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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: Essie Good To Go

Do excuse the terrible Fall Out Boy-based title pun.. It's late and it's stuck in my head, okay!?
As mentioned in my end-of-exam-shopping-trip post, I recently purchased Essie's Good To Go top coat from the Boots diffusion line. Priced at £8.99 for 15ml, Good To Go is a rapid dry top coat which claims to set colour in seconds. I'll start by saying now, I've not tried any other quick-dry top coats (I know, I know!) so I can't make any comparisons, I'll just be giving my thoughts on it as a product in its own right.

As far as I can tell this comes in the same bottle as the other polishes in the Essie diffusion range, although it does come in a plastic box packaging. The brush is quite narrow which gives good control but means you need quite a few strokes to cover the nail. The polish goes on very nicely, I tend to paint my left hand, then right, then top coat on left hand, then right. This means I leave my polish about two minutes before applying the top coat, and it goes on really smoothly. With nail art I've found it's best to wait a little longer to avoid smudging.

As for the rapid dry claim? I'm sold. This gives my nails a gorgeous glossy finish and is rock-hard within a couple of minutes - no more crossing my legs because I forgot to go to the toilet before painting my nails, no more fingerprints from touching it to see if the polish is dry, and no more pillow marks from where I think my nails are dry and go to bed, only to wake up the next morning and realise they weren't.

I'd say this top coat prolongs nail wear but since I very rarely wear nail polish for more than two days anyway, I can't really say how well. I've worn this over four or five different nail polishes now and been delighted with the results each time. This will definitely be a re-purchase, and one I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who has ever nearly wet themselves waiting for nail polish to dry!


Monday, 28 May 2012

Review: Origins Make A Difference Skin Rejuvenating Treatment

I actually received this Origins Make A Difference Skin Rejuvenating Treatment in a gift set quite a while ago, and recently found it during a mass cosmetic sort-out. It's been neglected due to its somewhat ambiguous name  - "Skin Rejuvenating Treatment"? What does it do!? - so I had a look on the Origins website and started using it. And let me tell you, I am SO glad I did!

My skin is pretty much as oily as skin can be, but I also suffer from dry patches (sometimes in the same places) which are so bad my skin cracks and flakes - ouch! I need a good moisturiser but anything heavy or rich tends to break me out and make my oily skin worse. I started applying this last thing at night after removing my make-up, and I could see the difference within a couple of days! Normally when I wake up my skin is at its oiliest but after using this, it's still soft, smooth, and relatively matte. This in and of itself is something of a miracle for me! It's done a fantastic job of rehydrating my nasty, sore dry patches and actually evening out my oilyness, but hasn't caused me to break out at all! I am seriously so impressed. The Origins website suggests following with a moisturiser but for me, that's totally unnecessary. If you have a drier skin then you may need to but equally, there are probably products more suitable for you than this - it is aimed at Oily/Combination skin types.

I also wear this under my make-up and find that it gives a lovely base for foundation to go on over. This may just be wishful thinking, but I do think my make-up lasts a bit longer when I've used this first, as well! If it contained SPF this would be perfect. The Make A Difference Skin Rejuvenating Treatment retails at £32 for 50ml, which definitely puts it at the more expensive end of the skincare spectrum for me. However, you don't need very much so it should last a while, and thankfully I have a back-up in stock ;D
What's your favourite Origins product?

(This product was received as a gift; as always, all opinions are my own and all reviews are honest.)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Focus On: Mozzypop

I recently ordered some jewellery from a little online store run by Dayner, which is called Mozzypop. Dayner sells a range of pretty handmade jewellery at really reasonable prices and is definitely worth a look in for some lovely summery pieces. Everything came all wrapped up nicely in bubblewrap and pink tissue paper, sealed with gold Mozzypop stickers. Like many people, I'm a sucker for pretty packaging!

Here is what I bought:

Turquoise Arrowhead Necklace, £8.95; Howlite Cross Necklace, £6.95; Galaxy Ring, no longer available, £5.95.
Aren't they beautiful! I've had lots of compliments on all three pieces already and they're perfect for summer - pretty but small and simple.
Which is your favourite? What jewellery are you wearing now the British weather has finally got its act together?


