[WEDDING WEDNESDAY] Bridal nails

This week we’re talking nails. Wedding manicures to be precise. A French manicure is probably the most traditional choice for brides. But anyone who has been reading this blog has probably realised that I’m not necessarily going for the traditional bridal look.

I’m also not hugely keen on other people painting my nails after a few dodgy experiences. I have been planning for my bridesmaids and me to have manis or pedis the afternoon before the wedding as a bit of girly pampering but will be going for a pedi myself.

On my nails, I had been planning to wear gold glitter polish after reading that Alex at The Frugality did on her wedding day. Alex’s reasons for wearing glitter polish on her wedding day are exactly why it seemed such a good idea – glitter polish lasts well as chips aren’t so noticeable and gold is part of our extended colour scheme! Then I spotted this look over on the Bridal Fashion Week catwalks and fell in love:

bridal nails by Essie

I’m now planning to have a trial of something like this – I’ll report back!

If you’re keen to try this look but at a more frugal price, Boots No7 are currently offering £3 off vouchers and have a few polishes you could try out – try layering their pink glitter (Daisy Darling) and gold glitter (Sun Rays) over a sheer neutral shade, like Practically Perfect or Pink Meringue.

How did you – or would you wear – your nails for your wedding day?

[BEAUTY] NEW No7 Early Defence Skincare #SlowMoYourSkin

no7 early defence skin care

Boots No7 is launching its latest innovative skincare range: No7 Early Defence Skincare. The brand new skincare range is specially designed to keep young skin looking younger for longer.

With my wedding just 66 days away (!!!), I have been upping my beauty regime and committing to looking after my skin.

no7 early defence skincare

The experts at No7 have realised that many women in their late 20s and early 30s are putting their health and wellbeing at the forefront of the beauty agenda. Looking after their mind and body has never been more important, however anti-ageing is not yet a concern for many of these young women.

Committed to developing the best skincare solutions to fulfil women’s needs whatever their age, the experts at No7 have developed their newest skincare solution designed specifically to fit the needs of 20-35 year old women: NEW No7 Early Defence Skincare.

NEW No7 Early Defence Skincare (consisting of Day, Night and Eye Creams) works as a ‘stepping stone’ to help in the transition from everyday skincare to proactively delaying the signs of ageing.

The range offers No7’s new and most effective patent pending daily protection technology, ‘Double Defence’ that, in combination with No7’s unbeatable 5* UVA technology, gives skin advanced daily protection from the sun and environmental stress to help it look younger for longer.

I’ve been trying out the new collection for the past week and am totally sold already. My skin is looking brighter and smoother than it has for a long time.

no7 early defence

The No7 Early Defence Day Cream (£19.50) is a super-light moisturiser with 5* UVA protection and SPF15 which gives advanced daily protection. The smell of both creams is light and with a hint of citrus fruits – perfect for the summer. I usually find day creams too heavy when I’m wearing make up too and although this cream looks and feels quite heavy initially, it sinks into the skin really quickly and doesn’t leave any residue.

The No7 Early Defence Night Cream (£19.50) is a luxurious feeling hydrating cream that absorbs quickly for a boost of care that continues while you sleep. This cream also protects from daily damage that continues and helps your skin to recover. This has a similar scent and is divine. The night cream actually feel slightly lighter than the day cream which is unusual. As with the day cream, the night cream absorbs quickly and I wake up with my skin feeling smooth and not as all greasy or sticky.

The No7 Early Defence Eye Cream (£13.50) is especially designed for the delicate areas around your eyes, enriched with Vitamin C to help reduce puffiness and dark circles, for brighter more beautiful eyes. This is a light cream with no real scent. It aborbs quickly and actually, without really realising it, I have managed to not use my No7 Radiance Concealer on the under-eye area as much as usual this past weekend (despite a late night and a little alcohol consumption at my friend’s wedding!) – so it must be doing something!

