Thursday, 27 July 2017

Experience the glamour of Paris with Essie Summer collection


essie summer collection 2017

What the brand says
Whilst metallic nails are making waves in Spring/summer 2017 fashion shows, pastel nails are a close contender. The sweet pastel shades in Essie's latest collection are inspired by the glittering sugar confections of Paris most luxurious cafes.

The limited collection is only available until August 29th and has 6 must have shades:

  • Eclair my love - a red candy shade that is the ultimate to adorn if you want to declare your love
  • Blue-la-la - A delicate pastel blue to embrace the Parisian in you
  • Baguette me not - there's nothing like a little twist on words to introduce this dainty lilac number
  • Sweet Souffle - you'll be raising eyebrows with this sugar white that is topped with candied violet, a real sweet treat
  • S'il vous play - the ultimate hero shade, a metallic purple foil that will become your favourite nail varnish of all time.

The Lowdown
The Essie Summer collection couldn't have come at a better time. The sun has finally got his hat on and it's the perfect weather to embrace the cute summer dresses and tops. Summer is all about going for a lighter more carefree look and the new shades are so delicate and pretty they're the perfect accompaniment for any summer outfit. From the minute I saw it I fell in love with S'il vous play, a beautiful pastel metallic shade that looks stunning.

essie baguette me not
essie blue-la-la


















The varnishes have a pretty large brush so they easily coat most of my nail in one swipe. The consistency of the polish is quite thick although to get full coverage I did go over the colours twice. After applying two coats, my nails had a reflective mirror like shine. Whilst the majority of the shades in the collection have pastel colouring, I did feel Fondant of You and Eclair My Love didn't really fit in. S'il Vous Play is a gorgeous glitter varnish with a foil effect finish whilst Fondant of You has delicate glitter particles running through it. The varnishes dry really quickly and unlike Gala Bolds they didn't smudge.

essie eclair my love
essie fondant of you


















In terms of longevity the results were mixed. The polish on my right hand didn't chip for days whilst my left chipped after a day or so.I am left handed so that may be the reason for that. If you are not too heavy with your hands you could probably get a good few days use out of the varnishes before they chip.

essie s'il vous plait
essie sweet souffle


















Advantages

  • Gorgeous pastel shades
  • Mixture of pastel metal and glitter finishes
  • Dries pretty quickly
  • Doesn't smudge

Disadvantages

  • One hand did chip fairly quickly so it would need touching up regularly.

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Experience the romance of Sweetheart Forever

ghost sweetheart forever review

The new Sweetheart perfume is all about celebrating the romance of a scent. The perfume's back story is that of two lovers, hanging out and exploring the back streets of Paris. As they explore the city of romance they get lost in the streets, and in each other. A beautiful story that inspires the perfume's title Ghost Sweetheart Forever.

Sweetheart Forever is a reinvention of the original Ghost Sweetheart, a delicate soft, sweet floral scent. Sweetheart Forever is a lot more mature than the original Sweetheart fragrance and has much more of a kick to it. It still has at its heart however a similar floral concoction to the original which you'll love if you're a fan of Sweetheart.

Sweetheart Forever is a heady mix of floral and oriental notes. Most significant are the notes of delicate rose and white flowers which are mixed in with a oriental base.

The top notes of the perfume are Cassis, Lychee and Orange which is followed with heart notes of Rose and white flower. On the base of the perfume is notes of patchouli, vanilla and wood.

Unlike some oriental perfumes (YSL Black Opium) for example, Sweetheart Forever is nowhere near as musky, and the delicate sweet notes make it a much more attractive scent.

The scent lasts for most of the day without fading too much but is by no means a unpleasant and overpowering scent.

Definitely worth a try if you love sweet floral scents!

The perfume is £27.00 for 30ml and £38.00 for 50ml in Boots.



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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Getting tropical with July's TreatBox

 julytreatbox unboxing

July's Treat Box is all about embracing the fun and freedom of holidays with their tropical themed box. With everything from pink flamingos to pineapple accented straws, if you didn't feel in the holiday spirit this box will soon help you get there.

So what is in the box?

Watermelon sweets
A old sweet shop favourite, these watermelon sweets are almost as good as the real thing.

Pineapple of my eye enamel pin
Exclusive to Treatbox this dainty little pin can add a little bit of glam to a jacket or coat.

