Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

Happy New 2015 everyone!

Another year gone! I had some great times this year, such as getting the kind of job I wanted when I graduated a long time ago, but also some good holidays and of course, some great nail and beauty stuff! I also celebrated my 6th year of blogging, and posted my 900th post! :)

Below I will give you some of my personal  beauty highlights of the year below, and a top 5 of my most awesome nail polishes this year.

A late discovery this year was Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel foundation - what a cracker! A lot of reviewers say that they are disappointed with the light coverage, for me, that's what I was looking for. Others mention the poor shade selections - for me, again, 52 Vanilla was a near perfect match, but I realise that many will struggle to find a shade to suit them here. But personally I just love everything about this foundation - light, moisturising and makes my skin look great!

Another awesome product this year is Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. I tried it once and have never looked back. Despite using it most of the year, I'm only on my second bottle so huge value for money here! I used to use towelettes as a pre-cleanse and would go through at least 5 packs of the No7 ones each year. No more! :)

What else was good? Oh, lets not forget the Vichy Idealia Life Serum! When Soap and Glory revamped their offerings, they changed the formulation of their 'For Daily Youth 6-in-1 moisturising lotion'. Grrrrr!!!! The new version gave me serious acne :( I haven't found a suitable moisturiser yet, but with Vichy Idealia Life Serum, I can now get away with just popping foundation/CC cream over it and off I go :)

And of course, eyebrows. I've become rather obsessed with eyebrows in the last year and I've now become rather hooked on Benefit's Brow Bar offerings and products!

My most outrageous beauty purchase of the year? It has to be Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura's Lip Palette from the Shupette collection... Cats, on beauty products - how can you go wrong?!

Shue Uemura Shupette BonBon Fantasy Lip Trio 'Parisienne Chic'
The cat even has shiny blue eyes like Karl's kitty Choupette :)

Lina-Elvira's Top 5 Nail Polishes
Seventeen Color Carnival "Gold Green Shimmer"
OPI "Green on the Runway"

Nicole by OPI Roughles "Sand in my shoe"

Maybelline Color Show Acid Wash "Mint Acid-ittude" 

Barry M Gelly "Mustard"
 and not forgetting ILNP "Electric Carnival" which I haven't actually worn yet!!

What am I looking forward to in 2015?
  • Wearing more nail polish! 
  • OPI Hawaii collection
  • MUFE (Makeup Forever) arriving at Debenhams!
  • Wearing my first Deborah Lippman nail polish for my birthday - it's "Happy Birthday!" actually!
  • And seeing what new things are coming out in the world of beauty and fashion... 
What are you looking forward to in 2015??

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Haul time!

So me and my Mum went shopping in Stockholm yesterday! We were on the 1st class express train which meant free breakfast :) I got my mum an eyebrow wax and tint at the Benefit stand in Sephora :) She was really pleased with the resultal though she wasn't too sure about the waxing part...

Of course, I scored some goodies, mostly in Sephora (OMG Formula X nail polishes!!) but also elsewhere such as a load of nice items from Gudrun Sjöden, one of my favourite designers :) I'm still suffering with this infernal cold so I've not tried ANY of my new stuff yet...

Sunday, 28 December 2014

NOTD: Depend Advent Calendar "#4008"

It's very cold  (-15C) and snowy in Sweden just now and we've had an awesome Xmas so far :) I got the Depend Cosmetics advent calendar for my Xmas from my Mum and this was one of the polishes in it. It's a really cool white flakie with decent coverage if you dab it on like I did; it's rather thick. Love it! :)

Me and my Mum are going to Stockholm tomorrow for some shopping so expect to see haul photos! 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Xmas NOTD: China Glaze "Ruby Pumps" with gold

Better photo to come...
I was dilly-dallying about what to wear on my nails for Xmas and after doing my friend's nails yesterday and playing about with "Ruby Pumps" I decided it was going to have to be that one... I wanted to bling it up a bit so I put some OPI "Goldeneye" / Sephora "Gold Fever" over it for a bit of a gold gradient. I really wish I had longer nails to really carry a gradient, but that's not practical so I have to live with short gradients, I suppose.

