Friday, 17 November 2017

YSL Black Opium with Perfume Click

There's always that one perfume we lust over, and for me that has always been Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium! I've been hooked on it ever since I saw the adverts, and it's always the one I would try out in department stores. However, I think the scent of it is quite unique, especially considering that it probably does come across differently on everyone's skin, so I wasn't entirely sure it would work well on me. Also, if you add in the fact that it is hardly ever on offer (you can tell it is a very coveted perfume!), it was one I still hasn't purchased.

YSL Black Opium Eau De Parfum

However, when Perfume Click got in touch with me about trying something from their website, I thought to myself well it's finally time I gave it a go. They kindly gave me a £35 gift card towards the purchase, and I paid the difference. I got the 30ml version (see here), so I could get a better idea before I invested in a 50/100ml bottle. Their website is worth checking out as they have some great offers on sometimes, especially with their Black Friday sales that are now on. I've scrolled through some myself and these ones really caught my eye; Vera Wang Princess 100ml for £22.90 here, Estee Lauder Modern Muse 30ml for £27.15 here (I love this one too), and they have my favourite Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau so Fresh for £55.55 for 125ml here.

YSL Black Opium Eau De Parfum

Moving on, the website was really use and my order actually came quite fast with standard delivery, and it was also tracked. It made a really nice present when I came home for one of the weekends (I like treating myself when I'm on the move! It helps cheer me up haha).

I thought the packaging was really fitting too, with the dark glitter themes on the box matching with the glittery bottle, and the addition of some rose gold (which always goes down well!). The bottle is actually smaller than I expected, I can fit it comfortably in the palm of my hand, so that was interesting at first because I was like how did they manage to fit 30ml into this?! I love the little circle in the middle though, it's handy to see how much you have left, and I think it adds to the whole edgy look of the bottle. The cap with the Yves Saint Laurent stamped on it is a nice touch too!

In regards to the scent, I''m not the best at describing these, but the perfume is supposed to be a glam rock interpretation of the classic Opium (which I've never tried personally). It has main notes of coffee, which then follows with notes of pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli and cedar. I actually never drink coffee and I don't like the smell of it either, so I was a bit surprised when I was researching the notes before I brought it.

YSL Black Opium Eau De Parfum

When I first spray it I really get the vanilla coming through (it''s also quite strong initially), then that quickly dies down quite a bit to give a thicker, sweet scent (on me I think the fragrance gets a bit muted at this point so I really have to give it a sniff). I wouldn't say it screams dark and mysterious (like I was expecting), but at the same time it is more suited to Autumn/Winter. It isn't an incredibly strong scent (well on me), but at the same time I don't think you want to spray too much at once as it can start feeling a bit heady. The wear time is average (so no more than 6 hours on me), but it does leave a nice, warm scent on your clothing. It is a perfume that I'm glad I own and one I would take out for occasions, but I would strongly recommend you try it out a few times because 1) it's not really true to how you expect it to be from the advert (I find it to be weaker and the scent wasn't exactly what I was expecting) and 2) it does come up differently on everyone so it is down to personal preference.

YSL Black Opium Eau De Parfum

I know this was a bit of a mixed review but I am still struggling to make sense of this perfume in a way, when I asked my Sister she said she thought it was quite flowery! Black Opium is an enigma! I'm sure I'll get a lot more use of it in the coming months though (so I can always report back), I reckon it's the definite choice for the Christmas German markets. Personally I find it to be a bit too much to wear for work, so it's mainly weekends and evenings I reserve it for.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What are your thoughts on Black Opium?

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Essie Leathers Collection by Rebecca Minkoff 2017 | Review + Swatches

First of all, I'm so sorry that I took off again. Some of you might know that I started a new job (my graduate job), but even then I was intending on posting regularly, but I've had to travel a lot more than expected and it's all been quite last minute. However, I am home now (well that's the latest!) and ready to catch up on your posts, and I'll do an update post soon!

Moving on, Essie have really been spoiling me! I've come back home for the weekends, and surprise; another amazing parcel! It's honestly incredibly kind of them. This particular post will be about their Leathers Collection by Rebecca Minkoff*. The Leathers Collection has been inspired by Essie's global colour designer, Rebecca Minkoff, and her handbag line. Unlike the leather look nail polish trend that I remember was quite the rage a while back (I did give it a go but found it a tad gritty personally), this range aims to capture the rich, buttery feel of the finest leather. So, from what I believe, it's not supposed to give a full-on leather look, but more of a subtle, luminous effect.

