Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Perfect Nude Nail: Barry M Gelly Nails in Lychee

barry m gelly nails in lychee

Thanks to blogging, I've finally kicked the habit of biting my nails. I've bit my nails for as long as I can remember, usually out of nerves or boredom, and I've never been able to write a nail related post because my nails were too short and stumpy to photograph. Finally though, after a few weeks of growing them out I'm pretty happy with how they look and am confident enough to share them and my new favourite nail polish with you all. 

Barry M Gelly nails are pretty raved about in the beauty world. They're long lasting with a shiny finish and need only one coat. It's easy to see why so many people love them. Lychee is a nude shade that is my go to colour. It's not so in your face that I can't wear it for school but it adds a touch of class to your nails and makes me feel pretty darn fabulous. 
Barry M Gelly Nails in Lychee

One coat gives a good colour payoff but two really intensifies the colour and makes it look more salon chic. I prefer to do two coats of Lychee but if I'm in rush I'll happily apply one and have done with it (above I'm wearing two). Barry M Gelly nails can easily last 4 days with minimal chips or sign of wear, and when you're ready to take it off it peels off easily, so if you've got no nail varnish remover in the house don't panic. 

The packaging of these bad boys is pretty sleek which I love, they look so good in your nail polish collection. The application isn't bad, the brush is a little small but it really allows you to get into the corners of your nail so you don't miss anywhere and the formula dries super quick, you can paint and be ready to go in 3 minutes with super shiny salon looking nails. 

For only £3.99 these are a must have for me and I can't wait to get my hands on some more of the Gelly nails collection- especially the Autumn/Winter editions. 

Have you tried the Barry M Gelly nails?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

Saturday, 29 November 2014

What's the time Mr Wolf?

I don't know when telling the time became so stylish, but I like it- I like it a lot. I think it's time to upgrade from my little swatch watch to one of these bad boys. Yes, they may have a hefty price tag- that I could spend on a hundred bath bombs at Lush- but a watch is something that you use everyday and it makes a great accessory too. I'm desperate to get my hands on one of these after a bit of saving- maybe I'll be flaunting a Marc Jacobs by Christmas 2016 or maybe 2015 if I'm lucky. 

8 Daniel Wellington Ladies' St. Andrews in Rose Gold Watch £159

I am so in love with these watches I can't even describe it, I also have discovered a obsession with Rose Gold that my bank balance will not thank me for. Number 7 you will be mine one day I promise, wait for me my love.

Which watch is your favourite?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

Instagram / Twitter / Bloglovin

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Winter Saviour : Revlon Lip Butters

To say I'm late on the bandwagon would be an understatement, but yes I have finally hopped on the bandwagon and invested in a Revlon lip butter (available here). I've heard a lot about how moisturising the lip butters are and with winter well and truly here, I thought I'd give my dry lips a break from moisture-sapping lipsticks and treat them with this bad boy and it's truly turned out to be a winter saviour.

The packaging is a super cute criss-cross design that's the same colour as the lip butter, which I shouldn't have found as amazing as I did but I was wowed by the fact that they'd bothered to colour co-ordinate the tube to the product. And- bonus- it makes picking a colour lipstick a little bit easier on the morning as you don't have to go searching for the end of lipstick to see what colour it is. It's the little things in life. I bought mine in the colour sweet tart which is a quite bright pink shade- yes I clearly forgot what season it was when I bought this.

Swatched, this colour looks gorgeous. It's a simple pink that's not too fussy and goes pretty well with all skin tones. It goes on the lips as smooth as a lip balm but with the colour payoff of a lipstick- which I tend to forget and end up going a bit mental with it before I realise that it's not just a lip balm and have to wipe away my clown lips. The lip butters leave a slight glossy finish but with a little blotting can become matte too. I really love how versatile the lip butters are, you can play about with it to pick how you want it to finish and really build up the colour to fit your look. Below I'm wearing just a thin layer of Sweet Tart which gives a 'your lips but better' look, it's natural enough to wear to school but still adds that extra pop to your lips.

