Category Archives:Beauty

matte me swatch
Jun. 02.

Tried Tuesday: Sleek MakeUP Matte Me Lipstick – Rioja Red

tt-sleek-thYou may have heard of Sleek MakeUP. For such a long time it has been a brand often heard of, but not often seen. That was a pity, as their products have always been great quality at a great price. Here on Robyn Rants and Raves, we are fans of the well known i-Divine Palettes, and the overly tinted, super powerful Pout Polishes. Well today I have another product to try out. It is one of their Matte Me Lipsticks, and is in the shade Rioja Red.

matte me tube

Rioja Red is one of six in the range, and has the usual suspects of nudes, pinks and a very interesting looking purple in addition to this red. The tube, in line with most Sleek products is very understated. The only way you know who makes it, aside from picking it up from a Sleek stand is to look closely at the contrasting black on black of the lid. I am a big fan of products that aren’t overly showy, especially if they are able to back it up with something to make you go wow. Does this do so, or does it fall flat?

matte me wand

As you can see from the wand, the product is amazingly pigmented, and well, a little shiny. It also looks smooth and silky, which is a good sign. Mattes tend to be very dry, and some can look dry even directly from the tube. This doesn’t. It invites use. The flat sided wand makes it a doddle to apply, and carries a lot of product. I somehow don’t think you will need to go applying multiple coats of this.

matte me swatch

Here is a simple swatch of colour on the back of my hand, so it has been spread a bit, and you can clearly see just how vibrant the colour is. While some products can look highly pigmented until you spread it out, this one delivers in a very impressive way. It also looks shiny here, but that is my fault. I took the photo of this swatch too soon after applying it to my hand, which didn’t allow it any drying time. But, to make up for it, let me show you the finished look.

matte me lips

Now in all of its matte gloriousness! This is it after it has set, and with a couple of stray marks from where I tried to tidy up a little (pro tip: clean it up before it has a chance to dry!). If you are thinking it looks a little orange, you are right. It is an orange toned red. I wouldn’t let that put you off though. While it is not my perfect red, I would wear this! You do need to give it a little respect, as it is a matte, and mattes are drying, but this is not overly so. If you take good care of your lips (and you should) you will not have much of an issue with this.

These are available online and through selected pharmacies (but to make life easier an interactive stockist finder is here) for a pocket friendly price of just €6.49! Now, bring me Fandango Purple, next on my list!

Robyn

Note: Product was provided for review

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prairie-noflash
May. 25.

Manicure Monday: Heart Accent Nails

prairie-thWith being on such a fitness mission recently, I haven’t been putting much time into doing my nails. However, I recently got some nail vinyls from Prairie Charms, and I figured that the best way to show them off was to actually use them. So, today, for Manicure Monday I present to you my Heart Accent Nails.

Firstly, I needed a bright colour to use for most of my nails. To work with the pink hearts, I chose a bright pink polish, in the form of Ladies & Magenta-Men from OPI. This was a lovely polish to work with, and is one of my favourites, offering great workability, and solid colour in two coats.

Then, to provide a background on which the accent can really pop, I pondered, black or white. White could work, but I chose black, knowing that the gold and pink would really stand out against the dark background. The black polish I went with is from Wet n Wild’s Wild Shine range, and is simply called black creme. Again, this is an easy to work with polish, and was perfect in 2 coats (I love polishes like this)

After a little drying time, it was time to sort out the accent nails, which I did on ring finger and thumb of each hand. To start, I took a gold stripe vinyl (these come in packs of 20 – 10 thin, 10 thick – I used thick stripes here) and applied it diagonally across the nail, before adding a pink heart into the centre of the nail. It is useful to have a tweezers handy to aid placement, but there is a little give to allow you to reposition slightly, at least until you press them down. Then, there is no moving them!

prairie-accent

Finally, to add a little bit of bling, I added a layer of topcoat (this seals over the vinyl designs) which allowed me to place a little jewel from a PS Love nail art wheel. A second layer of topcoat, across all nails, finished the job.

And here is how it all looks!

prairie-noflash

prairie-flash

I’m really liking these vinyls for simple to do, great looking nail art. I don’t think I would do them across all 10 nails in one go, as you would use them up very quickly. As an accent nail though, these are perfect! What do you think?

