Friday 29 May 2015

NOTD: China Glaze "Don't Desert Me"

I was litter picking in the rain all morning today as part of Scotland's Nature Festival and after warming up with some spicy curry I decided I wanted a nice bright manicure for going bumblebee surveying tomorrow! It's also the Husband's birthday party tomorrow night and this manicure will dress up any outfit :)

This is from China Glaze's summer 2015 collection Desert Escape. It's the standout shade in the collection, a bright fuchsia shimmer. This is 2 coats. Don't be alarmed about initial brushstrokes, these will mostly level themselves out as it settles on the nail. I added a coat of Seche Vite for quick dry finish and safeguard it through ecological stuff tomorrow!

Love this polish, I think this might become a staple pedicure this summer!! :)

Your bonus photo is of one of the Bottlenose Dolphins that frequents then entrance of Aberdeen harbour, as seen from the Torry Battery where we were doing the litter pick today!

Photo by Ewen Cameron (Scottish Natural Heritage)

Monday 25 May 2015

NOTD: Mavala Garden Party Collection "Begonia"

My mum got this for me! Maybe it's a hint she wants me to wear less green, more pink ;) As if. Despite being a bit muted pink and generally safe, this is a very nice polish. It is a dusky cool pink with a very secretive shimmer to it, which is sadly invisible in most light. The opacity and application on this polish was excellent; this is 2 thin coats. I love the finished product, despite being 'safe' and rather sophisticated. The polish is very shiny in it's own right but for quick dry purposes I put on a coat of Seche Vite. Love it! :)

Thursday 21 May 2015

GUEST POST: African Black Soap!

This is another guest post from my bestie Zombiebunny, who has clearly reached her ultimate stage of Goth by using only black soap! :) African black soap is touted as a 'wonder product' and contains ash from plantain and cocoa pods as well as large amounts of shea butter. This is what Zombiebunny has to say about it:

Liquid soap on the left, bar soap on the right (it's actually black!)
I have combination skin and I have been using African black soap (from Shea Terra Organics) for a period of time now to cleanse it. I have tried both the liquid soap with Rose Hip oil and the bar. They both smell earthy and natural and really cleanse your skin thoroughly. It makes it squeaky clean and soft, but also a bit dry in places. Especially if left on for a while as a facial mask as recommended. I stopped leaving it on and my skin stopped drying out.

Before I started using the soap I had the occasional acne break out and when I first started using the soap it got a bit worse, but that was to be expected as it draws out all the crap in your skin. I still get my mild hormonal acne during certain times of the month, but the other break outs are all but gone. Within two weeks of using the soap the initial break outs disappeared and my skin looked and felt cleaner and softer. It really feels deep pore cleansing.

I don't think I would recommend African black soap to anyone with dry to very dry skin, as it would probably only dry it out more. Whatever skin type you have you should use a good moisturizer after washing with the soap for supersoft skin.

My skin has never felt cleaner or softer - the African black soap has me hooked!

Wednesday 20 May 2015

NOTD: Rimmel 60 Sec "Bee a Honey"

I was casually perusing the shelves in Boots before I picked up my hire car on Sunday and I came across this bright polish, a yellow I haven't seen for a while! I think the last yellow like this I saw was Topshop "Summit". Like "Summit", "Bee a Honey" is a creamy yellow which is very retro looking, like I imagine a vintage 1960s mini dress yellow :) It's bright but wearable!

Being a yellow, I had some issues with the formula, it was rather unwieldy and wanted to streak. If you're careful you still get a good result though. I used thicker coats. I did 2 coats here and slicked on a coat of Seche Vite. I love this amazing colour, it just brightens any weather :)

I am not sure if this is part of the core collection or some kind of limited/seasonal collection? I haven't seen it before and I am a regular makeup stand stalker...

Saturday 16 May 2015

What's in my travel bag??

