So I'm feeling all summery today and it is raining, typical!
I think my summer feeling is a little bit down to the sun we had earlier this week, the fact that it is a bank holiday (and therefore should be sunny) and a whole lot down to the fact that my fake tan break is over.
I am loving the combo of St Moriz and Boots Body Butter.
I took a fake tan break because I'm rubbish at it. I get streaks, patches and very funny looks but no more!
Everybody says that St Moriz goes on smoothly but isn't that easy for tanning whizzes to say?!
Except this time, they are right. I'm very late on this bandwagon but St Moriz does go on seamlessly even when I mix it haphazardly in with my moisturiser. I am loving it!
The only self tanner that I have ever found to apply so well is Make Believe but that costs so much more then my darling St Moriz.
Now I have a tan to flaunt and I'm skipping around. I feel so full of life that I might have to go puddle jumping later to celebrate my new tan.
Isn't it funny how a simple tan (no foundation or concealer required, yay) can change the way you feel?! I even added lots of colour in to my look today. St Germain on my lips, that gorgeous Claires Acc Nail Varnish on my nails that I have raved about before, a slick of All That Glitters across my lids.
So simple and with all the time that I saved today, I even tried waving my hair with a concial wand but aherm, might need a bit more practise there and today, it had to be straightened out.
Ooh and then time to accesorise. No black today, absolutely zero which is pretty amazing for me.
Nope, it is tan and colour all the way. Here is a little pic. Sorry it is a bit blurred but honestly like I said, I've got the summer bounce today and I couldn't stand still long enough to take this properly. I actually don't look too tanned in the pic but this is about as tanned as pale old me should go. I've learnt from my mistakes hence the moisturiser add in.
Now all I need is a little sunshine and my summer scene will be perfect!
Hope you're having a nice bank holiday and maybe a sunnier one then mine. Made use of my look today and added a couple of videos to You Tube. Check them out if you get a chance. Don't forget, it always makes my day (even a rainy one!) if you follow or comment on my posts or videos! Would love to see your OOTD or hear about your fake tan expereinces so leave me a link to your posts or comment here.
Saturday, 29 May 2010
Friday, 28 May 2010
Like so many darlings out there, I am proof that you get it more then once. I am currently suffering a very bad case of Sex And The City Fever. I've had it before. Once when the series was ending and then when the first film came out and now, I have it again.
So sorry girls but when I'm suffering, I like to indulge myself. Be warned you might catch something (SATC style) but here are my top Sex And The City moments.
*Ex And The City
Raw, raw emotion when Big tells Carrie that he is engaged to Natasha and then poor Carrie about to walk away in style gets her bag caught on the chair and what did you do, laugh or cry? Poor Carrie, a clutz like me. ( Symptom 1 of SATC fever, the repetition of sentence including the name, Carrie and the phrase, like me! Apparently this scene almost never happened because SJP was not having shoulder bags in SATC . . . until Fendi showed one!
*Belles of The Balls
I actually got into SATC quite late and this was probably the first episode that hooked me. Carrie is finally getting used to Aidan's country living and then Big needs her. At the end of the day Big and Carrie have such a strong connection and it is evident here. Loving the fight too between Big and Aidan. It may be a bit indulgent but what girl doesn't want two delicious men basically fighting over her?! That is the second symptom of SATC fever, dreaming it could all so easily have being me. I could have being born in New York, I could have being strutting around in Manolo Blahniks . . .but life got in the way!;)
*I heart NY
Big is leaving New York and so we see the city at its best. A carriage ride in New York, so romantic!
*The Last Series
SATC was ending and four girls were determined that their stamp on the fashion world would stay forever. SATC style is really showcased in the last series.
*Carries Closet Clearout in film number 1.
Amazing, crazy clothes and a girlie night we all need to have once in our life.
Ooh, I'm feeling a bit inspired now to go and sort my wardrobe out. SATC Fever symptom 3, I will be Essjay Bradshaw. Life may have got in the way until now but now I'm going to rock it. Of course, I may poke my head out at some point over the weekend to catch the fabulous film. Eeeeepppps!
So girlies, feeling afflicted yet? Sorry about that but go on, indulge. Share your favourite SATC moments and combos in the comments. I want to wallow!!
PS Check out Claire, The Fashion Teller http://thefashiontellersnotes.blogspot.com . She has a channel on You Tube. Her Vlog about shoes is so passionate and inspiring. She also has a beautiful blog and is maybe one of the closest things that the Uk has to a Carrie Bradshaw, style-wise!
Thursday, 27 May 2010
If you remember about a month ago, I started using BlanX http://essjay23x.blogspot.com/2010/05/blanx-intensive-whitening-treatment.html . I used the Intensive Whitening Treatment which was basically an intensive whitening toothpaste. I was meant to use it twice a day but to be honest, sometimes I would pick up my tube of Aquafresh and start brushing with that before I remembered my regime. I probably did this three or four times.
So when I remembered, I was using my BlanX treatment instead of conventional toothpaste and the tube lasted me exactly two weeks. I finished using BlanX about two weeks ago but bad blogger I am, am only updating today.
So here are my teeth before
And here are my teeth after.
This pic was took about two weeks after I finished the BlanX treatment but you know what, I think you can still see a difference and I'm sure my teeth were even whiter just after I'd finished the treatment.
