Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint | Review

Monday, 18 August 2014

A photograph of Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint | Review
Coconut, Rose Hip, Prickly Pear, Blueberry, Huckleberry and Sugar Apple 

When it comes to nail varnish, there is only Barry M - or at least, that's what I used to think. With a huge selection of gorgeous colours, it's definitely the most popular brand on the high street and by far the cheapest. I've sworn by them for years but that was before the Gelly Hi-Shine collection. Being a keen blogger/hoarder, of course, I had to have them all. The colours are perfect, even the pretty pastels are opaque after just one coat. The application is a different matter. Barry M polishes come with a very thin brush designed with precision in mind, unfortunately this brush is incompatible with the thicker formula of the Gelly Hi-Shine colours. It's very difficult to achieve a smooth and even application with these varnishes which is such a shame considering how gorgeous the colours are!

I recently purchased Barry M's Coconut after seeing its popularity amongst beauty bloggers. The colour is absolutely gorgeous but I've found that it really doesn't last very long. Bearing in mind that I'm using the varnish alongside an Essie base coat and a Seche Vite top coat - my manicure only lasts a day or two before beginning to chip. So far, no good.

What do you think of Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paints?

July Favourites | 2014

Saturday, 2 August 2014

A photograph of July Favourites

July has been such a busy month for me - between two holidays, being a bridesmaid and becoming a godmother I've had a lot to do. Not that I'm complaining, of course. Needless to say I've been loving the sun, both here and abroad, and definitely don't want to see the summer end. As we go into August to enjoy our last month of sunshine I'm sharing the things I've been loving recently.

When it comes to beauty, it's all about Soap & Glory's Glow All Out for me. It's a gorgeous, rose gold highlighter that compliments a tan perfectly, creating definition whilst still being subtle. Their packaging is notoriously lavish and this product certainly disappoint. I've been loving a smokey eye recently, a great statement look for a night out. The Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Trio is ideal for a fair complexion and comes with a base, contour and defining shade. Not to mention that the compact palette is perfect for traveling. Whilst out and about I've been wearing this worn leather satchel with a vintage pleated skirt for a casual, summer look.

With the warmer weather comes the need for a great moisturiser, for me it's The Daily Smooth, again from Soap & Glory. Not only does it leave my skin really soft but it also has that scent that can only be described as 'S&G' - femininity in a bottle. I've also recently discovered Essie's Grow Stronger Base Coat. My nails have been really brittle recently, of course I looked to Essie for a solution (the brand, not Button!) I've been using this base coat with every manicure since I bought it and my nails are already so much stronger - I can't recommend it more. I've always loved using a leave-in conditioners, Aussie's are a favourite of mine but recently I've been using John Frieda's Blonde Hydration. The scent is gorgeous and it comes with the added bonus of built-in heat protection.

A photograph of a diamond necklace included in July Favourites

For the first time since I was a little girl, I got to be a bridesmaid! My sister married the love of her life and I got to be a part of it. It was such a great experience and I loved every minute of it. This gorgeous diamond necklace was my bridesmaid's gift, it's easily the most beautiful thing I've ever owned! These navy sandals from Primark are the footwear that went with my dress, I thought they were going to be really uncomfortable but I couldn't have been more wrong. I've barely taken them off since!

What have you been loving this month?

French Pharmacy Haul | Effaclar Duo and Reve de Miel

Thursday, 17 July 2014

A photograph of La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo + and Nuxe's Reve de Miel

A photograph of La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo + and Nuxe's Reve de Miel

When most people think of France, they think of croissants, red wine and the Eiffel Tower. Maybe the Louvre and a little escargot if you're feeling particularly cultured. Well, bloggers aren't most people and for us, it's all about the pharmacy. From La Roche-Posay to Nuxe and the infamous Bioderma, it's a dream come true.

If you haven't heard of La Roche-Posay, they're a pharmaceutical brand that deals primarily with sensitive skin. The Effaclar Duo +, their most popular product, is marketed as an anti-blemish cream. I don't know about you but that didn't exactly make a lot of sense to me at first. Essentially it works to minimize the appearance of pores and leave you with super smooth skin. I've been using this cream as part of my everyday skincare routine for the past couple of weeks and have already noticed a real difference. I've also been trying out the Hydreane Riche Moisturizing Cream from La Roche-Posay, it goes so perfectly with the Effaclar Duo +, I can't recommend it enough!

Now, the lip balm to end all lip balms. Reve de Miel is a seriously nourishing balm with great, natural ingredients like honey, shea butter and grapefruit extract. I use it every night and can honestly say it's the best lip product I've ever used. The texture is so smooth and creamy, it's just gorgeous!

