Friday, 31 October 2014

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Review

Hi everyone!

The trials and tribulations of having brightly coloured hair have been well documented on my little blog.  I'm always on the lookout for the miracle treatment that will leave my hair soft and shiny without sacrificing colour brightness.  I'd seen the Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer mentioned time and time again on the blogosphere, so decided I wanted to try it for myself.  For reference, my hair is very thick, long, dry and prone to frizz - a nightmare, truth be told!

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

The Elasticizer comes in a clean, crisp white tube.  It definitely looks like a salon quality item!  It's available in a variety of sizes - I have the smallest 75ml tube here (£15), but you can get 150ml (£28), 500ml (£55) and 1000ml (£75).  This really isn't a cheap treatment! I managed to get mine for slightly cheaper when Feel Unique were having a sale, but it's still an investment.  You can track down slightly smaller sample sizes on eBay too

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer ingredients

Apparently, the Elasticizer was originally created for Audrey Hepburn, who wanted a super moisturising treatment to keep her hair in good condition as she was getting it coloured and styled so much for different movie roles.  That's pretty cool :P  Designed for all hair types, the Elasticizer contains Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Silicones, Elastin, Glycerine and Glycol.  These ingredients all work to lock in moisture, smooth the hair, add shine, bounce, strength and elasticity.  Some people would argue silicones mask damage rather than help repair, but my hair likes them so I don't mind!

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

The product itself is a rich yet light white cream with no discernible scent.  To use the Elasticizer, you apply to wet hair in sections, then pop on a shower cap and let it work its magic for 10-20 minutes.  You do this before shampooing, so I tend to wet my hair, apply it, and then hop in the shower properly once the time is up.  I hate using products that add extra steps to my routine like this as I'd rather just jump in the shower and get it all done in one go, but if it works I'm prepared to make the sacrifice!  I found it spread well over wet hair and over the 20 minutes seemed to set.  I had no issues rinsing it out either

So, is the Elasticizer worth the hype? Well, it definitely worked!  My hair was softer, bouncier and easier to manage, and even a bit shiner too which is a modern miracle when it comes to my overprocessed hair.  

But... there's always a but!  Even though it worked, I'm just not blown away.  For the price, I'd expect miracles, and I just didn't get them - it felt like I'd used any old regular hair mask.  Additionally, this tube only gave me 2 applications as my hair is so long and thick, and you're meant to see better results over repeated use - how many times would I need to shell out for a new tube before I was blown away by the results?  I did find my hair looked better the second time I used it compared to the first, but 2 applications out of a £15 tube of product is pretty shocking.  I do have annoyingly thick, long hair though.

It's possible that I should have tried leaving on overnight or applying to dry hair to really get a 'wow' effect, but I didn't get enough applications per tube to experiment properly. Maybe I'm just being picky - I am hard to please when it comes to my hair!  At the end of the day, I wasn't as impressed as I hoped I'd be, and that's what this review boils down to.  I know there is an amped-up version of the Elasticizer called the Elasticizer Extreme, and I have to admit I'm tempted to give that a try just to see how it compares.

Do you like the Elasticizer?  Am I just being a spoilsport? :P What treatments do you use on your hair?

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Born Pretty Store Artistic Eye Mask Temporary Sticker - Review

Hi everyone!  I know I'm cutting it pretty close as it's Halloween tomorrow, but I was sent an item by Born Pretty Store that's quite costume party appropriate.  It's a bit late to order and have these arrive now but hopefully they'll give you some ideas if you have similar stickers lying around!  Let's talk about the Artistic Eye Mask Temporary Sticker*.

Born Pretty Store Artistic Eye Mask Temporary Sticker

The stickers come in black cardboard packaging with a clear window allowing you to see the design.  It's worth noting that the instructions on the website are different to the ones on the box - the website suggest applying these like a transfer tattoo and wetting them with water.  Don't!  They're just normal stickers - go with the box on this occasion :)  You get a pair for £4.15.

