Saturday, 20 July 2013

Paul Mitchell Ultimate Wave

I'm on something of a roll this week after a bit of a hiatus. The weather has kept me outside away from the laptop and work is keeping me exceedingly busy. I've also had the most humungous outbreak of spots known to man, so I've not wanted to experiment with anything new on my face (more on that on the blog later as I think I know the cause).

But the temperature is dropping and I'm getting a handle on the work thing so I'm back to bore you about how this beauty virgin is popping her cherry. Could probably have done with a better metaphor there.

I'm a wavy haired girl who mostly straightens the heck out of it if I need to look presentable. The rest of the time it dries in a ponytail or a bun and that's that. I've never done anything to boost the curls and I really wouldn't know what to do if I was asked to. I have a vague recollection of a 70s sci-fi ray gun lookalike for a diffuser but that's about it.

I got a little sample of this beach wave inducing cream in my first glossybox and as the heat is making hair dry in an instant without the use of a hair dryer or ray gun, I thought I'd give it a shot today. I'm not really good at following instructions so I'm not sure if I did the right thing in just combing a small splodge through with my finger tips but that's what I did.

Packaging: A trial sample so it just came in a wee tube

Smell: Clean and fresh but not long-lasting once the hair is dry.

Feel: It really is a thick gel so I was conscious of the amount I used as I didn't want it to look lank or greasy. I used 3 pea sized amounts and I have just past my shoulder hair. I think I may use slightly more next time as the right side of my head - where I used a little bit more - seemed to go better than the other sides. Once the hair's dry you can't feel it on at all.

Look: My hair dries naturally into what you'd probably term 'beach waves' anyway, but the top layer  is usually so frizzy that you can't see them. This has made the curls neater without being proper curls and the frizz layer is greatly reduced. I wouldn't be embarrassed about this being my hair for the day, whereas I rarely keep my hair down when it's au naturel. This has made it natural, but better!

Available: £11.95 for the full sized version (150ml), available in hair salons country wide.

Love or Bin: Love!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Ciaté Paint Pot Island Hopping

This is the latest nail polish to wing its way to me via Glossybox, which had a seaside theme this month. As this polish is called Island Hopping, that's very theme appropriate and the colour does bring to mind Jamaica and balmy evenings with rum. I imagine. I've got 2 kids in Manchester so the best I get is a cup of tea and only a light drizzle.

Packaging: More like the nail varnish of old, not like the uber-slick Nails Inc. A nice sized bottle but the bow is a bit, um, naff. 

Smell: On the nicer end of the scale for nail polish.

Feel: This was a really easy polish to apply. It wasn't like I was dabbing on water like Nails Inc felt like but it was very smooth and spread where I needed it to go. Just the right consistency I reckon. Fast but not super fast drying.

Look:  The colour is actually a lot more orange and shimmery than the picture. It's not one I'd pick myself, but I'm really impressed with it. It could have been fine with one coat but I applied two and it's a really solid colour and the shimmer is shimmery. It's a bold shimmer. Does that make sense? It's not chipped in the day it's been on, not even a little bit! Very impressed with it.

Available: £9 off their website

Love or Bin: Love! Will be trying other colours for sure.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

I can't think of a time when my everyday face wash hasn't been soap. Shh, yes I know. But it's so easy and quick and gets rid of everything all in one go. But now my skin is, ahem, slowly aging I've decided it's time to be putting a little more effort into skincare, one step at a time.

Where better to start than this bastion of beauty, Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser? I'm sure I'm the last person on earth to try this so I won't go into the details of it.

Packaging: It's definitely posh. The packaging has the understated practicality of a product that knows it's going to sell a lot of units. Fair enough - frills and fancies aren't going to get my face washed.

Smell: It treads the fine balance between that clinical, efficient smell and, well, being nice. It's not overpowering and the eucalyptus makes it smell clean.

Feel: It's nice and thick in consistency. As you rub it in it goes almost oily and spreads across the face really easily. I used more than the two squirts recommended as I didn't think the amount would cover me (my face isn't that big, honest!) and I'm still dubious it would to be honest.

Look: My skin was definitely smoother and less flaky. My spots (yeah, thanks hormones, I stopped being a teenager 12 years ago) weren't as ugly looking and the weird rough chin thing I had going on wasn't as obvious. After one wash! I've got good hopes for this.

After Use: My skin didn't feel tight and like it was about to completely flake off - bonus! It felt smooth and supple, which was nice.

Available: Widely available, £14.75 for a starter kit including cloths.


Day 2: So I wanted to have a good few days use under my belt before posting my review and I'm glad I waited to be honest! My skin has broken out in loads of spots, really hulking ones. Urgh. It could be that the cleanser is drawing all the crap out (is that how it works?), or it could be that it's crazy hormone week, or it could be the copious caketails and associated sugar I consumed yesterday...Anyway, my face is YUCK. It still feels smoother and more supple so hopefully this is a temporary blip and they'll go soon. Stay tuned...


Day 7: Spots still existing, but skin is less dry and like it's about to fall off my face.

Love or Bin: A tentative love. If the spots don't go I'll try something different when it run out.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Toni & Guy Prep Heat Protection Mist

The extent of my hair styling is the occasional drying of it. If I'm feeling adventurous I straighten it too. More often than not I leave it to dry into a massive triangular bush of ridiculousness and put it into a ponytail if I need to leave the house. Despite this, I seem to have amassed a large collection of stuff to put in my hair.

