Tuesday, 31 July 2012

1st Holiday NOTD: Essie "Lovie Dovie"

I chose this polish to begin my holiday as we are going to visit my brother's very first house for the first time and this was one of the polishes he bought me for my last Xmas :) I just love the bright finish of this! The formula is a bit tricky on this; it's quite thick and unwieldy. You have to be light as a feather applying it, and careful to dry layers a bit in between as it can drag. This is 3 coats as I buggered the colour up on the first layer a bit... I finished off with a coat of Lumos, and it is so shiny! I love this bright pink creme a lot, it's just what I needed for my holidays!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

NOTD: Urban Decay "I.D."

This is an original bottle of "I.D." from days of yore - I got this in 2000, maybe?.. I have a backup bottle I got in Superdrug as they were selling off old stock as well  a few years ago now :) I've featured this before but some days I really just want a juicy pink like this! It is VERY sheer however so I tend to layer it over other polishes, here I layered it over a coat of Rimmel LycraPRO "Urban Princess" to bring out the warm shimmer. I put 2 coats of "I.D." on. I finished off with a coat of Lumos top coat.

I love this :) So summery, just what I needed to ease me into my holiday mode - my second, longer holiday starts on Wednesday!

I finished the trial sizes of Elemis FreshSkin and I do like it! The intense lavender smell might put some people off but I love lavender so it's not a problem for me. A lot of people seem to love the Skin Glow exfoliating wash best but I found it did nothing for me, including exfoliating?.. :-/ I mainly like this range because it's completely free of parabens, SLS, SLES, DEA, mineral oils, artificial oils and silicones. I am not entirely convinced this range suits my needs however - I think I need a more antiaging range (I am getting on a bit after all). Lately I've really developed an intolerance for silicones, creams containing them now make my skin develop breakouts and dry spots  :( If you are worried about silicones and other nasties and trying to go more organic, be aware that they are currently allowed in organic products!! Always read the label, and know the different types of silicones currently used in cosmetics.

I have some trial sizes of Sophyto products coming, that should be exciting to try :) I've heard a lot about their anti-aging serums (silicone free!) and the glycolic cleanser sounds amazing. Hopefully I will be able to review these soon for you.

And a big congratulations to Lizzie Armitstead and Rebecca Adlington for the fantastic work they did in the Olympics to get their medals today - girl power! :D

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

NOTD: Jessica "Bazaar"

I felt like something classic yet sexy, so I chose "Bazaar". It's one of those hard to capture shades, it comes out much lighter in photos than it looks in real life. You will have to imagine it being at least 2 or 3 shades darker than it looks in this photos - in real life it is a dark, true red creme with amazing shine. This is probably one of the best polish formulas I own. It has flawless application and opacity. This is 2 coats with a coat of Lumos top coat for speed-drying. Polish perfection!

I am really pleased with this manicure. It's smooth and glossy, yet sultry. I am now wondering if my dark red dress is in the wash or not. I sincerely hope not as I like to match my nails to my outfits and only own one red dress :)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

NOTD: Black with Smarties Dots

So I was really bored with plain old polish and decided to go crazy... :/ I like it but would've liked if the dots were more uniform? I struggled with different consistencies of polish, some were runny others thick and goopy. All in all it was a VERY MESSY affair... Even the cat looked exasperated...

I am almost thinking I should have stuck to the patent-leather black manicure. Nothing compares to a perfect, really shiny black manicure. I used Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish in "Black Cab". It was just like Zeke the Evil Beech described Rimmel 60sec "Blackout"; like wrestling a hell-swine - goopy, stringy, and just really messy to work with...

When doing manis like this you need to make sure dots are dry before applying top coat or you will smear them all over the place. Also load up the brush properly so you don't have to go over the same area twice as this will also smear the dots. I used my new Lumos top coat here because it's quite thick so will even things out.

All and all I am fairly happy with this, but next time I will test the different polishes before I put them on. I think the purple dots should have been lilac instead - they sort of disappear even though Color Club "Power Play" is a retina-searing neon polish on it's own!

I will now go and cook my signature Spaghetti Carbonara for The Man - he's busy playing Ghost Recon Future Soldier and keeps muttering 'I am not dying, I am just not winning!' so I think he needs cheering up! :)

Lina-Elvira's Signature Spaghetti Carbonara

- finely grated Parmesan
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 bird's eye green chillis
- 1/2 onion
- 2 crushed cloves of garlic
- streaky smoked bacon
- spaghetti

Method: Put the egg yolks in a bowl. Add grated Parmesan cheese and stir together so it forms a thick paste. Chop onion and chillis finely and put on a plate, put the crushes garlic cloves on top. Add a decent amount of salt. Saute the onions, chillis and garlic in olive oil until onion starts to go translucent. Chop the streaky bacon, then add to the pan with the onions etc. On a low to medium heat, cook the bacon and onion etc under lid while the pasta boils, stirring occasionally to make sure it's not sticking. It should be fairly full of liquids while it is cooking, so don't use too much heat.
Drain a small amount of pasta water into the egg yolk / Parmesan mix, then strain spaghetti. Immediately put spaghetti in the bowl and toss until the egg mixture is coating the pasta thoroughly in a thick sauce. Pour the onion and bacon mix into the bowl to and use two forks to serve!

