Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Midweek Manicure // Barry M Summer Gelly Hi-Shine & Matte Collections

If you follow me on Instagram or read last weekend's InstaLIFE post, you'll have seen that I was lucky enough to win 13 Barry M nail polishes - their new Summer Matte collection and their new Summer Hi-Shine Gelly collection wahoo!!! I thought I'd swatch and share them with you here!


Gelly Hi-Shine Collection

I have featured many of the Gelly Hi-Shine collection in my Midweek Manicure posts and always find them to be absolutely beautiful colours and, as the name suggests, having an amazing glossy shiny finish. The 7 new Summer colours from this range are no exception and I love how there are some bold brights represented, as well as more muted pastel and nude colours creeping in from the popular Spring colour palette too. 



Pink Punch - bright summery pink. It really is punchy! How amazing is this shade?! It literally screams girls summer holiday to me!

Kiwi - a bold turquoise toned green. I think this is my favourite of the lot and just the sort of colour I like to wear in the summer.

Damson - a bright purple toned blue. This shade reminds me a bit of the Gelly Hi-Shine Blue Grape polish, but is a few shades lighter and almost with lilac undertones. How good does it look next to Kiwi?!

Elderberry - a lovely pastel grey toned  blue. This is a really wearable, every season colour which I think will suit all skin tones.

Olive - a yellow toned nude khaki colour. This is my least favourite of the bunch and I don't think it really suits my skin tone. I think it would look fab on darker skin but the muted yellow shade of the polish is too similar to my skin for my liking.

Almond - a beautiful taupe / mushroom colour. Ooh this is definitely going to be a favourite of mine in Autumn! I like my summer polish to be really bright so will be saving wearing this for a couple of months yet but it's a lovely shiny nude which I think will suit everyone and every occasion .

Coconut - a good coverage ever-so-slightly-off-white colour. This was one I was most excited to try as I am OBSESSED with white nails and can't wait to use this for a full manicure.



Matte Collection

I love matte nails but previously only had black and nude colours (also by Barry M).  I was so excited to get swatching these bad boys - I mean look how bright and beautiful they all are! Who said matte nails had to be dull?! They each scream summer to me and I love how they're all named after exotic places (except for Rhossili, which a quick Google told me is in Wales! This doesn't seem too exotic to me, but maybe if you're from somewhere far flung like Copa Cobana it does?!)



Malibu - a beautiful royal blue. I would love a pair of jeans this colour!

Cancun - a stunning green toned turquoise. I think this is the matte colour I will get most wear out of.

Waikiki - a yellowy lime green. This was the matte colour i was lusting over in the shop when try first came out. It's so unusual and works really well as a matte shade.

Rhossili - a gorgeous bright purple (actually more purple than the picture above shows). If this colour sums up Rhossili I want to go there! 

Miami - bright flamingo pink, it's almost neon! I think this is the most aptly named of all.

Copa Cabana - a red toned coral. I never reach for red nail polishes but love how the matte effect works with this shade.



Aren't they all BEAUTIFUL?! Haha even my boyfriend (who when I told him I'd won 13 new nail paints said sarcastically "that's good as you don't have many already...") was pretty impressed when I showed him my new goodies! The range of colours is amazing and I think that there really is something for everyone. My only dilemma now is which one to wear first!

Have you tried any of these polishes? Which one is your favourite?

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Monday, 28 July 2014

Fashion // OOTD - Floral Swing Dress from Primark

How beautiful is the weather we've been having?! The sun has been out in full force, which has been perfect for wearing my new light and airy, bright and flowery swing dress from the one and only Primark.

I bought this in store a few weeks ago now, but have been wearing it non stop and even considered buying a second one when I saw it in store this weekend! (yep, I'm that person!) A few weeks ago we went off to my boyfriend's Grandad's 90th Birthday Party which was set in a country pub garden. With it's t-shirt neckline, modest hemline and pretty girly print I decided this would be the perfect dress for such an occasion. It's also a nice loose fitting swing style which meant I could indulge in the birthday buffet without feeling too snug afterwards haha! (OK, you got me - this was the main reason I wore it!) I think it's a really lovely shape and pattern and was only £13. Bargain! 