The Revlon lip butters are available in 20 colours and retail at £7.99- and don't worry they do have shades that are more suitable for autumn/winter (check out sorbet and red velvet they look amazing). I'm really impressed with them and the pricing. I can buy a few of these and still have money left for a Nandos which is win all round. I'm planning on getting my hands on a few more of these before the snow begins to fall.

What's your favourite Revlon product?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin'

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Quest For Chiseled Cheekbones: Seventeen Contour Kit

I'm a bit of a Kardashians fan, and when I say a bit I mean a lot. All of the Kardashians have these amazing chiseled cheek bones that I've been lusting after, as my addiction to the show has grown. When I was in boots I saw this contour kit from Seventeen was on a introductory offer of £4.99, so for a fiver I decided to give it a go to see if I could be an adopted member of the Kardashians family. 

The product has a very NARS feel to it which I absolutely love. It has a matte black finish that give it an expensive luxe feel for a fiver. The kits contains 2 shades, a highlighter and a bronzer. The bronzer is supposed to go towards the tops of your head, chin, sides of your nose and in the hollow of your cheeks, with the highlighter going around the places you've just bronzed. It came with a little guide on how and where to contour which I found super helpful as a contour newbie. However in hindsight it doesn't suit every face shape, as I end up looking like an umpa lumpa.

Above I've swatched both colours (left is the highlighter and bronzer to the right). The highlighter for me is completely pointless. It has no shimmer and fits to my skin shade so well that it doesn't even show up. It draws no light to my face and works better as a powder to set foundation. If your pale I'd probably steer clear of this unless your after a bronzer and a powder in a kit. Although the highlighter is a let down, I have a lot of love for this bronzer. For some people- e.g. darker skin tones- it might not be dark enough, but for my pale skin it give a warm glow that gives me a sun kissed look. It's not overly pigmented but it this means you can build up the colour well and don't risk getting a dark streak after one brush.

For me, this palette fails a little as a contour kit but it does have a beautiful bronzer and a powder that individually are really great products: it's just a shame it doesn't live up to what it says on the tin.

Overall worth the fiver but Seventeen need to rename this ASAP.

What's your favourite contouring product?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Elish xo

Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin'

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Blogging tips: Twitter

A lot of people have been asking me how my blog has grown so much in a little under 3 weeks, and I only have one answer or maybe two: social media and a little bit of good luck.

Social media (and photography) can either make or break a blog. Even if you have absolute amazing content, you're not going to get many page views unless you get your blog out there. Twitter is the easiest way to get your name out there and make a few good friends while your at it. The blogging community are really lovely on Twitter and without a doubt help out newbie bloggers immensely. From my short experience with Twitter I have a few pointers that have helped my account grow that I'd like to share with you all...

#1 Get involved with blogger chats

I love twitter chats, there's usually at least one chat a day- with the most popular probably being #bbloggers which runs on a Wednesday 8-9 and a Sunday 8-9 (these are usually general chats). During a chat you simply use the hash tag and either tweet about the chosen topic, or if it's just a general chat you can tweet whatever you'd like! Chats open so many new friendships, you can find people with similar interests and find a new favourite blog- or maybe you can become someone's new favourite blog. People usually share links at the end of a chat so that's a great time to introduce people to your blog.

#2 Don't over promote

I'm probably a little guilty of this- I think everyone is at the start- but if there's one thing that puts a person off following you, on twitter or on bloglovin', is the inability to tweet anything but the link to your blog. People don't like it when you keep forcing them to click on your blog, someone is much more likely to click on your blog if you have a nice conversation with them during a chat and then share your link at the end. Too much promoting can cost you followers.

3# Follow other people

9 times out of 10 on twitter if you follow another blogger then they're more than likely going to follow you back: the blogging communities just nice like that. But if you only follow a few people and are expecting yourself to gain thousands of twitter followers overnight it's not going to happen- people don't know you exist unless you tell them.

