Glittery hot pink nails

How gorgeous is the new Burlington arcade polish from Nails Inc? The polish was created using lots of handcut shimmery pieces, and as you can see, it completely transforms any nail colour:

For my base colour, I opted for Orly purple crush. Despite it's name, it is definitely a bright pink not purple colour, however, the formula was easy to use and it has a nice glossy finish. The above photo shows 1 coat, but without the glitter, it would need another layer.

The shimmery particles in Burlington arcade range from tiny flecks to random small shapes, and I found it looks best when layered up with 2 coats. There are 3 other colours in the Nails Inc jewellery range, but this silver one in particular is very versatile, and I can't wait to try it over some nudes and darker polishes.

Are you a fan of glittery polishes? What's your favourite Orly/Nails Inc shade?

Disclosure- PR sample

New tv show - Hart of Dixie

Just a quick heads up about Hart of Dixie, a new American drama which airs on Really tomorrow:

Rachel bilson stars as an ambitious young doctor, who finds herself moving to Alabama when her life in New York suddenly falls apart. There she forges new friendships (and love interests), discovers a family secret and finds out that small town life really isn't all that bad!

Having seen a preview of episode one, I thought the show was really enjoyable, and with One tree hill and Desperate housewives finishing soon, it fills the gap nicely. If nothing else, it's worth a watch just for all of Rachel's stylish outfits!

Will you be watching this new show? What's your favourite American drama?

My week in Instagram photos

My morning skincare routine/Smoothie making/Spot the handcream addict!

Yummy crab cakes/Perfume of the day/Amazing cookies and cream cheesecake

Vintage style tea tin/New haircare goodies/Shopping time

Glossybox/Homemade steak & onion sandwich/A rainfree blue sky

Meat feast pizza/New nail varnish love/Dim sum

You can find me on Instagram as Peonieslilies

Are you also obsessed with Instagram? What are your favourite iPhone apps?

Glossybox April 2012

It feels like such a long time since my last Glossybox, but judging by the contents of this one, I'd say it was worth the wait:

As April is Earth month, they've decided to bring out a 'Natural box'. All 5 brands were chosen for their use of natural ingredients and packaging, and even the box itself is 100% biodegradable.

Burt's Bees naturally nourishing milk and honey body lotion
Fig & Rouge lip balm
Caudalie vinosource SOS thirst quenching serum
Monu moisture rich collagen cream
Inika cosmetics certified organic eyeliner

Doesn't the lip balm just look so pretty? The combination of cherry and vanilla sounds absolutely lovely and the decorated tin will be perfect for my handbag. The Burt's Bees body lotion will come in handy for travelling, and as Caudalie has been raved about so much recently, I can't wait to test the serum out.

For more information and to sign up for your own box, click here.

ETA: Throughout May, you can get free shipping on your first box using discount code 'BIRTHDAYPROMO'.

Have you recived your Glossybox yet? What's your favourite item?

*Affiliate link

GOSH cosmetics Spring 2012

GOSH cosmetics recently unveiled their new Spring collection, and having tried out all the products, these are my top 3 picks:

It was love at first sight with their Natural blush in Flower power. The matte pink is perfect for adding a touch of everyday colour to my cheeks. I found the blush to be smooth, finely milled and non-chalky (although there is always some loose powder left in the pan). I also love the fact that it's pigmented enough to allow the colour to be built up, but not so pigmented that I end up with clown cheeks!

I'm a big fan of dark eyeshadows, and their Smokey eye palette in Black contains 4 shades, all of which were pigmented and easily blendable. With the exception of the matte black, they all have a very slight sheen. I thought the eyeshadows were long lasting and there was no fall out. The palette also includes a plastic sheet, with suggestions on where to place each colour, something which I found very useful.

Finally, to complete the look, I like to use their Intense eye liner pen in Black. Like all pen style eyeliners, it was quick and easy to use, gave a strong colour, and won't budge once dried. Compared to some of my other eyeliners, the nib was slightly softer, making it my go to product when I wanted a thicker, more dramatic line.

Are you a fan of GOSH cosmetics? What are your favourite items?

Disclosure - PR samples

NOTD - Essie no more film

Essie isn't a brand I'm familiar with, but I have to say, I am very impressed with this polish:

I'd describe it as a beautiful navy purple shade. The formula is thin and easy to work with, but most impressively it's so pigmented that one coat was enough for full opacity.

The polish dries to a smooth glossy finish, the dark colour looks effortlessly chic and it's the perfect contrast to my pastel spring tops.

On a side note, how gorgeous is the new Essie Wedding collection? Now I won't be walking down the aisle anytime soon, but I am seriously lusting after the pink 'Like to be bad' and the lilac 'Love and acceptance' nail polishes.

Are you a fan of Essie polishes? What other colours would you recommend?

