Video: My Top Hair Products

For my beauty series on my YouTube channel I have decided to do a run down of my favourite hair products, beauty products and make up products. Up first are my hair care products, you know I never really thought I was much of a product junkie, but when you line them all up in order to review, boy I have a lot!!

Products featured:
Batiste Dry Shampoo & XXL Big & Bouncy
John Frieda Luxurious Volume collection* – Fine to Full Blow Out spray & Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo
John Frieda Frizz-Ease collection – Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme & Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hairspray
Lush H’Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment
Label M Shine Spray

The Latest Beauty and Fashion Apps for your Phone

Stylish women thrive on fashion and need all the latest news and gossip to keep them fashionable; Phones4U can keep you connected to all the latest apps so that looking good is effortless! All you need is a smartphone and the app store and convenient functionality will be yours. Phones 4U offer the latest smartphones and on their site, you can also compare different deals and savings on pay as you go handsets check out the new htc one here.

┬áWhatever your style interests you are always guaranteed to need a mirror at the most inconvenient time. All women know the score: blind scrambling around in your handbag grasping for a compact mirror. Finally there is an app to answer your prayers. Mirror is an ingenious app that means you don’t need to resort to a mobiles self mode camera to apply last minute essentials. Always at hand, Mirror is perfect for when you’re in a rush.

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If a whole new look is what you need then try Modiface. By using this app you can find the right shades and tones to suit you- and the best part is it requires no effort. All you have to do is upload your photo to Modiface and ‘try on’ their wide array of cosmetics. This is the easiest way to experiment with different make up without reaching for your purse.

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But don’t forget that your wardrobe needs managing too, luckily Stylebook is at hand to help. Having been dubbed the best wardrobe management app it allows you to upload photos of your clothes to coordinate your outfits, help you pack for trips and track the latest fashion trends. No fashionista should be caught without this app!

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Although you’ve finally updated and organised your style you still need to pamper your body to finish the look and enhance your beauty. SpaFinder is the perfect solution and completely hassle free; with one swipe you can locate nearby spas and immediately book an appointment. So download SpaFinder today and take advantage of your free time.

With so many useful apps at your disposal grab yourself a bargain from Phones4U and start downloading. There really is no reason not to invest in the latest fashion apps and become the go to girl for all your friends’ fashion and beauty needs.

Beauty: Easy Ombre Nail Art DIY featuring Illamasqua Speckled Varnishes

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You guys will probably say I am being all obsessive again, but when I find a brand I really love I get a bit carried away with it! I always say I’m not a huge beauty product buyer, but now my dressing table is fighting for space I think its time to admit, I have become a beauty junky. My main loves are always going to be Chanel for their nail colours and lipsticks, Benefit for their innovative products and Bobbi Brown for their sheer natural perfection and long wear products. But I have been getting into nail art lately, I blame Sharon1 nails taking me behind the scenes at London Fashion Week and getting into YouTube (a post on my fav channels to come). I think its the summer (well the thought of it), which really has me in the mood for some fun, bright and creative make up. I still love my classic red lips and slick of eye liner but it’s nice to try something different.

Yesterday afternoon @Illamasqua reached 50,000 Twitter followers and to celebrate they offered 50% off all products for a few hours! I really couldn’t believe it, so generous! Having only just discovered the brand there were a few products I had earmarked to go and check out next time I was at the counter, but I didn’t think I would ever get chance for such a high discount again so I snapped up a few things. Fighting the clock and the frustraitingly slow website, due to the amount of people on it, I had to check out before I added everything I wanted. I wanted to make sure I at least got soemthings. Then Illamasqua announced they would run the offer again at midnight for just one hour for those who missed out. This time I was prepared, I added items to my basket so that when the clock struck 12 I could just check out. There may have been a few extra items that crept into my basket!

