SensatioNail Express Gel Polish

A little while back I reviewed the Barry M Coconut Infusion range and having mentioned my disappointment with the paint chipping in such a short amount of time, I was really excited to try a new release from SensatioNail. I’m already a fan of the durability that comes with gel polish but have been on the hunt for a quicker alternative for quite some time.

nail colours
Left: Made Him Blush, Right: I Sleep Bare Naked

SensatioNail’s Express Gel Polish range promises to take as little as five minutes to complete and last as long as 10 days. This would provide me with the resilience I’ve been seeking, while also not taking up my whole evening to do. Surely too good to be true?

At the time of purchasing, Boots had an offer on of buy one get one half price, with the retail price being slightly lower at £10 compared to their standard gel polish. This enticed me to buy two light and summery shades to suit the season; Made Him Blush and the other in I Sleep Bare Naked.

I’ve been wanting a neutral colour suitable for every occasion and the paint on the right fits the bill nicely. I find that the consistency is generally good with these paints, not too thick which avoids making it congealed. However, for light shades like these, I would advise a couple of coats to thicken up the overall texture and appearance.

I couldn’t stop at merely two shades though and the offer once again lured me in so I purchased two more; Can’t Hear Myself Pink and Mauve It Or Lose It. The names are both a big giveaway, with Can’t Hear Myself Pink being much more of a coral pink than the red colour reflected in the photo.

nail colours 2
Left: Can’t Hear Myself Pink, Right: Mauve It Or Lose It

With over 20 colours to choose from this certainly is a selling point for the range. But the real question is still looming as to whether you can really have it all. While I was keen to try the range, it didn’t stop me from being slightly sceptical at its ability to last up to 10 days without a base or top coat to provide a helping hand.

It’s hard to judge as generally I would get bored quickly from being spoilt with choice and would want to change colours soon after applying one. I found that Made Him Blush and Mauve It Or Lose It stood the test of time lasting up to 10 days, although I did apply a top up coat at some point in between.

However, I have to reveal that to some extent 10 days was perhaps a bit optimistic due to the other two shades having slight chips within just four days, which only worsened with daily activities. So possibly too good to be true after all?

I may have found a solution to put my hunt to an end once and for all though. On one occasion, I applied a combination of Made Him Blush topped with glitter and added the standard clear gel top coat. This was to stop the glitter from having a rough touch but as a result, I discovered the paint was stronger than ever, even giving me difficulty when it came to soaking it off.

It may be one extra step to make time for but on the whole it’s quicker than following the standard gel procedures and in the long run you’ll be thankful.

So that’s a wrap, signing off from my nail polish journey… ’til next time anyway 😉

purple nailspink glitter nailscoral nails

From left to right: Mauve it Or Lose It, Made Him Blush, Can’t Hear Myself Pink.


Dyslexics in Film: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel Studios returns with some familiar faces, as well as some brand-new cast members.

One new addition is dyslexic star Sylvester Stallone, who plays Starhawk, an enhanced humanoid robot and influential member of the Ravagers gang.

Stallone is joined on screen by fellow newcomer Kurt Russell, this sees the pair share screen time for the first time since their days as infamous cop duo Tango and Cash.

With an all-star cast, a loyal fan base and an extremely rare score of 100 with test screen audiences, anticipation for the release is now higher than ever.

The Plot

Set two-to-three months after the prequel, the Guardians are back and on a mission to help Peter Quill, the half-human and half-alien leader discover more about his heritage. There are a lot of mysteries to Quill’s past after he was abducted from Earth as a child and raised by alien thieves, the Ravagers.

As the team travel throughout the cosmos, they’re faced by numerous problems, which creep out of the woodwork. Ultimately, they find that they must stick together to make it through this mission.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is on general release across the UK from April 28.

Have you seen this film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

This content was written for The Codpast which is an online publication for people with dyslexia. Get more updates on this great cause by following them on Facebook or Twitter. 

Dyslexics in Film: Dyslexia film made by dyslexic people

Dyslexic filmmaker Trevor Thomson is reaching out on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to aid the creation of a new documentary, exploring the emotional journey of ‘coming out’ as dyslexic. But this documentary has a unique quality to it, backed by a whole cast and crew who are also dyslexic and can accurately portray the feelings and experiences that someone with this goes through.

