Tuesday, 27 November 2012

NOTD Essie Bahama Mama

Essie Bahama Mama Nail Polish

I've only recently managed to get my hands on a couple of Essie nail polishes, as neither Boots nor Superdrug in my town sell them and when I was recently in London I hunted high and low for somewhere that sold them to no avail. 

I've heard so many positive things about Essie and therefore have been wanting to try them out for the last few months. I've found in the past that nail polish brands that are ranted about how long they last etc tend to only last a couple of days for me before chipping, so I tend to take feedback like that with a pinch of salt. After watching one of Meg's videos over on Lip So Facto, she mentioned that Essie nail polishes don't last long on her nails - I know the feeling so I assumed I would have the same problem.

Essie Bahama Mama Nail Polish

Essie Bahama Mama Nail Polish

I absolutely adore this colour, most blog photos I've seen has given me the impression that this is quite a dark colour, so I will warn you I have adjusted the contrast of my photos so that they have a good representation of the colour. It is brighter than I expected, but still a gorgeous colour. It needs two coats to look even, but this is also an incredibly fast drying nail polish. I didn't need to use any 'fast drying' top coat on top. 

Going back to chipping, the photo below is wearing Bahama Mama and Miss Fancy Pants for five days without base or top coat.

Essie Bahama Mama Nail Polish

This was taken on my phone, but you can still see how minimal the chipping is. All in all I have to whole heartedly jump onto the Essie bandwagon and shout it from the rooftops. 

Have you tried Essie nail polishes? What is your favourite colour?

Kate x

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar

Urban Decay Brow Box Brown Sugar

It is only in the last couple of years that I have really taken to filling my eyebrows in. I dabbled with when I was about 17 but decided it accentuated my eyebrows in a bad way (and it wasn't really a style back then). Since then, I started to use an eyebrow pencil to fill them in but after trying out powder products for eyebrows after borrowing my friends Browzings compact, I knew this was for me. I didn't like the price of the Browzings compact, so looked out for an alternative. 

This is where Urban Decay come in, I discovered their brow box online and went on a hunt for my nearest UD counter. I went to Lakeside and tried both department stores, without success. I didn't want to order online because I didn't know whether I needed to go for the lighter box or the darker one. I put my quest off for a little bit until I went on holiday with my Mum last September to New York. It was there that I found an Urban Decay counter in Macy's and decided I was best off with the darker box, named Brown Sugar.

Urban Decay Brow Box Brown Sugar

The following morning, my eyebrow pencil was long forgotten and I was excited to be trying something new out. Since I bought it, I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've not used it. Okay, that's an exaggeration because I don't wear it when I swim...or if I'm having a lazy day. But the amount of times I've gone out without using it is quite small. I just love it! 

I have alternated between using just the dark powder, and just the light powder and now I've settled for a mix of the two. I have had this for over a year now and it shows no sign of coming to the bottom of the pan on either colours or wax, although admittedly you can see the bottom of the pan through the wax in the photo below.

Urban Decay Brow Box Brown Sugar

This lasts all day, and as you can see comes with an application brush and mini tweezers which help tidy up unruly brows when needed. I would highly recommend buying this especially if you're looking for an alternative to Benefit Browzings (a price difference of £5.50). 

Urban Decay Brow Box retails for £17.00 and can be found at Urban Decay counters nationwide and online.

Kate x

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Primark Embellish 3D Nails

I very rarely experiment with nail art, mostly because I'm too lazy now. I used to be quite into it when I was a student and had a bit more time on my hands. 

On my recent trip to London I went to the Primark at Marble Arch to look for a couple of bits. In the check out I found this little kit which produces the same effect as a certain fish egg manicure at a fraction of the price. 

Primark Embellish 3D Nails Manicure

At £2.50, I couldn't really pass it up! When I got home from London, one of the first things I did after unpacking was try this out!

Primark Embellish 3D Nails Manicure

I have seen the Nail Constellation collection from MUA, and though some of them are pretty, none of the colour combinations really took my fancy and at £3.00 for the beads alone this is far better value. 

Application is pretty simple, but you will need a bit of time to let it set completely, especially as you need to do two coats of nail polish. 

