Archive for June 2011

Nails Inc 'Atomic'

An unabashedly bright, bordering-on-neon-but-not-quite radioactive ('scuse the pun - Atomic - Radioactive. Lol. OK, that's probably only funny to me) orange. 


Pretty damn pigmented when it goes on, but not thick - one coat would have sufficed but I always do two anyway to ensure longlevity - speaking of which, this polish held up well on my currently thin and bendy nails. I had three days with no chips or tipwear, minimal tipwear on the fourth day and a couple of chips on my index nails (always those ones. ALWAYS. It'd be great if humans had two ring fingers instead of an index finger and a ring finger) and on the fifth day I had to remove it as I'd spent the night with my hands immersed in water and it was like wearing a crackle polish without the crackle polish. Looked like someone had Chernobylded my nails...You don't want to know.

Only one more week to go if you started collecting the Fabulous mag tokens from the beginning! It's pretty intense value when you think about it (£3 and a bit of patience for £22 worth of stuff!) so I'm pretty pleased with that.

EDIT: Forgot to explain the colour difference in the two photos...d'oh! First one is under natural light, the second is in direct sunlight - you can see how much darker and more intense it looks. Begins to border on a sort of salmony-coral gusta.

MUA Pro 3 in 1 Extreme Eye Contour Pen

Oh, I am pleased with this little pen. It was included in my little bag of MUA Pro goodies to review, fyi :)


For the small sum of £1.50, you get this sleek pen in cardboard packaging (as seen above) with instructions on the back as to how you form the three types of line.

The black plastic is so smooth. I thought it was a liquid liner at first because of the packaging, but I was delighted to know that it's a retractable pencil (I prefer pencil to other types of liner and use it most often).


I rolled this up about a third of the way. There's a decent amount of product concealed in the thin tube.

Now, onto the formula.

First off, the stick seems to be more oil/wax based, as it's surprisingly water resistant, and very very soft. It's a veritable dream to apply, no tugging etc. Longlevity is only an issue if there's no primer involved, and even then only on oily eyelids or if you keep touching your eyes. I don't know why you'd do that. I guess someone does :/ So to recap, it doesn't seem to dry down particularly well, so for those with oily lids you'd have to use a primer to ensure that it didn't run. 

So easyyyy to smudge. With just this and a coat of mascara, you can create a two minute smokey eye that requires little or no effort to do.

So soft, I accidentally broke it by being overzealous, lol.

Fail! Not the product, though. I'll be repurchasing this - it's great for students on a budget who want a very black pencil that's soft and easy to apply.

I don't get all the Nails Inc hate, bro.

OK, so as we all must be aware by now, you can currently pick up a bottle of Nails Inc polish with a purchase of Coke, "chocolate" (quote marks because Cadburys is foul and can be barely considered such) Malibu, Dove deoderant, Fabulous magazines, shares in Waitrose, a fake greencard and any two Romanian orphans. Nails Inc are currently everywhere in one of the more agressive marketing strategies that the beauty blogging world has seen. And I love it.

I scroll down my Twitter timeline and see one or two beauty bloggers turned economists debating how on earth Nails Inc can possibly be making any money whatsoever. Well, er...isn't it obvious? Agressive promotion (in which case is giving the polish away with like, oxygen) = more people knowing about and being familiar with the brand. Which translates into increased sales. I actually saw one blogger write a post on the topic and then say, 'I don't even consider Nails Inc high end any more'. Sorry, it's not what you consider a brand that makes it so. If I regard Burberry as low end that suddenly doesn't mean that I won't have to save up my pocket money for a year to buy half a lipstick. Likewise, saying that E.L.F is high end doesn't change the fact that you can get eyeshadow quads for like a quid. Not really sure where she was trying to go with that.

I do think that we in the beauty blogging world do forget sometimes that not everyone can name all the shades of the latest OPI collection or recite a list of MAC shadows from memory. To the average Joanna, who hasn't been exposed to all of the freebies and doesn't really pay attention to what's hot, new shades and trends, who hasn't been over saturated with the news of endless offers and freebies, it's just a chance to pick up a nail polish with a deoderant that they already buy. Or a Coke they were having for lunch anyway. Or the paper they already bought on Sundays. From that, they've been exposed to a brand that may have been new to them and Nails Inc have just earned themselves a new customer. Or not, whatever.

