Tag Archives: boots

NAILS OF THE MOMENT

A while ago I picked up this blue glitter polish from Boots, and I’ve finally had a chance to try it out. Here’s how it looks:

 

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It has to be said, I’m not as thrilled with this one (“Blue Glitter”) as I am its green counterpart. To start with, this is far less opaque, so I had to layer something under it. Not wanting to interfere with the pretty blue colour I bought it for, I’ve used this Revlon silver underneath. What really irked me about this polish, though, wasn’t having to use a base, it was the effect it had on that base– namely, it started stripping it.

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You see the little patch on my thumb and ring finger where the polish is almost see-through? That’s one of the spots where the blue lifted the silver. For me, this is one of the most irritating things a polish can do. The effect was less strong on the second coat, but there was still some noticeable and annoying shifting.

This polish is also quite textured, which I personally don’t prefer (but I know a lot of people do enjoy). It isn’t so textured that it’s rough or will snag on your clothing, and you can smooth it out with a layer of top-coat, but if you’re looking for a quick route to a smooth polish, this isn’t it.

On the plus side, the colour is extremely pretty. A very light sky blue with teeny-tiny multi-colour micro glitter, it looks absolutely gorgeous, and is surprisingly long-lasting. It also wears off rather than chips off, which is definitely my preferred option when it comes to light-colored polish. The polish itself is easy to apply, with both formulation and brush shape being pretty much perfect.

If you can overlook the part where it tends to strip whatever base polish you’re using (or if you can go without one), this is a decent use of your €3. If, however, you want absolute opacity and a smooth surface, maybe this isn’t the one for you.

Have you tried this polish? Do polishes that strip their bases drive you nuts? What’s your polish pet peeve? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

NAILS OF THE MOMENT

One of my recent January sales purchases was this fab Color Carnival polish from Boots’ Seventeen range. I am not ashamed to say I tried it out almost immediately after I got it home, and I was not at all disappointed. Look how gorgeous this is:

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Okay, yes, my nails themselves are basically hideous right now on account of the fact that I had an Unfortunate Incident with a chopping knife (frankly, I was lucky I lost only a nail and not a finger, so let that be a lesson to you, folks: pay attention when using sharp implements!) very recently. How gorgeous is that polish, though? It has amazing depth. In dim light, it has a pretty shimmer, and in intense light you can see the tiny gold flecks in the polish.

I’m always on the lookout for nice green nail polishes. For some reason, it’s the hardest colour to get… But it also happens to be my favourite colour to wear. I am so thrilled with this one, and in my opinion, it’s also a pretty good dupe for China Glaze’s “Running in Circles”. From the pictures, I thought it looked like my Holy Grail Green, so I was disheartened to discover I couldn’t get it in Ireland.

This one is a more than adequate alternative, though. I also believe it rivals any of the super fancy indie polishes that cost €30– except this baby will set you back a mere tenth of that. For that price, I didn’t expect the polish to have much staying power, but I was astonished to find it was still going strong, chip-free, on day three. That’s including three days of heavy daily typing– and even one instance of fixing a toilet with a broken flush. How’s that for a marvel bargain?

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The shade is #57 Green Gold Shimmer, and you can see the bottle above. (I haven’t tried out the blue in that picture – I suspect it’s less full coverage and more translucent than the green, but if it is anything like the green one, it’ll still be brilliant.) I suspect Seventeen is going to be my new go-to brand for budget polish now, especially after recent disappointments with other budget polishes because of their applicators.

The brush on this one was medium-sized, which is just what I like, and isn’t tapered, so it has none of that “one stroke” gimmicky nonsense that some other brands try to push. Yes, this is basic: but it’s effective, and allows for precise application. Doing your polish neatly when your nails are this short is a real pain in the backside, but I managed it with this applicator with relative ease. That’s no testament to my skills, and speaks mainly to the ease of application when you have a slim brush with a uniform width.

I’m super impressed by this stuff, from application to appearance to how hard-wearing it is. If you’re into nail polish and you can hunt out €3 from the sparse January coffers, this is definitely worth your time and attention.

What nail polish bargains have you discovered recently? Have you tried Seveneen nail polish before? What other great green polishes can you suggest? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

RECENT PURCHASES: JANUARY SALES

I did eventually manage to hit the January sales– better late than never, I say, and definitely also better when not grossly overcrowded and crazy. Here’s what I picked up:

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These gorgeous nail polishes are from Boots’ Seventeen range. They’re just €3, which I think is astonishing for such gorgeous colours. I’ve got #49 Blue Glitter and #57 Green Gold Shimmer here, which I’m looking forward to trying out– even if I suspect I am going to need bucketloads of nail polish remover for taking them off since they’re pretty intensely glittery. (Whoever can invent something which takes off glitter polish without an hour’s worth of scrubbing is going to be one rich person, let me tell you.)

