This past week I’ve had naked nails. Why? By the time I am ready to sit down and relax, it is bed time and the last thing I want to sport is the ‘bedsheet’ look on my talons.
The only way to put these polishes to the test was to use a stop watch so painting a coat, I hit the ‘start’ button and waited. Well, I didn’t have to wait long and so half a minute later, I touched my nails, expecting to leave a finger print mark. It was bone dry.
Some of the colours did need a third coat and I can see why – the formula is thin and that probably accounts for the reason why it dries so fast. Don’t expect longwear because these polishes are prone to chipping but when time is scare, these are fantastic especially with the addition of these new vibrant colours.
I’ve swatched all the shades I was sent and these are all without a top coat. Not bad, eh? I will mention one thing – the yellow (Suddenly Sunny) has a shimmer to it whereas all the others of a creme finish. Also the least favourite for me is Ballerina – a milky pink that is very thin and makes me look like I’ve got mannequin hands!
Normally priced at £6 each, Avon’s Speed Dry nail polishes are currently on special offer at just £2.50 on Avon‘s website.
The Body Shop has released a number of exotic new scents in a collection of 30ml Eau de Toilette bottles. There are eight addictive fragrances to choose from which are Strawberry, Moringa, Coconut, Mango, Shea, Satsuma, Pink Grapefruit and Vanilla.
I was sent a couple to spritz and try – coconut and mango. Light, delicious and easy to wear, these sprays are refreshing yet subtle – perfect for the summer. Honestly, these are getting me in the mood for my holiday next month so I may pack one in my suitcase.
I adore the sweetness of the Brazil Nut scent the Body Shop brought out recently and these scents are very much in line with it so if you have a sweet tooth for fragrances then these are sure to be up your street.
As with anything the Body Shop produces, strong ethics matters. Each Eau de Toilette relies on Community Fair Trade organic alcohol from sugarcane and is sourced from the Body Shop’s Community Fair Trade supplier, the CADO co-operative in Ecuador ensuring stability to their communities.
The Body Shop’s range of Eau de Toilettes in these tropical flavours are available in cute 30ml bottles for only £8.50.
This week’s 20 Questions is with the infectious Rose of Mixed Gems – another top reason why Birmingham is one of my favourite cities. As a beauty blogger, Rose has quite a challenge with a day job working for a top beauty brand and she commutes from Birmingham to London every day AND she keeps smiling. Pretty like her namesake, her blog is one to check out, so let’s find out more about the multi-tasking and multi-talented lady behind it all…
Why did you start your blog?
I knew that I wanted to pursue journalism and so I thought it would be the perfect way to develop a writing style of my own.
How long have you been blogging for?
Originally I launched my blog two and a half years ago, but just last year I relaunched it as a beauty blog and that’s when I really switched on a whole new level of enjoyment for blogging.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I really enjoy challenging myself to pre-empt the answers to the questions that readers will have about a product. I also really enjoy the opinion forming process; I think it has helped me to be an assertive decision maker in all sorts of areas, not just beauty. It can also be fascinating to see how other people are using the same product as you; for example, when I got my Real Techniques brushes I noticed that Sam Chapman was using hers for all sorts of unusual things that I hadn’t thought of, like applying a primer with a foundation brush.
What frustrates you most about blogging?
Sometimes I wish I had much more time to put into my blog. Scheduling is a real help though and helps me not to feel so bad about being unable to keep the momentum up during the week.
What do your family and friends think of your blog?
They all know that I enjoy it and do look from time to time but although they’re very supportive they’re not half as beauty mad as me. My sister is my#1 fan and #1 critic all rolled into one. On one hand she gives me a no holds barred account of what she thinks of each post, but on the flip side whenever I post something to the Facebook page I’ll get a notification that ‘Maria Gallagher likes this’!
How frequently do you post?
Normally I post around 3-5 items on the weekend and schedule them to go out across social media during the week when I’m at work.
What’s your day job?
My 9-5 is working as a Social Media Manager for a British beauty brand. I really enjoy my job and it is fascinating to be on the other side of the beauty blogging equation. It has taught me lots about the kind of blogger that I want to be.
How many bottles of nail varnish do you own?
Around 70, and yet I always find myself rolling my eyes that I can’t find quite the right shade. That’s obscene, isn’t it? In my defence I do use them though and I change my nails all the time.
Do you set yourself a budget, or do you buy on an as-and-when basis?
I have far too little self-control for budgets! Even though it’s bad, one thing I must say is that I put a lot of research into beauty products that I buy. From press to bloggers I like to see what everyone is saying before I commit.
What is your favourite make-up brand, and why?
Oh I couldn’t possibly choose, they all serve different purposes! Estée Lauder is unbeatable for a fresh base, bareMinerals have some beautiful blushers for a natural flush… So many brands are in my make-up bag for different reasons. I could never pick one favourite because mixing the all is the best part.
Do you ever leave the house without wearing make-up?
All the time. Every morning I do my make-up on the train because I have quite a long commute. Then over the weekend I quite enjoy giving my skin a little break and keeping it fresh. I’m very into skincare so sometimes I like to show my skin off if I’m having a good run.
What’s your favourite beauty treatment to indulge in?
First I use my Clarisonic, then I mix some Eight Hour Cream and Clarins HydraQuench serum and go to sleep. By morning my skin is plump, hydrated and super soft! (Thanks for that tip – I’m going to try it! – Sheenie)
Tell us about the best holiday you’ve been on.
A few years ago I went to Berlin with all of my best friends, we had the best time. We travelled by coach which was so bad that it was good, and visited all of the war memorial places while we were there. I absolutely love the city and would love to go back again. Lazy holidays don’t appeal to me, I love to be out and about.
What would be your ideal day off?
I would be sat in the garden with all of my friends having a barbecue and a couple of glasses of wine. Anywhere to just sit and talk the hind legs off everyone all day, ha ha.
What is your favourite TV show?
Oh I get obsessed with everything. One of my all time favourites is Desperate Housewives, I have all of the box sets. At the moment I can not WAIT for the next series of Downton Abbey and I am really into Revenge; oh to be Victoria Greyson.
What music do you enjoy listening to?
Oh I have everything from Kylie to Kanye on my iPhone. I also love watching films and I’ll often download soundtracks to films that I’ve watched if I’ve enjoyed them. Recently I downloaded the Pitch Perfect soundtrack and it is just hilarious!
What is your favourite food?
My local Chinese is called The China Chef and I am just obsessed. I have chicken fried rice, chicken chow mein and a portion of chips. Amazing!
Where would you most like to go in the world? (money no object)
Without a shadow of doubt it would be Japan. I am fascinated by the kawaii world and would love to see the real life harajuku girls and go shopping for Japanese beauty brands. I would probably need an extra-case for BB cream stock ups!
Which 3 guests would you invite to dine with you and why?
Nicola Moulton, Newby Hands and Alessandra Steinherr because I have never met her and I would love to.
Tell us a secret…
I genuinely feel that if Harry Styles met me he would want to marry me. Obviously, I would say yes.
Thank you, Rose! Be sure to visit www.mixedgems.co.uk.
Hello, everyone. This is not a beauty post but I would like to draw your attention to a serious matter I’ve written about on my personal blog. I hope it makes sense and I hope it will act as a warning to you all not to make the mistake that I did. I would be grateful if you could tell all your friends and family, and retweet the link or post on Facebook…basically anything that will shame the culprits. Here is the link.