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Nail art - Matte reverse dots

I recently ordered some thin nail art brushes on ebay and have been dying to give them a try.  But when I did try to use them I was very disappointed to find that I just can't work with them.  I'm not sure whether the brushes aren't very good or I'm not very good at using them but I did find it much easier with the brush included in my Models Own nail art pen.  My Models Own pen is black though and I needed white for what I wanted to do so I decided to go for a different design and tried some matte reverse dots.  

I noticed a couple of days ago that Boots currently have up to £1.50 off some of Rimmel's nail varnishes and as Rose Libertine caught my eye and I had £2.19 floating around in my purse I decided to get it.  This was a very Rimmel based manicure as I used Rimmel's new Nail Nurse Nail Rescue as a base coat, Rimmel 60 seconds nail varnish in Rose Libertine and Rimmel's Pro Matte top coat.  I also used Sinful Colors in Snow Me White, Seche Vite and a dotting tool. 

After applying the base coat I then applied Rose Libertine and Snow Me White on alternative nails using two coats of each.  I followed this with a coat of Seche Vite to seal the base colours ready for decorating.  Once dry (which really doesn't take very long with Seche Vite, which is why I use it) I then just dotted each nail with the opposite colour to the base colour.  Once dry (actually I was a little early so some of the dots are slightly smudged) I then applied the matte top coat over the top of each nail.

What do you think of matte reverse dots?

Becky x
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Is your makeup outdated? An update

In May I wrote a post looking at how long makeup and other beauty products actually last and how you can try and find out how old a product may be.  If you'd like to have a look at my previous post you can find it here

I decided to write a follow up post about this because of the increase in popularity of discounted beauty products available in stores such as Poundland and online from websites such as Fragrance Direct.  Although these products are available at bargain prices it has already been found that some of these products are very old and therefore may be past their best, or possibly even harmful.  While researching my previous post I found a website with a tool called the Cosmetics Calculator, which I think everybody should be aware of.  The Cosmetics Calculator doesn't support all brands but there are many on there including Rimmel, MAC, L'Oreal, Clinique and Bourjois.  All you have do is enter the products batch code and the calculator will provide you with whatever information is available, which may include when the product was manufactured and the products shelf life.  

A couple of days ago I decided to head into Poundland to see what beauty products they had available.  The store I went into didn't have anything particularly exciting but I did spot a Rimmel Glam'eyes trio eye shadow that I thought looked pretty so I decided to buy it (it was only £1 after all) and check it in the Cosmetics Calculator.

Putting in the batch code of 1181 the calculator tells me that this product was manufactured on 1st July 2011.  Powder products can last between 1 and 3 years but if this was made in July 2011 this means this eye shadow is already just over two years old.  So it may possibly have a remaining shelf life of around 11 months, but it could also already be way past it's best.  Yes, ok I only paid £1 for it, but when I buy a new product I want it to be new, not already several years old.  

In general I use my common sense and if a product I already own starts to smell funny, look different or feel different then I know it's probably gone off, but it's not as easy when you're buying something new.  I know some people aren't really bothered about using products past their expiry date, but if this is something you're concerned about make sure you check out the Cosmetics Calculator, which you can find here.   

Becky x
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My nail varnish collection - the oranges

Today I'm looking at a colour that I have mixed feelings about.  Some shades of orange I quite like but others I'm not really that keen on.  I only have five orange shades in my collection.   

Essie - Action

You can probably see on the wheel that this shade is looking a bit dodgy!  I actually painted the wheel a few weeks ago but thought I would apply a fresh coat over each colour before taking the picture.  Unfortunately when I went to use Action I discovered that it appears to have turned.  It's kind of separated and gone blobby in places, so that's why it looks so bad on the wheel.  Fortunately I'm not particularly keen on this shade so this will be going in the bin.

Max Factor - Diva Coral

This is another one of the mini Max Factor varnishes that my boyfriend bought me for Christmas.  He didn't do too badly and picked out some quite nice shades, some that I probably wouldn't have chosen myself but quite like now that I have them.  I'm really not very good at describing coral shades but the swatch on the wheel is not too bad, the actual varnish is maybe just slightly more peachy than shown.  