If you prefer a less spicy Carbonara, use Jalapenos instead of bird's eye chillis!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

NOTD: L'Oreal Color Riche "Magic Croisette"

I said I picked up another L'Oreal Color Riche so here it is :) It's got a bit more green shimmer in real life than in the photos, it doesn't want to show off on camera! This is 2 coats with my new Lumos top coat on top. I didn't like the formula, messy and thick. Maybe need to add some Seche Restore to this one? But I love the colour! :) A navy with some depth! I said I loved the name of my previous NOTD "Mythic Carpet"; but "Magic Croisette" I just don't get?.. what does it mean? I keep wanting to call it "Magic Croissant"! :P

Monday, 16 July 2012

NOTD: L'Oreal Color Riche "Mythic Carpet"

I saw this while waiting for my prescription in Boots today. It was one of those polishes I see and go 'cool, I don't think I have one like this!'. After so many years collecting nail polish, that is RARE. As it was Buy 1 get 1 Half Price I was sure I needed to treat myself... The other one I will show you later in the week :)

This is 3 coats as it is a jelly formula, so a bit of VNL still with just 2 coats. I love the name of the polish, "Mythic Carpet". It's like 'flying carpet' but more mysterious :) The colour is amazing - it's very pretty and wearable, but the dusty reddish-pink colour makes it a bit different too. The shimmer brings out the depth in the polish and makes it a bit interesting. I have no comparable shades in my collection!

I have a new duo of base and top coat, Lumos. So far it's dried really quick and the top coat has given a nice, thick and shiny coat, so I am just needing a couple of days of hard core typing to test for chipping, which isn't hard as work is really busy just now. I thought Lumos was sold 'trade only', but a quick search of ebay reveals it has already made it's way there... I will have to see if it goes all goopy like Seche Vite after a while or if I find anything else I don't like about it.

I've also started getting 'Graze' boxes as a move towards a healthier lifestyle (yet again...). Below are my first and second box. So far I am really loving the snacks, I chose the 'BoostBox' option which is the healthier of the two choice, but doesn't include olives, breads and the like you get in the 'NibbleBox'. I have particularly taken a shine to the vanilla coated seeds and the spicy seeds - I could eat them with a spoon! :O And the Yaki Soba, yummy!

I'll keep you updated but if YOU would like a FREE Graze box on me, go here:

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

NOTD: China Glaze "Anklets of Amethyst"

I felt like something purple today so I dug through the Helmer drawers for something purple. I realised I have hardly any purples?? I seriously need more purples. Anyway, I digress. I got this polish in a swap about 2 years ago I think, and I've yet to wear it. I realised it's quite sheer so I layered it over a coat of GOSH "Wild Lilac". It is lilac with blue shimmer, quite unusual and probably without match in my stash.This is 2 coats of "Anklets of Amethyst" over 1 coat of "Wild Lilac". I slicked on a coat of China Glaze FastForward top coat.

It is quite soft still, I think it is the combo of old 'toxic' formulas that means it's not setting very well. I hope it will be set after this episode of "Day of the Triffids" finishes :)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

NOTD: Rimmel 60sec "Torrid"

This polish has an apt name - it has that secret 'hot coals' glow from within! It's a brownish burgundy shimmer. This is one of those old American shades 're-issued' in the new bottles, but I am not sure if they were ever sold in the UK like this? The formula is creamy and super-opaque but that also means it's a bit thick and unwieldy, hence the smudges... This is 2 coats, to be honest, I could have got away with 1 coat if I had put it on a bit thicker :) It's no secret that I love my Rimmel polishes, and this just makes me love them even more!

Bonus photo of the day is showing you how I made coffee during my camping holiday on the West Coast. Each cup took about 10mins to make. Makes you appreciate the humble British kettle!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

NOTD: Missguided "Misslead"

I spotted this polish promotion attached to the cover of the August issue of Cosmopolitan UK magazine in a Co-op on Isle of Skye and knew I had to have the yellow one :) I couldn't find the yellow one in that shop so I had to try again once I got back home! There is also a pink and coral/orange one.

This is 3 coats with a slick of China Glaze FastForward top coat. The formula was excellent, much more opaque and easier to paint than I thought (yellows are notoriously bad in formula). I think the shimmer helps to make that great formula. It dried very quickly so multiple layers wasn't a problem.

Me likey! :) Although it doesn't look great with my skin tone I still love this colour! I might have to scope out some more of the Missguided polishes, there is also a 10% off code on the box the polish comes in!