Thursday 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015! *best stuff of the year gone by*

So what was new and exciting for me in 2015? I did start a YouTube channel which I am hoping to expand that side of my blogging next year :) I also celebrated my 1,000th blog post - who knew I would make it there?? I am all about the products so there was of course many new beauty and lifestyle products that I came across, and I will summarise my 'best of' below.

Highlights in Beauty 2015

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue
When this came out, it was one of those things that sounded too good to be true. I did like the Bareskin Serum foundation, but it was still a bit too 'foundation-y' for me. However when I had a trial of the Complexion Rescue, I was hooked. It is light to medium coverage, looks dewy and anti-aging and washes off when you want it to. First I was worried it was too dewy and looked shiny; I dug out my BareMinerals Mineral Veils. First I tried a light dusting of the original, powder version. That does set it to a more matte finish, but takes away too much of the anti-aging effect for me. So I tried my compact version. Win! Another note of interest is that at first I used a brush to apply this, however I've actually discovered that applying it with your fingers gives the best coverage and finish! You can then buff with a brush if you feel you need to. Complexion Rescue definitely gets an A+ for me and I am on my way to getting a second tube of this!

Clinique Pop Lip
I have never been a lipstick lady, I was always a tinted lip balm/lipgloss girl. However, I got some freebies with a magazine this year which has completely changed that! Earlier this year, Clinique launched their new lipstick range called the Pop Lip Color + Primer. They issued two of the colours as a mini luxury freebie in Glamour magazine in the autumn to tie in with the release of some new colours, and I got both colours after much hunting. The Clinique Pop Lip lipsticks has great colour payoff, doesn't dry my raisin-like lips but because it has a 'primer' element to it, still has great staying power. I have 3 colours now, and I think I've become a lipstick lady. How the hell did that happen?? :)

H&M nail polishes
H&M relaunched their makeup range this year and caused a frenzy in the beauty world. I particularly eyed up the nail polishes (of course, as one  does) and they have not disappointed! The shade range is staggering, the coverage and formula is spot on and the price point is decent. However, they have not been sold online for over a month now, and there has been no replies from H&M for my question as to why?...

John Frieda Beach Waves/Sea Waves
John Frieda Beach Waves sea salt styling spray was every girls best friend in the early 2000's. It made your hair enviously tousled as if you've just been to the beach. And it smelled of carefree summer holidays... However it was then discontinued. Why companies do this I do not know; it was a clear best seller for John Frieda and they got rid of it?.. No matter, fast forward a decade or so and 2015 saw the relaunch of this marvel of a hair styling product thanks to a petition by beauty bloggers, I believe :) They did change the name to 'Sea Waves' but it's virtually the same stuff! I love using it especially since I had my hair cut shorter. It still smells how I remember and it does a marvellous tousle!

Best of Other Stuff 2015

Adult Colouring Books
I think these should be called 'colouring books for adults' as using the words the other way around makes me think it's like colour in your own porn, but whatever... I have become obsessed, as so many other people. It is a way to be creative without having the angst of creating from scratch! Very relaxing and with so many books now out there, everyone can find a theme to colour in that they can relate to! :)

What was your favourites of 2015?

Wednesday 30 December 2015

BOXING DAY SALE: What I got...

So after having a couple of large expenses (cat emergency care/blocked drain emergency call out) I've tried to be restrained this year for Xmas. Well... I DID get a new camera! But I had some help from the Husband and Parents there. So when it came to the sales I just bought stuff I wanted for a while, and that was useful!

As the 'in-between' days ticked on, parcels started to be shipped and I got notifications. And I was like, it appears I did a lot more shopping than I thought!! Ain't that always the case...So what did I get?

So in terms of beauty, I went to town when I saw that Space.NK had the Rococo nail polishes at £3!! I always cringe at the thought of paying £12 full price for them so I have never bought one. I am hoping they are good, and of course a full review will come :)
"Love Potion Luxe" - how can one resist??       Photo: Space.NK website
I was rather underwhelmed by the gift set offerings in Boots this year, and I ended up walking out without any sales purchases on Boxing Day... I couldn't find any 'wow' deals on most of the sites I perused, and therefor it seems that 4 Rococo polishes are my only beauty sale finds!

I realised that the bulk of my sales shopping falls under the 'Useful' category. I must be getting old!! I got a new waterproof jacket; if you follow my blog you know I do ecology and lots of outdoorsy stuff so this is a definite tick on my wish list. Related to my new camera, I got a waterproof camera bag, massive memory card, LCD screen protectors, cleaning kit and an HDMI cable. I also got a 2TB external harddrive to hoard all those massive videos and photos! All for very reasonable prices, and of course Xmas present Amazon gift cards always help! Electronics seem to always be more discounted on Boxing Day than anything else, so I guess it was a good time to get a new camera :)

What were your purchases in the sales - beauty or otherwise?

