Sunday, 14 June 2015

Non-Negotiables

You know when all of your favourite products run out at once? That's what happened to me earlier this month and inspired this post about my 'non-negoatibles', the product I always have, the products I simply won't budge on and the products I will repeatedly repurchase. 
1. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Gel, or as I like to call it, better skin in a bottle. This gel exfoliant has completely transformed my skin over the course of the last year and now I won't be without it. Its refreshing gel texture sinks in easily before I apply my moisturiser and helps to gently resurface my skin. I've often found that BHA's work better on my combination skin, they seem to work harder and be more compatible with my skin - the result being less blemishes and a more even, refined skin texture. It's extremely good value for money too, retailing at £22.50 from the Paula's Choice website HERE.  

2. Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning. I know I'll be boring you now, as I've mentioned this so many times on my blog. It really is the BEST facial tanner out there that leaves you lightly golden and not orange. It's a very subtle hue that makes you appear that little bit healthier and brighter. I usually pick it up from Boots when they have an offer going on, but you can get it for the bargain price of £17.60 HERE at the moment.

3. Quite possibly my all time favourite cleanser. A truly indulgent gel-to-oil that effectively removes makeup, dirt and oil. The scent is beautiful and turns the relatively mundane task of cleansing an almost spa-like experience. I find with some cleansing balms/oils that they have too much 'slip', whereas the OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel has just enough 'slip' to do a good facial massage, but without sliding all over the place if that makes sense? It's £28 a bottle from HERE, but it does tend to last a good 6 months.

4. Nothing and I mean nothing compares to the original Moroccan Oil Treatment. I'll never fail to be amazed at how much better the ends of my hair feel when using a few pumps of this pre-blow dry. It's pretty pricey (£31.75 from HERE) but again, a little goes a long way and I generally tend to get a good 4-6 months out of it. For when my hair isn't in great condition I like to dampen the ends and apply a generous amount of oil before wrapping everything up in a towel and leaving for as long as possible.

What are your non-negotiables?
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Muse of London REVIEW

Last week I was invited down to Muse of London to have a hair cut and colour. It couldn't have come at a better time, my last trip to the salon for colour was in October last year, with my last hair cut being in January, so it's safe to say my hair was in need of some serious TLC. Step in Carly and her wonderful team at Muse of London.
L: Before, quite dull, brassy ends, in need of a cut! R: After, refreshed, creamy blonde tips, healthy ends (it was dark outside at this point so excuse the bad lighting!)
After having a short wait in their lovely waiting area - they have a SMEG fridge filled with goodies to keep you happy whilst you wait - I was introduced to Carly, who would be doing both my colour and cut. I explained that my hair was in a good need of a chop as the bleach at the ends, coupled with the fact I hadn't had it cut in a while meant it was looking a big 'dead'. We also agreed that I wanted more of a creamy blonde on the tips as opposed to the brassy colour that was on there at the moment.

The colour was applied to the lengths of my backcombed hair (ombre/balayage addicts will know that this is a necessary pain for a good blend between the dark and lighter colours). I never have colour on my roots purely down to the fact that I'm too lazy to get in coloured frequently, so it means when my hair grows out, I don't get any roots. My hair was then washed, the backcomb brushed through, a toner rinsed through, then a conditioning treatment applied.

My hair was then cut by Carly quickly and precisely to give my ends and layers a new lease of life. Inspecting my hair a few days later I couldn't find one single split end - usually I find one or two after a trip to the hairdresser that's been missed, particularly in the layers. I'm really happy with how Carly cut the hair around my face too, before it was sitting quite 'heavy', but she totally lightened it up.

At first I thought the colours might be a bit too blonde on the tips, but in the following days I've grown to absolutely love it. Carly did such an amazing job on the tip-to-length blend and I think my current colour was just so dull that having healthy-looking creamy blonde tips came as a bit of a surprise. It's taught me that I really need to trust hairdressers more, and those at Muse really do know what they're doing.

I really, really like Muse of London. Ever since I moved to London I've struggled to find a decently priced, but excellent salon. Muse of London ticks both of my requirements so it'll come as no surprise that I'm going to book in again soon.
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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Lightly Golden Self Tanners

There once was a time where I thought the more coats of St Mortiz Dark Mousse, the better. As the rather embarassing pictures I've put together below demonstrate, it certainly wasn't my finest look! Thankfully I grew out of the tangoed appearance and have embraced more natural-looking self tanners in recent years. I've picked out three of my current favourites below.  
L-R - 1. Obviously not a fan of matching my face to my body... 2. Being a cheerleader certainly didn't help matters in the fake tan department. Again, note the colour of my legs compared to my face. 3.  A typical fake tan faux pas. 4. My face caught up with the rest of my body,  unfortunately I look like a cast member of TOWIE. 
 ST TROPEZ ORIGINAL MOUSSE // £30.50 // HERE 
It's only recently that I tried St Tropez having been loyal to Xen Tan for longer than I can remember. I rarely use a full fake tan anymore, opting for gradual tanners instead, but when I want a full on golden glow this is what I've been using. I like that it has an olive undertone instead of the red undertones of most self tans. The only downside is the smell, but you'll never get rid of that completely as it's the core ingredient in self tan that you can smell.

CLARINS LIQUID BRONZE SELF-TANNING LOTION // £20 // HERE
Hands down my all time favourite facial tanner. I've found Clarins do self tanners ridiculously well and the liquid bronze is no exception. I like to apply this in the evening before bed, avoiding my hairline and eyebrows. In the morning I have a very natural glow to my skin which lasts a couple of days and fades beautifully.

L'OREAL SUBLIME SUMMER GLOW LOTION // £6.99 // HERE 
Ideal for paler skin tones, the Sublime Summer Glow Lotion from L'Oreal is a virtually foolproof way to a sun kissed glow. This one smells quite nice (only a faint hint of biscuits) and doesn't streak. It dries relatively quickly and feels quite nourishing. It's worth pointing out that this one contains mineral oil if you're particularly opposed to using it on your body, other than that, I can't really fault it.

Summer skin? Sorted.
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