Your at-home nail saviour

I feel like a bit of a Jerry Seinfeld when I say this… but have you ever noticed how crazy nails have gotten? I know I have mentioned this before, but it doesn’t appear to be a trend set aside for beauty guru’s such as Dress Your Face and it doesn’t appear to be dying? My breaking point was watching the server at a local cafe attempt to type in my order on a touch screen and then watch her prepare my coffee – I do not want that bacteria hell hole near something I am about to consume, kthx.

crazy nails

I think these nails continue to gain followers simply because you can’t escape them – walk into any nail salon and it is assumed you are there for acrylic claws with Shellac. In fact, I went into a nail salon for a polish on my natural nails and took a polish colour with me and they looked at me like I had walked in and asked them to paint my body in the polish. So, the only way to escape them is either by being very firm about what you want or by having an understanding nail artist (as I know some of my friends do have). Otherwise, you’re on your own – which is JUST FINE. It involves a tiny bit of investment and planning initially – but once you’re set, you’ll be loving life.

So, let me help you work out your at-home nail salon.

Cuticle Softener

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This makes a huge difference and I have no doubt this is much higher quality product than anything used in a walk-in nail salon. This stuff really makes you feel like you are in a salon and will make the cuticle push-back/removal process much easier.
$15.99 Priceline

Cuticle trimmer

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They seem like a pricey investment, but they really are worth the investment to amp up your at-home salon.
$30.59 at Priceline

Cuticle stick

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Cheap as chips and you can find these anywhere – supermarket, $2 store, pharmacy, etc.
$2.99 Priceline

File

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It’s up to you whether you want to invest in a metal file or a nail board like this one. I like to use either, but like the idea of this kind of nail board which can be disposed of eventually. Again, cheap as chips.
Sally Hansen $2.95 at Priceline

Nail Oil

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This stuff may seem unnecessary, but remember, we are creating a salon experience here! In fact, by adding this to your regime, you are creating a better experience! This oil will last you forever – I have the same bottle from over 5 years ago! You should see an improvement in nail health by applying this to your nails after filing.
$15.99 Priceline

Quick drying nail polish

good to go.png

Regular readers know I love all things Essie and this stuff is the shiz. Essie ‘Good to Go’ quick drying top coat will make you very happy. If you’re anything like me, the time you get to do your nails is close to bedtime which means you are at high risk of a fabric imprint! This stuff dries so quickly, so you can go to sleep and apply it in the morning or better yet, apply it about 10 mins before bedtime and sleep easy.
$17.95 Priceline

So, as you can see, you can create a salon at home with affordable items from Priceline. The beautiful thing about Priceline is that it will all go on sale at some point – so you can slowly add to your collection as items are marked down. You can resist the salon experience and have gorgeous nails – think of all the money and time saved!

And if irritation occurs… discontinue use. 

Resist the bejewelled nail

Has anybody noticed what has happened with fingernails? Not so long ago, people were blogging about gradient nails and galaxy nails, and now suddenly nails are like a battle to the death.

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For the record, I am a huge @dressyourface fan – her makeup is on point, her business is #goals and she comes across as quite a beautiful person (as far as one can tell on Instagram!). She is ultra-glam, so her nails make perfect sense – but checkout assistant at Woolworths? This seems a bit aggressive for you.

I admit I am a nail traditionalist – a reformed nail-biter, a hater of cheap nail salons (I have done my time in those places but now see the light) and resistor to acrylic nails (have also done my time there). So what’s a girl to do if she doesn’t want plastic nails that can cause serious injury? Well… read on!

Nails Inc.nails inc

This stuff is very nice – high-gloss and minimal fuss. The colour range has improved a lot since I first saw the Gel Effect about 12 months ago. Retails for $26.95 at David Jones. I’m hardly a Nails Inc expert as I’ve only ever tried a few (did you see the price?!), but the packaging and colours do intrigue me.

Rimmel Salon Pro

rimmel salon pro

Decent brush, huge range of colours and awesome prices (currently $4.48 at Priceline). Rimmel has a range of polish types, but this seems to be the best value, and best pay-off. Your manicure will last you a fair few days and the actual formula will remain decent for a long time – I’ve had Essie polishes dry out faster than this one.

