25 Oct 2013

Poundland Findings

I'm probably a year late on the band wagon with these products but I've only just recently noticed them. I guess this is why packaging is really important, especially to magpies like myself. Considering they are all £1 they look pretty good and they smell amazing too! They are all from the same brand Mellor & Russell.

You get 150ml of this hair mask, which for a person with thick hair is not a lot. I managed to get three uses out of this mask but probably could have got four. On the first try I followed the instructions and towel dried my hair before applying it, however this was not a good idea as I had used almost half the tube just to cover my hair evenly. I then  read online that deep condition with towel dried hair helps the hair absorb more moisture, however I saw no improvement and felt that my hair was not conditioned properly. 

I carried on using it the way I usually do by squeezing out as much excess water as possible and then applying the mask. This is actually a very good, moisturising hair mask and also purse friendly. Ever since using this my hair is easy to de-tangle after washing and is less frizzy.

I have not used this conditioner for co-washing or deep-conditioning because I already had the hair mask for that purpose, and since this conditioner is of a thinner consistency I decided to try it as a leave-in. On its own it's nothing special and doesn't really define my curls or moisturise them. However when I incorporated it into the LOC method as a cream after applying oil on my hair it worked really well. Although I have to be sure to cover my hair thoroughly in order to get shiny, moisturised and cute little spirals.

Unlike the Hair Mask and Conditioner this hand cream contains Macadamia oil instead of Argan oil which is still amazing for a £1 hand cream. It isn't greasy or slippery and is absorbed really quickly, which is perfect for when I'm on the go and want to use touch screen devices like my iPhone.  The smell is similar to the Conditioner and Hair Maks but is a bit like an old perfume. It is not the most moisturising hand cream I've ever used but for £1 its okay and doesn't give me butter fingers every time I use it.

Over all these are some good bargain products that smell great and perform well despite the low price. The Mellor & Russell brand also do other products like body lotions, washes and a heat protection cream for people who use heat appliances on their hair. For someone who is on a tight budget these products could all be bought for under £10 and easily make a lovely big bundle of treats as a Christmas gift!! :)


22 Oct 2013

Burts Bees Lip balms

After my disappointment with the Nivea lip balms I continued my quest to find natural moisturising lip balms and possibly some tinted lip balms.

Burt's bees had all that to offer and more so say hello to my army of lip balms!!!

I didn't intend on making them look like soldiers in formation but they make a pretty good defence don't they??? Intimidating for anyone with a phobia of chap-sticks, which I used to have believe it or not!

These are around £3-4 in boots but are on offer at 3 for the price of 2. Most of the Burt's Bees products are on the pricey side but I swear they are worth it. They are instantly moisturising, and have natural ingredients. There are many other flavours and scents but I bought three in the flavours Mango, Pomegranate, and Grapefruit shown respectively in the photos above and below. 

They are equally moisturising and don't taste of anything but the Mango and Grapefruit smell delicious. I'm not too keen on the pomegranate flavour and probably won't buy it again. In terms of moisture these really do rival the Blistex Lip Brilliance lip balm however these balms don't have any pigment which is where these babies come in.......

What you are about to witness is the Burt's Bees tinted lip balms. Whilst your down there pouring all over the pics just take a moment to appreciate the attention to detail on the packaging which I think is awesome!!

The lip balms are tucked away in a tube within another tube that looks like a bigger version of the lip balm!!!! How cool is that??!!! It really does feel like your paying for a quality product when each individual lip balm is packaged like that :)

And they don't just look good quality they actually do a great job too. They are just as moisturising as the regular lip balms but give a hint of colour which shows up reasonably well. You don't need to slap on kilos of the stuff to get some pigment, just a small amount is needed. I only bought three colours but there's a few more. I bought these online for £4.73 each and they are totally worth it.

Here is what they look like in the tube with the corresponding names on the packaging.

