Thursday, December 27, 2012

China Glaze Polish Review

I'd never tried this brand before I was kindly given some bottles this Christmas - I had no idea what to expect!

They are amazing, the two polishes I used on this mani - winter holly and champagne kisses, from the outside look like they could be a 'watery' sort of glitter, but from the first stroke, you realise that this thick, multi dimensional polish, is anything but. One coat is all you need for a quick 'out-of-the-door' job, but two is glistening diamond perfection!!

I think I have a new crush... China Glaze is amaze. (sorry).

Champagne Kisses, is PERFECT for New Years, the kind of glitter you want to emanate from you as a person, like a party seal of approval for your nails!

Let me know what you think,

Love Lauren xx

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Subtle Seasonal Nails

This is for the Nail lover who wants a subtle seasonal nail, that's still eye catching and festive, but perhaps not as much glitter mad as my last post...

I used models own polishes for this in; scarlet sparkle and pinky brown beetle juice.

Prepare your nails and apply two coats of PBBJ. Allow to dry thoroughly, and then there's the sexy creative bit... Apply some of the SS to the very tips of your nails and blend down the nail to just over halfway, thinning the polish as you go down.

This leaves you with a lovely ombré effect, sparkling but subtle enough for your day to day festive endeavours! Enjoy!!

Merry Nailmas one and all,

Love Lauren xx

Sparkling Seasonal Nails

This is when you just need to use all your creativity and go bauble mad. Think glitter, shimmer, pearls and colour.

There is no limit on colour combos or creativity! Really its all about layering, using anything you fancy!

I used ciaté caviar nails and layered with some models own glitter varnishes, sided with some ciaté velvet nails, with blobs of glitter for a snow and snowflake effect.

You can even make your own Christmas characters using a cocktail stick and a steady hand.

My nails are just there for inspiration, they're so easy and fun, a great way to shimmer on into Christmas!!

Merry Nailmas ;)

Love Lauren xx

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vampy Christmas Nails UPDATE

If you followed my Vampy Christmas Nails post below, you'll have fabulously dark seasonal nails right now.

Want to make them darker..?! Of course you do. Take a nail art pen (I used Model's Own and WAH in black), and fill in the crescents at the bottom of your nail. It not only looks aesthetically HOT, but it's like a cheeky optical illusion, making your talons appear longer and sexier! You're welcome..

Love, Lauren xx

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vampy Christmas Nails

First point- if like me your nails are prone to breakage, use Sally Hansen's growth polish. It really works. They grow something like 30% extra in a few days and there is pretty much no breaking.

Next step - grow. It may take time but be patient, grow your nails as long as you dare (practical or not...). In the mean time, use your Sally Hansen and eat a lot of fruit and veg!

Once (finally), your nails are at the desired length, file them into points. Again the severity of your sharpness is down to personal taste, so don't be shy to go full on rihanna, or just a mild peak for everyday wear.

Paint your nails with your desired colour. I picked a vampy purple/red by Ciaté, as it's high gloss finish adds to the seasonal neo-goth feel about the finish. But be experimental, tis' the season to be jolly afterall.

Enjoy! They are a wonderful accessory, and if your take care of them, there's no reason they won't last as your pointy friends for a long time!!

Love, Lauren xx

Monday, December 3, 2012

Blue Ciaté Velvet Nails Review

As I've previously posted a fair few items about ciaté nails, how tos etc, I thought it would be fun to do an actual product review of this stunning midnight blue velvet set.

You apply it normally; 1st coat which you leave to dry and then second coat nail by nail, which you tap the velvet powder out onto. Then using the mini brush provided, excess is swept into the little tray provided, and popped nice and easily back into the pot. Done :).

In terms of quality, this product looks fantastic, either for evening glamour or daytime sass. Water does slightly effect the velvetyness (def a word), but the texture isn't completely compromised so don't be afraid to shower..(please!), as it still looks fab after. This manicure lasts a substantial amount of time, without chipping and looking really really professional! I give it a 10 because honestly I can't fault it. It's one of my all time faves ever ever!

Christmas party up your nails with this textured treat and try for yourself. Promise you won't regret it!

