Conditioner -Clairol - Herbal Essences Seductively Straight
Caty_23 6/13/2012 7:20:00 AM
I purchased this conditioner along with the matching shampoo, when I decided to try out the Herbal Essences range. I have mid-length, highlighted hair, that is fine, a little damaged, and that I straighten a lot. All products in the Seductively Straight range are formulated with pink lily and Asian silk, which are supposed to help smooth and straighten dry/damaged hair. The conditioner is a bright pink colour and is a good consistency - not too thick or too thin. It has the same light floral fragrance as the shampoo. I use this on the lengths of my hair after shampooing, and I massage it in a little before combing through. It feels pretty silky on my hair, and leaves it nice and tangle free. Upon rinsing, my hair is left feeling smooth and nicely conditioned. I do feel that this shampoo and conditioner leave my hair in a more manageable state for straightening. My hair is much smoother and straighter if I air dry (although I would need to run a flat iron over it to finish off), and it is easier to get my hair to lie straight when I blow dry and straighten. The two problems I have found with this range are that it does leave my hair feeling build up-y if I use it on several washes in a row, although this can be solved by only using it alternate washes, or just now and again. I have also found it does not do well in humid conditions, and does not prevent my hair from becoming frizzy and poufy. Although this is not a completely awful product, I don't think it is right for my hair type, and I don't imagine I will re-purchase it.
Shampoo -Clairol - Herbal Essences Seductively Straight
Caty_23 6/13/2012 7:09:00 AM
I have been curious to try the Herbal essences line since it got reformulated in the UK, so decided to go for the Seductively Straight range as it appeared to best fit my needs. I have mid-length, highlighted hair, that is fine, a little damaged, and that I straighten a lot. All products in the range are formulated with pink lily and Asian silk, which are supposed to help smooth and straighten dry/damaged hair. The shampoo itself is opaque and pink, and lathers up well. It has a nice, light, floral scent, that isn't overpowering, and can still be smelt vaguely once my hair is dry. Upon rinsing, my hair feels clean and fairly silky, and I have always followed the shampoo with the matching conditioner. When I air dry my hair using this shampoo and conditioner, it definitely leaves it straighter than the usual haystack-like hair I usually have. It's not pin-straight though, and would need going over with a flat iron to finish it off. When I blow dry and straighten afterwards, it is easier to pull the flat iron through my hair. The main problem I have found with this shampoo, is that if I use it every time I wash, by about the third wash, my hair starts to feel like it has some build up when it is dry. If I alternate it with other shampoos, or just use it once in a while, it leaves my hair nice and silky without any build up-y feeling. The other problem I have found with it, is that it does not help to control frizz. Although frizz isn't a daily problem for me, my hair does get very poufy in humid weather, and one day, after washing my hair with this shampoo, I went out for a short walk, and could feel my hair getting bigger and frizzier with each step, so I would not use this in humid weather again. I don't think this is a completely terrible product, it is probably just not right for my hair type and would be better for someone with thicker hair. I am unlikely to re-purchase this, and will be trying out new shampoos and conditioners instead.
I bought this shampoo on a whim, as I fancied a change from the one I had been using, and I was intrigued about the claims that the products in this range adapt to suit your individual hair type. The ingredients look good too (I have added them to the box above) as they contain various oils which are quite high up the list. For reference, my hair is fine and highlighted, which has caused some damage and led to dry ends, although my roots do get oily fairly quickly. As one reviewer below says, this shampoo is quite thick (it is opaque and pearly white in colour) and can be a little difficult to squeeze out of the bottle. I can usually tell when I am washing my hair whether a shampoo is going to make it silky or straw like, but I really couldn't tell with this one when I first used it. I have not bought the matching conditioner to this shampoo, as I already had several ones I was working through to use up. Upon drying my hair, I am left with some shine and my hair feels smooth, though not quite as silky as when I use other shampoos. Whilst I don't think it has made a great deal of difference to the dry and damaged ends of my hair, it certainly hasn't made them any worse. It also doesn't make my hair any oilier at all. I will use this shampoo up, as I quite like it and I don't feel justified in throwing it away, but I won't re-purchase. I think I will, however, try another shampoo from this new V05 range, as I'm not sure this one is the best for my fine hair, although I generally feel it's quite a good shampoo. One side note about the packaging - the press down/pop up top gets gunked up really easily, and the product seems to seep through at the back of it, leaving the top gummy with product. I have used other shampoos with this kind of top, but haven't had this issue before. It's no big deal, just a bit annoying.
