Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen Swatch and Review with MoYou London XL Stamping Plate 14*

On Saturday I was extremely excited to receive three of the new Models Own HyperGel Collection polishes and you can see my first thoughts post on them here.  I wanted to do individual posts on all three polishes, though, particularly with some comparison photos with other polishes.

There are 10 HyperGel polishes in the collection - a whole array of beautiful pastels and brights which are perfect for spring and summer.  They promise to give super-high-glossy gel-effect results without the need for UV light to set them, as you would have if you had proper gel nails in a salon (which I never have, because I like changing my nail colour too frequently).  The formula is also supposed to be long-lasting and chip resistant, which is always a bonus, and should apply without streaking.

Lilac Sheen is another beautiful pastel from the HyperGel Collection - and is absolutely perfect for spring.  I can't wait to start wearing pastels more frequently.  Like with Naked Glow, this has a great formula.  It's  quite thick (which it has to be if it's going to look like gel in one coat) so application needs a bit of a steady hand to get an even finish.  In one of the photos below you can see what just one coat of the polish looks like - pretty impressive coverage I'd say, though perhaps a little on the sheer side.  Regardless of how one coat looks, I'm always a two coat girl.  With two coats it has a slightly raised finish (which it's supposed to - it's supposed to look like gel after all) and is so glossy, even without a top coat (which the photos below show without).  I found that it dried pretty quickly - which was probably aided by doing two slightly thinner coats.  I've also been wearing it for 48 hours without a chip in sight - impressive!

Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen swatch
Two coats of Lilac Sheen

Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen swatchModels Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen swatch

When I first saw this Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen, it reminded me immediately of Models Own Fruit Pastel Grape Juice which I also own.  Because of this, I thought it'd be helpful to put each one on a couple of fingers to show the difference.  The difference is not only in colour - Lilac Sheen is a more bluey purple than Grape Juice which is more pinky.  The formula of the two polishes is different too - the photo shows just one coat of each polish - Grape Juice is definitely thinner than Lilac Sheen and would need two coats, where you could probably get away with just one of the Lilac Sheen.

Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen vs Models Own Fruit Pastels Grape Juice comparison
One coat of both Lilac Sheen and Grape Juice

I decided to do a little bit of stamping over this one as it was the last one I swatched and fancied wearing it for a few days. I used MoYou London's Pro XL Stamping Plate 14 for this design, with Konad white stamping polish.

Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen with MoYou XL Stamping Plate 14

Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen with MoYou XL Stamping Plate 14Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen with MoYou XL Stamping Plate 14


Overall, I'm a huge fan of these Models Own HyperGel Collection polishes.  They're a super quick and super affordable way to have a salon-finish manicure.

Models Own HyperGel polishes launch at the Models Own Bottleshops throughout February and March 2014 for £5 each - but you can get yours PRE-LAUNCH in the Models Own sale exclusively at 50% off (there'll be a limited number available) - but only if they reach 250,000 fans on their Facebook page before midnight on January 31st 2014 (at the time of writing they're at 249,120 fans, so the sale is looking extremely likely!), so quick - head on over to 'like' them!

*PR sample

Monday, 27 January 2014

Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow Swatch and Review*

On Saturday I was extremely excited to receive three of the new Models Own HyperGel Collection polishes and you can see my first thoughts post on them here.  I wanted to do individual posts on all three polishes, though, particularly with some comparison photos with other polishes.

There are 10 HyperGel polishes in the collection - a whole array of beautiful pastels and brights which are perfect for spring and summer.  They promise to give super-high-glossy gel-effect results without the need for UV light to set them, as you would have if you had proper gel nails in a salon (which I never have, because I like changing my nail colour too frequently).  The formula is also supposed to be long-lasting and chip resistant, which is always a bonus, and should apply without streaking.