O.P.I. Nail Lacquer

OPI Berry

Ah, once the jewel in the nail polish crown! I was a long time devotee of OPI, back when it was a clear outlier in the nail market – expensive and luxurious. I still think this is one of the longest wearing of the home manicure polishes and the best when you want a very classic shade. If you want something really on trend and fun, OPI doesn’t do it, I’m afraid. I’ve yet to try any of their new lines such as the Gel version, so let me know if you have any thoughts. Retails for $19.95 at department stores, but not impossible to find it in a bargain bin in Gloss/Trade Secret etc. My, how far you fell, OPI.

Essiecolors_summer_sunset-sneaks

Essie knocked the crown off from OPI, in my personal opinion. It came along, not as cheap as brands such as Rimmel, but not as expensive as OPI, and took over the home manicure market. I am not a blind fan however; I recently bought a bottle which dried up after 2 uses – very disappointing! Luckily, I only ever buy it on sale at Priceline (RRP is $16.95). I’ll admit that the fact that it goes on sale made me a fan of it over OPI!  Essie’s range is updated regularly and is very fun and fast – which of course means there are some hideous shades and some lovely ones also.

So, if you are old school like me, and enjoy slapping on a colour at home when you have some free time, give these a go (and let me know!). Here’s to claiming back regular nails in 2016!

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use… 

40% off, you say?

You must be living under a social media-free rock if you haven’t heard about the Priceline cosmetics sale this week. Check out #pricelinehaul, #priceline #bbloggersau and you will see lots of Priceline love! I’ve become a big fan of the 40% off cosmetics sales, and since the RRP is pretty controlled for cosmetics, I think you generally do get a good deal (unlike their perfume sales). They always market it as a 2-day sale, and it is usually on Tuesday/Wednesday, so requires some careful planning for those that work Mon-Fri, 9-5. Luckily, Priceline is incredibly accessible and can quite often be visited during a lunch break.

So, we’ve got one more day of the sale, and here are my little raves and rants about what I think you should check out (sale goes until 11.59pm online, and until COB in store).

Bourjois – I am a huge fan of this entire brand, and it hardly goes on sale compared with the other Priceline brands. The 40% off sale is the best time to check out this stand – this sale is about stocking up as well as trying something new! I recommend trying a foundation or a blush from this brand (foundations come down to around the $20 mark, and blush is $12.00 on sale). Plus, this stand seems to get very little love at this huge sale, so you’ll get some peace and quiet here. I picked up the Felt Tip Liner for $14 yesterday, but haven’t tried it yet, so can’t recommend it.

L’Oreal – I’m not a huge L’Oreal user, but again, this is the time to try something new. I really rate the False Lash Telescopic mascara which comes down to $16.17 on sale. They had some other gorgeous stuff that I was interested in yesterday, but their stock levels were really low. If anyone is after a nude lipstick and has an olive skin tone, check out the Colour Riche Lipstick by Freida Pinto. I found the tester and fell in love, but no unopened stock unfortunately.

Revlon – Do not be tricked into the Lip Butter at this sale! It is really easy to pick up a Butter for $10, so 40% off at $13 is not a steal. Everyone is loving the Gel Envy range, but I found it chipped really quickly – this may be the fault of my application technique, so I’m just leaving this at the moment. It can also be picked up for some good deals lately, so not a major temptation for me. I really like the Photoready BB Cream Skin Perfecter ($14.97 on sale), but only recommended for those who want light coverage and a dewy finish!

Rimmel – I’m a massive Rimmel lover, but this brand goes on sale a lot, so I always found the attention it gets at these sales very surprising. You can pick up Rimmel at 40% off so often, so don’t waste your time here unless you are restocking! But if you insist on buying something this week, the Salon Pro nail polishes are great, and the Apocolips range has expanded to some matte finish products, so these may be worth checking out (all testers gone at my local Pricey!).

Essie – This is where you should make some serious savings! These don’t go on sale at a 40% drop very often, they are almost always neglected at these sales (as a lot of people don’t realise nail polish is included in cosmetics), and they are well worth the attention. Regular readers will know I love Essie polish, so no surprise I picked up some things yesterday. I really recommend trying out the Good to Go topcoat – perfect for late night nail polish appliers like myself ($10.77 on sale).