Born Pretty Store Artistic Eye Mask Temporary Sticker

The stickers are set onto a plastic sheet, and also have separate plastic backing on each piece.  This was quite fiddly to peel off but I managed to grab each piece with tweezers.  Even though the stickers are quite thin and dainty, I found them to be fairly sturdy and I could move them around without them ripping.  They're a black, curly lace design and have a flocked surface so they feel nice and soft!

Born Pretty Store Artistic Eye Mask Temporary Sticker

Born Pretty Store Artistic Eye Mask Temporary Sticker

Born Pretty Store Artistic Eye Mask Temporary Sticker

Here I've applied to the stickers to my eyes and taken photos both with and without flash.  They're nicely sticky so they adhere well to the skin, but they're also easy to peel off and reapply.  I think I could probably reuse these several times if I was careful, and when they lose their stickiness a little bit of eyelash glue should do the trick.  They do feel a bit weird on the skin, but this feeling soon wears off and they don't move once applied!  

Born Pretty Store Artistic Eye Mask Temporary Sticker

Add a vampy lip and you've got a ready made Halloween look!  I gave the best angry glare I could - it made me nostalgic, as this was my go-to facial expression when taking selfies as a Goth in my younger days ;)

You could really play up these stickers, adding much heavier eye makeup and sharp contouring or even fake blood/wounds.  I was just taking some quick photos for review purposes so I didn't go all out.  These are such an easy way to instantly add a dress-up feel to your makeup. The hardest part is applying them symmetrically!

I know you can find these eye stickers in lots of different places - Claire's Accessories is one shop that comes to mind.  They're great to have on hand for any dress up occasion though, and I'm already eyeing up the other designs Born Pretty Store do!  Again, I'm sorry this review went up so close to Halloween, but they only came in the post yesterday.

Born Pretty Store have kindly provided my readers with a 10% discount code!  Click through on the image below and enter it at checkout if you fancy placing an order :)

*Item sent for review

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Lush Christmas 2014: So White Shower Gel

Hi everyone!  I'm kicking off my reviews of the new Lush Christmas products with their So White Shower Gel.  I was so excited for this product as it's based on the delicious apple-scented bath bomb of the same name.  Unfortunately, it's been quite a disappointment :(

Lush So White Shower Gel

So White Shower Gel comes in the typical Lush packaging of a recycled plastic bottle with a black and white label.  The shower gel comes in 3 sizes - I've got the 100g bottle (£4.50) but it also comes in 250g (£8.95) and 500g (£14.75).  As you can see, it's quite expensive!

Lush So White Shower Gel ingredients

Unlike the bath bomb, this shower gel does actually contain apples!  The Apple Infusion and Cyder Vinegar are astringent and cleansing, Rose Water calms and soothes, and the Bergamot Oil, Rose Absolute, Orange Flower Absolute and Neroli Oil provide an uplifting scent.  There's also Rice Bran Oil to moisturise the skin and Snowflake Lustre for shimmer!

Lush So White Shower Gel swatch

The shower gel itself has quite a light consistency and is a translucent shimmery white.  As with all of Lush's Shower Gels, it lathers beautifully and leaves the skin cleansed but never stripped.  It also works great as bubble bath.  The reason I was disappointed by this product is the scent.  It does smell of apples, but there's a really strong scent of grass alongside it that overpowers the apple and really ruins it for me.  I was hoping it would have the delicious sweet fizzy apple scent of the bath bomb version, but it's just really grassy and a bit sickly.  Not what I was expecting at all - I'm glad I only bought a small bottle!

If you were hoping for a carbon copy of the So White bath bomb scent, you'll be disappointed.  However, I know plenty of people love the scent of fresh grass so you may well enjoy it - it's just not for me!

