Friday, 31 December 2010

Ooh, how exciting, I've been included in 365 Days of Nail Art!

There's some amazing nail art on the 365 Days of Nail Art blog, so I'm really really pleased to have been included as Day 363 for my nail piercing nail art I did back in October.

What a nice way to round off 2010, Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My latest new discoveries/products I like:

So, we're nearly in 2011 now - it's that slightly dodgy time between Christmas and New Year where nothing really happens and everyone feels a bit grumpy! I got some brilliant presents (I'm a lucky girl) and had a really nice time over Christmas.

I thought I'd do a little quick round up of new things I'm liking at the minute:

Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipstick in Pink Gossip - this is a nice "inbetween" pink for me, it's not shockingly bright but it does add a nice bit of colour to my lips. The texture of this lipstick is lovely too, I'm not massively keen on the fake watermelon scent of this lipstick but I do secretly quite like the OTT metallic pink packaging. I've been using this a lot since I got it and I'll definately be looking more into these Colour Show Off lipsticks!

Beverly Hills Formula Sensitive Whitening - while this isn't going to make me have shiny veneered gnashers, it's definately helping make sure my teeth stay white as well as leaving them feeling nice. It isn't abrasive either and actually has a nice taste.
NSPA Vanilla Creme Brulee Shower and Bath Gel - this was a cheap and cheerful shower gel I picked up in Asda I think, I didn't expect much from it but I really like the smell of it - it's really really sweet, as you'd expect from something Creme Brulee scented and sad as it sounds, I actually enjoy using this in the shower. I've got loads of shower gels etc. to work my way through (everyone knows me well enough to give me stuff from Lush, Philosophy etc for birthdays and Christmas) but once I've used them up, I'll definately be buying this again!

Clinique Airbrush Concealer - I got given this for Christmas and it could not have come at a better time! I've basically had a cough and cold for all of December and I look pretty run down. I have dark circles (I've never had dark circles before!) and this is helping me to disguise them thank god.

Avon Color Trend in Delicious Berry - I didn't have any real expectations of this lipbalm, I thought it would just be another cheap lipbalm to keep in my desk at work but I'm really impressed by how moisturising this feels. It's really sorted out my sore, dry lips and it smells/tastes quite nice. It doesn't really colour my lips either, which I tend to prefer in everyday lipbalms. This was a lovely stocking filler!

Lady Million - I love the packaging, I love the smell and I was chuffed to bits to get this as a Christmas present! It came as part of a gorgeous looking set in a gold metal tin.
Aussie Take The Heat Cream - I really feel like this stuff is helping my hair to feel and look a bit better as well as keeping it's shape.

In other news, I've taken my lash extensions off so along with my dark circles and pale skin from being ill, I'm not looking so great, but never mind. Onwards and upwards to 2011!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Dear Santa...

...I know it's a bit late and that the elves are probably really busy, but I've been really really good this year and I thought of a few extra things I'd like to add to my list please. Basically it's an excessive amount of stuff to carry other stuff in, I don't mind which of these I get but the Alexa or the 2.55 would be nice, y'know...just case you were struggling.

Mulberry Alexa - £895

Chanel 2.55 - somewhere in the region of £1,500

Lulu Guinness Snakeskin Lips Clutch - £255

Marc B Knightsbridge - £39

Marc B Knightsbridge Elite - £42

Juicy Couture Eyelash Barrel Make Up Bag

Topshop Stud Purse - £28

ASOS Nude Feather Clutch - £26

ASOS Waterfall Clutch - £28.50

So, please add these to my Christmas list (along with everything on my beauty wishlist on the left, plus some ASOS vouchers, and maybe some tickets to go and see Rihanna...oh and world peace please, after all, I'm not greedy or anything).


P.S Any of this vintage Chanel stuff by Susan Caplan for ASOS would also be amazing:

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

NOTW Christmas Red Snowflake Minx

It's Christmas on Saturday (ok, where has the last month/3 months/year gone?) so of course there has to be some sort of festive nail art!
I love Minx, and with my mani and pedi qualifications I have an account with the UK Minx Distributor, yay! They recently brought out a whole load of new designs - this is why I like Minx more than a lot of the other nail coverings suppliers, they do a much bigger range of designs and are always updating their range.

