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Monday, 30 September 2013

September Empties

Goodness me, how on Earth are we already at the end of September!? Madness! This has been a mixed month for me, finishing my Masters course and starting to look for grown-up jobs; I've secured a Christmas temp job at Debenhams but am still looking for something in my field, so if you're after a Neuroscientist, let me know! It was also my birthday; I turned 22 last Friday and spent the day visiting both my grandparents and a few Aunties and Uncles - my Gran is 90 in November, how impressive is that!? Anyway, enough of my rambles, and onto the products I've finished in September.
September Empties
September Empties 1
Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm This is my second pot of this Cleansing Balm and I've still enjoyed using it, finding it really gentle and nourishing for my skin as well as doing a really good job of removing my make-up. However, I've also discovered a couple of new cleansers during the month, including the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Skin Renew Cleansing Oil and Korres Sage & Salicylic Acid Regulating Cleansing Gel, which seem to be working better for controlling my oily, blemish-prone skin, whilst still protecting it as the weather turns cooler.
Repurchase? Unsure; maybe, depending how I feel about the Super Facialist Oil by the time I've finished it.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser You could be forgiven for thinking I was on commission for this product given how much I recommend it; I mention it in pretty much every #bbloggers chat, I just love it! It's perfect for helping to shrink pores (as the name suggests) and providing a lovely smooth, even surface to apply make-up over. Because it contains Tea Tree, it also feels like it's doing some good for my skin, rather than just clogging my pores with silicon as some primers can feel like.
Repurchase? Yes, yes, yes! (Once I've used up a few more of my primer stash...)
Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve I did like this, although the scent/taste wasn't my favourite for a lip balm. It did do a wonderful job of hydrating and smoothing my lips, though, and the ingredients list was pretty impressive. As I mentioned in my full review, though, I feel that its full-size price tag is a bit steep, which is why I won't be repurchasing.
Repurchase? No.
ELF Shine Eraser Blotting Sheets I bought these ages ago and have sort of gone through phases of using them and not using them; I've finally had a last push to get them finished. They absorbed oil, but I found I needed five or six to do my whole face; I do have exceptionally oily skin, but that does seem excessive even for me, and with other brands two or three is generally sufficient. For that reason, I probably wouldn't repurchase these particular blotting sheets.
Repurchase? No.
Laidbare Spot The Difference I really enjoyed using this under my moisturiser of an evening and did find that it reduced the number of spots and blemishes which appeared. I've got a couple of other products to finish up first, but I probably will repurchase this once those have gone.
Repurchase? Probably.
Next Love Glamour Eau de Toilette I bought this on a whim in Next about two years ago as I loved the scent, and I've enjoyed using every drop. I'm not even going to attempt to describe it as I'm awful at understanding perfume, but it was fruity and girly and very much a 'me' scent and I'm sorry to have finished it, especially as I don't think it's available any longer!
Repurchase? I don't think I can!

Empties September

Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing Eye Make-Up Remover I really liked this eye make-up remover, I found it gentle on my eyes and effective at removing all but the most stubborn of mascara (Benefit They're Real! I'm looking at you...) - even that came off after soaking for ten seconds or so.
Repurchase? I will.
Boots Smooth Care Shave Gel I've strayed from my usual Gillette Shaving Gel as this was on offer in Boots and smelt absolutely lovely. I feel like the scent has fermented a bit over time, as weird as that sounds, as towards the end of the can it just smelt a bit off. Nonetheless, it did the job for shaving my legs, and I've already repurchased in the Sensitive version.
Repurchase? Already have.
Superdrug Mud Therapy Aloe Vera Deep Cleansing Mud Mask This is another one I've had ages, it was an absolute bargain at about £2 or £3 and has lasted really well; you don't need very much to cover the face, and it does a great job at absorbing excess oil and unclogging pores. I did feel like my skin was cleaner after using this, and it didn't dry my skin out either, like some mud masks sometimes can.
Repurchase? Maybe; I have a huge stockpile of face masks I'm currently trying to clear, but this is one I'd consider buying again in the future.
Soft Touch Naked Silky Smooth Starflower Body Wash I love the cinnamon-scent of this body wash, as well as the fact that it's eczema-friendly and doesn't irritate my skin. This has become a staple for me and will probably be featuring in my Empties posts most months.
Repurchase? Already have!
Batiste Graffiti I bought this purely for the sake of trying a new fragrance and I have mixed opinions about it; whilst it's a nice smell, I don't love it like I do the Tropical one, and for that reason I probably wouldn't buy it again unless it's all that was available. Aside from the scent, it's the same old Batiste really, doing a great job of perking up limp hair and extending the time between shampoos.
Repurchase? Probably not.
Naked Smooth Jojoba Oil Silky Conditioner Aside from the fact that this is too thick to easily squeeze from the tube, I absolutely love it! It leaves my hair soft, smooth and manageable, and helps stop it drying out and splitting which, being waist-length, my hair is somewhat prone to doing... It also smells beautiful and lasts for absolutely ages.
Repurchase? Already have.
So, they're my September Empties! What have you finished up this month? Have you tried any of these products? Which would you most like to try? I hope you've all had a wonderful month!

Remember to check out this month's Featured Blogger, Sophie Jane!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Tag

