#NOTD Gold Tipped French Mani + Update

No, I haven’t died – I’ve just been super busy! I’ve been offered a place at university for September which is going to mean a lot of changes in my life so my head has been all over the place. Still, studying up to date special effects make-up, proper prosthetics, wig making and a few other creative and useful things for four years is a very exciting prospect. I need to have an assessment of my disability for them to work out my support needs and options to be able to complete the course.


Anyway enough of me prattling on, lets get on with the nails! Yes that’s right, nails. Since I’m no longer at college under City & Guilds rules I can paint my nails with abandon. I’ve grown them back a bit, not too much as I still need to be able to paint, draw and of course do make-up but there’s plenty to paint now especially since I’m luckily blessed with long nail beds (which are now completely back to normal for my long term readers) even if I do have a horrific C curve.

I don’t think I did a bad job of free-handing the French tips considering it’s the first time I’ve done my own in over a year. I always paint them lower than the free edge actually goes to give the illusion of more length.

Just recently I’ve been using a peel off base coat which is a fairly new discovery. I’m quite taken with it as it means I can take off the polish without using remover and you get to be allowed to pick it!

Polishes used:

  • UNT Cosmetics; ‘Ready For Take Off’ (peel off base coat)
  • Butter London; ‘Nail Foundation (regular base coat)
  • Nails Inc; nail kale in ‘Westbourne Park Road’
  • Essence; gel nail polish in ’44 On Air!’
  • Revlon; ‘Sequins’ (pretty sure this was limited edition but it just gold glitter of various sizes in a base of clear polish.)
  • Seche Vite (top coat)

I hope you are all keeping well, I do have a couple of posts planned including details of my visit to the first Manchester Make-Up and Body Art Expo and a couple of product reviews.

Kath x

Maybelline Vivid ‘Mattes’

I was awaiting trying these with great trepidation after being so disappointed by Revlon’s attempt at a matte liquid lipstick.


Well, I can say for sure they did a better job than Revlon but these are, yet again, still more of a lip cream or lacquer than what most of us who are used to wearing liquid lipsticks would expect to get for our money. They are slightly more successfully matte to my eye than the Revlon effort but they still do not dry at all meaning they move and transfer everywhere – which pretty much misses the whole point of a liquid lippie really!

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Beauty Boxes are Like Buses…

… You wait all month and three come along at once! Hot on the heels of the Look Incredible box arriving on Saturday both Birchbox and Glossybox arrived bright and early on Monday morning (yesterday).

may boxes

Rather than doing two posts and trying to choose one to do first I decided to do them both in the same post! Here goes nothing!

Birchbox: For The Dreamer

26916880945_38b28c8150_mBirchbox’s May theme is dreams and dreamers and the box lid comes with a scratch off coating. You can choose how much or how little of the box design you reveal for yourself but make sure to do the bit just under the logo to see if you’ve won their competition. As you can see I chose to leave most of my coating on the lid, mainly because I found it incredibly difficult to remove with my bendy hands!

Inside the box are 4 sample sizes, a “full size” (let’s face it they can’t give you a sample sized sponge!) and a bonus sample sachet.bb300a

Vasanti, Brighten Up! 20g sample
I’m quite intrigued by this product and will definitely be giving it a good try. This cleanser exfoliates with micro-crystals and the help of papaya enzymes rather than the more harsh AHAs or BHAs that are becoming very common but that not everyone can tolerate. I really like my Elemis papaya enzyme peel so I hope to like this too.
The product its self is creamy white, gentle smelling and very finely gritted – it’s probably one of the finest grained manual exfoliators I’ve ever felt.
Because the sample didn’t include on it the ingredients I’ll pop them here in case anyone is looking for them: Aqua (Water), Aluminum Oxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Propanediol, Panthenol, Emulsifying Wax NF, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Papain (Papaya), Parfum, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

theBalm Cosmetics, Stainiac in ‘Beauty Queen’ 1.2ml sample
stainiac300This is a lip and cheek stain, and when they say stain they’re not joking I found it quite difficult to remove the swatch from the back of my hand!
It looks quite red in the tube but when I swatched it I was surprised to find it was actually quite a bright pink. The products it’s self has a gel texture rather than being a fluid like other stains I’ve tried, this does mean you’re much less likely to spill it everywhere but also means it’s harder to get out of the tube!

