Harley Street Hair Clinic Hamper

When I decided to dye my hair red about six years ago (not long before I started this blog actually) I didn’t realise how much maintenance it would require. My natural colour is (from what I can remember) a dark chestnut shade, although there are a few grey hairs popping up these days! Red fades very quickly, especially with frequent washing. I try not to wash my hair every day like I used to, so when I do, using good quality hair care is very important.

When this Harley Street Hair Clinic hamper arrived I had no idea what was inside so it was a bit like opening a Christmas present!

When this Harley Street Hair Clinic hamper arrived I had no idea what was inside so it was a bit like opening a Christmas present! I was happy to find it contained three products I hadn’t tried before, plus a handy comb. With a shampoo, leave-in conditioner and a hair perfume, all bases are covered here.

The Swedish brand’s ethos is to combine simplicity and function.

I really love the minimalist design of the Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo. The Swedish brand’s ethos is to combine simplicity and function.  The shampoo contains algae-based ocean silk technology and vegetable proteins to nourish the hair and give it volume. It has a very delicate, sweet fragrance  (not your typical shampoo scent) which I really like. It left my hair soft and silky yet still bouncy – even though it is in desperate need of a trim!

Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo

After washing and conditioning my hair I like to finish off with either a serum or a leave-in conditioner on the ends. The Phyto 9 Nourishing Day Cream is formulated with nine plants to soften, smooth and protect medium to coarse hair, while preventing frizz. I find that using a leave-in conditioner on the ends of my hair helps to protect it against the heat of blow drying and straightening. Only a small amount of this conditioner is needed so this will last me a good while.

Balmain Hair Silk Perfume

The Balmain Hair Silk Perfume combines an extra layer of protection with an exquisite Summery fragrance. The lightweight formula contains silk infused with pure organic Argan oil to detangle and repair damaged hair. This finishing spray conditions and adds shine, while leaving hair beautifully fragranced. I’ve looked on several websites but I can’t find what the spray is fragranced with. To me it smells a little powdery, and reminds me of love heart sweets!

The comb will come in very handy for backcombing to add lift to ponytails. The times I’ve found myself needing a comb but I always forget to buy one when I’m out shopping! It’ll also be useful for when I’m straightening my hair with my Irresistible Me flat iron.

Have you tried any of these hair care products? Let me know how you like to keep your hair in tiptop condition!

 

* I was gifted the hair care hamper for review. All opinions are completely honest and unbiased.

 

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Irresistible Me Diamond Hair Styler

We all love that “just left the salon” look when we have our hair done don’t we? When I have my hair cut my hairdresser always straightens my hair to perfection, leaving it silky smooth and shiny. Despite my best efforts I’d never been able to achieve the same results…until I tried the Irresistible Me Diamond Hair Styler. The flat iron is so easy to use and heats up incredibly quickly – 230C in under 15 seconds! Irresistible Me is a US company so the straighteners have an American plug, but I bought an adapter for less than £5 from Argos and it works perfectly!

It’s dual voltage and changes automatically depending on where you are in the world

It’s dual voltage and changes automatically depending on where you are in the world. The digital temperature display also changes between Celsius and Fahrenheit depending on the supplied voltage. The design is sleek and stylish (red just happens to be my favourite colour!) and it’s very lightweight, so it’s ideal for taking on your travels.

Irresistible Me diamond hair styler

The buttons are on the inside so you don’t accidentally change the temperature or turn it off when using it. You can adjust the heat to suit according to your hair type. The extra long 360° cord swivels around so it won’t get twisted and tangled as you move. It shuts down automatically in 30 minutes and comes in a beautifully designed box with magnetic closing that you can use to store it in.

Irresistible Me diamond hair styler

Irresistible Me diamond hair styler

To be honest, I’m not well-practised when it comes to using straighteners, mainly because when I tried in the past it was with cheap ones that just dried my hair without actually straightening it. With the first sweep of the Diamond flat iron I knew immediately that my technique wasn’t to blame – I just hadn’t been using the right tool.

I transformed my hair from fluffy to straight and sleek in around five minutes.

The 1” floating plate self-adjusts, eliminating any pressure points so that the flat iron can work through your hair smoothly without pulling. I transformed my hair from fluffy to straight and sleek in around five minutes. The tourmaline-infused ceramic floating plates, which are coated with crushed diamonds, produce infra-red heat that’s less damaging to hair than regular heat. The diamond and tourmaline technology protects hair, helping to retain all the natural hair oils, colour and moisture. The styling will last longer against air humidity and everyday stress.

