John Frieda Full Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

Saturday, 29 September 2012

You might know that John Frieda is one of my favourite haircare brands, so I was very excited when I recently received a lovely email asking if I’d like to test and review some of their products.

Well, that’s an offer you can’t refuse so I asked to try the newest range  Full Repair  and was sent the Full Body Shampoo* and Full Body Conditioner*.

“Bodifying formula, with Inca Inchi Oil rich in omega-3, repairs the look and feel of overstyled hair as it weightlessly restores bounce for full, flowing styles. Detangles strands, reducing the risk of breaking and snagging when combing or brushing.”

John Frieda Full Repair

The Shampoo

I love the texture of this and the way it makes my hair feel; it’s so silky and yet it doesn’t weigh down it down or make my roots greasy at all.

In fact, I’ve noticed that I can leave longer between washes when I use the shampoo, which is always welcome, and it hasn’t stripped my colour.

It takes a while to lather up but I don’t mind this when the results are so good.

The Conditioner

Possibly the lightest conditioner I’ve ever tried, and yet it still nourishes hair.

I’m not sure how people with thicker hair would find it but for me and my rather thin strands it works well.

The ends of my hair in particular look a lot healthier, and they feel much softer too.


I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my hair since using these products (they smell lovely by the way). I usually end up pulling out so much hair when I comb it through but this is noticeably less now I’m using Full Repair.

I’m often sceptical when products claim to boost volume, but I can see that my hair has a lot more body after I’ve used the shampoo and conditioner, not really at the roots but along the lengths.

It’s also much shinier now, something that people have been commenting on. When John Frieda say that Full Repair revives over-styled hair they are not lying.

The John Frieda Full Repair range is available at Boots, Superdrug and most larger supermarkets.

For more information, and plenty of hair tutorials, you can visit the John Frieda YouTube channel.  

My First Giveaway Win!

Friday, 7 September 2012

A few weeks ago I was browsing through new blog posts when I came across Sandra's blog, The Puzzle of Sandra's Life, where she was announcing the winner of her giveaway. Like many bloggers, I often enter giveaways but never get my hopes up too high. However, this time I was delighted to find that the winner was me! I returned from my holiday last week to find my parcel had been posted  everything had arrived safely and I even received a lovely note from Sandra herself.

Included in the prize:

One of my favourite shades of blue, and it matches my new H&M sweater.

Magnetic bookmark: I always lose my page so this will come in handy and I love the cute heart print.

Olive soap: This smells lovely; I can't wait to use it.

Nail polish: A lovely fresh green colour that reminds me of spring, although I'm sure I'll be using it to brighten things up during winter!

I'd like to say thank you to Sandra for sending me such a lovely prize :) If you haven't already, you can check out her blog by clicking here.

MUA Eyeshadows in 'Matt' and 'Pearl'

Friday, 24 August 2012

MUA Eyeshadows in Pearl and Matt
MUA eyeshadows in 'Pearl' (left) and 'Matt'

I'm off on holiday for a week, but before I go I thought I'd leave you with a product review. Regular readers will know by now that my favourite evening look is by far a smoky eye. So when I was browsing in Superdrug and saw these two MUA eyeshadows I had to grab them (MUA stands for 'Make UAcademy'). They're only a pound each, so why not?

I've had mixed experiences with MUA products before  I loved the two lipsticks I bought but found their nail polish really runny and it didn't have a very nice finish. Luckily these eyeshadows are wonderful quality, especially considering that they both cost £1. Usually I find that cheap eyeshadows barely leave any colour on your eyelids but the pigmentation and colour payoff of MUA's is amazing, as you can see from the swatches:

'Pearl' looks like a iridescent grey in the pan but actually has more of a brown/taupe base shot through with silver, although the grey colour is also present. This makes it a really unusual colour and the brown warms it up slightly which in my opinion makes it more flattering.

MUA Eyeshadows in Pearl and Matt (swatches)

'Matt' is a matte black, which I love because it is actually black, and not a dark grey like many supposedly black eyeshadows I've come across in the past. It's a very versatile product, as you can use it as an eyeshadow, apply it with a damp make-up brush to create an eyeliner, or buff a little bit over the top of black pencil eyeliner to seal in the colour. I'm not sure why MUA have spelt 'Matt' without the 'e' though  is that the American spelling? I've never seen it before.

The only thing I don't like about these eyeshadows is the fallout  you can see in the photos that some of the glitter has dropped underneath my bottom eyelid. However, this can easily be solved with a little primer, which I stupidly forgot to use in these pictures. Considering that they cost me so little money I think I found myself a bargain!

The MUA range can be found in Superdrug stores or on the Superdrug website.

Have you tried any MUA products? What did you think?

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

When the summer months come around we all tend to prefer using lighter make-up on our faces and clearly many beauty companies have cottoned on to this, as there's been a whole range of BB creams released recently. I sent off for a free sample of Maybelline's offering, Dream Fresh BB, and have been testing it over the past week.

