Tuesday 26 May 2015

Speed Review: Bioderma Refreshing After-Sun Milk

Bioderma skincare- particularly the cult micellar water- is much hyped but I hear less about the suncare range. I decided to take Bioderma Refreshing After-Sun Milk with me when I recently jetted off to a sunnier climate and thought that I'd share my thoughts.

Bioderma Refreshing After-Sun Milk is presented in a functional tube and the blue colour meant that it was easily distinguishable as an after sun product within the suncare range.

It has a pleasant, fresh scent and I enjoyed the cooling sensation upon application, which added to the soothing quality.

Although it's described as an After- Sun Milk, the texture was more akin to a lightweight lotion. It didn't have the fluidity of a milk but nonetheless, I was impressed at how easily it absorbed into my skin. I was surprised to note that the second ingredient is Mineral Oil and for this reason (together with the fact that I don't tan my face), I wouldn't personally use this on my face despite the packaging stating that it's suitable for use on face and body.

I was particularly impressed that Bioderma Refreshing After-Sun Milk didn't leave a sticky or greasy residue, as some products can.

At £11 for 200ml, Bioderma Refreshing After-Sun Milk is comparably priced with other similar products. I enjoyed using this and would be tempted to repurchase in future.

Saturday 23 May 2015

Speed Review: Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist

Regular readers may recall that Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist was the worthy winner of the Best Facial Spritzer category in the 2014 Skin Deep Beauty Awards so I thought it fitting that today's post would be a review of the natural skin saviour.

I adore the aesthetics of Jurlique packaging. The minimalist design and squared off glass bottle looks chic and not at all worthy, despite the eco credentials. Admittedly, the weighty glass bottle means that the mist remains on my desk for an effortless and refreshing hydration boost throughout the day as it's simply not functional for travel or carrying in my handbag.

On the subject of functionality, its worth noting that not all mists are created equal and I have to confess to being somewhat of a Goldilocks when it comes to seeking out a mist with the perfect spritz. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist is "just right", delivering an even, fine spray that feels satisfyingly hydrating without leaving me looking drenched.

It has a delicate, sweet rose fragrance. I'm aware that some don't like the scent of roses, associating the flowers with old-fashioned, "granny" perfumes, however, I found it to be pleasant. The scent adds a hint of luxury and reiterates the inclusion of rosewater, renowned for its soothing properties.

It's difficult to say whether Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist has left my skin more balanced but it's such a joy to use that I spritz it throughout the day, including over makeup, boosting hydration levels (& with most of us citing dehydration as a skin concern, who doesn't want that?!).

At £24 for 100ml, Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist is an undeniably expensive facial spritzer although it does seem to last a reasonable amount of time. However, if you're looking to inject a sense of luxury into your day, I'd recommend it and have already repurchased.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Speed Review: Alteya Organics Bulgarian Rosewater Spray

As I write this post, I'm sat in my office with the central heating turned up once again after the weather has taken a turn for the worse. With this in mind, you may find it odd that today's review is of a facial spritzer, often associated with giving a hit of refreshment in the summer months.

However, I like to keep a facial spritzer on my desk year round as I find that reaching for it throughout the day helps to keep my skin hydrated. I've recently been trialling the certified organic Bulgarian Rosewater facial spritzer from Alteya Organics, an award-winning brand whose products are based on Bulgarian Rose, grown on the company's own organic rose farm.

The packaging of Alteya Organics Bulgarian Rosewater Spray isn't the most luxurious and I'm not sure that I'd have picked it out from a shop shelf had it not been sent to me for review purposes. It's a plastic bottle presented in a box with an illustration and pink font reiterating the key ingredient of rose. Admittedly, the fact that the 100ml bottle is plastic means that it is convenient for carrying in a handbag whilst also being travel friendly. I also liked that the bottle is transparent, enabling me to see how much product remained.

The spray was easy to control and delivered a relatively fine mist. I liked that it could be used over makeup. The distinctive, delicate sweet rose scent won't be to everyone's liking but personally, I didn't find it offensive.

Alteya Organics claim that the spray is rejuvenating, uplifting & energising and has softening & moisturising benefits. As a facial spritzer, it's inherently refreshing but I can't say that I noticed any softening benefits. Having said that, I did find it to be hydrating.

Alteya Organics Bulgarian Rosewater Spray isn't my favourite out of the facial spritzers I've tried but at £6.95 for 100ml, it's worth checking out if you're seeking a wallet friendly yet good quality option.


Tuesday 19 May 2015

Speed Review: Earth Science Herbal Tonic Mist

Regular readers may recall that I've previously only tried one other product from American brand, Earth Science- that being a hair mask which I was left unimpressed by. However, I tried to keep an open mind when trialling the product that's the focus of today's review: Earth Science Herbal Tonic Mist.

