Friday, 28 November 2014

Review || Boots Curl Creme.


Boots 'Essentials' Curl Creme.

Whilst wondering the aisles of Boots a short while back I came across Boots 'Essentials' Curl Creme. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it contained no silicones or sulfates so I decided to give it a go! Costing only £1.89 it is very budget friendly!

The bottle claims 'natural control and defines' and 'controls and nourishes to smooth away frizziness, enhance shine and enhance your curl without weighing it down'. I really do think that it does a good job to live up to its claims. The curls were defined and springy and frizz was definitely under control. It does add a little weight to the hair, which some like and other don't, but I think it is a happy medium. It adds a little weight but my curls are still springy and bouncy. I often notice with products that my hair feels a little dried out when I use them but the Curl Creme seems to avoid this nicely.  

The Curl Creme also lasted well overnight, which proves it has some staying power. My curls were still defined the next day, frizz was still under control but my hair still had some volume. Throughout the day my hair still looked great and I noticed quite a few times that it was still looking nice and shiny. The ends needed a little pick me up at the end of the evening but I still think that it is impressive nonetheless. 

Whilst I love it there are some inevitable cons! Its easy to use a little too much, leaving you with some crunchy curls that won't scrunch out. Saying this, it did seem to fall out naturally during the day, so it wasn't a huge issue, just something to watch out for. The other con is that whilst it doesn't weigh down, it is a little heavy and I noticed it quite a bit throughout the day when I touched my hair. I will admit though that these are all problems that can be solved with a little bit of trial and error and most of them were minor concerns. 

I am a harsh critic as I am comparing it to the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Holding Foam because it is the product I have been most recently using which considering it retails for around £23 isn't exactly a fair comparison. Although I am impressed as it still holds it own against it. Overall I am really impressed with this product! I would recommend highly as considering the price you have very little to lose!

Have you tried Boots Curl Creme yet?

Let me know!
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Friday, 21 November 2014

Makeup Revolution & MUA Mini Haul!

Left to Right: MUA 'Undress me Too' Palette, Makeup Revolution 'Bronze, Shimmer, Highlight' & Makeup Revolution 'Essential Mattes' Palette.

 I tend to only stick to the well known brands Loreal, Rimmel, Maybelline etc when buying makeup but this time I decided to branch out into the perhaps, less well known brands in Superdrug.

The first palette that I picked up was by a brand called Makeup Revolution. I had only heard of Makeup Revolution recently as they are a newer brand but I was pleasantly surprised to find what I was looking for straight away. They do number of palettes all in different colours that all look fantastic. The palette I chose was the Essential Mattes. All of the eyeshadows are completely matte and are in a great colour range. They are also all very well pigmented, especially for the price!
Makeup Revolution also does a range they have named 'Iconic' palettes in Iconic 1, Iconic 2 and Iconic 3 very similar to the Urban Decay 'Naked' 1, 2 and 3. I have noticed quite a few people saying that this range of palettes are a dupe for the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. They are very similar in shade range and they are a FAR more affordable alternative. Ideal for smokey eyes and all really wearable.

I also picked up a palette by MUA, that is also nude tones but a little more shimmery. The MUA eye palette is also really lovely. Still fairly wearable but they are quite sparkly so more for nighttime or special occasions. Whilst saying that, there are a good range of lightly shimmered shades as well as glittery shades. It also does have a couple of matte eyeshadows in there but the focus is definitely more on sparkle. If you are a bit more adventurous or glamorous then its ideal for daytime. I think this could also be a great eyeshadow palette for the christmas season when you have a lot more opportunities than usual to go all out! It is reasonably pigmented so should last a fair while and I think is an all round great product for the price.

I also got a bronzer/highlighter from Makeup Revolution which I think is fantastic for the price! Its quite a large size, so not great for travelling but it means that you get a lot of product. It is divided into bronze, shimmer, highlight so its possible to use individually as well together. I tend to just sweep across all three and for bronzing and contouring. I have never had a great relationship with bronzers. I always manage to put too much on and find it impossible to avoid that streaky look but I found this one really easy! It's fairly light compared to a lot I have tried. It is slightly shimmery without being too much and very buildable. I think is a great all rounder and would be a great product for someone who might not have much experience of bronzers.

Have you tried any Makeup Revolution products?

Let me know!


