Saturday, 28 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: China Glaze "Moonpool"

I actually have a bottle, for realz :) I won this on an eBay auction back in 2009, for a reasonable price (below $30) and have kept it safe ever since. This is probably my "most VHTF" nail polish.

This still applies like a dream out of the bottle due to all sorts of nasty chemicals I am sure, but I got caught out like a rookie by cuticle flooding on one occasion as it's still so fluid! I did 2 coats here and a slick of Seche Vite. It may be a bit brush-strokey but not too bad from a reasonable distance. The golden depth to this polish makes it one of those polishes you just can't stop staring at, lethal if you're bored at work!

It's just the best polish ever. Maybe. I am not sure if I maybe love Rimmel "Arresting" more? I can have two favourites, who says I can't??

So that marks the end of our Vintage Valentine's - a month of vintage nail polish. Hope you have enjoyed some golden oldies and blasts from the past! :)

See all of Polishtopia's Vintage Valentine's over at her blog!

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: Rimmel Play Fast "Camoflage"

Another of my Rimmel Play Fasts - this is the outrageously gorgeous "Camoflage". I have 2 bottles of this, just in case I am ever at risk of running out :)

I got this from a nice lady in a swap from Sweden years ago, and managed to buy a second bottle on eBay. I did 2 coats with Seche Vite. It has a great depth and really glows! I honestly can't say I've come across a polish like this one in another brand which it what makes it so special :)

Stay tuned for my very special last Vintage Valentine's manicure on Friday!!

Happy Factor
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

BEAUTY LAB: Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles

Puffy eyes and dark circles - who needs them? No one that's who. Who gets them? Most people. Unfair? Probably. Fixable? Must be. So I donned my lab coat (well, I wanted to but am still waiting for it to come back from the person I loaned it to) and got stuck into finding you some serious help for these two issues that often go hand in hand.

The proper name for these two conditions is periorbital puffiness/dark circles. The causes of puffy eyes and dark circles is debated, but it is thought that inappropriate diet, lack of sleep, allergies, medications and genetics all play a part. If it is very extreme, it can indicate more serious problems with various organs in the body such as the liver. I want to say here that what I am looking to treat is very mild symptoms that are merely cosmetic and do not link to disease. If you think your puffy eyes/dark circles could be linked to a medical problem, go see your GP.

I adopted a two-pronged approach - treatment and optical illusion.

Firstly I needed to find a product that would a) reduce bags and b) firm the skin of the eye area. A bit of anti-aging action would be good too. And it couldn't cost more than £15-20. I do not believe that there is such a thing as an eye cream that removes dark circles; the darkness is due to the skin being very thin and translucent here so the blood vessels are showing through and the skin gets thinner as you age. Sorry. But the darkness can easily be illuminated by makeup!

Step forth L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Cream! It is within the price range and available in your local drugstore. It promises to replump wrinkles with hyaluronic acid, reduce eye bags with caffeine and firm skin with Pro-XylaneTM. What more do you need? :)

2 weeks later I still have a bit of of a bag but it's a lot less puffy and could only get better with longer use.

For the optical illusion part I decided I would scour the internet for tips on how to disappear bags / circles with makeup. I found several good YouTube videos that seemed like they could be replicated so I went for it. My Wayne Goss attempt wasn't so successful but I think this was due to the product I was using reflected too my flashback (SPF + cameras is never a good thing). My second attempt with Bobbi Browns corrector + concealer kit was a success but the coverage is very heavy and the products tend to melt and crease into my fine lines after a few hours. My own tried and tested method worked well using a long wear concealer and highlighting pen.

The below videos from the Pretty Perfect Beauty YouTube channel showcases the different methods and products used in my Beauty Lab.


  • Don't use a highlighting pen all over you undereye area - this will actually make the bags look bigger (so go easy with the YSL Touche Eclat)!
  • A salmon-beige colour corrector will conceal dark circles but only use over the actual dark, shadowy areas or you may look jaundiced!
  • Apply concealer in a tick box shape from the brow bone inside the top of your nose down to your cheek and then up towards the outer corner of your eye. This is as to not blend too much product in the outer corner of your eye, If you have crow's feet, it may end up creasing in the lines! A lot of darkness also extends further onto your cheek than you think and this technique will make a huge difference.
  • Don't drag/overwork the skin around your eyes whether removing makeup, applying creams or putting on makeup. This will ruin the elasticity of the skin over time leading to more pronounced wrinkles.
  • If you have allergies, get some allergy eye drops from the pharmacy - you will not believe the difference after 7 days! Brightening eye drops (or drops specifically for contact lens wearers) does wonders too!
  • Don't be afraid to try different products/techniques until you find what works for you! :)