I thought I'd try out a (hopefully) easy to use protection spray during my first foray into hair care. I reckon even I couldn't mess up if it's not something that's going to stickify or solidify my hair so I picked the Heat Protection Mist for no other reason than it was the tallest in the row of bottles. It's supposed to protect your hair during heat styling so you use it before the dryer and again before straightening if that's your thang.

Packaging: Run of the mill spray canister. Having stylised vertical writing made reading the directions a bit awkward because I had to turn the bottle over but that's about the extent of how much notice I gave it.

Smell: Pleasant and not too overpowering either when I used it or on my hair afterwards.

Feel: Went on as a fine mist for good coverage. Didn't feel sticky like some leave in products can in your hair although I noticed the hairbrush pulled a little during drying. That may have been my daughter's hair band that got caught n the bristles, though.

Look: My husband says my hair is less 'big' now. After some prompting. I'm not sure it's made any noticeable difference at the pre-straighten stage but it does feel sort of healthier. Somehow.

Available: Boots have it for £6.39 and they currently have an offer on for buy one, get the second half price.

Love or Bin: Meh. I'll keep using it to see if it builds up to loveliness. 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Nails Inc Portobello

Even I haven't missed the hype about Nails Inc, although I've never tried it. The last time I bought nail varnish (yes, I'm so old it's still called varnish not polish!) I must have been about 15 when the deep burgundy trend hit. This bottle came courtesy of Glossybox  and I've snuck in while Pops is having her nap to update my nails.

Packaging: A teeny wee bottle. There's not much to say about a bottle of nail polish is there? I went digging on the Nails Inc website to try and find the colour name as that doesn't seem to appear on the bottle (surely that's not normal?) and it seems the bottle size is the original size (10ml) and not the miniature I thought it was. Flipping hefty price tag (£11) for that much polish. It had better be good!

Smell: Like nail polish, surprisingly. Not too overwhelming, compared to some, but not the best smelling one I've ever come across.

Feel: First coat went on really easily, like I was putting water on my nails. It dried really quickly, and the second coat went on just as easily. Again, it's dried much quicker than I'd expect.

Look:  I didn't have high hopes to be honest, it looked as though I'd taken a highlighter to my nails. I wasn't convinced that a second coat would be the final one, but they've got a nice even colour and are no longer semi-transparent. Still looks as though I've got highlighter on my nails though. I don't think I'm cut out for neon. I have too much red in my wardrobe for a start. The finish isn't as glossy as I'd have thought it would be but that might be because I'm meant to put a topcoat on. Ha.

Available: Widely available from Debenhams, Selfridges, House of Fraser etc. £11 for a small bottle, which unless it turns out to never ever chip isn't worth it in my opinion. If it doesn't chip easily I may try out a more suitable colour but otherwise a cheapie from the supermarket is just as good, as long as you factor in an extra 5 minutes drying time.


Edit: I've had it one for about 7 hours and there's chippage on all but 1 nail. Not impressed.

Love or Bin: BIN, definitely!

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Fig & Rouge Cherry Blossom Tinted Lip Balm

This tube of lip balm came in this month's Glossybox and is made by Fig & Rouge, a brand I've never heard of before. Although given this blog was created to aid someone who's got to the age of *mumblesomethingcough*  work out skincare and beauty, that may not be a shock.

Packaging: Very bright and cheerful! There's a whole lot of balm in this tube and it's a whole world away from the little glass pots we all used to dip our grubby little fingers into at school.

Smell: Very fruity!

Feel: Very thick. So thick that if you use slightly too much you can feel clumps of excess balm around your lips. Ew. Less is more so I can see this lasting ages.

Look: This is only a tint so it's not overpowering but it does add a nice little touch for daytime use. Probably not coloured enough to show too badly if you have to apply while herding two kids out of the door while simultaneously juggling five bags and a coffee. Which is handy really, given that's how most of my mornings start.

After Use: Staying power isn't great but again, this isn't a colour but a balm so I don't really expect it to stay on for ages.

Love or Bin: LOVE

Available: Various places including Boots and feelunique, so should be widely available. £4.95 delivered from feelunique so pretty affordable!

I'm really impressed with this balm and went to inspect the Fig & Rouge website. They've just started doing a hand cream which if they're anything like this balm will be worth trying.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

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A Glossybox of Monthly Perfection

Let me tell you the type of person I am.

I'm the one who takes so long to make a purchase decision that I lose all interest in the product and don't buy anything at all. I'm that person.

My Pinterest board of beauty products that I simply must try is full of things that I'll never, ever buy because I'm crippled by indecision. Which of the 'must use' foundations must I use? Which 'best beauty buy' must I buy? What do I do?!

Clearly my long-suffering husband has had enough of me because he's discovered a brilliant buy in the form of Glossybox. For a very reasonable monthly subscription fee I'm being sent a box with 5 'deluxe beauty miniatures' targeted to my skin and hair type. I got my first box for my birthday and was pretty impressed with how glam it looked, full of poncy ribbons, tissue paper and shredded hoohaa. The miniatures weren't really miniature either. The lip liner (hmm, I wasn't ace with that the first time round and now my hands are older and shakier...) is full sized and the lip balm is a pretty hefty 12.5ml tube.

I'm sure the boxes will be hit and miss but they'll definitely be better than not trying anything, and I'll get to broaden my beauty horizons! I'm looking forward to experimenting with the items this weekend.