Friday, 30 August 2013

1,000 follower giveaway- win the Rio ultimate nail artist collection

It's no secret that I love nail art and that Rio is my favourite nail art brand due to the quality of their products. As I reached 1,000 followers on GFC the other day (OMG SO AMAZING YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!) I thought it was only right to give away one of my favourite products to a lucky winner. 
The prize for this giveaway is the Rio Ultimate Nail Artist Collection which I have also reviewed here (Rio Ultimate Nail Artist Collection review blog post) as if you're just getting into nail art it's the perfect stater set. It literally has *everything* you could ever need  to get into nail art.
I was very kindly given this set when I attended the #julylondonmeetup organised by the lovely Helen last month and seeing as I already have the set I thought I'd give one of you guys the chance to win one.
The set retails for £29.99 which is very good value for money considering how many products you receive and is available on the Rio website here
I am also giving away their original nail art pens on my twitter (@islaay_x) which I have reviewed here. To enter simply follow me and retweet this tweet!
This competition is only open to the UK due to ridiculous shipping costs as it's bulky (I'm so sorry!!) 

Good luck for entering and the winner will be announced on the 15th of September. I will announce the winner on my twitter and they will be contacted by email to let them know if they have won.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

easy and healthy peach and raspberry smoothie recipe

for a bit of a change I thought I would post a recipe on here.  It's perfect for warm days as it's nice and cool thanks to the frozen raspberries.
You will need:
a banana
a ripe peach
frozen raspberries
milk (I used lactose free but you can use whatever milk you normally use)
a blender
simply blend it all together and you've got yourself a delicios and healthy peach and raspberry smoothie. I did a quick (literally two minute) video below showing you how to do it which I'd love you to watch. Here is a link to my YouTube channel too!



Saturday, 24 August 2013 has had a makeover!

hello! If you're new here or slightly unobservant I got my blog redesigned, wohoooo! My good friend Helen recently got hers done by Serena so I thought I would too as I loved how hers turned out and I was bored of how mine looked. I've put before and after photos in just incase you forgot what it looked like first (I know I had!) 
I'm so happy with how it's turned out and I love the pastel colour scheme and the scalloped bits round the side of the page. She also managed to fix loads of annoying bits in the sidebar which you guys probably hadn't noticed but really bugged me and I'm so happy about that!
Overall it only cost £20 which is such an amazing price for the job that she's done. Serena let me pick out all my colour schemes and was great at adding little bits in which I'd requested her to do; I'd totally recommend her to anyone! It was done in pretty much 24 hours so don't worry about your blog looking a bit funny for ages while it gets sorted out as that was something I wasn't sure about.

By the way- Serena didn't ask me to do this but I thought I would as I think she's done such and good job and I want to get your opinions on the redesign. Don't forget to check out her blog, YouTube and her store if you want to get your blog redesigned too or if you just wanted to have a nosey at it!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Easy polkadot nail art tutorial for beginners

I get 983920 daily requests (no exaggeration) for me to do the occasional nail art tutorial on my YouTube channel so I thought I'd give in and do one for you! I kept it simple and decided to do an easy beginners polkadot nail art tutorial which everyone can do (yes even you!) so please let me know what you think! 
As I mentioned in the video here is a post I did on DIY dotting tools to save you buying them but if you wanted to just buy them here is a link to get them very cheap on eBay!

Seeing you recreations make my day so please email them to or tweet them to @islaay_x, I always RT them!

ps so sorry about the music- I know it's a pain! I've downloaded loads of different ones now so look out for them in the next video I do!

Friday, 16 August 2013

my favourite mint green nail polishes

the other day when I was talking to Laura about mint green nail polish she dropped the bombshell on me that she didn't own a mint green nail polish (seriously, someone please sort her out!!) and I had the idea to do a post on my mint green nail polishes- which ones I like and which ones I don't. 
If I'm honest I usually tend to stick to the same brands but as mint green is one of my favourite nail colours so I've gathered quite a few!
The nail wheel photo has the polishes in the same order as the are in the photograph and as I'm going to list them here:
Rimmel London 'misty jade': I'm a fan of Rimmel polishes, they aver very pigmented and creamy and last well on the nails. This is a darker blue toned mint and looks especially good with a tan. I like the brush on this one, it's a very good shape and the perfect size
Primark: this was a present from my lovely friend Helen ages ago. I forgot about it until I was writing this post as it had disappeared off into my sister's room! Considering the price of Primark nail polish they're actually pretty good! They're very well pigmented and have a nice creamy formula to them. The downside to them is because the bottle is small the lid is quite fiddly to use as a handle for painting your nails and they're not the longest lasting on your nails either but if you're getting someone who's just getting into beauty a gift then I think it would be ideal
£2 for a set of four (50p each)
Nail girls 'Teal 2'*: this is one of my favourites from all of them, they have the nicest formula to them and they are also free from harmful chemicals, not tested on animals and vegan! They last very well on the nails and because of the very creamy formula they apply very easily. In contrast to the Primark nail polish it has a very good brush which is perfect for painting and makes for a very even application to the nail
elf 'mint cream': I'm not too keen on this one- the formula is thin which leads to streaks and it chips very easily. It also has the same problem as the Primark one where the lid makes it awkward to paint your nails as it's not a very good shape. I've tried a few of the elf nail polishes and I don't really like any of them which is a shame but as they're so cheap you can't really complain
Essie 'mint candy apple': this is my favourite from the lot and it's a product I feel everyone needs (yes even you are included in this) it's the perfect mint shade- right amount of blue and green in it, has such a lovely creamy and opaque formula which lasts really well without chipping! This is such a hyped up product and it's definitely worth it, I love it! It has a good shaped brush to it to make application easy and it's not streaky or watery when you're applying it. It dries fast and I don't find it smudges easily
Sally Hansen 'mint sorbet': this isn't the longest lasting nail polish as it chips quite easily. It has a quite creamy formula to it but I find it can be quite sheer so you need a good couple of coats to build up the colour. The colour of this one is one of my favourites from the lot- it's more of a green mint instead of a blue mint and I like the application of it too as it has a good brush to it. I wish it lasted longer without chipping though as this would make it perfect.