I teamed it with ankle length Topshop leggings, my favourite Primark peep toe pumps, Steve Madden sunglasses, and my bargainous Longchamp handbag I picked up at a Christmas fair a few years ago. Practical and pretty and perfect for a day with the boyfriends family!

I also wore the dress whilst in Turkey as the bright pattern and thin lightweight material made it perfect for wearing during my summer holiday, and looked lovely with my tan (and sans leggings)

I hope you enjoyed my first OOTD post! I am trying to be a bit braver by actually appearing on my blog once in a while (and it was one of my 25 Things To Do This Summer) I promise I will take better photos next time too (my boyfriend was trying to be quick as we were running late and had to arrive before his Grandad so's not to ruin the surprise party!)

As I say, this dress is still available in my local Primark and even comes in a black and coral floral print now too. Will you be picking one up? 

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Sunday, 27 July 2014

InstaLIFE // w/c 20th July 2014

I've had a bit more of a chilled week compared to the action packed festival and event fun of last week. However I did encounter unicorns, fabulous nails, Disney princesses, cake, and a kiss from Paris Hilton. Read on and enjoy!

I am a massive Paris Hilton fan. Ever since I first saw The Simple Life I fell in love with her and Nicole! One of my absolute favourite songs is Stars Are Blind (and I put it on every single mix tape I make anyone - be warned!) so I was excited to hear Paris' new song Come Alive, and even more excited to see the video. Oh I was not disappointed! There's rainbows, flowers, UNICORNS! Literally everything ridiculously fabulous you could ever want to see in one place. So obvs I did a little Instagram snapshot to show my appreciation.... And guess who should "Like" it and send a virtual kiss?! PARIS HILTON herself! That's hot! 

On Tuesday I went along to a health and fitness blog event run by Currys called #CurrysIntrojuicing First up what an awesome hashtag - it literally took me a week to realise that it is a play on words of "Currys Introducing", and when I did - mind blown!! Haha I'm easily pleased (and apparently pretty slow on the uptake!) I had such a great night and met some amazing new blogging friends such as Bei from BeiFit and I finally got to meet my #HollandandBarrettBuddies partner Dani who was there too! Bei, Dani and I had such fun together as we learnt all about juicing and then gave it a go ourselves, followed by probably the most intense circuits class EVER! (I seriously am only just able to walk properly again!) I also won a juicer for my snazzy tweeting and Instagram pictures which was awesome, so I can continue to utilise everything I learnt at the event. Thank you so much to Currys and Joe's Bloggers for having me I had a fab night and found it really beneficial too.

Look at how cute this phone cover* is!! Everything from the pastel blue background to the polka dots and little fashionista bunny dressed up as an Alice in Wonderland style tea cup is adorable! It was sent to me by the lovely folk at Iconemesis to raise awareness of their #SUPPORTICONEMESIS campaign. Iconemesis sell well made stylish phone cases designed by British artists and are currently looking for crowd funding via site IndiegogoI'd not heard of Indiegogo before but it allows people to support causes and business ideas they wouldn't otherwise have access to. Iconemesis has some fabulous designs - including more fashion forward bunnies - so check out their campaign here.

I did a little Throwback Thursday snap this week - my friends and I chilling with the Naked Cowboy in Times Square NYC in 2008. This was literally one of the funniest weekends of my life and was such an amazing way to finish off my 9 month travelling trip. Let me know if you'd like to see some posts about my travel adventures :D

Get ready guys and gals - BAKE OFF IS BACK!!! I was beyond excited when the Bread Lord Himself, Paul Hollywood tweeted that GBBO is starting again on the 6th August (soooo soon!!!) I am obsessed with this show and last year baked along with the theme each week (which you can see here). I think I will be doing this again this year as I had so much fun and tried so many new recipes and baking techniques. And let's face it, it's a great excuse to eat cake!