Tuesday 29 December 2015

NOTD: Maybelline Color Show "Latte"

This was the nail polish in my Maybelline gift set. First I was like 'hmm, VERY nude, not sure I like that'. But then I was like, 'yeah I could rock nude, why not'. And I totally can!

I did 2 coats here, still a bit see thru so not for those who loathe the VNL. I did have couple balding patches as I was too impatient when applying it (me? never!). But it's still good. Although I do think that this is my 'mannequin manicure' nail polish... Like I have no nails... Bit freaky... I think this would really rock in the summer when I'm tanned!

It's definitely a break from reds for Xmas and extravagant glitter for New Year, if nothing else :)

Friday 25 December 2015

Merry Xmas to you all! :)

Santa was very good to me this year :) I must have been well-behaved most of the time!?

I decided I wanted to do a glowy red for my Christmas Day lunch manicure so to not out-compete the bling of my Xmas jumper! There is only one glowy red that could have been chosen - Nails Inc "Aspen", of course! I did 2 coats here and topped it with my Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. I still think the old Nails Inc formulas are magnificent, every time I use one of the old ones I remember why love it!

Nikon Coolpix L840
Santa brought me a new bridge camera for my Xmas, among other things. I had decided on the Nikon Coolpix L840 in the purple colour (why have dull black when you can have purple??). The Husband has the L830, and it was very exciting at the start of the year to play with! He's got some killer wildlife shots during the summer so I was rather jealous. My old Samsung compact just wasn't cutting it anymore in terms of the wildlife photos I wanted to take, but it will likely still come with me on ecology trips as it's very compact and still a decent camera unless you want to take more suave telephoto shots or big landscapes. My new camera is actually also good for vlogging, recording full HD, so here's hoping it will make my YouTube channel better :)

My dear friend also bought me makeup - she knows me really well :) I already blogged about the Maybelline nude set, I bought this for myself and wrapped it! How sad is that??? But it was a cracking set, you can look forward to some looks from this I hope. Anyway, I am off to do my face and then off to Xmas lunch!

How awesome is the reindeer tin?? :)

The leopard kabuki brush came from Asda - it's soo soft! The rest is from the Maybelline 'Dare to go nude' gift set.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Banishing 'winter face'!

I am all for seasons and I love a wintry walk. But after you've had a vicious cold, been out badger surveying in the rain/galeforce wind and facing another super-busy week at work, who doesn't look in the mirror on Monday morning and go 'holy sh*t what happened to my face?!' and want to just go back to bed.

So I decided to give you a low-down on the products that currently conceals my 'winter face' horror and makes me feel more alive.

As I have dry skin, I use a hydrating serum and a rich moisturiser in the winter. Currently I am loving the Botanics Radiant Youth Super Serum, and I am currently using the matching day cream with an SPF. I then use my beloved BareMinerals Complexion Rescue. I have actually started putting this on with my fingers - it actually goes on smoother without a brush. Conceal cleverly and sparingly, you don't want to look like you've covered up too much. This would defeat the glowy finish you're hoping for to conquer winter pallor.

If you really. really feel the need, use a bronzer. Personally I find they can be very tricky to get right on pale, reddish winter faces and look fake so I tend to not use them. Getting the right shade of blush for your colouring will make your face glow just the same!

When you're dry or dehydrated, it looks better to use a cream formula. I love cream blushers, summer or winter, that's no secret. Any cream blush that suits your colouring will do, you just need to try a few different ones. I love Barry M's Make Me Blush Cream Blusher because the colour 'Rhubarb Crumble' suits my skin perfectly!

And of course, to beat a lacklustre face, you need a highlight! Again I love a cream highlighter, my favourite to slap on at the moment is Collection Speedy Highlighter! Rub it in over your blush and you're ready to move to the eye area!

 I conceal under the eye using Collection's Lasting Finish Concealer. But if you're not cursed with the dark circles I am, just use an under-eye highlighter only such as Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat.

Curling lashes is a must. I then use a long wear cream eye shadow; my fave is Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo. My go-to colour for an all over shimmer is 'Pink Gold' but if you prefer a matte, use 'Creme de rose'. I then use a bronze (or if going matte, a mink coloured) pencil to add some definition along the lash line. Load up on the mascara, and use black to really make your eyes pop. In the winter, a good eye drops product will make your office atmosphere more bearable as well!

A chapped lip is never a good look. Don't overdose on lip scrub however, you shouldn't need to scrub lips all the time! Drink plenty water and you will notice a difference, I promise. I'm not a fan of petrolatum lip balms, they tend to make my lips worse. A more natural lip product may be a bit more rich and sticky so better suited to wear at night and on the plus side you wake up to hydrated lips ready to be made up!

