Saturday, 31 March 2012

Glitter Gal Nail Polish - Dark Purple (true linear holo!)

Glitter Gal is an Australian brand that I've seen featured on quite a few (usually non UK) blogs, they're not that easy to find over here.  Their holos are amazing!  The polishes are also 3 free (they don't contain Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde and Toluene).

I was recently sent Dark Purple to try - it's absolutely gorgeous and is a true, linear holographic polish.  Pretty! I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Application, drying time and longevity were all great for me.  I tend to find holos dry quite quickly, and I tend not to use a topcoat with them so as not to dilute the holo effect.  Based on this polish, I would definitely purchase more Glitter Gal polishes in the future - Silver, Fuschia, Black and Light as a Feather are my other favourites in the Glitter Gal Holographic collection.

Glitter Gal polishes are available in the UK from Sjmwell Nails & Beauty or you can follow on Twitter at

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Hotel Chocolat Rocky Road to Caramel Extra Thick Easter Egg

Oh.  My.  God.  I feel like this Easter egg was made for me - caramel chocolate is my absolute favourite
chocolate type, praline is my favourite kind of chocolate filling and I'm obsessed with Rocky Road - and there's loads of it, which is even better.  It's like someone gave Hotel Chocolat a list of what I like!

It comes really well presented, in what looks like a minature hat box, tied with a ribbon and in monochrome, classy packaging.  It's obviously aimed at being given as a gift and if I got this for Easter, I'd be really pleased!!

The egg is made from milk chocolate (I prefer this to white or dark) and one half is Rocky Road (puffed rice, cookie and chocolate pieces) while the other half is covered in a layer of caramel chocolate.  Yum!  Inside the egg is praline with cookies, liquid caramel and liquid ganache plus some super cute Easter bunnies and chicks in yet more milk and caramel chocolate.  Again, yum!  I know it's not Easter yet but I just had to eat some of this and it's absolutely gorgeous - the caramel part of the egg is really smooth, creamy and sweet and the rocky road side is perfect. When they called it Extra Thick they definitely weren't joking though, it's quite difficult to snap and eat as it's so thick.

To be totally specific the chocolates it comes with are Billionaire Shortbread (boyfriends favourite...I can't actually get near these if he's around), Salted Soft Caramel, Dizzy Praline, Salted Soft Caramel - Dark, Simple Milk Truffle, Choc Chip Cookie (one of my new favourites, totally gorgeous), Sticky Toffee, Orange Praline, Praline Cup (visually and taste-wise AMAZING!), Cocoa Pod Bunny, Chirpy Chick and Caramel Praline.  Praline and milk chocolate galore, just the way I like!!

 Oh and because my boyfriend is obsessed with chocolate he obviously had to get involved in this (I think he wishes I was some sort of food or chocolate blogger - does chocolate blogging exist?) so I thought I'd give you a worrying insight into his brain and his comments on the egg:
  • "Well this is fantastic isn't it...look at all this chocolate!" (on seeing the egg)
  • "Oh my god, that is RIDICULOUS...oh wait, it's called an Extra Thick egg...makes sense then really." (on noticing how thick the egg is)
  • "Do you know what, I think this is probably the very best Easter egg in the whole world.  Brilliant." (as he polished off the last of the Rocky Road half and started on the caramel half)
As ever, Hotel Chocolat are doing some amazing Easter stuff, my favourites after the Rocky Road to Caramel Extra Thick Easter Egg are the Zebra Beasties Eggs, they're SO gorgeous looking!  The one below is the white chocolate one, but it comes in milk too...or cow print if you prefer!
So are you craving chocolate now?  Do you wish it was even closer to Easter so you could legitimately eat a mountain of chocolate? You can indulge in the Rocky Road to Caramel Extra Thick Easter Egg here.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Minx Professional by Kimmie Kyees

Have you seen the new Minx collection by Kimmie Kyees?   If you're not sure who she is, she's an amazing nail tech who does the nails of Katy Perry, Rihanna etc - she was responsible for Katy Perry's full crystal nails a few years ago that had everyone, including me, going crazy.  Basically, nail royalty.

