Monday, 19 March 2018

Speed Review: Time Bomb Peace & Quiet Coconut Cleansing Oil

Time Bomb is never a brand which immediately springs to mind when it comes to shopping for beauty products but I've actually been pretty pleased with those items that I have tried from the company. Regular readers will know that I love using cleansing oils so I was excited to see that Time Bomb had introduced one, Peace & Quiet Coconut Cleansing Oil.

Time Bomb describe Peace & Quiet Coconut Cleansing Oil as perfect for nighttime use as it delicately removes makeup, even around the eyes and the lightweight oil-based formula gently cleanses skin dissolving dirt & grime, washing off for calm and pristine clean skin. They state that it is ideal for all skin types. It contains a blend of grape seed, sunflower and safflower oils along with coconut oil, which they say is known for its powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Clearly, Time Bomb are tapping into the trend towards coconut oil and whilst I personally avoid using pure coconut oil on my face because of fears that the rich formula will clog my acne-prone skin, I was willing to give Peace & Quiet Coconut Cleansing Oil a go thanks to it being a blended product.

The packaging is simple but I quite liked the design and was happy to have it on display in my bathroom. I appreciated the convenience of the pump dispenser (just a few pumps provided sufficient product to cover my entire face) but I'd have preferred a transparent bottle to enable me to see how much of the cleansing oil was remaining.

As the name suggests, Time Bomb Peace & Quiet Coconut Cleansing Oil has a coconut fragrance. If you don't like the scent of coconuts then this product won't be for you but personally, I liked it and it made me think of tropical holidays.

The cleansing oil has a lightweight silky texture and as tends to be the case with cleansing oils, lent itself well to facial massage.

It is a clear oil which easily emulsified on contact with water, turning to a lightweight milk which was easy to rinse away. I found that it effectively cleansed my skin although I did need to use a separate eye makeup remover to get rid of traces of stubborn mascara (I don't wear waterproof mascara).

At £25 for 175ml, I do feel that Time Bomb Peace & Quiet Coconut Cleansing Oil is a pricey option and is a tad overpriced for the quantity but that said, I did enjoy using it.


Thursday, 8 March 2018

Speed Review: Dr Hauschka Almond Soothing Body Wash

Believe it or not, I don't think I've ever previously reviewed a Dr Hauschka product before on Skin Deep, which surprised me because I've long admired the natural brand.
I've recently been using Dr Hauschka Almond Soothing Body Wash which I decided to try after experiencing some irritating dry skin on my body. The body wash is described as a gentle, soap-free body cleanser with a delicate calming almond scent that gently cleanses and moisturises the skin.

On first impressions, the packaging is minimalist and not the most eye catching. That said, it's not offensive and is in keeping with the "pure" brand message. Much of the writing on the plastic bottle is in German but I appreciated the inclusion of a best before date. The flip top lid is functional but I'd have preferred if the bottle was transparent to enable me to see how much product was remaining.

Dr Hauschka Almond Soothing Body Wash has a milky texture which I was able to work into a gentle lather (a bath puff would no doubt help with this). I enjoyed the scent which reminded me of baby powder and was clean, comforting and nostalgic. That said, I couldn't detect the fragrance on my skin following use. I'd agree with the "soothing" claims and following use, my skin felt gently yet effectively cleansed but not stripped.

Overall, I enjoyed using Dr Hauschka Almond Soothing Body Wash and whilst it's relatively pricey at £14 for 200ml, I'd recommend it particularly if you suffer from dry skin.


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Speed Review: Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask

When I first heard about the Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask, I was intrigued. I imagined that it would be deeply cleansing thanks to the mud element and not compromise on volume, unlike some masks which can weigh my fine hair down, but I didn't expect it to be particularly nourishing. It captured my attention because, as far as I'm aware, such a concept is rare for a high street brand. The only other mud based hair masks which spring to mind are the Espa Pink Hair and Scalp Mud and Spa Find Heavenly Hydration Conditioning Scalp Mud (which I reviewed here all the way back in 2011).

