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Monday 30 April 2012

Can't Live Without: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat

Evenin' my little fellow birds

One of the things that annoys me most when it comes to all things beauty is waiting for my nails to dry. I'm a huge nail polish fan (i change the colour as soon as they chip, i know, i'm obsessed), so drying my nails often becomes a bit of a bore. I've tried it all; nail dryers, wafting my hands in the air like a nutter, running them under a cold tap..but i always manage so smudge them, chip them or just completely ruin them before they're dry. Atleast, that was until i found this little miracle in a bottle: Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Top Coat.

After painting on your nail colour, you simply wait for 2 minutes and apply a coat of the Insta-Dri. Whereas other top coats seem to sit on top of the nail colour and stay tacky for up to an hour afterwards, this one really lives up to its 30 second claim. Infact, I find that i paint my nails more often now due to the fact that the awkward drying session is almost non-existent. It feels really refreshing when applied and in a few minutes i'm good to go. I often find that certain top coats don't look too glossy once dry, but this one has a high gloss finish and looks professional and smooth with just one coat. I also find my nail colour lasts a lot longer when i use this and chipping is noticeably reduced.

Priced at £5.99 it's slightly steeper than your average top coat, but nonetheless it won't break the bank and it lasts ages. I'm only on my third bottle and i bought the first just under 2 years ago now - and to say how much i paint my nails.. I'm muchos impressed. It gives such a smooth, flawless finish and my nails seem a lot stronger once i've painted this on. It's almost as if it provides a protective coating around your nails and personally i think it helps to keep my nails in an all-round better condition (i also use Sally Hansen's 'Miracle Growth' as a base coat). I recently ran out of this polish, and i actually couldn't believe how much i hated painting my nails without it. If you're a serial nail-painter like me then i really recommend; this will save you bags of time and make painting your nails a doddle.

Have you tried any similar product to the Insta-Dri?

Friday 27 April 2012

April Clothing Buys

I think it's fair to say i have lost my blogging mojo this week; uni work has got in the way of most things and i haven't been feeling particularly chirpy to say the least, but i thought i'd get straight back into the swing of things with a little clothing haul. It's been a dull, rainy week (cue lots of bad hair days and soggy shoes - LAVley) and so i turned to the shops to cheer myself up. Here's all the stuff i seem to have accumulated...

Leopard Skirt - Primark - £8
Stripey Skirt - H&M - £12.99

 Floral Playsuit - H&M - £14.99

Floral Trousers - £14.99 £7 - New Look (sale)

I've been after a pair of floral trousers for ages now. But due to my significant lack of height they're always too long or resemble McHammer pants on me.. but these were perfect. They grip around the ankles so i don't look like i'm sporting my jammie bottoms and with a little crop top in the summer they'll look fabulous.

 Lace Crop Top - £20 - River Island (via ASOS)

I always order my River Island bits on ASOS so i can get a decent bit of student discount. I thought this would look nice with the floral trousers and for a night out with the leopard print skirt from Primark. Tops like this are so versatile for summer and i justified its £20 price tag with the fact i will get a decent amount of wear out of it. I love the little hook & eye corset-style detail.. it dresses it up slightly.

Loose Knit Jumper/Top - £15.99 £7 - New Look (sale)

It looks white here but it's actually more of a creamy/yellowy beige. I love loose knits for springtime as they're perfect to layer on top of little dresses and skirts if theres still a bit of a chill in the air.

Basic Tops:
Mint Green Cropped Top - £4.99 - New Look
White Vest - £4.99 - New Look

Black Crochet Hotpants - H&M (I believe these were around £8)
Pastel Pink Shorts - £8.99 (i think!) - H&M

 Studded Clutch - £14.99 - New Look

I've been after a neutral coloured clutch bag for a while now for nights out, something that will go with everything. I loved the little studded detail on this one and it also comes with a chain just incase i want to wear it over the shoulder. Bargain.

What have you been buying this month?
Is anyone else a little bit fed up with this crappy weather?!

Saturday 21 April 2012

Estee Lauder Lipstick in 'Crystal Baby'

Estee Lauder - Pure Colour Crystal Creme Lipstick in '01 - Crystal Baby' - £18.50

Admittedly, i am a bit of a lipstick-aholic. I am constantly on the search for the newest addition to add to my collection and occasionally i go a little bit crazy and have a little splurge on something a little bit more 'spesh'. Estee Lauder is a brand that deserves a bit more recognition in the beauty blogging world; they are slightly on the pricier side, but nethertheless, you can't deny that they offer some amazing products which are often overlooked. I first got my mitts on this lipstick in the trial size after purchasing another product from their range. One thing i really love about Estee Lauder is their generosity with samples! If you spend a certain amount (which lets be fair, isn't too difficult), they tend to give you a few things to try. I've often come away with lip liners and lipglosses galore (which were more or less of full size), and i was lucky enough to be given the trial size of their lipstick - 'Crystal Baby'. I fell in love with the colour and decided to splash out on the full size because, to be honest, who wouldn't want to have such a lovely looking lipstick in their makeup bag? The packaging is just devine.

