NOTD – Gray on Gray by Sally Hanson

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What with a certain film being officially released tomorrow it decided to dig out some greys from my nail polish collection. I was intrigued to know how many different shades of grey nail polish I have, well the answer is 6.

Sally Hanson’s complete salon manicure in Gray on Gray has to be my favourite, it’s a slightly blue toned grey, and is less harsh than shades that lend themselves more to blacker tones. The formula itself is outstanding, the finish here was with just one coat, perfect if you are in a hurry. It also has my favourite type of brush, flat and wide, making it easy to apply.

For added interest I decided to pair this with an accent nail in woven skyline from Maybelline’s brocades collection. This is a gorgeous glitter polish, with both fine and chunky silver glitter encased In a grey polish. Certainly not dull!

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I’m on the look out for a pale grey, I’m lacking one, to pair with pretty pastels. Any suggestions?

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Product Review – The Aurora Band Nightroller

Way back in December my sister and I visited the clothes show live, in Birmingham. Whilst there we spotted a few girls walking about with these funny headbands on. It was abundantly clear that they were demonstrating a new type of sleep in roller. My interest was peaked. As I already had the original sleep-in-rollers I didn’t make a purchase at the time though.

Several weeks later my interest was still there, so I decided to do a little research. It turns out that the headband was actually featured on the Dragons den and is the brain child of an Irish business women, Lindsey Byrne. Priced at €12.99 plus postage this nifty product seemed to be the the answer to my desire for fabulous looking hair without the fuss of a lengthy morning hair regime. (I have long thick hair, it takes some looking after).

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I didn’t have to wait too long for delivery and after checking out the instruction video,on the company website, I eagerly gave it a go. It looked simple enough, surely I could make this work. By morning I was going to have beautiful long curls with minimum effort right?

The following pictures show the process of putting in the headband roller. Please excuse the fact that the pictures are grainy they were taken in evening and my bedroom lighting is not great.

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Well, let’s just say it didn’t quite go according to plan. I ended up late for the school run and throwing a major tantrum at my hair. If it were not for the fact that the band was stuck tangled in my hair I would have launched it rather aggressively across the room. My husband came to the rescue, and assisted me with untangling my hair, else I don’t know what I would have done. Scissors, hairdressers or pretended I was rocking a new trend? Ha!

Tantrum aside I was pleased with how my hair looked once I’d sorted out the resulting tangles. My hair didn’t resemble that of the models on the box, rather a more 70’s Farah Fawcett style. That I can live with though, as were are supposed to be embracing the 70’s inspired trend right now?

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I put my experience down to teething problems and tried again another day. I still had problems unwrapping the hair on my own, so enlisted hubby’s help again. This time there were no major tangle incidents, my hair just seems to want to stick to the Velcro side of the band, and become difficult to unwrap. This may be due to the thickness of my hair, finer haired girls may have a bit more luck.

I don’t consider this product a right off I just wouldn’t risk using it on my own. It is very easy to put in and is so much more comfortable to sleep in than anything else I have tried. I do recommend watching the instruction video on the company website before using, it gives very clear concise instructions. Over all I would give this a rating of 4 out of 5. I’m deducting points as I need help to to unwrap hair.

If you fancy picking one up for yourself it is available from the company website here.

Have you given the Aurora band a go? did you have any crazy tangled incidents? If you have any tips on how to avoid this please help me out and comment below.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

lookfantastic beauty box – February edition – First Look

It’s that time again, the February edition of Look Fantastics beauty box is out. I’m a sucker for a beauty box and look fantastic is one of my favourites. The affordable price tag attached of £15 including postage is in my opinion worth every penny, particularly as you get to try some of the more premium brands, at an affordable price.

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This months edition did not disappoint, the products included are all ones that I will use. So what’s included:

Moroccanoil Treatment £13.45 for 25ml.

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I am a huge fan of using hair oils, my hair is long, thick and wavy. Its prone to frizz and tangling. This award winning treatment promises to solve those problems, I haven’t used this particular hair oil before so am excited to have the opportunity to try it out. The monetary value of this product alone covers most of the box price.

PawPaw multipurpose original soothing balm -full size £6.94.

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I like that this product is multi-purpose though I will probably use it as a lip balm. The included leaflet suggests that it can also be used on the skin and even in your hair. I can’t see myself actually putting this in my hair though, as it just sounds a bit weird. The sample size is 10ml so worth £2.78.

Korres citrus body milk – full size £10.

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This is probably the third time I have received this in a beauty box. Come on guys, at least let us try a different scent! Having said that I do like this lotion and actually have the full size, so I will keep this for travel. The value of this 50ml size is £2.50.

Erno Laslo Sea Mud deep cleansing bar – full size £45.