Klorane gentle dry shampoo review and giveaway

I am slowly trying out all the dry shampoos on the market, and today's offering is from French brand Klorane:

With extracts of softening oat and oil absorbing polysaccharides, this dry shampoo promises to volumise and refresh hair in between washes.

So how did it fare up? Well I definitely agree with it's oil absorbing properties. Like all dry shampoos, I simply spray onto the roots, rub the powder in, then brush off any excess. Compared to Batiste, it doesn't volumise as much but it also leaves my hair feeling less chalky.

My favourite thing however is the scent. It's very light and subtle (almost like freshly washed hair), and I love the fact that it's undetectable once rubbed in.

Now onto the best bit! The PR company have kindly offered to give away 3 cans, so you can try it out for yourself:

To enter:
- Be a GFC follower of Peonies and lilies
- Like the Klorane Facebook page
- Leave me a comment below

The giveaway will be open to all UK residents
and will close at midnight on 6th May

Good luck!

My week in photos

New lipsticks/Red velvet cake/Reminiscing about good times!

Cowshed 'slender cow'/Rossano Ferretti blowdry/Essie made on film

Montagne Jeunesse facemasks/Meat liquor burgers/Weekend cups of tea

Egg and parma ham on toast/Neom scented candle/Hot and sour chicken noodle soup

Let me know if you're also on Instagram, and feel free to add me (Peonieslilies).

What have you been up to this week? Are there any central London restaurants you'd recommend?

Sleek eau la la liner in Moulin rouge

When the multicoloured Sleek Eau la la pencils first landed on my doorstep, I didn't think I'd get much use out of them. However when Vivanna posted about using the red as a lip pencil, it looked so nice that I decided to give a try myself:

There's no denying it's an eyecatching shade, but the orange based red is surprisingly easy to wear. The pencil has a creamy waxy feel, although there is some drag during application. It has a matte finish, but despite this, I didn't find it to be drying on the lips.

The pencil tip wears down quite quickly, so you will need to sharpen it each time you want to line the lips. However, like all Sleek products, it's nicely pigmented, and once applied, it will stay put for hours.

Have you tried any of the Eau la la pencils? What's your favourite red lip colour?

Banana and chocolate cupcakes

After the success of my last baking session, I decided to make some more cupcakes, this time going for a more adventurous banana and cinnamon cupcake with chocolate buttercream icing:

For the cupcake:
120g self raising flour
140g sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
a sprinkle of salt
80g butter
120ml whole milk
2 eggs
2 medium bananas mashed

For the icing:
100-150g icing sugar
100g butter
80g hot chocolate powder
20ml whole milk

Whisk together all the dry ingredients with the butter. Slowly pour in the milk, whisk well. Finally mix in the eggs and mashed banana. Dish up and bake at gas mark 3 for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool before decorating with the chocolate buttercream.

The end result was delicious - light, spongy, moist and perfect as an afternoon snack!

Are you a fan of cupcakes? What's your favourite flavour?

Summer scents from The body shop

The weather has been so miserable recently, but with the days getting lighter, and warmer temperatures hopefully just around the corner, I've been testing out some new limited edition Body shop summer scents:

There are 3 scents to choose from, and each range includes an eau de toilette and body lotion. Love etc...sun kiss is a fruity floral, with notes of nectarine, neroli jasmine and amber. Dreams unlimited sun fresh is cool and invigorating, with notes of salty aquatic water, watermelon and orris. Finally White musk sun glow is sensual and floral, with notes of lemon, peony and musk.

Of the 3, my favourite is Dreams unlimited sun fresh. Watermelon is one of my favourite fruits, and I love how light and refreshing the body lotion is. It has almost a gel creme texture, sinks in quickly and leaves my skin feeling hydrated all day long.

Have you tried any of the new summer scents? What's your favourite summer perfume?

Disclosure- PR sample

An introduction to Noble Isle

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to Noble Isle, a luxurious new bathing company set to launch in Fortnum & Mason and online from May 2012.

The brand has 9 scents, each inspired by the natural and cultural riches of the British Isle. Within the 9 ranges there are a choice of hand washes, lotions, body washes, moisturisers, haircare products, soaps and candles:

Rhubarb Rhubarb!

Whisky & water

Sea of green

Heather honey

Willow song


Summer rising

Lightning oak

Perry pear

Quality, packaging and scent wise, this brand is very much on par with the likes of Molton Brown, Diptique and Jo Malone. Having tried a few of the products, I would highly recommend, especially if you are looking for present ideas or a luxurious treat for yourself.

What do you think about Noble Isle? What's your favourite luxury bathing brand?


Sunday summary

A quick round up of the week:

Quick & easy make up/Macmillan 'I hope' keyring/Duck spring rolls

Favourite new earrings/17 Miracle matte powder/Hotel Chocolat cinnamon pralines

Yummy Ask salad/Cherry blossoms/Milkshake heaven

After months of having the app on my phone, I finally signed up, and it's safe to say I'm officially obsessed! I love taking photos anyway, and it's so much fun playing around with all the different filters and settings. Above are a selection of this week's photos. Feel free to add me (peonieslilies) if you're also on Instagram.

