Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Mark Hill Salon Sexy Straight Review

What a gorgeous bank holiday weekend it's been. Hope everyone's been enjoying the sunshine. I certainly have, although I've noticed my hair doesn't cope too well with the change in weather. I know that I rave about how brilliant Herbal Essences is as a cheap and cheerful shampoo, but I feel like my hair gets immune to a certain shampoo and I stop feeling the benefit! Feeling a bit dried out with the sunshine and wanting to create a sleek, shiny, frizz free look, I've began to use this Mark Hill, Salon Sexy Straight shampoo.

It's a middle range shampoo, and surprisingly good. I wasn't sure it was a good idea to use it this time of year at first because my hair is prone to oilyness at the roots, but the ends are becoming quite dry so I decided to just be very careful with the condition near my scalp, I usually only limit it to the very ends anyway. Well it smells great, (it reminds me of hair salons) and my hair feels a lot less dry , very sleek and smooth. After straightening you can really see the difference compared to normal shampoos as it gives a nice glean to my hair. For a mid range shampoo I think this is pretty good, not too expensive, I think about £5 each, and I'd recommend it for nourished, straightened hair.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Moxie Products

Hmm...It may not be appropriate to write about this product, but this is my blog so I’ll do it anyway! The product is Moxie’s “Scanty Panty Liners”! I really love the packaging, it’s super cute with it’s retro design, pink polka dots and bow feature. An added bonus is that you get two tins inside each box so you can have them dotted around in convenient places. The tin is recyclable so you can either refill them or find another use, for example keep them in the bathroom as mini containers. I use mine to store my mini sewing kit -pins and needles! I just thought it was a nice change from the typically boring packaging that they compete with, and ok it’s a boring product, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and girly. To see the full range of Moxie products, visit

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Beauty Product of the Month - May

I remember when I first discovered dry shampoo I thought I’d been let in to a secret. For those of you who have never tried dry shampoo and are wondering what it is and how it works, basically it’s a powder that you spray on to your roots and it absorbs any excess oil, giving you that just washed feel. The first dry shampoo I tried was by Lee Stafford, a mid range available from Boots. I did like this brand, I thought it did the job it was supposed to, but I found I really had to rub my scalp well afterwards to make sure there was no white powder left, otherwise I’d look like I was going grey! I decided to try another brand, and came across Batiste. I’ve never heard of them before I got this so I don’t know what other products they sell, but I can say they make the best dry shampoo! I don’t have to rub this very much to get rid of that white powder that’s left behind. Ok, so it’s not quite the same as washing your hair, and it does seem quite lazy, but I don’t use this in place of my shampoo, more for in between washes, just to freshen up. Another tip with Batiste is that you can apply it on clean hair too, spray the roots and push up the hair near your parting. I do this before going out sometimes and it just gives my hair a little bit of volume at the roots, instead of being poker straight and flat! I like it so much I’ve bought all 3 variations. My favourite is Blush, which I think is like perfume for the hair! It really does smell gorgeous, a very floral scent. I don’t really like the Original one as the aftersmell reminds me of flyspray! Not really a good smell for your hair. I’d recommend trying this if you’ve never used dry shampoo before or weren’t happy with the ones you tried. I use this all year round, and see it as a must have item, even more so this time of year when my hair seems to need washing that little bit more often.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Make-up Product of the Month - May

There's been little this month that's inspired me make-up wise. I don't have a huge make-up collection but am trying to add to what I do have gradually. I used to own a lot of make-up then decided I was hoarding too much and had a huge sort out, so that there was very little left (the things I actually wore). I'm trying now to only buy make-up that I think I will use or is a bit different. As I mentioned before, the Sugarsweet collection didn't really grab me, and nor did the Rose Romance collection. I liked the promo pictures but the products themselves looked a little bland or not colours I would want to wear. I thought this lipstick was lovely though. It's called Way To Love and is a nice, wearable light pink.

I actually have a bit of a confession...this is the FIRST MAC lipstick I've ever bought! I bought a Slimshine a while ago but never one of these classic shaped lipsticks. Before I moved to London I had very little exposure to MAC so I am still discovering a few firsts when I go in there. Also lip products never used to be a big thing with me, (I'm all about the eyes) but as my obsession grows and grows I'm venturing over to lip products too.
So I'm making this my product of the month because it's only the lipsticks that I think stand out in the Rose Romance collection, very girly and pretty. I prefer those more natural colours that don't draw a lot of attention especially as I prefer to emphasise eye make-up and it's never good to over do both features.
The lipstick was apparently what made MAC famous and it's clear to see why, this is very high quality, stays in place for a long time and doesn't seem to be drying my lips out which is often a problem I have. So overall, loving my discovery!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Rimmel Mascara Overview

