Smellin’ Swell

Recently I have reignited my love of perfumes. There is nothing better than getting up in the morning ready for the day, and choosing from a lineup of gorgeous bottles for a scent that matches your mood, your look, or where you’re going. I always like to have more than one perfume on my shelf, but my signature scent is Calvin Klein Euphoria. I’ve worn it for about three years, and people who know me just, well, know, that that’s my perfume! Its great to find one that suits you, for every day wear, and then have some secondary bottles for special occasions. My secondaries are Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and Marc Jacobs Daisy at the moment, but recently some more have caught my eye, and I thought I’d share them with you. 

CALVIN KLEIN DOWNTOWN

This is the new one from my main man CK, and I absolutely love it! Its really deep and intense, with base notes of cedar and velvety musk and with a citrus top note, making it slightly sweeter than some other CK fragrances. I like!

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ZARA WOMAN

Sadly I can’t link to these because they’re not available to buy online, but please do check out the ZARA perfumes next time you’re in there. They’re only £12.99, and they actually smell really pretty. They’re sweet, feminine and flirty, and great secondaries to have on your shelf, or to carry around with you for a daytime spritz! The pink one is great!

MARC JACOBS HONEY

Another new one, this is the latest from Marc. The bottle is in the standard ‘cute as a button’ MJ style, and the scent has notes of honeysuckle, peach, apricot and vanilla. Its a gorgeous girly fragrance, and very summery – its a shame it came out so late! It’s definitely a contender to challenge its predecessor, DOT, as the MJ fave. Its only available in 50ml and 100ml at the moment though, but maybe hold out for Christmas and snap up the gift set!

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RALPH LAUREN ROMANCE

This aptly named flirty and romantic fragrance has a sophisticated floral tone with a deep, sensual musk. Its a lot sweeter than some other Ralph fragrances so I was pleasantly surprised.

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Got something to say about these or other perfumes? Let me know!

Have a fab week all 

Coco xx

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Reviewed: Nivea Express Hydration Primer

I’ve tried a few primers since the phenomenon broke out, and haven’t yet settled on one that I like. Some I have found look great under makeup and have great staying power, but really don’t feel good on my skin and just make me feel like i’m clogging it up (yes you GOSH primer), so when I saw that Nivea had brought one out, I thought why not give it a go. Now, I’m not usually one for high street skin care, but I do find that Nivea are quite plain and simple with their products, and they do do exactly what it says on the tin. (FYI, the new in shower body moisturiser is fabulous – a real time saver!) I picked up the primer for £3.30 in Tesco (its usually £4.00, but there was some sort of discount). I have used it twice and am so far impressed. It feels really refreshing when applied to cleansed skin, and makes a nice base to apply makeup. Two people said my skin was looking really healthy while I was wearing it too, which is a bonus!

I do think, also, that people sometimes expect primers to work miracles. You can’t simply apply a primer and then expect your £5 foundation to stay on all day and night. You do need to keep up the good work and treat your skin to a decent foundation. I applied the primer, followed by Chanel Perfection Lumiere liquid foundation, and dusted NARS bronzer in Irrisestiblement across my cheek bones with my Real Techniques brush. Working as a waitress I really do put my products to the test, particularly with regards to staying power, and the primer held my makeup on really well all day and evening, so I am really impressed. It felt lightweight and I didn’t feel like I was degreasing my oven when I cleansed before bed. I wouldn’t say its the absolute best on the market, but for £4, its a great little pot to have on hand.

Have you tried it? What did you think? Let me know!

Coco xx

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£3 Perfume!

Today was my day off after working 6 days in a row, including two double shifts, so I was super duper excited to do some shopping! Thursday nights are also our payday, so I usually spend Wednesday jumping the gun on what I expect my wages to be, and splurging cash I don’t even have yet 😉 Thank you Master Card!

Anyway, I am going to do a full post on my purchases from today, but this one item needs its own post because I am still totally baffled by it. We were walking through the high street and spotted a market stall selling nail polish for £1, so we decided to have a rummage. You know. Anything for a barg. On the stall I also spotted some pseudo designer perfumes, with some very familiar packaging, so I sort of snorted in a condescending manor at the stall owner and went over for a sniff, expecting fragrances that mimic my cat’s urine. Well. I picked up the white and gold box with MISS TUTU printed on it, smirked and thought, oh right, so this is supposed to be Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel is it, which I have in my collection and paid about €50 for. I sprayed it and could not believe it. It smells so similar! It is slightly sweeter, but for £3, I really was blown away. Now I’m not suggesting you boycot Chanel and go for this. No. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But I snapped one up for things like throwing in your handbag, taking on a night out or in an overnight bag, to a festival, on holiday….basically anywhere that you might risk losing your bottle of the good stuff. They had other fraudy fragrances there too, but I wasn’t familiar with any of the originals so I wasn’t sure how strong their resemblance were, but this one was actually really good. At £3 for 50ml, anything that doesn’t smell like wee is a bonus really! I looked up the ingredients of both, and the vanilla base notes are mirrored in the Miss Tutu copy, as are the extracts of jasmine and rose, making it a fab bargain copy cat!