So, what do you think of the designs?  I love Leopard Sorbet and Gotcha but for me I think nail wraps have had their time and they're not something I get that involved in now, at one point I was obsessed with Minx!  I do think the designs are really nice though and Minx is definitely my favourite nail wrap.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

More Shimmer Twins lashes available at ASOS....

...I fully admit that I'm ASOS-obsessed, I'm actually writing an essay at the moment about strategy and technical rationality (yawn) and I've used ASOS as my subject matter.  It's made a very dry subject much more interesting and I'm totally impressed by ASOS from a business point of view as well as a consumer point of view now too.

But anyway, I digress, remember a while ago when I blogged about Shimmer Twins lashes, well they've brought out a variety of new designs that are all very pretty:

I think Jekyll and Hyde are my two favourites from the new lashes but again, I think I'm going to have to file these under "absolutely gorgeous and I could look at them all day but probably not for me to wear" (like the previous designs or the amazing Paperself lashes), they'd look amazing editorially or for a strong make up look though!

For more information check out the Shimmer Twins website.  Shimmer Twins lashes are available from ASOS, Urban Outfitters and a host of independent boutiques.

Friday, 23 March 2012

The WAH Nails Book of Nail Art

I follow WAH Nails on Twitter (I'm @LucyBATB in case you want to follow) and via their website but have never actually got my nails done by them myself as whenever they come to Topshop in Manchester they're always fully booked straight away!  Might have to arrange something next time I'm in London because some of their designs are amazing.

So I'm a little bit interested that there's going to be a WAH Nails Book of Nail Art coming out in April.  It's already available to pre-order from Amazon, and you can actually have a sneaky little peek in the book on there too which has probably made me want it more!  I think I'm going to get this, even if it's more as a coffee table book to keep hanging around looking pretty rather than doing any of the designs.

For more info about WAH Nails, including some of their gorgeous designs, visit their website at  Have you ever had your nails WAH'd?

Monday, 19 March 2012

I'm really pleased I bought this - ASOS Large Hair Donut

It sounds like a really petty thing to be thinking about but I've been looking for a large bun ring for ages. When it comes to hair I tend to go with "bigger is better" and I think the normal size bun rings are a bit small for creating a really glam bun look.  The only large bun rings I could ever see were on Ebay and/or really expensive - plus it's tricky to see if they actually are much bigger.

So I was excited to see that ASOS - probably my favourite retailer - were selling a large hair donut.  I ummed and aahed about buying it as it's brown (my hair is pretty light blonde) and it promptly sold out.  It's back in stock now so I snapped it up, at £6 (-10% student discount card, I'm going to be so sad when I finish uni and have to pay full price for things!) and the fact that I could return it if it looked ridiculous, I decided I wouldn't be losing out on much.

It's definitely bigger than a normal bun ring as the picture above shows and it actually isn't that dark brown so I can just about get away with it, with a lot of rearranging my hair to make sure it's covered.  I absolutely love it though, it gives me the right size and look of bun that I want.  I'd say that if you have thin or short hair (especially if you're blonde) then this might not be for you as you may not have enough hair to cover it up, I've only got just enough hair and mine's quite thick.  I need a spare pair of hands (or at least eyes) to make sure it looks neat and concealed.

A way to get round this, and I'm not sure how successful this would be, is to buy a cheap weft of blonde hair and somehow attach, wrap and secure it around the bun ring so it doesn't matter as much if a little bit of bun ring is showing through.  Like this (normal/small) one that I bought from Ebay ages ago that came with hair already on it (I'm coming across as a bit obsessive now aren't I!):

So if you love big buns like I do (oo-er, I mean as in hair!), then I'd recommend checking out the ASOS Large Hair Donut, available for £6 from ASOS.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Pretty sure this comparison has been done to death but...Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance vs Revlon Facets of Fuschia

I wanted Facets of Fuschia a while ago but could never find it.  Bad Romance is one of my favourite polishes, but isn't always totally straightforward to get hold of and can be pricey so a readily available dupe for half the price?  I'm there!

