Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Sunday 29 April 2012

Schwarzkopf Play it Straight Launch

The other week I headed to Covent Garden's Circus bar and restaurant for Schwarzkopf's launch of Play It Straight, a semi-permanent home straightening treatment from their got2b range. Invented to tame your inner hair monster and prevent bad hair days.

As well as previewing the new product, Schwarzkopf treated us to a nail bar and hair studio to look our best for the event. The lovely ladies at Schwarzkopf not only were kind enough to send me home with Play It Straight to try, on my way out I was directed to the most AMAZING pick n'mix stand where as well as lots of calorific goodies to gobble on my train home, there were a selection of beauty treats - I was in heaven!

So a few weeks ago I tried out the straightening kit. Made of two parts, the straightening serum which you apply after shampooing and leave on combed hair for 20 mins, rinse and add the sealing treatment which is left on for another 10 mins. After another rise I then blow-dried and straightened my locks as recommended and found my hair to be super straight as promised.
post-treatment (and without make up-sorry!)
My hair is easily tangled so it was a touch challenging to get the comb through my locks without conditioning! I also got a bit fed up of rinsing my hair, as this needs to be done three times during the treatment (four if you decide to use a regular conditioner after treatment!) which makes it quite time consuming.

My hair does straighten easily with blow drying (and GHDs...!) and I found my hair was super straight after the treatment not kinking as much as usual in the days after washing. However I didn't notice a dramatic difference which someone with wavier hair might have. Has anyone else tried Play It Straight? I'd love to hear what you think....

Schwarzkopf Play It Straight kit is priced around £6.99 for one treatment.

Monday 23 April 2012

Clinique Superbalanced Powder Bronzer

Bronzer is one of my beauty must haves. Without, I think I look ill and pale but with a quick sweep across the cheekbones it adds an instant warmth to the complexion.

I am always on the look out for new bronzers that meet my high exacting standards; not too orange, not shimmery and not too heavy on the skin.

Clinique Superbalanced Powder Bronzer it ticking all of these boxes and many more. Containing moisturizing ingredients such as Murumuru Butter help prevent drying and minerals which promote healthy skin and prevent oil build up, so your skin should stay perfectly balanced thought the day. Add a final boost of antioxidants, your skin should be feeling as good as you look.

I really like the shaver, which you twist to grate off the powder when you need to use it, although I seem to be over zealous with my shaving and end up overloading my brush and need to brush on my hand before applying on my face.

I was also slightly disappointed with the packaging, I expect a lot from Clinique (one of my fav brands) and thought the base looked a bit plasticy. Otherwise a great product (£25/18g) which is available from Clinique counters from
4th May.
Here I am wearing the brozer!

Thursday 19 April 2012

Shellac removal

If you read my blog regularly you'll know how much I LOVE shellac nail varnish. The only issue I have is the removal. I have previously reccommended other ways of removal, but when I got my last treatment the therapist introduced me to a new way to de-robe your talons, which I thought I'd share with you.

My Shellac Gotcha varnish ready to remove... boo hoo...
Firstly grab some cotton wool, I used pads which I pulled in half and then divided each half into about six sections.

I then dampened the cotton wool with Acetone (£1.50/50ml from my local chemist - its generally behind the counter!) then put in the middle of a strip of kitchen foil and wrap the tips of your fingers. This can be tricky, especially when doing your non-writing hand, my tip is to make sure you have prepared all your strips first, then pop them on.

space-man hands
After leaving for about 10 minute take your wraps of and you'll find the varnish has started to peel away, then scrap off the rest with an orange/cuticle stick. I then buffed my nails to smooth them out and smothered with nail oil. I used Sally Hansen's Maximum Growth Cuticle and Nail Treatment (£5/1.5ml) but even olive oil will help moisturise the nail.

Hope that helpful and saves you paying to get your Shellac removed professionally!

Nails of the Day: Barry M Cobalt Blue

At the Schwarzkopf Shake n' Straight party (which I'll be telling you all about soon!) I was treated to a mini-manicure and I opted for Barry M's Cobalt Blue. As the venue was atmospherically lit, I didn't realise just how vibrate the colour was until I ventured to my post-party dinner. I might have chosen a slightly more conservative shade to wear to work the next day, but hey I liked it!

