Sunday 20 April 2014

Easy Easter and Spring Nail Looks

Hello Lovelies,

Today I have some easy Easter and spring nail looks for you, I was asked recently if I could come up with some easy nail art looks for Easter and the spring and summer so a few days ago I decided to find some of my more pastel shades of nail polish and see what I could come up with, and this is what I created.

Five different looks, one is specifically Easter themed but the other four are nice for spring/summer or Easter, and with a change of colour could easily be adapted to more autumn/winter designs. Please excuse my cuticles, I am in dire need of a manicure, the five looks I came up with are five easy looks that anyone can do, and I say this because if I can do it, anyone can. 

I used 7 different pastel polishes (plus a black nail art pen from Primark for the chickens eyes) to create all these looks and the only tool I used was a dotting tool but you could use a cocktail stick or the end of a bobby pin/kirby grip if you don't have a dotting tool. 

I didn't photograph the colours I used purely because you can use any brands in a similar shade or you could do the same design using any pastel shades you have in your collection. The shades I used throughout were ~ 

Peachy Keen by China Glaze 
Mint Candy Apple by Essie 
Lovie Dovie by Essie 
Blanc by Essie 
Bikini So Teeny by Essie 
Prickly Pear by Barry M 
Blow by Illamasqua 

Look 1 ~ A Spotty Thumb 

First of all I applied Orly Bonder for my base coat, this is my holy grail base coat and the one I used for all the looks. I then applied 2 coats of Peachy Keen by China Glaze. I then took my dotting tool and placed lines of dots in different colours, I used Essie's Lovie Dovie, Essie Mint Candy Apple, Illamasqua Blow and Barry M Gelly Hi Shine in Prickly Pear. I used the Prickly Pear in the middle and matched the lines of spots either side, I finished with a coat of my holy grail top coat which is Orly's Glosser top coat. 

Look 2 ~ Flowers On a Mint Base

After applying my base coat I applied 3 coats of Essie's Mint Candy Apple then once that was dry I took my dotting tool and placed 2 dots of the Illamasqua blow and then placed 5 dots of the Lovie Dovie by Essie around them to create the flowers, I finished with a coat of Glosser. 

Look 3 ~ A Pastel French Manicure 

I applied 2 coats of my Rimmel French Rose polish, I always use this as a base for my french manicures, once this was dry I applied 2 coats of Prickly Pear by Barry M to the tip of my nail. Once the Prickly Pear was dry I used my dotting tool and Blanc by Essie to create the dots on top of the Prickly Pear, I finished the look with a coat of the Glosser top coat. 

Look 4 ~ An Easter Chick 

After the base coat, I applied 3 coats of the Illamasqua Blow, and then took the Blanc by Essie and created the triangle effect at the tip of my nail, to do this I turned the brush side ways and first made the 'lines' then filled the tip of my nail in with the polish, I also used my dotting tool to create 2 white dots for the chicks eyes. Once the white was dry, I used my Primark nail art pen in Black to put 2 small dots of black on top of the 2 white dots for the chickens eyes. For the nose I used Peachy Keen and drew 3 small dots and then filled in the middle to create an upside down triangle that looked like the chicks beak. Again I finished the look with a coat of Glosser top coat. 

Look 5 ~ A Spotty Pinky 

I applied 3 coats of Bikini So Teeny by Essie to my nail after top coating, and allowed it to dry. Once dry I used my dotting tool and placed dots around my nail using Blanc and Lovie Dovie by Essie and Blow by Illamasqua. I used both sides of my dotting tool to create smaller and larger dots. Once dry I finished the look with a coat of Glosser top coat. 

And that is how I created each look and which polishes I used, like I said you could use any pastel colours you have in your collection. You could use any of the looks as an accent nail or for a full on Easter nail effect you could have 10 little chicks, I think the pastel spotty french manicure would look nice on every nail maybe using a different pastel shade on each nail and adding the white spots. 

If you would like me to create any more nail art or nail looks, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments or if you'd rather, I have clickable links of all my social media links in the squares at the top right of my blog of where you can contact me also.

