Tuesday 27 August 2019

Speed Review: Sampar Skin Quenching Mist

sampar skin quenching mist review

I was recently sent some products as an introduction to the brand, Sampar. I wasn't previously familiar with Sampar. It's described as an urban brand aimed at demanding women looking for smart products. There's a specific focus on anti-pollution and on optimising the effectiveness of active ingredients.

Given the time of year and recent hot weather, I decided to try the Skin Quenching Mist first. There are three ways in which I most commonly use a facial spritzer: as an additional hydrating step in between cleansing and applying my facial serum to help lock in moisture, during travel for a refreshing boost, or reaching for it on my desk for a quick pick-me-up during the working day (especially since giving up caffeine!).

Sampar Skin Quenching Mist is described by the brand as a moisturising face toner, suitable for all skin types and particularly sensitive skin. They state that it has a "barely-there" texture and that it locks in make-up and shields against outside irritants. It is designed to be used in the morning and/ or evening either alone or after cleansing, and to leave skin feeling soothed. It contains cornflower, lime blossom and orange blossom waters along with geranium essential oil.

On first impressions, I liked the packaging. The matte finish and simple design add a luxe feel, whilst the pale pink colour and line design of the Paris skyline give a cool girly vibe. A couple of downsides to note are that the bottle isn't transparent so I couldn't tell how much product was remaining. Also, it's a generous 200ml which means I'd have to discount this as an option for use during travel. The directions are simple yet clear.

The spritzer delivered a fine mist which I found worked well over makeup and as such, I'd be inclined to keep this on my desk at work. It instantly cooled and refreshed my skin. The pleasant, delicate & soft fragrance hints at the natural ingredients. I found it enjoyable to use. It left my skin feeling soft and hydrated.

I'd agree that Sampar Skin Quenching Mist would work well for any skin type. It costs £23 for 200ml.

Thursday 22 August 2019

Speed Review: Noughty Detox Dynamo Clarifying Shampoo

Noughty Detox Dynamo Clarifying Shampoo Review

Noughty Haircare first captured my attention when I was searching for an affordable option which ticks plenty of "free from" boxes. This range certainly does that, along with being vegan friendly.

Noughty describe the creatively-named Detox Dynamo as helping to lift away build-up caused by urban pollution, hard water (interestingly!), chlorine & styling products thanks to the inclusion of detoxifying peppermint and sorrel leaf extracts. It's a 97% natural blend which is designed to gently cleanse & purify, leaving hair feeling fresh & clean.

The bold design of the packaging means that it's eye-catching on crowded shop shelves. It reflects the branding and clearly communicates what the product is, as well as what it's "free from". I found the directions easy to follow, noting that Detox Dynamo should be used "every third wash".

I appreciated the functionality of the tube packaging, which allows for controlled dispensing without wastage.

Noughty Detox Dynamo Clarifying Shampoo is what I'd describe as a "cloudy" gel, with a relatively liquid texture. I was impressed that it was easy to work into a generous lather, despite being sulphate free. It had a clean scent. As tends to be the case with shampoos, I found that it rinsed away effortlessly.

I feel that Noughty Detox Dynamo Clarifying Shampoo delivers on the claims of the company because my hair was left feeling thoroughly cleaned. My hair felt healthy and weightless, and I was impressed that it didn't irritate my sensitive scalp. I wouldn't say that I love it quite so much as clarifying shampoos I've tried from salon brands such as Clynol and Paul Mitchell but for an affordable option, I'd say it's hard to beat and at £6.99 for 250ml, I feel it represents good value. I'd consider repurchasing and would recommend checking it out.

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Speed Review: Aroma Actives Perfecting Day Serum

aroma actives perfecting day serum review

Aroma Actives is a wallet friendly skincare line created by the late founder of one of my all-time favourite beauty brands, Aromatherapy Associates. Aromatherapy Associates is undeniably pricey but I feel that the prices are justified by the high quality ingredients and as such, I was intrigued as to how this could translate into a budget range. That said, I really trust Aromatherapy Associates and like the story behind this range. The subject of today's review is the Perfecting Day Serum from the range.

On first impressions, I loved everything about the packaging. The design is clean and minimal but clearly communicates the natural yet active message. It's very cleverly put together branding and I feel that the packaging looks more high end than the price tag suggests. In particular, I love the presentation of Perfecting Day Serum, which is a tube with a pump. Oh how I love a tube with a pump! I wish more skincare brands would present their products in this way.

Aroma Actives Perfecting Day Serum has a lightweight cream texture. 1-2 pumps of the tube gave sufficient product to cover my entire face and as such, I feel that the tube would last for some time. It's worth nothing that the tube provides 50ml of product- many serums I've tried are only 30ml.

