Today’s Blogmas is half advent and half Nails. I meant to do more posts like this throughout December but it’s been more hectic than I expected and it’s only just now I’ve got the energy and time to do more than a quick review! Today’s advent gift from the Marks and Spencer’s beauty calendar is a Rose Otto Face Oil from Balance Me, a company I’ve heard of but never had anything from. The full sized version is 30ml and comes in a glass bottle with a dropper for £32 so this 10ml roll on version is worth around £11. As with any skin care to get a proper idea of how it works you need to use it longer term than one day but I’ll give my first impressions anyway.
The Wax Tart today in the Twelve Scents of Christmas gift set (£15) from Seasonal Scents Shop is the Spiced Orange scent, a standard for Christmas and one of my favourites. I love how waxy tarts can be mix and match to make cocktails of scent but you do need a wax burner for them. They’re available a lot of places for pretty cheap so it’s not hard to find if you feel like trying them.
I do love nail art, I just haven’t really done as much of it this year as I have for various reasons but I felt like going with a snowflake theme as it had snowed earlier in the week when I did them. I also know I like this look as I did it last year but nothing wrong wit going back to a design you love, I do it all the time.
In a recent trip to Sally’s I found this Red Carpet Manicure gel nail varnish in Envelope Please. The official description for it is a ‘mauve nude creme’ which actually describes it pretty much perfectly. I wanted a fairly deep neutral pink sort of colour and this one was the closest in this range I could see. Price wise it ranges from £10 -£14 depending where you buy it from, the range of places that stocks them seems to have grown recently and I’ve seen stands in Marks and Spencer as well as Sally’s when it comes to physical stores.
I like the Red Carpet Manicure range in general, though the formulas do tend to range in thickness. I’ve found that, as a brand, the nail varnishes last the two weeks they claim in general and they stick well. I use them with the Red Carpet Manicure light and find them quick and easy to use, I can’t really comment on how well it works with other brands but you can see the colour and how it lasts with their own UV lamp. These are all gel nail varnishes designed to be used with a UV lamp.
I did a post on Friday about the empties from last month and there are a few of those products that should probably be in a monthly favourites post too as I used them a lot but I’ve chosen eight different products I’ve been loving this month. I think most of these are a case of finding something I’ve had for a while and loving it but there are a couple of new things I only found this month. It seems a bit odd to include food but the Walkers Sunbites in general are so good. I really like it when companies do a good sweet chilli flavour for crisps things and these have the crunch and a bit of spice without being too hot for me which is always good as I don’t do chilli all that well sometimes.
I feel like in a monthly favourites I have to at least mention Reigns and Hustle Cat as I have really liked both of these games, Reigns in particular is one you pick up and play and lose time in whereas Hustle Cat is more one to sit down and know you’ll play for a while. This month I haven’t really been watching or listening to much that’s new for me to say that I’ve found something different. I have been really liking the heritage series, or whatever they’re calling it, that the BBC are doing where they either remake old series I none offs or they do a prequel or sequel type thing for them. It’s a nice way to revisit older series and give a new twist on them. Robot Wars finished and that was a great series, I hope they bring it back for a second (maybe they have already announced it and I missed it) but that next time it’s longer. I’d love to see some of the robots from earlier series appear, seeing some of them back was nice but I’d love to see the return of ones like Chaos 2, Panic Attack, Pussycat and Razor. They’d have to be updated against the newer robots but seeing some of the old teams back would be nice even if they’re new robots.
I’m loving doing nail art at the moment and trying the different brands and tools to see which work best to do what with. I recently used the Zircon gel varnish from Red Carpet Manicure as it’s such a pretty, sparkly turquoise it just screamed summer to me so I wanted to use it while the sun is still out here in the UK, we’re having a surprisingly sunny summer where I live. After a few days of just this I decided to have a go at some mermaid themed nail art using two of the summer Models Own Soft Pop collection; Lilac Flush and Sugar Rush as I really like the purple and turquoise combination plus blue just goes with anything beach or water themed for me.
This wasn’t really a planned purchase, or I guess part of it was, but today I had a bit of a shopping trip to the local Sally’s and bought some nail varnish. I haven’t really kept up with the summer collections this year, in the past I’ve been looking up the bigger brands as they’re released and creating lists of the ones I’ve wanted, though hardly ever actually buying anything from them. This year I avoided it and ended up coming away with three of the summer nail polishes, two from the OPI Retro Summer Collection and one from the Red Carpet Manicure Escape to Paradise Collection.
If you don’t know what Sally’s is, it’s a store that sells a lot to people in the beauty industry so they have products on sale at reduced prices compared to the RRP. It’s mainly nail and hair products but they do have quite a few skin and face products too. The main reason I like them though, is that you get to see the gel nail varnishes in person before you buy them. I have never found any Red Carpet Manicure products in any physical shops in the UK. I have seen a couple of other brands but when I bought them they didn’t work with my light very well so I’ve stuck with RCM and it’s great to be able to see what they look like rather than relying on a computer screen version. You can find their website here, though I have had some problems with it loading so I can’t find the actual products.
