Brassy / Orange Hair – At Home Toner – Wella Professional Color Fresh Silver pH6.5

Last September I decided to get a new look and treat my hair to a brown Balayage. I chose the Balayage technique as hair maintenance is not my strong point – just the thought of having to deal with ‘root touch ups’ exhausts me. I loved the initial results and decided to do whatever I could to preserve the look. I reduced washing my hair to just once a week, used cold water only and stocked up on blue shampoo. To my horror, the brassy orange tones started to surface after a couple of months. Here is an picture of the freshly Balayaged hair (left obviously)…

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Above on the right, is my hair after 5 months…brassy, orange and the obvious overgrown roots. I was conscious of my hair colour but tried to ignore it as much as possible, purely to save money. The moment came when I could no longer ignore the absolute disastrous hair situation, when I went to an event and took a whole load of pictures. I came back completely cringing at the orange locks I was donning.

The length of my hair doesn’t help because it just means I have to pay double the price for hair treatments. Still keen to save money, I decided to try a bit of DIY and purchased the ‘Wella Color Fresh Semi Permanent Hair Toner – pH 6.5 Silver‘ costing £13. I chose this violet shade to neutralise the brass whilst maintaining the highlights (note; a brown toner can also lessen the orange look but would just do so by darkening the hair). I followed the instructions which were very easy to follow. The 75ml toner was just about enough for all my hair – so plenty! Once evenly distributed, I left the toner on for around 10-15mins (recommended 5-20mins).

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On the right is the results post – toner. You can certainly see an improvement! and it was a fairly easy and cheap process. To be honest I am pleased with the results and will probably continue to tone at least once a month, in order to build up the ashy tones. I am also keen to try a blue toner as this is known to be more effective for orange hair. I will let you guys know how that goes, so stay tuned.

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Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque Review

Although it has recently become something of a super food, Turmeric is no new revelation. The ingredient has been used for centuries in Asia, and is a common ingredient in herbal remedies. Even turmeric as a mask, is a well established tradition in Southern Asian wedding ceremonies, used for purification and in wedding preparation to give the bride and groom a healthy glow. Spanning from curing acne, treating eczema to even delaying ageing, the supposed skin benefits are certainly impressive.

Given all these health benefits, it is no wonder why Kiehl’s have leveraged this unique ingredient to sell their ‘Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque’ retailing at £34. Along with the Turmeric, the added cranberry seeds are high in antioxidants,  protecting the skin against environmental free-radical damage. Winner!IMG_5127.JPG

As soon as I applied this product to my face it caused an instant cool, tingling sensation. For me, this is a good thing as it gives the illusion that something must be working. I washed it off in a circular motion with warm water providing that added exfoliation from the cranberry seeds to reveal a noticeably brighter complexion. There is no doubt that this product does brighten the skin. Sounds great?…yes, but the truth is you don’t need to fork out £34 because the undisputed benefits of turmeric, can be achieved by using any homemade turmeric mask for a fraction of the price.

Get your hands on some turmeric powder, gram flour, and mix with yoghurt, lemon juice and honey. This is a tried and tested recipe for skin brighting and fighting blemishes at a fraction of the price.

 

 

 

 

 

Balance Me – Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm

 

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I am over half-way through this…which explains the mangled tube…

Oh. My. God. Where do I start? Cleansers for me should: Take off my make-up effectively, be affordable, contain natural ingredients, do not need to include any skincare heroes (they are wiped off nearly immediately, so what is the point!), should not strip my skin and should also make me feel like I have been treated to the most luxurious spa treatment…don’t ask for a lot do I!

Product Description:

And I think I have found my HG product which ticks all the above boxes for me…it is the Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm. It is ‘an anti oxidant rich, oil based hot cloth cleanser blended with a trio of butters to deeply purify and hydrate; and Oat Powder to gently polish and brighten even the most sensitive skin.’ It is £20 for 125ml.

Take a look at the 100% natural ingredient list:

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Nut Butter***, Polyglyceryl-3 Dicitrate/Strearate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Nut Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil***, Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloudberry) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin Red) Peel Oil*, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Petitgrain) Leaf Oil*, Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Fruit Oil*, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed Oil*, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Limonene**, Linalool**, Citral**, *Natural Pure Essential Oil, ** Naturally Occurring in Essential Oils, ***Certified Organic Ingredient.