It sparkles like crazy, but of course I have already packed away my camera, and the closeup on the Samsung Galaxy S5 isn't very good at all... I will try and get another shot of it on Xmas eve for you :)

Sunday, 21 December 2014

China Glaze "Emerald Sparkle"

Xmas nails has started! I did a friend's nails today - it was a close run between "Ruby Pumps" and this one but in the end the green won! :)

This is 2 coats with Seche Vite top coat, and then also a slick of cuticle oil - one can't use enough care products in the winter time!

Stay tuned for more Xmas nails tomorrow!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Benefit Brow Arch + Brow Tint

BEFORE Brow Arch + Brow Tint
AFTER Brow Arch + Brow Tint (medium brown)
So I went back to the Benefit Brow Bar for another go after the first visit went rather well. This time with my loyalty card I had a free brow tint... Turns out that's a fancy way of saying they will put semi-permanent hair colour on your brows. Since I'm rather gung-ho with trying new sh*t, I decided I would go for the freebie! Hey, what's the worst that can happen? Black caterpillars on my face for 4 weeks? Worth it in the interest of research :) The brow lady suggested a natural tint, and we went for 'medium brown'. Not having seen it in daylight, I still think it's quite a difference and probably too dark. Will have to see how it looks in daylight before I make a final judgement here.

But saying that, they look nicely shapen and glossy! I am definitely turning into a bit of an eyebrow geek... I did like the eyebrow gel I tried last time I went to the Benefit Brow Bar, Gimme Brow. I might invest in a product like that at some point. I seriously need to take a course in taking selfies though :(

Boosted by my flashy new eyebrows for Xmas, and the fact that The Man was out for his Xmas night out, I hit the late night shopping! I used some Boots vouchers and had a stroll around Superdrug.

I've been looking for a new foundation for winter as my 'Light Medium' Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream is waaay too dark in the winter but I didn't want to buy a lighter version of it as it's a whopping £28. I'd read good things about Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel foundation so thought I'd give it a go. I picked up '52 Vanilla'. Doing research I also saw more videos of the use of the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge so I picked up one of them as well to experiment with over Xmas. I also got a lighter version, 'Cool Medium', of my fave concealer from Collection (I swear it's the best concealer I've ever had!).

I needed a new in-shower shaver and these were half price in Boots - score :) In Superdrug, the Nip+Fab Fix range is half price right now as well so I picked up this cleansing cream on a whim, I'm going to try it tonight to see if it can remove today's makeup from my face!

Speaking of hauls, the other day I happened to find myself in TK Maxx and picked up some exfoliating, stretchy wash cloths, a konjac sponge with red French clay from the Konjac Sponge Company and a Ciate polish, all at very reasonable prices. I will review this as I use them during my holidays :)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

'Tis the season...

Yowser. It's almost Xmas! I've been so busy with work and other play that I've forgotten to blog. I've had some NOTDs including this one from Bourjois, the name is forgotten I'm afraid and now I can't find the bottle either, must've put it away "somewhere safe"... I added some Essie "Carnival" on top hap-hazardly, it's not my best work. I also had on a couple of other polishes - Seventeen Rock Hard Couture "Cameo Crush" and Barry M "Atlantis". I used a different peel off base coat with "Atlantis", from Miss Sporty. It works a bit better than the MUA one i.e. it doesn't ping off unexpectedly, but it is basically just a bottle of PVA glue... Oh well, no staining or damaged nails though.

