Cruelty free favourites – August 2016

I haven’t been wearing make up much recently, but have enjoyed some skincare and a couple of new items.

2016-08-31 18.27.01
Cruelty free favourites – August 2016

Sleek Lip Power Plump Pencil in Notorious Nude – I am totally in love with this. I bought it on a bit of a whim but am so glad I did. I love the colour (very natural nude), I love the texture (creamy, almost balm-like), I love the lasting power (it lasts a good 2-3 hours), I love the fact it doesn’t dry your lips, and I love the tingle you get from applying it (this apparently makes your lips look more plump – I’m not sure but either way I like it!). Admittedly it’s not the boldest of looks, but I’m a wimp when it comes to bold make up so this suits me perfectly. I also really like that I can wear this with other make up, or I can wear it on its own when I’m not wearing other make up. I also picked up another shade from the range, Berry Burst, which I do like but is much bolder so the sort of thing I’d usually wear when I’m wearing other make up and feeling a bit braver.

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel – I didn’t want to love this stuff, but I do. It gets quite a lot of hype on other blogs and isn’t the cheapest product out there, but I’m going to add to the hype because I really like it. I’ve been using it every morning for a few weeks now and it’s lovely. It’s a gel that turns into an oil, and it really helps to both cleanse and moisturise my skin. I like the scent too, though I don’t think I did at first so it might be more of a grower! The frustrating thing is I have no idea how much I have left so I’m wary about running out (I *may* have ordered another earlier today so I won’t be without it!).

Soap and Glory Hand Food in Smoothie Star – I’ll never forget the day my Dad told me I had old lady hands. I was about 19 at the time. Thanks for that Dad! I obviously wasn’t too traumatised though as I’ve never really looked after my hands but the last few months I’ve been keeping hand cream in my bedside table and applying it every night. This one is really lovely – quite rich but not greasy, and the scent is heavenly (it’s the same scent family as the scrub and shower cream I love). Sadly it doesn’t seem you can buy on its own – I got it in a Smoothie Star set.

B Blemish Gel – I had a breakout recently so have been using blemish gel, but I’ve been trying this one as it has hyaluronic acid so is more moisturising than most blemish products which can be very drying. It’s similar in effectiveness to the Superdrug one but doesn’t seem as drying so I’ll be sticking with this one.

Barry M polish in Festival Fever – I recently had an incredibly luxurious day to myself, and one of the things I did was treat myself to a new nail polish and paint my nails. My poor nails have been quite neglected recently (well, pretty much all year to be honest!) so it’s lovely to spend some time tidying them up and painting them. I went for a pretty pink which isn’t my usual choice (purple or deep reds are usually my favourite nail colour) but it seemed appropriate for the season and I’m really enjoying having pink nails. It’s a limited edition shade that is currently available in Superdrug (and is part of the buy one get one half price offer).

Another good month for cruelty free favourites! What have you been loving recently? Any recommendations?

M&S Beauty Advent Calendar – Day 24

It’s Christmas Eve! In day 24 of my M&S Beauty Advent Calendar I got a full sized (15ml) bottle of Morgan Taylor nail polish.  

Day 24 - Morgan Taylor Nail Polish in From Paris With Love
Day 24 – Morgan Taylor Nail Polish in From Paris With Love

Despite my nail polish addiction (I recently downsized my collection to around 50 polishes from over 200!), I’ve never actually tried a Morgan Taylor polish so I’m looking forward to trying this. I’ve been hoping the nail polish would be the last item as I haven’t worn nail polish for most of the month and have been using the Leighton Denny Renovate Nail Repair Cream I got in Day 5. It seems to have helped improve the condition of my nails, though with moving house I’ve had some breakages due to all the furniture moving! I’m looking forward to painting my nails ready for Christmas, and this will be a great shade for it. From Paris With Love is a deep oxblood red shade which is my favourite sort of red for my nails. I’ll probably be adding some gold glitter (Nails Inc Snow Globe), well, because Christmas! 

