Leathery nails

There was a time in my life I was all about the nail art. Not elaborate drawings, but details and ombrés were my favourites.

Fast forward and I am now all about the plain colours and when they come with a differential, I’m all for it.

Meet the essie leathers collection, created by their colour designer Rebecca Minkoff, and inspired by her best selling leather handbag colours.

There are six amazing shades and they come in two sets of minis: one with very autumnal, deep colours and one with winter bright pastels, all reworked.

The finish is not glossy, but not totally matte, with a discreet metallic sheen. Some shades even have a slight texture that can barely be seen.

My favourite has to be the super pale grey lilac Push The Envelope. It’s super versatile, so close to white with a silver glimmer but not harsh. And easy to apply. Love.

The greens are divine – be it minty turquoise Bucket List or viridian Back in the Saddle.

Then there is the lavender shining mauve Cross-Body Heat, blood red Tote-ally In Love and indigo blue In Hot Purse-uit.

I used them without a topcoat (not to spoil the finish) and durability was way better than I expected – a week, no chips.

You will all know how much I love essie nail polishes: the formula, the fabulous brush, the great colours, limited edition collections and even the quirky names, so no surprise I have used each polish for a whole week!

They are available only until the 24th October at Boots for £12.99 a set (3x5ml), so hurry if you fancy a bit of leathery love on your talons!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Take me to the beach…

Who doesn’t like mermaid hair? Somehow beach hair seems to fall beautifully into place with minimal effort.

Although it looks pretty, it’s important to pay extra attention to our hair in the summer – the salt, chlorine and exposition to the sun can cause a lot of damage to our tresses.

Umberto Giannini to the rescue! The gorgeous Beach collection was designed to care for your hair and keep it looking amazing even when subjected to external aggressors.  And the whole range is loaded with coconut oil goodness.

The Beach Wash Coconut Shine Shampoo (250ml, £6) is a delight – pearlised pink in colour (love), it smells divine with bergamot, madarin and sea spray. It lathers really well and throughly cleanses hair and scalp, leaving it squeaky clean – but not dry.

The Beach Care Coconut Shine Conditioner (250ml, £6) is also pink and smells delicious too. It does not immediately leave hair soft on application, but does after rinsing.

Hair detangles and dries amazing. It contains shea butter and the bergamot, mandarin and sea spray fragrances.

They leave a soft lingering scent on hair that feels very soft, shiny and happy!

Most possibly the star of the range is the Pool Proof Leave-in hair Protection Cream (150ml, £8), dubbed the swim cap, it creates a barrier to protect hair against UV rays and chlorine/salt in the water.

I have to say it is pretty delightful and I love a good sun protection for hair. This one contains olive oil added to the coconut so it is also a great leave-in treatment. And you guessed: smells divine!

A good spray is a must for beach hair – the Catch a Wave Coconut Oil Beach Texture Volumising Spray (200ml, £7)is just it. Different from other sprays I used, hair does not feel stiff – some may say it is due to the coconut oil . And it also has UVA and UVB filters to help protect hair and the uplifting scent across the range.

Finally, a product that is not really my thing: the Boho Beach Jelly – a Coconut Oil Scrunching Jelly (200ml, £7), it is great to enhance natural curls, shaping them and retaining softness and bounce.

It is silicon and sulphate free, the coconut oil provides nourishment and UV filters are also in to help  protect against colour fade.

Also, let’s take a moment to admire how pretty the Beach collection is… with a very affordable price.

You can get the Umberto Giannini Beach range at their website and Boots, online and in-store.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Fruit power for the skin

Oh, how much do we love affordable skincare that does its job and on top of it looks great? The answer is an awful lot.

Meet Formula 10.0.6 skincare. A traditional brand created by chemists in 1933, they have an affordable range that promotes clear, healthy young skin (but works wonders for older skin too, if you’re not specifically looking for strong anti-ageing solution).

For me, it really acts as a “maintenance” range, so it’s always by the sink. The fact if has some cute names, simple and bright packaging with effective products within certainly help.

My favourite from the selection I tried was the Pores Be Pure Skin Clarifying Mud Mask. This light mud mask feels very purifying and is quite gentle on the skin.

It contains strawberry, yarrow and rosemary. It dries but doesn’t crack on the skin, sucking impurities for a clear, less congested complexion.

Taking about clearing, the Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser is exactly that: a fabulous, gentle everyday gel foamy cleanser that leaves skin feeling super clean and fresh.

It contains oiliness reducing passion fruit, soothing and exfoliating green tea and calming chamomile.

Now, who doesn’t love an exfoliating scrub? The One Smooth Operator Pore Clearing Face Scrub purifies, gently exfoliates with pumice from volcanic rock.

It also contains purifying zinc and soothing oat. Feels comfortable to apply and leaves skin feeling soft.

