Reminder: Free Nails Inc with Glamour

Just a quick reminder the Glamour are giving away free Nails Inc Polishes this month.

There are four to choose from: pale pink, red, navy and a gold glitter.

The December issue is due out on 1st November, so get in quick to get your favourite as i'm sure these will be popular. I was lucky enough to find one today, so I'm guessing my local newsagent has been naughty and put them out a day early (I got the navy)!

Favourite Autumnal nail polishes

As the weather gets colder and we start shifting towards knitwear and snuggly coats, I find my taste in nail polish also changes.

Instead of the usual bright colours, I get drawn to berry shades, deep metallics and the occasional glitter to jazz things up a bit.

Here are my top five autumn polishes at the moment (L-R):

Marks and Spencer Limited collection gold shimmer
Models own Snowflake
MUA Nail constellation in Gemini
Nails inc Devonshire Row
Essie Jamaica Me Crazy

No doubt these will be continuously changing, but berry colours and darker metallics are firm favourites.


Pale Face does: Dark lips - Kate Moss Matte Lipstick 107

Being on the pale side of life, sometimes I worry that strong lip colours can make me look like a ghost.

I really wanted to try out the new Kate Moss matte lipstick collection, but wasn't overly keen on some of the lighter shades so decided to take the plunge and go for the berry shade 107.

I had to hunt in a few places for this shade as it seems to be the most popular, but finally tracked it down in Tesco of all places, where it was on offer for a bargain £4 (get down there quick!).

It's a rich berry shade, perfect for autumn/winter. The formula seems to be quite creamy for what is billed as a matte lipstick, and feels lovely going onto the lips.

It wears well, lasting about 3 to 4 hours before needing a touch-up. It does start to feel a bit drying after a couple of hours, but nothing a little lip balm on top won't sort out.

So how does it look on a pale skin? Here's the big reveal....

I really like this lipstick. The only thing i find a little odd is that is has a scent. For me, that doesn't add anything and was a bit of a surprise, but the lipstick is so lovely it doesn't put me off.

Have you tried the new Kate Moss matte lipsticks? What do you think?


NOTD: Essie Chinchilly

I know I only bought this the other day, but I am not a patient girl so decided to give it a whirl almost straight away!

Chinchilly (love the name), is what i would affectionately call a 'griege'. It's more grey than beige, but has a definite beige undertone to it. I normally go for brighter nails or something really dark, so it was nice to buy a colour that I definitely don't already have in my ever growing collection.

Like other Essie polishes I've tried, it goes on easily, and is opaque in two coats. It also dries quickly, which is a must for me. This one also has the wider diffusion brush, which I found so much easier to use than the skinny one in my 'Jamaica me crazy'.

I am terrible for not applying a topcoat, so I find that Essie polishes only lasts a couple of days without getting any chips, but I change nail colour so often, it doesn't really matter.

Have you tried Chinchilly? What's your favourite Essie colour?

Weekend shopping - what I bought

After publicising the Boots extra points offer that was on this weekend, it seemed silly not to take advantage  I trotted off to the large store at Bluewater and made the most of the 3 for 2 and extra points offers.

I bought:

Essie Chinchilly nail polish
Essie Skirting the Issue nail polish
Collection Illuminating concealer
Tony and Guy Sea Salt spray

I also bought a couple of other things that I can't show you as they're for a birthday gift and I don't want to spoil the surprise!

Have you made the most of the extra points offer at Boots? Now I just have to decide what to buy with the £20 of Boots Advantage points I have :)



EOS vs Balmi - battle of the lip balms

I wanted to give an honest review of these two lip balms, both of which I've bought recently. They look similar and one could say that the Balmi is a UK version of the EOS lip balm.


This has a sturdy shell that twists open to reveal the semisphere of lip balm. I bought the lemon scent, which i love and the packaging is in a corresponding bright yellow.

It applies easily, but i find that the balm is quite big and sometimes goes over the edges of my top lip (it's quite narrow). It has an SPF 15 in it, but to my knowledge, the lemon is the only flavour with this in at the moment (in the UK).

It goes on easily and lasts for about an hour before i feel like i need to reapply. The texture is kind of waxy - i prefer slightly creamy lip balms, so this is a bit of a downside for me.

