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?

end

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

ChloBo Jewellery Review

There are some jewellery brands I’ve admired from afar without ever owning a piece. ChloBo is one of these brands- they’ve been on my radar for a long time but somehow I’ve not managed to get my hands on any pieces.

This all changed recently when the brand got in touch offering me a piece from their gorgeous collection for review. Of course I jumped at the chance (who wouldn’t?) and started to make my selection- no easy task with such an extensive, and gorgeous range I can tell you!

In the end I decided on the mini noodle sparkle rice didi hamsa hand bracelet*. I’m a big fan of delicate pieces at the moment and this fitted the bill perfectly.

The first thing to mention about ChloBo has to be the amazing packaging. Bold, bright and in your face whilst still maintaining that high-end feel. The bracelet is made of sterling silver and does come up a little on the small side- perfect for me and my obscenely small wrists but for some people this could be a problem although it does have some stretch in it.

I’ve barely taken this bracelet off since it arrived. It goes with just about every outfit under the sun and pairs perfectly with much of the rest of my jewellery if I feel like changing things up. I’m not normally one for wearing multiple bracelets at once but the idea of layering up half a dozen of these on my wrist 100% appeals and I’m currently contemplating adding the peace and buddha charms to my collection once funds allow.

It’s not just bracelets that ChloBo do well- necklaces, rings and earrings are also available and also very, very covetable. I fear this review might have started a dangerous obsession for me- now I’ve finally had the chance to give ChloBo a try I can’t help but crave more!

Are you familiar with the brand? What pieces have caught your eye?

end

The April 2017 Degustabox

Towards the end of April the latest edition of Degustabox* was delivered to my door. I’m a little bit late in getting my post up this month and admittedly, with the chaos of birthdays, bank holidays and a mostly empty house not all of the products have been sampled at this point.

Nevertheless I’ve popped together this post so you can see what was included in April’s box with some mini reviews of the products I’ve tried so far.

First up we have a new variety of muesli from Dorset Cereals (£4.89). This is the “American Roadtrip” flavour from their Ultimate Adventures collection and is made up of cranberries, almonds and orange zest. This is packed full of flavour and utterly delicious. The perfect start to a Spring morning- preferably with a large dollop of natural yoghurt.

Hemp seed hearts from Good Hemp are one of the products I haven’t tried yet. They are described as delicious, nutty super seeds which are packed with protein, fibre and omega 3. They are nut and gluten free and perfectly for sprinkling over all manner of sweet and savoury dishes. They have an RRP of £4.49 and are currently available from Ocado and www.goodhempfood.com.

On the whole I’m not a big fan of crisps but I do rather like these lattice crisps from Seabrook- sliced both ways to hold maximum flavour these sea salt and black pepper snacks are completely addictive and pack a powerful punch. RRP £1.50-£1.99.

I can’t eat peanuts myself so the hot chilli peanuts from ViPnuts are currently another un-sampled product. These claim to be deliciously hot with a real kick of heat. They cost £1.25 for a very jazzy looking bag and also come in an intriguing sounding Hot Toffee flavour.

As a fan of grapefruit paired with gin (thanks to hoxton gin) I was very happy to see a pink grapefruit flavoured tonic water from Fentiman’s in this month’s box. I don’t have all of the product information for this so I can’t provide an RRP or stockists, but I can say that it is gorgeous with both gin and vodka. One for summer parties!
There was also a bottle of CELIA organic lager in the drinks section of the April box. This is 100% organic and brewed using just three ingredients- Moravian malt, 100% locally sourced (local to Czech) organic Saaz hops and sand-filtered water from the Żatec foothills. It’s gluten free too with an RRP of £2.49 per bottle.
I’ve tried Nothing But snacks before and enjoyed them very much. These are snack packs of freeze-dried fruits or vegetables that are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten free diet. I wasn’t wild about freeze dried grapes but the rest of the fruits are lovely and because they are dried rather than baked or fried the only things the fruit loses during the process is water.

Whitworths full of super range featured in a Degustabox a few months ago and I really enjoyed the Cacao raw bar and was keen to track down other flavours. This month I received the vanilla maca-roons variety which is crammed full of almonds, coconut and flax seeds and I think, that even though I don’t usually like almond flavoured things these might just be a new favourite snack. They cost £1.50 and are suitable for vegetarians as well as being gluten and soya free.

I haven’t yet tried the Garofalo whole wheat penne pasta that came in this month’s box but it sounds pretty fancy! Made with unprocessed whole organic durum wheat the pasta has all of it’s natural bran, germ, fibre, vitamins and minerals intact making it extra healthy. It only takes 11 minutes to cook too. £2.19 per bag and available from Amazon, Ocado and local stockists.
Last but not least we have a couple of sweet treats. Firstly a pot of sugar free polos (£1.49) which I’ve been working my way through. I’ve always had a soft spot for polo mints and these are ultra refreshing and kind to teeth. The pot format is a new look, designed to be taken on the go. Definitely a handbag must have for me and far less prone to getting crushed than the traditional tube packaging.

I was really excited to try the quinoa, smoked tea and vanilla chocolate by Doisy & Dam (£1.75) as I’ve heard amazing things about the brand and their 8 unique flavours. I can’t quite find the right words to describe how this tastes but it is truly, and quite oddly delicious. My next mission is to seek out the rest of the range to see what other crazy combinations of chocolate flavouring exist!

For those who don’t know Degustabox is a monthly subscription box filled with 10-15 food/drink products, most of which are brand new to the market so it’s a great way to try things out. On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £7.00 off of your first box (making it just £5.99!) by entering the code 6HZJ8 at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

end

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.

end

Indulging my [not so] inner cat lady with Red Candy

I always have been a bit of a homewares fiend, I blame my mother- she’s the one that got me hooked and introduced me to all of my favourite online haunts for a spot of virtual window shopping. One of the sites she introduced me to a long time ago was Red Candy and it’s been a firm favourite for both of us ever since. I was therefore beyond delighted when the opportunity to work with Red Candy came up- an invitation to select a few pieces to review? Count me in!
It probably comes as no surprise that I went to the search function and typed in “cat”. There is a delightfully large selection of feline themed items available on Red Candy and I was lucky enough to be sent my top three, which you can see above.

Before I move on to the specifics I just wanted to say what a delight Red Candy is, and always has been to browse. It’s a clean, easy to navigate site with a wide range of search options and categories to make finding whatever it is your heart desires a cinch. My parcel arrived well packaged and with the added bonus of a little packet of Haribo sweets too- I’m always straight in there when Mum has placed an order nabbing the sweets, I think it’s such a nice touch.

The first item I picked out was this fabulous plate. I’m a complete magpie and always make a beeline for dining accessories, it doesn’t matter how many plates/bowls/mugs I own, I can always find room for one more. I’ve always been told not to play with my food but with a plate like this how can one resist?

Next to catch my eye was this gorgeous lucky cat pen pot which is a brand new addition to the site. I’m dreadful for leaving pens and pencils strewn across my bedroom so having a cute and quirky way to store them has been a huge help and I can’t help but smile at it’s happy smiling face!

Last but by no means least I picked out this Peropon drinking animal planter. I’m not exactly green-fingered (I’ve killed two succulents already this year) but I really don’t see how I can go wrong with this self watering planter. I’ve got it set up on my windowsill right now and I’m eagerly awaiting the first signs of some strawberries appearing…I’ll report back on my progress with that one!

A huge thank you to Red Candy for the excellent service over the years and for this wonderful parcel of products. Fellow homeware junkies do take a look at the site and let me know in the comments what’s caught your eye.

end