spring nails 2016
I haven’t spoken about nail polish in a little while on ALO but since it’s Manicure Monday and the first day of Drugstore week I thought I would share my spring picks.

A quick note on Manicure Monday, I have stopped doing it as I have become a little bit of a shellac addict but do let me know if you miss them and I might be tempted to ditch the gel.

I get particularly excited about nails in spring and summer, I love pastels and slightly more daring colours, often teamed with more natural bronzy makeup. I think the nails is a really easy place to play with colour and I don’t believe there is any reason to pay lots of ££ for nail polish when drugstore ones are so good- in fact none of these are over £7!

Rimmel Super Gel in Bare Hug– it might be spring but you always need a nude in your nail polish wardrobe, this one is a really beautiful greige, which is surprisingly flattering and easy to wear.

Bourjois 1 Seconde in Jamais Saumon Vernis – I love how quick and easy the Bourjois 1 Seconde Polishes are to apply as they have beautiful fanned out brush with a great long lid which makes it really comfortable to hold. This colour is a fun but subtle peachy shade that would look particularly beautiful paired with a tan.

Avon Gel Shine in Mint to Be- I’ve been avoiding mint polishes all winter but I have heard great things about these Avon Gel Shine polishes and although I am yet to try it I couldn’t help but include it, so pretty!

Topshop Nails in Leigh- I am in love with the new denim inspired Topshop and Leigh is my favourite, I love pale blue polishes, they’re so fun and spring-y.

Barry M Speedy in Freestyle- These Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Polishes are my go-to when I’m in a rush as they really do dry quickly, I’m loving this pale pink which I would happily wear for months on end.

Barry M Coconut Infusion in Flamingo- The newest range from Barry M, this is the ultimate tan colour and I cant wait to pain my toes with this colour!


Today is a bit of a preview to my absolute favourite drugstore products which I will share with you tomorrow but I thought I would quickly go through the UK drugstore brands, what products I like and which I love. I’m hoping it might help anyone that is a little scared of drugstore, looking for great affordable products or someone coming to the UK and looking to get a few products which you might not be able to get in other countries.

B. (available here)
My top pick: Brush Cleanser
Available exclusively in Superdrugs B. is quite a new brand and I haven’t tried too much from them, their brushes are quite nice but their brush cleanser is my favourite!

Barry M (available here)
My top pick: Nail Paints
One of the best brands to pick up whilst in the UK as it still isn’t too widely available everywhere else, their Dazzle Dust are quite underrated if you love shimmery shadow but their nail paints are a must try and very affordable. They offer everything from nail care to glitter and gel effect polishes.

Bourjois (available here)
My top pick: Healthy Balance Powder
Available quite readily in Europe Bourjois has really high quality products at great prices. Although their foundations break me out I think they are a great drugstore option for anyone that doesn’t have sensitive skin. Their blushers are some of my absolute favourites but their concealers and lipsticks are also worth a look.

Collection (available here)
My top pick: Lasting Perfection Concealer
Very affordable drugstore brand, I personally find the Lasting Perfection Concealer a little drying but it’s very affordable and highly rated by so many people that it’s a must try.

Gosh (available here)
My top pick: Velvet Touch Liners
Surprisingly this was the hardest brand for me to pick a top product from, everything is nice but there isn’t really anything I can’t live without. Other than the Velvet liners, the lipsticks and blushers are also both really nice.

L’Oreal (available here)
My top pick: True Match Foundation
L’Oreal True Match foundation is an absolute must have with a nice colour selection but the liners, neutral eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks are also worth picking up.

Makeup Revolution (available here)
My top pick: Eyeshadow Palettes
Known for offering affordable alternative to cult beauty products, their palettes and lipsticks are great alternatives to highend brands.

MaxFactor (available here)
My top pick: Mascaras
Although I love the whole range, no other drugstore brand offers better volumising mascaras than MaxFactor, I don’t have a particular favourite but all the ones I have tried have been great.

Maybelline (available here)
My top pick: Instant Eye Eraser Concealer
Great all round brand but the Instant Eye Eraser is a great alternative to highend concealers and I would quite happily swap my usual cocnealer for it. I also really like Dream Flawless Nude Foundation, Brow Satin Eye Pencil and their Color Sensational Lipsticks.

Models Own (available here)
My top pick: Nail Polishes
Models Own started by offering nail polishes and I still think it’s what they do best. My favourite colours are Beach Bag and Utopia although their Hypergel and glitters are generally great ranges.

MUA (available here)
My top pick: Luxe Velvet Lipsticks
Anther super inexpensive UK beauty brand, their eyeshadow palettes are also great value for money!

Real Techniques (available here)
My top pick: Core Collection brushes
Probably my favourite brush brand, their original collection is still by far my favourite along with their sponge, I would personally skip the bold metals collection (although they look beautiful) as they’re pricier and not as soft.

Revlon (available here)
My top pick: Colorstay Foundation (particularly for oily skins)
Revlon is a great brand for almost everything and it has quite a makeup artist feel to it. If you like lip crayons then Revlon do the best affordable ones.

Rimmel (available here)
My top pick: Exaggerate Lipliner in Eastend Snob
Theres so many great items from Rimmel, the whole Exaggerate range is excellent, I love their lipsticks and I reach for their foundations and concealers regularly.

