30 Apr 2012

Orly Spring polish swatches - Cupcake, Basket Case and Petit Four

I was recently asked if I wanted to try some Orly nail polishes, so obviously I said 'hell yeah'!  Orly's a brand I've admired from a far for a few years, and I only own a couple of Orly polishes, because they're a US brand that didn't used to be widely available in the UK.  Nowadays though, Orly's being sold in Boots and at lookfantastic so us UK girls are no longer being left out.

I decided to go for some Spring appropriate colours, so I chose Cupcake (pale pink), Basket Case (hot pink) and Petit Four (lilac).

These polishes apply so well, and I'm not just saying that.  I own a lot of polishes from all  different brands, and it's rare that a polish goes on totally opaque in one coat unless it's a really dark colour, but these do - even the pale pink!  I have several pale pinks in my collection that I rarely ever wear because they take about four coats to give full coverage, so I think Cupcake is going to get a lot of outings on my nails.  

I did two coats of each colour and followed with a topcoat and they survived three whole days with no chips. That might not sound long to you, but I do a lot of typing and usually chip my nails the day after I paint them, so three days is a real achievement for me!  I think it's because the formula is quite a substantial one - I want to say thick, but it doesn't go on thick if you see what I mean - it goes on completely normally, but gives a thicker sort of coverage.

I'm really pleased with the colours I chose.  Cupcake and Petit Four look sort of similar sat next to each other, but on the nails you can see the true difference in hue and I think they're really complimentary, so I wore them together. Basket Case is a great cool toned bright pink and I'm sure it'll be fab for Summer toes.

These colours are all available from lookfantastic.com

I'm really excited to add some more Orly to my range and I think I'm going to start with something from the new Cool Romance collection.  I love the peach (Prelude to a kiss) and minty green (Jealous Much).

The full size Cool Romance polishes are available from lookfantastic.com or you can get a pack of three polishes in a mini size from Boots 
*PR samples
Have you tried Orly?

29 Apr 2012

Owl themed baby shower (for a boy or girl)

Today I want to share with you some photos from my friend Heather's baby shower.  We picked an Owl theme with quite neutral colours, as we don't know if she's having a girl or a boy.  I also helped arrange a boy themed baby shower before, and blogged about it in this post and this one.

I've listed where we bought the supplies at the end of the post, and I may do a tutorial on how I made the cupcakes or the gift basket, so if anyone's interested, let me know in the comments.

Owl party favour bags - these were smaller than we expected, so we just filled them with mini eggs

Baby shower decorative sign on the table where we laid the food

Cupcakes with owl themed wrappers and toppers

The cupcakes were chocolate with vanilla frosting and glitter 

Hanging owl decorations

Matching banner

Balloon cloud - I made one of these in before for this baby shower - so easy

Owl plates - I love these so much!

Matching tablecloth 

And matching napkins

Mum to be with the gift basket I made

You can see the contents better in this pic from before it was wrapped.  It's got babygrows, feeding cloths, penguin shoes, a teddy blanket, dummies, a teething ring, a sleeping bag and a large blanket.  I've not made something like this before so I was rather pleased with how this came together :)

Heather opening more lovely gifts 

 My favourite - it's like a twitter babygrow! (sadly I don't know where this is from)

I think the owl theme is just the cutest, and perfect for a girl or boy baby shower, or one where you don't know what the baby will be.  I'm really  getting fed up waiting to find out if Heather is going to have a boy or a girl - I want to shop for little princess outfits or dinosaur romper suits!

You can get all of the themed decorations and tableware we used from ebay and I've put some links below to some active listing for each of the products I've shown above as well as some of the other bits from the same range that we didn't buy.  

Planning a baby shower can be tricky especially  if you've never been to one before, so being involved in my second shower was much easier than the first.  If you're planning a shower and you have any questions about anything you can see in the pictures, let me know in the comments and I will do my best to help.

27 Apr 2012

April 2012 Primark haul

It feels like ages since I've done a good Primark haul.  Sometimes I've gone in there and there's been hardly anything that's caught my eye.  These are the bits I've picked up over the past few weeks.

Versace style scarf print dress - £10

Leopard print dress - £10

Black platform heels - £16

Black suede style heels - £12 (look how tarnished these are already - rubbish!)

Mint green ballet flats - £4

Bow flat sandals in navy and gold - £6

Lots of cute earrings - £2 per pack

Pretty gift bags - £1 each

Crazy croc and wolf socks for the boyf - £1.50 each

Peel off mask - 90p

Bow shirt - £12 (I think)

Long turquoise vest dress - £12 (also in purple, but it's in the wash)

Mint green casual blazer - £15

Royal blue casual blazer - £15

Pink casual blazer - £15

Lilac t-shirt dress - £10

Grey t-shirt dress - £10

Double layer floaty shirt - butterfly print - £10

Double layer floaty shirt - coral - £10

There's some lovely holidays stuff in Primark at the moment, but I'm a bit reluctant to buy as I haven't actually booked my holiday yet.  Soon as I do though, I'll straight back down to Pri and stuffing my basket.

Have you picked up anything lovely in Primark lately that I've missed out on?

25 Apr 2012

The best shampoo I've found for greasy hair - Redken Scalp Detox Oil Control - it works!

