Thursday, 31 July 2014

How I Strengthened My Nails

As a child I was a terrible nail biter and as a teen I swam around 14 hours a week. As a result my nails were flakey, brittle and broke all the time. I found it a real struggle to grow them. I tried many different things to help repair and grow my nails but nothing seemed to be working. I saw the Nails Inc weak, peeling, bendy nails? Solution kit when I was shopping in John Lewis and thought I may as well give it a try.

This is a multi product pack which was a pretty good price with a saving of £17. 

The pack contains; two full sized nail polishes, Hyde Park which is a nourishing treatment base coat and Albert Bridge top coat, a nail varnish remover wipe, buffer block and Vitamin E oil pen.

I have tried Opi strengthening polishes in the past but didn't use them with any consistency so didn't see any results. This time however I decided I would follow the instructions on the box and see the treatment through. The pack says to use the Hyde Park base coat on clean nails and apply a thin coat. This base coat can be worn under nail polishes or by itself. If wearing it by itself its good to reapply layers every two days to make sure the protection is still there. 

The Vitamin E Oil Pen is probably my favourite item in this pack and I think this is made the real difference to my nails strength. I apply a layer of oil to my nails every night before bed and have found that this has really nourished my cuticles and stopped my nails becoming dry and splitting. 

I have been using this system since January and the results are amazing. My nails are now no longer brittle and don't split anymore. I am now able to wear my nails longer without the fear of them breaking all the time. I haven't been using these products alone though. Asides from using this Nails Inc system I have been doing some other things which I think have all come together to improve the state of my nails.

Ways to Improve Your Nails

- Drink more water, having very dry nails can be a sign that your body is dehydrated
- Take your Vitamins, I have started taking Hair, Skin and Nails supplements daily
- Apply Hand Cream, keeping your hands hydrated will hydrate your nails
- Drink milk, I know this won't be for everyone but I think it makes your nails stronger
- Find a Nail Treatment that works, the Nails Inc Hyde Park base coat works for me.
- Use a nail oil, directly applying it to your cuticles with give a moisture boast.
- Get Gels done, the thick protective layer of a Gel manicure provents nail breakages

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Hourglass Cosmetics First Impressions

Hourglass Cosmetics Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick and Ambient Lighting Blush Review

This is the first time I have tried any products from the Hourglass Cosmetics and I had very high expectations. First impression of the products is that their packaging is stunning! The Ambient Lighting Blush in particular has a luxurious rose gold finish. The feeling of luxury also continues to the inside of the blush with its marble effect powder.

I have the shade Ethereal Glow which I believe is the lightest/most suitable shade in the range. Each of the Hourglass blushes look unique as the swirly marble pattern differs from product to product. The powders are all hand-made and the special formula uses advanced miscelare technique which results in mixture of pigment and powder. 

The Ambient Lighting Blushes are a mix of the Ambient Lighting Powders and a pigment. The shade Ethereal Glow which I have is a mix of cool pink and Ethereal Lighting Powder, which is said to create a moonlit luminosity. In my blush pan I have a larger portion of the Ethereal Lighting Powder compared to the cool pink pigment. This means my blush has a very soft pink tone but creates a wonderful natural looking glow on my cheeks.

The blush is highly pigmented and applies well to the skin. The colour is buildable and you don't get let with any cakeyness. I have found this blush to be pretty versatile as when applied lightly it makes a good cheekbone highlighter, but when build up the pink comes through stronger and gives a natural glow to the skin.

The next product I tried from Hourglass was the Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Muse. This was the product which I had the highest expectations for. I had heard it was a super long lasting highly pigmented lipstick which would last me all day even through eating and drinking. This was the first time I had tried a liquid lipstick so the concept was new to me.

The lipstick is a highly pigmented and one coat is enough to cover your lips. I have found that it does take a few moments to dry before it reaches its matt finish. During the drying time its best to not move your lips as if you do the lipstick clings to any cracks you may have on your lips. However once its set on your lips this lipstick isn't going anywhere. It is even pretty hard to remove it at the end of the day and I have had to use eye make up remover to get it all off.

The one downside I have found with this lipstick is that it is quite drying, but I just use a clear lip balm on top and that seems to help. I would also advise not applying this lipstick to dry lips as it does tend to grip onto the dry bits and the effect isn't that flattering.

Overall I am impressed with Hourglass Cosmetics. I will defiantly purchase more of the Ambient Lighting Blushes and I want to try out some other products from their line. I have heard good things about their primers.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Can One Palette Be All You Need?

I was going through my palette draw the other day and found myself wondering can one palette do everything? We are constantly being bombarded with brand new palettes hitting the market. Many of them being quoted as the next "Do All" palette.

I found myself constantly coveting palettes, but do I really need them or do I already have all the colours I'll ever need?

I have a mix of palettes which I have collected over time and even one I have inherited from my mum. The palettes I have are a mix of high end and high street. Some are better then others but all are very usable.

