Sunday, 31 December 2017

TOP TEN of 2017!

So it's that time of the year again when we wave goodbye to the old and bring in the new! I have used a lot of beauty products this year but realised I've not really blogged about them, so this is my chance to give you the top ten of what has been new this year.

Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops
See the full review here. I still love these, and I've started mixing the two shades I have for my perfect winter shade :) Well worth the £6.99 price tag!

Isadora Chrome Nails Powder
In my preview post here, I said I would do a full manicure with tutorial. That never happened so far but I will do one! Maybe for my birthday... It doesn't last for jack, but it is gorgeous for about a day or so!

L'Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Liquid Care
Wait - just realised this is is still un-reviewed as well, must do something about that. This was the best moisturiser I had all summer!

Barry M Matte Me Up Metallic Liquid Lip Kit "Prestige"
Read my Lipstick July post here. I can't stop using this, but now I can't find it in the shops so I am hoping it wasn't limited edition!! The regular Matte Me liquid lipsticks are also great!

Read the full review here. This has been so good for storing and drying my Beauty Blender at the same time that I can't imagine not having this now, so I hope they keep making them in case mine breaks!

L'Oreal Elvive Phytoclear shampoo
No secret I love L'Oreal Elvive hair care, you just need to search for it on the blog... But for some reason I haven't actually reviewed this shampoo?? After I got pregnant I had an awful time with dandruff and an itchy scalp so I bought this and haven't looked back!

L'Oreal Paris Brow Artist Xpert Eyebrow Pencil
I can't believe I've not actually done a review on this one either. I must do. It is simply the only eyebrow product I use on a daily basis now, and has completely replaced the rather overpriced Benefit Goof Proof eyebrow pencil. I would dare to say they are dupes other than the price point -£6.99 vs £20. For me the choice is obvious!

Urban Decay Naked Heat Lipstick in "Heat"
A limited edition Urban Decay release always sets hearts racing and this was no exception. Being very boring in the eyeshadow palette department in my old age, the lipsticks was the part of the collection I was drawn to. And this one in particular. I bought it as soon as it was released, and good thing, it's been sold out ever since! I will have to do a proper review on this lipstick as it is the best red ever!

Zoya Anchor and Armor top and base coats combo
After we decided to try for a baby, I switched all my nail polish to minimum 3-free (goodbye OPI and China Glaze), and wore mainly Zoya polishes (which are actually 5-free). I decided to start using a new system with only Zoya top and base coat, so I bought Zoya Anchor (base) and Armor (top) to use, and it has been phenomenal for me. A friend said it didn't last on her when she used it, but I've found my manicures last a minimum of 4 days before showing tip wear, which is unheard of! I will definitely be continuing to use this combo for some time, considering just how good it is, and also because it is 5-free.

Not beauty...
Chilly's Bottle
I will be doing a full review on this in the new year! These are metal insulated bottles which are leakproof. They will keep cold liquids cold for 24hrs and hot liquids hot for 12hrs. Being pregnant, your water being just as cold whenever and wherever is great when you're feeling a ugh and just want a really cold drink, not a lukewarm drink... These are pricey at £20 for the 500ml size, but they come in some cool designs and really live up to their claims! I love my bottle!

That's it for my top ten, what was your top products of 2017? And what are you looking forward to in 2018??


Friday, 29 December 2017

REVIEW: L'Oreal Age Perfect Anti Ageing Radiant Foundation

So I am not really in the 'mature' skin bracket just yet, however I thought this foundation sounded like it would do what I want right now; "Gives the look of firmer, smoother, brighter skin. Blurs fine lines and imperfections. Medium to full coverage". Right on! Gotta get me some of that. There aren't really any reviews out there, and the ones on the Boots website are mostly collected as part of a promotion, so I was flying blind with this one.

I used my oil-free Smashbox primer on the left side, and no primer on the other. I used my Zoeva 102 Silk Finish brush to apply. I also ended up trying to pat it down with my Beauty Blender in desperation of the finished look... I am usually the shade 'Rose Beige' in L'Oreal's foundations in the wintertime, and it looks like that's a good fit for me still. The formula is rather thick, but to be expected for a foundation boasting medium to full coverage.

So. Once I'd applied it, I looked in the mirror and realised I instantly looked 10 years... OLDER!!! WTF... This foundation emphasizes every pore and every fine line on my face, and it even made the skin between my eyebrows look massively wrinkly. I don't mean it showed fine lines, I mean, wrinkly. It also grabs onto and emphasizes any little bits of dryness. It sets to a semi-matte, not dewy, finish which wasn't what I was expecting. There is definitely no hint of the 'radiant' part of the name of this foundation.

