NOTD: Pink and Sparkly Shellac

Monday, 22 December 2014


Earlier this year I was lucky enough to get my hands on a nail dryer for gel and shellac polishes (review here) and it's been the handiest thing ever. Being able to apply nail colour that lasts for up to two weeks at a time without chips has been such a lifesaver; if I know I'm going to be having a busy few days then I can apply them at the weekend, and know that come mid week I wont have to be having to sort out scruffy nails. No last minute nail painting or getting out of the door and noticing chipped nail tips (worst thing ever!) just perfectly smooth colour that looks as good on day fourteen as it did on day one. Up until recently my selection of gel colours was limited, I didn't really know where to buy them from and had been getting by with a couple of shades from eBay. But after being introduced to the brand NYK1 my eyes have opened up my eyes to a massive selection of colours- and I'm really happy to now have the option to buy just about any shade imaginable!

After saying that you might wonder why I've made such a safe colour choice, but as my gel polish collection is still quite small I wanted a shade that I could wear all year around and would go with everything. I think Pink Truffle was the perfect choice for this, it's a creamy baby pink with a very subtle micro shimmer running through- and looks pretty while still being understated (I love it!) I went with Diamond Ballet as my second choice as I thought it would work well as an accent nail with Pink Truffle, and is of course is great to wear on it's own if I fancy something a bit more fun. While I haven't tried the base or top coat from this range, the two shades I have here are both gorgeous- they're a lot less streaky than the shades by Bluesky that I own and cure perfectly under the nail lamp with a really nice glossy finish.

If you own a nail dryer (and if you don't I urge you to think about investing in one, as they're game changers when it comes to nails!) I highly recommend NYK1 gel polishes. You can buy all of your gel polish bits from here- everything to single shades to starter packs and all kinds of nail accessories. I'll definitely be buying all of my future shades from here, and can't wait to add some more to my collection. They're reasonably priced at £9.45 each, and considering that each manicure can last up to two weeks without chipping you get plenty of bang for your buck!

What's on your nails today?
Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a perfume, lipstick and mascara (two winners!)

Babyliss Boutique Deep Waver

Friday, 19 December 2014


Having hair that's naturally straight means I'm always on the lookout for products that can basically make it look the complete opposite, and so anything that can make it look thick and curly/ wavy will always catch my interest. Sometimes I wake up in the morning, take one look at my hair and think 'what the hell am I supposed to do with you'; unless it's just been washed and blow dried (with my head upside) down you can pretty much guarantee it's going to look flat to my head and totally limp- fantastic. While I've gone with the old method of wearing two plaits to bed for as long as I can remember, I sometimes find the results can be a bit unreliable. If one of my hair ties falls out during the night I'll wake up with one side wavy and one side straight, and there are also the times that I've plaited damp hair the night before just for it to not be completely dry by the time I've needed to take them out. This always leads to being left in some kind of weird semi-damp semi-wavy hair limbo where you've got to choose between blowdrying and straightening the frizzy mess, or throwing the whole thing up in a bun and writing it off as a bad hair day (happens far too often for my liking!) So something like Babyliss Boutiques Deep Waver is just the kind of hair tool that I've been lacking- it's quick to do and there's no waiting around for plaits to set, perfect!

Despite looking like a torture device, Babyliss Boutique's Deep Waver is really kind on the hair thanks to the large tourmaline coated barrels. There are three heat settings with a maximum of 200 degrees so you don't have to worry about killing off your hair, and there's no messing about waiting for them to heat up as they're ready to use after thirty seconds. The thing I love best about these is how easy they are to use; the thing about regular curling and waving wands is that there's some basic level of skill involved- while it's easy to do once you've got the knack for it it takes a few practices until you work out exactly what you're doing (my first attempt using a curling wand left me looking much more 'little orphan Annie' than the 'loose curls' I was aiming for- not a brilliant look for me!) With this there's none of that it's absolutely fool proof, even if you've never used anything like this before it's so simple to do right out of the box as all you have to do is clamp the waver along the lengths of each section of hair. I really love the effect it gives, unlike with plaits you can start the wave close to your head which gives loads of texture and volume and makes you look like you have twice as much hair- always a bonus!

Even if you already own a multitude of different curlers and waving tools there's definitely room in your collection for this, as it gives a completely different finish to the hair. Plus it's easy to do, and unlike with curls the results are going to be reliable and look the same every time you use it. Babyliss have a short Youtube video showing how to use this here if it's something you're looking to buy. They also have other hair styling tips and tutorials on their Youtube channel and are active on Twitter and Instagram.

Do you like the look of the Babyliss Deep Waver?
Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a perfume, lipstick and mascara (two winners!)

Genie Cashmere Powder and Brush Review

Thursday, 18 December 2014


I've been blogging about beauty for two and a half years now, and in that time I've tried out a lotttt of products. But one thing that I've never owned in all of that time is a really nice pressed powder, since discovering Rimmel's Stay Matte I've pretty much repurchased on auto-pilot when it's been close to running out. But while that's a fantastic product it's not without it's faults- I find it runs out way too quickly for my liking and the packaging leaves a LOT to be desired (it seems like even looking at the thing is enough to make the writing fade!) In fact I've pulled out brand new and never used compacts out of my makeup storage before to find the front had faded- and that's quite an achievement for something that's not been touched or moved in any way. So over the last few months my love affair with my old faithful pressed powder started to dwindle and I had my eye out for a nicer replacement. Step in Genie's Cashmere Powder; a beautifully packaged compact that promises airbrushed results without caking or settling into fine lines. I think my pressed powder preferences have been changed forever!

