Wednesday, 21 February 2018


How to prepare your nails for the perfect manicure. Image via pixels
We all wish we could go to the nail salon every week to keep our nails looking their best. Unfortunately, that’s not possible for most people so it’s important to know how to get salon quality nails at home! With the right preparation, habits, and supplies, you can get that chic salon look without the salon price! Whether you’re new to painting your nails or you’re looking to perfect your skills, this guide is for you. Read on to learn how to prepare your nails for long lasting color!

First, choose the right polish. 
Before you prepare your nails for long lasting color, you need to have the right polish picked out. Traditional nail polish is quickly becoming a trend of the past since it simply doesn’t hold up compared to the new gel polish trend. Top-quality gel polish like Pink Gellac is designed to stay on your nails for two weeks without chipping or cracking. That means you can spend less time worrying about your nail polish! The right polish can revolutionize the way you paint your nails, but you need to know how to use it properly. Gel polish isn’t applied the same as regular nail polish, so read on to learn how to get the best results with gel polish. 

Next, work on your cuticles. 
Your cuticles can be the most difficult part of preparing your nails for polish. If you have dry cuticles, you should soak your fingers in warm water for a few minutes to soften the cuticles. From there, you can use a pushing tool to gentle press back the cuticle from the nail. If you get into the habit of treating your cuticles weekly, you’ll notice you need less prep each time. You can also invest in a cuticle cream to use daily that will help with your overall nail health.

File your nails with a glass file.
The best nail file for filing before painting is a glass file which creates the smoothest edge. A lot of people tend to instinctively file with a back and forth motion, but this actually creates an uneven edge. Instead, file in one direction. It’s up to you and your personal preference whether you want curved edges or smooth edges of the nail on the corners. 

Image via pixels

Wash your nails thoroughly.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when painting their nails is failing to wash their nails fully before painting with polish. When you have unclean fingernails, there might be specks of dust or other debris that can get trapped under the polish. You might not see anything on the nail until you’ve already painted over the nail. If you forget to clean the nail you’ll notice lumps or even cracks in the polish since your nail isn’t smooth. The best way to clean your nails fully before painting is to use a bit of alcohol on a cotton round or cotton swab. Brush the cotton along your nail quickly to remove anything that might be lingering. After you dry your nails be sure to dry them fully before you start painting! Use a paper towel or even air dry as needed to make sure they’re fully dry. 

Never skip the base coat. 
When you’re using gel polish, you need a base coat. The formula is much thicker than regular polish, and the color is already more vibrant. Skipping the base coat is harmful for your nail and can lead to even more damage when the polish is removed. Unlike traditional polish, gel polish is much harder to remove. You’ll need a gel-specific polish remover to fully remove the polish from your nail without any damage. A base coat will guarantee your nails are ready for long lasting color! 

The right prep makes the perfect nails! 
It takes some practice to fully get the hang of gel polish. Unlike traditional polish, you have to do some more prep to really achieve salon quality results. It’s well worth it because the color will be brighter and last longer! Less is more when it comes to gel polish, and you don’t need to layer coats to get a powerful look that lasts. As long as you paid attention to the steps above, you’ll have long lasting color you love for weeks!

What are your tips for perfect nails?


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Tuesday, 13 February 2018


A few months ago I was watching somebody's skincare routine online, potentially Carli Bybel's, and she mentioned that she used a cleanser first because she didn't want to go in with a scrub to remove her makeup as it would be like rubbing all that dirt into her face. I have no idea what truth their is to that statement but it clanked a bell in my mind and I was fixated on getting a cleanser to use first in my makeup removal routine. I did have one I used previously namely the L'Oreal Fine Flowers cleanser, but had left it back home. I had heard so much about the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth cleanser that when I saw it in store at a London-based Superdrug I grabbed it, saw the buy one get one half price deal and grabbed the Glycolic Overnight Peel as well as I have sadly ran out of my Alpha H Liquid Gold. Keep reading for my thoughts on these two products.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser (£3) This is such an enjoyable product to use, it feels so creamy and beautiful on the skin, I love the scent of it and it left my skin feeling clean and happy. For makeup removal it is not heavy duty, I would have to go in twice if I had a lot of eye makeup on but overall a great product. I highly recommend this. It is infused with plant extracts and cocoa butter, you can really tell that there is cocoa butter in it as it makes your skin feel very cocooned if you know what I mean. It comes with a muslin cloth, using the cloth helps remove the majority of your makeup, I prefer to just go in with the cleanser by itself and wipe it with my towel just for convenience. 

