Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Benefit stay flawless Southampton bloggers event

Last night I went to the launch event for the new Benefit primer- stay flawless. I had such a good evening and met loads of other bloggers, some of which I already knew through twitter/their blog and others I hadn't had the chance to talk to before which was lovely. It was such a good evening so thank you to the girls at Benefit for organising it! 
I will be doing a full review of stay flawless soon to let you know what I think of it- I love porefessional so hopefully stay flawless will be great too! The release date for stay flawless is the 29th of June and it will be priced at £24.50. Apart from trying it on the back of my hand last night I haven't given it a go yet so I can't tell you my first impressions but I'll be sure to keep you updated!

I did a little vlog and get ready with me video which is below if you wanted to watch it! My YouTube channel is islaayx and I would love it if you could subscribe!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Rio Professional Nail Artist Collection review

today I am reviewing the Rio professional nail artist collection*. I have tried the nail art pens and magnetic nail polish before and if you've read any of my nail art posts before you'll know they're pretty much all I use as they're perfect for doing nail art with! The professional nail artist collection is basically all the nail accessories you'll ever need all together in one set. I usually buy my dotting tools/brushes etc off of eBay and they usually come from China on economy delivery meaning it can take up to a month to arrive- not really ideal (even if they are only around 99p). The Rio set is great as it has everything all together in one box. It is perfect for if you're just starting out with nail art and wanted to have everything avaliable to try out hundreds of different designs. It will take me a while to properly give everything a go so I am posting the overall review now as I've tried a few bits (I'm posting a tutorial for the nails at the bottom of this post soon so look out for that coming up) and I will be doing lots more posts in the future using different products from the set to create different manicures.

the polishes that you receive in the kit are a black nail art pen, adhesive for the nail foils, 2-in-1 varnish (top and base coat) red, white, silver and a green polish. Obviously you can use any colours you have already to create your design but it was nice that some were included! So far I've only used the red and white polishes and the adhesive which I have got on with well. I've previously tried the nail art pens and as I said earlier I love them!

you also get a selection of glitters in these tiny pots. Okay these are adorable- they remind me of little pixi dust pots or something that the tooth fairy would have- they're so cute! They are however quite fiddly to use as you have to paint your nail with the base colour and whilst it's still wet pour the glitter over the nail to stick to it which as you can imagine means it goes everywhere- hello glittery floor! They're a nice idea though but I don't really see myself using them all that much.

these pots of glitter are much more useful than the tiny jars. They hold quite a lot of glitter and the white and green ones are perfect for doing this glequin type manicure which Sam is famous for doing! The tiny beads are perfect for doing caviar nails or you can also use them as tiny studs to make your nails 3D

these fruit shapes and rhinestones are a great addition to a simple manicure. I have some similar fruit shapes already but had never tried having rhinestone nails before. To try them out I painted my nails a dark blue and used the round light blue ones to be like small polkadots- they looked really cute! You stick them on with a small dot of clear nail polish and I would recommend putting a few layers of top coat on top of the nails once they're finished though as they are likely to come off easily.

nail foils and striping tape are both something I hadn't tried before. For the foils you have to paint your nails with the adhesive I mentioned earlier (it's pretty much just PVA glue I think) and leave it until it's almost dry- 8-10 minutes. Cut a section of the nail foil to fit your nail, place it on top and rub it down making sure it gets into the corners and slowly peel off. It leaves an effect which is pretty much impossible to achieve with polish and is bound to get people asking about them! The striping tape is used to easily get straight lines when you're trying to do something precise. The base colour must be completely dry, cut the piece of tape to size and carefully position it on your nail. Once it's positioned paint over it with a different colour then peel the tape off. The area under the tape will remail the base colour and the rest of the nail will be the second colour,. They make your nails so much neater than doing it freehand and give a really striking effect!

I don't tend to use brushes apart from striper brushes usually so I'm excited to properly give these a go to see what effects I can get with them! I like how the second one in from the left is angled which makes painting easier as you can see what you're doing better! I hopefully will be able to create some interesting designs with the large fan brush on the right so I'm looking forward to trying them all out.