The collection is split into two kits; mini kit one and mini kit two. Mini kit one features three deep shades. I find that they have an almost gothic take on some classic winter shades, but as you will see I personally think two of them also have those Christmas feels. Mini kit two, in comparison, features three neutral toned shades, but again these have some added vividness and offer more than you would guess on a first impression. The mini kits feature 3 nail polishes which have 5ml of product each (their full size polishes have 13.5ml).

Moving onto the shades ... Mini Kit One*

Tote-ally in Love
Oxblood reds are always a good Autumn/Winter shade in my book, and no I'm not biased because I have a huge collection of them (!) Tote-ally in Love is a tad brighter than the majority of my collection as it has more red running through it. I do like the fact that it's a bit more vivid though as it separates it from all the similar shades I have, and I find it a bit more wearable for different occasions. It was slightly more messy than the other shades to apply and there was some staining with this one and In Hot Purse-uit (below), that can happen with some Winter shades so it just needs a bit more work to remove. The matt finish works well with this shade though, it doesn't look flat and it gives it an edgy, grunge look.

In Hot Purse-Uit
This is one of the first shades that gave me Christmas vibes. Even if you just look at the bottle, you can see the iridescent violet shimmer coming through. Essie do describe this shade as a rich indigo blue, but to be honest I don't really see the blue when I'm wearing it (although that could just be me!). It pulls more of a deep purple for me, with the reflective violet flecks. This is a very bold, standout shade. I see it more as a Christmas party shade, for me it's if you wanted to make a statement, this shade would be it! Again, this one needs a bit more work to take off and it can smudge and get a bit messy if you accidentally touch it before it's completely dry. It is a really pretty two toned shade, but maybe not an everyday shade (then again mini kit two is better suited for you if you want everyday shades!).

Back in the Saddle
I'm not really one of those people who has ever been drawn to green nail polish, mint green maybe, but anything else and I just pass it over. It's like when you ask people what their favourite colour is, you rarely hear green, right? There is just something about this shade though! It has those Christmassy vibes, it's just reminds me of a Christmas advert where the female lead is twirling around in an deep green gothic skirt. It's a very deep, enchanting green, I would say it's an ivy green but even deeper. The silver flecks really add to this shade, and it is completely unique in my collection! I think you can guess, I really love this shade. Essie have got it spot on with the colour choice and the silver flecks, and this is definitely a shade you can go out and buy without worrying you have something similar at home. Plus, if you fancy a change from the classic Winter shades, why not give this a go?!

Mini Kit Two*

Push the Envelope
This plush lilac is more your everyday shade but as you can see from the picture, it's slightly brighter than most neutral shades so it really pops against the skin. Saying that, in the photos I can definitely see what Essie mean by plush lilac. However, when I was wearing it, I felt like it was more what I would describe as a concrete grey. It is a very office appropriate, formal shade that I'm sure will really appeal to people who enjoy wearing these kind of shades, or other neutrals by Essie like Ballet Slippers/Fiji. However, I'm not sure it's one of my preferred shades as I don't think it looks as good on me personally as the neutrals from Essie's Fall 2017 range (see here). It's supposed to have a soft, silver glimmer. However, I don't think it's very noticeable (especially not in this image), yet it still gave it a gritty feeling. This was the only one where I felt like you could feel the shimmer slightly, it wasn't a problem with the others however.

Cross-body Heat
This is also another shade that I can say I adore! I think the description for this is pretty spot on so I won't try to add to it: a rosy mauve accented with subtle lavender shine. Again, I think Essie have got the balance perfect with this shade, it looks muted but the colour still comes across so well, it's also cool enough that it looks quite formal and understated, but it's not too cool in that I find it doesn't suit me. I'm really glad to have this one in my collection! I mean, you could probably find something similar, but this is literally just the kind of shade that I was looking for, it doesn't pull too grey or too purple like ones I've seen. I really don't know what I can add to that! But I would definitely buy a full size version of this if it ever came out, just encase I ever run out of this (not that I've ever finished a bottle of nail polish in my life).

Bucket List
Lastly, I really expected this shade to be a traditional mint green. I was a bit surprised when I put it on as it goes on a lot brighter than it looks in the tube, but then again Essie do describe this as a turquoise green brushed in a light aqua luster. After a bit of umming and ahhing I finally came to the conclusion that I actually rather liked this. It is quite bright and vivid but I think it's a refreshing burst of colour, and its actually not too much, if that makes sense. Again, I think this shade would suit all skintones, and even though it is marketed as more of an Autumn/Winter range, I can see it being a popular Spring option.

