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Category Archives: nail varnish

Mani Monday – Pink and Red Hearts

I have been playing around with a new kit. The Alexa Edit from Nails Inc came out a while ago but I have only just got around to testing the products out and am planning a more in-depth blog post on it soon.

The first combo I tried was this delicate pastel pink with mini red hearts.

The pink is part of the Cashmere range – named Cashmere Pink – and has a lovely, slightly textured and pearlescent finish. It is really well-pigmented and one that I will definitely use again.

I have had really mixed experiences with the next type of product with many of the nail decals not sitting flush to the nail meaning they ping off and last about a day. However, I was really impressed with these little red hearts. They were small enough which meant they didn’t stick up on the nail and both the nail varnish and all 10 of the hearts lasted a whole week which is a big thumbs up from me.

This was a very pretty manicure and given the quality of both Nails Inc products, I look forward to using them both again.

Mani Monday – Easter Hues

What do you do when you can’t decide which pastel shade to use over Easter? Use them both!

My nails grew so much when I was on holiday and I was in desperate need for a manicure when I got back. I trimmed and shaped my nails then chose these two shades from Ciate to apply.

I began with my Rococo base coat then applied Double Bubblegum on most of my nails and Ahoy Sailor on my ring fingers.

I finished with a Calvin Klein topcoat and I really like this pastel combination. I do however plan on furniture moving and gardening this week so I will really put their staying powers to the test!

Mani Monday – Rainbow Dots

I really love this manicure! It is subtle yet fun and really easy to do.

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I began with a nude base colour – I chose Ciate’s Cookies & Cream which is a lovely grey-taupe shade.

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Next, with a dotting pen (which you can pick up for about a pound on ebay), I added a little dot just above my cuticle in a range of different colour.

From the thumb to the little finger I wore: MUA’s Bold Blue, ELF’s Lilac, 17’s Miami, Natural Collection’s Antique Coral and Ciate’s Big Yellow Taxi.

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I love the effect a little dot of colour can give and I want to experiment more with different shades.

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Latest Purchases #109 – A Huge Sephora Haul

This is a really long time coming but these are some of my favourite posts to read and watch online so I didn’t want my photos to go to waste.

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This little haul is from October when we went to Boston. I sent Ian back to the hotel and told him I would be some time and spent a lovely hour or so pottering around Sephora, testing things on the back of my hand, blagging some freebies and eventually making a few choice purchases.

First up, a set of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains. These are mini versions of their bestselling matte lip creams and I think you get a really nice selection of shades. I got Always Red, Infinite Rose, Blackberry Sorbet and Cherry Blossom (it’s fairly easy to work out which is which) and I think I have all bases covered from a deep, vampy berry, to a bright red, to a casual nude. I have a few other shades in full size and I really like them. They are slightly drying but the staying power is worth it.

I bought a Sephora Highlight Lowlight Face Contour Duo which is a chunky crayon, in the shade Light. I know contouring seems to have had its day now but, done with a light hand, is a great way to bring some subtle definition to your face…no crazy Kim K sculpting going on here. These shades really suit my skin tone too.

I really wanted to try the CC Cream from IT Cosmetics but they didn’t have my colour. I did however pick up the Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination, a brightening concealer for the under eye area.

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I am yet to try anything by Sunday Riley (it may have something to do with the price of some of the products!) but I picked up a miniature of Martian Mattifying Melting After-Gel Toner. This is an ‘essence’, a product currently taking the beauty world by storm, and looks a great post-cleansing boost which prepares your skin for foundation.

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I was relatively restrained with nail varnish and just picked up one bottle from Formula X. This monochrome nail topper in Chaotic is similar to a L’Oreal one I have almost used up and looks great over a variety of bases.

I bought a set from one of my favourite brands: First Aid Beauty. I have tried all three products inside this set and loved them all. The Ultra Repair Cream is wonderfully hydrating, the Face Cleanser is gentle yet effective in removing make-up and the Facial Radiance Pads tone and brighten with a wash of glycolic acid.

My two final products are both from the ‘Sephora Favourites’ set which I get really excited about! These are boxes filled with a collection of themed products and allow you to try a variety of brands and items for a really good price.

The first box I picked up was called Beauty Sleep and all the products were designed to be applied before bed and left to work their magic overnight. Inside was: Blue Moon Cleansing Balm from Sunday Riley, Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm from Farmacy, Splash Absolute Hydration Replenishing Sleeping Mask from Algenist, a Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask, Cell Renewal Night Cream from Caudalie, a Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial by Korres and an Anti-aging Power Eye CreamAnti-aging Power Eye Cream from Origins. Phew!

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I am really excited to try the Sunday Riley balm as well as working my way through the various night creams and masks. Bought individually, these items would cost almost $120 but this box was just $30 which I think is excellent value.

Finally, I bought the Trending: Beauty’s Most Coveted box which contains all the products currently being raved about on beauty blogs and websites. A lot of these products are quite high-end and expensive so this was a great way to try them out for a fraction of the price.

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I received: a nude BeautyBlender, Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Moonstone, Ka-Brow from Benefit, a Luna Play from Foreo (a facial cleansing brush in case you were wondering!), an Urban Decay lipstick in the shade 714, a GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment, a NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Custard, a bottle of Tarte’s Rainforest of the Seas Marine Boosting 4-in-1 Mist, The Edgiest Kohl Shadowstick in Black Viper by The Estee Edit, another of the Kat Von D Tattoo Liners in Trooper, a Cover FX highlighter stick in the shade Bubbly, and a pot of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (plus  powder puff).

The sample sizes are really good and I can’t describe how excited I am to try some of these products! I have been wanting to try the Becca highlighter, the NARS concealer and the Laura Mercier powder for such a long time but never seemed to get around to buying them.

