The Haircare Series: Products I'd Love to Try

Friday, 29 August 2014

In the final installment of my Haircare Series, I thought I'd show you the products I'd like to try at some point. Unlike with skincare, I tend to be a little more experimental with the hair products I use, mainly because it's rare for me to find something that really works. Generally, I have three rules when it comes to products:

  • They have to soothe my scalp, or at least not irritate it
  • They have to cleanse/style my roots without making them greasy (shampoos/volumising products)
  • They have to moisturise the ends of my hair, without weighing them down

I don't ask for much, do I?

Without further ado, here's a list of the things I'd love to try:

The Haircare Series | Products I'd Love to Try

(Malin + Goetz) Peppermint Shampoo, $36 (approx. £21.72) for 473ml: I love the idea of tingly peppermint on my scalp, I think it's probably really refreshing and soothing. It's said to balance the hair and scalp, and leave them both soft and conditioned.  

Philip Kingsley Take Comfort Try Me Kit, £5 for 3 20ml tubes (reduced to £4 at time of writing): I love Philip Kingsley's Scalp Toner for when I need an extra something, and the Elasticizer works wonders when my hair needs a bit more nourishment, so I really want to try more from the range. Obviously I gravitated towards the Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo, but the set also includes a Moisture Balancing Conditioner and an Elasticizer. I think it's great that you can try these products before deciding whether you want the full size versions, and if you do decide to part with your cash there's a £5 voucher in the box.

Percy & Reed Lovingly Light Foaming Treatment Mask, £20 for 150ml: A mask designed especially for fine hair like mine, this comes in mousse form, which is something I've never come across before. It's said to nourish, moisturise, and add volume, without weighing hair down. Sounds perfect!

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Simply Shine Volumising Mousse, £5.19 for 200ml: I have curly hair, but it only starts to curl once it reaches my earlobes, so the roots can often look a little flat. I've never really used mousse before, but I know I want something that'll give my hair a bit more oomph and make it look more healthy, without weighing it down.

What hair products would you love to try? Have you used any of these before? Let me know!

The Haircare Series: Styling Products

Friday, 22 August 2014

I mentioned in previous posts that I am extremely lazy when it comes to my hair, and that extends to styling. Usually I just let it dry naturally and then run a bit of serum through it but there are occasions when effort is required, and that's when I break out the heat styling tools and the following products:

The Haircare Series: Styling Products

Percy & Reed Wonderbalm, £18 for 75ml: This was a magazine freebie a while back, and acts as a primer before all your other products. An interesting concept, but one that definitely works  my hair is always sleeker and softer when I layer up with this.

John Frieda Heat Defeat Protecting Spray, £5.89 for 150ml: I don't want my hair to fry, so heat protection is a must. I have to be honest, I haven't always been the best at remembering to use it, but it makes a difference. I may be lazy but I do want my hair to be as healthy as possible!

Bleach London Split Fix Serum, £6 for 50ml: The name is a little misleading, nothing except a quick trim is going to get rid of split ends, but don't let that put you off. This serum is a little runny, but it feels quite silky and you only need a little bit (too much and you stray into greaseball territory!) to get sleeker, shinier hair. It doesn't weigh my curls down, which is a bonus.

Percy & Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish, £10 for 125ml: This was another magazine freebie, from years ago, and despite reaching for it every time I need a more polished look, I still have quite a lot of product left in the tube. It's a thick cream, so, again, less is more, and I tend to use it after I've straightened my hair to hold the style.

What are your favourite styling products? Have you tried any of these?

Soap & Glory Face Massage Mini Mitt

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

I've read so many rave reviews about cleansing brushes like the Clarisonic, and I'm tempted, but the simple fact of the matter is: I can't afford one. I have a student budget and, frankly, I need to eat. So when I saw Soap & Glory's Face Massage Mini Mitt on Gemma's blog I decided to try it out. I think I can spare £4! 

Soap & Glory Face Massage Mini Mitt

It was pretty easy to add the mitt (a little pink disc with a handle) to my skincare routine — I simply apply cleanser to my skin and then use the mitt to massage it in.

This is great in the morning because it gives your circulation a boost and wakes you up, but it's also quite relaxing at night.

