Monday, 27 February 2012

My Current Hair Favourites

Hi Guys!

I hope you're all doing good!  Today I thought I would show you my current haircare favourites!  These are the products I use each time I wash and style my hair.

L-R Revlon Equave, L'Oreal Mythic Oil, Bed Head Headrush
My hair is quite long, is naturally wavy and prone to a bit of friziness but also prone to greasiness in the roots.  My hairdresser always tells me my hair is in great condition so I must be doing something right!

After washing my hair and when it's still wet, I spray some of Revlon's Equave 2 Phase Leave-In Conditioner through my hair.  This makes it so much easier to comb out and it doesn't weigh down my hair or make it greasy at all.

The second product I use is L'Oreal Mythic Oil.  There are quite a few hair oils on the market at the moment, I have used and quite liked the VO5 Miracle Concentrate before.  However, this is in a different league!  One pump is enough to do the lengths and ends of my hair and it just leaves my hair so soft and shiny, from first use the results are noticeable.  I haven't tried any other 'high-end' hair oils like the Moroccan Oil or Macademia Oil, but I can't imagine they would be much better than this!

Finally, if I am heat styling my hair (straighteners or curling irons) I use TIGI Bed Head Head Rush Shine Spray.  A hairdresser friend of mine told me that even though this is marketed as a shine spray, it makes a great heat protectant.  You do need to use this fairly sparingly as too much of it will make the hair look greasy.  It is good for giving hair a shine boost and it is an excellent heat protector.  I actually haven't used any other heat protection product for years now and my hair has very little heat damage considering that it is quite long!

I use lots of other different products depending on what kind of style I'm going for with my hair, but these three are my staple products which I have repurchased many times and I can't recommend them enough!  They are all available at Sallys or from Hairdressing Salons.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder

A few months ago I decided I wanted to try out the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish (MSF) Natural.  So off I went to the MAC counter where the MUA convinced me to try out the Studio Careblend Pressed Powder instead.

The information from MAC on this product is:

"Formulated to provide a smooth, virtually invisible, fresh-looking finish, this soft, cream-like powder is carefully blended to provide the skin with extra care, nourishment and comfort"

I am around NC35 in MAC foundations and I told the MUA that I did not want the powder to add colour, just to set my make up.  She suggested that I get the shade Medium.  This is bordering on being too light for me but it's hardly noticeable.  This powder really does have a beautifully silky feel to it and it gives my make up a lovely soft finish without being in any way powdery or cakey looking.  I'm not one for touching up my makeup too often when I'm at work but I've given this a few good 12 hour tests through long work days and I am highly impressed with how it sets my makeup and keeps it in place for longer, without mattifying my skin too much.

I'd like to try out MSF Natural for comparison but I certainly cannot fault this powder.  Have any of you tried this or MSF Natural before?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment

Today I want to tell you about a hair treatment which I have been using for a few months now.  It is the Lee Stafford Treatment for Hair that Never Grows Past a Certain Length (quite a mouthful!).  I have quite long hair but I did not start using this treatment because I needed to grow my hair as such.  The full benefits that this treatment claims to have are:
  • Vital hair and scalp complex helps to reduce hair loss
  • Improves follicle health which in turn increases the ability of the hair to anchor to the scalp
  • Soothing formulation reduces irritation and moisturises the scalp
  • Addresses hair and scalp ageing at a cellular level
  • Improvement in tensile strength to give body and texture by penetrating the hair reaching the inner cortex
  • Improves volume and feel of the hair
My problem was that every time I washed my hair, and when I combed through my hair after washing, I found that I had a fair bit of hair fall out.  I know a certain amount is normal but this was still worrying me.

The directions for use are to use the treatment between shampoo and conditioner.  You massage an egg sized amount into the hair from roots to ends, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off.  Use every wash until hair improves and use once a week thereafter.  Lee Stafford suggest using the Hair Growth shampoo and conditioner from the range as well but I can't get my hands on this so I just use it with my regular products.