Max Factor - Red Carpet Glam

As you've probably noticed the name of this varnish contains 'red' but I personally think this has a very orangey tone to it so I've included it with the oranges rather than my reds.  It's a close call though and other people probably would have put it with the reds.  This one may be one to try if you're not into a full on red nail.  

Models Own - Pink Punch

I've blogged about this recently and talked about how despite being called Pink Punch, I think this is more of an orange than a pink.  I wanted a neon pink and couldn't decide between trying this and Bubblegum, but went for this because it had pink in the name.  I was slightly disappointed when I got it home and tried it (I do like the colour, it just wasn't the pink I wanted) so I went back and also bought Bubblegum.  Apologies for the dent in this on the colour wheel, I forgot this takes quite a while to become fully dry (I always ,use Seche Vite over the top to dry it much more quickly) and I placed another wheel over the top which then stuck to it!

Ciate - The Gossip

I've also blogged about this shade recently.  This came in the July Summer Splash Glossybox and was one of the main reason's I ordered the box as a one off (how disappointed would I have been if I didn't receive it!).  This was my first Ciate shade and although I wouldn't have chosen the colour myself I really like it.  It makes me think of toffee apples!

So those are my oranges.  What do you think of orange nail varnish?

Becky x   
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Lush H'Suan Wen Hua hair treatment

Don't ask me to try and pronounce this one!

Several years ago I used to Lush's Marilyn and I loved it.  I'd cover my hair in it, wrap it up in a towel and leave it for as long as possible and then wash it off in the shower before shampooing as usual.  The only reason I stopped using this was because Marilyn is for blonde hair, so when I dyed my naturally blonde hair dark chocolate brown a blonde hair product was no longer any good for me.  I wanted a similar product (that you apply and leave on before washing) for brunette hair, but as far as I could see Lush didn't do one.  

Last week I wanted to place a Lush order so I had a quick look at the hair treatments again and found H'suan Wen Hua, which is the same as Marilyn but not specifically for blonde hair.  I'm not sure if this is a reasonably new product (well within the last few years) or if I just didn't notice this when I looked before, but I was really pleased to find this.

My hair is not in particularly bad condition, in fact it's actually in very good condition, but I still like to apply a treatment like this every so often to try and keep it in good condition and make it really soft and smooth.

Lush are all about fresh natural ingredients and this contains fresh organic free range eggs, bananas, avocado, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and rosemary oil.  This one is vegetarian but obviously not vegan because of the eggs.  Lush put stickers on all of their products telling you when it was made and when it should be used by and this has a use by date of 26/10/13.  However, I often use Lush products past their use by date, normally until I see the product starting to change.  

Many of Lush's products smell very strong and in fact I don't very often actually go into the stores because I find the smell too overpowering.  Unfortunately I really don't like the smell of this, but I'm willing to live with it!  I'm not entirely sure what the smell is but I think it may be cinnamon.  As I used to do with Marilyn I applied some to my hair, wrapped it up in a towel and left it on for maybe a couple of hours before rinsing and shampooing. 

Once dry my hair felt amazing, so soft and smooth with a lovely shine and my straighteners glided through my hair really easily.  The only thing I'm not really keen on is that once rinsed out you can still smell this on your hair and I could even still smell this faintly two washes later.  The only reason I'm not keen on this is because as I said I don't like the smell, but if I did like the smell this would be amazing! 

This is £8.95 for 225g which is quite reasonable for a Lush product.  I noticed on the Lush website that people said they got two treatments from one pot but I only used around a fifth of the pot and I have shoulder length hair so I think you could make it last longer than that.  I'd definitely recommend giving this a try!

Becky x
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Nail art - Spring Garden

I know it's a little late now for nail art with a spring theme as it looks like we may be heading into autumn, but as soon as I saw the base shade that I've used for this inspiration struck me.  I recently won one of London Beauty Queen's RT competitions to win a bundle of goodies and one of the products I received was this gorgeous summery green from Rimmel called District-ly Come Dancing (I love the name as I used to be a Latin American dancer!).  It's not a grass green shade but it does makes me think of gardens with pretty white flowers.

