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Thursday, 18 September 2014

MICRO Nail System

According to the fashion crowd, the latest trend on the street is bare nails. Slightly unfortunate for me as my nail polish collection is looking pretty strong at the moment, but if the likes of Stella McCartney and Tom Ford are fans then who can argue?

To aid the bare nail process, a new product called MICRO Nail* has been launched exclusively to Boots to buff and shine your nails into perfection so you can rock the look with pride. The system is battery powered with two rollers - one for buffing (grey) and one for shining (white). The rollers which rotate up to 1800 times per minute leave your nails salon smooth in minutes and very much take the hard work out of buffing.

The buffing roller helps to eliminate any ridges or stains on the nail, whilst the shine roller works instantly to leave nails with a beautiful natural shine, which in my opinion gives the illusion of a glossy top coat. The system is super light and easy to use, I just move the roller around the base of the nail and then quickly smooth it over the tips - it feels totally non abrasive and gentle on the skin. This acts as a base coat in a manicure so for those not wanting to bare their nails, it helps nail polish to glide on effortlessly.

I really like this product- it's like a mini manicure at home, helping to improve the look of your nails with only a minute or two of work. Would I recommend you run out and buy it? That really depends. If you're looking for something to cut down your need for manicures, this would be a great part-time replacement. If you're not in the market for it, you could probably survive without it. This costs £39.99 and comes with spare rollers and batteries so whilst it's not the cheapest system in the world, it's fairly good value for money.

Do you like the sound of the MICRO Nail system?

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Max Factor Gel Shine Lacquer

L - R: 55 Sparkling Berry*, 50 Radiant Ruby*, 30 Twinkling Pink*, 25 Patent Poppy*, 20 Vivid Vermillion*

Last month Max Factor launched their latest nail offering to market: Gel Shine Lacquer. This is a pretty nine shade range which promises to deliver intense, high-shine colour with a smooth gel finish. 

Max Factor kindly sent me five shades to review; Sparkling Berry, Radiant Ruby, Twinkling Pink, Patent Poppy and Vibrant Vermillion. They are all beautiful shades that range from deep berry tones perfect for Autumn, to bright pinks and corals that are perfect for Summer time. 

The Gel Shine Lacquer range promises to be different to other gel offerings on the market and this is down to it's formula. Max Factor's formula includes Bentonite Clay Gel which stops the polish from just resting in any ridges on your nails (which is how other gel polishes tend to work). By ensuring this doesn't happen, the polish provides a plumped-up, smooth finish for the nails. 

These polishes provided me with a beautifully shiny, high quality finish and the shades are just gorgeous (particularly those berry tones for Autumn). I found they lasted around four days without chipping and generally lasted longer when I didn't use a top coat. The formula is good and only one coat was required to reach opacity apart from the coral shades which took two. 

I'm really impressed with the range - they retail for £7.99 each and I think I'll be reaching for them a lot in the coming months. 

Will you be trying the Max Factor Gel Shine Lacquer polishes? 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Day in Brighton

This weekend I decided to go to Brighton for a day trip. Having lived there for four years whilst at University, it's a place that's incredibly special to me and will always remain one of my favourite spots to visit in the UK. 

That being said, since the days I regularly roamed the streets, much of the city has changed. There are new bars, restaurants and shops. However my two favourite places - the quintessential lanes and the sea - remain constant. 

To kick start the day, we headed down to the beach front for some lunch. Picking a cafe with perfect views of the beach we stuffed our hungry bellies with brie & bacon paninis and made our way to sit on the mass of pebbles and look out at sea. 

After passing much of the time staring at the crazy people swimming in the undoubtedly freezing water and having competitions throwing stones into my boot, we packed up and made our way into the North Laines for a spot of shopping. 

I was particularly keen to go to Rose Hill Boutique - a shop I've seen featured on a number of blogs recently and as expected it was full to the brim with pretty shabby chic and vintage style ornaments. I picked up some lovely vintage tumblers which I've used to store my makeup brushes and pens, but thankfully managed to refrain from buying much else. 

Meandering through the North Laines is one of my favourite things to do. It's so gorgeous there - it balances cute and quaint boutiques with edgy tattoo shops perfectly. It has a fun, buzzy atmosphere and there so much to see and do.

This is Sharon.

I didn't catch this guys name, but he was positively enormous. 

