Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Favourite Nail Polishes & Manicure Tools

L-R: Barry M Nail Paint in "Raspberry",  Barry M Nail Paint in "Berry", Sephora by OPI in "It's My Pink", 17 Nail Polish in "Sulk", Forever 21 Love & Beauty Nail Polish in "Hot Pink".

For a girl who always has her nails painted, I have a surprisingly small collection of nail polishes. I see some blogs with photos of hundreds of polishes in every colour, glitter, crackle and make, but my collection barely reaches the 30 mark. 

But that doesn't mean that I don't have some real gems! I don't really buy into the expensive nail polish fad, and tend to keep my money saved for more expensive makeup, but I'm a big believer that you don't have to break the bank to find some great polishes! I love Barry M polishes, they have every colour under the sun, including crackle and croc top coats, big and small glitters and even the new magnetic polishes. The brush is the perfect width (for my nails anyway) and I only need one or maybe two coats (depending on the colour) to leave my nails looking immaculate. Forever 21 do great polishes as well, although I've never seen them in European stores, and my collection of their polishes were all bought in North Carolina and New York. The photo above doesn't do justice but that "hot pink" is actually NEON pink which I think will be PERFECT with tanned skin.

Despite all the pastel hype, I think this might be my go-to colour for this summer. "Sulk" by 17 is a gorgeous colour - what I like to call a "mermaid" shade! A greeny, deep turquoise "chromatic" finish looks great on my nails and really makes my silver rings stand out more. Costing only £2-3, you can't really go wrong, and the colour reminds me of a deep ocean which sends me off into my own little summer holiday fantasy :-)

But no nails are complete without the mandatory upkeep! Again, Forever 21 (which seem to sell everything!) do a range of manicure sets and tools, and both my cuticle cutters and 6-sided nail file/buffer couldn't have cost more than £3 each from that glorious shop. Cutipen is a great little tool that you can buy in Boots at around the £6 mark, with a white cream that when applied to cuticles, helps dissolve them, and then a pointed tip (much like a pen!) that helps you scrape off the excess. Superdrug do their own brand of cuticle oil which has a brush soaked in the oil, easy to apply to each finger nail if they need a little softening, and then a rigid point which helps push cuticles back. Finally, there's the Mavala ridge filler, available in Boots for around the £5 mark. As someone who drank nothing but milk for their entire childhood (blame the Irish mother!) I was so surprised to find some ridges in one of my finger nails (which shows a lack of calcium) so I picked up this little baby which is like a nail polish that you paint over the ridges to create a smoother nail finish, leaving your nails ready to paint your favourite colour.

So these are all my "go to" products when I'm having a pamper session for my hands and feet!

Have you used any of these? What are your favourite products and polishes for manicures and pedicures?

:) X

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Reign of the Stain

If you've been paying attention to my blogposts or Youtube videos for the past few months, you'll know how head-over-heels I am with lip stains. But to be honest I'm not sure why.

A series of highstreet makeup brands have released a few lipstains and needless to say I've tried a good handful of them. Maybelline, NYC, Revlon and 17 have been my picks, and in fact the only one I think I haven't tried at the Max Factor ones.

L-R: Maybelline "Tender Rose", NYC "Persistent Pink", NYC "Forever Freesia", Revlon "Passion", 17 "Sleepover", 17 "Smokin' Hot".

Unfortunately, I think it's the idea of the lipstain that I love more, rather than the lipstain itself. A pigmented colour on your lips that would (hopefully!) stain it, so you wouldn't have to reapply. No heavy feeling of a creamy lipstick on your lips, constantly worrying that it's rubbed onto your teeth. No sticky feeling from a lipgloss that your hair sticks to. A lipstain in theory would be the perfect product!

But in the end it isn't. For one, the Maybelline lipstains smell like heaven, but have zero staying power. NYC are slightly better at staying on your lips, but they leave my lips as dry as the Sahara desert. Revlon are definitely a VAST improvement, providing a lipbalm at the end of the stain, and the pigmentation of the colours is much stronger than the others. But then there are the 17 lipstains, and these babies definitely win the crown! High pigmentation, a lipbalm on the end, and finally, a lasting power that's almost annoying! It won't come off! HA!

I don't think the lipstain will ever take over as the "new lipstick" or "new lipgloss" but they're still a great little gem to have in your personal makeup collection. I'm surprised that the higher-end brands haven't jumped on the lipstain band wagon (unless they have and I haven't noticed?) but maybe that's because there's so much trouble with getting a good mix to make the perfect product! 
Regardless, I still love my little collection and will be wearing them all summer :)

What are your thoughts? 
:) X

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Latest Beauty Buys!

Long time no blog!

Apologies for the lack of posting and such, but the boyfriend came to stay in Brussels for a week and now I'm in Bristol at his house for a week before we both head back to Uni for one last hurrah next Tuesday. It really is one last hurrah this time because come September 2012, I'll have a degree and a Masters! I can't handle any more education haha.

SO! Onto my latest buys!

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Makeup Remover

Obviously the most raved about product in the blogging and YouTube world at the moment. And with good cause! Designed for the most sensitive skin, this water-based makeup remover glides across your skin like, well, water! I absolutely agree with every positive review this has gotten, but as someone who lives on the continent, in a country where this is readily available, I plan to do a separate post and YouTube video on the truth about this product, because some people have been telling porkies about its availability and price!

Liz Earle Eye Bright Soothing Eye Lotion

Everyone knows the Cleanse and Polish but as I was searching for a good product to sweep across my eyes every day, I decided to bypass the well known Origins and Clinique eye products and go back to my old bestie Liz Earle. At about £10 a pop, you can't go wrong! This product is so lovely and soothing on my face, and really wakes my eyes up in the morning. (And by "morning" I mean 2pm ha!)

VIVO Baked Bronzer and Blusher

Everyone has been raving about this Tesco brand (what?! yes!) but the only Tesco in Canterbury s a little one which doesn't sell their range :( but today in Bristol in quite possibly the BIGGEST TESCO IN THE WORLD, I came across these beauties and couldn't resist! Baked blusher in "Peaches and Cream" makes me drool and gives a perfect pale coral shimmer on my cheeks. The baked bronzer in "Healthy Glow" reminds me of MAC's "Soft And Gentle" but at quite literally a fifth of the price! Although not as heavily pigmented as hoped, it's still a lovely product which I'll be wearing every day until I finally get a real tan on my face, when I'll swap to my Topshop Sunbeam highlighter to really make my cheeks pop :D

Clinique Anti Blemish Spot Treatment Gel

I first saw this on Alix's YouTube Channel I Covet Thee (which is an amazing channel by the way, and if you're not subscribed then you're STUPID) on her Skincare Routine Video. She said that this simple gel when applied to your spots would literally ZAP them overnight! I guess I took her too seriously because I woke up the next morning after layering it onto my spots, only to find that my skin was still yuck :( but it does dry up the skin around the spot and reduce redness, effectively getting rid of them in a few days, and you only have to use the SMALLEST amount on your skin, so the bottle will last ages! £12.50 well spent! Thanks Alix!

I love all of my new products yayyy! Have you girls tried any of them out? 

:) X