16 December 2011

Lashings of Blink+Go

Longer, thicker, sexier. The three words Blink+Go use to describe the effects that their mascara will create for your lashes, and they couldn't be more correct. As a first timer trying out a product from this brand, I am quite impressed, although I did find one teeny tiny fault which we'll come to in a moment..

The packaging is bold, yet simple, stylish and professional looking, something I would pick up if I saw it sitting on a shelf. Maybe this is because, unlike other some other mascaras, Blink+Go comes packaged in a box, encased in it's own holder. Snugasabuginarug.

The wand is made up of regular bristles and is small and slim, making it very easy to wiggle at the roots of the lashes to ensure full coverage. It also makes it a lot easier to apply to the lower lashes, without smearing and smudging underneath! 

(After one coat)

As I said, a no fuss application, clump-free and really does provide longer, thicker, sexier lashes. I found the first coat would be much more suitable for a natural, day time makeup, however it is build able if you want to create more definition for a glam look. 

(After 2 coats)

A second coat of this mascara later, and you are ready for an night out. The eyes look so much more full and awake, even with a heavier application, I found that my lashes didn't stick together and stayed well separated. 

What could I possibly have anything bad to say about this product you wonder? The fact is, this mascara claims to be waterproof, so I decided to put it to the test and jumped in the shower,  and to my horror, I returned from the bathroom with smears down my face complete with the dreaded panda eye effect. This would not be a good look if I were to be on holiday, exposed to warm weather, dipping in and out of the pool, or in any event where I would be guaranteed to become a bit teary eyed. Negative aside, I now know not to wear this mascara in any of the above situations and will stick to using it for day-to-day use.

Blink+Go mascara is available to purchase online for £14.99 along side other makeup items that are part of the Nouveau Beauty group.


13 December 2011

Nail Rock Snowflake Edition

As you all probably know by now I am all for nail wraps and I am constantly on the look out for new designs. I have recently been introduced to Nail Rock, a brand who offer a wide variety of styles, all of which wouldn't be achievable using your regular nail varnish. 

More recently, Nail Rock have brought out a new design, especially for the festive season. Available in two different colours, the Snowflake comes in either a metallic silver finish with a delicate white snowflake pattern, or reversed in a white on silver design. I was lucky enough to get the chance of giving these a try and can give you a little look at my personal favourite of the two styles, before and after application.

When applying Nail Rock nail wraps, unlike some others, a heat source is not necessary. This does speed up the process a lot more, however, when I have used other branded nail wraps, I do feel that heating up the adhesive before applying increases security and longevity.

I also found that the wraps creased quite easily, even after lifting slightly to pull tightly back over the nail, creases were still noticeable and I found that around the free edge the wraps had began to peel a lot quicker then I would expect. Saying this, I really like the design, it's different to anything I have seen so far, plus, it's perfect for the Christmas period! 

(It was a little tricky trying to get a shot at the right angle, either the light was reflecting too much off the wraps, or my camera was visible in the reflection, but I hope you get the gist of it! )

With 16 wraps in a pack, all in various sizes, Nail Rock designer nail wraps can be applied to either fingers, lasting up to 7 days, or toes, for up to 8 whole weeks. What's better, they require no drying time, are easy to apply, and don't smudge, chip or stain the nail plate. For a little help on how to apply your nails wraps click here for my step-by-step instructions, although as previously mentioned, a heat source is not needed for Nail Rock nail wraps.

Nail Rock wraps are purchasable at around £6.50 each from a range of stockists including nailrock.com and Topshop, however, the Snowflake is limited edition and sold exclusively in Selfridges

Merry Christmas everyone!


11 December 2011

My go to face brushes

To achieve a perfect makeup application doesn't only depend on the products you are using, but what also needs to be taken into consideration are the tools in which you use to apply those products. 

It has taken me the past few years to build up my brush collection as good quality brushes do require a little investment. I started out with a few basics, but soon came to the conclusion that a girl can never have too many makeup brushes as each brush has a different purpose and a different way of use. I wanted to share with you not my entire brush collection, but my favourite face brushes of the moment and which products I apply using them. 

Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki - F80

Probably my favourite makeup brush to date. I use this brush to apply my liquid foundation, in a stippling technique first to transfer the product on to my skin and distribute evenly, and then gradually turning into a blending motion to buff the excess in. The soft, dense, synthetic bristles create such a flawless, airbrushed finish, almost like a second skin.

