Friday, 28 October 2011

Product Use-Ups - Would I Buy Again?

I've suddenly came to the end of so many products that my bathroom shelf can't cope, so before I put them in the (recycling - where applicable!) bin, I thought I'd give you  a quick run-down/mini review on each, and whether or not i'd buy them again now i've used them up - my version of 'Project Bathroom', if you will!

Boots Vitamin E Gentle Eye Cream with SPF 15
This was meant to be a stand-in product that I grabbed one day in Boots, but it has literally lasted me FORVER! It's lovely and light, easily and quickly absorbed, and has the bonus of an SPF 15, as well as only costing about £3 (it was so long ago I can't remember!)
Would I buy this again?
Yes, I probably would. It has served me well, and as far as I can tell it's helped stave off the wrinkles!

Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-In-1 Wash & Mask
I remember buying this clay-type wash/mask after Sara (SWalker Make-Up) and Laura (Buy Now Blog Later) raved about it, and at first I didn't get what the fuss was, and stashed it away after a few uses. However I started using it again (I evidently had used up whatever other morning product I was using!), and really liked it this time around.
Would I buy this again?
Had it not been for the fact that Neutrogena test on animals (thumbs down), I would indeed repurchase this.
It's reasonably priced at around £4 for 150ml, and has lasted a long time as (when using it as a face wash), you only need to use a little at a time each mornng. Since i've finished it I have noticed a few spots appearing, particularly on my forehead.

Bioderma Crealine H20 Cleansing Water
I bought this after all the hype surrounding it recently by bloggers/YouTubers/Make-up Artists etc (yes, I am a sheep. I feel no shame), and at first I didn't really get what all the fuss was about, but now that i've finished it, I can appreciate what a good performing product it is. You can read my full review here (I also did a YT review here if you're interested, but it's much the same as the blog version!).
I would love to say yes (the reasons for which you can read in my review), but as with the Neutrogena face wash, Bioderma do test on animals, and given that i'm trying to avoid any products which have been tested on animals, I personally won't be buying it again for this reason.

No7 Age Defence Cleansing Balm
I decided to try this cleanser out when I had a £5-off No7 voucher one day I was in Boots, as I hoped it would be a highstreet alternative to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. You can read my full verdict here, but in short it is a cleanser that has done it's job - although I will say the name 'cleansing balm' is somewhat misleading as it's a cream-consistency cleanser!
Would I Buy This Again?
It's a toughie. I'm inclined to say no as i've not found it to be a completely outstanding, holy-grail product, and there are so many other cleansers out there to try! I guess if I was strapped for cash, had a No7 voucher to spare, and really needed a cleanser I might pick one up again.

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo
As you might have guessed by now, i'm a complete sucker for anything in beauty ads, blogger reviews and so on, and Herbal Essences with their (occasionally cheesy) brightly coloured adverts are no different. I decided to buy this shampoo and the conditioner (and hair mask...) when they were on offer in the hope I would too be swinging my shiney mane of hair about like the ladies on the telly, but alas I can't say i've noticed any difference (sad face).
The Herbal Essences brand is also packed full of SLS chemicals (which make your shampoo foam up, for example).
Would I buy this again?
I've developed a rather tight, uncomfortable and sometimes itchy scalp, and I can only put it down to this shampoo. I also don't like the fact it's so packed full of chemicals, therefore I won't be buying it again as I want to find more naturally-sourced products for my hair.

Mitchum Deodordant
A rather boring, everyday item, but one I feel is rather important! At around £3 Mitchum is a tad more expensive than most deodorants out there, but it is often recommended by doctors, and it does work in terms of odour control and everyday freshness (although I don't think anything can keep you 100% dry).
Would I buy this again?
I will and I have! I often pick this up when it's on special offer (in stick, roll-on and spray forms), and I also love the fact that it is made by Revlon who don't test on animals. Bunnies rejoice!

Johnsons's Baby Lotion
An old classic which I loved using as both a body moisturiser and facial cleanser. It smells amazing, is good value for money (and you can pick it up almost anywhere, from supermarkers to pound shops), and it's pink!
Would I buy this again?
Again the animal testing factor comes into play. As much as I love this moisturiser, there are equally good products out there (such as my yummy Palmer's cocoa butter) which aren't tested on animals, and therefore until Johnson and Johnson invest in cruelty-free testing methods, then it's a no from me!

Maxfactor Second Skin Foundation
I remember buying this from Fragrance Direct after reading how much Fee at Make-Up Savvy loves it, and my verdict is that it's a good summer time foundation; for those days when you want the sheer glowy look of a tinted moisturiser with a tiny bit more coverage.
Would I buy this again?
I prefer my foundation to have a bit more coverage than this, and as you will see from my review, it does wear off a bit during the day. I think i'll keep my pennies for my Revlon Colorstay!

