Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Midweek Post: Fudge Root Juice

Fudge 'Root Juice', £7 for 250ml from

I am in constant dilemmas with my hair, what I want from it changes from day to day. Back when I was 15 or 16, me and my friends (girls and boys alike) were all for backcombing, backcombing, backcombing, layering on the hairspray and fraying our ends in the process. Think Pete Doherty (ala 2006) + Duff Mckagan  X too many hours spent on MySpace = me. I am glad I am past that time in my life, but it will forever be a part of me and I have a real soft spot for big hair. I cannot do it like the Liverpool glamour girls, I will never walk the streets with a weave full of plaits, braids and rollers (though plenty of kudos for the effort.) 

I want something in between, I don't want big Barbie hair but I also want something better than my flat roots. Introducing Fudge Root Juice. I have found something to give me texture and determinable volume, though it has taken a few uses to perfect.

On first use, I applied generous amounts to the roots of my hair, post-wash and pre-blow dry (as the directions state.) After my hair had been dried I was disappointed- my hair looked like it had been dragged through a hedge backwards- it was fluffy and unruly and the roots looked greasy. I had been a bit heavy handed.

Since then I have learnt that, as with most things in life- less is more. Root Juice is a mousse that is applied from a nozzle- which gives the control back to you. Small squirts of product in a few key areas followed by plenty of hair oil on the ends and a blow dry means that my hair has a bit of 'oomph' in the roots- which is good for wearing my hair down as there is some (but not too much) volume but also helpful if I am going to wear my hair in a messy top knot as there is already a boost at the root.

A big pro of this product is that my hair doesn't get greasier any quicker than it normally would, a factor I always worry about when trying something new. I was quite surprised, especially because it is a product applied to the roots- but I can leave the same amount of time between washes using this as when I am not. A definite plus point for somebody like me or who is quite short on time most of the week.


This product was sent for me to review. is one of the UK's leading online retailers of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products. You can order this product by clicking here.

Monday, 25 March 2013

What is in your shower gel?

Due to a series of recent events I have begun to take a large interest in the ingredients of the products I buy. To some this may seem odd but since I have taken the time to actually look at what is contained within them I have become a lot more aware of how deceiving some brands are about so called 'natural' or 'skin caring' products. I was recently having a bath round my sister in laws and noticed that her bubble bath by Simple had SLS as number 2 on the ingredients list as well as parabens. The Sanex hair and body wash sat next to it, which is marketed with a 'kind to skin' attitude and multipurpose for children also had a high content of SLS.

Not long after I found myself in the Hamleys store in Cardiff searching for a 1st birthday present. Of course, I ended up in the baby & bath section. Picking up a translucent duck shaped bubble bath I took a quick look at the ingredients, just out of interest. This £2 duck bubble bath, which to anyone else would be really appealing to both bathe their babies in and/or to give as part of a gift contained SLS and two parabens. Another bubble bath that I picked up contained the same. All of this just lead me to think that we cannot really trust retailers to sell us the best products for us or our children. I know that Hamleys don't claim to sell organic or natural products, after all they are a toy store, but even the sweets and chocolate bars in there contained hazardous warnings about certain 'E' ingredients that might have an adverse effect to children under the age of three. Every adult and parent should have the right to make informed choices about what they buy for their children but when I think about the rest of my family and those that have children, I am 100% sure that they wouldn't know about these ingredients, it is unlikely they even look at them. I am sure this goes for the majority of my friends too. Below I have listed a few ingredients that I find are commonly found in shower and bathing products and a little bit about them...

Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate or SLS; An emulsifier & detergent that is extremely cheap and is used to make products foam. While there is research being undertaken to prove its links as a carcinogen (it is exposed to a dodgy ingredient called 1,4 dioxane during the manufacture process which is thought to be carcinogenic), SLS is a skin irritant. Putting it in skincare products such as bubble bath and shower gel will do your skin no good at all and would be best to avoid it if you suffer with sensitive skin or eczema for example, and I wouldn't recommend using it on baby's skin either. It is a way for companies to produce foamy products with little cost to maximise profit. It is classed on EWG as a 'moderate hazard' but when it is contained second on the ingredients list (after Aqua/Water) on the majority of products you have to wonder how much of the product you're paying for is an undesirable, cheap ingredient. I have struggled to find any shower products that do not contain SLS (L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil is free from SLS and parabens if you are interested in changing your products or routine.)

