Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Boots No7 Advent Calendar 2015 - no spoilers!

This is 2015's first Christmas post.  I know it's still October and I'd promised myself I'd wait until November before any festive posts would appear, but it's a good one!


The Boots No7 advent calendar goes on sale today and you're going to want to check it out!  Now there are no spoilers in this post, but if you're curious and hate surprises, then check out our video where we opened it, oohed, ahhed, grunted (yes, you will see what I mean if you watch the video) and it is nothing short of brilliant!

Without ruining it for you, it's full of makeup, skincare, nails, body care and tools!  So in the lead up to Christmas, you can treat yourself from head to toe every day.  That sounds pretty grand to moi!


Inside you get 6 full size products and 19 minis (very generous minis might I add) and a whole lot of excitement opening each door.  I wonder if I would ever be able to restrain myself and open up just one door a day....  I really don't see that happening...  Joanne is able to pace herself with everything while I am a raging madser who wants everything now!

If you want to see what's inside the calendar, then watch our video!


The advent calendar is €49.50 but is worth €193 and just think about it this way, if you get one, try all of the products, next time the No7 vouchers are out, you'll have a rake of things you can spend them on!  It's available online and in stores but lads, if last year is anything to go by, it's going to sell out quickly and you're going to need to move fast!

Reasons to buy it:
1. Boots points (standard excuse)
2. You get 25 products to try out.
3. You get to open up an advent calendar without consuming any chocolate.
4. Did I mention the points?!

Are you going to pick one up?  And do tell if you're one of the restrained bridies out there who can be good and open one door a day!

Buy yours here!
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Flower by Kenzo L'Elixir review

As autumn is well and truly under way, I'm reaching for the muskier, more intense fragrances and this one one is a cracker.  The original Flower by Kenzo is celebrating it's 15th anniversary and has been joined with the new Flower by Kenzo L'Elixir in it's sleek red bottle featuring a gold poppy.  


Flower by Kenzo L'Elixir is the type of fragrance that makes me want to snuggle up in lots of layers and scarves.  Even by looking at the bottle you know it's going to be a darker, more intense fragrance than the original.  It starts off with sweet and fruity notes of mandarin and raspberry before evolving into the floral heart of bulgarian rose and orange blossom.  The base has notes of bourbon vanilla absolute and powdery notes and that's what makes me feel all cosy and squishy when I wear it.  It lasts for ages and when we got mam to try it out, she loved it and as someone who's very particular about what scents she likes, we were delighted!  

It's a big, bold, in your face fragrance that smells good enough to eat, but do resist the urge to lick yourself.  Unless that's your thing.  Then go wild!


Flower by Kenzo L'Elixir is available in shops and online now and will set you back €57/30mls or €80/50mls.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to spray this onto a scarf and inhale it for the rest of the day!

*PR sample*
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Givenchy Couture Cream Eyeshadow Prune Taffetas review, photos

Last week on Snapchat (I'm lovelygirlybits there), I posted some photos and videos of me wearing this makeup and hadn't gotten such amazing feedback since the day I posted about the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette.  So I knew a blog post was in order with a focus on my eyeballs!

I've been testing out some of the top 10 iconic products from Givenchy lately and will be reviewing everything, but had to start off with this beaut, the Givenchy Couture Cream Eyeshadow in Prune Taffetas, otherwise known as the product that made my eyeballs extra green like nothing else.


It looks really unassuming in the pot and if truth be told, I thought it was just going to be a regular cream eyeshadow.  It claims to be waterproof and long lasting and can be layered and mixed with other cream shadows in the same range (something I'll definitely be trying out when I pick up more shades).

It can be applied as a wash of colour all over the lid with your finger or with a synthetic brush as that picks up cream product easier.  Use a clean blending brush to soften the edges, lash on a bit of mascara and you're good to go.


But more is more with me and with purple eyes.  I always love amping it up a bit and with a kohl liner, I can take the look from day to night in minutes.  In this case, I've lined the upper and lower waterlines, really pressing the pencil into the lower lash line so when I smudge it out, it looks really smoky.  Then I took the black liner onto the upper eyelids, applying it from the middle to the outer edges in a slight wing and smudging it again giving a really soft, lived in, smouldering look.  I am obsessed!


