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!

wilkinson sword wilkinson sword quattro

Looking outside today in London, it’s a little hard to believe that it’s actually spring but the truth is that summer is already around the corner and I am dreaming of sunshine and summer clothes. With summer and summer clothes, come bikini’s and taking care of unwanted body hair.

Hair removal can be expensive and time consuming so often my weapon of choice is a good razor. I’d highly recommend checking out the New Wilkinson Sword Hydro Silk Bikini and the Wilkinson Sword Quattro for Women Bikini Pearl and Papaya as they both make the whole process quick and easy. The Wilkinson Sword Hydro Silk Bikini has 5 blades which I find makes them much more comfortable to use whilst offering a close smooth finish.

I also love that both razors have a waterproof trimmer on one end which really allows you to get the exact results you want for all your grooming needs. It also worth noting that although this razor rounds like it can only be used on your bikini area it’s amazing on the legs (or anywhere else) too! They have a great sturdy handle and water activated serum which makes the whole thing so much easier!

jamie aston wilkinson sword razors bikini wilkinson sword jamie aston jamie aston class

I headed to the Jamie Aston Floristry School this week to hear more about the products and have a go at making my very own centre piece. I had some a fun time and although it’s not perfect I am pretty proud of my end result. We had a little demonstration from Jamie before making our own, we even made the structure ourselves! I used roses, tea rose, hydrangeas and some berries but skipped on the green foliage as I am all about the pinks!

I had a really fun time with Wilkinson Sword at Jamie Aston and went home very happy with my creation!

Wilkinson Sword Hydro Silk Bikini will be launching this summer exclusively at Boots nationwide (RRP: £14.99).

For more information, visit http://www.wilkinsonsword.co.uk/

*This is a sponsored post

current beauty staplesThe posts have been lacking a little on ALO recently, especially the beauty ones and I feel it’s because I haven’t been trying anything new recently. After years of trying new products over and over again I’ve gotten a little bored of it. I’m quite enjoying using products I know and love on a daily basis, some do change daily but there are six which I have been sticking to religiously.

Sisley So Intense Eyeliner– This eyeliner is stupidly expensive but it’s the best and I really think I am going to be repurchasing it soon, it’s that good. I love the tip and find it really easy to use but what makes it stand out is just how black it has remained. I’ve been using it for a surprisingly long time and it’s still blacker than some liners are a week after buying them.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer– I’m not sure this is the best eyeshadow primer ever but I have been reaching for it over all my other ones. It keeps my eyeshadow in place and really helps with the vibrancy of the shadow, I’ve had it for a while and its lasted really well too.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow– Another stupidly expensive product which I have been using daily. The contour is a perfect natural shade which can be built up whereas the highlight adds a nice glow without going overboard.

Benefit Speed Brow- This is one of those products that people don’t really get why I love it do much. Most people love Benefit Gimme Brow as it does more than Speed Brow but since my brows are already quite dark and defined I just need something that will keep them in place but still look natural.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer– I wasn’t expecting there to be two Benefit products in this post but I have been using Benefit Hoola Bronzer for years and it has a special place in my everyday makeup drawer. It’s a really beautiful, natural looking bronzer which I sometime even use to add shape to my face or to add depth to my crease.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Powder- Not the best powder even but it’s always in my handbag, it’s affordable so I’m not too precious with it, it has a great mirror and get the job done.

What are your go-to makeup staples?

bondi sands

There’s all these red lipstick quotes, Coco Chanel apparently said ‘If you’re sad, add some more red lipstick and attack’ but I  just don’t really get it. I think red lipstick is great at making me look a little more put together or like I’ve actually made an effort, but no beauty items has such a big affect on my mood and appearance as fake tan.

When I’m feeling a little down, it’s cold outside or I just want to feel and look a little better I always reach for a bottle of fake tan. It’s something I really look forward to and it changes my mood massively. It makes my skin more event, adds a great glow and even makes me look a little slimmer.

I think fake tan is potentially even scarier for people than a red lip is, which is saying something as I know a red lip can be very scary, and although I understand I think it’s an unnecessary fear. Once upon a time tan use to be orange and often result in a patchy applications but now with just a little practice and the right fake tan I think it can be mood changing and potentially life changing. I know that’s such a big claim but it totally changes my mood and even my outlook on life!

I’ve tried lots and lots of fake tans, found some really good ones that I reach for on different occasions but absolute favourite and the one I reach for a few times a week is Bondi Sands Lotion. I switch between the dark and light although I am currently using the light as I find it adds a lovely light glow.

This seems like a slightly pointless post but what I’m trying to say is that fake tan shouldn’t be scary. If you are missing your summer tan give it a go, I think the positives massively outweigh the negatives. I mentioned earlier last month my real struggle with grey winters in London and I really feel fake tan helps combat that, since London doesn’t seem to be hitting 20C anytime soon, I will be staying quite attached to my bottle of tan.

