Tag Archives: Manicure

Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Polish

As I mentioned in my catch up post yesterday, last week I went to a blogger event at Crabtree & Evelyn’s Edinburgh store. The first thing I spied when I walked in were bowls of nail polish. I had no idea that Crabtree & Evelyn did nail polish and neither did most of the bloggers I spoke. So I am sharing the knowledge today.

Crabtree & Evelyn Nail polish

The event organisers kindly gave us goody bags containing nail polish so these are the colours I am sharing today.

Crabtree and Evelyn Nail polish

This is ‘Apple’* (left) and ‘Wisteria’*.

Crabtree and Evelyn Wisteria Nail Polish Crabtree and Evelyn Wisteria nail polish

‘Wisteria’ is a blue toned purple with a very fine silver shimmer running through it. I can honestly say that I don’t have a similar colour in my collection. I applied three coats. I could have gotten away with two – it certainly would have been opaque by two, but the second coat dragged the underneath layer that wasn’t completely dry. If you have patience and can wait five minutes between coats you’ll only need two.

It’s not completely glossy, I’d say it dries to an almost semi-matte finish. This kind of finish tends to pick up imperfections in the nail and this one did, so I’d recommend a ridge filler base coat.

Crabtree and Evelyn Apple nail poslih Crabtree and evelyn apple nail polish

‘Apple’ is a classic red, well suited to its name. In the photos and initially in person, it looks like a creme finish. Until you look really closely and see that it actually have a very, very fine shimmer through it. In the sunlight this gives it a lovely ‘glow from within’ look. I don’t wear a lot of reds and didn’t expect to be that taken by this but actually I really love it. The shimmer definitely elevates it above standard reds without being too in-your-face sparkly.

I found the formula of this one to be a little thinner than ‘Wisteria’ so it requires careful application.

Both ‘Apple’ and ‘Wisteria’ lasted a good day and a half with only minimal chipping to the tips. This was without a base and top coat (naughty!) so actually I was impressed that it didn’t chip within a few hours.

Crabtree & Evelyn polishes sell for £6 so comparable to the higher end of the drugstore such as Revlon. Their colours are all quite classic so worth investigating if you’re looking for something along those lines. Not trend led shades, but essential all the same. ‘Apple’ has gone straight to the top of my favourite reds collection anyway.

Have you tried any C&E nail polishes? Do you like them?

#BEDM | Spa in the City

I’m back to work this Bank Holiday Monday (what job do you have to be in to actually get all these days off?), but I thought I’d share what I did on the weekend.

Spa in the City

There’s not many things that’ll drag me out of bed and into town for 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday but I couldn’t resist the thought of Spa in the City. Taking place over the weekend and on three site – St Andrews Sq, West End and Grassmarket – Spa in the City offered free treatments from top retailers and beauticians around Edinburgh, all for free. You simply register in the morning, the earlier the better, and book yourself into a treatment. St Andrews Sq had a wide range of options from up do’s at Toni & Guy to the ultimate smoky eye at Smashbox c/o Boots. We were lucky enough to be booked into a treatment at the Lush tent.

Lush Ingredients

I had a hand and arm massage using the gorgeous Tender is the Night massage bar which contains Jasmine and Shea Butter. During, the therapist told me a little bit about where the raw ingredients come from  - I’m always impressed at the level of knowledge Lush staff have and how truly passionate they are about the company. There’s no doubt that their products are amazing but it’s the staff that make the company and the Edinburgh staff are exceptional. (OK, Lush love in over).

Lush Perfumes

Next we learnt about Gorilla Perfumes and the origins of some of their products. The founder had synesthesia and used fragrance to make sense of what he was experiencing and feeling. This has led to really unique fragrances such as Dear John, based on the search for his father and Lavender Hill Mob, inspired by a showing of community spirit during the London Riots.

Lush Bath Bombs

Lastly we were given the chance to make our own Butterball, a really fun experience and I’m really excited to use my own handmade bath bomb.

Youth Heart Juice

Next I headed over to the Grassmarket to enjoy some Hula smoothies (my favourite!) and have a skin care consultation and makeover from Youth Heart Juice and Caroline Stewart Makeup Artistry.


I was a bit nervous when she mentioned a smoky eye, contouring and an ombre lip but as you can see she perfectly tailored it to my minimal daytime look. I’m now totally sold on the Illamasqua foundation and the Tom Ford Contour kit – I guess I have expensive tastes after all!


