June Nailbox Subscription Review

Nailbox is a monthly subscription service similar to existing beauty boxes e.g. Glossybox but instead it focuses solely on new nail products which is perfect for people like me as I tend to change up my nail colour more than I have hot dinners!

I was sent the June nailbox to review (after regularly having my nails ‘shellaced’ for around the last six months) so I was looking forward to trying some new polishes on the market. When the box arrived I was also surprised to see, along with 4 polishes, I had been sent an Elegant Touch professional cuticle clipper as I was only expecting the box to contain polishes but every month you can also receive nail accessories which I didn’t realise at first.

The cuticle clipper is very useful to me, I will continue to use it as I tend to my nails at home with professional products (e.g. CND) and only go to the nail salon to have colour reapplied. Perhaps I should consider investing in a UV machine to set my own polish but I also like visiting the nail salon as it feels like a treat and I can have a coffee, chat and just relax!

However, I digress! So, I will use the cuticle clipper – it’s sharp, accurate and comes with a five year guarantee. As for the polishes, I was so excited to see both bright summer colours and a nude. I like bright colours but on a daily basis I like to wear quite neutral tones on my nails and was looking forward to first trying the Nails Inc polish in ‘Colville Mews’ – a gel effect polish that cures in natural daylight and the first polish I had tried of it’s kind.

I was so disappointed! The colour is much flatter on my nails than it looks in the bottle and the opacity was very poor. I had to do three very thin coats and I found it fairly hard to apply. It felt very flaky and didn’t even last two days before most of the polish had peeled off which was such a shame as I had such high hopes for this beautiful looking varnish!

Next up I tried the Essie nail lacquer in ‘Roarrrange’ – a jewel toned bright orange and it was beautiful to apply, the brush was slightly on the large side but the formula was so very easy to apply and gave a clear even coat in just one application. It lasted very well for just under a week and was easy to remove (a huge plus point for brighter colours), but did leave some residue on my fingers rather then the nail themselves. Either way this gets a huge thumbs up from me!

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Also included in this month’s box was a classic red nail polish by Tanya Burr called ‘Mischief Managed’. I’d heard very good reviews about this polish including a recommendation from my nail technician herself so I was a little disappointed by the texture of the polish as it felt a bit of a budget polish, like a supermarket’s own brand. The colour was bright and fairly easy to apply as it had a smallish brush and overall I was happy with the colour but it did take three coats to get the even coverage I desired.

My box also contained a bottle of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat which was very fast drying but wasn’t as hard wearing as I anticipated and flaked off within a few days. However as it’s just a clear polish I will continue to use it as I will still get a lot of use out if it.

Nailbox seems like a good idea – you get a mixture of products from premium nail brands and the subscription cost is between £13.50 and £15 a month – a bargain as the products contained within are valued at much much higher. Also I think it’s a great way to try new colours and stay on trend across the seasons. Unfortunately not all the nail polishes were for me (I don’t think I’ll be wearing the nails inc again unless I only want it to last a few hours!) but I’ll definitely be using all the other colours and the cuticle clippers.

You can also get a 15% discount at nailpolish.co.uk by entering “NAILBOX” at the checkout, if you want to order a colour that’s arrived within your box or the same nail polish but in another shade. Each Nailbox is set to be delivered on or around the 21st of each month.

Just another Mani Monday – Kinetics Reverse French

The inspiration for this post has come from the wonderful and talented Lisa Eldridge, whose recent blogpost and youtube video featured Sophy Robson’s new trend for Autumn/Winter 2011- a reverse french manicure. I have also seen this trend starting to appear in magazines and in the media – it looks set to be the hottest thing this coming season!

Here I have used my new Kinetics nail polishes to create a two tone effect – a pale beige/pink base with a dark nail tip. This style is the reverse of a french manicure which traditionally has a pink base with a white tip.

The other main difference from a traditional french manicure is the shape of the nail tip – traditionally straight across, the new reverse french has a softly tapered ‘V’, a quirky difference to bring the nail shape on trend.

For the base coat I have used Kinetics White Chocolate – a pearlescent pink peach (any cream beige nail polish will work equally well) and for the tip I have used Kinetics Paparazzi – a black gloss, to create the illusion of a tapered tip.

The Kinetics brand is from New York and available to buy online in the UK for around £4 each. White Chocolate was easy to apply and produced an even coat, however Paparazzi was thicker to apply but I have found this with all black polishes. An alternative would be to use a dark navy or forest green.

Have you heard of the Kinetics brand or of the reverse french manicure? What are your thoughts on this nail style? Will you be wearing this trend this season?

New Beauty Buys

Here’s a few new beauty items I’ve bought for the summer months.

Face: Top of my shopping list was a new foundation that wasn’t as full coverage as my winter make-up and one that gave a dewy and lighter texture. I settled on MAC’s Face and Body Foundation in N3 – I thought this was going to be super dark on me even though I’ve got a tan but in fact it’s still a tad too light! Unusual considering I normally wear NW15, which is several shades lighter.

I also got a new concealer – Mac Studio Sculpt Concealer in NW15, useful for under eye circles and a shade I can use all year round.

