Sunday, 30 June 2013

Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner

As I have nearly finished this Dove conditioner I thought I would give it a full review. My story with with it started a long time ago! I think even before Christmas. Basically I was in the market for a new shampoo and conditioner. Because I bleach damage my hair Dove's Damage Solutions Intensive Repair range jumped out at me. This range boasts 3 conditioners all in different packaging, so in a rush I accidentally picked up two conditioners; this one and the express treatment conditioner. I have to say this one was meant to be the shampoo. Anyway that's by the by. I used up the express conditioner first and thought it was great. smelled good and nourished my hair. Not spectacular but nice all the same. After a while I moved onto this one and I have to say it is exactly the same. I really enjoy the smell of it. It has a tropical scent to it; it's sweet and fruity but with creamy coconut notes. Yum Yum. In regards to its reconstructing hair and preventing split ends and breakages claims? I haven't spotted an improvement in split ends. It's just the same as always. If I can say anything about this conditioner - it is that I'm very happy with it, it smells good and leaves my hair feeling nice. It retails at £2.99 for 200ml and in my opinion does the same job as the express treatment conditioner, which is a little bit more expensive (£3.99 for 180ml) so don't be sucked into the express treatment, the intensive repair conditioner is just as good. Get the cheaper one and save yourself a little bit of money. Buy it HERE - xoxo

Friday, 14 June 2013


The battle of the dry shampoo commences. In the red corner weighing 200mg and costing £3.99 Batiste Tropical dry shampoo and in the blue corner, also weighing 200mg and costing £3.50, Tresemme Instant Fresh volumising dry shampoo!

Off the bat I like the Tresemme bottle better. I think the fatter, sleek black, bottle is much more chic than the candy coloured, preteen perfume spray-esque bottle of Batiste. The smell of Batiste however is amazing. It's coconut smell is reminiscent of the Body Shop coconut body range and I love it. The tresemme isn't distasteful by any means but smells like hairspray on application and settles to nothing. I think this is a great thing, scentless beauty products work very well and I like that however Batiste has the yum factor.

In regards to application Tresemme wins hands down. The dry shampoo is invisible and in comparison to Batiste I don't need that much product. The batiste comes out white and I feel like I have sprayed talcum powder on my scalp. I also need loads of this stuff to make a difference. Now public safety announcement time: spray the Batiste in a well ventilated room and have an inhaler nearby if you suffer with asthma. It creates a cloud of white smoke whenever you apply it so just be warned. I'm also worried that, with the amount that I have to use with the Batiste, it won't last very long!

In regards to wear. I find that they both create a powdery texture to my hair and although both diffuse the greasy look, my hair still feels heavy and nasty and I can't wait to run home and wash my hair with, like, real shampoo and water! I think the Tresemme gives a better finish. It is aimed at fine and oily hair, which is essentially my hair and it does actually give my hair that much more volume. The batiste gives my hair a lift too but not as much as the Tresemme.

I think, after testing these guys out I'm not a fan of dry shampoo. I don't like how it makes my hair feel and the affects are no where near the results of actually washing your hair! But it's merely used as a last resort when I have missed my shower that morning for example. I guess it would work well if your camping over a weekend or going to a festival. I know people use dry shampoo merely to give volume to their hair. The victor of this dry shampoo fight is obviously tresemme and I will happily buy this again. Batiste, despite smelling amazing, your out! What's your dry shampoo of choice? Thankyou for reading, all the best, Natalie xoxo

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Essie 5th Avenue

Essie 5th Avenue is a bright, juicy, tomato red and screams summer chic. A classic red manicure with zing. Every time the sun has shone this year I have bought this out to play. It's. just. Lush. That is all. It's part of the Essie diffusion line and as such has a fat brush which applies nail polish like a dream. Two coats and a slathering of Seche Vite top coat and I'm good to go. If you love a red manicure but want something a little bit more summer than this might be what your looking for! xoxo

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

June Beauty Update

Here in the UK we finally have the hot weather that we have been hoping for; from the moment we put away our Christmas decs. And I'm sick of pale. Right now I'm not feeling my English Rose complexion and have decided to bring out my Rimmel Sun Shimmer instant tan (fair matte). I think I used it twice last year but this year I'm slapping it on like there's no tomorrow. It's not water proof unfortunately, so it washes off quite easily so my aim is to use this up and invest in a St Tropez instant tan, or similar. Cue research! I do love the smell of the Rimmel sun shimmer though. It smells like talcum powder and reminds me of my mum!