Onca beauty supplement
In a bid to be healthier, I've been trying out some Onca satchets. The powder is made from Amazon 'super' fruits and contains an impressive list of supplements, including amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Both powders are fruity, but the morning one has more of a herbal taste. It works well with both milk and juice, although the powder never fully dissolves. The supplement isn't cheap, but it did make me feel more energised and I loved that I no longer had mid afternoon slumps.

White iPhone curved dock
The good thing about iPhones is that there are plenty of apps and accessories to choose from. With my previous phone, I used an cuddly animal holder, but sadly with the cover on, my iPhone doesn't fit, so instead I've been using this white phone dock.

It doesn't come with a cable, but you can use your usual charger to plug into a PC, where it will sync, charge, download photos etc as normal. The white plastic stand is lightweight, practical and fits in perfectly with the rest of my Apple accessories.

What have you been loving this week? Are there any health supplements you'd recommend?

Disclosure- PR sample

John Frieda precision foam colour salon blends giveaway

John Frieda recently launched a new range called Precision foam salon blends, and to celebrate they are giving away 3 boxes of hair dye.

The foam formula means it's drip and mess free, and there are 5 salon inspired shades to choose from:

Dark Caramel Blonde
Dark Cool Pearl Blonde

Light Bronze Brown

Light Amber Brown

Lightest Cool Almond Brown

For your chance to win a shade of your choice:
- Be a GFC follower of Peonies and lilies
- Like the John Frieda facebook page
- Leave a comment below, telling me who your celebrity hair icon is
- Check back in 2 weeks to see if you are a lucky winner

This giveaway will be open to all UK residents
and will close at midnight on 28th April.

Good luck!

Bargainous offers from Origins and Ojon

Just thought I'd share these fab offers with you all:

As part of Earth month, Origins are giving away a free FULL SIZED 'A perfect world' or 'Starting over' moisturiser on 21st April. All you have to do is bring in an empty skincare product from any brand to trade in!

How sweet is this bracelet? This will be free with any purchase from the 'A perfect world' range. Available at Harrods and Selfridges, 15th-28th April.

Finally if you're thinking about trying or stocking up on Ojon haircare, then now is the time to do so. With offer code 'VOLUME' you'll get a free full sized Volume advanced shampoo AND conditioner (worth £37.50) when you spend over £20 online. (Offer available whilst stocks last).

Will you be taking advantage of any of these offers? What's your favourite Origins/Ojon product?

Maxfactor max effect nail polish in Meteorite, Moon dust and Fantasy fire

I am seriously in love with these new max effect mini nail polishes from Maxfactor:

All 3 shades have a gorgeous metallic shimmery finish. Meteorite is a gorgeous deep blue shade. Moon dust looks like a duo chrome in the bottle, but on the nails it's a pretty purple with a slight grey green sheen at certain angles. Rather predictabily Fantasy fire is my favourite shade. I'd describe it as a deep purple colour with a beautiful golden red shimmer.

Despite it's size, I found the brush easy to use and in the above photo, I've painted 2 coats of each colour. Of the 3, fantasy fire is the most sheer, and ideally needs 3 coats. However on my little finger, I used it as a top coat over 1 layer of MUA love u 24/7 and you can see it looks almost identical.

Have you tried any of the new Maxfactor nail polishes? What's your favourite shade?

Disclosure- PR sample


Apivita haircare, candle and handcream review

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Apivita, a Greek brand specialising in products where the ingredients are over 80% natural in origin, proven to be effective and offers a holistic approach to health and beauty. Having given their products a thorough testing, here are my reviews:

Propoline citrus and honey shampoo and conditioner
Although part of the same range, both products smell very different. The shampoo has a sugary sweet orange scent, whereas the conditioner has more of a creamy shea butter scent.

I'd be happier if the shampoo didn't contain SLS, but it does smell nice, foams up well and leaves my hair feeling clean without stripping it of moisture or weighing it down with silicon.

The conditioner is rich and creamy, and I tend to use it as a weekly intensive mask. It takes a few minutes to fully rinse out, but once dried, it leaves my hair silky smooth, soft and shiny.

Natural candle
I had high hopes for this, but ironically it smelt stronger just sitting on my desk than it does lit up. The combination of orange, cedarwood and clove is sharp, citrusy and absolutely gorgeous, but sadly not strong enough to fragrance a room.

Intensive moisturizing hand cream
For me this is the star product of the brand. It's thick and creamy in texture with a subtle scent of Shea butter and freshly cut plants. Like all rich handcreams, it does take a minute to sink in, but once it does provides intense moisture for my dry hands. I'd go so far as to say it's as good as my favourite Body shop hemp hand protector and I love that it's the perfect size for carrying in my handbag.

Have you tried anything from Apivita? What's your favourite scented candle?
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