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel (£3) This is supposed to brighten and improve skin texture, apply a pea-sized amount at night and let it work its magic. I was led to believe that you are only supposed to use this several times a week but I might try using it every night for a week to see if I notice any difference. It is a nice product, and it smells and feels lovely on the skin but I can't honestly say I have noticed a visible difference which is odd to me. I have been using The Ordinary's Glycolic 7% Acid instead and will keep you posted on how I am liking it. If you have tried this product I would love to know what you think, how do you use it? Brightening and improving skin texture are my main skin goals so this sounds like a product that should work for me, unfortunately I have been disappointed. 

Thank you so much for reading, hope you are having a great week so far. Please leave a comment down below and follow me on my social media, it means a hell of a lot. Take care.

What's your night-time skincare routine?


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Thursday, 8 February 2018


Last night I was kindly invited to the This is Skin workshop hosted by Cult Beauty featuring some of their best acne-tackling brands. This workshop came about as a response to the large volumes of queries the Cult Beauty team receive regarding adult acne. The combination of stress, diet, pollution and general modern urban living result in our skin looking less than its best, long past our teenage years. Many of us are suffering from acne breakouts and are rightly concerned as we thought we were past this. Of course, there are plenty of treatments out there we have all seen the Freederm and cringe-central Proactiv ads and heard someone get misty-eyed about retinol. The important thing to remember is that adult acne is a different ball game, not because the cause is different but because as we age we have more than just acne to consider when treating our skin. Thus, it is important skincare products don't just treat acne but also keep our skin supple and smooth, moisturised and even. I was so lucky to attend this event and hear firsthand what these inspiring skincare mavens had to say and I am even luckier to be able to share what I learnt with you guys. If only my lectures at university were this interesting:

Beauty begins in the belly. 

Carla is the picture of Aussie health with long tresses, clear, healthy skin and bright eyes. Her belief is that everything starts from the gut, so the most important thing is that you feed your body the right ingredients. She discovered this when treating her daughter's eczema through changing her diet, she began incorporating lactofermented vegetables, bone broth, leafy greens and other probiotic-rich foods into her family's diet and her friends started to notice a huge improvement in her skin. The aim is to reduce inflammation in the body which is exactly what probiotic foods, such as yogurt, miso and pickles, do. Inflammation is a major cause of acne breakouts, thus eating right will really benefit how you look and how you feel. This is, of course, something we all know. You are what you eat, after all. But take it a step further, you want to eat clean, unprocessed, healthy, organic food. One of her biggest pet peeves is people using unfiltered water because tap water is filled with chemicals such as chlorine and pesticides to make it suitable for consumption, but all of that nasty stuff is going into our bellies. Washing vegetables with unfiltered water will negate the nutrients we receive from the vegetables. This is a difficult one for me because I do eat incredibly unhealthily and I think it is something that if you are a parent you take a lot more seriously. I want my imaginary kids to have a good diet, play in the soil and drink filtered tap water but for myself on a student budget let's just say I had a McDonalds breakfast this morning so that's how well my commitment to my diet is going.

Not everything synthetic is bad and not everything natural is good.  
Pores are not draws. 

