Tuesday 28 April 2015

Dry Shampooing ... Part 1


Finding the right dry shampoo is a bit of a challenge, especially if you want one that is all singing/all dancing and at the right price - a bit like hunting for a good mascara/bra/car! I have the added complication of being a brunette (with grey strands here and there!), so I really don't want to look like I've tipped a cup of self-raising flour over my head (although I'm betting this is not a look many blondes would embrace either!).  I use a few squirts of dry shampoo virtually every other day in between washes, to refresh any greasy bits and give texture and grip, especially if I want to tie the barnett up.  I've been trying out quite a few over the last few months so thought it best to split this post into a two-parter (yes this is only half of my stash - I am that madwoman!) ... and in hindsight I should have really written separately about products specifically for brown hair but at the end of the day it's not a clinical trial or anything, the pics had been taken and I can procrastinate no longer ... I mean it doesn't matter if it's all a bit mixed up does it (bit like me really)!

A picture of Dry Shampoos

Herbal Essences Clearly Naked £2.99/180ml - this and the Uplifting Volume next to it were on offer of buy one get one free or something so I ended up with them both, as you do. Clearly Naked disguises greasy roots a little,  adds a bit of volume and has a tiny bit of white cast  but nothing   drastic.   It feels a tad sticky and has a strange minty fragrance (well I think it's strange anyway).    It's a bit - as we like to say - meh? I'm shrugging my shoulders as I type this phrase but really it's neither here nor there for me!

Herbal Essences  Uplifting Volume £2.99/180ml - adds more volume than 'Clearly Naked' but has more of a 'wet hairspray feel' and doesn't really help with greasy roots, although, again there is virtually no white/grey fallout.  It smells lovely though ... of crisp clean citrus but leaves my hair feeling pretty gunked up and sticky so no point in repurchasing.

Dove Refresh and Care Dry Shampoo £4.59/200ml - this, for me, is more of a 'refresher for greasy hair days' rather than 'sky-high volume' product.  The spray has a 'damp' feel when first sprayed, although this doesn't seem to hang around on my hair.  It leaves a faint grey tinge if sprayed too close but is very easy to get rid of when massaged in. A pleasant, clean smell, not too overpowering but enough to make your hair feel freshened up. A reasonable amount of subtle volume which lasts all day and no tacky feeling as such. I'd repurchase but only when on offer as it's quite expensive.

Superdrug Cocoa Brownie for Brunettes - £1.99/150ml - but can usually be picked up for about £1!   Quite a dry, almost 'texturising' spray  which gives good lasting volume to the crown,  dries up greasy roots and thickens the overall look of my hair.  It's similar to a hair powder I guess and is super-pigmented, sprays out as deep dark brown and is quite good at disguising those pesky grey hairs and any thinning areas around the parting.  Just remember to wash your hands after massaging it in and don't be alarmed at the 'brown water' going down the drain when you next wash your hair, sounds gross but it's only a bit of pigment when all is said and done!  I've repurchased quite a few times now as it's a great all rounder and is as cheap as chips!

Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo  Aussome Volume £4.49/180ml - an impulse buy whilst it was on offer at around £3. It has a very fine mist, not too wet, not too dry and not much residue that I can detect.  It gives really good volume which lasts most of the day and is not too sticky or tacky. The only thing I can't get on with is the smell!  Obviously this is just a personal thing but it's so sweet and sickly and it hangs around for a while  ... if I can get over that then I would repurchase!

Obviously, everyone's different and what rocks my boat may sink yours and vice versa.  If, as a 'dry shampoo manic' I had to choose from this lot ... it would have to be Superdrug Cocoa Brownie - the brown water doesn't bother me!  Have you used any of these dry shampoos?  Which is your favourite?

Jen x

Friday 24 April 2015

Beauty and the Biryani is 3! Time for a Giveaway!


Yep ... 3 years ago (give or take a day!) I published my first post (on the iconic Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - just in case you were wondering!). And here I am 3 years later  - still waffling on - can hardly believe it!  Talking about beauty (and music) gets me ever so excited at times (I know I'm weird but hey ... I'm old enough to embrace it now!).  I certainly don't get to 'hit that spot' at work (pensions admin - let's all yawn together now shall we!) - so the blog has been a way to unleash myself on you poor souls and get it all out there and as Bow Wow Wow once sang ... Go Wild In The Country! (Youngsters will have to google this!)

I still get a kick out of every new follower and it may seem a bit corny but I need to say a big thank you to everyone who reads, comments (apart from the dodgy ones of course!) and comes back for more of the madness - it is very much appreciated!  With all of the above in mind ... I've decided to hold a little celebratory giveaway - haven't had one since last year so I reckon a 3rd blog birthday is as good a time as any!  Here's what you can win ...

Illamasqua Multi Facet Palette in Semblance ... I love the look of this palette (I wanted to keep it for myself but I'm being good/generous/mad and giving it away instead!) it includes products for eyes and cheeks to create a variety of looks. Obviously I'm unable to swatch myself but you can take a look at a full description and swatches here.  

