All Posts, Haircare, Moroccanoil, Uncategorized

Haircare series: Oils #2 – LOreal Elvive Extraordinary oil for All Hair types 100ml

LOreal Elvive Extraordinary oil for All Hair types 100ml, £9.99

This oil is similar in to the original Morrocanoil I reviewed but lighter in texture. I haven’t tried the lighter version of the Morrocanoil, so can’t comment there – though it is on my next to purchase when I have finished my current bottle.

How I apply this: I take half a pump and warm through my hands and apply to wet hair from chin-level down – due to breakout paranoia. I can also use this as a smoothing product for fly-aways after blow drying, something I couldn’t do with Morrocanoil.

How I have got on: this oil gives my hair the best finish after blow drying. It makes my hair more manageable and tidy looking, BUT I have noticed more and more static in my hair lately, so switched back to Moroccanoil for wet hair, L’oreal for dry and problem solved… so not sure what that’s all about as ingredient-wise these two are similar. I am quite liking this combo for now, though I do feel a little high maintenance with the number of hair oils alone occupying my bathroom shelf at minute … lol.

Other hair oils I have tried are Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy, Charles Worthington Salon Miracle Repair Elixir Oil, Alterna Bamboo Kendi Dry Oil Mist, Bumble & bumble Hairdressers invisible oil, Josie Maran Argan oil hair serum; all of which will be included in this series.

I can happily use this as a light finishing oil for now, as in the winter months with central heating etc it helps to keep my hair looking smooth, although with it being problematic for wet hair I don’t think I personally will be repurchasing this one as I have achieved better results with other products.

Have you tried this? If so, what did you think? I would love to hear your comments and suggestions!

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All Posts, Brands, Elizabeth Arden, Skincare

Skincare series: Brand #2 – #ElizabethArden

I have been using this brand’s products for 7+ years, as you can see I have added bits over the years but what sparked my initial interest in Elizabeth Arden was their 8 hour balm – I first purchased this on a ferry trip 7 or so years ago to France in the duty-free store 🙂 . I have repurchased this balm 4 times now, original fragranced tubes and fragrance free version, plus added plain & tinted balm sticks, and they make great gifts, too (my mum loves this now and I often get gwp travel sizes that I have passed on to my sister – she isn’t a fan of the exfoliating nature of the balm so only uses this at night).

Here’s a list of my Elizabeth Arden skincare arsenal, a little information about the products, my experiences and thoughts so far (and for the record, I have Combination, Sensitive, Clog-prone skin with pigmentation from blemishes and dryness on cheeks… It’s a mouthful, I know):

Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Fragrance-Free 

“This fragrance free version of the legendary skincare classic works wonders to moisturise and protect anytime, anyway you choose. Shape brows, revitalise shine, soothe dry hands and smooth cuticles and nails. Also for symptoms of chapping, peeling or flaking due to minor burns, sunburn, windburn, scrapes, abrasions or cracked lips. No wonder it’s loved by makeup artists all around the world.” (elizabetharden.co.uk) Available at boots.com for £18.

I use this on dry areas, such as lips, cuticles, elbows, to smooth eyebrows, and on dry areas on my face – if I am going away I’ll mix a little with my moisturiser before the flight and it stops my skin getting excessively dried out. I love love love this and cannot imagine using anything else. I often layer this on top/underneath a very drying lipstick (sometimes colour wins over formulation…), or on top of a lip liner for a paired down weekend look and love the comforting feel this give my lips.

Eight Hour Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15

“Elizabeth Arden’s renowned Eight Hour® Cream in a super-protective, portable stick for lips. Enriched with emollients, protective sunscreen and vitamin E.” (elizabetharden.co.uk) Available at boots.com for £20.

This is my on-the-go lip balm, it is expensive for the amount you get but mine, with frequent use, lasts around 6 months, which a regular lip balm cannot do for me. I don’t reapply often throughout the day, maybe twice at most, as my morning application keeps me going until lunchtime. I’ll use this as a base for lipstick in the daytime or a just a plain SPF lip balm – my lips are pigmented enough! I also love the tinted versions of these in Blush and Plum, great for a two in one quick flush of colour (these can be found here at boots.com).

Eight Hour Cream Sun Defence for Face SPF 50 Sunscreen High Protection PA+++

“Provides powerful SPF 50 PA+++ protection to help shield skin against UVA/UVB rays that can cause sunburn, surface skin cell damage and premature signs of ageing. Lightweight, oil-free lotion helps protect your skin from sun exposure while hydrating for up to 8 hours. PABA-free.” (elizabetharden.co.uk) Available at boots.com for £26.

