May Favourites

My oh my! It seems like forever since I’ve blogged, and I’ve most certainly missed it. I’ve had such a busy past few weeks, with work and various other things and I’ve just felt too exhausted by the end of most days to even think about getting my laptop out. It hasn’t seen the light of day for soooo long! But I’m back and have loads of products I’ve been using lately ready to review!

I thought I’d ease back into things with a nice little selection of May favourites…I know I’m a little late with it now being the second week of June, but what the hey!

Liz Earle – Cleanse and Polish
It would seem I’ve caved and jumped onto the beauty bandwagon and have completely fallen for this little gem. I never wanted to spend a silly amount of money on something I wasn’t sure would work for me. Having really quite sensitive skin when it comes to fragrance and scents in facial cleansers I was very weary. As a result I instead took advantage of a free sample in a magazine and annoyingly I was sold. Despite it’s fragrance it hasn’t irritated my skin at all (although I did initially suffer from a slight break out) and it leaves it feeling deeply clean, nourished and soft. I’m now making my way through my first 100ml bottle but I think I’m still going to keep an eye out for a cheaper alternative.

Garnier Intensive 7 Days – Soothing Gel- Cream
I’ve really been enjoying this recently as my skin has been especially dry and irritated on my arms and legs. The gel-cream consistency of this means it’s really moisturising but doesn’t take forever to sink into the skin, and so means no waiting around for ages to get dressed after applying straight out of the shower. It’s also non-greasy so leaves my skin feeling silky smooth without leaving it all slimy and uncomfortable. It’s also got a really refreshing scent, so an added bonus!

Gilly Hicks – Calla Bluff Body Mist
Fresh, fruity and the closest I’ll get to a beach this year. This body mist is just divine with the fresh scent of pineapple it’s just really invigorating to use and refresh your skin. It’s long lasting through the day and it’s so nice when you just catch a whaft of it every now and again. Admittedly, it is pricey at £10 a bottle but, a little goes a long way and it seems to last forever in the bottle too! I’ve had this bottle for about 2 months now (maybe even longer) and I’ve only used about a quarter, despite wearing it almost every day. Definitely my scent of the summer!

L’oreal Elvive Nutri Gloss Sparkling Shampoo
I’ll admit, the sparkly nature of this shampoo is what first drew me to it and I wasn’t completely expecting it to do anything for my hair, but I have been pleasantly surprised. It’s lightweight formula means it doesn’t weigh down my annoyingly thin locks and I’ve even noticed I’m not having to wash my hair quite as often as it doesn’t make my hair goes greasy quickly. I can’t say I’ve really noticed that it makes an almighty difference to the shine of my hair as I don’t really suffer from dull hair no matter what shampoo I use so the glitter aspect is definitely a gimmick rather than a shine breakthrough for me personally. I’ll definitely be repurchasing this though.

Charles Worthington – Front Row Heat Defence Spritz

I recently rediscovered this in my collection after recently having my hair cut after months of it being pretty damaged I thought it best to try and take care of it as best I can and keep it healthy. This spray leaves a lovely texture to my hair, without feeling sticky and weighed down. It also gives a little extra volume, stopping my locks looking overly flat when I’ve straightened them to death. The smell is a little ‘hair-salony’ (technical term!) but it does the trick and I’ve really been enjoying it.

L’oreal Infallible Eyeshadow – Sahara Treasure
This neutral golden/mink shade has been perfect for my everyday make-up look. It’s so easy to apply, as it glides effortlessly onto the lid and is really easy to blend. It’s really pigmented too so a little goes a long way. It’s staying power is also amazing, which is perfect for me for a long day in work, with very minimal creasing by the end of the day (especially awesome considering I don’t use eyeshadow primer) The little compactor in the packaging is also great for keeping the loose powder formula less fiddly and less messy to use. Beautiful!

