Thursday, 20 April 2017

Three of my favourite clear top coats for nails

For years I've been dodging the top coat on nails because I'm lazy but actually it's time to admit that they really do make a difference to the longevity, and the appearance of a nail polish, let's face it we all want our polish to last for days and shine so much that we can see our reflection in them.  In addition, a good top coat will contain all sorts of ingredients to strengthen nails and protect them from splitting, you only have to check out the Sally Hansen aisle to see that there are a lot to choose from and they all do different things.

Today I've chosen three of my favourites to share with you, these are predominantly for shine but I find that they all leave my nails feeling stronger as well.





O.P.I RapiDry

First up is RapiDry, cool name huh?  I bought this from Duty Free at Gibraltar Airport last year, as I had euros burning a hole in my pocket and wanted to spend them on something so I checked out the nail polish aisle and found this.  What's great about this is that not only does it give a lovely shiny top coat to your nails, it's also very quick to dry (hence the name) so you don't have to sit with your fingers outstretched for ages not touching them or doing that flicky thing we do to 'air dry' them which is great for it you're in a hurry.  Anything from O.P.I. is going to be good though, right?  I would definitely buy this again.

Avon Gel Shine 

The Avon Gel Shine top coat is part of their Gel Shine range (although this is called Mark now having been recently re-branded).  The purpose of the gel shine top coat is to give the gel polishes that extra bit of shine and I can say that it really does!  The gel polishes by themselves are very good, giving a great shine without the top coat but it's worth popping a bit of top coat over it to give them that extra pazzazz and also it helps with the longevity, they last several days with no chips at all, it's also very hard wearing and doesn't chip easily but there's no problem taking it off with ordinary nail polish remover.  It's very reasonably priced as well and is very often on offer in the brochure and online so if you like it stock up when you see it on sale (I say that as a fully fledged Avon Rep).  It obviously works beautifully on the Avon Gel Shine polishes but I've used it on others and it does a great job.  So all in all a super product for a great price.  To check out the Avon Gel Shine on Avon please click here

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat

I got this as part of my Glossybox subscription last year.  I think I wrote about it at the time because on first look I was impressed with it and then when I used it I wasn't disappointed.  The Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy has got an unusual brush whereby the bristles are quite thin and they are arranged so that the liquid covers the edges of your nail then you brush inwards, thus covering the entire nail and not being blobbed in the middle which usually takes ages to dry and ends in only half the nail being covered an a shiny top coat whilst the rest of it sits their dull as dishwater.  Whilst this polish is designed to go on top of the ColorStay Gel polishes it does work well on other brands too.  


Lipstick Love ... Maybelline Babylips 'Peach Kiss'

Today I'm going to talk about about Maybelline Babylips, these little balms are not quite a lipstick, not quite a chapstick but a bit of both.  They've been out for a while now, the first one I got as part of my Glossybox subscription and I was so impressed I bought another.  I think Glossybox can be credited with quite a few of my recent beauty purchases, that's how I became obsessed with Kiko Milano products (another story ...).

Anyway, one of the reasons I am so impressed is that it does do what its supposed to do, that is, to make your lips feel soft like baby lips.  It is not not squidgy, sticky or over-glossy and it does feel like you're wearing a lipstick.  The Babylips balms give good colour and the packaging is cute and colourful.  It's great to shove in your pocket or handbag and I've even got one in the car for emergencies.

While we were in America over Easter I wore 'Peach Kiss' as it was a lovely colour and had SPF 20 included so both boxes ticked there.  It was very easy to reapply after drinking and eating as it was constantly in my pocket.  The other colour I've got is 'Cherry Me'  (see me wearing it in the photo below) which gives a lovely pinkish glow.  There's something to suit everyone as well because Maybelline have produced a variety of colours check out the Boots website, which shows all the colours and the price.

Maria
xx

Maybelline Babylips - Peach Kiss

Me wearing Cherry Me

Cherry Me






Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Primer Review - Kiko Milano and Avon Anew Vitale


Kiko Milano Radiant Boost Face Base

As I have something of an obsession with Kiko Milano at the moment it would be unfair not to mention this lovely primer Kiko Milano Radiant Boost Face Base which I clearly must like a lot as I’m on my second one of these (though the packaging has changed since the first one I got in 2015).  I bought this at the same time as I got the Kiko eye primer which I reviewed a little while back and I'm just as impressed with this one as I am with the eye primer.  This base is a slightly peach tone to it, so it is actually possible to use it as a base by itself without foundation as it leaves my skin quite a healthy colour.  Given the state of my skin however, however I rarely use it alone unless I'm on holiday as I do need a foundation and concealer to make me look human most of the time.  It's a thin but creamy consistency and sinks in straight away, it feels a bit more like a moisturiser than a primer.  The other excellent thing about it is that it's extremely reasonably priced, all Kiko products are amazing value (and beautifully packaged as well).   The website often has a sale on so it's worth checking that out to stock up on your favourites.

