Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Chanel's Reformulated Longwear Le Vernis and Gel Top Coat

Chanel Reformulated Gel finish longwear nail polish
Christmas Day as a child is probably the only comparable degree of excitement that I felt for these arriving in the post. Sure, let's all mock the girl getting passionate about nail polish. But in the wise words of M&S, these aren't just any nail polishes... 

Chanel Reformulated Gel finish longwear nail polish

Despite the wonderfully chic bottle, and incredibly beautiful shades, Chanel nail polishes are a nightmare in one area - longevity. So upon hearing the news that Chanel were reformulating, releasing a capsule collection of pre-existing favourites with some new additions and a gel top coat to boot, I got understandably excited.

So managing to get my grubby mitts on new shades Organdi*, Mythique* and the Gel Top Coat* and give them a good road test. Organdi is an elegant dusty salmon shade, opaque in 2/3 coats with tendencies to last 3-4 days, with any minor chipping being mostly unnoticeable. (Side note: I find the original range differs largely in formula and longevity. Tapage is opaque in 1 coat on me, and lasts days. Secret can take up to 5 coats and lasts only one day) Mythique, opaque in 2 coats, doesn't offer the same longevity, but the soft burgundy shade is a pleasure to apply, going on smoothly without any streaking.

Both shades lasted an extra day with the Gel Top Coat, which is quite the far cry from the 7 days claimed by Chanel. In my honest opinion, the only way to achieve a gel finish is with gel. It does however make the polish look like an ultra-glossy professional gel nail, offering flexibility and strength to the colour. So if like me, your nails are very much prone to breaking, this extra step is helpful in reinforcing your otherwise weakling nails.

Apparently these shades are more nail-friendly in their ingredients than the previous range. I haven't worn either enough continually to comment on this, so we'll have to take Chanel's word on that one...

I would recommend these to any Chanel fans, and those looking for a slightly longer lasting version than the original formula. If you own some of the cult classics like Ballerina and Pirate but want an extra couple days, of wear fork out a little cash for the reformulated Longwear Le Vernis or Gel Top Coat and you will not be disappointed. For perspective, I'd place the original formulation at 7.5/10 - these being closer to 8.5. These are available in Debenhams now. Retailing at £18 for 13ml.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Venture into Burberry

Upon discovering Boots' latest brand arrival; Burberry, I got super excited. As a brand I'd wanted to try since they first came on the scene, they were pretty inaccessible and where only available in the online stores that cost a near fortune on delivery. Face it, Net-a-Porter, if we're going to spend £5+ it isn't going to be on delivery!

I'm 100% aware that Latasha is going to kill me for this post, as she already wants both of these products, but I just had to share them as they are so beautiful, and incredible quality!

Burberry Feather Pink lipstick and Ash Rose nail Polish
I had a near fortune to spend in advantage card points so I decided to treat myself to their Lip Mist in Feather Pink, and their nail polish in Ash Rose. I'm so glad I did as these two are going to become definite staples in my routine, as such neutral, ladylike shades, appropriate for all times of the year. 

Burberry Feather Pink lipstick and Ash Rose nail Polish
The Lip Mist formula is similar to that of a gel, and offers a sheer tint of colour, whilst moisturising to keep the lips looking hydrated and healthy. When applied it lasts a couple of hours, similar to what you'd expect from a lip balm, the colour is the cliche' "your lips but better" shade, and so fades away into a nice tint, which can either be topped up, or left to fade away completely.

Burberry Feather Pink lipstick and Ash Rose nail Polish
The polish formula is quite thin, and requires 3 coats, and the bottle size is also smaller than average, so they don't quite live up to the exceptional quality of Dior polishes, but they are still equally amazing. My nails chip like crazy, and this lasted four days without any chips, until I took it off wanting to go for another colour. It took me 24 hours to put this beautiful nude pink shade with tones of grey back on my nails. I'm obsessed!


Monday, 9 June 2014

Regular Nail Polish/Gel Finish

Having a slight fear of the idea of gel nails, I never have particularly paid attention to the brands that provide them. Two weeks of wearing a nail polish that's going to grow out, look unsightly, and then damage your nails during removal? No, thank you. But when the lovely Megan got in touch about Bio Sculpture I was somewhat intrigued to learn the company now makes nail polishes to match the gel nails they offer, minus the UV lamp and the need to be soaked off. Offering the chance to either patch up your current Bio Sculpture gels, or change the colour completely temporarily (only when removed with acetone free remover).

