Saturday, 27 July 2013

Garnier Body: Summer Body Moisturising lotion Sun kissed look


I have always been a tanning nube. I have never not streaked a tanning product. Way back when, when Johnson's released the first moisturiser with gradual tan, holiday sun - I thought my tan streaking ways were over. They weren't. Every year I have tried and failed to look sun-kissed. My friend gave me this last year. I used it, failed and moved on. This year I attempted with a tanning mitt and hallelujah I nailed it. No more streaks (well maybe one the last time I applied it but more on that later).

The golden yellow bottle is ok, shaped in such a way to be held easily so kudos for that but there is rubbish sticker which has started to peel and looks, well, rubbish. it smells nice but on second application I smelt like a biscuit the next morning. This has never happened again so I'm happy with that! On the bottle Garnier have put twice that it contains apricot extract. Apparently that's good. I don't know why that's good and it doesn't say so either so I don't see how that's a selling point really and probably doesn't need to clutter the label. 

I guess it does what it says on the tin. My skin feels moisturised and it's giving me a tan. Although no one said anything to the contrary I think it's too orangey in tone to be natural looking like Garnier claim, as a real tan has more of a red undertone to it. But I think that's the same with all fake tans really. Despite being the DEEP shade It looks good on my pale skin and I don't look tangoed by any means. It smells really nice and this lingers on the skin too.

This is a good product that is giving me a tan. I'm not wowed by any means though and probably won't repurchase this particular gradual tanner. If you use one, got any recommendations? xoxo

Friday, 26 July 2013

NIVEA SUN: 'Protect and Refresh' Invisible Cooling Mist


I absolutely love this sunscreen. Purely because it is so quick and simple to use. It comes in a bright blue 200ml aerosol can and bright yellow lid. It has a 4 star UVA rating and a SPF50 UVB protection. What this quantifiably means is anyones guess as information off the Internet is confusing and leaves me with more questions than I did to start with. Basically you need UVA protection for ageing and skin cancers caused by skin damage and you need UVB protection from sunburn. some sites say: the higher the SPF the lighter the skin tone, others say: SPF doesn't account for the quality of protection at all, but  only the length of time protection is given; so you need a sunscreen with a broad spectrum?? It's a minefield. For me. I go for the highest protection and will try and reapply should I be out in the sun longer than a couple of hours.

The Nivea sun cooling mist isn't broad spectrum but it does say it is water resistant. Although the sites say you should reapply regardless it's comforting to think that this product has that little bit more protection should I forget to reapply after swimming. Again I find this sunscreen a joy to use. I can spray it upside down and it can reach hard to reach areas - it's great. It also smells like sunscreen. A sweet citrusy smell which evokes memories of childhood summers. It is cooling too and leaves a satin sheen to the skin. And it dries super quick and it feels like there's nothing there.  I just spray and go (as it gives 'immediate protection'). No need to rub in or anything. Et voila. The perfect sunscreen for people on the go. Downside is that it is a bit more expensive than other sunscreen on the shelves in Boots and retails at something stupid like £16.99 but is currently on offer and I got this for £8.49. What's your favourite sunscreen? xoxo

Monday, 22 July 2013

Caudelie Soleil Divin anti-ageing face suncare


So what can I say about the Caudalie Face sunscreen? Well I needed a new one and the price seemed right. I was looking at lots around the thirty pound mark and this was around twenty on SpaceNK. It's a white lotion which, unfortunately, gives a white cast to the skin if your not careful. It feels very sticky / oily on the skin and although it isn't the worst I've tried, it definitely gives the skin a glow! This goes completely against it's claims of being matte, transparent and non sticky. So sorry Caudelie not impressed with that one.

In regards to it's sun protectant abilities, this provides BROAD SPECTRUM (buzz word - very good thing!!) UVA and UVB filters. It has an SPF of 50 and the box tells us to reapply every 2 hours. woop.

So what other benefits to wearing this sunscreen? It contains anti-oxidants (contains Caudalie patented (owned by Caudalie by law so no one can copy) grape seed polyphenols (good stuff that neutralises free radicals - bad stuff - that cause skin ageing)), is moisturising and contains 0% parabens (bad stuff!!). Oh and isn't tested on animals (PETA approved ;-D).

From antioxidants to aesthetics: the 40ml tube is nice enough. And the box of super information in 5 languages is ok. A little bit intimidating, but nothing is more intimidating (or confusing) than its DNA protect claim!? What I can make out (using the diagram/information on the inside of the box) is that the skin is 100% protected against oxidative stress (sun damage??). 