I think BlanX worked. Probably by only a shade or two but there was and still is a definite difference. I am convinced of this.
So it has to be a thumbs up for BlanX, it was easy to apply and reasonably priced. The product also lasted long enough to do the job it was designed to do (unlike my earlier RapidWhite treatment, see my earlier posts).
I know that the intensive treatment is only designed for occasional treatment but I see no reason not to buy it again in a few months if a big occasion was coming up and my teeth needed a bit of a boost.
I'm currently using up my normal toothpaste, Aquafresh but I think once that tube has finished, I may either buy Blanx everyday toothpaste or Beverly Hills Formula Toothpaste (Sarah raved about this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEcxOCuK73U ) to maintain my new whiter teeth. I would also be very interested in a toothbrush that Sophie of Sophie Is Made up (http://www.sophieismadeup.com) reviewed earlier in the year.
For now though, I am just happy that even though some of the products out there may not perform miracles, they do deliver near enough what they claim.
So, what whitening solutions have you found? Have any of you had professional teeth whitening?
PS Don't forget you can now follow me at
I went to the hairdressers yesterday. Ooh, is this where I insert a picture of new and improved style?! Ok but from a distance.
I have pretty much the same style and colour as ever. I'm not very daring with hair. I've had a few disasters in the past. Sometimes I think that it would be nice to have a change but I get over it by the time, I hit the hairdressers chair. This style is just me, I guess and I can't imagine being me if I changed it. I can't picture me going about my life with different hair and as much work as long hair is, I love the verstaility. I think there is a bit of a safety net in the number of things that you can do with it when you have a bad hair day and I get a few of those!
Anyway back to the subject of the post which actually is Moroccan Oil which was the salons latest rave yesterday. Now I never need much convincing to add a product to my purchase at the end of my visit (although once home, I'm rarely overwhelmed by them) but my hairdresser did not have to do much work to sell me this Moroccan Oil.
1/ Apparently, it is a 'magic' product.
2/ My salon claimed it can cut your hair drying time by up to one half.
3/ It is natural and I'm trying to do more natural this year.
My hairdresser used the conditioning treatment version of this product on my hair after my colour and then the actual oil before blowdrying and my hair was so, so soft. I had my purse out before my silly hair bib thing had been whipped off. However, at £29 for the full size product. I had to make do with this incy teeny jar for £4.95.
It is better then nothing and will let me make a more informed decision before I purchase the biggest version. This should last a while as it is to be used on damp hair after washing hair which I'm trying to do only 2-3 times a week and you literally need only a couple of pea size dollops which you take through all your hair. I'm hoping this jar will last me about a month.
Have you heard about Morrocan Oil? Have you used it? Apparently it is great for moisture and reduces frizz without making the hair flat. I'm sure the name is familar but I can not remember what I have read or heard. I has a quick look on Beauty Brains and they seem a bit dismissive of the product. I need to have a proper look at the Moroccan Oil website http://www.moroccanoil.com/en/our-products.html
I would be interested to hear about any of your experiences if you have used the oil. If you haven't used Morrocan Oil, do you believe in magical products? If so, what is yours?
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
I love this top! I am going to make the most of it this summer as I don't think that it is going to make it to the next one.
How am I going to enjoy summer without it?!
I have had the top for years probably at least five and I adore it. If the sun is shining, it has always been there for me. We went around the world together.
I love the crumply silky material which gives it the relaxed summery feel. I like the hint of cheesecloth on the back, that makes me feel girly and at ease and I absolutly love the tassels at the front and the green beads on the end. They give it the beachy bohemium feel.
Ha, how many times have I said I love in this post but I do, I adore this top and even though she is yellowing and has very thin feeble straps that will make me feel inadequate on fat days (and quite possibly break), I will be making the most of this top this summer. My top and I are going to have the most fantastic sunny summer ever!!
See my first OOTD video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBU3RpJ1V3o
Why don't you join me in a celebration of summer and write a post or do a OOTD video about your most fabulous summer thing? Don't forget to send me a link!
Also check out this new summer fashion blog http://iknowwhatyouworethissummer.blogspot.com/. Fab idea!
Monday, 24 May 2010
I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine. Well, I have finally done it. I have uploaded my first video to You Tube. Check it out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYqsrkCElqo and find out what lippie I accidentally assaulted in the process!
I decided not to reshoot, I'd probably only damage another and there are only so many lippies in my collection. I don't know, I guess I'll never have poise. . !
Anyway I hope you enjoy the little video. I thought it was something a bit different and worth a shot because I know that my posts go on and on sometimes. I hope you like it enough to subscribe and if you've come from the video to my blogs, well, hi there, I hope you enjoy some of my posts
Right, I'm thinking it might be time to catch some evening sun. Yay!
Wowweeee, this is my hundredeth wordpress post. To celebrate, I thought I'd break the habit of 100 posts and keep this one short.;)
So here we are Girlies, look at this beautiful necklace that my little sister was wearing today.
Isn't it striking?!
The charms and bead mix make it pretty and almost vintage yet the big ring and the long length give it that contemporary touch and create a little piece of perfection that I want!
What is your jewellery style?
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Well Girls, now, you will see a cup of tea.
What is more, it is a cup of tea which I have drunk and enjoyed.
Tra, la, lah, la . . !
As long as it is green, tea is now my new favourite thing.