I have been tagged to complete The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger tag! Check out the rules, the questions, and my responses below.
The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Tag
1. Thank the tagger and link them in the post.
2. State that this tag was created by The Beau Bow.
3. Copy and paste the rules.
4. Tag some more beauty bloggers and link them to the post.
5. Title this The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Post so readers know what the post is about.
6. Have fun!
Thank you to the lovely Amiiee of It's Amiieeism for tagging me to do this post!
1. Name a beauty regime that you rarely do.
I've really struggled here, as I have to do things like moisturise on an excessively regular basis because of my eczema. I'm going to say plucking my eyebrows; it's not that I rarely do it, just that I hate doing it and do tend to put it off for a day or two when it needs doing...
2. Is washing your make-up brushes something you do regularly?
It is, I actually really like washing my brushes, I find it so satisfying seeing all the dirt and make-up being washed out, and it's nice seeing them all lined up on the edge of my dresser to dry.
3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
It depends, if I'm at home then I take it off the same day it chips or at most the day after. If I was away then I could probably last three or four days with it before I had to track down some remover.
4. How long do you put off buying/ replacing a beauty or nail polish product, even if you need it? (e.g. purchasing a new top coat or foundation)
I generally like to buy a replacement before I run out of essentials, and anything else I just pick up next time I'm in town. Things like foundation, though, I always have at least three or four so I'm never likely to actually run out, even if I finish one I've always got a couple more to go at!
5. What is your worst beauty habit?
Touching my face! I know it's awful and I am trying to stop but I'm always doing it and half the time I don't even notice! I really am making an effort not to rest my face on my hands and so on, though, to see if it helps my skin at all.
6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off all the time.
Washing up. I hate washing up. It's my boyfriend's job though, so I don't have to do it very often - thankfully!
7. When going out somewhere do you leave getting ready to last minute or not?
Not usually, but then I'm quite spontaneous and as long as I'm showered I can generally get ready to go out in about 15 or 20 minutes - hair, make-up and outfit!
8. Can you commit to a spending ban?
Pretty much - I don't have much spare cash at the moment as it is so I've been quite careful over the last couple of months, I did do a month's spending ban in about March I think it was and only slipped up a couple of times then.
9. How organised is your make-up and nail polish collection?
Reasonably organised - all my nail polish is sorted into boxes by brand, although I would like a rack so I can see it all at a glance and see where everything is straight away. My make-up is sorted by type into a stacking box and some jars and dividers, which you can see in my Make-up Storage post. I have face products, lip sticks, eye products, then primers, lip glosses, mascaras and eyeliners in my pots and dividers. I know where everything is!
10. What is the longest amount of time you have gone without writing a blog post?
I think about three weeks, either when I had no Internet or when life has just got in the way!
I'm tagging these people to complete the tag too:
Amy from A Little Boat Sailing
Laura from Pink Frenzy
Rachel from BeautyQueenUK

I hope you've all enjoyed reading this post and getting to know a bit more about my beauty habits! Do let me know if you've answered these questions before, or if you'd like to answer them and I haven't tagged you then feel free to do so! What's your most-put-off beauty task?

Remember to check out this month's Featured Blogger, Sophie Jane!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Focus on: Jones the Bootmaker*

Hi guys! Apologies for being a bit quiet on the blog over the past week or so - I've been busy with job interviews and the like, although I have now got a job at Debenhams for over Christmas, which is good news! Yesterday was my birthday so I went up to my parents' house to see my puppy (and their three new kittens!), and spent the day visiting various extended family members with my Mum. I had a lovely day, and thank you to those of you who wished me a happy birthday on Twitter & Instagram! On to today's post...
It's been a long time since I've bought any shoes, so I've been spending a lot of time lately browsing various shoe shops and sites, one of which was Jones the Bootmaker*. I've put together a little wishlist of some of my favourite styles currently available, some of which are currently in some pretty awesome sales, like the Converse for just £24 - if my feet were teeny enough for the size three that's left, those bad boys would be MINE!
Jones the Bootmaker
1. Jones Bootmaker Glam Ballet Pumps, now £23.50
2. Crayon Hearts Canvas Shoes, now £24
3. Jones Bootmaker Captain Court Shoes, now £19
4. Fitflop Due Leather Ballet Pumps, £85
5. Fly London Solv Knee Length Boots, £145
[Broken links removed, apologies for any inconvenience caused.]
I love the studded bow detail on the ballet pumps, and the cute heart print on the classic Converse-style shoe is gorgeous! The Captain Court shoes are part of Jones' The Fifties range, and I really love the bright coral colour. Fitflops are something I've always liked the idea of, but never seen a style that I particularly liked, but these have changed all that - they're just like flatforms, and we all know I love flatforms! Finally, it wouldn't be a shoe wishlist for me without a pair of good Autumn/Winter boots and this Fly London pair are lovely, with the buckle detail and a good sole so you don't slip on your bum!
Which are your favourite pair? Have you ever shopped at Jones the Bootmaker?

[*Please note this is a sponsored post.]
Remember to check out this month's Featured Blogger, Sophie Jane, for lovely recipes, reviews and more!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Top Five Autumn Nail Polishes

The next in my Autumn-themed series is my favourite nail colours for heading into the cooler months; personally, I'm all for wearing bright colours and dragging the warm weather out as long as possible, but if you prefer to tone things down as the days get darker, here are my suggestions:
Autumn Nail Polishes
Nail Polishes for Autumn
(L -R: Body Collection Crystal Suede Nail Lacquer 'Little Black Dress'; 
Khroma Beauty 'Fever Dream'; Look Beauty Nail Pop 'Kimono'; 
ELF Nail Polish 'Dark Navy'; Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine 'Blackberry')
Body Collection Little Black Dress
'Little Black Dress' is a lovely glittery shade, but without all the hassle of removing glitter polish - love! I really like the textured finish of this polish, although it only lasts a day or two before it's worn down to a smooth, semi-matte finish.
Khroma Beauty Fever Dream
'Fever Dream' isn't as dark on the nail as it looks in the bottle, which is sort of a shame, but I kind of prefer it a little brighter so it's okay I guess! This is perfect for the burgundy/oxblood shades which are hot at this time of year.
Look Beauty Kimono
'Kimono' is a beautiful Autumnal multichrome, flashing orange, green and gold depending on the light. It reminds me of Autumn leaves and is seasonal without being too dark, which I like. I've had this ages and never properly worn it, but all that is going to change this season!
ELF Dark Navy
'Dark Navy' looks black on the nail at first glance, but on closer inspection it's exactly what the name suggests - a super-dark navy blue. In the bottle it looks to have a bit of shimmer to it, but sadly this doesn't seem to translate onto the nail.
Barry M Blackberry Plum
'Blackberry' is my favourite of the polishes I own from the Gelly Hi-Shine range and, although I wish it looked as bright on the nail as it does in the bottle, I'm not complaining as it's still gorgeous, with a glossy finish and a deep colour which does remind me of September afternoons blackberry-picking - although I believe Barry M have actually re-named this polish 'Plum'?
What are your favourite Autumn nail polishes? Do you own any of these polishes?

Please check out this month's Featured Blogger, Sophie Jane, for gorgeous reviews, recipes and much more!