So there you have it.  The cream eyeshadow makes my eyes pop anyway but the addition of any black liner and an extra coat of mascara and you're ready to party!  I wore this look last weekend for well over eight hours, without a primer too, and there was no creasing whatsoever.  This is unheard of for me and my oily eyelids!


Givenchy's Couture Cream Eyeshadows will set you back €23.50 and I have my eye on two other shades that I might have to treat myself to when it's my birthday!  These are available on Givenchy counters now or online here.

Are you a cream eyeshadow fan?

*PR sample*
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick Siren In Scarlet

Despite being mortally terrified of red lips and all that it entails, I keep buying them.  It's an illness.  The buying, not the being afraid.  But I live in hope that someday the buying will help cure being afraid, so that means I've to keep handing over my cash, right?

Anyway, I picked up this stunner on a recent trip to Boots when I was "just having a look" and it was well and truly love at first swatch.  Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in the shade Siren in Scarlet is as close to red lip perfection as you can get.


I'd read about this collection on Temptalia during the summer, but couldn't remember what she'd said about them so I picked up this one on gut feeling.  Always listen to your guts people.  The guts know things.  And I'd just plopped four Rimmel lipsticks into my basket two minutes before, so couldn't get any of the darker shades, but after trying this one, I'll have to investigate further.  For the blog...

Siren in Scarlet is gorgeous.  The end.  It's creamy, intensely pigmented, applies like a dream with no dragging on the lips and has a velvet finish, rather than one that dries and sets.  This is good news for anyone with dry lips (moi) as crusty red lips is not a makeup trend no matter how much we hope it will be!


I do declare that this is one of the most comfortable matte formulas I've tried to date and is genuinely one I'd consider wearing outside the house.  When it's dark.  Until I get brave!  Or over the next few days I'll keep wearing it in the evenings in the hopes of wearing it to an event!  I can't talk about longevity yet as I've not worn it for more than a couple of hours, but I'll update this post when I do.


If you're on the hunt for a gorgeous red, a hollywood red, a red that doesn't dry out your lips after two minutes and a red that's under €10 (€9.99 precisely) check out Siren in Scarlet from Maybelline.  And we can be red lip twins from the comfort of our own homes until we get the cahones to wear it outside!

Have you tried any of the Creamy Matte Lipsticks from Maybelline yet?

*Purchased by moi*
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Monday, October 19, 2015

What's in our Kate Spade handbags?

Joanne and I love all things Kate Spade.  No seriously, the woman can do no wrong in our eyes!  Since discovering her concession stand in Macy's last year and then coming across her outlet in Woodbury Commons, we have become obsessed with everything she has!

Now her handbags are on the spendy side, were not going to lie, and new stock can be found in Brown Thomas now.  But Kildare Village has us sorted because they've got a fabulous selection of bags, wallets, jewellery and accessories that even broke bridies like us can afford.  This is 100% not sponsored in any way by Kildare Village or Kate Spade, we just want you to get the best value and keep some money for buying all the things to go inside your handbags!

We thought it was high time to film another What's in my handbag video as the last one we did was a couple of years ago.  Enjoy!



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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Smashbox LA Lights Blendable Lip and Cheek Colours

Lads, I think I've cracked the whole glowy skin without looking oily or sweaty scenario!  And it's thanks to the LA Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colours from Smashbox.  This review has been a long time coming , but it's better late than never and you're going to want to check these out.


I do love a twist up cheek stick because they're so handy for popping in my handbag, along with the eleven thousand lip products also in said handbag, and the fact that they're multitasking in that I can use them on my lips and cheeks makes like that bit easier.  When I was in London during the summer, I was given the two darker shades here to play with.  Then in the airport on the way home I bought the lightest shade in the middle because it was true and actual love at first swatch.


Products like these are pretty self explanatory.  You twist up the product, colour in your face with it and then you can either blend it with the sponge that's on the bottom of the tube, with your fingers or with a brush.  The world is your lobster.  Blended out, it looks like your own skin, only better, dewier, glowier, lovelier.  I don't use them on my lips that often as the formula isn't as moisturising as a dry lipped person like me needs, but on the cheeks, it's Glow Town!

