Monday, 6 August 2012

Naked Nails

As an ex nail tech, I can totally appreciate the damage that acrylic / fibreglass extensions or wraps can do, especially if not applied correctly, not looked after or badly removed.
I wore extensions for over 10 years so although I'm quite proud of how my natural nails survived, I really hate seeing them naked - they look so much nicer polished with whatever my shade of the moment may be.
They don't actually look that bad, but I do pay them quite a lot of attention, and I do look after them.

I manicure on average once a week, but change my polish more often :))
Here are my go to products every time

An acetone free varnish remover
Nails Inc Striptease cuticle remover
Ruby & Millie glass file (nothing wrong with this but want to upgrade to a Leighton Denny crystal file)
Leighton Denny VIP 3 in 1 buffer
Avoplex cuticle oil by OPI,  this is lovely to use at night
A cuticle balm such as Figs & Rouge (review) or Lush Lemony Flutter (I only discovered this yesterday) which I use constantly throughout the day
Nails Inc Hyde Park base coat. This can also be used as a treatment.
2 coats of polish
Nails Inc Kensington Caviar topcoat

Which nail products can you not live without?

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Hotel Chocolat

Who doesn't love a cocktail or two on a Saturday night - or on any other night for that matter?
I'm lucky enough to have a branch of Hotel Chocolat practically on my doorstep :)) and have discovered these Mojito Truffles

Rum, mint and lime white chocolate ganache in a white chocolate shell - what more could I ask for?
So creamy tasting, and packed full of alcohol :))
Packaging states 'could blow your socks off' and believe me, they really could.

Hotel Chocolat are a British cocoa grower & chocolatier Hotel Chocolate Mojito


Exfoliation is a really key part of my routine. Its a simple, but important process to remove dead skin cells and unblock pores, which leaves my skin feeling and looking brighter and healthier.
My skin tends to be on the oily side & prone to the occasional spot, but can also be sensitive, so it's important to me that I don't use products that can cause any flare ups or cause any redness or sensitivity. 
I use this form of manual exfoliation between 2 & 3 times each week & have 2 products that I always rely on.
Both go onto clean dry skin avoiding the eye and lip area.

Gatineau Activ Eclat Radiance Enhancing Gommage

There are no particles in this product, it goes on completely smooth. It's a gel like product that is slightly pearlescent and is suitable for all skin types (including sensitive).
Due to the gel consistency, I did expect this to be sticky, but it isn't at all. It has a lovely scent, slightly citrus but more orangey like than lemon or lime.
Once applied you can either massage in, or just leave for a couple of minutes. Once you notice the texture change to liquid its time to remove. I generally either rinse off in the shower or use a muslin with plenty of water. My skin is left plump, smooth, hydrated and energised.
I do find that my skin has a slight residue after using, but this is easily rectified with a toner.
This is great if you like a morning exfoliater, or if you need a pick me up before a special occasion.
Gatineau products are quite pricey but you can get some great deals via QVC.

Soap & Glory No Clogs Allowed - Deep Pore Detox

This product is a creamy based grainy exfoliater which I tend to use in the evening.
The first thing that struck me is the scent (it's gotta smell good for me to want to use it). The fact that is smells menthol-esque assures me that it's doing my skin the world of good :))
This is a self heating product which sounds worse than it is - the heat lasts for a few seconds but isn't unpleasant, its more of a warming sensation.
The grains are tiny blue pods so don't be alarmed if the product applies with a slightly blue shade.
There are a couple of ways of using this, you can massage on and rinse off, or once massaged, you can leave on the skin for a more deep cleansing mask, rinsing off after 5 minutes. Whichever way you use it, the product should be applied with wet hands.
Again, you can either rinse off in the shower or sponge off - a cute pink facial sponge is included with the product.
My skin feels so fresh and clean after using this, and any lumps or bumps under my skin simply disappear.
I usually follow this with a specific mask before moisturising.
My make up goes on a lot smoother the following day and the open pores that I have do appear to be visibly smaller.

Love both products and would never want to be without.