I am going away for a training course over night so I was packing all my stuff. It gets bulky when you're needing to pack Personal Protective Equipment (hard hat, waterproofs, hi viz stuff, boots etc) as well as your 'essentials' so other than PPE, I pack light. I thought you might want to see my super-minimal makeup kit and washbag!  And believe me, it is minimal! The background to the below photo is my awesome Craghoppers pink fleece - my husband says it scares away the wildlife :)

I just love the Aussie 2-in-1 shampoo, it's nourishing but light effect is just what tired travel hair needs. I am showing you the actual bottle because it looks nice in the photo but I decant the shampoo into a small travel bottle for bringing with me. My fine hair is still great the next day so I just do a squirt of dry shampoo, I swear by Batiste Dry Shampoo. I went for 'Cherry' the last time I bought it, normally I'm a 'Tropical' kinda gal :) I have gotten various miniature shower gels from The Body Shop from friends over the years and I keep refilling them with whatever shower gel I am currently using. This one oddly is actually what it says on the bottle; Papaya. I use whatever mini toothpastes I find in the house, as Husband travels a lot in his job too, he usually buys them. This is some kind of weird liquid-y Theramed. I have been using Superdrug's travel toothbrushes for as long as I can remember, they work great and store beautifully compact without sogginess. I use Nivea Soft cream as it can be used everywhere and is nice and light! I prefer a deodorant with some oomph when I am travelling so usually have these mini spray ones. This one is Sure Crystal. I apologise but it appears I left Simple Moisturising Face Wash out of the photo - it's safely in my wash kit now!

What about makeup? Well, I don't need much really. Because my skin is good (minimal crow's feet and some redness) I don't feel I need an arsenal of stuff but of course that's a personal preference. I have opted for my luxury trial size bareMinerals Bare Skin Serum Foundation, it has such a nice natural coverage and it applies well with just my fingers. Of course, I always pack my mighty Collection Lasting Concealer. And since I have two trial size Benefit Rollerlash I decided that was coming. And of course, you *need* a long-wear, nude eye shadow, so I packed my fave Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo, this is in the shade 'Pink Gold'. And you should never be without a good lip balm, ever, so I pack a Burt's Bees Original wherever I go! And that's it. Do you travel this light, or lighter? Or are you an oversized luggage traveller?

And of course, for any travel you need a hot manicure. So I did Essie 'Chastity' which I got from my Mother. It's like a cooler pink version of my all-time fave Essie pink, 'Lovie Dovie'. This is 2 coats and Seche Vite top coat. I love how it pops, and it's so super-shiney! :) I did get a little 'thin' patch on my pinkie from not waiting for the base coat to dry but the formula on this is great!

Oh and last but not least, has anyone tried this palette from Sleek?? I spotted it today and wanted it, but I am not very adventurous with eye shadow nowadays so it would just be a waste of money. But it looks so lush! :) I found that ReallyRee has a good review with nice swatches!

Friday 8 May 2015

NOTD: Barry M Speedy "Pole Position"

I scored some new Barry M stuff while I was shopping with my brother the other day. They have some new cream blush sticks which I couldn't help getting - I will review it next week :) "Pole Position" was one of the new offerings for spring and is a warm mint green colour.

This polish offered a really horrible first coat! So very sticky and streaky, I nearly took it straight off. Then I added the 2nd coat and it did smooth out the first mess a bit and it looks quite opaque. I added a coat of Seche Vite, which seems to have smoothed it a bit more and added super gloss to an already glossy finish. The final product is OK, but I am in pain about the application. Possibly this is too fast drying? Or maybe it is too pastel? The colour is lovely however and it will definitely do for tomorrow's watervole surveying! :)

Thursday 7 May 2015

NOTD: Ciate "Monte Carlo"

I went to see my best old pal, his wife and my so-called faux-nieces yesterday and received a very late birthday present! :) They know me too well - it was two Ciate nail polishes! It may be that my youngest faux-niece might also be obsessed with nails, although she's not allowed to wear actual nail polish, just kids polish. But that hasn't stopped her collecting nail polishes in anticipation of 10 years from now... The first thing she did was proudly show me her light pink (the colour was very meticulously described) manicure! :)