Friday, 20 September 2013

NOTD: Jeans for Genes Day

Jeans for Genes is a British charity raising awareness and funds for children with genetic disorders; today, September 20th, is their national fundraising day whereby people wear jeans to school/work in return for a donation. Now that I'm not at school, and not yet working, I decided that I'd like to show my support on my blog - with a denim-inspired NOTD post! Here, I've used one coat of Barry M's 'Denim' over one coat of OPI Nail Envy. I love 'Denim'; whilst it looks almost frosted in the bottle, it dries to a semi-matte finish on the nail and in my opinion, looks just like denim.
Barry M Denim NOTD
Once this was dry, I used an Allura Stamping Plate (P21) and a gold Technic polish to stamp on the zip details; my nails are slightly too long for the zips to fill the nails, which I think would have looked better, but nonetheless I'm pretty happy with how they turned out!
NOTD Jeans for Genes Day Nail Art
I then added a coat of Nail Envy as a top coat, but I kind of wish I hadn't as I much prefer how it looks matte as opposed to glossy - ah well, you live and learn! Which do you prefer?
Genes for Jeans Day Nail Art NOTD
If you are able to and would like to make a donation to Jeans for Genes, you can do so here; remember, every little helps so anything you can afford to give will make a difference!
Have you heard of Jeans for Genes Day before? Are you supporting it at school or work this year?

This month's featured blogger is the lovely Sophie Jane - have a peek at her blog for lovely reviews, recipes and more!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Six Mini Reviews: Dr Organic, Garnier & Deborah Milano

I've recently been making an effort to get through some of the mountain of samples I seem to have amassed from origins unknown, and thought it'd be a good idea to share some of my thoughts on my blog - along with whether I'd buy the full-sized product! So, here are the first six samples I've used up!
Six Samples 1
Pantene Pro V 2 Minute Deep Repair Masque I got two uses from this and did like it; it left my hair feeling soft and hydrated. I don't think it's something I'll buy a full-size of though, just because I have three hair masks I'm using already and if I wanted something of a similar price I'd probably repurchase Tresemmé Keratin Smooth Mask.
Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo I have so much hair that this 5ml sample wasn't nearly enough to wash my hair even once, so I ended up having to use some of my regular shampoo with it. Because of that, it's difficult to say whether I liked it or not, but it is something I'd consider buying in the future - but only because it's something I wanted to try previously, not on the basis of the sample.
Dr Organic Virgin Olive Oil Day Cream This was far too heavy as a day cream for my oily skin, but I did quite like it as a night cream - it got used this way, but it's not something I'd repurchase.
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream in 'Light' I've had a few sample sachets of Garnier's BB Cream now and have quite liked it; it gives a reasonable coverage and matched my skin quite nicely. It didn't last too long on my skin, although with powder over it it lasts as well as most foundations. I'd maybe buy it for light make-up days but it's not something I'd use on a daily basis.
The Smim Radiating Moisturizing Cream I had this for ages and wasn't really sure what it was but when I looked at the packaging properly, it became apparent that it was a moisturiser. It was actually really lovely to use, light with a pleasant citrussy scent which didn't linger but made it nice to apply. It left my skin soft and ready for makeup, and brightened nicely as well which I think is due to the pearlescent texture of the cream. This seems to be going for about £16 for 60ml on eBay, which is quite a good price and it is something I'd consider buying.
Deborah Milano 5 in 1 BB Cream This came as a sample with the Shine Creator Lipstick I was sent, and whilst I liked it (and it smelt amazing!) it was a bit too dark for me in the shade I received, which was '02 Beige'. I'd like to try this in a lighter shade.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Do you have a Sample Mountain like me?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Review: Korres Sage & Salicylic Acid Cleansing Gel

I decided to spend some of my ASOS vouchers which I won from etailPR's Shopcade competition on trying out some products that I normally wouldn't really be able to justify spending the money on; one of these was Korres Sage & Salicylic Acid Regulating Cleansing Gel For Oily Skin - whew that's a product name and a half! Since I suffer from extremely oily skin, I was drawn in by the promise of regulated sebum production and excess oiliness. I'm sorry about these photos, we had an extremely dark and cloudy few days and nothing I did seemed to make them any better..
Review Korres Sage & Salicylic Acid Cleansing Gel
I like the outer packaging, which is a white cardboard box with information in both Greek and English - not much use to me but I do like Greek letters! It has plenty of product information as well as an impressive list of ingredients it doesn't contain, including SLS, Mineral Oil, Parabens and Petrolatum/Paraffin, all things I try to avoid for the sake of my eczema. The full ingredients list is found on the bottom of the box. The bottle contained within the box is a tall, brown number with a flip-cap and a white label showing you the product information again, although no ingredients list which is a shame as I don't tend to keep outer packaging.
I'm not a massive fan of the bottle itself, and feel it would benefit from a pump, as the gel is quite runny and it's very easy to pour too much out into your hand, especially whilst the bottle is quite full. I tend to use around a 10p-coin-sized amount on damp hands, which I then massage into damp skin. It has a botanical scent, you can definitely smell the sage, and it is quite noticeable so may be off-putting to some. As you massage the gel into your face, it turns white and begins to foam ever so slightly, which I was initially worried would dry my skin out, but it doesn't seem to have done so. It does, however, leave my skin feeling soft and clean, which obviously I love! I'm not sure if I'd use this as a sole cleanser for removing make-up, but as a second cleanse following my Una Brennan Super Facialist Cleansing Oil, or for mornings, it's lovely and definitely a product I'll consider repurchasing.
Korres Sage & Salicylic Acid Cleansing Gel Review
So what about the oil-regulation? I'm thrilled to say, I have actually noticed a difference in my skin from using this product! Normally, if I'm not wearing make-up, my skin will begin to show a shine within an hour of washing, and within three hours my nose and forehead look like an oil slick. After washing my face with this of a morning, that just doesn't happen - by lunchtime, my skin has a very slight shine on the forehead and nose, of less than the standard I'd usually have after an hour or so. With make-up to help control the shine further, I really feel like I can get a full day's wear of almost-matte skin from this product - which really is remarkable for me and I'm so happy! I'd definitely, without hesitation recommend Korres Sage & Salicylic Acid Cleansing Gel to anyone who struggles with oily skin, it's a game-changer for me and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it works with my skin over the longer-term.
Korres Sage & Salicylic Acid Regulating Cleansing Gel doesn't seem to be available from ASOS any longer, but you can purchase it from FeelUnique, Lookfantastic or Debenhams; it has an RRP of £13 for 250ml of product, which I think will last really well considering how little I need to use!
Have you tried any of Korres' skincare? Do you have any recommendations? Do you have any "game changer" products that make a huge difference to your skin?
Remember to check out Sophie Jane, my Featured Blogger for the month, for lots of lovely reviews, recipes, and lifestyle posts.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Review: Deborah Milano Natural Blush in 'Cherry'*

