Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Birchbox Review - Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips

I don't think I have ever used a product with such a random name! But random it's not.. This balm was actually used for nipples on ladies who were breastfeeding in hospital way before it was discovered as being a great lip balm. Thank god that one day a nurse decided to share her secret because it's absolutely amazing. It's still slightly weird using it knowing its core purpose but if you're asking does it do the job? Well yes, it does.

This 100% natural, rich, odourless, hypoallergenic and ultra effective lip balm, made out of Lanolin, is great for the approaching winter months. It's extremely thick - almost waxy in texture. I had a struggle trying to get the product out of the tube at first, but luckily a little goes a long way. I usually warm the balm up between my fingers and then apply to my lips. It's still quite a stiff, thick texture but it feels really lovely on and does and incredibly good job at smoothing out my pout. Lanolin has great healing properties and it's pureness means that it's not harmful at all. It gives the lips a little bit of a sheen which I really like - it almost reminds me of vaseline but thicker and it lasts longer.

As far as this product goes, I do like it. It's quite unglamourous. I usually like products that smell really lovely or have special packaging. However I expect this product to be similar to Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - it doesn't appear anything incredible but it's multi purpose and one of the best at its job. You can use the Original Nipple balm on your dry skin, cuticles and feet along with the obvious purposes.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips - £11.50 from Beautybay

Monday, 28 October 2013

Brand Test - Kiehl's!

Here's the first in my new Brand Test series, where I test out a bunch of samples from a brand to get an idea of their products, so that I can report back to you :) I hope you enjoy and let me know what brand you would like me to do next in the comments below.

You can read my review of the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment here.

Kiehl's Creme de Corps Body Butter: I was so excited to give this a go after seeing it on the shelf and hearing so many great things about it. I knew that this was meant to be one of the best body butter's out there and was well known in the beauty community. Unfortunately I just don't see the fuss about it though. It doesn't smell particularly nice, and although it did moisturise my skin, there wasn't anything spectacular about the amount of hydration. It didn't last for days so it wasn't particularly ground breaking. I don't know if I have missed a trick with this product but I just don't see the fuss, so I doubt I will be purchasing the full size product.

Kiehl's Creme de Corps - £44 from Kiehl's

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer: I believe that this is meant to be one of Kiehl's best sellers. But like before with the Creme de Corps, I simply can't see the beauty myself. As soon as I apply this to my skin it feels like I'm applying SPF. I get that thick greasy texture which I really don't like. It leaves my face looking shiny and I have that underlying feeling that this is going to clog my pores. It notes on the packet that it is for all skin types but I simply don't feel comfortable using it on my combo/oily skin. I find that I get incredibly oily throughout the day wearing this and have to blot several times. It might work quite nicely for a dryer skin but personally I like a lighter moisturiser that still gives me great hydration, like my Mac Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel. I don't think I will be purchasing this one either.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser - £24 from Kiehl's

Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50: I am terrible when it comes to applying SPF to my face. It always breaks me out and it doesn't feel like the nicest texture so I do try and avoid it sometimes. Therefore I was both slightly dreading and looking forward to testing this product. I wanted it to be an SPF that worked beautifully for my combo/oily skin, that didn't break me out and gave my skin the protection it needed. However at the same time I was worried that it was going to clog my pores and make me break out almost immediately. Having said that, this never happened during the time I tested the sample (and I used it all up). Yes it didn't feel like the most comfortable product on my skin. It still felt like I was applying SPF but I really noticed a difference with using it. My skin looked a lot less red and almost looked healthier. The product gave me a glow-from-within appearance. Having said all of this, I still don't feel like I would run out and buy it. I want to get my hands on another sachet if possible so I can test it out for longer. I did have a few spots towards the end of using this SPF, but I can't be sure it was down to the product itself. It's a very intriguing thought that I might have found one that works for me though. I love that it helps protect against pigmentation irregularities and premature skin aging so we will have to see. Watch this space!

Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 - £31 from Kiehl's

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Wrinkle Smoothing Cream

I can't say that I was too eager to try this product at first. I've not really heard too much about it and I've never tried a Clarins product before now, so there was nothing to really pull me in. However after I had finished some of my other eye cream samples, I thought I would pull this out and give it a go. It's lucky that I did because this has to be the best eye cream I have used so far and I can't wait to go out and buy the full sized jar.

