Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Newbies #1

L to R: Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner, Kerastase Bain VolumActive Shampoo, Jergens Cocoa Butter Body Moisturiser, Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara, MUA Eyeshadow Palette Heaven & Earth, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Medium, Essie Nail Varnish Splash of Grenadine

These are some of the new products I have bought recently. So far, I am impressed with the Kerastase Volume shampoo. It claims that "[it's] bodifying formula delivers long-lasting substantial volume, strength and vitality." I would say it has delivered. Would definitely buy this product again. The PK conditioner, however, I think is good but perhaps a little heavy for my hair so I probably wouldn't buy it again. I bought it after seeing that it had won many awards and been voted one of the best conditioners. After being disappointed with the elasticiser also, I think me and PK are not suited. Worth a try though.

Essie nail varnish I love! It applies so easily and evenly, drys quite quickly, doesn't chip much, and removal is hassle-free. I love this colour, too. I'm already planning my next Essie purchase.

I had to try MUA after hearing so many reviews, and for the price I couldn't not. The shadows aren't that pigmented but they do apply and blend well and last pretty well. At £3, I can't complain!

Collection 2000 concealer was another drugstore purchase I have heard a lot of reviews about. Again, for the money, I'm happy. I think you get what you pay for so obviously this isn't comparable to any of the high-end concealers. But it does provide good coverage, lasts a while, and fairly moisturising.

As for the moisturiser and the mascara, these are regular purchases of mine. The moisturiser smells amazing and is not greasy at all! The mascara has been a staple of mine for years; it's a bit of a pain using it in the day time as it's an effort to put on, but for the evening, after a few coats my eyelashes rival fake ones!

There's my quick reviews for this week!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Facial Tanner Review

I have tried many facial fake tanners but these are the ones I am going to review (mainly because they are the only ones I havent thrown away):

CW from C: Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning, Clinique Self Sun face tinted lotion, St Tropez Gradual Face Tan Medium to dark, Lancome Flash Bronzer

This one is different to the rest, in that it's an instant tan rather than a developing one. Regardless, I do like this product and it does give an instant tan as promised. It smells a bit too perfumey for my liking, but the product itself is creamy which makes it easy to blend and it's actually brown so you can see where it is being applied. It doesn't make a huge difference but it does give a subtle glow underneath your makeup. You apply this after your usual skin care routine rather than letting it develop so it's also good if you're in a hurry and need an instant bronzing boost.

I have been using facial tanners for a while and I was back on the market for one especially because I found the ones that I was using too fragranced and felt abit artificial on my skin. So, I switched to this Clinique tanner because it is 100% fragrance free and unlike a lot of face tanners it is oil free and non-comdeogenic, which is ideal for my very blemish-prone skin. You apply this one at night and allow it to develop. It is also brown in colour so you can see where you are putting it but it is less creamy and a bit more runny than the Clarins above. On first use, I was impressed with the colour it gave my face in the morning - a very natural, even, bronzed look. This product was a pleasure to use but the only reason I stopped using it was because I found it washed off a lot easier than any other developing tanners and didn't last after my rigorous cleansing routine. But, overall I was quite happy and it was reasonably priced; £17.50 for 50ml. I would recommend this.

Being an avid St Tropez user, I had high expectations for this product. I was left disappointed for a number of reasons. Firstly, I don't like the forumla. It is too greasy and heavy for my liking, and as a result felt like I wasn't allowing my skin to breathe when I went to bed. I used the same amount of product that I do with any tanner, but the morning after using this one I noticed barely any difference to the colour of my face despite this being the medium to dark shade. I know it's gradual, but I was expecting colour more promptly and being the impatient person that I am I didn't want to wait 3 or 4 days before I noticed any colour on my face. I do still love St Tropez so I think maybe I will give this another go before I start giving it a bad review. It's the cheapest, atleast, at £14 for 50ml.

Save the best for last. This is the one that I use most regularly because it really does give a very naturally bronzed look, especially under make up, I genuinely look like i've been sunning it up somewhere hot for two weeks! I switched this for Clinique because I felt this one was a bit too fragranced, but after using Clinique for a month or so, I switched back to this because I missed the colour that it gave me! It is a little greasy, but I'm willing to forgive that for the lasting colour it gives. It's more easily buildable than the rest of them; whilst one layer will give a nice healthy bronzed glow, with another layer you are truly party ready. This also makes this product ideal for all skin shades but if you want a very subtle colour I probably wouldn't use this. I also like using this after my normal skin care routine, and before my make up because the colour develops through out they day (noticeably) and it almost acts like a primer because it gives a nice soft, smooth foundation-ready texture to the skin. It's also the only one that comes in a pump bottle, which allows for easy and accurate application; I normally put one pump on each cheek, my nose and my forehead then rub in. If you try this you must wash your hands after use, and you cannot be lazy with your rubbing in otherwise you may get a few streaks (which are unnoticeable underneath foundation). Its the most expensive at £23 but it does last for ages; about four months i'd say. My mom is also a lover of this one now :). Oh, one more thing, this is a gel rather than a cream!

