Tuesday, 4 February 2014

My Essie Nail Polish Collection

Essie, the nail polish brand that has every girl gawking at the selection of pretty colours that they have on offer. Imagine the scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie stares longingly at the chocolate bars in the shop window. Now replace that with the Essie counter in Boots and a nail polish addict, such as I and you have a bit of an addiction. Over the past year or two, I've really fallen in love with the colour selection that Essie keeps adding to. I'd gladly go in and spend a fortune on the pretty pastels, the deep reds and the ocean-replicating blues if I had the money- but at £7.99 a pop, a girl is limited on just how many she can buy. 

I've built up a pretty varied selection of 10 polishes, so I thought that I could let you know a little about the ones that I love and recommend, the ones that don't quite reach my all time favourites and the ones that I was just plain disappointed with.  

"After School Boy Blazer", "Fiji" and "Mint Candy Apple" are definitely my top three Essie nail polishes out of my selection. 

ASBB, a dark navy, often has me glancing at my nails and wondering if they're black or blue. I love how different it is and that I can just about get away with it whatever the weather! Recently, I bought a navy playsuit from Topshop and goes perfectly with this colour. Love, love, love it.

Fiji is the lightest out of all of the colours, being a cute baby pink colour that looks stunning with a tan (the picture does not do it justice). I'm sure you've all seen it before, being one of the most popular Essie nail varnishes on offer within the beauty community. This was one of the first nail varnishes from the brand that I bought, after I'd heard so much about it and it definitely hooked me to them!

Mint Candy Apple. I hardly think I need to go into this one, as I'm fairly certain everyone knows about it. The bright pastel mint green that everyone knows and loves is beautiful and is perfect for the summer time. It's been allocated as my 'holiday nail' colour and will be topped up all throughout my trip to Magaluf this year with the girls.

"Chinchilly", "Bikini So Teenie", "Russian Roulette", "Sand Tropez" and "Nice Is Nice" make the 'pretty, but not the best' list for various reasons. 

Nice Is Nice was a polish that I received in a Glossybox last year. I'd never actually seen the shade prior to finding it in my box, but I was pleasantly surprised by the shade. Purple isn't a colour that I'd usually find myself going for, but this lilac shade had me quite interested. Definitely for the spring/summer seasons, this one!

Bikini So Teenie (such a cute name!) was a shade that I'd heard a fair few beauty bloggers and vloggers rave about. I thought that I'd never find it when I was searching through the Boots selection at my local store- but low and behold, I got my hands on the last one! It had shimmer in it, which surprised me. I'm more of a solid colour kind of girl, but that doesn't discard this as a lovely shade that looks good on every skin tone. 

Chinchilly and Sand Tropez are very similar in colour, the only difference being that Chinchilly is a darker shade. Both colours are lovely on the nails, but are just that little bit on the boring side. Depending on the number of coats, Chinchilly can also come across a fair bit darker than in the bottle- so beware if this is a shade you're thinking of buying!

Russian Roulette disappointed me. The shade itself is just your basic red and looks lovely on the nails. It does leave a little bit of staining on the nails, so if you're lazy like me and sometimes skip out on the base coat, I wouldn't recommend this polish as you'd have tinted nails for a week or so afterwards! Besides the staining, my major gripe about this polish is that it chips so easily. The only redeeming factor is that its a lovely shade and doesn't require more than two coats to have it looking perfect- but just remember that you should take it with you, otherwise it'll look like you've been washing dishes 24/7!

Finally, the two polishes that I was unimpressed with. "Tart Deco" and "Bahama Mama", whilst both having really cute names, didn't quite make me jump for joy when I was wearing them on my nails. Right now I'm wearing Bahama Mama and it's not making me fawn over the colour like I should.

Tart Deco is another raved about colour from the brand. It's a peachy/corally shade that would normally make any girl race home to try it out. That's exactly what I did, removing my last shade with vigour and swiping this over my nails. Afterwards, I was left quietly disappointed with the shade. It just didn't suit my skin tone and just looked far too bright. I even tried it out with a matte top coat and it still didn't look as nice as it does in the bottle. It might just be my opinion, as lots of bloggers tend to love this shade, but I won't be painting my nails this shade for a while. 

