Tuesday, 14 November 2017


I first published this post in 2013 and since then, Ciate have really made their mark on not only the nail industry but also makeup. Unfortunately, I believe their 'wow kits' are now discontinued, however I think you can still find them in the depths of the internet!

As this is now discontinued, it feels a little silly bringing back this post, however I have fallen back in love with this nail kit so thought I'd show it off and hope they bring it back!

 The kit comes with a base colour, three sheets each of four different colour foil, glue, and a manicure wheel for you to practice on. I thought that was really good value for money, at £18.

I started with the base coat 'pepperminty', which in itself, is a really nice fresh colour.

After a couple of layers, I was ready for foiling! I practiced on the wheel first to get the right technique. You randomly dab the glue and wait a couple of minutes for it to go tacky, and then place the foil shiny side up, rub and whip of really quickly. I used the 'waxing strip' technique. After that, I kept on layering...

After gold I used blue

then red

and finally silver. I also did another layer of blue as I thought it was the most striking of the colours.

And Voila!

At the beginning, I was being quite careful, but after half an hour I was being quite rough with it and found that worked better! Altogether it took me about 1 hour to do all fingers in four foils. Personally, I thought it looked better with fewer colours, and I will probably use the 'less is more' approach in future. Its a really effortless look that looks really interesting. It also lasts really well! I've had my foil manicure on for a week now and haven't had any trouble. When using some heavy duty cleaning products some of the foil wiped of but otherwise its all in tact. When using the foils, I went right up to the edges of the sheets so still have loads of foil left over. A very good investment and interesting kit from Ciate. 

I have also done this with a darker colour underneath and got a lovely finish better for Autumn/ Winter

Monday, 6 November 2017

October Favourites 2017

Hello there readers!

Today I am going to be doing my October favourites as I feel like I fell at the first hurdle after saying in my August favourites post that I would try and do it every month then neglected to do so straight away in September. My excuse is that the end of September was taken up largely by my  Coffee post which kind of acted as the post for that month as I was trying those bits out, so I am going to let myself off the hook.

Anyway. I'll put my excuses aside!

I haven't got a huge amount of products to show this month as the switch in warm to cold weather has reeked havoc on my skin, so makeup and skincare have been minimal. The products I have been using though have been used a lot, so without further ado, here are my October favourites.

As I mentioned above, the change in weather has caused my skin to become very dry, prone to spots, and I also have flaky almost eczema like rashes on my eye lids (attractive I know). I have been sticking to my usual Beauty Pie skincare but have added in a couple of extra steps to keep my skin looking as good as it can! I have spoken about this product before, as in January I was really suffering badly with my skin. I bought this Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5, Deciem and it cleared up my skin within a week. Once again, I have reached for this product everyday the last few weeks and it has improved any aggressive, painful and red spots and reduced them considerably. For such a small price tag, I would highly recommend the Ordinary to anyone who fancies a little dabble with the products available.

As my skin hasn't been it's best, I have been trying to avoid makeup as I feel it actually clings to the dryness and makes my skin look worse. Espcially around my eyes, I have been avoiding all eye makeup apart from mascara as my eyes feel so dry and agitated. However when my skin has been particularly bad and I have had no option but to cover it up with makeup, this No28 Primer Serum, £55.80, Hourglass has been the perfect hydrating base to make sure no foundation clings onto dry skin. I find primers often make the skin feel drier whereas this makes your skin really soft and almost a little oily which I find makes my makeup blend better. Another thing I love about this product is the smell. It has a really natural botanical smell and it makes me feel confident that the product is feeding my skin the healthy vitamins it needs. It contains 28 beneficial ingredients to feed skin to make it look hydrated, luminous, and healthy.

As my lips have been really dry, I have found lipstick hasn't been looking great and a bit patchy (I sound like the flakiest person in the world from this post). My natural lip colour is very pale so I do feel like I need to have something on them to make them look more defined. I have been using this Lip Glow, £21.25, Dior colour reviver balm as it naturally brings out the colour of your natural lips to make them look bolder but also hydrate like a balm. It works with your skin tone and just intensifies the look of your natural lip meaning you don't have to wear lipstick and you just have the feeling of balmy, soft lips.

