Where is spring? I have all these clothes…

Like most people living in the UK, I am eagerly awaiting for the weather to improve.

As a self-confessed mild (!!!) shopaholic, I have already built a base of lovely spring items for my wardrobe. The problem is, this weather is preventing me from realising my full new season potential.

Still, after a few pre-holidays purchases, I came back hungry for new items, and ended up buying a few.

Since the SS12 shows, I was dying to buy a vegetable print dress… I wanted aubergines, but D&G is a bit above my budget, so I found solace in a lovely tomato print skater dress from New Look. Topshop also had a dress with the very same print, which I bought and returned as I found the NL one nicer!!!

I also got some pastels from H&M: a nude lace pencil skirt, a mint green and a nude top and shorts; most are from their Conscious collection, which makes them extra nice, and I am sure (weather permitting) I will wear a lot!!!!

Amongst the purchases are also a couple crop tops from New Look, one with ethnic inspired print, to wear with pencil or long skirts.

However, the star buy here, for me, were the spike bracelets, also from New Look; at £3.99, I couldn’t help but purchase the silver and the gold!!!!


New shoes

Well, I have been a bit lame posting; I am just back from holidays and I am tons of nails of the week behind – trying desperately to catch up.

Been really trying to keep my spirits up, as I am very keen to wear all my new spring/summer clothes, which I managed to wear on holidays, (I will post soon about new purchases) really abused of pastels and the latin Miami trend, even though some people were looking at me funny, as it is autumn in Brazil and the colours are waaay more sober. However, the weather was super hot, and I managed to get a lovely tan, which is quickly fading away, as the weather here is not collaborating.

Anyway, just wanted to share with you lovelies two Brazilian shoe purchases.

I fell in love, head over heels with this red cut out Schutz sandals. Yes, I have lots of red, but I loved it. For R$390 (around £140), I think they are a good buy, heir shoes have exceptional quality!


I also bought these lovely, uber comfy taupe and gold court shoes from Viviana, a unique shoe shop in Brazil – it is situated in the bottom/first floor of a house in a residential area of my city, and they have a great bang on trend selection. Even though they are rocking the Autumn/Winter range, you can already find Spring/summer previews, including this one I got, for R$179,00 (around £64).


Have to say, I am a bit obsessed with toe caps at the moment…

Nails of the week – multicoloured French manicure

Well, I have spring on my mind so this week I decided to go all out. YES, all out.

Not only I painted one nail a different colour but I also added French manicure on them, in contrasting colours.

And you know what? I really like it. It is a bit different, it is a bit out there, and a bit brave. I wasn’t sure to start with, but they grew on me and managed to stay for a whole week.

To achieve the look, I painted each nail using a H&M nail polish kit; for a mere £2.99 you get four summer proof shades – bright pink, yellow, mint green and purple. As I have five fingers (!) I added a pastel blue, the gorgeous Nails Inc in Oxford Street.

I mentioned the Nails Inc one before, so if you want to know more about it, check here. I was very surprised with the H&M ones – quality was good and 2 coats gave a great coverage, even for the lighter shade, the mint green – I encountered bad quality creamy coloured polish that offers an awful coverage, full of streaks, so this was a very pleasant surprise.

I then waited two hours and applied French manicure stickers which I bought from eBay, but had never used before. I applied a contrasting colour in the same order a applied them on my nails – and voilá!

Durability was ok. French is not the most durable type of manicure, as the attention – and all the rubbing – is at the tip. However, it lasted well for five days. On the sixth day, I re-touched the tips… and it was actually passable, until my next manicure.

I am very pleased I took the plunge and ventured into something different!


Nails of the week – blue + stamping

Well, it seems I am still a *little* bit obsessed with blue, and this week, I have painted my nails another shade of this lovely colour.

The blue I am wearing at the moment is electric, almost royal; it falls a shade or two shorter from it, and it is called Pop Fiction from Miss Sporty.

I am rather excited about my nails this week as I have tried a couple things I had never done before: an accent nail, which I painted with Nails Inc. in Oxford, a lovely pastel blue, and nail stamping.