Mini print
Pink flamingos are so cute and Treatbox has a print dedicated solely to them.

Wall print
Inside the box is a A4 wall print, this months design is all about the desert friendly cactus.

Pineapple and flamingo applique
If you love to jazz up your outfits then these flamingo and pineapple applique will go down a treat. Could be used to make a simple outfit a lot more summery.

Tropical straws
If want to add a bit of summer glam to your drinks then these tropical themed straws are perfect. Available in four designs; watermelon, pineapple, palm trees and pink flamingos (of course).

Pina colada wax melt candle
A simply amazing candle melt that smells divine. I could smell it before I even opened the box. Even better it's pink and has glitter running through it.

  • Psst  - want a discount? Type in Treatbox at Simple Candle Co for 20% off. 

A few of my favourite things pencil case
A simple clear pencil case that could be used to store makeup, lip balm, hair grips, nail scissors, anything your heart desires really.

Treatbox is a interesting concept and comes up with stuff I'd never think of buying. The themes are really suited to the time of year and July's items are cute. I would like to see a few more high value items though as I reckon the value of the box is only about £5!

Treatbox is £12.95 (including postage) for monthly subscriptions or you can save money by opting for 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions. You will however have to pay upfront if you opt for the latter.

If you want to see what was in June's Treatbox head over to my Youtube now.


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Monday, 24 July 2017

Get maximum volume with Maybelline Colossal Big Shot mascara

get maximum volume with maybelline colossal big shot mascara

What the brand says
Maybelline introduces Colossal Big Shot, a mascara designed with a collagen enriched formula to give massive volume from root to tip.

The Lowdown
With the mascara promising intense volume I popped it in my basket quicker than you could say must buy. It's been receiving rave reviews, but is it as good as everyone claims!?

The mascara is quite premium looking with a stylish metallic gold tube. It has a long bristle brush with bristles that are tapered to fit the length of your lashes. The brush is loaded with product but not to the extent that it's gloopy. To get the maximum effect I did go for a few layers. My natural lashes are very flat and quite fair so I'm always looking for a mascara that can give my lashes maximum impact. After the first layer my lashes were lifted and lengthened with a small amount of volume. As I added a few more layers I found that my lashes looked quite dramatic but they did start to clump. Whilst there was some clumpiness my lashes still felt fairly soft and there wasn't any crispiness. The formula was kind to my eyes and didn't scratch or irritate.

maybelline colossal big shot mascara brush

The mascara stayed put over the course of the day and didn't smudge or fade. A decent mascara that adds a good amount of drama to my lashes. It's not the best mascara in terms of layering but you can get away with one or two layers without it looking too bad.

I give it 4/5

Currently £5.95 at Feel Unique

maybelline colossal big shot mascara before and after

Advantages

  • Adds a fair amount of drama to your lashes that can be seen above eyeliner
  • Great budget buy at under £10
  • Stays put all day
  • Doesn't give you panda eyes

Disadvantages

  • Does tend to clump if you layer it

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Friday, 21 July 2017

Looking for a Urban Decay Naked dupe? Try Primark PS... Nudes eyeshadow palette

primark ps nudes palette

Love Urban Decay but can't afford to fork out nearly £40.00 for their Naked palettes? Primark has got you covered with the release of their new £4.00 eyeshadow palette collection.

There are four palettes to get hold  of and these include Minerals, Nudes, Smokey and Bronze.

The Lowdown
When I went shopping recently I got my hands on the Nudes palette. The palette had a mixture of matte and shimmery shades although the majority have a shimmer consistency. The shades are quite a broad mix of delicate neutrals and darker more intense colours.

primark ps nudes palette eyeshadows

When I searched the shades I was really impressed with how pigmented they are. I only needed one swipe for deep intense colour, even the lightest shimmer has quite a vibrant shimmer. My favourite shades have to be Beached Blonde and barely Berry.

primark ps nudes eyeshadow palette swatches

Most of the shades were quite soft, although I found some of the matte shades were easily breakable and a bit messy.

Using the palette I went for two looks; one was quite soft looking using the lighter shimmery shades, whilst the other used darker nudes.