How to Create Ombre Tips

Whilst I was waiting up for the sale to start I had a play around with the two new nail colours I got from Illamasqua earlier in the week. Speckle (Lilac) and Mottle (Mint Green) from the Speckled Egg inspired collection. This is such an easy manicure to do but it looks really striking, you can easily do this with any nail varnish too.

1. Apply Base Coat

2. Apply two coats of your first colour all over the nail

3. For you accent colour at the tips, make sure you wipe most of the varnish from the brush on the side of the bottle. Very little varnish is needed for this stage. Carefully, using tiny strokes, apply the varnish to the very tips of your nails. In fast strokes, keeping pressure light dab on the varnish to the tips, extending as far down as desired.

4. As the varnish dries it will blend together, I didn’t use a Topcoat as I like the matt textured effect of the varnish I used but you can choose to use Top Coat if you wish. Just be sure the bottom layers are dry first to avoid smudging.

You can play around with this effect, have cascading levels of colour or have them all the same length, try using three colours to build up the Ombre effect and so on.

TIP: If you are struggling to get the Ombre effect try using a sponge to apply the accent colour. You can lightly sponge the varnish onto the tips which will give you a softer application and be easier to blend.

 

 

 

Illamasqua Make Over!

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Couldn’t wait to share this amazing make over I got at Illamasqua. It isn’t a brand I had tried before, in fact I admit I avoided it with the scary looking bright colours – nope not for me, not at all…

The more I walked past the counter every time I visited Selfridges, I would edge closer, just out of intrigue you understand. The ethereal make up artists, with butterfly eyes so alluring, but no still not for me.

It started with a nail varnish. My friend Rich insisted I go and see them. They were exactly like mini-eggs and I do love mini-eggs. I tested a couple of colours on my nails, oh yes I agreed they were gorgeous. But still not for me.

Without plan we found ourselves at Selfridges Summer Beauty event. Chance to go round and talk with the MUA’s, learn some new tips. Suddenly I decided I wanted to try some of those butterfly eyes for myself. A pallet with mint green, pollen yellow, deep purple and a shimmering pewter caught my eye. How on earth do you use such colours? I had no idea what to expect as a result. But I didn’t have to change my entire make-up look at all, MUA Paddy created a sultry smoky eye yet made it pop with a dot of yellow in each corner. I was sold, I took home the pallet. Oh yes and those nail varnishes too.

Converted.

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I simply adore this make up look, it is my summer party look for sure! All I need to add are my blond and pink hair extensions

a slick of nail polish and I’m done!

Vlog: Make-Up Haul Bobbi Brown & Harvey Nics

I’m not one to buy beauty products in bulk, in fact I’m not usually one to buy much make-up at all preferring to keep my cosmetics bag minimal. But I had gotten to that stage where everything seems to run out all at the same time, so went to stock up at Bobbi Brown in Harvey Nichols. Whilst I was there they had some special offers on which meant I got a freebie Bobbi Brown make-up bag with mini lip gloss and a special edition Fifi Lapin make-up bag packed with goodies! If you remember I’ve been using Bobbi Brown products since September ‘”Would you give up your make-up bag?‘ and ‘Putting Bobbi Brown Long Wear to the Test‘ I think it’s fair to say the products last really well. The thing I ran out of first was the concealer and now I am getting low on foundation and cleanser. There were also some new products I wanted to try, new eye shadows and the Retouching face powder, which I will review once I’ve tried them out.

Rebuys:

  • Long-wear even finish foundation SPF 15 ÔÇô Warm Ivory 1
  • Creamy Concealer Kit ÔÇô Warm Honey Creamy Concealer & Pale Yellow Sheer Finish Pressed Powder
  • Rich Lip Colour SPF 12 ÔÇô Old Hollywood 2
  • Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser

New Buys:

  • Retouching Powder – White
  • Metallic Eye Shadow ÔÇô Forest 6 and Midnight 12

If you want to find out what think of these products and what I got in the rest of my haul check out the vlog!