It seems like there's a new mascara released every other day and it's difficult to know which mascaras do what they claim, and which aren't worth your money or time experimenting with. Now I've tried a lot of mascaras out there, but generally I go for affordable drug store brands since mascara is something I use on a daily basis and consequently get through the most amount of this product over any other. I think it's very easy to get suckered into the advertising campaigns, who doesn't want sky high, beautifully thick lashes? It's pretty pointless looking at those advertising pictures and thinking that's the effect you're going to achieve. More often than not, that photo you see isn't a result of the mascara but is created by false lashes. I'm not against using false lashes, I love them, I just wish that these adverts wouldn't give people false hope in trying to achieve something unattainable from a product. I would rather see exactly what the mascara does, and know what I'm buying in to beforehand.
Rimmel are one such brand that use false lashes in their advertisements. This isn't to say that their products don't work, just not to the extent that they claim. Over the last few months Rimmel have released four new mascaras which I wanted to review and compare for you to help you choose which is the best one for you.
The first of the four to be released was Magnif'eyes which people seem to either love or hate. I wouldn’t recommend buying Magnif’eyes at all, it really did nothing it claimed to. It’s supposed to give 70% uplift, so it’s quite unique in the way it lifts your lashes, rather than lengthen and volumise, this way it should give you a more awake look. I don’t feel I achieved this however, it didn’t seem to lengthen, volumise or lift my lashes, just made them look darker! A few of the bristles fell off the brush which I think is a common problem when this mascara was first released, maybe Rimmel have worked on the brush now but I wouldn't risk using it again. Perhaps if you already have nice thick lashes this would be a good everyday mascara if you want a natural look, but for me I can say it did very little which is why I have no pictures, because I no longer use it.
Next to be released was Lash Maxxx. Now after Magnif’eyes I wasn’t sure what to expect but I thought I’d give it a go because the brush design seemed quite innovative and completely different to Magnif’eyes! There’s only one way to apply the mascara, it has two sets of bristles, finely separated like a comb design so is pretty simple. This is very effective in separating your lashes and manages to coat them wonderfully. This mascara does for me what I hoped Magnif’eyes would do and more. Not only does it separate but it gives great length and volume, AND is clump free!

I think it's definetly worth a try if you haven't already. I've also found this mascara a good one to use after applying Loreal's Lash Architect, it builds up the volume even more without clumping, so is a great alternative to false lashes if you want a dramatic look without the hassle of applying them. Following Lash Maxxx was Glam'Eyes, my personal favourite. The brush design is completely different to Lash Maxxx, but gives a similar effect. It has bristles the whole way around the brush, alternating between short and long bristles, again these bristles are very close together so give great separation. What makes this mascara one of the best is the way it's easy to apply and unlike Lash Maxxx, you can build the volume on all your lashes. The short bristles make applying it to your lower lashes and the corner lashes very easy, this was slightly more difficult with Lash Maxxx because all the bristles are the same length, you'd have to angle the brush to get in the corners. It's great for everyday make-up aswell as special occasions when you want to build up the intensity.

The latest installment from Rimmel mascaras was Sext Curves mascara. Again this mascara had another innovative brush design which I hadn't seen before. The best way to describe it would be three spiky balls! The idea is that it will give you more emphasis on some lashes than others, creating a curved effect. I'm not too convince by this. The rubbery bristles work quite well to separate your lashes but I didn't feel I got much of a curved effect. Certainly after using Glam'Eyes I think I'll be hard pushed to find a better mascara. Like Magnif'eyes, I think this a mascara for a natural make-up look, when you don't neccessarily want people to know you're wearing it. Another alternative use for this mascara would be to just apply it to your bottom lashes. It's one of the few that is incredibly easy to use in this area and practically fool-proof in never getting any mascara smudges beneath your lashes.

So there's my overview of Rimmel's mascaras, hope you found it useful!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Sleek Eye Shadow Palette Review

Yesterday I came across this eye-shadow palette. It's available from Superdrug in the UK and is by a brand called Sleek. I think the palettes were released a while ago but not that easy to get hold of since not all Superdrugs stock them. There's 3 different palettes to choose from, Original, Chaos and the one I bought, called Storm. I chose this one because I thought there was a great range of colours in there, plenty of neutrals, and a few bolder colours, but overall very wearable.

Having got it home and been able to try out the colours on my eyes, I'm very impressed with the quality. I tried the testers in the store and they felt very smooth and looked richly pigmented. Over a primer, they apply very easily, blend well and are very long lasting!
The first one and the fourth one along are lovely golden colours that will look great as a lid colour. The second one I've used as a highlight colour, it's probably the only colour suitable for a highlighter as the rest are too dark. Most are shimmer eyeshadows, with the exception of three of them, the third one on the top picture, and the first two on the picture below. The black eyeshadow is noticeably pigmented, usually you don't get a very good colour pay-off with black, they can be quite grey-ish, but this is very impressive, a great eyeshadow for the outer corner and under the eyes for a smokey evening look.

I would definitely recommend purchasing this palette, the colours are quite unusual, and it might be unlikely you owned a dupe of the bolder colours. The browney-pink shadow in the top right corner, and the denim colour on the bottom row second in are the two stand out colours for me. I hope to make some fun looks from this palette, and am tempted to buy the others, at only £4.87, can't really resist them! And the good news is, if they're not available in your nearest Superdrug, check on their website to see if they will be soon. This summer Sleek will be expanding and will appear in a further 132 stores. Has anyone tried these before, and how do you rate them?

