Thursday, 30 January 2014

Nail pampering and French manicure

Most women have a thing for nail polish and painting their nails in pretty colours. I’m lucky when it comes to my nails – they’re extremely hard and rarely breaks, which means I can easily grow them out very long. Caring about your nails is important. You can’t just slap a coat of nail polish on them and expect them to look immaculate every time. Even if your nails are fine, you need to think about the cuticles and the skin around your nails as well.

Every time I put new nail polish on I go through a little session of nail and hand pampering, so that I’ll achieve best possible result. I start by removing my old nail polish with a moisturising nail polish remover. After that, I rinse my hands in warm water and then use the lovely hand exfoliator 'Satin Hands' by Mary Kay, infused with crushed peach stones to scrub dead skin away. I also make sure to scrub a bit extra on the top of my nails to get rid of the cuticles.

I rinse the exfoliator off with warm water, and then moisturise my hands and nails with some kind of thick cream – right now I’m using the olive body buttor from The Body Shop, and it’s just amazing!

I wait a while before applying nail polish, just to make sure the body butter is proper soaked up by my skin. This week I’ve chosen to go for a classic French manicure with two nail polishes from Essie; Allure and Blanc. In the below picture I’ve applied one coat of the nail polish Allure to start with.

If I’m only using Allure I usually put two coats on – this makes your nails nice and white. However, when applying the white nail polish to my tips as well I start by just applying one coat of Allure. I wait until it’s dry and then I carefully apply Blanc to my tips, in small brush strokes upwards rather than sideways (it’s easier to get it even this way, plus you don't end up with nail polish on your skin). Once the white tips are dry I apply another coat of allure on top of it all to make my nail base whiter, and also to make the contrast of the nail and the tips a bit more subtle.

And this is the result. Not too bad for a home manicure, I would say.
Do you find it difficult to do your own French manicure?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Valentine's gifts for the woman in your life

It’s only about 2 weeks until Valentine’s Day, and even though we might not celebrate it massively here in the UK, it’s always nice to swap a small token of love with your loved one. Or why not your best friend, your sister or your mum? But what does a girl want for Valentine’s Day? I wrote about presents for men just before Christmas, and those things mentioned would of course be relevant for Valentine’s Day as well. So, here’s a small guide as to what a woman is likely to want for Valentine’s Day, her birthday, your anniversary… or when you just want to treat her because she’s so amazing :)

A gift that would be appreciated by most women is something beauty related. Why not treat her to her favourite perfume, a luxury bath foam, amazing smelling body butter, or a massage oil?

If you’re buying for a wife or girlfriend, something fashionable is always popular. Just make sure you get her style right. The LBD (little black dress) is a classic, or why not invest in a red one for Valentine’s Day? If you’re thinking of buying lingerie – don’t go for something too sexy as this can be a bit awkward. I mean, when is she actually going to wear a corset and stay-ups? Flattering, pretty and most importantly - comfortable and wearable - is important. Alternatively; simply buy her a voucher from somewhere like Victoria’s Secret so that she can go and treat herself to something really luxurious and nice.
Food and drink is next on the list of popular and appreciated gifts for women. Why not get her some personalised wine glasses, or a luxury handmade chopping board – also personalised with both your names (and perhaps also your anniversary) printed on it. This particular one is from Home Wet Bar. Or simply go for the classic wine and chocolates – you can’t go wrong with that!

When it comes to jewellery there’s an endless range to choose from. Be careful though! You don’t want your girlfriend to mistake that little jewellery box with an engagement ring (unless you’re actually planning on proposing to her). All women love jewellery, but just like with the fashion items – make sure you get her style right. An infinity symbol is a great way of showing your love to her. Or why not buy a simple bracelet such as the above one from designer Thomas Sabo? The idea with this is that you buy charms separately to add on to the bracelet, and there’s are hundreds of designs to choose from, meaning this basic bracelet can turn into something really unique and personal.