I've got some cool stuff coming up, hopefully I'll get some time tomorrow to write it all up :)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

NOTD: Primark Press-On Nails "Christmas"

I have a nice trip planned to a friend in Edinburgh tomorrow for Xmas crafts and the switching on of the Xmas lights :) So of course, I needed a nice nail! I bought these falsies a few weeks ago in Primark for the very decent price of £1 and decided to wear them. The nails come with nail glue but I won't use nail glue anymore as it's so damaging to soak the nail off, so instead I use Elegant Touch Super Adhesive Pads. They're like double sided tape for false nails. They don't last 7 days as it says on the packaging (did you really believe that?) but they do well for a couple of days of wear. The main thing is to be wary of your hair - as nails become slightly raised they snag your hair! Careful hair washing ahead... Best part is that when you're fed up, the false nail just slides off with no residue or damage to the natural nail :)

I applied the tabs as per instruction. You need to make sure you secure it to the nail before you peel off the protective film and try not to trap air bubbles. Apply the false nail making sure you apply the false nail the right side round - the thinned down side at the cuticle end! Gently press down on all sides for it to seal tight. Done.

I like these - very naff and festive! Not sure that the longer length will do well for crafts but if it gets too annoying all I need to do is slide them off :) I'm bringing spare tabs just in case. These falsies from Primark come in a staggering array of different designs including these cat ones. If you haven't already, check them out now.

This manicure cost me a festive £3.49, and I will get another set of falsies on with the tabs left over! After that saving I think I can treat myself to an expensive coffee tomorrow :)

Primark Fashion Nails £1

Elegant Touch Super Adhesive Tabs, Boots/Superdrug £2.49

Friday, 14 November 2014

Recent NOTDs!

So for some reason I didn't upload my last couple of NOTDs?! Probably was far too busy doing felt crafts... Anyway, here they are!

In artificial light

In daylight
Barry M "Arabian" looks amazing in the bottle, AND equally amazing on the nail :) I did 3 coats but could have got away with 2. It does have brush strokes if you don't have patience applying it - leave it to dry for 5 mins between coats and don't faff about going over areas a lot. I finished with a coat of Seche Vite and it lasted through half a week of office typing and then a whole day of badger sett surveying!

After seeing the natural beauties hiding in the "Cutie Cravings" gift set I wanted a greige polish. So I dug out that old Chanel "Particuliere" dupe (almost) - No7 "Beanie". I just love this kind of colour, it's chic and retro at the same time :D I used 2 coats here and finished with a coat of Seche Vite as I have no patience for waiting it for polish to dry...

Here's a sneak peak of the goodness that is "Cutie Cravings", I can't wait to slap it on tomorrow :) I love that it comes in a metal tin!!

Cute metal tin :)

Inside the tin, with instruction booklet

Benefit Brow Bar visit!

So I finally decided I needed to visit the Benefit Brow Bar... I apologise in advance as I am not of the 'selfie generation' and don't actually really know how to take a selfie, so photos are a bit crap. Perhaps I should take off my glasses next time. I also apologise for the windblown look, I was out on site visits all morning gazing at trees in 40mph winds. And because I feared rain + wind this morning, I have only waterproof mascara on, no other makeup...

BEFORE brow bar ,,,
AFTER brow bar
 When I arrived at the Brow Bar in Debenhams beauty hall I was plonked on a precarious bar stool (my ass is plus-size, I worry about chairs a lot) and chatted too while some paper work was filled out. I signed a disclaimer. So far so good. They wax above the eye brow too, is that OK? Well, I've signed the disclaimer now so yeah?.. As I am not actually bothered about trying new stuff I was like 'pfft, yeah whatever'. Apparently it gives a nicer shape but in my mind it's always touted as a massive no-no... I was measured for my ideal brow with a plastic stick of some kind. Then I was cleaned and preened, then the wax went on. Not too hot, no double dipping. It was all rather quick and a bit of tweezing and brushing and you've got eyebrows the Goddess Venus herself would be proud of. As I was rather red I was treated to concealer application (using Boiing concealer).

The very nice brow stylist then offered to put on a new product on my freshly trimmed brows - gimmeBrow. It's a fibre gel to volumise your brows. I was like 'holy shit I'm gonna come out looking like Brooke Shields in the 90s!'. But in the spirit of trying new stuff I was again like 'yeah go on'. It wasn't as dramatic as I thought, just a rather nice finish :) But I'm all for low maintenance brows so I won't bother with such fripperies. I'm rather happy with my Rimmel eyebrow pencil + brush.