This isn't a rant as such as I'm not personally invested in Nails Inc, but I'm just more confused at why people are so opposed to them promoting their product. Is it the oversaturation thing? (i.e people seeing it everywhere, and then getting sick of it) or are people pissed because they used Nails Inc before they became easily accessible to the masses and now don't feel exclusive any more? I personally don't understand this one, I too used Nails Inc before I could buy a farm animal and get a free Nails Inc polish in 'Milkmaid' (sheer sky blue jelly with large pieces of hexagonal black glitter) and I'm not annoyed. Maybe it's just me. Someone care to explain?

In other news, can I send things like Posietint/Benetint overseas? Because they look like nail polish (but aren't) but if the big burly men at USPS who dislike nail polish immensly pick up on it, I don't want to be slapped with an $800 fine for a swap or a giveaway. Any help would be appreciated!

WARNING: This is a Feet Post

Summer nail trends for feet! Now, I went to all the trouble of creating a special graphic so ya'll don't have to see the feet and can casually scroll along your dashboard for the next non-feet related post. Not my fault if you enter and mentally scar yourself!

So I wanted to swatch my chosen colours for my Summer Nail Trends post on my feet. I wouldn't wear ALL of these as pedicure colours, but a fair few have a shot. Behold:

In different light:

Big Toe: Nails Inc 'Milan'
Second Toe: Barry M 'Cyan Blue'
Middle Toe: Essie 'Bermuda Shorts'
Fourth Toe: ASOS Paints 'Lily'
Little Toe: ASOS Paints 'Olivia'

I've already worn 'Milan' as a pedicure and I have worn 'Cyan Blue' but didn't really rate it, so for this summer, I think I'll pass. I liked 'Bermuda Shorts' and 'Olivia' as well.

And this post lacks a snappy ending. Sorry. *wanders off for coffee*

Half Yearly Empties

It's been THAT long since I've done an empties post...pretty incredible. Continue reading (if you wish) for a mildly pointless selection of products that I have used up.


From left to right:

Elizabeth Arden Natural Volume Mascara - er, hated this by the end. It burns like a mofo and I didn't really like the brush? So I was pretty happy when this spontaneously dried up and died.

Wilkinson's Four Way Nail Buffer - this I love, and have already repurchased. It's a cracking little file for 89p and lasted quite a long time before the sides went smooth. I'd recommend it to anyone that was looking for a cheap buffer.

Superdrug Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover - This was alright, not the best but not the worst. It's decent for the price, which was less than £1.50 if I remember correctly.

Boots Natural Collection Vanilla Body Spray - I liked the smell of this a lot, but it only stuck around for about fifteen minutes before you needed to spray again, which is a bit of a shame. I've since moved on to Ted Baker's body spray for my cheap fragrance needs but I did like this one. You got a really large quantity for the price, as well - 250ml for £2. I guess that's necessary for all the times you'll need to reapply it!

NYC 'In a New York Minute' Quick Drying Nail Polish 'Grand Central Station' - This is such a lifesaver. It dries SO quickly and is gloriously glossy, and all for £1.79. Incredible. One gripe I have about this is that it does do the 'go disgustingly think and gloopy like the snot of that troll that Harry Potter stuck his wand up the nose of in the Philosopher's Stone' thing halfway through the bottle, but I have some Seche Thinner so I can rectify that for the most part. I usually abandon ship about three quarters of the way down the bottle as it's just too thick and bubbly to use, really. But yeah, great product and I've already repurchased.

Not pictured is some random ass Allura nail glue, the fumes from which made my eyes burn but it did the job required i.e keeping fimo shapes on my thumb. Eh.

Barry M Giveaway Still Open, I'm a numbnuts

WTF? I thought I made it end on the 14th of June, but it actually goes on until the 20th...I'm a fail. Sorry!