Formula + Brushes
I really do think Essie have the best brush applicator out there, but I didn't think the brush applicator in these minis would be the same as the full sizes. It is, however, the same (which is perfect if you're not the best at applying nail polish like me!). The formula is also opaque in one coat for over half of the shades (including the 3 shades in mini kit one), it was mainly Push the Envelope and Cross-body Heat where I felt like I needed a second coat. The dry time was also quite reasonable, I thought that they dried quite quickly, although the second layer took a bit more time.

If I was being really picky, I think In Hot Purse-uit might have looked better with a glossy finish because I think the shimmer would have come across a bit better, it gets a bit lost with the matt finish. On the other hand, not everyone wants glossy nails for Winter and I think the semi-matte finish of these will be a happy compromise for many people who don't want to go for the full matte finish.

You can still buy these kits online on Boots for £12.99 (mini kit one here, mini kit two here). They are also included in the 3 for 2! I have atleast two favourites from each kit so I would recommend them, they're a great way to try some shades that might normally have been out of your comfort zone!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Which of these shades is catching your eye?

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

ColourPop Haul

Where do I begin? Putting in a ColourPop order had been on my mind for a looong time, and what better time to put in an order than on their 5th anniversary which meant even more deals! However, even though my order got shipped relatively fast it was stuck at my local depot for ages, and I literally only got it the day before I was about to set off for training (it's been a long three weeks and a bit encase you were wondering where I got to! I wasn't able to take my personal laptop, plus some of the events went into late evening so there wasn't really any time to blog, but more about that in another post!).

I did manage to get some pictures done on my one day a week at home. I took some of the products with me in my travel bag too so I've been able to try them here and there, but I'm going to do a review series for each type of product so I can try them out more (and it won't be one insanely long post either!).

Onto the pricing, most of the products were really reasonable, I think mines were all around the $6 mark really. I was then able to stack some of them, like get 2 liquid lipsticks and get another one free. Let's face it, my order was always going to be $50 (around £35) because there were quite a few things I wanted, and you can't say no to free delivery haha! I got a $5 dollar off code aswell for new customers, so that meant I kept adding more products to my basket to get free delivery, and then on top of that it would let me select more of the anniversary items, that's what you call a win-win situation! My customs came up to £17.40 which I don't think is too bad, well when you compare it to custom charges with some other companies.

Moving on, I better show you what I got ....

I was so excited to pick up the No Filter Concealers, but I really think they're going to be a huge disappointment for me! I've tried 25 and 30 out so far and whilst they do sort of have a full coverage finish, they just don't look quite right on me. I still feel like the shadows under my eyes are highlighted. The formula is also very drying, and this is coming from someone who uses Collection lasting perfection all the time. I also heard about how these oxidise a lot, hence why I got 3 shades from Light to Medium, but I can't say I've seen a huge amount of oxidisation personally. I'll have a more detailed review on these so you can see how they look on, and I swatched them with similar medium-ish concealers.

I really wanted to pick up some of their single super shock eyeshadows as well, and again I normally stick to palettes as I always thought they were better value, but these are changing my mind! I picked up the shades Cornelius, KathleenLights, Sequin and Party of Five (anniversary item). I've already got quite a bit of use from the first two, and honestly the pigmentation of these eyeshadows is amazing! The shimmer shades are just perfect for a really easy glam eyeshadow look without much work. Infact, KathleenLights (nothing to do with the individual - not condoning her) was the one I wore to one of the formal dinners that was on, and it was perfect because I didn't take many brushes with me (or an eye primer), but you could just pat it on and it looked great.

Again, I've wanted to try the ColourPop Liquid Lipsticks for ages too because the satin formula seemed like the only one I could get away with, due to my dry lips. I did end up getting two mattes aswell though. The shades I got were Frick N Frack, Take Five (anniversary item), Calypso and Bumble. I think this will be another surprising post as I'm actually getting the most wear out of Bumble right now, even though I thought some of the others would be my favourites. The shades I picked up aren't hugely different however, I wanted to go for shades that would look quite natural and formal-ish on medium skin, but more on that to come!

