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LUSH’s Weekly WANT

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How cute are these nail polish Planner stickers from Etsy? With the new year just a few weeks away I’m determined to make the most of my time and get organised in the new year!  This will hopefully include more regular blogging too! Get yours here

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Ultimate nail polish…

So today BarryM announced that they’d won the Cosmo award for Ultimate Nail Polish as voted by their reader’s.

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I have to admit I am a fan of BarryM. When I was first getting back into nails, and wanted to build up my stock colours to start my college course back in 2008, it was the brand I turned to for quality polish at a good price.

I won’t knock the Cosmo readers decision. BarryM is clearly a good ‘all rounder’. And big congratulations to all those hardworking people at BarryM.  However, I’m sure you all have your own favourite brands that you think deserve the title more.

So which is your ultimate polish brand and why?

MAC Liquid Pigment Pearlescent Topcoat

Hello polish-lovers,

So I got a MAC voucher for Christmas and finally got round to spending it. As soon as I got in there I headed straight to the polish section. The trouble I have is not knowing what polishes I already own, I’m conscious of trying not to duplicate too many colours (I won’t ever need to buy another red polish for the rest of my life!)

The great thing about these toppers is they help you refresh your existing collection and are definitely an original addition to my collection. MAC’s instructions say ‘Highlight and illuminate nail colour with three different sheer, pearlescent shades in pink, green or gold. Nail colour will look like it’s glowing from within.’ The two I picked up were Pink Pearl and Gold Pearl.

I have to start by saying I love the MAC polish bottles. Not too wide or awkward shaped. They fit in your hand whilst polishing and have a non-slip, rubber-feel lid. The difference in the two colours are very obvious when looking at the bottles but less so on the nail.

Neutral bases

In order to show off the two polishes to their full potential I painted my nails in some natural cremes – pink, black, grey, white and taupe. (Please excuse the streakiness of the white. I had to bin it straight after as it had gotten so goopy! Can anyone recommend a good replacement?)

MAC pink pearl

Pink Pearl

That ‘lit from within’ quality really shows itself in this polish, especially over a dark base colour. On lighter shades it has a pretty, ethereal look. Indoors it has a subtle fairy-dusting of shimmer but it really comes to life under direct sunlight; making it ideal for day-to-night office wear.

MAC pink topcoat

MAC pink over whiteMAC pink over greyMAC Pink over taupeMAC pink over black

MAC pink over pink

Gold Pearl

This topcoat adds a rich, warm feel to the base colour. Unlike the pink, the gold topcoat is much more pigmented which unfortunately makes it prone to streaking. Less is more with this one, so I’d advise not overlapping your strokes.

MAC Gold Liquid Pigment

The gold paired perfectly with the taupe as it added shimmer without drowning out the base colour.

MAC Gold topcoat

MAC gold over blackMAC gold over whiteMAC gold over grey

MAC gold over taupeMAC gold over pink

The white base was least effective as whether indoor or outdoors the pearl-effect was completely lost – especially when trying to photograph it! Both polishes would really only work as toppers as on naked nails they fall very flat.

Some people say ‘Why bother with toppers? Just get a polish in a shimmer effect’ however it’s a great way to change up your existing polishes, or add a touch of pizazz without having to redo your whole manicure.

In all honesty, these two polishes were very similar to one another so you probably wouldn’t need both. My favourite of the two is definitely the pink. It has plenty of sparkle in an easy to wear way. Especially as they retail at £10 per bottle; you could easily use up your polish-allowance very quickly in MAC.

If you don’t have a MAC shop close by, you can also order online here

Happy Polishing!

Boots Salon Nail and Cuticle Oil Review

So my trusty cuticle pen finally ran out and I thought I’d try a new one. I much prefer a self-contained cuticle oil that I can carry around in my handbag to use daily as otherwise I forget to apply it regularly. I didn’t want to pay a fortune for it but another challenge was many of the cuticle oils contain Almond Oil, which I am allergic to!

Boots Own Brand Oil

With all that in mind I decided to opt for the Boots own brand, Salon, Nail and Cuticle Oil. Looked pretty basic and at just £6.20  a good deal compared with other brands. It’s a 9ml glass vial with a roller ball on top.

Boots Cuticle Oil Roller

The viscosity (runny-ness) of this oil is similar to others I’ve tried but beware the roller doesn’t limit the amount coming out the bottle; turning the upside down and rolling over your nails will leave you dripping oil down your fingers, hands, arms! You’d soon run out of oil if you use it this way! Less is definitely more with this product. A little massage helps the oil to absorb into the right place too.

