Louboutin Beaute

On Friday morning I went to to the launch event for the hotly anticipated Louboutin Beaute at the stunning Ham Yard Hotel. Initially, the range will consist of nail polish – and we had hints that there may be other products to come later down the line, although it was all very hush hush!

Christian Louboutin is most famously known for the trademark red sole of the shoes he creates. The idea of the red sole actually came about because of red nail polish – his assistant was painting her nails red at her desk, and, thinking something had been missing from the prototype of the shoe he’d designed, he grabbed it from her and began painting the sole of his shoe, and love the results. He says “The red sole was born from red nail polish. I am giving back to nails what the shoe took from the nails many years ago.”

The nail polishes, are rather pricey at £36 a bottle, but being Louboutin, you would expect that. You’d also expect that it would be a gorgeous creation – which is definitely is, both aesthetically and performance-wise. When I first saw the displays of polish at the event, I must admit, my initial thought was ‘how the hell do you store that!?’, but actually, the bottles have been designed to be a piece of art – to have proudly on display. The glass looks like a precious stone floating in a block of fine crystal, and the handle on the lid is long…. very long, replicating the heel of one of his shoes.

The first polish to be released went on sale on Thursday, and by Friday had sold out worldwide. It is Rouge Louboutin – the signature red colour of the sole of the shoe, with a longer handle than the other shades set to come later in the year. This handle is the exact same height as the Ballerina Ultima shoe designed by Christian. The other difference with this bottle is that it has an ombre black bottom to the bottle, the idea being that people instantly think of the shoe.

Rouge Louboutin polishes alongside the Ballerina Ultima shoe, on a ‘Loubiville’ display
The Ballerina Ultima shoe…. look at that heel!
There were manicurists on hand to show us exactly what it looks like on the nails. I asked the lovely lady doing mine how it was to hold with a handle that size – she said it felt like she was writing, and was really easy to paint with. The colour was so rich and opaque after just one coat, and extremely glossy too. Traditional laquer (used on the shoes) is 20 layers of paint – Christian Louboutin wanted to create the same effect in just two coats, and I think he’s managed it.

The rest of the nail polish range will launch in September and is an array of colours that were inspired by fashion. Christian and his team worked with leather samples to create the perfect colour palette then reworked them to compliment different skin tones. They all have the names of one of his shoes.
These are The Noirs –  made up of blacks, and rich, dark, intense shades topped with a gunmetal cap.

The Nudes, are, as the name would suggest, varying nude and pale shades topped with a rose-gold cap.

 And last but not least, The Pops – gorgeous, bright colourful shades topped with a silver cap.

I can honestly say there’s not a shade in the entire collection that I wouldn’t wear. If only my bank balance would allow!

There will also being a range of shoes, inspired by the Beaute collection which will be coming out – you can see in the bottom corner of the photo above this one the shoes with a nail-like design on them, and in the photo above, a hand print with the signature red polish. Another one I wish my bank balance would allow for!
The polishes are on sale at Christian Louboutin stores and select fashion partners, however they will be found in the shoe section, rather than beauty. You can grab Rouge Louboutin in the UK from their website (once it’s back in stock!)

Models Own – Polish for Tans Collection

L-R; Beach Bag // Flip Flop // Shades // Bikini // Sun Hat

I can’t remember the last time I got so excited over a nail polish launch. For the first time in a long time I had to rush out and buy the entire 5 polishes making up the new Models Own collection, Polish for Tans as I love the look of each of the shades.

The idea behind the colour selection is that they are all neon brights with white mixed in, designed to look fabulous against a tan, and give your tan that bit of a boost. The polishes in the collection are Beach Bag – a gorgeous bright peach, Flip Flop – a neon green, Shades – a hot coral, Bikini – a highlighter yellow, and Sun Hat – a bright pink. As soon as I got them home I put Shades on my toe nails, and Beach Bag on my finger nails, and instantly felt more summery. I do think the fact I was wearing fake tan complimented the colours and while I was wearing it, I had numerous people commenting on how much they liked my nails.