My Thoughts

I love supporting British companies that produce natural and affordable options in skincare/beauty. Especially with a cleanser: Why would you want to use more chemicals when trying to remove the chemical cocktail of gunk that is make-up?…it honestly does not make sense to me. This product also uses fine oat powder for very mild exfoliation—one step ahead of other companies who may need to re-formulate their microbead-laden products which have recently been banned in the UK.

I have oily skin and honestly this is not too rich for it; in fact it leaves my skin nourished and glowing. I personally love the smell, it reminds me of that facial spa aroma and catapults the cleansing process from a chore to a pampering, relaxing ritual. I use this product as my second cleanse; and instead of a muslin cloth, I use bamboo face cloths which I purchased from Facetheory. I like to press the hot cloth over my eyes and just breath in the aroma – which I believe momentarily provides me with a hint of calm. (Note: I don’t directly rub this cleanser into my eyes.)

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The consistency does tend to separate…but I feel that this is inevitable due to the natural ingredients.

Price-wise – I think its probably at the upper end of what I would pay for a cleanser but I think it is a reasonable price for the amount (125ml instead of the standard 100ml of most cleansers) and quality.

I love this cleanser so much I will continue to repurchase it…and that is not something I say about a lot of products.

Jas x

Glamglow Glowstarter Illuminating Moisturizer in Sun Glow

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I was so excited to use this product…

I usually research a product extensively before parting with my cash…there is only that odd moment that warrants an impulse buy. One such moment is a 50% off sale. A time when logic and sensible planning go out of the window as you attempt to get your hands on the last remaining bargains.

In the last Christmas sales, I managed to bag the Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Sun Glow for only £18 (half price). Bargain. Or, so I thought. In fact, it turned out to be an utter waste of money.

Description

It is available in 3 shades: Pearl Glow, Nude Glow and Sun Glow. It promises to both  illuminate and moisturise the skin & includes hyaluronic acid, vitamins and botanicals; blurring the line between skincare and make-up.

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The consistency of this is not too runny and also does not seem too rich for oily skins…almost a gel-like texture.

 

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This is the darkest shade…although sheer, I found it imparted a tad too much colour on my NC30 skin. Perhaps, Nude Glow would have been a better match.

My Thoughts

I was excited to use this product. I was planning on using it in lots of different ways – eager to try it mixed in with my liquid foundation and also as a moisturiser under liquid/powder foundations. Frustratingly, it did not work in any of the above methods for me. It just seems to horribly accentuate my large pores/texture and make my foundation patchy. I tried it with MAC Studio Fix Fluid and also under Bare Minerals powder foundation with zero success.

I even tried to offload this onto my sister. She was also excited by the description; however massively disappointed by the performance. Neither of us felt like our make-up looked glowy with this product. Despite my skin being oily and my sister’s being dry it did not work on either of us.

I am now going to try my best to persuade my other sister to take this product off my hands…

Jas x

Skin reference: NC30, Oily, Textured, Large Pores

Topshop Highlighter in Crescent Moon

Highlighters for me always tend to be champagne- or golden-hued. So when I saw this affordable, pinky-toned, Topshop offering in the shade Crescent Moon, I was interested…would it work on my warm skintone? At £12, I thought it was at least worth experimenting with.

Topshop Highlighter in Crescent Moon
Topshop Highlighter in Crescent Moon
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A beautiful peachy-pink colour…
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A heavy swatch of the highlighter…it is intensely pigmented with no glitter but more of a pearlescent appearance.

Verdict

It is beautifully soft and silky to apply (creamy – even though it is powder?!)…and the colour is very strongly pigmented. In fact, it is so pigmented that it can look a bit ott with my heavy-handed application. The fact that it is so vivid in pigment, coupled with the colour being far from subtle on my warm skintone, makes this highlighter look quite unnatural on me. However, I must admit, I actually like that look sometimesLet’s be honest, this was never going to be natural-looking on skin that has yellow undertones…but if you want to go for a pearly make-up look with fresh peachy/pink nude lips it offers a nice alternative to the typical golden sunkissed make-up look. Money well spent in my opinion.

Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow―Shade 06―Golden Brown

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Kiko Long Lasting Stick 06 – A beautiful bronze/brown colour

I am in love with this shadow stick…no exaggeration. It was love at first sight; I knew I had to have this product in my life from that point forward. And trust me, I do not repurchase many things. When I finally finish existing products, I like experimenting and trying new things (I almost look forward to finishing an item just so that I can search for a replacement…). But when you find something that just works for you and is cheap…that is when you stick with it (no pun intended). And this shadow stick does just that, for me.

