Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No.22 - Burger & Lobster - A Review

Again, I think it's time to shake things up a little. Instead of clogging up my Facebook feed with pictures of all the gorgeous food I've been stuffing my face with, I reckon it's about time to share some more of food based adventures with my growing readership (*WAVES*).

Now I've been reading about Burger & Lobster for a fair old while now, for those of you unfamiliar with the chain, there are only three things on the menu, each costing you £20 a pop. You can have either a beef burger (with bacon & cheese if you fancy), a lobster roll with delicious Japanese mayonnaise, or a whole lobster complete with garlic butter on the side. I think you'll agree, £20 for an entire lobster is pretty peachy in terms of value for money.

I decided to go for the lobster roll and I think you'll agree there's a heck of a lot of food for £20.
The lobster roll is served in a fried brioche roll which adds another level of sweetness to the fantastically cooked lobster meat. The lobster meat is nice and chunky meaning that you get to enjoy all the levels of flavour in each and every mouthful. If you're feeling naughty then I'd recommend drizzling some of the garlic butter on the top of the lobster meat, the brioche really soaks it up, albeit you'll end up with incredibly messy fingers once you're finished.
Ad went for the burger which was enormous, racking up a whole 10oz plus pickles, their own home-made burger sauce, crispy bacon and lashings of cheese.
A nice touch was that he was asked how he liked his burger before it arrived, this means that those of you who like things fairly pink in the middle won't be disappointed. The burger was wonderfully pink and incredibly juicy.
We were both left  feeling super stuffed but incredibly satisfied. As a cheeky bonus they had a good selection of American booze and some tasty soft drinks, I opted for the raspberry lemonade while Ad had the Snake Dog IPA. It's worth a wee nose as Ad assured me, it packed quite an alcohol punch.

As a word of warning, given the amazing value for money, this place does tend to fill up pretty quickly. We ventured to the Mayfair branch in the hopes that because it's a little more out of the way it'd be quieter. We turned up at the right time and managed to pinch the last table but it was pretty bustling when we arrived at 3pm.

All in all, I'd highly recommend this place (unless your vegetarian) we plan on making a return visit and scoffing the lobster.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Products I'd Love to Love....

Benefit Porefessional Primer - £24.50
This products claims to minimise pores, smooth out your complexion and just be full of loveliness. Now don't get me wrong, on it's own this is great, it does smooth out my skin and is great for no make-up days. The problem is, that the second my make-up comes into contact with it, things just seem to go horribly wrong. My make-up either balls up or it goes patchy. I've tried to rectify the situation with a bit of powder, however, the only solution to the problem seems to involve removing my make-up completely and starting again from scratch. Sad times all around.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturiser - £17.00
I know a lot of people who rave about this moisturiser. Clinique skincare and I go way back, like to my teenage years when I had serious blemish issues. It wasn't pretty, unfortunately for me, the addition of the Clinique 3-step programme made things about 10 times worse and despite assures from the lady on the concession time did not make things any better. I tried to rekindle the friendship at 23, needless to say it didn't work out and my skin started misbehaving again. Obviously there's just something here that doesn't agree with my skin.

Herbal Essences Shampoo - from £3.79
Cheap, cheerful, smells wonderful and is a much loved favourite on the high street. However, every time I seem to use the range, within a few days my scalp becomes dry and flaky. I've tried almost all of the different varieties available, however, the end result always seems to be the same. Sadly, this has made the range a total no-no in my bathroom.

Neutrogena Norwegian Forumla Hand Cream - £4.09
In particular, I'm talking about the Nordic berry variety which you can pick up from Boots. The range claims to enhance hydration by up to 3 times whilst keeping your hands nice and nourished. In my experience it just made my hands feel greasy and in need of a good old wash. It's such a shame as I know it works really well for those with VERY DRY and sore hands. Ad's a big fan but it's just one of those products that we'll never be able to share.

Do you have any products that, despite the hype, just don't work for you? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Em Lip Gallery - Creamy Colour Sheer Lipstick - I'm Taken All Red-y - A Review

So recently you may have missed my delightful twitter post confirming my sheer joy at receiving a delivery of Michelle Phan goodies. For those of you not familiar with Michelle, she's a pretty big deal over on the Youtube, so much so, L'Oreal decided to help her create her own line of cosmetics. Que Em by Michelle Phan.

