Nails Inc Nail Polish Diary

Because my mum’s an absolute babe, she bought me this Nails Inc set for my birthday. It’s barely been touched since then, but that’s not because the polishes aren’t good, it’ just because the box is too pretty to put away!

 

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Inside, each month has its own nail varnish…

 

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Some are just colours (January’s is a clear top and base, despite looking pink in the bottle), but others are ‘special effect’ polishes that give your nails a funky touch.

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My personal favourite has to be neon pink. To make sure it stayed on, I used a base coat of January, 2 coats of pink, followed by a final top coat of January. I must admit, it’s one of the easiest polishes to apply and it drys really quickly, but it doesn’t last more than a few days without chipping.

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e.l.f Lip Exfoliator Review

e.l.f (or eyes, lips, face) is a fairly unheard of brand here in the UK, but across the pond it’s well known for being affordable, practical and stylish, often available in supermarkets! I read in a buzzfeed article that their lip exfoliator actually works, and leaves your lips feeling silky smooth (I hate how my lipstick looks when my lips aren’t smooth – you know what I mean), so I decided to get online an order it. It costs around £3.99, and roughly £2.50 in delivery costs, which is pretty affordable considering it’s an every day essential. elf exfoliator  

The look It looks a bit ominous, kind of like when sand gets wet and clumps together, but the outer case looks sleek in black – just like a standard lipstick.

The smell It smells AMAZING. Like summer and cocoa (and hopes and dreams). Basically, it smells good enough to eat.

The feel It feels exactly how you would expect it to, a bit like a body exfoliator but in lipstick form. For the first few uses it’s smooth like a balm, but once you break down the top layer it’s grainy and carefully removes dry or dead skin from your lips.

The Verdict? For the price, it’s definitely worth buying. I’ve used it virtually every day since I bought it and I’m not sure how I’ve gone 22 years without it!

This summer’s must-try beauty trends.

The days are getting longer, brighter and hotter, which can only mean one thing… summer is officially here!

With a new season comes new beauty trends, straight from the catwalk and the pages of Vogue. I’ve rounded up the top 5, covering everything from nails to cheeks, and thankfully there’s something to suit every style. A huge bonus is that they’re all really easy to try at home too!

 

summer trends

1. Funky Fingernails

Sported by celebs like Vanessa Hudgens, funky fingernails are going to be huge in the beauty world this summer. With a massive range of new products to complement the new style, there are loads of different looks that can be easily achieved. Jewels are making a comeback from the nineties, except this time around we’ll be wearing them on our fingers instead of our teeth (thank goodness)! Ideal for those who like to get creative, nail art is also on the menu, as are nail foils – they last roughly a week and are easy to apply too!

Top Beauty Tip: When using nail art pens, don’t squeeze to hard – the colour comes out faster than you think!

2. Citrus Lips

Say goodbye to the purple and wine hues of autumn and winter (which were a nightmare to get off your teeth), and hello to this season’s newest trend – orange. Seen on celebs like Cara Delevingne and Jessica Alba, orange lipstick is a great way to add a splash of colour to an otherwise monochrome outfit, or clash with other bright coloured dresses or playsuits on holiday. What’s great is that there are endless shades to choose from, so you can go for a lighter colour for work and a daring one for those long-awaited summer BBQs.

Top Beauty Tip: Exfoliate your lips before using bright lipstick to ensure for smooth application.

3. Bring Back the Bronze

Much like last summer, the bronzing craze has returned, with style icons such as Leighton Meester choosing to ditch their usual makeup routines in favour of some light foundation and a generous helping of bronzer. With a flurry of shades to choose from, there’s something suitable for every skin tone, meaning you won’t end up with a huge make up disaster!

Top Beauty Tip: Use a clear pressed powder on top of your bronzer to help the colour last all day.

4. Rebel Eyeliner

This summer, we’ll all be channeling our inner Audrey Hepburn, with the return of flicky rebel eyeliner. With the likes of Lauren Conrad already on the bandwagon, this trend is sure to be a huge hit this season. It’s easy to do – you just have to master having a steady hand first!

Top Beauty Tip: Use a liquid liner for a clearly defined line, or a pencil for a smokey eye effect.

5. Pastel Eyes

Another trend returning from the 90s is pastel coloured eye shadow, with everything from pinks to purples to blues making a comeback. Kim Kardashian is already sporting the look, and as we get further into the season it’s sure to be huge on the beauty scene. Choose to sweep the shadow lightly over your top lids for a subtle look, or use it underneath your eyes too for a stand-out statement.

Top Beauty Tip: Use two or three different colours for a really bold statement – mix them in before application or apply them in lines one by one.

Shop the look FD

Check out the latest products over at Fragrance Direct.