If you do re create any of these looks I'd love to see them so please send me a photograph either via email, or Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, I really love to see when you have re created any of my looks it really makes my day :) 

Which one is your favourite? 

Please leave any comments or questions for me in the comments below and I will get back to you asap, I always reply to all my comments and questions. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Thursday 17 April 2014

My First Impressions Of Kiehls Skincare

Hello Lovelies, 

Over the years my skin has been the bane of my life, I have very dry and dehydrated eczema prone and very sensitive skin, I've always struggled but around 3 years ago my skin became extremely dry/dehydrated, I couldn't wear make up as it looked so bad, my skin was flaky and looked so horrible and I was at my wits end, I didn't know what to do, after turning to google for help I came across Caroline Hirons blog, after reading post after post I emailed Caroline and asked if she could give me some advice, she was amazing and really helped me and after speaking to Caroline I realised that my medical condition combined with the various medications I take was having a terrible effect on my skin. I started to use a regular routine and my skin had never looked better. 

I started to become very interested in skin care and soon discovered which products suited my skin and what certain ingredients were for and what to avoid, and I am now after a few years of researching skin care I am what I would consider a bit of a skin care geek to be honest with you. 

But unfortunately this doesn't mean my skin care woes are over, far from it, unfortunately my medical condition has worsened meaning I take extra medication now and some different ones too, and recently I have had 2 very bad allergic reactions in as many weeks and my skin has been left extremely dry and sore, and is now what I would describe as the worst it has ever been. 

When Claire, a lovely lady at Kiehls offered to send me some samples of their products to try and see if they could help my skin I jumped at the chance, I was happy to give anything a try and see if it could help with my disastrous skin. 

My little bag of Kiehls* goodies 

I received a lovely little clear bag from Claire with the Kiehls logo on and inside were various sample sized products, they were - 

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser
Kiehls Ultra Facial Toner
Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream
Kiehls Ultra Facial Hydrating Overnight Masque

There were enough samples for me to try the products for just over a week. I used all the products twice a day apart from the masque which I used twice a week and the toner which I used once a day in the morning, using my Pixi Glow Tonic in the evening. 

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser ~ 

I used the cleanser in the same way as I use all my cleansers at first, by applying it to dry skin and removing it with a face cloth which I had run under hand hot water, this didn't seem to work so I changed the way I used it and used it as a face wash.  I really didn't like the cleanser, it has a very soapy feel to it, almost like the hand wash we have on our sink for our hands, it didn't feel nice at all and I couldn't use it in the same way I use all my other cleansers it felt horrible and like I was smearing liquid soap all round my face. When I used the cleanser as a face wash, rubbing it round my face and then lathering it up and rinsing it off, my face felt tight and rather squeaky, I really didn't like it at all, and I especially didn't like that the cleanser contained parabens. 

Kiehls Ultra Facial Toner ~

I used the toner once a day in the exact same way I use all my toners, by applying it to a cotton pad and sweeping it over my face. The toner felt cooling I suppose but it didn't feel special or seem to do anything at all to my skin, my skin again felt a little tight after using it. Again this product contains parabens, an ingredient I always try to avoid. 

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream ~ 

I applied the cream twice a day in the morning and evening,  the cream applied well and rubbed in effortlessly. I did like this moisturiser, it felt nice, it absorbed easily into my skin and my skin felt soft afterwards and I didn't have any dry patches. My make up applied well after using the moisturiser too,  the texture of the moisturiser is quite light which I liked, unfortunately this product also contained parabens. 

Kiehls Ultra Facial Hydrating Overnight Masque ~ 

I applied the masque twice a week, I applied it all over my face and left it for 10 minutes then removed the excess and left the remaining masque on my skin overnight as directed by Kiehls. The masque sank into my skin overnight and my skin felt lovely, I can't say I woke up with an amazing complexion as I don't sleep so I was awake throughout the night anyway, so in the morning I cleansed my face as normal, my skin was noticeably soft though and did look lovely. I really liked the masque and would definitely try that again, my skin felt soft and looked much better for using it, I didn't have any dry patches at all. I was very impressed with the masque and it didn't contain any parabens which is a plus for me. 

