Lifestyle, fashion and beauty

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Frontcover Dark Arts

Earlier this week I published a review of the Frontcover True Colours kit. You can find it here. Today's review is a nail art kit from the same collection. Frontcover Dark Arts contains enough tools and polishes for you to get creative with your nails from geometric prints, rhinestones, and holographic diamonds.

The emphasis with this kit is dark, luxe and sophisticated, with touches of jewels to imitate jewellery. The kit includes nail polishes, a clear top coat, nail stickers, glitter and glue.  I have had a play around with some of the polishes, which you can see on my Instagram account (Safiraali) and was impressed with the quality of the polishes, especially Saffron Stigma, which is a red, with a gold tint.

Word or warning, do use a base under the polishes, as they do tend to stain the nail if not used.

I'm loving the nail stickers too, and am looking forward to the Laser Cut Leather nail sticker, which I'm planning to wear for Christmas.

The kit includes:
* 5 nail polishes
* 3 pots of nail jewels
* 1 pot of nail glitter
* 3 nail art stickers
* 1 nail file
* 1 nail art brush
* 1 mini nail scissors
* 1 orange stick
* 10 dotting sticks
* 1 nail art glue
* 1 mini tweezers

Have you tried any of the Frontcover kits? What do you think of this one, and would you try it out?

It is available for a limited time from the Frontcover website and is currently reduced from £25 to £20. It is also available from QVC.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm

I have seen this doing the blog rounds and was pleased when I got the chance to try it out for myself as I had heard such good things about it. About this time of year I suffer from terriby dry and chapped lips. I have plenty of balms that help moisturise or create a barrier for a while, but they don't last as long as this one.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm is, as the name suggests, best known as a nipple balm by breast feeding mothers. It is used as a protective barrier to help when they inevitably get sore. But the balm was so good, and the news spread, that it was tried on other parts of the body too.

The texture is thick, not liquidy, more like a wax texture. People have compared it to Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, and I guess that is the closest comparison, as I can't think of anything closer. It has a similar waxy texture, but it is not as greasy as the eight hour cream. But it is thicker. doesn't get messy like the EA cream and doesn't spread. It stays put.

Many people don't like the menthol smell of EA cream, but personally I don't mind it, but the plus with this, if you don't like smells, is that it is fragrance free.
And unlike many other balms this really does feel like it treated my lips, long after it had come off too. A plus point.

It is a little on the pricey side for me and costs £11.50 you get 15ml. I got this one as a PR sample, and I would spend my own money on it, but having seen how good it works I wouldn't be using it all over my body, but limit it to areas that I really need it, especially my lips.

What do you think of it? Would you buy it? What are your failsafe tips for keeping your lips moisturised during the harsh winter months?

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm is available from Space NK from here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Frontcover True Colours

Christmas is exactly a week away, eek! Have you done all your shopping yet? If not, then this Frontcover True Colours palette may be perfect to give as a present, or to treat yourself.

My first experience of Frontcover was this time last year when my cousin took a palette to Canada with us. We were there for my cousin's wedding, and had a week of parties leading up to the wedding and reception. With one palette alone she was able to create enough looks for all of us - cousins and aunties. Our own personal make-up artist!

So I was keen to try out a palette of my own, and when I got this True Colours palette I was super excited! The pack creates a range of colours, with a palette-sized instruction booklet, and tips inside and on the back of the box with pictures.

The pack itself includes:
* 11 eyeshadows
* 5 lip glosses
* 2 nail polishes
* 1 double-ended mascara
* 2 eye brushes
* 1 retractable lip brush

I have had a little play with the set, and absolutely love the eyeshadows at the top of the box, in particular Dark Illusion for a smokey eye look. It is so creamy it glides on like a dream. And I love the purple glitter nail polish to use as a sparkly top coat over other colours.

