Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Three go-to nail products

Remember the day you really wanted to go out and get a manicure, but also wanted to stay warm and cosy indoors? We've all been there - and I'm no exception.

For the last few months, I've been spending a crazy amount of money on manicures when I already had several nail polishes at home. So I decided enough was enough, and started building my own at-home nail care collection.


Although this looks like a pregnancy test, I can confirm that it's an affordable and effective cuticle remover. It's also so easy to use. You just squeeze the main part of the pen lightly and the cuticle-removing cream comes out through the nib. It leaves nails soft and clean.

OPI Start To Finish 

There's nothing worse than painting your nails beautifully and then putting a gloopy, sticky top coat on over it. That's why I love OPI's Start To Finish - it's a lovely formula and glides on effortlessly. And it works well as a base coat and top coat, meaning you don't have to fork out double the cash for both.

Essie nail corrector pen

I was sceptical about buying this because it wasn't far from a tenner in price, but I thought I'd give it a go as I am always getting polish around the sides of my nails and it had multiple applicators too to make it worth the money.

I'm not sure it's worth the price, but it does a good job and makes painting my nails a lot easier.

What are your go-to nail products? xxx

Monday, April 29, 2013

Say hello to my first ever national newspaper article! #amaze

Just a short post today ladies and gents. I've been busy at work and also celebrating the highlight of my journalistic career so far - being published in the Daily Mail's Life & Style!

Thanks so much to all of you lovely bbloggers who congratulated me on Twitter earlier :)

Here is my article online if you'd like to have a read:

What do you think? xxx

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pay Day Haul: Westfield London

Friday was the best day ever. It was pay day, it was pub lunch day, and it was shopping day!

As some of you may know, I am (attempting) to go on a spending ban for 2 months starting on the 5th of May, so I thought I would treat myself to a final splurge. And I brought the lovely Saskia with me so we could talk about make-up and skin care for hours without anyone saying 'I can't believe you like that stuff'.


The first stop was Boots, where I got myself two Real Techniques brushes to go with my stippling brush. I got Blush Brush (£9.99) and Shading Brush (£7.99) so I could freely mix and match face and eye looks.  

Then I bought a new can of my current go-to skin care product - La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water (£7.50). This does wonders to moisturise the skin and is really refreshing to spray onto your face before going to bed or in the morning to wake you up.


Then we went to Debenhams, where Saskia dragged me to the Clarins counter so I could buy a Pure Melt Cleansing Gel. But of course I ended up buying more than that - especially as there was a gift with purchase promotion going on, plus a 10% discount.

If you bought two full-size products, including one skin care product, you got a large beauty bag and four mini skin care products to go with it. And if you bought three full-size products, you also got a smaller bag with body care bits and bobs.

So after being sold by several pitches and Saskia's love for the products, I bought a Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (£17.55) and a Face Treatment Oil (£27) (Lotus - for oily/combination skin), and Saskia got a Pure Melt Cleansing Gel so we could step up to the next gift.

I used the cleanser the night I bought it and I am definitely impressed. The marula oil is nourishing and the gel it's so soft and warming. It's like a skin care special treat. 

Then we have gift one - four products and a large Clarins by John Rocha beauty bag. I chose the Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser and Super Restorative Night Wear cream. 

Gift two included a Moisture-Rich Body Lotion and a Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate.

I think you'll agree that's pretty damn amazing!


Then I was totally tempted by the Model's Own bottle shop offer of 6 polishes for £20. Saskia and I got 3 polishes each and I opted for Luis Lemon (Ice Neon), Hedonist (Hed Kandi) and Banana Split (Fruit Pastel), which only cost me £10.

What do you think of my haul buys? xxx

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Beauty Steal #7

How nice has the weather been lately? Well, aside from that weird patch of rain we had the other day. But the sun being out has got me thinking about holiday beauty and I was really excited when I stumbled across the Rimmel Colour Rush Trio Eyeshadow in Modern Glam. Especially as it is only 99p from Fragrance Direct. 

Yes, 99p!

What is it?
Rimmel Colour Rush Trio Eyeshadow is a palette of three soft and blendable powder-based eyeshadows. Wear time is claimed to be up to 8 hours and an applicator is included. The palette is available in Modern Glam (above), Dark Angel (greys and purple), Golden Eyes (golds and azure blue) and Tempting (greens and sky blue).

What do I like about it?
I love the idea of mixing the top two shades for a daytime look and then amping it up in the evening with the darker, smokier blue. You can play around with all three together and create a lovely eye look on summer nights out or to show off your tan on holiday.