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Friday, 14 November 2014

Catnip: Now For Hair, As Well As Cats!

So I am one of the biggest cat lovers out there (big claim I know) and when I heard about Catnip or  Nepeta Cataria to use its correct name, rinses I ordered some immediately. There is an amazing forum thread on this subject, which is very long but has a lot of wisdom on this subject. I recommend giving it a read if you are considering trying this. The link is here.

Honestly the brew does not look the most appealing, even with flowers next to it! 

According to an article written by Ktani (The Queen of Catnip) it is "non toxic, naturally acidic, may be antibacterial, antifungal, anitiviral, contains oils, and is soothing to skin." It can also stain hair slightly and many people seem to use it as a natural alternative to dying grey or white roots. The colour does wash out very easily and should only have an effect on very light hair.

The recommended amount seems to be around 1tsp to about 1 cup to 300ml of boiled water "covered and steeped to cool" as you would with a tea. It seems the amount is fairly constant amongst many people but the steeping time and the application on hair seems to change. I tried a few different steeping times and a couple of different ways/timings on hair. Catnip can be applied to hair a number of ways; on wet or dry hair, before or after shampooing, left in or rinsed out, over conditioner or not. 

I tried two different applications:

Soak
 Others seem to use it as more of a treatment and leave it soak in there hair for around an hour and then rinse/wash off.

Spray
 Some people seem to use Catnip instead of or as well as a conditioner to improve softness, shine and detangling and leave it in to dry.


The Catnip I bought cost £4.75 for 100g from ebay, which is enough to last quite a while for this treatment. I began by steeping 1tsp of Catnip in about 2 cups of water for about 4 hours and then poured over my hair a few times making sure to coat it all. I then squeezed out my hair a little and put in a cap for an hour, to let a little heat build up.

After applying I was pleasantly surprised when I could feel that my hair was coated as I didn't expect to actually be able to feel it. After an hour I then co-washed my hair, tied back and just left alone. When my hair was dry I do think it felt a bit softer, especially at the roots, where my hair is least damaged. The catnip was probably able to soak in the best at the roots as well due to body heat. It wasn't drastic but it was enough to convince me that it was doing something. So I decided to test it for a few weeks and see if I notice a difference.

 After a few weeks of trial and error, trying both the soaking and spray methods, I found that the best method for me was spraying it onto the hair and leaving it in to dry. I found that it made my hair very shiny and soft and that it felt coated. Almost like having a smoothing serum on my hair. I have seen warnings of build up occurring which I did find when I steeped for very long periods but it washed out very easily. I would also say that my hair looks shinier as well as having a little bit of a richer colour. The ends of my hair also feel softer and a bit calmer. It isn't a drastic change but I do think there is method in this madness.

I think this is one of those treatments that patiences and experimentation is required for. I do think my hair has become overall softer after using this for a few weeks but I don't think I could replace my conditioner with it just yet! I'm also not sure I have found it very useful for detangling yet. I am going to keep using it for a while and I think people who enjoy experimenting will like this. If, on the other hand, you are all about easy hair care then this may not be for you. It takes quite a bit of experimentation to figure out which method is best.

My biggest hope for this product obviously was that cats will follow me around in some form of pied piper esq way. So far my cat shows the same usual contempt for my she always does, unless its dinner time.


Would you considering trying Catnip treatments?

Let me know!



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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Guest Post: 5 Things Curly Hair Hates!

The lovely Abby from My Hair Care very kindly offered to do a guest post! So go check out http://www.myhaircare.com.au/blog for even more great stuff!

There appears to be a general consensus that curly hair is the most troublesome of hair types to deal with. Most women with naturally straight hair might want to have curls from time to time. However, a great majority would prefer to have straight hair than deal with frizz and other problems associated with being curly. But you should not castrate your curly locks all the time – most of it is resulting from poor hair care habits.


That hair does not look troublesome to me!

You should not hate your curly hair. Instead, you need to learn about hair care approaches that your hair hates. If you can avoid them, it will make dealing with curly hair much easier.

Over-Manipulation. Do not mess with curly hair! This is an important rule to live by at all times. Do your curls a favor and try not to fiddle with it too much. Once you have styled your hair, fight the urge to touch it frequently.