Topshop Nails – Adrenaline & Razzmatazz

After reading so much about these around the bloggersphere before they were even released, as soon as they arrived in my local store I snapped them up straight away and haven’t left them alone since! Both, with incredibly eye-catching holographic glitter, add just that little something special to my nails. I haven’t braved using either on all of my nails, out of fear of it taking a century to remove, but I’ve regularly been using them on my ring fingers with solid colour all all other nails. Simple but cute! I’ve found Adrenalin looks great with Essie’s Fiji and Razzmatazz with Barry M’s Berry Ice Cream.

So there we have it! Have you used any of these products? What did you think, and what have been your favourites over the last month?

Thanks for reading! x

Nail of the Day – Barry M ‘Silvery Lilac’

Two recent purchases are my nail colour of choice for today. Both are from Barry M and can be picked up in Superdrug in their current 3 for 2 offer on all cosmetics. I’ve always loved the texture and finish of Barry M polishes, so when I saw that they had released new shades to their collection I had to check them out.

As soon as I saw it, I fell in love with the shade ‘Silvery Lilac’ which has a duo-chrome effect to it with hints of silver, lilac and in certain lights you can even catch a little bit of teal too. It could easily pass off as a dupe for Butter London’s ‘Knackered’ but perhaps the Barry M finish is slightly darker but with a price difference of £10 I know which one I would go for. I would also say it’s quite similar to the Topshop polish from their ‘Sisters of the New Moon’ collection – ‘Hypnotic’  which again is more expensive than Barry M at £6.50. I have the Topshop polish as well, but found myself a little dissapointed with its staying power and colour payoff and in comparison, I found Barry M’s ‘Silvery Lilac’ a lot easier to apply, needing only 2 coats for it to be opaque, as opposed to 3 coats for a desired finish with ‘Hypnotic’. I also found Hypnotic to chip pretty easily so I’ll be interested to see how long Barry M’s alternative lasts for me.

To complete my nail look I’ve used Barry M’s ‘Matt White’ on my ring fingers. I was expecting the application of this to be streaky and messy but I was really happy with it. It did take 3 coats for my desired look though. White isn’t something I would use on all my nails at the same time out of fear of looking like I went a bit mad with a tippex pen, but it’s definitely something I’ll mix and match with other colours for a fresh Summer look.

I also used some cute nail stickers on my ring fingers. Purple habiscus flowers with silver gems. Habiscus flowers always remind me of summer. I picked up these nail stickers again from Superdrug and I think they look great just to add that little something to your nails, especially if like me, your not blessed with a steady hand to perfect nail art 🙂

You check out the whole collection of Barry M polishes here 🙂

Thanks for reading! x

NOTD – Add a Little Razzmatazz

20120415-095453.jpg

Good morning everyone! It’s 9:30am on a Sunday and I can’t even remember the last time I was up this early on a Sunday! I usually make the most of my days off work and really milk the opportunity for a lie in but seeing as I’m up early I thought i’d make the most of it and do a quick post.

I’ve been sporting this nail look for the past few days and I’ve had some lovely compliments on it from a few customers in work so I thought it was worthy of a blog. It’s my usual of painting my ring finger a different colour and using my favourite polish of the moment – Topshop’s RAZZMATAZZ which is a gorgeous lavender colour base with stacks of gorgeous multicoloured glitter. I’d wanted to get my hands on this for a while after seeing it around the blogging world for weeks before it had even been released, so as soon as I spotted it in my local store I grabbed it there and then with no hesitation.
I needed to apply 2 or maybe 3 coats in order to get the consistency shown in the picture and it leaves a more smooth finish to the nail as apposed to some glitters that leave the surface feeling rough.

I’ve paired it up with a polish I haven’t used for a while – Barry M’s Berry Ice Cream a cute pastel purple. Perfect for the spring trend.

I really adore these two colours together and think they compliment each other really well.

Have you got any favourite polishes at the moment? Or something you’ve had for ages and recently rediscovered?