As my camera changed the colour of the base nail varnish from green to blue I've had to take these pictures on my phone.  The phone pictures are at least green but the colour is still a little bit darker than shown on the pictures.

I started off with a strengthening base coat as I'm currently trying to improve the condition of my nails.  I've actually just cut my nails off again because although I can grow them long they grow really strangely, kind of curved, and it makes the edges weak.  So I may just have to face the fact that I need to keep my nails shorter :(   

I then applied two coats of my green base followed by a coat of Seche Vite to seal the base.  Using the largest dotting tool I have I then made a rough circle of white dots to make the petals of the flowers and used the same dotting tool to dot a yellow centre in each flower.  I then used a much smaller dotting tool to add the smaller dots and then sealed it all with another coat of Seche Vite.  For the white flowers and small dots I used Sinful Colors in Snow Me White and for the Yellow centres I used Barry M Lemon I/C (which I've been told means Ice Cream).

Next time I would possible try a larger circle of white dots to make more petals, maybe with a smaller dotting tool, but this might then leave too large a space to fill in with the yellow centre.  I think more petals might look slightly better as they currently look a little like fried eggs!  The yellow may also be slightly too light against the white so I might try a darker yellow or possibly an orange.  But in general I'm really pleased with this look.

What do you think of my spring garden nails?

Becky x
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My nail varnish collection - the black & blues

So far I've looked at the pinks, reds and purples in my collection, now it's time to take a look at the colours that I don't quite have as many of.

To be honest I was quite surprised to find so many blacks and blues as I'm really not keen on nail varnishes in these colours.  What I appear to have discovered while doing these posts is that I don't actually know my collection very well, so it's a good job we're getting better acquainted! 

Nail Inc - Bermondsey

This came as part of the Bling it on denim and studs set which I won in a competition on the Look Fantastic website.  This was only available in this set but you can now buy this as just a nail varnish on its own.  This is very similar to OPI's liquid sand effect.  Due to the effect you can't wear a top coat over this which unfortunately means this lasts no time at all.  When I tried this out for my review I'd only had this on for maybe a couple of hours and a large chuck chipped off my thumb nail.  I would possibly wear this to go out somewhere if I wanted something a bit different but I wouldn't use this if I wanted my nail varnish to last for any amount of time.

OPI - Get Your Number

Talking of OPI's liquid sand, this is one of them!  The liquid sand shades do actually last longer than Bermondsey and if I remember correctly they actually last quite well.  Although I'm not a fan of blues I quite like this one because it's a lighter shade and a bit unusual.

Essie - No More Film 

Earlier this year I won a blog competition where the prize was an Essie nail varnish shade of your choice.  I was very new to Essie at the time and didn't really know any of their shades so I took to the Debenhams website and picked what I thought looked like a pretty purple colour.  When it arrived I was disappointed to find that as far as I can see it's a navy blue shade, which is a nice enough colour but I don't tend to use really dark nail varnish shades unless they're a dark red/plum/burgundy colour.  I find many swatches on websites are not very good so I now make sure I check out pictures on Google or Pinterest for a better idea of what the shade may actually look like.

Barry M - Navy

If you've read my previous collection posts you'll know I inherited a number of Barry M nail varnishes and this is another one of them.  This is another navy blue shade but is much lighter than No More Film.  

Nails Inc - Motcomb Street

This is another one of my Nails Inc shades that came courtesy of being free with Glamour magazine.  This is a dark navy blue shade that is virtually black but you can just see at the bottom of the nail wheel swatch that it is a navy blue.  I'm not really sure why I got this one; yes it was an £11 nail varnish free with a £2 magazine but as I've said I don't really like dark nail varnish shades.  I guess I got carried away in the whole it being free thing!

