Monday, 30 June 2014

The Lacquer Lab: Neon Beach Brights Collection Review


The Lacquer Lab is a new Brit polish brand that's creating quite a stir in the polish world - and they've been dropping new collections lately like there's no tomorrow!  Recently they released the Marrakech Collection (the first in their City Series) and the Neon Beach Brights Collection*.  I'm a big fan of bright polish in the summer so I opted to try some from the Neon Beach Brights.

There are 5 polishes in the collection - the two I haven't tried are Baha-Mama (red) and Juicy Bootay (orange).

Bikinis on Bondi

The Lacquer Lab Bikinis on BondiThe Lacquer Lab Bikinis on Bondi

Bikinis on Bondi* is a neon royal or cobalt blue.  In reality it's probably a little darker than these photos show it (these were in sunlight) - and for these I put two coats over a white base to make it pop.  It's a sheer formula so two coats were definitely needed for full coverage.  It dries really quickly to a matte finish, which I love.  It would look awesome with a glossy top coat too.

Playa Flamenco

The Lacquer Lab Playa FlamencoThe Lacquer Lab Playa Flamenco

Playa Flamenco* is a pinky coral neon which would look stunning with tan - it looks pretty good without one, but would be even more amazing with!  As with Bikinis on Bondi, it has a sheer formula so I did two coats of it over a white base.  It also dries really quickly to a matte finish.

Electric Beach

The Lacquer Lab Electric BeachThe Lacquer Lab Electric Beach

Electric Beach* is the most indie polish of the collection.  It's a glitter topper containing matte neon shapes and I think it looks best over a white base so that all the colours pop properly.  Isn't it the cutest?  I'm so in love with this one from the collection and can't wait to wear it through the summer.

Which is your favourite from the collection?  Are you a neon fan?  Let me know in the comments below!

The Lacquer Lab Neon Beach Brights are £7 each or £29 for the collection of 5 (saving £6!) and are available from www.thelacquerlab.com.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Miller Harris: Symphony of Colours - Citron Citron


A few weeks ago I wrote about my first Miller Harris perfumes - the Fleur set.  Today I've got another beautiful Miller Harris perfume - Citron Citron* to talk about.  This summer Miller Harris has collaborated with water colour artist Cyril Destrade to bring stunning new packaging to three of their favourite summer scents and it's called the Symphony of Colours.  The three perfumes in the collection are Citron Citron, Tangerine Vert and Le Petit Grain.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Bioderma Sensibio Skincare Review: BB Cream, Micellar Water and Soothing Cream

Bioderma Sensibio Skincare Review

Bioderma is a brand that's new to me, but one that has almost cult status in the beauty world, perhaps almost due to one product - their micellar water.  I'll come back to that later - first a bit about Bioderma if you've not come across them.  It's a French company who work closely with dermatologists and international research centres to produce dermo-cosmetic products which are intended for medical prescription - so you know that they're going to put substance above frills.  They have a number of different ranges, depending on your skin type: Sensibio for sensitive skin, Hydrabio for dehydrated and sensitive skin, Atoderm for dry skin and Sébium for oily skin.

When I went to the Bioderma launch of their new Sensibio Anti-Redness BB Cream I was told that the Sensibio range would be best for my skin type.  I don't feel like I have too many issues with my skin, it's generally spot-free and doesn't react to any creams I put on it - but I figured that you can never go wrong if you're using sensitive skincare.

Bioderma Sensibio Skincare Review

I've been trying out three Bioderma Sensibio products.  The Sensibio Soothing Cream* (£14.30/40ml) is a light moisturiser with a silky smooth texture and no fragrance.  I've been using it in the mornings under my make up and it's been keeping my skin hydrated and soft in this hot sunny weather.  It's a nice moisturiser which does its job well, but to me it doesn't seem particularly special.  Maybe it's because I like a moisturiser to have a light scent.

The new Bioderma Sensibio Anti-Redness BB Cream* (£16/40ml) is a lightweight BB Cream specially designed to combat redness and reduce the 'overheated' feeling in skin that is prone to redness.  Like I said, my skin isn't too bad, but I do sometimes get a little redness in my cheeks and redness if i have a spot.  I was a bit concerned about the one-colour-for-all nature of this BB Cream because when I've tried products like this in the past, they've never worked for my skin tone.  However, I was really impressed with this one - and at the launch event we all tried it out on our different-toned skin and it seemed to work for pretty much everybody.  I've been using it in place of my usual light foundation, because my skin fortunately doesn't need heavy coverage.  I've found it gives a nice colour to my skin and evens out all the patches (including the red ones), with a slightly velvety finish.  It lasts well, though I have to redo my make up if I'm going out in the evening as my skin tends towards shiny by the end of the day.  It's probably not going to be my daily go-to base but if I'm having a little bit of a red skin day, it's what I'll be reaching for.

