Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Simple Nail Art 4: Pastel Gradient

Today's NOTD is something a bit different. I have been loving pastel nails recently and have been looking for inspiration for a new way to use pastel polishes. I decided to go for a gradient today, with a little rainbow twist. I was driving down the motorway the other day after all the snow and the car to the side of me was kicking up spray. As it went past I noticed as the sun shone on the spray it made a little rainbow. It looked so pretty I decided to use it as inspiration today. 

I used the new Models Own Fruit Pastel polishes for the gradient, so as well as looking really pretty, my nails smell amazing too! I used Barry M Gelly in Lychee for the base, although a paler colour or white may have been better. 
I first painted a base coat of Lychee and let it dry.
Then sponge on the palest colour, leaving a corner of your nail free (I used Strawberry Tart). I didn't take a pic as this colour wasn't very obvious.
When the first colour is dry sponge a little of the second colour onto the top third of your nail (I used Grape Juice). 
For the darkest colour, sponge a little onto the top corner of your nail (I used Blueberry Muffin).
If the gradient looks uneven you can use the smallest amount of colour sponged over the top to blend it all in. Finish it off with a top coat and clean up the edges.
The colours in this are stronger in real life! I couldn't get a picture which captured the colours properly!

I love this look and the Models Own Fruit Pastels look gorgeous together. I usually just go for normal gradients, graduating down the nail but I like the different effect you get from the pastel gradient by fading it diagonally. They also smell amazing mixed together!

Would you try this? I can't wait for the weather to pick up so my nails can match the weather!

Simple Nail Art:
1Ikat Print
2. Toothbrush Splodges

3. Striping Tape

Monday, 25 March 2013

Simple Nail Art 3: Striping Tape

The third Simple Nail Art idea I have for you is striping tape. This is something I have seen used loads to create some really amazing effects, although I haven't ever tried it before. I am going to attempt something simple to start with, and hopefully will move on to more intricate designs later.
Once again, I will do a step-by-step guide. You can use any combination of colours for this.

First, pick your base colour, the one you want to show through as the stripe. I used Barry M limited edition Gold.

Next, cut small strips of tape, longer than your nail and place them where you want the stripes to be. Make sure they are fully stuck to the nail, right up to the edges. Don't stick them to your finger though, you won't be able to peel it and will make a mess (trust me).

Paint your top colour over the whole nail. I used Barry M Blackberry for this. (Sorry I forgot to take a photo of this step!).
Peel the tape off whilst the polish is still wet. I painted the next nail then once I'd done that went back to the previous and pulled the tape off, this might not work for everyone but seemed to be the right amount of time. Peel it off upwards keeping it in line with the stripe to get a neat line.

Wait for the whole thing to dry and add a top coat and...ta da! Beautiful perfectly striped nails.

I used these striping tapes from ebay, you get 10 colours so could just use it as it is stuck onto your nail or paint over it for the stripe. I love the look you get and these colours are lovely together! This is something I will be doing again and again!

Has anyone else used striping tape? I'd love some more ideas for how to use it!

Simple Nail Art:
1. Ikat Print
2. Toothbrush Splodges

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Seventeen Quicker Slicker Nail Colour

Just a quick review for you today, it isn't something amazing but I love Seventeen products for their fantastic quality and value for money. They have recently re-branded from 17 and are starting to roll out the new products. The Quicker Slicker Nail Colour range has replaced the Fast Finish range with some new colours to go along with the old favourites.
Quicker Slicker polishes claim to be high shine and touch dry within 50 seconds. I am forever smudging my nails as I am too impatient to wait for them to dry, so quick dry polishes are a bonus for me. They do live up to their claims too. In the time it took for me to finish painting my last nail, the first was touch dry. This is great if you haven't got much time and they have some lovely glitter polishes in the range, meaning you don't just have to go for a plain colour. 

I picked up Caribbean Coral to test out, a lovely pinky coral, although it does come out redder on the nail. 
Quicker Slicker are definitely worth a go if you don't like sitting around waiting for your nails to dry. They are available from Boots for £2.99 and on their website here.

