Monday, 20 October 2014

Review: Neal & Wolf Guard Heat Protection


I always find heat protectants to be a very tricky product to review. How do you know it's doing its job? How do you know for sure that it's doing its job? Yes, my hair isn't particularly frazzled, but is that the heat protectant doing its job or is it my conditioner or maybe some styling product I'm applying? How am I ever supposed to know?

I guess what I'd like to focus on with this review are a few things that become obvious right from the second you use this. For instance, I find that a lot of heat protectants leave a sticky residue on the hair. Fortunately, this doesn't (as long as you're not showering yourself in the stuff), so there's a big thumbs up for that. Use it on wet hair or dry hair, there's no sticky crispiness left behind.


The scent is another big bonus. It has this light salon smell that lingers just long enough to make you go "oooh", but then doesn't interfere with the rest of your day.

The other thing I really like about this - and I know this is really, really random - is the product size. I think it's just spot on - big enough to last a fair bit, but small enough to be travel friendly and not to still be there lurking in a corner years after you bought it.

I have really enjoyed pretty much everything I've tried from Neal & Wolf ever. I just think it's such a shame they're not more widely available, as I'm a bit of an impulse shopper and don't tend to go out of my way to look for a certain brand or product.

As for the heat protection spray, all I can say is that I like it. Whether or not it really benefits my hair in the long run - who will ever know?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: Bourjois Elastic Mascara


I feel like when it comes to Bourjois, it's their foundations and their blushers that seem to get all the rave reviews, but when it comes to mascaras, you just don't hear their name thrown into the pot too often. Which is rather unfair, in my opinion, as Bourjois mascaras are some of the best drugstore ones I've come across and I can honestly say I've loved every single one I've tried so far.


I love the thin drop like handle on this mascara for its uniqueness, although it's not the most practical for use. In fact it feels a little bit like you're jousting with a very bristly lance. Nevertheless this is a pretty amazing mascara. It's one of those that is really "grippy", so that each and every lash gets coated evenly and adds great length to the lash (although, as usual, ignore all marketing claims of just how much longer your lashes are going to become, as it tends to be a load of rubbish). It lasts really well, too, without any flaking or smudging.


Sadly, it seems like this mascara has now been discontinued (sorry bout that....), but you can still find these on Amazon, Ebay and some discount make-up sites. Anyway, this was a bit more of an ode to Bourjois mascaras in general. I also really love their Clubbing and their 1 Second mascara if you want to give one of them a try.

Have you used any Bourjois mascaras? What did you think?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Review: Alpure Detoxifying Toning Cleanser


I can't say I'd ever heard of the brand Alpure before, but while looking for bargains on Fragrance Direct I saw this cleanser very heavily marked down and as I was just in the market for a new one, it had to go straight into my basket. Before you even read any further, let me tell you that I've learnt my lesson and realised that when a single product is marked down a lot heavier than all others, there's usually a reason for that.


It was when I read the instructions on the box that I realised I'd made a mistake. Now, I'm sure not everyone will agree with me, but in my personal opinion, a cleanser has got to be rinsed off with water (or alternatively wiped off with a wet flannel or muslin cloth). If there's no water involved, I just somehow doubt how it's ever going to get off all my dirt and make-up. With this cleanser, you're meant to apply it onto the face with dry fingers and then just swipe the excess off with a cotton pad. The rest is meant to sink into the skin.
I couldn't help but worry that I was essentially just pushing the dirt further into my pores rather than rinsing it out, but to be completely honest, my towels and pillows were clean after using this, so it must have been doing something.


While it's safe to use on the eyes, I preferred using a separate make-up remover for the eye area, as this just wasn't strong enough. A swipe of waterproof mascara and this would have had no chance. It certainly did strike me how gentle this cleanser was - a little too gentle, perhaps?


You may have noticed that I've written this review in the past tense. That's because I wanted to wait until I'd completely finished the product before I wrote down my thoughts. Despite being a bit unsure about the lack of water involved, I did quite like this cleanser. I enjoyed how gentle it was and it did seem to get a lot of grime off my face.
That was until I finished it and switched cleansers and suddenly realised, just how much my skin improved. In my opinion a good cleanser is the one thing that will instantly transform the skin and as it happens, this one made my skin look rather grey and dull - something I didn't realise until I switched to a different product.

