Layla, Leila… what’s a few letters between friends… I’m pretty excited for these new Summer shades from child-friendly nail polish brand: Little BU.

Of course, I should be more excited for the actual colours than their names but heck, I can’t help it. I’m just a big kid at heart. *buys all the everything with Charlotte on it*.  And don’t think I don’t see you trying to look all cool as you scramble around the fridge for a Coke bottle with your name on it.

So anyway, I’ve got two new Little BU shades to show you (but not the Charlotte, they’re messing with me!)  My mini-model even agreed to wear one at super-short notice, which was nice… considering she was in a head-spinning foul mood brought on by the fact that we only had Biscuit Dairylea Dunkers and not Tube Dairylea Dunkers. There’s a difference (apparently).

Little-Bu-Layla-and-Carolina

Carolina is a sheer peach with a hint of subtle sparkle and Layla is a sheer (but buildable) lilac with a myriad of multi-coloured glitter.  No prizes for guessing which one was my little Leila’s favourite?

Little-Bu-Layla

She made me do three coats… I thought it looked better with two… but you know, she’s four.  She doesn’t know when to stop gilding the lily.  MOAR GLITTER.  MOAR.

I sealed the final layer with a slick of the Little BU top coat which keeps everything pinned down for around 24hrs or until you chuck them in a bath to soak.  These really give off absolutely no scent at all during application, they apply without any frustration, and I’m happy in the knowledge that they contain no harmful toxins.

Little BU polishes (9ml) are priced at £9.95 each and are available to buy online at iluvlittlebu.com and instore at Harrods and Selfridges.

* press sample


Butter London Fiddlesticks NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 27 - 2013

fid·dle·stick

exclamation /ˈfidlˌstik/ 

Nonsense

butter-london-fiddlesticks-web

Who knew such a bunch of "nonsense" could look so pretty?

Butter London Fiddlesticks is a deep magenta glitter suspended in a raspberry base.  It was released as part of their Holiday 2012 collection and thus, horribly inappropriate to be wearing in June.  Whatever.  It's pretty and I like it… so I'm gonna wear it.

The coverage is pretty full-on and the above photo shows it worn with 3-coats, which as you can see, delivers full and complete opacity.

butter-london-fiddlesticks-web2.

Removal is a minor bitch… what with it being glitter and all.  You could layer this one over something like Butter London Blowing Raspberries and I'm sure that a single coat would have much the same effect with less irritation during the removal process.

Butter London Fiddlesticks is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from PowderRooms.com

Nails Inc. launches the Green Queen Manicure. Feeling arty? DIY it!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 25 - 2013

Keeping up with the latest trends in the fast-moving world of many manicures can be pretty hard work!  In light of this, Nails Inc have recently launched their Guest Manicure initiative which allows you to get to grips with a new nail trend for just £15, available from Nails Inc bars across the country.

This month sees the launch of the Green Queen manicure, a nod to the colour of the season, worn in a slightly more demure way than going all out HULK on your tips.

nails-inc-green-queen-manicure-1371812262

Nails Inc. say:  This is the Queen of all manicures for the festival season – a base of Royal Botanical Gardens in mint with with stunning emerald green Queen Victoria Street tips.  This is a subtle look to make your nails pop all festival long.  It’s the perfect way to accessorise your outfit – through rain, mudslides, thunder or sunshine, whatever the weather throws at us this summer, your nails will be bold, beautiful and bursting with colour.

I say… this one’s a bit manageable innit!  For once, will I be on trend?

Grabbing the closest colours I could muster, I did a pretty neat job (even if I do say so myself).

DIY-green-queen-manicure

Not got the time for such frivolities?

Your life is undoubtedly more exciting than mine… perhaps you’re off to Glastonbury this week to sample the delights of the long-drops and the she-pees.  In that case, skip the am-drams and get a pro to sort you out.

Book in for your Green Queen Manicure at your nearest Nails Inc. via their online booking service, here

Tealing kinda blue! Boots No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Cruising

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 21 - 2013

Whenever I get given one of those nifty till spits treating me to X amount off Boots No7, I make a beeline.  Well, two actually… my first port of call are the brushes, I must have a million No7 brushes that I always take with me on holidays.  You know the sort of thing… not so rubbish that they’re unusable, not so amazing/expensive that you’d cry if they got bent out of shape! Makeup bag staples.

My second stop-off is in front of the Boots No7 Stay Perfect nail polishes.  I’m a little bit reluctant to hand over full-price for the range but when you’ve got £3 off… well, things don’t seem quite so expensive after-all!