I seem to always wear a statement necklace on Fridays and this week I went for this white number from Primark. I bought it a while ago and then completely forgot about it until I came across it on Thursday night! I love it when this happens as it's like you get the excitement of buying it twice :D oh dear, I have problems!

Check out this bad boy! On Friday night we went for dinner and drinks with some friends and ended up in underground cocktail bar Shebeen in Kentish Town which serves Poitins cocktails. I went for the Leprachaun Zombie which is made up of two different proof Poitins, galliano, maraschino, apricot liqueur, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice and passion fruit purée. Blimey, the Goblet of Fire's got nothing on this!

I don't think you ever grow out of the excitement of getting to ride at the front of the top of the bus! It literally makes my day! Please let me know I'm not the only big kid who gets excited by this?!

I nipped into Primark early yesterday morning and came out with these little goodies! The Disney Princess Sweets, Games and Surprises pack was a bargainous £1.50 pressie for a friend, the lipgloss applicators were too good a deal to turn down - 50p for 10?! yes please! - and how amazing are these summery pastel Aztec false nails?! I have tried their falsies before and thought it would be fun to give another set a go. At £1 you can't really go wrong! I also treated myself to some Haribo Minions (yes you did read that right!) which are almost too cute to eat. Almost....

So that's my week in a nutshell! What have you been up to? 

*Thank you Iconemesis for sending me the phone case. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer page.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Beauty // Grabble #GrabAMakeover blogger event

I love a good blogging event and last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Grabble #GrabAMakeover event at celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton's Salon in Covent Garden eeee exciting! I had such an amazing night  and thought I'd share with you what I got up to....

photo taken from the Grabble Facebook page

photo taken from the Grabble Facebook page
First up if you haven't heard of Grabble - stand by, and get ready to become OBSESSED!! Their nifty website is a mix of Pinterest and online shopping - I know!!! It allows you to Grab items that you want and keep them safe in your online Grab collections (so you never forget about that amazing dress / top / handbag / lipstick etc etc) and also let's you click and buy items directly from the retailer, AND they let you know if an item you've Grabbed goes down in price! Told you it was good! You can follow other Grabbers and check out their collections and wish lists too. So so good!!! Go sign up now at

photo taken from the Grabble Facebook page
Grabble invited a bunch of us bloggers down to Andrew Barton's salon for an evening of pampering and fun, as well as some delicious food and drinks. The salon was really nice and had THE MOST AMAZING WALLPAPER EVER - gorgeous black and white dog print, and the pups were actually fuzzy to touch! I need this for my house!!!! 

We kick started the event with alcoholic ice lollies from Mahiki Lic which were amazing! I went for a mojito one and woah nelly were they strong! They tasted just like my favourite cocktail with the added bonus of completely cooling me down on what was such a hot evening! There was also pizza galore from Basilico which looked delicious, and some scrumptious gin and bitter lemon cocktails too, which is definitely becoming my new go-to mixer! (The bitter lemon anyway, gin would not be a good mixer!!)

photo taken from the Grabble Facebook page

As well as lots of yummy things (the Grabble gang sure know the way to my heart!) there were also mini manicures and massages by the Gina Conway Spa team, celebrity make up artist Ariane Poole giving makeovers and also some of the team from John Lewis on hand to give you colour draping consultations and show off some of their amazing new collections (including a gorgeous Ted Baker baby pink leather jacket with rose gold hardware). There really was everything you need to #GrabAMakeover! I have never had a massage before so jumped at the chance to have a 10 minute neck and shoulder rub and it really was amazing! I felt so relaxed I almost fell asleep! I am a bit of an insomniac so very rarely have a full night of deep sleep but that evening I had the best nights sleep I've had in weeks and I think it was all down to the relaxation, and soothing peppermint oil used during the massage. Bliss! 

photo taken from the Grabble Facebook page
I also had a hair consultation with one of Andrew's stylists Kaysha, who was fab and gave me some great ideas on how to next cut my hair to increase it's volume and body. Kaysha also gave my hair a bit of an oomph by tonging in some loose waves and adding some Redken Texturising Hair Powder which I loved. 