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First up how cute is this little bar. Its freaking expensive though so I will make the most of this as I can’t see myself repurchasing it. The sample size is 0.6 oz/17g and worth £4.50 ish.

This is a deep cleansing bar for the face that promises to help with blackheads, dirt and impurities, without stripping the skins natural oils. I’m all for something that helps to keep my skin clear so will be reach ing for this once my current cleanser is finished.

Monu Illuminating primer – full size £27.95

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This is another product I have tried before and am happy to have again. The 20ml sample size is worth £11.18.
I like that this is a Paraben free formula, so less nasties. From memory I think it worked well as a primer, it can recall that it lived up to it’s illuminating claims. As It has been a fair bit of time since I’ve used this I am considering doing a detailed review after I have used the sample.

Bellapierre Cosmetics Natural Lipliner in Cinnamon – £14ish.

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A second make-up product yay! It’s full size as well. It might not be to everyone’s taste as this is very brown but I will actually use this as it’s a fairly neutral Lipliner. I don’t actually have any liners similar so no doubling up for me, Phew! I do have a couple of lipsticks that lean towards the browner shades, so this should come in handy.

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So that’s everything included in my February Look-fantastic beauty box. There isn’t one product there that I would consider a dud, even though I have seen some of the products in other beauty boxes. For me the stand out product is the Moroccanoil treatment.

The total estimated value of products received is £48, so it’s well worth the £15 price tag. If you haven’t tried look fantastic’s offering in the world of beauty boxes, I would recommend giving it a go. I particularly like that you don’t have to sign up to a monthly subscription so can choose to opt in or out depending on the state of your finances. Once you have purchased a box they will also send you an email when the box is available to pre-order. For me this is the one box I feel I can’t miss out on, and will be signing up for next months as soon as I receive that reminder email. Ha, they saw me coming.

Have you tried any of the Look fantastic boxes yet, what do you think?

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

NOTD – Barry M jelly shine, Models own Hypergel

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My technique, when it comes to nail art is basic. Still with practice I feel I am improving. What I have come to realise is that I find the thicker Gel based formulas easy to work with. I also use thin paint brushes over dotting tools, as there is less chance of me scraping the background colour.

A little cheat I have found that helps speed up the drying time between coats is to use Elegant Touch Rapid dry for Nails £3.05 from Superdrug. This is an aerosol spray formula with added vitamin E. Elegant touch claims that nails will be touch within 1 minute. For this purpose it works well, I still wouldn’t risk doing the washing up after 1 minute though, once I’d finished my manicure.

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The nail polishes I used today were;
•Barry M’s Gelly Hi Shine in Blueberry £3.99.
•Models own Hypergel effect polish in Naked Glow £4.99. (Little money saving tip, models own will be realising a 50% of code on Instagram on or around 29th Jan).
•Models Own Artstix Nail art pen – Black.
I also used some mini pearl decals as the centre of the flowers.

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With more practice, hopefully I will be able to share something a bit more pro.

Bye for now, Katy.

Bargain alert!! Nyx diamond sparkle lipsticks @ £1

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So, today I had to pop into my local Poundworld, to pick up some household essentials. Like always I couldn’t help having a quick peek at their make-up section. If you are lucky they can have some super cheap branded items available. Today was one of those days as I spotted Nyx diamond sparkle lipsticks on sale for £1, result!

I opted for the shade Sparkling apricot. This is a very pretty sparkly nude peach colour. As you can see from the swatch it does look like it could be a difficult shade to pull of, luckily on the lips though this transforms to a very wearable sparkly nude. I’m very pleased and can’t believe my luck really. I can’t comment on wear as I’ve only just purchased this, but if it isn’t that great than I can live with that as I only paid £1.

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If this is not your thing they had plenty of other shades available. I was very good and just opted for the one, but could have so easily picked up more.

I have had a quick look at the NYX website, and some shades (not this one unfortunately) are available in the farewell section. These are priced at a still very reasonable
£3. If you have a chance though it’s worth popping into Poundworld to see if they have any left.

I would love to know what you think of these lipsticks if you have given them a go. Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Take 3 beauty samples – First Impressions

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Well, I don’t know about you, but I seem to accumulate an awful lot of beauty samples. You know the sort, small sachets, powdered cards and mini perfume vials. I’d say it comes from too much online shopping and buying one too many magazines.

It has become a habit for me to remove these and collect them all in a little make-up back. I decided it was about time I gave some of these a go, instead of just hoarding them. This inspired me to do a monthly first impressions post, where I would select three samples, and report back my initial thoughts. Here are the samples I picked for January.

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1) Max Factor skin luminizer foundation – shade natural.

