Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Nails Inc Multivitamin - Clarence Avenue - Nails Of The Day

After a little unplanned break I'm trying to get back on track again and tackle the mountains of posts that I wanted to get finished before Christmas - I'm not sure I'll manage them all now unfortunately but I'm definitely going to try my best. 

Today's post as the title may suggest, is a nails of the day the post all be it one from quite a few weeks ago now.

Nails Inc Clarence Avenue is a beautiful deep purple shade and a shade that I wore for the most recent Intu Metrocentre Style Garden event (you can read about the event here). I wore just a plain jersey from Boohoo, in a similar shade and if you follow me on Instagram you'll also now that I stepped way out of my comfort zone and  I teamed it up with a deep purple lipstick from Make Up Revolution.

I'm going to try and show you the dress in a future but today I'm concentrating on the nail polish. Clarence Avenue is one of Nails Inc's Limited Edition Multivitamin polishes that are / were exclusive to QVC in the UK. The polishes are designed to care and nourish the nails crammed full of vitamin complexes including vitamins B5, C and E, and Zinc and Calcium.

The polish came in Nails Inc's newest style of bottle, and all you need to do it pull off the chunky, square silver lid, to reveal a easy to grip, ridged handle underneath. All the polishes and products from Nails Inc in this chunky style bottle, feature the same wide brush which perfectly contours and shapes to the cuticle. 

With the deep colour and my favourite type of brush you would think that application would be a breeze but in this case I did find it a bit of a struggle. The polish was quite thick but unfortunately the coverage wasn't the best, and I needed at least two coats on each nail. The polish dried fairly quickly though and the finish was super glossy. Wear time though was a bit disappointing and I had my first chip after less than two days. Like I always say though a good top coat might have made all the difference.

I know you always have to be more careful when you apply darker colours but this was a lot more difficult than I'd hoped, throw in the poor wear time and I'm left wondering if it was worth it. Despite that I do love the colour though, this deep, dark purple, is both funky and sophisticated at the same time. Unfortunately I can't seem to find this shade online either in the multivitamin or the original Nails Inc formulation, but I don't think it would be too hard to find something similar. Do you like this deep, dark purple shade? Let me know x 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Trimming My Stash - November 2016 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

Late again I'm afraid, I think you can guess from my previous post why I've been AWOL this week but  I can type again and I'm back with my November 2016 empties

Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make Up Remover - 125ml
Benefit They're Real Mascara - Jet Black - 8.5g
Baylis & Harding Skin Spa Rose Ylang Ylang & Patchouli Body Smoothing Polish - 200ml
Elemis Smart Cleanse Micellar Water - 50ml
AVON ANEW Clean Anti Ageing 3-In-1 Cleansing Water - 200ml
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Hydrating Conditioner - 250ml

Total - 6 Items 

Last month I managed to finish 6 items. It's not as many as I would have hoped but some of these items have been floating around my bathroom and my bedroom for a little while now and I managed to finish item, and a couple of skincare items so it's all good.

1. Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make Up Remover - 125ml

From the very first moment that Boots started messing around with their Botanics Eye Make Up Remover. My quest for a new product to remove my eye make up started. I know I have a couple of old favourites from Gatineau and Lancome that I can fall back but I desperately wanted to find something a more purse friendly price point. I've bought a few so far without much success but seeing as a have really sensitive eyes I thought I'd try a product from a brand that specialises in sensitive skin. I actually really liked this product, a clear liquid, it removed even the most long wear make up without making my eyes burn, run or sting. It retails at around £3.45 for a 125ml bottle and I definitely liked it enough to consider a repurchase. The one drawback is that you did quite a bit of product so if you wear a lot of eye make up, it probably wouldn't last long.

2. Benefit They're Real Mascara - Jet Black - 8.5g

I'm going to be honest and say that I've been using another mascara so I'd actually forgotten about this one hence it was probably open for way longer than the 3 months shelf life - whoops. What can I say about this one? Some days I love it, some days it drives my round the bend, on a good day it gives that perfect false lash effect or bad days it turns into a clumpy mess. Funnily enough the longer I had the better it got. Despite my frustrations with it the good days do outnumber the bad and it's definitely a mascara that I would and already have bought again. You can read a full review here

3. Baylis & Harding Skin Spa Rose Ylang Ylang & Patchouli Body Smoothing Polish - 200ml*

This was a product that I was sent to review many many moons ago (2014!), it was a recent rediscovery and it still smelled and looked fine so I finished it off. You can read a full review here x Although I still prefer a more grainy,  sugar or salt scrub the real winner here was the scent. It had a pleasant oldie worldly rose scent with just a hint of the heady other ingredients. Unfortunately the Skin Spa range appears to have been discontinued but they still do a wide variety of fragrances especially at this time of year, including a new rose scent, and an amazing Blackberry and Apple scent that I'm obsessed with.

