Thursday, 27 September 2012

Review: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

As much as I love the intrinsic details of skincare; trying out different types; going through the whole 'process', sometimes (like if i'm really tired or, ahem, tipsy) I can be tempted to go down the 'fast food for your face' route and use facewipes or, shock horror, not take my makeup off at all (although that is a VERY rare occurance nowadays).

Therefore I was so excited when I tried this out: a cleansing oil that literally washes off your makeup!

I received this sample as part of a Glossybox a few months back (i've since unsubscribed), but prior to this I knew very little of DHC.

In a nutshell, DHC are Japan's No.1 online skincare company, and base the foundations of their skincare range on the natural benefits of olive oil. Their products are also free from parabens and unncessary colourings and fragrances.

* Their animal testing policy is unclear - states that No animal testing
DHC skincare products are never tested on animals.
Not definite...? *
The Deep Cleansing Oil is one of their original/earliest products, and is a water-soluable cleansing oil that contains a rich blend of skin-loving vitamin E and hydrating olive oil to unclog pores by clearing away impurities and makeup.

Now the first time I used this, I used it with a damp muslin cloth, simply because I presumed I would have to  - surely a wash off cleanser used by itself would fail to remove all my foundation? Wrong.

With this oil, you massage a little (I would take about 6 drops worth) amount into your dry face (AVOIDING your eyes - it will sting!), making sure to really work it in for a couple of minutes. You then rinse off with warm water (as you can see from the photo below, when water is added the solution turns quite milky), and it literally washes off your foundation - I couldn't believe it when I used my toner afterwards that there was hardly any traces of leftover foundation on the cotton pad!

I sometimes find facial washes to be a tad drying, but not this one- it must be the olive oil.
Full ingredients are as follows:
olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, pentylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil

As it was a Glossybox sample, I only had a little bottle of this (and yet it lasted me over a week, easily), but it is available to buy in 30ml (£3.50), 70ml (£9.50) and 200ml (£18.50) sizes, from the DHC website.

I've really enjoyed using this as it has helped make my night-time cleansing routine so much more quicker - and far better for my skin than wipes!

Have you tried any products recently that have surpassed your expectations?


Monday, 17 September 2012

Product Empties - August 2012

Apologies if you have watched the corresponding YouTube video to this (you may want to skip this particular blogpost), and yes I do realise it's now the 17th of September, but as I used the majority of these products up in August, I thought I would call the post my August empties!

As I said in the video, I am hoping to do a monthly empties video/post as I am getting through quite a few products, but don't hold me to that!

Boots Extra Large Cotton Wool Pads
I LOVE these -they are really large (as the name suggests) and square in shape, and one pad literally does my whole face (well, eyes and toner, as I currently use a wash-off cleanser). You get 60 pads for around £2, and they can be found in the baby section of Boots (rather than the skincare aisle). I'll definitely be stocking up on these.

Lush Hair Doctor
If you might have guessed, I can't get enough of Lush at the moment, and their pre-wash hair treatments are the newest range that i've discovered. After musing over the different kinds on offer, I decided to go with Hair Doctor and i'm so glad I did: it smells of peppermint, leaves your hair soft and your scalp lovely and smoothed. I think I'm going to buy one of these once a month as a hair treat.

Superdrug Intensive Condition (Comes with hair dye)
I coloured my hair for the first time this year (and have officially been bitten by the dye bug - bad times for my hair!), and despite initially getting it done at a salon, the last time was a home effort, using Superdrug's own brand of permanent hair dye (I plan on reviewing it next time I use it).This little tube of conditioner comes with the dye and i've really liked it - it really does smooth and condition your hair after colouring.

jstJodie Semtex
I mentioned these in my health and fitness post, and whilst they were fairly inoffensive in that I didn't (thankfully) have any side-effects, conversely I didn't notice any amazing benefits, and for the price of £30 for 1 month's supply, I would have expected more. From what Jodie (Marsh) has been retweeting, these really do seem to work for some people, but I'm going to battle on without them i'm afraid!