How daring do you go with your nail colour at work ladies? x

Saturday 14 April 2012

Aveda SS12 Sea Blossoms Makeup Collection

Looking out at the sea with the sun streaming through the window, it seemed an apt moment to write about Aveda's Sea Blossoms makeup range.
The collection combines peachy coral, oyster pink, soft violet, muted blue and stony grey, some of my favourite colour combinations. Janell Geason, Global Make-up Artist for Aveda explains "Sea Blossoms brings beauty at the beach back to life - inspired by coral reef technicolours on shimmering skin, paired with soft aquatic pastels" Yummy!

I am currently loving the Petal Essence Eye Color Trios (£21.00), using the Sea Grass trio; I sweep the pink across my lids and blend the brown to the outer corners for a subtle day style and for higher impact add the dark navy shade along my lash lines. Normally I steer clear of dark blue eye shadows and liners, opting for the black and brown palate but the shade gives a smoky result and seems to avoid the 90s look!

Sea Grass

Violet Coast
The Petal Essence Face Accents Trio (£20.00) adds a luminous glow to the complexion and looks gorgeous swept across the cheek bones. I like to team it with a peachy blush like Benefits Coralista to complete the look.
Shimmer Shell

As is standard with Aveda pallets both the eye shadows and face accents come in 'refills' rather than a pretty compact which you can pay for on top.

The Collection features two different lip wares, Nourish-mint Lip formula (£12.00) in Star Coral and a more subtle Oyster Pink. These mint fragranced lipsticks make your lips tingle and are highly pigmented, staying put for hours.

Left: Oyster Pink Right: Star Coral
However, I am a bigger fan of the Nourish-mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze (£15.50) which looks like a gloss, giving the lips shine and volume but feels like a balm, no sticky feeling at all. I Love! The Coral Sea shade is a gorgeous peach which is much more me than the Beach Thistle.

Top: Beach Thistle, Bottom: Coral Sea

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Nails of the Day: Shellac Gotcha

Nothing screams 'I'm a grown up' than beautiful chip-free nails. With normal polishes I do tend to eke them out for a day longer when this chips are starting to show, which is never a good look.

I have raved about Shellac numerous times before, the hybrid between gel nails and a standard polish, but I am such a convert. My only reservation is that I have the same polish on my nails for up to 3 weeks and you know how frequently I like to swap my shades...

This week I headed to Tiptree for a bridesmaid gathering for the beautiful bride-to-be Victoria where we discussed hen party ideas and tried bridesmaid dresses. Host Zoe completely spoilt us by taking to local 'Atlantis' spa for some pampering. I obviously opted for a Shellac manicure and went for the cute Barbie pink shade 'Gotcha'. I love this super-sweet candyfloss colour and my nails are feeling ready for summer.


Saturday 7 April 2012

Aveeno Positively Radiant

As summer is looming, the industrial strength foundations are being moved to the back of my bathroom cabinet, leaving room for the lighter tinted moisturisers. I LOVE moving into the summer months, but this barely there make up requires a blemish free, luminous complexion.

Aveeno's positively radiant skin care range may be just what your looking for to help you achieve this look.

Including a Daily Exfoliating Cleanser which I have been using every evening since it popped through my letterbox a month ago. Containing super fine microbeads it removes dead skin but is gentle enough to use on your sensitive eye area to remove mascara etc. (£5.99/150ml)

I love the Triple Boost Serum which evens out your skin tone, helps to hydrate and has a pearlescent sheen which helps bring radiance to your complexion. (£11.99/30ml)

The Daily Skin Brightening Moisturiser also has light diffusing properties, making your skin glow beautifully. As all good moisturisers should, it contains SPF 15 to protect you from the spring UV rays. (£9.99/50ml)

The final product in the range is the Eye Brightening Cream. As my skin is naturally quite dry my eye area needs a little extra TLC to boost moisture levels and prevent fine lines forming. This eye cream does just that and with its luminescent particles adds to my skins radiance. (£9.99/15ml)

Since using the entire range for the past month my skin is looking well hydrated and I have seen an improvement in luminosity, although this tends to fad when I pile on the bronzer (no trip to sunnier shores this Easter!). I've also noticed that my skin has been really clear too.

Aveeno is available from Boots, Superdrug, and other Heath and Beauty retailers.

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