Finally, I had my nails done by Marce at Sublime. She is really passionate about people caring for their natural nails and I enjoyed chatting to her and picking up some tips on how to stop my nails from weakening and splitting. The colour I went for is Essie’s Ole Caliente.

For someone that’s more used to DIY pampering I can definitely now see the appeal. It was really fun to just indulge for a morning and get a sample of all the treatments that are on offer around the city.

What did you do with your Bank Holiday weekend? Hope it was a good one!

Mani Monday | Dinosaur Egg Nails

Just wanted to share this super quick, super cute manicure with you today. It reminded me of cartoon dinosaur eggs so I posed with my little Parasaurolophus pal.

Dinosaur Egg Mani

I used: Bourjois 1 Seconde Gel nail polish on ‘Turquoise Block’ (for the base) and ‘Green Fizz’ (for the dots), Bourjois Instant Dry drops, Rimmel 5 in 1 Nail Treat (as a top coat) and a dotting tool. Seems like a lot of steps but the Instant Dry drops really make short work of this type of thing. I have a mini review of them going up tomorrow so check back if you’re interested.

I’ll also have a #BEDM post ready this evening – all about my walk to work! Drop me a comment if you’re doing #BEDM, would love to read some more blogs that are.

#BEDM | Cinco de Mayo

I’ll be honest here. I know that Cinco de Mayo is a holiday in Mexico celebrating something that happened on the 5th of May, but I don’t know what. So being the culturally sensitive type that I am, I thought “I know, I’ll do sugar skull nails – ties in my regular Mani Monday post and is Mexican.” Yep, sorry Mexico! I deserve how badly these turned out:

Sugar Skull nailsI used: Barry M Silk ‘Pearl’ (white and as base under the pink); Barry M ‘Superdrug 50th Birthday Special Edition); Barry M nail art pens in pink and black; fimo flowers; real dried flowers; Boots Shine Solution topcoat.

The main things I would change are the green flower to be a bit smaller and to put a pink gem stone above the eyes on the skull. I see so many intricate designs like these and it makes me wonder – how big are these people’s nails!? Jealous much?

Anyway, if you’re more educated than mean you’ll know that sugar skulls are used to honour and celebrate departed family members during Dia de los Meurtos (Day of the Dead) on the 1st and 2nd November. Cinco de Mayo meanwhile celebrates of day of victory for Mexico over the occupying French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It’s observed regionally in the city of Puebla and some other areas of Mexico as well as widely in the US.

The more you know…


Mani Monday | Gold & Pastels

gold and pastel

I think that this look is quite Easter appropriate. It’s a more luxe take on the Speckled Eggs look because it uses a top coat with real gold in which, when teamed with pastels, gives a gorgeous light Spring manicure.

gold and pastelI used: OPI ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ top coat; Bourjois ‘Amande Defile’; Barry M Gelly ‘Rose Hip’ and ‘Huckleberry’. ‘TMWTGG’ is clear with 18k gold flakes in it of different sizes.

Gold and pastel nailsI used ‘Huckleberry’ on my pinkie finger and index finger, ‘Amande Defile’ on my ring finger (and thumb) and ‘Rose Hip’ on my middle finger. Despite ‘Huckeberry’ being blue and ‘Amande Defile’ being green, it’s difficult to tell them apart, even in person, there’s only a slight difference. I did three coats of each colour as these milky pastels are quite sheer and tricky to get even. I then applied a thick coat of ‘TMWTGG’. This does require a dabbing technique and as the consistency was quite thick (Seche Vite style) you have to give it a good amount of time to dry, although if you’re careful with you glitter placement you only need one coat.

What do you think of this combo?


Seventeen Black Cat

Seventeen Black CatHere’s a super summery colour for you! In all fairness, everyone need a good quality black nail polish in their stash. I’m fairly loyal to Nails Inc ‘Black Taxi’ but it’s a tad pricey so I’m always open to cheaper alternatives. Seventeen had a 3 for 2 offer on the other week so I decided to try out their new gel range. Gel nail colours are all the rage nowadays with everyone trying to recreate a salon finish at home. Seventeen have been pretty bold by writing “up to 8 days wear” on the lid so let’s see how it holds up.