MAC 182 Buffer Brush

Extra soft, natural goat hair bristles form this full, dome shaped kabuki brush. Designed to easily blend powder into the skin, for a flawless application and a longer lasting finish. I use this brush to apply my loose mineral foundation as a base alone or to swirl into baked powder and apply over the top of my liquid foundation to set it.

MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush 

Made up of tapered, soft fibres to form a small, dome shape, this brush is originally designed for controlled eye shadow application and blending. However, after applying concealer under my eyes and to cover any blemishes using my fingers, I take this brush to buff the product into my skin for more of a natural look. 

MAC 150 Large Powder Brush

Soft fibres form this full and dense, round shaped brush. As well as using this brush to dust a light application of bronzer all over the face to create a sun kissed glow, I often use this brush to apply pressed powder for a less heavy and more sheer finish compared to what the kabuki brush gives.

Sigma Tapered Face F25 Brush

Built up with tapered, synthetic bristles to form a slightly pointed tip and round, chiselled sides, this brush is perfect for contouring cheekbones and temples for a sculptured look, and sides of the nose for a slimmer overall appearance.

MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush

Formed with two layers of short, dense natural goat hair and long, sparse synthetic bristles, I use this flat top brush to pick up cream blush as it allows you to build layers and add texture, light pressure results in a sheer finish where as heavier pressure gives more of a satin finish. I also use this brush to blend in cream or liquid highlighter after applying it first using my fingers, for a subtle, radiant glow. 

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush

This soft, round tipped dome brush is made up of natural fibres and gives perfect application for powder blush but would also work well to apply and blend contour products. 

Now, let's not lie, there are plenty more brushes I would like to try and add to my collection, but for now it's sufficient! Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my favourite eye brushes and how I like to use them. I hope you found this helpful, especially if you are on the look out for some new makeup tools! :-)

All items mentioned are available to purchase online at either the MAC or Sigma sites.


6 December 2011

Candy Cane Nails

When it comes to nails, I like to stay simple and tend to wear neutral colours that will match any outfit I wear. However, I also like to follow the funky trends, take it up a level and experiment with a little quirkiness. Christmas is a great excuse to do so and in this tutorial I have taken inspiration from the good old, traditional candy cane design and I'll guide you through a few step-by-step instructions as to how you can recreate it for yourself!

Here's what to do:

Step 1: Apply base coat, followed by two coats of white nail polish. Depending on the varnish you are using, you may possibly need three coats. Here I used OPI Alpine Snow.

Step 2: Next take a nail art brush, these are available from most beauty supplies. If you are unable to get hold of one, they are also available on eBay for next to nothing, if all else fails, you can use a small, fine painting brush. 
Dip the end of the brush into a bright red nail polish, here I'm using OPI Big Apple Red.

Step 3: Starting on the little finger nail, paint a thick diagonal line from the top right hand corner.

Step 4: Leave a gap, then follow with 3 thin lines underneath. Continue this process down to the base of the nail. Copy the design on to each of the other nails. On the following nail, I like to start the other way round with the three thin lines at the top, just to give it some variation. Once all nails are complete, leave to dry and apply a top coat. You may find if they haven't had enough time to dry, the top coat will make the red bleed onto the white, don't panic though, I feel this gives even more of a realistic look as you can see from the candy canes below some of the red colouring has smudged.

Okay, so it's not perfect but it was fun to do. Change it up to whatever you find easiest, if the thinner lines are too tricky, try painting all thick lines, if you want to add some green lines into it, add some green lines into it, this is just a basic tutorial. I'm right handed, and I must admit, when it came to doing my right hand, it was difficult, but take your time, have fun with it and if needs be, ask someone to help!

I hope you enjoyed this post, I have a few more ideas which I'd like to get out there before Christmas, although it seems to be creeping up almighty fast, I'll see what I can do ;-)


1 December 2011

You've nailed it: Nails Inc Colour Collection

Sooo... my restriction on nail polishes splurging was a complete flop, although, I think you will all agree with me that this was one bargain buy I just could not ignore..

I must say, I have only tried a hand full of Nails Inc polishes before, yet I have never been disappointed. The application is smooth and hassle free, the quality is incredible and I love the sleek, simple packaging. The only thing that does put me off slightly however, is the price tag.

