Events

Keziah Connections: Networking, Fun and Beauty

Shopping for gold lipstick at Fashion Fair
Shopping for gold lipstick at Fashion Fair

Since my first post about my time at Keziah Connections, you might think I have not returned. This is definitely not the case! I love meeting new people who have similar interests to me. I love it even more when that interest is beauty. Here’s a few snippets in case you’re thinking about joining me at some point.  As you can see, we talk about more than beauty – business, fashion, media and Black History Month have all featured.

Continue reading “Keziah Connections: Networking, Fun and Beauty”

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blackup, Brown

Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07

Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07 - not my nude by gorgeous all the same.
Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07 – not my nude but gorgeous all the same.
Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07
Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07
Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07
Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07

Black|Up is a brand aimed at darker skinned women. I was sent a sample of this Black|Up nail lacquer in NVAO07 or just 07 and I have chosen to share my thoughts with you. It’s always been difficult to find nudes suitable for brown skin; I do love the pinky-nude colour but it is not my nude.

Black|Up have a selection of 10 shades of nail lacquer – three colours which flatter brown skin and seven nudes so I’m sure there will be a nude for everyone. As you can see, 07 is definitely not my nude but it will be for someone! What I was hoping was that although it is not my nude, it would still come up as a flattering shade against my skin. In general, I can wear nearly all shades of nail polish but when it comes to brown, sometimes they just don’t look that good on me. They might make my skin look sickly or I sometimes just look silly. So, as this is aimed at brown skin, I had high hopes.

Well, I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was very impressed! I love the square shape of the lid and the bottle and the brush is a good thickness to enable you to do the three-stroke painting method. That’s the proper way to paint nails, when I can be bothered! The consistency of the nail lacquer is just right – not too thick and not too thin. I found that two coats was plenty to get even coverage.

As for the shade itself, it is very flattering on me. It’s a gorgeous red-toned brown which looked surprisingly good on my very, very short nails. It reminds me of the outer shell of Galaxy Minstrels – yum! I actually started to grow my nails just so I could do this shade justice!

I am hooked. I don’t usually like to pay more than £10 for my nail polishes (these are £12.50) but I do like this formula, and I love that there is a shade out there tailored just for me. A trip to my local Black|Up counter to get my actual nude is definitely due. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy wearing this gorgeous chocolatey brown – how could I not?

Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07
Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07
Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07 - I love the box!
Black|Up Nail Lacquer in 07 – I love the box!

I was sent a sample of this product and I have chosen to share my honest opinion of it with you.

Little Ondine

Stylist Live 2015: Little Ondine

Little Ondine at Stylist Live
Little Ondine at Stylist Live

You know I already spent my beauty budget at Olympia Beauty so unfortunately I couldn’t buy (yet more) nail polish at Stylist Live. I already have 12 new shades to get through, plus the many others in my collection that I haven’t used yet.

Little Ondine make nail polishes which are odourless, quick drying and peel off. I was intrigued by the claims. I didn’t believe they could be all three but I was proved wrong with a live demonstration. Colour was applied in front of me and a couple minutes later peeled it off! Also, as promised, the nail colour really has no scent. At all. It was bizarre!

I didn’t get to try it myself but it looked really good. Here’s my shopping list:

Little Ondine at Stylist Live
Little Ondine at Stylist Live
Little Ondine at Stylist Live
Little Ondine at Stylist Live

Yes, it’s nearly all of them!

Base, Nail Colour, Soigne, Topcoat

Olympia Beauty 2015: Soigne Botanique

The Soigne bottle
The Soigne bottle

Just when I thought I had enough nail polish to last me through autumn and winter, I stumbled across Soigne. It caught my eye because the stand was so pretty. It had a wall of white roses, a bit like the one Kanye West gave Kim Kardashian West. It also said it was “botanical”. I was intrigued.

All of the nail polishes come in beautifully elegant bottles and each bottle comes in a box. If you caught my Periscope broadcast you would have seen that the Soigne nail colour bottles really do travel in style!

The build-your-own collection gift box from Soigne
The build-your-own collection gift box from Soigne
Soigne wrapping
Soigne wrapping
Close-up of the label
Close-up of the label
Set of three
Set of three
The internal layer of pakaging
The internal layer of packaging

The name Soigne rang a bell but I hadn’t personally seen the products before. Soigne means “to take care of” and my nails really need some care right now.

As you can see, I had no choice but to try the products, there were more pros than cons!

I was tempted by the gift boxes which contain five shades exclusive to the box but I tried to be good and picked one colour, Bleuet. I then decided that to get the full benefit I needed the corresponding Oxygen Base and Gel Effect Top and to confirm my decision, there was an offer if you get three products. Even better, the three came in a nice little gift box- I gifted my custom collection to myself.