The cream is very thick on application, so I use a toning mist or Avene thermal water mist and apply quickly so that I can blend it in well, it can have a white cast for me if I don’t take time massaging in the product. I really like this as it is the only sun cream that protects my skin from breaking out in rashes from spending a long time outdoors in the sun. I find that if I wait 10 minutes it absorbs better and makes applying makeup easier. It can be a bit much reapplying this on the beach as it is so difficult to blend in, but after a few years of struggling I decided to try out the balm stick and now use that to top up protection on beach holidays – less mess and fuss, plus, more time crafting my sandcastle 🙂 – yay!

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sun Defence Stick for Face SPF 50 High Protection

“Target sensitive, over-exposed areas such as lips, nose, earlobes, even scars to help shield from the burning and ageing effects of UVA and UVB rays for healthier looking skin. This maximum defence, lightweight stick glides on smoothly and invisibly for easy one-handed application. Powerful SPF 50 sunscreen protects against sunburn, surface cell damage and premature signs of ageing. Eight Hour hydrating benefits sooth and smooth for up to 8 hours. Oil-free and PABA-free. Water-resistant and Perspiration-resistant. Non-acnegenic & Non-sticky. Ophthalmologist, clinically and dermatologist tested. Suitable for all skin types. Non-comedogenic.” (Available at boots.com for £15)

As mentioned in my thoughts of the previous product, I use this to top up my sunscreen when I feel I can’t blend in the SPF50 cream I top up my spf protection by slathering this balm all over! It’s give a really fine application

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Gentle Hydrating Toner

“It can be difficult to refine and tone dry skin without causing irritation. But this alcohol-free toner does both beautifully while gently preparing your skin to absorb the vital moisture it needs. Leaves your skin feeling soft, refreshed and resilient. Clinically and dermatologist tested.” (Available at boots.com for £18)

I bought this as a set from Boots, sorry I can’t seem to find the price I paid and it looks like they don’t have this set anymore, and have been enjoying it over the last 5 months. I use the Pixi glow tonic first straight after cleansing and then follow with this. I have found that the dehydration lines that had formed on my forehead have eased a little and now feels less tight. Honestly I haven’t been wowed by this one, and am not sure if I will be repurchasing it, but it is nice to have something work and not cause any issues. I have the Thayers rose water toner lined up next, a break from a product always better shows me if I really just liked something or if I took it for granted, we’ll see if this will be joining the EA-repurchase list.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Hydrating Cream SPF 15

“For those with dry skin, it can be an ongoing struggle to moisturise properly and remove rough, dead skin without causing irritation. We’ve drawn from over 100 years of spa science to create a cream that hydrates gently yet continuously while helping to slough away dead skin and reveal your own smooth, healthy looking skin. Helps your skin maintain its own ideal moisture level and leaves your face feeling fresh and smooth.” (Available at boots.com for £34)

This day cream came in the set with the toner. I have been using this during the winter months and have found it moisturises my skin very well, but I think I prefer the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Daily Moisturiser for Face SPF 15 (£30). This cream gives my skin a nice glow and provides a hydrated base for makeup but I have found during the few warmer days we’ve had here this can look a bit too dewy – eek! I would say this would be better for someone with straight up parched dry skin, as I am combination I find it’s just a tad too much for me now. I would like to try the combination skincare, again – I tried it last year and wasn’t too impressed then – but maybe this is where my skin is at now… will keep trying 🙂

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lift & Firm Eye Cream

“Targets fine lines and crow’s feet to plump, lift and firm the look of skin in the eye area as it minimises the appearance of puffiness and dark circles. Light-weight yet intensive eye care formula. Lifts and firms the look of skin in the eye area for a younger, more rested look. Dark circles appear minimised as it targets puffiness. Delicate skin in the eye area is gently brightened and smoothed. Encapsulated SPF 15 sunscreens provide full spectrum protection without irritation” (Available at boots.com for £40)

I got two of these as gwp samples, I gave one to my Mum and have been using this alone during the daytime as it contains SPF 15. The little tub is just under half the size of the full 15 ml version, and I have got through about 1/3 over the last 2 months. I like this but find it too rich in texture for me and makes my collection 2000 concealer slide around a bit, I will use it up and try to find another SPF eye cream in the meantime.

All in all, as you can see, I have been enamoured with Elizabeth Arden skincare for some time. I am willing to give most of their products a go, as my skin seems to take well to their line and I have never had adverse reactions – *crosses fingers and toes*. I might try their makeup soon, I had a little look last week and saw some intriguing bits.

