Review: Orly Amp’d Nail Polish

Hello and sorry! Yes I know, I know I’m a terrible blogger and I haven’t written anything for ages but I promise I’ve been busy doing stuff.

Orly2One thing I have done is tested out a new nail polish, well nail polish system really – Orly Amp’d. The other week I was doing the usual pay day, buy loads of stuff I don’t need shopping spree and I came across this in Boots.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to use gel less recently because I always end up picking it off and my nails are consequently in a terrible state. This Orly Amp’d stuff promised that it would provide 7 days of wear, dependent on nail condition and I figured I’d give it a try as it might be a contender as an alternative to the Seche Vite top coat I usually use.

So, how was it?

Firstly, I loved the way it went on. The brush was easy to hold and a good width for covering most of my nail in one stroke. The colour itself went on beautifully as well; each coat provided a strong amount of coverage without being splodgy or me worrying that it would never dry through being so thick. Two coats of colour later and I was ready for the top coat. The top coat also went on nicely and really did make the polish dry quickly to a hard, glossy finish.

My nails are in such awful shape that I didn’t get a week out of the colour, I actually got about 3 days out of it before part of it lifted on one of my nails and I lost half a nail’s worth of polish. I didn’t mind. The reason I didn’t mind is that often that happens to me within 1 day, after I’ve spent an hour waiting for the polish to fully dry. This took 15 minutes and I got 3 days. For someone with strong, healthy nails, this has got to be a win.

The Orly Amp’d colour range includes some stunning, bright colours too so I’m definitely going back. It felt like such luxury polish that I can’t wait to try again with a party colour.

Has anyone else tried it out? What did you think? x

Review – Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation, Ivory

Avon Ideal Flawless Cream to Powder Foundation, £12

Avon Ideal Flawless Cream to Powder Foundation, £12

It’s been a looooooooong time since I wrote a product review but I’ve recently bought a whole heap of new beauty products so I’ll try my best to get through a few reviews, though I do often break my blog-promises (sorry!).

I’m not really sure what possessed me to try out a new foundation because I’m actually perfectly happy with what I already have but I found myself ordering it because it was pretty cheap and had some great reviews. I’m not usually an Avon customer but I fancied trying something completely different so I threw caution to the wind and here I am now!

The product I’m reviewing is Avon’s Ideal Flawless Foundation in the Ivory shade. I was a bit worried about the colour as many reviews say that the colours come up quite dark and I have to say I agree. I wouldn’t call this shade ivory at all, more like orange (it’s much darker than the picture shows). Much like I wouldn’t call this a medium to full coverage foundation, more of a barely there finish – which is how I got away with wearing orange foundation all day! I’ve tried to take photos of me wearing it but it just looks like my naked skin, all of my pores are visible, the unevenness of my skin tone punches you in the face and the dark circles under my eyes are enhanced by the dark, dull colour of the foundation (see below image).

My pore-filled face with this foundation on

My pore-filled face with this foundation on

It has a strange consistency when it goes on; I found the whole cream-to-powder thing really means it glides on but then feels like it’s drying your face out as it dries. It also doesn’t absorb any oil; by 2pm I had a full-on oil slick for a nose which, I must say, isn’t my favourite look. 

Even the packaging failed to excite me; the box is a cheap plastic black thing and the sponge is totally the wrong shape for trying to apply foundation to a whole face, it’s more of a powder your nose sponge. I really wanted to like this product but it just does nothing for me. If you have great skin and just like to wear make-up then it might work well but if you have imperfections like I do, it actually enhances them rather than concealing them. This is not the one for me; sorry Avon. 



One thing I have been massively lax about this year is sharing my travel experiences so I’m going to start the catchup process now with a quick note about my most recent trip which was to Istanbul. Sadly my camera gave up the ghost part-way through the trip so I don’t have as many photos as I would have liked and a good chunk of them have been taken on my phone but hopefully you’ll find something useful here.

We stayed in the old part of the city, very near to the Blue Mosque in a hotel called the World Heritage Hotel. It’s a small, boutique type hotel which I cannot recommend highly enough. The hospitality was like nothing else, we were offered the receptionist’s iPhone charger to take home with us when we thought we’d lost one and we also bumped into one of the staff of an evening who stopped just to check that we knew where we were going. AMAZING!


Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Before I went to Istanbul, I imagined it might be a bit like Marrakech in that we’d be constantly harassed as 3 females travelling alone. It wasn’t like that at all. There’s a huge police presence in the most touristy areas and as soon as you say your first no to the traders, they back off. That was really refreshing. What was also nice was that almost all tourists respected the culture of the city and dressed conservatively, in longer sleeves and trousers.

Galata Tower

Galata Tower

Food-wise I was underwhelmed. The main courses were “ok” from what I experienced; I mean they were great value for money but nothing I’d rush back for. The baklava and the Turkish delight were fabulous though! I don’t usually eat Turkish delight but it revealed its true colours here and the pistachio flavour with the bits of nut in is just the best!



What’s interesting is that you might think that the Asian side of the city would be the more conservative but actually it’s the more modern side. We took a boat trip across there one day and it was great. Approaching it from the boat, it looked run down, cheap and not at all like the sort of place you’d want to go. Walk a couple of streets down from the docking station though and you’ll enter a maze of shopping streets, bars and restaurants and find the most western part of the city.

You’ll also find some awesome street art so be sure to wander slightly off the beaten track. Check out the example below, there’s so much going on in one picture, it’s brilliant! For travellers in their 20s, I’d suggest staying on this side of the river and taking the boat across for the sight seeing rather than doing it the way we did. The boat’s only about 4 Euros per trip so it’s virtually free.

Street Art

Street Art


New Mosque

New Mosque


There are only two things we encountered which I would suggest avoiding. The first is the cafe / restaurant in the Topkapi Palace grounds and that’s purely because it’s insanely expensive. We had some delicious chocolate cake in there but it was at least 3x the price of everywhere else and seemed to be on a par with English tourist attraction prices. It was a bit of a nasty shock.

The second is the hammam. We went to Cemberlitas Hammam and while it was ok, I really didn’t enjoy the experience very much. The place was heaving like a cattle market, the women were rude and there weren’t even any signs to say where to go so we were wandering like lost lambs when we first arrived. If you fancy a Hammam experience, I’ve had much better in Marrakech so I suggest saving your pennies towards another holiday.

Overall, Istanbul is a hustling, bustling city and there’s certainly a strong presence of religion there but it also feels really safe and it’s not especially huge so you can easily walk around it. My favourite part of the whole trip was when we went to Gulhane Park. It’s big, it’s well laid out and it’s beautiful. On a warm day in the summer, I could easily imagine lazing around here for hours, not least because there are loads of friendly stray dogs around! The dogs are tagged and one gentle giant followed us around for about half of our walk 🙂

Definitely visit if you get the chance but for my money, Budapest is still the winner if I had to suggest one city for you to visit x

Review: Cats the Musical

Once upon a time I used to write up reviews of pretty much every show I saw but these days I rarely have time. Given that this is a lazy Sunday evening, I thought I’d start to make up for that and write a brief review of the show I saw yesterday: Cats the Musical.


I never saw Cats when it was on for it’s insanely long run which ended a few years ago so this was my first feline experience. Obviously a huge thing with the new run is that the stunning Nicole Scherzinger stars as Grizabella. This was one of those shows which I had just been dying to see for absolutely ages so I was over the moon when a friend decided that seeing this was what she wanted to do for her birthday!


I don’t get it.

I had anticipated myself having many reactions to Cats but none of them were in any way, shape or form negative. Negative might be a harsh word, indifferent might be more accurate. Having seen many West End shows, this was one which just didn’t “wow” me. It didn’t draw me into its world enough to make me switch off. It felt like a series of disconnected songs which were well performed but lacking magic.

Nicole Scherzinger could obviously never look drab in any way because she is just stunning but I really didn’t mind that. What I hadn’t expected was to see so little of her character. My poor understanding of the “plot” led me to believe she’d be on the stage far more. She wasn’t on stage enough for me to gauge her acting ability but her rendition of Memory was so phenomenal that it made the whole show worthwhile. She gave me goosebumps and made my eyes swell with tears. Scherzinger’s voice has an incredible depth to it that you just cannot ignore. You should see the show just to see her.

Another notable performance is Joseph Poulton as Mister Mistoffelees. You’ll barely notice him for most of the performance but when it’s his time to shine, he absolutely owns the stage and showcases his incredible talent. Watch out for his pirouette, it comes out of nowhere and stuns you. Poulton is one fantastic dancer!

