27/04/2016

BEAUTY | My Nude Nails Top Picks


Disclaimer: I am sorry for the lack of posts recently, I have been away in England on holiday last week (blog posts coming soon!), and I have had a lot of work for uni so unfortunately the blog was a little let down. Hopefully I'll get back to my regular schedule as soon as possible!


Although I love painting my nails in every colour of the rainbow, I think nothing beats a pretty nude. Nude manicures (and I'm not talking about French manicures here, not my thing at all!) are so delicate and sophisticated in their simplicity, that we can't go wrong with them. There are different types of nude shades, and even slight undertones can make a change on the result you'll end up with! Today, I am sharing with you my two all-time favourite nude nail polishes. coincidentally both from OPI. They might look quite similar in the photos, but they are two different shades and tones : Samoan Sand and Bubble Bath.


SAMOAN SAND


Samoan Sand is a gorgeous beige shade. As you can see, it is quite sheer - for a light finish you can go with two coats, but if you prefer your nude nails opaque than you'll have to go for three coats (that's what I generally do). It is a light beige that would suit most skin colours. I find that sometimes if you feel like pink shades don't suit you, beige is a good one to go for because it is more neutral.

BUBBLE BATH


I've had Bubble Bath for a few years now, and as you may be able to tell, I've used it a lot! It is a pretty, light pink shade. Just like the other nail polish, you'll need three coats for an opaque colour. With this one, maybe because it is pink, I love to add glitter on top of it. It makes the best princess manicure!


Both nail polishes are great quality and will last you a long time without losing that quality of application. They dry quite quickly, but you always have to be careful when you reach the third coat as it takes longer for it to dry then. O.P.I. have various other nude shades, but these are the two that have caught my eye! I know Essie make stunning nude colours as well, so I'll have to take a look at them for my next nude nail polish purchase (probably a grey-toned nude!).

Do you like wearing nude nail polish? What is your favourite?
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16/04/2016

BEAUTY | My Thoughts on the Stila Patina Liquid Lipstick


The Stila liquid lipstick in shade Patina has been so famous and so raved about in blogs, that you must all have heard about it - if you don't even own it yourself. I was quite curious about it after reading a few very positive reviews, the only thing I wasn't too sure about was the colour. Brown shades have made a huge comeback in makeup trends recently, but I don't like brown shades or undertones, I think it just looks tacky. The whole Kylie Jenner lips thing has left me very dubious, I don't really like her style so I'm not into 'Kylie lips' or anything about that trend. Patina, however, looked like a pretty shade, it always looks somehow pink-toned on swatches but is described as a brownish shade, so I wasn't sure who to believe.

Recently, I finally acquired the infamous Stila lipstick - my cousin gave it to me because the shade didn't suit her. I was happy to get it because it meant I could finally try it out, and use a liquid lipstick for the first time ever! 


I'll start with the shade first. When the product is wet, the colour is a beautiful deep mauve shade. As you can see from the swatches, it is super pigmented, not glossy at all (it dries matte on the lips). The only thing is that the colour changes: when it dries, the shade turns out more brown than it originally is. It has made me a bit disappointed to see that the pretty colour that you first get doesn't stay that way and that the brown undertones stand out more. In that state of things, I feel like the shade doesn't suit me at all. It makes me look washed out and makes my teeth look yellow. I wish you could see that better in the photos, the lighting makes the colour appear more pink than it actually is! In the last photo you can see a little that it has set and dried, hopefully you'll be able to tell the difference.

Now for the texture. It is one of the weirdest textures of lipstick I've ever tried! It feels very smooth at first and only one coat gives you a perfect coverage, but then it starts to dry and you can feel it on your lips. I wouldn't go as far as to say it is uncomfortable, but the first couple of times, it definitely surprises you! Also, your lips have to be super moisturised and exfoliated before you apply liquid lipstick, otherwise it'll look flaky and not so pretty. The real advantage of such a texture is that it stays on for hours and hours - I've never seen that lasting power before, it's incredible! Even when you eat and drink, it stays put. Don't try to do touch ups during the day anyways because it'll add too much product on the lips and look funny! ;)


Overall, this Stila lipstick is great if you're looking for a high quality liquid lipstick. They have other shades too, so these would be worth checking out! However, if you don't feel comfortable wearing matte formulas and don't want you lipstick to be too obvious (clearly, this is the total opposite from a natural lip look and looks prettier from far away than when you look too closely), this is not the right product for you! As for me, I'll probably be wearing it once in a while, but that's too far from my personal style for me to wear it often!


Have you tried liquid lipsticks before? And do you like brown shades - or are you more like me? :P
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10/04/2016

PARIS | Around the Palais Royal


I love hanging out in Paris, but I always end up in the same places. When you have habits it's hard to get away from them, but after my hundredth afternoon break with a friend in the Jardin des Tuileries a few weeks ago, I decided it was a bit stupid to stick to the same areas all the time and that I should explore new surroundings. All this took me to the hidden gardens of the Palais Royal, in the 1st arrondissement. This area of Paris is super touristy because the Louvre and the neverending Rue de Rivoli (aka the ultimate shopper's dream) are nearby, and so are tourists who know about the Jardins du Palais Royal. Most people have already seen pictures of the black and white striped Columns of Buren (there are 260 of them, see photo above), and this is the most famous feature of this area I think. I'd never seen them in real life before I went to take these photos, and surprisingly I find that the columns look really nice in the whole 'solemn buildings' landscape and add a touch of modern art without destroying the beauty of the place.


