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Sunday, 15 May 2016

24 Hours In Milan With Essie; Essie Gel Couture Nail Varnish Review And Launch!

When my inbox pinged with an invite to Milan with one of my favourite nail brands, I couldn't resist. If you guys follow my blog and my journeys on my travel section, you'll know that travel is one of my favourite things in the world. I love nothing more than jumping on a plane and seeing the world, nothing makes me happier. What else do I adore? Beauty. Yup, my biggest passion. This week, two of my biggest passions came together, beauty and travel. I have been using essie nail varnishes for as long as I can remember and was invited to an exclusive preview of their brand new gel couture range. I got myself on that flight to Milan and was ready to learn all about this exciting new product in the city of couture. Let's see what I got up to! 

We had just under 24 hours in Milan by the time we arrived, our flight was unfortunately delayed by around 4 hours so rather than arriving into Milan for lunch time, we arrived at around 4pm. We made the most of it though and headed straight to La Marca's showroom rather than having lunch. La Marca's showroom was set out with beautiful Italian made couture gowns for us to try on and if we wanted, wear for the evening ahead. 





Some of my favourite essie colours were organised around the room, complementing the colours of the dresses. No sign of the new range yet though... 

la marca milan
 

I tried on this gorgeous mermaid dress. 


I definitely felt like a real life princess in it.

We headed upstairs to get our nails done, 


I went for mint green, the perfect Summer shade. 



Whilst we didn't get to have a delicious Italian lunch in the courtyard as planned, we did get to fill up on yummy cupcakes and macaroons so all was not lost. Macaroons to match my manicure? Yes please.

chanel espadrilles

At around 5pm, we got to our beautiful hotel for a quick change around before dinner; Palazzo Parigi. I'll definitely be staying here again *when* I come back to Milan and explore properly. It's my kind of hotel, luxurious, plush and beautiful. 

I wore my new Chanel espadrilles which I recently bought in Paris (loves of my life), my floaty blue floral dress and my trusty ASOS mac (online here too). 

Palazzo Parigi milan
Palazzo Parigi
  

The room was pretty heavenly. 


With stunning views of Milan streets. 

I ran myself a quick bath before dinner (I couldn't resist this epic tub)
and opened up the loveliest goodie bag full of treats from Maybelline and essie when I got out.

Palazzo Parigi italy

I waited in the lounge and before I knew it, I was transported through downtown Milan to the stunning Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Technologia Leonardo da Vinci! 


Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Technologia Leonardo da Vinci!
Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Technologia Leonardo da Vinci!

the 8th sign dress


It was so magical, like something from a fairytale. I can see why people get married in Italy. I wore my beautiful new dress from the 8th Sign. I didn't wear a couture gown because none of them fitted perfectly so decided to go for this instead. I still felt like a princess because of the magical venue. 

 Inside the venue, essie seriously spoilt us. One beautiful runway to showcase their new product with dinner set out at either side. We were in for a serious treat.


We sat at each side as we waited to learn about essie's new innovation, essie gel couture.  

Now it's your turn to learn about the amazing new gel couture range. I am so excited to finally tell everyone although if you were following me on Snapchat (emshelx) whilst I was in Milan you'll know all about it by now! The new gel couture range was designed with the haute vision of couture and fashion in mind which is exactly why we came to Milan, the heart and home of haute couture. The range is made up of 30 shades (25 in the UK) and is all about staying power but, you don't need to go to the salon, you can do this at home. It isn't like other gel nail varnishes at home which just look a bit shiny, this actually has staying power too. Gel couture is made with a gel-like formula to give long wear and I've been told it will last for 12 days!!! So far so good. It features a revolutionary swirled brush for perfect coverage and it comes in a striking new bottle inspired by the twirling dresses of the runway, much like the dress I tried on earlier in the day - how beautiful and classy? I can see these bottles becoming every girls dream. They look perfect in my bathroom. No base coat is needed as the formula has it built into every shade (perfect for lazy girls like myself, I like to paint my nails but I don't always have the time to apply base coats etc). You can apply the gel couture range at home, just like any other nail varnish. You simply apply two coats of the colour and then finish it with a luxurious top coat. The top coat features shatterproof technology, it also magnifies the colour and it gives the shades a super gloss finish. It dries pretty quickly too, I'm extremely impressed with the beautiful shades, the application, the intensity and how quickly it dries. 

Next, we were in for a treat. The range is broken up into four different categories; neutrals, pastels, brights and deeps - all inspired by the runway. Atelier, backstage, runway and then the after-party. We were given a special runway show to represent each shade group. 

essie gel couture The neutrals were my favourite. 

Here's the special top coat, how perfect is this bottle?
  


We were brought food in between each show too. Beauty, fashion, food and travel all rolled into one? My dream. 

essie gel couture pastelsNext up, the beautiful pastels. How perfect is that mint colour for Summer?! 


After another course, it was time for the after-party colours.


Stunning deep shades.

 It all started to make sense, the beautiful new bottle design, inspired by the twirling dress we gazed at when we walked into the venue... 

I honestly can't choose my favourite shade. I currently have 'on the list' on my nails, a beautiful coral colour. The new gel couture polish is one of the easiest polishes I've ever had to apply. One stroke and the pigmentation is incredible and so is the coverage. I'm yet to see a chip either! My nails look glossy and super luxe. I feel like essie have taken the chore out of nail painting and revolutionised it with this beautiful new range. 

After a phenomenal night, we headed back to our hotel via some beautiful Milano sights. 

When I'm tired, I get so excited about taking my make up off, particularly when the bathroom is this beautiful. Obviously if you've read my skincare routine you'll know all about my nightly routine but here are some of my travel essentials if you're wondering. 

I woke up bright and early the following day, too excited to sleep actually. 

 It was a drizzly day in Milan but I wanted to make the best of my first time in Italy.




milan shopping

I've never seen such beautiful streets, or, such beautiful shops. I wondered around by myself and I've promised myself I'll come back to this beautiful city. 
  
Even in the rain, Milan is one of the most perfect, beautiful places I've visited. I'm making it my mission to explore more of Italy this year. I can't believe I haven't visited before now.



Italy, I'll be back. I love you. As for nail painting? Nail painting will never be the same again now essie have introduced these game changers. Vibrant, stunning colours (finally the kind of colours I want on my nails), that actually last and are so beautiful to apply. I knew there was a reason I've always loved essie. They're a beautiful, stunning brand and it was amazing to get to know them a little bit more. I know I'll be stocking up on their new gel couture range as soon as they release it.

Thank you essie for the most incredible trip.

The range is available from the 1st June. 

You can watch my video and see more of the trip on my YouTube - it would mean the world to me if you could subscribe to my channel!

Lots of love, Em x


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