Why is it a steal?
You can't deny that 99p is a bargain for three eyeshadows from a reputable beauty brand. Not only that - the shades are so wearable. You could use this palette for just about every occasion and create several different looks. All that for cheaper than one product at the pound shop. Seriously impressive stuff from Fragrance Direct yet again.

Buy Rimmel Colour Rush Trio Eyeshadow here.

What do you think of this week's beauty steal? xxx

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NOTD: The Truth Is, I'm Toxic

The sun makes me happy. It also makes me want to wear crazy nail and lip colours, hence today's NOTD using Toxic Apple from the Model's Own Ice Neon collection.

I have to admit, I was a bit worried when I applied the first coat as the colour payoff wasn't great. However, after another coat or two, it looked pretty solid.

There's no mistaking this colour as anything else but NEON green. It's literally like Model's Own has bottled up some highlighter fluid. Incredible.

What do you think of my NOTD? xxx

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beauty Looks A-Z: Fantasia

Beautysets - Beauty A-Z: Fantasia

Answer me this - who doesn't love a midnight blue eyeliner? Or a silvery, smoky eyeshadow or pencil? I certainly do. And even more so now I've found some of the most beautiful fantasia-themed make-up products.

Here's the products that will take you to a galaxy far, far away...
Bare Minerals Big & Bright Eyeliner Pencil in Midnight (£13)
Mac Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Dimensional Blue (£16.50)
Guerlain Eyeliner in Bleu Outremer (£24.50)
Nails Inc Baker Street Nail Polish (£11)
Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Alluvium (£15.50)
Nails Inc Sloane Square 3D Glitter Nail Polish (£11)
Bobbi Brown Luxe Sparkle Powder (£36)
Seventeen Starry Eyes Trio Eyeshadow (£4.99)
Suqqu Limited Edition Nail Polish in Ex-01 (£18)
Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Creator (£13.50)
NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil (£18)
Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow (£4.09)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boots Haul: La Roche-Posay, Revlon, Essie & Model's Own

What started out as a trip to the cinema to see Place Beyond The Pines ended in a Boots haul. And then what started as a shopping trip for a new facial SPF ended in the purchase of another four products, including my first two Model's Own nail polishes! #excited


The first item from my haul, which I actually intended to buy, was the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Extreme Face Fluid SPF 50+ (50ml, £12.37). I was introduced to this product when I had my laser/chemical peel procedure a few weeks back and really liked the formula.

Having read about sun-related skin damage several times at work, I'm a big advocate of high UVA/UVB protection. This one absorbs easily and doesn't leave a white residue on the skin, which is also a bonus.


Then I couldn't resist treating myself to a Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Cotton Candy (£7.99). I've been using my Candy Apple lip butter for a while now and it's a good 'swipe and go' product for when you need  a quick touch-up on the move. I tried Cotton Candy out today and it's a natural shimmery pink. It's nice but I don't usually make a habit out of buying natural colours that remind me of lip balms, so I won't be buying lots more of these.

After having a quick browse of the Revlon products, I was drawn like a magnet to Essie's Mint Candy Apple nail polish (£7.99). I'm having a real Essie love-in at the moment - the colours and formula are both amazing and I'd be surprised if I don't have half of the entire collection in a few months time! Bur I've been particularly lusting over Mint Candy Apple - it's such a pretty shade and the fact it has been all over the blogosphere lately has given me a massive craving.


Finally we have the two most exciting products in my Boots haul - the Model's Own Iced Neon nail polish in Toxic Apple (£5) and the Model's Own Fruit Pastel nail polish in Blueberry Muffin (£5). I've been particularly lusting after the Fruit Pastels collection for a while now and finally succumbed by buying the Blueberry Muffin one, which is a lovely creamy blue.

In contrast, there's the Toxin Apple neon nail polish, which is something a bit different and fun. I'm looking forward to seeing what that looks like on!

Do you like the products I got in my haul? xxx

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Beauty Steal #6

When the sun comes out, all I can think about is sitting outside with a nice cocktail, wearing a fuschia lipstick and spritzing myself with a fruity fragrance. So you can imagine how excited I was to find this Marc Jacobs Splash Kumquat Eau De Toilette 100ml for an amazing £14.50 (50% off) on Debenhams' website.

What is it?
Kumquat is part of Marc Jacobs' Splash Tropical collection and has top notes of tangerine pulp, bergamot and orange zest. It's an invigorating, zesty fragrance designed to make you feel like you are on a desert island, and is described as 'sunny, happy and energetic'. Kumquat is also infused with jasmine petals, tiger orchid and kumquat itself. Base notes consist of sun-drenched woods and blond cedarwood.