Salon Nail and Cuticle Oil

After two weeks use I’m really happy with the effect. My cuticles (and skin all round my nail) is soft and healthy looking. Admittedly I don’t have very unruly cuticles so some people may want a more ‘heavy-duty’ cuticle oil but for average nails, that just require a little extra moisture, this oil works well.

What do you think? Have you tried Boots Salon brand products? Do you have an all-time favourite cuticle oil?

So here’s a question I get asked often; why blog?

 

Isn’t it time consuming repainting your nails all the time? (“you clearly don’t have children”) Isn’t it a waste of money buying all that nail polish? Aren’t you tired of looking at a computer screen by the time you get home from work? Are they fake?

teachers-dirty-look

To be honest the answer is Yes and No.

There are times when I think I should probably make the effort to do some stamping or nail art rather than just painting my nails. Especially during challenge months but with or without blogging I take real pride in my nails and they would always be regularly painted anyway.

I try not to think too much about the money my whole polish collection is worth. I have spent a lot on certain polishes but a big percentage of my hoard was given to me as gifts. I don’t have a lot of ‘untrieds’ like many bloggers; if I like them enough to buy them then I’m most certainly going to use them. I am not overly possessive of my expensive polishes (anyone can use/borrow them) and some of my favourite polishes cost me just 99p!

The screen time does bother me. I have to wear glasses permanently and I’m sure the screen time isn’t great for my eyes. So what do you do all evening? Watch the soaps? Ahem – enough said.

As much as I love painting my nails the thing that makes it most worthwhile is the lovely feedback you get from others. I have considered myself a part of the ‘nail community’ for almost three years and promise that they are the nicest, friendliest, most supportive group of women I’ve (n)ever met.

The beauty industry is notorious for bitchiness and back-stabbing but I am happy to say I’ve not experienced any of this. I love making connections with new people who share my love of nails and that’s the main reason for the tag-line on my blog. Let’s us bloggers stick together – there are some people who think we’re mad but all the best ones are aren’t they?

Oh and I almost forgot – they’re not fake, they’re mine! Viva ‘real’ nails

 

Are Derma V10 hand-creams any good? (mind your own beeswax)

Hello lovelies, I hope you’ve all had a great weekend. Mine has been very productive and exciting (unfortunately that’s all I can say at the moment but promise to reveal all soon). I just wanted to do a quick post today to review some of the beauty goodies I received on my trip to FabbLiverpool last weekend.

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Derma V10 is the brand I am reviewing for you today. Two of the nail-related products I picked up from them are Q10 Innovations Hand & Nail Creams; one Moisturising and one Anti-Ageing.

 

It’s not a brand I’d heard of previously but after a little investigation it seems they have many high-street stockists including Superdrug, Tesco and even B&M. The main thing that surprised me about these creams were their price point – just 99p!

Not only is their handcream 99p but ALL of the Derma range is the same price. Their aim is:developing affordable, quality alternatives to overpriced big brands.

Check out stockists here: http://www.healthpointltd.co.uk/where-to-buy.php

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So this week I’ve been applying both hand creams to my hands twice a day (one to the left hand, one to the right hand). I know some people apply creams more often but I rarely use hand cream (I know, my bad) and aren’t prone to dry skin, so twice a day was plenty for me. It’s also worth mentioning that my allergies mean I do sometimes have quite sensitive skin. I regularly find myself asking ‘where did that rash come from?’. However I managed to use both creams all week with no concerns whatsoever.

Anti-Ageing

The viscosity of this one was thicker than the moisture cream. Neither were strongly scented but this was definitely less medicinal smelling.

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This anti-ageing cream contains beeswax (known to lock in moisture, nurture cells and protect skin from damage) and Vitamin E (an anti-oxidant). It had a silky feel and absorbed well into the skin within a few minutes.

My skin felt noticeably improved; smoother and more moisturised. I have yet to see an improvement but perhaps this would happen after longer, regular use.

 

Moisturising

The moisurising cream was definitely a little ‘wetter’ than the other cream; it still held well but took longer to absorb and felt slightly greasier. I probably wouldn’t recommend this unless you are prone to dryer hands – to be fair to Derma V10 the tube does say ‘Helps relieve dry chapped skin’ so perhaps this just wasn’t for me.

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Again it definitely works as advertised, by adding and locking in moisture. Another useful point is the lack of any perfume scent makes it ideal for either men or women to use (watch out ladies, your man may steal this one on you).

There was a more noticeable feel and look to the skin on this one – a little more shine, a little less laclustre.

