Wednesday, 28 March 2012

New York City here I come!!!!

I thought I'd do a quick post to let you all know I'm off to New York tomorrow! This does mean I won't be blogging for week or so buuut it also means I'll have a plethora of things to blog about upon my return. Expect mega makeup hauls and lots of posts about new clothes and jewellery. It's my first time over there and I am a little giddy with excitement to tell the truth!

Thanks to everyone for the recommendations you've been leaving me in comments and tweeting me (follow me here) - I've printed almost everything out so I have a comprehensive beauty bible of girlie must-dos!

See you all in a week! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Glitter Leopard - OPI Rainbow Connection

You all know just how much I love a leopard nail, so I thought I'd try doing a glittery accent leopard nail. For this look I used Sally Hansen Sheer Me Now as my neutral base colour and the cult favourite OPI Rainbow Connection for the glittery dots. I used my fail-safe Model's Own WAH Nails Pen in black for the detailing.

Leopard Glitter!

Sally Hansen Sheer Me Now, Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener, Model's Own Nail Pen & OPI Rainbow Connection

What do you think about the glittery leopard look?


Sunday, 25 March 2012

My spring-time bag

Yep, spring has officially sprung which means we can finally switch to our spring wardrobe and accessories! I picked up this Primark Coral bag a month or so ago in the new Westfield and I've been really excited to start using it. At just £12 (ish - I can't remember the precise price!) I think this is a real find and perfect for adding a pop of colour to every outfit.

Love the summery lining

Cute quilting on one side

I'm off to have a picnic this afternoon, and I'll definitely be taking this coral satchel with me! Has anyone else made any springtime purchases?


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Spring inspired nails - NYC Lexington Yellow

Spring is finally here, yippee! To celebrate the gorgeous weather we've all been enjoying today I decided to do some springtime nails with NYC Expert Last Nail Polish in Lexington Yellow - a pastelly, well pigmented yellow polish.

New York Color Lexington Yellow Polish
I thought I'd try using a photo editor on my iPhone for this post. I edited the photos using Pixlromatic (a free app) then put them into this collage using Diptic (this app costs a whole 59p).

I also thought it was rather apt I was using a New York Color polish as I'm actually going to New York on Thursday! Very excited doesn't come close to how much I'm looking forward to it!

Any recommendations for beauty buys I should keep my eyes peeled for in the states? I know I want to visit Sephora and MAC amongst many others!


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Gradient Nail Art with a Leopard Twist

After experimenting with gradient nail art with great success this week, I decided to give it another whirl with more exciting shades and a leopard print twist. I'm loving the results for something so simple!

Gradient Nail Art

To create this look I used (left to right) Rimmel Lyrca Pro in 500 Peppermint as my base colour, then applied OPI Pink Friday then Models Own Pink Blush on top of each other with a sponge (waiting for Pink Friday to dry, then applying Pink Blush over it). I used a purple Accessorise polish (I don't think it has a name) for the leopard print spots and the Model's Own Nail Art Pen (black) for the detailing.

Rimmel Peppermint, OPI Pink Friday, Model's Own Pink Blush, Accessorise Purple & Model's Own Nail Art Pen
I'm loving this look so much, I can't believe I've only just discovered it!


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Pink gradient nails

It's that time of the week: Sunday - the day I enjoy having a little too much time on my hands. In true Sunday style, today I caught up on my trash TV, and of course indulged in a little nail art! I experimented with gradient nails for the first time and I'm really pleased with the effect!

Pink gradient nail art
I used a sponge to apply each nail colour (except the light pink base coat which was applied as normal). The colours I used were (light to dark) OPI Pink Friday, Model's Own Pink Blush and Natio Adore.

OPI Pink Friday, Models Own Pink Blush & Natio Adore
I'll definitely be doing gradient nails again soon as it's just so easy! I'm already noting down ideas for colour combinations...


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Flying the flag for the USA with Topshop

I was rummaging around in my wardrobe last night and found this American flag t-shirt from Topshop. Answer me this: would it be totally lame to wear this on my flight out to New York ;) ?