Irresistible Me Diamond hair styler before photo

Irresistible Me Diamond Hair Styler flat iron

 

Irresistible Me Diamond hair styler after photo

I first used the straighteners the day before a very early flight to Madrid (post on that trip to come soon) so I wanted my hair to still look smooth when I got up in the middle of the night. To my amazement it stayed shiny and straight all the next day, even after sleeping on the plane and spending a day at an amusement park in incredible heat. I went out to dinner that evening without having to wash my hair…more time for eating and drinking!

I am so happy with the Irresistible Me Diamond Hair Styler and don’t know how I managed without it now! What are your favourite hair styling tools? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @thestylesplash 🙂

 

I was gifted the Diamond Hair Styler in exchange for a review. All my opinions are completely honest and unbiased. 

 

Linking up with: Brilliant Blog Posts, Fab FavoritesColor and GraceThursday ModaMidweek Inspirations

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NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool NW bloggers goody bag

As I  mentioned in my previous post, last Sunday I went to Liverpool for the NW Blogger meet up, which was organised by the lovely Katie, and Jenny of Secret Beauty Box. It was my first visit to the city so I was very grateful to Dana for meeting me at the station and walking with me to the Lime Kiln, where the event was held. We were greeted by macarons and a tub of body cream from Sweet Cecily’s…the box even had our names on them!

After taking a seat and chatting for a few minutes there was a talk by Lisa of Hollybobbs, which was full of some really useful tips for bloggers. Jenny followed this up with a fun multiple choice quiz…my score was a rather pathetic 3 out of 10, but the questions were quite hard! Did you know that 65% of internet users are blog readers? Well you do now!

We then had presentations by Melanie from MyShowcase – a company which stocks more than 30 independent brands curated by co-founder and Telegraph Magazine Beauty Editor, Kate Shapland – followed by Hannah from Motives cosmetics, which included a brow demonstration using the Essential Brow Kit. Before tucking into the buffet I bought a bag of goodies from the Skinny Tan ladies who persuaded me to strip off and have a free spray tan (my first!)…which is where I was when the group photo was taken in case you’re wondering why I’m missing!

Unfortunately I somehow managed to part company with the Skinny Tan goody bag at Lime Street Station so I’m really glad I had the spray tan now! I have a love/hate relationship with fake tan after having a bad reaction to a couple of brands but I was really impressed with Skinny Tan and will definitely be buying from them again – and hopefully holding on to it next time!

NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool NW bloggers goody bag My Showcase talk

NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool My Showcase stand

NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool My Showcase stand

Motives cosmetics stand

NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool

Photo courtesy of Jenny at Secret Beauty Box

NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool Sweet Cecilys rose body cream

NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool goody bag gifts

NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool goody bag gifts Manuka doctor bee venom samples

NW Bloggers Meet Up in Liverpool goody bag gifts

I was so tired when I got home I didn’t have a proper look through the goody bag until the next day, but it was worth the wait! Jenny and Katie did an absolutely fabulous job of organising the event and I’m really looking forward to the next one!

 

 

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May empties Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

Last month I came to the end of some truly fabulous products, so good that I’d been trying to eke them out as long as possible. In an effort to clear some space in the bathroom I’ve ended up with quite a few May empties. The items I was really sorry to use up were the two Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Limited Editions.  I’d been using the Sweet Orange and Mint in the morning for a zesty and fresh start to the day, while saving the soothing Orange Flower and Chamomile version for night time.

My favourite cleanser

I’ve been a fan of Cleanse and Polish for many years now. While I find it impossible to fault the original version, I can never resist buying the limited editions. Luckily for me (and every other Cleanse and Polish devotee) Liz Earle is celebrating its 20th birthday with some amazing offers. One of those is a limited edition Cleanse & Polish Beauty Trio. The set contains 3 x 100ml pumps in calming Rose & Lavender, zesty Grapefruit & Patchouli and soothing Orange Flower & Chamomile, plus 2 muslin cloths for £35. Too good to resist I reckon!

May empties Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish limited editions

May empties Murad Essential C cleanser

The broad spectrum SPF 30 of the Essential-C Day Moisture provides a good level of protection from UVA and UVB rays…

Another skincare system I’m a fan of is Murad’s Essential-C range, which I find works particularly well for me in warmer weather; in fact it made it onto my list of Beauty Essentials for Running. The broad spectrum SPF 30 of the Essential-C Day Moisture provides a good level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, although I like to apply a separate sunscreen on top as well. The eye cream has an SPF of 15, which is a little low for my liking, although I’m never without big sunglasses, even in Winter. I like to use this cleanser after a workout as I find an emulsifying cleanser more convenient to use in the shower than over the sink, and the citrus fragrance is refreshing and energising.

