Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A Review: Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara

 Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara
Full lashes, natural look

What Do I Think?
I've got naturally long, straight lashes, so I like my mascara to provide volume and curl rather than add extra length. I'm not a personal fan of the clumpy look, and whilst I accept that wearing mascara doesn't ever really look completely natural, I prefer my mascara to subtly accentuate my eyes rather than add obvious definition. False Lash Effect, despite the name, does exactly what I want, plus it doesn't irritate or annoy my sensitive eyes, it doesn't flake off throughout the day or have any colour fading. It stays put, it holds curl and volume, with only one coat, and it's just the right amount of black around my eyes. The formulation is quite thick, but it doesn't clump, and it lasts for ages without drying out in the tube. The wand, as you can see in the above photo, is rather on the large side, which can admittedly be initially off-putting, however, those little spikes grab hold of each and every lash, from root to tip, and coat them in the perfect amount of mascara. After a couple of uses I promise you won't find the brush overwhelming!

Where Is It Available?
Max Factor products are available from most UK drugstores and pharmacies, and also some supermarkets. I'm pretty sure Max Factor is stocked nationwide.
How Much Does It Cost?
This retails at £10.99 for 13.1ml

Would I Recommend It?
Yes! I love, love, love this mascara! The ONLY bugbear I have is the price. Since when did it become acceptable for a drugstore mascara to cost £10.99?! However, when a product does it's job as well as this does, I'm more happy to waft those moths out of my purse and hand over the cash!
Star Rating:
*Disclaimer: I bought this with my own wonga, these are my own words and opinion, those ARE my own lashes, and this is what mascara REALLY looks like!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Beauty on a Budget #1

Tesco Sensitive Face Wash
Dermatologically tested

  I can't be the only woman out there that is surviving on a non existent budget, but still wants (and let's face it, needs) to look as good as I can, so I thought I'd share my beauty finds that allow you to indulge no matter how tight your purse strings are. 

I've never found a face wash that actually makes a ground breaking difference to my skin, and I'm of the opinion that as long as it washes my face and doesn't break me out, it's a winner! As you can see in the above photo, I'm still using my trusty facial buffer from The Body Shop, I'll forever stay faithful to this, I've repurchased them over and over. To be honest, in conjunction with this I think most facial washes/cleansers will be more effective, it's a gentle, daily exfoliation that is exactly what my skin needs (I've also converted my Mum and sister - are you a convert too?!). Anyhow, back to the Tesco face costs 80p (yes, UNDER £1!), is formulated for sensitive skin, and is your average, bog standard, no bells, no whistles facial wash. It has basic, easy to use packaging, it's fragrance free and has a gel like formulation, it doesn't make my skin tight or greasy, and it doesn't irritate my skin in any way. Job done! 

Making savings on skincare where you can means there are more pennies leftover for 'splurging' on your moisturiser or eye cream, for example, and I honestly don't think a facial wash needs to anything more than literally wash your face!

*Disclaimer: there is also a non sensitive version available, if that is what floats your boat. I spent my very own 80p on this, and as always, all words and opinions are my own, I'm not affiliated with Tesco in any way - other than doing my grocery shopping there...if that counts?! I do have a Clubcard...

Monday, 26 September 2011

A Review: Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo & Conditioner

Klorane Nourishing Treatment Shampoo & Conditioner
With Mango Butter, for dry and damaged hair

What Do I Think?
I'd never previously used any Klorane products before I tried these, so I had no expectations or comparisons. Going on the 'spec' alone I thought these would be well suited to my hair, being aimed specifically at dry and damaged hair, basically in need of some TLC. The shampoo is designed to rehydrate your dry hair and boasts mango butter amongst it's list of ingredients, known for it's high content of fatty acids and nourishing properties. It's a nice consistency, although I personally found I had to use a LOT of product to create a decent lather and to cover all of my hair (although I do have quite long locks now). My hair didn't feel squeaky clean after use, although I do feel this shampoo had more of a clarifying effect than a nourishing effect on me, and out of both of the products this is the one I preferred. The conditioner is designed to nourish and detangle your hair, but honestly, I can't say it did either. My hair does tangle VERY easily and is a nightmare when wet, so I need a really good, heavy duty conditioner to tame it. This felt like applying a lacklustre moisturiser to my hair, both in consistency and effect. I think my hair felt softer and less tangled after just the shampoo, I really disliked the effects of this conditioner. Given that it is aimed at dry hair, I was both surprised and disappointed with it. In my opinion, the only redeeming feature of this pair is the scent, which is deliciously fruity, but not in an overbearing fashion.