Emporio Armani 'She' EDP
I bought this on a whim one day in Boots (prior to my decision to become cruelty-free) when I had a money off voucher, and whilst I do love the beautiful fresh, talcum-power-esque scent, I wouldn't spend that amount of money (around £30)on such a small amount of perfume (30ml) again, especially when it's not cruelty free. The bottle is also rather unpractical - I like to see how much i've got left!

Olay Beauty Fluid
A bit of a cult classic (Olay and Ponds I always relate to my mum and my Nana!), I was given this for Christmas last year and have used it up in a bid to work through all my stock of products before buying any more. I do like the scent and the light texture of it (and therefore how it quickly sinks into the skin), but it's not a miracle product and not one i'd go out my way to buy repeatedly, again largely due to the animal testing factor also.

Johnson's Baby Lotion
I have to admit I've always had  a bit of a soft spot fr baby lotion, and recently accumulated about 7 bottles after Lee's baby nephew became allergic to it. It can be used as a cleanser but I tend to use it as a body moisturiser. And it's pink!

Soap & Glory Hand Food (travel size)
I say travel size, really it's a far more practical handbag size than the big version of this they also offer (and a bit more realistically priced at £2.50). It's taken me quite a while to work through this though (note that I even chopped the top off to get every last bit out!), and despite the thick consistency it sinks in really quickly leaving hands soft and smelling of the lovely signature Soap and Glory scent. If I didn't have about 10 bottles of hand lotion to work through i'd buy this again.

Estee Lauder Perfectly Cleaning Cleansing Lotion
I find it so odd that this is called a lotion when it was evidently a toner. Or was toner in appearance. Hmm. I can't for the life of me remember where I got this, but I was using it as a toner after cleansing, and unfortunately it basically hurt my face (but evidently not enough since I persisted and used it up!). It was also incredibly heavily scented. Suffice to say I wouldn't buy the bigger version!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Fruit can be funky?! (Diet post)

(Before I go any further, I do apologise for the cheesy title. My brain is tired, and my laptop is acting like a 2 year old child having a tantrum. Le sigh).

As I mentioned previously in this post, I am on a bit of a health (well exercise) kick at the moment, and have been trying to eat the best that I can -as Jodie Marsh says, "eat clean, train dirty!"
I don't know about you, but as much as I do genuinely like fruit and veg, I actually almost find it a chore (apples in particular) to eat it, therefore if I can pack in my 5-a-day by any easy means, i'm all for it, and so when I discoverd these I was so excited!

The following two types of snacks can be found generally in the 'nuts' section of a supermarket (so for example in Asda I found them on a stand at he end of the fruit/veg aisle, along with dried fruit and nuts, and in Morrisons I found them in the kind of 'miscellaneous' aisle, usually next to the cereal aisle!), and appear to be marketed towards kids packed lunches. Don't let this throw you, people, fruit can be fun for adults too...!

Bear - Pure Fruit Yo Yo's

  • Not dissimilar to the fruit winders of old (remember them?)
  • 2 fruit Yo Yo's per packet
  • 1 roll (yo yo) = 1 of your five a day!
  • Can be bought in single packs (2 yo yo's per pack) for around 50p each, or in packs of 5 (therefore 10 fruit rolls/yo yo's) for around £2 - supermarket prices vary and special offers can apply.
  • Different flavours available such as strawberry, raspberry, peach and blueberry (FYI, strawberry is my favourite).
  • Typical ingredients (in a strawberry roll, for example) are: apples, pears, strawberries, sweet potato extract. And that's it. Nothing else. Nada! (Making them suitable for vegetarians/vegans)
  • Only 27 kcal per roll and the only sugars are those found naturally in the fruit.
I love these. I'm also sad and love the super cute packaging, which says things like 'bear code' (instead of bar code, geddit?) and has a postal address of 'The big cave, Deepest darkest woods, PO Box 70712, London! Very handy to just chuck in your bag for a quick snack should you get peckish.

