Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Glamour offers (July 2010)

Glamour have a great offer at the moment - free Benefit makeup!! The magazine costs €2.90 - €2.95 anywhere I've seen it and the makeup is full sized. I'm not sure of the exact price of the products in Ireland but on the website Bad Gal kohl pencil and Eye Bright pencil are £14. I can't find the It Stick on the website so maybe this has been discontinued?? :(

I managed to nab the ones with Bad Gal and the It Stick as I already own an Eye Bright that I got as a bonus when I ordered from the US website a while back...

What the website says: "This big, BAD, black eye pencil is a beauty addict's dream and a makeup artist's must-have. Dark, smoky, mysterious...being BAD never looked so good!

 What the website says: "Stroke this pink brightening pencil on the inner and outer corners of the eye to look instantly wide-awake. It's like a coffee break in a stick!"

As I said, this product appears to be off the website (both in the UK and US) at the moment so I am taking it that it is sold out... It's a concealer pencil and to me seems like a really handy product so if you like it, grab it fast!!

These are selling out so quickly you won't believe it so grab them now if you can!! I know I had to try a good few shops to get the ones I wanted and I've been looking since the 8th when it was realeased!! Here's hoping they get more in!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hints for Nails

Here are some hints I have picked up from other blogs in my quest to get better at nails and hopefully being able to do some 'Nails of the Day' (NOTD) posts down the line!

Start Clean!
Use nail polish remover to clean any remaining oils, dirt or even hand lotion from the surface of your nails before polishing. Even tiny amounts that you cannot see will cause the polish to not stick and potentially ruin the final result. Nail varnish remover wipes are great for this and if you aren't actually removing existing polish one wipe should do all your nails! I also use a nail varnish wipe on the top of an orange stick to help clean under my nails and feel it makes them even cleaner!

Precise Polishing
It takes some practice, but try placing the brush on your nail just ahead of the cuticle and gently press down on it, pushing it toward your cuticle line, just stopping short of touching it with polish. Then draw the brush toward the end of your nail, bending the brush over the nail end a little. This will apparently allow you to get a nice clean line of polish along your cuticle and drastically reduce the amount of cleanup needed - but I think I need a bit more practice!

Polish Cleanup
As you paint your nails, you can use the edge of your fingernail (if you have any length to them) to clean up around the very edge of your nail while the polish is still wet. Simply press gently on the cuticle and wipe along the cuticle line, using a sweeping motion. Keep a pad moistened with removed handy so you can keep your 'cleaning' nail clean or you will just spread it around.

Another method that apparently works even better is to use the beveled end of an orange stick moistened in remover to clean up little 'oops' spots. Wipe the stick tip on a nail varnish wipe (or paper towel or cotton pad moist with remover) to keep it clean.

A third method I have seen suggested is to get a lip balm stick and use this to essentially 'line' around the nail to ensure that any stray varnish can't stick to the surrounding skin.

Nail Surface Prep
Use a four-way buffer to remove ridges and smooth the surface of your nails. It is not necessary to go for high shine if you are going to use polish anyway. In fact, the slightly roughened surface of your nails will adhere to polish better, making your manicure or pedicure last longer. Be careful not to dig too much into the nail surface with the buffer or ridges will result when the nail grows out.

Use A Good Basecoat
It's really tough to get a good, consistently smooth finish on your nails if you don't use a ridge-filling basecoat under your color. A few of you are lucky enough to have very smooth nails, but most of us don't, so the basecoat tends to smooth out imperfections, and it gives the polish something to stick to, not to mention that it protects your nails from staining. This is particularly important with darker or more vivid colours as nails can be left stained and it takes forever to get them back to their old selves!

Use Good Lighting
It' difficult to good a good job of polishing if you can't see what you are doing well. Use a good light when you do your nails. If you have good lighting you will be able to see the spots where you missed and be able to fix them right away. (Unlike when I do my nails in bed at night and then the next day see all the streaks when it's too late to fix them! :( )

Roll Your Polishes - Don't Shake!
Shaking a bottle of polish fills it with little bubbles that take quite a while to settle out. Bubbles will result a in less than perfect finish. Instead, roll the bottle between your palms for 30 seconds or so before you use it to mix up the ingredients and give the polish more consistency. In addition to this, store your bottles of polish standing up. This helps keep the tops clean and also reduces leakage and sticking of the cover.

Use A Good Topcoat
Glossy or matte, a topcoat will seal the polish and protect it from chipping and wear. Clear topcoat does not have pigment it in, and so it is stronger than colored polish, and it lasts longer. Many topcoats also speed up drying time, so another great advantage. In the case of a good top coat you will find that it magnifies the color, so your nails will look like they are wet, even when dry. It gives a much sleeker/classier look in my opinion!

Take Your Time
A good result takes time and there is no way to rush it. Wait 5 - 10 minutes between coats so they can set before the next coat, or adding polish will simply pull and partially remove the first coat when you apply it. I find that doing a few thin coats is best as it takes longer for a thicker coat to dry. Even if applying it thicker does mean you need to do less coats overall, does it really matter when it's still using the same amount of varnish??

