Tuesday, 26 June 2012

OPI Nail Envy ...

I have struggled with rubbish nails for a very long time. I used to bite them when I was in primary school and ever since they have never grown, and split all the time. I have heard really good things about OPI's Nail Envy, but always balked at the price (£18.00!!!). However, I saw it in Boots today, and after no real improvement in my nails with other treatments, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. It was £18.65 in Boots, and I know I could have probably got it cheaper somewhere else but it was a bit of a spur of the moment purchase. 
You apply two coats initially, and then follow by one additional coat every other day for a week when you remove using normal nail polish remover. It works best as a base coat but can also be used as a top coat over nail polish, and you can also put nail polish on top of the Nail Envy coats. After you remove the nail polish after the week, you can then start the process over again. I really like the simplicity of this process, and the strengthener smells inoffensive and also makes your nails look lovely and glossy, as although Nail Envy looks slightly opaque in the bottle, it appears see-through on the nails. 
Overall,  I like this product a lot initially, but to deserve the price tag I really want it to make my nails strong and healthy, and to stop the flaking and splitting. I will keep all of you updated as I continue to use this. Has anyone else tried this? 

Friday, 22 June 2012

My favourite highlighters ...

I am definitely a highlighter kind of girl. I really like having a dewy and fresh finish to my make up and I feel like highlighters really create that look perfectly. I haven't tried a huge range of highlighters, but I have tried two fantastic ones and I'm not sure I would ever stray from them. The first highlighter I thought I would tell you about is the Dior Shimmer Powder in 001 Rose Diamond. I absolutely love this one, and I feel that the pink tones compliment my complexion, as I am quite pale. However, if you are naturally more tanned, I have also heard really good things about the Amber Diamond powder which has more champagne to golden tones.

I like to use this highlighter after I have applied most of my make up, except for my blusher and lipstick, and I  apply it by sweeping my brush across all of the colours and then applying it on the top of my cheekbones, lightly across my nose and also on my cupid's bow. I don't know if this is the most technical method, but I like how it looks and I'm always open to new techniques so feel free to let me know how you apply highlighter or how make up artists say to do it :) This is an expensive highlighter at £32.00 (at Selfridges), but I have had it for over a year and have used it pretty much constantly and as you can see from the above photo, it doesn't look like it will run out any time soon, 

My other favourite highlighter is High Beam from Benefit, which is a lovely pearlescent liquid formulation. I like to use this in a variety of ways, usually by mixing in with my foundation or by dotting on my cheekbones and cupid's bow after I have applied the rest of my make up. In my opinion, it makes my skin look more glowing. I'm already at the end of my second bottle of this, as it has been a staple in my make up bag for years, and I will almost definitely be repurchasing it when it runs out. High Beam costs £18.50 from Debenhams etc, which although is expensive hasn't stopped me from repurchasing it in the past. 
Left - High Beam, Above Right - Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, Below Left - Chanel Perfection Lumière. 



Tuesday, 19 June 2012

7 things for 7 days...

Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter is one of my all time favourite bloggers. I absolutely love how funny and happy she is and always enjoy reading her posts and watching her videos, so after reading her interactive 7 things for 7 days post, I thought I would give it a go and get involved. The idea is pretty simple and all you have to do really is list 7 things that you want to achieve in 7 days, or as many days as you want really but Louise chose 7. I found this idea really intriguing because now that I have finished university I have been really enjoying not doing that much, but I don't want it to continue all summer, so I need some goals and motivation! If you want to try this out for yourself here is the link to Louise's original 'Interactive 7 things for 7 days' post. 
So my 7 things for 7 days are;

1. Exercise/Train - I have got an athletics competition coming up so I need to get fit and ready for then. I really enjoy athletics but sometimes staying on the sofa and watching tv seems like the more attractive option. So, this goal is to train at least 4 times a week, either long runs or shorter sessions at the track. 

2. Blog - I also want to keep on writing fun and creative blog posts. I have really enjoyed writing my blog so far, and I want to keep it up. I also don't want to fall into a rut with it, and it's always fun thinking up more creative blog ideas. 