Thanks for reading! x

20120415-095520.jpg

20120415-095616.jpg

Nails of the Day – Tuesday

My week off work is leaving me in the mood to change my nails more often… so today I decided on another change.

Today I’ve gone for a nice pastel look, to get me in the mood for the upcoming Spring/Summer season. I’ve used my trusty base coat that I couldn’t do without, Collection 2000 2in1 Base Coat. I also decided to mix things up a bit by going for the ‘ring finger in another colour’ look. I’ve been experimenting a lot with this recently but I’m really loving the combination of the pastal green of Rimmel’s Professional Finish in Peppermint mixed with Barry M’s Ltd Edition Lilac Foil Nail Effects.

I’ve also been loving using glitter as a topcoat recently so added a little bit of sparkle to my ring finger with Rimmel’s Lasting Finish in Disco Ball.

Thanks for reading! x

Barry M Ltd.Edition Nail Effects

20111208-141628.jpg

As a huge fan of Barry M nail polish, as soon as I spotted this in Superdrug last week I knew I had to buy it! Already a fan of the silver foil nail effects polish, I was really excited about this new limited edition colour they have brought out. (There is also another Ltd.edition available in boots which is a silver glitter)

Application for this beautiful shimmery lilac foil is perfect, just as with the silver version, one coat and you are set with a really nice even finish, and the colour is just perfect. It’s very festive, especially as lilac has become a more popular christmas trimmings colour over recent years – and it would set off any party outfit brilliantly.

It’s retailing at £3.99 (same as all other Barry M nail effects polishes) but you can also pick up one for free when you spend £6 or more on any other Barry M products. I didn’t really need anything else at the same so I just bought it on it’s own, but if you wanted to treat yourself to something else from the teams you could always spend £6 on yourself and treat a friend or family member to the polish as a little stocking filler!

All in all I’m really impressed with this, and absolutely love the colour. I’m not sure it’s something I would wear on a regular basis as it is quite an evening-y polish perfect for a night out or a Christmas party, but I would definitely recommend it 🙂

What do you think of the Ltd.edition’s?

Thanks for reading! x

Barry M Instant Nail Effects – Review

With the Barry M Instant Nail effects products I’ve always found them a little bit hit and miss. When the original Black crackle nail polish came out, I tried it, loved it and wore it for a while testing over different base colours and experimenting with it. Then I sort of found the novelty wore off. It would start to frustrate me that some nails would look really nice and then others were left looking gloopy and messy. I also tested the White Crackle polish, this one definitely wasn’t for me at all, and left me feeling like I had splattered tippex all over my nails and it just found that it looked cheap and untidy. I’ve also found myself ever since dissapointed with the range of colours they had brought out in the nails effect range. The baby pink and blue just weren’t for me either and I couldn’t imagine any colours that they were look nice on top of.

Barry M Instant Nail Effects - RRP: £3.99

In Boots this week however, I finally got excited again about these polishes, when I spotted a new range of colours with the nail effects crackle polish lids on and even more excited to see a shimmery purple amongst the usual colours and a new Gold too. I just had to pick up the purple, especially seeing as I’ve had my eye on the new Silver Foil Nail Effects polish (also from Barry M) for a while and thought the two would look great together. As a result, I managed to pick up both on the same day.  I did have to buy the Purple Crackle polish in Boots and the Silver Foil Effects in Superdrug as I’ve not seen both in the same store.

The Silver Foil Nail Effects Polish is amazing and I absolutely love it! Just one coat and the effect in noticeable leaving your nails shiny (even without a top coat!) and it doesn’t come out looking patchy at all. It really does look fantastic and leaves your nails feeling all classy and glitzy! 🙂 This is definitely something that I’ll be wearing on my nails alot, and I would highly recommend it!