All and all it was very quick and nice results. I'm really pleased and I won't be keeping up my brows myself much from now on - I'll just go see the Benefit Brow Bar lady again :) Next time I'll ask if she can use BrowZings palette on them to give me power-brows! I even got a loyalty card, and apparently next time I get a free tint. Dangerous territory, think I'll just stick to the waxing...

And what did my 'loving' Husband say about my 'new' brows? "Eyebrows? They just look like eyebrows to me'. A tenner well spent, then...

And it was (til Sunday) 10% all beauty in Debenhams, so unfortunately I bought a couple of Benefit Xmas gift sets which I will be reviewing in the next few days... :)

Oooh just wait til you see what's inside :D

Aaah! :)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

NOTD: Isadora Holographic Nails "Rocky Ruby"

I decided the only way to deal with a Monday is to bling out after I found this insane glitter bomb in my Helmer drawers, I also have a green version called "Glowing Beetle". I think my Mum bought these for me last year? I seem to remember these were released along with the Isadora Peel Off Base Coat, which horribly stained my nails until they grew out...

I used 2 generous coats over MUA Peel Off Base Coat, hoping it will pop right off on Tuesday... If not I will cry!! I sealed it all with a coat of Seche Vite to smooth off the glitter grittiness and speed dry it so I can pack my handbag for tomorrow. And have some icecream... This is just what I need for going back to work :)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Harvey Nichols pre-Xmas haul!

I had to go to Edinburgh yesterday for a MRI scan for my duff knee, so I decided to pop into Harvey Nichols before my train back to browse the beauty hall! I ended up buying *some* things, had a few product testing make overs and a nice dinner of sushi and beer at Yo!Sushi on the top floor :) And this is definitely the best 5p carrier bag tax I've spent since it was introduced!! Here are some photos of my haul...

So I bought my very first Deborah Lippmann nail polish! I've wanted this particular shade since it was first released a few years ago. I intend on getting some fancy paper and wrapping it now for my birthday in January! "Happy Birthday me, from yourself!"

Deborah Lippmann "Happy Birthday"
I also scored a tin of SteamCream; I've been wanting to try this cult cream for ages and when it has gingerbread men on it, who can resist?? I have tried it last night and this morning and my skin hasn't reacted so far (sometimes that happens quickly...). It has a lovely gel-cream texture, I can tell it's going to last ages. The smell is quite strong and herbal, but it evaporates fairly quick. It isn't a mattifying formula, there is quite a dewy result, so if you have oily skin I wouldn't go there. As I am dry, it's fine and feels very soft. I also used it on my rather scaly upper arms and my hands. I will report back in 2 weeks on longer term results!

Finally, the pièce de résistance - the Shu Uemura Karl Lagerfeld Limited Edition 'Shupette' lip trio. I saw it, had it applied (along with a whole face of Shu Uemura, ahem) and NEEDED it. It's amazing!! I am not sure if it's love or just lust, but who cares?! C'mon, it even has Karl's white cat on the packaging!! Please excuse the white cat hair in the left colour, from my own white cat Elvis-Cat, I only opened it once to take some photos but unfortunately I did so in the window he likes to sit... I didn't see it till after the photos were uploaded but have since tweezed it out of there.

Shu Uemura Shupette Rouge BonBon Fantasy Lip Trio 'Parisienne Chic'
The cat even has shiny blue eyes like Karl's kitty Choupette! :)

I am going to do some swatches of the lip trio but can't be bothered today - I will make some custard and red currant Danishes instead...

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

NOTD: Nails Inc "Tate"

It's another month of a free Nails Inc nail polish in Glamour magazine which means £2 for a Nails Inc :) Love it! The colours this time were a bit too vampy and dull for my taste, apart from this one which is the perfect Xmas red! I can see myself blinging this up with some holographic glitter for Xmas eve :) This is 2 coats with a coat of Seche Vite to speed dry it!

