Manicure Monday #3 | Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street

Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street (£9.79 here)

Nails Inc are an extremely innovative nail brand, and their new launches are often really exciting. When I first spotted Queen Victoria Street in stores, I was mesmerised by the unique bright green shade but thought it was a little too garish and expensive to pick up. However, every time I would see it whilst I was shopping I would pick it up, adore it and then still refrain from buying it. I am glad that it is now in my collection, and if you’re one for bright and daring nail colours, this is definitely for you.

The shade didn’t photograph well – it is slightly deeper and more yellow toned in person, but it picks up the brightness. The Nails Inc formula is great and is one of the best for me in terms of chipping and longevity. The one con is the price; Beauty Bay are always discounted but they are still not cheap. For the uniqueness of the shade and the quality of the formula I would personally say it is worth the extra cost.

There goes another Manicure Monday… Keep your eyes peeled for next week for a very christmassy edition – expect lots of glitter!


Festive Makeup Look #1 | Quick Classic Glamour

We are now well into christmas party season so I thought I would do a series of festive makeup looks, suitable for lots of occasions. Today’s look is for those in a hurry, but still want to look glamorous. A classic red lip and winged liner combo is a look I turn to when I need to look nice fast, and it will make it look like you have put much more effort than you actually have. 

I started off with Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 52 with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush which gives me quick medium coverage, that isn’t completely matte but is one of those foundations that gives the look of a glow from within. I concealed under the eyes and on any blemishes with the Mac Studio Finish Concealer in NC20, then set everything with the Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Plus.

I first filled in my brows with the Mac Eye Brows in Fling and then set them in place with the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara in Dark Blonde. I primed the eyes with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion and washed Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Vintage Lace all over the lid and up to the brows to brighten. I believe this shade may have been discontinued, but any shadow a shade or two lighter than your skin tone will work fine. I then contoured my eye slightly with the Inglot Eyeshadow in Matte 349, and by sweeping a light taupey-grey through the crease gives subtle definition without requiring too much blending and effort. I then lined the eyes with Mac Fluidline in Blacktrack with a Sigma E10 Small Eye Liner Brush, and created a medium-sized flick (winged eyeliner post coming soon!). Finally, I curled the lashes and applied lots of the  Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara.

I contoured the cheeks with the Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base (and I do find this fine to apply over powder) and applied the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed (sadly not available in the UK), which is a great goes-with-anything blush especially for bright lips.

I lined and filled in the lips completely with the Kiko Precision Lip Pencil in 306 Geranium Red and applied the Kiko Velvet Mat Satin Lipstick in 606 Fire Red. A completely Kiko lipstick wasn’t intentional, but they are two red lip products that I have been loving recently.

This look could easily be added to if you have more time – some false lashes and glitter would be good additions. Next up in this festive make up series will be a going out christmas look.


Manicure Monday #2 | Revlon Nail Enamel in Bewitching

Revlon Nail Enamel in Bewitching (£6.49 here)

Revlon is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands for the nail polish. They have a huge amount of shades and formulas, but the original nail enamels have continued to be my favourite. All of the shades I have are really easy to apply, go on with two or less coats and are one of my longer-lasting formulas that I own. 

Bewitching is a gorgeous rich burgundy shade with a cream finish. I wouldn’t say this is an overly original shade, as it can probably be duped in several other brands, but if you are in the market for a burgundy, this formula is definitely one I would recommend. This polish lasted about 4 days on my nails without any chipping which is a considerably long time for me. 

No doubt another Revlon nail polish will pop up in future Manicure Mondays, and one or two will probably end up in my basket when I am next browsing the aisles of boots. Have you tried any Revlon nail enamels?


Best of Mac | My Top Lipsticks

Mac was probably the brand that really got me into makeup. I remember walking into a Mac store for the first time and being so overwhelmed with the amount of shades of eyeshadows, lipsticks and everything in between. About 5 years on I am much more confident, and practically know the whole brand inside and out, which has resulted in building quite a substantial Mac collection. I was planning a favourite Mac product post, but my list got so long that I thought I should separate into different categories: lipsticks, eyeshadows and face products. 

