Barry M-Arvelous

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I broke up with my Barry M nail varnish collection a few years ago after a spout of disappointment at their increasingly short life span, cloggy texture and lengthy drying time. However, after hearing so much hype over their new-ish Gelly Hi-Shine collection, I thought it was about time I try another fling.

Gel nail polish is the new in-thing; promising to last weeks longer than your standard nail varnish, it certainly answers a few prayers. Some friends of mine now head to the salon religiously once a month to have an OPI gel lacquer applied and removed, swearing by the quality of a gel over standard nail varnish. This is something I am not yet financially viable for, so I opted for a cheaper substitute!

At first glance of the collection sitting on the pharmacy shelf I was unsurprised to be faced with the tell-tale Barry M garish shades on offer, but as I scanned to the row below I was pleasantly greeted with a few more wearable shades; including a beautiful emerald green (Watermelon), a subdued pink (Pomegranate) and a desirable peach (Papaya). I opted for an eye-catching deep petrol blue (Blue Grape), a colour I had been coveting from Revlon’s Salon Pro range; slightly different and perfect for the colder months which will shortly be upon us.

After one application of base coat (I use Sally Hansen’s Double Duty Base & Top Coat), the Barry M varnish glided on to each nail nicely, providing a pretty even and solid colour straight away. The brush is thinner than I usually like but this is good for precision so long as the varnish is liquid enough to coat the nail before it starts to dry and leave that horrid streaky effect!

I gave each nail two applications to ensure each nail had even coverage, this gave an overall finish which was bold and very shiny! The colour is just as it should be and I found the varnish dried very quickly considering the consistency (Gel) is pretty thick!

So overall, not a bad re-introduction to Barry M’s nail offerings, and at £3.99 a pop they wont break the bank! Now to put them to the real test…just how long will they last before chipping…Await the update!


A Good Shower

I’ve recently been introduced to a lovely range of no-fuss, no-muss, guilt-free shower gels by The Body Shop. My favourite, the Apricot & Basil smells amazingly fresh and fruity, lathers up well and most importantly of all, is kind on the skin. 

Not blessed with the hardiest of skin types, I often find shower gels cause sensitivity or aggravation, so tend to go for more natural brands of shower gels and creams. The Earth Lovers range from The Body Shop deliver wonderful shower gels that are soap, sulphate, paraben and colourant free, and therefore not at all harsh on the skin! Not only this, but are 100% biodegradable and come in 100% recycled bottles…what’s not to like about this heavenly range?

I’ve already tried several of the other fragrances including the Cucumber and Mint which is fantastically fresh, and the Lemon & Thyme which delivers a great wakeup in your morning shower and there’s even an unfragranced option for those extra sensitive shower go-ers! I’d recommend anyone give it a try for a twist on the mundane shower must-have. 

Gym Bunny Beauty

Only the other day I was introduced to Boots Sun Swim and Gym Leave In Conditioner by my very own gym bunny mother. Claiming to improve the appearance of split ends and defend hair against the distresses of UV rays and chlorine, I was recommended it as a perfect post swim/gym staple. All you need to do is simply spritz the conditioner into towel dried hair after washing and comb through before applying your hair-dryer…simple and very quick!

I have always been sceptical of leave-in conditioners as some of those I have used previously (Paul Mitchell Taming Spray Leave-In De-tangling Conditioner) have left my hair feeling sticky or greasy; therefore it’s always best to avoid direct application to the roots. However, I’ve found with Sun Swim and Gym, once dry, the formula leaves your hair feeling really well conditioned, shiny and more beautiful on the ends. Not only this, but even styling is made easier with this product in my hair…not bad for £3.59! This product should not be kept for gym-days only.

Best Basics

Mood Board

The summer is finally here, and it’s time to shed the heavy make-up and show off our natural beauty in the sun! With this in mind, I thought I’d throw together a little mood board of all my favourite beauty essentials. They are all basic, low in cost and absolutely brilliant products I could not live without. That’s all.

Pro Polish

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I have to say I am loving Rimmel’s new range of Salon Pro Nail Polish! I picked up a beautifully fresh and summery blue called ‘Peppermint’ for just £4.49 thinking I’d give it a go, and am extremely happy with the results!

The polish has a thick, ‘precision maxi’ brush which enables a quick and easy application, and in just two cotes you get a strong colour with a lovely shine! The varnish lasted 4 days before looking chipped which is a major improvement on many of my other, more expensive brands of nail lacquer. It dries quickly, and they have a wide range of gorgeous colours to choose from…I may have to indulge in more…!

Grow Baby Grow

Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara is my new favourite thing! From first application I was very pleased at the length and thickness it gave to my lashes…and after a few weeks of use I would definitely say my lashes are looking a little longer than before!!

This magical wand is a multi-benefit mascara and lash enhancer, that instantly gives longer and fuller lashes while helping them to grow stronger with each use. I’ve never had long lashes and have found they fall out rather frequently, so the added lash enhancing formula was a welcome benefit!

Available in Blackened Brown and (my choice) Blackest of Black, at £9.99 it’s no more expensive than your average high-street mascara. It works well, dries quickly and doesn’t leave you with clumpy lashes…so even without the strengthening qualities I’d certainly recommend. And who’s going to say no to an extra bit of help to get their lashes in a better condition? Not me.

Healthy Fix

I have always been a fan of Max Factor’s range of foundations and over the last year I have been using MF’s Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 foundation, which is an all round good product. But being me, I just have to try something new once in while so I thought I’d give Bourjois’ Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix foundation a try.

Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix promises a ’16hr radiance boost’ and is packed full of all sorts of impressive vitamins to help your skin fight off fatigue and give you a healthy glow. Something we all want now the sun is finally shining!

I must admit, I am extremely pleased with the result, the liquid foundation goes on nicely without drying the skin out or being too ‘wet’. The foundation definitely gives an all over subtle glow, and the colour I opted for: ‘light beige’, is perfect for me! A little goes a fair way with this foundation so it should last a while so it’s definitely worth the money (£9.99); and after a few weeks of use my skin is in a healthier condition, so an overall excellent purchase!