I decided to get two Lippe Stix in Brink and Lumiere too...well...just because. I have tried Brink but honestly the lighting in the hotel was so weird that I couldn't tell if it made a difference haha! Lumiere seems to be a bit more mauvey/purple but I need to try that one out more. I also got a Lippe Stix in Take Five (anniversary item). Take Five is basically your very vampy dark purple/berry shade. I'm sure a lot of people will like the look of this, although I'm not sure if I'm brave enough anymore to rock something like this often.

Lastly, I got another anniversary item; the Super Shock highlighter in High Five. I was really unsure about this as it's more of a pink toned highlight, so I didn't know if it would work well on neutral-warm skin. Saying that, it does swatch as more of a subtle highlighter, rather than a 'blinding' highlight, so it might not be too bad. I can get away with the Revlon liquid Photoready Illuminator 200 Pink Light (see here), as it's subtle as well. (I'll include a review of the ColourPop Higlighter with the eyeshadows.)

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Did you put in a recent order? If so, which anniversary items did you go for?

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Essie 2017 Fall Collection | Dressed to the Nines

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nines

A part of me can't believe September is already here, but the other part of me is looking forward to the Autumn, finishing up mugs of hot chocolate and getting my autumnal coloured clothing out of the drawer (including this scarf!). Plus with the arrival of the Essie Fall 2017 collection*, what's there not to look forward to? (apart from the gale force winds ofcourse)

The Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nines* is inspired by the cool vibes of the 90s. It offers an interpretation of the rebellious nature that underpinned 90s. For me, the 90s were definitely about glamming up and throwing the rule book out of the window, anyone remember the glitter hair spray? Plus, the 90s also featured a lot of Girl Power., and strong women. Being excited would be an understatement (plus I still can't believe I'm getting to review these!).

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nines

First of all, can we talk about the packaging? It is so cute! It's shaped as a big nail polish, and you just take the top off to unveil the six shades underneath. It's still sitting on my desk because it's just too amazing to throw out.

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nines

These are the beautiful six shades! As always, the Essie bottles are very dainty and have quite a chic vibe. The glass bottle also gives it that very luxurious look (I can't wait to pop these on my DIY Nail Rack as they go so well with the theme, click here if you missed that post). You get 8ml of product in each bottle.

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nines

L to R: Mixetaupe, Saved By The Belle, As If!, Girly Grunge, Knee-High Life, Dressed to the Nineties


Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Mixed Taupe
Mixtaupe - 'You’re totally picking up what this warm ivory with a dash of pink is putting down'

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Mixed Taupe

This shade was quite a surprising one for me as it did go on as quite a pale ivory at first, but then the taupe nature really did come out. It just pulls very slightly grey, but it's not too cool toned at the same time, it just sits in the middle really. I didn't get the touch of pink through on me, but it might come across on fairer skin. On me, this is a nice subdued ivory grey. I didn't think I would be able to pull it off as I thought the ivory would be too much of a contrast on me, but it actually goes quite well. I think this would be an amazing formal-ish shade on fairer skintones, as it reminds me of 'Ballet Slippers' but with a grey undertone, rather than pink.

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Saved By the Belle

Saved by The Belle - ' School’s out forever, but this light baby pink with a subtle blue undertone is totally in'

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Saved By the Belle

Never in a million years did I think this shade would look nice on me! I have a medium skintone, although my hands are a bit more tanned than my body, and I honestly don't have any pastel shades (bar one lilac from Rimmel) as I simply cannot pull them off. Even when I was putting this on, I was really apprehensive. It was only when I showed my Sister and she said 'yeah it looks nice'. I did a double take and looked in the mirror, and it did actually look so good! It is a baby pink, although it goes on candy pink on me (not barbie pink mind). Its bright but not overly bright that it contrasts hugely, infact I think this will be an office shade for me! It looks very chic and sophisticated. So, if you also struggle with pastels, honestly you should consider this shade! I really think this is one for all skintones as well, I think fairer skintones will appreciate the light pink, but at the same time I imagine it will really pop on those more tanned than me.

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - As If!

As If - 'Does he think this powdery periwinkle blue with a hint of red will give him the time of day? Like, whatever'

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - As If!

This one is a bit more difficult to explain. It's a medium sky blue, with a hint of grey/taupe coming out. Again, this shade just looks gorgeous on me. It's another one for all skintones and all occasions really. It comes across as a bit subdued, rather than the bright blues I'm used to. I actually like that effect though as not only is it a good workwear shade, but I can imagine it looking amazing paired with a thick jumper (hot chocolate in hand!). I think that's the slight hint of grey in it, it really gives it that Autumnal feel and makes it more wearable. I think this will become one of my favourite shades, although it's so hard to pick one when all the collection is up there!

