Monday Amusements 33

It's spring, so I'm wearing the only pastel that I really like!

I know that all I seem to post on this blog at the moment is Monday Amusements, and that's because I've been extremely busy. I haven't even been painting my nails for the last few months! I do have a lot planned for this blog in the future, but in the meantime if you want to read more from me visit my book blog.

I'm starting to hit pan on a few of my neutral eyeshadows. There was a time when I refused to use eyeshadow unless it was bold and colourful, but I inevitably got a lot of neutrals in palettes and I decided to start wearing them for work to use them up. Now I'm hooked on cool-toned champagney shades and have been known to wear them on days off! I've even hit pan on a few, which is making this Makeup Revolution palette, reviewed at London Beauty Review, look like a good investment. If £4 can be considered an investment.

I'm going through a phase of really liking blue, and I love this look with MAC Cornflower pigment at The Beauty Milk. I also really like this gradient eyeliner look at Blush. Feathers. Lipstick.

Finally, a selection of cute cat-themed crafts at Craftster.


Monday Amusements 31

I may have been naughty a few weeks ago and bought more tights...

Hannah at Midnight Violets posted about her Sleek blush collection, with swatches and comparison photos. When I've used up my current favourite pale pink blush I think I will have to invest in Pixie Pink.

On the other end of the makeup spectrum, Evelyn at We Were Raised By Wolves reviewed her concealer stash.

Ugh, I really want the new Bourjois liquid lipsticks. There is no space for them in my stash though and I'm determined not to get more lip products until I've used some up.

I also really want these t-shirts, despite there being no space in my wardrobe.

I think at least half the internet must have seen Dog Shaming by now but I've only recently had a proper look - it's the perfect blend of hilarious and adorable.


Monday Amusements 30

It's been a while! I had to take a couple of weeks off doing Monday Amusements, but now I'm back. I am considering making these posts monthly rather than fortnightly. I'll let you know what I decide. In the meantime...

The Kiko Colour Shock Long Lasting Eyeshadows are back! I must remember to buy some this time.

I love this Fantasyland-inspired eyeshadow look.

Tips for finding your dream apartment. I think Kate is completely right about showers! Next time I'm looking for a place to live I will definitely be testing the shower!

I think a lot of people will appreciate this post at Owl Girl, Crafting through anxiety and depression.

I'm obsessed with ear cuffs at the moment, which is pretty much the cheapest obsession I've ever had, because I already own most of the equipment I need to make them! I even have purple wire. I particularly like this tutorial:

Finally, so many kittens!


Monday Amusements 29

It was my birthday last week so I had a couple of days off from blog-stuff, making this a short but sweet collection of links.

Make-Up Savvy's Nail Polish Wall is like a terrifying vision of my future. I must try really hard not to collect that much nail varnish, even though if I did I could use Fee's DIY advice...

At Killer Colours, a stunning duochrome nail polish that I will probably never buy because a) it's from a Russian company and b) see above. In other nail polish news, this sneak peek at two of the L'Oreal spring/summer releases at London Beauty Review is extremely tempting!

As a woman with one room to her name, I love bedroom tour videos, and Jane's was no exception. So much Disney, and yet so tidy!

Finally, Anyone Up For Some Jiggly Paw Noms? The little wiggling feets!


How To Make Yourself Exercise If You Hate It

My trainers languished, forgotten in a cupboard, until very recently...

I never thought I'd blog about exercise. I've been avoiding it for a long time. At school I dreaded PE lessons and felt massively relieved whenever they were done for the week.

However, I've come to realise that exercise is a necessary evil and that I really need to strengthen my stomach muscles to help my back. You could say that I've been scared into doing it, but to be honest, fear wasn't enough. I've always known that it was something I was supposed to do, but I'd never successfully gotten into the habit, until now.

At the end of the day, guilt isn't enough. I need to make the exercise itself more tolerable, otherwise I'll just come up with excuses not to do it.

The following steps explain how I've managed to get myself to exercise three times a week. I hope they help anyone who is as reluctant to exercise as I was...er, am!

Step One: Find a tolerable form of exercise

Yes, most exercise is boring. But there are probably some activities that you find less boring than others.

For example, after reading too many blogs about it, I decided that I would try running. Everybody sounded so positive! There was a Couch to 5K podcast! Whoo!

I completely ignored the fact that every time I tried running at school, I hated it passionately. Guess what? I may be in my mid-twenties now, but I still hate running! Running means going outside, wearing clothes I'd never ordinarily wear outside the house, embarrassing myself in front of other people, and getting cold. It also makes me feel terrible. My gums itch in the cold and I get a stitch very quickly.

