Sunday 15 May 2016

Catching up with a few empties!

Bonjour and long time no blog!

It just happens doesn't it - life takes over and then you lose your mojo (again) and you wonder when (and if!) you'll feel like blogging again - time permitting, whilst still buying copious amounts of beauty products, all of which would be ripe for a blog post but then you start to feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start ... and then you get the itch/urge, whatever you want to call it plus there is a large bagful of empties which are doing your head in and need to be chucked ... but in true blogger fashion you can't until you've blogged about them ... ahhh ... so here we are! Not all recent empties you understand but the majority from the last couple of months ... thought it would be a 'good place' to re-kindle the blogging habit and take it from here ...

Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Pro-Heat Milk - if  you follow me on Instagram you'll know I've just recently repurchased this. I'd used up my previous bottle and not got round to replacing it ... and this dragged on for a few weeks and then my hair started to split and break all over the place - could it just be co-incidence? If you read my full review of the Pro-Heat Milk here you'll wonder how I've ever lived without it! Be interesting to see if it works it's magic again - will keep you posted!

Tresemme 24 Hour Body Sky High Plumping Powder - I had a couple of these little bottles to use up and this is the last of them - this particular plumping powder works well to thicken up and texturise the look of my hair and the bottle has a little hole at the top which means it generally ends up where it's meant to be ie in my hair and not my shoulders! Sadly it appears to have been discontinued - typical - so I've had to buy another brand for now.

L'Oreal Elnett Heat Protect Volume Spray - I finished this a while ago and can't make my mind up about it! Sometimes it works and leaves my hair with volume and smoothness (and I like the fact that it contains heat protection) but sometimes not so much? The spray is really tricky to use and I can never get the direction and pump action right so end up spraying into my hands to apply ... which may be the problem ... for now I'll not repurchase as I have too many other volumising products to use up! 

Bioderma Hydrabio Micelle Solution - I've repurchased this one a few times - it's my current favourite micellar. Specifically for sensitive, dehydrated skin (that's me then) it cleanses and removes make-up effortlessly without drying out the skin and also works really well to remove my eye make-up gently without stinging the eyes. I always stock up on Bioderma when Escentual have their third off French Pharmacy so I'm ok for a while!

Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express Mascara - when I reviewed this mascara a while ago - here - I wasn't sure I'd repurchase because only one half of it works well! The 'bottom lash' part of the the brush does nothing for me!  However, I think it was on 'silly offer' so I relented and all I can say is the same again. The standard brush is brilliant for lengthening, volumising and curling the lashes but the mini brush - nothing.  I can't say I'll not repurchase again - I may do - just for the half of it but then again I may not!

Olay Essentials Complete Care Day Lotion - this is another that I've used for ages as my day cream.  With an SPF 30 it worked really well to keep skin hydrated without being overly greasy.  The reason for the past tense is because (sods law!) it's been discontinued so I've not been able to repurchase!

Pure Skincare Instant Boost Skin Tonic - I've used a couple of bottles of this so far as a hydrating toner and I love it but again it doesn't seem to be available from M&S at the moment so I've had to go for another brand ... not having much luck am I?

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum - I don't need to say anything about this one do I? I've harped on about it for so long and repurchased countless times. Needless to say I have another waiting in the wings ... although I have to admit I've recently got hold of another French Pharmacy hydrating serum to try, just to compare of course!

Alpha H Liquid Gold -  never got round to writing a full review on my Liquid Gold but I don't think I need to do I?  Everyone seems to be into 'Glycolic' and re-surfacing at the moment don't they - well this is my 'go-to' which I use twice a week in the evening, apply after cleansing and leave on 'neat' all night - it tingles but I've heard a bit of tingle is good! Helps with fine lines, wrinkles, open pores, dullness etc and gives skin a revitalised, smoothed,  more radiant appearance - I have a few 'spares' of Liquid Gold stocked up as I'd prefer not to run out! 

Vaseline Intensive Care Essential Healing Body Lotion - this is one of my new favourite body lotions which I've used over the last couple of months. Feels really comforting on the skin (must be all those 'micro droplets of Vaseline jelly'!), keeps dryness and itchy/irritated skin at bay and goes on in a flash with no greasiness or excess rubbing.  It doesn't have a particular type of 'scent' but just smells a bit 'clean and creamy' to me (does that make sense?) so doesn't clash with whichever perfume I use afterwards? I'm on my second bottle and I can't seen it being my last!

