Primed and prepped: a guide to primers

which_primer - 2 of 6 (1)Many a times I went on about how primers changed my life and how important they are in the makeup routine. I will give you a brief round-up not to bore you.

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Nails of the week: black and pastels with L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Les Blancs

loreal color riche les blancs - somanylovelythings

After I attended the lovely L’Oréal event to launch the new SS14 Color Riche nail polishes Les Blancs and Topcoats I came home with the amazing polishes, and could not wait to use them! Without wasting any time, I thought about something nice to make justice to the lovely Les Blancs pretty spring shades.

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NEW: L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Les Blancs nail polishes and topcoats

Peach Neglige, Lemon Meringue, Nouvelle Vague, Pistachio Drage (L-R)

Peach Neglige, Lemon Meringue, Nouvelle Vague, Pistachio Drage (L-R)

L’Oréal has been at it again and is bringing very exciting Color Riche nail polishes to grace our talons for Spring/Summer 2014: Les Blancs and Topcoats. Now, that is something to really look forward to.

The Les Blancs collection is a very  pretty line of four pastel shades: the deliciously green Pistachio Drage, girly peachy-pink Peach Neglige, powdery lilac Nouvelle Vague and citrussy yellow Lemon Meringue. They are very delicate and almost white – with just a drop of colour; in fact similar base colours from last year’s SS collection, Neon Pop, but diluted to almost white (or, the other way round, dropped into white!)

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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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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!


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Nails of the week: Rainbow gradient

rainbow gradient nails - somanylovelythings

It is no news I love a gradient on my talons, so this week I went a bit further – a four colour rainbow gradient.

The last one I did was a long time ago, and this was due. After seeing a rainbow gradient on some Brazilian nail polish Facebook page, I decided that was going to be the next one.

rainbow gradient nails - somanylovelythings

The technique is the very same I used before: sponging, and I found it a bit more challenging with four colours to make sure all nails had about the same amount of each and that the transition was smooth. But it happened in the end!

rainbow gradient nails - somanylovelythings

I used Colorama’s 40 Graus (red), L’Oréal Banana Pop (yellow), Kiko 385 (blue) and 343 (green), applied a stripe of each to a wet make-up sponge and stamped to previously painted white nails. I went round three times! I then added the magical Electric lane holographic topcoat from Nails Inc and a clear topcoat(Seche VIte) to seal it all.

rainbow gradient nails - somanylovelythings

To be honest, before I did it, I thought it was going to be a bit too much. It turns out I love it and don’t want to take it off. At all. Seven days have gone by and it still looks perfect and I am struggling with the idea of removing it and moving on to the next mani…

rainbow gradient nails - somanylovelythings



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Product review: L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Advanced Correcting Serum

L'Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Advanced Correcting Serum

Boy, do I love a good serum. Because of my problematic skin history, I avoid very rich nice moisturisers. To make sure I give my skin the hydration it needs, I top it up with a lovely serum. And the serum du jour here at So Many Lovely Things is the L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Advanced Correcting Serum.

First, I am gonna give you the facts: this beauty is aimed at people in their 20’s and 30’s and contains LR 2412 which is derived from Jasmonic Acid and already being used in high-end products from the L’Oréal family for more mature skin, in higher concentrations.

This ingredient is combined with Perline-P, which is composed by a plant derived sugar (which is said to reduced the appearance of pores), a potent but gentle on the skin exfoliant (HEPES) and a bark extract, which helps to soothe the skin and reduce redness. This combination of LR 2412 and Perline-P should tackle pores size, uneven skin tone and texture, showing visible improvements.

L'Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Advanced Correcting Serum

The shot didn’t capture how pretty the pink in this serum is!

Now, I tried Lancôme Visionnaire for 2 weeks and really loved it. The Skin Perfection serum has a very similar effect on my skin – I also felt it on the first application. Applied at night, I wake up with suppler, plumped skin, looking rested, brighter.

Two weeks on, I noticed the general aspect of my skin is better, make-up sits much better, even my scars seem less visible. It is worth noting that Visionnaire contains the L’Oréal patented exclusive ingredient LR 2412 at a 4% concentration, so double the Skin Perfection concentration.

The products colour is the very same – a pearly milky white with a gorgeous translucent shimmery pink when you smooth it over. It smells lush too. The skin feel very satiny after application.