So to finish off, if you want that really healthy look, go for a stain or tint on the lips then load up on lip balm over the top! Benetint from Benefit is of course the old classic but there are lip stain pens from many high street brands that kick ass if you want an easier to use and more purse friendly alternative. I also love a tinted lip balm and some of the most potent I've found are the Cor Balmy! range from Barry M - very tinted and purse friendly!

This look will take you from the office to the Xmas drinks without too much, touching up! So bonus, more time for mulled wine :)

Wednesday 16 December 2015

XMAS NOTD #3: Maybelline "Baby it's gold outside" Limited Edition Nail Polish Set

OK so the Xmas play list is cranked up high in my gaming headset and the decorations are out, even made gingerbread animals yesterday! Crimbo is comin', ya'll!!! :D

I featured this set in one of my recent videos, see below! It is still available in Superdrug today, it's not only 3 for 2 on Maybelline but you also get one of the nail polish duos. Pretty sweet! :) And as you can see, the results are pretty good!

The red shade (called simply "Red") was butter smooth to apply and opaque in 2 coats. Looks amazing just on it's own, and very similar in finish to Nails Inc "Tate". I then slapped on the gold glitter in some kind of gradient fashion. The gold glitter is named "Gold Stunner" and it really is! Some 'placing' was required to get what I wanted but if you just want to use it as a glitter top coat, you don't need to do anything like that. I finished the whole thing with a slick of my Bourjois £D gel top coat but it's not smooth glitter. Suddenly not looking forward to trying to take this off, but who cares... it looks amazing!!! :)

So Xmas is definitely ON! So tide you over til my next Xmas NOTD, here's a shot of this years Xmas jumper purchase and my gingerbread! :)

Xmas jumper from Asda!

Gingerbread animals!

Tuesday 8 December 2015

XMAS NOTD #2: Barry M "Sparkling Ruby" / OPI "Goldeneye"

I keep dragging "Goldeneye" out - it's probably one of the all time best gold glitters out there :) Despite requiring 3 coats for opacity, the sheerness is what makes it as otherwise it wouldn't have the multi-layer glimmer it does!

One of my new favourite red glitters has got to be this limited edition Gelly from Barry M. I think I might need to campaign for it to become a permanent polish, it's that good! Two butter-smooth coats of perfection here. I hope they are thinking about making some more glitter Gelly polishes...

I have my works Xmas lunch tomorrow so I will be able to match this manicure to my insanely sparkly X,as jumper :) I will post some photos, I promise!

Sunday 6 December 2015

NOTD: H&M "Russet Pearl"

Daylight - day 2
Artificial light
Here is another of the H&M polishes for you! Worryingly, they are not currently selling ANY of their new nail polishes online.... I fear the worst! Are they all out of stock or is there a problem?...

I chose the red to kick off my Xmas nails, I've not been well so I haven't been doing my nails but I thought I would start now. Anyway, like the other new H&M polishes so far this is a dream! The only thing with this polish was I had a bit of a duff brush so I had some application issues, hence the smudgey cuticles. I don't think there is a problem with the formula just the faulty brush on this particular bottle.

This isn't too brush-strokey and it is nicely opaque even with just 1 coat. But I did 2 coats here, cuz that's how I roll, yo. I topped it with my Bourjois 3D gel top coat but it's nice and shiny even without a top coat. I just don't like sitting around with wet nails all night. Even when the Muppets is on! This is a warm, light red shimmer polish, but it does appear rather orange in my photo. I must take another one tomorrow in daylight to show you the real colour.

Loving the new H&M polishes, I do hope they come back into the online shop soon :(

Saturday 5 December 2015

Xmas is comin'!

It's been a while - sorry!!! I had a really nasty cold in the last week and I have been super-busy at work both at work and at home for the last month! I haven't even been wearing nail polish a lot!! Which is almost unheard of.

I have done some shopping though, being almost Xmas and all. Mostly for myself though, haha :) I have done a couple of videos of my shopping exploits, so head over to my YouTube channel for that!

I've been so busy lately I've nearly lost my blogging mojo; I have all these ideas but not enough time to sit down and write it all! I can't wait for the Xmas holidays, not long now. I've got most of my decorations up already so I am really getting into the holiday spirit. I can't wait to work on my 'Best of 2015' post :D

I thought I would talk about Xmas beauty gifts, been watching so many YouTube videos about them lately. I don't tend to buy a lot of beauty gifts for other people because no one else is really that fussed in my friends circle (bunch of hippie ecologists), but I do like to buy them for myself! This year however I've only managed to buy one gift set so far for myself; I thought I would buy it before it sold out because it is a most excellent set! I got mine in Asda for £10 however you can also get it online at

The packaging may be plain....