I will do creating more vlogs soon, not just beauty but fashion too. At the moment I am trialing quite a few products including mascaras and lash primers, nail art and skin care. What I hope to find is a new facial serum, since my old fav’ was changed I can’t fine one I am impressed with. I am planning to hit up Selfridges beauty department and try a few out top of my list are Elizabeth Arden and Bobbi Brown, but I have been checking out creme de la mer from Beautique and I really want to try it after all the rave reviews. Not all the products are over ┬ú100 either like I presumed. Watch this space!

How to create next seasons looks now – Back Stage with Bobbi Brown

How to create next seasons looks now -Back Stage with Bobbi Brown at LFW

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During the whirlwind that is London Fashion Week I took the chance to go backstage with Bobbi Brown, to give you an insiderÔÇÖs look into the hottest beauty trends for AW13. There is no need to wait until next season to try these out though, as the two statement make-up looks are perfect for summer too. Taking influence from the swinging 60s lead artist Florrie White created a sultry Brigitte Bardot style look for the Orla Kiely show. Toned down to keep it fresh and easy to wear to the office a smoky chocolate brown eye was smudged on. Blush was kept to a light sweep of pink and lips a subtle shimmer of golden beige. With a messy bun this is a perfect daytime look, just let down your hair and add a shimmer eye shadow and slick of eye liner to take the look to after dark.

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In contrast for the Jena.Theo show lead artist Kim Brown opted for a modern grunge look. Gorgeous dewy skin was created with lots of moisture, blush kept neutral and a soft mid-brown eye shadow to keep the focus on the statement lip. A vibrant pop of colour in matt acid orange made the look oh so modern. Defined brows, reminiscent of model of the moment Cara Delavigne, gave a youthful feel.

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If you fancy trying out either of these looks the friendly make-up artists at Bobbi Brown counter will be keen to show you how. If you want to try it yourself the Orla Kiely look is easy to recreate all you need is a soft, eye shadow crayon which you can smudge on Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Stick in ÔÇÿBarkÔÇÖ was the backstage favourite, then add lashings of mascara. For the Jena.Theo look keep everything simple so you can create a statement with a bold orange lip, try Bobbi Brown Creamy Matt lipstick in ÔÇÿJennaÔÇÖ as used for the show. Above you can see the gorgeous Irene from Bobbi Brown rocking a pink tipped Tux-mani using two of the new Bobbi Brown summer shades. This is such an easy look to recreate with any colours, but looks super sleek.

Man Wisdom: Paying the Price for Looking Good

Male grooming has been on the increase over the past few years, and shows no sign of slowing down as more men than ever are choosing to spend their cash on beauty treatments and products. Everything from specialised menÔÇÖs face wash to ÔÇÿmanscapingÔÇÖ their legs, chest and other delicate areas have resulted in a boom in the male grooming industry, and market leaders have been taking full advantage of this new phenomenon.

The most popular grooming products in 2012 were shampoo, body spray, shower gel and fragrances; though many more also use lip balm, moisturiser, hair spray and fake tan as part of a regular beauty regime.
The most popular brands used by men are not always the most recognised. While Adidas, Hugo Boss and Gillette have been found to be the most recognised brands by men, Lynx comes top with the most popular brand men use on a regular basis. Many designer brands such as D&G, Guess and Diesel are avoided by some men due to their association with femininity, and the likes of Maybelline and Max Factor, while widely recognised, would never be used due to the female audience.

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It would seem that while men are happy to embrace the stereotypically feminine past time of waxing, plucking and pruning, but only if itÔÇÖs ÔÇÿjust for menÔÇÖ. Market experts have quickly realised this, hence the metallic looking bottles, ÔÇÿmorning after the night beforeÔÇÖ wording, and the presence of bootilicious women lusting after the men in ad campaigns.

ItÔÇÖs not all glamor and pampering though, as new stats from first4lawyers.com show more than 14% of men have suffered injury for their vanity. The top five treatments to have caused injury were UV tanning (20%), spray tanning (16%), hair cut or dyeing (13%), eyebrow waxing or threading (12%), and leg waxing (10%).

