A caffeine (beauty) hit

Coffee addiction: who’s guilty?

To fuel my daily fix, Hello Jo, a British born – Korean developed brand, brings caffeine as an active ingredient to my beauty regime. And I love it.

We know (some better than others) how great a stimulant caffeine in, so it sounds quite sensible to harvest its benefits in beauty. I also love the look of the branding and packaging!

Hard to pick a favourite from the products I tried. I’ll start with the amazing Bright Eyes Jelly Masks (£20). What’s amazing about them? Glad you asked.

First, it comes in a pot with 30 pairs. Yes, you heard it right: 30 pearlescent pink pairs swimming lovingly in an amazing caffeine, aloe vera and pomegranate serum which stimulates skin in the area to reduce puffiness, brighten dark circles, re-energise and revitalise. It also contains Acmella oleracea (toothache plant) to help soften lines. 

It is cooling, soothing and super moisturising. The 15 minute-ritual is even more delightful if you keep the jar in the fridge.

I’ll move on to hair as I absolutely love the Stay Strong Volumising Caffeinated shampoo (RRP £12.50/200ml), which on top of caffeine, also contains walnut seed extract for growth stimulation and coix seed for scalp exfoliation.

The shampoo is so fresh and slightly tingly on application (which I love), foams well and leaves hair feeling squeaky clean and soft. Maybe the jar is come from needs to be made of slightly softer plastic and be more squeezable.

Follow up with the Stay Strong Volumising Caffeinated Conditioner (£12.50/200ml), with hydrating coconut oil to ensure smoothness. The conditioner is light but effective, making hair feel soft on application and after rinse, with no weight.

A new way of using hair masks was presented to me: a practical wrap for the length. This ensure the hair mask goes where it is needed and not on the roots, where it can actually cause damage.

The Pack of Power Hair Mask (£15 for 3) has active caffeine, of course, as well as argan, olive and moringa oils. Just make a ponytail and pop it in the mask bag for half an hour or even overnight for added support to hair growth and reduced damage, as well hydration and nourishment. So soft. 

Moving on to lips. Kissable, right? No? No problem! The Speak Up Bubble Lip Mask (£12.50/30ml) is full of fruit enzymes and caffeine for super exfoliation.

Rub the gel formula, which also has vitamins A and C, on lips and watch it bubble up into foam to help remove dead skin to reveal smoother, more plumped and nourished lips. Really fun and quick to use! 

All products are free of parabens and never tested on animals.

Hello Jo ethos is set on women supporting women, seen mainly through their partnership with Rosa, the UK-wide Fund for Women and Girls, where they donate 50p from each product to help the fund’s mission to mobilise resources for women equality.

Rosa does that by raising money and investing in grassroots women’s movements by offering grants, mentor-matching, training and networking. Makes me love them even more. 

Hello Jo is available exclusively at FeelUnique – get in there! 

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains GIFTED PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Super blow dry

Easy drying and styling? In pink? Tell Mark Hill I am in!

The gorgeous Mark Hill Perfect Blow Dry kit has a gorgeous hot pink 2200W motor hair dryer with a quick cool button to set that glossier finish so it lasts longer. The hair dryer is powerful, quiet ad comfortable to use.

I personally love a nozzle when styling, but everyday quick drying, I tend not to use.

In the box, you get a radial brush, which is pretty in orange and hot pink ombré and helps add add volume and body as it allows for even air-flow, helping reduce dry time!

Also included in the kit is a full size Styling Heat Protection spray. It protects hair against styling heat up to 240 degrees, helping hold the style and leaving hair shinier and smoother. It feels a bit like hair spray but hair is set naturally.

I also got the lovely Mini handbag Heroes containing a mini versions of the Plumping Powder (7g), which helps give volume and texture, the Taming Anti Humidity Spray (50ml), great for keeping fly aways at bay and the Freeze Hold Hairspray (50ml), which is lightweight with strong hold.

On top of products, you get 2 sectioning clips to really style with precision.

Altogether, I feel I have the perfect blow dry arsenal to style – and keep – my hair beautifully.

Mark Hill Perfect blow dry kit reviewThe Mark Hill Perfect Blow Dry kit costs £29.99, which I find great for value for its contents. You can get it from the Mark Hill website and Boots.

And the Mini Handbag Heroes cost £12.99 and was part of the Christmas collection – so handy and you can still get it from their website!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Luxe hair care

Some time ago I started using a gorgeous Wella System Professional Luxe Oil finishing product as part of the my Wella EnergyCode consultation.