Beach Bag snapped this weekend

Because of the neon-ness, they do dry quicker than standard nail polishes, which is a bonus – but on the downside this also means (in my case) they tend to chip more quickly too. I’ve noticed that Flip Flop dries to a semi-matt finish, while the rest seem to be slightly glossy. If you prefer a shiny finish, just add a layer of top coat and it will help to lengthen the wear too.

This is a fabulous collection, I can’t wait for the sun to come out so I can wear them more and more and more!

The polishes cost £5 each and are available from Models Own stands and Bottle shops, or online.

KIKO Christmas – Digital Emotion

KIKO have got some fantastic, and super-affordable gifts on offer for this Christmas in their new, limited edition Digital Emotion range – when I saw the prices I had to look twice! If you need impressive gifts for girls, have a look at these…

The packaging is a shiny iridescent cardboard which is really eye catching, but it’s what’s inside that really got me going!

The Satin Nail Laquer set opens like a book to reveal eight gorgeous, limited edition nail polishes. They are really intense, glossy colours with names that match the shades beautifully. The polishes look sleek and really expensive, and give the finish of an expensive polish, yet this set is only £19.90! That is just under £2.50 a polish – can’t really argue with that!

The colour range is really good – going from nudes with Rose Taupe to classic reds with True Red, and the crazy side with Light Tiffany. I think it’s a nice colour palette for anyone.

The smaller box in the first photo, opens to reveal 5 lipsticks…

Again, this is a really pretty colour palette for someone. Although the colours may look a little shocking in the bullet, they’re really wearable and less intense on the lip. They pack a lot of pigment, but go on like a balm to give a wet look finish. These are limited edition shades and contain SPF15. Guess how much!? £16.90!!!! Told you I couldn’t believe the prices!

There are loads of other sets on offer too. Check out www.kikocosmetics.com or KIKO Stores to shop, and see the rest of the range.

Nails of the Day – Cheeky Soots You

A new beauty brand has entered the market this month – Cheeky is an offshoot of the Cowshed Spa range – bringing an affordable range of quality products, as well as a Cheeky Parlour in Shoreditch which offers Manicures which include a nail polish for only £12 and blowdries from £15 – the perfect place to pop to after work!

There are 21 nail polishes in the new range of Chat Me Up nail paints – today I’m wearing Soots You – a blacker than black, glossy polish. The brush is really thick, so that dreamy ‘3 stroke manicure’ is very much achievable with this. I loved that my nails were black from the very first coat, and they look so damned glossy it’s untrue! I am very impressed, particularly as the polish is only £7!

Cheeky nail polish launches this month at www.urcheeky.com – sign up to be informed when it all kicks off!

Free Nails Inc Polishes with Colgate MaxWhite ONE

Freebie alert!

Colgate has teamed up with Nails Inc to create two exclusive shades of nail polish – Luminous Red Gloss, and Luminous Red Metallic – limited edition shades which are FREE when you purchase the new Colgate MaxWhite ONE Luminous toothpaste from Boots.

Colgate MaxWhite ONE Luminous contains new SmartFoam technology which bursts foam in your mouth – enabling even between your teeth to get clean and white. It contains White Accelerator microcrystals which release ingredients similar to those used by your dentists as you brush. Colgate claim that by using this toothpaste, your smile will be one shade whiter in just one week!

It seems a great deal that you are getting not only this fab sounding toothpaste, but a full sized nails inc polish for only £3.99. There are two shades to choose from – Luminous Red Gloss, and Luminous Red Metallic.

Luminous Red Gloss is a gorgeously glossy post-box red – Luminous Red Gloss, it’s metallic sister – exactly the same shade, but with a metallic finish to the polish. I found it really easy to apply – maybe it’s because I’ve been dabbling in textured polish recently, but it went on like a dream!

These are only available while stocks last – so go go go! Good luck!

Models Own – Velvet Goth Collection

Models Own are set to release two new collections this weekend – the Fireworks collection which contains 5 different glitter polishes, and Velvet Goth – 5 matt, yet glittery polishes. Both collections are available at Models Own Bottleshops from tomorrow and online and at Boots from 2nd September, costing £5 each.

