Friday, 3 October 2014


I'm a sucker for a beauty box. I'm not a sucker for subscription services however - I feel like it's far too easy to sign up and then forget about it, adding to the stack of costs we part with on a monthly basis. I find the subscription boxes tend to be a bit lacking in their contents too, and they keep you interested by throwing in one really good product every couple of months. Sneaky. For this reason I prefer to satisfy my beauty box craving with those more of the Latest In Beauty and Memebox ilk - one off purchases, generally offering a much higher quality of contents, and often only a few pounds more than the subscription services. But now there's a new box on the block..

This is actually the second month that the Look Fantastic box has been available, but the September edition sold out in the blink of an eye. It contained some amazing products however (including Kerastase, St Tropez and Caudile), which prompted me to preorder this months. At last, October has arrived and the box is in my hands. So what lurks inside?

Wowsers trousers. That's my kinda beauty box. 

  • L'OREAL PROFESSIONAL SERIE EXPERT PRO KERATIN REFILL SHAMPOO AND MASQUE. Phew, these names keep getting longer and longer. This was the first thing that caught my eye as I instantly recognised the packaging. The Serie Expert range is a very highly rated collection of salon quality hair products, offering a vast range for various hair woes. Funnily enough I actually purchased the Vitamino Color Masque from the range yesterday, though have yet to use it. The Pro Keratin products are right down my street though, being aimed towards weak and damaged hair. They contain keratin (duh), which is the protein building block of hair and provides strength and elasticity, and also contain ceramides (branded as 'Incell'), the lipids which hold the scales of the hair cuticle in place - sometimes called hair glue or hair cement. These products are therefore brilliant for repairing the damage that heat styling, colouring and even the environment can inflict on hair. Basically, I'm pretty jazzed to try these out!

  • KMS FREESHAPE QUICK BLOW DRY SPRAY. One for those of you more blessed in the hair department, this spray claims to cut drying time by up to 50%, while also providing heat protection and light conditioning for soft, smooth and hopefully dry hair. My hair isn't too much bother to dry anyway, but I'm definitely interested to see if it lives up to its claims as it strikes me as quite a unique product in the hair care market.

  • GATINEAU COLLAGENE EXPERT ULTIMATE SMOOTHING CREAM. This is probably the least interesting product for me, but only because I'm very particular about my facial moisturisers. It's primarily intended for skin showing signs of ageing, and contains collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin and a variety of vitamins and minerals to give plump, moisturised skin with less visible wrinkles (apparently). It doesn't strike me as particularly ground breaking product but has a hefty £60 price tag. Its consistency is gel-like and therefore too lightweight for my liking anyway, and also has a complete lack of any smell whatsoever? Bizarre. 

  • BALANCE ME FACIAL EXPRESSION FILLER. I sometimes wonder if Balance Me actually make any profit - I'm forever seeing their products being given away in beauty boxes and on magazines. Another one primarily for signs of ageing skin, this is to be be applied to expression lines on the forehead, mouth and eyes. While I'm thankfully still wrinkle free, I'll probably try this round my eyes as it also contains the moisture retaining ingredient hyaluronic acid. It has a strong scent however - as lovely and relaxing as it is, some skin types might not tolerate this well.

  • KORRES CITRUS SHOWER GEL. I get through shower gels like nobodies business, so these will always get used. It's a fantastically refreshing scent which will definitely help to get you going in the mornings, but would I ever pay £8 for the full size? Nah. Get real, it's a shower gel. Plus I'm totally hooked on the Right Guard Shower + Oils at the minute - by far my favourite shower gel of ALL TIME. Moisturising, gorgeous but not overpowering scent, and can usually be picked up for 99p. BRILL.

  • THIS WORKS SLEEP PLUS PILLOW SPRAY. This has come at just the right time for me - I've been having some rather uncharacteristic difficulty sleeping lately (usually I'm asleep in seconds and will proceed to sleep in a log-like fashion for the following 8+ hours). The smell is gorgeous - like most of these sort of products it's predominantly lavender, which is a favourite of mine. I'm not entirely sure of the difference between this and their Deep Sleep Pillow Spray though, with the product descriptions not giving much away. The price difference is big though - £25 for 75mL of Sleep Plus, versus £16 for the same amount of Deep Sleep. I probably wouldn't be willing to part with so much money for what is actually a very basic product, but that's why these boxes are great!
I'm really pleased with the selection in this months box, and while there's a couple of products that I probably won't use, the variety of quality brands, the size of the samples and the good mix of hair/skin/misc products is what sells it for me. I'm definitely looking forward to next months.. and feeling quietly glad I cancelled my Birchbox sub!

The Look Fantastic beauty box retails for £15 with free delivery! The box is currently out of stock (no surprise!), but will be available again (phew).

Peace, pals!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


I don't often find hair products that really do it for me. I read the bold claims on the packaging, throw my money at someone, and then.. disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind spending out a little for something which really works, but finding that something is often easier said than done.

This stuff though. THIS STUFF.

I've had my eye on these Revlon Nutri Color Cremes for some time - starting way back when I had postbox red hair circa 2011. They were considerably more difficult to come by at the time, and therefore more expensive to boot. They stayed out of the reach of my measly student budget, and my hair was sad. On my recent return to the gingery side, it turned out I had forgotten just how much the colour fades, despite me only washing my hair every 4/5 days with sulphate free shampoo and cold water. So much suffering, such little gain. Turns out these little beauties are much easier to get hold of now, so I parted with my ~£11 and waited eagerly.

So what even are they? A colour depositing conditioner designed to work in just 3 minutes, basically. Apply 8-10 pumps of product evenly through the hair, et voilĂ ! Not just for the redheaded amongst us, these are available in 15 shades (though some appear easier to come by than others).

They're designed to maintain colour after dyeing, which in turn means less frequent dyeing and therefore less damage. This is fantastic particularly for difficult to maintain colours, but of course anything which makes your hair super soft AND reduces the need for colour maintenance is a blessing for all those who dabble in hair dye. You can apply it with each wash in place of your usual conditioner, or as often as you feel the colour needs a little refreshing, and like dyes you can mix shades to get the colour you're looking for.

I only got hold of this product about 3-4 weeks after colouring my hair. By this point the colour had lightened up a fair bit and was looking uneven, but no way was I going to recolour so soon! The results are therefore probably different to if I had started using it immediately after colouring, but are brilliant nonetheless.

deep and brooding

The above pictures were taken today, which was the second time of using the nutri colour creme (having also used it on my previous wash 5 days ago). I originally dyed my hair 5 weeks ago (you can see my post showing the initial colour HERE), and while the colour is certainly lighter and more copper than it was, I'm really pleased with how much life this has given it! The colour is looking even and my hair is feeling healthy, plus it's saved me from having to recolour so soon.

I can't recommend these enough for anyone with coloured hair, but particularly for redheads. They vary in cost between about £10 and £15, so I would advise shopping around. I picked mine up off eBay, but they're also available through Beauty Bay, Fragrance Direct and most salon supplies retailers.

Peace, chums.