Lee Stafford was said to have been inspired by the renowned benefits of the Dead Sea and designed the Sea Salt Mud Mask to be packed full of the minerals, salts and algae found there. The mask is intended to enrich, soften, moisturise and deeply cleanse the hair and scalp.

Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask is presented in the brand's signature bright pink packaging which is unashamedly girlie but equally, it's distinctive, stands out on a shop shelf and is in keeping with the brand image- it's fun and affordable. That said, as the mask has been designed as something special and a bit of a standout product, I'd potentially have liked to see alternative packaging for it. Furthermore, I'm not a fan of the tub packaging, which I found messy, and would have preferred the convenience and functionality of a tube. That said, the directions were clear and easy to follow and I appreciated the inclusion of Lee's top tip to gain optimal benefits from the product.

In terms of usage, the fact that Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask gets to work in just five minutes appealed to me. The directions do recommend using together with the shampoo and conditioner from the same range but I didn't do this, preferring to stay true to my usual Sunday pampering routine in order to ensure a fair test.

The appearance and thick texture live up to the "mud mask" name. It's akin to a clay based facial mask. The directions don't state how much product to use so I applied a generous amount to cover my hair and scalp. (I'd normally focus a hair mask onto the lengths of my hair and apply any remaining product to my roots to avoid weighing down but the description specifically notes that the mask is beneficial for the scalp). It was easy to work through my hair and felt silky as I massaged the product in.

I really wasn't a fan of the scent, which I found to be quite overpowering and synthetic- it reminded me of cleaning products! I noticed that it lingered, albeit delicately, even after I'd dried and styled my hair.

Owing to the texture, I expected Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask to be difficult to rinse out and I wasn't wrong as it took a little effort.

Following use, my hair looked shiny and healthy, and whilst it wasn't noticeably softened, it felt clean. I was impressed to note that my hair wasn't weighed down (despite having applied a generous amount to my roots) and if anything, looked thickened. Furthermore, it didn't irritate my sensitive scalp. I'd recommend this mask to anyone with fine hair looking to create texture.

At £10.99 for 200ml, I do feel that this is slightly overpriced but the brand is regularly on offer in Boots so if you'd like to try it, I'd suggest waiting until they run a promotion.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Speed Review: Bodhi & Birch Mint The Bath & Shower Therapy

Anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that I'm far from a morning person. As such, I'm always on the lookout for invigorating products to make my morning that little bit more bearable and it's for this reason that Bodhi & Birch Mint The Bath & Shower Therapy appealed to me. 

Bodhi & Birch describe the bath & shower gel as containing a revitalising fusion of peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, sweet marjoram and opulent frankincense to rejuvenate body and mind. 

My first impression was one of luxury thanks to the outer box which the product is presented in. I like that it's highlighted as a "refreshing" product for the aforementioned reasons. The plastic bottle itself looks chic and has a unisex design. I liked that it was transparent so that I could tell how much was remaining and appreciated the functionality of the pump dispenser, although its worth noting that I needed to use a few pumps to dispense my desired amount. 

Bodhi & Birch Mint The Bath & Shower Therapy is a thick golden gel which I was able to work into a lather easily. As the name suggests, mint is the predominant fragrance but it's a sophisticated scent with a depth to it, including a slight sweetness which isn't at all sickly or synthetic. I enjoyed the fragrance and would agree that it is refreshing and revitalising. I wasn't able to detect it on my skin following use. 

After my shower, my skin was left feeling clean but not stripped or tight. 

At £18 for 200ml, this is undeniably expensive but a pleasant treat. I'd like to see Bodhi & Birch Mint The Bath & Shower Therapy presented in a slightly larger bottle to represent better value for money but overall, I enjoyed using it and feel that it delivers on the claims. 


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Speed Review: Argan+ Shea Collagen Rich Body Wash

Argan+ Shea Collagen Rich Body Wash

The Argan+ range tends to grab my attention when I'm grocery shopping as it's stocked in my local supermarket and I usually use the special offers as an opportunity to try something from the range. I've recently been using the Argan+ Shea Collagen Rich Body Wash which is described by the company as nurturing and cleansing for dry skin.

