Monday, 12 December 2011

NOTD - Glitter Sandwich with No7 Temptress

I am not a lover of No7 nail polish. In fact, I think it is pretty dreadful, even since they re-vamped the brush and formulation. This particular shade - Temptress, could be amazing if it didn't streak and drag so badly. It always results in a very uneven finish, no matter how many coats you apply, which is a shame because I adore rich, red wine and berry toned jelly polishes.

However....I have found the perfect solution!!! This little trick, which I am sure many of you are familiar with, transforms this poor quality jelly polish, into something spectacular!

The Glitter Sandwich - A simple technique, that layers a glitter polish between coats of a jelly polish. 

Before the final coat of Temptress was applied.

I used two coats of No7 Temptress for the base colour and waited for it to dry. I then applied a generous layer of OPI Rainbow Connection across the whole of each nail, and a tiny bit of Barry M Red Glitter to the tips. Another coat of the wine red jelly No7 polish and a thick layer of Seche Vite top coat, creates this magnificent multifaceted glitter effect. 

After final coat of Temptress and Seche Vite
(taken in normal halogen bulb light).

I love this technique. There are endless combinations you can try out, and some simply stunning polish effects can be created. The colour and glitter combination I used here creates a similar result to Revlon Facets of Fuchsia, but is much more red than purple.

Here are some amazing Glitter Sandwiches created by some serious polish addict bloggers!! 

Cupcake Glitter Sandwich by Nails and Noms 

Squishy Orange Glitter Sandwich by The Swatchaholic

and lastly

Close Up of Effect

I was so chuffed at the result of this experiment.....that I had to post RIGHT NOW, so apologies for the bad lighting and cold-weather-battered hands, nails and cuticles!! Not attractive! *Note to self...must manicure nails*

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Gift Inspiration - Mama Mio OMega Feel Good Mini Kit

Mama Mio is a relatively new brand, which has had incredible success since it's launch 4 years ago. Often associated with pregnancy skincare, which is where it all started from, this brand now has an amazing array of top quality, all natural, and high performance skincare products to suit everyone.

This incredibly good value gift set - Omega Feel Good Mini Kit (£29.95 Cloud 10 Beauty), incorporates five of their high performance daily skincare products. The set consists of three 50ml tubes - OMega Super-Rich Body Cream, OMega Body Buff and OMega Shower Cream, alongside a 30ml tube of their best selling, and press-frenzy-causing product - Boob Tube Bust and Neck Firmer, as well as - a handy little pot of OMega Wonder-Full Balm.

The whole ethos of Mama Mio, is about creating and celebrating body confidence, by using natural and effective skincare products to solve the skin care issues, that ALL women want to overcome. 

Using top quality ingredients at the highest potency, means that these products deliver results, no matter what your skin concern.

The list of super-nourishing, natural ingredients in each of these products is endless. They are rich in skin-superfood Omega 3, 6 and 9, to improve the tone, texture and elasticity of your skin from head to toe. The unique Mama Mio 'Gravida' fragrance is delicate - citrusy and fresh, with a soft heart of white flowers. Combining 10 essential oils, this unique fragrance blend was designed for the most sensitive of noses (anyone who has ever been pregnant will understand the importance of this - I could smell a rich tea biscuit from across the room!), and although it is delicate, it's such a delightful scent, and captures the senses without being overpowering.

Boob Tube Neck and Bust Firmer 

This product is highly commended, and has been raved about in the press -and it is no wonder, because it WORKS! Skin loving oils, with Chamomile, Glycerin and Aloe Vera help to smooth, and firm the delicate skin of the bust and décolleté - no more crêpey-ness. (Being an ex-sunbed addict, my bust and neck area has been craving this product!).

OMega Super Rich Body Cream

Incredibly intense, yet soft and light, this super fast absorbing cream is a delight. Packed full of ultra-potent hydrating ingredients, Avocodo, Shea Butter and Evening primrose, to name a few, makes this cream a mega moisture must have.

