Monday, 6 January 2014

The Necessary Unnecessary - Amazon ID Beauty UV Nail Dryer

As my blog post title points out, this technically isn't a necessary product to have...but if your a nail lover like myself, then it definitely is a must have! I actually purchased this nail dryer for my sister, but I guess I also sneakily wanted to try it out (Sorry Emma! ha). Although I literally paint my nails 24/7,  the only experience of nails dryers that I had are the ones that are used in salons when I used to get acrylic nails now and again. However, since I realised that acrylics usually cause more harm than good - and that I actually have good nails - or so I get told, I've been staying clear of salons and spending my money solely on polishes. Yes my collection is getting slightly out of control, but how can you resist drugstore prices! Anyway I digress, although I've collected all the nail tools of the trade, the one thing I realised that I hadn't invested in was a nail dryer. Every girl needs one right? or so I justified. So over to Amazon I went (I love amazon, especially for anything nail related) and I soon spotted the ID Beauty Salon UV Nail Dryer (link here).

Product Description -
'Designed especially for drying Nail Polish, Nail Art and Nail Paint. The ID Beauty Ultra Violet nail dryer produces a steady stream of air to dry nails whilst subjecting them to UV light to sterilise and strengthen them. Your nails are dried quickly and the result is healthier, stronger nails!'

This dryer had pretty good reviews and although it isn't strong enough to set gel nail polish, I thought it would be ideal for my sister as she only uses standard polish. It's battery operated - it takes 4 x AA - it's really compact and more importantly it does the job perfectly. It only cost me £12.99 however, annoyingly the seller has increased the price to £16.99, although that does indicate that it must be a popular item! Maybe if you shop around you may find it cheaper. I really rate this product and I think its a great 'starter' nail dryer, its convinced me enough to potentially upgrade - which didn't take a lot as you can imagine! ha - and get a more expensive dryer that also sets gel, as I'm also thinking of branching into the 'at home' shellac manicure. Watch this space!

Have you ever tried or considered a nail dryer before?

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Skin Saviour - Superfacialist By Una Brennan

First of all, I hope you had a lovely Christmas :-)

Apologies for my lack of blogging! However, I'm sure that you will be pleased to hear that in my absence I have found the 'skin saviour', well its seriously worked wonders for me anyway. Since I first purchased the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Calming Creamy Cleanser - what a mouthful! (you can find my review here), I have been obsessed with this range! In my opinion they perform incredibly for their price - which is quite reasonable even without the frequent discount that Boots seems to do on the Super Facialist range. I have since purchased quite a few more products...opps! but I have been extremely impressed with them all, particularly the Tea Flower Deep Clean Purifying Cleansing Wash. If you have read my earlier posts then you will be aware of my crazy skin problems. To fill you in quickly - I developed mild acne, which I've never suffered from before. It wasn't just the spots that were frustrating me, it was also how terrible my skin looked when I tired to apply makeup to cover them. My face looked very 'bumpy' and the more products I used to try shift it, the worse my skin seemed to get.

The Tea Flower Cleanser changed all this, after starting to use it I could see a dramatic difference in about 1/2 weeks, if that. I decided to purchase this cleanser as although I really like the creamy cleanser, it isn't targeted at blemish prone skin and it also contains shea butter (which apparently isn't great for blemishes, especially when trying to clear up acne). I would recommend it as a potential morning cleanser, but at night I personally prefer something that is hopefully helping to eliminate the chances of any further breakouts. The tea flower cleanser is perfect for this job as it contains salicylic acid however, it is not too over powering and after at least a month of use, I can honestly say that it hasn't dried out my skin at all. I'm really impressed as not only do I have sensitive skin, but in addition to using this cleanser I also use the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo and the Duac Once Daily Gel (Review here) which aren't the most moisturising partners in crime! This cleanser has really cleared up my spots and minimised the 'bumpy' look of my skin. I've even been reaching for a tinted moisturiser rather than foundation which I haven't been able to do in months. Yes its worked that well. If your having your own skin nightmare then I really recommend trying this cleanser out (FYI: I also make sure that I double cleanse on the days when I'm wearing makeup).