This blog post is going to be all about the surroundings of the Palais Royal; what you can see there if you're visiting Paris. I loved walking around to snap these shots, it is a super posh area so literally every little thing is more beautiful than everywhere else haha. Just see for yourself:

The Jardin du Palais Royal


'The sea is your mirror, you are contemplating your soul.'
First, I have to say a few words about the gardens themselves. They are hidden behind the beautiful Palais Royal, a baroque building dating to the 17th century. While the palace itself is used for instances of the government and not opened to visitors, the gardens are open every day and anybody can go there for a walk, to read a book sitting in one of the typical green chairs or lie on a bench to enjoy the rays of sunshine. Because the gardens are smaller than the usual Parisian park like the Tuileries or the Luxembourg, fewer people go there so these gardens are more peaceful and quiet.

The Galerie Vivienne


If you're wondering, yes, these photos were taken in the 21st century. Hard to believe it when you see this beautiful, old-fashioned setting! The Galerie Vivienne is one of those spots in Paris where it seems time has stopped. Galeries were very fashionable in the 19th century, full of little shops and a perfect shelter from the Parisian rain. Today, art galleries and fashion boutiques have replaced wine merchants, tailors and shoemakers. The most impressive shop in there is the old bookshop and its amazing display. I'd love to get myself a few of these books, if you've seen my Room Tour post you'll know that I love collecting these old volumes. 
The inside of the Galerie is just a wonder, with beautiful mosaics covering the ground and embossed sculptures on the arcades and the walls. The decor was inspired by Pompeian ornamentation, which was quite fashionable in the 19th century - you can see it from the carvings depicting women in togas, with wreath in their hands as if celebrating the gods and floating on the yellow stone beneath the dome.

If you want to see more of Parisian passages and galleries, be sure to check out this previous post featuring a few photos of these beautiful places. The Galerie Vivienne is by far the most beautiful I've seen, and I would recommend you to go there if you're around the Louvre area. Just a quick visit, but this is definitely something you won't see every day!


What do you think of this area of Paris? Have you ever visited it?
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03/04/2016

BEAUTY | Easy Spring Manicures with Born Pretty Store


When a new season comes, I tend to change my nail polish habits and I am drawn to different types of colours depending on the time of the year. Obviously, I'm getting back to my pastels and light shades at the moment, these are my favourite colours so I'm glad it's finally time to wear them again! To celebrate that spring spirit, Born Pretty Store have kindly sent me new products to try. I chose them all myself, and I decided to go for two things - nail accessories that I've never tried before (but that's for another post!), fun nail polishes and floral stickers. Today, I'll be showing you how you can use stickers to create cute and easy manicures that will totally rock the spring theme that's everywhere at the minute. You don't need much: a nail polish, a sheet of stickers and you're reading to go! Here are the two manicures I've been wearing recently, I hope you like them!

LILAC & LIBERTY


For this first manicure, I used two products from Born Pretty Store. I went for a lilac nail polish because it is a great colour to use in the springtime. However, this is not your average lilac polish - this one is a Thermal Nail Polish! Yes, it changes colour depending on the temperature. I know this is not necessarily a useful feature, but I wanted to see if this actually worked. And it does! The colour goes from a really pretty lilac when your hands are cold, to a dark purple as it reacts to warmth. I had more fun that I'd like to admit putting my hands in cold and hot water to see the colour change! In the last photo, you can see the beautiful gradient effect that appears sometimes. As my hands are cold most of the time, the colour that prevailed was the beautiful lilac - which is also my favourite so that's cool.
On my ring finger, I've put some Floral Nail Stickers. This print is lovely, it almost looks like a watercolour. Nail stickers are my favourite nail art accessory, because they are so quick and easy to apply. I'm not an artsy person so I wouldn't really be able to draw on my nails with tools etc., this is the best solution for me when I want to do something a little different but without too much hastle! I thought that these flowers matched the lilac nail polish quite well, and I'm glad of the simple - yet cute - result.

Green N' Roses


I am quite proud of the name I gave to this mani, haha. ;)
For this second one I went for something quite different in the spirit and the shades I used. Spring means that flowers are blossoming again, so what's better to celebrate Nature than wearing it on your nails? This gorgeous green is the Gargantuan Green Grape from O.P.I. It is not quite a mint green shade, it has a vibrant undertone that makes it stand out more than a pastel shade. The only thing that I don't like about this nail polish is that it is very sheer, so you'll have to build it up a lot to have an opaque result. Here, I am wearing three coats - and you can still see some sheer areas on the nails. That's a pity because the shade itself is beautiful and I haven't seen anything similar in other brands!
On my ring finger and on my thumb, I am wearing Red Rose Nail Stickers. This pattern is my favourite, I fell in love as soon as I saw it on the website and the real life result didn't disappoint! Have you ever seen a pattern more springy that that?
You could wear it with pastel pink nail polish as well, or even with white nail polish, so that the roses stand out even more on the plain manicure. It is a very versatile set of stickers, and it is super cheap as well so everything's good!

So here are the two manicures I have for you today. I wanted to focus on creating manicures only working with nail stickers, to show you how easily you can change up the way you wear your nail polish. You don't need lots of tools and specific nail polishes to have fun with nail art!

Have you ever tried nail stickers? What colours do you wear the most on your nails during the springtime?
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