Have you tried any EA products? If so, which ones? I would love to hear your comments, suggestions and general feedback. Thank you for reading! Follow on Bloglovin

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All Posts, Biologique Recherche, Brands, Skincare

Skincare series: Brand #1 – Biologique Recherche

I have been using this brands’ Lotion P50W 150ml, 43Euro, and Creme Contour Des Yeux VIP O2 30ml, 57Euro, for 3 months now and wanted to post my findings. On recommendation of a facial aesthetician whilst away on holiday, I bought these pricey items after a bit of thought and research online. A description of both products:

“P50 Balancing exfoliator, P50w Lotion Result : gently exfoliates and balances the epidermis. Product description : this is the gentlest exfoliator with a formula rich in anti-inflammatory active ingredients. Direction for use : all over the face, neck and cleavage. Apply to the eye area once or twice a week. The first week: Saturate moistened cotton pads with Lotion P50W and apply to the face, neck and cleavage. Thereafter: Saturate dry cotton pads with the lotion. Remove Lotion P50W with L’Eau.(www.biologique-recherche.com)

“Crème Contour des Yeux VIP O2 Result : smoothes and tones the eye area and reduces bags under the eyes. Product description : this cream’s unique, oxygenating and moisturizing formula combines Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids with the Specific Biologique Recherche Oxygenating Complex to help reduce wrinkles and brighten the gaze. Direction for use : apply a hazelnut-sized amount of Creme. (www.biologique-recherche.com)

My first impression of the P50w was awful, as it has a strong unpleasant scent and stings upon application (I dilute my application with some water to ease the process), needless to say using this felt like work. I know that the effort can pay off in the long term, but I do like to make my skincare enjoyable by choosing products I like smell of – and don’t smell anything like vinegar- and feel good! In comparison the eye cream was pleasant to use, no scent, absorbed into the eye contour area well, and the pump provides just the right amount of product too, unusual for eye cream pump packaging.

How I apply P50w: I take a small cotton round, douse it at close range with Avene thermal spray water, add an equal amount of P50w on top and apply to my face. I let this dry for around a minute and then remove it with a cotton round soaked in water only – my skin is sensitive so I find this is the only way I can avoid irritation, although, as mentioned, one night a week I will leave it on.

VIP o2 eye cream: I use one pump and apply to the contour areas of both eyes and using gentle patting motions with my ring finger until fully absorbed.

My thoughts One change I have seen is that the tone of my skin is more even with use of the P50w, and if I apply and leave it on in the evening my skin literally is glowing in the next morning. Now, I do have to be careful not to use this too much as my skin does get some irritation, but if I use this diluted around 3 evenings a week I have been able to get the same effects without the sting or reaction – yay! Now, I have been given a sample size of the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner which seems to follow the same concept as the P50w, so fingers crossed as the P50w isn’t convincing enough for another 43Euro splurge. But on the bright side, after 3 months use I still have around 1/5 left over (I took the picture, above, some time ago).

The eye cream has discernibly improved the hydration of my skin around the eyes and I have noticed the sunken in circles have lifted and become less harsh – another yay! I still have around half – guessing (!) as the tube is completely opaque, so can’t really tell how much I have left – which is pretty normal, for me eye creams last 3 months, but the quantity of this one is much more generous than eye creams I have purchased in the past (usually 15ml), so that does have me wondering if really this is quite a fair price after all…

Negatives: Price! Scent of the P50w… and not being able to tell how much I have used of the eye cream. The brand is not stocked at many places in the UK.

Positives: The two items I have bought from this brand have performed well and I am happy with the results. I will most likely try to purchase a more affordable eye cream and see if I end up missing the VIP O2 creme, if that happens there is nothing I can do about it, but at the very least I will have tried to please my purse :). On the other hand, as mentioned I will not be missing the P50w lotion, as even after 3 months the scent makes me want to wash my face again (the scent does dissipate after a minute, but as I have a sensitivity to smell it ends up bothering me for longer)

Toner line-up to follow: Clarins, Elizabeth Arden, Thayers & Pixi. Eye cream line-up to follow: Elizabeth Arden, Imedeen, Ole Henrikson & YSL.

Currently Biologique Recherche is available at Liberty of London and E F Medispa. Have you tried the Biologique Recherche line? If so, what did you think? I would love to hear your comments, suggestions for alternative toners & eye creams. Thank you for reading!