..but there is gold inside! :)
I maybe don't rave enough about the Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo eye shadows. I should. The "Pink Gold" colour has been my go-to eyeshadow for the last 2 years, and I've just discovered a new favourite in their Creamy Mattes collection, "Creme de rose". It is a slightly pinky concealer type colour, and it's matte. It makes your eyes look flawless on it's own, or it is a kick-ass base for powder shadows! Love it!

Anyway, the Nude Perfection gift set contains another of the Creamy Mattes - "Creamy Beige". It was what drew my eye to the set. It is a darker shade than "Creme de rose" and will likely look awesome blended in the crease and outer corner of the eye! The set also contains a nude nail polish ("Latte"), a Colorsensational Lipstick in the colour "Tantalising Taupe" and a transparent version of the excellent BrowDrama! All products are full size, and even with the £15 pricetag, I think this is a killer set! Not one of these will be sad in the 'unused' part of my makeup stash as I'm on a nude high right now :)

Anyway I have my eye on some other sets which I am hoping will make it into the Boxing Day/January sales (yes, this year I will be going to the sales on Boxing Day!). What gift sets are on your wish list?? :)

*this is NOT a sponsored post - I bought this myself, although if anyone from Maybelline wanna send me another one for my birthday, they're more than welcome!*

Tuesday 24 November 2015

NOTD: Ciate "Island Hopping"

I was looking through my untried Helmer drawer and came across this. Can't believe I've never used it! It's my perfect glowy orange red,  with lots of glassfleck to cheer up any day!

I did 2 coats here and topped it with Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. I think I could have done another coat quite happily, it's a bit sheer still. But I am not complaining,  it's amazingly hot and have definitely cheered up this dull day!  :)

Friday 20 November 2015

REVIEW: Collection #BlushAndGlow palette and NOTD!

Collection has done it again!! I finally got my hands on this palette - I wanted to see what other people thought of it when it first came out, so didn't get it. Mistake. I then had to wait for it to be restocked because it seems everyone and their auntie loves this palette!! And rightly so!

All these shades work for my skin tone (neutral) but it may not work for everyone. I think it will be exclusively used by fair to medium skin, some of these shades may look ashy on darker skins.

From left: bronzer, matte blush, shimmer blush, highlighter

Look at the #BlushAndGlow! :)
The bronzer is meant to be more of a contour but used with a light hand it is a perfect bronzer. And it isn't orange, woohoo! :) The shimmer blush (darker shade) is amazing and makes you glow like crazy; perfect for my dull winter pallor! I wasn't sure at first about the matte blush, I thought it was too light for me? BUT it is a supernatural flush which is perfect for a 'I woke up like this' look! The highlighter seems like a powder version of my beloved Collection Speedy Highlighter stick and bleands so well onto the cheek for an awesome glow! :) So I am glad I finally got my hands on this - I might have to buy another one as a backup!

This palette is exclusive to Boots and costs £4.99, go get it now if you want it! It just reaffirms how much I just love Collection. Super-affordable but fields some of my most favourite ever makeup like the holy grail Lasting Finish concealer and the new Speedy Highlighter!

I am travelling all weekend to see my friends and family down south so did a sparkly pink NOTD to cheer myself up, as there is snow (read: traffic problems) forecast. Again, I cannot believe that Sephora polishes are made in the UK but not sold here??? So p*sses me off :(

Anyway, this is Sephora Formula X "Astrolady" again, only 1 coat. Yes, that's right - 1 coat! I bought this in the Sephora in Stockholm last Xmas, wish I was going back there this Xmas :) Or better, Sephora opened in the UK. That would be even better.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

NOTD: OPI "Baby it's coal outside"

I have been so busy lately!!! I cannot wait for the Xmas break, I will be having 2 weeks off to do fun things! We had a reminder of winter here today as Metoffice decided to put out a 'snow' forecast for Saturday. I will be driving south for the weekend to visit friends and their new baby so I am anxious the weather isn't too bad :O

Anyhow. On Sunday after spending all day in the rain surveying for badgers I decided I wanted a Xmas polish to cheer me up. I chose this one, a very chic black glitter from OPI from the Xmas collection "Holiday in toyland" from 2008. That's right, 7 years ago... If like me that makes you nostalgic, you can read my original post here!

I did 2 coats over my Bourjois base coat and then a slick of the Bourjois top coat. It is smooth to apply and nicely opaque but not bumpy! Love this polish a lot :) This photo was taken today and only slight tipwear from yesterday after a lot of typing!

Tuesday 3 November 2015


Happy 1000th Post!!

So it finally happened - 7 years after I started my blog I've actually posted 1,000 times :) I was wondering what I would do. So I decided to bake a fancy Swedish cake for the occasion! Do you have any idea how hard it is to dyed and roll out marzipan?.. I dare you to try it... Anyway it tasted amazing. It's called a Swedish Princess Cake and it's a thing, in case you've not watched Great British Bake Off. It's traditionally green but pink is definitely better!