I've previously reviewed a Deborah Milano Shine Creator Lipstick, so I was thrilled when I was asked if I'd like to try another of the brand's products, and after some deliberation chose the Natural Blush in shade 5 'Cherry'*. According to the website, "Natural blush is enriched with precious gem dust: Amethyst, Mother of Pearl, Coral, Tourmaline, Amber, Jade and Ruby. Precious gems are bursting with the minerals and trace elements that skin needs, and are especially gentle on sensitive skin types. The unique formula blends flawlessly into the skin, leaving a luminous matte finish that lasts and lasts."
Deborah Milano Natural Blush Shade 5 Cherry
My first impressions of the packaging are split; on the one hand, I like the unusual shape and the pretty rippled effect in the powder itself. The clear plastic lid makes it easy to see which shade you have, and the packaging feels fairly resilient so I'd be confident travelling with it. However, the dark brown colour of the plastic just feels a little bit outdated to me - I'd have preferred something black, white, or chrome. Obviously, that's just personal preference and it does the job so I can't really complain! The compact also contains a small brush which I wouldn't use to apply the blusher to be honest - if I didn't have a proper blusher brush, I'd probably use my fingers over the brush provided as it's just too small. I think this is the case with most brushes included in similar products and isn't really something that bothers me, I just don't use the brush.
Deborah Milano Natural Blush Cherry Swatch
The blusher itself is lovely, really well pigmented, with only the tiniest amount needed to give a lovely flush of colour. It blends reasonably easily, although if you're too heavy handed it would take some working out! I think this is a shade that would work for most people; I'm really pale and it's quite striking on me, on darker skins it would be a more subtle but still pretty pop of colour.
Deborah Milano Natural Blush Cherry
[Also wearing: Natural Collection Shine Away Foundation in 'Porcelain';
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer in 'Light'; Collection Loose Powder; Elizabeth Arden
 Pure Finish Highlighter; MUA Pro-Brow Palette; Avon Super Extend Eye Accents Mascara
in 'Black Steel'; Collection Extreme 24-Hour Felt Tip Liner in 'Black';
Accessorize Lipstick in 'Vintage Rose']
You can buy Deborah Milano Natural Blush direct from the brand's website, priced at £6.90 for , and it's available in six shades so there should be something for everyone!
Have you tried any Deborah Milano products? What do you think of this blusher? Which is your favourite shade from the site?

[Please note this item was received as a PR sample for honest review. As always, all thoughts are my own.]
This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

OOTD: Flocked Skater Dress*

Please don't fall off your seat in shock. I know it's been a long, long time since this blog featured anything resembling an OOTD, and I doubt they're going to become regular features, but when Joe Browns got in touch and asked if I'd like a preview of their Autumn/Winter collection, I simply couldn't say no. I've loved the Joe Browns brand for around ten years now, have bought numerous items from them over the years, and really love their whole ethos. So, here are some not-very-good snaps of me in the beautiful Flocked Skater Dress in Grey/Black* - yes, I am aware I've beheaded myself in the best photo, and no, I didn't mean to. I really need a tripod!
Joe Browns Flocked Skater Dress OOTD
Joe Browns Flocked Skater Dress
A bargain at just £39.99, this is a lovely, heavy fabric which feels like great quality and will keep you warm as the weather turns cooler. It's the perfect length for me, falling to just above the knee (although I do have very short legs, so it may be a little shorter on someone with normally-proportioned limbs!) and is just so comfortable and flattering to wear.
I asked for a size ten without knowing what I was being sent, and I have to admit to being a little worried when I saw how unstretchy the fabric is, as similar styles have ended up looking a little weird and distorted across the chest in the past. I needn't have worried, it fits like it was made for me; this is unusual as anything that fits right on my boobs is generally huge around the waist, but there we have it. The hidden zip makes the dress easy to put on, and the skirt is lovely and twirly - a proper princess dress, as my stepdaughter would put it. The flocked design is just gorgeous, and the washing instructions are easy and clear, which is another bonus! I teamed it with some ballet pumps from River Island which I bought last year, and black tights, seen below - not very exciting but I think the dress is pretty enough that it's best worn simply! I also loved the pretty tag - it's the little things!
OOTD Joe Browns Flocked Skater Dress
This dress is also available in a plum colour, which looks equally stunning. Whichever colour you prefer, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Flocked Skater Dress, and Joe Browns in general - I've never had anything less than excellent customer service from them, they offer free returns, and have a wonderful range of men's and women's clothing, as well as gifts.
Have you ever purchased anything from Joe Browns? How would you style this dress? Do you prefer the Grey & Black style I have, or the Plum colour?

