Chemist 4 U haul

My name is Laura and I am a nail polish addict, I have hundreds of them and yet can never resist adding new shades and finishes to my collection whenever I see one that catches my eye (which is often). The irony in this is that I rarely paint my nails any more, I spent years having to keep them bare due to clinical work, and now I’m in an office based role I’ve been splashing out on shellac manicures. Still, when I was given the opportunity to order some products from Chemist 4 U I just couldn’t resist the lure of bargain O.P.I. polishes, especially in shades that are just perfect for the festive party season.
The shades I picked (L-R on the swatch wheel) are: unfrost my heart, I Carol about you, first class desires, kiss me- or elf! and I’ll tinsel you in. Each polish cost a bargain £2.99- a huge saving on the RRP of £7.99 each! O.P.I. was the first nail polish brand I really fell in love with, they just look so luxe and last really well- at this price these would make awesome stocking fillers this Christmas, or the perfect little pick me up for yourself.
I also picked up my absolute winter lip saviour- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream lip protectant stick for just £10.49 which is a saving of over £9 on the RRP. Chemist 4 U sells primarily pharmacy products (also at excellent prices, for the record) but it’s the beauty section where the true bargains hide. I hadn’t used the website before but was impressed with the ease of ordering and the prompt, well packaged delivery. Well worth checking out if you’re looking for some Christmas gifts or want to stock up for yourself.
Does anyone remember the hype over O.P.I’s Russian Blue? I bought about three bottles at the height of it’s popularity! Which is your favourite shade?

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Products were provided for blog consideration, all thoughts about the products and the service I received are my own.

Summer Nails with Essence and Rimmel

There’s something about the warmer weather that makes me want to have bold, bright and beautiful nails- in the winter I’m not so fussed, perhaps because my hands are mostly hidden by gloves. That being said, I talk an awful lot about painting my nails in the spring and summer months but I still seem to rarely get round to it. I blame work a lot, but at the moment as I’m not doing my usual role I don’t even have that excuse. Thankfully I have some gorgeous new nail polishes to bring on the motivation.
First up I have this selection of colour boost high pigment nail paints c/o my friends at essence. These cost a bargainous £1.80 each (available at Wilko stores and online) and promise high coverage and shiny finish in just one coat.

The swatches are indeed just one coat and they really do deliver on that promise, I’m especially fond of the duck egg blue colour- shade 06: instant happiness for a pretty pastel touch. I highly recommend these nail polishes as an affordable and efficient way to bring your manicure up to date.

Next up is the beach ready 2 step super gel nail collection c/o Rimmel (at Boots and Superdrug). I’ve had a couple of gel manicures lately but can’t afford to keep that habit up so the fact that these polishes claim to last up to 14 days with no UV lamp needed appeals greatly.

All you need to do is apply your chosen colour- no base coat needed, just 1-2 thin coats of your preferred shade. Once it’s dry you add a coat of the self curing gel top coat and there you go.

I absolutely love the colours in this collection, they are all so bright and fun! They cost a reasonable £5.99 each (plus the top coat) and can usually be found on a multi-buy offer too. I’ll have to report back on the longevity of these but from what I’ve heard from other people they live up to the hype. Shade wise my top picks have to be the super bright blue shade named Dive Right In or the pretty pastel Purple Splash for a more subtle, girly approach.

What’s your favourite colour to paint your nails in the summer months? I tend to try and avoid pinks because that’s what I always go for- I’m contemplating trying the orange Rimmel polish first just because I don’t think I’ve ever had orange nails.

Pending me ever getting round to a DIY manicure that is! Someone give me a nudge?

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Products in this post were sent to me for blog consideration.

Essence SS17 new arrivals

It’s been a little while since Essence featured on the blog and they’ve been busy little bees creating some great new products for the Spring/Summer season. If you didn’t already know I am a big fan of Essence products (past features here) so I was really excited when an envelope containing some of these new products arrived at my door.
There were some really intriguing looking products inside the package and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. So excited it seems I completely forgot to get any swatches of the products but I’ll make sure to pop some up on my instagram over the coming days.
The Blush Play sculpting blush palette (£4) in “play it pink” is a very pretty little palette containing three blush shades that can be used together for a contoured effect or individually. I’m especially fond of the highlight shade, but all three really do work in harmony to create a gorgeous spring flush of pink.
I’ve always raved about Essence’s mascaras and the volume stylist 18h lash extension mascara (£3) is yet another bargain mascara to win my praise. This mascara features a diamond shaped brush which holds lengthening fibres and it creates long, full lashes that don’t budge.

Another product that really excited me was the cushion eyeliner (£3). This little jar holds a sponge soaked with super pigmented eyeliner. Applied with a fine brush this has an amazing texture and again doesn’t budge at all during the day.