Malibu Berry (right), Hollywood and Highlight (middle), Silver Lake Sunse (right)
Of course it wouldn't be me without some action shots!


Silver Lake Sunset is the most gorgeous peachy shade that I wore so much during the summer and never told you about it like the big loser I am.  It's also the most sheer of the three shades, so while one layer will give you a luminous sheen to the skin, two layers gives a lovely peach hue.  I found this to have quite a wet formula so either don't touch your cheeks or it'll come off, or set it with a powder.  But for days where you want to have a summer glow, this is worth checking out.


Hollywood and Highlight is absolutely magical and is one of my favourite highlights of all time.  It's a light pearly shade that melts into the skin giving the most beautiful candlelit glow and I'm obsessed with it.  It doesn't leave any glittery bits on your skin and it's safe to say that your highlight will most definitely be on fleek when you wear this.  If you have cheeks you need this.  It's instant radiance!


I'll be featuring Malibu Berry in an upcoming autumnal post, so keep an eye out for that.

I always find that when the nights get darker and everywhere you go, be it restaurants or bars has lovely soft lighting so glowing cheeks is always a good thing!

At €34 each, they're definitely on the spendy side, but if I'd to pick one to treat myself with, it'd be Hollywood and Highlight all the way!  You can buy them at the Smashbox counter in Arnotts or online at Boots.ie.

*PR sample*
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Michael Kors Gold Fragrance Collection review!

You are absolutely free to sing Spandau Ballet's Gold throughout this post.  If you aren't sure what that song is, I'm dying on the inside because I'm showing my age.

Anyway, Michael Kors has launched a new trio of fragrances just in time for the festive season.  As we all know, Mick (we're on a casual name basis as we go way back) is a fan of his metals when it comes to fashion and accessories and we all know someone who has a rose gold watch don't we?   The Michael Kors Gold Fragrance Collection is gorgeous, both in packaging and in the scent department too.  Each bottle feels like you're carrying around a chunk of metal and yet is so simple and classic.  It will also make you want to keep paw prints off it when you're carrying it around, so I'd suggest wearing a nice scarf to use as a cloth.  Or something with long sleeves.  You can thank me later.



Rose Radiant Gold


I think this one will sell out first on packaging alone because rose gold anything is still going strong and you're going to want to display this one on your vanity.  I do love a good floral woody musk and this has been my go to fragrance since getting it to test out.  Any time I wear it, I get compliments on it and then fish it out of my bag to spray on the person who has complimented moi.  It is gorgeous and is one that'll work for the chung wans along with the aul wans like myself.

White Luminous Gold


With notes of pear, jasmine and amber, this scent is the brightest of the three and yet when it settles on the skin, the warmth of the amber makes it feel all cosy.  Anything with jasmine and you know I'm a happy bridie.  It's one that I can see myself wearing when I've a bit of sparkle going on with makeup or jewellery and is nothing like I have in my ridiculously vast perfume collection.

24K Brilliant Gold


This one reminds me of my first ever Michael Kors fragrance that I bought years ago and rationed it like a mad woman!  I think this one will be a crowd pleaser if you're buying it as a present for someone because it's got the hit of citrus (mandarin) before leading into the florals and woody notes.  I think there's jasmine in it which is probably why I'm drawn to it after the Rose Radiant Gold scent and while I might not necessarily feel more feminine and seductive when I wear it, it's a winner!


I've been making my way through each of these three scents for the past few weeks and I'd recommend going into the shops and smelling them yourselves because they're all absolutely lovely.  You'll be able to buy the bottles on their own and there'll be Christmas sets too!  I think this festive season, we're all going to be smelling like Rose Radiant Gold!

Are you intrigued?  Will you be adding one (or three) of these to your festive wish list this year?  A 30ml bottle will set you back €55, 50ml is €79 and 100ml is €109.  Go forth and douse yourselves in these babies!

