Acquarella Water-based Polish.

I haven’t posted about anything nail related in so, so long now, simply because there isn’t much going on with natural nail brands! So when Acquarella launched onto Naturisimo I was very interested to see if they would hold up against already established brands such as Little Ondine, Kure Bazaar, etc.

Acquarella polish is water-based, scent free, fast drying and long lasting. The shades I’ve tried are Girly (pink), Zesty (Tomato red), French Vanilla (sheer peach) and their clear nail conditioner. I have been pleasantly surprised and the brand has proven to me that we don’t need nail polish with fumes that could knock you out to have a long lasting manicure.

Unlike conventional polish, Acquarella is free from Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde or petrochemical solvents. They’re non-flammable and are not considered hazardous like regular polish. Their water-based formula is breathable and won’t discolour nails, and is also safe for use during pregnancy and for those with asthma. Uhm, is there anything they can’t do?

French Vanilla is a gorgeous sheer peach shade and my favourite of the bunch. Pictured above is three coats for almost opaque coverage. A perfect looking manicure lasted about 2 days, and from there minor chipping began, it was honestly nothing major but I’m a serial picker and as soon as chips begin to show my brain gleefully tells my fingers to absentmindedly pick that polish off when I’m watching TV, damn.

I was incredibly impressed with Girly and Zesty, too, both applied flawlessly and were fully opaque in one coat! Paired with the fast drying formula you can literally paint and be touch dry and ready to go in 5 minutes.

The Nail Conditioner is a clear, super glossy nail prep product that hydrates and strengthens nails. I can’t vouch for the treatment aspect as my nails are really strong and grow way too fast for my liking – it’s kind of annoying (humble brag). BUT, It sure is glossy and would be perfect for someone looking to treat their nails and keep them looking neat and shiny.
I also received the remover which I don’t really rate – it just did a poor job, so stick with the polishes and you’ll be good.

 

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Cargo Shanghai Nights Palette

Shanghai Nights

The Cargo Shanghai Nights Palette look so vibrant and exciting from the outside with images of Shanghai in hyper colours on the outside. So, it’s a bit of a surprise to get inside and find rather muted shades instead. I really was expecting a riot of colour!

Cargo Shanghai Nights Palette

Other than the beautiful, vibrant blue, Skyline, they’re all pretty tame. Which is not to say the shade selection isn’t pretty, because it is – it just doesn’t seem to match the promise.

Cargo Shanghai Nights Palette

I’ve broken the palette down for swatching so what you see here is the first half of the palette featuring: Hu, Waitai, Skyline, Street Style, Bund and Ginger.

Cargo Shanghai Nights Palette

The second half is somehow more vibrant I think. The first shade, Lychee is a rosy gold – my new obsession and it’s very, very pretty. So, from Lychee onwards: Lychee, Jade, Jin Mao, Bar Rouge, Neon, Night Life. Neon is interesting – it’s almost lumious with a golden sheen so I think that will be fun to play around with over and under other shades.

Cargo Shanghai Nights Palette is a strange one – there is a lot you can actually do with the shades in terms of creating looks, the textures are a mix of metallic and matte and there is a very good quality double ended brush inside, too. I think if you’re creative and love building looks, then you’ll find this mix intriguing. The Cargo Shanghai Nights Palette is £35

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Get the Look: Spring Fling

The flowers are blooming, the sun is out and the bright colors of spring are inspiring us to refresh our look in the best pink, poppy possible way. Using just a few Benefit staples, this look is perfect for a park picnic or spring day date.

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Here’s how to get fresh for spring!

Step 1: Our new multi-balancing complexion profector, big easy, provides SPF 25 to make sure the sun doesn’t get the best of your skin! We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your skin moisturized and protected as we head into the warmer months.

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Step 2: Nothing screams spring like pops of pink! Tint those cheeks with posietint, and if you’re feeling frisky layer a few coats on your lips for a pink pop!

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Step 3: This sheer ballerina pink face powder, dandelion, takes your complexion from dull to radiant with buildable color and just a hint of shimmer.

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Step 4:  Last, but definitely not least, finish your look with a little gloss, go outside & enjoy that sunshine!