Merry Nailmass beauties,

Love Lauren xx

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Caviar and Velvet (Nails)

I'm a fan of ciatè nails. Actually no, I need to come out and admit it - I'm obsessed. I got these 3 sets lately (2 velvet and one caviar) and created this very royal/ seasonal mani with them!

They're so easy to use, in each case, after your second coat of the provided polish you tip on a load of either the velvet or the cavalier beads and brush off the excess (economical). Then wait for 15/20 mins and bob's your (very stylish) uncle.

Be warned people will ask where you got them done, feel free to smugly say you did them yourself, nobody needs to know how easy they are.. ;)

Love and peace, Lauren xx

Friday, November 16, 2012

3D Lips

This is a good way to enhance your lips and give them that extra oomph. Perfect for wandering around near mistletoe this season..

I decided on a plum version, as i'm loving rich jewel tones this autumn/ winter!

To begin, apply a nice layer of your base colour (the mid shade of your chosen colours), I used Topshop's - Brighton Rock. Then get a darker colour such as Model's Own - Blackcurrant. Put this round the edge of your lips, like a thickish lip liner, then simply blend towards the centre of your lips, using your finger.

Lastly for the real highlight effect, use a lighter colour on the very centre of your lips, where the light naturally catches it!

You can also put a small blob of highlighter in the middle too and around the Cupid's bow and outer corners of the lip - for an ultra glam evening look!

Have fun with palettes and designs!

Merry Kissmass (nearly),

Love, Lauren xx

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How To - Glitter Bug Nails

You will need, a few coloured polishes for the base, palette is totally up to you. Then some glitter varnishes, and some nail art pens if you have them! I also used the mother of pearl ciaté caviar nails.

You start with a base coat, whichever colour on whichever nail, it's very flexible and arty, so just go with what feels right.

Once dry, begin patterning your nails- the fun bit :)!! I used cocktail sticks (dip in and design - simple), and nail art pens.

You can make your designs 3D with a steady hand, lots of polish...and TIME to dry after!

Show me your favourite nail designs,

Love Lauren xx

Hot Winter Nails

Rawrr. Yep that's the sound of these super hot nails, spicing up your hands this autumn/winter.

Start with an orange base, and use a black thin nibbed nail art pen to create stripes once the orange is dry. Make them as free and animalistic as you like.

You'll be queen of the urban jungle, meeeow!

Love, Lauren xx

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pump it up

Just in time for winter - these wedged pumps are chic and comfy, just the right height to give your legs (and bottom) the perfect oomph, whilst being causal and effortless.

You can team with tights, leggings..jeans! They're just a perfect pre winter buy! Get it or regret it, before your toes are crying out for comfy protection from the cold!!

Check out Toppers or Asos for some fail safe designs to suit your personality..

Love Lauren xx

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Autumn Floppy Hat Loving

This is so 70s it hurts - in a good way. Think 50 shades of amazing, dress up jeans and a jumper or glam it up cray style with a faux fur gilet.

I'm in love. This beauty was from Asos, but pick one up yourself from many of the high street stores, there is so much variety in colour and shape so there is no excuse not to get your hat on!

Happy Autumn,

Love Lauren xx

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to - Leopard Pastel Nails

I know autumn (or 'fall' if you're of an American persuasion), is upon us, but amongst the oxblood, ochres and burnt orange palette - pastel fun can still be injected. Imagine an all black outfit, sleek, stylish and with these nails - perfection.

Chose any five of your favourite pastel nail polishes and apply one to each nail, ideally the same on both hands- but hey mix it up if you fancy...yolo afterall.

Then using a white nail art pen, dot randomly once the base coat is dry. Once this is dry, carefully using a black nail art pen, trace around each white dot, not the full circle, just about half or just over. Not only does this scream leopard but it gives a bit of an extra dimension to the pattern.

Once this is all dry - apply a clear topcoat to protect and you're Grrrr-eat. ( I know tony was a tiger but you get my drift!)

Love Lauren xx

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sensational Summer Bag!

Just needed to share my latest summer purchase, as I have always found it pretty difficult to hone in on the perfect summer accessories - especially bags. I adore white bags, but get them wrong and you can be staring down the wrong end of chav, it's important that they are styled right and look elegant yet edgy.
This year I have chances upon the Pippa grab bag by modalu - I'm in love and it's going to be a white wedding. It's the perfect mix of texture, design and colour, which provides the ULTIMATE summer bag.