To enter just complete Rafflecopter below (entries will be checked). The Giveaway will run until 23 May 2015 and is open internationally. Please obtain permission from an adult if you are under 18.  A winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and contacted by email.  If no response is received within 7 days another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and May The Force Be With You!

Jen x

Sunday 19 April 2015

Birthday Stash!


I realised I'd not posted about my recent birthday pressies so thought I'd just 'do a quick one'  ...  as you do!

A picture of my Birthday Stash

'Something for the Weekend' and 'Greatest Ever 80s Groove' CDs, earrings, Mac Blushbaby and Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue fom the hubby and kids. H&M Gift voucher, Cath Kidson mug and chocolate eggs from a couple of lovely friends (they know me so well!). Bronzo Italia Rose Gold Bracelet from mum and dad. 

And last but not least if a girl can't treat herself to a Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm (whilst on offer with a third off from Escentual) and a Kenwood Mini Chopper (also on offer from Sainsburys - I know how to live don't I?) then when can she?

Oh and nearly forgot ... managed to get hold of the bright green shirt from New Look in the sale ...  see my wishlist here) just need a night out to wear it now ...!

A picture of my New Look shirt

And do you know what, that chopper - it's marvellous ... don't know what I did without it! Every girl needs a mini chopper!

Jen x

Friday 17 April 2015

Don't Stop The Music ...!


Yet again I've not published a music post for a while - there's been a lot going on down on the ranch and I've not felt so inspired  ... but that's changed and boy am I feeling it right now (this should read feelin' it but only cool young people would use this version right?).  Anyway ... this superb tune appeared on one of my new 80s funk/soul compilations and I heard it for the first time in years whilst driving to work (to the office of doom) one morning - put me in a good mood! It then popped up on the CD again one afternoon the other weekend as I was driving home from the gym - it was one of those surprisingly hot afternoons and I had the windows wound down with the bass turned up, shades on and my arm hanging out of the window ... cruising (as you do!) unfortunately I had no 'homies' with me in the car but all the same ... proper cool I was ... ;) !

Yarbrough & Peoples - Don't Stop the Music ...

From way back when in 1981 ...can't believe I had forgotten about this funky number ... 'The beat keeps going round and round - turns me upside down!'.  It has such a feel good factor and is so laid back I was almost horizontal in the drivers seat - not a good idea if you're driving obviously!

How silky smooth yet totally groovy is this tune and how darn clear are their voices ... if I could sing like that I would not be working in the office of doom!   Don't you just want to 'pour' yourself right onto that dance floor, as the lady says 'It feels so satisfying ... just because it's 2 o'clock don't stop the music ... !'  I do remember though (as some of you older gals will)  when the nightclubs actually did finish at 2 o'clock after the smoochies had been on -  it's not the same these days is it and my young colleagues cannot comprehend an 'establishment' closing 'so early'!   Good grief ... remember the smoochies at the end of the night ... actually I'd rather not remember all of them if you get my drift!

Which tune would you want to cruise along to with your 'homies' on a warm sunny afternoon?

Jen x


Sunday 12 April 2015

March Empties ...


Is it really that time again - doesn't seem like two minutes since the last 'Empties'?  I know we say this a lot but really where is this year going - already in April!  Rather late with this lot but here we go ...

Vaseline Double Invisible 48h Protection Anti-Perspirant - quite like this one. Just a decent all round spray, seems to 'keep one fresh' but doesn't choke you up with overly strong fumes!  I must admit I've not been very vigilant with the whole white/yellow mark thing - let's just say I haven't noticed any jumping out at me and also the 48hr claim, as I shower every day but yes, I'd buy again!

The Body Shop Green Apple Bath and Shower Gel - this is a bittersweet one! My lovely friend bought it for last year's birthday and I absolutely love it - wonderfully fresh, ripe fruity scent - a real pleasure for the senses!  Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available anymore (why do they do that thing!?)  otherwise it would be a definite repurchase!

Neal's Yard Geranium and Orange Hand Cream -  this was  a magazine freebie and a darn good one if I may say so!  I've saved for bed-time use as it has quite a thick consistency, it's gentle and moisturising for dry, chapped hands and smells good too!  A little goes a long way so it's lasted for ages.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream - this featured in my 2014 favourites. The Lipikar range is aimed at dry/ezcema prone skin and works to hydrate and lock moisture in. I find it leaves a slight 'tacky' feeling on the hands so again, use mainly before bed.  It's really soothing and non-stingy when my hands are feeling bit excema prone and sore and itchy. I tend to always have one in and stock up whenever on offer (mainly from the Escentual website!) as it ends up costing about £3 per tube so I can't afford not to.  I've already got another one ready to use! 

La Roche-Posay Hydreane Light Moisturising Cream - I think I'm a little addicted to French skincare - love this! You know when you find something that 'just works' for you?  I tend to switch between this and the Vichy Aqualia Light Pot. This tube is obviously more suitable for holidays/travel and I've used in the morning and/or night in Summer and Winter so it's a great all rounder.  I've already stocked up again!

L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Masque and Double Serum - I need to do a full review on this lot as I've been trying the whole range out for the last couple of months so I'll not go into too much detail but I've repurchased the masque whilst it was half price! (Actually I didn't go into any detail there did I but I'll post on it asap!)