I also tried Blogilates a couple of times before I decided that I cannot do it because of the shape of my back. I have a particularly curved lower spine and any mat-based exercise will end in tears as my tailbone gets sore from being bashed into the floor. Maybe I'll try it again when I'm more fit, but for now it's off the menu.

I decided that I like DVDs. They can be followed inside, whilst standing up! I can wear old clothes, put music on, and pretend I'm dancing in a nightclub. Nobody needs to see me do it. It's still not really fun - if I were actually in a nightclub I could have a cocktail and would be wearing a nice dress rather than a pair of shorts and a top that I've had since I was 14 - but I'm not terrible at it and I've gotten results quite quickly.

If there is literally no form of exercise that you enjoy, then just pick one that you can do. There are ways to make it easier to tolerate:

Step Two: Make the Exercise Itself Less Tedious

Some people may find that they can make themselves exercise with the promise of a reward. E.g.: if they exercise three times a week for a month, they can get that dress they've been after or they can eat a slice of cake after every session of swimming or something.

This may work for you, but isn't enough for me. I am Scrooge to myself and hate spending money. When it came time to get the reward I wouldn't buy it and I know this, which puts me off following the stick. I know myself. I won't buy the carrot.

So instead I have to make exercising itself less horrible and boring. If you can find a form of exercise you actually like, well done! Personally, I prefer to exercise inside my house so that I can be warm and I won't feel self-conscious or have to spend time travelling to and from a gym.

I rely on DVDs. I tried a Zumba DVD but I couldn't follow the moves, so I'm currently using the Davina Body Buff DVD, which is great. None of the presenters, including Davina, are annoying, there is a low-ability version of the main workouts, I can skip the mat sections, and it has SUBTITLES. Subtitles are vital for me because that means that I can turn the sound off and play my own music over the top instead of listening to the bland dance music on the actual DVD. I find being able to hear my own breathing really distracting, so it helps with that too. I have a playlist that I keep adding to whenever I hear a track I like that has the right tempo. Other ideas that might help you:
  • Exercise with a friend so that you can chat and provide each other with moral support
  • Buy yourself nice clothes to wear to exercise so that you feel good
  • Listen to audiobooks or podcasts at the gym or while walking or running
  • Dress up (probably shouldn't wear makeup, unless you want your skin to hate you) and make some non-alcoholic cocktails and pretend you're clubbing when you're actually doing cardio
  • Do stretches or jog on the spot or run (or do a whole cardio routine if you've memorised it and can multitask to that extent) whilst watching TV, films, or YouTube videos

Step Three: Make It Easy To Keep Doing

My Davina Body Buff DVD allows you to transfer a 'Digital Copy' onto your computer so I don't even have to bother taking it out of the box. I keep my trainers in the same room and my workout clothes in a pile beside them. All I have to do is get changed, put up my hair, and prepare some large glasses of water!

I've recently started exercising first thing, before breakfast, so that I don't have to sit around digesting, and also because when I used to exercise later in the day I'd often find some way to weasel out of it. Getting it over and done with first thing stops the excuses and allows me to spend my day filled with pride!

But you might hate the idea of getting out of bed and doing a workout, and find that you need to exercise straight after work, or before lunch if you work from home. Make it as easy for yourself as possible.

Step Four: Don't Get Carried Away and Start Thinking That You Like It

If you are a committed exercise-hater, find out the minimum you have to do to make a difference/stay healthy. Don't get carried away and try to make yourself do more, unless you actually start to enjoy it, because if you're anything like me you'll just rebel and end up not doing anything.

Keep adding tracks to your playlist. If your workout buddies stop turning up, find new ones. If you feel the slightest bit bored, try something different. Be relentless in your pursuit of tolerable exercise.

Do you love or hate to exercise? If you're a fellow exercise-hater, how do you manage to keep fit? Do you have any advice? If you have any DVD recommendations, I'd love to see them!


    Monday Amusements 28

    There was finally enough sunshine for an EOTD last Thursday! This is mostly 'Sea of Love' by Aromaleigh. I applied it all over my lids, it looks like there is black in the crease but that's just a shadow. I also used the white from the Sleek Circus palette under my brows and Bourjois' discontinued 'Illuminateur du regard' in the inner corners.  I really want to do more EOTDs but I'm not a brilliant photographer and don't have much equipment so I can only get decent pictures on sunny days.