Nail Blog Round Up

Grace was inspired by Cosmo to create this cute summer manicure
Ladyluck had fun with her French manicure
Sharon created a holographic leopard design
The Nail Addict tested and reviewed P2 crackle
Stacie freestyled with black, blue and holographic polishes
Claire was inspired by her Swatch watch
Sarah stamped a stylized pastel peacock design
Lena watched the trends for summer
Pink Wednesday was rosey for Jen
Ari entered a competition
That’s so fresh stamped on China Glaze yellow polka dot bikini
Lingling announced the winners of her contest

Barry M Giveaway CLOSED.

Thank you for all of your entries! I'll do the usual duplication (or triplication, as the case may be. If that's even a word.) of extra entries and then have a winner picked by Sunday, hopefully.

I noticed that somehow, I've managed to pass the 400 follower milestone...luckily, I have a pretty decent idea for a giveaway to celebrate that, too! So stay tuned :P

Summer 2011 Nail Trends

I'm kinda notorious for being a not very trendy person. I:

still don't own a matte top coat
don't like Adele's music
have only recently decided to expand my pastels collection
don't own a pair of Uggs, real or otherwise. (and don't plan to, because they're fugly)
only bought my first crackle polish a couple of weeks ago.don't own any lipsticks in bullets that aren't brown.

But seeing as this is going to be a long and hopefully fruitful summer, I thought I'd have a go especially as it's summer, and the trend this year (isn't it the same every year? idk) is for bright, colourful nails. Here are my personail picks for this summer, style shamelessly borrowed from the lovely 25fLONDON:

Thumb: Nails Inc for Diet Coke (one of their ever frequent collaborations <3 helps us poor students afford their polish which is great because I'm sure many of you are aware that I'm a diehard fan) 'Milan'
Index Finger: Barry M 'Cyan Blue'
Middle Finger: Essie 'Bermuda Shorts'
Ring Finger: ASOS Paints 'Lily'
Little Finger: ASOS Paints 'Olivia'

'Milan' is a bright, true red, which is a staple pedicure shade in the summer. Pity that there are least photos of it, because it was really hard to get my whole hand in the shot with the glass, lol.
'Cyan Blue' is bordering on neon, but it's still an unconventional shade to nail muggles and pretty appropriate for the summer, in my opinion.
I love love LOVE 'Bermuda Shorts', as I'm sure you've already heard judging by my review on it, but this is a very bright fuschia-pink and again, a great pedicure shade.
'Lily' is a twist on the mint green love in that's been going on for far too long now. It appears darker in the some of the photos because of the (lack of) lighting (it was like two in the morning) but it's a neon, turquoise-teal colour. Pretty unique!
'Olivia' is the orange on my little finger, it's quite bright but not actually neon or anything. It's more understated and would be interesting as an accent colour in a mani of Barry M's Cyan Blue, or something.

Fabulous Magazine (comes inside the News Of The World on a Sunday) are offering two free Nails Inc polishes when you collect three tokens and take them to a participating Tesco store. I have some information from the press release here:

This summer Fabulous are keeping Britain’s nails sizzling by giving away two free Nails Inc. polishes worth an incredible £22. Created especially for Fabulous, the shades – called Atomic and OMP! (that’s Oh My Pink!) – are sure to be this season’s hottest shades!
To bag the two free nail varnishes, readers need to cut out and collect three of the tokens printed over the next four weeks in Fabulous, starting this Sunday (19th June). They then need to take these to participating Tesco stores from 3rd July to redeem.  Plus, they can treat themselves to a half-price manicure for £14 (usually £28) at any participating Nails Inc salon.
This summer is proving increasingly tempting. My bank account is in a perpetual state of emptiness because of the great magazine freebies (Fabulous as well as Glamour/Benetint and Harpers Bazaar/Leighton Denny) and the new collections (MUA, BeautyUK, Sleek with the Mediterean/Carribean/Oh So Special) so yeah, trying to get Bill Gates to adopt me right now.


