I didn’t get many beauty related gifts for Christmas, but one of my friends did give me this beautiful nail varnish as part of my Secret Santa present. The varnish is from Maybelline’s Colour Show BE Brilliant collection, which features four limited edition glitters for Christmas 2014.
The shade I have is called ‘Purple Dazzle’, and consists of purple, pink, blue, gold, and green glitter, both large and micro flakes, in a sheer purple base varnish.
The glitter looks stunning in both indoor and outdoor light. Indoors the pink really dominates, which looks really pretty, but once outdoors the varnish really comes alive, and all the other colours shine through.
The swatch below shows one coat of the glitter worn over one layer of Nails Inc ‘Wigmore Street’, which is a pretty close match to the base colour of ‘Purple Dazzle’, but more opaque. I chose to apply it this way to avoid layering the glitter too much, as it would make it harder to remove. However, like this, it’s easy to remove with a standard nail varnish remover.
The varnish applies nicely, and doesn’t go on too thick even if you dab it on to give an even spread of glitter. It also dries smoothly, so there are no sharp pieces of glitter to snag on clothing.
In my experience, ‘Purple Dazzle’ lasts a couple of days without a top coat before chipping, which is decent, but it’s not the best glitter I’ve tried in terms of staying power.
Overall this is a really lovely glitter, however I went to Superdrug today to pick up another shade and they no longer had it, so it’s very limited edition indeed! They did have a few bottles of another shade left though, so it’s worth checking your local store if you want one.
When it comes to nail products, Barry M are one of my favourite brands, so when they announced a flurry of new shades for Autumn/Winter 2014, I was incredibly excited! As well as adding new colours to their Gelly, Silk, Classic and Aquarium ranges, and releasing some gorgeous Christmas glitters, Barry M have also launched the new Glitterati collection. Glitterati features six ‘blinging’ glitter paints, and they really caught my eye when I first saw them on Instagram.
So far I’ve only picked up three shades from the new selection – Rockstar and Fashion Icon from Glitterati, and the new Aquarium Glitter, Atlantis. I’ll be posting about each shade individually over the coming weeks, plus any more that I end up buying, but today’s NOTD is Fashion Icon.
Blue and purple are two of my favourite and most worn colours, so I was immediately drawn to this beautiful shade. Fashion Icon has a purple base with a blue duochrome effect, and is packed full of micro glitter, some of which is holographic. I find this shade so mesmerizing as it looks different every time I look at it. It goes from electric blue to grape purple to bright violet in one movement, whilst all the time remaining strikingly sparkly.
All of my swatches show three thin coats, with no base coat or top coat, which I think looks great, but I bet it’d look just as gorgeous layered over a deep purple shade.
I’ve also found Fashion Icon to be impressively hard-wearing. Despite spending the whole day cleaning, unpacking boxes and generally being busy, my nails look just as good as they did when I first painted them.
I can really see this wonderful shade becoming one of my all time favourite glitters, and I can’t wait to swatch Rockstar to see if it’s as stunning as this one.
Barry M’s Glitterati nail paints cost £3.99 each, and are available in store and online from Superdrug and Boots, and online from Barry M.
Well, after two busy weeks of starting a new full time job and planning for a house move, I’m finally back to blogging! Today’s post features two China Glaze shades that were kindly gifted to me by nailpolish.co.uk for review.
Both shades are from the new China Glaze 2014 Autumn collections, and retail for £4.95 each. There are two autumn collections this year – All Aboard Fall and Apocalypse of Colour, and I picked a shade from each.
‘Choo-Choo Choose You’ is from the All Aboard Fall 2014 collection, which includes twelve stunning, on trend autumnal shades. At first glance the varnish looks to be a blue-grey shade with a hint of gold shimmer, but as soon as you move into natural light it explodes with purple, orange and green.
The varnish is a colour changing metallic, which with some brands makes for a streaky finish, but this one goes on perfectly without any imperfections. The formula is slightly runny, but applies nicely and two coats gives an opaque look. The only downside is it takes a little longer to dry than I’d like, but it’s worth the wait.
You can view the rest of the All Aboard Fall collection here.
‘Rest In Pieces’ is from the Apocalypse of Colour collection, which features five Halloween themed shades, all of which have brilliant names! Halloween is my favourite time of year so I was very excited about this range, and it doesn’t disappoint. ‘Rest In Pieces’ is a gorgeous metallic orange, black and gold holographic glitter that reminds me of pumpkins, autumnal leaves and fireworks. Some of my absolute favourite things!