 

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I’ve been wanting to add some new eye shadow brushes to my collection for a while now, and unfortunately the only website on which I could find Sigma brushes had none in stock. Consequently, I gave up on web shopping and hied myself to the Mac counter in BT2– I was hoping to save myself a few quid by not buying the MAC ones, but in the end, I decided to just save myself the headache.

It’s not really so terrible; online shopping is a pain in my backside, if I’m honest. I always prefer a bricks-and-mortar retailer wherever possible, since that way I get to bring the goodies home in my hot little hands and not spend a week obsessively tracking my package to try to determine what day it might arrive. Even if you can figure out what day it might come, that means a whole day spent shivering with the living room door open so you’re sure to hear the doorbell, watching your hideously expensive heating flowing into the hall while you rock back and forth from a combination of chill and the inability to take a bathroom break in case the doorbell rings while you’re in there and you can’t scramble out in time to catch the postman before he leaves. (I really don’t handle waiting for deliveries well, okay?)

Since this was a regular retailer, I got to bring home my goodies from the MAC counter as well as two others I picked up in in M&S in their sale for €4 (from their own Autograph range) and €8 (from Pur Brushes). The MAC ones were not on sale, and were about €20 each (ouch). I picked up #217 (I didn’t have one, if you can believe that) and #224. I’ll be excited to compare them to the Real Techniques ones I use daily and the M&S ones you can see here.

 

BT2

While picking up my brushes, I also quite naughtily found my way into the downstairs of BT2. Oops? That said, I got two great bargains– this lovely little Whistles parka was 50% off at €100. It’s insanely warm, and fills the White-Coat-shaped gap in my wardrobe quite nicely. The shoes were something of a random buy– like my red runners, they’re actually for a costume event I’m going to later in the year (I’ll be doing, among other things, a casual version of Princess Anna from Frozen), but I’m actually rather taken with them. They were €60, down from €95, and the embroidery is gorgeous. I bought them in a size up in the hopes of being able to wear them with a heel insert to protect my irritatingly vulnerable Achilles tendon, so we shall see how that goes. (And if it doesn’t work, I’ll just have to… Let it go?)

 

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Lastly, I stopped by M&S to see what was available in their sale. In addition to the two brushes I already mentioned, I picked up two body scrubs– they were only €4 each, and they were also on a “Buy One Get One Half Price” offer, which means I got the two of them for the princely sum of €6! I’m a big fan of body scrubs, so hopefully these will work out for me. Neither Lemon nor Cocoa Butter is really my favourite scent, but they’re nice enough and at that price you really can’t argue.

I also picked up a lighted mirror on half price in Boots… And something else which I suspect deserves its own post which I’ll be talking about soon. My sale shopping was quite restrained this year, but considering the bumper Christmas and Birthday I had, I can hardly complain! I’m not exactly hurting for clothes or makeup, and I’m hoping to spend less and shop my closet more in 2015. I have so much lovely stuff that hasn’t been worn nearly enough, after all.

Did you get anything nice in the sales? Are you holding out for prices to drop even further? Or are you on a shop-your-closet-in-2015 kick, too? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

Mummy, look away now. I’m warning you!

Everyone else can see what I’m getting people under the cut:

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MY DAILY SKINCARE ROUTINE

Well, this is a post I’ve been meaning to make for a while, but I never got around to it! Today we’re going to talk about skincare, and my skincare routine in particular. I’ve never had the best skin, with occasional acne breakouts that were minimal in my teens and as my twenties wore on, seemed to get worse and worse. Deciding to take the bull by the horns, I began experimenting with a combination of products to see if I could do anything to improve the condition of my skin.
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PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: SALT V SUGAR SCRUBS

A while back, I picked up some body scrubs in a 3-for-2 deal at Boots. (Their 3-for-2 offers will be either the death or the saving of me. I can’t work out which.) The two I got where the Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub and the Sanctuary Salt Scrub:

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I wasn’t entirely sure what the different benefits of each were or if one was better than the other, so I decided to do a little research. Here’s what I found:

Salt scrubs are generally more abrasive because of their sharper edges and, therefore, do a better job at smoothing the rough skin of the body. What really separates salt scrubs from sugar scrubs is that they offer therapeutic, mineralization benefits…[These minerals] help to promote circulation, reduce the inflammatory response, and act as a detoxifying agent and general muscle relaxant”.