The science part – patent pending Double Defence technology contains:

  • Ginseng and Mulberry, rich in polyphenols which are effective against superoxides produced in skin when exposed to sunlight or pollution.
  • Vitamin C, effective against ozone, which is formed from ultraviolet light and atmospheric electrical discharges.
  • Lipochroman and Vitamin E which are effective against singlet oxygen, an incredibly damaging free radical produced by UVA exposure.
  • Rice peptides and Alfalfa, which are effective inhibitors of age-accelerating enzymes (MMPs) in the skin. These enzymes are produced in the skin to help it remodel and repair after damage. They degrade breakdown fragments, playing the role of housekeepers and allowing proper repair to follow. In ageing, however, these enzymes become hyperactive breaking down healthy skin components such as collagen.

The No7 Early Defence Day Cream (£19.50 for 50ml), No7 Early Defence Night Cream (£19.50 for 50ml) and No7 Early Defence Eye Cream (£13.50 for 15ml) will be exclusively available at Boots stores across the UK and at boots.com from tomorrow (Wednesday 15 April 2015).

No7 Early Defence Day, Night and Eye Creams will replace the current No7 Protect and Perfect Day, Night and Eye Creams, whilst No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED Serums will still be available to be used in combination with the new skin care range.

[BEAUTY] Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm

nuxe reve de miel

Just a quick beauty review today. I’ve been on the hunt for a new lip balm for ages. I used to use Palmers cocoa butter balm but despite feeling moisturising straight after application, I didn’t really feel like that lasted very long.

Enter the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm. This smells like the Bliss lip scrub that I already love – like a creamy orange blossom. It also offers long lasting moisturisation of my lips. I’ve been putting it on before bed to work its magic overnight and have been waking up with nice moisturised lips. This balm is also a great base for lipstick as it is more matte than most.

Which lip balm do you use? Are you loyal to one or do you buy whichever looks prettiest or is cheapest in the store?

[BEAUTY] Soap & Glory’s The Righteous Butter

soap and glory the righteous butterThis is the first winter that my legs haven’t looked like a snakeskin that’s about to shed. Gross, I know. But that is a pretty accurate description of what they have looked like in previous winters. This winter I have made an effort to moisturise EVERY morning and EVERY evening. And guess what? It works! Who knew?!

To be honest, in previous years it wasn’t that I didn’t want to moisturise necessarily but that all of the lotions I’d tried irritated my skin. Or they made me feel greasy all day.

righteous butter

Welcome Soap & Glory’s The Righteous Butter. This thick luxurious body butter doesn’t sting my legs – even when I’ve just shaved them – and despite the consistency, I never feel greasy. Instead my legs feel moisturised.

It’s not a cheap option but as it works, I’m happy to pay a little more.

The next challenge will be trying fake tan after a winter of moisturising – rather than a quick application the night before! Check back soon for this.

Soap & Glory’s The Righteous Butter is on 3 for 2 at Boots right now!

Is there a beauty product you swear by?

[GIVEAWAY] No7 Match Made lipsticks

No7 match made lipstick

With V-day round the corner, the red lip is where it’s at. Whether single or paired up, with our extra special giveaway, you can rock a red lip this V-day!

Finding the perfect red lipstick can be something of a challenge. I’ve written about finding the right red for me before – and since discovering the No7 Match Made service, I’ve become addicted. My latest addition isn’t one from my colour match but I think that’s the point. The Match Made service gave me the confidence to try out a red lip and from there, I’m happy to go ahead and push my comfort on the red lipstick front.

Like Flame that was the first red that I actually liked to wear, my latest red is on the coral/orange red spectrum. Hot Paprika is a hot fiery orange-red shade that will match up to lots of skin tones.

The key to finding the right red is to try, try and try again! I would totally recommend trying the No7 Match Made service which is why this giveaway is all about the service and finding the right red for you!

We’ve got 10 No7 lipsticks to giveaway, to celebrate Valentine’s Day (the 10 shades we have are: Sweet Chestnut, Brick Red, Soft Ruby, Raspberry Truffle, Deeply Pink, Soft Cherry, Magenta Shine, Pomegranate, Pillarbox and Blushing Rose). We’re going to give five lucky winners, two new lipsticks! To enter, tell us which shade you are (yep, you need to pop into your local store and get matched – it’s free!) and where you’ll wear your new lippy.