Now, first of all, Models Own why did you call this Naked Glow?  You're going to play havoc with what Google thinks I'm writing about on my blog!! That aside, I love this colour - I'm told that nudes are still in for nails this season and it's a great subtle colour if you need something a little more sophisticated and grown up for work.

It has a great formula - which is quite thick (which it has to be if it's going to look like gel in one coat) so application needs a bit of a steady hand to get an even finish.  I've got photos below of the difference between what one coat and two coats looks like.  Admittedly, the one coat is quite a thin coat on purpose - I find it dries better and has a less blobby look to it if I do it in two coats.  With two coats it has a slightly raised finish (which it's supposed to - it's supposed to look like gel after all) and is so glossy, even without a top coat (which the photos below show without).

Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow swatch
One coat of Naked Glow

Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow swatch
Two coats of Naked Glow

Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow swatch
Two coats of Naked Glow

Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow swatch

Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow swatch

When I saw this Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow, a light beigey nude colour, it reminded me immediately of Barry M Lychee which I also own - and I honestly thought they were exactly the same colour.  In fact, when the bottles are side by side they look incredibly similar.  Because of this, I thought it'd be helpful to put each one on a couple of fingers to show the difference.  The difference is not only in colour - Naked Glow is a lighter, less yellow, beige than Lychee.  The formula of the two polishes is different too - the photo shows just one coat of each polish - Lychee is definitely thinner than Naked Glow and would need two coats, where you can get away with just one of the Naked Glow.

Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow vs Barry M Gelly Lychee comparison

Overall, I'm a huge fan of these Models Own HyperGel Collection polishes.  They're a super quick and super affordable way to have a salon-finish manicure.

Models Own HyperGel polishes launch at the Models Own Bottleshops throughout February and March 2014 for £5 each - but you can get yours PRE-LAUNCH in the Models Own sale exclusively at 50% off (there'll be a limited number available) - but only if they reach 250,000 fans on their Facebook page before midnight on January 31st 2014 (at the time of writing they're at 247,532 fans, so the sale is looking pretty likely!), so quick - head on over to 'like' them!

*PR sample

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Models Own HyperGel Collection: Swatches and Review*

Imagine my delight, on returning from the shops laden with Day and Night Nurse to combat my hideous cold, when I found that some of the new Models Own HyperGel polishes had arrived in the post!

Models Own HyperGel polishes swatch and review

I've been excited about these new Models Own HyperGel polishes since I saw them announced on Models Own's various social media platforms over the past week.  There are 10 in the collection and they promise to give super-high-glossy gel-effect with extra vibrant colour.  They're supposed to be highly pigmented, long-lasting and chip resistant and give you the finish you would expect from getting gel nails done in a salon - and should apply perfectly with just a single coat with no streaking or dragging.

So, what did I think?  Well firstly, the colours I got sent are so pretty - and so perfect for spring (my view on January is not that it's depressing, but that it's one step closer to spring and summer).  The formula is the same for all of them - it's quite thick (it has to be if it's going to look like gel in one coat), so application needs a bit of a steady hand to get an even, not-blobby finish.  You can use less of the polish and do a thinner coat, but then you'll need two for a properly opaque finish.  All the photos below show two coats of the polish (regardless of finish, I always feel a bit naked with just one coat!) - I'll be posting individual posts this week on each of the polishes, showing the difference between one coat and two (as well as comparisons with other polishes).  I was really surprised (pleasantly so) by how quick the polishes dried - I was expecting them to stay tacky for longer (in my head I was comparing them with the Barry M Gelly polishes which I think do take a bit longer to dry).  They have a slightly 'raised' finish - as they're supposed to - which gives the effect of a gel polish - and I didn't think there was any need for a top coat, because they're so shiny without one.  I can't comment at the moment about their longevity for chip-free-ness as I only put it on today - but I'll update this post when I know how long they last.

Overall?  I think these are great - brilliant for a quick on-the-go mani, really good value at £5 each and the range of colours means that there should be at least one to suit everybody.  I'm already excited about completing the collection when they're released!

Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen swatchModels Own HyperGel Naked Glow swatch
Models Own HyperGel Lilac Sheen                Models Own HyperGel Naked Glow

Models Own HyperGel Pink Veneer swatch
Models Own HyperGel Pink Veneer

Which of the three is your favourite?

All the lids have swatches of the polish on them

The bottles all have swatches of the colour on the top of the lids which is a nice addition - particularly as when I put all my Models Own polishes in a drawer, I can't see what they are unless they're from the Fruit Pastels, Ice Neons or Velvet Goth collections.  I'd like to see Models Own doing this with all their polishes in future.

The whole collection - which is your favourite?

I love the look of Blue Glint and Cerise Shine - I will definitely be ordering these when they launch!

Models Own HyperGel polishes launch at the Models Own Bottleshops throughout February and March 2014 for £5 each - but you can get yours PRE-LAUNCH in the Models Own sale exclusively at 50% off - but only if they reach 250,000 fans on their Facebook page before midnight on January 31st 2014 (at the time of writing they're at 244,071 fans, so the sale is looking pretty likely!)

*PR sample

Friday, 10 January 2014

Chanel 18 Rouge Noir Swatch and Review

For Christmas I was lucky enough to be given possibly the most exquisite nail polish I have ever come across - and with a collection nearing probably 150* polishes (*I actually have no idea about this, I can't bring myself to count them), I don't use the term 'most exquisite' lightly.  That polish is one Chanel Rouge Noir.  This polish is such a cult polish that it even has its own Wiki page detailing its history.  Its cult status was partly to do with it being thought to be the polish that Uma Thurman wore in Pulp Fiction (apparently it actually turned out to be Mavala Las Vegas, but we'll ignore that).

from blueandmore.blogspot.com

Back to my review.  It's the only polish in the last year of being a nail blogger that I have worn repeatedly since receiving it because it is just so stunning.  It goes with absolutely everything and has, I like to think, a real sophistication to it.  (Dark red feels so grown up).  With two coats, at a glance from a distance you would probably think it black - closer up you can see the red tint to it.  (As the name Rouge Noir suggests, it's a red black.  Is black red a different colour?)

As you would expect (and hope) from a Chanel nail polish, it paints smoothly and has great pigment.  With one coat it's a little bit streaky but you can see the red - two coats gives it the blackness and total opacity.  It dries quickly and is so shiny!  The photos below show just two coats, without a top coat.

Chanel Rouge Noir

Chanel Rouge Noir

Chanel Rouge Noir

Chanel Rouge Noir

Have you ever come across Chanel Rouge Noir?  What do you think of it?  Have you got a favourite red you like to wear?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Too Faced Haul and Review: Natural Eye Shadow Palette, Sun Bunny Bronzer, Powder Pouf Brush and 3 Way Lash Lining Eyeliner

This post is well overdue, bearing in mind I went to New York in October and it's now January (did you see my US Beauty Haul post?)  I hadn't actually come across the brand Too Faced before I went to Sephora for the first time (oh my gosh, what a shop - the UK needs Sephora.  My bank balance doesn't, but I do.)  I was after a bronzer, so the lovely shop assistant introduced me to the Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer.  I liked what I saw of the range and I am a huge fan of both natural eyes and eyeshadow palettes so thought I'd also pick up the Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette.  I couldn't just leave at it at that though, so I also got the Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Eyeliner and Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush (I didn't realise that Too Faced is available in the UK - I imagine (or at least I tell myself) that it is a bit cheaper in the US so I let myself off feeling too guilty).

