My May Favourites 2016

May has mainly been a month of winding down and self-care after the end of my course. While I’ve been resting I’ve not been doing nothing, I’ve been creating this new home for my blog, coming back to coding after many years away is quite the shock I’ll tell you!

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Anyway I’ll stop waffling now and tell you what beauty items I’ve been loving the most this month:

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My Lush Adventure

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Anyone who read my post about Manchester Made Up will remember that I mentioned having popped in Lush while I was in the Arndale.
I popped in to try out their ‘Lemony Flutter’ cuticle butter which I have heard many good things about from the ladies on nail art groups. As as regular readers will know I’ve been suffering from nail separation recently (don’t worry, I’ve had it double checked at the GP and there’s definitely no infection of any kind going on,) that’s probably a result of damage from bashing my hands while using my wheelchair or falling over  – I have PoTS as well as EDS so fainting is something that happens fairly regularly. The GP however, couldn’t suggest anything that might help fix my nail problem and a pharmacist couldn’t help either so I’m a bit befuddled really! My tutor says it may never re-adhere to the nail bed as it was before, but I am sure as hell going to try everything before I give up!
26241473425_e230e05d36_zAnyway, back on topic, Lemony Flutter contains a lemon infusion, lemon oil, coconut oil, lavender oil and tagetes oil among it’s ingredients. Many of these have anti-microbial actions as well as being known for stimulating a healing response so it seems like a good place to start! I normally use Burt’s Bees cuticle butter which has more of a solid balm consistency, this one from Lush has more buttery consistency and is much easier to use than the Burt’s Bees product so just for that I might consider switching already! It smells, naturally, strongly but pleasantly lemony. I think the addition of the other oils really enhance the smell for me as someone who isn’t a lover of things that are lemon scented or flavoured.

25638790303_b5367be0c2_z After chatting with the lovely Becky about the butter and getting a sample of this she also gave me a sample of another hand cream called ‘Handy Gurugu’ which she thought might be useful to me to try as she finds it helpful for her EDS skin. Many of us with EDS have usual skin; some will have naturally very soft skin, some will have very stretchy skin, some will have skin that splits or tears very easily. Pretty much all EDSers have skin that takes far longer than average to heal. Becky had made a similar observation to the one I have made over the years – moisture helps with the healing! As such, a good moisturising cream is really important, even if your skin already feels soft as a baby’s.
I have to say ‘Handy Gurugu’ smells absolutely divine so I’m really hoping it works as well for me. I don’t think this sample will last long because I keep using it so I can smell it!

25986044450_8ccb4c34ec_mThe last thing that I got while I was in there was a bath bomb, the ‘Big Blue’. This was recommended to me by the Lush staff as being super relaxing and great for aching or painful muscles or joints.
Big Blue’s key ingredients are a type of kelp called arame seaweed and sea salt. Along with making your bath water blue and smelling amazing it creates an atmosphere of seaside relaxation.
The bomb is absolutely packed with bits of the seaweed so if you don’t like things floating in your bath or don’t like cleaning the plug hole I’d probably give this one a miss or maybe try putting it in some kind of net bag before adding it to the water.
After my bath my skin felt beautifully soft and clean and I had enjoyed a lovely relaxing… mumble… hour… or so. I do think that my general pain level was lower after my bath compared to my regular bubble bath so I’m definitely willing to try this again, you know, for science.

What Lush products do you like? If you’re a spoonie have you found any of their products helpful or relaxing?

*Samples were provided to me for free in store, this does not influence my opinion on these products and I have no connection with the Lush brand.

Nails Update

Anyone who follows my nail posts has probably noticed I haven’t posted a mani in a little while and I thought I should do a little update on why!

25863121566_e346105e90_mI have been dealing with something called onycholysis or nail separation on two of my nails which has meant that these two nails have been kept trimmed as short as I possibly can get them and I have trimmed my other nails neatly too.
Onycholysis has many causes including different types of infection (bacterial, fungal or yeast) or damage to the nail bed. I suspect that mine is caused by damage to the nail bed through the use of my manual wheelchair as I have not experienced any colour change of the nail or the production of any debris or exudate under the free edge.

While I am looking for signs of re-adhesion to the nail bed and keeping the damaged nails short and dry I have decided not to varnish them so I can see exactly what is going on and generally keep an eye on the situation. All I have been using is a bit of OPI Nail Envy. I might have to borrow someone else’s nails over the Easter holiday to indulge my nail art!

In other nail related news this week, having completed my final practical assessment I have passed my manicure unit at college with a distinction and that is all signed off!

#NOTD Glitter Gel Mani

Glitter Gel Nails

My first home gel mani since since getting my certification in the technique! I still need to keep practicing with the top coat as I find it very thin and runny (weirdly) so it’s all too easy to flood the nail wall. I added some fine craft glitter into this mani to sparkle it up a bit more:

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I used the Red Carpet Manicure system and a small LED lamp, I’m upgrading to a larger better lamp for my birthday in a few days time. It will be nice to get the better lamp and not have to do the thumb separately or end up with uncured parts on the edges of my very curved pinkie nail.

#NOTD Butterflies & Flowers

I eventually came to a decision, I decided to try out some of the foil from Born Pretty Store as I haven’t actually used transfer foil before. I’m quite pleased with the result too. I added some little gems to certain points in the design to jazz it up a bit, each nail is completely different to the next but at the same time matches perfectly.

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I had no trouble using either the glue or the foil from Born Pretty, judging when the glue was ready to go was quite tough because I chose a white background but I got there. As with most lash glues it starts off white and you have to wait for it to go clear and tacky before application. For my top coat I used Lottie London ‘So Gel’ to provide a slightly thicker layer around my gems and help prevent knocking them off as well as to give a good shine. It’s supposed to look like gel polish but to my eye it doesn’t it just looks like normal top coat, it does wear very well though.

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This is my dominant hand which rarely comes out as well as the other but it’s looking pretty good with this method. If you want an intricate design like this but aren’t great at free hand painting or stamping I would definitely recommend giving transfer foil a bash.

I think I’ll try and do a slightly more seasonal mani next time though, this is very summery but the weather outside is absolutely frightful! It’s blowing a gale strong enough to bend the trees double.