Nails Inc Uptown

The last of my new polishes and the final one from the Nails Inc autumn/ winter trio is Uptown and this is what I have chosen for this week’s manicure & pedicure.

Uptown is a pale pink which is described on the Nails Inc website as ‘dusky pink’. It is a stunning colour and I feel it really suits my skin tone. It is not entirely dissimilar in colour to George Street, although it is perhaps slightly deeper and warmer in tone. See photo for comparison.

Application was perfect, and such was the opaqueness of the creme polish that one coat would have been suffice (although you all know I would never just paint one coat!) I am really entirely converted to this new shaped brush, it is just so easy to get a perfect result one millimetre above your cuticle so as not to flood it. One of my pet hates is poorly applied nail varnish which floods the cuticle.

This nail polish is available to purchase here and photographs, as always, show a base coat, 2 coats of colour, and a top coat.

Thanks for reading!

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Nails Inc Battersea Park

This week’s nails come from Nails Inc’s autumn/winter trio, Battersea Park is an olive green which is described on the website as khaki.

Application is perfect due to the newly redesigned brush and the opaqueness of the polish. I’m really pleased with this colour as it is slightly unusual yet still very pretty. This polish is available to buy here

Photographs show a base coat, 2 coats of colour and a top coat. Thanks for reading!

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Nails Inc Grosvenor Crescent

I’m going out tomorrow night so I’ve done my nails again for the second time this week. My Nails Inc NailKale Bruton Mews manicure and pedicure were still in perfect condition, but I thought since as I will be wearing a pink dress I had better change my nails.

Tomorrow nights nails are another of my new Nails Inc polishes, this time I’ve gone for Grosvenor Crescent which is from the autumn/winter collection. Grosvenor Crescent is a rich, deep plum colour described on the website as aubergine.

Application was smooth, I’m finding the new brushes make applying the nail varnishes a lot quicker and easier. As it is, again, so heavily pigmented one coat would have been sufficient but I applied my usual base coat, two coats of colour and a top coat.

This nail polish is available to buy here and photographs show A&E base coat & Albert Bridge top coat.

Thanks for reading!

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Nails Inc NailKale Bruton Mews

Nail varnishes are my favourite beauty buy, so I was really pleased this weekend when I managed to get 4 new colours. I got the Nails Inc Autumn/Winter collection along with this week’s nail colour of choice Bruton News from the NailKale collection. I have around 50/60 Nails Inc polishes but this is my first bottle from the NailKale collection and these are my first 4 bottles in the new redesigned shape.

Bruton Mews is a deep forest green, perfect for the upcoming autumn. I found application to be smooth, aided by the new flatter, wider brush. One coat would have been sufficient so concentrated is the pigment, however, as I am somewhat of a nail perfectionist I went ahead and applied a basecoat, 2 coats of colour and a top coat. At the moment I am using Nails Inc A&E rescue basecoat and Nails Inc Albert Bridge top coat.

I’m really pleased, as always, with the way this polish turned out on my nails, I currently feel I have the prettiest fingers and toes in Newcastle! According to the Nails Inc website, the kale extract contained in the polish is supposed to enhance keratin production and lead to stronger, healthier nails. I can’t comment on whether this is the case for my nails but I will keep you all posted on their progress. I expect this manicure and pedicure to last 7 days, so I will review another of my new polishes this time next week.

Nails Inc NailKale Bruton Mews is available to buy here where you can also read about the benefits of the added kale extract. Photographs show a basecoat, 2 coats of colour and a top coat.

Thanks for reading!

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In defence of Barbie

So today, scrolling through the Guardian I noticed yet another article disparaging Barbie. How many times have we heard that Barbie is on her way out? (If you regularly read the Guardian, you’ve heard this an infinite number of times). Barbie may well be decreasing in popularity, but with the rise in popularity of children playing with computers/iPads & such like, surely the sales of all traditional dolls could well be declining.

Anyway, something which has always baffled me about the outcries from certain feminists that Barbie is a poor toy for little girls to play with is how? Barbie has had close to 150 (!) careers, she’s been a doctor, an astronaut, a vet and even president of the United States. Whereas the Disney princesses, with the exception of Pocahontas & Tiana have all exclusively been waiting for their prince. Only Princess Tiana has had a job or any career ambitions (to own her own restaurant). Why is no one vilifying them in the same way they are hounding Barbie. If anything, Barbie is a step up from these stereotypes. Couple this with the fact that Barbie’s long term boyfriend, Ken has never worked, she is supporting him! She’s a feminist icon! (Maybe not, but there are worst things children could be doing than playing with Barbie).