They're not quite the same though, Facets of Fuschia (left, below) has a lighter base than Bad Romance and took 3 coats to become opaque as oppossed to Bad Romance's two.  There was also more glitter in Facets of Fuschia, both the larger and smaller pieces so this gives a more "purple" and dense appearance, which is down to personal preference really!  I don't think the average eye would spot any real difference in these though, it's only because I know they're different and I'm scrutinising them.

So, while it's not exactly the same it's similar enough that I'd recommend buying it if you're struggling to get hold of Bad Romance or don't want to spend £14 on a polish.  In saying that I do prefer Bad Romance, I just think it's a bit more subtle and I like the darker base.  I suppose you could always do a bit of strategic glitter moving to get a more sparse look if that's what you were after?

Do you have either (or both) of these polishes?  What do you think?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Loreal Inoacolor Care - Argan Oil & Green Tea No Sulfate Shampoo and Conditioner for Colour Treated Hair

I won these in a giveaway by Natalie, and was pretty pleased actually because I've kind of fallen out of love with the Tigi Bedhead Dumb Blonde stuff I've been using...I think the conditioner is a bit silicone-y for my hair.

I really don't like the smell of this stuff, it smells really medicinal and a bit overpowering.  However, once rinsed the lingering smell that's left behind is actually quite nice, very clean and fresh.  The shampoo is really thick and lathers up way more than I expected for a sulfate-free shampoo, I used way too much the first time I used it.  The conditioner is good too, not too heavy or slippy feeling on the hair.

I have naturally thick hair which has a tendency to frizz out, the fact I bleach it, use heat styling and don't get it cut enought doesn't help either!  I was really impressed with how my hair looked and felt after using these products - it was smooth, shiny and sleek without feeling weighed down or looking frazzled at the ends.  I'd definately purchase these in future to use on my hair...despite the strong smell!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

15% off already discounted MAC at

Sorry, another discount code here (hang on why am I saying sorry?!) - there's so many around at the moment, it's great to be a shopper! are offering discounted MAC products, and now a 15% off code until 18th March 2012, type MAC15 at the checkout.  They've actually got quite a good variety of products too, from lipsticks to pigments to eye kohl and much more.  Might treat myself to an eye kohl I think!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

25% off at Kurt Geiger...

Kurt Geiger Ltd.

...with discount code "GRAZIA25" at checkout.  Sorry, I'm a shoe-enabler!!

Max Factor Colour Effect Mini Nail Polish Fantasy Fire

Well, this polish was a tricky little devil to get hold - and keep hold - of!  First of all I went to to see if they had it on their Max Factor 3 for 2 and they didn't have any in stock.  So I went to Superdrug, where the woman at the till proceeded to cling on to the bottle while she checked the name and stared at the colour, saying how nice it was in a very wistful way....I thought we were going to have to wrestle for it!  I then went to get it out of my bag after work and it wasn't there, or in my pocket or make up bag.  I got to work and checked under my desk and it wasn't there either (I keep my bag under my desk) then on the off chance went into our lunch room to where I'd sat the day before and it was there under the table in the corner, you could hardly see it!  Phew.

Apparently, this supposedly is a dupe for the much fabled Clarins 230 - a discontinued, hard to find polish that sells for a ridiculous price on Ebay.  Except it apparently isn't.  I don't have Clarins 230 so I can't really comment on that, what I can comment on is the fact that it's prettym though not quite sure if it deserves the hysteria it's currently causing.  It's sheer and the bottle is small (3.6ml I think) so you do need to layer it, which I've done below.  The first is Fantasy Fire alone then layered over other colours.

L-R:  Fantasy Fire, Topshop Deceptive, OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, OPI Play Til Midnight, OPI Louvre Me Louvre Me Not, Revlon Passion Fruit 375, Leighton Denny Madison, Leighton Denny The Heiress, Revlon All Fired Up

For me, I preferred it over the dark purples and reds.  Topshop Deceptive, OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, OPI Play Til Midnight and Revlon All Fired Up were my favourites.

