Thursday, 27 January 2011

Style Files

High street fashion retailer New Look wouldn't automatically be the first place to pop into my head when I need a new nail file, but lurking alongside the latest fashion fixes are these brand new 'File under F for Fabulous' cushioned nail shapers from Anatomicals (nail files to me and you!). 

If you've got a spare £2 - yes £2 for two! -and nails that need a good shaping, there's enough grit here to create the latest nail shape (squoval in case you're wondering) yet they're not at all harsh, which is what you want if your nails are prone to splitting. Start off creating your shape with the medium side, then smooth off the nail edge with the finer side.

The cushioned pad is super comfy to hold and there's enough flexibility there to get down the sides to the nails. A quick scrub with a nail brush afterwards they're back to out-of-the-packet perfect.

A cheap yet chic handbag hero, the catwalk-inspired fluoro colours are a cinch to spot and put an end to rooting around in the bottom of our bags for dark, impossible-to-locate files. All we need now is a few of the latest eye-popping nail colours to go with them!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Deeply Dippy - brand new Dip & Define Eye Powders from Miners

Apart from scoring highly in the metallic sparkle stakes, it's the brilliantly clever way the applicator gently springs fully-loaded out of the pot of loose eye powder that really impressed me with these little gems! I've lost count of the number of times I've spilt (much more expensive) pots of loose eye colours all over my dressing table, so anything that saves me getting out the Hoover is a dream! Available in six super-blendable shades - from left to right, Cornflower Blue, Khaki Gold, Rough Diamond, Cloud 9, Cosmic Copper and Damson Dust  - the precise applicator enables smooth blending onto the lids or, by simply using the end of the sponge wand, an eyeliner effect can be created for added definition. The density of the high-pigment powders means strong stay-in-place colour with no settling in the creases. Can be layered up for bling-tastic evening eyes, or for a more demure daytime look, a shimmering defining line on the upper lid, smudging in close to the lashes, adds a pop of colour. Miners Dip & Define Eye Powders, £3.49 each, available from quality pharmacies and

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Ease those winter chaps and chafes!

When the lovely ladies at Lush sent me a surprise tin of Ultrabalm during all the snowy weather before Christmas, it couldn't have come at a better time for my winter-parched skin. This little tin of moisturising goodness is an amazing all-rounder, and not just for me, the whole family got stuck in. My husband's wind-chafed motorbike chops got a slathering, as did my son's eczema patch. My hobbit-like heels no longer feel like I'm sliding a cheese grater into my socks, and a slick on my eyebrows means they stay in place all day. I could go on! Better still, unlike Vaseline (which has pretty similar uses), it's petroleum free so no nasty mineral oils, just lovely jojoba oil which has a natural affinity with our skin so it sinks straight in. Pop this top tin in your handbag and I promise you'll reach for it again and again. £7.90 for 45g, available from Lush stores nationwide.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Go nude!

I'm not usually a huge fan of sit-on-the-fence neutrals and the whole beige/greige trend, but there's a lot to be said for colours you can slick on in seconds without too much precision and be out the door. GOSH's 'Nougat' and 'Cappucino' Velvet Touch lipsticks, £6.49, give just enough of a hue to create that 'pulled together' look. And who could resist nail lacquers called 'Miss Mole' and 'Miss Sweety?' Two shades that will make even the most time-poor look effortlessly groomed yet won't have us reaching for the remover in despair when our application technique isn't quite up to salon standards! £5 each. Available mid-Feb, only at Superdrug.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Treat yourself for Valentines ... a bath full of bubbles for just £1!

I'm always excited when I spot a beauty buy I can pop in my supermarket trolley and pass off as a 'household essential!' So when I spotted N-spa's brand new limited edition Valentine's bath and shower gels, available in Sweetheart Strawberry, Candy Chocolate and Caribbean Coconut, I made a mental note to pop one (or all three!) in my trolley next time I'm in Asda. At £1 each, these are one type of bubbles you can afford without blowing the shopping budget! Available from mid-Jan.