My cuticles are going nuts just now - I am really busy crafting felt stuff for Xmas and at work I am doing a lot of cold outside stuff :( I promise they will be better soon...

Monday, 3 November 2014

Halloween NOTD: China Glaze "But Of Corpse"

I saw this polish and knew I had to have it for Halloween! :) I dressed up as a witch with green and black eye makeup and the new awesome dark green lipstick from Makeup Revolution called "Serpent". Photo at the end of this post :)

I used 2 thicker coats over my Bourjois So Perfect! base coat and it behaved like a crackle polish :( Not sure why. You can't see the splits here as the second coat didn't crackle but quite noticeable on the other hand. Quite annoying. When I wear it again I will wear over a matter base coat.

Evil witch...

Upper lip: Makeup Revolution "Make it Right"
Bottom lip: Makeup Revolution "Serpent"

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Updated NOTD: Nfu Oh "56"

I had a couple of worn bits on my gorgeous China Glaze "Emerald Sparkle" so I decided instead of completely redoing my manicure I was going to stick a coat of Nfu Oh "56" over it. And OMG, I love it :) I put a coat of China Glaze Fast Forward over the top again and it's so amazingly sparkly!!

I've got a rather boring course tomorrow all day about project management - if I get bored I can always look at my nails! These Nfu Oh's once upon a time cost me a small fortune to import from overseas but it was totally worth it - they are the true queen of flakies!!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

NOTD: China Glaze "Emerald Sparkle"

Please excuse the crap photo - looks nothing like it apart from the base colour :(

I have a really awesome polish for Halloween from China Glaze but since I am determined to keep it for Halloween party on Saturday, I had to do something else.

I decided on "Emerald Sparkle" because it's green and I love it. But as with it's red twin "Ruby Pumps", frankly, it photographs shit :( Always. You just CAN'T get a true to life photo of this beauty. It's pine green, sparkly and awesome. I will try a photo tomorrow in daylight as well to see if that makes any difference.

This is 2 generous coats with China Glaze Fast Forward top coat  as I find my older China Glazes don't like Seche Vite.

Love it :) I am starting to get in the mood for Xmas and this is just the ticket. So I also paired it with a matching pedicure.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

NOTD: Isadora "Power Pink" with polkadots

I decided I wanted something with a catchy accent today so I donned the super pink Isadora "Power Pink", 2 coats here, and 2 coats of NYC "Little Italy" (white) and added some silver striping tape and made dots with a double-ended black nail art pen. Very snazzy! :) I am ready for Monday now!!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

NOTD: Retro Pop Art

I found this top coat from Rimmel called "Pop Art!" and decided to try it over Barry M Matte "Vanilla"! It looks very kitsch and matches a sweater I have :)

I did get some bubbling though as I got fed up with sparse deposits of the glitter and 'dabbed' it on instead of painting it on after the first coat.

I did 1 coat of "Vanilla" then dabbed on the glitter, my overzealousness made it pool at the cuticles in some areas... I sealed it all with a coat of Seche Vite. I like it!

This nail art I wore over last weekend but it seems to have not been published??

I forget what colours I used sadly, so no description as such. I was attempting to do a watercolour manicure feel.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

NOTD: Seventeen "Green Gold Shimmer"

Artificial light

In natural light!
This is possibly contender for Nail Polish of the Year!! :) I can't get a good photo of this at all, I will need to take another photo tomorrow in daylight so that you can experience the awesome green that is this rather boringly named polish.

I used 2 coats here and topped it off with Seche Vite. I just love how sumptuous this is. And the formula was top notch too - not too runny and perfect coverage in just 2 coats. I am in love!! :D

So a little update on the MUA Peel Off Base coat - rousing success! So much so that one nail just pinged off when I was making up some fresh substrate for my hermit crabs... Luckily I found it, and the one that subsequently pinged off, before the substrate went into the crab cage. It peels very easily without a trace and there was no damage or staining to my nails (unlike the Isadora Peel Off Basecoat). I will so wear awesome glitter manis now :)

No damage! :)

The polish just comes off in a one - almost like a false nail