Australis – I know it’s almost cliché to mention this product, but it’s my duty to make sure it’s included for anyone who may not know about it! The AC On Tour kit is a powder contour kit that you can pick up for $10.17 at this sale. It’s not exactly Anastasia Beverly Hills, but it’s pretty bloody good for $10! Even if you don’t love it, you will enjoy playing around with it, and for makeup lovers like myself, it’s an exciting little purchase to take home, because nothing else in Priceline is quite like it. The stock at my local Priceline was crazy, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting your hands on it like people did last year.

Anyways, those are just some of my recommendations, I’d love to know what everyone else picked up, so please comment and share below! My love for makeup is like a disease, so let me know if you recommend anything I should check out today (I have until 11.59pm!).

PL Collage

Sunday Night Pamper (February ’15)

Oh, it’s been too long since I did a pamper post! Alas, a monthly pamper post looks unlikely, so I withdraw that fake promise. You will have to trust me – when I find something good, I’ll tell you about it!

So my pamper of late has changed a little bit. This year my New Year’s Resolution included trying to get more sleep… completely do-able I think. I have no kids, and a stable job which I manage during daylight hours – so what’s my excuse? The challenge for me is putting down the device, ending the conversation or turning off the TV. I’m a compulsive over-talker, an Instagram addict, and I regularly turn the TV on really late at night and can’t resist Everybody Loves Raymond repeats. So, come 2015, I am trying to be a bit stricter on myself – the conversation will never be over, Everybody Loves Raymond will be on again tomorrow and there will always be more #fotd tags to look at on IG.

So, this month my pamper involved some changes to help myself feel more refreshed. Some changes to exercise, some regular reading and a farewell to summer!

February

As a February baby, I got a nice little haul of birthday gifts this month, and the FitBit Flex was part of it (thanks MO!). I’ve been a hardcore gym-goer for a number of years now, but the past 12 months I’ve been struggling – suddenly I’m so bored of it, so this year I’m trying to motivate myself to just get out and about. I’ve had it for 2 weeks, and already hate taking a step without it – unrecorded steps are a total waste! It’s helped motivate me to walk to my brother’s place nearby, take my nephew to the park and arrange walks with friends – perfect when the mornings are as gorgeous as they currently are! My best friend is a new mum and has become a champion walker, so it’s a great way to see her and baby Z too.

Books continue to be a part of my monthly pamper – my book club continues to select some great books which I take ages to start and then involve me rushing to finish in time. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd was a great choice; I love anything based in the Deep South of the US, and highly recommend it to anyone who is intrigued by that region and the slavery period. Warning for this book is that it is intensely sad – no silver linings in a novel can be a bit tough.

Summer has now officially ended (we welcomed Autumn here in Sydney with a 38 degree day!), so I’m trying to bust out a few bright colours before I return to my berry and grey/black shades. Essie’s ‘Watermelon’ is my go-to pink shade, so I’ve been sporting it for the past few days to bid summer adieu. I replenished my Essie’s ‘Good to Go’ topcoat, so can go back to painting my nails just before bed and not wake up with a fabric imprint. Late night nail painting is a bad habit of mine, but a fast-drying top coat means I can still get to bed at a decent hour!

Finally, the Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright Fade to Bright Intense Brightening Treatment is a product I’m currently trialling, to see if it lives up to the hype. I’ve been using it on and off since last year, but for the past 2 weeks have used it nightly to see if there is any change. Unfortunately, none for me at this stage. 2 weeks on one person is hardly an intensive research study, but I haven’t been fussed by the results. The tube is small (30mL), so I thought it would be a concentrated and intensive treatment, but it hasn’t really proved to be the case. I personally won’t be repurchasing this, and don’t really recommend it.

be enlightened

Finally, I’m burning a Be Enlightened candle, which I am loving. I was introduced to this brand through a contact of mine, and I am mad for these candles. I’m burning the Oriental Baies, which is a blend of currants, berries and pear, combined with rose, jasmine and precious woods (err, that description is from the website, I’m not that knowledgeable about scents!).