Soft Petal
Want a delicate look for the day? Here's how to create it.
1. In the inner  corner of my eye I applied Bleached Blonde, a subtle pink shade
2. I gave the look more intensity by darkening it with Skinny Dipping a bold raspberry pink shade

primark nudes eyeshadow palette soft petal


primark nudes eyeshadow palette soft petal

Divine Intervention
If you're looking for something to take you from day to night then Divine Intervention may be worth trying.
1. I used Cafe Creme on the inner corner of my eye
2. I wanted to add a smokey effect so used Wood Nymph on the outer 2/3 of my eye blending the two shades together.

primark nudes eyeshadow palette divine intervention primark nudes eyeshadow palette divine intervention

After applying I did feel Cafe Creme was a lot lighter then I thought so I'm not really sure the two shades worked that well together. In retrospect Wood Nymph and Caught Red Handed may be a better combination.

When I applied the eyeshadows there was a small amount of fall out but nothing to worry about. Other than the initial fall out the eyeshadows lasted all day without creasing. The eyeshadow is really long lasting and the shades look just as intense in the evening as they did when first applied.

A fabulous budget buy from Primark that is a must have in your beauty collection. You get a great range of shades that have great staying power and pigment and it costs less than a fiver.

You can buy the palette in most bigger Primark stores.

Advantages

  • Fantastic budget buy, with 10 shades for under a fiver
  • A mixture of shimmer and matte shades for a range of different looks
  • The shades are really pigmented
  • The eyeshadow tends to keep its intensity and the colour doesn't really fade during the day

Disadvantages

  • Small amount of fall out when applying 
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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Natural ways to keep your hair healthy and glamorous

natural ways to keep your hair healthy and glamorous

Having healthy shiny hair goes a long way to giving us the boost we all need to feel confident and beautiful. Long, short, straight, or curly, and in all the colors of the rainbow -- regardless -- our hair needs the same love and care we give to the rest of our body.

You don’t have to spend oodles of money or time on expensive hair products or the hair salons: All you have to do is go to your kitchen and mix up a batch of these readily available natural ingredients and you’ll have the hair that gets that double take!

Try out any these easy-to-do tricks for healthy, problem-free hair.

get extra shine on your hair the natural way

For Extra Shine

  • Tea Rinse - Use 3-4 cups of freshly brewed and cooled unsweetened tea as your final rinse after you shampoo. Pour the tea on damp hair and let it stay for 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a week to nourish and boost hair growth. Tea contains catechins which block the causes of hair loss.
  • Egg and Banana - mix one egg and a mashed banana until it is a thick paste. Apply to your hair and leave it on for 10-30 minutes then wash using your usual shampoo and conditioner.
  • Egg and avocado - Mash a ripe avocado with one egg and apply to wet hair. Leave on for at least 20 minutes then rinse several times. Do this once a week for damaged hair and once a month for healthy hair. Avocados contain vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids that give luster to hair. Eggs are the best conditioners as the yolk contains fats and proteins. The whites are useful for removing unwanted oils. Use whole eggs to condition normal hair, egg yolks for dry hair and the egg white for oily hair.
use apple cider to remove build up in hair

To remove build-up
The constant use of commercial shampoos can leave our hair dry and our scalp itchy due to the chemical build-up.

  • Apple cider vinegar - mix ¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) with one cup water. Lean back and pour the mixture on your hair. Allow it to run through the hair, being careful not to let it get into your eyes. Apple cider vinegar helps keep the pH balance of our hair cuticles. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil - peppermint, rose, lavender - so you don’t smell too vinegary. ACV helps close the hair cuticle thus helping it reflect light and makes hair look shiny. ACV removes the build-up with its cleansing and clarifying properties.
  • Baking soda - combine one part baking soda with three parts water, apply at the roots and leave for three minutes, Rinse with warm water. If you have dandruff, squeeze one lemon and add to your mixture.

use coconut oil to relieve dry hair and dandruff

Dry hair and dandruff

  • Coconut oil - after washing hair, mix two teaspoons of coconut oil with 5 drops of your favorite essential oil. Massage into scalp well, from neck to forehead and behind the ears. Cover with a shower cap and increase the heat by sitting in the sun for 20-30 minutes or by using a hair dryer on low heat to the cap. Remove the cap and wash with a gentle natural shampoo. Repeat this 2 to 3 times a week or more.


relieve a itchy scalp with lemon juice

Itchy scalp
An itchy scalp can be caused by dry scalp, allergic reactions to food and harsh shampoos, dandruff, and a poor diet as well as other scalp-related diseases like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.

