Favourite hand creams

Hi you lovely people,

Ok, so I’ve talked about two of these products before (Click here for manicure favourites) but I wanted to include a few others for a hand cream post. I am addicted to hand creams, I try so many it’s crazy. I don’t think I would actually be able to tell you how many I have, they are in so many places and I am so fickle when it comes to them but these definitely are the ones that I do repurchase time and time again.  In fact, they live on my bedside cabinet and I interchange the first 3 during the day as I use hand cream every time I wash my hands. (Yes, it really is an addiction…) the last 1 is a treatment I apply before bed.

If you’ve read the blog before I don’t think you would be surprised to see a Liz Earle product in a favourites list! I can’t remember when I tried this as I’ve used it for so many years now and I do use it every day. This is the gorgeous Liz Earle Hand Repair. It’s a rich cream, but leaves a matte finish so it’s a great day time use hand cream. The fragrance is beautiful, bergamot, chamomile, neroli and lavender, delicate and slightly floral. It’s not the cheapest, a 150ml pump is £21.00 but to be fair it does last me a very long time and as I interchange creams during the day (depending on what fragrance I fancy at any one time) little does go a very long way.
The second more luxury hand cream is the beautiful La Source Hand Therapy from Crabtree & Evelyn. This is a gorgeous macadamia ternifolia seed oil base with shea butter which is super hydrating but not at all greasy. It does leave a very slight sheen on your skin and the scent is so uplifting and fresh, it’s quite aquatic so I think very unisex. It leaves my hands so soft, smooth and helps to prevent the dreaded cracks I can get thanks to my super dry skin. I would say that La Source is slightly more hydrating than Liz Earle Hand Repair due to the richer formula. It is more economical too in a 250g pump bottle for £20.00.

So this is my budget option, which is Dr Organic Lavender Skin Lotion. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my love of lavender before but if I haven’t it’s official: I adore it! This lotion is beautiful, it contains shea butter and cocoa butter so it’s rich without being greasy. I think you can see a theme going on here, I love shea butter formulations but I’m not keen on grease! The fragrance is pure lavender, almost herby and so relaxing, I do use this as a body lotion too at night especially when I’ve been having trouble sleeping. The lotion leaves my skin so soft and conditioned, I love using it at any time. I am a huge fan of the Dr Organic range, and it is great value at 200ml tube for £6.49.

This is my treatment hand cream which I use before bed time as it is much more concentrated than the others, the legendary L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. I use this every night as part of my wind down routine, the texture is much thicker and can be quite greasy if you use too much. The smell is beautiful ylang ylang and jasmine, is clean and fresh, quite like original Dove hand wash and because I do wash my hands a lot (and also change nail polish frequently) my hands do get dry. In Winter I can use it during the day if needed, I just need to remember to use not so much as I do at night, I usually pop a thicker layer on then to get more benefit overnight. If my hands are very bad, then I slather cuticle oil all over my nails and hands, use a good amount of Shea Butter hand cream, then I put on a pair of cotton gloves and sleep with them on. Not a sexy look I admit, but sometimes needed!! L’Occitane Shea Butter hand cream is £19.00 for a 150ml tube.

It was quite hard to just put 4 on this list as I said before I have so many tubes of hand cream I could literally open a store, but to be favourites they have to be products that have been replaced at least 3 times.

What are your favourite hand creams? Let me know your thoughts.

Till next time,

Lucy xxx


OPI Nail Envy Wardrobe

Hi beauties!

This is one of the best products for my nails that I have been using for more years than I care to remember: OPI Nail Envy. It must be over 20 years that I have been using Nail Envy, I stopped biting my nails when I was 15 and saw such fantastic results from it that I’ve never strayed from using it.

I take a lot of time over caring for my nails and it’s a real passion (some would say obsession!) of mine and I think if you are interested in looking after your nails you cannot go wrong with Nail Envy. It is a nail strengthener which contains hydrolized wheat protein and calcium to strengthen your nails without them becoming brittle and hard. These 2 ingredients moisturise the nail plate and help bind the nail layers together. It stops the nail layers from lifting, a problem I used to have, it also gives your nails flexibility but does not make them too bendy. I use it as a base coat for every manicure as a maintenance system, but the prescribed way of using it is 2 coats on your natural nails and then every other day you put on another coat. After a week, remove it with non-acetone nail polish remover and start again.

It might seem a bit of a faff having to reapply every other day, however I noticed results in 2 weeks, my nails looked and felt so much healthier. After the 6 weeks of treatment my nails were stronger and more resilient and I can honestly say I have never had any lifting or splitting since then as Nail Envy is such an important part of my nail care routine. I went through a period of about 4 years that I didn’t use nail colour at all (I was very poorly at the time) but I did keep up with Nail Envy so I was able to keep my nails in decent condition. I still have to take strong pain medication and I do find that this does have an impact on my nails so I have to take care of them.

