Forums and social networking: the good, the bad and the (I’m pretty sure they are) ugly

This may or may not come as a bit of a shock to those who know me, but I have very little confidence and possibly even less self esteem. I can often be heard to say “I hate people” but in fact I only really ‘hate’ people (in general; you are all lovely individually…okay, most of you are) because people are my biggest phobia.

I live in constant fear of new social situations; am I being polite enough, would it be best to make a joke, should I not say anything at all? When I’m out and about if someone I don’t know starts talking to me about the weather or road works or anything in general I tend to panic and have a full on physical reaction – racing pulse, shallow breathing, shaking and nausea.

Despite all of this, lately I’ve been attempting to branch out in order to reach a wider audience and also to seek advice, and talk to like minded people. So far, most of the experience has been positive. I’ve chatted to some very lovely people on Twitter through the SO project, and (hopefully) made some new friends. Unfortunately, I’ve also hit the downside pretty quickly too. Allow me to fill you in with a LONG (possibly dull) story…

I’ve always been interested in photography; I can’t go anywhere or to any kind of event without a camera, whether that be my phone or my point and shoot. It makes a good tool for blogging (as you other bloggers will know) and I also think I’m pretty good at it – composing shots and the like. I am however, a complete amateur and have recently decided I want to upgrade my camera to either a bridge or a DSLR in an attempt to learn the art of photography properly.

I went about it in what I felt was a sensible way; asked a few friends (by a few, I mean one) and once I knew what I was after and my budget, I looked at some forums. Several others seemed to be asking for similar advice to myself and I noticed a lot of responses were a bit harsh, such as there not being enough detail about budget or what the camera would be for. So, I took it upon myself to write out a fairly lengthy post, stipulating what I needed, what my budget was, my skill level (zero) etc. I thought I’d hit all the important ‘marks’; oh how I was wrong…

I mainly got cocky replies, very few being helpful. These included pointing out that bridge cameras are not DSLRs (I had noticed thank you, especially after specifying I’d prefer a bridge to a DSLR) as well as several cameras that I should buy instead that are out of my stipulated price range.  Thanks for nothing! I spent more time defending my position than receiving advice on what to buy.

I chose forums and specifically the boards aimed at beginners so that I might get patient advice from others who would appreciate I am a complete amateur and, considering the others on the forum should (in theory) also be amateurs (yes some a lot more advanced non-professionals, but still) I thought there would be some patience there. I expected some queries maybe asking for a few more specifics; am I prepared to buy second hand etc and a few suggestions of what features I should/should not be concerned with.

I went to bed on Saturday night incredibly upset, with what little confidence I still possessed battered and bruised. My husband, who is possibly one of the kindest and most patient people I know (especially with regard to my many ‘quirks’) told me not to take it to heart and try again in morning. Sure enough, when I awoke on Sunday morning, there in my inbox was a message reply posted on one of the forums. Some kind soul had taken my post for exactly what it was and offered me some constructive advice.

It was on the back of this that I then posted again in the forums and finally saw some pleasantries appear out of the woodwork. I then (in a shockingly brave move by me) decided, on the spur of the moment to join that evening’s LBloggers’ chat on Twitter. It’s (not really) ironic in that this week’s topic was positive vs negative posts, considering I’d already started writing this. There was a good range of opinion put forward and everyone was really nice. I thoroughly enjoyed the chat and spoke to some lovely people.

Roll on this morning then…I decided to put forward the idea of buying a second hand entry level DSLR, which is within my budget. On the first of the forums in question, everyone seemed to think it would be better than any bridge camera I would choose to buy. On the second however, someone suggested I should skip entry level and go for something more advanced, which I can’t afford. They have renamed my budget as ‘my self-imposed limit’. That self imposed limit, folks, is called my bank balance! Then finally, on the third, I got this:

Well, it’s not a bridge camera nor will you find it within your set budget.