Bring on summer '12 (and please stop raining England, the joke's over now..), let me know your ultimate summer '12 pick-me-ups!

Love Lauren xx

Royally Great Nails

The jubilee got me thinking, it's always fun to support your nation, and what better way than through accessorising. If like me you can't fit direct flag artistry into your everyday look in terms of tops or trousers...fear not for once again nails are the subtle saviour. I used a Nail Rock in a golden union jack pattern, a pearl polish by Revlon and a delicious jewel strip by Envy 3D nail wraps in candy sprinkles. I just placed the nail wraps on different fingers and used the Revlon varnish on the remaining ones. I wanted it to look random and interesting yet polished! You use the different brands of nail varnish in different ways, but it's best if you have a base coat, top coat, acetone and a nail file to hand web using them. They can be tricky but the results are worth it, even if you're a first timer like me!

I hope you had a brilliantly british weekend, let me know any other nail fancies you have,

Love Lauren xx

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Summer Beauty Haul (1)

I just thought I'd share my latest buys in prep for summer '12. The weather here in England has left a LOT to be desired lately. (Unless what is desired is constant rain amidst bleak skies)..BUT that hasn't stopped me being optimistic for the impending summer season!

I bought some tanning faves (in the form of no other than St.Tropez - (in its instant dark, face dark and gradual dark). Hey, its better to fake it anyway right? Tan minus the wrinkles...yes please!! On a similar note I couldn't resist the 'You Rebel' tinted moisturiser by Benefit. I have used Estée Lauder for billions of years which is amazing- but I thought I'd give this a go. I am NOT dissapointed. Perfect colour, finish...everything!

I also bought a couple of lip care products. An amazing dual sided balm by Jemma Kidd Make Up School, one side of which is a buffer, the other a highly nourishing balm. It's like inventing the lightbulb all over again. So hot. Also, I invested in Prime Venom. Now this bad boy is perfect if you want to plump up your lips without the gloss factor. It enhances your lips and fills them out perfectly for lipstick. Angelina who?

Back to Benefit. Now it might seem like rather a hefty amount I scooped up from this brand, but it's honestly one of my all time favourites (and not just because the packaging is cute as). I grabbed a classic benetint, a failsafe for perking up your lips and cheeks for a rosy 'oh I've just been on a run but I still look beaut' effect. As well as this, a cha cha tint, benetint's sexy Latina cousin, who gives you an oh-so-summery coral glow. Hello St. Barts in a bottle!

I also grabbed a Hoola, a Tan About Town kit, a Powder Wowza and a 'they're real' mascara. Hoola is literally my favourite bronzer ever, I can't even explain - just buy it. Hence the two kits I bought, as well as containing fab other Benefit minis, they provide a handbag size Hoola, which wont crumble into oblivion the minute you put in your bag, as the full size may do. They're real mascara. Wow. Just wow. It literally gives you the best false eyelash coverage, whilst remaining sultry and natural. It's not the UK's best seller for nothing!

If you have used Urban Decay eyeshadow before you'll understand the greatness of the Naked palette. Filled with a treasure chest of tempting pigments, it's enough to make a magpie out of you! So when the Naked 2 palette came out this year (even though they are essentially the same)... I couldn't resist! Please try these eyeshades, there is one for every look, skin tone, eye colour etc! You can't go wrong!

I also indulged in a couple of new brushes - for an artist is as only as good as her weakest tool. (Or something). I got Jemma Kidd 09 foundation brush. It has a flat edge and can be used for powder or liquid. When brushed in circles it gives a pristine, line-less finish. Time to bin photoshop. As well as this, I decide it was time to prepare for the vast amount of bronzer I would be using in the coming months and purchased the Body Shop face and body brush, which is just fantastic! It glides bronzer onto your face, neck and collar bones for a sultry, even finish!

Onto hair. Moroccan Oil. If you haven't used this yet, USE IT. It tames frizz, promotes growth and generally pimps the hell out of your hair. A life essential! I also got Catwalk - Your Highness, which pumps up the volume from your roots and GHD curl spray, which is the ultimate in long lasting glossy curls when using a GHD styler! Amaze.