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Knee-High Life

Knee Highlife - 'those socks and this deep wine red with purple undertones will take you higher'

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Knee-High Life

This is my traditional Winter shade! If you looked at my Winter Polishes Collection (here), you'll notice that my favourite winter shades look quite similar to this. Therefore, this was the one I was ready to proclaim as my favourite (this or girly grunge), but I'm afraid the two shades above have given it a run for its money. This one is a funny one as in the bottle it actually just looks like a very dark pink. However, as soon as you put it on that divine wine shade comes through. Although, instead of the purple understones, I'm actually getting some cherry undertones?! It's a somewhat brighter take on the traditional vampy nails. However, if you're a fan of the oxbloods and wines, I would really recommend you take a lot at this. It just offers that something extra in my opinion!

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Girly Grunge

Girly Grunge - 'Come as you are. In this soft silvery metallic with a light purple shine, you’re exactly how you want to be'

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Girly Grunge

Girly Grunge was the one I was most excited to try! It was also the favourite by a mile from the instagram stories I did. To put it simply, it's a metallic lilac with slight grey undertones. It's a very interesting shade as it looks so dimensional and I can't say I have anything like it in my collection. It's a very fun shade with the almost chrome finish, and I can see it being a favourite for glitzy Christmas parties. Although, at first I did wish it was slightly darker. The shade is true to how it appears in the bottle, but I feel like it would have been more wearable if it was a bit deeper. However, saying that, it is really starting to grow on me now!

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nineties

Dressed To The Nineties - 'Red carpet event? All you need is a plaid mini skirt, this dark purple with a green-blue shimmer and a rock-star attitude'

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nineties

Lastly, dressed to the nineties was also a shade that looked interesting in the bottle. However, I think this one applies a bit darker than it looks in the bottle. On me, it looks more like a midnight blue. You can somewhat see the shimmer with one coat, however it isn't really noticeable with two coats unless you look up close. I think this adds to the look and feel of it though! I think if the glitter was very noticeable it wouldn't be all that wearable, but it actually comes up as quite a dark and mysterious shade with that little hint of shimmer. The nail polish also doesn't have that crunchy feel that some glitter/shimmer polishes can have, and it has a glossy finish like all the other shades (with the exception of girly grunge).

Formula + Brush
One, if I could choose a favourite nail polish brush, it would have to be Essie's! The wide brush makes it so simple to coat every nail quickly and efficiently, and the way it glides on means you're not left with any streaks. Infact, the nail polishes looked rather glossy on.

The formula of the nail polishes is also to a high standard. It's just the two lighter shades that absolutely need two coats and looked a bit streaky with one coat, however the four deeper shades are literally opaque in one coat so a second coat isn't a necessity (although I did go in with two coats for the swatches). All of the polishes also have that glossy, salon finish and I found that they wore really well. They all dried quite quickly, although you do have to be careful for a few hours to not get any scratches, but after that I didn't find that they budged on me. I didn't use a base or top coat so I could see how the formula was on its own, and I didn't experience any chipping. Saying that I normally remove nail polish after a few days (for praying purposes), so I don't generally wear nail polish until it's chipped on me. However, the only thing I experienced with these was maybe a little wearing down around my cuticles, so in my opinion I don't think the formula is one that is prone to chipping and it still retains the glossy finish after a few days.

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nines

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nines

Essie 2017 Fall Collection - Dressed to the Nines

My Take
Overall, I think this is a really nice collection! It was quite surprising personally as my favourite shades weren't the deeper ones, but they were Saved By The Belle and As If! I think the Dressed To The Nines collection did a great job at putting a twist on some classic shades and I can see myself wearing some of them quite often. There are no duds really in the collection, so it's all personal preference! I don't know if I'll get a lot of wear out of Mixtaupe and Girly Grunge (only because it's not everyday I can pull off the metallic look), but the other shades are all very versatile and can be worn in most situations.

Lastly, these are already on sale instore and online!

You can find them here in Boots, on sale till the 26th September (currently 3 for 2)!
Or you can find them here in Superdrug, on sale till the 17th October (also 3 for 2)!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Which shade/s do you like the look of?

