Saturday, 30 June 2012

Mini Haul / Review :) (nail polish and nail polish thinner)

I've bought another nail polish... though I think that's pretty reasonable considering I've been into town 3 times this week! Superdrug has Accessorize nail polishes on sale for just £1.95! I've never really bothered with Accessorize polishes before- the colours are not particularly unique and the original price-£4- is a bit steep for a regular 10ml polish. However, I saw this shade and HAD to purchase:

Accessorize Amethyst

I think the above picture is true-to-colour, but I wish I could show you my nail wheel swatch (I love it!)- I just can't get it to show up right! I love purple (it's one of my favourite colours) and I generally find it really hard to find nice true purple shades (I have a lot of plummy, reddish purple polishes). This is somwhere between true purple and lilac, so pretty!

A little while ago (at the same time I ordered my nail art pens) I bought a nail polish thinner! I did quite a bit of research on the topic- I really didn't want to end up ruining my polishes rather than 'rescuing' them! - and eventually decided that I may as well try out the cheapy version before investing in a more expensive option (like OPI, Essie or Mavala) I picked mine up for £1.88 (from this seller) for 75ml. It did take a while to arrive, but I didn't really mind as it was so cheap.

I was rather dubious when I first got it, I don't know if you can see in the picture but on the right side of the bottle there is a list with tick boxes which seems to indicate that the bottle contains cuticle cream diluent... But I tested it out on an old topcoat I really don't care about and it worked perfectly! (who knows what the odd labelling was all about!)

I've since used it on my old InstaDri and several Models Own polishes (including Snow White, as they were getting rather gloopy) and I'm please to say that just a few drops brought them right back to the texture they were when I first bought them! :) The bottle has a very small hole to get the thinner out of, but I really recommend using a dropper or a tiny syringe to add drops to your polish- you don't want to add too much!

I have no idea why we have this, but it's darn useful!

I cannot recommend this polish thinner enough- it's SO good, and I know it will last a really really long time as you really only need about 0.5ml of thinner per bottle. This arrived on Tueday and the thinner has had no nasty effects on the polishes (I just swatched them all again to double-check)- they are still 'thinned out' and apply just as well as they did before, with the same drying time, colour and finish :) I definitely don't think you need to get a more expensive branded thinner, this does the job perfectly for under £2.

The new MUA palette (Undressed) is coming out this Wednesday and I'm rather excited about it- I think I'll be 'popping to Superdrug' on Wednesdays lunchbreak, so expect a little haul post on that soon too! :)

What have you been buying recently? Am I missing out on any really lovely Accessorize polishes?


Friday, 29 June 2012

If money were no object- What I'm saving up for!

I've missed blogging SO much this week- every night I've sat at my computer and tried to post something, but I've just been too tired to write anything that makes sense!!! I currently have no plans for this weekend though, so hopefully I can plan and write a lot of next weeks post- because I hate not posting everyday! :(

Anyway, now that I'm employed and have a proper income I can start saving up for some of the exciting products I've lusted after in previous wishlist posts! And I thought it might be interesting to show you which few things I'd really like to actually purchase :)

First up is something that I've been wanting forever, in fact it was featured in my very first 'If money were no object' post.

Yep, a Kindle!- I've decided that I'm going to be buying one very (very) soon, my first paycheck has cleared in my account (happy times!) and whilst I know it's a bit silly to be splurging as soon as I have any money,  I can assure you that this is a major one-off treat for myself; I've been waiting for a job for so long that I'm really proud of myself for starting one!!! I think it will also be my early birthday present to myself too :) Plus I have some vouchers to use so I can save some money there, and it would come in really handy at work- my lunchbreak is an hour, but eating only takes about 20 minutes and as we're not allowed on any interesting websites, I'd love to have something (portable) to read:)

I'm planning on getting the Kindle Touch (£109) if you have any advice, tips or other opinions, please share!

Next on my little list of things I want to buy is a light box! Now I'm working during the day it is going to get harder and harder to take decent pictures in proper daylight, and I know a light box will make so much difference- rather than relying on weekends to photograph everything!

I'm not exactly sure where I'll put it... but I'm sure I'll think of something!

On the topic of storage, the next things on my 'to save up for' list are some new storage drawer! My make up and nail polish collections are ever growing, and my current storage wont be able to handle much more stuff! I think I'd need a trip to Ikea, because I think a Helmer would be perfect! I'd also really like to get a new bed and rip out the fitted drawers and desk which are: impractical, partly broken and rather ugly.

However, I'm also hoping to save up enough money to move out into my own place in the not-so-distant-future (within the year anyway!) but I've not really though too hard about it yet, but I know it's probably not the best idea to be buying new furniture!

