Thursday 28 May 2015

A Small Nail Polish And Nail Art Haul

If you're a regular reader of my little place on the internet you'll know that I used post nails of the day posts quite regularly. Although I've never had the longest nails out there I love changing my polish and showcasing all of my different shades, brands and textures. Lately though my nails have been too rubbish to paint let alone photograph!

Never mind  though after a few months of short, split, and peeling nails I eventually have some little stubs to paint again. My secret? Dr Lewinns Renunail, lots of cuticle oil (including something new which I've been loving) and lots and lots of hand cream. So to celebrate my now all be it short, but neater nails I've been buying some new polishes and some nail art bits.

Every time I do a haul at the moment I seem to buy something from Poundland and this one is no different. I'm a huge, huge fan of nail art and I seem to spend a lot of time lately looking at Instagram and Pintrest to pick up some ideas for when my nails grow back, so I decided to get a few nail art bits from Poundland's own Allura range.

The first thing that I got were some Nail Art Tools, these are basically 4 double ended dotting tools. Each tool comes with a swirled, plastic handle, and every rounded metal tip is a different size so you can make different sized dots. You can also use these for picking up gems, decals and crystals.

I also got a pack of 7 Nail Art Brushes. You get a wide variety of brushes that you can use for striping, freehand and detail work. You also get a fan brush to create a fanned or feather effect. I've seen a single nail, fan brush priced at £2 so this kit is great value.

As well as the tool the Allura range also includes a variety of fake nails, nails stickers and gem wheels. I've already got a gem wheel and a few tubs and packets of crystals and sequins but I couldn't resist this fruit decal wheel.

I've already got a few fruit decals that I got from Nail Rock, but these ones are a bit thinner which I actually prefer. You get a wide variety of thin slice of plastic fruit including dragon fruit, kiwis, apples, limes and oranges. You also a miniature nail file and an orange stick to help with application.

Sticking with nail art I also bought some gold nail foil from Avon. Years and years ago I was obsessed with nail foils. QVC used to features a brand called Special FX, that sold all different sorts of nail art kits including lots and lots of foils. The idea is pretty simple you paint your nails as normal, then you paint you nails with the special glue and when it goes clear you press the foil sheets against your nails. You can either cover the whole nail or you can draw designs or just place random splodges of glue to create different looks, I recently picked up some more foils and glue from Essence but with this one from Avon you just apply it on top of wet polish. I'll let you know how I get one with it x I'm planning on just using it for maybe an accent nail or for a bit of freehand work.

As well as the foil I also got a few nail polishes including another one of the Stardust colours from the sale brochure.

I love these polishes, these have an almost demi matte finish and they're packed full of sparkle. This shade is Cherry Dazzler and it's a lovely red packed full of gold glitter. These shades really are for people who like sparkle with a twist.

These Stardust polishes do occasionally pop up in the sale catalogues and if I can I'll definitely be trying to pick up a few more shades. If you can't manage to get your hands on these though the new Avon Magic Effects Mineral Crush polishes are very similar -how do I know? Well I bought one and on the left of these pictures you can see Topaz, a pale, turquoise blue packed full of tonal and silver sparkle.

From the new range I also picked up one of the Magic Effects Fringe polishes in Jacquard Metal. These are basically topcoats that give a sort of feather effect. This one has a clear bases and is crammed full of thin strands of gold and teal blue glitter. I think that would look fab over a plain gold polish or even a paler blue or turquoise.

I have quite an addictive personality and I'm very addicted to buying nail polish, I just love looking at row upon row of pretty colours, and a month or so ago my dreams came true when Models Own opened their first North East bottle shop in the Metro Centre, near to where I live.

I love, love, love the look of these little nail polish bottle shaped stores, and I was like a child in a sweet shop when I popped into the shop on opening day. The polishes are organised by colour and you have the opportunity to swatch till your hearts content. Although I was tempted to buy everything I was good and only got two polishes.