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Delilah Dust - Giveaway! NOW CLOSED

Sale Bronze Infinity Bracelet On Waxed Cord

Sale Bronze Infinity Bracelet On Waxed Cord

Delilah Dust is an online jewellery store run by a lovely lady called Antonia. You can check out her shop on Etsy for lots of beautiful unique, delicate jewellery. UK Shipping is free with no minimum spend!
Tomorrow is Antonia's birthday (happy birthday Antonia!) and to celebrate, she is giving away an Infinity bracelet in the colour of your choice, as seen above, to a lucky UK reader. If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning this gorgeous bracelet, simply follow these steps:
  • Be a follower of my blog via GFC. 
Then, comment below with your GFC name, Facebook name, Twitter name, and a way to get in touch with you should you be lucky enough to win! This giveaway will run until next Saturday, the 2nd June, at 3pm. For extra entries, you can do any of the following, and let me know IN THE SAME COMMENT (one comment per person!):
  • Visit the Delilah Dust Etsy and let me know your favourite item! Mine is the beautiful Raw Pyrite Necklace.

Sale Raw Cut Pyrite On 16" Silver Plated Necklace Chain

The Rules:
  • You must complete all of the mandatory parts, or your entry will not be counted. Leave ONE comment with all the requested details and a way to contact you - email address or Twitter handle. You can get a maximum of FIVE entries - one for the mandatory parts and one for each extra.
  • This giveaway is only open to readers with a UK postage address - sorry to my international readers!
  • A winner will be chosen at random after the giveaway has closed, and I'll email them to get their postage address. I'll then pass this on to Antonia, and she will dispatch the bracelet directly. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before another winner will be drawn. I'll also announce the winner on Twitter and in a blog post.
  • By entering, you confirm that you are happy to provide a UK postage address should you win. Under 16s must have parental permission for this!
  • No professional compers etc. - that's not in the spirit of this giveaway and your entry won't be counted.
Good luck everyone!!


Friday, 25 May 2012

NOTD: Technic Holo

Having really liked Technic nail polishes in the past, I couldn't resist when I spotted this beauty in Bodycare for just £1.49; a limited-edition silver holo polish. I'll be honest, my hopes weren't too high for this but again, I was pleasantly surprised. This went on really nicely, dried super-fast, and was pretty much opaque in two coats. These photos show three coats which I applied just to touch up a couple of slightly patchy nails. My camera, it transpires, is entirely reluctant to pick up holo, so most of these are actually taken on my phone. Even then, this polish is one you really have to see in real life to appreciate fully.

I think those last couple show it best, you can just about see a turquoise flash in the last one! I took these before applying top coat as I was a bit worried that this would hide the holo effect but thankfully, this wasn't the case! (I used Essie's Good To Go top coat.)
What's your favourite Technic nail polish?

Update: I took some more photos in the wonderful bright sunshine today, which seem to show the holo effect better. Here they are! I know a couple are completely out of focus but I've included them because they do show the holo nicely.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Review: Montagne Jeunesse Dry Skin Mask

I have the weirdest skin, I swear. It's hideously oily, to the point where even with primer and powder, I'm doing well if my foundation lasts beyond lunchtime. I get breakouts at random, for no readily apparent reason, but I also get random dry patches. It sounds impossible but my forehead is both oily and dry. So, somewhat dubiously, I have tried out Montagne Jeunesse's Dry Skin Mask from their Skin Heroes Range. Like the rest of the Skin Heroes range, this is a two-step treatment consisting of a face mask and complementing moisturiser, designed to target a specific skin complaint - in this case, dry skin. Recently I've been getting really nasty dry, cracked, painful patches on my face so I was hopeful that this would help.
The mask, like all Montagne Jeunesse products, is suitable for vegetarians and contains natural ingredients wherever possible; in this case, the active ingredients are extracts of Raspberries, Blueberries and Red Grapes to provide replenishing, protecting antioxidants.

I smoothed this over freshly cleansed skin and waiting for about twenty minutes. This is a lovely thick, creamy product, which feels gorgeous on the skin and smells amazing! I think it's my favourite Montagne Jeunesse scent of the products I've tried so far, and believe me there's been plenty. This feels really rich and luxurious on the skin and, although it dries as it works, it doesn't go hard and stiff like a clay mask, so your skin doesn't feel uncomfortable or tight. I removed this in the shower with a face cloth and plenty of hot water, and my face was left feeling soft and smooth.

I then applied the moisturiser/serum, which also contains Blueberries and Raspberries, along with KiOsmetine to smoothen the skin. This smelt even better than the face mask, if such a thing is possible. It was a lovely light cream which soaked into the skin really nicely and really helped to soften up some of the tight, dry patches on my face. There's enough in the sachet for four or five applications, and over the next couple of days I've noticed that it's done a really good job of sorting out my dry patches, without breaking me out or making my skin any oilier than it was before - I'm impressed!

Montagne Jeunesse Dry Skin Mask is available from the usual places like Superdrug, Tesco and ASDA, and can also be ordered from their website, priced at £1.49. If you order online, postage in the UK is just 75p, or free if you spend over £10! Remember to check out my reviews of the Break Out Mask and the Shine Control Mask if they sound more suited to you skin.

