o.p.I Love You!

The creme de la creme of Varnishes

A truly long-lasting nail polish is one of the great beauty time-savers. 

O.P.I needs recognition for this one fact.

I have had so so SO many nail varnishes in my life. You know what it’s like.. You buy one for the quirky colour, one for the bottle design, another for the brand and another because a friend told you about it. But, you know what’s good, and what you love. No matter how many different brands you try or much of a bargain a nail varnish may be – you keep going back to the same one. The trusty one.

In this case, it’s O.P.I.

I just can’t get enough. I could go on forever so I better keep it short & sweet (just like the varnishes themselves… hee hee). Here’s my quick review:

Product: O.P.I – Nail Lacquer

abeautybag rating: 9.99/10

A celebrity favourite, packed with pigments for depth of colour and cover.

It has a HUGE shade range, not to mention the quirky names. They are updated almost every week to reflect fashion trends & what’s hot. (This week they released ‘Skyfall’ in keeping of the James Bond Premiere release).

Upside: – Lovely shine & richness. Dried in 90 seconds. Amazing colour, good shine. Excellent coverage. No need for top coat. Lasted 9 days (and i type a lot every day, do housework, etc) – even then it didn’t look horrendous.

Downside: – Trying my HARDEST ever to critique this. I put my makeup expert head on and suggested that this nail varnish may need two coats. I, however would not see it as a downside as I apply two coats with ANY varnish I use. 

Finally, I must add, some may consider £7.99 somewhat pricey. (They are usually £11.00) – but – at The London Perfume Company they are very reasonable. All O.P.I nail varnishes are 15ml which are HUGE and last triple what a standard polish would. 

So what I’m saying is…. o.p.I LOVE YOU!

xox

o.p.I love you ❤

Go Gradient Gal!

Start from the top left hand corner and work round it like a clock.

1. Base coat – for obvious reasons.

– Apply a light coat.

2. Choose your colour scheme. I chose pink but I’ve seen it done it blue and orange and they look equally amazing!

– Get the lightest colour possible you can get your hands on. Most use white but as I didn’t have white, this pale pink was the closest (and I feel it works just as well!)

3. Apply the light colour all over your nail.

4. Take the next shade up. I chose my OPI strawberry shade nail varnish.

5. Mix with the lightest shade you used in stage 2. (Two to three drops of each should be enough for both hands). – I used a plate to mix on and a cocktail stick to mix with.

– Apply this about a third down your nail so 2/3rds are covered.

– Make sure each layer is completely dry before applying the next (or it’ll get messy!)

6. When dry, choose the shade darker than step 4. I chose my OPI shade ‘You’re a Pisa Work’ which i absolutely adore. Drop about 3 droplets of your darker shade onto the mixing plate.

7. Mix this with the remains of what you’ve been using. Add a drop of the original light varnish if needed.

8. Choose your next colour. and repeat process – This time covering only 1/3 of your nail.

9. It should look a little like this. Don’t worry about any mess – It is easily removed with a good varnish remover and precision brush.

10. You can get darker & darker but I decided to finish with a purple as this is a gradient of pink. I mainly did it because a lot of my pinks are very similar shades, so to create a thorough gradient I went with a lilac shade into a darker purple.

11. This is my lilac from OPI – shade ‘Panda Monium’.

12. Mixed into this deep purplePamplona Purple.

13. Back to top coat. Make sure you leave it dry for longer than usual.

NOTE: I’m not going to lie, it’s a little fiddly but I did manage to do it first time. If you find it difficult, don’t be disheartened – give it a try – afterall; practise makes perfect!

Tips & Tricks: Beauty dilemma’s – solved!

Whether you have a beauty dilemma or you’re just picking up some new tips & tricks of the trade. You won’t be disappointed!

Problem: I love my [insert high-street shop here] costume jewellery but they always leave me with a green [delete as appropriate] neck/wrist/finger/earlobe.

Solution: Don’t worry. This really, really works…

Simply get some clear nail varnish, or the nearest to clear you have, and coat it all around the underneath of the jewellery (basically the bits that you don’t see but touches your skin). For example, on a ring, all around the band and underneath the design: It works a treat. No more green fingers!

Problem: You can see there’s lipgloss in the tube, yet you can’t get it out. How annoying!