I bought 16 Bundle Monster plates a while back, plus a Konad double ended stamp and scraper, and was looking forward to trying it. So, within this post, I will do a mini review of the plates. The patterns are ok, I mean, there are only about six plates I really like, but that didn’t bother me that much. A major disappointment was the fact some of the patterns are not deep enough, so when you scrape, no polish stays in, so there is nothing for the stamp to pick up. I tried several nail polishes and some of the patterns I really liked were, unfortunately, unusable.

As a first time experience, once I found a pattern I liked and that worked, from plate BM19, I think it was relatively ok. I had to remove the polish and re-do a couple times, and do the “paint plate-scrape-press stamp” act one too many times (and sometimes the pattern on the stamp wouldn’t be complete) but it looks cute and I am very happy with the result! I am not sure if I could actually cope with stamping every single nail…. I suppose practice would help!

The nail polishes application was very good; the Miss Sporty one has exceptional coverage; I used two coats, but with only one the colour was solid enough. The Nails Inc pastel blue was also very good, coverage was great, but two coats are a must. Durability is alright, there was one or two minor chips after five days, but I did put my nails through a bit!

Overall, a winner – the Miss Sporty blue for me is the star here; it is absolutely stunning and is quite similar to a blue Beyoncé was seen using a few weeks ago. I was very surprised I loved it this much, as there had been a very long time since I last wore a block, plain colour on my nails, as you know, I’ve really been into my effects nail varnish! I am very glad I did!


Metallic eyes trend

supracolour metallics - Charles H FoxI am absolutely loving the metallic eye trend for this coming warm season. I had noticed foiled hair and eyes in some shows, but the wearable look really excites me! I came across this picture gallery on Vogue which gives a great round up and plenty of inspiration. What I really like too are the double liners – on the lash line and crease!

I have always been a great fan of metallics, favouring those to mattes whenever possible; even when doing dramatic black smokey eyes and using matte eye shadow, I make sure I apply a metallic MAC paint underneath, not only to fix it, but also to give it a bit of sparkle!

Quite similar to MAC’s Metal-X cream shadows are the Supracolour metallics,  supracolour metallics - Charles H Foxfrom Charles H Fox I bought late last year, in gold, copper and silver, banking on the trend, for only £6. They are creamy and super metal, as eye shadow, with even application and great cover. I would set it with my MAC prep+prime transparent finishing powder. It also looks fab as a liner, but I just don’t recommend wearing it too near the tear duct, as I felt that, due to its consistency, they blocked mine a little bit and it was quite uncomfortable. However, I promise I will wear a totally metallic lid very soon and will post!

Nail polish haul

This is my Brazilian nail polish haul! I am taking home (from home!) a good selection of polishes, which will add around a kilo to my luggage!

nail polish haul- Brazil - Dani Dutra

I got some old time favourite brands, such as Colorama, Risqué and Impala but also bought some I hadn’t tried before, like Specialittá and Ana Hickmann.

From Colorama, I selected Luxo, 40 Graus and Tapete Vermelho, all classic reds, but decided to get different colours from the other brands.

I have Hermes (gold), Apolo (teal) and Atena (dark pink), which are great holographics, the duo chromes Marimoon Artsy (blue/purple/yellow) and Trendy (green/yellow) and Mica (metallic lilac) from Specialittá.

Ana Hickmann has a Star Collection with “special effects”, and I bought most of them : Trend (brown/gold/green) , Relux (forest green/purple), Reflex (purple/gold/green); all duo chrome and Glow (glitter flakes).

I chose Viúva Negra (black/red glitter), Besouro (green/purple) and Poção do Amor (metallic red, with a hint of golden fine glitter) from Risqué.

My choices from Impala were Paz e Amor (blue/ green glitter flakes), Na Mira 3D (dark holographic glitter) and Sex Appeal (red/orange duo chrome).

I also got a Nati metallic red called Confidente and a Big Universo Raio Gama glitter flakes topcoat.

