Thursday, 31 July 2014

July Empties


Another month has flown by and August is just round the corner. We will all be posting our Christmas wish lists before we know it! I have an empties post for you today with lots of different products I've been using the last few months. Garnier is featuring as usual as they're one of my favourite skincare companies. I've used up the Micellar Water, Eye Make Up Remover and the Ultimate Blends Colour Illuminator hair mask. I've already repurchased the micellar water and it is fast becoming a permanent feature on my dressing table. 

Bastiste dry shampoo is something I always have to hand because I hate washing my hair and it's so handy for a bit of oomph for the roots. Aussie Anti Frizz Conditioner has been a god send since I had my hair re-bleached, I've gone through three of these in the past and will be going to buy my fourth the weekend. I've also used up the Olive shower gel from The Body Shop, Sanctuary bath foam (another product I've already repurchased), lots of Decleor samples, Bath & Body Works anti-bac gel and my favourite body wash from Soap & Glory, Sugar Crush.   

What products have you used up this month?
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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Debenhams Beauty Haul





A few weekends ago my Mum needed to pick up some cupcakes from Winchester so naturally, My sister and I went along to have a mooch around in Debenhams. Browsing turned into buying and a few hours later I walked out with this haul including lots of samples to try from the perfume counters and Clarins.

I have had my eye on Marc Jacob's Daisy Dream since the first press photos started floating around online and even featured it in my July Wishlist . I didn't care what it smelt like this was going to be mine. I have quite a collection of Marc Jacob perfumes and Daisy Dream needed to be added. I'm going to do a separate review the next few weeks so keep an eye out. Usually you get a bag or umbrella when you purchase a perfume but they didn't have any so I came away with Narciso Rodriguez for her, make up bag and body lotion which smells so gorgeous. 

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer was something I was given by a very lovely friend the same weekend so that's why I've included it. I've wanted to try this for so long and she had never used or was going to so it's become mine. YSL was having a sale in Debenhams so naturally I came away with more products. I chose the Long Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil in Luminescent Gold and the Pure Lipstick in Black Tulip which is a gorgeous deep purple, perfect for the Autumn months. 

What have you been hauling recently?
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Monday, 28 July 2014

Organising a Blogger's Event


This isn't a post to tell you what to do and how to organise a blogger meet up, it's just a post of  tips that I found really helped when Amy and I organised the #sotonmeetup. When we first decided we were going to arrange a meet up, I googled and googled tips and advice non stop and found posts like this really made a big difference. We aren't pros but the event went perfectly and we are now starting to arrange the second one! I hope some of these help and if you have any tips yourself please add them in the comments below. 

1. Organisation
Being organised is so important, and having a trusty notebook to hand really helps too. I had numerous lists floating around for months in the lead up to the event. Lists of all the bloggers, their blogs, twitter handles, what they were eating (we had to chose from the menu in advance) and all the company information and emails for those who were providing us with goodies for the bags. I love a good list and even on the morning of the event we were sat ticking final preparations off. Who doesn't love an excuse to buy cute stationary?

2. Planning Time
Deciding on a date well in advance is a really good idea. We actually pushed our date back by two months just because we didn't realise how much planning it would take. Giving a few months notice, gives you, the organiser, enough time to find venues, plan how you want the day to go and contact companies if you want to have goody bags and the bloggers coming time to make sure they can make the date, get days off work etc.

3. Numbers
We didn't have a limit of people attending, The reason we didn't limit blogger numbers was because as it was our first meet up and we felt that we couldn't say no to people. Who were we to decide who could and couldn't come? We wanted as many people as possible to come and enjoy the day. Numbers are up to you though, and if 10, 50 or 100 bloggers works for you then do it, but just remember don't take on what you can't handle.

4. Venue 
For the love of make up, sort your venue out first! We were stitched up the week before the meet up thanks to the FA Cup final. I phoned ahead to make sure everything was okay and to give a final head count to be told they couldn't guarantee we would all be sat together as they've had to let the main area go to a big group of lads wanting the TV area. Thankfully Orange Rooms in Southampton took all 25 of us in at the last minute and it was fabulous, if you're ever in Southampton make sure you drop in and grab some food. 
If people are travelling in for the event, try and keep it in a central location with good public transport links to make it easier for everyone to find. 

