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Mani Monday – Autumn Tips

I think I saw a picture of a similar manicure on Nails Inc’s website recently and I couldn’t get the combination of coral and burgundy out of my head so I knew exactly what colours I would be using on my nails this week.


I began with two layers of Fire Coral by ELF which is a vibrant shade I wear over the summer months.


Paired with that I chose Essie’s Sole Mate, my favourite autumnal berry shade. I bought a selection of nail tip stickers and decided to use my triangular ones for this look.

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All I did was place the sticker on the nail (about two-thirds of the way up), paint on a layer of the Essie polish, wait a few seconds then remove leaving a crisp line.


I sealed the look with my new bottle of Seche Vite and love how this has turned out! x

Mani Monday – Geometric Nail Wraps

I have been looking forward to using these Sally Hansen nail wraps since I bought them in America this summer. I have heard that the staying power of these is great and I love the cool geometric black and white print.


The design is actually called Pitter Pattern and the box comes with 16 strips, a cuticle stick and mini nail file. My nails are short enough that I can make one strip cover two nails so I get double my money’s worth with most sets of nail wraps!

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These were really simple to apply and tidy up using the nail file. I like the fact these little extras were included in the box.

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I decided to do a bit of a test and see if a layer of clear nail varnish would make these nail wraps last any longer. I applied a topcoat to my left hand and although it didn’t make a huge amount of difference, it was right hand that experienced a chip and a bit of peeling first but not until 6 days after application.


The staying power of these Sally Hansen wraps are amazing and I am already eyeing up my next design to try out!

Mani Monday – Essie Nail Wraps

I realised it had been a while since I had worn any nail wraps and decided to do my whole set of nails in these Essie ones. Printed with romantic calligraphy, these Love to Love You nail wraps were really easy to apply and are some of the best quality I have tried.


You know the drill…size them up and stick onto the nail

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Then use a nail file to tidy things up.


I like to apply a layer of top coat too, just to give my manicure an extra few days.


I love the monochrome look this has and is a twist on the plain white manicure that has been popular this summer.

Mani Monday – Flowers

Hello to another Mani Monday post! This is a really simple bit of nail art where you can play around with the colours to create a whole host of different looks.


For my base colour on all but one of my nails I used Essie’s Meet Me at Sunset, a vibrant, deep orangey red that looks amazing on the hands or feet – I would love a lipstick in this shade!


On the nail with no colour, I used a very fine nail art brush (I got mine in an ebay set) to paint a bright yellow half-moon shape above my cuticles. I used Ciate’s Big Yellow Taxi and needed two layers.


I then used the same nail brush (after giving it a quick clean) to paint on petals using the Essie shade.


I sealed the look with my Calvin Klein Splendid Glaze top coat et voila! A fun, summery look that I think anyone could do. x


Latest Purchases #86 – US Drugstore Haul

I ended up buying quite a bit of make-up and skincare items when we were on holiday so decided to split them into a Sephora Haul (coming next week!) and a kind of high street/ drugstore one. I tried to stick to brands that either aren’t available in the UK or products that I hadn’t seen on the shelves in Boots or Superdrug before. I think I was fairly restrained as I could have added a lot more into my basket!

First of all, not strictly a US purchase but one I used every day on holiday after buying it in Duty Free. This perfume from D&G is my first perfume from the brand and I really like it. I’m rubbish at trying to describe scents but I thought this was fruity and summery and every time I smell it now I think of our holiday.


Next, a few bits I picked up in Bath & Bodyworks. I love this shop and if I wasn’t so worried about our luggage allowance, I would have treated myself to some of their candles too. I always have one of these scented hand sanitizers in my handbag so picked up some new scents – I picked some lovely summery ones but the ‘Napa Valley Sunset’ is my favourite as it is wine-inspired!


Some Essie nail varnish next and I managed to narrow this down to three new shades; Chillato (a pastel pistachio – I blogged about it here), Where’s My Chauffeur (a turquoise-blue) and Golden Nuggets (a gold glitter).


Another nail product from Sally Hansen, the Salon Effects Nail Stickers. I have tried these before and they are really good. They sit on your nails just like nail varnish and I loved this cool geometric pattern.


Some lip balms next and the first one is from from Eos in Coconut Milk. I really like the formulas of these and the little egg shape it comes in!

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I also picked up a Burt’s Bees Rose Tinted Lip Balm. I thought this would be a chunky colour stick but the cardboard packaging was just for show and it’s just a regular little stick. There isn’t much colour pay-off from this but I always find this brand to be good quality so look forward to using this.

