Thursday, 19 March 2015

NOTD: Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel Polish Cinderella Collection "Life Is Short, Wear A Tiara"

Awesome box :)

When I saw promo shots of this collection I was sold. In fact I was sold on the movie too after watching a trailer... Just the costumes really :) Anyway, I digress.

I was in Edinburgh yesterday for my final appointment for my knee after my surgery so I decided to pop into Harvey Nichols beauty hall. Mistake. I ended up buying this gel polish.

These retail for £12.95 which is a lot of money for just 9ml of product. But I haven't actually bought any polishes in the last couple of months (after my Xmas Swedish blow out), so I decided that it could make that up by splashing it on this premium one!

There are 6 colours in this collection, the whole collection can be seen in more detail over at Chickettes. This polish is sheer, but does have a distinct sky blue base. It has blue shimmer, a bit like China Glaze "Blue Island Iced Tea" but not as opaque, and bits of larger holographic glitter.

I used my OPI GelColor base and top coat for this as this is actually the first Red Carpet Manicure polish I have. I decided to use the Sensationail LED light. Base and top cures in 30sec. I cured each coloured layer for 45sec as indicated if you use the RCM Pro LED light. Worked well! I ended up doing 3 coats as it is a very sheer polish.

It is very pretty and it sparkles like crazy, even in low light. For me the colour is probably a bit 'mild' but the sparkles makes up for it! I am excited to see how long this combo wears, and how it soaks off... :)

Happy Factor 
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£12.95 - I think I would like to see these small bottles go for £10 or less.

Where? /

As Expected

Light / a bit on the sheer side

This limited edition colour comes in a rather nifty box! Otherwise OK brush but the lid is a bit fiddly to hold as it's very small.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

NOTD: Sephora Formula X "Drawn to You"

I've been off sick with the flu in the last week hence why there hasn't been any updates for a while... :(

This is one of the polishes I picked up in Sephora in Stockholm at Xmas. It has a very fitting name, I was very much drawn to it in the shop! As I was drying the first coat I casually read the label on the back. "Made in the UK". WTF - are they kidding me?? They make these here then ship them all over the world but we don't have a Sephora that actually sells them in the UK?? I really don't get why they can't open a store and/or online shopping in the UK. People would go nuts just for the self branded stuff never mind all the other brands they carry. It's all well and good they now ship to the UK from the US, but they don't ship any of their nail polishes due to postal regulations. Anyway, I mustn't get worked up about it AGAIN.

I did 3 coats here. It is rather sheer but that is actually a bonus, the transparency means the microglitter can really sparkle as you build it up! It has this golden-green microglitter base with these larger dark green metallic particles. And it is megawatt sparkle!! I stuck a coat of Seche Vite on top to dry it quicker. I don't have any colours quite like this, the closest one would be Revlon Parfumerie "Wintermint" but it is much more mint/blue-green in colour than this and it isn't as metallic.

I am not going to have a rant again about why these are not sold in the UK. But I am sure you would agree that they should be!

Happy Factor
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$12.50 for this particular polish

Sephora stores/online in the US and stores in some European countries


Sheer but this actually enhances the final application

Good - it has a larger pop-off cap that covers the actual cap

Saturday, 28 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: China Glaze "Moonpool"

I actually have a bottle, for realz :) I won this on an eBay auction back in 2009, for a reasonable price (below $30) and have kept it safe ever since. This is probably my "most VHTF" nail polish.

This still applies like a dream out of the bottle due to all sorts of nasty chemicals I am sure, but I got caught out like a rookie by cuticle flooding on one occasion as it's still so fluid! I did 2 coats here and a slick of Seche Vite. It may be a bit brush-strokey but not too bad from a reasonable distance. The golden depth to this polish makes it one of those polishes you just can't stop staring at, lethal if you're bored at work!

It's just the best polish ever. Maybe. I am not sure if I maybe love Rimmel "Arresting" more? I can have two favourites, who says I can't??

So that marks the end of our Vintage Valentine's - a month of vintage nail polish. Hope you have enjoyed some golden oldies and blasts from the past! :)

See all of Polishtopia's Vintage Valentine's over at her blog!

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: Rimmel Play Fast "Camoflage"

Another of my Rimmel Play Fasts - this is the outrageously gorgeous "Camoflage". I have 2 bottles of this, just in case I am ever at risk of running out :)

I got this from a nice lady in a swap from Sweden years ago, and managed to buy a second bottle on eBay. I did 2 coats with Seche Vite. It has a great depth and really glows! I honestly can't say I've come across a polish like this one in another brand which it what makes it so special :)

Stay tuned for my very special last Vintage Valentine's manicure on Friday!!

Happy Factor
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

BEAUTY LAB: Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles

Puffy eyes and dark circles - who needs them? No one that's who. Who gets them? Most people. Unfair? Probably. Fixable? Must be. So I donned my lab coat (well, I wanted to but am still waiting for it to come back from the person I loaned it to) and got stuck into finding you some serious help for these two issues that often go hand in hand.