So what's the verdict?  I love this! I am so glad I found it.  Has it completely stopped my hair from coming out? No. But it has dramatically reduced the amount of my hair which comes out when I wash and comb it.  It took about 3 or 4 weeks of use for me to start seeing the benefits.  The treatment leaves my hair feeling so soft and in great condition.  I would be prone to greasiness in my roots but this does not make my hair in any way greasy.  I have stocked up on this when it was on offer in Boots (it is often on a 3 for 2 or simillar offer) and I can't see myself stopping using it any time soon!  I would also say that my hair has grown a lot more since I started using this than it would have before.  As well as all that, both the packaging and the scent are gorgeous too...I really have nothing bad to say about it!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Lush Haul!

Hey guys!

In my last haul post I mentioned that I also paid a visit to Lush so I thought I would do a quick little post to show you what I got!

First up, in the top left corner I got the Comforter Bubble Bar.  I actually got 2 of these because I love them so much! This has a sweet berry scent and turns the bath water a gorgeous pinky purple colour.  Without a doubt my favourite Lush product at the moment and even better, you can get 3 or 4 uses out of each one as they are so big!

Moving clockwise, in the top right corner is the Creamy Candy bubble bar, another sweet smelling bubble bar not unlike the Snow Fairy shower gel if you are familiar with that!

Bottom right is the Twilight Bath Ballistic. This has a sweet but also comforting scent, with a hint of lavender.  This changes colour in the bath and I find my skin feels really soft and moisturised after using it.

I also got the Pop in the Bath Bubble Bar (bottom left).  I have never tried this before but it has a nice light citrus and kind of minty smell so I'm looking forward to trying it!

Finally, I got some of the Rock Star soap to try out.  I have never tried a Lush soap before so I am interested to see what it is like.  This has exactly the same scent as Snow Fairy.

I hope you enjoyed my little haul...Thanks for reading! :) x

Friday, 17 February 2012


I was in Dublin yesterday on a flying visit...I had an hour or so to kill while I was waiting for my friend to finish in a meeting so I had a little look around a few shops!

The first couple of bits I got were in Forever 21.  Dublin has a massive Forever 21 store and I could have done with longer in there! The clothes are gorgeous and so affordable, but I only picked up a few things.

The only item of clothing I got was this blouse.  It's got a dipped hemline where it's longer at the back than at the front but what I love about this top is that it's still quite long at the front, as I find a lot of dipped hemline tops too short at the front.  There is gorgeous lace detailing at the top which makes it easy to dress up or down.  It cost €15.75/£12.75.  Next I got some jewellery:

I had been on the lookout for some nice black earrings and there is such a great selection of jewellery in Forever 21, I ended up finding plenty! I got three sets of earrings.  The first set on the left, with a pair of plain black studs and a pair of silvery-grey studs, were €1.60/£1.50.  The middle set has 3 pairs - small black flowers, clear studs and a pair of black fabric flower earrings. This set was €3.90/£3.15.  Lastly I got these black glittery star earrings on the right and they were also €3.90/£3.15.

Next I went into a store called Stradivarius (check out the website here).  It is a Spanish store, and it's quite similar to Bershka which is one of my favourite shops!  I got 2 shirts here:

The first one I got was this denim button up shirt.  I love this style of shirt and there have been many styles of them in various shops, but this was the first one that was just the style I was looking for as it is the perfect length for me (I'm 5' 8" and  I often find it hard to get tops that are long enough)! This was €19.95.

The second shirt I got is the same colour but it is cotton and it buttons down about half way.  This is just about long enough to wear with leggings for casual wear but I really got this as it is perfect for me to wear to work.  This was around €25.

I also got some stuff from Lush and there will be a separate post up about that soon.  Hope you're all well! :) x

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Battle of the Liquid Liners

Almost every day I wear black liquid eyeliner, so I thought I would do a comparison of the 3 liquid liners which I have on the go at the moment! They are Rimmel's Glam'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner, Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Eyeliner, and GOSH Extreme Art Eye Liner Extremely Waterproof.

L-R Rimmel, Collection 2000, GOSH

L-R Rimmel, Collection 2000, GOSH

The Rimmel liner has been my everyday choice of liquid liner literally for a few years now and I have repurchased it time and time again.  It is probably the least resistant to water and wear of the whole lot of them but I find it is great for everyday use as the thin brush is my favourite kind to work with and the formula is nice as well, with a good consistency that dries to what I would describe as a satin finish - not too shiny but not matte either.  It's also a doddle to remove at the end of the day.