Philip Kingsley, Prep Polishing Balm 20ml sample
This is a fresh smelling clear gel type product for application to towel-dry hair to smooth dry ends and prevent frizz and flyaways. You can also apply to dry hair for a sicked down look.
Hilariously the product claims to ‘feed the hair’ with panthenol (B5) and vitamin A  – what panthenol actually does in hair products is coat the hair shaft smoothly which enhances light reflection. It makes hair look shinier and glossier by reflecting light, not by nourishing. Remember, the external hair shaft is dead and cannot be ‘nourished’ or fixed!

Spectrum Collections, Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge, RRP £4.99
img_0188_1_Subscribers were invited to choose which colour of sponge they wanted ahead of time and I chose the lilac option. I do use a sponge to apply my foundation so this will certainly come in very handy. I do like the re-sealable pouch aspect of the packaging as it means you can pop it back in there in between uses to keep it safe from contamination. The sponge its self is a good texture, not too firm.

Puriskin, Resurfacing Cream 15ml sample
This comes with some big claims on the front – acne scars, age spots, blemishes, keloid scars, razor bumps, surgical scars, dermatitis, cracks…
If for just one second I thought this was going to be true this would be an EDSer’s must have beauty item! It contains vitamin E, chamomile, evening primrose oil, and borage oil as well as a pusher so it’s absorbed into the skin super quick!
There really need to be better laws regarding the claims cosmetics can make. I honestly think the little tin it’s in will be more useful.

Vita Coco, Coconut Oil 5ml samplevitacoco500-900x900
Coconut oil, it’s the super trendy ingredient-cum-beauty product everyone and their dog
have been talking about for quite some time now. People are using it for anything and everything and not just cooking. Cleansing the skin, moisturising the skin, as a hair oil, and more bizarrely, to clean their teeth! How will I use mine? I’m thinking I’ll try it on my hair as I’m very happy with my rosehip oil for my skin.

Glossybox: #SelfieAndTheCity

Glossybox have released another unusual box design this month with subscribers getting one of four possible designs; London, Paris, New York, or Berlin. I received the Berlin box. This is because they’re running a competition called #SelfieAndTheCity in which a Glossy can win a weekend city break to Berlin by taking a selfie with the enclosed card.

The box contains three full size products, a half size and a sample size as well as a surprisegb300 extra that wasn’t mentioned on the card

Hairon, Zero Crease Hair Tie, RRP £3.99
These are identical to the Invisibobble hair bands – did their patent run out or something? Even the packaging is identical, a small clear plastic box with the brand on the front. I’ve been using Invisibobble for some time as they don’t pull on the hair too tightly and cause headaches which is great when you have to have your hair tied back as I do for college. They do get loose and need re-doing by the afternoon but for the sake of not getting a headache I can cope with that! I received these in baby pink which is not a shade a I already owned so I’m pleased to add them to my collection of hair stuff.

Absolute New York, Velvet Lippie in ‘Toasted’  RRP £4.93
26330828604_eb5068a7df_mI have come across this brand before and I have a cream lipstick from them which I really like but this matte liquid was I have to say a bit of a disappointment for me.
The product was quite thin and didn’t go on evenly, to get a good swatch to show the colour I had to do two layers! I’m not too fussed though as it’s really not my shade, it gives me that ‘foundation lips’ look which is really not attractive! It didn’t feel too drying though which was a plus point, I’d be interested to see what the other shades are like.

