Friday, 19 October 2012

Killer Colours nail polish - A review of two halves!

Usually when I don't review something for a bit, there's something I'm not happy with and I need to make absolutely sure that I'm not going to give off a false impression.  I feel like with all the PR samples flying around on blogs these days, my integrity is everything - which is one of the reasons I don't accept pre-written paid content on here, and the reason why I'm always honest about things.  This review reflects that, because the launch date was actually the beginning of September - but I can't review something accurately without being absolutely sure - and that's why I waited.

Killer Colours' unique selling point is that they are at the cutting edge of fashion trends, releasing only small, curated  and limited edition collections of colours inspired by the catwalk - and once they're gone, that's it.  My interest was piqued by this because it's not something I've seen done in an overt fashion - beauty brands tend to mirror what's hot, but not as their mission statement.  I was sent two polishes to try out - and one was really great.  And one was just… not so much.

Gunmetal. Actually, it looks way more true in the colour than in my swatch! I apologise for the smudges, I'm no manicurist.
Gunmetal* is a colour I didn't expect.  I was expecting a deep-hued grey, but it turned out to be a black with silver micro-shimmers in it, the colour inspired by the pewter greys seen Burberry, McQueen and Chanel.  I love the colour, because it's black without being too black, which tends to leech life from my fingers and make me look even paler than it should be possible to be.  The opacity and intensity of colour on this was excellent - and it was good in one coat, although I always apply 3 because I'm stubborn.  Wear time was good, chips minimal and all in all this was a decent polish - one that I think will get loads of wear throughout autumn and winter because I love those smudgy greys.

Twisted Silk.  4 coats and still not opaque for me :(
Twisted Silk* was a huge let-down for me.  Other bloggers seem to have had luck with this shade but from the first coat for me, this was streaky and messy and the resulting 4 coats made my nails look all thick and bubbly and just awful.  This chalky pink was inspired by Jil Sander, but I feel like this polish wasn't executed very well, unfortunately.  I was interested to try a light, pale shade from this brand because I feel like pastels are very difficult to do well, and I wanted to review a range of colours that would be evocative of the quality.  Unfortunately this polish really let me down, but the colour was pretty (even if my gym coach said I had Pepto Bismol hands - I had to remind him it's fashion, darling).

All polishes from Killer Colours are free from the Big 3 chemicals - toluene, DPB and formaldehyde and are manufactured in the UK, and the brushes are not too big and easy to use, although the square lid is chunky and a bit awkward to grip.  They cost £9 - which I feel is on the pricey side - but the P&P is free, so if you see a colour you like then maybe it might be worth your while grabbing it, because these are limited edition to the biggest degree, and once they're gone, that's it.

All in all, I'm curious to see what Killer Colours have in store for next season and how their plan to keep up with fashion pans out - but it's been an experience of 2 halves for me.

Are chemical-free polishes important to you, or is it all about shade?

* PR samples. Both of these were sent for review, and this is my honest opinion!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Beauty-medicating: How to survive a cold with beauty.

A cold hit two weeks ago. I'm the first person to whine about a cold, and to be fair, this one was quite a doozy.  My throat felt hot and sore like I was trying to swallow cold tar and I had this horrible fuzziness as though I was hearing everything through cotton wool with a fever that left me in various states of undress and overdress through the 2 whole weeks I was plague-ridden.

A cold can make you feel particularly shitty, because you're not ill enough to stay home from work, but not well enough to feel present - and not to mention the constant nose-blowing and people avoiding you and wearing those SARS face masks to filter out your gross germs.  I always feel the need to pamper a bit when I'm feeling nasty, so here are my 4 products to make me feel a little bit sunnier when I'm feeling under the weather.

1. The home spa: Emma Hardie Moringa balm.

When I'm tired or poorly, there's something so comforting about using Emma Hardie's Moringa Balm to cleanse my face off in the evening with a lovely hot flannel to soothe my achey head and a beautiful, decadent feel that doesn't strip my skin bare of the moisture it's desperately trying to grab onto.  I love Emma Hardie's Moringa balm because it's oily and luxurious, but emulsifies into a thick fragrant cream, and when coupled with a hot flannel it just feels blissful and I can kind of feel my whole body stop for a second and relax.

2. Rehydrate: Origins Drink Up Intensive.

My skin feels so withered and worn when I've got a cold and I want to smother everything all over it at once and restore its usual balance and bit of glow.  Origins Drink Up Intensive is a non-oily feeling overnight mask that smells zingy and refreshing and makes me a little more cheerful, mainly because it's one of the only products I own that I can smell when I can't smell anything else.  I love to apply this after cleansing off my makeup and just leave it on to do its job while I sleep, because no effort skin care is my favourite kind of thing when all I want to do is sit in a blanket, accept copious cups of tea made by Kiwi and mope, and it leaves my skin soft and lovely the next day.

3. Moisturise: Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream.*

This has a lovely warm, spicy scent to it and it's a thick, luxurious cream to apply just before going to bed.  I love to massage this in properly and make my skin feel like it's getting a treat, because this is just thick and emollient.  It contains manuka honey and avocado oil, and is seriously moisturising - and also it's supposed to help collagen production while you sleep, so plump, moisturised skin in the morning is a lovely thing to wake up to when you feel shrivelled like a prune.

4. Delicate lips: Nuxe Rêve de Miel balm.

This feels like nourishment in a pot on my chapped lips.  Continually having to blow my horribly red-as-a-postbox nose leaves my nose and lips feeling a little raw - mainly because - well who buys expensive tissues?! Tesco Value tissues all the way.  So anyway - a bad cold always gives me such a sore nose and lips, and this is beautifully thick and non-greasy and moisturising on my poor little sore features without containing weird ingredients like menthol (like Carmex) that burn to the max.  Rêve de Miel is reassuringly thick and lovely, and contains honey and shea butter to help soothe my chapped lips and sore nose - it's a bit expensive for a glorified lip balm - but I adore this.

 Sometimes you just need some seriously luxurious beauty products that will give you that pick me up - and for most people, that's a bath when they're ill! I HATE baths, because I can only sit in them for 10 minutes and then my fingers get wrinkly, I overheat and need to get out and then lie on the floor pathetically.  So for me - it's all about hot face cloths and a lot of balm products.

What's your beauty illness survival strategy?

* PR SAMPLE - all opinions are my own and I'm always honest.


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