Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Budget vs Blowout - Hair Strenghtening Treatments

Even though I'm a big-time bargain lover, I always find myself tempted by the bigger name brands which tend to carry the higher price tag. Luckily, when it comes to hair products, I rarely have to splurge to try a higher end product thanks to my Aunt, an ex-hairdresser who likes to sample every shampoo, conditioner and treatment going, then pass them on to me after a few uses reveal that they aren't suitable for her super fussy hair.

 The last time I saw her, she donated a 250ml bottle of Redken Anti-Snap Leave In Conditioner. I was pretty pleased with this result as I'd been longing to try a Redken product for some time, but could never quite bring myself to spend twice as I'd usually pay for a highstreet alternative. At over £13 a bottle on Amazon, I'd usually consider this product to be out of my poverty stricken student budget (sobs).

In contrast, I recently decided I wanted to give coconut oil a try in wake of Moroccan Oil Mania (see my review of Avon's budget friendly version here), as it sounded like it could be a purse-friendly alternative. To quench my curiosity, I picked up Inecto Pure Coconut Oil Hair Repair Treatment from Amazon for £2.36, in the hope that I may have found a new favourite that I can actually afford!

The Redken treatment promises to strengthen hair and prevent split ends, as well as hydrating for instant results. I found that I didn't need to use too many pumps of the conditioner to be able to get good coverage of my ends, and the smell was pleasant too.
I didn't notice a massive difference in the feel of my hair immediately after using the Redken conditioner, but in the long term I have noticed a reduction in the amount of split ends - whether this is down to the conditioner or the fact that I have shorter hair than I used to, I'm not entirely sure. 

The Coconut Oil Hair Repair Treatment is a masque rather than a leave in conditioner, making it more of a hassle to use than the Redken strengthener, which you can just apply to hair and then blow dry as normal. The packaging promises that the treatment will nourish and hydrate hair making it softer and stronger, helping to prevent breakage and split ends. The smell of the Inecto product is divine (providing you like the smell of coconut as much as I do), and the scent lingers on your hair until you next wash it. My hair did feel immediately softer and shinier after rinsing the masque - more so than after using the Redken treatment - but the feeling fades fast, leaving me wondering whether the product is actually benefiting my hair at all in the long run.

Despite promising the same results,  I've found that I've been using these products for different reasons. The Redken Anti-Snap conditioner won't provide immediate benefits but will instead work its magic in the long run, whereas the Inecto conditioner is perfect for using before a special occasion, as it will leave your hair shiney, soft and smelling gorgeous. For under three quid I'd recommend investing in the Coconut Oil masque, but in light of the £13 price tag I probably won't be re-purchasing the Redken treatment when it runs out.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

November Wishlist Review

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, the wonderful combination of essays, deadlines and illness has made it difficult for me to find time for blogging. However, I thought it was about time that I finally spoke about some of the items from my November Wishlist (view the original post here).

Due to financial restrictions I've been unable to try out all of the products from the wishlist - L'Oreal's Extraordinary Oil is on my Christmas list so hopefully I'll be able to talk about it in January, and I haven't got around to trying the MUA Nail Constellation either, although my housemate has bought it so I'm hoping she'll let me try and review it before the end of term.

I bought Organic Root Stimulator's Hair Fertilizer for £4.39 a good few weeks ago now and have been using it fairly regularly. This product promises to make hair grow long and strong, and so I'll probably have to keep you posted on how well this works as the three or so weeks I've been using it isn't long enough to see significant results. First impressions are that the product is a bit of a nuisance to use as the packaging doesn't give specific instructions on how long to keep it in for or whether to wash it out at all. I've been sleeping with it in to try to get maximum impact - which isn't the most pleasant thing in the world, but if it's going to make my hair grow faster then I'll try anything! In the mean time I've come up with a cunning plan to see how well this product really works - I regularly get my eyebrows threaded and after my last visit one is slightly thinner than the other, so I'm going to use Hair Fertilizer on the thin eyebrow to see if it grows any faster than the thicker one! Watch this space for the results of this hair-brained scheme (pun intended).

I've been using the set of seven Lydia makeup brushes for a good few weeks now, and although I will openly admit that I know next to nothing about different makeup brushes, I've been pleased with the results I've had from this set. At only £5 these brushes are seriously cheap, and to me they feel decent quality when using them. The brushes come in a handy carry case which makes them ideal to slip into your bag when going out, or travelling somewhere for the weekend etc. I'd definitely recommend these makeup brushes, even if just as a spare or travel set. The brushes are available from eBay - just search 'Lydia makeup brushes' and you'll soon find the whole range.