For all you natural product lovers, the EOS balms are all pretty natural ingredients wise. It contains Shea butter and vitamin E, and contains no petrolatum or parabens.


This has a similar sort of packaging, with a twist off top, but feels ever so slightly less secure than the EOS balm. It also has a little tag that i think you can attach to your phone (not quite sure this would look right, but here you go...)

I have this one in Raspberry, so it has a bright pink case and also quite a strong raspberry scent. Unlike the EOS balm, this is quite a synthetic smell rather than the nice natural lemon of the EOS.

It too has a semi-spherical shape and goes on really easily (same issue with my skinny top lip!).

Also with an SPF 15, this one has a slightly different texture and feels a bit more greasy on the lips (not like Vaseline, but more like my usual blue tubed Nivea lip balm).  It lasts for about an hour too before i feel the need to re-apply.

Now, the  Balmi also lists vitamin E and shea butter among it's ingredients  but i couldn't find any mention about being paraben free, so can't comment there. If this is a particular concern for you, i would recommend emailing them to find out for sure.

The verdict:

For me, it's a tie. I prefer the texture of the Balmi, but the smell of the EOS. EOS are quite hard to get hold of in the UK, whereas Balmi can be found in larger boots stores, so access might make the decision for you.

Neither are cheap: I paid £6.50 for my EOS at Beauty Mart in Harvey Nichols and the Balmis are £4.99 in Boots (currently 3 for 2).

I think it will come down to personal preference  - the designs are great, super easy to use and both have lots of product in.

Have you tried either?


Hourglass Script precision liquid liner - liner wars!

Hourglass is an American brand that up until very recently has been exclusive to Liberty in London.

They make products with lots of natural ingredients and according to their website:

'The prestige cosmetics collection doesn't merely pamper—it performs to minimize the visible signs of aging and maximize each woman’s individual beauty.'

As a Liberty beauty card holder (they're free to get and you earn points on stuff you buy), I was offered the chance to get one of their script liquid eyeliner pens for free to try out. 

As an eyeliner fan, i wasn't missing out on this, so went to Liberty the next day and managed to pick one up. They retail for £23, so i was keen to see how it performed against my usual Nars Eyeliner Stylo (reviewed here).

The nib on the Hourglass liner is very fine at only 0.5mm (although they do also do a thicker one), but i found it really easy to use and the nib was nice and soft, with no dragging on my eyelid. The really fine nib meant that i could get a super fine line for a more subtle look that i struggle with sometimes with my Nars liner, but i was also able to build up to a thicker line easily.

The liner has good pigmentation and didn't smudge at all during a full day of wear. Removing it was easy using my usual Bi-Facil eye make-up remover.

Here's a little shot to show you just how long this baby lasts (top line only - the bottom one is a Chanel pencil). It taken at 11pm after applying at 7.30am, no signs of wear, despite my other make-up starting to fail! (first shot of my face on the blog, scary!)

I'm going to cointinue to use this liner and see if it outlasts my Nars one - i'm keen to see if the nib gives in to the usual problems of drying out or getting clogged with eyeshadow. 

One other thing to mention is that it is listed as: vegan, gluten free, sulfate free and phthalate free, so possibly one for any of you with specific allergies/needs. It's not cheap, but for me, it's definitely worth it. 


Boots mega points weekend

Calling all Advantage Card holders!

Just a quickie to let you know about Boots mega points weekend happening from now until Sunday. You can get 12 advantage points per pound when you spend £30 or more, so if you were thinking of doing some stocking up/early Christmas shopping, now is the time to do it.

They also have some excellent 3 for 2 offers still running in store (see my previous haul), so why not make the most of it and go crazy!

You know where I'll be this weekend... ;)

p.s. this is not a sponsored post, I just want you all to know about the latest deals!

NOTD: OPI Goldeneye

Another from the latest James Bond collection by OPI (can you tell I'm a bit obsessed?), this is one of the most amazing glitters I've come across. I actually can't stop looking at my nails.

As the name suggests, it's gold, but with a sort of foil finish. It has very fine glitter particles that build up to a solid colur, rather than the usual glitter top coats that are so popular.