    Tanya at Girlxoxo wrote about how much she likes the app Any.do, which I have been trialling recently. I have decided that although I like using Any.do for keeping a running total of things to do, and for setting reminders for tasks that need to be done on a specific date/timers, I like to write my actual daily to-do list down on paper, so that it's in front of me on my desk at all times. You can't have a digital to-do list open at all times, if your to-do list is as big as mine always is - unless you have a device just for your to-do list, which would be ridiculous!

    Robyn reviewed the perfume Alien, by Thierry Mugler, which now I really want to try as I love jasmine. For years, although I've pretty much always been obsessed by makeup, I knew absolutely nothing about perfume at all. I'd never even liked a perfume until one day I tried a few in a shop and discovered Nina, by Nina Ricci. Finally finding a perfume I liked opened my mind and I started googling perfume reviews and trying more different scents in a bid to work out what I liked. I quickly worked out that I love jasmine, which is apparently the Marmite of the perfume world. It seems like you either love it and think it's one of the sexiest smells on earth or you hate it and think it smells of cat pee, or maybe, as one of my friends says, bathroom cleaner.

    DIY: Spacifying stuff. Yes, that is a tutorial for making things look like space. You're welcome.

    Another, simpler DIY - a lace trimmed skirt.

    I haven't been adding much to my wishlist lately, but the Revlon Highlighting Palette in 'Rose Glow' looks so lovely in Hannah at Midnight Violets' review, and the MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers, reviewed by Jane at Blush. Feathers. Lipstick. sounded so awesome. I just had to bookmark them.

    Lauren Laverne explains why she cares about fashion.

    This heart bun is really pretty, but my hair is probably still a bit too short for it at the moment, I'll have to try it in the summer.

    Finally, a dog, on the beach, in strong wind!


    Monday Amusements 27

    Almost all of my purple nail polishes. This is why I'm on a no-buy.

    Even though I do live in London, I loved Kate at gh0stparties's 5 Things: Blogging Outside of London post. London is so familiar to me that although I like reading about other Londoner's new discoveries and old favourites, I actually enjoy reading blogs by people in other parts of the UK more. It's like going on a little holiday in my mind and it's really handy to have those blogs to refer to when I do actually get to visit those places!

    Stay Beautiful features a super-cheap dupe of Benefit's Porefessional.

    I've never tried a matte lipstick and I'm not sure that it would suit me, but nonetheless, Katie's Beauty Blog has got me lusting after the new Revlon Colourburst Matte Balms.

    I'm feeling like I'm in a bit of a hairstyle rut. Dreams That Glitter xoxo may have the answer.

    Jane at Blush. Feathers. Lipstick. is giving away an ELF Disney Villains Maleficent Look Book. I love Maleficent and am quite excited about the movie. Hopefully it will be better than Once Upon a Time, which I am only just about still watching!

    Hellcandy has launched a YouTube channel with a step-by-step eyeliner tutorial. I have watched and loved many an eyeliner tutorial in my time (here are some of my favourites) but I have to say that this one is still useful! I really like the way she describes angling her hands.

    The last moisturiser I tried has turned out to be a bit of a dud, so Sparklyvodka's Moisturiser Medley has come at the ideal time.

    Finally, the cutest catfight of all!


    Nails of the Month January 2014

    Models Own 'Southern Lights' from the Wonderland Collection (£5)

    I didn't change my nail varnish very much in January, mostly because I applied this in the first week and loved it so much I left it on until it started to properly chip, which took ages. Although a large piece chipped off my right thumbnail on the third day and I had to repaint that nail, that must have been a fluke and otherwise I just got only minor tipwear, even without a base coat. This is only one coat of polish. It was hard to apply evenly but it doesn't really matter as the holo effect hides almost every mistake. It’s slightly lilac-toned and lovely. I'm pretty sure I didn't take it off until the third week!

    Barry M 322 Instant Nail Effects Purple (£3.99)

    This is the second time I've tried this polish. It definitely looks best over a light base polish. I tried it before over dark glitter and it looked so rubbish I didn't bother Instagramming it! When you first put it on (and this is true of the black version as well) it looks quite matte and dull but after a day or two it gets shinier. It does wear off the tips quite quickly but you can always put more on. Crackle polishes can cover a multitude of sins.

    I did wear the silver polish on its own for a couple of days before I put the crackle on, but as it's from a brand that was discontinued about 8 years ago (Kolor, a former Superdrug own-brand) I didn't take any photos.

