Friday, 28 March 2014

Essie No Chips Ahead top coat

I know this isn't the most exciting post I could do, but I've been looking for a new top coat for ages! As I've said before in other posts, I really love Nails Inc and their Kensington Caviar top coat has long been a favourite of mine. The main reason is its super quick drying formula - I love the fact that I can get on with my day just a few minutes after painting my nails.

This Essie No Chips Ahead top coat doesn't dry nearly as quickly - something I've had to adapt to! However it really works.. My nails are very dry and brittle so usually nail polish chips off very quickly. I definitely noticed they lasted longer after using Essie's top coat. 

So glad I found another winner.

Hopefully my next post won't be so far away as the last one - I've been getting an earlier train to work, which means I've had to put my makeup on during my morning commute rather than writing my posts. 

Xx Alice xX

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

& Other Stories - Cleanse and tone treat, Gauzy night cream

I said I went a bit mad in & Other Stories, so here's part II of what I bought..

I've been looking for a new cleanser for a while, having reached the end of my Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean cleanser. I really liked the S&G one - the smell is divine and it was nice and creamy for the cold weather, without being too greasy on my combination skin. However I wanted to try a new brand, so naturally when I saw the range at & Other Stories I had to get some.

I chose the Cleanse and Tone Treat, which at £5 seemed a little too good to be true. You need to put it on a cotton pad and wipe it over your face - I always rinse after as it doesn't feel like cleansing without water! The effect is good - my skin feels fresh, and it smells really nice. However don't believe the claims that it takes off makeup - or rather it does, but only after 4-5 wipes! So I use Bioderma or an oil to remove makeup first and then use the cleanser. 

The other skincare product I bought was Gauzy night cream, as again I have reached the end of my Nivea night cream and wanted to branch out. This is really nice, quite thick but not greasy with a light, pleasant fragrance. 

The whole range are travel/gym bag sizes, which is good too as I'm trying to get myself in the gym a bit more. I would definitely buy more in the & Other Stories range - although quite cheap they don't feel or look it. The primer in particular looks appealing.. 

Xx Alice xX

Monday, 17 March 2014

& other stories - Tartarin Orange

Wow I LOVE this!! 

Sorry I just had to get that out. I went shopping on the weekend and stumbled across & Other Stories on Regent Street. Having heard great things about this shop I had to go in, and I admit I went a bit mad.. (More on the other products at another time - I haven't tested them properly yet)

From a nail perspective I picked up Tartarin Orange because orange is quite big atm and it was a colour my collection was sorely lacking. 

After tidying up my cuticles and applying a base coat of Sally Hansen nail strengthener (yup still persevering!) I went to open my new polish. For such a tiny bottle it really has the most unnecessary amount of packaging! Stickers covering plastic with nail ruining tightness - I had to use my cuticle cutters to get into it! 
Once I got in though I loved this polish. The brush was that nice flat/fat one I raved about on the No7 polishes. The colour is so bright, shiny and dries quickly. I put on 2 coats initially but then went back later with a third as it wasn't quite opaque. 
It has lasted me 2 days so far which is great (for me!). Very spring, I totally love this and can't wait to get more colours! 

Xx Alice xX

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Deborah Lippmann - Marnie

After the disappointment of Jessa I thought it was only fair to try out the other colours. This time I chose Marnie, the pale pink one.

This is much more up my street colour wise, and the application was much smoother. I only needed 2 coats for an opaque coverage, and it looks less streaky than the red. 

I really like how quickly this polish dries. It also seems fairly resistant to chipping, which is a big plus. 

So well done Marnie - you've recovered what seemed like a big fail a few days ago. 

On another note, how amazing is this weather?! I'm currently sitting outside the Tower of London by the river and it is gorgeous. Is summer finally on its way?!

Xx Alice xX 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Deborah Lippmann - Girls

My super amazing Selfridges buy is at last being revealed..... That's right, it's the Girls special edition varnishes by Deborah Lippmann!

Now I've been so excited to try these since I first saw them advertised, and the colours all seem to be something I'd like to wear (don't you hate buying a pack and having one you really would never touch but don't feel like you can just throw it away?!) 

The box is really cute and I like the shape of the bottles too. I decided to try Jessa, which is the red one, as I haven't worn red in a while and it looks so gorgeously vampy. 

But I have to say I feel slightly disappointed. The application is not great - the consistency seems very thin and watery, so that the layers go on quite streaky. It took 3/4 layers to get it looking even. I don't know if this is normal for Deborah Lippmann polishes but I don't really like that personally. The thinness also meant it bled into my cuticles on almost every nail which is annoying. 

On the positive side, it dried amazingly fast so you don't have to hang around long between coats. I like the colour - it's exactly how I thought it would look from the bottle. 

Sadly I wasn't as wowed as I had hoped. Maybe when I try a lighter colour it will work out better for me.

Have a great weekend!

Xx Alice xX

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Pancake time!

Ok so this has nothing to do with nails whatsoever except that it meant I didn't have time last night to paint mine! 

Pancake day crept up on me big time this year - I only realised it was yesterday when I heard a woman talking about it on the train whilst on my way to work. Where's the year gone?! Seriously, it's March already?! You know what that means though.. Spring and sunshine and no more frost (you wouldn't believe it walking outside this morning though).

So we made ours from scratch and they turned out pretty well! I had 2 cheese and tomato, one Nutella and one sugar and lemon. In all my 24 years I'd never tried sugar and lemon pancakes! It was a revelation. So much so that I've made a couple to have as a snack at work today. I'm hoping they won't be too soggy!

Hope you all had a lovely pancake day.

I promise to get back to nails tomorrow 😄 

Xx Alice xX

Monday, 3 March 2014

Essie Sleek Stick nail stickers

Happy Monday!

As promised, I did try out the Essie nail stickers this weekend. They are a really nice colour, and definitely added something to my going-out outfit this weekend. 

But how easy were they to do?

Well I started by taking out everything from the packet and reading the (very short!) instructions.

Step 1: choose the right sized sticker.
Now here I had some issues. My fingers are very small and none of the stickers were a perfect fit. 

Step 2: stick on nail. Ok, easy enough! The first couple of nails creased up quite a bit before I got the hang of how to smooth them down. 
Also as you can see the stickers are huge! So I had to cut the ends off to do them properly. 

Step 3: fold over the ends and file off the excess. Again, this was a lot easier than I had anticipated. I didn't fold them completely over as my nails are a bit small to do this easily but the filing worked anyway. 
Step 4: repeat on all nails!
This picture is of my first hand, but the second hand was a lot better - practice really helps with these! Next time I feel they will look nicer. 

So my overall verdict:
    Timing: 9/10 - doing nail stickers is so quick! I was done in about 20 minutes, and you don't need to include drying time. 
    Finish: 6/10 - the stickers were too big on a couple of my nails, so I should've cut them before putting them on. I do think it would be good if Essie did different sizes because I don't believe I'm the only one with small hands! 
    Difficulty: 8/10 - I was surprised at how easy these were to do! I got better with practice and even the left hand wasn't hard. 

One other observation: don't wash your hair after applying the stickers! Water makes them loose, and they will peel off. Not so long lasting after all.. 

Xx Alice xX