Topshop Americana Cropped Tee

This cropped Topshop tee is from their petite range which has been an absolute life-saver for me over the years. At just 5ft 1 I'm pretty teeny, and finding clothes that fit is always a bit of a hassle. Dresses and jeans can particularly be tricky to get just right, yet Topshop Petite fit me really well - and I also find Miss Selfridge's petite section really good - although I find Miss Selfridge clothing comes up a lot bigger than Topshop - is that just me? Are there any other little ladies out there who want to recommend me stores that cater for us shorties?


Friday, 16 March 2012

Floral top knot

I love top knots. I think they are such a simple hairstyle to do, yet look so glam and really on-trend. I use a Primark Hair Doughnut to bolster the size of my bun, but I don't feel you necessarily need to have a doughnut in your hair to pull it off!
Floral Top Knot

As well as looking really chic, top knots are great when your hair's a little dirty, or like me, goes mad overnight and is beyond sorting in the small amount of time I have in the morning. This morning, was one of those days - so I reached for my trusty doughnut but gave it a little twist - I wrapped a Topshop Floral Headband around my bun and thought it actually looked pretty good. I even got some compliments at work!

Has anyone else tried accessorising their top knots? I'll be experimenting a lot more with different hair accessories in the future!


Thursday, 15 March 2012

5 Minute Rimmel Mani

I fancied doing something cute rather than overly complicated on my nails tonight, so I opted for a quick yet really simple look: an accent nail. I used my go-to Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener as a base coat, Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish Polish in Purple Pulse and How Do You Lilac and the usual Filthy Gorgeous Top Coat. I'm pretty pleased with the results!

How Do You Lilac?

Purple Pulse

Who else loves the accent nail trend? Such a great way to update your nail-look without the intricacies of nail art!


Must-see Westfield

I feel like this is almost a bit of a cheat-post but I can't get over how much I love this Westfield advert. Anyone who enjoys looking at changing fashions over the last century will really enjoy this too! Let me know if you love it as much as I do :)


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Primark bargain every make-up junkie needs

I thought I'd do a quick post today on a lovely little bargain I picked up in every deal-hunters favourite store; Primark. Like most girls, I go through make-up bags quite quickly (they tend to get dirty just as soon as I put my make-up into it due to spills, smudges and me being too lazy to always put lids on), so I thought it was about time I treated myself to a new make-up bag.

When in Westfield (the new Stratford one) - I picked up this lovely floral make-up bag with two see-through compartments - perfect for storing brushes away from make-up to help them keep clean! It's a great 'travel' or 'overnight' size rather than something to store everything in, but it's proved really handy and it looks super cute, and at just £2 I don't think you could complain!

I'm looking to invest in some Muji storage pretty soon for the rest of my make-up. Nothings more satisfying than having your make-up all neatly stored (call me geeky but I don't care!)


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

nails inc. go fruity!

First the magnet - and now scented polishes! nails inc. have been pulling out the stops recently to stay ahead of the nail curve and I have to say I'm intrigued to give their scented polishes a sniff. I've scoured the web (well googled a set of key words) but seem to be returning nothing on the range so I thought I'd break the news on my blog and keep my eyes peeled for any updates.

Dubbed 'Juicy Sheer' it seems nails inc. aren't giving much away at this stage. How do you feel about scented polishes? I'm sure we've all dabbled in the idea - but are you convinced? I'll be sure to head to my local Debenhams to smell these polishes once they've launched, but will I be buying? That remains to be seen! Call me crazy but I actually like the smell of regular polish...


Topshop Nail Tattoos

Love tattoos but a little bit scared by the pain and the price? Then fear no more as Topshop have just launched a set of tattoo inspired nail transfers for all us body and nail art appreciators. Being very much obsessed with the former and latter I picked these up just as soon as I spied them and I am thrilled with the way they look.

Topshop Nail Tattoos
Supposedly inspired by 'Sisters of the New Moon' - each set contains 36 small transfers which you need to cut out and stick onto your nails yourself, in a very similar way as the cartoon stick-on tattoo transfers you get in cereal boxes. Just like these, you dampen the tattoo once applied then carefully remove the transfer to leave the design on your nail - simple!