The proper name for these two conditions is periorbital puffiness/dark circles. The causes of puffy eyes and dark circles is debated, but it is thought that inappropriate diet, lack of sleep, allergies, medications and genetics all play a part. If it is very extreme, it can indicate more serious problems with various organs in the body such as the liver. I want to say here that what I am looking to treat is very mild symptoms that are merely cosmetic and do not link to disease. If you think your puffy eyes/dark circles could be linked to a medical problem, go see your GP.

I adopted a two-pronged approach - treatment and optical illusion.

Firstly I needed to find a product that would a) reduce bags and b) firm the skin of the eye area. A bit of anti-aging action would be good too. And it couldn't cost more than £15-20. I do not believe that there is such a thing as an eye cream that removes dark circles; the darkness is due to the skin being very thin and translucent here so the blood vessels are showing through and the skin gets thinner as you age. Sorry. But the darkness can easily be illuminated by makeup!

Step forth L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Cream! It is within the price range and available in your local drugstore. It promises to replump wrinkles with hyaluronic acid, reduce eye bags with caffeine and firm skin with Pro-XylaneTM. What more do you need? :)

2 weeks later I still have a bit of of a bag but it's a lot less puffy and could only get better with longer use.

For the optical illusion part I decided I would scour the internet for tips on how to disappear bags / circles with makeup. I found several good YouTube videos that seemed like they could be replicated so I went for it. My Wayne Goss attempt wasn't so successful but I think this was due to the product I was using reflected too my flashback (SPF + cameras is never a good thing). My second attempt with Bobbi Browns corrector + concealer kit was a success but the coverage is very heavy and the products tend to melt and crease into my fine lines after a few hours. My own tried and tested method worked well using a long wear concealer and highlighting pen.

The below videos from the Pretty Perfect Beauty YouTube channel showcases the different methods and products used in my Beauty Lab.


  • Don't use a highlighting pen all over you undereye area - this will actually make the bags look bigger (so go easy with the YSL Touche Eclat)!
  • A salmon-beige colour corrector will conceal dark circles but only use over the actual dark, shadowy areas or you may look jaundiced!
  • Apply concealer in a tick box shape from the brow bone inside the top of your nose down to your cheek and then up towards the outer corner of your eye. This is as to not blend too much product in the outer corner of your eye, If you have crow's feet, it may end up creasing in the lines! A lot of darkness also extends further onto your cheek than you think and this technique will make a huge difference.
  • Don't drag/overwork the skin around your eyes whether removing makeup, applying creams or putting on makeup. This will ruin the elasticity of the skin over time leading to more pronounced wrinkles.
  • If you have allergies, get some allergy eye drops from the pharmacy - you will not believe the difference after 7 days! Brightening eye drops (or drops specifically for contact lens wearers) does wonders too!
  • Don't be afraid to try different products/techniques until you find what works for you! :)

Products used in this Beauty Lab (no affiliate links!):
L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Cream
bareMinerals READY SPF20 Foundation "R170"
Makeup Revolution Pro E104 Eyebrow Brush
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer "Cool Medium"
L'Oreal Paris Lumi Magique highlighting pen "Light"
Bobbi Brown Corrector "Bisque"
Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit "Beige"
Synthetic lip brush
Synthetic precision/mini flat top kabuki brush (search 'flat top eye kabuki brush' on eBay)

Monday, 23 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: H&M Steel "Orange Sparkle"

The last week of Vintage Valentine's and I am continuing my foray into the deepest darkest corners of my Helmer drawers :) This is another one of my really old H&M nail polishes, from the late 90s. First I put it on as-is but I actually couldn't cope with the sheerness of it so I layered it over an orange creme, NYC Quick Dry in "Spring Street". That also makes it look a lot more like it does in the bottle. It has a very sheer gel like orange base loaded with gold and orange glitter.

Love this combo!! I am going to put it on my toes for the weekend I think, as I really need something cheerful on my toes right now.

I did 1 coat of "Spring Street", then I applied 2 coats of "Orange Sparkle". This polish is still amazingly fluid and not gloopy at all! :) But it does stink so it's probably all those nasties in there keeping it fresh. I sealed it with a thick layer of Seche Vite as it's a bumpy glitter. And oh my, it sparkles! :)

Happy Factor
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Saturday, 21 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: OPI Designer Series "Extravaganza"

This marvellous polish is still available fairly readily but it was first released in 2007/8! I love this polish - it is super-smooth and glitters beautifully! It's one of the most expensive polishes I own, I think I bought this in Selfridges in London for £18.99 'back in the day'.

I did 2 coats here with Seche Vite top coat to max out the sparkle! I love the 2 Designer Series polishes I have, they look and feel so luxurious I am not really bothered about the price :)

Have you got any of the Designer Series polishes??

Happy Factor
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