Tuesday, 8 July 2014

New blog!

Not that this blog ever really got off the ground (life, studying and work got in the way), but I've decided I'll start posting more general musings over at www.beautifulnerdery.com come September (very busy until then!). I've migrated the posts from this site over there as well if you ever fancy taking a look at two year old posts on a shiny new site (no-one? Oh well :P).

I might cross-post the new posts here as well, I'm undecided right now.

Hope you're all well :)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Non-polish! A health story and a weight loss milestone.


The last few years have been difficult for me, to say the least. At 16 my health and mood started going downhill, and I was eventually diagnosed with mild depression, which was re-evaluated as severe depression only a few months later (yes, it got a lot worse very quickly and it was a very dark period of my life), and on top of all of that I was diagnosed with CFS/ME (chronic, debilitating, pretty much life-ruining fatigue). Needless to say, I was stuck in my room for a lot of the last two years of school. Thankfully I pulled through at least somewhat and ended up getting into Cambridge; my first year was pretty awful health- and mood-wise, but my second year started getting better. Last summer, I found out I was gluten intolerant, and discovered myself through trial and error that sugary and starchy foods made me feel like crap in general AND often aggravated my chronic fatigue, setting me up for a day or two of feeling so mentally and physically tired that I couldn't do anything. So I cut most of these out (bye-bye, favourite foods: pizza, bread, lasagne, chips/fries, chocolate (well, I cut down a lot, but won't cut that one out completely :p...funny that the foods that taste the best were giving me so much havoc!), swapping cereal for omelettes, sandwiches for salad with lean meat, and swapping out potatoes at dinner for another serving of different vegetables. A nice side effect of not feeling so damn fatigued all the time was the ability to actually exercise sometimes (bear in mind two years ago I often could not walk a few hundred metres to go to the library at uni), which I am so happy about :) it's still a constant struggle, but I've been doing pretty well and have managed to lose 40 lbs (actually 43 :p)...it's amazing how much ME can make you put on, and coupled with trying to eat my depression away and eating things that I was actually intolerant of, I had gained a lot since starting uni. Now? Almost the same weight I was at 16, and I was only 5'9" then (5'10.5" now)!

(more after the cut)

NOTW (feet): OPI Holland I Have A Herring Problem + Pedal Faster Suzi!

I really don't like feet. Especially not mine. Ew, my spindly toes. Anyway, look past my leg-appendages and enjoy the polish, if you can :D

I tried out two of the other minis that I got at Sally's on my feet, with the shimmery blue (almost a light denim colour, which I've been coveting for a while) 'I Have A Herring Problem' and the light but pretty 'Pedal Faster Suzi!'. It's far too wet to be wearing flip-flops right now (I can't wait until it's warmer and dryer; nearly all regular shoes give me blisters), so my perdy toes were mostly for my own benefit, although I did make the boyfriend tell me which he preferred :p (Pedal Faster).

You can't even see the colours very well, sorry! I only took the one photo and now I have something different on my nails...

NOTW (hands): OPI Care to Danse? + Pirouette My Whistle

Following on my last post about my ill-advised but fun Sally's trip, I decided to try out some of the OPI New York City Ballet soft shades from the mini pack I had bought there. I wanted something that wasn't so bright as uni work was starting up again and I wanted to have pretty but slightly more professional nails. Granted, when I went and applied a glittery topcoat, any professional image was somewhat shattered, but eh :p

I applied two coats of Care to Danse? so that my nails looked natural but healthy and bright and then applied the glittery topcoat, Pirouette My Whistle (oh, OPI and their names :p). I'm not usually big on glitter (mainly because it GETS EVERYWHERE), but this stuff stayed put without a top coat and didn't flake off, plus it looked pretty :) I especially liked the big round flakes. What do you think?

Sally's Polish Haul

Soon after finding out that we do in fact have Sally's here in the UK and that there was one half a mile away from where I live when at university, I was kind of excited for term time to start up again :p (that excitement faded away quickly though; it's exam term and aaaargghhh, basically!).

I registered for email updates and got a 20% off voucher a few days later, which just excited me even more. I ended up visiting a Sally's in London when I went to hang out with my sisters for the day and see Rock of Ages (which was alright but had a pretty terrible first act; the second was pretty funny though)...I was a little shocked that OPI polishes were *£11* each (ouch!) when I get them online for about £4+shipping...I bought OPI White Shatter and a China Glaze polish (a more reasonable but still pricey £6.59) from the Electropop collection, a perdy pink creme called 'Dance Baby'. I'm pretty sure Sally's is the only physical store in the UK where you can buy OPI and China Glaze polishes though (I think some manicurists sell OPI, but I imagine that might be even more expensive, especially if you get a manicure as well...I've never actually had one!).

Anyway...onto this haul :) I spent waaay too much money, even after the 20% off. As in, just under £55. Did I mention we're not allowed jobs at Cambridge during term time and that my parents give me very little money? Yeah...good thing I sell stuff on eBay. But yeah, I couldn't afford this, but these beautiful polishes WILL last me a long time, I swear! :D
The pretty view from my window at uni :) 
China Glazes: Sweet Hook (Electropop), Temptation Carnation, Tree Hugger (I fell in love with the name and had to get it, it's very me!), Rainbow, Seduce Me.
OPI: New York City Ballet minis (I love ballet and I love soft shades), OPI Correct and Clean UP (there was no price on this and it turned out to be £9.99 before discount :/ it really doesn't work that well, but it's ok; I got it because I am sooo messy with polish, especially when tired!), OPI Dutch Treats minis.
A zoomed-out view!