Since Sunday, there has been a new ritual at Little Palace d'Essjay and that is two mugs of green tea for moi, a day.
Many of you may be surprised as I have spoken before about the fact that I only drink tap water (and very little of that) on a day to day basis.
Yet within four days, there has been a complete turnaround. I love my green tea and I can not imagine living a day without drinking it.
Now, this may sound a little dramatic. It is early days but the green tea really has made a difference to the way I have felt. For me, there has certainly been more of an immediate and obvious change then what I feel the multivitamins or the Evening Primrose Oil or the Cod Liver Oil achieved.
In short, I have been bouncing around these last few days.
I've heard about Green tea before but it was BelleDuJour NYC's recent video, http://www.youtube.com/user/BelleDuJourNYC#p/u/9/IGemLmAmlGg , which inspired my new daily routine. Dara claims it is her no 1 beauty and health secret. She says that it makes her skin so vibrant. Well, I had to try.
To be honest, I slurped and swallowed those first awkward few mouthfuls on Sunday with my skin, in mind.
However although it seems to have done my skin no harm, the real difference I feel is in my mood and energy for life. I've been skipping around from the moment that I had that first mug on Sunday. At first, it tasted revolting. However by Monday, I could feel the difference and this compensated for the gritty taste and now I don't really taste the tea at all. It is just that warm aftertaste (and feeling) that I crave.
Apart from the intitial taste, the only other low point was that I felt slightly nauseous on Monday. This may have been the shock of the caffiene in my system- apparently green tea can have more caffiene then coffee or it could have been my stomach suddenly having to cope with the fact that I was actually drinking something which is quite unusual for me!
The nausea has now passed and I look forward to my green tea. Apparently there are lots of other benefits of drinking green tea.
I don't understand it all yet but apparently it is packed with antioxidants which can rid our bodies of the toxic byproducts 'free radicals' which can benefit all areas of our life from beauty to health. Some studies even suggest it can help with cancer. Then of course, there are some who believe it can help in weight control. Again something possibly to do with the antioxidants boosting metabolism which means you burn more calories doing the normal things you normally do or something . . !
I do want to find out more about all these long term benefits but for now, it is enough that this tea just makes me feel good.
If you want to find out more about green tea, you might find these references a good starting point:
University of Maryland Medical Center http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm
An article about tea http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tao-of-tea
EHowHealth on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYnjifWDot8
I purchased my Birt&Tang Organic Green Tea (20 bags) from TKMaxx for less then £2.
Oh and Girls, if you do decide to have a cup then please read all the warnings and disclaimers with your product. As great as it is for me, Green tea is not necessarily suitable (or safe) for everybody.
So have you tried green tea or any other exotic beverages (if it is not tap water then as far as I'm concerned, it is exotic!)? I'd love to hear your suggestions and comments. I'm not sure about Nettle(!) Tea.
Ooh and look out, the next post will be my 100th since the mission began!!!
My post about Blackberry got me thinking about how excited I was earlier in the year when I had my MAC haul so I decided to share some of that excitment with some of you newer readers, this post was first published in January http://essjay23x.wordpress.com
Well, well, well . . . My MAC and I had a date this morning! Here is what I learnt about My MAC.
Firstly, we have Blackberry. A matte finish eyeshadow, it is very dark purple/brown. I have swatched but it was quite a hard colour to photo and it looks more purple in reality.
Then we have Modelette, a beautiful peachy neutral with a satin finish. I think I could get a lot of use out of this. I have already used it on my lid today and it just slipped on so easily over Untitled. Very impressed.
Next up is Shale. This was one that I personally picked out yesterday. It is beautiful and reminds me of Barry M Mushroom. As soon as I picked it up, I knew that I wouldn't be putting it down again. I think I would normally use this on the lid or as a highlight colour but today I was playing and wanted a bare minimum look for the day so actually used Shale to contour Modellette and I think it worked ok. This is a satin eyeshadow.
Embark. Wow, what a strong impact this heavy chocolate colour is going to make. I think it goes without saying this is going to be a strong contour colour and good for smoky eyes. It reminds me of the contour colour in Big Beautiful Eyes from Benefit. This has a matte finish.
Here is Untitled, my paint tube and I like it. I mentioned that I usually use concealer (erase paste) or cream shadows as a base but I used the tiniest amount of this and poof, there was a base. It is also a nice colour, nude with a little pink and I think you could use this without shadow, a little mascara and viola, your eye is made up. The swatch actually photographed quite well.
Hue!!! I like it. I applied this on to my lips and just used my normal Revlon foundation underneath to take any red out of my lips. It is meant to be a glaze lipstick and looks very neat, tidy and groomed which is kind of the look I want to go for. I also believe that this lipstick might have a bit of staying power because when I was swatching, it was worse then the shadows to clean off.
Underage. I am not that familar with glosses. I wore this over Hue and it felt quite heavy and sticky on my lips but it is lasted for three or four hours until I ate a meal. I probably will not apply as much next time.
Mineralise Natural Skin Finish in light to medium feels lovely on my face but you just can not see anything in the swatch. I have to say that I think it is the softest powder that I have ever applied to my face which surprised me since it is not even loose.
The shadows too feel very soft on my lids and weightless.The only weight or mask like sensation that I feel is on my lips but I kinda like it. It is reassuring to know that there is something there.
