Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Essie Gel Couture - new shades

Essie have featured a lot in my beauty routine over recent months, their treat love and color shades have been helping me get my nails back into shape after surgery. While I've always been a big fan of Essie polishes, I've never tried their Gel Couture range before now.

This package arrived the day before I was heading into hospital - a day where I was fasting and having to strip back to basics. For me having no nail colour on was weird enough, but not being able to try these new polishes right away was torture! 
So it's only since being in recovery that I've really been able to give them a proper try - luckily they were worth the wait!


The Gel Couture range is a simple 2-Step home manicure which leaves you with a long lasting colour with an absolutely  gorgeous shine... more on that in a moment.

The bottle stands out from the regular Essie line with its twisted shape that matches the brush design. Inspired by haute couture, the bottle mimics the swirl of a dress so definitely has a sense of elegance about it. I love how they slot next to each other, it's very satisfying to line them up. 

As the brush is curved it allows perfect, even application and ensures that just the right amount of formula is applied. This great if you don't have a particularly steady hand. 

They've made it super easy for you, with no base coat needed to you can easily add 2 coats of colour and a topcoat and you're good to go. There are times when I like to be a little more thorough and also give myself a treat with a file, hand cream and use some of their gorgeous Apricot nail and cuticle oil, which I have really been loving lately. 

I have 4 of the newest shades. The first is Matter of Fiction, a pale pink which is perfect for wedding season. I used 2 coats there and it still has a slight sheerness to it. 


Next is Lace is Morea creamy white with a subtle gold shimmer. It's really pretty when the light catches it. This is great for a really fresh, everyday manicure. I've tried to capture the shimmer in the picture of the bottle. 



Lady in Red is, as the name suggests a bold classic red with a blue tone to it. You just can't go wrong with a bold red nails with a matching red lip. 


I've saved the best til last. Bodice Goddess  is my favourite and you may have seen this one on my Instagram a few times. Just look at it! You would think those nails are done at a salon, not by little old me on my sofa while watching Netflix!  It's a dusky pink, almost a mauve which really looks gorgeous with that glossy top coat. 

Now, the top coat is the secret weapon; it really just takes the manicure to another level with the shine it gives while ensuring the colour is locked in. It helps to avoid any chipping and gives you the confidence that your manicure will be looking fresh for much longer.  

What's more...
Now that's not all!
(and other infomercial type phrases), these are easy to remove. Just like your regular nail shades, they come off with nail polish remover so you can change up the colour when ever you fancy. It's the look of  gel manicure without the hassle.

I personally will definitely be trying out some more shades from the collection. 

*these were kindly gifted to me but all thoughts are my own


Sunday, 25 April 2021

Maybelline Sky High Mascara

It takes a fair amount of restraint for me to resit a new mascara. There are a few high street brands that I expect great things from and I'm always up for trying out new releases when they hit the shelves. 

Maybelline is a brand I trust. Their recent Falsies lash lift mascara  was a big hit so when I heard whispers of a new mascara coming our way, I knew I had to try it. 


In my February favourites I mentioned that I did a mini make-up haul where I picked up a few bits; that was my perfect excuse to try out their latest 
Sky High Mascara It's been widely talked about all over Instagram and Tik Tok so I had (sky) high hopes! 


I feel like I've really given this a good try. I've been using it a few weeks now. I admit, at first I was pleased with the results but it didn't exactly 'wow' me. I always expect good things from Maybelline mascaras so I knew it wasn't going to be bad. Maybe I was expecting more after all the hype.  
However, after going back to other mascaras and then returning to Sky High, that's when I fell in love. Maybe the formula just needed to dry out ever-so-slightly, maybe I needed to get used to applying it, or maybe I just take a little while to really open up to something new (speak to my therapist about that one!).

But.... yea, it's a good!

haven't held back. I've shown this baby applied on my Insta stories and there's even a couple of Reels where I feature it too. Instagram is where it's at if you're after   videos of products being applied. They give a good idea of how it looks day-to-day but I thought I'd share my thoughts properly on here too. I like to keep things relatively old school and I think this allows me to be a little more thorough. Plus taking product photos calms me so I needed an excuse to use them!


