Friday, 28 March 2014

OPI Mod About You

OPI Mod About You is a shade I've seen so much love for over the past few years from other bloggers but I had never really looked into until more recently. Thinking about it, even though I have a few OPI shades, it's not a brand I've gotten a great deal from even though I have loved the purchases I have made so far. Maybe it's because I like seeing nail colours in person and OPI generally is not as easily accessible locally to me.

Mod About You is a gorgeous, very slightly lavender toned baby pink shade that has good coverage with complete opacity in 2 coats. I like the consistency as it's not tippex like or a thick formula which is something I find on occasion with paler shades.

It's a lovely spring shade and I'm starting to get why it's a favourite.

I purchased this from Ulta (when abroad).

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Replacement Eye Lash Curler Pads for my Shu Uemura Curler

I love my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, these are my 2nd repurchase, but I didn't really want to fork out for replacing them again when the pads got worn. You only get one extra pad with Shu so I searched around for some replacement pads and came across these ones by Seki Edge.

They come in a pack of 4 and are silicone rubber pads that are crafted in Japan and are very similar quality to the Shu ones. Size wise they are labelled on the pack as 35mm length and putting them next to the Shu the size is exactly the same. The only difference I can tell is the top of the Seki Edge pad is a tiny fraction more curved than the Shu. Performance wise they feel virtually the same to me and I like that they are white so I can see better when they need cleaning and replacing.

Placed inside my Shu Uemura curlers

I don't like the thought of throwing away my curlers when I run out of pads so these are a much more budget friendly alternative at around £2.50 for the pack.

I bought these from Amazon:


Monday, 24 March 2014

Skin & Body Care Supplies from Naturally Thinking

A while back when I wanted to purchase Jojoba oil and some empty bottles to decant skin and body products into, I came across Naturally Thinking, an essential oil, aromatherapy and spa bodycare product site that stocks a wide range of oils, cosmetic bases, packaging and ready-made skin and body products. There is a lot of information on the site, as well as thorough details on the product pages of base components, origins etc so it's a great place if you're looking to concoct your own creations.

What I love about this site is that many of the oils and base products come in different size options and at reasonable prices so it works out quite cost effective, especially if you are buying the large sizes.  Here's what I purchased:

Rose Pure Organic Floral Water
I adore rose products so I bought this to mix with powder based masks and to use as an all round toner and refresher. Naturally Thinking source the roses from the Bulgarian Valley of the Roses, and is 100% pure with no preservatives or alcohol added.  This is the 1 litre size which was £10, which I think is a bargain.

SLS Free Shower Gel
This is one of the bodycare bases and is a simple mild shower gel that you can add your own essential oils to suit your mood. Again this is the 1 litre size and was £10.

Naturally Thinking also have a huge array of packaging, from glass, aluminium and plastic bottles and jars to foamer bottles and different closures from only a few pence. It's worth noting that you have to purchase the lids/caps/atomisers separately as there are different options for each bottle/jar. 
I bought a little plastic atomiser spray bottle to decant the rose water for spritzing on the go and a larger aluminium one to keep around the house.
There's no minimum order but there is a postage charge for delivery which is £3.95 for mainland UK (free over £80) although if you're local you can collect for free from their stores. They offer shipping to outside of the UK as well.

I've purchased a couple of times from them now and I've been very happy with the service and quality of the products (their Organic golden, cold-pressed Jojoba oil is gorgeous!) so I'd definitely recommend checking them out.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Move Over Seche Vite! Dior wins the Top Coat Crown

Brand new on left, the last drops on right (hence the pinkish tone from polish colour)

A fast drying topcoat is a must-have in my manicure arsenal and for quite a while Seche Vite was my go-to, but I think my SV days are well and truly behind me now since discovering Dior's Top Coat Abricot.

In the past I've had the old incarnation of this topcoat but Dior's manicure offerings have had a makeover since then so I was eager to try their revamped line. I purchased this last September from duty-free and I have just finished it now so it was well overdue a rave.

As with all Dior's polishes, this comes in an elegantly packaged bottle with the removable cap, and the same type of brush as the colour products. The consistency is medium so it glides over the nail well (almost feels a tiny bit gel like), smoothing any slight imperfections in the polish (which is handy if I've used a less-than perfect formula underneath).