One coat is pretty transparent, but this builds up very quickly and although these have 3 coats, I could have got away with two.

I think this is a perfect polish for the party season, but I'll be wearing mine this weekend just to brighten up the dreary days.

I got this as part of the Bondettes mini collection but I'm thinking about getting the full size as I can see me wearing this a lot over the next few months.

Old favorites: my mum's vintage Chanel perfume atomisers

My mum recently gave me two of her 1970's vintage Chanel perfume atomizers  Her's from back in the day, she no longer wanted them and being a bit of a beauty addict and vintage lover she knew I would take good care of them.

They are only small, handbag sized ones, but I love to think of her using them as a teen/20-something in the 70's. It just makes me sad that I haven't been able to get them refilled and use them, so for the moment, they are carefully stowed in my perfume box in my dressing table. 


Temple Spa Skin Truffle

I received Skin Truffle as one of the items in my Anti-ageing Beauty Bible Latest in Beauty box a couple of weeks ago.

Apparently it received the highest ever rating for a moisturiser in the famed Beauty Bible testing, so I was very excited to try this out.

I have to be honest, i'm 28, so don't have massive signs of ageing, but do have some fine lines starting to form, so I wanted to see if this 'wonder cream' would reverse time and send me back to 21, ha ha.

It contains a list of luxury ingredients including diamond powder, gold and silk actives, grape seed champagne, black truffles and strawberry extract. Not your usual list of moisturiser ingredients!

The Skin Truffle has a velvety feel and is quite rich. It also seems like it has a slight shimmer to it (maybe this is the diamond and gold?). I applied a small amount of cream at night instead of my normal moisturiser and it did feel really nice - easily absorbed and my face felt super soft, if slightly shiny.

I went to bed with high hopes and woke up the next day to soft skin, and the fine lines I have around my mouth (I call them 'smile lines') definitely looked less visible. I wouldn't say my skin looked massively different, but after using it for a few days it definitely felt smoother and looked like i'd had a really good night's sleep.

The full size, 50ml product costs £80, so for me, I don't think this would be a realistic purchase, and I think I might be a little too young to fully see the benefits of this 'wonder cream', (the testers for the anti-ageing Beauty Bible are usually 35 and over).

It is a lovely moisturiser, and I shall be using my sample up quite happily, but I think I will be waiting a few more years before trying it again.

Have you tried Skin Truffle? What did you think?



What's in My Handbag - Emma Hardie cleansing balm

I got home last night to a surprise of the best kind - unexpected beauty products!

What's in My Handbag is a relatively new site that gives you an insight to what people store in their handbags, try new beauty products and sometimes, trial out products mentioned in the handbags.

I've been a member of 'What's in My Handbag' for a few months now and have been applying to trial a few products over this period. There are always a limited number, so it's a bit of a ballot, and yesterday was the first time I've been lucky enough to receive one.

I was sent a 15ml pot of Emma Hardie's cleansing balm and a face cloth to use with the product. I've heard great things about this, so will be trialling it very soon (review to follow).

The sample was sent in a 'What's in My Handbag' black box, stuffed with shredded tissue and sealed with a little personalised sticker, which I thought was lovely. (I can't show you this, as in my absolute glee, I ripped through it quicker than you can say 'freebie.)

It was such a nice surprise to get home to, and I will definitely be applying for more trials in the future.

Have you received anything from 'What's in My Handbag'?

NOTD: OPI Live and Let Die

Today's nails are a second instalment of the OPI Bondettes collection.

Live and Let Die is a jet black with a hint of green and gold sparkle running through it.

I really love the colour, but it definitely shows up any flaws/chips a lot more than The World is not Enough

The OPI Bondettes mini set is my current favourite and I'm super impressed with OPI nail polish so far. 


Beauty box swap

Some friends and I decided to organise a beauty box swap between us. All of us love beauty products, but not all of us blog, so we thought it would be a good way to try new things - swapping's not just for bloggers you know ;)

So, my friend Anna and I were paired up. The rules were:
  • budget of £10 to buy new things your swap partner might like
  • include some trial sizes, samples etc that you've picked up that they can try out too
Here's what I put together for Anna:

MUA undressed palette (everyone needs on of these!)
MUA lip gloss tube (came free with the undressed palette)
Boots 17 Holographic nail varnish
Hask Argan oil hair treatment
Benefit Bad Gal lash mini
REN hand cream luxury sample
Manuka doctor face mask x2 sachets
Clarins foundation samples x2 sachets
Bare mineral luxury foundation sample
John Masters organics body lotion sachet

Not bad for a tenner!