4. Elemis Smart Cleanse Micellar Water - 50ml

5. AVON ANEW Clean Anti Ageing 3-In-1 Cleansing Water - 200ml

Next up not one but two micellar / cleansing waters. I think micellar waters are the new cleansing wipes but thankfully most of them are a lot kinder to the skin. You can either use them on their own or as I've been doing as part of a double cleanser. These are two products at opposite end of the price spectrum and I've really enjoyed using both of them. I will be reviewing both of them in the future so that's all you're getting for now x

6. John Frieda Frizz Ease Smooth Start Hydrating Conditioner - 250ml*

The final product that I'm going to share with you today is another one that's be lingering around in the bathroom since the year dot. This product was something that I received as part of a trio of press samples from the John Frieda Frizz Ease range. As one of the first haircare lines on the market for girls with frizzy and curly the entire Frizz Ease range is truly revolutionary. Although this particular product has now been discontinued, and the full line has been reformulated and repackaged I can't praise this hair care line enough. From coarse and unmanageable hair, to a silky smooth, easy to comb main, this range of product is an affordable must have if you have hair that doesn't behave. You can read my original review here x

So that was my November empties post x After another rough month I'm hoping to be a lot more productive on all fronts in December, so lets hope that I manage to finish the year with a bang and use up some more products, and that I manage to get my blogging hat back on x If you have any questions please leave me a comment and I'll get back, I'm a bit behind with blog comments, but I should be up to date within the next day or so, so please bear with me xx

A Sad Life Update - Losing A Pet - 4 Becomes 3

I try not to do too many personal posts now but I wanted to share my news and my experience with you.

I know we have just under a month to go but it's safe to say that I can't wait to see the back of 2016. If you follow me on any of my other social media channels (links in the sidebar) you'll that last week was pretty horrible.

It started off okay but from Tuesday onwards everything went much downhill. My beautiful Persian cat, Jasper stopped eating, I tried to tempt him with a Dreamies treat which he ate with such ferocity, that he ended up biting into my righ index finger. I've had cat bites and scratches before but this one was a bit different, the pain was horrendous and my finger went bright red and swelled up.

A trip to urgent care (round of applause to the NHS by way - great service!) was on the cards, and after a thorough clean, dressing, and a tetanus jab I returned home to a poorly cat with two lots of antibiotics to combat any infection I may have gotten. I think I'm going to end up with a scar but at the time I was more concerned about my ginger boy.

He had several health problems and over the next few days he steadily deteriorated but he wasn't in any pain and we hoped open hope, that he would pass away peacefully in his sleep, but being the stubborn cat that he was, he held on till Saturday morning, when me and my mum made the decision to say our goodbyes and take him to our local vets for the final time.

What can I say about Jasper, the fluffiest, most stubborn, most loving, most laid back and most complicated cat that I've ever met. He came into my life nearly 13 and a half years ago, when I was dealing with the loss of my dad and the two Siamese cats that I had since I was little, my life was in turmoil, and the little furry faced man made things better in an instant. Even with three cats now the house is just that little bit quieter - Charlie keeps running up stairs and looking in all of the rooms, and Tallulah and Jake are jumping up, running and waking up at even the slightest sound.

I know a few people who've said to me that they can't or won't have pets because they can't deal with losing them but I think that's the wrong way to look at it. Pets teach you so much about life, yes they teach you how to deal with loss, and they teach you responsibility but they also teach you about love. An animals love is unconditional, they ask for so little in return for years and years of love and companionship. I know it sounds strange to some people but animals really do become a part of your family, they see you at your best and at your worst, and there always there when you need a furry, feathery or scaly shoulder to cry on, or someone to vent too.

We're hurting at the moment but the pain will ease and we have 13 and a half years of happy memories to cherish. Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely sympathy messages and comments, I really do appreciate them x I'm going to end this post with a picture I shared on all of my other social media accounts this week, it's so typical of the cat that he was, Jasper doing something that he shouldn't have been but with that look on his face that made you forgive him in an instant x

Sunday, 27 November 2016

KIKO Milano Cosmetics Haul And Reviews

As I said before, I think we're pretty lucky in the UK when it comes to beauty products. There are a lot of great UK budget brands, and we also have some of the best European and US brands at our disposal.

