OPI Make Mine Sparkling Limited Edition Gift Set; Wine and Dine Me and Incognito in Sausalito

I haven’t done a polish review in a long time; largely because, for reasons I’m yet to figure out, my damn nails keep breaking! I don’t know why and it’s driving me up the freaking wall. I did manage to grow them out for New York, but the week I got back-literally that very week- they all broke off again, one by one, and I’ve not managed to get them back since. It was almost as if I had willed them to grow especially for the trip.

Close up of my nails in NYC. This legit makes me want to cry.

Close up of my nails in NYC. This legit makes me want to cry.

I’ve recently started a new nail hardening and growth regime, and they have managed to grow out a little, so I’m super hopeful. Come on nails!!!

In the meantime, the good people over at Just My Look offered me the chance to try out one of the OPI box sets, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity. My nails were looking just about on the good side of short, so I figured now could be a good time to re-explore my love for bold, glittery nails.

They send me over a gorgeous gift set containing two polishes; Wine and Dine Me and Incognito in Sausalito.

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I couldn’t really get a good angle on the polish inside the box due to the glare, so here they are again, sans packaging.

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These gorgeous colours are both right up my street. Any regular followers will know that I am a huge fan of dark shades and glitter, and here I have both! I’ll start with the dark blue, Incognito in Sausalito.

Incognito in Sausalito

This shade is a navy, bruise blue, so dark it’s almost black. I have an on-going love affair with black nails that I blame on watching Spike in Buffy, so I was over the moon to see this dark, rich shade in the box. It goes on beautifully, too; the pictures below are only one coat, making it that most elusive of things; a one coat wonder!

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Darker shades can sometimes require two or even three coats to give good coverage, so I am always on the lookout for polishes that do it in one coat, which is exactly what this one does. The coverage is amazing, and the colour is so beautifully rich and dark. It’s right on the cusp of black, but with a gorgeously rich and elegant blue tone to it. Lush.

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I couldn’t stop admiring my nails in this shade. I would definitely recommend a basecoat, as I imagine this would stain your nails, but the finish and colour are beautiful, and just perfect if you are looking for a dark shade that isn’t quite black.

The next shade was a glitter (huzzah!) called Wine and Dine Me. I deliberately blurred the second picture a little to give you an idea of the sparkles!

Wine and Dine Me

The first thing I noticed about this polish was how heavy the glitter distribution is. A lot of glitter polishes are very sparse when you actually paint them on, so I was pleased to see that this one spread pretty thickly. I’ve done a montage below of several coats over bare nails to give you some idea of the build up.

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As you can see, it has a very pale blue base; this took me by surprise, as I couldn’t see it in the bottle, but it’s a fab idea as it means that you can wear this over bare nails if you feel so inclined. By coat three it was so thick and shiny it was even starting to resemble gel nails! I can’t remember the last time I had a glitter that you could wear bare, so that was very cool to discover.

For the rest of the pictures I layered 2 coats of glitter over Incognito in Sausalito, just as I think that is how I would wear it normally.

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I really loved the colour scheme of this glitter; lots of pinks, purples and blues, all blended together, with large chunks mixed with a very fine sprinkling of deep purple. The glitter dried slightly matte, which I love for glitter, but make sure you finish with a top coat if you want shine. I also noticed that the extra two laters made the blue base look even dark, almost black; this is obviously because of the blue tint to the glitter base. Not an issue, but also worth keeping in mind if you are planning on layering over a lighter colour.

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I am so happy with both these polishes; a dark blue/black and a purple glitter. What more could I want?? I’ve been wearing Incognito in Sausalito all week at work, and I think it’s the perfect work day polish; dark, without being too domineering. I’m planning on layering the glitter over it to jazz it up for the weekend, so in this box you truly do get a day to night nail look!

Naturally I don’t need to sell you on the virtues of OPI. Fab brush shapes, amazingly smooth application, speed drying, huge range of colours; we all know the drill. Just My Look have a frankly massive range of different shades, including the ones above, so if you fancy having a browse here’s the link!