The Clarins Extra-Friming Eye wrinkle Smoothing Cream aims to reduce the signs of wrinkles, crows feet and fatigue. It contains blackcurrent bud extract and shea butter to soothe, moisturise and nourish the delicate eye area. Rose wax forms a protective film to reduce the look of fine lines. It is aimed at women in their 40's but I have found that it works wonders for me so I don't feel like that statement should put anyone off.

I have only been using this eye cream at night as I tend to use my Origins GinZing Eye Cream in the morning for it's brightening qualities. You can see my review of that here, but as a quick side note, i'm not a fan. Back to this Clarins eye cream, it is more lotion based. It comes out of the tube looking like a cream but as soon as you touch it you notice its thinner consistency which makes it incredibly easy to tap gently into the under eye area.

I see instant results with this cream. I think everyone has fine lines under their eyes at this age. They aren't necessarily the type of wrinkles that this cream is aimed to attack - they are just expression lines from where the skin folds. This cream works wonders with mine and after applying it I find that they are puffed out and smoothed immediately. It makes the under eye look a lot healthier and more radiant.

You are meant to use this morning and evening so I imagine this to be great under makeup. It doesn't leave a greasy barrier like some eye creams would do. It simply does the job effortlessly. I'm happy to start preventing wrinkles now so that when I'm forty the job is half way done!

What's your favourite eye cream? Have you tried this one?

Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Wrinkle Smoothing Cream - £31.20 from Escentual

Saturday, 26 October 2013

This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less

First of all, I appreciate that this picture is a little dark. However as it's coming around to halloween, I hope you don't mind. It's because of my little Paddy Pumpkin in the back there :) Let me know if you like him in the comments below!

I've never really bought into products that help you sleep. Normally I'm quite a good sleeper and don't need to resort to any Horlicks or sleeping aids. However when I saw this rollerball mentioned on Vivianna's Youtube Channel, I knew I had to give it a go. I haven't been sleeping so well as of late and have started to wake up multiple times a night. It had got to the point where I really just needed a solid nights sleep if I was going to be of any use to anyone during the day. So I popped out and bought this from Boots, and truth is I like it.

Deep Sleep Stress Less aims to 'clear your head so you can breathe more deeply and stress less'. Sounds wonderful doesn't it? It's 2013 and everyone seems to be stressed now so I can't think of anything better than a stress remedy that will help you sleep better. The product is free from all of those nasties such as mineral oil, parabens, sulphates, colour and fragrance which is a huge plus for me. The  packaging is all eco-friendly too.

I pop a little bit of this oil on my temples before I go to sleep. I smell the oil straight from the rollerball first and put a little on my hand too so that I can smell it again if I want to. The scent is quiet lavender but it also has notes of eucalyptus, frankincense and coconut. I'm surprised that I like it quite as much as I do considering that lavender usually gives me a headache. Something about the scent really is relaxing though.

I have been sleeping so much better after using this. When I wake up I genuinely feel like I've been in a deep sleep. I don't necessarily feel fresher at the moment because it feels like someone's woke me from the depths of my sleeping when I'm not ready. It's probably because I'm still catching up on the well needed kip that I lost. Either way, I have been sleeping straight through with this product which is great.

Having said all that, I do still think that some of it is all in my mind. Yes, I have been sleeping better on a whole. However there have been some nights where I have been rolling around trying to get some sleep and it's just not working. Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect rolling a few oils on my temple to help me forget anything that's racing through my mind but I figured it would be a little bit more relaxing than it already is.

So take this with a pinch of salt. I really enjoy this product and it is amazing. I love using it and will continue to use it. But at the same time it's not a miracle worker. If there are some heavy thoughts on your mind it won't help you forget them but it will help you breathe and try to calm down so you can finally get the good nights sleep you need.

If you don't fancy the rollerball, there is always the pillow spray and a range of other different products from this line that you might like to try out.

This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less - £12 from Boots

Friday, 25 October 2013

Empties #3

I'm back again which a bunch more empties to share with you.

I only started collection my empty products a few months ago and I'm surprised at the rate in which I do finish them off. I figured that it would take me months and months to get together enough products to make a post about it but that turns out to not be the case. I don't know what it is about finishing a product that is so satisfying but it always makes me feel good.