Yes, Barbie is blonde, tall, thin & beautiful, but as a brown girl, I loved her as a child, I certainly didn’t feel inferior due to the standard of beauty she supposedly set for me. I mean, she’s a doll. She’s been a doll for 55 years (and looking good on it) has she also been responsible for eating disorders for this long too? I don’t think so. Studies to the contrary have used small sample sizes and even conclude that any negative images a small sample of girls may have about themselves are negated with the ageing of the child.

Calls for plus size Barbies are preposterous, being overweight is unhealthy, why should Barbie pander to the feelings of mollycoddled children in order to encourage them to lead an unhealthy lifestyle? Instead of telling them to accept themselves the way they are in the midst of an obesity epidemic, surely we should encourage them to care about their weight by persuading them to adapt a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s not forget either, Barbie is not really a role model, she’s just a doll. As a little girl playing with my Barbies in the 80s, I definitely didn’t look at Barbie as a woman I aspired to be, anymore than I’m sure little girls do now. She was my doll and if she taught me anything, surely it was that I could be anything I wanted to be.

Any opinions please feel free to leave them in the comments!

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Wash Day!

So, as you know by now (from previous posts) I have completely natural hair, which I wash & blow dry every 7-10 days. I LOVE trying new products on my hair and I fall for every single ‘thicker, stronger, healthier’ claim going from new products! Anyway, in my 29 years on the earth I have never once walked into a mainstream shop in this city and seen products targeted at natural hair just sat, sitting there on the shelves waiting to be purchased. Well, not until a few months ago.

Huge props to Boots in Eldon Square then! You can’t even imagine my excitement! You honestly can’t. I first tried the Organix Argan Oil & Shea Butter shampoo & conditioner. They were alright but nothing I would rave about, they left my hair slightly dry and my curl pattern wasn’t hugely defined my them. I probably wouldn’t repurchase.

Step forward Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Gentle Softening Wash & Knot-Out Conditioner with mango oil & bamboo milk. These are sulphate free (I must confess I don’t pay much attention to ingredients, I usually just judge products by their results). I really like the way these products smelled and the way they made my hair feel. It was so so soft after washing.

The shampoo easily removed all product build up from my hair and the conditioner made detangling easy. I only detangle my hair on wash days, I would be hesitant to brush or comb my hair more than once a week and I certainly wouldn’t brush/comb my hair whilst dry, so it is important for me to detangle properly and easily. I’m not sure if these products actually ‘elongate’ my curls or have any real anti shrinkage properties, but I didn’t blow dry my hair straight away like I usually do and I was happy with the way my curls looked and felt.

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Unfortunately, these products don’t seem to be available on the Boots website or I would have included links to them. I am definitely happy with the Dark & Lovely products and will certainly be repurchasing. I like to alternate between shampoo & conditioner so I will use these once every other wash day. Do any of you have any natural hair tips for me of any product ideas you think I should try? My hair product purchasing never ends so please leave any advice in the comments!

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Cheers, lasses!

African Black Soap

My skin has always been pretty oily and I’d been using Clean & Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash for years to try to keep blemishes and breakouts to a minimum. Recently though I’d found that I had more spots than usual – teenage skin at the age of 29 is not a good look!

I wondered whether all the chemicals and additives in the products I’d been using on my skin could possibly be the reason behind my increased number of blemishes so I decided to try something a bit more natural. I’d looked at Lush products but felt dismayed by the presence of synthetic additives and decided against them. I’d read reviews before about African Black Soap so I did a little research on this. The prevalent (and cheapest) seemed to be Dudu Osun which has good reviews, however, from what I could gather is made in a factory in Nigeria & there didn’t seem to be any information about whether or not it was fair trade. It is important to me to buy fair trade products if I am buying something from Africa, after all, we must show respect to the Motherland.

After a little Googling, I came across Akoma Original Ghanaian Black Soap which is not only fair trade but also handmade in Ghana. I have to say that I haven’t been happier with a face wash! My skin seems less oily and my spots are starting to clear as a consequence. It lathers up really well so you hardly have to use any – this is definitely a product which will last – excellent value for money. I’m not sure if this would be the right product for you if you have dry skin, but for me it is perfect.

Next I’d like to look for a completely natural moisturiser which is suitable for oily skin. If you have any tips or advice for me please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Cheers, lasses!

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