  • You can relieve the itchiness by mixing 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and water. Massage your scalp with this mixture and leave on for at least 20 minutes. Wash off with a mild shampoo. The lemon juice helps remove the dry flakes while the olive oil moisturises the scalp.

how to repair damaged hair

Damaged Hair

  • Honey, olive oil and egg yolk - Mix ½ cup of honey, 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and 1-2 tbsp of egg yolk. Apply the mixture on your hair for 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. This treatment will help replace damaged keratin-protein bonds.
  • Coconut oil - mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with 5 drops of sandalwood essential oil. Put a small amount in your hands and apply to the hair shaft and ends and then rub scalp. Cover with a shower cap and leave on overnight. Wash off with a gentle shampoo.
  • Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. When regularly applied on hair, it improves scalp health, supports hair growth, adds volume and shine without the use of harsh chemicals.
tame frizzy hair with avocado

Taming frizzy hair

  • Avocado - Mash one ripe avocado, add a little olive oil and mix well. Shampoo your hair then apply the mixture throughout your hair. Leave for 30 minutes then rinse. To make a smoother paste, you can add mayonnaise. Use this mixture once or twice a week as a hair mask to prevent dryness and to condition your hair. Avocados contain good fatty acids that soothes the frizziness.
  • Egg and Olive oil - Whisk one raw egg and add a spoonful of olive oil. Apply this to your hair before shampooing. Leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse and wash as usual. Eggs have the fats and proteins that moisturize and remove unwanted oils while olive oil acts as an emollient that locks the moisture.


get thicker hair with aloe vera

Thicker Hair

  • Aloe vera and coconut oil - blend aloe vera gel with ½ teaspoon lemon juice then add 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Apply on hair and scalp for 20 minutes then wash your hair as usual. Aloe vera contains proteolytic enzymes that repair dead skin cells on the scalp. It improves follicle growth thus promoting hair growth.
eat your way to stronger hair

Eat your way to stronger hair
The nutrients we eat lay the foundation for all our new hair, skin, and nail growth. Since hair is made up of keratin, a type of protein, it makes sense to eat protein-rich foods like eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy, shellfish, red meat and soya. This will reinforce the keratin in our hair for stronger, healthier tresses.

Guest post by M Pimentel

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Get diamond like shine with Sleek Lip VIP metallic lipstick in Scandalous

sleek lip vip in scandalous lipstick

What the brand says
Sleek Lip VIP is the perfect lipstick to give your lips superstar - Very. Important. Pout status. The jewel toned lipstick has been formulated with a moisturising formula of shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E to keep lips soft and hydrated.

It's available in 20 fabulous shades with everything from the bold vampy berry shade Attitude to the delicate girly pink Reserved shade.

The Lowdown
Lip VIP is a lot more luxurious than most Sleek lipsticks. It has a black tube with a holographic logo and a unique diamond shaped bullet.

sleek lip vip in scandalous lipstick tube


Scandalous is a rich berry shade with a subtle undertone of glitter running throughout. The lipstick is super pigmented and the colour is strong and vibrant. It also has a delicious vanilla smell that is quite delicate and not too overpowering.

sleek lip vip in scandalous lipstick swatch

Unfortunately I dropped the lipstick on the floor straight after opening it and the bullet became squashed and disfigured. Luckily I can still use a lip brush to apply it.

The lipstick went on fairly smoothly and has a pretty shimmery diamond like finish. It feels really comfortable to wear and has all the comfort of a lip balm with the colour of a lipstick. As the formula it quite shimmery, the lipstick lasts for a few hours if I don't eat or drink but a lot less if I do.

I give it 3/5

Grab it for £5.49 at Boots

sleep lip vip in scandalous before and after

Advantages

  • Pretty shimmery diamond like finish
  • Formulated with shea butter, coconut oil and Vitamin E to help keep lips soft and hydrated
  • Gorgeous vanilla scent
  • Available in 20 shades so there's a lot of colours to choose from to suit the look you're going for

Disadvantages

  • Not overly long lasting
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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Testing out Primark mascaras

testing out primark mascaras

So on my recent trip to Bournemouth I discovered their epic Primark which will forever go down in my memory as the Aladdin caves of all Primark's. I know I probably sound like a broken record but it was literally huge, and they probably had every beauty product they've ever released. I've not seen any mascaras in my local Primark for a while so I was excited to discover 3 mascaras I've not seen before. So who are the contenders and how do they fare.

