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Covering 30,000 sq feet under Waterloo’s tunnels, House of Vans is a skate – BMX – art – music – visual – event space which has at long last opened its doors today to a much anticipated London crowd. The House is divided into five tunnels each with a different event space. From the screening room in Tunnel 2 to the gig space of Tunnel 3, the House of Vans vibrates with energy, but it’s Tunnel 4 that has the very impressive pool-style skate park, complete with viewing hub and tv screens to catch all the skate/BMX talent.

As it’s the opening weekend, there’s a series of screenings, workshops and gigs over the next couple of days, and I rushed over this afternoon on Day 1 to find it happily lived up to every bit of its hype.

Skateboarding legends Tony Alva and Christian Hosoi were spotted, casually chatting in the adjacent cafe and later, Vans founder, Steve Van Doren himself – in a Hawaiian shirt and Vans slip ons of course. I gifted myself to a few freebies that were on hand, and then queued up for a visit to the pop up workshops in the Vans Labs – all while beats echoed through the tunnels from the resident DJ.

DJ Barely Legal

I got to try my hand at screen printing in Vans Lab #1, courtesy of Lovenskate. I printed my own very cool London edition House of Vans tshirt!

House of Vans tshirt printing

Afterwards, I queued up again for a bespoke House of Vans manicure from Wah Nails in Vans Lab #4. I chose the classic logo and 20 minutes later walked out with the cutest nail art design! I’m seriously impressed with the precision on the lettering – can’t stop looking at my nails.

House of Vans Wah Nails

Of course I can’t finish a blog article about Vans without sharing my wishlist for Autumn/Winter. As one can’t have too many Vans trainers – some I skate in, some I wear on dress down days – I have had to limit one pair per payslip though, however the wait is worth it.

Vans Trainers

Clockwise from top left: Vans Leopard Hello Kitty Authentic Trainers £50, Vans Sk8 Hi Hot Pink Leather Trainers £45, Vans Della Slip Ons £50, Vans Zig Zag Slip Ons £50, Vans Cosmic Galaxy Slip Ons £50

If you haven’t already, get yourself down to the House of Vans! For more information, visit houseofvanslondon.com.

Images source: Blogger’s own

I talk a lot with my hands so having well polished nails is really important to me. Like shoes, having an arsenal of nail polishes in different colours, finishes, textures is something every woman should have. And like shoes, that fluoro pink is nowhere near the same colour as that hot pink, I totally need both, seriously

Happily, the recent Models Own 6 for £20 promotion meant I was able to top up my already bulging nail varnish collection for Spring, and recently welcomed four new nail colours from their various current collections, a matte top coat varnish and for kicks, a cream eyeshadow.

Models Own Packaging Psst! Very Damien Hirst!

Models Own Haul

Clockwise from left: Matte Top Coat Nail Polish £5, Nail Polish in Utopia £5, Speckled Eggs Nail Polish in Swan Lilac £5, Velvet Goth Nail Polish in Obsidian £5, Cream Eye Shadow in Phantom Black £5, Artstix Nail Polish Duo in Freak Betty £6

MATTE TOP COAT

This is a texture I always wanted to try. For review purposes, I paired it with a pastel pink from Barry M called Strawberry Ice Cream before applying a layer of Models Own matte top coat. It brushed on super light and dried to a lovely Barbie-like matte finish! It’s really a gorgeous look and definitely a keeper.

Models Own Matte Top Coat

SPECKLED EGGS – Swan

I was quite excited to try this colour as it’s part of Models Own’s newest collection, Speckled Eggs. it’s essentially an opaque pastel with varying sized matte black glitter. It’s a fantastically time product as Easter is just around the corner, and is very reminiscent of those sugar coated chocolate eggs you’d find around this time of year.

Models Own Speckled Eggs

Other colours in this collection include: Dove (Pastel Pink), Goose (Lemon Yellow), Magpie (Mint Green) and Duck (Sky Blue)

I chose Swan, a vibrant pastel purple as it most closely resembled Pantone’s Colour Of The Year, Radiant Orchid. As 2014’s hot colour, I wanted to make sure I was sporting the shade. I applied two coats of Swan and finished off with one coat of Models Own matte top coat to give it an eggshell finish. I absolutely adore this collection, yes even after my partner described them as ‘dinosaur eggs‘.