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C x

August Glossy Box

So, following on from my recent post on Glossy Box, its time to unpack another box. The theme this month was high flyers, and each product was from a different country. Here’s what I received this month….

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EMITE EYELASH CURLER – Sweden

This retails at £20, so I was thrilled to see it had been packed into the baby pink and black box this month. Unfortunately I wear permanent lash extensions, so I wont actually use it (until I have weened myself off the addiction to having my lashes done every month), but I might pass it on to a friend to get a full review. Top lash curling tip – gently heat the curler using your hair dryer before you use it. The heat fixes the curl in place all day!

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URBAN VEDA DAILY RADIANCE FACE WASH – India

Urban Veda is a brand new skincare range, and focuses on living a natural and balanced holistic lifestyle. The range is designed to naturally combat pollution, protecting skin from environmental damages (excellent for city dwellers like myself). . I haven’t yet tried it as I am often sceptical about interferring with my strict Elemis regime, but I am going to give it a go tonight. Its a bargain to buy the full size products too – the washes are from £7.99, toners from £8.99 and and day and night creams from £12.99. If you’re looking for a new skin care thats a bit more premium than what you’ll find in Boots, but you don’t want to break the bank, give this a go. Start off with a three step, cleanse, tone and moisturise, and then try the polishes, scrubs and lotions. That’s always my approach to trying new skincare. The four categories are Purifying – this detoxes and reduces excess sebum; Radiance – this hydrates and boosts dull and tired skin; Relieving – this restores and rejuvenates skin using clarifying flower waters; and Soothing – this is an uplifting and fortifying range to balance skin.

Psssst – Entering code GlossyB gets you 20% off until 1st December 2013!

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TRESEMME KERATIN SMOOTH CONCENTRATED TREATMENT SHOT – America

I absolutely LOVE the hair revolution that is Keratin. It makes my hair feel so smooth and shiny, and this concentrated shot is brilliant for a quick fix. You can pick these up for £1.49 in most high street cosmetics stores or supermarkets – great to pack for holiday or before a night out.

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JELLY PONG PONG EYE LINER – United Kingdom

I am a bit bemused by this product. As much as I love a chunky eye liner, especially when it retails at £10.50, but it claims it is a shadow as well as a liner. So there I am, looking for some sort of double-ended function to what looks like a reincarnation of the Benefit Bad Gal crayon, but no. There isnt one. I just thinks it can be, and I quote, “a perfectly blended shadow”. Well, how, I do not know. But as its a brilliant eyeliner I will let it off, but please don’t go thinking this is a 2-in-1, because I really don’t think it is. Granted, I did get the black one – perhaps other colours are better, but I would not use this for an eyeshadow unless it was halloween! The other products by this brand look really cool, too, so check them out here.

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OCEANE MAKEUP REMOVER PEN – Brazil

I feel a bit smug to have one of these pens to be honest. They aren’t even available in the UK yet! It does exactly what it says on the tin. It removes makeup in a handy, compact pen. Think back to your school days when those ink erasers came out, and you would spend your days erasing half of your friend’s work, or just drawing phallic objects across their excersize book, so it would form a perfect, and obviously hilarious, shape of something when the teacher comes to mark the work. Yeah, its just like that, but, for your face. Its perfect for those mascara faux pas when you sneeze or blink and print onto your crease, or you get caught in the rain and/or an emotional moment leaving your eyeliner streaming down your cheeks. Another fab handbag essential from GlossyBox. Highly recommended…when it hits the UK, that is!

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Im now off in hunt of afternoon cake before work. Naughty.

Have a good evening, all.

C

Birch Box vs Glossy Box

Okay, so some of you will have read my previous rave review of the monthly beauty delivery box, Birch Box. If you didn’t, select it from recent posts on the left hand panel, or its archived under beauty and reviews 😉

Anyway, yes, I raved about it. But I have since found myself in a conundrum. Which is better? Birch Box, or Glossy Box. For those of you who are new to the monthly delivery phenomenon, both boxes are £10 per month and send you four or five beauty minis every month straight to your door. After one month of Birch Box, I switched to Glossy Box to give both a try, and let you guys all know which I think is best.

