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.

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!

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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.

Beauty reimagined: Fabled by Marie Claire

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-1Imagine a gorgeous place where your favourite beauty brands come together. That would be enough, right?

Add some beauty experts edits and opinions, from a leading magazine, to make your life easier when choosing the best products for you.

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-2Then, top it off with a real shop full of friendly and approachable professionals in the counters.

Enough? Thought so, but there’s more: online shop with the superb Ocado delivery service, within a chosen 1 hour time slot.

Too good to be true? Maybe, but it’s real. All this is Fabled by Marie Claire.

And you can experience it right now as I have an exclusive 15% discount code for you, lovely readers, to start shopping online right now: VOU039323938, valid until the 26th October 2016. 

To me, the concept is genius: an online shop tons of amazing beauty brands covering makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance, supported by the magazine expert edits, reviews and trend watching.

Beauty lovers that might be short for time, or are not sure about what red lipstick to go for, now have a haven to make their lives easier and help them nail they beauty needs.

And The Fabled Shop in London’s Tottenham Court Road? Dreamy!

fabled-marie-claireI was about to place my order at fabled.com and decided I needed a new foundation. Took the opportunity to try the new Urban Decay All Nighter foundation.

So I went to the shop for a colour match, as I work nearby. Even though I told the lovely makeup artist on the UD counter I was not buying, she was lovely, helpful and super friendly.

I also wanted to get myself a new eyeliner – I went for Estée Lauder Little Black Liner. Obviously both will be reviewed soon!

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-3Now to the order. The site is clean, well categorised, so it is easy to use and find what you’re looking for. You can also look for specific brands, skin concerns, the Marie Claire edit and specific filtering within categories.

They have an online chat to help you in those decisive hours and placing the order is very quick and painless, with Ocado delivery (free over £15, £3.90 otherwise) slots from 5:30 am to 11:3pm.

And you can attach it to your grocery shopping. Now, that’s as exciting as it is dangerous!

Remember, you can get 15% off right now with my code VOU039323938, valid until the 26th October.

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-4At fabled.com and at their fabulous The Fabled Shop at 21 Tottenham Court Road, London, you can find Aveda, Aromatherapy Associates, Balance Me, Bobbi Brown, Benefit, bkr, Burberry, Clinique, Caudalie, Crabtree & Evelyn, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Essie, Eyeko, Estée Lauder, Eylure, ghd, Giorgio Armani, Gucci,  Hugo Boss, He-Shi, Lancôme, Lipstick Queen, L’Oréal Paris, Marc Jacobs, Maybelline, Nails Inc, NARS, OPI, REN, Rimmel, Seche, St. Tropez, Skin & Tonic, T3, This Works, The Balm, Tom For, Urban Decay, Zelens (breathe) and much more.

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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!

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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.

 

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.

Want an easy blow dry? Revlon Perfectionist 2 in 1 Dryer does just that!

revlon_perfectionist_2in1_dryer_review - 1Another memory from childhood: you know those electric round hot brushes, very spiky? When Revlon got in touch about the Perfectionist 2 in 1 hairdryer, that’s what I thought about.

I couldn’t have been more wrong!

To start with, I was a bit sceptical; after all I had my share of 2-in-1 products that won’t do either 1 or 2 properly. Well, this is not the case here.

Hair routines usually consist on a couple of steps at least: drying and styling. This tool promises to style while drying, saving time and stress from multiple tools on the hair.

revlon_perfectionist_2in1_dryer_review - 2The Revlon Perfectionist 2 in 1 hairdryer is, putting it bluntly, a hot air hair paddle brush. It has three settings including a cold one.

It does looks quite bulky but it’s light, and feels slightly too big in my hands but is quite comfortable to use, as it is ergonomically designed The brush feels comfortable on the hair and scalp, there was no tugging and it detangles quite well.

I went straight for the higher speed. In the beginning I thought it would take ages to dry my hair but then I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it is indeed due to the Iconic Conditioning Ioniser for quick drying.

It did take a bit longer than my usual (super) quick dry but the results were amazing: almost that of a professional blow dry with little effort.

revlon_perfectionist_2in1_dryer_review - 4My hair was lifted from the root and had great volume, I was very impressed. It also had more shine to it.

Better still, I went to bed and woke up with hair that didn’t need any styling re-touches, which is usually the case when I just quick dry or let it dry naturally.

revlon_perfectionist_2in1_dryer_review - 3My hair is fine and kinks a lot at night so always needs some smoothing in the morning. I just needed a normal brush and go.

The new Revlon launches in January 2016 and will retail for £39.99.  it will be available from big retailers nationwide.

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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.

Heavenly tresses with the Revlon Professional Uniq One

revlon_professional_uniq_one_coconut_hair_treatment_review - 1The Revlon Professional Uniq OneCoconut Hair Treatment is a fantastic hair treatment designed to care for 10 hair care concerns.
It has he most amazing coconut smell – did I mention o love coconuts? Oh yeah, only 1000 times!
Anyway, apply to damp hair after washing and immediately hair feels super soft. It’s a great help to brush as it helps detangle.
The spray is fine and the mist is light, not weighing at all on the hair.
revlon_professional_uniq_one_coconut_hair_treatment_review - 2After drying, the hair feel soft, shiny, nourished and of course, coconutty!
I can say I  did notice improvement on most of the ten areas mentioned, especially shine, frizz control, body, easier styling and detangling and smoothness. Thumbs up!
This product is part of the professional range so we can get that from your salon, Amazon and other online retailers. It costs around £10.
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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.