Products used in this Beauty Lab (no affiliate links!):
L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Cream
bareMinerals READY SPF20 Foundation "R170"
Makeup Revolution Pro E104 Eyebrow Brush
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer "Cool Medium"
L'Oreal Paris Lumi Magique highlighting pen "Light"
Bobbi Brown Corrector "Bisque"
Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit "Beige"
Synthetic lip brush
Synthetic precision/mini flat top kabuki brush (search 'flat top eye kabuki brush' on eBay)

Monday, 23 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: H&M Steel "Orange Sparkle"

The last week of Vintage Valentine's and I am continuing my foray into the deepest darkest corners of my Helmer drawers :) This is another one of my really old H&M nail polishes, from the late 90s. First I put it on as-is but I actually couldn't cope with the sheerness of it so I layered it over an orange creme, NYC Quick Dry in "Spring Street". That also makes it look a lot more like it does in the bottle. It has a very sheer gel like orange base loaded with gold and orange glitter.

Love this combo!! I am going to put it on my toes for the weekend I think, as I really need something cheerful on my toes right now.

I did 1 coat of "Spring Street", then I applied 2 coats of "Orange Sparkle". This polish is still amazingly fluid and not gloopy at all! :) But it does stink so it's probably all those nasties in there keeping it fresh. I sealed it with a thick layer of Seche Vite as it's a bumpy glitter. And oh my, it sparkles! :)

Happy Factor
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Saturday, 21 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: OPI Designer Series "Extravaganza"

This marvellous polish is still available fairly readily but it was first released in 2007/8! I love this polish - it is super-smooth and glitters beautifully! It's one of the most expensive polishes I own, I think I bought this in Selfridges in London for £18.99 'back in the day'.

I did 2 coats here with Seche Vite top coat to max out the sparkle! I love the 2 Designer Series polishes I have, they look and feel so luxurious I am not really bothered about the price :)

Have you got any of the Designer Series polishes??

Happy Factor
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What's in my drawers?... PALETTES

So I was browsing around YouTube while I was off sick in January looking at videos of people storage solutions, and decided that I needed to tidy up my makeup box. Among other storage for beauty products I have this plastic underbed box which I keep in reasonable order but as time passes one forgets what one has stashed in said box...

It's a lot tidier than it was...
I thought I would show you my stash of everyone's favourite item to collect/hoard/obsess over - the makeup palette.

I tend to only buy palettes that I will use. And that don't cost £35. Therefor you won't see any of the Urban Decay, Too Faced or Smashbox palettes here!

I start off with my favourite one, one I have never used... It's just so beautiful I just usually take it out and look at it :) I doubt any of the colours would suit me, but it just looks so gorgeous :)

Boots Seventeen "Vintage Love" Eye Shadow Palette
To follow on a pastel theme, here is a palette from No7 from a couple of years back, again I am not sure the colours suit me but I have worn this a few times in the summer with a tan.

No7 "Natural Radiance" Eye Shadow Palette
On the flip side of pastels, check out this gothic gem, there are some serious smoky shades here and even though most are too dark for daytime wear I've managed to squeeze a few outings in with this one :)

Seventeen "Glam Rocks" Eye Shadow Palette
So I do have a Stila palette, but this was in the Boots January sales - last one left. It was under a tenner or something ridiculous like that. Some of the shades are very sheer in this palette, I have a review of it here.

Stila "Written in the Stars" Eye Shadow Palette
Now onto the more familiar budget palettes. I have quite a few MUA items, including my favourite eye shadow primer. This is one of their first palettes and it's is a clone of Urban Decay's "Naked" palette. MissBudgetBeauty has a nice comparison on her blog! This one has seen quite a bit of action.

MUA "Undressed" Eye Shadow Palette
And the ever-popular Sleek palettes - this is again one of their first ones. I just love it. It has shimmer throughout (apart from the black) so it is very flattering for older gals like me when you wanna kick things up a notch! :)

Sleek I-Divines "The Original" Eye Shadow Palette
I return to my favourite Swedish brand for this one, it is a very nice collection of matte nudes. This is well-used in the winter time but I find the creamy nudeness is too harsh for my summer complexion. I have a FOTD with them here.

Isadora "Creamy Nudes" Eye Shadow Palette
Strictly not a palette but a trio, this is again Isadora and this time it's baked shadows. These are a dream to blend into a really nice smoky eye and last forever if you use eye shadow primer! As with all baked shadows you can also use these with a damp sponge applicator for a more intense effect.

Isadora "Cool Browns" Trio Eye Shadow
And now some more things that are not strictly palettes...

