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Review: Barry M Instant Nail Effects in Foil

Barry M Instant Nail Effects - £3.99
It's been quite a while since I last did a nail post. This is mostly because I've been really good over the last few months and not bought any new nail varnishes to blog about and have kept going back to my old favourites. 

Last week I had a little dig through my nail varnish collection and found a varnish I haven't used in a good year or so, Barry M's Instant Nail Effects in Foil. The idea of it is that it's supposed to give the effect of tin foil on the nails which is an unusual concept I must admit. My first thought was, why would I want tin foily nails? But I think the finish to it and the whole look is wonderful and I really like it!

It applies really quite streaky but opaque so only two coats are needed to get the look above. The brush strokes are still a little visible on the nails once you've applied it which is a little annoying but it dries pretty much instantly which is a big plus.

The most important question: Does it remind me of tin foil? Do I look at my nails and think, ah yes, tin foil!! Alas, no. I think in order to be really 'foily' it would need to be much more livelier and shinier on the nails rather than the matte-like finish it currently leaves me with but it's still a pretty colour, one which I'd wear often.

Review: Rimmel London Kate Matte Lasting Finish Lipstick in 110

I do love me a lipstick. At the start of the winter I was on the hunt for a vampy, dark, berry red matte lipstick to wear throughout the colder seasons. On my hunt for the perfect Autumn lipstick I came across the Rimmel London Kate Matte Lasting Finish Lipsticks and ended up falling in love with the shade 110.
Admittedly it isn't the dark berry red I wished for but boy is it a beautiful colour.

110 is a bright, tomato red lipstick which may look a summer colour to most people but I wear it whatever the weather whatever the day!  Obviously it's a matte lipstick and thankfully I don't find it too drying on the lips, not compared to other brands anyway. You do need to exfoliate the lips and use a lip balm before applying however because the first time I applied this lipstick I hadn't and trust me when I say it clings to dry, problem areas!

Second time I applied it I made sure I prepped beforehand and the result was lovely. It applies smoothly, it's ridiculously pigmented and it lasts a while on the lips too. When the colour does fade away you're left with a lovely subtle red tint to the lips.

Overall, this lipstick is a beautiful matte, tomato red which lasts a fair few hours, is really comfortable to wear and isn't too drying. My photos do it literally no justice at all so next time you're near a Rimmel stand give it a try!

Review: ELF Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder in Turks & Caicos

ELF Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder - £3.75
After reading loads of blog posts on Tom Ford's Shade and Illuminate product with it's matte deep brown contour and clear highlight I thought this would be perfect for helping to contour cheekbones and lighten the face. But then I realised it was £55 and as much as I'd love contoured cheekbones and a highlighted face, the cost is far too much for something I could (probably) get elsewhere for less money. So I went to ELF.

Obviously it's not going to be the same as Tom Ford's but I absolutely love this little product and for now I needn't worry about Tom Ford and his luxurious casing.....but no, I don't need him. I purchased ELF's Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder in Turks & Caicos which is a bit of a mouthful to say in a hurry I tell ya!

What ELF say about this product:
"Create a healthy and natural glow all year round. / The blush highlights the cheeks to add a flush of colour. / The bronzer accentuates and contours the cheekbones to create a subtle glow."

The packaging is nice and simple with a rubbing casing and a mirror inside the pan which is a nice touch. It's very similar to a NARS pan which makes the product look a lot more expensive than it actually is. On one side we have the contouring blush which looks like a light neutral colour in the pan which transfers onto the skin a muted light pink shade with some small glittery particles which aren't too noticeable on the face. On the other side we have the bronzing powder which is a warm brown which, again, has small shimmery particles in but luckily they don't transfer onto the skin.

The blush and the bronzer are both rather pigmented and smooth to apply so you only need a small amount of product as a little goes a long way. When I first used this I made the mistake of loading the bronzing powder onto my brush and ended up looking like I haven't washed in a while which is rather unfortunate.

When I apply this I use the bronzing powder as a contour powder and the contouring blush as a blush/highlight. I find the bronzing powder to be the right colour for my skintone to accentuate my cheekbones (with a very slight hand!) but I wouldn't use it as a bronzer all over the face as I think it would be too dark for that task on my complexion.