Has anyone else tried these?

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Revlon Colour Burst Lip Butter: Wild Watermelon and Juicy Papaya

I posted a while ago about one of my favourite lip products at the moment, Berry Smoothie Lip Butter. I have been wanting to get another shade for a while so was very happy to see the lovely woman turn up to update our Revlon stand as this always means new products! Lucky for me, our stand has three of the four new lip butter shades, all but Pink Lemonade. I had to pick up the two I had been wanting, and got a nail polish free, with the Boots 3-for-2 deal on at the moment!

Wild Watermelon is a gorgeous subtle red, which isn't too bright, so perfect for people like me who don't tend to go for bright reddy reds. You can build these up for more colour but they look lovely as just a subtle wash of colour too.

Juicy Papaya is amazing. I am totally in love with this colour and can see me wearing it right through to Summer. One sweep gives a lovely subtle peachy coral tint, but this can be built up for a more full-on coral lip. I am really impressed with this shade and love how it looks. I think this will be a popular one as it is the kind of colour which will suit everyone!

Both colours are really moisturising as with the rest of the lip butter range. That makes them perfect for the long Winter we seem to be having, if like me you are suffering from dry lips. You do have to re-apply during the day for the balm effect although I do find I am left with colour for a good few hours after the balm has gone.

Have you tried these? Which of the new shades do you like best?

Models Own Fruit Pastel Polishes

Any other nail addict like me has probably been waiting for this collection since the moment it was announced. That, and the fact they are scented appeals to the child in me. I love pastel nails, so these had to be mine! I managed to find them in Birstall Boots, my local one doesn't stock Models Own, but I got very excited when I spotted them in Birstall! I think my boyfriend thought I had gone mental, but I don't care, he should be used to it by now!

Anyway, there are five colours in the collection, Grape Juice, Blueberry Muffin, Strawberry Tart, Apple Pie and Banana Split. I'm sure you can guess from the names what each one smells like. They also have cute little scratch and sniff stickers on the lids, which I did go round shoving in peoples faces at work last night showing them how amazing these were!

I ended up getting them on 3-for-2 and picked up Grape, Blueberry and Strawberry as I didn't think I'd wear green or yellow much. The colours are just gorgeous, the perfect pale Spring pastels, so the scent is just a bonus. We all know nail polish smells awful, so I can't believe this idea hasn't been done before (OK Revlon have done it, but I never took much notice of them). I wouldn't advise sniffing them before they are dry, but they do smell sweet as you are painting your nails. Not fruity like they do when they are dry, just sweet.
Messy, messy! I was too eager to post to remember to clean up!

Don't they look gorgeous? I may have gone a little mad trying to wear all three but I wanted to try them all. Doing it like this means you get a mix of scents too, so you can't pick out one, but they do all smell. Blueberry seems to be the strongest even though I only had it on one nail. The scent lasts for about a day and is stronger if you don't use a top coat.

Has anyone else spotted these yet?

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Seventeen Rock Hard Nail Effects 2

Whilst hunting through my make-up drawers the other day looking for nail inspiration, I came across these and realised I had never used them. I posted here about my love for the black version, which looks very similar to the Nails Inc Leather polish. I then ended up buying the blue and grey versions, so I used them both today as I thought they would go well together.
I really like the grey but I am not so keen on the blue. I still really love the effect you get from these polishes and I do like them better than the Barry M versions. 

What do you think? Has everyone had enough of the textured nail trend now? I think I have, although I am looking forward to seeing what the next big nail trend will be!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Simple Nail Art 2: Toothbrush Splodges

This is the second in my series of Simple Nail Art ideas. Today I am using something I saw on The Nailasaurus, one of my favourite blogs for nail inspiration. She used a toothbrush to create a splodge style pattern, which I really like. I won't be doing a "how to" for this one as it isn't my idea and I don't like to copy, but this is the original post, which shows you how to do it.