The Intensive-C Radiance Peel is one of my favourite treatments because it’s so easy to use.

The texture of the Advanced Active Radiance Serum is quite thin and runny. Although it sinks into the skin quickly I didn’t find it particularly hydrating. However, it did give my skin an energising boost which complimented the other products in the range. I also used it up very quickly. The Intensive-C Radiance Peel is one of my favourite treatments because it’s so easy to use. You only have to leave it on for up to 10 minutes and it leaves my skin feeling fresher, cleaner and brighter, without the tight shiny feeling you get with some face masks. I first reviewed Murad’s Essential-C range on Style Splash here.

May empties Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour range

The hand cream is another high performing product, as you’d expect from this range.

Over the past 18 months I’ve never been without an Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant stick in my makeup bag. I first discovered this amazing lip balm when I bought the Elizabeth Arden Eight Winter Essentials kit. I’ve been quite lucky because I also bought my mum one of these gift sets and she gave me her lip protectant stick. Just as that was running out I bought the Latest in Beauty Dream Box 2 which contained one. It’s an incredibly useful item to have in your makeup bag because in addition to being an excellent lip balm it can be used on scrapes, sore bits and blisters (just remember to apply it with your finger or wipe the stick afterwards!)

The hand cream is another high performing product, as you’d expect from this range. Somehow it manages to stay on my hands even after I’ve washed them several times. The fragrance might not be to everyone’s liking but if you can overlook that I’m sure your hands will thank you for slapping this on.

Santuary 30 Day Youth Revolution

The mask is thick and gloopy which takes 15-20 minutes to dry…then comes the really satisfying bit…peeling it off!

The Sanctuary 30 Day Youth Revolution kit and Power Peptide Serum were absolute bargains at just £6 and £5 respectively, which I bought back in October. I have to admit that I wasn’t disciplined enough to use the mask twice a week as advised, but even using it less frequently my skin still felt the benefit.

The mask is thick and gloopy which takes 15-20 minutes to dry…then comes the really satisfying bit…peeling it off! Is it just me that loves doing that? Well apparently not as my daughter insisted on doing it for me every time! The mask contains glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells and stimulate renewal. I really enjoyed using this mask, even if it is a bit messy – having a brush included in the kit helps. but even though I washed it out thoroughly after every use it still went hard.

The Anti-Wrinkle Activation Serum gave a nice boost of radiance to my skin. Like the Murad serum, it’s quite runny but I didn’t need to use loads so it did last quite well. I also used the Power Peptide Serum intermittently, which contains Matrixyl and hyaluronic acid. Given the impressive ingredients I had really high hopes for this product, but I wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped to be. In fact I didn’t notice much of an improvement in skin tone or texture but as it only cost £5 I’m not too disappointed. However, I would definitely purchase the 30 Day Youth Revolution kit again, in fact I’ve been back to the Factory Shop to see if I can pick another bargain up but sadly they’re no longer in stock.

Clinique CC Cream and Lancome Teint Idole Ultra foundation

When BB and then CC creams exploded onto the market a few years ago I was a bit confused about the whole concept.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra is my favourite base and one that I use daily. I’ve tried many different foundations but I always come back to this. It gives lasting coverage and blends in so well. It’s not cheap but for me it’s worth the splurge. When BB and then CC creams exploded onto the market a few years ago I was a bit confused about the whole concept. I don’t like tinted moisturisers (they just seem a bit neither here nor there to me) so I didn’t think a CC cream would impress me. However, I was quite surprised at the level of coverage the Clinique cream gave and how well it blended in. It left a more dewy finish than I’m used to, which often resulted in a shiny nose and forehead by mid-afternoon. But for holidays when you don’t necessarily want full coverage it’s a great product, especially as it contains an SPF 30.

Benefit Dandelion lip gloss and Gimme Brow

I am quite fussy when it comes to lip glosses – I don’t like the really gloopy and sticky ones that your hair gets stuck to on a breezy day…yuk!

Last but not least, two fabulous products from Benefit. The Dandelion Ultra Plush lip gloss is the first lip product I’ve tried from Benefit, and now I’m asking myself why I hadn’t tried it before! I am quite fussy when it comes to lip glosses – I don’t like the really gloopy and sticky ones that your hair gets stuck to on a breezy day…yuk! So the silky texture of this Benefit beauty really floated my boat. I’ll certainly be buying the full size version and probably in several other shades too…It just goes to show that giving out mini versions as free gifts really works as a marketing strategy!

