Monday, 30 April 2012

pink ombre nails

i did this manicure the other day after my first attempt at ombre nails (see them here) as i wanted something a bit brighter and with more of a faded effect. unfortunately last week was really busy and so i only managed to get a couple of photos whilst i was out and about. hopefully you get the gist though, and like them as much as i do!

i used my go-to base of the moment, ballerina, before sponging on some model's own 'pastel pink' from the top of the nail to about two thirds of the way down. i then waited for this to dry and finally sponged on a layer of O.P.I's 'that's berry daring' from the top to about half way down the nail, blending it in with the pastel pink as much as possible. et voila!

this is a nail art look that i've really enjoyed doing because it's just so easy. no waiting for coats of nail varnish to completely dry and no tricky manoeuvres with sticky tape. and better still, all you need is a (clean!) washing up sponge. yay!

don't forget to do a top coat once you're done to give it a softer edge and to add some shine after all that sponging.

gold by giles lip gloss - berry

'gold by giles' is the new make up collaboration of giles deacon and new look. there are 44 products in total and as make up goes it's really cheap. the most expensive item is the nail wraps which are £5.99, and the cheapest is the lip gloss featured which is £1.99. 

this lip gloss is in shade 'berry' and i liked the strong colour in the tube. it has a brush applicator which i quite like and is a really good size, especially for the price. the packaging is a bit dull but i don't think it looks as cheap as some of the other products which is good.

the colour pay off isn't great. i do appreciate that it's a lip gloss and so won't be anywhere near as bright as a lipstick, but i was a bit disappointed that it comes out as just a subtle pink. it also doesn't last long (an hour maybe?) but then again this is lip gloss and longevity of this product is never great.

i wouldn't say i'm disappointed with this purchase but i don't think i'll be collecting all the shades. i did like the look of some of the nail varnishes though so maybe i'll try one of those soon. you can see the full range here.

palmer's coconut oil formula conditioning treatment

 i bought this as an incentive to do a much needed conditioning treatment on my hair. i've been colouring it for years now and it's really long so although i'd consider it to be quite strong hair, it's also really dry.

i love palmer's products and everything i've tried of theirs (cocoa butter products and olive butter concentrated cream which i reviewed here) has genuinely worked. this 'deep conditioning protein pack' was no exception either. 

it smells strongly of coconut so isn't ideal if you don't like coconuts but i'm a fan so enjoyed it! it's quite a full pack but i still managed to use it all up. i applied it to dry hair from the roots to the ends and then clipped it up for the rest of the day. when i washed it out my hair felt a lot softer and was much easier to comb through. after blowdrying i thought it looked noticeably healthier and a lot less frizzy and it still smelt faintly of coconuts too. yum!

i'd definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a deep conditioning treatment and i plan on getting myself a few more ready for my next lazy sunday! it's cheap too which is always a bonus. you can get it here for £1.49 per sachet.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

garnier - hydrating day care moisturiser

i recently ran out of my favourite moisturiser, olay double action day cream, and thought i'd try something new. i do this once in a while despite knowing how well olay works for me because like most girls, i get excited by pretty packaging and endless promises. i'm also attracted to low prices (who isn't?!) and so when i saw this moisturiser in sainsbury's for just under £3 (although it seems to be £4.49 online so maybe it was a local deal?) i picked it up.

it's a 'gel-cream', something i've never really tried before. the consistency is a lot less creamy than what i usually go for but it feels light and sinks into my skin well. i think it would be a good base for the summer when olay can get a bit heavy and dryness isn't an issue.

it says it's 'enriched with grape water selected for its refreshing properties'. not sure how refreshing grape water actually is (and surely when grapes are squeezed they make juice or better still, wine?) but it does have a summery smell which i'd say was a mix between grapes and cucumber so i'm not complaining.

overall, i'm glad i bought this moisturiser. i'll definitely always revert back to olay, but garnier's hydrating day care is a nice cream and will get a lot more use when (and if) the sun finally returns to england. fingers crossed!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

new zara bag

today i thought i'd show you all my new bag :) i saw it on another blog (although i can't remember which one... oops!) and decided i had to have it. surprisingly, this was a pretty momentous occasion for me as i've always had a problem with zara. some of my friends are big fans and i always love what they get from there yet everytime i go myself i can't find a single thing i like. absolutely nothing! so i'm pretty excited that i've now broken my zara rut.