On top of that, I got three base coats (two strenghtening ones), two extra shine topcoats and a clove oil to be applied before the base coat, to hydrate and strenghten the nail.

All nail polishes were priced between R$2,50 and R$7,99(£1 and £2.85). As I mentioned before, I find that Brazil has amazing value for good quality nail polish. It really amazes me!

I cannot wait to try them all – lots of exciting nails of the week posts coming soon!

Summer skin care: Nupill body oil

I am really obsessed with a golden, real tan. Don’t get me wrong, I have succumbed to fake tan way too many times, and living in London, it is sometimes my only option. After a while living in a cold country, my skin turned into a colour I never thought it could be, a weird off-colour yellow (yes, trust me, not attractive), a diluted, unhealthy looking version of my olive shade.

Now, I only use self tanning sprays at home when I need, but there was a phase I spent a lot of time in sunbeds, and developed what I thought was a tan, but in reality it was a dodgy dark orange shade…

For this reason, I really appreciate when I get a proper tan – a fact taken for granted all my life in tropical lands – and I love the colour I am at the moment, a real golden tone, and I am doing all I can to preserve it and develop into a darker shade.

I am now in Brazil, and my favourite pastime is sunbathing. To hang on to my tan, and keep a glowing skin, I find nothing better than (apart from proper sun cream application and patience to work on the tan) a lovely body oil, with almond and grape seed oils and collagen, called Nupill Gold Skin.

More like myself!

There are a few different brands that do the same mix, but this is my favourite smell. Sadly, it is only available here, and I paid a reasonable R$8,90 (just over £3) for 180ml.

It helps to prevent peeling by hydrating the skin and, on top of it all, it smells gorgeous! In the winter, it is very useful, as it helps with dry skin. Plus, it contains collagen, which aids skin elasticity!

I apply it just by the end of my shower and don’t rinse. It is not too thick an oil and it is absorbed by the skin very quickly, leaving it smooth and soft. By the time I put my moisturiser on, there is no trace of it on my skin.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything similar in the UK which is reasonably priced. I tried pure filtered almond oil before, but even after rinsing, it seems to stick and there was a lingering smell of stale oil afterward on my body, towel and clothes that really bothered me.

Do you use or know anything similar? It would be great to find out!!!

Nails of the week – holographic teal

I am thoroughly enjoying my holiday, this “white Christmas” thing is not really for me! With temperatures averaging 30°, I have developed a great tan; add the intense socialising, and my posts have been sparse an irregular! I will return in full power after mid January – I promise!

This week I am wearing a pretty holographic teal nail polish from a Brazilian brand I hadn’t tried before: Specialittá Hits, and the colour is Apolo, from their “No Olimpo” range.

The holo effect is not too strong; it is stunning in the sun, very sparkly and multi coloured, but indoors, it is just a pretty metallic teal! For this reason, on the 6th day of wearing it, I have painted over with the gorgeous topcoat from Andrea Fulerton’s Rain Fall trio, with green glitter flakes, to give it a bit of oomph!

Once again, I didn’t apply myself, but it seemed to glide well. Its durability is very impressive: seven days and not a chip!!!

The price is, of course, as every Brazilian polish, great, although above the average: around R$ 8,00 (just under £3)!!!

Product review: New eyeliners head-to-head

Until a couple weeks ago, I had been lining my eyes in three different ways, depending on my mood, time and desired effect: by using eye shadow (MAC Carbon) or gel eyeliner (MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack) and a small angle brush or using an eyeliner (MAC Smoulder eye kohl).

Recently I came across a few products and decided to give them a go – and test which one delivered best results, in terms of ease of application, effect and durability.

Collection 2000 EXTREME 24 HOUR FELT TIP LINER - Dani DutraThe Collection 200o Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner in black really caught my attention – it is unassuming, looks like a normal felt tip and the idea is really good: a pen with which you can draw your eye liner.

