Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Polish Party September - "Autumn" - Autumnal Owls

It's the very first monthly challenge of Polish Party! Since I started nail blogging in January this year, I've met some really lovely people about the place - and it's been really great getting to know them on Twitter and Instagram etc. I had no idea when I started blogging that the nail community was as large as it is - but everyone has been very friendly and supportive which is fab. 

A few of us who are new to the nail blogging community this year decided we'd set up our own group and do a monthly challenge. We aim to post during the week of the last Monday in the month (though I realise some of us are posting a bit early this month!) This month's challenge is "Autumn" - so I went for some little autumn coloured owls.  I wouldn't normally wear nails like this, but they were a request for something I hope I'll be able to talk about properly in the future - watch this space!

There were so many polishes used to do these that I can't possibly remember or list them all.  I used ring reinforcers to block off the semi circle around my cuticle to give the owls ears, apart from that I just used the brushes in the bottles, a dotting tool for the eyes and black nail art pen for the dots on the owls' breasts.

Fundamentally Flawless: Owl Nail Art

Fundamentally Flawless: Owl Nail Art

Fundamentally Flawless: Owl Nail Art

Fundamentally Flawless: Owl Nail Art

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


Monday, 9 September 2013

Clayspray Red Clay and Cacao Face Mask Review*

When I was asked if I wanted to try Clayspray's Glow Red Clay and Cacao Face Masque what really made me say yes was the fact that it was said to smell of delicious chocolate!  I do also love a good face mask - and Friday night was the perfect opportunity to try this out.  The first week back at school after the summer holiday is always a hectic one so it was lovely to sit down with a glass of wine in my pyjamas and treat myself to a luxurious face mask.  I have generally pretty good skin, with the occasional blemish - I have the usual slightly greasy T-zone so I'm the right sort for this mask which is suitable for normal to combination skin.

Clayspray Glow face mask


And this is no ordinary face mask - its formula uniquely uses a fine blend of American and African cacao, which is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, B, D, E and K and fatty acids which are excellent skin emollients - and there are also a whole bunch of minerals in it, too.  All of these are apparently found in greater quantity in the powder form of cocoa than in cocoa butter so it makes the mask even more effective.  The nourishing power of antioxidant rich cacao aids cell regeneration and neutralises the damaging effect of free radicals (the things that age us) - so this aims to give us glowing, healthy and radiant looking skin.

Clayspray Glow face mask
I was a bit too liberal - more than enough for one application

Clayspray Glow face maskClayspray Glow face mask
The mask just after application (L) and the mask when it was dry (R) (you can see all my pores - eek!)

So what did I think?  Well, firstly, the smell is absolutely delicious - so chocolatey!  I have to say I was a little bit tempted to taste it, but I refrained... the instructions on the bottle say to 'spray or moisten skin with natural mineral water'.  Now, I'm not going to lie, I tend not to have mineral water in the house and even if I did, I don't think I'd actually bother to wet my face with it, so I just went for the out-of-the-tap stuff.  The face mask squeezes easily out of the actuator (which you're supposed to wash after use so it doesn't dry and clog up) and actually the amount I squeezed out (see above!) was more than I needed for one application.  It has a slightly clayish consistency (unsurprising, I know) but mainly it just reminded me of liquid chocolate.  When it's dry (which it was after a mere 5 minutes), you're supposed to wash it off.  I left it on a little longer just to make sure I was getting the full goodness out of it.  It washed off really quickly with warm water and my skin was left feeling super soft.  In terms of radiance?  Well I'm not sure I ever really look at my skin closely enough to see how radiant it is, but it did look really clean and fresh and the softness really was so lovely.

This is definitely a super luxury face mask and with a price tag of around £44.50/125ml, it's very unlikely to be on everyone's list of must-have face masks.  The press release suggests to use it as a weekly skin treatment for a glowing healthy complexion or as an evening ritual to restore the glow to dull and tired skin... I think I'll be using mine as a Friday night ritual rather than a daily evening one! It's a real treat product and I did really enjoy using it - espeicially when it made my skin as soft as it did.  Having tried this out, I would definitely consider trying out other Clayspray products.

Clayspray is available from www.clayspray.com (£41.71/125ml with free delivery) and will soon be available from www.feelunique.com.

What's your favourite face mask?  Any recommendations? Pop them in the links below.

*PR sample

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Seventeen Quicker Slicker Colour Sailor Boy* #bootsgiveitago

Last night I went to a Boots lock in!  It was a wonderful evening - lots of prosecco and sweeties in jars... but also lots of incredible beauty products to pick up too (which you'll be seeing more of over the next few weeks)! It was a bit like supermarket sweep - well, the closest I'll ever get to it anyway.  There were experts on hand to show us how to carry out essential looks for Autumn/Winter 2013 - nails, hair, make up - everything was covered.

