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Uni Essentials: What’s In Your Uni Bag?

uni essentials bag

With a new university term in plain sight, it’s time to get organised. Make sure you’re packing all the uni essentials in your handbag and you’ll never be caught out by those oops-I-forgot-I-had-a-lecture moments or spontaneous sleepovers, ever again.

Rounding up all the must-haves, here’s what to stock up on ahead of the new academic year. Now where’s that backpack?

uni essentials bag

Water

Unless you want to make regular trips to the canteen, always keep a bottle of water to hand.  Staying hydrated will help improve concentration levels and general wellbeing – aim for the recommended 2 litres a day. 

Vitamins

Want to avoid getting struck down by the infamous fresher’s flu? Prevention is key! Give your immune system a boost by taking multi-vitamins daily.

For more expert advice on what to stock up on, check out our guide on the top vitamins for tiredness.

Uni Essentials Bag image

Stationery

Laptops are soooo 2016. Channel your inner Elle Woods and jot down those all-important notes in an adorable notebook. And for the super organised, sticky notes will help you annotate your reading list to colour-coded perfection.

Makeup Must-haves

From cramming an all-nighter in the library to overnight stays at your friend’s halls, it’s not unusual to become a night owl at university. Make sure you’re ready for any last-minute plans by keeping the absolute essentials with you at all times. We’re talking cleansing wipes, dry shampoo and a travel-friendly edition of your makeup bag.

3 jars filled with makeup brushes

SOS

Suffering from a bad hangover? Maybe a bulging blister? Whatever the emergency, make sure you’re ready to tackle the drama head-on with a first aid kit of ‘just in case’ items.

Survive the beginning of the academic year with our fresher's week survival tips... 

 

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Fresher’s Week: How To Build Confidence

how to build confidence feature

There are two types of people heading off to university in September. There's the ones who spend most of summer with their bags already packed, eagerly awaiting moving day to arrive. Then there are those who spend the summer feeling anxious and worried about the life changes ahead of them. For those that are feeling the nerves because of all the impending lifestyle changes, we’re here to help you build confidence ahead of the university move.

Think about these tips and tricks when it comes to finding your feet in your new environment.

1. Think Positively

It may seem like a simple concept, but looking at things in a positive way will ultimately help you feel more positive. So every time a negative thought creeps in (‘I’m going to do badly in exams’) replace with a positive (‘I will work hard to revise and do the best of my ability in exams’).

This positive reinforcement will help build up your self-esteem. Say no to negative self-talk, as this will only bring your confidence levels down.

2. Sign Up to Clubs & Societies

If one of your biggest pre-uni fears is not being able to make friends, then put yourself out there and actively search for like-minded people with similar hobbies and interests. Visit your uni’s freshers' fair and sign up to any societies that interest you. Often these clubs and societies will have regular meet-ups outside of any activities, so it’s a great way to make friends.

Four females in a sports team smiling at the camera

3. Set Small Goals When Speaking to a New Person

There is no quick fix to building confidence and therefore there’s room for constant improvement and development. Instead of setting yourself a big overarching goal of ‘be more confident’, set yourself mini goals to achieve this.

So, for social butterfly status start off small by approaching the student in the bedroom next door to you. Then once you have ticked off this goal, mentally celebrate this achievement before moving on to another goal like inviting this new friend for a coffee in the kitchen.

Having trouble sparking up a conversation with your  neighbour? One of the best ways is to find a common interest, so if you've heard a familiar band blasting from their speakers or spotted them in your lecture hall then start with these safe topics. Alternatively, asking a question is another easy way of starting a conversation. And just remember, in those first few days/weeks everyone is in the same boat so get set to hear a lot of 'what are you studying?' and 'where are you from?' questions flying about.

Students talking in the kitchen

4. Stay True To Yourself 

Always be true to yourself and never do something for the sake of appearances. So, if you’re a massive hockey fan, then it makes perfect sense to join the society. But if you’re not, then don’t spend a term listening to hockey talk and googling ‘hockey fouls.’  Most universities will have clubs and societies suitable for a wide range of interests from sport to music, book clubs and more -  so find something that best suits you!

Do MORE of what makes you HAPPY! Uni is an amazing place to find friends and create memories for life. So, take your time to find your feet, get involved and remember you'll only have this experience once... so make the most of it.