Having 24-hour on the label made me a bit nervous – what if I messed up and it was stuck on my face for a whole day? So it took me a couple weeks after buying to try. I was pleasantly surprised with the results; my first application was easy, the pen glides nicely on the eye lid and it is really precise. You can create nice jet black thin lines with it, and a perfect flick.

Other times it was harder, the line wasn’t perfect, but it was easily fixable with a moist cotton bud. After it dries, it really sticks, and removal requires quite a bit of scrubbing! It lasted well, when I returned home after work, it was still present, my eyes looked well lined and it didn’t run, although it was bit faded. I can see it being very useful to fill out the line after applying false eye lashes!

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner 24hr - Dani DutraThe other product I tried- and loved – is the Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama gel liner, in blackest black. I really like that it comes with a brush, and the combo works really well; the gel is smooth and glides nicely, the little brush is a great size for the make up bag and is hard enough to be good for thin and wider lines, and it really, really lasts. After a whole day at work, including a trip to the gym, the line still looked impeccable! I was very impressed!

ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen - Dani DutraThe third product I tried is quite similar to the first one: the Elf waterproof eyeliner pen. I felt that, although the tip was finer, thus enabling you to create extremely fine lines, there didn’t seem to be enough ink coming out, it was quite dry, I had to rub it really hard and go over the line again and again losing precision, and the final result was still faded. I took pictures, but re-touched with the Collection 2000 liner to make it proper. A shame, as the Elf product is only £1.50,was really expecting one of those “amazing finds” moments! I didn’t do an “after” shot, as I had another liner over it.

For the time being, I’ve laid off my old ways and I am alternating between two of the new discoveries. I am divided between the Maybelline and the Collection 2000. The first one has amazing staying power, and the second is so easy to apply it is almost ridiculous! However, the Collection 2000 might just edge the Maybelline (£7.99) one for its price: £2.99, which is unbelievable value for this product!

What about you? What is your favourite eye liner?

Nails of the week – magnetic

Nails in purple

In sunlight

*Lots* of excitement with this week’s nail polish. After battling with my common sense about paying £13 for a bottle of varnish, I made a trip to Nails Inc. and bought myself the Magnetic Effect Nail Polish in Houses of Parliament – a lovely purple with some grey undertones.

Had never used Nails Inc. before and I am very impressed and quite happy to have paid the steep £13 for the bottle. I also like that they name all their polishes after London streets or landmarks. Cute.

Although magnetic nail polishes are nothing new in the market, this seems to be causing a buzz at the moment. Nails Inc. have the magnetic polish in three colours (purple, gunmetal and gold), and the attendant recommended the purple or gunmetal, as the effect is more striking. Call me impressionable, but I instantly fell in love with it when I saw the attendant trying it on for me to see – nothing quite like seeing the pattern “magically” appear, in 10 seconds,transforming an ordinary colour into and exciting design.


Application was easy; the polish is of a good consistency, the brush offers even application, and it dries quickly and thinly. I had the impression it would look quite thick or uneven, but it dries smooth and glossy. The bottle has two caps – one with the magnet on top and the second one with the brush. After a base coat, I applied a coat on all ten fingers, and the colour was a greyish purple. Then, for the second coat, you do finger by finger applying the polish and holding the magnet above the nail for 10-15 seconds, and voilá! I did touch the magnet on two nails, even though they have a clever little “stand” to aid you, so had to remove and re-apply, but you stop doing it once you get used to it.

The final result is exquisite; the wave-like pattern reacts to light very well, the shadowing shifting slightly when you move, it has great depth – it reminds me of an almost kaleidoscopic action. The purple that shows through is much nicer than what you see before , and the darker parts of the pattern are very close to black.

I am in love with this. I also found out that a more affordable version is available at Boots, on their 17 cosmetics range, and the price is £4.99 (usually £5.99) and it comes in four colours.

The effect is really unbelievable for the effort it takes (close to none) and it really looks like the nails have been done professionally. I think this is the beginning of a long attraction to magnetic nail varnishes!

I also succumbed to another super exciting shade when at the Nails Inc. shop, but, as usual, you will have to wait and see!