Sleek Makeup (available here)
My top pick: Contour Kit
Has a special place in my heart as I use to blog about Sleek endlessly when I first started blogging. Palettes, blushers and Matte Me in Birthday Suit are all well loved in my collection.

Soap & Glory (available here)
My top pick: Kick Ass Concealer
Slightly higher price point in comparison for drugstore products but I adore their body products. Other great product include Brow Archery, Supercat liner and Thick & Fast Mascara

Topshop (available here)
My top pick: Lipsticks
Not strictly drugstore as it’s available only in Topshop stores but a great price point. All the lip products, blushers, bronzers and nail polishes I have tried have been fab but the glow highlighter has to be the best cream affordable one I own.

Would love to hear your drugstore recommendation in the comments, are there any drugstore secrets I am missing?


It’s January. Most of us spent too much on food and presents last month and therefore our bank balances aren’t looking as healthy as usual. It’s also cold and getting colder – I’m seriously starting to miss the sunshine and am patiently waiting for the summer months to get here.

When life gets tough(er) I like to call on all those lipstick quotes, you know ‘lipstick can’t solve all your problems, but it’s a good place to start’; ‘If you’re sad add more lipstick and attack’; or ‘Just put your favourite lipstick on and deal with it.’ Any of these cliche quotes will do. Basically I think lipstick goes a long way to making you feel better and help you deal with life.

If I’m having a really rough day then I always go for a bright red, not only does it portray a certain amount of confidence but it makes me feel that little bit more powerful and able to conquer my day. The drugstore does great affordable red’s. However, theres something extra special and bold about Topshop Rio Rio. As it’s an orange red, it’s a colour I would typically associate with summer, but the hint of blue makes it wearable all year round.

Another great powerful shade, which is a little more appropriate for winter, is Rimmel ‘The Only One Lipstick in Under My Spell.’ It’s a great vampy shade which actually isn’t too scary or dark making it very wearable- I also love the smell, which is a plus!

Then onto nudes, which I simply can’t get enough of recently…

Sleek Matte Me in Birthday suit has been my favourite lip product recently. It’s a matte liquid lipstick in a dusty rose shade, perfect for everyday especially as it last pretty much all day.

If you’re more of a traditional lipstick gal then the L’Oreal Colour Riche lipsticks are amazing! From the bright colours to the nudes, I love them all and there is a colour for everyone. Julianne’s Nude has been my Colour Riche of choice, it’s a great nudey pink which feels really nice on the lips.

If trying a new brand fills you with excitement, as it does for me, then I have been trying out the Color Studio Matt Lipsticks. Asia is a beautiful darker nude, especially for a medium skin tone looking for a MLBB shade, but the whole range has some great colours!


What drugstore lipstick gets you through dark January days?

outfit monochrome winter
monocrome outfit
winter london
dune ora boots

I’ve been after a perfect pair of boots for a while. I wanted a black leather pair which were high, pointy and able to take any outfit and really dress it up.

I’d seen a few high-end ones but I didn’t want to spend too much and thought the sale was the perfect time to buy a pair. I spotted these on the Dune website for £140 down from £175 which I found was pretty reasonable for a pair of all leather boots. As I ordered them online I was unsure I would love them just as much in real life but I’m happy to say I do!

They’re high but not too high, comfortable (considering) and the quality is fab- I think I’ll be wearing them all winter! I have been trying to invest in slightly more expensive but high quality items which will last me and I think this style is so timeless a versatile. I can team them with jeans and a t-shirt or dress it up with a dress and black tights.

As always I teamed them with a monochrome outfit, a staple black coat, black Topshop Leigh jeans and an old shirt. Surprisingly it was sunny in London so I even needed a pair of sunglasses!

Every year I wait patiently for summer to roll around so that I can start wearing bright nails, but weirdly this year I’ve been more excited about the autumn nail shades and I am so happy to finally be wearing dark plum and navy on my nails.

I love the Soigne packaging, colours and the quality of their polishes. I don’t always love more traditional reds and pinks but this is just dark enough that I love it! Soigne in Seduisant is a really classic shade, which looks good with everything and has proved a real staple in my collection over the last weeks.

Although I’m not typically a huge glitter wearer all year round I start to get very attracted to them around this time of the year with bomb fire night, party season, Christmas and New Year all around the corner. I think I’ll do another post with my favourite glitters but at the moment I’ve been most drawn to Ciate in Putting On the Ritz which is a rose gold and gold glitter with uneven pieces of glitter, unlike any other glitter polish I have seen.

A great alternative to black is Topshop Wardrobe which is a slightly grey dark blue shade, Topshop polishes are really affordable and always have lovely colours. I love a good navy in autumn but this one is a little more unusual than most.

My favourite of all has been Nails Inc Midnight Merlot which is a dark, rich aubergine shade that I find looks very classic and also quite sexy. I’ve been wearing this almost non-stop as it applies really easily, dries quickly and more importantly wears really well. This is my absolute must have autumn/winter shade, it’s perfect!

Potentially not to every ones taste but I have been loving khaki nails recently, I think it’s fun but wearable. Essie Sew Psyched is a dusty green which applies as beautifully as all Essie polishes and is a great alternative to wine shades for autumn.

What are your favourite autumn nail polishes?