Tuesday, 26 November 2013

DHC Olive Body Butter - Launching Soon

I received the DHC Olive Body Butter this morning and can happily report that it is simply scrum-didly-umptious.
Before now the only product I'd tried by Japanese super brand DHC was the much loved Deep Cleansing Oil, so I was pretty keen to try something from the body range.

Firstly, the packaging for the Olive Body Butter is gorgeous - it's amazing how far some strategically placed flower illustrations can go in terms of increasing the desirability of a product! the 100g plastic jar comes in an equally pretty cardboard box that tells you all you need to know about what's inside:

"Wrap yourself in rich, moisturising cocoa and shea butters. Natural emollients olive, argan and avocado oils boost hydration for velvety-soft, supremely touchable skin. Enlivening green apple and rose scent."

That pretty much sums it up - the Olive Body Butter is a delicious concoction of various hydrating oils and butters all topped off with a very yummy apple and rose scent.

As I literally received this today I haven't applied it directly after a shower as yet but I have been smothering it on my arms today and it isn't greasy in the slightest, in fact it seems to sink in extremely fast. Perhaps that's testament to just how dry my skin is in this moisture-sapping English weather? Moisturising lotions and potions without the grease factor get a giant tick in my book so I'm going to go ahead and recommend the bejesus out of this product.

The DHC Olive Body Butter hasn't actually launched in the UK yet but will be available from the 1st of January from DHC UK and possibly BeautyMART and Selfridges London as they stock other DHC products. The Olive Body Butter will retail for £15.50.
You can stay up to date with new products from DHC by following them on Twitter @DHCUK_Skincare.

*PR Sample -   words are my own

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Superdry Beauty

I was introduced to Superdry beauty back in September during LFW and I've been trying out a few bits and pieces from the collection since then.
Superdry have released various beauty sets since but the two that I've been playing with are the Superdry Bento Beauty Box and Superdry Beauty Collective.

The Superdry Bento Beauty Box

This cute little kit inspired by the iconic Japanese bento box contains:

  • Tube of Lip Fix - a thick, Vaseline type balm
  • Eye Marker - literally like a chunky permanent marker eye pen
  • Nail Paint - mini nail polish
  • Highlighter - not unlike a sheer pink liquid Benefit highlighter
  • Volumising Mascara- a pretty decent mascara in a HUGE tube with a silicone wand
  • Superdry Nail Plane - fairly self explanatory
  • Superdry mirror - a nifty little mirror perfect for popping in your handbag
Superdry LipFix

I'm not overly keen on the lip fix for one reason and one reason alone - it's watermelon scented (it's also available in peppermint and coconut, both of which I would get a lot of use out of ) and imitation watermelon is probably my most disliked scent/ flavour. The texture of this is ideal for winter though, it's basically like a less greasy Vaseline.
Superdry Eye Marker
I'm really impressed with the Eye Marker. It leaves a really dark, opaque line and I find it quite easy to use on my top lids thanks to the fairly fine point. It seems to have pretty good staying power too, which is always a huge bonus.
Superdry Highligher

Again, really impressed with the Highlighter. It's quite a thick liquid formula that adds a subtle sheen to cheekbones.
Superdry Volumising Mascara
The formula in this super-black mascara contains lash volumising Keratin and the silicone wand separates lashes for a clump-free experience. That's what it says on the tin and that's exactly what it does. Pretty kitschy cardboard tube too.

The Superdry Beauty Collective

Housed in a neon cosmetic bag, the Beauty Collective contains:
  • Nail Paint in Punk Pink
  • Black Thunderbolt Eye Pencil - wooden eye pencil with smudger
  • Lip Glaze in Shocking Pink - similar to Stila lip glaze and very sheer
  • Eyeshadow Duo in Mudflat/ Cream - a pair of rather pigmented powder shadows in really cool plastic and metal packaging 
  • Superdry Nail Plane
Superdry Eye Pencil

I use the eye pencil on my water line/ bottom lashline and have found it has pretty impressive staying power. It's a rich, deep black and comes with a smudger on the end (which I don't use because me and smudgers just don't get along for some reason).
Superdry Eyeshadow Duo in Mudflat/ Cream

