Well, I say an annual tradition but a quick skip back through the archives tells me that I didn’t actually do this last year. Oops! Well, in the two previous years (2011 and 2010) I did some festive, wintry snowflake nail art. This year, I got a bit lazier and went down the stamping route rather than going freehand, but hey, blogging in conjunction with a full time job is no mean feat!
The base colour is Orly Snowcone, a truly gorgeous blue shade. The formula is less gorgeous, I found it kinda thick and gloopy but definitely very opaque and I managed to get away with one coat of it. Then I added a quick coat of Inglot 017 for a layer of pearly pink shimmer before stamping on a snowflake design from Konad plate M59 in white about FIVE MILLION TIMES. In all honesty, it probably would have been quicker to go freehand again! That’ll teach me.
I’ve got back into stamping in a pretty big way lately. I have some new plates I bought that I want to share with you soon, so keep an eye out!
After my recent post on the new Kiko Regent Street store, I couldn’t wait to try a couple of bits from their current limited edition holiday collection, Digital Emotion. The Bright Eyes Top Coat immediately caught my eye, it’s really quite unusual.
Kiko Bright Eyes Top Coat is a little 10ml tube of super-shimmery iridescent gel designed as, well, a top-coat for eyes. In the same way we might use a glittery topcoat on our nails, this is a similar idea for adding a little extra something to your eye makeup.
Swatched above, you can see what a tiny little pinprick of this you would need on the eyes. A little goes a very long way without compromsing on the eye-catching shimmer finish. It’s a good thing you need so little product, as I imagine too thick a layer of this would just be asking for creasing. The smooth, not-at-all-sticky gel formula feels lovely when you tap it into the skin to blend.
Thanks to its ease of use, I think this a great thing to slip into your makeup bag if you’re going out after work. A soft, office-appropriate matte eye look can be instantly transformed to something sparkly and special with just two tiny little dabs of this magical, brightening gel – I am a big fan.
Kiko Bright Eyes Top Coat costs a very reasonable £7.90 and is available in store and online. The rest of the Digital Emotion collection is also available online – the double-ended eye pencils are fab, FYI!
Well, it is the season of giving after all.
I just wanted to let you know about something really cool that we should all be taking part in.
My local shopping centre (and also one of the best ones ever, in my
professional opinion), Westfield Stratford, have teamed up with Save The Children to raise some awareness and some dollar – and it’s really easy for bloggers to get involved and contribute to the cause. Before I get into the how, here’s just a snapshot of the why…
According to various research studies, there are an estimated 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. In 2013, for goodness sake! The way things are going, this number is expected to rise to an even more horrific 3.9 million by 2015. Worldwide in 2012, the lives of more than 8 million children were taken too early, most from preventable conditions and diseases. Save The Children do everything they possibly can to help this situation, and through their work in 2012 alone they managed to help a whopping 10 million children. As fantastic as this is, there are millions of children in need of help that Save The Children simply can’t reach, so more needs to be done.
How can I get involved?
It’s super, super easy. This applies to ALL bloggers, so if you have your own little slice of the internet PLEASE get involved!
Simply take a photo of yourself in your favourite/tackiest/most hideous Christmas jumper (I grabbed this fetching light-up number for my work Christmas party next week!), post it on your blog and let your readers know about the campaign. Then just tweet the link to your post to @westfieldstrat with the hashtag #Selfies4STC so they know you’ve taken part – and for every blogger who takes part Westfield will donate £10 to Save The Children.
That is literally it. Next to zero effort required on your part, and Westfield will donate a whole tenner on your behalf. No one with a blog has any legitimate reason not to get involved in this fab campaign, so GO GO GO!
The deadline to take part in the #Selfies4STC campaign is Friday 13th December 2013.
If you’re going to be around Westfield Stratford in the next couple of weeks, they’ve got some great events going on including a Christmas Jumper pop-up with knitting workshops and all sorts. There’s more info here if you’re interested!
So, one last plea – please take part and help raise some much-needed funds for Save The Children.
You may nor may not have noticed that I’ve been a bit lax on the blogging front over the last couple of weeks. In fact, it’s the first time in over 2 and a half years that I’ve broken my strict every-other-day posting schedule. I know I don’t need to make excuses, but I guess it’s a combination of having a lot going on with work and at home (I’m moving soon), and a general lack of motivation. This new little series I’m starting has helped with getting my mojo back though – album cover nail art!
