Essence Colour & Go Nail Varnish Review

Hey everyone,

Today I thought I would do a post about nail varnish as over the past few months I’ve been collecting quite a few new colours from a variety of different brands and thought I’d share with you one of the gems I just happened to find by chance.

Now I don’t know if you do the same thing I do, but when I am out and shopping I can be quite an impulse buyer, especially if something is on sale, and that’s exactly how I came across the Essence brand. One day I went into my local Wilkinsons for some beauty essentials (they do some amazing brushes at really good prices as well as loads of make up bag must haves such as tweezers and eyelash curlers at an absolute bargain price!) and they had introduced a new range of make up essentials and also had a make up stand for the brand Essence. They weren’t a brand I had ever heard of before and don’t get me wrong the stand looked like something out of a 10 year old girls bedroom, however, some of the products they sold looked pretty good – especially the selection of nail varnishes.

Everybody who knows me will know that I am always busy and barely have any downtime, so finding the time to paint my nails often passes me by, which is why I am a huge advocate of quick dry formulas. They mean I can quickly paint my nails when I am on my way out and not have to set aside hours of being careful for the varnish to dry or to get to a salon, but often these quick dry polishes are more expensive than their regular counterparts and I don’t think they last quite as long before chipping 😦

Anyway, Essence had this huge range of polishes in a quick dry format with a massive palette of colours to choose from, from the downright garish to the subtle pastels and nudes. And even better they were on sale!! So I picked up three colours (it was 3 for 2) and thought I’d give them a go. Now needless to say, since then I have been hooked!

They are so easy to apply, the brush size is just right, they don’t smell too strong and they dry so quickly, as well as lasting forever (often I get about 7 days out of a set of Essence nails without a chip which NEVER happens with other more expensive brands such as No 7 or Barry M) and with the huge choice of colours I can change them often to match my mood or destination, without having to worry that I am going to have to replace them which with other brands can be very expensive!

Honestly, if you haven’t tried them already or haven’t even heard of Essence I would strongly recommend! (You can visit their website here!) As I write this I have just applied a new set of colours that I purchased recently. The main colour is 164 “crazy fancy love” with an accent colour in shade 190 “kiss me freddy” but I also have a selection of others in bolder colours such as 145 “flashy pumpkin” and 132 “break through” (gotta love their names as well right?).

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To summarise, this is my favourite brand of nail varnish I’ve ever used (and trust me I’ve used loads!) and is far better than most other drugstore rivals including the likes of Revlon, No 7 and Barry M. The only thing that I wish they had was a slightly broader range of neutral colours such as the introduction of colours such a grey-beige or pastel pinks with a white base instead of a sweet pink hue, however, despite this I will continue to buy more of their products and will definitely replace any that I run out of – although it seems like they are going to last ages!

In case you don’t have time to read this whole post, or just wanted a bite-size review then here you go:

Pros

  • An absolute bargain at only £1.60 per polish
  • Easy to get hold of either online or in Wilkinsons stores
  • Good range of colours
  • Long lasting
  • Good chip resistance
  • Quick drying
  • Good brush size
  • Easy to apply
  • Good consistency polish (not too thick and lumpy or too runny to apply without making a mess)
  • Doesn’t smell too strong!
  • 8ml bottles mean they last for ages
  • Often on sale in stores (making them even more of a bargain)

Cons

  • Some of the colours are a bit garish/childish
  • Could have a better range or neutral/pastel shades (non-glittery formula)

All in all, not too bad to only have two negatives that I can think of against such a long list of positives although to be honest, the cons aren’t even a criticism of the product more suggestions for the brand (so Essence if you are reading please please PLEASE add more colours!!!) and all considered I would give these nail varnishes a 5/5 lifestyle for less rating as it hands down the best nail varnish I’ve ever used 🙂

I hope you found this post useful and are now tempted to go out and try some of these nail varnishes if you haven’t already! Please like, share and follow if you have enjoyed this or any of the other things that I have to share and if you’ve tried this brand or want to share what your favourite nail varnish brands/product is then please let me know in the comments below!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

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Winter boot edition and boot lust list…

Welcome everyone to my latest blog post! This post is all about my favourite boots that I already own and also a selection of boots perfect for all occasions and weathers which have pride of place on my lust list. I have wanted to do this post for ages but think that now is the right time (mainly because I seem to have resigned all of my other shoes to the cupboard in place of boots now that the freezing weather is here).

Anyway, there are so many different boots on the market that I thought I would do you a little run down on my favourites and of course where to buy them from if you are looking to keep your feet frost free this winter 🙂

So first off let me share with you some of my favourite boots that I already own:

Old boots (can't remember where I bought them from sorry!)

Old boots (can’t remember where I bought them from sorry!)