Next is a fragrance and I have been absolutely loving which is Amber Rose, £55, Shay & Blue. I remember when Shay & Blue had just come out as I was working in a fragrance department. The creator behind the brand is a man called Dom De Vetta who used to be the global manager for Jo Malone and senior Vice President at Chanel. He wanted to create a beautiful boutique brand and he discovered Julie Masse, a 20 year old perfumer who had a flair for creating modern and unique fragrances. Paired together, they have gone on to create this really cute, niche brand which create genuinely lovely fragrances at affordable prices. They only do 100ml and 30ml fragrances, and they are so reasonably priced as they look so expensive.
 I am not a huge lover of Rose alone, and I think these days a rose fragrance needs to have something about it on order to survive on the fragrance market, and this rose and amber fragrance is the perfect balance of sweet and sultry and I have been loving it recently. It isn't necessarily an autumn winter fragrance, I have just found myself reaching for it time and time again.

Lastly is another product that will help with any lack lustre nails this winter time. I am trying to use oil as my nails as I have become a little bit lazy with nail care when it used to be a big part of my night time routine. Nail oils will stop your nails going dry which will stop them peeling and will result in evenly applied, longer lasting nail varnish which is what you want when you're wearing darker, berry shades of nail varnish this season usually requires. Usually in the summer with lighter colours you won't notice a small chip but daker colour can look very scruffy very quickly so regular nail care is a must do, plus it will moisturise the skin around the nail and stop any painful hang nails.
This nail oil is from an Australian brand called Sienna which is a vegan, non toxic, cruelty free brand. The only sell their oil in a set and unfortunately we do not have these products in the UK, but any type of nail oil will suffice and I have found the Phenomenon oil by Jessica is a great one to use!

What products have you been going for this Season?
Do you have any tips or product recommendations for dry skin, particularly around the eye?

Monday, 30 October 2017

Halloween Nails 2017

Hello everyone!
Once again it is that spooky time of year when being a little bit outrageous is considered ok.

Whilst  I won't be doing any dressing up myself this year, you know I never miss an opportunity to get a bit creative with some nail art!

Here are four fun Halloween nail looks to try this year!

Vampire Fangs

I found a tutorial on this online and decided to do my own version, but they ended up being a nightmare on this occasion. Rule one is to stick to the instructions.

I used a black base then tried to do the teeth first but it turns out it is much easier doing the lips and finish with the fangs! Using a nail art pen, I defined each individual tooth to give these nails some bite!

Pumpkin Nails 

These nails are really easy to do as long as you have the right tools! I used a yellow base then ombred the yellow and orange together with a sponge. Once they dried, I used a nail art pen to add a spooky face to each nail to create a gang of Jack O'Lanterns.

Green Slime

Another really easy design to recreate. I used a black base again and used a matte top coat to make the slime look slimier when it went on. Then I used my toxic green nail varnish from Jessica and just randomly painted drips from the cuticle downwards.

Bat Nails

Lastly are some nails leftover from my pumpkin base. I didn't have the dexterity to do more pumpkins so went for some bat nails inspired by I Scream Nails (a very apt name for this time of year).

If you think you will try your hand at some Halloween nail art, let me know which designs are your fave!

Have a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Lush Halloween 2017

Halloween is fast approaching and recently I was invited to my local Lush store in Tunbridge Wells for the Halloween and Christmas showcase. If i'm honest, the event was more focused towards Christmas so I will show you the Christmas bits in a separate post, but for now my head is firmly on Halloween so read on if you want to see what they have in store!

I just bought a few of my favourite bits for myself and my family but if you want to have a look at the whole range then go here

The first thing I bought is the 'Bunch of Hocus Pocus', £19.95 set as I felt it had a good selection from the Halloween collection. It contains the Dark Arts Jelly Bomb, £4.95, A miniature Lord of Misrule Shower Gel, 250g £10.95 or 500 £17.95, and the Bewitched Bubble Bar, £4.25 which I realise now adding it up isn't actually a great deal.

 Usually you can expect to make a saving of some sort with gift sets but considering you're paying a surplus of nearly £10 for the shower gel which is a miniature and the cat knot wrap, it may actually be wiser to get them separately! Anyway, I've bought and used them all now so I can't change that but let it be a heads up to you!

On another not so positive note, I have to say the first product from the set was a huge flop for me so I'll get it over and done with first!