Moisturizers -Boots - Aqua Balance Mattifying Moisturiser
Caty_23 4/11/2012 7:59:00 AM
I purchased this moisturiser on a whim as my usual moisturiser was sold out (Botanics Pore Perfecting Day Cream), and the information on the packaging sounded like it would be perfect for my oily/combination skin, as it claims to "moisturise and reduce imperfections without causing greasiness". The active ingredient is a sea mineral called Spiraea Ulmaria, which apparently reduces sebum and tightens pores. The first time I used this was on a morning, and I had planned to wear foundation over the top of it as I usually do. The cream (which is contained in a squeezable tube) is quite thick and very white, with initially quite a strong fragrance (a sort of generic sea minerals/"ocean breeze" type scent), although this does fade pretty quickly. The cream took quite a while to massage into my face due to the thickness and colour, and I found as I was doing so it was balling up really badly. I kept going until it was absorbed as much as it was ever going to be, but in the end I had to cleanse my face and start again with an old moisturiser, as I had little white "balls" of the product all over my face, and there was no way my make-up would ever blend in. Since then, I have been using this product up on a night, and the balling up seems to be getting better the closer I come to finishing the tube, so perhaps it was initially due to some kind of settling of the ingredients (though the product is so thick you couldn't really shake it up to re-combine everything). Anyway, when I apply this product it does leave my face fairly shiny, although not tacky or greasy in any way (but not mattified either). It has never caused me to break out. That being said, I would never re-purchase due to the balling up I experienced with it at first, and also, it does not contain any SPF. (I have added the list of ingredients to the box above)
I picked up this product as part of my eternal search to find the perfect base coat that will not dry out my nails, yet will still prevent staining and chipping. To be honest, this does extremely well on all of those counts, so much so that I wanted to give it 5 lippies, except I have one minor issue with it, but more on that later. Mavala Barrier is a milky white shade in the bottle, but when applied on the nails is looks clear. It dries pretty fast, although I usually give it 5 mins before I apply my first coat of polish. When my polish is on, I find that it lasts around 4 days without chips (if I apply an extra layer of top coat each night), which is the maximum wear time I've ever got from a polish, so I feel like Barrier does increase the lasting power. When I remove my polish, my nails look pink and healthy, and it definitely keeps my nails from drying out when I wear it as a base. So, back to my one problem with it - although I love my opaque, coloured nail polishes, I do love the look of pales and sheers every so often too. But, every time I have used Barrier when applying a sheer or semi-sheer polish, it makes my nails so streaky, as if the milkyness of Barrier has sort of bled into the polish. Whilst I do have some ridges on my nails, I have always been able to wear sheers over clear base coats without any problem, and they have always hidden my ridges, so I know this is not a problem with my nails themselves. I have experimented a bit to try and solve this problem, and a coat of another clear base coat does help to minimise the problem, but it still isn't perfect. Although that disappoints me, I would still repurchase this product, as I do love the moisturising effect it has on my nails, and no other base coat I have tried comes close to this. When using sheers, I just use an alternative base coat and then go back to Barrier on my next manicure, although I guess the search for my ultimate perfect base coat continues!
