Bioelixia Body Shaper, Deseo Jennifer Lopenz, Nivea Eye Makeup Remover - Lena Talks Beauty

September Empties

This month I have an absolutely bumper empties post, since I tidied my makeup table and did a bit of a clean up of my collection. Many of these aren’t actually empty, but they’re going in the bin all the same so they deserve to be in this post. There are a whopping 25 items, so I won’t be going through all of them individually – I’ll focus on the full size products that I’ve actually finished – so let’s get into it!

February Empties

So many empties this month! I’ve really been trying to use up what I have, I haven’t bought any beauty products since coming back from Australia in January, which must be a record for me. February’s empties include body, skincare, hair, and nail related products, from brands including The Body Shop, Sally Hansen, Dove and Lush. Let’s get into it, I have mini-reviews for all of these products

Tips for using striping tape on your nails

After being inspired by my good friend and fellow blogger Caitlin, recently I have been making good use of striping tape in my manicures. I love the way it makes your nails look more interesting, and you can use it in really creative ways. Using it is something I initially struggled with, but now with practice and some research I have some advice that I can give to you!

6 Month Giveaway

Today is 6 months since my first blog post, and I feel like I’ve come SUCH a long way since then. I’ve learned so much about running a blog, taking photos – going from using my phone to using a DSLR, editing photos, and working with some great brands. Without all my amazing readers, this would all be nothing. I love reading comments, and seeing likes and favourites, and hearing from all of you about what you think of my posts. I’ve also made some awesome friends through blogging which I have been so thrilled about. To thank you all for your support, I have a giveaway for you – open internationally. Some of the products have been kindly provided to me by PR companies, others I’ve purchased myself.

Harry Potter nail art

Today I’m going to be showing you the most challenging nail art I’ve ever attempted. The Polish Addicts of New Zealand group/blog has run a nail art contest named ‘It’s a Kind of Magic’. You had to choose good magic, or dark magic, and do nail art to go with that theme. When I think of magic, my first thought is Harry Potter, so I’ve entered under the good magic category.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish

I’m a big fan of gel manicures because they usually last 2 to 3 weeks on me, and they always look perfect. However, there are some downsides – you usually have to go to a salon to get them done which is an inconvenience and not cheap, usually around $60; or buy special lamps for home use; and it’s a hassle to remove, requiring the use of acetone, tinfoil, cotton buds and a lot of time. Now there is a new generation of gel-polish hybrids out – I had heard about them, but never tried one. So, when Sally Hansen NZ asked for people to trial their new Miracle Gel Polish I contacted them immediately and was really excited to be chosen. I’ve been trialling it over the last few weeks and I’m sharing the results now!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects real nail polish strips

My curious nature strikes again. I have seen these Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips around for a while now, and always wondered how well they would actually perform. I saw my cousin wearing them and she said that they were great, and then the following day I saw them on special – so of course I couldn’t resist. They’re normally $20 for a pack of 16, which is kind of expensive, but with 20% off I had to get them. Unlike some other brands that are stickers, these are actual nail polish. I have no idea how they make nail polish into these little strips, but I’m going by what the packaging says. I got number 43 – Laced Up, because I wanted ones that looked like nail art that I couldn’t do, not just plain old polish. The package comes with 16 nail polish strips, a small nail file, a small orange stick, and of course, instructions on how to use them.   There are a range of sizes of the strips, and you choose the ones that best fit your nail. I found that most of them could be cut in half because they were so […]

Turn your manicure matte with Sallly Hansen

Matte nail polish is a big trend at the moment, and Sally Hansen has a great new product to transform your manicure to a matte one. No need to buy a collection of matte polishes – by applying this top coat over normal nail polish, your manicure will turn matte in seconds. The top coat dries very quickly, and is great at preventing chips too. I was so impressed with this, I’d tried another top coat previously that was not a good look, but I am in love with how this looks. Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat is available in NZ at The Warehouse for $14.99, as well at Farmers, and anywhere else that Sally Hansen is stocked. Have you tried this? What do you think of the matte nail polish look – a big fan, or totally over it?   A shorter version of this post was originally published on

Beauty Review Vault haul

Beauty Review is a great New Zealand-based website that sends out full sized beauty products for people to review on their website. You can also review products not sent to you by them, chat on the forum or read the interesting articles that they put up. Four times a year they have a ‘vault’ sale which is where you use the points you earn by reviewing and participating on the site to buy products. They held one a few weeks ago and today I’m going to review the products that I received. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Lip Gloss Set – RRP $59 I chose this with the intention of giving it to my mum for a belated Mother’s Day gift – a bit of a cheapskate, I know, but my mum loves a bargain just like I do. And yes, she knows I was going to swatch them for the blog. She’s so long suffering. Anyway, on to the review – to be honest I was a bit disappointed with it – the glosses are quite small and weren’t anything special compared to just about every other lip gloss I’ve tried before. They work out to be $3.70/ml, whereas an Australis […]

How to make your manicure last!

There are few things more upsetting than spending time painting your nails with a gorgeous colour, and having it chip off within a day or two. I want mine to last for about a week, and using these techniques I generally achieve that. You will need: A base coat – I use Orly Bonder Nail polish, whatever you fancy. A top coat – I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail polish remover and cotton balls Tiny paint brush Paper towel/tissues The very first step is to make sure that your nails are free of any oils before you start – use nail polish remover on a cotton ball even if your nails don’t have polish on them. If there is any oil on your nails, from hand cream or even food then that will cause the polish to not adhere as well to your nail, and that can cause it to chip. Next you apply your base coat – I really like Orly Bonder, I’ve tried a few others but this is the best so far. I buy mine from eBay as it’s about half the price as buying it in store, but you can easily get it at Farmers. Now […]