Lush have now brought out a range of Jelly bombs, which fizz and marbel like a normal bath bomb, but leave the top layer of your bath feeling like jelly. I'm sure they already have jelly bath products so they have merged the two together to create these jelly bombs. I was really excited to try my Harry Potter inspired dark arts jelly bomb, and the smell was absolutely amazing, probably my favourite from all the Halloween bits. It has spicy cinnamon leaf and brazilian orange oils which are lovely and warming for this time of year.
I plopped it in the bath and watched it fizz and a surprise red flash of colour came from the centre.

The jelly bomb texture was really strange, and when I touched it, (sorry I'm not one to sit and watch a bath bomb I have to pick it up and play) it felt really slimy. Unfortunately this sliminess didn't really go, and the jelly bomb was having a real problem dissolving. I ended up having to squeeze the bomb apart whilst there were still huge chunks floating around that never dissolved and were still there when I emptied the bath. Not to mention the staining from the product too. Nothing permanent, but my skin had black blotches as did the bath so I had to have another shower the following day to wash it off, and also have a wipe down the bath after the bomb which isn't what you want to do once you have relaxed.

It is also worth mentioning that this jelly bomb made my bath really slippery too so if you do try any of the jelly bombs, do be careful!

I was so dissapointed with my experience of this jelly bomb I checked a few YouTube videos and some reviews on their website and it seems like a lot of people have also had this problem, so maybe the jelly bomb formulation still needs a bit of work.
The Lush team demonstrated the Christmas jelly bomb in store at the event and it didn't have the slimy feel so it could be something to do with the ingredients in this particular jelly bomb. One positive from this jelly bomb was the pretty glitter, which made my bath look like a galaxy.

Next is the Bewitched bubble bar which you can get a few uses out of. The idea with the bubble bars is to tear off chunks and run them under the tap to create a more traditional bubble bath.

Compared to the dark arts jet black bath, this doesn't look very impressive, but I didn't have to wash the bath out afterwards so that is good enough for me! Whilst I do feel guilty pulling apart this cute kitty, it smells of sweet blackberry and is really soothing and bubbly. 

Finally from the set is the Lord of Misrule shower gel which I have to say has gone a funny texture. It looks as though mine has been shaken and has loads of air bubbles where as the products in the shops are a much more vivid slime green which really drew me to it.

I am a big fan of sensual spicy scents so this shower cream is well suited to me. It as spicy black pepper and patchouli and it really lasts on the skin all day. I love using this in the morning if I want to wear my Escentric Molecule 01 perfume as it works well with the sandalwood base.
This is a very earthy smell so if you are someone who likes sweetness this won't be for you.

Of course with the set you also get the little cat knot wrap which when tied right gives you the illusion of cat ears.

So now moving onto the individual products I picked up. Firstly, is the Lord of Misrule bath bomb, £3.95. I couldn't resist this because I just loved the smell of the shower gel. It is pretty much the same smell as the shower gel but this adds a bit more drama to bath time.

This is a slow melting bath bomb which reveals a bright red centre

The marbling effect is really pretty and by the end the green foam vanishes and you are left with what quite literally looks like a blood bath.. very Halloween!

Last but of course by no means least is the orange Pumpkin bath bomb, £4.25. Whilst this isn't the most dramatic bath transformation I have ever experienced you cant resist the way his little pumpkin head looks staring at you in the shop. He smells of orange zest and gently fizzs leaving your bath looking like an orange soda dream. It isn't a creamy consistency, it just transforms the colour of the water, but I'm ok with.

Here are a few other pictures from the event of some of the other Halloween products they currently have on offer.

The Metamorphosis bath bomb is one I have had before and absolutely loved! It had a heady myrrh and black pepper scent which fizzes into a cinnamon treat and the hard black exteriour transforms into such a beautiful mix of colours.

Another jelly bomb from Halloween is Ectoplasm Jelly bomb, £4.95 which again from reviews on the website looks like people have had slight problems with. The video on the website shows this bursting into a green fizz which looks really exciting, it has tangerine and grapefruit so is a really citrussy bomb.

Of course there are the legendary pink and orange glitter pumpkins which have been brought back every year!