Brushing. The best tool for dealing with frizz or tangles in curly hair is a wide-tooth comb. Avoid brushing it at all cost. If you do, it is guaranteed recipe for disaster. Brushing might remove tangles in your curls but what it does is also to expose your hair to frizz.Brushing curly hair while wet is also acceptable in most instances but you could still run at risk of brushing it out of shape.

Blow Drying Without a Diffuser. Curly hair already hates hot air – hence, do not make things worse by neglecting the diffuser as you dry your hair using a blow dryer. Heat is one of the worst enemies of curly hair. You should not instigate more problems by neglecting the use of a diffuser. This attachment is designed to disperse heat so that it not only provides an even drying process, but also reduces the impact of heat on the hair strands.

Heavy Oils. Heavy oils and curly hair do not always work together. But if you want to utilise natural oils to moisturise your hair strands, go for lightweight oils like almond, coconut and jojoba oil. These oils provide a natural sheen to your curly hair without being too greasy or heavy. This will help to retain that bounce and body to your curly hair.

Straightening. Embrace your natural curls! If you tamper with your hair’s natural texture, it can damage it over time. This is true especially when you use heat and/or chemicals to straighten your hair. When you do so, it will strip off the natural moisture from oils produced by your curly hair making it look dull and lifeless. Learn to love your natural hair texture and style with it (not against it!).

How do you care for curly hair? 
Are you guilty of these poor hair care habits?


About the Author:
Abby is a writer and social media marketer for My Hair Care. If you would like to get additional resource on hair care, hair styling and beauty on the web, make sure to visit their blog at http://www.myhaircare.com.au/blog
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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Why I Started Blogging!


Me as a child. The smarties tube is my microphone obviously.

I started blogging because I needed help. I had spent my life plagued with low-self esteem and body confidence issues. I knew that I needed to make some major changes in my life and the way that I viewed myself and for me that all started with my hair. I had always hated it. It was the first thing that made me feel different from other people, it was the first thing I was picked on about, it was the first thing that made me feel ashamed. 

As I grew older non of this changed but my anxiousness regarding my physical appearance grew into other areas and was just continuously in my thoughts. My hair got bigger and frizzier. It made me feel physically larger, like I was taking up too much space. This held me back from a lot of things, made me not take risks I should have taken, made me nervous around people and really made me put up a wall. I may have seemed sociable and chatty but really I felt completely overwhelmed.

I began straightening my hair on a full time basis when I was about 12. I saw it as a tool to fix a problem that I had. Sure, it took time and effort but it felt like it would normalise me. I quickly realised, straightening your hair is not even half the battle. Keeping it straight is the uphill struggle. There is rain to contend with, wind, humidity, you even have to worry about sweat. Often your hair just likes to revert to its original state because its hair, it doesn't care about being accepted, its dead. I would spend so much time and energy trying to avoid going outside or finding ways to keep it straight it felt like a full time job. I wouldn't be paying attention in school, I would sitting on the edge of my seat for the lesson to end so I could go check my hair like it was some sorded little secret I had to hide from people. It got so bad that when my hair frizzed or curled my head would physically itch out of anxiousness. It was like no matter how hard I tried I could never really change, only mask my 'problems'. It never really occured to me that they were only 'problems' because I viewed them as such. 

Many people will probably dismiss this as a grand overreaction to hair. But to me it had always been symbolic of feeling inadequate, needing to change for others and being unable to accept myself. When I look back I just see wasted time and energy. I see so many missed opportunities because I let the opinions of other people shape who I thought I should be and how I should present. I am by no means now unaffected by body confidence issues and sometimes I may still alter my hair type or succumb to the pressures of beauty standards but it doesn't dominate my thoughts anymore. 

When I finally stopped straightening my hair I didn't really know what to do with myself. I had no clue how to handle it. I had not even seen it since I was 12 and I was kind of in shock. So I did what any child of the technical age did. I googled it. There is some great information out there on curly hair, from some great people but its not always that easy to find. Often it is spread out amongst various forums and different sources. I learned a lot over only a few months but it was very time consuming. A lot of the sources I could find were also from the US so trying to find the same products was often not possible or easy.

 I wanted to use blogging as a way to share things I had learned but it also became a way to explore my issues surrounding my hair.