I was a bit worried that the bristles would be harsh but luckily they're pretty gentle, so don't worry if you have sensitive skin.

Since I started using the mitt I've noticed that my skin is clearer, softer and more even in tone, and the blackheads on my nose and chin are a lot less noticeable. My skin looks healthy and glowing for the first time in months; I'm so happy I bought this.

I'd really recommend picking one of these up in Boots  who'd have thought that a £4 face mitt could make such a difference?!

The Spending Ban: Update #4

Monday, 18 August 2014

I did it! I successfully completed my spending ban! Here's how the last week was for me:

Surviving the Last Few Days

The last couple of days were definitely the most difficult. There was part of me that was like 'You don't have long left, why not end the ban early?' and part of me was like 'No! You've made it this far, stick it out til the end!'

Ultimately, I made the full four weeks without buying any beauty products, and I'm proud of myself. I'm not gonna lie though, I will be having a shopping trip pretty soon! But it'll be a shopping trip for products I need, not just any old thing.

Body Lotion vs. Body Oil

Remember that lovely, fruity Soap & Glory body lotion I was raving about a few weeks ago? I used the last of it, boo. I rummaged around in my stash and found a bottle of Coconut Beautifying Oil by The Body Shop. I usually just use oil on areas like my elbows and knees because it takes so long to sink in but it does feel very luxurious so I can't complain!

Shopping My Stash

I squeezed the last drops of my faithful Una Brennan Clay Mask from the tube, and I must say it was a sad occasion. On the bright side, my skin is a lot less congested than it was a few months ago, and now I'm looking for something a bit more hydrating. 

Next week will be my final spending ban update, and I'll be sharing my post-ban wishlist with you!

Yes To Grapefruit Dark Circle Correcting Eye Cream

Sunday, 17 August 2014

I've been using this eye cream for a couple of months so now is the time for a more in-depth review (I included it in my recent Skincare Series).

This is the first time I've tried something from the Yes To brand so I didn't really know what to expect, but I'm very happy with this product.

The skin around my eye area feels firmer, but the main thing it promises is to reduce dark circles, which it does. The difference is definitely noticeable  as you can see in the photos, I've seen an improvement over time.

Yes To Grapefruit Dark Circle Correcting Eye Cream

I've also been impressed by how long this tube has lasted. I still have plenty of product left, and I use it twice a day. And I just have to mention the grapefruit scent, which is lovely and fresh, especially in the morning when I'm all sleepy! 

Yes To Grapefruit Eye Cream results
I took the photos at the same time of day each time, and I used the same camera settings. My skin is shiny in the top two photos because I'd just taken my mascara off — I didn't realise it'd show so much on camera!

It's not one to use if you want something that tackles fine lines and wrinkles, but I think it's suited to those of us in our early twenties, who aren't ready for anti-ageing products yet, or perhaps those in their late teens who want to start dabbling with eye creams.

Yes To Grapefruit Dark Circle Correcting Eye Cream costs £12.99 for 15ml and is available from Boots. Have you tried any Yes To products? Which ones would you recommend?

The Haircare Series: Conditioner

Friday, 15 August 2014

Welcome to the second part of my Haircare Series! Last week I told you about my two favourite shampoos, and today I'm going to show you the conditioners I like to use.

The Haircare Series - Conditioner

John Frieda Full Repair Full Body Conditioner, £5.99: I tend to use this conditioner after Lush's Rehab shampoo. It's a treat when the ends of my hair feel a bit dry and lifeless as it's very moisturising and makes them feel smooth. It's also great for minimising frizz. 

Naked Volume Weightless Conditioner, £4.39: I use this after Blousey Banana Shampoo by Lush, because it's slightly lighter and doesn't weigh my hair down after such an intense shampoo. It also brings out some definition in my naturally curly hair, which I love - there's nothing more annoying than frizzy curls with a mind of their own! And did I mention that it smells great too?

What are your favourite conditioners? Have you tried either of these?

The Spending Ban: Update #3

Monday, 11 August 2014

This is the week where things really started to get difficult!