Sodium Hydroxide; A strong chemical that is mainly used to balance pH in skincare but in it's pure form is a strong corrosive that is also used in cleaning products. It is highly dangerous and it only takes one google search to see its links with blindness and chemical burns as well as several articles about how reactive it is. Obviously this pure, dangerous form will not be contained within cosmetics as it will have to go through a chemical change to make it safe to use, but it might make you wonder about whether you want even an ounce of it in a product that is meant to be looking after your skin and whether it's inclusion is completely necessary and could instead be swapped for something else.

Mineral Oil; To the untrained eye, mineral oil probably sounds appealing. 'Mmm, an oil full of minerals! That'll be great for me!' but actaully it is a by product of the process of making petrol and gas from crude oil. Untreated mineral oil is a known carcinogen however refined oil isn't believed to be too harmful. Some argue that Mineral Oil interferes with the production of oestrogen and can cause a harmful imbalance. Mineral Oil is in lots of lip products and actually pulls moisture away from the skin and acts as a barrier, causing a disruption to the skins natural balance that helps keep you healthy. It creates a film on top of the skin and is in many cleansers (Lancome and Shu Uemura for example). 

Parabens eg. Methylparaban or Propylparaben; These are used in the cosmetics industry because they are an effective preservative. Similarly to SLS they are low on cost so allow the manufacturer to create long lasting 'fresher for longer' products without spending much money. There has been scientific links with cancer and breast cancer been made with the use of paraben and it is known that there are thought to be links between deoderants containing parabens and breast cancer. However both Methyl and Propylparaben have been OK'd and are 'Generally Recognised As Safe' by the FDA however many people continue to choose to avoid them.

The problem with these ingredients is that they have been used in cosmetic products for such a long time that it is hard to argue how dangerous they really are. We can only make an informed decision based on our personal preferences.

I use products that contain both SLS and parabens, I find it difficult to avoid them on a day to day basis (though not impossible if you are committed) but seeing these ingredients in baby products just hit home with me and made me realise that it is not something I would want any future children to come in contact with, nor any future children that my family or friends have. I thought a post naming a few most common ingredients and what they really are may help a few people out there or make them think twice and check the ingredients list before exposing either themselves or their children to a product that may not actually do any harm, but will certainly not do them any good either. A small amount of research will show that there are companies committed to creating honest skincare, containing none of the above ingredients (amongst others)- examples of these are Jao and Bodhi. 

I hope this has interested some of you. I am not trying to scare monger anybody, but I believe as consumers we deserve to get what we pay for- if we are paying for skin care, then we deserve for it to care for our skin. I don't think that is too much to ask!


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Midweek Post: Sunset Colours

I have become a little more experimental with colour recently, which I mentioned in my last FOTD post too. Wearing warm, sunset colours on my eyes is fast becoming one of my favourites, I love warm toned colours on cool toned skin as a general preference, because although it doesn't fit in with 'rules' of colour I think it keeps skin looking alive and youthful. Too many cool colours on fair pink skin can look almost morbid sometimes. A way of trying out warm, flush colours on your eyes without buying new eyeshadows is to use blusher! Illamasqua's 'Lover', 'Naked Rose' and 'Beg' blushers are some of my favourites to wear on my eyes.


PS I'll be replying to all of the lovely comments that have been left for me in my last few posts early next week. Please don't think I am ignoring you, I read and appreciate every comment and message left for me!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Lancome 'Hypnose Drama' Mascara

Lancome 'Hypose Drama' Mascara, £21 for 6.5g.

I had managed to go a whole year of working opposite Lancome and not buying a single thing. Infact, I've managed to get through life as a makeup hoarder and not bought a single thing off Lancome full stop. Perhaps that shows how little interest I have in the brand (I couldn't tell you why I feel this way) but with the Debenhams sales on and my YSL mascara running a little dry I thought it time I bit the bullet and buy a new one. I chose Lancome because if there's one thing they're famed for, it's mascara.

The girls on there both recommened Hypnose Drama, I told them that while I have fairly long lashes, they are determined to stay straight so I needed a mascara that curled, held that curl, while delivering definition, AND volume. (I don't ask for much, do I?)

Well, on first application I was astounded at how well this mascara delivers. After curling my lashes I only needed one coat of mascara to secure long, curled lashes with bold definition. Using other mascaras, my lashes soon droop down and become straight again, but this one keeps them pointing to the sky all day with minimal fall. As I have hooded eyes my lashes are really important for lifting my face and defining my eyes, and I have felt so much happier with my lashes since using this. 
It has also surpassed my expectations because it doesn't really smudge on me in comparison to the extent that others do. Only a few times have I noticed the dreaded 'panda eye' and had to quickly sweep my under eyes, but these have been sporadic and not enough to put me off buying it again. 