What's BB Cream?

'BB' stands for 'Blemish Balm'. In the words of Maybelline"Not a foundation, but more than just a moisturiser, lightweight BB cream smoothes on effortlessly to make you look fresh-faced and perfected  not 'made-up'. It's like having good skin, every day."

Well, who doesn't want that?

They then go on to describe their own BB cream: "Thanks to its oil-free, water-based gel formula, Dream Fresh BB is lighter than other BB creams. And with four shades to choose from you're sure to find one that's just perfect for you. No fussing, no caking, no tide marks. Just bare 8-in-1 perfection  with SPF30 protection  in a single step."

8-in-1 perfection is quite a promise. The free samples come in the shade 'light', the palest, it's not quite pale enough for me.

8-in-1 Skin Perfector  My Thoughts

1. 'Imperfections look blurred'  Yes. My skintone looked more even but still natural.

2. 'A natural looking glow'  No. The cream made my skin look quite skiny, particularly on my cheeks.

3. 'Fresh feel'  Yes. The cream feels incredibly light and blends beautifully.

4. 'Compliments skin tone'  Yes and no. 'Light' is not light enough for me, but it wasn't so dark that I looked like I was wearing a mask. If I had a bit of a tan this would be okay but it's just not the right shade for me.

5. 'Skin looks smooth'  Yes. The best thing about this cream is the way it subltly makes skin look better.

6. 'Hydrates'  Yes. My skin can sometimes feel quite dry and tight at the end of the day but this didn't happen when I was wearing the BB cream.

7. 'Protects with SPF30'  Yes. Many similar products only contain SPF15, so I was really happy Maybelline doubled the protection. And seeing as we're all so busy, products with in-built SPF are always welcome.

8. 'Oil-free, non-greasy'  Yes and no. Sure, there's no oil but my skin looked shiny and that in turn made it look greasy, even though it wasn't. This is probably because of the gel formula; I've found that some products with gel in them can do this even if you use them sparingly.

Overall, Dream Fresh BB is not a bad product, although I don't see myself rushing out to buy it. Maybe if they make a lighter shade and tweak the formula a little to stop the shine then I'd be interested because it does make skin look even and smooth.

Have you tried Dream Fresh BB? What did you think? Would you buy the full-sized version?

You can also buy Dream Fresh BB instore and online from Boots, Superdrug and most supermarkets for £7.99

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Sunday, 13 May 2012

I'm pretty sure that Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser needs little introduction.

The beauty world, both bloggers and critics alike, have been raving about it for some time now so when I read on Sandra's blog that Red magazine were giving away a free sample (which included a 30ml tube of cleanser, a guide on how to use it, a muslin cloth, and a list of ingredients) in their May magazine I was determined to finally try it.

What Liz Earle's website says:

"We only make one cleanser because this formulation is the ultimate in concentrated yet gentle cleansing power and works on every age and skin type.

Our plant based cleanser has a two-phase action, phase one is the cleansing.

Free from mineral oil, it has a rich and creamy texture and swiftly removes all traces of face and eye make up, even stubborn mascara.

Phase two is the polishing. Polish off the cream using the pure muslin cloth to gently dislodge dead skin cells and help reveal clean, soft and radiant skin.

Naturally active ingredients include eucalyptus and cocoa butter for smoother, clearer skin."

What I have to say:
Wow. I've tried some pretty decent cleansers in my time, but this is by far the best.

I could see the difference in my skin from the first time I used it, and the area on my chin that was covered in blackheads has cleared right up.

I did wonder whether the muslin cloth was worth it but my face feels so much cleaner and using it is straightforward - you just work the cleanser over your face, wipe it off with the damp cloth and rinse your face with cool water.

The cleanser has a gorgeous creamy texture and although the smell of eucalyptus is quite strong I liked it.

If you haven't tried Cleanse & Polish yet I would totally recommend it  you can buy the sample size, which includes a muslin cloth, for £5.50. For more information on Liz Earle products, go to their website.

Simple Sun-Kissed Moisture Cream

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A few weeks ago I briefly mentioned my plans to start using gradual tan in preparation for summer, and given that my prom is in less than two months I've started already so that I don't look like a ghost!

I bought Simple Sun-Kissed Moisture Cream when Boots introduced their 'Bring On Spring' 3-for-2 offers and I've been using it once a day for about two weeks now.


The gradual tan is subtle but not non-existent. It may not be obvious (at the moment) that I'm trying to tan but my skin definitely has a glow that wasn't there before.

There are no streaks and there's no orange build-up, as promised, and whilst it's not the most moisturising product I've ever tried it doesn't dry skin out either.


The smell, oh my word, the smell. Now, I always associate Simple products with being quite natural and gentle but there's no other word for it, this moisturiser smells chemical.

It does wear off fairly quickly but this is not a product to put on when you're just about to see people! I've compromised by applying it in the evening and using my regular moisturiser in the morning.