*PR sample*
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Rimmel The Only 1 Lipsticks - Peachy Beachy, Naughty Nude, Under My Spell, One of a Kind swatches, photos

So yes, I caved.  After blogging about this gorgeous raspberry shade, Best of the best, from Rimmel's The Only 1 Lipstick collection, I went and bought four more.  For the blog.  And because they were buy one get one half price.  Any excuse!


If you're on the market for a new lippie that's moisturising, pigmented as all hell, looks gorgeous on and is under a tenner, then check these out.  I split things right down the middle in terms of my comfort zone and picked two shades that I always buy when trying new lip products - coral and nude.  Then to take a walk on the wild side, I picked the most gorgeous burgundy shade along with a deep purple that is autumn all over.


Peachy Beachy


This is a bright, in your face whilst on your face, peachy corally shade that would've been perfect for summer.  So while I mightn't get much wear out of it at the moment, next year I totally will.  It's a really flattering hue which is super pigmented without being too creamy and I love it.

Naughty Nude


This is the perfect every day shade with it's blend of pinky mauviness and I can slap this on without a mirror.  It's a shade that will go with either smoky or neutral eye looks and over the weekend I wore it with just mascara on the eyes and felt grand and put together.

Under My Spell


Check me out with purple lips!  This was the wild card of the bunch and I wasn't sure how wearable it was going to be but I love it!  It's vampy and while I have a lot going on with my eyes in these photos (that's coming soon), I think I'll get lots of wear out of this.  Famous last words but it's not as scary as I thought it was going to be!

One of a kind


If autumn was a lipstick, it'd be this one.  While I'm scared of red lips, burgundy shades like this don't seem as frightening.  How luxe does the finish on this one look?  This is definitely a winner for me and if you're in to your darker lips in the colder months, do yourself a favour and check this out.

The two darker shades definitely need a lip brush to get nice crisp edges, but as you can see in the photos, it's worth the faff.  Check me out with dark lips eh!

For €8.99, you actually cannot go wrong and is it bad that I want more shades?

*PR sample*
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Monday, October 12, 2015

What's new in beauty #2

The new launches have been coming in hot and heavy over the past few weeks and I thought it was high time I bring you another instalment of What's new in beauty!  The title is pretty self explanatory but I wanted to basically give you the heads up of new products that are about to launch or are new in the shops.

I've got some makeup, some perfume, some tanning and you are going to want to make a list lads because there's some good stuff coming out!  If there's anything you'd like to see a review on first, let me know and I'll get cracking!



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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Maybelline Superstay Forever Strong polishes - where have you been all my life?!

I'm not sure if you've ever copped it, but I rarely speak about the longevity of nail polish here on the blog because a) I get bored with the colour a couple of days into it and remove it, b) I get one chip and then feel the need to peel off the rest of it and c) I'm really hard on my nails, so nothing generally lasts on them for too long anyway.

Until now.

I feel like I should have had some sort of dramatic sound bite to accompany those two words.  Like this one.


The Maybelline Superstay Forever Strong polishes have been on counters for millions of years now (slight exaggeration) and I even picked up a couple of shades during the summer but never got around to wearing them as my nails were in bits.  They're in great shape now again thanks to Maybelline and you can read all about the nail products I've been loving here.

But the nail polish that I know will be in my October favourites is this one.


Rose Poudré is the most gorgeous pinky mauvey nude and Orla, you will love this.  It's nude without giving me sausage fingers, mannequin fingers or anything else weird that comes with nude nails.  And I get to sound all fancy and French when I say the name.  Oh this shade?  It's Rose Poo-dray. The wide brush makes application really easy and with a couple of swipes over each nail, I'm good to go.  Two coats will do you and is what I've been wearing but I've done three coats just for the photos today.


Once it dries, the gloss stays nice and shiny for the full five days I'd worn this until taking it off to reapply it.  Oh yes, I said five days.  I have never in the history of my whole entire life on this planet ever gotten five days out of a nail polish.  Like ever.  And we're talking the appearance of tip wear on each nail on the third and the tiniest chips appeared on the outer edges of each nail on the fifth day.  Ok now I sound like I'm being holy and quoting the bible.  "And on the third day, wearing of the tips appeared and it was good.  One had fitted two picture ledges with great difficulty and despite drilling massive holes into the wall, the nail polish was only grand and remained essentially flawless.  On the fifth day, minor chipping appeared and one wasn't too concerned."