Finally I just had to add this because it's unbelievably cute - the Cath Kidston pocket mirrors. In an array of different designs they look cute enough to kiss and fit perfectly in your bag. Another excuse to touch up on the go! Mwah.

Give me some summer love and let me knowing what you're buying!

Love Lauren xx

Skin Care Saviours!

There is nothing like feeling great in your own skin. Literally. Knowing you're face is practically beaming with health gives you a fantastic boost - no matter how much makeup you're wearing!

Of course a lot of skin care starts from within. What you eat, how tired you are and things like excess alcohol or caffiene can spell a bad face day, but there are many fail safe products out there which will take you from blah to brilliant in no time.

The first brand I LOVE, which has been shouted all over the blogosphere rooftops is Liz Earle. If nothing else, buy her hot cloth cleanser and some muslin cloths. Fantastic results in next to no time. I use this alongside her skin tonic and skin repair light moisturiser, as I am prone to oily/combo skin - and my skin has never looked better! I promise you will not regret it!

Next is the Body Shop. An old favourite, they have skin collections to suit all. My faves are the tea tree collection if my skin is misbehaving on the spot front and the vitamin e brand for winter or when it needs a little more love! The vitamin e lipbalm has been a staple of mine for years - kissable lips in a minute. Fab.

Benefit also do a great new line of skin care products and yes - they do live up to the makeup side of things! What I highly recommend is buying the sample size kit for £10. It gives you 6 mini products, and will give you the opportunity to find out how much you love it without committing to full size. Perf!!

I hope you liked this mini skincare review, let me know your favourite products and tips!

Love Lauren xxx

Friday, April 20, 2012

YSL French Manicure Kit Review

French Manicures always look classy, no matter who, when and where; they are the Chanel of nail polish - classic and timeless.

If you don't fancy going to the salon for a mani treat, then fear not. This fantastic kit from YSL will do the job for you - minimum effort required.

It consists of two pens, one for the white tip and one for the sheer pinky overcoat. It's literally the easiest thing to do. Simply draw on your tips, allow to dry, then coat with the pink polish!

It is a 10 out of 10 product, and produces fantastic results even done by yourself, but great to share with friends and family for a properly salon style finish.

I highly recommend and give two (highly manicured) thumbs up. Yes YSL!!

Let me know any of your home salon hints and tips,

Love Lauren xx

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dalmatian Nails - Woof!

I saw a nail wrap for Dalmatian print nails and I thought it looked fantastic, but probably so easy to do by hand so I just decided to give it a go!

I began with an undercoat, (Sally Hansen as mentioned in my easy Easter nails post), waited for it to dry and then thickly coated each nail with BarryM nail paint in white.

After carefully waiting for that to dry, (I found I didn't need a second coat - this polish is fantastic value for money), I got out my old faithful models own and WAH! pen in black, and just dotted Dalmatian-esque dots all over the place, the more random the better! If you're too precise with this it can easily become polka dots, but I was looking for something more...doggy style!

I then did a coat of clear varnish on top, once dry, to simply protect the design, and away I went. Such beautiful paws for thought...

Love Lauren xx

Thursday, April 12, 2012

10 Hot Picks for Spring/Summer '12

There are so many great shops and fantastic online sites around at the moment, I selected ten of my recent favourites to show you for this season. It's about beauty on a budget, designer is fabulous but you can still look classy and chic without spending a fortune. These picks make me so excited for summer already, even in rainy England, bring on the July BBQs!

1) This is a wonderful dress my sister bought off, it is the right amount of girly, muted chic, without being overly fussy. The netted waistband is sexy, yet demure and gives it an elegant point of interest. Perfect with wedges (pictured are Topshop) for dinner and drinks, or sandals and a denim jacket for a picnic or stroll through town.

2) These sunglasses are again from and I absolutely love them. At £12 they are definitely a bargain, and they are absolutely worth the money, being the perfect size and a fantastic cat-eye shape, which screams 1950's retro - which is completely trending at the moment.