I bought a few bits from the new designs, top to bottom we have Red Snowflake, Minxlusion Rose and Minxlusion - Minxlusion was so hard to photograph but it's a metallic silver with a holo effect. Gorgeous!

After debating whether or not to apply to my toes or fingers (last longer on toes, more noticeable on fingers), I went for fingers - it's winter, it's freezing, who's going to see my toes? Plus I didn't really want to still be wearing Christmas stuff well into the new year! I did these on 20th December, and they should last me until Boxing Day at least:

I think this is nice and Christmassy and interesting without being OTT or tacky, they just look metallic until you look a little bit closer! I still need more practice with my application, but this is only the second or third time I've actually done my own Minx so I'm still learning and honing my skills.

Next on my list of Minx to try is Oil Slick:

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Winter nail polishes

As the weather's got colder, and the nights have got darker, so has my choice in nail polishes - I'm definately favouring darker nail polishes and shorter nails. I've not worn a bright orange or a pastel lilac for months now!

Here's what I've been wearing for the most part (you'll probably have seen most of these on here at some point, I've got a bit of a "thing" for nail polishes):

L-R: Leighton Denny "Monroe" (little bit more brown than it looks here)
Models Own "Grey Day" (love this polish!)
Sephora by OPI "Charge It!"
Eyeko "Cosmic Nail Polish" (a black polish with tiny pieces of multi glitter)

L-R: Leighton Denny "Millionaire" (sheer pinky lilac with gold flecks - not a dark polish, I know! But so easy to wear!)
Eyeko "Vampira Polish" (black with red glitter)
Illamasqua "Ruthless" (longwearing true red)
Diamond Cosmetics "Chainmail Charm" (dark grey holo)

L-R: OPI "Glamour Game" (silver with fine silver glitter)
Rimmel "Pompous" (dark purple with fine multi glitter)
China Glaze "Ruby Pumps"
Nails Inc "Rosebery Avenue"

See? Mainly dark polishes and reds - I feel like there should be more unashamed blingy glitters in there though, it is nearly Christmas! What have you been wearing on your nails? Do you go for dark stuff like me or does it not really affect what you've got on your nails?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

China Glaze Polishes - Ruby Pumps and White on White

China Glaze Ruby Pumps

I'd wanted Ruby Pumps for a while, and here it is (3 coats, plus a coat of Seche Vite, which I finally got another bottle of!):

When I wore this, I think more people commented on it than anything else I've ever worn before (apart from gold Minx maybe, but that is pretty special). It's a really subtle glitter, and the polish feels smooth on the nail, not at all bumpy. Application was straightforward enough too.

White on White

I wanted a nice solid white as a nail art base - previously I've been using the white from a french manicure kit, and it's not been so great. This is 4 coats with Seche Vite on top - the application was a bit worryingly streaky, and the formula seemed a bit watery but I liked the end result, it's a very stark, crisp white; just what I wanted!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Trying to help my dry, wintery skin out with MAC Moistureblend (and some other stuff)

My skin goes a bit haywire as soon as it gets cold - the cold weather combined with central heating really makes it dry out, especially on my nose.

This year, as well as drinking more water to hydrate my skin, I've really been trying to sort my skin out because the dry flaky look is so horrible! I've found that for me, a combination of exfoliating with Sanctuary Youth Boosting Warming Microbrasion Polish, followed by Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask, Clinique Superdefense and Dermalogica Hydrating Booster is keeping my skin looking moisturised.

I've then been using MAC Moistureblend foundation to ensure that my skin is staying moisturised through the day.

Moistureblend is a creamy compact foundation (it reminds me almost of concealer), that I'd describe as a medium coverage, though it is buildable to cover the odd area of concern. It does need set with powder though, as you do run the risk of looking a bit shiny! I apply this with a sponge as I didn't think fingers would be hygenic and I think using a brush would waste a lot of product.

Unfortunately, I think this has now been discontinued as I couldn't find it in Selfridges and the website only shows NC20 left (which is what I bought - bit too light for me, even without fake tan, but with powder and bronzer I don't qute look like a ghost!), which is a shame as I think this works for me. If this is the case, I think I'm going to end up going back to DiorSkin Nude again for life, it's still my favourite foundation and it has a high water content, which also works for my skin.