I hope you enjoy seeing what I've got and my mini review of each product. Let me know what you've been finishing up and loving in the comments below.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Lush Mask of Magnaminty Fresh Face Mask

I have been putting off writing this review because I wasn't sure what to say about the product. I've only tested this a couple of times and I've just decided that enough is enough and this simply isn't the product for me.

After discovering Lush's Fresh Face Masks by using Cupcake and falling in love, I really had high hopes for this Mask of Magnaminty version. It had some good reviews from main beauty gurus and I just thought it would be a fabulous addition to my mask-loving collection.

Just like Cupcake, this product aims to help with breakouts and spots. It is meant to be your saviour for those real stubborn last-minute breakouts that you want gone asap. This sounded perfect for me as when I bought this I was suffering with cystic acne and absolutely nothing was making the problem budge.

It looks like green paste and smells super minty, as you would expect considering it contains peppermint oil. Slather this on your face and you will apparently reveal clearer looking skin after 10-15 minutes? Hmm, not for me! I broke out... SO bad after using this mask. I just literally didn't even want to touch it again it was that bad. I have absolutely no idea what it was that my skin really didn't like but it has really put me off giving it another go to be honest with you. I just don't want to risk it.

I feel really disappointed as Cupcake was so skin-changing for the better and I really wanted to delve further into the world of Lush Fresh Face Masks, but this time I got burned. Now I just want to stick to Cupcake for fear of wasting my money on another product that might break me out just as bad. As far as I can tell, Lush aren't actually selling this mask any more. I can't find it on the website. I'm not sure if that is because of their limited edition Christmas products (which look amazing by the way! In love!).

If you have any recommendations of Lush masks to try, please leave them in the comments below. It would be really nice to know if you experienced the same breakouts after using this mask too or if it is just me?

Lush Mask of Magnaminty Face Mask - £4.99 from Lush

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Monday, 21 October 2013

Soap and Glory Hand Maid

Today's post is a little bit different as I'm going to be talking about Antibacterial Gel. I know, that sounds a little bit random but this one from Soap and Glory is absolutely amazing. I used to use a Carex version which had a great scent, but the packaging on this was one was cuter and with Soap and Glory I knew it was going to smell heavenly too.

In days like these its almost essential for everyone to carry around an antibacterial gel of some sort. I can be quite a germaphobe. I'm probably not quite as strict as some may be, but I still don't like the thought of having dirty hands. I like to use my hand gel before I apply my makeup so that I know I'm not passing any horrible bacteria onto my face that may cause me to break out. I use it before eating too, especially if I'm eating with my hands - yuck! Let's face it though, sometimes you just want to freshen up - especially if you live in London and are on and off the underground like a hot potato. I have to admit holding onto those hand rails always gives me the heebie-jeebies.

For those who don't know what an antibacterial gel is, you simply pop some on your hands and rub it in. It dries within 30 seconds and kills 99.9% of bacteria on your hands. They are a complete lifesaver and Soap and Glory actually make using a product like this enjoyable.

Hand Maid not only has a cute name but smells fabulous too. It is described as a floral fragrance with extracts of grapefruit but my best friend always says it smells like peaches to her. It's a cute pink colour but instantly goes transparent when you've rubbed it in - don't worry, you don't end up with hands that are tinged a slightly funny colour. It comes in a handy small bottle that is super easy to carry in your handbag. Finish off with Soap and Glory's Hand Food and you'll be winning.

Over all it's simply an essential for 2013. Plus when a product looks as pretty as this, there's really no excuse to not use it.

Soap and Glory Hand Maid - £2.50 from Boots

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Pixi Glow Tonic

Does anyone remember that one specific video done by the Pixiwoo girls and Caroline Hirons that made Pixi Glow Tonic blow up in the UK? You can see it here.

Everyone wanted to try it, everyone just wanted their hands clasped around it and I was one of them. Knowing that it was incredibly hard to get your hands on due to stock levels, I wasn't feeling very hopeful. However after I went down to London one day, I decided to visit the only Pixi store in the UK and was lucky to be able to get myself a bottle there and then. There had been a delivery of stock the day before and the lovely cashier was frantically on the phone with orders and packing up bottles ready to ship the next day.

I did consider getting myself the P50 Lotion from Liberty which is a more expensive version of the Pixi Glow, but when one bottle is around £50 and you're feeling pretty strapped for cash there's not really a question about it. Pixi Glow Tonic is meant to be pretty much the same thing for a fraction of the price so I was sold straight away.