The reason for so much excitement on my part is that her line isn't currently available in the UK, but her site now offers international shipping so I ordered as much as my purse strings would allow. Today, I'm going to be focusing on the lipstick (seriously, NEED MORE OF THESE) but please keep your eyes peeled for more swatches and my first ever video where I'll be using all of the goodies I ordered.

I decided to go for one of Em's sheer lipsticks as I can't say I'm particularly brave when it comes to the colour front.There are a choice of 10 shades here ranging from nudes to beautiful lilacs and I went for I'm Taken All Red-y, one of the more vibrant colours available.

The packaging itself it super cute, see below. All of the products have a wee story written on the side detailing who the products are aimed at. Given natural looking make-up tends to be my look of choice, the summary below is pretty on-point.
The lipstick tube itself is super sturdy so I'm not in the least bit worried it'll get cracked or bashed whilst flipping around in my handbag.
The colour itself is nice and creamy, and whilst it's certainly sheer, don't take this to mean it doesn't offer a subtle pop of colour.
There is a wee bit of shimmer in this, however, you can only really spot this if you look hard enough and it does fade quite quickly. After an hour or so, the colour becomes more like a stain on your lips, but, it's still noticeable. I definitely spotted a couple of ladies staring at my lips.
I double checked and there was nowt on my teeth so I'll hazard a guess it was my lippie which caught their attention. I hope you can get a feel for how the colour looks against my super pale skin.
You can pick these up for $15 each from the Em Website it's worth noting that I ordered this on a Wednesday and my order was with me in the UK by the following Tuesday which is much quicker than expected. 

I loved this lipstick, it's a welcome addition to my collection without being to far out of my comfort zone. I'm hoping to place my next order soon so if there's anything else you think I'd like, let me know!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No 21 - Pizza Night Part 1.

This week, you're in for a treat, and a heck of a lot more photos than you may be used to on a Tuesday Tasties post. I have decided to let you in on a tradition in the Ad and Laura household, pizza night. Tonight I am going to focus on showing you how to make your own spelt flour pizza base which requires almost no kneading whatsoever. I will be taking you through it step by step so I hope you're ready.

Spelt Flour Pizza Bases
Obviously as well as the ingredients below, I'd recommend grabbing some pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and whatever toppings your little heart desires. I am a chorizo girl whereas Ad also pops jalapeños on his as well. You'll need:
  • 200g spelt flour plus extra for dusting
  • One 7g sachet of easy bake yeast
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary
  • A pinch of salt
  • 125ml tepid water 
Grab yourself a blender, yup, that's right a blender. I make this on a Friday night, ain't nobody got time to make proper dough on a Friday!

Bung in the tepid water and yeast and leave for around 10 minutes.
 Next add in the salt, rosemary and olive oil and give it all a swish around.
I usually pop the blade back in at this point before adding in the spelt flour. I have used other  'healthier' flours before but I've found that this works best as the mixture it produces isn't overly dry.
Next, it's time to blitz. Only keep it going until the mixture is brought together, any longer than this and you may damage the mixutre.
Next, dust your work surface with the extra flour and use a spatula to get the dough mixture out of the blender, now it's time for a very quick knead to bring everything together.

Kneading technique:

Pull the dough back on itself with your fingers like so.
 Before pushing the dough out with the heel of your hand like the below.
Repeat until you can bring the dough together, it should have some stretch and shouldn't be overly sticky.You can always add extra flour to the work surface if need be. You'll know it's ready as you can roll it into a ball like this.
You can leave it for up to 10 minutes if you like so it can prove but the beauty of spelt flour is that you really don't need to.

Stretching The Dough: 
Well there are two options available to you here. As you get more and more confident, you can do this by hand as demonstrated by Ad below. Rotate the dough in your hands allowing it's own weight to stretch it out.
As an alternative option,  if you're not overly confident just yet, flour up a rolling and pin and roll away.
You'll note that in both pictures we've popped baking parchment underneath the dough. This will stop it sticking to your work surface and the pizza tray.