You may have noticed that I stuck to certain products. I don't think I heard one British guru recommend the concealers and many were wary of recommending the foundations because people have had breakouts when they start using MAC foundations. Nobody seemed to have much time for the mascaras either and when it came to blush, there seemed less reviews available and aside from that, I have one Maybelline blush and my other blushes are Benefit which leads to me one of my other purchases yesterday, Coralista, another yay! Yesterday was a good day for me
Have any of you tried any of these MAC products or Coralista? Are there any products that you want to warn me off?
My post about Blackberry got me thinking about how excited I was earlier in the year when I had my MAC haul so I decided to share some of that excitment with some of you newer readers, this post was first published in January http://essjay23x.wordpress.com/
I got my first MAC products, yay, yay, yaaaaaaaaaaaay!
We have (from the back and left to right) Untitled; Blackberry; Mineralise SkinFinish Natural in Light Medium, Embark, Modelette, Shale, Underage and Hue.
Whoo, these little purchases have made my week. I have the week off and this is just how I wanted to start it . . . with MAC! You should have seen how tightly I was holding my little bag. I can't wait to wear them all properly. I'm hoping that I will not be disappointed.
I shouldn't be.
I did do a lot of research. I went with a whole list of colours that gurus such as Lollipop26, FleurDeForce, Dazzledust25, AllThatGlitters, JuicyStar05, OxfordJasmine and so many more, have talked/blogged about and that certainly helped to guarantee Hue and Underage a home but with the eyeshadows, there were just so many on the shelf and you could not see the names without picking the actual shadows up and looking on their rears. I soon gave up on that and just ended up picking the ones that I actually liked the look of. I wanted mainly neutrals but one or two colours to shake things up for more made-up looks. I already had purples in mind and when the assistant suggested them . . . sold!
Going back to lips. I tried three lipsticks. The lady suggested Patteserie and I asked to try Hue and Angel. Angel just seemed a little too pink for me. It came down to Hue and Patteserie. I hope Patteserie becomes part of my collection evantually but I guess as I already knew about Hue, that is where my heart stayed.
I tried two lipglosses. Fantabulous and Underage. This was easy. Fantaboulous really did look purple on me. When I've seen people wearing it in videos, it looked conventional and I would be surprised to find out that it was a purple gloss but on my lips, you could certainly see that it was a very purple gloss. Just slightly too outrageous for me . . . at the moment!
I also have a paint tube (there is more in the tube then the pot for the same price) and the assistant said that she preferred tubes. I got Untitled which is a very subdued nude with a trace of pink. I will be interested to see how this works as I have always used either the Benefit cream shadows or concealer as eye bases. That is, if I used anything at all.
The Mineralise Skin Finish Natural seems a bit of a 'boring' purchase compared to the shadows and lipsticks but it was the one 'boring' product that so many gurus bothered to rave about and, maybe I'm a bit dense but, I don't see the point in raving about a 'boring' finishing powder unless it actually works. Also get this, I'm still off the fake tan and was colourmatched for this powder and it seems the lightest was too light, wow!
Well, I hope you enjoyed a little peek in to my shopping bag. Expect to see a lot more of these products in future posts (after all, I've got to get my moneys worth). Also be warned, todays shopping did not stop in MAC . . .
Can you remember your first MAC product? What products do you aspire to?
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Make up can get expensive but I have recently discovered the world of swapping and think that maybe I would like to give it a go.
So I have been going through my collection to try and find something to swap but it is very, very hard. There seems to be a 'Just In Case' (aka JIC syndrome) scenario for every product.
I think the closest I've come to finding something is Blackberry, a matte eyeshadow from MAC. I remember when I brought this item from MAC- it was part of my first MAC haul- I was so excited but to be honest, I don't think that I have used it since that first week and I'm not sure why.
According to macmakeup.net, a matte eyeshadow is meant to be intense with true colour payoff and, obviously as a matte, it has no shine or shimmer.
Therefore I can see why my MAC artist and many reviewers suggest using it as a contour and an outer lid colour. I brought it to combine with Shale (a satin) as recommended by the MAC artist -I have swatched the two above- This also seems a popular combo on Make Up Alley so why have I not used it again?!
I'm not sure.
I think that I felt Blackberry was hard to build up and my eyes had less impact then I initially hoped. These two colours were meant to create my night look but once on my lids, didn't seem to quite reach par. I think I was comparing the combination to a Purple Smoky Eye that Nic of PixiWoo did on You Tube. My Blackberry/Shale combo sadly was nowhere near as striking.
So maybe Blackberry should go!!!
Yet, I still have a bout of JIC syndrome. Surely there is a way that I could work this shadow. Currently 77% of Blackberry Make Up Alley reviewers would buy the shadow again http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemId=19409/Blackberry_Eyeshadow/MAC/Eye_Shadow .
It looks such a gorgeous colour in the pan and it is basic colour wheel theory, that purple will be a great compliment for my green eyes. What is more, even I can see on my complexion that this shade of purple does not make me look bruised.
I think that I'm going to try my Blackberry/Shale combo again and rate it for what it is and not in comparison to something else. Lately I have been sticking to the same old contour colours (Sable, Barry M Dazzledust in Pale Tan and Satin Taupe). It is time to shake things up a bit.