The kit is priced at £25 and is available from Frontcover and QVC.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 18 - Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street

I love being a tourist in London and re-exploring the city. On this occasion I went to Piccadilly Circus, which I love during the day because of how larger than life it is, but I love it more at night time, with all the amazing lights. I then went to Regent Street for a spot of shopping. I often forget about Regent Street in favour of Oxford Circus, but I love how it isn't as manic as the main shopping street. and love window shopping in the designer shop windows. It doesn't hurt to pop into Godiva to sample some chocolate either!
This post is part of my 30 days of 30 project where I aimed to document the 30 days of when I turned 30.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 17 - A day in Chelmsford

On Day 17 of my 30 days of 30 project I went to Essex. I am lucky that as part of my job I get out and about. On this occasion I was working in Chelmsford. At the Crown Court to be exact, but in a break I was able to wander around Chelmsford Cathedral nearby. It is a magnificent building, and I loved all the flowers in the gardens. It's away from the hustle and bustle of the high street, so a perfect place to spend a lunch hour.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 16 - Strada restaurant

On Day 16 of my 30 at 30 project Asif and I went to Strada overlooking St Paul's. I have been here once before, and always love the food.

The food was amazing, and we shared a pesto and tomato bread, and bruschetta with goats' cheese, rocket, caramelised onions and peppers. This was followed by my main of linguine with tiger prawns, mussels, and clams, and Asif's risotto with beans, we also had a side salad with goats' cheese, caramelised onions, courgettes and peppers, which I would have been happy with as a main.

It got two thumbs up from me. Have you been to Strada? Can you recommend any good restaurants in London for me to try next?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 15 - Carnaby Street

Having lived in London two-and-a-half years now I was surprised I had never been to Carnaby Street before. Having heard so much about it I was determined to find out exactly what was there. I was out for the day with the lovely Aysh, and we made it our mission to seek it out before we went to another event. I was on the lookout for the Pixi store, and after we found it we were in make-up heaven trying to goodies out.

We also had a wander around and found an Irregular Choice shoe shop - dangerous! We ended up liking lots of shoes on there, and I put a couple on my mental wishlist to pick up later.

We spotted the amazing Carnaby Street sign above, which sums up how patriotic London and the UK have been this year. See yesterday's post for my fab Union Jack Wellies.

There are lots of great independent shops in Carnaby Street, it's hard to imagine it is hidden away, yet right next to Regent Street.

What are your favourite shops in Carnaby Street?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 14 - Rain rain go away

Day 14 of my 30 at 30 project was very wet indeed. I paid a visit to Dorothy Perkins to buy myself some wellies. It had been a particularly patriotic summer, what with the Jubilee celebrations, and then the Olympics and Paralympics. Union Jacks were everywhere, and it was great to get a touch of that on clothing too.

I spotted these boots for about £20 something, but managed to get them on sale for about £18. I love them! And they always put a smile on my face despite the rainy and wet weather.

What do you think of them? Do you have a favourite pair of wellies?

Similar ones can be found here and here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Photo from Chelsey
Photo from Julie
Kiran, Grace, Maria, April and Hilary
Sarah and Mona
Me and Julie
On Saturday a bunch of us bloggers got together in Kensington for #xmasbloggerslunch at the Crown and Sceptre. Julie and I had been planning the event since October, but it was only in the last couple of weeks that everything seemed to fit into place. It was a little stressful working out logistics, but I can safely say it all worked out in the end!

We had our own area near a cosy, warm fire, with good food, good company and mulled wine.
Aysh and me
Kiran and me
Aysh and Tolu
It was a good bunch, some I had met before, and some who I have been chatting to on Twitter, or reading their blogs and finally met on the day. We talked all things blog-related, Christmas, and beauty and fashion before tucking into our amazing food! I ordered fish and chips and it was yum! We were also treated to some amazing blueberry cake made by Kiran and sweets made by Lily.

