Archive | Health and Beauty RSS feed for this section

Beauty Review: GHD eclipse

4 Mar

ironing hair

Before the tender age of 11 my life consisted of one big BHD. What sat on my head was essentially one very large ball of un-tame-able  fluff which nobody knew what to do with. My life abruptly and dramatically changed when my sister introduced to me to the magical world of straighteners.

Every morning I would wake up, fill my straightening pod with water, ready for the steam to let loose and my hair to transform. I started with a trusty set by Babyliss which featured removable plates leaving you with a whole-host of groovy options. You could start the week off by having sleek and straight hair*, Tuesday you could have a crimped mane and Wednesday you could go for the wavy option (unfortunately they only had three plates so Thurs-Sun was repeated along the exact same lines).

Throughout my 12 years I have acquired a strong line of various forms of straightening irons but often found even after an hour of strenuous ironing work, as soon as I made my entrance into school, my hard work failed me and the straightened concealer started to wear off, revealing my true in-between state of hideous hair.

This took an all-time low when my sister and I thought it a great idea to rid ourselves of them pesky straighteners and just go full-throttle and take a domestic iron to our heads. In all, not advisable, within this frenzy I managed to singe off a good chunk off my beloved sister’s locks, burn her neck to the point of 20 year scarring and irreversibly, completely ruin every single strand of our hair.

It was only at 15 when my mum bought us a set of GHDs that I started to be at one with my hair. GHDs are truly heaven-sent. I was mesmerized, hooked, and in total awe of this wonder product as soon as I glided it down the shaft of my sorry hair. Wow-oh-wow, I am IN. LOVE.

From then on in those GHDs have been my best friend. I’m now 23 and after 8 years of partnership I thought it was time to see what had happened to the straightening world. After nearly a decade I ventured back into the unknown. I wasn’t going to be so silly as to not get some form of GHDs, I was certainly not ready to part with the idea of trying out a new brand, oh dear God no. So I went for the new GHD eclipse…

ghd eclipse review

On first inspection these futuristic set look and feel a lot nicer than my previous pair. But it all comes down to performance ‘ey ladies? We used to think performance was all down to a high heat but the geniuses (genii?) at GHD headquarters made a ground-breaking discovery. The optimum heat to deliver the best and fastest results is a temperature of just 185°C. So all those apparatus that use 200°C+ are literally doing no good to your hair whatsoever. GHD scientists have therefore developed a tri-zone technology to take hair styling into a new era. They claim it can radically transform even the most challenging hair, quickly and easily without turning up the heat. The 185°C temperature is maintained from the minute the light says go until you turn it off. Simply plug it in, hold down the ‘GHD’ button until the little tune sings, wait for the inner light to stop flashing and you’re ready to rock. It takes seconds. Perfect for a quick and easy transformation on a hungover Monday morning.

ghd eclipse review

Due to my history of hair abuse, I certainly was in desperate need of a straightening tool that can’t damage my hair even further. With the GHD eclipse I get a sleek and shinier mane in a matter of minutes, with the confidence that my hair is becoming stronger with each stroke. The styling effects last longer than my previous set and the added bonus of the curved design means you can use these to create loose curls too!

They glide though my hair seamlessly and pain-free and give it that unbeatable finish like no other can. I am addicted all over again. 

I’ve managed to burn window sills, bed sheets, carpets, dressing tables, chairs and so on and so fourth, with my straighteners. Luckily then, these come equipped with a heat-resistant plate guard so they can cool down safely and efficiently.

The eclipse is the biggest thing to happen in the straightening world since the original GHD so I would thoroughly recommend the purchase. Bite the bullet and try something new. Your hair will thank you for it and it will certainly pay off.

Stylemaker, rulebreaker, gamechanger.

*kind of

~x~

Advertisements

Beauty: 5 Skincare Cult Classics

6 Feb

When it comes to skincare, there are a gargantuan amount of products out there. From anti-wrinkle busters to spot control creams, there seems to be a new must-have product that will solve all of your skin worries being introduced to us every day.

Whether it comes with flashy ads, Kate Moss as the ambassador or a quirky tag line – I’m only interested in products if they actually work. The best products out there are the ones that have stood the test of time.