Apologies for the poor light on the photos but I wanted to take pictures of this before I took it off and did it in the evening. I used my old favourite, Barry M Gelly polishes for this one. L-R Prickly Pear (base colour), Blueberry, Greenberry, Grapefruit and Papaya.

I like the effect you get although mine definitely don't look as good as the original, maybe the colours I used were too bright. I also think the type of toothbrush can affect the design as mine didn't have much space between bristles and they were quite soft, so you don't get the defined edges like on The Nailasaurus' version. Not as good as I hoped it would turn out, but there you go- I did say I wasn't an expert!

What do you all think? Would you give this a go? I'll probably try it again, but with different colours and a better brush.

Simple Nail Art:

Saturday, 16 March 2013

NOTD: Models Own Magenta Pearl and Disco Mix

Today I am using a couple of the new polishes I got from a blog sale, Models Own Magenta Pearl with Disco Mix for an accent nail. I love Models Own and really want to get some more of their polishes, they have really lovely colours and are fantastic quality. These two go really well together as the pinky bits in Disco Mix almost match the colour of Magenta Pearl.

Disco Mix reminds me a little of Barry M Amethyst glitter, one of my favourite glitters so I am loving this one too! Magenta Pearl is gorgeous too, a lovely metallicy purple/pink.

That's all I have for today, just a quick one before work! Does everyone else struggle to find time for posts while working? Maybe it will be easier in summer when there is light for photos after work too!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

This is another lip product I have been loving recently - the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey. Like most of my other lip colours this is a "my lips but better" kind of colour with a little shimmer, maybe I need to be brave and go for some more colourful shades but I don't think they suit me as much as nude colours.

The Balm Stains are exactly what you would expect, a lip stain with a moisturising balm mixed in. I didn't realise until I looked online that so many shades are available, Boots only sells 7 so I might have to go on the hunt for some of the others as I really love this.

These colours come packaged as gorgeous chubby crayons, which I love as you they are so easy to apply and you can just twist it up as it runs out. They do smell a little strongly of mint, although this doesn't last after applying.
As for staying power, the balm doesn't last that well, it will loose its gloss and balmy feel after a couple of hours or when you eat/drink. The stain however, lasts really well and after applying at 9am I still have colour left at 4pm, although it has faded a little from bits of my lips.
As they are a stain they won't dry out your lips or cling to any dry patches, which is why I prefer them to lipsticks. They aren't the cheapest thing ever, but seen as you aren't reapplying all the time they will last ages!

Revlon Balm Stains are available here for £7.99. Is anyone else loving these? Any other shades you would recommend?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Make-Up Free March: Week 2

The second week of March is nearly over, and the second week of my spending ban. Only two more weeks to go! Things are going better this week than last, so overall I am pretty happy. This week has been an expensive one as my car has been for its MOT and luckily passed, but it also needs insuring and taxing, so my spending ban has come at a good time!

I only treated myself to one thing on pay day  which I debated over whether or not to get and decided I deserved (another) treat. That lovely little item was my L'Oreal Stain Splash in Romy. I am really glad I got it, even if I shouldn't have. 

There are a couple of things still tempting me but I have managed not to buy them, and I have had a few repurchases of empties, which is allowed, although I did really well with that too as I needed to replace my day-to-day blusher which is almost gone, and instead of buying another No7 one I went for a Rimmel one instead which was half the price!

I'm hoping I can curb my beauty spending a little bit now as I can see the day I move out getting closer and closer. The boyfriend will have cleared his overdraft in a couple of months and as long as I have a full time job by then (fingers crossed) we can get into our own place. I really need to get myself sorted now so that it won't be an issue when moving time comes.

Total beauty spends this week: £7.99 (about £7 with discount).

I am lusting after: I still want the Models Own Fruit Pastel polishes. I have also been tempted by the new Revlon Lip Butters and this gorgeous nail polish!