In the meantime, I am carrying on steadfast with my nail growth regime, and I will update you-hopefully soon- as to whether it was successful. Mega talons will soon be mine!!

 

Product Provided by PR. All opinions are my own.

Magazine Freebies Roundup: April 2015

Spring has sprung!!!! Finally!! I am sooo excited about this summer, I have some really exciting stuff coming up, loads to look forward to; and then of course, there’s the sun!!!

Another bonus of a new month is the new magazines coming out, but I’m sad to say there’s only one freebie this month, courtesy of Cosmopolitan.

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Nooo idea who the girl on the cover is, but the freebie is a nail polish, from the New Kid range; one I’ve heard of, but I’m not overly familiar with. you could choose from four colours; red, maroon, Barbie pink and beige/nude.

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Naturally, I went for the nude! I actually really like the look of this shade; it’s very light and almost buttery, and reminds me of tan leather.

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I’m happy to have a new nail polish for my collection, but I can’t help but feel sad about the lack of freebies this month. Perhaps they are saving them for summer? Fingers crossed!

Disney Villains Varnish: Nail Polish Collection

I first read about these gorgeous little meta bottles of joy on another blog, and I was instantly lusting. The funky shaped bottles, the Disney theme, the artistically- styled villains; I mean, seriously, what’s not to love? Just check out these ladies! Look at their dresses! Their hair! Their total fabulousness!

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I was gutted, however, that they were seemingly impossible to get hold of unless you were American. So just imagine my delight when I came across them in the Disney store! I cannot tell you how fast I scooped up a box and squirreled it home, anxious to try them out.

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Flawless presentation to be sure. Bravo Disney, bravo. Anyway, let’s get stuck in.

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Cruella De Vil: A rather striking, but generic, shade of bright red.

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Went on nicely, and was very bright, but…it’s just red. There are sooo many reds. Perfectly serviceable, but just…ordinary. I think a red with black and white spots would have been awesome, a  proper Dalmatians polish, but what do I know.

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 Evil Queen: Black, with fine red glitter particles.

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I was sooo disappointed with this one. This looked so gorgeous in the bottle that I had it pegged as a winner, but then for some reason it went matte when I put it on. Taking away the gloss of the Evil Queen is utterly unforgivable if you ask me, and ruined any chance this polish had of being fabulous.

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 Maleficent: A shimmery turquoise blue/green.

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This one confused the hell out of me. Admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, but doesn’t this colour seem totally off? I thought a purple would be better suited, surely? Is she really blue?! I think this would have been better suited to Ursula, frankly, but again, what do I know. Nice colour, but another that could have been in any collection.

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 Mother Gothel: A rich maroon/brown.

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I actually quite liked this one. It’s very rich, and a gorgeous, deep shade. But…it’s brown! Brown! I think it’s a testament to my disappointment with this collection that a plain brown polish ended up being on the high end of the spectrum.

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Queen of Hearts: A bright yellowy gold with shimmer particles.

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A nice, warm gold, and I really liked the tiny shimmers, but I think, given the extreme nature of the Queen herself, that it’s just too subtle. It should have been GOLD gold. Like, nails wrapped in foil gold. And the lack of hearts is frankly ridiculous.

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Ursula: A pale pearlescent pink/lilac with silver shimmer particles.

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Meh. Pretty. Pale. Nothingness. This is a perfectly nice polish, but it feels like it belongs in the Disney Princess collection. This is URSULA. This is the woman with the deep throaty voice and kinky black tentacles, the woman who uses dead animals for lipstick and boomed ‘BODY LANGUAGE!’ in such an overtly sexual way that my pre-teen self didn’t know how to handle it. She is the ultimate of sexy, womanly villains, and to pass her off with this flimsy pale pink is pretty unforgivable.

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In case you can’t tell, I was disappointed. The idea was fab, but it felt badly done, like they had randomly assigned colours to anyone.  I felt like they really could have done some amazing things if they had put some thought into it! Every time I painted in a colour, I was imagining what could have been, how much better I could have done it.