I don't think I've ever bought or used a Max Factor polish, it's just not a brand I tend to use for anything but I'd buy again, I liked quite a few of the colours in the Colour Effect Minis range.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

17 Lasting Fix Nail Polish in Parma Violet

Er, ever since I had a clearout of my dressing table and got rid of a load of polishes I just seem to be buying more and this is turning into a bit of a nail blog!  I bought Parma Violet as a replacement for a lilac Models Own one I had that I had to bin because it went gloopy - I wore lilac nails a LOT last spring so I wanted to replace it.

I'm perfectly happy with this, the colour is nice, application was good and it lasts well (though maybe not the "up to 5 days" as it says on the bottle).   I don't think I've bought any 17 polishes for a while and this has made me want to try more!

RetarDEX Toothpaste and Oral Rinse

When it comes to teeth, I like them white - and I mean, like Simon Cowell white - so I'm always looking for ways to whiten and maintain a bright smile.  I've had my teeth professionally whitened twice, used Crest strips, always use a whitening toothpaste and mouthwash, floss, don't smoke or drink coffee/red wine and visit my dentist every 6 months. So when I was asked if I'd like to try Retardex toothpaste and mouthwash - clinically proven to whiten teeth in 14 days - I was definately up for it.

Firstly, my boyfriend laughed at the name...he's immature.  Secondly, the mouthwash bottle is the exact same size and shape as my bottle of acetone I use to remove my nails polish so I keep having a momentary panic that I've picked the wrong bottle up!

The toothpaste tastes quite clinical, kind of like the mouth rinse you have at the dentist, but not unpleasant.  It doesn't really foam much, which I prefer, and it's low abrasion.  This toothpaste definately made my teeth feel really clean all day (I used it with an electric toothbrush FYI).  The mouthwash is unflavoured so kind of just tastes like water, which is quite unusual; it does come with a mint flavour sachet that you can add if you prefer minty fresh breath (I do and I added it, it was fairly minty at first but the taste kind of wore off after a few days).

In terms of whitening, I didn't notice a dramatic difference in my teeth and I used this for about 3 weeks but in fairness I didn't have a lot of staining or discolouration to my teeth to begin with so perhaps it's a bit unrealistic to expect it to remove stains and whiten when there's nothing there to remove!  I think if you did have staining to your teeth, this would be a good product to try but don't expect to wake up with bright white gnashers on day 1!

I'd actually happily buy the toothpaste in future as I really did feel like it cleaned my teeth really well.  I'm not so sure about the mouthwash, it did its job exactly the same as the mouthwashes I used previously (usually Oral B) but I think I prefer a minty taste rather than a plain one.

RetarDEX Toothpaste is priced £6.15 for 75ml and RetarDEX Oral Rinse is priced at £5.10 (250ml) or £8.15 (500ml).  Both are available from Boots, Superdrug, selected Sainsburys, Waitrose, Tesco and from dentists and pharmacies. 

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Do you have a blog? Post your blog link here!

I want to discover some new blogs, so if you have a blog or there's a blog you really like, post a link to it in the comments section below and hopefully we'll all find some new blogs we love!

So y'know as well as adding your own, have a little look at the others listed too.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Kiss Full Cover Nails in Short & Square

Sorry for the slightly rubbish picture, it's a Blackberry special as as I lost my camera for a few days and couldn't wait to use these.

My nails were pretty short and I wanted some nails that were either a colour, or just plain so I could paint them myself for a natural look.  I'm not that keen on french manicure on my nails as I prefer them to look a bit more natural.  I picked these up as you got 100 nails (so quite a few uses) out of them for £5.39 - I got mine at Superdrug - which I thought was a fab bargain as you get glue too, sometimes the french sets are like £8 for one wear.