I did really like Sally's; it was spacious and the assistant was friendly and asked me if I needed help, but then when I said I was ok she left me alone and didn't hound me, which is always appreciated. She let me ponder over polishes for a loooong time and even stopped unpacking OPI polishes and moved into the display when I wanted to have a look :)

Let's be honest, if I still live in Cambridge when I have a full-time job (which I hope to do), I'll probably head to Sally's for a couple of polishes every month or two :p right now, I'm going to avoid going again for a while as it is all VERY tempting.

Monday, 23 April 2012

NOTW (hands) - China Glaze 'Harvest Moon'

This is actually what was on my nails nearly three weeks ago now, but I wanted to share it with you :) This polish is from China Glaze's 'Colours from the Capital' (sometimes also called 'Capitol Colours/Colors') tie-in collection for the film version of 'The Hunger Games'. I'll spare you the fangirling about my love for all things THG as long as you promise to go and see it and/or read the book(s) :p

'Harvest Moon' is named after District 9's production of grain (it was originally called 'Cinna-Mon' and said to have been inspired by Cinna's signature speck of gold eyeliner; as an(other) aside, I have quite dark blue eyes and I love putting a little flick of gold eyeliner under my lower lashes (really just a little - imperceptible unless you come up way too close to me!) to accentuate the blue - it works really well as the colours are pretty much on the opposite end of the colour spectrum!). It's a nice orangey-gold foil that applies smoothly and is very pigmented. I loved the look of it!

I did get some of the other polishes in the Capitol Colours collection, but I'm savouring them and will try them out one by one to keep my excitement going :)

NOTW (feet): Rimmel Funtime Fuschia and OPI Japanese Rose Garden with OPI White Shatter

Sorry for the delay in posting! On my feet for the last week (well, nearly two weeks now as a) I'm lazy b) it still looks good and c) it's wavering between winter and spring here, so my toenails aren't on show much!) I've had Rimmel London 60 Seconds (it really does dry fast) in 260 Funtime Fuschia, with OPI's White Shatter over it on my left foot, and OPI's Japanese Rose Garden with the White Shatter again on my right foot.

I really like the colour of the Rimmel polish, although it looks almost straight-up red on the nail, not like the fuschia in the bottle. I was pleased with the OPI Shatter; it went on smoothly and it was kind of fun (nerd :p) to watch the cracks forming as it dried! Here's a photo I took after applying it (yeah, I have a case of the curly toes, look away if you hate feet :p):

I think the shatter effect is especially pronounced on my big toe's nail, but I really like the pattern that emerged on my second toenail! I don't know if you can see, but the effect on my fourth toe looks a bit like the Joker's face with a creepy big red 'smile' and a white face :p

Here's the bottle for comparison; am I alone in thinking it's pinker in the bottle than it is on? 

I also painted my fingernails with the Rimmel fuschia polish, which looked good (this was actually a week before I put on For Audrey...see the post below this one!):

As you can see, I had originally painted all of my nails with the fuschia, but shortly afterwards I got OPI Japanese Rose Garden and decided to try it out on my right foot :)

I forgot to take a photo of Japanese Rose Garden with the Shatter on when I had first applied it, sorry!

This is what my biggies look like today, after almost two weeks of polish. I'm impressed with the durability, although it would likely not look like this after a fortnight on my hardworking hands!
The effect is a lot more pronounced over the fuschia, I think. It's probably due to the contrast between the colours. Also, the Shatter didn't crack as much when it came to my right foot; must have applied it with a different degree of thickness.

What do you think? Are you a fan of shatter/crackle top coats in general?

Sorry about my ugly-ass toes :p

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

NOTW (hands) - China Glaze 'For Audrey'

A lot of the other blogs I follow post a picture of their Nails of the Day (NOTD), but since I only usually change my polish about once a week (due to finance constraints, laziness, enjoying the polish to its full extent, etc. :p), I've decided to go for Nails of the Week (I BET you didn't see that one coming :p).

For my first NOTW post, I'll show you what's been on my fingernails for the last few days. It's China Glaze's celebrated 'For Audrey', a cute blue that is, as far as I can, the *exact* shade of the Tiffany jewellery bags and boxes (i.e. 'Breakfast at Tiffany's) hence 'Audrey'. I was worried at first because it didn't look amazing with my pale skintone, but after a few hours with it on, I thought it was lovely. I'll definitely be using this one again!

These are my natural nails...my cuticles aren't amazing, but I'm working on them :) Sorry about my PS3 and computer keyboard getting into the photo; I'll crop next time, I'm just in a hurry right now!

Index finger

What do you think? Have you ever tried this shade?

Coming up, I've got a retrospective NOTW for my hands (last week's), my feet NOTW, and some review posts about skincare and other beauty products :)


Hi, I'm Becca, a 21-year-old student from the UK with a variety of pretty eclectic interests (ok...obsessions) ranging from nail polish to music to video games (and many, many more!). I thought about making a blog for a while as I love trying out new products and always jot down what I think about them. I decided to take the leap and go for it after encouragement from the lovely Rachael of Island Girl Insights. I hope my entries are useful for you or at least entertaining and enjoyable to read! I have some posts lined up for the next few days which I hope will be interesting. Let me know what you think :)

...and yes, I really SHOULD be studying right now.