After the lanes, we popped to Bohemia Bar for a drink - which is where the photography stopped (drink > camera). It's a cool bar with lovely decor, although we chose to sit outside on the roof terrace which was actually a bit of a let down. We then had dinner at No. 32 which has recently taken over Havana restaurant (somewhere we had really wanted to go). Either way, the food was delicious, although it did start to attract the Saturday night drinking crowd from about 9 o'clock, so we swiftly made our exit and sleepily got the train home.

It was such a lovely day - so relaxing, particularly as we had such great weather. If you haven't made it down to Brighton before, I couldn't recommend it enough - it's such a brilliant day out.

Do you love Brighton? What's your favourite thing to do there? 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Perfume Rollerballs

Whilst I love a pretty perfume bottle placed upon my vanity, the convenience of a rollerball perfume is second to none. Small and light enough to have in my handbag on a daily basis, but with great longevity, I'm officially converted. 

My first rollerball purchase was of one of my favourite perfumes (and probably my signature scent) - Stella by Stella McCartney. I'm on perhaps my third rollerball now and they just last ages - even with repeated touch ups throughout the day and evening. The scent for those that aren't familiar is sophisticated and sensual - a mix of soft rose and sensual amber to create an utterly stunning fragrance. 

My new perfume love, is for the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black fragrance which is the creation of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and one half of two blends of this fragrance (to embody the duality of the twins). It blends violet, sandalwood and vanilla and the fragrance strikes a perfect balance between masculine and feminine which is something I love in a fragrance. I'm definitely keen to try the White blend next!

I bought both of these rollerballs in Sephora in San Francisco, however the good news is that there are plenty available in the UK from Rose's Beauty Store which is a great store to pick up US brands without the shipping costs. 

What is your favourite perfume? 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Evening Skincare Essentials

I recently did a guest post for the lovely Hannah at Cagney & Lace and thought I'd share it over on my blog. For those not already familiar with Hannah you should definitely check her blog out as she does some great posts - her fashion ones are my particular favourites.

Finding the right skincare routine can often be a mighty task. Before I started my own blog, I found reading others a super helpful way of finding reviews of products I'd not tried before without having to part with my own cash. Now I wrote a blog, I'm lucky enough to be sent products to try which means I've been able to give a range of products a thorough testing and have found some great products that work perfectly to keep my skin happy.

Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel* - £11.50
To kick off I use a face wash and my current favourite is the Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel. I like to leave this in my shower so that I can kill two (or three) birds with one stone and wash my face, body and hair at the same time. This face wash suits men and women of all ages with combination to oily skin who are looking to eliminate impurities and excess sebum whilst reducing shine and deeply cleansing their pores. This foams up beautifully and as it has a soap-free formula it's gentle enough to be used daily and doesn't leave my skin with a horrible tight feeling - just bright and clean.

Bioderma Crealine Micellar Water - £14.50
Once my face has had a deep cleanse, I like to give it another once over with my Bioderma Crealine H20 Micellar Water. I simply pour some of this on a few cotton pads and sweep over my face which is good to pick up any excess mascara that's been missed. I find it lovely and refreshing (so use morning and night) as it sweeps all the impurities from the day off my face. If I'm having a lazier day and don't manage a deep cleanse, I'll start with this step and make sure I do it thoroughly.

Dr Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics Face Night Cream* - £140
For my night-time moisturiser, I've been treating myself to some real luxury, with the Dr Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics Face Night Cream. I was sent this a month or so ago and have been totally and utterly addicted to it. I've done a full review of it here if you're interested on hearing how good it is!

Origins Super Spot Remover - £15
Finally if I have to deal with any imperfections on my skin, I typically turn to the Origins Super Spot Remover as this is the best product I've found to date for eliminating any blemishes I have. I just rub a tiny amount of this directly onto my blemishes and leave it to dry over night. My spots are always visibly reduced when I wake up the next morning and the best part about this is that a little of the product  goes a long way. It may seem expensive for what it is, but as you only use a tiny amount of this at a time it'll last you months and months.

What are your evening essentials?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Autumn Candle Wish List

Although my love for candles remains strong all year round, it's definitely at it's peak from October - January when the weather is crisp and everything points towards the need to be cosy. As such, I trade my summer candles in for those with notes of cinnamon, pumpkin, ginger and musk. For the other candle obsessives out there (and I know there are many) here are those currently gracing my autumn wish list.