W7 - I Don't Know

This came as part of a prize package from a blog giveaway and to be honest I don't really know anything at all about W7 at all, I'm not even sure where you can buy these from.  I actually quite like this one as although it's black it has a nice silver shimmer running through it which really lightens it up and I can see me wearing this in winter. 

Bad Apple - Bad Bad*

This came from the goody bag I received when I went to see The Lady Boys of Bangkok as a blogger.  This one is a pure black and is the only one I have so I use this for nail art as a base.

Rimmel Precious Stones - Diamond Dust         

This is one my boyfriend bought me for Christmas.  This is a glitter nail varnish which I don't think is actually quite black, more of a light black or grey but this also contains white holographic glitter that gives it the sparkling diamond type effect.  I really like this, but unfortunately it's a glitter varnish so I don't use it very often as it's a nightmare to get off again.   

OPI - Stay The Night

This is a quite an unusual one because it's a liquid sand and also black but with red glitter in it.  I do like this but it kind of makes me think of molten lava!

So those are my blacks and blues.  What do you think of black and blue nail varnishes?

Becky x
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Soap & Glory Hand Food & Endless Glove

I've not been using hand cream for very long and I've only tried a couple of different ones but what I have discovered is that I'm apparently very picky.  Two that I've tried recently I've given away to my mum because I didn't like the smell of one and the other one left my hands feeling too oily.  

I got a sample of Soap & Glory's Hand Food in the goody bag I received from the Harvey Nichols Bristol blogger event earlier this year.  I started this recently and I really like it so I decided to head down to Boots to pick up a full size version.  As Boots had a 3 for 2 offer on Soap & Glory I also got Endless Glove (which I'd not heard of before) and Heel Genius (which I will blog about in the future).

Hand food contains shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow (how amazing does marshmallow in a hand cream sound!).  My requirements for a hand cream are that it has a nice light scent, absorbs quickly and doesn't leave your hands oily or greasy for ages afterwards and Hand Food delivers on all on these.  This absorbs within seconds and leaves nothing behind except nice soft skin. 

Endless Glove is a more intensive hand cream which can be used as just as a hand cream or as a moisture mask.  This contains what Soap & Glory have called Eight-Oil Aqua Wrap (which I assume means this contains eight different oils) for maximum moisturisation.  In terms of using this as just as a hand cream this doesn't absorb quite as quickly as Hand Food but this is to be expected as it's a more intense moisturiser.

To use this as a moisture mask what you really need are a little pair of cotton gloves.  Top tip - if you're going to grab some gloves to use with this don't get them from the display with things like exfoliating gloves, flannel headbands etc as you'll pay at least £4.  Head over to where the plasters, bandages and wrist supports are and you'll find a perfectly good pair of cotton gloves for just £2.59.  The packaging may not be as pretty but they're the same thing and the money you've saved can go towards that new lipstick you've got your eye on!

You just apply a generous amount of Endless Glove, pop your little cotton gloves on and go to bed.  I thought I wouldn't be keen on wearing gloves to bed but I actually found it quite comforting.  This has a reasonably strong scent but I don't mind this at all as it smells so lovely.  I could smell the scent coming from my gloves as I was falling asleep and it was really quite soothing.  Then in the morning you take your gloves off to reveal lovely soft hands.

I love the quirky, bright packaging that Soap & Glory use for all of their products, although sometimes this can look a little too 'busy' in placesI also like that you get a lot of product for your money but also that several of their products have a mini travel size available for just a few pound.  I love both of these hand creams and if you saw my wish list I posted recently you'll know that I'm now lusting after several of Soap & Glory's other products (some of which I have already bought, oops!).

Becky x
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Sinful Colors - Snow Me White

When I was preparing my post for Bourjois' new Laser Toppings I wanted to try these out over black and white nail varnishes to provide a strong contrast between the base colour and the Laser Toppings.  I didn't actually have a white nail varnish so I had to use a nail tip whitener, but this had a really thin brush, which is perfect for just applying the white to the nail tip, but was a bit of a pain for trying to paint an entire nail. 