Simple Nail Art 1: Ikat Print

After how well my Galaxy print nails turned out yesterday, I decided to try another effect I have been wanting to experiment with for a while- Ikat print. I'm going to make a little series out of this - Simple Nail Art. I am in no way a expert and am pretty useless at nail art, I don't have a very steady hand, but I like to try out new things so I will be attempting some simple nail art designs and doing little "how to" guides.
There are some really good tutorials on youtube for this, but basically it is the simplest nail art effect ever because the more messy it is, the better it looks. I don't have a very steady hand so do find patterns quite difficult to get right, so I love how simple this one is.

There are loads of pictures around of different ways to do Ikat and I think it looks great in all different colours but I tried to recreate one I had seen and loved, with purple and coral. I have used Barry M Gellys just because I love them. I used my Natural Collection white polish as it is the only white I own and seen as I only use it for nail art, I don't need a fantastic quality one. Models Own nail are pens are also perfect for the outline on the print.
I don't want to do a full tutorial as there are loads of good ones already, so I'm just going to do a quick step-by-step guide.
First paint on your base colour, I used Prickly Pear...
Once the base is dry, paint on white splodges where you want the design to go. This doesn't need to be neat and they can be any size you want.
Over the white, add splodges of your second colour (Papaya), again they don't need to be neat (look at the state of mine!)
Finally, add small amounts of black to the centre of the pattern. Using small brush strokes so you can see the strokes, outline the white areas. Once its dry finish off with a top coat and clean up the edges.
This was the finished design cleaned up. I really like these and they are so simple to do, so I will be trying them in different colour ways. A few of my friends asked if they were nail stickers last night so obviously even the messy bits where it didn't quite go as I wanted don't affect the look of them.

Has anyone else tried Ikat print, I'd love to see them? Any ideas for more simple nail art ideas would also be appreciated!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

NOTD: Galaxy Effect

I actually haven't had any nail polish on for two whole days! I feel lost! I need a job where I am allowed to wear it! So today I decided to try something a little different. I have seen loads of galaxy style nail art but never got round to trying it myself, but I wish I had tried it earlier! It is so simple and looks amazing!
Anyway, these are the colours I used.

I used the No7 Just Black as a base and sponged on small amounts of the other colours. I used the plastic wrapping off my Glamour magazine to allow me to get as little as possible on my sponge and not make too much or a mess (a perfect use for something I'd usually just throw away! Recycling at its finest!).

I sponged on a line of white polish first then used bits of the other colours around the white to blend it and give depth to the colour. I then used Models Own Jack Frost over the top for a little glitter, and a top coat to finish it off.

These don't look as good as some of the others I have seen but I do love the effect you get and I'm going to practise a little more with different colours. I do think Jack Frost is the perfect top coat for this effect though, it looks gorgeous over the top and is just glittery enough.

What do you think? Has anyone else tried this kind off effect? I'd love to see them!

Monday, 11 March 2013

L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash

I haven't seen many reviews of these yet, although they seem to be appearing on many wishlists, so I thought I would get my thoughts out there! I only noticed these a few days ago and had to try them! I'm not a massive lipstick fan, so something that gives me the colour without drying my lips out is always a winner for me and these do not disappoint!
There has been a little confusion over the name of the stain, so I have gone with what is advertised on the L'Oreal stand in my Boots, Stain Splash. L'Oreal describe it as a stain which acts like a gloss and stays put for up to six hours without drying your lips! There are currently six shades available but I chose Romy, a gorgeous natural pinky "my lips but better" shade.

I love the doe-foot applicators which seem to be appearing in more and more products lately. They just seem to make it easy to get a perfect coverage in one sweep, with this one being no different.
When you first apply, the stain feels like a normal gloss. As it settles onto your lips it does change and goes a little tacky (this is all I can think to describe the feeling as I have never had anything like it, but it isn't sticky). I think this is what makes it really stay put, and stay put it does! I applied as I normally would onto bare lips...

I think I should have gone for a darker shade to test the wear, as it isn't really obvious I'm wearing it, but too late for that, and I love this shade! As you can see after 2 hours and having lunch it was still going strong and still glossy. After 4 hours and another cup of coffee, the gloss has gone but there is still a little colour left. No clinging to any dry patches either! I am in love!