You get 36 transfers for £7
I'm a little disappointed in myself for applying the tattoos on a white nail as I'm sure I could have been more adventurous - I'll be sure to try something a little more out-there next time and I'll pop a picture up on my blog. I assume the tattoos look more impactful against a light or bright shade, rather than something a little more murky.

Damn you unphotogenic hand!

Is it just me or is the Topshop makeup collection going from strength to strength? You can check out my previous blog on a nude Topshop Lipstick here (teaser: its a dupe for MAC Creme De Nude!)


Monday, 12 March 2012

MAC 'Fans' Collection

Always been a bit jealous that Miss Piggy, Marilyn Monroe and Nicki Minaj get their own MAC make-up lines? Well it's time to shed your envy as MAC have just announced they'll be launching a limited edition, 'created-by-fans' range very soon!

A selection of the eighteen most requested, cult classics and iconic shades, will be put up to vote on MAC’s Facebook page for us MAC lovers to snap up whilst we have the chance. They've announced the shades we'll be able to vote on include Lipsticks, Lipglass and Eye Shadows. Some of the products up for the vote include: Eden Rocks Lipstick; Flash Of Flesh Lipglass and Solar White Eye Shadow.

MAC Eden Rocks
MAC Solar White Eyeshadow

 The three shades with the highest number of votes from each category will form the MAC by Request collection that will be made available in October exclusively online. Voting supposedly begins today - but I can't find where it's online yet (maybe it'll be online later, inline with US time!)

Update - I found an updated list of products we can vote for on London Beauty Queen's blog

Whose excited? I am!!!


MAC Peaches

MAC Peaches

MAC Peaches is one of my all time favourite blushes. It's a beautiful apricotty peach colour which looks gorgeous on your skin, leaving your complexion looking radiant and fresh rather than pinky or rosy - the effect most blushers offer. I wear this blush most days teamed with a highlighter as it provides me with the 'peachy complexion' look I really like.

MAC Blushers are very pigmented which means they last absolutely ages! I've had Peaches since Christmas time, and as you can see it looks barely used. In some ways I wish it did wear down more quickly so I could accrue more empties for Back To MAC!**

**Back to MAC is a great campaign which MAC run whereby if you collect 6 empty MAC containers and return them to a MAC store you'll get a free lipstick. Such a great idea!


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Broadway Nails

A few weeks ago I picked up a set of nail jewels in Superdrug by a brand called Broadway Nails. I hadn't heard of Broadway before, but I've been meaning to order some nail jewels from eBay for ages, so when I saw them in Superdrug I thought I may as well give them a whirl as they were priced at just £5.99.

Set of Broadway nail jewels
I know you get a lot more for your money on eBay, but I couldn't resist the cute little hearts and pearls in the Broadway kit. The kit also contains a cuticle stick, nail glue and top coat - everything you need to place your jewels in place and keep them there!

To start with, I painted my nails in Sally Hansen Sheer Me Now Polish (two coats).

Sally Hansen Sheer Me Now
Sheer Me Now is a gorgeous creamy-beige and is perfect for a sophisticated or understated nail look.

I then stuck the silver and pearl-like jewels onto one nail using the provided tools. I'm actually pretty impressed with the staying power of the glue and topcoat - I put the jewels on last night and not one came un-stuck over night!

It's pretty hard to capture what the nail looks like in reality and I don't think the photos do it 100% justice - just imagine a little Swarovski nail glittering compared to the rest of my quite plain nails. It looks cute!


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Being blonde again

Today is the day I've been counting down to (and in fact slightly cheated by moving my appointment forward by a week) - the day I get my hair done! My hair has been in disastrous need of cutting and dying for the past month (to the point where people thought I had dip dyed my hair - no, that was just roots) and my appointment finally rolled around with Electric London just off Bond Street - it's just up the road from Selfridges, (somehow I managed to resist temptation).

Electric London is owned by celebrity hairdresser Mark Woolley - but I had my hair done by the lovely Adam who used to work in the Brighton branch which used to be my hairdressers many moons ago.