Do you have a 'skin saviour' product?

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Navy Coat - Zara Dupe

If your a regular reader of my blog then you'll already be aware that I am in love obsessed with Zara. Every time I click on that website, which is very frequently might I add - I have to restraint myself from adding everything to my basket. However, its not exactly the most affordable website as most of you will probably agree. Since the beginning of autumn I have been on the search for the perfect winter coat. I'm not sure the 'perfect' coat exists, well on the high street anyway, but I'll have to admit that this Navy Zara coat comes pretty close. However, at £129 its not exactly a bargain buy. This is where my quest to find a dupe began and from what I've found, I think I've done a pretty good job if I do say so myself! H&M never fails, their Trend collection always has me weak at the knees - I'd even say that it sometimes actually exceeds Zara, both in design and quality - ...yes I did just say that.

Their coat selection did not disappoint and when I first spotted the coat on the left, I immediately recognised the similarities to the Zara coat. It's definitely one of the best dupes that I came across in my search. However, it's actually really oversized and being petite, I just knew that it would swamp me. It would be perfect though for anybody of average height and its actually just gone into the sale today at the bargain price of £20. Although I was initially really disappointed, I soon spotted the coat on the right. Although this has a slightly different design, it still has all the characteristics of the Zara coat but with a slight twist. It's much more fitted, its slightly longer so therefore its a more suitable length for winter and most importantly it definitely suits my body shape much better. I was sold, at £24.99 - I couldn't actually believe how cheap it was - it doesn't exactly break the bank and it definitely looks more expensive!

Have you found your 'perfect' winter coat yet?

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Perfect Christmas Red - MAC Ruby Woo

So...its been a while since I last blogged, my bad! I'm currently working on another project *which I'm very excited about - more info will be revealed in the new year* and I guess I just haven't worked out how to manage my time effectively just yet. On another note I should also be getting a new camera for Christmas, its definitely about time and I'm really looking forward to improving my blog's photo quality!

Now life updates aside, let me get on to the real gem of the post. Mac Ruby Woo lipstick - also known as the 'perfect Christmas red' during the festive season. I was actually gifted this lipstick from my younger brother for my Christmas present two years ago. So, I suppose you could say that I've had plenty of time to test it out and it certainly hasn't disappointed me. First  of all, Mac's Ruby Woo is a matte lipstick. Some time ago I would have avoided this finish like the plague, as I was once a glossy lip lover and that's all I had time for *clicks fingers*. However, I decided to gamble and 'take a walk on the wild side' ha and well...this is the lipstick that converted me. I now love matte lipsticks, shockingly even more so than my previously well loved glossy finish offerings. I like the fact that they don't seem to smudge as easily, they help avoid the dreaded 'caked in makeup' look due to being slightly more subtle and when your wearing a more daring shade -  like Ruby Woo - I personally feel as if I look less 'baby faced' and more my actual age, due to the more mature finish that this lipstick creates.

Another aspect of this lipstick that I love is that although it is slight darker than your average 'pillar box red' it still works throughout the year. Yes I know I've called this my 'perfect Christmas red', but that's more so because I associate everything Christmassy with this shade - yes I'm also rocking red nails right now - it still works throughout the year. I have worn this during every season and you just cant beat pairing it with cat eyed black liner for a classic chic look. Effortlessly fabulous.

Tips for wearing this lipstick:

* A lipliner really does help with the smudging side of things, yes many a drunken night has ended with this bad boy wandering around my face...I usually pair it with a cheap and cheerful offering from Rimmel.
*Moisturise your lips before you even attempt to apply this. This lipstick will hide no sins, it will literally stick to any dry patch. Not.a.good.look!
*Lipcote is your best friend. Yes it feels like your nail varnishing your lips at first, a very strange sensation I must say - but it does successfully prolong the wear time. Trust me.
*Have fun with this colour and work it! However, I wouldn't advise wearing it when planning to eat a large meal. Christmas day - No no/Christmas nights out - Hell yeah!!