Thursday, 7 May 2009

My skin care regime, for oily / combination skin

I just wanted to show you the skincare regime that i’ve been following for the last year or so. The products that I use are for oily/combination skin so if you’re this skin type and having problems, i’d recommend trying these products.

If you live in the UK, and most of Europe these products are cheap and easily available, for the US im not sure if they stock Simple, but it's a good brand to hunt for if you can find it.
My first tip for maintaining healthy skin would be to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water. I know that maintaining good health is more complicated than that, but I think this simple step is a good start.
I use the same routine in the morning as at night. At night I use a facial wash to begin, then I take my makeup off using Garnier sensitive eye make-up remover, and no matter how much I use, however carefully I think I’ve cleansed my eyes, there’s almost always a tiny amount there in the morning still, just under my eye, so if that’s the case I’ll just sweep a tiny amount around my eyes.
Once you've ensured all the make-up is off, begin with No.7 Beautifully Balanced purifying cleanser for oily/combination skin. It’s fragrance free, non-drying and pH balanced. You can also use it as a wash, but i prefer to just rub it on and wipe off, leaving my skin really mattified. This is a pretty unique cleanser in the way that it's versatile and is a cleanser that not only cleanses but mattifies as it does so.
Next on to the toner. I use Lush Tea Tree Water, and truly believe this is the best toner for my skin. The problem with a lot of toners that are designed for oily skin is that they are extremely harsh. Prior to this I would use BiorĂ© triple action toner which seemed to be a great toner, it controlled excess oil and breakouts and left my skin feeling tingly clean. I thought this was a great product until a friend of mine used it. She had fair, sensitive skin, and said after using it, it felt like her skin was burning. I figured this must be the acid. The toner contains salicylic acid which is used in treating acne. I think the formulation is a little strong for every day use, and I want a toner that I can use every day. The ingredients in this toner are as follows: tea tree water, grapefruit water, juniperberry water, Limonene which occurs naturally in essential oils, perfume and methylparaben. And that’s it! Where I can buy a good product that is as close to nature as possible and actually works I always will. You really want to look after the skin on your face as it’s the most exposed, and remember your skin is delicate so avoid harsh chemicals and excessive rubbing of the skin where you can.
The final step is to moisturise. It may seem unnecessary to moisturise oily skin, just adding to the problem right? If you use a moisturiser targeted at oily/combination skin, your skin will benefit a lot more. Simple do a great range for this skin type, and I am a huge fan of the moisturiser. It contains Zinc PCA to gently absorb excess oil, it is Natural Antibacterial which helps reduce blemishes, and is 100% shine free, so mattifies all day long. Used over time you will see a difference in your complexion.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Weekend shopping

This weekend I went back to my hometown to visit my parents. My trip involved a successful shopping spree where I got these few bits.

First up from Peacocks: 3 vest tops for £6, very impressed with this deal, Topshop do a similar offer with their vest tops, buy two for £9. Honestly I think the quality of the Peacocks vests match Topshop but at a snippet of the price. I wear them mainly as a layer or try to perk them up with some accessories so I don't feel the need to spend a lot of money on them. They contain elastane in them so they should wash and wear well. I also got the aviator style sunglasses after scouring a few shops, these fit me the best, most seem to bury my face, but these did a good job at not making me look too ridiculous.

I got a butterfly necklace which is almost a filigree style, with a smaller butterfly over the larger one. I think it has really nice detailing and is a popular choice on the high street at the moment.

The rather gaudy looking furry things are the slippers I picked up in Primark. I love furry things, shiny things, metallic things and these encompassed all three. I love them because the fur is nice and soft and comfortable but they're open toe, so not gonna keep my feet too warm in the summer.

Also included in the picture are the toothbrushes I bought from Boots. I know they're pretty ordinary and not worth mentioning, but these Wisdom "individual" ones all have different patterns on them. I thought this was quite a cute and novel idea and I managed to find one with a zebra print on which will cheer up a boring two minute routine. I also purchased a white eyeliner because of it’s supposed ability to widen your eyes. I’ve used black eyeliner for as long as I can remember but lately have been taking a break from using it on my waterline, instead lining the lower lash line, that way it’s not black overload. I like to experiment using different colours for different effects and am surprised I never got around to taking the advice I’d heard and lined with a white liner. I have to say with the black just on the lids and white on the rim, I’m definitely given a large effect. I feel like my eyes look much wider awake and alert.

These two batwing style tops were both in the sale.

A smart jacket I will team with both trousers and jeans. I love the style and the detailing, but really not keen on the little flower decoration. It’s a brooch but is sewed on also, so I will need to unpick the stitches to remove it. The dress...I love. It’s a little too long for me at the shoulders, I have this problem a lot being on the short side! I will need to pin, tack and sew the straps to where I want them. So just a few adjustments to the dress and it will fit perfectly, I knew an A Level textiles would have it's uses somewhere! I’m not sure how to describe it, I think it’s along the tulip design, and the colour is a gorgeous indigo. I’ll probably be teaming this with black leggings and sandals for the summer. Before and after shots of the adjustments.

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