    I read the other day that apparently grey is the next big fashion trend in nail polish. Unfortunately I can't remember where, if I do I'll edit this and put in a link. I own a few silvers but not a single grey. I love grey in clothes but I don't think I want it on my nails - I prefer bright or glittery nail polishes.

    Have you read anything about upcoming nail polish trends? Do you care about what's in or do you pick out polishes to match your mood or personal style?


    Monday Amusements 26

    A piece of art outside the British Library, with sheep. Apparently this is supposed to reference the British trend for landscaping during the Georgian era. I read the sign nearby a couple of times and I have no idea why the sheep are there.

    I am obsessed with charity shopping. I have probably mentioned this before. I haven't gone since before Christmas, and I'm starting to get withdrawal symptoms. These include: getting out old charity shop purchases to admire them, craning my neck to look at the Red Cross shop every time I go past (and usually making an 'ooh' noise at the window display) and trying to convince myself that if I do x, y, and z then I will reward myself with a charity shopping trip. I try to include at least one impossible task in x, y, and z, because I really have too much stuff and should not go charity shopping. Unless I manage to get rid of a lot of it. Then I can. Anyway, when I can't charity shop I like to live vicariously through others, so I was delighted to discover that Dead People's Clothes (a blog I probably discovered by typing 'charity shopping blog' into Google - another withdrawal/obsession symptom) has updated for the first time in a few months! Yay! I love this blog because Amy gives all of her clothing items names, like Really in Fabulous Nobodies.

    Take Three: Primers is a comparison of three often-admired primers. I have three primers and none of them are perfect, but I have forbidden myself from buying any more. I really want to try Carly's two favourites though!

    Lipglosses and lipsticks are possibly even more tempting than charity shops. Both this review of two lovely shades of Revlon ColorBurst Lipglosses at Midnight Violets, and this review of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso at The Beauty Milk was difficult to behold. I can almost feel my arm creeping towards my wallet now.

    Scratch that, I can definitely feel my hand creeping towards my wallet! Sock Dreams wrote a blog post about the range of purple shades they have socks in!

    Ahh! I must distract myself by looking at pretty things that I can have without spending money! Happily, I found 14 Not-Boring Beauty Trends I'd Like To See Take Off In 2014 at xoVain, and this Dark Aqua Eye Makeup Look at Glitter is my Crack. I can totally copy these ideas without spending 1p.

    Finally, rats holding/cuddling tiny teddy bears! So cute!


    Review: Colour Unlimited Essential Eyes Palette

    This product was a Christmas 2013 release, but I've seen it in the sale section of a couple of Superdrug stores, so I thought I'd write a review in case anyone was considering picking it up.

    I got a Colour Unlimited box set of eyeshadow trios and nail varnishes for Christmas in 2012, and was pleasantly surprised by the quality, so when I unwrapped this little palette I was excited about trying it out. It's obviously aimed at teenagers, with the pink leopard print packaging. The lid has a magnetic closure, which is nice, but I would still be reluctant to carry this around much because although it feels quite study, it's only made of cardboard and I'm sure it would get bashed-up looking quite quickly.

    I opened it up and was immediately drawn to two shades. The purple, obviously, and the silvery taupe. I don't usually like taupes, they tend to be slightly too brown and warm-toned for my liking, but this one is barely brown at all.

    There is a protective plastic sheet over the eyeshadows when first purchased, but it's only stuck on with tape circles so it can't be reused easily. I threw it away when I was doing the below swatches.

    The pigmentation of these isn't great, so each swatch required multiple swipes. As you can see, the top row, which is mostly matte, performs the worst. The grey is okay, I thought it would be more shimmery but it's matte with some flecks of glitter. The blue is quite mediocre. The pale pink highlight colour barely shows up on my skin, and when I tried using it on my eyes, it vanished within a couple of hours. The salmon pink isn't much better. The bronze was a disappointment - bronze eyeshadows, from any brand, are usually quite well pigmented and I was astounded by how much effort I had to put in to get a swatch with this.

    The bottom row looks much better. The pale blue comes out looking like a shimmery white, and the purple was poorly pigmented and needed a lot of work, but the brown, the taupe and the black swatched quite easily. I had never loved a taupe before this one - it was as lovely swatched as I was anticipating when I first opened the palette and I couldn't wait to try it out.

    Oh, what a disappointment it was.