So, lets first unpack this month’s Glossy Box. Now I must just say quickly, while trying to rummage around to find the items from the recent box, I have to tell you that all five of them have already taken pride of place in my handbag, on my dresser, or in the bathroom, which is certainly a sign of how good they are, without wishing to accidentally release a spoiler alert.

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PRODUCT 1. Alterna Haircare Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist £25ml

This product is really nice on your hair. It creates waves while still making your hair feel soft and smooth, unlike some of the salt sprays around at the moment. I will however admit that my review of these types of products can be a little biased, as my hair is naturally wavy, so please don’t take my word that this will transform poker straight into beach babe. The product size is really good though. A 25ml bottle is a really generous sample, especially when the full size is 125ml at £23.00.

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PRODUCT 2. Inecto Pure Coconut Dry Shampoo

Step aside Batiste. Its here. You have met your match! While everyones fave dry shampoo brand has been busy monopolising the festival/camping/travel haircare market for quite some time, Inecto have been waiting in the wings with this saviour. The generous full sized bottle included in the box is the perfect size to travel with too, and it smells gorgeous. It doesn’t give you that horrible sticky feeling the day after that some dry shampoos do, and it doesn’t give you that greyish tinge at the roots either. I cannot rave enough about this one. Will definitely be purchasing in the future, and its only £2.49!

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PRODUCT 3. Ciate Nail Paint in Speed Dial

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the signature little black bow peeping through the layers of tissue paper. I hadn’t tried Ciate before (mainly because at £13.00 a bottle its quite pricey), so I couldn’t wait. The colour is actually great, despite my initial surprise at the orange shade, and it looks super cute on my dresser. Great bonus when one product alone is worth more than the entire box!

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PRODUCT 4. Anotomicals Spray Mist for Me Facial Spritz

Now, this one I was dubious about. Its a facial spritz that cools down your face in the heat, and reduces redness and puffiness around your tired eyes. I first thought, “oh well fantastic. As if my moist sweaty face wasn’t enough of an escape route for my makeup, this will just send it on its way, leaving me washed out and smudged”. Well, no! It didnt seem to interfere with my makeup (providing you spray it far enough from your face), and is an instant cool down. Its great for when you’re rushing about and getting all hot and bothered! Also full sized included, and costs £6.00.

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PRODUCT 5. Cooola Mineral Face SPF

This bad boy cropped up in Birch Box too, so looks like their promo team have been working hard. Again, my least fave of the selection purely because its a bit boring, but still fab to have in your bag to prevent a red burnt nose that Rudolph would be proud of.

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So…THE VERDICT.

I think the sizes and brands are better in Glossybox, but Birch Box does have some more unique items that I might not have found before.

Overall, for me, Glossy Box wins, and I’ll be sticking with that! Anybody else torn? Let me know your thoughts!

Have a good week.

All my love.

Coco xx

June’s Birch Box!

So for those who didn’t see my recent post, I recently subscribed to Birch Box, and have just torn open my first delivery. Well well well. Impressed does not even begin to cover it. I am over the moon with what they’ve sent! As promised, here are my thoughts….

Firstly, the packaging is just to die for. A cute little box, with a Birch Box branded drawstring bag inside. I am so excited to be getting this every month! Perfect for my inner beauty product obsession!

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PRODUCT ONE

The first thing I clapped eyes on in this month’s box was the Laura Gellar Inkwell Waterproof Gel Liner, with a little brush built into the lid. I’ve needed a new gel liner for a while but I don’t wear it all the time, so haven’t got round to selecting one. This is the perfect size to carry around, and I wore it today and found it really durable and long lasting.

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PRODUCT TWO

This was the Noble Isle Shower Gel, and this cute little bottle smells absolutely gorgeous. Just one sniff and you feel as though you’re transported off to the most luxurious spa in the world. Its really lovely on the skin, too. I would definitely purchase the full bottle, but its quite pricey, so only as a treat!

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PRODUCT THREE

The nail colour I am wearing in that photo is also from this month’s box. Its the Color Club polish in Reign in Spain, which is the fluorescent coral colour shown in the picture below. This colour was developed exclusively for Birch Box, and while I first thought it was a bit too bright, I actually have fallen in love with it! It looks great against black and white outfits, and is really striking. I have had lots of compliments already. You can purchase this colour exclusively on the Birch Box site here.