To give dimension to my bronze complexion I have been using my most beloved, and continuously mentioned, Soleil Tan de Chanel cream bronzer. I am also obsessed with my Accessorize merged baked blusher in 5 - Sensation. I tell you it is the prettiest pink and gives a beautiful glow to the skin. A "lit within glow" if you will. Then we have my go to summery nail polish: Essie's 5th Avenue. It's a lush fire engine red and a perfect chic summer nail colour. I think it has been my most applied nail polish this year. I am shocked that it hasn't had a post of its very own... Yet!

Yesterday I fell off the "beauty buying ban wagon" and bought Charles Worthington's intense rescue melting balm. I have been lusting after this since I watched a UK / US high street / drugstore swap on Fleur De force's channel and when I saw it in my local Boots I convinced myself that I needed it!! This shopping trip also saw me come away with Nivea's In-Shower Body Moisturiser that has been doing the rounds on the blogs. I've used it twice thus far and I'm impressed.

I'm also enjoying using my Sanctuary pore refining toner as a refreshing spritz throughout the hot days and I have been slathering on the Elizabeth Arden: 8hr cream because my lips are so chapped and sore right now. Sad face.

So there you have it: My June beauty update! I hope it was an enjoyable read. Fingers crossed the good weather continues. Please read my May Beauty Story for an insight into last months big things as well. Thank you for reading - Take Care, Garnier :-) xoxox

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A May beauty story

Better late than never: My May beauty story 2013:

It started on a cold day. Officially in the last month of spring we UK dwellers waited with baited breath for sunshine. We beauty bloggers gathered April favourites and identified what products we wanted to buy in May and we, too, hoped for sunshine. We hoped to review SPF and fake tan and tan developing moisturisers and tell tales of pedicures and finally getting the razor out in the bid to wear shorts. And most importantly we want to wear neon nail varnish again and get away with it because its sunny. I got a few looks back in January when I decided to while away the grey days with highlighter yellow nails. I bought a new facial SPF in the last weeks of April, and am still waiting to review it. I shaved my legs ready for shorts, but alas, haven’t worn them.

At the end of April and the beginning of May I was all about the GLOW. Literally I couldn’t get enough. I was going AU NATUREL. Literally no coverage: just pure shine. But then MAC STUDIO MOISTURE TINT happened and the SPOTS happened and I said goodbye to MAC’s STUDIO MOISTURE TINT once and for all. Oh my god. My skin still bears the scars of spots gone by. Miserable! By mid May my skin was feeling super oily, in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time. Thanks MAC: my skin had regressed 10 years.
Another big beauty problem in May was that I put myself on a beauty buying ban!! Well non-essential item ban for the foreseeable future. As a result I have a beauty wish list which is ever expanding and a newly formed obsession for the entire Clarins spring summer 2013 line! Oh and the Dior birds of paradise Bronzer blush. But firmly at the top of the list is a NARS eye shadow primer. Mid May I wore eye shadow for the first time in a while and the shadow had dissipated from my oily lids in a matter of hours.

I really got into my baths too in May and  my usual daily showers were cast aside for long daily soaks in the tub. I had dallied with the idea of blogging about my bath time joy for a while, but was prevented by the fact that my bath time doesn’t resemble the Spa-esque relaxation haven or promote the use of bath salts and oils and, you know, Diptyque candles, like other bloggers. Instead my baths consist of: Pro:voke touch of silver twice weekly brightening shampoo, mere Dove conditioner, which I use as a hair mask, medicated balm for psoriasis, shaving my armpits and Matey bubble bath. My attempt at a luxe bath experience materialised by using a half price Yankee Candle in Mango Salsa and slathering on Sanctuary Detox pore refiner mask. Check out my little Sanctuary: Spa Perfect skin Haul HERE.

But as much as I enjoyed relaxing in my baths, May was all about my obsession with The Great Gatsby and this eclipsed everything else! I updated my twitter feed on the soundtrack, book and impending film release ALOT on this subject and even did a FOTD and OOTD in its honour!

On consideration there are 3 standout products which I have been particularly loving this month. We're talking Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector and my all time fave Soleil Tan de Chanel. PROVOKE: touch of Silver twice a week brightening shampoo has been invaluable too, as it is every month to be fair, in keeping nasty brassy tones at bay. I've also enjoyed spot cleaning my brushes as I dipped my toes into the world of makeup brush cleaners with No7's offering!

