Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Technic's £1.49 "Carnival" OPI glitter nail polish dupe

Recently I have become obsessed with glitter nail polish.

A self-confessed girly girl, there's nothing I love more than anything that sparkles.  When I was 13 it was acceptable to wear Tammy girl t-shirts encrusted with diamantés, but at the age of 21, my tastes have matured (a lot), so the one way I get my sparkle fix nowadays is adorning my finger nails with the glitziest of glitter nail polishes.  

So you can imagine how delighted I was when I stumbled across the little gem that is Technic's "Carnival" multi-coloured glitter polish in Blushers, a bargain beauty store in my home town.  At £1.49, not only is this polish purse friendly, it's a blatant dupe of OPI's "Rainbow Connection" polish.

What I really love about "Carnival" is that the pieces of glitter are big instead of being teeny tiny.  This makes your nails look really sparkly, so you'll only need around 3 coats if you want full on glitter.  Whereas polishes with small pieces of glitter in look great as top coats, "Carnival" looks best, in my opinion, worn alone.  However, I did apply a nude base coat before applying this, as I think it gives a more even result.

I can see this being my favourite nail polish this summer.  And if we have a typical British summertime, at least I'll feel happy every time I look down to admire my sparkly manicure! 

Have you tried this nail polish?
What is your favourite glittery polish?

Love, hugs + glittery nails

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Urban Decay Naked2: the smoky-eye lover's holy grail

It's official.  

If I could only pick one product to use every day for the rest of my life, if would be Urban Decay's Naked2 palette.  For all of the self proclaimed smoky-eyeaholics out there, Naked2 has been sent to us to answer all of our eye-shadow dilemmas. 

Black eye-liner and dark eye-shadows found themselves being the most used products in my make-up bag ever since I started experimenting with cosmetics during my high school years.  I wouldn't leave the house without popping a jet black Kohl into my jacket pocket.    Applied, and re-applied haphazardly throughout the course of drunken teenage nights, my youthful flirtation with these products eventually blossomed into a long-term romance.  If there's one thing that defines my look, it's my love for smoky eyes (that, and stripy shirts).

The day-time look smoky eye I created with Urban Decay's Naked2 palette
It's my passion for the smoky-eyed look (and the quest to perfect it and experiment with it) which lead me into discovering Urban Decay's Naked2 eye-shadow palette.  The phenomenal success of the original Naked palette, released in the summer of 2010, spurred on Urban Decay into revamping the best-seller - thus Naked2 was launched at the end of 2011. 

Whereas the original Naked palette contained 12 neutral bronze and cocoa shades, Naked2 is made up of 12 neutral taupe and greige (greyish beige, hellooooo!) shades.  Ranging from dreamy creams (perfect used as base colours and highlighting the brow bone) to sultry coppers, gunmetal greys and the blackest of blacks - Naked2 is versatile enough to be worn during the day, as well as evenings, when a little more sex appeal and sultriness is called for.  

Before I go any further with this review, it's best to say now, that Naked2 (or the original Naked) doesn't come at a cheap price - £36 (ouch) to be exact.  Luckily, I managed to get hold of Naked2 for £19.99 from a seller on Ebay who distributes factory seconds.  This meant the cardboard box the palette came in was superficially damaged, but the actual product was untouched and in perfect condition.  

Still, £19.99 is a huge amount to blow on eye-shadow - but let me reassure you, the price is absolutely justified.  

I am blown away with the quality of the pigment-rich shades, the sturdy metal tin the product comes in (complete with mirror) as well as the double-ended eye-shadow brush included inside.  Still not convinced?  After a whole day of wearing, the shadows do not crease on my eyelids!  Crease free eye-shadow at last!  Hallelujah!

The 12 shades included are...

Foxy: a semi-matte creamy white
  Half Baked (also in the original Naked palette): a deep shimmering copper
Bootycall: a semi-matte cream
Chopper: a shimmering light bronze
 Tease: a semi-matte taupe
Snakebite: a shimmering grey/taupe
 Suspect: a lightly shimmering grey taupe
 Pistol: a shimmering gun metal grey
 Verve: a lightly shimmering creamy silver
YDK: a shimmery greyish bronze
Busted: a shimmering deep purply bronze
 Blackout: a matte blackest black

I fell in love with the colours included - they're not too orangey and harsh, minimal fall-out and most importantly, perfectly suit my light olive skin tone. I checked out the shades in the original Naked and I think Naked2 is less harsh and more wearable.  The possibilities of colour combinations/effects you can create with Naked2 are endless - there's colours subtle and natural enough to wear day to day, and most importantly, there's colours you can use to create the perfect sultry and seriously sexy smoky eye.

Below is step-by-step how I created the day-time smoky eye look with Naked2.  For a night-time smoky eye, I would simply add more of "Blackout" on my upper and lower lash line and more of "Busted" on my whole eyelid.