Especially when they look as pretty as this…

Boots-No7-Stay-Perfect-Nail-Colour-in-Cruising-Teal_1

Boots-No7-Stay-Perfect-Nail-Colour-in-Cruising-Teal_2

How lovely is that teal?  Next stop, it’s going on my toes!

I generally find the No7 formula to be a two-coater, the brushes have improved recently and now I can generally cover the nail in 3 strokes with an extra one thrown in to tidy up.  Drying time is average but the gloss is usually out of this world.  My biggest bug bear with the formula is that so many of the strong shades stain my skin and require more acetone in removal than I’d usually like to use.

Despite the moniker, Stay Perfect doesn’t actually stay all that perfect.  I usually get significant tip wear within a few days and the odd chip here and there, noteworthy for someone whose nails rarely suffer from chips!

That being said, I’m almost tempted to forgive it for being such a rich, glossy shade that looks as though it’s been poured on rather than painted.  Lush.

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Cruising is priced at £6 (without a voucher) and available to buy instore and online at boots.com

Are you a fan of the No7 Stay Perfect nail range?

* press sample

Swatched: Leighton Denny Holographic Collection

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 11 - 2013

Look lively beauty-lovers, there’s a new holographic collection coming to town…

Leighton Denny is launching a trio of kaleidoscopic-dazzlers exclusively with The Urban Retreat Beautique and I’m delighted to have a genuine sneak peek* for you, so without further ado…

Leighton Denny Holographic Hollo Rose

Hollo Rose

Leighton Denny Holographic Holo Skye

Hollo Skye

Leighton Denny Holograpic Hollo Silva

Hollo Silva

The new shades deliver a medium holographic effect from what is most interestingly, a matte nail.  Ignoring the press release (which describes these as high-gloss) the trio actually imparts a matte/suede finish that can be topped off with a top-coat should you require more shine.  The matte effect doesn’t do anything to downplay the light reflection and indeed, gives a really interesting twist on a tried and tested formula.

Talking of the formula, it’s an odd one although consistent across the three shades.  Laying down the first coat, the polish grabs to the surface of the nail almost too vigorously and has a tendency to leave bald patches.  I quickly surmised that the best way forward was a very thin bottom layer followed by a thicker second coat which helped smooth out any imperfections. The polish dries remarkably quickly and is touch dry within a couple of minutes.

Those of you who are familiar with matte nail formulas will understand the difficulties that can sometimes be had with these formulas, especially if your nails suffer with excessive ridging or chipping.  I would definitely consider pairing these with a ridge-filling base coat next time.  Either way by the third coat, you’re fully opaque and ready to go!

The Leighton Denny Holographic Collection will be coming online exclusively at The Urban Retreat Beautique in the next week or so priced at £13.25 each.

ETA: As of 12/06/13 – these polishes are now available via the above link.

* press sample

Butter London Trustafarian NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 5 - 2013

Why are some nail polishes so damn hard to capture on screen? In real life, they can be as pretty as a flower… but through my camera lens? We be talking cauliflower.

Powder Rooms sent me this polish to photograph for their site late last year, back in the murky depths of dark nights and well, even darker days.  It made for a frustrating assignment.  Butter London’s Trustafarian basically only sings in the sun, it needs strong daylight like I need intravenously feeding Pepsi Max.

Check it out.

indoors

indoors

outdoors

outdoors

Ahhh, you beauty. You pain in the arse beauty.

It applies with three smooth coats and dries quickly enough not to give me any major application issues. You can see that the holographic effect, although fairly subtle, is still super-pretty in a pixie-esque, twinkly kind of way.

Do you need this in your life? Possibly, particularly if you live in a country whose weather patterns consist of more than just perma-drizzle.

Butter London Trustafarian holographic nail polish is priced at £11.95 and available to buy online from powderrooms.com

Carolyn K Armineh NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 14 - 2013

If you’re a fan of classic shades, Carolyn K’s Armineh is about as classic as it gets.  This beige-toned nude should work well on most skin-tones as it leans neither too cool nor too warm in tone.  I often find that nude shades (unless pink-toned) can pull orange against my colouring so a true neutral is most welcome.

carolynk-armineh

Application was smooth but this one did unfortunately need a full three coats before it even considered becoming opaque on the nails.  The formula has been infused with Pro Vitamin B5 for stronger, healthier nails and employs a flat brush for an easy (and speedy) application.

Carolyn K’s Armineh is part of a three-piece set, available online from www.powderrooms.com, priced at £12.99

A Nearly Neopolitan NOTD with Eve Snow London

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 9 - 2013

Ice Cream.  That’s all I’ve been able to think of since painting my nails in these pastel hues from Eve Snow London’s new range of nail polishes.  It’s not as if I need much motivation to daydream all day about a 99 with a flake, but this is just silly.  I can’t look down without wanting to lick my nails, send help!

eve-snow-london-nail-polish

I’m missing my favourite flavour from my “nearly neopolitan” though.  Sad face.

