamantes without pinging them across the room! The top left is the gold squares and next to it the holographic diamond glitter. Then the bottom left is the clear diamantes and next to them the clear diamantes. The diamantes come in different shapes as well, there's square, rectangle, oval and circle ones in each of the colours.

Next we have the polishes. From left to right we have; oil slick, cardinal, saffron stigma, hit the jackpot and the glossy topcoat.

These are the tools you get, the black scissors look fab and I love the cute envelope the dotting sticks come in. Everything in the kit is really good quality and the fact that the tools fit in with the colour scheme just make it that extra bit fancy :)

These are the nail stickers, the lace ones are my favourite!

As well as all of that, you obviously get the box it comes in which is really well made so you can keep the kit stored inside it and on the inside of the lid there loads of nail art ideas, showing you some of the designs you can do using the kit. There is also a booklet in the box with translations into languages other than English. 

So here are the pictures of my first try of the polishes, which I was really impressed with. They are gorgeous colours, they apply really well and the lids are a good size and shape so they're easy to hold and work with.

This is the gold - hit the jackpot. The top set of nails shows the colour after one coat and the bottom shows the colour after two coats. The first coat is a paler gold but it gives the same even coverage with no streaking that you get from the second coat, so if you wanted a paler colour you could just apply one coat.

This one is saffron stigma and is so gorgeous. It has a gold shimmer running through it and is fab for Autumn. Again the top set of nails shows the picture after one coat and the bottom set after two coats. The first coat is a pinky kind of orange and is really even so you could keep this shade at one coat. This would be a fab polish for sunset nail art.

This is oil slick. The top set shows the colour after one coat and it's gone on really evenly which is great but is very light, however the second coat, which you can see on the bottom set, it's jet black and glossy. A perfect background for nail art!

This gorgeous red is cardinal. The nails on the left show the colour after two coats and the set on the right shows the colour after one coat. This is such a classic colour and fits in really well with the theme of this kit. I think I might have to wear this polish straight away because it's perfect for Winter!

Here are my two favourite colours after two coats of polish. Firstly saffron stigma, a gorgeous burnt orange.

My other favourite is hit the jackpot and actually these colours would go really well together!

These are the nail stickers, which are lovely. The black ones with the silver pattern are so
glam and brown ones look like Winter jumpers but the lace ones are my favourite. I think they're so pretty and I've incorporated them into one of the designs I've done using this kit. are the designs I've done using this kit so far. I've got many more ideas though, so I'm sure this kit will be popping up again soon!

I did this design using hit the jackpot as a base colour. I also used oil slick and the striping brush to paint on the lines. I did this design to try out the striping brush and it was fab, there were no stray bristles that messed up my lines! I also wanted to see if I could use the black for nail art with only one coat and I can, I didn't have to go over any of the lines.

I think I might do this design again but do full stripes across the nail, rather than down the nail and add in some diamantes!

I finished this mani off off with the topcoat and here's the result! This topcoat is really nice, I used a different brand of topcoat yesterday that pulled some of the nail art colour into the base colour (red into white!). So as I applied this topcoat to the first nail I was almost afraid to look but as you can see it was fine, no colour shifted and it really does make them glossy!

I did this design using cardinal as the base coat. I then used hit the jackpot and the dotting sticks to do some nail art. I painted hit the jackpot over three full nails, I half painted three others and two I left as just the base colour. Then  on the last two nails, I dotted on hit the jackpot with the dotting sticks to test them out.

I experimented a bit with the dotting sticks making small, medium and large dots and they worked really well. I just cleaned them up after and they're fine to reuse.

 This is the finished design, I love these two colours together.

This design is saffron stigma with the diamond holographic glitter sprinkled on. I applied the glue from the kit onto alternate nails and sprinkled the glitter over the top. I love this glitter and I think it'll look really good with the black polish (oil slick) so I'll be trying that out soon too. 

For this mani I used oil slick and on the ring fingers I used clear diamantes all over the nail for an extra blingy look! I used the glue and tweezers from the kit to do this (and the next) design and I was really impressed that the tweezers actually picked up all the diamantes without me ending up with the all over the floor and I didn't have to use my wax pencil at all :D

For this mani I used oil slick again but this time I used the red diamantes on the tips of alternate nails. It's a bit less blingy but just as pretty.

For this design I used hit the jackpot as the base colour and oil slick to do the nail art. I painted two nails entirely with oil slick and left two as hit the jackpot. I also used the striping brush to do a line down two nails, tiger print two nails and then I used a dotting stick to decorate the last two nails.

I love this design, the tiger print is my favourite part though, so I think I'll do an entire tiger mani with these colours as well. Also maybe a reverse tiger with a black base and gold stripes!

This is the finished design, I took this picture before I applied topcoat to show you how glossy the polish is, especially oil slick.

I think this mani is my favourite! I used saffron stigma and the lace nail stickers for this one.

I painted all the nails with the orange polish. Then using the scissors from the kit (you really do get everything you need!) I cut out triangles from the strips and with the tweezers applied them to the tips of the nail. With the different polishes and tickers in the kit, you could do so many different combinations of this design!

Lastly I did this mani using cardinal as the base coat and embellished them with the metallic gold squares. Again I used the glue and tweezers provided in the kit and had no problems applying the decorations to the nails.

Using the gold squares, I did a different pattern on each nail of one hand (tip, diagonal, down the centre etc) and then repeated the pattern on the opposite nails. I still have loads of the squares left as well! I think I'll try them with saffron stigma next.

Here's a few more pictures of some of the designs, paired into their base colours.

Firstly oil slick.

These designs are done with hit the jackpot.

These manis were done with saffron stigma.

Lastly these designs are done with cardinal as the base colour.

FrontCover cosmetics have been a popular buy at Boots for years but FrontCover have gone global and are stocked in the stores of the number one beauty retailer Sephora. Their products are also available through the FrontCover website or via QVC. Also on the FrontCover website you can sign up to their newsletter, they are also featured in magazines such as Vogue, Glamour and Grazia quite a lot so you can keep up to date with all their new kits.

The Dark Arts kit is great value at £25 but FrontCover are currently having a sale (up to 50% off!). Just click here to go straight to the Dark Arts kit! :)

Get dark and Get Nailed ;)

Tara x


  1. Wow!.. Great Post! Thank You for sharing

  2. Wow love all that I must get one x

  3. Love your blog and this kit so versatile.

    1. Thank you :) It is, isn't it! There's so much stuff in there you can definitely let your imagination run!

  4. wow, love this kit and you done so much with it! I love the gold and black stripe ones and the black with the blingy ring fingers is very me! x

    1. I know and this is only about half of what I have in my head for it haha :) It definitely is, the whole kit is quite you actually! Dark and blingy :) x

  5. This looks like a really interesting set! I especially love the look of the diamond shaped gems

    1. They're fab, they'd be excellent for creating some mermaid themed nail art!

  6. oooh what an awesome set! i love all the manis you created

    1. The kit is fab isn't it! Thank you:)

  7. Lovely review, really informative! I'm very tempted... love all your designs :) xx

    1. Thank you :)

      If you're tempted you should definitely check out the sale! Xx

  8. Wow, that's a pretty cool bunch of stuff for that price!

    1. It's excellent value isn't it! Their makeup kits are fab as well :)


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