The eyeshadow duo is probably my favourite item from the Superdry beauty range that I've tried so far. While I don't get a lot of use out of the 'cream' colour, I adore the dark brown 'mudflat' shade. The shadow is very pigmented and it lasts. I also like the way it swings open. Easily amused.
Superdry Lip Glaze in Shocking Pink

I don't love the lipglaze but I don't hate it either - which is obvious as you can see how much I've used it in the picture. The shade is 'shocking pink' but I didn't find it shocking enough. Bright in the tube, yes, but very sheer on the lips. I like the design of the twist up see-through tube and I do like the texture of the glaze but in terms of colour, it doesn't pack enough of a punch.

Wearing the Eyeshadow Duo, Lipglaze, Eye Marker, Eye Pencil and Highlighter
Overall, I think these are generally good quality products - just because I don't like watermelon and prefer lipstick over gloss doesn't mean my Superdry beauty experience wasn't a good one! The eye products and highlighter especially get two thumbs up from me and I wouldn't hesitate trying out more from the range next time I'm near a Superdry. I haven't touched on the nail polishes in this post simply because I haven't tried them yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they fare!
The Superdry Bento Beauty Box and Beauty Collective retail at £25 each and are available in store and online at superdry.com. *Edit: Superdry beauty has since been discontinued however you can still find a range of washbags/ makeup bags in store and online.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sunjunkie Sunless Bodymist Review

I usually steer pretty clear of talking about self tan products. I'll often go out and buy the latest mousse/ spray/ liquid in spring and summer, plan to write about it and then discover that the results are so devastating that there's no point! It's not that the products I've tried have been particularly bad - this is a definite 'it's not you, it's me' situation. The truth is I am so uncoordinated and often impatient that I end up streaky, blotchy or weirdly speckled - and nobody wants to see that!
The reason I'm writing about the Sunjunkie Bodymist 'tan in a can' is this: This product is good. It's user friendly, the colour is great and I've had a good self tan experience with it (for once).

The Sunjunkie Bodymist comes in a white and gold aerosol can that sprays continuously from virtually any angle- I was holding the can upside down at some points (don't ask) and the flow of the spray was completely uninterrupted.

The mist is quite fine overall, though I did experience a couple of 'spurts' that I easily rubbed in with Sunjunkie Tan Application Mitt. The Bodymist applied impressively evenly and dried within ten minutes, which made me extremely happy since I was applying it late at night when it was 4 degrees outside so I was glad to put my clothes back on so soon! It's worth mentioning that the Bodymist has quite a wearable guide colour to it so in theory you could use this in the morning and go to work etc then wash it off in the evening - just make sure it's dried before you get dressed and maybe steer clear from wearing white! Scent-wise, the Sunjunkie tan has a tropical, coconut type scent that lingers for a while before the fake tan smell takes over, though I have to say that the 'fake tan smell' is virtually non existent compared to others tanners.
Faux-tan line!

I slept in the tan, washed it off the next morning and was really happy with the colour - a rich golden brown that made me look deceptively healthy and weirdly 'pepped me up'. I suppose it's a bit like popping on a red lipstick to make you feel happier and more confident, a decent fake tan has a similar effect on me!

My Sunjunkie Bodymist tan maintained its colour for about 5 days before I topped it up the other night and I must say I'm rather enjoying having a cheeky faux glow underneath all my layers! If you're going to try this (and I really think you should), one piece of advice I have is that less is definitely more with the Bodymist. Don't hold the can too close while your spraying and moisturise the heck out of your feet before you start as I found that the mist fell and settled on my feet, making them considerably darker than the rest of me. Rookie error!
I'm incredibly impressed with the Sunjunkie Sunless Bodymist (£12.79 for the mist and exfoliator) and I'm looking forward to trying out the self tanning mousse from the range next.
To find out more about Sunjunkie, click on over to the site here and find them on twitter @SunjunkieUK.
Do you faux tan in Autumn?