As well as giving us bloggers lots of fun, Grabble also held a raffle which raised over £500 for the charity COSMIC which supports the Intensive Care Unit at St Mary's Hospital. Amazing! 

Andrew was lovely and as well as giving us a fab speech was also tons of fun and posed for lots of silly photos with us all.

photo taken from the Grabble Facebook page
I had such a fun evening and got to meet so many lovely bloggers, many of whom I've been chatting to on Twitter for months so it was so nice to finally meet them in person. I've put their Twitter links and blogs below so definitely go and check them all out!

photo taken from the Grabble Facebook page
photo taken from the Grabble Facebook page

Katie from Kalanchoe // Em from My Pale Skin // (behind) Georgie from Away With The Fairies // Monica from MothLoves // Beth from Beauty in Beta // Sarah from Loved By Sarah // Me (duh!)
Also not in the picture is the fabulous April from Beautiface and Jess from Look What I Got

The Grabble Gang completed an amazing evening with a ridiculously generous goodie bag filled with all sorts of treats from Laimon Fresh, Propercorn, Urban Fruit, Tea Pigs, Miso Tasty, Gina Conway, Aveda and John Lewis. Thank you everyone!!!

I had such a fab night - trying new treatments, discovering new brands and making some great new friends. Thanks so much for having me Grabble and putting on a brilliant event, you really spoiled us all!

Do you use Grabble? Let me know your usernames so I can follow you and feed my shopping addiction! (My username is Emsypickle)

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Midweek Manicure // W7 Raspberry Sorbet and Pink Cosmic Nail Dust

This week I was lucky enough to receive some lovely goodies from W7 to have a play with including this  bright pink polish Raspberry Sorbet* (adorable name!) and pink Cosmic Nail Dust*. I thought they're be perfect for this week's Midweek Manicure as "On Wednesdays we wear pink" - duh!

I'm a bit weird with pink nails as I never usually choose to paint them that colour as I think of them as a bit too classic and "safe", however when I do wear them I always love how pretty they are! Today's W7 nail products are therefore perfect for me as I get to use the polish and Nail Dust together - giving me pretty pink nails with a very jazzy twist!

I've not tried W7 nail products before and am so impressed! The polish is thick enough to give a really strong, even finish - even after just one coat - yet not too thick that is hard to apply and control (I did use 2 coats for these pics but that was more out of habit than actual necessity). The brush is nice and wide so you only really need one sweep to cover the nail and it dries really quickly and with a lovely shiny finish. My new dream polish! 

I also absolutely adore the colour! It's so pretty - a bright vibrant pink which is perfect for summer. It's a true raspberry shade too so the cutesy name is just right!

How cool is the Cosmic Nail Dust?! I love how well it works with the Raspberry Sorbet polish - really complimenting the pink whilst enhancing it with shimmering flecks of blue, silver and purple too! (Though that turned out pretty hard to capture on camera!) I used it here on my ring fingers as an accent nail but will definitely be trying out lots more snazzy designs. I can't wait to try layering this over other colours - especially my favourite white! How amazing will that look?!

I have used nail glitters similar to the W7 Cosmic Nail Dust but never one as simple to apply as this one. Usually they come in little pots which spill EVERYWHERE whilst vajazzleing your nails (najazzleing?!). The W7 offering however has a little rubber nozzle which allows you to only place glitter where you want it, and with minimum mess and waste. From a cosmetic point of view I also love that the nozzle makes to look like a space ship - perfect for it's Cosmic name!

I'm so impressed by the quality of these W7 nail products and love how they look on my nails, I will definitely be picking up some more of their nail polishes! The polishes retail for £4.95 and the Cosmic Nail Dust £3.95 which I think is fab for the quality and quantity you get.

Have you tried any of W7 products? What other nail polish colours do I need?! I'm loving the look of Pistachio

*Thanks so much to W7 for sending me these goodies to review. All thoughts are honest and my own. Please see my Disclaimer page for more details.

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