Like I said, Bahama Mama is currently on my nails. I painted them yesterday and left them to dry, doing pretty much nothing for roughly an hour so that they would spoil. Thinking that they'd be all dry after having such a long time to settle, I went on a little bit of a cleaning spree and was left with a huge indent on three of my nails. When I bought this colour, it came in a box set with Chinchilly and I didn't really pay it much attention, so I'm not completely dismayed about it. But still, it was very irritating. It's also chipped on a few of the nails, so I'm not impressed by this one.

I hope you liked reading about the different shades in my Essie collection and that it's inspired you to try a few out. Also, turns out Essie is now in Superdrug stores around the UK. If you want to check out Boots, Superdrug and also Essie's website for the different shades on offer, make sure to click the links.

Are there any shades that you really like? Any that you wouldn't recommend? Comment below, as I'm always up for trying new colours in the name of blogging! (Good excuse, right?)

Friday, 31 January 2014

January Beauty & Non-Beauty Favourites 2014

So it's the end of January and ergo the time to show you what things I've been loving this month. I thought that I'd mix it up a little bit between beauty things and a couple of random bits and bobs just to make it a bit more interesting. Without further ado, favourites please maestro!

Let's start with the beauty, because that's always the most interesting part. I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. Christmas morning, girls (and some men, I'm sure) ripped off the wrapping paper to uncover this beauty and undoubtedly wasted no time in trying it out. I can't say it was any different for me. My lovely parents splashed out a bit and bought it for me after a couple of hints dropped here and there by yours truly. 

Sadly, the picture doesn't do justice to just how pretty these shades are. I absolutely love love love the darkest shade 'blackheart', which I've sported on a couple of nights out. OTT in all of the right ways, I must admit! I also really love the shade 'strange', which is the lightest colour in the palette. It works well as a highlight or just to put all over the lid if you fancy a bit of a 'light-eye' makeup day, as I call it.

A bronzer boasted about by the masses is the next favourite of the month for me. Nars' 'Laguna' bronzer is just the right shade for my skin tone. I'm fairly fair skinned and after reading/watching the views of many bloggers about how it suited their skin tones, I thought I'd give it a go. Now, I've tried and tested a fair few bronzers over the past few years and I can safely say that none of them come close to the contouring genius of this one. To apply, I give my Real Techniques Blush Brush a whirl around in the powder and lightly brush the hollows of my cheeks. I've used this non-stop this month and I don't think it's going to be moving from my make-up bag anytime soon!

If you've read any of my older posts, you know that I rave on endlessly about The Body Shop and their Vitamin E Moisture Cream. I'm always applying it to set a base for my foundation to look after my skin as much as possible, so when I saw a little box of Body Shop goodies in TK-Maxx all centred around their Vitamin E range, I hastily made my way to the check-out. 

My skincare regime for the second half of 2013 was non-existant and I definitely noticed the difference as soon as I stopped taking care of it. I've been using this nightly for the past month and it's certainly made a difference. My spots (ew) have cleared up considerably and my face feels really smooth afterwards. The box of goodies also had a facial brush, which I use to apply the facial wash. I leave it on for roughly half a minute and then wash it off, dabbing my face with a towel afterwards. It's lovely! 

Another hyped about beauty product here. Half a year ago, I was nosing through the magazines in Tesco and found one that had a mini Benefit 'They're Real!' mascara, so I picked it up with the intention of trying it out. I'm one of those people that can't start a new mascara until I've completely used up my old one, so when my trusty Clinique 'High Impact Mascara' gave up the ghost, I gave this gem a go. Now, I'm definitely not the first to sing this baby's praises, but boy is it good. So good that I bought the full-sized version from Boots for a whopping £19.50. I must be mad, but I think it's worth it! 