I want to give huge thank you to all my readers (and as of more recently, viewers) who visit my blog and hopefully finds worthwhile reviews and nuggets of beauty gold! I am definitely hoping for more years of blogging as I do really love it :) I am not one of those bloggers who make millions, nor is it my job (I work fulltime). I write my blog because I love beauty and nails, and I love to share wisdom and new discoveries! :)

So I thought what I would write about for this special post? In a moment of insanity thought could I list 1,000 beauty products? Or nail polish colours? Then it occurred to me that both suggestions would be rather dull. So I settled on giving my views on 3 beauty things I didn't think could ever possibly become so popular or 'mainstream' as they are now when I started my blog in 2008! And here they are...

We're talking everyone wearing nail polish and nail art. Girls, women, grandma's, men! They're all at it. Millions are now spent on nail related things every year. Collector's editions abound. All the lifestyle sections of newspapers have nail articles. And yet when I started, only a passionate few ladies frequented the Nail Care Board and talked nails... I collected nail polish before it was 'cool'. Like from 1989 onwards. Still have that oldest bottle too.

We all have them but now you've not lived unless you endure eyebrow waxes every a month and do daily filling in with chosen product and bit of maintenance tweezing. Can't even leave the bedroom without at least a brush through. Skinny or full, we want them perfect. If you've never been to a brow bar, you're clearly weird, right? There are even instructional books on eyebrow shaping, filling in, whatevah, in case all the gazillions (well around 490,000) of YouTube videos wasn't enough.

I mean really. Who really believes that a Kardashian contour looks like natural cheek bones when your walking around the supermarket or sitting at your desk?... People secretly wonder if your spouse is beating you because you have such poorly blended cheek contouring and they think it's a covered-over bruise (it happened to an acquaintance of mine). Or your husband goes 'There's a bunch of birthday card glitter on your cheek'. No. Just stop. I think we should just leave contouring and OTT highlighting (strobing) to the makeup artists for photo shoots.

What is the makeup trend you thought was just a passing fad but is now established as 'must do'?

Monday 2 November 2015

NOTD: Orly "Glam Rock"

I asked the Husband what colour I should wear on my nails and I guess he said bronze because he thought I didn't have any bronze nail polishes. Pah! As if.

This is a matte polish from Orly, some years old now, and it's a bronzey gold shimmer. It's a very autumnal colour :)

I did 2 coats here over my Bourjois Gel base coat, and it wasn't acting like a crackle polish like some of my other mattes when put on a shiny base coat. No top coat, of course, it dries quick to a velvety finish so there is no need!

Love this, reminds me of the walk we had on Sunday - a crisp, cool and sunny autumn morning! :) One of my favourites...

On our walk on Sunday we saw lots of these awesome wee critters hanging around bird feeders - our threatened native red squirrel! :)

Sunday 1 November 2015

Hair cut and Haul Video!

Soooo I finally had a hair cut. And a drastic one at that. I kept getting asked in the salon who had done my beautiful ombre hair colour?? At first I was ashamed so I pretended not to hear what they said, then I admitted that it's just a grown out, home colour bleach... Ahem. And I call myself a beauty blogger.

I am finally wearing my Shu Uemura Shupette lip palette - it's the dark plummy one. They are such a nice formula and look great as they wear off. And I think I am falling in love with my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel foundation again now that I am back to being pale - it's the best foundation I've used in years! ❤

After my hair cut I had a splurge during late night shopping Thursday and so I did a Haul Video for ya'll!

Saturday 31 October 2015

BEAUTY TALK: Products I don't get

Let's talk about those beauty products you hate. Those that don't work for you,  or you just don't like the idea of. I'll give you my top 3:

1) Liquid Eyeliner
In the immortal words of Sweet Brown "ain't nobody got time for that!" YouTube is full of beauty bloggers who appear to have endless time to get ready in the morning and put on winged eyeliner. That ain't me.

2) False Eyelashes
Again the above quote applies. Unless you have endless hours to get ready and can fit on individual lashes to make it look natural, these are just not very attractive. At best you end up looking like someone on The Only Way is Essex and wearing too much liquid eyeliner, at worst you'll look like you crushed a spider on your eye or get glue in your eye... No. Just no. 

3) In - shower Moisturiser
Two words - f*ckin' lethal. Turns your bath or shower into a slip n slide and after nearly killing yourself getting out, your skin don't actually seem very moisturised. Don't go there.

So, what's you beauty products you just don't get???