4# Set up a welcome message

This is something a little less talked about but super effective in letting people know you're a blogger. There are tonnes of apps on the app store- for example just unfollow- that let you set up an automatic direct message that'll be sent to anyone new that follows you. You can put anything you want in the message, in mine I like to thank people for following me- a little kindness never goes amiss- and then let them know that I blog and leave the link as well. Not only does this get your name out there, but often lots of lovely users reply and send you their link too which usually leads to a new friendship.

5# Tell people your a blogger

As I mentioned a welcome message can do wonders in getting your blog heard, but if people don't know you're a blogger before that they might not even follow you in the first place. It's super important to give a little summary of you in your bio and also link you blog in the website section. I know a lot of bloggers- including myself- that only follow other bloggers on their blogging account because they follow anyone else on their personal. How are people supposed to know you blog unless you tell them?

6# Be yourself

Lastly, and the most important thing is be yourself. If you keep asking people to follow you they're not getting a true view of who you are. Tweet what you think is funny, sad, embarrassing etc. Not every single tweet has to be a link to your blog. If you're yourself and are just acting how you would ordinarily then, in time, your account will blossom.

Twitter is certainly a skill to master, but if you get the hang of it then it can become one of your mains feeders of page views on your blog and a stepping stone to life long friendships.

You can find me on a twitter @apieceofelish if you have questions.

What's your top twitter tip?

Thanks lovelies,

Elish xo

Instagram / Bloglovin'

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Beauty on a budget // Maybelline Great Lash Mascara Review

Mascara's can be pricey, but false lashes are even pricier. So every now and then I do allow myself a good splurge on a high-end mascara because in the long run it's cheaper than false lashes. However I am still partial to a bargain. On my weekly trip to Tesco I found myself in the beauty aisle- as ever. Although Tesco don't stock many makeup brands, they do seem to stock plenty of products, which happily seem to be on offer frequently. Drawn by the yellow reduced sticker I picked up the Maybelline great lash mascara which was on offer from £4.99 to £3.99- perfect for those on the 'student budget'. 

The packaging is super cute, something about it reminds me of the makeup your mum used to let you play with as a kid- the ones she didn't want anymore. But trust me, if my mum had this now there's no way she'd be throwing it away, it's far too fabulous for the £4.

The wand is small and has a weird spiral shape, it doesn't have individual applicators as many mascaras do (see Benefit they're real mascara wand here), but this isn't to say it isn't any better. The smaller wand makes it more easy to manage so you pretty much never get any on your eyelids- because we all know how annoying that is after completing a full eye shadow look. The wand also somehow manages to separate your lashes and adds a little bit of length and volume. It doesn't make for fake looking lashes but more of a 'your lashes but better' look, which I like for school and lighter makeup days.

The formula of this mascara is a little drier than your typical mascara which means it doesn't clump your lashes because they're not wet enough to stick together, but at the same time, it means this mascara's not very buildable because by the time you go to apply your second coat the first coat's already dried and it's a nightmare to layer another coat over. 'Great lash' has a good staying power, lasting for about 8 hours- although admittedly the curl does start to fall at about 4-5 hours; not too shabby for the price.

By the time you come to take this mascara off at the end of the day I find it wipes off super easily, there's no tugging needed, just a dash of makeup remover on a cotton pad sees this bad boy gone. I love this because it means you don't have to worry about having to scrub off mascara leftovers the next morning- saving you an extra few minutes so you can stay in bed longer.

For £4 this mascara is amazing value for money. It's not waterproof and it's not super lengthening or extra voluminous but it does give a great natural lashes look which has fabulous staying power- oh and did I forget to mention how cute the packaging is?

What's your favourite budget mascara?

Till next time,

Elish xo

Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin'

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Is it worth the hype? // Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo in Pink Gold

Word has spread about these little beauties faster than I run when my phones on 1% to reach the charger- or maybe just as fast because when my phone's in jeopardy I run like lightning . Maybelline 24hr color tattoo's are so hyped about that I couldn't resist picking myself up one when I saw there was a 3 for 2 offer on in superdrug. I've seen a lot of people have the 'On and and on bronze' colour which looks beautiful, but there was just something about the 'Pink gold' shade that as soon as I saw it I knew I needed it ASAP.

