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Category Archives: essie

Mani Monday – Classic Red

Yes, I’m a day late with this but nevermind! I have Pilates Monday night so it’s always a bit of a squeeze to fit everything in.

I fancied going back to basics with a classic red and picked this one from Mavala. I think I got this in a Boots advent calendar a few years ago and it is a lovely shade – slightly deeper than a bright, post-box red.

I have been using this base coat by Rococo and I feel it’s better than constantly exposing my nail to colour. I only needed two coats of the Mavala polish (I think it’s just called ‘53’ – I couldn’t find a shade name) and it seems really lovely quality.

I wanted to add a bit of sparkle so reached for my favourite Essie glitter, Beyond Cosy and finished with a good layer of Seche Vite.

 

Mani Monday – Navy and Gold

I have now finished work for Christmas so am feeling relaxed and eating my body weight in mince pies and party food on a daily basis!

I really love this week’s manicure. I think the combination of navy and gold is lovely and the dusting of glitter makes the nails looks really Christmassy.

I started with a base coat of Essie’s Style Cartel, my favourite navy blue. I looked for ages to find this shade and every time I wear it I’m reminded of how much I like it.

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The glitter is a Nails Inc bottle in Chelsea Embankment. I wasn’t prepared for how packed with glitter this formula was so needed a very light touch to get this effect. I basically packed glitter on around the cuticle, gradually fading out how much I used as I reached halfway along the nail. As always, some nails look a bit better than others but I am really pleased with the overall effect.

Mani Monday – Holly Nails

I was desperate to have Christmas nails for the last week of term as I enjoy a Christmas dinner with my class followed by a festive curry with my colleagues. I bought some holly wreath nail stickers which were a really quick and easy way to add a festive twist.

I went for a silvery, pearl-white base using Essie’s Cabana Boy. I love this colour and it always looks so clean and fresh.

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On each nail I added a sticker which has holly leaves and berries on with a layer of Seche Vite to seal the look. I think they are subtle enough to not look too over-the-top yet still a little special and fitting for the time of year.

Mani Monday – Pink and Leopard Print

This was a very short-lived manicure, lasting about an hour! I wanted to use these leopard print nail wraps that I picked up from the Boohoo website and I paired them with Eternal Optimist by Essie, a pretty, creamy rose colour.

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The nail wraps seemed quite thin and flimsy when I was cutting them to size and they started to pucker almost as soon as I applied them. Within an hour, the edges were peeling backwards then one of them slid off my nail completely.

I have to say that I have had really bad experiences with Boohoo. The quality of their things seems so poor and cheap and these nail wraps were no different.

Luckily, I got a few pics but then repainted them all in the pink shade.

Latest Purchases #101 – US Drugstore Haul

The pound-dollar exchange rate was pretty poor when we were in Boston (thanks Brexit!) so we didn’t do a whole lot of shopping. I tried to only buy things that we couldn’t get in the UK and one afternoon, I had a browse around our local CVS store and came away with this little pile of goodies.

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First up, the base products. I am always on the hunt for a new foundation and I got these two from the Maybelline ‘Fit Me’ range. I went for the Dewy and Smooth and the Matte and Poreless foundations which cater for dry to oily skin. I have tried both and like them but I don’t like the fact that you have to pour the product out – I would much prefer a pump.

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I also bought this BB Cream from ELF. I liked the fact this had SPF 20 in it and will be great for those days where you just want to wear a light base. This also has a pump in the lid!

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Another ELF face product was this Illuminating Face Primer. This is very golden and definitely needs a light touch! You could actually use this as a highlighter on the cheekbones or, as it recommends, mix a little into your foundation for a bit of extra glow.

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Onto lip products now and with the colder weather, mine are already suffering! I really like the EOS lip balms and I bought the Blackberry Nectar flavour.

I also picked up a bumper pack of Carmex lip balms in Cherry and Winter Mint flavours which should keep my chapped lips at bay.

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I bought a new Maybelline mascara. I have used their Great Lash version for years but haven’t seen the Blackest Black colour before.

I also got an ELF mascara with a regular and waterproof end.

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I broke my spending ban on nail varnish with a new bottle from Essie. Metallic nails seem to be having a moment and I love this shade, Good as Gold…expect a post on Monday!

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I am a fan of the Milani blushers and picked up another one in the colour Berry Amore. This is a dusky pink shade baked with swirls of gold.

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Also from Milani is this Color Statement Lipstick in Teddy Bare. I don’t have a colour like this dark nude and I think it is quite seasonal. I have tried it a few times and it is creamy, well-pigmented and smells like watermelon.

From ELF, I bought a Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose. It isn’t a drying matte formula and I like the long, thin ‘pen’ it comes in.

I think I was having a bit of a moment by the ELF stand as I also got an eyebrow kit. This is a gel and powder duo which I haven’t used before but will enjoy experimenting with!

Finally, I bought a Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadow in Bad to the Bronze. This is quite a warm, taupe bronze as opposed to an orange-toned one and the pigmentation and staying power is excellent. I wear these eye shadows on their own or as a base colour and they don’t crease like many other cream products.