The full size of this product (15ml) is £11 from M&S Beauty.

I can’t believe that’s my last advent calendar item, I’m really going to miss having a treat to try every day! I’ve absolutely loved the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar and hope they do them every year as I’d definitely get one again. I may write a separate review of the advent calendar as a whole, but in the meantime you can look back at all my posts using the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar tag

Merry Christmas! 🎅🏻🎄🎉

Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish – Spanish Moss

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I recently picked up two Revlon nail polishes on a 2 for £10 deal in Boots. The second I got was Revlon Colorstay in Spanish Moss. I don’t have many of the Revlon Colorstay range, but those I do have I love. I really like the size and shape of the bottle and brush (I know nail polishes don’t vary hugely but I tend to prefer a round bottle and a nice long brush with curved edges, both of which this has). Spanish Moss is a light khaki green, a sort of earthy tone.

Revlon Colorstay Spanish Moss
Revlon Colorstay Spanish Moss

The colour was mentioned in a missglamorazzi YouTube video I watched recently on drugstore makeup, and it’s one I have considered in store before. I tend to avoid green polishes, though I’m not really sure why and having bought this I now realise I actually have quite a few outfits this shade would complement. The opacity is great; I used two coats, but you could get away with one. The formula is excellent too; it self-levels really well and has a very smooth finish, even if your nails aren’t in perfect condition – a couple of mine have fairly deep ridges at the moment but you can’t tell with this polish.

Revlon Colorstay Spanish Moss
Revlon Colorstay Spanish Moss

I used my Nails Inc A&E basecoat and Butter London P.D. Quick topcoat. Unfortunately it wasn’t as quick dry as I’d hoped as I took a shower before taking these photos and as you may have noticed the shrinkage I had on a couple of nail tips. It still stayed nice and smooth though. I also did a pedicure in this shade, as it’s another option for co-ordinating with my brown and gold FitFlops (this was totally accidental, I didn’t think about this as I was buying but it’s a nice coincidence!). The shade is a pure cream, no hidden shimmer or glitter, though of course you could always add some. I like it as it is though, it’s a nice pure colour and has a slight glossy finish (though I add topcoat anyway).

Revlon Colorstay Spanish Moss
Revlon Colorstay Spanish Moss

I don’t think I’ll be wearing this colour that regularly, but I’ll certainly wear it every now and again. As I mentioned, I have quite a few neutral shade outfits options I wear in spring/summer (browns, creams, khaki greens) and this works really well with them. I only wore it for one day this time, so I’m afraid I can’t comment on the wear time, but I have a number of other Revlon Colorstay polishes and have always been really impressed with how well they last (I also love the base coat and top coat from this range which I think helps extend wear time). I do still have it on my toes where it is lasting well, and I’m liking it as a pedicure shade.

Product: Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish in 190 Spanish Moss – 11.7ml
Price (RRP): £7.99
Where to buy: Boots, Superdrug
Purchased: Boots using the 2 for £10 Revlon deal
Summary review: Fantastic formula and application, and a lovely colour to wear with neutral, earthy tones.
Rating (out of 5): 4

Revlon Parfumerie Apricot Nectar

I’ve been on the hunt for a nice pastel orange/coral/peach nail polish recently, mainly for pedicures. I like having brighter colours on my toes in the spring/summer months, but my bright pinks don’t look right with my summer footwear of choice (brown and gold FitFlops). I though an orange might work better, so I tried OPI Toucan Do It If You Try from the Brazil Collection. It’s certainly bright! Sadly though it makes my skin look very pale (I am pale, but it makes me look even more pale!). So I’ve been looking for something a little lighter. Many of the swatches I’ve been looking at have been too sheer, or too bright – neon orange seems to be the in thing at the moment. Revlon Perfumerie Apricot Nectar was mentioned in a YouTube video I watched recently, and when I noticed a 2 for £10 deal on Revlon polish in Boots earlier this week I decided to give it a go.