The glitter comprises of various different types of glitter, large flecks, small flecks, micro and straw, which gives fantastic depth and texture. For maximum impact, the varnish is best applied in a dabbing motion rather than brushing, as dabbing leaves more glitter behind. This one dries a lot quicker than the other shade, and makes an amazing top coat. Perfect for adding a little something extra to any autumn mani! I love it.
You can view the rest of the Apocalypse of Colour collection here.
nailpolish.co.uk is a one stop shop for nail varnish, and they stock a HUGE range of brands, including OPI, Essie and Barry M, and over 350 colours! They also offer free first class delivery on every order. Check them out here.
What do you think of these new China Glaze shades?
*These two China Glaze nail varnishes were sent to me by nailpolish.co.uk for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
To celebrate the slow but sure arrival of the British summer, Barry M have launched two limited edition nail paints, exclusive to Superdrug. Both shades have a pastel bright colouring, which is very on trend this season, and a shimmer finish which looks stunning in the summer sunshine.
Promenade is a gorgeous pink shade, which is reminiscent of the candyfloss and sticks of peppermint rock that you find adorning the British prom. It’s such a happy colour, and really gets you in the mood for a fun day on the seafront!
Seaside, my favourite shade, is a glistening blue that brings to mind the sea and skies of a hot day in July. It’s so pretty, and I can just imagine a mermaid wearing this one.
As with all Barry M nail paints, Promenade and Seaside both apply like a dream, and dry incredibly quickly, which means more time outside enjoying the sun!
Barry M’s British Summer nail paints will be available in Superdrug, whilst stocks last, between 4th June and 1st July, and you can choose one for FREE when you spend £6! Which colour will you be snapping up?
*These Barry M Nail Paints were sent to me by Superdrug for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
You may remember that at the beginning of January I swatched and reviewed a gorgeous glitter varnish from GOSH’s Frosted Sand collection, called ‘Frosted Purple‘. Well, it officially became one of my favourite varnishes of all time, and I couldn’t wait to add more frosted shades to my collection. In particular I was trying to get hold of ‘Frosted Plum’, but the only bottle in my local Superdrug for months was a damaged one. Then, earlier this week, I noticed that they had a few more in stock, and luckily for me all of GOSH’s varnishes were on offer for £1.99 each! Obviously I bought it straight away and applied it when I got home, so today I thought I’d share the swatches with you.
Like its purple counterpart, ‘Frosted Plum’ is a pleasure to apply, looks opaque in just one coat (although I applied two), and dries really quickly. It’s also rather hard-wearing, and stays put for a good few days without chipping, even without a base or top coat.
The best thing about it though is the colour. The base shade, as you’d expect, is a beautiful deep plum purple, but throughout it are flecks of gold, bronze and bright pink, which give it a brilliant depth. It looks absolutely amazing in the sun, and even indoors it still looks impressive. The glitter in this one is a lot more consistently sized than in ‘Frosted Purple’, and I think it looks a bit like a caviar manicure.
I’ll stand by my previous statement that GOSH’s Frosted Sand glitters are honestly the best glitters I’ve tried, and I will continue to add to my collection! I have my eye on a couple of their spring pastel shades, ‘Soft Blue’ and ‘Soft Green’, which are also currently £1.99 in Superdrug (reduced from £3.99).
Will you be buying any of GOSH’s frosted glitters?
Having had trouble with weak, splitting nails in the past, I now like to take great care of my nails to ensure that they’re healthy and neat. A key part of my nail care routine is filing, but I’ve found that emery boards and metal files are rather counter productive. Their abrasive surfaces might do the job quickly, but they don’t exactly create a smooth finish, and they can actually tear nails and cause them to break. So, I now use this Healthy Nails Professional Crystal Nail File instead, and my nails are in far better condition.
The file has a crystal finish which is far kinder on the nail, and rather than harshly filing the nail down, it gently buffs the edge away to a fine dust. The whole filing process is a lot smoother with a crystal file, but just as easy as using an emery board, and the look and feel the file gives is very professional – sleekly shaped and perfectly even.
I also really like the aesthetic of the Healthy Nails file. It’s slimline and lightweight with a practical pointed end, so the entire nail can be filed with minimum effort. The file comes with an attractive, protective metal carry case, so it can withstand the impact of the other bits and bobs in your handbag, and it’s presented in a sleek white pillow box, so would make a great gift.
The Healthy Nails Professional Crystal Nail File usually retails for £16.99, but is currently available on Amazon for £12.99. That may seem like a lot, but the surface never wears out and apparently works just as well after ten years, so you definitely get your money’s worth! It’s also hygienic as the solid surface prevents moisture being absorbed so bacteria can’t multiply, and it can even be sterilised or disinfected without being damaged.