Maybelline One by One Volume Express Mascara
Another product that i've reviewed , I this mascara is nice for an every-day pretty look, but I wouldn't say it's particularly volumising or dramatic. After all the hype surrounding each of Maybelline's mascaras I was slightly disappointed with this one.
Would I buy this again?
No, partly because i've got about 3 other mascaras to get through, partly because I didn't find it that good, and also because Maybelline are animal testers (if you haven't guessed that has become a big factor for me when choosing products now!)

Coleen EDT
Celebrity perfumes are not something I go out my way to buy, and I usually end up with a load of them after Christmas time, this one included. I'm rubbish at describing scents (you can find a description of it at Perfume Point ), but it's quite sweet, yet not over powering, and whilst i'm not in LOVE with it (as I am with Angel by Thierry Muglar, yummy), i've actually had quite a few compliments on it, which I found surprising.
Would I buy this again?
For those 'interim' times where i'm just about out of my favourite 'posh' perfumes and need an everyday fragrance that I can spray all over whenever I like, I actually think I might buy another bottle of this, especially since you can pick up a 100ml bottle for around £10.

Have you got any products you've used up and rate/hate?

Melanie x
Would I buy this again?
Saturday, 15 October 2011

Review: George ShimmerMe!

A few years ago I never would have thought to look in Supermarkets for my make-up, but nowadays Supermarkets have really stepped up their game and are producing some really fantastic own-brand beauty products - and George at Asda is no exception.

Ever since I used up my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick (and could never justify the expense of buying another one), i've constantly been on the hunt for a good quality yet inexpensive dupe, and believe I may well have found it in the George Shimmer Me! Shimmering Brush-On Powder; a snip at £4.50.

This gorgeous little number is actually quite similar to the BB Shimmer Brick in terms of size and sturdy packaging (except the lid is clear, whereas the BB Break is black all over).

There are currently 6 shades in the Shimmer Me! range at the moment, ranging from pinky/peaches, to more bronzed colours and shades - although I find bronzers can make my (very) pale skin rather 'muddy' looking, so I opted for the fabulous No.4 Heaven Sent shade.

The little description on the back suggests the individual shades can be used as a brow highlight or eyeshadows, or swirled together with a blush brush for an all-over glow/pop of colour on the cheekbones, which is how i've been using it.

The product is beautifully pigmented, and gives a really lovely effect with good staying power.

I salute George at Asda for this product, and thoroughly recommend it as an excellent BB dupe!

Melanie x
Monday, 10 October 2011

Review: Bioderma Crealine (Sensibio) H20 Cleanser

This review has been a loooooong time in the making.
I seem to have reverted back to my student days where I research a subject meticulously before writing about it, and when it's a so-called Holy Grail product that everyone seems to be raving about, I feel like I should get my facts right before throwing my opininon into the mix!

If, like me, you'd never heard of Bioderma before it was mentioned in the blogging/YouTubing world, then i'll give you a quick intro.

The Bioderma laboratory (laboratoire dermatologique) is based in Lyon, France and is among the most frequently prescribed laboratories by French dermatologists.
Bioderma is favoured by many physicians and pharmacists (not to mention make-up artists, celebrities and so on) because it's in touch with every type of skin issue available. They have lines specifically for sensitive skin (Sensibio), iritated skin (Cicabio) and dry skin (Actoderm) just to name a few.
Disappointingly however, the company still tests on animals - something which (in my opinion) is not necessary in this day and age (but that's another story).

This particular product, the Bioderma Crealine (newer bottles have been branded Sensibio instead - worth considering if you are searching for it on the internet) H20 Cleanser is a 3-in-1 make-up remover/cleanser/toner made specifically for hyper sensitive/intolerant skin.

An alternative product for oil skin is the Bioderma Sebrum Cleanser, which essentially has the same formula but is designed to control/remove excess oil (with green/white packaging rather than the pink/white of the Bioderma Crealine).

The cleansing water is a clear, odourless, oil free 'Micelle Solution' - otherwise known as a gentle liquid emulsifier which provides an exfoliating/cleansing action on the skin without disrupting the skin's natural PH balance.

The ingredients are free from soap, paraben, fragrance and alcohol:

But the big question on everyone's lips is - does it actually work?

I'll be quite honest and say it is not a 'one swipe and it's gone' miracle product, as you will see from the removal test examples i've provided below:
Eye Products L-R: Liquid eyeshadow, powder eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner, gel eyeliner, regular mascara, waterproof mascara

Swipe test no.1

Swipe test no.2

Swipe test no.3

Face products L-R: tinted moisturiser, foundation, highlighter, blusher

Swipe test no.1

Lip products L-R: regular lipstick, lipstain, long-wear lipstick, lipliner, lipgloss

Swipe test no.1

Swipe test no.2

Swipe test no.3

As you can see, facial products (i.e. blusher, concealer) are no problem for this cleanser, although I do find I go through approx. 3 cotton wool pads when removing more 'stubborn' foundation (Revlon Colorstay, for example).
Certain eye and lip products are a bit more of a challenge for it, but you have to bear in mind that unlike most conventional make-up removers (eyemakeup removers in particular) there is no oil in this product, therefore it has to work extra hard to remove makeup, but it does so without being at all harsh.