Again, this isn't the first time I've mentioned this particular favourite of mine. Tanning? In January? I know, it's ridiculous. St. Tropez 'Gradual Tan' is an everyday body moisturiser that gives your skin a bit of a healthy sun kissed glow that I can't seem to get enough of. I don't use it every day, otherwise I'll look like I've just got back from Spain mid-July, but I have applied it a few times this month just to make it feel a little bit like Summer in the freezing cold! 

Perfume seems to have sneaked it's way into a tradition for me at Christmas. A new bottle of a different perfume is now a must that I'm not complaining about! The scent of choice was 'Daisy' by Marc Jacobs and it smells divine. I'm awful at describing scents, but if I had to put a label on it, it would be fresh and floral. Descriptive or what? The Eau So Fresh version is much lighter than the Eau De Parfum, which I like, but it still lasts for the whole day. I've found myself sniffing at my wrists in the middle of the evening, it lasts so long. No reapplying necessary!

Non-beauty favourites time! I've had my eye on this beautiful necklace for a very long time and I must say that this picture doesn't do it justice. To have a better look, click here to check it out on the Daisy website. I did a little bit more hint dropping and managed to have this stunning piece of neckwear as a birthday present from my mum and dad. This necklace has seen a fair few fun nights over the past month and I'm sure it'll be subjected to much more! The jewellery Daisy London sells is all so dainty and pretty, I really recommend you go and check them out. They even have a 15% off offer at the moment just in time for Valentines day. Might even treat myself to something! (Totally the point of Valentines Day. Treat yourself if nobody else does!)

Bit of a strange one, but lets roll with it. I've been loving this app to record all of my calories, track my weight loss and it also has a nifty way of letting you record the calories you lose from your exercise. I got into using this last year when I started seriously dieting and I've continued straight through to this year with vigour. Once I've recorded my daily calories and submitted my diary for the day, it even gives you a little prediction of what weight you could be in five weeks if you keep going. It's a nice little motivational tool that helps you keep on track with what you eat and stops you going over the top on snacks! 

Another love of mine this month has been my shoes that I bought off ebay last year in October. Whenever I go out for meals or for a drink with the girls in the evening, these have been my first choice of footwear. They're super comfortable and don't require you to tot around all evening! Easy to walk in is key when you're sipping on some wine (or something stronger!) and these fit the bill. They're a little battered (hence the lack of a close-up), so they aren't the most long-lasting of footwear but they certainly didn't break the bank. You get what you pay for, I suppose!

I hope that you enjoyed this post and you've gotten a bit of insight into some of my beauty and non-beauty favourites of the month. Comment below what some of your recent favourites have been so that I can make the excuse of sneaky purchases being for research purposes! On a side note, I've also been posting a lot more on Instagram since the start of this year- so follow me @dailybeaut if you fancy it!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

2014, yes please!

Well, it has been a rather long time since I've posted anything, hasn't it? Last year has been hectic, to say the least. I've been battling with exams and coursework, non-stop reading and trips back and forth here, there and everywhere. I learnt how to drive and now have a lovely little car that I can poodle about in. I passed all of my exams with decent marks. I even turned 18 and for my birthday had a little trip to Disneyland, but there's something else that I'm proud of myself for.

I devoted 2013 to getting fit and healthy. I managed to lose a total of 3st 10lbs (and only 7lbs was gained back at Christmas- result!) by eating less junk food and exercising on and off every month. I'm so proud of myself to sticking to it and I feel so much better in myself. If you're thinking of shedding a few pounds, maybe a few stone like I did so that you can feel 10/10, do it! I can't stress enough that losing weight is a confidence-booster

This year is going to be much the same diet-wise, but I thought that I should start up blogging again because I enjoy it and love getting to know you guys. I'm even going so far as to create a posting-schedule, so every Wednesday and Saturday starting next week, new beauty/fashion-related posts will be up. Times are a changing, as they say! 

Can't wait to get back in the swing of things. I hope that last year was fantastic for all of you and that 2014 will be even better!