I’m not usually into luminising foundations, I tend to find they make me look a bit too shiny. I was happy to give this a go though as I am a fan of Max factor foundations in general. I was able to get two applications out of this sachet.

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The above picture is the foundation worn alone and blended out with a beauty blender. I found it very easy to work with and was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t leave my skin shiny, just healthy looking. If you have any major spots this isn’t going to cover them completely, I had to use a concealer afterwards. The shade natural was a very near match for my skin, but not quite. I felt my skin looked a bit grey, fortunately I was able to correct this with the addition of setting powder.

Longevity wise this wasn’t bad, all it needed was a touch up of setting powder during the afternoon to keep my skin looking nice. Please bare in mind though I did use a setting spray, which I would do with any foundation, so can’t comment results without.

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I was happy with the finished look and I am going to see if Max factor do this foundation in a warmer shade. If you are after a good everyday foundation this is worth a look.

2) Instituto Espanol – chocolate shower gel.

This one I’m on the fence with. It smells exactly like chocolate sauce, but disappointingly it has a synthetic smell to it. The fragrance does linger throughout the day, my husband commented during the afternoon later that I still smelt of chocolate. So if you into that then this may be for you. The formula itself was not disappointing. It is nice and thick, and it certainly didn’t dry my skin out.

I won’t be hurrying out to make a purchase though as It is a Spanish brand, and I can’t find anywhere that sells it.

3) Anastasia brow powder duo shade -medium brown.

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I am wearing this in the picture above. (Please excuse the stragglers, this pic has just made me realise I need to get my tweezers out) Colour wise this was a good match. I like that there are two shades as it means you can customise the shade to suit your own needs. A little bit of product goes a long way and it lasted all day. The carded sample lasted me four days, which in itself impressed me. It meant I was able to give this a good go before commenting. This is available from Beautybay priced £17. It’s a little bit pricey but I beleive it would last a long time.

So that’s my beauty samples for January, 2 hits and 1 miss. If you like this post, do keep your eye out in February. I enjoyed it and look forward to next months samples.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Winter Beauty basics – My survival Kit

IMG_1859.JPGSo I don’t know about you, but I find the colder winter months bring with it extra challenges when it comes to maintaining basic beauty rituals. I’m not talking anything fancy here, just everyday maintenance. In the past keeping on top of chapped lips, dull skin and dry hands has felt like an ongoing problem. Thankfully thanks to several winters of trying out different products, I have now created myself a basic survival kit that helps to tackle such problems.

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First up is The Body shop’s Hemp hand protector £5 for 30ml or £11 for 100ml. Here

I cannot give this hand cream enough credit for solving my dry hand issues. They used to get so bad during the winter months to the point that my skin would crack and bleed (yuck!!). Apart from the fact it hurt like hell my poor hands did not look pretty.

I had given up hope of finding an over the counter cream for this, nothing worked, and I was on the point of visiting my GP to see if they could help. It was about this time that I happened to go to a Body shop at home party. The sales rep demonstrated this particular cream, and to be honest I thought It stank, but when it sunk into my skin I knew something felt different to the other creams I had tried. This felt a bit oily, which is not something I would usually look for in a hand cream. I have put this down to the creams feature ingredient, Hemp seed oil. My hands clearly loved it though and seemed to absorb it so well, this was clearly what my poor hands were missing. So I thought what the heck, it’s worth a go. I am so glad I purchased some to take home with me, as my hands heeled nicely and I have not had a problem since, if I continue to use the cream regularly. So for this reason I can forgive it for it’s questionable smell, and to be honest you do get used to it.

The next product is Nuxe’s Re’ve de Miel Ultra nourishing Lip balm, priced £9.50. Here

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My little sister was the one who pointed me in it’s direction (she got into blogs a lot earlier than I did). So from trying some of hers I was hooked. I’ll be honest here I probably would have looked at this product and laughed at the sales persons face if she tried to flog me a £9.50 lip balm. That’s the beauty off being able to try someone else’s before you commit yourself though.

The easiest place for me to pick this up is from Marks & Spencer’s beauty hall. They often have 20% of deals which lightens the blow to my pocket a bit. £9.50 for a a lip balm is pretty steep, but this works.

Lastly is an old favourite, Benefit’s Hoola bronzer, priced £23.50. Both boots and Debenhams have this on offer for £21.15 at the moment though.Here

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This is a great matte bronzer, perfect for fairer skinned girls like myself. I find used lightly it gives my skin just enough of a glow to stop my skin looking dull and washed out. The fact that it’s a matte formula works perfectly for this time of year if you are just looking for a natural looking touch of colour rather than a very shimmery look. Not what I’m after for an every day look, but that’s just my preference.

So what about you? Are there any products you consider a must have to get you through the winter months? Suggestions welcome x

Love

Katy