Saturday 31 October 2015

BEAUTY TALK: Products I don't get

Let's talk about those beauty products you hate. Those that don't work for you,  or you just don't like the idea of. I'll give you my top 3:

1) Liquid Eyeliner
In the immortal words of Sweet Brown "ain't nobody got time for that!" YouTube is full of beauty bloggers who appear to have endless time to get ready in the morning and put on winged eyeliner. That ain't me.

2) False Eyelashes
Again the above quote applies. Unless you have endless hours to get ready and can fit on individual lashes to make it look natural, these are just not very attractive. At best you end up looking like someone on The Only Way is Essex and wearing too much liquid eyeliner, at worst you'll look like you crushed a spider on your eye or get glue in your eye... No. Just no. 

3) In - shower Moisturiser
Two words - f*ckin' lethal. Turns your bath or shower into a slip n slide and after nearly killing yourself getting out, your skin don't actually seem very moisturised. Don't go there.

So, what's you beauty products you just don't get???

PS don't get me started on deodorants that supposedly 'makes your armpits beautiful' >:(

Monday 26 October 2015

MASK MONDAY: H&M Face Mask "Kiwi and Watermelon" review

H&M face mask haul
So I've now designated Mondays as "Mask Mondays". I found I have a stash of various face masks which needs using up so here it is, a new regular feature on the blog!

This is part of a face mask haul I did recently when I wanted to buy some basics from H&M for work. These are single application, priced £1.99 each, which is about a pound more expensive than my all-time fave single use face mask brand Montagne Jeunesse.

H&M Kiwi + Watermelon out of it's paper packaging
So neat-o looking packaging aside it is actually pretty good to use with a face mask brush (I am a trained beauty therapist, old habits die hard...). Just dip the brush in and apply goo to face! :)

This is what the sales blurb is: Relax and let this self-warming mask open pores and draw out dirt while kiwi, watermelon and pear leave your skin sweetly scented. For combination skin.

The mask is avocado green and smells rather pleasantly fruity, maybe like pears but I'll go for the more generic 'fruity'. It has a very warm self-heating action immediately as you apply it to wet skin but the long-term self heating is much more pleasant.

I had to sit with my face over the sink - the mask seriously drips! Not sure I've experienced that before? It even kind of slides down on your cheeks and forehead as time goes on?.. It doesn't dry/congeal at all and stays wet and drippy through the  recommended time which equals bored as hell with my face over the sink for 10-15 minutes... :(

And the result? Skin feels soft and fresh - will see if it's cleared up some of the pesky little spots on my temple tomorrow! :) Pleasant experience - now for some new The Muppets!

NOTD: H&M "Science Fiction"

And we're back on the H&M nail polishes again :) This is one of the ones I thought would be quite duochrome from the website photos. Not entirely so... It does has a slight blue 'flip' but this is undetectable in most lights :(

AND whilst painting I remembered an old H&M polish called "Lady Luck" I have - it's pretty much identical?? Has there just been some sneaky repackaging, possibly? I couldn't find it in my Helmers for a comparison but pretty sure it will be very similar in real life.

Anyway it's a nice-looking teal shimmer, can be a bit brushstroke-y if you're not careful but it's a decent polish. This is 2 coats with a coat of Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. But not a duochrome by any description. I think the website needs updating with actual bottle shots, not the current concept images. Should teach me not to buy before I see actual swatches... "Peacock" was the other polish I thought was going to be very different from what it actually was - maybe I thought that it would be more like "Science Fiction", come to think of it. As you may have seen in my NOTD post on "Peacock", it's a creme!!

It'll do for a Monday I guess! :)

Tuesday 20 October 2015

NOTD: H&M "Regalia"

So I am officially very impressed with H&M new range of nail polishes! I did say in my previous posts about the new range that I find the price point on these possibly £1 too much? But the quality is definitely great so far so I guess you get a lot for your £3.99! What I am trying to say is that I am just really cheap ðŸ˜œ

I wanted to get this in my original H&M haul but it was out of stock, so when I wanted some basics for work I was happy to see it was back in stock - and so was some new face masks (more on those in another post, ahem...).

This is 2 coats of purple awesomeness with a slick of Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. The formula on this one is very opaque and you need a decisive hand to apply it but it gives great self-levelling finish. I struggle to photograph this amazing polish - it has a secretive glow to it that makes it come alive on the nail! But it also scatters the light and makes all my photos quite blurry?