If you don't already know, this toner contains Glycolic acid which is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). Sound familiar? The term AHA has been thrown around the beauty community a lot in recently months. I'm far from an expert but from what I know, there are a group of natural acids which can be applied to the skin to buff away the dead skin cells and reveal a brighter and softer layer of skin underneath. This helps to keep you looking more radiant and healthy. Who doesn't want that? The acids can help with fine lines and wrinkles whilst the Aloe and Witch Hazel tone and firm.

I generally use my toner after cleansing. I take two pumps on a cotton pad and then swipe it all over my face, being very careful to avoid the eye area. 

I started off by using this twice a day every day which you can do as the toner is so gentle. However I felt that this was too harsh for me. My face started to feel a bit dry and overdone so I limited it down to around 4 days a week and only in the morning on that day. I've found that this works a lot better for me. I still get all the benefits without any of the tightness.

If your looking for a great exfoliating toner, I definitely recommend trying this one out regardless of your skin type. I believe that it is marketed as a normal to dry toner by I have Combo/oily skin and it works perfectly well on me.

Pixi Glow Tonic - £16 from the Pixi Store, Carnaby Street

Saturday, 19 October 2013

L'oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm

This is another one of those products that I picked up when I was away on holiday this year. I can't believe I bought so much! I'm still ploughing through it all now. So yes, this is one for my American readers and indeed for anyone else who can get their hands on this mask - just not the UK unfortunately. I'm not sure when this is coming out in the UK or if indeed it ever is. America have had it for a while now so I would have thought that if it was going to launch over here, L'Oreal would have done so already. Anyway, rant over.

I picked up this mask because of Tati from Glamlifeguru. She raved about this enough before I went away that I knew it was a must have on my trip to CVS. It was so cheap for such a great amount of product and claimed to do wonders that, according to Tati, were completely true.

I do like to use a lot of heat on my hair - whether that's from blowdrying, straightening or even curling my hair on the odd occasion. Split ends are my nemesis, along with frizz and the fact that my hair likes to stick out at all different angles. I was hoping that this mask would smooth the hair follicle, help to repair the split ends before my next cut and generally make my hair silky soft and smelling great.

After reading the pot I realised that it said it would do pretty much just that. It claims to repair 1 years worth of damage after one use. I was skeptical about that but it sounds like everything I just reeled off to you on the tub. The perfect mask for me.

It felt like a deep treatment mask so I only used it once a week. However, after further inspection at the minuscule writing on the tub, I can see that you are meant to use it daily. Oh dear. So naturally I started using it more frequently - not quite every day as I don't like to wash my hair that frequently but at least 3 times a week. Unfortunately the effects were still the same as when I was using it just the one time a week.

I really don't see that much hydration from this mask which it claims it will help with along with 4 other benefits. My hair feels slightly stronger and is less likely to fall out, but it feels rougher than ever. It's far from the sleek and smooth style I had hoped for. The product is quite good at helping with my split ends but unless I use a shine spray, my hair can still look dull and lifeless. Overall it is a bit of a hit and miss product. Because it doesn't quite do what it says it will, I don't really like using it all that much. It's such a shame because I had such high hopes for this treatment and there is so much product left to use up.

I have really put off writing this review so that I could test this product over and over to make sure I'm  positive about what I'm saying. I always get really confused when I don't like a product that other people rave about because I feel like the odd one out. Regardless of this I would have to say that I don't really rate this product and I wouldn't buy it again.

L'oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm - $6.99 from CVS

Friday, 18 October 2013

Autumn/Winter Fashion Essentials

As last week's video was all about my beauty saviours during the colder months, I thought it would only be fitting for my first fashion video to be my Autumn/Winter essentials too.

Here I show you my favourite coat, scarf, jumper, leggings, jeans, pjs and boots. Hopefully it will give you some ideas of how to expand your winter wardrobe - either way, it's always nice to have a nosey in other people's closets right?

I hope you enjoy and I'll speak to you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish

I have only ever used one lip scrub before this one. It was edible, made my lips silky smooth and tasted like mint chocolate. Naturally this Fresh Sugar Lip Polish had a lot to live up to. But I clearly thought it was worth the test otherwise I wouldn't have asked my boyfriend to pick me one up from Canada on his business trip. Missglamorazzi or Ingrid on Youtube raves about using this product in winter to help keep her lips silky smooth. I always suffer from chapped lips at this time of the year so it seemed like a match made in heaven to me.