Once I've applied the bronzer as a contour I usually apply the contouring blush on the apples of the cheeks to lighten it all up a bit. It gives a gorgeous pink highlight which isn't too shimmery and it also looks gorgeous on it's own as just a blusher. Overall I really adore this product. Both the contouring blush and the bronzing powder are beautifully pigmented and smooth to apply and although I wouldn't nessecarily use the products the way they are intended, they are multi purpose and work a dream.

Review: Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Peach Kiss

I know everyone and their brother seems to have reviewed the Maybelline Baby Lips by now and truth be told I've had this post written for quite some time, I just didn't know whether or not to post it purely because we don't need me babbling about them as well. But here I am. Babbling.

If you don't know about Maybelline Baby Lips by now then they are a lip product which became very, very popular in the US a while ago and they finally launched in the UK a few months back which is probably why they sold out pretty quickly over here!

Maybelline Baby Lips are a type of lip balm which are available in 6 different shades/varieties with most of them giving a hint of colour to them. I bought the shades Peach Kiss and Pink Punch when they first came out but for now, Peach Kiss. Peach Kiss is like a usual lip balm but with a very subtle hint of a golden peach colour. It's a really gorgeous light colour but unfortunately I found that it didn't show up too well on my lips but that said, if I wanted a bright lip colour I would have bought a lipstick. It also smells like peaches which is very, very appealing.

Maybelline say their Baby Lips are supposed to "give intense care and 8 hour hydration which is nourishing for baby soft lips" and I completely agree. They left my lips feeling lovely and soft, perfect for the cold winter months when I find that my lips become really sore and chapped. Saying that they are also perfect for summer as they have SPF20 in them so they are great all year round.

The only downfall to this product that I found was that it felt a bit like a lipgloss on the lips in the way that my hair always gets stuck to my lips when I wear Peach Kiss. I wouldn't say it feels greasy on the lips but it definitely feels like there's something on there. Overall I love the Baby Lips products. They have a very subtle colour and leave the lips feeling beautifully soft all day long which is perfect during the colder months. Yes they are a little overrated in the fact that they are just a balm but they are definitely worth it.

Fashion: Winter Coats Part Two

Another winter clothing post, hurrah! 

This week had me on the hunt for my perfect Winter's coat. I hunted through the shops with my Mum and eventually found it in Marks and Spencers although they didn't have my size so I ran home, jumped on my laptop and alas, all sold out online. This is probably because the gorgeous Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is seen wearing it in the M&S Christmas Advert but hopefully, one day, it will be mine.

Also, I noticed whilst trawling through various online fashion websites that a lot of this years coats aren't in the standard black. I have to admit that every coat I own, bar one, is black which had me wondering why this is. Is it because black goes with everything? It's slimming? It doesn't show up dirt? Or is it because that is is Autumn which means we must wear dark colours? This year I was tempted by a gorgeous pale pink coat but eventually I was drawn to a soft cream coloured coat. Maybe this year we should all go out of our comfort zones and try a colour we would never dream of. Hell, I may even go back to Topshop and try on that fuzzy, yellow coat I saw!

Last year everyone went biker mad coat-wise with lots of contrasting sleeve action but this year it looks like everyone is favouring the pale, textured, oversized, boyfriend fitted coat. Also there are a lot of timeless, military style coats in season this year, both of which, depending on the colour, will go with pretty much everything so you don't need to think twice about the price tag - it's practically a bargain!

Here are a few winter coats for a selection of high street stores for you to have a little look at. Enjoy!

Biker Coat / Boyfriend Coat / Boyfriend Coat
Boyfriend Coat / Boyfriend Coat / Biker Jacket
Faux Fur Coat / Hooded Parka / Biker Coat
Tweed Coat / Duster Coat / Biker Coat
Military Coat / Cocoon Coat / Faux Fur Coat
Cocoon Coat / Dolly Coat / Checked Coat
Boyfriend Coat / Aztec Coat / Pea Coat
Pea Coat / Feather Bolero / Biker Jacket
Check Coat / Duffle / Pea Coat
Swing Coat / Trench Coat / Boyfriend Coat
Reefer Coat / Faux Fur Coat / Swing Coat
Check Biker / Collar Coat / Prince of Wales Coat
Which coat will you be sporting this winter? Out of the bunch above I can honestly say that I love each and every single coat Warehouse has to offer. I have to say that I wouldn't necessarily go straight to Warehouse for my clothes but I definitely have to shop there more often from now on!