The colour is just perfect for an everyday pink lipstick (it doesn't seem overly pink on the lips - it's more of a natural rose colour so if you're slightly afraid of pink tones and prefer more of a 'barely there' natural flush of colour, then i suggest going for a neutral tone like this one). The shade is extremely wearable and natural looking, and gives your lips a beautifully glossy finish. It applies like a dream and feels lovely and moisturising, the balm-like application is perfect for if your lips are feeling a little bit worse for wear. It applies slightly more sheer than your average lipstick, it is very buildable and noticeable, but if you prefer a brighter more opaque finish it may not be for you (that said, i usually prefer bright pinks but i still love this colour - so don't knock it until you've tried it!)

I must say, the lipstick smells gorgeous. It has a musky vanilla smell to it which is slightly floral and 'tangy' - very difficult to describe in words but it's such a beautiful smell. If a lipstick could smell like luxury, it would smell like this one! Even though it applies slightly glossier and has a more balm like application, it doesn't 'run' or wear off too easily and i don't find myself overly applying it. With a touch of nude lipliner this lipstick makes your lips look lovely and plump due to its natural flush of colour and in my opinion, is just perfect for spring/summer.

Have you tried any Estee Lauder lipsticks?

Friday 20 April 2012

New Lipstick Treats

1. BeautyUK - Sunset / 2. Rimmel - 206 Nude Pink

One of my biggest weaknesses is lipsticks. If ever i'm in the mood for treating myself then i'll buy one - i just think they can transform your look in an instant and can add to any outfit or makeup look. So, on a recent trip to Superdrug i found myself at the till with my arms overflowing with new beauty treats, including a couple of new additions to my collection...

BeautyUK - 'Sunset': I've been loving orangey reds ever since i bought Topshop's Rio Rio (seen here), but have been wanting something a bit more coral toned for summertime so i thought I'd give this a go. It's a beautiful colour and looks amazing with a bit of a tan, but the only thing i dislike about BeautyUK lipsticks is that they tend to be very drying (you can read a more in depth review of them here).

Rimmel - 'Nude Pink': I've repurchased this over and over again. It's such a lovely everyday lipstick and it's one i tend to go for when i'm having one of those indecisive days and want a more natural looking, muted lip colour. It's a beautiful nude shade, with a slight shimmer and undertones of orangey coral and pink. I really recommend the Rimmel lipsticks for more neutral tones - they have a really good selection of colours, apply really nicely and they don't break the bank!

What's your favourite 'everyday' lipstick that you find yourself reaching for at the moment? I'm always up for new lipsticky suggestions!

Friday 13 April 2012

Nail Polish Haul!

1. Revlon - 'Dreamer' / 2. Revlon - 'Watermelon Fizz' / 3. Miss Sporty - Nameless Blue Polish / 4. Barry M - 'Teal' / 5. Max Factor - 'Fantasy Fire' /

I'm the biggest sucker for nail varnish, clearly. I would have bought more but my common sense (and my shoddy bank balance) stopped me. I have a forever expanding nail polish collection which is currently overflowing out of the already large box in my cupboard.. but a couple more wont hurt. So far i've only had chance to try two polishes (apologies for the lack of photographs):

Revlon 'Watermelon Fizz': This is a new shade from their 'scented collection' and i bought it purely for the glitteryness of it. I didn't believe much into the 'scented' claim however, once dry it actually does smell like watermelons! Very pigmented from the first stroke (i only needed two coats), as with all Revlon polishes. They're a bit pricier at £6.49 but for the quality of the polish they're fabulous.

MaxFactor 'Fantasy Fire': Looks amazing, however it takes about 6 coats for it to resemble anything like the colour in the bottle! It's very sheer. That said, once it's layered up it looks amazing and next time i will probably layer it over a purple polish - especially if i'm in a rush! The colour is beautiful with fine shimmers of fuschia and gold flecks, and i was pretty impressed with it's staying power as it lasted about 3 days with almost no chips whatsoever.

Still trying to get my hands on the new Beetlejuice collection by Models Own but they're out of stock everywhere! 
What are your favourite polishes at the momento?

