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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Nail SOS with Essence

My nails aren’t one of my strongest features. I’ve always envied anyone that can grow their nails or who have nails that hold their shape once filed. Mine seem to last less than a day after a manicure and break once they get to a certain length. They also are generally dry and ridged and if I had it my way I’d have a constant shellac manicure to cover them up!

My high-street hero makeup brand Essence have launched a range of products to care for and repair your natural nails- from hardeners and strengtheners to nourishing cuticle oils…and nothing costs more than £2!

They kindly sent over a selection of the products for me to try out and I had high hopes having yet to be failed by any Essence product…could they live up to the hype once more?
The first product I tried was the SOS Nail Detox* (£2) which is a water based polished/base coat infused with algae extract and vitamin B5. It actually has quite an aquatic scent to it and with regular use I can definitely see and feel an improvement in the hydration of my nails. It also gives natural nails a lovely glossy shine when worn as a clear polish so I’m planning on stocking up.

The second product was one of the colour & care strengthening nail polishes* in the shade “I care for you” which is a gorgeous pastel pink. These polishes come in 5 pretty shades (£2 each) and are enriched with natural ingredients to do good whilst looking good.

My nails are feeling so much stronger from using these products and at these prices I really do recommend hot footing it down to your local Wilko if you’re in need of a bit of a nail detox after the festive season. I’m also really liking the 4 in 1 nail file* (£2) which is perfect for essential maintenance on the go.

Have you tried any of these products? Or do you have any nail care top tips to share? Leave them in the comments below…

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The Dark Side with Essence

If you follow me on social media, especially over on instagram you won’t fail to have noticed that I’m going through a bit of a lipstick phase right now. I’m on a real kick of trying out new shades and going bolder and brighter than I ever have before and loving every minute of it. I’ve also been dipping my toe in to the dark side too, a real step out of my comfort zone and recently my brand of the moment- essence sent over a selection* of vampy favourites to encourage me on my journey.
I’ve made no secret of the fact I love essence mascaras more than many a more expensive brand. Their “rock ‘n doll” mascara (£2.80) promises amazing volume with an eye-opening effect and it really doesn’t disappoint. I don’t know how they manage to make such good mascara for such a bargain price but I’m not complaining…this has become a part of my regular eye makeup army.

I’m not very experienced in the world of lip liner although given my recent lipstick lovin’ I probably do need to get better acquainted. At £1.50 for a long-lasting lipliner I really don’t think you can go wrong by picking up a few from essence and I found this really easy to reply, true to it’s word it didn’t budge all day.

The 2 in 1 matte lipstick and liner was the real star of this package for me, so much darker than anything I have ever worn before (shade 05 more is more) and I was a bit apprehensive before applying it but once on I loved it! This was slightly more drying than other matte products I’ve used but it was nothing a slick of lip balm couldn’t fix and at £2.50 I’m really not going to fall out with it. A great introduction in to the world of dark colours.

Finally another shade of my hands down favourite product from essence- their gel nail polish. This is a colour called “wild and free” and is a dark grey/black with a hint of green. I’m hopeless at painting my nails but couldn’t resist a somewhat shaky manicure with this as soon as it arrived. I got a good three days (minus a top coat) out of this with zero chips and at £1.60 per bottle you just can’t beat it.

How do you feel about a more vampy makeup look for day time? I did feel a bit dressed up rocking this to a blood test appointment, but at the same time it’s winter now, time to do away with the pretty pastels and embrace the berry tones for a few months at least!

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This post contains gifted items.

Thoughts on False Nails

I’m not usually one to bother with my nails- I used to, and don’t get me wrong there is nothing more satisfying than a fresh manicure but after six years of working in healthcare in a role that requires short, neat and naked nails I’ve kind of fallen out of the routine.
Obviously having not been in work now since April I’ve had time to experiment a bit more- initially in the form of a bright and beautiful shellac, but as time went on and money dwindled a DIY manicure has had to suffice. So it was with great delight that I was sent a whole heap of products from KISS which gave me a chance to experience salon style at home.

All products c/o Kiss*

Up until now my experience with false nails has been limited to just once or twice. I’ve always thought they weren’t for me as my nails (well my thumb nails) are broad and the one time I did try them I had lost half a set by lunch time. Still, I was prepared to give things another shot, KISS is one of the leading brands out there so I was confident that if anyone could change my mind it would be them.

And to an extent they did. Pictured on my hand is the imPRESS press on manicure which could not be easier to apply. You simply match up the nail size, remove the tab and press on your nail. I didn’t have high hopes for these but I made it over 24 hours without losing one and the length was perfect for someone who isn’t used to having long nails. I preferred the pretty nail art designs to the french manicure style- that looked a little too false for my personal tastes but I was still imPRESSED (sorry) with how these lasted and with more perseverance I could have got a lot longer wear out of these by simply re-gluing it.

The red gel fantasy nails were my firm favourite from the bunch. These looked exactly as I’d hope a salon manicure to and again were super quick and easy to apply.

Turns out false nails have come a long way since my initial experiment with them (which if I recall correctly was a £1 pack from Primark that ended in a massive mess) and with party season fast approaching I’ll be seeking out the perfect pack to complement my outfits whilst saving £££ on a salon manicure.

KISS and imPRESS nails are available from both Boots.com* and Superdrug* and although I am yet to try every product I’ve been sent you can check out my instagram for snapshots and more thoughts as I do give them a whirl.

If you have any top tips for wearing falsies, or have any specific recommendations then do let me know…I’m game on for further expanding my horizons.

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