(I was sent this product as a PR sample for review purposes. This does not affect my opinions in any way and, as always, my review is honest.)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

NOTD: Leopard Print {Tutorial}

I've shared a few leopard print manicures lately and had a couple of requests for a tutorial. I am by no means claiming to be any kind of nail art knowledge source; leopard print is genuinely so easy that even I can do it, so here is a quick how-to guide. I apologise for the quality of the photos, trying to do this in the evening was a bad idea!
You'll need a base colour, a contrasting colour for the spots, and a third colour for the outlines - you can either use a dedicated nail art pen for this, or a hair grip/cocktail stick/similar object dipped in a regular polish. The choice is yours! You'll also need a top coat to seal your design and make sure it feels nice and smooth.

Paint your nails with your base coat. I used Nails Inc. 'Bluebell', which came free with this month's InStyle magazine, but you can use whatever colour you like! 'Bluebell' went on nicely and dried quickly, the first coat was patchy but two coats were opaque. Wait for your base to dry before moving onto the next step so you don't smudge it.

Then, use the brush of your second colour to randomly place dots over the nail - you can do it on all your nails or use it as an accent nail for a more under-stated look. I used a blue glittery W7 polish which has no name/number, but it came in a set of four from TKMaxx. It's actually quite similar in colour to 'Bluebell' so it's quite hard to see, sorry, not my best choice there! Your dots don't have to be neat or perfectly round, in fact it's best if they're not. This adds to the overall look of your design and is also what makes it so super-easy to do! If you like, you could use more than one colour, like I did here. Experiment with the positioning and spacing of your spots to see what you like the best. Again, wait for your spots to dry before moving onto the next step.

Finally, use your nail art pen or tool dipped in your third colour. Roughly outline the spots on your nails. Again, this doesn't need to be neat. Add a few small dots or streaks of your third colour, randomly, and leave some of your larger spots un-outlined. I used my Models Own Nail Art Pens in black and pink, but I did my first ever leopard print manicure using a cocktail stick. The nail art pens are easier to use but it doesn't really make much difference.

Once this is dried, paint on a top coat to seal your design, smoothen it out, and make it last. I used Essie Good To Go, which I'll be posting a proper review of soon.

Ta-dah! Just to show you how easy it really is, I'm including a photo of my right hand, too. Taking the photo was harder than painting the nails! You can see I didn't wait long enough before applying top coat to my little fingernails and they've smudged a little, but it's not too noticeable.
If you try this, please leave me a link, I'd love to see your work!


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Zips & Studs: What's In My Bag?

One of the first posts I ever did was a 'What's in my bag?' post and I really enjoyed it. That was nearly a year ago now and I've seen a few of these posts around lately so I thought I'd do an update - I'm a nosey buggar so I love these sorts of posts!
My bag is a huuuuuuge black leather-effect bag which I bought from Lucy's new handbag shop for the bargainous price of £28. It's currently out of stock but you can have a look here if you like it! You can currently use the code 'HHHMSSALE' to receive a 50% discount off any item on the site - a great deal! The code is valid for two weeks from today, so until June 5th.
I love the (non-functioning) zips on the front and the studs on the strap - it means I'm more comfortable in slightly more "girly" outfits than I might otherwise be, because I can tough it up with my zippy studded handbag!

And this is the crap I was carrying round with me last night when I got in from my exam!

Revision notes (thanks Daisy for the spider diagram tip!), diary and fineliner pens - because everything in my diary is colour-coded. This is more because I like things to look pretty than because the colour-coding is helpful or, indeed, meaningful in any way. (The same goes for the spider diagram. It is literally just to look pretty.)

Three pens, keys, headphones, Carmex, Next coconut lip balm, Revlon Lip Butter in Macaroon, various receipts/vouchers/bus tickets, tattoo appointment card. Nothing exciting there I don't think..

The marble on my keys is just that, no sentimental value or anything, it's just easy to find in the bottom of my bag. The little mirror with the fairy on was my mum's (vintage! Get me!) and is handy for obvious reasons.

Jane Norman purse which is in sore need of replacement (it's falling apart) but I haven't seen any purses I like in aaaages, Neutrogena hand cream, memory stick, and a canvas shopping bag in an attempt to stop our kitchen becoming entirely over-run by plastic bags (I'm failing miserably. I swear, for every bag I save, someone else brings home three extra).
And that is it! I've actually also got a miniature bottle of perfume (Armani Code) and a packet of migraine tablets in the back pocket which I'd forgotten about until just now. Sorry ladies, you're missing out there!
Have any of you done a similar post recently? Please link me up, I love a good nose!!

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