The final product I mentioned last month was the Kate Moss Matt Lipstick by Rimmel, which I absolutely love. I've bought a couple of new shades but can't see the point in writing another review, so see my full review of the lipsticks in this post. Long story short, these lipsticks are incredible value for £5.49 each - buy them!

That's everything from the November Wishlist covered, I hope you'll give some of the products a go!


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Kate Moss Matte Lipstick by Rimmel

I'd read a fair few rave reviews of Kate Moss' new lipstick range for Rimmel when they first launched a few months ago, and couldn't wait to try one out. I'd already decided that I wanted to try shade #107, a deep, vampy red, but unfortunately it seemed that I lot of people had had the same idea - it took several trips into town before I managed to track one down. I finally found one (the last one in the shop!) in Boots a few weeks ago, and I've been meaning to write a review ever since. 

The lipstick costs £5.49, which I think is very reasonable for a decent lipstick. The packaging is beautiful - the case is a lovely matte red with Kate's autograph written on the lid in black; very elegant. Once applied the lipstick feels thick and creamy on the lips, appears perfectly matte, and the pigmentation is incredible - one coat gives complete coverage, and the colour appears bottomless. It won't last all day, but its staying power is better than most - perhaps I notice the fading more as I went for such a dark shade. That said,  I absolutely love the colour of this particular lipstick, it's a perfect for this season's trends - although I'll be completely honest and say I haven't worn it out yet, as when I leave the house it tends to be to go either to a lecture or the gym (#thirdyearproblems), and so this shade would be much too much. This week however I don't think it's going to leave my lips - two friends are celebrating their birthdays and it's my work Christmas do, perfect excuse much?!

This lipstick is an absolute steal for £5.49, and there are so many seasonal offers floating around at Boots and Superdrug that you're bound to be able to pick one up cheaply. Happy shopping! 


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Natural Collection / Beauty freebies

As part my quest to root out the very best budget cosmetics, I took advantage of a 3-for-2 offer in Boots (do they ever NOT have a 3-for-2 offer?), and bought three Natural Collection products - a brand that I have to admit I'm not usually a fan of. I picked up a blusher in 'Rosey glow' (let's quietly gloss over the fact that 'rosy' is spelt wrong - tut tut Natural Collection), a pressed powder in 'Warm', and a metallic baby blue nail varnish. If you didn't already know, all products by Natural Collection are £1.99 each, meaning that I walked away with all three products for under £4.

I absolutely love the colour of the nail varnish; I'd been looking for the exact shade everywhere so I was pleased to have found it at such a reasonable price. However, I've used Natural Collection nail varnish before and been extremely disappointed by the quality, so I wasn't holding out much hope. It took a good three coats to get solid coverage, and letting the previous coat dry first was an absolute must, or the polish would visibly seperate into different layers. I would usually apply a top coat on top of a cheaper branded nail varnish, but for the sake of experiment I refrained. I was actually pretty pleased with the results compared to experiences I've had with NC nail varnishes before - the picture shows my nails after five days, although there is a fair amount of chipping, it is only on the tips and therefore easily touched up. However, for the sake of an extra quid, I would upgrade to a Barry M polish every day of the week - the quality simply doesn't compare. 

Next up, the blusher. Unfortunately I've been really unimpressed with this product - for a start the pot with the blush in it broke off of the external packaging within a week, which I'm sensing will probably end in a big old mess. Even when using a semi-decent blusher brush I find that it's very difficult to apply this product evenly; using a small amount renders it barely visible, but using a tiny bit more leaves you looking like a clown. Shame.

The pressed powder was much more of a success. It does what it says on the tin - reduces shine and produces a matte finish when applied on top of foundation. I don't have oily skin to start with so perhaps it wouldn't work as well on different skin types, but for me I have no problems with it. It's also fragrance free, which I prefer, as some powders I've used before have stank to high heaven, not ideal when you're going to be putting it on your face!