I think the finger stand it a quite cool but a quite unnecessary addition to the set. I guess it's kind of useful when doing somebody else's nails but to be honest you don't really need it! The sponges are for doing gradient/ombre nails. As you can see I haven't tried these ones yet as I've failed miserably several times when attempting ombre previously. I'll give these sponges a go and keep you updated though!

a nail art stamping plate is something I've bought previously off of ebay to try but I couldn't get it to work properly and gave up on it so I'm glad this kit came with two to try so I could give it another go. I gave these a quick try on mum's nails and they turned out better than my previous attempts with the eBay stamping plate. I know not all of you won't know what you're to do with these so I'm definitely doing a separate post on them soon to show you how you use them!

sorry for the overload of photos and information- this kit just has so much in it and I didn't want to miss out anything!
The Rio Professional Nail Artist Collection retails for £29.99 and is currently only available on Argos but I think it may be available on the Rio website soon! 
I've added a photo below of how my nails turned out when I tried out different things from the set. I've taken full step by step photos showing you how to use lots of things in the Rio professional nail art set and that post will be going up soon so look out for that being posted! (The base colour I used was 'awol' by topshop)

Friday, 24 May 2013

I'm in the company magazine weekle edit!!

so basically guys if you don't already know- I'm a massive fan of company magazine. I've been subscribed for years and it's my all time favourite which I always look forward to arriving in the post and reading. A while ago when Gemma contacted me and asked if I would be able to do some nail art to go into their beauty school section of the weekly edit I jumped at the chance and said yes! I decided to do a watermelon nail tutorial as it's nice and summery and not hard to recreate if you break it down into the steps shown in the tutorial!
I used the Rio nail art pens (my favourite) to create the design!

If you'd like to download the company weekly edit (only 69p!) to see my tutorial click here and it will redirect you to iTunes to buy it (I think it only works on apple devices- sorry!) and please let me know if you did!

Thank you to Company Magazine and Gemma for this opportunity!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Oasap giveaway!

so it's been a while since my last giveaway so when Oasap contacted me this morning to ask if they could host a giveaway on I said yes straight away! Oasap is an online fashion/accessories store and they have literally hundreds and hundreds of items on their site- all at great prices! If you haven't already then I would recommend checking them out- they have free shipping too which is GREAT!

Anyway- onto the competition! All you have to do is sign up to create an account on (it's free) and be able to provide me with your postage information if you win. As for the prize the winner will get to win an item from the ones below- it's that simple!

candy coloured skater skirt
mini skirt with chiffon overlay
galaxy print leggings
straw hat with flower
Eiffel tower top
Pink Panther top
Crochet lace top
asymmetric chiffon dress

these are all so pretty and the lucky winner will get to choose which item they like the best to win. Personally I think I like the candy coloured skater skirt the best, it's so cute!

I've used rafflecopter for the entries as I think it's the easiest way for you to enter. Don't forget to create an account on before entering (it takes about two minutes and it's just simple things e.g. your name and email address- don't worry you won't get loads of spam emails!).
The competition will last for 10 days and I will announce the winner on twitter and email the winner.

Thank you for Oasap for letting me to do this giveaway, good luck!

*the giveaway prize will only be provided by oasap if 50 people create an account on so please make sure you create an oasap account!*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, 19 May 2013

watermelon NOTD and nail art tutorial

 I was over the moon when I got an email a few weeks back from the lovely Gemma who works at Company magazine (aka my favourite ever magazine) asking me to do a nail art tutorial for their weekly edit in the nail art section. I decided to do watermelon nails for it but I'm not sure if they've already been published in it already or not but I'll find out for you.

These are perfect for when the weather gets warmer (fingers crossed) as they're really summery. I plan on having watermelon nail art and wearing my new watermelon cami top I bought in American Apparel whilst using my watermelon phone case and eating watermelon. Watermelon obsessed? Me? No!

The pink polish was one from Essie and I did the details using the Rio nail art pens. This design is fairly easy to do once you break it down into the small steps as you can see above! If you don't have nail art pens then you can use the end of a kirby grip for the details and it works well!

As always I LOVE seeing people recreate nail art I've done so if you do then please make sure to tweet me a photo (@islaay_x) or send it to me on instagram (@islaay) as I love seeing them!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

spring wishlist


I haven't done a wishlist post in soooo long so I thought I would do one today! I think the polkadot blouse with some high waisted shorts and the daisy earrings would look SO cute together! The earrings would also look really cute with the coral dress which is from New Look (it's basically their version of the Topshop ones- I bought the dark green one in Topshop which you can see in this outfit post and I wore it to death over winter so I think having a summery one would be nice too!)
I've read so many good reviews on the Emma Hardie cleansing balm that I've decided I need it in my life- only problem is that it's £34, boo! I was meant to add Hydraluron into the list too after hearing Caroline Hirons rave about it but I forgot to add it in, oops!

