Saturday 31 March 2012

Speed Review: Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub

Lush Lip Scrubs are hugely popular as an affordable way to keep lips in tip-top condition and with so many beautiful, bright lipsticks out for summer (which demand a flawless base), I thought I'd write a review with my thoughts.
I believe that there are three lip scrubs in the permanent collection; Bubblegum, Sweet Lips and Mint Julips, with occasional limited edition versions. All are priced at £4.95, making them some of the most affordable lip scrubs that I've come across. I've never tried Sweet Lips (the chocolate version) and I didn't like Bubblegum, hence the reason for my review being of Mint Julips.
When I first heard about Mint Julips, I imagined it to be inspired by cocktails and was expecting a mojito fragrance. It's actually tempting mint chocolate and is very reminiscent of After Eights, making it feel like a treat to use.
I mentioned in my recent review of the Bliss Fabulips Lip Scrub (click here to read) that despite not usually liking tub presentations, I don't mind it for a lip scrub which is used in the bathroom. This is still the case for the Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub, however, I'd definitely recommend applying this over the sink (this will also be convenient for rinsing it off, although Lush say that you can lick it off if you so desire!). Unlike the buttery formula of the Bliss version, Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub is much more densely packed with exfoliating sugar granules making it a dry, crumbly formula which is somewhat messy to work with. Having said this, I was able to tolerate the messy application as it really works to gently yet effectively exfoliate lips, ridding them of all traces of dry skin. It doesn't have the hydrating benefits of the Bliss version but I was impressed nonetheless and certainly feels that it delivers as a scrub.

Monday 26 March 2012

Speed Review: 2True Effortless Eye Liner

I've previously blogged about wanting to include more wallet friendly beauty options and today's post is in keeping with the theme of austerity beauty, with a look at 2True Effortless Eye Liner.

Black liquid eyeliner is a product which I consider an essential in my makeup kit. Once you get to grips with it (and it's really not as difficult as people seem to think), you can instantly add drama to your look. It's also surprisingly versatile as the way in which you apply it makes a huge difference- you don't have to go for full-on Amy Winehouse flicks but you can if you want. My personal choice is YSL L'Eyeliner but I appreciate that not everyone can afford to spend £24.

People seem to be divided on which liquid liner tip is easiest to use. YSL L'Eyeliner has a fine brush which I find easy to work with whereas others prefer a felt tip pen style for greater control (I started out using one of these before moving onto the fine brush once I'd perfected my technique). 2True Effortless Eye Liner has a felt tip pen and I suspect that this is where the "Effortless" part of the name comes from.

I don't particularly like the 2True branding- with its numeric title and pink font, it comes across as rather juvenile and it's certainly never appealed to me in a shop. Having said this, the price point suggests that it's aimed at precisely this younger audience.

Bearing in mind that I'm accustomed to using liquid liner, I found that 2True Effortless Eye Liner lived up to its name. It was easy to use. For me, the black colour isn't as intense a black as I personally would opt for, although the undertones of brown make it more wearable.

Overall, I'm impressed. The aspect which impressed me the most was its longevity once applied. It really was smudge resistant, even when I rubbed my eyes and there's also a waterproof version (although I haven't tried this).

At just £1.99, I'd recommend checking 2True Effortless Eye Liner out.

Sunday 18 March 2012

Speed Review: Bliss Fabulips Scrub

Back in November, I reviewed the Bliss Fabulips Softening Lip Balm and in the comments, Skin Scrubs Blogger (check out her wonderful blog if you haven't already) asked if I'd tried the accompanying scrub, Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub. I have tried it and today's review shares my thoughts on the product.
I don't generally like products in tubs, both for hygiene reasons and because I find them messier to work with but I didn't mind Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub being presented in one as it's intended for use in the bathroom and is something which you're going to apply very quickly. In typical Bliss style, the design is sleek and fun.
Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub has the same tempting vanilla and sweet orange flavour as the lip balm, making it an absolute joy to use. The texture reiterates this indulgence. It's a thick balm formula which melts into lips like a butter, along with finely ground walnut and almond shell, and granulated sugar for a gentle exfoliation. The exfoliating particules aren't as densely packed into the formula as many of the other lip scrubs I've tried but it's effective nonetheless.
Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub contains jojoba seed oil, olive oil, shea and cocoa butters along with vitamins A, C and E. Even after removing the scrub, I continued to feel the nourishing benefits from the balm style formula, which is a plus point when compared to others I've tried (which do the job of exfoliating but without the hydrating properties).
You only need to use a very small amount although I'd say that it's best to treat your lips with it regularly as the results aren't particularly long-lasting.
At £12, it is on the pricer side for a lip scrub but I really enjoyed using this and would recommend checking it out.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Speed Review: Trevor Sorbie Beautifully Straightened Heat Defence Blow Dry Spray

