28 Jun 2013

Herbal Essences Fresh Balance Conditioner

I've been trying to expand my range of conditioners since I have recently only been restricted to two brands. One being a little pricey (Aussie miracle moist) and the other being cheap but not long lasting (Argan oil conditioner).

I've tried to stay away from herbal essences but it got to the point where I was scrutinising the ingredients lists of every conditioner on the Asda groceries website for something that was CG freindly and didn't have any preservatives that I avoid....

This was one of them....

Herbal essences fresh balance clarifying conditioner: 
Pretty sure I paid £2.25 in Asda so it's no surprise I'm miffed off to see it for £1.00 on the website :(

I should have known it wouldn't be great because my hair is not normal/oily as this conditioner is specified for. It's meant to be a cleansing conditioner so I assumed It was good for co-washing but to be honest it wasn't that great. I skipped a co-wash whilst staying at a relatives house which resulted in some dry flakiness in the front. This conditioner didn't do very well to help with that an didn't moisturise very well either.

It felt cheap and slippery, almost like the hello hydration conditioner, so I'm not surprised that my hair hasn't felt as smooth and manageable recently. Even deep conditioning with this conditioner for well over 2 hours every time I used it didn't seem to make a difference. On one occasion I even left it in for most of the day as I was busy doing chores and that still didn't show much of an improvement. The difference between my hair rinsed with water before and after conditioning with this was marginal and seemed like a waste of money.

I've got plenty of other conditioners to try, possibly too many stashed in my "hair" box but I can already tell by their consistency that they well do much better, so I have no troubles crossing this conditioner off my repurchase list.


27 Jun 2013

Miscellaneous skin care products

I have quite a few random skin care products that I now use regularly, but aren't from one particular brand so I thought might as well blog about them all at once.

On the left is a facial wash that I use morning and night and on the right is the witch anti-blemish gel. The anti blemish gel is basically alcohol denat with a few other things including witch hazel. Alcohol denat basically dries your skin and helps to kill the spot along with the help of witch hazel which is also a natural antiseptic.

This gel claims to help reduce excess oil and clean pores whilst fighting blemishes. I always get good results with clearasil spot treatments but the last one I used had parabens so this was my alternative. It works just as well as the clearasil stuff and for half the price (£2-3 in Asda). 

Also my little sister has been battling with acne for several years but has had red blotchy allergic reactions to clearasil products. Other brands she's used have been useless and pro-active is the only thing that works. Pro-active seems to calm everything down for her but I personally think that it's too harsh. I've looked at the ingredients and they're not very pretty or gentle looking. I honestly believe you should nurture your way to good healthy skin and not cleanse the hell out of it. But when she ran out of pro-active one day I let her use this witch blemish gel and she loved it so much I gave her the whole tube. On both of us it calms down big spots in one day. 

The gel is meant to be used at night just before you go to bed so it can cleanse your pores overnight. I take one little blob and dab it all over the places I get oily/spotty and It reduces spot size and redness. I use this after I have applied my organic moisturiser with argan oil which is quite greasy because of all the nourishing oils and since I already have oily skin I haven't had any problems with this gel drying my skin out. It may seem pointless using an oily moisturiser and this gel but I guess it's the antiseptic properties I'm after to help kill the spots. When I go to bed I look like a shiny grease monster but by the time I wake up pretty much everything has been absorbed. I wish the same thing would happen throughout the day.

Ingredients are fine as far as I can tell but this is possibly the most gentle kind of soap I have ever used even compared to my sulphate free body washes and shampoos. It doesn't really bubble or foam it seems to go creamy when I rub it in my palms and on my face which is great. Also, it doesn't sting my eyes or strip my skin bare dry.

Thanks to a smidgen of extra directed reading after from a biotechnology lecture at uni I discovered that Betaine is very good, very good indeed in fact I'm pretty sure its produced naturally in some sort of plant and is beneficial to hair, skin, nails and gums. I wont go into detail (simply because I've forgotten much of the info about it) but it's like the ultimate beauty ingredient kind of like keratin in hair masks and what not, here's a link with info:

It conditions, strengthens, softens, adds shine and de-tangles

This facial wash contains Cocamidopropyl Betaine. The cocamidopropyl is the cleansing part of this compound and the Betaine is obviously the goodness bit. Every time I see Betaine in an ingredients list I mentally jump for joy because I know I'm getting some good stuff.

Olay, Olaaaaaaay, Olay, Olay, Olaaay. Am I the only person who wants to sing that every time I see an Olay advert on the TV?? no?? just me then....

These are usually pricey as wipes go but sometimes they are on offer at 3 for £6 at Asda which works out to be £2 each. Still pricey but they are good quality. the wipes themselves are soft and have a big bumpy texture which is great for getting into those corners and curves of the face. The wipes themselves are very, very, very wet. I sometimes come across cleansing wipes that are quite dry but these ones feel as though they have been drenched in whatever cleansing fluid is used to make these wipes. This is great for removing heavy eye-make up but maybe not for a light-weight barely any make-up wearer like myself.

