A Cheat’s Guide to Nail Art: Primark False Nails

Primark Nails 1Happy Easter err’body! I’m going to keep this one short and sweet, frankly because I have a hangover and a Sunday dinner is waiting for me (I love this blog, but I love gravy more).

While I was in Primark last week I decided to pick up a pack of their false nails to give a whirl. I usually wear clear false nails from Boots and paint over them, never attempting any sort of nail art because I’m what’s known as a ‘cackhanded idiot’ and it would just go terribly wrong. So I liked the idea of trying these out and getting an instant bit of nail art on my hand-toes.

Primark Nails 2I’m actually really impressed with these, especially considering the teeny tiny price tag. I didn’t struggle finding nails that were the right size – which is good in itself seeing as I have spade hands – and they felt sturdy once on. You get about 20 nails in the pack too, so you can easily replace ones that fall of or give yourself a completely new set. The pack also comes with glue, which was surprisingly good. The nails lasted for about four days before one or two started pinging off, at which point I got impatient and started picking at them anyway.

My only beef with the nails is that there isn’t a great choice in terms of patterns in the range. There seemed to be a few aztec ones, a neon leopard print and something weird with rabbits on (let’s hope that was an Easter novelty) – so nothing I was particularly amazed by aside from these ones. Overall though these are brilliant for people like me who will never be able to do nail art without it looking like some horrible accident has happened.

Have any of you tried the Primark false nails?

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So Susan’s LacquerLove Beauty Subscription Box | Review

SS8First of all, with my Mystic Meg-type powers I know what you’re likely to be thinking: another beauty box? With Glossybox, Birchbox and Love Me Beauty to name but a few, the market for monthly beauty boxes is pretty saturated right now, and even companies ranging from Glamour magazine to Selfridges are going out of their way to get their foot in the beauty box door. If you’re getting a little tired of all these boxes though, then you’ll be pleased to know that the latest offering from So Susan Cosmetics thankfully isn’t just a carbon copy of the others.

SS7The reason that my personal love affair with beauty boxes was cut quite short was due to the amount of products I received that simply weren’t relevant to me. I’m more into my makeup than skincare, so building up a collection of shower gels and face serums just didn’t thrill me all that much. When the lovely Susan herself contacted us to see if we would like to review one of their Lacquerlove boxes, though, what attracted me immediately to the concept was the focus of the products inside. The Lacquerlove Box is designed for nail polish lovers, and 3 of the 4 products that you receive each month will be from their range of 4-Free Nail Lacquers. So Susan also stocks a range of other cosmetics which may be included as the bonus items. So NO MORE SHOWER GELS, hurray!


SS5We received the launch box this morning and are really impressed with its contents. It came with four nail polishes from the range, and also a 2 in 1 eyeliner and shadow product from Jelly Pong Pong. I actually received this item in a past Glossybox, so fans of other beauty boxes might be able to expect some other recognisable brands in the future.

SS4If you’re into your ethical products, then you’ll be pleased to know So Susan has a very strong stance on what goes into their cosmetics. The 4-Free Nail Lacquers are specially formulated to be free from toluene, DBP, formaldehyde & formaldehyde resin. No, I’m not entirely sure what those things are either – but I’m sure I probably don’t want them. They’re also 100% cruelty free and contain no animal by-products.

ss1We received a beautiful range of colours: Mimosa, a sugary pale pink; Raspberry, a classic deep red; Pink Guava, which is a shocking pink perfect for the party season, and Silver Clouds, which is a metallic polish with a purple sheen. The formula promises high pigmentation, high shine, quick drying and a chip-free finish. Of course I wanted to put one to the test straight away (it is a Friday, after all…) I chose Raspberry as I’ve been rocking nude nails for a while now and thought some vampy colour could be a nice change.

I can confirm that it goes on brilliantly, and in two coats was opaque. It dried nice and quickly, and really does carry the most intense glossy shine – fans of Barry M’s Gelly Paints will not be disappointed!

SS10Overall, I’m really impressed with the Lacquerlove Box. Obviously, receiving three nail varnishes a month isn’t for everyone – but if you’re a nail polish fanatic or want to build up your collection then it’s probably your dream situation. As we get closer to Christmas, it’s also easy to see that these cute little boxes could make brilliant presents.