Revlon Perfumerie Apricot Nectar
Revlon Perfumerie Apricot Nectar

Apricot Nectar is part of the scented Perfumerie collection, which sadly doesn’t seem to be available in many stores, only the large Boots stores (the smaller ones just seem to have three or four shades). As the name suggests, it’s an apricot scented polish. I’ve previously tried a couple of the Perfumerie range and I really like them – they don’t seem to be too heavily scented, but when your hands are near your face you catch a slight scent which I like. The scent is still noticeable after top coat, though I find it tends to tone down after the first day. This is three coats of Apricot Nectar (with a coat of Butter London P.D.Quick Topcoat), shown in sunlight (hooray for a sunny day!)

Revlon Perfumerie Apricot Nectar
Revlon Perfumerie Apricot Nectar (in sun)

You could probably get away with two coats, but it dries fairly quickly and I found it a little sheer so decided to do a third coat. It levels well, I just added topcoat for extra shine and chip protection. The scent is very sweet, fruity scent – I like it. My partner said it reminded him of a sweet of some sort. I love the colour, it’s much more flattering on my skintone than the bright oranges and looks good in sunlight and in shade.

Revlon Perfumerie Apricot Nectar (in shade)
Revlon Perfumerie Apricot Nectar (in shade)

I don’t tend to keep a manicure for long, so I’m not sure about wear time, but it seems fairly hard-wearing (I took it off after just over a day and there were no signs of wear or imminent chipping). I’ll definitely be using this for future pedicures, and may even wear it on my hands when I want to get into the summer spirit.

Product: Revlon Perfumerie Apricot Nectar 11.7ml
Price (RRP): £6.49
Where to buy: Boots
Purchased: Boots using the 2 for £10 Revlon deal
Summary review: Flattering shade for paler skintones, lovely sweet fruit scent. A little sheer/streaky, but quick drying so not an issue to apply multiple coats.
Rating (out of 5): 4

OPI In The Cable Car Pool Lane

I love purple nail polish. I love OPI nail polish. So when OPI released In The Cable Car Pool Lane and every nail blogger started raving about it, it was inevitable that I would buy it. I managed to resist for a little while but when Nail Polish Direct (highly recommended for OPI and Chine Glaze polishes) had an OPI sale it just had to be one of the ones I got.

OPI In The Cable Car Pool Lane
OPI In The Cable Car Pool Lane

I haven’t actually worn this much, possibly only twice (though that’s probably because I have so many OPI purple nail polishes to choose from!). I’ve been wearing some lighter and brighter shades on my nails recently but decided to go back to my favourite purple nails again so this is what I’ve been wearing the past couple of days.

It’s part of last year’s San Francisco collection, but it’s currently still available. It’s a sort of ‘crelly’ polish; somewhere between a cream polish and a jelly polish. It’s a deep purple/wine/berry shade, which is a shade which seems to suit my skin tone and tends to go with most outfits.

OPI In The Cable Car Pool Lane
OPI In The Cable Car Pool Lane

I used Nails Inc A&E base coat, three coats of polish (though two would probably be enough), and Butter London P.D. Quick top coat. I love the colour and finish of this – it’s quite similar to Essie’s Sole Mate which is one of my favourite polishes.

Sadly the polish didn’t last too well on me, however that’s not necessarily the fault of the polish. My nails aren’t in the greatest condition at the moment (peeling and breaking quite a lot hence the A&E base coat). I also did some cleaning in the bathroom and kitchen without rubber gloves which didn’t help the longevity of the polish! It lasted a couple of days until I removed it, which I tend to do anyway as I change my nail polish regularly. This had some major chips in though and being such a dark shade it was very noticeable so I removed it a little earlier than I was intending to.

Overall this is a polish I’d recommend and one I’ll certainly wear again. It’s a lovely colour, excellent formula (as are most OPIs), and a nice finish even without top coat.

