Thursday, April 10, 2014

Back to blogging

Once again I've been a terrible blogger. A lack of inspiration and a busy last couple of months have resulted in a severe lack of posts. I'm going to try to get back on track and so will try to write up a post once a week, instead of the sporadic bursts I seemed to have before!

Next up I will be reviewing the Aesop Parsley Seed mask! Let me know if you have tried it and what you thought of it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nail Stamping - Easy Peasy Nail Art

When I was younger and before I was even allowed to wear makeup, nail art was my passion. I remember ordering a giant set of 70 nail art pens from eBay when I was 12 and walking back from the post office with a giant grin on my face. I loved making little intricate designs on my nails and experimenting with different colours. I no longer have any of those pens because it took forever to do designs on every one of my nails, and they never looked quite professional enough to warrant all that time.

That was when nail stamping stepped in. If you haven't tried it before it is a bit complicated to get your head around, and when I try to explain it to people they just smile and still look a little confused. So hopefully I can lay it out in writing and you can understand my babbling!

The things you'll need are a nail image plate, scraper, rubber stamp and nail polish.

Step 1: Paint your base colour (if desired) with any polish you choose.

Step 2: Paint a reasonably thick layer of polish onto the image you want. For this design I chose the bow image. For nail stamping you can buy special polish, but it is essentially thicker nail polish and quite expensive to buy. Instead of that I just use a cheap polish (black in my case) and leave it on the plate for a little bit extra.

Step 3: After waiting 15-20 seconds until the polish has thickened (less with proper stamping polish) scrape off the polish at an approximate 70 degree angle. The set I bought for nail stamping came with a little metal scraper but it was damaging the nail plates. The best way is to use an old loyalty/credit card instead.

Step 4: Quickly, and I mean quickly; after scraping off the nail polish press the rubber stamp onto the image and then quickly stamp it onto your nail. It will be dried instantly.

Step 5: Continue until you have stamped your desired amount of nails and top with a clear top coat.

And that's it! I hope that all makes sense, it is actually a lot easier than it sounds and only takes an extra 10 minutes or so after doing your base colour. I really love nail stamping because it looks really beautiful and you don't have to worry about smudging your design that you just spent ages on.

For this design I used the Konad image plate M62 which you can buy here for £6.00, but you can also buy nail stamping sets on eBay including plates, stamp and scraper for under a fiver!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stila Seeing Stars Smudge Stick Set - Review

I managed to pick this up for a bargainous £6.75 rather than the usual £25 or so in the Stila sale last week. I have been testing it out for a few days now so will give you a quick review of what I think. Unfortunately this set seems to be no longer available, but you can pick up another set which is a bit more expensive and has a couple of different colours, or buy them individually.

The first thing I did when these arrived was try to wind them up to see how much product was inside (as you do!). The first one I tried didn't wind up at all, no matter how much I tried. Disappointed, I tried the next one which wound up fine. The only problem then was that it didn't wind back down at all! So that was a bit of a negative to start off with, but luckily I didn't wind it up too much for it to get damaged with the lid on. I'm not quite sure if it is just a fault with a couple of my ones or if it is an issue with them all. They are not cheap to buy full price so hopefully they don't all have that problem!

I swatched a couple of them on my hand before I tried them and the colours are absolutely beautiful. The glitter is very fine and quite subtle so very wearable. The colours are also very neutral, even the green and purple are quite dark so people wouldn't stop and stare if you decided to wear them. They are very smooth to apply and don't tug at all on the lids. The colour also lasts  good few hours without fading or smudging.

Overall I really like these eyeliners, and if there wasn't the packaging issue I would love them!
They are available here for £13 individually or there is still an £18 set in the sale.

Have you tried these? What did you think?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Lush Cinders Bath Ballistic Review

Don't you hate it when you step into a cold bath? Well that's what happened to me after the water ran cold halfway through filling the bath. For some silly reason I thought it would be fine to have a lukewarm bath, without really thinking how it would turn cold very quickly. But my main reason for staying in was the Lush Cinders Bath Ballistic. I didn't think this would be anything special when ordering it in the Lush sale, but when I opened the packet and smelt it I was in love. It took me a minute to pin down exactly what I was smelling until it hit that it smells just like Amaretto! The main scents are supposedly Cinnamon, Orange Oil and Almond Oil. I have to admit that to me there was no cinnamon or orange scent. It was very much almond, almond, almond which I love!

Once Cinders hit the water it fizzed and bubbled just like any other bath bomb but the really special part was the popping candy. For abut five minutes it popped away, sounding just like a crackling fire. If I shut my eyes I could really imagine sitting in some snow lodge in the Alps. The only negatives for this bath bomb is that it turns the water an off putting shade of yellow (yep you know what I mean), and it also leaves a bit of a yellow ring around the top. But if you can get past that, it really is a wonderful product.

I wish I could repurchase more, but as it was limited edition I will have to wait until the end of this year (that's if they bring it out again). However, if you would desperately like to try it there are quite a few being sold on eBay at the moment.