You can purchase the Healthy Nails Professional Crystal Nail File on Amazon here, and if you’re unsure about it, the company have a ‘no quibble refund’ policy if you’re not 100% satisfied, so why not give it a go? Your nails will thank you.
*This Healthy Nails Professional Crystal Nail File was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I’ve been wanting Illamasqua’s Speckled nail polishes ever since they were released, but at £14.50 each I just couldn’t justify buying them. Then, whilst queueing in Primark at the weekend, I spotted this Spotty nail polish, which is a dupe of Illamasqua’s Speckle – their discontinued speckled lilac shade. And the best part? Primark’s Spotty was discounted from £2 to just £1!
The polish has a creme base, and is crammed full of black glitter and micro glitter, which in the right light has a beautiful holographic sheen. The overall finish reminds me of a Cadbury Mini Egg, which is perfect for Spring and the run up to Easter! The polish has a smooth consistency and applies evenly, giving opaque coverage in two coats, but it takes a while to dry. Not ideal, but not really a problem if you’re not in a rush.
My only issue with the polish is that, when I first used it, lots of little air bubbles got trapped underneath (as you can see above), so it looked and felt a bit lumpy. It could’ve been due to the base coat I used though, so next time I’ll give it a miss to see if it makes a difference.
In terms of staying power, I wore this for three days before removing it, and by that point it had barely chipped at all. I imagine it would last for almost a week before starting to look scruffy.
Overall, this is a lovely, pretty polish, and I’m so pleased I finally have a speckled polish in my collection. I just wish I’d picked up the other shades too!
What do you think of my bargain find?
Earlier this week I nipped into Superdrug whilst shopping with my mum, and whilst browsing the make up stands I spotted this gorgeous nail varnish by GOSH. Most GOSH varnishes usually retail for £3.99 each, but the range of ‘Frosted Sand’ glitters, which are very similar to OPI’s Liquid Sand collection, are currently discounted to £1.99. I was instantly drawn to this shade, ‘Frosted Purple‘, as the colour looked incredible in the bottle, so I snapped it up and couldn’t wait to get it home to try it out.
‘Frosted Purple’ is a simply beautiful colour, and is neutral enough to wear with just about anything. It’s a dark silver tone with a lilac tinge, and consists of two sizes of glitter – a very fine micro glitter, with larger flecks throughout. The varnish dries matte, which is quite unusual for a glitter varnish in my experience, and is textured like ‘frosted sand’. It feels slightly rough to the touch, but I’ve used far rougher glitters in the past.
Now, I know this is a bold statement to make, but I think this varnish is the best glitter varnish that I have ever owned/tried. It even beats my trusty favourite brands, Barry M and Models Own. Most glitters need layers and layers for full coverage, but not this one. My swatches show the coverage after just one coat. That’s right, ONE COAT! And it really doesn’t need any more than that, as it’s completely opaque. The formula is lovely too – very smooth and not at all gloopy, so you can actually brush it on (the brush is nice and wide, yay) rather than dab it on, as is usually required with glitters. It also dries very quickly for a glitter.
In terms of hardiness, I’ve been wearing ‘Frosted Purple’ for three days now, and the tips of my nails are just starting to show signs of wear. There are no chips or anything though. I can tell it’s going to be a pain to remove as it has the same texture as Models Own ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Southern Lights’ which are really tough to get off, but it’s a small price to pay for such a high quality glitter.
EDIT: I was wrong! The varnish was actually really easy to remove with a normal nail varnish remover, and it barely took any soaking or rubbing to get it to budge. I’m very, very impressed.
I spotted four shades in the ‘Frosted Sand’ range, all of which are Toluene-free and Formaldehyde-free. ‘Frosted Silver’, ‘Frosted Gold’, ‘Frosted Purple’, and ‘Frosted Plum’, which I think is a new addition, and is next on my nail varnish shopping list! Will you be trying any? If so, get on down to Superdrug quick to take advantage of the £1.99 offer!
One of the first places I look when searching for a beauty bargain is Fragrance Direct, especially when it comes to nail varnish. In the past I have purchased Essie products from them for £1.99, and even OPI for £3.99, and last month they added another well-known brand to their site – Orly. Orly nail varnishes usually retail for £10.95 each, but Fragrance Direct are selling full-size bottles for just £3.99.
Fragrance Direct very kindly sent me four Orly shades to review, and after trying all of them out I can now share my thoughts, so here they are…
Despite their different finishes, all four varnishes have a very similar formula. The consistency is smooth and, even though the brush is narrow, it applies easily, but the first coat always comes out slightly streaky. No matter how careful I was when swatching these, I couldn’t get the first coat to look right, and it was nowhere near opaque. Luckily, a slightly thicker second coat solved that issue, and the overall look was good. They also dry fairly quickly which is always a positive. They’re not quite 60 second varnishes, but they’re not far off.