Being somewhat addicted to nail painting, longevity isn't normally something I take into consideration. Usually I'll be bored within 24 hours and change. A grey nude to a more pink-toned nude? ...How I rolllll. So it was quite the change for me experimenting how long I could make these last. To be honest, I got a couple days, with very minor chipping, at which point I was itching to change my nail polish. Slightly more than I would normally, so I'm quite impressed, but the selling point for me with these polishes was the finish. Its not thick looking like a regular gel colour, but instead has a show-stopping sheen, which makes your nails look freshly painted for days.

The brush is designed in a similar way to the likings of Dior and Essie brushes, with a fan-type soft bristle brush that somehow mimicks the shape of your nail and allows you to do one coat of colour in a single swoop.

The three shades I was sent are the kind that I'd choose for myself. The nude/grey being the show-stopper of the three, coming up slightly lilac in some lights. The other pink tone is exactly like the sheer pinks I regularly obsess over, (and clumsily forgot to take pictures of) but the neon pink was a complete break out of my comfort zone, a really beautiful colour for those that like bright nails.

Overall, I'm really impressed with these polishes. The colours are completely beautiful, have a brilliant finish and are something I'd definitely consider buying more of. Turns out breaking out of my Chanel and Essie comfort zone does benefit me sometimes...


Monday, 28 April 2014

The six BEST nail polishes

It's hard whittling down what your favourite polishes are when you have a large collection of them, probably, if I counted, over 100. But when you look at them individually, there are some clear favourites, and some regularly repurchased.

I thought I'd share the six polishes that I believe to be the best, and probably the ones that would complete a nail wardrobe, without the necessary other 100+ polishes. I guess it's kind of like where to start if you're a newby with nail polishes, too.

Sheers and tints are something I'm a huge fan of, not for everyone, but, something that depending on where you work, or go to school could be a necessity...

I always say that Essie's Ballet Slippers is my favourite polish of all time, and despite the fact that it boasts similarities to OPI's Bubble Bath, the OPI offering is the much more subtle of the two, being pinker and sheerer in tone, and mimicking your natural nail colour more than Ballet Slippers which runs quite white and creamy in appearance. I love wearing this with Dior Nail Glow, which is a completely sheer, pink toned polish. Reviewed here, and obviously, I am still loving it, it'll be due a repurchase soon as I get to a Dior counter!

Butter London's Nail Foundation is a weird concept, but basically, it is a sheer, semi-matte nude/pink colour, one coat mimics the nails natural colour, evens it out and preps the nail for other sheer colours, or works brilliantly on its own. Using this as a polish does work, in about three coats, you can have the mannequin-look nails that were all over catwalks last summer, or with one single coat, your nails will just look healthier, yet people won't know you're wearing any polish (score for those that aren't allowed to wear polishes!)

I'm not always one for colour, and if you were beginning a nail polish collection, the "anti-colours" are the ones you need to go for, the none-bright, and quite classic. Chanel are ideal for fashion colours, and as the brand itself suggests, for classy colours, Rouge Noir and Frenzy are two of the brands most popular shades, I believe, and it's easy to understand why. Rouge Noir is a beautiful deep oxblood red, almost black, but so much softer, and ideal for people that tend to stray away from dark shades. Frenzy however, on the lighter side, is a beautiful grey-toned nude, completely beautiful, suits numerous skin tones, and is appropriate for work and play.

A classic, pillarbox red shade is a must in every ones nail polish collections, being seductive and appropriate for most occasions, all seasons, and the perfect colour for those intimidated by the other brights on the market. I've stuck the Balmain Nail Couture Rouge in here as an example of one of the classic reds I use, but this isn't the easiest to get hold of, all brands have a perfect blue-toned red (Essie-Fifth Avenue, Revlon Red, Chanel- Dragon)

The dupes I know of for the other shades are as follows; 
OPI Bubble Bath; Chanel - Ballerina, Essie - Mademoiselle
Chanel Rouge Noir; Revlon - Vixen, Essie - Wicked, 
Chanel Frenzy; (There are truly no identical dupes of this shade, Essie - Sand Tropez is close, as is Rimmel - Oh, Mr Darcy!)

Currently feeling a touch of irony, typing this with naked nails, now I'm feeling temptation for a couple coats of Chanel Frenzy...

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Bassbuds X Roxanne Campbell - Music meets Manicures

Twitter is pretty darn good for finding out all of what is going on everywhere, isn't it? I used to always wonder what the attraction was to "just another social media" site, but I literally feel like I'm getting enough news (and gossip, shush!) to last me a lifetime over there. Aaaanyway... BassBuds, the company that creates those gorgeous looking, Swarovski-adorned headphones you've probably seen strewn over the internet and magazines shared that they had a new collection coming out and wanted to share with beauty bloggers. So I jumped up and down shouting me, me, me (using the appropriate emoji) and they sent me over the deets of their latest collection...