[Please note this item was sent to me free of charge. This does not affect my opinion in any way; it really is just a gorgeous dress!]
This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

NOTD: Black & White

I've been trying to get back into a little bit of Nail Art lately, including a Rose Nail Art tutorial (broken link removed) over on Cas's blog Serenity of Beauty, as well as a Rainbow Polka Dots Nail Art tutorial (broken link removed) for Marijke at Viva Coco. Please do have a peek and leave a comment if you like what you see - and do check out Cas and Marijke's blogs, they're two very lovely ladies! By the way, I seem to get a lot of questions about my nails (ie, are they real?), so much so that I have a post over on PVBDaily about how I look after my nails (broken link removed); please do have a read if you'd like to know more!
Today I've got some Black & White themed nail art to share. I started with OPI Nail Envy as a base coat, followed by 2-3 coats of Models Own 'Snow White' on all nails - I really don't like this polish, it's so streaky and dries unevenly, but it's the only white polish I have and I'm trying to use it up! I then applied two coats of Barry M's Confetti Effects polish in 'Liquorice' to one nail, and two coats of L'Oreal Confetti Topcoat to another. On the remaining three nails, I used my Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black to do pinstriped, polka dot and a tribal design. I finished with a coat of Seche Vite to seal everything in nicely, smooth over the glitter, and give a glossy shine to my nails. I'm really happy with how these turned out and think they look quite unusual. My pinstripes are a little bit wonky but other than that I don't think I did a bad job ;D
NOTD Nail Art Black & White
NOTD Black & White Nail Art

What do you think? Do you like nail art, or do you prefer a plain and simple nail colour?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Review: Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Face Mask

I received the Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Face Mask as a magazine freebie in around April and honestly, completely neglected it until fairly recently as I didn't feel like hydration was something my skin was lacking; it's easy to forget that oily skin needs hydration too, and I wish I'd started using this sooner!
Aromatherapy Associates Rose Hydrating Face Mask Review
Described as "Moisturising and renewing", the Rose Face Masks claims to be suitable for all skin types.
The packaging is a nice, simple white tube with a screw cap, and gold and blue writing. According to the back of the tube, this is "A deeply hydrating mask to restore vital moisture to dry skin. Aloe vera and sodium hyaluronate, renowned for their hydrating properties, are combined with rose water, distilled from Bulgarian roses, in a cooling, transparent mask to bring radiance and vitality to dry complexions." From that description, it's easy to see why I wrote it off, but I actually agree with the claim that it's suitable for oily skin too (obviously I can't say for all skin types, as I don't have all skin types!) The directions instruct you to "Apply to face and neck after exfoliation, leave for ten minutes, then rinse off with warm water."
Ingredients Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Face Mask
Ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Benzyl Alcohol, 
Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, 
Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate.
The inclusion of Benzyl Alcohol (a preservative) seems a bit odd in a product aimed at dry skin, since alcohol does dry the skin out, but other than the ingredients list seems friendly enough to me.
The mask itself is a transparent, colourless gel which is easy to dispense from the tube and spreads nicely over the skin, leaving a cooling sensation. It has a beautiful rose scent; I'm not one for rose-scented products but this really is lovely! The mask leaves the skin slightly sticky to begin with but as it dries, it sinks in beautifully, leaving no residue behind. Although the instructions suggest ten minutes, I often leave this on for longer than that whilst watching a film, and I imagine you could leave it on overnight with no problems as once it's dry, you wouldn't know it's there at all. It's really easy to remove, I just use a muslin cloth soaked in warm water to rub it off, rinse and repeat to be sure of having removed all traces. My skin is left soft, smooth and glowing; it really does bring radiance and vitality to the skin, as well as hydrating beautifully to plump up the skin without leaving it oily or greasy. It might be aimed predominantly at dry skin, but other skin types can definitely benefit from this mask!
Hydrating Rose Face Mask Review Aromatherapy Associates
Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Face Mask is available to purchase direct from the Aromatherapy Associates online store, priced at £36 for 100ml, or I've also found it on FeelUnique for the same price, and LookFantastic at £34.50 for 100ml. I do think it's quite expensive, but it works well to really hydrate and brighten the skin, and is definitely a product I'll consider repurchasing once I have a steady income.
Have you tried this face mask, or any other Aromatherapy Associates products? Do you try products aimed at skin types other than your own?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Wishlist: Autumn Knitwear

Summer is definitely my favourite season in terms of the weather, but for fashion I'm an Autumn lover through and through - lovely boots, deep colours and gorgeous cosy knits are some of my favourite things! I've put together a few of my favourite knitwear pieces for today's wishlist post, and I have to say Matalan have some right gems at the moment. I always love Matalan's ranges for really affordable basics as well as some more unusual pieces, and they're not letting me down this season!
Autumn Knitwear
1. Red Textured Sheep Motif Knitted Jumper, £19.99, New Look
2. Wool Blend Cable Jumper, £22, Matalan
3. Grey Stripe V-Neck Boyfriend Jumper, £28, River Island
4. Burnt Orange Honeycomb Stitch Boyfriend Cardigan, £19.99, New Look
5. Wool Blend Cable Cardigan, £22, Matalan
6. Cream Floral Print Jumper, £14.99, New Look
7. Super Soft Sweatshirt, £10, Matalan
8. Black Oversized Fluffy Knit, £34, In Love With Fashion
[Broken links removed, apologies for any inconvenience caused.]
I love the super-cute sheep on #1 and have it in mind as a Christmas gift for a friend. Cable knit is always a classic and both #2 and #5 look so lovely and cosy, ideal for boots and skinny jeans for a shopping trip, or just to keep you cosy around the house. Stripes are another place you can't go wrong in my opinion, #3 has this down perfectly in a comfy boyfriend fit. Another oversized cardigan at #4, and a perfect colour for Autumn as well, I just love this! #6 shows that knitwear can still be pretty and girly with its delicate floral print, also available in a blue print on white which looks equally lovely. A bright pop of colour is always welcome on dull, drizzly days, and that's exactly what #7 will give! And finally, #8 made the list based on cosyness alone; I'm not actually a massive fan of these fluffy-looking jumpers but man, I bet they're warm!
Which are your favourites? What's on your knitwear wishlist this Autumn? How do you like to keep warm and cosy as the weather gets cooler?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Review: Super Facialist Skin Renew Cleansing Oil