When I heard a whole new Luxe Oil, which has a combination of nurturing oils was out, I just had to try.

The whole range is oil based, of course, with a blend of Argan, almond and jojoba oils and very lightweight. Together with the EnergyCode Complex TM, which has natural lipids, caffeine, histidine and vitamin B3 amide, act long term to improve hair structure, texture and manageability. Lipids and oeleic acid entering the hair structure help hair look younger.

Clean and nourished

The Keratin Protect Shampoo gives roots and scalp a thorough but gentle cleanse, as well as protecting and strengthening with keratin and panthenol. And the Keratin Conditioning Cream softens hair making detangling and brushing a breeze.

The Keratin Restore Mask is rich and nourishing; an intensive treatment to help reconstruct and restore dry and damaged hair, leaving it supple and soft after use.

Post-wash care

The leave in treatments are great: the Keratin Boost Essence is a lightweight spray that hydrates and works on protecting against breakage and realigning the fibres for more manageable hair.

The Cream Elixir delivers smooth finishing and contains high absorption keratin for deep regeneration and long term suppleness.

Of course, the Reconstructive Elixir has an oil aspect and is multitasking: fantastic for smoothing, giving dry hair that polished, shiny finish or as a reconstructive, nourishing addition to wet hair.

When drying, after using the collection to wash and care for my hair, I am involved by the amazing fragrance: a blend of oswanthus, muguet and tonka, over a wooden base of musk and amber and finished with fresh aspects of grapefruit, apricots and spices. It in fact lingers on the hair, subtly, for a while.

Also, there is that luxurious smell of salon in the air after styling! Love it!

You can get the from salons. To find out more about the range, or find  salon to get your EnergyCodeTM consultation, check the Wella System Profession site.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Get that bounce back

Probably the most know and widely used Philip Kingsley product, the fabulous Elasticizer has received the special edition treatment and is now available in Coconut Breeze.

The Elasticizer is a pre-wash treatment suitable for all hair types that adds manageability, elasticity, bounce and shine.

The formula remains the same but infused with notes of coconut, jasmine, almond and vanilla, it seems to become more luxurious. It is really a delight to use.

It contains hydrolized elastin, which works on body and elasticity. It improves the tensile strength and moisture retention on strands; castor oil, which helps lock in moisture, vitamin E rich olive oil and glycerin.

As it is a pre-wash treatment, it should be applied generously to damp hair and left to work for 10-20 minutes, covered with a plastic cap (one comes in the box) or a towel.

You then shampoo and condition as normal. I had it on for the whole night and when I washed my hair in the morning, it was soft and dried beautifully; it had some extra weight to it without being heavy.

Also, I lost a fair amount of hair a while back and have tons of baby hairs that have reached a very unmanageable length and I feel the treatment also helps manage the frizz.

The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Coconut Breeze costs £33 (150ml) and is available online on the Philip Kingsley website, M&S, QVC. You can buy the smaller 75ml version for £19.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Repairing comfort for hair: Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-1At this time of the year my hair (and skin) are very tired: the wind is brutal, central heating has been acting on it for months… what better than some natural healing power to help restore my locks?

Enter the brand new Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer, with conditioning Omega 6 and 9 rich castor oil and protecting maple sap. This trio will treat your hair to extreme hydration and a fabulous smell.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-4I discovered the range (and got my personalised bottle) at their fabulous The Blends’ Room pop-up in London. And if you are around Soho today and want to be amongst the first to try, pop down to 15 Bateman Street (W1D 3AQ) before 6pm to get free samples and other treats. Hurry, it’s the last day!

I am a huge fan of the Ultimate Blends from the beginning (see?) and every addition they bring out really nails it. Not only the shampoo lathers and cleans well and the conditioners really soften hair, but the added items of each line within the range do the job very well: oils, masks, sprays, treatments.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-5All addressing different hair needs and the even better, with a price tag that won’t break the bank.

The smell is amazing: sweet and maple-y without being sickly. It lingers lightly in the hair and every now and then you catch a lovely whiff of it.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-6A small amount of conditioner is very effective and the mask is thick and powerful. Hair feels clean and soft after use.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-3Now, a little away from hair… the Intense Repairer body lotion is divine, perfect for winter skin. It is rich but absorbs amazingly well; my skin cannot have enough of it.

And the smell? Well, you guessed: fabulous. Sweet and maple-y, just like the hair range, which sticks to the skin but is not overpowering. My skin (apart from smelling amazing) fells nourished (winning a mid-afternoon “your skin was so soft this morning” message) and comfortable all day long.