As I only spent £10 on it I'm not too peeved, but it certainly won't be a repurchase from me. Had I spent the full £30 that this is marked up as, I would have expected a far, far superior product.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Review: Grace Cole Pineapple & Passion Fruit Body Butter


Grace Cole is not a brand I'd ever heard of before, but while doing some online shopping for a few showery bath bits, I noticed that a lot of their items were on offer, so decided to give them a go! This body butter sounded too delicious to pass up on - passion fruit is one of my favourite scents and flavours, ever.


What I expected was a tropical olfactory explosion that would mentally transport me onto a holiday on a Caribbean island of some sort, but it turned out to be a little weak in that department. The scent was nice, but really nothing to shout about, as it was very pared back and disappeared soon after application. Great if you don't like obtrusive scents on your skin, but I prefer something a bit more punchy - The Body Shop are still ranked right up there as my favourites when it comes to nice smelling body butters, though my latest Elizabeth Arden one smells pretty amazing, too.


When it comes to texture, however, I absolutely cannot fault this. It's thick and rich, but sinks in nicely without leaving a film on the skin. (That dip on the picture above is from me dropping the lid into the pot by the way.) It's a spot on formula for anyone who like me likes their body butters thick and silky. I just wish the smell had been a touch more holiday feeling inducing!

Friday, 10 October 2014

A few bits from Direct Cosmetics

Occasionally I hear about websites that offer beauty bargains and to be honest I'm always rather weary about them. When something seems to good to be true, well, it usually is. Snapping up a great bargain only to open the container and find that it's separated and developed a distinctive fishy smell? Yeah, been there, done that. Then there's always the fear of ending up with a fake product containing potentially harmful ingredients (I'm looking at you, ebay!).

So when Direct Cosmetics contacted me about reviewing a few bits and bobs from their site I was a tad hesitant. But, as it turned out, all items were genuine, original products - all safely packaged and nothing was past its expiry date, hooray! I've since found myself browsing the site looking for some bargains to be had. There's nothing more satisfying than opening a big box of beauty goodies that have cost you a fraction of their sales price. (Apart from dipping into a brand new jar of Nutella. Nothing beats that.)  Here's a little run down with first impressions of the items I got.




This is one of the best sellers and honestly, I'm not even surprised - it's absolutely amazing. The texture is absolutely perfect: thick, creamy, hydrating but not sticky at all. The little beads take some getting used to at first, but they seem to pop on the skin as soon as you start rubbing the cream into the skin and then disappear entirely. I think my favourite bit, however, is the scent. The green tea scent is refreshing and relaxing at the same time and lingers on the skin for hours.



I can never be too long with this stuff. It's well and truly earned its place in the beauty hall of fame for sorting out pretty much any bad skin issue. Dry, cracked skin? Check. Chapped lips? Check. Light burns, scrapes, nothing is too much for this stuff. Even my boyfriend agrees that it's magical and regularly steals it from my bedside table. I had a little sore patch of skin on my nose where my glasses were rubbing and within a few applications it had healed entirely. I used to really dislike the scent but I've gotten accustomed to it and these days I quite like it.



This mascara is surprisingly wet for a waterproof formula, but once it's set on the lashes it lasts through the day. It applies a bit clumpy at first, but brushes out eventually. I'm not a huge fan of the massive brush, as it's way too bulky to get into the inner corners and bottom lashes, so I have to use a different mascara for those (I'm using Maybelline Great Lash). It's better suited to those looking for a lot of volume rather than length and definition.




I'm a big fan of lip crayons and these are creamy and pigmented. The best thing about these, however, is their longevity. These stay put for hours, last through drinking without a scratch and will even survive small meals. I can't say I'm a fan of the scent, though. Apparently it's meant to be minty, but it kind of reminds me of horseradish - not something I'd want to put on my lips. Funky smell aside, I'm really happy with both of these colours. They add just the right amount of colour to pop but not wash me out entirely.