My first impression was of how big the plastic bottle is. At 237ml, it's by no means travel or handbag friendly. As such, I've kept it on my desk and have to admit that having it on display has meant that I've been reaching for it more regularly than I may have been likely to otherwise.

It's certainly not luxurious in terms of appearance but nor is it offensive. I liked that the transparent bottle meant that I could tell how much product was remaining. The spritzer itself is relatively easy to control and I liked that it delivered a fine mist.

Personally, the scent wasn't to my liking. I'd describe it as a musty, herbal fragrance but thankfully, it didn't linger following use.

Thanks to ingredients such as aloe vera juice, glycerin and hyaluronic acid, it left my skin feeling hydrated.  I was pleased to note that it could be applied throughout the day, without disrupting my makeup.

Considering the generous size, I feel that the price tag of approximately £8.99 is fair. It's not the best facial spritzer I've tried but it does the job and offers good value for money.

Monday 18 May 2015

Speed Review: Philip Kingsley No Scent No Colour Shampoo & Conditioner


I've been a fan of Trichologist range, Philip Kingsley, for years. In fact, I recommended it when my hairdresser was setting up her own salon & seeking a range which placed an emphasis on scalp health and she now stocks the products. One of my favourites from within the range is the No Scent No Colour Shampoo and Conditioner so for today's review, I wanted to share my thoughts.

No Scent No Colour Shampoo and Conditioner were created for those with the most sensitive, delicate or easily irritated scalps, who are often unable to tolerate formulas with fragrance or strong surfactants. In fact, the products are even described as being gentle enough for use by those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy.

Presented in boxes, the bottles are minimalist and reflect the No Scent No Colour name thanks to the simple design. I'd prefer there to be an easier way to distinguish between the bottles in the shower, although they are functional for use, particularly considering the formula of each of the products.

As the name suggests, No Scent No Colour Shampoo is a clear, unfragranced gel. Whilst some may feel that the lack of fragrance diminishes the indulgence factor, it didn't bother me. Despite being free from SLS and SLES, the shampoo produces an impressively generous lather meaning that a little goes a long way. As a shampoo, it inherently rinses out easily. I've been highly impressed by Philip Kingsley No Scent No Colour Shampoo, which leaves my hair feeling clean without irritating my sensitive scalp (of course, everyone is different but I personally haven't experienced any issues).

No Scent No Colour Conditioner is a gel cream with a lightweight texture. Again, it's unscented. I found it easy to work through my hair and also to rinse out, without any residue. It didn't irritate my sensitive scalp but left my hair looking sleek and feeling silky soft. It was left manageable and I liked that my fine hair wasn't weighed down, although those with very dry or damaged hair may find that they need a richer formula.

As a salon brand, Philip Kingsley products aren't the cheapest. No Scent No Colour Shampoo is £17 and the Conditioner is £20, each at 250ml. However, I do feel that the price reflects the quality and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the No Scent No Colour Shampoo and Conditioner, particularly to anyone who suffers from sensitivity.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Speed Review: Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream

I have to confess that Clinique isn't the first brand to spring to mind when considering the purchase of a new hand cream but I've recently been trialling Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream from the brand and wanted to share my thoughts.

I liked the tube packaging which is functional and a travel friendly 75ml. The design is in keeping with Clinique's relatively minimalist branding. The cream itself has a pastel lemon yellow colour which is visible through the transparent tube.

As is the case with Clinique products, Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream is fragrance free and whilst some may feel that this diminishes the indulgence factor, I liked that there was no scent interaction with my perfume.

Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream is a true cream and the relatively thick texture means that a little goes a long way, which helped me to justify the high price tag of £18 for 75ml. Whilst I found it to be easily absorbed, I noticed some slight residue on the skin. It didn't feel greasy but I felt as though there was a protective barrier on my skin, helping to lock in moisture.

Overall, I liked Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream and would recommend checking it out.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Speed Review: Time Bomb Hand To Hand Combat Hand Cream

Today's review is of Time Bomb Hand To Hand Combat Hand Cream.

This is the first product I've tried from Lulu's Time Bomb range. Admittedly, I presume that I'm not in the singer's target market but I've always been somewhat dismissive of the range. This is primarily because I don't tend to go for celebrity ranges but also because I find it a little contradictory that her range is focussed on anti-ageing yet it's no secret that Lulu has had work done.

Having said that, I liked the packaging. Time Bomb Hand To Hand Combat Hand Cream is presented in a matte, baby pink slimline tube which is a travel friendly 75ml (it's also available in 30ml trial size and 150ml fan size). The silver writing adds a sense of luxury. I thought that the branding was well thought out with references to the Time Bomb name and emphasis on anti-ageing, for example "Bombshell Body" being the bodycare line within the range. The hand cream is called Hand to Hand Combat Hand Cream, suggestive of fighting ageing.