I am not good with drawing on the perfect eyeliner: It is time-consuming and somewhat difficult to get correct for an impatient person like myself. Moreover, with eyeshadow, I end up overdoing it; it never qualifies as that subtle everyday look. So this product is perfect. I just draw along the upper and lower lashline and voilà, eye make-up is done (with just a little mascara of course). It does not matter if the line is not perfect, as the colour is very forgiving on my NC30 skintone―so it can be applied in a rush. Also, this stays put all day.

Other reviewers online have reported that these shadow sticks in different colours are dupes for similar products by Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and By Terry to name a few. I can attest to this product being very similar to the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Pencils which retail at £19 on the Charlotte Tilbury website.

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A twisty mechanism saves you the hassle of faffing around with a pencil sharpener…
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A highly-pigmented colour which effortlessly glides onto the skin

This is a light, cool-toned gold/bronze metallic colour which would flatter a range of skintones. If you are thinking of trying this type of product, definitely start with a wearable, neutral colour like this. This stick comes in both metallic and matte colours. I definitely prefer metallic for the use that I have stated above, they are a lot more forgiving; a thick matte roughly drawn line just would not work. The lightly coloured matte sticks would work well applied as an all-over eye colour, maybe as a base for a smokey eye. There are a few gorgeous metallic neutrals in this offering. Shade 05 is similar to 06 but with a more pink hue (thus the name Rosy Brown…)―making it perfect for those with pink undertones to their skin.

Verdict

Buy it. You cannot go wrong, trust me. The sticks are £6.90 at full price (and they can be bought for even cheaper in the sale, I got my replacement one at the bargain price of £4.80!). A definite make-up bag staple for me.

 

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Liquid Blush in Angel

I stumbled across these watercolour blushes recently…to be honest, I cannot remember how or why (yes, I research that much make-up!), but I just did okay. I was instantly intrigued. A liquid blush that stays put all day, even on oily skin…I am sold. At this point I have convinced myself that this is a product I need, and am hell-bent on finding the perfect colour for me. In my justification, when you wear full make-up; by the end of the day, other than the base, eyes and lips, everything else will have melted off. So, if there IS a blusher that will stay put all day to retain that healthy facial glow, of course I need it. There was a massive watercolour blush-shaped hole in my make-up kit that needed filling…asap.

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A beautiful shimmery pink-peach wash of colour…
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Watercolour Blush ingredients…

Picking a Colour

First thing to bear in mind is what will suit your skin-tone…

I got the following rough guide directly from the Daniel Sandler website:

Light skin with blonde, brown or red hair, freckles, burn easily: 
CherubChelseaIcingAngel.

Fair skin with blonde or brown hair, no freckles:
CherubChelseaFlushGentleIcingSo PrettyJoyAngel.

Light Golden skin , Light Mixed Race and Light Asian skins:
CherubSpiceyGlamourGentleIcingSo PrettyJoyPassionAngel.

Dark/ Dark Asian skin/ Dark Mixed Race:
Hot TottyAcidTripSo PrettySpiceyGlamourPassion.

Black:
Hot TottyAcidTrip

I only wanted to buy one at first, and in the end, I opted for Angel. I did not want a shade that was too pink or peach and this seemed to be in the middle of those two colours. The exact description from the Daniel Sandler website, for the colour Angel is: ‘Delicate, shimmery, medium-pink shade that suits all skin tones as a universal cheek highlighter. You can’t go wrong dabbing this pretty shade on top of cheekbones.’

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A very wearable subtle shade

Passion, Flush and the beautiful Rose Glow also caught my eye…

Verdict

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This is Pav wearing the blusher…it is subtle and provides a healthy-looking glow on her NC35 skintone.

This is a very subtle blusher on my NC30 skin and I think on skin much darker it would probably be best used as a highlighter on cheekbones. Layering is not an issue with this product (as long as it is not used over powders) and the coverage is buildable. The consistency of this blusher is extremely watery (surprise, surprise) and the colour imparts quite sheer; it needs to be shook quite well before use. I use fingers to apply this (squirt a small bit onto my index fingertip and work into my cheeks); it is extremely runny so you do have to work quite quickly with it. It lasts better than powder blushers but would be even longer-lasting if set with powder blush over the top. Personally, I do not find myself reaching for this; but I would recommend this for people who wear minimal make-up and prefer a natural and dewy look. I imagine it is the perfect thing to spruce up your BB cream.

Overall, I do like this product but I would say choose your colour very carefully, make sure it is one that will actually show up on your skin-tone!