PS... Lash Contour
primark ps... lash contour mascara

Ps lash contour has a perfect formula, not too wet, not too dry and instantly glides on to lengthen my lashes. The bristles are a lot longer then normal which helps to capture lashes and I was surprised at how well it worked in giving my lashes a curl. The two sided brush is quite long and whilst it doesn't cost all my lashes in one sweep it's not far off. I didn't find the mascara scratchy at all and my lashes were left separated and fanned out. The mascara lasted all day without wilting and didn't smudge around my eyes even in the warm weather.

primark ps... lash contour mascara brush


before and after primark ps... lash contour mascara

PS... Mini and Maxi Lash mascara
primark ps... maxi and mini lash mascara

The mini and maxi lash mascara is quite unique in that it comes with two separate brushes- one for your top lashes and one for the bottom. Unlike other dual mascaras there isn't a primer, both brushes have been specifically designed to fit the different size of lashes. The formula is quite light but it is buildable and there was minimal clumping when I layered the mascara on my top lashes. After a few applications my lashes were lengthened although not dramatically. The mascara lasts all day and there was no smudging.

primark ps... maxi and mini lash mascara brush

before and after primark ps... maxi and mini lash mascara

PS...Eyeconic mascara
primark ps... eyeconic mascara

In terms of performance Eyeconic has got to be the real winner out of these mascaras. It has the perfect formula and my lashes were lengthened and lifted from the first swipe. The brush has really tiny bristles really close together that taper out to a flat edge. Normally applying eyeliner will make my mascara 'disappear' but I'm pleased to say that didn't happen with this mascara. This is a real winner in my eyes.

primark ps... eyeconic mascara brush

primark ps... eyeconic mascara before and after

As you can see from the review, you don't need to pay a lot to get good results. Whilst the mascaras slightly differed in performance they all fared really well adding volume and length to my lashes. It's true that low price doesn't always mean low quality. I'd pop these on my must have lists over some pricier mascaras anyday!

You can buy the mascaras for £2 to £3 in Primark stores.
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Monday, 17 July 2017

Top nail trends for 2017

top nail trends in 2017

Beautiful and pretty nails are the essential part of your look. When choosing the right nail design, it`s important to pay attention to the latest beauty and fashion trends. Every year we see the beauty industry please us with brand-new, creative and sometimes a bit crazy nail designs and ideas and as soon as they appear we take them up and start experimenting. So check out the cute, quirky and incredibly fascinating designs that will inspire you during 2017.

metallic nails 2017

Melted Metals

Metallic nails is the hottest 2017 nail trend and had a major movement on the 2017 runways. Ranging from holographic silver to shiny gold it`s also possible to pair chrome nails with French or ombre designs. Metallic nails are popular amongst fashionistas as the mirror effect is simply stunning, if you don't want to paint your whole hand you can opt for just one or two holographic nails. The chrome nails will suit any nail length and any nail shape whether they are oval, square or pointed.

Accent Cuticles
Be ready to embellish your cuticles this year with Accent Cuticles. This is quite a tricky design and not all colors will suit this mani. Try gray or black outlines and give priority to the neutral nail base.

nude nails trend 2017

Nude Nails

In 2017 we`re striving for the most natural nude nails as they always look so fresh and healthy. The delicate manicure is perfect to emphasise your individuality! By the way, it is one of the simplest (and easy to maintain) trends of this year that you can decorate by adding one or more thin lines.

Asymmetrical French
French nails are considered a traditional design that can complete any look. A lot of women prefer it to many other stunning designs and this year has been no exception! Beauty is constantly changing and this year the traditional French manicure has taken a twist - asymmetrical french nails. Instead of having a neat line on the top of your nails you have an asymmetrical line or lines that make your manicure eye-catching and unusual.

pastel colours nail trend 2017

Pastel Colors
If you want to add some color in your life routine, but bright hues aren't your style, it would be better to choose pastels. After all, they never go out of style.

Guest post by Nancy Cooper
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