Following on from my disasterous experience with the Percy & Reed Splendidly Silky Moisturising Conditioner (click here to read the review) comes another product review which has been causing something of a bad hair day.

Trevor Sorbie Beautifully Straightened Heat Defence Blow Dry Spray is designed as a lightweight formula to aid blow drying by smoothing down the hair cuticle, according to the company blurb. So, what did I make of it?

Firstly, I didn't like the packaging. It looks cheap and doesn't give an impression of a quality product. The bottle isn't transparent so it would be difficult to tell how much you've used. I also don't think it's particularly clear that this is a blow dry spray, not a pre- straightening protector. Having said this, the instructions for use were very clear and simple.

The product itself has a very fluid consistency, like water. In theory, this should make it easy to work with although I personally prefer richer balms and oils which are suggestive of quality ingredients which will be beneficial for your hair.

By far the worst thing about Trevor Sorbie Beautifully Straightened Heat Defence Blow Dry Spray is the scent and it turned out that I simply couldn't get passed this. Open receiving the bottle, I unscrewed the top and had a good sniff. It smelt very strongly of alcohol and I found this incredibly offputting. I dread to think what ingredients are in it! As a result of my suspicions regarding the alcohol content, I almost felt as though I'd be doing more damage to my hair by using it! What's more, there were all sorts of warnings on the bottle regarding it being flammable and not to use it near polished or painted surfaces which I found a little disconcerting! On the plus point, although the scent of alcohol is very strong when you first apply it, there's no trace of this once hair is dry.

Overall, I couldn't notice a great difference to my hair. If anything, you have to use this sparingly as it can very quickly make hair feel sticky and weighed down. Yes, it's affordable at £5.10 for 200ml but I don't feel that it offers value for money and I'd recommend saving your money for something else.

Recent Hauls

I thought you might be interested to see some recent purchases. Let me know if you'd like reviews of any of the products.


Thursday 15 March 2012

Speed Review: Percy & Reed Splendidly Silky Moisturising Conditioner

Many UK residents may have spotted that this month's Glamour magazine comes with a free Percy & Reed haircare product. I'm an absolute magazine addict and although Glamour isn't one of my most regular purchases, I'd been wanting to try the Percy & Reed range for a while and felt that this was a good opportunity given that the magazine is just £2.

Percy & Reed are London based celebrity hairdressers (they tend the tressses of the gorgeous Diane Kruger) who also have a signature range of haircare products.

There's a choice of 4 products with Glamour- a shampoo, a conditioner, a hair mask and a styling product. I chose the Splendidly Silky Moisturising Conditioner. Each of the products is a very generous 100ml (the retail size is 250ml which sells for £16).

I liked the functional packaging and thought that the illustration on the tube was very cute. Having said this, it reminded me a lot of Umberto Giannini and I didn't feel that it lent a particularly high end feel to the product.
I really wanted to like this but I simply couldn't get on with it. The conditioner is a very rich cream which I found difficult to rinse out and it left my fine hair looking flat and limp. What's more, I didn't like the strong scent which reminded me of cleaning products so I wouldn't even be tempted to revisit the range and find something more suitable for my hair type. To be totally honest, I'm quite shocked that this normally retails at such a high price. I thought it felt very cheap.
If I went without my hair oil, it was less of a problem. But, I didn't like doing this as I felt that my hair wasn't in such good condition. Yes, it felt soft and looked smoothed but I didn't feel that I was gaining any long-term conditioning benefits from it. After a couple of washes, I gave up on the product but it took approximately a week to get my hair looking and feeling normal again, with far more knots in the interim.