Thursday 12 April 2012

Revlon Lip Butter in 'Candy Apple'

Yes, i know that you're probably rolling your eyes and muttering under your breath 'not another effing lip butter post' right now.. I shall attempt to keep this short, sweet and snappy. I think it's fair to say that everybody has heard about the recently launched Revlon Lip Butters by now, and i must admit i gave into the hype and treated myself to one as soon as they appeared on a drugstore shelf near me. After a great deal of swatching (i ended up with an arm full of colourful lines.. how attractive), i settled on 'Candy Apple' - a rich red shade.

The colour range is suprisingly quite decent. I thought being in the UK we would have our pick of about 3 shades, but i was impressed by the colour range available; everything from barely there nudes right up to bright pinks and reds. I noticed that the pigmentation of the lip butters varies slightly depending on the colour, which is why i opted for the red shade. The lighter shades didn't impress me too much - although more wearable - they didn't have as much colour pay off (and to be honest i'd rather have bought a Mac lippie for a few quid more).

I love the texture; very much a balmy consistency with a gloss finish comparable to that of an actual lip gloss which i personally love (i love the look of lipgloss but hate the feel of it so this is a great alternative for me if im feeling something a little more glossy). That said, they don't last as long as your average lipstick but they wear off gradually, 'Candy Apple' fades to a similar finish to a lip stain. 

I'm still unsure as to whether i would repurchase or not. They're a great idea and a good little addition to my makeup bag but i still need convincing if they're worth the £7.99 price tag - i'd probably still opt for a normal lipstick in future although the idea is fabulous if you're looking for something a little more wearable for everyday or if you're after something a bit more moisturising.

What are your thoughts on the Revlon Lip Butters?

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Maybelline 24Hour Colour Tattoo Eyeshadow in 'Eternal Gold': Review

Ever since the 24Hour Colour Tattoos were launched a few weeks back i've wanted to get my hands on one. After such hype about them in the US i've been awaiting their arrival on the UK shelves, and was rather excited to see they've finally made an appearance. I decided to treat myself to 'Eternal Gold' - a beautiful bright gold shade (let me tell you, I went on a mission and a half to find this colour. In fact, i originally wanted to buy 'On and On Bronze' as well, but i've given up for the time being as it seems to be sold out in every Superdrug and Boots near me).

I've put it to the test the past couple of days and i haven't been disappointed. The claim of '24 hour wear' made me a little bit dubious; cream eyeshadows are nutorious for creasing and wearing off extremely easily but this one doesn't budge. In fact it lasted a good 16 hours or so without so much as a smudge, and it still looked as vibrant and bright as it did when i first applied it. The colour is just fantastic, you don't need a lot at all to cover to whole lid, and it's extremely pigmented - it also brings out the green in my eye and seems to suit my skintone perfectly. The packaging is lovely - a lovely glass pot with a screw lid that feels suprisingly weighty!

Rivalling the Mac Paint Pots, the Maybelline eyeshadow is priced at £4.99 - which in my opinion is an excellent price for the quality - very on parr with Mac at a third of the price tag. I half expected them to be quite sticky and hard to apply like most cream eyeshadows i've tried (i'm usually not a fan), but they're incredibly smooth and soft without being moussey or overly slippy, and i don't have to drag my poor eyelids just to get some colour! I don't even need to build the colour up with this, one swatch from the pot is enough to cover the whole lid and more. I also find it to act as a brilliant base for my powder eyeshadows (it looks amazing with 'half baked' and 'smog' from Urban Decay's Naked Palette worked into the crease) and it seems to make my eyeshadow stand out a lot more than usual. Applied with a thin brush it also looks amazing when applied under the lower lash line.

The only little gripe i have is the shade range - i wish they offered a few more colours (they have a larger selection in the US); a few slightly darker colours for nighttime would be fabulous (although they have a lovely charcoal colour that i may try and hunt down next time i'm shopping!). There is no doubt i will be buying more of these as i personally think these little pots are amazing and i can't wait to get my hands on a couple more shades once they're back in stock near me!

Have you tried any of the 24Hour Tattoo eyeshadows?
Or are you faithful to your Mac Paint Pots?

Monday 9 April 2012

Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in 'Torture'

Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in 'Torture' - £13

If you've been a follower of my blog for a while, you will know i'm like a magpie when it comes to coral; i love anything peach toned, and therefore this lipgloss had to be mine. A while back i treated myself to the Illamasqua 'Lover' blush (review here) and it's become my 'cant live without' item in my makeup bag ever since. In fact, i've fallen a little bit in love with the brand, and decided to continue my coral obsession with this little beauty.