So that concludes the Lush Halloween 2017 collection. As I said there are a few more items which haven't been pictured here but I hope it has inspired you to have a few spooky soaks!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Range

When I saw via Facebook that The Body Shop were releasing their new special edition Autumn collection in Vanilla and Pumpkin, I rushed down to the shops that weekend and bought pretty much every item from the range.
I absolutely love Autumn. It is 100% my favourite season as I really enjoy the transitional period between summer and Christmas. The thing I love most about Autumn notably, is the colours. I love the browns and reds but most of all I love the oranges, and where better to get orange than from Pumpkin!

I would never just buy an item because it looks good in my bathroom, but I have to say it definitely helps that this packaging is giving me all the Autumn feels with the Christmas wreath and spices. Not only does this range look like a fall dream, it smells like one too! 
If you are the sort of person who looks forward to Starbucks releasing the Pumpkin Spiced Latte, then this is a range you're going to like! It contains a shower gel, body cream, shimmer spritz and hand cream. I decided not to go for the Vanilla Pumpkin Hand Cream, £5, The Body Shop as I don't tend to use hand products too much, and the body cream can be used on the hands anyway so it is a multi-tasker.

What I love about the Body Shop is it's affordable prices for ethically sourced, lovely products. The whole range together costs under £40, but on top of that, there was a deal in store that when you spent over £20, you received a product so my shimmer spritz was completely free!

The Vanilla Pumpkin Shower Gel £5, The Body Shop is creamy and sweetly scented.  I love using this in the evening before bed as the vanilla is really warming and calming and leaves my skin feeling really smooth.

If I want an added bit of hydration, I use the Vanilla Pumpkin Body Butter, £15, The Body Shop which smells absolutely incredible. It really hydrates the skin leaving my body feel soft for days and it sinks in to the skin really quickly.

My final purchase was the Vanilla Pumpkin Shimmer Mist, £12, The Body Shop which I would never usually buy. I have never been a fan of body mists but this range smells so gorgeous I couldn't resist picking this up so I could smell like it on the go. Layered over the other products means you really pack a punch with the pumkin perfume. This mist has glittery fleks in which create a beautiful dancing shimmer in the globe shaped bottle, and when sprayed on the skin, it leaves a golden dusting of glitter which will look great on the chest on an Autumn evening.

The body shop will always be a go to shop for vegetarian, cruelty free, lovely quality products, and this range can certainly be labelled as a success from me!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

My Top 10 Coffee Inspired Beauty Products.

Every year on the 1st October when International Coffee day comes around, I always think to myself that I wish I fore planned a really interesting post about coffee inspired beauty products as I have used a few over the last few years and always ended up loving them.
This year I have finally got myself organised and got a post I am really excited for you to see!

As far as drinking coffee I can confirm that I am a lover of coffee, however after cutting down from 6 grande Starbucks a day at uni, I can safely say I am now a one or two cup a day kind of girl!

So why do we love coffee so much?

Coffee has actually been thought to improve heart health (in moderation) and also prevent liver disease, although most people drink coffee to brighten them up and caffeinate them to tackle the day ahead. It is also a diuretic so it cleanses the digestive system, hence why people drink coffee after large meals.
These are the health benefits of coffee on the inside, but what can coffee do on the outside that sees it becoming more and more used in cosmetics?
Well pretty much the same to be honest. In skincare, coffee can cleanse and stimulate the skin, and for cosmetics, warm coffee colours are highly sought after around Autumn and Winter times.

I've chosen ten coffee inspired products which I think do coffee justice, all of which are affordable and from high street stores. So without further ado, here are my top 10 Coffee inspired Beauty products.

I featured this Cup O' Coffee Scrub, £7.25, Lush scrub on my Instagram the other day and it got a great reception from all of you saying you loved this product too. I also got a regram from the Australian Lush page so that was quite exciting for me! This exfoliating face and body scrub contains large chunks of coffee that stimulate the skin and sloughs away dead cells. It smells absolutely delicious and it leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and soft. The scrub is fairly abrasive so I use this maybe once a week when I want a really deep all over body exfoliate.

Whilst I use the Lush scrub once a week, I still like to gently exfoliate my face to avoid clogged pores when wearing makeup daily. I like to feel as though my face is always looking it's smoothest and the Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser, £15.50, Boots helps me do this on a daily basis but gently enough to not cause sensitivity. The main ingredients are GinZing and caffeine, so the range is really invigorating, brightening and radiance boosting. I have tried a few other products from the range which I absolutely loved so make sure you check out that post here.