Solution: Pour boiling water into a mug, drop the lipgloss tube in it for a couple of minutes (leave the end with the lid at the top & make sure you can still pick it up). The heat will loosen up the product and will unstick so you can scoop the rest out. (This also works with Mascaras in tubes – or anything else gel-like).

Problem: Your nail varnish won’t dry and you need it to – quickly!

Solution: Sounds crazy but trust us here. Coating your wet nails in cooking spray will help them dry very quickly. ‘Frylight’ is probably the most popular one you’ve heard of. (Just make sure you use the original flavour to avoid garlic-y finger-tips!) The normal one doesn’t smell at all and it’s just a case of wiping away the excess oil after.

Problem: But I don’t have cooking spray in my house?!

Solution: Don’t worry! Something you definitely will have is ice. Everyone has ice. After painting your nails, simply slide your nails into a bowl of ice water and after a minute (brrr) your nails will be completely dry! Not only this, but any smudges or mistakes you made will have fallen off. Score.

Problem: My feet are sore/achey/flakey – but I can’t afford to get a pedicure/it’s midnight and going to get a pedicure now is highly inappropriate.

Solution: Whatever your situation, you want soft, healthy feet again right? Well have you got some socks & some moisturiser or Vaseline? Good. Simply douse, smother and pile on your choice of moisturiser to your feet. [It doesn’t even have to be an expensive/high-end one] – pull your socks over and leave for a couple of hours. For best results, do this before your go to bed and pull off your socks in the morning – you will revel in the difference, promise.

Problem: None! Because abeautybag has solved them all.

Heeheehee.

You’re welcome.

xoxox

Paris Fashion Week’s influence on my beauty bag…

After seeing London Fashion Week kick off (and kick ass) last week; I was inspired. And so was my beauty bag. So inspired, I wrote a blog about it, here.

So Paris Fashion Week arrived and I was eager with anticipation to see that the trends and fashion have focused on similar areas. Catwalks are no longer just about the art of material and clothing but the art of beauty, makeup and cosmetics. So, being a beauty-addict – I watched closely.

Reoccurring themes of ‘go hard or go home’ appeared. Okay not quite as brutal, but it was a case of ‘wear strong colours or don’t bother at all’.

Nina Ricci
The impact of a deep red lipstick

The rule that most beauty-addicts would adhere to would be dramatic eyes OR dramatic lips – notice I said OR, not AND – either or and you’ll be safe. To do both you need a seriously professional eye (and a seriously good reason), you’ll only really see what I call ‘circus makeup’ on high-end fashion shoots & campaigns for high-impact. So the photo above, I love. The deep rouge lips make this whole look, just look back at the photo and imagine her with pale lips – rubbish huh? This lipstick makes the clothes look like something else! However, now look back and imagine her with heavy black eye makeup on – rubbish again! … Makeup is a magical thing.

Something else I took from Paris Fashion Week’s parade of beauty, was an innovative way to use eyeliner. It has to be liquid eyeliner to get the desired effect. Look! You’ll know what I mean…

Paris Fashion Week:
The new eye-shadow!

You like? I do! I predict it’s going to be the new eyeshadow. Where eyeshadow is dated, a little predictable and let’s face it, a bit tedious – a simple line of colour gives that edge and is moving makeup in a new direction.

All taken into account, this will take quite a while to catch on and to move into the mainstream beauty trends. But it will come, it will come… and i’m excited!

Another example of ‘eye-lines’ – The new eyeshadow

SO #bbloggers and makeup addicts all over the world. Two things…

1. High-impact lipsticks. [Red is a timeless classic]

2. Ditch the eyeshadow – Get creative with beautiful lines of colour!

I will leave you with some more examples of how a strong lipstick can change your outfit. [Remember: imagine them with no lipstick on]. Told you.

Clashing army green with a pinky-red — Who’d have thunk it?!

Stunning red lips enhance the light blue blouse.

Classic red lips against white.
Match with a simple red hair accessory, perfect!

 

*[DISCLAIMER: All photos have been taken from Pinterest & each one is linked back to the original source]

50 Shades of Grey: The stuff that really makes you happy

While I recognise you might have clicked on this for a review of the book that spread faster than a cold in an office; you’re sadly mistaken. However, this is the stuff that creates genuine screams and squeals, real excitement and a feeling of pure happiness; why I’m talking about makeup of course.