Perhaps the most shocking thing about these stats are the female counterparts. Men are four times more likely to sustain an injury from using a tanning bed than women, and eight times more likely to experience trouble when spray tanning.

As with all human progress, perhaps this could be due to womenÔÇÖs ÔÇÿevolutionÔÇÖ within the beauty industry, and with men still new to the process they could still have a thing or two to learn. Perhaps future generations of beauty-loving men will look upon the new comers of the 21st century and gasp in horror at the mistakes made by the first generation of salon regulars.

(Guest post for a male-eye view)

Beauty: Pink & Red from Bobbi Brown

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Feast your eyes on these beauties, the new collections from Bobbi Brown. The first thing that struck me was how fresh everything was, perfect for spring. The Pink and Red collection is quite an unconventional approach for a beauty look, but right on trend in the fashion stakes. I think it creates a very modern yet romantic vibe. Colour pop pink lips with red nails, red lips with a pink eye shadow. Mix and Match however you please.

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It’s not all pink and red; soft cream and oyster shades, chocolate browns and pretty lilacs are in the mix with the Lilac Rose collection.Fresh from the runway Bobbi created this beautifully elegant collection. What is great, as you can see here, items from both collections are interchangeable.

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Bobbi also has a brand new skincare range too Extra Bright Skincare. It is a rejuvenating and brightening collection, for fresh, healthy, glowing skin. It has a hint of citrus scent from the exclusive SuperCitrus Complex. Bobbi says it’s like a yoga retreat for the skin!

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Sheer Lip Gloss in Pretty in Pink & Cherry ┬ú17 each – designed to enhance lips, this translucent lip gloss makes bold colour easy to wear. I have to say I haven’t worn a lip gloss in years, preferring bold lipsticks. But I tried a dab of the pink gloss over lipstick which gave it a really pretty sheen. I will have to play around with these a bit more and report back.

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Sheer Colour Cheek Tint in Sheer Pink ┬ú18 – gives cheeks a tint of healthy, natural looking colour in a lightweight formula. I really like solid blushes and this one is a perfect the rosy glow. Though sheer the colour is bold and a little goes a long way. This is an easy to use product in a handy swivel stick and the colour keeps you looking glowing all day long.

Creamy Matte Lip Colour in Heart ┬ú18 – a unique matte lipstick combining the look of a classic matte lipstick with incredible wearability, in a highly pigmented formula. I’ve been wearing this lippy since I got it. It isn’t a totally matte formula, more of a creamy matte (like it says on the tin I know, I know). It is a lovely silky soft colour with no crumbling as can happen with other mattes. The colour is a lot brighter than it looks in the tube and is a gorgeous pop of pink.

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Lilac Rose Shimmer Brick ┬ú32– the modern way to wear shimmer. You can swirl a brush over all the colours and dust onto cheeks for a ‘lit from within’ glow or use the individual bars as eye shadows.I heard about the new shimmer brick way before I saw it. Fans of the original were very excited about it and I can certainly see why. I dusted this onto cheeks, above brows, tip of nose and chin as a highlighter to give an ethereal glow. It is just so pretty, I can’t tell you how much I love this. I also tried the pearl under the brows and in the corner of the eyes with the middle pink on lids for a fresh, dewy look.

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Lilac Rose Eye Palette ┬ú45 – named the star of the collection the palette features eight wearable shades, flattering dusty pinks, heather greys and pale lily for all skin tones. This is a great mix of light light and dark, matte and shimmer eye shadows. I have tried this out over the week. First using the shimmery lilac colour alone for a pretty wash, this is such a lovely colour. Then I tried the same with the heather-brown colour for a mild smoky eye. Today I tried the bone colour under the brow with the deep chocolate for a full on smoky eye and the lilac under the eye for contrast. The dark brown is also the shade I use on my eye brows so I was extra pleased it was included. I am a bit rubbish when it comes to applying make up but even I found this fool proof and fun to use.