Too Faced Make Up Haul

Too Faced Make Up Haul

I'll start with the Natural Eye Shadow Palette.  Firstly, the packaging is beautiful - the box is cardboard, but sturdy, and the lid edge snaps shut (I'm guessing it has a magnet in it).  It also has a sweet little bit of ribbon to pull it open.  Inside the palette, there are three rows/columns of shadows.  There are three categories - Day, Classic and Fashion and each one has a big and two small shadows.  The three day ones are matte, the classic and fashion ones are all shimmery (with Nude Beach being quite glittery).  I also love the fact that there are three little pull-out cards with different looks to create with the three categories.  I'm no make up expert so I've used these quite a bit and I think it's such a cute addition to the palette.

Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette

In terms of the colours, there's a nice range of lights and darks.  I actually tend to use shimmer eyeshadows more than matte normally so the fact there are six of these in here is great.  They have great pigmentation, wear really well and I haven't had any problems with creasing (and I'm not a primer wearer, I'm too lazy).  I've been using it as my 'take away' palette if I go away because it's more compact than my Urban Decay Nakeds.

So here are the swatches of all the shadows:

Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette

Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette

Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette

Onto the Sun Bunny Bronzer.  I'm a total bronzer newbie, let me just start by saying that.  So I was totally guided by the chap in Sephora.  I didn't want to look orange - and I probably wouldn't wear bronzer during the day at the moment to be honest, because I'm pretty pale and it's winter.  So this one was his suggestion - the box says it's their original bronzer and their 'answer to getting a natural glow without all that orange drama' - which is exactly what I was looking for.  I apply it with the Powder Pouf Brush which is literally the softest brush ever.  It's made of what they call Teddy Bear Hair fibres and it's just so lovely to use.  It has a light touch and blends the bronzer in with my foundation/tinted moisturiser well.  I think I'm still learning to use bronzer, but I like that it isn't too orange and gives me a natural glow.  I also like the fact that it has two sides - and the Sephora guy suggested that the lighter one can double up as an eye shadow which is a fun idea.

Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer and Powder Pouf Brush

Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer

Finally the 3 Way Lash Lining Eyeliner - I don't have a close up photo of this (sorry), but it has a three-pronged end to it (imagine a miniature fork).  It's my go-to eyeliner now for when I want to do a fine black line on my top eyelid - the three prongs mean that it's great for dotting right between the eyelashes which gives the illusion of a fuller lash line.  You can also use it on one edge for drawing a thin line, or if you used all three together it would be much thicker (duh, obviously).

Too Faced isn't the most affordable brand on the market - it's certainly a luxury product, think somewhere along the lines of Urban Decay or Benefit for price points.  I do love everything I bought and I will certainly be looking to extend my Too Faced collection (I have my eyes on some of the other palettes and Candelight Glow highlighting powder), but they're things I need to save a few pennies for in the meantime.

The Natural Eye Shadow Palette is online at Boots for £29, the Sun Bunny Bronzer Beautybay for £25, Powder Pouf Brush on Beautybay for £26 and the 3 Way Lash Lining Eyeliner on Beautybay for £18.

Have you tried any Too Faced products?  What's your favourite if you have?  What would you like to try out if you haven't?

Monday, 6 January 2014

Dove Winter Care Hand Cream and Body Cream Review*

If your skin is anything like mine, the winter months really take their toll on the condition of my skin.  I know that I definitely don't drink enough water (which would probably improve it quite a bit), but I will admit that I also don't give so much attention to sorting out how dry my legs and arms are because they're always covered up, unlike in the summer.  As a limited edition range, Dove brought out some Winter Care products which are specifically for combatting the effects of the winter elements - warm heating, cold outdoors etc.  I tried out the Winter Care Hand Cream and the Winter Care Cream.



I'll start with the Winter Care Hand Cream - if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I love trying out new hand creams.  I would put this on the night-time end of the spectrum of hand creams I've reviewed, because although it is beautifully smooth and silky to rub in, it does not absorb very well at all so would be hard to use it during the day and go about your daily life easily!  It has the familiar comforting Dove fragrance to it and when I use it at night it does leave my hands feeling soft and hydrated in the morning.  It's certainly an affordable option for a hand cream (£3.49/75ml) and a nice winter addition to my hand care routine.



