Archive | August, 2012

Perfect wedding manicure – OPI Sweetheart Pink

30 Aug

opi sweetheart pale pink manicure


Although I haven’t quite got to the age where every single summer weekend involves carting myself off to a friend’s wedding (age 28-30, apparently), they are starting to make a more frequent appearance in my diary. Along with this comes all the decisions to be made about outfits, hairstyles, accessories and so on, because let’s face it – it’s not all about the bride these days.

Weddings are one of those occasions, just like Christmas parties and big girly nights out, where the planning is almost as fun as the event. Last weekend I went to a wedding in Ireland – I’ve been looking for dresses to wear since about March, and in that time have bought four all with the excuse that “I’ll definitely wear this one to the wedding”.

After the dress, there was also hair, make-up and nails to consider. Luckily on the last count I was offered a helping hand, with a free OPI manicure at 3Thirty salon in Hoxton.

Although I normally opt for bright and bold colours (or, what some might call “garish”), this time I decided to go a bit different and be subtle, feminine and elegant. So unlike me!

On the advice of the manicurist, I chose to a colour called ‘Sweetheart’. Normally, I steer clear of pale pink colours because they remind of Barbies and My Little Ponies and all those other things I was so vehemently against in my childhood tomboy phase. However, the gamble paid off, because I love this colour!

The great thing about a pale nail colour in the summer is the tan enhancing qualities – just like wearing a white dress, it makes you look lovely and bronzed in comparison! Also, it’s harder to tell when it’s chipped (although with expert application, mine stayed in good nick for a week).

I’m thoroughly won over by this more subdued colour – anyone know of a good one on the high street to achieve the same look? I think it would be perfect for a bride as well as a wedding guest…

wedding manicure pink opi sweetheart



Semi-permanent false eyelashes – an update

24 Aug

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the semi-permanent lash extensions I received from Let’s Go Lashes, so I thought it was time to let you know whether I found them blinkin’ marvellous or just a pain in the eye *polite laughter*

Erm well the answer is – a bit of both. Firstly the good. As you can see from the picture above, these are some seriously thick and luscious lashes. I asked when I was having them done whether you could wear mascara over them, and the therapist just laughed and said there would be no need. She was right. During the day time, you can go really minimal with the rest of your make-up and just let the lashes provide a really feminine, fluttery look. Then at night time you can add heaps of eyeliner for full on vamp mode.

One downside, however, is that because these lashes are applied in clusters, when one cluster falls out, you get a big old gap in your lashes. This started happening after about a week, meaning I had to have them fully removed after just ten days. Also, they can be uncomfortable. You know how normal false lashes can sometimes dig in at the corners and really get on your nerves? That’s how it felt every morning when I woke up. Oh and I also felt like a knobhead going to my running club with a big set of falsies, but at least they kept the sweat out of my eyes.

On reflection, I’d say these lashes would be a great idea for a holiday where you don’t want to deal with too much beauty maintenance, or during December if you have loads of Christmas parties in a row. Otherwise just stick with your stick-ons.


Do you have a signature scent?

22 Aug

selection of perfumes

It’s Sunday morning. I’m running. Or rather, trying to run, despite the sweltering heat that has hit South London and left me wheezing, sweating, squinting in the sunlight. It’s all very attractive. As I stumble along the pavement, with its confetti of dried chewing gum and the chip-and-kebab remnants of Saturday night, I swerve to avoid a lady walking in front of me. And suddenly it hits me – that perfume!

It’s a scent that takes me back to my childhood – visits to the countryside, firework night, sausage rolls and baked beans, kissing a soft cheek ‘goodnight’ before going to bed. To explain – that perfume was the same one my gran wore, right up until she passed away last weekend. Even in her final days at the nursing home, when her small, gnarled fingers could barely grip the perfume bottle, she always insisted on a squirt of her favourite fragrance. And running past a stranger in Clapham Junction suddenly made me realise just how powerful a signature scent can be.

Finding the right fragrance – one that works in tandem with your natural smell so well and delights your nose so much you feel like it must have been made for you – is an exciting thing. No matter how many perfumes are recommended to you, it’s something you have to discover for yourself. Like the perfect pair of jeans, or (I’m told) the man of your dreams, when you find your signature scent you just know.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have a nice array of perfumes – a summery one (in my case Hugo Boss Orange), a sensuous one (Tom Ford Black Orchid) and maybe even one that makes you feel like you’re 16 again (Ralph Lauren Hot). But as a failsafe option – one that’s unmistakeably ‘you’ – the signature scent is indispensable

Discovered at aged 18, my signature scent is Christian Dior Pure Poison. Like my gran, I fully intend to be spritzing myself in the stuff until the very end.