Now comes the bit where I was intrigued, the collection is actually a collaboration between themselves and Roxanne Campbell, the incredible manicurist, who's nail artistry for SS14 has been inspired by this Fashion collection of headphones by Bassbuds. Nails and music aren't something that usually comes together, but when you think about it, it's is SO clever, and amazing for someone that is completely passionate about the two. (cough, me.) The lovely PR lady, Laura, told me they would sent me some to trial out, and hoped I could do a nail-art look to go along with the new collection. So I got a tad giddy with my Chanel, and hoped in the time it took to set up my camera and tripod, that I wouldn't chip or smudge...

(I did the nail art by painting one coat of the deep pink, Tapage, all over my nail, and placing hole reinforcers on my nail, after 20 minutes drying time, to cover up the area I wanted to remain in that colour. After two coats of the pale pink, May, I slowly pulled away the stickers and sealed with a coat of Seche Vite top coat.)

Each BassBud has a genuine Swarovski crystal on each sound chamber, making them the sparkliest and most fashionable headphones you probably ever did see. Sorry, Apple... you simply don't cut it anymore. An anti-tangle cable (PRAISE THE LORD!) and a call/mp3 control button. 

I was sent the "Harmony" pair, which have a pink wire, red details and mint green buds. I have my eye on the "Eclectic" pair which are the most beautiful lilac shade and canary yellow. -Seriously, can you imagine the gorgeous nail art that could be teamed with those? (I'd have to get lilac and yellow polish first though, dope!)

The headphones themselves are amazing, and easily the best I have ever used. The sound quality is amazing for in-ear headphones, and the memory foam buds make them much more comfortable than some of the others that can be painful to use. The design, meanwhile, just makes anyone with the slightest magpie tendencies completely weak at the knees, and they make a pleasant change to my usual white (now much muddier in appearance) Apple pair.

I can now take extra enjoyment in my Spotify and nail-painting sessions...


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Chanel Le Vernis - Spring 2014 Notes du Printemps Collection

Despite how overly excited I was by the Chanel Spring collection, the only things I picked up where the two spring appropriate Le Vernis colours.

I'd been dying to get hold of Ballerina since I first caught a glimpse of it, and it's only just been made a permanent fixture at Chanel (shocking, I know!) But given sheer pinks are my go-to, and what all my family mock me for wearing A LOT, I had to make it mine. Much unlike some of my other sheer pinks, it seems to be quite blue-toned, and I found it took away any slight staining that may be on your nails (just to clarify, I don't have a lot, but sometimes I get a teeny bit. Gross!)

Tapage is definitely the winner of the varnishes they brought out in this collection, given its the most beautiful, yet indescribable colour, as when it is on your nails, they look immaculate, and depending on what light you are in, they can lean more, red, coral, or even pink! It's fantastic to apply, given it's often opaque in one coat. Not something you find often in nail varnish anymore...

I have found both of these polishes to be fantastic, and maybe I've got my love goggles on, but these seem to last longer, and have a better formulation than a normal Chanel Le Vernis. My only qualm with Chanel will always be the thin brush, which you do get used to, but the curved, fan brush of brands like Essie and Dior will always be much easier to use. But I think we all get Chanel varnishes for the luxury, amazing colours, and the beautiful packaging, not for the brush!

All in all, its a huge YES from me where these are concerned. Anyone thinking of trying out Chanel or just wanting a Spring update, try these, I promise you won't be disappointed.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Balmain Nail Couture Collection - The Ultimate nail varnish extravagance

When huge designer houses decide to do beauty products, this is exactly what you'd expect them to look like... 


Balmain's beautiful, extravagant, minimalistic offering... 

I was drawn to this like a squirrel is drawn to nuts, the colours in the box are all wearable, and would be ideal for someone starting off at branching into nail polish, thanks to the "suitable for every occasion" fashion shades. I'm the biggest fan of classic shades like these, and hardly ever wear glitter, or holographic nail polishes, so for a collection to come out, with shades this beautiful, I couldn't say no, could I?

The packaging of the box is literally the epitome of elegance, a simple, monochrome box, with the Balmain logo adorning the top, and the polishes themselves follow this theme, being simple, monochrome, square shaped bottles. (3,2,1 and swoon...)

The polishes themselves are actually really good quality, and have lasted a very long time in comparison to other designer polishes, cough, Chanel and YSL. The brushes are quite a wide fan-type brush, reasonably similar to that of Essie and Dior, meaning you can apply the polish in one swoop, especially with the curved tip, which seems to just follow the curve of your cuticle perfectly. Much unlike most nail polishes now, all three of these shades are opaque in two coats, without being excessively gloopy and thick in consistency.