You can’t beat Essence for bargain lip products and at a mere £2 these shine shine shine lipglosses are amazing. I’ve got two shades- number 12 and number 13 and they apply smoothly to give a really, really shiny and highly pigmented splash of colour. Out of the two shade 12 is my favourite, I’m really loving purple lips at the moment.

On a side note, these smell incredible too.

Last but not least we have a new nail product- colour boost high pigment nail paint in the shade 11- instant match. Essence nail products are a long standing favourite and a really affordable way to bring your look up to date at a minuscule £1.80 each. This new range takes just one application to provide super shine and solid colour coverage. There are ten shades available and I want them all!
Have you tried any of these new products from Essence, or any others from the brand for that matter? If not then I highly recommend you get acquainted with the brand which you can find in selected Wilko stores or the Wilko website.

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How to Add a Pop of Colour to your Summer Wardrobe

When the sun is shining I feel the sudden urge to get out my bright clothes and I’m not the only one. Knowing how and where to add colour can be hard though as you don’t want to overdo it. I feel at ease with red lips and fun prints but what other ways are there of adding a pop of colour to your summer outfit if you’re not quite so brave?

Colour block skirt
I own more A-line skirts than I’d care to mention and have them in pretty much every length, colour and print. It makes sense then that for summer I like to colour block with a bright skirt and a complimentary colour top. For those with a curvier frame wearing bright colours from the waist down works really well and an A-line shape skims the hips. If you want a more toned down look just pair with a neutral top instead.

Bold Summer dresses
For the ultimate boost of colour and energy to your wardrobe it has to be a patterned summer dress. There are so many patterns that are trending right now- from pastel gingham to bright stripes and vintage florals to fun food prints – pineapple anyone? Aztec prints also never go out of style so I’m keeping an eye out for this trapeze dress from Sainsbury’s holiday shop when doing the weekly shop.

Add colour in your accessories
In winter it’s easier to accessorise with colour simply because you wear more accessories and can layer up with hats, gloves and scarves. It’s still possible to do it in summer though – albeit in a slightly more subtle way. I like to add colour with a big bright bag to carry all of my everyday essentials (i.e. my entire life) or in or a pair of platform heels.

Off the top of your head
You can use your head, quite literally, to top off your colour offering. My cat beret gets a little rest over summer but out comes the sun hat instead. Even if yours is plain it’s always possible to wrap around a colour-coordinating scarf to match your outfit. For another instant colour update using a pretty silk scarf tie it round some classic vintage rolls- with the added bonus of keeping your neck nice and cool!
Finishing touches
Last but not least don’t neglect your face and fingers. If you’ve gone for accessories to add tones to your outfit pick the same shades out in your eyeshadow, lipstick or nails for added zing. While I stick to reds and darker shades of make-up in winter, spring is the time to experiment and I’m not afraid of orange lipstick, purple eyeshadow or pastel green nails – as long as it matches something I’m wearing! If you’re not feeling too brave start with a bold nail colour and go from there. This guide to nail shades covers orange, green, bronze, hot pink and everything in between.
How will you be adding colour to your Spring/Summer looks? I’d love to know.

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A Touch of Luxury- Nail Art Inspiration for 2017*

You wouldn’t know it from looking at my poor, neglected hands but once upon a time I was big on making sure my nails were always painted and experimented often with nail art. Getting a job in healthcare put paid to that though and despite having not worked for (what is somehow) almost a year I just haven’t got back in to the habit apart from the odd shellac manicure when I was first signed off.

I was recently sent over a copy of a great eBook put together by Ellisons which provides some interesting facts and tips when it comes to your nails- from what your favourite nail polish colour says about you to the biggest nail trends for 2017 (using essie gel from Ellisons).

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ebook redo 2017
The eBook made for a great little read and reference point- apparently my most often chosen pink nails (when I do bother) means I’m a romantic person which I kind of beg to differ on but you know…others may disagree! In terms of the nail trends for 2017 I’m relieved to see they are all wearable and achievable and are certainly inspiring me to dig out my nail polishes. With spring around the corner I can see myself attempting a pastel rainbow vibe (although perhaps not as advanced as the one I’ve pictured further up in the post), colour blocking I can totally see myself doing and once I’m back at work in an admin capacity will probably become a default whilst I make the most of being able to have painted nails at work- I’m loving the idea of a combination of nude tones complimented by navy and perhaps an off white shade.

Where do you head when you’re looking for nail inspiration and what do you think of the predicted trends in this eBook? As I said before I think it makes for a lovely little read and it’s certainly motivated me to give my hands some love.

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