Now, i'm by no means a 'lipgloss girl'. I'm very much a lipstick lover and usually hate the feel of gloss as i find it to be a bit of a fuss (and with long hair i usually find it to be a bit of an annoyance too!).  I've been on the hunt for a coral lipgloss to go over my two recent Topshop orangey-lipstick purchases ('Infrared' & 'Charmed' - seen here), and i thought it would be a brilliant excuse to treat myself to this one. Firstly, i love love LOVE the design of the tube (i'm a big fan of Illamasqua's packaging - everything has it's own little box and looks nicely designed and of good quality), it really does feel like a little bit of luxury - it's sturdy; no flimsy plastic tube, and the tip looks as if it's made of glass (it's not, but it sure gives that effect).

It applies smoothly and it doesn't feel at all gloopy - it goes on quite thinly at first but it can be built up for more of an opaque shade if you wanted to wear this on it's own without any lippie underneath. The colour is wonderful and vibrant, and has tiny little shimmers in it which looks beautiful in the tube! To say it's a 'sheer' lipgloss you do get quite a decent bit of colour pay off - more than your average drugstore brand, and for a gloss it does last for a decent amount of time; i wore this all morning and by lunchtime it still looked impressively shimmery, even once the initial gloss had worn off.

If 'sheer' isn't your thing then they also have some beautiful colours in their 'intense' range which apply completely opaque. I'd probably re-purchase after this one runs out but the only thing that niggles me a little bit is the price; at £13 i feel it's pushing it slightly but lipglosses last me ages (I purchased mine at ASOS and grabbed my student discount to lessen the blow slightly!)
Have you tried any of the Illamasqua lipglosses?

ASOS Clothing Buys

 Afternoon Sunshines,

I thought i'd show you the stuff i bought on ASOS a few days ago. ASOS is my favourite website for clothing and beauty; i find them to be of good quality, they have thousands of items to browse, often have lovely little sales (friday skives are just the best) and they have an option for free delivery. Each month, i go online and treat myself to a few bits.

ASOS Chiffon Skirt with High Low Hem - £28:
I've been wanting one of these skirts for ages. I love maxi skirts but i wanted something a little more dressy to wear on summery evenings and i thought this would look nice with a baggy top tucked in at the waist with a skinny brown belt (and wedges of course). Or i could dress it down with some cute flats and a baggy jumper. At £28 it wasn't the cheapest but i've seen these in River Island and New Look for a similar price, so i grabbed the student discount and justified the purchase!

ASOS Lace Playsuit with Bow Detail - £40:
I love little playsuits and this one will be perfect for summer. I love the little cut-out detail underneath the bow. It just dresses the whole thing up a bit.

Paprika Strapless Belted Dress - £29:
I wanted this is white, but i figured since i bought the white playsuit i'd be brave and go for the Barbie pink. The photo doesn't do it much justice but when it's on it looks amazing and the length is spot on for my lack of height :) I reckon i could probably get away with wearing this with a black or white blazer on warmer days, as well as going out for drinks in the evening teamed with some killer heels.

 I hope you all had a wonderful Easter

Sunday 8 April 2012

Spa Paradisa: Sweet Coconut Lip Butter

'Capturing the tropical essence of the South Seas, Spa Paradisa combines ancient recipes with fresh, natural ingredients to help mind, body and soul escape to a faraway place'.

I found the Spa Paradisa lip butters a couple of years ago whilst browsing Boots; I spotted the tropical, summery themed packaging and instantly fell in love with the brand (they also do some yummy body butters which are also tropical themed - i love anything with a palm tree on it - reminds me of going on holiday!) At £3.50 the lip butters are slightly pricier than your average lip balm but the packaging alone feels well made (it has a beautifully smooth, matte finish) and let me tell you, the product lasts ages.

Enriched with Vitamin E and shea butter, the balm itself is intensely moisturising and instantly provides a barrier to protect your lips. The texture is lovely and balm-y, and has definitely got more of a 'buttery' consistency when compared with the slightly thinner texture of Vaseline - therefore i find it lasts longer and i don't have to reapply as much.  It takes a while to get a decent amount of product to apply when the tin is first opened, but once you've applied it a couple of times then it's a doddle and a little goes a long way. I always find that Vaseline can feel slightly greasy at times, but this feels richly moisturising and very smooth and soft, without feeling greasy or 'slippery' at all. They also smell fabulous; this one smells of coconuts and is absolutely del-ish (think cocoa body butters - it's exactly like that but for your lips :))

This little tin has lasted me nearly a whole year. Before this i had the 'passionfruit' version (which i sadly lost in the depths of my handbag), but i tend to keep this on my bedside table now and apply before bed. I've also used this on dry skin on my hands and it's worked wonders! When this one runs out i will definitely be purchasing another. You can buy these butters at Boots or i've heard they have started selling the full range of products at Next. I believe you can also grab these in a twin pack for £6.

Have you tried any Spa Paradisa products? I love the brand and i find their products even more perfect for the summertime. The packaging alone just makes me smile...(and makes me even more determined to get another holiday booked - like, right now!)