The Super Facialist by Úna Brennan range was on offer as I was browsing Boots recently, and looking for a new cleanser with a gift voucher to spend, I picked up the Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil. Despite its absurdly long name, this sounded like a lovely little product, claiming to, "Reveal radiantly clear, thoroughly cleansed skin."
Una Brennan Skin Renew Cleansing Oil Review
Presented in a clear plastic bottle with white writing and a white screw cap, this looks clean and minimalist. The label on the back of the bottle claims, "The ultimate cleansing experience for fresher, more revived skin starts with this unique lightweight cleansing oil. Infused with Vitamin C and nourishing Olive, Grapeseed and Rosehip oils, this highly soluble oil transforms itself, upon contact with water, into a light milky texture. Boosted with Rosemary oil, Vitamin E and soothing Cucumber oil, it gently dissolves face and eye make-up and removes daily impurities. Skin is left cleansed, refreshed and softer to the touch." Sounds pretty good, huh? I've been hearing a lot about Rosehip Oil lately so was pleased to see it listed on the ingredients list, along with Vitamins C and E and a whole host of other lovely-sounding oils.
Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, Olea europaea (Olive) fruit oil, 
Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed oil, Laureth-$, PEG-7, glyceryl cocoate, 
Rubus idaeus (Raspberry) seed oil, Parfum, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Sweet orange) 
peel oil, Passiflora edulis (Passionflower) seed oil, Rosa Eglentaria (Rosehip) seed oil, 
Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) seed oil, Tocopheryl acetate, 
Citral, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene.
Super Facialist Skin Renew Cleansing Oil Ingredients
The directions suggest that you, "Dispense onto hands and massage gently into the face. Add warm water to transform oil into a milky lotion and rinse off. Do not add water until ready to rinse off. Use as part of a double cleanse routine, and follow with a facial cleanser." It also claims to be suitable for all skin types, although recommends a patch test be carried out on sensitive skin.
My first thought is that although I like the packaging, I'd really like to see a pump dispenser, as it's almost impossible to "dispense onto hands" without getting oil everywhere, particularly whilst the bottle is full. I've found the best way is to hold the bottle flush against my palm, invert, and use what's left on my hand from this to massage into my skin, repeating to get a little more product if necessary. The first thing that hits you upon unscrewing the cap is the scent; a beautiful citrus scent which I'm inclined to think comes from the Orange Peel Oil, I absolutely love it, but it may be too strong if you're not a fan of heavily scented products. I haven't found it to irritate my skin at all, although it is rare for me to react to scents.
Super Facialist Skin Renew Cleansing Oil Review
The oil is extremely easy to massage into the skin, which feels like a luxurious treat and has honestly made me look forward to removing my make-up of an evening. You can see the oil becoming discoloured as you work it around the face, and upon adding a little water it emulsifies easily into a milky liquid (shown below) which is quick and simple to rinse off. I've been following this with my Korres Cleansing Gel (which I'll be reviewing very soon!) to remove all last traces of makeup and dirt from my skin, and have found this pairing absolutely ideal for my oily, blemish-prone skin; my skin is left soft and clean, without being stripped of its natural moisture, as well as looking brighter, smoother and clearer. I definitely agree with the claims of radiance and brightening, as my skin can look dull despite being oily, but this just hasn't been a problem since the very first use. I wouldn't like to attribute the reduction in blemishes to this alone as I have recently switched my contraceptive pill and also started using the Korres Cleansing Gel, but whatever it is about this combination, my skin is currently very happy!
Review Una Brennan Skin Renew Cleansing Oil
Overall, this is a lovely pre-cleanse product and definitely one I'd recommend to anyone who likes to follow a double cleansing routine. On that note, everyone should be double-cleansing; the difference it's made to my skin has been amazing and it's a little bit depressing to note how much you can remove even with the second cleanse - all dirt and grime that you'd previously just have left on your face! The oil smells gorgeous, feels really luxurious to use, and will last well as you literally only need a tiny amount for the whole face. I'd recommend it in particular to people with oily skin like mine; I know it feels counter-intuitive to put oil on oily skin but trust me, it works!
Super Facialist by Úna Brennan Skin Renew Cleansing Oil is available from Boots instore and online, priced at £10.99 for 200ml, thought it was 1/3 off when I bought mine at £7.99.
Have you tried the Skin Renew Cleansing Oil, or any other products from the Super Facialist range? Do you have any recommendations for me? Do you double-cleanse, or is your skin lucky if it sees a facewipe of an evening?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Monday, 9 September 2013

NOTD: Rose Nail Art

Today's NOTD is a little bit of nail art - I've been really slacking on the nail art front lately, and wanted to get back into it. I really love how these roses turned out, and I actually have a tutorial (broken link removed) on how I achieved them over on Cas's blog, Serenity of Beauty, so please pop over and have a read if you want to find out how to do these!
Rose Nail Art NOTD
Products used:
OPI Nail Envy
ELF 'Mint Cream'
ELF 'Berry Pink'
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine 'Pomegranate'
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine 'Greenberry'
Seche Vite
I hope you like my rose nail art, and please do head on over to Cas's blog to have a peek at the tutorial! I'd love to see your attempts if you decide to give this a go.
Have you ever tried rose nail art? What colours would you use?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Wishlist: Autumn Boots

Now almost a week into September, it's definitely time to start thinking about our Autumn wardrobes here in the UK! An integral part of Autumn fashion is the ever-practical boot, keeping your feet warm and dry whilst still looking good. There are so many nice boots around this season, here are just a few of my favourites!
Autumn Boots Wish List
1. Black Leather High Leg Boots, £64.99, New Look
2. Mustang Wedge Boots, £70, Zalando
3. Transit Stud Western Ankle Boots, £55, Barratts
4. White & Black Block Heel Chelsea Boot, £28, Lavish Alice
5. Rocket Dog Creeper Style Floral Calf Boots, £50, Barratts
[Broken links removed, apologies for any inconvenience caused.]
#1 and #2 would both be easy to dress up or down for office or causal wear, with dresses, skirts or trousers. Black is more flexible and would go with anything, but I really like tan boots in Autumn! The studded straps on the Barratts boots are just gorgeous and ideal for adding a tougher edge to any outfit. I've never been sure about Chelsea boots, but these white ones with block heels are something a little different and they look really comfy. And finally, I'm a little bit obsessed with the floral print of the Rocket Dog Creepers; they'd be perfect teamed with skinny jeans and an oversized jumper in maroon - cosy!
Which are your favourite pair? Will you be buying some new boots this Autumn? What's your preferred style of boot?