Where Is It Available?
You can purchase Klorane products from John Lewis (and probably other online stockists if you Google it).

How Much Does It Cost?
The shampoo retails at £6.00 for 200ml, and the conditioner at £6.50 for 150ml.
Would I Recommend It?
The shampoo is OK, it washes well and smells nice, but I think for the price and limited stockists, I personally would expect it to be a lot better, and do a lot more (in comparison to my John Frieda shampoo of choice). The conditioner is just awful really, and I wouldn't recommend that at all.

Star Rating:

Disclaimer: These products were sent to me for review consideration purposes, however all words and opinions are my own, and I'm not affiliated with Klorane in any way. I really wanted to like these products, especially given that my hair IS dry and damaged, but I really didn' hiss!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Record of the Week #5

Olly Murs ft Rizzle Kicks - Heart Skips a Beat

This song isn't exactly new, but I've been LOVING it ever since it came out, and it's the one song at the moment that is guaranteed to get me and Jamie boogying on down! I've a big soft spot for Olly, and am seeing him in concert again next February, yippee!

TAG: Get your freak on - 15 weird questions!

1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
Lumpy. Really complimentary, right?! It was actually given to me by my Uncle when I was still a wee bubba growing inside my Mum, but it kind of stuck, and he still calls me that to this day! My sister and I like to think of a new (really mature) name to call each other all the time...think poo face, smelly head etc. So grown up ;)

2. What's a weird habit of yours?
I don't actually know what habits are weird...I'm sure I have many, but I can't think of any. One thing I do that is silly rather than weird is get really anal and OCD about the placement of certain things, like a coaster for example, even if the rest of the room is messy and chaotic!

3. Do you have any weird phobias?
Yes, I have a phobia of cheesecake, and dinosaurs. I have plenty of 'normal' phobias, like spiders, cotton wool and wasps, but I guess you could say my weird ones are really rather irrational, and they are definitely a talking point once people find them out!

 4. What's a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you're alone?
 At the moment it's "OMIGOD You Guys" song from the Legally Blonde musical...CHEESE! I'm also probably the person most likely to get caught dancing around my house to something I've professed to hate (Cher Lloyd "Swagger Jagger" anyone?!), or a classic Michael Jackson tune!

5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
Urgh, I have many. People picking their noses, people driving too close behind me, people who don't say thank you when you stop your car to let them go, people who are RUDE and arrogant, people who tut at your child for daring to make a noise...I could go on!

6. What's one of your nervous habits?
Biting or picking my nails and cuticles, jiggling my leg, biting the inside of my lip and playing with my hair. I generally just start to feel really sick when I'm nervous!

7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
If you're looking at the bed from feet end, I sleep on the right. If you're in the bed, it's the left! I suppose if you were to ask Colin he'd say I sleep in the middle, with the duvet wrapped around me (lies, all lies)!

8. What was your first stuffed animal & it's name?
 Big Ted, Pippo, Pink Rabbit and Ellie were my first stuffed animals that I can remember. The names are really original, I bet you can't guess what animals they represented?! I actually have a confession to make about what happened to, I can't do it...*hangs head in shame*...

9. What's the drink you ALWAYS order at Starbucks?
I don't drink at Starbucks. Overpriced nonsense. Oh, and I don't drink tea or coffee!

10. What's the beauty rule you preach.. but never ACTUALLY practice?
Don't pick your spots and always take off your make up before bed. One word. Hypocrite. I'm only human!

11. Which way do you face in the shower?
I have to face toward the shower door or curtain, although my shower is over the bath, so I stand with the shower behind me but I can see the door through the curtain, so if there are any intruders I'll know! Usually the intruder is 2ft tall and comes to steal my clothes...!

12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'?
I can click my nose. It's incredibly hard to describe, but I can basically move and click the columella (bit between your nostrils)...gross right?!

13. What's your favourite 'comfort food'/food that's 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?
Chocolate, ice cream, biscuits, crisps...

14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?

15. Time to sleep- what are you ACTUALLY wearing?
PJ's from La Senza. I used to sleep in my birthday suit (TMI, sorry!), but once I became pregnant, and then ever since the birth, I felt too vulnerable...has that happened to anyone else?! I have no idea why...perhaps it's my irrational fear of intruders?!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

"I'll bring you flowers in the pouring rain"

 L'Occitane Pivoine Flora
Beauty Cream

Autumn has well and truly arrived. It might not be sunny outside, the flowers might not be in glorious bloom in the garden, and you might be feeling all miserable and blue, but who said we can't come out smelling like flowers?! OK, OK, I'm sorry for the awful pun, I'm not very good at these things...!