Finally, the P.M. Perfector Overnight Hydrating Cream with black currant and liquorice for a long radiance, soothing and nourishing overnight skin workout. It’s light and absorbs very well.

Best of all, you can get Formula 10.0.6 products from Boots in the UK, and it’s great value for money – each one costs £8.99!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Cheek and glow

seventeen-skin-wow-highlighter-cheek-stamp-blush-review-1Obviously it’s no surprise I am a huge fan of  luminous and colour products for the face. I have a huge selection I actually use regularly, on rotation and I am glad to add those two to it.

seventeen-skin-wow-highlighter-cheek-stamp-blush-review-2As I mentioned before, I thought I was a bit out of the Seventeen range, but discovering it was a joy. And that doesn’t stop.

At their blogger event, I mingled with actual teens (the horrors of being old) and found out two gems of a product, amongst a whole treasure trove of makeup wonders.

The Seventeen Skin Wow 3 way highlighter and primer is  glowy. Literally. It delivers a light peach shine, lifting the makeup and making skin glow.

It is light, blends well and it is not glittery, catching light wonderfully for great highlighting with good durability.

seventeen-skin-wow-highlighter-cheek-stamp-blush-review-5This little gem got me all excited: the Seventeen Cheek Stamp Blush is cute and handy.

seventeen-skin-wow-highlighter-cheek-stamp-blush-review-6Within this tiny little round box, there is a mirror and a cushion that picks up colour (which is on the lid) when its closed.

Open it and stamp the cushion to the cheeks for a flush of colour. It does need a bit of blending, but it blends well. Saturation is great and durability too.

seventeen-skin-wow-highlighter-cheek-stamp-blush-review-7It is available in five colours, mine is Stare Struck, a shimmery old rose colour.

And, as with all Seventeen products, the price is ace: the Skin Wow 3 way highlighter glow and primer costs £5.99 and the Cheek Stamp blush, £4.99.

You can get the Seventeen range from Boots in selected shops and online. Keep an eye out for promos!

signature1

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Looking ahead: AW16, anyone?

dani's little book of fashion shoes - somanylovelythings.com

Oh, yeah, gimme red!

As Alanis Morissette would say: Isn’t it ironic? The weather is only just warming up (use that with caution) in almost mid-August but my ever wandering eyes cannot stop ogling over AW16.

I may even have bought a couple pieces… and GOSH kicked out the vibe providing me with amazing makeup for the season… So what do I have my eyes on?

Well… read on…

Cherry, vibrant red, I am looking at you. Yes. Not that I stopped wearing you, as you are my classic fave colour… but you are so in. Updated the sober autumnal look with that cherry pop.

Another colour you’re gonna have lots of for the season is pink. I don’t need to say how much I love that.

Sandals. Yes, sandals. I have just fallen in blind love with pop socks and it looks like they will stay with me with my winter sandals.

For the more conservative ones, pick less delicate sandals with block heels, and a counter. But those strappy ones you abused of in the summer are also in.

Socks, tights or both. Gucci AW16 lis the inspiration. Learn.

Matchy match bags and shoes was huge in the late nineties/early noughties. Well, it’s back. Live with it. My OCD thanks you, AW16.

Still on shoes, boots. Of course boots, for winter. Doh-oooh. But I am talking kinky books. Detailed, over the knee, tied-up, high-heeled statement boots.

vb-woolbustier

I’ll take the cut-out, thank you.

British heritage fabrics. Now, I find them hard t wear, being from Brazil and all… but with the re-vamped silhouettes this season, I think things will be easier. VB bustier anyone? Thanks.

slip-dress

Probably around 5 of those in my wardrobe right now…

The slip dress doesn’t seem to be going anywhere… especially when the silks are back with a revenge. Suits me right: slip dresses are easy to wear and dead comfortable.

08 Jan 2001, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, arriving at the 28th annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium. --- Image by © Frank Trapper/Corbis

Hold on….Not going *that* far…

And while we are at the 90s, let’s talk about denim: I’ve been dodging it; bought a pair of jeans here, a shirt there…. but it’s already everywhere.

I am not going to discard the possibility of pulling a Justin and Britney. Ok, I will NEVER touch it *cringe*.

As we are talking denim, let’s not forget embroidery and badges. Huge. Still. Get sticking!

mcqueen-coat

DREAM COAT ALERT!

Talk about coats for AW is a bit silly. Of course there will be coats. Think trenches, capes, puffas… the usual suspects. But also pretty (embroided, hello!), shiny… Love.

Oh, and don’t forget the military.

I talked about this Alexander McQueen coat before. God, it’s dreamy.

velvet

Growing on me this velvet business…

Finally, velvet. I am torn when it comes to velvet: the texture is undeniably delicious, but it is quite unforgivable on the bumps.