OMega Wonder-Full Balm

A melting moisture marvel. Nine natural oils and beeswax create this solid oil, that instantly melts on contact with the skin. Think Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - but ALL NATURAL, equally high performance, and much better smelling!!

OMega Shower Cream

No nasties, just super gentle cleansing, without sulphates. Calming, softening and hydrating. Containing Aloe and Arnica, and Mama Mio's signature Gravida fragrance, this shower cream is so luxurious.

OMega Body Buff

My favourite of the five products. This gentle exfoliant performs so well without being harsh. No big gritty, grainy, scratchiness - which is my pet hate in body scrubs (being the sensitive-little-peach skin type), yet it is still mega effective on any bumpy, scaly or dry skin. Micro ground pumice is the super star ingredient here, meaning this scrub is even gentle enough to use on your face. Winner!

This fantastic gift set can be purchased for £29.95 from the wonderful Cloud 10 Beauty website, where you will get to choose 3 free samples with your order, earn beauty points with your purchase, by 'liking' the products you buy, or leaving a review! A new concept in shopping for your favourite beauty brands - socially interactive, simple and fun! 


More information about Mama Mio can be found here.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Aussie Mega Shampoo and Conditioner - Review

I have an ongoing dilemma with my 'overprocessed-but-with-greasy-roots hair'. I am constantly trying out different shampoos, in the hope of having silky, shiny and CLEAN feeling hair, but most of the time I am left with frazzled ends, greasy roots and residue from the products. Not nice. 

I saw that the Aussie products were on offer - 3 for £10 at Boots, so I decided to give the MEGA Shampoo and Conditioner a try, along with the fabulous 3 Minute Miracle. I liked the sound of 'No Build Up'

These products smell DIVINE (move over Herbal Essences), the shampoo gives an incredibly thick and luxurious lather, leaving the hair with a real 'squeaky clean' feel. 

The conditioner is so much thinner than any other conditioner I have used before - it is very much like a lotion. I was worried that it wouldn't provide enough moisture for my previously bleached ends, but surprisingly it performed really well. My hair was tangle free, smooth and best of all - NO DULL PATCHES!!! Yey! 

I think I will be sticking with these fabulously fragrant hair saviours for some time, topped up with the famous Aussie 3 Minute Miracle once a week, I think I am finally on to a winner!

Love Edie xx

I am back.....with more about M.E.

Hello lovely followers and readers,

I hope you haven't given up on me!!! I must apologise for my absence lately. I have had the most awful relapse, and on top of that - a teething, and now crawling 9 month old baby!! So, all in all a very, very tiring few weeks! 

I thought I would just write a little post about myself this evening, as generally I haven't spoken much about myself on a personal level - other than brief mentions about my two children here and there. The one thing I wanted to share with you - is that I am a sufferer of M.E or CFS. This is a rather baffling illness, and I thought it would be worth highlighting just some of the impact it can have on peoples lives.

A beautiful cupcake bouquet made by a very skilled and crafty CFS sufferer.

M.E - Myalgic Encephalopathy, also known as CFS - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, can be an incredibly debilitating illness for many sufferers. The first hurdle for many people, is diagnosis - and actually getting one, as it is STILL unrecognised by many people, even medical professionals, as being a real illness.

I was diagnosed in May 2010, and have found it an ongoing struggle to keep my day to day life ticking over with consistency. Some days, I am high as a kite (although less so since my daughter Isabelle was born in March), often running on adrenaline - and other days, I struggle to get out of bed. Symptoms are varied, but mostly include an almost indescribable feeling of fatigue, alongside pain, nausea, concentration and memory problems and countless other symptoms.

Around 250,000 people in the UK suffer from M.E or CFS

This blog was started as a way for me to interact with the world, on a more accessible level, since on many days I am just too exhausted to leave the house. In the time that has passed since I started Touch Beauty, I have started a BA in Business and Management at a local college, and I am so proud of myself for finding the courage and belief in myself to go for it.

Created by an immensely talented CFS sufferer who lives locally to me.

