At Home Mini-Mani

When I want my nails to look their best, I do an at home mini manicure.This keeps my nails strong and healthy, while looking well groomed.

nails 2

I start off by cutting and filing my nails. You can use either clippers or scissors to cut your nails, whatever you feel more comfortable with. I am currently using clippers from the brand Ms Manicure. When my nails have been cut to the desired length I file them into shape.

There are a range of shapes you can achieve (especially if you have long nails) including square, oval or even cat claw. I tend to go for a ‘squoval’ shape (a combo of square and oval!) I have recently started using the S-File by Stylfile, an ‘S’ shaped nail file and buffer that curves naturally around the edge of your nail. This was designed by previous ‘The Apprentice’ winner and inventor Tom Pellereau.

I then follow up with a base coat. I always use a base coat, especially when using brightly coloured or dark nail varnishes. Not only does it stop your nails getting stained, but it also makes your manicure last longer. My favourites at the moment are Sally Hansen Double Duty (£4.99) and Maybelline’s Superstay Forever Strong in Crystal Clear (£4.49). These two are great as the double up as a base coat and top coat.

Now time for colour, I always apply at least two layers of my nail polish to get an opaque, even finish. You may be able to get away with applying one coat of a light, shimmery polish, but you want to avoid that wishy-washy look. My favourite nail polish ranges of the moment are Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine, Maybelline Superstay Forever Strong and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. They each have a good selection of colours available and last around a week on my nails without any major chipping. They also don’t break the bank!


Try not to apply each layer too thickly, its best using thin layers of polish and build up the colour. Let each coat dry for a couple of minutes before applying the next, as this will mean they are less likely to smudge. Keep a cotton bud dipped in nail varnish remover to hand if you tend to be a little clumsy with your polish. This can be used to clean up any mistakes or polish that is on the skin around your nail.

When I’m happy with the way my nails look, I apply a top coat followed by Essence’s Express Dry Nail Oil. This has been a life saver when it comes to my nails. I always used to find that even hours after I thought my nails had dried I would end up having some kind of imprint or dent in my polish. However, this dries and sets your nails super quickly.

Do you have any nail polish recommendations?


FOTD: Vintage Marsala

Face of the day: Warm brown and peach eyes with a marsala lip



Revlon photoready foundation in nude

Maybelline better skin concealer

Collection blusher in Blushalicious

Seventeen Wow highlighter


Lime crime eyeshadow helper

Anastasia Maya Mia Palette

Urban decay Shadow box

Essence liquid liner

Max Factor clump defy mascara

Anastasia brow pomade in medium brown


Rimmel Provocalips in Make your move

Affordable Makeup Haul


Queen of dupes, Makeup Revolution, was my first port of call on a recent drugstore beauty shopping trip to Cardiff. The recently opened Superdrug Beauty Studio has a whole host of affordable makeup brands, including my favourite, freshly discovered brand, Makeup Revolution. I had seen the ‘I love chocolate’ eyeshadow palette previously (which is a perfect dupe for the Too Faced chocolate bar palette!) and had recommended it to friends, but as I already had the Too Faced palette I didn’t invest. However, this time I couldn’t resist their other chocolate palette ‘Death by chocolate’. This offers 16 slightly more cool toned shades, which are incredibly pigmented, especially for the £7.99 price tag!

Next up, as a fan of a simple matte eye with winged liner, I decided to pick up the Redemption Essential Mattes palette for £4. I was very pleasantly surprised with highly pigmented shadows, as matte shadows can often lack punch. Lastly, from Makeup Revolution I got the Redemption Hot Smoked palette (£4), which had a lot of shades that resembled those in the Urban Decay Smoked palette. Again, I was amazed with the pigmentation and shade range and can’t wait to try them all out on the lids! I’m definitely going to be going back to purchase the rest of the Redemption palette range, for £4, you really can’t beat it!

Essential Mattes Palette

Essential Mattes Palette


Hot Smoked Palette

Hot Smoked Palette

Next, I took a browse at the Sleek cosmetics stand and picked up two of their lipsticks in the sheen formula (£4.99 each). I went for more nude, ‘my lips but better’ shades including Liqueur (a mauve, natural nude that doesn’t wash your lips out and has a slight shimmer to it) and Barely There (a more coral nude that goes nicely with warm toned eye looks and blushes). I was impressed with the sheen formula as it didn’t come off sheer, had good pigmentation and was creamy and smooth on the lips.

L-R Liqueur, Barely There

L-R Liqueur, Barely There


Finally, I made a stop at Wilko since discovering that they now stock Essence cosmetics and had a 3 for 2 offer on. Having only  tried a couple of Essence products previously, I picked out six products to try. First off, I noticed they had an impressive range of nail care products including at home gel nail sets, nail art equipment and so on. I decided to pick up the Caring nail oil (£2), which claims to nourish nails and improve growth. I’ve only applied this a handful of times so far, but my nails do seem to be less brittle and more shiny. Plus, I love the smell of this, it’s like orange flavoured sweets! From the nail range, I also picked up the express dry drops (£2). I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m hoping this will help out with my lack of patience when waiting for my nail polish to dry!


I got two of the 3D duo eyeshadows (£2.80 each), one in the shade ‘Irresistible fox-trott’ which is a peach and a copper colour. I like these two colours mixed together as it creates a very summertime appropriate shimmery warm peach. The other shade ‘Irresistible caramel cream’ contains a brown/bronze and a champagne tone, which when swirled together gives a good everyday neutral shimmer.

I then picked up the I ❤ extreme mascara (£2.80). I heard good things about this in the past, so I wanted to give it a try. When looking for mascara, I want a formula and brush that separates and defines lashes while adding length, and this mascara seems to do just the job!

Lastly, I got one of the XXXL shine lip glosses in ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ (£1.80). This shade comes off almost clear on the lips, but on closer inspection the pink shimmer is visible. This makes lips look very glossy and full, and is fairly long lasting, without feeling sticky. And again, I’m a fan of the sweet scent!

So, overall it was a pretty successful shop! This drugstore haul came in at under £37 for 2 lipsticks, 1 mascara, 1 lipgloss, 2 nail care items and 42 eyeshadow shades (a little excessive, I know!!)

Essence Cosmetics

Whilst browsing over my holiday reading material, I stumbled across this advert…


Very excited to discover that Essence cosmetics are going to be so easily available in the UK, and in Wilko of all places! Can’t wait to try out more of their products, particularly their metal glam eye shadows. I’m sure a haul will be on the cards very shortly!