Likewise it is very gentle on the eye area (although beware of soaking your cotton pad in cleanser then inadvertently squeezing it into your eye like I did - it definitely hurts then!), and leaves skin feeling clean, non-tacky (a BIG plus for me, I hate that feeling!), soothed and moisturised.
I also like using it for touch-ups - for example a tiny bit on a cotton bud is excellent for removing mascara smudges without messing up the rest of your eye makeup.

(...Am I rambling? I'll get to the important stuff now.)

250ml and 500ml bottles of Bioderma Crealine H20 are widely available in French pharmacies etc for around £7, but it is a bit harder to get your hands on over here in the UK, although it has recently became available on British beauty stockist website Zuneta for £14.
It is also available on Le Guide Sante (beware however of ridiculously high postage charges) and Ebay - I got mine from this seller for approximately £13.

I'm nearing the end of my bottle now, and whilst I admit it is probably better than the Garnier make-up remover (see my review here), i'm debating whether i'd buy another bottle.
On one hand, it is a good performance product which is applauded by industry experts and alike, but on the other hand, it's tested on animals, it's expensive and quite hard to obtain.

What do you think? Have you tried it, or are you planning on trying it?

Melanie x

Monday, 3 October 2011

September 2011 Favourites

For the eagle eyed of you out there, you might have noticed there was no August favourites from Her Royal Highstreet, partly because I didn't know if the products I was going to mention were really my favourites, but largely because I was in the midst of trying out loads of different products and wanted to try/review them first before deciding if they are a favourite!

But that was last month, so onto September favourites!

Palmers Cocoa Butter
Ah the old classic, and one which has no doubt featured in my monthly favourites before. With the colder days (unless you're in England with the October heat wave!!) creeping in, this lovely thick moisturiser is perfect for slathering on your limbs and makes you good enough to eat!
It's also really inexpensive (this 400ml bottle cost around £4) and is not tested on animals which is another plus point.

Bourjois Volumizer
I've actually got a review for this in the pipeline, so don't want to speak too much about it, other than it's one of the new, fangled two-step mascaras which give you uber-fluttery volumized lashes - love!

Bioderma Crealine H20 Cleansing Solution
Again, another product that i'm in the midst of writing a review for.
You'll have heard me mention this product in my Garnier Simply Essentials Make-up Remover review, and it is very similar to this in terms of being a make-up removing solution that is gentle yet effective, but dissimilar in the size (500ml) and price (around £14).

Badger Balm Cuticle Care
Out of all the items mentioned here, this is probably my favourite, as you might have guessed from my recent rave review!
It's named as cuticle care, but i've been using it as a great little multi-purpose product: on lips, cuts/abrasions, spots, etc, and have compared it to Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour cream - but all the ingredients are natural, and the price is a snip at around £4.

Gucci Guilty for Men and Thierry Muglar Angel EDP
The above i've mentioned as favourites just because i'm OBSESSED with the smell!
I'm afraid i'm not any good at describing the various scent combinations that go into these fragrnces, so all I can say is if you're ever in Boots or Duty Free and you've never smelled these before, have a sniff and you'll fall in love!
I also think the Gucci Guilty could be worn by women as a sort of unisex scent, as it's not over powering or very 'male.'

Ecotools 6 Piece Eye Brush set
Another product i've recently reviewed, I love these little brushes as they're excellent value for money, are really good quality and are eco friendly.

Get the Job You Really Want by James Caan
I'm not necessarily looking for a new job at the moment, but it's always good to keep your options open, and this has really opened my eyes to the various stages of looking, applying for and getting a job, with really good, helpful, easy to understand advise which is split out into clear chapters.
I thoroughly recommend it for any job seekers out there.

Calorie Counter App by FatSecret - Free on Blackberry (and I presume iPhone?)
This is an excellent app that i'm really glad I discovered. I've been trying to eat a lot more healthier, and when you first open the app, you can programme in what your goal is - in my case slight weight loss - and it works out your own recommend daily intake (or RDI) of calories (mine is 1700 in comparison to the 2000 guideline for women).
You can then track what you eat through the food diary and diet calandar (it recognises thousands of British foods, restaurants/chains and popular brands) as well as the exercise diary and weight tracker.
I'm really impressed that it's free too!

Favourite blogger of the month: Laura at Buy Now, Blog Later

Favourite YouTuber: Karris at Karrisx

i'd love to hear your favourites this month, whatever they are!