For more wellbeing advice, watch our video with expert Clare Dimond below...

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Back to Uni: All About Safer Sex

Safer sex feature

Does the subject of sex education bring back memories of awkwardly smirking at your classmates while your teacher waffles on about genital warts?

If you found THAT cucumber demonstration a little too distracting to form a question, let alone raise your hand, we’re here to help. Cue our virtual seminar on safer sex – where you can get the all-important information in the comfort of your own home.

Safer sex feature

Lesson 1: Condoms

Widely considered the ‘go-to’ for safe sex, condoms help protect against STIs as well as pregnancy.

What is a Condom?

A condom is a sheath-shaped barrier (often made from latex) that can be used during sexual intercourse. They help protect against sexually transmitted infections (such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and HIV) and against unintended pregnancy.

Things to know about Condoms:

  • Condoms are unique in that they help prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of STIs.

  • You can get condoms for both men and women.

  • Condoms have no side effects, unlike other forms of contraception. If you’re allergic to latex try switching to soft plastic condoms should eliminate allergy flare ups.

  • They come in all different sizes, textures and flavours so you can choose what is best for you.

  • In order for a condom to be effective it needs to be put on properly and a new condom used every time you have sex.

Not sure how to put a condom on? Our sexpert Alix Fox reveals all…

Lesson 2: The Pill

You may have heard of ‘the pill’ as a method of contraception. It’s available in two forms, as a combined oral contraceptive (COC) or progesterone-only pill (POP) - both have been designed to help prevent unplanned pregnancy.

What is The Pill?

Firstly there are two types of pill, COC and POP. The COC or ‘combination pill’ contains two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. It works by  preventing pregnancy in 2 ways:

  • Prevents release of the egg.

  • Thickens the mucus in the cervix to prevent sperm from entering.

The most common type of COC has a 28-day cycle with each pack including 21 pills, to be taken daily, at the same time until the pack is finished. Then take a break for 7 days, which is when a period will take place. And then repeat.

POP, only releases the hormone progesterone which works to thicken the mucus in the cervix, preventing sperm from reaching the egg. This pill needs to be taken at the exact same time every day, with no break between packs.

Things to know about The Pill:

  • The pill does not protect against STIs

  • Factors such as diarrhoea and vomiting can make the pill less effective.

  • There are many varieties available, which can cause a little confusion when cross-referencing among friends. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so always consult your pharmacist for contraceptive advice.
Safer sex 2

Lesson 3: Get Tested

If you’ve met someone during Fresher’s week and you want to take things to the next level, a few at-home tests can help give you both peace of mind before entering a sexual relationship.  

Our online sexual services allow you to discreetly order a testing kit for a host of STIs. If anything comes back as positive, you can also find a host of treatment options too.

Understanding your current sexual health will help prevent the spreading of infections and diseases.

Lesson 4: The Morning After Pill

Had unprotected sex? Condom split? While it’s not recommended as a regular contraceptive, the morning after pill  can be used to help prevent pregnancy after you have had unprotected sex.

What is the Morning After Pill?

Firstly, there are two types of morning after pill – Levonogestrel (such as ezinelle or levonelle) and ellaOne. The former can be used up to 3 days after unprotected sex and the latter can be used 5 days after. They both work in a similar way, by manipulating the hormone progesterone to prevent or delay ovulation.

Things to know about The Morning After Pill:

  • The morning after pill will not protect against STIs, it is purely designed to prevent pregnancy.

  • The quicker you take it after unprotected sex, the more likely it is to be effective.
  • It can cause side effects including (but not limited to) stomach cramps, tiredness, headaches, dizziness nausea and irregular menstrual bleeding.

For more information and advice, consult your pharmacist.

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Top 10: Perfumes for Women

Womens Top 10 Perfumes feature

Is it time to replace that signature scent you’ve been rockin’ for years? Or are you totally stumped for what to buy a special lady in your life? Well you lucky thing, you’re exactly where you need to be! Our top 10 perfume for women is your go-to guide for all things scent-sational and features the best of the best! Which will be your next perfume purchase?