It is certainly medium to full coverage, and definitely buildable. It feels lightweight on the skin for a full coverage foundation, and isn't sticky etc. But I can't hack the awful finish - I look OLD when I was hoping for the opposite!! My Husband aptly said; "I think it accentuates the texture of the skin", which is the opposite of the claim made of 'blurring fine lines and imperfections'. It's also a nice way of him saying I look like I have elephant hide on my face... #besthusbandever

After about 7hrs it still looked the same on both sides (primed vs. un-primed), so I guess it is at least long-wearing?

Mucho disappointed, L'Oreal. I wouldn't recommend spending the RRP of £12.99 on this, unless you fancy looking well past your prime 🤔 Nil points, L'Oreal.

Jikes look at those PORES :O I didn't even know I had a smile crease...

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

REVIEW: 2017 Advent Calendar from H&M

Days 10  to 18

Days 19 to 24
So Xmas is over, boo, and no more advent calendar action :( But this year's calendar was a real treat!! As discussed in an earlier post, I bought the H&M nail polish calendar. This hadn't really been advertised anywhere, I am guessing they didn't send it out to lots of bloggers for review... But when I saw it on their website, I knew I had to have it!

I wasn't disappointed! Out of 24 doors (it's Swedish, we celebrate on Xmas eve!), only 3 were meh (7, 18 and 21). I wasn't super excited about the nudes but they are great nudes in terms of coverage and colour, it's just not my 'thing'. I like a colourful nail, in case you didn't know 😉

The formula is the new formula of H&M nail polish, which I absolutely love - smooth and opaque. The polishes are also 3 free, which is important for me at the moment (since I'm pregnant). These are small, half the size of the regular bottles. But the range of colours and finishes is amazing - the only thing there wasn't was a matte and a textured polish but I am not sure the regular range do these anyway?.. There is even a holo in here (scattered, but still holo!).

For the price of £35 I thoroughly enjoyed this, and will continue to enjoy it through the year 😁 Hats off to H&M for a well thought out advent offering this year!

Monday, 25 December 2017

MERRY XMAS + best xmas gift ever?

If you're wondering why the last few months have been rather quiet on the blog, it's mainly because of that... We're expecting our first baby! If you are already a mum (or indeed a dad) you may know that the first few months of pregnancy can be rather ugh, and you're too tired to even think. Mix that with working full time and trying to get a new house in order, you know there is no spare time when you are not sleeping...

We found out that we were pregnant a couple of weeks after we had moved into our new house - some housewarming present!! I've not been very unwell or anything save for the first few weeks when I had skyhigh blood pressure. Other than that I've just been mega-tired. But now at 18wks preggers the fatigue seems to finally be going away :)

So here is to a 2018 of regular blogging and maybe mixing things up a bit with more 'lifestyle' things like I'd hoped last year. Maybe even some pregnancy beauty, who knows?? :)


Monday, 11 December 2017

Advent calendar update!

I love Day 11 - it's called "Alexandrite"!
Yeah, time is flying past at the moment... Even forgotten to do any posts in December so far. BUT I got myself an advent calendar from H&M, and it's so far pretty damn awesome!

Today I opened the little door and was like "*%$# it!! I should have done my nails today, not yesterday!!" because today's colour is an absolute stunner! I've completely forgotten to do my NOTD's from this calendar (ooops) but you can see today's one in the background, it's H&M "Spiced Plum".

So far in this calendar there is only one real dud apart from the nudes, I'm over my nudes phase. Don't get me wrong the nudes are all great if you like a nude colour, they are butter smooth and opaque, but I'm needing a bit more colour in my life than nudes.

Thinking Day 2, 6 and 11 are my favourites so far!
All the colours I've swatched so far are great in two coats (apart from Day 7's glitter one which is crap but maybe it's supposed to be a top coat?..). The formula is all I'd expect from the new range of H&M's nail polishes (search my blog for H&M reviews) i.e. excellent! The only problem I have with this calendar is that I am too lazy to do a new NOTD every day to actually do it justice... I work for a living. Don't judge me!!

It was £35 quid. Considering each bottle is a small 4ml (half the size of the full size bottles) it's slightly pricey, but for me, it's really worth it for the variety and excitement. I am really loving this calendar, can't wait to open the rest of the doors!! 😎

Thursday, 2 November 2017

REVIEW: Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops

L: Liquid Fortune   R: At First Light

L: Liquid Fortune   R: At First Light

After waiting ages for drugstore brands to bring out clones of the hyped CoverFX liquid highlighters, two different brands release their versions almost at the same time! I haven't tried the Makeup Revolution one yet, as I've not seen it in my Superdrug but I might try those as well.