British-made Eve Snow London launched last month, and is the work of Yvette Snowden who wanted to create a range of beauty products with added blends of vitamins and nourishing ingredients.  These added ingredients include: vitamin E, argan oil, and ginkgo biloba whilst the formula remains free of formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.  It should be noted, however, that this isn’t a Big Three Free formula as these nail polishes unfortunately contain both toluene and formaldehyde resin.

I found that both of the colours I tried (Opium & Pixie*) applied smoothly and dried quickly to a shiny finish.  The 10ml polishes also behaved kindly to my attempts at a bit of nail art without dragging and achieved opacity in a couple of coats.

Eve Snow London colour nail polishes are priced at £12 each and available to buy online at www.evesnow.com

* press samples

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel (an update)

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 7 - 2013

Hello lovely readers, if you remember my post from the beginning of last week, I introduced Clinique’s new range of nail polishes. In summary, I was feeling a little iffy about Clinique’s claims of a “revolutionary” hypo-allergenic formula. I won’t go over it again… but the original post is here if you need to remind yourself.

Well, I promised you an update… and here it is:

The PR team at Clinique listened to my concerns and promised to find out what they could for us with regards to how the formula differs from the already-established Big 3/4 Free formulas available on the market.

Here’s the statement that they were able to provide me with:

The concept for Clinique’s nail collection for sensitive skins came about when Janet Pardo, Senior Vice President, Global Product Development, Clinique, visited both Clinique’s Guiding Dermatologist and an independent dermatologist for an allergic reaction around the eye area. Both dermatologists advised Janet to remove her nail polish as this is often a common cause for an allergic reaction around the eye area. Following this, Janet started the process of creating a nail line in the Clinique way – Allergy tested, Fragrance Free, Ophthalmologist Tested and Dermatologist Tested.

This was a 6 year process that involved extensive testing with women diagnosed with sensitive skin. The formula was tested for one month on women with sensitive skin and sensitive eyes. It was vital that Clinique did not compromise on the finish, shade offering or formula and that the collection ticked all the boxes for a great polish that was suitable and safe for women with sensitive skins.

Let’s be honest… it doesn’t quite answer my question but the PR team were also eager to point out that retail versions of the nail enamel will come boxed with a full ingredient list and they kindly provided one for me to include on the blog, perhaps some of you eagle-eyed ingredients spotters will be able to deduce any missing toxins.

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel Ingredients_01

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel Ingredients_02

I don’t see any of the Big 3 (formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate) or even the Big 5 (+ formaldehyde resin and camphor) on the list. Can you see any other formula differences that might class this as a “revolutionary” update to the world of nail polish?

Either way, when there’s a lot of this going on in the beauty industry, it’s good to see a brand who deliver a full ingredient list at the point of sale and a PR team who are happy (and quick) to respond to questions and concerns.

Sensitive Soul? Clinique have A Different Nail Enamel just for you…

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 29 - 2013

… but to be honest, I’m not entirely convinced.

You see, Clinique have released (as of last week) a new line of nail polishes with an impressive marketing angle.

Allow me to introduce you to it:

Clinique conducted extensive research to ensure that A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins meets Clinique’s standards of utmost quality.  In fact, three years of research and three years of product development stand behind A Different Nail Enamel for Senstive Skins.  The final revolutionary formula was tested for one month on women with sensitive skin and sensitive eyes. 

Allergy tested and safe to use for sensitive skins, helps reduce the chances that eyes will burn, itch or water with contact.

clinique-nail-polishes1

Amazing.

Except for one thing.

We already have this.  It’s called Big Three Free and has been a “revolutionary thing” since 2007.

If you’re unaware, Big Three Free nail brands (including Butter London, Zoya, SpaRitual, Barry M and many more) offer nail polish formulations that are free of: dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde/formaldehyde resin and they have done for many years now.

So what?  Well, it’s this last ingredient (formaldehyde resin) in particular that causes most of the dermatological problems for those of us with sensitive skin, particularly around the eye area where (according to Clinique’s research) we touch, on average, 200 times a day.

clinique-nail-polishes2

So, the reason I’m so unconvinced by the “revolutionary” aspect of Clinique’s new release is simple.

There is no mention, either in the two-page press release, or on the website… exactly what has been removed from or added to a traditional Big Three Free nail polish formula to further reduce the risk of skin irritations.