Perhaps it would be better not wasting people’s time

Well **** you then!

I am incredibly frustrated, I used to enjoy posting on message boards with like minded people ‘back in the day’, but someone always comes along and ruins the fun, which is why I stopped. This was like a cold, bitter reminder.

It is a shame, as I’ve been a bit more adventurous by joining The SO project and participating in the Twitter chats on a Tuesday night, (and the LBloggers chat as well now on Sunday). This luckily for me has been a mainly positive experience (granted, I could probably be a bit more active in the chat rather than cowering overwhelmed as the links and posts roll in; but I find myself with a million tabs open, trying to read through and comment on as many as possible) and everyone has been lovely and pleasant to chat to, sharing ideas and suggesting new products to try. It was off the back of this new found confidence that I decided to try seeking help in forums. I mistakenly thought the creatures that inhabit them would be just as kind and friendly.

Has anyone else experienced this? Have you had some disastrous encounters on a forum or Twitter or other social network? Do you know anything about cameras? Please comment below!

In the mean time, I’m still very much looking forward to the SO project chat tomorrow night despite me not posting this week and to the next LBloggers’ chat next Sunday!

Starting Off: Foundation

Week 3 Already! Crikey! I have a confession to make; I don’t really wear foundation…HAHAHA, your faces! Just kidding, of course I do!

Foundation is basically the base to all your other makeup; it is used for evening out skin tone, general coverage of blemishes and give your face a nice healthy glow/look. There are a few different types, so we’ll just look at them briefly before going over application and recommendations etc.

  • Liquid
  • Cream
  • Powder
  • Mousse
  • Tinted Moisturiser/BB cream.

The type you use will depend on your skin type. I  remember being told when I was younger, that no one under 25 should wear liquid foundation…well I can tell you now, that’s the only kind I’ve ever been able to match correctly to my skin tone, so there! I think this is mainly because you’re prone to oily skin/acne, and full on foundation can clog pores and make this worse. However, if you need to cover those spots, there’s nothing better. Powder is better for oily skin types, but using some oil absorbing sheets and a bit of powder on top of other types of foundation will help with that.

Tinted moisturiser is good for all skin types, it is perfect if you want to even out skin tone but can’t be pestered with a full face of make up. I am a fan of this!

Applying your foundation:

First of all, look back at weeks 1 & 2, you’ll want to have a nice freshly cleansed face and pop on some moisturiser. Everyone seems to have a different take on the length of time you should leave between moisturising and applying foundation, some say 5 minutes other say 15. Personally I prefer 15-20 if I have the time. This does also depend on the type of foundation you use. Once this is done and any under eye concealing has gone on, you’re ready to get going!

Application techniques:

So using your preferred tool, whether that be a brush, a sponge or your fingers, use a small amount and blend outwards towards your hair line and neck. I tend to dot a small amount on my forehead and cheeks, then blend using a damp sponge ’til there is even coverage and no blotchy patches on my face.

It is no secret that I am rather lazy when it comes to makeup and beauty; I like to cut corners where I can, and using foundation is no exception. My favourite item is tinted moisturiser. But, as it’s me and no post of mine would be complete without it, I like to (sort of) make my own using Lush!

foundation1 (1) 

My foundation of choice is Lush’s Jackie Oates colour supplement. If I want complete coverage, I use it after moisturising, blending with a damp sponge and it gives a lovely flawless finish – in that it covers all my summer induced freckles and any red patches/blemishes I may have. Most days, though, I just want a light finish to even out my skin tone from red patches I get on my cheeks. So on those days, I mix a small amount with my moisturiser, using the back of my hand as a palette, and blend it either using my fingers or a damp sponge. I normally just use my fingers. I love how light it is, and is made using all natural products, which is perfect for my crazy skin.