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Monday, 4 September 2017

My Haircare Routine Lately

I know this post will probably turn into a rant about my hair, so I'm going to set the scene first! I always thought I had really thick hair, but it turns out my hair is fine-thick. So, the hair strands themselves are actually quite fine (almost like baby hair), but there's a lot of them so it looks like my hair is really thick (when it's not). My hair also falls out A LOT, but there's no point in me taking any supplements because it also grows super fast, and trust me I don't want it to grow any quicker. I know some people will think it's the dream, but it's not when you're always due a cut and your hair grows so fast it's always covering your face.

Due to this, I generally tend to have quite long hair. Although, I accidentally got a bob almost a month and a half ago, although it's now grown into a lob (a bit down from my shoulders ). My hair is also wavy naturally, but combine that with the 'thickness' it's what you would call unruly. I straighten it but it rarely stays straight, it goes crazy when it's humid, and my roots are always greasy whilst my ends are like straw. I did try to go SLS free (the Palmer's version being my latest try), but it didn't foam up enough for me or make a difference.

So after trying dozens of shampoos over a year, I realised my hair looked a lot better after the hairdressers and my hairdresser did recommend the Kerastase Discipline range. I decided to bite the bullet and just buy the shampoo and the conditioner.

The shampoo I picked up is the Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste, which I picked up for around £13.80 on offer (here). I also picked up the Kerastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray for around £15 (here) and the Kerastase Discipline Maskeratine for around £22 (here). You can pick these up in salons or online (Look Fantastic etc, they do tend to have offers on).

Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste - 250ml
The main thing I like about this shampoo is that my hair feels really clean after using it, without feeling stripped (The Body Shop Ginger Shampoo really stripped all the moisture out of my hair - best leave that one for when you have really greasy roots). I find the shampoo does foam up well compared to other brands I've tried, but I still need a good handful ('thick' hair problems), so I can't see it lasting more than a few months (I'm nearing the end of it). I wash my hair 2-3 times a week, I honestly can't be bothered to wash it more often as I have to wait around all day for it to dry and using a hairdryer makes me look like a Hagrid in training!

Afterwards, my hair does look and feel a bit softer, and I would say this shampoo is also quite kind on my ends. I am quite happy with it as most of the drugstore products didn't help at all with the greasy scalp and dry ends combo, and this one does slightly. I also don't think it's that expensive for a product I get a lot of use from. Unfortunately, because my hair is falling out like crazy, I am having to switch to using baby shampoo for one wash and mix some of this in, to see if it calms down.

Kerastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray - 150ml
The spray is supposed to protect your hair against heat damage and also protect it against frizz and humidity too (until your next wash I guess). However, it's generally supposed to be used as a leave in treatment before you blow dry your hair, but I prefer leaving my hair to air dry most of the time to limit the heat damage. Plus my hair looks crazy huge after I've used a hairdryer on it. I still put some of this on whilst I'm waiting for my hair to dry (as well as an oil). It smells amazing and I think it does help my hair to look a bit more on the silky side after I straighten it, but I can't say for sure how much it helps with drying your hair. I think this spray will probably last me a long time, and I might repurchase it, but I'm not entirely sure it gets rid of all the frizz.

Kerastase Discipline Maskeratine - 200ml
I also assumed that just because I have thick hair I should go for the deep conditioning treatments, so I chose the mask (from the same range) instead of the conditioner. However, my hairdresser told me I was probably overloading my hair as it doesn't need so much conditioning. Therefore, I only use this once a week now, and the other times I just apply oils as substitutes after washing my hair.

You know how they tell you that you only need a little bit of conditioner, but you still apply a handful?! Well, with this one, a little really does go a long way. I apply the slightest bit on my hair and I don't even leave it for as long as I used to with the L'Oreal masks (3-5 minutes compared to 10-20 minutes), but I do feel like it makes a difference. For around £22 I can really see this lasting AGES, and I think I get better results from this than I did with the Philip Kingsley Hair Elasticiser.