 But in true dedication to the cheeky literature by E. L. James, I’ve chosen items from the amazing www.thelondonperfumecompany.com website and I’m sharing the real pieces of Grey you want to experience.

 Just look!

OPI Nail Lacquer – Silver Shatter
£7.99

Toni&Guy Serum Polish Stick
(RRP £8.49) – £5.49

Stila Pencil Sharpener
(RRP £6.00) – £3.99

Christian Dior Capture Totale Nuit Intensive Night Restorative Crème.
(RRP £112.00) – £95.99

Yardely Lace 15ml Eau De Parfum, Compact Mirror & Volume Boost Heather Lipstick Gift Set
(RRP £12.95) – £4.99

Christian Dior Global Anti-Age Concentrate Radiance
(RRP £132.00) – £119.99

Tigi Bed Head Hard Head Mohawk Gel for Spiking and Ultimate Hold
(RRP £12.79) – £11.99

OPI Nail Lacquer – It Totally Fort Worth It
(RRP £11.00) – £7.99

Tigi S Factor Creamy Moulding Wax
(RRP £15.90) – £12.59

Prada Tendre Purse 10ml Eau De Parfum X 3 Gift Set
(RRP £39.99) – £25.99

So there’s my must-have shades of grey. Not quite 50, but I reckon 10 is enough to keep you satisfied.

I love www.thelondonperfumecompany.com because 99.9% of the products are always cheaper than what’s on the high-street. Why would I leave the comfort of my own home to get something double the price when I can get bargains at the click of my finger!? Their products are always so professional (and their delivery is soooo fast) so I never have to wait long!

What’s your favourite website to get your beauty products? Let me know!

xox

London Fashion Week 2012: Nailed it.

Try something different with your nails – in the name of fashion! #LFW

A few seasons ago, the biggest dilemma we had with nail polish was whether to pick the dark pink or the barely there pink. Then the term ‘nail art’ exploded, we found ourselves saying goodbye to ‘it’ colours and here we are, with a basic rule of ‘anything goes’.

London Fashion Week 2012 showed us that nails are making their mark on the fashion scene. It’s like their clothes are wearable art, but this, this is nail-art – and it’s fabulous!

You can play around with nail varnish; from a different colour on each nail, a sheet of separate glitter and even the new magnetic effect.

Your nails are your accessory when you can’t find that perfect ring, they beautify your hands when that bracelet just doesn’t quite go and they add something extra to your natural outfit with minimum effort.
Statement nails were a BIG summer hit and thanks to the thousands of different colours, styles and effects, the only difficult bit is choosing your look. Now it’s just getting bigger and better!

Clash them, match them, alternate them; they are your personality. Whether you want a quick fix of the cheap stuff or you want to dab your finger in the more expensive liquid, your nails can be the cherry on the cake if you choose well.

Shade: Strawberry, for OPI – £7.99 @ http://www.thelondonperfumecompany.com

Designers such as Victoria Beckham, Donna Karen and Alexander McQueen embrace such designs to enhance their beautiful creations.
Forget about the bag, shoes and lip gloss – your nails are the most fashion-forward thing to concentrate on.

The action going on inside Somerset House during London Fashion Week 2012 proved that nail polish is making its mark on the fashion scene. It’s like their clothes are wearable art, but this, this is nail-art – and it’s fabulous!
Last week we saw London bring the biggest and the best to the world of fashion! Themes of ‘an irreverent English country garden’, energetic print, geek-chic and numerical themes blasted through the catwalk and everybody took immediate note.

I’m not saying you should put such extravagant pieces of elegance on your little old nails, nor pull out those rhinestones on your Topshop ring to superglue them onto your pinkies, nothing of the sort – but next time you’re browsing the nail varnish on your next makeup shop, go a bit crazy and think outside the box. Veer away from your usual monotone bus-red. Because next year, regardless of the rubbish British weather reports, it’s going to get even hotter.

This black shatter is a MUST-HAVE beautybag buy to get the ultimate quirky nail-art. £7.99 @ http://www.thelondonperfumecompany.com

You will get that feeling of achievement when you look down to your pretty polished pinkies, smile and think to yourself: nailed it.

It’s quick fashion at your finger tips. Literally.

Take a look at these inspiration pieces all found at BARGAIN prices on www.thelondonperfumecompany.com – I am loving OPI at the moment. They are professional with a purse-friendly price-tag!