Category Archives: Nails

A big hand for handcreams

I use hand cream almost every day, so I thought it would be good to let you know which have made my top 6 in the year 2015…

beautyspotlaiafarrangravesEOS (Evolution of Smooth) (£8.00) has a very feminine and fun new collection, with lovely modern packaging. I tried their Berry Blossom Hand Lotion and was pleasantly surprised – it contained a deeply moisturizing, very soothing light cream with a fabulous, fresh fragrance. Perfectly portable with an ultra cool design. It also comes in Cucumber (light green) and Fresh Flowers scents (turquoise).

laiafarrangravesblogL’Occitane – Rose 4 Reines velvet hand cream (£8.00, 30ml)
A true classic, this aptly-named velvet hand cream is fabulous! With organic ingredients, a beautiful rose scent and a very light texture, it’s extremely effective in protecting your hands. The epitome of timeless femininity comes in a handy 30 ml tube, perfect for carrying in your handbag.

 

laiafarrangravesThe Body Shop – Amande crème mains & ongles / Almond Hand & Nail Cream (£5.00)
Actively protects against dehydration, and is excellent for softening your cuticles and conditioning your nails, too. The natural oils it contains strengthen and nourish. It has a lovely texture and absorbs quickly, with a sweet, almond scent. My hands feel really soft after using this. Perfect size, too!

 

 

laiafarrangravesEndless Glove Dry Hand Cream 2 in 1 (£6.00) is a moisture mask and hand cream formulated with macadamia and grapeseed oils, pomegranate & shea butters. With its pleasant scent and texture, it lays down a velvety smooth moisture barrier that works for 12 hours after you apply it, and comes in the perfect purse-friendly size, with the usual quirky and fun Soap & Glory packaging.

 

 

 

 

 

laiafarrangravesThe wonderful people at Burt’s Bees bring us their special Beeswax hand cream and Hand salve (£10.99). Both come in small circular packages, one glass and the other a small metal tin. They also have a Lemon butter cuticle cream which softens cuticles fast and effectively, leaving a pleasant scent behind. The beeswax hand cream is very thick, with a strong, waxy scent which evaporates quickly – and you’re left with the softest hands imaginable. The hand salve is invigorating and slightly minty, perfect for preventing chapping in the big outdoors, or after some gardening. You can pop all of these in your handbag – the tins are particularly light.

laiafarrangravesNorwegian formula hand creams  (from £2.79) A classic! These hand creams from Neutrogena come in various versions now: fast absorbing, hand and nail, berry and anti-ageing. The slightly heavy formula is quickly absorbed and protects hands in the toughest of conditions, leaving your hands baby soft.

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No time to beautify? We’ve got it covered

beautyspotblog1-26 at 15.03.53So you want to look good, and you’re desperate for a manicure or pedicure but there aren’t enough hours in the day –  and you don’t really want to go in your lunch break because you can’t relax…so why not get them to come to you?
I did exactly that a few weeks ago and it was genius. I wanted to catch up with a friend and also get some beauty treatments done, so we called CitySwish and booked them to come to us (killing two birds with one stone so to speak). One of the main benefits they offer, is that it’s all done online: you book your treatment, your time and date of choice and you pay. Done. The other thing that was great about CitySwish, was how flexible our therapist was – as it was two of us, in essence she said we could use up our time fluidly, so we felt very relaxed, which in turn enhanced our experience. We were treated by Francesca, who arrived promptly with all her stuff (from towels to nail varnishes and a massage bed!), and after a short introduction started with the first treatments: a pedicure for me and a manicure for my friend (who had amazing navy nails done!). laiafarrangravesIt was very professional and we were both very happy with the results. Then, as a complete treat, we both had a short massage which I have to say was FANTASTIC. Francesca placed some hot water with essential oils underneath the massage bed below the head before starting, which was a wonderfully relaxing touch and proceeded to do such a good job that I stopped talking 😉 Once she completed all the treatments, she tool all her bits and pieces and left, leaving us feeling blissfully beautified.
I’m sure the experience would’ve been just as enjoyable had I been on my own, but having a shared experience with a girlfriend made it that more fun. You need to live in London’s zones 1-3 for them to come to your house, but if this is the case, check them out. You won’t regret it!

For more information go to Cityswish.com. Their prices are:
Beauty: £45 per hour
Massage: £60 per hour
Massage & beauty: £55 per hour

Nail your nails this Halloween…

Why not have some fun the Halloween and show off your nails? Here is a great tutorial I want to share with you from Julep nail varnishes. Check the brand out on Julep.com they have some fantastic colours I’ll be updating you on…

Happy Halloween!

