Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Body Shop: Coconut and Moringa Body Mists

Last weekend I went into the Body Shop for the first time since I was a teenager: it was both a blast from the past and a big shock! I went to an all girls' school and we were all pretty much obsessed with the Body Shop: it was a fairly cheap, brightly coloured, scented haven of bath pearls and body butter, mini gift sets of shower gel, body lotion and the like. Back then, Dewberry and White Musk were the Latest Thing, and no self respecting teenager would be caught dead without at least one of their infamous little round pots of fruity lip balm in their bag. Fast forward.... um... a few years, and it seems the Body Shop has changed. It's become a lot more up market (along with, sadly, the prices), the packaging and products are more luxurious, and whilst many of the things I remember are still there, there's a wealth of new and exotic things to explore. I saw many things that I'd have loved to bring home, but I'm *supposed* to be on a no buy at the moment; in the end I limited myself to two items and consigned the rest to a wish list for another day!
One of the things that caught my eye the most was their new range of body mists. I was impressed by the selection of scents they've included in this range: there's mango, coconut, moringa, pink grapefruit, satsuma, shea, strawberry and vanilla. I'm pretty sure I also saw a chocolate one, although the Body Shop website doesn't have it listed; maybe I imagined that one? They cost £7 each; more than I'd normally pay for a body spray, but then again these are 100ml each - much bigger than the regular, Impulse-type aerosol sprays.
The first one I picked up was Coconut. I am addicted to anything that smells of coconut, so I'd have probably bought this one no matter what. I was a bit concerned that it would be one of those fake, overly strong, cloying 'sun cream' type coconut smells, but I'm pleased to report this is much nicer. It's a warm, summery, tropical coconut scent, not overpowering, but strong enough that it lasts a good long time: 5 or 6 squirts lasts about half a day on me, maybe a bit longer. You can still smell it on the skin after that, but not so noticeably. I absolutely love this one!
The second mist I chose was Moringa. I have to admit I'd never even heard of Moringa trees before; apparently they grow in India and throughout the tropics and are used for all sorts of purposes including food and medicine. They also have very strongly scented flowers! This spray is richly floral and in the same sort of family as jasmine, gardenia and freesia. It's stronger than the coconut one; three squirts is enough to last all day and I could still smell it a little the next morning too. Some people might find it a bit cloying, but I love it; it's quite a luxurious scent and as long as you use it sparingly, it's the sort of scent that turns people's heads and has them asking what that lovely perfume is that you're wearing.

Overall, I'm really happy with both these mists: they smell great, last a long time, and they look pretty too. The only thing I don't like about them is they're not very portable - when I wear a body spray I quite like to take it with me in my bag and top it up after a few hours, but with these, I'd be worried they would get smashed. Also, at 100ml they're a bit big to fit in my make up bag. It'd be nice if they had smaller, non-glass versions to pop in your handbag as well.

Friday, 22 June 2012

W7 : Orange Dazzle

Happy Friday everyone! The weekend is here at last and I have such a fun polish to show you today!
Artificial Light
This cheerful bottle of sunshine was a present from a good friend of mine who knows how much I love glitter! It's called Orange Dazzle, from W7. It's a juicy, fruity orange jelly that's jam packed with glitter - the glitter looks mostly silver and orange, depending on whether it's on the surface or submerged in the orange base. I like that it's a kind of muted glitter effect; definitely glitter, but not in your face sparkly. It kind of reminds me of a coarser version of China Glaze Riveting (which I don't have but have been drooling over swatches of it for a while now). It also makes me think of yummy fresh oranges, it's so fruity and fresh looking. The orange is really bright too - not QUITE neon, but very, very close to it. I tried holding it under my blacklight and it did glow quite effectively!
Natural Light
I don't know if my bottle is old, but it was kind of thick, bordering on gloopy. That didn't seem to make it any harder to apply, though; actually it kind of helped that it's thick because it made it easier to spread the glitter evenly on my nails without bald spots in between (don't you just hate when glitter clumps like that? This one is dense and stays that way even on the nail). It's pretty sheer so if you don't want to use a coloured base, you'll need at least three coats to avoid VNL. I'm too impatient to wait all day for polish to dry, so normally anything that needs more than two coats puts me off - but not so with Orange Dazzle; it dried pretty fast despite its thickness so 3 coats wasn't a big deal.
Wear was A-MAZING. I kid you not, this stuff lasted through heavy typing, housework, being soaked in water and all other kinds of abuse for FOUR DAYS before it even showed the slightest HINT of tip wear. And even then I had to squint to see it. See that mark on my index finger cuticle? Five minutes after putting this polish on, I scratched that cuticle quite badly and had to wait four days before it healed and I could take pictures. As you can see, the scratch has almost gone, and yet the manicure looks almost exactly like it did on day one. 
Isn't it just so juicy looking? It makes me want to go and drink a cool glass of OJ :-p
Removal was a bit of a pain, but you'd expect that with glitter - and actually it wasn't that bad compared to some of the glitters I've tried. You don't quite have to resort to tinfoil and cotton pads. Interestingly, when I started removing it, the glitter took on a duochrome effect, shifting between silver and green. I suspect it was actually this colour all along but the orange jelly hides the green; you can't even see it in the bottle. It was pretty enough that I might try wearing this polish again and deliberately wipe the surface over with polish remover to see if the effect will reappear - an orange polish with green duochrome glitter would be amazing!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