Bioderma Sensibio Anti-Redness BB Cream Review
A blob of the BB Cream on a patch of bare skin, on the right side of my hand I've rubbed in the cream

The real winner of the three products I've been trying out is the Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water* (£9.99/250ml) and it's totally clear to me why it is such a hero product.  I tried my first micellar water recently (the REN 3 in 1 cleansing water) and was rather disappointed that it really didn't remove my make up, particularly my waterproof mascara, very well.  However, the Bioderma one is awesome - I love how refreshing it feels, but mainly I love how brilliantly it does its job of removing all traces of make up.  I honestly don't think I'll ever use (or even bother trying) another one again.  Plus, this one is cheaper than the REN one.

Bioderma produtcts are available from leading pharmacies and dermatologists nationwide, including www.johnbellcroyden.co.uk, www.zestessentials.com and www.escentual.com.  (The prices I've quoted are RRPs - I've found a variety online, so shop around).

*PR samples

Monday, 23 June 2014

Magnum Marc de Champagne Inspired Nail Art

Marc de Champagne Magnum Ice Cream Nail Art

We've been having some beautiful weather here recently and with beautiful weather inevitably (for me) comes ice cream.  I usually have some mini Magnums in my freezer for an afternoon treat but I was asked if I wanted to try out the new limited edition Marc de Champagne Magnums* which are currently on sale to celebrate 25 years of Magnum.  I thought I'd do some nail art inspired by the new silver-coated, champagne flavoured Magnums.

Marc de Champagne Magnum Ice Cream Nail Art

The outside of the Marc de Champagne Magnum is a matte silver colour which coats the usual delicious chocolate.  On the inside there's champagne ice cream with swirls of champagne sauce.  The champagne isn't too over powering a taste so they're quite a special addition to the Magnum family.  A lovely idea to celebrate a yummy 25 years!

I used a variety of polishes for this skittle mani - Barry M Silver Foil and Gold Foil, Barry M Silk Pearl, Butter London Diamond Geezer, Models Own Becca's Brown and Orly Holy Holo!

Marc de Champagne Magnum Ice Cream Nail ArtMarc de Champagne Magnum Ice Cream Nail Art

Marc de Champagne Magnum Ice Cream Nail ArtMarc de Champagne Magnum Ice Cream Nail Art

*PR sample



Friday, 20 June 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Nail Art

The Fault in Our Stars Nail Art

I haven't actually finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green yet - so please please don't say what happens (though unfortunately I think I already know).  But have you read it?  Everyone seems to be talking about it at the moment.  Not going to lie, I'm finding Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace more than a little annoying at the moment - mainly because I think they're just so unrealistic.  But we'll see how I feel once I finish it.   The film is released in cinemas today (Friday 20th June) so I thought I would do a little TFIOS mani to celebrate.  This sort of design has been all over the internet, but I think it was probably CutePolish on YouTube who was one of the first to do a tutorial on it.  This is my take on it...


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Published for the First Time: Girl Talk Magazine!

Girl Talk Magazine with Nail Art Kit

Thursday's not usually a blog posting day for me, but yesterday was a very special day...

It was months ago now that I was contacted to ask if I would like to be involved in a nail art issue of the girls' magazine Girl Talk, which is a mag I read when I was a little girl (it's aimed at 7-12 year olds)!  It's pretty exciting to be asked to be involved in something like this - as when I started blogging in January 2013 I literally had no idea at all that something like this might happen.  This issue comes with a free Nail Art Sketchbook, which is covered in photos of my nail art (if you've been a reader for a while you may recognise some of them from last year) - and inside the magazine there's a double page spread of tutorials and more photos I did.  So I wanted to do a quick blog post today to say that it's available now in newsagents - I found my copy in WH Smith (as did my mother, who of course ran straight out to buy herself a copy!) so look out for it if you find yourself somewhere surrounded by magazines!

Girl Talk Magazine with Nail Art Kit

Girl Talk Magazine with Nail Art Kit


Girl Talk Magazine with Nail Art Kit
There it is on the shelf in WH Smith!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Geranium Red: My Favourite Colour for Summer


My love for geranium red began when I bought my beautiful spring coat from Zara - 'Raffia' - as seen in my 'Summer Geranium Picks' at the bottom of this post.  Geranium red isn't just any old red - it's a fresh, orange-hued red which probably isn't going to suit all skin tones but it seems to work with my dark blonde hair.  It would probably look awesome with dark brown, chocolatey hair too.  It's perfect for spring/summer because it's bright and even if the sun isn't shining, it can't fail to bring some cheer.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Born Pretty Store Black and White Water Decals Review (#9626 - S062)


Models Own Lilac Sheen and Born Pretty Store Water Decals

I've never tried water decals on my nails before, so when Born Pretty Store asked me if I'd like to review anything I thought I'd give these a try.  And I wish I had tried them sooner!  They are super easy to use and super quick, which is always a bonus when I'm trying to throw together a mani late at night.   In this post I've used Arabesque Lattice Stripe Pattern Nail Art Water Decals #9626* in pattern S062.  The decals come on a sheet of 16 (which is just enough for one whole mani, or lots if you just use them for accent nails).