Here are my top 5 skincare cult classics that do exactly what they say on the tin:

beauty skincarecult classics

1. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – Developed in 1930, this moisturizer has a cult following all across the globe. The combination of petrolatum as a skin soothing beta-hydroxy and vitamin E possesses countless applications. It’s the all-in-one master product that soothes skinburn, hydrates chapped lips and restores skin to a healthy, soft and supple state. I normally apply this all over my face just before bed as I know it’ll get a chunky amount of time to soak into the skin and work its magic. FYI: The name is said to have come from a loyal client of Arden, who noticed the balm completely cleared up her child’s skinned knee in just eight hours.

2. Vaseline – Pure petroleum jelly.  A little pot of petroleum jelly will get you a long, long way. Vaseline acts as a protective barrier to keep dryness at bay to leave your skin supple all year round. This is a multi-purpose wonder too. You can add a little lip liner to make a nice lip gloss, you can run it through your hair to use as a gentle serum to tame stray-aways, you can use it as an eyebrow gel to keep your unruly brows in place and you can rub onto your eyelashes before bed to help promote growth in lash thickness and length. You can even mix it with your lipstick to create a cream blusher and it’s also said to maintain your perfume scent for longer when applied at perfume points pre-spritzing. A beauty essential.

beauty skincarecult classics

3. Sudocrem – Another tub of joy that needs no gimmicks or pretty colours to sell out worldwide. The product speaks for itself. Although sold in the baby section as a nappy rash cream it’s also one of the best healing creams for spots. Pop a smidgen of this onto your spot before bed and you’ll wake up spot-free. It helps to dry out the skin and draw moisture to the surface to help the skin with its natural healing process. It helps with soothing bites and burns and prevents infection too. If you’ve got an open wound – Sudocrem is always the answer.

4. Coco Butter – Body moisturisers come in all different forms – from lotions to creams to perfumed to tan-enhancing; there are a ridiculous amount of moisturisers out there. If you’re looking for a reputable moisturiser that can be used every day, all over your body, won’t break the bank and will simply leave your skin hydrated and moisturised, Palmer’s Cocoa butter is the only option. Enriched with vitamin E, the thick consistency smells divine and soaks into your skin almost instantly. Perfect for keeping your entire body nourished, feeling soft and looking great!

beauty skincarecult classics

5. Cetaphil – I have yet to find a dermatologist who doesn’t rave about Cetaphil’s soap-free, ultra-gentle cleanser and lightweight moisturising lotion that refuses to upset even the most sensitive of sensitive skins. Its ultra-mild, non-comedogenic formula is hydrating without pore-blocking. This acne specialist, medical-based moisturiser is non-greasy, non-irritating and long-lasting. Clinically proven to bind water to the skin to prevent moisture loss and help maintain skin’s natural protective barrier, this is perfect for dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin types. to use pre-make-up application.

What are your skincare must-have’s that you cannot live without?

~x~

Beauty Review: bareMinerals Prime Time

24 Jan

Primers are those secretive little creatures that many have heard of but few know their intentions. I’ve only recently been introduced to the primer world and my oh my what a wonderful world it is.

You may think it a gimmicky, nonsense tool conjured up by the beauty companies for you to part with yet more of your pennies pounds on purchasing yet more make-up products. I thought the same, until I tried it out.

I’ve tried some 2-in-1 type primers before; where you get a foundation or a serum which includes a primer base within it but it wasn’t until I went the whole hog that I realised the true benefit of these curious critters.

I heard some great reviews for bareMinerals Prime Time so popped it on my Christmas wish list. Luckily, Santa my sister listened and I received a whole host of make-up goodies on 25th December including the gorgeous little black box of magic.
bareMinerals Foundation Primer Review

I tried it out straight away on Christmas morning. After the daily routine of cleansing, applying eye cream and moisturising I then delved into the teeny package. I really like the pump bottle of this product. One full pump is all you need for a complete, even layer for your entire face and neck. So, you know you’re using the right amount each and every time. No wasters here!

The texture is silky smooth and ultra-lightweight. It’s a creamy, serumy consistency that isn’t sticky or greasy and soaks into your skin quickly.

Once applied, you won’t see a huge, if any, difference to your skin. It’s only when you then apply your foundation that the true magic of this beauty bottle appears like a genie from the lamp.

With Prime Time you need a lot less foundation than you used to. A little smidgen of foundation goes a long way thanks to the silky base. Your foundation appears a lot more smoother and diminishes dryness, fine lines, blemishes and excess oil.

The pink, almost glittery colour exemplifies the true meaning of the ‘light-reflecting particles’ phrase so many beauty companies try and fob you off with. It really shines through to create a bright, healthy-looking glow. It helps to create a more natural look whilst simultaneously helps to cover up blemishes and dark circles more easily.