The aim behind Trevor’s film is to create awareness and a better understanding amongst those who may be lacking information about dyslexia. Additionally, the team are also keen to inspire those who are struggling to deal with their own identity. “We want to give the viewer an experience of what it’s really like to be dyslexic,” Trevor explains, “it affects people in all different ways and all different walks of life.”

By addressing these issues, the film will lead you through the personal stories of several contributors, exploring the positives and negatives they have faced. Trevor reinforces the idea that dyslexia isn’t picky with who it affects and it really can happen to anyone. The short trailer for the film features the legendary racing driver, Sir Jackie Stewart exploring how dyslexia has affected him. He discusses how he has adapted his lifestyle and finds ways to “think outside the box” now, in order to complete daily tasks.

The team have a goal to raise £15,000 which will fund the whole production, including the crew, equipment and editing costs. In return, Trevor is passionate about staying connected to the audience and updating them as the project progresses. He will create a website, enabling viewers to interact with the team and share their thoughts on ideas raised.

This documentary is produced by Bluestar Streaming and Dyslexia Scotland. If you would like to get involved and help Trevor and his team spread their message, you can donate to the Indiegogo profile HERE.

This content was written for The Codpast which is an online publication for people with dyslexia. Get more updates on this great cause by following them on Facebook or Twitter

Famous Dyslexics: Woody Harrelson


Name: Woodrow Tracy Harrelson

Occupation: Actor

Birthplace: Midland, Texas, USA

Woody Harrelson’s performance in the 1985 series Cheers, not only acquired two Academy Award nominations but he also walked away with an Emmy Award. His career was propelled into the spotlight after starring as Larry Flint in The People vs. Larry Flint (1996) and after that, he became well-known for roles such as Indecent Proposal (1993) and the film adaptation of The Hunger Games (2012).

He has a long list of accolades to his name but many are more fascinated by the real character behind Woody Harrelson, rather than the many faces of his fictional characters.

Although he may seem like a bold character now, he didn’t always get on so well with school. There were times during his childhood when he lacked confidence and was led to believe he wasn’t “normal”. This was due to his diagnosis of dyslexia and a misunderstanding amongst schools he attended. His behaviour was often seen as unruly and uncontrollable, which led to him being put on the central nervous system stimulant, Ritalin.

Having been excluded from at least three schools before he’d even entered the first grade, finally being placed in a school for children with learning disabilities brought some salvation. Strangely, Men’s Journal reported the experience positively “[Harrelson] loved the place. Finally, he wasn’t the only one with issues. And the teachers genuinely cared.”

Outside of acting, Harrelson is also a passionate environmental activist. He is said to have once scaled the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with members of North Coast Earth First! group to unfurl a banner in support for the plight of ancient redwoods.

Harrelson has also explored other areas and directed his own play, Furthest from the Sun in 1999.

Find out more about woody Harrelson’s movie and acting career here.

This content was written for The Codpast which is an online publication for people with dyslexia. Get more updates on this great cause by following them on Facebook or Twitter

Dyslexics in Film: The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen see’s dyslexic actor Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games, Now You See Me, Natural Born Killers) star as Mr. Bruner, an inspiring teacher and occasional agony-uncle.

In a genre that has seen better days, director Kelly Fremon Craig brings this coming-of-age drama to our screens. The film sets the scene with a distressed Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) telling her history teacher (Harrelson) of her intentions to commit suicide. adding: “I just thought an adult should know.” From here, we begin to see a friendship form as she regularly turns to Mr. Bruner for advice.

Nadine isn’t the biggest fan of high school and her teenage years have made it difficult for her to feel accepted. When her best friend and brother become an item, her life is tipped into turmoil and Nadine is thrown on a journey of self-discovery.

Although this sounds like your typical angsty teen drama, The Edge of Seventeen was widely acclaimed at it’s screening during the Toronto Film Festival. Variety Magazine also called it, “The savviest teen comedy in years”

The Edge of Seventeen is out on general release in cinemas across the UK from November 30.

Have you seen this film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

This content was written for The Codpast which is an online publication for people with dyslexia. Get more updates on this great cause by following them on Facebook or Twitter

Dyslexics in Film: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Last month actress Lauren McCrostie popped into The Codpast studio to tell us the serendipitous story, of how she ended up starring in the latest Tim Burton film. The film is currently on general release so we thought we’d give you the lowdown on what it’s all about.