I really wanted balayage highlights all over my hair to give it a real sunkissed look, but instead opted for half a head of highlights on top and brighter blonde balayage underneath to give my hair a bit more depth. I absolutely love the results, even though I had 3 inches off which is a lot for me!

Balayage highlights are done without foils to give your hair a less defined/highlighted look. I didn't opt for all-over balayage as this technique can't get as close to the root - and as my hair is a mid brown naturally I really needed it dyed from the very root to make sure it looked at it's best after being dyed.

If you want something similar done the darker blonde is called beige blonde and the lighter blonde is creamy blonde. I also had a toner put on to reduce brassiness and make my hair very creamy (I prefer a slightly more ashy look to golden as my hair tends to turn more yellowy over time). I also had my hair blow dried wavy to achieve the look above.

To keep my hair this colour I'll be using the Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo about once a month. This is my favourite purple shampoo, but it's very strong so be careful not to leave it on too long or you'll end up with a purple rinse. Not a good look!


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Essie Lapis of Luxury

I'm usually a big fan of brights and pink polish so this week I thought I'd mix it up a bit with this greyish blue shade from Essie. I know a lot of people comment on the poor consistency of some Essie polishes, but I had no problems with this shade and achieved the look below with just two coats.

Essie Lapis of Luxury with top coat

Lapis of Luxury alongside my go-to topcoat by Filthy Gorgeous

I've got some crazy plans for this base colour... more will be revealed later!


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dainty Doll Eyeliner (a range by Nicola Roberts)

I'm not usually a massive fan of celebrity makeup lines, so I was really surprised to discover just how lovely the Dainty Doll collection by Nicola Roberts is. Branded as a range for the very pale, I tried her false lashes and black eyeliner out of curiosity rather than necessity (I'm not particularly pale) and was amazed with the products! You can read all about my experience with the lashes here, but today I'm going to rave about the black eyeliner pencil.

Firstly, you may think what's the point in investing in a more premium eyeliner rather than opting for a highstreet brand (Dainty Doll eyeliners retail at £10), and I'd be the first to agree with you as eyeliners are basic part of every woman's makeup bag but - here's the real selling point for me - I have incredibly watery eyes and this is the ONLY pencil I've ever tried that I can use in the inner rim of my eye.

Great coverage on the inner eye rim

In the past I've only been able to use eyeliner underneath the eye which isn't a look I'm particularly keen on, but now I can achieve the look I prefer thanks to Dainty Doll. I'd urge anyone who suffers from watery eyes (a common problem) to give this liner a try - it really works wonders and stays on practically all day even with my watery eyes!

You can only buy Dainty Doll in Harrods and on and I think I've seen it in some of the larger Boots stores in London. I honestly love this product - I don't think I'll ever find a liner that works as well!

Thanks Nicola :)


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Get Nude: NARS Turkish Delight

I thought I'd share my favourite lip gloss with you all today - NARS Turkish Delight. This barely-there pink is incredibly glossy and looks absolutely gorgeous on your lips while leaving a subtle sheen. When I first bought Turkish Delight I was expecting a more pigmented gloss, but I've grown to love it - using it alone and over pink lipsticks frequently.

NARS Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight over my natural lips

Priced at £17.50 these glosses are pretty pricey, but mine has lasted absolutely ages and I'll definitely be repurchasing due to it's sheer versatilely! It's just a shame NARS packaging gets so darn dirty!


Monday, 5 March 2012

Models Own Launch New Nail Pens!

I'm a massive fan of the original black and white Model's Own Nail Art pens (see my blog on leopard nail art here), so I was thrilled to see they've just launched new shades in pink, blue and yellow! I'm going to place an order right now and will blog just as soon as I get them!

Models Own Nail Art Pens
For those of you unfamiliar with the Nail Art pens from Models Own, they were created in conjunction with super cool nail salon WAH nails (they have nail bars in the Topshop on Oxford Street, Westfield and in Dalson), and they make nail art really easy, even for the most shakey of hands.

I'll need to get my thinking cap on of the types of designs I'll want to create with the new shades. Crazy leopard designs are going to be a must!