Fruit Bowl - School Bars

  •  5 bars per box (as far as i'm aware you can't buy these individually)
  • 1 bar = 1 of your 5 a day
  • Boxes retail at supermarkets (definitely Morrisons, didn't see them in Asda) for an RRP of around £1.50, alhough Morrisons currently have them on special offer for £1.
  • Different flavours available, although this particular kind (apple) are AMAZING and my fave!
  • Contain more ingredients than the Bear fruit rolls, such as vegetable oil and gelling agent, but is still made with real fruit with natural colourings/flavourings and is a source of fibre.
  • Gluten free and suitable for vegetarians
  • 1 bar contains 67kcal .
Another little bar that I love to keep in my bag 'just in case', these are a bit more substantial than the Bear fruit rolls, but taste just as yummy. I also almost feel a bit naughty eating them cause it's like you're having a chewy sweet or something, but without the bad stuff!

I am so glad I have discovered both these types of snacks, and will definitely be trying out the different types and stocking up (i've already bought 3 extra boxes of the apple fruit bars!).
They make obtaining your 5 a day target so much easier, and are a lot more tasty and exciting to eat (as cheesy as that sounds) than some of the foods out there!

Have you tried anything similar that you would recommend?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

I think i've got a problem...

I ventured to Glasgow yesterday to register with a recruitment agency (Change Recruitment if anyone in the area is looking for a recruitment agency - really lovely and helpful!) and meet my friend for lunch, but of course I couldn't resist a wee peak in Lush (and Cath Kidston, which I didn't even realise had opened).

In my defense, the Lush things (well apart from the lip scrub...) I did actually need, but the Cath Kidston purchase, well...I'm a sucker for anything floral and girly, and my original makeup bag was getting tatty...

Lip sugar scrub in 'Bubblegum', £5.25

Rub Rub Rub body scrub, £7.95

Hsuan Wen Hua hair mask, £8.95 and The Hair Doctor hair mask, £6.75

Cath Kidston makeup bag (with little mirror!) £10

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Review: China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat

It is ironic  that my most recent posts have been nail related, given that I've bitten mine to buggery!
Bitten they might be, but I still like to paint them (and sometimes polish can look nice on short nails...that's what I keep telling myself anyway), and when I do decide to paint them, it's usually just after i've gotten into bed, or just before i'm about to head out the door.

What I need, therfore is a 'magic' topcoat; one that dries my nails pronto (and hence avoids fetching duvet cover imprints on my nails) yet leaves them lovely and shiny and ideally prevents premature polish chipping.

Many people would probably be thinking Seche Vite right about now, and I have tried that in the past but you know me, I like to keep trying new things until I find my (cruelty free) holy grail product.
Seche Vite was good (before it went gloopy) but expensive at around £9 a bottle, and the Sally Hansen Quick Dry top coat which followed also had a (very, very) gloopy ending and is tested on animals (boo).

Enter stage left China Glaze Fast Forward top coat:

China Glaze are owned by American International Industries (who coincidentally also own Seche) and do not test on animals (hurrah!) - one of the big factors in my top coat search!

China Glaze nail polishes contain China Clay as a nail hardener (the same material that gives porcelain its shiny finish), are DBP, Toulene and Formaldehyde free and are available in an array of beautiful colours (one of my favourite ranges being Capital Colours, which was inspired by The Hunger Games).

The polishes are readily available at beauty industry warehouses/stockists (such as Salon Services or Sally's), but also available online from the likes of Beauty Bay, and whilst they are not the cheapest nail polishes out there at around £6.95 for a 14ml bottle, they are considerably cheaper than the likes of Essie or OPI, and around the same price as a Revlon nail polish.