The Winter Care Cream has the same fragrance as the hand cream and similar properties, too, actually.  It's a very thick cream - I think I made the mistake at first of trying to rub in too much when I put it on my legs, so it's a case of less is more with this moisturiser!  Like then hand cream, I'd say it was a night moisturiser - if you were to put it on before, say, wearing tights, it would feel rather uncomfortable and sticky.  At night, however, I don't mind the feeling of having cream on my legs - and it does do a particularly good job of rehydrating my very dry skin.  In the morning you can even still feel it there a bit, which shows how rich it is.  Again, it's an affordable option for a winter moisturiser (£3.29/150ml) and the tub will probably last you all winter.

What are your favourite winter hand creams and body creams?

*PR sample

Friday, 3 January 2014

Polish Party December - "Black and White" - Black and White Roses Nail Art with MoYou Pro Collection XL 07 Plate

Another month has gone by - and here's the fourth instalment of Polish Party nails.  This month, seeing as we're posting after Christmas, we decided not to go for a Christmas theme but instead a simple 'black and white' theme.  I was in Dartmouth for three days over the new year and had planned to wear a new black and white dress I bought (this one from River Island) so thought it was the perfect occasion to go for some black and white patterned nails.  I also wanted to use one of my new MoYou stamping plates - Pro Collection XL 07 which has some awesome rose patterns on it.  I didn't have my lightbox with me so had to make do with some snaps on the beach after a beautiful winter stroll along the sand.  My friend also got arty and took a couple of photos of the nails and dress combo.

The white base is Models Own Snow White, black base is Models Own Black Magic and I stamped the roses with Konad Black and Konad White.

Black and white roses with MoYou Pro Collection XL 07

Black and white roses with MoYou Pro Collection XL 07

Black and white roses with MoYou Pro Collection XL 07

Black and white roses with MoYou Pro Collection XL 07Black and white roses with MoYou Pro Collection XL 07
Festive table decoration...

What nails were you sporting for New Year's Eve? Pop your links in the comments below or send them to me on Twitter (@fundaflawless)!

And here's a little snap from our beach walk along Slapton Sands.  I love a jump photo!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year: Nails Supreme Metallic/Glitter Nail Art Kit*

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  How did 2014 come around so quick?! One of my resolutions this year is to blog more frequently and regularly (which bloggers don't have that as a resolution?) - we'll see how it goes once term begins again at the end of next week...

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by Presents for Men (they don't just have presents for men!) to take part in their Festive Nail Art Challenge.  The challenge was to use their Nails Supreme Nail Art Kits to design some festive nails - so of course I said I would get involved!  For these New Year 2014-inspired nails I used the metallic kit (which I think is the glitter version on the website).


There are 10 pens in the set and each has both a brush and a pen end to it.  Unlike a lot of other nail art pens I've come across, the brush isn't a striper, but a full brush - which means you can paint the whole nail with the polish first.


Although the top one looks like a metallic purple, for some reason it came out silver?!

The pen end and the brush end

A couple of swatches of all 10 colours in the set:



For nail art pens (rather than what I would call 'proper polish') the polish is of a decent quality - all the swatches above show two coats, which was certainly sufficient.  They painted on smoothly and dried pretty quickly.  I have to say, though, that I find the pen ends quite tricky to work with - usually I would use a striper brush for my nail art - so I kept my design pretty simple.  The polish had a tendency to blob out of the end (funnily enough most frequently with the reds), and some colours came out more vividly than others - the lighter ones didn't work so well on darker colours.  Overall, though, I thought they were fun and make a great addition to my collection - and I'm sure would be a fab gift for any budding nail art enthusiasts.


You can find these Nails Supreme Nail Art Kits on the Presents for Men website, priced at £19.99 each.

*PR sample