It is just so dark and moody and perfect for autumn! This is definitely going to be in my Top Ten Nail Polishes this year! It is just as amazing as I hoped it was ðŸ˜ In fact I might need to get another one of these as a backup...

Saturday 17 October 2015

NOTD: Lottie London "Just Dance" and new video!

My favourite Superdrug had had a serious makeover last time I was there, and they now stock a range of new brands such as Lottie London and theBalm. With all new shelving units and.. *faints* I have decided I am not allowed to go there now until Xmas or I might spend a lot of money. Anyway...

I did come away with this nail polish from Lottie London, it looks awesome in the bottle so I bought it. I know these are meant to be a bit more 'boutique' than Rimmel etc but I think the £5.99 price tag i a bit on the steep side?.. maybe I am just too cheap? Good thing I had £1 off with Superdrug loyalty points!

There are a lot of cremes in the colour selection, but there are also some more edgy affairs such as the glittery "To and frow" and a small particle black holo glitter called "Adorbs". I am clearly old as I had to Google 'adorbs' to find out what the hell it was...

  1. arousing great delight; cute or adorable.
    "all the pets are totally adorbs"

So saying 'adorable' is now so clearly uncool. Please don't use it or you will be labelled as 'old'. My mission is to use this phrase at least once next week!

I digress. They also do a couple of duochromes, of which this is one! I struggle to get good shots of duochromes on the nails. The actual colour on the nail is a more gradual version of the bottle colour. It's very glimmery and again one of those polishes you probably shouldn't wear at work as you end up staring at your nails :)

I did 3 coats here, I find these types of polishes are relatively sheer but that means you get more bling! It has a nice formula and a good brush so doing 3 coats wasn't such a chore. I topped it off with Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. Looks so lovely - like a tree with blazing autumn leaves :) I like it and might try a couple of other polishes from the range at some point!

Oh and I did a video on some new bargains I've got lately, but I did it before I went to Superdrug so this particular polish isn't in it, but a bunch of other stuff is :)

Wednesday 14 October 2015

BEAUTY LAB: Co-Washing

I admit I have batted the whole co-washing trend away with 'it's just glorified 2-in-1 shampoo' for a while. But early summer my hair was going crazy. It's always been dry but last winter it was so dry and frizzy that I at one point considered cutting it all off and I just couldn't face that again this winter... Luckily the moment passed before the deed was done!

Of course there is the whole fear that co-washing is just for curly girls, not blonde, fine Scandinavian hair. That by day 2 my hair will look like that of the evil girl from the well in the movie "The Ring", lanky, greasy and flat.

"Co-washing" has up until now been some kind of mythical thing that celebrities do. And the available brands that do a cleansing conditioner reflects that. I think it is rather outrageous that most of these cleansing conditioners are priced about £20-30. I suppose most come in a larger volume than the brand's usual shampoo+conditioners (usually between 400-500ml) and it is two products rolled into one, but come on. I don't even pay that for a foundation. One of the most popular brands of cleansing conditioner seems to be Wen, but at £27 or so, it's too pricey for me. Also more brands need to start doing their co-washes in sample sizes that don't cost £5 for 30ml (I'm looking at you, Ojon) that way you can try before you buy, because I suspect it's not for everyone!

In fact I'm surprised none of the the high street brands have got on to this trend, like L'Oreal/Pantene?..

How to do it
You will be using a lot of product. The stuff does not lather. At all. Start with soaking wet hair, and I mean soaking. Pump 5-6 pumps of product into your palm and massage this thoroughly into the top and sides, including the scalp. The wetter your hair is the better the stuff spreads and cleans. Wet your lengths and then massage another 5 pumps (depending on how long your hair is) into the lengths. Let it sit until you have done all your other washing (at least 2 minutes). Rinse and massage at the same time, wetting hair as you go along. You will need to rinse properly but you will soon be able to tell when it's enough.

I had heard somewhere that you should alternate the co-washing with normal shampooing, so I did. Within a few washes, things were looking better... I've now been doing it for a few months and things are awesome! I've officially not had a hair cut for over a year but hair is still looking good!