The company say that it will envelop your skin and indulge your senses, combining a nourishing blend of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil to help moisturise dry skin. They state that Argan+ Shea Collagen Rich Body Wash is enriched with Collagen (as the name suggests) to help revitalise, along with scientifically proven ingredients to increase skin hydration for 12 hours, together with the unique Argan+ Synergy blend of oils (including Moroccan Argan Oil, Baobab Oil, Kukui Oil, Moringa Oil and Sacha Inchi Oil).

On first impressions, I liked the tube packaging which is functional albeit not the most luxurious in terms of appearance- it's clear that it's a wallet friendly brand.

Argan+ Shea Collagen Rich Body Wash has a pearlised gel cream texture which wasn't to my liking as I felt that it gave a cheap impression. It produced a generous lather but I felt as though I went through the tube fairly quickly so I'd recommend using with a bath puff to make it last longer. The scent is warming and comforting but again, there was something about it that I found cheap and synthetic (although perhaps that was psychological as a result of my impression of the texture!). That said, I couldn't detect the scent on my skin following use and didn't feel that it interfered with other fragrance.

Despite the claims, I didn't notice that my skin felt particularly nourished following use and I still needed to moisturise.

Argan+ Shea Collagen Rich Body Wash did the job of cleansing my body but overall, I didn't particularly enjoy the usage and was disappointed that it wasn't a more indulgent product. I don't feel that it is worth the price tag of £4.95 for 200ml and won't repurchase.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Speed Review: John Frieda Beach Blonde Kelp Help Deep Conditioning Masque

john frieda kelp help deep conditioning masque

I love treating my tresses to a pampering hair mask once a week so even though I don't have blonde hair, this deep conditioning masque appealed to me, particularly because I love the idea of kelp as a key ingredient.

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of tub packaging so I'd have preferred the convenience of a tube but otherwise, I feel the presentation is well executed. I love the branding, which is well thought out with the "sea" theme. From the name of the product and Beach Blondes range, the inclusion of kelp as a key ingredient, the use of aquamarine colour on the packaging and even the fresh, oceanic fragrance- this is branding done well.

The directions were clear and easy to follow and I liked that the mask gets to work in under five minutes.

I really enjoyed the usage of this mask. I found the aforementioned oceanic fragrance to be very pleasant. It's quite refreshing with a hint of mint. The cream texture was easy to work through my hair and equally, was relatively easy to rinse out.

Following use, my hair looked impressively soft, smooth and shiny. It was manageable but my fine hair wasn't weighed down. It simply looked healthy. The scent didn't really linger but I did note that my hair smelt fresh and clean.

One point to note is that John Frieda Kelp Help Deep Conditioning Masque contains quite a high concentration of silicones so if you prefer to avoid these then this mask won't be for you.

Overall, I liked this mask and feels that it represents good value for money at £6.29 for 150ml.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Ojon Rare Blend Oil- A Disappointing Product

I’ve been excited to try Ojon’s Rare Blend Oil (or as I like to call it “Rainbow Oil”- although that doesn’t give quite the same luxe impression) ever since I first heard about it and whilst that may have been some time ago and it’s admittedly taken me a while to get around to trying it, my excitement hadn’t diminished. Maybe it’s because I love hair oils and credit them with transforming my tresses or perhaps my inner magpie (mermaid? Unicorn?) simply couldn’t resist the rainbow layers of oil. The packaging is an outer cardboard wrap which highlights the natural layers that the oils settle into, showcasing the product and this has often appealed to me when I’ve spied it on shop shelves. It certainly stands out as something different from other hair oils.