More than likely if you read my blog often, you'll have seen me moaning at some point about my hair. I have dry ends / lengths but roots that get greasy ridiculously quickly, forcing me to be an every day hair washer whether I like it or not.

I'm constantly on a mission to find a shampoo that will control or reduce the greasies, and don't usually have much luck, but lately I've been using one that's actually worth blogging about - Redken Scalp Control Oil Detox.

Hmmm not great photo quality there - must be all this gloomy weather!

This shampoo is the best I've tried for my hair. For a change, it's one that actually does what it says on the label. It's not turned me into an every-other-day hair washer just yet, but I've noticed a huge difference in the level of oiliness the next day.

The instructions recommend that you put the shampoo on your dry hair for a bit before washing. Although it's a pain to do this, it does enhance the power of the product. I tend to work a blob into the front and sides of my scalp and I leave it on while cleansing my face and brushing my teeth. I then wet my hair, add more shampoo and wash as normal.

It doesn't create a massive lather, and what with the double treatment each day I did get through my first bottle very quickly. Although, I was so pleased with the results I got from this that I ordered another two bottles straight away.

I'm hoping that with continued use this shampoo will become even more effective for me. It hasn't been able to give me 'normal' hair over night, so it's not a miracle product, but it's certainly the best I've ever tried.

Unlike some other oil control shampoos I've used in the past, it has a nice fresh smell and it doesn't strip the rest of my hair making the ends even drier. I've continued to use my normal conditioners on the ends of my hair and haven't noticed any extra dryness.

Overall I'm a little bit in love with this shampoo and I hope it continues to work for me.

You can buy this shampoo from Look Fantastic here - it costs £10.60 for a 300ml bottle.

Do you have any other recommendation for curing greasy hair woes?

24 Apr 2012

Nails Inc Nail Jewellery polishes and more

Last week, despite luck being against me (everything went wrong for me that day, seriously), I finally made it along to the Nails Inc event.  I was way beyond fashionably late, and a bit of a disheveled mess due to the weather and getting stuck on public transport, but it was all worth it to see all the fabulous polishes :)

If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know I'm a bit of a Nails Inc addict as their shades often feature in my NOTD posts, so I was so excited to go along to this event.

Today I want to show you the polishes I've tried from the new Nail Jewellery collection, as well as some of the other beauties I saw on the day.

This is the diamond and pink diamond polish from the new Nail Jewellery collection which are glittery polishes with different sized and shaped particles to create a super sparkly jewel effect.  

The diamond polish is named Burlington Arcade and pink diamond is called Princes Arcade.

I had my nails done with Pink Diamond over a hot neon pink shade called Notting Hill Gate.

Ooooh sparkly :)  Pink diamond is such a full coverage glitter - I was so surprised by how much glitter and sparkle came from just one coat.  I always find these dense glittery polishes more hard wearing on my nails and I tend to get an extra day before any chips show up.

The lovely lady who did my nails was wearing Diamond over a black polish, which I think was Black Taxi, so I tried to recreate her look at home.

Sorry about my uneven nails - I did a boot fair and suffered quite a few breakages.  I think I'm going to need to chop them all short :( Hopefully you can still get the idea, although it was very difficult to capture the different colours Diamond reflects in the light - it's even more beautiful in real life.  This is not a full coverage glitter like Pink Diamond - here I used 3 coats to get the full on bling effect.

You can see some of the colours reflecting a bit better here in the bottle

Next up, some lower quality phone pics.  Sorry about that, but as part of my day of bad luck, my camera wouldn't work!

Below is the full Nail Jewellery Collection
Burlington Arcade - Diamond
Piccadily Arcade - Emerald
Royal Arcade - Sapphire
Princes Arcade - Pink Diamond

These are all available now at nailsinc.com for £11 each

This stunner is one of my favourites of the ones I saw - it's a called Jubilee and has red, silver and blue glitter packed in for a seriously blinging and patriotic nod to the Union Jack and the Queen's Jubilee.  I love the crystal encrusted bottle cap too. 

This is a limited edition polish which will be available from May for £15 from nailsinc.com

I posted some time last year about Nails Inc's metalic polishes - they've now brought out some new shades and magnets with different patterns.  These are the fishnet magnet polishes, and I was also shown a brand new one which makes a star pattern.  

Soho - chrome metallic fishnet
Spitalfields - green metallic fishnet
Piccadilly - gold shimmer fishnet

I got to take home the Soho fishnet, so will be doing a NOTD post with that soon.  I'm also keen to try out the fishnet magnet on the Nails Inc magnetic polishes I already have, as I assume the different magnets will work with all of the polishes and I can mix and match.  I'll let you know.

 My absolute fave of the night has to be this pastel glitter polish called Sweets Way.  It's so pretty and I need it on my nails right now!  Such a shame it doesn't come out until June!  It's part of a collection of four polishes called Sprinkles and they will also be £11 each. 

Sadly I didn't get any more photos as my camera wasn't working and the pictures I was taking on my phone weren't great.  But, I have got a few other lovely new colours to play with, so I'll have a few more posts coming right up.

Other than Jubilee and Sweets Way, all of the polishes I mentioned are out now and you can get them from www.nailsinc.com Also you might want to check out QVC for some great value sets - this partly explains how I've ended up with a collection of around 75 Nails Inc polishes, ooops! 
*PR samples
Are you a Nails Inc fan?  What's your favourite shade?                                            
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