So I decided that I wanted a white nail varnish to use with nail art but I wanted this to be as cheap as possible as I have no intention of using this on it's own.  Just a couple of days later I spotted a post on Nail Lacquer Blog about Sinful Colors in Snow Me White recommending this as the best white nail varnish out there.  So as they're just £1.99 each I decided this would be the one to go for.

I've not tried a Sinful Colors nail varnish yet (which is slightly crazy as they're only £1.99 each!) and as they're so cheap I didn't have high expectations, but I'm really impressed!

I was fully prepared for this to be a bit of a nightmare to apply and to either require a ridiculous amount of coats to become fully opaque or to look like I'd just painted my nails with Tipp-Ex.  However, I was surprised to find that this is actually pretty easy to use.  I found that two coats is all you need, which I was really pleased with.  It's not in any way streaky and doesn't look like Tipp-Ex nails at all.  Obviously this is a white varnish so you do need to try and apply this carefully as any messy bits will really stand out and it is a little runny so you have to keep an eye on it or you could end up flooding your nail.   

I am really impressed by this and think it's the perfect white nail varnish, whether you just want this for nail art or whether you want to wear it on its own.  I'd definitely consider trying more Sinful Colors shades.

Have you tried any Sinful Colors yet?

Becky x
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Wish List - Soap & Glory

I've haven't actually posted a wish list before but after recently purchasing some Soap & Glory products that I've fallen in love with (and which I will blog shortly) I've started lusting after several of their other products.

As I'm new to Soap & Glory I'd like to know what you think about the products I've got my eye on (if you've tried any of them) and find out what other products have the blogger seal of approval.

Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk

Peaches and Clean is a product that has already been recommended to me but I'm slightly concerned that more recently it has been receiving mixed reviews.  This appears to be because Soap & Glory have changed the packaging but also the actual product itself and many people think it's now not as good as it used to be. I've never tried this before but even if it's not as good as it used to be it may still be very good and I wouldn't be aware of the difference.  

Do you use Peaches & Cream?  What do you think about it after the change?

Whipped Clean Shower Butter

Not so long ago I had a gift set from Ted Baker which included what I think was called something like a shower souffle.  I really enjoyed using this and once it was all finished I headed off to Boots to buy some more only to find that it appeared to have been discontinued.  So I have been looking out for something that may be similar.  After using the souffle in the shower my skin always felt so soft afterwards and this sounds like what Whipped Cream promises to deliver.  

Is Whipped Cream the sort of product I'm looking for?

Glow All Out Luminizing Face Powder

My skin is always quite dull and I'd love to try and give it a bit more radiance but I've never tried any kind of illuminator before.  I don't think a liquid type illuminator would be any good for me because my face really doesn't suit the dewy look at all, it just makes my face look shiny.  So a powder would be the way to go for me.  I like the sound of Glow All Out because apparently you can use it all over your face for a 'moonlit' look which sounds like what I may be looking for.

Do you use Glow All Out?  Do you think this may be good for me?

Big Vanity Bag

Now I don't really NEED a vanity bag like this (although I guess you could argue that I don't really NEED any of the things on my wish list), but this caught my eye in Boots the other day and I really liked the look of it so it's a WANT kind of thing!  I like that this looks tall enough to be able to stand things up in it so you don't have to lay them down and risk the possibility of them leaking everywhere.  

Butter Yourself Smoothing Body Cream

When it comes to a any kind of body lotion or butter I need something that really moisturises and keeps moisture in as my skin can get really dry to the point of turning to Eczema.  However, I hate anything that leaves any kind of residue on your skin so it needs to be absorbed quickly and for nothing to be left behind.  I don't really know anything about Soap & Glory's moisturisers but if Hand Food is anything to go by (which is one of the products I'll be blogging about shortly) I would imagine they may be very good.

Have you tried Butter Yourself? What do you think of it?

One Heck of a Blot Translucent Mattifying Powder

When I was younger I suffered with oily skin and although I do still get oily skin in some areas (most strangely, inside my ears!) as I've got older my skin has mostly shifted completely the other way and is now dry.  One area that has remained oily is my chin and particularly recently this is proving a problem with regard to my makeup.  I have scaring on my chin that takes quite a bit of covering but then within a few hours (and even more quickly recently) my chin starts to produce oil and pushes my makeup away so it slides off my face.  This then means there is little or no makeup left to cover my scaring. 

