Wednesday, May 25, 2016

5 Ways : Quick and easy nail art

I’ve never been the type to go and get my nails done at the salon every month – I just don’t have the money to indulge. But there’s nothing I love more than sitting back and giving myself a manicure.  I watch amazing videos on Instagram that inspire me to try out some nail art, but I’ve not got the skills to paint Mona Lisa on my pinky. These girls are just too good! 

I’ll never have the ability to do absolutely amazing nail art like that, but there’s no reason I can’t try other ways to create amazing nail art. Here’s my top 5 ways to create amazing nail art without needed mad skills.

Decals are one of the easiest ways to get gorgeous works of art on your nails with next to no effort. They come in a range of shapes, sizes and designs and you can pick them up really cheaply off ebay. You just paint your nails as normal, then select the decal you want to use, and let it soak in some water to remove its paper back (much like the temporary tattoos you got in bubble gum as a kid!) I apply a thin layer of clear polish to my nail and using tweezers, place the decal in the place that I want it. I’ll then lock this in with another layer of clear polish. How easy was that? 

Nail Wraps 
Another super easy one, which takes even less time. Nail wraps are basically thin films of sticky back plastic you shove on your nails. I’ve got a tonne of these in my cupboard for when I’m feeling fancy. It creates a mani that looks like it took a lot of effort, when in fact it took no time at all. Like stick on nails, you choose the best size for each finger, peel off the paper backing and smooth it on the nail, making sure you’ve got no air bubbles underneath. File off any overhang  - I find filing downwards creates the smoothest edge and makes the wrap stay on the nails for much longer. I generally finish this off with a top coat just to seal off any areas where the wrap might lift. These don’t last more than 4-5 days, but while they’re on they look great, and they’re really easy to get off too. 

Nail Stamps

Nail stamps are a fun an easy way to do really high quality nail art quickly and easily. It definitely takes some practice to get right. I had to experiment with a few different types of polish to get it to work, but my favourite are metallic shades. Layered ontop of any normal polish, these stamps can be used for any occasions. I've got plates with floral designs, seasonal designs, Aztec designs - you name it there's a stamping plate for it. All you do is paint over the design you want on the plate, scrape away any excess with the scraper, pick it up with the stamper and roll over your chosen nail. The design transfers perfectly onto your nail. 

Bling Bling.

Bling is one of the easiest ways to make it look like you've made massive effort and is super easy to do. These wheels can be picked up on ebay for 99p, and are filled with diamante, stars, tear drops - you can create little works of art easily using these, I like to use a few on an accent nail here or there, but you could go all out and completely cover your nails with them. They stick on really easily with a clear coat of polish, and finish it off with a coat of clear polish to secure everything in, One of my tricks is to get a tiny bit of blu tack on the end of a tooth pick or something pointy, this helps you to pick up and position the tiny little buggers, because they can be a little bit fiddly!

Brush & Dotting Tools
Last but not least is this brush and dotting tool. I like to experiment with this - I picked this particular tool up from Avon. The brush on one end us super fine so you can create some really detailed designs, or some cute squiggles if that's what you fancy, The dotting side is my favourite, It creates clean, perfectly shaped dots and you can control how big or small you want to go with it too. Effortless,

Do you have any tricks for easy nail art? Let me know, I'll try them out!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Losing my MAC lipstick virginity

Hi, my names Emma, I'm 26 and I'm a MAC lipstick virgin.

Am I even qualified to be a beauty blogger after a statement like that?! I joke, I joke...

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'll know I've been dabbling in more higher end makeup here and there, and I believe I may have started a new, rather expensive habit with MAC lipsticks.

I'm a drugstore girl at heart, and held off buying a lipstick from MAC because to me, I could by 2 or 3 from a brand like Rimmel for the same price, so what justifies the £15 price tag? Is it just for the brand name? The nice packaging? Or is the product inside the tube actually worth spending that little bit extra on? I decided that it was time to find out.

And no, I get it. Yes, MAC is a cult brand that every one loves, and YES the packaging is that much sleeker than drugstore brands, but more importantly, the quality is that much better that I finally get it.

I played it safe with shades and opted for Brave, Mehr and Amourous, all colours that would be easy for me to wear, nothing too out there.

My favourite of the 3 has to be Mehr, which is a matte formula. This seemed like a risk to me - I'm a regular sufferer of dry and chapped lips, but I was blown away with how moisturising and nice this felt on my lips. Its a nudey - pink with what I'd call browny under tones. It is a longer lasting formula than the other shades, but even when it begins to fade its not patchy or uneven, making it sooo easy to wear.