My skin is loving it. I am also using others product from the range, the day moisturiser (which I will review soon) and the toner.

To make all this even better, Superdrug has an amazing promotion on the range at the moment, the serum was only £11.32, but even at full price, this is a bargain (RRP £19.99, full price listed at Superdrug is £16.99). You can also find it in Boots and other retailers nationwide.

Obviously, I will keep using this, and will certainly re-purchase. With such a problematic skin, you really need to hang on to what it likes!

For more information on the Advanced Correcting Serum, visit the L’Oréal Paris website.

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

L’Oréal Paris new Color Riche Glitterati polishes launch and nail masterclass

Loreal color riche gliteratti nail polish

When it comes to my blog, a few things are more exciting than an event entitled Nail Masterclass, especially if it is with L’Oréal Paris.

The event took place in central London and a few bloggers had the chance to try the new Color Riche Glitterati collection and the Nails à Porter fake nails, learn to create a couple designs with L’Oréal’s nail expert Grace Humphries and find out more about L’Oréal’s new Nail Art website,, a portal where you can find the latest nail trends and expert tips.

click on the image to enlarge is full of advice, news, tutorials (easy to follow!) and has the colour expert, which is a tool where you can choose a colour and a level of difficulty and be presented with nail art ideas. They also have an app called the Color Genius, which helps you find the best make-up and nail colour for your outfit, and you can choose the match, blend and clash the suggestions! Clever, eh?

Color Riche Glitterati collection

Now, the new collection for the A/W13-14 and party season: the polishes are just gorgeous. As the name Glitterati suggests, all four shades are glitter based. What I really like about them is that you can use all as a topcoat, as an accent for nail art or on their own. They all have the Color Riche fan brush too, which is great! I swatched on the wheel with 3 coats; as you can see, the polish is very saturated with glitter. Two coats will also give a very good coverage.

Loreal giitterati collection

Sequin Extravaganza, Scarlet TInsel, Bling Bling Bang and Black Diamond

Sequin Extravaganza is an explosion of glitter colours and shapes. Clear base with mainly silver glitter in various shapes and sizes, it also has a bit of gold, blue, pink and green. This makes this polish quite multi-dimensional, and although there are so many different sizes, shapes and colours, it all sits together so well it creates the illusion of one layer. Pretty.

Scarlet Tinsel is a sea of beautiful dark pink fine glitter. It sparkles a lot and on its owns gives the nail a uniform cover.

The jellish blue base with sapphire blue glitter Bling Bling Bang is far from shy. The glitter is also a combination of small and fine with bigger circles and It has a jewel-like finish and looks amazing on its own, but also lush on black and other colours, with a little bit of colour shifting. I think I’ve been Bling Bling Bang(ed) – I actually tweeted it to L’Oréal. I have no shame.

Finally, Black Diamond is a metallic black with fine silvery glitter. It is the more discreet from the collection and looks beautiful on and it looks like asphalt when on. Like it.

Nails à Porter

click on the image to enlarge

We also found out about a new product L’Oréal is launching: Nails à Porter, their answer to the express manicure. The new fake nails, hitting the shelves soon, are great. To start with, they are super flexible. They come in different designs, from the classic red and French manicure to bold gold and black. It has little stickers, a great selection of sized to match your natural nails and are said to last up to five days. I will be testing them soon and posting my finds! Exciting!


click on the image to enlarge

As we sat in our lovely manicure stations, nail expert Grace Humphries taught us how to create two nail designs: glitter tip and glitter half-moon and French tip, which I tried on the wheel too.

I ended up painting on hand (yes, one hand. Oh the shame to take to tube back with one untidy hand!) with Black Swan and a Sequin Extravaganza gradient from the cuticles. This combination is great!

At the end, there was a nail polish pick-and-mix, where we could take the shades we liked to enter their Nail Art challenge – to which I have promptly sent my design, using loads of the polishes I took home.

click on the image to enlarge

It was a lovely evening, packed with news and very informative. The people were lovely, the new polishes are amazing, the nails à porter are a very interesting product. Cannot wait to keep using the polishes!

Product review: L’Oréal Color Riche Neon Pop nail polish

loreal colour riche neon pop

How exciting to receive a big box at home only to open it and find four lovely shades of nail polish and a lovely balloon, delivering a true colour pop to my day!