What are you saving up for at the moment?


Monday, 25 June 2012

Challenge Week 39: Stripes!!!

It's time for week 39 of the 52 week nail challenge (only 13 weeks left, how crazy!!!) and I've been looking forward to this a LOT since I got my new nail art pens! I decided to use one of my polishes from my swap too- I've not been wearing nail polish nearly as much as I'd like to recently, and a lot of the awesome polishes Pryanka sent to me haven't been worn yet :(

I chose China Glaze Pelican Grey (such a beautiful pale grey shade, and it has a teeny bit of shimmer to it too!) and then I used 5 nail art pens in silvers and blues to create vertical stripes over my nails- in no particular order or placement; I used thick and thin stripes and had some spread out / some close together. The overall look reminds me a little bit of wallpaper or a desktop background! :)

As always, I didn't quite manage to leave it at that- so I added a couple of coats of China Glaze Fairy Dust onto the ring finger. This is a polish Pryanka told me I had to have, and boy was she right... tiny holo glitter = SO AWESOME!!! :)

The nail art pens are brilliant for stripes- once again I'm super glad I bought them! The 4 blue shades actually go really well together and were really easy to use, though a couple of shades needed a second coat to get full opacity.

I don't think I've loved a manicure (on myself anyway) as much in a very long time- when I finished I went around shoving my fingers in my sisters face demanding that she look and give me praise! I love love love them- and I think I'll have to do something similar in other colours too because I really like the pattern/design too; it's so simple but super pretty :)

Because I was so stupidly excited and proud of my nails I took pictures of my right hand too- the pictures aren't great, but I hope you get the idea- and look how straight the lines are, even though I did them with my left hand! The design is completely different to my left, which normally would irritate me, but today I like it :)

Here are the polishes I used: I flippin' LOVE the two new China Glaze polishes, I knew I would! The pale grey is perfect (what is it with me and grey polish?) and I'm SO glad I have Fairy Lights, I'm not sure the pictures pick it up properly but it is so stunning :)

China Glaze Pelican Grey, nail art pens (which I've numbered: 2, 19, 20, 21 & 22 and China Glaze Fairy Dust

I also quite like that the vertical stripes seem to make my nails look longer! Are you a fan of stripes?


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Banana and Sultana Loaf :)

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe (sorry!) -partly because I've not baked much, and partly because when I do bake, I keep falling back on tried and tested recipes that you've already seen!

However, luckily for me, last weekend my dad decided that buying 15 bananas (when I am the only one who eats them) was a good idea, so by this afternoon there were several slightly mushy bananas that were just crying out to be made into cake! After much searching online (none of my recipe books has a good recipe) I found a good one on this blog :)

You will need:

110g butter
110g caster sugar (you can use soft brown sugar instead if you like!)
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas (the riper the better!)


225g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I added this in because I love nutmeg!)
140g sultanas

1) Place the butter and sugar and a bowl and beat together until smooth and fluffy. Then add the eggs and beat again.

2) Peel the bananas and place them in a small bowl- then mash with a fork (I think you get better results if you leave some chunks in, you don't really want banana paste!)

3) Add the banana to the butter and sugar, then stir together. I have to say it does look pretty disgusting at this stage...

4) Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into the mixture and stir, then add the sultanas and stir thoroughly.

5) Grease and flour a loaf tin (it would still work if you only have a regular round tin, but adjust the cooking time) and pour in the mixture.

6) Bake in a (preheated) oven at 180C for about 40 minutes (as always, check with a skewer that it's cooked through)

7) Take it out of the oven and place on a cooling rack for about 1/2 an hour, then turn it out of the pan to cool properly. It tastes pretty yummy warm though, so you don't need to cool it for all that long :)

The black lines on the top are there because my cake rose a lot more than I thought it would- and it touched the top of the oven where the grill element is! And it also lost a bit of the top because I couldn't fit it out of the oven!

Yum!!! :) This goes really nicely with a cup of coffee for afternoon tea, and my sister liked it so much she just had 3rds (she's just back from camp though, so she was deservedly hungry) :)

How do you use up past-it bananas?


Saturday, 23 June 2012

Review: Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer :)

I picked this concealer up after reading many rave reviews about it, and decided I needed to try it out for myself! I'm very glad I did because not only is it a great concealer, it's the best colour match I've ever been able to find for my skin! :)

It costs £4.19- a total bargain- and is available in 4 shades (I have the lightest shade, Fair) but I don't think the 'Deep' shade is very dark, so it might not be a good choice for those with darker skintones. It's a shame that the colour range isn't very wide, but I'm very glad that it is pale enough (and cool toned- I've come across so many concealers that look orange on my skin!) for me.