What Nails Inc promo polishes have you picked up, if any? I went STRAIGHT to Boots and bought two Dove polishes on the day that the promotion started. Coincidentally, I'd just finished my Dove roll on that foul play involved. Anyway, in the morning, my Mum and I went for a walk and then drove into town to the rather large Boots. Went to the deoderant section, and the special stand was displayed, replete with poster, polishes. Wtf. So we (and another older lady who just happened to be standing with us) complained, and then at first the woman said she had some in stock, went to check, wasted about fifteen minutes and then came back and said they hadn't had a delivery yet. I was like, that's false advertising then. Why put the stand up if you haven't actually got any? Urgh. So we went into the next town and managed to acquire one 'Copabana' each. The other colour wasn't really my thing.
I know they're also doing something with Malibu (the drink) and a bar, and I like the colours, but I'd never get served so there's no point even trying. So yeah, anyone else planning on taking advantage?

MUA Pro Primer and Foundation

On to a much owed review of MUA Cosmetics.

MUA have brought out a primer and a (matte) foundation as part of their Pro line, and I believe each are £4?


SAM_8636I'll start with the primer. I know Enigma didn't get on with this, but I actually thought it was alright! It looks like this when you apply it - a sort of translucent white.
I'd use slightly more than that amount to cover my whole face.
The directions on the back say that you can use it alone, or apply foundation over the top. As I'm not a big foundation wearer, I can't vouch for that, but alone it genuinely did brighten my skin and evened things out a little - not a huge amount, but still damn decent for a £4 primer. I know GOSH do one for at least double the price.
This is going to totally fail, but photos of it on my hand (which will most likely look the same):

Still wet:


Compare the dry with the original swatch of the primer. In real life, it was more even and looked smoother.
I find that after you've put this on, there is a five/ten minute waiting period for it to dry fully, during which it feels a bit tacky and odd. After that, it's weightless and you're good to go. All in all, I wouldn't mind repurchasing this! The fact that it just brightens up my face a little means it's great for those days where I want to conceal the fact that I've been up all night playing Assasin's Creed look less tired without having to apply and remove a full coverage foundation and concealer.

Now, the foundation. Hmm.

The shade I was sent was way, waaaaaay too light for me. I swatched it anyway, so you could get an idea of the shade:

Lol, yeah. Erm...I looked into the foundation range so I could buy a colour that actually fit me, but it turns out that there are only three shades. And none of them even come close.

Any UK beauty bloggers out there who think they'd fit Shade 2 (Honeycomb) comment with your email address and I'll send it to you if you'll cover postage (because I'm kinda broke right now, lol) and yeah, you can review it instead. If there are lots of people, I'll just randomly select.

I'm a tad disappointed to be honest, as the foundation looks incredibly promising - nice and thick, great coverage, and even the packaging feels luxe - but yeah, three shades won't cover most light skinned people, let alone we of the mysterious slightly less reflective skin type. Would love it if they'd bring out a few more shades in the future.



Yes, it is I of the reclusive GCSE enforced break from blogging. My last exam was today (well, yesterday technically, as it's now 12:33) and I've got a gloriously long summer to do jackshit. And blog. WHOOP WHOOP.

I've missed writing so much, lol. Reading about how best to design my imaginary product for Technology so that OCR give me good marks hasn't been quite the same as reading about beauty products.

Some things that I should mention:

First off, thank you and hi to all my new followers! No idea where they came from, but welcome! Please stay a while. Or run screaming from this blog which is probably the safer option.

My Barry M giveaway is open until midnight tommorow, because I feel it's only fair as GFC was down temporarily and so I thought I'd give people the best chance of entering.

I have a LOT of stuff to catch up on, review, and generally talk about, so yeah, please stick around :P Thanks in particular to numerous lovely twitter ladies who kept me entertained through hours of painful revision (think trigonometry, circle theorems...shudder.) @uknailpolish, @tsunimee, @lipglossiping, @RandomLanda, @MorenaBarbee, @JennMUA, @25fLONDON, @nav_t, @brainsinajar, @xloodiex, @PolishGalore and I should just do a Follow Friday already. Sorry.

MUA Pro Eyeshadow Trios - 'Chocolate Box', 'Blue Babe' and 'Passion'

Finally, I'm getting down to my review of the Pro line :P Unfortunately, revision has taken over my life.