High Street / Drugstore Products
So even if you're in the UK there are alternatives if you don't want to fork out for more expensive brands! I surfed around to find a cleansing conditioner that didn't cost £20+ and I found Palmer's Olive Oil Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, which can be purchased from several online retailers for about £5.99 for 470ml. It has some decent reviews so I thought - why not! I wasn't enamoured with the smell at first, but it doesn't really linger so that was OK.

Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
Recently I found that Superdrug have launched their own brand cleansing conditioners! :) AND it's 2 for £6 at the moment but at RRP £4.99 it's not going to kill you at regular price either. So of course I got them both. They are slightly smaller 300ml bottles but you should get decent mileage! They both smell amazing and the scent lingers nicely but isn't overpowering.

Superdrug Hair Therapy Cleansing Conditioner
So what's the verdict? I decided to go shampoo free every other wash in the name of beauty science and it is a success, even though I have fine Scandi hair :) It's now part of my routine and long may my hair thrive! I think almost everyone with long hair can get on with the shampoo free wash, if your hair is very greasy you could shampoo the crown and use cleansing conditioner on the lengths! I wouldn't bother with it if you have bob length or short hair though.

Have you already tried co-washing? What did you think??

Monday 12 October 2015

NOTD: Nails Inc "Notting Hill Gate"

Here's another freebie for ya'll - free with this November's Glamour (UK edition) magazine! There's also a black, red and nude version to pick up. I love the free Nails Incs, they're actually pretty much always the same awesome shades they sell in their normal range, just very affordable (Glamour magazine is £2 this month).

What can I say about this, there's nothing to dislike here!? I went for the pink, of course, what else? :) This is 2 butter smooth coats with Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. I feel I should be going for more autumnal reds but I just couldn't pass on this today; there's always time for hot pink!

Sunday 11 October 2015

REVIEW: L'Oreal Elvive Nutri-Gloss Luminiser range

So I am officially the girl who've not had a hair cut for a year and 2 months... But my hair is OK actually. I bought this a while back when Superdrug had Nutri-Gloss Luminiser range half price (less than £8 for the whole set). These promotions come up regularly in various shops so be on the look-out if you think this sounds like something for you!

The range uses what L'Oreal call 'glycogel' which is supposed to "help hair look perfectly polished with 48hr show-stopping shine". A bit like top coat for your hair if you like. It is also sports a clarifying action, so beware of this if your hair is very dry/damaged. The smell is best described as 'fresh' and lasts well in your hair without being overpowering.

And what did I think about it now after using it for a while? It's good! The shampoo isn't for those who have a lot of damage - I find the clarifying action of the shampoo can be a bit harsh. The conditioner is lovely and light and gives a beautiful shine. And the Miracle Shine Booster spray is marvellous!! The Miracle Shine Booster spray could be used by anyone who wants a mirror finish to their hair, even if you are not using the shampoo and conditioner. Just use it wisely - on occasion I have sprayed on too much and it has become rather lanky after a couple of hours... As a finisher, you could just spray some of it on your palms and run your hands through your hair, that is the ideal way to get used to how much you need.

I would definitely repurchase this; I tend to flit between ranges but this I've used this every other wash now for a good month and a bit (I use cleansing conditioner in between 'shampoo' washes). The hair looks lovely, very healthy and shiny! :) Me likey - but I promise I will book in for a hair cut soon...

Tuesday 6 October 2015

NOTD: China Glaze "Emotion" and some new stuff!

So I was undecided on what to wear so I just did a blind dip into my China Glazes and I picked this one out at random. It's from their Romantique collection of 2008, a collection of metallic polishes. These are excellent for stamping, if anyone remembers that craze? :)

I used 1 coat here (hence why they are great for stamping) and my new Bourjois 3D Gel top coat. It is a soft metallic pink that would probably flatter most people. I feel fairly 'safe' with these nails but that's not always a bad thing. It isn't as unflattering to imperfect nails as some chromes either, all good really!
And now for something completely different.

If you have been dying to try the trend for co-washing, Superdrug has now come to your aid! They have just launched two Cleansing Conditioners, one for coloured hair (pink bottle) and one for dry hair (green bottle). They are 300ml so you should get decent mileage out of them if using every other wash as instructed. I am very excited! I've got on well with my Palmers' Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner, but these are so affordable and smell so amazing I just couldn't help myself :) And they are on 2 for £6 at the moment! I will report back on the actual results of using these next week once I've given them a go, so stay tuned! I did say a while back I was going to do a Beauty Lab on co-washing, so I might as well actually do it now :)