It would get a little annoying when halfway through a bottle of Seche Vite the consistency would become gloopy but as the formula is forgiving I would still persist in using it until I really could not make it work which was usually when it came to the last 1/4. Having used a few fast dry topcoats it seems to be the norm for the formula to thicken up.
The Dior is no exception, but it doesn't get completely gloopy like Seche Vite so even though the formula did thicken up I was able to use up all of it where as with other brands I would throw them away when I still had 1/4 bottle left.


Dries fast
Shiny finish
Slightly smooths finish of manicure
Prolongs manicure wear (I get much better wear with this than any other topcoat I've used)
Peeling minimal (depends on the polish but it seems the really thick formulas are more likely to peel. Peeling was an issue I had with SV).
Formula does not get gloopy


Not super-duper shiny like Seche Vite
Expensive at £18 (although Escentual seem to stock it for considerably less)

I've already bought a replacement and a back-up for this from Escentual, so I think I'll be good on the topcoat front this year!

Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Heptane, Nitrocellulose, Acrylates / Dimethicone Copolymer, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Benzophenone-3, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Welcome Relief for Hands - La Roche Posay Cicaplast Mains

La Roche Posay is one of those no nonsense French pharmacy brands that seems to do exactly what they say on the pack. One of their newer product offerings, the Cicaplast Mains cream is no exception and my forever dry hands could not be more grateful! I've encountered some quite lovely, fragrant hand creams that are generally okay but many do not seem to hold up well and require frequent reapplication. LRP truly functions as a does-all saviour as it's light, non-greasy, and has no discernible fragrance.

As you can see it's a kind of clear-ish balmy cream texture that sinks in quickly without a trace.

The formula is hardworking as this has 30% concentration of glycerine to give a more lasting soothing effect. It also includes 4% Niacinamide which provides an antihistamine effect and helps to reduce inflammation and cracking.

Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Glycol, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sodium Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol.

Overall super effective and a snip at £6.50 for 50ml as only a little is needed due to the concentrated formula.

I bought this from Escentual where they currently have up to a third off French pharmacy brands throughout March.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

NARS Sheer Glow in Barcelona

My first post back is a review of a much loved product - NARS Sheer Glow foundation. This initially came onto my radar years ago when Lollipop26 (now Buy Now Blog Later) raved about it on her blog/youtube channel.

I have been using this for a while now (I've just finished my bottle) and have to say that for me this foundation has definitely lived up to the hype.

I had this applied on counter - Sheer Glow on one side and Sheer Matte on other and went away to see how they both looked later on that day. At first I preferred how Sheer Matte looked, but it was actually the Sheer Glow that wore better as the day progressed so a while later I purchased this in Barcelona.

I find Barcelona to be a perfect shade as it's got a good yellow tone that's really great for evening out the skin and toning down any redness (which I have from old acne marks).

The texture is a runny liquid, so for a me a foundation brush is the best method of applying; my favourite brushes to use with this are Lancome's foundation brush, Ruby and Millie foundation brush, Louise Young LY34 and the MAC 159 (a fab brush for a more airbrushed look).

Application is smooth, and blends into a natural finish that's not matte but has a very tiny amount of radiance. The coverage is medium (not sheer as the name may suggest) and buildable which I like as I prefer better coverage. Even though it's not quite full coverage (as some of my darker marks show through a little), it's one of those bases where I don't feel the need to use a concealer afterwards, so often I skip it, and sometimes I skip the powder too.

Another thing I like is that the better coverage doesn't make the finish look flat; if you've used something like Makeup Forever HD or Laura Mercier Silk Creme (both of which I quite liked), they do not enliven the skin as much so I compensate by using more radiance powders and bronzers to lift the finish.

Bare-faced on the left (just moisturiser), Sheer Glow applied on the right.

This definitely is my go-to when I want a more flawless look that doesn't oxidise (I hate it when bases turn orange) and I've worn it day-to-day, going out and is my default base for special occasions.

Overall a great, fail-safe option, which I'm now missing since finishing about a week ago.

Back to Blogging

I have been absent from blogging for almost a year (how time flies!), a small break turning into a much longer absence. I had not intended to neglect my blog for so long and I have certainly missed posting so am attempting to restart things and have had a little layout refresh (which I don't think I'm done tweaking with just yet).

In my blog silence I've used up quite a few products that I will be reviewing in the weeks to come and have plenty of newness to share so I'm hoping to get those posts up as well.