Let me know what's on your wishlist and if you have any recommedations of things I should add to mine!

ps I just noticed this is my 200th post, WHOA! Also I hit 100K page views the other day so thank you all SO much for that!!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

beauty things I suck at

so today I thought I would share with you some of the things I suck at doing when it comes to beauty- enjoy! I'd love to hear what beauty things you suck at, please leave a comment letting me know!

Subscribe to Jess here!

Here's a link to my YouTube channel if you would like to take a look and subscribe I'd be so grateful!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

what's in my bag

  I haven't done a what's in my bag type thing in quite a while so I thought I would do one! All my others have been on my blog so I thought for a bit of a change I would do it as a YouTube video. My bag is from La Moda* and was only £20 which is such a bargain!
I would love it if you could subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't already as I'm planning on doing lots more videos when my exams are all over, yay!

Saturday, 11 May 2013


skirt: topshop
top: primark
shirt: H&M
watch: river island
belt: topshop
necklace: topshop
earrings: topshop

so basically ellie posted this outfit the other day which made me remember that I had completely neglected this skirt (I bought it a few months ago but I've only worn it once so far) and made me want to wear it again! Because I'm totally not original at all I decided to just completely copy her outfit, woo!
I don't know how much you can tell from the photos but the skirt is one of those high-low ones where it's longer at the back than at the front but it was quite long and looked pretty frumpy on me which is why I kind of sinched it in with the belt to hold it up. I have my exams starting on Tuesday (blaaaah) so sorry for the lack of posts over the next few weeks but I will have some fun things going up after they're over, woo!

p.s. please ignore how long my hair has got, it needs cutting asap
p.p.s. please check out Ellie's blog, she's pretty cool you know.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

loopy bow nail art tutorial

I'd seen nails similar to these on pinterest a while ago and never actually tried them but when Helen had her nails similar the other day I thought I would give them a go! They're quite fiddly to try and get them all even but I think they're quite eye catching once you've done them!

paint your nails in the base colour of your choice. I chose 'teal 2'* by nailgirls which I reviewed in my daisy nail art tutorial
using a white polish create two arch shapes in the corner of each nail using a curved sweeping motion of the brush. I just used the brush on the nail polish but you could draw the shape with a striper and fill it in if you found that easier
go over the line where the white meets the green with a black striper
create two loops for the bow on top of the the white to make it look like it's a continuous piece of ribbon

I think these are quite unique and you could change the colours to match any outfit! Don't forget to check out Helen's blog!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Bargain £5 Jeffery Campbell 'foxy' dupes

tReds is a shop I've never shopped in before but as one recently opened up in my local town I decided to have a look on their website the other day. When browsing in the sale section I cam across these beauties for five pounds reduced from £29.99. Yes FIVE POUNDS- biggest bargain of my life! They're a pretty good dupe for the Jefferey Campbell 'foxy' heels but so much cheaper so if you didn't want to splash out then this is a great compromise! Considering how tall they make you they're really comfortable and wearable- I wore them with skinny jeans and a sheer black blouse last week and I was walking around in them for four hours and my feet ached a bit but they weren't as bad as you would expect (this is coming from a girl that pretty much never wears heels btw!)

They unfortunately only have these two colours but seeing as they're such versatile colours I don't think it really matters that there's not a wider selection!

In total with postage these both came to just £13 which is amazing! They still have some sizes left in the white and pretty much all sizes the black so go quick before they sell out! Oh and postage was super quick- around three days which is less than I was expecting!

Let me know if you take a look on tReds and buy these- after posting the link on twitter the other day I know at least five other bloggers have bought them!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Easy Cath Kidston step by step nail art tutorial

as you'll probably know (unless you're new here and in that case- hello!) Cath Kidston nails are one of my favourite nail art designs to do so here's some which I did recently!
I used essie 'mint candy apple' and barry m 'peach melba' for the base colours and the Rio nail art pens* for the details.
As I didn't take step by step photos I've created a tutorial below which should hopefully make a bit more sense as to how to do the flowers!
Simply paint your nails in the base colour you've chosen
Once it's dry paint vertical white stripes on top
Create a few flowers by doing three small dots in the peach colour next to each other
Once it's dry do the same in the darker colour on top with a smaller dotting tool so that a bit of a rim is left around the edge
Do a couple of light green lines coming out the side for the leaves
Do a line with a darker green polish over the top

I hope doing the tutorial like this made a bit more sense, let me know if it did and if you recreate them!