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This Week’s Nails – Purple Dotticure

Ahhhh the sun has been shining all week and it has put me in such a good mood! I spent the afternoon outside with my class today and it was lovely to get some good old Vitamin D. I even managed a run after work today as the sun was setting…beautiful.

Today I wanted to share my latest piece of nail art – the dotticure. A fun look that can be achieved with some polishes and a dotting tool.

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I decided to go for a neutral base using one of my favourite nude nail varnishes – Lychee from the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine range. I love this polish and would quite happily wear it alone.

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I decided to go with a purple theme going in a gradient from dark to light. I used Ultra Violet from Primark, Prickly Pear another Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polish and Go Ginza by Essie.

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You can dip you dotting tool straight into the bottle but I prefer to dab some onto a piece of paper first.

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I started off with my darkest colour and did two rows loosely following the curve of my cuticles.

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I used Prickly Pear next to do one to two rows depending on how long my nails were.

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Finally, I finished off with my lightest shade and a layer of my Calvin Klein  Splendid Glaze topcoat.

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I really like this look and am keen to try a mint green version soon.

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This Week’s Nails – Purple Candy Cane Ombre

Aaaaand I’ve finished work for the year! Such a good feeling to drive home knowing I can switch off and relax for a few weeks. I started today with a little lie-in then drove over to Salisbury for lunch and present-swapping with one of my besties Cat. I plan to spend much of my holidays this way: catching up on sleep, eating and seeing friends and family!

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When pondering my manicure this week, I was slightly overwhelmed and spoiled for choice with all the gorgeous shades I am getting on a daily basis from my Ciate advent calendar. I cannot wait to get swatching them but I found these lovely little purple and white candy canes in my nail art box (yes, I have a box!)  and decided to go for a purple gradient to compliment these nail decals.

Going from dark to light I used: MUA’s Frozen Yoghurt, ELF’s Lilac, Barry M’s Prickly Pear, Hello Kitty’s Darling Pink and Essie’s Go Ginza.

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I love all these shades individually and like the look of them altogether too.

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I placed the candy cane decals onto wet nails then sealed them with a couple of generous layers of Seche Vite. They are quite raised on the nail so I wasn’t expecting them to last for longer than a few days but we are on Day 5 now with no signs of them budging…God Bless that Seche Vite!

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Time for Christmas Day nails next…pass the glitter! x

This Week’s Nails – Pink Glitter

Another fun weekend has come and gone here and we are now winding down and with a roast dinner in the oven and a Sky Box full of programmes to catch up on…I love a lazy Sunday afternoon!

My brother and his girlfriend arrived on Friday night so we headed up to the pub before I cooked us some Mexican food and we played a few hilarious rounds of Cards Against Humanity. Yesterday we headed into Bath for burgers and a wander before Ian and I headed out to a party. It was such a lovely and mild evening we were sat out in the garden until about midnight!

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Today’s manicure is really all about my new Barry M glitter topcoat in Pink Sapphire. This is a lovely formula, packed with silver strands and pink and silver hexes.

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I wanted a pale colour underneath so chose this lovely pastel pink by Nails Inc in Bloomsbury Way which I think was the perfect background.

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Some of the glitter pieces were slightly raised so I finished this look with a generous topcoat using Nails Inc’s Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Topcoat. I was really impressed at the longevity of this manicure – it lasted for 8 days with no chipping at all and despite not really being a huge fan of all things pink, I really loved this look!

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Latest Purchases #57 – Back to School Buys (An ASOS and Primark Haul)

Today’s haul is a nice mixture of fashion and beauty buys. I have called it my ‘Back to School Buys’ but really it was more a case of me getting myself organised before work kicks in again and I find myself with much less free time than I have been used to this holiday!

First up, my ASOS goodies. My ‘uniform’ so to speak for work tends to be a dress with tights, boots and a cardigan in the winter and leggings and sandals in the summer. Therefore, when I buy a dress, I usually try to make sure it will look good the year round with either of these combinations.

I LOVE this floral skater dress from Oasis. I like that it has three-quarter length sleeves and the darker colours with a pop of neon mean I can wear it to work or dress it up with heels for a night out.

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I also bought this floral and striped dress with a Peter Pan collar from River Island. I think it is the perfect colour for Autumn although unfortunately the sizing is huge so I am returning this for a smaller size…never a bad thing!

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Obviously now is a great time to pick up summery items for next year as the shops begin to promote their Autumn/ Winter range and this little black strapless sundress will be great for holidays worn over a bikini. At £7 it was a bargain too!

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As well as the dresses, I also picked up a few beauty items.

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Top of my list was a bottle of Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap, another product that beauty bloggers seem to rave about! These 18-in-1 formulas claim to wash everything from your hair to your sink but I wanted it as a make-up brush cleaner and when I saw there was a rose version I had to have it.

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I also decided to try a shade from the Rimmel Apocalips in Aurora. There was so much hype when these were released that I wasn’t sure it would live up to it. However, I was pleasantly surprised! Aurora is a reddish-coral shade which I wore out to dinner earlier this week. The colour pay-off is great and it applies with a great glossy finish before it dries to a creamy matte. I found it lasted well too so would be great for those times when you don’t want to be constantly reapplying your lippy. I think I will be picking up a few more shades in this range!

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I spotted two Barry M nail varnished in the sale too. Surprisingly, I don’t really have that many glitters or nail toppers and these two looked like they were packed full of glitter.

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I bought Yellow Topaz Glitter from their Jewel range, a formula packed with gold hexes and tiny holographic pieces. I also got Pink Sapphire Glitter, with pinky-purple hexes and silver bars.