But seriously though, this is a game changer for me and I want Joanne to try it because she can keep polish going on her nails until it grows off.  She's classy my sister but I guarantee she'll get a good six weeks out of one of these polishes before it starts looking wonky on her.


Maybelline's Superstay Forever Strong polishes are €5.99 and when I picked up Rose Poudré the other day, there was a buy one get one half price offer on all Maybelline products FYI.  And from checking the price on the Boots website, it has been brought to my attention that there are 50 shades.  Fifty.  5-0.  Why don't you take all of my money now Maybelline?

Next on my list is a festive red and some darker autumn/winter shades.  Any excuse eh?

Have you tried these polishes yet?  If not, go get one and see what I mean.  If you have tried them, please explain why you haven't told me about them before?!

FIVE DAYS PEOPLE!  WITH NO TOP COAT OR ANYTHING!!

*Purchased by moi*
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

AYU brushes review!

I know that it's not just me who would rather buy more makeup brushes than clean them... Or am I a big lazy oaf?!  Yes, it's probably that, but nowadays budget brands have really come into their own and I no longer have to tell Joanne that my new MAC brushes were made by blind nuns (it's the only way I can justify the price to a non beauty lover).

Irish brand AYU Makeup sent over some brushes for me to test out and for the past few weeks I've been putting them through their paces.  Justification 1 as to why it's ok to buy new brushes?  Affordability.  And these are great value.  Justification 2 is that they're Irish and it's always good to support a home grown brand.  Justification 3 is that for the most part, the brushes are bloody good!  There's nothing worse than wasting money, so here's what I think of these guys.


Face


The powder brush (€14.50) has gotten a decent amount of use with my favourite powders and the first couple of times I used it, it shed a couple of hairs, but nothing too bad.  It worked great with both loose and pressed powder and I'll definitely continue to use it.

The same goes for the duo fibre brush (€12.50).  Like all duo fibre brushes I've tried in the past, it works better with loose powders as it can kick up some product when used with pressed powders.  I've been using it to apply blush and bronzer and it works really well at blending out foundation too for a flawless finish.

The flat foundation brush (€10.50) is fantastic and it was the surprise hit of the face brushes!  As you know, I love a good buffing brush or a beauty blender to work my foundation into the skin, but I've been loving this guy to apply a new foundation which I'll be telling you about soon.  There's no streaking when I use this, which is something I generally find with flat foundation brushes, and I love it.

Finally we have the purple blender sponge (€5) and this was the dud of the bunch for me.  It's really thick and dense and no matter how long I run it under water to get it to absorb anything.  Usually with makeup sponges, they absorb water, get bigger and softer so that applying your foundation is easier.  This stayed the same size and density and just didn't work for me unfortunately.  But one out of four isn't bad!

Eyes


The All About Eyes 4 piece set is great value at €18.50.  Each of the brushes are available to purchase on their own too.  My absolute favourite brush of the four and of the whole range is that Blender Brush at the top with the brown hairs.  It's soft, has the perfect density level for blending, crease work and for applying a wash of colour all over the lids and I love it.

Below that is the Pro Blender Brush which reminded me of the MAC 217 on first impressions, but it was a bit too scratchy for my liking and after using it a couple of times, I had to stop.  The same went for the Crease Brush which looks like a pencil brush.  The hairs weren't soft enough for my little delicate eyeballs and I just found these two to irritate my skin a bit.

Finally we have the Angled Eyeliner Brush which I've used both on my eyebrows and to line the upper lashes and it's brilliant.  Sometimes I like to line my eyes with eyeshadow and sometimes with a gel and this works with both perfectly.

PRO brushes


The Pro Eyeliner brush (€4.75) is one of the best I've ever tried and the sheer teenyness of the head makes eyeliner a doodle.  I can actually do a thin line with this!  There's nothing worse than attempting to do a thin line, making a mess of it and then you end up with two black eyelids.  This is a cinch to use.