Still, the opulence is undeniable. I think I like the vampy vibe. Might start slow, with a little crop or something. In black or navy. For now.

Like the bling? Well… spread the family jewels around. Hair, face jewellery, shoes, handbags… aplenty!

jewels

Crown me… crown me!

Embellishments are huge for AW16 – jewels, embroidery, badges, as already mentioned, but sequins, stones, crystals… Sometimes altogether. GO big or go home never made more sense.

What have you got an eye on for the new season (and I am hoping it takes a little while to arrive, honestly!)

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Discovering Seventeen

seventeen-makeup - 1Seventeen is one of those brands I’ve been familiar with for a while, but never actually tried anything from.

Maybe because I’m more on the No7 age bracket, but never mind! It turns out I got quite the surprise…

As a proper introduction, I was delighted to give some of their best selling products a go.

seventeen-makeup - 2Their Define & Conquer count our kit is super slim and fits well in any makeup bag. The highlighter is light and matte, which makes a huge change from all the powder highlighters I use, which have some shimmer in. It does work well to lift the highlighted points very subtly, which I really liked.

The contour powder is a light tan, not very warm, that works as well as a count our as it does as a subtle bronzer.

seventeen-makeup - 1The kit also comes with an easy-to-follow, straight forward guide for application.

Both apply and blend well, as have a decent durability.

seventeen-makeup - 3The Skin WOW! Concealer is clearly a dupe for the YSL Touché Eclat, and works in the same way, to highlight and conceal.

Used under the eyes, it brighten it up, and works in other parts of the face as a discreet highlighter.

seventeen-makeup - 4The formula is less rich than the more expensive cousin, and that reflects a bit on the pigmentation and overall effect, but means it blends easier.

Now, what cannot go unnoticed are the prices: Seventeen delivers great value for money.

Maybe I am indeed on the Seventeen age bracket!

The Define & Conquer countour kit costs £5.99 and is available in two shades: Fair and Medium. Skin WOW! Concealer is priced at £4.99 and also comes in the Fair and Medium shades.

At the moment, you can get a second item half price on selected Seventeen products – and let’s not forget all those precious Boots cards points!

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Let’s talk intimate hygiene with Sass Refreshing Mist

sass_intimate_refreshing_mist - 2We just don’t talk enough about our private bits and that’s a fact. Our intimate area is just as important as any other part of our bodies and should be cared for accordingly.

That’s why I really like what Sass brings to the market: a modern range of intimate care products for the modern woman.

I have tried a few but am going to start with the Intimate Refreshing Mist, a handy spray to give that freshness burst when you need the most.

It is perfectly natural to sweat in the intimate area and for the vagina to build odour. If you have long days, rushing from one place to another, you may feel you need to freshen up. I certainly do!

The fragrance is subtle and crisp. It feels very comfortable and refreshing upon application, plus, it dries quickly. Although the product contains menthol, there is absolutely no tingling!

Personally, the mist is most welcome over my period, which is a particularly uncomfortable time where I can certainly do with a few refreshes during the day, especially when rushing from work to blogging and social events.

sass_intimate_refreshing_mist - 1The bottle is small enough for the handbag. From looking at it, it could be a mouth spray, glass lenses cleaner, face mist, whatever.

The branding is super discreet both in colours and literature, with a contemporary design. And that approach runs across the whole range; none of them scream VAG at you.

Not that I have a problem with that, but I do know some people who do, who would hesitate to buy or display in their bathrooms. This could be any beauty product!

It contains an odour neutraliser, soothing aloe vera and is suitable for use during menstruation and pregnancy too. The brand does not test on animals and is suitable for vegans.

The Sass Intimate Refreshing Mist is available from Boots and costs £8 for 30ml.

Sass has a great range from shaving gel that help with ingrowing hairs, cleansers, serums, dryness gels and sports products for the intimate area, well worth a check.

I can definitely say I #GotSass! 😀

signature1

This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Olivia Palermo, the shoe designer

image: Vogue

image: Vogue

Yet another celeb jumping on the designer bandwagon. Although I am rather sceptical about this kind of thing, I kinda like Olivia Palermo (the girls is stylish!) and if the shoes that come out are as lovely as sketches that have been released, I think this has the potential to be a good one.

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Review: Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin foundation

maybelline superstay better skin foundation review

A good base is the key to good makeup, so I am quite fussy when it comes to foundation. Recently, as part of their SuperStay range, Maybelline New York has launched Better Skin, a foundations claiming to improve the appearance of dull, blotchy and uneven skin.

So, I put it to the test. Better Skin contains Actyl C, zinc, provitamin B5, magnesium, copper, flex technology (which adapts to skin movement, being tightness-preventing), glycerine (attracts moisture and makes skin look hydrated and radiant) and SPF 20, which is great to see in makeup.

