Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Glossybox April 2012

FINALLY. It has been a long old time since I had received my last Glossybox, and I was desperate after losing out on my precious Carmine box! However this is an exciting one, I present to you, the ethical Glossybox!

Just a quick note on the box. A limited edition, biodegradable cream colour that screams "keep me, I'm too pretty!" Well, lovely little box, you have a permanent home on my shelves!

Let's get cracking onto the box!

Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum (10ml) - A plant based serum with moisturising properties to repair and hydrate dry skin. To be used before moisturising day and night. It has a very watery and runny texture, and two small squirts were enough to cover my face and neck. As well as this, it also smells divine! A tad zesty and fresh.

Inika Certified Organic Eyeliner (Purple Minx) - Inika products seem to be popping up in so many beauty boxes recently! A lovely full sized product. The liner comes with an average pigment, however the bold colour I received really allows it to pop. It's a creamy liner that is incredibly easy to blend. 

Ayuuri Natural Body Wash (Coconut - 200ml) - Big fan of coconut over here! A generous bottle received allows for a lot of usage out of this. With fruit and plant extracts, the body wash lathers easily to enhance skin's natural radiance. Also, it smells too good I could eat it.

Figs & Rouge Lip Balm (Rambling Rose - 8ml) - A beautiful tin filled with 100% organic ingredients. A very strange and creamy texture that feels divine on the lips. Quite an overpowering smell of rose that does last quite a while, however it is something I can get used to. Not only can it be used on lips, but also on the rest of the face and body. Hello cracked skin, meet Figs & Rouge. 

Kai Perfume Oil - Most people hate perfume samples, I personally love them! This particular fragrance has many floral notes to it, it smells quite strong however once in contact with the skin, gives off a lighter scent throughout the day. It states on the packaging 'Kai is different on everyone', has anyone gotten a different scent from it?

Incredibly happy with this month's box. Nice to see a few new brands joining the Glossybox club and I'm sure the input from the people over at Carmine has been a huge help. Go Glossybox!

A Love/Hate Relationship

With the beauty market boasting so many varieties of products and brands, you are bound to come across some cosmetics you can't decide on. On first hearing about the Maxfactor Flipstick Colour Effect Lipstick, I was extremely excited to try it out. It was something different. Lipsticks have been the same for a long time and it was well overdue for something to come around and shake it up. The flipstick comes in 6 different shades, however I purchased just the one when it was first released exclusively with Superdrug, allowing me to have £2 off. 

Gipsy Red is the name of the shade, it was also this shade that was used in many of their advertisements. Two different colours are placed at either end of the product allowing you to do what the hell you want with them! Use alone, mix it up or one shade on either lip. The red is a highly pigmented and gorgeous summery colour accompanied by a pink shimmer whilst the gold can make any colour pop.

Unfortunately, I've found it hard coming to grips with said item. The texture is very moisturising and creamy allowing for lips to be hydrated and not be dried out. Yet, this doesn't seem to work in my favour as I find for times when I want the gold shade layered in a certain place, they tend to just mix together within a matter of seconds. Perhaps the gold shade needed to be just that touch more drying, allowing for product not to be easily transferred? 
Bottom swatch with the two mixed together

However, I will not give up. This lipstick is on to something. A brilliant brain child from the artists at Maxfactor and a chance for girls to take their lipstick to a multidimensional level. I will get my Effie Trinkett-esque lips! 

Retailing at £8.49, this can be found in Boots and Superdrug.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The wonder product that tamed my hair

About two weeks ago, I bought a drugstore straightening treatment for my hair after becoming incredibly frustrated with the level of frizz I had to endure. I posted a back story of the run up to deciding which particular product would be best for my hair here.

I can reveal the product in question to be Charles Worthington Straight & Smooth Hair Straightening Kit. After reading up on many reviews of different variations, this one came up top trumps. There is also a version for coloured hair, enabling hair not to be stripped of colour in the process. Retailing at around the £20 mark, it's a reasonable price for those looking to calm their hair down, however is double the price of many other brand's offerings. 