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Nail Polish in Pink Valentine and Roza ┬ú11 – Pink Valentine is a bright, pop of pink whilst Roza is a soft, subtle heather-pink. Two contrasting shades which as soon as I saw them I knew would be perfect for creating a Tuxedo-Mani (see fuzzy phone photo below), Roza as the base and Pink Valentine on the tips. This will be my signature summer mani. The formula is great too, it almost seems to have a slight rubber texture to it, if that makes sense so that it didn’t crack or peel. I had this on for a full week without touch ups to put it to the test and whilst it had wore off at the edges (usually I would add clear top-coat each day to prevent this) there were not chips or cracks at all. Awesome!

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Retouching Powder in Peach ┬ú25 – do you believe in magic? Bobbi asks. Inspired by the colour pigments used by professional make up artists the new Retouching Powder instantly makes your skin look better – yet it is completely undetectable. I confess I was a little bit skeptical about these, how on earth could such brightly coloured powders look at all natural, let alone undetectable? I was happy to be proven wrong, the colours work against the problems you might have with your skin to create a neutral tone. I tried Peach which warms up light skin tones and evens out tanned, medium to dark skin tones. I am very pale but this didn’t look yellow or orange at all, you couldn’t see any trace of powder yet my skin look airbrushed and bright. As I suffer from red patches in the winter I am also keen to try the Yellow Retouching Powder. I can recommend to everyone, no matter the skin colour to go and try these out at your local Bobbi Brown you will be seriously impressed!

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It is a shame the light wasn’t quite right to get an accurate representation of the make up here. The lipstick in Heart is a much richer shade and the lilac eye shadow and blush were more noticeable. I think you can see the air brush finish to the powder and glow of the highlighter. I will be testing out all the products here over London Fashion Week so will get some much better photo’s then.

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I also have this quick snap of the mani I did, makes a really nice contrast doesn’t it!

If you have never visited a Bobbi Brown counter I can really say in all honestly they are so friendly and helpful. You can go any time for a consultation or a make up lesson, where you will get great advise and absolutely no pressure to buy – the products are so good they know you will be back anyway! Since I first tried out Bobbi Brown products last year I have become a faithful follower. Even though I receive some products as samples, I went out and bought more out of my own pocket, I think that shows how impressed I was. I just can’t fault them.

If you missed my other Bobbi Brown posts you can read them here:
Would you give up your make up bag?
Putting Bobbi Brown Long Wear to the Test

Are you Bobbi’s girl? Excited about any of the new products?

Beauty: Winter Make-Up Bag Updates

I do love discovering new make-up products, even more so in winter when I like to slap it on like there is no tomorrow. So what have I been buying as we get well┬á into the festive season? The first thing I bought was this YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in ’17’. I actually got this in September but totally forgot about it as I was given the Bobbi Brown ‘Old Hollywood’ red a few days later which is perfect. The YSL colour is just as lovely but a tiny bit more orange, whilst still being blue toned. The fabulously decadent chunky gold tube also appealed to my magpie eye. This is one I need to keep out and actually get around to wearing. The other lipstick I bought is Chanel’s new Rogue Allure Velvet in L’Impatiente a rich matt plum colour. The Chanel matt lipsticks are surprisingly moisturising for a matt and very easy to wear unlike some brands I have tried (*side-eyes Mac*). This lippie along with the nail varnish Malice appear in the Chanel Christmas 2012 campaign. Malice is a glimmering blood red with hits of plum. I have been wearing it with the OPI real gold top-coat which looks stunning.

After becoming obsessed with Bobbi Brown in the summer I’ve been back a few times, coming away with something new each visit. The first thing I went back for was a mascara but I want to talk about the mascaras in depth so will come back to that in a separate post. One of the products I really can’t get enough of are the Long-wear cream eye shadows. They are amazing, they don’t budge one bit and come in the most fabulous colours. The first one I tried was a nude colour called ‘Shore’ which I wore over the summer with the limited edition Sparkle eye shadow ‘Bone’. They gave a pretty nude look with a hint of silver sparkle. For winter I wanted something still on the nude side but a little more dramatic. I picked up the cream shadow in Cement which is a slightly beige-grey colour and the Sparkle eye shadow in Taupe. Together they give a mushroomy colour with a hint of golden shimmer.