Next I have a few coffee inspired nail polishes which I think are perfect for the next few months! Kicking of the coffee claws is Mavala nail polish in Espresso, £4.75, Boots which is a beautiful deep brown, perfect for someone who likes a dark polish but wants something warmer than black. I really like wearing this colour in Autumn and think it looks really sophisticated.

Alternatively, if you are someone who prefers a lighter, more natural looking nail, then Maybelline nail colour in Latte, £3.99, Boots may be the polish for you. It is a high gloss, barely there nude but it looks really beautiful on and adds a touch of polished, subtle, glamour to natural looking nails

Nails Inc Caffeine Hit Collection

Now if you are someone like me who likes to make a statement with your nails, then you should look no further than Rise and Grind, £11, Nails Inc which is actually from the 'Caffeine Hit' collection they brought out a short while ago. The collection itself is stunning and contains four coffee shades that actually dry smelling of coffee! If you ever liked the coffee flavour in ministerial chocolates (controversial, I know), then that is what the polish smells like when it is dry. 
Whilst the collection is beautiful, I think you can find other polishes on the market with similar colours for much less. For example, the Mavala Espresso polish is pretty much identical to Nails Inc's Espresso Martini and is a fraction of the price, but Rise and Grind is a beautiful blend of rose gold, orange and deep shimmers that I couldn't resist picking up!


The next coffee inspired beauty product is L'Oreal lip stick in Moka Chic, £6.99, Boots which I thought would actually be a little more brown due to it's name. However this shade is quite pink and is a beautiful natural nude. This is from the Colour Riche Matte Addiction range so it has a fairly matte formula. Unlike a lot of Matte's however, this formula is so creamy and doesn't dry the lips out at all. Whilst the lipstick is quite matte looking in the bullet, I don't think it gives a very matte finish. It is a really lovely colour so if you're looking for a affordable, beautiful pink nude then look no further than Moka Chic.


Next is an eye product and this is the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Iced Mocha, £5.50, Boots which can be used as an eyeliner and also an eye shadow stick. This subtle shimmery bronze/ gold is again, really pretty for the Autumn season. The pencil is really build-able on the lid and can be used to create a light every day look or something more sultry. On the look above, I used a light sweep of the shadow and grunged it up with black liner but using this product for the water line and inner corner will really open and brighten the eye.


Another pencil is the Rimmel 1000 Kisses lip liner in Cappuccino, £2.99, Boots which is a lovely deep brown to go with all the darker lip colours that we tend to wear more in the winter. This is a really durable lip liner and will keep lipsticks tightly inside the lip line.

Speaking of darker lips, this Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour in Mocha, £5.99, Boots is a fantastic long wearing dark nude lip. I tried this along with 'Latte To Go' from the collection but that was too light for me. After swatching them on my handing the shop, they did not budge all day and the same can be said for when they are on the lips. This is a very matte formula so once this dries down to matte it will not budge. I love using this with the Cappuccino lip liner to intensify the colour and it is a really gorgeous colour.

Wearing NYX Mocha eyes, Cappacino Lip Liner with Rimmel Stay Matte lip in Mocha

Finally is a body product which is the *Vita Liberata Body Blur in Latte, £29.50, Boots which is perfect for this time of year when you're looking for a faux glow. Vita Liberata is a very luxurious tanning company but their products are really gorgeous. I first saw this product on Victoria from In The Frow and remember how amazing her skin looked with this product on. The body blur is an instant tanner that lasts for 24 hours. It can be used all over the body and sparingly on the face as a makeup base or for a natural look. It dries so quickly so is perfect if you're in a rush and the finish really does blur any perfections leaving you with gorgeous bronzed, airbrushed looking skin.

So these are my favourite coffee infused or inspired beauty products. I really hoped you enjoyed the post as I spent a small fortune and ages researching individual products with coffee names to the point the staff in Boots thought I was a bit shifty! I also made my whole house stink of coffee from the beans in the cover photo so I hope you enjoyed and got some inspiration to add a little caffeine in your routine.

See you next time!

*sent as a PR Sample