What are your favourite pharmacy products?

Primark Holiday Haul | Summer Series

Thursday, 26 June 2014

A photograph of a bag from Primark

Primark, Primark, Primark. Basically, I love Primark! Do I need another reason to do a haul?

A photograph of a dress and a playsuit from Primark

The first thing I picked up was this gorgeous patterned playsuit, with a halter neck and that bright pop of colour it's the perfect summer slip-on. I can't stop imaging what this beauty is going to look like with a tan! The embellished neckline reminds me of the statement necklaces that are so in fashion at the moment and for only £10 you can't really go wrong. This playsuit actually comes in various different colours and patterns but this is my favourite by far.

Considering I'm spending the next two weeks in the South of France, sweet summer dresses are essential. Primark have a huge collection of dresses in different colours and styles all for only £5, obviously I bought two. Bright blue is something that I would never usually go for but this dress is so pretty that I couldn't resist. The crochet bodice creates a little texture in the otherwise simple dress but I really love the way that it comes in at the waist to create a gorgeous silhouette.

A photograph of a dress and a pair of shorts from Primark

White is a colour that I love to wear but find quite difficult, especially when you throw in the added horror of suncream stains! But I can't go to Cannes without a perfect, white number. This gorgeous sun dress has a tie at the waist to create a great shape, it's perfect! I couldn't recommend Primark's dress selection more, especially if you're about to go away on a budget.

Patterned shorts are a wardrobe staple for me at the moment and this daisy print is so exception. It's not something I would usually go for but I've seen quite a few bloggers wearing these and they just look so amazing that I had to have them. I thought they'd work really well with a plain white tee tucked in and maybe these white sandals...

A photograph of a make up bag and a pair of sandals from Primark

If you're familiar with my May Favourites then you might recognise these gorgeous sandals. They're honestly the comfiest shoes I've ever worn, not to mention they're only £8! So obviously, I had to have them in white too. To be fair, I love anything with gold details.

Something that Primark always do really well is make up bags and check out this bad boy. It's a great size, I've already taken it for a test run and managed to fit everything including my hair products in here for a weekend away. It's a gorgeous pattern and the little jewel detail is so cute.

A photograph of a make up bag from Primark

What are your summer staples for this year?

Top Tips For Painting Your Nails

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A photograph of nail painting accessories including Essie's Fiji and Seche Vite

If there's one thing I can do, it's paint my nails. Here's how I do it.

1. Trim them down. Although long nails look gorgeous, they're very difficult to maintain and quite prone to breaking. I don't need to tell you how quickly something like this can ruin your manicure. Keeping your nails short and sweet is the easiest way to avoid accidents. After all, it's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it. (I'm still talking about nails!)

2. Use a file to keep them neat, these blocks are very inexpensive and available almost anywhere. Not only do they have everything you need in one place but they have handy instructions on how best to use the different sections. For me, it's so important to smooth down the ridges of the nail to avoid an uneven manicure.

3. My favourite polish at the moment is Essie's Fiji. I am absolutely obsessed with this gorgeous off-white nude, it's everything I could possibly want in a summer shade. I've written a full blog post about it here. Make sure when choosing a polish that you consider the formula and even the brush shape - everything makes a difference! I find that building up the colour using multiple, thin layers is the best way to achieve the perfect look. If you find you're prone to flaking, wiping a little remover over the nail before application can make all the difference.

4. A good top coat is everything for me. Not only does it make your manicure last that little bit longer but it actively prevents chipping. I'm using Seche Vite's Dry Fast Top Coat and loving it, having instantly dry nails is an absolute godsend. Bringing your top coat right over the end of your nail is essential to keep your nails looking perfect. If you're using a bright colour make sure to use a base coat in order to avoid staining your nails.

5. Using a good quality hand cream regularly is a great way of making sure your hands are always super soft and looking lovely. I'm into Laura Mercier's Ambre Vanille Souffle Body Creme is a gorgeous product that I love to use, it's so luxurious and smells like sweets! To be honest, any hand cream will do. It's hard to go wrong with such a simple product. Just make sure you keep those hands hydrates, just like you do the rest of your skin.

If you struggle to do a good manicure, there are a few ways you can cheat. You can get all kinds of false nails which are great quality and often look better than polish does, press on nails are particularly popular at the moment. Always remember, there's nothing a cotton bud dipped in nail varnish remover can't fix. (Quite the catchy saying, don't you think?)

Hopefully this has been helpful, if you'd like to know anything else feel free to leave a question in the comments below. What are your top tips for painting your nails?
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