Friday, 29 November 2013

Black and Red Nails - OPI Bastille My Heart, Models Own Sardonyx* and Obsidian*

I wore a black and red tartan Hobbs dress to work the other day so wanted some nails to coordinate with it, but not be too over the top (or take me too long!)  This is what I came up with - on my thumb and ring finger it's OPI Bastille My Heart, index and middle fingers it's Models Own Sardonyx* and on my pinky it's Models Own Obsidian*.

I've reviewed Models Own Sardonyx and Obsidian here - I haven't used them for a while and they're now a bit gloopy. I think it's possibly due to the density of the glitter in them.  They still worked fine, but they were pretty thick to apply.  OPI Bastille My Heart is my new favourite red for winter - it's slightly pearlescent, but it's such a beautifully rich red (and I'm not a red polish girl as a rule - but I think I found my red!)  It goes on smoothly, but needs a couple of coats to look its best.  The Models Own Velvet Goths dry to a matte finish, so I topped all the nails with a coat of No 7 Stay Perfect Quick Dry top coat, which is still my favourite!

Models Own ObsidianOPI Bastille My Heart

Black and red nailsModels Own Sardonyx

*PR sample

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dr. Ceuticals Super Repair Hand Cream*

As I've said before, I'm always on the lookout for great hand creams.  As a nail blogger, I put my hands through a pretty rough time with all the acetone I use to take polish off.  I'm also finding that my hands dry out so much quicker in this cold weather - especially having heating on in my flat, which also dries them out.  So when I was asked if I wanted to try out the new Dr. Ceuticals Super Repair Hand Cream, my answer was of course, yes.

Dr Ceuticals Super Repair Hand Cream

Dr Ceuticals Super Repair Hand Cream

It's described as a 'beautiful light and quickly absorbed cream' - which is one thing I look for in a hand cream.  I've usually either got a laptop in front of me, or my iPad or my iPhone, or I'm trying to do marking with a pen so I haven't got time for cream not to absorb quickly!  This is definitely quickly absorbed, with a little going a long way.  I find that once applied, I don't need to apply it again for a good few hours - I've been keeping it in my handbag/school bag so it's always near by if I need it.

It contains anti-ageing Q-10 as well as other nourishing and boosting ingredients such as allantoin and acai - so not only am I sorting out the dryness of my skin, I'm also keeping the signs of ageing at bay, which can only be a good thing.

It has a really pleasant fragrance - it's quite sweet and I can't put my finger on exactly what it is supposed to be, but the best way I can describe it is fruity vanilla.  It's not overpowering though.

So, would I buy it again?  Yes, very probably - and I'd certainly recommend it to friends, too.

Dr. Ceuticals Super Repair Hand Cream is available from leading Boots stores and - £9.99/75ml.

*PR sample

Monday, 25 November 2013

Polish Party November - "Disney" - Micky and Minnie Mouse Disney Nail Art

Oh gosh. I'm possibly the worst blogger in the world.  I have only blogged twice this month so far!  My excuse is that I've actually worked every day so far this month - school has been uncharacteristically busy for this time of year for various reasons - and so, although I've been painting my nails (and enjoying a bit of stamping), I just haven't had the time to photograph them and get them up here.

That all changes today! I've spent a few hours blogging over the weekend and have got some scheduled posts for the next couple of weeks (get me and my organisation)!

However, back to November's Polish Party - this month the theme was Disney.  I'm not going to lie, I'm not a big fan of the 'character' nail - I'd rather wear patterns on my nails than cartoons, but for some reason my cartoony nails (like my Autumnal owls or my Halloween nails - incidentally both for Polish Party) are some of my most popular! Anyway, so I thought I'd do some google research and found designs that inspired my nails - my designs aren't original, they're very similar to these - and I can't find who did them originally.

The colours I used for these were - Models Own Snow White, Models Own Black Magic, Models Own Sardonyx, 17 Red, Rio Nail Art Pens in Black and Red.

Polish Party
Click on the logo to take you to my Polish Party page to find out more about the other participants.