Topping Your Pizza:

This is the fun part, I'd recommend heating your oven up to 200 degrees first. Then, top your pizza with around 1-2 tbsp of the pre-made pizza sauce. Smooth this onto the base with the back of a spoon before popping into the oven for 3 minutes before pulling it back out.
Cooking your base with just a little sauce BEFORE topping completely allows more flavour into the base and stops the pizza from going overly gooey.
Next, it's time to go crazy with the toppings. We tend to do a small layer of cheese, a layer of meat and repeat. There is a pizza underneath all that cheese somewhere!
Ad likes his with chillis whereas I like to keep things simple. For a little extra crunch I add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese but I appreciate this won't be to everyone's tastes.

Once your pizzas are topped, they will only need another 10 minutes or until they're golden on top.
Munch away!

Spelt flour is so underused, I'd really recommend giving it a go. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 2014 Birchbox - A Review

Ok, so in all honesty I looked inside my box and was underwhelmed, then I saw that in March they're doing a limited edition Lulu Guiness box which has majorly peeked my interest so maybe I'll hold on for another month.
Moving swiftly on to the contents of my box this month, you can see above a pretty clear picture of what was involved, I don't feel like there is anything amazingly special here. I've had a mini Green & Blacks bar before, and whilst it's tasty, it's certainly not ground breaking.
Here's a wee summary of what to expect this month:

  • Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate Bar - Mini. I do love the Green & Blacks dark chocolate, it's not overly bitter and has a lot of fruity notes. This small size is ideal for a wee snack or whilst your snuggled up in front of the TV avoiding the stormy weather.
  • Beauty Protector - Protect & Oil. I'm sad to report I can't tell you exactly how big this sample is but I can report it is apparently an exclusive. Helps protect your hair from heat damage and UV rays. This isn't the first hair oil I've had in my Birchbox. I do use hair oil (it's the Hair Elixir if you're wondering) as my hair is quite long and needs to extra nourishment. I'm sure I'll keep this in my stash for travelling.
  • Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner - 1.2g. This promises to be foolproof. We all know how much I love the Eyeko mascara so I'm sure this product is at the same level in terms of quality. I'm not really much of an eyeliner kind of girl, but I'm game to give this a go and see if I can improve my skills. For those of you who haven't seen this eyeliner, it's designed like a felt tip pen for precision application.
  • Urbanveda - Radiance Exfoliating Facial Polish - 20ml. This isn't a brand I'm at all familiar with in all honesty. The personal plus points for me are that this is packed full of natural ingredients such as orange and coriander which work to gently exfoliate your skin. As another bonus, the full size is dirt cheap so if it's something which agrees with my skin then there's no guilt associated with purchase.
  • Gilchrist & Soames - The London Collection Shower Gel - 45ml. Again, another product which is free of chemical nasties. It's formulated with grape seed and milk thistle to help hydrate the skin. I've got a huge drawer of travel sized shower gels, something tells me I need to start working my way through them. Whilst there is no doubt a shower gel will come in handy, I find it a wee bit hard to get excited about them!
  • Leighton Denny Nail Colour - Purely Platonic - Full Size. I don't think Leighton Denny need much by way of an introduction. Long lasting nail colour which is easy to apply, simply slick on two coats and follow with a clear top coat. I certainly don't have anything this colour in my current nail varnish collection and this is therefore much appreciated. Given a bottle alone is around £11 this more than makes up for the cost of this months box.
Did you receive this months box? What did you think? On a total side note, you can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed but can you ever just be whelmed? 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What Laura Wants - The Self Gifting Edit.

January was a LOOOONNNNG month eh? I was paid a whole week earlier than usual in December, which was great in some ways, however, it meant that my pennies had to stretch over a longer period of time on the whole. Naturally I was super excited when my next paypacket finally come through as I could finally indulge.

Clinique & Lulu Guiness - Kiss it Better £55
Ad obviously kick-started my Lulu Guiness collection over Christmas for which I am super grateful. However, since then, I've been keeping my eye open for other bargains which will allow me to expand my collection without breaking the bank balance. The above is a cheeky wee coin purse which comes complete with a chubby stick all for a bargain price. As an extra justifcation for treat oneself, all of the proceeds will go the Great Ormand Street Hospital so you can rest easy knowing your hard earned cash is going to a good cause.

Sadly this is currently sold out online (hence the lack of link) but I'm keeping my peepers peeled as Clinique have confirmed more will be landing any day now!