So when I posted the press release of the new line, these were the things I was least enthusiastic about. Having never tried their Bourjois counterparts, most of the baked eyeshadows I'd tried had been near enough colourless dry and only became worth the money when used wet - something that in the mornings, getting ready for school, I simply can't be doing with. As soon as I get out of the bathroom in the morning, my little brother goes in there and barricades himself in there, only sauntering out when it's literally the last minute to leave, and I'm too lazy to walk downstairs and wet my brush or whatever. So dry is the way to go. If it's got no payoff dry - I'm not interested.


The packaging is actually rather nice! There isn't a mirror, so maybe not as ideal for touching up on a night out, but it certainly feels more sturdy than the regular £1 line and looks nice and sleek. I can get behind this. The 'Chocolate Box' one got a bit bashed in transit and is slightly cracked, so I wouldn't drop these onto a hard surface, but a soft one seems to be alright.


I quite like that these are all named, as well. As I'm sure a lot of you know, the original MUA name just had shade names, like "Shade 1/2/3" - I prefer words to numbers, but still. Especially as the names didn't correspond over products - Shade 11 could be a brown coloured eyeshadow but a bright coral nail polish and also a plum lipstick, for example. I prefer this system of naming.
Brown one - 'Chocolate Box'
Purple one - 'Passion'
Blue one - 'Blue Babe' though I have an irrational need to rename it 'Arctic' or something. I think it's the frosty blues and pearly whites, reminds me of a polar bear chilling in the sea.



I really think the applicator deserves a special mention. It's quite small, so it fits into a little slot in the trios, but is normal at one end and flat at the other - great for lining your eyes with. It's innovative and I can definitely get some use out of the liner side. More brands should take note.


OK, the pigmentation IS pretty fantastic. Everything you see is done dry,  a couple of passes on my finger - no base, no nothing.


'Blue Babe' - ironically, you can see my blue hoodie in the shot - sorry guys.


'Chocolate Box' - I'm loving the bronzy metallicness (not a word) of this, will really complement those with darker skin such as myself, or those of you who like to tan. I'm going to experiment with the lightest shade as a highlighter for the tear duct.


'Passion' - I think the first two shades are a bit light for my personal taste, but the darkest purple is up my alley. For those of you that are lighter skinned, I think this one will make a really easy purple eye look.

MUA have really impressed me with these - I'm not afraid to admit that I really didn't have high hopes when I saw this particular aspect of the collection, but I've stopped being prejudiced now. Prejudice is bad. Especially when it comes to eyeshadow people.

One criticism that I'd have is that the eyeshadows are more powdery than the MUA ones I'm used to, so those of you that apply with a brush (raises hand) may create a little more mess than expected. I've made far harder compromises for cheap makeup, though, so I'm not too bothered. I think that all the trios in this range are metallic, finish wise, so matte lovers may want to stay clear. 

I think these are £2.50 in shops? I did get sent these to review and they're not in my local branch yet so I couldn't tell you the exact price, but around that. Has anyone else seen these?

Nail Blog Round Up

Emily showed us how to do her fantastic tiger design
Grace showed us her amazing Jessie J inspired manicure
Trisha tried out Sinful Colors peach
Ladyluck tried out Hard Candy Beetle
Lena felt a bit cheeky
Sarah stamped a fluttery design
Theresa caught up on the latest trends
Sharon water marbled with some awesome holographic polishes
Stacie created some pastel stripes and flowers
Lingling met Deborah Lippmann!
Jen gave us a great gradient tutorial
Ari tried out Sephora by OPI silver shatter
Finally introducing Alhrayth’s blog


Putting other companies out of business since 2011.

The bronzer got a bit (well, a lot) smashed up in transit, unfortunately.

Their pro collection is even more wonderful in the flesh. Honestly. I have been given an array of eyeshadow palettes, trios, eyeliner, mascara, quad bricks, bronzer, foundation and primer to show you. That's not even all there is.



Obviously, full reviews are coming later but OMG LOOK AT THE PRETTIES.



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