The Pro Waterline Liner (€4.75) does what it says on the tin and yet I've never used it on the waterline!  I thought it was a lip brush when I first got it and that's what I've been using it for like the rebel I am.  The square top makes it so easy to get a really crisp lip line and that perfect cupid's bow.  I must try it for the waterline too, but for now, this is my current lip brush of choice!

Finally is the Pro Detailer Shadow/lip brush (€5.95).  Yes I totally haven't been using this for lips at all.  It's great for an inner corner highlight, if you want to add a bit of smokiness to the outer corners or for applying a bit of sparkle right in the middle of your eyeball.

All in all, it's a big thumbs up for AYU brushes!  You can check out the whole range on the AYU website where they sell lashes and makeup too.  Happy shopping!

*PR sample*

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Monday, October 5, 2015

September favourites!

Finally we're back with a new video!  September was the busiest month ever and with Joanne away in Spain for two weeks, I was like a lunatic trying to keep things going here at Lovely Girlie Bits.  But she's back and we can get cracking on more videos because we love making them and despite it being early October, our Christmas video planning is in full swing!

So September favourites.  We have a lot of things we loved, so have a squizz and see if there's anything you've added to your wish list!



Products mentioned: 

Ban.Do Diary - Buy

Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette - Buy

Nails Inc Porchester Square - Buy

Maybelline Dr Rescue CC nails and Gel Effect Top Coat 

Stradivarius scarf - Buy

The Body Shop Oils Of Life Intensely Revitalising Cream

Penneys Power Bar

Anker Portable Charger - Buy

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Perfume

Catrice Fluid Lipstick - Better Make a Mauve

Ban.Do Tote Bag - Buy

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara - Ultra Black - Buy

Penneys onesie

Estee Lauder Double Wear - Buy







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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Maybelline Dr Rescue Nails review!

Long time readers of the blog will know that I go through phases of having normal nails and then weak, flaky nails.  This year has been predominantly a flaky nail situation which is why the polish reviews have been few and far between, but that's all changed folks.  These little beauties from Maybelline's Dr Rescue range have completely transformed my nails into properly strong talons!  So prepare yourself for lots of nail related posts in the future!


This is the range and let the record show that there is a nail cuticle balm too that I keep on my desk at all times because when I kept it in my bag, I used it as lip balm twice.  I'm a dope.  But I'll snap a photo of it on Instagram and show it to you because it comes in a tube, isn't too greasy at all and I think it has really helped with strengthening my nails and I'm obsessed with it!

The Dr Rescue CC Nails Base Coat is one I'd recommend if you're a fan of dark polishes or shades you know will stain the nails.  So for me that's anything blue, navy, or dark red in particular.  I find anything in the blue family whether they're light or dark shades stain my nails like nothing else!  One coat of this dries really quickly and my chosen polish goes on nice and evenly.  As one who never uses base coats out of pure laziness, I've made a conscious decision to use this for the rest of the year to see if it helps keep my nails in shape and so far so good.

The Dr Rescue All In One pretty much does what the name says and you can use it as a base coat and top coat.  I haven't tried this one properly as I've been using the separate base coat and top coat but I'll give it to Joanne to test out for me and she can report back.

But on to the star of the show.  The Dr Rescue Gel Effect Top Coat.


I've tried my fair share of top coats over the years and while I still love Seche Vite for it's pure convenience, I find that when I get a chip, all bets are off because I get enormous satisfaction from peeling off my polish in one go.

Not so with this top coat.  It gives a really glossy shine to the nails and you can see in the photo above what it looks like with one coat over the YSL La Laque Couture in Le Rouge Matte.  It doesn't dry as quickly as Seche Vite, but when it does, it's fabulous and makes my nails feel really strong.  And even better is that I get a good three days out of my polish before chips begin.  As someone who is really hard on her nails, this is life changing!  I get tip wear after a couple of days, but nothing too bad at all.  This is a top coat I can see myself finishing and I'm really impressed with it!

I've used nothing else on my nails except for the Dr Rescue range and I wish you could understand how satisfying it is not to have soft bendy nails that split and peel if I look at them sideways.  Game changer Maybelline!

I need to double check the prices, but we're talking a maximum of about a fiver per item.  Obsessed!

*PR sample*
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