Back in May I reviewed Gimme Brow alongside L’Oreal’s Brow Artist Plumper, and despite preferring the Benefit gel I was swayed by the more purse friendly drug store version. After a couple of months of using the cheaper product I’m now sitting on the fence, mainly because I find the brush a bit cumbersome and the colour is a little too dark and warm-toned for me. Yes there is a big difference in price but I guess it’s true that you get what you pay for. I always did have expensive taste!

Have you tried any of these products? If you have I’d love to know what you thought…please let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

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Beauty Essentials for Running Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Murad Essential-C moisture

If you’re thinking of taking up running, or even if you’re already a regular runner, beauty products might not be at the forefront of your mind when you’re lacing up your trainers and heading outdoors, but protecting your skin from the elements is vital if you don’t want to age prematurely.

The Advanced Active Radiance Serum contains a high level of vitamin C to protect against free radical damage and boost collagen.

In the warmer months my skincare regime of choice is Murad’s Essential-C range. The Essential-C Day Moisture SPF30 has a broad spectrum sun protection, which means it shields skin from both UVA and UVB rays. The Advanced Active Radiance Serum contains a high level of vitamin C to protect against free radical damage and boost collagen. It also claims to help cells resist environmental stresses including UV exposure and chemical aggressors and prevent future pigment formation. You can read my review of the Essential-C range here.

I also use the Essential-C eye cream to protect my peepers as well as a snug-fitting pair of sunglasses. My favourites are not the typical sporty type (I find the lenses are too small) but a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shades I bought from TK Maxx years ago. They fit nice and snuggly without slipping and I’ve yet to find any others that I prefer. A high factor sunscreen is a must for any exposed parts of the body – I always use SPF 50 in the summer.

Vaseline is cheap and effective at preventing chafing, but if you fancy something a little more luxurious I can highly recommend Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream…

One thing that really can ruin a run is chafing. Sports bras, trainers and clothing can all rub, which is made worse if you sweat a lot…I discovered that the hard way! Vaseline is cheap and effective at preventing chafing, but if you fancy something a little more luxurious I can highly recommend Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – both to prevent and treat any sore spots. The Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant stick is also perfect for preventing dry and chapped lips. You can read my thoughts on the Eight Hour range here.

Beauty Essentials for Running Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Murad Essential-C moisture

Beauty Essentials for Running Soap and Glory Heel Genius Malibu SPF 50 suncream Salvatore Ferragmo sunglasses

Hard working feet will appreciate a soothing and nourishing foot cream such as Soap & Glory’s Heel Genius after a tough session. Regular running can cause a build up of hard skin, which isn’t going to do those pretty summer sandals justice!

Beauty Essentials for Running Benefit Benetint Clinique City Block Eye of Horus godess eye pencil

The one area of the face which is relatively sweat-proof is the eyes so I like to define my brows and lashes.

Now I don’t know about you but I just can’t bring myself to leave the house totally barefaced…vain I know but feeling pretty and working out are not mutually exclusive. Over the years I’ve put quite a few products to the sweat test (Clinique’s City Block and Benefit’s Benetint are firm favourites) but recently I’ve stumbled across some truly fabulous finds. The one area of the face which is relatively sweat-proof is the eyes so I like to define my brows and lashes. In my previous post I reviewed the L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper which is now one of my running beauty essentials. It has fantastic staying power and costs just £5.99!

I picked up the L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes on a bit of a whim, which at £10.99 was quite a splurge for me, but I was really pleased with how it applied.

When it comes to waterproof mascaras I’m not too fussy, mainly because they tend to dry out before I get much use out of them, so I don’t like to spend too much on one. I picked up the L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes on a bit of a whim, which at £10.99 was quite a splurge for me, but I was really pleased with how it applied. It adds length and volume to my lashes with just a few strokes.

The Eye of Horus eye pencil, which was included in my Dream Box 3, is probably the best thing I’ve ever received in a beauty box.

As well as mascara I like to wear just a little eyeliner on my upper lash line for added definition, and right now there’s only one eye pencil for me. The Eye of Horus eye pencil, which was included in my Dream Box 3, is probably the best thing I’ve ever received in a beauty box. I can’t praise it highly enough. For me it ticks all the boxes – it applies with the lightest of touch, delivers amazing pigmentation and does not budge.

I’ve posted a picture of me which was taken about an hour after I finished the Paris Marathon last Sunday and as you can see the eye makeup is still on. There’s just the tiniest smudge of mascara under my left eye but given that it was roasting hot and I got completely soaked several times running under the water sprayers I think these products deserve a medal for going the distance too!

Beauty Essentials for Running Post marathon selfie

So those are my beauty essentials for running but if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear about them in the comments. I’ll be posting about my trip to Paris in the coming days! Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely weekend!
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