*PR sample - however I have used most of it up and will be purchasing this!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Max Factor Ageless Elixir Foundation Review

While a lot of people are going nuts over the Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation I was eager to get my hands on the Ageless Elixir 2 in 1 Foundation. I was initially drawn to this foundation for two reasons.
max factor ageless elixir

  1. I'd never tried a Max Factor foundation before (!)
  2. It's a 2-in-1 Foundation/ Serum hybrid and you've gotta love a bit of skincare in your makeup.
I've been trying out the Max Factor Ageless Elixir in shade Beige 55 and I've found it a pretty good fit, despite the fact I've been trialling fake tan as well - that is where Benefit Hula comes in very handy.

 The Ageless Elixir Foundation comes in a pump bottle that dispenses the perfect amount of product for a decent application.

 The formula is quite mousse like and light - a texture that feels rather lightweight on my face. The foundation is a blend of coloured base and a 'special elixir' that contains anti-ageing ingredients, SPF 15 and pigments that reflect light.
I found that the foundation blended quite easily and provides a medium to heavy coverage with a fairly moisturising and natural finish. The moisturising element of the foundation is especially appealing to me at this time of year as my skin gets pretty dry and tight in Autumn/ Winter.

All in all I think the Max Factor Ageless Elixir Foundation is a lovely high street base with a just-about-bargain price tag of £12.99. I'm glad to see affordable brands rival the likes of YSL in the serum foundation stakes (not to say I wouldn't love to give the Youth Liberator a go).
Max Factor Ageless Elixir Foundation Review

If you don't trust my opinion on the foundation, there is a plethora of good reviews about the stuff on the Boots website that you can check out here.

What do you think of serum foundations?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Area H20 Shampoo & Conditioner for Hard Water Review

Area H20 Shampoos and Conditioners are actually rather revolutionary as they have been developed by bioscientists (yes, bioscientists) to counteract the effect that different water types have on our hair.
With three ranges developed specifically for use with hard water, medium water and soft water, the products contain special ingredients that are supposed to get rid of the nasties lurking in our water pipes.
Here's a little blurb from the H20 website that explains this process in an undoubtedly more concise way than I can.

Metal ions, present in all types of water, react with shampoo to form mineral deposits that cling to your hair. AreaH20 shampoo is designed to act as a magnet, attracting mineral ions and allowing you to wash them away far more easily.

Picture of Area H20 products for hard water

 As a result of these metal bits leaving the hair strands, the hair is supposed to in turn become noticeably cleaner, smoother and more lovely in general. These are some pretty tall claims so I've been left with no choice but to try out the shampoo and conditioner for myself to see if there was anything to get excited about. The Area H20 website features a nifty little map that helps you to determine what kind of water you're showering in, no matter where you are in the world. Of course, London is a distinct 'Hard Water' area, so I've been trying out the shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair and hard water.

The first thing I noticed about the shampoo was the scent - the best way I can describe is 'unisex'. It just smells quite clean and fresh, but not particularly chemically, which is a bonus. The labelling on the bottle states that the shampoo is 'very concentrated' so only a small amount is required, once again, big tick for this as obviously using a product sparingly means it will last longer. Duh. The shampoo lathered up easily and rinsed out well, preparing my hair for the conditioner.
picture of Area H20 Shampoo for Hard Water

I've gotta say, I don't think I've seen a conditioner of this consistency before. It's very opaque and very creamy. Sort of looks like a delightfully rich vanilla icing, yet I wasn't game to lick it. The conditioner had that clean, unisex scent going on too, though maybe smelled a tiny bit more feminine than the shampoo. I found that it washed out easily as well and didn't really leave any slimy residue like so many conditioners do.
Picture of Area H20 Conditioner for Hard Water

I've used the Area H20 Shampoo and Conditioner for Hard Water three times now so I think I'm in a position to give some decent feedback. I found the products to be very clarifying for my hair and definitely made it shinier in general. My three flatmates have all given it a go too (including 2 boys) and they had nothing negative to say about Area H20 - just that their hair felt "very clean". While I don't completely understand the science behind how this shampoo and conditioner works, I do know how it makes my hair feel - clean and refreshed with a healthy sheen to it!