On those special occasions though, I use (as mentioned in my last post for concealer) Estee Lauder Double Wear. I purchased the foundation and concealer in the lightest possible shade for my wedding last year. I believe this cost me £28, and is long lasting, so it’s not something you’ll want to wear everyday (to avoid clogging your pores), but more for those occasions where you want to stay photo ready, for example a wedding. This goes on pretty much like every other foundation, however it does dry quickly to fix itself in place, so it’s best to keep your moisturiser on hand, and use a little bit to manipulate any bits of foundation which have dried blotchy and need blending.

Generally speaking, I find both of these fine on their own, but when necessary (or predominantly around the t-zone at least) I use a bit of Lush’s Emotional Brilliance powder on top.

So there you have it, a brief look at my foundation usage,

Next week: Bronzer. I will not be posting next week as I never have and sincerely doubt I ever will use bronzer, but I’m still looking forward to reading through everyone else’s posts. Please follow #theSOproject on Twitter to find the plethora of amazing posts from my fellow SO project bloggers!

Starting Off: Concealer

concealer2

If you hadn’t guessed already, I am bit lazy when it comes to beauty. I think this is what makes me a bit different in the starting off project; I don’t do anything complicated, I like being able to things as quickly and effectively as possible. I often like to go barefaced because of this; if my skin looks good, I’d rather not cover it up. However, there do come days when the odd blemish or the demon pimple appear and even I am vain enough to cover it up.

This week we’re looking at concealer.

TEENAGERS: After a good skincare routine, concealer is your BEST friend and secret weapon! 

What is it? Well it’s used to cover up any spots, blemishes and general imperfections on your face, including those horrid black circles under your eyes. Those of you who are younger teenagers probably won’t have this problem, though those of you who wear glasses might find that they do.

I’m relatively new myself at covering up under the eyes, (I generally just try to hide them with my glasses) so the main focus of my concealer post will look at mainly covering up blemishes and the dreaded Vesuvian-esque spot, but there will be a bit on under eyes later on.

I started wearing concealer in school, well before I started wearing makeup/foundation etc. I tended to use it when I had a massive eruption somewhere roughly the size of Lady Gaga’s hair, and only really in a dire emergency. I became a regular user when I was in college and contracted Impetigo after a college holiday to London (I’m convinced I was in fact allergic to London). Not knowing what on earth had overtaken my face, I was (with good reason) far too self conscious to leave the house and attend a friend’s birthday party till my mother kindly went and bought me some more concealer with which to cover it. By the next morning however, the rash had gone from being a few obvious but small red patches to have taken over the lower part of my face and took some considerable effort to cover up. However, for the first time in years I did notice my skin looked much better than it ever had when I hadn’t contracted a highly contagious face disease.

So, first things first, covering up a blemish. This is so much easier shown via video than described, so sorry if you’re not keen on watching videos, but this was the best video I came across and is much more detailed than I could ever describe:

This is pretty much the technique I use to do this, though I must admit before watching this I always used a finger or the applicator that came with it; I’ve never had the inclination to buy a special concealer brush (okay, okay shock horror of FGSJ does #theSOproject part 3: I only own 2 make up brushes, one for foundation and one for blusher. I’m sorry, I promise to fix this later in the project when we all start recommending make up tools) and hadn’t thought of trying to use a cotton bud, they really are genius!!

Technique aside, the main things to take from this video are:

  • Don’t use the same concealer for under your eyes as for blemishes. You want something lighter for lightening and brightening under your eyes, and you want a concealer as close to your own skin tone as possible for covering blemishes to make it look as natural as possible.
  • Foundation first or second? It’s up to you which way round you do concealer for covering blemishes. I prefer to do it afterwards, but do any under eye coverage before foundation.
  • Remember to use powder on top to avoid creasing.