1. Ghost the fragrance by Ghost

There’s nothing spooky about this iconic scent, in fact we think you’ll welcome it into your life with open arms! It’s soft and delicate combination of dreamy vanilla, rose, amber and musk make it a total dream to wear both day and night.

Ghost Ghost The Fragrance Eau de Toilette Spray 50ml £33.00 Buy Now

2. Rush Ladies by Gucci

It’s luxury. It’s intoxicating. It’s also shaped like a cassette tape…  (if you’re a pre-90s baby… you’ll know what we mean!) Rush, by the Italian powerhouse that is Gucci, has been enticing people with its utterly confident blend of spicy and floral notes since the late 90s and luckily for us - it’s going no where!

Gucci Gucci Rush Ladies Eau de Toilette 50ml £60.00 Buy Now
Daisy by Marc Jacobs for women's top 10 perfume
Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette 50ml £45.00 Buy Now

3. Daisy by Marc Jacobs

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how cute this bottle is? Okay… we’re done, now back to the good stuff. Daisy by Marc Jacobs isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but the sparkling, floral-woody fragrance inside ticks all the right boxes too!  It features a summer-lovin’ blend of fruity strawberry, delicate violet and powdery vanilla and musk to create one delicious fragrance!

Issey Miyake Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey Florale Eau de Toilette 50ml £30.00 Buy Now

4. L’eau D’Issey Florale by Issy Miyake

If flowers are your thing, Issey Miyake has got you covered. One step on from his iconic L’eau d’Lissy scent, this floral adaptation is Florale, a confident combination of orange, rose and lily.

Cloud by Ariana Grande

5. Cloud by Ariana Grande

Sweet like chocolate, Ari brings us so much joy! Satisfy your sweet cravings with the gourmand delights of Cloud by pop princess Ariana Grande. Think melted vanilla ice-cream, candy floss and indulgent praline rolled into one ever-so tempting scent that evokes passion, hope (and the want for dessert)!

Ariana Grande Ariana Grande Cloud Eau de Parfum Spray 100ml £43.00 Buy Now

6. Stories by DKNY

“In New York… concrete jungles where dreams are made of!” Alicia Keys… we hear ya! And apparently so did Donna Karan as DKNY’s Stories is inspired by the endless possibilities offered by The Big Apple.  Every spray is an experience you’ll want to repeat with its blend of sparkling pink guava, fresh jasmine and seductively rich vanilla.

Donna Karan DKNY Stories EDP 100ml £80.00 Buy Now
Stories by DKNY for women's top ten perfumes
Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau de Parfum 50ml £57.50 Buy Now

7. Lady Million by Paco Rabanne

Does it get more striking than Lady Million by Paco Rabanne? Nope! The dazzling bottles is home to an intoxicating, addictive and downright incredible combo of neroli, raspberry, patchouli and delicious honey! As bright and daring as the largest diamond in the world it is inspired by!

Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Eau de Parfum 50ml £55.00 Buy Now

8. Decadence by Marc Jacobs

For when you really can’t justify another handbag … there’s always this season’s must-have accessory - Marc Jacob’s Decadence. This fragrance instantly charms with its Champagne, honeysuckle and liquid amber combo.

Lady Million by Paco Rabanne

9. Angel by Thierry Mugler

Was it sent from heaven to delight our senses? Some would agree! For Mugler’s first foray into fragrance he did a pretty good job and the sweet, gourmand scent has become something of a icon! Red fruits, soft caramel (hmmm…), praline and honey combine to create a mouth-watering scent.

Thierry Mugler Thierry Mugler Angel EDT Spray 25ml £40.00 Buy Now

10. Because it's you by Emporio Armani 

If you and your fella like to be matchy matchy with your scents, then you’ve found the perfect pairing with Armani’s ‘It’s you’ duo. The female fragrance, which has bursts of raspberry and neroli, was created side by side with the male fragrance ‘Stronger with you’ as a symbol of Giorgio Armani’s personal love story. Cute!

 

Armani Emporio Armani Stronger with You Intense Eau de Parfum 100ml £75.00 Buy Now
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Best Summer Feet Treatments

Summer feet treatments

Sandal season has arrived – this is not a drill! It’s time to kick aside those boots you’ve been living in and look hot to trot in a pair of strappy flats, embellished espadrilles or gorgeous heels.

