Sunday 21 October 2012

Monthly Miniatures: You Decide

The time has come once again when you have the opportunity to vote from a selection of miniatures- the most popular 5 will be included in November's Monthly Miniatures box for review. Simply comment below to vote for up to 5 products from the following list, thanks!

Diptyque Volutes Eau de Toilette
Lancome Hypnose Star Show-Stopping Volume Mascara
Erb Soul Surrender Salt & Oil Scrub
Naked Argan Oil & Meadowfoam Repairing Hair Treatment
Richard Ward Couture Hair Memoriser Holding Serum
Milk Shake Color Maintainer Conditioner
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse
Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Softening Body Cream with Jasmine and Ylang Ylang

Be sure to check back at the start of November to see which products you've chosen for my Monthly Miniatures box! In the meantime, feel free to head on over to my Youtube channel to see what I thought of the products in the September box. Click here to view.

Friday 19 October 2012

Speed Review: Lush Fair Trade Honey Shampoo

Lush has recently introduced a selection of new products to its existing haircare lineup, including Fair Trade Honey Shampoo which I was sent for review.
The press release explained that Fair Trade Honey Shampoo is "full of the power of flowers" with a base of more than 50% fair trade honey and 20% linseed mucilage to moisturise and add shine & lustre to locks. The high honey content means that Lush are able to do away with preservatives (the high sugar content is a natural preservative, preventing bacteria from growing), which I was pleased to see as one of my bugbears with Lush is that their products are far from natural, despite their ethical ethos (this shampoo is also vegetarian). It is particularly recommended as a softening shampoo for those who live in hard water areas.
At £7 for 100g, I thought that this was expensive (it costs more on a price per ml basis than my salon brand shampoo) and whilst this probably relates in some part to the high quality ingredients, I can't help but wonder how their customers will respond to such a high price point.

Regular readers will know that I'm 100% devoted to my La Biosthetique shampoo and as such, I passed this onto a friend to try. Here are her thoughts:
Fair Trade Honey Shampoo has a very dark colour which reminded me of honey and really appealed to me. Luckily, the scent put me off eating it! Although down to personal taste, I absolutely hated the scent (it's a floral blend of geranium, rose, bergamot and neroli). It had a very strong scent which would put me off repurchasing, although I was pleased to note that it didn't linger once I'd dried and styled my hair.
The first time I used this, it made my hair very tangled which is something I've never experienced with shampoo before. This did improve with subsequent uses although my hair was still left tangled. In spite of this, I did feel that it was beneficial to my hair. Fair Trade Honey Shampoo is suitable for all hair types but is particularly recommended for dry hair and I have to admit that it left my recently dyed hair feeling super moisturised. However, I'm not sure I will repurchase this once the bottle runs out as I really didn't like the scent.

Sunday 7 October 2012

Speed Review: Rodial 5 Minute Facial

If you watched my September Glossybox Unboxing video (click here to view), then you'll know that one of the samples I received was Rodial 5 Minute Facial (2 x 1ml sachets), which I've just tried out.
Rodial is one of my favourite brands and whilst I don't always agree with their shock tactics when it comes to naming products, I love that they deliver results so I was excited to see it included in my Glossybox.

5 Minute Facial is designed as a gently exfoliating and decongesting mask, with active ingredients to rejuvenate. It claims to clarify and absorb impurities, reduce pore size and reveal smooth, bright, glowing skin. The full size mask is presented in a functional 50ml tube, with Rodial's signature sleek branding and it's also available as a sample pack of 10 x 1ml sachets, costing £10.95.

In my Unboxing video, I mentioned that whilst I'd prefer not to receive products in sachets (given that it's a deluxe sample service and I associate sachets with magazine freebies), I was pleased to see they'd included not one but two sachets of Rodial 5 Minute Facial. However, when I came to try the mask, I was disappointed to realise that a single 1ml sachet contained such a miniscule amount of product that I could just about cover my chin with the mask. I made a quick enquiry on Twitter and I found that I was not alone. Using both the sachets along with a couple which I had previously received (4 in total), I was able to sparingly cover my face although it was such a faff & effort that the indulgence factor was somewhat diminished. For this reason, I certainly wouldn't recommend purchasing the sample pack.

The mask is meant to be applied generously, however, that wasn't really an option. I appreciate that Rodial is a luxury brand with a pricetag to match, yet the point of sample box services is to try products that you might not otherwise get the chance to & decide whether to repurchase.

Having said this, I actually rather liked 5 Minute Facial and if I'd tried the full size tube, then I suspect that this would be a glowing review. The mask itself is a clay mask which was white and chalky in appearance. It felt quite grainy (yet gentle) to apply and had a lightweight  "whipped" texture. This meant that it dried quickly and once set, it felt tight on my face. It had a pleasant fresh, fruity scent which wasn't overpowering.
As the name suggests, 5 Minute Facial should be left on for a minimum of five minutes. This appealed to me as it's not a big commitment in a busy lifestyle. The directions suggest that the mask can be gently peeled/ rubbed off which I struggled to do. Instead, I reached for my trusty muslin cloth and with the help of some warm water, simply removed using a circular motion. With this method, the mask was removed easily and there was no need to scrub at my skin.