So, in essence, it’s worth seeing just to say you have seen it and to check out a couple of stand-out performances but if you haven’t got tickets and you’re struggling to do so, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Perhaps go and check out one of the many other shows in town; I’ve heard Urinetown is worth a watch! x

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead…Well Not Quite

The Weapon of Choice

The Weapon of Choice

Happy 2015 everybody!!!

I have to say, my year has got off to an excellent start as I sit here typing away with a gorgeous, snoring Beagle lying next to me 🙂

Anyhow, this isn’t just a generic happy new year post, I thought I’d conform to what society expects even more than that. This is a “welcome to my new year detox” post! Oh yes, it’s January and I thought I’d make it a challenge by starving myself. I mean getting healthy. Not starving myself, getting into a fit, healthy place.

Seriously though, the bf and I watched a docu-film on Netflix the other week, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and it was all about one chap, (Joe Cross) and his quest to sort his life out. He wanted to change things up, stop relying on medication, lose weight and generally feel more alive, and he brought a few people along with him too. Now, we’ve all seen these documentaries before and we’ve had juice diets rammed down our throats just about as much as we possibly can but something in this film just made me sit up and realise that I CAN DO IT! I really can.

I’m not fat per sé, but I am packing quite a few extra pounds at the moment which I wouldn’t mind losing. However, that’s not my main motivation. My main goal is to stop looking and feeling sooooooooooooo tired. It’s got to the point of ridiculousness and I know for sure that the food I’m putting in simply isn’t up to scratch. So I’ve set myself the challenge of turning that around before the spring comes. I have heaps of fun things going on so I need energy and I need it now.

Starting today, I’m on a juice diet. A hard hit of nutrients! Any avid readers will be pleased to know that I have a new juicer, following the disaster that was my Jason Vale detox back in May. (Read all about it here) There are no hard and fast rules to what I’m doing, I’m just juicing from now until whenever and I’ll be charting my progress along the way.

To join me, you can grab some juice recipes from Joe’s website, here. I’m currently on my first juice, 4 apples, 4 carrots and 2 lemons and it’s actually bloody tasty. What I like about this plan is that I’m not limited to 3 measly juices per day so every time I’m flagging, it should be juice time. My aim is to give you a real person’s run down of how juicing fits into daily life and just how low the lows are and how high the highs are.

Day 1 – 10.45 am – It’s a bank holiday, I can totally do this. I’m bloody starving but there’s a dog here to distract me and I want that healthy glow. Weight is currently unknown as I can’t find a scales anywhere in the bf’s house but I’ll check that out tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to this as the start of the best year ever! x

Review: Hoof Foot Polish

Hoof Foot Polish, Spearmint Eucalyptus, £2.99

Hoof Foot Polish, Spearmint Eucalyptus, £2.99

As always with me, I can’t resist an impulse buy and my latest one was a miniature tube of Hoof Foot Polish, £2.99 at Boots.

This little tube promises to remove dry skin from your feet with no more effort required than you rubbing it in. What more could a girl want than to take some of that on a city break involving lots of walking!?!

So here I am in Istanbul and what’s my verdict? It’s ok. That really is my summary of this product! It does remove dry skin but it takes rather vigorous rubbing to do so and if you have and real problem areas, they’ll still be there afterwards. Personally I’d rather put that much effort into using a file or Ped Egg and actually get the job done properly.

If you go for regular pedis and just get the odd bit of dry skin in between, this might be quite a novel way of dealing with it. If however you are looking for something to fix hard working feet, I’d suggest a long soak, a file, some cream and socks to bed. Sadly this isn’t the miracle cure it promises to be.

Happy shopping, everybody! x

Review: Luisa Omielan – “What Would Beyonce Do?”

Last night I did something I absolutely LOVE doing and it was all in the name of a friend’s birthday, I am one lucky girl! What that thing was, was head on down to the Soho Theatre to watch Luisa Omielan’s “What Would Beyonce Do?” It was so bloody good that I’m writing about it now!

As we walked in to take our seats at the *SOLD OUT* performance, Luisa was already on stage, getting her groove on and warming up the audience. It was refreshing to see somebody who was genuine, happy to be there and who looked completely at ease in her environment. I had no idea what to expect from a show with such an unusual name and I deliberately hadn’t looked anything up prior to going as I prefer to be surprised.