The wand is fibrous and quite unique, it curls round in a skeletal sort of way but one side is curved to help curl the lashes and is also really helpful as it makes combing through lower lashes easy too. There's fibres at all angles ready to coat every lash. The formula is fairly wet and also jet black. The packaging is quite ergonomic and tactile, too, I like it.

I am genuinely impressed with this mascara, I will buy it again after I have used some others in my stash...however I am using one at the moment that is giving it a run for its money so stick around for a review of that one too!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Midweek Post: My favourite eye makeup brushes.

There are a few brushes that I cannot imagine being without now, so I thought I had better share them with you so that you don't miss out too!

Real Techniques eyeshadow brush; This is a great eyeshadow brush for packing on the product. It's not too big which I find so many others to be, it is just the perfect size for my eyelids! This is made of synthetic hair so can be used with creams or powders, but I especially love it with powders because I think it picks up product so well.

MAC 217; This is often sold out on the website so you may have already gathered that it is a popular brush. This is a great brush for blending and adding product into the crease of the eye.It's tapered head means that it accesses the crease well without spreading the product over the lid. It also blends powders really well.

Illamasqua Blending Brush 1; This is great for blending eye makeup seamlessly. I always keep it clean and do not use it to apply product with, just swirl it over a smokey eye to blend the colours and fade. Like all the brushes at Illamasqua, it is synthetic hairs which I generally prefer to use.

Laura Mercier Smudge Brush; This is an absolute must have for smudging any under eye colour to create a more smokey or blended finish. It's a great size- it is small enough to be precise but wide enough to remain firm which is an important quality in any smudger brush. Works great with powder and pencil/gel eyeliners.

MAC 210; I have already spoken about this a couple of times before, for me it is a must have for applying gel eyeliner, whether it be for a winged flick or onto the water line. The only downside is that it has frayed slightly and I haven't had it a year yet.

Illamasqua Angled Brush; This is the best angled brush I have ever used for several reasons. Firslty, the brush is made of synthetic hair which makes it both cruelty free and multipurpose in terms of being able to use it with liquids, creams and powders. The length is perfect- it's as if Illamasqua have taken a standard angled brush and cut it in half, making it short and wide, therefore a lot firmer (perfect for creating straight lines or sculpted brows with ease) and alllowing more control as it isn't as flimsy. My brows have improved ten fold since I have been using this brush, the size is just perfect. Worth every penny.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Empty Products: The February Edition

Well that month just flew by! I know it is a short one but still, it's as if I blinked and there was March. This month I didn't finish many products, perhaps that shows how busy I have been, I'm not sure, but here we go anyway!

La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution: Not much to say about this other than it is pretty much the same as all of the other miscellar waters out there! This one doesn't have a scent particularly and does the job well, it struggles with mascara but I haven't used one that doesn't. It doesn't leave a residue behind either. It's easily accessible for those of you who are only aware of Bioderma, you can buy this one in Boots.
Will I buy this again?
Already have.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in 'Cherry'; Ah, Batiste. My old reliable friend. Great dry shampoo that is easy to use and helps maintain clean looking hair while adding a bit of a volume boost at the roots too.
Will I buy this again?
I am trying to get through some other dry shampoos at the moment but they don't really compare in terms of ease of use and effectiveness so I will definitely be buying this again.

Soap and Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Gel; This is one of my favourite antibacterial hand gels because it doesn't smell too strongly of alcohol. I also like that it is pink :-)
Will I buy this again?
Already have!

Champneys Aqua Therapy Recharging Bath Tonic- This gives the bath a few bubbles that last about 20 minutes and turns the bath water a lovely shade of blue. I wasn't too keen on the scent though, it was a bit masculine.
Will I buy this again?
No, it was nothing special.

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment- I loved this, it helped maintain the ends of my hair, kept it looking healthy and free from split ends. Since I have stopped using this my hair does look a bit unkempt so there has been a noticeable difference. You can buy this from Hairtrade.
Will I buy this?
Yes I will.

Clinique Airbrush Concealer in 01 Fair- I love this concealer. It is packaged like Touche Eclat and is dispensed through a brush. I don't use the brush as I don't find small point brushes like that particularly useful but the product itself is lovely. A medium coverage liquid concealer, this really smoothes over the skin and brightens areas. I didn;t really use it under my eyes but I loved using it to 'top up' throughout the day as it isn't very heavy. A great makeup bag concealer.
Will I buy this again?

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Cleanser- This is my second one of these. It is an SLS free foaming wash that contains salicylic acid which is great for clearing out clogged pores. I love this and definitely notice that I have clearer skin when I am using this, however it is a bit too powerful to be used twice a day. I like this to be my morning cleanser!
Will I buy this again?
Yes but having a month or two break from it.