Archive for the ‘OPI’ Category
A perfect wash and blow-dry can do wonders – it transforms your appearance and hide the sins of not having had a hair cut in months. Like me.
Last week I was invited to award-winning hair salon Brooks and Brooks for a wash and blow-dry and I turned up with bad looking hair – always a good start. The salon is tucked away on a side street close to Holborn tube station and the surroundings makes it feel like you are walking through a boutique arcade.
Brooks and Brooks, which opened 10 years ago, has recently undergone a £120,000 make-over. There are two floors (ground and basement) with different areas all giving a comfortable, warm and relaxing, homely feel where you can have your hair cut and coloured, and also have your nails done by their resident manicurist who only uses OPI.
I do quite a poor job of blow-drying my bob so my stylist came to the rescue and gave my limp-looking locks some lift from the crown. I was also introduced to a Bumble & Bumble product for strengthening and thickening my hair, one of the brands Brooks and Brooks uses (as well as Kérastase, L’Oréal and Kevin Murphy). It’s a shame I had nowhere to go afterwards but home. Any way, here is what I left the salon with…
These pictures were taken when I got home so excuse the ruffles courtesy of London Underground’s own unique blow-drying system. Bah.
With lots of offices and businesses in the area, Brooks and Brooks are open till 9pm most days so it’s possible to fit in an appointment after work.
I keep staring at my nails…would you just look at them? Isn’t this the finest manicure you’ve seen? This is the work of Mercedez Merx aka Miss Merx, fellow beauty blogger and a freelance nail technician who doesn’t cut corners in her job and is passionate about keeping nails healthy.
Mercedez has years of experience under her belt and is OPI trained, and she has worked with some big clients and counts some amazing ones in her loyal list of customers.
A few weeks ago I whinged I hadn’t enough time to sort myself with a manicure for my friend Lisa’s wedding in Edinburgh. I was one of four bridesmaids, you see. Mercedez came to my rescue with my first ever gel manicure (shocking admission for a beauty blogger) and I couldn’t have been happier with the results. Now let me tell you something, this girl is GOOD. No, wait – not good, AMAZING.
My session took a good hour and the result was such a neat and precise manicure. Mercedez prides herself on being ‘old school’ in her practising of manicures. She will come to your home or to your work place if you prefer and pamper your talons till they look like you could be a hand model. It’s sheer bliss to have someone visit you in the comfort and privacy of your own haven. You’re not rushing to park somewhere or endure public transport to get to your appointment on time. I think people forget the benefits of a mobile service.
I’ve had a fair number of manicures and this one didn’t pinch or hurt a bit especially on the cuticles. My long nails were uneven to start with due to breakages but Mercedez didn’t bat any eyelid and filed them down to a beautiful shape.
The dress code for the bridesmaids was red and black so Mercedez showed me a few red shades and I settled for OPI’s Malaga Wine. Now I’m pretty brutal with my (strong) nails – I dragged a heavy suitcase to Edinburgh, whacked my nails a few times and it didn’t chip. Two weeks on and the gel manicure is unscathed. A regular manicure would have endured a few cracks and chips within a few days but Mercedez did a fabulous job and I’m converted to gel manicures. They’re perfect for holidays and special occasions as they last longer and their endurance is incredible.
So I’ve got me a regular hair stylist, hair colourist, beautician and now I can add Miss Mercedez Merx to the list as my manicurist.
I urge you to give Mercedez a try. She covers greater London and surrounding areas like Hertfordshire, Kent and Essex…basically if she can get to you, she will get to you.
Visit www.missmerxmanis.com for more information on the manicures and pedicures Mercedez does and the prices.
Oh and here are some photos from the wedding of Lisa Simpson (yes, that is her real name) who is now Mrs Redpath. Congratulations to you and Gary, Lisa. xx
The life of a beauty blogger means buying things and getting round to trying them months later so when Max Factor’s Fantasy Fire caused much excitement earlier this year, of course I got sucked in.
I haven’t dabbled in layering much (and Fantasy Fire is precisely a layering polish) but this little gem is one hyped up product I want to stock up on.
I picked OPI’s Eiffel For This Color as the base colour, which is beautiful on its own with deep plum and purple tones…
…and with one coat of Fantasy Fire it sizzles.
With flash it looks ruby red with gorgeous flecks of red and gold and without, it looks burgandy with brown undertones. As the light catches it, you can also see yellow and green shimmer. It’s stunning and the lasting power is impressive too.
I’ve been wearing this manicure for almost a week and it’s not chipped despite me putting it through its paces with mowing the lawn on Sunday afternoon. Excellent durability.
Fantasy Fire is precious in a tiny bottle (from the Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish range). However you don’t need a big bottle of this to get your kicks. The only dilemma is what other colours could you use beneath Fantasy Fire? Have you tried this baby? Which polishes do you recommend I try Fantasy Fire over?
Six months ago I spoilt you with showing off all the nail polishes I grabbed from my Miami trip. (Jeez, has it really been that long? Tell me where 2012 is racing to, please!)
Here’s are a few swatches on some gems I swooped down onto like an over-excited magpie. All photos were taken with flash. Let me know what you think!
OPI DS Extravagance from the Designer Series collection is an oldie but I’ve been craving this one for so long yet I couldn’t bring myself to pay over £20 for a bottle of this as sold by Fenwicks in Brent Cross shopping centre. I picked this up at Ulta Beauty for a ridiculous price (something like $10). I can’t remember exactly how much but I do know it was unbelievably cheap and I gushed on about it to my friends like I’d won the lottery. It’s a stunning concoction of purples and pinks for an epic holographic polish and the picture above does not do it justice.
British brand Rimmel have a Lasting Finish Pro range that were in abundance in the US but obviously don’t exist in its country of origin. Can you get them here? I have never seen these in the shops, perhaps online but definitely not in Boots and Superdrug. When I saw these in on my holiday, I had to buy one and this olive metallic called Rags to Riches was the one that stood out the most. The bottle is really big and square shaped (Rimmel polishes usually are quite small in the UK). To see the complete range the US sells, click here.
After three years of beauty blogging, you may have twigged I have a passion for rich, jewel colours. Wined Up by Sally Hansen from the Insta-Dri range is gorgeous! Amazing shine and a smooth finish, it actually looks quite disappointing in its bottle but clearly pops on the nails. Fabulous!
Pronto Purple is another one from Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri – a mix of purple, red and blue speckles. These polishes were really easy to apply and pretty good chipping resistance and hold. Absolute bargains too! The girl serving me in Ulta remarked on how many purples I had in my basket…erm, yeah that. So I do have a slight problem with liking purple too much…
In keeping with my fascination of jewel shades, this peacock teal metallic number from Essie called Dive Bar is divine. It is very thin and I had to apply 3 coats but it’s a beautiful colour.
Another one from Essie is Midnight Cami, a deep, dark blue which was thicker in comparison to Dive Bar and opaque in one coat surprisingly.
So there we have it! My firm favourites carried over the Atlantic ocean. Dare I imagine what I may come back with in September when I plan another trip over that ocean…I’d better not think about that too much.