And here's what she got me...

  • John Frieda volumising shampoo, conditioner and blow dry spray (god, i love things in mini sizes!)
  • Mirenesse secret weapon mascara
  • ARK age prepare skin set
  • Boots natural collection hydrating hair mask
  • Lavera Roses face cream
  • John Masters organics body milk
  • lip balm stick
I can't wait to try these out. I'm so excited about the mascara as I've heard it's meant to be amazing! 

I think this is such a fun idea to do between friends. Everyone gets to try new things out and to be honest, i think that spending £10 on putting one of these boxes together and swapping is much better value than what you get in your typical monthly beauty box subscription.

We plan to do this again in a few months time, and i can't wait!


Sunday Boots 3 for 2 haul

I popped to Boots yesterday to stock up on a few bits and thought i'd make the most of the 3 for 2 offers they have in store at the moment.

They have one across makeup, nails, and lashes and another on skincare, body care and indulgent bathing.

I wanted to pickup a Balmi lip balm to compare with my new EOS one, but for some weird reason, these were part of the skincare 3 for 2 rather than the makeup one. Not to be deterred, I got my usual Boots Simply Sensitive toner and then decided to treat myself to a new body lotion as the third item.

Makeup-wise, I needed some new brushes, so went for two Eco Tools eye shadow brushes, and as a third (free!) item, thought i'd give the infamous 'StylFile' by ex-apprentice contestant Tom Pellereau a go.

I'm going to be on a bit of a spending ban for the next week as I try to use up some of the ridiculous stash I have at home, but never fear, I have plenty of lovely things coming up to show you.



Free Nails Inc with Glamour

Just a quick post to let you know that Glamour magazine are giving away free Nails Inc polishes with the next issue.

I stupidly gave my copy to a friend so can't show you the shades, but there are four to choose from, including a red, navy, pale pink and best of all a gorgeous gold, perfect for Christmas.

Out on 1st November be sure to get in quick! I know I'll be trying to get them all.

Ciate mini mani month

I saw this over on British Beauty Blogger and it was love at first sight.

After spending an afternoon agonizing over whether to indulge myself or not, I let the nail polish addict in me win and virtually ran to Selfridges after work to try to find one.

Happily, they still had some in store, so I picked one up (squealing with joy inside), whilst trying to avoid looking at the one they had out on display so i didn't ruin the surprise about which polish is behind each door.

I think this is the best advent calendar I've ever had. It features 24 mini Ciate nail polishes: 17 standard, 4 mini nail caviar, plus 3 exclusive glitter polishes only found inside the advent calendar. There's also a little funnel to go with the Caviar polishes.

I've had to leave it inside the plastic packaging to avoid temptation of ripping open the doors (so apologies for slight glare in the photos), but i'm really glad that I decided to get it. It will certainly make getting up in the dark throughout December a lot more fun.

The calendar is exclusive to Selfridges, and can be found in store and online. It costs £38 (I worked it out to £1.58 per day, bargain!) and is a limited edition, so get in there quick. It would make a lovely gift for someone, or if you're like me, a treat for yourself as a reward for all the dark mornings to come!



Harvey Nichols Beauty Mart


 I paid a visit to the new Beauty Mart concession in Harvey Nichols this weekend.

On the third floor, this is separate from the main beauty haul and stocks an edited selection of the best bits of over 100 brands.

They have a fantastic selection with everything from retro brands like Chamay and Pears soaps, to current blogger favourites such as EOS lip balms and Bioderma Crealine h2o.

You're encouraged to try products out (on your face, not like in Boots where you're looked at like a criminal!) and they have lots of testers available for playing around with. The staff are really knowledgeable and can give you loads of facts about all the products they have on offer.

This time around I got a lemon EOS lip balm (loving the smell!), my favourite Bourgois 1 second nail varnish remover pot and a box of cotton wool pads from Japanese brand DHC.