    Application was fine. It looked great. I went to work. I did not look at my make-up for five hours - there is no mirror in my office's loo. I came home. I turned on my bedroom light, looked in the mirror, and winced. I have never seen an eyeshadow crease so much. I have to use an eyeshadow primer, but usually just a little dab of Urban Decay Primer Potion in the middle of each eye will prevent creasing all day/night long. Not so with this. Even when I was a teenager and used to pile on cream eyeshadows with no primer, I didn't get creasing like this. The only place where the eyeshadow had stayed put was in a line just above my eyelashes.

    I can't recommend this palette. I'm sure I'll still get some use out of it, once I work out the right primer combination for each shadow, but I'm the sort of person who finds a use for everything and refuses to throw out make-up if it hasn't gone off. You're better off skipping this and buying one of the nail varnish sets in the sale instead.


    2013 Make-up Favourites

    1. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

    I don't have a close-up picture of this because the packaging is so worn looking. The one annoying thing about this product is that the print wears off the plastic and onto your hand/make-up bag/other products. Beyond that, I have no complaints. It lives up to the hype around its concealing ability, and it's cheap as chips. It's not as good at concealing my dark undereye circles as my Lily Lolo concealer, but it is a lot quicker to apply. I bought it to take to a festival as I couldn't be bothered fussing around with powder, but I've carried on using it on days when I'm going to work in a hurry to save a couple of precious minutes!

    2. Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick

    I'm going to give these a full-length review with swatches and everything but for now I will say that this are fab. It seems like almost every brand has lip crayons out right now and the quality and pigmentation varies drastically. These are extremely well pigmented, and they have SPF 15. I completely adore the shade 'Red Island' and have been looking in every Superdrug/Boots I can in an attempt to find 'Plum Russian', so far to no avail.

    3. Aromaleigh Penelope

    I went through a massive pastel obsession in spring 2013 and was rummaging through my mineral eyeshadow stash and testing out lilacs when I found Penelope, one of the Pure Eyes Lustre eyeshadows. I'd all but ignored it before but I quickly fell in love and it became one of my go-to products. When in doubt, I wear Penelope. It's currently in the Aromaleigh weekly sale!

    4. Barry M Wink Eyeliner Pen

    I bought this on a whim because it was in the Boots bargain bin for £1, but I'm quite impressed. The first eyeliner pen I ever tried was from Maxfactor, and was also my first ever liquid eyeliner. Sigh. I'm not sighing because I'm sentimental, I'm sighing because it was really crap. Poorly pigmented - basically, it was grey - and it dried up in about a month. I'm happy to say that Barry M's Wink is much more pigmented, but unfortunately after a month or so's use the tip got damaged and now I can't get a precise line out of it. There's still product left, so I was happy to discover that is almost perfect for tightlining - the tip is easy to press between my eyelashes and it lasts. I'll probably buy a pen with a smaller nib next time but this is great for now.

    5. Seventeen Lacquer Liner

    My favourite liquid eyeliner is by Bourjois - Liner Pinceau. It has a proper brush, not one of those stubby foam things or one of those weird super-thin brushes that are the same width from base to tip. We were very happy together. But while I was using up my last bottle, I was tempted to try this Seventeen Lacquer Liner. Wet look eyeliner, I read. Yes please! And it is delightful, properly black, and shiny. The brush isn't quite right, but after a few goes I got the hang of it. When I opened up a new bottle of Liner Pinceau, it seemed not quite black enough, and I missed the shine. I guess I'll just have to keep buying both.

    6. Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy

    If you've never heard of this before, it's basically glue for eyeshadow. It's designed to hold on loose powders but is great to use with pressed powders too. It makes glitterbombs like Urban Decay's 'Midnight Cowboy Rides Again' actually wearable. I got this in 2012 but didn't get the hang of it until late 2013 because I paid too much attention to all the application advice that warns you only to use a tiny bit. It turns out that yes, only a very small amount is needed, but I need need quite a bit more than as little as possible! I suggest you start with the smallest amount you can, but try a little more next time if it doesn't seem to be working very well. Now I've worked out exactly how much I need to apply, I'm really happy with it.

    7. LA Colors Jumbo Eye Pencils

    These are only £1 in Beauty Base at the Westfields and they are great. The white, 'Sea Shells' makes a fantastic base for just about everything, and I regularly use the purple, 'Bikini Time' (yes, these do have the worst names ever) as a base for purple eyeshadows. I have two more that I haven't used much yet - the black, 'Sunglasses' (seriously, worst names!), and another purple, 'Tropical Bliss'.