Nail Varnish: 2/5 
Blusher: 1/5
Pressed Powder: 4/5

On a seperate note - those of you back home in Kent may be interested to know that Real Hair & Beauty salon in Tunbridge Wells is holding a relaunch event next week, on Wednesday 14th November. Between 2-8pm, pop in to receive free mini-treatments and hair demonstrations, as well as a complimentary Aveda goodie-bag! For more information, click here to view the Facebook event page.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

November Wish List

Here are a few products that I'm aiming to try out before the month is out, budget permitting. If you've tried any of these, please pop a comment in the box below to let me know whether I'm onto a winner or wasting my time! Or, if you're particularly interested in one of these products, let me know and I will try to get a review up as soon as possible.

1)  Organic Root Stimulator Hair Fertilizer (£4.39, Boots)

This product promises to help hair grow faster and stay stronger, two things that I'm looking to achieve now that I've officially decided to grow my fine hair as long as I can get it. The ingredients are all natural, which will make a welcome change for my constantly treated hair. Although I think this product is primarily aimed at those with an Afro-Caribbean barnet, hair guru James Brown claims that this fertilizer "has an amazing effect on locks" - and if it's good enough for Mr. Brown, then it's good enough for me - especially for under a fiver.

                             2) Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipsticks (£5.49, Boots)

I purchased my first Kate Moss Matte Lipstick a couple of weeks ago, and I am absolutely infatuated with it (full review to follow shortly). The shade I chose was #107, a deep vampy dark red which, although gorgeous, isn't really suitable for everyday wear. Because of this I'm dying to try out a few more shades - my eye is particularly drawn to #101, a pale dusty pink. Get me to Boots!

3) MUA Nail Constellation - Pisces (£3, Superdrug)

I'm a sucker for nail trends, and luckily for me, this doesn't appear to require any form of artistic skill. These pearls promise a beautifully unusual 3D nail effect, and if they are as easy to use as MUA claim, then this could become a staple in my nail kit in no time. The colours all look fairly similar to me, but Pisces caught my eye in particular.

4) L'Oreal Elvive Extrodinary Oil (£6.99, Boots)

Although I'm content-ish with my Avon Moroccan Argan Oil (see full review here), the advertising campaign for L'oreal's Elvive Extrodinary Oil has worked its magic on me, and I'm dying to try it. The large 100ml bottle makes this product a potentially very good buy for £6.99, and I've read some very promising reviews too.

5) Lydia 7 Piece Makeup Brush Set (£4.99, eBay)

I'm a total slob when it comes to makeup brushes, I just can't bring myself to spend out a load of cash on something that I don't quite believe will make a sigificant difference to how my makeup turns out (I'm aware that I'm probably oh-so-wrong about this...oh well). I find it shocking how expensive makeup brushes can be, and for that reason this set on eBay has been at the back of my mind for a while now - I think November might be the time to finally purchase. Fingers crossed that they'll turn out to be a brilliant bargain!

That's my top five for this month, I'll be curious to see which products emerge as favourites by December.  Don't forget to comment below if you've tried any of these please!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

MUA: Undressed Palette / Lipsticks

I tend to buy my beauty products from Boots above anywhere else, simply because I love their generous Advantage Card scheme. For this reason I'd never really heard much about MUA, a brand only available online or in Superdrug, until I started reading some other beauty blogs. After reading one particularly complimentary review, I knew I had to try some of their stuff out - partly because it seemed as if the products were half decent, and partly because they are simply TOO CHEAP not to try.

When the MUA range launched, all products retailed at the too-good-to-be-true price of £1 each. As the brand became successful, a new range was launched - MUA Professional - and although these items are slightly more expensive, I couldn't spot anything that costs more than £4. Prodcuts from the original range still cost £1 a pop.

I picked up two lipsticks, a coral-ish pink (shade 14) and a plummy purple (shade 2) from the original range, as well as the Professional 'Undressed' eyeshadow palette. As the name suggests, this palette is an unapologetic copycat version of Urban Decay's £35  'Naked' palette - except this MUA alternative comes in at just £4 (£3 if you're quick - I bought mine on a special offer instore at Superdrug, although I'm not sure how long this deal will last).

First off, the lipsticks. The first thing I noticed when I used either shade is the smell - although not particularly unpleasant, there's no denying that it has that cheapo lipstick odour. Strangely, I noticed a big difference in the pigmentation of the two lipsticks despite them being from the same range - the coral shade never seemed to fully coat my lips even after a few coats, whereas the plum appeared nicely pigmented after just one coat - odd! Maybe it didn't help that I wasn't all too keen on the coral to start with - for a start it's a very summery shade, and I think it would have suited me far better if I'd kept my blonde hair. I completely love the plum though - the shade suits me far better, and lasts longer than the coral, probably because it actually fully coated my lips to start with.

