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Tag Archives: nail varnish

Mani Monday – Kiko Nail Varnish 320

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I recently discovered Bath’s new Kiko store and had to try out a few new things. One of the stands I was drawn to was of course the nail polish. Despite an array of colours available, I decided to skip my usual mint greens and corals and opt for this…

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My only criticism of this brand is that the shades have numbers, not names – I love some of the names that Essie and OPI come up with!

After a bit of online research, I have found that shade 320 is also known as Beige Mauve which is a perfect description of this grey-toned lavender. I like to think of it as a more autumnal Porchester Square (one of my all-time favourite varnishes from Nails Inc.)

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Considering it has such a low price point, the quality of these nail varnishes is excellent and they dry to such a glossy finish that you could easily forgo a top coat.

I only bought one of these polishes to test the water with the brand and formula but after using this one I will no doubt be back for more!

Mani Monday – Nails Inc Stafford Street

A simple mint green manicure this week – a look I like to wear at any time of the year. I had wanted to try out the new Gel Effect formula from Nails Inc for a little while so bought the shade Stafford Street. It came in the new chunky style bottle although you can remove the wide lid and use the thinner inside lid for a steadier application. I really love the thick brushes that these new bottles have which mean less brush strokes when applying.

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This is a pale pastel mint-green colour that looks almost blue in some lights. I liked this colour so much I actually used it on my toes too.

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As expected for a Gel Effect product, it was quite a thick formula. The good thing about this was that it was very pigmented so I only needed to use two layers however the thickness meant that it dried very quickly so you have to act fast when applying it.

The finish of this nail varnish was great – really glossy and quick-drying. You could get away without a top coat but for longevity, it always helps to add one.

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Nails Inc offer many of their shades in the original or Gel Effect formula, so which would I go for? That’s a tough one because the finish and longevity of the Gel Effect is better but I did find the formula a little difficult to work with and prefer a less thick formula. There’s really not too much in it for me if I’m being honest!

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.

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

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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.

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

Mani Monday – Nude and Rose Gold Glitter

We did it – we finally caved and put the heating on meaning the cosiness factor has doubled in our house! I admit I had a hot flush about an hour after we turned it on but I always think it signifies a turning point in the seasons.

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This week’s manicure is an old favourite teamed with a newbie (which may be my new favourite glitter polish.)

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I began with a couple of layers of Innocent by ELF. This is one of my favourite nudes and I think it really suits my skin tone.

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To add a bit of sparkle, I applied a couple of layers of a new Essie glitter polish. A Cut Above is from Essie’s ‘Luxeffects’ range and has a good mix of larger, hexagonal pieces mixed with smaller glitter pieces suspended in a clear polish. Described as a ‘pink diamond’ colour, this is a beautiful rose gold when applied and I think it looks great with a nude base.

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Mani Monday – Essie Style Cartel

When I look through my nail varnishes, there are certain shades that keep appearing; mint green, coral, nude, grey and navy. I am always on the lookout for the ‘perfect’ version of these and that means testing out several colours and brands. In my latest search for the ideal navy shade, I bought Style Cartel from Essie.

Originally from the 2014 Fall Collection, this deep, inky blue is a very unique colour. In some lights it is a bright, cobalt blue whereas in others, it is a deep navy which looks almost black. I took photos in three different lights which I think shows the differing shades.

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I love these darker colours for Autumn and as always with Essie the application was great. I did find this chipped quite quickly (3-4 days) although maybe it was just a lot more obvious due to the darker colour. Either way, this will be a firm favourite of mine over the next few months – I’m looking forward to pairing it with a gold glitter over Christmas…is it too early for the C-word?! x

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Mani Monday – Essie Mind Your Mittens

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I may have had a mini Essie splurge recently and one of the shades I bought was Mind Your Mittens from Essie’s 2013 winter collection. This is described as a ‘black teal’ which I think is perfect as it is a very very dark green that can look black in some lights and a kind of deep blue/green/grey in others.

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I love these deep shades and this one was opaque with only two layers.

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I can definitely feel myself shifting away from the summer corals towards the deeper, berry colours of autumn and winter and I can see this shade being a regular on my nails over the next few months.

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Mani Monday – Nails Inc Manor House Drive

I’m having a real moment with the new-look Nails Inc. Ever since they changed up their packaging, the nail varnishes seem to be more of a luxe, high-end brand, with new prices to reflect it too! The bottles have changed from round to rectangular ones but for me, the biggest improvement comes in the form of the chunky new brush which makes application a dream.

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I was recently gifted a couple of colours from ‘The New White’ range, a collection of light bases with a hint of colour for that off-white look. I love a crisp, white manicure but this range is a little more wearable.

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I began with a couple of layers of Manor House Drive, a subtle lilac colour that is almost grey in some lights. I was amazed I only needed two layers of this and it dried to a non-streaky, glossy finish.

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I wasn’t quite finished and decided to try out another new polish – a miniature bottle of Beaumont Mews. This is kind of like a grown-up version of glitter, containing matte pink and blue dots which give an almost polka-dot effect.

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These are both great quality nail varnishes and I love how they look together.

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Mani Monday – Essie Where’s My Chauffeur

Another nail varnish I picked up in America, this bright blue-turquoise is a really pretty shade.

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Two coats were enough for me and it had a lovely glossy finish to it.

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I think the fact that this shade originally formed one of Essie’s Winter collections shows that although it looks quite a tropical, summery colour, it is one that will look good all year round. Another favourite in the collection! x

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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