As with all bareMinerals products, it’s a mineral based formula meaning it doesn’t sit heavily on your skin and lasts a heck of a lot longer than most other brands.

bareMinerals Foundation Primer Review

Although small, it’ll last a lifetime*. I’ve used this most days since Christmas and it still feels pretty full.

It really is foundation’s long-lost soulmate. I don’t know how I every coped without it before now. I will never use foundation without using primer first, and that is a vow. Think of them as Richard and Judy, Ant and Dec, Hayley and Roy, Leon and June (you know, off Gogglebox); one simply doesn’t exist without the other by its side.

* Ok, well not exactly a lifetime, but a really, really long time.

~x~

Stocking Filler Ideas For Her

20 Dec

It’s now 5 sleeps to go until Christmas day! Ahhh! Where has the year gone? Time to scurry around the shops with dedication, ruthlessness and focus to finish up your Christmas gifts and get those stockings bulging full of gorgeous little treats that she’ll love.

I’ve scoured high and low for some great little stocking fillers so you’re last minute dash around town is as calm as can be.

Stocking fillers for girls

1. Santa iPhone 5 case – Cath Kidston
Father Christmas meets Cath Kidston – finally! I love the Christmas range from CK (Move over Calvin Klein we’ve got a new CK in town!). It’s full of gorgeous little reindeer and Santa treats that are cute, kitsch and super festive.  If she has an iPhone 5 – this is a guaranteed winner.

2. Detox pamper pack – Fashion Union
Come January, the detox starts again, yikes! Get her ready with this gorgeous little pamper pack. Don’t worry it hasn’t got dried fruit, protein powder or rabbit food seeds in – just good, hearty, natural products to beautify her and leave her feeling relaxed and calm. The package includes a hair mask, face mask, foot cream and eye pads. You know that dull January day when everybody is back to work and feeling a little sorry for themselves? The pamper pack will be her saviour so she keeps perky and pretty.

3. Knitted snowman socks – Topshop
Socks as stocking fillers will never, ever grow old. Everybody will always need socks. These sweet little snowman socks are knitted with thick wool to keep her tootsies toasty this winter.

4. 2014 vintage butterfly diary – WHSmith
Along with the obligatory socks, a diary is also a must-have gift to fill up her stocking. This cute little butterfly one is vintage looking; adopting that good old-fashion shabby chic look. With a week to view layout, as well as some useful added-extras such as travel info, addresses and phone numbers, she can keep well organised for the year ahead.

5. Soap & Glory mini hand food – Boots
The scent of this stuff is amazing. I know not of anybody who hasn’t fallen in love with hand food. This mini version is only £2.50 so is a cheap and cheerful way to pack out her stocking with a beauty essential.

6. Best of Benefit set – Boots
If she likes Benefit then she’ll love this. And if she hasn’t ever used Benefit then she’ll also love this. With all the best-selling, award-winning products in one set, she can try out the number one items and see what all the fuss is about. For only £24.50 this is unbelievable value so grab it if you still can!

7. Cath Kidston compact mirror – Got to have it
Every girl needs a small compact mirror to keep in her handbag. Whether out shopping or on a date, if you don’t have a mirror to hand – you’ll regret it. Whether you need to re-apply your lippy, volumise your hair or check your teeth for any cling-ons, a compact mirror is your best friend. I love this Cath Kidston one is simple yet chic and the perfect size for beauty checks on the go.

8. Neom travel candle – John Lewis
Neom candles smell incredible. Ok, so they are on the more expensive side, but they are fully worth every penny. It will fill the room with a gorgeous aroma and lasts for far longer than the cheaper alternatives! This small one (unsure as to why they’re called ‘travel candles’ – I prefer just ‘small’) are ideal for her to indulge in a preview of the luxury brand.

9. Santa’s lip scrub – Lush
I’ve recently reviewed this product and loved it! Ideal for winter months when lips can take a battering, Santa’s lip scrub uses caster sugar and coconut oil to reveal gorgeous kissable lips perfect for puckering up under the mistletoe. 

10. Lip crayon – Topshop
Topshop’s range of make-up is surprisingly good. This chubby lip crayon is great for applying on-the-go. Its matte finish is ideal for during the day and keeps your lips soft and well moisturised. Simply apply some lip gloss over the top and you have instant night-time makeup.