Now for the palette - and I am delighted to say that this is one of my favourite beauty bargains of the moment!  (At this point I would love to whip out a Naked palette and do a direct comparison, but alas - the only thing I can justify spending £35 on is my fortnightly Tesco shop.) The range of colours is lovely (nigh on identical to the Naked shades), with a nice balance of matte and shimmer shadows. They are easy to apply without sending shadow-dust flying everywhere, and are robust once you're wearing them - I haven't had to retouch my eyeshadow at all when wearing this palette. The only thing I would say is that the applicator that comes with the palette is useless, so use a nicer brush for best results. 

What a result, eh? I'll definitely be repurchasing the palette when it eventually runs out, and despite the hit or miss results from the lipsticks, I'll  be buying them to test out new shades or for general day to day wear. Check out the full range of MUA products at muastore.co.uk, or pop into a Superdrug store.

'Undressed' Palette: 5/5
Lipstick: 2.5/5 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

eBay False Lashes

I'd never worn fake lashes when I arrived at uni two years ago, having been put off my a terrible experience of buying a huuuuge pair to wear to a Lady Gaga gig which made me look like a drag queen. It was my flatmate Nat who introduced me to them properly, by buying me a few pairs as part of an 'Essex starter-kit' (she's from Brentwood, FYI), and even stuck them on for me the first few times when I wasn't feeling confident.

I started off buying Eyelure lashes, which were easy to apply and looked beautiful, but at £6 a pair I couldn't afford to keep using them every time I went out. So I turned to the one place that you can usually snap up a bargain - eBay. 

There are almost 3000 search results for 'fake lashes' on eBay, and most sellers offer the same products, so it's worth having a poke around to make sure you're getting the best price. When buying lashes from eBay, I always go for the boxes of ten pairs, which you can usually pick up for just £2.50.
The lashes come presented in a white box, and are easily detatched without causing damage. The quality of the lashes is clearly not up to the same standard as brands like Eyelure, but nobody will know from a distance - if you're concerned that the lashes don't look real enough, simply add a few coats of mascara.
The lashes come in a massive range of styles, so whether you're looking for something to wear day to day or to complete your look for a big night out, you'll be able to find a suitable style. In the picture, I am wearing lash style no.6 from this listing. I am also a fan of style no.13 for a more natural look. My housemate Anna has a larger gap between her lashline and her eyebrows than I do and finds that style no.10 suits her better, whereas on me the lashes appear far too long.

I find that the length of the strip for adhesive on these lashes is far too long for my eyes, so I always trim them with scissors before applying to ensure that they will fit better, and therefore last longer. The lashes are also much straighter than the curvature of my lashline, but pressing the base strip into a curve with your nail before applying the glue makes it much easier for you to position them correctly on your lids.

Another downside of these cheapo lashes is that they don't come with glue, so unless you have a tube left over from a different pair, you'll need to buy some - luckily, you can easily pick a large tube up on eBay for a few quid - just search 'eyelash glue'.

All things considered, these lashes are a good buy - perfect for if you enjoy wearing falsies regularly but can't afford the pricey highstreet options. I still like to use Eyelure lashes if I'm going anywhere particularly special, but for your standard night out these are ideal!


Monday, 22 October 2012

My trip to the dark side

My natural hair colour is a very boring mousey brown, and as a result I have been colouring my hair since I was about 15. Since then I've been every shade of brown from golden to almost black, an illadvised plum colour, and, most recently, blonde.

I've been having my hair highlighted for over two years, and each time I got a new set of highlights my hair would get blonder and blonder, until I recently decided that enough was enough - my hair was getting too blonde for my complexion, and the bleach was leaving it dry and damaged. On top of this, highlights are bloomin' expensive - the cheapest I ever managed to get my hair done still set me back £40. All of the above led me to the same conclusion - it was time to go back to the dark side.

Being the cheapskate that I am, I chose to colour my hair with a DIY kit rather than going to a salon to get it done professionally. The dye that I used was Garnier Nutrisse Creme in 'Dark Golden Brown', which I found in Wilkinsons for £4 (yes, Wilkinsons...in my defence, I went in looking for lightbulbs). I used to use colours from the same range when I was dying my hair before I had it highlighted, so I was quietly confident that it wouldn't end in disaster.

