Natural waves with lots of volume

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

I was blessed (not really) with quite smooth hair. What this really means is that my hair is quite fine, refuses to hold any style, and lies completely flat against my head, which I unfortunately find particularly unflattering for my face.

My hair is naturally a little wavy, though this it seems to be getting straighter with age (is that a thing?!), so I at least have that on my side sometimes in the constant battle against flat, lifeless hair. But I've recently found a combination of products that give me the volume and defined waves I covet so much...

The Products:

V05 tousled style spray
Charles Worthington texturising spray
Sikvikrin Firm-Hold Hairspray
Backcombing Brush

The Process: 

I find if I wash my hair in the morning, it dries quite wavy. However, waiting for that takes more time than I have, so I prefer to shower at night and sleep with it wet. Because of that, I normally have to add in a few extra waves with my GHD straighteners, or my Babyliss Waving Wand, both of which give natural-looking, lose waves, which I set in place with hairspray. I've been using this hairspray off an on for maybe about 4 years, and always go back to it, it's great for the price.

Next, I section off the very top layer of my hair and use the Charles Worthington spray at the roots to add volume. This stuff is great, it can feel a little sticky at times when you're rubbing it in, but it doesn't leave your hair feeling manky and gross like a lot of similar volumising products.

If I want extra, long lasting volume then I'll backcomb at this point too. Once that's all done, I'll let down the top section and gently run the backcombing brush over the top to help give things a smoother finish on top.

I finish with a quick spritz of hairpsray all over, and by spraying a couple squirts of the V05 product into my hands then scrunching my waves to help add hold and definition (the spray diffusion of this stuff is bloody awful, don't even bother trying to spray directly onto your hair).

Together, I find these products work an absolute treat, so they've quickly become my go-to products for when I want my hair to look its best!

What are your favouite hair styling products?
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Benefit b.right Radiant Skincare Set

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

My twin sister got me this minis Benefit skincare set for my birthday back in October. I waited a while to use them whilst I finished a couple of other products, so I could use them all together and see if they had any affect. I’ve now pretty much used up the whole lot. So let’s get cracking…

Foamingly Clean Facial Wash
My skin does feel quite nice after using this, it foams up nicely so you don’t need much each time. But it really seems no better than your average face wash, my skin feels slightly stripped of moisture afterwards, so I’d save your money and go for something else with this one .

Refined Finish Facial Polish
Now, this is one of my favourites from the range. It’s very harsh so not for regular use, not on my face anyway, yours might be able to take a little more than mine. But the grains are quite large and exfoliate well. When I feel my skin getting a bit bumpy or dull, I use this and it makes my face so lovely and soft without being too moisture-sucking. So used once a week or so I find it a really effective exfoliator.  

Moisture Prep Toning Lotion
My least favourite from the range. The toner was harsh, not for sensitive skin at all (not that I even have sensitive skin). My skin felt quite tight after use, begging for moisturiser to help sooth my skin and rehydrate.

Triple Performance Facial Emulsion
I wasn’t convinced by this one. The spf15 is a welcome addition, but it was very watery and didn’t feel all that moisturising (which didn’t really cut it for me at this time of the year).  My major irk with this was the packaging, even when I left it balanced top down, the product still took an age(and some shaking) to get out, which I never have time for in the mornings.

It's Potent! Eye Cream
This was nice enough, it felt light so good for use around the eyes and absorbed quickly. It had no adverse effect to any subsequent makeup application. That said, as a 23 year old, I’m never sure of any real benefits from using an eye cream. They never seem to genuinely reduce dark circles which is my main problem and this cream was no different.

Total Moisture Facial Cream
Also another of my favourites, a little goes a long way. It’s thick but absorbed very quickly and it really did help battle any dry patches. It provided a good base for makeup and made my skin feel and look more moisturised instantly. Only shame is the no spf, but it’s great to use before putting on your face if you’re heading out for the evening.

Overall, a couple of these are definitely winners, and the range itself is decent (apart from the toner, that wasn’t my cup of tea at all) and all the packaging does look adorable so it made a great gift (thanks again Char).