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After a dentist appointment earlier in the week, I decided to pop in to Primark for a few bits to cheer myself up. I went at about 9am and it was lovely and quiet – much nicer than the usual crowds!

My main aim was to buy a few more sporty/ work-out items for Pilates and PE lessons. I tend to associate work-out gear with comfort and can sometimes end up wearing slouchy jogging bottoms and loose-fitting t-shirts which can look a little scruffy. While comfort and practicality are still my top considerations, I thought I could do with smartening up my sporting attire!

First up are these jogging bottoms. Slightly fitted so not too baggy, these have a cool leopard print design but aren’t too loud either – exactly what I had in mind!

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To pair with these, I bought a loose-fitting t-shirt. I will probably wear this with jeans too as I love the details such as the folded sleeves, slightly sheer material and distressed effect on the fabric.

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I also picked up a gorgeous white, glittery jumper to wear before it’s time to pull on the thick woolly tops. This looks great over jeans and will be ideal to layer up as it gets colder.

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Finally, a pair of cute slippers to replace my flip flops around the house.

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I was surprised at how much the Primark beauty stands have grown in recent years. They now have a whole make-up line as well as stocking various bath and beauty products from other brands. I also love looking at their false nail designs although I’m not really a fan of wearing them so it’s purely for some nail art inspiration!

I picked up a few things from this section:

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Some cute nail files with a floral and owl print

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Hair ties

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And Primark’s version of the Beauty Blender. I usually apply or blend my foundation with a brush but I have heard so many bloggers rave about these egg-shaped applicators that I thought I would give it a trial.

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Finally, I picked up some jewellery. I love the look of layering up several more delicate bracelets and these black and gold ones will look great together. There are some really pretty pieces in this set and for £2 you just can’t go wrong!

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Looking back on this post, I ended up buying more than I thought…isn’t that always the way?!

The sun is shining today so I am going to pull on my running shoes and head out before undoing my hard work with some cupcakes I plan on baking later on! x

This Week’s Nails – Matte Pastels

Hello and long-time no see! Quite literally for me actually as I have been in bed for the past week suffering with a hideous eye infection (hence my absence on here.) My body seems to have punished me for working and playing too hard over the last few weeks so I have spent days in bed catching up on sleep and working my way through several books and a good quantity of eye drops!

Today was the first day I felt like myself again and I have so many cool things to blog about in the next few weeks so I thought I would start my recovery with a little nails post.

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This manicure is so summery and the matte topcoat gives it a bit of a twist.

First of all, I narrowed down five of my favourite pastel-coloured nail varnishes:

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(From left to right: Eternal Optimist by Essie, Jacuzzi by Sephora, Bloomsbury Way by Nails Inc, Pistachio Ice Cream by MUA and Prickly Pear by Barry M.

Then gave my nails 2-3 coats, depending on the formula.

There are lots of good matte top coats available now – I used ELF’s Matte Finisher which only needed one coat and lasted for about 5 days until some slight wear appeared at the tips.

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Wearing different shades on nail varnish on each finger has been a bit of a trend recently and I think this is a really easy way to wear it…my only problem was narrowing it down to 5 shades!

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Finally, I had to mention the immense delight I took in hearing that Michael Gove has been reshuffled out of Education today…I think a glass of champers is definitely in order! x

This Week’s Nails – Nude, Black and Bling

Whilst sanding down a wall recently, I had the most girly disaster happen…I broke a nail! Not hugely dramatic in the grand scheme of things but pretty painful and it has put me off painting my nails or doing any new nail art until the offending nail has grown back and looks a bit better.

So today’s post is one from the archives, which really means I did this manicure a while ago and never got around to posting it!

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I began with two layers of Lychee from the Gelly Hi-Shine range. I really rate these polishes and I can’t help but notice they have three beautiful new pastel shades for Spring recently released too!

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I’m not sure that this is the perfect nude colour for my skin tone but I can’t fault the formula, finish or last of this nail varnish.

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For the black tips I used Noir Ceramic by Chanel. This is one of my most expensive bottles of nail varnish but I feel you really pay for the name with Chanel as the formulas aren’t actually that great.

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I added a little diamond on each cuticle and a thick layer of top coat and surprisingly these lasted for about 4 days until one fell off.

I really like the combination of nude and black, although I was careful to only add a very thin line of black.

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I am willing my stubby little nail to grow back soon as I have some lovely new polishes and nail art plans to try out soon. I’m off to finish off dinner now – lamb chops, pesto broad beans and garlic new potatoes…can’t wait! x

This Week’s Nails – She Sells Seashells

Just before Christmas, I was looking for some cool festive nail art ideas and I came across this lovely website, selling a variety of nail stickers and decals for next to nothing. I placed an order and my items arrived within a few days, well-packaged and in a pretty drawstring bag.

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Here is a quick peek at what I bought…

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Some festive stickers, candy cane nail decals, some bright yellow lemon filmo slices, some tiny gold and silver nail studs and these gorgeous gold shells, which I used in my manicure this week.

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I could have bought more but decided to show some restraint with my first order!

For this look I used:

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Barry M’s Gelly Nail Paint in Prickly Pear (I cannot rate this range highly enough!), my shell nail studs, a pair of tweezers and my Nails Inc Caviar Gel Top Coat.

After applying a couple of coats of this pretty lilac, while the varnish was still wet, I used my tweezers to position the shell and press it firmly onto my nail – it was too fiddly for me to do it with just my fingers!

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I finished with a very thick layer of top coat to really seal the shells to my nails and so far they have been on my nails for three days without budging!

The shells are quite raised off the nail so I only expected them to last a day or so but I think the generous layer of top coat has helped.

I can’t wait to experiment with the rest of my purchases! x