The name Sky High tells you this mascara is going to be all about lengthening. I really notice  this on the lower lashes, even applied quickly the formula clings on to even the finest lashes and makes them look super long. They claim this is down the the flex tower brush which bends and gets right in and coats the lashes from root to tip. 


Infused with bamboo extract and fibres it feels nice and light while still giving your lashes the volume and length that really opens the eyes. I've put together a little 'before and after' to give you an idea of how well it performs. Although my lashes are long, (fun fact, when I was younger so many people would comment on my lashes I got self conscious and trimmed them!) the tips of my lashes are really fair so when they are covered they look so much thicker and longer. 


The best part is this is that it stays all day without smudging or flaking, even through a very sick day with a few tears it hadn't really budged much at all. You need a decent make-up remover to take it off but I think that should be the case for all eye makeup so you avoid too much rubbing on the delicate skin. All-in-all, another hit for Maybelline here! 


Monday, 19 April 2021

Spring Nail Designs

I love Spring... I adore Spring! It just feels like a fresh start, like everything is getting brighter and it makes me feel so much more positive. This year in particular, I have felt such a huge wave of positivity. Maybe it's because I've been through so much over the last 18 months and now we're coming out of the other side of everything. The blue skies, brighter days and flowers popping up to give a bit of colour feel really symbolic. 

I love to add a pop of colour and I'm usually sporting a bright shade or two on my nails. Spring gives me that little boost to really get creative and mix things up a bit. 

So here's a few looks I've been trying out lately-


Pastels in Spring? Revolutionary, right? 
I love pastel shades all year round and the combination of a few thrown together just looks so cute. This pastel rainbow look is my favourite and it's so simple too. It even made me feel ok about my nail having a chip in it!

The colours I used from left to right-

Revlon 100 buttercup, Barry M Sugar Apple, the total bargain that is Wild-er-ness by RimmelModels Own Pink Veneer and Royal Botanical by Nails Inc on my thumb.


I love this colour combination, there's almost a mermaid feel to it. These are all Barry M. 
From Left to right -
Barry M's Gelly High Shine in Greenberry, Then Blueberry from their regular nail paints, followed by and Blueberry and Prickley Pear (both Gelly High Shine polishes). You can really notice the difference in the shine with those Gelly High Shine polishes here. 




I admit, I got a little creative and have been told to rest as much as possible so this gave me a good excuse to sit still for a while.
I turned to the turquoise Gelly Hi Shine polishes again (Greenberry and 'The Way you make me Teal' which is the darker shade).  but added Orly Scenic Route for a pop of pink and combined it all with a touch of glitter. I kind-of like it! 


Lilac is one of my favourite colours, I really should try and get to lavender field this year! This is a fairly simple one, starting with the classic ballet slippers from Essie on my index finger, Essie's lilacism on the middle and little fingers. I jazzed up the the ring finger with some silver glitter on top of Illamasqua's Speckled which is lilac with navy blue specks throughout it, a favourite of mine over Easter as it looks like mini eggs!


Lastly I had to add one that reflected that weird old weather we've been having. Snow, rain, cloud... a heatwave? Who even knows what's around the corner? So this look is a mixture of pastels and neutrals and I think it works. 

On my thumb is the pretty pastel pink Romper Room by Essie, A gorgeous shade from Nails Inc called Lilac Love which was actually a freebie with a razor if I remember rightly. Next to that is Queen Street Nail's Inc, followed by Misty Grey by Models Own. The flash of peachy orange on my little finger is Palm Peach by Bourjois. 

Funny story, I was finding the link for the peach shade and the picture being used for it looked familiar, turns out it is my hand! They took the photo from my blog when I first reviewed it back in 2015. It's been removed now but it was pretty amusing to see! 

I'll definitely be playing around with some more nail looks and brightening things up a lot more as we head into summer.