Brand Focus | LUSH Hair Treats — Veganese Conditioner and R&B Hair Moisturiser

Friday, 28 November 2014

LUSH R&B and Veganese

Most people know Lush for their range of bath products — bath bombs, bath melts, bubble bars... you name it, they make it. Unfortunately, there isn't a bath in my house, so when I first wander into Lush at the beginning of this year it was in search of a shampoo. Since then, my love for the brand has grown, and I buy nearly all of my haircare products from them.

My latest trip to the Cardiff store was fuelled by the need for a new conditioner. Initially the assistant recommended American Cream, which I've heard is lovely, but I'm allergic to strawberries so I need to stay well away. The same thing happened with Retread, which contains melon (I have quite a severe melon allergy too). Luckily, Veganese is packed full of ingredients that I can use: lavender flower infusion, rosemary infusion, lemon oil, and lemon juice to name but a few.

I love Veganese. I have fine hair, so quite often conditioners can be too heavy, but this one is the perfect balance between light and nourishing, and it leaves my hair feeling smooth without weighing it down. It also doesn't go the other way and make it too frizzy and flyaway.

I was only looking for conditioner, but on hearing that I suffer from dry ends in winter the assistant immediately picked out the R&B Hair Moisturiser. She had similar hair to mine, and claimed that it had made a real difference to the ends of her hair. It's quite expensive, with prices starting at £11.50 for a 100g pot, and I didn't want to pay that much money for something when I didn't know whether it worked. Luckily, the assistant gave me a sample to take away and try, which I really appreciated, and even asked me to come back and let her know how I got on, whether I liked it or not. That is what I love about the staff in Lush — they're enthusiastic, but I've never felt pushed into buying anything.

Anyway, it turns out that R&B is amaaazing! It's very rich, so you need a teeny amount, but it really has been working wonders for my hair. It smells incredible too — very Christmassy. The ingredients include things like oat milk, extra virgin coconut oil, cold pressed jojoba oil, orange flower absolute and cupuacu butter, and I think the scent may be the jojoba coming through, but I'm not sure. All I know is that I'll be going back for a larger pot when my sample runs out!

Veganese Conditioner is available here and prices start at £4.50 for a 100g bottle.

R&B Hair Moisturiser is available here and prices start at £11.50 for 100g pot.

Have you tried any of Lush's hair products? What products of theirs do you swear by? Let me know in the comments!

Shopping With Cohorted | Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and Subversion Lash Primer

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Cohorted has been around for a while, and although I signed up a fair few months ago I'd never actually made a purchase until now. Quick catch up: products on Cohorted are known as cohorts. The more people choose to join a cohort, the lower the price becomes. You pay whatever the final price was before the cohort closed (they're only open for a certain amount of time). 

I was in need of a new mascara, and ended up paying £9.60 for Urban Decay's Perversion Mascara, which came with a trial sized Subversion Lash Primer. Perversion normally costs £17, and the full-sized Subversion costs £15, so I saved myself quite a bit of money!

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and Subversion Primer (in Cohorted packaging)
My parcel arrived within a couple of days of being dispatched, and a lot of care had been put into wrapping it up. Top marks, Cohorted!

This is actually the first Urban Decay product I've tried, and I'm so impressed! One coat is perfect for a subtle daytime flutter, and two coats really add length and volume. What I love about this is that you can layer it up. Even if your first coat has dried and you decide you want to apply more, it doesn't clump. Word of warning: it takes a while to dry properly, so it's best not to apply it in a rush (I learned this the hard way. Wet mascara + a sneezing fit = an interesting look to say the least).

Once it's finally dried, the mascara stays put all day. Because it doesn't smudge, I have no qualms about applying this to my lower lashes, and it doesn't flake either, which is always a relief when you wear contacts!

L-R: Bare lashes; two coats of Perversion Mascara; one coat of Subversion Lash Primer + two coats of Perversion Mascara
Perversion is difficult — but not impossible — to remove. You need to hold a cotton pad soaked in a good make up remover over your eyes for a few seconds and then gently wipe away, and even then you might have to go back and repeat this. It doesn't really bother me, since the mascara stays put all day, but it's something to bear in mind if you prefer fuss-free cleansing at night.

Is it worth the money? Hmmmm, this is a tough one. On the one hand, there are high street mascaras that can do just as good a job. However, Perversion is amazing and has excellent staying power for a mascara that's not waterproof, so if you did choose to buy it I don't think you'd feel like it was a waste of money. On the contrary, it might become your new favourite; it's certainly become mine. As for Subversion? It's a nice extra but Perversion is so good that I'm not sure it makes much of a difference.

Perversion Mascara and Subversion Lash Primer are available from the Urban Decay website.

Review | No7 Shade & Define Pencils

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Until a few weeks ago, I was under the impression that Boots' own-brand products were not cruelty free. However, a blog post by Camila at Humanely Chic showed that Boots do not test their own-brand products on animals and do not sell them in China, which does in fact make them cruelty free after all. This is wonderful news - get me to Seventeen's matte lipsticks please!

No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define Pencils

That said, No7 have been popping up in the blogosphere a lot more than they used to, and, from what I've heard, they really seem to have upped their game. I could have happily spent my money on several things on the stand but in the end I went for two of their Shade and Define Eye Pencils in Cool Mink and Velvet Truffle.

The pencils twist up, and come with a little sharpener in the base, which I thought was a nice touch. You can use the pencils as an eyeshadow or an eyeliner, but I think they work much better as eyeshadows. You literally just swipe the colour across your eyelid - job done. They're not quite sharp enough to work as liners; it's quite difficult to get close to the lashline, and they don't always smudge very well. However, I think this is because they set so quickly, and this reduces the amount of time you have to work with them.