I got this Barry M offering as soon as I saw it in my local Boots! First I bought "At First Light" which is an icy pink champagne. I found this was far too starkly icy on me, so it's going over to my very pale friend. I then bough "Liquid Fortune" which is a bronzey gold. That one is perfect! It gives a really lit-from-within glow on me, and I am in love with it! I guess it's a bit in colour like my favourite highlighter which is the NYX Liquid Illuminator in 'Gleam'.

I did try a few ways of putting this on. First was just put a drop on the cheekbone and rub in. Not ideal, kind of became just a bit glittery? Then I just patted it on with my finger, which was OK. After that I tried dampening one the mini Beautyblenders (I bought these in a moment of madness) and dabbing on. And that is perfect! Of course, you could just use your usual Beautyblender as well. It gives a much more perfected result but you will use more product as some gets stuck in the sponge. And it's kind of a pain in the ass to clean out. But the mini ones I don't use for anything else (as they are useless for anything else) so I don't mind.

This is not as creamy and pigmented as the CoverFX highlighter, but it's a very nice product and about £25 cheaper! It retails for £6.99, which is very affordable. The shades do looks similar in the bottles, but they do go on rather differently as you will see in my swatches vs the bottle shot. So if you're looking for an affordable alternative to the CoverFX highlighters, definitely have a look at these!

Monday, 30 October 2017

REVIEW: The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

So I've moved house, and finally got to a point where I feel I have time to get back to blogging!! I had such a massive clear-out of products, both makeup and skin/body/hair care, that I feel I have almost started anew! :) Of course, my husband doesn't agree... 

So when this foundation was released back in the summer it had a massive waiting list, and I was waaaaaay down on that list! I had to wait a month or so before it actually came, but when it did I was super-excited to try it out.

The reviews for this particular offering varies. Some people seem to love it, others, not so much. I have now tried this when my skin is in various states over the last couple of months, and here is my verdict...

I like that it's;

  • very affordable
  • in a pump bottle
  • has good coverage

What I am not loving is that;

  • you can't go to a shop and try on shades unless you live in London
  • it clings to any tiny dry bits
  • you need to wear a primer or it won't last

I struggled to find a decent shade despite the shades being swatched on the website and other blogs. I have again chosen a shade which is just that bit too light for me (2.0N), as it gives me a rather pale face when I put it on. Choose carefully - I found it's really hard to gauge the actual colour from swatches I've seen!

I found that this is best put on with fingers, no brush or sponge. When applied with a sponge, I couldn't get an even coverage. When applied with a brush it settled in my pores. I think you need the warmth of fingers to work this into the skin.

In terms of finish, it is rather matte, more matte than I usually wear. Therefore it clings to dry spots, so you need to exfoliate and moisturise very well. I think this is one of those foundations which you will need to use a primer with, both to get a good base and to make it last. I used it with my Smashbox primer and it was better. But, I don't like using primer, as most of the make me break out (and I never break out). Wear time without primer was about 3hrs for me before it started to break up around the nose.

So for me, this is not something I will repurchase. I think on young, supple and maybe slightly oily skin this would be better. I don't fit in any of those categories anymore... In hindsight, even though I wanted the higher coverage, I should maybe have gone for the Serum Foundation instead. But for the price, £5.90, I'm glad I gave the Coverage one a try anyway! :)

The Ordinary have just announced their 'Watercolors' range of foundation, so I might have to try those as well, maybe I'll have more luck with those!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

REVIEW: Maybelline The Falsie Push Up Angel mascara

I am a sucker for new mascaras, but in the last couple of years I've not been getting caught out buying much new ones as I just can't seem to steer away from my holy grail mascara, Doll'd Up by Seventeen (from Boots).

But I'd heard promising things for this weird beauty, so when I saw it on offer for £6 a while back I decided maybe just give it a go.

The brush, or wand, is, eh, weird?.. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. It's one of those wands you will need to swap hand to use on each eye, or it doesn't work as it's supposed to do. When I first used this, the formula felt rather 'wet' and I did make some mess, but mostly because I wasn't sure how to handle the brush.

It did wear well and I didn't get any fall-out or smudging. But I didn't feel it did all the things my Doll'd Up mascara does. My lashes are not that thick, and this mascara did nothing for bulking them up. It also didn't really hold the curl all day. But it did lengthen the lashes quite significantly!