Michael Van Clarke 3 more inches Magic Oil

I don't believe you need a really expensive hair oil, infact I normally use whatever I have on hand. This used to be the Tresemme Keratin Hair Oil (which is great for a drugstore option!). However, when this finished and I really needed to grow my hair out after the botched bob, I reached for the Michael Van Clarke Magic Oil. I previously reviewed it way back in 2015 (here). The reason I like this one is that it's really lightweight, so it absorbs fast and it means my ends don't look lank (like with some heavier oils). It's also part of the 3 more inches range for people looking to grow their hair, and I was desperate for my hair to grow out for my graduation, so I was ready to try anything! I would literally smother this on my hair at night (with wavy hair you can keep applying oil before it looks greasy versus straight hair that would immediately show it). Guess what? It actually worked, my hair does grow fast, but it grew even faster - like in two weeks it was a lob! I'm okayish with the length now, but I'm still using this as I think the formula works well with my hair.

Although, this is supposed to have a pipette with it (as you can see in the 2015 post), but the rubber holding it always breaks off. This is my second bottle and it's happened again, so you wouldn't be able to take it around with you. I keep it on top of my wardrobe to ensure it doesn't spill.

Tangle Angel

Hair Brush
I really hate it when I brush my hair after washing it, and watch all my hair just fall out. This is why I tend to go for paddle brushes as I find them to be more gentle on my hair. Recently, I was given the chance to try the Tangle Angel*. I haven't tried the original Tangle Teezer (just a Poundland knock off - which wasn't great), so I can't compare if it would be a good dupe. It retails at £12.95 here.

Tangle Angel

Tangle Angel

I'm going to hold my hands up and say I really didn't know how to use this at first and I was so unsure about it! I actually looked at the bristles and they looked quite plasticy, and it did feel a bit scratchy the first few times on my scalp. Then I realised that I actually needed to use it with a light hand, and then it does glide through the hair quite easily. It also catches each hair and just runs through it easily (if that makes sense), so you're not scratching against your face trying to get the smaller hairs. My hair doesn't get hugely tangled, although it is naturally wavy, but I think it is suitable for most tangled hairs (note that I don't use a spray or anything either). However, I think those really bad knots do need a bit of work around them before you go straight in.

Tangle Angel

The Tangle Angel* also has a interesting design with the angel wings! They come in numerous colours, and I think the rose gold one makes the most of the design.  It's also quite a large brush which means you do cover your hair quickly, but it would be harder to travel with, but then again they do keyrings and compacts too (see here).

Lastly, when my hair is dry I go in with the Wilkinson's large paddle brush. This is a bargain at £1, and it's so quick to run though my hair in the mornings. It honestly makes short work of my hair, all without pulling it out! I know it sounds too cheap to be good, I even brought a backup but my first one is still going strong, with no breakages and it looks just as new. You can find it here. Again, this is quite a big brush too, so I'll be checking out some of their combs or smaller brushes for travelling.

Phew, that was a long post! You'd think that with all of these steps my hair must look like I've just come out of the salon, but nope! It still looks a bit dry and frazzled the first day, and only after I've put loads of oil on and straightened it for the umpteenth time does it start to look a bit decent. If you have any tips on how to copy with unruly hair (think Anne Hathaway at the start of the Princess Diaries), please do share!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
I'd love to know what your hair type is, and what products you use?

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Friday, 1 September 2017

Harper's Bazaar Beauty Box | Latest In Beauty

To be honest, I wasn't really feeling beauty boxes lately, especially with the whole Birchbox disappointment (read more here). However, I do think you can pick up some bargains with certain boxes where you can see the contents beforehand, like the M&S seasonal boxes or their advent calender's.

At first, I thought Latest In Beauty would probably be similar to other beauty subscriptions, like Birchbox and Glossybox. It turns out, however, that they actually offer an interesting take on beauty boxes. So, you can either create your own boxes of 3-9 products (and there's a lot of luxury brands to choose from, so it would be perfect if you needed travel sizes for on the move), or you can buy collection boxes (see here) which come in a theme.

This is where I picked up the Harper's Bazaar Beauty box. They also have sales on their collections sometimes, so this was on offer for £28. Now there's a story here! My payment wasn't going through on their website and the page just wouldn't load, so guess what I did? I refreshed, the one thing online shops always tell you not to do if you're unsure! I didn't receive an order confirmation, so I decided it was a wise idea to try again, and the same thing happened, so I tried yet again through paypal. I then ended up getting 3 order confirmations 10 minutes later, yeah you know the ones that I didn't think went through! Sometimes I do act before thinking haha.

I then panicked and contacted them, and I can honestly say they have an amazing customer service department. They got in touch ASAP and told me they'd sort it out. Then they refunded me every payment because apparently the website was glitching (so I effectively got a freebie), and they gave me a 20% off code to use next time. How nice is that?!