I read somewhere that contrasting these matte shadows with shimmer ones can create good results. I may try it Blackberry with All That Glitters, a veluxe pearl, as well as Shale.
And while All That Glitters is out, I may combine it with another swap contender, Embark. Another darker contour type colour from my first haul which has not overwhelmed me. I think I originally brought this to combine with one of my faves, Modellette but now often use Satin Taupe or Sable instead. However again, Embark is a popular choice for others so one that I am reluctant to swap before I have a little play.
As you can tell, I'm really enjoying the reviews on Make Up Alley at the moment. I would recommend everybody has a look before a shopping trip. You can get a good idea of products and I think maybe you can find products that will work in the long term for you rather then just the latest fad shadow or lippie overwhelming You Tube etc.
I have also discovered Mac MakeUp. net and I think this would be a brilliant site for any real MAC obsessives to hop over to. There is a very useful index detailing lots of combinations of MAC shadows that work well together and all of the MAC face charts are available to purchase. Check it out here, http://www.macmakeup.net.
So what do you think of Blackberry and Embark? Do they really deserve to be evicted from my not so little collection or do you know how I can work them? Please, please let me know. Also any other comments or product suggestions are more then welcome as is your support. Don't forget, there will be some sort of competition/giveaway when I get 50 followers!!
There may be a video soon too as I've nearly reached 100 posts on WordPress but as usual, I am having trouble uploading and now, I'm starting to go off the idea so we will see
Update: As you can see I've tried the Blackberry/Shale combo again. It is okish, enough to keep Blackberry but I'm not that excited about it. I don't think either colour is particularly striking on my eyes and it is difficult to see where one ends and the other begins and believe me, I walked all around the house trying to find a flattering light. Blackberry was very hard to build even in the swatch and I think the shimmery moisturiser I had on underneath actually helped this matte shadow out a little, added a bit more interest. On the plus side, there is a little colour added to my eyes with the Blackberry/Shale combo although I would have preferred a more purple contour but then at least, I do not look like a clown. You've done just enough to be redeemed, Blackberry, but little more!!!
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Post rewind again, here is a post from January of this year. http://essjay23x.wordpress.com/
Have you ever had a question where no matter how many times you ask it, you never get an answer to pause your pondering?
I have. Some of them I am even willing to share with you. Here is the first one and guess what? I may just have found an answer.
Years of hair extensions, straightening, blow drying, travelling and drinking too little of the right things has left me with damaged and dry hair. Now (and I'm quite proud of this), it is not as damaged or dry as it used to be but I think to some extent, my hair is always going to be dry and quite possibly damaged.
Every time that I go to the hairdresser, I'm reminded that conditioner is my best friend and I try, I condition and I condition. And this is where we come to my question, many conditionors such as Aussie's Three Minute Miracle say that if you leave this conditioner on for X amount of time, you will get a deep conditioning treatment. Great but I'm always looking for more and so we come to my big question! I wonder if maybe I took the recommended leave in time and multiplied by 3 or 5 even 10 before rinsing out. Would that mean I would get multiple results? Does 10 times longer equal 10 times better conditioned hair? I have spent hours sat in the house, a towel on my head. My barnet saturated in conditioner underneath and I want to know has this made any difference to my hair or has it all been just a blatent waste of time?
My hair feels ok especially compared to how it used to feel. On the other hand, maybe it still would have felt ok if I'd only left the conditioners in for just the recommended time and not hours longer. Maybe the product does its work in the recommended time and then once this time is up, all the goodness has ran out and any extra time, is pointless because there is nothing left in the conditioner for my hair to absorb.
Well as sad as it seems, this has troubled me for a long time. I even e-mailed Aussie once to ask them what they thought but I got no reply.
So I kept on slathering the barnet and sitting in the towel just in case that was making a difference.
Then one day, I asked about this on the wonderful forum at Beauty Judge.com ( http://www.beautyjudge.com ) and got quite a few responses.
Some said that to get extra conditioning, you should leave the conditioner on for about twenty minutes and then rinse out. Another said not to leave the conditioner on for too long in case, it was a protein one. Conditioners are either protein or moisture based and apparently too much protein is bad for your hair and another said, that if your conditioner (I'm guessing, moisture or protein) is left on your hair for too long then the product will just dry your hair out. Somebody else said adding honey and olive oil to your conditioner can be extra moisturising. Such great responses and plenty of ideas for experiments to come.
However, there was one response which I wanted to look at, in more depth here. I was referred to a post on the Beauty Brains website.
This was actually quite a scientific post (for me!) but possibly explained in simple terms an answer to the question that I had always been wondering about.
Basically Beauty Brains say that not only do you not need to keep conditioners in for hours (ahem!) but that you do not even need to keep them in for the recommended amount of time stated by the brand. Apparently conditioners mainly work on the surface of the hair and little penetration is needed. The conditioner hits the surface of the hair as soon as you apply it. I'm guessing you would only need time if the product needed to work in to the hair to work which it seems conditoner in the large, does not. It seems it is better to spread the conditioner through all the hair so all the individual hair surfaces are covered and to take your time doing this rather then slapping it on your head and then leaving it there untouched for hours.
Apparently companies give recommended leave in times etc to give their product a powerful image.
Beauty Brains do admit that oil based conditioners such as Coconut do need time to penetrate but I believe, in most markets these are not the most purchased conditioning products.