3. Sort out bills/moving house - I tend to stress quite a lot about things that probably aren't worth the stress, and seeing as I'm moving out of my student house and temporarily back home (until I move into my flat in Manchester on August 20th with my boyfriend !!!!!!) I need to try and stay calm and get through all the annoying things that come with moving house. 

4. Sell/Sort out my stuff - When I went to university I left a fair amount of stuff at my parent's house that I wanted to keep but didn't want to take to uni, so I think it's about time I tackle the mammoth task of sorting through it all, as well as my stuff I did take to uni, and selling anything that is worth selling/I don't need or want anymore. 

5. Organising my Dad's book collection - Last year, I was working a 30 hour a week job plus doing university full time and it was getting too much but I needed the money, so my Dad kindly offered to help me out a bit financially if I did a few jobs for him when I had more time. Sounds fab ey? Well it genuinely is, however, my Dad has asked me to sort out his book collection and file them all on excel, still sounds ok ..... My Dad has literally thousands of books in his study, let alone the rest of the house, so this is turning into a huge task that I need to start tackling before it becomes far too intimidating. So, my goal for this  next 7 days is to tackle a bookshelf at a time, instead of looking at the whole lot and getting overwhelmed. I know if I sort and file all of his books it will be really useful for him, and I don't know how I would have managed without his help so I really want to do it well for him.

6. Seeing friends/family - I am now nearing the end of my time at university, and I really want to fit in seeing all of my close friends before we all leave. My best friend is going off to Greece for 6 weeks and then to Slovakia for FOUR YEARS!!! So I'm going to miss her like crazy and really want to see her before she goes. My other really good friend is coming back from Australia soon after being there for a year, so I really want to make time to see her too. I also want to see my sisters, because I haven't seen them in a while as they don't live at home anymore and I miss them!

7. Spending more time being creative - I also want to finish a few projects I have got in the pipeline, mainly cross stitch ones that I didn't get a chance to finish before the madness of third year kicked off, so I really want to enjoy spending some time completing/carrying on with them. 

I have really enjoyed writing this post, and definitely recommend doing it to anyone who is thinking about it. I always find goals much easier to achieve when they are smaller and less overwhelming! Also, I'm sure everyone will know who Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter is, but if you don't go look at her blog. It is absolutely amazing, and really inspiring. 


Monday, 18 June 2012

Simple nail art 4 ...

I thought I would try out another simple nail art technique today. I have always wanted to be able to paint hearts on my nails but never really got how to do it because I don't have the steadiest hands, but my friend showed me her way of doing it and so I adapted it to suit me and I thought I would share it. 

Firstly, I painted my nails with a sheer pink nail colour, I used a french manicure colour from an 
old set I found, so you don't need anything special. 

Then, with my chosen heart colour, I picked Bordeaux by Essie, I did one dot for the base of the heart. 
I then painted one dot with the brush up and to the left of the first one, and then dragged it down to the base dot, to make the left half of the heart. 
And then finally, I did the same for the right half, creating a little heart. 
You could then add a top coat and voila! I found this was an easy way to create simple hearts but if you know of any others feel free to let me know! This technique was also made easier because my Essie polish is an original one, rather than the diffusion line, so the brush was smaller and easier to manage. Overall, I think these are quite cute and although they aren't perfect I will be trying this out again with different colours.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Lancome cleanser ...