I really like MUA stuff, this eye brow kit is amazing. Although I am too lazy for a full-on brow for everyday makeup, this kit is great for special occasions. I used it for my wedding :)

MUA Pro Brow Kit "Fair"
I love this kit from Boots No7. I believe it's a Xmas gift I got for Secret Santa. It has 3 shadows, a highlighter fluid, mascara and a shimmery lip gloss. If you travel light but need something to pimp yourself up now and then, this is it! :)

So what is the next palette I am eyeing up you ask? Well that's got to be the MUA "Winter Forest Matte" Eye Shadow Palette...
Or perhaps the Real Techniques 'Night Owl' Makeup Kit??

That's all folks, I will return with more "What's in my drawers?..." soon - there is lots to see! :)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: Rimmel 60sec "Zeitgeist"

I decided it was time for gothic duochrome! This is from the same generation of Rimmel polishes as some of my all time favourites like "Arresting", "Mania" and "Stop Traffic". It's now a bit goopier than I'd hoped but with a careful touch, it looks absolutely stunning! This is a cheap brand doing expensive looking duochrome - I wish they still made this colour :)

I did just 1 coat! It is amazingly opaque but that comes at a price - slightly unwieldy formula. But it's all down to it's advancing age I am sure, this is a a quick-dry polish after all.

Happy Factor
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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: Misa "Dirty Sexy Money"

I may be pushing the 'vintage' part here as this polish is technically only 6 years old or so but I think this will definitely be someone's vintage one day - they will look back and say "I loved that colour so much I bought 2 bottles!" (that will be me, then).

I did 2 coats here - the formula is flawless and super-shiny (this is with no top coat). I apologise for the oily cuticles but they are in dire condition just now with the cold outside/warm aircon at work... They looked so awful in the photo I wanted to spare you so I oiled them up with my Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab. I absolutely love this polish, I wonder if you do too?? :)

Happy Factor
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Monday, 16 February 2015


Here's another vintage Urban Decay for you! Once upon a time this polish had a matching "XXX Shine Lipgloss" to go with it however that's long finished! I love this colour in the bottle but it is so very sheer once it's on the nail.

I usually put this over a pink/coral creme polish but thought I would do it straight from the bottle for the purpose of authenticity. I used 3 coats here, could possibly have needed a 4th but that still wouldn't cover the VNL or been any more opaque. What makes this polish is that it's sheer; it really makes the glitter particles pop and from further away this polish is a proper tan-enhancing stunner. I do have a back up of this colour as it's stunning layered over creme polishes for those summer-perfect toes :)

This bottle has stains from my Rimmel "Arresting" on it as it was in the same washbag when the original bottle of "Arresting" broke! :)

Happy Factor
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Saturday, 14 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: L'Oreal Shock Resist "330"

My apologies for the lateness of this post - sometimes time makes fools of us all! :)

This is the European version of the "L'Oreal Shock Proof" that Cali over at Polishtopia showed last week! I love this colour, it is super-sparkly and a dream to apply. The sparkliness doesn't really translate to the camera so you will just have to imagine how radiant it is.

I used 2 coats here with Seche Vite top coat. It is very much still a great nail polish, no thickening or separation. I think this came out somewhere in the late 90s. I "borrowed" my mother's bottle of this (she still has her one too after I gave it back half empty...) before I could find one of my own in the local supermarket bargain bin, of all places!

I tend to pick this out if I need a smart manicure that still has a bit of extra pizzazz to it; it has been to a number of swankier parties over the years!

Happy Factor
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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: Rimmel Play Fast "Art of Noise"

I love Rimmel polishes generally, have a huge collection of them, but I absolutely adore these Play Fast Rimmels. I am not sure if they were ever sold in the UK; all mine are swaps I have received from across the pond. I have a variety of colours, this is my second favourite - I will show you my favourite later in the month! I did 2 coats here with a coat of Seche Vite to dry it down super-fast as I have some video editing to do. The coverage of the first coat looked very dodgy but with a second coat it turned magically opaque and butter-smooth, super-shimmery finish!

This purple has a glowy fuchsia duochrome, but I need to take a photo of this in daylight to show it off. I think these are now becoming HTF, but there was a time when they were widely available on eBay. I just love these! :) Do you own any of these??

Happy Factor
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Monday, 9 February 2015


I still associate this polish with university partying :) This nail polish is definitely aptly named - it was like Urban Decay knew this dirty, golden teal would become one of the most loved nail polishes ever. I wouldn't want to say this is HTF, as you can still buy this polish online, but it has been discontinued for some time so once it's gone, it's gone!