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This seemed a fun product next from Chapstick with a double ended, duo-flavoured stick.

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I wanted to try a few things from the brand Milani and read glowing reviews of their baked blushers. I picked up Corallina which is a beautiful rosey coral pink with a gold shimmer running through it. I think it looks beautiful although the lid cracked in my suitcase so I won’t be taking it in on my travels. I noticed a rattling sound when I picked this up and found a little mirror and brush underneath which is quite handy. I have swatched this and it is very glowy so can double up as a highlighter too.

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I also bought two eyeshadows in different formulas. Bella Cappuccino is a satin matte formula in a warm, medium brown with a hint of golden shimmer. I wasn’t sure what ‘satin matte’ would be like (surely it’s one or the other?!) but it’s actually a perfect description for this formula. I wouldn’t say this isn’t hugely pigmented and is slightly on the chalky side but a good ‘base’ colour for me.

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However, Bella Bronze is a different story! This is a metallic eyeshadow in a deep bronze with a beautiful coppery shimmer. The formula of this is so soft and buttery and it blends really well too. Of the two, I would definitely buy from the metallic range again.

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Another brand that we don’t get in the UK but has some real gems is Wet n Wild. I decided to try out one of their mascaras and there was so much choice! I opted for Megaplump and will let you know how I get on.

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I also picked up a blusher in the shade Mellow Wine. It may be a tad on the dark side for me – I will have to apply this with a light touch! This also contained a little brush, although like the Milani one, it doesn’t feel amazing quality.

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People seem to go mad for the Wet n Wild eyeshadow palettes so I picked up a small one named Silent Treatment. It contains three eyeshadows, embossed with ‘browbone’, ‘crease’ and ‘eyelid’ to use all three together – very handy for those less confident with a smoky eye. These are lovely eyeshadows although the darkest shade is a bit glittery so more of a night time look for me.

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I also wanted to try a lip product from this brand and am really into chunky lip pencils at the moment so picked up a Megaslicks Balm Stain in the shade Red-ioactive (I love the name!) This is so pigmented and although it applies with a gloss, after that has faded you are still left with a really strong wash of colour – I like this a lot.


Carrying on with the lip products, NYX is another brand that was on my list to try so I bought one of their butter glosses in the shade Peach Cobbler – maybe it was just for the name?! This is a pretty peachy coral colour sitting somewhere between sheer and opaque and as it is a gloss it gives a very lush finish but is a tad sticky.


Finally, a little trip down memory lane with a good old faithful mascara. I saw this at the till for a couple of dollars so thought why not?! It was only when I opened it that I realised I had picked up the shade Royal Blue. However, coloured mascaras seem to be having a bit of a comeback worn at the tips over black mascara so I shall give that look a go with this mascara.

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Phew – I am so excited to start using these items and seeing which ones will make it into my daily routine! x

This Week’s Nails – Sugar Skulls

After trying to sleep through that thunder and lightning last night, I woke up feeling strangely refreshed today. My cold has finally gone so I felt much better and even attempted a bit of yoga this morning to try and get back into some semblance of exercise.

We discovered a great new place to eat today and enjoyed a tapas lunch in the sunshine before coming home to sleep (Ian) and read (me) in the garden…a lovely Saturday!

Today, I wanted to share my latest manicure and these cool sugar skull nail decals. I found them online and think they are so pretty.


I wanted them to stand out so decided on Color Club’s Mod in Manhattan, a creamy off white. I really like this shade and think it is a great way to rock the white nail varnish trend if you are a little hesitant to wear a full-on white.


These are water nail decals so I simply cut out my skull, held it under water for 20 seconds and placed it on the nail.


A quick layer of Seche Vite topcoat sealed the look and this lasted me almost a week.


This Week’s Nails – My First Attempt at Nail Striping

I thought it was time to try some new nail art and dip my toes into the world of nail striping tape! I bought mine for a few quid from ebay and received several rolls in a variety of colours.


There are two main uses for nail striping tape – you can either cut pieces to size and use them on the nails, sealing the look with a top coat, or you can stick them on, paint nail varnish over the top and peel them off to reveal a design.

There is a real trend for ‘negative manicures’ at the moment where most of the nail is left natural with a pop of colour either on the tips or cuticles. I decided to use my nail striping tape to create a horizontal and vertical negative manicure…try saying that after a few glasses of wine!

Starting with clean, bare nails, I cut four pieces of striping tape and placed them as evenly as I could across my nail. I knew I could only do one coat of nail varnish so chose a darker, well-pigmented shade in the form of OPI’s A Grape Affair.


