Saturday, 24 January 2015

Some new OPI additions

I've always been a big fan of OPI nail varnishes, but due to their price (currently £11.95 each) I don't own many. At the end of last year/beginning of this year I got a little obsessed with a few of their shades and luckily I managed to find them in various sales so I could add them to my collection. As I've recently acquired five new OPI shades I thought I'd do a post on them.

OPI nail varnishes - Gwen Stefani & Coca Cola


OPI nail varnishes - Gwen Stefani & Coca Cola


OPI nail varnishes - Gwen Stefani & Coca Cola
Four of these shades are from the Gwen Stefani Holiday collection and one from the Coca Cola collection. The Coca Cola Bearest of them all confetti effect top coat I actually won from Debenhams Beauty Club and this came in a little gift set with a very cute little Coca Cola branded polar bear. This is a clear top coat containing tiny white specks, slightly bigger red pentagons and much larger white hearts. Unfortunately I forgot to fish out a heart for the picture above. I haven't actually tried this one out yet so I'm not sure how this looks and what colours it works best with.

As I said I've become a little obsessed about OPI shades recently and my obsession has mostly been focused on the Gwen Stefani Holiday collection. I've taken to checking the beauty section of TK Maxx recently to see what nail varnishes they have (although I'm very cautious about what I buy!) and I spotted Rollin' in cashmere for just £3.99. This is a metallic shade and it's actually the first OPI shade I've been a little disappointed with. The first time I used it I found the first coat cracked slightly on my nails and it doesn't always apply very evenly, although metallics are notorious for this. In the last few days I have discovered that you're not supposed to use a base or top coat with metallic shades (every day's a school day!) so I need to give that a try.

I spotted I carol about you used in some nail and I knew I wanted it. I received some money from my parents for Christmas and while browsing the ASOS sale for some bargains I spotted a few Gwen Stefani shades were in the sale, this being one of them. So I bought it for around £8.50; not an amazing bargain, but better than £11.75. This tends to look quite blue in photos but it's actually a deep purple with a very fine shimmer.

I then also spotted Kiss me - or Elf! used in some nail art and decided that I desperately needed this shade in my life as well. I tracked this down for £8.36 on BeautyBay and discovered OPI and Essie were 3 for 2 at the time so I also got Just BeClaus and Essie Watermelon, which I posted about recently. Just to make you aware several Gwen Stefani shades are now just £6.50 on BeautyBay (including Just BeClaus) and pretty much all other shades are down to £8.36. Kiss me - or Elf! is a beautiful claret type purple/red with a fine shimmer. When I first saw Just BeClaus when it arrived I was concerned that it was very similar to Miami Beet (which I do own) but Miami Beet appears a little lighter, although they are very similar. As Miami Beet (beetroot) suggests they are both dark red/maroon type shades.

The last three shades I've mentioned are all really lovely so it's likely they'll be appearing in some nail art very soon.

Are you an OPI fan?

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Body Shop's New Smoky poppy range

On the 3rd February The Body Shop will be launching a new range with a Smoky poppy fragrance. The Body Shop have very kindly sent me some products from the new range so I thought I'd introduce them to you.

The Body Shop Smoky poppy range

The Body Shop Smoky poppy range

The Body Shop Smoky poppy range
The Body Shop Smoky poppy range

The Body Shop Smoky poppy range
The range may include more products but I have the shower gel*, body butter*, body lotion*, massage oil* and Eau de toilette*. I've only received these in the last few days so I haven't actually tried any of them out yet but I will post reviews in the future as I use the products.

Packaging wise the products have the same style of bottles/tubs as the same products in other ranges, but I do really like the black packaging (which might actually be a very dark maroon/brown shade) with the contrasting bright red poppy.

With regard to the Smoky poppy fragrance I find this quite an unusual one and I don't think it's like the majority of their existing fragrances. I'm not the best at describing fragrances, and I have no idea what poppies smell like, but I'll give it a go! I find this a slightly masculine fragrance that to me smells musky and there's something slightly spicy about it. Mum said she thought it has an oriental smell to it so I'm not quite sure if she's picking up something different to me. I find the Eau de toilette quite strong at first, but I don't think the other product smell as strong as this. It actually really reminds me of one of my mums perfumes that she had a few years ago but as she's gone through about a million different ones I have no idea which one it is. I wasn't that keen on it on first sniff but as the scent settled on my skin it really began to grow on me. I'm not sure if this will be one that everyone will like but I think the people that do like it will love it.

Are you looking forward to trying anything from the Smoky poppy range?

*PR sample

 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The 3am face

I'm sure you're probably thinking 'why on earth would I want to do my make up at 3am?', but what I mean by this is make up that you can apply quickly when you're in a hurry. For me this is most likely when I'm getting up at 3/4/5am to travel to London (or anywhere) for work. For shoots I will travel anywhere up to a couple of hours away, maybe up to two and a half hours at the most depending on how much I want the role and the pay. Most of my call times are 6/7/8am, so when you take into account travelling time (two hours to London), additional time for getting lost/traffic/any problems and then tube and walking time in London, this is why I sometimes have to get up so early!

If I'm getting up at ridiculous o'clock I want my make up to be as quick and simple as possible. Often I have no idea if make up will be doing my make up for me, so I always at least apply a base to make myself look presentable, and then take some with me to do the rest once I've got there. The worst ones are when my call time is 6am and they say I have to arrive with my make up done because we'll be starting straight away (I don't think I've started 'straight away' yet!).