The powder I'm currently using is one my boyfriend bought me for Christmas but I don't feel like it's doing anything and rather strangely large chunks of it keep breaking off even though I haven't dropped it or even knocked.  So I'm thinking of picking up a new one and I've been impressed by the reviews of One Heck of a Blot claiming that even the oiliest of skin is kept completely oil free all day.

Have you tried One Heck of a Blot and what do you think?

So that is my current Soap & Glory wish list.  Would you recommend any of these products or are there any other Soap & Glory products you think I should try?

Becky x
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My nail varnish collection - the red's

If you're a regular reader of my blog I hope you've been enjoying my nail varnish collection posts.  Today it's the turn of the red's.  I thought I would have loads of different types of red's, but I don't actually have very many, maybe because I think I'm more of a pink nail varnish kind of girl.

Max Factor - Red Passion

My boyfriend bought me several of these little mini Max Factor nail varnishes for Christmas, which he gave to me in a little box, and this was one of them.  This is a pretty standard red and there's not a lot more to say about it really, it's a nice little red shade.

Mavala - Madrid

This is the first Mavala nail varnish that I've tried and I received this as part of a prize package from a blog giveaway.  This is very similar to Red Passion but is not quite as deep, Red Passion is more of a cherry red and this one is just slightly more orangey red.

Leighton Denny - Best Seller

This is the only Leighton Denny nail varnish that I own and I won this is from some kind of online competition.  I can't remember which website it was but I believe it was for a magazine and there was something like two hour timeslots throughout the day where if you entered your details you could win one of however many of a particular product.  I loved this as soon as I tried it and I'd love to get my hand on some more Leighton Denny shades.  This is a deep more burgundy red which has a fine shimmer running through it.  This would be a great shade for the festive season but would also be great in summer so the sun can catch the shimmer.

Nails Inc - Hampstead Heath

I think I probably have more Nails Inc nail varnishes than anything else but this is mostly because every so often Glamour magazine offer Nails Inc varnishes as a freebie with one of their issues.  I love it when Glamour do this as with an RRP of £11 each, getting one free with a £2 magazine is an amazing bargain.  There's usually four different shades available and if I like them all then I'll grab one of each!

Hampstead Heath is one of my go to winter shades and I'm actually about half way through the bottle.  This is a clean dark burgundy shade which I really like. 

 OPI - The Impossible

This is a liquid sand nail varnish (from the Mariah Carey liquid sand mini set) and admittedly it does look as pink as it does in the picture but I included it in the red's because, well at the time of splitting my nail varnishes into colours I thought it was a red.  This is supposed to include star confetti but apparently none of this came out when I painted the wheel.  

OPI - Color to Diner for

I was shopping in Westfield Derby one day when I spotted a billboard advertising that if you spent £50 or over you could go to the concierge and claim a free OPI nail varnish.  A quick check of my receipts confirmed I had spent £50 so off I went to go and collect my freebie.  There were three shades to choose from, I can't remember what the others were but I went for Color to Diner for.  This is another burgundy type shade but is lighter than Hampstead Heath and I think has a very slight shimmer running through it that's difficult to see unless you catch it in the light.

Barry M - Red Black

Red Black is a good name for this as it is such a dark red it is almost black.  I'm not entirely sure about this shade as I think it may be a little too dark for my liking.  

Nails Inc  - Victoria

I believe Victoria is one of Nails Inc's most popular shades but I'm personally not that keen on it.  I found this very thin compared to other Nails Inc shades and not as easy to apply.  This is a very similar shade to Red Black so if you're a fan of Victoria then Red Black is possibly a very good and much cheaper dupe.

