My nails have always been useless at growing! I have never been a nail biter, however after spending five years working in a printers and packing millions of books into boxes really took its toll on my nails as they would constantly break or snag. I have tried a couple of nail strengthener treatments in the past such a Sally Henson Maximum Strength which worked to grow them but I found that my nails still weren’t very strong. Then I tried Dr LeWinn’sRenuNail Nail Strengthener…
Dr LeWinn’s RenuNail Nail Strengthener is an intense nail strengthening treatment to help your nails become stronger. It works by following a 4 week programme –
- First day apply two coats of RenuNail Nail Strengthener to clean nails
- Apply one additional coat on top every day for the next 5 days
- On the 7th day remove with nail polish remover
- Repeat the programmer for the next three weeks
At the end of 4 week programme, stop and give your nails a break for at least two weeks (using this too much will have a negative effect on your nails.)
I’ve done this programme once for only 3 weeks and the final results is what you can see in the photo above. Unfortunately I don’t have a before photo of my nails, but what I can tell you is that my nails were very short with no white tips at all and very flaky. Although to some people my nails won’t look much, but to me, this was a huge achievement as I have never had these length nails before and they’re strong! I have knocked them so many times and feared they would snap but they have been fine.
Since my treatment I have only been wearing the RenuNail Nail Strengther as a base coat underneath coloured polish (without apply further coats), and it works well to maintain the strength in my nails. Although I’m not using the strengthener as per the programme, I do still tend to try and give me nails a little break every now and then. It is a little pricey at £17.00 per bottle, but it does come in a large bottle (30ml) so can’t really complain as it really does work!
Have you tried Dr LeWinn’s RenuNail Nail Strengthener?
Swatches Left to Right – Satin Taupe/Sable/All That Glitter/Naked Lunch/Wedge
MAC eyeshadow are my favourite eyeshadows. They were one of the first makeup items I started to collecting, buying then in pan form and adding them into my MAC 12x pan pallete – the colour range is amazing with excellent pigmentation. My favourites have always been the neutrals and today I wanted to share with you my top 5 favourite shadows –
Satin Taupe – I’m a sucker for a taupe, and this one is my favourite! If you are just used to wearing neutral eyeshadows (champagne/bronze/browns) then this is your perfect next step to a hint more colour. To me, it looks like a brown shade with a hint of purple which is really lovely on most skin types.
Sable – this was my first MAC eyeshadow I brought after Laura from lollipop26 (now formally known as Buy Now, Blog Later) raved about. It’s a gorgeous bronze which makes for a lovely wash of colour over the lid.
All That Glitters – If I had to pick one shadow to take with me on a desert island, it would be All That Glitters. The goldy shimmery colour over my lids really makes my blue eyes pop. As soon as the sun comes out it’s the first shade I reach for.
Naked Lunch – If I am opting for a dressed down make up look, but still want a little something on my lids – Naked Lunch is one. It’s a shimmery champagne colour which looks lovely on its own or a light base for a smoky look.
Wedge – quite simply, the perfect crease colour when you are looking for some definition. It’s also a great matt nude to put all over to neutralise any colour on lid.
What are your favourite MAC eyeshadows?
I write this post not really as a blog post but more of a diary entry following my slimming world journey. I’ve stopped and started slimming world a couple of times now and each time I stop, I put the weight I lost back on…with interest! Now with less than a year till a get married, I’ve decided it’s time to stop making excuses, go back and work hard to lose the weight! These posts will be my way of sharing my tips, meals ideas and progress.
I went back to Slimming World last week and this week on Saturday was my first weigh-in. I found my first week back at Slimming World refreshing, it was nice to get back eating healthy and trying to be more organised with eating meals. Although I’ll admit I had a couple of bad days, with unexpected events I had to attend for work but I did mange to stick on plans for the majority of the week, and it paid off with losing 4.5 lbs! I’ll admit the first week will always be the best for weight lost as it’s a shock to the system, however it’s a nice feeling of the hard work paying off and it’s encouraged me to continue going.
Today is just a small intro into my new series and I won’t be writing a SW post every week but as I said, it’s mainly a chance for me to track my journey and maybe help others in the process, giving some inspiration and tips.
