new beauty productsOrigins Warm Down Lava Scrub
I’ll admit that I think this is a little bit gimmicky, I don’t know if you really need a body scrub designed especially for post gym but I have been using this one for a few weeks and have been loving it. This is the first body warming body scrub I have ever used and the shower-activated Volcanic Ash which warms on contact with water is suppose to help ease muscle tension as well as purify. I’m not too sure if it really does that but it’s a beautifully gentle scrub which I find to be super luxurious and relaxing because of the warming sensation. It’s a little more than I usually spend on a scrub but it’s the perfect pamper product and I really look forward to using it.

Goldwell Kerasilk Repower Volume Blow Dry Spray
I have been loving salon designed hair products recently and my most recent discovery is the Goldwell Kerasilk Repower range. My favourite product is this Volume Blow Dry spray as it has heat protection but also adds volume to my hair without being sticky and difficult to work in.

SinfulColors X Kylie Jenner
If you’re a Kylie Jenner fan and want to buy something from her beauty empire but don’t fancy paying the custom charges for a lip kit than you’ll be happy hear that her collaboration with SinfulColors is available for just £3 from Superdrug. I went for the colour Miss Chief which is a dusty lavender/pink shade with tiny specs of silver shimmer which is luckily barely noticeable on the nail and is just a typical me colour.

Jo Malone London Carrot Blossom & Fennel
This might be a big statement but I think this might be my favourite Jo Malone scent ever and it’s really really grown on my since the first time I tried it. It’s light and summery with (as you’d imagine) hints of carrot and fennel as well as apricot and white musk. It’s a great travel friendly size which I think might make it my summer holiday scent.

Soft & Gentle 2 in 1 Shower and Shave mousse
Not the most glamorous product but essential and it’s been living in my shower for the last couple of weeks. It’s designed for intimate skin and pH balanced but have been using it even to shave my legs and found it to work really well without irritating my skin. If you ever have issues with irritation shaving the bikini line (although it’s probably worth switching to waxing if you do) then this is a great product to try as it’s the only shaving cream I’ve seen designed with this area in mind.

sally hansen gel polish

Sally Hansen sugar fix

sally hansen miracle gel sally hansen smartease

I have a bit of a gel polish addiction, I love long nails and although I am blessed with strong nails, I find that gel polish offers a little bit extra support and strength, helping me achieve natural, long nails. Not only that but gel nail polish lasts really well and who has time to paint their nails everyday?

However earlier this year I decided that I was going to invest money into my fitness and therefore I had to give something else up that was taking up a little bit of money on a monthly basis, gel polish manicures. Although gel manicure’s aren’t super expensive as a bit of a treat, getting them done every other week can add up and therefore I had to start looking for another alternative.

I recently discovered Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes which have made the switch back to at-home manicures far easier as I am able to get a long lasting, shiny manicure at home.

The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel has a patented and exclusive gel colour system, which offers natural light curing. You don’t need a base coat, which makes the whole process easier, but you do have to use the top coat. The top coat is probably my favourite thing about the Miracle Gel polishes, as once applied the volume of the manicure doubles which I find really helps keep the nail thick and strong (I have been lifting weights in the gym and haven’t even broken a nail!). It also lasts up to 2 weeks, which is ideal, as I love keeping my nails as low maintenance as possible.

There are 45 shades to chose from which is actually probably more than I have in salon which is great, there’s even a variety of finishes from crèmes to chrome. I personally really love the crème finishes and they have some perfect shades for spring and summer (although their autumn/winter colours are fab too!). My two favourites are Smartease and Sugar Fix, both pastels and really pretty. Smartease, which is my number one pick, is the perfect everyday colour for me- it goes with everything, looks polished but isn’t too in your face. When I am looking for a bit of a change and a slightly more fun colour I love Sugar Fix, an almost pastel blue that is great for brightening up both my day and my mood.Although both shades are light they applied opaque in just two coats, which is quite an achievement, especially for the pastel pink!

The other great thing about these polishes is how easy the removal is, which just regular nail polish remover and cotton wool. There is no need to buy acetone and soak them off for 15 minutes, which I love as it makes changing the colour a far easier process, and I also find it to be a little kinder on my nails.

The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is also a great option for the toes, I actually don’t really like wearing gel polish on my toes as I find it a little unnecessary but as these last and wear so beautifully I do prefer them to regular polish on the toes.

Although a little more expensive than most drugstore polishes at £9.99 I still think they’re really worth a slight investment as they are a much cheaper alternative to in-salon gel manicures, which achieve similar results. I’ve spotted some super summery yellows and oranges in the range that I think I’ll be adding to my summer nail polish wardrobe!

*This is a sponsored post

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!

press on elegant touch nails

I’m pretty fortunate when it comes to my nails, they are pretty strong and usually quite long but a couple of weeks back a few broke and I was considering acrylic nails.

Now I have never had acrylic nails and I wouldn’t recommend them, they weaken your natural nails a lot but I just really wanted a nice length and shape for the festive season. After sharing my lust for acrylic nails with a few people (naturally they all gasped in disbelief) they all started to recommend Elegant Touch Totally Bare Press on nails. I feel like this is a secret everyone knew but me!

Straight away visions of me with 14 year old girls nails, covered in nail art popped into my head but I thought I’d give it a go especially with so many people recommending them.

I went for the Oval 002 Elegant Touch Totally Bare ones which were very easy to find in Superdrugs and I also bought a glue to go with it, it all came to under £8, such a bargain in comparison to acrylics, especially as a box is enough for two uses! My first go wasn’t overly successful but you learn through trial and error, right? I wanted to keep the length of my nails underneath but this meant the fake nail didn’t sit as well so I had to cut them soon after but other than they were pretty easy to apply. My big worry was them just popping off, this does happen but not as often as I thought, maybe once every two days but typically when I’m at home opening something and it’s really easy to just glue back down in half a minute.

I did have to paint them myself but actually doing so is better, as you can pick the exact colour you want, it makes them look more natural and the polish dies really fast on the plastic nail (and never chips!) I’ve also tried the Stiletto variation which is what I have on currently, they’re nice but not as wearable or as long lasting as the ovals as they’re really quite long and a little curved meaning they get knocked a fair bit. It takes a little while to get use to them depending on what you’re natural nail is like, if you have very short nails it might be worth starting with the square and seeing how you get on with them.

If you’re going to give them a go then I do have a few tips…
Buy brush on glue and be generous when applying it, I’m not suggesting you apply too much but just enough to coat the whole nails.
Cut your own nails nice and short underneath as this will make them last longer.
Before you start applying the fake nails get rid of the huge ones which will never fit your nails as it makes it less confusing when choosing the correct size.
Keep the glue in your bag for emergency application should one come off.
Go for one that’s slightly smaller than your natural nails rather than slightly bigger.

Overall I’m in love with them, they lasts much longer than normal nail polish with minimal up keep. They deliver the exact look I love and super affordable too! I’ve had so many compliments from people who think they’re real and I feel that my nails are always ready for an Instagram photo.

I must admit I still have no idea the proper way to remove them, I simply sit in the bath for a while and then probe around the edges and pull it off. Also interested in trying other brands so would love to hear about your experience with press on nails in the comments

PS. My laptop has gone into repairs but Peexo (amazing fashion blog here) has kindly lent me hers, this does mean that I lost all my photos for this blog post so please excuse the phone photos.


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