It all sounds very impressive and I can wear this in the knowledge that if I apply generously every two hours my skin will have ultimate protection. I'm just not that much of a fan of the wearability of this facial sunscreen. If I apply generously my face is too oily for comfort and that's my problem. I'll wear this and use it up but despite the amazing claims I'm not sold. The search continues. What's your favourite facial sunscreen? X

Charles Worthington: Moisture seal Conditioner


I tell you I am a sucker for a rebrand. A new sexy packaging on the shelves and I'm all over it. I found the Charles Worthington boxy, hard squeezey tubs of old a little unattractive and so undesirable and so I never bought them. This also seemed the most moisturising sounding conditioner I could find on the shelves. Not only did the Moisture Seal Conditioner look the part, it also said all the right words... ideal for dry hair, luscious moisturisation, intense nourishment, enriched with argan oil.... SOLD. The moisture seal is doing the trick big time. I am actually really happy with this and I think when I will run out and I will repurchase this when its gone. The conditioner is a thick white and smells exactly like the Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm. Which, like I explained about before, is very tropically smelling and nostalgic too. I think I have found the winning combination. I use this daily, the melting balm once a week and finish off with Moroccan oil treatment Light, for fine or light coloured hair! I have never had so many compliments on how "soft and lovely" my hair is. And questions on "how is my hair so soft and in good condition when I damage it with bleach?" Charles Worthington Moisture Seal range all the way!! The conditioner retails for £4.99 for 250ml, but Boots is always doing 3 for 2 offers on their hair care so it's worth waiting for a bargain. Please read my JULY BEAUTY UPDATE for more of what I'm loving right now.

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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Charles Worthington: Moisture Seal Intense Rescue Melting Balm


I bought this on the back of a high recommendation from FleurdeForce in an old USA / UK drugstore swap with Miss Glam Life Guru. It's been on my wish list ever since and despite being on a beauty ban I convinced myself it was a necessity as I don't own any other hair mask, treatment, intensive leave in conditioner etc. Sure it's a high street product but it is probably one of the most expensive hair care items in there, retailing for £16.99, for 100ml of product.

First impressions are good. the reflectant rose gold and orange box looks quite lux. the box is also very informative, giving stats on how much better your hair will look and how hair breakage will decrease by 71% etc etc. Apparently its blend of 7 exotic oils and butters is packed with lipids and proteins, similar to those naturally found in healthy hair. All you need is a teaspoon amount and apply it to dry hair 20 minutes before you wash it, twice a week. But you can wear it all night if you wish to.

The tub is plastic, light and sturdy and the twist on lid holds the product in tight. The ivory balm, when rubbed in the centre of your palms it easily melts into an oil. In regards to smell, well, it smells like shampoo. That's it. It reminds me of the smell of the shampoo I used when I was a little girl. I guess it has a tropical coconut oil smell if I had to put my finger on it.

In regards to intensely rescuing my hair I gave it the ultimate test. I bleached my hair recently (Jerome Russell Medium Lift Blonding Kit post) and it was a dry as straw. I dolloped the melting balm all over my bleach damaged locks and left it on for as long as possible to let it do its work. Results were very impressive. My previous straw dry locks were nourished and super smooth! I'm converted. I am very happy with this product and dare I say that it will be a hair care staple for me for now on. I highly recommend this melting balm.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Body Shop: Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder


After checking out my friends makeup bag she gave me two products which she found far too pale for her. One was The body Shop moisture foundation. Despite it being the perfect colour. FYI much paler than most on the hughstreet, I found the foundation very watery and tended to separate during the day and stayed on for 4.36 minutes only and the plastic pump bottle and its easily rubbed away silver lettering lacking in any real quality and I didn't like it. The foundation was quickly given a new home but the other product: the bronzing powder in shade 02 Fair Matte a real find. I love it and I will tell you why.

First. The packaging. Despite the hinge being very loose and the mirror being redundant. I don't use the mirror. It is the perfect size for travelling. It's oober slim and takes up no room. As sexy as the bulky luxe compacts are. They're just too big honestly speaking. I also like the honey comb embossing on the powder too. Its simple yet effective.

Second. The powder. It's not the most pigmented powder in the world. You have to build up some product but that's no problem. In comparison to luxe brands it does lack that premium quality which brands like Dior and Nars boast but like I said, on its own merit it's fine and isn't a detriment to the product, it just isn't a plus.

Third. The Colour. This is the PERFECT PALE SHADE of bronze. It has a pinky undertone which blends into pale skin a treat and as it doesn't go on orangey at all, it looks super natural. In comparison to Dior's matte bronzer, it is so much lighter and more natural and if push came to shove I would chose the Body Shop Bronzer over the Dior one any day of the week and is actually used ten times more frequently. The swatch above is The body sho phoney bronze bronzing powder on the left and Dior bronze in 002 on the right.