The magazine offer represents a good opportunity to try this and perhaps someone with thicker hair may have more luck with the product. Personally, I'm glad that I didn't invest in the regular retail range but at least I've got a new magazine to entertain me!

Sunday 11 March 2012

Coming soon....

Sorry for my silence readers. I've been busily researching and planning ahead of the launch of the Skin Deep Beauty Vlog YouTube Channel, which will be revealed shortly.
I'd love to hear your thoughts regarding this- do you watch YouTube beauty videos? If so, what do you like/ dislike?
Thanks, as always, for your support!

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Speed Review: Philosophy Hope in a Jar

Here's a blast from the past. I used to use Philosophy's Hope in a Jar face moisturiser when I was in my late teens and I've recently rediscovered it.
Like most people, I tend to associate Philosophy with the fun "foodie" body washes which have "inspired" numerous copies. I don't think it's necessarily a brand which people would immediately associate with skincare but Hope in a Jar was originally created for the medical market and I have to say, I've been enjoying using it once again.
I really like the sleek jar packaging which is in line with other products from the Philosophy brand.
Hope in a Jar has a lightweight, "whipped" texture which means that it is easily absoribed, sinking into skin beautifully, leaving a velvety finish and no greasiness. I feel that it would suit a variety of different skin types. My only complaint is that I like my daytime moisturisers to contain SPF so I've been using this as a base for makeup when I'm going out in the evenings and, with its smooth finish, it's perfect for this.
The lavender scent might not be to everyone's liking but it's certainly not offensive.
At £34 for 60ml, this is an expensive product and although a little goes a long way, I feel that it is rather overpriced. Having said this, I like it as much now (probably more so) as I did 10 years ago so I'd definitely recommend shopping around and perhaps picking up a trial size as part of one of Philosophy's fabulous gift sets.

Monday 5 March 2012

Speed Review: Neil George Indian Gooseberry Intense Repair Mask

I first tried American haircare brand, Neil George, a couple of years ago. It was the brand through which I discovered the joys of hair oil and their Indian Gooseberry Treatment Oil really helped to transform my tresses.
Indian Gooseberry is a highly concentrated antioxidant which helps to maintain, nourish and protect hair and scalp. Having been impressed with the Treatment Oil, I was excited to try Neil George Indian Gooseberry Intense Repair Mask which I was sent by to trial.

I really liked the functional tube packaging, which made it easy to control how much product I dispensed. I have fine hair which isn't in too bad of a condition at the moment so I wanted to use the mask, which is designed to treat dry, colour treated and damaged hair, sparingly. The tube is massive and, as a little product goes a long way, it will last for ages. I almost feel that the 215ml tube is a little too big and I wonder how many people would be able to use the entire tube before the paraben free formula started to alter. It's pretty pricey too at nearly £30 so I'd prefer to see a smaller, more affordable option.
It's a relatively thick, creamy formula with a pleasant fruity fragrance, although this doesn't linger on hair once it's dried. The best thing about Neil George Intense Repair Hair Mask is that you only need to leave it on hair for 2-3 minutes so it's easy to incorporate into your routine. I found it easy to rinse out.
My hair was left looking healthy, easy to style and feeling wonderfully soft and smooth. Overall, I really liked this and I'd recommend checking it out.
Neil George Indian Gooseberry Intense Repair Mask costs £29 for 215ml.

Sunday 4 March 2012

Speed Review: Dolce & Gabbana Intense Kohl Eye Crayons

I absolutely adore the Dolce & Gabbana makeup line, which is possibly one of my favourites from the various luxury fashion brands. Unlike many, this isn't just a brand extension done as an afterthought through a license but a range of products which are incredibly well thought out and fantastic quality. The makeup has been developed in collaboration with uber celebrity makeup artist, Pat McGrath so it's perhaps unsurprising just how good it is. I've recently been using some of the Intense Kohl Eye Crayons.