Review: Vo5 Plump It Up Dry Backcomb Spray

You know me by now, you know how I long for voluminous hair that can only be managed by hair extensions and a bloody good hairdresser. But before I reached that level, I decided to give Vo5's Dry Backcomb Spray a go to see if I would get the hair I've been dreaming of. Now, I am ridiculously naive and obviously I imagined that I would spray this into my hair, give it a bit of a shake and immediately get hair so full of life that it should have it's own twitter account.

Alas, no. But then I do have a vast imagination and too high an expectation so it's understandable that my hair doesn't explode with volume when I use it this product. Let's talk about what it does do rather than what it doesn't!

This is what Vo5 say about their Dry Backcomb Spray:
"Instantly add fullness for amazing volume / Won't damage your hair like backcombing can / Can be used as a 'pick me up' style re-activator"

You apply it just like dry shampoo, which you can also use this product as, by spraying it into your roots from 30cm away then rub it in with your fingertips. I did this and I can't say that the results were utterly amazing but my hair did look a bit fuller in body but it didn't double in height which was what I wanted.

I can't say that it lasted very long either. Within about an hour I was back to square one again. I have read some other reviews on this product and some say that this is a miracle, some say it made no difference whatsoever and some say that this product worked better once backcombed after spraying it. Which kind of defeats the whole object of Backcomb Spray but I'll give it a try nonetheless.

Overall it made my hair look a bit fuller but not for very long. It can be used as a dry shampoo so it's a 2 in 1 product but I probably wouldn't re-purchase. The quest for volumised hair continues!

Review: ELF Lipstick in Sociable

Apologies for my all-over-the-place hair, I really should get in the habit of brushing it!
ELF Lipstick - £1.50
After my recent ELF haul I decided to give one of the lipsticks I bought a little try, thinking that for £1.50 it won't matter too much if I don't get on with them. The first lipstick I tried was Sociable.

Sociable is a vibrant, warm pink with a tiny bit of red in there for good measure. There's also a noticeable shimmer in there too but it isn't noticeable when it's on the lips. I didn't expect a lipstick that costs £1.50 to give such a wonderful, vibrant, opaque colour so I was really pleasantly surprised! Sociable was so, so, easy to apply. It glided on effortlessly and it doesn't show up any dry areas at all which is wonderful. I have to hold my hands up and say that I didn't expect this lipstick to be as good as it is. I found that it only lasted a couple of hours on the lips but it's nothing that another re-application won't fix.

Now with every plus there is a downfall and I have to say that every time I wind the lipstick up to use it I'm surprised that it doesn't snap in half. You can't expect too much for £1.50 packaging wise but it does remind me of the cheapy little lipsticks I used when I was about 6 where I'd end up smearing it all over my face in hope that it would make me look remotely cool! It also has vaguely the same synthetic smell but it's not strong enough to stop me from using it.
Overall I'm so pleased with this lipstick. I didn't have high hopes and yet I'm very pleasantly surprised! It's a lovely, vibrant colour that lasts a couple of hours and is very easy to apply. Yes the packaging is a bit flimsy and every time I wind the lipstick up I breathe a sigh of relief that it hasn't snapped in half but you can't expect too much for £1.50.

Review: BLEACH London Super Cool Colour Dye in Blullini

A few weeks ago I was in Boots with my friend Jemma complaining about how I wanted lavender coloured dip-dye. I've been uhmming and ahhing over it for a while now and finally bit the bullet to do it when I saw BLEACH London's Super Cool Colour Dye in Parma Violet's hair dye in BootsSo there I was, stood at the tills happy as larry with my Parma Violet's hair dye (temporary, mind) ready to get the hair I desired when I come to pay at the self-checkouts and oh, I cannot have this dye as it's been withdrawn from sale, despite it being on the shelves. Sob.

I was ready to bribe the shop assistant with money in return for her letting me have it anyway but obviously if it's been withdrawn then it's been withdrawn for a reason so I let it go. Instead I bought Blullini. In the bottle Blullini looks like the colour I desired, a lovely deep violet. Once on the hair for the desired length of time, I should be left with this gorgeous icy blue colour like in the photo above. Let's see how I got on!!