Before, during & after...
The dye is enriched with shea butter, as well as the oils of avacado, olive and blackcurrent, and as soon as I opened the box I was struck by a very pleasant smell. This dissipated slightly once I'd mixed the colourant, but at the end of the day I didn't buy the dye for it to make my hair smell nice. My lovely housemate Anna applied the dye for me, and the applicator bottle seemed fairly idiot proof - a simple plastic bottle with a nozzle to squeeze the dye through. It wasn't a particularly messy process, but then I had wrapped myself in some mouldy curtains just in case. Anna applied the whole bottle to my hair, which falls just below shoulder length, so if you have longer hair you may want to consider buying two packs of dye.

I waited the 25 minute development period, and then rinsed the dye out in the shower. When the water finally ran clear, I applied the nourishment creme treatment that came in thepack, and was then finally ready to dry my hair and see how the colour had come out!

Overall I'm pleased with my new hair colour - I definitely wouldn't want it any darker as it would probably start to wash my face out - but I'm happy with the warm tones that shine through; it's a nice rich brown colour. The dye gave full coverage, although this is probably as much due to Anna's hairdressing skills as the dye itself. The box promises that this product will prevent dryness in my hair for eight weeks, but as an extra precaution I am going to be using a lot of nourishing treatments over the next few weeks to help protect my locks from the damage that colouring can cause, particularly as I'm trying to grow my hair long again.

If you're thinking of colouring your hair, then I'd be happy to recommend Garnier Nutrisse. At £4 I'd class this product as a bargain, especially when considering that I'd be paying at least 10x as much for highlights! I can't say that I want to stay brunette forever, as I did love my blonde hair - but for the time being I'm pleased with the results that I got using this dye. Get it online from Wilkinson's here, or pop into your local store to avoid paying delivery.

I'd love to know your (honest) thoughts on my new hair colour, so please post a comment below!


Friday, 19 October 2012

Avon Advance Techniques Moroccan Argan Oil

Moroccan argan oils promise many benefits for your hair - moisturising, nourishing, adding shine, reducing frizz, strengthening the ends, and even promoting growth. I was desperate to try it out, but with most of the big name brands charging anything from £15-30 for a bottle, I was forced to wait until some cheaper alternatives hit the shops.

I eventually picked up the Avon version, at the introductory price of £3.50. I also tried out the shampoo and conditioner from the same range, as they seemed a bargain at 99p each.

The bottle is very small, but then you're only supposed to need a tiny amount of product to make a difference. I applied 2-3 pumps to the ends of my shoulder length hair before blow drying, and I'm pleased to say that my ends did appear healthier and more hydrated than before - even if not quite to the extent that I was hoping. 
I've used this oil a fair few times and, although I do believe that it makes a small difference to the condition of my hair, it doesn't deliver the miracle result that the hype promises. Whether this would be a different story if I'd gone for a higher end brand than Avon, I don't know (and I won't be finding out until some lovely person out there decides to employ me in 8 months time!), but for the price I paid I'm satisfied with the results I got. 

If you want to try this oil for yourself, either order it from your local Avon rep, or get it  online here.

Has anyone else tried out a Moroccan Argan oil? Let me know!


Friday, 12 October 2012

17 Wild Curls Mascara (Black)

My friends all know that when it comes to cosmetics, mascara is usually the one product that I am not prepared to scrimp on. I love long, full lashes, and I'm usually prepared to pay a little bit more to achieve the look that I want.

At the beginning of this summer however, I was sent a bunch of vouchers to use with my Boots Advantage Card (if you don't own one of these - WHY! Sign up here right now!), among which was a coupon to try 17's new 'Wild Curls' mascara for just £1. I'd never usually consider buying a mascara by a brand like 17, but for a quid? Why the hell not!

I wasn't expecting great results, but was pleasantly surprised by this product. I usually find that mascaras are good at either fanning the lashes or adding volume, but rarely both, and as a result I often use 2 different mascaras if I'm going anywhere special. But I'm pleased to say that 17's offering managed to fan my lashes whilst lengthening and adding volume, definitely not what I was expecting from such a low-end product. Two or three coats were all it took to give my average lashes a proper makeover. Strangely, the one aspect of this mascara that I found disappointing was the promise to curl lashes, as mine stayed as straighter than Russell Brand in a brothel even after a good few coats. A shame, but not enough to put me off this mascara as to my mind that's what eyelash curlers are for.