After eating, everyone chatted some more, and listened to a talk by Hilary Rushford, from New York, who had flown into London the day before. Hilary is a stylist from Brooklyn, runs a blog at Dean Street Fashion, and now has a weekly column on IFB. It was fascinating listening to how she started her business, and how different blogging, and the blogging market is in the US to the UK.
Sweets made by Lily

The lovely goody bags!
A lot of work went into the event behind the scenes and I have to thank all the amazing sponsors who helped out and made the day extra special. It meant we could give some amazing prizes to the bloggers from Label.M; Dove Spa; and Billion Dollar Brows, and goodie bags stuffed full of products! We also had the ladies from Slendertone, which make toning products for the body, at the event. We were lucky enough to each have a one-to-one session with the ladies through the course of the day to learn about the newer Slendertone Face product, and were able to take away one each to trial. I am super excited to try this out!

It was a great day and it all came together. It was nice to just clean up and sit back at the end and enjoy some of Kiran’s amazing blueberry cake!
Here is a list of all the amazing ladies who made the day special!

Julie - Sweets Are My Weakness
Aysh- Truly Madly Deeply
Joanna - Mademoiselle Lala
Grace - All That Slap
Sophie - Sophee
Kiran - My Cherry Lane
Hayley - Fashion and Me
Sarah - Sarah Betty
Maria - Miss Drifted Snow White
Mona - Chipped Nails and Chapped Lips
Banke - Glitters Wall Of Fame
April - A Pretty Wardrobe
Lily - Let's Get Lippy
Chelsey - Fashionista on a Budget
Tolu - Fashionate Me
Hilary - Dean Street Society

Friday, December 7, 2012

Diamante nails

Tonight was my office party and I decided to jazz up my nails to try something blingy and festive. I bought some nail art pens from Primark the other day and was itching to give them a go. The pack contained a gold and silver nail art pen by Nail Art Get Creative. The bottom of the pens contain silver and gold diamantes.

I decided to use a base coat from LA Colors, followed by a coat of I'm Not Really A Waitress from OPI. As the nail varnish was still wet I used tweezers to place the silver diamantes to cover my ring finger and thumb nail.
The silver was more grey than they looked in the tube and looked darker than I thought they would, but they gave some good texture. Next time I may try a layer of silver underneath before putting the diamantes on.

What do you think of this nail art design?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nails - going dotty

A few weeks ago I bought myself a Models Own nail art pen in white that I had been lusting after for ages. I have the black already, but really fancied a white especially in the run-up to Christmas to do some more festive designs.

Here I tested it out over a couple of coats of Rimmel's Rose Libertine, which I found in one of my drawers the other day and am looking for any excuse to wear since. I love the colour, as it is wearable for work and not too in-your-face.

What do you think of it?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 13 - Saving money and splashing out

Every year I save up all my beauty card/ loyalty card points and treat myself on my birthday. At The Body Shop the loyalty card allows you to have £5 off anything during your birthday month. On Day 13 of my 30 Days of 30 project I decided to get a Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter hair mask as my hair has been really dehydrated and I would rather splash out on a hair product than get another shower gel, despite how gorgeous they smell. I have been using this mask for a while now and love how my hair feels afterwards. Defintiely a good purchase. I believe it is usually £8 something, but with my discount I only had to pay 60p for some reason. I didn't argue, I guess it must have been on sale at the time. Double bargain!

My next stop was at Boots where I treated myself to some new Real Techniques brushes. I had some other ones already, but really wanted to try out the Core Collection after reading rave reviews about them, and am I glad I did! These have been my favourite brushes ever since, and I don't know what I ever did without them!
Though I don't necessarily use them for the purpose they say. The pointed foundation brush below is beautifully soft, but too small to use as a foundation brush for myself. I prefer to use it as a concealer brush, before using the buffer brush to make sure the concealer is completely blended in.
I love the buffing brush, and it has transformed the way I do my make-up. I apply foundation and roughly blend it into my skin with my fingers before buffing it in with this brush. I love the flawless finish it gives to my make-up now.
I tend to use the contour brush to contour and shade my cheekbones. I know many people prefer to use this as a blusher brush, but for me it is too small and I prefer the Real Techniques blusher brush for this.
And finally, the detailer brush. The recommendation on the box is to use this to conceal, but as I already have a brush for that I prefer to use this as a lip brush. It does the job well.
Do you have any of these brushes? What do you think of them? And have you tried the hair mask from The Body Shop?
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