Snow Boots bought from Lidl a couple of winters ago and are perfect for dog walks in the cold and skiing :)

Snow Boots bought from Lidl a couple of winters ago and are perfect for dog walks in the cold and skiing 🙂

Cut out ankle boots from New Look. Bought last winter but there are some similar styles in stores this year too!

Cut out ankle boots from New Look. Bought last winter but there are some similar styles in stores this year too!

Ugg Boots - so warm and comfy

Ugg Boots – so warm and comfy

Platform ankle boots in snake print with cleated soles. Bought very recently from Primark. I'm obsessed with these shoes!!!

Platform ankle boots in snake print with cleated soles. Bought very recently from Primark. I’m obsessed with these shoes!!!

Comfy knee high quilted boots. Bought from eBay 2 years ago and they have now been worn almost to death

Comfy knee high quilted boots. Bought from eBay 2 years ago and they have now been worn almost to death

Black Chelsea boots, bought recently from Primark. Purchased from Oxford Street store, but they have these in most stores.

Black Chelsea boots, bought recently from Primark. Purchased from Oxford Street store, but they have these in most stores.

Now this isn’t all the boots that I own but I couldn’t be bothered to find them all (there are about 4 extra pairs) ranging from heeled knee highs to cut out ankle boots but I’m writing this whilst I’m in my onesie so this is as good as you are going to get this evening I’m afraid!

And now onto my lust list! There are all boots that I have my eyes on and will probably be purchased very soon – hopefully you find something on this list which you also like as again they range from day to evening wear, either way I want them!

  • Cleated sole thigh high boots – these boots are a complete nod to the 60’s. They are quite expensive, but when you consider what you are getting I guess it probably isn’t that much! These ones are from Pretty Little Thing and are available now (or when you have a spare £50!) and there are also some good alternatives on eBay, although these are both the best looking ones I’ve found.
  • Thigh high wedge boots  – I love these boots because they look so versatile as you can wear them so many different ways! Not only that they are soooo cheap 🙂 I will definitely be buying these as soon as I get paid next as an early Christmas present to myself. These are from eBay and again I cannot find any better alternatives.
  • Ugg boots – haven’t linked to these as I am sure you all either have a pair or can find a pair somewhere. Don’t even have to be real – loads of places do good cheap alternatives which are perfect for snuggly winter feet 🙂
  • Chelsea boots with metallic heel – I am loving shoes with metal hardware or trim at the moment, I think they instantly transform casual daytime boots in to something much more elegant. (again I found these on eBay – I spend way too much time on there!)
  • Fur trimmed wedge boots – These look both warm, comfy and are so beautiful. Again from eBay they come in a range of different colours and look like an absolute staple boot to have in your collection as they would be perfect for a day in town right through to a dinner in the evening!
  • Cut out boots – These boots are so cute and are from Chockers Shoes. The shoes on there can be a bit hit and miss and from times can look a bit cheap, but I am loving the cut out ankle boot trend and especially like these with the added tassel as tassel and fringe seems to be really in at the moment – so why not kill two birds with one stone and combine trends 🙂
  • Camel ankle boots – I have no idea what I would wear these with but wow, these look so incredible! I need these in my life! These are also from Pretty Little Thing and if you havent checked out their website before they do amazing stuff – I especially love their shoe collection (obviously) and also their selection of co-ords! I think they started as an accessories retailer but have branched out into clothing and are seriously taking on (and in my opinion) out performing the likes of Missguided and Boohoo due to their impressive and varied choice of clothing 🙂

Not just in winter but all year around, boots are the perfect addition to dress up any outfit, from a casual skater skirt and t-shirt with ankle boots and socks or a heeled pair over a pair of jeans they just always seem to work, however, when winter comes around again (and autumn too when I can finally part with my strappy heels and sandals) boots are my go to for any outfit.

I’ll try to remember to post you some of my outfits over the next week both here and on Instagram so you can see how I wear and style my boots in all different situations 🙂

Anyway, I hope you liked this post! I know it’s nothing special, but at the very least I hope it made you want to embrace the cold weather and maybe even gave you a few ideas of what to add to your xmas pressie list for Santa 🙂

If you enjoyed this please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe either here or on Bloglovin! And don’t forget to let me know what’s on your lust list at the moment in the comments below 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne

Lots to come…

Hey everyone,

I’m going to let you all know now that in this post there really won’t be too much to read at the moment! Contrary to what I said a few weeks ago, things in my world really aren’t slowing down at all! As well as having to prep for Christmas and all the festivities that brings, as well as several more gymnastics competitions, I am also going to be learning how to be a gymnastics judge and working my full time job in social media, whilst trying to finish getting my house complete and find time to spend with my wonderful boyfriend! (just writing all that makes me tired!)

Anyway, my blog book is full of things I want to post about, from pictorials to fashion hauls and of course more reviews and my inspirations, however, this week I just haven’t had the time to write a piece.