Given the awesome potential that this idea had, I feel even more disappointed by how it turned out. I don’t think it’s just Disney, to be fair; I’ve seen a ton of TV and Film tie ins that just didn’t live up to their potential. I feel like someone should definitely give me the job of creating these products; there’s no way I would let a Cruella De Vil polish out of the door without black and white spots, and don’t even get me STARTED on the Queen of Hearts…

China Glaze Water You Waiting For

The first nail polish I ever got was blue. I was quite young, I’d guess about 7 or 8, and it was free with a magazine I wanted. (Maybe Shout? What a great read that was!) I was beyond thrilled, and I painted all my fingers and toes (badly) as soon as I got home. It was a perfectly hideous colour. At the time I didn’t care, but as I got older and actually started to buy my own stuff, I remembered how awful the blue was and instinctively stayed away from blue polish. That prejudice lasted years and years. Even now, I hesitate before buying a blue polish, which is why I ummed and aaahed for a while before ordering this one.

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My red and gold Hunger Games polish (reviewed here) was solely responsible for me buying this, as I loved that one so much. This one is from their Cirque du Soleil collection, which I think is a few years old? I got mine on ebay for a few pounds.

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It’s a very dense glitter, made of dark and light blue chunks, and just looking at the bottle made me think of the ocean. I wasn’t sure how much coverage it would have, so I painted it over a plain blue, but I honestly don’t think I needed to. This is 3 coats, which gave me a heavy coat of glitter.

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It really does look like the ocean, multi-tonal and shimmery, and very beautiful! This picture is true to the colour, but doesn’t show how sparkly it is. I took this second, out of focus picture to demonstrate the ultra-glitter effect.

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Sparkly much! With the combo of the blue shades and the ultra-shine, this really does look like you’ve painted to ocean on your nails. The closest to a starlit sea I’ve ever seen!

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I was looking for a gorgeously glitter polish that looked like the sea, and this definitely ticks those boxes. I was super happy with it.

And yet….I just don’t love it. I don’t blame the polish; I can see it’s beautiful. I think it’s just my own stupid prejudice! My pre-teen self has totally ruined me for any blue polish, even a gorgeous one! I wore it for a day or two, and I just couldn’t convince myself to fall head over heels. It’s the weirdest thing; I could look at it and see how fab it was, but I just couldn’t stop myself feeling ‘meh’ about it. Random. I like it, sure. But through no fault of it’s own, it’s likely to take a backseat in my collection. Don’t let this put you off if you are interested; I can wholeheartedly recommend it as a gorgeous shade. I just can’t handle blue!

 

 

Magazine Freebies Roundup: November 2014

After a few quiet months, UK magazines have finally got their act together and given us some decent freebies! As per usual, I’m starting with the least interesting.

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In Style: Murad Cleanser

A mini Murad cleanser from In Style this month. It’s a nice travel size, and it calls itself ‘luxury’ which is always good. Can’t speak for the brand, as I’ve never tried it, but it sounds decent enough! It describes itself as an AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser, which in my opinion is a great thing; can’t get enough of those fruit exfoliants! It also calls itself ‘age reform’ though, and since I don’t quite feel old enough for age reform yet, that combined with my lack of affection for the magazine put me off buying it.

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 Cosmopolitan: Nip + Fab Body Cream

Can we take a second to appreciate the fact that Queen Taylor of Swift is on the cover? Looking particularly fabulous and wintery in purple, no less! Yes, I totally love Taylor. So should we all. End of.

Anyway, Cosmo are offering a Nip  + Fab ‘Slim Fix’ moisturiser, which describes itself as a  2 in one toning gel. Which is great, I guess, but I just don’t believe you can buy skinny in a tube. I don’t have to find out, either, as unfortunately I bought my copy at WHSmith before I spotted this freebie in Tesco. So If you fancy it, looks like it’s a Tesco exclusive!