A huge thank you to So Susan for sending this box for us to review. You can buy your own launch box for £14.95 here or you can find out more about the subscription service.

Outfit of the Day: Mirror Edition #2

Merry Saturday, one and all! So, anyone who gives a tiny poo (i.e. probably nobody) may have noticed that I’ve been somewhat absent from the OOTD hype as of late. This is partly due to some technical problems at Stylingo HQ in the form of our camera finally biting the dust, and what can only be described as personality problems on my part as I’m too lazy to take photos at work.

But, just in case anybody is really curious about what I’ve been wearing recently, here are a few mirror snaps that I’ve uploaded to our Instagram account:
12 Nov 1
Black Dress – H&M / Kimono – Missguided / Rose Gold Cross – Primark / Brogues – New Look / Bag – Marc B

Remember when I said that I have a tendency to overload on black during the autumn and winter months? Well here is a prime example of me doing so. The lace kimono from Missguided is still one of my favourite items after I first wore it to the Bullring Ten event, and teamed with a simple black dress (which you can’t see at all, but is fitted and has a high mesh neckline) it’s the perfect way to pretty up an outfit. The Marc B bag that I got for my birthday this year is also still a firm fave of mine and rarely leaves the nook of my arm.

12 Nov 2Leotard – Primark / Jeggings – Topshop

I’ve had this leotard for probably around two years now but have just brought it out of hibernation again after realising I still love it quite a lot. Worn with my Topshop jeggings it created quite a fun casual outfit – though I still wore this for work, God help me if I ever work in a strict office.

12 Nov 4Dress – Topshop / Blazer – eBay / Silver Cross – Primark

This is definitely one of my more work-appropriate outfits, even with the paint-splattered effect of the dress. This dress is a really loose fitting swing dress that is a bit swampy on its own, so the addition of the cropped waterfall blazer (which I also have in mint, so keen I am for it) makes it a bit more fitted. I accessorised with my trusty silver cross, and seemingly some trampy hair bobbles on my wrist, which I always accidentally leave on (but I think they may become super fashionable soon, so it’s fine).

12 Nov 3Crop Jumper – Topshop (old) / Skater Dress – Topshop / Necklace – eBay / Nails – Barry M ‘Duchess’

I actually tried to get proper OOTD pictures in this outfit the other day, but the winds were somewhat… shall we say whirlwind-esque? .. so I looked a state in all of them. Layering jumpers over dresses and playsuits is something I definitely plan to do more of this winter, and this cropped Topshop jumper that I’ve had for a couple of years is perfect for it. I’m still loving the Barry M nail polish from the Royal Glitter collection (I reviewed it in full here if you fancy a read) and tend to keep my jewellery quite minimal where I’m wearing it.

What do you think of these outfits? Do you have a favourite?

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Barry M Royal Textured Glitter Polish | Review

Barry M nailsOur love affair with Barry M is by now well documented. We have our ups and downs, but ultimately Barry M always manage to win our fickle hearts back with their range of amazing nail polishes. The new Royal Textured Glitter Collection was announced as part of their new releases for autumn/winter (which I did a full overview of that you can see here) and I knew they’d be right up my street as I’m a sucker for a glitter polish. Rather than being like Barry M’s other glitter polishes though, which are usually large glitter particles suspended in clear polish, these are thick polishes that are densely packed with glitter to give a full, textured finish.

I was lucky enough to receive the shade ‘Duchess’ for my birthday, which is primarily a nude with flecks of pale pink. Initially I applied this over a base coat of my favourite nude Barry M shade, ‘Lychee’. Once I started applying though, I realised the polish is so thick that it could easily be used by itself and would give an opaque finish with two coats.

Barry M glitterI’m absolutely in love with the final effect. Although it’s very glittery, it dries to a matte finish which actually stops it from looking too full on and blingy. It has a textured finish, but thankfully not in the same way as the Textured Nail Effects paints Barry M released a while ago. I found that they were too gritty, and weirdly they seemed to pick up fluff and colour off other things they came into contact with. The Royal Glitter polish is nowhere near as gritty or rough, so the final effect is much nicer

This collection is commonly likened to the OPI Liquid Sand polishes, which retail for £11.50. I haven’t tried the OPI ones, but considering Barry M’s polishes cost almost a third of their price at £3.99, they’re clearly a much more purse-friendly option. They’re absolutely perfect as we get nearer to the – prepare yourself for the C-word – Christmas season, and I definitely plan to stock up on the other shades in the collection.