On the left you can see one of their Scented Polishes in NP152 Grape Juice. This is a lovely pale, pastel lilac that has a subtle scent of grape bubblegum :) I also got one of their Colour Chrome Polishes in NP239 Chrome Silver. I'm a bit funny with foils and metallics and brush stokes, but when one of the lovely assistants swatched it, IT looked pretty good, so I thought I'd give it a go. Since it was their first day I also got a little branded, hand mirror as a gift with purchase x

The final polish that I've picked up lately was a magazine freebie. A month or so ago Cosmopolitan magazine had a free New CID Cosmetics I Polish on the cover. There was a couple to choose from but I went for a hot, summery pink perfect for toes, Pink Macaroon.

This issue isn't on sale any more but if your a fan of magazine freebies then you might want to check out the new issue of UK InStyle, which is on sale today and includes a free full sized Nails Inc polish. There are four shades to choose from and the shade names are all themed around 80's pop and rock anthems.

If you want to listen to my talking about this haul in more detail please have a little watch of my latest You Tube video, and if you subscribe don't forget your entitled to an extras entry in my NARS giveaway x

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or any suggestions  as to what to do with my nail art bits, then please let me know x

Wednesday 27 May 2015

NOTD - FNUG - 98 Shady Lady*

Over the years both cameras and computers have came on leaps and bounds, but try as we might they still can't reflect and translate colours and textures as well as our own eyes do. Case in point this nail polish from FNUG

Yes it's another FNUG polish, I can't resist there polishes at the moment and so for one of May's My Pure reviews I decided to try another one.

98 - Shady Lady is one beautiful shade but it is so hard to capture just how beautiful it actually is. It's a duo (or even a trio) chrome, foil. Depending on the light and how you move the colours flash between a peacock toned teal blue, a darker blue, and a pale turquoise, all shot through with hints of purple. I've photographed in a few different lights here just so you can see how the colour changes.

I also recorded a little video just see how the colour transforms when you wiggle your fingers.

With this shade you could record all the videos you wanted and take a zillion photographs and you'd still never capture it's true beauty. It isn't just about the colour though, this is good all rounder polish, it applied well, left minimal brush marks and it wore well. This is another winner from FNUG and another polish I'm happy to have in my vast collection. FNUG Nail Polish in 98 Shady Lady normally retails at £12 for 8.5ml from My Pure but it's currently on sale at £10.80. Are you a fan of duo chrome nail polishes? Let me know in the comments below x


Tuesday 26 May 2015

Learning Spanish With Three Mobile*

It might sound strange to some of my younger readers but believe it or not there once was a time before mobile phones were commonplace. At the risk of sounding ancient I got my first mobile phone in 1996  when I was 18 and I felt like the bees knees. I was one of the first of my friends to own one and I didn't care that it just made phone calls and sent text messages with just words in them, I felt tres sophisticated and way cool.

Although you can still buy extremely basic phones, the majority of phones nowadays do way more than just make phone calls and send text messages. I'm an iPhone user and whilst I do use it occasionally for texting and calling there is so much more that you can do with it. You can surf the internet, take photographs, listen to music, and of course you can play games. I'm guilty of the gaming thing and I spend way too much time playing games on both my phone and on my iPad. That isn't a bad thing though a lot of games these days make you think and make your brain work and I'm a firm believer that you need to keep your mind as active as you can. As well as gaming and communication though, they can be used as a fun way to learn a new skill or even a new language

A few weeks ago now I was contacted on behalf of Three Mobile to celebrate the inclusion of Spain in their Feel at Home mobile roaming network plan, and to celebrate I was given the opportunity to bring out my Mediterranean side and to a learn a bit of Spanish.

Like most Brits my first proper holiday was to Spain, and over the years I've been to most of the Costas, a few islands, and I've been lucky enough to spend some time in both Valencia, and Barcelona, which is easily one of my favourite cities in the world. When it comes to language though I'm a bit lacking. My comprehensive school only offered French and German as a foreign language so I never really got the chance to learn Spanish, and I've only managed to pick up the odd word or phrase over the years mainly "Dos vinos blancos por favor" and "las rebajas". The first one if pretty self explanatory 2 white wines pleases but the second one not so much, it basically means the sales- I once hit El Cortes Ingles at sale time and I quickly realised what the huge signs meant :)

There are so many different language apps available on the Apple App Store that it's hard to know where to start but the lovely people on behalf of Three Mobile provided me with a little bit of guidance and an iTunes voucher to get me started. I downloaded the apps that they recommended which gave me some good grounding because they are all so different.