As you can imagine, Beyonce lyrics are scattered throughout the show and provide what is actually a really strong structure – I thought so anyway, but then I am the target audience of a single female, nearly 30 who has taken leave of her braincells where men are concerned on one or more occasions!

What I hadn’t expected was how close to home some of the threads would be, I’ve never seen a comedian tackle real-life issues with genuine emotion and then bring everyone back to laughter so effectively. There was no feeling that she was taking the mick out of serious problems because she was talking from experience. What Luisa did so well was bring to light all of the selfish and funny behaviours we all exhibit when we’re faced with challenges. We weren’t laughing at the subject matter, we laughing at our recognition of how we, ourselves have behaved in similar situations. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than someone who can make you laugh at yourself!

I don’t want to say too much more about this show because I want you all to book tickets and go and see it (Link to her website below). All I’ll say is it’s really energetic, it whizzes by in a flash, I could relate to far more of it than I’d usually like to admit and if you recognise this sentiment…go!

Man: “I love ya, but no. I’m not ready for a relationship. Why are you crying? I think I’ve made myself perfectly clear. I love ya, you’re great, but no.”


P.S. – Also go if you are looking for a relationSHIP – you’ll get what I mean when you’re there 🙂

Review: Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Clinique Chubby Stick, 15 Pudgy Peony

Hello and Happy New Year to you all!

I thought I’d start the year as I mean to go on…focusing on beauty! Obviously I’ve been aware of the Clinique Chubby Sticks for quite some time as they’re not really a new product but I’ve not used them before as I’m not that big into lip colour. However, my sister gave me a set of 3 as one of my Christmas presents and I know that she’s used them before so I thought I should give it a go in case I was missing a trick. I was!

Chubby FaceThe first colour I’ve tried is this Pudgy Peony shade which is a purple-pink colour. Normally I’d go for a more orange-based shade but this is fantastic; the bluey tone makes my teeth look whiter and the colour is striking without being over the top. It doesn’t even clash with the red bits in my hair! I’ve inserted a small picture of me with it on so you can see it in action but please forgive my podgy face and lazy, work hair.

It’s really easy to apply, just like a big crayon and because it’s a balm, it slides on and doesn’t have any of that sticky or dry feeling that some lip colours have. I’ve found that the first layer comes off easily when drinking, etc. but after a couple of coats it has really good staying power for something that you can’t even feel on your lips. It’s also super easy to re-apply because it’s so glossy; you can glide it on to the middle of your lips and then smudge it around properly using what I call the “gurning” technique – rubbing your lips together.

I’ve just Googled the price and it seems these are £17.00 each which is not cheap but if you love your balms and you love colour, they’re a great hybrid. Also look out for them at Bonus Time as I’ve seen them in the free gift packs before. If you’ve got one and you haven’t used it yet, crack it open and start loving your pout! Have a fab weekend everyone 🙂 x

Review: Electrolysis for Milia and Thread Veins


I told you I’d catch up with my beauty reviews, etc. and I am on the case! Today I’m going to review a recent electrolysis treatment I had and completely forgot to add to yesterday’s list of things I have been doing when I’ve not been blogging.

I’m sure most of you have heard of electrolysis but you’ve probably heard of it in relation to hair removal rather than as a treatment for skin complaints. I had the treatment on my skin and it was so fantastic that I just have to spread the word because it took me ages to find not only the treatment, but also a place that offered a free consultation and a price I could afford.

The place I ended up going to is called Destination Skin and in Reading, they are based inside House of Fraser but they have a number of clinics so check out their website for more details. The condition I went to see them about is called “milia” and I’ll explain to you exactly what that means and what my experience was…

Roughly around the time I split up with the bf I lived with, Sept ’12, a lot of small bumps appeared on my cheeks. They were like clogged pores / blackheads except they were quite far below the surface. I didn’t think much of it at the time as I’d been on holiday and thought I’d broken out because of the sunscreen. A few months on though, these bumps were still there and showed no signs of changing. My skin felt rough and lumpy to the touch, especially when washing my face in the shower and although the bumps had no colour, you could really see them when they caught the light.

