Cruising off Into the Sunset, with Barry M Sunset Nails

It's no secret that a] males do my head in and b] there is only one fella for me - and his name is Barry M. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Barry; I thought me and him were tight. Until I spied this new Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Polish on the lovely Hayley Sparkle's Instagram. And obv I had to try it out.


Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Topcoat £4.99 / Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Polish, 'Like a Nude' £4.99



So, what the flip is it? Well, let me tell you. In simple terms, they're like gel nails. But ones you can do yourself. They use daylight to dry quickly; so like getting a Shellac without the UV. Barry M recommend that you use a Sunset Nail Paint first, applying the colour and letting it dry; before applying the Sunset Top Coat over the top - which acts as the gel and sets your colour in place. So that's what I did. 

This is what Barry M say about them:

"Barry M’s new Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint and Topcoat deliver the look and resilience of pro salon gel nails without a UV lamp or the expense! All you need is a Sunset colour and the Sunset Topcoat – no need for a basecoat as the special formulation bonds to the nail like a gel in daylight but can still be removed with a regular remover."

I bought these new Barrys from Boots; they have a great offer on at the moment where you buy one Barry M nail polish and get the second half price. So my DIY-Shellac cost me under a tenner, meant I could sit on my arse in my onesie and avoided me having to make small talk with the bird in the salon up the road.



They feel AMAZING - glossy, shiny and strong - and they dried really quite quick; just in the light of my bedroom and without any smudging. I love them. They can last chip-free for up to 10 days it says - and mine have done three loads of washing up, sat in the bath with me for a couple of hours, done a little handwashing and cooked a spag bol with no problems - so I'm very impressed. 

This range will be FANTASTIC for holidays - especially for use on my toenails which quite often chip due to all the abrasive sand and the poor staying power of my normal nail polish choices. And cheaper than getting that bird up the road to do them for me. I'm looking forward to trying more colours from the range - and don't tell Barry cos I'm not sure you're supposed to, but I'm going to try the topcoat over other, normal nail polishes to see if it increases their longevity, too. I'll let you know if this hack works.

What do you think of this Barry M collection? Have you tried them yet?

Essential Beauty Products | My Daily Go-To Guys

I present to you a round-up of a few of my absolute go-to products that I've remained loyal to - every single day of my life  - for the past few years. There may be others who have slipped in and out of the mix; but I figured that these are the products I've bought religiously [and consistently] for probably the longest - so these guys should be the contenders to make the grade.


Nivea  Creme 200ml / Bio Oil  60ml / Britney Spears Fantasy Perfume 50ml / Batiste Dry Shampoo Blush - Floral and Flirty 200ml

Nivea Creme 
I've used Nivea moisturiser on my face since I was about 12. Not even an exaggeration. Nearly 15 years later,  here I am. A massive fossil; but with a very soft face.

There is no other moisturiser I will trust for use on my face. I've tried them, but no other compares to this; my long-time Nivea lover. My face always feels truly nourished and hydrated after a good moisturise using this product... the thick, creamy consistency of the moisturiser simply melts into my skin to leave it soft and smooth. Defo the most long-term relationship I've ever held down.

Bio Oil
This is quite a small bottle from my collection of Bio Oils - but it's so cute. I have been using Bio Oil for years and years - but more so [and very much on a daily basis] since having surgery last year. It definitely works when used on scars, stretchmarks or any other blemishes; provided that you use it consistently over a period of time. 

Britney Spears Fantasy Perfume
I'll be honest, at the ripe old age I am now, I would NOT expect myself to either be wearing or endorsing a celebrity fragrance quite so heavily. But I love this fragrance; so good work Britters. 

The bottle's gorgeous and the smell ... oh it smells so good. This is definitely my statement fragrance; the smell people associate with me [at least I hope it's this and not actually BO or something.] I'm terrible at describing the way a perfume smells ... but it's quite a strong smell which means you can ACTUALLY smell it while you're wearing it and it has a definite sweet smell to it. I'd bathe in it if I could.

Batiste Dry Shampoo 
Perfect for adding volume, removing traces of grease, for freshening up, adding volume and for disguising my roots - Batiste Dry Shampoo has been a valued staple in my daily routine for the past few years. I love this bottle [described as Floral & Flirty] for it's fragrance, pink floral design and the way it looks so well in the colour scheme of my room. A few spritzes of this little beaut can ward off even the worst of hair days.

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What do you think? What are the four products you reach for everyday? Have you had experiences [good or bad] with any of the products listed above?

As ever, leave me a message using my comments box powered by Disqus below, via Twitteremail or on Instagram :} 

#TMI Fridays | 20 Questions Tag

It's that time of the week again! #TMIFriday! Time for me to overshare and let a little more of my personality loose on the internets. Click here for the backstory on how #TMIFridays were born - and without further ado, let's get crackin'. 