Original Source Coconut and Shea Butter Shower Cream - last but not least - what's not to love about Original Source shower products, especially when they're on offer for £1!  This one is a firm favourite, love the smell all year round - I'll definitely repurchase!

So ... as I said not every single empty from the last couple of months (I'd have been here all day!) but a decent selection I think!  Have you used any of this lot? What beauty products have you 'emptied out' recently?

Jen x

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Aveda, Tigi and Ojon - A Tale of Three Hair Products ...


Yes ... well ... thick hair and myself do not go hand in hand and it's getting worse as I get older (and believe me I'm getting older!) ... my hair has always been fine but as well as generally thinning with age there's a patch around my crown (apparently I have a double crown!) which is getting more and more sparse - my hubby swears he can't even tell (he is a man though!) but you know when you're conscious of something?  Anyway, I'm willing to try almost anything out there - if it promises thickness or volume so ... enter these three which I've been using in rotation over the last few months ... all are applied to damp hair before blow drying ...

A picure of Aveda, Tigi and Ojon Hair Products

Aveda Thickening Tonic - I've wanted to try it for a while but it's expensive at £19-£20/100ml so I held out for a 20% off deal at House of Fraser and then jumped in. It claims to thicken hair in one use by expanding strands, using botanical extracts, from roots to ends.   The pump delivers a fine spray which has a sweet clove-like smell, I apply approx. 8-10 pumps all over from roots through the lengths. After blow drying my hair looks noticeably thicker (to me), the thinning patch on my scalp looks much more healthy and I can't glimpse so many gaps between the lengths of hair.  There is oomph and texture and it  kind of 'bouffes' the hair out, if that makes sense, but not in a non-shiny, frizzy way.  More good news - the thickness lasts until the next wash - it's a good one and definitely works!

Tigi Bedhead Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray - this one seems good value (I think) - it can vary from £8 - £15/300ml. It's meant to contain ingredients that create thickness and add strength, elasticity and smoothness and has a 'great style memory with a low tack and a natural feel'. I spray mainly around roots and through mid lengths and then dry.  It has a fresh citrus scent and the spray is fine but very wet.   I didn't find this added masses of thickness, especially on the 'bald bit' (and too much product leaves my hair a bit gunked up, stringy and weighs it down) but the right amount gives good root lift and leaves hair super soft and shiny and it definitely holds the style into the next day.  It can also be used to add texture on a second day style by spraying in and blasting with hairdryer, I've tried this a couple of times and again have to use sparingly but it leaves hair with a much 'piecier' look to it, although this doesn't seem to last very long.  It's not a bad product but not one I'd use for loads of thickness or texture - shame!  

Ojon Volume Advance Animated Volumising Cream - this is the latest of the three purchases and again I've wanted to try for a while but been put off by the price of £20.50/125ml tube.  It's a 'light, whipped cream fortified with pure Ojon Oil' meant to leave hair full with texture , shine and grip. Easy enough to apply to damp hair, a little goes a long way and I only need to use a small squeeze of cream (too much leaves hair sticky) so this tube will last for ages.  It has a delicate sweet scent and once hair is dried it's left soft, shiny (again) and with light hold, a bit of texture and a bit of bounce. Not loads of va va voom or volume for me but just enough to disguise my 'patch'  - a good 'everyday hair' product for natural looking (and feeling) hair.

So  ... when it comes to thickness the Aveda Thickening Tonic seems to win ... the problem is the bottle doesn't last as long as I feel it should for the price, I wash my hair every other day so it soon goes down.  It's something I'd repurchase but much as I'd want to, I'd end up saving for special occasions - such a dilemma! 

For the moment I'll just be awkward and continue my quest for the perfect hair thickening product at the perfect price. Am I being a skinflint?  Would you pay out?  Have you tried any decent hair thickeners recently?

Jen x

Wednesday 3 February 2016

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter - Review


The Body Shop Camomile range is said to be geared up towards calming things down, soothing, purify and hydrating and suitable for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers. I'm a big fan (like many before me) of the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil so was intrigued to have a go with The Body Shop  Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter...