Anyway I decided I wanted to try "Monte Carlo" first. I layered it over a coat of the exceptionally pigmented navy creme Nails Inc "Hanover Sq". I had to dab the polish on a bit to stick the maximum amount of glitter. It is a top coat eater so I put on 2 coats of Seche Vite but it's still kind of bumpy. I predict tears when I remove it but it doesn't matter as it's so pretty! :) I had to take photos of this in the shade, the sun completely washed out the base colour for some reason.

I am going shopping with my li'l bro today and then I am finally going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron in the cinema! :) But I am also hoping to make some new videos today and tomorrow for the YouTube channel so keep your eyes peeled for those!!

Monday 4 May 2015

NOTD: Color Club "Power Play" and some Korean beauty

I am on leave this week so I have some blogging catching up to do! I started off with a bang and went to a BBQ and had my first s'mores! They're a bit weird, nuff said... :)

Anyway I chose a retina-searing manicure to start things off! This isn't as weirdly see-thru as it seems in the photo, it's actually rather opaque in real life. I think the neon colour is throwing off the camera! I did 2 coats here, it dries matte as most neons do so I slicked on some Seche Vite. I just love how purple this is! I love Color Club and think it's a shame it's not sold in the UK in one of the bigger drugstores.

I am currently on my third try of the famed Korean 'sleeping pack' trend! I think my skin looks rather radiant the next morning but the effect only lasts for a day or so. It's supposedly very potent stuff in the mask and you shouldn't use it every night, so it's not a replacement for you night cream! Most makers of these 'sleeping packs' advocate only using it 1-2 times a week. The Koreans are big on samples; I tend to buy sample packs as they are very cheap so there's no big loss if I don't like the product. I got the Tony Moly Intense Care Dual Effect Sleeping Pack this time. It is a kind of a gel formula, feels and looks a bit like Vaseline and it dries to a slightly tacky layer on your skin (it doesn't come off on clothes/bedding). It doesn't really have a smell which is good. I couldn't tell you what the ingredients are as they're not listed on the samples (if they are, it's in Korean).

This is how they market it:
"Intensive dual effect sleeping mask with skin whitening and anti-aging effect. Arbutin, an effective whitening ingredient, provides intensive brightening and whitening effect. Adenosine, an effective anti-aging ingredient, boost the skin's natural Collagen production. Pomegranate extract revitalize the skin, provides antioxidant and locks in essential nutrients and moisture."

Sounds all very promising, although as Caucasian person I am not really in need of the 'whitening' element I guess. I find it a rather strange experience formula-wise but the result the next morning is good - I just wish it lasted longer!

Friday 1 May 2015

Update and NOTD

Sorry, I've been crazy busy lately and so haven't had a lot of time to update! I am off work next week so hoping to catch up on stuff, including filming my Beauty Lab for co-washing and some product reviews :)

I did this manicure after cruising Pinterest in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep because the wind was howling and making the cat scared (he then lies on my chest and purrs loudly...)! It was a very similar sort of design but one nail had pink stripes on white instead.

I was a bit generous with the polish for the pink dots so I had to wait ages to slick on top coat for it to dry. I used Isadora 'Pistaccio' for the green nails, it's a bit of a PITA to apply but I so love the colour! The white polish is NYC One Minute 'Little Italy'. The pink is my old fave Rimmel LycraPRO 'Urban Princess'.

I do like this now, I wasn't so sure when it was freshly done. It wore quite well and I had it on for almost a week. At the moment my hands are super-dry and scaly from crocheting a blanket for my brother's little kitten, so the nails are naked and slathered in cuticle oil!!

Crochet granny square blanket for a girl kitten :)

My Bro loves his little kitten!! :)