Seventeen Black CatApplication is nice and easy. It has a small, flat brush with rounded off corners which you can’t go wrong with. It was opaque and smooth in two coats. I didn’t apply a topcoat as I don’t think you should need to with gel effect polishes but I did use Orly Rubberised Basecoat. The finish had a good shine as you can see above. The first day was great, no chips, but… it did chip on day two. Not too badly, but on a couple of nails and black looks bad with chips so I removed it at the end of the second day. So no, it won’t last 8 days. I have never found a polish that does, even with base and topcoat so I’m not fussed about this but it might put some off. However, at £3.99 a bottle, I think it is a good buy and there are loads of colours to choose from. I really like the look of the grey ‘Long Island’ also.

So, not quite as great as the Models Own HyperGel, but the only black gel colour I’ve seen so ‘Black Cat’ gets a goth thumbs up from me.

Barry M Aquarium Collection – Pacific

Barry M PacificI wasn’t that taken with the Barry M Aquarium collection when I first saw it, thinking it was more suitable for late summer and autumn than spring. Still, it didn’t stop me picking up one bottle to try. I picked ‘Pacific’ the blue-green duochrome foil.

Barry M Pacific Barry M PacificLook how shiny and duochromey it is! It goes on quite thin so needs three coats. It has a very strong shift between blue and green in both natural and artificial light. It’s the kind of polish that has you staring at your nails all day, it’s very pretty.

I think I might also pick up ‘Mediterranean’, the copper and pink duo and the glitters. Maybe on the next Boots 3 for 2 deal later in the year. I love ‘Pacific’ but think it’ll still stay in a drawer until September.

Models Own HyperGel Cornflower Gleam

Models Own Hypergel Cornflower GleamWhen I first saw the new HyperGel collection from Models Own I can’t say that I was that excited about it. Made up of 10 colours and at only £5 each, objectively I can say that it is a great capsule collection, but for me, I wasn’t that taken by any of the colours. This is purely because I have so many, it’s pretty rare that I find a new colour I want. However, I had read good things about the collection so when I ordered the Speckled Eggs collection I decided to take advantage of the 6 for £20 offer and add a bottle of ‘Cornflower Gleam’ to my basket.

First of all, I really like the bottle. All nail polishes should come with a colour matched swatch on the top of the lid – makes finding a colour so much easier!

Models own Cornflower Gleam HyperGelI think you’ll agree that the shine on these is amazing! Even shinier than my beloved Barry M Gellys. Application was easy, smooth and opaque in two coats and they do have a slightly plumped look to them, like a toned down version of a real gel manicure. This lasted 2 days with no chips and only minimal tip-wear before it started to chip slightly and removed it.

I’m glad I gave the HyperGel range a go. I might not buy any more (although could probably be convinced to get the white) but I do love the colour of ‘Cornflower Gleam’. I’d highly recommend this range for anyone who’s looking for basic colours at an affordable price point but that also  deliver something great in terms of quality and finish.

Models Own Speckled Eggs

Models Own Speckled EggsIt officially became springtime in the UK on Thursday 20th March, and what should be waiting on my welcome mat when I got home that day but this package of joy. Spring has well and truly sprung in the Models Own world with their latest nail polish collection, Speckled Eggs.

Models Own Speckled EggsThe colours are: ‘Dove’ (pink); ‘Swan’ (purple); ‘Duck’ (blue); ‘Goose’ (yellow); and ‘Magpie’ (green/turquoise).

They look like Mini Eggs – the ultimate springtime treat – and so look fab in a mix ‘n’ match mani like the one above as well as on their own of course. The formula is consistent across all the colours, on the thick side but easy to handle if you take your time and opaque in two coats. The speckles are made up of three different sizes of matte black glitter and didn’t require any special placement, just swipe on like a normal polish.

I absolutely love the look of these. They dry smooth and with a bit of a shine but I added a topcoat to up the gloss factor. I used the Boots Salon Nail Shine Solution.

Models Own Speckled EggsThese are priced at £5 each but Models Own currently have an offer of 6 for £20 on their website so you could get the entire collection with one for free and another to spare. I did this and picked up Cornflower Gleam from their HyperGel range. This was my first time ordering from their website and I must say I’m impressed with the service. I placed my order on the Monday and it had arrived by the time I came back from Paris on Thursday. The box they were delivered in was small enough to go through the letterbox (definite bonus as I’m never in for packages) but sturdy and the polishes were well protected. I wouldn’t hesitate to order from them again.

I completely love this collection. I can tell that I am going to be wearing these a lot, especially ‘Magpie’ and ‘Swan’. Which is your favourite colour?