If you’re selling your product on the basis of it being a “pioneering innovation” (their words), that’s kind of a big deal, congratulations… but as a consumer, I want to know exactly what’s in it (or lacking from it!) that makes it so Different, and I want this information readily available at the point of purchase.

I’ll enquire and if/when I hear more, I’ll be back to tell you about it.

Having said that, the polishes – taken solely on the merits of painting your nails – are quite, quite lovely.  The shades I received went on smoothly with a nicely cut, flat(ish) brush and didn’t give me any application issues.  I’ve included swatches of the four shades below for your reference.

clinique-nail-polishes

The 12 shades are available in slightly maller-than-average 9ml bottles, available exclusively online at www.clinique.co.uk and nationwide at Clinique counters from 31 May 2013. RRP £12.00

UPDATE 07/05/2013: Clinique have released a statement in response to my concerns and a full ingredient list, click here to read the update.

* press sample

NOTD: Priti NYC in Snapdragon from MyBeautyEmporium

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 17 - 2013

Last week, I received a couple of samples from online beauty haunt, MyBeautyEmporium and one of them caught my eye instantly.  Priti NYC is a nail polish brand that have been around for a couple of years and I remember they caused some controversy back in the day when it was revealed that their collection (allegedly) consisted entirely of repackaged Diamond Cosmetics nail polishes.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Diamond Cosmetics are an inexpensive brand who offer a private label division for just such a thing.  There’s nothing wrong with this, nothing at all.  Private label cosmetics is a huge market and a huge amount of the cosmetics we buy aren’t made by the company on the label.  So what’s the issue?

Well, the problem was that Diamond Cosmetics polishes retail to the public at less than half the price of Priti NYC polishes.  The blogger Polish or Perish wrote a post on which polishes from the two brands crossover so-to-speak.  It would be foolish to spend more on an identical polish no?

Priti-NYC-Nail-POlish-My-Beauty-Emporium

Well, this isn’t really an issue for us in the UK anymore.  With the new Royal Mail restrictions, we’ve never been more of an island than we are today.  The only UK retailer of Diamond Cosmetics polishes packed up her online store a couple of years ago and if you want to get hold of some of the stunning polishes that DC used to offer… Priti NYC may be the only way you can achieve this nowadays.

If you haven’t already discovered the brand for yourself, I really recommend you pick up Lambstail Cactus – a beautiful, scattered holographic charcoal black.  Snapdragon* shown above is also a bit of a Summer must-have with it’s warm opaque-in-just-one-coat, jelly-esque squishiness that reminds me of a Jolly Rancher.  No top coat in that picture by the way.

Priti NYC polishes retail at £8.95 each online at MyBeautyEmporium

* press sample

Bring out the brights with Avon Speed Dry+

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 3 - 2013

Avon’s popular Speed Dry+ range has recently undergone a revamp with a new formula and colour update.  I received a selection of shades* from the 25-strong lineup for review and I was curious to put their 30-second drying time to the test!

Avon Speeddry Nail Polish

 
Suddenly Sunny: A vibrant, sparkle-infused yellow that suffers from a draggy application but looks stunning once on the nails.
Ballerina: A sheer babydoll pink that would work well for French manicures, unremarkable.
Orange You Quick: An eye-searingly bright orange that gives full opacity in one coat. A stonking Summer shade for sun-kissed tootsies!
Reddy To Go: A warm, vibrant red… bordering on the neon.  Another one-coater, Avon are knocking it out of the ballpark with the brights.
Strawberry: A berry pink, and at the risk of repeating myself, another one-coater.  Applies beautifully.
Fast Time Teal: A lovely shade but requires three coats to achieve opacity.
On Point Blue: A pretty blue which manages to keep a hint of dustiness despite the bold hue.  Sadly, it’s also a three-coater.
Pronto Purple: A true royal purple, another three-coater… looks sumptuous on the nails.
Smokey Plumes: Is it purple, is it brown? Brurple.  An unusual shade with a rich, creme finish.  Another three-coater.

Avon Speeddry+ Nail Polish1

Out of the nine polishes I’ve been trying, almost half of them had brushes that suffered from stray long hairs and a couple deposited foreign particles (dust/brush fibres) upon first application, the usual irritations that you can often expect from cheaper polishes.  That being said, these Avon Speed Dry+ polishes are currently priced at only £2.50-a-piece (usual price £6) and still represent amazing value for money.

Avon Speeddry+ Nail Polish2

At the current price, you should consider stashing: Orange You Quick, Reddy To Go, Strawberry, and Smokey Plumes.

And what about that 30-second drying claim?  Well… nearly, but not quite – they are faster than usual though.

Avon Speed Dry+ polishes are available to buy online at www.avonshop.co.uk, priced at £2.50 each for a limited time.

* press sample

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