Christmas

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 – Part 2 – Stocking Fillers

In Part 2 of my Christmas Gift Guide I share with you what I think would make great stocking fillers. Check out Part 1 for under-the-tree ideas. Christmas is nearly here so order this quickly!

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Part 2 - Stocking Fillers

Stocking Fillers

Continue reading “Christmas Gift Guide 2017 – Part 2 – Stocking Fillers”

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Christmas

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 – Part 1 – Under the Tree

This is my first Christmas gift guide! I’ve based it on products I have used throughout the year and would love to see under the tree or in my stocking. It’s mainly beauty, as you can imagine, but there are some other treats in here too. Plus, lots of the brands are small, black-owned and British so if you want something truly unique or patriotic, start here!

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Part 1 - Under the Tree

Part 1: Under the Tree

Continue reading “Christmas Gift Guide 2017 – Part 1 – Under the Tree”

Christmas, Glitter, opi

Olympia Beauty 2015: OPI Starlight Collection and OPI Venice Collection

Olympia Beauty 2015: OPI Starlight Collection and OPI Venice Collection
Olympia Beauty 2015: OPI Starlight Collection and OPI Venice Collection

I went to the Olympia Beauty show last weekend. It is a trade show for beauty professionals. I went because I wanted to attend a talk or two by beauty experts and see if I could spot anything new to share with you. I actually ended up doing some shopping! I forgot my camera so most of my pictures were taken on my beloved Nokia 1020.

As you know I am a fan of OPI so luckily for me (but unluckily for my bank balance) there was a huge OPI stand. I went there with good intentions- I was just going to pick up a bottle of Nail Envy and a bottle of RapiDry and be on my way. Ha!

My nails are in a very sorry state indeed so to me, Nail Envy is an essential, It took me ages to pick one because they now come in a range of natural/nude/muted shades. I gave up and picked the original with a mini nail file.

OPI essentials - Nail Envy Original and Rapidy
OPI essentials – Nail Envy Original and Rapidy

The Starlight Collection

OPI Starlight Collection
OPI Starlight Collection

I made the mistake of asking what the new collection was and I was pointed in the direction of the Starlight collection. Oh my, it’s so beautiful! I love sparkle, and that’s my go-to look for the whole of December, not just Christmas. As the collection was so new, there was not a huge amount of stock so by the time I got to OPI at around midday on the first day of the show, many of the shades I wanted had already sold out!

When shopping for OPI, I try to go for shades I haven’t seen other brands do. I picked up Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Meteorite and Super Star Status. I would also have bought Ce-less-tial is More and Press * for Silver if they were there. I might even get No More Mr Night Sky and Centre of the YouNiverse. I bought Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Meteorite because I love the juxtaposition of the pretty pink glitter against the chunky gunmetal grey glitter. Pretty with an edge. I also went for Super Star Status because instead of just mixing gold and silver glitter, the larger gold bits stand out against the fine silver bits making it extra pretty.

The OPI Starlight Collection shades
The OPI Starlight Collection shades
The OPI Starlight Collection shades continued
The OPI Starlight Collection shades continued

Although I think Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Meteorite can be worn on its own, I wanted a nice solid background for it. As Press * for Silver was sold out, I thought I’d want to wear it over white nails but I already have a good white shade. I was helpfully advised to try a shade from the Venice collection.

OPI Starlight Collection: Super Star Status and Two Wrongs Don't Make a Meteorite
OPI Starlight Collection: Super Star Status and Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Meteorite

The Venice Collection

I actually got completely distracted from finding the perfect base for xxx because the whole of the Venice collection is just so beautiful. It’s not new, but my epic spending ban just ended on the 30th of September so I couldn’t buy any nail polish before then. I ended up picking Gimme a Lido Kiss (red), Venice the Party? (blue) , O Suzi Mio (Purple) with Be There in a Prosecco as the base for Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Meteorite.

OPI Venice Collection: Gimme a Lido Kiss (red), Venice the Party? (blue) , O Suzi Mio (Purple) and Be There in a Prosecco (off white)
OPI Venice Collection: Gimme a Lido Kiss (red), Venice the Party? (blue) , O Suzi Mio (Purple) and Be There in a Prosecco (off white)

As my nails are merely stumps at this stage, I’ll do another post or two to show you the shades in their full glory, perhaps on nail wheels.

Be There in a Prosecco with Two Wrongs Don't Make a Meteorite.
Be There in a Prosecco with Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Meteorite.

Gifts

There were some lovely gift sets to choose from, all in the Starlight packaging. Some of the products are from the Starlight collection but others are collections of bestsellers. Some even come with jewellery. I would be pleased if any of them popped up under my Christmas tree!