I'm going through a boot phase, men don't seem to understand that us women cannot survive on simply one pair of shoes. Yes, I do have a pair of black ankle boots, and yes, you're probably right, I don't NEED another pair. But shoes and handbags are never about need, it's more about want.

These gorgeous boots have a slight edge to them with the cut-out feature, the heel is still low enough that I could feasibly potter about for hours and as an added bonus, they feature something called Insolia which helps to direct pressure away from the balls of your feet making them that much more comfortable.

I'm slowly but surely try to get out of my comfort zone, namely jeans of any cut/colour with a tried and tested jumper/t-shirt over the summer months. I spotted this whilst trawling online, like you do, and thought hey, I could actually pull this off.

Navy is super on-trend and a shirt dress can be easily styled up for a night out, or down for a day wandering about in your new ankle boots. Whilst it's a fairly safe colour choice, the little nude detailing means it'd be simple to accessorise and could be layered up with thick tights whilst we wait for the sunshine to return to our shores.

I've done a couple of posts about masks recently, but this brand has been on my hitlist to try for a while now. As I've just received a £5 N-Dulge voucher I think I may have found the perfect excuse to indulge.

Packed with omegas 6 & 9 it hydrates and protects the skin whilst honey aids in calming any signs of stress. This sounds like it'd be a wonderful treat for your skin both now and during the summer months when your exposure to the sun can really dry your skin out (if you've not been slathering on the SPF that is!).

Happy Socks - from £8
Happy Socks have recently opened a boutique in Carnaby Street (YAY!). If you're not familiar with the brand, their philosophy is that bright and colourful socks can spread happiness. A sneaky glimpse of something bright and colourful instead of the usual bland black sock can create and conversation with a stranger or just make someone smile.

Anywho, these would certainly brighten up my dreary sock drawer, and, they would look wicked popping out of my new cut out boots.

As I love being helpful, simply click on the bold titles to go through to the relevant sites if any of my goodies take your fancy. In the meantime, do tell. Do you have any goodies currently on your wishlist?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No.20

Evening all, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't roasted a chicken in an incredibly long time. Not being one to stick with tradition, I decided I'd do something a little different. As there is only Ad and I, obviously there were enough left overs for another main meal plus cold cuts for lunch. The chicken itself was dirt cheap from Tesco, given it made enough for 3 meals I'm confident to say this is another budget busting option.

BBQ Chicken & Sweet Potato Chips
If you're not a fan of sweet potato, then of course you can just make your own wedges with a variety of tattie which you prefer. As a quick heads up, the chicken skin will blacken, don't panic about this, it all adds to the smokey flavour. For this recipe you'll need:
  • 125ml ketchup
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp of cider vinegar
  • 25g of soft brown sugar
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 mustard powder
  • One whole chicken
  • 3 or 4 sweet potatoes cut into wedges
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Chilli flakes
As per usual, pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees and grab two oven proof trays out and line them both with foil.

Next, mix together the ketchup, paprika, vinegar, sugar, mustard powder, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder and set to one side.
Next, prepare your sweet potatoes, I peel some and leave the skins on others. I have no idea why, I just do. I tend to pop a little olive oil and salt & pepper in the bottom of the pan before popping the sweet potatoes on top and giving everything a good mix together with my hands. For a bit of chilli heat, I like to add in some chilli flakes for oomph. These won't need to go in the oven for a wee while yet.
Baste your chicken with around 1/3 of the BBQ sauce mixture, be sure to get into the nooks and crannies. Then stick it in the oven for 30 minutes before removing the chicken and basting it with another third of the BBQ mixture. Repeat the above so your chicken has had around 1 hour and 30 minutes in the oven (for a 1.3kg chicken, please allow more time if you need it!)
I love the fact that the chicken skin has crisped up so much it's split!

Anywho, when your chicken has 30 minutes to go, it's time to stick the sweet potato chips in the oven, as I've said above, if you know they need more time, then please allow for this.

I serve up the breast meat with the sweet potatoes on the side and bung on any left over sauce. I then tear apart the carcass to get the left over meat and use this in other meals. Voila, another nice and easy meal.

What did you think of my homemade BBQ Sauce? Did it tick all the right boxes?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Una Brennan - Superfacialist Rose Intense Moisture Mask - A Review

I love a budget beauty buy as much as the next girl, if I can grab a product from my local drugstore which works as well as a product which is twice then price, then you've got one ecstatic girlie on your hands.

