[BITE-SIZED BEAUTY] Stylish treats

Chanel les vernis nail polish

This blog is all about staying stylish on a budget but just sometimes I like to splurge. One of my treats, is Chanel nail polishes. I love them. I love the elegance of the bottles on my dressing table, I love the range of colours and the quality of the polishes. My latest addition is from the new Rouge collection. There were three polishes released towards the end of last year, a darker red, a pinky red and this, true red. I hadn’t got a Chanel red in my collection so knew I had to get my hands on one!

What do you like to splurge on?

[BEAUTY] No7 Nail Care and Treatments


no7 nail care

During the cold winter months, it’s a good time to take a little extra care of yourself. But it’s not just your skin that you need to look after when it’s cold, your nails need some TLC too. Boots No7 have helpfully launched their new collection of nail care and treatments.

Strong and healthy nails are essential for a perfect manicure, so the experts at No7 have developed the new No7 Nail Care and Treatments. The new collection includes four products that are designed to strengthen, smooth, cleanse and condition nails.

No7 Nail Strength & Grow Treatment (£8) encourages strong and healthy growth, while also tackling weak and brittle nails. It works to keep nails split and break resistant – which is great for the cold weather. This is a new product idea for me – you apply this treatment to your nails and wash it off before applying a base coat or colour. You can follow this treatment with No7 Ridge Filling Base (£8) to smooth and conceal ridges and imperfections in an instant, giving nails the optimum base for colour application without the need for buffing. This is the product I’ve been using the most. It gives a clean matte buffed look which gives a professional and natural manicure.

The winter air can be harsh and dehydrating for nails and the new No7 Cuticle Oil (£8) leaves nails feeling smoother and more hydrated as the oil works to condition and restore the cuticles as well as the nails.

Just before applying a base coat or nail colour, you can gently brush new No7 Nail Cleanse and Prime (£8) on to nails to cleanse the surface and effectively remove stains. This is a brilliant product for dark polish junkies – like me! Nails are left looking fresh and conditioned.

New No7 Nail Care and Treatments is available in Boots stores nationwide and on boots.com now.

[BEAUTY] Finding a foundation

how to find the right foundation

I’ve been trying a few new foundations recently and thought I’d give a little bit of a review of my favourites.

I’ll start this post with a disclaimer. I hate make-up on my face that I can feel. I hate that caked feeling of layers of make-up. So learning to use different products, like primer and concealer, has been a bit of a battle. But one that I am slowly winning thanks to a bit of trial and error.

I used to always use Boots No7 tinted moisturiser. For years and years. Then they released their BB cream and I tried that. I still use this as my lazy weekend make-up when I don’t really want to put anything on but want a little colour and coverage. It goes on easily with fingers or a brush, the colour is good, despite only coming in three shades (I think!) and it doesn’t cake at all!

After chatting with No7 Business Manager, Rachael Parish, she recommended I try No7’s new Superlight foundation. I tried it and it is as light as air. Really lovely. But for, a little too matte. So off I headed to my local No7 counter and found the Instant Radiance foundation. From my first try, I was sold! This foundation is also light weight but also adds a little dewy glow which I prefer.

I’m staying true to my love of tinted moisturisers too with the newest addition to my make-up bag: Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturiser – a beauty blogger favourite. I’d wanted to try it for years but never seemed to be in a store that sold it with any time to try it. Back at the end of 2014 I had a beauty consultation at Selfridges in Birmingham. Basically you get the full attention of their beauty advisor for a couple of hours and she takes you round the various concessions and discusses what you want to get out of the session etc. Rose is lovely and approachable. Both my sister and I were after trying new foundations. I was set on the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser. My sister was less set. I didn’t make a decision on the day but went away with a tester and my mum then got my a tube for Christmas. My sister, too, left with a couple of testers and later returned for the NARS one she’d loved. If you’re in Birmingham and looking for new make-up or a bit of a switch up, make sure to get in touch and book an appointment. They cost £30 but this is redeemable against any purchases you make on the day. So really, it’s free!

The tinted moisturiser is quite a creamy texture when it comes out of the tube. Surprisingly it actually feels slightly heavier than the No7 Instant Radiance foundation but it definitely feel moisturising and sinks into the skin quickly, adding a hint of colour too.

Normally I’d keep a tinted moisturiser like this for weekends or the summer but I’ve been wearing it some weekdays to add a little colour to my poor pale winter skin.

Do you stick to the same foundation or mix it up and try something new?

