Wednesday, 30 April 2014

NOTD | Models Own Speckled Eggs Nail Polish

I've definitely been indulging in doing my nails a lot more recently. I just love nail art but I'm pretty lazy about actually painting my talons. By the time I'm done filing, buffing and applying a base coat, I just want the polish to be on and dry as quick as possible.

I often end up with 'bed print' nails as I can't sit still long enough to allow each coat to dry fully. For this reason I absolutely love this speckled nail polish inspired by bird egg shells by Models Own (£5). I bought the shade Swan Lilac but there's also Dove Pink, Goose Yellow, Duck Blue and Magpie Green - all great shades for Spring/Summer.

I ended up applying this polish just after I bought it on the bus home (I don't usually do this, but I thought that way I'd sit still long enough). The buses in London are always a bumpy ride but despite some messy application the finish is perfect and it was also opaque after only two coats. Another bonus is I've had it on for two days and so far no chipping, even without a top coat.

The finish was so effortless and quick I'd definitely purchase some of the other shades from the Speckled Eggs collection. I got mine from Boots but this polish is also available from the Model's Own website.

What nail polish have you worn lately?

Lesley x

Monday, 28 April 2014

Olivia Burton Big Dial Black & Gold Watch

I've been lusting over this watch for some time so my boyfriend kindly bought it for me last week and I'm just in love with it.

Olivia Burton is a British brand (created by Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings) which provides a range of vintage inspired contemporary watches at affordable prices. The watch designs suit my understated style down to a tee. It was hard to settle on just one design, as the woodland and floral designs by the brand are simply gorgeous. In the end I thought the Big Dial Black and Gold Watch £72 (pictured) would suit most of my outfits.

I hadn't seen this watch in person, only online, before it was bought for me. It's quite delicate and dainty which is a real contrast from my usual Armani Exchange Black & Rose Gold Chronograph watch (seen in this post). The leather strap is quite slim, emphasising the over-sized dial. I love the simplicity of this watch.

Overall I'm so pleased with it and I'm sure it will see a lot of wear. This particular watch was purchased from ASOS but you can see the full range of designs on the Olivia Burton website.

Have you heard of Olivia Burton?

Lesley x

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Hair Talk | My texlaxed texture

I've been 'texlaxing' (purposely underprocessing my hair with a relaxer) for about 3 years now. At first I texlaxed by mistake but eventually decided I wanted texlaxed rather than bone straight relaxed hair (more info here).

Due to stumbling upon texlaxing by accident and not cutting my ends off, I've ended up with several textures on a single strand of hair. I've only recently decided I still want curls after relaxing and I've been experimenting with different relaxers and timings (which I don't recommend if you can go to a professional).

I achieved almost the exact results I want only with my last couple of relaxers. It's been really hard to capture on camera what the curly texlaxed texture looks like, so hopefully you can idea of what it's like from the picture above.

I've been going back and forth over whether to big chop to get rid of all the bone straight ends and looser texlaxed textures. For now, I'm going to long-term transition, relying on small trims to maintain long hair. Realistically I think it will take at least 18 more months to be in a position where I'd be comfortable chopping off all of my ends.

My transition has made me experiment with my hair less which is why sometimes hair updates/styling etc can be minimal on my blog. I am however open to suggestions for what kind of hair posts you'd like me to do.

What kind of hair posts do you like to read?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review | Maybelline Color Sensational Nude Lipstick

I've been trying to introduce more nude lip shades into my makeup collection for some time. I was quite excited to see a plethora of nude shades by Maybelline in the Boots store a few weeks ago. I picked up Coffee Craze (£6.99) from the Color Sensational Nude Collection which has seen a lot of wear recently. The lipstick itself looks like malt chocolate but when I put it on my lips it's more of a soft pink, probably due to the natural colour of my lips.

I've always had a slight problem with buying new lipsticks. I often intend to find new colours I haven't tried before and always end up gravitating towards something very similar to what I have already. I've noticed that this lipstick is almost identical to L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Silk but Coffee is Craze is ever so slightly rosier on my lips.

The lipstick is a smooth, soft texture which lasts fairly well throughout the day but it does need a few touch ups. I think it's a great product for the price and would definitely pick up more shades from this collection.

Have you tried anything by Maybelline?

Lesley x

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Review | MAC Studio Fix Powder with Foundation

I've never liked powder foundations, that is until I decided to buy MAC Studio Fix Powder with Foundation (£21.50) a few weeks ago. I had a skin treatment in mid March (I'll save the details for another post) which meant I couldn't wear makeup for a few days. The treatment also made wearing my usual MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation difficult as I had quite a few scabs on my face. I'm one of those girls that finds it hard to go completely makeup free so I felt like I had to purchase powder or mineral foundation to use day-to-day until my scabs healed.