My bottle is an original bottle from when they were first sold in shops. I used 2 coats here and topped it with Seche Vite. I still love it - I wish that Urban Decay would still do polishes like this. They did bring back their nail polishes a couple of years ago but sadly they didn't bring this shade or my other favourite, "ID", back... Their new polishes are supposedly 5-Free, but this old baby is definitely old school chemical warfare and hence applies like a dream :)

Happy Factor 
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Saturday, 7 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: H&M Steel Essential "No 42"

I am loving looking out and using some of my old vintage polishes! :) Unfortunately my hands are suffering from winter syndrome again and I have a large cuticle issue so please excuse the messy cuticles. Cuticle oils do nothing - I'm longing for summer!

A lot of high street retailers have sold their own makeup at one point and H&M still do! I bought this when I was rather young and think it might be from the mid-90s. I have a few from the same era, all quite unique colours just like this one. They were the start of my now gigantic nail polish collection! I remember my original collection fitted in a small cloth bag and it traveled like that from Sweden to Scotland in 1999 (nowadays I would always pack them individually!).

"No 42" is a cornflower blue jelly, it is the only colour like this I have in my rather sizeable collection. This is 3 coats, carefully dried in between coats as it's prone to bald patches. I think it is definitely holding up despite it's age; it's still very fluid, hasn't separated and applies well! :)

Happy Factor 
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Have you visited the Pretty Perfect Beauty YouTube channel yet?
I posted a video on my latest 'empties' today! :)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: Lancome Le Magnetique "02 Blue Enigma"

We're onto the 3rd vintage nail polish already :) I picked one of my VHTF polishes today, this magnetic polish from Lancome. It is from 2008 and my friend got this for me on one of her notorious shopping trips! This was highly sought after and sold out at the time, and I remember missing out and getting a magnetic polish from Sweden (L'Oreal for some reason release a lot of stuff there we don't get here) instead. I keep this very hidden away as it was very expensive and could probably fetch a fair bit on eBay even as used. Should get a nail polish lock-box really for these kinds of polishes :)

This is extremely pigmented - this is just 1 coat and a slick of Seche Vite. As usual with magnetic polishes I apply the polish, slick on a fast dry top coat THEN use the magnet. I find it sets very crisp then (and fast too!). If you use the magnet on the wet polish, no matter how long you dry before sticking on the top coat, the pattern separates as the particles get room to move in the wet polish again.

Happy Factor 
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Have you visited the Pretty Perfect Beauty YouTube channel yet?
I posted a video on Brush Cleaning today! :)

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


I've had this polish for about 20 odd years, probably longer? I think it was part of a fall collection back in the 90s, I tried to find the makeup card for it but it must be back in Sweden at my brother's house. I just love my Isadora makeup and especially the nail polishes and this was one of the first ones I ever bought myself! :)

I think this colour might classify as 'Marsala' which is Pantone's colour of the year 2015? It's a bit burgundy, a bit brown. It still goes on nice and smooth but the shimmer seems rather dulled? It doesn't smell as horrific as many of the old polishes I own, but Isadora has always marketed itself as 'hypoallergenic' so maybe it's not got so much nasty in it?...

Anyway, I think it looks good for its age :) I used 3 coats here but could have probably got away with 2. I used Seche Vite on top but because the shimmer in the polish scatters the light in a funny way it looks rather satin on camera but in real life it's actually quite shiny!  I still rather like this polish, although I wouldn't pick colours like this nowadays. I believe I was going through a goth phase at the time perhaps...

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S - Rimmel 60sec "Arresting"

I love my old vintage polishes - stories attached to them are usually great too :) So during February I will be showcasing some vintage polishes with their associated stories along with fellow nail-tastic lady Cali at Polishtopia! We agreed anything older than 5 years was 'vintage' in nail polish terms, but most of mine will be a lot older than that and some VHTF.

So please stop by every 2nd day starting the 1st February for a new vintage polish fix, perhaps you will have stories to share about that polish too?? :)

My first one is the one I love the most. I am not sure when this was originally brought out but it would likely have been 2002-3 or so? This baby has always been my favourite green. I wore it a lot, and always got nice comments on how vibrant it was. Then, in a tragic accident whilst travelling back home to Sweden for Xmas one year, it broke in my washbag before I could even leave the house!!

Yes I still use the washbag of Doom...
I was so heart-broken. Finally six or so years later I managed to find it on eBay! There was only one bottle available or I would have bought more... I have also made this polish into a nail polish ring to preserve it for future generations. As if the stains in my washbag wasn't enough to remind me...

This is 2 coats with Seche Vite. As you probably gather from the dented nails, the formula is a bit tricky and might actually need to be thinned but I haven't had the heart to do that yet. Seeing it on my nails I still love this li'l guy so much :)

Also check out Polishtopia's post today on Sally Hansen New Lengths - Espresso Frost!

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