The Fast Forward top coat is availale from Beauty Bay for £8.50, but I got mine from Amazon for around £5- similar deals are also available on eBay, you just have to keep searching!

Similar to Seche Vite, this top coat is designed to be put over wet polish and permeates all layers of polish to dry them in around 60 seconds, leaving you with a glossy finish.
I would say realistically they are touch dry in about a minute, and 'properly' dry (i.e. you can fish about in your bag and not get smudges) in about 5 minutes.
Top Coat over an Essie polish

It does exacty what it says on the tin, and seems to harden your nails at the same time, which is handy.
The brush is a 'normal' size, and the product goes on easily (if a little too thickly at times, although it seems to thin out when drying), drying to a lovely glossy finish.

In terms of prolonging the length of a manicure, it doesn't claim to do this, but I would say it does definitely help - my nails were painted for 4 days before chipping, which is quite unheard of for me, especially with a No7 polish which are really bad for chipping.

The only minor gripe I have about it is the smell (a very oddly sickly sweet yet chemically scent), but this is only initially on application - it disappears once the top coat as dried.
I do worry that this will turn gloopy a la the Seche Vite and the Sally Hansen top coats, but I think this sadly just comes with the 'fast dry' territory at the moment!

Overall I do like this as a cheaper alternative to Seche Vite (and a cruelty free version to Sally Hansen) and would like to try out more China Glaze polishes - do you recommend any?

Monday, 3 September 2012

It's all about me...

(I do feel a bit vain putting 4 photos of myself up...I suppose my excuse is its so you know what I look like ha)

I decided for today's post to steer away from my usual beauty reviews/other ramblings and give you a little update on me and my life, which may justify the lack of posts on here (and the quality of them!)

I guess the biggest news is my move back home - you might remember from previous posts/youtube videos/tweets that I had moved down to England at the end of March, but basically it didn't work.
Lee and I are still together, but the living situation there wasn't practical (we were living with his mum, sister and her boyfriend and baby, plus two dogs!) and it did cause quite a lot of arguments/tension.

I also had a rotten time of it in my job down there - I was essentially being bullied - and so when it came to the end of my probationary period there, we came to a mutual agreement that I was going to leave.

So rubbish job, tense homelife, HORRENDOUS homesickness did not make for a good experience, and as a result I became very, very down. If I got by one day not crying that was an achievement, and there were days I couldn't be bothered to do anything, not even put on my makeup. I can't remember how it was decided exactly, but my Mum basically made the decision for me to come back home, and so here I am.

I take my hat off to Lee, he packed up all my stuff, drove most of the way home (I think I did about an hour and a half's worth of driving out an 8 hour journey!) and is now determined to get a job up here so he can move (if anyone knows of any woodwork-based jobs in south-west Scotland please let me know!).

I am incredibly glad/relieved to be home, and generally I do feel better, but I still have wobbly days. As i'm unemployed I am currently on a Jobseekers allowance, and whilst I am entirely entitled to this, having worked for several years before now, I do feel there is a bit of a stigma attached to being 'on the brew', and I feel VERY uncomfortable about it, especially talking about having to 'sign on' and whatnot.

I have only essentially been out of work for about a month, but it feels much longer, and it is incredibly disheartening every time I receive a rejection letter/email (if I get such any response at all!), telling me that candidates with skills 'better matched' than mine have been selected. Generally I am applying for PA/admin jobs - it's not rocket science!
I think part of my problem as well is that i'm not entirely sure what I want to do with my life. I've never been someone who knew what they wanted to do with their life when they 'grew up', and as such have spent my work life doing mainly office based jobs, just to get by really.
Ideally I'd like to win the Euromillions but I can't see that happening any time soon sadly...!

I had been hoping to use some of my time (since I now have plenty of it) to do more blog posts, but i've been struggling to find the enthusiasm/energy to do it of late, particularly after very monotonous days of job applications, so apologies for that.

Thank you for sticking by me, and fingers crossed I get my mojo back!