I applied a generous layer of this deep purple colour then waited a few seconds and peeled off the striping tape whilst my nails were still wet et voila…


I managed to do my whole left hand with ease but knew the challenge would be doing my right!

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For some reason, I found it much easier applying the strips in a vertical design and managed to do my right hand with relative ease. It was a bit more fiddly being right-handed but not so onerous that it would put me off trying it again.

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I was really pleased with the results of this and am looking forward to experimenting with my many rolls of striping tape soon!


This Week’s Nails – Peach ‘n’ Birdcages

It has been a lovely sunny Saturday here and after a lazy morning we headed over to South Wraxall (down the road from us) for their village fete. It was a real country village affair with cider, BBQs, music, dog agility and even some little piggies snoozing in the sun!

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I know today’s post has quite a random title but I realised I hadn’t shared any nail art for a while! In an attempt to use up some more of my nail stickers and transfers before I buy anymore, I rediscovered these pretty bird cage transfers and paired them with a pretty peach colour – this is Sorbet by Sally Hansen.


This shade took three coats until I was happy with it but it a beautiful shiny pink with a hint of shimmer too.


I decided to use these birdcage water decals on my ring finger and thumb and I love the finished result. x

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Latest Purchases #78 – A Teeth and Nails Combo

Finally, it’s half term! The last week of term always seems longer than usual but I am happy to have a whole week off stretched out in front of me plus a three day weekend with Ian to enjoy.

Today, I wanted to share a little bargain I picked up in Boots recently. I meant to write this post as soon as I bought it so I hope the offer is still running! Nails Inc – one of my favourite nail varnish brands – has teamed up with Colgate for a great teeth and nails deal.


When you buy a tube of Colgate’s Max White One Optic toothpaste, you can get a free Nails Inc nail varnish in a choice of three shades – a bright blue, an orange-toned red or a pastel pink. There have been similar deals like this in the past and everyone needs toothpaste, don’t they?!

The toothpaste itself is fine – a bright blue colour that claims to whiten teeth – but it was the nail varnish I was keen to try. I picked up the blue colour which reminded me so much of Baker Street – bright yet creamy and a real summery blue. This shade is called Optic Wave and I really like it. Annoyingly, I received an almost identical shade from Wah Nails in this month’s Birchbox but I can see myself wearing them a lot this summer.

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I painted the Nails Inc shade on my both my finger and toe nails straightaway but couldn’t resist jazzing my manicure up a bit.

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I love bright blue and white together (think Mediterranean buildings and china plates!) so used a layer of white Mosaic Effects nail varnish on my thumb and fourth finger. I’m not sure what the ‘mosaic’ name is all about as it was very similar to the standard crackle-effect nail polishes but I like the final look and love the fact this shade was a freebie! x


This Week’s Nails – Peach and Glitter Tips

Am I the only one who found it that little bit more difficult getting up this morning after an extra day off?! I spent all of today not quite knowing what day it was, feeling more tired than usual and drinking cups of tea to offset the wind and rain outside.

Rather than come home and nod off on the sofa, I decided to try and wake myself up with some yoga and the difference in my productivity levels was really noticeable! I’m finding it very similar to Pilates and a quick half hour on my mat stretching and relaxing is my new favourite thing.

Afterwards I found myself whizzing around the kitchen making a chili con carne from scratch, a bowl of overnight oats for my breakfast and cous cous salads for mine and Ian’s lunches tomorrow as well as loading the dishwasher and tidying up after myself – I usually leave that last part to Ian!


Onto this week’s nail and I wanted a fun summery look as well as a chance to try out a new Nails Inc shade. This isn’t a new release – in fact it has been sat in my ‘to try’ pile of nail varnishes for a while –  but I love this pastel, peachy coral shade which is also named after a London Street. Kensington Palace is a perfect summery pastel shade that will look great with a tan. It was opaque within two coats and had a lovely glossy finish.

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I decided to add some gradient glitter tips using Celestial by Ciate. This is a silver and holographic formula, packed with glitter pieces, that looks amazing when it catches the light. To achieve this look, I did a light layer of glitter covering the top two-thirds of the nail then added another layer on the top third of the nail for that graduated look.


Sadly, my bottle of Seche Vite is starting to go a bit gloopy so whilst I am waiting for a replacement bottle, I decided to go back to an old favourite – Calvin Klein’s Splendid Glaze Quick Dry Top Coat.


This is a fun summery look and I’m glad to have found another winning Nails Inc shade! x