Sunday, 22 November 2015

Review | Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System (Collab)

Today's review post is a little different as I've teamed up with blogger beaut Alisha from alishadandy. We've both been using products from the Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System so check out her thoughts for the shampoo here and in this post I'll be taking a look at the conditioner and masque.

If you didn't know already the Shea Moisture brand is hugely popular in the US and has been developing Shea Butter-based products since 1912. I was sent these products in September and though I have used the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk previously I hadn't tried anything else by the brand before. The two products here are amongst the few products I've used in which I've noticed an instant difference to my hair.

It's easy to see why this collection boasts a 'SuperFruit Nutrient Complex' as each product is made with a blend of Red Raspberry, Ketones, Goji and Acai Guava extracts. These are stated to be rich in anti-aging antioxidants and, along with Marula Oil to help support elasticity and Biotin to strengthen strands, the products are stated to renew tired hair.

SuperFruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal Conditioner (£10.99/384ml)*
With one use my hair felt softer, more manageable and this conditioner gave it so much slip! With regular use my hair has seemed more bouncy and shiny. I've used this product both as a co-wash conditioner and as a leave-in (mixed with water in a spray bottle) with great results. The formula is creamy but doesn't weigh hair down and has a sweet fragrance.

SuperFruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal Hair Masque (£12.99/340g)*
Masques are amongst my favourite hair products to use and even with high expectations this product did not disappoint. It has a very thick consistency but melted easily through my strands when applied. I usually apply masques for 15-30 minutes with my steamer. I've tried the former and have used the masque alone. Used both ways my hair feels so much more moisturised. This is easily one of the best masques I've used.

Be sure to check out Alisha's thoughts on the Shampoo.

Since October Boots has been stocking the brand, making it more widely available and I'm hoping it'll urge other retailers to follow suit! I've already picked up the Curl & Style Milk again and a few others from the Coconut & Hibiscus line at Boots and I'll be grabbing these two here when they run out.

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried Shea Moisture products?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Ted Baker Brilliance of Beauty

I've always adored the Boots gift sets available during the Christmas season and this year's Ted Baker 'Brilliance of Beauty' offering is just stunning. This gift set features 12 pieces, adorned with pretty rose-gold or crisp white packaging, presented in a floral makeup box. As Boots 'star gift' it's currently retailing at half price for £22.50 (instead of £45) until this Thursday 19th November.

Contents: Eyeliner, Mascara (6ml), Eyelash Curlers, Eye Shadow Compact, Eye Shadow Brush, Blusher Compact, Kabuki Brush, Lipstick, Lip & Cheek Tint (5g), Lip Gloss (6ml) & Nail Polish x2 (9ml each).

I don't have many people to buy for this year so (shamefully) I bought this for myself. I'm calling it an early Birthday present (I'm turning the big 2-5 this week), which makes it okay, right? Without pulling all of the pieces out of the box it isn't entirely clear what the colours of the products included are. There's little guidance on the outer packaging too but I bought it anyway and I'm so happy with what's inside. The lipstick is the perfect peachy tone for me and I love the bronze and golden eyeshadow colours in the included compact. The brushes are a lovely touch too and rounds off a pretty awesome gift for a makeup lover.

Have you tried Ted Baker Beauty?

Lesley x

Monday, 16 November 2015

Style | Forever 21 Checked Shirt & Chidora Wool Hat

I haven't put together a style post in so long which is surprising as I had a big cull of my possessions a little while ago and essentially ended up with an almost entirely new winter wardrobe. It really was out with the old and in with the new as I became tired of having stacks of clothes which I never wore. My style has always been simple but it's become more minimal as I've developed a capsule type wardrobe but on a fairly larger scale than your usual 30-something pieces (great inspo here).

Checked shirts, basic denim pieces and chunky winter warmers like this silk-lined wool hat by Chidora* are now staple items in my wardrobe for this season. I've been sticking to only buying items in the colours I'm most comfortable in too like black, navy, dark green, deep purple and grey. Overhauling my style has made pulling together an outfit so much easier, though I still have days where I feel like I have nothing to wear!

Whilst it's been pretty mild for a British November currently I know I'll be relying on my woollen items a lot more in a bid to stay warm this winter. However, anyone with naturally dry hair like me knows how parched our strands can feel from wearing wool hats everyday. As this Chidora Bobble Hat (£55) is silk-lined you can keep your head warm and your hair is protected from the outer wool material. This is the second hat which has been sent to me by Chidora and it's so well made with quality materials. My first hat is in perfect condition after 2 years, so if you're looking for cosy head gear which lasts and is gentle on your tresses, check out the company website.

Shirt, Jumper & Belt - Forever 21 | Skirt - Vero Moda | Shoes - Vagabond | Bag - Carvela Kurt Geiger | Watch - Olivia Burton | Hat - Chidora*

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing?

Lesley x

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Review | Mixed Chicks

Haircare brand Mixed Chicks (available here) has been on my radar since 2012. Back then I was interning for magazine Black Beauty & Hair and I had the pleasure of meeting the curly-haired founders, Wendi Levy and Kim Etheredge. I really resonated with their experience of using the available hair products on the market, which were made for either very dry hair or oily hair with little in between. Wendi and Kim explained that their brand was for those who didn't fit in to those categories and though my hair was relaxed straight I hoped that the products would still work for me. In short, I tried a few of the products with little success. Coming back to them 3 years later I wanted to have an open mind as my hair has changed so much since then.