So I am not giving up my old mascara just yet but this was by no means a terrible mascara, it just isn't for me. If you already have rather full lashes, this would be great for you!

Monday, 11 September 2017

MANICURE MONDAY: H&M "Pinking Out Loud"

Autumn happened - wear pink jeans!

It's not secret I love the nail polishes from H&M but I am still aggrieved that they don't sell the line in the shops?? In Sweden they all pretty much carry all the bits in the H&M shops, and I bet it would fly off the shelves in the UK?

Today it's Monday, and it's the worst day of the week. And autumn happened when I was busy with other stuff like the house move. So I put this polish on, matched it with a pair of pink jeans from  George at Asda and off I went to work. And it was OK! :)

I did 2 coats here and used my combo of Zoya Anchor and Armor. It goes on super smooth and is fully opaque in 2 coats. I love H&M nail polish!!!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

NEW: Isadora Chrome Nails Powder

This is a very short post - we move house on Friday and there IS NO TIME!! So busy packing up it's unbelievable. But my Mum sent me a parcel which contained this - and I couldn't wait to try it!!

I didn't know what to expect so I checked out some YouTube videos. I used a pink polish from Isadora called 'Glassy Cerise' that I already had as I had seen a rose gold being made from a similar pink in the videos...

I will do a full tutorial and review once I've moved house! This little foray has convinced me all over again how much I love nails, can't wait to get moved already so I can get back into blogging :)

Monday, 14 August 2017


In case you've been wondering where the manicures are, I have to confess I've not painted my nails for a while... I am moving house (it seems like I should say 'again' but it was actually 8 years ago!) so I've not had time to keep my hands lovely enough.

I decided I needed a manicure however for going back to work after my holiday today so here it is. This is an oldie but goody - Zoya does the most amazing textured nail polishes in their PixieDust range :)

This is 2 coats over Zoya Anchor base coat, but no top coat. I just love these polishes, but I think textured polishes are a love or hate thing for most nail polish lovers!

I am still in the midst of moving, but I promise that I will try and keep the blog more up to date like I did during the early part of the year!! The bonus is I have a reason to keep my nail polish with me until moving day as I can't put flammables in the storage unit we've hired.. ;)

Monday, 31 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: NYX Cosmic Metals "Out of this world"

Who loves a green lipstick??

So I got the 'flu so missed a few days of Lipstick July - might have to revisit it in September? Would be a nice one for when the weather gets more dull and you need cheering up.

Oh boy I picked an awesome lipstick to end it on - this truly lives up to it's name!! It is a green, shimmery liquid lipstick from the amazing collection from NYX. The formula is great, nice and opaque which is essential with such a bold colour :) Wear time is OK, not super long wearing if you eat and drink but hey, it's still totally awesome!

I am loving this lipstick, I really wish I could actually wear it more often. Needless to say I had to wear this when I was working from home...

Thursday, 20 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick "Sheer Shame"

When I finally laid my hands on the Urban Decay Vice Lipstick palette, this was the shade I immediately fell in love with! I haven't tried any of the other sheer lipsticks but I will have to go and swatch some to see how they are. But this one, I love it so much I bought a full-size bullet!

The formula is moisturising, rich in pigment whilst still sheer and wears well. It feels great on the lips. It's not cheap at £15.50 but for me it was worth it. I used a darker lip pencil under this to give it a bit more impact as I was going for a power-lip for a committee meeting...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: Color Pop Ultra Matte Lip "Solow"

I was lured into buying a couple of these liquid lipsticks last year when they were all the rage. Whilst I love the two I have, the one thing that irks me with these is how sticky they are on the lips. I feel I am going to end up with lips full of cat hairs/road dust :(

But they wear well, and I like the colours. They are also very cheap! But I don't think I will buy any more than the two I have already.

Friday, 14 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: NYX Lip Lingerie "Exotic"

It's hard to describe this shade, it's like a brown that's also red? It's one of my favourite liquid lipsticks! The formula and staying power in this line is second to none, I wish that NYX did more of their Soft Matte Lip Cream colours in this formula instead...

This wears spectacularly well, especially paired with a lip pencil.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream "Ibiza"

I really like the colours of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams and how nice they are on the lips, my only bone of contention with these is their poor longevity. If I know I will be in the office all day I will wear these so I have plenty of opportunity to touch up. The range of colours available is amazing, everyone can find their perfect shade in this range!