The L’Oréal Neon Pop collection for the Summer 2013  is a fusion of Tropicana brights with arty colour block palette – and bright they are, even though they are not your conventional neon colours; they really pop when applied!!!

(more pictures at the bottom of post!)

The colours here are a purple, called Flashing Lilac, yellow Banana Pop, pink Acid Watermelon and green Wasabi Hint.loreal colour riche neon pop

As seen above, from left to right, first is Flashing Lilac, which I found the sheerest of them all, definitely needs two coats, but delivers a lovely finish, almost gelish.

Banana Pop is very pigmented but sometimes you can see the brush strokes, you must apply carefully and they will go away! It is really the colour of a very ripe banana skin!

Acid Watermelon is probably the closest to a true neon colour and also very pigmented, one coat is almost enough for solid coverage.

Finally, Wasabi Hint I think is my fave, very pigmented and a very peculiar shade of green with great shiny finish.

I find the colours are very wearable, even for those who steer away from anything neon. I like the brush and drying time was standard. I did the swatches and also played around with the colours a little bit, as couldn’t help myself – they are so pretty!!!

I will be posting my look using the colours on a mani next week! Exciting!

They will be available to purchase this month!

And yeah, if you are wondering, the pretty balloon is from Bubblegum ballons! Soooo adorable, it is looking lovely in my sitting room!

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

Eye make up – daywear

I could not live without make up. Really. I cannot imagine my life without the colour it, literally, brings into my face. Not that I don’t like my clean face; there was a time I had severe acne and yes, and I would never think of leaving the house bare-faced. I think this is the reason I have such a passion for make up; I had to make it work really hard to cover my problematic skin. Today, its main purpose is not to hide, but to enhance my features.

Anyway… I thought I’d share some very basic, day wear eye make up ideas; I wear it to work pretty much everyday. It is usually a variation of what you see here, with different complementary colours, different products,  but I tend to stick to this for the daily grind. It is usually a 5-minute job (providing I don’t mess up the eyeliner which I occasionally do).

Super mega staple eye shadows for me are MAC’s Expensive Pink, Nylon, Vex, Carbon, Naked Lunch and Brown Down and a light gold L’Oreal one. I mean, they are amazing, have a good staying power, truly everyday shades you can mix and match, build up or strip down for neutral daywear which will not fight with your lipstick, even if the chosen shade is red (like mine, most days).

I prep my eyes with the e.l.f or the NYX primers. Sometimes, I just brush Vex or Nylon on eyelids and brow bone and apply an eyeliner, across the whole lash line of just under half, for more sultry but at the same time lighter eyes.

I usually wear Vex (an iridescent pale silver, goes fabulously with blues and greens, but also with pinks) or Nylon (a shimmery very pale gold – and this my friend, goes with everything!)  as bases, they look great on the brow bone.

Then from the outer corner of the eye and the crease, blending towards the inner corner, I apply the “middle” shade – this could be the golden L’Oreal, Expensive Pink or Smoke ‘n’ Diamonds. Most of the time, I stop there but sometimes, I use a darker shade, if dealing with warm tones, Brown Down (when I use Silver Ring, I don’t add anything darker, it is dark enough!) in the outer part of the crease and the corner, to give a subtle smokey effect.

When lining my upper lid, I sometimes do just 1\3 of the eye, leaving the inner corner clean and bright; sometimes, I do the whole thing, most of the times with a flick at the end – I am really into them now, I think it help flatters my eye shape.

Slap on the mascara on top lashes and eye liner to the water line. Now, depending on my mood (again!), I might do it just a third from the outer corner or the whole line; sometimes I add it to the lower lash line too and smoke with a pencil brush to make it less harsh, but any combination will look good! Promise!

At the moment, my favourite liners are Collection 2000 felt tip pen liner (amazing, and great value), MAC gel liner and Maybelline’s Lasting Drama gel liner, all of which I find easy to apply and long lasting. I love eyeliner, really do.

For the more grungy look coming for A/W12-13, I have been trying a chubby liner, from Miners, it is great for smoking after applying, with a pencil brush, but it smudges quite a lot, and its staying power is rubbish, sadly, as the effect is ace!

For mascara I am currently using Maybelline’s Falsies (one of my favourites).

So, what are your tested, quick day to day eye make up routine? It would be nice to know what works for other people!