But, if your feet are not quite ready for the big reveal, fear not. We have sought out the best products that will help you feel fabulous from the ground up, ahead of the annual holiday escape. Get set to reach pedicure-perfect status without having to leave the house with these summer feet treatments catered for a host of concerns.

Summer feet treatments

The Foot Concern: Dry Skin

A process familiar with fake tan enthusiasts, exfoliating helps get rid of dry skin. While your standard body exfoliator can help smooth skin from top to toe, there are a handful of targeted feet treatments that will help produce unparalleled softness.

Cue Footner’s exfoliating socks. This hard-working product boasts results with every use. Simply slip into the disposable socks, put your feet up for an hour and remove. Over the course of the next week all the hardened skin on your feet will begin to peel helping to leave behind super soft feet with the strut factor. However, the process can take up to 14 days for feet to stop peeling so make sure you do this at least two weeks before your holiday!

If you’re looking for products you can use pre-holiday and beyond then opting for a nourishing foot scrub, pumice stone and buffing brush will help soften the skin with every use.

The Foot Concern: Cracked Heel

Unsightly cracked heels are caused by the skin drying out, becoming callus and then ultimately splitting. What a pretty picture. This foot concern can also worsen when your trusty flip-flops and open-back sandals make an appearance as the lack of support puts extra pressure on dry skin.

Summer feet treatments 2

Whether you’ve noticed a dry patch and want to help prevent a cracked heel situation or already have heels with more cracks than the Sahara desert, targeted moisturising creams are the beauty buster you need. A weekly process of exfoliating, buffing (with a pumice stone) and moisturising will help minimise the cracked appearance until the dry skin softens completely.

The Foot Concern: Calluses

Calluses are created in places that experience repeated friction – as any avid musician will know. So it’s not uncommon to develop calluses on the feet, especially if you live in stilettos.

Using targeted treatments for calluses, from lotions to removers, will help ease the appearance and remove the rough callus area over time. As calluses are as uncomfortable as they are unattractive, between treatments invest in cushioned pads to ease the discomfort on-the-go.

If you are diabetic always consult with a pharmacist or GP before using products on your feet.

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What is Retinol?

Woman staring in mirror after using retinol skincare products

Those in the beauty biz (think dermatologists, editors, vloggers) have been raving about retinol for years. Scratch that, decades! But let’s be honest, sometimes all the jargon can be a little bit over our heads. We’ve sorted through the facts and the stats and have translated all the industry lingo so that your skincare regime can start reaping the benefits of this wonder ingredient. You can thank us later!    

Woman staring in mirror after using retinol skincare products

It may hide behind a scary, science-y name but to put it simply, retinol is a form of Vitamin A. Not so scary now, right? Retinol is an ingredient that is used in skincare products (serums, creams) because of its super power ability to speed up skin cell renewal and enhance collagen production.

Why use Retinol?

So you’ve heard the hype and want to know why beauty bloggers, facialists and your bff’s-cousins-stepsister swears by it?

Well, it’s an anti-ageing hero that can significantly improve the appearance of fine lines, sun damage, dark spots and wrinkles. Not only is it said to reverse the signs of ageing after daily use, but it can also act as a preventive measure too.

Studies have shown that using an over-the-counter product with 0.1% retinol (for prolonged, regular use) showed significant improvement to wrinkles, with visible results as early as one month.

How does it Work? 

Here comes the science lesson. When retinol is applied to the skin it is absorbed, broken down and transformed into retinoic acid. This compound can then impact cell structure (stimulate collagen/cell renewal process).

This conversion process doesn’t happen immediately when you use a skincare product containing retinol, it can sometimes take several applications before it then changes into retinoic acid. For faster, more immediate results you can turn to retinoids, but these are only available on a prescription basis.

Where Can I Find Retinol Products? 

There are many serums and creams that are available to buy in-store and online that feature this wonder ingredient. To figure out which skincare product features retinol always check the labels.  

OK, so what’s the catch?

Retinol may seem like it ticks every one of your boxes but it does come with fair warning. As retinol is quite a potent ingredient, when overused it could cause dryness and irritation. It can also potentially increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight, so always finish your routine with an SPF-packed product to counteract this.

