Sunday, 23 November 2014

NYK1 Secrets UV Gel Nail Kit Review

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you'll have heard of gel manicures like CND Shellac etc.  They're products that look like polish but are cured under a UV light and last much longer than a normal manicure.  I've had these nails done professionally before and I think they help keep your nails stronger/less likely to break too.

I was lucky enough to be sent the NYK1 Secrets UV Gel Nail Kit to try out along with two polish colours (Gold Wow and Diamond Ballet) to try out.  The kit has everything you need to do your nails from start to finish (including a UV lamp, base and top coat, lint free wipes, orange sticks/cuticle pusher and dehydrator) along with really comprehensive instructions on how to use it.  Basically if you can paint your nails you can use this kit.

It's really easy to use with the instructions and I actually think that even though you 'cure' each layer of gel polish under the UV lamp for 2 minutes it works out quicker than using normal nail varnish as you're not just hanging around waiting for the layers of polish to dry.  I did Gold Wow on my fingers and I'm going to do Diamond Ballet on my toes later as gel polish lasts really well on my toes and I can't always be bothered to polish them in winter.

The end result is just like a salon gel manicure, it just feels/looks like polish but so far is lasting really well.  I'm hoping this helps my nails not to break too!  Not bad for a first attempt:

The kit currently costs £49.95 which I think is really good value as you can pay around £20 for a gel manicure in the salon.  I'm definitely going to get some other colours as I don't seem to have the time to paint my nails as often as I used to any more but I hate the look of my nails bare.  Absolutely gorgeous colours too, love the fact that these come in glitters too.

I think this kit would be a fab Christmas present, for more info about the kit and other NYK1 products visit their website at

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

My stay at the gorgeous Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Yorkshire

I recently stayed over at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel after being invited to visit to review their facilities.  I jumped at the chance as I absolutely love Yorkshire and it really isn't too far from where we live (about 2 hours by car).

The location of Ox Pasture Hall is ridiculously beautiful.  It's an old, converted farm set in 17 acres of the North York Moors National Park.  Once you set foot in the grounds of the hotel, all you can see are fields, hills and forest.  It's very tranquil, relaxing and peaceful with plenty of gardens, water features and even a good sized pond.

Seaside town Scarborough is only about 2 miles away but you'd never know - it feels a million miles away - but is nice and near if you want to pop out for a day trip or a change of scenery - why would you want a change from this scenery though:

We were really lucky with the weather given that it was still pretty warm and it was the end of October but we'd love to come back in summer and really take advantage of the surroundings and explore the national park at bit more.

It was actually that gorgeous that I think that if we hadn't finally booked a wedding venue for next year we really might have considered getting married here, despite the fact it's about 2 hours away from where we live.  They have a room where you have your wedding ceremony and reception and the photographs in the grounds would be absolutely stunning!  There's more information about weddings at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel on their website.

We stayed in room 27, which was one of the suites on the ground floor.  It was absolutely lovely from the bedroom to the living area to the bathroom.  It had refreshments in the room, TV, wi-fi, a huge comfy bed, dressing gowns, complimentary toiletries and great views.  We came in through a little courtyard which really added to the farm feel of the whole place.  I took a little quick video of the room on my phone which you can see below:

Food and Drink
Again, the food and drink at Ox Pasture Hall was fantastic.  We had afternoon tea, evening meal and breakfast at Ox Pasture Hall, all of which we really enjoyed!
The afternoon tea consisted of the usual sandwiches, scones and cakes with a nice pot of Yorkshire tea.  We were actually pretty stuffed after this and I didn't eat all of my cakes - I'd say this could easily be shared between 3 people rather than the two of us.  We gave it a good go though!