Learn Spanish By Mindsnacks

This one is my favourite, no question - why? because it makes learning a language fun. The lessons are split into nice manageable chunks and it's all about (at least in the early stages) learning basic vocabulary, starting off with your basic numbers, days, months, weather, seasons and colours.

You learn by reading, looking at the accompanying picture to trigger your memory and by listening to the pronunciation. That doesn't sound that much fun so far but then you get to test your knowledge and your skills by playing games. As your progress through, and master different lessons and perfect your skills you earn XP which unlocks more games. The games in the earliest stages, are Swell where you chose the correct word to stop the water draining from the fish bowl, and Belly which you can see above where you feed the frog by matching both the written and spoken word to the pictures.

There is also Word Birds which gives you a word in English and you then need to spell the word in Spanish from the given letters and there is also Bloon which is my favourite game so far. It's a bit like Bubble Bobble or any of those bubble bursting games, you need to clear as many of the bubbles as possible by matching up both the English and Spanish words.

If you have no knowledge of Spanish whatsoever than this is probably the app for you, it's strange how games really help you to absorb some of the information. The spelling game Word Birds is particular tough and it really gets your brain working. My one complaint with this one is that so far there is no option to test your own pronunciation but I have a long way to go so maybe that might come in later.

Learn Spanish

This is another app that I would recommend for beginners, again it guides you through all your basic vocabulary. Again pictures are used as a memory aid and as well as reading the word you can also hear how the word it pronounced. Unlike the previous app though this one give you the opportunity to record your own pronunciation and listen to it back - eek!

Once your familiar with the vocabulary you can play games and carry out exercises such as memory games, flash cards, listening exercises, spelling tests and quizzes to help you test your knowledge. It isn't done in quite as fun away as the Mindsnacks but it's easy to use and I like the option to record your own voice.


Despite the fact that you can pick how experienced you are for me, this app assumes that you have a little bit of prior knowledge. Unlike the other two apps this one doesn't focus on vocabulary instead it focuses on the basics of the Spanish language, and how you use the words that your learning.

Each lesson goes through a variety of tasks from identifying the correct word and picture, to translating a sentence, typing what you hear, selecting the missing word, and repeating the phrase.

Unlike the other two apps that are more about vocabulary this one is actually teaching you words, verbs, and how to use both the masculine and feminine form of words, it's basically teaching you how to speak, spell and construct sentences. It's take me a little while to get to grips with it but after setting my reminders every day to practise I'm starting to feel a bit more confident with it.

Okay after a couple of weeks I'm far from fluent and my spelling and pronunciation still leaves a lot to be desired but by spending 10 minutes or so a day playing with the apps, playing games and practising my vocabulary I can definitely say that I know a bit more of the Spanish language than I did three or so weeks ago. All of the screen shots are taken from my iPad for clarity but I've got all of these apps on my iPhone too so I can practise on the go, be it in a hospital waiting room, on even a bus or a train.

As well as the means to learn Spanish, and the fab Spanish flag that you can see next to Mummy Lou's paella in some of the pictures above, the fab people at Three also sent me a copy of The Rough Guide To Spain. It's currently on my bedside table and it's making me desperate to return to the country and its islands, and in particular Barcelona, to try out my new found language skills - ha ha, maybe next year when I'm a bit more fluent :)

I love trying new things and learning, and I've really enjoyed this experience, and who knows where it will lead to. It just shows you that mobile phones, and especially smart phones and the iPhone are no longer just for making phone calls, they really can open the door to new skills and new experiences whether we're at home, out and about or even abroad. Have you ever learnt a skill via your iPhone, or smart phone? Let me know below x 

*iTunes Voucher, Spanish Flag, And The Rough Guide To Spain Were All Provided On Behalf Of Three Mobile

Thursday 21 May 2015

What Are The Top 3 Online Catalogues?*

If you want more choice and flexibility than you can find on the UK high street, catalogue credit account, which will provide you with access to a wide range of products, and allow you to spread the cost of your payments over time.

