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Category Archives: clinique

Five Friday Favourites #18

From the highs of a three-day weekend to the lows of a 48-hour migraine, this week has had its ups and downs…

Line of Duty

Gosh – this was good wasn’t it?! Ian and I were completely gripped by this latest series and I felt it finished by wrapping lots of loose ends up but also leaving things open for the story to continue.

Cacti Bunting

I’m a big fan of the cactus trend and this bunting from Primark goes perfectly in our kitchen.

Clinique Essence

I’ve got a new step in my morning and evening routine in the form of this essence by Clinique. Hailing from South Korea (as does most new beauty and make-up at the moment!) the idea is that an essence better prepares your skin for oils and serums, allowing them to perform better. I’ve only been using this for a week or so but already I think it is having a positive effect.



Strictly speaking, this is one of Ian’s favourites but I thought it was too cool not to include. Ian is somewhat of a Vaseline fan and my friend Lucie always manages to get him the latest limited edition tins and she very kindly sent him this personalised tin too.

Gingham Dress


I’m having a bit of a gingham moment (I bought two new black and white checked tops this weekend!) and have been wearing this Primark dress non-stop.


My Nail Varnish Collection

One of my jobs this summer was to have a thorough sort through of my vast collection of nail varnishes. Now, before we go any further, I must admit that I have somewhat of a problem when it comes to buying bottles of polish. I cannot pass an Essie counter without swooning and when I couldn’t close the lid on the hamper I keep my bottles in (yes, I have a nail varnish hamper!) I knew I had to have a good sort out.

Nail varnish doesn’t last forever and I knew I needed to get rid of some that had gone a bit gloopy and try to streamline my collection a bit.

So, here was my collection in all its glory (don’t judge!)…


I decided I needed a plan of attack so I sorted the bottles into reds, purples, greens, nudes, bright pinks, black and greys, blues and glitters.

Then it was a case of swatching every shade to check the formula was still good and that I really loved the shade. I managed to get rid of 40 bottles of nail varnish which I will pass onto my mum and friends.


Here are the bottles that made the cut:

The Reds


You cannot beat a classic red and I think these bottles cover everything from deep, vampy reds to bright orange-tinged corals. Sadly the bottle of Barry M red nail varnish I wore on our wedding day had gone a bit gloopy so I am allowing a temporary lifting of my nail varnish spending ban to repurchase it.

The Greens


I managed to cut these down to my absolute favourites – I had so many pastel mint greens. The Barry M one on the bottom row is a concrete-effect textured one that I like to wear a lot.

The Purples


I don’t feel like I wear purple that much on my nails so I was a bit surprised to see how many I had! The two Revlon shades on the top row are part of the Chroma Chameleon range and are really stunning shades.

The Bright Pinks


I had about 5 shades the exact same tone of pink so I picked my favourite formulas here. The Seventeen bottle on the top row is a 10-day wear nail varnish and is really long-lasting.

The Black and Greys


Again, I was surprised I had 7 black nail varnishes (a throwback to my goth days! Ha) so only kept the ones I love. I think the Chanel nail varnish is the most expensive one in my collection. I also love the pale grey Ciate bottles on the bottom row.

The Blues


I was on a search for the perfect navy blue nail varnish for years so had quite a few in my stash. I love the bright blue from Nails Inc on the top row and it was a freebie I got with some toothpaste years ago!

The Nudes


It seems that a nude shade is my weakness as I had loads to sort through. I just think a peachy nude shade looks so clean on the nails, especially if you don’t feel comfortable wearing bright colours. My all-time favourite nail varnish from Nails Inc, Porchester Square, is  in the top right of the picture…I actually had 3 bottle of it!

The Glitters


For someone who prefers to wear glittery nail varnish around Christmas, I have managed to collect quite a few bottles. I have had the Ciate advent calendar for the past few years and that always contains a fair selection of glitters. Some of these are just top coats whereas others are an actual glittery nail varnish. My absolute favourite nail varnish in my whole collection is in here: the rose gold OPI shade on the 3rd row.

The Nail Toppers


I do like my nail art and I had 10 bottles of Ciate nail toppers ranging from mini pearls to sequins to glitter. Sadly, I decided to get rid of all the loose glitters. While they look amazing on the nail, they are just too fiddly and no matter how careful I am, I end up with glitter absolutely everywhere!

So, apart from the odd bottle I have hanging around the house, this is my new pared-down nail varnish collection. I know I still have way more than I need but everyone has a vice and this happens to be mine. The other good news is that I can now close my hamper!