Resisting Temptation

Last Thursday I went into the city for lunch with my friend Dan and then afterwards I had some shopping to do. This was probably my biggest test yet, because I've started to get serious withdrawal symptoms, and I've got a list of things I need to replace.

Walking past Boots and Superdrug was torture, and I didn't even let myself go into Topshop in case their make up stand caught my eye as it so often does.

In the end, to fulfill the shopper's high I was so desperately craving, I settled for buying myself the latest issue of Marie Claire  if I can't buy new beauty products then I will read about them instead!


The other morning my Una Brennan moisturiser ran out. Luckily, Elle recently gave away a free (Malin + Goetz) skincare set and it included a Vitamin E Face Moisturiser.

It has a light, silky texture and it makes my skin feel really smooth. I'm really enjoying using it and I can't wait to try more from (Malin + Goetz).

Shopping My Stash

Collection's Fast Stroke Eyeliner has been my favourite liquid liner for as long as I can remember but in summer I find myself eschewing the cat eye for something a little more natural.

However, there was one night when I found myself wanting something more 'done' for an evening in the pub and this was the product I reached for. The applicator is so easy to work with and the liner has great pigmentation and staying power. The best part? It only costs £2.99!

I will definitely be buying more of the Collection liner once my spending ban is over! Have you discovered any old favourites recently?

Tagged: Would You Rather?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

I saw the Would You Rather? tag on Alicia's blog and really enjoyed reading it so I thought I'd try it out myself. If anyone chooses to do the tag too then let me know; I'd love to read your answers!

Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Dolce Vita

1. Would you rather lose all of your mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks, and lipglosses, or lose all of your palettes and eyeshadows?
As much as it would kill me to lose my Charlotte Tilbury palette, I use mascara and lipstick on a more regular basis so I'll say palettes and eyeshadows.

2. Would you rather chop off all your hair or never be able to cut it again?
The ends of my hair go really stringy once it reaches a certain length so I'd chop it all off and wear a wig or something.

3. Would you rather have a coral cheek or a pink cheek?
Coral. Specifically Topshop's cream blush in Head Over Heels!

4. If you had £1000 to spend, would you rather buy clothes or make up?
Ooh, good question! I already own quite a bit of make up and there's nothing I really need at the moment so I'd probably say clothes. Ask me again once I get through my stash and you'll probably get a different answer.

5. Would you rather apply lipstick as eyeliner or eyeliner as lipstick?
Eyeliner as lipstick, there's gotta be a red eyeliner out there somewhere!

6. Would you rather only shop at MAC or Sephora?
I've never bought anything from MAC before and I won't unless they go cruelty free, so I'll say Sephora. 

7. Would you rather only use one eyeshadow colour or one lip colour for the rest of your life?
All the shades of eyeshadow I wear are very similar, whereas I own and wear a lot of different lipsticks, so I'll go with one eyeshadow colour.

Eve Snow Nail Lacquer in Midnight Hour, one of my favourite dark shades

8. Would you rather wear winter clothes in summer or summer clothes in winter?
I'm always cold, so winter clothes in summer.

9. Would you rather have dark nails or bright nails all year round?
Dark nails, I love burgandy and plum shades.

10. Would you rather give up your favourite lip product or your favourite eye product?
My favourite lip product. I could never give up my brow pencil!

11. Would you rather only be able to wear your hair in a ponytail or a messy bun?

A messy bun, I wear one most days anyway.

12. Would you rather never be able to paint your nails again or never use lipgloss?
Never use lipgloss, because I never use it. I don't even own any.

13. Would you rather shave your eyebrows and have none at all or sharpie them in every day?

Hmmm, if I could get a decent colour sharpie I'd want to draw them in, but otherwise I'd have none at all.

14. Would you rather live without make up or nail polish?
Nail polish

The Haircare Series: Shampoo

Friday, 8 August 2014

My hair is fine, curly and frizz-prone. The ends are dry but the roots get greasy quite quickly, and my scalp can get very itchy, to the point where I actually have a prescription shampoo to calm it down. It's taken me a long time to find out which hair products work for me (and which ones don't!) and I still haven't got it completely figured out. 