Models Own Swan

THE CLASSICS – Utopia

I wanted a chic and easy neutral shade for french manicures and for days when I’m after “quieter” nails. I already owned a neutral iridescent so only an opaque nude would do. Models Own don’t do watery nail polishes, and two coats was all I needed for a perfect, even covering. This shade borders on greyish pink with a hint of lilac and is most definitely très chic! I finished off my nails with my favourite top coat, No.7 Gel-Look Shine Nail Polish in Clear, although I should note the end result was quite shiny even before I applied anything over it, so you can choose to go without!

Models Own Utopia Swatch

VELVET GOTH – Obsidian

Models Own Obsidian

Models Own describe this collection as multi-faceted, offering both a sparkly and matte finish. It comes in a cute, flock-topped bottle and is packed with silver glitter mixed in with the odd large iridescent glitter to add dimension. This collection is not a quick dry formula but I found the polish dried very quickly. I applied two coats to achieve an opaque covering. Once all done, I had to fight the urge not to apply my usual glossy top coat; had to remember this is meant to be matte! I’m keen to try the other colours in this collection. This colour, Obsidian, reminds me of a pair of wet-look leggings or the matte sheen of a bad-ass leather jacket. Not a bad look at all!

Other colours in this collection include: Valerian (Navy), Amethyst (Dark Purple), Sardonyx (Deep Red) and Absinthe (Jade Green)

ARTSTIX NAIL POLISH DUO – Freak Betty

Models Own Artstix Duo in Freak BettyI love the idea of essentially having two bottles of polish in one. I mean, who actually ever finishes a whole bottle of glitter polish? The Artstix duo suggests you “paint it” with a base colour, then “cover it” with sparkles (or in some duos, a pearly sheen).

Here, I’m wearing the Freak Betty duo and dabbed a bit of the accompanying glitter on my ring finger (as you do), but if I were going out to somewhere special I’d definitely cover all my nails with it! Once again, the quality of Models Own nail polishes are great – full of colour and only requiring two coats for complete coverage. The end result, which I would describe as a true navy, is again, super shiny before I even put on any top coat to finish.

Models Own Freak Betty Duo

Other duos in this collection include: Cloud Drops (Cream/Gold Glitter), Terra Crystal (Chocolate/Rose Glitter), Ember Red (Scarlet/Fire Glitter), Blue Spray (Pearly Sky Blue/Iridescent Glitter), Blibble (Hot Pink/Silver Glitter), Jade Flakes (Jade Green/Clear Glitter), Nude Jack (Latte/Clear Glitter), Snow Mix (White/Rainbow Glitter), Pink Stuff (Baby Pink/Pink Glitter), Utopia Ocean (Blush Nude/Iridescent Sheen) and Boogie Dream (80s Pink/Electric Pink Glitter)

CREAM EYE SHADOW – Phantom Black

Models Own Cream Eye Shadow

I’ve never used a cream eye shadow before so was curious to try this out. You don’t need to wear primer as the creamy base makes up for where powder shadows need something to hug on to. I applied this in the same way as I do my powder shadows, with the added bonus that I could use my fingertips to smudge the colour on as well. It’s a creamy formula and highly pigmented which I loved, and found that it blended like a powder. I finished with a sweeping of my usual powder eyeshadow in a matching shade over the top to set it in place. I think I still need to get my technique down with cream eye shadows – so unfortunately no photos!

Other colours in this collection include: Mash-Up (Mauve), Anthracite (Silver), Piper (Pale Pink), White Pearl (Silver Shimmer), Gold Pearl (Pale Gold Shimmer) and Fix-Up (Fudge)

So there you have it, are you a die-hard Models Own fan as well? What is your favourite product? I’m hoping to do another beauty review soon on Models Own Hyper-Brite lipsticks. I already have their blinding Hot Pink lippie, so am just waiting on Orangeade to be back in stock first! Stay tuned.

Photos: Blogger’s Own