I'll definitely be going back. It's great to find brands like Bourgois alongside French pharmacy brands and high end cult products from Astalift. There's something for everyone with really friendly staff and none of that 'beauty counter' attitude you sometimes get. I didn't feel pressured to buy anything, but with such a great range, it'll be difficult not to!


NOTD OPI Bondettes collection - The world is not enough

I picked up the latest OPI mini set the other day from a buys power deal.

The Bondettes collection is a fab set of four mini polishes named after iconic James Bond films.

Not being able to contain myself I opened the box straight away, swatches the colours (full review to follow) and decided on 'The world is not enough'.

This is a tough colour to describe as it's somewhere between a silver and a sort of rose colour, with a very fine glitter finish.

It took three coats for maximum opaqueness but oh my, is it worth it!

I am in love with this colour. To be honest the whole set looks pretty amazing so expect more gushing in the future!

Shockingly this is also my first foray into OPI polishes so I'm going to be intrigued at how well it lasts.

I think this is my new favourite colour (although wait until you see Goldeneye!)
(sorry for the blurry close-up!)

Nars eye liner stylo - is it any good?

I love eye liner. I wear a 60's style flick almost every day, so have found myself trying out many a liquid liner to find one I love.

Nars released their new eye liner stylo a couple of months ago, and I was quick to hotfoot it to the counter in Liberty to pick one up in Carpates (black).

I was a little suspicious at first, as I've found with these pen type liners either dry out really quickly, get clogged up with eye shadow and stop working, or just generally don't apply as smoothly as a traditional liquid liner.

For the (not so bargainous) price of £19, I had high hopes for the Nars liner. The lovely counter lady assured me that they had built this pen liner to last, and that as long as I stored it on it's side, I shouldn't have any of the usual drying out issues.

So, almost three months down the line, how do I feel? Well, I can happily say, that this baby is still going! I've used it virtually every day for three months and I love it. The nib was slightly stiff for the first few days, but this soon settled down and now applying the liner is a dream.

The narrow tip means it's easy to make a thin line if you want, or create a slightly thicker one that I favour.
For me, this has definitely been worth the £19 price tag, although it is with noting I have obsessively stored it on it's side as recommended, so I'm hoping that this has helped with it's longevity.

I will definitely be repurchasing when this liner finally runs out. The only downside that I've found is that it is in no way waterproof. The liner will not outlast your tears ladies! I don't have very watery eyes, so I've not found this to be an issue, but just something to bear in mind if you do.


Molton Brown naran ji soothing hand lotion

I know this isn't a new product, but sometimes you just have to review an old favourite.

I've had a pot of this on my desk for over a year now and have just restocked with a handbag size, courtesy of the £10 off Molton Brown voucher in this month's Marie Claire. (On a side note, Marie Claire also had a L'Occitaine hand cream on the front, so well worth the £3.80 cover price.)

Naran ji is a citrusy smell, containing orange blossom oil, grapefruit oil and vibrant orange oil. The lotion is quite runny, but absorbs really easily and doesn't leave me with a greasy feeling on my hands for ages afterwards.

Molton Brown is never cheap, and a 300ml bottle of this comes in at £16. however, it does last forever (seriously, mine went on for nearly a year with daily use).

They also do a handy handbag size of the naran ji fragrance (for some reason, they don't do it in any other fragrance) a little cheaper at £12, but you do only get 75ml. I bought one of these with the £10 Marie Claire voucher, meaning it cost me the bargain price of £2. Whoop!


Bare Minerals customisable starter kit

I tried Bare Minerals foundation for the first time a few weeks ago. As someone who loves light coverage, I was a bit dubious that I would be able to achieve this using a powder foundation.

I have to say, it was a revelation. For the first 10-15 minutes or so after application, my face did look like it had a slightly more powdery finish than normal. However, once that wore off and the product settled in, I was left with excellent skin, and no massively obvious 'made-up' look.

I was so pleased, and I wanted to buy one of their starter kits, however, to my disappointment  the 'light' starter kit, didn't contain my shade (Fair - which is the lightest one they do).