[BITE-SIZED BEAUTY] Christmas nailed


Our new [bite-sized beauty] posts will be bringing to you, quick tips and favourite products that we just have to tell you about! Today, we’re starting with Christmas nails. If you’re anything like us you’ll be wanting an extra special polish for your Christmas Day mani. A little festive sparkle always goes down and a treat and we’ve found just the right polish: No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Fire Cracker.

no7 nail colour in fire cracker

[BEAUTY] Festive Make-up tips: from the office to the bar

mirror make up

Heading straight to the work’s party from the office? We’ve got five tips for when you’ve only got five minutes to update your look:

tip 1: create a flawless base

1. Create a flawless base:

First things first, make sure you take the time before work to create a proper base that will last you through the day and into the night out. For me, I use a radiance concealer under my eyes to add a bit of brightness. Then I use a primer to keep everything in place, followed by my choice of foundation. Right now I’m using No7 Instant Radiance foundation which makes skin glow without too much shine. When I want my look to last all day and into the night, I apply my foundation with a brush as I find this helps it to last longer.

tip 2: add some shimmer

2. Add some shimmer:

The shimmer eye crayon is the perfect way to add some festive sparkle to your look for the Christmas party. Apply to the base of your lid and smudge up and out with your finger. Add another coat of mascara too, to make your eyes really stand out. No7’s latest mascara release, Midnight Lash allows you to build up the layers without any clumping.

tip 3: get some glitter

3. Get some glitter:

Nails looking a bit chipped? A quick coat of glitter nail polish will disguise chips and dries in super quick time. Boots SEVENTEEN’s tinsel top coat is pretty and seasonal.

tip 4: get a feline flick

4. Get a feline flick:

A cat’s eye liner flick will take your daytime look to night-time in one quick move! I’ve got a few black liners on the go, including a couple of felt tip pen options – great if you’re a liquid liner novice.

tip 5: make a statement in red

5. Make a statement in red:

If you usually wear quite neutral and natural make-up a bright red or bold berry lipstick will ensure you make an impact at the bar.

How do you take your look from the office to the party?

[BEAUTY] The Body Shop: Countdown to Christmas

the body shop countdown to christmas

the body shop countdown to christmas

All through December, The Body Shop is counting down to Christmas with a series of reviews behind it’s virtual advent calendar door. Today, we’re hosting the advent calendar and behind “door 14” is the much-hyped Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet and the Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash.

the body shop vitamin e gentle facial wash

I’ll be honest that I kind of missed the launch of the Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet earlier this year but I’m already looking forward to next summer to enjoy the full effect.

I’ve said before, I hate heavy creams on my face – even in winter. This moisturiser is a lovely light, whipped, mattifying gel. It’s unlike any other moisturiser I’ve used. It absorbs so quickly and leaves my skin feeling hydrated and brighter.

the body shop vitamin e aqua boost sorbet moisturiser

The sorbet will be ideal for the summer months for adding hydration without weighing skin down. It doesn’t have any SPF so you’ll need to make sure to add this – my foundation has an SPF in, so it isn’t necessary for my moisturiser to have it too.

I’ll be wearing it in the winter too, as it is so hydrating and I love it’s lightweight feel.

The gentle facial wash is a lovely creamy texture that goes on easily and leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed. In the warmer months I tend to use a face scrub more often as I’m regularly piling on the sunscreen and feel hot and bothered. In the winter, I prefer something that isn’t so harsh on my skin and this completely ticks that box.

How do you keep your skin clean and moisturised in the cool winter months?

[HOW TO] Wear Red Lipstick

how to wear red lipstick

mac matte lipstick in lady danger

Wearing lipstick requires careful preparation. Cracked lipstick on chapped lips does not look cool, or sexy.

Having recently discovered red lipstick (see here), I have also discovered that my lips are dry (turns out this is a theme – at a recent beauty consultation I was also told my skin was dehydrated – this might all have something to do with my rather laisez-faire attitude to skin care! Oops!). But red lisptick really shows up your lip issues!

As per The Online Stylist’s advice in my post about finding the right red lipstick, exfoliation and moisturisation it turns out are key to ensuring it looks good. It’s a bit like fake tanning – the key is in the preparation.

bliss fabulips sugar lip scrub

I’ve been using Bliss’s Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub (when I remember!) to get rid of flaky skin. It is so easy, tastes and smells delicious (I realise I probably shouldn’t be eating it!) and leaves lips incredibly smooth. Palmer’s lip balm keeps my lips moisturised and smooth on a daily basis.

Of course, if you’re not wearing bright lipsticks, this method also works well to keep lips looking lush this winter!

How do you keep your lips in tip top condition?