Sunday, 14 August 2016

The fuss free gel manicure - Essie gel couture

The fuss free gel manicure - Essie gel couture
LtoR: Stitch by stitch, Touch up, Take me to thread, Signature smile, Model citizen, Sit me in the front row, Nail topcoat gel couture

I've recently found myself getting back into nail polish, and whilst enjoying my original beauty obsession I've been on the search for a formula that doesn't chip or peel after just a few days - please tell me I'm not the only one who can sit there and peel once you see the polish lift a little? So on my search I came across the newly released Essie gel couture range, and as a fan of gel polish I couldn't wait to try them and see how they compare to the real deal!

Now I will admit being a fan of gel nails I was yet to come across a at-home nail polish that really lived up to the real deal, well that was until I tried this range...

The Essie gel couture range is an extravagantly sophisticated collection, complete with 25 brand new colours that promise up to 12 days wear - without the need for a base coat or LED light - applied in an easy 2-step system. Apply two coats to bare nails and then apply the specialised, quick-drying top coat to lock in the couture manicure for a gel-like manicure, without the hassle of curing and the painfully long soak-off removal. 

The application is a dream, all you need is two coats of colour and one of the top coat and you're good to go. The brush makes application so much simpler, the wider, flatter shape helps to create the perfectly curved salon like cuticle line, and three strokes are all that's needed to fill the nail. 

I have to admit I was a little skeptical after hearing the 12 day wear claim, as many on the high street seem to offer this but I can never get more than five days wear out of them, easily making them comparable to just normal nail polish. However I have really put these polishes to the test, with the shades lasting more than the advertised 12 days and easily up to 14 days without chipping or lifting - which is amazing! Especially as they kept the shine throughout without the need for any additional top coats, the only type of wear to the nails was at the tip, just a faint line - if you know what I mean. What's better? The fact that you can just use a regular nail polish remover and you're ready for a fresh mani, making the perfect fuss free gel manicure!

The shade range is absolutely amazing, and after trying several shades I am yet to come across one that doesn't deliver. I don't know about you but as much as I love Essie I have come across a couple of shades that are streaky, chip quickly and to be honest a bit of a let down. However this isn't the case with the gel couture range, the only thing I have come across is a couple of the shades requiring three coats, but all still live up to the 12 days wear. 

I couldn't do this review without talking about the new shaped bottle, which is just so cute! A bugger to store amongst other nail polishes, but I love the twist on the regular bottle, and even the brush wand is twisted, which I find helps keep dripping nail polish at bay. 

Overall Essie have done it again, their range of gel polishes definitely stand out amongst the rest and considering I've tried a fair few these definitely come out on top. These retail for £9.99 but if you're lucky Boots and Superdrug are offering these for buy one get one half price which is the perfect way to try a shape with the top coat for less than you'd pay for a salon gel manicure - but with the same flawless finish that you'd expect!

Have you tried any of the Essie gel couture range? I'd love to know which shades your recommend!



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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Finding the perfect sunglasses with Vision Direct #MyFaceShapeIs


For as long as I can remember I have always loved accessories, probably more than clothes with mountains of shoes, bags and even sunglasses piling up in my bedroom! Whilst I'm always buying countless pairs of sunglasses come spring, I often find myself toying with different shapes and styles to find a shape that suits my face best, because lets be honest there's nothing worse than buying a pair of sunglasses to find that the style is very unflattering. 

When the lovely folks over at Vision Direct got in touch to let me know about their #MyFaceShapeIs campaign I couldn't wait to get involved. As someone who is guilty of sporting a pair of sunglasses come the slightest hint of sunshine, I know how important it is to choose a style that will compliment your face.

Vision Direct have set up an interactive page to help you determine the perfect pair of sunglasses to suit your style and face shape, and once you've been matched to a style there's even a 20% discount code included - so it's definitely worth taking a look whilst we enjoy the last couple of months of summer!

Naturally I had to check to see what style of sunglasses would suit my face shape, and as someone with an oval face I'm apparently quite lucky when it comes to choosing sunglasses because most of the shapes and styles suit - including round, aviator and cat-eye styles. I have to admit I had never really thought about my face shape before, so it was great to see which category it fell into and finding out which shaped sunglasses suit my frame. 