The scratch you can see on the lid in the picture is there because when I first got this (as a freebie with Glamour magazine!) I couldn't for the life of me get the lid off.  It appeared to be completely and totally jammed on.  So I had a bright idea to try using one of those kitchen utensils that you use to try and open jars when the lid just won't budge.  This didn't work too well as the grippy parts just slipped round the lid creating scratch marks!  I have no idea how I eventually got the lid off, I expect it was probably brute force courtesy of my dad!

So those are my reds.  Which do you prefer, pink's or red's?

Becky x
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No7 Revitalising Hand Saviour

This week I was very excited to land my first hand modelling shoot. It wasn't anything glamorous, but hopefully I might get more (hopefully slightly more glamorous) shoots in the future.  In general my hands aren't particularly dry but recently I have suffered from a couple of patches of what I believe may be some type of eczema, which has cleared up now but left me with a couple of dry areas.  As soon as I discovered that I'd got the shoot I decided that I needed to get my hands in tip top condition and try and sort out the lingering dry areas.

The No7 Revitalising Hand Saviour came in a Christmas gift set and I took one look at it and put it to one side; a scrub specifically for your hands?  When I was thinking about trying to sort out the dry areas on my hands I suddenly remembered I had this stashed and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go.  

You squeeze a small amount onto dry hands, rub your hands together as if you're washing them and then rinse.  The directions tell you to massage gently and gently is definitely the key word as this is rough!  It claims that as you rinse it off it leaves your hands wrapped in moisture and feeling petal soft and I have to say this is true.  I could kind of feel my hands becoming softer and smoother under the water as I rinsed it off.  

To be honest I'm not really sure how I feel about this product.  At £11.50 it's pretty expensive for what it is but then I can see this lasting quite a while as you only need to use a small amount.  Unless you have particularly dry hands I don't think this would really benefit you in any way and you could easily just use a small amount of body scrub to do exactly the same thing.  This may be good if you have a man in your life who has dry, rough, manual worker type hands but that would probably mean he's a manly man and you may have trouble trying to convince him to use a hand scrub!    

Would you consider giving this a try?

Becky x 
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Ciate Paint Pot 'The Gossip' and nail art - glitter tips

I really should be concentrating on finishing my uni work as my final submission date is in less than 3 months, but I decided to worry about my uni work later and play with pretty nail varnishes instead!

Although I cancelled my Glossybox subscription a few months ago I decided to order the July Seaside Splash box as a one off as it looked so good and I was really pleased to receive a Ciate Paint Pot as I've never tried one before.

Ciate Paint Pot's come in really pretty little bottles which are slim and slightly curved and each one is decorated with a cute little black bow on the front.  The shade I received was 'The Gossip' which is not a shade I would have personally chosen myself but which I now really like.  The Gossip is described as a vibrant peachy coral with a tutti frutti summer feeling.  The picture of the bottle on the Ciate website is a good match for the actual colour but the swatch provided is a little too light.  Whenever I look at this shade it always makes me think of Toffee Apples.

As for the nail art I attempted I decided to try out glitter tips which was inspired by the lovely Fee over on Makeupsavvy.  Fee's blog is one of my favourites and I would definitely recommend giving her a follow.

First I applied a strengthening base coat as I'm currently trying to make my nails stronger (and hoping that my nail varnish will start to last longer).  I then applied two coats of The Gossip and then used Nails Inc's Chelsea Square (which is a bronze glitter) just to the end of each nail.  I then followed this with a coat of Seche Vite to make my nails super glossy and to provide a smoother surface over the glitter parts of my nails.

I'm quite pleased with this although I think I would prefer if the glitter was just on the very tips of my nails (like a glitter French manicure) or if the glitter coverage increased moving out towards the tip of the nail.

What do you think of my attempt at glitter tips?

Becky x
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My nail varnish collection - the purple's

For my second nail varnish collection post I thought I might as well look at another colour that I have quite a lot of, which is the purple's.  I really thought I didn't have many purple's, but as I started pulling them out I was surprised to find I actually have quite a few, I have as many purple's as I have pink's!

Please ignore the colour I've tried to cut off as much as possible in the bottom right hand corner.  Some shades I had trouble trying to decide exactly what colour they were and I had decided this was purple, and then decided that it wasn't! 