Robyn

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lashes-tube
Apr. 21.

Tried Tuesday: Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions Mascara

tt-lashes-thThe search for a holy-grail mascara is never ending. I find different ones do best for different tasks, and my choice is influenced by how I want my lashes to look on any particular day. So, today I am looking at a mascara that offers three things – volume, length & darkness. It comes from Max Factor, and is their recently launched Masterpiece Glamour Extensions Mascara.

Instant Impact Wand

Instant Impact Wand

The wand included here is what Max Factor call their “instant Impact Wand” saying that it is counter intuitive to think that a bigger wand means more volume, and that a smaller, more slender wand allows for greater precision in use. It certainly lives up to its slender billing, as you can see. There is really very little to it. It’s in no way dense, and has quite few rubber bristles.

The formula the wand delivers contains many fantastical, wonderful bits and pieces to deliver on all the promises it makes, including “volumising prills” which form spherical wax particles, that act as spacers between lashes to make them appear fuller, and in tandem, each tube contains over 30,000 (I pity the person who has to count all these) carbon black fibres in each tube, which blend into the formula providing the lash extension effect and the intense darkness. Now that we have the marketing blurb telling us what it does (if it makes sense to anyone), let us see if it actually does it.

1 coat

1 coat

lashes-2coats

2 coats

It does! Well, mostly it does. I don’t think these are the most voluminous my lashes ever were, but it works out quite well, especially for daytime wear. For night, I think I would want it to offer some more volume, but it does deliver the length and darkness. For a day to day look, I love it. For a night time mascara, I guess the search continues.

Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions Mascara is €13.99 and is available now.

Robyn

Note: Product was provided for review

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nails-inglot
Apr. 20.

Manicure Monday: Nails to Match my Mood

nails-thumbLast week wasn’t the best of weeks for me. There was lots of medical stuff to handle, but I got through it, and it’s the start of a new week. It is always good to start the week off positively, especially with such lovely weather waiting just outside the window! To work with my mood, which is nice and upbeat (it helps that I am starting to see progress from my get fit work) I wanted something on my nails to match my mood. This is what I came up with.

nails-both

It would be too easy to go for my favourite blue (Sinful Colors, Blue By You) which is packed with glitter and looks like the Mediterranean on my nails. Instead I went to a polish that has been on my shelf for a while without getting much love. It satisfies so many requirements for my mood inspired nails. It is light, springlike and pastel. It is an upbeat colour. It’s just what I need. It is I Need a Refresh-Mint, from the Wet n Wild Megalast Range. I also wanted some kind of accent that catches the light. Glitter would probably be too much. But, I had an alternative. One from Inglot. A shimmer in a clear base, which changes between gold and blue-green depending on how the light hits it. No clever or creative name here. Very simply it is shade 205.

Application of the mint was nice, but not without issues. It has quite a wide brush. For most nails that is grand, but I had a little difficulty with my little fingers, as when he brush spread, it spread over the sides. Nothing a quick cleanup couldn’t fix, but still mildly annoying. It also on coat 2 started to drag on a couple of nails a little. I believe it was down to my working too quickly, and got tidied easily on coat 3, which otherwise wouldn’t have been necessary. When it dried though, the colour was beautifully intense, so I would be happy to work with it. The shimmer was a delight, applying densely after a couple of passes, and added what looked like a opalescent fish-scale effect. I think it looked exceptionally pretty.

There was one issue with the shimmer though, which these pictures demonstrate.

nails-noflash

nails-flash

Without flash, everything looks delightful. You can see the shimmer on my ring finger perfectly. Under flash however, the light hitting part of the nail at an angle causes the shimmer to look green (which it is meant to do), but on top of a green background, it doesn’t do the polish justice, in a static image. Imagine it catching light as the hand is moving though, and the colours are changing between green and gold constantly. It really works, and I think suits my mood perfectly.

Robyn

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old park lane bottle
Apr. 13.

Manicure Monday: Old Park Lane by Nails Inc

mm-old park lane-thThere are times where a polish or a manicure doesn’t need any kind of embellishment to stand out. It does it all by itself. Today I am looking at a polish that does just that. It is rich, it is opulent and it looks spectacular. It is a rose gold colour, and it is called Old Park Lane, by Nails Inc.