As I’ve hinted above, the plastic bottle is aesthetically pleasing and allows for the layers of oil to be viewed. The transparent bottle also shows how much product is remaining, which I always appreciate. The benefits are stated on the bottle as helping to boost moisture, nourish to repair, tame frizz, prevent heat damage and reveal dazzling shine. The instructions are clear, if a little short and state to shake the bottle to blend the oils. Simple enough but I absolutely hated everything about the functionality of the bottle. It has a screw top so the oils start to settle again whilst you’re unscrewing the lid after shaking. There is of course the option to unscrew the lid, place your hand over the top and then shake but that risks mess. Furthermore, the dispenser is simply the open bottle top so it’s very difficult to control how much oil is released. I’m not sure how else they could’ve presented it but anything would be an improvement! This is a large part of the reason that I disliked the product so much- it simply wasn’t enjoyable to use.

The blended oil itself has a very thick and heavy texture, almost to the point of feeling sticking in my hands- not pleasant. Thanks to the thick texture, a little goes a long way- assuming you can control the dispensing. That said, it was easy to work through my hair and has pleasant, subtle scent. In terms of the results, this oil could have given me the best results (in reality, I'd say they were fairly average) but it wouldn't be enough to convince me to persevere with this product because I could feel a residue in my hair after styling, which I hate and what's more, I found that my hair became greasy and needed to be washed far more quickly than usual when I was using this product. It's everything that people who might be afraid of trying oils might be concerned about and I'd hate for a beginner to try this as it would most likely put them off hair oils. Maybe this would work in someone with thicker hair than mine but if, like me, you have fine hair, I'd recommend steering well clear which I feel disappointed to write as I had such high hopes! It's increasingly difficult to find the Ojon brand and I'm not entirely sure what's going on- whether it's being discontinued or not- but if you can find it, Ojon Rare Blend Oil costs £30 for 45ml. 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Speed Review: Elemental Herbology Harmonising Cleanse Facial Cleansing Oil

If you've followed Skin Deep for some time then you'll know that using oils is my favourite way to gently yet effectively cleanse and balance my combination skin. I simply can't get enough of them and love trying offerings from different brands, with the latest one being Elemental Herbology Harmonising Cleanse Facial Cleansing Oil.

According to the Company, Elemental Herbology Harmonising Cleanse Facial Cleansing Oil is aimed at those with oily to combination skin and is infused with 100% natural and nourishing plant oils to effectively remove all traces of stubborn makeup, leaving skin clear, clean and supple. It contains Vitamin C to brighten and help reduce pigmentation, Raspberry Seed to help reduce redness and inflammation and Camellia Flower to help nourish, soften and hydrate skin. It also contains Grapefruit and Geranium for an astringent effect, along with Argan, Jojoba and Sweet Almond Oils to help replenish dry & sensitive skin, balance sebum production and nourish & soothe.

I tend to think of Elemental Herbology as a luxurious and indulgent natural brand and have found some of their products to be impressively results driven (especially the Cell Nourish serum, which is a product I come back to time and time again). The packaging of Harmonising Cleanse Facial Cleansing Oil reinforces that message as it's presented in an outer box in the brand's distinctive design. The bottle inside is fairly slimline and aesthetically pleasing in its simplicity. I really liked that the bottle is transparent so it's easy to tell how much product is remaining. It's also functional with a pump dispenser to avoid wastage. What's more, the packaging is travel friendly which is unusual for an oil as I often worry that they will leak, so a real bonus as it means that I don't need to compromise my regime when away. 

The oil itself has an indulgent botanical fragrance. It has a golden colour and the texture is average- it's not as light and silky as say, The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil but nor is it as heavy as something like the Antonia Burrell Natural Glow Cleansing Oil. As tends to be the case with cleansing oils, it lends itself well to facial massage. It rinsed away effortlessly and I felt as though my face had been thoroughly cleaned, although I did need to use a separate eye makeup remover to dissolve stubborn mascara.

I agree with the claims that Elemental Herbology Harmonising Cleanse Facial Cleansing Oil has a balancing effect on skin. My skin didn't feel stripped or tight following use but I did still need to follow with a moisturiser, as I always do.