My skin felt quite dried out following use so this might be a good choice for those looking to control excess oil. Having said this, it also looked healthy, glowing and felt smooth & deeply cleaned. My skin appeared slightly firmed and the texture was noticeably refined. I was impressed with the results- once again, a Rodial product has delivered on its claims- and would definitely consider repurchasing 5 Minute Facial.
The full size costs £35 for 50ml which isn't cheap- Rodial products never are- but given the skimpy size of the sachets, I feel that it's worth biting the bullet and investing in the tube which offers far better value for money (if you need to justify it, the tube offers a saving of almost £20 compared to the same volume purchased as sachets).

Friday 5 October 2012

Speed Review: Tommyguns Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner

A lot of people rave about Tommyguns and yet, despite having tried a couple of their haircare products, it's not a range which I feel overly familiar with and as such, wasn't sure what to expect when I came to try their Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner.
Tommyguns Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner is a hydrating conditioner, designed to treat dry, damaged and coloured hair. According to the blurb, it contains a blend of active ingredients to help strengthen hair and add moisture so that colour is protected and lacklustre locks are boosted with vitality and shine. Jasmine helps to nourish and revitalise hair; Sweet Almond rejuvenates and intensely conditions, whilst Wild Nettle moisturises and soothes & calms the scalp. So, did it live up to its claims?
My first impression was very positive. I liked the sleek packaging which is suggestive of an expensive product. Having said this, I'd have preferred the functionality of a pump dispenser or even a flip cap as opposed to the screw top. From the first time I used the product in my shower, the label took on the texture of wet paper and the text faded which I felt cheapened the packaging.
I was surprised at the formula which isn't as thick as I was expecting given that the conditioner is designed for dry, damaged and coloured hair. I'd say it's akin to a body lotion in terms of formula and as such, I found there to be a fair amount of wastage as a result of having to pour the conditioner out of the bottle. The scent is absolutely incredible- a floral burst of sweet jasmine which I found very indulgent. I appreciate that for some, it may be overpowering but the scent didn't linger once I'd dried and styled my hair. I found Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner was relatively easy to rinse out of my hair.
The first time I used this, I couldn't believe the results. My fine but frizz prone hair was left looking as sleek as if I'd had it professionally styled, frizz free and yet not weighed down. It felt soft & silky, looked shiny and simply beautiful. I really was very, very impressed. Unfortunately, I found the conditioner to be too rich to use every time I washed my hair and it did start to become weighed down (having said this, bear in mind that I have fine hair which I wash every day- i.e. not the hair type that Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner is designed for) but I've been able to make it work for me by only reaching for it every other time that I wash my hair.
At £5.50 for 250ml, I feel that this offers good value for money. It's easily comparable to salon brand products and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this to someone with dry, damaged or coloured hair. I really liked it and look forward to discovering more from the Tommyguns range.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Speed Review: Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel

I've liked most of the products that I've previously tried from LA-based facialist, Ole Henriksen's signature skincare line (particularly the Walnut Complexion Scrub) so I was keen to try the bestselling Invigorating Night Gel, which seemed like an unusual product.
As with all of Ole Henriksen's products, Invigorating Night Gel is presented in brightly coloured packaging which appealed to me, however, I felt that a tube would be more functional given the gel formula of the product.
The directions were clear and easy to follow- simply smooth a layer over clean skin. Being a gel, I expected this to feel cooling and soothing upon application, however, if applied to sensitive areas, it stings! (For this reason, I wouldn't recommend it to those with very sensitive skin). Once dried, Invigorating Night Gel feels quite uncomfortable on the face, tight & almost mask-like.
Overall, I feel that this is an effective treatment which left my skin looking smooth and the texture improved. Having said this, I didn't find Invigorating Night Gel a particularly enjoyable or indulgent product to use, compared with others I've tried.
As this is essentially an exfoliating treatment, I feel that nightly use is excessive- I'd recommend using it just two to three times a week.
At £42 for 50g, it's not cheap and whilst it delivers results, I feel that there are better products out there (I personally prefer Heaven by Deborah Mitchell Skin Polish Exfoliator).

Monday 1 October 2012

October Monthly Miniatures

Thank you for voting for my October Monthly Miniatures. As you can see from the photo above, the products that you voted to be included are as follows:

Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream
Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer
Diane by Diane von Furstenberg Eau de Toilette
Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Hairtherapy Oil Miracle

Don't forget to check out my vlog at the end of the month to see what I thought!
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