So that's Kiko covered, read on to find out more about Avon Anew Vitale.


Radiant Boost Face Base 

Avon Anew Vitale Visible Perfection


Avon ANEW Vitale Visible Perfection

I wasn't sure if this was an actual primer at first, Avon don't exactly market it as one, it's more of a skin-smoother-line-eraser type product, in fact it has the words "blurring treatment" on the front .  I absolutely love this product.   It smells glorious for a start and no matter how much attention my face is going to need it always gives an amazing base, smoothing over lines and pores, leaving a clear canvas on which to start painting.  It's in pretty pink packaging and, like all primers less is more otherwise you just end up with greasy skin.  It sinks in straight away so if you're in a hurry and you want to whack your foundation over the top then you are able to do that without worrying that it's going to slide off as soon as you walk out of the door.   It costs £12.00 which feels a bit steep at first but actually I think its worth it so I would definitely buy it again.  

For further details of the ANEW Vitale Visible Perfection please hop over to my online store http://www.avon.uk.com/store/beauty-aware where you find out more about the product and read other people's reviews too.

Hope you enjoyed this post, happy primer-ing!

Maria xx



Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Primer Reviews - Covergirl Tru Blend and Hard Candy Sheer Envy

Primer is one of those make up items that I can't do without now.   A couple of years ago I started wearing Pixi by Petra and really I haven't looked back.  What I've realised since then though, is that there are different primers for different looks.  Some are illuminating, some are matifiying, it all depends on what look you're after, and what make up you're going to put over the top.  I've managed to collect quite a few over the past couple of years and I do use them all regularly.  Primer is one of those products that doesn't have a particularly long life before it goes off, most of them are 12 months so it's not a something you can have in your make up collection and then not use for ages.


Covergirl Tru Blend

Covergirl Tru Blend is part of the extensive Covergirl range. I discovered Tru Blend last year when visiting the USA.  Covergirl products are not available in the UK (although they used to be) which I find really annoying because I have many, many Covergirl favourites but let's not get me started on that.  Back to the primer.  It's completely odourless, by that I mean that it hasn't got any particular fragrant smell to it like some products have.  The packaging is great, compact and with a tight fitting top so if you put it in your bag it won't squidge everywhere.  It's easy to get exactly the right amount of primer as well because of the handy squeezy tube type nozzle, it's impossible to get too much out at one which means less is wasted, essential for those of us who have to travel half way round the world to get it when it runs out (not that I need an excuse to go to the States once a year).  I find this sinks in straight away and leaves my skin smooth with a very slight matte finish.  Unlike some other primers I don't feel like it's clogging my skin up either which is good because to get a natural finish we want to look like our skin can breathe, which it can't when your pores are bunged up with gloop.  Foundation and concealer are easily applied over the top and the finish lasts all day.  I would definitely buy this again.



Covergirl Tru Blend Primer for Dry Skin



Hard Candy Sheer Envy Perfecting Primer


This is another one I snapped up in Walgreens.  I wasn't entirely sure who Hard Candy were to be honest as I didn't have any of their products in my make up collection but it is an attractive packaging, girlie pink with hearts which is sweet.  This primer is clear and a slightly thicker consistency to that of the Covergirl Tru.  The purpose of the Hard Candy primer is to minimize lines and pores for a smooth finish.  I use this one sparingly because like I said it is quite thick and if you use too much it can leave your skin feeling heavy and a little bit greasy.  It does give a great base though and foundation is easy to apply over the top, particularly if applying foundation using a brush it just covers perfectly.  It does minimise lines as well (I have a few!).  I've just realised that I must really like it because there's not much left so it's going on my shopping list for my next visit to Walgreens!  I also think the packaging is pretty though really that's not relevant to how the product fares on my face but you know, if you're a packaging person these things are all part of it!


Hard Candy Sheer Envy Perfecting Primer

These are just two of my favourites at the moment, there are a couple more but I'll review them on a different post.  Would love to hear what your primer favourites are, I'm always up for trying a new product!

Maria xx


Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Glossybox Files - Part 1

I've really been dithering over whether to keep my Glossybox subscription recently.  I just couldn't decide whether it was worth buying anymore.  Not because I don't like it but because life has got in the way for the past few months and I've barely opened any of the boxes and it seems such a waste.  Thing is, I've had some really good finds from Glossybox, for example I didn't know about Kiko Milano until I had an eye pencil in the box and now I've got loads of Kiko products and I absolutely love them.  Same with eyelash primer, (Manna Kadar) I'd never have tried that if it hadn't been in one of the boxes.  