So, that’s it for me – February was filled with the above things for me, plus very disciplined sleep times. I have been going to bed at a decent hour and have woken up feeling more refreshed – I haven’t slept in once this month! Feel free to share in the comments if you have any New Year’s Resolutions – I love to hear what others are trying to change or improve!

Until next time readers, treat yourself to a pamper night!

Best of 2014

Happy new year, readers! Hope you have all been enjoying some sort of break, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I personally don’t celebrate (though I do enjoy it, possibly due to my love of shiny things), so I headed to Hawaii for a beach break. Regular readers will know that I love the USA, and need little encouragement to visit. The Australian dollar isn’t quite as strong as it has been in the past, but Hawaii did not fail me with it’s offerings. I was flying for NYE, which suited me just fine, because I’m a bit of a NYE grinch.

So as 2015 rolls in, I think it’s customary for bloggers to post their 2014 favourites… right? I drafted this very easily, so turns out I had some very clear favourites in 2014. I selected one clear standout product in each category of Skincare, Eyes, Face, Lips, Hair & Nails.

Best of 2014

Skincare Clarins HydraQuench Cream
This stuff is so gorgeous and was a late-2014 discovery. I picked up a Christmas gift set that included this cream, the matching serum and a third item I haven’t even taken out of the bag yet. This cream is extremely hydrating, sinks into the skin beautifully and feels amazing. My only gripe is the packaging – I hate jars you have to dip your fingers into, as it doesn’t seem that hygienic plus I find I use a lot more product. Clarins does great skincare and is really easy to find in department stores and salons. This cream retails at $65.00 [Myer]. Not the cheapest product, but it’s worth the $$$.

Eyes Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow
I did a whole blog post on this, so it’s probably not a big surprise to regular readers that it’s a favourite. This stuff is fiddly to use, definitely not an item for everyday and is crazy expensive – but I haven’t seen much else on the market that does the same job. Retails for $44.00 [Mecca Cosmetica].

Face Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
2014 saw me increase my highlighter use as part of my everyday routine. Now I’m addicted to using it to add some colour to my face without adding blush. It really adds dimension to my face, and helps fake a healthy glow. I had read a lot about this highlighting palette before picking it up in the US, and after first use I realised why it was the holy grail for so many beauty bloggers. The powder is like velvet, and the tiniest bit goes a long way. Face palettes can sometimes be rubbish, because they try to cater for too many skin tones, but this palette seems universal. Retails for $76.00 [Mecca Cosmetica].

Lips Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner
Finally something that does not cost a bomb! I’ve been a long time lover of Rimmel as a brand, but this was my first year of buying the Exaggerate lip liner – which is their automatic wind up pencil. I generally don’t like automatic pencils because I feel they never have a decent point and the wind up mechanism can die before the pencil runs out – but Rimmel does not fail. I picked up the nude shade (the shade name escapes me now) and it quickly became everyday wear. I can’t think of any other product that I used to completion in 2014, but this little number got used up. Not much thinking or risk involved for a product that retails at $12.50 [Priceline].

Hair Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask
This is another product that made it from a single blog post to the favourites list. When I used it on its own, I liked it, but didn’t love it. Recently I used it in conjunction with a toning shampoo (I’ve become addicted to blonde ombre in 2014 also), and the results were magnificent. Anyone who has ever used a toning shampoo will know that their hair will turn to straw immediately. I used this straight after using the Fudge Purple Shampoo, and not only did my blonde ends look better but my hair felt better than before! Retails for $49.50 [Skincare Store].

Nails Essie Good To Go Topcoat
This may be boring to some, but anyone who loves painting their nails like me will know there is nothing worse than painting your nails and then managing to bump the paint an hour later. This topcoat is fast drying without chipping easily like some other fast-drying polishes do. Extremely shiny, and maintains a manicure for 5-7 days; retails for $17.95 [Priceline].

So that’s it for me! Thank you for those who have been reading along in 2014 – I really appreciate you reading my beauty raves and rants, and look forward to sharing more in 2015.

And remember – if irritation occurs, discontinue use…

Sunday Night Pamper (March)

Anybody who knows me well, knows I love a good pamper night. A pamper night is my version of an “I can’t attend, I’ll be washing my hair” invitation refusal. I usually aim to do it at the end of the week (Thurs/Fri night) or the holy grail of pamper nights – Sunday! It all depends on my weekend social schedule, but this year, I’ve been pretty consistent with doing one every Thurs or Fri. After watching Lisa Eldridge’s mask video, I’ve also been trying to get some additional mid-week masks into my routine.