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Beautiful christmas: my selection of beauty gifts

Ho ho ho. It is December and I feel I am officially allowed to say the C word without attracting some dirty looks (and the “already?!” expression n their faces). Obviously, I am talking about CHRISTMAS, silly.

Most people know someone who is a beauty fanatic and if you are not one yourself, choosing the right thing can be quite difficult. But fear not, So Many Lovely Things will give you an easy solution that is certain to cause a good impression.

I went through my favourite places for beauty buys and here are my picks:

Up to £25

studio_smokey_eyesA good all rounder for a great price. Studio products are great value for money. This Smokey eye kit, for £6, is certain to please. New Years eve eyes, sorted!

eyeko_liner

I love the Eyeko Skinny liner – it is my favourite and I use everyday. This double pack from QVC is excellent value for £14 and after trying you will certainly need a second (and a third – you won’t live without it, ever!)

nivea_kitClassic skin care brand Nivea pulled together a lovely pampering selection with Honey Face Masks, Body lotion, Pearly Shine Lip, Cleansing Wipes, Moisturising Day Cream, amongst others. For £15, this gift goes a long way. Available at Boots.

loreal_sos

Post Chirstmas excesses will show on your face. Pull yourself together with this L’Oréal Port-Party Beauty SOS and be ready for the next one in no time! £10 from Boots.

rodial_bauble

A pretty bauble from Rodial, with its lovely Glam Balm inside. A tiny bit of luxury to plump those lips for that all important unde the mistletoe action! £14 from Harrods.

rae_morris

I love this book. Rae Morris’ classic Makeup: The Ultimate Guide will help you get the grips with makeup and look even more fabulous! Only £12.50 from Amazon.

sanctuary

The Sanctuary’s Best Sellers Collection is a great body indulgence kit with their classic scent. £15 from Debenhams.

clinique_candy

Clinique’s Chubby stick Whole Lotta Candy collection means you will have three beautiful shades to choose from for the New Year’s party! £20 from House of Fraser.

babydoll

Pretty doll eyes with YSL Baby Doll Mascara Set – to put it on and remove later! Find it at Boots for £24.50.

nailsinc_minis

Must Have minis from Nails Inc – lots of shades to start well the year – fro nudes to neons – this will keep your talons colour going for a while! Great value of £23.52 from QVC!

clinique_party_tips

Festive talons courtesy of Clinique’s Party Tips nail polish set.. Three pretty shades for sensitive skin for £20 from House of Fraser.

elemis

Discover Elemis’ great Tri-enzime kit with this 4 piece set, for only £24.12 from QVC.


opi_fullytied

OPI’s Fit to be Tied #2 has two beautiful nail shades and delivers glitter in the right amount. £18.55 from QVC.

clinique_3step

Clinique’s classic 3 step kit is one of my favourites cleanse, tone and moisturise sets. Have a go with this intro collection and see for yourself. £20 from Debenhams.

liz_earle

The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is a classic – and is has a special edition for Christmas – £26.25 for 200ml cleaner and 2 muslim cloths!

Over £26

naked3

I couldn’t leave out the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay, coming out on the 12 December for £37. Hurry!!!

mac_stoke_midnight

Beautifully packaged MAC’s Stroke of Midnight eye kit in Smoky got me hooked. Smokey eyes paradise with Chillproof, Retrospeck, Gaelic Gold, Well Put Together and Carbon (my fave matte black eyeshadow). At £32, exceptional value for money.

 

benefit

Benefit’s Groovy Kinda Love gift set has their best sellers to keep you pretty – and all for £29.50 from Boots.

ud_glitter

Sparkle! The Urban Decay Starlight Glitter set can help with that! £30 from House of Fraser.

Damsel-in-De-stress

Guinot has brought some lovely gift boxes this year, each one looking to fix a “problem” in a girl’s life.

Ready Set Glow will deliver complexion brightening tools; Damsel in De-Stress will pamper and help relief stress; Supercharged Youth Boost delivers a boost for ageing skin. They also have a male grooming gift set called Tied up, with a face wash, after shave and shaving brush! They are priced between £46 and £64 and can be found at your nearest salon using Guinot products or at the Salon Skincare website, amongst others. website

ysl_youthliberator

Reveal a younger you with YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum set, £64 from Boots.

lancome_visionnaire

Lancôme’s Visionnaire is of my favourite serums – and this set has lots of amazing goodies to accompany it! It costs £82 from Boots.

mac_brushes

This classic selection of half size MAC brushes is amazing – and a fantastic value too at £42.

lancome_alber

And finally, a girl can dream…. fro £300 you can get the WHOLE Alber Elbaz collection for Lancôme at Harrods. Sigh…