My Palette Collection:

1. Urban Decay - Naked 3
2. NYC - 815 Best of Broadway
3. Ruby and Mille - Perfect Eyes
4. Victoria Secrets - Smoke Signals
5. Topshop Trio - Orion
6. Sleek - Storm 578
7. Christian Dior (name has rubbed off)
8. Laura Mercier - Colour To Go Smoky Violets
9. Nars - At First Sight

This Christian Dior palette is one my mum has had in her make up collection for about 20 years. I know make up has a shelf life and its not supposed to be kept for that long but I couldn't face throwing it away. It also seems that the new Dior palettes that have been released seem very similar to this.

These three are my neutral palettes, ideal for day to day use or creating a dramatic smokey eye. The Urban Decay palette is defiantly one of my all time favourites. The pinky neutrals work really well with my skin tone and are really blendable. The NYC isn't my favourite palette the shadows are pretty chalky but for a super cheap palette its good for everyday use.

The do it all palettes
These are the palettes I take when I'm traveling. Especially the Laura Mercier palette which contains lip gloss, eye shadows, eye liner, blush and bronzer. Its also really compact so can fit daily in your handbag if you were heading out for the day.

The Nars palette contains all their top selling colours including Laguna bronzer and Deep Throat blush.

Marc Jacobs palette in Style Icon No. 7 is on the top of my wish list. I have watched countless YouTube videos of people raving about it. The fact that you can also only get it in America make me want it more because I know its out of reach. This is defiantly a high end product so I'll need to do some saving up before I can get myself one.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Packing Skin Care Products

Two weeks ago I went away for a short break to Cornwall. I didn't want to take loads of full sized skincare products so I took the opportunity to try out some miniature samples.

I tried to be as strict with myself as possible only taking away with me the essentials.

1. Just face It 3 in 1 Face Wipes
I know face wipes aren't for everyone but I am a fan of these ones. The wipes stay moist and are a thick and very soft material. I sometimes find wipes to be drying but these leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed.

2. Quickies Eye Make Up Remover Pads
These are great handy pads which remove even the most stubborn of eye make up. The one down side it the pads are quite rough so they can feel a little over abrasive around delicate eye area, so when using them don't apply too much pressure.

3. Nivea Visage Daily Essentials 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner
Once you've used your make up it's time to cleanse and tone. This product does both those things in one go. This product is a light creamy lotion which can either be applied on a cotton pad and wiped over the skin or gently massaged into the skin and wiped off with a damp cotton pad.

4. Eau Roma Water
This a lovely light refreshing spray which I just spritz over freshly cleansed skin. It leaves the skin feeling hydrated and helps reduce any redness.

4. Waitrose Pure Facial Oil
This is a light weight facial oil which I apply before my evening moisturiser and it helps your moisturiser to absorb into the skin better. Only a few drops are needed to provide a thin layer across your face.

5. Balance Me Face Moisturiser
This is a sample sized product which I thought I would try out while I was away. The cream it's is lightweight and sinks nicely into the skin.

6. Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash
This again is another sample size. I used this in the morning to wash my face and the grapefruit smell was nice and refreshing.

7. Sanctuary Resurface and Refine Ultra Polish
To ready my face for the day I like to use a face scrub. This scrub has fine particles so its gets deep into the pores. I wouldn't use this every day as it is quite an abrasive scrub but every other day it works great.

8. Simple Radiance Brightening Moisturiser SPF 15
One of my favourite daily moisturisers, this is a lightweight moisturiser which contains brightening particles which give you a healthy glow.

9. Ultrasun Very High SPF 50+
I have very pale skin so I burn easily. The high SPF in this suncream means that my skin is fully protected from any harmful rays.

10. Simple Kind To Eyes Revitalising Eye Roll-On
Finally the last product I packed was this eye roll on. I find this product really cools down the eye area and if my eyes ever feel itchy due to hay fever etc applying a layer of this under my eyes soothes this itching.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

A Cornish Adventure

Last week I went on a short break to Cornwall. I had a fantastic week and the weather was surprisingly good (I even got sun burnt!). Here are just a few photos from my trip which I thought would be nice to share with you.

Monday, 14 July 2014

July Lust List

There has been an exciting new release this month from Marc Jacobs. Daisy Dream Eau de Toilette is the latest release in the Marc Jacobs fragrance line. I have been a fan of the Marc Jacobs Daisy perfumes for several years now so defiantly want to get my hands on this new bottle.

A product that has been out for quite a while now but has recently caught my interest are the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balms. The shade range is pretty good and I am particularly interested in the shade Audacious which is a bright coral shade ideal for the summer.

The final makeup item which I really want to try out is the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Uptown Girl. This eye shadow quartet contains four shimmery shades which allow you to create the perfect shimmer smokey eye. Charlotte Tilbury products unfortunately aren't cheap so this will be a product to save up for. 

Moving away from beauty products, I have two fashion items which I think will be staple fashion pieces. The first is a pair of classic white Converse Trainers, I have a very similar pair of trainers already and they are super comfortable but they have started to fall apart. I know there are so many cheaper alternatives to the original converse but I feel the Converse will last for much longer, and they look nicer.