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 Glamour: Nails Inc Nail Polish

This one I bought without hesitation, since I am A) a HUGE fan of Glamour (best mag ever) and B) a big Nails Inc fan. I chose a lovely dark purple shade, but there was also a warm, shimmery red, a maroon brown and a gold beige.

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 Elle: Benefit They’re Real Eyeliner

Reasons I haven’t bought this yet:

  • I don’t really care for Elle magazine
  • I was very disappointed by the “They’re Real” mascara
  • I have about 20 eyeliners already

Reasons I will probably go and buy it before the end of the month:

  • I kinda want to try out this new eyeliner, as it’s been getting great reviews.
  • £4, while expensive for a magazine, is a delightful price to pay for a handbag size Benefit eyeliner
  • I can’t resist a mini

So, whilst I imagine I will end up with this, I haven’t yet indulged. The reasons that it’s worth getting are undeniable, though, so do let me know if you go for it!

Boots Advent Calendar Days 11-20.

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Wow, I’ve been pretty rubbish huh! I can only blame a hectic festive schedule! So without much further ado, days 11-20 of the advent calendar!

 Day 11: Ghost Perfume

Another Ghost scent! I’ve not tried this one before, but it’s nice and fresh, a light day scent with an edge.

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Day 12: Boots Salon Nail Shine Solution

This one caused me no end of excitement;  a salon nail polish! What fun!

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Apparently it contains sea kelp to encourage shine, but really another treatment nail polish is fun enough for me!

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Day 13: Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 for Eyes and Lashes

I wasn’t overly impressed by this at first, but then I looked closer at the label and realised it was a lash serum!? How fascinating! A quick google tells me it’s meant to illuminate the eye area and volumise lashes, which is pretty exciting! Can’t wait to try it!

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Day 14: Ghost Moonlight

Ghost again! They must have had a deal with Boots! Ha! This one is quite rich, suitable for evening, but not too strong; no ghost scent ever is!

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Day 15: 17 Tattoo Me Semi Permanent Liquid Eyeliner

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This one didn’t excite me too much, as I have tons of eyeliner, the brush wasn’t particularly fine and the consistency of the formula is very thick and hard to control

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It does draw a decent line, though, although I’m not sure how easy it would be to manouver on my eyelid.

IMG_8076 I can also vouch for the tattoo, semi permanent effect; this stuff would not budge. This is after soap, water and a lot of scrubbing:

IMG_8075 2 days later, after a shower and a bath, and if I look closely I can still see tiny speckles of black on my hand. Utterly, utterly immovable!!!!!!

 Day 16: Pink Spotty Nail File

I’m not a big fan of ‘puffy’ nail files, so I probably won’t use this, but that’s nothing against the file itself; I’m sure it’s perfectly decent! I just prefer the super skinny, rock hard ones (No pub intended..)

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Day 17: Soap and Glory Flake Away Scrub

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this before, as I love it. It’s a really thick, sugary scrub, and it smells AMAZING; seriously, the first time I bought this I didn’t even need a scrub, I just loved the smell.  I’ll put a full review up soon, but in the meantime, if you’re in Boots, give it a sniff. Trust me.

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Day 18: Juicy Couture La La perfume

Another perfume mini- a nice enough scent, light and sugary, but it leaked everywhere! I had barely any left in the bottle! Gah.

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Day 19: Carmex Lipbalm

This is a classic, the king of lipbalms. Thick and waxy, with a strong medical scent, this won’t be for everyone, but boy does it soften!

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 Day 20: Mavala Nail Polish Shade 53

 Another Mavala shade; hard to get excited when I have tons of red polish, but nice enough.

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I wish I’d had the time to review these on the day, as it’s hard for them to make an impact in one go. The Carmex and the body scrub are probably my fave, but I’m pretty excited about the eye/lash serum! x

Boots Advent Calendar Day 10

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Day 10: Orly Bonder Base Coat

I was beyond thrilled to get this one- I’ve been meaning to pick this up for ages, so I’m beside myself with excitement at the chance to try it. I think it’s the rubberized thing that’s got me; in my head it’ll be thick and sticky so the nail polish will sit on it beautifully! I’ll do my best to review it soon, so we shall see!