Album cover nail art was actually something that was suggested to me in a blog comment a REALLY long time ago, but I can’t for the life of me remember when or by whom. It just popped into my head last night, so I noted down some album artwork I thought might be fun to try and this morning I had a crack at Coldplay’s 2005 album X&Y. It was pretty fiddly, but lots of fun.
The whole thing was done with just one nail art brush, and a selection of polishes in my collection that most closely matched the colours on the cover. To be honest, the hardest part was trying to take photos that weren’t spoiled by the white reflections from the window!
GOSH Tilted Blue
China Glaze Liquid Leather
China Glaze White on White
Models Own Misty Grey
Barielle Lemon Drop
OPI Jade is the New Black
Nails Inc Bond Street
What do you reckon? If you have any suggestions for album covers (that I actually have a chance of being able to recreate!), please do let me know – I have a few in mind but all ideas are more than welcome :-)
You guys already know what I fan I am of Kiko Makeup Milano. I’ve never tried a product from them that I didn’t like! Up until now, the Italian brand has only had two tiny little stores in the whole of the UK, both in London. One at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, and one at Westfield Stratford which is very fortunate since it’s so close by to me.
This week, a brand new Kiko store has been opened, this time in central London, a prime spot on Regent Street. And it’s HUGE! Two floors of makeup heaven, the perfect place to house their epic range of over 1500 makeup and skincare products – which includes over 200 eyeshadows, 180 lipsticks, 30 mascaras, 200 nail polishes… I could go on. Over 600 of these products were released in 2013 alone, which gives a hint to just how quickly this brand is growing.
I have been a frequent visitor to the tiny little Westfield Stratford store over the last two years, and as much as I love the brand and the products it was difficult to pick an opportune time to go and visit because it is SO cramped in there. Kiko Regent Street improves on this about a million times over, with tons of space to move about and plenty of assistants on hand to offer advice, apply products and so on. Kiko sales staff are never pushy, and in my experience have always been truthful and unbiased in giving advice about which products will work best for you.
Since Regent Street is a little more accessible for most than either Shepherd’s Bush or Stratford (particularly for tourists who are more likely to visit central London than too far west or east!), I hope that Kiko will continue to go from strength to strength. If you’ve not tried any of their products yet, I promise that their quality and performance far exceeds any expectations you might have from their seriously competitive prices.
So – next time you’re wandering down Oxford Street, take a quick turn down Regent Street and pay Kiko a visit. You will not be disappointed! The photos below will give you a peek at what you’ll find.
Don’t forget, if you can’t visit a Kiko store in person their products are always available on KikoCosmetics.com.
Previous Kiko Reviews
Bright Night Lights Palette
Fierce Spirit Collection (Summer 2013)
Colours in the World Collection (Spring 2013)
Sumptuous Burgundy Palette
Luxurious Gold & Plum Palette
Sunshine nail tutorial with Kiko polishes
Nail polish in 255
Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows
This time last year, The Body Shop released a couple of eyeshadow palettes as part of their Winter makeup collection and I reviewed Smoky Moonstone. Now I have one of this year’s offerings, and while Smoky Moonstone was good, I am absolutely loving this one – The Body Shop Smoky Plum Palette*.
Frankly, I was sold as soon as I’d read the words ‘smoky plum’. Yes please, come to mama! The shades are coming off rather too brown in the photos, there is some definitely plummy-cranberry tones to these shadows that my camera has not done any justice to.
While some things about this year’s Smoky palettes are in keeping with last year’s – note the same resilient packaging, the same mini brushes (can I get a Hallelujah for an alternative to sponge applicators?!), the same handy big mirror inside, the same layout – there is one vast improvement and that is in the formula of the eyeshadows themselves. The shadows in Smoky Moonstone were good, if a little flaky and prone to fallout. Smoky Plum however has improved on this tenfold with a soft, buttery and blendable texture that negates fallout while still packing some punch in the pigment stakes. Very impressed, TBS!
I’ve been using this a quite a bit over the last few weeks, and am particularly loving it combined with the Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow pencil in Dark Pearl (review here!) which is just the perfect base for these shadows. A bit of the highlight shade to illuminate the inner corners, the second colour over the lid on top of the Dark Pearl pencil, the third colour to add a bit of soft focus definition to the crease and the darkest one to frame the lashlines.
Really lovely stuff, a good seasonal addition to any collection – and especially good for a weekend away thanks to the sturdy packaging, mirror and mini brushes – and not a bank-breaker either at a very reasonable £15. Get yours in store or online, and be sure to check for any active discount codes as The Body Shop nearly always have some sort of offer on!