PS don't get me started on deodorants that supposedly 'makes your armpits beautiful' >:(

Monday 26 October 2015

MASK MONDAY: H&M Face Mask "Kiwi and Watermelon" review

H&M face mask haul
So I've now designated Mondays as "Mask Mondays". I found I have a stash of various face masks which needs using up so here it is, a new regular feature on the blog!

This is part of a face mask haul I did recently when I wanted to buy some basics from H&M for work. These are single application, priced £1.99 each, which is about a pound more expensive than my all-time fave single use face mask brand Montagne Jeunesse.

H&M Kiwi + Watermelon out of it's paper packaging
So neat-o looking packaging aside it is actually pretty good to use with a face mask brush (I am a trained beauty therapist, old habits die hard...). Just dip the brush in and apply goo to face! :)

This is what the sales blurb is: Relax and let this self-warming mask open pores and draw out dirt while kiwi, watermelon and pear leave your skin sweetly scented. For combination skin.

The mask is avocado green and smells rather pleasantly fruity, maybe like pears but I'll go for the more generic 'fruity'. It has a very warm self-heating action immediately as you apply it to wet skin but the long-term self heating is much more pleasant.

I had to sit with my face over the sink - the mask seriously drips! Not sure I've experienced that before? It even kind of slides down on your cheeks and forehead as time goes on?.. It doesn't dry/congeal at all and stays wet and drippy through the  recommended time which equals bored as hell with my face over the sink for 10-15 minutes... :(

And the result? Skin feels soft and fresh - will see if it's cleared up some of the pesky little spots on my temple tomorrow! :) Pleasant experience - now for some new The Muppets!

NOTD: H&M "Science Fiction"

And we're back on the H&M nail polishes again :) This is one of the ones I thought would be quite duochrome from the website photos. Not entirely so... It does has a slight blue 'flip' but this is undetectable in most lights :(

AND whilst painting I remembered an old H&M polish called "Lady Luck" I have - it's pretty much identical?? Has there just been some sneaky repackaging, possibly? I couldn't find it in my Helmers for a comparison but pretty sure it will be very similar in real life.

Anyway it's a nice-looking teal shimmer, can be a bit brushstroke-y if you're not careful but it's a decent polish. This is 2 coats with a coat of Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. But not a duochrome by any description. I think the website needs updating with actual bottle shots, not the current concept images. Should teach me not to buy before I see actual swatches... "Peacock" was the other polish I thought was going to be very different from what it actually was - maybe I thought that it would be more like "Science Fiction", come to think of it. As you may have seen in my NOTD post on "Peacock", it's a creme!!

It'll do for a Monday I guess! :)

Tuesday 20 October 2015

NOTD: H&M "Regalia"

So I am officially very impressed with H&M new range of nail polishes! I did say in my previous posts about the new range that I find the price point on these possibly £1 too much? But the quality is definitely great so far so I guess you get a lot for your £3.99! What I am trying to say is that I am just really cheap ðŸ˜œ

I wanted to get this in my original H&M haul but it was out of stock, so when I wanted some basics for work I was happy to see it was back in stock - and so was some new face masks (more on those in another post, ahem...).

This is 2 coats of purple awesomeness with a slick of Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. The formula on this one is very opaque and you need a decisive hand to apply it but it gives great self-levelling finish. I struggle to photograph this amazing polish - it has a secretive glow to it that makes it come alive on the nail! But it also scatters the light and makes all my photos quite blurry?

It is just so dark and moody and perfect for autumn! This is definitely going to be in my Top Ten Nail Polishes this year! It is just as amazing as I hoped it was ðŸ˜ In fact I might need to get another one of these as a backup...

Saturday 17 October 2015

NOTD: Lottie London "Just Dance" and new video!

My favourite Superdrug had had a serious makeover last time I was there, and they now stock a range of new brands such as Lottie London and theBalm. With all new shelving units and.. *faints* I have decided I am not allowed to go there now until Xmas or I might spend a lot of money. Anyway...

I did come away with this nail polish from Lottie London, it looks awesome in the bottle so I bought it. I know these are meant to be a bit more 'boutique' than Rimmel etc but I think the £5.99 price tag i a bit on the steep side?.. maybe I am just too cheap? Good thing I had £1 off with Superdrug loyalty points!

There are a lot of cremes in the colour selection, but there are also some more edgy affairs such as the glittery "To and frow" and a small particle black holo glitter called "Adorbs". I am clearly old as I had to Google 'adorbs' to find out what the hell it was...

  1. arousing great delight; cute or adorable.
    "all the pets are totally adorbs"

So saying 'adorable' is now so clearly uncool. Please don't use it or you will be labelled as 'old'. My mission is to use this phrase at least once next week!