This week's #TMI will take the shape of the '20 Questions tag' which I discovered online, via some ferocious blog / YouTube stalking. I like reading these kind of tags and I hope you do too - let me know your thoughts in the comments box below. 

[FYI - as I've actually read these questions through, I actually feel like they were designed for people around ten years younger than me. But whatevs.]

1. Thing you cannot leave the house without?

Aside from my keys [which is the most boring answer I could probably muster haha] it would have to be my phone. Or at the moment, my crutches.

2. Favourite brand of makeup?

I find Rimmel have a pretty great budget range of makeup that covers most of my needs. I also love Bourjois' range; their mascaras, foundations and blushers are fab.

3. Favourite flowers?

Pink tulips. So pretty.

4. Fave clothing stores?

I love all the clothes. I enjoy ASOS, TopShop, Forever21, New Look, Urban Outfitters, Zara and Primark the most I'd say; although in my current state of poverty, most of my clothes come from eBay or 70% reduction sales!

5. Fave perfume?

My favourite day-to-day perfume is Britney Spears - Fantasy. I do feel slightly emb [embarrassed] writing that; but I literally love the smell so much. I plaster myself in it every single day. I never thought my life would amount to my heavy endorsement of a celebrity perfume; but it has. And what.

6. Heels or flats?

Although I do love a good heel, I'm also about 23 feet tall so it's not always suitable for me to wear them without looking like a giant man-head. I also find that I can't enjoy nights out the same in heels; my feet hurt after a while, I tend to fall over and whereas in my prime I'd stay out dancing and shooting Jaegers till 6am; heels make me return to bed at about 3. So flats.

7. Do you make good grades?

LOL. Theee most American question I've ever been asked. I did do good in school, yes [all those years ago.] And 6th Form. And I have a 2:1 BA Hons degree too; so I think I've made some alright grades in my time, yes.

8. Fave colours?

MINT GREEN. My fave at the moment. Other than that, I love nudes, creams, whites, black, blue and pinky shades.

9. Do you drink energy drinks?

No. Monster makes me heave.

10. Do you drink juice?

Yes, a bitta OJ.

11. Do you like swimming?

I'm really quite a poor swimmer in all honesty. I'm a bit scared of water. Also, I get bored. I don't see the enjoyment of just swimming back and forth in a pool. I know it gets you super mega toned and all that, but it's not for me.

12. Do you eat fries with a fork?

No, I'm a pig.

13. Whats your fave moisturiser?

I have used Nivea for literally the past 15 years. I'm very loyal :}

14. Do you want to get married later on in life?

Ideally I wanted to be married before I was 30... but with just a few years before I hit that barrier I might have to rethink my plans. Eurgh it makes me feel ill how old I am :|

15. Do you get mad easily?

Oh yeah, I have a TERRIBLE rage which can come over me very quickly - although on the outside and to other people, I'm very easy going. 

16. Are you into ghost hunting?

I'm not into it personally because I'm the biggest chicken EVER and I'm scared of like; my own shadow. I do watch Ghost Adventures and shows like that on TV though; I find them really interesting. 

17. Any phobias?

I am terrified of hospitals. I also had a terrible phobia of ET throughout the majority of my life; he's one creepy ass bastard. But I'm starting to grow out of that now - thankfully! Lost many hours of sleep over that little dude.

18. Do you bite your nails?

Not really; only in the case of an emergency e.g. half of my nail snaps off and I'm away from nail trimming implements.

19. Have you ever had a near death experience?

No, thankfully. 

20. Do you drink coffee?

YES. Bucketloads of the stuff. I am an ADDICT.

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If you want to get involved with this tag, feel free :} I'd love to see your answers, so tag me if you do!

Hope you enjoyed that little insight into my life - are we similar in any way? Anyone else out there who thinks ET is frigging terrifying? Leave me a comment below or tweet me :}

Have You Tried Anything New This Week? | Beauty

Fresh week, fresh start.

As part of this new week, I thought I'd trial run a few new products as part of my beauty regime, to see how they held up. A kinda 'Hot or Not?' 'Fit or Shit?' type test. 

Some of these products you might have seen on my Instagram; I have become like literally obsessed with Insta recently - I can't lie. And some of them - such as the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer and my Makeup Revolution Fixing Spray have already made their star appearances in past blog posts [My Favourite Makeup Revolution Products and Birchbox | April Edition] before I'd had a chance to give them a fair trial. 