Blush -Unlisted Brand - Une Breezy Cheeks Blush - B02
Caty_23 8/6/2011 1:27:00 PM
I only purchased this blush initially to take advantage of an offer to get a free beauty book, and wasn't expecting great things, but this has ended up being my favourite blush! This is a cream blush, which I usually stay away from as I often find them difficult to blend and not long lasting. However, this is not the case with this blush. It has a beautiful texture - I use my fingertips to apply, and it is soft enough for me to pick up and blend onto my cheeks, but isn't so soft that the product gets all mushy in its packaging after a few uses. This shade is B02, a light-medium pink that is almost the same shade of pink that I would blush naturally. The product has no shimmer to it (the first time in ages I have found a non-shimmery drugstore blush!) and although it works well on my fair skin, it can be built up to a stronger colour. I really like the packaging of this blush too, it is a small plastic box that slides open to reveal the product. The label on the top of the box can also be peeled off to reveal a mirror. In line with Une's natural credentials, the packaging is recyclable too. I am really pleased with this blush and will be repurchasing.
I had been wanting to try products from the Une range for some time, but was unsure how effective they would be and they were also quite expensive. However, an offer tempted me to purchase a couple of products, their All In One mascara being one of them, and I'm so glad I did. This is the best mascara I have used in ages. My biggest problem with mascaras is I get a lot of flakiness under my eyes after a couple of hours, and this even happens with waterproof formulas. However, I was shocked to find that I could wear this mascara from early morning until late at night without it flaking off at all. I'm also a huge fan of the mascara wand, which has moulded plastic bristles. This, along with the thin, very black formula, means my lashes are coated quickly and thoroughly. Although the name suggests this product is quite a generic, everyday mascara, I find its effects quite dramatic. It lengthens and volumises beautifully, whilst still keeping my lashes separated and clump free. If anything, it sometimes feels like it is too dramatic for everyday use, in which case I prefer Une's Casual Volume mascara instead. All in all, this is a great mascara, and I am surprised it doesn't get more hype. I will definitely be repurchasing.
Mascara -Unlisted Brand - Une Casual Volume Mascara
Caty_23 8/6/2011 12:46:00 PM
I had previously purchased and loved UNE's All In One mascara, which gave me quite dramatic lashes, so thought I would try their Casual Volume mascara for days when I wanted a more simple look. I am really pleased with the outcome. If you are considering purchasing this, be aware that the emphasis of its name should be on "casual" rather than "volume", as it really doesn't plump my lashes up a great deal. I like to use it as part of a natural make-up look, when I don't want my eyes to look overdone. It separates my lashes beautifully, giving me a clean, wide-eyed look. The brush is a classic spiral mascara brush, and although the mascara formula is nice and thin, I do have to work the brush through a few times to ensure all lashes are covered. I get no clumps from this mascara, and if by any chance any gets on my eyelids by mistake, it wipes off very easily once dried (if it is still wet it smudges). I never experience any flaking from this mascara, even though I often wear it from early morning until late at night. Overall I prefer UNE's All In One mascara, but love Casual Volume for a more natural look and so will repurchase.
Treatments -Mavala - Extra Mild Nail Polish Remover
Caty_23 8/6/2011 12:13:00 PM
This is the best nail polish remover I have ever used! I wear nail polish on a regular basis, and although I found acetone based removers got the polish off quickly, they always left my nails very dry. So, I started trying out acetone-free removers, and after trying out several with varying results (none were HG for me though) I found this Mavala one and decided to give it a go. I was VERY impressed - the first time I used it I soaked a round cotton pad in the remover and started on my bright red polish. The polish came off so quickly (and I only used one small pad for all 10 nails) that I had to double check the ingredients to check that it definitely did not contain acetone. I have never used an acetone-free remover that worked so quickly! The best thing however, was how gentle it was on my nails, which were not dried out at all after removal and looked smooth and healthy. I did feel this remover left a little residue on my nails, but a thorough washing easily got rid of this. The only downside with this remover is its strong smell. It's pretty potent! If I just wrap my used cotton pads in a tissue and put them in a bin, I can smell the remover in my house the following day! I therefore tend to wrap the used pads in a plastic bag and put them straight in the outside bin. As much as this is annoying, I'm still giving this product 5 lippies as it is so good and is the only remover that hasn't dried out my nails. I will be repurchasing.