5. Food
I sent the menu out to everyone a week before the event as our only condition with our new venue was menu choices needed to be in beforehand. Everyone chose things and got back to me so quickly and I also had a list of what everyone had chosen just in case any one had forgot on the day. Also make sure you check food requirements, some people have allergies, religious food requirements or it may just be a case of  swapping things around on the menu. A yummy cocktail menu is always a plus too!

6. Spending your own money
Your own money may have to be spent. We had to buy the goody bags, name tags, extra products if not enough was sent from companies, and little extras that we wanted to make the day extra special. 

7. Goody Bags
You don't have to have goody bags to make your event successful. Most people do as a thank you to those coming. We were in touch with PRs for two-three months before the event and were very lucky to have some fab brands involved. You will probably send fifty odd emails but only get ten replies. It's disheartening but forget about it and move on to the next. Not all companies want to work with blog meet ups so don't get offended. You may even be the 72nd person asking the same thing that particular day. Just remember to be polite, to the point and have blog stats ready to email. Also don't forget to follow up after the event with thank you emails and links to reviews.

8. Enjoy yourself
Most importantly, enjoy yourself. This is your event too. Mingle, get to know other bloggers and have some fun. Treat yourself to a cocktail and get talking shop or blog in our cases. 
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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Urban Decay Naked Basics




Everyone loves a Naked palette right? I've fallen head over heels for them in recent months and have rather naughtily almost completed the set. I have already popped a review of the Naked and Naked 3 palettes on here if you fancy a read but today I have my new palette, the Naked Basics to show you. This retails at £22 but I managed to get a swatched only palette for £10 from a friend who didn't get on very well with mattes. After hitting pan on Strange in my Naked 3 I needed to get my hands on this. 

The Naked Basics contains one shimmer, Venus and five matte shades, Foxy, W.O.S, Naked 2, Faint and Crave. W.O.S has very much replaced my constant use of Strange as my all over eye shadow base. It's perfect for prepping the eye lid before I go in with some shimmer. The shadows are super creamy, easy to blend and lovely to use. If I ever hit pan on all of this this will be a palette I repurchase straight away. Neutral mattes are make up staple in my eyes. Urban Decay really have eye shadows down to a T. There's a Naked 2 with my name on it in the next few months, I feel like I need to complete my UD Naked family. 

What is your favourite Naked palette? Or what one are you lusting after?
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Thursday, 24 July 2014

First Look // Make Up Revolution





If you haven't heard of Make Up Revolution yet, where have you been? This new make up company have been setting the blogging world on fire, countless posts are available on a wide range of their make up, with the majority singing their praises and they've gained thousands of fans since they launched a few months back, myself included. 
I was sent the above products to have a play around with and I was thoroughly impressed with the quality. The packaging is pretty much identical to another very reasonably priced make up company I also have a soft spot for but the product, I feel is actually much better in comparison. 

I was sent the Redemption Iconic 1 palette | £4*, Baked Eyeshadow in Pure & Innocent | £2.50*, Translucent Pressed Powder | £2*, Lip Power Yesterdays Favourite | £3* and Lipstick Chic | £1*. 

I was really excited to try the Iconic 1 palette as I had read a few reviews on it and have recently purchased the Urban Decay Naked Palette  which is what this is copied on. I've been switching between the two and the pigmentation of the Iconic 1 is fantastic. Wear time isn't fab but lasts a lot longer with an eye shadow primer which I don't always use. The Pure & Innocent baked eye shadows are gorgeous! I really do love them and have been using them a lot the last few weeks, I already have my eye on Chocolate Deluxe and Beyond Eden. 

The translucent powder gives me a slight yellow tone so I haven't used it all that much, it's been fine to use under foundation though so I think that's what it's going to be for in my back up drawer. The lip products unfortunately didn't blow me away. Chic just didn't suit me, which is such a shame as it's such a cute pink in the tube. There are so many other shades to try that I am not giving up hope yet! Lastly was Lip Power, a double ended lipstick and gloss duo. I had Yesterdays Favourite to try, a gorgeously, deep red lipstick one end and a slightly pink/red gloss with specks of gold the other. I LOVE the red lipstick and is very much my go to red at the moment. The gloss does work well over the top of it, but as I'm not a gloss girl, I only tried this the once, hair sticking to my lips is not a good look.