So when this set came up on QVCUK for a crazy price I had to get it. I also love Avoplex and use it religiously numerous times a day, it is a beautiful rich oil which also smells so gorgeous! I really enjoy using it and my nails love the results so Nail Envy and Avoplex are perfect partners.

In this set is the Matte Nail Envy (blue bottle), leaves a matte look on your nails, perfect if you can’t wear polish to work or don’t like to use polish. Men are a big fan of the matte formula as it is undetectable and it does help using it as a base coat for polish as the texture helps to “grip” the colour for longer.

Original Nail Envy (the green bottle) is the one leaves a glossy shiny healthy look to your nails. You can use this as a base coat and a top coat.

A new release in the family is Bubble Bath Nail Envy, a beautiful soft shade that is a classic in the OPI colour collection. It’s a sheer colour that makes your nails look even more healthy and groomed, I don’t usually like sheer colours but this has changed my mind it is so pretty. The collection finishes with a full size Avoplex which you can use with any Envy you like.

Not included in this set, but a bottle I had previously is the Cool Pink Nail Envy. This is a full coverage colour and opaque so a completely different pink to the new Bubble Bath. I’ve only had it for a month but I do know I shall be getting a lot of use out of it! A gorgeous neutral pink that is so easy to wear.

So this is a wonder product that I couldn’t live without and one I never get tired of recommending to others. The Nail Envy Wardrobe is currently £29.98 from QVCUK.

Have you tried Nail Envy or Avoplex? If so what do you think? Let me know.

Till next time,

Lucy xxx

Manicure of The Day 11/07/15

Hello lovelies,

This manicure marks a bit of a new start for me. I have never tried any nail art before and encouraged by the lovely @domesticgodessnails and @stuckin666 from Instagram, I decided to buy some dotting tools. I thought this would be the easier entry into art, I love to see some of the creations on Instagram they really are amazing. I’ve been doing my nails now for about 5 years but was always very reticent to go into nail art as I am NOT a patient person at all!

Anyway, with the ladies encouragement I went onto eBay and got a set of dotting tools. I also went on to YouTube to see a few tutorials (luckily there are hundreds!) so I was able to find an idea of what I wanted to do. I knew the colours I wanted to use which were Kiko Nail Lacquer No. 385 and OPI I Sea You Wear OPI. I did find it a little tricky, I used the biggest tool that I had and I didn’t practice beforehand, I just went ahead and tried it out thinking it would be simple!

I made the mistake of putting the tool directly into the polish bottle and of course got too much on the end, so next time I will try pouring some polish onto a little plastic tray to see if that would be easier. I didn’t have as much control of the tool so I think it looks a bit messy but saying all that, I was pretty happy in my first attempt. Like normal polishing that takes practice so does nail art so I must be patient! I have been given some good tips so now I know what to try to make it look a bit neater.

All in all, not too bad but definitely needs work! I hope you enjoyed my first foray into art, I am certainly glad I had a go and will be practising much more in the future.

Do any of you do nail art? If so, what did you start with? Let me know.

Till next time,

Lucy xxx

Nail Polish Haul July 2015 Part Two

Hello beauties,

So this is the other nail polish haul that I have had this month (and I am not ruling out another lol) and as my other half and I were going into Oxford I popped into Kiko to have a look at their polish offering.

To start, I got the beautiful peach colour No.359 this is more opaque than the previous No.360 I bought a while ago. I’m really enjoying trying out new shades this season so I thought this would be a lovely addition to my collection. I tried to do a manicure with it a couple of days ago and it was an absolute nightmare to paint! It was so streaky and thick and I really struggled and it has put me off using it, I will give it another go but if I can’t get a good result I think it will be destined for the bin.

My other half picked up the next 3, the gorgeous bright orange No.491 which is beautiful to use, glides on so easily and so vibrant. It’s gorgeous on the nails, much better to wear than I thought it would be. It’s almost neon and perfect for this time of year.

I had my eye on No.255 the last time I was in store, I love my purples and this one with holographic glitter is right up my street. This is also very easy to paint with, you definitely need two coats for the depth of colour, it is so sparkly and beautiful. I have got so many purple polishes that I can use it with and I think it’s a great one all year round.

The last one is No.493 which is a red with orange and gold glitter running through it, I’ve got it on my nails currently and it really is gorgeous. I love reds anyway and you can never have too many reds in a collection and in the sunshine (which sadly we don’t have today!) it’s stunning. Another one I think that will go well into autumn and winter, I am sure it will be a staple shade.

On the whole good additions to my nail polish collection, I have been really impressed with Kiko colours the formulas are good and easy to use (except No.359!) and to get each one at £2.50 each is fantastic. They are 35% off at the moment so if you haven’t tried the brand it is well worth giving them a try.

