5 to try

Barry M Surfboard Nail Polish
I’d been struggling to find the perfect nail polish for this not so summery summer we’re currently experiencing in London. Barry M Surfboard is the perfect soft pink with a hint of lilac and really inoffensive, plus it lasts surprisingly long!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara
I’m not usually a huge fan of waterproof mascara but as it’s summer I think it’s good to always have a tube to hand, in case of water flights, beach trips or hayfever. I love the original Better Than Sex Mascara and have been loving this one over the last month. I don’t think I would ever switch full time over to the waterproof one as it is so much harder to remove but it held up really well with my extreme hayfever yesterday, the rest of my makeup didn’t do so well. I’ve made a whole video dedicated to this mascara so check it out here.

Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate
A few months back I had a skin consultation in Kiehl’s Regent St, where they recommend lots of products to help improve my dehydrated skin. One of the recommended products was this Kiehl’s oil which helps correct the visible appearance of Skin Fatigue. I’ve been using it on days that I feel my skin needs some extra TLC and have found it to really help make my skin look more glowy and healthy!

L’Oreal Cushion Foundation & Cushion Bronzer
I’ve been raving about this to anyone that will listen as I just think it’s the perfect, lightweight, buildable, summer product. The foundation is nice a glowy, just how I like it but can easily be powdered down for a more matte look. The bronzer adds a really natural looking glow/tan to the skin which I just love and can be really intensified with a powder bronzer.

Collection Deluxe Lipsticks
I always say that drugstore nude lipsticks are just as good as high-end ones and these really prove it. They remind me a little of the MAC Lustre finish lipsticks, they’re relatively sheer but buildable with an almost gloss finish. I love this sort of finish when the rest of my skin is quite matte and I think in nude colours it can look really beautiful (I would go for matte bold colours). The three that caught my eye are Baby Doll, Chicago and Liberty as they’re all beautiful, everyday nudes. I would even say Chicago is a great dupe for MAC Patisserie which is one of my favourite ever lipsticks!

Would love to hear which five products you’ve been loving recently in the comments.

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!

drugstore

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?


I mentioned recently that I am currently loving autumn polishes but have been typically been going for traditional burgundies, plums and the occasional nude. My most recent discovery is a little different but my absolute favourite, it’s a new shade addition to the Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Range in the shade Dark Side of the Shroom.

It’s part of their Autumn range which also has the usual dark purple and win red shade as well as a pink and this beautiful mushroom shade. I’ve previously written a blog post about the Barry M Sunlight curing polishes, as the name suggests they cure using sunlight (or now it’s autumn artificial light) but can be removed with normal nail polish remover.

Although a lot of mushroom shades can be quite grey this one is much more mauve, applied beautifully with two thin coats and dried very fast. I also used the Sunset Topcoat over the top which adds a beautiful gel like gloss and which I find helps keep my nails nice and strong. I typically get close to a week wear out of these polishes but I’ll update on that at a later day.

In absolute love with this shade and polish plus it’s a complete steal at only £4.99 

Earlier in the year I shared my thoughts on the new Speedy Quick Dry Polishes, I loved all the colours and the quality of the polish is also great, which is rare in a quick dry. I was very excited to see that they have now launched six new colours as part of their Summer 2015 collection. 

The original collection is made up of beautiful spring pastels but I’m happy to see that this release has a few brighter colours and even some shimmers if that’s something you like. The formula and drying time is very similar to that of the original with the shimmers taking a minute or so longer to dry. 

That said I am personally not a huge fan of shimmer polishes and three of the six have shimmer in them. If you are a fan of shimmer than these are great as they apply beautifully but the creme colours attract me more; Get Set Go which is a hot pink is really beautiful but since I’m loving Yellow nails at the moment I would probably say On Your Marks is my favourite.

Really beautiful colours if you’re looking to update your nails for summer.