Sometimes I question why I spend so much time and energy working on it and feel others may judge me. 'It's only hair, why do you care so much?' To me it means more. Over time it has made me start too appreciate that no one is the same but we should embrace our differences. I want to learn to love it, have fun with it and embrace it. My issues surrounding my apperance and self esteem issues are wider than just my hair, but I had to start somewhere, I just figured why not start from the top.


Can anyone else relate?

Let me know in the comments!



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Friday, 7 November 2014

Swim Spray

Swim Spray

Whenever I usually get out of the pool my hair is a mess. I can barely touch it without my it getting tangled and it feeling like straw. I usually just rinse after swimming and deal with it at home later on. So when I got the chance to try out Swim Spray I was dying to see if it could help.

The purpose of Swim Spray is to neutralise chlorine that is used in pools to prevent bacteria. Chlorine is bad for hair as it damaged the cuticle by stripping it of natural oils causing it to crack. This then leaves the inner layer or cortex exposed and prone to splitting. This can cause split ends and leave the hair dry and brittle.

The bottle advises 20-30 sprays and advises to spray the product onto the hair and then follow with your usual shampoo and conditioner. When I sprayed it in my hair at first I wasn't quite sure it had done much but after about a minute of it being in my hair I could feel a huge difference. When I went to detangle my hair I was shocked to feel my comb easily running through my hair. It felt soft and not dried out at all. In fact it felt very healthy and was very easy to deal with. My hair also did not smell of chlorine after applying either. Swim Spray is odourless so it doesn't just masking the smell it does remove it. It also comes in a handy spray bottle making it really easy to use and it is a really nice size to carry around so doesn't add weight to a gym bag.

I went home with the intention of then washing my hair as I normally would and style as usual for work the next morning. I ended up getting distracted and before I knew it is was midnight. But because my hair felt so good I thought I would try and see what would happen if I didn't wash it.
I woke up the next morning and I was in disbelief that it had ever come in contact with chlorine! It feels great, there is no chlorine smell and I could easily go swimming and continue with my day as it never happened! It's perfect product for me, does exactly what it says on the bottle! I know I really love a product when I start desperately trying to work out when I might run out! 


For more tips to protect hair whilst swimming you can also check out this post on Swimming & Hair Care!


Do you have any products or tricks for removing chlorine?

Let me know!


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Monday, 3 November 2014

Superdrug 'Extracts' Conditioners



This is a picture of Superdrug Extracts Conditioners in Sweet Almond & Coconut and Red Cherry & Fig Review
Superdrug 'Extracts' Coconut & Sweet Almond & Red Cherry & Fig Conditioners.

Whilst in Superdrug a few weeks back I noticed some of their own brand conditioners I had never seen before they just happen to be silicone free! So I purchased the Red Cherry & Fig and the Coconut & Sweet Almond ones to try!


This first caught my attention because of its colour which instantly made me think it would smell delicious and I was right! It smells like a combination of all of the most delicious cherry flavoured sweets. I love this but if you are not into sweet things this is not for you! It does claim to have an 'irresistible fragrance' which I completely agree with!

 It also claims to make hair look 'healthy and shiny and feel soft, nourished and voluminous. Whilst I don't think this is the most moisturising conditioner ever I do actually quite like it. I think because it is for fine hair it is very light, which is not great for me as I need quite a heavy conditioner to keep my hair is good condition. But I think that it can be a struggle to find a light, silicone free conditioner as I know a lot are oil based so I think that for those with finer hair this could be a great option. I also think that its lightness actually makes it great for co-washing and has the potential to be quite a good budget friendly co-wash.

I am not sure that I felt it was very volumising for my hair but as my hair is not lacking in that department I admit I am not the greatest judge!


I was really pleased when I saw this one as I love the combination of Coconut and Sweet Almond as both are great for hair. This one also smells great, not quite as great as the Red Cherry & Fig but still pretty good! It has a much thicker constancy and this really showed as I need quite a bit less than the other in order to coat my hair.

It claims to 'help restore moisture and shine' and 'hair will look healthy and shiny'. I don't think I noticed any improvement in shine with this conditioner but I don't think I have ever had a conditioner live up to that claim! In regards to moisture, its not bad but its still on the lighter side for me. I need quite a heavy conditioner so I am a bit of a harsh critic. Its not bad by any means and it did make my hair feel nice I just don't find it particularly strong. I think it would be great as a co-wash or for someone who is looking for a slightly lighter conditioner. But for someone who has dry/damaged hair as the product claims to be for I think some thing a little heavier may be needed.