    8. Sun, by Gorilla Perfumes at Lush

    This is one of the happiest things I've ever smelled. It's basically sunshine in a bottle. Citrussy and floral at the same time. Because of the mimosa, it smells quite like the Sakura scent, which is used in the Sakura bath ballistic and the Rub Rub Rub body scrub, but most sunshine-y. I'm sorry, I've never tried to describe a perfume before. It's probably best if you just go smell this...

    Special mentions go to all of last year's favourites. I still love them all, except Lush Cosmetic Lad, because it started giving me spots.

    I've really enjoyed reading other bloggers' 2013 favourites, here are those I liked the most:
    Do Not Refreeze
    Stay Beautiful
    The Beauty Milk

    Have you written a 2013 favourites post? Leave a link in the comments! Up next: 2013 skincare favourites, a harder one to write!


    Monday Amusements 25

    I was running out of lipbalms, so I asked for some for Christmas. Now I'm probably set for the next nine years...

    I love this NYE Duochrome Glitter makeup look and can't wait to try to replicate it!

    Evelyn at We Were Raised By Wolves reviewed the So Susan Lacquerlove Launch Box, featuring some beautiful nail polish colours. I'm very tempted, but I should stick to my nail polish buying ban!

    I've been really enjoying bloggers' winter outfits lately - Hannah always looks amazing but I particularly loved this preppy look and her Christmas outfit. I want to steal VictorianKitty's skirt and Char's NYE frock.

    Finally, possibly the creepiest Maru video ever:


    Nails of the Month December 2013

    Revlon 'Star' over a pearl-white no-brand polish from a 2012 'Flutter' (Superdrug) Christmas gift set (both discontinued, I think, but try eBay)

    I decided that 'tis the season to be sparkly, and that I would wear as much glittery nail varnish as I could in December! I absolutely loved my first attempt, featuring Revlon's 'Star', which I'd tried for the first time in November. It looks much better over this white than it did over the dark purple Rock, and I'm looking forward to trying it out over lilac next! This had really good lasting power, I added a second coat of 'Star' after a couple of days and there was minimal tipwear.

    Barry M 247, a limited edition available in Superdrug during the 2012 festive season (try eBay)

    It doesn't really show up on camera but there are gold flecks in this, it's not just pale teal. I would have liked it more if it was just pale teal, though it does look beautiful, all the same. Unfortunately, after the first day it started to flake off, mostly at the tips. I thought that this problem may be solved with a top coat, so I applied another coat of 247 to cover the damage and then...

    Models Own 'Sparkler' from the Fireworks Collection (£5), over Barry M 247

    This is the second Models Own nail polish that I have tried, and the second from the Fireworks collection (the first was 'Banger').. 'Sparkler' only needs one coat to look like this, but it feels very gritty and the bar glitter gets caught on stuff and torn off without a protective topcoat, so I added a coat of Barry M's Basecoat, Topcoat and Nail Hardener on top. Tip wear is very minor after three days. This combo made me feel very Snow Queen and got a LOT of compliments. 

    Revlon Gold Coin over Colour Unlimited (Superdrug) bronze glitter from 2012 Christmas gift set (both discontinued, I think, but try eBay)

    For my work party I decided to wear gold and red, and I thought Revlon's 'Gold Coin' would go nicely. But it wasn't sparkly enough for my mood so I dug out this bronze glitter from a Colour Unlimited gift set that came out last Christmas. I wasn't sure the combination would work but I love it! After two days there was a fair bit of tip wear but no chipping.

    2true 'Naomi' from the Pro Sequins range (£2)

    This is AMAZING. It looks like you've packed glitter onto your nails but has a kind of muted shine. I didn't put top coat on as I thought it would chip easily and wanted to test that, but I wore it for several days and it didn't chip at all, though there was a little tip wear. It feels gritty, but I quite like that effect, so I'll probably continue not to bother with a top coat in future. It's such a bargain too! I'd never tried a 2true polish before I saw this review at Do Not Refreeze and decided to buy 'Naomi' but I will definitely look at the stand in future!

    Models Own 'Absinthe' from the Velvet Goth Collection (£5)

    Finally, I chose green for Christmas and Boxing Day (and several days after, because I loved this so much I couldn't bear to take it off!). This is very pretty, and I admired my nails a lot, but it chipped on my left index fingernail after less than one day of wear. It's also quite thick, thanks to the matte texture, I think, and difficult to apply smoothly. In the end though, the result is worth it, if a little lumpy, and I found that I liked it more after the first couple of days, when it stopped looking as matte.

    I'm really pleased with how all my Christmassy nails came out. I will definitely be repeating these combos in future! Did you paint your nails to celebrate the season? Try any festive nail art?
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