Saturday, 22 November 2014

New skincare products!

Hi everyone!

Something a little different on the blog today - some new handmade skincare items. I am not a big skincare buff, but I do love to take care of my hands and have a million and one hand creams, cuticle balms etc. I also love lip balms, so I have one of those to show you today as well! 

My newest love is the handcare range from Lovely Cosmetics. Lovely Cosmetics is a natural skincare company based in the UK (Sheffield). I ordered and received my items within 5 working days and they came wrapped in a recycled pink box with eco-friendly recycled packaging inside (and sweets!)

All their products are handmade and are packaged beautifully in little glass pots / jars etc as you can see in the photos below. So cute! (I am a sucker for packaging!). LC make a wide range of products for face, hair, lips, hands and feet, so be sure to check them out online. You can also find them in quite a few local stockists in Sheffield but also Makers Emporium (Rotherham), Fabrication (Leeds) and Libby's (Chesterfield).  All their products are cruelty free and ingredients are locally sourced, such as Honey from the Sheffield Honey Company and lavender oil from Yorkshire.

Anyway, onto the review!

I bought the Hand Butter, Hand Scrub and Cuticle Salve bundle and the Vanilla Honey lip balm which came to a respectable £21. They aren't the cheapest products, but neither are they expensive considering the quality of ingredients. I also received a free mint chocolate sugar scrub either by mistake or for free (if it was free then thank you very much!) and would also like to mention the generous portions which I will come to a bit later.

So the first thing I tried was the cuticle salve. These come in cute 15ml glass pots (HUGE!) and cost £6 alone. If you buy as part of the bundle you save £5 so definitely worth getting the extras. 

It has a dark greenish colour in the pot, and to look at has a dryish consistency with a light, lemony scent. I was concerned it might be grainy and hard to apply but it melts quickly when you rub it and soaks into the skin well without leaving any colour. It is made fully from unrefined avocado oil, shea butter, British beeswax and lemon essential oils. I have carried this with me every day and applied once and on the odd occasion twice a day for the past week or so and my cuticles are in the best condition theyve been in for ages. My hands really suffer in winter so I am over the moon with how good this is.


My second favourite product is the lip balm which is priced at a reasonable £5. If this was edible, I'd have eaten it with a spoon - it smells divine. (It actually does tastes really nice as well!) In the tub it doesn't smell the same (odd - maybe its just me?) but when you apply it to your lips it smells like vanilla ice cream. The good quality creamy kind, not the cheap stuff. It is softer than any other lip balms I have used, a milky white colour and has a grainy texture when you take it from the pot. Again, I was concerned about the graininess, but it breaks down really smoothly when you apply to your lips.  With the weather, I have been applying two to three times a day as I have felt is necessary and I have hardly made a dint in the tub. Again, its supposedly 15ml but the tub is huge and will last me for ages. Ingredients wise, this one is made up from vanilla infused sweet almond oil, shea butter, honey, beeswax and vitamin e oil.

Next up is the hand scrub which comes in a 55ml tub and is priced at £7.50.

 It is made from demerara sugar, sweet almond and coconut oil, honey, ground almonds and beeswax. I have used hand scrubs on occasion, but I am more of a moisturize and go sort of person, so I don't have a huge experience of using these often. I have used this twice so far - just once a week but I can say that my hands do feel lovely and soft afterwards.

One little confusion I had was that the instructions say to rub into wet hands and then rinse away, followed by a moisturiser. I was surprised to see the ingredients include sweet almond oil and coconut oil, so it was a little difficult to rinse away afterwards (I wasnt sure how much to use, so I would say I used around a heaped teaspoon (by heaped, I mean a very big heap), so maybe I used a bit much. But I rinsed as best I could and patted my hands dry both times and they do feel lovely. I didn't follow the instruction to moisturise as well because my hands were already left well moisturised afterwards.

The last thing I have to share is the hand butter.

 This is also a 55ml tub and also priced at £7.50 if you buy separately. It has a clear lavender smell, but rather than a butter consistency I would describe it as more mousse-like.

 It is light and bubbly to touch and when applied it melts to a more oily consistency. You only need a tiny amount as it does leave your hands oily, so I would recommend this as a night time hand cream rather than for general use during the day.