Do you have any of the shades I picked? Comment below with your link so I can take a nosy peek!

Christmas, Events

Olympia Beauty 2015: Benefit Gifts

Benefit pucker up & party
Benefit pucker up & party

Last weekend I went to the Olympia Beauty show, a show for beauty professionals. I went with the intention of trying to find new products to share with you and to attend beauty talks.   It was very business-like so not really a place for selfies and Periscopes. A lot of the products would only be available to professionals or in salons but I did get to see the new OPI Starlight Collection which you can find on my nail blog here. I also came face-to-face with the botanical nail polish brand Soigne which I will also post about on my nail blog.

I also had look at the Benefit Christmas gifts. Yes, I wrote the “C” word! Here’s what I would like to see under the tree.

There were three gorgeous tins all costing £39.50 representing a saving on buying the products separately of between 31% and 51%, depending on which one you go for.   As for the tins themselves, I don’t really know how to describe them but the inner part rotates which was a nice, typically quirky touch from Benefit. You’ll have to see them. Even if I can’t use all of the products, the tins are very nice and I wouldn’t mind seeing some, or all of them under the tree!

Benefit Christmas Gift Sets
Benefit Christmas Gift Sets

The green tin, “get your party on” contains hoola bronzer, they’re real mascara, high beam highlighter and gimme Brow in medium/deep. It would be better for me if Sun Beam was the highlighter though. I’m worried High Beam might look a little stark. It might be ok for strobing for an evening look but I’m not sure for the daytime. I’ll have to try it (did you see that Santa?). Hoola works for me when I don’t have a tan so it would be good for warming my winter battered skin. I’ll have to put it away in the summer though.

The blue tin, “your b.right! to party” is the skincare set which makes it the most universal. It contains it’s potent! eye cream which I was unsure of until I was shown how to use it properly then loved it, the POREfessional primer which I just love, instant comeback facial serum and triple performing facial emulsion.

The pink tin is called “you’re so party!” and contains your start-to-finish essentials – the POREfessional primer, hoola bronzer, hoola lipgloss and they’re real mascara. They’re real is an amazing mascara – I didn’t know my lashes could look so long! I’m not really a fan of the lip glosses by Benefit but I know people like them because they are not sticky at all. I don’t mind a little tackiness if I get longer wear.

Benefit Christmas Gift Set - you're so party!
Benefit Christmas Gift Set – you’re so party!

There were also some smaller sets which were tempting but I resisted, perhaps to my peril!

The “pucker up & party” pictured above) balm and tint set containing benebalm and benetint, the red shade and posie tine and posie balm, the pink tint is made for me. This one is amazing value at only £19.50. I want to try benetint under red lipstick but I’m unsure how drying I’ll find it, although that’s why the balm is included. The colour comes from the tint and the moisture from the balm. I haven’t tried posietint at all but I do like pink lip!

“party like a rockstar” has both they’re real and rollerlash mascaras. I love them both and cannot choose a favourite between them! It also has hoola bronzer, the POREfessional primer four neutral eyeshadows and a couple of tools. I’d use it all!

Benefit party like a rockstar
Benefit party like a rockstar

I don’t know how I didn’t buy all of this!

barry m, Christmas, Glitter, opi, Silver

Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Push and Shove

Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Push and Shove
Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Push and Shove

Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight is so bright and bold I just had to turn up the drama and try it over OPI Push and Shove from the 2013 Gwen Stefani collection.

Moonlight is a silver glitter topcoat made up of silver stars, tiny silver circles of different sizes, silver rectangle pieces like tinsel, medium sized silver hexagonal pieces and the odd piece of randomly shaped red glitter which resembles torn papers. (See it over red here).

OPI Push and Shove is a silver chrome shade so you can tell I was really going for the “look at me” effect. I naughtily did not use the designated base coat which came with it – Lay Down That Base so it painted on a little lumpy. You can’t tell however as so much is going on with Moonlight – something I love about glitter. Glitter polishes hide a multitude of nail issues!

It’s so difficult to capture the effect of glitter over chrome in a photo. The smaller silver pieces of glitter add texture, the stars and the hexagons are holographic so they give flashes of rainbow in certain light and the red pieces of glitter randomly scattered on my nails add that little bit extra to make my nails look even more special. The chrome base colour makes the whole look quite spectacular.

All of this is achieved with only two bottles of polish and minimal effort. Who would have thought that it would be so easy to get such dramatic nails?

If you cannot get hold of Push and Shove anymore, you might be able to get the same effect using the Barry M Nail Effects Foils in Silver 319. I haven’t yet tried the Barry M foils but if you have I would love to see it!

Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Push and Shove
Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Push and Shove
Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Push and Shove
Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Push and Shove
barry m, Christmas, Glitter, opi, Red, Silver, sparkle, Topcoat

Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Red Fingers and Mistletoes

Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Red Fingers and Mistletoes
Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Red Fingers and Mistletoes

Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight 439 is a limited edition glitter topcoat that I picked up from Boots. This little bottle packs in so much – I couldn’t decide which base colour to use so I tried it over two.

Moonlight is mainly silver glitter made up of silver stars, tiny silver circles of different sizes, silver rectangle pieces like tinsel, medium sized silver hexagonal pieces and the odd piece of randomly shaped red glitter which resembles torn papers. In certain light I’m sure the hexagons and stars a holographic. In all it’s very Christmassy!

I first tried this over OPI Nail Lacquer in Red Fingers & Mistletoes, a deep red nail polish with what looks like red and gold micro glitter which gives off a deep three-dimensional shimmer rather than a chunky glitter effect.

The smaller Moonlight particles paint on quite easily but a little bit of dabbing was needed to deposit the stars and hexagons. The silver bits come up nice and bold against the red but the red pieces cannot be seen at all.

Overall, the effect is multi-dimensional with the depth of the red underneath and the variety of different shaped glitter on top. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted!

Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Red Fingers and Mistletoes
Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Red Fingers and Mistletoes
Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Red Fingers and Mistletoes
Barry M Nail Paint in Moonlight over OPI Red Fingers and Mistletoes
barry m, Christmas, Glitter, Pink

Barry M Nail Paints in Matte Vanilla and Rose Quartz

Barry M Nail Paints in Matte Vanilla and Rose Quartz
Barry M Nail Paints in Matte Vanilla and Rose Quartz

As part of my mission to have a sparkly Christmas, I bought Barry M Nail Paint in Rose Quartz. It’s a very pretty pale rose glitter nail polish consisting of rose gold micro glitter and rose gold hexagonal chunks.

I have decided that this year I would wear glitter as a top coat instead of layering it for speed of both application and removal. I therefore went back to the shop for a pale pink base colour.

Once there I decided that pale pink wasn’t quite right so I picked up Barry M Matte Nail Paint in Vanilla, a pale matte lilac shade. I already have the Barry M Matte Nail Paint in Caramel so I knew I would love the effect.

I wasn’t disappointed! Rose Quartz and Matte Vanilla go perfectly together! I went for one coat of each with a clear topcoat except my ring finger on which I applied two coats of Vanilla followed by matte topcoat.

Rose Quartz is fairly easy to apply and you will get some large glitter and lots of micro glitter with one sweep but to get a more even coverage of large glitter you’ll need to do a little bit of dabbing.

Although I bought Barry M Nail Paint in Rose Quartz for Christmas, I think it is the perfect New Year’s Eve glitter. I would wear Barry M Matte Nail Paint in Vanilla all year and it is already one of my favourites!

 Barry M Nail Paints in Matte Vanilla and Rose Quartz

Barry M Nail Paints in Matte Vanilla and Rose Quartz
Christmas, Cleanser, Day cream, eye cream, Make-up remover, Mask, Moisturiser, Night cream

Christmas Goodies

Christmas Goodies
Christmas Goodies

My Christmas beauty presents were all skin products this year.  I received:

 

Beauticology Foot Lotion, Foot Soak Crystals and Supersoft socks so I can maintain my super soft skin from my pedicure

 

and

 

A cute Beauticology tin containing an even cuter gingerbread man soap, Chocolate Cupcake liquid gold shower crème and Vanilla Frosting hand and body lotion.  It all smells divine and the gingerbread man looks good enough to eat!

 

I’ve never used Beauticology so this was a nice surprise, especially as it has such pretty packaging!

 

I also received a No7 Beautiful Skin set containing travel-sized versions of:

 

  • Cleansing Lotion
  • Radiance Exfoliator
  • Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm
  • Energising Mask
  • Day Cream
  • Night Cream

 

I don’t think I have the patience to wait until I go on holiday to use all of this, and I really need the Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm right now! Actually, I’ve already used full size versions of the creams, cleanser and exfoliator (reviews to come) so I think I will pack them away for my travels, especially as the day cream has SPF 15.

 

My lovely family has decided to take care of me from head to toe! I’ll let you know my thought on the products soon.

 

Beauticology
Beauticology

 

Beauticology
Beauticology

 

Beauticology
Beauticology

 

Beauticology gingerbread man soap
Beauticology gingerbread man soap

 

Beauticology gingerbread man soap warning!
Beauticology gingerbread man soap warning!

 

Beauticology
Beauticology

 

Beauticology
Beauticology

 

No7 Beautiful Skin
No7 Beautiful Skin

 

No7 Beautiful Skin
No7 Beautiful Skin