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzers come in 4 shades and in one shade lighter than the one I have, if that is possible. Even though I need a pale bronzer I find the 01 light matte shade too yellow toned and so could come up too orangey on the skin. Even for the palest girl I would recommend 02. It retails for £13 and despite being really great I don't know I just feel like it is over priced. I think £9.99 would be a better price for the bronzer as the packaging is flimsy and the powder lacking in quality. If your pale though then the shading of this is too good not to miss. Despite the price tag I really enjoy this product and recommend it. Time will tell if I repurchase. I'm yet to own Nars Laguna and I feel it's high time that I rectified that. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

July Beauty Update: I'm smelling like a biscuit!!


This morning I awoke to the very distinguishable smell of the biscuit - the fake tan. Or to be precise: Garner moisturiser  build up tan. With the help of a tanning mitt I have finally mastered the no streak look. Hooray! I have been darkening my foundations and giving my face and my body a tan touch up with Rimmels sun shimmer instant tan too.

In this 20 degress centigrade plus weather I do not leave the house without wearing factor 30 (minimum) I'm currently using Caudelie Soleil Divin anti-ageing face suncare (SPF 50). I have finally finished the Clinique super city block and although I found it greasy and the smell upset me more than words can say. It is still my favourite facial SPF that I have used thus far. For one reason: it is a perfect pinky brown colour that covers the skin amazingly and so does not give the white cast look, which, unfortunately Caudelie gives :-( Caudelie smells great, I like the teeny tube but the whiteness is not ideal. I think as such I won't be repurchasing. On my body I am still using my Garnier golden protect spf in 30. It smells aweful but as its a pink colour it blends into the skin very well and it makes me sparkle. SPARKLE!!! so I'm loving that!!

Makeup wise I have been back on with my Dr Jarts water fuse Beauty Balm and as its a tad dark for me anyway it's perfection. Cooling on the skin and is lush. For nights out I have been loving wearing my Ardell Demi whispies lashes. They look so natural and I think my favourite eye lashes I have ever worn. Plus they are shorter (bandwise) than any other I have tried and as such I haven't had to cut them down! Result! Plus I have had lots of compliments. I have been loving wearing my MAC creme blend blush in so sweet so easy: The perfect pop of colour. Simples. My heart has also gone out to my Bobby Brown Light peach colour correcter. Bang and your bags are gone! It's lightweight and magic! Loving this.

Hair wise I have recently bleached my hair and along with the sun and the sea water and the theme park water rides my hair is going through the motions. I have been looking after it by using Charles Worthington Moisture seal conditioner, intense rescue melting balm and Morrocan oil treatment.

After such a harsh winter the UK is finally enjoying a well deserved hot summer. Fingers crossed it continues. If you have enjoyed my July SUMMER beauty update please check out my JUNE BEAUTY UPDATE and my MAY BEAUTY STORY

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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Jerome Russell Medium Lift Blonding Kit


Two years ago I had disastrous results bleaching my head at home. In truth I was underprepared and my expectations of bright white locks were well and truly stumped by the yellow, patchy mess I was left with! Please check out my top ten tips on bleaching your hair (with disastrous yellow mop photo)!

My roots were out of control and I didn't want to pay top dollar for a hairdresser so I had no option but to buy a DIY hair bleach. My bleach of choice (because it was the only hair bleach brand available in Boots) was the Jerome Russell Blonding kit and as my natural hair is fair anyway I opted for the medium lift kit. Maximum is also available for brunets and dark, black hair. 

In the at home kit includes, bleaching powder, ointment, a "conditioning" shampoo, gloves, a plastic hat, a hair dye brush, mixing bowl and an instruction booklet. The only element this doesn't provide is the friend to do it for you! after years of patchy hair DIY I have finally enlisted the help of a hair dying competent friend! This element, in my opinion, is crucial for an even application.

My experience over all was very good with this product. With help from my friend it managed to do what it said on the tin. It bleached my roots. And, the best part is that the results were quite white, not the nasty bright yellow I'm ordinarily accustomed to. Sure, for my silver white tastes it is far too yellow still but it is quite good so cudos for that. It also only took 60 minutes to develop. The box says it should take 15 to 60 minutes for it to develop on blonde locks. I hadn't washed my hair for 3 days before bleaching and as such the bleach didn't particularly irritate me. Sure it's a little irritable as it's bleach but it wasn't bad at all! 