I used a lip pencil with this one, but it didn't make any difference to the staying power. But I love this colour so I will put up with touch-ups :)

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: Clinique Pop Lip "Nude Pop"

I got this free with a magazine back in 2015, and it was the start of my lipstick obsession...

This is slightly shimmery sheer nude. It's a little bit too light for my colouring but I always love wearing it! It's very moisturising and although hardly a 'long-wear' formula, it stays nice and shiny through a coffee. I subsequently bought a couple of other shades in the range, including the insanely awesome "Party Pop" which is my go-to rainy day cheer-me-up lipstick :)

Monday, 10 July 2017

MANICURE MONDAY: Barry M Molten Metal "Black Diamond"

Another cracker from Barry M (read all about the metallic lip kit here)! I always love a Barry M nail polish and I have sooooo many going back about 18 years now. They were doing great out-there colours before nail polish was cool, circa 2008. Wait, how is that actually almost 10 years ago?.. 😳

Anyway back to this polish. This is a gem of a polish, smooth as silk to apply and full on glimmer. It's goth nails made wearable. I am feeling it! I did 2 coats here but could have got away with 1 coat easily, and I used Zoya top and base coat. Well worth the £3.99 RRP!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit "Prestige"

Wow I LOVE this liquid lipstick soooo much!! I was completely taken off guard with the formula, and may have had to reapply completely after making a mistake putting it on the first time :D

This is exceptionally smooth, very liquidy formula, once you get the hang of applying it (practice on your hand a few times) it's the best formula I've used in a long time. It does take about 5 minutes to dry down to the final finish, but once it's set, it's there for hours looking flawless. It is not sticky and feels very lightweight on the lips.

I had some Japanese food with this, and only suffered minor loss of colour at the back of the lips, which was easily retouched. I had some great comments on this colour at work - the metallic lip trend isn't usually an office thing but people love it!

As this comes with a matching lip pencil, which is amazing quality, this liquid lipstick is an absolute STEAL priced at £6.99!! There are some gorgeous colours in the lip kits from Barry M so get it now if you want them! I've bought another colour which is not in the kits, but which I can't wait to try next week.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: MUA Luxe Velvet Matte Metallic Lip Lacquer "Phoenix"

So my lipstick adventure continues. I decided on this one for a casual day working from home, it's one of the metallic liquid lipsticks from MUA. 

This went on slightly patchy and I needed a second layer. It dries kind of sticky so I felt I was aware of it all the time. But the colour is nice with that flip metallic shine, and it lasted fairly well.

For £3 you can't really go far wrong :)


Nothing ashy about this shade!!! :) I bought this when it came out as i loved the swatches online!

Thus is 2 coats with Zoya Anchor base coat and Zoya Armor top coat. I child easily have got away with 1 coat on my short nails but did 2.

Absolutely love this!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

LIPSTICK JULY: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick "714"

So after we decided to sell our flat and move to a house, I've been going through some of my stash to see if I can downsize. But of course, you never do. But I did decide to wear more lipstick and will kick this off with Lipstick July!

To kick things off, I used this matte red from the Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Palette because I've used most of these but not really regularly. This is a mega matte lipstick, true red, very comfortable on and long-wearing. It didn't survive  my lunchtime sausage roll, but that's death for every lipstick ever made :) Really enjoyed wearing this!

I tried to capture the colour of this accurately but it was really hard!

Monday, 12 June 2017


So here is yet another amazing Zoya nail polish! :) I bought this some time ago, maybe couple of years? Never wore it - why not?? Probably tempted by something else that was new...

I love the glass fleck finish of this, and the dusty teal colour reminds me a lot of Misa "Dirty, Sexy, Money" which we all know I adore.

This is 2 coats over Zoya Anchor topped with Zoya Armor. Nice, smooth coverage, not gritty. But it does dull a little bit when you put the top coat on? I am not sure why. It's almost like it's a semi-matte finish? But it's gorgeous nonetheless!

So I am carrying on with my 5-free cavalcade, stay tuned for next Monday's Manicure! :)

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Manicure Monday: Kiko Glitter Metals "03 Strawberry Red"

Apparently Kiko's nail polishes are 5 free, so I decided to try this one! Not sure if I'd agree it's strawberry red, more orange than red?.. But it's very pretty and sparkly none the less!

I did 2 coats here, using the top and base  coat from Zoya (review soon!). It applies like a dream but if you don't like VNL, it may not be for you as it's slightly sheer.