One eye shadow I couldn’t resist was the Metallic long-wear cream shadow in Starry Night, it is jam packed with gorgeous blue and purple shimmer! You can wear it as a subtle wash or build up the colour for an intense smoky eye. One tip I can give with the Metallic is to apply it alone over an eye shadow base, I use Urban Decay Primer Potion. Use a brush and let each coat dry before applying another for a smooth finish. I found applying over too wet a base – over eye cream or trying to build up too fast resulted in an uneven, clumpy finish.

There you have it my new season must haves. Do you have a favorite make up product this season? Got you eye on anything with a sparkle?

Beauty: 18k Gold Nail Varnish – DIY or OPI?

After seeing my nails in my last post I got so many questions about them, were they a DIY or one of the expensive real gold nail varnishes?

Rarely for me they were a DIY! Ah now don’t get too excited it doesn’t end well – it never does. I first came across the gold leaf nail varnish when I saw the limited edition OPI ‘Man with the Golden Gun’ in honour of the new James Bond film. I tested it and was really taken with the shimmering, gold flakes – real 18k gold, but at ┬ú30 I was a bit hesitant about paying so much for a nail varnish, real gold or not. I went home and deliberated over it, agonised on Twitter where we debated trying it as a DIY.

Hmm I thought, lets see how much gold leaf costs – ┬ú2 for ten sheets of real 24k gold leaf, bargain. So I ordered it, it came, I scrunched it up, cut it into tiny pieces with sharp scissors, used a folded sheet of card as a funnel to pour it into a bottle of spare clear top coat, poked it in with the brush, gave it a good shake and that was it, simples! I painted it on and the results you can see on my nails above.

As you know I suck big time at DIY, so I was amazed I’d managed to pull this off. About an hour later I went to get my newly made nail polish to show off and erm it was starting to turn green. Yep that’s right real gold leaf dissolves in nail polish, in fact it totally dissolved over night and left me with a green lagoon coloured varnish yuck! I scoped around online to see if anyone else had managed to pull this off and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can do this so long as you use fake gold nail art foil and not real gold leaf foil, the fake gold foil doesn’t dissolve woop! But if you are a bit like me and find the beauty in this being the sheer luxury of having real gold on your nails there still is another DIY option. Cut up the gold leaf and just sprinkle it onto the nail, you can use a clear base coat or a colour, the leaf will stick to dry polish so let it dry or it gets messy, sprinkle it on and press down – I just used my fingers but you could use tweezers, then use a clear top coat to seal the gold onto the nail. This is what I did on my toes below, over Chanel ‘Rouge Carat’.

The DIY’s were very easy to do and they achieved a nice larger piece effect – you could cut smaller if you wanted to, I also think it would be great if you wanted to cover the whole nail. Whilst I was on ebay I managed to snag an OPI polish for half price, because by then I really wanted to try it for comparison. You can see the OPI varnish in the first photo over Chanel ‘Blue Satin’. The OPI is a richer, warmer toned gold and is in smaller pieces than my own DIY, the flakes sit flat on the nail bed but I put a clear top coat over to seal it. As the bottle is opaque it is hard to see how much you are getting onto the brush, so be sure to give it a good mix up. You can also use the brush to move the pieces around if you end up with a bald patch and of course layer it up for a more dramatic effect. I have to say I really do love the OPI and I think it is worth the money, however this is such an easy DIY if you only want to spend ┬ú2 then go for it. I will be trying out some different looks with the OPI and the DIY. Yes, I did wear my OPI to go see Skyfall, I confess!

Which do you prefer OPI or DIY?