Nicolas's origin story was particularly inspiring to me, he completed a degree in Biomedical Science went on to do advertising and then studied International Business at post-grad. For his thesis, he planned out a skincare start-up and then after completing his post-graduate degree he actually did it. Allies of Skin was born and is the great success it is today. I love that story. You have to see Nicolas in person to fully understand what good skin is because he has the best skin I have ever seen in my life, he seemed to literally reflect light. Goals. In terms of tackling acne, his position is that healthy skin doesn't break out so the products you use should be restoring the skin's barrier and reducing inflammation. His focus is pollution, as a lot of us live in urban environments where pollution is everywhere and not the dirt and grime you typically see in London but light pollution. Digital pollution. We all spend so much time on phones, laptops, computers that exposure to the constant light sources even in bed, even on Night mode, is damaging over time. His big no-nos are silicones and alcohol, anything drying or suffocating on the skin should not be used in skincare which is the biggest problem with most popular acne treatments they can be extremely drying, further upsetting the skin's imbalance. My biggest concern with my skin are my pores, and Nicolas hilariously said pores are not draws which ties into my biggest pet peeve which is the great misconception that pores open and close. They. Do. Not. I just wanted to take this time to reiterate that. He did say a plant oil such as lavender, rosehip or tamanu oil as long as it is organic and authentic would help but pores will never disappear and unfortunately increase in size as we age.

The largest misconception about acne is that you have no control over it. Dig a little deeper. 

Annie's origin story is a very cool and personal one, in her late 20s she began to suffer from sever cystic acne and after trying everything and getting nowhere she enrolled herself into a cosmetic chemistry course so she could learn about the formulas she should be using and avoiding in her skincare routine and she managed to improve her skin exceptionally. Her skin is gorgeous. She shared her findings on a private Facebook group called Skin Owl and her friends demanded she sell her marvellous discoveries, and Skin Owl was born. When she herself suffered from bad acne she was told there was nothing that could be done, they had tried everything and reached the end of the road and this is frankly bullshit. She advises everyone that this is not true, there is always something, you are not just one of those people that are unfortunate and have to deal with breakouts. Consider everything: food, allergies, sleep, stress and hormone cycles. It could even be the side you sleep on or which side of the face you use your phone. She is a major advocate of hormone panels as they can be very telling not only in breakouts but moods and menstrual cramps etc. Pure plant oils are very good for acne, argan oil and marula oil. Anything non-comedogenic that mimics the sebum produced by skin naturally would be a good facial oil, not coconut oil. Coconut oil is a great makeup remover but is not a skin treatment, it is ultimately drying. She recommends lavender beauty drops as a great starter oil but it is difficult to find a reputable product as a lot of lavender oils are mixed with other ingredients. Her greatest discovery so far is the Macqui Berry found in Chile, it is the number one fruit antioxidant in the world and is a total game-changer.

Thank you for reading, at the moment I have exams coming up, I know there is always something! So it has been a struggle to find time to post, but I had such a magical time at this event. I am such a non-Londoner, I actually got lost in Shepherd's Bush before finally getting the tube to Oxford Circus. I learnt so much in such a short amount of time, it really inspired me and made me think about what I want to do as a career. I have been freaking out lately about my future, so worried that I am going to fail these exams and throw my life down the toilet that it was nice to get excited and learn about something for the sake of just learning about it. I had the most incredible fruit juice which was a blend of turmeric, carrot juice and ginger that was so delish. If you haven't heard the good news, I finally got my instagram account restored last night. It was a mission and a half and I have so much I want to say that I do intend to make a video about it. Don't forget to leave a comment. Take care. 

Have you tried any of these?


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Sunday, 4 February 2018


January was simultaneously long and short for me, it was real rough for a minute there. I really want to do a Favourites every month this year so here are the products I have been using and loving for the past month and maybe longer. I am not going to go into too much detail as all of these products deserve dedicated posts so stay tuned for them. Without further ado, let's jump right in. 

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette (£56) Finally took swatches from this palette. I love it, the colours are just completely my cup of tea to be honest. I am in love. 

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser (£3) I don't know if this is a favourite but I use it every time I wear makeup as a first step cleanse, I will go into more detail in my full review but it smells and feels really nice on the skin and is so ridiculously cheap that I can't think of a bad thing to say about it. 

Superdrug Overnight Glycolic Peel (£3) Another incredible find, I have only used this a handful of times but I am obsessed with glycolic acid it just works for my tricky picky skin. It feels odd at first and you have to be vigilant with SPF but you only need a very small amount. 