For £4.99 I was expecting something pretty average colour and pigmentation wise, however the quality and the feel of this product is so much more expensive. The colour tattoo is a cream eye shadow that states to last 24 hours, I don't know who would ever need an eye shadow to last that long, but if you do, this is definitely for you. I recently went to a titanic themed night where you had to jump ship into a wave pool in the dark (see pictures on my twitter) and having applied this to my friends and my own eyelids before, it seemed to withstand the sinking of the titanic- and that can't be said about every eyeshadow.

For me I find this goes on best to a clean eyelid with your finger, a brush seems to be a little too heavy for this eyeshadow, however that's not to say you can't use one if you'd prefer too. It doesn't crease and really stays put well. For me a quick swirl of my finger in the pot and a swipe across my eyelid sees me sorted for the foreseeable future (until I wipe it off at the end of the day or jump off the titanic)

As you can see the colour is simply beautiful, it has a golden shimmer running through it giving it a gorgeous rose gold pigment- I am in love with this eyeshadow. It works amazingly as a base for any eye look or it looks just as good on it's own if you're in a time crunch- like I am pretty much every morning and in the battle between food or a detailed eye look, food will always win, so I know that'll be wearing this baby a lot.

All in all this eyeshadow is a one stop shop to beautiful shimmery eyes. I know I'll be buying more in the future- well maybe if there's another 3 for 2 offer on in boots.

What's your favourite simple eyeshadow look?

That's all lovelies,

Elish xo

P.S Thanks for 200 followers on bloglovin', I'm overjoyed!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Rome in pictures // A long weekend away

Recently- after getting confirmed in my church- my parish helped pay for us to go on a trip to Rome. They paid for us to get half the way and we paid the other half, for 4 days in such a beautiful city I couldn't say no. We left rainy England and flew 3 hours to hot, touristy and gorgeous Rome- a true cultural capital.

Rome has so much to offer that we found it hard to fit it all in within our 4 days- but nevertheless we tried: admittedly I did spend a lot of my time in Rome looking for Tom Hanks solving a conspiracy after watching Angel and Demons on Netflix the day before I left, but to no avail.

We rushed around Rome, hopping on and off public transport that wasn't supposed to be free but if no one asks for money what are you supposed to do? We climbed hundreds of stairs, ate pizza and ice cream and gained about a stone each. We were your typical tourists but with a priest leading our group- a priest who came in surprisingly handy with speaking Italian and skipping queues, who knew priests have a priority pass?

Flats were my footwear of choice but after miles of trekking about I wish I'd brought my Nike free runs- blisters are not a girls best friend. Despite a little bit of pain (agony) on my feet, Rome was a dream come true: from the Pantheon to the Colosseum, every bit of Rome was extraordinary (aside from maybe the pickpockets which they seem to glaze over in the holiday brochures). 

I've picked a few of my favourite snaps from the trip for you to enjoy and me to mourn over because while I'm writing this it's raining and horrifically cold when a few weeks ago I was tanning/burning in my new favourite city- take me back to the sun and the gorgeous Italian boys!

Our first glimpse at Italian weather- hence the long trousers were not worn the next day or the day after that

Outfit: Top- Topshop, Trousers- New look, Bag- Primark, Shoes- Primark

Rooftops of Rome and never ending churches 
The pantheon, very beautfiul and very busy. Just outside was an opera singer singing traditional Italian songs, and a strip of cafes that could sit and watch the commotion from- such beauty!

My absolute favourite photo of the trip- a cheeky photobomber outside the Pantheon who I was clearly very impressed with
Sneaky ceiling selfie inside the Pantheon

With Amber and Lucy before heading out

The queue to get inside St. Peter's Basilica, but in Rome queue's don't seem to work the same way so our into group pushed in towards the front and had an angry German family shouting at us for the rest of the queue. GCSE German did not even come in handy- devastated!

