Saturday, 11 August 2012

Nails of the Day: Turquoise Lagoon

I normally play it pretty safe when it comes to nail colour - reds, corals, purples, browns - I'm not sure why, I just think I avoid looking like I'm a 13 year old with badly painted nails, but there is such a great selection of more interesting varnish shades out there at the moment that when I saw this colour I thought I'd try something different.

I'd had my eye on a gorgeous light blue Deborah Lippman varnish but I'm trying to reign in the spending so had a look Superdrug and came across a little beauty by Maybelline called Turquoise Lagoon. It truly is turquoise as it really depends on the light as to how blue or green this colour looks.

This took 3 coats before I got a coverage I was happy with as it does apply fairly translucent and streaky on the first 2 coats. I found the brush good  and it felt like it was better quality than a £4.09 drug store product.

This varnish is in their Express Finish 40 second range, but I still used Sally Hansen Inst-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat. I'd been looking to buy Seche Vite as I'm usually really impatient when it comes to waiting for my nails to dry but then I saw the Sally Hansen product reduced by £1 to £3.99 and thought it was worth a try. This top coat is brilliant - dries nails in 30 seconds as it claims and kept my nails chip free for about 5 days - this could be a combination of the quick drying Maybelline formula though.

Its essential you wear a base coat with this varnish - I didn't and after having 3 coats on for a week when I removed it I have been left with a natural griege tone... nice!

I loved wearing a different colour on my nails, especially with a bright top that I wore to the Olympics last Sunday... I felt like it represented by personality better and put me in a good mood just looking at them! Ha! I'll definitely be going back to Maybelline to see what other colours I like.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Operation Nails SOS - The Results

About five months ago I started to trial a nail strengthener, nail/cuticle oil and hand cream to see if I could repair my badly damaged nails and restore them to a healthy condition. Over this time I think I've given them a fair chance to work and have really put them to the test given the previous state of my nails. You can see the original post here and an update after the first week here, but here's a reminder of what they looked like back in February...

And here are my nails now...

I will be posting this Nails of the Day shortly...

You can find the OPI Kiss Me On My Tulips post here from June
As you can see I had an issue with weak, brittle nails that easily split and peeled, and I suffered with a problem of my thumb nails breaking very far down the nail on a regular basis. It may have taken longer than I expected to get results but its been well worth it in the end.

In my quest for the perfect nail I was testing the following products; Duri Rejuvacote nail strengthener, Elemis Exotic Frangipani Moisture Melt and finally, Aveeno hand cream.

The Verdict
In short, I absolutely love all of these products. Independently they are fantastic - from smell, texture to functionality.

Aveeno hand cream - as far as hand creams go, this ticks the boxes for me. Non-greasy,  rich enough to tackle my dry skin but quickly absorbed and light feeling. It is paraben free and unscented but still manages to smell nice. This is a great drugstore product (retails for around £5 for 75ml) but there is currently an offer on at Boots for £3.40. I would definitely repurchase.

Elemis Exotic Frangipani Moisture Melt - This is a multifunctional oil that I was told was great on nails and cuticles and this really feels like an indulgent home treatment product. You need to warm the bottle (not directly) in order to melt the oil - hence the name - and I do this by standing it in a small bowl of boiling water for about 30 seconds. The result, a warm, fabulous smelling oil - think sweet almond and vanilla massage oil - that when rubbed over nails and cuticles really moisturises and softens and helps manage the hard skin (that i bite from time to time) around my nails. This is an expensive product to just use as a nail treatment - retails at £29.70 for 100ml, however as this can be used for body and hair as well it is a good investment. If the price tag still seems too high, then you could always do what I did and get a smaller bottle as part of the regular offers that Elemis run such as pick five travel size products when you buy two full size.

Duri Rejuvacote - I think the most important thing I have to say about this product is that IT ACTUALLY WORKS. My nail health as improved vastly over the course of this trial and I now experience zero splitting or peeling. Obviously I still have some breakages, but my nails are no longer dry and brittle. I went for a manicure recently and even the beautician I see regularly comented how good my nails looked! The downside to the product is that it does peel off quite easily = after applying a coat every day or most days, once it starts to peel it looks really bad, but I would say this is a small price to pay for overall improved nails. Unfortunately the nail treatment has to be applied to completely dry nails meaning that it does not bind with the nail if you use hand cream or an oil at the same time, so its best to have a morning and evening routine so you can use all the products. Also the bottle went a bit gunky before I'd completely finished it so it was too thick to apply, however I will be repurchasing this product. If you were only going to buy one product out of the three I would recommend it to be this one - I bought mine off Amazon for about £10.

I am so happy, however I do still suffer with the severe breakage of my thumb nails only. As previously mentioned, this happens very far down the nail and is very painful and has occured twice since I started using these products.

So what next?
I will be repurchasing Duri Rejuvacote to continue looking after my nails, but first I am going to try another product. The lovely team over at Mavala, a beauty company that specialises in nail care, hosted a live Q and A session on Twitter (@MavalaUK) where you could pose your nail problems to their expert team. I contacted them with a question about my thumb nail breaking issue and they explained that I may have damaged the nail matrix (where the nail cells are formed) which means it has a weak point. This damage can be permanent but they suggested I try their Nailactan product which works on the matrix to produce healthier cells. They have sent me a sample which I am going to use until it runs out and of course I will report back! In the meantime if you wish to find out more about Mavala products you can visit their website

Have you tried any of these products or which ones do you use in your nail care routine?


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Neal's Yard Remedies Organics

Many of you who are regular readers of my blog will know that one of my absolute favourite beauty brands is Neal's Yard Remedies, and I'd been thinking about signing up to be a consultant to sell through their home beauty arm NYR Organics for some time. 

When I saw the offer that came out today I knew it was the perfect opportunity as NYR have halved the usual joining fee. I get the starter kit which includes the Chamomile Cleanser, Rehydrating Rose Toner, Frankincense Hydrating Cream, Geranium and Orange Hand Cream, White Tea Toning Eye Gel and the award winning Beauty Sleep Concentrate. This meant I could get all these gorgeous products, worth £130 for just £45 - a complete bargain for anyone who loves NYR products!

Part of the reason for starting my blog was because of my love for beauty products but also to learn new skills and make myself more employable to move into a completely different industry to my current "day job". Signing up to be an NYR consultant seemed like another logical step to gain even more experience in the beauty industry as well as getting to work more closely with a great brand.

I wanted to write this post to be very transparent about the fact that I will be working as an NYR consultant however the main purpose of this blog as a fun outlet for my beauty and music passion still remains the same. I will still write reviews of some NYR products I love, buy and use, but will remain completely honest in my opinions and will disclose any free samples in each post. At the end of the day I would hate anyone to be unhappy with a purchase based on duff or dishonest reviews I'd written!

More than my opinions, I'd like to use my blog to find out what you think about NYR products - both your experiences and opinions as well as ideas you'd like to see so feel free to ask any questions or leave comments on this post as usual - I love to hear from you!

You can read my previous reviews on two great products - Wild Rose Beauty Balm and White Tea Facial Mist.

If you're interested in taking advantage of the deal above you can open an account here which will get you all the products above for £45 as well as 25% discount off all future purchases.