Friday, 27 February 2009

The new Herbal Essences

As an avid fan of Herbal Essences, I've been using it as long as I can remember, the new version is something I felt worth reviewing. I've used many different shampoos over the years, but I keep finding myself coming back to Herbal Essences. It's cheap, cheerful, smells wonderful and always leaves my hair feeling soft and healthy, what's not to like? I've used more expensive products in the past, not vastly expensive, but mid-range professional products from the likes of Toni and Guy, Trevor Sorbie, Mark Hill and Lee Stafford. Whilst these shampoos seem to work wonders for my hair at first, I soon feel the need to wash my hair again. They all seem to leave a residue in my hair, that to start with I can't feel, but the build-up is more excessive than cheaper alternatives I've used. So I've come to realise that all the fancy ingredients just don't really suit my hair-type.

I mainly used the shampoos for coloured hair, where originally there were three types, the Fruit Fusions range, the Rainforest Flowers range and the traditional Herbal Essences. Now there is just one shampoo for coloured hair which is available in a bright pink bottle (not to be confused with the Seductively Straight range which is the same colour). This one contains acai berry and silk extracts, and to me, smells exactly like the tradional Herbal Essences smell.

Compared to the old version, I don't really think the new Herbal Essences performs any better. I think the purpose behind changing is to make it more simple for the consumer. Rather than have three different shampoos for the same purpose there is now only one. Dazzling Shine is to replace the Moisture Balance shampoo and the Dazzling Shine shampoos that were available in the Fruit Fusions and Rainforest Flowers range. Many of the shampoos have not changed but had the packaging altered; Hello Hydration directly replaces the Deep Nourishment and Shine shampoo with the formulation being exactly the same. Frizz Fighter is the replacement for the Rainforest Flowers Sensuously Smooth, Seductively Straight for Silk n' Shine, Uplifting Volume for Fruit Fusions Citrus Lift, Fresh Balance for the Greasy Roots, Dry Ends range. As well as these replacements, there are also a few new shampoos being introduced to the range including No Flakin' Way which acts as an anti-dandruff shampoo, Breakage Defender and It's a Curl Thing.

So the verdict: the new Herbal Essences have not exactly been improved in terms of their ingredients but the new range makes it more simple to choose one that suits your hair type. It's a clever bit of marketing because I think by providing an alternative to their old range they are able to maintain existing customers, but the introduction of new ranges will bring new customers. I got used to using the Rainforest Flowers range so I will miss this but won't stop using the brand for this reason. The new packaging is also quite appealing. They are now brightly coloured and look good together on the shelf because they fit together. I will continue to use Herbal Essences for the time being and if you're in doubt, visit the website and get yourself a free sample from the new range.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Nivea Natural Beauty review

New from Nivea Visage is the Natural Beauty range which includes Radiance Boosting Daily Scrub. The scrub comes in a 150ml bottle and contains mango milk, cashmere proteins and fine scrub particles. What I particularly like about this scrub over many other facial scrubs I've tried is that the scrub particles are really, really fine so this is a very gentle exfoliator. There are a lot of scrubs out there that you can literally feel scrubbing away the surface of your skin which can be a bit off putting. If you want to use an exfoliator every day, and this one is designed for every day use, it's kinder for the skin to use a gentle exfoliator.
The scrub is recommended for all skin types, and while my skin stype is normal/oily, I feel this is a good cleanser for me. Oily skin can lead to more breakouts, but by using this scrub I am removing the impurities from my skin and (hopefully) reducing the number of breakouts I get. I haven't used this long enough to decide whether it delivers a "radiant complexion", but so far I'm impressed. By exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells, this scrub is providing a good cleaning action for my skin.

The purpose of the Natural Beauty range is to promote healthy skin with an even complexion that shouldn't have a need for make-up! At least this is what I can gather from their website:

Having a radiant and even complexion makes you look and feel beautiful. Using a foundation to achieve this look is sometimes disappointing as it can appear unnatural.

I'm happy with this product, the smell is gorgeous, it's very simple to apply and the result is visibily clear skin, however, I don't think I'll be ditching the foundation just yet.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Sweet Kiss by Bourjois

I'm not usually one for buying a lot of lipsticks, and I try not to be one for getting suckered in to fancy packaging. However, I couldn't resist this new lipstick range from Bourjois when I saw it. Attracted partly by the introductory price and partly by the package, I decided to try this because up to now I haven't been disappointed by Bourjois, they offer affordable, good quality, long lasting make-up products.

The case is a vibrant, shiny purple, with a silver switch on the side. You move the switch down to release the lipstick which is then in a metal silver twist up case. I chose the shade Rouge sur mesure which is a classic red colour. It looks like a brilliant red colour, and if you apply a swatch on your hand and then smudge the colour, you see the pink undertones in the lipstick, so it's not such a dark red colour to wear.

So as someone who doesn't buy a lot of lipstick, this is a very bold colour. I usually focus on eye make-up, and creating ways to make them stand out, but to complete this look I would keep eye make-up very minimal and classic, just some black eyeliner across the top lid and mascara. I think this creates a look that can be adapted for day or night time, it can brighten up an otherwise dull outfit in the day, or bring alive a simple black dress at night.
The colour pay off of this lipstick is fantastic. When using it, I started off with a clear lipliner and used a lip brush to apply the colour rather than applying it directly to my lips. Despite how bright and richly pigmented it is, it's surprisingly easy to use. The lipstick is so moisturising, that it just glides on, feeling very natural. It isn't moisturising in a lipgloss, sticky or wet kind of way, but just feels like you're not wearing anything on your lips at all. For me this is a definite advantage of the lipstick and is why I rate it quite highly. I have found it difficult to find a lipstick that offers pure colour with almost a matte finish without it being too drying on my lips and usually I find moisturising lipsticks too gloss like, not always a look I want to go for. Sweet Kiss however only gives a subtle shine, plus the clever design of the package is something I want to keep reaching this product for!

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