To follow my Slimming World journey and check out what I’m eating, I have a separate slimming world account. Follow me over at – @stephi_sw
Have a great week everyone x
A couple of Sunday’s ago, me and a few girlfriends met up in London for a well overdue catch up and we decided to go for breakfast or lunch. My friend then found out about bottomless brunches – something I’d never heard of before. The idea is, some restaurants or pubs/bars will serve a form of breakfast for a set price (and time) and serve an ultimate alcohol whether it be blood mary’s or prosecco – amazing right?!
My friend made a reservation for 1pm at the Villandry (Great Portland Street) and when we showed up, they showed us to our table and straight away we were offered hot drinks, pastries and if we would like prosecco. After a few minutes, they come back with your chosen pastries and start filling up the flutes of prosecco. They then take your order for your meal, and later offer a form of dessert – all the while topping up glass with bubbles.
The Villandry was really nice and elegant, and once you’re sat at your table you feel like you’re in an episode of Made in Chelsea. The food was amazing too! I went for the Villandry English Breakfast (minus the mushrooms) and it came to the table beautifully presented. It was the nicest full English breakfast I’ve ever had (no greasy spoon breakfasts here!) and super filling. For dessert, I then chose the salted caramel and walnut tart – it was beautiful!
The bottomless brunch experience last for 2hrs, and throughout the entire bunch your glass is never empty of prosecco. The waiters were fantastic, and as soon as your glass was half full they would come straight out and start filling them back to the top again – for the whole 2hrs! And all for a set price of £30, which I don’t think is bad at all! It makes for a really lovely afternoon with friends and perfect for a special occasion like a birthday.
And after doing some research into this bottom-less brunch experience it seems they are becoming quite popular across UK. There are loads across London if varies styles, so you can go elegant with somewhere like the Villandry, or if even seen in some pubs bottom-less brunch serving unlimited pizza and beers – great for a Sunday afternoon! And for my Brighton friends, I’ve even seen that the North Laine Brewhouse serve their own bottom-less brunch on a Sunday! Me and a friend are checking it out soon, so will report back soon!
If you live in London, or planning to visit, or even thinking of something special to do for a birthday – I would definitely recommend checking the Villandry on a Sunday!
Have you heard of bottomless brunches before? Is there any where you would recommend for the boozy brunch experience?
As you might of guessed already, I’m a sucker for a new shampoo & conditioner! All the big brands always seem to be releasing the new found hair treatment to cure your hair troubles whether it be for; dry ends, protecting coloured hair, less fizz, more volume – there is something for everyone down the hair aisles of Boots or Superdrug. And yes I know 9x out of 10 it’s all the same stuff in pretty bottles and it’s all in the marketing (trust me, I work in advertising!) but I’m an adman’s dream when it comes to hair. I’m that girl that will always think, what if it actually does change my hair and give me amazing volume like Beyoncé? And when they offer a new shampoo and conditioner for an introductory rate in Boots, I might as well give it a try – right?!
This time I picked up the TRESemme Beauty Full Volume combo. This is a ‘new’ concept brought to the hair market by TRESemme, the idea being that you use the pre-wash conditioner as the first step, then follow in with the shampoo. But is this really a new-found idea? I’m sure I remember reading this tip years ago in one of the female glossy magazines as it’s known that conditioners always tend to weight down your hair, therefore they suggested that if you want to keep the volume in your hair – swap the order you use shampoo and conditioner around. Did I try it, and stick to that method…no! Anyway nevertheless TRESemme was clever enough to come to the market first with this ‘marketing genius’ idea – for all I know it could be their usual volume shampoo & conditioner is new packaging! But speculating aside, what did I think?
I actually really like it! I’ve always been a fan of the TRESemme ranges, and I’m always eager to get more volume in my hair. When I first used this in the shower, I’ll admit it felt a little strange and I did have to think twice on which I needed to use first. As I mentioned before in a previous hair review (see it here), I suffer with greasy hair and after getting my hair wet, then applying conditioner it didn’t feel quite right. After brush the conditioner through my hair and rinsing, my hair still felt heavy and almost like I hadn’t quite managed to get all the conditioner out. I then followed with the shampoo and rinsed, and my hair was left feeling clean.