I got this some time ago, as a set of four in TK Maxx. It is a little curious in that the other three in the set were glitters, while this is a metallic. It’s sister, Park Lane was in the set too, and is a purple glitter. Maybe I am drawn to this one because it is a bit different to the others in the box. It looks striking in the bottle, with a kind of metallic wave through the polish.

old park lane bottle

The brush is easy to work with. I was able to do my wide nails in just three strokes, and the formula is divine. It moves and spreads like a thin polish, but was opaque in a single coat. It is extremely pigmented. I added a second coat just to ensure the depth of colour, but it wasn’t strictly needed.

And here’s how it looks:

old park lane noflash

old park lane flash

Under flash you can see the rose gold shininess. It does look almost like liquid gold on your fingertips. In lower light, the colour turns much deeper, almost going copper in colour. It is a joy to behold on your nails, and is one I’ll be looking to wear again soon!

Robyn

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selection
Apr. 10.

Something Else Saturday: Makeup Revolution Haul

ses-revolution-thI was fortunate enough that on Friday the postman arrived with a package. Just a small package of bits from Makeup Revolution, the young gogetter company from England, who only recently celebrated their first birthday. As they had an offer on to celebrate, where if you spent £25 or more you got freebies worth £26, I felt it would be wrong not to try some bits and pieces. This is what arrived.

selection

The haul in all its glory

There’s only 17 items there. Not a lot really, but to make it easier to work through, I’m going to break it down into sections. We shall start with face products.

FACE:

Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm (£5):

Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm outer packaging

Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm outer packaging

Primer compact

Primer compact

Primer product (not shown: applicator sponge)

Primer product (not shown: applicator sponge)

I ran out of primer recently, so this was a good choice to try a different one. It is tidy, compact and comes with an applicator sponge.

Blushing Hearts Triple Baked Blusher – Blushing Heart (£4.99):

Blushing Heart Outer Package

Blushing Heart Outer Package

Blushing Heart Box

Blushing Heart Box

The Blushing Heart (so adorable)

The Blushing Heart (so delightful)

Seriously, how cute is this. I may never use it, it looks so adorable, but I do like how there are three shades included in it.

Vivid Blush Lacquer – O’ Boy (£1.99)

Vivid Blush Lacquer Bottle (pump under protective lid)

Vivid Blush Lacquer Bottle (pump under protective lid)

Very pigmented swatch

Very pigmented swatch

This is a liquid blush with a pump lid, but I will caution you now. Be gentle. This thing is seriously pigmented. I can still see some on my hand from where I touched it on the sheet I was using earlier.

LIPS:

Amazing Care Lipsticks – Electric Love & Love Pink! (£3):

Cute Rose Gold Packaging Boxes

Cute Rose Gold Packaging Boxes

Lipstick Tubes

Lipstick Tubes

Electric Love Bullet & Swatch

Electric Love Bullet & Swatch

Love Pink! Bullet & Swatch

Love Pink! Bullet & Swatch

These are glossy lipsticks with an inner colour core surrounded in an Argan Oil jelly outer. They look like you would have to reapply them often, but your lips would be super comfortable wearing them.

#Liphug – I think you’re amazing (£2.50):

Red #Liphug box

Red #Liphug box

#Liphug tube (longer and slimmer than others)

#Liphug tube (longer and slimmer than others)

I think you're amazing bullet & swatch

I think you’re amazing bullet & swatch

A product named after its own hashtag! A mix of comfort, colour and staying power, it is probably not a shade I would have picked for myself, but I do love the name, and I think I’m amazing too!

Lip Power – Can’t Escape Me & Anticipate It (£3):

Double Ended Lip Powers

Double Ended Lip Powers

Can't Escape Me bullet, gloss & swatches

Can’t Escape Me bullet, gloss & swatches

Anticipate It bullet, gloss & swatches

Anticipate It bullet, gloss & swatches

I do like rooting through my lip drawer for glosses to put on top of lipsticks, and here we have them perfectly matched up into one pack. There’s also two completely different shades here, a vibrant pink and a dark, almost vampy berry.