Mac lipsticks (£15 here) are by far my favourite out there – the range of finishes and shades means that there is one for every occasion, and you are more than likely going to find the exact shade you are looking for. 

Creme Cup is described as a ‘light blue pink’, with a Cremesheen finish. Cremesheens apply, like the name suggests, very creamily and smooth and leave a slightly glossy finish to the lips, but are still opaque. Out of the finishes  mentioned in this post, it is the most moisturising. I love using this lipstick when I’m going for a nude lip – it has just enough pink in it that it doesn’t make me look dead. 

Ravishing is described as a ‘clean light peachy coral’, again with a cremesheen finish. I sometimes find that when I am at my palest this can pull a little too orange on me, but it is a great everyday summer colour. I find that cremesheens last about 4 hours on my lips, especially these light colours.

Morange is described as a ‘loudmouth orange’ with an amplified finish. This is my go-to summer colour, and definitely not one for the faint-hearted. It does lean slightly red when on the lips, but is still very orange. The amplified finish is probably my favourite – it is completely opaque and has a semi-matte finish so it is not as drying. They are also really long-lasting, and just an all-round perfect formula for someone who loves bold lips. 

Impassioned is described as a ‘amped-up fuchsia’ with an amplified finish. This to me is more of a yellow-toned pink than a fuchsia and can pull slightly red on my lips. I have seen this lipstick on several different people and it can look different on everyone depending on skin tone and natural lip pigmentation. It is a lipstick that I get most complimented on, and think it is a perfect colour for those with pale skin or blonde hair – although it seems like a lipstick that would work on all skin tones. 

Candy Yum Yum is described as a ‘neon pink’ with a matte finish. Forget morange, this is the brightest lipstick I have ever come across. It is definitely a neon lipstick, and wearing it brings a lot of attention – I find a lot of people staring at my lips when I wear this! Even though its matte, I don’t find it to be too drying. This stays on my lips like no other but it can be quite difficult to remove.

Rebel is described as a ‘midtonal cream plum’ with a satin finish. I find that it is a purple-toned berry, and is quite a versatile lipstick. I sometimes like to wear this blended into the lips like a stain for a subtle berry lip or full on to create a bold dark lip. The satin finish is much like the amplified finish, but with less of a sheen. It almost has the longevity of a matte, but without the drying nature (candy yum yum being an exception of course), so it sits somewhere in between.

Dark Side is described as a ‘deep burgundy’ with an amplified finish. This is a very vampy lip, perfect for autumn/winter. This is a versatile lipstick as I either leave it glossy or blot it and leave it as a matte lipstick. It can be hard to wear a dark lip, but I find it looks best with fresh natural-looking skin and not too much on the eyes which creates a really chic and modern look.

From left to right: Dark side, Rebel, Candy Yum Yum, Impassioned, Morange, Ravishing, Creme Cup

Honourable Mentions
There were some lipsticks that I couldn’t show in this post but I thought I should put them in the end anyway. Hue is a nude lipstick and one of my favourite lipsticks, but I stupidly took it on a night out and lost it. Riri Woo – a blue toned matte red, very similar to Ruby Woo, is also worth a mention, because even though it isn’t currently available, it will be out again in a collection soon. It is a great limited edition lipstick to own, and always sells out.

Mac lipsticks are an addiction of mine, and my collection will no doubt continue to grow. Coming up soon – my top Mac eyeshadows.


Manicure Monday #1 | Kiko Nail Lacquer in 381 Purple Grey

I have a lot of nail polish – whenever I mention it or somebody sees my collection I am always faced with shocked reactions. I thought of starting Manicure Monday because I love talking about and showing off my polishes, but also as a motivation to wear all the ones I have.

Kiko Nail Laquer in 381 Purple Grey (£3.90 here)

Kiko is an Italian brand, slowly making its way into the UK. The first product I ever had was also a nail varnish which my mum bought me as a present from Italy. I have since ventured into the Westfield shop several times and have tried quite a few products from the brand. This nail varnish, was also a gift from my mum from Italy this summer. They ship to many countries across Europe, and I must admit, I am getting very excited about this brand.