Overall I am really pleased with these. I am all for supporting local and small businesses, especially UK ones so its nice to have a new company to shop with. I also really like the ecofriendly outlook they have so I know my money has really gone to a good place.  

Company Information:

Lovely Cosmetics

Please let me know if you have any questions / comments - I love hearing from you! Have you heard of Lovely Cosmetics? Tried anything of theirs? 

Rachael xxx

Monday, 20 October 2014

Pick and Mix - Week 4

Week 4 time! I really struggled with inspiration for this one.

The choices were 70's or Grey and Colour. I really wanted to try 70's, but I found it really hard to come up with any ideas.

So here is my mani!

I used OPI French Quarter for Your Thoughts - a warm nude leaning grey, Sinful Colors - Snow Me White and China Glaze - Yellow Polka Dot Bikini for the accents. I had seen something like this somewhere recently, but after an extensive search of Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest I just can't find it. I really wanted to credit my original inspiration aswell. Nevermind.

What do you think?

Rachael xxx

Monday, 13 October 2014

Pick and Mix - Week 3 Texture

Hi again! We're on week 3 already!

This week is Matte / Texture or 60's. I'm not really a massive fan of either, but I do like the odd texture so will give it a go!

So I raided Becca's (Kitty's Painted Claws) polishes for this - I (We) chose a base of Sally Hansen - Bewitched and Barry M - Duchess for the texture. I own Duchess myself, but it has sat untried for around a year.. poor polish!

I applied one coat of Barry M - Duchess to my thumb, pointer and pinky, and 1 thick coat of Bewitched to the other nails. 

I then wanted to try the 'quilted' sort of look, so I taped some criss cross diagonals and painted over with some Duchess and then removed the tape. 

I then added a second coat of Duchess to my other nails as it didnt look even. You can see the shift between purple to goldy-brown quite well on the above picture.

What do you think? Are you a texture fan? Have you done quilted nails before? Would love to know your thoughts!

Rachael xxx

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Halloween Nails - Take 1!

Good afternoon!

I wanted to get an early start on halloween nails this year, as I didn't get the chance to get many designs done last year!

This is my first design - I used my new gradient skills (still a bit shaky!) to create a blue gradient background using 3 Barry M shades - Huckleberry, Elderberry and Matte Malibu. I then used Nails Inc New York Noir to freehand a graveyard design across my nails.

We've recently released our Glow in the Dark Halloween range in our etsy shop, and I was dying to use Ectoplasm - our GITD topcoat. We made two different colours, so I decided to use the Aqua version in keeping with the background of my nails.

As is usual for GITD, it works best over light colours (especially white) but it does still work over dark colours. I have traced the outlines of my graveyard scene, highlighted the moon and also added a ghost on one nail so you can see the varying degrees of glow. It was SO HARD to get these photographs!

What do you think? I would love your feedback!

Our topcoat retails at £3 for a 5ml bottle and you can choose either green or aqua blue. Alternatively, you can get a free bottle when you buy a full size bottle of Stay Puft. Our other two halloween offerings also glow in the dark - please check them out!

Rachael xxx

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Pick and Mix - Week 2 - 2nd Prompt


Well, I was feeling challenged, so I thought I would give a 3 colour gradient a go! I saw some beautiful nails over at Shamelessly Polished. I can't pull off those tones, but they inspired me to try my own version.

I used two coats of L'Oréal - Rose Bagatelle as a base, then sponged over a gradient of that plus Sinful Colors - Timbleberry and Sinful Colors - Soul Mate.

Here's my final gradient - not 100% but hopefully some more practice will make it better. I am certainly happy to have my beautiful points back anyway.

I then thought what can I add to improve this - the answer is always glitter. So I put a layer of China Glaze - Fairy Dust on it. 

What do you think? If you have any tips on gradients I'd love to hear them!

Rachael xxx

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Pick and Mix - Week 2


Well I had this fantastic idea, but as per usual it involved something I am no good at - chevrons!

Practice will make perfect I hope! Anyway, this week one of the prompts is pink. I used two coats of Sinful Colors - Timbleberry, and one coat of Sinful Colors - Pinky Glitter for most of my nails.