Here are the top 3 online catalogues:

1. Next

One of the largest and best-known retailers in the UK, Next specialises in men's, women's and children's clothing, as well as homeware and gifts. If you're looking for clothing for work, school, or an evening out, you will be able to find it in the Next Directory. Some of the benefits in applying for a credit account with Next include the opportunity to pay for your order in instalments over time, and having your items delivered directly to your door.

The company also provide a number of discounts, sales, and promotions throughout the year - saving you a lot of money. You will be able to apply for a credit account with Next by visiting your nearest branch of the shop, by calling a member of staff over the phone, or visiting the Next website.

2. Jacamo

Jacamo is one of the most popular catalogues for men's clothing, with sizes in up to 5 x large. You will find several well-known brands, with clothes such as shoes, jumpers, trousers, and jackets available for purchase. There are designs and styles in a wide range of sizes, and you will be able to pay for your order in instalments. Apply for a new account by visiting the Jacamo website.

3. BrightHouse

BrightHouse sell a wide range of products such as homeware, consumer electronics and even furniture. You will be able to apply for an account or by visiting a branch of the store in your nearest town centre. The company provides you with the opportunity to make repayments on a weekly basis

*Sponsored Post

Monday 18 May 2015

A Little Home Haul Featuring B&M, Primark And More x

Thanks to a recent purchase I'm trying to get my head around some long overdue blog posts and that includes quite a few haul posts. Today's haul post is all about the home, getting organised and making it look and smell fabulous.

First up B&M Bargains, this is one of my favourite shops at the moment, mainly down to the fabulous array of American candy that Mummy Lou manged to procure for birthday but despite the allure of their half pound Reece's Peanut Butter Cups!! my B&M haul is all about sorting out my mind and my clutter.

The first thing that I got was a new weekly planner pad. One of my naughty cats destroyed the last one, and I really think that these pads help me get organised. I use them mainly for planning posts and for documenting what I need to do every day. You can occasionally pick these up in Poundland but I love this bright, floral Cath Kidston esq one which was £1.49.

Sticking with the floral theme, I also picked up a zippered floral storage box, which was £2.99. Currently on the top of my wardrobe I have several cardboard storage boxes from IKEA, that to be honest have seen better days. I just use them to store my beach and swim things but after dragging them up and down for a few years, their more suitable for the bin than for my bikini. So I decided to try one these boxes, they just fold out and zip right the way around, and I'm hoping that they'll keep my things safe and dust free. If I like them I will need a few more but I'll see how I get on

Clearing out my clutter is a big thing for me at the moment and I'm currently working on my extensive shoe collection. I've accumulated so many pairs of flips flops, ballet flats and sandals over the years that I'm having to have a little purge, with one of my local charity shops being the key beneficiary. Shoe storage is always a huge problem I've tried pretty much everything, broken the drawers under my bed and numerous shelves, and the answer always ends up being piles and piles of shoe boxes. So many shoes  don't come with boxes now though I thought I'd be some more to revamp my storage.

I paid £1.99 for a pack of three fold out boxes, and because of the size I should be able to fit a few pairs of flat sandals or flip flops. The boxes are clear enough for you to be able to see what's inside but each of the boxes also features a fun shoe design, and a fun quote or saying all about shoes.

The Cinderella one is by far my favourite but I think these are a cute way to store your shoes, now I just need to decide where to put them.

From one of my favourite shops, to another, Poundland. Do I need to say more, what is there not to love about Poundland, especially when they sell candles that smell as nice as this one does.

This Chewitts Blackcurrant Scented Candle, smell exactly like the sweeties, it's very fruity and mouthwatering. These candles are pretty generic and the Love Heats, M&M's and Betty Crocker ones are all packaged the same and made by the same company. I haven't tried this yet but I'm hoping that smells even a little bit like it does when it's unlit.