Watch out for the ingredients. The ones in Asda are fine but he same wipes in discount UK have a blacklist preservative in the ingredients list. Phenoxyethanol or a paraben, one or the other.

I had to scrutinise the ingredients list of every damn brand and type of facial wipes in discount UK before I came across these. I love the fact that they have tea tree extract which helps to fight against blemishes and that they are free of sulphates or parabens etc. You can get a pack of 2 for £1 which is a total bargain but I always end up giving packet to one of my sisters since they go through wipes like no tomorrow. It does sting my eyes a little but its bearable and the peppermint scent is quite noticeable but not unpleasant. These are great as a cheap alternative to the Olay wipes and aren't as heavily saturated with cleansing fluid.

I was rummaging around my mom's make up and beauty stuff, just to have a nosy at what she had stashed away in her drawers, and I found this. To my surprise the ingredients seemed fine with nothing on my blacklist so I bought some from super-drug while it was on offer as it is usually quite pricey for me. I've only been wearing powder and concealer lately but it removes those perfectly fine if not better than any wipes I have used and definitely removes mascara better. However I find it easier to remove eye-liner with  wipes as I can swipe it off more precisely and press against my eyelid which is difficult to do with a soft/thick cotton pad.

I don't like the idea of taking wipes with me when I'm travelling just for a weekend because once they're opened they begin to dry out and I'd rather not leave them there in my travel bath for months until the next time I need them. This make up remover and the facial cloths shown below seem like good alternatives that I can just leave in my bag until the next time I go visit family for a weekend.


I've been having issues with regular 100% cotton pads. Since they are made from natural cotton there are sometimes seeds and bits that scratch my face which is oh so painful, and oh so irritating. They also seem to fall apart when I apply too much product and rub my skin too hard with them. So when I saw these I thought that I definitely need to give them a go and see if they could be a good alternative. These cloths are definitely much softer and have no harsh seedy bits to scratch me with. The packaging Is also very pretty and I am a lover of masquerade so it makes me happy to see a box of these displayed on my vanity table.

Not sure if these are good for travelling because the box is so darn well big but as you can see these cloths are multi-purpose so I guess that almost makes up for it. I also use a damp cloth to take off my face mask since it is too much hassle to wash it off over the sink and splash my face hundreds of time to get it off my face. I don't use these much at home because they are so darn well big but for cleansing the whole face they are great, I just drizzle (and yes I mean drizzle like lemon juice) some make up remover all over them and they are almost as good as the Olay cleansing wipes.

These are £1.99 in Superdrug which still seems good value for money to me but just when I thought I had been abused enough I got another mental slap in the face when I saw that these are around £1.30 in Discount UK.

zsheeesh what am I ever gonna do ??


20 Jun 2013

Organic Skin care products

If someone had told me years ago that I would be using organic skincare products in the future I would have laughed in their face and said I don't believe in all of that mumbo jumbo, all products work similar wether they're expensive, high end, drugstore, or dirt cheap. 

But that was before I started doing some researcha and digging the dirt on the ingredients and risky preservatives in our every day personal care products.

If you want to check the ingredients you can scutinise them on this website which holds all the info for these organic products:

You may or may not have noticed that the brand name is french and in case you're wondering, it is a french brand. I had to order these from france and it was all in euros but most of the products were under £3 when I calculated. The Argan oil collection is slightly more pricey since argan oil is damn well expensive and hard to come by. However they are still less expensive than most of the drugstore products here in the UK.
so...on with a mumbo jumbo review.....

Left: Day cream, Right: Night cream. Don't worry, the english names are in smaller writing underneath the french writing but I love trying to figure out what they mean. May help anyone studying french and even the description at the back is in french/english too.

First I must say the packaging is oh so pretty. All the products from this brand look pretty but the argan collection is gold and shiny with these pretty little golden trees that resemble the cutesy patterned shape design on the other products. I've learned through experience anything gold and shiny is enough to catch the attention of my magpie eyes.

Both of these creams are oilier than the belly of a slug. Which is great because they spread easily and very little is needed for my face, but since I already have oily skin these two make me look like a greaseball. I don't mind using the night cream because it seems to sink in overnight but the day cream just seems to get worse the longer I leave it on. I don't know wether the normal creams will be the same but I will probably never buy the argan oil day cream again.

Did I mention they smell like battenburg cake??? no ??? well they do to me and I love the fact that I smell delicious, even if only to myself. One of my sisters agrees with me but the other does not. I guess I definitely have a weird sense of smell.

Left: make up remover milk, Right: face mask

The make up remover was just too sticky. It did the job and didn't sting at all but somethimes it would leave a white or gresy residue on my face that felt slightly uncomfortable and it didn't smell as pleasing as the other products.

The face mask, despite being green and making me look like a lake monster, smells pleasant and doesn't dry my skin out too much. As far as I can tell it's helping to clean out my pores but the stubborn black heads around my nose don't seem to be budging anytime soon.