[PS, I also have a little guest post up over on Viva Coco today, have a peek to see my Rainbow Polka Dot Nail Art Tutorial! - broken link removed.]
This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Tag: The One And Only

Today, I've decided to answer the questions from the 'One And Only' tag, created by Angelica over at One Little Vice. So, here we go.
The Question: If you could only have one ______ what would it be? And, in a few words, why?
The One And Only beauty blogger makeup tag

The Body Shop's Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, which is the best primer I've tried as well as one of the least expensive. I really like that it feels like it's good for my skin rather than just filling my pores in with silicon.
Base Product
This is a tough one as I don't feel like I've found a foundation I really love. The best one I've tried is probably Miss Sporty Stay Matte so I'll go with that, as it matches my skintone well, lasts reasonably well and provides a good level of coverage.
Is it cheating to choose Soap & Glory's Kick-Ass Concealer? It's two shades of concealer plus a powder to seal with, so it's great for both dark circles and blemishes, and the shade 'Light' matches my skin perfectly!
Collection's Loose Powder. Easy one for me as it's the only powder I've ever repurchased and I don't see myself straying from it in the near future.
Blush (cream or powder)
This is a difficult one as well, but for a different reason - I have a lot of blushers, and I love most of them. I think I'll have to go for my George at Asda Shimmer Me! in 'Heaven Sent' as it consists of five shades which could be used individually, or swirled together, making it a bit more versatile than a solid shade.
I don't use bronzer, so I'll skip this one!
Hmm. This is another difficult one, I think I'm going to go for Benefit Sun Beam because it's lovely both mixed in with moisturiser or foundation for an all-over glow, or applied to the browbones and cheekbones for a little bit of sculpting.
Make-Up Brush (single)
Definitely my Real Techniques powder brush - everything else I can apply with fingers when push comes to shove, but I couldn't skip powder and can't imagine trying to apply it with my fingers!
Eyebrow Product
MUA's Pro Brow Kit does the job for me!
Eye shadow (single)
I hate this question! I love my eyeshadows, how can I choose just one? I think I'm going to go for Urban Decay 'Half Baked' as it's lovely both as a liner to really brighten the eyes up, and all over the lids for a pretty shimmery look.
Stila Smudge Stick in 'Damsel', which is a lovely dark brown. It's a really soft, smooth liner which applies beautifully and smudges out nicely, can be used both on the waterline and the lashline, it lasts well, and I prefer dark brown to black liner as it looks a little less harsh.
Soap & Glory's Thick & Fast mascara is my ultimate favourite so I'm going to go with that.
Lipstick, Lip Gloss or Lip Stain
Um, Collection Lasting Colour lipstick in 'Sweet Tart', a lovely blue-toned pink which I think is my favourite lipstick.
Lip Liner
I don't use lip liner, either, so I'll skip this one.
Lip Balm
The Body Shop's Coconut Lip Butter. Yum!
Nail Polish
This is another horrible question. I really have no idea. Maybe Barry M's 'Greenberry' from their Gelly Hi-Shine range, as it's a lovely glossy blue-green which is great for both fingers and toes, and would work with most outfits I think.

So they're my choices! Have you done the One and Only tag? Link me up if so, I'd love to see what you've chosen. I'm tagging Rach, Amy and Jennie to complete this tag, but feel free to use the questions even if I haven't tagged you - just remember to link back to Angelica!

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Recipe: Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

Creamy Lemon & Chicken Pasta Recipe
I've been craving something creamy and lemony for a few weeks, so I finally threw this together one evening last week. I loved it, so much so I made it again on Saturday evening whilst my boyfriend was away, but he reckoned it was a little too lemony - as if such a thing exists! Because the chicken and vegetables are almost poached in the lemon juice, they're really tender and flavourful. The recipe below is for one person, but obviously you can easily multiply it to serve more people.
Creamy Lemon & Chicken Pasta Recipe 1
Creamy Lemon & Chicken Pasta Recipe 2
Start by dicing a chicken breast, placing in a bowl, and covering with lemon juice - the bottled variety is fine! Leave to marinate at room temperature for an hour. Dice half an onion, 2-3 mushrooms, and half a pepper (I used orange, but any colour would work equally well).
Creamy Lemon & Chicken Pasta Recipe 4
Creamy Lemon & Chicken Pasta Recipe 3
Add a tablespoon of oil to a frying pan, add the chopped veg, the chicken and the lemon juice marinade, and fry gently over a medium heat. Crush two small garlic cloves and add those to the pan. I'll admit I added another couple of tablespoons of lemon juice here, which may be where the "too lemony" claims arose from..
Meanwhile, cook 75g dry weight of pasta in a pan of stock with 1tbsp of lemon juice, according to the pack instructions - usually 10-12 minutes. I used spaghetti but you can use whatever type you have/prefer. Drain once cooked.
Creamy Lemon & Chicken Pasta Recipe 5
Once your chicken is cooked through and your vegetables are soft, transfer to the saucepan with the pasta, and add around 75ml of double cream (depending how creamy you'd like your pasta to be!) Stir thoroughly and heat gently for a couple of minutes to bring your pasta back up to temperature and heat the cream up.
Creamy Lemon & Chicken Pasta Recipe 7
This is a lovely, comforting meal which fills you right up and I can see myself making it again and again, whenever there is cream in the house! If you have a non-lemon-lover like I do, you could always half the amount of lemon juice, serve their meal first, then stir in a little more juice before serving your own.
Do you like lemon flavours like I do? Do you believe there's such a thing as "too lemony"?!