So, as a regular feature on my blog, I’m going to include a monthly pamper night piece, which will detail what I’ve been using for my pamper nights, what I rate, what I hate, etc. This month’s pamper includes 10 products.

Before the pamper can officially begin, I must light a candle. This month, I’m lighting a Pink Molli ‘Lychee Peony’ candle, which I bought from my hairdresser – all the rest of my pamper night will include huge brands and companies, but at least this way I’m supporting a local small business. This scent is a sweet floral, which is right up my alley.

The Sanctuary ‘Hot Sugar Scrub’ – I’ve reviewed this before, so feel free to check out a more detailed review here. This was followed up with a L’Occitane ‘Cherry Blossom Bath & Shower Gel’ which is a nice floral treat. I love all things L’Occitane and all things floral, so this was a no-brainer for me.

Clarisonic Mia II + Philosophy Cleanser – I’ve also reviewed the Clarisonic Mia II here. The Philosophy ‘purity made simple’ cleanser was my choice for a pamper night just because it’s so simple – it’s very much a barely-there product. No foaming, no heavy scent, no film or residue after using – perfect when your skin is to be heavily invaded.

I’m currently using the Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner ‘Colour Me Happy’ combo (this range is for colour-treated hair). I regularly rotate hair care products, and this what I rotated to this week. I love Herbal Essences, I’ve loved it since I was a primary school student, and still love it to this day. I used to think of it as a pretty indulgent hair purchase in my school days, and I wish they still had the old packaging. I just love its scent, which makes it perfect for a pamper night.

Post shower, I moved to my favourite step – the mask. My current mask of the moment is The Sanctuary Time Reversal Mask. It’s essentially a collagen mask, with Vitamins A & B, which is perfect for when my skin is looking a bit tired and dull. It’s very hydrating, and can be left on for an extended period of time as it has no harshness or acidity to it. In fact, according to the packaging, it’s recommended to wear it overnight once a month – very interesting.

My current body moisturiser is the Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion, which is a solid performer in my opinion. It absorbs well, doesn’t leave your hands feeling oily or slimy (Nivea Lotion, anybody?), minimal scent – completely inoffensive.

After the mask, I applied Philosophy’s ‘When Hope is Not Enough’ facial firming serum. Now, I love a good serum, but am pretty inexperienced with them. So for me, the jury is still out on this product. I don’t love the feel of it before it fully sets – it feels quite tacky for a while, and I cannot stand the smell of it, it’s actually revolting. But once it’s set, it feels nice, the scent goes away, and after using it for over 3 months, I haven’t had any negative reactions to it.

Finally, I finish off with an eye cream. I’m currently using a Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Gel. After my disaster with the Burts Bees eye cream, I quickly retreated to this little £1.00 beauty that I’ve kept since my last UK visit. It feels so nice going on, feels so refreshing once it’s dry, and really seems to brighten up my eyes and surrounding skin.

The perfect ending to my Sunday pamper night is painting my nails. Essie’s ‘Master Plan’ has been waiting for me since my recent Priceline haul, so I was glad to finally try out this nude-grey shade.

As always, thanks for reading, and please comment if you have any suggestions or requests – I’m very interested in April’s pamper night already. pamper night

A haul lotta’ fun


So today was one of my favourite beauty days of the year – a day when Priceline has 40% off all cosmetics. Whee! I made up a plan yesterday, browsed the website for some items that I’ve been interested in, and jotted down some notes about what I wanted. For any non-Australian readers, Priceline is the Australian version of UK’s Superdrug, or USA’s Duane Reade. The only better offer that happens in the yearly calendar is when Priceline offers 40% off all cosmetics and skincare. There is a lot of skincare that I’m dying to try at the moment, but I can wait for the skincare sale.