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PRODUCT FOUR

The next product I grabbed from the box was this tiny little bottle of COOLA Cucumber SPF Face Protect. I haven’t yet had a chance to try it as the sun has not graced us yet, but this weekend is set to be a scorcher on the South coast, so it will definitely get tested! It smells like holiday in a bottle, though! It’l be great to carry around in my handbag for when I feel my nose catching the sun a bit too much!

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PRODUCT FIVE

Yes thats right. This month I got five goodies in my box. Its usually four or five, and this time around I was lucky with the latter. Its the Beauty Protector Detangling Leave In Conditioner. I am yet to test this one yet as I haven’t washed my hair since it arrived, but as soon as I do I will post a review.

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You can go onto your Birch Box account and review all the products you receive in your box, and you earn points to spend on the site for doing so, so its great to let others know what you think of your things.

Salivating at the thought? Subscribe here NOW!

Have a great weekend. Tomorrow I am getting my final results of my degree, and its safe to say I am completely bricking it. Wish me luck!

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Butters Vibe

For those of you who watch Made in Chelsea, you’ll recognise that the title of this post is one of Stevie’s infamous phrases. If not, well, you should watch it!

Anyway, today I am lusting after Butter London nail polishes. If you haven’t seen them, look out for them. They come in the most delicious of colours, and I can actually pick out loads of colours that I don’t think I already have (which is hard for me in most brands now, with my 90 something strong collection). Generally, nail polish shopping these days results in me scouring the shelves, maybe finding a couple of colours I like, before concluding that really, I probably already have it, if not one very very similar. I really need to do a proper clear out of them really. Maybe then I can justify making room for a Butter London shade! 

They retail at £12, so they are pretty pricey. I have heard mixed reviews, and particularly the lack of uniformity in the consistency of the colours (but in my opinion this is a given in almost every brand. One colour will glide on perfectly, while another will gloop about like caramel), but I am still desperate to try them!

Here are the colours that are making me drool:

Sprog, Fiver, Tea and Toast, Cake Hole.

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Pale blue is my colour of the moment, thats why I LOVE the Sprog shade, and the Tea and Toast seems really unique and I don’t think I’ve seen a colour like this recently.

Any thoughts or reviews on Butter London very welcome! Let me know what you think!

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High Street Haul

Hello Monday. Its you again! Now, Monday doesn’t represent the same meaning for me as for most of the working world, but I still feel the need to address it. Monday for me is actually more of a relief, as it means the busy weekend period is over. Yep, you guessed it, I work in a pub. Monday brings with it an air of relaxation, quieter evenings, and less hungry diners to serve. But still, it is still the first day of a new week, and how better to commence it (especially when its the first of the month as well), than with some new purchases. Now, in an ideal world I would have gone out today and raided the shelves of Zara and the premium cosmetics counters in House of Fraser, but sadly my finances disagreed with that plan. So I set myself a challenge to pick up some new buys on a budget.

Here’s what I snapped up!

I finally managed to grab the Sleek blush in Rose Gold today, which I have been checking Superdrug for for months! It was ALWAYS sold out, but today I snapped up the last one!!!! Pretty smug I must say. I heard about Sleek products from my fave makeup vlogger Tanya Burr, and this one has great gold shimmery tones (great for summer) amidst a gorgeous pinky shade. Can’t wait to try it!

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I also purchased some MUA products, as they are so unbelievably cheap and are actually pretty good. I had heard great things about the Undressed eyeshadow palette, which contains browns and golds – great for brown eyed girls like me! I went for the new version called Undress Me Too.

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I got a MUA lipstick to add to my growing collection in shade 07. It was £1 so obviously I’m not expecting Chanel standards, but its worth a shot!

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A shopping trip wouldn’t end with just one lipstick purchase either! I took advantage of No.7’s great vouchers (£3 off makeup), and got this Stay Perfect Lip Colour in shade Coral Rose. It feels really silky on my hand so I can’t wait to try it out. I think it’l be coming to work with me tonight!

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Also from the MUA range, I took a gamble and got this £5 Pro Base Fixing Mist, which is supposed to hold your makeup in place all day long, protecting against wind and humidity. As a person who seems to shed any trace of makeup within hours, I thought I’d give it a go. Especially as the pub has recently become a sauna, resulting in us girls sweating under our black uniforms for 6 hours a day!