Anyway, moving onto the contents of the box. The main reason I wanted the box is because it includes a full sized Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask 100ml. This retails for £25 alone, and I was intending on buying this with Winter coming up anyway, so for £3 more I thought I might as well try some other goodies. The Drink Up Intensive is 100% worth the hype in my opinion, I've had my 50ml for quite a while now (see here), and it really does rehydrate and replenish your skin overnight. Even with this roller coaster Summer, I still use it once a week. I haven't found a budget alternative, and my skin gets on well with this, so this is still one of my go tos.

It also includes the Moroccan Hair Oil Treatment 25ml. Again, this is one of those much coveted hair oils, and so I was keen to give it a go. It is marketed as a lightweight oil which I prefer because I find they nourish your hair better than oils that are too thick and sticky. My first impressions were that it looks a bit thicker than the hair oil I'm currently using when you initially pour it out but when you rub it between your palms, it does go quite lightweight and thin. It smooths into my hair nicely, and I love the sweet musky scent, it's divine.

One of the products included is the Omorovicza Queen on Hungary Mist 30ml. This is such a hyped product, and one of those that screams luxury with the glass bottle, so again another one I was keen to try. I'm actually building up quite the facial spray collection. This one retails at £15 for the 30ml, which is classed as the travel size but it's actually bigger than I imagined. I do like the formula of this, it's not a cooling spray like the Avene one in my opinion. It feels more like a skincare product to me, and I do like the formula. It feels very luxurious and it absorbs into the skin quite quickly, giving it a natural finish. I haven't tried it on top of a full face yet, so I can't comment on how it wears over makeup but I wore it over my SPF (although I heard it could be used more like a toner). However, I do need to figure out the best way to use it. The pump of this means the spray comes out in a very fine mist, it's almost like a cloud so it does kick up a bit. Whereas, my other sprays feel a little harsher compared to this, they're more point in your face and go! So I need to work on this.

Also included is the Zelens 3t Complex Essential Anti-Aging Cream. Again, another brand I haven't heard of but the 50ml version retails at a whopping £95. I'll pass this onto my Mum and see what she thinks.

The nail colour included is the Nailberry Oxygenated Nail Lacquer in Cherry Cherie. I've actually not heard of this brand before but the bottle looks quite high end (it actually retails for £14.50!), but you do get a generous 15ml. However, I'm not a big fan of the brush. It's on the thin side and so the first coat comes up as a bit streaky, and then you need to do a thick second coat to compensate. The shade also comes up very coral at first, and then sort of transitions into the cherry red I was expecting.

A sample size of the Lancome Hypnose mascara (2ml) is also included. To be fair, I already have a lot of mascaras waiting to be used up so I won't open this just yet, but it's one of those mascaras which I've read tonnes of good reviews on and the sample size looks perfect for popping into a travel bag.

Another cult product, the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance 15ml. It'll be interesting to see how I get on with this, I haven't had the chance to use this yet under makeup but I'll update this post when I do. First impressions though, it's a whole world away from the silicone/mousse textures I'm used to in my primers. It's like a lightweight liquid with a pearl tint to it that gave a natural finish when I tried it on the back of my hand, it doesn't look overly shiny nor is the tint noticeable once on.

Lastly, we have the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I don't think this ones for me as my hair has enough volume, so I wouldn't want to add to that. We also have the Tan Luxe The Face Illuminating Drops in Light/Medium 30ml. Again, I have medium skin and I'm not into fake tans anyway, so I'll give this one a miss.

Overall, there were some really nice goodies included in this box, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more collection boxes from Latest In Beauty as I do think you get your money's worth (especially if you already had your eye on one or two of the products).

At the moment, they have another Harper's Bazaar box - the Award Winners Box (which just launched yesterday). It includes a Nars blush, a MAC strobe cream, the Eve Lom Cleanser, 2 Nuxe Dry Oils, the Smashbox photo finish primer and many more. However, I'll probably give this one a miss as the £100 is a bit eyewatering (the total value of the box is £409!). However, it does include my Mum's favourite Elemis cream which retails at £50 alone for the 30ml, so I'm not saying never. Click here if you want to have a look at everything included, and see the specific quantities.

P.S. Not sponsored/affiliated but I thought the new box might interest some of you, and I was really impressed with their customer service so I couldn't not mention them.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you tried anything from Latest In Beauty, or any similar beauty boxes?

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