Now, my disclaimer for this post is just a heads up – I don’t plan to do a lot of haul posts. I don’t mind watching haul vlogs, or reading haul posts, as I like to know about products in other parts of the world, but overall I think they are a bit of a pointless blurb. The products haven’t been tested, tried or reviewed; just knowing what stuff is being purchased isn’t very helpful. But this sale only comes occasionally, and a lot of the products I bought I’m fairly confident about – heavily researched from other blogs and reviews, it’s more about seeing how it translates to my skin type and tone. So if you’re not a lover of haul posts, forgive me this once, and believe me when I say that these (hopefully) won’t happen very often. If you love haul posts, then take solace in knowing that when I buy any interesting product (in a bulk purchase or by itself), you will know about it.

Haul

So, in brand order:
Rimmel
Match Perfection Foundation in Shade 300 ‘Sand’ – this is a bit dark for me, unless I’m super tanned. I love this foundation, so this was just a sensible restock.
Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick in ‘Bad Girl Bronze’ – this was a rave review from Lily Pebbles, so I figured I should give it a go. A lot of the other colours were too shiny for my liking, so it may be a bit of a risk for my taste.
60 Seconds Nail Polish in ‘Aye, Aye, Sailor’ – I love me some navy, and one of my friends raves about the Rimmel 60 Seconds polishes, so figured this is the time to give it a try.
Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in ‘Red Diva’ – this was just something missing from my collection, and seemed like a safe choice.
Bourjois
I’m already an owner of the Healthy Mix Foundation, which I like for low-coverage days. A 40% off sale is enough to encourage me to try some of the other items in the Bourjois range. This brand hasn’t been on sale in Priceline for ages, so I feared it would all sell out quickly – turns out nobody really cares about it in my suburb.
Happy Light Foundation in Shade 54. The shades in Bourjois foundations are really limited for darker skins; I’m a 54 in the Healthy Mix, so I’m hoping this shade will work for me too. There was no tester in store. Why do people steal testers? I can think of nothing more gross to have in my makeup collection.
Colour Edition 24hr Cream to Powder shadow in ‘Petale de glace’ – the packaging reminded me a lot of Maybelline Colour Tattoo, so I am really keen to try this out. The tester felt very different from the Colour Tattoo range, it definitely turned to a powdery finish. There are only 3 colours stocked here in Aus, so I went with a safe golden shade.
Rouge Edition Lipstick in ‘Violine Strass’ – it was really tough to pick lip colours today. I didn’t want anything bright, or shimmery, or tacky – but seems like those key words are hot words currently. This seemed like a safe option, a classic shade – I was mostly interested in testing out the formula.
Little Round Pot (eyeshadow) in Shade 13 – this just seemed interesting, and since I couldn’t find everything on my list, I had a bit of room to try something new.
Revlon
Lip Butter in ‘Pink Truffle’ – I tried this tonight and the shade reminded me a lot of my beloved Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon – I definitely can’t go wrong with this!
Super Lustrous Lipstick in ‘Pink Cognito’ – a really pretty shade, and the packaging is just so pretty!
Lipburst Balm Stain in ‘Smitten Eprise’ – Priceline looks like it’s getting ready to receive all the Chubby Stick wannabes, this was the only version available today, so I thought, why not?
Miscellaneous
Sinful Colours in ‘Aubergine’ – I’ve been eyeing this off for ages, and even tried to buy it in Target one day – wouldn’t scan, so I didn’t bother.
Maybelline Express Polish Remover – it claims to remove polish from each finger in a second! I had to try it, especially at a reduced rate. I’m in the market for an OPI-quality remover without the OPI price tag, and was recently disappointed by a Sally Hansen remover. I was excited enough to try this out tonight – it’s ah-mazing!
Essie polish in ‘Master Plan’ – I’m a new convert to Essie, so trying to build up my wanted shades in this brand instead of OPI. I’ll be interested to see how this colour turns out.
Sally Hansen nail files – errr, not sure why I left this to last, this was a purely functional purchase.
For any Aussie readers who didn’t know and are interested, Priceline’s sale will continue today (Wednesday 12th March, 2014). Happy shopping!
polish_haul

Greetings Autumn…

As you have previously read, I am a great lover of Autumn. The cool change in weather, the fashion, the colours… my list goes on. This past weekend brought in Autumn in its truest form – lots of rain, and a very swift cool change. I can’t think of a year where I have taken out my boots on the first day of the season, but the rain was the perfect excuse. The last day of summer also involved a lot of rain, but boots seemed a bit of a push that day – I regretted this decision by the end of the day, when I had dripping wet shoes and dirty trousers. Oh well, live and learn.

