Can a £2.50 Nail Polish Be as Good as High-end Ones? Kiko Nail Polish Review.

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Short answer, yes it can. However, there are some trade-offs.

Kiko is an Italian makeup brand that has been hugely successful in Italy, France, and Spain. It’s now also available in the UK.

What’s so great about them: Kiko is famous for selling good quality products at very affordable prices. They have a wide range of products: makeup, skincare, sun protection, accessories etc and they rarely exceed £15.

What’s not so great: availability. They only have 3 stores in the UK so if you don’t live in London you can only purchase Kiko products from their website.

Nail Polish

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The shade I got is 376. It’s a very light, warm pink matte polish. The formula is really nice. The polish is quite opaque (I have two coats on in the pics) and almost gel-like: it’s very soft and takes a while to dry. Even when it dries completely I have an impression that it is softer than other polishes and it scratches easily. However, it’s super long lasting. I think I had it on for 7 days without it chipping away. That’s amazing given that OPI chips on me after 2,3 days. I also really like the colour. It’s very delicate and I can imagine it would work well on everyone. For £2.5 nail polish it’s outstanding.

However,

There were some drawbacks. You can really smell the chemicals they used when you’re painting your nails. It’s a very strong smell. I was trying to blow on my nails to make them dry faster and inhaled by mistake. I literally felt dizzy afterwards and felt the chemicals in my throat. Also, when I removed the polish after 7 days my nails were really yellow. I paint my nails all the time and I’ve never seen them looking that bad. To be fair, I think I didn’t use a base coat for the first time in a while so it might not be all due to the polish. Still, it’s quite clear that despite great colour selection and fantastic performance there is a reason this polish is so affordable and it’s the quality of ingredients. I will definitely use a base coat next time to protect my nails.

I do like Kiko nail polishes and will be purchasing more shades in the future. I’m not sure if I would buy a foundation or a skincare item from them for the above reason but I think their nail polishes work really well provided you don’t forget to use a base coat.

Lush Mermaid: Northern Lights in a Bathtub. Plus Last Chance To Enter My Giveaway

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Yesterday was my birthday so I pampered myself by taking the best bath in the world: Lush Mermaid. It’s like diving into an Aurora Borealis spectacle.

I’m not referring to the newly released Lush Mermaid bath bomb. What I mean is a bath cocktail of two Lush products that for years has been unofficially known as the Mermaid. It looks like golden northern lights: rays of gold glitter and sparkle swirling in deep jade water. The glitter looks like a school of microscopic fish and it’s constantly moving. It’s the prettiest bath in the world!

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For the Lush Mermaid you need two Lush products: the Big Blue (an amazing bath bomb and a reference to a great movie) and the Sunnyside. The Big Blue smells of sea and salt. No wonder since salt and seaweeds are the main ingredients of this bomb. The salt softens your skin and helps it release toxins. The Sunnyside is a bubble bar scented with citrus oils. It has sweet wild orange oil, lemon and tangerine oils. And glitter. Tons of glitter. It’s a good ‘pick-me-up’ after a long day. The glitter tends to get everywhere and you are likely to find bits of it in your closet, in your bed and in your bag for the next couple of days. It will make you smile. Hopefully.

To make the Mermaid Bath you will first need to fill your bathtub with hot water. Place the Big Blue in the bathtub and let it melt. Crush the Sunnyside and gently add it to the bath. If you stir the water too much or forget to crush the bubble bar it will create bubbles. It won’t spoil the effect but it will make it more difficult to see the water. And trust me: it’s quite a sight.

Apart from looking stunning the Mermaid really softens your skin. When you’re done admiring the view remember to give your skin a good rub and make sure you exfoliate to get the most of your bath.

Giveaway

It’s the last few days of my giveaway. Make sure you enter to win some goodies. See here for details.

GIVEAWAY Reminder & Amarya Subscription Box Review

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First of all, just a quick reminder that my giveaway is open for another week. See here for prizes and rules.

I’m sure you are all familiar with subscription beauty boxes: service where you pay to receive a box of product samples each month. They are advertised as a great way to try out new products and, indeed, they can be. In 2012 I was subscribed to all 4 subscription boxes available in the UK. After a while I realised two things. First, I had and still have a huge amount of unused samples. Two, the great majority of these samples were of products I wasn’t interested in trying in the first place. I realised that I was paying for products I didn’t like instead of spending the money I paid for subscription boxes on full size products I liked and used. While I still think subscription boxes are a great idea, I decided to be a bit more selective. So I cancelled my subscription to Glossybox and Birchbox. I stayed with Amarya, the least well-known subscription service in the UK. Here is why.

Introducing Amarya

Amarya is the only subscription box that offers products that I actually buy and repurchase in full size. I bought a number of products from brands I didn’t know before and was introduced to by Amarya. I never bought anything I tried from Glossybox or Birchbox.

