posted by on Avon, Nails, Nails of the Day

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Avon has a fresh new range of polishes out next month that give a gel finish. They boast base coat, top coat and colour in one.

Noticeably different to Bourjois and Nails Inc’s gel-like formulas, the emphasis is more on the appearance of looking like gel without the professional salon price tag and without the commitment of a real gel manicure with a whopping 24 shades.

There are three collections within the range – Paint Ball (full of bold and bright colours like reds and pinks), Wild Orchid (sumptuous vampish shades like plums and purples) and Gelato (light pastel sugary shades).

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I’m guessing this cherry chutney shade is called Wine and Dine with Me from the press release (the bottles aren’t labelled). I wore this for four consecutive days and put my talons through hell with cooking, cleaning and slamming the dishwasher door shut and do you know what? No chipping.

Mind you, I dispute the claim that these polishes give “full coverage and rich colour in just one coat”. Wine and Dine with Me cost me two coats, as did the shimmery Limoncello. Oddly, the opacity differs in the polishes I tried. The blue (Royal Vendetta) and red (Fabulous or is it Fire Cracker?) have a thicker formula and so one coat works.

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The beige (Barely There) and baby pink (Sheer love) are very sheer even after two layers. They also look hideous on me (mannequin hands, anyone?) but will be better suited to those with a lighter skin tone to mine.

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Avon’s Gel Finish nailwear launch on 17th April. Which ones do you like the look of?

*PR samples

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posted by on Leighton Denny, Nails, Nails of the Day

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A couple of weeks ago, I popped into see the new spring/summer collection from Leighton Denny.  The new polishes usher in the season with vibrant, carnival shades flattering for all skin tones. There is also a nude shade for those a little shy.

Housed in the slick Leighton Denny square bottles with the nail expert’s name emblazoned down the side, there is a spectrum of six colours in total with a seventh one exclusively to M&S Beauty.  My radar beeped over Glamazone, a stunning bright green with a gold shimmer. Reach For The Sky, a blue, is another close favourite with its silver shimmer.

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The other colours are equally eye-catching: yellow (Passport to Shine), tangerine (Bon Voyage!), pearl white (Pure Paradise) and bright pink (this one is for M&S). If you’re interested in the nude, that’s called Mirage or Not.

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Leighton Denny polishes are known for their impeccable quality – the formula is opaque and smooth to apply, leaving a flawless and beautiful finish. I also like the design of the bottle and handle – not just to look at but easy to grip and use. There is another bottle pictured above that deserves a mention – Leighton Denny’s Undercover matte base coat which dries fast to leave a smooth base for application.

The International Collection is available through Leighton Denny’s official website, John Lewis and M&S, priced at £11 each.

*PR samples

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posted by on REN

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I’m becoming well acquainted with REN’s skin care as I slowly work my way around the range. I previously reviewed their Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (which I loved) and Rosa Centifolia No1 Purity Cleansing Balm (again another beauty). Next up is the Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser.

Predictably it functions in exactly the same way as Liz Earle’s legendary Cleanse and Polish  (it even comes with a pump) so it’s quite a feat to challenge a firm favourite amongst those loyal to THAT creamy cleanser and muslin cloth…although to be fair to REN, the routine is slightly different.

Apply to dry skin and gently massage the creamy cleanser over the face and neck. The cleanser comes with a decent flannel (as opposed to the flimsy muslin cloth) that you rinse in warm water and first place over the face to open the pores, then lightly polish off the cleanser to remove dirt, make-up and loosen dead skin cells. Finally you’re mean to splash with cool water to close the pores.

I don’t feel comfortable with one cleanse being adequate to remove make-up that’s been slapped on my face all day so I will double-cleanse to make sure any leftover bits are removed. When it comes to cleansing, nothing is more relaxing and satisfying than wiping it all off with a steaming, hot flannel.

The magical ingredients in this mixture are Vitamin P to decongest and soothe, Triglycerides from Cocoa Seed Butter to improve the skin barrier functions against moisture loss and Rosa Damascena from Damask Rose Petals to relieve and soothe skin.

There are no fancy frills with this – it is a straight-forward cream cleanser that’s skin-friendly for all types. After use my dry/normal combination skin does clean and clear as well as soft and touchable. I also think the rose scent is subtle as opposed to Liz Earle’s strong eucalyptus smell but that’s as exciting as things get. It’s an alternative choice for a cream cleanser, not ground-breaking but far from terrible.

Personal preference rules here and if you favour the cream cleanser and hot cloth routine, you may be inclined to give REN’s version a go. There is no reason why you shouldn’t. You may even like it better and it’s reasonably priced at £16 for 150ml. I just think there are other products from REN that are more worthy of a nod. I suspect the Clarifying Toner is one of them, which I’ve recently ordered from their website. I have been looking for a gentle, everyday exfoliating toner and this one has had rave reviews so I’m quietly confident it will deliver. I’ll let you know how I get on.

What REN products have you tried? I’d love to know your thoughts.

*PR sample

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