Overall – skincare is very subjective but I think if your looking for a big moisture hit you could do a lot worse that Q10 Moisturising Hand Cream, particularly for just 99p (I know, I keep saying that)

My personal preference is the Q10 Anti-ageing Hand cream. I much prefer to apply and go – don’t have time to wave my hands around waiting for them to dry. The fresh, clean smell also makes it an easy-wear for me – I don’t want my skincare fighting for dominance over my perfume.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried these handcreams? Or anything else from Derma V10? How much do you spend on hand cream? More than 99p? Are you also a bit lax on your hand cream application? Or do you apply more than twice daily? I’ve discovered the bus journey to and from work is a great time for me to apply, and build it naturally into my routine

 

Anna x

 

FABB Liverpool Event

So last Saturday was a first for me – I went to my very first bloggers event. Fabb Liverpool was advertised as an event run for bloggers, by bloggers. To be honest I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew there would be bloggers to chat to, exhibitors displaying their fashion and beauty products and a goody bag (…there was, and it did not disappoint!)

Fabb Cakes

However, I was also a little (a lot) nervous that there would be a lot of young bloggers clamouring for attention, stalls with pushy sales people, and going alone was worried that I’d be feeling a bit left out. In order to combat the nerves of going to the event alone I checked out Twitter to see who else was going and managed to tag along with three other bloggers.

Fabb layout

The choice of venue, Pan America Bar in Albert Dock, was a great location. Close to the city centre but formal enough that you felt as though you were attending a real exciting event. The upstairs bar was out of the way of drinkers and diners; we were given wristbands to get into the event proper.

Fabb wristband

Stallholders were friendly and helpful; they took the time to explain and demonstrate products and clearly knew their stuff.

Fabb Lush

LUSH – A brand that needs no introduction. Purveyors of handmade, animal friendly, and strongly scented bath and beauty products. A lovely activity they had at the Lush stall was the Emotional Brilliance colour wheel. The idea is you close your eyes, spin the wheel, then choose 3 colours by instinct on opening them. The order you choose the colours in represents your greatest strength, your subconscious feelings and your aspiration. I’m not sure how accurate the reading were (admittedly I am a total cynic) but it was definitely a fun activity that got us all involved and talking. The main question I wanted the answer to though – one I have thought many times before – when are they finally going to produce a range of nail polish? Soon I hope!

Fabb Derma freebies

Derma V10 – affordable skin and beauty products have landed! This was one generous brand; allowing each attendee to take away six products to try. Amongst which I chose two hand creams that I intend to review fully in a future post.

ESPA – I have been lucky enough to try this brand before in my favourite spa. On walking in and smelling the ESPA products I was transported back to days at the spa and instantly relaxed – reason enough for me to use this brand as the aromas were emotive in the loveliest way.

ARK – A clothing brand many will already know. They brought along some lovely, eclectic and original garments; definately blogger-style fashion.

Tropic – A beauty brand that I had not tried before. They not only produce 100% plant derived skincare but had the most beautiful make-up brushes. I was also tempted to try out their brow kits (like many a Liverpool girl I do like a defined brow)

Crystal Clear – I’d heard of this skincare specialist treatment before but seeing the live demonstrations just proved to me how well this brand really works. Some of their products are a little pricey but I’ve no doubt that those with specific skin problems could find the solution here – I’m lucky enough to have pretty good skin at the moment but would definitely look into them again in the future (when my wrinkles become a little more noticeable perhaps!)

Fabb bloggers

I just want to say a big thank you to the event organisers Tor and Ray who did a wonderful job. I would have liked to chat to them more (and other bloggers too) but was happy to have met the people I did: three of the loveliest bloggers I’ve met Laura (of elledeesbeauty.com), Leanne (of little-babble.com) and Sophie (of What-Sophie-Says.blogspot.co.uk)

I look forward to future Fabb events. I can see this just getting bigger and better.

Fabb Espa

What I loved: a lovely laid back atmosphere, good mix of products (some I’d heard of, others were up and coming brands), a jam-packed goodie-bag, a well organised event overall, meeting fellow bloggers for the first time

Would I change anything? The layout could have been better, once you got into a corner it was difficult to navigate back out – maybe spread stalls into the whole upstairs area. Wait to give goodie bags on the way out – they were a little heavy and more than one person’s handles bust! The giveaways were done at the very end of the event – this meant a lot of people had already left the venue (so their entries were invalid) – doing them midway through, with a fully captivated audience would have created more of a buzz. Most importantly, can we have more nail-related products next time please?

After the event: I now have many products to try out an review (watch this space) and have made connections with some lovely people who I hope to meet up with again

Fabb drink

Overall, I’d highly recommend other bloggers attend a FABB event. Check out the Facebook page to see if there’s one near you: https://www.facebook.com/fabbevents/info

Have you been to a Fabb event? Or any other bloggers’ event? Which is your favourite? Do you think there should be more events planned? Have you ever tried to organise your own bloggers event or meet-up? I’d love to know!

Anna x

 

 

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