Sunday, 15 June 2014

100 Happy Days: Week 11

I'm so near the end of my 100 Happy Days project on Instagram - just 3 weeks to go now! Here are the highlights:



If you don't already follow me on Instagram, why don't you go and have a look?  I post lots of nail art tutorials and flowers too!

Friday, 13 June 2014

My Favourite Highlighters for Summer

Makeup Revolution Baked Highlighter, Seventeen Skin Wow 3 Way Highlighter, Boots No 7 Instant Radiance Bronzing Highlighter, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
Makeup Revolution, Seventeen, No7 and Benefit

Highlighters are a relatively new addition to my make up collection - and since I've started using them, I've totally fallen for them.  They've been getting particularly good use recently in the beautiful sunshine we've been having as they add a pretty shimmer to my cheekbones when they catch the light.  I thought I would put together a little roundup of my favourite highlighters for summer.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

New Cocoa Brown Summer 2014: Gentle Bronze, 1 Hour Dark Tan and Lovely Legs

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Dark Tan, Gentle Bronze and Lovely Legs Review

Last year I reviewed the new 1 Hour self tan from Cocoa Brown* and it's still one of my most popular posts to date (clearly people want to check out reviews to avoid a terrible radioactive orange disaster!)  This year I've been able to try out three new products from Cocoa Brown: the 1 Hour Dark Tan*, Lovely Legs* and Gentle Bronze*.

As I said in my review last year, I was never a fake tan aficionado and tended towards trying to tan naturally to avoid looking like I've been tangoed (so 2000s right?) but that all changed when I tried out Cocoa Brown last year.  I was a little scared of orange peel elbows and terrible streaking, but there was none of that - just beautiful bronzed, natural-looking skin.  So of course, I was keen to try out the new launches.  I'll take them one at at time...

1 Hour Tan - Dark* (£6.99/100ml)

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Dark Tan Review

Seeing as I showed in my post last year how effective the normal Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan was (and you may well be familiar with how it looks on your skin), I thought I'd compare the new Dark version with the original version.  The new dark version is said to be perfect for olive skinned ladies (who like a dark chocolate tan), medium toned ladies (who want to experiment with being more bronzed) and pale skinned ladies (who often need multiple layers of tan to get a proper colour)... so that looks like all bases are covered then!

All the details about how to apply are in my post from last year.  The new Dark version smells the same as the original (the lovely fragrance of Tahitian gardenia) and although it does go through a slightly biscuity phase, it doesn't last very long (and it's not overpoweringly unpleasant).  Application is also as easy as before - use a tanning mitt to cover everywhere you want to tan and you won't get any unsightly streaks.

To show the comparison, I did one side of my body with the original and one with the dark (similar to what I did in my Skinny Tan review last year).  At first (after the three hours I initially left the tan on for before washing it off) I was a little disappointed that the dark wasn't darker - but the photo below shows how the tan looked the following day - and you can definitely see the difference between the dark and the original.  I think next time I'll leave it on overnight to ensure that I get properly bronzed. Since I'm pretty fair skinned I'll probably stick to the original for the beginning of summer and as we approach July and August I'll move to the dark colour.

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Dark Tan vs 1 Hour Tan Review


Lovely Legs* (£8.99/75ml)


Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs


Lovely Legs is a tanning make up that you spray directly onto your legs for an 'instant natural, bronzed Cocoa Brown tan'.  Another bonus is that it's supposed to be water resistant - so no streaks if you're caught in the rain or you get a bit hot and sweaty in the summer (nice)!  You apply it in much the same way as you would apply normal fake tan: spray it onto a tanning mitt and rub it into your legs.  Now, this all sounds just grand - and having been a Rimmel instant tan user for most of my university years, I was really hopeful that this was going to be a new favourite.  But sadly my skin is just not the right colour for this.  I'm just too pale not to look like I drank too much Sunny Delight in the 90s and still have a hangover from it.  It was good at not rubbing off in patches (like I've found the Rimmel one does) and I did try splashing myself with water and again it held up to that... so if you're naturally a few shades darker than alabaster, give it a go.
Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs Before and After Review

Gentle Bronze* (£5.99/200ml)