Next up is Brave, known to be a Kylie Jenner fave. Brave has a gorgeous satin finish, pinky nude, and is one of them shades I wouldn't be scared to shove on without a mirror. Application is simple, straight from the bullet it glides on with ease, and you can sheer out or build up the colour if you want too.

That's something I like to do with the Amorous Lipstick, sheer this out to give a slightly just bitten tint to the lips. Amorous is also a satin finish, and is a much more plumier pink compared to the other two. This built up can be quite a bold colour (for me anyway!), and like the others, moisturises the lips beautifully.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm only going to be going to MAC my lipsticks from now on, but I do think I'll build up my collection and branch out to some more varied shades, rather than playing it safe like I have with these 3.

What's your favourite MAC lipstick?
What should I try next?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Review : L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is near enough a daily essential for me, especially when the weather gets warmer and the air more humid. 
I’ve never been a lover of the Batiste range, so I’m always on the lookout for what other brands have to offer. 

This is one of the nicest dry shampoos I’ve found – the scent is powdery, fresh and clean, one of my favourite scents. 

Without adding any excess residue or white cast off, this dry shampoo is great at reducing oils at the root as well as adding volume and texture, it’s like a good hair day in a bottle. 

L’oreal isn’t a brand I reach for when it comes to hair styling products – I go more for VO5 etc, but the more I try from their haircare section, the more I love it! 

Whilst testing this out, I also picked up the shampoo and conditioner to go with it. It smelt the same, but overall it didn’t work for me. It’d work great for people with especially oily hair, as it strips any oils away to leave you with a super clean feeling underneath. For normal hair, I found this abit too stripping, and it dried my hair out a little after frequent use. 

Have you tried out anything from this range?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tried & Tested : Revlon All In One Mascara

 Revlon All in one Mascara : £9.99

This mascara was an eye opener for me (no pun intended) in that first impressions don't always last. When I first tried this out I loved everything about it. The formula was great, it gave great length, great volume and hold, whilst the brush was the perfect shape and size to maneuver round even the smallest of lashes. But within just a couple of weeks, all that changed!

By 10am on a work day, my eyes would start stinging. Initially, I blamed hay fever, only to look in the mirror and see that the mascara had flaked off all over my cheeks, had gone in my eyes and look downright awful. How annoying! I understand that over time formulas can change, but I didn't expect this much of a change within 2 weeks of using the product.

I'm glad I gave this a thorough try before I raved about initially, because now I've learnt that this mascara just isn't for me.

Have you tried any of the Mascaras from the recent Revlon launch? What did you think of them?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Speedy Blow Dry Products!

I've never got the time or effort to dry and style my hair - I'd much rather have the extra 20 minutes in bed. But sometimes I don't fancy scraping my hair back for the 5th time in the week, so anything that helps my hair dry that little bit quicker always finds it way straight into my basket.

Using quick blow dry products isn't something I do every time I blow dry my hair - surely that can't be good for your hair - but when I'm looking for a quick fix, these two products are the ones I always turn too.

One I've been using for years now is the Tigi Bed Head Glaze Haze. I absolutely love the candy fixations range from Tigi - they all smell delicious. This product not only speeds up drying time, but it smooths hair and adds a gorgeous shine with weighing it down or making it feel greasy. I do have abit of frizz through the lengths of my hair and this completely eliminates that. Looking at the ingredients, it's got oils, proteins and keratin in it - all things that my hair loves.

One 5p sized pump is perfect for my hair. I smooth it on over damp hair and blow dry away. I'd say it reduces blow drying time by about a 3rd, and its other benefits leave the hair feeling great, too!

A recent find for me has been the Mark Hill Perfecting Blow Dry Spray. This product provides an even quicker blow drying time - perfect for them times when you are in a super rush.

This is a lightweight aerosol spray, so it is much easier to evenly distribute the product through your hair. I've never tried many Mark Hill products before and its scent is quite distinctive - almost masculine which I'm not overly in love with, but I can live with it.

The speed my hair dries after using this products is insane. It adds some texture and grit to the hair too - I feel like everyday use would definitely dry out your hair.  If you're looking to create a smooth and sleek look, I wouldn't go for this either, but if you're going for a fuller, thicker and more textured look, this is a winner every time.

Have you got any more recommendations for quick blow drying? Any tips or tricks? I'd love to hear them! 

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