Make Up Revolution have a new fan in me. I'm dying to get my hands on the new blush and contour palettes but I'm patiently waiting for pay day to swing back around again. 
Also Keep an eye out for my comparison post using the Naked & Iconic 1 palettes soon.
Have you used Make Up Revolution? What are your top picks?


*PR Samples sent for review.
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

July Birchbox




I've been waiting in anticipation to see what was in the July Birchbox* and as soon as the photos and posts started going up, I was right there reading them to see what goodies were in store. I was very kindly sent the July box by the lovely people at Birchbox to review. I've been umming and ahhing about whether or not to subscribe to a monthly beauty box but I've always been unsure as to who to go to but so far I'm really enjoying these ones. The boxes are also really handy to store things in too. Blogger storage issues!

This months box was a Sun, Sea & Sand theme and full of all the essentials you would need for a weekend away. Inside mine was a Weleda Nourishing Shampoo | £8.95, Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream | £20, Laqa & Co Lip Lube in Bees Knees | £14, Gilchrist & Soames Sea Kelp Mineral Bath | £11.25, Whish Lavender Body Butter | £14.50 and finally Ultradex Oral Spray | £3.65.

Balance Me is a brand I've used before and love, so the eye cream is going to straight into my skincare routine. The Laqa & Co lip lube is a lovely coral colour and perfect for on the go touch ups, especially at work. The Gilchrist & Soames Mineral Bath is my favourite out of the box. It smells divine, left my skin silky smooth and it totally relaxed me. The two things I weren't that keen on were the Whish Lavender Body Butter and Weleda Shampoo. I don't like lavender when put into products because the scent is just ruined and you end up smelling like an old lady. The shampoo just doesn't appeal as I love my trusty John Freida too much.. it is a handy size for going away though but that's about it. 

Are you signed up for Birchbox? What did you think of this months box?


*PR Sample sent for review. 
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Monday, 21 July 2014

Boots Haul & New App Challenge



Boots is a shop we all know and love and we probably all have our trusty advantage cards tucked away in our purses, So when I noticed the new Boots app* on Android Playstore I downloaded it straight away and quickly entered my details. It is so handy to have as there are special offers and point rewards tailored to what you usually buy so you can get the most out of it. It also tells you what offers are currently in store and has a running points balance so you always know what is on your card. A few weeks ago I received an email asking if I wanted to trial the new Boots app to see how much money I could save, how many offers I could use and how many points I'd receive. I said yes straight away because let's face it, we all love a good Boots haul.

A couple of days later an envelope hit the door mat and inside was my voucher to get all my monthly essentials so off I went to Boots with the other half in tow to carry the huge bag I was planning on leaving with. As soon as I got into Boots I printed off two offers from the machine which were 10% off any two shower gels or bubble bath and double points on all Seventeen make up. From the app I claimed 450 points when you spend over £45 and 200 points when buying anything from S&G Orangasm range. I also received a third off Garnier's Micellar Water, Half price on Garnier's Ultimate Blends and Buy one get a second half price on cotton pads and Seventeen make up.

In total I spent just under £49 and saved a total of £20.38. I received 670 points which meant my advantage points jumped right up to 1578. You can see all the lovely goodies I picked up in the first picture, and no doubt I'll being doing a few more posts once I've used it all too. If you're an advantage card holder, get downloading and claiming your extra offers, especially on top of the paper ones we already receive in the post as you can use multiply offers! Hurrah! 

Have you downloaded the Boots app yet? If so, what offers have you used so far?

*Gifted voucher to complete challenge.
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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Papaya // Barry M Cosmetics


I'm a huge fan of Barry M nail polish. It's cheap, fab quality and the variety you get is almost as good as Topshops. I have so many of their normal line polishes yet I had never gone over to the 'gelly' side until now. I was browsing Boots for some more Summer shades for my nails when I came across this beautiful coral polish called Papaya. It was just £3.99 so into the basket it went.