Monday, 4 November 2013

USA Beauty Haul

During half term I took a trip to New York and Boston.  Over the past few years I've got to know America quite well - I say that, there are 50 states and I have spent a considerable amount of time in just 7 of them!  I'm hugely fond of the country, but before this October, I'd never been to New York or Massachusetts (and so now my state total rises to 9...)  I had a fair amount of air miles to use up (I used to travel to the US every six weeks or so!) so I thought why not visit a couple of cities I'd heard so much about but never set foot in?  Everybody I asked said New York is a wonderful city and that I'd love Boston because 'it's so English' - but having summered in California, and fallen head over heels in love with San Francisco whilst I was there, I was a little sceptical as to whether NYC could really be what everyone seems to portray as America's greatest city.  Don't get me wrong, I had a ball there and I can see that it truly is a fabulous city - I did the Frick, the Met, the American Museum of Natural History, MoMA, the Statue of Liberty, the Top of the Rock and Central Park; I went to a Broadway show and an Off-Broadway show; and I spent a good few hours shopping in the likes of Madison and 5th Avenues (particularly Sephora).  I even saw the President himself (well, his car, but he was definitely in it) and ate a good few Shack Burgers at Shake Shack.  But, and I sort of hate to say it, I'm afraid I left my heart in San Francisco last October - the weather, the sushi, the hills, the laid-back nature of the Californians...

This post, though is not about my love for all things Cali, but really about the lovely new make up I picked up whilst I was out there!  Every time I saw a Sephora I had to pop in (and I explored a store new to me, Duane Reade - a CVS/Walgreens-esque store that seems to be specific to New York from my experience).  This is everything I bought of a beauty-related nature...

Fundamentally Flawless: US Beauty Haul
From L-R: Too Faced Bronzer in Sun Bunny, Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Porcelain, various nail polishes (see below), Wet'n'Wild Eye Palette, Tarte Bronzer in Buff, Too Faced Eye Palette in Natural Eye, Sephora eyelash curler, Too Faced brush, Too Faced 3 Way Eyeliner and Sephora false eyelash applicator

Fundamentally Flawless: US Beauty Haul
Polishes from L-R, top to bottom: OPI Bastille My Heart, Forever 21 Aqua, Butter London Petrol, Forever 21 Safari, Milani Gold, Milani Red, Milani Teal

I can't wait to try out these gorgeous Milani glitters - I've seen them swatched before so when I saw them in person (for about $4.29/bottle) I couldn't resist getting a few that will be perfect for Christmas!  I got the OPI polish after I'd had a manicure with it at Lauren's Nails in Beacon Hill, Boston and it's such a beautiful autumnal colour.  I'd been coveting the Butter London Petrol polish for a while since their holiday collection had been announced - it's a fun polish and it really looks like petrol on.  Look out for swatches soon.

Fundamentally Flawless: US Beauty Haul

I'll be doing more in-depth posts about all the bits and bobs I bought over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for them!

(Here's my favourite photo from my trip - isn't the Lady looking beautiful here?)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Leighton Denny QVC 20th Anniversary Crystal Nail File*

When I was contacted about sampling some special edition nail products that QVC and brands have created to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the shopping channel, I jumped at the chance!  The first of these products I have to review is a very special Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File (currently £15.48).  I've already said in the past on my blog, the small crystal nail file is my absolute favourite nail file and I won't use anything else.

This special edition file is a whopping 19.5cm (! the original one is 13.5cm) - so it does feel quite different from the smaller one, but it still works beautifully at filing nails smoothly (you can file both ways, unlike with a traditional file where you should just file one way).  It comes in a protective case (because the file is glass, you don't want to drop it!) which is a little plasticy on the inside and can be a bit tricky to get the file out, but this didn't bother me too much as the file is lovely - and I love the pretty purple end (purple because QVC's colour is purple).  Whereas I like to keep a small one (I have two!) in my handbag so I have one at all times, I'll be keeping this one at home because it's a bit on the big side for portability, but it's definitely a welcome addition to my nail care routine.

Fundamentally Flawless: Leighton Denny QVC Crystal Nail File

Fundamentally Flawless: Leighton Denny QVC Crystal Nail File
The new QVC big file, compared with the smaller original one

Fundamentally Flawless: Leighton Denny QVC Crystal Nail File

Fundamentally Flawless: Leighton Denny QVC Crystal Nail File
(Nails are Models Own Utopia)

You can find this special edition crystal nail file for £15.48 (RRP £19) on the QVC website here.

Other 20th anniversary special edition products include a purple Nails inc polish called Chiswick Park and a purple OPI polish called Purple-icious.

*PR sample