Product: OPI in The Cable Car Pool Lane
Price (RRP): £11.50
Where to buy: Nail Polish Direct, Amazon UK, Chemist Direct
Purchased: Nail Polish Direct as part of a deal.
Summary review: Gorgeous colour and finish, very flattering. Only lasted a day before chips started to appear, though this could be due to the current condition of my nails.
Rating (out of 5): 4

OPI Morning, Moneypenny

Bit of a random purchase this one, but no regrets whatsoever! (Also, apologies in advance for the shoddy clean up, I took these photos over a year ago and I think I’m a lot neater now!).

On a work visit to London last year I had a bit of spare time on the Sunday so browsed round some stores and walked past TK Maxx which I remembered a nail blogger saying they sometimes got bargains from. I had no idea they stocked beauty items but lo and behold, this one did. It had some Butter London sets, Nails Inc sets, and a couple of the OPI Skyfall collection. Morning Moneypenny from this collection stood out to me – its a magnetic polish in pink/purple. I’d been wanting to try magnetic polishes for a while (in fact a friend brought some Barry M magnetic polish to a weekend away but I didn’t get round to trying it). It wasn’t a cheap one and wasn’t planned, so I took a long time to decide whether or not to get it, but I couldn’t resist for long. The worst part was having to wait 4 days to try it out (I was on a three day course with a dress code and didn’t think it would be suitable).

OPI Morning, Moneypenny with magnet
OPI Morning, Moneypenny with magnet

The set comes with the polish itself and a magnet tool in a small box. This one has a magnet which gives a wavy pattern on the nail. I’ve seen other brands where the magnet is on the polish lid, but this one is separate. I read up on how to apply it and took the plunge. I applied base coat, a thin coat of the polish, and then a thicker coat which I placed under the magnet. I did each nail with the magnet before moving on to the next so that it didn’t dry before I’d applied the pattern. Once they had completely dried I added a glossy top coat, which slightly affected the pattern (made it softer).

OPI Morning Moneypenny
OPI Morning, Moneypenny

The polish is a lovely deep pink shade with tiny specks of holographic glitter in, and areas darken to a deep purple with the magnet. As with all OPI polishes, it applies really well. Due to the glitter it’s not totally smooth, but a top coat soon sorts that out. I found the magnetic tool relatively easy to use, though I did touch the nail once which messed things up a little! I found some nails worked better than others – it struggled with larger or more curved nails so I couldn’t get the pattern all the way across my thumbnails, but it’s not too much of a problem with this fairly subtle pattern.

OPI Morning Moneypenny with magnetic design
OPI Morning, Moneypenny with magnetic design

I’ve worn this polish a number of times now and each time I’ve kept it on my nails for as long as I could (around 4 days before it started to get tip wear). I love looking at it and it goes particularly well with my favourite fingerless mittens.

OPI Morning Moneypenny with my fingerless mitts (yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Velvet Grapes)
OPI Morning, Moneypenny with my fingerless mitts (yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Velvet Grapes)

As you can see in the photos, it takes on a different look under bright lights – you can’t really see the holo glitter in normal light but suddenly I go to the kitchen or bathroom and it’s transformed into a sparkle heaven!

OPI Morning Moneypenny under bright light
OPI Morning, Moneypenny under bright light

OPI Morning, Moneypenny cost me £13.99 from TK Maxx. It was part of a limited edition release so may be tricky to find, but it’s currently available on Amazon UK.

Product: OPI Morning, Moneypenny magnetic holographic polish with magnet
Price (RRP): Not sure
Where to buy: It was part of a limited edition release so may be tricky to find, but it’s currently available on Amazon UK.
 TK Maxx for £13.99
Summary review: One of my favourite polishes – great shade, gorgeous finish with holographic glitter. I just wish the magnetic pattern went across my full nail.
Rating (out of 5): 4.5