The packaging is nothing exciting, and after just over a month almost all of the black writing has rubbed off the tube- it doesn't really bother me as I wont forget what it is and it doesn't affect the product inside- but I guess it could really annoy some people.

The tube has a doe foot applicator which isn't usually my favourite for products like this. However it does actually work quite well for any blemishes and small patches I want to conceal; I can easily use the tip of the applicator to (accurately) dot a small amount on, then blend with my finger. For my under eye circles I find it easier to take a small amount on my finger and apply and blend with my finger.

The formula is the main selling point for this product itself- it is brilliant! It has quite a thick creamy texture which is very well pigmented. Despite the thick texture it is very easy to blend (I always use my fingers, so perhaps the warmth helps- let me know if you have a different experience using a brush to blend), and once blended it does maintain great coverage. After a few minutes it does set, and after that it will NOT budge.

The concealer doesn't cling to dry patches (of which I have many) and instead covers them well, and it does an equally wonderful job at covering blemishes, red patches and under eye circles.

It does last well on my skin- though not the full 16 hours the packaging claims. I wear it everyday for work, and after about 9/10 hours it is still there providing some coverage, but it generally doesn't look as fresh as it did when first applied- it can look a little dry (though not flaky or bad- just like it's dried out a bit- and it's only noticeable up close) and if I'm going out again I do retouch a little. That said- 10 hours is an awesome staying power!

Overall I absolutely LOVE this concealer, I know I'll never buy anything else now! And I really recommend it to everyone. It is brilliant for those of us with drier skin (so many other concealers cling and make dry patches even more obvious!) and I'm sure that the super staying power will work well for those with oilier skins too :)

Have you tried this concealer? What's your favourite?


p.s. Why is it always Fridays that I never manage to post- I had a crazy busy day at work then went stright out to for a friends birthday- I didn't get home until 1am and I was so exhausted I slept for about 12 hours!!!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

(my sisters) Nail of the Day: Random (Chris Colfer and Darren Cris) nail art using my new pens! :)

When I got home today and Amy was surrounded by my new nail art pens on the sitting room floor! (she always gets to use my things before I do!!!)

She's done rather an odd selection of nail art, the thumb and index finger are Struck By Lightening (Chris Colfers new film) (the base colour is Models Own Snow White- what else!) the middle finger is a can of diet coke (apparently Chris Colfers drink of choice... the silly things 14 year olds know about famous people...) The ring finger is AVPM; A Very Potter Musical (A Harry Potter musical by Darren Criss) and the little finger has Darren Criss' 'trademark' pink sunglasses.

Despite the random theme I think her nails are awesome- and they really show off what you can do with nail pens :)

Once again, I'm excited to actually excited to try them out myself- but I'm pleased to hear and see that they work really well!


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

(Haul) Lovely Nail Art Pens!!! :)

By some stroke of luck I arrived home early today (yay- I finished all my work 1/2 an hour early today!) and I found a very exciting box waiting for me (my sister found it on the doorstep) :)

I decided a couple of weeks ago (with rather a lot of 'help' from Amy, who was desperate to get some) that I wanted to buy some nail art pens- I'd been thinking about it for a really long time, and eventually I figured I'd almost certainly get some at some stage- so it may as well be sooner!

I got 24 pens for £7.75 (from this seller here!) and they arrived in about 16 days (as expected because it was shipped from China). I'm super happy with them- naturally I've already wasted lots of time already (time I should have spent preparing for Brownies) playing around and making patterns on a tissue box (closest thing I could find!), swatching each polish and labelling them (because I find it impossible to not have them in some kind of order...)

There is a fairly good selection of colours- there are more pinks and blues than any other, but that suits me fine because they're my favourite colours for nails! There's a black and a white, as well of lots of other useful shades for nail art :) I'm so excited to use them all!!!

silvers, white, yellows and (super bright!) orange

reds and greens

blues and black (LOVE the blue on the 2nd left!)

Each pen has two applicators- a long thin brush that dips into the polish, and a pen nib (just like a tippex tip)- they are (as far as I've tried) really easy to use- I wrote the numbers on the tops with the black pen nib and it was SO simple to do:)

The brush
the pen nib

The formula is a little bit stinky, but they are all very well pigmented and apply evenly in one coat (which is pretty important for nail art!) - so I'm already imagining what I can do with them!

Swatches :)

Have you got any nail art pens? Any nail art recommendations for me? (I can't wait to try them properly!!!) :)