11. Tweezerman tweezers – Feel Unique
The God of all tweezers is Tweezerman. With a slanted edge you’re sure to catch all the difficult-to-reach eyebrow hairs. They grip precisely even the shortest of hairs because the tips are hand-filed and perfectly aligned to grab the hair every time. They also come in a range of gorgeous colours!

12. Heart coin purse – Not on the high street
Finish off her stocking with love. This heart print purse is perfect for keeping all her shrapnel in tow. The cotton has been laminated to protect against scuffs and stains and comes with this eye-catching red heart design and a vintage style gold clip frame.

~x~

Beauty Review: Santa’s Lip Scrub

17 Dec

My lips get awfully dry and tight in the winter. With dead skin falling off likes leaves from the trees, it’s certainly not a good look as you pucker up under the mistletoe. However, yanking it off just results in more pain, blood and an unruly stinging sensation – not so good for mistletoe fun either. With my lips taking a battering from the cold and bitter winds, applying lipstick also becomes a nigh-on impossibility as it just highlights my crackling lips even more *sob*. Then, as I was attempting to start my Christmas shopping earlier this month, I found this little miracle – Santa’s Lip Scrub by Lush Cosmetics.

Santa's Lip Scrub

You dab a teeny amount of the sugar scrub on your lips and rub generously to exfoliate and smooth away any dry bits. Made with caster sugar, coconut oil and extracts of cherries and dates, you scrub and soften to reveal truly kissable Christmas lips.

The coarse sugar works to buff away dry skin on and around your lips and smooth out any lumps and bumps on the softer parts, perfect for treating areas where the weather has dehydrated them and leaving a perfect base for a thick layer of hydrating lip balm before you go to bed or just before you put on your lipstick so you don’t have any straggly bits for it to cling to.

The fizzy cola flavour tastes just like the sweet shop favourite and liking it off your lips is just as fun as applying it. It also comes topped with a few edible sugar hearts, which is a really cute addition.

Santa's Lip Scrub Hearts

This festive treat is a perfect stocking filler for all beauty junkies out there, or just the dry-lip-types too. I happen to be both so I think I’ll keep this as a little Christmas present for myself! At £5.50 a tub, it comes in at a reasonable price and, as you only need a teeny bit per use, it will last you for ages!

With Lush, you know you’re getting a reliable product that isn’t filled with any harsh chemicals or artificial crap. It’s all natural goodness. I can’t step foot in that shop without sniffing and ooing at all the amazing, innovative stuff they have on offer.

They also have a limited edition ‘Santa Baby’ – a gorgeous cherry red lip tint. It dries a nice matte shade meaning minimal smudging or wearing off. It is the ideal partnership to go with your new scrub or a great little gift set for a friend for just over £10.

Lush also do an array of other flavours too such as, Popcorn, Bubblegum and Mint Julips. They all smell good enough to eat and do a great job in creating soft, kissable lips. Time to pucker up!

~x~

Beauty Review: E.l.f

8 Dec

Eyes lips face, or Elf cosmetics as it’s known, is an affordable online make-up brand. Although it’s based in New York, it has now reached international success, largely due to their website.

The inexpensive cosmetics line claims to sell high-quality products for a fraction of the price. So I put it to the test.

Benefit’s She Laq is a make-up miracle. I included it as one of my fashion and beauty essentials because I can literally not live without it.  If I didn’t have this beauty wonder, I would simply, point-blank refuse to put eye shadow on. You brush the magic little potion onto your eye-lids, leave to dry, and then apply your eye shadow. And that’s it, you are set for the day knowing at no point will your eye shadow run, fade, crease or disappear. It’ll be with you ’til the bitter end. Sadly, for some profound reason they have decided to discontinue this genius product. So, after hunting high and low for a replacement, I found this. And at £3.75 it’s more than £15 cheaper than Benefit’s so I gave it a go.

Elf Makeup Lock & Seal

True to word, this elf number is eye shadows’ little helper.

Unlike She Laq you apply the Makeup Lock and Seal on top of your eye shadow (alternatively, you can mix it in with the eye shadow but I prefer the former). When I first applied the product it stung – it really, really stung – so beware not to get it into your eye. It is a lot more watery and a lot less sticky than She Laq. I applied it onto black eye shadow first thing in the morning to monitor the staying power easily. It did keep my eye shadow on all day without much creasing, smudging or fading. However, because you apply it on top, or with, your eye shadow, it is a lot harder to use multiple colours. Although it’s certainly not as good as She Laq, it’s a very good alternative, and comes at a bargain price. Unlike She Laq it also increases the intensity of your makeup colours. Black eye shadow sometimes becomes a lot greyer when applied to the skin. Once you brush this over the top it instantly becomes jet black again, more exaggerated, defined and extreme. It dries really quickly and makes my eye shadow stay put. I’m so happy I’ve found an alternative, now I can wear eye shadows again!