L-R: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water / MUA Colour Correcting Pro Base Prime and Conceal Powder / Laura Mercier Foundation Primer [sample size] / W7 Cosmetics Chunky Bronzer / Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray



The Test Subjects


MUA [Makeup Academy] Pro-Base Prime & Conceal Powder, £4.00

So, this baked, silky-smooth powder promises to transform your complexion; evening out your skin tone and illuminating your face. I first saw this product on another blogger's YouTube channel - and easily swayed as I am, I headed straight online to purchase it. 

I won't lie - I was sceptical of this product at first - I have been loyal to Rimmel's Translucent Pressed Powder for the past four years. But you know what guys - it actually works. It held my make-up in place, kept the dreaded shine at bay and it definitely gave my face added radiance. My under-eye bags were totally less noticeable and hours later, this powder was still holding out against the dreaded fod shine. To apply, just take a big old powder brush and swirl it round to pick up an even amount of each colour, before powdering your face as normal.

I'm very fussy about pressed powder and I didn't hold much hope for this. But I am really impressed - and that's something coming from me! You can pick up this product online, at your local Superdrug or do what I did - and head to the realms of eBay to pick up a bargain. 



W7 Cosmetics Chunky Bronzer, £4.95

After perving on the Clinique Chubby Sticks earlier last month and weeping at how I could never justify spending so much, I headed onto eBay and picked up this W7 Bronzing Stick. FYI, for all you budget beauty babes out there; on eBay I got this brand new [including postage] for approx. £3.95. 

I use this daily as part of my contouring game and it's lovely. It's dead creamy and blends really well; for a subtle effect with no harsh lines. I apply this to my chin, cheekbones, forehead and jawline and blend into my face's natural contours. Taking a small brush, I apply a little of this product to my nose to subtly define and contour that, too. 




Thanks to my highly influential nature, after seeing photos of this stuff plastered across social media, it was only a matter of time that when I saw it was on offer at Boots - and that my supply of Asda face wipes was looking dangerously low - I'd end up buying some to try. The bottle claims you'll get approx. 200 uses from it; so that's value I like. 

The packaging of this stuff is just fab. But is it worthy of the miracle cleanser title it's been given? 

Well, I'm not 100% sure. It definitely removes your makeup gently and with ease; but I found that it wasn't as deep cleansing as I first imagined. After using this and then using another cleanser [Liz Earle] straight after, my cotton wool was still picking up remainders of make-up. It also wasn't quite as effective in removing my eye make-up as I'd kinda hoped. 

BUT on the flip side; every time I've used this cleanser, my skin feels so hydrated and revived. Normally, when I use a cleanser or a face wipe, my skin cries out for moisturiser straight away. But this left me feeling really fresh-faced. So I would recommend it and will continue to use it - but I'm not sure whether it will do me for 200 uses, as I've had to use a few cotton wool pads of the stuff to feel totally cleansed from make-up. Maybe I just wear too much slap? Who knows.




I was made up to have got my sample of choice with last month's Birchbox. This sample is also quite a decent size; so I'll get a fair bit of use from it before I decide whether I could ever part with like £20.00 for a primer. 

I wasn't sure on how I felt about this stuff at first; it comes out really quite watery. However, when you apply it to the face it melts into the skin and gives you the perfect base to build on. I thought it was a coincidence the first time I used it; that I was just having a good skin-day. But it's no coincidence. This stuff really works. Day after day. I will cry when this runs out; proper genuine tears, cos there's no way in hell I can justify ordering another. But if you can; do it. It's awesome.


Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray, £5.00

Unless I routinely powder my face, I get this unsightly shine-thing going on. It's grim. So when I saw this product from my beloved Makeup Revolution; I couldn't not give it a go. Basically, when you're done with applying your face, spritz a little of this spray on it and let it dry. I've definitely noticed that my makeup has lasted for longer whilst wearing this; not quite all day, but considerably longer than pure powder and praying for a miracle alone has ever achieved. I don't have to touch up my face in the loos at lunchtime - it's great!


Have you tried anything new this month? These new experiences don't even have to just be beauty related either; I'm well nosey and would love to chat more about like, anything! Or have you tried any of the above products and had similar / different experiences?

As ever, chat with my using my comments box powered by Disqus below, via Twitter, email or on Instagram :} 

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How Glossy was my Box? | The Iconic Edit | Glossybox Review

So it's becoming evident I have a weakness for subscription boxes, isn't it. Only last week I posted about my second Birchbox [check it out here] and now this bad boy has arrived. In all fairness, I signed up for Glossybox in March but I missed the cut-off date for dispatch [FML] so I paid for this just short of a month ago and have been waiting somewhat impatiently ever since [bloody hell, look at me trying to rationalise my expenditure... and failing.]


Basically guys - I need to cancel either Glossybox or Birchbox. I can't justify picking one of these services - let alone two. I think I know which one is most likely to get the snip; but I'd love to hear your thoughts. Maybe as a long-time subscriber to either of these boxes, one of you can point me in the direction of what's best in the long run?