Don’t get me wrong a real tan makes me even happier but that’s currently not an option and at least this way I’m not exposing myself to sun damage.

What beauty product makes you happiest?

perfume summer

Since it’s national fragrance day (Happy National Fragrance Day!) I thought I would share what perfumes I have recently received, to give you an idea what is new on the market. Admittedly I think writing about fragrance is particularly difficult and you have to be far more skilled of a writer than I am, so I guess this is your warning- this posts is unlikely to be very informative but I’ll try to not just say that a fragrance is ‘nice’ or ‘fruity’.

As I can’t stop talking about how excited I am for summer, lets start with the fragrances which remind me most of holiday. Michael Kors Coral is a very summery, floral, fruity fragrance with notes of Jasmin, Tuberose, Cedar and Orange. It’s a really great fun fragrance which would work well for any age. A more grown up summer scent is Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum, don’t get me wrong it isn’t an ‘older’ scent, I absolutely love it but it probably isn’t one for teens. I love the white floral notes in this fragrance but I think it’s the coconut which makes it stand out from must other scents. It’s a slightly more luxe, exotic and unique smelling summer fragrance and I can’t wait to wear it more.

Last month I also got my first ever Penhaligon’s fragrance! I went into the Covent Garden store to pick it and it was a really great, sit-down experience. I spoke through what I like, what I usually wear and what I was looking for and after smelling quite a few, I picked Iris Prima. I typically love unisex scents so it’s no surprise I picked this Floral Woody Musk scent. I love the combination of leather, iris, Bergamot and vanilla. It’s probably my favourite ‘grown-up’ fragrance from my collection, it’s sophisticated with a touch of sexy and not at all over powering.
Penhaligons iris primaBronnley crimson cloud
Another brand I only recently discovered is Bronnley, it’s a British brand started in 1884 and that has a royal warrant from the queen. Surprisingly the packaging and fragrance isn’t as traditional as you would expect, it’s all very pretty and modern. There’s something a little nostalgic about Crimson Cloud, I love the cherry blossom, bergamot and Raspberry notes.

If like me you’re a fan of YSL Black Opium, you’ll be excited to hear about Black Opium Nuit Blanche. Looks wise, not much has changed from the original Black Opium but this scent is inspired by Nuit Blache which is an arts festival in Paris which lasts all night. The scent really isn’t dissimilar to the original with the notes of Vanilla, Coffee and Orange Blossom but possibly even sweeter and younger.
Black Opium Nuit Blanche
tory burch Jolie Fleur Bleue
From Tory Burch and I have been wearing Jolie Fleur Bleue, it’s been released with two other floral scents; Fleur Verte and Felur Rose but this one is my favourite. I love the packaging of these fragrance, they’re really chic and elegant with just a pop of colour. Out of the three Fleur Bleue is the most interesting to me, it’s made up of Grapefruit, Sandalwood and Tuberose. I’m not overly crazy about this scent, it’s just a nice soft perfume but fairly expensive at £84 (100ml).

I’m quite the Jo Malone fan but Herb Garden range is surprisingly my favourite Jo Malone scents. There are five different scents; I have Carrot Blossom & Fennel and Sorrel & Lemon Thyme although Lavender & Coriander is my favourite from the collection. It’s a really unique collection and unlike any other fragrances I own so definitely one to smell in-store.
jo malone herb gardenI also wanted to quickly touch on the new Ghost Girlcrush perfume, the price point and packaging very much suggest it’s for teens but if you are on the market for a super sweet, everyday, young fragrance either for yourself or to gift then it’s a great one. It has the usually fruity notes of peach and pomegranate but definitely only for a sweet perfume fan.
ghost girlcrush perfume
ghost girlcrush
There seem to be a huge rose theme in perfume at the moment but since I love rose I am really not compaining. Since I love tacky packaging I think the Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Rose is fab! I love the notes of pear in the fragrance, it’s quite a mild rose and a very wearable everyday fragrance. I touched on the Tory Burch perfume earlier, Jolie Fleur Rose smells to me a lot of tea rose and is a little bit of an older, more traditional scent. From Diptyque I have the Eau Rose Roller Ball which is a very true rose scent with a little lychee, it’s pretty but I don’t think it works too well on me. Dolce&Gabbana Dolce Rosa Excelsa is a really floral scent and not just rose, with notes of water lily and musk. Ellie Saab Rose Couture is a scent that has really grown on me, the vanilla scent makes it quite sweet and in my opinion more wearable. There are so many rose scents to choose from at the moment, so if you’re a rose fan you’re in luck!

If you made it to the end of this post well done! It’s quite lengthy and I have a huge headache after smelling far too many perfumes.

Which perfume have you most recently added to your collection?