When choosing the shades I wanted I struggled slightly as there are so many gorgeous colours in the range, but I’m really happy with the ones I settled for, and here they are…
As it’s my favourite colour, my nail varnish collection is overflowing with purples, but Velvet Rope is unlike any other I own. It’s a lovely violet purple with a shimmer finish, which is studded with particles of silver micro glitter. The overall effect isn’t quite ‘velvet’, but it’s really pretty, and despite the glitter is still easy to remove.
I’m not always keen on red varnishes as a lot of them have an orange undertone which I really don’t like, but I love Moonlit Madness as it’s a bright cherry red, which I wore a lot over Christmas. It also gives the classic red nail a bit of a twist with a subtle shimmer finish.
Charged Up is my favourite of all four shades as it’s so beautifully vibrant and eye-catching, and in the right light hints of both pink and blue come through, as seen above. It also has a lovely creme finish. This is a great shade for Spring and I know I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this one in the coming months.
I currently have three black nail varnishes – one from Primark, one by Barry M and this one, and this is by far the best. As the name suggests, Orly’s black is gorgeously fluid and looks stunning on. It has an incredible shine to it as well, and its high quality is just so obvious.
If you want to grab yourself some bargain Orly shades, just visit Fragrance Direct. Their standard delivery is only £1.99 too!
*These Orly Nail Lacquers were sent to me by Fragrance Direct for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Whether you’re on a tight budget, or you’re able to flash the cash this Christmas, today’s festive post features a selection of ‘Spend or Save’ fashion and beauty gift ideas for women. The ‘Spend’ section includes a variety of luxury options for those who want to spend that little bit more on a loved one, and the ‘Save’ section includes some great alternatives that are just as good, but don’t cost the Earth.
Alexander Wang Kirsten Bag $295 from ialexanderwang.com / Jurlique Rose Shower Gel (300ml) £14.40 from LookFantastic / Urban Decay Naked2 Palette £33.30 (was £37.00) from Debenhams / Ciaté Tree Trinkets £21.00 (was £30.00) for 6 from Ciate / No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum (30ml) £23.95 from Boots / Dr Martens Cherry Red 1460 Boots £100 from Dr Martens
Multi Belt Two Way Bag £38 from Rings & Tings / Bayliss & Harding Wild Rose and Raspberry Leaf Shower Creme £1.99 from Superdrug / MUA Undress Me Too Palette £4 from MUA / Lacura Multi Intensive Serum Aqua £3.49 from Aldi / Limited Collection Mini Nail Polish & Lip Gloss Bauble £5.00 each from M&S / Burgundy Boots £24.99 from H&M
I’ve been lusting after Alexander Wang’s Kirsten Bag for ages, but it’s really quite expensive and difficult to track down, so when I spotted the copy on Rings & Tings I just had to share it with you all! I don’t yet have either bag myself, but from photographs the copy looks pretty impressive.
I currently have both the Jurlique and the Bayliss & Harding rose shower gels in my bathroom, and they are equally lovely. The Jurlique one foams better, but each has a distinct sweet rose scent and luxurious packaging, making them both gift-worthy.
The Urban Decay Naked2 palette is perhaps one of the most highly sought after beauty products in the blogosphere, so would make an excellent gift for any beauty blogger. If it’s a bit out of your budget though, MUA’s Undress Me Too palette is the perfect dupe. I have it myself and the eyeshadows are all excellent quality, and at £4.00 you really can’t complain!
I’m new to serums, but have recently started to use the Lacura Multi Intensive Serum from Aldi. It’s aimed at women aged 25-35, so I’m almost in that age bracket, and it makes your skin feel so soft and plump. It’s lovely, and an absolute steal, but if you want to gift a more classic brand then No.7 is the way to go.
When I first put this guide together, Ciaté’s Tree Trinkets were £30 for the set, but they have now been reduced to £21 which is actually a pretty good deal, especially if you want to split the set up as smaller gifts. If you want more for your money however, M&S’s beauty bauble contains a nail polish and two miniature lip glosses for £5. I also spotted a Primark equivalent earlier this week, costing £2 for a bauble containing 3 little lip glosses, which is even better value for money!
I absolutely adore Dr Martens and am building up quite a collection. They last forever and, once they’ve been broken in, are incredibly comfortable. But if you’re looking for a cheaper version for your fashion-loving friend this Christmas, H&M’s burgundy boots look fab.
Check back soon for another ‘Spend or Save’ gift guide!