However, I've reached a point where I'm having more good hair days than bad, so I thought I'd do a series on my haircare routine (a bit like my Skincare Series, which you can read here). I love to spend time experimenting with make up but when it comes to hair I like to make as little effort as possible, so this is definitely a lazy girl's routine!

LUSH Rehab Shampoo, £5.40 for 100g (v)

This lathers like crazy and is brilliant for removing build up - the phrase 'squeaky clean' was made for this product. It contains mostly natural ingredients, including peppermint and juniper, which are said to improve the scalp's condition over time. A little bit goes a long way; I bought my 100ml bottle weeks and weeks ago and the bottle still looks full.     

LUSH Blousey Banana Shampoo, £18 for 240g (v)

Rehab is amazing but frequent use would dry my hair out. This is where Blousey comes in. It's an incredibly moisturising shampoo that also contains ingredients which are good for the scalp and, again, a little goes a long way.

Unlike Rehab, this does not lather at all so it feels a bit weird at first. I've found that the best way to use it is to apply it directly to the hair and massage it in before rinsing.

Afterwards my hair feels soft, but not limp, so don't be put off by the thick consistency. Blousey really is perfect if your hair is feeling a bit dry and damaged. 

I'll be posting The Haircare Series every Friday. Next week: conditioner!

(v) = vegan

Barry M Giveaway Win!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

I've only ever won one giveaway before, so I was really excited when Holly from Holly's Beauty Box told me I'd won her Barry M giveaway. I was able to choose three polishes so I picked Nail Paint in Matt White, Confetti Nail Effects in Marshmellow, and Aquarium Effects in Caspian.

Nail Paint in Matt White
The white shade is the only nail polish I've ever run out of and needed to replace. There's something so fresh about white nails that I just love, and it's a great base coat for bright colours or any nail art. Everyone needs white nail polish in their life! If I had to pick just one look, I'd probably go for monochrome nails.

Confetti Nail Effects in Marshmellow
Strands of pink and white suspended in a clear polish to look like confetti. This shade is so cute but the strands give your nails a bit of grit and texture, which stops them from looking too sugary. So far I've only tried this on my bare nails but I reckon it'd look great layered over coloured polish too  what shade would you choose? 

Aquarium Effects in Caspian
I'm very picky when it comes to metallics but this shade is stunning. A shiny gold shot through with hints of pink, it looks beautiful when it catches the light, and is more of a rose-gold in person. I find myself staring at my nails just to admire the effect.

Thank you so much Holly! Which shade is your favourite?

The Spending Ban: Update #2

Monday, 4 August 2014

This week has been fairly easy in terms of temptation  I've been so rushed off my feet that I've barely had time to do my make up, never mind buy more! The most pesky thing about being on a spending ban is definitely all the emails I get with special offers in them, so I've been deleting them as quickly as I can. Out of sight, out of mind (sort of).

Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick in Make An Entrance


My Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish ran out a few days ago. Normally I'd go online to order another one but instead I ignored the emails in my inbox about free delivery and limited edition skincare sets (it's like they're deliberately trying to tempt me!) and raided my stash of sample size cleansers.

After all, I have a mini Cleanse & Polish. And the Rose Centrafolia Hot Cloth Cleanser by REN. And a grapefruit cleanser by (Malin + Goetz). There's even some of my Aromatherapy Associates cleanser left. Sigh.

In the end I kept the smaller miniatures for travelling and went for the REN cleanser. The formula is thinner than that of Cleanse & Polish but it leaves my skin clean, clear and soft, and that's all I ask for. 


My trusty tweezers have gone blunt from the amount of times I've used them, and I really want to buy some more. I can't do this, but fortunately my mum has her own pair that she's very kindly letting me borrow.

She also has a magnifying mirror, which is terrifying the first time you peer into it ('Those are my pores?!') but it's really good for eyebrow plucking because you can see all the little hairs you'd normally miss. I've got to get my hands on one before uni starts again in September.

Shopping My Stash

This week I found a lipstick by Seventeen in the shade Make An Entrance. It's red with orange undertones and it has the most amazing staying power. It did not budge, even during a day of eating and drinking, and when the colour did start to fade there were no patches, it just looked like a really nice stain.

I'm now halfway through my spending ban, and so far so good! I really hope I can keep it up. 
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