EYES:

I Heart Makeup Eye Primer – Matte (£2.99):

I Heart Makeup Eye Primer Tube

I Heart Makeup Eye Primer Tube

Eye Primer nozzle & swatch

Eye Primer nozzle & swatch

A large tube of the matte version of the I Heart Makeup Eye Primer. I find myself reaching for the Focus & Fix primer a lot lately, so it will be interesting to see how the two stablemates compare to each other.

Amazing Volume Mascara – Ultra Black (£2):

Amazing Volume Package

Amazing Volume Package

Amazing Volume Mascara Tube

Amazing Volume Mascara Tube

Mascara Brush

Mascara Brush

I’m always confused by products that come in black and beyond black (in this case ultra black) but I can see beyond that. It does also come in a waterproof version, and the brush looks quite nice. I am interested to see if it can do what it says!

Pure Pigments – Levity & Starless (£1):

Pigment Jars. Levity (l) Starless (r)

Pigment Jars. Levity (l) Starless (r)

Swatches. Levity (l) Starless (r)

Swatches. Levity (l) Starless (r)

I already have one of these (a sparkly brown called Grandeur) and happily added Levity, the pinky purple to my basket. As part of the free gift I received the sparkly black, Starless, and… Another Levity. I am guessing the free gift packs were pre picked, and it is luck of the draw, but I am not complaining either way. When applied over a primer to give them something to cling to, these guys pack serious power.

Baked Eyeshadow – Electric Dreams (£2.50):

Baked Shadow Box

Baked Shadow Box

Electric Dreams Shadows

Electric Dreams Shadows

Electric Dreams swatches (l-r from top left)

Electric Dreams swatches (l-r from top left)

Swatching these was a little more difficult than some of the other shadows, mainly as the baking process leaves them a bit drier than normal, and then working dry onto a dry surface is awkward. There is a hint to how pigmented these are, and built onto a primer or worked wet, these could be beautiful! I am also giving away my love of purple here 😉

Palettes:

Here’s the piece de resistance! Three palettes that in most cases do almost everything, and the other is just too spectacular to include in the eye section. Starting with:

I Am Naked (£5.99):

I Am Naked Palette

I Am Naked Palette

I Am Naked Shadows

I Am Naked Shadows

I Am Naked Swatches (l-r from top left shadow, lipstick at end)

I Am Naked Swatches (l-r from top left shadow, lipstick at end)

6 neutral eyeshadows, and a nude lipstick, in 1 cute portable set. It’s all there, ready to go for whenever I want to get naked (stop sniggering, Cat ;-))

Go! To The City (£6.49):

Go! To The City Palette

Go! To The City Palette

Go! To The City Products

Go! To The City Products

Go! To The City swatches (top, middle rows are shadows. Bottom is blush & highlighter)

Go! To The City swatches (top, middle rows are shadows. Bottom is blush & highlighter)

6 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, and a highlighter. All pigmented, all colourful, and all ready to go!

Salvation Palette – Give Them Nightmares (£6):

Give Them Nightmares Package

Give Them Nightmares Package

Give Them Nightmares back cover with shadow colours

Give Them Nightmares back cover with shadow colours

Give Them Nightmares Palette

Give Them Nightmares Palette

Give Them Nightmares Shadows

Give Them Nightmares Shadows

Give Them Nightmares swatches (same layout as palette)

Give Them Nightmares swatches (same layout as palette)

12 shimmer shades and 6 matte, at 33p per shadow. That and, well look at it. How gorgeous is everything, EVERYTHING to do with this palette. Never mind nightmares, this is like my dream palette!

So, that is my haul. A lot of fun to be had with it, but tell me, what caught your eye out of everything here?

Robyn

Note: While some products were free, they were a gift with purchase, and were not given for review consideration.

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face-eyesclosed
Apr. 10.

Face Friday: Feeling Summery

ff-summery-thHas anyone noticed that big ball of relative warmth in the sky? Yes, the sun is here for a little while, and to celebrate the country is losing the run of itself. Myself included to a certain extent, like with this creation, which went for a mix of pinks, corals and oranges, and coordinated with my dress, nails and mac, which I wore to an event in Inglot.

face-eyesopen

face-eyesclosed

Face:

  • Foundation: Max Factor – Skin Luminizer Foundation (35 Light Ivory)
  • Blush: Wet n Wild – Coloricon Blush  (E832E – Heather Silk)
  • Powder: Benefit – Hello Flawless (Ivory)
  • Highlighter: Benefit – High Beam