The final item on this months lust list comes in the form of jewellery. I have recently discovered the online jewellery site Anna Lou London and am now obsessed. The website has a wide range of jewellery from delicate pieces to large statement jewellery. My favourite pieces are the customisable necklaces. 

The image below has been taken from the Anna Lou London website and I think is such a gorgeous way to layer necklaces. 

Friday, 4 July 2014

Small Beauty Haul

Yesterday I visited Westfield Stratford for a little retail therapy and picked up a few bits for Victoria's Secret and Boots. There are loads of great offers on at the moment as its summer sales time and Boots are running loads of three for two promotions.

The first place I visited was Victoria's Secret. I have loved Victoria's Secret underwear and their Pink clothing range for years now and usually stock up on clothing whenever I'm in America. However I have never tried anything from their cosmetics range before. I noticed that the Ultimate Look Shadow Trio and Color Drama Lip Shine were in the sale so I thought it would be a great chance to give them a go. At only £2.50 each they are a pretty good bargain. I haven't had a chance to try them out yet but I will do a full post on them when I've had a play around with them.

Another purchase which was a major impulse buy was the miniature body spray set. I had been sampling the body sprays whilst in store but unable to decide on which one to get so when I saw this set of five at the till I thought I'd give it a go. The set itself I feel is pretty good value for money £17 gets you five 60ml spray bottles, which are a perfect size to carry round in your handbag. Not a bad price considering the full size 250ml bottles are £13 each. Im looking forward to trying the different scents out to find my favourite.

The next place I visited was Boots. Having read other beauty blogs I was really keen to try out the Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I have heard a lot of good things about these products and wanted to see if they were worth the hype.

There is currently a three for two offer running on skin care in Boots so I took the opportunity to pick up some Soap and Glory skin care products. I haven't read anything yet about either of these products but they sounded worth a try. I picked up the Ultimelt Deep Purifying Hot Cloth Cleanser and the Fab Pore 2-in-1 Pore Purifying Mask & Peel. Once I've had a chance to use these I will be posting a full review of what I think of them.

I did also pick up a few clothing items on my shopping trip but I'm going to do a separate blog post for those.

If you have tried any of these products out already leave me a comment and let me know what you think of them.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

June Favourites

I have some pretty bright favourites this month. As the sun has been shining it only feels right to add some bold colour to any look.

After speaking to the lovely staff at the Clarins counter in Selfridges I was advised to give this product a go to help with my dry skin. I have to say that I'm really impressed with the results. Adding it in to my evening skincare routine has transformed my skin. The way I use it is by mixing one pump in my hand with three drops of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, before gently patting it over cleansed skin. It enables your moisturiser to be quickly and effectively absorbed into your skin. 

I have had this blush for quite a while now but have really been loving it lately. It gives your cheeks a lovely flush of colour as well as a delicate gold shimmer. I find this blush really buildable so you can achieve both a soft flush of colour or a more intense hit without it looking to cakey.

I was quite sceptical of this product when I first bought it, however after using it this month I'm loving it. Its a natural toner water which can be used on a cotton pad to cleanse the skin or as a light refreshing mist. I have been using it almost everyday as a skin refresher. With the weather having been so hot this is a lovely hint of cool relief to spray on my face after work. The natural ingredients also mean that your not putting any nasty chemicals on your skin.

Now that we have moved into hayfever season I have been getting very itchy eyes. To prevent getting red sore eyes I have been using this eye gel on my under eye and surrounding eye area. The metal ball on this roll on feels really cold to your delicate eye area, and refreshing eye gel has been really helping to stop any further eye itching.

These two shades are my perfect summer nail polishes. The nail polish constancy itself is really nice to work with and after two coats your ready to go. For a drugstore nail polish it is also really long wearing so defiantly provides value for money. 

This is one of the most amazing lip products I have ever tried. It is a liquid lipstick very similar to the Hourglass Opaque Rouge liquid lipsticks. This is a really lightweight highly pigmented lipstick which applies light a gloss but has incredible staying power. Im not going to go into too much detail here because I am going to do a full review and comparison of the Hourglass and Bourjois liquid lipsticks soon.

This again was a product which I was pretty sceptical about. How can a hair band be traceless? Well this isn't completely traceless but its pretty close to it. I have to have my hair tied up for work which I find such a pain if I'm going out straight afterwards as I normally have to rush to straighten the hair band kinks out of my hair. With this however I can straighten or curl my hair before work, tie it up and then only have to do a few minor restyling touches before I go out. The Invisi Bobble has defiantly saved me a load of time and hassle

8. Essie Button
My final favourite this month is the lovely Essie Button. Essie is a Canadian Youtuber, Vlogger and Blogger. I have recently become very addicted to watching both her YouTube channels and reading her blog. If you want some great beauty, lifestyle and fashion advise its defiantly worth checking out. Essie also has the most gorgeous dog Reggie who frequently appears in her videos.