Are you impressed by the scent of So White Shower Gel?  Do you think it smells like grass too?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Envy - Review & Swatches

Hi everyone!  I'd like to think I've been fairly good with my money recently - as I'm job hunting, my income is less than stable and so I'm trying to be as frugal as possible.  However, today's post is about a product I couldn't resist being a little impulsive about!  Let's talk about the Laura Mercier Creme (Crème) Eye Liner in Envy.  I believe this is a limited edition shade released for their Fall 2014 collection, so if you like the look of it, grab it now! 

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Envy

The eye liner comes in a grey cardboard box.  I'm not a fan of the colour grey (I think it's boring) but it looks sleek and expensive.  You get 3.5g of eye liner for £19, which definitely prices this as a high end makeup item! I don't know why I'm complaining, I happily handed over the money :P

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Envy

The Crème Eyeliner comes in a clear, weighty glass tub with a black plastic screw-top lid.  The shade name is on the base

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Envy

The reason I absolutely had to have this limited edition shade is the colour -  of course, it's a beautiful green!  One odd thing I did notice about this liner is that it smells like natural yoghurt :P I don't mind this (in fact, I sort of like the scent) but it is bizarre for an eye liner!

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Envy swatch swatches

As you'd expect, the eye liner has a rich, creamy consistency and gives excellent colour payoff.  Envy is a deep yellow-based green.  It's a unique shade in my collection - in fact, I don't think I've ever seen an eyeliner this colour before

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Envy on eyes

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Envy on eyes

I found the liner to apply beautifully - I didn't need to layer up the colour or anything.  It sets to a completely matte finish and once dry it wears all day.  This is the perfect alternative to black, and also works perfectly with my usual green eye shadow!

This is my very first item from Laura Mercier. They've never been a brand I was particularly interested in as I feel the majority of their products are very neutral in tone.  However, this eye liner oozes quality and I'll definitely be watching them a little more closely!

Do you like Laura Mercier?  Would you wear green eye liner?

Monday, 27 October 2014

Halloween Nail Art Ideas

Hi everyone!  I had a lot planned for Halloween; I wanted to create a few makeup tutorials, plus lots of nail art ideas.  Unfortunately I haven't been feeling myself this month and things sort of got away from me a little.  I did manage to throw some nail art together - I'm not happy with it, but I wanted to show you guys anyway.  In all of these photos, my black is Zoya Raven and my white is Zoya Purity.

Halloween Nail Art Mummy Bones Eyeballs Pumpkin

I did a different design on each nail!

Halloween Nail Art Mummy Bones Eyeballs Pumpkin

On my index finger, I created a mummy! I laid down a black base, and once that was dry I applied lots of white striping tape as the bandages.  You could use Scotch tape painted white, or even real bandage!  I then applied a matte topcoat and stuck on googly eyes ;)

For my middle fingernail, I laid down a white base and then used a black Barry M Nail Art Pen to (badly) draw on some bones.  This was my third attempt at this nail so I gave up on it to be honest!

After laying down a black base on my ring finger, I used a dotting tool to apply white dots randomly.  Once they were dry, I used a red nail art lacquer (which comes with a built in striping brush) to add random bloodshot lines.  I then used a smaller dotting tool to add a black pupil, and an even smaller dotting tool to add a white highlight.  I really like this nail!  You could also use lots of googly eyes :)

My pinky nail is a bit of a disaster as I had to mix different polishes to create an orange colour, which ended up being way too thick.  I attempted to paint a pumpkin onto the nail and used a green nail art lacquer to add a stalk.  I should have added a face but it was a bit too thick to add anything else to!

Halloween Nail Art Mummy Bones Eyeballs Pumpkin

My favourite nails are definitely the mummy and eyeball designs as they turned out the best.  I'm pretending the middle and pinky fingers didn't happen! :P

Halloween Nail Art black with green glitter gradient

If you'd prefer something more understated, black nails with a Halloween-appropriate glitter on the tips is another option.  I used a cosmetic sponge to apply green here (OPI Fresh Frog of Bel-Air), but orange or red would be equally cute and a subtle nod towards the spooky holiday!

I hope these were clear enough and you can see how I created them. Will you be wearing a spooky manicure this Halloween?