The Collection 2000 liner is also great for every day or for more dramatic looks as the applicator gives a thicker line.  I wouldn't be a fan of the 'marker tip' type applicators but of all of them I have tried this is the easiest I found to work with.  Again, not the best wearing liner in the world and it has a thinner consistency than the Rimmel liner so it isn't quite as pigmented.  This liner is the only one out of the three that dries to a completely matte finish.

Finally GOSH's offering. I have a love/hate relationship with this liner! I reserve use of it for nights out or days when I really need my make up to last! The applicator brush is a nice thin brush, similar to the Rimmel liner, but oh my the formula! The consistency of this liner can only be described as gloopy.  When you pull the brush out of the tube sometimes a string of the liner hangs from it.  This means that although the applicator brush is thin, it can be difficult to be precise with it.  It also takes this liner a full 5 minutes to dry (yes, I timed it!) and it dries to an almost glossy finish.  But when this baby is dry, there is no budging it.  After I had done the 3 swatches above, I washed my hands with soap and water and this did not budge.  So I went back and really scrubbed at it, and this is what I was left with:

Impressive, right?  Although this makes it a pain to remove.  A good oil-based waterproof eye make up remover will take this off without too much effort.  The first time I tried this I thought maybe mine had gone bad or something as it's so gloopy but my sister has this in 3 other colours and they are all the same.

Overall, each of these liners has their good and bad points.  If I had to drop one from my collection it would be the Collection 2000 one, simply because I'm neither a fan of completely matte finishes nor the marker tip applicators.  However, this is down to personal taste!  I feel the Rimmel liner is good for daytime use and the GOSH one is probably unbeatable when it comes to getting a liner that is not going to budge until bedtime!

Have any of you got any suggestions of other liners I could try out (high end or drugstore)?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Benefit Hoola Dupe?

It's likely that most make-up fanatics either own or have heard plenty about Benefit's Hoola bronzer, and rightly so! It is a gorgeous bronzer, with its completely matte finish making it ideal for contouring or giving a natural bronzed look.  However, at £23.50/€34 it isn't the most affordable of products.  Enter W7 Honolulu bronzer which costs around £3/€5 - quite the price difference!

On the outside, the packaging is very similar, both housed in sturdy boxes...but what about the most important thing - the product itself!

L-R Honolulu, Hoola

And a swatch on the skin:

Honolulu on the Left, Hoola on the Right

Pretty sinilar right?  W7 Honolulu also has a matte finish, and both products are equally pigmented and easy to blend.  I would say - and I think you can see from the pictures - that Honolulu is a shade darker than Hoola, making it ideal for the summer time, when I have a tan and Hoola is almost too light for my skin.  Although Honolulu would be fine on fairer skins if used with a light hand, Hoola would definitely be better for those of you who are paler.  The major difference in quality that I have found between the 2 is that Hoola lasts longer on the skin while Honolulu tends to wear off quicker.  You also get 11g in Benefit's Hoola while there is only 6g in W7 Honolulu - so it is worth bearing in mind that you are getting almost double the amount in Hoola.

If Hoola is on your wishlist but you just can't bring yourself to shell out the money for it, then Honolulu is definitely the best dupe I have seen for it.  Whether you would need both probably really only depends on your complexion but I know that for me, there is place for both of these bronzers in my make-up bag!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

OPI Nail Envy Original

Hey Guys!
First of all, welcome to my blog and thank you for reading!

For my first post I am going to review a nail care product.  The product in question is OPI Nail Envy Original.  Nail Envy comes in a few variations, e.g. for thin nails but I decided to try out the original version.  My nails are very hard and as such, they are brittle meaning they snap and break easily.  They also tend to break in layers and peel too.  I have tried numerous nail growth treatments in the past with varying levels of success - most of them not worth bothering about, but finally I have found something which seems to be doing the trick!

Stock Image

The way Nail Envy works is you put 2 coats over bare nails and layer another coat on every other day.  When a week has passed you remove all of the polish and start again and continue to use until the condition of your nails has improved.

I have been using this for 2 weeks now and I can definitely see the results already.  My nails have no signs of breaks or splits at the sides which were always a problem for me.  They have also grown a lot more in the past 2 weeks than they would have previously.  The only downside to this product is the price.  It is available in Boots and Sallys and it retails for around £18 which is steep, but I have often paid out up to £10 on treatments before which were no good so I personally think it is well worth the money.

Overall I'm very impressed and will definitely continue using this product!