A multipurpose cream that can be used anywhere on the body, face, hands, heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees-and-toes! Would love to carry on singing praises for this as it is a saiviour when it comes to travelling. It saves space in my travel bag or suite-case as oppsed to struggling to pack several different body/face/I-don't-know-what creams just for a weekend. To me it smells like do-nuts which is bizarre but i'm certainly not complaining about that. My only complaint however is that it is a bit thick and difficult to spread. I have a hard time applying it to my face and feel like I'm doing more damage than good trying to rub this cream into my skin. I would definitely keep this for moisturising anywhere else but a seperate cream would have to be packed for my face when travelling.

I also purchased a body scrub from Marilou Bio which I don't have a picture of. It keeps my skin smooth as if I was using a stone pumice but I don't think it does as good of a job. However it is convinient to have in the shower rather than fiddling with a rock to make my skin smooth. It doesn't smell like cakes or do-nuts but has that typical natrual scent I seem to find with organic/natural products. It doesn't make my mouth drool but it's bearable, even for a fusspot like myself. 

My only worry is that it has alcohol at the end of the ingridients list. Since it is at the end I am not sure wether this will be enough to make my skin dry at all but this body scrub does the job, has no risky preservatives, and isn't too harsh so I will keep using it until I find an alternative.

That's it from me until my next post on a few more skin care products.


7 Jun 2013

Naked Eye gel and Hand cream

Naked Soothing eye gel: bought on offer for £2.99 but it's usually £7.99

The first time I used this I used a tiny blob under each eye and smoothed it around 
(very close to the corners of my eye). 

It stung like hell !!!!!

I had no idea why because the ingredients didn't look harmful at all or maybye that was the inteded effect of waking my eyes up, Either way it was not soothing at all or moisturising. 

The gel spreads easily and very little is needed as I learned the hard way. One tiny blob was enough for both eyes and the next time i used this gel I was very cautious around the corners of my eyes. It still stings a little but I swear it's made my eyes less droopy and more perky (if you know what I mean). It's supposed to help with dark circles but I don't think I have used it long enough to see any effects.

I probably won't buy this again simply because I don't likethe idea of hellish pain to wake up my eyes in the morning.

Next Is a hand cream which is targeted at mothers with babies as it is safe to use when pregnant or breast feeding

This is definitely the best hand cream I have ever used. It's the most moisturising cream that doesn't coat my hands with a film as I have found with creams containing silicones or mineral oil. It really absorbs into my skin and doesn't feel too greasy.

It doesn't smell anywear near as good as the I Love...strawberries and milkshake hand cream (which btw smells delicious) but the scent is quite natural and bearable. Its difficult to describe exactly what it smells like but It quickly fades anyway and I know some pregnant mums have very sensitive sense of smell.

I am not pregnant or have any sproglets of my own but this is the only hand cream in the Naked product range and I could not find any other hand creams free of bad ingredients.

I love it when I like a product with good ingredients because I know I can use it again but my dislike of the eye gel makes it annoying since there is nothing wrong with the ingredients and it feels like a waste of money. 
(good thing it was on offer then!!!)

Its even more heartbreaking when I like products with "black-list ingredients"

<3         ------>        <......heartbreak......3


4 Jun 2013

Naked coco de mer collection

This is what pampered skin looks like in a bottle. On the left is the Naked coco de mer bath foam, in the middle is the body butter, and on the right is the body wash.

All three share this divine scent that is quite difficult to describe but it's definitely very feminine.

To get a decent amount of bubbles I used four caps (i.e filled up the screw cap) of the bath foam. It doesn't make the bath milky at all but the bubbles last a considerably long amount of time. They are still there by the time I'm ready to get out

Neither the body wash or the bath foam dried my skin out but I still felt the need to moisturise to prevent it from drying out the next day.

This is were the body butter comes in. It is incredibly thick and buterry. In fact it's the only body butter I have come across that's thicker than actual butter. It's not as sticky as other moisturisers but it takes a little bit more effort to spread evenly. I'm finding this the case with most natural/organic moisturisers.

The first thing I noticed was that my skin was shinier but with continued use my skin was so soft and smooth.

Out of all the products I have used my skin has never felt or looked as good until now and you'll see why this saddens me if you keep reading.....

I love the packaging, it's very eyecatching and the little symbols make it less of a bore to read everything on the back, especially the bunny, just too cute....

Whilst we are paying attention to whats on the back I would like to point out the ingredients. The bath foam and body wash are perfectly fine with no ingredients currently being held on my blacklist. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for th body butter which contains phenoxyethanol. I have talked about this ingredient in a previous post somewhere and it's such a shame as the butter made my skin look and feel lovely.

The whole bundle was £9.99 If you order from the website:

But you can buy these products in boots as well howevere they are slightly more expensive, usually £1 more individually than on the website which is incredibley annoying but no matter, Naked do free delivery on UK orders over £20 :D !!!

I will definitely buy the bath foam and body wash again but they are each £3.99when bought individually, which is a bit pricey considiering the bath foam didn't last me very long. The body wash however seems to be good value for money as I still haven't got half way through even after six baths.

I'm still waiting to try plenty more products from this range and will hopefully be able to review them soon.