After a long interruption, I am back to blogging again. I was really flattered to receive so many emails and comments from readers asking me to blog more regularly. I also realised something whilst having a break...I actually really missed the interaction I have with all of you and after over three years of blogging, it has become probably one of my favourite pastimes. So really, when I'm not doing it, it feels like something is missing. Does that make sense? I guess I had told myself that given the sheer amount of blogs out there, no one would really miss my little ramblings on here. But I have been really touched by the fact that so many people enjoy reading about my thoughts, advice and generally about the goings on in my life.
So...it's back to business (or leisure) as usual! I thought there would be no better way to kick off than to share with you, a few products which have been rocking my world of late. Can a beauty product really rock your world? Well anything that makes my day-to-day life that little bit easier is a welcome addition to my regime!
LA Science Follicle Stimulating Shampoo
Now I'm no sucker when it comes to outrageous claims by brands promising the world and delivering very little. So when I initially spied this shampoo, my beauty spidey-senses were telling me not to be taken in by claims of rapunzel-esque locks. Now I don't have an issue with hair loss and I wouldn't make jokes about it as I know it's a very real problem for some women. However, I was seduced by the thought of a shampoo which purports to have "assumed a ‘cult’ following among women who simply want to add volume and increase the thickness of their own fine hair and benefit from the ‘growth-factor’ peptide properties of this luxurious, conditioning shampoo!".
So the long and short of it is that this shampoo isn't just for hair loss, it's for anyone who wants voluminous and healthy hair in general. So how did it perform? Well, I would say that for this formula to be truly effective, you really need to spend that extra bit of time in the morning to massage it thoroughly into your scalp. A slap dash approach just won't cut the mustard here. After a good 3 weeks of using the shampoo, I have noticed that my hair feels fuller, has more body and looks healthier overall. I think the important thing to remember is that this isn't a solution to make your hair grow quicker per se, but a treatment shampoo to improve the health of your scalp to encourage healthier hair. Although this shampoo can also act as a conditioner, I still prefer to apply conditioner to the ends of my hair but it's completely up to your hair type. Given that I highlight my hair, I really have to take care of the ends or they get so dry.
This shampoo is available here for £11.90 with free delivery.
Kerastase Elixir Ultime
I had heard a lot about this product in the beauty community and being a fan of Macadamia Oil, I was keen to find out how this haircare product would compare.
"Winner of Best Hair Innovation at Harper's Bazaar Beauty Hot 100 Awards 2011. Unveiling the magic of oils, this is a versatile beautifying treatment enriched with a complex mix of four luxurious oils. Unlock the latest secret of true hair beauty with just a few drops, leaving your hair shiny and nourished. Intense conditioner for your hair, leaving it smoother and more manageable".
Now my problem with hair oils is often that they are too heavy and viscose for my fine hair, leading to my locks being weighed down by the product and looking just plain greasy. The thing that immediately struck me about this hair oil is that it is so light in texture, almost more like a serum consistency. You can either use this hair oil half an hour before you wash your hair as an intense treatment or apply it to towel-dried hair as a leave in treatment. I use it as an intense treatment once a week and every day as a way to smooth my hair and prevent it getting frizzy at the ends. I only need one pump to cover the lengths of my hair (it never goes near my scalp). I am so impressed with this product and in my mind, it's perfect for anyone with fine hair. I suspect that products like MorrocanOil or Macadamia Oil would be more effective on thicker, more unruly hair-types. Given that you only need a tiny amount for each application, I reckon this bottle I got will last a long time.
I bought a 50ml bottle from this seller on Ebay for £16.95 with free delivery.
Origins Calm To Your Senses Lavender and Vanilla Body Souffle
It's no secret that I am a massive fan of Origins as a brand and I love to treat myself to their body souffle products when I'm pampering myself. My all time favourite has to be the Ginger Souffle which is just heavenly. This variation contains Olive Oil, Grape Seed Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil and it leaves your skin so smooth and soft. These products aren't cheap by any stretch of the imagination but I like to have these more pricey pampering products stashed away for when I need a proper treat. It smells delicious and the scent really does relax you. The consistency of these body moisturisers are what make them for me because they are reasonably light in texture but they are supremely hydrating and sink into your skin quickly.