I needed to use approximately 5-6 pumps to release sufficient product to cleanse my entire face and neck and as such, I felt like I went through the deceptively small 100ml bottle fairly quickly. At £29 for 100ml, it's not cheap but I do feel that Elemental Herbology Harmonising Cleanse Facial Cleansing Oil is a quality product which I enjoyed using and would recommend if you're seeking a cleansing oil with added indulgence factor.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Speed Review: Argan + 5-Oil Miracle Shampoo and Conditioner

Argan+ 5 Oil Miracle Shampoo and Conditioner

I was recently sent the Argan+ 5 Oil Miracle Shampoo and Conditioner to try, which I was intrigued by as I don't tend to think of the brand as a haircare one.

The first thing to say as a caveat to this review is that I don't have coloured hair so I can't comment on the claims surrounding colour protecting properties. That said, I love using oils to nourish my hair and as the Shampoo and Conditioner are based around a blend of oils, including Moroccan Argan Oil, Lavender Oil, Baobab Oil, Ginger Root Oil, Kukui Seed Oil, Moringa Oil and Sacha Inchi Oil, I was excited to try them. The company claims that the Shampoo and Conditioner are designed to repair, nourish and strengthen hair and contain colour protecting Rooibos extract to help enhance and lock in colour intensity and prevent fading.

On first impressions, I liked that the plastic bottles are easily distinguishable from one other, with the Shampoo being presented in a Moroccanoil-esque turquoise blue bottle and the Conditioner in a white bottle. They aren't the most luxurious but the packaging is eye-catching (particularly that of the Shampoo). They have flip top lids for ease of use in the shower. The directions were clear and easy to follow. The Shampoo bottle was opaque so it was difficult to tell how much product was remaining whereas the Conditioner bottle was semi-opaque, which I preferred, as I was able to see how much product was left.

Argan+ 5 Oil Miracle Shampoo:
The company claims that the Shampoo is powered by vitamin E rich Argan Oil along with a blend of nourishing oils to gently cleanse hair without stripping it. They say that the vitamin packed formulation delivers incredible softness and shine, leaving hair more manageable, shiny and colour vibrant.
I enjoyed using the Shampoo, which had a comforting and warming scent which had a hint of the exotic and smelt luxurious, without being overpowering. The Shampoo had a gel texture, with the golden colour adding to the sense of luxury and reiterating the nourishing oil ingredient message. I found that the Shampoo produced a generous lather and, as inherently seems to be the case with most shampoos, rinsed away easily. I was highly impressed to note that it didn't irritate my sensitive scalp, as many shampoos (particularly budget friendly ones) can.

Argan+ 5 Oil Miracle Conditioner: 
The company claims that the Conditioner helps hair to keep its hue and vibrancy with its deeply strengthening formula. They state that the intensively nourishing Argan+ Synergy blend delivers optimum conditioning and smoothing benefits, leaving hair stronger, shinier and softer, ready to be styled.
Again, I enjoyed using this product. The Conditioner has a light cream texture which felt luxuriously silky. It was relatively easy to dispense although a tube would have been more convenient. I found it easy to work through my hair.
I found the Conditioner to be more heavily perfumed than the Shampoo but it smelt like an expensive product. It was indulgent, pampering and a pleasure to use. Following use, a comforting scent lingered very delicately.
Rinsability was average. I was impressed with how smooth my hair looked following use and noted that my fine hair wasn't weighed down. It felt wonderfully soft and looked shiny yet remained manageable.

I must confess that I hadn't had the highest expectations of these products but actually really enjoyed using them and I was highly impressed with the results. At £5.99 for each of the 300ml bottles, I feel that they represent fantastic value for money and would recommend them.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Speed Review: Bliss Grapefruit & Aloe Soapy Suds Body Wash

It's safe to say that I'm not a morning person, particularly at this time of year when I have to be practically dragged from my warm bed. A morning shower using an uplifting, zesty body wash makes it just about bearable so I'm always hunting out options which may help. I've recently been reaching for Bliss Grapefruit and Aloe Soapy Suds Body Wash, which I've been really enjoying.

