28 April 2010

OPI Paint my moji-toes red - Perfect spring pedi

I really wasn't sure about this colour at first, I think because in the salon it looked like a bright coral, whereas in natural light it turned into a not quite red, not quite pink, not quite coral shade that I couldn't quite decipher. After a while however it really grew on me and now I am loving it.

It's a great shade for this in between weather and looks great with my new gladiators (which look a bit more S&M on camera than they do on my feet.. i hope!).


Not quite opaque with two coats as the first pic shows. Overall prob wouldn't buy a bottle but I'm enjoying at the mo.

This was part of the South Beach collection which I think came out in 2009.

20 April 2010

Beauty moments - Scarlett Johansson in Vogue (2009)

This is one of my favourite beauty shots from recent years - Scarlett Johanssen on the cover of Vogue. I adore everything about it - the beautiful auburn hair and the soft curls (kind of my dream hair), the deliciously dark and smoky eyes with the perfectly defined brows, the creamy skin and unexpected matt peachy lip - and don't get me started on that ultra-luxe knit and bangles, which she carries off to perfection in those decadent poses.

This for me is a perfect autumn / winter look - although suprisingly it was from French Vogue last Spring.

I don't think I'd class Scarlett as one of my beauty icons (though maybe this post suggests otherwise!), but I admire the way she can carry off so many different looks (is there any hair colour she hasn't tried??). I have to say, I prefer her dark - I adored this look on her.

But she also looks very feminine and natural with soft blond hair in the new Mango ads.

My least favourite colour on her is probably her highlighted blond to platinum shades, which I think can mask the individuality of her face a bit. But that's just me!

What do you think of these looks?

15 April 2010

Marks and Spencer pasteltastic nail polishes

There's just no escaping the pastel nail trend this year. For me, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I adore how the colours look in the bottles, but they tend to be the polishes that languish unused in my make up box. I did however pick up a couple of bottles in Marks and Spencer recently, at a bargainous £2.50 a pop (though they only contain 8ml - most brands such as Essie or OPI contain at least 14ml, sometimes 16ml).

To be honest I don't normally purchase cheap cosmetics as I miss that thrill you get when buying something extra special and luxurious, and I'm normally quite dubious about the formulations and colour payoff etc - usually with good reason I find! But as I said, they looked so pretty in the bottles (and they're cruelty free)...

The colours were a pastel lilac colour called Pastel, and a pastel mint colour called, let's see, Mint - let's ignore the nonsensical naming for now.

I actually LOVED these colours - don't they look delicious in the pots? Sadly the formula is doo doo. Life is just too short for three coats (think that might be my new mantra). In both pics I'm wearing two coats and you can see its not quite completely opaque. Not only this but application was quite streaky and the polish took ages to dry - an hour after application I got an almighty smudge on my thumb whilst putting on my socks. After having to work quite hard to get a halfway decent coverage (I think they looked just passable in the end), that was the final straw. 

But back to the colours - they really are gorgeous. Pastel is quite retro - more pink than it looks in the tube, sugary and sixties (unfortunately it does clash horribly with my yellow toned skin). 

Mint is the M&S version of Essie's Mint Candy Apple or Chanel Jade - I actually prefer it to both those shades. Mint Candy Apple is a bit more in your face - Mint is softer somehow and very pretty (and don't get me started on the formulation of Mint Candy Apple, gloopy mess!). In fact three of my male co-workers commented on my minty nails today - apparently it's a nice change from usual nail colours! Who knew.

sorry about the claw hands!

(base and top coats by Revlon)

In summary, these are fun, on trend colours at a budget price - and basically you do get what you pay for. Someone who likes experimenting with different colours and doesn't mind a bit of faff to get an even and opaque coverage might get on well with these. But I'd advise you to apply the colour when you're fully dressed and have plenty of time on your hands to let the polish dry!

Anyway if anyone knows of any good quality dupes of these colours (other than Mint Candy Apple obviously) I'd love to hear them.

 I'm also going to review a couple of lipsticks from the same range which I bought a few weeks back too - again, quite passable and good colours but the budget price does reflect the budget formula.

12 April 2010

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Nail Lacquer in Red Hot - an oldie but a goodie

Just a v quick review of this beautiful bright red I found languishing at the bottom of my nail polish bag. I was first introduced to this colour many years ago when it was part of one of those giant make up sets you can buy for a discounted price when you purchase  a couple of other products - indeed, I think it was that particular box that sparked my beauty obsession! This was at least 15 years ago so this is obviously a long stayer in their collection.

I did this in a bit of a hurry and I'm afraid my application was a bit rubbish - only managed one coat, but it had good coverage with one coat and it's completely opaque with two. In fact, it is an excellent consistency and a dream to apply - even with this bottle which is at least two years old.

 I think the pics show how vibrant and punchy this shade is. It's a gorgeous, true red (I don't think it veers too warm or too cold, nor does it have any pinky or orange undertones).

Once again, apologies for the dreadful application (and messy cuticles!)

Estee Lauder polishes retail for about £12 but you can pick this shade up on eBay or on various discount beauty websites for cheaper. I'm interested in trying out other Lauder polishes, though the range seems pretty limited - anyone have any favourites?

Ruby & Millie nail polish in Brown 920c (my signature shade!)

I apologise if it's a little pretentious to have my own 'signature shade' of nail polish, but I've been wearing it regularly for at least ten years and I've never seen anyone else wearing this, nor have I ever seen it on any blogs or in magazines, so I think if anything in my stash warrants signature status this is probably it!

Back in the day, a very good friend purchased this polish for me as a birthday present, so it also has special meaning for me. In the mid 90s, wearing brown on the nails was pretty radical I think - well, it was for me anyway. But once I'd tried it, it was love at first sight.

The colour is basically just a delicious dark brown, like coffee beans. No sparkles, no colour changing in the light. It's beauty is in its sheer simplicity. On the nails it looks chic and understated, and in over a decade of wear I haven't found any other browns I like as much as this.

It's also a good consistency, easy to apply, and completely opaque after two coats. Lasting power is decent (I always think the top and base coat influence lasting power more than the polish itself - in the pics I'm using Nails Inc which gives a gorgeous gloss but mediocre protection).

I just couldn't get a picture that does this colour justice (though the Sainsburies car park pic above does show a little more of the exact shade of brown).

All I can say is if you love browns as I do, I'd really recommend checking it out for yourself. Just don't claim it as your signature shade!

Retails for £9.50 for 9ml in Boots. NB This shade wasn't available on the Boots website last time I checked but I have seen it in my local store recently.