The gorgeous Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer range is already available to buy from Boots, Superdrug and Asda. The RRP is £3.89 for the shampoo and conditioner (400ml), £4.49 for the mask (400ml) and £4.49/£5.99 for the body milk (250ml/440ml).

signature1You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Helping your hair to Grow Gorgeous

grow-gorgeous-review-1Of course how well a product works is its best feature, but really, cute packaging goes a long way. Grow Gorgeous has it all: fab products which work and smell great and the most delightful packaging.

grow-gorgeous-review-2Their new hair Strengthening Oil is a finishing product for mid and end of the hair.

In its formula, chia seed (which contains vitamin B, D & E, Omega-3, iron and antioxidants) and beet extract. These ingredients protect and nourish the strands so the growth is supported by healthy lengths.

grow-gorgeous-review-7

It is extra light so it doesn’t weigh the hair. It also smells amazing and costs £25 for 60ml.

My biggest surprise was their 11-in-1 Cleansing Conditioner. Now, I know that you’re thinking exactly what I did when I laid eyes on this product. A cleansing conditioner? What do you mean?

grow-gorgeous-review-4That and my ever suspicion of 2-in-1 products made me extremely sceptical about this product, which is enriched with abyssinica seeds and panthenol.

However, the promise of a non-stripping, growth-nurturing, hair-caring product made me go for it.

grow-gorgeous-review-6And surprised I was! Admittedly, it lacks foaming and hair doesn’t get squeaky clean on rinse but it does feel extra smooth. I was worried about, without a wash for two days, it wouldn’t be enough to break down the grease and it would clump.

To be honest, my fine hair is slightly heavier overall, but it’s not limp or with less volume than usual. Roots look and feel clean. I wouldn’t solely use this to wash my hair, but it is great when you need to wash two days in a row!

grow-gorgeous-review-3The Hair Growth Serum was designed to help you grow thicker, longer hair. It contains acetyl tetrapeptide-3, clover flower extract active complex, bio-active complex of Chinese skullcap, soy sprout, wheat sprouthyalurinoci acid and caffeine to stimulate follicles, increase scalp hydration and improve density and length.

It feels very light and fresh upon application and lovely to massage in. Personally I like applying after washing, when hair is still damp.

grow-gorgeous-review-8It dries fine and does not weight down the roots, which is very important for fine hair! I did notice a very slight improvement after a while, but hey, every little helps! It costs £30 for 60ml.

grow-gorgeous-review-5Grow Gorgeous products are on sale at the moment, with up to 50% off. Right now (28 Dec 2016), you can get the Growth Serum for £25, the Cleansing Conditioner for £14 and the Strengthening Oil for £18 on their website. Hurry!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

No weight, hydrate!

andrew-barton-no-weight-hydrate-haircare-review-1Fine hair in desperate need of hydration, but worried about heavier products? Try the new Andrew Barton No Weight, Hydrate coconut hair range.

Especially designed for hair with oily roots and dry ends, the shampoo, conditioner, shine spray and treatment mask do a fabulous job of keeping the hair clean and soft. And with a delicious coconut smell that lingers in your locks.

andrew-barton-no-weight-hydrate-haircare-review-5The Shampoo lathers well and leaves hair feeling pretty clean. The Conditioner feels a bit too light for me as I just use conditioner on the ends of my hair, but after rinsing hair feels soft and brushes well.

andrew-barton-no-weight-hydrate-haircare-review-4Combined with the Shine Spray, it delivers a great finish to hair dried naturally or blow-dried.

Once or twice a week, the Treatment Mask is a fabulous treat. it is rich and hydrating, but again, not heavy and  hair feels soft and nourished after use.

andrew-barton-no-weight-hydrate-haircare-review-3As the lovely Andrew Barton (I mean, he is too lovely and fun!) explained, the whole range has Moroccan argan oil as well as coconut milk in a light balancing formula to deliver hydration to dry ends and purification to oily scalps.

The Andrew Barton No Weight Hydrate range is available from Asda exclusively, so you can count on the super affordable price: each item costs only £3.20 each.

And at the moment, you can get 2 for £4, which means you can get the whole treatment range for under £10. Now, that’s a deal!

signature1

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Salon care, at home!

wella-at-home-system-professional-review-1Wella is a brand that for me holds nothing but great memories. Before I bought my own shampoo and conditioner of choice, my mum used to buy the good old Balsam and Revlon Flex and Aquamarine. So my hair grew up with that.

And of course, Koleston was the first hair dye I used to blondify my life. and stayed for seven years.