The tube packaging is functional and meant that it was easy to control how much product was dispensed, avoiding wastage. The hand cream has a subtle scent of lavender, which I found quite pleasant.

I really liked the smooth, velvety texture of the cream and wasn't surprised to notice the inclusion of Dimethicone within the ingredients list (it also contains vitamin E, shea butter, olive oil, glycerin, pea extract and Moroccan argan oil). The cream's texture is the perfect balance between being lightweight yet nourishing. It was easily absorbed and left my hands feeling soft and smooth without a greasy residue.

At £14.50 for 75ml, it's not the cheapest hand cream but I enjoyed using this and would recommend checking it out.


Sunday 10 May 2015

Speed Review: Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo

I'd heard good things about Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo, predominately from fellow bloggers but I have to confess to being late to the party when it came to trying it out. I was initially dubious about the effects that this would have in my fine, naturally wavy, frizz-prone hair. However, it's a popular product so I was intrigued to try it.

I'm not the biggest fan of Lush's black tub packaging, both from a functional and an aesthetic point of view. Having said that, I do appreciate that the focus is upon "green" packaging to minimise the environmental impact and of course, I like that you can return five empty pots in exchange for a free fresh face mask. What's more, as Big Sea Salt Shampoo contains salt- a natural preservative- the formula is paraben free. 

The texture of Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo is unlike any other I've tried. It has a gel texture which, in keeping with the name, contains a high concentration of course sea salt granules. I had hoped for a fresh or tropical, beachy fragrance so I was disappointed to find that the scent wasn't to my liking. To me, it had an old-fashioned, musty soap-like fragrance. It lingered delicately in the hair once dried and styled but not to the extent that it bothered me.

I wasn't sure how the unusual texture would lend itself to functionality when it came to use but I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks to the inclusion of SLS, it creates a generous lather meaning that a little goes a long way. What's more, I found it to be easy to rinse out (including the grains of sea salt). It left my hair feeling squeaky clean.

Whilst I can't say that I noticed a difference in terms of volume, my hair had slightly more movement and texture following use. I noticed a few more tangles than usual but nothing that my trusty Tangle Teezer couldn't tackle. My hair felt soft and I was pleased to note that my sensitive scalp wasn't irritated, although I found it a little harsh for daily use.

Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo costs £12.25 for 330g and whilst I'm pleased to have tried it, I wish that it was available in a smaller, more affordable trial size as I'll probably only reach for this on an occasional basis.



Monday 4 May 2015

Makeup Monday- Speed Review: Too Faced Melted Lipsticks

Too Faced is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands- I'm yet to try something from them that I don't like, with their eyeshadow palettes and eyeliners amongst my must-haves. Whilst I'd heard fellow beauty bloggers raving about the brand's Melted Lipsticks, up to now, I hadn't tried them.

I was recently sent a couple of shades- Melted Berry, an existing shade and Melted Fig, which is one of the latest additions to the range, taking the selection of colours to 18.
As the name suggests, Melted Berry is a true berry shade which would work particularly well for Autumn. Melted Fig is a dusty mauve, pulling quite purple rather than having obvious brown tones.

The packaging is sleek yet in keeping with the fun branding of Too Faced. I liked that both the outer box and the tube reflected the colour of the lipstick inside. The sponge tip allowed for an easy, precision application. Some may find the sponge tipped applicator unhygienic but as I only intend to keep the Melted Lipsticks for personal use, it didn't bother me.

My first thought on trying Too Faced Melted Lipsticks was how impressed I was at the high impact, rich pigmentation. They're fully opaque on the lips in just one coat. For this reason, a little goes a long way and it's hard to see how you'd use up an entire tube.

The lipsticks feel smooth and comfortable both during application and on the lips. I noticed no discernable scent or flavour.

Unfortunately, Melted Lipsticks are by no means transfer proof- I noticed colour on glasses after drinking and needed to watch out for transfer onto my teeth. Having said this, Too Faced make no claims that they're transfer resistant. When I realised that they weren't transfer resistant, I was concerned that they wouldn't live up to the long-wearing name but I wasn't disappointed.

I found that I was able to wear Too Faced Melted Lipstick for approximately four hours (including eating and drinking) before needing to re-apply. The colour wore off evenly, leaving a soft stain on the lips. They're not as long-wearing as Rimmel Provocalips but I was impressed nonetheless.

At £19 each, Too Faced Melted Lipsticks aren't cheap although they are fairly priced in comparison with similar branded products. I enjoyed trying them and would be tempted to repurchase. I'd especially like to see these available in a mini size, which would enable me to justify picking up a variety of shades.
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