How I Did It
Before I started, I washed and shampooed my hair, like the bottle suggests, and then towel dried it. I towel dried it enough so it wasn't bone dry but it wasn't dripping down my shoulders either.
I then pulled on an old t-shirt, found an old towel, a plastic cup, a tint brush and some conditioner. (The bottle suggests you use some gloves to protect your skin but as we didn't have any and no-one was willing to go and buy me some I made do without.) After doing a patch test, I then squeezed half of Blullini into my plastic cup then squirted in some conditioner. This is where I went wrong.

Please, PLEASE, do not add conditioner to it. I read reviews before I did this to see if I should add some conditioner to dilute the colour. Some people said yes, some said no. I did it anyway but I really wish I hadn't. Basically, because of the conditioner I mixed in then slathered onto my hair, I realised that I hadn't actually mixed it in enough as my hair went PATCHY. Of course, if you do want to add conditioner then you can do but make sure you mix it in thoroughly. In hindsight I should have only done this if I were applying the dye all over as it wouldn't have been so harsh on the hair but as I was only applying it to the ends of my hair I really needn't have bothered.

Anyway, as I was saying I used my tint brush and tried to apply it as evenly as I could along the ends of my hair before sitting down for 15 minutes and letting it do it's magic. This is where I also found out that I have a cack hand.
After washing the dye out of my hair I was left with icy blue tones mixed with a hint of green. Where my blond ends were blonder in some places compared to the others I had very uneven hair. This is where the dye took to the white blond ends compared to the brassy ends where nothing changed. Next time I do this I will definitely use some purple shampoo for a week or so beforehand, just to make sure my hair is the same tone all over. The bottle does suggest that the dye does work better on bleached or light blonde hair so maybe I'll need to get my ends lightened a little to ensure that I get the most potential out of it.

It is a gorgeous colour I really, really like but when applied correctly it could look amazing.

Update: 2 Weeks Later
A terrible photo we'd all agree but this is how my hair is looking two weeks and roughly about 6/7 washes later. It is supposed to fade between 2-10 washes so I do hope that the green will fade soon. It's now become green with the odd strand of blue left in there to remind me of what it once was. It doesn't look so bad in this photo but my gosh, when I say my hair is green, I mean my hair is GREEN

I've read some posts written by other girls who all say that the green is a bit of a bitch to wash out. BLEACH London have responded to this by saying that their BLEACH London Washing Out Liquid will help with that (link here) but maybe I'll try real washing up liquid before I start spending. 

I imagine the green issue would be much more horrendous had I had this dye all over. Can you imagine?! As it is only the ends, and as it was patchy to begin with, I suppose I can live with the nuclear green. It's not so bad. Maybe I'll miss it when it all washes out. Although when the fourth person asked me if I dyed my hair green especially for Halloween I was ready to punch them in the teeth.

It's also worth noting that BLEACH London have an array of products out in Boots at the moment. Not only do they do their Super Cool Colour Dyes, they also do Bleaching Kits, Ombre Kits and Shampoos and Conditioners.

I will re-dye my hair with the rest of Blullini at some point. I also hope to give Rose and Awkward Peach a try too. Hopefully one day Parma Violets and I will be reunited again, I live in hope.

Review: ASDA Dry Shampoo

ASDA Dry Shampoo - £1.00
We all like a bit of dry shampoo, don't we? A big bottle of Batiste doesn't usually last me very long at all so imagine my surprise when I went to use a liberal spraying of Batiste Cherry on my head to find out that it was all gone. I went to ASDA to re-purchase a few bottles and, y'know, 'stock up' but when I did I found that ASDA have their own brand of dry shampoo and for £1 I decided to give it a little go.

There's not much to say about the packaging other than that it comes in a can with some nice blue swirls on it. First thing I noticed when I used it is the smell. It has a very strong, synthetic smell which lingers in the hair for a while. It's not a terrible smell but let me put it this way, if it were a perfume, I would not buy it.

When I used it on my gorgeously greasy, desperately in-need of a wash hair, I sprayed it liberally all over and brushed it out like you would any other dry shampoo. I found that it needed a few brushes to get all of it out and then I wasn't too happy with the results so I sprayed some more, brushed some more and alas, nice looking hair again!

For £1 I think that this is a good product. It's a dry shampoo and it works like one. It's not as nice as Batiste, I find that this is quite harsher than that and doesn't quite give as nice and soft results but it does the job nicely. Would I stop buying Batiste? No but it's a nice, cheap alternative.