My favourite choice of concealer, which I’ve used for years is without a doubt is this from Rimmel:

rimmelconcealer2

It is apparently the UK’s most popular choice of concealer, I don’t know if this is true but it certainly does a good job and only costs £3.99. However, I’ve recently opted for a cheaper choice by Collection, as it was, well, cheaper costing only £1.99 and seemed to match my skin tone a slight bit better, I have yet to try it out though. Last year I also pushed the boat out and purchased myself some Estee Lauder Double Wear liquid concealer to go with my Double Wear Foundation for my wedding day, and this currently is my favourite go to product on a really bad day; when I don’t want to wear a full face of make up and would rather go bare faced or go ‘nudey faced’ as I like to call it. It doesn’t budge at all, feels really light, doesn’t crease and gives good coverage. It is however, mega expensive at £21.

I set my concealer in place with Lush’s Emotional Brilliance (big shout out and massive thank you to Pixie Anna for collecting this for me as I had completely run out!).

For those rare occasions that I do in fact use concealer under my eyes, I use my Lush Jackie Oates colour supplement (which I also use occasionally as foundation/make tinted moisturiser) and once again, set it using Emotional Brilliance. Now this isn’t something I’m great at, so again, I’ll let the video do the talking:

I tend to use the damp sponge technique though until I watched this I didn’t dampen the sponge, (yes I learnt something new AND whilst I may not own many brushes, I do love a good sponge, so there!)

So there  you have it, my imparted wisdom on concealer. Surprisingly still a relatively long post for a short subject; it’s amazing how much there is to say about one tiny product.

Next week: Foundation.

Starting off: Skincare

Skincare… pretty much what it says on the tin really, caring for your skin. Your daily skincare routine tends to start as a wee nipper, when your mother or some other relative, guardian or carer washes your face with warm soapy water and a face cloth, or as I like to call it, the flannel of dooooom. Generally speaking this is sufficient, but as we get older and skin gets dryer or oilier depending on your age/skin type, it is best to switch this for something a bit more productive/useful.

So the basic 3 step formula I was taught when I grew up was this:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Moisturiser

I then sort of threw this out the window…okay so really I only  threw step 2 out and for many years step 3, as my skin was so oily, I couldn’t even use a light moisturiser, even after using tough anti blemish type cleanser.

So cleanser then, any kind of face wash you like really, or rather any that your skin likes is good. Personally, I have super sensitive skin and as a teenager tried many brands, but found that they dried my skin out far too much. A lot of brands aimed at reducing spots WILL dry your skin out, I found the best, having sensitive skin, being ones that were gentle, like the Simple range and one or two of the creamier ones from Neutrogena. I remember one Christmas my mum bought me the Clinique anti blemish gift pack, and whilst the other products were harsh, the cleanser was pretty good and gentle. These days for cleanser I stick to products made by Lush. Use this once a day, I would suggest on an evening especially if you wear make up.

I would personally avoid Toner, they contain alcohol and will dry your skin out and make it more irritable, however, Lush do some nice toner waters, especially their Grease Lightning, which is brill for teenage skin. Toner is mainly used to remove any remaining dirt and make up, but really you should use decent make up remover specifically made for your eyes and then your cleanser should do the rest. You can find Lush’s spot treatment/good for spot prone skin products here.

Moisturiser can be a pain to get right as a teenager, but stick with it ’til you find a good one. I used to use Simple moisturiser whenever my skin felt like it needed it, and a lot of the other bloggers involved reading this will probably gasp in horror when I say I didn’t use it everyday; my skin didn’t feel like it needed it and was pretty oily most of the time. If you suffer from similar issues, I’d say moisturise as you feel you need it e.g. when your skin feels dry and tight and remember not to use too much; a little goes a long way!

