Friday, March 31, 2017

Babyliss Diamond 235 Straightener Review

As far as hair styling goes, Babyliss has long been one of my favourite brands and I have used their products forever.
Last year I experimented with a different make of straighteners but it wasn’t long before I had shunted them aside and gone back to what I know and love – which brings me on to this post.

The appearance

My boyfriend bought me the Diamond Radiance Hair Straightener for my birthday last year, after hearing about how much I missed Babyliss - so I have certainly given these a fair amount of testing.
Firstly, these pictures really don’t do these straighteners justice. They are just beautiful; sparkly all over, from top to bottom, even down to the metal plates. If you like a little bit of glitz like me, these certainly offer that. Babyliss have form when it comes to making their products super pretty and these are just another example of that.

The performance

Appearances aside, the features of the straighteners are just as impressive. They heat up to 235 degrees C and have active frizz controlling diamond infused ionic plates, so you can be sure your lock will be looking sleek after use.

Naturally, my hair is quite straight, so I don’t need an awful lot of heat to sort out any kinks. However, I tend to curl my hair with straighteners too so I do appreciate a higher temperature for that. These have three settings; 180 degrees C, 200 degrees C and 235 degrees C so you can easily alternate the heat depending on the look you are trying to create. Even if you are using the hottest heat, the straighteners get to the right temperature in next to no time. When they are ready, there is a little LED light which comes on to indicate this. 

My hair is quite long, so I really benefit from the fact the plates on these are slightly longer too, as I can style larger sections of my hair at once. The curved design of these also means they completely glide through my hair, making the process so much easier.

When using these straighteners, I find that the styles I create last really well; curls stay in for ages. I can use a little hair spray and find that, although they may have dropped slightly, when I wake up the day after I still have pretty waves. I’ve used products before which cause my hair to revert back to normal less than two hours after painstakingly curling it – so this is fantastic!

So how much do these retail for? It completely depends where you buy them as they can range in price. At the moment though, they can be bought for just £40 (usually £80 at Boots) which I personally think is a real bargain, especially considering the prices of competing products on the market. These straighteners offer exceptional performance and leave my hair sleek and smooth every time – an absolutely winning product for me and one I would certainly recommend.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mixing Up My Makeup: Makeup Obsession Review

“A girl can never have too many makeup palettes…”

Well, I am not sure if that is strictly true but it’s certainly a motto that I like to live by, evidenced by my overflowing dressing table drawers. I have stacks of different ones and yet I still find myself buying more, telling myself they aren’t the same as the one I bought the week before. Or, you know, the week before that…

Until very recently, however, I had never tried a palette that I could actually put together myself so I was especially excited to be able to try one from Makeup Obsession – which allowed me to do just that! 

While the products inside are of course the most important, it’s always nice when things are packaged nicely too. I have the Medium Luxe Gold Obsession palette, which has this fantastic mirrored design. 
Inside, there is space for six singles and you are not limited to what you add. The Makeup Obsession range includes eyeshadows, contour, highlight, and blush shades so you can keep all the products you might need in one place.

In my palette I was sure to include a bit of everything; there are shimmering shadows, a glistening highlighter and peachy toned blush. I’ve swatched them below.

(L-R Alba, Perfect, London, Scene, Banana Powder, Ice)

When you use shimmery eyeshadows, I always think there is a danger you will get one that looks great but really doesn’t have much substance. These on the other hand, are really pigmented, easy to blend and they last well. London, Alba and Scene really suit my pale skin tone. I also tend to use Banana Powder, which is a contour shade, as a base for the shadows.

The blusher, which I wear in Perfect, is really easy to build and gives great dynamic colour – without being overbearing. I follow this by dusting on a little highlighter in shade Ice. It gives me a really subtle glow and while it’s a little too glittery for me in the daytime, it’s perfect for a night out when you want your makeup to have a bit more ‘wow factor’. I often add a little of this around my tear ducts too.

All in all, I’ve been so impressed with this brand and it’s so exciting to be able to mix up your palette whenever you feel it. I still have more singles that I haven’t added into my palette yet, so I am looking forward to trying those out and sharing them with you soon.

If you like the look of these and want to pick some up for yourself, prices start at just £3 – with the palette case being available for only £6. Makeup Obsession is available at local Boots stores and online. 

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Happy Hand Care with Nivea*

I apply hand cream more frequently than any other moisturiser. Whether I'm sat at my desk at work, tapping out new blog posts in my office at home or sprawled on the sofa engrossed in a good book, there's always a bottle of lotion nearby to slather on when the need arises. 

Lately, I've been using Nivea hand cream. Four of their hand creams in fact. Even I don't usually have that many on the go at once, but when I was kindly sent a bundle to try, it was only right to give them all a fair test!

First up, there's the Smooth Care Cream. Formulated with Shea butter, this smells absolutely divine. Like the other creams in the range, the effect of using this one is designed to last for as long as 24 hours.
Smooth Care works to strengthen the skins natural protection barrier, to leave both hands and cuticles feeling super soft.