This is my first ever swatch that I have posted!! :) I tried to get a picture that closely matched what they look like in real life (at least to me anyways). From left to right is Rose, Red Dahlia, and Hibiscus. My favourite is Rose because it looks the most natural and the most flattering to my skin tone and face. Rose and Hibiscus look very similar when swatched but on the lips Hibiscus is a little more of an orangy red colour, at least it seems that way on my lips. When looking at other people's swatches I thought Hibiscus would be my favourite but Rose has more of a pink tone to it which I personally prefer.

Overall these lip balms are amazing. There are so many flavours and colours that there is something to please almost everyone. The only downfall is that none of these balms have SPF so I will still be on the hunt for a lip balm that can provide that for me!!!

Hope you enjoyed reading!


19 Oct 2013

Trying the LOC method with new Hair products

If you haven't heard about the LOC method, it's basically a method by which curlies apply their products in a particular order

L .......Leave-in conditioner 

O ......................................Oil

C .................................cream

This method of layering products is supposed to help retain moisture in the hair and protect it from the elements like the cold winter weather that is fast approaching here in the UK. This is not really a method that can be used every day because of product build-up, but is something that can be done after washing to retain all that moisture gained from deep conditioning. Apparently this method works best for the very kinky curly type 4 hair patterns and possibly type 3.

I am type 3 with thick/fine hair and as far as I can tell this method protects my hair but I have had other issues. I have noticed that after applying the oil my hair is no longer dripping or wet at all an by the time I've finished applying all the products my hair begins to dry quicker than usual which is great for the winter because nobody wants to walk outside with cold wet hair. But I can't help but doubt that this is helping my hair moisture wise.

First I co-wash and deep condition. If it's the weekend I will use a sulphate free shampoo. I found the Gum Hair brand in Home Bargains and was pleased to see a salon quality brand at such an affordable price. This double cream conditioner seems slippery at first but the more I smooth it into my hair the thicker it gets. It is definitely too thick to be used as a leave in but has enough slip for co-washing. The walnut smell is absolutely heavenly and I have had no problems with the health of my hair since using this conditioner. I know a conditioner hasn't worked well because my hair becomes less manageable after using it.

To complete the L part of the LOC method a water based leave in conditioner needs to be applied. After washing and towel drying I spray some diluted conditioner onto my hair as the Leave-in part of my LOC routine. I also use ASDA's little Angels leave-in spray which is lighter than diluted conditioner. My only aim with this part of the method is to keep my hair damp so it doesn't dry out. It's important not to over-wet the hair because the next part involves applying oil which will not work on wet hair.

I am currently using 100% pure argan oil which I bought off eBay for around £10-12. It doesn't wreak the way most natural oils do but still has the same smell once applied. The smell is so faint though that I barely notice it. I got the 100ml bottle which comes with a very handy pump. A little should go a long way but I have thick curly hair so I need a considerable amount to evenly apply the oil evenly throughout my hair. A few pumps should be enough for one section but I need several. I am already a third way through my bottle after two about three weeks but I still think it's worth the money. This oil is not thick and heavy like catsor oil, but it isn't watery like coconut oil either. It's just the right consistency  and is easy to apply and smooth down the hair.

After deciding to try out the LOC method I realised that I didn't have a cream of any sort and this was the only thing I could find that was natural/CG freindly and available in the UK for a decent price. I should have known better that this wouldn't work in these colder months because it contained glycerine but I went ahead with it anyway. I tried this on it's own and with the LOC method and both times I was disappointed. It was sticky, tacky and actually dried out my hair on by day two. This stuff is thick and should give good hold but it made my hair crunchy and a bit limp. B

ecause of the glycerine problem I don't think it's fair to leave this as my final review. I'm sure you will see plenty other reviews that say this cream is best used for twist outs and the like, but I think I will have to try this again in the spring when the weather is warmer. It is however very good for smoothing down frizz when you're trying to pull your hair back and want to keep your bangs/fly-aways down.