May turned out to be mostly grey, cold and rainy, with a few injections of warmth and sunshine on the bank holiday weekends. Our English weather is unpredictable, but as the old saying goes: the futures bright, the futures orange. I’m excited about the summer, rain or shine there’s a lot going on. I’ll continue to blog regularly, reviewing everything in sight until my beauty ban is lifted. Please follow my Blog on BLOGLOVIN and follow my daily dalliances on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM. Farewell May – Hello June!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Sanctuary: Spa Perfect Skin

Ah my Sanctuary: Spa perfect Skin haul was my very last before I put the breaks on all beauty purchases, way back when, at the end of April. I had heard tonnes of great stuff about the Borghese mud masks and the Caudalie facial spray and the come back of the toner in our skin care regimes and I was eager to try them out, but alas they were (are) out of my price range so I had to find cheaper alternative. Also at the time I was loving my baths and in an attempt to luxe them up on a budget I invested some "spa" products. The deep cleanse Facial: 5 minute thermal detox mask was supposed to be my only purchase but I guess I got carried away and I popped in the Deep Cleanse Facial  Pore Refining Toner in my basket too. Both are under ten pounds and so I figured bargainous compared to the afore mentioned products and the higher priced skin care bubble I had been living in!

Ok so the thermal detox mask. A warming charcoal treatment sounded ever so exciting and I was sold. I tried with a brush ( ala Vivianna Does makeup) but this didn't work out for me. I find the best way to use this is with clean fingers. I smear a good amount around my face, concentrating on my T zone and in the crevices either side of my nose. I never get bored of the warming sensation that occurs 5 seconds after it has been applied, however it doesn't last long and by the time I have applied it  all over my face and sat back to relax in the bath the heat has dissipated and I am left with sticky grey goop on my face. It doesn't harden like a clay mask or feel particularly invigorating or deep cleansing. My skin does feel soft afterwards though and this hasn't broken me out which is a big plus. This is very inoffensive face mask, which although does no harm, I don't feel like it does much good. I just don't feel refreshed or invigorated when I use this, just a tad softer skin. It's an ok product, I just won't repurchase.

Now we come to my "buy high" purchase: the pore refining toner. This acts as a refreshing toner when sprayed onto cotton wool and swiped on my face or as a refreshing pick me up during the day. I find that this does add an extra glow to my face and when I apply my Dr Jarts water fuse Beauty Balm with this my skin is so glowy it is verging on the greasy... too much of a good thing I suppose. I really like the smell of this and although I can't put my finger on it, it smells similar to Charlotte's Magic Cream. The thing that really caught my eye with this product is its PORE REFINING claims. I have to say though I have found no difference in the size or any refining of my pore size. Well if I have it hasn't been ground breaking or enough to wow me or actually buy this product again. I'm sure by the time I have finished this product I will be back on my higher end skin care and Sanctuary and its ten pounds or less spa products will be a memory. It's fine and its nice, but again , I won't repurchase.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

No7 makeup brush cleanser

Armed with a £3 off voucher I decided to dip my toe into brush cleanser waters. Until this point I have only deep cleaned my brushes with Baby Shampoo, but I have found myself, once too often, caught short with dirty brushes when I am in a rush to leave the house. Hands up if you too have used your 224 to apply concealer only to smear brown/black eye shadow across your face? So suffice to say investment in a brush cleanser, to spot clean my brushes, was long over due. No7's makeup brush cleanser retails for £8, I got it for £5 and if you wait for the No7 £5 off vouchers you could get it for £3. So it's very reasonably priced then for 185ml of Hypo-allergenic makeup brush cleanser, which acts to "thoroughly cleanse and remove makeup residue build up." It clearly states on the back that you still need to deep clean your brushes regularly and this works only as a quick fix. The good side to this product is that my brushes have never felt so soft, and although it doesn't remove staining on the bristles it does remove the excess build up. The bad side to this product is that I feel it would work better with a spray dispenser rather than a lotion one. As I feel like this is very wasteful of product. But what's more, in order to clean a brush I have to use a lot of this cleanser, in order to remove most of the product in the brush - ergo I don't think It is going to last very long. Also it isn't very travel friendly. I see myself having to dispense this next time I travel! I hope this helpful - what's your favourite brush cleanser? I think I'll buy the MAC one next!! xoxox