I was sent three of the new Velvet Goth polishes to try out before their launch – Valerian, Amethyst and Obsidian.

Each of the polishes coat the nails pretty thinly with the first coat, but with the second coat, the nail becomes completely opaque. There is always a good amount of glitter particles in each stroke too – you don’t have to fish around in the bottle like you do with some polishes.

My favourite of the trio I tried were Valerian and Amethyst as the colours are just so vibrant and vivid. Although they are deep, dark colours, they are so bright, and the contrasting glitters are so pretty.

Valerian is a midnight blue with large chunks of blue glitter, and smaller particles of blue, and silver glitter.

Amethyst is a jewel-toned purple with large chunks of pinky purple glitter, with smaller partciles of purple, and pinky-silver glitter.

Obsidian isn’t as black as I was hoping it would be. It’s still black, but there’s so much glitter that I think it loses some of it’s intensity. That said, it’s still a really pretty polish – black with large and small chunks of silver glitter. The smaller particles look almost look gold once it’s on the nails.

It is a textured polish, but it seems to go on without too much trouble. My bottle of Amethyst seemed a little thicker and trickier than the other two – but as it’s so beautiful, it’s something I can turn a blind eye to in the future.

They aren’t as hard to remove as normal glitters too (yay!) Sure, you end up with a disco-ball of a hand, but it seems to be a dip in a remover pot, followed by a little scrape with the other hand to get rid of the last few flecks does the trick.

The other two shades in the collection are Sardonyx, a deep scarlet red, and Absinthe – an emerald green which I can’t wait to get my hands on!

What do you think of this collection? Would you wear it?

Nails of the Day – Eve Snow Poppy

I’m so used to hearing nail polish brands boast that they are ‘3-free’ (DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde), that when I heard that new nail brand, Eve Snow’s polishes were ‘3-added’, I was left confused. The 3 additions to the polishes, aren’t, thankfully, the harmful chemicals that are eliminated by 3-free polishes, but are Vitamin E, Argan Oil and Ginko Biloba – all of which are good things to be on your nails! It’s nice to know you can be conditioning your nails at the same time as them looking lovely.

I tried out Poppy, a bright post-box red colour which was extremely glossy and wore nicely. In fact, on the tube last night the girl sitting next to me asked me what it was as she loved the look of it so much! There must be something special in that polish!

The lid, similar to Butter London’s polishes, comes into two parts – so you can screw off the main, square lid to reveal a thinner lid underneath if you find it easy to apply it that way. The brush is wide and the formula feels just right – it was nice and easy to get an even coat of polish over the nail and two coats left it gorgeously opaque.

They’re a new brand so have a fairly small range of colours at the moment (16 if I counted correctly) but after this one polish – I’m impressed and look forward to the expansion of their range… lipsticks are coming soon too!

Eve Snow polishes are available at www.evesnow.com priced at £12

Revlon Expressionist Nail Art Duos

This year, nail art seems to be hotter than ever – and Revlon, never ones to miss a trick – have just released a collection of 7 nail polish duos featuring a wide, flat brush at one end to paint your base colour, and at the other end, a thin, nail art brush for you to apply a feature colour over the top.

The amount of designs you could do with these is endless! They are really to use and the nail art colour is thinner than normal polish, making it easy to get nice fluid strokes with the brush.

Using Pinkasso – I painted the base colour of a slightly pearlescent coral over my nails, then used the fuchsia nail art colour to paint the tips of my nails going from one side to the next and meeting in the middle. 

For Vincent Van Gold I decided to go down the zebra route – drawing lines from one side of the nail to the middle, alternating between the sides. I love love love the base colour of this – it is almost glass-like in finish – a gorgeous blue varies from being ultra-dark to a gorgeous royal blue.

For Ulterior Motif I used the charcoal colour all over my nails then using the pink glitter I applied a blob to the base of my nail, dried off the brush then pulled it up towards the end of my nails. I found this the hardest to work with as it didn’t show much when using it for linear designs as the glitter is sporadic – but I like it as an accent.