On a recent trip to my local TK Maxx, I stumbled across a few different Nails Inc gift sets in the beauty department, nothing of which particularly caught my eye and many contained similar colours I already own or probably wouldn't even wear. I had a good rummage around and found a slightly different set hiding at the back, a once limited edition, colour collection which included 3 full size polishes in shades that are just totally me.

Eagle Street is a dusky shade of pink, suitable for any occasion, any season. I usually switch up the colour of my nail polishes depending on the time of year and season, but this I would wear all year round.

Ganton Street is a neutral brown with a slight tone of pink. This is probably more of a shade I would prefer to wear towards the end of the year as it's more of an Autumnal shade. 

The third, Shelton Street, was the colour that excited me the most. It's an all gold glitter polish, something that I don't actually already own but have wanted for so long, and perfect just in time for the Christmas season.

Nails Inc generally start from £11.00 per bottle and gift sets ranging anything from £18 to £30+, depending on what's included, and so I had to do a double take when I saw the price of this set for a whole £12, that's almost 3 for the price of 1! 

This post might seem a little pointless as these colours, as far as I know, are unavailable to purchase individually, and this particular set is no longer a part of the Nails Inc line, althought there are many more. However, the morale of the story is girls, get yourself down to your local TK Maxx and pick yourself up a complete steal!


26 November 2011

Soap & Glory Scent-sationalism

As a self confessed Soap & Glory fan, I am ashamed to admit I haven't tried any of their body sprays until now. When I caught sight of their 'Scent-sationalism' body fragrance set, I just could not resist..

As mentioned in my Christmas Beauty Gift Guide video, this would make a wonderful Christmas present, even better, it's available all year round as part of their permanent range. 

The set includes three 100ml versions of their fabulously fragranced body sprays including Mist You Madly, Girligo and Glam-A-Lot.

Mist You Madly is described as a fruity floral fragrant spray with notes of bergamot, blackcurrent, magnolia, freesia, vanilla and musk. This is my favourite of the three and is definitely a scent I would usually go for. 

Girligo is actually a spray on body moisturising mist, best applied directly onto the skin following a shower or bath to ensure soft, smooth, lightly frangranced skin. Notes include bergamot, peach, strawberry, jasmine, mandarin and musk.

Last but not least, Glam-A-Lot is a soft, sexy, warm and rich fragrance scented with fresh flowers and base notes of woody, vanilla musk.

Individually, these retail at around £3.11 each. The full size versions of 250ml start from £6.13, so I think that makes this gift set a pretty good deal for £8.43, in the words of S & G ''You can spray that again!''


24 November 2011

Benefit Powda Wowza

One of my favourite parts to Christmas shopping is seeing which gift sets and exclusive items beauty brands bring out especially for the festive season. As part of my Christmas Beauty Gift Guide video, I mentioned Powda Wowza by Benefit, a limited edition box compact containing three of their best selling blushers including, Coralista, a coral-pink cheek powder, Bella Bamba, a three dimensional watermelon blush, and Hoola, a classic matte bronzer. 

As with all Benefit cosmetics, the packaging is whimsical, vintage looking and brightly coloured. This set also comes with a mini brush, which makes it perfect for when you're on the go, however, I never end up using these little applicators and would prefer it better if it was replaced with another blush. 

L-R: Bella Bamba, Coralista, Hoola

I believe this would make the perfect pressie for any girly girl. For me personally, this is great as I don't own any Benefit boxed blushers and this way I get to try one of each favourite. I also travel quite a bit so I can see this will come very much in handy. 

Considering the individual powders are £23.50 for 12g, I think this is quite a good deal retailing at £19.50 for 3 x 3g products. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I realised I didn't have to pay a penny for this, that's right, I got it completely free! In the past I have mentioned the Debenhams Beauty Club Card, a scheme where you collect points every time you spend, and over a period of time where I have purchased things that I actually did need, e.g Christmas presents etc, I had gathered a whole £20 worth of points! 
Let's just say this is a little present to myself ;-) 


Watch my Christmas Beauty Gift Guide Video here:


22 November 2011

Sugar Crush.. Revamped!