Friday, 22 November 2013

New Product Find #3 - Boujois Happy Light Foundation

This foundation is right up my street! although my skin is majorly going through some kind of 'crazy phase' at the moment, I still cannot stand heavy base makeup. Seriously, It makes me feel like I've got some kind of mask on. I only actually started wearing foundation all over my face about a month ago and I still can't get used to the feeling. Anyway I digress...I have always loved Bourjois and I'm officially obsessed with their foundations. Ever since I first purchased the '10 hour sleep effect' foundation when I was roughly 16/17 years old, I have been a loyal fan. Yes, I agree that their shade range is usually very limited, however due to my medium olive toned skin, their yellow based foundations are always a great match.

This foundation hasn't let me down, its a provides a perfect sheer/medium coverage (just about all I can deal with! haha) and on me it has a very luminous and almost 'velvety' finish, not too shiny, not too matte - just ideal for the winter season! The only negative I can say about this foundation is that the shade range is waaaaay out, I usually wear shade 52 (Beige Clair) but it is a little too dark. Prior to purchasing it I did read other reviews which advised picking up a shade lighter however, thanks to a disorganised makeup stand  - and my stupidity for not checking it oops - I ended up with my usual shade. I've been mixing it with my Dr Jart water fuse beauty balm to slightly lighten the shade and it seems to be working okay for now. I will probably end up repurchasing it in the right shade though as I just can't be bothered with the hassle.

Have you tried this foundation? What's your favourite Bourjois foundation of all time?

Monday, 18 November 2013

The 'Monday' Manicure - Nails Inc Kate Spade Polish

So, this weeks 'The Sunday Manicure' is a day late! However, as I've had my nails painted for about 4 days now at least you can see how well the polish has lasted. This weeks polish of choice comes in the form of Nails Inc. collaboration with Kate Spade in the shade 'New York Noir'. It actually came free with Glamour magazine - which is still on sale now - and I think there's about 3 shades to chose from altogether. Although I liked the look of the others, a gold and a red, I was drawn to the glossy black as I personally think that black is a shade that is timeless and always look so chic on. I have a love/hate relationship with this shade on my own nails, as it doesn't always look great depending on my skin tone at the time. However, I usually just add a few midi rings, which slightly distracts from the harsh shade, whilst still making my nails look effortlessly stylish. I'm also really impressed with the quality of this polish, it's opaque after just one coat (although I always use two, creature of habit!), the brush is a great shape so its really easy to apply and it doesn't take forever to dry. I give this polish a big thumbs up!

Have you picked up any of the Nails Inc. Kate Spade polishes?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Mild Acne SOS - Duac Once Daily Gel

I have always been extremely lucky with my skin, apart from the odd spot here and there, I didn't really have any issues whatsoever. However, this has all changed. Due to one reason or another, my skin has gone completely crazy. Although I still have combination/oily skin, I've developed acne on my forehead, a patch on my cheek and more mildly on my chin. It has been driving me crazy but the most frustrating thing is that I have no clue how to deal with it all. Where do you start?!

Well, I suppose I 'started' my quest for my old skin - oo how I miss thee - by visiting the doctor. At first I though it was some kind of rash, maybe even an allergic reaction? But no, I had acne, okay it's a milder version than some people have to endure, but all the same it's still god damn annoying. I was prescribed Duac Once Daily Gel and although I've been using it now for well over a month, it unfortunately hasn't made that much difference. Yes, it brings spots to a head, but that's about it. It doesn't seem to prevent any further breakouts, although it's certainly doing an excellent job of drying my skin out to the max :-( So, maybe I actually have combination/oily/dry skin now.

One of my major worries is that I'm going to accidently scar my face, as I have no idea about which spots are actually 'popable' and which are best left alone. I've been reading some well-known skin care blogs and although I have a better idea about how to treat my skin problems - which wasn't hard as I knew nothing before - I would still really appreciate some advice!

Have you experienced sudden onset acne? Do you have any products that you could recommend?