Apologies for the state of my nails but blistering medication all day has ruined them. I tend to paint my nails more because of this reason; plus who doesn't like looking down at brightly coloured nails to perk up a dreary morning? Papaya is a gorgeous, coral shade perfect for this time of year, sipping cocktails on a warm evening. It applies beautifully, evenly and I needed just two coats to get the colour in the above photo. After a quick spray of Elegent Touch Rapid Dry, I was good to go a minute later without any smudges. 
Why I haven't tried the Gelly Hi Shine range before, I'll never know but I'll be getting myself some more as soon as possible to add to my ever growing collection. 

What is your favourite Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polish?
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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Body Shop Body Butters Haul



I've recently started shopping in The Body Shop again and by shopping I mean sitting in my Pyjamas on a Sunday morning make online orders. They've recently had some fabulous offers on meaning you can get quite a bit for a hell of a lot cheaper! Last weekend they were having a 50% off sale plus you could get a further 40% off with a voucher code so this little bundle came to a mere £12. Which is a pretty awesome saving seeing as just one of these buttery beauties cost £13. 

I chose Almond, Blueberry, Papaya and Passion fruit, which I've since been told is being discontinued! Each one smells amazing, Papaya and Passion fruit being my favourites out of these. The body butters are aimed towards people with dry to very dry skin which I don't really suffer with but I love using these. They do take a while to soak in but it means I can flap around on Twitter or Instagram while I'm waiting. The next body butter on my list to get is Olive as I've been using the shower gel and it smells so fresh. 

Have you got any Body Shop bargains recently? 

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Monday, 14 July 2014

First Look // W7 Cosmetics




A few weeks ago the make up company W7 followed me on Twitter and tweeted me to let me know they would be launching their new website, www.w7cosmetics.co.uk, this Summer. I had heard of them before, mainly about their little nail polish pots so when their PR team emailed me about sending some products I said yes. The London Eyes eye shadow palette, Wild Lash mascara, Matte Bronzer compact and City Slicker eye make up remover arrived a few weeks ago so I've had lots of time to have a good play around.

The London Eyes palette, £6.95* comes with 24 shades, pastels right through to neutrals. It's not shades I would usually go for so I've enjoyed trying out the lilacs, pinks and greens. Totally out of my comfort zone. The midnight blue is by far my favourite shade. The Wild Lash mascara, £4.95* is not my usual wand but it did separate my lashes nicely, although I found the mascara a bit wet which I didn't like. 

The Matte Bronzer, £4.95* comes in an animal print compact and is slightly domed in the pan. The colour itself is too dark for me but mixed with some pale powder and blended in really well, I can get away with it. I love matte bronzer as I don't like too much sparkle and this would be perfect for contouring. Lastly is the City Slicker eye make up remover, £4.95*, this is an oil based remover, the ones that you have to shake to mix the two liquids. It removes make up really easily and doesn't sting which is a big thumbs up from me as I have very sensitive eyes. I honestly didn't think I would like the make up remover, I am ever faithful to my Garnier micellar water, but I did and its taken a spot on my dressing table.

I have my eyes on a few more products from W7, their duo blushes have some really pretty shades and they're a real bargain too. Plus they have eight eye shadow palettes to chose from that are all under £10! Is W7 a make up brand you've tried before? If so what are your top picks?

*PR Samples sent for review.
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Friday, 11 July 2014

Lush Summer Skin Event








I recently attended the Summer skin event held by Lush Portsmouth. It was a chance to find out about their new sun care range plus we were given in depth tutorials on how to use many of their products, a consultation with their make up wheel, Emotional Brilliance and the chance to make our own face mask!

Myself, Amy, Becky, Mannie and Ella outnumbered the Lush team, which meant we had our own staff member full of lushy knowledge to ourselves. It was fantastic and also meant that our consultations were much more personal. We could ask about the products we weren't sure on how to use, what we wanted to try and what would be best for us. I was paired with Fiona who was brimming with advice, it was so refreshing talking to someone who was so passionate about their job and who loved the products as much as I did. 