Hawaiian Tropic, Protective Dry Oil SPF15 100ml/half size
I’m intrigued by the idea of a sun protecting oil. It feels counter-intuitive after all the years of being told not to use oils when out in the sun as we will literally cook! It is however definitely a dry oil and doesn’t leave the skin where it has been applied feeling at all oily or looking shiny but it does look moisturised.
The coconut and guava fragrance is quite unusual, I think it could be fairly strong if applied over a large area so you probably wouldn’t want to be wearing a perfume as well.

Bee Good, Plump & Firm Moisturiser 15ml
This moisturiser is quite strongly fragranced to my nose so best avoided by those sensitive to fragrances as well as those sensitive to honey or propolis – I myself have only been able to carefully patch test for the moment as I’m more likely to react to British honey products as they are more likely to contain pollens I am allergic to.
For those who aren’t product sensitive this also contains shea butter, blackcurrant seed oil and raspberry seed oil as well as hyaluronic acid to plump the skin. It’s made in the UK and has the leaping bunny symbol.

Revlon, Ultra Volume mascara in ‘Blackest Black’ RRP £9.99Review-Revlon-Ultra-Volume-Mascara-1
Glossies were able to choose which mascara they wanted or opt to be surprised, I opted to
be surprised and this is the formula I received. This promises to create volumised lashes using a conditioning and allegedly clump-free formula.
The wide wand has bristles of differing lengths to help coat the lashes and increase volume.

Surprise Extra:
Proper Popcorn, ‘Lightly Salted’ Flavour
I wasn’t expecting this at all and there was no mention of it on the card or on social media to my knowledge but I’m very pleased it was there! It was super yum. I hope this is something Glossybox are going to do more often.


Overall I felt this wasn’t the best Birchbox ever while Glossybox did very well.
I particularly liked the box design of Birchbox and would have been revealed more of it had the silver not been so hard for me to take off with my uncooperative joints, the contents however I was just not bowled over by at all. More make-up and less woo please Birchbox.
The only thing in Glossybox I could take or leave is the moisturiser, I’ll find out if I can use it based on the result of my patch test if not I’ll pass it on to someone else. It made me think though; it would be really helpful if both Birchbox and Glossybox had the ability for you to enter allergies into the beauty profile.

Did you get either Birchbox or Glossybox this month? Or even both as I did? Did you get anything different to me? Let me know in the comments what you got and what you thought of yours.


Revlon “Matte” Liquid Lippies

25882681550_88e8925396_zI was quite excited about a big name brand releasing a matte liquid lippie, you can imagine my utter disappointment when I get my hands on it only to discover that not only does the product not dry at all but while making this product they seem to have totally lost their dictionaries or forgotten what “matte”means!

I have sat with swatches on my hand for some considerable time both in the store with an assistant who was equally baffled and at home comparing to the drying time of other brands both cheaper and more expensive by comparison. I also found the product was very easy to remove in comparison to regular liquid lippies which often require quite a bit of effort to remove. The non-matte Rimmel Provocalips for example is very long lasting and hard to remove, A+ to Rimmel!

The swatches


Unfortunately ‘Seduction’ is missing from my swatches as my local Superdrug had not received this shade in their delivery to sell! This is my in store swatch as I I did not wish to splash out on a product that failed to live up to it’s name so terribly. I have bought only one shade ‘Addiction’ because I really liked the colour (the colours are gorgeous, in fact I think the only shade here I dislike is ‘Love’ because it’s a bit orangey) and also so I could properly see if it dried when left longer at home.

My Drying Test

I constructed a drying test with 3 lower priced matte liquid lipsticks and 3 high end ones for comparison. Even after 30 minutes the Revlon lipstick was still shiny and wet to the touch, smudgeable despite applying the thinnest layer I possibly could.


Larger version over on Flickr. As you can clearly see in the close up, the Revlon is shiny and wet by comparison to the Kat Von D and MUA lipsticks either side of it. All of the other lipsticks dried fairly quickly and perfectly matte.

What gives Revlon? Your matte balms are great, bang on the money but what on Earth happened with these?