This luxurious body lotion from L'Occitane has the most delicate and beautiful peony scent, it's not heady or overpowering, just simple and sweet, very feminine and definitely NOT autumnal. The cream itself is thick and creamy, but with a delightfully silky texture, it sinks into the skin immediately, softening and nourishing all day long. I've only ever tried one L'Occitane product before, a gorgeous shea butter hand cream, that I believe I got free with a magazine, but that was incredible, hands down the best I've ever tried! I associate the brand with excellent quality, hard working products, and that's with barely having tried any, and this Beauty Cream certainly doesn't disappoint. 

The packaging oozes elegance and class, and would look fabulous atop a dressing table (which I don't have!), it's a heavy glass pot, a beautiful peony image on the lid, and it just feels very glamorous. This product retails at £25.00 for 200ml...a definite treat in my opinion, but you won't be disappointed by the results.

*Disclaimer: I was sent this product for review consideration purposes, at the time I read the email from the PR company I was wearing flowers in my hair - very apt, wouldn't you say?!

NOTD: OPI Miami Beet

 OPI Nail Lacquer
Miami Bee & Mad as a Hatter

The perfect manicure colour for that uneasy transition from summer to autumn, Miami Beet is a gorgeous deep pink, I'd almost describe it as a berry toned pink. It looks perfect when accompanied by one of my favourite glitter polishes, Mad as a Hatter (from the Alice in Wonderland OPI collection), I do love a little bit of added sparkle!

I always think your nails should be the one part of your outfit, particularly if you have to wear traditionally corporate office wear, that can be fun and expressive, and using a glitter polish is one of my favourite ways to do so.

What are your favourite transition nail polish shades? Are you a glitter lover or hater?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

He makes my heart melt...

I love my little boy SO much!
Thank you for allowing me to gush ♥

A Review: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder
Controlled Lightening Spray

What Do I Think?
A spray that can lighten your roots, and therefore potentially necessitate the urgent need for expensive and regular highlight top ups, surely that is too good to be true?! Well, yes, it probably is! I purchased this a while back, lured in by the 'too good to be true' marketing claims, and set about using it, paying careful attention to the 'directions for use'. I will point out now, this is NOT suitable for any hair colour other than blonde, and although my roots are fairly dark, after careful consideration I decided that my dark blonde should be acceptable. This product can be used for root lightening, highlight brightening and all over colour enhancing, and is activated by applying heat to the hair after use - apparently, the more heat, the better the effects. However, technical gumpf aside, despite following the instructions to the letter, this left my roots horrendously greasy (I used it as sparingly as possible), and after a few uses my hair started to turn a tinge can I put! I tried, and failed, a few times to get this to work, but unfortunately my perseverance did not pay off. For what it's worth, I also tried this on my already highlighted blonde strands, and I had the same effects, so I think the actual shade of hair was irrelevant to the effects. If this product works for you, then please tell me how on earth you got it to! Biggest waste of money...seriously unimpressed with John Frieda. 

Where Is It Available?
John Frieda products are available in most UK drugstores and supermarkets, and I believe are sold online and nationwide too.

How Much Does It Cost?
This retails at £6.99 for 100ml - daylight robbery if you ask me!

Would I Recommend It?
If you fancy orange, greasy roots then SURE THING, but if not, steer well clear!

Star Rating:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A Review: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew
Tone Correcting Conditioner

What Do I Think?
As a (bottle) blonde, one of the things I always try to avoid in between colourings is loss of tone and colour, that hated 'brassiness' is a dreaded term. Purple shampoos and conditioners are formulated especially to help counteract the 'brassy' tones that can often occur on colour treated blondes, and the Colour Renew range is John Frieda's purple offering. I picked this up after seeing a couple of reviews for it on other blogs I follow, (when my local Tesco was doing a BOGOF or something), and was hoping for great things. Applying something purple to ones hair is actually quite a weird concept for me, and I was mildly apprehensive, I suppose I just assume something so vibrant in colour must contain dye (it doesn't)!? I decided to go for the conditioner, I'm happy with my choice of shampoo and prefer to try out different conditioning products instead. I always leave my conditioner on for at least 2 minutes, giving it time to work. This conditioner contains UV filters that also help to protect against colour fading, and the purple tones help to neutralise that dreaded brassiness. My feelings are still pretty mixed on this one, to be perfectly honest. I don't find it nourishing enough as a conditioner, and can definitely tell the difference on the days (a couple of times per week) that I've used this - my hair simply wasn't as soft or manageable. I don't think it's dramatically improved the condition of my colour either, although I do have to say that it's been a LONG time since I had my highlights done, and it's only recently that I've started to notice major brassiness, so perhaps it has helped more than I initially noticed?