Primark Embellish 3D Nails Manicure

This is how my first go turned out, and I must say I was quite impressed. I applied the little beads over a  box lid (although it does come with a plastic tray, which was full of static) and then to avoid waste you tip them back into the container using the little funnel supplied.

I haven't really read many reviews on this type of manicure, so I had no idea what to expect with chipping etc. The night I applied it I ended up making peanut butter cookies which may have contributed to it wearing away quicker than normal, but I don't think it made too much of a difference.  

Primark Embellish 3D Nails Manicure

I've taken a photo of my nails after a few days, as you can see most of the beads have come off, but at a distance you can't really tell. This is a really cool manicure, and if you see it in Primark, I would definitely recommend giving it a go. 

For the price of £2.50, don't expect too much, but if you're doing it for a night out or special event, then you can't go wrong!

Kate x

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Origins Super Spot Remover

Origins Super Spot Remover

I first purchased the Origins Super Spot Remover in July/August I think during an attack of incredibly bad skin. I read a review of it on Sophia's blog and thought it was worth giving it a shot as nothing else had been working up until that point. 

I'll be honest, because of the bad condition of my skin, I put a lot of hope on this tiny little bottle to be the miracle product for spots. Naturally, it didn't live up to my unrealistic expectations. That isn't to say that this product doesn't work, because it does but I believe my skin problems were due to hormones rather than anything else which is why it took so long to go down. Looking back on when I have used it in other instances it has certainly helped. I have prescribed Benzoyl Peroxide gel from the doctors (luckily I don't have to use it quite as much anymore) but one of the drawbacks of this treatment is that it can't be used during the day as it can bleach the skin.

Because of the skin-bleaching properties of benzoyl peroxide, this is where this product comes into it's own. If I have any spots or soon to be spots I pop some of this on them before my makeup which can really help.

It goes without saying that this product alone won't cure you of your skin problems, a good skincare routine is essential. I always used to think my skin care routine was pretty good...until I started blogging. Now I feel like I don't do enough, and that's not just for my face, but for exfoliating and moisturising the rest of my body as well, but let's save that for another blog post.
I was very surprised how little the bottle is for this product, given that it isn't particularly cheap (in my opinion at least). I will say, however, that it has lasted me for a good few months now, and there's still a bit left to tide me over. Would I buy this product again? Yes, I probably would, but I will be keeping an eye out for a cheaper alternative in the mean time.

Origins Super Spot Remover retails for £13.00 and can be found online or at an Origins counter in department stores.

Kate x

Friday, 2 November 2012

November Wish List

01. Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask
02. Pandora National Icons Brandenburg Gate Charm 
03. Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream 
04. Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser 
05. Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Treatment Mask 

There's still a fair few items on my past wishlists that I'm lusting over, but this month my skin is in hell. My skin doesn't normally react too badly to the change of temperature, but this year my god it's shocking. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but it's not good. 

For the last month and a half I'd say, I've had a really dry flaky patch of skin in between my ring finger and middle finger on my right hand. I took to wearing so much hand cream that I could barely hold a glass, after seeing no change, I moved on to E45 cream, which while nice hasn't made that much of a difference. On a recent trip to the doctors, I told my GP who recommended some hydro-cortisone cream which I promptly went to the pharmacy and bought. If I'm honest I haven't seen an improvement. 

Since the start of the dry patch on my hand, I've developed dry flaky skin under my eyes (which means no concealer, boo hiss) which I thought would pass, but now I have an angry red dry patch under my eye which looks like the aftermath of a black eye. 

All in all, I think my skin is just in a bit of a sorry state right now, and is in much need of some TLC and moisture. 

I've heard lots about Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser, and after reading on Emma's blog (milkteef.com) that Superdrug has one for £5.99, I think it's high time I give this type of cleanser a go!

And then there's the Pandora charm. I let out a little excited noise when I saw Pandora was launching this charm. It was a little short lived though when I've found it's near enough impossible to get hold of it in the UK. All their "National Icon" charms are available, bar this one. It's available in the US though - because that's logical isn't it, being sold on a whole different continent. So I'm currently on a mission to somehow get my hands on this. I've even had a colleague go to their local store to see if it can be ordered in. I must have this charm!!

Kate x