What do I like about it?
It goes without saying that I like fruit-based perfumes, but having tried Marc Jacobs' Cranberry a couple of years ago I know just how sweet and natural his fragrances are. I also love the simplicity of the packaging - it has a really sophisticated monochrome theme and the colour of the perfume makes it pop. Marc Jacobs just always knows how to make things pretty for women of all ages.

Why is it a steal?
You can't deny that £14.50 for 100ml is an absolute bargain to say the least. Given that Marc Jacobs is a high-end brand, you know you are getting a high-quality product, and my Cranberry bottle lasted me months. You don't need much at all per application and it's also great to use as a 'home' fragrance. 

Buy Marc Jacobs Splash Kumquat Eau De Toilette here.

What do you think of this week's beauty steal? xxx

Thursday, April 18, 2013

NOTD: Fiesta Sparkle

So today's NOTD is a combo of cherry red and a tad of golden glitz. I've been going for green/blue shades lately and thought it was time for a change, so went with a classic bright red, which incidentally is my favourite colour.

The products I used to create this nail look were OPI's Big Apple Red and GOSH Cosmetics' Greed gold glitter. I adore the shade of red and the addition of OPI's Start-to-Finish top coat really sets it off. In fact, I love this red polish so much that I might actually buy it as a full size when the mini runs out.

What do you think of this nail look? xxx

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bomb Cosmetics Haul Part 2: Shower Gel & Scrub

So as you know, I went on an exciting Bomb Cosmetics haul last pay day. Whereas part one had a look at my new bath blaster collection, this part of the haul is all about my new fruitilicious shower scrub and gel. 

For some reason, I am absolutely shower/bath product mad. All I need to see is a new colour that appeals to me or a fruit fragrance that I love and before you can say 'bath bomb' I've already filled my basket with about ten different products. Is anyone else like that?!


I've used this four or five times since buying it and I am totally sold. The thing I love about The Blues body polish is that, unlike other harsh scrubs, it removes dry skin but also moisturises. It makes my skin feel so smooth and it has a really invigorating scent too (lemongrass and bergamot essential oils).

Of course, like many Bomb Cosmetics products, this scrub is made with shea butter, which gives it a lovely nourishing function. I thought the Blackcurrant Body Polish would be my favourite scrub from this brand, but this one is just as good if not better. It also lasts a hell of a long time, which is always good and goes towards justifying the £7.99 price tag.


 If I'm honest, I haven't managed to crack this one open yet as I'm still making my way through the ever-lasting Sugar Crush shower gel from Soap & Glory and also my Raspberry Rainbow scoopable shower gel. But I had to get this as I really love the raspberry scoopable gel - it has a unique texture like jelly and my skin absorbs it really easily and feels very clean after.

The smell is one of the best things about the scoopable shower gels. This one has a strong blackberry scent that is also mixed in with bergamot and black pepper essential oils. So in a way it is a tad bittersweet and more energising than the raspberry one. This one also costs £7.99,  but again will last an age.

Once I give this one a go, I'll pop up a tweet about it. I've also got the Blackberry Sour Whoopie Blaster as you would have seen in my last post - so I'm excited to watch it fizz away in the bath and write a Once Upon A Bathtime post on it.

What do you think of my new shower products? xxx

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beauty Looks A-Z: Enchantment

 Monday strikes again and it's time for my fifth beauty look post. It's so much fun picking a theme each week and finding twelve make-up items for my beauty set.

E was actually a pretty tricky one to think of a theme for - I could have gone with egg and done the whole 'speckled' look thing, but that's been done a lot lately. So I've decided to go with enchantment, which is all about shimmery pinks and silvers. The collection is full of pretty nail polishes, highlighters, lipsticks and eyeshadows.

Here's the products that would make any girl feel like a princess (#ineednarseuphrateinmylifeasofNOW):
Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow Light in Blanc Dore (£6.99)
Barry M Nail Effects Silver Foil Nail Paint (£3.99)
NYC Liquid Lipshine in Prospect Pink (£2.99)
Mavala Silver Nail Polish (£4)
MAC Paint Pot in Let's Skate (£14.50)
Accessorize Merged Eyeshadow in Moon Dust (£3.95)
Benefit High Beam Luminescent Complexion Enhancer (£19.50)
Revlon Matte Lipstick in Pink Pout (£7.49)
Essie Nail Polish in Ballet Slippers (£9.95)
FashionistA Mono Eyeshadow in Glamour Girl (£4)
NARS Shimmer Eyeshadow in Euphrate (£18)
MAC Lipstick in Pure Zen (£14)

What do you think of this week's beauty look? xxx

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Five of my favourite nail polishes

As I've been loving changing my nail colour recently, I thought I'd delve into my polish collection and show you five of my favourites. The nail polishes I have chosen are made by Essie, OPI and Topshop Nails, which are my top three nail brands at the moment.


