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Category Archives: nailsinc

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.

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 – 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.

Sunday Summary #46

Life

I have struggled with jet lag this week – going into work after two hours sleep was certainly interesting! I am back on UK time now although the darker mornings are making it harder to get up. We also had our first frost this week so the heating is officially allowed to be on!

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We started watching Going Clear, a fascinating documentary on Scientology. I am really interested in what makes someone dedicate themselves to cults and religions like this and this is a good insight given by ex-members.

We headed over to Bristol midweek to watch Ed Gamble’s stand-up show. He was really good live and, despite being knackered, we both really enjoyed it.

It was my school’s firework display on Friday and I roped my brother into coming and helping. It was freezing but such good fun and I love that smell of bonfire and fireworks.

This weekend, I was at a friend’s wedding. It was such a fun and special day and I spent most of it laughing with my colleagues.

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Food

After a very indulgent week of lobster, beer and doughnuts in Boston, we have tried to eat well with lots of greens. I have got quite into kale again too, making kale chips or lightly sautéing it with lots of salt and pepper.

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I bought this tea to try, having really enjoyed the Salted Caramel Green Tea that Twinings do. The Cherry Bakewell flavour isn’t quite as nice but it is still pleasant enough.

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We bought quite a bit of food in America (mainly sweets!) and have been working our way through it – the almond snickers are delicious.

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Fashion

I had a really disappointing delivery from Boohoo this week. I really want a camel-coloured coat and ordered a few to try on. I found the quality of them really poor and ended up sending all 5 back.

I remembered why I don’t wear heels this weekend after lasting less than an hour in them before changing into flats so I could dance properly at the wedding. I just think some girls aren’t made for heels and I’m definitely in that category.

Beauty

We didn’t really do anything for Halloween this year but I thought I would paint my nails black and orange to celebrate.

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I’ve been loving this hand lotion from Molton Brown. It smells lovely and I need something to help keep my hands soft as it gets colder.

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Finally, I have been using this shade (Bella Cappuccino) from Milani almost daily. It is a great base colour and I like the formula too.

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Mani Monday – Autumn Vibes

I caved! After not buying any new nail varnish in 2016, I ended up buying two bottles in America. I think a 10 month ban was pretty good going for an addict like me and, in my defence, the two new bottles are lovely (a metallic gold from Essie and a cool monochrome top coat from Formula X).

With autumn in the air, I fancied a truly seasonal manicure so reached for my deep, berry-red tones and picked Pavillion Road from Nails Inc. I applied two coats although it was slightly streaky in places so I probably could have done with a third coat.

I love this rich colour and the formula lasted almost an entire week with only one chip on the 6th day.

As a side note, I have been really impressed with all the Halloween-inspired nail art I’ve seen this year, especially the mini-series on Mikhila’s website.

Sunday Summary #44 and #45

Life

I’m back after a packed week in Boston! We had such a good time there and I am already writing up some blog posts from the trip and reliving the food and fun times. A big thank you to my parents who popped up while we were away and finished laying the tiles in our porch, put fresh sheets on the bed, left flowers and a huge vat of homemade soup for us…just what you want after a night of no sleep! It is back to reality today though as I am back to work tomorrow (no idea how I am going to get up in the morning #jetlag) and need to unpack but first, my Sunday Summary from the past two weeks.

Finally, the new series of Black Mirror is here! Ian and I love this show and it is such a cutting, dark look at society today. So far, we have seen the first three episodes and cannot wait to watch more.

I just can’t sleep on an aeroplane so I tend to binge-watch films. On this trip I managed to watch six: Finding Dory, The Shallows, The Boss, Money Monster, The Jungle Book and the new Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. I mostly picked easy-to-watch/ children’s films but Money Monster was really good (and has George Clooney in!)

Sadly I missed the final of GBBO but have now caught up and had a little cry when Candice won. I’m also still enjoying The Apprentice too.

Food

I have most definitely indulged this week! America just goes so over the top for Autumn and put pumpkin and spices in everything…beer, doughnuts, cheesecake, pancakes.

Ian bought me a bottle of the new Pumpkin-spiced Baileys which I have enjoyed on ice, in coffee and as a milkshake. If you like the Starbucks drink, you will love this.

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You can’t go to Boston and not indulge in seafood. We had great clam chowder and lobster when we were away which we just don’t really do in the UK.