I was really really impressed with these nails, they had a good range of sizes, fitted well and the glue they came with was brilliant, I had them on from Saturady night to Thursday before I lost one of them.  I actually think they would have stayed on even longer if I wasn't a bit of a nail picker (hanging my head in shame).  I was rooting in my bag, cooking, cleaning and generally being quite hard on my nails and they lasted fine.  I'd definately recommend these if you're after that.  My only criticism is that for nails described as "short", they weren't really - they came a good few millimetres past my free edge, but that's ok, I was quite happy with that.  The container they come in is good too, it stays closed and is easy to keep the nails stored in without them going everywhere. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Revlon ColorStay Foundation

My Revlon PhotoReady was about to run out and I was toying with buying Estee Lauder Doublewear Maximum Cover as I wanted something full coverage and long lasting, I've liked the normal Estee Doublewear and liked it.  But when I trieded Estee Lauder Doublewear Maximum I just wasn't that keen it just seemed a bit cakey and powdery for me.

The packaging on Revlon Colorstay is ok, it's a glass bottle and as people always mention with this there's no dispenser or nozzle.  I might have to buy a pump from MAC as it's really irritating me - I either can't get enough foundation and have to keep dipping my finger in the pot (ew) or I try and pour it and loads goes everywhere.  I've kind of worked out a coping mechanism whereby I turn it upside down with the lid on, then turn it back the right way round and get foundation from the lid but this is ridiculous, and gets a bit messy.  At £12.99 it's not a dirt cheap foundation so I can't see how this wouldn't be added!

But enough moaning about the packaging, on to the foundation.  I actually quite like this foundation and it certainly does what I ask of it, it's fairly fully coverage so covers up a multitude of sins without me having to use a concealer and it lasts all day without having to touch it up.  It's quite matte but I get the feeling it might look cakey or obvious if you had really dry skin.

I'm happy to use this foundation until it runs out but I think after that I might go back to my Revlon PhotoReady or try something different altogether, it's not my favourite foundation I've ever tried but as an everyday one to use for work etc it's fine.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Things I want to buy in March... it's March, and payday has been, I can start buying some new things:

32in Coloured Skinny Jeans (Lilac) - New Look, £16.99

Kelly Brook Kelly Print Kimono - New Look, £24.99
Francesca Red Suedette High Wedges -, £35

Peplum Skirt - Warehouse, £40

Bodycon Dress in Pastel Stripe - ASOS, £25.00

Seahorse Dress - Lipsy, £50
(not in stores yet - pic from Grazia magazine)

Mango Knit Dress - ASOS, £22.99

Tropical Print Trousers - Topshop, £45
(these are very much sold out as Olivia Palermo wore them at Fashion Week!)

It's all quite pastel-y and summery isn't it?  Let's home the weather matches my purchases...not looking very likely!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

YSL Manucure Couture Nail Polish Duo in No 8 -

I blogged a while ago about how pretty I thought the YSL Candy Face collection was here, and after swatching, avoiding the hard sell from a pushy Debenhams saleswoman and finding the things I wanted sold out at Selfridges I finally bought my favourite piece from the collection - the Manucure Couture Nail Polish Duo in No 8.

It comes in the typical gorgeous gold YSL packaging, and I absolutely love how the bottles look - though they are small (6ml each).  I've wanted a YSL polish - or two - for a while, so whilst the colours aren't particularly anything unique or amazing, I know I'll wear these so I decided it was the perfect one for me to buy.

The pink is a fairly standard baby pink, slightly blue toned, but not much, it's the kind of colour I really like and wear frequently anyway.  The orange is really bright (almost neon) but still quite pastel, if that's possible; I'm not so sure that it really suits my hands, it's just a smidge too bright but think it would great on my toes in the summer with a tan.

Application was pretty easy actually as both polishes have an angled "fan shaped" brush which took a minute of getting used to but worked quite well.  The formula is good too, not too thick or runny.  The orange took four coats on my nails before it stopped looking patchy, typical pastel, but it lasted quite well - about 4 or 5 days before it started looking horrendous.  The orange also dries to a semi-matte finish, it almost looks like I've coloured my nails in in highlighter (in a good way, honest).  The pink is similar in terms of finish but because of the colour doesn't need as many coats - it reminds me a bit of Topshop Nails Indian Summer but this is maybe ever so slightly darker.

So all in all, these have been a self-treat that I'm happy I bought but they're so expensive I don't think it's a treat I'll be repeating again in a hurry...unless there's another colour duo that I really like of course!!


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