Moment of truth came however when it came to blow drying my hair – I think we’ve all been there and tried out a dodgy hair treatment in the shower, gone to dry your hair and it still feels as dirty as it did before you got in shower…I was however really surprised! My hair felt super soft and light-weight. I can’t say I noticed a difference in volume (but I do have to caveat that my hair is in desperate need of a cut and layers putting back in) but it was definitely a lot my lighter than usual and I was able to style my hair a lot better to gain a bit more volume. So all in all, I would give it top marks!
I do wonder however if I would get the same effect with any type of shampoo & conditioner if I swapped them around though…here’s to the next experiment!
Have you tried the TRESemme Beauty Full Volume shampoo & conditioner yet? What are your thoughts?
Here are my top moisturising skin picks. These are the products I reach for once I’ve done my usual cleanse and tone in the bathroom to help prep my skin for the new day –
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution – I first of all wanted to find an oil for my skincare routine to help give my skin a boost of moisture for the day ahead, I then heard about this face oil from Kiehl’s. I’ve always tended to suffer from dark spots/acne scars – every time I have a pesky spot it seems to take forever to for mark to actually fade away so I wanted to try this out as my new face oil. I apply three drops of the oil onto clean skin before moisturising (morning and night) and it soaks into the skin really nicely. Although I have only been using this for about a month, I am actually starting to notice that my skin is a little more brighter and noticing my marks fading away ever so slightly, so hopefully this will work if I keep using this – I’ll keep you posted!
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment – I’ve been very naughty in the pass and not used an eye-cream but recently I’ve had a few contact-lens issues which has caused my eyes to become watery and irritated so I need something to sooth underneath my eyes. After doing a lot of research into the best eye creams on the market, I went for Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment because I wanted something thick and creamy to help with dry patches around eye – and it worked! Would thoroughly recommend this eye cream, its super rich and creamy, and feel amazing around my eyes.
Simple Rich Moisturiser – This has always been my old faithful moisturiser! My mum has always used this, and I’ve carried on the same tradition. I tend to be of the belief that if you have a great skincare routine (cleanse, tone, apply oils, etc) then you really don’t need a fancy expensive moisturiser as well as everything else in your routine is doing all the hard work. Therefore I opt for this basic, high-street moisturiser which does exactly what it does on the bottle – moisturise!
Blistex Relief Cream – This acts as my lip balm in the mornings. Although it’s more of medicated lip balm, during the past couple of months my lips have been really sore and chapped – even with going to bed with a thick lip balm on. I tend to apply a layer on this in the morning to sooth my lips and apply my lipstick an hour or two later (before I get off my train in the mornings for work), this gives my lips enough to time to heal and I then have a smooth base for my lipstick.
What are your top skincare picks? Have you used any of these before?
Ever had a gel manicure and it begins chipping and you want to remove, but don’t have time / can’t be bothered to get them professional removed back at the salon? Well I’ve been there many times and end up peeling the gel polish off my nails (yes I know, it’s so bad for your nails!) but I decided to give an at-home remedy a go. Here is a step-by-step guide on how I removed my gel polish –
Here is what you’re going to need –
- Acetone – you can get this from pharmacy, generally over the counter
- Cotton wool or pads
- Nail file (emery board)
- Foil cut into squares
Step 1 – take a nail file and rub over the polish
Step 2 – soak a cotton wool or pad in acetone and place directly over the polish. I soak the section of the pad which came in contact with nail and wrapped the dry sides of the pad around my finger.
Step 3– Use foil to wrap around finger to hold the cotton pad in place over the nail, and leave for 15 to 20 mins
I used normal tin foil from the kitchen, but you can buy proper nail foils from amazon or ebay which I might look to invest in. Although the normal foil did do the job, it didn’t hold in place very well so I had to keep super still. And yes my fingers look crazy…ha!
Step 4 – remove foil and cotton after soaking nails and you’re left with the polish lifting from your nails. From here I simply push the polish away and with any stubborn bits I filed away with a nail file.