I appreciate the UVA/UVB protection, but there's no SPF number on the packaging, so it makes you wonder how much protection there really is.

Also, I have an issue with the price. It's £4.99 for a 50ml bottle, yet their travel products, also 50ml, are only sold for £1 or so. I'm hoping that this bottle will last me for a while because £4.99 for only two weeks supply is just not worth it.

NYC Nail Polish in Park Ave

Monday, 9 April 2012

Recently I've been looking for a neutral shade of nail polish that I can wear with anything, but I'm a bit bored of the peachy nudes and French manicure pinks that I'd usually go for.

Browsing in Superdrug last week I spotted In A New York Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish by New York Color and picked up the shade Park Ave, which seemed to be the perfect choice.

I haven't really used any products by NYC before, apart from their Cheek Glow in Central Park Pink, which is a really nice blush for pale girls like myself, so I was looking forward to trying the nail polish.

NYC Nail Polish in Park Ave

"At last, a manicure that moves at the speed of Manhattan. NYC's In A New York Minute nail polish is slick, glossy polish that goes from wet to set in less than sixty seconds with a special control flow brush that dispenses just the right amount of colour for perfect application...even if you need to apply whilst heading across town in a taxi. Be vibrant, be brilliant and be bright for less."

Personally I found the consistency quite runny; the first coat was very sheer but another two coats soon solved that problem. I liked the brush and had no problem with smudging polish on to the skin surrounding the nail like I often do, although that's probably just me being clumsy.

The colour itself is a sort of dark mushroom; it's neither brown or grey, just a mix of the two.

The thing that most impresses me about this polish is its staying power. I managed to wear it for five days without top coat (I always forget) and got no chips whatsoever, which I found very impressive. And for only £1.79 from Superdrug, I think I found myself a bargain!

Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Polish

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Anyone who shops at Cheap Smells will know that they've had a March Madness sale happening throughout the month.

I've needed a new black nail polish for a while (I love dark nails) so when I saw they were selling what appeared to be a black Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Polish for only £1.99 I ordered a bottle.

It came about five days later and I was surprised to see that it was actually a metallic black/dark grey.

I have to admit, I wasn't happy at first, since the colour sample they show on the website looks like a normal flat black. But then I painted my nails with it, just to see if it was any good, and fell in love.

Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Polish

On nails, 24 is an iridescent black, shot through with flecks of khaki and silver. It mainly looks like a metallic black, but in some lights the silver really shines through. In others there are even hints of cherry tones.

It's gorgeous.

You need two coats, plus a top coat, to get an opaque colour and it dries far quicker than regular nail polish does.

The brush and the whole idea of being able to paint your nails in a second is a lifesaver, especially if you're impatient or can't paint them without making a mess (I fit both these descriptions).

The bigger brush means you can cover the nail in a few strokes and you don't get that weird striped look the way you do sometimes with a thinner brush. Why can't all nail polishes come with a brush like this?

The long lid makes it easier to keep a steady hand, too.

I am really impressed with this product, and relieved that I decided to try it before writing it off as the wrong colour. It can be really frustrating when something you buy online doesn't live up to your expectations, but occasionally the product is even better than you thought it would be, and luckily this was one of those moments!

Have you had any similar experiences with online shopping?   

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skincare

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

My skin is getting to the stage now where it doesn't have so many teenage breakouts, but obviously at seventeen years old I'm not really looking for anti-aging products, either!

So, after browsing the shelves at Boots in search of a change to my routine, I decided to try Aveeno.

I picked up the Daily Exfoliating Cleanser and Daily Skin Brightening Moisturiser.

They're both very slightly outside my usual budget, although the cost is still fairly low for skincare products and I had a Boots voucher, so why not?

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Exfoliating Cleanser

'Gently exfoliates while cleansing; leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and even; will not clog pores, is suitable for sensitive skin and is paraben-free.'

I've been using this cleanser every morning and I'm happy with how it's worked so far. It smells quite fresh and has tiny particles which buff away dead/dry skin without leaving it feeling sore, which I was really pleased about because I have sensitive skin.

Usually I don't like exfoliating cleansers, but this has worked really well and I no longer have dry patches of skin on my face. At £5.99 for 200ml I'd say the price was very reasonable, too.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Moisturiser SPF15

'Clinically proven to even skin tone and texture; boosts skin's natural radiance; contains SPF15 to help protect against the harmful effect of the sun's rays; has a light texture; will not clog pores; is suitable for sensitive skin and is paraben-free.'

I have mixed feelings about this product. On one hand, it feels smooth when applied on the skin. I have to admit that my skin doesn't look as dull as it did before, and my skintone is a bit more even. The SPF15 is also a very welcome bonus.

On the other hand, you only get 50ml and there's something about the smell of it that I really don't like. It's got a herbal scent that reminds me a little bit of... fish.

I hate to say that, since the moisturiser does what it promises to do, but the smell and the price (it's running out fast) have put me off buying this again.

The Aveeno Positively Radiant range is available to buy in Boots.
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