Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Primavera Revitalisng Face Scrub £15

A product that ticks all the right ethical boxes, not tested on animals, vegan and organic whilst also feeling luxurious and decadent. Made with rose and pomegranate (my favorite ingredient at the moment) it is formulated for mature skin, however it worked well on my combination skin. Primavera pride themselves on their natural and organic products that work in harmony with your body and deliver great results. 

The invigorating face scrub has a high concentration of micro peals of jojoba wax that gently exfoliate to reveal softer skin. Used once a week it cleanses skin and buffs away any dry patches whilst being kind to your skin and having absolutely no irritants. 

I know you aren't meant to judge products by how nice they look on your bathroom shelf but we all do it and this face scrub is a real beauty in that department. With a stunning green apothecary bottle and subtle font it looks much more expensive than it actually is. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Colour Restore £11.99

I wasn't feeling hopeful about this product, maybe it was because I was slightly under whelmed with the packaging, it felt a little bit budget. Maybe it was because of the nightmare that I have put my hair through but I wasn't expecting much of a result. I shouldn't have been so quick to judge though as the results were far better than I expected. 

After a rough 12 months of being dyed brunette, back to blonde, going back to dyed brunette again my hair isn't in the best condition so I didn't want to use any harsh chemicals on it. Still the copper tones, a left over from all the dying, come through in my hair and they can look quite brash and brassy. Working like a toner Colour Restore banishes those orange tones and puts hair back to it's just dyed condition. You can either use it like a shampoo or like me leave it on for 25 minutes, which will leave it feeling conditioned as well. It took my hair right back to the light chocolate colour it was when I first dyed it meaning I can now leave it longer in between getting my hair coloured.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Intelligent Nutrients Smooth & Sleek Styling Pomade £20

Trying to find organic styling products can be a bit of a nightmare and so I was really pleased when my attention was brought to the styling pomade by Intelligent Nutrients available on QVC. Formulated to offer a flexible hold and protect against heat styling it can be used on wet or dry hair to control fizz, add definition and control flyaways. Using no chemical nasties, just lots of lovey organic ingredients.

You only need a very small amount to make a big impact, half of what you would normally use. It has quite a think gummy texture which look a bit of getting used, I found it best to warm up the pomade between my fingers before combing through my hair to get an even distribution. On wet hair it helped my hair to become sleeker and reduced the amount of time I needed to spend straightening my hair. It has a strong herbal smell (with a touch of sweeties) that I really like, very different from the chemically smell of some hair products.

Using it dry I found worked best just for the odd touch up of stay hairs and to get a bit of lift at the roots. When I put my hair up in a ponytail I get this mad scientist curls that spring out at right angles just above my ears, rather than using hairspray (which can sometime go a bit hard and crackly) I have started to use the pomade to smooth them over and hold them in place behind my ears. It's also great for those wispy bits that blow in the wind so helps you get a super sleek finish. To give yourself more lift at the roots turn your head upside down and using a small amount of the product work it into the roots, gently pulling your hair up as you go.   

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Magnifibres £20

While we all love the effect of false eyelashes there are the obvious downsides. They take a while to get the hang off and if you are in a rush forget about trying to apply them unless you want to practically glue your eyes together. They have the habit of unsticking just at the wrong moment and I for one always end up with gluey eyelids the next day... not a great look. 

Magnifibres is an alternative to false lashes that provides the same lengthen effect without all the hassle. They are 100% natural and really easy to apply. First you apply one coat of mascara like you normally would, then quickly sweep the magnifibres over your mascara coated lashes. Wait for a minute before applying another coat of mascara and voila.... instantly longer lashes. One coat is perfectly acceptable for the day time but if you want to glam in it up and night just carrying on building the product up by alternating mascara and then the magnifibres. 

I was slightly apprehensive as I remember using those mascara's several years ago where one end was mascara and on the other end a white mascara that was meant to lengthen the lashes. The problem was that you could never properly cover the while mascara and were left with a gloppy mess and visible fibers on your eyelashes. The magnifibres are so light  though that you can easily cover them with mascara and sit nicely at the end of your lashes so they blend in really well. 

I like to apply one coat all over my lashes and then build up the outer corners for that classic cat eye look. Just add a hint of smoky eyeshadow so all attention is on your eyes.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Zao Essence of Nature

It isn't very often that you find a brand that come up with a completely new packaging concept but that's exactly what Zao have done. It's the first brand organic cosmetics range that uses sustainable bamboo packaging. I tried out the matt lipstick £14.95 in the dark red shade, a perfect shade to bring out the sex kitten no matter your colouring. The smooth creamy texture glides on and as it contains precious oils it moisturises your lips. This does two things, firstly it stops the colour drying out on your lips so it doesn't crack or bleed. Secondly it keeps the colour on your lips rather than your glass, boyfriend etc.