What is Glossybox?
You can find out more about Glossybox here - I won't bore you. It's basically a monthly subscription box which allows you to try out new products and samples. The difference with Glossybox in comparison to other services however, is that you get 3 full size products and just 2 sample size products. All for £10 a month (plus P&P.)

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you this month's Glossybox: The Iconic Edit in all its finery. Out of the four colour choices, I received the mint green box; my favourite colour of the moment; so no complaints there.



The Box and Packaging

You'll be hard-done-by to find a prettier box than this. With a super cute quote on the inside of the lid, this generously sized box sports a gorgeous illustration of Marilyn Monroe on the front; with embossed, shiny little details to it. The inner is decorated with the Glossybox logo, and my products were wrapped in tissue and tied with a ribbon; laid on a bed of shredded tissue paper. 10/10 to whoever designs these boxes; this was genuinely a dream to unwrap.


The Products



First Impressions

I don't know why, right - maybe it's because the GlossyBox itself is so much larger in size than my beloved Birchboxes - but when I unwrapped the products and laid them out; it made me feel like I hadn't got very much and I was a little disappointed. The box itself is massive and so beautiful - but it was so padded out with tissue paper that it gave me the impression I was about to unwrap really bulky, full size products; which I didn't. 

Anyway, moving on - let's have a look at what I actually got.




Full size Lord & Berry Lip Pencil in Kiss (worth £10.00)

This modern take on a pillar-box-bright shade is the perfect Marilyn Monroe red. I have mentioned previously, I do love Lord & Berry's packaging and font choice; so this was a nice piece to receive [although I did know I was receiving this, as it was mentioned on the website when I signed up.]

It swatches nicely on the back of my hand; the only thing is, I'm not sure whether I really suit red lip colours. They are a bit too much against my complexion when worn with a subtle eye and I look like Pete Burns when I team a red lip with a smoky eye. I also worry that being 5'10 with blonde hair, I look like a transexual or a sexual predator when I wear red lippy. Lovely quality, branded piece to receive; nonetheless [before I go off on a mad tangent of my height vs femininity.] I may well stick this on my Depop though; so keep your eyes peeled if you like it :}



Full size Color Club Barely There Nail Polish (worth £4.10)

I LOVE nude nails; they're everywhere at the minute and are a key trend. The origin of this look - you may be interested to learn [or maybe not] started in the Hollywood era; hence the choice of this product for the box.

I own approximately 5000 nail polishes, but none in this colour, so I was pleased to receive this. The only issue I have with it is that it's quite watery and will take about 6 coats to build up colour; during which case I'll have smudged my nails about 6 times and will have sworn LOUDLY in rage and frustration. We'll see if I can tame the beast [and my anger] and achieve a nice look with this.




Full size POP Beauty - Kajal Eyeliner Pen (worth £6.50)

Perfect for achieving that perfect Hollywood iconic cat eye, this eyeliner is actually my favourite product from this month's box I think. I love the fact it has the smudge-tool end; very high end and very useful - I love to smudge black eyeliner under my eyeline for a smouldering look.


IDC Country Rose Body Lotion Sample

This sample was picked for the box in homage to Hollywood icons; who always took the time to pamper and preen. To me, this vintage looking bottle is very much more English Rose however - perhaps not something I imagine big American stars using. Rose is also my Grandma's favourite fragrance for all her toiletries. As a city girl, this was a little too 'country rose' for me and so I've passed it on to Grandma; who I hope enjoys it. 


Astral Original Face and Body Moisturiser sample

Popular amongst Hollywood stars and MUAs since its creation in the 1950s, this moisturiser also made its way into the box this month. I will probably use this; so it was appreciated. I have actually heard of this brand before as well, which is a bonus. With it being such a small sample though, it won't last long. It also feels a bit like a cop out; putting two moisturisers in a beauty box. I'd have preferred to see something different - even a perfume sample; which normally irritate me - rather than two moisturisers. 

Conclusion
I can see why all these products were picked - they are all very glamour-esque and Hollywood-inspired but I don't know why; I just didn't feel that much love for this Glossybox and I can't put my finger on why. I guess there was a 50/50 split here on what I will and won't use and although the samples are bigger / full size, I found that there was less variety in what I received. Also, that when they were placed in such a big box, they just kinda rolled around and made it seem like the packaging to product ratio was unusually skewered [although I recognise that these are 3/5 full size products, worth a lot more than my subscription.]

With this in mind, I think cancelling Glossy might be the way to go - but what do you think? Have other months been better? Is it better value in the long run? I'd love to hear your thoughts - or what you thought of this month's Iconic Edit.

As ever, tweet me, comment below, send me an email or connect with me on my Instagram :}