There are a couple of responses to the blog post and they seem to question the Beauty Brains's theory.
There is also another interesting post which suggests if your hair needs lots of conditioning. You could use a rinse out conditioner as a leave in as long as your hair seems happy and does not feel weighed down. The rinse out conditioners apparently are stronger then the leave ins so it is not worth using a leave in as a rinse out but a rinse out could be extra conditioning to your hair if you apply it to towel-dried hair and leave it in. Due to the concentration and weight of a rinse out conditioner, not all hair types will be suited to this but if your hair looks, feels ok and basically seems happy then Beauty Brains suggest that this is ok as long as your skin does not feel irritated and you confine such conditioning to the ends of your hair only.
Hmmm, so how does this reconcile with the earlier Beauty Brains post which suggests there is little bonus from leaving a conditioner in before rinsing out? Is there a difference here because you will never rinse the product out?
I'm starting to lose track a little now. Maybe the brain ache has set in but none of this seems too dangerous to me so I think I will try some of these ideas out and see what happens. If it is anything exciting then you will be the first to know. Who knows? Maybe I can banish dry hair forever, after all? I hope I have explained what I have learnt ok but I suggest before you put any of this in to practise that you check the posts yourself in case I have confused or missed anything.
What do you think? What do you do when it comes to conditioning your hair? What is your hair like? Any hair tips or myths that you want to expose? Any hair growth tips? What beauty questions have spent a lifetime bugging you? Your comments and subscriptions will always be welcome here;-)
Right, I'm off to explore the Beauty Brains website further. I think it could become another obsession!
Monday, 17 May 2010
This post is part of my Post Rewind series. This review was first posted on my wordpress blog in January. You can see all of my posts on http://essjay23x.wordpress.com if you are interested. I hope that you enjoy this review.
I know that this is yet another review of a Benefit product. As you know I have only recently took a real active interest in make up. Until then, I stuck with what I knew or what I was told about. Benefit is one of the few higher end brands with a counter near my home. I also guess that the gimmicky and fun nature of their marketing made them a little less intimidating so when I couldn't find something in Boots or Superdrug then Benefit was my go-to brand.
Obviously I'm now extending my reportoire of brands (MAC!) and products but at this early stage, I can only review these new brands to a point because we are still getting to know each other;-). So for today, it is back to Benefit and Big Beautiful Eyes which was on my wish list for a long time.
There are three shadows in the palette, all of them colours that I (as make up naive as I was)already had something very similar in my make up collection (Gift sets, Argos gifts, Rimmel, Maybelline etc). So for months, I hurried past the Benefit counter and then one day, the promise of Big Beautiful Eyes was too much and I brought the palette. I thought it would change my eyes forever. It didn't matter that I already had almost the same colours just in a different brand. Benefits were the ones that were going to give me big, beautiful eyes!
The palette is currently retailing on the Benefit website for £21.50. Twenty pounds plus may seem quite expensive for a box that fits easily in to your bag. However, it is Benefit so the box is beautiful and I think, you will find that they have managed to get quite a lot of product in to this little palette. You also get two mini make up brushes to apply the eye make up and a lesson plus a mirror to see how you are doing.
I have lost the lesson but I do remember that the instructions and diagram(s) were very easy to follow. They showed you which shadow should go where and for what effect. I think it showed you how to achieve two different looks. One more everyday and then one, with a bit more contour/liner when you want your make up to be more obvious. I have heard presenters on the shopping channel say that this palette contains all the eye make up you need for every occasion. I've got to say the looks are gorgeous but I don't think, somebody like myself with no particular make up skills could get a look to compete with a full on black smoky eye using this palette alone. In a way, the colours are too nice. The lesson is very useful and as I said, explained well. It seemed to go in first time and it has not bothered me that I have lost the lesson now. You probably could use this kit for the first time without the lesson but I wouldn't, it only takes a couple of minutes to read, and so many brands just expect you to pay a high price for the product and work the rest out for yourself, so it is nice to see what Benefit suggest.
You can see a swatch of the make up products above. We start with boing the concealer then the light pink shadow and then the lid colour a medium brown and then the heavy chocolaty brown contour. I tried to swatch them all over the boing as this is how they should go on your eye lid. The shadows are in neutral colours which I expect could be duped by products within most make up brands. However, these seem to blend and do what you want them to do very easily. They also seem quite soft and at home, on my skin. There is no irritation or fallout. I have used this palette several times and I'm pretty rough with it. I expect that I have sat on it, thrown it in to the drawer and trodden on it. Yet unusually for a palette, all of the shadows are still sitting in their correct slots and not falling out all over each other which is very handy as the liner shadow is a very heavy brown. The shadows seem to work well with the Boing concealer (my concealer is a little mucky but I don't think it is directly from the shadows in this palette maybe my mucky fingers or brushes!) which I use as a base for the shadows to stick to. I think Benefit suggest that you can use it around your eye area for dark circles etc but the Boing in my palette is 02 and I prefer to use my 01 Erase Paste for this. I'm not sure if Benefit offer some Big Beautiful Eye palettes with different concealer shades or not.
The packaging is gorgeous, brown and. . . cardboard! So for a palette which you might use going from A to B, this may not always be that pratical. I always keep my cardboard palette in the cardboard sleeve. I expect a lot of people just throw the sleeve away but I'm glad I didn't. My actual palette is in the same condition that it was when I purchased it. The sleeve is battered but still manages to protect the palette inside.