I purchased this polish on a whim, and I am so glad I did, as it is a real change from the other polishes I own. The colour is a pink-ish berry red, with a slightly dusty, muted quality to it. When you look closely at the bottle, it has a very fine pearly shimmer running through it, but this is hard enough to see in the bottle, and does not show up on the nails at all, where it appears to have a cream finish. I tend to have a lot of red polishes, from stand-out pillar box reds through to deep wines and burgundies, but Very Cranberry fills a gap in my collection as I don't own anything similar. I must admit I don't reach for it as much as some other shades, but I like to use it for a change when I'm a bit bored with my true reds and vampies. I also feel like it is quite a sophisticated colour (maybe due to its muted quality?) and I don't feel out of place wearing it in formal situations as it is not too loud or bright. For me, this polish was a little on the thin side, so I needed two coats to achieve bottle colour. It applied fairly easily - not as well as some of my polishes, but there was no huge danger of streaks occurring either. As with all of my Essie polishes, I get good wear out of this one, and usually make it to 4 days without any chips. If I ever run out of Very Cranberry I would re-purchase, as it makes a nice addition to my polish collection.
I first purchased this product months ago, and I can't have liked it very much as I relegated it for use as a pedicure base coat (where all of my dud treatments/bases end up). I finally got round to using it for pedicures, and after several weeks of use noticed that my toenails seemed a lot brighter, smoother and less ridged. As I couldn't quite remember what I hadn't liked about it as a fingernail treatment, I decided to re-try it as I was impressed with these results. Well after a couple of times using this, all of its bad points came flooding back to me. Used alone as a treatment, Miracle Cure chips straight away, leading to it peeling off quite quickly. That can of course be rectified by adding another coat each day (as the chips aren't noticeable with it being clear) but sadly this is not the only problem. On the nails that it does manage to stay on, horizontal "cracks" started to appear on the surface of my nail. I assumed this was the polish itself cracking, but when it is removed I am left with horizontal white lines on my nail where the crack was, that I can feel are shallow cracks in my nail. I don't even know how this would happen, I can only guess that the formula of the polish means it is not flexible once dry, so if my nails are knocked/bent due to daily wear and tear the polish can't cope and badly cracks? As dry and damaged as my nails are, they have never achieved cracks like this by themselves. I have also used Miracle Cure as a base coat under polish, and the results weren't bad. my nails did seem to be left more moisturised upon removal of polish and there was no sign of the weird cracks, but my polish did not last as long as with my regular base coat. I would therefore not re-purchase Miracle Cure. I seem to be having better luck (so far) with Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Growth treatment, so I will stick with that until I find something better.
Bold and Beautiful comes from Essie's Winter 2008 collection, and at the time was seen as being the most boring colour of the bunch - the lone creme amongst a range of shimmery purples and a gold. I purchased the full collection and Bold and Beautiful was the first one I picked out to wear, and almost 2 years on is the one I use the most. Whilst I do love almost all red cremes, this one is a particular favourite and stands out amongst others. Essie has the description spot on with "ruby red garnet" as it is a beautiful rich deep red. And it is a proper, true red, unlike many other deep reds that lean brown. I think that is what I love about it so much, the colour has a kind of clarity to it, whilst other reds may be tinged with brown or orange. I use two coats of Bold and Beautiful - the first coat gives quite a bright red shade, but a second coat achieves the darker bottle colour. The polish has a jelly-ish finish to it, I say jelly-ISH because it is not completely translucent like some jellies and my nail tips are not visible after two coats. However, it does have the beautiful glossy shine of a jelly. My one criticism of the polish is that it does apply a little unevenly at times if I don't take great care when applying. It isn't too obvious when it does though, but it isn't the kind of colour you can just slap on in a rush. Essies wear very well on me and I can go for about 4 days without chips. I would definitely repurchase this shade if I ever ran out (I am currently about a third of the way through the bottle).