After much dithering I've decided to keep it for another few months and really make an effort to put some time aside to look at the goodies and try them out.  I've also decided to start a mix and match series so rather than post a run down of what's in the box before I've tried it I'll do a review of some of my favourite products from a variety of the boxes, this should make it more fun and I'll be talking about things I've actually tried rather than giving run down of what's in the box and looking at a lipstick or blusher that I know isn't going to suit me, because what can you say about that?  This is a lovely blusher but it's way too coral and I'll look like a clown.  See what I mean? 

Anyway, that's the plan with Glossybox and I'm glad I've decided what to do because it was really bothering me.  Keep an eye out for the Glossybox Files!



Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Kiko Milano Eye Base Primer


Today I'm going to talk about one of the best eye primers I've tried. 

Introducing ... ta da ... Kiko Milano Eye Base Primer!

I discovered this a couple of years ago, around the time I discovered the Kiko Milano brand on a trip to London.  I bought a few things on that trip, an eye shadow, two kohl pencils and a face base primer (which I loved so much I'm on my second one now). 

Kiko are one of my favourite brands and this product is one I will always replace because it is just SO good.  I've had mixed results with eye bases, some are the wrong colour, some I find greasy and one I really loved (Clarins) changed slightly and was never as good as the first one (boo hoo Clarins!) so I stopped buying that.  Eye base does help my eye shadow to stay put for longer and it helps with blending, I don't feel like the brush is dragging across my eyelids.  It also stops all that pesky creasing, particularly on cream based shadows which, by their sheer nature, have a tendency to sit in eyelid creases. 

There are two bases to choose from, Pearly and Neutral Eye Base.  I use the neutral one as I find it gives a smoother finish and suits the natural colour of my eyelids but pearly is pretty too.  These bases cost £7.90 which is a most excellent price for such a product, proof that you don't have to have an expensive product for it to have pride of place in your make up bag! 

Kiko Milano have shops all over, definitely in Manchester and London as I've been to both but on the website there is a list of stores you can check out.  If there's not one near you, the online store is really good, I've ordered several items online and have been really pleased with everything I've bought.

Below is the link to the base on the Kiko website
Eye Base Primer

Maria xx

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Positive Goals for 2017


Happy New Year everybody!  

I had such high hopes for December, I was going to do one post per day, my content was going to be fabulous, gift ideas, make up looks, last minute present ideas, another Lipstick Love post as well as a post about my pre-Christmas trip to London.  Unfortunately the madness of December took over and I managed to publish precisely zero blog posts.  Yes, that’s right.  None.  To be fair some of them are still sitting in my Drafts folder in a very basic format waiting to be properly written, alas this was as far as I got.

As it’s now 2017 obviously I started thinking about resolutions just like everyone else but then I thought I prefer the word Goals to Resolutions.  For a start I always manage to break my resolutions but it occurred to me that I might just stick to a goal, it’s something to work towards isn’t it?  I also think it’s a nicer word!  So I bought myself a brand new pink Pukka Pad Project book (any excuse to buy new stationery) and started writing.  Here are some of my 2017 goals.


Goal 1Grow my Avon business
Goal 2Get rid of all the shoes I don’t wear (particularly the ones that rub my feet!)
Goal 3Sort out my utility/laundry room
Goal 4Lose half a stone and increase my pilates classes
Goal 5Read all the links I’ve saved on Facebook (saved to read later but never did)
Goal 6Increase traffic to my blog
Goal 7Start to research my e-book
Goal 8Start a Newsletter (need to get to grips with MailChimp)

They are a mixture of personal and business and blog goals.  I nearly put “stop shouting at the kids” but given that they drive me nuts daily I suspect this will not last so I’m not writing it down!  The e-book is something I have been thinking about for over a year and this year I’ve decided to start to research how to go about it.  If I manage to do that then I’ll extend the goal to start the actual writing but let’s not bite off more than we can chew, after all it’s only the third day of January.  I want to lose half a stone so that my clothes feel comfortable and I want to increase my pilates classes to three as it really helps my hamstrings and my tense shoulders.  I also really want to read all those links I’ve saved.  How often to you scroll through FB and come across a great article or post and click “save to read later” and then never get round to reading them?  To be fair, Facebook does periodically ping up a reminder telling me what I’ve saved so I really should take notice of it.

All in all, I’m pretty sure these goals are at least fairly attainable and that I won’t get to the end of January and give up thinking “what were you on when you decided this?”.  One goal that’s not on there is to be more organised but thinking about it I will have to be organised to do all of this alongside all the other daily demands so it pretty much goes without saying.
I'd love to know what your goals are, I'll let you know how I'm getting on half way through the year.