Silver Foil Nail Effects - One Coat

The purple crackle polish I’m also pleased with. It’s something different from the standard black, and the slight shimmer in the colour adds something different, and though subtle it still stands out. My biggest problem with this product however still remains and it is the consistency of the polish itself. I’m sure this is probably something to do with how the crackle effect occurs and all part of the science of it, but it is incredibly thick and unless you are quick with your application to your nails, the polish does dry out quite quickly and goes clumpy on the brush which doesn’t make applying it easy, and I’ve found myself having to dip the brush in again.

Barry M's Silver Foil Effect with Purple Crackle Effect

It does also take some getting used to in terms of the technique of applying it. If you apply too much it ends up looking clumpy and overpowers the base colour and too little leaves it looking streaky, so a couple of tries may be needed to get the right look and balance between the base colour and effect.

The great thing about this product is the varied patterns you can get from it, and according to taste you can apply it as thick or thinly as you like. For me personally I do just find it a little frustrating to use sometimes, and for that reason I don’t think it’s something I would reach for to use time and time again but it is definitely something I will use now and then just to mix things up a little and for a change from the usual plain nails.

Purple crackle polish with Barry M's Emerald Green (284) base

My Nail Polish Collection

My nail polish collection is relatively modest at the moment but it’s something I am working to expand upon, and just something I wanted to share so far. Nail polish i probably the most often bought cosmetic for me because it’s something I always find reasonably priced, and I really think there is nothing like the look of freshly painted finger and toe nails. It’s always a great way to splash a bit of colour into your life and to liven up dull natural nails.

I always make sure to use a base coat before applying any nail polish, something I realised was crucial after once painting my nails with Barry M’s Spring Green and when I removed it, was left with stained yellow nails for weeks after not using base coat before hand! My go-to base coat has since been the Collection 2000 nail care 2in1 base coat and ridge filler with keratin. After applying, it always leaves my nails looking healthy and protects really well against staining. It’s also affordable at around £2.99, and definately something I will always repurchase.

In terms of nail polish itself, my favourite brand is without Barry M. Their selection of colours is second to none and for the amazing price of £2.99 each, the quality of their finish is incredible. The brush is long and narrow, making application effortless and mistakes easy to rectify and remove. I have to say however, after recently discovering Topshop nail polish collection, this is definitely becoming a close second to Barry M, as again their selection of colours is amazing and there are definitely plenty I want to get my hands on. The only thing with these polishes is that their consistency I have sometimes found a little watery and the price in comparison to Barry M is pretty steep at £5 each, but they are worth the odd splurge now and again.

Another favourite in my collection would have to be the Avon Nail Wear Pro Polish. At the moment I only have one of these but the one I do have is in one of my favourite shades (I love anything teal/minty) and the consistency of the polish again is great on your nails and hard wearing and not too watery. This is definately a preference for my toe nails especially!

So…here’s a few little pics and a little run down of all the polishes in my collection…so far!

Barry M Collection (Back Row from left-right)

  • Instant Nail Effects – Black (311)
  • Black (47)
  • Silver (288)
  • Bright Purple (303)
  • Pale Purple (308)
  • Navy (292)
  • Blue Glitter (297)
  • Blueberry Ice Cream (306)
  • Racing Green (299)
  • Emerald Green (284)
  • Mint Green (304)
  • Mushroom (310)
  • Peach Melba (318)
  • Baby Pink (119)
Various Brands (Front Row from left-right)
  • Avon Nailwear Pro – Peppermint Leaf
  • Rimmel London Lycra Pro – Peppermint
  • Topshop Nails – The Green Room
  • Topshop Nails – Causing a Stir
  • Accessorize – Electric Purple
  • Rimmel 60 Seconds – Pompous
  • Rimmel 60 Seconds – Green with Envy
  • Next ‘Get the look’ – Hazel
  • Next ‘Get the look’ – Fawn
  • Max Factor Nailfinity – Angel Nails
So there we have it, my collection so far… feel free to comment on any suggestions of brands or colours you would recommend!