2 True Crystal Nail Polish : Shade 2 Vampish Red

Let me introduce you to a rare gem in my collection: 2True Crystal Nail Polish in Shade 2, 'Vampish Red'.
Do you remember when I reviewed 2True's gorgeous limited edition turquoise and purple Crystal polishes, HERE and HERE? Both times, I was blown away; they had awesome formulas, applied beautifully, dried smooth and sparkly, and looked and wore like they cost one heck of a lot more than the £1.99 (3 for £5) I paid for them. Vampish Red, an almost metallic looking, vivid cherry red (it looks a little more pink toned in real life than in these pictures) is every bit as great as they were; it went on a treat, dried nicely, and with only two layers plus one of top coat, it's survived two days of housework, showers, bleaching my hair without gloves on and washing the dog, and there isn't even any tipwear yet.
I absolutely love this polish and I currently have it on both my fingers AND my toes. It looks great with my sandals (not that I can wear them outside the house since it's peeing down with rain and so cold I've had to turn the heating back on, but still). It has this lovely inner glow, too - I love when a polish does that, don't you? Although this range was supposed to be limited edition, the last time I was in Superdrug they still had all four shades. I'd definitely recommend you snap this one up pronto while it's still around!

Friday, 8 June 2012

And now for something completely different... Graze Boxes!

Remember how I said I was thinking of reviewing a few things that weren't nail polish? Well, here's the first of those reviews. You might be forgiven for feeling a bit confused that it's not even cosmetics at all; I figured that if I'm breaking with tradition I might as well do something REALLY different!

Graze.com is a great little company that sends you healthy snacks in the post. You know those companies that send boxes of fun cosmetic samples? This is a lot like that, only with food. Sign up with them, and you will start to get boxes like this one here in the post. I get mine once a week, but you can have them more often if you prefer. They have over 100 foods on offer - nuts, seeds, dried fruit, crackers, olives, bread, flapjacks and other treats, and will select the contents of your box based on your own preferences. By default, everything is set to 'try', but if you log on to the website you can rate foods; rate them as 'like' and they'll keep sending them, 'love' them and they'll turn up more often. 'Bin' a food and it will never darken your door at all. Everything is clearly labelled with the ingredients, nutritional info, calories etc and whether it contains gluten or dairy. You can have the box (choose between the Nutrition box, which has only the healthiest snacks, and the Nibble box, which has all foods) delivered to your home, or to work; great for those mid afternoon craving moments that otherwise leave you standing in front of the junk food vending machine!

Honey and lemon oatbakes
The first thing I tried in my first box was Honey and lemon oatbakes. The oat biscuits were pleasantly lemony, and they came with just the right amount of honey to dip them in. This one goes in the 'Like' list.

Yin and Yang
Next came Yin and Yang. Dark chocolate pieces with almonds, raisins and dried cherries. I'm not gonna lie, this was YUMMY. The fruit was moist and tasty, the chocolate buttons were gorgeous, the nuts were nice and fresh. Definite 'Love' for this one.

Mississippi BBQ Pistachios
Third was this little pot of Mississippi BBQ pistachios. I was a bit suspicious about these as I've only ever had the regular, salted kind of pistachios in the past, but they were actually rather pleasant. A bit smoky, a bit spicy (but only a teeny bit; I liked them and I'm not very keen on spicy food). Another 'Like' for me.
Apple and Cinnamon Flapjack
Last but not least was Apple and Cinnamon Flapjack. Now I love me a good flapjack, and I LOVE cinnamon, so this was always going to be a winner as far as I'm concerned. But this was a particularly nice flapjack anyway. The cinnamon was obvious but not too strong, and it was just the right amount of moist and chewy. I've set this one to Like for now, but I might have to go back and change it to Love.

Graze is only available in the UK at present (sorry if I've got you all excited for nothing, non UK readers). Boxes are usually £3.79, including delivery, but if you sign up at www.graze.com using the code 7NJX9Y8 you get your first box for free (and you can cancel at any time).

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Nail Art : Jubilee Nails

Happy Jubilee weekend, everyone!

Just in case you're not from the UK and you have no idea what I'm wittering on about, this weekend marked the official celebration of our Queen's 60th year Diamond Jubilee. Most of us had a four day weekend (today is the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday, the last of the 4 days of celebration) and the entire country turned into a sea of Union Jack bunting and tea parties on the village green. Yesterday I went to a Jubilee Fair in the town closest to us; we saw jousting, archery, stunt bikes, scrambled through laser gun mazes and danced the samba around the field. There was live music, food, arts and crafts, quad bikes, bungee jumping, fairground rides and all manner of celebration.

I felt rather festive so I decided to try my hand at a Jubilee manicure - here is the result!

Sorry it's not the best picture - I snapped it quickly on my phone camera before we dashed out of the door. I used Rimmel My Denim for the blue, Rimmel white french tip for the white, Nails Inc Victoria for the red, Barry M Red Glitter for the red sparkle and Mavala Silver Glitter for the silver. Oh, and some little crystals from the nail art box :)

I know it's not the neatest nail art ever, but I was really pressed for time and I'm happy with how it turned out considering it only took about half an hour!

What did you do for the jubilee? Did you have fun?