No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define Pencils in Cool Mink and Velvet Truffle (swatched)
Cool Mink (swatched); Velvet Truffle (swatched)

Pigmentation is excellent, and the shades are really beautiful  shimmery but not too glittery, which makes the neutrals ideal for daytime. Cool Mink, in particular, is a really good goes-with-everything shade. The range also includes shades such as Black Shimmer and Deep Purple, so there's something for evening too. I think my favourite thing about these pencils is the staying power  they last all day. I've worn them out in the rain and even once in the shower, and they just stay put; there's no smudging whatsoever. Definitely worth the purchase!

No7 Shade and Define Pencils cost £8 and are available from Boots.

Have you tried any of the Shade and Define pencils? Which colour is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Mini Haul | e.l.f.

Friday, 14 November 2014

You may remember my post about e.l.f. from a few weeks ago, in which I talked about the experience of getting my make up done at their Cardiff store. Fast forward a little bit and I've been having fun using the products I picked up that day.

Elf Mineral Foundation in Porcelain

Mineral Foundation (SPF 15) in Porcelain, £5.95
 I absolutely love that this contains SPF, as it's easy to forget about it at this time of year. The foundation gives a really light finish and coverage is buildable; it's the perfect multitasker too, as it removes the need for powder.

Mineral Eyeshadow in Celebrity, £3
The prettiest gold you ever did see. It's easy to apply and there's minimal fall out, although it does tend to fade a little throughout the day. Still, it's ideal for adding to the inner corners of the eyes to brighten them up and it works well layered over other eyeshadows too.

Elf Cream Eyeliner in Coffee

Cream Eyeliner in Coffee, £3.95
I love this liner! It's creamy, pigmented, and very long-lasting, and I've noticed that it works well when used in conjunction with eyeshadow. The deep brown shade is very flattering on pale skin.

Elf Lip Liner and Blending Brush in Wine

Lip Liner and Blending Brush in Wine, £3.95
A lovely berry shade that's perfect for A/W; I get complimented on this every time I wear it. It's not one to wear if you're going out for dinner, otherwise all the colour disappears from the middle of your lips and you get that horrible obvious liner look, but it survives if you're just sipping a drink. Nevertheless, I'd still make sure you had it in your bag for touch ups! I love the addition of the brush, as it really helps to blend in the liner and soften the edges.

Just in case you missed it  this is what it all looks like when worn together!

Have you tried any of these? What are your favourite e.l.f. products? Tell me in the comments, I'd love to know what I should look out for next!

What I'm Reading This Week #5 | Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion by Sali Hughes

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

Wow, it's been a while since I've done one of these posts! Totally worth the wait though, because today I'll be talking about the book that's got everyone in the beauty world gripped: Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes. I've read recommendation after recommendation, and for very good reason.

In a nutshell, Pretty Honest is a straightforward, no-bullshit beauty guide, covering everything you could possibly want to know. Topics include skincare, foundation, hair removal, red lipstick, hair, gifts, and getting the perfect manicure and pedicure, to name but a few. Seriously, there's something for every single scenario.

I love Sali's attitude towards beauty. Her 'Brains, Equality, Lipstick' post in the November issue of Glamour really struck a chord with me - there's nothing wrong with being a feminist who loves beauty products. This is a topic I feel really strongly about, and I'm planning to devote a separate post to it in the near future. Keep an eye out for it! 

Five of My Favourite Tips from Pretty Honest:

  • Cold water is the best (and the cheapest) toner you will ever use.
  • The easiest way to open up your eyes is to use eyelash curlers.
  • No product can get rid of cellulite, but a good body scrub can help to minimise its appearance.
  • Whatever your age and weight, exercise will work wonders for making you look better (it keeps muscles firm and helps with circulation).
  • If wearing red lipstick makes you feel self-conscious, try wearing it on three separate occasions. If you still feel uncomfortable after the third time then bin it; if not then you've found a shade that works for you!

If you love beauty and would appreciate some frank advice, then I urge you to read this book. I pretty much read my copy from cover to cover but you can also dip in and out as you please, depending on the subject you want to brush up on. Pretty Honest would make a great gift for a fellow beauty-lover too! It's available from Amazon, and at the time of writing the hardback version only costs £11.

Have you read Pretty Honest? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Review | Percy & Reed Lovingly Light Foaming Treatment Mask

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Percy & Reed Lovingly Light Foaming Treatment Mask

The product I was most excited about receiving in September's Love Me Beauty box was this Foaming Treatment Mask by Percy & Reed. I've tried several of their hair products in the past, all with good results, so I had high hopes for this one. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed. 

The first time I tried the mask I used it all over my hair, including on the roots. Big mistake  they got greasy quickly. However, things changed when I used it on the mid-lengths to ends, and I found myself looking at my new favourite hair mask.

The mask is designed specifically for people who have fine, flat, and dry hair, so it's exactly what I needed. It's actually in mousse form, which means it's super-light, and it's easy to distribute through the hair. I followed the instructions on the can: you fill your palm with mousse, sweep a wide-toothed comb through it and then run it along the lengths of your hair so that every part gets coated. 

The best thing about this mask is that it doesn't weigh my ends down like so many other treatments do. Instead, it leaves my hair soft, moisturised and bouncy, and I've noticed that it stays that way for longer, right up until the next time I wash my hair. Plus, as with all Percy & Reed products, the scent is amazing!

Percy & Reed's Lovingly Light Foaming Treatment Mask costs £20 for 150ml and is available here.
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