Does anyone know if MAC Moistureblend has been discontinued? Have you seen it anywhere recently? How does your skin react to winter?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Baylis and Harding Wild Rose and Raspberry Bottle & Skin Spa Travel Set

Once again, sorry for the stock photos, I still don't have my camera at the moment!
Baylis and Harding Wild Rose and Raspberry Bottle in Sequin Bag
The packaging on this is lovely - really pink, sparkly and expensive looking; the bottle inside is plastic too which is good if, like me, you grew up in a house where your mam went mental anytime you went anywhere near the bath with a glass bottle/jar "in case you drop it and crack the bath", sigh. This body wash isn't heavily scented which I personally think is a good thing as I sometimes find things that are really heavily floral scented a bit much for me. It was a nice body wash to use, and best of all it only costs £3.50! I actually think I'm going to buy some of these as Christmas presents, there's also Sweet Mandarin and Grapefruit (which sounds yummy!) and Moonlight Lavendar that come in these lovely special bags. If you'd like to buy some of these for Christmas pressies (or even if you'd like Santa to bring you one), you can find them here.

Skin Spa Travel Set
How good is this for £12! It includes 100ml Steam Shower Body Cleanser, 100ml Steam Cream Wash x 2, 100ml Steam Shower Body Cleanser, 50ml Body Polish x 2 and 50ml Silky Skin Body Cream x 2. Again, none of these are particularly strongly scented - some of it smells vaguely herby but in a good way! The Body Polish contains really really fine grains so is very gentle, probably not for you if you're looking to slough away loads of dry skin, but if you have sensitive skin or want something that isn't harsh, then this would be ideal. I liked the body cream and the cream wash too, they felt pretty nice to use.

I think this is lovely as a gift or just a nice item if you travel regularly, I like the little handle on the box too so that, in theory if you did go on your travels with it you could just carry it rather than packing it and worrying about things leaking in your bag etc. I like the packaging of this too, it's quite minimalist but that isn't a bad thing! You can buy this set here.

Baylis and Harding is available on their website andin all sorts of other retailers too - like Boots, Argos, Debenhams etc. They do a huge range of products, definately worth a look!

Please note these items were provided for review by Baylis and Harding, but as always this is an honest review.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator for dry, damaged hair - Pink Ribbon Edition

I've heard good things about this so thought I'd try it. As you can see, I bought the 250ml Pink Ribbon Edition.

When I first opened it, I noticed the smell - it's nice, a clean, slightly fruity scent. The product is white so shouldn't interfere with hair colour, it also feels quite thick and luxurious. You can feel it detangling your hair with ease!

After drying, this made my hair really shiny, manageable and soft - almost a little too soft as I struggled to get any height in at the roots of my hair! As my hair is blonde, I sometimes struggle to get enough shine in my hair without it lookin weighed down, but this really seemed to do the trick (sorry for the slightly dodgy pic, I cropped my friends face out!)

I definately would buy this again, it was a real treat for my hair, it's made me nterested to try their Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor Treatment for Damaged Hair, which I suspect may be even more moisturising on my hair.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Last day to enter my Hotel Chocolat Giant Milk Chocolate Truffle Tree giveaway

My final November giveaway ends at midnight GMT today, if you haven't already entered, info and details of how to enter can be found here

Friday, 26 November 2010

I have lash extensions again, yay!

I was not blessed in the eyelash department - they're dark and there's loads of them but they're so short it's like "what's the point?", this has made me obsessed with false lashes and constantly trying new mascaras. Let's face it though, a mascara is going to have to work miracles to make my lashes the length I want (see the pic below!)

About a year ago I got lash extensions and I loved them, finally my lashes looked like I wanted them to! No more messing around with primers and mascaras on a morning either. They were actually the first thing I ever blogged about a year ago. But due to the cost (and me feeling vain to be spending so much money on something so insignificant to most people) and struggling to get appointments with the girl who did them I ended up stopping in the new year. But after seeing a brilliant deal on Wahanda near me for a full set of Nouveau lashes with 50% off, making them £54, I decided it was time for my lash extensions to make a return!