Final note if you’re one for lovely scents, this might not be for you. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the smell of the whole range, it reminds me of a mix between a scented bar of  soap and suncream. So if you’re a bit picky with your scents it might be worth tracking down a sample to give it a sniff first.

Have you tried any Benefit skincare – what are your thoughts? 
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Shop my stash

Friday, 13 February 2015

This week in a bid to stop me splurging on new products I don’t need (student woes!), I delved into the archives of my makeup collection to rediscover some old gems I’d forgotten about.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer 

With it being winter I’ve not been using bronzer as much and recent preoccupation with exams and essays has meant I haven’t bothered doing the whole contour thing when putting my face on, I felt like I had better things to be getting on with. Hoola is a classic bronzer that isn’t too orange, and blends really nicely on the skin. It has a matte finish, which is always a winner when you’re looking to contour or opting for a more natural look.

Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot

I forgot just how great this powder was, after consistently relying on Bourjois Healthy Mix powder for the past couple of months. It’s very finely milled and transparent so great for all. Unlike many powders you can reapply this throughout the day without risking a cakey face - not that you really need to reapply.  I’m no stranger to an oily T-zone and if I pat on a bit of this in the morning, I normally only need to top up once more throughout the day which is excellent oil-control power in my books. I'm definitely back on the one heck of a blot bandwagon. 

Lancome Hypnose Mascara

I always find this mascara needs to be left to dry out for a couple of weeks to give you best results. But after a few days stashed in the bottom of your makeup bag this will lengthen and volumise your lashes superbly. It separates nicely so no spider lashes!

Sleek Blush - Rose Gold

I will forever return to Sleek for blush, Sleek always reminds me of when I was starting out with makeup, but its blush game is top notch. I’ve been reaching for more cream blush recently to help get a dewy look, but this blush is ideal as the gold shimmer throughout won’t let things get too matte. Plus it means I can skip the highlighter and help reduce the time it takes to get ready. Always a bonus.

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer

I’m a bit of a concealer whore, so I’ve got a lot I forget about. You get two-in-one with this. A salmon toned concealer for undereyes and one for blemishes, which makes life easier as you don’t have to bother carrying more than one around. For me, the yellow-toned concealer wins the show, it’s perfect over blemishes as it’s creamy so doesn’t make the area look dry attracting any more unwanted attention to the issue. Plus, the colour counteracts any redness. It works best applied with a small brush to any problem areas.

So there you have it, those are my choices to reintroduce back into my everyday makeup routine.

Have you tried any of these? Or rediscovered any old favourites recently?

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The scrub that's better than Soap & Glory - Botanics Body Polish Review

Monday, 9 February 2015

My mum bought me this scrub a year or so ago, and after quickly using it up I didn't repurchase. Instead I gave some other body exfoliators a try. I used a couple of the Soap and Glory ones, along with a Sanctuary Spa one and a Body Shop one. After all this swapping and changing I decided to pick up the Botantics again remembering that I really rated it the first time around.

With hindsight, I have decided this Botanics Body Polish from Boots is my fave. It doesn't smell quite as nice as the Soap & Glory or Body Shop ones admittedly but it has a light scent that I find myself indifferent towards.

But, it does one hell of a job as an exfoliator. I find the grains in it perfect for a body scrub, they're the right size to give a high level of exfoliation without being too harsh, and it doesn't leave your skin super dry afterwards.

The thing I love the most about this though, especially when compared with Soap and Glory is that it seems to stick to the skin better when you apply it. You really have to work at it to massage it into the skin to get all areas covered, but that means the shower water doesn't immediately wash it away before you've had a chance to exfoliate properly, so you're not wasting half the product straight down the drain. Soap & Glory scrubs do have a similar effect, but definitely nowhere near as good.

As a cheaper alternative to Soap and Glory, this is seriously worth a try. It exfoliates just as well, and doesn't leave your skin craving body lotion. I also much prefer the squeezy tube this comes in rather than a pot. I find you're more likely to get the right amount out, plus I always end up accidentally filling anything in a pot full of shower water, so tubes are definitely preferable for me.

Have you tried this or anything else from the Botanics range?
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