3) Number 3 on my list is this multi tonal wicker clutch by H&M. Its lightweight and versatile and at around only £8 its an absolute bargain! Think beach to bar, daywear or night-time must have, its a fashion steal!

4) Denim. Shorts. Two of the most important words in your summer vocabulary. They're versatile and come in a range of styles; a pure staple. I love these freshly brought in Topshop pair, the right amount of faded denim, short enough for drinks...yet long enough for tea with you grandma. Fantastic! And at £26 they won't break the bank but will guarantee no more 'what shall i wear...' meltdowns. You're welcome!

5) This pair of Miss KG Pumpkin espadrille wedges are fantastic for summer. They can be dressed down with jeans and a cami, or pimped out with a gorgeous summer frock and girly curls. I say yes, and at £55 they are a sound investment which will carry you through to autumn and beyond. At around 3/4 inches they are high enough to be sexy, but low enough to actually walk in throughout the just sit back and wait for that royal garden party invite.

6) This lemon cami by H&M is perfect for brightening up any outfit. Send the mojitos our way...mix it up with some floral hot pants or keep it suave with some white jeans and nude platforms. Nobody can look sour in this little lemon number, beaut! Once again this is a bargain at £9.99. Plenty of money left for a cheeky cocktail...or three.

7) These blonde wood French Connection heels are definitely one of my fave buys of all time, let alone this season. At around 5 inches, (considering I'm nearly 5'11), they are higher than i'd normally consider, but just wow. They are amazing! They are a nice solid heel so you don't feel as though you'll topple over and the lining is padded and so comfy. Not only that but they go with EVEYTHING. I can't say enough good words about these, just fab. They do cost £120 but I promise you now - they are worth every penny and will last you for years to come.

8) The denim jacket. Similar to the denim shorts, it is pretty much a must have for any summer wardrobe. From maxis to minis to coloured shorts, this bad boy will take you through summer like a cool breeze. Around £30 from the old faithful H&M, it is a staple which once you have you won't be able to live without!

9) This wonderful piece by just screams on trend with the clash of vivacious prints. At around £20 it is such a fantastic buy, try with white jeans and a tux jacket for masculine meets fresh and feminine. Or pop on some coral hot pants and pair of sky high heels to take you out on the town...yes please.
10) Last but not least is a lovely pair of embellished sandals by those beauties French Connection again. At around £65 they are another investment buy, but made of the softest suede, you are purchasing pure comfort and style. The style makes any outfit look fantastic, with the jewels shouting designer. The colour goes with anything too, they will look great with bare legs or poking out of a pair of jeans!

I hope you like my ten summer picks, let me know your wardrobe essentials!

Love Lauren xx

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easy Easter Nails

I really fancied doing something colourful today, and as Easter is coming up I thought themed nails?...yes please! 

I started off as I always do, with a undercoat, just to protect the nails and make the colour last a bit longer. I use Sally Hansen in any form, all her coats of any description are good and do what they say on the tin, so I just popped a quick coat of this on before starting.
I picked out a few ‘Eastery” colours from my nail collection and just basically went about painting each nail in a different colour, it’s entirely up to you what you do - just go with how you feel. Something that always looks really hot, is a different colour on the ring finger of each hand - a great alternative to a full on rainbow. I chose to multi-colour up here, mainly for the purpose of this post... and because I think it looks pretty beaut.
Once I painted all my nails in a different colour and they were dry, I just painted a cute Easterish motif on random nails. I did this with the aid of Models own and WAH nail art pens in black and white, and...cocktail sticks. I used the latter by just dipping it into my colour of choice, (for example my yellow for a little chick), and then carefully used it like a mini paintbrush to create my design. It does take a steady hand, but I always think imperfections look cute and handmade...wobbly lines beat artificially perfect any day with kitsch ideas like this!
Once they were TOTALLY dry, I used a topcoat to protect...and then away I went. Easy Easter nails in the bag. Boom.
Let me know if you have any hot nail art design ideas?!
Love, Lauren xx

My Tools

From left to right; H&M in Going Bananas, Models Own in Baby Blues, Models own and WAH in black and white, Revlon in Lilac Pastelle, Sally Hansen in Miracle Growth, Revlon in Charming, Revlon in Minted and Topshop in Peaches and Cream