Gentle Bronze is a gradual tan moisturiser - which moisturises your skin at the same time as building a natural bronze glow if you apply it over the course of a few days.  It has the same lovely fragrance as the other tanners in the range (and the same fleeting biscuit smell when it starts to react with the skin).  I wanted to try this out for a few weeks before reviewing it, due to needing to use it over a few days.  I'm afraid I don't have photos of it, but I can say that it's another hit from Cocoa Brown.  If you don't want to look as tanned as you would with the 1 Hour tanner, but just want a bit of colour to take away the pasty hues of winter, then this is a great option.  I've tried putting it on at night before bed, as well as using it in the morning.  Both work well and a glow can be seen after a few hours.  I also use it to top up my 1 Hour Tan as that starts to fade.  You do have to be a bit careful to rub it in evenly, otherwise you can get strange lines.  I wouldn't build it up over more than say three or four days, because elbows and ankles can start to look a bit messy.


Overall

For me, it's two successes out of the three products - and the third may have worked if I had a different skin tone.  Cocoa Brown is consistently the tan I recommend to friends, particularly ones who have an aversion to fake tan.  It's easy-to-use, effective, smells good and is really affordable.

Cocoa Brown products are available in Superdrug and Primark, as well as online from Superdrug.com and FeelUnique.com - there are currently some good save 1/3 offers in Superdrug!


*PR sample

Monday, 9 June 2014

Triplet Nails: Blue and White Saran Wrap

Barry M Blue and White Saran Wrap Bubble Wrap nails

When I first started blogging, I came across Aimée of Pinkglow's Pretty Polish and Lauren of The Naily Mail and the three of us have been doing it for about the same amount of time and they've both been super supportive on my journey into the blogging world.  We've been talking about doing 'Triplet Nails' (our take on Twinsie Nails) for ages, but now we've got around to it - we'll be doing it as and when we feel like it in future, so we don't feel tied down to it. This time we chose the Saran Wrap method to try out because none of us had tried it before.  (Saran Wrap is the American for cling film, if you're a UK reader).  However, I decided that cling film was a bit too flimsy after I tried it the first time and saw some bubble wrap in front of me and gave that a go instead.  Much better effect!

After trying out a dark blue base with other colours on top and discovering they didn't show up particularly well, I realised a light base with darker colours on top might turn out better.  I used three of the new Barry M Gelly polishes for my nails - a base of Coconut (an off white), then I bubblewrapped Elderberry (a pale grey blue) and Damson (a bright almost royal blue).  It's a really simple technique - you just need to make sure that the base coat is totally dry before using the wrap.  I did a coat of Seche Vite on top of the base coat to make sure it dried quickly and properly.  I've done a mini video tutorial of this which will be up on my Instagram later today so you can see how I did it there.

Barry M Blue Saran Wrap Bubble Wrap nailsBarry M Coconut Saran Wrap Bubble Wrap nails

Barry M Elderberry Saran Wrap Bubble Wrap nailsBarry M Damson Saran Wrap Bubble Wrap nails

I adore what Lauren and Aimée have done with their Saran Wrap manis - click on the photos or links below to take you to their posts and more information on the polishes they used.

        


Have you ever done a Saran Wrap mani?  What colours do you think would look good?

Sunday, 8 June 2014

100 Happy Days: Week 10

Week 10! Only 30 days left to go of my 100 Happy Days project... another lovely week of catching up with friends and enjoying the British summer...



If you don't already follow me on Instagram, why not hop over there and have a look?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser Review

Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser review

I've been using the Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser for a couple of months now - well, it's not something I've used on a weekly basis, although I probably should, I'm too lazy and it's only me using my brushes - but I have used it a few times!  However, I'd been wanting a way to look after my brushes which was more gentle than just washing them in shampoo which is what I was doing before I came across this solid brush cleanser.  It's definitely worth keeping brushes clean - not only to improve their longevity and ensure that they do an effective job of applying the colour you want when you use them (and not last week's brown), but also because you use them on your face day in, day out and therefore they'll pick up grime and grease which isn't good for keeping your skin clean, healthy and spot-free.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Black and White Double Dotticure

Black and White Double Dotticure

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen these nails on Saturday.  I had a bit of a nail art day because of something I'm working on which I'll be telling you more about soon.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

100 Happy Days: Week 9

Sorry it's been a bit of an irregular week on the blog!  I've been on holiday, which should really mean that I've had time to get posts up - but in reality, all routine went out of the window and it didn't happen.  Normal service will resume this coming week though!  I've spent quite a bit of the weekend photographing bits and pieces I'll be writing about over the coming weeks.

So it was Week 9 of my 100 Happy Days project on Instagram and because I've been on holiday I've been able to see lots of friends and do nice things which has been wonderful.


If you want to find out what I'm doing in these photos, hop across to my Instagram to have a look - I'm pretty active over there and also post nail art tutorial videos about once a week!