I digress. They also do a couple of duochromes, of which this is one! I struggle to get good shots of duochromes on the nails. The actual colour on the nail is a more gradual version of the bottle colour. It's very glimmery and again one of those polishes you probably shouldn't wear at work as you end up staring at your nails :)

I did 3 coats here, I find these types of polishes are relatively sheer but that means you get more bling! It has a nice formula and a good brush so doing 3 coats wasn't such a chore. I topped it off with Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. Looks so lovely - like a tree with blazing autumn leaves :) I like it and might try a couple of other polishes from the range at some point!

Oh and I did a video on some new bargains I've got lately, but I did it before I went to Superdrug so this particular polish isn't in it, but a bunch of other stuff is :)

Wednesday 14 October 2015

BEAUTY LAB: Co-Washing

I admit I have batted the whole co-washing trend away with 'it's just glorified 2-in-1 shampoo' for a while. But early summer my hair was going crazy. It's always been dry but last winter it was so dry and frizzy that I at one point considered cutting it all off and I just couldn't face that again this winter... Luckily the moment passed before the deed was done!

Of course there is the whole fear that co-washing is just for curly girls, not blonde, fine Scandinavian hair. That by day 2 my hair will look like that of the evil girl from the well in the movie "The Ring", lanky, greasy and flat.

"Co-washing" has up until now been some kind of mythical thing that celebrities do. And the available brands that do a cleansing conditioner reflects that. I think it is rather outrageous that most of these cleansing conditioners are priced about £20-30. I suppose most come in a larger volume than the brand's usual shampoo+conditioners (usually between 400-500ml) and it is two products rolled into one, but come on. I don't even pay that for a foundation. One of the most popular brands of cleansing conditioner seems to be Wen, but at £27 or so, it's too pricey for me. Also more brands need to start doing their co-washes in sample sizes that don't cost £5 for 30ml (I'm looking at you, Ojon) that way you can try before you buy, because I suspect it's not for everyone!

In fact I'm surprised none of the the high street brands have got on to this trend, like L'Oreal/Pantene?..

How to do it
You will be using a lot of product. The stuff does not lather. At all. Start with soaking wet hair, and I mean soaking. Pump 5-6 pumps of product into your palm and massage this thoroughly into the top and sides, including the scalp. The wetter your hair is the better the stuff spreads and cleans. Wet your lengths and then massage another 5 pumps (depending on how long your hair is) into the lengths. Let it sit until you have done all your other washing (at least 2 minutes). Rinse and massage at the same time, wetting hair as you go along. You will need to rinse properly but you will soon be able to tell when it's enough.

I had heard somewhere that you should alternate the co-washing with normal shampooing, so I did. Within a few washes, things were looking better... I've now been doing it for a few months and things are awesome! I've officially not had a hair cut for over a year but hair is still looking good!

High Street / Drugstore Products
So even if you're in the UK there are alternatives if you don't want to fork out for more expensive brands! I surfed around to find a cleansing conditioner that didn't cost £20+ and I found Palmer's Olive Oil Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, which can be purchased from several online retailers for about £5.99 for 470ml. It has some decent reviews so I thought - why not! I wasn't enamoured with the smell at first, but it doesn't really linger so that was OK.

Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
Recently I found that Superdrug have launched their own brand cleansing conditioners! :) AND it's 2 for £6 at the moment but at RRP £4.99 it's not going to kill you at regular price either. So of course I got them both. They are slightly smaller 300ml bottles but you should get decent mileage! They both smell amazing and the scent lingers nicely but isn't overpowering.

Superdrug Hair Therapy Cleansing Conditioner
So what's the verdict? I decided to go shampoo free every other wash in the name of beauty science and it is a success, even though I have fine Scandi hair :) It's now part of my routine and long may my hair thrive! I think almost everyone with long hair can get on with the shampoo free wash, if your hair is very greasy you could shampoo the crown and use cleansing conditioner on the lengths! I wouldn't bother with it if you have bob length or short hair though.

Have you already tried co-washing? What did you think??

Monday 12 October 2015

NOTD: Nails Inc "Notting Hill Gate"

Here's another freebie for ya'll - free with this November's Glamour (UK edition) magazine! There's also a black, red and nude version to pick up. I love the free Nails Incs, they're actually pretty much always the same awesome shades they sell in their normal range, just very affordable (Glamour magazine is £2 this month).

What can I say about this, there's nothing to dislike here!? I went for the pink, of course, what else? :) This is 2 butter smooth coats with Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. I feel I should be going for more autumnal reds but I just couldn't pass on this today; there's always time for hot pink!

Sunday 11 October 2015

REVIEW: L'Oreal Elvive Nutri-Gloss Luminiser range

So I am officially the girl who've not had a hair cut for a year and 2 months... But my hair is OK actually. I bought this a while back when Superdrug had Nutri-Gloss Luminiser range half price (less than £8 for the whole set). These promotions come up regularly in various shops so be on the look-out if you think this sounds like something for you!