These days my skincare regime consists of cleanser: Angels on Bare Skin by Lush unless I’ve been wearing make up, which I don’t do everyday…I know, I know, please contain your gasps of horror. On those days I use 9 to 5 by Lush or Ultrabland by Lush. I prefer 9 to 5 for ease of use, but sometimes Ultrabland is necessary for removing waterproof mascara effectively and is really good when my skin is really red and sore and having an allergic reaction. As it is so thick, I prefer not to use it everyday as i find it hard to get off sometimes! I follow this up with Neutrogena Multi Defense moisturiser, as another good tip is using a good SPF to help with anti aging! Using sun cream is highly recommended, but I’ve never been able to get away with this so I use this Neutrogena moisturiser which is SPF 25 instead. I’m sure its not as good as a sun cream, but if you’re worried about oily skin, a moisturiser with SPF will do in a pinch. I have however, recently purchased some of this Steam Cream, and will be giving it a go.

I love using Lush products because I have incredibly sensitive skin and am allergic to all sorts of random things. Because Lush is all handmade products from all natural ingredients it means there are no harsh chemicals to bother your skin. I cannot recommend them enough. That’s not to say everything is perfect, I once had a disastrous incident with their Oatifix face mask, which is meant to be super gentle and kind…it would appear I am allergic to one of the ingredients.

Now, Angels on Bare Skin is my all time absolute favourite skin care product. Love, love, love it!

How to use it:

On days when I’m having bad skin or fancy giving it a treat I often buy Lush’s fresh face masks. Catastrophe Cosmetic is brilliant for red, spotty and bothered skin. It is my miracle cure for bad skins days! Last year Clipper tea included vouchers in their green tea boxes so you could go to your local Lush store and have a free face mask making work shop. I went with my friend (whom I refer to as Bird if you’re not a regular reader) and we got to drink green tea while they gave us a skin consultation and tried different products on us (on our hands though, not face in case of allergies etc though I believe some stores did do this as a full facial) then had the opportunity to make a batch of Catastrophe Cosmetic which we got to take home.

Someone else enjoying their workshop:

I honestly think that discovering Lush skin care products in my mid to late teens was my savior! They have genuinely made a massive difference to my skin. Many times I have strayed and tried other brands but always seem to return to them. So if like me, you have sensitive skin that products seem to dry out, but at the same time you have oily teenage skin that seems to be a complete nightmare to buy for, try some Lush! As I said, with them being handmade from all natural ingredients they will be kind and gentle to your skin. The staff are brilliant and know their products well; they can advise you and you can test products in store.

Other tips and tricks you may not want to hear:

  • Drink plenty of water – keep your skin, mind and body hydrated, Alcohol and caffiene dehydrates so tea, coffee and cola type products won’t help.
  • Don’t smoke – smoking damages your skin as it restricts oxygen to the blood vessels which dries skin out and can make it even take on a greyish appearance; attractive! (Not to mention all the other icky stuff it does to your body!)
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol – again, it dehydrates and will help to age your skin.
  • Avoid sunbeds – this should be self evident, if you should wear SPF to stop the sun aging your skin, sunbeds will have the opposite effect and age you well before your time!

Remember, when in doubt, try it out. Test products if you can to see how your skin will handle it, look on websites for free samples and find stores that will let you test them there and then. Everybody’s skin is different so what works for your friends may not work for you.

Starting off: The Introduction #theSOproject

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (if you don’t, feel free to check me out @fgsjblog) may have noticed that I recently posted this:

soprojecttweet

The Starting off Project is the brainchild of Steph from Steph’s Inside Voice (http://stephsinsidevoice.blogspot.co.uk/) and the aim is for a group of bloggers (now quite a large group with well over 100 of us involved) to each post at exactly the same time over the next 10 weeks an introduction to a particular beauty product, including experiences, recommended products, how we each use it etc, to try and create a plethora of blogging knowledge for those just ‘starting off’ with their beauty regime.

I am, admittedly a bit of a dunce when it comes to using a lot of products due to a mixture of very sensitive skin, allergies, my awful eyesight (it is not good being long sighted when trying to apply certain products with your glasses off) and in all honesty, pure laziness. But that’s kind of why I really wanted to take this amazing opportunity and get involved,  I know it’s because of this that I will have a different perspective to many if not most of the other bloggers involved in the project.