One of the most recent brands to make its way on to the UK high street is KIKO Milano. I already own a few KIKO pieces that I'd got in European swaps but now we can buy KIKO here in blighty via there website and if your lucky enough you might even have a store near you.

I'm lucky enough to have two KIKO Milano stores pretty much on my doorstep now in both Sunderland and Newcastle, and I can never resist a little look in every time I go past. Over the last few months I've bought quite a few bits and now I've had a chance to use them all I thought I'd let you know my thoughts on some of their products.

Because the UK website existed before either of the stores near me did, I'd spent a little bit of time looking at the products and deciding what exactly I wanted to try and these Water Eyeshadows were right at the top of my list

These eyeshadows remind me a lot of some the MAC In Extra Dimension products. They look beautiful which is one of the reasons that i bought them I guess but these shadows are just about how they look.

They remind me a bit of a topographical map, with their grooves, peak and troughs, but these specially ergonomically designed 3D, eyeshadow, are actually designed to make these eyeshadows easier to apply, and to make the shadow itself easier to pick up.

There are 32 beautiful shades to choose from and I went for the shades 209 Olive Green and 227 Light Taupe, which is actually more of taupe, champagne colour. These shades are made using spherical powder pigments, which give them a soft and almost creamy feel. You can use these shadows in two ways, dry as you see below, which gives a more sheer, colour and you can also mix them with a little bit of water or some KIKO Mixing Solution, for a full on metallic, block colour finish.

There is literally nothing that I don't like about these shades, I love the chunky matte black packaging and the little mirror inside, I love the appearance of the shadows and I love how they perform. The pigmentation is superb, they feel super soft and creamy, and they apply and blend well and they last. The price of these and a lot of things from KIKO varies depending on the shade, and whether you buy them in store or online but I paid £4.40 each for these in store.

The next thing that I picked was a lipstick, and like their eyeshadow KIKO do a lot of different lipsticks, in different formulations, different packaging and in different shades. I decided to try one of their Smart Lipsticks, which is probably affordable lipstick line in their range.

There are 24  Smart lipsticks shades to choose from and being a creature of habit, I went for one of their nude, pink shades - 927 Intense Rose.

Packaged in a basic but stylish matte black bullet, all of the lipsticks in the Smart Lipstick line are designed to smooth, creamy and nourishing and this one is no exception.

It has a soft and creamy feel, and you get no dragging on the lips but it isn't so creamy that just disappears in a instant. The pigmentation and strength of colour is excellent, and it's also very buildable so can either apply a thin layer for a sheerer shade or you can build it up or apply it with a heavier hand for a full block colour.

Here you can see a couple of pictures of it on the lips, no close ups I'm afraid but I hope it gives you an idea of what this colour looks like on the lips.


I don't know whether it's down to the super wearable shade of the creamy formulation but this has been one of my go to lipsticks for the last month of so. I've dabbled the odd red, purple or nude lipstick but I keep coming back to this one and for the price I really can't fault it. Again prices vary but I think I paid around £3.90 for this one. The only drawback I guess could be the taste and scent, I know not every likes a vanilla based scent and taste but personally I don't mind it.

Next up a blusher and something else with a chocolate, vanilla scent. This is actually a blush duo, and it's one of the KIKO Milano Cocoa Shock blushes.

Open the gorgeous mint green box, and inside you're greeted with two ginormous squares of chocolate! Okay it's not real chocolate but that's exactly what this sturdy, plastic compact is designed to look like, two rich creamy squares of milk chocolate.

Alas there isn't any chocolate inside but instead your greeted with two sweet and creamy scented, chunky squares of blusher, and a full sized mirror.

There are 4 different colour combinations to choose from and this is 03 Adorable Pink and Peach. Despite their traditional powder appearance these blushers are actually baked, to create an ultra lightweight buildable formula.

Every beauty needs a baby pink and a peachy coral blush in their collection and especially two blushers as nice as these ones. As well as being vanilla scented both of these blushers are super soft, and silky to the touch. It does mean that they are a touch powdery but given the softest and the superb pigmentation I can forgive a little bit of mess.

Alas the autumn and winter light has not been kind to me but I've tried to get a few pictures of these blushers on my cheeks - again it's not showing up to well especially with the peach coral but I hope it gives you some idea x The peach coral is first, then you can see the baby pink shade. I've chosen to use them separately but you can mix them together x

This palette is a little bit more expensive then the items that I've already talked about but for me it's well worth it. Although I'd probably save the peach coral shade for spring and summer, the baby pink shade is one of my favourite blush colours and it works perfectly with the pink undertones in my skin. I love the packaging, vanilla scent and the quality of the blushes themselves so I have no regrets about paying £10.90 for this palette.