I've been reading a lot of praise for the Una Brennan range on the whole lately and I thought it was about time I dipped my toes into the range myself. Being a rose lover, the Rose Intense Moisture Mask  at only £8.99 seemed a great place to start. For those of you not familiar with the range, the Una Brennan products are formulated with natural extracts and a bundle full of scientific know-how. Una herself apparently has around 15 years experience in the business but I suppose that's by the by.
What really grabbed my attention (aside from the peachy price point of course) was that this range is designed to be suitable for even the most sensitive skins. This can be a rarity nowadays with some skincare products leaving with me with beautifully blotchy skin post use making them unsuitable for anything other than weekend use.
Moving swiftly on, the Rose Intense Moisture Mask is a lovely thick cream formulated with Vitamin E, Marshmallow extract and White Willow. It promises to not only hydrate your skin, but also to increase cell turnover (lovely dewy skin ahoy!) and to calm and sooth problem skin. It does have a strong rose smell so if the idea of roses isn't your thing, I'd perhaps avoid this.
All you need to do is smooth an even layer over your skin and leave for a minimum of 5 minutes before rinsing off with warm water and a flannel. 
I've been leaving this on my skin for around 10 minutes before rinsing and following with my usual routine of toner and moisturiser.

Having been using this for several weeks now, I have to say I am impressed. My skin seems calmer with any red patches lessened. In addition, my skin does feel wonderfully moisturised, plumped out and, well, hydrated. This is definitely a product I will be repurchasing, thankfully it's that reasonable in price that I won't have any guilty pangs each and every time I do. I would recommend this to anyone whose skin is in need of some TLC.

Have you tried any of the Una Brennan products? What would you recommend I try next?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream - A Review

Not everyone is an advocate of using different treatments in the evening as part of their everyday skin care routine. On a personal note, my cleanser and toner are the pretty much the same in the morning and evening but I do like to use a different serum and moisturiser which lean towards the more hydrating/nourishing side of things.

One of my treats for Christmas from Ad was an Elemis duo (both a day cream and a night cream as I'd been waffling on about how much I'd wanted to try Elemis but that's by the by), today I'm focusing solely on the Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream.
First up, here's what you need to know, it's a super hydrating night cream which is clinically proven to increase the oxygen levels in your skin thereby assisting in the skins renewal. In addition, it's packed full of collagen which we all know is famous for it's anti-ageing properties but I'm not best placed to say whether I've noticed a massive difference in that department as I've only got a few fine lines given I'm only the ripe old age of 26 (soon to be 27 if you're interested).

This cream also promises to help with environmental/free-radical damage caused to the skin, THANK YOU LONDON, and replenish your skin accordingly.

Secondly, why oxygenating, what's the deal with oxygen in skin care I hear you cry?

Well, I've been doing my research (yes, I Googled) and it seems that oxygen levels in the skin are partly responsible for speed at which your skin cells renew and are also in charge of stimulating collagen production. As such, lack of oxygen in the skin can lead to delightfully grey and lacklustre skin, more oxygen = plumper, perkier and radiant skin.

So I suppose the big question is what did I think?
Well first of all, the texture is a cross between a lotion and a gel which wasn't quite what I expected from a night cream. The obvious plus here is that a) a little went a long way and b) it sinks into your skin incredibly quickly. Both of these are great features given that this night cream is certainly not the cheapest option on the market and I tend to run around like a loony in the evenings during the week so my hair doesn't end up sticking to my face every five seconds when using this.

Next, the fragrance is wonderful, this is packed full of all sorts of weird and wonderful ingredients. I can't quite put my fingers on what the fragrance is, but all I can say is it's well, it's wonderful. You're just going to have to trust me on this one.

Finally, does it work? I would compare the results to discovering Estee Lauders Advanced Night Repair and waking up having used it for the first time. My skin is hydrated, glowing and generally looking gorgeous and dewy.

I must be doing something right at the moment as my skin is the best it's ever been, I went for another skin scan this week and the camera picked up 0 areas of redness, 0 blemishes, only 5 small areas with fine lines, some slight pigmentation (fancy word for freckles) and some larger pores around the nose area. I can assure you my first scan was a different story! If my skin could stay this way for a little longer, then I'd be super grateful as I'm off out for the first time in ages and I'd like to skimp a little on the make-up front.