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Introducing: Tara's Talons

Today I have a little interview with the lovely Tara of Tara's Talons for you. Tara runs a nail art blog (broken link removed) as well as making a huge range of gorgeous nail polishes, which you can see on her website (broken link removed) or purchase in her Etsy (broken link removed) and Folksy (broken link removed) stores. I'd also recommend following Tara on Twitter (broken link removed) as she really is lovely to have a chat to. Personally, I can't wait until I finally get a job and can purchase a few of her pretties - so many to choose from!
Tara's Talons Nail Art
What's Tara's Talons all about? What do you do?
What made you decide to start making and selling polish?
Did you own any indies before you started making polish? Which ones?
TarasTalons started in 2012 as a blog about nails which I was doing while I looked into doing nail courses to become a nail tech. While I was getting into the blogging community I fell in love with indie brands but having just taken voluntary redundancy and paying for courses I couldn't really justify the shipping and customs charges so I started looking for UK brands and came up against a brick wall. I spent months doing research, spending my redundancy pay ;) and practising making polishes, and fell in love with doing it. I announced I was going to start my own brand of indie polish and got a massively positive reaction! It was around a year from me researching everything to actually releasing a collection. My first collection of polishes was limited edition with only 10 of each polishes and since then I have only created one off and custom polishes! I love creating something unique and affordable and that's why I recently started doing 5ml bottles as well as 10ml bottles!
I think that paragraph actually answered the first three questions haha! I do ramble when I'm talking about something I'm so passionate about! Sorry!
Tara's Talons Nail Art
What's your favourite thing about the polish-making process?
My favourite thing about the polish making process a hard one because I enjoy it all! Even the boring/repetitive bit like spending hours putting agitators balls in bottles and then collecting up the ones I've dropped ;) I really enjoy seeing what I've created and having people say they like it, it really makes my day and I keep all my feedback and pictures and comments on my phone :)
Tara's Talons Tranquility from Etsy
How do you come up with ideas for colours and collections?
My ideas for colours and collections come from so many places! My phone, my diary and my notebook are always full of scribbled notes! Sometimes I get a colour idea first and a collection comes from it, sometimes I get a name or theme first, my brain is very random! Everything inspired me though, from a dessert in a restaurant, a dress someone is wearing in the supermarket or a film I love. My collections have varied wildly! There was a childhood collection based on everything I loved in my childhood, a songs collection, mythical collection, sweet treats, Criminal Minds, Romy and Michelle's high school reunion and many more! Since the 1st of April 2013 I've released 36 collections and 24 duos!
Tara's Talons Polish is Thicker Than Water from Etsy
What's been your favourite polish you've ever made?
I love all my polishes and hate choosing a favourite ;) but when I'm asked I always have to say 'Clowning around' which was part of my first collection because it was the first polish I made!
If you could sum up your shop in five words, what would they be?
To sum up my shop in 5 words I'd say unique, affordable, fun, sparkly and random!

Tara has also very kindly offered up a discount code for readers; to get 10% off any order in her Etsy shop (broken link removed), just enter the code 'JUSTJESS' at checkout - there's no expiry date for this code and no minimum spend! If you do place an order, I'd love to know what you choose! At just £6.50 for 10ml bottles, and £3.50 for 5ml, there's really no excuse for not picking up something gorgeous and exclusive. I'm seriously in love with Polish is Thicker Than Water (shown above; broken link removed) so hands off that one!
Have you heard of Tara's Talons before? Are you as amazed as I am at how creative Tara is!?

[Please note all images in this post are c/o Tara's Talons and link to their original source]
This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Review | PhytoKeratine Ultra-Repairing Hair Mask

I was lucky enough to win this PhytoKeratine Ultra-Repairing Mask from FeelUnique on their Twitter a few weeks ago, and was super excited to receive it and give it a go, particularly as it's free of silicon unlike my beloved Tresemme Keratin Smooth Masque and the ever-popular Macadamia Deep Repair Mask, both of which I've reviewed previously.
PhytoKeratine Ultra-Repairing Mask Review 2
Produced by French brand Phyto, the Ultra-Repairing Mask for weakened, damaged hair boasts ingredients including botanical keratin, hyaluronic acid complex, ceramides, and pomegranate extract, claiming to offer, "Healthy and beautiful hair through plants." I take exception to this statement because, since hair is dead, no product on earth will make it healthy. It's dead. However, healthy-looking and beautiful hair is something we all crave, so I was still keen to give it a go. The box is lovely, expensive-looking silver card with the ingredients printed on the bottom, and some information and directions on the side:
"The ultimate deep conditioning treatment for intense repair, this luxurious mask restores body, elasticity, and lustre to the most weakened, damaged hair. Botanical keratine, injected deep into the hair fibre, rebuilds its inner core. The synergy of two breakthrough hyaluronic acids helps hair achieve maximum hydration by attracting and retaining moisture, while working on the surface to plump the hair. Ceramides smooth and repair the hair's outer layer at all levels of hair erosion. Replenished, hair regains its suppleness, silkiness and strength. Directions for use: After shampooing, apply product on damp or towel-dried hair. Fine to medium textured hair: Apply a small amount of products from lengths to ends. Leave on for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Coarse and very dry hair: Apply a quarter-size amount of product from lengths to ends. Leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly."
Review PhytoKeratine Ultra-Repairing Mask
On opening the box, I have to say I was disappointed by the cheap-looking screw-top plastic container; when you're spending £20+ on a hair mask, I'd expect something a little fancier looking. That said, it's what inside that really matters, so I tried not to let the packaging put me off too much and was still keen to give it a go. The packaging redeems itself slightly by having an inner foil seal, which I always like as it reassures you about the hygiene of the product, and the logo on the top of the lid is a nice touch too. The mask itself is quite thick in texture, creamy yellow in colour, and lightly scented; nothing you can put your finger on, just a pleasant, clean, salon type of smell. It has an almost gel-like texture when you scoop it out of the pot, and spreads easily through towel-dried hair. I leave it for around ten minutes, generally, whilst I shave my legs and that sort of thing, before rinsing out with cool water, which doesn't take too much effort.
PhytoKeratine Ultra-Repairing Mask Review
Once my hair is dry, I have noticed that it looks a lot smoother than before using the mask, and it feels softer too. My dry ends are decidedly less dry, and my split ends don't look as bad. However, it does feel like there's a slight residue on the lengths of my hair, despite rinsing thoroughly. It doesn't make my hair feel limp or greasy so I can't complain too much, but just a point to consider. I feel like the results last for one wash after use, but after the second wash I can't really notice a difference; I've only been using the mask once a week for three weeks, so this might improve in time, but for now I'm quite happy with the results as I usually only wash my hair three times a week anyway, which means it spends more than half the week looking nicer than usual!
Overall, I do feel like this mask has definite benefits for my hair, leaving it smoother, softer and sleeker, but for me it's beyond my budget and not something I'm likely to repurchase in the near future. If I had the money to spare, this is something I could see myself adding into my routine to use on a weekly basis.
PhytoKeratine Ultra-Repairing Mask is available from FeelUnique, priced at £22 for 200ml.
Have you tried Phyto's Hair Mask? What's your favourite deep treatment for your hair?

This month's Featured Blogger is Sophie Jane - have a peek at her lovely blog for reviews, recipes, and more!
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