The packaging is lovely and tactile, the smooth bamboo feels super sliky on your skin and looks funky thanks to a dash of pink. Unlike plastic packaging it doesn't crack and get damaged in your makeup bag and you can buy refills for most of the products on Zao's website. Not only is the bamboo packaging sustainable it is also reusable. One thing I have noticed about mineral and natural makeup is that it tends to only come in a limited skin shade but Zao's range of foundations covers even the darkest skin. The colours of the lipsticks and eyeshadows would suit a variety of ethnicities and there is a range of brushes to get the look just right. 

Ethics wise the brand scores top marks, all products are natural, fair trade and organic. There are no hidden nasties, no testing on fluffy bunnies or other animals, no ingredients from petrochemical industries and all the products get a negative carbon footprint as bamboo has such a exceptional growth speed. Now you can look good whilst doing good.   

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Elemis White Flowers Eye & Lip Makeup Remover £19

I've always found taking waterproof eyeliner off tricky, using a regular make-up remover never quite gets all the eyeliner or mascara off so you wake up with panda eyes. Normally I use coconut oil to take off my make-up, which gets everything off but can leave a greasy film over your eyes. As I like to read before bed this can get annoying as its slightly dulls the focus.

Elemis have developed an eye and lip make-up that is gentle on the skin whilst being tough on make-up. The bi-phase combines an oil that is necessary to get rid of even the most stubborn of make-up while the water phase cools and refreshes the skin. The strong anti-oxides of white tea help protect the skin against sun damage, white flowers tone and hydrate and spring water encourages the development of lipids.

You have to give the bottle a really good shake before you use the remover to get a combination of oil and water onto a cotton wool pad. The water and oil are never going to mix so you really can't shake it up too much. I found this worked best if you leave the cotton wool pad on your eyelid for 30 seconds or so to really let the oil dissolve any make-up. Then all you need to do is gently sweep the pad over your  eyelid to take off any mascara etc. This stops you having to go over the area again with more product so reduces irritation. It took all my make-up off, and even though it is an oil it is much lighter than coconut oil so didn't leave a film on my eyes. The water helps to cool your skin and leave your eyes feeling fresh and clean.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Artist unveils new exhibition of works of art created on armpit canvases

I don't think I am ever going to get bored of all things beach ...... don't think I will ever see a sea painting in an armpit again though. How cool is this?


British interdisciplinary artist, Isamaya Ffrench today unveils a unique collection of art titled 'The Art Underarm'. All of the pieces in the series are created using the canvas of women's underarms  - the first time that the armpit has been used in this way.

Curated with Vaseline Deodorant to celebrate the female form, Isamaya's collection seeks to draw attention to an area usually hidden away ­- the armpit. Each of the six pieces in the collection sees the underarm decorated to become a work of art in its own right.
Each artwork created was inspired by nature, horticulture and the natural curve of the female body. Included within the collection is “Derma Beauty” - a secret garden within the underarm and “Aloe Fresh” which showcases a striking graphic silhouette with bold aloe leaves.
The “Double Invisible” image uses the contours of the body and stark Aztec patterns to vividly contrast skin tones, while “Active Fresh” portrays a tranquil landscape scene. The final piece, “Underarm Wave”, is created to mirror the style of the famed Hokusai wave, which sees waves crashing along the contour of a woman's underarm.
Georgia Spriggs, Vaseline Deodorant Brand Manager, commented on the collaboration with Ffrench: “Working with an artist like Isamaya allowed us to create a series of works which not only use the underarm in a truly unique way but create something visually impactful which celebrates the female form and brings our range to life in a new and interesting way.”
The Vaseline Deodorant range which includes Derma Beauty, Double Invisible, Aloe Fresh and Active Fresh variants are priced at a RRP of £1.86 each and available from retailers nationwide.

Dead Spa Magik - Salt Brushing

Exfoliating is the first step in getting soft and toned skin so finding a exfoliator is key. I regularly use coffee grounds as an exfoliator but although it leaves my skin feeling wonderful it leaves the bathroom looking a right mess.

Far from being the skin drying experience you think salt brushing might be, the offer from Dead Sea Magik is wonderfully nourishing thanks to the inclusion of coconut oil. The salt crystals are just the right size to give a really rough texture that makes you shed all your dead skin, so no more rough patches. I found the best way to use it is to stand in the bath and rub all over your body in circular motions. Start at your feet then work your way up. Make sure to pay attention to knees, elbows, thighs and bum! I think Cheryl Cole is going to be needing this to keep her fabulous bottom tattoo looking in great condition. I think it's a wonderful tattoo... I can't stop looking at it but she is going to have to take good care of her rear to make sure it stays as pert as it does in the photo and salt brushing should be something she does ever week.

I loved this product so much I even got my finance to come and have a go before he got in the shower and scrubbed him from top to feet and he loved it to. It's got to be up there with the same results as a coffee scrub but it doesn't leave your bathroom in a mess. My skin was left soft and silky thanks to the coconut oil. If you wanted to apply fake tan directly after I would suggest you leave it a few hours until all the oil has absorbed as it would prevent the fake tan from soaking in properly. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Alterna - Bamboo Beach - Mango Coconut refreshing Dry Shampoo £21

Having just moved to the seaside as soon as I saw Alterna's new beach range I just had to try it. The product that I wanted to try first was the Mango and Coconut dry shampoo as I just love those smells. As soon as you open the tube and smell the powder you are hit with a glorious fruity scent that transports you to a tropical island. Seriously the smell is so amazing you will want to eat the stuff .... don't though, it works so well on your hair you would really be missing out.

