Monday 30 April 2012

Leo Bancroft - Ultimately Intense

I wasn't too familiar with who Leo Bancroft was but it turns out he's the nation’s favourite hairdresser. Winner of Channel 4’s ‘The Salon’ he has a regular slot on This Morning and is hairdresser to the Chelsea and England football team, among other famous faces and now he's launched a new collection which at the moment includes moisture masks, colour care shampoo, dry shampoo, conditioners and will eventually have hairbrushes and other tools to add to the growing list of wonder products. 

Leo Bancroft Ultimately Intense deep moisturising hair maskMy quest for something to smooth and repair my dyed frazzled locks led me to try out Ultimately Intense a deep moisture mask  which describes itself as 'pure TLC in a tube'. It brings damaged hair back from the brink, leaving it silky, shiny and soft.

Like most hair masks you need to leave this on for a while, 15 minutes to be precise, ideally under a shower hat, but as it's so thick this is actually a lot less arduous than some masks I've tried, it doesn't seem to drip down my neck for the whole time. Rinse it out and dry as normal (the instructions say blot dry but I need a hairdryer to add a bit of volume).

Leo’s recommends: “Try this bliss-out treat. Cover conditioned hair with a shower-cap and blast with a dryer for super-silky results.”

Now when I first used this I did so on a day when I wasn't going to see anyone because it's so thick I assumed it would make my fine hair limp and stuck to my head. I was very happily surprised to find it doesn't - I was still able to get volume into my hair and it stayed there. It also smells gorgeous which really helps.

I've been recommending some cheaper hair products recently because in these money-tight times it's hard to spend money going to the salon all the time but I think this one really wins - it's available at Tesco's and is £2.50. £2.50 for 150ml of anything at the moment is a great price but for something that works so well and will last you a while - I think this is a once a week treatment - it's silly not to try this out. 


Friday 27 April 2012

Early Pregnancy Life Savers

OK so I can finally say that I'm pregnant and although I'm determined that this blog isn't going to become all about pregnancy and babies, if there are any products that I find are particularly good for a lady in my condition I will put them up on here. For more baby-related things I'll be putting that on Blue Sky and Bunting.

Oilatum Natural Repair face cream
There have been a couple of products and brands which have helped to make the first three months more bearable. I wasn't actually sick but had about a month and a half of feeling nauseous all the time and having to lie very still. My eczema has become unbearable and my face is a mass of spots. Luckily I've been given some creams for the doctor for the eczema but for everything else I was on my own so here's what's been helping me out.

Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream - I'm sure I've reviewed this separately (it's fantastic) but this has really come into it's own in the last three months. People say my skin has been looking amazing - that is completely down to this moisturiser and some very good concealers.

Jemma Kidd Shadow Quartet in Metallica
Jemma Kidd Shadow Quartet in Metallica - A friend got this for me for my birthday and I love it but don't use it as often as I should but this has been just fantastic as a lovely, easy to apply eye base for when I just can't be bothered to spend ages on my makeup.The bronze tone gives a really nice subtle shimmer with quite a natural tone so is great on it's own with a little bit of mascara.

Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter - I will do a proper review of this soon but believe the hype. This has been fantastic for keeping my skin nicely moisturised - I use it on my arms and decolletage after my bath in the evening and can still feel it moisturising in the morning.

Butter London - these 3 Free nail lacquers are the healthiest way to have beautifully done nails when you are pregnant and at the moment my nails are the only bit of me worth looking at! Post coming soon.

Chanel Pro Lumier - I've been using tinted moisturisers most days but when I've had to go out, this is the foundation I've been using. Awesome, professional level coverage means that my blemishes are completely hidden and I feel confident even though I know underneath I'm looking spotty and washed out. They don't do this anymore but try Perfection Lumier or Vitalumier instead.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Origins All-Purpose High-Elevation Cream

I cannot believe I haven't reviewed this yet - I used it as my moisturiser for the long flights to and from (and in) South Africa and it is just fantastic. The majority of my carry-on luggage is makeup and moisturisers but in future this is going to be the only moisturiser I'm going to take.

Everyone knows that flying is incredibly dehydrating but planes are also not exactly the best place to keep constantly moisturised. Never having tried the High-Elevation cream before I took all sorts of other moisturisers - Liz Earle's Super Balm and Face Moisturiser to name but two and as lovely as these are I didn't even get them out of my plastic freezer bag. Our flights were 6 hours to Dubai and then 8 hours from Dubai to South Africa I was expecting to be like a shrivelled old prune by the time we landed but using this cream once or twice per flight not only was I still completely moisturised when we landed but I kept my tan on the way home. I even managed to make my husband use some and because it was so easily absorbed he hardly complained at all!

This is a rich, non-greasy cream that can be used anywhere on the face and body and it's not only for when you are flying - it's great for helping out dry patches when you are on the ground; many people seem to use it instead of a regular handcream. This fast-absorbing emollient contains sunflower oil and Shea butter is calming and soothing, didn't aggravate my eczema and even though it is non-greasy you can feel it on moisturising your skin hours after using it. For £21 this is a no-brainer xx

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Les 4 Ombres de Chanel - Kaska Beige

Les Ombres de Chanel Kaska BeigeIt's not often that I can afford to top my kit up with Chanel. I do love their products but can usually find a suitable substitute that won't break the bank and means I can get two products instead of the one Chanel one. However, with wedding season coming up I wanted something a bit special with a good range of colours that are really usable so I allowed myself the little treat of getting Les 4 Ombres de Chanel eyeshadows in Kaska Beige.