The first two polishes in my favourite five are Essie's Beyond Cozy and OPI's Tickle My France-y, which was part of the OPI top ten collection.

Beyond Cozy is just the most stunning golden glitter polish that goes with just about everything. Although it was part of the Essie winter collection, it would look good all year round. Who wouldn't want to show off their tan with a bronze goddess nail look?!

Then you have Tickle My France-y by OPI, which is a natural dusky rose. You could use this as a block colour, add speckles or apply a glitter top coat. So my point with this polish is that it's really versatile and a classic nude with a strong pink shade.


Imagine what it would be like to bottle up the ocean and add an ounce of metallic shine, and there you have Topshop Nails' two-tone Mermaid polish. This is honestly one of the most beautiful polishes I've ever worn on my nails - I just couldn't stop looking at it! And you all know how I feel about ocean-related products. I just love this a lot.


The last two nail polishes in my favourite five are OPI's Big Apple Red (from the top ten collection) and Rainbow Connection. Big Apple Red is a classic postbox/cherry polish to brighten up any outfit, and everyone knows red is a classic go-to colour for daily wear. And then we have Rainbow Connection - I nearly jumped up and down when I saw this in John Lewis a few winters ago. You can wear it layered as a fun multicoloured glitter, or over a block colour to add touch of pizazz. It's fab!

What do you think of my top five nail polishes? What are yours? xxx

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Beauty Steal #5

Everyone loves a good beauty steal, so it's just as well it's Saturday! I'm loving searching the web each week for the best bargains, and I'd love to see you post about some good steals too.

This time around, I've browsed the sale at beautybay.com (which also has worldwide free delivery) and found Seche's Erase nail polish remover for an amazing £1.66.

What is it?
Seche Erase is a 30ml bottle of cleansing, hydrating acetone-based nail polish remover made with tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils.  

What do I like about it?
The smell of nail polish remover is usually fairly strong and paint-like; however, as, Seche Erase is made with fresh, invigorating essential oils, I would imagine the scent to be a lot more bearable. I also like any removers I use to be non-stripping, and this one definitely ticks that box. Seche is a highly regarded brand in the nail world, with its top coat topping many beauty bloggers' wish lists, and it's not every day you find an affordable product that removes, cleans and hydrates, so I really like the sound of Erase. 

Why is it a steal?
Just think of how many times you'd love to change your nail colour, but don't want to cause any harm to your nails by stripping them with a harsh polish remover. For under £2, you get several applications and a multipurpose product. It also has an applicator that controls the flow of product so you don't waste any, which happens with most bargain polish removers. 

You can buy Seche Erase here.

What do you think of this week's beauty steal? xxx

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Once Upon A Bathtime: Bomb Cosmetics' Cranberry & Lime Blaster


Now that Spring is finally (sort of) showing its face, all I want to do is surround myself with fresh fragrances. I've got my Neom Organics Contentment Reed Diffuser firmly placed on my bedside table, I've been spritzing myself silly with Marc Jacobs' Daisy, and now I've found the perfect bathtime treat - Bomb Cosmetics' Cranberry & Lime Bath Blaster. 

If we look at the aesthetic of the bath blaster first, it's a bit psychedelic. I'd say it takes me right back, but I wasn't born then! But what it does remind me of is those sweets that have far too many colours and additives in it. And, let's be honest, who can complain about that! 

Dropping the blaster into warm water is like watching a 70s colour explosion blow up in the bath. It makes the water so bright and vibrant, and I love that there's no mistaking it for anything other than a cranberry and lime product because of the green and pink colours. Something else I liked was that I could instantly see the fresh cranberry seeds in the water, which made me feel like I was about to bathe in a liquidised strawberry! 

But, for me, it's not all about the way a product looks in and out of the water; I only ever repurchase a bath bomb if it smells good too (hence my love of Lush's Karma bubble bar), and the cranberry and lime scent hit me almost instantly. It was fresh and fruity, but also sharp and full of zest. 

All things considered, I really love how true to its name this bath blaster was. Not only did its aesthetic reflect the fruity fragrance, but the scent was strong enough to make it 'believable'. This is definitely a great product for fruity fragrance lovers like me, but just make sure you rinse the bath out afterwards to avoid a sea of seeds. And speaking from experience, the same applies for your hair! 

What do you think of this bath blaster? Would you buy it? xxx

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