I didn't actually get chance to take any pictures using a proper camera, so I've decided to sneakily use these that I posted on my Instagram. (Left to right, Noir with Mat Top Coat, Rouge, Nude)

So all in all, this is one of my favourite things of the moment, I'm falling in love with this beautiful collection, and couldn't recommend it more to people, you should all get one, because, well, I insist.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Quest for that Perfect Glow - Dior Nail Glow Review

Hey chicas! No, you're not seeing things, this is a real post from me. I decided to brave my leg-burning, overheating, old laptop to get a post up so you don't think I've disappeared off the face of the earth.

We're forever searching for that perfect glowing look, whether it be with our hair, skin, eyes, teeth, it seems we're becoming more and more obsessed with looking healthy, and finding products that can recreate it (especially for the girls like me, struggling to say no to chocolate.) One place I'm always whining about wanting to look perfect is my nails, whether it be the hideous flaking or accidental snapping, they're always refusing to do as I tell them to. However, despite numerous buffing tools, files, treatments and cuticle oils, I've never really referred to my nails as glowing, or even wanting them to glow, until now...

Dior nail glow is a pink tinted, completely sheer polish which gives your nails a french manicure effect without the tiresome white tips which, honestly, remind me of us getting giddy with the tip-ex in boring maths lessons. -I know you all did it! I have no idea how this works, but it whitens your tips and makes the pinks of (well, the pink...) your nails pinker (you know you've missed my miraculous language don't you) ;)

As with the majority of Dior products, the Christian Dior logo is etched into the cap, adding to this products luxurious feel. I picked mine up in my local Debenhams store, and I used some of my beauty card points so I think it only ended up costing me a couple pound, but it is available to buy at Escentual for the cheapest price of £15.30. I'm so glad I purchased this, it works amazingly on my nails, and if it runs out, which I cannot imagine it doing soon (a little does go a long way!) I'd definitely recommend. A generous 9.5/10 from me! And not just because I have a little Dior addiction.

- The first hideously hideous snap is my naked nails feat a little tan staining from last week, woops! 
- The second, somewhat less hideous snap is ONE coat of Dior Nail Glow, how fantastic is that?
- The third is my complete manicure, two coats of Essie's Ballet Slippers, one coat of Essie Mademoiselle, and a generous coat of Seche Vite's top coat to give it that gel-like finish.

I personally feel if you're addicted to opaque polishes, this is a complete unnecessary product, and you'll get no use out of it whatsoever, but, if you're not allowed nail polish for work, or school, this is ideal. For sheer pink polish addicts like myself too, this is a perfect base coat, it preps your nails much better than any other base coat.

Hope you've enjoyed this post. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my Photoshop discs will transfer easy enough onto my new laptop so I can get posting again, because I miss blogging and you lovely guys!


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

An Irritating Beauty Chore - Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File Review

I'll take a guess that I'm not the only person that seriously dislikes nail filing? I hate it, but it's something that must be done, to keep nails in a good shape, and to smooth any rough edges. For as long as I can remember I used metal nail files, you know those horrible ones you get in manicure kits which people buy you for Christmas when they don't know you well enough? How I used them, I do not know. Then 3 years ago I got hooked onto the less terrifying emery board, but still found nail filing was a tedious chore. With my nails in SOS mode, I ordered a crystal nail file off Amazon, a little pricier than their metal and emery board counterparts but with a promise of a lifetime guarantee, and easier nail-filing. But, do they live up to the hype?

With the file being made from glass, the packaging is one of the most important aspects to stop it from smashing as soon as it gets put in a handbag. It's case isn't the most attractive, but is very protective, with an aluminium coating, a black velvet type cushioning, and a plastic flip top lid. 

When you file your nails with any other type of file, you tend to get that residue, which leaves what can only be described as dust underneath your nails, meaning you have to do a little tidy up after filing. Something which attracted me to this file is the fact that this is eliminated, as the edges of the nails are "sealed" whilst filing. (I must apologise for my dreadful descriptions in this post, but I am in no way an expert on nails or manicures, can you tell?!)

For a very obvious reason, I cannot comment on the "lifetime guarantee" as I haven't had it for a lifetime... But with a person as clumsy as myself, I dare say that I will drop this at some point, and it'll be another fallen victim to my wooden floor in my bedroom.

But I cannot recommend this file enough, it's completely revolutionary, and I've now got two of my Aunty's lusting over these. This is one of those items which is a complete game-changer, knocking everything else out the ball-park!