Bliss is a strange brand. I always think of it as cool, effortless and timeless but it doesn't get a huge amount of love and attention in the blogging community, perhaps having been usurped by its more affordable & readily available (we won't go into their weird choice of an online shop via Amazon) "younger sister" brand, Soap & Glory.

On first impressions, I loved the packaging. The bold designs which Bliss incorporate always appeal to me and still seem relevant and modern all these years after the original launch. I was happy to have it on display in my shower and what's more, appreciated the functionality of the pump dispenser and also liked that the transparent plastic bottle meant it was easy to tell how much product was remaining.

Bliss Grapefruit & Aloe Soapy Suds Body Wash completely lives up to its name. I absolutely loved the scent which was fresh and perfectly captured the fragrance of the key ingredients without being sickly sweet or synthetic. The scent didn't linger on my skin following use so didn't interfere with other fragrances. Whilst I can't comment on the product as a bubble bath (I generally prefer the convenience of showers), I do feel that it delivers on the "Soapy Suds" name as well. Bliss Grapefruit & Aloe Soapy Suds Body Wash has a thick, jelly-like texture which meant that it was easy to control how much product was dispensed, avoiding wastage. Perhaps unsurprisingly (given the inclusion of SLS), I was able to work the gel into a creamy lather and this could probably be enhanced using a bath puff or sponge. Following use, my skin felt fresh and clean but I still needed to moisturise (as I tend to have to after using SLS containing products).

Bliss Grapefruit & Aloe Soapy Suds Body Wash was a real pleasure to use and made the routine of showering more enjoyable. At £16.50 for 475ml, it's not the cheapest shower gel but you do get a lot of product for your money and I'd recommend checking it out.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Speed Review: NHP Nourish Hair Mask

I love to treat my tresses as part of my Sunday pampering routine and every week, I'll indulge with a clarifying shampoo (Clynol's Clear Cleansing Shampoo being a favourite) followed by a nourishing hair mask. I've recently been using NHP Nourish Hair Mask, which is the focus of today's review.

NHP isn't a brand with which I was previously familiar so I went into the trial with no preconceptions. The mask is described as being a deep and intense nourishing mask which is free from parabens, paraffins and colorants. It is based on organic Argan oil and Macadamia oil and is designed to restore the right hydro lipid balance to dry, damaged and colour treated hair, leaving it silky, smooth, vigorous (!) and shiny. The mask is designed to tame frizz and protect against colour fading.

My first impression was that NHP Nourish Hair Mask looks like a professional salon product thanks to the minimalist design of the packaging and the fact that it's presented in a huge 300ml tube, which would last for ages with normal use. The design has quite a unisex feel to it. It probably wouldn't appeal to me if I saw it on a shop shelf.

The directions were relatively clear although don't state how much to use. I was pleased to note that the mask gets to work in just five minutes, offering a pampering option without too much of a time commitment. It states that for best results, the mask should be used twice a week, although I must confess that I only incorporated it into my routine once per week, in keeping with the fact that my hair is not colour treated, in reasonably good condition but that I also have fine hair. I liked the inclusion of a salon tip, which recommends mixing the mask with a little hair oil to intensify the results although again, must confess that I didn't try this.

I always prefer masks which are presented in tubes rather than tubs so in that respect, the design got a thumbs up from me. I appreciated the functionality of the flip top lid too.

The mask itself has a thick cream texture but was relatively easy to work through my hair. It had quite a perfumed scent during use but that said, once my hair had been dried and styled, I couldn't detect it and my hair simply smelt clean.

Given the rich texture, I had anticipated that the mask might be difficult to rinse out but I'd describe the rinsability as average.

Once I'd dried and styled my hair, my immediate impression was how healthy my hair looked. It was soft and shiny but manageable. My fine hair wasn't weighed down but I did need to use an additional product to tame frizz and flyaways, as they weren't particularly diminished.

At £9.60 for the generous 300ml tube, I feel that NHP Nourish Hair Mask represents good value for money and is worth checking out.

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