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2013 Christmas Freebies: The Definitive Guide

It’s that time again! I always look forward to seeing what stuff the makeup brands are giving away at Christmas, and I’ve gathered it all here for your viewing pleasure. So without much further ado…

 

 Brand: L’Oreal Paris

Gift: Volume Million Lashes Glitter Topcoat, Red Lipstick, Red Nail Polish

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £15 on L’Oreal Cosmetics

Notes: The Mascara looks great fun, and volume million is an amazing line, but note that this is a clear glitter topcoat and is NOT black. The Red lipstick/nail polish is less exciting, pretty generic.

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Brand: Max Factor

Gift: False Lash Effect Mascara, Lipfinity, Blue Nail Polish

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £15 on Max Factor Cosmetics

Notes: The mascara is a classic, and the lipfinity is a pretty pale pink, a great all round shade, but the blue polish is pretty gross.

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Brand: Seventeen

Gift: Eyebrow Palette

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £8 on Seventeen Cosmetics

Notes: I had to fight not to buy this, as I already have 3 eyebrow palttes, but I’ll probably end up with it anyway. A fab little kit, including a pencil and a highlighter, and you only need to spend £8!

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Brand: Models Own

Gift: Glitter Kit containing Pink Nail Polish, Gold and Silver Glitter Pots and a Nail Buffer.

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you buy any 2 Models Own products

Notes: The glitter and buffer combo is nice, but I didn’t fancy the bright pink polish; who mixes glitter with pink!? A decent gift though.

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Brand: No7

Gift: Extreme Length Extend mascara, lip gloss, eye shadow, felt tip liner.

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £15 on No7 Cosmetics

Notes: A solid gift as always from No7. Nice beige/neutrals for the shadow and lipgloss, but it really seems worth it just for the felt tip eyeliner!

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Brand: Maybelline

Gift: Baby Lips special edition; Cherry Velvet

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you get 3 for 2 on Maybelline Cosmetics

Notes: Pretty stingy if you ask me, but a limited edition of a popular product will probably turn heads. Only really worth it if you’re already investing in 3 Maybelline products.

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Brand: Rimmel London

Gift: Red Lasting Finish Nail Polis

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you get 3 for 2 on Rimmel Cosmetics

Notes: Another cheapskate one; one nail polish? Really? And it’s red, which everyone has. No fun.

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Brand: Revlon

Gift: Black and Silver glitter special edition Nail Polish

Shop: Superdrug

Terms and Conditions: Free when you get 3 for 2 on Revlon Cosmetics

Notes: Revlon always do one polish giveaways, so I’m never too tempted, but this one was rather nice. The black/silver chunky glitter looks cool.

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Brand: Revlon

Gift: Silver Holographic glitter special edition Nail Polish

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you get 3 for 2 on Revlon Cosmetics

Notes: A very dull affair. If you are buying Revlon, head to Superdrug for their freebie instead.

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Brand: Bourjois

Brand: Bourjois

Gift: Gold Leaf effect limited edition nail polish

Shop: Superdrug

Terms and Conditions: Free when you get 3 for 2 on Bourjois Cosmetics

Notes: Sooo pretty, but pales in comparison to the Boots Bourjois gift. So skip this pretty polish and read on…

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Brand: Bourjois

Gift: Iconic Glam gift set containing red lipgloss, red nail polish, eyeshadow trio and mascara.

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £15 on Bourjois Cosmetics

Notes: A total and utter win. Standard red nail polish, but also comes with a lipgloss, a black/grey/silver eyeshadow trio and a fab mascara; four full size products! Talk about a bargain! Run, don’t walk!

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Brand: Collection

Gift: Glam Crystals Eyeliner

Shop: Superdrug

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £5 on Collection Cosmetics

Notes: I have one of these, and though it’s pretty I’ve never used it. Nice enough, but Boots have the better offer on this brand.