The next couple of things that i got were both nail polishes and to be honest I will talk about more about these in a future nails of the day post but I thought I'd let you have a sneaky look at them now x

On the left you have the KIKO Nail Lacquer in 521 Pearly Ocean, which is beautiful metallic, glittery turquoise blue,

and on the right you have KIKO Nail Lacquer in 530 Pearly Blue Peacock, which is metallic glittery, teal which is shot through with gold shimmer.

Again the prices vary depending on the shade, and whether you buy them online or in store, but these polishes usually retail at around £2.50 for an 11ml bottle, but I was lucky enough to get them for £1 each. This formulation is supposed to be super glossy and almost gel like, throw in the fact that they are toluene, camphor, DBP and formaldehyde free and I really can't wait to try them out.

The final product I'm going to show is something that I've fallen in love with but unfortunately I don't think you can get it any more. I bought it from the sale stand a few months ago but I'm showing you it anyways just in case any reappear in either the Black Friday or the January Sales.

The first thing that I can say about the KIKO Milano Dessert Dunes Baked Blush is WOW! The packaging is beautiful. Open the box and you immediately spy a beautiful textured rose, gold compact. It's plastic but when it looks as good as this who cares!

As much as I love pretty packaging though - it really should be about the product inside and this compact from KIKO certainly doesn't disappoint!

Alongside a good sized mirror, you get a beautiful tri colour, baked blusher, which features a dark pink, a peachy coral shades, and a bright but so wearable baby pink.

Again with a slight vanilla scent, these baked powders are silky, silky soft and lightweight. Again you get a bit of dust and fallout but as I say I can live with that.

The pigmentation is superb, and you can use each of the colours separately or you can swirl them all together. I haven't managed to take a picture of this product on my face but you can see me wearing it like this in the lip pictures above and in the You Tube video at the end of this post.

I know this product isn't available any more but as I say you might be able to find it on a sale rack, if you can't though there are some beautiful baked blushers and bronzers in KIKO's Holiday 2016 collection.

As I say I've made a little You Tube video to accompany this haul which you watch via this link or below. If anything could go wrong in this video, it probably did but I hope you enjoy it and find it useful regardless of my total lack of professionalism :)

I'm now officially a KIKO convert and I would definitely recommend checking out their products either online and in store if you have one near you. If you have any KIKO recommendations I'd love to hear them so leave me a comment and let me know x

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Make Up Gallery - Time To Shine - Quick Dry Nail Colour - 25 Purple Reign

It's been a little which since I last talked about a product from Make Up Gallery at Poundland, but I'm back today with a nails of the day from the polish with probably one of the longest names in history.

The name may be a long one but the price certainly isn't - the imaginatively named Purple Reign, is just one of a large number of polishes in the Make Gallery line which is exclusive to Poundland. All of these polishes retail at just £1 and although I'd only tried one of them before this one my first impressions were good, so I thought I'd try another shade.

Lets face it I love any lilac or purple nails polish Purple Reign is one of those dirt, dusky, purple, lilac shades that hold a special place in my heart.

The bottle is pretty basic but it's definitely fit for purpose and this short, but super wide brush is very easy to paint with. The formulation and the coverage was decent but I still needed two coats for a perfect finish. As the name suggests this polish dries super quickly so adding the odd extra coat isn't any hardship, and it dries down to a super glossy finish which is a bonus.

As per usual I tested this polish without a top coat, and the wear time was decent for the price, It didn't chip but I did start to get a bit of tip wear after about 24 hours, again though nothing that a decent top coat wouldn't fix.

I think I said this in my last Make Up Gallery nail polish review (read it here), but I'm going to say it again I've paid a lot more for a polish, and been more disappointed than I am with this one. For the £1 price tag, you really can't go wrong. You get a 10ml bottle of pretty decent polish, that gives you the opportunity to experiment with new shades and new finishes without breaking the bank. I think that this shade is still available but even if it's not your bound to find something that you like. At the moment they have a lot of metallics, glitters and party shades in, and I'm definitely considering picking up Rainbow Sparkle, which is a multi coloured glitter, that reminds me a lot of the iconic OPI shade Rainbow Connection but if you have any recommendations then I'd love hear them in the comments below x