Revlon 'minted': this is a fairly recent purchase- I love Revlon but I hadn't tried any of their nail polishes before (shock horror) so I thought I'd better pick up a few. I am quite impressed with Minted- the formula is nice, it lasts well without chipping and application is good too. Also you get quite a lot in the bottle compared to the others so I guess it works out better value for money
£5.99 (currently on Fragrance Direct for 99p!!!!)

W7 'spearmint'*:  Spearmint is definitely more of a blue toned mint than a green toned one. I found the formula to be quite watery on this one so you need a good couple of coats to make it opaque compared to something like 'mint candy apple' from Essie. It's good value for money at  but I find it chips easily. It does however have a nice shaped brush and good handle for painting and like the Revlon one you get quite a lot of product in the bottle. I wish the formula was slightly thicker and more opaque though as it would make the application better.

Barry M 'mint green' (np 304): this is my third bottle of this I think- I remember wearing it to death a couple of summers ago before I had 'mint candy apple' from Essie. It's definitely more of a greeny mint as opposed to a blue mint. As with most Barry M nail polishes it's got a lovely formula which I find resists chips quite well. Also it has a good shaped brush and handle too to make the application easier. I find it goes on nicely without streaks too.

Overall favourite mint green nail polishes:
low priced: Barry M 'mint green'
medium priced: Essie 'mint candy apple"
high priced: Nail Girls 'teal 2'

if you were just to buy one I'd definitely go for 'mint candy apple'- it's so hyped up but I can honestly say it's worth it! Please let me know what you thought of this post- it's something different to what I normally do but I thought it might be helpful to some of you. Please let me know what your favourite mint green nail polishes are (because I definitely don't have enough of them already...)

the products marked with a * were sent to me for review purposes however this does not influence my opinion and it is 100% honest as always

Monday, 12 August 2013

Evolution of Festival Fashion

Festival Fashion Timeline by New Look

Seeing as we're now well into festival season New Look have put together an infographic showing the changes in festival styles and fashion over the years from 1969 to today and how music festivals have influenced these changes. It's very interesting to have a look through the different styles and music genres and how it evolves throughout the different decades and festivals over time. You can see the infographic either above or here is a direct link in to the Evolution of Festival Fashion on the NLdaily site (there's lots of other good content on there too if you wanted to have a look- I liked the 'Field Day Street Style' section- lots of outfit inspiration!)

I wish I had organised to go to a festival this year as they're loads of fun- last year I went to the Hackney Weekend which I posted about forever ago (hello retro post) and you can have a flick through the photos of that if you like. I can't believe that was a year ago though, seriously how is it already half way through August?!

Are you going to a festival this year? If so which one and what did you wear? Let me know in a comment!

this is a sponsored post

Sunday, 11 August 2013

easy cherry nail art tutorial

It seems like FOREVER since I last did a nail art post, to be honest i've hardly done anything exciting on my nails recently so I haven't had much to post about! I was inspired to do these from the new issue of my favourite magazine Company. I didn't take step by step photos because I felt Company did a good job and theirs are clearer than mine would be! They're nice and summery which I like and they stand out as they're very bright and perfect for holiday! I think I'd prefer them with a mint green or pastel pink background as I'm not the biggest fan of white nails on me but I still think they look okay with the white!

Please let me know what you think of my cherry nail art!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

postcards from New York

If you hadn't seen me mention before I recently went to New York on a family holiday and I took loaaaads of photos so here are some of them! I also vlogged and they've been going up on my youtube channel if you wanted to look- I split it into four parts so it's not as long to watch! New York was amazing and it's so strange seeing everything in real life if you get me- like I've seen so many films and TV programmes with people walking about NYC and then you actually see it in real life and it's just like whoa! This is random but it was loads dirtier than I was expecting, seriously it makes London look clean!
I also bought too much stuff and I did a (18 minute long) haul which was so highly requested and you can watch it below if you'd like!