Fast forward (only) a few years and Wella is back in my life, but with a difference: the products I am using are tailored to my hair needs. That is Wella at home.

The salon consultation is more extensive and you leave with a more complete regime. The online tool, however, gives you a snapshot of the best products for your needs. And there is no surprise both matched, with a few added products for the salon consultation.

I am talking about the Energy Code Speed mapping, dubbed the “speed dating” (opposed to the “dinner date” salon consultation, which can be guided with the app that help salon professionals “prescribe” the personalised Wella regime for their clients), which doesn’t take that long and you end up with a full regime to care for your locks.

The best thing is that you end up with products from various lines, mixed and matched especially for you. That makes me feel special!

After talking about my concerns – sensitive scalp, fine hair, oily roots, dry ends and so on – I left with five amazing products.

wella-at-home-system-professional-review-4The Wella System Professional Balance shampoo provides gentle cleansing. It lathers well and leaves hair squeaky clean without stripping. it is great for sensitive, irritated and itchy scalp.

wella-at-home-system-professional-review-2We all love a good mask and I was given that and not a conditioner. Weird, I know, but it works, to be used twice a week, the System Professional Volumize Mask is a dream. It reinforces the hair structure from within and delivers super moisturisation.

wella-at-home-system-professional-review-3The System Professional Hydrate Quenching Mist is great to use. It can replace the conditioner most days; it gives the hair that extra hydration without weighing it. It is leave-in and helps with detangling for stress-free brushing/combing and smooth hair.

wella-at-home-system-professional-review-5I also got the System Professional Alpha Energy, a scalp spray to help strengthening the hair, also from the within. It works at hair structure level for healthier, stronger hair. That translates in less damage, more manageability, less irritation and better moisture. After continuous use, scalp should feel rejuvenated and less irritated.

Lovely to use, it is quite refreshing and soothing at application; it smells divine and disappears on hair after application; when applied on dry hair, it does not grease or clump. It dries quickly and hair looks fresh at the roots.

For finish, my longer prescription came with Repair Perfect Ends and Luxe Oil Reconstructive Elixir which I have been using (and loving!).

However, I am also using the brand new Wella Oil Reflections Luminous Reflective Oil. It is luscious, light, the smell is fabulous and gives the hair a gorgeous finish.

Best part (apart from amazing hair, of course), is that my bedroom smelt like a salon after drying. So nice!

You can take a look at all the amazing Wella System Professional products, do the express mapping and get your personalised code.

Sadly the Oil Reflection Luminous Oil is not available until January 2017 – so make a note and hurry buy it when it is out!

signature1

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

Paul Mitchell strength & clarifying cruelty free duo

paul_mitchell_cruelty_free_duo_review - 1On a daily basis we put all sorts of products in your hairs: smoothing, styling, conditioning, heat protecting… And the list goes on.

I’ve been a massive fan of clarifying shampoos for a while. They deep clean the hair, removing the build up.

Paul Mitchell’s Clarifying Shampoo Two does just that: the cleanses hair leaving it squeaky clean. It deep cleanses hair and oily scalp, and help minimise oil production.

paul_mitchell_cruelty_free_duo_review - 3It’s clear in colour and has a slight lemon smell. It’s gentle on the scalp and hair and hair feels super clean and fresh, with more body, afterwards.

I use it once or twice a week, or when I had some heavy styling.

At the moment you can buy it in the special strength & clarifying duo pack, which is part of the special cruelty free duos, with great savings.

paul_mitchell_cruelty_free_duo_review - 2It one comes with the Super Strong Liquid Treatment, a product that repairs hair from inside out, helping sela split ends and contains marine extracts and vegetable proteins, and is also a joy to use.

Although I haven’t noticed strengthening per se, after use on the ends hair feels soft and supple, styling well.
Always worth remembering that Paul Mitchell never has and never will test on animals, since the 80s they have been very strong on the ethics front!

Usually worth £29.75, you get get this duo for £24 from various retailers, including lookfantastic. Duos are also available in Color Care (£20) and Forever Blonde (£26).

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

So Many Lovely Things beauty retrospective 2015: hair and body

hair_body_somanylovelythingsToday we get to the final instalment of the So Many Lovely Things retrospective 2015. What a fantastic year it has been!
And to finish it off, see my favourite which products rocked my hair and body in 2015.

Hair

Multitasking

got2b_allstar_review - 1The Schwarzkopf Got2B All Star tends to 10 hair concerns. Although the volumising and texturising properties on this are my favourites, it delivers in all fronts.
revlon_professional_uniq_one_coconut_hair_treatment_review - 1With the coconut bonus, the Revlon Uniq One spray also delivers on its promises. Hair is soft, hydrated, easy to brush.