Have you found your signature scent yet?

Models Own Ibiza Mix – makes anything look good!

17 Aug

models own ibiza mix nail varnish


I got a great reaction to the gold, silver and bronze nails I did recently, and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s all down to the magic ingredient – Models Own HedKandi Ibiza Mix which makes everything look like a big pile of sparkly loveliness.

This is probably the best glitter polish I’ve ever tried, mainly because the different colours and sizes of the glitter give a lovely confetti effect that looks great layered over pretty much anything.

Here I used Missguided orange nail polish all over the nail, with stripe of Nails Inc nail polish in Shoreditch down the middle. Think I got both them both free with magazines at some point!

Next I applied a couple of coats of the Ibiza Mix just down the central pink stripe – it gives a nice little lightning flash effect when it catches the light. Topped off with Models Own Top Coat and voila! What do you think?

models own ibiza mix nail polish

models own ibiza mix nail polish


Fit vs fake – can the Olympics help change our body image ideals?

13 Aug

Is anyone else just completely bored of seeing plastic surgery-loving, overly-tanned, talentless celebrities all over the media? I mean honestly, since when did being orange and stupid become the route to success and stardom?

I think that’s why for many people the Olympics were a breath of fresh air.  Not only were we given the chance to discover a whole bunch of new sports (hello rhythmic gymnastics!) but there was also a focus on the amazing things athletes could do with their bodies – not just what they looked like in a bikini.

OK, so for most of us, the Jessica Ennis six pack body is pretty out of reach, but at least celebrating athletic women encourages others to exercise, build muscle and strive for strength and endurance. It’s a whole lot better than aiming to be the fake-titted, stick-thin, plastic-faced and fragile isn’t it?

I honestly feel sorry for little girls growing up today. Even when I was approaching my teens – about 12 years ago now – there was nowhere near the same pressure to be ‘perfect’ in appearance. Watching the Spice Girls at the closing ceremony was interesting. Back when I was growing up, they looked liked this:

They look like normal girls don’t they? Normal size, not too flawless, all with their own individual style. Yes, all us girls lusted after those purple suede platform boots, but they weren’t a million miles away from us in terms of appearance.

In their closing ceremony performance last night, they looked like this:


They’re certainly looking good for their age, but they’ve gone further towards that cookie-cutter perfection (see Girls Aloud, The Saturdays), leaving behind some of what made them AWESOME.

Let’s hope that the Olympic women can help change perceptions of body image in the UK. It’s not about beating yourself up because you can’t attain some unachievable ‘ideal’ – it’s about keeping fit and healthy. Even more than that, they show us that how you look is not the most important thing – showing drive, grit and determination to reach your goals is what makes a truly successful woman!




Olympic Nails – Gold, Silver and Bronze

11 Aug

bronze silver and gold glitter nails

gold silver and bronze olympic nails


I think we can safely say that most people in London, and possibly the UK, are already getting a bit worked up about the Olympics ending this weekend. Along with the Jubilee, it’s given us a great buzz – street parties, shared excitement, an excuse to wear an entire Union Jack outfit in public.

However, all good things must come to an end, and let’s not forget we’ve got the Paralympics coming up shortly (although can Channel 4 ever rival the BBC’s coverage?)

The biggest question, of course, is how I will theme my nails when the Olympics have ended. For now, I’m putting that question aside to show you my latest creation.

Gold Rush, Sterling Silver and Bronze Rage, topped off with a sparkly coat of HedKandi Ibiza Mix  (all Models Own, natch) gives a lovely, shimmery look and is very easy to achieve!

For more Olympic looks see here.

Olympic Nails Part 2 – Gold and Bronze Union Jacks

9 Aug

In recognition of Team GB’s brilliant performance in the Olympics, it seemed only right to turn my old red, blue and white Union Jacks into gold and bronze ones!

I’m absolutely loving the popularity of nail art at the Olympics, modelled by everyone from Rebecca Adlington to Venus Williams. Apparently nail technicians in the P&G Salon have been working round the clock to paint little flags all over the athletes nails – and no doubt the same thing has been repeated across the country!

Rebecca Adlington:

Rebecca Adlington nail art flagVenus Williams:


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