I emailed Bare Minerals customer service and they told me it was possible to get a customisable kit if I went to one of their stand alone stores, or visited the concession in Selfridges London.

I was in central London on Saturday, so coerced my friend to Covent Garden (dodging all the tourists) to check out the Neal Street boutique.

The ladies in store were lovely and pointed me in the direction of their customisable kits.

These contain the same things as the usual starter kits (3 brushes, primer, mineral veil and all over warmth), but instead of having two small pots of two foundation shades, you get to choose a full size pot of the exact shade for your skin.

I was so pleased! The kits are amazing value (the large face brush normally costs £24 alone) and for £49, this gives you everything you need to get going on Bare Minerals foundation. The kits even include a dvd to help with application tips as the process is a little different from a normal powder foundation.

It's great to know that this option is available, as not every shade is covered by the standard starter kits, however if you don't live near a Bare Minerals boutique, then it is tricky to get hold of one. Hopefully they'll start introducing these across their concessions in the future to make it easier for everyone to get the right shade for them.


NOTD: Models Own Snow Flake

I managed to pick up one fo the newly released Models Own Wonderland collection Friday evening on a quick stop off to Westfield Stratford. They only had a couple of choices avaiable, so i decided on Snow Flake.

Snow Flake is a transparent varnish, with hand cut pieces of gold glitter in.

I swatched this over a few shades at home, before deciding to go for a berry base (No7 Damson Dream).

The polish went on easily, although it took two coats to get a nice even scattering of glitter. I did find I had to make the coats a little thick in order to get enough glitter onto my nails, but i really love the final effect.

I've had the polish on for a few days now, and whilst the glitter shows no sign of coming off, I am less than impressed with the No7 polish, which doesn't live up to it's 'stay perfect' name!

The Wonderland polishes can be picked up from selected Boots stores and also from the Models Own website. I will certainly be getting a few of the other shade to try out. Have you tried any of them?


Nails Inc 'Bling it on rocks'

I bought this lovely little set whilst at the Vitality Boutique show a few weeks ago. The inner magpie in me loves anything with a little sparkle, so I was instantly drawn to the little tubs of glitter.

The kit contains:
  • 2 x Bling it on Rocks glitter pots (black and silver)
  • Black Taxi polish
  • Kensington Caviar top coat
  • Dusting brush
  • Application tray
It's a really lovely little set and super easy to use. You basically pour a little of the chosen glitter into the application tray, paint a layer of black taxi polish over your chosen nail and then whilst wet, roll your fingernail in the glitter. Use the brush to dust off any excess around the edges, wait for it to dry and add a coat of Kensington Caviar top coat to seal it.

I tried this out as a feature nail last week and it lasted for over 5 days with no chips.

I think this would be perfect for upcoming Christmas parties/events, or if you're like me, just a nice change to the usual glitter polishes. It retails at £20 in Nails Inc concessions.


Latest in Beauty - Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible box

I was very excited to see this box announced on Facebook, so after virtually stalking the LIB facebook page for details of when it was coming out, i was finally able to place my order late last week.

I got home Monday after work to find it was waiting for me (whoop)!

Inside, there were 10 products, ranging from moisturisers, face oils to a full size lip-liner.

The box is still on sale for a reasonable £19.95, plus £2.95 p+p, which given the content are worth over £90, isn't bad at all.
Photo of the content of Latest in Beauty's Beauty bible box

I love the LIB boxes - there's none of that horrible sinking feeling you get with other beauty boxes when you get a bad one as you already know what's coming when you order it. for me, they are the best value by far and allow you to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to purchase.

The full contents are:

Temple Spa Skin Truffle Total Facial Rejuvenation (Box contains 15ml size)
Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser (30ml)
Inika Mineral Lip Liner (full size)
LP Skin Therapy Overnight Replenish Cream (15ml)
Lulu's Time Bomb Trouble Shooter Neck, Jaw & Chest Cream (15ml)
Thalgo Thalgomince Cream LC24 (5ml sachet)
Louise Galvin Sacred Locks (Mask OR Shampoo OR Conditioner; 75ml) (I got the shampoo)
 Caudalie Vinexpert Eye & Lip Serum (1.5ml)
Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream (30ml)

These are still on sale, so grab one quick before they all go!
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