It took me a couple of goes to get used to a powder dry shampoo as I'm so used to spray ones but as soon as you get the hang of it it's just the same but obviously you get more product, less packaging and no aerosol. Gently sprinkle a small amount through roots of hair, rub in and then boom - greasy hair a thing of the past and it gives your hair extra body. The tropical fruity smell gives you a lovely fresh scent so even if you have been in a really smoky environment no one will ever know. It's free from all nasties - Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, Synthetic Color, Talc, Sodium Chloride, Mineral Oil and Petrolatum. So it won't damage or dry out your hair.

I was slightly worried about using too much and making my dark hair slightly grey, a problem I have encountered with other dry shampoos, but Alterna's soaks up any grease without making you look like you have aged years. When I you have left it a little too long in-between dye jobs and my blonde roots are starting to come through I mix a little of the dry shampoo in with a powder eyeshadow that closest matches the dyed colour. That way I can get a few more days without having to wash my hair, hence saving the dye on my hair. Plus it covers up my blonde roots coming through. 

A holiday must have as it's much lighter in your luggage than regular shampoo, plus you don't need conditioner. If you aren't off on holiday this year then use this in your hair and at least you will smell like you do!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Vaseline Spray & Go £4.99

I've always avoided moisturising in the morning, preferring to leave it till before bed. Ultimately it's because I am really lazy and would rather sleep than wait for my moisturiser to soak in. There are a few quick absorbing moisturisers out there but you still need to wait a good five minutes or so for it to absorb fully before putting your clothes on otherwise they leaving you feeling sticky or your tights, t-shirt or whatever soak up the product before your skin can. Vaseline have a revolutionary new body moisturiser than soaks into your skin in seconds making it perfect for morning applications, even for those as lazy as me.

The spray and go really is that, the bottle sprays at every angle and has a continuous flow so you can sweep it over your body, quickly rub in and you are done. The unique spray system dispenses the lotion quickly and evenly onto the skin and soaks in in seconds leaving your skin soft and silky. I went for the aloe fresh product that is the only product that I have tried that doesn't slightly tingle freshly shaved legs. Normally I have to wait if I have just shaved my legs but I was able to spray it on straight away, again saving time. Luckily I am still getting some sunshine and predictably I am still slightly over exposing my skin. Having to rub after sun onto red skin can be quite painful but I don't have to anymore as I can spray my skin instead. If you have really over done it, place the spray and go in the fridge while you have a bath and you will love the cooling spray afterwards.

I normally get my partner to moisturise my back, a chore he does but does while complaining. When I gave him the spray and go to use he loved it, pretending that he was spraying painting me, he nearly got a little carried away. It was then no surprise that the next morning I heard the distinctive sound of the spray (really good fun) and found him spraying himself after his morning shower. I've been on at him for years to moisturise and he never has, this spray has made it fun for him though. The unique spray action has also stopped those annoying traits of pump action bottles - where your hand slips because its covered in product and you can't get the stuff out of the bottle, or trying to put on a lid with greasy hands and it rolls under the sofa never to be seen again.

It's really touching that a brand such as Vaseline that is steeped in the history of moisturising has developed it's future.  

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Skin Doctors

So hair removal might not be the most glamorous of products but they are very necessary, especially if you get ingrown hairs like I do. As you will have read getting my bikini line bikini ready can result in horrible ingrown hairs and occasionally they can even become infected..... not really the look I was going for. Help comes in the form of Skin Doctors Ingrow Go (£12.20) a liquid exfoliate that gets rid of ingrown hairs in as little as 24 hours. It also stops those little bumps you get after shaving and has anti-bacterial qualities to stop hairs getting infected. It's safe to use anywhere on your body, just drip some on cotton wool and wipe over any area shaved, waxed or plucked. If I ever get an ingrown hair that I haven't got to in time I use this a few times a day on the bump and in next to know time the redness has gone down and the hair can be removed.

Another handy product is the Hair No More System (£17.30) Step 1 is a pain free hair removal cream (with the added bonus it doesn't have that really strong smell that most hair removal creams do that's a dead giveaway of why you have hidden yourself in the bathroom). In a few minutes the area will be free from hair without any nicks or screams, plus its completely safe to use on your face if you suffer from a slightly furry upper lip, or in my case side burns that would put Wolverine to shame. Step 2 is a growth inhibitor spray that minimizes hair growth so it grows back slower and when it does it it softer. I've used the kit a couple of times now and have been really pleased with the results so no more panicked phone calls to get a emergency bikini wax. I've also started using it on my armpits as it totally beats having to shave everyday.