 

September (Cosmetic and Hair) Favourites!!

I can’t quite believe that September is coming to an end, but while I have some free time, I thought now would be a good a time as any to do a little run down of all the things I’ve been enjoying this month, things I’ve been using, wearing etc…  I’m going to do this in two seperate posts, one for cosmetics etc… and then one to follow for clothes and accessories 🙂
I’ll be honest it’s been quite a quiet month for me in regards to buying new things for myself and trying out new things, been very busy moving out of my parents and into my first flat so most of my money has been going on household things. On the plus side though it’s enabled me to go back to my old faithful’s or rediscovering stuff I haven’t used or worn for ages and realising I still love to use them! (Pictures are to follow, I am currently visiting my parents for the weekend so don’t have everything I’m talking about to hand, and I’m using my Dad’s laptop)

The first product I’ve been loving this month, is actually something I bought for the first time, (even though I’ve just mentioned how I’ve hardly bought anything, lol!) and it is the Lipsmacker Orange Fanta Lipbalm. I grabbed this on a impulse while in the queue in Primark for £1.50 and it is lush!! It smells just like Fanta, and sorts out my often dry lips a treat! The taste isn’t too overpowering either when it’s on your lips so it’s nice to use and it gives my lips a nice shine without leaving them sticky and tacky feeling.

Another product I did buy this month is the Boots Essentials Cucumber Facial Toner. Now I have to admit, I’d never used toner on my face before, but after recently reading that it’s supposed to be a crucial part of your skin care routine, I thought I’d try a cheap brand just to see how I got on with it. To be frank, I’m still not completely sure what toner is supposed to do (tone obviously I guess!) but I have been enjoying using this just to give me skin a refresh first thing in the morning, and in the nights after I’ve taken all my make-up off. I love the smell of cucumber so this is really nice to use and although I usually tend to stay away from products with fragrance, this hasn’t irritated my skin at all and doesn’t sting so I’m really really happy with it, and at £1.42 for a 150ml bottle you can’t go wrong 🙂

I’ve been using foundation a lot more this month just to try and get to grips with it (being a bit of a novice) and I am really loving using the Max Factor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation in Creamy Ivory. It goes on really nicely and doesn’t leave me feeling like my face is caked in make-up, which is what has always put me off using foundation, and it even’s out my pale skin tone really nicely. I also like to use it as a concealer under my eyes when I can’t be bothered to cover my whole face, and it covers my dark circles well too. It’s not something that can last all day without a touch up here and there, but it’s still good enough for what I need it for right now 🙂 I do still need to practice my application techniques though 😉

My favourite nail polish this month has got to be Barry M – Navy. I wear a lot of blue and navy so this is a must have colour for me. Shockingly it’s been in my collection for ages, and only recently when I was trying to sort out what I wanted to move with me did I actually think to give it a try. What a fool I was to leave it so long, because the colour is delicious!! It’s vibrant but sophisticated and has a cheeky shimmer to it, to add a bit of glamour to my nails. I’ve been wearing loads since I rediscovered it!! 🙂

My final cosmetic favourite this month is the Charles Worthington Front Row –  Stay Cool Heat Defence Spritz. I mentioned this in one of my first ever blog post a while ago, and this month I’ve used it so so much! It smells absolutely lovely, although if you do use too much it can be a little overpowering. It’s got sort of that hair salon sort of smell to it, but it is really nice. I’ve been using this on my damp hair before blow drying and then again before I’ve straightened my hair, and it leaves my hair lovely and soft and shiny. I’ve also found it leaves my hair feeling a lot thicker, which is brilliant as I sometimes get frustrated with my stupidly thin hair.

So those are all my favourite thing’s I’ve been using this month… as I said another blog will follow with all my fashion and accessory favourites 🙂

What have you been loving this month? Feel free to comment and let me know!!