We were treated to Virgin Mojitos, Smoothies and bowls of fruit while we browsed the shop and chatted to our Lush consultants. Firstly, Fiona talked me through the many scrubs, cleansers and massage bars. It gave me the chance to ask about what would be best for my skin and my massage bar list is now considerably longer. Next I was shown their new sun care range, Lifesaver, Sesame Suntan Lotion and The Sunblock.  

Lifesaver is a SPF30 cream and is named this as the cyclist who tested it referred to it as his lifesaver when he cycled across the country so it has to be pretty good, right? Sesame Suntan Lotion smells just like Reese's Buttercups, is SPF10 and comes in a lotion, I just wanted to eat it. Lastly, The Sunblock SPF30; Lush are well known for using as little packaging as possible and they've achieved that perfectly with this new product. It's a solid bar that you break off and one small square is enough for your entire body. 

We also had a spin of the wheel of Emotional Brilliance. I've never used Lush make up as it confused me a little, don't ask me why. Fiona matched me up perfectly and after picking my colours and meanings, belief, dynamic and calm, I settled on a beautiful pink lipstick that can double up as a cheek tint. Lastly we made our own face mask, Catastrophe Cosmetic. Latex gloves at the ready we all had a good squash of the fresh blueberries and took a pot away each to try. We were given three full size products and plenty of samples to take away too.

I had such an amazing time and really enjoyed meeting some other bloggers. I've linked their blogs into this post so make sure you check them out. This event has just made my love of Lush grow even more and now I have a better understanding of what each product does, I'm ready to buy up the whole shop!

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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Miners Cosmetics




Miners Cosmetics was one of the fabulous companies that took part in providing products for the #sotonmeetup goody bags back in May and I thought I would show you what was sent through for each bag! Miners were so helpful in the lead up to the event, not only sending through new magazines but also four full size products for each person who attended. I'm only able to show you three products today as my mum has already whipped away the Tin'o'Tint in Watermelon as she had just run out of lip balm when this came through. 

In each goody bag was a Maxi Mascara Waterproof*, The Cheek Of It Stick*, Tin'o'Tint* and a lipstick. I have the lipstick in Kiss Me Quick which is from their moisture effect range and it's a vibrant, coral red. It leaves my lips feeling really moisturised with a burst of colour, it does need to be reapplied after a few hours but for a cheaper lipstick, that is what I was expecting. I really didn't get on with Maxi Mascara Waterproof but I know a few girls from the meet up have raved about this mascara. I don't know if it's because I don't use waterproof mascaras or because I prefer a separating wand but I've tucked this back away for the mean time. Lastly The Cheek Of It highlighter stick is my new best friend. I have this in a champagne colour and it's so handy to just sweep along the top of my cheek bones or along my brow bone. It leaves a subtle highlight which is perfect for day time and it's also buildable for that added shimmer of you're off out. 

Have you tried Miners Cosmetics before? What are your top picks?

*PR Samples sent for goody bags/review.
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Garnier Skin Naturals




I have used Garnier for as long as I can remember, from their simply essentials skincare to the good old fructis hair care. There really is nothing they can do wrong in my eyes especially now they can add their fabulous micellar cleansing water to the mix. Garnier was founded in 1904 but was known as Laboratoires Garnier until it became part of the L'oreal family in 1970.  So today I thought I'd give you a little run down of the products I'm using and loving at the moment. 

I love the simply essentials range.. I always have a bottle of their Soothing 2 in 1 make up remover on stand by and a pack of their trusty facial wipes. The make up remover is so lovely on the skin and removes make up effortlessly. I know facial wipes are 'frowned' upon but they are so handy to have around and I always have a pack of these waiting in the wings for quick fix ups and a speedy cleanse. I also have the cleansing lotion and toner from the same range. Can you tell I'm fan of Simpy Essentials?