Oxygen Base, Bleuet, Gel Effect Top
Oxygen Base, Bleuet, Gel Effect Top

I then gave into temptation and bought the Liqueur de Chocolat gift box. I just couldn’t resist the lure of the deep green Absinthe shade. I was unsure about the Whisky shade but I’ll find a way to make it work. Also in the box are Champage which looks like liquid gold, Parfait D’Amour a pretty purple and Vin Rouge, a deep red.

Liqueur de Chocolat gift box
Liqueur de Chocolat gift box
Wrapping inside the Liqueur de Chocolate gift box
Wrapping inside the Liqueur de Chocolate gift box
Liqueur de Chocolat: Champagne, Whisky, Parfait D'Amour, Absinthe and Vin Rouge
Liqueur de Chocolat: Champagne, Whisky, Parfait D’Amour, Absinthe and Vin Rouge

I went home with the plan of putting the other gift boxes on my wish list but when I looked on the website, Choux a la Crème had sold out.   The shades in the five gift boxes are exclusive to those boxes so I’ve completely missed out! The two other collections available are more suited to spring so I didn’t go for them.

Soigne limited edition gift sets Macaron Collection and Fruit Marbles Collection
Soigne limited edition gift sets Macaron Collection and Fruit Marbles Collection

I’m hoping that as the nail lacquers are 85% botanical, they will be good for my poor, beaten nails. I need my products to multitask – nail health and good colour are the order of the day. If I don’t get around to wearing them I hope to stick the colours on a nail wheel to show you.

Have you tried Soigne? What did you think?

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!

essie, Maybelline

London Fashion Weekend Maybelline and Essie Goodies

Essie
Essie
Maybelline
Maybelline

I won Luxe tickets to London Fashion Weekend and an overnight stay at the May Fair Hotel with Stylist Magazine. Included with my tickets was a Pringle Tote bag filled with goodies. You can imagine my excitement when I opened up my bag to discover these Maybelline and Essie gems!

At the show, Maybelline had a pick’n’mix area where you could select from a huge range of Baby Lips lip balms and Color Show nail polishes. They also had a room where it looked like you might have been able to get makeovers but I was too late and the door was literally shut in my face! Oh well. I resisted the urge to go for the pick’n’mix for two reasons – the first is that I have far too many nail colours, many of which I have not even worn. The second reason is that I received a gorgeous Summer Mix’N’Match set with three summer bright nails colours and three Baby Lips lip balms (which I’ll stick on my skincare blog) in my tote bag. I think that’s enough to be getting on with!

The Color Show nail colours I received are:

  • Orange Attack – a fire-ry orange shade
  • Electric Yellow – a bright, warm yellow shade
  • Pink Bikini – a hot pink and I really love my hot pinks!

As for Essie, if I had arrived earlier I could have had an Essie manicure in the Essie room. Not to worry as I was wearing my Elegant Touch Express nails, very quick and easy!

In my tote bag there was a full sized nail colour in ‘fashion playground’ – a mint green. I have so many mint greens – I just can’t stop buying them as it is my favourite spring colour so I’m very happy with this! I also have a professional routing set of minis which contains ‘first base’ base coat, a delicate pink nail colour called ‘mademoiselle’ and ‘good to go’ top coat. I think I’ll have to start painting my nails again!

Avon

Avon Chrome Nail Polish Memories

Avon
Avon

Avon was one of the first beauty brands I remember encountering as a child. I used to love going through the catalogue, strategically picking out the products which would get me a free gift. As my school did not allow makeup, and my parents discouraged makeup, I picked out nail polishes which I could wear on the weekend.

I specifically remember when Avon brought out chrome nail polishes – they were so different I just had to ask my mum if she would buy me some. I chose two colours, the silver chrome and the blue chrome and they were called “mirror shine”. I still have the bottles to remind me to look out for them again if Avon ever brought them back. I wish I asked mum for the pink one also, but then that would have been greedy!

I don’t think the Mirror Shine polishes did make it back into the Avon catalogue but luckily for me, O.P.I. brought out a silver chrome called Push and Shove, part of the Gwen Stefani collection. It goes without saying that I bought it! I love the look of it but it really doesn’t last long. I might do a longer post on it.

I have now recently discovered that Models Own have produced a “Colour Chrome Collection”. I am very excited as there is a pink chrome colour (beautifully photographed on britnails.co.uk)! Although I wasn’t very impressed with the white shade I bought by Models Own, I’m prepared to try a chrome shade as it will be a different formula.

In my mind, Avon paved the way for the other brands to bring chrome nail colours to the beauty world. Thanks Avon!

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