Instead this is my apology and also my way of letting you all know that I have so much that I want to say but currently no time to say it, but please bear with me as I get to grips with this thing called being a grown up! It’s hard, but I am sure it will be well worth it 🙂
I hope you are all well and that you don’t mind sticking with me through this blogging dry patch, but I promise there is so much more to come and that I have loads in my mind that I can offer you that I hope you want to hear 🙂 For those of you reading this, if you’re a blogger, how do you find the time to fit blogging in to your everyday life whilst it is still a hobby? I’d love to know so let me know in the comments below!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Product review and comparison: Kiko Make-up Fixer vs MUA Make-up Fixing Mist

Hey everyone,

Its that time again for another entry and this is one which I have been planning for a while!

Today’s entry is all about 2 fixing sprays which I have purchased and used recently and how I found them so I hope you find this useful 🙂

For anyone reading this who isn’t familiar with fixing sprays, basically the product does exactly what it says on the tin! Once you’ve completely applied your make up you spray this product on top of your face and the idea is that it keeps your make up in place all day.

Kiko Makeup Fixer

So I bought this product a while back when I visited Westfield (the most amazing shopping centre ever maybe?!) and picked up my very first fixing spray ever.

Until I went to Westfield, I’d never been to a Kiko store before as there aren’t that many of them in the UK yet, however I loved it and honestly, think that Kiko offer products of a comparable quality to MAC but for a lot less of the cost. Anyway, aside from the Avene spray which I reviewed before (which is more of a moisturising spritz than a fixer) this was my first jaunt to becoming a more professional make up user/artist and has completely changed the way I get ready in the morning ever since!

First thing which I have to mention is that this is a gorgeous looking product. It comes in a black and white box and inside is an aerosol can in a brushed silver which is a perfect size for storing in your handbag on busy days and looks a lot more high end that it’s retail cost of £7.90 for 75ml! I guess for any of you at home who have tried to fix your make up in place before with hairspray (maybe this is just a performing arts thing?) you’ll know that probably the two most important qualities of a fixing spray are how well it holds your make up in place and whether or not you can see the spray. Hairspray provides a very shiny and sticky finish which can make you look really artificial, and the Avene spray doesn’t offer much hold on it’s own and can also leave small “spots” on the surface of your face (where the liquid dries after being sprayed!) so one of the best things about this product is that because it’s an aerosol it’s super easy to apply, and also means there is no sign of the spray on your face afterwards! In regards to it’s fixing power it is really good, even when used on it’s own without a primer!

Pros

– Attractive product and packaging

– Lightweight and small

– Aerosol based making it easy to apply

– Cannot be seen on top of make-up

– Good fixing power even without primer

– Doesn’t feel like a mask on your face

Cons

– Product smells very chemically due to aerosol application

– More expensive than competitors

– Doesn’t last very long

MUA Make-up Fixing Mist

In comparison to the Kiko product, this product definitely doesn’t offer the same first impression! The product looks cheap and cheerful but again is a nice size for carrying around with you during the day. It retails at £5 for 60ml (although when I bought mine from Superdrug I think this was on offer, so worked out a lot cheaper than this!) and is a liquid based fixing mist.

The product is so different to the Kiko spray, but actually is just as good! This product claims to hold your make-up in place for 8 hours and let me tell you it works pretty well! After a full day at work when using this product my face still looks fresh. It definitely holds better when paired with a good quality primer (I swear by Maybelline’s Baby Skin Primer) but I feel that this actually offers me more protection against shininess than the Kiko spray. This is also a very different application process due to it being liquid based. It’s definitely more difficult to apply as it’s a liquid and quite often ends up getting sprayed in your hair and making a bit of a mess (I probably wouldn’t spray this before doing my hair and getting dressed in the mornings) however, after a few goes of applying it definitely gets easier to apply and to make sure that you’ve covered your whole face well. It doesn’t really have a smell which I much preferred to the chemical smell of the Kiko product and despite the fact that it feels like a heavy liquid in the bottle, when on my face I couldn’t feel or see it at all!

Pros

– Cheap

– Lightweight and small

– Easy to get hold of on the high street

– Doesn’t leave your face feeling sticky or cakey

– Not visible once applied

– No odour so feels really refreshing

– Long lasting

Cons

– Not easy to apply at first

– Can be quite messy to apply

Comparison

Now one point I have to make very clear before I start my comparison is that I would definitely buy both products again, so if you are in the market for a fixing spray try either of them (or both!) however of the two I preferred the MUA Fixing Mist. The cost of this product is better and despite the fact that you get less in a bottle it last’s so much longer than the aerosol based Kiko spray as for some reason liquids tend to last longer! (the best comparison I can offer is the length of time a roll on deodorant lasts compared to a spray deodorant) Maybe it’s because none of the product is being wasted to make it an aerosol, but honestly for me the less times I have to restock a product in a year the better! I reckon this will last me ages as I’ve already had it for months and use it everyday so I really cannot complain about that at all, whereas the Kiko Spray only lasted about 6-8 weeks of daily use (which is still a good length of time I think!) To be honest, I just generally prefer this product. I like the fact it’s light and odourless and that I can pick it up easier from the shops that I can for the Kiko spray, however both are definitely worth a go 🙂

I give the Kiko Make-up Fixer 4/5 and the MUA Make-up Fixing spray 4.5/5 so it was a really close comparison!