What are your favourite polish brands? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Till next time,

Lucy xxx

Tarte 3 Piece Limited Edition Lip Collection

Hello beauties!

A make-up item for this post, I’ve seen a few Tarte shows on QVCUK and have been really impressed with their offering, but their products can be a bit expensive as they include brushes. So when the Tarte Total Lip Service popped up on my screen I was really tempted. I dithered and of course the colour option I wanted sold out. It was only when the lovely Jo from http://www.crystalandvanilla.com posted a picture on her Instagram and encouraged me to try the Berry option I ordered it.

I have not tried a Tarte LipSurgence lip crayon before, but really liked the idea of them as they are quick and easy to use and you don’t have to be that precise when applying them. Jo was right and this colour did suit me, I fell in love with it straight away!  The trio comprises of a lip gloss, a crayon and a lip pencil, the colours in the gloss and crayon are called Brilliant and the lip pencil is Berry. The textures are beautiful, (except the gloss but then that’s just me I hate them) and glide on the lip so easily. They also feel very moisturising so I don’t think you are sacrificing wear for comfort.

Obviously the crayon and gloss have to be reapplied, however I did find that the crayon lasted much longer than the gloss. It has a stain-like quality to it so it did wear a reasonable amount of time on me before I had to top it up. I didn’t need to reapply the lip pencil at all, but I think if you did want to wear the trio all day then I would definitely take them with you.

The gloss has gold flecks in that really shimmer and is very pretty so if you do like gloss I think you would like this, the crayon and pencil are cream textures. I did worry that it would be too dark for me to use in Summer, but I think it is a colour I will be wearing all year round.(The pic above is just me wearing the crayon and pencil)

So Tarte definitely have a winner with their LipSurgence crayons, they are gorgeous and I can’t wait to try more! This set cost £21.72 from QVCUK.

Till next time,

Lucy xxx

Budget Toner

 Hi there,

I wrote a post on my favourite toner Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Click here to read, but as that is quite a pricey option at £14.50 I thought I would let you know of another toner I use that is much kinder to your wallet!

Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing Vitamin Enriched Toner (and I thought Liz Earle’s products had long enough names!) is a gorgeous rose scented hydrating toner that I would say is perfect for all skins. There is no alcohol, perfume or colourants in this formula so it is very gentle and cooling on your skin. It does contain water lily extract which is known for it’s soothing properties and also rosa centifolia flower water that gives it a such a beautiful scent.

I really enjoy using a toner, I know some people don’t see the point of it but I think it adds an extra layer of hydration. If you cleanse with a water, this changes the pH levels of your skin, toner helps to restore the pH to the correct level. Your skin can do this by itself, however it takes many hours, in which you may be subjected to environmental factors which can damage the fine acid mantle of your skin. So it’s for this reason I use a toner and to be honest it takes seconds especially when you use a spritz bottle like I do.

I really like this toner, it is super gentle, it smells beautiful and adds a bit more hydration before my serum and moisturiser steps. Also the price is a great factor at £3.99 it’s a brilliant bargain option. For refreshed and soothed skin, the toner works really well.

Do you use toner or do you think it’s an unnecessary step? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Till next time,

Lucy xxx

Manicure of The Day 06/07/12

 Hello beauties!

I decided to date my manicures rather than do the previous posts of naming them by brand, I thought this might make it easier for people reading back. Still loving the brights so I wanted to use the beautiful berry shade The Berry Thought of You  I got in the recent OPI QVC TSV Click here to read) and Strawberry Margarita both by OPI I picked up in the Nail Polish Haul July 2015 Part One (Click here to read).

I have been expanding my collection of pinks and really liked the combination of these together, my favourite formula is a crème just because of the stunning gloss I can achieve, it is a mirror-like shine so I tend to lean towards these polishes when doing a manicure. So easy to wear and apply, I find OPI’s polishes very easy to use because of the Pro Wide brush and the formula glides over the nails. There was easy clean up too, there is nothing worse for me than making a mistake and then it is too difficult to clean and you have to remove polish from only one nail. That really does drive me crazy!!

Anyway, thankfully I didn’t have that problem when I was doing this manicure so it was nice and quick to do. Generally polishing takes me half an hour, mainly because I am quite careful when I am polishing and never like to rush. I like to take my polish off the night before doing a mani so I can get a Leighton Denny Renovate treatment in and use a lot of cuticle oil/butter to rehydrate my nails. As I can change my colour up to 3 times a week I do get concerned about dehydration so I like to have a little break.

I really enjoyed wearing these two colours together with this manicure. I have a bit of a difference in the next one I did and I was pretty pleased with it. I do like a bit of new! Watch this space!

Till next time,

Lucy xxx