Our evening meals were fab too - I had tomato and basil soup, followed by rack of lamb (with amazing braised lamb boulangere potato) and sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and milk ice cream.  My boyfriend had chicken roulade, mini beef filet with beef brisket, mash and mushroom duxelle followed by a pistachio and banana dessert trio. 
We also had prosecco and a cute little strawberry consomme between courses.  We'd planned to go to the bar for a drink afterwards which had a big toasty fire in there but we were far too full so just ended up going for a nap, ha!
Breakfast was great too - we both opted for a full English (ahem) which you could tell used really high quality produce and wasn't cooked with mountains of grease.  They also have tea, toast, cereal, juice, yoghurt etc available too.
The service we received was second to none with every member of staff we met being friendly, efficient and really helpful.  I can't fault any of that at all.  We arrived a bit later than planned and pushed back our meals a bit - this was done without any problem, fuss or difficulty. 
This review has ended up a lot longer and more pic-heavy than I planned it to be but I can sum it all up in a sentence by saying: We'd definitely like to come back!
For more information about Ox Pasture Hall Hotel visit their website at

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Library of Fragrance - create your own bespoke scent or just enjoy your favourites individually.

Right, I'm going to try and explain what these are properly as if you haven't heard of them before (I had so I was familiar with the concept) it might sound a bit unusual.

These scents from The Library of Fragrance have been formulated to smell exactly like the object/experience that they're named after - the scents I have above are pretty self explanatory but they do ones called 'Fireplace' which smells like pine cone embers on a log fire, Thunderstorm, Moonbeam etc - really interesting fragrances which do actually smell like what they're meant to be.

The fragrances that I received for review were Mango, Sunshine (which has a touch of coconut in it to represent sun lotion and notes which envoke a warm cotton t-shirt and sun-warmed'd have to smell it to really get it but that is what it reminds me of!), Vanilla Ice Cream and Peach and I can happily say that they all smell "right".  In fact, the Vanilla Ice Cream one - probably my favourite - smells so nice it makes me feel hungry!  When you first spray them there's a brief moment where it smells really strong but this calms down quickly, leaving a nice subtle scent behind.  There's a huge list of the fragrances you can buy here.

The other great thing about these is that you can layer them to create a signature scent that's all your own and contains your favourite flavours.  The best way of describing mine when they're combined is "sunny" - sunshine, fruit and ice cream...yum - it makes me think of holidays and chilling out on a beach which is no bad thing in November!

The scent lasts really well without being overpowering too which I think is important.  Overall I've really liked these fragrances (I tend to like sweet and fruity scents rather than anything too floral or spicy) and there are quite a few other scents I want to try too.  I actually think these would make a lovely little Christmas present too so I might start taking note of what type of scents people like!

Library of Fragrance scents are £15 for a 30ml bottle of 2 for £25 at Boots.  For more information about the Library of Fragrance, layering scents and choosing the right fragrance for you visit their website at

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Rimmel Provocalips in 200 - I'll Call You

This style of lipstick isn't anything new - I used to wear Max Factor Lipfinity religiously as a teenager which was the same sort of premise and I remember a couple of other brands had similar products.  I spotted the Rimmel Provocalips in Boots* and thought I'd give it a try as I really liked the colour...who knows, maybe I just wanted to relive my youth!

Basically, one end adds colour - which is quite a flat, matte colour that could be quite drying - which you let dry and the other end adds gloss and moisture so your lips aren't looking crusty. 

It lasts really well, even through eating/drinking but if you're eating anything oily it will remove it (an oily make up remover is best for taking it off at the end of the day) and make it feather.  You need to top up the gloss through the day.  It doesn't transfer at all but tends to wear away on the inside part of your lips first.

They have a really sickly sweet synthetic fragrance to them which I don't really mind at all but I don't know if it would be for everyone.

Does it last 16 hours? Um, well there probably would be something left on your lips after 16 hours (probably looking like dodgy lipliner) but it's more like 8 hours, I can go a full day at work without having to reapply the colour.

I would definitely buy this again, and I plan to try out some more colours (maybe a nice red or plum colour), as it's great for a day at work where you're busy and don't have time to top your lipstick up every hour or for a night out when you don't want to be glued to a mirror all night. At £6.99 it's pretty purse friendly too.

I bought mine from Boots* for £6.99 but you can probably pick this up wherever sells Rimmel.


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