Amarya specialises in natural and organic skincare and makeup products. Some of the brands they work with are: REN, Antipodes, Dr. Hauschka, John Masters Organic, Lavera, Neom, Neil’s Yard, Pukka, SoPhyto, Trilogy and Zoya.
All their products are paraben-free and most of them are organic. And it’s not just the products. The box itself is made from recycled paper. It’s not nearly as pretty and glossy as the ones offered by the two other subscription providers. But then I’m more interested in the products, than the box. Amarya also offers 20% for all the brands in its subscription box for a month. For example, if in April you receive a box with a product from REN you can purchase this product from Amarya in full size throughout April with a 20% discount.

The Box

Amarya differs from other subscribtions also because it doesn’t have a set amount of products. For example, here is the content of the last 3 boxes:

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Box 1

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Box 2

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Box 3 part 1

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Also in box 3

Highlights & Products I Repurchased

 

My absolute favourite product from Amarya is Blend Collective’s Sandalwood, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Neroli hand cream. I fell in love with this scent and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I bought the full size product.

Essential Care Organic Rose Moisturiser is the first product I discovered thanks to Amarya. I reviewed it here. It’s a fantastic light moisturiser.

Amarya introduced me to Alison Claire Remarkable bio-natural beauty: an exciting new British brand. Their body butters smell great! They are just amazing. You can smell them on your skin for hours.

Zoya is another brand I would have probably not tried if it wasn’t for Amarya. I really like the formula of their nail polishes. They are quite long lasting. Here is the Zoya nailpolish in Gie Gie with matte and shine top coats.

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Zoya in Gie Gie. Middle finger with a shine top coat.

The cost is the same as all the other UK boxes : £10 plus £2.50 P&P

How to add a Bloglovin’ icon and a Custom icon to a wordpress blog sidebar.

You can now follow my blog on bloglovin thanks to this amazing post that demonstrates how to claim your blog without plug-ins. Thanks!

& Other Stories GIVEAWAY (closed)

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*****************GIVEAWAY CLOSED**************************************

In the previous post (here) I wrote about my new favourite store, & Other Stories, and the best body sugar scrub I’ve ever tried. I realise that there are only 7 stores in Europe and that they don’t ship to many countries so I’ve decided to do a small giveaway.

I will be giving away a Fig Fiction Sugar Body Scrub that I reviewed last week and a nail polish from the same brand in Crepon Rose. It’s a light peachy pink colour, very classic and perfect for spring. I have not tried any of their nail polishes before but I thought it would be a good product to include as you can only get it in the store. It’s not sold online.

All you need to do to enter is (you’ll need to do all 3):

1)      Follow/subscribe to my blog

2)      Like my page on facebook (use the button on the right or click here)

3)      Share any of my posts on facebook. (IMPORTANT: share my posts through my facebook page, otherwise I won’t be able to check and your entry won’t count!)

You can enter as many times as you like by sharing more than one of my posts on facebook. Each share is one entry (provided you have already liked my FB page):

So the first entry = be a subscriber, like my facebook page + share one of my posts via my facebook page

Additional/ following entries = share more posts via my facebook page (Please make sure you have already liked my facebook page and are a follower/subscriber of my blog, otherwise you’ll be disqualified).

The giveaway is open for two weeks, until Sunday 19th of May. I will ship internationally. If you’re under 18 you’ll need to ask your parents’ permission.

On the 19th of May I will choose a winner and contact them on facebook.

Good luck everyone!

& Other Stories, Fig Fiction Sugar Scrub Review

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& Other Stories is an exciting new store that everyone seems to be talking about.

The brand was created in H&M’s studios in Paris and Stockholm and is a part of the H&M group. It opened its first seven stores in Europe in 2013. One of them in London. While their clothes don’t really suit me (but would look great on someone with no boobs and no hips), their beauty and accessories departments are fantastic.

First of all, it’s the only place I know of in the UK that sells American brand theBalm. Their blushes and luminizers are very famous and I wanted to try them for a long time. & Other Stories own makeup and beauty lines are also worth checking out. With a wide selection of eyeshadows, affordable makeup brushes and a fantastic bath & body line it’s a really great place for all beauty lovers.

And did I mention their accessories? I got a lovely rose gold box chain bracelet and necklace. But they have so many other amazing pieces.

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Photo from their web page

Coming back to the bath & body line, I bought a sugar body scrub. I must say it’s the best body scrub I’ve ever tried. It’s so luxurious and pampering. You know how sometimes you buy a body scrub and it’s more of a shower gel with just a few scrubbing bits in it? This one isn’t like this. It’s rich and thick and smoothing but not too abrasive. It doesn’t irritate the soft skin on your décolletage as most scrubs do. It’s truly a lovely product. It polishes skin to a silken texture and leaves it lusciously scented. It’s also PARABEN-FREE !

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And then there is the scent… I chose Fig Fiction which is described as

‘Musky, green fig leaves swaying in the warm evening air…’

It’s a musky, exotic scent that makes me think of warm evenings in Greece and sunsets in the summertime. It also comes in six other great scents: Shinjuku Bloom, Morrocan Tea, Couture Carnival, Lemon Daydream, Rose Revival, and Punk Bouquet.

At £7 for 250ml, you just can’t go wrong with this scrub. If you don’t live anywhere near a store you can purchase & Other Stories’ products online although there is a shipping fee of £5.

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