Bath & Body Works - Mahogany Teakwood
Bath & Body Works is my favourite candle brand of all time. Their candles give off a fantastic throw, burn cleanly and best of all are amazingly priced. Unfortunately, Bath and Body Works is a US brand that hasn't quite made it to the UK yet. Mahogany Teakwood is one of my favourite scents year round, but particularly in the cooler months as it has a spicy, woody scent that reminds me of the fireside. For those with no trips to the US scheduled, these are available on eBay and whilst they'll be a little more expensive than if picked up direct in the US they are well worth the money and still substantially cheaper than other candles on this list.

Diptyque - Opopanax
I'm yet to try a Diptyque candle although it's high up on my list. I love the sound of their Opopanax candle which is described as a subtle woody scent gently diffused with vanilla on a warm balsamic base. Heavenly or what? I've heard these are great quality candles and I look forward to picking one up to road test myself.

Jo Malone - Pomegranate Noir
Whilst not strictly an autumn fragrance, for me this optimises a warm, cosy scent for me. I've not tried this particular one before (I own Peony & Rose Blush) but I've smelt it in store and it's delicious - raspberry and plum laced with lily and spicy wood. It's dark, enigmatic and perfect for me this autumn.

Yankee Candle - Autumn Leaves
Believe it or not, I only tried my first Yankee Candle a few months ago. Having always lent towards other brands, I just hadn't come across an opportunity to try one. Autumn Leaves however, for obvious reasons, sounds like the perfect candle for this wish list. It's described as a vibrant medley of birch and maple leaves with pomegranate, juniper berry and orange blossom. I love the colours of autumn leaves and kicking them as I walk along the street - so anything to remind me of that is a winner in my eyes.

What are your favourite autumn candle scents?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Current Favourites

Having once religiously posted my monthly favourites, it appears I haven't done it in almost a year. To get myself back into the saddle I thought I'd share some of my current favourites with you.

Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Mascara
It's no surprise that this mascara comes top of the list as it was the last post I wrote. I won't go into too much detail about it as you can read my full review here, but this is a great, reasonably priced mascara that really helps to lengthen and volumise the lashes.

Japonesque Velvet Touch Eye Shadow - 04*
This is a brand I'd never previously heard of until I was gifted this eyeshadow at a recent PR blog event. Ever since, this has been my go-to eyeshadow. I usually lean towards smoky, darker shadows but have really enjoyed wearing this pretty pearl pink shadow in the day time as I find it helps to open up and brighten my eyes. This is a richly pigmented, buildable shadow from a brand I'll definitely be keeping an eye on going forward.

Vivienne Westwood Cheeky Alice 
This is my second perfume from Vivienne Westwood's Alice collection and it's my favourite no less. This is a gorgeous scent which is both feminine and provocative. It mixes the scents of lily of the valley, peony and rose with a woody, musky base. It's a lovely fragrance that I think is perfect for the day time and for anyone interested in picking it up, Fragrance Direct have it on site at a huge discount.

Dr. PAWPAW - Tinted Peach Pink Balm*
Another product that doesn't need a huge amount of introduction as I did a full review here. This is a lovely moisturising balm with a delicate peach tint that's perfect for using on the lips or to add some glow to the cheeks. It's a delicate colour that looks really pretty on the lips but it is also super moisturising so I feel like I'm killing two birds with one stone when I put this on. Definitely a handbag essential for me.

Bath & Body Works Antibacterial Hand Gel - Midnight Pomegranate
I've made no secret of my love for Bath & Body Works. I'm obsessed with their candles and I'm equally keen on their antibacterial gels. As a bit of a germaphobe I always like to have some gel in my handbag and the Bath & Body Work's range is by far my favourite. My current favourite is 'Midnight Pomegranate' which mixes pomegranate and berries with vanilla and musk to create a delicious scent.

Richard Ward Anti-Ageing Argan Conditioner*
I was sent this shampoo and conditioner duo a few months ago and it's taken me a little while to get round to using them. Whilst the shampoo didn't particularly win me over, I have enjoyed the conditioner. It's made my hair lovely and soft, easy to manage and completely tangle free. After swimming my hair can often be a bit of a mess and this has been great at getting it back into check. The range is created by Richard Ward a celebrity hair stylist (whose tamed the mane of Kate Middleton) and this conditioner is part of his collection which is exclusively stocked by Waitrose.

What do you think of my current favourites? What are your current favourite products?

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