Lips: I picked up Revlon’s Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm in shade ‘Twilight‘. I wasn’t fond of this when I first used it – the lipbalm tastes terrible and the pen really highlights any dry skin on your lips however tiny. But, the lipbalm has really improved the dryness I had and the colour is bold and stays put so that’s definitely a saving grace.

Nails: Finally I got hold of Barry M’s Nail Effect Nail Paint in Black 311. I’ve wanted this crackle nail polish for a long time and I’m already loving the effects.

Hair: My favourite hair brands are Pantene and Tresemme but I rarely use hair products other than shampoo and conditioner. However, if I do use them it will usually be volumising products and I’m always on the lookout for something new to get maximum results. This time around I picked up Tresemme’s Volume & Lift Extra Body Mousse. So far it has been so-so. There has been some increase in volume but the main difference is the increase in shine. I’m not complaining!

I also won some Rouge Bunny Rouge products from a Glossybox competition and got a Long-lasting Eye Shadow in 014 Unforgettable Oriole and a Decadent Duos Lipgloss in Flamenco and Liquid Blush in Duende no 020. The eyeshadow is a golden champagne and the duo are both bronzed hues – all gorgeous and really wearable colours.

Reviews coming soon!

Red Hot Summer Essentials

It’s summer! Although if you live in the UK you probably wouldn’t know it at the moment but we all live in hope of a bit of summer sun! For those of you who are lucky enough to be going away on hols this year or for those of you, like myself, just trying to capture a bit of summer spirit, here are my fave products to see you through the season.

Although my next holiday won’t actually be until the spring, I’m already thinking how luggage is always an issue when I travel abroad. Either I never have enough room for all my belongings or there’s a massively long wait at the carousel so I’ve invested in a new suitcase now while the price is right – one specially designed to be the perfect size to go in the cabin (so no waiting around!) and it EXPANDS! (It’s a Domo 18″ if anyone’s interested and comes in black too I believe, and inside it has masses of pockets too!)

I will also be taking along my new Zatchels satchel which I was incredibly lucky to win in a competition on twitter. It’s worth a whopping £94 and is hand made leather. Love it!

I’d also recommend Maxing it out with a Maxi dress and flip flops like these:

Strapless dress from Miss Selfridge…  Jelly style sandals by Ted Baker.

Hair products need to be high performance – Wella have a great new range (Wella Professionals Care & Styling line) featuring products for wet and dry styling and finishing products to keep your hair looking good, to take you from poolside to beachside.

The hair trend is red hot too – check out celebs like Rihanna and newly fired up Charlotte Church.

Make-up this season should be blocks of contrasting colour – for a muted version try Crush Eyeshadow Trio in ‘Lava’ by DuWop, a mini palette of molten metallic shadows.

And lastly treat your nails to a super fast make-over with Leighton Denny nail polish in Viva La Diva – a pure red tone to add some colour to any outfit.

What red hot products will you be taking on your holidays?

Just another Mani Monday…

Check out these gorgeous nail polishes from the new Tutti Frutti range from Toma. I’m wearing Strawberries & Cream (pink) and Tutti Frutti (blue). The range is made from six summery colours but if these don’t tickle your fancy they have masses of other colours to choose from so you’re likely to find one that’s a perfect fit!

The colours are rich and intense and have a satiny finish. As with all intense nail colours there was some staining on my nails when I removed the (Tutti Frutti) colour but this is easily rectified by using a basecoat. The colour stayed on and only started to chip after about 5 days (without a topcoat) which is good in comparison to other colours I’ve tried.

Toma nail colours are priced around £7.25 and are available from www.madbeauty.com.
(Also check out their nail art category for some great finds!)

Newbies on the block – Lil’ Bling Myface Cosmetics

Did I or did I not mention earlier in the week that I love shimmer and metallic colours?! Myface Cosmetics have just launched their ‘lil’ bling’ range which comprises of matching shimmer eye and nail colours. Superb! There are ten colours in the range to choose from. Lil’ bling nail chromes are £5.99 and the single eye shadows are £9.99. Shown below are Purple Haze (top), Spice’y (left) and Bellbottom Blues (right) shadows and colour swatches.

I adore all these colours and they really are like having your fingers dipped into liquid metal and your eyes adorned with metallic jewels. The colours are intense and full of pigment to give a really striking finish.

They appear to be pretty long lasting eyeshadows with little fall out and no creasing – just full on colour for an intense eye look which is bang on trend.

The nail colours are so incredible – easy to apply, fast drying and opaque metallic finishes after only one coat. The one downside I have found is that the nail tip wear was quick and very obvious when I had applied the Spice’y colour but other than that I have no qualms with the nail colours.

I do think £9.99 is pretty pricey for a single eyeshadow though, especially as I’d be very tempted to ‘collect’ all the blingtones to get all the nail/eye combinations! (Which range from white to black to gold to turquoise -all very pretty and wearable colours). I guess you get what you pay for and you could use these sparingly to still get a really intense colour – but I’m still not convinced about the price. They are beautiful colours though and metallic ‘bling’ is definitely a trend I’ll be trying to master this summer, how about you?