I opted for the American Freshman Plastic and Metal Combination Sunglasses in black, orange and gunmetal (£27.99). I wore these round London last weekend and they are just so comfortable and stylish, there is something about the retro style that I absolutely love and think really flatters my face shape. 

I'd love to know what face shape you fall under, and don't forget to check out #myfaceshapeis on Instragram!

*Sponsored Post
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Flawless brows with Benefit Cosmetics

LtoR: Benefit Cosmetics Ka-Brow, Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof brow pencil, Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, my brow eyebrow pencil, Benefit Cosmetics ready, set, BROW! Clear brow gel

I think it's safe to say that over the past couple of years my brow routine has significantly changed, gone are the days of self plucking, and trying to fill them in with no idea what I was doing and now I find myself spending more time filling my brows in then anything else and regularly visiting my trusty Benefit brow bar for regular waxes and tints.  

When it comes to brow products, Benefit Cosmetics have always been one of my go to brands as let's face it they have been focusing on brows for long enough - they first launched in 1976 - and to be honest I've yet to come across a product I didn't like. Since Benefit launched their highly anticipated new 12 piece brow collection, ranging from revamped classics to new brow products to help create the perfect brows - I couldn't wait to explore their new offerings!

Firstly, I'm going to mention the revamped packaging which I absolutely adore! I love the whole magical vibe and the silver packaging definitely does stand out amongst my makeup collection. I've always liked that Benefit are out there with their packaging and it's just so fun - what's not to love?

Benefit Ka-Brow is described as an all-in-one eyebrow cream-gel that easily fills, sculpts and defines the brow. This little pot is amazing for creating a sculpted, dramatic brow within a matter of minutes! The formula applies so seamlessly and effortlessly, and is even waterproof for up to 24 hours, so you can apply your brows in the morning and not worry about them smudging away during the day, which is a big plus as I'm definitely guilty of rubbing my brows throughout the day. The packaging also needs a mention as it's so handy, the pot comes with a hidden in the lid built-in angled brush, which converts to full-size brush for precise control and is perfect for travelling. 

Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil is a super easy filling and shaping eyebrow pencil, featuring a custom, non-sharpen 'goof-proof' tip, soft colour and a glide-on formula for easy and fast brow filling. The triangular shaped tip is perfect for brow novices as this is just so easy to use and foolproof. The flat tip is great for filling in sparse areas of the brow, whist the thinner point helps to draw singular hair strokes. I love that the pencil also comes with a built-in spoolie brush to help blend the product through the brow for a more polished and natural finish.

Benefit Precisely, my brow eyebrow pencil is an ultra-fine eyebrow pencil which draws incredibly natural-looking, hair-like strokes that lasts for 12 hours. As my brows are on the sparser side of the spectrum I love to use a pencil with a sharp nib, and this definitely hits the spot! I love that you can outline your brows perfectly, and finish your brows with sharp and clean ends. Don't be put off either by the thin nib, as this still fills in the brows quickly and naturally, and it really helps you focus on those areas that need a little bit more product to fill your brows out. This also comes with a built-in spoolie brush, which helps to blend the product through the brow for a more polished and natural appearance. 

Benefit ready, set, BROW! Is a 24 hour clear brow gel which shapes and tames the brow whilst locking on makeup so brows don't disappear. The wand is more like a plastic mascara wand, which is easy to apply and gives a more precise application, coating the brows fully and because the wand is thin I don't end up with any gel around my brows like I sometimes do with Gimme Brow. The consistency of the gel is quite thin, which I didn't expect, however I find that this actually works better in comparison to other thicker brow gels, setting quickly without any crunchy-ness. 

Overall I've really been impressed by the new additions to Benefit's brow collection, I love that there is a product for everyone and whilst the colour selection has expanded finding a colour to suit has never been easier. For example I use shade 3, and this means that I will be shade 3 throughout the whole range.

Have you tried any of Benefit's new brow collection?


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