I believe that the Intense Kohl Eye Crayons are available in five colours and I've tried them all bar the black.
No 2 is called True White and is a bold, matte white which is great for brightening and awakening the eyes, particularly if used in the water line.
No 3 is called Peacock and is a slightly irridescent turquoise colour.
No 4 is called Chocolate. I was expecting this to be the standard, muted brown offered by most brands but it's actually a stunning metallic brown with bronze flecks and is my favourite out of the four that I own.
No 5 is called Dahlia and is a metallic lilac that is very pretty for spring (it looks much prettier on the eye than my swatch suggests).

I'm super impressed with these. The pigments are intense and they are really gorgeous, unusual shades.
The pencils themselves are soft to use, with no drag. They can be smudged lightly to soften the look.

Dolce and Gabbana makeup is exclusive to Harrods and is undeniably expensive. At £17.50 for each of the Intense Kohl Eye Crayons, these are far from cheap but I do feel that this is reflected in the quality and they are worth a look if you want to treat yourself.

Saturday 3 March 2012

Speed Review: Burt's Bees Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub

For years I've said that I don't like using physical exfoliants on my face (as they can break capillaries), preferring to use a glycolic acid based exfoliator such as Heaven by Deborah Mitchell Skin Polish. However, after trialling Ole Henriksen's Walnut Complexion Scrub last year and falling head over heels in love with it, I figured that I should probably give physical exfoliants more of a chance. Today's review is of Burt's Bees Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub which uses finely ground peach stone as the exfoliant.
In keeping with the Burt's Bees brand, the tube packaging is both fun and functional. It has a flip top lid and I found it easy to control how much product I dispensed.
The scrub has a creamy texture (it doesn't foam) and a delicate peach scent, which was pleasant. However, the peach stone granules felt harsh on my skin. It did the job of exfoliating and my skin didn't feel tight or irritated after use but I simply didn't enjoy using this.
I liked that Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub is a natural product but something about it felt cheap to me, perhaps because it reminded me of drugstore facial scrubs. As a general rule, I like the Burt's Bees brand but I didn't like this. At £10.99 for 110g, I feel that it's overpriced and you'd be better off spending your money on one of the other, much better, products from the brand.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Speed Review: Label M Honey & Oat Conditioner

I've recently been using Honey & Oat Conditioner from Toni & Guy's Label M brand.
Haircare is one area of beauty that I spend a lot of my own money on. I've really struggled with my hair in the past. As a result, I have become very fussy when it comes to haircare and incredibly brand loyal (I swear by La Biosthetique shampoo) so I tend to pass samples I receive onto friends and family who review on my behalf. Having said this, I truly believe that it's the shampoo you use which makes a difference so I'm open to trying other brands of conditioner, hair treatments and the like, hence today's review.

Although familiar with the Label M name, I can only remember trying one other product from the brand and that was the Blow Out Spray which I really didn't like. So, what did I make of Label M Honey & Oat Conditioner?

Upon first impressions, I really liked the sleek packaging with the signature, monochrome branding of Label M adding a professional feel to the product. The only annoying aspect is that it's difficult to tell how much product is remaining as the bottle isn't transparent. The flip top lid means that it's functional to use.

Although designed to treat dry, dehydrated hair, Label M Honey & Oat Conditioner isn't heavy and I haven't found that my fine hair has been weighed down. I found the lightweight formula easy to work through my hair and I liked that it was quick to rinse out completely. It has an overwhelmingly sweet honey fragrance but this doesn't linger once hair is dry. I liked the idea that it contains an "exclusive Enviroshield Complex" to protect hair from heat styling and UV rays, although I find it very difficult to comment on the effectiveness of this.

The bottle is a generous 300ml and as a little goes a long way, it'll last for months even if, like me, you wash your hair daily. At £14.25, I feel that it is a fair price. Overall, I liked Label M Honey & Oat Conditioner and feel that it delivered on its promises. Personally, I wasn't wowed by it and for that reason, (bearing in mind how fussy I am with haircare) I probably wouldn't repurchase but I would recommend trying it.
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