The botanical scent reiterates the natural ingredients and makes for indulgent usage. It feels reminiscent of a spa brand and this really adds a sense of luxury.

I found the serum to be easily absorbed and despite the creamy texture, it felt lightweight on my skin, not greasy or heavy. It didn't interfere with the application of other products.

Following use, my skin felt soft, smooth and wonderfully hydrated.

It's hard to believe that Aroma Actives Perfecting Day Serum is priced just £12.99 for 50ml. It represents incredibly good value for money and I'd highly recommend checking this product out.

Thursday 15 August 2019

Speed Review: Dove Coconut Oil Shower and Shave Mousse

I quite like shower mousses as they work effectively to double up as a shaving foam. I believe Imperial Leather were the first to bring out such a product- it's certainly the brand which springs to mind when I think of a shower mousse and the one with which I'm most familiar. For that reason, much of today's review will be something of a comparison, as I found it hard to avoid doing so.

It seems as though I'm not alone in liking the concept of a shower mousse- that's if the current influx of brands recently adding a shower mousse to their range is anything to go by. Clarins, Dove, Nivea, Radox and Original Source all feature shower mousses in their line up now. I decided to try out the Dove Coconut Oil Shower and Shave Mousse as it was on introductory offer in Boots.

Interestingly, Dove actually promote the fact that the shower mousse doubles as a shave foam by incorporating a mention of this on the packaging & reflecting it in the official name on the website. The packaging is simple and in keeping with the Dove branding. I liked the inclusion of a "scratch and sniff" sticker which made choosing the scent in store easier- there's a choice of Argan Oil, Acai, Rose or Coconut Oil, which I opted for.

The aerosol pump makes for easy dispensing although it's a little difficult to tell how much product is remaining, owing to the can packaging (I don't know how else they could present it though).

Unlike Imperial Leather, which comes out as a gel before transforming to a foam (akin to a shaving gel), Dove Coconut Oil Shower and Shave Mousse was dispensed as a rich and creamy foam. A little goes a long way. I found it a little softer in texture than the Imperial Leather versions I've tried but agree that it works just as well to use when shaving legs.

Personally, I couldn't detect coconut in the scent during use. To me, it smelt sweet- more like vanilla than coconut- but it wasn't sickly. I could only detect the scent very subtly on my skin following use.

After use, my skin felt soft but not stripped or dry. That said, I still needed to moisturise.

I found Dove Coconut Oil Shower and Shave Mousse pleasant to use. Overall, I think I prefer the Imperial Leather versions but that may simply be because I'm more accustomed to using the brand. I probably wouldn't repurchase the Dove version at full price (£4.89 for 200ml) but might be inclined to try other scents from the Dove range, if on offer, in future.

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Speed Review: Wella Enrich Moisturising Conditioner for Fine to Normal Hair

wella enrich moisturising conditioner for fine to normal hair

I originally decided to try Wella Enrich Moisturising Conditioner for Fine to Normal Hair based on a Twitter recommendation and, spoiler alert, I'm so pleased that I did!

On first impressions, the bright tube and minimalist design reflects the salon branding. It is clear which hair type it's aimed at (fine to normal, which is my hair type so appealed to me) and the directions are also easy to follow. I appreciated the functionality of the tube dispenser- it's generally my preference when it comes to conditioners as tubes allow for controlled dispensing without wastage.

Wella Enrich Moisturising Conditioner for Fine to Normal Hair has a lightweight cream texture which I found easy to work through my hair. It has a pleasant, fresh and fruity fragrance.

When it came to rinsing the conditioner away, I was able to do so with ease.

Following use, my hair felt wonderfully soft and well conditioned/ cared for. I could detect the scent ever-so-subtly. Whilst Wella Enrich Moisturising Conditioner for Fine to Normal Hair isn't the most smoothing I've tried (I still had some flyaways, but nothing that couldn't be tamed with a little dry oil spray), I was impressed that it didn't weigh down my fine hair and I feel that it delivers on the claims.

Overall, I found Wella Enrich Moisturising Conditioner for Fine to Normal Hair enjoyable to use and was impressed with the results. I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you have this hair type.

Thursday 8 August 2019

Speed Review: Radical Skincare Instant Revitalizing Mask

radical skincare instant revitalizing mask

I've been impressed with the Radical Skincare products which I've tried previously so I was excited to try out their Instant Revitalizing Mask.