Unfortunately, the balancing act of keeping up with college work, parenting duties AND blogging, sometimes gets the better of me, and I have to take some time out to rest and recuperate. These times, are what CFS sufferers might call a 'relapse' or 'crash', when the symptoms just get too much to handle on top of normal day-to-day life.

There is no known cure or universally effective 
treatment for ME or CFS.

So, any quiet periods there have been on Touch Beauty, or that there may (probably will) be in the future, are not because I have become bored of blogging, or because I am not dedicated enough, it is just down to the fact that I need some time to re-charge my batteries.

I know of a few fellow CFS sufferers, who I have so much respect and admiration for, and who - despite probably feeling like they are stuck in a thick cloud of fog most days, have achieved so much. Some are bloggers, some are crafty-creative geniuses, some are fantastic and dedicated parents and some are fellow students. All of these people, if you met in real life, would appear completely healthy, normal and you most definitely wouldn't suspect they suffered from any illness. That is the thing, see. CFS/M.E is a totally invisible illness.

To anyone who has just been diagnosed with M.E or CFS, I will not lie - it is not an easy illness to live with, BUT anything is still possible, so always keep believing that you can achieve your goals and ambitions.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. All of the pictures are of beautifully crafted items created by fellow CFS/M.E sufferers. I hope it has given you a little insight into my world, as well as the lives of many others who suffer with this confusing and often, life destroying illness. 

At least CFS doesn't impact on creativity and talent :-)

Here are a few links to sites that can provide more information about CFS and M.E.

The M.E Association -  Providing information, support and practical advice for people who are affected by ME/CFS/PVFS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome), their families and carers. We also fund and support research, and offer education and training.

Foggy Friends - The aim of Foggy Friends is to provide a free, fun, safe environment where ME/CFS sufferers, their parents, carers and friends can seek help, support and advice, free from harassment.

And......I can't not mention the most wonderful, and inspiring beauty blogger, who I think has a fabulous talent and unique way of writing....Lisa at Brunette Beauty Banter. 

She has always been open about having CFS, and I admire her ability to keep a sense of humour through the up's and down's of having this illness. Please check out her fantastic blog, using the link above.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Quick Update

Hey lovely Followers,

Sorry it has been a while since my last post, I have been very poorly, so have spent a few days tucked up in bed resting. I do have some very lovely product reviews in the pipeline though (including products from Dior, Aussie and Mama Mio), so over the next few days I will get them written up for you all to see.

Hope you are all many people have been sick lately, I hope you guys have managed to avoid all the winter germs flying round!

Love Edie xx

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Budget Beauty - Spa Paradisa Body Balm vs Benefit Bathina Body Balm

The Christmas party season is fast approaching, and the thought of getting my legs or arms out in public is frankly....quite terrifying. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help me 'fake' a more streamlined set of limbs though, and when I spotted this product at Savers, I had to try it out and compare it to my trusty Benefit Bathina Body Balm (which I will not be taking a photo of, due to the total mess it has become during the time I have owned it! Shame on me!), in the hope of saving some pennies.

Body balms with a hint of shimmer can be used to give the illusion of slimmer and longer legs, (or arms) by just sweeping a fine layer, down the front of them. Just a touch of balm applied across the décolleté, can quickly amp up dull winter skin, into red carpet worthy glowing skin....with no fuss at all.

By bouncing light off all the right places, illuminating body balms add a real touch of glamour to an evening look. Think of the soft focus, dewy and luminous skin that you see on so many celebrities. 

Spa Paradisa Body Balm costs around £4.50, for 45g tin, which is an absolute steal compared to Benefit's Bathina - which is around the £20.00 mark for a 42.5g tin.

So, huge difference in price....but how do they compare as products? 

I think the stand out difference is the texture. I find the Spa Paradisa is a lot more waxy than Benefit's Bathina. The smell is also very different - Bathina has a much softer, floral fragrance, which is almost old fashioned - which I suppose matches the 'retro' theme of the packaging. It says on the Spa Paradisa tin - 'Passionfruit Fragranced' however, it is a very, very synthetic fragrance - 'fruity bubble gum' is how I would describe it, definitely not to my taste.