Where Is It Available?
John Frieda products are sold nationwide I believe, and can be found in most UK drugstores and supermarkets, in the professional haircare section.

How Much Does It Cost?
This is retailing at £5.89 for 250ml in Boots (UK) currently, and I believe there is a 3 for 2 offer on across most hair and beauty products instore and online.

Would I Recommend It?
I think you can tell from my review, I'm not blown away enough by this product, I won't personally repurchase it, but I will finish up my bottle. I probably would recommend you try other brands, perhaps something a little stronger might work a little better?

Star Rating:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

NOTD: Models Own 'Sophies Pink'

 Models Own Nail Polish
Sophie's Pink

 I gave myself a mini manicure this week courtesy of my sisters nail polishes, and picked this one having never used a Models Own polish before. The swatch of the nail varnish on their website is AWFUL, but the pictures above are pretty true to life. It's a very vibrant, bright 'Barbie'-esque pink, but is surprisingly wearable, and definitely very fun (this would also be perfect on the toes if you don't like brights on your fingers). This was opaque with two thin coats and dried really quickly.

As for the longevity and durability of Models Own polishes I can't really pass comment, because I ended up only wearing this for a day, and it did chip quite a bit. However, I certainly put it through it's paces...I washed, hoovered and waxed my car (SHOCK HORROR!) and did plenty of playing with Jamie, nappy changing and bathing him etc, so the chipping was hardly surprising! Mum's manicures have to be tough!

These polishes retail for £5.00 each and are sold in Boots and online I believe (Google for more info, as ever), and from what I've seen there is a pretty extensive colour range. I personally wouldn't want to pay that price for a 'drugstore' polish, I'd rather pay more and have a decent Nails Inc, OPI or China Glaze.

I'm now sporting another of my sisters polishes, so stay tuned for another NOTD coming soon!

Monday, 12 September 2011

A Review: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Healthy Attitude

 John Frieda Sheer Blonde Healthy Attitude
Leave-in nourishing spray

What Do I Think?
If there is anything extra my hair needs it is nourishment, in abundance, especially at the moment given it's long overdue a cut and colour refresh. I picked this up quite some time ago, I *think* it was when I had my hair dyed back to blonde and was stocking up on goodies from the John Frieda Sheer Blonde range. The idea behind this spray is to "replenish lost moisture" and "penetrate problem areas that are prone to splitting and breaking", when applied to damp hair after washing as normal. It's this part that I'm just not sure on. I'm not over or underwhelmed by this product, I'm not convinced it actually does anything, perhaps my hair is so beyond help that this fails to make an impact, or perhaps it does actually do a little something but doesn't quite have the strength to make it overly noticeable? Either way, it does have a really nice scent that lingers throughout the day, especially when you swish (I love that!), and it doesn't make my hair greasy which is a definite pro!

How Much Does It Cost?
This retails for £5.29 and if you're quick, Boots has a 3 for 2 offer across most brands instore (and online) so you could snap this up as your freebie perhaps (which is actually exactly what I did, way back when).

Where Is It Available?
John Frieda is sold in most UK drugstores and supermarkets, and I'm pretty sure it's sold nationwide, but don't quote me on that!

Would I Recommend It?
I'm not really sure to be honest, I don't think it does a great deal on my hair personally, and I won't repurchase, but it does smell nice...*shallow*

Star Rating:
*Disclaimer: I purchased this with my own money, some time ago, and have shamefully neglected to review it! As ever, all opinions and hairs used are 100% my own.

Saturday, 10 September 2011


17 Nail Xtras
Crackle Top Coat

OK, OK, so I'm what a year behind with these crackle polishes?! Anyway, it doesn't matter to me how late I am onto this particular bandwagon, I picked up the 17 Nail Xtras crackle polish, and I have to say I'm somewhat besotted with it! You should have seen the look on my face as I watched the crackles appear and my black undercoat show through...simple things?! As you can see I wore this with a black (Nails Inc) polish underneath, which I think works perfectly and provides just the right contrast with the gorgeous shimmery gold of the crackles. I'm sporting this on my toes and have had so many compliments on it! 

This wears quite well (for a drugstore product), I was actually really impressed with the longevity of it. I wore this over my recent weekend away camping and there was only minimal chipping, very impressive! This retails for £3.99 and is exclusive to Boots, but there are a plethora of other brands with their own versions and shades. I really want to try a black crackle polish next. I do think the crackle effect is like Marmite though, you either love it or hate it, and I do see the similarities to chipped nail varnish, but I still love it!

What are your thoughts on crackle effect nail polishes?