Another rousing success for Barry M’s nail polishes. Three cheers for merry England!

Barry M NEW Product Launches | A/W 2013

We’ll state the absolute bloody obvious first: we love Barry M. Doesn’t everyone? Is there honestly anybody in the country whose life is not instantly improved when they set eyes upon that glowing technicoloured makeup stand of dreams in Boots? Well, apart from obvious people like dads who only care about football and pork pies, of course.

Whenever Barry M launch new products I basically become borderline hysterical with excitement – I’m sure my colleagues would be well within their rights to slap me to get me to calm down, to be honest (though if any of them tried it then I would be forced to open a can of whoop ass). So when photos and info of the brand’s new Autumn/Winter products started to pop up on my feed, I immediately had to have a look. And guess what – I’m excited.

Flawless Matte Finish Foundation

Barry M FoundationFirst up is this new range of foundation. Historically, I’ve always stuck to Barry M’s ‘fun’ products – i.e. the nail varnishes, lipsticks, lip glosses and the much-revered Dazzle Dusts. I’ve never really tried out their more basic items, but it definitely seems to be a market they’re trying to elbow their way into. These matte finish foundations are VERY exciting to me; as a chronic sufferer of Shiny Nose Syndrome (or SNS as it shall henceforth be known) I’m always attracted to more matte formulas but have yet to find one that truly does the job. This oil-free base which also promises to be hydrating could just be my saviour. Also, see that? They’re not just blendable; they’re SUPER blendable. Super exciting.

Eye and Cheek Palettes
‘Natural Glow’

Barry M Palette neutrals


‘Smokin’ Hot’

Barry M Palette dark‘Glamour Puss’

Barry M PaletteThese eye and cheek palettes promise to be a big success, with six eyeshadows and a blush together in a handy mirrored compact with two applicators. It’s nice to see Barry M stepping away from their typical brights and actually offering some great neutral shades alongside the shimmering colours you’d expect. I’ve only very recently dipped my massive generously-sized toe into the waters of eyeshadow application, so I’m thinking a couple of these could be superb additions to my makeup bag.

Lash Vegas Waterproof Mascara

Barry M MascaraI haven’t tried the original Lash Vegas mascara, but now there’s a waterproof version for all the weep-prone ladies out there. The spiral-shaped brush aims to catch all the little lashes and add definition and volume. I’m tempted to buy this and only ever wear it on Saturday nights – I have a strange tendency to cry at X Factor when ugly people get standing ovations (no, I don’t know why) so this could stop me from looking panda-eyed as well as completely ridiculous.

Matte Nail Paints

Barry M Matte NailsFor me, these are definitely the most exciting of the new products. I haven’t tried any matte nail varnishes yet, as most of the high street offerings seem to have received pretty poor reviews.  Whenever Barry M hop on a new nail bandwagon though, they tend to do it brilliantly so hopefully these will live up to the hype. I think matte black in particularly looks amazing on nails, so I’ll be very keen to give these a try.

Royal Glitter Collection Nail Paints

Barry M Royal GlitterBarry M’s glitter varnishes are up there as one of my favourite things in the world EVER, alongside puppies and Viennese Whirls. Some of the Textured Effect range has been hit and miss for me, but they’re always exciting to try and are guaranteed to give you an interesting look – and these glittery shades will be perfect as we get closer to Christmas party season.

Crystal Glaze Topcoat 

Barry M Crystal

A crystallised finish top coat? If there’s anything that can get your inner J-Lo excited, then surely it’s that combination of words. Ever a fan of a chavvy nail and polishes with ‘bits’ in, I’ll definitely be giving this a go.

All of these products are due to launch on 25th of September in Superdrug, and the 2nd of October in Boots – which, fact fans, is two days before my birthday, giving you two whole days to go and buy me many many matte polishes as gifts.

What do you all think of these new products? Are you excited to try any of them?