The powder and solution mixed together to create a light blue liquid paste mixture. My friend disliked the gloves that came with the pack, instead opting to use her own disposable latex gloves. My friend also complained that the brush is far too small and again opted to use her own, better quality, bigger brush.  I found that the conditioning shampoo really isn't conditioning at all and a word to the wise: don't bleach your head at midnight just before you go to bed!! That's what I did and I woke up with a highly sensitive and irritated scalp that hurt when I brushed my head across the pillow. 'ouch'.   

Like I said I'm impressed with this product as it did the job however I do recommend you invest in your own application brush and have a highly moisturising conditioner at hand because as I type this my hair is as dry as a bone. Rookie mistake - I'm away from home and as it was so late when I bleached my head I was too tired to scout about trying to find a conditioner. Doh! 

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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

HAIR / SKIN / TEETH


Makeup is so much fun to buy. There's nothing I like more than to part my cash on a beautiful lipstick, the next new "it" foundation or the perfect highlight; however makeup is merely the finishing touch. In my opinion if you get the basics right then the need, or want, for a full face of makeup will diminish. Let me explain. Aside from wanting to look the part, or having fun applying amazing products, wearing makeup is linked to self esteem isn't it? I wear more makeup if I feel a bit ropey or want to glam up on a night out. The happier I am with the starting point the less likely I am to slap it on! The starting point is great skin, but is also great hair and the big thing: good teeth!!

Lets talk about skin first... I love glowing skin. My skin can never look glowing enough so I base my entire skincare regime to cater for this. If there's any skin care item which reads on the label: RADIANCE ENHANCING then I'm all over it! The key to an affective skin care regime is trial and error and not to compromise. If the better product for your skin is 3 times the amount of the alternative then buy it! Also be ready to adapt. Stress, hormones and the weather can all drastically change the performance of your skin! Don't stick yourself in a dry/combo box, for example, as it might get oily quick. Keep an eye on your skin and be ready to alter your skin care regime to cater for its symptoms!

Next up: lets talk Hair! Beautiful, healthy, amazing hair can make all the difference to a look. What's the point on spending hours on your face if your hair looks like rubbish? It's important to look after your hair and your confidence will flow from it. I like to cut my hair pixi short and bleach my hair platinum blonde. I find that in order to maintain it I need to have it cut regularly to keep the shape, by a GOOD hair dresser. I can't skimp on hair dressing as a bad cut means disaster! I keep the colour lush by using a silverising shampoo and moisturising conditioners and treatments. Like your skin, you must keep a close eye on your hair and care for it accordingly. Judge your hair by how confident it makes you feel. and remember if you hate the style, it will grow out!!

And finally the not so easy Teeth!! Good teeth is the final thing! If you like your teeth you smile more and are more relaxed and at ease, especially when cameras are around and talking from the perspective of a keen photographer if you smile it really lifts your face! Good teeth benefit from a good daily hygiene routine and good lifestyle (don't smoke. This will benefit everything though, FYI), go to the dentist regularly and if you can afford it I'd get them whitened or straightened. I'm actually hoping to get my teeth whitened soon...

So there you have it. Look after your hair, skin and teeth and you will have bags more confidence and feel so much better about yourself. Have the basics perfected and you can have fun wearing makeup, not have it wear you! I hope this was interesting reading! Please follow me on TWITTER and BLOGLOVIN for more beauty updates! xoxo

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Nivea 'In Shower' Body Moisturiser


The Nivea, In Shower Body Moisturiser was just too intriguing to miss out on. There's two varieties out for dry and normal skin. I decided on getting the most moisturising Almond oil skin conditioner to get the best out of the product. I think it retailed for £2.99, so is bargainous. Ok so I convinced myself I needed this product because I never remember to moisturise my body. I find it too much of a chore to do on an everyday basis and I suffer with psoriasis on my legs which needed a little bit more TLC. So cue a quick and easy body moisturiser that I can do in the shower, no fuss, no mess. First impressions of this are very nice. I don't particularly like the smell. It's slightly chemical and uninviting but it's not over powering so unless you have your nose in the cap, I'm guessing you won't notice. I'm noticing that although I don't use this every day I am going through it very quickly. I am also finding that on a rushed morning I don't have enough time to wash my body, then condition it. I guess its just not grained into my shower routine yet. Truth is, although it moisturises great, I don't think I'll be rushing out to repurchase this when it's finished. I guess I'm just stuck in my routine and it's going to be hard to change my habit now. I think I'll get a new lease of love for it when my psoriasis flares up again! How do you find the Nivea 'in shower' body moisturiser? Do you remember to use it every shower? xoxo