The giveaway is open to UK readers only. To enter you need to comment here (with your choice of lipstick) and head over to show some love for our Facebook page with a “like”.

The giveaway is open for two weeks until midnight on Thursday (26 February). Winners will be picked at random.

For an extra entry, share the post about the giveaway that’s on our Facebook page right now.

[BEAUTY] No7 Spring Collection

nails

I do love a new season make-up collection. Particularly a spring make-up collection which heralds the beginning of the end of winter.

no7 spring make up collection

No7 have already released their Spring collection and I’ve been playing with the new polishes and shadow set for the past week.

no7 spring nail polishes

The new nail shades are bright and hopeful for the new season – a coral which is more of a pretty pink that will ease you into the warmer weather – when it comes! – and a lilac which reminds me of fresh spring buds.

no7 spring eyeshadow palette

The best part of the new collection is the eyeshadow palette. The new palette offers a neutral option with four pale, nude shades and four darker brown colours.

no7 spring palette

This is definitely a palette for me – one of the shades in the lighter section is my go-to everyday shade of Mink. I wear this practically every day as a wash over my lids. The slight shimmer means my eyes look a little more done than if it was matte. If I want to mix it up (i.e. I have time!), I might sometimes add a darker shade in the crease. The four darker shades in this palette all complement each other. I’m not sure I will need another palette again.

How are you saying goodbye to winter?

[BEAUTY] Battle of the make-up brushes

battle of the make-up brushes

battle of the make-up brushes

It’s the battle of the brushes on this week’s beauty spot. I’ve been using No7 brushes for years, the £5/£3 off vouchers have made them affordable and they certainly have longevity. But they were looking a little sorry for themselves so I asked for some new ones for Christmas from the in laws.

I’ve read a lot about the Real Techniques brushes on various beauty blogs so was keen to try them and asked for the Core Collection. Just after I’d asked, I had an email from No7 telling me they were launching a new collection of revamped make-up brushes this spring and would I like to try them. They also have a Core Collection set, so I thought it was apt to compare these.

What they do?

The Real Techniques Core Set contains four base brushes. All four brushes are a starting point for your make up application, with a buffing brush, foundation brush, blusher brush and a concealer brush.

The No7 Core Collection is also four brushes: a foundation brush, a blusher brush, an eyeshadow brush and concealer brush.

The Real Techniques brushes are definitely a taster set, the foundation brush is much smaller than you’d really want and would probably be better suited to concealer while the concealer brush is much smaller. The No7 foundation brush is a much better size. I have been using the Real Techniques concealer brush for eyeshadow as it is the right size to offer precision.

I’ve found myself loving the buffing brush in the Real Techniques collection to set my foundation and blusher after application.

make up brushes

Best quality?

Both sets of brushes feel well made. The smooth, velvety handles of the Real Techniques brushes feel very luxurious and expensive. The thick handles with a flat bottle mean that they can stand up too. The plastic handles of the No7 brushes feel a little less hard wearing but the bristles feel as good and don’t feel at all loose, even after cleaning.

real techniques make up brushes

Best value?

They both retail for pretty much the same price so neither is friendlier on the purse. However, the No7 set is, in my opinion, the better value. The case for the No7 set can be added to with space for a further four more brushes. The set offers the best variety too, so you won’t necessarily need to buy anymore brushes – or at least not right away.

no7 stippling brush

In addition to the new set of brushes, No7 are introducing some new stand alone brushes. I’ve been trialling the smudger brush and stippling brush. The smudger brush is ideal for creating a smokey eye. The stippling brush is a new one for me, although I’ve seen them used by make-up artists at Fashion Week and by other beauty bloggers before. This actually applies foundation differently to a normal foundation brushes. The stippling effect and the blending after makes it look dewier (which I love) and it seems to last longer too.

What make-up brushes do you use?