I had no idea what the Luna Play was beforehand but am intrigued to give that a go too as well as trying out the GlamGlow mask which I have only heard amazing things about.

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The only downside to one of these sets is the colour selection. Both the Benefit brow product and the NARS concealer are a touch too dark for me. I can still use them both (maybe with a tan!) but they wouldn’t be my first choice of shades.

So, I did get a bit spend-happy but I am so pleased with everything I bought, especially the two ‘Sephora Favourites’ boxes. Now to start trying everything out and hopefully finding a few new favourites!

Mani Monday – Frozen Yogurt

I did a bit of a lucky dip in my stash of nail varnishes this week and picked out this lovely grey-purple shade. This is Frozen Yogurt my MUA and is really good for a budget nail brand.

I only needed two coats and it lasted for a good five days before the usual weekly wear and tear appeared.

As a sidenote, I have continued using the Rococo base coat and my nails are definitely feeling healthier.

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 – Etude House Ice Cream Nails

My nails are not in great condition at the moment so I decided to cut them really short and pile on the conditioning treatments last week. They seem to be slightly healthier looking but when they are short, I don’t like wearing dark nail varnish and when I was looking through my stash for a nude, I rediscovered this bottle from Korean brand Etude House.

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This is such cute packaging, something which is commonplace with Korean products. I am actually going to South Korea this summer for a day as part of our Japanese cruise and I plan on stocking up on unique beauty items when I’m there.

This ice-cream bottle contains the shade Strawberry Stars Candy: a pale pastel pink with pink, purple and blue glitter pieces. I like the speckled finish this gives as you add more layers and it always reminds me of Mini-Eggs (sidenote: I have already spotted these and Creme Eggs in supermarkets!)

I used two layers of polish and then finished with a layer of Seche Vite which helped smooth down the odd piece of glitter that wasn’t sitting flat against the nail.

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I’m planning on only wearing nail varnish for half the week (or when my manicures usually start to chip) then having a few days ‘off’ applying treatments to try and remedy my rather sorry-looking nails.

Beauty Review – January Birchbox

Hello and happy Saturday. I have had a relaxed yet productive weekend so far (the best type in my opinion) and am now sat with a bowl of sweet and salty popcorn, candles are lit and we have lined up a film to watch later on.

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My first Birchbox of the year arrived this week full of products meant to get 2017 off to a great start. I like the design on the box and was keen to see what was inside.

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The first item was a Nails Inc polish in a pretty pale pastel blue. Now, I love Nails Inc as a brand and would normally be chuffed to receive something for my nails but I already have this exact colour! I have seen on social media that there were a range of colours included so I obviously was a bit unlucky with the one I received.

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Next was a handcream from French brand Merci Handy. I received the scent Flower Power and it is a sweet-smelling, rich cream that I will use to try and counteract this harsh weather.

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An interesting product next from Lord and Berry. I own a couple of lip items from this brand and at first thought this was another nude shade. However, I received their Conceal-It Crayon in the shade Beige. It is a pencil concealer which, at first, I really wasn’t sure of. I thought it would be too dry to blend well and almost made my mind up not to like it. After testing it out, I was impressed to see it was a great colour match for me and was actually quite creamy when applied and blended with my fingertips. I have put it with my current foundation to test out a bit more next week but I actually quite like this.

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A brand I have been wanting to try out for a while now – Yes To. I got the Yes to Carrots Moisturising Eye Cream and I was really impressed that this was a full-sized product. This is a nourishing eye cream that I have swatched and am looking forward to using. I was just coming to the end of my Benefit eye cream so this was perfect timing.

Finally, I received a good-sized sample of Monu’s Rosewood Reviving Mist. I love rose-scents and I enjoy a good facial spritz so this was a good inclusion for me. It is refreshing and smells great but I probably wouldn’t spend the £20 to repurchase it.

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Overall, this was actually quite a good box but I can’t help but feel a bit ‘over’ beauty boxes. I have so many samples now, I struggle to use them all and I just don’t get as excited anymore when my Birchbox arrives. Saying that, I think I would miss it if I cancelled my subscription as it pushes you out of your make-up comfort zone and almost forces you to try products you might not try but end up loving.

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Mani Monday – Grey and Pink

This wasn’t the look I had in mind but I actually quite like how it has turned out! For my base colour, I applied two layers of Howick Place by Nails Inc. This is a lovely, creamy slate-grey shade that applies really nicely.

On top, I wanted to do some bright pink glitter tips using Candy Cane by Ciaté. However, this isn’t glitter suspended in a clear gel but rather pink glitter in a pink-toned gel. This meant when I tried to apply the glitter to the tips, it didn’t look quite right so I decided to paint the whole nail with the glitter.

I quite like the finished result although it feels very glitzy for a week in work! I sealed the look with Seche Vite which smoothed down any stray pieces of glitter and gave a lovely glossy look.

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Mani Monday – New Year’s Nails

It’s my last day off before work starts again tomorrow so I am trying to get on top of things and do all the work I had planned to do over these few weeks off. I have really enjoyed getting back into blogging again recently and hope I manage to keep it up when school starts to take over again! I’m aiming for 3-4 posts a week which I think I will be able to do – a mixture of foodie, beauty, travel and lifestyle pieces.

My first nail post of the year is the manicure I wore for New Year’s Eve. It’s not a particularly glitzy look but one I think turned out well.

I used a Seventeen Supreme Shine nail colour in the shade Miami. This claims to last 10 days and it is actually very longwearing. I also used some Elegant Touch nail wraps in Kaleidoscope on two nails to add a bit of interest. These nail wraps are great and have a cool geometric design with tiny diamantes on.

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