A ceiling shot of the entrance to St. Peter's

One of the many beautiful mosaics in St. Peter's

Roman ruins that I can't remember the full story of but did you know Caesar got stabbed in the back by his best friend? Poor Caesar- when I get my next salad I shall think of you.

The beautiful Colosseum  

Inside the Colosseum with my besties, at floor level where Christians or slaves would have been pitted against Gladiators or lions. Only the winner would leave the Colosseum standing- you fought or you died

On the Piazza Novana at the fountain of the four fathers, not quite the Trevi fountain but we didn't make it that far

Inside St. Peters at a mass said by the Pope

The crowds gathering to see the Pope make his speech from his 'window'

Pretty pillars post trip to McDonald's where I got pistachio McFlurry- who knew McFlurry flavours abroad could taste so good

Inside another Church called St Peter and Pauls with Lucy. At the top of the pillars are the paintings of every Pope there has every been, there's only three spaces left though so who knows what'll happen then?

Sunsetting over St. Peters- a view that never failed to wow me

The best girls I could have asked to go to Rome with (only took us about 10 attempts to work out how timer cam worked on the iPhone)
I had such an amazing time in Rome the pictures just can't express how good it was. I loooooooove travelling- especially duty free, am I right girls?- and once I've made it through GCSEs (if I make it through), I plan to be jetting off somewhere else exotic, perhaps Australia?

I best start saving.

Where would you love to go on holiday?

Until next time,

Elish xo

Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Is it worth the hype? // Max Factor false lash effect mascara

I'm forever on a quest for the perfect mascara: something that's not too heavy on the purse but gives amazing voluminous and long lashes- it seems hard to find. Last week I asked whether They're real by Benefit was worth hype, it does give fabulous lashes but for £20 which is a little expensive for an everyday mascara. This week I'm reviewing a much more affordable drugstore mascara that's just as good-if not better as the quest for my must have mascara continues.

Let's start with seemingly the most important bit of any mascara- the price. Max factor false lash effect (non-waterproof) is £10.99 from boots and superdrug- a little hefty- or £9.99 from Amazon (available here). I do a lot of shipping on amazon because typically the prices are cheaper because Amazon buys them in bulk. At around the £10 mark this mascara is a little pricy for a drugstore mascara but still half the price of benefit they're real. So is it worth the money?

This mascara promises to give 'full looking natural lashes'. The wand is sooooo big it seems like you'd get it everywhere. But somehow it applies to your eyelashes perfectly.

The little spread out applicators allow you to get everywhere from root to tip. Yes it's not ideal for lower lashes but what can you expect from a mascara designed to give false lashes- it's not going to be small. The mascara goes on smoothly and really does elongate the lashes and boost volume at the same time. This doesn't clump of flake away during the day, it stays put which I like. Although sometimes I do forget I've got it on and I do a good eye run then realise the tragic mistake I've made: needless to say this mascara does not withstand the intense eye rub post yawn or walking up. 

Natural lashes (sorry for the dodgy lighting) 

1 coat of max factor false lash effect

The staying power is about 9 hours, any more and your eyelashes just start to flop a little and lose the curl. Unlike other mascaras this stays on all day but comes off just as easily as you put it on which is fabulous. A quick swipe of a makeup wipe or any eye makeup remover will see this bad boy gone. This is amazing for such a long lasting mascara. You don't have to tug your eyelashes off to get it off- dreams come true.

For me it's clear that this mascara gives quick and noticeable results. I love it. This has become my everyday mascara without a doubt. Good value for money and great looking lashes: my quest for the perfect mascara might have come to a close.

Is this worth the hype?

Absolutely and completely

What product do you think is truely worthy of the hype?

Until next time, 

Elish xo

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Topshop Lipstick Review // Trigger

My love for Topshop lipsticks is growing: it's an obsession that I can't control- it's taking over me and I don't even care. Every time I walk into Topshop I can't help myself from straying into the makeup section and grabbing another product. When I see the adorable packaging I cry on the inside because I know my bank balance is about to fall faster than a tonne of bricks.

Somehow Topshop manages to be my downfall and my saviour: oh Topshop why do you do this to me?