And if you have sensitive skin, approach the ingredient with caution. Skincare products can vary between 0.1% retinol up to 1%, so always check the label before use and seek advice if you’re a retinol newbie.

The best way to introduce retinol into your skincare regime is to start with a low concentration until you build up your tolerance bit-by-bit. If you experience any redness or peeling from a higher dose then limit your retinol usage or lower the concentration.

Not sure whether retinol is for you? Try these alternative anti-ageing formulas:

Packed with active ingredients (such as Matrixyl Synthe6®) these products have been formulated to mimic the anti-ageing effects retinol has on the skin.  

Now you’ve got retinol down, here’s everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid…  

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How to get a Dewy Summer Glow

Summer Glow feature image

Summer and sun-kissed skin go hand-in-hand. But, often that natural, healthy glow needs a little helping along. A little sculpting here, a little dusting of shimmer there. Yes, it’s time to fake it ‘til you make it. Achieve a dewy, summer glow without having to spend any time soaking up the rays with our step-by-step tutorial. Hello, golden goddess!

How can I achieve a Dewy Summer Glow?

  • Illuminator
  • Foundation brush
  • Oval brush
  • Matt bronzer
  • Shimmer bronzer

Step 1 – Mix foundation with illuminator

Dewy summer glow step 1

Take your everyday foundation and add a few drops of illuminator to the formula. You can do this in a palette or on the back of your hand. Mix with a foundation brush before applying as normal.   

Step 2 – Apply blusher all over the face

Dewy summer glow step 2

Using a blusher brush, apply a matt bronzer all over the face following the natural contours of the face.

Step 3 – Apply shimmer bronzer

Dewy summer glow step 3

Taking a layered shimmer bronzer, apply to the hollows of the cheeks to add subtle definition.

Top Tip: Use an oval brush to do this as opposed to a traditional blusher brush to pack in as much pigment and shine on application. It’s also better at blending colour for a more natural finish.

Step 4 – Finish with highlighter

Dewy summer glow step 4

Targeting the highest points of your face, apply a highlighter with your fingertips. Use under brow arches, above cheekbones, centre of the forehead, down the nose, chin, and on the Cupid’s bow. Finish with a little dab of highlighter in the corner of the eyes for a more wide-eyed look. 

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How to: Summer Neon Makeup

Neon makeup feature

If you live by the beauty rule ‘go bold or go home’ then we’ve got just the trick to get you noticed this summer. One word – neon. A category of hue that makes everyone stop and stare, this look is for the experimental extroverts among us. Hot step it to statement style with our neon makeup tutorial:

Step 1 – Apply eye primer

Neon makeup step 1

To ensure your bold look stays put, start by applying an eye primer. Dab along your eyelid and blend with your ring finger.

Step 2 – Use neon yellow eye shadow

Neon makeup step 2

Take neon yellow eye shadow and brush and proceed to apply to the lid. Using a dabbing technique will ensure even, buildable application that’ll press against the primer for longer-lasting results. Apply up until the crease and repeat on your other eye.

Step 3 – Use neon pink eye shadow along the crease

Neon makeup step 3

Using the same eye shadow brush, transfer to a neon pink hue. Apply to the crease of the eye. Avoid blending the colour as a striking contrast is the desired end result. Do the same on your other eye.

Step 4 – Apply blue eye shadow to the inner corner

Neon makeup step 4

Take an angled brush and dip in water, this will give your applied colour extra vibrancy and hold. Dab on a cobalt blue eye shadow and apply to the inner corners of the eye. Also apply along the lower lash line, focusing on the corner. Do the same technique on the other eye until you are happy with a symmetrical finish.

Step 5 – Draw white eyeliner along the waterline

Neon makeup step 5

Taking white eyeliner, draw along the waterline – this will exaggerate the neon effect. Do the same on the other eye.

Step 6 – Apply mascara to lashes to add definition

Neon makeup step 6

Coat your lashes with mascara for added drama.

Top tip: Use the end of the mascara wand to coat the bottom lashes.

Step 7 – Use lip gloss & shimmer

Neon makeup step 7

Coat your lips in gloss. Take a silver shimmer-effect eye shadow and pat the colour into the gloss.

Hey presto - all done!

Neon makeup step 8

With a look this 'wow' we'd be winking too!