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I have wanted an eyebrow kit for ages. Preferably the HD Brows Kit, but I just didn’t have the dollar for that at the moment. I went for one of the Fashionista range (at Superdrug), which was £7 and contains mini tweezers, a brush, a gel wax setter and three colours.

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A picked up this super cute bag from H&M for £14.99, as I thought it was really versatile. It can be a clutch bag or a shoulder bag (great for day and night) and was a really nice neutral shade. It also comes in black, which was what I was going to go for, but I spotted this one and changed my mind. Also, but of an OOTD plug – my top is from Zara and my jeans are the Joni jeans from Topshop.

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If you’ve read my blog before, I’m sure you’ll know how obsessed I am with camis. I scooped up this plain black one for £5 in Primark as a little summer wardrobe staple. I also have it in white with black edging. Great bargain! The straps are a little long for me but I just tied tiny knots in the back and it was perfect!

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I must admit I splurged on this item – the Mango Body Scrub from The Body Shop. I was hoping they were still doing their 40% off, but when I discovered they hadn’t I couldn’t put the scrub down, it just smells so good!! I just finished my Soap and Glory Scrub, which I love, so this has a lot to live up to. I have the Mango Beautifying Body Oil too, though, so I’m sure this will live up to my expectations!

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Last but not least, I saw New Look had some great offers on basics, and I bought this red bandeau top for £2!!! Amazing! If you’re a crop top worshipper (which I most certainly am NOT due to my lack of abs), they had some great bits too, for around £2 – £4. Go on, go and make me jealous and flaunt your toned tums in those!!!

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Reviews of all these to come!

Have a great week!

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Desperate to try….

So, every time I visit my FAVOURITE beauty store, either in store or online, my beauty wishlist just quadruples in length, and this is one product I have had my eye on a while, and its in the sale. So tempted! Its the By Terry Skin Colour Enhancer. £64 down to £32 is an absolute bargain, but I already have so many skin potions, I really can’t quite justify it without being sure!

It has subtle colour graduation and plumps the skin, refreshing it with the smooth radiance of a good night’s sleep (which is something I often need to fake these days, working late nights at the pub!). It comes in a range of colours, but I’m unsure which one to purchase, so if anyone has tried this or has any info, please do let me know! I really think it could be a winner, as lately I have looked in the mirror many times hoping to see glowing summer skin, but being greeted by a dull, tired looking complexion. Im wondering if this could be the answer to my prayers….?

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I also spotted the SKEEN Revitalizing Serum, said to have similar benefits. £72 down to £37 – another amazing saving. This one is packed with vitamins and antioxidants to promote skin renewal, so I can imagine how great it really is for your skin on the inside. Its whether this translates on the outside. Im wondering if what I want actually exists, or whether its just my face!!

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I nearly peed with excitement when I spotted the JEMMA KIDD i-Rescue Bio Correct Cover for £5, but sadly the light and medium were both out of stock (sad face). I need to invest in something for the eye area, so suggestions are welcome!!

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Leighton Denny Nails. Confessions of a Polish-aholic

Today I was lucky enough to receive a belated birthday present in the mail (don’t you just love it when that happens!). It was the Leighton Denny Travel Collection, and contains three full sized polishes, a dual ended manicure set, hand cream, accetone free nail polish remover, a glass nail file and a slick tips pen, for nourishing nails on the go.

I have to say I am extremely impressed with the products, and would definitely purchase others in the range. I find that nail polish is a cosmetics item that really warrants premium brand purchases, as the quality is just so dramatically better. These polishes are quick drying and the colours are great. The three included are I Love Juicy, Spring Fling, and Keep it Light. I was at first a little dubious as two of the three had shimmer in, which I am usually opposed to as it can look tacky, but these look really cute and subtle.

The hand cream is really nourishing and improves the appearance of your hands too, as well as making them soft and smooth – absolutely essential for my poor waitress hands!! As is the quick tips nourishing stick, packed with vitamins to nourish your nails. Again, perfect for my waitress hands and tired nails! The manicure stick is ideal as we’re not supposed to wear polish, but being a complete obsessive, I sometimes try and get away with a really light colour, if I can!

The set is available to buy online from QVC here for just £32.98, or Look Fantastic sell their products too. This is a new nail brand to my 96 strong polish collection, and think it might be up there as a fave with Essie!!

Here is a quick snap of the I Love Juicy shade I’ve just slicked on. You can even get away with just one coat if you’re in a rush. This shown was one coat plus my trusty No.7 top coat. I am never without it!

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Snap some up asap!!! Highly recommended!!!

Night all

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