Originating from the best-selling novel by Ransom Riggs and adapted for screen by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Stardust), visionary (and dyslexic) director Tim Burton adds this latest peculiar and spellbinding story to his collection.

Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield) held a close bond with his grandfather who often reminisced about tales of his past, leaving Jake enthralled by the mysterious nature of them when he suddenly passes. His grandfather’s stories always led back to an orphanage where he stayed with “peculiar children” before joining the British army.

Clues lead Jake to visit the orphanage based in Wales, where he meets Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) and the peculiar children his grandfather had spoken so fondly of. In true Tim Burton fashion, these children are anything but ordinary and Jake becomes mesmerised when he learns about the special powers they exhibit.

Amongst the peculiar children, there is a real sense of strong females that remains at the forefront throughout. One of which not only represents strong females but is also leading the way for neurodiversity, as she plays the part of Olive (Lauren McCrostie) who holds the power to make fire with her bare hands.

Twists and turns through different worlds and time lapses send Jake tumbling into the world of the peculiars and into a battle against their dark enemies, led by Barron (Samuel L. Jackson).

So far the reviews of Miss Peregrine’s Home… have been mixed, with the script writing been criticised for being “conventional big action territory” by The Hollywood Reporter. While The Guardian claim it to be “Tim Burton’s best in 20 years.”

To find out for yourself you can view Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at cinemas across the UK.

This content was written for The Codpast which is an online publication for people with dyslexia. Get more updates on this great cause by following them on Facebook or Twitter

Italian Play Set Out to Tackle the Dark Side of Dyslexic

With the advances of assistive technology and support in education and the workplace, dyslexic traits that were traditionally seen as barriers can now be overcome. One issue that still prevails though, is the self-deprecation caused by negative reactions to the quirky neuro-diverse ways.

It is estimated that 40% to 60% of dyslexic children experience anxiety, depression and attention deficit. “Although most dyslexics are not depressed, they are at a higher risk of intense feelings of sorrow and pain.” Says Pennie Aston, Director of GroOops counselling service. Playwright and actor Francesco Riva’s new play, “Dyslexia… Where are you, Albert??” tackles some of these issues head on. The play focuses on the life of the main character, a young boy called Giacamo and his experiences growing up with dyslexia. Giacamo is a misfit in school and misunderstood by teachers and students who believe he is stupid.

The play comes in the form of a monologue and explores the reality of how Giacomo deals with the reactions from the character’s that surround him on a daily basis. Riva explains that this is a “problem many children and teenagers have to face in a scholastic and social environment.” This can be overwhelming, which Riva powerfully illustrates as he morphs and embodies new characters, like a scattered brain filling with ideas and thoughts. The story builds when Giacamo encounters an inspiring teacher who understands the way he thinks and depicts the world of learning to him in a fresh light. Prior to gaining this essential help, Riva discusses how he goes through a physical “shutdown” which sends him into a state of depression.

Being dyslexic himself, Riva is able to explore anecdotes from his own experiences, “I remember when I was a kid, my father had to teach me the months of the year … He uses a song to teach them, otherwise I wouldn’t remember the order.” Art and creativity is something which many dyslexics excel in, discovering new ways of learning and building them into their coping strategy. Riva himself sought inspiration through art, explaining how he was previously inspired by an Indian movie called Taare Zameen Par (Stars on Earth), which focuses on similar issues.

Riva has hopes for his own work to inspire people; during the play Giacamo transforms into the persona of many famous dyslexics, “I talked about them just to say, even though you are a dyslexic, that doesn’t mean … you can’t reach your dreams.” With Riva’s play storming across Italy; it would appear it has worked as a driving force to bring about a sense of change, within the dyslexic community and beyond. Riva reflects, “People who don’t have dyslexia, they’ve come out of the monologue and they say, ‘Listen I finally understand why my classmate had this problem.’”

The play has not only made waves within the education system but has captured the hearts of the general public, filling 1000 seat capacity venues. I have suspicions that Riva’s work isn’t finished here. Stay tuned for more tour dates in the near future!

This content was written for The Codpast which is an online publication for people with dyslexia. Get more updates on this great cause by following them on Facebook or Twitter