Eyes:

  • Brows: Maybelline– Brow Drama (Medium Brown)
  • Primer: Makeup Revolution – Focus & Fix Primer (Brighten)
  • Shadow: NYC – Metro Quartet Shadow (797B – Gothic Harlem)
  • Liner: Cailyn Cosmetics – idefine Liquid Eyeliner
  • Mascara: Physicians Formula – Organic Wear Fakeout Mascara (the pink one)

Lips:

  • Lipstick: Wet n Wild – Megalast Lipstick (E909B – Coral-ine)
  • Lipgloss: Kardashian Beauty – Tuesday Lipgloss (Orange Blossom Honey 321)

Brushes:

  • Cailyn Cosmetics – O! Wow Brush – Foundation
  • Blank Canvas – F16 – Powder
  • Real Techniques – Buffing Brush – Blush
  • Blank Canvas – E23 – Shadow (crease)
  • Royal & Langnickel – Taklon Shader Brush – Shadow (lid, browbone & blend)
  • Blank Canvas – L29 – Lips

Pinks and corals feel so summery to me, so I am happy to get a bit of a change from the deeper shades of winter. The lips turned out well, being coraly orange without being an over the top orange shade, which only some people can get right!

Robyn

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O! Wow ft
Apr. 09.

Tested Thursday: Cailyn Cosmetics O! Wow Brush

tt-O! Wow-thRecently I was approached and asked if I would like to try out some products from an American company called Cailyn Cosmetics, which are exclusively imported into Ireland by LV Essentials. Always being one to try something new and interesting, I was all over it, and was given three items to try, their idifine liquid eyeliner, which is a felt tip pen affair, but is quite pleasant to work with, their BB Fluid Touch compact, which looks really innovative (it dispenses liquid from a compact – I might feature this when I have a tan and the shades match up better) and the most interesting item of the three, a brush. Their O! Wow Brush, which is the subject of today’s Tested Thursday.

O! Wow box

First things first, this is like no brush I have ever seen before, unless I count my toothbrush. It looks so strange to look at on first glance, and that in part is why I was so interested and excited to give this a go, once I got over the whole “what do I do with this” thing. I am so used to my Blank Canvas F20. It is my go to foundation brush, and I would feel wrong cheating on it. Sometimes you have to do these things though. The blurb on the box tells me:

“Through its velvet-like bristles and densely packed ultra fine fibers, this amazing brush is made to ensure an airbrushed effect, with an immaculate streak-free touch. This brush features an oval and angular surface that is beautifully crafted to blend liquid, cream or powder seamlessly into your skin. The flexible tilted handle of the brush is designed to reach every contour with precision and offers easy and stable grip. “Oh, wow” is what you’ll say. No kidding”

Just to reinforce that, it lists its four features again:

  • Compatible with any type of foundation, BB Cream, powder, blush etc.
  • Super densely packed ultra fine fibers delivers streak-free flawless coverage
  • Oval, angular surface offers effortless application and seamless blending
  • Flexible tilted handle for precision and stability

That is quite a lot of claims to make, so lets dive in and see what is what.

Head:

O! Wow head side

O! Wow head angle

The head, as you can see from the side on and angled shots is jam packed with super dense, really short, and super soft bristles. It is oval shaped and has a domed head. While the head is quite small compared to some foundation brushes, it is still very effective, and once I figured out how to use it, it was a joy to use.

Handle & Neck:

O! Wow Brush

From the full length photo, you can see two things, a flat handle and a thin tapered neck. The best thing I can say here is hold it like a toothbrush. Thumb on top, fingers wrapped around and you’re good to go. The thin neck is really a clever addition to the brush. It is super flexible. I could not for the life of me put enough pressure on the brush to make it uncomfortable or to splay the bristles. The neck took all the pressure out by flexing as it moved across my face, and undulated beautifully across every contour. Once you get used to how to hold the brush, it is amazingly comfortable to use!

How it actually performed in use:

This bit features half a completely bare face. Just FYI!

O! Wow Face

On the left is a bare face, on the right is just my Max Factor Skin Luminizer foundation, nothing else, applied using the O! Wow Brush.