Lotions/ Creams -Jergens - Total Nourishment Body Moisturiser
Caty_23 8/19/2010 5:35:00 AM
I really like all of the Jergens Naturals moisturisers, particularly as they are one of the few natural product lines that can be purchased in most drugstores and are also very reasonably priced. All lotions in the line are at least 95% natural (the Total Nourishment lotion is 97% natural), contain no parabens and are not tested on animals. The Total Nourishment body moisturiser is supposed to "intensly nourish" and "transform dry skin", and to be honest it does a pretty good job, although I do feel it is quite a light lotion and if my skin was feeling very dry I would prefer something a little heavier. It is nice to use in the summer months though, and leaves my normal-dry skin noticeably softer. I particularly like the texture of this lotion, which is almost gel-like, rather than a typical cream. This makes it absorb extremely well and does not leave my skin feeling greasy/sticky. Jergens says the active ingredients are acai berry, cranberry and mangosteen extract (whatever that is) and I guess this, alongside additional extracts of blackcurrant, gogi berry and West Indian cherry, give the lotion its nice, light, berry scent. The scent (which is not overpowering) lingers for a couple of hours, then fades. These ingredients are also said to be high in anti-oxidants to promote healthy skin. Other ingredients like soybean, sunflower, jojoba and cottonseed oil are included for moisturisation (full ingredients are in box above). I very much like this lotion both for its light moisturisation and its scent, so will be repurchasing in the future. Also, the 200ml tube of the lotion lasts me a long time, as a small amount of the product gives good coverage.
I really like this product, which I have been using on and off for a few years now. Whilst the tips of my nails used to be quite naturally white, since polishing my nails regularly, they seem to be a lot more transparent (I'm guessing this may be due to nail polish remover?). I don't leave polish on all of the time, I usually just wear it on a weekend, so on the days when I don't wear it, I was becoming self conscious that my nails looked unhealthy and in bad condition with almost transparent tips. I now use this pencil every night before bed and it has solved this problem, with my nails looking healthy again. I notice that some of the reviewers below are having trouble getting the whiteness to last on their nails. The best way I have got the effect to last is by applying the pencil under my tips right before bed. I always wash my hands thoroughly, then pat them dry so moisture is left under my nails. Then, making sure the pencil is sharp, I run it underneath my nail tips. The moisture softens the pencil, making it apply easily and leaving plenty of "whiteness" behind. It can look a bit chalky after being first applied and can leave some residue behind on your fingertips, but this is why I apply it right before bed. By morning, the product has "stuck" to my nails well and when I shower any residue is washed away but my tips are still left white. The whiteness increases after several uses. I have used other brands of nail white pencils and this is the best in terms of staying power and whiteness (some cheaper ones give a yellow tinge). The pencil is called a 2-in-1 as the angled lid of the pencil can be used as a cuticle pusher (though to be honest it is of little use). I will continue to purchase this pencil.
Lotions/ Creams -Desert Essence - Vanilla Chai Hand and Body Lotion
Caty_23 7/29/2010 10:39:00 AM
I was given this lotion as a gift and am very pleased I got the chance to try it. I am particularly pleased in general to have found the Desert Essence line, as I am looking to be as natural as possible with my skincare routine, and this contains natural ingredients with no bad chemicals. The lotion itself is quite fluid (though not annoyingly runny) and only a small amount is needed to cover quite a big area. It absorbs quickly and easily and leaves no greasy residue afterwards. Whilst this is a good thing, I do feel it is quite a light lotion, so tend to prefer to use it in the summer months when my skin still needs moisturising but is not so dry. In the winter I prefer a slightly heavier, more moisturising cream. One tube of this lasts me a very long time (though I do alternate it with different lotions each day). I love the vanilla chai scent of this lotion, in which you can smell the sweetness of the vanilla with added spice. It kind of reminds me of Christmas candles as it is a nice warm scent, but I still feel it is suitable to use in the summer, as when it is all absorbed I can really only smell a nice sweet fragrance on my skin. The scent lasts on my skin for a couple of hours before fading. I am onto my second tube of this lotion and would repurchase again.