I love this little palette so much that I would fill my kit up with these if I could. It's been fantastic for brides who don't want to feel like they are wearing a lot of makeup as the colours are so workable and blendable that you really don't need to use very much to get a great effect. I also think it's nice to have the odd high-end product in your kit to make the bride not only feel like she's getting the good stuff for her money but a bit of a treat too. And to me nothing says treat like Chanel.

If you are getting this for yourself it makes doing a traditional four colour eye so easy that you really won't need anything else. For those sensible people with not many products in your makeup bag this would be a great investment - you can use a damp eyeliner brush and use the darker browns as eyeliner so you don't even need one of those. This does it all.

Les 4 Ombres de Chanel Kaska BeigeThe only time these colours really don't work is if you are working with someone really fair or pale unless of course they want to look like they are wearing makeup. If you are pale then there are so many choices in this range that there will definitely be something for you so it's worth going to the Chanel counter and having a look at all the colours. I love the look of Pr lude, Nymph and Spices for fairer skins.

£37 is a lot to spend on an eyeshadow quad in these days of Sleek makeup, Barry M and MUA but the quality of this really shows here and this will last, look classic and make you feel a bit closer to the famous Madmoiselle. 

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Earth Month with Origins

Any regular readers of this blog will know that I am a bit fan of Origins products and this month they are supporting Earth Month with two different campaigns.

The first runs between 15th and 28th April - Origins has teamed up with Global ReLeaf and for every product from the A Perfect World range purchased between these dates, Origins will plant a tree on the customers behalf.

They are also having an Earth Month Trade-in day on 21st April. For one day only customers can bring in an empty skincare product (from any brand) and trade it in for a complimentary full size moisturiser (either Starting Over Age-erasing Moisturiser with Mimosa worth £36 or A Perfect World Age-Defense Moisturiser with White Tea worth £32). There are 5,000 available nationwide so get there asap. 

These are fantastic offers so if you are already a fan you won't need much persuading but if you have been waiting to try out some origins products then go for it on Saturday. Purchase A Perfect World Antioxident Moisturiser (one of my favourite Origins products) and get a tree planted and take an empty product and exchange it for Starting Over moisturiser. You get two products whilst only paying for one and plant a tree in the process.

Monday 16 April 2012

MUA Mosaic Bronzer

I'm very weary of bronzers, especially ones with a lot of shimmer. I'm quite pale and even the tiniest bit of bronzer makes me look a completely different colour to the rest of me no matter how hard I try to blend it into my neck. I do use matte bronzers for shaping the face and when I am or have been on holiday I'll allow myself a bit of bronzer to bring out my tan. On my recent trip to South Africa, and in fact ever since I got back, I used MUA's Mosaic Bronzer in Natural Glow and have been loving it.

It is shiny but the four different tones are really blendable and give a really natural, slightly highlighted sunkissed look. I've been using it lightly on the cheeks, up to the temples, across the centre of the nose and chin and it's really worked in making me look healthy and post-holiday which is just what I need. I try to wear the highest factor available on my face and wear a hat as often as possible when on holiday so quite often I come home with a face quite a bit paler than the rest of me. This is a very good, amazingly cheap, healthy option to having a suntan on your face and because it's only £2.50 I don't really mind that it's started to break up... my fault for taking it absolutely everywhere with me I suppose! Will be definitely trying their mosaic blushers next xx

Wednesday 11 April 2012

MAC Cremeblend Blush

One of the only good things about my husband travelling to America for his work is that he brings me back presents from the airport. I'm sure some wives would want something more adventurous, and maybe even thoughtful, from outside the airport but I just want makeup so in that way I'm pretty easy to please. Unless there's something specific I want him to get for me, I usually tell him to ask someone who works there to recommend something for me and last time it was MAC's Cremeblend Blush in Florida.

This is quite a bright colour that at first seems almost unwearable - a bright fuchsia that you imagine will make you look like Andy Pandy but I have been really surprised by the flexibleness of this product and in fact have used it on my palest brides onto of the primer and under the foundation to give an easily blendable, natural looking glow. Admittedly unless you are going for a truly '80's look (in which case this would also be a great eye colour!) you want to be careful how you apply this and build the colour up gradually but it is incredibly workable and really matches a lot more skin tones than I originally thought it would. Haven't tried it out yet but I'm pretty sure this would work on lips too if you wanted a creamy matte base colour.

I also have to mention that I love the packaging - I don't often say that about MAC packaging. Unless its a special edition it is usually in their traditional, classic black which is fine, and I do prefer it to some other packaging but this is really fun and adds a little worth to the £17.50 price tag xx

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Face. Lace

Phyllis Cohen is one of those makeup artists who really is an artist who just happens to use faces and bodies instead of canvas. Annoyingly it seems impossible to find any videos of her working online, but you can see the wonderful designs she creates on her website here.

Not content with being a fantastic makeup artist and body painter she has now created Face.Lace amazing stick-on designs for the face that mean you can have intricate designs without spending many frustrating hours trying to do it yourself. The laces range from small bits of lacing detail to half face masks and are re-usable.

What I really love about these is, to me, they seem to reflect a sort of old-fashioned glamour that a lot of us would love to recreate whilst actually halving the time of your makeup application. A flawless base is a must for these and a good lip but really these are your eye makeup - you really don't need too much underneath and you are ready to go.

The prices range from £13.95 - £19.95 and I think these would be fantastic presents for your friends who are into makeup. I'm going to attach the Pixiwoo video below as they do a fantastic job showing you how they work and I've included the 'official' face lace film so you can see more of the designs in action but you should also checkout the face.lace website here.

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