The first post will be about skin care, and all posts go live Tuesdays at 6pm. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Starting-Out-Project-Button-Pink

Back to school shopping…

It’s that time of year again, and as the holidays draw to an end new clothing and supplies must be purchased. So once again, I am after jeans and trousers that will look good, be the right size and preferably the right length.

Dorothy Perkins is having an online denim sale with up to 30% off, which sounded good to me.  I was all prepared to put in an order until I discovered that our local store for collection is temporarily closed during a term of refurbishment. This would mean paying full whack for delivery, and that would mean the discount would essentially not be worth anything.

I popped along to Asda, who unfortunately also let me down. Their selection, whilst quite extensive, is still much to be desired. Their trousers are also lacking in my size, as it would appear that every other woman with my figure have gotten there before me. I must however give Asda some big, and I mean BIG props for adding short and extra short lengths to their bigger sizes of both jeans and trousers. Unless they were in fact sold out in larger sizes, size 20 appeared to be the biggest I could find in extra short length. This is a massive leap forward though for us shorties and also extra shorties who are extra large or extra small.

IMG_20130820_174745 IMG_20130820_174833

M&S have some nice looking jeans in their sale, but unfortunately are also sold out in my size – at least in short length. I am however tempted to buy them in a size smaller in the hope of slimming into them in the near future.

Until then though chaps, I’m still looking for back to work attire as those perfect jeans are still proving elusive…

She’s alive!!

Sorry for the (epic) delay in posts, but I am currently suffering from death by computer. Not sure how much longer the laptop is going to last, it is quite literally falling apart to the point in which I am using my tablet’s Bluetooth keyboard to type this post.

In exciting news, I have finally gone down a jean size – how happy am I?! In less exciting news, I’m still looking for some decent ones to wear. My latest mission was on my sister’s recommendation to try jeggings. They were definitely not a good look on me! They were clingy in all the wrong places and far too long (as per usual). So another one bites the dust. On a plus side, as it is summer I’ve been mostly wearing dresses and so far the lack of jeans is not a problem.

This brings me to my second first world problem: tights. Dearest Tesco, when one orders your nude tights, which are advertised as being a creamy colour and pale as a blood deprived Edward Cullen on a rainy day that is what I expect to receive. I have bought these tights from you on several occasions and they have never failed to live up to expectations until now. I certainly don’t expect to receive ‘natural’ coloured tights, which give the vague impression that I ‘naturally’ chose to cover my legs in Fake Bake. As it happens, your basics range are of such poor quality and so thin that they don’t look too odd at all, which is rather lucky. Seriously, why advertise them as one colour when clearly you are stocking another?!

Ranting aside though, I have been rediscovering my love for Lush’s Melting Marshmallow Moments and Rose Jam Bubbleroons and they’ve been doing marvelous things for my skin!

How to dress for the beach…

bikinibodymeme

I posted this picture on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fatgirlskinnyjeans) a while back, but thought I’d share it here for those of you who haven’t seen it.

I think this is the perfect advice for this heatwave! People complain constantly about people keeping it covered up;  just because its sunny doesn’t mean you have to have everything on show and whilst I agree that just because there’s a bit of sunshine (think bright day in February) doesn’t mean you have to whip your top off, the fact that we are having an EPIC heatwave means it might be a bloody good idea!

There is no point sitting there feeling self conscious, roasting to death because you’re worried about what someone might say or think of your arms and legs or your lumps and bumps. If you are on the beach and you want to prance about in your bathing costume, then do it! Don’t let everyone else have all the fun. I can say this with full confidence because I did in fact do just this yesterday.