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Brand: Collection

Gift: Supersize Mascara

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £5 on Collection Cosmetics

Notes: Not tried it, but a free mascara is always great, and you only have to spend a fiver. Worth the punt I’d say!

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Brand: Barry M

Gift: Gold/Bronze glitter shard or Holographic Pink Limited edition Nail Polish

Shop: Superdrug

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £6 on Barry M Makeup

Notes: Barry M special editions are always hard to resist, but I’m trying to stop buying glitter. Both lovely, but check out the Boots shades below before you make a decision.

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Brand: Barry M

Gift: Red/Green/Purple glitter shard or Holographic Silver Limited edition Nail Polish

Shop: Boots

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £6 on Barry M Makeup

Notes:I think the red/purple/green is my fave; gorgeous! And only a £6 spend, defo worth it.

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Brand: Miss Sporty

Gift: Nail Polish (assorted)

Shop: Superdrug

Terms and Conditions: Free when you spend over £3 on Miss Sporty Makeup

Notes: Tons of nail polishes to choose from and only a £3 spend. Do it; buy Dr Balm, you can’t lose!

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Brand: B

Gift: Skincare/Makeup Giftbox

Shop: Superdrug

Terms and Conditions: Free when you get 3 for 2 on B products

Notes: I have less than nothing to say here. I included it, but I’ve never tried their stuff, nor am I sure what’s even in the box. Ho hum….

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I’ll put up some reviews of what I actually bought soon enough, but in the meantime, that’s it! Let me know if I’ve missed any, and enjoy your freebies! xx

Boots Advent Calendar Days 7, 8 & 9

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Day 7; Paco Rabane Black XS Perfume

I wasn’t too happy with my perfume sample a few days ago, so I was pretty ‘blah’ when I realised I had another one, but that changed when I opened it because I LOVE this scent. I don’t think I’ve actually got around to reviewing it yet; I’ll link it when I do, but safe to say it’s a gorgeous, spicy scent. I love wearing it out at night, so a clutch bag size is a total win.

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Day 8; Umberto Giannini Hairband

This one made me pretty excited, as it feels like a ‘proper’ gift; it took me a minute to realise I probably won’t actually wear it. Flower hairties aren’t really my thing! Nice addition, though.

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Day 9; Seventeen Supreme Shine Nail Polish shade ‘Miami’

Normally I hate Pink, but the one shade I do like is the super bright neon shade; just like this! I love bright pink toenails, so I’ll wear this in summer and show them off.

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As to the polish itself, lovely coverage, went on beautifully and looks lovely. That’s two coats, and it wore wonderfully.

Boots Advent Calendar Days 3, 4 & 5

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Day 4: Mavala Nail Polish Shade 213, Pure Diamond

Day 4 was a fantastic Mini Mavala nail polish in the perfect Christmas shade, silver holo glitter.

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I love glitter, and this is a beautiful one, but it is made of very fine particles; it takes a long time to build up. Below are 1, 2, 3 and 4 coats.

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Definitely a top coat only, but a nice one all the same, and fab for painting over red for Christmas toenails!

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Day 5: Nina L’Eau Nina Ricci Perfume Mini

I knew there would be perfume samples in here, so that’s fair enough, but I wasn’t a fan of this one at all. It’s very floral and sharp, and smelt like old women to me. It was a little better after it settled, with richer undertones, but still not one I’ll wear.

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Day 6: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation, Shade 100 Ivory

This foundation is FANTASTIC. I bought it earlier this year and haven’t got around to reviewing yet; I’ll put one up soon, but it really is fab. It has great coverage, and the liquid mousse texture is lovely. My only issue here is that this shade will be too dark for me. The shade I already have is shade 010, Light Porcelain, which is the perfect pale colour, and this one is a lot darker compared, as you can see.

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I’ll probably pass this on to one of my olive skinned sisters, see if I can convince them it’s amazing, which it really is. It’s a shame this is too dark for me, as I’d have been elated to have a travel size, but obviously they need to put the most common shade in, and not everybody is ghostly pale! Great product, though!