i ordered it online and it came in a huge box. it was wrapped in pretty tissue paper and i briefly felt like it was my birthday. the bag is bigger than i had expected but this isn't a problem, it just means it's now a day bag for me as opposed to an evening one. it's also really soft, a lovely colour and the details are rose gold which is a nice change. and it's only £19.99 which is apparently a bargain for zara too! see it online here.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

shiseido: blusher - innocent rose

i was given this shiseido blusher quite a while ago and just haven't got round to using it. recently i decided i was in need of a lighter blusher than my current one (the body shop's cheek colour in 'tea rose' for anyone wondering) but decided to check my overflowing make-up storage bags before i went out and bought anything.

i'm glad i looked because this is such a pretty shade of pink. it's a light almost baby pink colour that isn't at all overpowering but can be built up if need be. it also has a hint of shimmer which reflects the light nicely. the powder is easy to apply and not cakey or dull looking as some powder blushers can look.

i love the look of the packaging but i think it's a shame that the blusher itself is in a long thin shape. personally i wouldn't really use the brush as i think something so small makes application a bit too focused and so i feel this is wasted space! instead, i'd rather more of the blush or a smaller compact. the big mirror is a nice addition though, so i'm willing to forgive and forget :)

Monday, 23 April 2012

ombre nails tutorial

so here's my attempt at ombre nails... i thought i'd try something a little different to blending shades of one colour and i needed an excuse to use my new chanel 'black satin' nail varnish so came up with this. the base is two coats of chanel's 'ballerina' which i reviewed here, and is a really pretty pale pink. a perfect contrast to the black.

i did the blending by putting a blob of black satin on a piece of paper and then using the corner of a washing up sponge to dab the nail varnish directly onto the nail. the difference in colours means that it's not as blended as it could be, but i do quite like the effect and thought it was an easier way to wear black nail varnish than just painting the whole nail.

next time i think i'll try something a lot brighter, but i am pleased i've managed to find a use for the black nail varnish because i wasn't sure how exactly i'd wear it. as i said in the review of ballerina aswell, chanel nail varnish is great quality and really shiny. and the bottle is pretty too!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

use it up - #1

so this is my first ever 'use it up' post. i generally enjoy reading other people's use it up posts as i think it's good to share thoughts on products that are worthy of completely using up and potentially re-purchasing. plus, i think it's a good idea to have a bit of encouragement to actually finish products as opposed to just finding another place to store the half empty bottles.

kiehl's - 'creme de corps'. £27.

 this body moisturiser is one of my all time favourites. i was desperate to try it so purchased some last year in new york where it's a little bit cheaper and i was feeling extravagant. it feels like rubbing melted butter into your skin (in a good way), leaves your skin feeling so soft and smells really nice, but not of anything in particular. i also love the packaging. it's so simple yet effective, and i'd love to have a kiehl's filled bathroom for this reason alone. unfortunately it's £27 for a 250ml bottle and at the moment i just don't have that kind of money to be spending on moisturiser! i'd still consider it a firm favourite though and will re-purchase as soon as possible!
batiste - dry shampoo (blonde). £3.99.
who isn't a fan of dry shampoo? o.k, it doesn't make your hair feel great but when you're in a rush and have long hair like mine sometimes there just isn't time to wash it in the morning. i'm naturally blonde so i bought this a while ago but have since become a brunette. although technically this means i should no longer use this product, before the batiste range became as big as it is now everyone had to use the same original dry shampoo (shock) and so i figured using this on my brown hair isn't that different. it does make my hair look slightly lighter but it isn't noticeable so i'm determined to finish this up and then invest in some of the 'medium brunette' variety.

soap and glory - 'sugar crush' body scrub. £8.
i really love this body scrub and i'm not quite sure why i haven't blogged about it before. it has the signature soap and glory smell but is slightly more tangy and so is great for getting you to feel a bit more summery whilst exfoliating off any remnants of winter. i personally feel it could be a bit more grainy (i'm not sure how good this would be for my skin, i just enjoy the feeling of freshly scrubbed skin!) but i have solved this problem by purchasing a pair of these and together they give you a great body exfoliation. the best thing is is that when the scrub runs out the gloves are still there and will do the job nicely.

boots hairspray - maximum hold. £1.62.
unfortunately, this is a case of you get what you pay for. the words 'maximum hold' enticed me in but this hairspray just doesn't cut it. it claims to be unperfumed which is untrue - it still has that slightly floral aerosol smell. it also doesn't hold the hair well at all. my hair is naturally a bit wavy so it's fine for a quick mist after straightening but only managed to hold curls done with curling tongs in place for about an hour before they dropped which is a shame. sorry boots, but despite usually pulling through with your own brand products, i won't be re-purchasing this time!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

hollywood beauty - argan conditioner

i've heard a lot of great things about moroccan oil, and a lot of great things about argan oil. generally i try to avoid any sort of product on my hair apart from hairspray as it makes it go greasy really quickly so i decided to buy into the craze through a conditioner.

i bought mine here for £1.99 which i now realise was a real bargain... the next cheapest place i can find is on ebay for £6.99! this argan oil conditioner smells like berries and is quite thick in consistency. it makes my hair a bit easier to comb through after washing and despite the oil, doesn't make my hair greasy which was a potential problem. 

i've only used it a few times so can't comment on whether or not it has improved the overall condition of my hair (and it's also in desperate need of a cut so i can't imagine any product could save it right now!) but considering it's cheaper than most high street conditioners, smells good and is enriched with argan oil, it's likely i'll be purchasing this again!