Topshop Make-Up Mini Haul and Review

I’ve been wanting to try out the Topshop make-up range for ages! Every time I go in there I look at the make-up rather than the clothes (probably because the make-up is more in my price range lol!), and so this month I decided I would treat myself to a few things seeing as after I move out and start paying rent and bills, this is probably the last oppourtunity I’ll get in a while to treat myself to none essentials!

Initially I only wanted to get a nail polish, which I recently featured in my August wish list and after contemplating for ages over which one I was actually going to buy after numerous  other shades also caught my eye, I just decided to to get two. I picked up ‘Causing A Stir‘ a coral/orange colour and ‘The Green Room‘ a gorgeous eye catching teal(ish) shade (£5 each). I absolutely love them both and tried them both out as soon as I got home. Unfortunately I was a little dissapointed with the ‘Causing A Stir‘ shade, only because it was a little more orange than I had hoped it would be. I was thinking it was going to be a nice subtle coral shade but when I put it on my nails it was much much more orangey than I though, although I still really love it and it’s a nice go between for my Barry M Coral and Peach Melba 🙂 The outcome after one coat does leave it looking a little streaky too, but after two coats it does finish nicely. I was also really impressed with ‘The Green Room’ and this is definitely my favourite of the two, I love how its bright but not too over powering and I was really impressed with its staying power too, I wore it for about three days before taking it off and I don’t think it had chipped at all, so next time I use it, i’ll try and keep note of how long it lasts without chipping 🙂

 

On my visit to the store however, I couldn’t just stop at the nail polish, and so went and had a gander at the blushers…BIG MISTAKE, I loved them all and my hand was covered in swatches trying to choose between them all. In the end though, I decided to go for one of their cream blushes in ‘Nutmeg‘. The packaging is so cute and dainty and for £6 you get quite a decent amount of product, so I was really impressed because I know it will last me for a good while. The shade is like a pinky/brown, which I think will blend nicely with my skin tone, and it’s quite subtle so can be used everyday. My only problem now is I love the packaging and the way it looks all untouched that I find myself not wanting to use it because I don’t want to ruin it! hehe

 

The final product I got from the range was the black liquid eyeliner pen (£6.50). Now if you read my blog often you’ll know I’ve said in the past how I’ve never got on with liquid eyeliner and always prefer to use pencil. Well, when I saw the design of this liner, I thought to myself I do really want to start using liquid and learn how to use it effectively and when I saw how steady this pen was to use I thought this would be a good place to start.  It has a tip like a felt tip pen and is wide so easy to grip and control and it’s easy to use the tip to get a nice thin line, or use the side for a more dramatic wide look. The biggest problem I’ve encountered with this product so far though is, because it’s not waterproof,  my god does it run! I’ve been suffering from quite watery eyes lately (i think due to using one of my mascaras for a little too long) and when they were running I have a very dark line of eyeliner running to the corners of my eyes and at the sides where I had tried to gently wipe them. Fingers crossed though, now that I’ve stopped using the mascara that I think was the culprit I shall try the liner again and let you know if anything improves (“,)

So, I’ve been left pretty impressed by Topshop’s make-up range and really happy with what I did buy. I found their prices suprisingly reasonable too considering it was Topshop, and managed to get 4 products for £22.50. I will definately be going back at some point in the future to get another blusher and especially to get some more nail polish!

There are so many lovely shades of everything, and if you have the chance to go to a store where they stock all of what they have to offer I strongly urge you to make sure you have enough time to take it all in, there is literally a wall full of nail polishes and everything is so nicely displayed and packaged it really is worth taking a look. The price ranges do vary, as they do also have limited edition collections for each season, I think at the moment for Autumn/Winter 2011 the collection is called ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ where the nail polishes are £6 i think and they also have mascaras and liners which vary in the £6-£11 range I think. All the products are also available on their website, so take a look (“,)

Any products from the range that you’ve tried and loved? Let me know!!