Sugar scrubs are gentler than salt scrubs because the granule is round and therefore doesn’t have any ability to ‘cut’ the skin. It’s a far better choice for sensitive skin types and the only choice for the face. Sugar granules dissolve more easily in hot water, and they are less abrasive than salt scrubs… The glycolic acid content of sugar is another plus, helping to protect skin against harmful toxins. Vital for the maintenance of healthy skin, this acid works to both condition and moisturize.

information from Happi.com

So, in a nutshell: both are good, but their benefits are slightly different. Salt scrubs are harder on the skin and require moisturisation after, but they also promote better circulation which improves skin health, relaxation and drainage. Sugar scrubs are gentler and soften or condition the skin better with some detoxification, but they don’t provide the same mineral benefits of a salt scrub. Basically, what I inferred from all of this is that I should probably be using both.

I’ve been using the salt scrub once or twice a week now, and you definitely feel the benefits afterwards, as it’s an excellent exfoliant. What I’m really impressed with, though, is the sugar scrub. I use that one more often, and because this is a hot scrub, you also get a delightful thermal reaction. Immediately on applying this to the skin, it heats up, so I’m willing to bet that this particular sugar scrub also comes with circulatory benefits, as well.

A word of caution, though: make sure your skin is wet before you apply it, and that your hair is well out of the way. The first time I tried this stuff out (it’s thick as treacle, and twice as sticky), I ended up plastering my hair into it at the back of my arm. I actually found I could not free myself, and freaked out in the shower a little bit, flailing around with my head cocked to one side as I frantically tried to untangle myself. (Manual removal was impossible; I had to wet it to get it out.)

I would recommend both of these scrubs– but if you can only opt for one, the better choice is probably the Hot Sugar Scrub. If you can stretch to it, though, getting both is the ideal scenario, so you can alternate them as needed.

Have you tried either of these products? Are you a scrub fan, or do you prefer some other exfoliation method? Do you have a similar product you’d like to recommend? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

I THINK I’M ON TO A CLEVER SCHEME.

I previously mentioned how Boots had been out of Hydraluron for a while. Well, it’s finally back in stock, thankfully! Delighted as I am to discover this, I’ve been giving the issue some thought and I’ve come up with a disturbing theory.

Right before it disappeared (for about a month, maybe longer) from stock, it was on 3 for 2 offer, which pretty much guaranteed the already-popular-at-full-price product would sell out. It being out of stocks for weeks afterwards pretty much guaranteed a purchasing frenzy when it reappeared, as well. (God knows it worked on me: I bought three. Go stock up now: they only had one left on the shelf when I got there, and I had to go beg a lovely sales assistant to bring me some more from out the back.)

It did remind me, though, that exactly the same thing had happened with RapidLash earlier this year. I bought it on 3 for 2 deal, then it disappeared for months, then became available again, then went on 3 for 2 again, then disappeared. It could just be a coincidence, but I’m beginning to feel like there’s a deliberate managing of availability to artificially increase demand, which honestly, kind of irritates me a little bit.

As a consumer, I don’t like feeling as though I’m being hoodwinked into buying something at a certain time. When there’s a huge saving involved, fair enough, but as a general rule, I like knowing that I can go into a shop and purchase the items I want at a time that suits me both practically and financially. I’m kind of hoping this is not the case with Boots, because I love shopping there– and also because I don’t have anywhere else I can buy my Hydraluron.

Has anyone else experienced this before, or is it just in my head? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

DUNDRUM SHOPPING HAUL

While at Dundrum the other day to watch Captain America, I also hit the sales and picked up a few bits and pieces!

COSMETICS

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Boots are doing a 3 for 2 offer at the moment on Rapid Lash and Rapid Brow, so if you use either of those products, now is a great time to stock up! I saved myself €49 buying them now rather than a few weeks ago when I noticed I was running low, so it’s absolutely worth it to wait for the offer to come up before you purchase. I also picked up what I strongly suspect might be the perfect pink lipstick (I know, I know– I’ve said this before, and I haven’t been right yet, but I live in perpetual hope!) which I intend to discuss in a separate post later.

CLOTHES

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I also picked up a few items in the River Island sale. Photos are below the cut, along with a few things I picked up in Mango when in Gran Canaria, because apparently I had forgotten how chilly evenings can be there, and hadn’t packed a lot of what I needed!
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DUNDRUM SHOPPING HAUL

There are two places that see a lot of my mug in this city, and those are Brown Thomas (the Hermes boutique in particular) and Dundrum Shopping Center. No specific shop there, just Dundrum. All of it. The whole thing. I could write odes to how wonderful that shopping center is, but I won’t, because instead I will let the pictures do the talking:

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Details and more photos under the cut…

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