My accent is 3 coats of China Glaze - Glistening Snow with some fairly wonky chevrons of Nails Inc - New York Noir.  I cut strips of Scotch tape and laid them over my accent nail before adding a layer of polish, but for some reason even though I removed straight away, the tape broke in two places so I had to go all surgery on them with a pair of tweezers to try and salvage it.

What do you think? If anyone has any tips for chevrons then I would love to hear them!

Rachael xxx

Friday, 3 October 2014

Pick and Mix - 52 Week Challenge - Week 1

Good morning! Long time no see, I thought I would try and get myself back into the swing of things with a challenge. This one is Crumpet's Nail Tarts 52 Week Pick and Mix Challenge.

Every week there are a choice of prompts. You can choose to do just 1 prompt, both prompts seperately or a combination of the two. This week is Teal or 2-colour gradient.

I chose to combine the prompts - I did actually do this in advance, but then being a complete tool I forgot to photograph my nails, and I had to remove for work. I was gutted and so annoyed at myself! They were much better gradient wise than these, as I had the expert help from Becca (Kittys Painted Claws). I just can't do gradients! Maybe in another 2-3 years haha!

Anyway, I digress as per usual! The base for my nails is Zoya Wednesday and Sally Hansen Fairy Teal. I then used Nails Inc New York Noir and freehanded a sort of tribal pattern. 

And I'm going to be honest, I stuffed up my ring finger twice so if in doubt, cover it all in China Glaze - Glittering Snow.

Ta da!

What do you think?

Rachael xxx

Monday, 11 August 2014

BNB Colour Me Crazy - Pink

Hey everyone!

I am going on holiday tomorrow for a week, so I thought it was a perfect time to do my pink nails!

Even though I am not a great fan of pink, I have 57 shades. It wows even me!

My favourite shades of pink are definitely neons, so I thought I would use my latest addition - China Glaze Pool Party as part of my manicure.

The other polishes I used were my trusty Models Own Hypergel - White Light, and Kate Spade for Nails Inc - New York Noir.

I freehanded the design on my middle and ring fingers over two coats of White Light using a nail art brush from Born Pretty Store. I have no idea how many coats of Pool Party I used - it is very streaky, but at least dries matte and very fast so it didnt really bother me that there were as many coats. Everything of course has a generous coat of Seche Vite on.. can't be dealing with nasty matte. Not for me!

Somehow I feel something is missing, so I may need to add some glitter somewhere before I fly tomorrow. Maybe its just how bad my freehand is.. but nevermind, they look okay from afar I think.

What do you think?

Rachael xxx

Saturday, 9 August 2014

BNB Colour Me Crazy - Blue


Here are my blue nails to bring me up to date. These are inspired by @sr_nails from instagram.

I had decided ages ago that I wanted to use my new OPI Blue Chips for this mani. I just didn't know what exactly I wanted to do with it. OPI Blue Chips is a renamed version of The Flowers are Blue-ming from the Katy Perry collection. Whatever the name, its really pretty and worth the £3.99 price tag I paid for it.

My thumb, pinky and pointer are 3 coats of OPI Blue Chips. My ring and middle fingers are two coats of Models Own Hypergel White Light, striped with Kate Spade for Nails Inc - New York Noir and the flowers are freehanded with the above black, white, blue and an added lighter shade of MoYou holographic blue polish. I didn't realise how hard zebra stripes are!

What do you think?

Rachael xxx

Don't forget to check out everyone's blue nails!

BNB Colour Me Crazy - Green

Good afternoon!

I am super late with these, but after seeing the gorgeous nails by Anna Bean, I had an idea to do some of my own. Green is also my fave colour, so I didn't want to miss out doing these nails for the Colour Me Crazy challenge!

The base is 2 coats of Barry M - Key Lime, with one coat of Abuse the Ooze by Femme Fatale Cosmetics. This is one of my favourite brands and is particularly special as my other half specially went out and chose this colour for me.

I then used a design from MoYou London plate Artist 03 to stamp over and a generous coat of Seche Vite to smooth it out.

What do you think? Are you a green / glitter / stamping fan? 

Rachael xxx

Don't forget to check out everyone else's green manis!

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