MAC is my go to for foundation so it just made sense to finally try one of their powders, especially as so many have even given this product 'holy grail' status. That said, I wasn't expecting much because of my past experience with powders. Normally powder products don't sit quite right on my combination skin and I have to use them sparingly.

The coverage of this product is really good. When using alone I was able to conceal most of the dark spots on my face. I could also be heavy handed with application if necessary without getting 'cake face'. I love the matte finish and the product lasts so well throughout the day.

I've gone back to my usual foundation now my skin has healed out of habit and I've been using the powder mostly as a finishing touch. I'm really impressed with this product but I do wish MAC would create more yellow-based options. I'm usually shade NC42 this time of year and I've found this particular shade of this product a bit orange-y. That is however, my only negative point.

Have you tried anything by MAC? 

Lesley x

Monday, 14 April 2014

Outfit Snippets | H&M Black Coat

With the warmer weather trying to make itself known I can now get away with wearing lighter coats (finally) like this H&M structured black coat with leather accents.

I'm lucky in the fact that where I work I can dress casually most of the time but sometimes it's nice to dress up, even if it is just a little. This is one of those pieces that makes me look a little bit more 'put together' with no effort. I threw this on over a simple red ASOS dress yesterday, pairing with heeled platform black boots. So easy. If the weather stays the way it is I'll probably end up wearing this coat to death as I just love the feminine fit. The coat retails for £39.99 normally but H&M were doing 50% off selected items in-store last week for Easter so it was a total bargain at £19.99.

Coat - H&M | Dress - ASOS | Necklace - Forever 21

What have you been wearing lately? 

Lesley x

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

NOTD | Barry M Nail Paint Mushroom

I've been on the hunt lately for the perfect brown nude shade and I may have finally found it.

The polish is Barry M Nail Paint in Mushroom (310). I think half of my talon stash is Barry M as I love their selection of different colours and effects for a very reasonable price. I bought 'Mushroom' the other day which is like a rich taupe. I love love love muted tones and this seems to go with most of my outfits given that my wardrobe is lacking much colour currently.

What nail polish have you tried lately?

Lesley x

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hair | How I Deep Condition

Deep conditioning is one of those parts of my hair routine which I will not compromise on, no matter how tired or lazy I'm feeling. I really do believe that deep conditioning regularly is one of the key aspects of keeping chemically treated, relaxed or dry hair in good condition. I do it every time my hair is washed (1-2 times weekly). I probably deep condition more than is necessary, but it works for me so I've stuck with it.

I often get questions on how I use a deep conditioner and honestly, I don't think I do anything out of the ordinary. I use a range of deep conditioners including JOICO Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm (pictured).

In general I try to stick to the following:

1 Wet but not soaking wet hair
I like the idea of conditioning hair which is dry as then it can absorb more of the product but as I always shampoo before I condition I rarely do this. Instead I always try to get as much water out of my hair before applying conditioner, sometimes even allowing it to airdry for 10-15 minutes.

2 Add ingredients
I love adding extra oils and glycerine to my conditioners to give it an extra kick. I usually mix up batches in separate containers and apply when needed. What you add is entirely up to you. You can experiment with adding stuff from your kitchen like Olive Oil, Avocado and Coconut Milk. If I add anything that might perish quickly I usually put any left over conditioner mix in the fridge and use it as soon as possible.

3 Condition in sections
My hair is so prone to tangling I like to thoroughly detangle and separate my hair in 2-4 sections. This ensures the conditioner is evenly spread across the hair. Once I'm done I twist the sections individually and roll them up into bantu knots to keep them together.

4 Apply more to the ends
I try to concentrate most of the deep conditioner on the lengths of my hair which are more fragile. I then apply it to the rest of my hair, trying to keep the conditioner off of my scalp to prevent build-up. I also like to apply a little around my edges which need a little extra TLC.

5 Plastic Cap/Wrap/Bag
I don't have a steamer and it's unlikely I'll get one as I just don't have anywhere to put it. To achieve a similar effect I try to generate steam from the warmth of my head by covering my hair with either a plastic cap, wrap or a bag to keep the heat in. I leave this on until I'm ready to rinse.

6 Leave for at least 5 minutes
No matter how much I'm strapped for time I always leave on my deep conditioner for at least 5 minutes. It may not sound like much but I personally don't think it's necessary to devote hours to wash days. The maximum I spend with deep conditioner on tends to be about 30 minutes.

What do you do when you deep condition?

Lesley x