In the picture above, I had broke a nail (very low, ouch!) and so I needed to file my nails down quite a lot to make them all match a little more. When I would usually use a nail scissor and an emery board, the crystal nail file was the only thing I needed, to take at least a few mm off the length of my nails I spent about five minutes filing both hands... making it easy to use, and quick? My ideal product!

You can buy this file from Amazon, here. You can also buy larger ones, but in my eyes, this is the perfect size to keep your nails in shape, especially if you have quite small finger-nails and nail beds like myself.

And I forgot to mention, that I haven't forgotten I promised to hold a giveaway, but I was a little concerned that if GFC ended, then my "100 followers" giveaway would become a little obsolete. Anyway, now it's still here, I'm definitely going to be shopping so I can hold my first giveaway! How exciting!!


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Will You Still Love Me, When I'm no Longer Young and Beautiful?

Have you all seen The Great Gatsby yet? I bet you're also getting bored of the chatter surrounding it? My apologies for joining in on it. Anyway... I feel like I've been waiting absolute years to watch it! The date just kept getting pushed further and further away, I thought I'd never get to see it. Despite the very long wait, my excitement grew to an extent I didn't know was even possible, so I thought maybe I'd end up leaving the cinema a little disappointed. Oh, how wrong I was. Its a beautiful, spectacular film, and I cannot lie, I spent the majority of the 2+ hours admiring Carey Mulligan's makeup, hair and nails (oh, and not to forget the clothes.. the flappers, fringing and nude tones aplenty.)

Anyway, I went to see it last Wednesday evening and I decided to get into the roaring twenties spirit with Gatsby inspired makeup and mani. I did cheat a little with my hair, seeing as it was freshly blow-dried it was poker straight and looking super shiny, so I decided to skip the faux-bob, and just do my makeup twenties-inspired, I used a champagne colour across my eye-lid, a strong cat-eye liner flick, and MAC's Rebel on my lips. I did this half-moon mani with Essie's Skirting the Issue, and a pack of WHSmith hole reinforcers. Yes, I used something found in an office for a manicure. 

To recreate my manicure you need; Base coat, Nail varnish (any opaque or semi-sheer will do, but darks are the best) Top coat and hole reinforcers. Apply the base coat as you would normally, to avoid any staining, then, after applying to the back of your hand to remove some of the "stickiness" of the stickers, apply on your nail at the bottom to cover up the part of the nail where there will be no colour. Paint the tips, then when the polish is dry, carefully peel off the stickers and clear up any mistakes with a cotton bud and nail polish remover and then apply a top coat to prevent the polish from chipping.

Hope you've enjoyed this very quick post for today! I'd planned on taking pictures for new posts, but I prefer to use natural light, and thanks to the icky weather I don't have a lot of it. Sob, thanks Britain! 

I'm also coming close to my first followers milestone, so keep your eye out for a giveaway in the near future! 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Inside: My Essie Collection

Hi you lovely lot! How was your weekend? Mine was quiet, and chilled and peaceful spent with numerous films, shopping, lunch with friends and dinners with family. Perfect!

Another collection today! Instead of showing you my full nail polish collection (which could take a good few hours) I thought I'd show you my favourite nail polish brand, Essie, and the colours (as well as treatments) I own.

My favourite nail polish EVER, and the first nail polish I bought by Essie is Ballet Slippers, I bought this when I was super excited to hear about Essie coming to the UK in Boots, and since then haven't looked back. This little "I'll give them a go." started my love affair with Essie, and their incredible polishes.

Left to right (Marshmallow, Fiji, Ballet Slippers, Eternal Optimist, In stitches)

From top to bottom (In Stitches, Cute as a Button, Meet me at Sunset, Bahama Mama)

From left to right (Chinchilly, Merino cool, Smokin' Hot, Skirting the Issue, Recessionista)

From right to left (Mint Candy Apple, Butler Please, Maximillian Strasse Her, Cocktail Bling)

I thought I'd tell you my "Top 5" too, but when I came to narrow down the list, I had to make it 6, woops...
My favourite, in order, are; Ballet Slippers, Fiji, Chinchilly, Skirting the Issue, Meet me at Sunset and Butler Please.

Left to Right (Base Coat- Rock Solid, Top Coat-No Chips Ahead, Top Coat-Matte About You)

Hope you've enjoyed this post, and I haven't made you want to indulge in Essie polishes too much. And like I've always said, I'm more than willing to swatch or review things in more detail. I just don't want to be filling your feed with swatches if they aren't going to get looked at!

Lots of love.
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