Although I do love my Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub, I find that it dries up and goes out of date before I get the chance to finish a tub. It doesn't seem to completely scrub away every last flake and moisturise my lips so I was looking for something that would last longer, really get all of those bits removed and moisturise at the same time.

From pictures that I had seen, I assumed that this product came in a glass jar so I was surprised to find out it was plastic. Having said that, I think I prefer it as it's so light. The packaging still looks great. I love the clean design and how the lid colour matches the scrub. It's the little details like that which I really appreciate.

This literally looks like a thick gel brown sugar scrub. However looks can sometimes be deceiving. For a start this is most definitely not edible. It doesn't smell that great either which is a bit of a bummer. It's also not very gel-like. It's quite thick in consistency which I prefer as the Lush scrub always felt a bit loose.

I massage this onto my lips 2-3 times a week and find that it really keeps my lips flake free. Although the scrub is a little smoother than the Lush version, I find that I can buff away for longer without the sugar melting and accidentally getting eaten! The oils and Shea Butter included in the scrub moisturise my lips more than the Lush version ever could, even when it was brand new! I'm left with a pout that feels so luxurious, I can't wait to go and slather it up with lip balm to really appreciate it's softness.

It's hard to scrub the inner parts of my lips as I'm so conscious about not eating any of the product. This would be the downside as I tend to miss bits on the odd occasion. You are meant to wipe the product off with a damp face cloth which ruins the fun of a lip scrub for me after enjoying the Mint Chocolate version so much. However if I wanted to go purely on what works best, it would have to be Fresh.

You have to consider all the angles though. Lush doesn't last as long and doesn't do as good of a job but it's edible and easy to get your hands on. Fresh does an incredible job but is harder to get your hands on in the UK and isn't edible at all. Dilemma! Fresh has to win for me as it's the most effective product but once I've finished my pot I don't know what I'll do. Probably go back to Lush in all honesty, and bide my time until someone I know goes back to states in all honesty! Haha.

Have you tried these scrubs or any other fantastic ones? Let me know in the comments below!

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish - $22.50 from Sephora
                                  £12.87 from Amazon

Monday, 14 October 2013

NOTD - Jacava Nail Polish in Toffee Apple + Top Coat

2 coats

I'd never tried a Jacava Nail Polish before now so it seemed only fitting to test out a red as my first choice, considering that Christmas Cola advert is driving around the corner and Autumn always reminds me of those red, orange and brown colours. Toffee Apple* is almost Oxblood but there is that really rich dense finish missing which makes it a little bit more seasonal I feel. 

The brand's USP is '8 Free'. Jacava have removed 8 harmful chemicals from their polishes to make them as healthy for the nails as possible without scrimping on the quality. The luxury, quintessentially british brand print their name proudly on each bottle with 22ct gold. Personally I think that part is a little extravagant but it certainly made my polish feel that little bit more special which is definitely the aim.

The product is super opaque. After one coat you could arguably stop there and just paint a top coat before you're ready to go - it's that good. The pigmentation is literally one of the best I have ever tried. The brush is a little thin but covers the nail neatly in 3 easy stripes. It then proceeds to dries ridiculously quick to a super-shine finish. Naturally I feel that the more gloss I can get the better. So for that extra overload I popped on their lovely top coat which really set the whole look off. It's fair to say I was pretty impressed with the polish at this point.

After a couple of days wear there was minor chipping on the ends of my nails, but nothing that you would write home about. It was barely noticeable to anyone but me who was scrupulously looking out for any signs of damage. After a hair wash and a game of tenpin bowling or two, the polish wasn't looking so chic but I wouldn't really expect it to.

Overall I was a little disappointed that it chipped so early on, even though it was only minor. The chipping only got worse from this point onwards and I feel that for the price, the polish should have been able to hold out a little longer. 

Jacava polish is definitely great for girls who like to feel special and switch up their polish multiple times a week. It is less harsh on the surface, dries quickly and looks super glossy - just be prepared for the upkeep, or try a different top coat!

Jacava Nail Polish in Toffee Apple* - £14.50 from Jacava

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Silky Smooth Skin with Sk:n Clinics!