You can buy the product here at £22.00 for a 200ml tub. I personally like to save up my Boots Advantage Points using Treat Street to buy my more pricey items. It's like getting yourself a present!
Estee Lauder Smoothing Manicure/Pedicure Treatment
I have mentioned this product on my blog before but it deserves another mention I think! This mani/pedi treatment is the best I have ever come across in terms of it's smoothing powers and hydration. What with all the work I have been doing in the house and garden, my hands have really suffered. They get dry very easily, especially between my fingers and so they require a super-charged moisturiser to get them back in a presentable condition.
It is described as an "intensely hydrating creme. Rich in concentrated emollients, paraffin and a special moisture retainer, it pampers even the driest skin into extreme softness. Like a "paraffin dip" spa treatment, it eases away dryness and discomfort".
I apply this treatment every night and massage it into my nails. It keep my hands soft and smooth, without leaving a greasy film. The treatment also transforms your feet into something a lot more sandal-worthy. If we ever get any more sun this summer, at least my feet will be ready for it! I have also been using this intense moisturiser on areas which also get dry such as my knees, elbows etc and it really is effective at keeping your skin in tip-top condition. A must have for me!
You can buy it here at £19.00 for 250ml.
Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning
Clarins are, hands-down, my favourite brand for facial self tanning products. A lot of other brands break the skin out on my face, probably because they block my pores up and aggravate my sensitive skin. However, these two products are non-irritating, give my skin a lovely natural golden colour and fade evenly.
"This cutting edge self tanner has a refreshing, silky-smooth texture which is quick to apply and dry. From natural-looking honey through to a warm golden glow, skin is left soft, moisturised and protected against free radicals."
I generally apply fake tan about twice a week to maintain a slightly tanned appearance. I don't like to overdo it as I find that a really deep tan can be ageing. This Liquid Bronze formula is a light milk consistency and therefore, very little is required to cover the face/decolletage area. It dries super-quick and has no tint to it so you're bed covers are safe!
You can buy it here at £17.50 with free delivery.
Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning
This particular product is more of a balm consistency and my skin always feel so incredibly soft and smooth the morning after using it. It gives a slightly darker colour than the Liquid Bronze lotion but I only use this product on my face.
"The silky, lightweight mousse melts into the skin, for quick and ultra-easy application. Lines and enlarged pores are instantly smoothed away, the complexion is luminous and later develops a subtle healthy glow. With regular application, the tan intensifies, but always with a subtle, natural-looking colour result."
The jar is smaller in size so it's more suited to facial application only. Only a very small amount is required for each application and you are left with a gorgeous golden colour. Highly recommended!
You can buy it here at £17.50 with free delivery.
I have finally joined the Clarisonic club! What with me being a skincare junkie, it's incredible that I haven't tried this product before.
"Using Sonic Technology, Clarisonic’s patented micro-massage motion works within skin’s natural elasticity to gently remove the impurities traditional methods leave behind- leaving skin softer, smoother and more beautiful.
- Cleanses 6x better than with your hands alone in just 60 seconds
- Works with skin, not against it, to gently massage away impurities trapped within pores
- Prepares skin for better absorption of creams, serums and moisturizers
- Gentle enough to use 2x a day".
I have to say that I normally use the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleansing method but the Clarisonic device just gives that extra deep down cleaning sensation that I love. Since I started using it about 5 weeks ago, I have seen a really improvement in the texture and appearance of my skin. It feels like it is refining and fine-tuning my skin, making it appear more radiant and healthy. It really is gentle enough to use every day and never feels scratchy or uncomfortable on my skin.
This Clarisonic is compact, great for travel and very easy to use. I just apply my usual cream cleanser all over my face, then use the Clarisonic in circular movement over my skin. It doesn;t take much time at all and you are left with skin that feels super clean, refreshed and invigorated. I generally use it ever night before bed but it's also great for use just before you apply your makeup for really glowy skin! I love this!
You can buy the Clarisonic Mia here for £117.50.
And if you are wondering how Decky is...well as you can see, after being introduced to Haagen Dazs ice cream, it's now a firm favourite of his! He has become very demanding and barks every time he sees the little pot!