On my recent visit to Sally’s I got four gel nail varnishes from Red Carpet Manicure. I’ve recently started to grow my gel varnishes collection as I’ve been using it more so I went for some that I didn’t think I had anything like or like ones I had in a normal nail varnish but wanted a gel version. Later in the post I have done a dupe for each of the three I have similar colours to but the one is definitely unique in my nail varnish collection.
Two of the gel varnishes are in the permanent range, as far as I know, being An Evening to Remember (516) and Garnet (276) from the more sparkly collection based on precious stones and these cost around £10 – £12 I think. The two from the Cinderella collection seem to be sold out pretty much everywhere but they were in the reductions area. They did have stickers saying they were £7.87 but when we got to the till it was ££2.86 so I doubt there are any left but if there are in one near you then they’re worth getting. The two I chose were A Matter of Prince-iple (293) and Put a Slipper On It (289) though I do wish I’d bought a few more.
I can’t link to any of them because I can’t seem to get the Sally’s website to work for me, maybe it’s my browser but it keeps saying there’s an error, this is the link for the website in general though so you can go and see what they have online if you search Red Carpet Manicure. Both Asos and Marks and Spencer also sell RCM things though so they might be a good place to look and compare prices for individual colours.
I did the first part of this review last Monday about the light and the extras you get in the Red Carpet Manicure new set, the Red Carpet Ready Starter Kit, so if you want to read about them you can find it here. I was definitely impressed and happy with that part of the set and that was the main reason for getting it for me so these nail varnishes were just a bonus I was hoping I’d like.
These two nail varnishes came in the set from QVC though if you buy the set now on the RCM site only Headliner, the red crème, is included, Walk of Fame, the more golden shimmer, isn’t an option though I think it’s available separately, I can’t find it at the moment on there but there are similar ones. The idea of this range is to have all of the steps in a gel manicure in their old version, the base, colour and top coat, in one product so you have two layers of this and you’re good to go. I really like this idea and was hoping it would work, though I did see a lot of review on the QVC site at the time saying this new version was rubbish and that they preferred the old one. I still hoped I’d like it, maybe my nails would work when there’s hadn’t, so I gave it a go with both colours. If you just want to see what I think of the set overall the scroll to the bottom.
For Christmas one of my big presents was the Red Carpet Ready Starter Kit, I know my parents got it from QVC but it’s not on there any more so I’m linking to their own website because I think that’s the only place that has it at the moment. It costs £69.95 and is exactly the same as the set that I got except it doesn’t have the extra colour nail varnish that QVC offered.
The main difference between this Red Carpet Ready Kit and the normal one is the nail varnish itself. This nail varnish claims that it’s all the layers in one; base coat, colour and top coat, so you only have to do two or three layers to get an opaque finish. With each one curing for 45 seconds this would reduce the time of a gel manicure even more. This is also the new version of this ‘Pro’ lamp, the main difference as far as I can tell is that this can be plugged into a USB port in your computer making it more portable than the original. I do have the normal portable one that’s a different shape so I’m going to do a bit of comparison against that but I have never used the original Pro lamp.
Throughout advent I am going to try and get two posts out every week day, the advent one which is a sort of mini review or first impressions for the products I get in the advent calendars and the post that would normally go out on that day too. The weekends will be just the advent calendar posts as I don’t normally do anything else on the weekends at the moment.
This is probably the third or fourth review I’ve done on Red Caret Manicure gel nail varnish products and I do really like the finish they give. I have never seen their matte nail varnish before and I also bought a couple of others to replace ones from other brands that just didn’t work with my UV light.
These are all nail varnishes that need a UV light to set and they’re supposed to last two weeks. The colour nail varnishes; Publicity Stunt and Sands of Time are both £13 and the Mattify top coat is £15 in Marks and Spencer. I think in general this is around the same price as in others as I know when I’ve bought them off Asos it’s been around £14 for the colour nail varnishes.
Another recent purchases post so close to the last, I did say there would be a few. I haven’t finished Dracula yet which is the book I’m reading so I think that’ll be next week for the book review on Thursday, so much for my read a book a week challenge.
The main reason I made this Marks and Spencer order was to get the beauty advent calendar, which is unfortunately not available any more. I was awake at about 3am and I decided to check on it, the next time I looked at 1pm they were out of stock so they were very limited. I guess the fact it was £200 or £25 if you spent £25 on M&S beauty was too good a deal to pass for a lot of people. The other things I bought I was wanting for a while but I held off so I could get something I needed in the £25 rather than getting things just to make up the money. However I have managed to lose one already, I have no idea how, but I’ll put the photo from the M&S website on there instead of my photo and will definitely review it when I find it again.
A better view of just the Red Carpet Manicure products