The colour of the products is different, although it is hardly noticeable when they are blended out on the skin.

In the swatches, you can see the Bathina is much more pink with a gold shimmer, and the Spa Paradisa shows a silvery-white shimmer.

I think that the products do perform differently, and having been a huge fan of the Bathina balm for a few years, I won't be switching to the 'dupe' from Spa Paradisa.

They are both packaged in the neat little tins, and include a velvety puff for application (Benefit's latest packaging is super cute). Spa Paradisa would probably be better for a drier skin, with it's waxier texture - and for the price, it isn't a bad product (It would make a good stocking filler for any teenage girl!). It will certainly perk up and illuminate skin for Christmas parties, just as well as Bathina can, but if you have used the Benefit product before, I would not recommend this as an alternative.   

You can purchase Benefit Bathina here and the Spa Paradisa range is stocked by Next

Want to read more? Check out this excellent review and comparison by the Pink Haired Princess

Love Edie xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Top 5 Essential Nail Care Products

You don't need an extensive kit to achieve healthy, strong and beautiful nails. Here are my five 'Must Have' products, and how to use them for optimum results.

CND Super Shiney High Gloss Top Coat

I have used this top coat religiously for over 7 years! I love it simply because it is super fast drying, long wearing and has an incredibly high gloss finish. I have a big 2.3oz pro size bottle at home, which I have had for a couple of years, and it is just as great now as when I bought it. It gives glass like shine, keeps my nails strong and my polish looking fresh.

I have tried many other brands in my time as a nail tech, but this is most definitely the best I have used. It has a slight purple tint and UV filters to stop yellowing, it is formaldehyde, toluene and DBP free (no nasties), scratch resistant and super tough.

CND Glossing Buffer

A glossing buffer is an essential addition to any Nailista's kit. By buffing your nails gently, you increase the blood flow to your fingertips – this promotes healthy nail growth, and gives your nail bed a much more pink appearance. By using the different sides of the buffer in order, you can achieve smooth natural nails, so your nail polish will sit better, and is also less likely to stain.

Mavala Cuticle Remover

Some type of cuticle remover is a must for every nail kit - dry and overgrown cuticles instantly ruin the appearance of the hands. These products soften and remove dead cells from the nail plate. They are not designed to be used all that frequently, but every 10 – 14 days it is worth giving your cuticles a real clean up, and then maintain them with your cuticle oil.

Cuticle removers must always be rinsed off with soap and water, or they leave a residue on the nails, which will mess up your polish.

OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil

There are a multitude of cuticle oils on the market, all of them are designed to do exactly the same thing. OPI Avoplex is my favourite because it has a slightly thicker viscosity than the others I have tried, and it has given me the best results. Rich in avocado oil and high quality antioxidants, it nourishes nails and conditions the cuticle area. Cuticle oils penetrate the layers of the nail, restoring moisture and natural lipids. Use them sparingly – a little goes a long way. Apply at night before you go to bed for maximum benefit. A little dab be used to perk up natural nails before a night out, or buffed gently into the nail for super glossy finish on natural nails. If you wear nail enhancements – cuticle oils won't cause lifting, in fact they will help keep your enhancements flexible and strong, so worth picking some up next time you visit the salon.

Stainless Steel Cuticle Pushie or Plastic Hoof Stick

I recommend that for doing any cuticle work – you use a pushie or hoof stick. Orange sticks are a big no-no for me, as they aren't very effective, and tend to be unhygienic. Metal or plastic cuticle pushers can be cleaned and re-used, so are a much better investment, and are both more effective and comfortable to use. If you manicure your nails regularly, and are confident with cuticle care – go for a stainless steel one, if you are a newbie to caring for cuticles, go for a rubber tipped hoof stick, until you have mastered the technique.

I hope these recommendations are useful! What are your favourite nail products?

Love Edie xx