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All Posts, Haircare, Moroccanoil, Uncategorized

Haircare series: Oils #1 – MOROCCANOIL treatment 100ml

MORROCANOIL treatment (for all hair types) 100ml, £19.99

“Moroccanoil® Treatment’s versatile, nourishing and residue-free formula can be used as a conditioning, styling and finishing tool. It blends perfectly with other products and even speeds up drying time. This treatment for hair completely transforms and repairs as its formula transports lost proteins for strength; fatty acids, omega-3 oils and vitamins for shine; and antioxidants for protection. It absorbs instantly to fill gaps in hair created by heat, styling and environmental damage.” (www.moroccanoil.com)

How I apply this: I take half a pump and warm through my hands and apply to wet hair from chin-level down – due to breakout paranoia…- and then run what remains through hair near the crown to minimise the frizz the rain has been helping my hair fashion!

How I have got on: having used this for two weeks now and, honestly, I can say this oil gives my hair the best finish. It makes my hair glossy and silky smooth, BUT on the days I don’t use this I have noticed my hair has become drier and drier at the ends. I haven’t been using Moroccanoil long enough to form a reliable opinion – I will update this post in a couple of weeks – though for the meantime I am addicted to the shine it imparts!

Other hair oils I have tried are L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil , Ojon Rare Blend™ Oil Total Hair Therapy, Charles Worthington Salon Miracle Repair Elixir Oil, Alterna Bamboo Kendi Dry Oil Mist; all of which will be included in this series.

I am using Moroccanoil as a heavy conditioning oil for now, to make my hair look healthier, although I anticipate once I have my hair trimmed this oil will become redundant and I will turn to lighter formulations once again.

Have you tried this? If so, what did you think? I would love to hear your comments and suggestions!

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All Posts, Makeup, Revlon

Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm

Following up on my last Revlon post is the Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm (L) & Revlon Colorburst Lacquer balm (R).

Revlon Matte and Lacquer balms

Shade: Unapologetic – warm bright pink.

I found this to be similar in colour the Mac Hue, but more sheer and is shot with shimmer. After the product has worn away the shimmer remains on the lips.

Product: Twist up crayon, packaging colour matches the colour of the product inside – like the previous balm stains Revlon released.

The product is a twist up crayon and the packaging colour matches the colour of the product inside, much like the previous balm stains revlon released a year or so ago. This colour applies really well, very even, although if you have very pigmented lips this may just show up very shimmery. The balm is very hydrating, but

Revlon Colorburst Matte (left) & Laquer (right) balm swatches

wears away quickly – 2 hours max. I have found using the revlon balm stain layered underneath works really well in increasing the wear time but will change the colour depending on the combination – I have been using Cherish or Honey.

Again, one negative is over time this crayon style of packaging becomes quite blunt and you can’t really sharpen it. I have tried to use just one side in an effort to create a lipstick bullet point shape but it doesn’t seem to work as the product is too solid, like a solid twist up lip balm. Plus, this has a minty scent to it, tingles on application, just incase that might bother anyone – I quite like this :).

Balms are available at boots.com.

Have you tried any of the other colours/finishes?

Samples provided by Boots.

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All Posts, Makeup, Revlon

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm review

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Unapologetic (left) & Revlon Colorburst Lacquer balm in Demure (right).

First Up, Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm (lacquer balm review to follow)

Shade: Unapologetic – warm bright pink.

Product: Twist up crayon, packaging colour matches the colour of the product inside – like the previous balm stains Revlon released.

The colour applies really well, very even and wears well. This feels comfortable for a matte lip product, not tight at all. Unapologetic is highly pigmented, a light swipe and I have opaque colour! I was able to reapply without any flaking as my lips hadn’t been completely dried out, as is the case with most matte lip products on the market today.

I prefer these to the Nars matte lip crayons as they just feel more hydrating and won’t put as much of a dent in my purse, although Nars have the upper-hand on colour selection.

Swatches: Unapologetic (left), Demure (right)

Differences to existing line of balm stains is that this is not a stain formula, and so will require more frequent application, or… you could layer a stain underneath, as I do, to give a longer lasting finish but this of course will change the colour. I love messing around with colours and mixing formulas, so couldn’t wait to try this out; I am happy to report that my lip colour (revlon balm stain in honey with unapologetic matte balm over the top gave a lovely two-toned finish) and didn’t need touching up for 5 hours!

One negative is over time is this crayon style of packaging becomes quite blunt and you can’t really sharpen it, so you end up losing the precision and as this is a twist up balm it is difficult to use a lip brush to apply instead. I have tried to use just one side in an effort to create a lipstick bullet point shape but it doesn’t seem to work as the product is too solid.

Also this has a minty scent to it, just incase that might bother anyone – I quite like this :).

Balms are available at boots.com.

Have you tried any of the other colours/finishes?

Samples provided by Boots.

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