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The Candle of the Perfume I’m Banned from Mentioning…

Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum Candle

This candle shoots straight to the very top of my favourites list; the scent is supremely sexy. I adore Bottega Veneta’s Eau de Parfum, but until now have been banned from talking about it here on the website. My friend Alex Byrne (supremo makeup artist extraordinaire) was wearing it a couple of years ago and she would only tell me what it was if I swore not to write about it. At first I thought she was joking about this, but no: if I publicly sang the praises of Bottega Veneta and she suddenly came across an army of women doused in it, she would kill me.

But this is a candle, so I’m hoping Alex lets me off on a technicality and I don’t have to start sleeping with one eye open! And what a candle. Bottega Veneta’s Eau de Parfum lends itself exceptionally well to a home fragrance – I think it must be the gorgeous leather and patchouli notes – and the perfume lingers for days and days after the candle has been burnt. It was lit for three hours on Friday and the smell in my living room is still pretty strong today, nearly a week later.

The top notes are bergamot and pink pepper and there’s jasmine, too, as well as the leather and patchouli and “oakmoss” base notes. It’s like wearing a favourite cashmere scarf, one that is already scented with a perfume that’s feminine and beautiful, but wearing it with an expensive, worn-in leather jacket. It’s something pretty from Jo Malone crossed with something smokey from Tom Ford. I can’t get enough of it.

More candle reviews…

Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum Candle

I’m having trouble tracking this candle down online, apart from at Bottega Veneta (£52 here) – Selfridges have it as part of a beautiful gift coffret with the actual Eau de Parfum and a luxury body cream, that set is £191 here. If you’re shopping in the actual real world (say what?) then you can find it at Harrods.

If you want to try the Eau de Parfum (don’t tell Alex) then the 50ml version is on Amazon Prime for £59.75 instead of £70.

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L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation Review | AD

l'oreal paris true match foundation review

You may have seen my face popping up on your television screens recently; I was picked to be part of the brilliant #yourstruly campaign for L’Oreal’s True Match foundation, celebrating the fact that the range now has 23 shades and that L’Oreal will be able to match 98% of UK skin tones.

The range of skin tones catered for on the high street is notoriously poor, and so the introduction of 23 – affordable – foundation shades is a welcome one. Thank goodness, too, that the True Match formula is one that is universally flattering and suitable for pretty much all skin types. I can’t really think of a skin type that it doesn’t suit, come to think of it; the foundation is light and fluid, so nice if you’re oily or have oily patches, but it’s also non-cakey and doesn’t cling to dry or flakey areas, so perfect if you’re on the dry side. Supremely blendable for those who want a sheer, natural look (hi there!) but easily buildable if you prefer a fuller coverage.

As per what now seems to be tradition, I have some before and after photos for you as well as skin close-ups – please excuse the fact that I look murderous in my “before” shot, I was having camera issues. You can add your own caption if you wish…

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I apply the True Match using a stubby-ish foundation brush, but it’s so easy to blend that you can use fingertips, sponge, flat brush, kabuki-style brush… Whatever takes your fancy.

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I dispense a small amount of the lightweight fluid on to the back of my hand and apply from there. And then, mere minutes later…

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A radiant, flawless finish with no residue and no chalkiness, just a very seamless and natural-looking base.

Ready for the close-ups? Starting with the “before” (one day I’ll put them in the wrong order, just to mix things up a bit):

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Mm-mmm! Observe that tired undereye area, why don’t you? Bit of redness around the nose, just the usual little problems to iron out. And then:

l'oreal paris true match foundation review

Bing! My undereye circles were particularly stubborn this day, and I could have built up the foundation a little more had I wanted to, but I prefer to go in afterwards with a separate undereye concealer. I feel as though I get a little more control this way. But the True Match gives very nice coverage indeed and that undetectable sort of finish that we all crave…

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Here I am, smugly holding my foundation brush and not posing at all. It’s worth mentioning that I used shade 2.R/2.C here (Rose Vanilla) because I’m a bit darker after a few stints on the beach and a summer of dog-walking. In the #yourstruly campaign, I represent shade 1.5N (a different digital influencer represents each of the 23 shades and each person has a video story to tell – you can see all of the stories here) but we filmed pre-summer.

In other news, just in case you missed this on Twitter and Instagram, L’Oreal Paris recently announced their new #lorealbeautysquad – five UK bloggers and vloggers who will be co-creating beauty content with L’Oreal over the course of the next year. I’m very proud to say that I’m heading up the skincare section, bringing you beauty videos and posts and other sumptuous skincare morsels. Find out more about the new beauty squad here!