Have you tried anything from Elemis? What did you think?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No.19

Well I cannot believe that February is here already, albeit I must admit I'm grateful that payday certainly seemed to come around fairly quickly! Irrespective of this, I'm still trying to think of cheap and cheerful dishes which I actually look forward to cooking. The recipe below is spicy, sweet and super satisfying.

Chicken Hotpot
I stumbled across this dish late last year and wasn't entirely convinced on first glance whether it would taste of much, the ingredients list is pretty short and the preparation required is even shorter. Here's what you'll need:
  • Olive oil
  • 2 chicken breast cut into chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of muscovado sugar
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • One packet of pak choi
  • Spring onions, chopped
First step is nice and easy, simply heat the oil and brown off your chicken for around 10 minutes. To build up a more caramelised flavour be brave and don't turn it to often.
Next, stir in the garlic, chilli and star anise and stir for around two minutes until you can start to smell the star anise.
 Once you've hit this stage, add your sugar and cook until it starts to caramelise. It'll look like this.
It'll smell pretty good already, but the next step is to chuck in the chicken stock and fish sauce before leaving for around 10 minutes on a low simmer.
Whilst the chicken is cooking, it's time to prepare the pak choi. Chop of the stalks and cut into chunks and keep separate from the leaves. Once the 10 minutes is up, you can pop in the pak choi stalks and the spring onions and leave for a further few minutes.
Then turn off the heat before adding the pak choi leaves and letting the residual heat wilt them down.
Make sure you take this opportunity to taste the broth and add any extra sugar or fish sauce as is necessary. Then it's time to plate things up. I like to serve mine with a dash of chilli flakes for some extra kick.
 This dish is super light but no less delicious. I hope you enjoyed it, keep me posted if you decide to give it a go!

This recipe was inspired by something I spotted in the Waitrose Kitchen Magazine, it was altered slightly to suit my pallet.

Monday, February 3, 2014

OPI Over & Over A-Gwen - A Review

I'm a nail polish fiend, despite acquiring an arsenal of new polish over the festive period with the Ciate Mini-Mani calender and some cute OPI minis from Ad and my baby sister, I cannot seem to help myself and always seem to hunt down new colours to add to my collection. I have a big lack of reds and greens which is my excuse for the slight indulgence below (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!).

For those of you who aren't so familiar with OPI, the gorgeous Gwen Stefani has recently teamed up with the power house to produce a limited edition collection of black satins, glossy pinks and glittery top coats. Perhaps the most exciting of the bunch is Over & Over A-Gwen, designed to be a reflection of Gwen's signature red pout.
Being the stand-out shade in the collection, it comes in it's own special gift box making it ideal to give as a gift for any nail varnish lovers such as myself. As stated above, I'm still in the self-gifting phase so I got this as a wee treat for myself.
In addition to the gorgeous gift box, there are a couple of added bonuses hidden away inside, namely, Swarovski nail elements and a handy nail art guide which serves as inspiration for different ways which you can make the most of the elements. These are adhered with the glue (also enclosed) and can be soaked off and reused. I haven't had a chance to use the elements yet, but there are plenty of photos around the interwebs which demonstrate just how great they can look against any of the colours in the collection.
The colour itself was pretty easy to apply, just two coats were all that was required to give the depth of coverage as shown below.
The picture below shows my nails in a slightly different light. They look almost glacé cherry like, especially with the amount of gloss!
I have to say, I really love this shade, it's an incredibly wearable red, not so poppy that those of us with fairer skin tones would look washed out, not at all vampy (although there is a colour in the range which fits that bill), nor is it so deep a red that you couldn't get away with wearing it every day either. As a plus, I think this comes off glossier on the nails than most reds which give it extra plus points in my book.
 As you'd expect with OPI, with a top-coat and base coat you'll get a good 4/5 days wear before the varnish starts to chip. However, if you're like me and decide to use the weekend to rummage around your store cupboard in a bid to hunt out the gas meter, your nails may suffer minor damage as a result *DOH!*.

Have you tried any of the colours in the new Gwen Stefani range? What did you think?

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