April, 2013

Apr 13

Envy Frizzgard Dual Fix

Envy Frizzgard Dual Fix is a pre-wash spray in conditioner that promises to reconstruct and rehydrate your hair.

Suitable for all hair types, it contains silk and keratin amino acids that help to make your hair less frizzy and shinier. For the best results you should spray it onto your hair before you shampoo; completely drench your hair in it before rough drying with a blow dryer. If your hair is in a really sorry state, seal the conditioner in by going over your hair with irons before shampooing and conditioning as normal.

That sounded like too much work for me as I was in a rush so I went for the wet application; shampoo as normal, towel dry, drench your hair with Envy Frizzgard Dual Fix spray in treatment then condition as normal.

Envy Frizzgard Dual Fix

After conditioning my hair it felt different; like I hadn’t properly washed the conditioner out and I have to admit I was slightly worried what my hair was going to look like at the end. Worst case scenario I’d have to wash it again but I decided to continue and see what the end result would be like.

And am I glad I did! My hair looks and feels amazing – there is no frizz and it’s the shiniest and softest it has ever been. I usually apply a few drops of Moroccanoil on my hair every couple of days to give it a shine boost but using Envy Frizzgard Dual Fix means I don’t have to.

I’m kicking myself for not doing the full pre-wash treatment; if my hair looks this good with the wet treatment (where the conditioner was only left on for one minute) imagine how good it would look if I’d done the full monty!

The treatment was created by hairdresser Paul Bryan who said: “It’s taken years of research and testing to produce a product that’s so easy to use, boosts shine to this extent and where the effect lasts as long. It’s also the perfect option if you want a natural alternative to a chemical anti-frizz, shine boosting treatment that’s semi-permanent and allows you to style in curl and texture after use. It’s also really easy to use and works either as a pre-wash treatment (in salon or at home) or as a top-up spray between shampooing and conditioning.”

Whatever your hair type; you’re going to love the effect Envy Frizzgard Dual Fix has on your tresses.

Envy Frizzgard Dual Fix Spray Treatment – £14.95/200ml


Apr 13

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm

Elemis are calling their Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm “a balm for the skin, a balm for the senses and a balm for the soul.” While I wouldn’t go that far, it is pretty darn good.

With ingredients like geranium, lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, ho wood, orange and clove blended with starflower and elderberry oils, mimosa and rose wax, as soon as you open it you’re hit by the gorgeous smell. The balm itself is thick and gooey and feels luxurious and expensive on your face.


At the end of the day, simply smooth all over your face with dry fingers. For a mini treatment, leave it on for ten minutes or better yet, apply in the bath or shower and let the steam really open up your pores. The balm comes with a white cleansing cloth (no flimsy muslins here) and after ten minutes, run the cloth under hot water and simply wipe away the day’s makeup and grime.

I imagined the cleansing cloth would end up black; as if the days make up and dirt were transferred upon it, but the balm does a great job melting away whatever was on your face so while the cloth is soiled, it’s nothing a quick run under the hot tap can’t get out.

In consumer tests, 96% of women felt the balm helped leave skin softened and soothed, 91% agreed it helped leave skin nourished and 91% said the balm was effective at removing make-up.

After just one use my face felt clean but not dry and taut and it smelled great! My face was soft and it really did feel like I’d had a mini facial.

With sustainably sourced ingredients from across the UK, it’s another great product from Elemis.

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm – £39.50/105g

Apr 13

Clarins One Step Cleansing Waters for Combination Skin

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Clarins skincare (see here and here for proof) so when I read about their One Step Cleansing Waters, I had to get my hands on the bottle.


I’m possibly a tad over the top when it comes to cleansing my face; maybe it’s because I live in the Big Smoke or maybe it’s because I had bad skin when I was younger but I’m all about cleaning my face until it is 100% clean.

My usual night skin care routine is made up of a wash Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed for Combination Skin or Freeze 24/7 Ice Crystals Anti-Ageing Prep & Polish followed by Clarins Toning Lotion With Iris for Combination Skin but to see if the One Step Cleansing Waters were any good, I left out the toner and used the waters instead.

You can use the One Step Cleansing Waters instead of cleanser but after a day at work and a face full of make-up I find I have to use at least 3 soaked cotton wool pads to get my face really clean which seems wasteful when a squidge of cleanser can do the job in half the time.

The first thing to note about the One Step Cleansing Waters is the smell; it smells so good! Like peach, coconut and sweets! Ingredients include a coconut derivative which dissolves surface grime and light make-up, moringa seed extract to detoxify, isphagul and provitamin B5 to soften and hydrate, peach essential water which helps to improve skin softness, suppleness and comfort and mint essential water which purifies, reduces redness and tones.