Have you tried the Cinders Bath Ballistic? What did you think?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Jerome Russell Champagne Blonde Hair Toner Review

Image from
(I accidentally threw the box out before I could photograph it)

Normally when I make beauty related purchases I do my research and make sure it is a good product. However, when making this purchase I was rushed and just picked up the first hair toner I saw. I had no idea what it would be like or whether it would work. I have naturally honey-ish toned blonde hair with a slight strawberry blonde hint and a few bleached highlights. Since moving to the UK it has become darker and much more dull. The other day I noticed it looked slightly orange in some lights so decided to rectify it with a toner. The Jerome Russell toner says it is designed for natural or pre-lightened blonde hair (me on both counts) and I successfully used the Jerome Russell highlighting kit about a month ago so had no reason to doubt it's hair-fixing abilities.

Before using this I had a quick Google to see what other people had said. Their stories and reviews ranged from turning hair a Big Bird style yellow to a breezy and successful application. I was a little worried about which side of the spectrum my hair would become so I did the recommended strand test. After about 15 minutes nothing had happened. I thought that maybe I hadn't left it in long enough so I decided to go ahead with all my hair. I figured that after the 15 minute mark I could watch carefully to see if it was turning a scary shade and quickly rinse it out if it did.

After following all the instructions and looking like some kind of cling-wrapped monster I sat down and waited. After the 15 minute mark nothing happened. I waited another 10-15 minutes until the recommended time was up and then rinsed it out thoroughly. 

I was expecting something; anything. But after drying my hair nothing had changed. I asked my family members' opinion in case I just hadn't noticed the change after staring at it for too long. My mum said it looked somewhat lighter but wasn't sure, and my brother said it looked darker. Neither seemed too sure of their opinion, so I'm thinking that I was right and nothing had changed at all. 

I'm very disappointed with this product; I followed the instructions to the minute and it had absolutely no effect. I really love the highlighting set so it was quite annoying that all Jerome Russell products don't have the same quality standard. Of course it could be down to my personal hair type so please let me know if this has worked for you! For the moment though I think I'll stick with my current hair colour until I'm brave enough to venture deeper into the toning world!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lush Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic Review

I must apologise in advance because this is no longer available at Lush due to its being limited edition. But I thought I would write a quick review just in case you have one but haven't used it yet, or possibly if it comes out at the end of this year again. I managed to snatch this in Lush's online sale a couple of days after Boxing Day for  £1.75 as opposed to the original £3.50 or so which I was pretty happy about. I really like Lush products, but they are a little expensive, particularly the bath bombs which are only one use! 

So much shimmer!

I'll start by saying that this is a big bath bomb. You could probably cut it in half, but I didn't want to mess it up (despite the fact it was about to fizzle away into nothing within a few minutes). There is loads golden shimmer on the outside, but it didn't leave much in the bath aside from a little puddle at the end. I found I got a very fine coating of shimmer on me after the bath but it wasn't very noticeable and I wasn't going anywhere. When the ballistic hit the water it fizzed, but seemed quite creamy rather than fizzy. Little blue bits emerged and started dyeing the water a deep blue. Near the end of it's bubbly, creamy life pink spheres floated out along with hundreds of little yellow stars which slowly melted away. I'm terrible at describing scents so I had to look up what it was. A mixture of sweet orange oil, cognac oil and lime oil resulted in a scent that was neither fruity nor floral, but a wonderful one nonetheless. It filled the room with scent but was not at all overpowering. 

I really liked this bath bomb, it was fun to watch melt and bubble away and the scent was really lovely. I'm glad I liked it, as I bought 3 more as back up!

Let me know if you have tried/bought this and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish Extreme Blackcurrant Review & Swatch

I bought this polish quite a few weeks ago whilst perusing Boots and have just gotten around to trying it. This is actually my first Maybelline nail polish, I know crazy right! It is also my first foray into dark nail polish besides from a cheap black one which I don't wear much. This shade 06, Extreme Blackcurrant is a beautiful deep berry colour which can also look like a dark winey red or a black depending on the light. I love the colour, and it is perfect for winter time. I think it suits most people's mood right now with this horrible weather!

The brush is really nice, it is similar to the thick Bourjois brush but not quite as good. It is still far better than the usual thin brush that most polishes have though. After two thin coats it was opaque, but I think one thick coat would do fine as well. I used the Seche Vite top coat as I was in a rush (excuse the messy application!) but it was glossy enough by itself.

I can't comment on its chip resistance qualities as my nails are very weak and so polish will chip no matter how good the polish is. If anyone can recommend something to strengthen nails please let me know! I have tried a Nailtiques formula but it just made it 10x worse unfortunately.

Overall, I really love this polish! The colour is beautiful, the application a breeze and all for a pretty good price. I bought this in Boots but I can't seem to find this shade, however Superdrug have it for £4.49.