Very juicy and summery - I should track down some more shades! :)

Monday, 29 May 2017


I missed it by two days, but I have now officially been blogging for 9 years :) I am not a career blogger, I have a very busy full time job, and a wild off-duty ecology surveying habit, so sometimes I don't have time for blogging. However, it's an outlet for a lot of things I love, and according to Google Analytics, a lot of people read my posts!

So thank you so much to those of you who take time to read my musings, and I can assure you that they will keep coming! This next year I am actually going to take the blog in a slightly broader direction. As I celebrated my 40th birthday earlier this year, I am going to steer it well away from the usual beauty blogger teen/twenties market (plenty of those blogs out there already) and focus on the beauty and wellbeing of being a lady over 40! :)

So to celebrate I wore the most amazing nail polish from Zoya, it's from their Urban Grunge collection from 2016, and it's a scattered holographic. I can only say that it's a 10 out of 10. The formula is amazingly pigmented, the holo particles really shimmer on your nails, and used with Zoya's base and top coat Anchor and Armor, I managed to get 7 days of really good wear out of it. AND it was easy-peasy to remove with no staining! I did 2 coats here. Love this, it's easily the top polish of the year!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

NOTD: Zoya "Amy"

I am venturing into more toxin-free nail polish at the moment, for no other reason that my friend is into her cruelty free nail polish, and have showcased some nice Zoya nail polishes lately! I also bought the Zoya top and base coat, Armor and Anchor, to try but I want to give it a few more manis before I do a review on that combo!

I continued to be amazed just how many absolutely amazing colours Zoya carries when I was looking round for some new colours! The brand has a phenomenal array of colours and finishes. The only whole collection I have ever bought is a Zoya one, "Sparkle", which I featured most polishes from back in April 2010. Some of those polishes have been reprised several times! And one of my most used nail polishes is "Richelle" from Zoya as well! Funny how much I realise I actually love the brand when I go back and look :)

The main attraction for many with this brand is that it is vegan, cruelty free and 10-free (that's right not 3, 5 or 7...), but for me it's actually the range of colours... I have had a few Zoya which didn't behave and I know why now; they do not play nicely with formulas that are not at least 3 free!

So back to this NOTD. This is an absolute stunner, and like most of Zoya's glass fleck polishes it's crazy shimmery! I am needing the bright shot of sparkling goodness that this gives off, as AGAIN I'm down with laryngitis :(

This is 2 thin coats over Zoya Anchor base coat, with Zoya Armor top coat. I find the trick is to let the base dry for a minute or so (it's VERY quick drying) and then do 1 coat of colour. I then wait at least 5 mins and do a 2nd coat. Again, I then wait 5-10 min and put on the top coat. This way, each layer has time to set and release their volatiles so the whole manicure dries more quickly in the end. I find that the manicure is set by about 30 min, but I have to be a bit careful for a few hours so it doesn't dent. My previous manicure with Zoya "Mieko" lasted for 6 days before I got a chip. That's unheard of! :)

Love this polish, it's not a current collection so you may have to hunt around for it, but it's worth it!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

REVIEW: Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge

Well, we all know I am a sucker for 'new' and 'innovative'... Although to be fair, facial cleansing sponges isn't anything new, those round flat sponges for your facial cleansing needs has been floating around since forever. So when I saw this for sale buying it was a no-brainer.

In terms of cleansing tools, I've got a checkered history... I've tried the Clarisonic which I had to give away, as it was very hard on my skin even using the softest brush head! That was a very expensive mistake. I have also tried the Foreo Luna Play, which was nice, but also very expensive for what it was. I've tried the whole face cloth thing too which is kind of tedious.

So here we have a cleansing sponge that looks like your favourite makeup sponge! :) And what's good about that is that the flat surface cleans nicely in all the wee nooks and crannies, whilst the egg shape makes it easy to hold and move across your face.

I have been using this every day for 3 weeks now. I use it with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel as final clean up of makeup in the evening. And it's made a huge difference! My skin is super smooth, but not red or irritated, and my moisturiser seems to work really well! I am loving this cleansing sponge!

Well worth the £5.99 investment every couple of months - and much gentler on both your skin, and your wallet, than a Clarisonic cleansing brush... This might even make it into my top 10 of 2017! :)

Saturday, 8 April 2017

REVIEW: Blenderelle

I have been rediscovering my Beauty Blender recently, after a long time of using brushes. I saw this somewhere online last year and thought it looked like a great idea but at the time it didn't seem like you could get it in the UK?