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum - losing count of how many times I've repurchased this. I use it mainly in the morning under moisturiser.  I do sometimes dabble with other serums but always come back to this one.  The packaging has changed but the product remains the same.  If you've not read my full review (nearly a couple of years ago now!) it's here and needless to say I have another on the go!

So that's a bit more of my stash used up - ok some has been replaced but not all - I am trying here! What did you get through over last month?  Do you replace things as they run out or always have extras in stock?

Jen x

Friday 10 April 2015

An Unexpected NUXE Treat ...!


Ok so I need to set the scene ... indulge me!  You may have been aware that over the Easter weekend Marks & Spencer had an offer of 20% off selected beauty lines. I procrastinated for what seemed like an eternity over the Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Daily Defence DD Cream which had grabbed my attention for a while and seemed like an ideal product for the Summer. Reading this post over on Really Ree only made me want it more, I was inclined to go for the Medium shade but only having seen swatches online (it wasn't available instore in M&S a couple of weeks ago) it was difficult to make a decision.  I even tweeted Ree about it (what am I like!) and she reckoned it would be best to wait until I could swatch.  So I gave up the goat and ordered a few skincare items instead ... I then headed off to M&S this week to pick said items up!

A picture of Pure Skincare

Pure Super Grape Overnight Treatment Oil, Super Active Moisturiser, and Eye Serum - very reasonably priced (take a look here) and there are some good reviews on each one so looking forward to trying them out!

It must have been 'a sign' then that the Nuxe DD cream was just sitting there (nonchalantly!) as I walked past the beauty department. Well it had to be done ... I swatched the Medium - have to say it came up richer/deeper than expected but after trying a little on my kite I bit the bullet. I then ended up buying a little travel kit as well when I learned from the assistant that there was an offer of a free gift with any two Nuxe purchases (this must be instore only as I can't find it online) - either a choice of skincare items or a full size of the Prodigieux  Le Parfum.  I chose Le Parfum - it smells amazing - of summer - (like the Huile Prodigieuse) and is worth £43! What a fantastic offer? The girls instore told me the offer is on until 14 April so there's still time to check out your local M&S store if you're interested!

A picture of the Nuxe Travel Set, DD Cream and Prodigieux  Le Parfum

Are you a fan of Nuxe products?  Have you tried the Prodigieux  Le Parfum? Will you be popping off to M&S?

Jen x

Saturday 4 April 2015

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara - Review


It's no secret that I love a good mascara and as soon as I heard that the Maybelline Lash Sensational was a) a decent dupe for Benefit Roller Lash and b) on introductory offer I had to go out and grab it - you get that don't you? It's meant to give a multiplied, layered, super-black look to the lashes - you get it now don't you?

A picture of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
A picture of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

The curved brush is plastic and packed with teeth-like bristles ranging from small to big and the overall size is much fatter and heftier than the Roller Lash brush (which you can see in my review here).  Huge brushes aren't always the best option for my pathetic lashes but I find the key is to scrape the excess mascara off all sides of the brush  really, really well,  if not it can clog lashes up as the formula is quite thick and creamy and you have to comb through.  However, now I've got the hang of it I'm really pleased with the overall effect.  It grabs all available lashes -  is jet black and gives good volume, length, curl and definition, and I love the impression of thickness to the base of the lashes so I don't have to grab my eyeliner all the time!  One to two coats is enough for me but it's easy enough to add an extra layer for more drama later on - as long as you remember to scrape - never forget 'the rule of the scrape'!  I've applied first thing in the morning and it's lasted all day and into the night with no flaking or smudging - even after a) a night out or b) I've fallen asleep on the settee for an hour or so (hate that groggy feeling when you wake up on the settee and remember you still have to remove your make-up!). What I would say is that you do need a good eye-make up remover - I have to saturate my lashes for a minute or so, once the formula is broken down it can then be wiped off without removing those precious lashes in the process!

Before and after the Maybelline Lash Sensational multiplying experience ... two coats on here - you can see for yourself which is which ...

A picture of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

If you read my blog you may remember that I've never really got on with Maybelline mascaras, always wanted to but it never quite happened until I tried the Maybelline Big Eyes.  I'm happy to report that this is another success - it's a great mascara both for everyday use and nights out, gives instant 'oomph' to the old lashes and is a very decent price of £7.99.  I love good lashes for not a lot of dosh!

Have you tried the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara? Which mascara are you enjoying at the moment?

Jen x

PS - A small edit!  I suddenly remembered this morning (whilst in church of all places - how bad it that!) that I'd not really mentioned how Lash Sensational compares to Roller Lash - given that it's meant to be a dupe and all!  The Roller Lash wand grips and pulls the lashes up in a way no other wand has done and gives more length and cleaner definition.  It's a good one if you're in a massive rush and more of a daytime mascara I'd say.  Lash Sensational gives the lashes a thicker, heftier appearance but you do have to spend a bit more time on the whole process.  I suppose it just depends on how much you're willing to pay. £19.50 is a bit steep for me so I'd be drawn to the cheaper option and just work at it until I achieve the desired results - but that's just me! How about you?

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