Overall I think that these are both pretty good products for the price. They seem to live up to their claims for the most part and I think they are decent products. I think if you are looking for something a little lighter than say 'Tresemme Naturals' I think they could be great and for finer hair especially I think the Red Cherry & Fig could be a good option. I am not sure how fantastically they worked for my hair type as I think I need something a little heavier but I love that they are readily available and not bad for the price!


Costs: £1.99 each, which I think it a pretty good price.

Recommendation: I would recommend the Red Cherry & Fig for people with finer hair as I think it is quite nice and light. I do think the Coconut & Sweet Almond is a decent product but for really dry and damaged hair I think there are better options out there for the price.

I am really happy that Superdrug do their own brand of silicone free conditioners!



Whats your favourite silicone free conditioner?

Let me know!
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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.


Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.

I went into Superdrug looking to get some make-up wipes and hopefully another make-up remover, so I only had to use said wipes when super tired/drunk. I then stumbled across the Garnier Micellar Water. For those that haven't come across them before they come from Paris and were created as an alternative to Paris' hard water, which can be tough on skin. Micellar water is very gentle and contains no soap or alcohol. It works by using 'Micellar' particles to draw make-up and oil from the skin and even works on waterproof eye make-up.

This all sounded slightly odd to me. I didn't quite buy it.

It is completely oderless, which put me off because I honestly thought it couldn't do anything. It does just look, smell and feel like water. But... I think it is great! It is really easy to use. You just soak a cotton pad in some and wipe across the face. It takes make-up off really well, better than any make-up wipes I have ever used. It also doesn't leave a residue behind on skin, which is really nice. It's really refreshing and makes your face feels really cleansed without the usual sensation that a product that contains alcohol would.

I was honestly slightly in shock when it took of my eye make-up. I was wearing pretty heavy mascara and it took it pretty well. I will say that if you are wearing particularly heavy eye make-up you may want to use a seperate eye makeup remover just to make sure every last bit is gone. So it wont quite replace all of your make-up removers but it comes bloody close!

I would seriously recommend this product! It is really effective and lovely to use! I even think it is helping improve the condition of my skin a little bit.

If you want to find out a little more, just click here for the link to Garnier's website!

Have you tried any Micellar Waters yet?

Let me know! 



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Sanctuary Spa Exfoliating Pore Refiner.


Sanctuary Spa Exfoliating Pore Refiner.

I have never tried any of the Sanctuary Spa products before even though I have seen them a million times. They have just never really attracted me before in the store. I don't think I knew they did skincare products! But the Sanctuary Spa Exfoliating Pore Refiner is hands down this is one of the best products I have ever used. I bought it about 4/5 months ago and have just had the best results with it. My skin looks and feels drastically better since I have used it.

It is quite a nice feeling exfoliator to use. It has a creamy consistency with the exfoliating beads being on the medium to large side. I have used a few that have actually been a little bit painful, yet still not managed to show very good results. Whereas this one is fairly gentle but still packs a punch. It smells lovely. It's not too strong but refreshing and pleasant to use.

 I have seen quite a big reduction in my pores since beginning to use this product. I think pore 'reducing' or 'refining' products are a bit tricky as I have found many don't seem to do a lot but there is a visible improvement to my pores since using this. One of the things I love most about this product though is that it really has helped stop spots. My skin has been so much clearer since using it. I used to suffer with very large, under the surface, painful, scaring spots on a regular basis. But this has definitely helped HUGELY to keep them at bay! It's given my scarring a little while to heal and fade and my skin is looking and feeling a lot better.


 It is a little on the expensive side for me but it seems to last quite a while. I have had mine for around 4 months now and it is almost empty but both me and my partner have been using it a lot. I wouldn't be surprised if I could make it last double that time. I do think that this is a product to worth spending money on if you can. I think it is brilliant and actually quite economical. This would be one of my desert island products for sure!

Cost: I believe £10.50 but there are often deals on in boots and I got mine for £6! 

I would recommend this for: Everyone really. I think it is especially great for people who's skin always seems to be just a bit clogged and unhappy and who suffers from breakouts. I also think it would make a great christmas present for a friend or family member.

Have you tried any of the Sanctuary Spa Products?

Let me know!
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