Friday, 20 April 2012

models own grow fast mascara - update!


 exactly two months ago i posted about models own grow fast mascara. although i said i liked the mascara, i wasn't really sure if the claims that it would 'strengthen and increase the length of my lashes' would be true. i even researched the ingredients and found out what procapil and panthenol are designed to do, yet still didn't believe that it would work.

oh how wrong i was. it took two compliments from different people and questions asking about whether i was using a new mascara or wearing false eyelashes to make me take a photo and actually compare my old lashes with my new lashes.

...and LOOK! yes they're different eyes but i can't imagine they would've been that different beforehand. i'm just so impressed with the massive difference in length and that's coming from a cynic. they're looking thicker without mascara aswell but unfortunately i don't have a before shot (because i didn't think it would work... silly me!) for £6 i think this mascara is really worth a shot. yes it took two months to notice the difference but considering i wasn't expecting anything at all it was definitely a nice surprise :)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

palmer's olive butter formula - concentrated cream

i picked up this concentrated cream recently just to see what it was like and i'm so so glad i did. i've been using it primarily as a hand cream and it's the thickest hand cream i've ever used but isn't at all greasy. a little goes a long way too. perfect for your handbag and it has a subtle olive oil sort of smell which should be to most people's taste.

i've never seen it before (maybe i haven't been looking hard enough) but boots stock a full range of olive butter formula which you can view here. i honestly can't recommend this enough, and the best thing? it's only £2.25.

Monday, 16 April 2012

hershey's nuggets

not particularly (at all) about beauty, but i thought i'd show you what the japanese market has to offer in terms of chocolate. little squares of hershey's chocolate with crushed oreo cookie bits inside... yum! a country that's innovative in both face creams and sweet treats? get me on the next plane!!

L.A colors - fun in the sun

 i recently went on a bit of a beauty binge in my local specialised hair and beauty store. the place is a mecca of lotions and potions that i've never heard of before. needless to say, i spent a good hour scouring the shelves for some hidden gems and i found this nail varnish.

it only cost 99p and so the quality isn't great, but the colour is quite unusual i think as it's a lot warmer than most purple nail varnish i've seen. not so sure about the claim that it has hardeners in it but i wasn't expecting much for the tiny price tag! hoping this will come in handy for some nail art i'm planning on doing soon... watch this space!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

rimmel wake me up foundation

i wasn't really sure about whether or not to purchase rimmel's new wake me up foundation. although i know of the brand well, i can't say i've ever really used their products and the past few times i've purchased foundation i've always gone back to my comfort zone - clinique's superbalanced make up in 01 petal. but after reading a lot of good reviews i decided that it should be my 'freebie' in the 3 for 2 offer boots are running at the moment.

wake me up foundation comes in a glass bottle which can be frustrating when the product starts to run out, but it does have a pump dispenser which is a lot less messy than the usual shake-it-until-some-comes-out approach i took with superbalanced make-up.

a lot of people have noted that there's a limited shade selection. this didn't bother me as i have what i call an english rose complexion so can generally find colours to suit my skin tone quite easily, but i imagine this can be frustrating for some.

i would say the coverage is medium and have show this above on a freckle on the back of my hand. i don't like anything too cakey, but i also feel i need enough coverage to even out my skin tone and cover occasional blemishes so this suits me well.

the finish is quite dewy, although not overly so. i can get a bit oily on my t-zone later in the day but i have found that the finish actually compliments my skin as opposed to making it look greasy.

i would put the 'wake me up' name down to the tiny little shimmery particles found in the foundation. they're not prominent at all for those worried about looking clownish (!) and i definitely wouldn't describe them as glitter. actually i think the addition of shimmery particles is just a clever way of using a well known method of brightening.

overall, i'm really pleased with this purchase and at £8.99 you can't really go wrong. i've made a £12.50 saving on my usual foundation and it's a really light and easy foundation to wear (with spf 15) in the summer months. plus, if you get it now in the boots 3 for 2 offer, it's practically free!

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