A picture of The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

A picture of The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

A picture of The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

The Camomile Cleansing Butter is suitable for all skin types and includes Olive Fruit Oil and Shea Butter amongst the ingredients.  It has quite a solid appearance in the tin - almost like hard candle wax or a slice of lard (anyone remember Trex?) - fortunately the resemblance ends there!  It has a very delicate scent, similar to the Camomile Cleansing Oil but not as obvious and is soft and satin-like in texture with no greasiness.  It's easy to scoop out and apply, you don't need a tonne and it melts easily into the skin with no pulling or dragging. I emulsify with a little water, have a bit of a massage around and remove with a muslin cloth - I'd say you definitely need some form of cloth to remove.  It doesn't bring my eczema out, cause any breakouts or strip/dry my skin and leaves it feeling clean, soft and comfortable.  I use every evening after removing my surface make-up with a micellar (I can feel an 'Evening Skincare Routine' post coming on!) as a sort of 'second cleanse'.

I haven't really used a cleansing balm or butter for a while, not since I finished my last pot of Emma Hardie Moringa Balm, which is lovely although pricey.  I don't know if it's just me but the Camomile Cleansing Butter seems to do just as good a job, I love the texture and the results (of course) and think it definitely lives up that 'Sumptuous' claim!  The tin has lasted a few months and is a great price at £13/90ml, (especially if you can get hold of one of the Body Shop's discount codes) I'll definitely be repurchasing - I may even go as far as to say I prefer the Cleansing Butter to the Cleansing Oil?!  May to have to repurchase both just to cement my theory!

Have you tried The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter or any products from the Camomile range - you can check out the full shebang here! Which is your current favourite cleanser?

Jen x

Sunday 17 January 2016

Things That Made Me Go 'Mmmm' in 2015...!

Bonjour and a very belated Happy New Year!

Yet again it's been a while! Oh well these things happen and mojos go astray from time to time don't they and I could never seem to find the time to sit down and get stuck into a good blog post!! Anyway ... thought I'd make an attempt at posting my favourite products of 2015 so here goes ... 

Bouffe Dry Spray - I was sent this to review back in June and I've never looked back!  It's not one I'd go for if you don't like the feel of product in your hair but that doesn't bother me, used correctly it adds thickness, oomph and texture and I don't want to be without it now - I've since repurchased ... full review here.

Makeup Revolution Blush & Contour Palette in Hot Spice - I can't tell you how good this palette is ... well I can actually in my full review here.  I use it for a warm pop of peachy toned colour rather than contouring.  The blushers are amazing quality and pigment with a lovely finish that's long lasting and a complete bargain at £6.00 ... yep that's just £6.00!

Pixi Glow Tonic - a fairly recent addition to my skincare routine.  Despite all the hype I wasn't sure I 'd get on with the Pixi Glow at first - as I found it was a little drying but ... used in the evening, followed with a good dose of facial oil over the top ... works a treat! It smooths and brightens and I use every night when I'm not using Alpha H Liquid Gold - I'll definitely repurchase.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara - as impressed as I was with this mascara - you can read my review  here  - I didn't think I'd repurchase because of the high end price but when my brother's wedding came along last year I knew I could rely on Roller Lash to stay put and perform all day with no clumps, smudges or flakes ... so repurchase I did and I've not looked back! Although I am partial to/and will use other mascaras I reckon this all always be a firm favourite ... my daughter informed my hubby he should get me one for Christmas so I have another waiting in the wings!

L'Oreal Expertise EverRiche Shampoo, Elixir Masque Spray Oil and Conditioner - the EverRiche products are said to be suitable for 'dry, fine hair' ... yep that's me! You can use the Elixir Masque Spray either in between shampoo and conditioner (for very fine hair) or as a final step after conditioner, rinsing out after application.  I've used it both ways but it seems to do better used in between the shampoo and condition stage for me.  I wouldn't say it replaces a 'session' with a decent hair masque but I find it's good on those in between days for just keeping a bit more condition in your barnet, which - I don't know about you but I definitely need at this time of year when everything is dried out and de-hydrated! Can't seem to find the shampoo and conditioner online at the moment (which is a bit worrying) but the Oil Elixir Spray seems to be around!