An obvious hint is that allowing the coats to dry will also speed up the curing time - the point where the polish no longer is susceptible to smudging. Multiple coats of relatively wet polish will stay soft for hours, exposing your mani or pedi to damage well after you thought they were dry and hard. Much as I like to paint my nails, it's no fun having to do a polish job over again. Doing it once is fun, doing it twice is too much like hard work!!

Have you any other hints that you think should be added to this??

Thank You! :)

I know it's only a little milestone but I've decided to celebrate it none the less!! I now have FIVE followers!! And two of those are people I don't know which makes it an even bigger deal!! :P

I just want to say thanks a million to those who read my ramblings! I'm not doing this for anyone but myself but it's a great feeling to think that I am not just wasting valuable interweb space and that someone actually reads it and hopefully enjoys it. It means a lot that I can be having a conversation with my nearest and dearest and be telling them of some new Lush purchase or event and then to discover that they have read it on my blog already! It shows that some of you aren't subscribed but are still checking in so five is really an arbitrary number!!

So, thanks a million and if you have any constructive criticism or any requests for future posts to make please feel free!!

Review: Kings of Neon (Nails Inc)

My latest addiction is nail polish and I have purchased a number of new ones in the last few weeks. This included a frantic search for the Kings of Neon set by Nails In which contains six limited edition neon colours, a Soho Silk base coat and a Caviar top coat.
This was available to purchase in BT2 in Dundrum as they have a full Nails Inc Nail Bar there and I managed to pick it up the day I went to see Sex and the City 2 - which seemed very fitting!! In Ireland the set retails at €35... A rip off when you consider that it is only £22 in the UK (converts to about €26.35 these days). Unfortunately it didn't seem to be possible to order it online and get it shipped here so unless I wanted to wait for a trip up North those were the prices I had to pay! :(

The colours in this set are: (L-R:) Orchid Street (purple), Sun Street (yellow), Orange Street (orange), Lime Street (green), Paradise Walk (pink), Phoenix Street (blue) and Caviar top coat and Soho Silk base coat. There are some discrepancies in relation to the actual size of the bottles with some sources saying that the bottles are 4ml and others (like the box!) saying they are 4.5ml.

The colours are every bit as vibrant as they look but a little confusing as some have a lovely shine finish to them and others are much more matt. The top coat gives a fabulous shine though and while I'm not sure I would agree with it's claim to be dry in 45 seconds it certainly is fairly quick to dry in comparison to others!

One of the days I did a 'skittle' effect on my nails with a different colour on each nail (I excluded the purple) which did catch people's attention. Unfortunately the only pic I got of it was using my Blackberry in my bedroom which has very poor lighting :(

This was two coats of the base coat, 2-3 coats of the colour (some needed more than others) and then 2 coats of top coat. It lasted really well and in the end I took it off because I wanted to try another colour. The other colour actually chipped off within a day though so I regretted not leaving this on!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Five Products I can't live without - Lush

I can't limit myself to 5 products I can't live without overall so am doing a Lush version of this tag that is going around beauty blogs at the moment. I will probably follow it up with a make-up version shortly - expect lots of Urban Decay in that one!! :)

1.) Comforter - I adore all things Comforter scented and have toyed with the idea of buying the bubble bar to have to sniff but so far resisted!! I have a 70ml decant of Comforter lotion that I am using sparingly in addition to the shower gel (which I hope to get more of soon for fear of ever running out!) and the solid perfume. It's a scent that I think I have mentioned elsewhere just reminds me of childhood and mugs of hot blackcurrant as I go to bed to cuddle up with a book. It really is a comforting scent to me!

2.) Flying Fox - Another scent that I have more than one product of but this one is more 'medicinal' for me as it really does seem to lift my mood as it states. It's quite an unusual smell and I do like it but not sure I would run out to buy more products in this scent - the shower gel and temple balm are enough for me!

3.) Vanillary perfume - I am not a massive fan of vanilla scents in general but I adore this perfume. What I find quite strange is that my friend who loves vanilla scents won't actually wear this perfume and uses it to scent things instead so it seems to be a bit of a role reversal!

4.) H'Suan Wen Hua - I have been dying my hair full time since I turned about 20 out of necessity... This has lead to some damage especially since I have now opted to have it highlighted too. I also have really thick hair so any damage needs to be carefully managed or I will lose control of my mane altogether! Previously I was using all Wella products but they were expensive and hard to get hold of once I changed hairdresser as they are only sold in Salons that use Wella dyes. About 3 months ago I decided I would give H'Suan Wen Hua a try to see if it made a difference to my hair and I was blown away by it! It's now a staple in my bathroom and I make sure I always have some to hand!

5.) Full of Grace serum bar - this has been a saviour to my skin and is another item I am keeping in constant supply as it has saved my skin and enabled me to wear foundation which was a rarity in the past!!

Argh!! Now that I have those 5 picked I realise how many Lush products I can't live without!! Runners up would include: Lemony Flutter, Buffy, all the emotibombs, Ocean Salt, UltraBland... and *so* much more!! :P