Now, I'm not really one for ever letting anyone paint my nails.  I'm too picky.  Apparently that happens when you become a nail blogger!  Anyway, my nails were a little chipped so I thought why not - and I'm glad I did because they've been painted more neatly than I could ever do myself! I chose a beautiful sea blue from the Seventeen Quicker Slicker Colour range called Sailor Boy.  (Annoyingly the colour hasn't come out quite right in my photos, they show it to be more purple than it is - I'm working on my understanding of white balance on my camera, bear with me!)  It's shiny and bold and completely opaque in just two coats.  I was given a couple of stickers on my accent nail which are a great addition (they're just from a sheet of stickers from Hobbycraft).  The whole mani was topped with my all-time favourite top coat, No 7 Stay Perfect (which I was telling anyone I could how great it was and how they should pick one up for themselves!)

I'm still getting little bumps on my nails so I asked my manicurist what the problem is and she suggested that I should buff my nails to try to smooth my nails. I realise I haven't actually done this for such a long time, so I'll be giving that a go when I take off this blue.

Seventeen Sailor Boy

Seventeen Sailor Boy

Seventeen Sailor Boy

All of our manicures!

Will you be going to Hobbycraft to pick up some stickers?! What about trying the No 7 Stay Perfect Top Coat?  Or the Seventeen Sailor Boy?

If you're interested in seeing what other trends we tried out on the night, pop over to http://www.autumnwintertrends.co.uk/ to get more information and find out how to pull off the looks yourself! Which will you be 'giving a go'? Pick'n'mix nails? Big bouncy curls? The feline flick? Let me know in the comments below...

*PR sample

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Glam it up a Gear: Ford and Models Own Collaboration Collection*

I was excited when a package popped through my letterbox last week containing the new collection of Models Own and Ford Retail polishes (and some awesome Jelly Belly jelly beans too).

Ford have joined up with Models Own to develop a bespoke nail polish set for Autumn/Winter 2013.  It's a limited edition set of Fiesta colours and initially will be available exclusively to people testing the new Ford Fiestas for the month of September at a Ford Retail new car dealership.  If you want to get your hands on these polishes (and you'll want to, they're gorgeous!) you can visit the Ford Retail website - which will be live in mid September - (http://www.glamitupagear.com) to register your details and then head to one of the new car showrooms for the test drive.  Afterwards, you'll be sent the set of polishes!

The press release says this about the new Ford Fiesta: "The new Ford Fiesta combines contemporary style with state-of-the-art technology and every feature is designed to make the driving experience fashion forward.  The new Fiesta also comes with Ford SYNC which allows drivers to stay connected to friends and family whilst on the move and play music from USB, mp3/iPod or via Bluetooth.  With simple voice commands, the system allows for calls to be made as well as messages to be read aloud, which can then be responded to using pre-selected commands.  The new Ford Fiesta's 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine combines satisfying power with exceptional fuel efficiency and it comes in a range of twelve striking colours."

About the colour choices, Kayleigh Holder, Head Manicurist of Models Own, said "The on-trend Hot Magenta helps keep your nails classic whereas the Candy Blue and Fashionista colours can hep make a bolder statement, especially for the upcoming party season."

Ford and Models Own Glam it up a Gear Nail Polish Collection

Ford and Models Own Glam it up a Gear Nail Polish Collection
Candy Blue, Fashionista and Hot Magenta
Ford and Models Own Glam it up a Gear Nail Polish Collection

So without further ado - here are the swatches!  All of these are just two coats of the polishes.  For some reason whenever I've been putting on polish recently I've been getting little bumps, so I apologise for those. I'm trying to work out whether it's putting on polish too soon after having acetone on my nails - anyway, try to ignore them!

The first is Fashionista - a greeny-gold metallic colour.  Definitely a lovely shade for autumn and Christmas, too, when it comes round.  It's quite a subtle colour on, but the metallic finish to it gives it a glamorous edge.  It was smooth to paint on and dried really quickly.  It didn't need a top coat to be this glossy.

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Fashionista

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Fashionista

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Fashionista

The next is Candy Blue - a dazzling, shimmering electric blue.  I would love a car this colour (like the Candy Blue Ford Fiesta!) You may at first think it's a bit of a dupe for Models Own Dream Stream but it's actually more glitzy and less pearly, though they're similar shades.  This is a stunning polish and I loved wearing it when I tried it - it's just so eyecatching and fun.  Word of warning though, it is a terrible stainer - definitely needs a proper basecoat and it took quite a bit of effort to get it off my cuticles.

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Candy Blue

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Candy Blue

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Candy Blue


The last is Hot Magenta, a really rich, dark reddy magenta.  Although it's called magenta, I'd say it's more on the red side.  I'm not usually a red polish sort of girl - I find it really hard to get the right red for my skin tone, but in this one I think I've found a winner! It's quite a classic car colour isn't it? It has beautiful depth and amazing glossy shine.  This is possibly my favourite of the three colours because I think it's the most wearable.  Sophisticated and very glam - I love it!

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Hot Magenta

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Hot Magenta

Fundamentally Flawless Models Own Hot Magenta


So will you be registering on the Ford Retail website to take a little test drive in one of the new Ford Fiestas?  Which is your favourite of the three polishes?

*PR sample