The Expressionist Nail Art Pens are available now in Boots and Superdrug priced at £7.99 each.

Illamasqua Paranormal Collection

Next Tuesday (30th April) sees the launch of Illamasqua’s latest collection – Paranormal – where everything is not as it seems. I went along to the launch this week, which was very eerie, and had a look at the new things on offer.

The new range consists of 3 nail polishes which – to the eye look like normal, pretty nail polish, but are secretly UV nail polishes that glow in UV black light – Parnormal UV Nail Varnish is limited edition and comes in Ouija (bright pink), Omen (bright green) and Seance (bright purple) as well as a clear UV topcoat – Geist.

The eyeshadow quad, Paranormal Palette, looks just like a palette of pink, green copper and purple shadows – but when you touch them they are squishy – kind of Moondough-esque.

The new gel liner, Infinity, promises to be blacker than black… and the rest of the things, I was lucky enough to get to take home for a play…

Hydra Veil was one of the most exciting discoveries for me on the night. I rarely get in a fluster over skincare, but this is something else – literally like nothing I have seen before. It’s main purpose is to be used as a primer before foundation, to get rid of those flaky bits we get near the nose (or anywhere!) and to hydrate under the eyes – but could also be used to hydrate the whole face as part of a skincare routine or on a long haul flight. When you open the tub, there is a little scoop spoon attached – and this is where the fun begins.

Hydra Veil looks like any thick, gel-like product. To the touch, it’s bouncy – like a jelly. You use the scoop spoon to get some product out – and the jelly just grows back over and settles back down to a flat topped product again, with no indentations – it really is magic!

I had a chat with David Horne on the night, Illamasqua’s Director of Product Development – and he said that he rejected so many products before this because it wasn’t settling perfectly. This one has definitely hit the nail on the head – I can’t stop testing it!

As for the product itself, when you rub it between your fingers it turns to an almost water-like substance. One scoop is enough to apply to your whole face. It smells divine and leaves skin feeling hydrated and ready for make up. David said it works in perfect harmony with Skin Base Foundation, so I shall be giving that a go tonight.

There are two new matte lipsticks – Posture (as above) and ESP – a darker, bolder purple. Posture is a cool toned purple which can look different in different lights. Sometimes it looks really purple, others pinkish, and sometimes a little nude. If you like MAC Blankety, I think you’d like this. It’s the more purple, matte version. I am wearing it in the photos below.

The new Gleam highlighter shade is a warm bronze illuminating shade. When I first laid eyes on it, it reminded me of MAC’s Cream Colour Base in Seaside – but it’s much more coppery and fluid than Seaside.

As I swatched it, I thought it would make a perfect highlighter for a darker skinned person – absolutely beautiful on black skin… so me doing what I always do – put it on my eyes.

It looked really pretty colour-wise, but formula-wise, the eyes weren’t the best idea as it creased within 5 minutes. I decided, after all, to try it on my cheekbones – and WOW, I’m in love! The Gleam actually worked quite well as a base for a more grungey, smoked out look too.

The nail polish I have is Ouija. It looks bright pink in the bottle, but when you catch it, you see silvery tones to it too. On the nails it looks almost metallic – then in UV light it is gorgeous and luminous (but unfortunately I don’t have a black light to show you!)

My thumb nail shows the colour of Seance polish, which I had applied at the event… and this is Ouija!

It hits stores and online at www.illamasqua.com on Tuesday 30th April. Whatcha think?

Nails of the Day – Leighton Denny Meet Me In Monaco

Meet Me in Monaco is part of the new spring / summer Riviera collection from Leighton Denny. The bottle of polish reminds me of liquid sand – it’s totally a sandy beach kind of colour!

It’s quite unlike anything else I have – on the nail it’s midway between a pale orange and a nude, camel colour.  I really like it – it feels super-chic, unique, and is perfect for this time of year.

The polish was a little streaky with just one coat, but with the second coat the magic happened and my nails looked perfect. The brush is wide which makes for easy application, and as yet I’ve had no chips or wear!

Leighton Denny polish costs £11 from Marks & Spencer and BeautyBay