An upgraded member of the Soap & Glory range is the Sugar Crush body scrub. Previously part of the 'Spa' line, Sugar Crush was once available in a 450ml translucent pot with a baby blue lid and label. Now, transformed into the instantly recognisable girly, vintage inspired packaging, Sugar Crush joins numerous other body exfloliators as part of the Original Pink selection. The formula remains the same however, consisting of smashed brown sugar, sweet lime oil, almond oil and macadamia grains, ensuring soft, smooth, lightly scented skin. It's thick gooey texture actually makes it less abrasive than other scrubs from the Soap & Glory range, moisturising the skin at the same time.

The only downside, is the downgrade in size. Unfortunately, this revamp results in a loss of a whole 150g of product, for only £1 less than it once was. I'm not going to complain though, this body polish does exactly what it says on the tin and it's the perfect treat for those with a sweet tooth, without the calories.. ;-)


16 November 2011

The best things in life are free.. Dove Conditioner Sample

I can't say that I have ever tried any of products from the Dove haircare range, however, I have always been intrigued to after enjoying using some of their body and skincare products.

So when it popped up on Facebook that Dove were giving away 50ml samples of their new Nourishing Oil Care Express Treatment Conditioner, I jumped straight to it. Considering most samples are only one off uses, I thought that this was a very generous size, and hearing many great reviews on it, I can't wait to give it a try!

You too can request your free sample on the Dove Facebook Page (make sure you 'Like' the page first in order to be able to participate though!). By the looks of things, this is available to most countries world wide, so what are you waiting for ladies, get to it before it's too late!


15 November 2011

My OPI Train Case

I thought I would give you all a little insight to my favourite OPI products that I use in my line of work to carry out manicure and pedicure treatments. I was first introduced to OPI in a hotel spa I once worked in, I have since worked with other brands but nothing else seems to compare (in my opinion!). When I finally took the jump to start up my own business in beauty therapy, I knew that OPI would be a brand I would stock. The polishes are long lasting, easy to apply and available in such a wide variety of colours. The range of hand and feet products smell incredible, gently soften and deeply nourish. I have never been disappointed with the performance of these products, and more importantly my clients are always satisfied and although it does have something to do with how the treatment is carried out, using good quality products also plays a major part.

Click the video below to see what's inside my OPI train case!


8 November 2011

Beauty DIY Series: Mint Sugar Lip Scrub

Winter is fast approaching us and the last thing you need when it comes to applying your party season lip colour is dry, chapped, flaking lips underneath. Last year, a home made pout polish was my absolute saviour and is extremely easy to conjure up with the help of a few everyday ingredients from your own kitchen cupboard..

What you will need:

2 tablespoons sugar

♥ 1 tablespoon honey

♥ 1 tablespoon olive oil 

 (optional) 1 drop peppermint oil

Mix all ingredients together, add a little water if you find the consistency too thick, then transfer into a small container. Press a warm wash cloth onto the lips for a minute or so, this helps to soften and lift any dead skin. Apply a small amount of the scrub to the lips and gently exfoliate. Remove by wiping away with the warm wash cloth and finish by applying your favourite lip balm to instantly lock in moisture. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, repeating daily or every other day, depending on lip condition, and prepare to be amazed ;-)

Let me know what you think and if there is anything you'd like to see as part of my DIY beauty series!


Click the video below to see how it's done!


4 November 2011

is Mythic the new Moroccan?

I can't say that I have tried the highly raved about Moroccanoil because I haven't, so this review is no comparison, but after seeing so many great reviews, it seems to be something quite special. The only thing that put me off purchasing it is 1.) the price tag and 2.) the fact that it contains silicone. Now I'm no hair expert, but I didn't fancy the idea of smothering silicone through my locks, however, I know that many haircare products do have it as an ingredient and who am I to say whether it's safe or not to use?

Since receiving a full size version of the L'Oreal Mythic Oil in my September GlossyBox, I have used it after every hair wash without fail. This a first for the L'Oreal Professionnel line in the way of hair oils, and has seemed to fly off the shelves, instantly converting many of us.

 Enriched with a blend of avocado and grape seed oil, this lightweight treatment caters for all hair types, adding nourishment, suppleness and shine, tackling frizz and cutting down on drying time. Since my ombre experience, this has been a life saver and has completely restored moisture to the ends of my hair after they became dramatically dry and stripped of nourishment. However, after much research I am still unsure as to whether this product is silicone free, judging the fact that neither the ingredients nor the website actually state this, I guess it's not a good sign. Which ever way, I have certainly been converted and have enjoyed using this product a lot, it is now a definite staple in my haircare routine!

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