Recently, I bought the Lancome Hypnose mascara (see review here) and the sales assistant offered me a set of mini products if I bought another item, well it would have taken a stronger woman than me to resist that offer so I went for it and bought a really nice nude lipstick. There were 5 products in the set she gave me and I'm actually really glad I bought the extra product, because I love the lipstick and it's been really nice trying out new products. The first one I thought I would review is the 'Galateis Douceur' which is a 'gentle softening cleansing fluid' for the face and eyes. 
The sample I was given was 125ml which is a pretty sizeable sample, seeing as the sizes available are 200ml and 400ml. This is a fairly pricey cleanser at £21.00 for the smaller size and £34.00 for the 400ml, which is quite a lot but I think it would last a really long time (I have been using my 125ml bottle at least once a day for about a month and have only used a quarter of the bottle). I am really impressed with this cleanser, it is really light and is good for when my skin is behaving itself so only needs a light cleanse. It is also really effective at removing make up, even stubborn eye make up. 
This cleanser is described as a 'water-light lotion' on the Debenhams website, and I couldn't agree more. It really glides on to the skin, and removes make up quickly and easily and leaves my skin feeling clean and soft, ready for my toner and moisturiser. However, there is one negative that I have to point out and that is the scent. Personally, a scented product doesn't bother me but I know that for some people it is a significant factor, especially in skin care opposed to make up. It is quite a strong scent, and isn't natural either, more like perfume. But, if you can get over the smell, I would highly recommend this cleanser, especially if you are looking for something to lightly cleanse the skin. I like to use this cleanser in conjunction with the Liz Earle 'Cleanse and Polish' for when I feel like my skin needs more of a deep clean, however, £21 is a fair whack to spend so whether I will be repurchasing this when it eventually runs out I'm not sure. Overall, I am really glad that I got to try this out without spending the £21/£34 on a full sized product, and would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a higher end of the price range, light but scented cleanser. 


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

MAC Nylon ...

I thought I would do a beauty post today seeing as I haven't done one in a while. After watching the amazing Tanya Burr's videos (Pixi2woo) and hearing her mention the eyeshadow Mac Nylon for the inner corner of the eyes, I decided to try it out. It is described on the Mac wesbite as a 'pale gold with an icy shimmer' and it is a frost eyeshadow. It costs £12.00 as a pot but if you like buying the pans for your own eyeshadow palette it is £10.50. I haven't got many Mac products and don't need an excuse to buy more eyeshadows, so I'm refraining from buying a palette at the moment,so I went for the £12.00 pot option. I have also heard that you can depot Mac eyeshadows yourself to add to a palette at a later date, but I don't trust myself enough to attempt this :)

I really like the effect this simple technique creates. I like to apply this eyeshadow to the inner corner of my eye with a small brush, I use Real Techniques accent brush but any small one would be suitable. I think it really opens my eyes up and gives them a little more sparkle. I have worn this every time I have wanted a bit more of a special effect for my eye make up, so for nights out or special occasions, but it can also be applied subtly enough for the day time too. 

What do you guys think?

Monday, 11 June 2012

Grad Ball Continued ...

I'm very sorry for neglecting you all, but I have had a really busy week. Last Wednesday my boyfriend had a house party at his uni house in Manchester which got a bit crazy, and then on Thursday I had to run off to get my hair done and head back to Birmingham for my Graduation Ball. Unfortunately, it was raining all night on Thursday and our ball was outside with just a few marquees so it was a bit of a pain but I still had a great night. 

My dress was from French Connection and I really liked it. It was really nice having a special dress to wear because graduation is a pretty big deal :) My house and our old housemate went out for a really lovely meal and drank a fair bit of champagne before we headed to the ball. The acts we had weren't great so because it was raining I didn't see loads of them but there were other tents like a silent disco and a bar tent, and loads of fair rides which were pretty good fun. The fairground area shut at 2am so then we went to our student union for the after party, we were planning to stay until it shut at 6am but we just weren't hardcore enough so we ended up leaving at 5am. My feet were absolutely killing me by the end of it but I had a really amazing night. 


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Grad ball ...

This is just a quick post because I'm off to the regatta in literally 5 mins but I don't want to neglect you all ...

I will do a more detailed post later but this is a photo of my hair.


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

False eyelashes ...

As most of you know I have my grad ball coming up so when I got a £5 No7 voucher I thought I would buy some fake eyelashes that had caught my eye. I'm not usually a fake eyelash lover because I personally really struggle to put them on. They never work for me and then I end up with glue all over my face, which is never a good look, so normally I tend to stick with a good mascara. However, these eyelashes seemed to be quite user friendly so I thought I would give them a go. These eyelashes were £7.50 so with my £5 off voucher they were only £2.50 which in my opinion is pretty darn good. 

One of the things that really attracted me to these eyelashes was the fact that they are on a clear strip rather than a black strip which I think often makes the eyelashes look really fake and it can often be quite stiff and also hard to apply. I also like that the eyelashes come with a clear glue as well, so no messy eyelids!!
The lashes I chose were the Lash 10 Natural Volume but there are other options in the range with similar features i.e. the clear strip. I really like how long they are, and they do give my eyelashes a lot more volume without it being really obvious that I am wearing false eyelashes. 
It did take me a couple of goes to get these babies on but I'm surprised I even managed it at all really, and as always I struggled with the corners, but overall I really like these eyelashes, and hopefully in time I will become a pro at applying them. 