SBC Collagen Skincare Gel - a great multi-tasker this one - it was part of a set from SBC reviewed here and I use  it every day in some form or other, either on my kite or on the neck/de-colletage as a bit of a hydration boost.

Pure Super Active Eye Serum and Super Grape Overnight Treatment Oil - I'm a big fan of these two (in fact I've been impressed with everything I've tried from the Pure Skincare range from M&S so far!) and have repurchased both. You can read my reviews here and here.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue - this has proved to be a great little product. I thought it would just be a Summertime favourite but I'm still using it on non-work days and weekends and it's still doing it's job and doing it well I might add so I've just repurchased another.  You can read my full review  here.

OPI Nail Envy - I have a really bad habit of regularly picking or peeling my nail polish off once it starts to chip - obviously not good for the old nails!  I think they'd had enough and had been splitting really badly down the length of the nail. I bit the bullet and got hold of the OPI Nail Envy a couple of months ago as it has such good reviews. You just paint it on every other night and it feeds and strengthens the nail bed ... it definitely seems to work as my nails are starting to look 'normal' again and is a great treatment for a week or so 'off the polish' - the only snag is remembering to paint it on!  

And last but not least my Babyliss Big Hair  - which you can see it nestling inbetween the products there!  I'd ummed and ahhed about this styling tool for a while but just went for it in the Summer and I've never looked back ... it great for smoothing out hair and adding shine and eliminates the need for struggling with a brush and hairdryer at an awkward angle! It's also a godsend on those mad mornings when my hair resembles a haystack (that would be most mornings then) for adding shape and tidying up the barnet before running out the door!   

So that's it then ... my favourites or 'Mmms' from last year.  Have you used any of this lot? Which were your 'Mmmms' of 2015?

Jen x

Sunday 22 November 2015

Pure Super Grape OvernightTreatment Oil - Review


There is something about the Pure Skincare range from Marks & Spencer that's really 'grabbing me' at the moment and the whole 'Grape Seed Extract thing' fascinates me for it's skincare benefits so I was intrigued to try out the Super Grape Overnight Treatment Oil. Aside from the fact that 'Super Grape' sounds like a Marvel comic character - the range contains a 'defend and restore' complex which has been proven to provide up to 90% protection against free radicals - the complex contains echinacea, peptides and resveratrol ... I had no idea what resveratrol is so here's what M&S have to say about it ...
"After years of collaborative research with scientists from a leading british university, we discovered that via a unique extraction process we could extract resveratrol from crushed pulp left over from the production of our own M&S wine"
The anti-ageing Super Grape Treatment Oil is said to smooth, hydrate and protect, promote younger looking skin and a radiant complexion ... well I may not understand the whole 'crushed pulp extraction thingy' but all those benefits sound pretty impressive to me!

A picture of the Pure Super Grape OvernightTreatment Oil
A picture of the Pure Super Grape OvernightTreatment Oil

I use a couple of generous drops most nights (as I'm already a  twice weekly 'Liquid Golder') after toning and under my moisturiser over face, neck and decolletage.  The oil is a little cloudy and bitty in appearance - just give it a good shake and it's easy enough to dispense with the dropper, it's also handy to give the bottle a bit of a wipe after using as it tends to seep down onto your surface otherwise.  It has a light, fruity fragrance and a soothing feel to it but is not heavy or syrupy,  it absorbs easily and my skin seems to drink it in.  The following morning my kite  looks surprisingly smoothed, bright, dewy and plumped ... exactly how you want to start off the day don't you think - a good all round dose of nourishment!
So yes  -  another winner from the Pure range - the Super Grape Overnight Treatment  Oil    is a surprisingly  effective product for the price of £16/28ml and and an absolute bargain when M&S  have one of  their 20% off  deals on (this little bottle will have lasted me about 3 months when  I've finished it)  actually - there is 3 for 2 available on Pure  Skincare at the moment so it may be a   good time for me to stock up!                                

Which is your favourite facial oil? Are you tempted by the Pure Super Grape Overnight Treatment Oil?

Jen x

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