Saturday, 9 August 2014

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer




Having been dealt the life card of frizzy and thick hair, I’m always on the market for a product that is going to make my hair feel and look silkier and more nourished. Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer is a hair product that I’ve had my eye on for a while, as it’s such a cult product that I’ve read many a rave review about over the years.

As well as being well known for its hair softening qualities, Elasticizer is notorious for being a pricey addition to any hair care routine. 150ml of this product will usually set you back around £28, however I managed to snap it up when it was on offer to celebrate 40 years of sales and I also had a £5 discount code to use. The limited edition gift set I bought included a 250ml tube of Elasticizer and a towelling wrap to cover the hair while the treatment is on.

The product itself is a thick white cream with no scent that is to be used as a pre-shampoo treatment for dry or heat damaged hair. This cream is to be applied to damp hair, so I wet all my hair in the shower, towel dry it and then comb it through before applying a generous layer all over, from root to tips. I then wrap my hair in the towel provided and leave it on for anything from 30 minutes to a few hours and I like to use this time as a pamper session on a Sunday (I’m talking nail painting, fake tanning, eyebrow plucking, the works).

After the treatment has been on my hair for as long as possible, I wash it out and then shampoo and condition my hair as normal. Whilst washing out the cream, my hair doesn’t immediately feel any softer or silkier, however, as I wash it, the texture changes and my hair feels much softer and less thick and coarse. When I move on to drying, my hair does feel significantly more moisturised and more bouncy and light in texture. I was slightly disappointed that Elasticizer made little difference to the frizziness of my hair, as I expected that the flyaway frizz would have been more smooth after the treatment, however I didn’t notice it to be any less frizzy than when I use my regular conditioner.

Overall, I have enjoyed using Elasticizer, and definitely felt a difference to my hair after use, however I’m on the fence as to whether I would repurchase it at full price, as it didn’t make quite as much difference to the appearance of my hair as I’d hoped.

What are your thoughts on this cult hair treatment? Can you recommend any hair masks to calm frizz and add moisture?

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Origins Super Spot Remover Review




This tiny bottle of spot treatment has got a lot of attention over the past few years, and, having taken the plunge a few months ago, I thought it was high time to review Origins’ answer to blemishes. This tiny 10ml bottle costs £15, which, considering it looks small enough to be a sample, felt like a very extravagant buy (especially considering it was £12 just two years ago!)

Anyway, the gel itself is clear and quite thick, which means that very little is needed, and for each blemish I just use a tiny dab. Because of the salicylic acid in this treatment, when the gel is applied, the spot stings for a few seconds until the gel sets in. Oddly enough, I actually like that there is a sensation on application, as it feels as though the gel is actually doing something and contains active and effective ingredients to tackle the blemish.

If I put the treatment on before bed, when I wake up in the morning, there is the usual dryness that is associated with blemish treatment, due to the ingredients drying out the spots. However, the dryness can be easily remedied by a layer of moisturiser before applying makeup. I do find that if I use this product regularly and target a breakout, spots do appear much less red and smaller in size after repeated use.

In general, I don’t think that there is a miracle gel or cream out there that is going to truly banish blemishes, however there are products that will minimise the redness and size more quickly than Mother Nature, and the Origins spot treatment is certainly one of them.

Have you tried the Origins spot treatment? What do you find the best treatment for blemishes to be?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Simple Summer Nail Art





Nail art has never been a strong skill of mine, as, being left handed, I can create intricate designs on my right hand, but when it comes to replicating them on my left hand, the result looks like a toddler has been let loose with a felt tip marker. However, since buying the black Barry M Nail Art Pen a few months ago and getting the white one at the same time (buy 1 get 1 half price), I’ve used the black pen quite frequently, but I managed to lose the white version at the back of a draw. I really enjoyed using the black pen and created a leopard print glitter design (blog post here), so thought it was time I attempted a design with the white pen.

Because of my inability to create anything more adventurous than dots or dashes using my right hand, I tend to stick to very basic patterns with nail art pens, and what could be simpler than random short lines? Despite the extreme simplicity of this nail look, I think that the faint white lines look suitably summery over Essie’s Bikini So Teeny, a beautiful shimmery pastel blue shade.

I found the pen itself to be easy to use, and, despite the lines looking quite faint on my nails, if pressed harder, a more opaque line can easily be created. My only slight criticism with this nail art pen is that occasionally a lot comes out in a blob at the top of the nib, but this can be rectified by keeping a tissue nearby and dabbing this away before applying the nib to the nail. These nail art pens aren’t the cheapest at £4.99, but Barry M nail products are often on offer, so I'd recommend waiting for a 3 for 2 deal (a.k.a the classic beauty addict's justification for buying more makeup than they need).

What's your opinion on DIY nail art? What designs have you attempted?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Peach Cheeks





Having always gone for the same pink toned blushers, I felt it was high time to try a more peachy shade, so when I spotted this little number I had to add it to my basket. The blush in question is one of the Bourjois Little Round Pot Blushers in the shade ‘Healthy Mix'.

The colour of the blush is a warm peachy coral and I would describe the finish as satin, as it contains no shimmer or glitter, but gives a subtle glow to the skin. The finish and shade of the blush mean that it creates a really healthy look (as the name would suggest), because it looks very natural, but adds warmth to the complexion.

The blush itself has a floral, fresh scent which can be detected in the pan, but this doesn’t linger on the skin for long, which I consider to be a good thing. Although this isn’t the most pigmented of products, it gives a natural flush which will suit all skin tones, perhaps aside from very dark skins, as it may not show up too well without needing to pile on multiple layers.

I love the packaging of the Bourjois Pot Blushes, as the casing is the exact shade of the blush inside, and there is also a tiny mirror in the lid, which could be used in desperate mirror-less situations. Although the pot is quite small, Bourjois have managed to sneak a tiny applicator inside, but does anyone find any use for these teeny doll sized brushes?

Which peach toned blushes would you recommend?

Friday, 4 July 2014

Back to Basics




Recently, I have found myself reaching daily for my battered, or to put it nicely, ‘well loved’ Naked Palette. Although it may not be the shiny, pristine beauty it used to be, it remains a palette of complementary shadows, meaning that any makeup beginner can create a successful smokey eye or natural look by combining any of the 12 shades.

When the hype for this palette first emerged, I disregarded the concept as a gimmick, however, I quickly changed my opinion when I found that, rather than being simply a palette of ‘naked’ shadows, it actually contained a variety of rich and pigmented shades. The most attractive aspect of this palette to me is that a ‘barely there’ look can be created, but, due to the range of shades, so can a dramatic smoky eye, meaning that many looks can be created for your £37.

Since every blogger and their mum has reviewed one of the 3 ‘Naked’ offerings, I won’t bore you with a detailed description of each shade, but just put in my tuppence that I do rate them. Because of the quality and wearable nature of these shades, you’d have to try pretty hard to create a disastrous look when using these shadows!

The time that I am most thankful for the existence of this palette is holiday or travelling situations, as it really does contain all you could possibly need for your eye makeup (minus mascara). The shimmery shades are perfect all over lid, the darker shades can be used as eye liner with an angled brush, and the matte shades (‘Naked’ and ‘Buck’) can be used through the eyebrows. I will certainly be taking this palette along to T in the Park festival when I head there next week (but whether I fit in using it amidst the fun and festivities will be a different matter).

Which is your favourite eye shadow palette?