I tried all sorts, from spot-clearing face wash, to microdermabrasion, to changing every single facial product I used. NOTHING! It was pretty depressing and I ended up picking at my skin and creating spots as a result of my determination to rid myself of these things. Eventually, through a combination of Google and a couple of facialists, I worked out I had milia and that they weren’t going to go unless I had them extracted or zapped through electrolysis.

The extraction route didn’t sound too appealing as that involves making tiny cuts in the skin and manually squeezing the milia out. Ouch! Huge scar potential too if it’s done incorrectly. Electrolysis however seemed to be a rather expensive option; I couldn’t find anywhere close by that offered it and I was being told it would cost £100 just for a consultation with a doctor. On top of that I could expect to spend another £150 on the treatment. Oh, and the results weren’t guaranteed. Well I’m not rich so I ruled that out too.

That was until I was in House of Fraser and spotted Destination Skin; a quick Google and phone call later and I’d booked in a free consultation. Now I won’t pretend it all ran smoothly from there because I had to overcome one final hurdle but with my advice, you can do the same! During my consultation, 2 girls looked at my skin under a magnifying glass to determine whether or not the bumps were definitely milia. They came to the conclusion that they were and that electrolysis would be the best option. They also pointed out my other, “normal” clogged pores and fine lines. What they suggested was a treatment plan that consisted of facial peels, electrolysis and 3 specialist products; what I heard was “that’ll be £750 please”. WTF!?! How was I supposed t0 fund that, even with their 3-step payment plan?

I made the executive decision to book in for 1*30min electrolysis session which they had told me would start off the milia treatment. Electrolysis essentially works by breaking the milia into smaller bits so your lymphatic system can drain it away so it can take a few sessions to work completely.  When I got to my appointment, I had a different consultant and she was much better. She didn’t try and con me into a non-refundable treatment plan, she actually told me I’d only need 15 mins for my treatment so it would cost around £50. Much more reasonable!

During the treatment, you feel pin-like pricks as you are zapped but it’s nothing too uncomfortable and in my 15 mins, the therapist zapped all my milia and then offered to start the thread veins on my nose as we had time left. The nose hurt a bit but that provided instant results, the veins are pretty much gone!

As for the milia treatment, I had a rather blotchy red face afterwards and the next day. The advice is to leave your skin alone and be gentle with it as the treatment works and the skin heals over the next couple of weeks. What actually happened was the larger bumps rose to the surface of my skin and I was so keen to get them out, I squeezed them. This probably meant my healing process was longer and I definitely looked VILE during it but after a month my skin was totally fine. As the bumps weren’t easily visible beforehand, I couldn’t take photos to show you before and after but this whole review is purely because I’m so chuffed that I want others to know where to go and what to do.

Honestly, my skin is still far from flawless but it never has been great. What is important is the big bumps have gone and I am so much more confident now. I’ve also stopped picking at my skin because it bothers me so much less so it’s all round much better looking! If I went back for further treatment, my results could be even better but for now, I’m happy with what I have achieved. If you are feeling self conscious like I was, I really urge you to go for a consultation and then splurge that £50 to get some great results, it will transform your life! x

Review: Nails Inc Kensington Church Street Snowflake Effect Polish

It’s no secret that I get far too excited about Christmas and start my celebrations at the time that everyone else is moaning about the fact that the shops have their decorations up already. So when I saw the Nails Inc Snowflake Effect nail polish, it was only a matter of days that I was able to contain myself before I popped into my local Debenhams and picked up a bottle to try out.

Nails Inc Sparkle

When you look at the bottle, it really does look like snow in a Nails Inc package so I was super excited to create snow on my nails 🙂 I’d read that they recommended you try it out over a nude type colour polish to get the best effect but I decided that I should probably try it out over both light and dark. Here is the result:


As always with sparkly polishes, it’s lost some of its life in the photo-taking process but I think you can get the idea by looking at the nail with the black base.

It’s a great polish and I really like the effect on my nude fingers but I’m wondering if it would look even better on a white base so if anyone’s tried that, I would love to know. Like all polishes which have chunky bits in, it can be awkward to apply as it’s slightly gloopy, you want to get some sort of even distribution across the nail and have to dab the end of the nail to get rid of pesky sparkle overhang!

Overall however, when I look at my nails right now I feel like Christmas has landed so it’s done it’s job and I’d pay my £12 all over again to enjoy that if I had to 🙂

Happy shopping! x