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (£6.80) Fast falling in love with everything from The Ordinary and this is no different. After my Alpha H Liquid Gold ran out I wanted to find a budget alternative that was more potent than the Pixi Glow Tonic and lo and behold The Ordinary with their stunning prices swooped in and saved the day. I use this almost every night, which might be too frequent for some, but it keeps my skin balanced and clear. Acid exfoliation is a godsend. 

Sleek Life Proof Foundation LP10 (£9) I think I read a review on this when it first came out and the next day I grabbed it at Superdrug and just guessed my shade. I have been using it sporadically since November but it was only in the past few weeks that I have been really enjoying it. It's so buildable and longwearing but I think I use a lot of product to get the coverage I want. 

Bdellium Tools Face Powder Brush This is the perfect touch up brush for anyone with oily skin or who has long makeup days, it lives in my coat pocket and I adore it for powder touch ups or just reblending. Lately I have been using it to buff my foundation into the skin as I have been too lazy to use sponges and I have been so impressed with how quick this gets the job done. It is so versatile.

Bdellium Tools Slanted Contour Brush (£9) I usually use a bigger brush for contour but this angled contour brush is so tiny it fits right into the hollows of my cheeks. This allows me to use a fluffier larger brush to bronze my skin and then this small but still fluffy to carve out my cheekbones with my contour powder. I have been getting a lot of compliments lately and this is the only thing I have changed in my every day makeup routine. 

OPI Love and Peace Nail Polish When I was home last weekend rummaging through my Mom's cupboards I found this and applied it. I hated it at first it looked like dishwater and then I applied two extra coats the next day as I had an engagement and it really grew on me. I have worn it for over a week which is unheard of for me. I like to change my nail polish as often as I change my underwear. 

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post, please share your favourites in the comments below. I would love to hear about them, and do let me know if you have tried anything I mentined in this post. Hope you had a great January and your Feb is going well. Take care. 

Have you tried any of these?


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Thursday, 1 February 2018


Today's post concerns The Ordinary Caffeine 5% Solution (£6). I have only recently delved into the world of The Ordinary and have literally fallen hard for everything I have tried so far. My sister actually purchased this solution, after some prompting from myself, as I have heard it is exceptional for prominent dark circles. I have yet to suffer from dark circles but Lord knows I am perpetually tired. On a whim over the holidays (how I miss you), completely unmotivated to rifle through any creams and whatnot being as I had a limited skincare supply being back home for Christmas, I grabbed this eye contour solution and used it all over my miserable face

I did this virtually every other night I was at home, a total of almost a month, and my spotty, too much indulgence, face cleared up miraculously fast. Even more than that, my skin looked quite good which is surprising considering the vast amount of acids and face masks and general madness I put on it regularly in London to get it semi-presentable. Additionally, I have been loving heavier makeup lately I pile on the coverage so this impacts my skin condition too. But this tiny little bottle managed to keep my skin at a happy medium. I have no idea how it works except caffeine is alleged to be quite brightening and my guess is that perhaps this increases cell turnover. The serum is slightly thicker than a face oil. It doesn't smell of coffee, fortunately, as that would render it completely unsuitable for me as I detest the scent and taste of coffee. I use about 2 drops from the pipette dispenser for my entire face and if I feel like I need it I will use in extra drop to spread on both eye contours. All in all, £6 very well spent. If you are looking for an affordable and effective eye serum, this is a fantastic option and if you want to use it as a face serum, I say, why not? I am all about multi-purpose products. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet post. I have to say the last few weeks have been phenomenally shit for me, I am not in a good place at the moment so I hope you can bear with me. I am trying to force myself to be active on social media and keep blogging as reading your comments literally turns my frown upside down but it has become a bit of a struggle. I am trying to keep positive and remember everything is temporary so thank you for visiting my blog, commenting, liking photos etc. I will, when all this craziness is over and I feel like I can breathe again, return all comments and catch up with all of your blogs. I apologise for my absence. Please leave a comment about what your favourite eye cream or serum is or what products you use off-label if you will. I appreciate every single one of you. Take care. 

What is your favourite brand at the moment?


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