Maybelline New York Nail-Art Master Class

I'm not a nails person, it's the chink in my beauty blogging armor.

Maybelline caught wind of this shameful state of affairs and frog-marched me along to a nail art master class with nail maestro Michelle Humprey. You know what? I'm pretty proud of my ham-fisted attempts, particularly my Cath Kidston inspired floral thumb!

My childhood friend Abigail, who is a nail art nut, joined me.  Go check out her brand new blog here:

If you want to recreate these nail looks at home, take a look at these handy how-to videos:

The flowers (Cath Kidston - did anyone say 'copyright?!'): 

For a step-by-step demo on the Kiss look watch:

I don't have a link for the crazy ombre leopard print nails, but they're much easier than you'd think.  Top tip is to cover over with a coat or two of mildly glittery polish.  It hides a multitude of sins.

I must say a final word about these new Maybelline Colour Show Polka Dots polishes.  The speckled effect is very cool, but a little more work safe than a really wacky holographic glitter.  Pretty with a punch. 

They will be available from June for an unbelievably affordable £2.99 a pop.  There will be four colours in total to choose from - the blue and pink you see below, plus a black/white and teal/emerald.

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Beauty Empties | April 2013

There are a few gems in this month's round-up so it's looking like I will have to bend the rules somehow of my spending ban as I really don't want to be without some of these!

Bioderma Crealine H2O - definitely repurchase 

This watery make up cleanser lives up to the hype.  Unfortunately you can't pick it up on the high street, but I believe it's stocked in Harvey Nicks, or you can get some good deals online especially if you buy in bulk.  This make up artist favourite is an all rounder that even removes stubborn eye make up.  The best thing is it leaves skin feeling clean, without the icky residue some heavier cleansers leave behind.  

Batiste Dry Shampoo (Cherry)* - no repurchase 

It is what it is, and I know loads of people loath Batiste for its residue.  I can't stand the Blush scent, but Cherry is pretty nice.  However I'd recommend the 'Fresh' one in the blue bottle instead.  Batiste works best if you spray it on before going to bed as this allows it to work its magic overnight and with a quick brush through in the morning you have clean(ish), voluminous hair.

Clean & Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash - definitely repurchase 

This is easily my tenth go-around with this face wash.  No matter what else I try, I always come back to it.  It's pretty harsh so I wouldn't recommend using it more than once a day, but it's got the finest grain to it which really exfoliates, it's great first thing in the shower.  Inexpensive and miles better than more expensive cleansers.  Recently other brands have released similar exfoliating cleansers with gorgeous fruity scents which I'm trying and will let you know if they knock this one off top spot.

i.d. bare Minerals in Fairly Light - maybe repurchase 

This was my first mineral foundation and it lasted for an age.  While it's still a favourite, I find this type of foundation emphasises the appearance of pores.  You definitely need a 'Poly-fila' type primer like Benefit Porefessional or Garnier Perfect Blur underneath for a truly flawless look.  Recently I've discovered Laura Mercier's Mineral Powder (I use Tender Rose) which is just phenomenal.  Flawless skin with the swirl of a brush.

Maybelline ColorSensational in 112 Ambre Rose - couldn't repurchase even if I wanted to!

Of course the minute I fall in love with a cosmetic, it gets discontinued! However, looking on the US website, it looks very similar to 120 Pink Satin.  Alas, I shall miss this gorgeous bright pink with gold flecks.

Aromatherapy Associates Renew Rose Hydrating Body Gel* - no repurchase 

I reviewed this gel here so won't go into too much detail now.  While it's a nice product to keep in the fridge to use on very hot days, I can live without it.

L'Oreal Elvive Renutrition Nourishing Milk - definitely repurchase 

I can't say enough about this Nourishing Milk which is really more of a creamy serum.  It's the perfect consistency for my hair, adding just enough moisture to wet hair to help the drying process.  If yours is too fine for hair oils I urge to to try this, even for the scent alone.

Kiehl's Creme de Corps - no repurchase 

This product is so hyped and I'm not sure why really.  I find it very greasy and the scent is nothing to write home about.  If you have dry, problem skin you're better off with a body oil like Garnier Body Ultimate Beauty Oil or if you prefer a cream the Garner 7 Day Moisture range is gorgeous.  This isn't an advert for Garnier, they just have some seriously good body products!

Have you tried any of these products? Do you agree with my takes on them? 


Review | L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Blush Universal Rosy Blush

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Blush Universal Rosy Blush*

This works in the same way as Smashbox's O Glow Intuitive Cheek Colour but is nearly a third of the price. It's a clear blush which turns pink on contact with skin to give a natural glow. While it's totally faddy, I love it.  It wouldn't matter to me if it came out of the tube already pink, in fact it would help me avoid applying too much!

This works best on pale to light medium skintones as it is very Barbie bubblegum pink.  The gel texture is even easier to blend than a cream formulation.  I keep it in my make up handbag kit and it doubles up as a lip tint if I need a bit of perking up.  

The only issue I have with this blush is why they've called it a 'BB' blush.  What on earth?! 'BB' stands for Blemish Balm and there's nothing about it which suggests it contains any ingredients which could perform a skincare role.  It's just a good example of marketing gone wrong.  How they got this past the advertising watchdogs beats me.

I've been using this daily for almost two months and it's still going strong, so it's a definite future repurchase. 


Review | L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash in Lolita, Princess and Milady

L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash in Milady*
£7.99, available in 8 shades

One of the most exiting new products launched at the L'Oreal Spring/Summer 2013 Product Showcase I attended in February were these Glam Shine Stain Splashes.  They've been compared to YSL Glossy Stains in that they are the perfect mix of colourful pigment, glossiness and stain-like durability.

I've worn Lolita almost everyday, it's one of those pinky nudes which looks different on everyone depending on your underlying skintone.  One coat gives me a hint of glossy blush, but it can be layered into a 'my lips but better' stain with two or three.

If you're not sure about splashing out on YSL's offering give these L'Oreal dupes a go first because the texture might not be for everyone.  They start off feeling very wet, then go sticky as they dry, afterwhich they won't budge for at least 4 hours.  They do however struggle with food and drink.

I'll definitely be picking up a few more shades as these have become my Spring lip staples. 

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