Autumn was also christened with a new nail polish, which I think could be one of my greater loves this Autumn/Winter. Priceline had a 20% off Essie nail polish sale, and despite my best attempts to buy a base coat only and walk away, I ended up with a gorgeous new shade.

ImageBahama Mama is a deep purple & plum toned polish. I’m trying to improve my polish application technique, and dark colours always make me nervous. A busy weekend also meant that I had to paint my nails after midnight on Friday night – the potential for this to be a disaster was high with this dark shade. The universe was on my side, the colour applied beautifully (I won’t lie, I did have to redo my right hand ring finger), and it looked even better in the morning. Waking up to a cloudy, rainy day, with perfect autumn nails. It’s times like these that I feel I have my life together.

I’m really coming around to Essie polishes – they are extremely chip resistant, huge range of colours and unlike OPI, they actually go on sale! The formula is great, the brush is comparable to OPI, and I think the packaging is quite cute.

Hair masque, nails, rain and a face mask – my weekend ended up being a dream start to Autumn.

Image

Seedless Watermelon

Now, it’s only entry #4, so I’m still finding my feet with this blog. I keep thinking, should I post things I love? Should I post things in a strategic order? Should I develop some sort of pattern?

I think posting things I love is ideal at this stage – nobody wants to read post after post bagging products, or products with significant cons. I want you to understand and see why I love stuff so much.

Which brings me to my favourite nail polish currently… Essie’s ‘Watermelon’ shade. Now, I love all things watermelon. The fruit. The colour. Watermelon nail polish, watermelon lipstick, toy watermelons – all things watermelon. However, I’ve neevr loved Essie, nor understood the craze. Essie hit the mainstream here in Australia via the department store Myer, but as usual, Myer ruined a decent brand. The display at my local Myer quickly dwindled, they always had the same boring colours marked down, and anything decent was an inexplicable $17. Now, I’m an OPI diehard, I’ll pay $20 for those – but another everyday polish brand, selling products for >$15? I dunno…

During my US trip of 2013, I saw that North America was having a love affair with Essie. OPI stands were in a disarray, shades were impossible to find, but the Essie stand? Impeccably organised, everything where it should be, and all the colours of the rainbow, and everything in between. A sucker for clean marketing, I bought into it. They had a bridal range, that although the colours didn’t interest me, the names did. With three close friends getting married last year, I was very interested. However, with names like “Using My Maiden Name” “Meet Me At The Altar” and “No Baggage Please”, I didn’t think these would make the cute gifts for my bride friends as I originally though they might. However, I saw a blue shade that matched my bridesmaid dress for my best friend’s wedding. At the time of my trip, we hadn’t discussed any nitty gritty details about nails or potential colours – but I couldn’t resist the opportunity, so bought it.

Ughhhhhhhhh. What a disgusting formula, what a disgusting colour, what a disgusting purchase. It was a hideous translucent blue, that required 5 coats to look half-decent, and it really wasn’t worth the $US12-ish (which compared to OPI prices in the US, was considered expensive). So, I gave up on Essie, and committed my nail life to OPI.

Fast forward a few months, and Priceline released Essie in their stores. An organised stand, a discount voucher, items included in store-wide sales, and I just couldn’t resist. And this is how Essie ‘Watermelon’ entered my life. 40% off at Priceline, bringing the original RRP of $16.95 down to $10.15, allowed me to trust again.

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I LOVE this polish. I’ve taken it with me to my local nail salon a number of times, as there is never anything as worthy in the salon’s pink range. It easily lasts a week, chip free. It does wear down at the tip of the nail after 5 or so days, but it isn’t actually a magical potion, it’s just nail polish. The colour is divine. The formula is divine. The brush is divine. Who knew I could love a nail polish so much?

Would I buy it again? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. It is my summer version of my winter-staple OPI “Malaga Wine”.
Who would I recommend it to? Anybody who is a pink lover, like myself.
Value for money? Who buys anything full price at Priceline? Wait for the sale, it’s definitely worth $10-$12.
How can you get it? I’ve only mentioned Priceline 3 times.