I got them done at The Beauty Lounge at the Radisson Blu hotel at Manchester airport. The Beauty Lounge is a little small, and is in the corner of the gym, but the actual treatment room is nice and the girls that work there are really friendly and good at what they do. I got a file and polish on my toes and my lash extensions, I would definately recommend this salon, the girl who did my lashes was great (as was the girl who did my toes), she really knew what she was doing and she didn't skimp with the lashes to save time either! They don't look totally false or ridiculous either, it just looks like I've got naturally gorgeous lashes, which is what you want really when you've got them on all day every day - I don't want to be in the office looking like Cher Lloyd! I also got a complimentary lash/brow brush and a waterproof mascara as well, which was a nice touch.

Oh, and sorry for the slightly rubbish pics - I managed to leave my camera at my parents house in Cumbria and probably won't have it back until December sometime so I'm relying on my Blackberry at the moment, which isn't half as good as my normal camera.

Lash extensions require a bit of maintenance - I don't use mascara or eyeliner when I wear these, just a line of MAC Carbon applied above the lashline and I try not to get them wet or rub at my eyes. It saves me loads of time in the morning though as I normally have to apply loads of mascara! You do need to get them infilled as well as time goes on, I think it was generally about 4-5 weeks when I started needing mine done again last time I had them.

P.S. Remember, if you sign up at Beauty Heaven by Wahanda, you'll get a £5 off voucher just for signing up as well as more prizes and discounts the more people you share with! So, the lashes could actually cost you £49.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Xen Tan Dark Lotion - Weekly Self Tan

I've got a lot less high-maintenance with my beauty routine of late (read: much lazier) - I can't remember the last time I fake tanned or wore extensions. I still rock my false lashes on nights out but no longer change the polish on my toes every few days or go to the gym a few times a week like I did a couple of years ago - it's partly to do with time; I work full time, I'm studying for a degree part time along with a project management qualification and I have a lovely boyfriend, and occassionally a life. So when I do have a night free, I no longer feel like I can devote it to just lazing around painting my toes/sitting with a hair mask on for ages/fully body fake tan/hitting the gym etc., I always have "something" to do. Which is totally my choice, so I shouldn't moan, it just means that my once extensive beauty routine is on the back burner.

I'm not feeling so great about the way I look at the min so I decided to change what I can for now, and deal with the other stuff on an ongoing basis (hello, spare tyre!). I started with an instant boost for feeling slimmer and just feeling a little bit better, fake tan. Namely Xen Tan Dark lotion. I have used normal Xen Tan before and liked it as it's olive toned, not orange, so I went for the dark version.

It looks kind of scary in the bottle:

Application was easy, the lotion is really creamy, applies well and as shown above, the guide colour is nice and dark so you can see where you've applied. It smells nice too, like marzipan. I applied the tan using my bare hands, and thoroughly scrubbed my palms after each area to make sure I didn't have orange palms - using a glove is miles better for not getting orange palms but I find it hard to apply with gloves on. They recommend using their fake tan mitt so might try that in future. After application, the tan dried pretty quickly on my skin and actually left my skin feeling moisturised rather than sticky or coated.

The instructions said to wait at least 3 hours before showering or swimming - I'm sure this is miles quicker than other tans I've used? That's great if that's the case, no more having to sleep in my tan and getting the sheets all manky! But I left it on for about 8 hours as I applied on the Saturday morning to go out on the Saturday night. The tell-tale fake tan smell does turn up eventually as the tan develops, but it isn't as strong as other tans.

I was a bit worried as I got someone to help me do my back and they slapped on a LOT of product on my back and shoulders (and worryingly, whilst liberally applying product asked "does putting more tan on mean you go browner?'re going to be brown if so."), but it turned out fine - a gorgeous, even olive colour with no streaks, and amazingly no tell-tale dark patches on my (extremely dry) elbows where the tan had stuck. I actually even used it on my face too and it looked ok.

I had done a little test patch on the inside of my arm which you can see below, and this was the difference in colour to my skin - it looks much more golden in real life though!

Xen Tan, you have now become part of my new and improved beauty routine!


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