Elf Contouring Blush and Bronzing Cream

One thing I hate about bronzers is that most contain shimmer/glitter which isn’t needed when you’re trying to create a contouring effect and only attracts unwanted attention to something that is meant to be an illusion. When I saw this contouring set I immediately hit the purchase button. They have two palette options; I went for the St. Lucia colour.

The bronzer is completely matte and creates that perfect shadowiness you need to create the effect of more defined cheekbones.  The cream is so much better than any other powders I’ve used. As you apply it with your fingers you can actually feel precisely where the hallows of cheeks are and therefore where best to apply it. It’s also so much easier to blend and build coverage, and you only need a smidgen to create a big effect – so this will last forever! The pinkier blush is to be applied on the apples of your cheeks and it subtly brightens up your face, creates further dimensions, and develops a healthier glow. For just £3.75, this is a makeup must-have – I love it!

Elf All Over Cover Stick

This All Over Cover-Stick is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. It only costs £1.50 so it’s still a true budget buy.  It’s way too thick to be used all-over as a foundation but it’s not light enough to conceal and highlight the under-eye area (I went for the lightest shade too). It’s more for larger problematic areas of the face you want to camouflage. It smells gorgeous and is really smooth and creamy but doesn’t blend too well and can stick to blemishes rather than hide them. It looks quite cakey and sits on the skin rather than sinks into it. For a better effect mix it with a serum or moisturiser on your hand and then apply for a silkier finish.

Overall, elf is full of gorgeous little creatures that give a great helping hand in your makeup routine. To visit the website just click here.

~x~

Beauty Review: Ojon

28 Nov

Ojon Review

After trying Ojon’s hair treatment a while back I have been an avid fan of all things Ojon ever since. They’re always running brilliant offers on their website and in selected stores (last year they ran a great promotion where you took in an empty bottle of shampoo or conditioner from any brand and swapped it for full sized bottles of their shampoo and conditioner set) so it’s always worth taking a peak at their website.

Last month they gave away a free full sized bottle of ‘Rare Blend Protecting Treatment’ (RRP:£23) when your bought any other product, and with postage being completely free, I couldn’t resist.

I’m a sucker for serums so this ‘Instant Restorative Hair Serum’ (RRP: £16) instantly caught my eye. My hair is ridiculously frizzy so I need all the help I can get in taming my mane. This 25ml bottle aims to strengthen hair against breakage, fix flyaways and tame frizz, as well as restoring shine and softness. After washing my hair and blot drying it with a towel I worked it through the ends of my hair. It comes with a little pipette so it immediately brings back fun memories of science class. At  first I thought this was a really handy bit of kit to ensure you’re always using the correct amount. Rather than an ambiguous ‘coin sized’ or ‘pea sized’ amount, with this, I thought, you just fill the pipette and you’ll know you’ve used the right amount every time. – Wrong. You should only apply one to two drops – not a whole pipette full! After re-applying the correct amount second time around, it left my hair silky smooth and it really did tame frizz and bring back the shine. It also makes it easier to style and looks more glossy and salon-like. It did, however, make my hair feel a little greasy and made it quite volume-less and flat so I would only apply a drop or two to the very tips of my hair in future.

Ojon instant restorative hair serum

So, onto my freebie. I straighten my hair everyday so I will always invest in anything that says ‘protect’ or ‘treatment’ to safeguard all the injuries caused. This spray bottle claims to help hydrate, condition and detangle to prevent breakage as well as protect hair from heat damage. With styling products you can see results instantly, however, when it comes to treatments and preventative products – results aren’t very clear. So it’s hard to say whether there is a noticeable difference or not. Nonetheless, I would recommend this product for all the good that it’s doing behind-the-scenes. It smells heavenly and keeps your hair moisturised without weighing it down. I shake it up and spray this all over my hair – from root to tip, just before blitzing it with the hair dryer. It smells good, looks good and does good.

ojon rare blend protecting treatment

And voila! With these two products I’m left with soft, shiny, fizz-less hair that’s nourished and healthy. Perfect.

For more about hair, click here.

~x~