C for Cream however I have struggled to find a decent cream so I am using conditioner instead which works perfectly fine for me and still begins with a C :)

I have been using Pantene pro-V nature fusion which doesn't seem to have many good reviews but I LOVE IT!!! I also dilute this for my water based leave-in. This big bottle can be found in home bargains and you get more for your money compared to the smaller bottle that's in ASDA or any other store.

 I have noticed that since using the LOC method my hair has become more difficult to detangle and my second day hair does not look as presentable as it used to. Third day hair is almost a ratchet mess so I don't even bother with it. This may mean religiously co-washing every other day but I can feel that my hair is better protected which is mostly thanks to the oil. Even after a few days my hands will come away slightly greasy if I braid my bangs which means the oil is still there, keeping my hair protected. 

Usually my hair is soft and bouncy and blows in the wind but using the LOC method seems to weigh my curls down and If I'm not careful they can look limp and lifeless. I think it's safe to say that the LOC method does not do anything to define or activate my curls but simply preserves my hair against the elements. If I apply the products carefully I can still make my curls look nice. The real challenge will be to see how it can protect my hair against the proper winter weather which is yet to come. Until then I will continue with this method to see how well it works in the worst weather. This I will judge based on the amount of damage I have when winter is over, which by the way is usually a lot!!


11 Oct 2013

New Skincare products and an update!

Mizu body lotion (left), but I'll be starting with the face scrub (right).............

It may surprise you that I didn't actually use this on my face. I used it on my body as a body scrub. This is because I discovered online that face scrubs actually cause the skin to produce more oil due to the harsh abrasion. After finding this out I had no idea what to do with my current facial scrub until my body scrub had run out. I thought why not?? and used it as a replacement. Ever since I have decided to use face scrubs on my body If I cannot be bothered the order my favourite one online. As long as they are free from silicones and sulphates etc. then they should be fine. 

I have noticed though that compared to a proper body scrub they are not as effective at removing dead skin cells or reducing those shaving bumps. However for people with oh-so-sensitive skin, face scrubs might be a more gentle, and possibly cheaper alternative to body scrubs. This face scrub was only 99p in Discount UK and although it's not as effective, it's a much cheaper alternative to my £3 pomegranate sugar-scrub. Also the tea tree scent is so refreshing, perfect for morning showers!!!

I first spotted my dad with a tube of this stuff and when I borrowed it to moisturise my hands, I discovered it smelled like candy!!! Love Hearts in particular!!! With Jojoba oil and Argan oil and a cheap price in Home Bargains, I thought I was getting a good deal with this moisturiser but I was sadly disappointed. It was waxy, tacky, and difficult to spread making my after shower routine even longer than I'd like, especially when I'm tired. I will be going straight back to my previous body moisturiser as soon as I'm done with this one. As a body lotion it's far too sticky, but as a hand cream it's actually pretty good and doesn't leave me with that greasy butter fingers feeling. 

In my last post I think I mentioned that I might give an update on these products to see how they were working for me later on. It's been three weeks now and together they are doing an even better job than what I Initially remember!!! The Organic moisturiser still gives me the same results, only difference is that the writing has rubbed off the tube which is slightly annoying but I think I'll live. The BB cream can be worn on it's own but I like to apply the organic face cream as a moisturising base first. Once that has been absorbed I will then apply the BB cream and powder over it.

I commute to my uni to get to my lectures every day and by the time I've caught a bus, and a train, and walked a mile to get on campus I'm a sweaty, heaving, greasy-faced mess. But with these two product I can last until lunch time by which only my T-zone needs blotting and powdering. I could be wrong and maybe it's the colder weather that is stopping my face from getting oily. However, after walking up and down two sets of stairs to get to a train platform I can already feel the oil breaking out (a sign that I'm seriously unfit), but when consciously I look in the mirror, all I see is a pale matte face. These products definitely work well for oily skin!!!

I also expressed my worry that the BB cream would be too light for my skin tone but no thanks to the winter weather making me pale and pasty, it's no longer so obvious when I'm wearing it.

May have an autumn winter haul post coming up and some more hair products, but not for a week or so.

hope you enjoyed reading :)