As I have said, I have used my palette quite a lot. About a third of the time, I try to use it as suggested for big, beautiful eyes. I think the look is lovely and the eyes certainly look wide awake and alert when I apply it as suggested. I do not normally use the brushes provided but some of my own eye brushes. I think I do still have the brushes somewhere though (and Benefit labelled what they're for on them) and they would be useful if I was going away and wanted to take the palette with me which I may well want to because as well as the Big Beautiful Eyes look, there are other ways you can use these shadows. Sometimes I have used a shade alone on the lid. I have also layered the shades over each other on my lid for a really nice soft brown colour (almost plummy) as the (bad;-)) picture below illustrates. On occasions, I have used the pink to highlight above my cheekbone and used the two browns to fill my brows in and although a little dark for me, blended in to my foundation even the concealer could be useful.
So summer should swiftly be on it's way and I wonder if this is why I have suddenly developed a fetish for coconut.
I have never really took to coconut products in the past. I don't like or dislike coconut branded/type beauty products. I have never given them enough time to find out.
No because as a child, I hated all things Coconut-tainted to eat.
However, I have recently been embracing all things Coconut-like. I'm trying to keep my mission as organic as possible and the word Coconut in the branding simply makes the product seem more pure, full of goodness and sunnier!
Also, guess what?
The scent of coconut is so much better then the taste. It is sweetly divine and I love it!
Let me share with you my current Coconutty fave.
The Pink Cow Coconut Creme Body Scrub
I use this every other day as recommended and it keeps my skin looking rejuvenated and fresh. It is not a heavy duty exfoliator but if you keep using it regularly then evantually it will easily maintain 'fresh' skin.
This product smells as delicious as it looks and actually does seem to be a 'beauty goodie'. It has not being tested on animals and is paraben (and allergen) free.
There is no doubt that I may well repurchase this product especially as it only costs £2.99 (Boots).
Then as if Coconut is not summery enough to induce purchase then have you read the little blurb on the front?!
1. Take half a coconut and make sail on a lime blue sea.
2. Be peaceful. . . tell your heart a fairy tale.
3. Say hurray for 'NO PARABENS'
Ha, I love this. A perfect bathtime product at a rock bottom price. Likey!
I have also been enjoying The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter. I love body butters. Love; love; love! However, I've only ever used Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and yummy Vanilla.
Yep, I've discovered Coconut which has the same beautiful scent as my Pink Cow body scrub and, as usual with the Body Shop butters, that beautiful scent lingers all day. Yay!
This body butter is a lovely alternative to perfume now that summer is approaching but for those perfume fanatics (aherm!), it also works well as a base for perfume scents. I've used it layered with Stunning and Flora and this coconut gem has not failed me. I really feel pretty and more inspired to do something when there is a hint of coconut in the air.
The ultra-moisturising Body Butters from the Body Shop retail from £5 and I believe you can currently get a free one with the June issue of Marie Claire. I'm not sure if Coconut is included in the offer though. . !
And finally as we are talking coconuts, I should mention Coconut Oil. I have Coconut oil which I purchased from Holland and Barrett and I have been using it on my hair after reading a post by Muhsine http://bubblegarm.blogspot.com/2009/06/coconut-and-vitamin-e-oil.html.
I have used the oil in a couple of ways.
Firstly, combined with my conditioner/mask and secondly, alone. The first couple of times that I used the Coconut Oil, I My hair shone so much and it needed little less styling when it is been conditioned with the coconut oil.
However after the first couple of washes with the oil, it seemed to build up and make my hair look greasy even when I had rinsed it out. So I tried shampooing it out too but I still needed to shampoo again the next day. Bear in mind the following: I have a tendency to overuse products; I was using the Naked Shampoo (one which has maybe underwhelmed me a little) and that I was also using Morrocan Oil afterwards on my towel dried hair but I still feel there was some additional build up courtesy of the Coconut Oil. I probably used about one and a half to two tablespoons. I think the suggested amount is a tablespoon but my extended hair is longgg!
Despite the build up, I will be using the coconut oil again but as a more occasional hair treatment maybe once a fortnight or so AND I will only be applying it to the bottom half of my head (ie.all the hair that would be pulled back into a ponytail) as I do not want greasy roots. I'm not sure that there is much of a coconut scent with the oil compared to the other two products that I have discussed but maybe all that rinsing has banished the scent or just maybe, I am always too busy fretting with my hair to notice the amazing aroma that the oil is giving out.
Do you have a favourite flavour when it comes to beauty products? Why not grab something coconut-like and give the summer a little encouragment to make its grand entrance?!
Saturday, 15 May 2010
Okay so one thing that I have learnt on my mission is that first impressions do not necesarily mean everything especially when it comes to make up.
Some of you may remember that I was not very excited when I first brought All That Glitters yet it is now my go to shadow or BlushBaby yet everyday I find myself sweeping it over my apples.
Pretty much the same can be said for Ambre Rose from Maybelline, the memory of its purchase lost in a fog of MAC this, MAC that and a little bit of Gosh. Yet despite all the fuss I made when I got St Germain; Viva Gaga and Barry M 101, it is Ambre Rose who I most often call on and has earnt it's special place in my heart.