We visited a couple of breweries in America and enjoyed some lovely craft beers. My favourites were a pumpkin-spiced beer from the Octoberfest beer festival we visited and a blueberry wheat beer from Salem Beer Works which came with a handful of fresh blueberries floating in it.

Finally, I tried my first ever cronut and it was goooooooood!

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Fashion

While we had lovely, sunny weather in Boston, there was a definite chill in the air so I lived in my ASOS parker, my tartan scarf (River Island) and my Wolf Academy beanie hat.

I have been looking at leather backpacks for ages and finally bought one when we were away. I like that it is practical yet still smart and I think it will be great for future city breaks.

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Beauty

I did my first autumnal manicure using this lovely deep, berry shade from Nails Inc which actually lasted the whole week with only one chip.

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I suffer with dry skin after a flight so I decided to try and combat that by slathering my skin in Weleda’s Skin Food which I love. I am adamant it smells just like gin and tonic but it really works and gives your skin a real moisture boost.

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I also gave myself a mini facial when I got home yesterday using REN’s Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask which I find revitalises dull, tired skin.

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Finally, one of my highlights of our trip was a visit to Sephora. I actually went twice as got so overwhelmed the first time I left with nothing! I did get a bit spendy but I had budgeted for a few treats and will share them soon! Sidenote – I know we are meant to be getting Sephora in the UK soon and I kind of have mixed feelings about it. Yes, it will be great to have all the brands here but it will take away that excitement you get at visiting a store when on holiday.

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Sunday Summary #38

Life

Well I’ve survived the first week of term with minimal side effects apart from a slightly hoarse voice and a few dark circles under the eyes! It has been a week of readjusting to huge to-do lists, early mornings, packed lunches and savouring the weekends.

Our driveway is now complete and I love it. It makes a real difference to the front of the house so I now need to get some nice pots and plants to add to the final look.

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We finished watching The Night Of and it really was one of the best dramas I’ve seen for a long time with such great actors (my favourite is the New York lawyer). We are going to start watching Stranger Things tonight and see if it was worth the hype.

My brother came over this weekend and we enjoyed watching Liverpool beat Leicester quite convincingly.

Finally, with a week to go I have set up a Just Giving page for the 5K Pretty Muddy run that I am attempting to do next weekend. I’ve never done anything like this before and am strangely nervous yet excited about it but if you did want to donate then the link is here.

Food

Our village pub ordered fish and chips on Friday night from the local takeaway so we went up to show our support.

I also couldn’t resist a box of Krispy Kremes even though the plain original glazed ones are my favourite!

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I love how food and drink can remind you of a holiday and Ian found an ale that we tried last year in Washington DC. This Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale is lovely and just the right amount of sweet.

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Beauty

I had my hair cut and coloured this weekend and asked for lots of white, cool-toned highlights. It never feels like ‘me’ when it’s straight so I couldn’t wait to wash it and release the curls again today!

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I’m not quite ready for the autumnal reds yet so decided to go for a bright, coral on my nails this week.

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Fashion

I picked up a pair of ‘ankle grazers’ in Primark this weekend which, being short, are pretty much the ideal length jean for me!

I’ve also embraced the embroidered trend with this beautiful t-shirt.

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I have been looking for a pinafore dress for ages and think I found one I like in New Look. I tried it on with a cropped top underneath but it was so hot in the changing rooms, I got all flustered and had to leave! Thinking of ordering it online to try it on at home.

Finally, not strictly fashion but something I will be ‘wearing’ for the next few months. Ian’s Mum knitted me a mermaid tail blanket which is the prettiest, cosiest item to keep warm inside as the temperature outside drops.

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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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Mani Monday – Blue Matte Nails

Happy Monday! I have just ordered a new bed and matching bedroom furniture for us which makes me very excited. I am on a mission to get as many house-related jobs done before I go back to work in September and have been calling round getting quotes to have our driveway done today…much more expensive than I was expecting!

Anyway, onto nails…I spotted this bright blue colour in my collection and it felt perfect for a trip to the beach. This is a Nails Inc polish that Ian got free with some toothpaste once! The shade is called Optic Wave but I’m pretty sure it is just Baker Street (which I also have!)

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I decided to finish this with a matte topcoat. I used the one from ELF but it has gone quite thick so I think I need to replace it soon.

I think this made a nice change from the usual pastels of summer – I want to try this on my toes next!