I’ll admit it now. The “Oh, wow” thing. I said it. I honestly did. I followed the instructions on the box (pick up choice of product with the brush, start at the centre of face and apply with “push & pull” motions, before finishing with light circular motions over the face) and the more foundation I applied, the happier I was with the O! Wow Brush. The finish it gave was phenomonal. Sometimes with the F20 I have to go over again, or apply powder to help even things out. Whit the O! Wow there was nothing. It was flawless! At this point I must also apologise to my beloved F20, but I may be cheating on you with the funny looking new brush more often!

The Cailyn Cosmetics O! Wow Brush is €29.99 and is available online from LV Essentials.

Robyn

Note: Product was provided for review

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loreal-ft
Apr. 07.

Tried Tuesday: L’oreal Color Riche Blake’s Red

tt-loreal-thEvery woman should have a go to red lipstick. It’s that simple. It looks classic and elegant, and you don’t really need much else to go with it. So, after their Color Riche Collection Priveé nudes collection, each named after a celebrity and to flatter a particular skintone, they gave the same treatment to reds, this time called Collection Exclusive. So, I picked one up, and today I am sharing Blake’s Red with you.

loreal-tube

There are four in the Collection Exclusive range, two for warm tones, and two for cool tones, and are inspired by Eva Longoria, Blake Lively, Julianne Moore & Liya Kebede. All ate described as matte but hydrating. I’m a cool toned person, but I am not one to stick to the rules, so I went for the one that called to me the most, and that was Blake’s Red.

loreal-colour

Blake’ Red is described as a pure ruby red that is designed to suit warm skintones, with a matte finish and hydrating texture. Looking at it in the tube you can see why it was drawing me to it. It is such an intense colour, that acts effectively as a siren song, dragging beauty lovers to it. I saw it, and couldn’t wait for it to be mine! And so it came to be mine, so I can show you how it looks on the lips.

loreal-lipsHere I have it on over a Revlon red lipliner, and I am very impressed with it. It is super super pigmented, applies beautifully with a brush and lasts! The claims about hydrating texture are a bit off though. It is a matte. It will dry your lips somewhat, and you should make sure your lips are in good shape first. I do love it though.

I’m now tempted to hunt down Liya’s red though. It is the cool toned sister of this, and I would be interested to put them to the test to see just how it compares. Coupled with the fact that as a beauty blogger, I can never have enough red llipsticks!

Robyn

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Sinful Mauve Nail Art
Mar. 30.

Manicure Monday: Mauve & Spotty

mm-sinfulmauve-thI am a divil for picking up polishes from Sinful Colors in Dealz. They’re €1.49 (comparison – €2.49 on boots.ie, $1.99 on Walgreens.com) and come in a range of delightful colours. I’ve written about them several times before, and they are taking up more and more space in my Nail Polish Stash. It is probably not surprising, then, to tell you that I have added 3 more bottles to my stash, including the one I am talking about today, a shade called Mauve.

First, according to Wikipedia, Mauve is a pale purple colour, typically containing more grey and more blue. Asking WordPress here to reproduce the colour code for mauve gives us this. Now, let’s look at the bottle.

Sinful Mauve Bottle

So far, so fairly close I think. This does have the slight purple tint to it that works for a mauve shade, and I was drawn to it for the purpleness. In keeping with its equally sinful sisters it is pigmented and creamy, and applies really well, becoming nicely opaque in two coats. However, this on its own, while pretty, could do with some jazzing up, if you are not in a situation where spotty nails are frowned upon. Fortunately I’m not, so I broke out this wheel of colouredy goodness.

Sinful Mauve Nail Art

This wheel comes from the PS Love range at Penneys, and as you can see is a batch of various coloured shapes. It came in a pack with two cuticle sticks and a nail file for the budget busting price of €1.30. There are a couple of different styles too, depending on what you are in to (I also have one that is various jewels). And with this I embellished my ring finger a little, sealing it with a coat of top coat. The end result is like this, as always, shot without and then with flash.

Sinful Mauve Noflash

Sinful Mauve Flash

In the picture without flash, you can just about make out a violet/lilac tinge to it, which just washes out under the intense light, leaving a blue grey, which is in no way unpleasant. I like how the pink spots add a bit of colour to it, but if I had to, I would be in no way against wearing Mauve on its own. Another good pick I think!

Robyn

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