It's basically a dryer, storage and travel holder for your makeup sponge :) That's it. But it's genius! Beauty Blender advises to dry your sponge on top of the packaging; after I did this for a couple of weeks, I had mould on the bottom as there isn't really any air circulation if the packaging is on top of your dresser/table... So when I got myself a new Beauty Blender I decided I would try this thing!

It's sturdy plastic and has lots of holes in the top, side and most vitally for me, underneath. In my house, the beauty blender dries within half a day in this thing, whereas before it wouldn't dry on the bottom until a couple of days later... Which is why I had mould.

It also looks good! Although The Husband wondered if it was an air freshener...

Totally worth the £12 you get it for on Amazon! I don't see this thing breaking for the near future unless you travel with it and handle it rough in your luggage, and it will likely extend the useable life of your expensive beauty blenders which is never a bad thing! :)

Top marks for Blenderelle, I think that it will likely make it into my Top Ten of products for 2017!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

REVIEW: Nails Inc Shine Bright Moisturising & Anti Ageing Glove Masks


I am all for product which actually work, and are needed, but when I saw this I was like 'hell yes I so need that, for no reason other than I want to try it'.

Luckily I could thinly veil my need for this by the fact I was hand modelling when my friend did her final exam in nail art and I wanted my hands to look their best ;)

The gloves are some kind of plastic, with sheets inside with the miraculous whatever it is soaked into it. They use tape closures, so you can get them secured on your hands and keep the heat up (opens up your pores so products penetrate deeper, well-known trick in the manicure industry). I then thought, ah, how will I take photos... But fret not, you can still use your smart phone with these beauties on kind of! :D These are huge, my small fingers only reached half way into the fingers on the glove...

I sat with them on for the recommended 15min, took them off and massaged the excess fluid in. And my hands were beautifully soft! I am not sure that it's necessarily worth the £6-8 you pay as it seems it's a one-use item, compared to just using hand cream regularly, but I enjoyed the experience and my hands looked good for my friend's exam!

And here is what she did for me, and one of her fellow students, some great freehand work. Needless to say, she passed the course!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

WEDNESDAY WANT: Benefit Galifornia Box o' Powder blush

It's no secret I'm always looking for a new blush. I don't think I can ever get too many. Or can I?..

When I saw this on Instagram, I knew I had to have it (need to stop looking at Instagram). I bought it last week, and have used it ever since! Sadly I was too eager to use it and couldn't wait to take decent photos, so I had already worn off the spray-over of gold when I did photos...

Like Benefit's other powder blushes in a box, it's relatively light on pigment but is buildable, and has good staying power. It also comes with the rubbishy little flat brush which I hate, and have already used for crafts instead... In my excitement I also forgot to get an actual swatch of this, but you can Google it and see a wondrous array of swatches on lots of different skin tones :)

Benefit describes the colour as 'sunny golden pink' but I would describe it as 'perfect shade for Lina-Elvira'. It does have a gold shimmer, but this is very, very finely milled and will not make you look glittery! This blush is scented, which I don't tend to go for but the smell is amazing - almost coconutty tropical beach holiday scent. Or California?... Whatever, it's described by Benefit as pink grapefruit and vanilla but definitely a hint of pina colada for me!

I wore this for 10hrs straight each time I wore it and it was still there in the evening! It's expensive at RRP £24.50 but for me, it was worth every Boots Advantage point I spent on it... In terms of dupes, I think that Sleek's iconic Rose Gold blush is very similar but perhaps a tad more shimmery?

Anyway, this is a definite Wednesday Want for me - do you want it???

Monday, 20 March 2017

NOTD: Essie "On the roadie" spring manicure

So I spotted a nice green from Essie's spring collection in Boots, then spotted the special offer of a free Essie hand cream with the purchase of any Essie product so, sold :)

I then decided I wanted to do stamping. And tried to find a matching colour. It turned out that Essie "Going incognito" was a perfect match. I did a mix and match using a pattern from Konad plate m64. Both base polishes are 2 coats. I used Sally Hansen Megashine topcoat.

I don't know if I like the design, somehow I'm a bit bored that it's so matchy-matchy?... maybe? But since I spent time putting it on, I decided I might as well get some wear out of it!

Friday, 17 March 2017

I'm back, baby!

I had a bit of a hiatus there for a while, just didn't have time to blog! But....

In case you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of Futurama :) I have every single episode ever made, including the movies, on DVD and I like to binge watch it occasionally... Anyway! I have still been buying and using makeup, but I'd not actually done my nails since the last NOTD was published which was on my birthday back in January!!