I hope this post was helpful for you, especially if you’ve never tried either of these products before or have never tried a fixing spray! Let me know if you do fix your make-up in place after applying and if so what product you love to use to do so! And don’t forget to comment, like, share, subscribe and follow to show your support 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

My Makeup Story Tag

Hey everyone!

I’m feeling awful for neglecting you recently, and to be honest this post is nothing original, but it’s something so I hope you enjoy reading it – even if it is just for some more insight in to my and my life 🙂

I was tagged to do this by one of my favourites Becca over at Beck In a Blog (check her out here) Now, I’m sure I’ve said this about her before, but I discovered Becca when I first started blogging and ever since then she has both inspired and supported me with my blogging and is trully one of the most gorgeous and inspiring young bloggers I know of so please check out her posts and follow her as I’m sure you’ll love her as much as I do!


1- How old were you when you started makeup?
Forever really! One of my earliest makeup memories I have is of my mum doing my makeup when we were on holiday (in Menorca I think!) I was probably only about 5 but I remember her playing with my hair and putting winged eyeliner on me for fun and more than anything, I remember how beautiful and special I felt. I guess since then I’ve loved how it makes me feel! Throughout secondary school and all throughout my gymnastics career I’ve loved makeup, however it’s only really over the past year or so that I think I’ve actually got any good at knowing what looks work well!

2- How did you get into makeup?
Oops kind of answered this in the question above!! 🙂

3- What are some of your favourite brands?
I am definitely a high street queen! Some of my favourites are MUA, Maybelline and Rimmel 🙂 Can’t beat Kiko and MAC as well though if you want to treat yourself!

4- What does makeup mean to you?
It means I am ready to take on anything. I don’t t know why, but when I am all made up at the beginning of the day I feel more confident, composed and ready for anything that the day has to throw at me, so for me it’s the feeling of being put together, composure and determination as well as confidence (and a touch of sexiness!)

5- If you could only wear four products on your face, what would they be?
Foundation, mascara, eyeliner, brows (In my opinion eyes are the most important feature to play up and these 4 products would make emphasising the eyes look possible and finished)

6- What is your favourite thing about makeup?
I completely agree with Becca on this one, definitely self the self confidence it gives me but also the freedom I feel from makeup. I like expressing myself through something artistic like makeup.

7- What do you think about drugstores VS high end?
Like I said before, I am a high street super fan which is exactly why I started my blog, however, sometimes mid to high range brands do get a product just right that you really cannot find a good dupe for! (Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick for example) Most of the time though you are just paying for slightly different packaging or the brand name, as lots of these products are made in the same place (Sleek and Nars are perfect examples of this)  and then it’s really not worth it! Spend time researching the products you want and then try and find a good dupe, the extra time effort is definitely worth it financially! Also if anyone can help me find a good dupe for Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick then please let me know 😀

8- What is one piece of advice you could give to a beginner?
Blend your foundation properly! Use a brush to apply, find a good foundation (that doesn’t mean expensive – for example Maybelline Fit Me Foundation is one of my personal faves for everyday) and then blend all the way to the ears and under the chin, before using a stippling brush to even out the product and ensure you aren’t left with a patchy application or the appearance of a “mask of foundation!”

bad foundation

Please don’t be “that” girl – just blend and stipple 🙂

9- What is one makeup trend you never understood?
I can’t really think of one to be honest – I guess it’s the same as answer 8! I’m not against much in the way of makeup looks as I firmly believe in whatever makes you happy and I’m pretty open to trying most looks once 🙂

10- What do you think of the beauty community on YouTube?
I love it – we feel like a family! There is so much hate on the Internet but I dont feel there is within the blogging community and that’s amazing. Anyone who takes the time to open themselves up to others doing something they love and are passionate about are true inspirations to me and the fact that some of the big name such as Patricia Bright, In the Frow and of course Zoella are becoming more and more “celebrity” can only be a good thing, because surely it’s better young people look up to them than bad role models who are only famous for having released a sex tape or being involved in some racy scandal!

That’s all from me – I nominate:

Dancing in Dior

Strange Made Me

Maria at Cat Eyes Red Lips

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this 🙂 Please feel free to answer this yourself if you did and let me know so I can read your answers! Also if you do know of any good dupes or want to add/ask anything then let me know in the comments!