Upon opening the box, you can find three different bottles of concoctions available for the treatment, along with a sheet of instructions plus a pair of black, thick gloves and a comb. It's the small things that impress me, simply by including a comb, the product has already made me happy knowing I don't have to use my own everyday comb with chemicals. 

The treatment consists of a few easy steps.
  • Step one - The Straightening Treatment - Hair needs to be clean and wet for this, so ensure it has been shampooed and towel dried, however do not condition. Just like applying a dye to the hair, you need to apply this in sections and ensure it is evenly distributed. It advises to try not to touch the scalp, so apply it as close to the root as possible. Be quick with this as the treatment stays on for 20 minutes from the start of application and you also need to keep the hair as straight and tangle free as possible throughout the treatment, so it's best to keep movement to a minimum and comb through regularly. Once the 20 minutes are up, rinse the hair thoroughly of the product with warm water. 
 My Thoughts: The box has many rules and instructions on it and one of those was that the product has a distinctive smell to it. I was prepared for a very potent sulphur smell that is present in many chemical hair treatments, however it wasn't as bad as I thought. I didn't even gag at the smell, which has happened in the past! The side sheet also states that not all of the product in this tube has to be used up and to only use the amount needed. Considering I have very long and thick hair, I was expecting to use the whole thing, however about a 1/4 of the tube was left which is fantastic!
  • Step two - Conditioning Neutraliser - This goes on just like a conditioner. Apply to towel dried hair and leave on for 5 minutes. This not only neutralises the chemical in the straightening treatment and conditions the hair, but also helps the straightening treatment to work so keeping it on for the full time is necessary. Again, keeping your hair straight and tangle free is needed so your comb will come in handy. Rinse out thoroughly afterwards.
My Thoughts: This didn't smell of much, however I did find it slightly enhanced the sulphary smell from the previous treatment. It wasn't incredibly creamy and didn't leave my hair conditioned to it's full potential, however it did do the job. Many other products would just completely forget about any kind of treatment to restore your hair's health.
  • Step three - Styling - Once done, all you have to do is then blowdry your hair to a sleeker style. An optional extra is to straighten it to help set the new straight style in place, however it is stated that this is not a necessity.  
My Thoughts: I've never been able to blowdry my hair straight. I couldn't find my barrel brush and thought immediately, this wouldn't work. I got out my comb, pointed the hairdryer downwards, combed through the hair and I was met with straighter and much sleeker locks. Usually when I dry my hair, it is an afro afterwards so this was a huge deal for myself! I opted to straighten my hair afterwards to seal as much of the sleekness as I could in. My hair seemed flatter than usual, which I didn't like, however my natural hair's volume returned when I next washed it.

After doing the treatment, hair has to be left down for 48 hours to allow the style to set, so it is best to do this on a weekend or your lazy days. Even if you wear your hair down for work, I wouldn't suggest applying the treatment at this time due to the fact the 'distinctive smell' does linger in your hair for a while. Continuing on from this, the box did state that this smell would linger for up to two washes. I did find it took a few more washes, however I put this down to the shampoo and conditioner I used not being smelly enough! 

My hair felt nowhere near as bad as I thought it would. I was expecting it to be incredibly dry and although it felt a tad straw-life, I was left without any split ends and shiny hair. The aftercare conditioner that was provided has sorted any problems out. Just pop on for 3 minutes like a mask and my hair is now gorgeous and smooth again. No sign of straw in sight,

So now, it's two weeks since the treatment has been applied. I have washed my hair numerous times and found it so much easier to style. I have blow dried it, left it to dry on it's own and even put it into a bun when wet and I am met with much sleeker locks each time. They are still curly naturally, however I was not looking to get rid of the curl anyway. I have some frizz to my hair, but this tends to only happen when I just move the hairdryer around my head quickly without using any particular technique. The product claims to last up to six weeks, however does state to only use it once every 12 weeks so it is a matter of just waiting and seeing how it goes now. However, I can guess once using it a few times, hair will stay straighter for longer. I know I will definitely be buying it again.