Finally, just a quick mention of the packaging as I really love it. I think they look stunning and far more high-end than they actually are! They also have a lovely watermelon scent, although this disappears once applied. L'Oreal Stain Splash is available here for £7.99.

Has anyone else tried these? Are you loving them as much as I am? I might have to pick another colour once my spending ban is over as this was a naughty purchase I shouldn't have made!

Garnier Moisture Match Wake Me Up

I have been looking for the perfect light day moisturiser for a while now and after trying a few different things I think I have finally found my ideal one! I love the idea of matching your moisturiser to your skin and having a whole rang rather than just one for dry and one for oily skin as mine doesn't really fit either category. After seeing these advertised I knew I had to try one! I debated a while over which to choose but finally went for the Wake Me Up formula.
There are five different ones to choose from, all designed to help different skin problems.

The Wake Me Up Moisturiser is a light jelly like formula which smells lovely and fruity and is really refreshing on your skin. It takes a while to sink in and feels a little wet for a while, but after it settles it leaves my skin feeling smooth and fresh. It is designed to make dull skin look brighter, and I am not convinced on this one but I do love how it makes my skin feel.

I really love this, not only does it give a lovely soft smooth base for my make-up but it also smells amazing!
Its perfect for a light base during the day and I am tempted to get the dry skin one for a more intense overnight moisturiser.
These are usually £5.99 but are on offer for £3.99 at Superdug! Bargain! You can buy it here.

Has anyone else tried these? I'd love to hear what you think!

What's In My March Glossybox?

I have only recently delved into the world of beauty boxes, and after last months Glossybox, was really looking forward to getting the next one this month. I had seen a few posts and had a little nosy at what others had received in their boxes, so I was excitedly waiting for mine, when suddenly, there it was when I got home on Saturday although I had been sent no dispatch email. I can overlook this though as I was so eager to see what was inside and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. So onto the pictures....
This months box is all about City Chic, with products designed to keep busy women looking gorgeous. I was really impressed with the samples included this month. If my maths is correct, the total worth of my box was £24.64.

First up, TRESemme Salon Finish Extra Hold Hairspray £4.69 for 500ml, 100ml included. I haven't tried TRESemme hairspray before as I usually just stick to Boots own, but I have just run out of my handbag size spray, so this was a welcome sample!

Now onto the more interesting bits, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £25.00 for 50ml, 7ml included. I'm sure every beauty addict has heard of this one, but I have never had my own to try so I'm looking forward to seeing how well it works. I was glad to see this is the fragrance free version as the smell of the original version really puts me off it!

Next up, another big brand, L'Occirtane's Brightening Hand Cream, £19 for 75ml, 15ml included. I'm not sure how brightening my hands will work, but I do need hand cream at the moment, the weather isn't being kind to me! The first thing I noticed about this was the smell, I'm not a fan of it, but I can ignore the smell if it works! It feels lovely on and my hands do feel softer after trying it, although I'm not sure they look brighter!

This was the sample (I say sample, its really full size) I was most excited to try! Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush, £12. I'm not sure of the shade name, but its a gorgeous pink. I am loving the Revlon version of this, so I'll be comparing them at some point, hopefully this will be as impressive! I didn't realise Jelly Pong Pong were still around, I seem to remember them being one of the most wanted brands when I was younger and I was really jealous when one of my school friends got something from them (can't remember what).

Finally, another perfect sample for me- Nails Inc Bruton St, £11 for 10ml, 4ml included. I love Nails Inc polishes but am reluctant to spend £11 on something I will probably use once or twice, so the mini versions are a good alternative for me. I love this colour, described as a dusky pink nude, I think it will be perfect as a base for some nail art.

Finally, the Glossybox freebie, a mini travelling book with information about all sorts of places. I actually found this quite interesting! You get some cute stickers included too.

Overall, I have been really impressed with my boxes so far and will keep getting them. This months is my favourite, there isn't anything in it I won't use and although it is worth less than last months, I don't think this actually matters.

Did anyone else get a similar box? Are you as impressed as me?