I don't know about you, but in the winter time I can get a little bit lazy when it comes to my beauty care regime. During the summer, I like to break out all of the scrubs and creams to keep my skin feeling soft as a babies bottom. However when the colder weather rears it's ugly head, I get tempted to leave shaving my legs for one day longer - especially if I'm just going to be wearing leggings and the boyfriend's not coming round that evening. I'm not alone in this thinking, am i?

Well, if you're like me and feeling especially lazy, there's a quick and easy way to stay fuzz-free this year with minimal time and effort - Laser hair removal from Sk:n Clincs!

They provide a range of different hair removal treatments, so whether it's your bikini line and under arms that want sorting, or simply your legs and that pesky upper lip, they have the solution.

The laser hair treatment can take between 15-45 minutes depending of which type of removal you choose. The treatment works by focusing a laser beam at the root of the hair follicle which halts the hairs growth. You are provided with all the right protection goggles and cooling gel is applied to the skin to help settle any redness.

Permanent laser hair removal is generally a painless procedure. Some can feel a slight stinging or tingling but nothing too uncomfortable. If us girls can cope with waxing the hair off of every inch of our bodies, I take a possible tingle as enjoyment! You are advised to have the treatment every 4-6 weeks for 8 months to gain full benefit for a permanent solution. After the last treatment in your course you get invited back for a free glycolic peel to feel really smooth, exfoliated and revitalised. Sounds amazing to me!

Sk:n clinics provide a range of different aftercare treatments that you might be interested in taking a look at as well. They have their own brand products along with many mainstream lines such as Avene and SkinMed too!

Prices can vary depending on the area you are getting treated. The larger area of skin, the more it will cost. Having said that, if you're thinking of trying something like this out, now's the time to do it. Sk:n clinics are offering 30% off all facial laser hair removal treatments and when you buy treatments in bulk, you can get up to 25% off.

This October they also have 25% off acne treatments and 20% off anti-agining treatments plus much more. Their treatments vary from microdermabrasion to tattoo removals and teeth whitening so there really is something for everyone! If you're thinking of purchasing a beauty gift for a daughter, friend or boyfriend which they will really appreciate, definitely check out what Sk:n Clincs have to offer. They are a respected company with all the right accreditations to help you feel safe in your choices. To hear from people who've used Sk:n Clincs before, click here.

This is a sponsored post.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Top 5 Autumn/Winter Saviours!

Today's video is all about those vital products you need in the colder months to help protect and nourish your skin. I have chosen 5 areas to highlight - hands, nails, lips, face and hair. In each area I have chosen 1-2 products that I hope will help you get through the encroaching winter.

Let me know if you have any fab suggestions of what to use to survive harsh winters in the comments below and I shall talk to you guys later :)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Thickening Blow Dry Spray

I got this product after seeing it mentioned on Mel's or Mirror On The Wall's Channel. I had seen it on the shelf previously but never really picked it up as it states it's for fine hair and mine is clearly thicker than the average person. My hairdresser always jokes that you could make full wigs or rugs (not that you'd want to) from a trim of my hair. It's a little crazy. Therefore I just figured this would do nothing for me. However, I decided to give it a whiz after seeing that Mel had bought it and was going to try it too. I only picked up a travel size as I like test things out before I spend the earth on a full sized product. This is definitely a little tip I recommend to you all :) There should be travel sized samples of everything I think.

Anyways, getting back on topic. You simply spray this product into the roots of your hair before blow drying and it aims to give you a lot more lift and obviously volume. I always get a little dubious about spraying things into my roots as I feel like it will just build up product and make my hair greasy. Having said that, I didn't find that happening too much. I definitely think that my hair got greasier quicker than it normally does but nothing unmanageable.

You may be surprised to hear that I did actually experience a little volume from this spray, regardless of my heavy head of hair. It wasn't anything miraculous but it was definitely noticeable. My locks felt weightless in a way. It didn't feel like they were laying limp. If I ran my hands through hair, it looked styled and full of body which was great.

Having said that, personally I don't feel like this product was anything incredible. I can imagine it doing wonders for girls with finer hair and not much body, but it wouldn't be worth the money for me to purchase the full size.