At £6.29, this mascara is a brilliant bargain and I will definitely be replacing it when it eventually runs out! If you want to try it for yourself, you can get it here.


Charles Worthington Sunshine Spray

*Disclaimer: I know this post is a little out of season, but I feel the need to share this miraculous product with you all!*

I had my hair highlighted a few days before I went on holiday to Egypt this year, and I was worried that the intensely strong sunshine would leave my hair dry and bleach the colour further. Alongside a host of conditioning products, I also packed the new Charles Worthington Sunshine UV Spray. Having used Charles Worthington products before and being far from blown away I was unsure what to expect, but there aren't too many hair UV sprays on the market yet so my choice was limited (plus I was working within the boundaries of a classic 3-for-2 offer in Boots).

To cut a long story short, I was beyond impressed by this spray. A small amount left my hair feeling soft and hydrated, and another bonus was that it made tangled wet hair much easier to brush  - dream! This product comes into its own when used after swimming, leaving my hair in fab condition after getting out of either the pool or the sea. There was one night when I didn't even bother washing my hair the before dinner after fully submerging my hair in seawater, because this spray honestly does work that well!

I bought the 150ml version of this product as I was lucky enough to go on 2 holidays this summer and wanted it to last. However, the spray is also available in a 'takeaway' 75ml version, which I would recommend as I still have around half a bottle left after both of my 2 week holidays. The smaller version is a steal at £1.99 from Superdrug, and I am excited to see that they have now added a shampoo, conditioner and aftersun to the range - all of which will be accompanying me on my next trip to sunnier climes!


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

To BB or not to BB?

Earlier this summer BB creams became the 'it' cosmetic to add to your makeup bag, and I was keen to try one out. BBs claim to be so multi-functional that on paper they could serve to replace pretty much every skin product going, which seemed a little too good to be true.

I chose a BB from towards the bottom of the price range (obvs), namely Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream. The packaging promises that it:

  1. Creates a natural glow
  2. Compliments skin tone
  3. SPF30 UV Protection
  4. Hydrates all day
  5. Blurs imperfections
  6. Oil-free, non-greasy
  7. Looks visibly smooth
  8. Feels fresh.
I justified this purchase by telling myself that it is the ultimate holiday essential - it will hydrate and even my skin tone during the day when I don't want to be wearing makeup, and the SPF30 protection = no need to smother my face in greasy suncream - perfect!

I was pleased with the quality of this product,  and found that it delivered most of what it promised. It gave decent coverage - not enough to replace foundation day-to-day, but then that was never really the point. It served well as defence against the sun, and did give my skin a hydration boost.

The main complaint I have with this cream is that despite claiming to be 'Oil-free and non-greasy', it did feel like it was weighing my skin down a little, and gave me a bit too much shine. I haven't used the cream much since getting back from holiday, I just don't find it necessary when using a decent foundation. However, it was a brilliant alternative to suncream, and for that reason I will be buying again for next year's hols!


Monday, 1 October 2012

Models Own - Hedkandi Ibiza Mix Nail Varnish

I thought I'd kick off my new blog by hailing my favourite beauty product of the moment - Models Own Hedkandi glitter polish in 'Ibiza Mix'. I was tempted into buying this product by a 2 for £7 offer in Boots, although unfortunately the offer is no longer running - if it was then I'd probably run back and stock up, because this product is fantastic.

This is essentially a clear nail varnish with multi-coloured glitter flecks, and is best worn as a top coat over a solid colour. I've tried this polish over a variety of colours - you can get away with pretty much any colour as the glitter is multi-coloured. I have however found that it looks best over a matte colour as opposed to a metallic base coat, as the glitter will stand out more. My favourite base colours for this polish are pale teal, black, white and purple (as shown in the picture).

The varnish usually lasts a good few days before it starts to chip, and it's easy to touch up the tips when they do start to go. Perhaps the only downside of this product is that it can be fairly difficult to remove, probably because you need to apply 2-3 coats to get a decent amount of glitter coverage.

You can currently buy this varnish from outlets such as Asos, where it is priced at £5. If you're a student then don't forget to enter your NUS card number for 10% off!


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