I think Ambre Rose is a pale peachy pink with a hint of shimmer about it. I don't know why but I think of the 1960′s when I look at the swatch on my hand.
I personally think the colour indicator on the bottom of the tube has more of a mauve tinge then the lippie itself.
A lot of people compare this lippie to MAC Angel. I get that. Looking at the tube, Ambre Rose does not seem particularly pink. Soft or otherwise. My instinct is to place this lippie closer (and maybe rate it over) MAC's Patisserie when it is in a tube. Even painted on the lips, Patisserie and Ambre Rose look quite similar. They are both pinker then they look in the tube. Indeed in my swatch, Patesserie looks very brown. In the photos above and below, we have Angel, Ambre Rose, Patisserie and then Barry M No 53.
Ambre Rose is quite pale and I'm tempted to say quite sheer. It was very difficult to photograph but I feel in reality, there is a certain peachiness among the pinkness about the gorgeous Ambre Rose. I saw that one Make Up Alley reviewer said that it washed her out. Now I'm very pale but I don't have a problem when I wear this lippie. However, as I'm now succesfully (three cheers) laying off the fake tan and suchlike maybe I just can't be any more washed out!!!
This Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick has very few reviews on MUA but the three reviews that are there are not very positive or inspiring. Hmm, I might have to submit a review. This lipstick deserves more love!
Don't get me wrong, some of the MAC (such as St Germain and even Snob!) and Barry M pinks are very, very special but their place in my heart was already secure the moment I heard about them when I heard the rave in that video or saw the swatch on that blog. I like to think I know my own mind but to be honest, there are very few lippie (or make up products generally) that I have brought because of the said rave and then wondered what all the fuss was about. Instead they all instantly strutted in to my heart.
However, I think Ambre Rose was one that I brought through a Lollipop26 FOTD. If this was not the case then I certainly dug it out because of one of her mentions and I liked it, thought it was ok and then went back to my Barry M 101 Baby Pink. I only started wearing Ambre Rose really because of work. If it had not been that I wanted a wearable lippie for work then I doubt I would have reached for this beauty very much. However, I reached for Ambre Rose when I wanted to go to work and it worked. In fact, it delivered quite a nice pair of lips. So I wore it again and again and then I started reaching for it to wear when I wasn't working and now my little Ambre Rose gets a whole lot of use and I have to give something to the Rose.
The accolade that so few of my other make up items have yet to gain.
The accolade, that it worked and then earnt the very special place in my heart. Okay so Ambre Rose is now in my heart as is St Germain and Snob et al, they are all there so you might ask does it really matter how they got there.
Whenever something, even a lippie, is in your heart, you hold it dear and probably can not imagine life or your make up collection without it. However, nearly all of my lippies are in my heart and I'm hoping to carry out on discovering new ones so really, it may not be viable that all of these lippie loves will always be in my collection but surely it makes sense for the ones who earnt my heart to always be there.
Have any products earnt the place in your heart rather then just strutted right on in and claimed it? Share your love and journey here in the comments.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
So everybody is allowed a little treat now and then, right?!
Look, what I have purchased from the new Superdrug brand, MUA.
I chose this nail varnish because it reminded me of the dark murky on trend shades that I keep hearing so much about (Chanel Greige and Particuliere et al) that I'm curious about but too sceptical to fork out for. I brought a similar nude browny shade from Rimmel (Euphoria) earlier in the year and at the time, I remember been quite disappointed with the colour but since the MUA products are only £1 each and 'murk' seems so on trend at the moment, I thought I might as well pick this one up. After all, I could always blog about it!
Despite the colour, it wasn't long before I just had to have a play so I tested this polish only once with very quick and careless application yet I was quite impressed. So impressed that I had to post a little rave quickly. Let me tell you why.
First, there is the colour which I love. I applied three coats and although the colour is subtle, it is not sheer.
Secondly, the formulation dried very, very quickly. Literally within a couple of minutes.
Thirdly, the brush was quite easy to use and the polish smooth to apply.
I don't think you should wear this polish if you want to make a statement, it is a little lighter then Greige et al appear to be. However, to add a little interest to your nails then this might be a polish, you want to consider. I would say this MUA one is almost metallic but quite a light, sheer one. The density does seem to change a bit when it catches the light.
I felt quite comfortable applying this varnish and adorning the result and if I feel that way, the amateur I am, then it is unlikely that many of you would go wrong with this polish and for £1, it could be worth a go especially if you have not yet grabbed a ride on this nail colour trend.
Please bear in mind, I have not given this polish a proper road test yet but at the moment, I would not hesitate to repurchase a nail varnish from this brand and indeed, I am likely to go back in a couple of days to try a few more of their products.
For £1, I didn't expect much and this little pot of polish seems able to deliver so much more.
What with Sleek and MUA, Superdrug certainly seem to be gaining ground in the battle of the drug store budget brands.
Have you tried MUA? What do you think? Any recommendations?
My MUA nail varnish does not seem to have a name but is marked as shade 10. There is 6.2ml in the bottle for £1. My Rimmel varnish was 8ml.
PS Have you checked out Fleur de Force's You Tube channel lately, she has two competitions going at the moment. One for Sleek and one for MAC. You can also find her new blog here http://www.fleurdeforce.blogspot.com