What Do I Need to Create the Halo Braid Look

  • Detangler brush
  • Clear elastic band
  • Hair grips
  • Hairspray
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How to: Polka dot nail art

Polka dot nail art

Thought that your nail art skill was on par with a ‘Pinterest fails’ gallery? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. But, every beginner has to start somewhere and practice really does make perfect. So if you’re looking for a novice-level design before you try a more ambitious look, then polka dot nail art is a great starting point. And it looks fabulous too!

Look 1: Stand-out ring finger

Step 1 – Begin with the base

File down your nails until they are all similar in shape and length. Then coat your nail with a base colour. We’ve gone for white as we want a striking monochrome finish but feel free to experiment! Apply two coats and leave to dry.  

Polka dot nail art 1

Step 2 – Go dotty

Dip a nail art/cuticle stick in black nail polish. To double check you’ve got the right amount of polish to create the perfect dot do a couple of tests on a piece of paper. Once you’re happy, create dots all over the nail.

Polka dot nail art 2

Step 3 – Top coat

After the dots have dried, finish with a glossy top coat to seal your design for longer. We’ve gone for a single dotty nail look, but you can alternate dots and colours or go dotty all over. 

Polka dot nail art 3

Step 4 – Create a contrast

To make your polka dot ring finger really stand out, then opt for bright block colours on the rest of the nails. Or add a little glitz and glamour with glitter-specked polishes. 

Polka dot nail art

Look 2: Jigsaw dots

Step 1 – All about that base

Start with the perfect blank canvas by filing and buffing your nails. Next, apply two coats of white nail polish. 

Gif apply white nail polish

Step 2 – Create a contrast

Using black nail polish draw a diagonal line across the corner of the nail. Build up the colour until you have a block finish.

Gif applying black nail polish in a diagonal line

Step 3 – Add dots

Now for the playful factor, it's time to go dotty! Along your diagonal line, create three dots. To create them, dip a nail art stick/toothpick into black polish and use it to make blobs. Then, spread the polish evenly. 

Gift 3 polka dots added to nail art

Step 4 – Add white dots

Once the first set of dots are dry, create more contrasting dots that sit in the empty space along the line. As you're using a different colour we recommend using new/clean tools to avoid any colour mixing. 

Gift 3 polka dots added to nail art

Step 5 – Finishing touch

Once you're confident your design is dry add a glossy top coat to seal your nail art. 

gift adding top coat to polka dot nail art

Step 6 – Repeat to complete

Repeat steps 1-5 on all your nails for a striking monochrome polka dot look. 

Jigsaw polka dot nail art design
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How to: Boho Festival Nails

Boho Festival Nails

Every year when festival fever hits, out goes the monochrome wardrobe and in comes the flower power aesthetic. Follow our hippie chic boho nails tutorial to channel the trend from your talons to your daisy crown.

Boho Festival Nails

What Will I Need to Achieve Boho Festival Nails?

  • Base coat
  • Nude nail polish
  • Thin brush nail polish to draw the white lines
  • Top coat

Step 1 – Apply a Base Coat

Boho Festival Nails Step 1

Begin with a clear base coat. This will ensure your nail colour applies evenly, maximise longevity, and will protect your natural nail bed.

Step 2 – Apply Nude Nail Polish

Boho Festival Nails Step 2

Next apply a boho-inspired colour to your nails. Going for a neutral hue works best here, like a pastel nude or a latte brown.  

Step 3 – Draw the First Chevron

Boho Festival Nails Step 3

Using a thin brush nail polish, create the first chevron by marking two diagonal lines. Going for a juxtaposing colour will create more of a striking finish, we recommend a crisp white.

Step 4 – Draw the Second Chevron

Boho Festival Nails Step 4

Above the first chevron, create another. Using the side of the thin brush works best here as it will ensure a super straight line. If you do not have a nail art polish to hand then you can use a lip brush with a white polish for an extra thin line.

Step 5 – Finish with Asymmetric Tips

Boho Festival Nails Step 5

Finish the design with a couple of asymmetric straight lines.  

Step 6 – Apply a clear Top Coat

Boho Festival Nails Step 6

Seal your boho chic talons with a glossy, clear top coat. This will prevent dreaded chips and will preserve the design for longer.

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