You can find the Area H20 range at Debenhams on Oxford Street in London and online at Look Fantastic with prices starting from £6.99.
If you want to know more about Area H20 you can visit them here.

*The Area H20 products were kindly sent to me for consideration

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Hairy Jayne Hair Perfume

I was having a little wander around the Herne Hill market today and spotted a little stall by the name of Hairy Jane Handmade Hair Care. Among the shampoos and conditioners were a trio of exquisitely packaged little hair perfumes that I simply had to check out and I ended up walking away with one.

I picked up the Musk scent that's packed with neroli, vetiver and patchouli essential oils and designed to keep things smelling lovely between washes while taming frizz, adding shine and protecting against heat damage.
A photo of Hairy Jayne Musk Hair Perfume

Hair perfume has always appealed to me but I've never tried it before so at £9 I think Hairy Jayne is a pretty good place to start.

The Hairy Jayne Hair Perfume can be used on freshly washed hair before blowdrying or drying naturally and contains an ingredient that protects the strands before you see to them with straighteners, curlers or hairdryers.
photo of hairy jayne hair perfume directions

So far I've only tried the hair perfume on dry hair and I can happily report that the scent lingers for quite some time and does seem to make it feel a little softer and nicer in general.

The Hair Perfume is also available in Floral (gerainum, bergamot and vanilla) and Citrus (grapefruit, may chang and jasmine) so I think Jayne's covered all bases in terms of creating fragrances suited to every taste. I was in a bit of a hurry when I purchased the Musk scented spray and I sort of wish I'd gone for the Floral scent (which Jayne actually recommended!) as I'm a huge fan of vanilla scents.
photo of hairy jayne hair perfume in musk ingredients

You can find out more about Hairy Jayne Handmade Haircare here and have a browse at her other products. Jayne is also a pretty raved about hairdresser.
Follow Hairy Jayne on Twitter: @hairyjayne

I do love a small beauty business and Hairy Jayne products are definitely worth checking out. I'll be ordering from the site or visiting her stall again in the very near future!

The Hair Perfume is packaged in a cute glass bottle with a pump spray
What do you think of hair perfumes?
p.s. It's worth mentioning that Hairy Jayne shampoos and conditioners are free from sodium laurel sulfate, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Nars Luminous Moisture Cream

I was lucky enough to receive the Nars Luminous Moisture Cream for my birthday back in September so I think it's about time I talk about it.
The moisture cream is my first and only product from this iconic beauty brand famous for its range of blushers with dirty names and Sheer Glow foundation, so I had high hopes for this little pot of decadence.
nars moisturiser

My flatmate picked this up for me because he simply had no idea what to get me, knows I'm a beauty fiend and was cornered by some friendly Nars staff at House of Fraser who advised him that the Luminous Moisture Cream had been used during LFW to give models 'luminosity without the need for foundation'.

Unfortunately I don't have the kind of skin that looks flawless with just a bit of sparkly face cream rubbed into it but I think that this is quite a nice moisturiser nonetheless.
To be honest, I didn't get a great deal of use out of this throughout September because it was still pretty warm and the Luminous Moisture Cream is quite  heavy. Hot weather + heavy creams = sweaty face for me, so I've only really been patting this on for the last few weeks since the Siberian weather has started to set in.
My face has positively been drinking this up lately and it's keeping things nice and hydrated, so I'd say it's more of a cold weather cream if you're skin is combination like mine.
You might be wondering what's so 'luminous' about this cream? Well that comes down to the 'light reflecting complex' floating about in it which adds a sort of subtle sheen to the skin.

The cream contains Beech Bud Extract that works to stimulate collagen production and antioxidants to combat damage from free radicals. Scent wise, the cream smells quite similar to Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base so it has a slightly citrus-like fragrance which I find quite pleasant!
The Nars Luminous Moisture Cream is thick, rich and luxurious and I can see myself reaching for it a lot over the coming months. Just a tip - if you do happen to give this ago, use it sparingly. It's so rich that you only need a little bit for the whole face.