I have used L'oreal Studio Line Hot Volume Mousse in the past which gave me insane volume. I literally had hair like Nicole Scherzinger on the XFactor at Bootcamp. It was insane. I believe that's now discontinued but there are similar products out there by L'Oreal which are probably a continuation of the line. There's a Silk and Gloss Volume Mousse and there's a Boost and Gloss Volume Mousse which no doubt are very comparible. I would perhaps recommend trying one of those over this spray. The only disadvantage would be that the mousse definitely made my hair feel dirty the day after using it whereas this John Frieda spray you can get away with for a good couple of days before it starts to feel gross. Haha.

Overall this wasn't for me but it was nice to test out and I definitely recommend that fine-haired girls test it too :)

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Thickening Blow Dry Spray - £1.99 from Feel Unique

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

2 Year Giveaway Winners!

click through link for image source

Congratulations to Kyra and Denise on winning 1st and 2nd prize in my 2 Year International Giveaway. It was so much fun to host and I really want to thank each and everyone one of you who entered for making it so special.

If you didn't win this time, don't be disappointed. I am planning to hold my weekly giveaways at Christmas like I did last year, where you can win one present from each gift guide, to either pass on to a family member or keep for yourself as my Christmas present to you. That will be starting mid November so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

In the meantime, I want to say another thank you for all of your great post suggestions which you left on my giveaway blog post. I have noted them all down and will try to work through each and everyone one.

A lot of you mentioned that you liked to see Hauls so I have been trying to post a few more of them recently. What last month's hauls here and here. I also do a weekly wish list. Click here to see the latest fashion one and here for the beauty version!

I know that a few of you mentioned that you wanted me to write more posts about what I didn't like. The only issue is that I generally research what I get before I buy it so I'm rarely disappointed with a product. However I do write a series called I wouldn't recommend... you can see those posts here and here.

Finally, I know a lot of you asked for tutorials but I generally keep my makeup pretty basic. I never apply eyeshadow which I feel is the main part of a tutorial. This is why I have steered clear of them in the past. I'm definitely not an expert in applying makeup or a professional makeup artist. However if you would like to see some simple looks or how I do my everyday makeup, I'd be happy to do that for you. Just let me know in the comments below.

I'm definitely excited to work through the rest of the list and I hope that you enjoy reading them too.

Thanks again everyone for making my second blogging year so wonderful and here's to another and many more to come.

Helena xxo

Monday, 7 October 2013

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Enhancing Oil

After testing out John Frieda's Smooth Start Hydrating Shampoo* and Conditioner* and loving them, then trying out the Original Hair Serum* and finding it even better, I simply couldn't wait to give their Dream Curls Enhancing Oil* a go. I realise that this is meant to be for girls with naturally curly hair. However I spoke to a lady at John Frieda who mentioned that it can work just as well on straight hair too. Therefore I treated this as an oil to create sleek and smooth hair for my day to day style.

I used their Dream Curls Curl Perfecter for a very long time as it made my hair super soft and smell amazing. Therefore, I had high hopes that this would do exactly the same.

As you can see, the oil comes in a little plastic tube. It is separated into a clear and a purple oil. Once you shake these two components up, they merge into a light milky purple oil which is really satisfying. I don't know what it is about gimmicky products like that, but I always get excited when things change colour or have a similar little quirk.

To use this product you are simply required to dispense 10 drops onto the palm of your hands and then smooth through damp hair section by section. You can use more or less product depending on the length of your hair so I used about 13 as I have really thick, long locks. After this process you can simply go ahead and style your hair as desired. The achieved look should be sleek and polished.

Unfortunately I was always skeptical about whether this would work for my locks as it was specifically aimed at curly hair. I can imagine it working wonders if you have frizzy curls that need to be tamed and defined. However I simply have a little bit of frizz - nothing to really write home about. Therefore I didn't really see to much difference after using this oil.

I feel like it's not fair to judge this as not working when it's not entirely aimed at my hair type. However I thought this review would be useful to those of you who might miss the fact that it's for naturally curly hair instead of for girls that heat style their hair, which is what I first did.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to anyone that doesn't have excessive problems with frizz or has a straighter style. Having said that, I feel that this is definitely a beneficial product for girls with the required locks. My experience of this line of products so far has been incredible. I've enjoyed using the Shampoo, Conditioner and Serum but I think I will pass this product onto a friend whom it may suit better.

If you want to know more about the line or just get some great tips on how to style your locks, head over to their Youtube Channel where they've put up some great videos. Theres one specific to creating gorgeous curls that I thought would go very nicely with this review.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Enhancing Oil* - £9.99 from Boots
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