IMG_20130718_111628 IMG_20130718_135713

Bird and I had an impromptu trip to a local beach (we are lucky in that we have quite a few to choose from) and both decided to sport our swimwear for a bit of paddling; Bird in her snazzy swimming costume and me in my tankini. Let me tell you I am rather glad we did as it was absolutely scorchio, albeit with a lovely sea breeze! There was no greater feeling than letting it all hang out like a beached whale; bliss! Most people were wearing their bathing suits so it wasn’t just us, which was nice and reassuring. I for once felt completely fine with the situation, it was just lovely to keep cool and not have to worry.

I have absolutely zero body confidence, or at least I did. I like to keep everything covered (unless I’m baking hot apparently) but for once to just throw caution to the wind and go for it was awesome. I have been like this before when on holiday abroad, but doing it here on a local beach is another matter; we could have very easily bumped into someone we know and that could get awkward and embarrassing. However I didn’t feel embarrassed, I didn’t feel ashamed (though some people probably think I should have) or stupid or in fact anything negative other than boiling hot.

At the end of the day, you should dress in whatever makes you happy and feel good. Yes there are plenty of different ways to dress for your shape and inevitably if these do look good on you, show off your waist line and make the rest of you look smaller, you will feel happier and more confident. But there’s no point wearing that burgundy dress for example if black or even pink are more your thing.

So if you want to get your pins out whilst building a sand castle or two (with a moat and a flag of course, how else would you build one?!) go for it! You will feel happier in yourself if you simply just wear whatever the f*** you want! A heatwave is the perfect excuse to forget what you should and shouldn’t be wearing. Enjoy the sun while it lasts, whether that be completely covered up (which is good if like me you burn easily) or let it all hang out (which feels marvelous) just don’t forget the sun cream!! Regardless of what you wear (or don’t wear) red and peeling is not a good look.

Love love love: Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish & NYC Foil Explosion

A couple of months ago I was after some nice pink nail varnish to replace the O.P.I. pink Nail Envy I got for Christmas and appears to only be available in a gift set *sob*. I found the new Rimmel Salon Pro selection – now with a range from Kate Moss and decided to treat myself. I found 3 lovely shades of pink and couldn’t decide between them, so yes, you guessed it, all 3 were bought (there was an offer for a free mascara when you spend over £10, so it would have been rude not to).

After one application, I decided to go back the next day and buy more (the new rock ‘n’ roll red from Kate Moss’ range matches my Dr Marten’s perfectly). They go on perfectly as they come with a wide brush (I said BRUSH) and are gorgeous, vibrant colours. Some only need one coat though others will need a second. They are long lasting, but I would still recommend a chip resistant top coat as I am the queen of chipping nails.

They are quite cheap (mainly as they seem to be permanently on offer in Superdrug which is rather awesome) and well worth it if, like me, you like premium brands but don’t quite have the budget for it.

IMG_20130430_174131 IMG_20130505_204613

Next up is a new discovery of mine, NYC Foil Explosion. I went back to good old Superdrug in search of a nice dark purple shade from Rimmel, but discovered NYC on offer at 2 for £3. I found a gorgeous purple but then spied their new foil explosion range. They are metallic shades which also have silver streaked through, the idea being you get your shiny metallic colour but with the occasional swirl of silver. Unable to contain myself despite not knowing how good they are even as a brand, never mind the product, I bought 3 foils shades and the dark purple.

I have so far tried all 3 shades of the foils I purchased and have yet to touch the purple! They are superbly cheap but amazing quality considering the price. The application is smooth, needs only one coat if applied generously and lasts for weeks (with touch ups). I have a tendency to leave nail varnish on ’til there are mere specks left but 3 of my nails weren’t giving up the ghost at all after 3 weeks. They are available for £1.99 each or 3 for 2 at Superdrug and comes in 5 different shades.

Also, in other exciting news, Superdrug are now stocking the Modern Family Nicole range of O.P.I. for £7.99 a bottle (also 3 for 2), including a pale pink called ‘Am I making myself Claire?’ So if you are after some jazzy new nail colours, get thee to Superdrug!