Festive hair fix at Charles Worthington

IMG_5795It’s almost December and we are gearing up for the end of the year festivities which seem to be everywhere: the office, groups of friends, family… So many parties, so little time.

To give you a helping hand, Charles Worthington put together a festive dry styling bar menu, which takes only 15 minutes and costs an affordable £15 to get you party ready in no time.

You can have a Luxe or a Loose style, inspired by the AW15 catwalks.

There are braids, sleek straights and glamorous waves, which was my choice. CW_DRY_STYLING_2015_AW_NEW_FOOTER_HIRES

I went to the House of Charles Worthington in London’s Covent Garden. It is a lovely building with hair amazing-ness split between various floors.

I was greeted and offered a drink; there’s one included with every appointment, and you can have festive tipples like mulled wine too, as well as sparkling, wine and non-alcoholic drinks, so you can start the party earlier!

For £2 extra, you can have as many as you like during your appointment.

I got my pink sparkling and headed to the hair styling area, where the lovely Yana styled my hair in extra glam curls.

Even with the long hair, it took a short time (around 20 minutes) and I was party proof in the blink of an eye.

As it is dry styling, there is no problems if you are wearing extensions.

A great idea to take you from your desk to the heart of the party effortless.

Charles Worthington has three addresses in London, covering central (House of CW, Queen Street and Percy Street) and the city (The Broadgate Club).

To book an appointment, check online or just give them a ring (Queen St and Percy St:020 7831 5303 and City: 020 7638 0802), and dazzle at the parties!

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I was invited to try the service, but this review is based on my honest opinion on the experience I had.

Unleash your inner Rapunzel with Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

irresistible_me_hair - 1Since I decided to go for an extreme chop, when I was a teenager, never again my hair got that “almost at the waist” length again.

In reality, for most of my life, that wasn’t really something I was thinking about. When I was in my late teens and twenties, short hair, mushroom style, was all the rage. That’s fine, you can judge me. You should.

When I moved to London, my hair was somewhat way below the bra line in a straight, all round length.lbf_countryside_autumn - 11

A bad DIY dye job, followed by an even worse DIY hair cut led to a just below the shoulder fix.

That, however, wasn’t the worse hair disaster. Trying to save some money, I went to a student hair academy, and, as I should know, the “just a trim” doesn’t quite fly in these scenarios and I got the worse layering job in the history of hairs. I promise.

irresistible_me_hair - 2After a whole month I had to pay £100 to get it fixed at the much higher expense of having what was left of my length disappear. Had to cut it just below the ear, in an asymmetrical bob, which luckily for me, was in.

From there it started. I was longing for long, luscious tresses and decided to experiment with hair extensions.

Being the chicken I am, I went for clip-ins. Had various incarnations and nowadays, I buy hair, cut and sew my own clips.

Until Irresistible Me sent me this luscious, fabulous Royal Remy set. This is their most deluxe natural hair extensions; the thickness of the hair is the same from top to bottom, giving it that luscious look.

I love the packaging. The pouch with the separate test hair is a good reassurance that you will be able to see if the selected colour is indeed a good match.

Providing you don’t break the seal, you can return your hair. In my case, the match was great so I went in to rip it in excitement (and didn’t even photograph before!).

A shame the pouch is not made of a more durable plastic to be re-usable; I usually keep my extensions in bikini pouches.

My hair is not very short (currently past the bra line, around 18in), but lacks in volume and body.

The hair is of great quality and the pack of 200g comes with 10 pieces (!) (1 x 4 clips, 2 x 3 clips, 5 x 2 clips and 2 x 2 clips).

The colour, medium brown (#4), is a great match for my natural colour.

lbf_countryside_autumn - 10The hair blends well, even though I feel it’s slightly thicker in texture than mine. In fact, it blends so well that the lovely Jamie from Beauty Rocks could not believe it was not my own hair, even in broad daylight.

Overall, the finishing on the piece is great. The clips are small but efficient and the larger piece has a neat netting.

It was lovely that they have videos on the site to help you choose your colour.

Shipping was relatively quick, especially considering the company is in the US, but the hair is order made in China.

lbf_countryside_autumn - 9

Very easy to style and take to heat and products quite well, although I tend to not use a lot, to preserve the extensions. What I use a lot is hair oil, especially when putting it away. Lately, the Got2b Oil-licious is my favourite!

The hair doesn’t tangle too much and when it does, it is easy to detangle. The bulk of the volume is on the main piece, which goes at the widest part of the head and ends just before the ears.

It washed very well, not a lot of fall, and upon scrunching and drying naturally, it took the most beautiful waves, as seen above, which makes the look even more natural.

If I am honest, to create a natural look for my, I don’t need more than 5 pieces. I tend to go for that, and that’s what you see on these images. even though it’s not quite like my style, maybe one day I will go all in.

Still, I got so many compliments on my “great hair”…

The Irresistible Me Royal Remy hair extensions cost US$299 for 22in (mine) and at the moment it is on sale for US$224, and these guys deliver worldwide.

I am truly in love. “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair”. Well, now I can.

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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.