Step 5 – I then finished by clean my nails with some nail polish remover and washing your hands to get of any left over acetone.
Yes I’ll agreed with you, it is a lot of faff when you could just soak your nails into a bowl of acetone for 20mins but the acetone direct on my skin for a long period of time really irritates my skin. This also beats trekking back to salon and paying for them to remove gels for you.
Have you tried this method before? Would you give it a go?
“JorgObe The Original Black Peel Mask deep cleanses the pores, reduces the skin’s production of excess oil and prevents new blackheads. Soothing plant extracts help the skin regain its natural moisture balance, leaving if soft and with markedly reduces pores.”
Have you heard about this stuff yet? They have done a lot of online marketing for this product, I’ve seen it so many time on Facebook and after receiving a lovely Selfridge’s voucher at Christmas I decided to give it a go. I love a face mask, especially a peel off mask – isn’t it so damn satisfying peeling the mask from your face (just me?). Anyway, I do suffer with pesky blackheads on my nose so I was intrigued to see if this would work to remove them once and for all. I’ve tried clay masks before which do help (my favourite is Origin’s Clay mask) but the campaign for this mask almost claims to the remove them all in one fail sweep (or peel as the case may be). Worth a go right?
The day I got my hands on this mask, that evening I gave it a go (the boy may of also given it a go to, but shhh I didn’t tell you that!). It comes out of the tube in a thick black gooey texture and I applied it mainly just across the bridge of my nose. You then wait 30 minutes till it dries completely and then peel off. The first thing I learned, is that you have to put a thick layer on otherwise it doesn’t peel away very easily. When I tried this the first time, I applied it quite sparingly because, a) I was trying it for the first time so I didn’t want to go too heavy in case my skin reacted badly to it, and b) I didn’t want to waste it. Once it dried, I was left with a very thin and patchy layer which was difficult to peel. I therefore ended up washing most of it away with water which defeats the objective of peeling the mask off whilst it removes your blackheads – fail!
The next time I used it I went it heavy, ensuring I was covering the bridge of my nose with a thick layer of the mask. I waited 30 minutes (praying no one came to front door!) until it was dry and then started to peel. This time it was much easier, and although it stings a little when peel it from your skin, it’s satisfying to know whatever is underneath the mask is being dragged away too. I did notice a difference in my pores after the treatment, but I’ll admit that I wasn’t blown away. There were still a few stubborn blackhead lurking behind but I have found the more you use it, the more it improves. When you have a look at the peel afterward you can sort of see what it has removed – disgusting but kinda pleasing! I try and use this treatment once a week and I do find it does also keep excess oil away which is great!
Have you tried JorgObe Black Peel Mask? What are your thoughts?
When Topshop first released their makeup range back in 2010, I was really impressed with the quality and the range and 6 years later Topshop are still brining their makeup game! Last weekend whilst shopping in Brighton, and I couldn’t resist picking up some new bits to try from their range. Here is what is picked up –
Nail Polish in Lucas and Leigh – This was the main reason I wanted to check out Topshop’s makeup stand as I knew they had just launch their new denim nail polish range. With six new polishes in the range, these all match Topshop’s famous denim jeans – Hayden, Lucas, Joni, Leigh, Mom and Jamie. I picked up Lucas and Leigh, and they look great – perfect for Spring!
Everything Stick in Philanderer – I’ve used Tophop ‘crayon-type’ products before like their lip bullets and I thought they were great, so when I saw the Everything Stick – a product you can use for your eyes, checks and lips, I wanted to get it a go! I’m not sure how much I will use this colour on my lips but it’s a really pretty colour for the cheeks and lips. It super creamy and pigmented, and blends in really nicely for a blush. They have some really pretty colours in this range (six in the range) so might have to pick up a few more of these.
Waterproof Eyeliner Ebony – I’ve heard a lot of good things about Topshop’s eyeliner, so wanted to try this out for myself. When I first swatched this on my arm, it’s really pigmented and creamy and when I went to wipe it away it was really stubborn. With this staying power for just a swatch, I can’t wait to try this eyeliner properly.
What are you favourites from the Topshop makeup range? Have you tried any of these products before?