Even though (I like to think) I wash my face thoroughly, one soaked cotton wool pad of Clarins One Step Cleansing Waters and I’m shocked at how much dirt is still on my face! Even though I am technically washing my face twice, the cleansing waters don’t leave the skin feeling stripped or tight, just tingly clean. It’s very refreshing on the skin and gentle enough to use morning and night.

Although the bottle is a tad big to lug around in your hand bag, I think it’s perfect for a post gym refresher or for cleaning your face in the office toilets before you head out for drinks post work.

I really like it and I think my skin looks and feels better for using it. Yet another well done Clarins!

Clarins One Step Cleansing Waters - £19.50/200ml

Apr 13

Aveda Earth Month 2013

As part of Aveda Earth Month 2013, the beauty brand has launched a limited edition Light the Way Candle – with 100% of the retail price less VAT going to Global Greengrants Fund; a non-profit organisation that channels high-impact grants to grassroots groups working to solve pressing environmental problems.

The 2013 Light the Way Candle features a new Madagascar-inspired aroma, blended with 100% certified organic essential oils, including vanilla, cinnamon and ylang-ylang.


The Light the Way™ Candles are housed in 100% reclaimed glass beverage bottles and the purchase of just one candle can really make a difference in a needy community around the world: in India it can mean one year of water conservation, health and hygiene education for a family. In China, one candle donation can support a day’s work for an activist fighting construction of a dam that would flood a home or it could mean a one-year supply of clean drinking water for a person in Madagascar.

The Light the Way candle costs £16 and is available for a limited time only.

Aveda are also trying to set a Guinness World Record for the ‘most money raised for a charity by haircuts in a 24-hour period’ by holding a Worldwide Cut-A-Thon on Earth Day 22nd April 2013. From 11am – 7pm all Aveda Institute cuts will be donated to Earth month. The Aveda Institute in Holborn will also be offering Earth Day only exclusive services, such as Men’s cuts with a top barbering expert, bespoke Earth Day massage rituals and an exclusive Cut-A-Thon Raffle. All UK funds raised will be donated to WaterAid – a UK-based charity that provides clean water and sanitation to some of the world’s poorest communities.

To have a part in setting a world record, raising funds for charity and getting a lovely beauty/hair treatment, call 020 7759 7355 or visit www.avedainstitute.co.uk for more info.

Apr 13

Superdry Makeup Collection

I must confess that when I think of Superdry, makeup isn’t the first word that comes to mind.

My mind turns to their rather nice plaid shirts and their ubiquitous hoodies. Once the preserve of the young and the cool, to me they’ve lost a bit of their shine now that everyone’s Dad and uncle also have at least one Superdry garment hanging in the wardrobe.

I was rather curious when I heard they were launching a range of beauty products; they certainly have a fan base but would their products be up to scratch? I got to try out a few bits from their collection; lip fix, mascara, lip glaze and a set of emery boards and I was pleasantly surprised!


The mascara is rather lovely and its unique brush does a brilliant job in separating my lashes, better than some premium/luxury brands and eschews the need for a lash comb. This was definitely my favourite product.


The lip fix has a pleasant peppermint smell and does a great job hydrating your lips. The lip glaze is a nice non sticky gloss that leaves a subtle wash of colour on the lips. The emery boards are emery boards (not much I can say about them other than they work) but the pouch they come in is really nice.

I think younger girls will fall head over heels for the range when they pop into the Superdry stores, but there are some pieces that should appeal to everyone, especially that mascara.

Superdry Mascara – £9.50
Superdry Lip Glaze – £7.50
Superdry Lip Fix – £6.00
Superdry Emery boards – £4.50

Apr 13

Elnett Heat Protect Styling Volume Spray

Much praise has been given to the L’Oreal Paris Elnett Heat Protect Styling Volume Spray. Spokesmodel Cheryl Cole and her mountain of hair look great in the ads but I had doubts on its efficacy for curly and Afro hair.

The spray contains Xylose, “a thermo-protective ingredient it shields the fibre from the harmful effects of excessive heat and protects the fibre from drying out, enhancing softness and shine.”

I tried the Elnett Heat Protect Styling Volume Spray which claims to give ‘high heat protection as well as long-lasting volume and voluptuous locks.’

Elnett Heat Protect Styling Volume Spray

Despite my earlier reservations I have to say that the Elnett Heat Protect Styling Volume Spray is actually pretty good. After washing I used my beloved Herbal Essences Split End Protection Cream (I can’t stress enough how amazing this stuff is) and 3 sprays (all over the hair) of Elnett Heat Protect Styling Volume Spray.

That might sound like a lot of product but they are both very lightweight and don’t weigh down the hair at all.