Purple Grey is an apt name for what the polish looks like in the bottle, but on the nails it runs much more blue. It is a dark grey-toned blue, a nice colour for autumn/winter. It is an interesting shade and provides the look of black on the nails without being so harsh. I thought it seemed quite original, but looking through my collection I found that Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish Lycra in Punk Rock (£4.49 here) is very similar, but is slightly more purple. 

In terms of longevity, I found this average. It lasted about 2 or 3 days without any minor chipping, which is standard for my nails. The brush isn’t too wide or too thin, and the formula is easy to paint on the nails – 2 coats are required for opacity. For the price, I’d say this is a good polish, and I would recommend it if these stormy colours are up your street. 

Hourglass Opaque Liquid Rouge in Empress | Review

Hourglass is a brand that everyone in the blogging world seems to be talking about and my first venture into the brand was about a year ago when I got talked into buying this Opaque Liquid Rouge in Empress (£23 here) at the Liberty counter. Empress is a deep burgundy shade with a matte finish.

The Claims:
A richly pigmented, silky smooth and velvety matte lip color that delivers extended wear without flaking or dryness. 

The Verdict:
The gunmetal packaging is very luxurious and compact, and when closing the product you hear that satisfying *click* which makes it bag and travel friendly. The flattened doe-foot applicator makes it easy to spread the product over the lips – although you have to be careful and be quite precise.

On first application, I wasn’t too keen. It wasn’t until I properly learnt how to apply it that it actually started to become one of my favourite lip products. I found (and also later discovered that Hourglass recommends) that the lips must be completely clean with no remaining balm or product and very well exfoliated. Then you must only apply one layer onto both lips and do not touch them together until they are completely dry – about 30 seconds does the trick. The product sets completely to a matte finish. The texture is creamy and silky and it applies completely opaque onto the lips. It isn’t drying and doesn’t flake as long as the lips were not dry to begin with. 

It lasts well throughout the day and holds up well through eating and drinking. However, it isn’t possible to retouch this lipstick – if this is a must, you have to remove it all before reapplying or it will flake on the lips. For me, this is a perfect fuss-free night out lipstick, as it will look good all night long. 

I am now very happy that I was talked into buying this and if you’re in the market for a high-end matte lipstick, this may be one to consider. Personally, I have my eye on some other shades (riviera and ballet – I’m looking at you). Someone hold my purse…


Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation | Review

Having oily skin, I used to only ever use matte foundations and steered clear of any that promised anything along the lines of a ‘luminous’ or ‘dewy’ finish, especially when going out or being photographed. If it wasn’t for the hype of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (£32 here) and everyone claiming it was THE best foundation for photography I would have never gone within a mile of it. 

The Claims:
Capture the glow of perfect looking skin with Luminous silk foundation, an oil-free hydrating fluid with exclusive Micro-fil™ technology. Its lightweight and silky texture glides on seamlessly for an all-day, buildable coverage. 

The Verdict:
What is so great about this foundation is the sheer versatility of it. With one pump and applied with fingers it has a sheer to medium coverage, perfect for daily wear. It definitely is buildable and for a night out or for a day I need a little extra help, I use a brush such as the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99 hereand apply thin layers until I reach my desired coverage. The finish is hard to describe – it is not entirely matte or dewy, it is somewhere in between. It looks very natural on the skin and it never looks cakey no matter how much you apply. It also feels very light on the skin – it isn’t like some full coverage foundations that feel like a mask on your face.

But does it live up to the expectations I had for it when I bought it? The answer is most definitely yes. It looks amazing in photographs (thanks to the absence of SPF), I have never had that dreaded white-cast, even with that horrific iPhone flash! The longevity is sensational for a non-matte foundation, I find that it holds up just as well as any matte formula I have tried, and best of all it stays looking fresh and natural for hours, even with my oily skin. The packaging is very sleek and luxurious (they have since updated it from the bottle that I have, with Giorgio Armani in black writing on the bottle and the fashion house logo in silver – even more glamorous!) and the pump doesn’t ever dispense too much product. 

So there is my ode to Luminous Silk. This is definitely holy grail status for me despite the price tag. I would definitely recommend this to everyone and with a whopping 21 shades, a colour match is definitely on the cards. The question is, would you splurge?