My Overall Thoughts ~

I absolutely hated the cleanser and to be honest I wasn't impressed with the toner either so would definitely not buy either of those products, the cleanser was soapy and I never use any kind of foaming cleansers as I really dislike them. The toner wasn't for me either, it did feel quite cooling when applied but I didn't see any noticeable differences to my skin and have used other toners I prefer much more. I also really didn't like that both the products contained parabens, this is something I always avoid when buying skin care products, so won't be purchasing either of these I'm afraid. 

I did quite like the moisturiser and it did feel nice on my skin and the price of this isn't too bad either at £28.50 for 50ml so slightly cheaper than the Darphin moisturiser I have used for the past few years, the parabens in the product again put me off buying it though, if this isn't something that bothers you, I would recommend the moisturiser, it applies well, sinks into the skin well and left my skin feeling plump and smooth, my make up applied well on top too. The only down side was the parabens. 

I LOVE the masque, this was my favourite product of them all and I would definitely re purchase this, it retails at £28.00 for 125ml which isn't too bad at all and best of all, theres no parabens either, I really liked the way my skin felt after using the masque, it is lovely and I highly recommend it, I am currently using the Aveda hydrating masque as my hydrating masque of choice but I did like this more, it felt nicer to apply and my skin felt nicer too, so once I have used the Aveda up I shall be buying this one. 

To be honest I was a little disappointed, I really wanted to love the Kiehls products, I have read so many great things about the brand I really wanted it to work out for me, but I suppose at least I did have one favourite product in the masque and the fact that I loved that so much made up for me not liking the other products so much, like I said I did like the moisturiser just not the parabens that are in it.

I'm grateful to Claire and to Kiehls for the opportunity to try the products and for helping me to find such a fantastic over night masque, I just wish I'd loved the other products too. I suppose you can't win them all. 

If you would like to try any of the products mentioned above, you can find them here

Have you tried anything from the Kiehls range? Do you have a favourite product? If you have any skin care recommendations for dry/dehydrated skin I'd love to know, I am struggling at the moment. 

Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions in the comments section below, I always reply to all the comments and questions I receive and will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Thanks for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x

*Gifted product


Thursday 3 April 2014

MAC Pro Online

Hello Lovelies,

Today I have a post for you with some exciting news, well I think it's exciting and the make up lovers and especially MAC make up lovers amongst us will also be very excited I think.

As some of you will already know, and for those of you who don't, my eldest daughter Cole is a make up artist and because of this she is entitled to discount on many cosmetic brands one of which is MAC, she has a 35% Pro discount on all MAC products.

But to enable Cole to order products from MAC and use her discount she has always had to ring the MAC Pro store in London and order over the phone because the Pro discount cards can only be used in a MAC Pro store or stand alone MAC store and since we don't live near any of those, mail order via the telephone is Cole's only option.

Or should I say it was Coles only option, and the exciting news is that MAC Pro discount cards can now be used online at the MAC website, this will make life so much easier for Cole and many other people I would imagine.

And if you're reading this thinking "but I don't get pro discount" there's still good news, MAC Pro products are now available online too, previously they have only been available at the MAC Pro stores in London, even the stand alone stores in Liverpool and Birmingham don't stock Pro products. I have featured quite a few things on my blog and You Tube channel that are only available from MAC Pro and I always feel bad about it and although they are available via mail order now it will be so much easier for people who watch my videos and read my blog who might want to order the things I've shown, to be able to order online from the MAC website.

There is a section online of pro products but as far as I could see when I checked this morning the pro products are listed under the usual categories such as "eyes" "lips" etc, for example my beloved chroma line is listed under the eyes category in the liner section.

The USA website has had pro products listed for years so it is about time we caught up and it is great that now everyone can access pro products, I know how frustrating it can be when someone mentions a product and then says "but this isn't available from a mac counter, it's a pro product" but not anymore, now we can all buy pro products and as you can probably tell, I'm over the moon!

Anyway, this post has ended up much longer than I expected, I am such a chatterbox, all I was basically saying is, if you have a MAC Pro discount card you can now use it online and the MAC website now stocks pro products, woop woop!

And if MAC isn't your thing, normal posts will resume from now on, sorry. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always,

Zoe x

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