1.  Cover the whole lid and brow bone with "Bootycall"
2. Highlight the brow bone with "Foxy"
3.  Follow the crease of the lid with "Pistol" and blend upwards towards the brow bone 
4.  Cover the outer 3rd of eyelid with "Snakebite" and blend outwards
5. Apply "Bootycall" as you would with liquid eye-liner and blend well
6. Use "YDK" underneath the eye and blend well in a downwards sweep
7.  Finish with lashings of black mascara and black eye-liner on the waterline to make the eyes pop!

I really can't find any negatives with this product, apart from the obvious fact that it is quite expensive.  But I've had this product for around 3 months, and have used it almost every day and the shadows look barely touched.  The pigments are so rich you don't need to use a lot on your brush to get an effective result.  All of my other eye-shadows are now redundant because of this

The only criticism I have is that the two lightest shades, "Foxy" and "Bootycall" are really quite similar.  Other than that - girls, what are you waiting for?  I can guarantee you'll love  Naked2!  

Do you own the original Naked palette?
Which palette do you prefer - Naked or Naked2?

Love, kisses + smoky eyes

Friday, 8 June 2012

H&M mid-summer sale splurge!

With my dream escape to Morocco edging ever closer, it's safe to say that the one thing occupying my mind more than anything (no, not the all inclusive food and drink) - is my holiday wardrobe.  

I'm sure all you girls will agree, that a huge amount of your time leading up to a summer holiday is spent fantasising about how a week in the sun will somehow transform you into a perfectly bronzed, superbly dressed, lithe exotic goddess.  The sad, but unfortunate reality of it is, most of us will end up sunburnt, sunstroked (not a real word admittedly), dehydrated, itchy 'down there' after bikini wax stubble starts to poke through, looking 3 months pregnant after taking advantage of all-inclusive alcohol and stuck to the toilet after some suspect tapas.  But a girl can dream, can't she?

A few days ago the H&M mid-summer sale started - and I hate to use 'North-Eastern' sayings, as they're rather cliché and embarrassing...but I was on it like a car bonnet.  Cringe.  For the uninformed, yes I do talk like those off Geordie Shore.  Here's the lovely little bargains I picked up, at an even lovelier price...

Conscious Collection 100% recycled polyester shorts £9.99 (were £19.99)
Chambray dress £7.99 (was £19.99)
Frill and drawstring dress £6.49 (was £12.99)

Gold jersey pleat dress £6.49 (was £12.99)

All in all, I am extremely pleased with my summery bargains!  I am patiently awaiting their arrival - just hope they all fit as H&M sizes tend to be either too generous or very small fitting.  

Have you bought anything from the H&M mid-summer sale?
When do you go on your summer holiday?

Love + peace

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee giveaway!


I hope you're all enjoying the celebrations which are going on all over the country for the Queen's diamond jubilee; whether you're having a small get-together with your family indulging in copious amounts of tea and strawberries and cream, or kicking it old school by holding a street party complete with Union Jack party hats, napkins, plates and table cloths and of course, dangerous amounts of sausage rolls.

It's times like these I feel extremely proud to be British (putting the fact aside we do the  best, albeit largely beige coloured, party buffets in the world). If there's one woman who shows what it means to have 'girl power', it's Queen Lizzie.  She's been on the throne 60 years now, and shows no sign of giving up her place to Charles without a fight.  And why should she?  It's so refreshing to see a woman, instead of a man, who isn't ashamed to acknowledge how much power they have.

So, I thought I'd celebrate the jubilee my own way.  Since starting this blog I have been overwhelmed by the feedback my amazing readers have given me.  As it stands, almost 60 of you lovely lot follow my blog.  What better way to celebrate than to hold a giveaway for thanking you all for reading? Want to be in a chance for winning everything in the picture below?  Read on...

What will the winner receive?  An unashamedly girly hamper full of my favourite beauty buys and must have products to make sure you look fabulous and perfectly preened all summer long.  

Here's what's up for grabs

* Batiste "Blush" dry shampoo
*Scandalous "Rock Chick" hair wave spray
* The Beauty Parlour "Saving Face" Day Cream with SPF8
* Nivea "Pearl & Beauty" gentle care anti-perspirant deodorant
* Nivea "Soft Rose" tinted lip balm with SPF10
* Montagne Jeunesse "Fruit Pulp" moisturising strawberry face mask 
* Pretty Perfect "Twist and Out" instant nail polish remover
* Eyelure: The Collection "Star" strip false eyelashes 
* Lush "Think Pink" bath ballistic
* Rimmel "Disco Ball" glittery nail polish

How do I enter?

Comment on this post, and tell us all, in 150 words or less, what it is that makes you proud to be a woman.  Take this theme as literally or as liberally as you want to!  Entries will be taken until midnight on Friday 15th June 2012.

Who can enter?

Anyone, as long as you are a resident of the UK (otherwise it will cost me too much money to ship to others countries - sorry!) 

Good luck!

Love, kisses + ponytails