Next, there's the Express Care Cream. This is my go to option when I've been typing on my laptop or PC at work, as this one is very fast absorbing. It's a really quick fix.
After initial application, it soaks into the skin very quickly meaning that you aren't left with oily hands. It's the hand cream for the girl that is always on the go.

Then, there's the Nourishing Care Cream. Thankfully the dark, cold and blustery British days appear to be behind us but if your hands still need a little helping hand, this is the one you need.
Containing caring Almond Oil, this cream provides really intense nourishment and rich care. Winning!

Last up is Anti Age Care. Our hands are one of our most used and probably abused body parts. How many of you reading this consider the sun damage that can be caused to our skin on a daily basis? Because I certainly hadn't!
This cream works with Coenzyme 10 found in the skin to visibly reduce wrinkles. Over time and with regular use can help to prevent UV-induced age spots.
It's been recommended that you start using anti-aging products in your twenties, so why not incorporate them into your hand care routine too.

Aside from the properties of the products themselves, I also love the packaging. As you can see, the creams come in a really handy travel size, meaning they slot easily into even the fullest of handbags. This is a particular bonus for me, given that my bags are often bursting at the seams!
You shouldn’t, however, be fooled by the helpful handbag sizes of these creams; they do last a really long time. I have alternated between the different creams for the last few month, applying up to four or five times a day and I am still yet to get to the end of a bottle.
So how much do these cost? You can pick them up for just £2.99 in your local Boots and if you act quickly, you can make the most of the ‘Buy 1 get 2nd Half Price’ on Nivea deal.

I’ve tried a whole host of other hand creams in the past, but these are some of my favourites. I am able to mix around with which cream I am using to suit the needs of my skin. Hands really dry? Go straight for Nourishing Care Cream. Want to care for your cuticles? Try out the Smooth Care Cream. There’s something for everyone and every need in this collection – and it is certainly a yes from me!

*Includes PR samples.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Three Steps To Blemish Free Skin*

I have always been lucky enough to have quite clear skin. Save for a few hormonal spots, usually my skin remains relatively blemish free – unless, that is, I have been a bit overindulgent. December was certainly a month of that for me and January was always destined to involve a detox. Eucerin certainly had my back on that front. They kindly set me up with their Dermo Purifyer ‘Anti-Blemish Regimen’, which provides targeted care to help clear the skin.
The set is made of a cleanser, toner and hydrating moisturiser which, when used together is designed to give visibly clearer skin in 4 weeks. I started using this in mid-January, so at this point I think the products have had a fair test.

So where do we start?

Step One
The first part of the process is to cleanse. I expected this to be a lotion, but it’s actually a cleansing wash. You apply it after wetting your face and work it into a lather, before washing it off with warm water.

The cleanser is designed to gently but effectively eliminate excess sebum from the skin. Until I started using this product, I wasn’t entirely sure what ‘sebum’ was. To give you a brief overview, it is an oily substance secreted by the glands to keep skin moisturised and lubricated. Too much of it, however, can cause acne.

While, as I say, I am not especially acne prone my skin can be temperamental and I do struggle with it being quite oily around my nose and chin. This cleanser has really helped with that; my makeup in these areas is far more long wearing in these areas as a result.

Step Two
So after cleansing, it is straight onto toning. The toner is oil free, so you aren’t undoing the good work of the cleanser by greasing your skin up again.

The formula contains Lactic Acid - you know, the stuff you usually associate with aching limbs after a heavy gym session? Well, within this toner, it actually works to unclog pores without over-drying the skin.  Each time I have cleansed with this product, my skin has felt really rejuvenated and refreshed.

Step Three

The last step is to moisturise. This one lightly moisturises and the addition of Decandiol works to prevent skin irritation while Natural Licorice Extract works to soothe the skin.

If you have really oily skin, this is certainly the one for you. It contains Carnitine which regulates sebum production and refines and mattifies the appearance of the skin. Additionally, it is also ‘non-comedogenic, so does not cause pores to get blocked.  I’ve found that when using this, it is absorbed very quickly into my skin and it feels really light.

As with many other Eucerin moisturisers, this can be used as a makeup base. This means that when you are going through your morning routine, once you finish all of the steps, you are completely set to then apply makeup.

I’m a big fan of this set, which really helped to rebalance my skin and reduce blemishes. Generally, it feels much healthier.

I love the cleanser and toner, which really work to strip out any impurities and the moisturiser is fantastic for clearing up any particularly oily areas of your face. As it is quite a light moisturiser, I have alternated between using this and the other Eucerin moisturisers I discussed in a previous post here.

All in all, I am a big fan and will certainly continue to use this as part of my daily routine. Currently the whole set can be purchased from Feel Unique for just £26 and personally, I think that is a really good deal given the volume and quality of the products included.
It’s a yes from me!

*This post includes PR samples.