Described as a reinvigorating and rehydrating mask (who doesn't need such benefits?!), Radical Skincare claim that the Instant Revitalizing Mask gives skin everything it needs to be in perfect shape, providing optimum amounts of oxygen, hydration, vitamins and energy. Some bold claims right there!

The outer box is in keeping with Radical Skincare's branding and inside there is a sleek bottle with a lid which is twisted to reveal a convenient pump dispenser. It's just the sort of packaging that I love. I would prefer if the packaging were transparent to be able to see how much product was remaining. Interestingly, the directions on the outer box aren't particularly clear (especially in terms of how long to leave the mask on skin) but they are reprinted directly onto the bottle and it's these directions which I found clear and easy to follow. Simply apply a thin layer to clean, dry skin and after 3-5 minutes, rinse thoroughly.

The mask itself is a lightweight gel cream texture which works well with the pump dispenser, allowing for controlled delivery of product without wastage. It has a pale yellow colour with a gold shimmer which adds a sense of luxury. I did feel that I needed to use quite a lot of the product in order to cover my entire face with a thin, even layer of the mask. The mask has a pleasant fruity fragrance.

As Radical Skincare Instant Revitalizing Mask gets to work, it transforms into a creamy, bubbling foam and I noticed a cooling sensation on my skin. This is quite fun and also gives the impression that the mask is doing something! The mask didn't set on my skin and when 5 minutes was up, I found it easy to remove.

My skin was left feeling clean and felt softened. I noticed a slight tightening of the skin too. Otherwise, I wouldn't say that this mask provides particularly dramatic results. Maybe my expectations were set too high after reading the claims or perhaps I wanted more given the high price tag of £42 for 30ml. I enjoyed using this mask but don't feel that the high price is justified based on the results and therefore, wouldn't repurchase.

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Speed Review: Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil

Regular readers will know that cleansing oils are my preferred method of cleansing my face. I like them because they're generally easy to use, gentle on the skin and have a balancing effect. Whilst my favourite (& the one I come back to time & time again) is the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, I do like to try the offerings from other brands with the latest being the Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil.

Elemis describe Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil as being ideally suited to oily skin and great for removing waterproof makeup. They state that it's blended with over 90% natural oils to cleanse, soothe & soften skin and lift impurities whilst maintaining the skin's natural barrier.

On first impressions, I felt that the packaging is on brand. Presented in an outer box with a plastic bottle inside, it's sleek & minimalist in design. I was happy to have it on display in my bathroom. From a functionality point of view, I appreciated the pump dispenser and also the transparency of the bottle, which meant that I could easily see how much product was remaining.

Although Elemis recommend this for oily skin types, I feel that the texture lends itself well to a range of skin types. It's average in terms of the oil texture- not as lightweight as The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil but nor was it as rich as some others I've tried. Two to three pumps was sufficient to cover my entire face.

Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil has a luxurious botanical scent which reiterates the brand's spa heritage and adds to a sense of indulgence during use. As an oil, it is inherently well suited to facial massage.

Upon contact with water, the oil easily transformed into a lightweight milk and rinsed away effortlessly, leaving no greasiness.

I felt that this cleansing oil worked effectively to cleanse my skin, although I did need to use a separate eye makeup remover to thoroughly remove all traces of mascara, etc.. on days when I was wearing a heavier eye look.

At £32.50 for 195ml, Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil is a pricey option but if you're looking for added indulgence factor then this is worth a look.

Thursday 1 August 2019

Speed Review: The Body Shop Cactus Blossom Shower Gel

the body shop cactus blossom shower gel

I recently had a voucher for The Body Shop and upon browsing the shelves of my local shop, decided to use it to buy The Body Shop Cactus Blossom Shower Gel. I like The Body Shop shower gels (although would prefer if they didn't contain SLS) & was immediately drawn to this area of the shop. The "newness" of the Cactus Blossom scent together with the eye-catching design of the bottle & unusual name caught my attention and when I smelt the tester, it sealed the deal.

The flip top packaging is functional and is well suited to the texture of the shower gel, which is a fairly liquid clear gel with a very subtle green tint. I appreciated that the bottle was transparent, allowing me to see how much product was remaining.

When I smelt the shower gel in the bottle, I thought that it had quite a fruity fragrance, however, during use, I found it to be a little different and I'd best describe the scent as "fresh & green"- very pleasant nonetheless! That said, I couldn't detect the scent on my skin following use.

I was easily able to work the shower gel into a generous lather and of course, a bath puff would help this even more so, allowing the bottle to last even longer.

The Body Shop Cactus Blossom Shower Gel does the job and left my skin feeling clean and refreshed. I'd say that it's perfect for summer and worth checking out next time you're visiting The Body Shop.
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