On my latest trip to Topshop I- obviously-had to add another lipstick to my collection. This time I picked a beautiful deep burgundy red shade that's perfect for autumn/winter (available here). For £8, it's typical Topshop lipstick pricing: you can always get a lipstick elsewhere for a cheaper price but for me it wouldn't be the same- there's just something about Topshop lipsticks that gets me every time.

The colour is a deep deep red that reminds me of Christmas and cranberry sauce all rolled into one. I think this would look beautiful on any skin tone, the lipstick has cooler undertones so it works for pale people like myself, but it's such a versatile product it'd look good on anyone- even the grinch. It gives a creamy finish whilst still being matte, this means it doesn't dry your lips out so that's a plus- especially in the depths of winter when your lips are dry enough without a lipstick sapping away the moisture. 

On the lips it sits beautifully, the colour doesn't crack or bleed it stays right where you put it for the rest of the day- which can't be said for every lipstick. It also works well as a stain which is fab if you're like me and prefer to save your money to buy food and netflix subscriptions rather than buy 2 products when 1 will do the job.

All in all I think Topshop have done a great job with this one. Hats off to you Topshop for this autumn/winter must have.

What's your favourite Topshop lipstick shade?

Until next time,

Elish xo

Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Beauty on a budget // Technic eyeshadow palettes

I think by now we all know that I enjoy spending my money on Netflix and food as much as I enjoy spending it on makeup. With this in mind- aside from the little splurge every now and then- I don't like to spend too much on high end products when you can get a dupe elsewhere that's just as good and half the price. 

The other day I was strolling through my local shopping centre when I saw a new store with beauty products galore- 'Bodycare'. Needless to say I quickly ran inside. I was a little disappointed to not see any big brands that I knew- but I continued to wander nonetheless. In a big bucket filled with eyeshadow palettes- 2 technic palettes caught my eye (you can find them here). I'd never heard of technic before but for £1.49 a palette, I thought I'd give them a go. I paid with a five pound note and still had enough left over for a greggs pasty and doughnut- what a result!

For £1.49- which works out at about 25p per eyeshadow- I wasn't expecting much. But not judging a book/palette by it's cover, I gave them a whirl the other day and was pleasantly surprised.

The first palette I bought is called the 'Bronze'. It has 5 shimmery colours and 1 matte brown shade- and also a rubbish sponge applicator that can be disposed of. The colours look so beautiful in the palette and it remind me of a sunset- who doesn't want their eyes to look as beautiful as a sunset? With the promise of sunset eyes looming, I was hoping that the pigmentation and colour payoff wasn't too shabby. Aside from the light yellow shimmer, all the colours come out pretty pigmented, even the matte brown. The colours have no names but I've swatched them down below (my favourites are 3rd and 5th).

The texture of the shadows isn't chalky and they come out quite smooth. The glitter in the shimmers sparkles under the light but isn't too obvious- which I love. However the eyeshadows- without a primer- last about 4 hours max. They begin to slip around a little, but with a primer they stay put for pretty much the whole day- not bad for £1.49.

I also bought a similar palette by technic called 'Nudes'. This and 'Bronze' are very similar, but none of the shades in 'Nudes' are matte, they are all shimmer. Again the colours have reasonable pigmentation and aren't too chalky. This palette definitely reminds me of the naked palette, but is only £1.49 rather than £37. The colours don't have names but are swatched below (the last 3 browns are my favourites)

For me the first 3 colours make better highlighters than eyeshadows- they're a bit too shimmery and not strong enough to put on the eye. However the last 3 colours in this palette are a completely different story. They're super pigmented and just glide right on.

Overall I think technic have done a great job with these palettes for the price, and if you have a bodycare near you I'd definitely try and get my hands on these for £3. I prefer the 'Bronze' palette but both are such good value for money that I'm glad I picked up both. These palettes are great for girls just getting into makeup or if you want to try out a look with cheaper products before you decide if you want to invest in something more upmarket. Technic could be the next big thing with prices like these- at least I'll buy them.

What's been your best budget makeup buy?

Elish xo