 

How to: Use your ghds for easy beachy curls.

Contrary to their name, straighteners are fantastic for curling your hair. Over the years I’ve tried curling irons, curling wands, heated rollers and everything else on the market, but nothing’s been as easy to use as my trust ghds. I have a fair bit of hair, but curling it into beachy waves only takes around 20 minutes, and with the help of some hair spray it lasts all night too. Here’s how to do it in 4 simple steps.

Easy Beachy Waves

How it’s done.

Step one

Pre-treat your hair, section by section, with a heat protecting spray or pre-styler. This way the heat won’t damage your hair and you won’t be left with premature split ends! Plus, it can help the waves stay intact too. Try Macadamia Natural Oil from Fragrance Direct if your hair’s prone to knots, or ghd’s Curl Hold spray for bouncier waves.

Step Two

Separate you hair into 2 sections, top and bottom, and pin up the top section to keep it out of the way. Take a section roughly 2 inches in width and thoroughly brush it through.

Step Three

Starting at the top, grab the section of hair with the straighteners and (this is the important bit) twist the hair round it vertically, not horizontally. This way there’s more room for the hair to be wrapped round the straighteners and each section is exposed to the heat – rather than just the top. Pull the straighteners downwards (again vertically) until the end of your hair has passed through them.

Step Four

Continue this with the rest of your hair, then apply a generous amount of hairspray to each layer. If you want to go for the ‘just stepped out of the sea’ look, then make sure you do plenty of backcombing too!

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The Fake Tan Mousse-Off

Nobody wants to be called a milk bottle, and nobody wants to have wrinkly, leather skin by the time they’re 35. That’s why fake tan is a must for me this summer. In the winter it’s fine, legs can be pale and hairy and no one needs to know (all hail jeans and tights), but when the skirts and shorts are out, it’s time to get bronzed. I’ve tried almost every avenue with fake tan – build ups don’t show up as you put them on, so you end up with lots of odd white patches, spray is just impossible to use unless you’re an actual trained professional, and don’t even get me started on wash off tans (it rains a lot in Manchester). I’ve found that the best way to go is to use mousse, it’s easy to apply and comes out looking really even. They range in prices, but these are my 3 favourites and belong in the fake tanning Hall of Fame.

 

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Number one on the list is Fake Bake’s mousse. Not that it really matters, but the bottle looks like it was created by a dream team of Marc Jacobs and Elizabeth Olsen. The smell isn’t overpowering, and it glides on really easily.

Also grabbing a place in my top 3 is Rimmel’s Sun Shimmer Bronzing Mousse. It claims to be wash off, but unless you do a full-body scrub every time you’re in the shower, you’re still left with a nice glow.

The final and cheapest product comes from St Moriz. It costs around £2.50, depending on where you buy it, so you can slap it on like it’s going out off fashion. It’s every bit as good as the other two, but it can be drying if you attempt to use it on your face.

Frolicking with feature nails.

I love feature nails. I feel physically NAKED without a feature nail. It’s only in the past year that they’ve become big in the world of celebrities, and pinterest is now full of of sparkly designs to be envious of. I was once told by a friend that the only way to get stand-out ring finger nails is to go with acrylics or gel nail polish, as standard nail varnish isn’t bold enough, but I don’t fancy spending over an hour in the salon every third Saturday. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So, I tried it all – total DIY, a fully professional service, and a make shift in-between to see just how hard it is to achieve the look at home.

 

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The first style I tried involved A LOT of good ol’ Kelly Brook polish. I used a pale pink on all of my nails, then went over the ringer fingers with her pink sparkly varnish. I used roughly 4 layers of the stuff, and although the end result wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as stand-out as I was hoping for.

For my second attempt, I used Astor Lacque Deluxe white nail polish (only 99p over at Fragrance Direct, oo er) and an old gold varnish topped with gold glitter polish from Primark. I liked the white, but again the gold just wasn’t sparkly or bright enough.

For the third round, I got my nails done at a local salon, using Gelicure polish. Oh my, it was like heaven on nails. The feature nail was exactly what I wanted, and the pink polish lasted for over 3 weeks. BUT, it cost me £20, and took almost 2 hours out of my Saturday.

My final attempt involved me peeling off the pink gel polish, and painting with Rimmel’s Lasting Finish in Lively Lilac. I was really lazy and left the gel feature nail on, and low and behold it actually looks half decent. Admittedly they need filling in, but after 6 WEEKS the gel on my ring fingers is going strong, and hasn’t chipped whatsoever. Maybe that’s the secret, to head to the salon 8 times a year and only ask for two nails to be painted. Do they do that, is it socially acceptable?! If it’s not, it should be.