I'd never heard of Genie products up until recently, but they're a higher end brand that can purchased from QVC. Their Cashmere powder contains all kinds of gorgeous ingredients that are beneficial to the skin such as vitamin E, soy complex and aloe vera- as well as super ingredient T-1 complex which actually tones and revitalises complexion while reducing free radicals- I'm not sure many other pressed powders could boast those kinds of benefits! As well as being beneficial to the skin it's a beautiful product overall, the texture and application is just a different world to any other powder I've ever used. Genie states that this is 'pressed for convenience but acts like a loose powder' and I completely agree, it takes 'finely milled' to a whole new level (it's ground three times to get the smallest particles possible!) You can just about see from my photos that there's a very slight shimmer to the powder, this doesn't translate at all to a glittery face and instead gives the prettiest subtle luminence to the skin- personally I'm all about a matte finish so this is the kind of thing that would usually scare me but it's very natural without looking 'dewy' or highlighted. Finally the brush that comes with this powder is absolutely amazing, I'd go as far to say it's now one of my favourite brushes that I own. It's soft, dense and feels great on the skin while allowing you to build up the product as much or as little as you'd like.

Genie emphasises that this is a powder that won't make you look old, being in my mid twenties this isn't an issue that really applies to me (yet!) but I'm sure would be a god send for more mature skin as the super fine formula won't settle into wrinkles. Having said that this is a great powder for all ages and skin types, it will give dry skin a natural radiance without clinging to dry patches and mattify oily skin- I can't fault it whatsoever!

What's your favourite pressed powder?

Homeware Gift Ideas

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

One of my favourite types of gifts to receive are definitely homeware items, as much as a new perfume or pampering beauty set will always go down well I find myself getting just as excited about new stuff for my home (does this mean I'm getting old?!) If you're buying for someone who's recently moved house or is just into cute homewares in general then there are some amazing pieces out there- most of these are things that can easily be found in supermarkets and local shops (which is great if you've left it too late to order anything!) So if you fancy giving something a bit different year, here's what I think would work well.

Yankee Candles
Yankee candles are a pretty safe gift in my opinion, most people know the brand and are probably going to like them. You can find their 'Simply Home' range in the homewares aisle in most supermarkets, even the largest jar candles from this range are only £13 so not too expensive at all. You could even mix and match a few different scents with the smaller candles, wax tarts and sampler candles and put together a custom hamper.

Plant
I think this is a really nice alternative to giving someone flowers as it's something that will last and will brighten up their home all year round. Because you're going to be giving it as a gift you're going to want to pick a nice one- I like Ikea's mini cactus (they come in a set of three and you can choose between white or pink pots) you can usually spot gorgeous potted orchids in Asda or Tesco too for under £10.

Photo Frame
This is a great sentimental gift, a pretty photo frame with a picture that will mean something to the person you're giving it to. It's inexpensive yet heartfelt, especially great for parents, grandparents or friends you don't see often. If you're after something a bit different then you can have photos printed on just about anything- cushions, mugs, calendars etc. Just make sure you're checking dates to make sure your order can be printed in time for Christmas.

Ornaments
Obviously you're going to want to choose something that relates in some way to the person you're buying for rather than a generic ornament, but if you can find something suitable this could be the perfect gift. If they're a dog/ cat/ animal lover it will make it easier as there are loads of little animal shaped ornaments, but if you know they have a particular interest then search for things based on that. I really like the camera ornament above from Wilkos, I'm probably going to buy this for myself in the new year!

Quirky Extras
Again this is completely based on what their interests are. For example, a huge mug or a teapot for a tea lover, a decorative box for a jewellery lover, a money box for someone you know is saving for something important like a wedding or a cute cooking accessory for someone that loves to bake.

A Piece of Furniture
If you want to give completely alternative gifts this year, why not consider a piece of furniture? It might not be typically something you can wrap and pop under the Christmas tree, but I got my dressing table as a gift and it's one of my favourite things I've ever received. So if you know that someone is lusting over a new piece of furniture then why not make their day? A mattress or headboard is another idea (or even a completely new bed!), not only will it be practical but is something they'll surely thank you for every night when they have a comfy night's sleep. 

What are your favourite kinds of gifts to receive?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a perfume, lipstick and mascara (two winners!)

Yves Rocher Giveaway- Two Winners!

Monday, 15 December 2014

If you saw this blog post last week you'll have seen my reviews for these three gorgeous products from Yves Rocher. If you liked the look of them, you now have the chance to win your own set, this is an amazing little bundle and I know that whoever wins will love these products. Yves Rocher is a huge luxury brand with loyal customers in over 88 countries, not only do they produce excellent quality products but are committed to sustaining the environment by using eco friendly ingredients and don't test on on animals. Everything I've tried from them has been just beautiful and so I'm really happy to have the chance to host this!

TWO winners will each receive:

50ml Flowerparty by Night perfume
Waterproof Lash Plumping mascara
Moisturising Cream Lipstick (in either 'Rose Alba' or 'Orange Muscade')

The giveaway will run until new years day, so the winners will have a really nice new years treat to bring in 2015!


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