The Garnier Micellar Water needs no introduction, it's fast becoming a blogger favourite and I have bottles of this ready for each time I run out. It's soothing and leaves my skin feeling so clean and you get 400ml of product! The Shine Control Moisturiser is a new addition to my morning skincare routine, this mattifies the skin, leaving a perfect base to apply your make up on. The last product is from the new Ultimate Blends range, the colour illuminator one minute treatment, this smells amazing and makes my hair so soft. I'm not usually that impressed with one minute treatments but this exceeds my expectations and has won a place firmly in my hair routine. Now to try the shampoo and conditioners!

Is Garnier one of your favourite brands too? I would love to know what your fail safe products is in the comments below. 
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Friday, 4 July 2014

July Wishlist

July Wishlist

I've been loving Polyvore recently for whipping up these wishlists or drain the bank lists as I like to call them. Daisy Dream has been on the list for a while, ever since I saw the first pics on Instagram a few months back. I am a huge Marc Jacobs perfume fan and I have just about every perfume he's ever released, (my poor bank account) It sounds awful as even if I don't like the smell of this which I'm sure will be unlikely, I will still be adding this to the collection. The bottles are so beautiful and they look gorgeous sat on your dressing table.


I'm trying to embrace the highstreet a little more. Bourjois is a company I have used on and off over the years and ever since I saw Anna from viviannadoesmakeup.com wearing Rouge Velvet Edition on Ole Flamingo I've been wanting to get my hands on one. I've also read some fab reviews on their CC Cream so I want to check that out too. 



Next is Benefit's latest offering They're Real Push Up Liner, I love the mascara, no other makes my lashes as big, so it's only right that I try the liner. Lastly is a cult classic NARS Laguna.. I don't have a counter near me so I've always refrained from ordering until I've been able to get to one but after reading review after review of how good it is, I think it's time I just click the checkout button. 



What have you been lusting after recently?
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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful


Since the New Year I've been on a mad hunt for some skincare to help me stay looking youthful when I came across Soap & Glory's Make Yourself Youthful. It was in the name so I had to buy it and I've been using it religiously for the last four weeks with some interesting results.  I bought the Rejuvenating Facial Serum and the Rejuvenating Eye Cream while there was an offer in Boots on buy one get one half price as I thought they were quite pricey.

The Rejuvenating Serum comes in a mirrored, pump bottle with 50ml of product. I find that one pump is enough to cover my whole face evenly. I much prefer a pump when it comes to face serums and creams as it's much more hygienic.The serum soaks into skin quickly and doesn't leave an oily or sticky residue.  It does have a slight citrus smell which isn't too heady and it disappears quite quickly too. The serum is light, soothing and I've definitely noticed a difference in my skin.. it's much smoother and brighter.

The rejuvenating eye cream comes in a mirrored pot with a screw on lid and contains 14ml of product. I've been using this morning and night, just patting on and around my eye area. I'm pretty sure I've started getting fine lines under my eyes and I'm trying everything to make them less visible at the moment. This has made the skin smoother and more moisturised but I haven't been wowed yet by this. I still have some product left so I'm going to keep up with it and see what the effects are when I've finished it. Fingers crossed it's as good as it's proclaimed to be.

Have you tried Soap & Glory skincare before? What is your favourite product?
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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Parma Violet // Topshop Beauty



I always post what I'm wearing on my nails on my Instagram account (@alicespake) so I thought why not do it on my blog too so welcome to my new series On The Nails. I don't know how long I'll run this for yet but seeing as I switch my nails weekly it could be for a while if it's received well. I'm hopefully going to keep the brands quite varied but I am a Barry M fan so there may be a few of those. 
This weeks On The Nails #1 is from Topshop nails, one of my favourite nail polish brands. This shade is called Parma Violet and it's the perfect, pastel lilac. I personally think Topshop has some of the best nail polish colours and formula. Their stands are like a rainbow and I get overwhelmed at first because I want all the colours. I only have four so far but they are some of my most used.

The formula is pretty awesome, two coats and you have a perfect opaque colour and it dries really quickly. I always use a quick spray of Elegant Touch Rapid Dry on top as I am the queen of nail smudges no matter what I do or how long I sit and wait. Longevity wise.. 4-5 days without chipping.. Hallelujah. And that's without a top coat.  

Have you got a favourite Topshop nail polish?
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