So these are the products I will usually opt for when I need my 3am face.

The 3am face

The 3am face

The 3am face
The 3am face

The 3am face
Once I'm on set it's likely that I'll be there for 12 hours (the longest I've done so far is a 16 hour day) so I want my make up to stay where I put it. As I mentioned in my top products of 2014 post I haven't been a fan of primers in the past, but since trying Laura Mercier's Mineral foundation primer I've changed my mind. This gives my make up some extra staying power and I can apply my make up straight away over the top.

I will need to try and cover my dark circles and it's likely that I will need to try and cover some redness on my cheeks and scaring/discolouration and possibly some blemishes on my chin. Depending on how bad each of these are I will either use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer or the Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten concealer crayon. I will most likely use the Collection one for under my eyes (making sure I don't apply too much so I have to spend ages blending it out) and the Soap & Glory one for everything else. I love that the Kick Ass concealer is so easy to use, just a few swipes and a quick blend, but I don't think it has quite as much coverage or lasts as long as the Collection concealer.

If I really want to be quick I'll swipe on some of Max Factor's Facefinity compact powder foundation as this is just so quick to do. If I have a little more time I'll use Rimmel's Stay Matte liquid mousse foundation. My preferred method for applying this is with my fingers, which makes it quite quick to apply, and I also find this has good coverage.

As I said I want my make up to stick around as long as possible, so as long as I remember (I often forget, especially at that time in the morning!) I'll give my face a quick dusting with Soap & Glory's One Heck of a Blot mattifying powder. I can't go without mascara, so I give my lashes a quick curl so they're not poker straight and then apply whatever mascara I'm using at the time. I'm currently using Maybelline's Great Lash Big. I did use this years ago and won this at the end of last year when they were promoting their new bigger brush. I was concerned this might be difficult to apply, as the brush really is substantially bigger, but it's not a problem and I like it.

Finally, as if I'm not pale enough, getting up at that time in the morning tends to leave me looking deathly pale until a little bit of colour returns to my face. So I usually try to make sure I apply a little bit of blusher. theBalm How 'bout them apples cheek and lip cream in Pie is a good call as you just pick up a small amount of product, dot on your cheeks and quickly blend and you're left with a rosy flush that makes me look a little less corpse like. You need to go carefully though as this is very pigmented and you don't want to be having to try and correct clown cheeks when you're in a hurry! If I want something a little less rosy then I'll probably go for Becca's Beach Tint in Lychee which is just as quick and easy to apply but is a pinker shade. Then I'm good to go.

What products do you like to use when you're in a hurry?

 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

As seen in - Casualty

There are certain TV shows that I would love to get a role in, either because I love the show myself, or the show is a bit of an institution. One of these is definitely Sherlock, so I was pretty disappointed when I was put forward for, but didn't get, a very good role in a Sherlock special that was filmed recently/may still be filming (insert loudly crying emoji here!). But that's the way this sort of work goes. However, last August I did head over into Wales to work on one of my other 'bucket list' shows, and as a result I made an appearance in last nights Casualty.

This one wasn't too difficult as far as shoots go. I sat on a wall talking to another SA while waiting to be used and then when we were on set I just wandered round a shop. 


So as usual it's my back that ended up on camera. This really isn't helping with my boyfriend's running joke that it's only my bum that is famous! For the first shot I did originally walk down the aisle away from the camera and walk past her as she came up the aisle, but the shop was so small we kept crashing baskets so they had to abandon that.

So that was about it for this shoot. The only thing of note was that while we were having our lunch we got a little confused by the five or six SA's that were dressed up as witches. We thought maybe they were just sharing our base for some other filming but then they got on our minibus back to the location. Witches aren't really the sort of thing you usually see on Casualty (we weren't filming for Halloween) but we asked one of the crew what was going on with them and were told somebody was hallucinating. That was all we got though as obviously they have to keep the stories under wraps. If you didn't see the episode, the witches were pushing around babies in buggies!

 Are you a fan of Casualty?

 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Nail art - Laser nails

The first nail art of 2015! As I've mentioned recently I'm getting more and more into nail varnish and nail art and so this year I want to feature a lot more nail art on my blog. Last year I lacked inspiration and just didn't attempt much, but now I'm a complete Pinterest addict (you can find me here) I have plenty of inspiration! 

As I said in my last post I did some nail art using Essie's Watermelon, and here it is.

Nail art - Laser nails

Nail art - Laser nails
Nail art - Laser nails
I apologise if you can see any dry skin around my nails. I hate pictures of nails with nasty skin around them but I'm struggling so much at the moment. No matter how much moisturiser or cuticle oil I apply they just don't seem to get any better or it doesn't last long. I'm seriously considering just wearing gloves permanently at the moment. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

This is based on a simple look I came across on Pinterest just using gloss/matte to make an effect on the nail. All I did was apply my base coat followed by one coat of Watermelon (the 'one coat wonder') and then a glossy top coat. I then applied three pieces of stripping tape across each nail, painted over the whole nail with a matte top coat, and then removed the tape before this dried. The stripping tape blocks the matte top coat leaving behind glossy lines.

I wasn't sure what to call this one (I do like to name my nail art) but I thought the glossy lines against the matte looked slightly like laser beams so went with laser nails. It's not the easiest design to see, unless the light catches on the glossy lines, so it's quite a subtle look if that's what you want to go for.