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I was really happy unpacking this selection of items and now comes the fun bit of testing them all out!

Mani Monday – Metallic Nails

Metallic and chrome manicures are everywhere at the moment so I broke my ban and bought a bottle of Essie’s Good as Gold when we were in Boston.

It actually looked really good after just one coat but I added a second one just to make it last a bit longer, topped off with some Seche Vite.

I love the formula of this polish but it does show up any imperfections so if you get any on your skin or cuticles, you can tell. The hand painted with my right hand looked fine but I wouldn’t look too closely at the other one!

Sunday Summary #47

Life

We started the week with a Sunday-night gig to watch Tom Odell. Ian is more into him than I am but I have to say he was great live.

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The heating is permanently on at the moment as it has gone so chilly. It does provide some beautiful sunrises though…

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We were glued to the new series of Planet Earth – those snakes!!!

The results of the US election came in, plunging most of us into a deep despair and making us wonder what is wrong with the world. I took a little break from social media as I just couldn’t stand the constant reminders.

My bedroom furniture has finally started to arrive and Ian put together our bedside tables this weekend. Pale grey, mid-century style with gorgeous little copper legs, I can’t wait for the rest to be delivered!

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Ian’s parents came to stay for a few days bringing George, their Jack Russell, with them. We went to the village pub quiz last night which was really fun although difficult!

Food

The cold weather means there is only one thing I want for breakfast at the moment – porridge! I do love the sickly-sweet golden syrup flavour but know I should have something a little healthier.

I suffered a ‘snackcident’ this week – when you only mean to have a small snack but end up eating an entire bag of sweet and salty popcorn!

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Fashion

Nothing ground-breaking to report this week but I do have two essentials..thick black tights and my fur-lined slippers!

Beauty

I unpacked a few things I bought in CVS in America and have been trying them out this week. Two current favourites include this Maybelline mascara in Blackest Black and this new bottle of metallic gold Essie nail varnish.

Mani Monday – A New Essie

Last week, I had the lovely surprise of Ian coming home with a new Essie nail varnish which for me is the equivalent to a romantic bunch of flowers!

I received Cabana Boy,  a beautiful pearlescent grey shade from the 2016 Retro Revival Collection. This only needed two shades and gave a really fresh, clean look.

I wanted to add a bit of glitter so picked up Barry M’s Pink Sapphire Glitter, a top coat packed with pink and silver pieces that looked good with this colour underneath.

This lasted just under a week before I fancied something different and is a definite new favourite!

Sunday Summary #36 and #37

Life

Hello! It’s been a while since I sat down to write but things have been pretty busy.

Firstly, we have been on a mini European cruise visiting Sweden, Estonia, Russia and Finland. I had such a great time and will be writing a blog post about each place soon.

Sadly, my summer holidays have come to an end so I have been trying to get my head back into work mode again and get my body used to 6:30am starts! I did however enjoy my last day of freedom today and met friends for a morning of food and shopping at Frome Market where I had the most amazing meatball sub too.

We’re also having our driveway done which has meant further chaos at home but it is almost finished and so worth it.

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I mentioned in my last weekly post that our village pub was closing. Well, things have moved on quite a bit and the villagers have taken over! The pub has reverted back to its previous name of The Kings Arms and will be staffed by local volunteers for drinks until a buyer is found. I am a firm believer that you should support local businesses and we will be continuing to visit on a weekly basis.

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I finished watching all 6 series of Sex and the City and even squeezed in the two films…a summer well spent!

We finished watching The Five (a good British drama with a slightly far-fetched ending) and are now watching The Night Of which is excellent!

I also finished the two books set by my book club this week and have started reading The Sister which is set in Bath.

Food

We ate really well on holiday! In Stockholm I had the most delicious traditional lunch of an open prawn and egg sandwich on rye bread followed by a cinnamon roll.

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On our ship, there was an abundance of seafood including unlimited prawns and caviar. There was also lots of pickled food and since coming home, I am addicted to gherkins!

I was quite partial to honey beer, served in Estonia.

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With the return of the Great British Bake Off, I have found an urge to bake again. I made a pink grapefruit drizzle cake last week and am planning a lemon and blueberry cake this week.

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I was browsing through my blog for some food inspiration this weekend and found the recipe for a really simple paella. I made it again and it was so tasty!

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Beauty

I raided my drawer of beauty samples and minis for our holiday and fell in love with this Verbena body lotion from L’Occitane en Provence. A fresh, lemony scent, it was a perfect summer product.

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Ian earned some serious husband points this week when he came home with a new bottle of Essie nail varnish for me. Cabana Boy is a lovely pearlescent grey which I wore all this week.

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Fashion

I bought another pair of my favourite Topshop jeans this week in a slightly darker shade for Autumn. These Lucas jeans are the perfect fit and I wore my last pair all summer.

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There’s not much else to report on the fashion front as it’s that funny time in between Summer and Autumn where you have no idea what to wear!

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!)…

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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.

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Here are the bottles that made the cut:

The Reds

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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