Whilst I am happy with my Lancome face tan I think I may try a developing tanner from Clarins next, simply because I am too much of a product junkie to stick with one product. What face fake tanner do you guys use?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Save, Spend, Splurge: Nail Varnish

I spent some time rummaging through my current nail varnish collection and reflecting back on old nail varnishes/friends nail varnishes and narrowed it down (kind of) to those which I would purchase again. I still haven't tried out Essie's polishes - I blame the collection for being too big, how can someone as indecisive as me chose between that many gorgeous shades? But next time I go shopping I am definitely buying one! I'll do a seperate post sometime about base coat/top coat as that's a whole other story, isn't it?


L: 17 mini varni (shade unknown) R: Barry M Pink Irridescent

The 17 shade has a really good formula, it applies very evenly! However, I got this little varni as part of a set a while ago, so they may have changed the forumlas. Regardless, I would happily buy a 17 varni as part of a drugstore splurge. I know Barry M are very popular especially as they are only £2.99 and have a yummy array of colours to choose from - great kind of brand if you want to keep up with the trends (vs. a staple varni investment*). I guess you could say it's like the Primark version of nail varnishes; allows you to keep up with the trends and not feel guilty about only using it once or twice. This particular shade is really just a glittery overcoat, I will edit this post with a pic the next time I wear this. I love wearing it over baby colours, it looks too cute :)! What I like about this glitter in comparison to others i've tried (Nails inc) is that it's not an absolute pain to remove. Whilst other glitter varnishes probably are more "glittery", they also leave you with the burden of trying to sandpaper off your varnish.


Topshop, L to R: Parma Violet, Gone Fishing, White Lie, Blitz

The first three are lovely, creamy formulas that apply really evenly. The last one, however, is a bit of an effort to apply - the brushes are the same so it must be the forumla, which is obviously due to the fact that it is metalic, unlike the others. So whilst you do get that nice metalic finish, it seems you have to sacrifice application! I think this is true for a lot of other brands i.e Revlon. Anyway, for £5 and also part of a huge selection of colours I think Topshop nail varnishes are hard to resist.


Chanel Le Vernis 489 Rose Insolent

Just pointing it out there now that I love Chanel. All of the products that I have purchased from the collections have been truly satisfying due to their high quality. You really do get what you pay for with Chanel. I think it's probably one of my favourite high-end make up brands. Anyway, at £17 what you do get is a very rich, creamy forumla that applies like a dream. This nail varnish is almost self-correcting it applies that well - I think so anyway. For £17 I would expect it to be a bit more chip-resistant than what it is, but I will definitely be treating myself to another one of these soon :).

What is your favourite nail varnish?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

My hair products

In continuation of the hair theme I thought I would post about my regular hair products - minus shampoo and conditioner as I'm having a bit of a dilemma. So here they are...

Non of these products are exactly my holy grail hair products but all worth a review.

1. Redken Rootful root spray
I am starting with this product as I'm finding it difficult to live without a hair booster at the moment. My hair is fine and doesn't have much natural stiffness so I have to have a volumising product otherwise it falls very limp without such a blow drying aid. I made this initial purchase after my hairdresser (who is an avid Redken fan and stockist) used it on my hair and I was impressed with the results (normally the case with all Redken products ♥).
Its 06 which on the Redken chart means it offers 'medium' control and texture. Here is what it claims:
"Redken Rootful 06 boosts roots with long-lasting, touchable fullness that's not stiff or sticky. Its lightweight, brushable formula provides touchable body that lasts, targeting the roots for volume on demand."
Touchable fullness, check. Not stiff or sticky, check. Basically it does everything it claims to do, it is especially natural looking but, long-lasting is questionable. I think unless you use an industrial hair mousse your hair will fall but then it tends to be sticky!
It also has a target nozzle which makes application easy and precise. Whats more, it lasts bloody ages! I have had mine since January and I am still making my way through it despite using it normally after every hair wash. I will probably try a different volumising product after I have used all this up but I would happily return to this in the future.

2. L oreal Elnett Hairpsray
Fail safe product! Provides everything you would want from a hair spray: firm(ish) hold, non-sticky, non-greasy. Normally would never use a different hair spray.