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Magazine freebies - June ...

This month has been another really good month for freebies with magazines. I decided not to go crazy this month so haven't bought as much as I would like to, but I can see my resolve dissolving pretty soon :) I picked up Red, Glamour and Marie Claire, but I have also seen that InStyle are giving away a Body Shop mascara and a set of two eyeliners (black and navy), Harpers Bazaar are also giving away Leighton Denny nail polishes and Tatler are giving away a pair of sunglasses. 

I picked up the Jelly Bean nail polish shade that came free with Marie Claire magazine, but a nude and lilac colour are also available. I have never tried any Ciate nail varnishes before but I have heard good things about them so I was really glad to see they were free with a magazine. I'm actually really tempted to buy another magazine to get another colour too (is that really bad??). Marie Claire costs £3.70 and I bought it on the way up to Manchester so I would probably have bought a magazine to read on the train anyway (I know, excuses, excuses :) ), and a normal Ciate nail varnish costs £9 so really it's a bargain :)  

I really like the colour of this nail varnish, is it just me or does the name jelly bean suit it perfectly?? It is quite a bright pink with blue flecks (this may also be just me), and I love it! I don't have another colour like it in my collection and I'm so pleased it was with a magazine because it's such a good way to try new brands at a cheaper price. I also really liked the formula. It only needed two coats and it is so shiny. I will definitely be looking at Ciate nail polishes more in the future, especially because in Marie Claire they have included a code to get 25% off the Ciate range.

I also bought a copy of Glamour, which came with a sample of the primer Porefessional from Benefit which is meant to reduce the appearance of pores. They are also giving away a sample of the BadGal mascara and another primer That Gal from Benefit too, but Porefessional has been on my wishlist for a while so I was pretty chuffed when I saw this was free with Glamour. Although it is a fairly small sample at 7.5ml, it is definitely enough to see if you like it properly and seeing as an issue of Glamour costs £2, and Porefessional costs £23.50 for 22ml it's really not bad at all! I also want to try and get my hands on That Gal too because I had it when I was a bit younger and really loved it, but I don't think I will get the BadGal issue because I also had that when I was younger and it didn't suit me. I absolutely love Porefessional and I genuinely do think it has reduced the appearance of my pores. It also makes my skin feels really soft and primes my skin for my tinted moisturiser. I imagine I will repurchase this when my sample runs out although the price tag is pretty high.  

This month, Red (which costs £3.90) were giving away a Jemma Kidd mascara or a black kohl eyeliner, and seeing as I have never tried any Jemma Kidd make up products and my current No7 eyeliner is on its way out I thought I would give the eyeliner a go. Previously, I have tended to go for the more traditional styles of kohl eyeliner, but this is a bit more interesting. 

 This eyeliner has a really lovely creamy texture and is very pigmented. It also didn't smudge of its own accord when it was on my hand but it did come off really easily when I used make-up remover. It also has a smudging tool on one end of the eyeliner which I always like to use for a smoky eye. Overall, I like this eyeliner and will use it again. I will also look at Jemma Kidd products more closely in the future. 


Friday, 1 June 2012

Grad Ball ....

I have got my Graduation Ball next week and I'm so excited! I have already bought my dress which I will tell you all about later and I've been thinking about hairstyles, so I thought I would share a bit of a mood board that I have done with you. 

What do you think? I'm leaning towards a classic up do because although my dress is lovely it isn't overly formal so I would like my hair to be a bit more formal. Also if it falls out towards the end of the night I can just have it loose. We are having a carnival type thing so I imagine that this will almost definitely happen. I love all of the hairstyles above, especially Lauren Conrad's. I really like the messier styles as well, like Blake Lively's but I think I will go for something a bit more put together because I'm not really cool enough to pull that off :) I'm also leaning towards getting it done professionally at a hair salon because it is my graduation after all!!!!! Let me know what you all think?