Nail Inc - Bruton Street

I really wanted a dusty rose colour nail varnish and then low and behold (what does that actually mean?) my next Glossybox arrived complete with a mini Nails Inc varnish in a dusty rose shade.  I'm aware this is probably more of a pink colour but I really had trouble deciding what group to put this in and in the end it went into the purples.  I particularly like using my matte top coat over this shade as it looks really nice matted down.

Essie - Nice is Nice

This is another nail varnish that came along in a Glossybox and I think when I received this I'd not tried an Essie varnish before.  This is a light pastel lilac shade, almost verging on a grey colour as there's not very much purple in this.
Barry M - Berry I/C

I'm really not sure what the I/C part of the name means!  I inherited several Barry M nail varnishes from my mum's friend's daughter when she moved out and got rid of a load of her stuff.  To be honest I've not really tried any of them out yet but after painting this on the wheel I quite like the colour.  This is another pastel lilac colour but this is darker than Nice is Nice as it contains more purple.  

Illamasqua - Speckle

Speckle is one of the nail varnish's from Illamasqua's I'mperfection collection.  This one again is a slightly different shade of lilac that comes somewhere between Nice is Nice and Berry I/C.  However this one contains tiny flecks and larger pieces of glitter that give it the speckled egg type appearance.  This one is easier to remove than a full glitter varnish but not as easy as a standard polish. 

Barry M - Bright Purple

This is another one of the inherited Barry M shades.  As I've said I haven't actually tried any of these out but again I really like the look of this shade so I may have to start using it.  Although this is called Bright Purple I think this is a bit too deep to be classed as bright.  I would call it a kind of a wine shade.

Illamasqua - Seance*

If you read my pink collection post then you'll have seen Illamasqua's Ouija, which is the pink version of Seance.  The indoors shot of Seance has shown the shimmer up much better than the outside shot of Ouija.  Both are such pretty nail varnishes.

Nails Inc - Park Lane

I have a couple of different glitter nail varnishes but I rarely wear them because they are such a nightmare to remove.  However, the Nails Inc glitter varnishes are really good, providing pretty much complete coverage in just one coat (but you may want to use two coats just to make sure it's perfect).

Max Factor - Fantasy Fire

The swatch of Fantasy Fire on the wheel doesn't look anything like it actually does.  This is quite a strange varnish because as you can see it's very thin (that was three coats) but it doesn't really matter because it just kind of works (although you may want to wear another shade underneath).  It appears blueish in the swatch but this is a purple that contains an amazing pinky shimmer.  When the shimmer catches the light it creates an amazing affect that fits the name of the varnish pretty well.

Calvin Klein - Garnet

This is one of several Calvin Klein makeup products that my boyfriend bought me for Christmas (he did a whole advent calender thing with makeup, so sweet!).  I'm not sure where he got all the bits from but as Calvin Klein released a new makeup line with new packaging not so long ago I think this is a previous line that they may be discontinuing.  This was the first time time I had given this a try and I have to say I really didn't enjoy using it.  It was thin and just didn't apply very well at all, which you can see on the wheel.  As I said I think this may possibly be old stock, so it may be that it's past its best, but I think I'll be getting rid of this one.

Illamasqua - Glitterati

Although, as you've probably worked out by now, I'm a big fan of Illamasqua's nail varnishes, this is one of my least favourite out of the ones I have.  This looks really pretty in the bottle but I'm just not keen on it once it's on the nail.  It's the same great quality as all of their nail varnishes, it's just down to personal colour/style preference.

OPI - Can't Let Go

This is one of OPI's liquid sand varnishes that dries to look like, well, coloured sand!   It looks slightly blue in the pictures but this is a purple.  I quite like the liquid sand effect but I haven't worn any of these for a while.  But if I remember correctly even though you can't wear a top coat with this (because it would ruin the effect) it lasted reasonably well but as with glitter varnishes it was harder to remove than standard nail varnishes.

Which of the purple's I have in my collection is your favourite?

Becky x
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