I blow dried my hair with my BaByliss Big Hair for volume and bounce and lightly skimmed over it with my straighteners. Just a few pumps of the spray has done a great job in not only protecting my hair from the heat but also in helping to hold the style. My hair is completely non crispy or crunchy, it’s very soft to the touch.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced product to protect and boost your hair then L’Oreal Paris Elnett Heat Protect Styling Volume Spray is just what you need.

Elnett Heat Protect Styling Volume Spray – £5.99/170 ml

Apr 13

Pantene Volume Booster Gel Spray

Although my hair is naturally very curly (a mixture of ringlets, waves, s curls and corkscrews) the strands themselves are actually very fine.

I have to be very careful when blow drying and straightening my hair as too much heat can make my hair look lank and thin. People are always surprised when I tell them I like to use volumising products but I find them, along with heat protection balms, essential in achieving the full bodied look I like.

I’d read good things about the Pantene Volume Spray Gel on American websites so I was keen to try it when it launched in the UK.


The gel claims it contains volume booster polymers that lift fine hair at the roots to create extra volume with great hold all day long.

Simply dispense a couple of pumps onto your scalp (I use three max) after washing and massage in. I concentrated on the front of my hair as I think my hair is naturally thinner there.

After the first use I could see the difference in my hair; my roots weren’t lying flat against my scalp and overall my hair looked thicker. A few days in I could feel that my roots were ever so slightly raised, as if the beginning of a curl. I think this is what gave the illusion of thicker hair.

If your hair is naturally very thick then you probably won’t need (or like!) Pantene Volume Booster Gel Spray but if your hair is naturally fine and especially if it’s relaxed, I think you’ll really like the finish this gives your hair.

Pantene Volume Booster Gel Spray – £3.69/150 ml

Apr 13

Three of the Best: Body Creams

I’m feeling very optimistic about the weather for some reason; the grey skies are going to clear and Spring is going to shine upon us!

With that in mind it’s time to turn our attention to our skin. Buried under tights, jumpers and other warm clothing, the time for bare legs and short sleeved tops is fast approaching. Prepare your skin for exposure now by slathering on the moisturiser at every opportunity.

These are my top three:


Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate Skin Quenching Body Lotion – £16
This is my go to cream (as you can see from the almost empty bottle) as it dispenses quickly and easily, absorbs nicely and smells great. Ingredients include pomegranate, argan, sesame, grapeseed, and almond oils which not only moisturise, they also protect the skin.

Nivea Express Hydration – £3.57
This is one I keep in my gym bag; it’s light (in texture, fragrance and weight), rapidly absorbed and gives long lasting moisture. Cheap, cheerful and effective.

The Organic Pharmacy Neroli Body Lotion – £39.95
If you really want to spoil yourself, splash out on this light yet nourishing cream. Containing neroli, jojoba, grapefruit, lemon, aloe, honey, rose hip and shea butter this smells good enough to eat. It leaves the skin deliciously hydrated and as it’s 100% natural, safe enough to use on even the youngest in the house. My kids love it!

Apr 13

Things To Do Over The Easter Holidays

As the Easter school holidays are upon us, I am having to extricate myself from under a mountain of lipstick and nail polish and think about the ways to entertain my children. If I’ve learned one thing about school holidays it is to be prepared!

It’s too expensive to take them out every single day but breaking up the week with a few outings saves your sanity and expends some of their boundless energy. Here’s what we’ll be up to:

Ocean Of Stars Exhibit At London Aquarium

Your kids don’t have to be particularly in to sea life to enjoy this day out; on arrival they’re given a paper snorkel mask and an activity book they can work through as they visit the various tanks. They get to see starfish, seahorses, jellyfish, turtles and the highlight for us real-life penguins!


There is a lot of emphasis on conservation and my 6 year old is now lecturing me on the perils of eating too much fish.

Tickets start at £13.50. www.visitsealife.com

The Science Museum

It’s free, it’s easy to get to and whether your children are 1 or 12 there is something in the museum they will love. We spent most of our time in the basement as it has lots of activities for kids under five. There is a dedicated seating area perfect for packed lunch and after eating we headed up to Launchpad where we spent another two hours looking at electricity, magnets, rockets and the like. We had just as much fun as the kids did!


Free entry. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Zippo’s Circus

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the circus and doing a quick straw poll among my friends made me realise there are lots of children who have never been. It’s good old-fashioned fun with horses, birds, Quad bikes, a strongman, acrobats and of course clowns.

Looking at the audience, the parents loved it just as much as the kids and it’s a great way to spend two hours. Zippos are touring London this month so check their website to see if they are coming to a venue near you.



Tickets start at £12. www.zipposcircus.co.uk

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