The Nars Luminous Moisture Cream retails at a pretty hefty £42 for a 50ml jar and is available at House of Fraser, Space NK and department stores.
Have you tried anything from the Nars Skincare range?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Dermalogica Age Smart Skinperfect Primer

I've been meaning to write about the Demalogica Skinperfect Primer for a while because I've found it to be a pretty decent product that seems to come through with the goods!
Part of the AGE Smart range, the Skinperfect Primer is designed to brighten and smooth the skin, allowing foundation to apply evenly and stay in place for longer. The primer gives the skin that slightly odd velvety feeling due to the silicones in the formula that provide a smooth base for make up.

The Dermalogica Skinperfect primer is neutrally tinted and contains pearl powders and 'natural earth minerals' that work to brighten and even out the complexion. I found that the primer gives a sort of 'blurring' effect when used alone and I'll often wear it without make up over the top as it sort of peps up the skin. It's also worth mentioning that the Skinperfect primer is SPF30, which is always a bonus.

Blended! Observe the light-reflecting bits!

The primer also has that fresh, herbal sort of fragrance that most Dermalogica products have and reminded me of my Dermalogica skin regime from my early twenties. It's actually made me want to revisit the brand and try out the anti-ageing ranges!

At £37.50 a tube, this primer is on the pricier side but the 22ml goes a very, very long way so I don't think the price is a deal breaker if you're after a good primer by a pretty fabulous brand. I have read that this primer is not particularly suitable for darker skin as it tends to leave things looking a bit chalky, so hopefully the powers that be at Dermalogica take note of this and release some darker colours in the future.

Do you use Dermalogica skincare and have you got a favourite product?
p.s. I've heard that this is quite a good product for blokes too!

*PR Sample

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sjal Rose Aura Cleansing Set

Sjal Rose Aura Cleansing Set

For the last week or so I've had the pleasure of cleansing, toning and moisturising with the Sjal Rose Aura Cleansing Set.
I tried a couple of incredible masks from Sjal back in February (you can read about them here) and have been following this beautiful brand ever since, so it's been really wonderful to experience this totally indulgent collection of skincare goodies.

The Sjal Rose Aura Cleansing Set contains the Balans Deep Pore Cleanser, Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic, Cela Intuitif Light Cellular Renewal Creme and a natural Konjac Sponge.
The cleansing ritual has been designed to cleanse, detoxify and brighten the complexion using a unique blend of gemstones and minerals.

The Balans Deep Pore Cleanser
Sjal Balans Deep Pore Cleanser

When used in conjunction with the Konjac sponge (two or three   pumps applied directly to the wet sponge) the Balans cleanser works to deep clean the skin, improving the texture and targeting blackheads as it clears away sebum and excess oils. The cleanser is infused with gold, silver and , germanium, pearl extract, fig leaf extract, rice bran extract, Vitamin E and African Whitewood extract. The cleanser is quite milky and smells really beautiful and comforting- the perfect first step in an indulgent cleansing ritual.

The Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic
Sjal Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic

My favourite product in the set, this tonic is luxurious, refreshing and     completely decadent. Infused with skin-loving ingredients such as energising Siberian ginseng, the spritz contains Rose Quartz and little particles of gold and silver that you can actually see floating around in the bottle!
Sjal Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic
 The Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic is great for toning after you cleanse and as a pick-me-up throughout the day. I've also found it handy for setting foundation and, like the Balans Deep Pore Cleanser, it smells absolutely gorgeous.

The Cela Intuitif Light Cellular Renewal Creme
The perfect finishing touch to the cleansing ritual, the cellular renewal creme contains Vitamin C and fruit acids to promote gentle exfoliation and pearl and licorice to even out skin pigmentation. Light yet incredibly hydrating, the creme contains 'saphire elixir' and nano gold and silver to brighten, protect, clear and strengthen the skin. 
Sjal Cela Intuitif Light Cellular Renewal Creme

Sjal Cela Intuitif Light Cellular Renewal Creme

I haven't been using the Sjal Rose Aura Cleansing Set for long so I can't tell you about long term results, but I can tell you that this collection is incredibly indulgent and leaves my skin feeling baby-smooth and hydrated without any oiliness, and you can't argue with that!

The Rose Aura Cleansing Set is around £100 and available at Mankind.

Have you tried anything from Sjal?