Serum/oil

got2b_oilicious - 4The Schwarzkopf Got2b Oil-licious styling oil is a little delight. Smells great, tames, gives shine and leaves hair feeling fantastic.
wella sp luxe oilThe Wella System Professional Luxe Oil is another little gem, with a great smell, leaving hair smooth and silky.
ultimate blends honey treasures reviewThe Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures Strength Restorer serum is great. De-frizzes, smooths and has the most amazing smell of honey.

Shampoo and conditioner

liz earle hair careA great duo: Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. Smell fresh and leaves hair super clean.
ultimate blends honey treasures reviewI am in love with the whole Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasure range. It smells divine and leaves hair feeling soft and nourished. Plus, it is great value for money.
Swell is still part of my routine. It has been since before 2015, but it’s just too good to leave out!

Mask

The Taya Inner Core Hair Strong Anti-breakage mask is great. Feels supple and extra moisturising on the hair and smells delicious.

Dry shampoo

Swell Ultimate Volume Dry ShampooThis is undisputed: The Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo is the king of my tresses. All natural and with a powder spray, it is a must have. Last forever!

Styling tools

revlon_perfectionist_2in1_dryer_review - 1My styling tool discovery was the Revlon Perfectionist 2 in 1 Dryer. A hot air hair brush that works and delivers great blow dry results at home.
babyliss diamond waves wandThe Babyliss Diamond Waves Curling Wand was also well used this year. With the easy guide to creat lovely curls.
Also, a mention to my faithful GHDs, which never, ever let me down way pre 2015 to straighten, curl and wave.

Styling

Schwarzkopf got2b Mind Blowing reviewBeen totally in love with Got2b Mind Blowing Express Styling range. All products are great and speedy.
Talking about Got2b, their Rise ‘n Shine hairspray is also amazing. Styles without stiffness and smells amazing, like all other Got2b products!

Vitamins

hairfinity2Definitely Hairfinity for me. Made a massive difference to my hair, I am still using it; have it on auto-order.

Extensions

irresistible_me_hair_extensions_review - 3Of course, the fabulous Irresistible Me. Just wow. Great quality, fabulous colours, friendly service. Never been so happy and intend to purchase more.

 

Body

Moisturiser

A tough call between a few favourites…
dover_derma_spa - 1The Dove DermaSpa range is just fantastic and the DermaSpa Goodness³ Body Lotion and cream are just great!
I am a fan of Bath & Body Works; Velvet Sugar is one of my favourites scents. Sweet Pea comes a close second. Rich and yum.
coconut_products_somanylovelythings - 6The Yes to Coconut Ultra Light Spray Body Lotion was also a fave this year. I love it is a spray lotion; it feels light and nourishing. And yes, it is coconutty!

Oil

thisworks_energy_bank body makeoverThis Works Energy Bank Body Makeover oil is fabulous. Great on the skin, an awakening smell and integral part of my gym bag.
The Spa Technologies Hydrating Laminaria Oil is one I’ve been using all year and is almost over.

Scrub

fake_bake_coconut_macaroon_scrub - 1I love a good scrub, especially pre-tan. The Fake Bake Dolce Dreams Coconut Macaroon Body Scrub works a treat and smell divine.

Tan

heshi_express - 1Hands down my favourite tan, the HeShi Rapid One Hour Liquid Tan. not only delivers a great tan, but doesn’t smell and works as fast as one hour. Sold!

Hands

crabtree_evelyn_hand - 3There is no competition: the Crabtree & Evelyn  60 Second Fix for Hands. The scrub is amazing and their hand moisturiser is just the best. Take note.

Deodorant

dove soft feel deodorantThe Dove Soft Feel is the deodorant of the year on my books. It has all the quality of a Dove deodorante and the fragrance is absolutely stunning. Love.
I am going to include the Halo deodorant wipes here. Just too handy!

Body wash

dove_empower_hour - 3Again, it’s a Dove item. I love their Gentle Exfoliating Nourishing Body Wash. it is very gentle, but effective. Skin is left clean and moisturised after use.

Bath Oil

An awful lot. Too much. It is soothing for the body and the mind. A true moment of calm, so needed in everyday life.

Intimate wash

sass_intimate_refreshing_mist - 2Sass was a great discovery this year. Their Refreshing Mist and Intimate Wash are just amazing. They are very mild; gentle and effective.
What worked for you in 2015? What are your favourite hair and body products this year?
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This post mentions some press samples.