The range uses what L'Oreal call 'glycogel' which is supposed to "help hair look perfectly polished with 48hr show-stopping shine". A bit like top coat for your hair if you like. It is also sports a clarifying action, so beware of this if your hair is very dry/damaged. The smell is best described as 'fresh' and lasts well in your hair without being overpowering.

And what did I think about it now after using it for a while? It's good! The shampoo isn't for those who have a lot of damage - I find the clarifying action of the shampoo can be a bit harsh. The conditioner is lovely and light and gives a beautiful shine. And the Miracle Shine Booster spray is marvellous!! The Miracle Shine Booster spray could be used by anyone who wants a mirror finish to their hair, even if you are not using the shampoo and conditioner. Just use it wisely - on occasion I have sprayed on too much and it has become rather lanky after a couple of hours... As a finisher, you could just spray some of it on your palms and run your hands through your hair, that is the ideal way to get used to how much you need.

I would definitely repurchase this; I tend to flit between ranges but this I've used this every other wash now for a good month and a bit (I use cleansing conditioner in between 'shampoo' washes). The hair looks lovely, very healthy and shiny! :) Me likey - but I promise I will book in for a hair cut soon...

Tuesday 6 October 2015

NOTD: China Glaze "Emotion" and some new stuff!

So I was undecided on what to wear so I just did a blind dip into my China Glazes and I picked this one out at random. It's from their Romantique collection of 2008, a collection of metallic polishes. These are excellent for stamping, if anyone remembers that craze? :)

I used 1 coat here (hence why they are great for stamping) and my new Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. It is a soft metallic pink that would probably flatter most people. I feel fairly 'safe' with these nails but that's not always a bad thing. It isn't as unflattering to imperfect nails as some chromes either, all good really!
And now for something completely different.

If you have been dying to try the trend for co-washing, Superdrug has now come to your aid! They have just launched two Cleansing Conditioners, one for coloured hair (pink bottle) and one for dry hair (green bottle). They are 300ml so you should get decent mileage out of them if using every other wash as instructed. I am very excited! I've got on well with my Palmers' Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner, but these are so affordable and smell so amazing I just couldn't help myself :) And they are on 2 for £6 at the moment! I will report back on the actual results of using these next week once I've given them a go, so stay tuned! I did say a while back I was going to do a Beauty Lab on co-washing, so I might as well actually do it now :)

Wednesday 30 September 2015

NOTD: Barry M Gelly Limited Edition "Sparkling Ruby"

I love the Barry M limited editions - they usually do different ones for Superdrug and Boots and because they are so popular they always present a bit of a hunt :) One even made it into my Top Ten one year! "Sparkling Ruby" is exclusive to Superdrug, I believe. This is their first glitter Gelly polishes, and this one is definitely a win!

It does look a bit like China Glaze "Ruby Pumps" but not glass-fleck, more micro-glitter? This is 2 coats with a coat of my new Bourjois 3D Gel Top Coat. It was nice and smooth to apply and the glitter distributes easily. I am actually on Day 3 of this polish and it's not showing any wear!

Seriously love this!! I have had so many comments on this polish, it really catches peoples' eye. The funniest one was the lady restocking the Superdrug Barry M display today who said "Oh that's such a nice nail polish you've got on!" to which I pointed to the one she had just put on the shelves and said "It's that one...". Hilarious, she clearly hadn't looked at the ones she was loading on the shelf.

So Barry M, make more of the glitter Gelly polishes please :) A green and a gold one perhaps for Xmas??

Friday 25 September 2015

NOTD: H&M "Peacock"

This is another of the new H&M nail polishes that are just making their way into the shops! I bought this thinking it was a shimmer teal/blue, the image on the website is very misleading. But the colour is still nice, just not what I thought it would be. There aren't enough swatches of these polishes out there yet to be able to choose the colour confidently online.

I did 2 coats here, it is actually more of a 'crelly' than a creme polish. I also used a new top coat! I love the Bourjois So perfect! Texture Gel base coat, and when I bought a new one a few weeks ago, I saw they are now doing a 3D Gel Top Coat to go with it. I snapped it up as well as I am running out of Seche Vite.

The new top coat is fairly quick drying (but not top speed like Seche Vite/Megashine) and VERY shiny and plump looking! I will give this a good run and see how it performs and then do an update for you.

Also heads up to the hottest green coming this autumn - Barry M Gelly "Black Pistachio". It is dead on dupe for Illamaqua's "Rampage". Hopefully with a better formula! I haven't got a bottle yet as the only bottle on offer was broken in my Superdrug, but it looks amazing :) Barry M also have to luscious limited edition colours in Superdrug right now, a red and a purple glitter in their Gelly line. I've got the red and I will be doing that for Tuesday I think!
Image: Copyright Barry M (2015)