This next item is a little bit of an odd purchase but one of my aims for the year is to try and save up a bit of money and although being a pig collector I have several money boxes, this Despicable Me / Minions money tin was a better fit.

The reason why I like this is because it's sealed, if you want to get into it, you have to get a tin opener out and open it properly. I'm not 100% sure what I'm saving up for yet but I'm thinking about maybe something special or meaningful.

The last two home items that I've bought recently were both hanging decorations for my rooms and they are both heart shaped. The first one is a tin hanging heart which was just £1 from Primark. In pastel shades it has the words "Dream Big" on it.

Finally this wooden hanging heart, which came from ebay and was just  £4.95 from this seller.

I love the quote and this one and a bit of research seems to suggest that it was attributed to Marilyn Monroe. I'm not sure on that one but the saying "A Smile Is The Best Make Up Any Girl Can Wear" is maybe something to live by x

So that was my little home haul, as per usual if you have any questions please leave me a comment and I'll try and get back to you as quickly as I can x

Saturday 16 May 2015

NARS - And God Created The Woman Eye Kit

Hi everyone x I hope you've all had a fab Saturday x For me it's very much been the day after the day before. Yesterday was my birthday :) It was an unconventional celebration at best because I spent the day in a local hospital with Mummy Lou whilst she had eye surgery. Thankfully her surgery went well and I spent the night eating cake and opening pressies x I was very spoilt and I got some lovely things which I'll show you next week with a post and a video but I also bought myself a few happy birthday to me pressies, the first of which was from NARS

It's been a while but I'm slowly starting to get back into high end make up and one of the brands that I'm loving at the moment is NARS. I don't own a lot of NARS products compared to a brand say like MAC but I love the products that I have, and recently I decided to treat myself to two of their eyeshadow palettes.

The first palette is the beautiful and limited edition "And God Created The Woman Eye Kit". I've wanted this palette for the longest time and eventually I gave in and ordered it from the NARS website.

Essentially yet another neutral palette, this palette contains 6, 1g, matte, and shimmery eye colours which nearly all have a bit of glitter in them. All of the shades in the palette are well know and well loved NARS shades, and are either available singularly or are part of existing NARS eyeshadow duos.

Top row from left to right - Bellisima II. Kalahari I, and Night Clubbing

and the bottom row from right to left - Alahambra I, Galapagos, and Coconut Grove,

As you can see the colours are very pigmented and despite the glitter and shimmer they feel very smooth and silky. I'm really loving this palette at the moment but my favourite shade at the moment is definitely Kalahari I, gorgeous shimmery, beige, taupe. All of the shades can be worn alone but they also blend together really easily and they wear well.

To improve the wear time though you could use the 2.8g Mini Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, that comes with this palette. I'm a huge lover of eyeshadow bases and so far so good with this one. With a sponge tip applicator it appears to be white but it blends out clear. It has a slight silicone, feel but you can almost feel the eyeshadow sticking to it. It definitely improve both wear time and creasing on my lids and it's something that I'm going to keep using with the rest of the shadow in my collection. The full 8g size retails at £19.50.

The palette also comes with a Travel Size Wide Contour Brush #43. This brush has a large, soft, slanted head, which fits the contours of the eye perfectly. The full size of this brush is worth £26.

If you're a neutral eyeshadow fan like me this is a great palette to have in your collection. The And God Created The Woman Eye Kit retails at £35 and although the price may be out of some peoples price range, I think it's great value. You're getting six shadows, some of which are only available in duos, and you're also getting a good quality brush, and the opportunity to try out NARS best selling eye primer. If you're interested in trying this palette I'd get a move on, it's limited edition and the only places that I can find it are on the NARS UK website and on Sephora.

Since it's my birthday though I've decided to share the love and I also picked up another eye kit to give away so if you want to win your own And God Created The Woman Eye Kit, fill out the form below before the 14th June for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open worldwide but don't forget you must be follower, and you must fulfil the relevant conditions to enter - I will be checking and all non complying entries will be disqualified x Thanks for reading and good luck x