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Nailing It

I am not big on nail varnish, as I think a perfectly groomed, healthy looking ‘varnish-free’ nail speaks volumes. But there are times, however, when a fabulous lacker is exactly what your outfit needs or when, for no apparent reason, you’re just in the mood for varnished nails. If this is the case – whether it’s red, taupe or mauve – you must check out Maison d’Anu. It’s a luxury beauty brand that is dedicated to delivering effective products without the use of harmful chemicals, making it safe to use even throughout pregnancy. Their nail varnishes are free from formaldehyde, toluene, DBP and camphor. And the range of colours is simply on the money– from  a sexy red or strong plum to a selection of gorgeous sugar candy shades and variations of natural tones with a hint of nude that are so right now.

Pashmina (pictured above) caught my eye, so I gave it a try. It’s one of those timeless shades that is perfect for summer and winter and works well with  all skin tones (girly but not too girly, grown up but still fun). It’s even in texture when you apply it,  matt, and so far it’s lasted a week without chipping so I’m officially a fan.

www.maisondanu.co.uk
varnishes retail at £9.95

Piccadilly’s best kept beauty secret…

laiafarrangraves-beautyspotIf you’re in central London and fancy some time out in an opulent setting, head to The House of Rush in Piccadilly, for a great urban spa experience. This fabulous beauty spa is a real on-stop-shop: it has a hairdresser section and an extensive menu of beauty treatments, ranging from facials and skin rejuvenation treatments, to massages and hair removal – and it even has a men’s designated beauty menu tailored for those metrosexual men amongst you. I decided to have a pedicure (given that the warm weather is finally here) to check out the spa, and was pleasantly surprised at how quiet and calm it was – once you’re inside – given that the address really couldn’t be more central.

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The room where I was shown to was comfortable and simply decorated,  and I was asked to sit on a reclining chair – it was so inviting I could’ve easily fallen asleep! – while classical music played in the background. The treatment itself was also very relaxing: it starting with a light foot and leg massage and exfoliation followed by a nail tidy-up and finished with a gorgeous rouge-noir high gloss varnish application. I was offered a drink and some pretzels while my nails were drying and my therapist Mel kept me company whilst she put everything away.

If you’re in central London and have time to spare, it’s the perfect hideaway and pampering salon. The atmosphere is friendly and the surroundings are stunning. What more can a girl want?

For more information go to thehouseofrush.co.uk. Pedicures start at £45 for a 45 minute treatment. The House Of Rush is located at 200 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HU. Tel: 020 3642 5782

I heart watermelon nail varnish

laiafarrangraves-beautyspotThis Spring Summer it’s all about strong and vibrant colours, such as plums, pinks and anything in between, which is why I love the shades in the brand new Korres collection. The range has some fantastic colours that are really on-trend, like this divine watermelon shade, their coral pink or the pomegranate. But it’s not just the colour, their texture is creamy and solid so they look great and last for ages without chipping. The best thing about them, however,  is that not only do they look fantastic, they are actually good for your nails too. Yes, you read correctly! This natural approach fits into the Greek brand’s philosophy, which is all about wellbeing and natural beauty, and focuses on bright colours with high shine that have been developed with mild solvents and a unique nail formula. It contains Myrrh extract and Provitamin B5 and a mix of five essential good-nail-health nutrients (silicum, calcium, zinc, iron and sulfur) to moisturise and strengthen your nails. And, of course, the formula doesnt’ contain any toxic ingredients.

The Korres range has twenty colours, a base coat and a top coat, and it’s really impressive. I strongly recommend that you check it out for yourself and wave goodbye to the days where varnish ruined your nails.

Korres nail varnish is priced at £9.00, and is available from John Bell & Croyden in store at 50-54 Wigmore Street, London W1A 2AU or online at Johnbellcoryden.co.uk.

Nail polish heaven

LaiafarrangravesbeautyspotblogEver though about what you’re putting on your nails when you’re varnishing them? Nail varnishes, and cosmetics in general, have been recently scrutinised for containing potentially carcinogenic and toxic ingredients, so it’s not surprising that more and more we are looking for polishes with less  ‘nasties’ in their formulations. And if you’re pregnant, for instance, it’s important that you chose wisely. Often quality and finish are compromised when we choose to buy a natural product, but not in this case. This fabulous brand called Zoya is safe to use (its eco formula is free from DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, and camphor) and provides long-lasting colours that are creamy and give flawless results with each application. I tried the Carmen red shade, a gorgeous Coca Cola red that is great for the summer and suits all skin tones. It glides easily when you use it, and feels consistent but not too thick, making it very easy to apply. I particularly like it on my toes, as it’s a timeless classic, and it seems to last forever without chipping (still looks perfect after a week!). But there are some other fabulous shades in the range too, such as a watermelon pink and a grey/mauve colour that look really luxe – definitely worth  a look! So next time you buy a nail varnish, think twice about what’s in it and make an informed decision, as great results are no longer compromised by using natural formulations.

 Zoya nail polish puts the final touch on fingertips and toes with a long-lasting, chip-resistant formula free from toxins such as camphor, DBP (phthalates), toluene, and formaldehyde.

Zoya nail polishes are available at biggreensmile.com and are priced at £10.50. They have been awarded as the longest wearing natural nail polish by an independent panel in Women’s Health Magazine.