One of my colleagues at work is doing a course in nail art, so I was inspired after seeing some of her practice nail art home work the other day, and decided I needed a pink and gold glitter gradient manicure!

I used 2 coats of H&M "Sweetheart" as the base, and the gradient has OPI "Goldeneye" as the base to add some finer glitter, and then I put some of the Sephora "Gold Fever" large particle glitter on top. And it looks pretty awesome, if I may say so myself! And "Sweetheart" is a great match for my new over-sized sweatshirt from H&M too - bonus :)

Now that I am back on form I have bunch of reviews I want to do over the coming weeks so stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

REVIEW: NYX Lid Lingerie "Sweet Cloud"

So I am loving a lot of new stuff from NYX! I already talked about their Lip Lingerie and how hot they are, now it's time for Lid Lingerie :)

I started seeing swatches of these a couple months back when they arrived in the US, and knew I wanted to try them. I can't say the colours are that subtle, but there are some nice nudes in there.

I chose the nude beige sparkly one called "Sweet Cloud", as it looked the most champagne-y (my fave eye colour btw).

These are called 'eye tint'. Not sure why. Don't be fooled, this is not subtle eye shadow :) I wore it all day in the office and when I went to the bathroom before lunch I looked in the mirror and was like 'damn that is some sparkly eye candy!'.

I had this on, without eye shadow primer, all day in the office and home, about 9 hrs or so. There was no creasing, and I didn't feel that any sparkles were falling down either. It hadn't faded by the time I took it off.

So top points for me, I cannot wait to get some more of the shades!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Birthday NOTD: Depend Holo Fantasy "Unicorn Dream 5040"

It's my birthday today so I decided I needed something awesome and new - cue this polish from Swedish company Depend which  I got for Xmas from my Mum! :)

This is two coats and no top coat (as it tends to scatter a holo polish). I had a super hard time trying to photograph this puppy, there just isn't enough light at this time of year!! I found that this photo taken on my mobile under the light in the lounge is as good as it gets, you can see a tiny flash of holo in places, but nothing like the holo goodness that it shows in real life :)

These were limited edition and are now well and truly sold out, so sadly I couldn't get a back up bottle of this...

Friday, 6 January 2017

REVIEW: KIKO Milano 3D Hydra Lipgloss

When I did my KIKO Black Friday haul I may have gone a bit overboard, but I did come away with some great things! Hands down the best item was the 3D Hydra Lipgloss, I chose the colour '12 Pearly Amaryllis Red'.

But despite the crap name, this is one super-awesome lipgloss! I think it will come into it's full rights in the summer when you are all tanned and sipping iced tea, as it's fruity pink and sparkling :)

Not for the shy, though. Make no mistake, this is a super-shiny, glimmering affair which will get people staring at your mouth!

Longevity is OK, it lasted through a coffee and some breakfast biscuits, fruit and a bit of my lunch. Reapplying is a doddle so not really a problem. It has a slight vanilla scent but nothing too overpowering. It does leave glitter particles behind when you take it off but it's worth it :)

I didn't find this to be sticky like other super-shine glosses, nor is it gloopy. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and totally recommend checking the range out as they also have cream and sheer non-shimmer finishes! It is also rather cheap at £7.90 :)

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

NOTD: Isadora Sugar Crush "Ocean Crush"

It's no secret that I love the jeweled textured nail polishes - and this is my absolute favourite!  :)

This is 2 coats over base coat, no top coat.

Love this so much but couldn't get a decent photo. The polish looks more like it does in the bottle not like it does on the nails!

Monday, 2 January 2017

REVIEW: Boots No 7 Advent Calendar 2016

I am starting the new year with an overdue review! I absolutely LOVED the Boots No7 Advent Calendar this year - no wonder it sold out instantly when it was launched :)

So what was in it, and was it worth the £39?

My absolute favourite items in here was actually the blusher brush and the Lovely Lips Lip Balm in 'Parisian Pink' (the pink lipstick case in the middle of the photo). I was surprised how much I enjoyed the body products (top of the photo) too; the scent is lovely! I am yet to try to redeem the blush match card, so I'll update you on that. The nail polishes are all amazingly good!

Not so good? I discovered however my skin hates Protect and Perfect with a vengeance, so all the skin care is being shipped off to my Mum... I also hated the Lovely Lashes mascara - it was wet and smudgey and the brush was intimidating.

So safe to say I really loved this advent calendar, and already looking forward to next years one :) But please Boots, make more of them this time round as no matter how many you make, you will sell them!