Barry M Sequin Nail Effects in White: Review


Everybody knows that Mondays are the most tragically depressing of days, and the only thing that can possibly cheer you up is having new nails for the week ahead. It was this fact of life that must have driven me to throw this little selection of nail treats into my Boots basket yesterday, despite only popping in for hair dye (as a side note, don’t you hate it when you accidentally dye your top layers ginger and leave the rest blonde?  I know I do…) View Full Post

Nailspiration: Nail Ideas for a Sunny Day

The sun is shining, I’ve just got back from a picnic lunch by the river Avon and life is just genuinely idyllic (apart from the fact I have to continue working this afternoon, snore). While I was walking home from the gym yesterday, I had SO many ideas for blog posts that I walked straight past my house and ended up in the park because I am a lunatic. I’ve been trying to curb my excitement and not pester you all too much BUT I SIMPLY CANNOT CONTAIN IT ANY LONGER. So this is my post on nail ideas and the nails Claire and I have been wearing recently.

A little background information first. Both Claire and I wear false nails. For me, my natural nails are massively thin and no amount of products/nail care has changed this heartbreaking fact. Even when they do grow nicely, they snap off when they reach a certain length, which saddens me every day as you can imagine. I love having long nails and I have been getting acrylic nails done on and off since I was about 16. I also dabbled in doing my own acrylic nails for a while (which worked fairly well but the effort was too much) and now have settled on glue on nails. These are genuinely amazing and I recommend them to any gal who’s looking for length without the price. I’ve taken a little snap of my box at the moment – it’s nearing the end and is looking a bit tired. BUT, when it is shiny and new you can get 200 nails + nail glue for A BARGAIN PRICE OF £8.50. These nails last me about two months, with me applying the nails every week or so.

I’m actually doing my nails at work today (naughty…for important blogging purposes, of course.) because I didn’t get a chance to last night so I thought I’d post a bit of a step-by-step guide to how I do them. It’s not really rocket science – I’m the clumsiest and least coordinated person EVER – so if I can do it, you definitely can too! If you’re keen to buy the Boots nails, you can find them here. Nailene also do a box of 200, but we haven’t seen them in-store for a while.

IMG_1507Excuse the copious amounts of nail caviar at the bottom of the box – this was last week’s nail venture when I used my nail box as a kind of bowl. Another great reason to buy the Boots false nails, the box is multipurpose ;).

The instructions recommend that you file the nail to give the glue a better surface to stick to. I tend to skip this step as I find it doesn’t make a massive difference. There’s no need to damage your nails even more

I then pick out the nail sizes I want – at the moment I’ve run out of my ‘ideal’ sizes so they’re a little big for my nails. I think they still look vaguely ok though!


Then it’s gluey time – no special tips or tricks for this! I just whack them on and hope I don’t glue my hands together…


The exciting bit – painting! Claire and I have both found that nail varnish dries extra quickly on these false nails so that is a definite plus in my book! I usually do two coats of whatever nail varnish I’m using to be sure I get the best coverage. Today I’m going for a bit of pastel action – pink and green! I wanted to do a multi-coloured pastel situation with my Bananan Split Model’s Own colour and a baby blue Barry M nail varnish but I couldn’t for the life of me find them this morning. These two Barry M colours were downstairs, so I grabbed them (clearly thought a lot about my colour choice, eh!) and thought I’d give them a whirl. I went for a pastel green with a pink accent on my fourth fingers (achieved with a spot of sellotape).

Nail varnish 1

IMG_1521And here are a collection of claw pictures that may inspire you if you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’ about nail polish choices at the moment! I’ve tried to remember where all of the nail varnish products are from, but as I’ve robbed these from both me and Claire’s instagrams, I may not have found them all! It’s not groundbreaking nail art…but sometimes you just need reminding why painting your nails is fabulous.

Nails1Barry M Foil Effect Gold | MissBehave Pink Nail Splash |Rimmel 60 Seconds Sky High | Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Dragon | Collection Lasting Gel Colour Pearl Shimmer |

nails2| Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream | Barry M Sequin Nails | Barry M Textured Nails Ridely Road | Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Lychee |

Nails3| Ciate Cookies and Cream | Ciate Caviar Beads Shooting Stars | Revlon Nail Enamel Fashionista | Barry M Glitter Paint Hologram Hexograms |

nails4| Elf Desert Haze | Model’s Own Banana Split | Barry M Confetti Bubblegum |

nails5| Barry M Peach Melba | Barry M Foil Effects Gold |Barry M Textured Nails Atlantic Road |

WELL…I didn’t realise Claire and I were such Barry M ambassadors…