3. Lee Stafford Flat Iron protection shine mist
This product is ok. I bought the mini version so I could give it a try and I am fairly happy with the results. It doesn't weigh my hair down and definitely gives me peace of mind when using straighteners or hair dryer. It's light, smells yummy and contains green tea which is meant to help protect your hair against environmental free rads. I normally use this interchangably with an ends serum.

4. Batiste Dry Shampoo XXL Volume
When I first starting using this product I thought, WOW! Not only did it banish oil from my roots (ok it is a dry shampoo) but it gave me so much boost and body. I definitely had the 'big-style glamour' look. I honestly thought I had found something that would transform my hair! But.. I have stopped using this product as it gives my hair a horrible texture. The day after using this product I could barely get a brush through my hair and it made it very dry. Even after I had washed my hair the texture wasn't back to it's normally softness! I will probably use this product if I am desperate for volume for a night out, but aside from this I would happily throw it away because of the after-effect on my hair. Also, if you are thinking of getting a dry shampoo I would definitely recommend getting one that is specific to your hair colour to avoid grey hair!!

5. Moroccan Oil

After hearing so much about this award-winning product I had to try it. I got the small bottle as it is quite expensive and didn't want to invest in the 100ml bottle just incase it didn't do anything for my hair. Anyway, as promised this product does deliver hair that is noticeably smooth and sleek. After using this for the first ever time, my hair was beyond glossy. After repeated use I think the results do become less noticeable, so now I tend to use this just once a week if my hair is feeling a bit lack-lustre. Definitely worth a buy!

6. Tangle Teezer

This is my most recent purchase and I am impressed. This (also award-winning) product claims to be a revolution in hair brushing and actually started on Dragon's Den - cannot deny this product is innovative. Tangle Teezer’s uniquely designed teeth flex and flick as they glide through the hair, eliminating tangles and knots on contact, minimising breaking, splitting and damaging caused by mistreatment. I wouldn't say that I couldn't live without this product beause my hair is pretty manageable and straight naturally but I have a noticed less hair breakage and snapping so I'm happy that I bought this product. Also it looks so pretty! :D

Ok so that's what I use mainly. Currently in a bit of a limbo regards shampoo and conditioners. I'm making do with fructis ( :( ) until I can decide which high-end duo to repurchase. I have shortlisted it down to: Redken Extreme; Aveda Volumising; Kerestase Bain satin. Any thoughts??

edit:- Totally forgot about Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - the fact I forgot about it kind of speaks for itself.

I bought this product after reading a few highly commendable reviews in magazines. This is my first pre-shampoo treatment so I was quite excited to use it and had high expectations as a results. I am definitely underwhelmed. This product is meant to 'add elasticity, manageability, bounce and shine' but it doesn't really add any of those things to my hair. I left it on for about 40 minutes with a towel on my head to activate it with warmth, longer than recommended. I think maybe I haven't given this product much of a chance; it does say on the back that you use regularly for noticeable results, which I have failed to. I've used it about once a week since i've had it (for about a month). Maybe i'll give it more of a go and re-edit this edit if I start to notice any changes? For now, I'm glad I just bought the small bottle rather than wasting money on the big tub. Has anyone had any different experiences with this product? I know some people who absolutely worship this product. Hmm...

Monday, 17 September 2012

Paraben free hair myth buster

My first post huraah. I am over the silicone-free hair hype now but I thought it was worth a post for any of you still pondering. In short, the idea is that using shampoo's and other hair cosmetics that are heavily packed with silicones (look out for 'Dimethicone'), parabens and the like are damaging your hair in the long run by 'coating' the hair shaft and preventing it from absorbing any natural oils and moisture. In my ever-continuing quest for glossy hair I turned to The Body Shop for goodies jammed with hair friendly ingredients.

The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner
•Contains pracaxi oil, manketti nut oil and Community Trade honey, babassu oil and coconut oil.
•No silicones, no parabens and no colourants.
•For dry and damaged hair.

£4.00 per 250ml bottle, it smells delicious and makes hair washing a pleasure but after prolonged use I was left quite disappointed with the results, which I think was less The Body Shop's fault and more the lacking of artificial ingredients. My hair was silicone-free - it wasn't dried out (it's naturally soft anyway) but my split ends suffered and I quote my hairdresser who described my poor hair ends as "looking like they had been chewed by a rat". Need I say anymore?!

Whilst I am still concious of ingredients in hair products (as I am with a lot of things nowadays), I won't be buying anymore silicone free hair products, but I would happily buy more hair products from The Body Shop, as I think their products overall are quite good quality :) especially for the price. And I love their ethics! These shampoos are available in 60ml mini bottles so worth a try perhaps!

Since, I have used Aussie Colour Mate trio set but even less impressed. I am back on the market for a shampoo and conditioner for my fine, limp, long brown hair. Any suggestions?