Mani Monday – Ciaté Mosaic Nails

I mentioned last week that I received a couple of bottles of Clinique’s A Different Nail Enamel (specially formulated for sensitive nails) and was really impressed with the bright red shade I tried. It’s funny how two items from the same range can be so different but that’s exactly what I found with this grey-nude colour.


Unlike the red, which was pretty much opaque after one coat, this paler colour, Concrete Jungle, needed three generous coats and I could still spot a few streaks in it. Luckily, it was worth it as I really liked the shade and it is quite an unusual colour – not your normal pink-nude with more of a grey hue to it.

Another reason I didn’t mind a few streaks was the fact that I was adding a new mosaic-effect top coat. I used Check Mate by Ciaté which contains various sized squares of black and white pieces. I love this glitter alternative as a way of adding a little something without being too over the top. I had to fish around for some of the pieces but on the whole, this applied well.


Mani Monday – Clinique Party Red

Despite being on a self-imposed 6-month ban on buying any new nail varnish, I am still working my way through the bottles I received for Christmas. I got some lovely polishes and my Mum did me a great little bag of nail items which included two bottles of Clinique nail varnish. I knew Clinique had started doing nail varnish but hadn’t had a chance to try any of them out.

One of the key selling points about the Clinique line is that they are formulated for sensitive skin, under the product name ‘a different nail enamel’. I had no idea that the toxins that most nail varnishes contain can cause quite severe reactions and skin irritations, especially around the eye area, but then it does make sense when you think about how many times throughout the day you touch your face and eyes without really thinking about it. A lot of nail brands now claim to be ‘3-free’, that is, free from the three main toxic chemicals that can cause irritation (Essie are one of these) – the Clinique line is actually ‘5-free’, having removed two additional chemicals.


I decided to try Party Red, a bright raspberry red, that is more vibrant than it appears in the bottle.

I was really impressed at the pigmentation of this shade – this photo below shows my nails after one coat which I could probably have got away with.


I added a second coat for longevity and it dried to a smooth, glossy finish.

I loved this shade and am always after a good go-to red! x

Sunday Summary #7


Hello and Happy Valentine’s Day! Ian is working today but we did treat ourselves to an M&S meal deal to enjoy later on…that’s about as romantic as it gets around here!


I am now on half term (yay!) and am a woman on a mission…we still have boxes that we never unpacked when we moved almost 4 years ago – shameful I know – so this week I am determined to either throw away, send to a charity shop or find a proper place for all manner of items.

This week we started watching the new X-Files and it was pretty good. I used to love the old series, although I was also really scared after certain episodes, so I’m hoping this new version is as good.

I am still enjoying Vince and Joy but am also looking for some titles to buy on my Kindle for our holiday next month. I can read a book a day when lying on a beach so am making a to-read list to buy before we go.


I have been listening to Me First and The Gimme Gimmes a lot this week. They are formed from various punk band members and do the most amazing punk covers…my current favourite is their version of ‘Mandy’ by Barry Manilow.

The Serial podcasts have also been good this week as they update the Adnan Syed case from his latest hearing.

Finally, a little craft project for this week…Ian constructed this wooden stag’s head which I am hoping to spray copper – watch this space!


One of my favourite days of the year this week: Pancake Day! I opted for various sweet toppings but I think my favourite was good old Golden Syrup.

After Pancake Day, I decided to have a go at giving up chocolate. I really haven’t missed it this week but we shall see whether I last the 40 days.

I did make a lovely beef stir-fry this week and a deliciously comforting cottage pie which is so big, I can see it lasting us for days!


I also devoured this popcorn – not as good as Joe and Seph’s but tasty nonetheless.



I went for a bum, tum and thigh detox this week which was one of the most forceful massages I have ever had! Luckily, I booked a facial for straight afterwards too so I did leave feeling quite relaxed. Even though the actual massage wasn’t the most calming thing, the skin on my thighs definitely feels smoother and softer and since I am running a lot, I found it great for sorting out my aching muscles.

I had another dentist appointment this week about getting braces on my bottom teeth. All that’s left is some x-rays tomorrow then I have to make my mind up whether to go for them or not.

I tried another Clinique nail varnish this week – a muted nude-grey shade – and it lasted for almost a whole week.


This Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash from Weleda smells amazing and is a lovely, rich, creamy formula. I’m not that fussy about shower gels but this is a good’un.



Since we started going to the gym several times a week, I realised just how much extra laundry this creates. The solution? Buy lots of cool and colourful sportswear! I got these jazzy Puma running trousers this week and they are a really good fit and decent quality.