Gentle Clarifying Shampoo (£11.90/300ml)*
I really like this shampoo which gives a lot of slip and makes my hair really silky. It doesn't really lather but it still cleanses and removes build-up well. I've tried this with and without applying a pre shampoo treatment first and it did make my strands a little dry with the latter. Though I'll continue to use it when it runs out I don't think I'd buy it as I have a few shampoos I like already. 

Leave-In Conditioner (£15.90/300ml)*
I've been using this leave-in regularly as it gives gorgeous definition. You have to use it when the hair is wet or it can leave your strands sticky so I rely on this when my hair has just been freshly washed or dampened first. I apply it pretty generously but if you use too much it can make the hair feel a little crunchy. I usually just add a little of my moisturiser when my hair is fully dry to make it soft again without disturbing the definition. I love the scent and my hair doesn't get frizzy when using this. Though this leave-in is pricey it's definitely a product I'll pick up when it runs out. 

Detangling Deep Conditioner (£10.90/236ml)*
I really wanted to love this product as deep conditioners are my absolute favourite products to use. It's very thick, buttery and smells beautiful but I find this lacking something. It isn't formulated with particularly special ingredients which is a little disappointing considering the high price. The instructions state to 'apply and rinse' too which I found a little confusing as deep conditioners usually need to be left on from anywhere from 5-30 minutes. I've been mostly leaving it on my hair with a steamer for roughly 10-15 minutes and it's allowed me to detangle my strands very easily. Without using my steamer however this deep conditioner doesn't give my thirsty hair the moisture it needs. It's best suited to hair that doesn't get very dry. 

Morning After Redefining Foam (£11.90/236ml)*
I love the idea of this product, which is supposed to refresh curls without the need for re-wetting the hair, but I'm not totally sold on the actual product itself. Ive used it several times in an attempt to bring back curl definition (often lost whilst sleeping) and it does work but I have to apply a lot to really make any impact, which only leaves my hair wet and slightly sticky.

Overall it's clear Mixed Chicks products work much better for my hair now being natural/texlaxed than it did when my hair was fully relaxed. I love the packaging and fragrance of the products but I'm not entirely convinced there's enough decent ingredients inside to warrant the high price tag. Whilst I had a good experience with the products here, the only item I'd buy out of the 4 is the Leave-In Conditioner.

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried Mixed Chicks products?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Glowwbox November 2015 | KeraCare Edition [Video]

I've reviewed a few Glowwbox Editions (more here) but if you don't know already Glowwbox is a beauty box subscription service aimed at women with darker skin. A monthly subscription costs £15 + P&P* and usually contains at least 5 products. 

This month is a KeraCare Limited Edition. As I've reviewed quite a few KeraCare products already (here) I decided to switch it up today with an 'unboxing' video instead of my usual blog post.

Whenever I do any reviews of KeraCare products the impression I get from a lot of readers is that they would like to try the brand but find the individual products expensive. This box is perfect for anyone seeking to try some of the products at a significantly lower cost.

Glowwbox have also provided discount code for my readers so you can get this box for £9.95 until 30th November. All you need to do is enter FRESHL at the checkout. See the below video for what's inside.

The Video:

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried a subscription beauty box before?

Lesley x

Sunday, 8 November 2015

ORS Hair & Scalp Wellness Oils - Coconut Oil

I've always relied heavily on natural oils for injecting life into my thirsty strands and the range of Hair & Scalp Wellness Oils by ORS have been created to target a variety of tress woes. There's 10 different oils in the range - Tea Tree, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Black Seed Oil, Shea Butter Oil, Saw Palmetto Oil, Indian Amla Oil, Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut Oil.

I was sent Coconut Oil (£4.99)* to try and as much as I love using pure Virgin Coconut Oil straight out of a jar I've been relying on the ORS Coconut Oil most recently as it's so convenient. The applicator tip means I can squeeze a little onto my fingers and apply or just dab it straight onto my scalp.

The product itself is actually a blend of natural oils, including Coconut (of course), Sweet Almond, Corn and Hibiscus. It also has Neem and Rosemary Leaf extract included. Together these ingredients are supposed to soothe breaking, dull hair, providing strength and shine.

You can use this product in a few different ways but my favourite is as a pre shampoo treatment. I warm the oil a little before applying, leave on for 10 minutes and then shampoo (see here). No matter how harsh the shampoo I use is my hair always feels so soft and moisturised I almost don't need to deep condition. If your hair is dry definitely give a hot oil treatment a try! This product can also be used as a conditioner, oil rinse and to add a little shine when hair is looking a little lacklustre.

As this is fairly cheap I'd definitely buy this and I'm interested to try a few of the other oils in this range. Currently I've only seen this available in selected Boots stores or online here.

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Do you use hair oils?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Hairstyle | Double Cornrow Ponytail

I've been mostly wearing buns as usual lately but made myself try something different Monday night.

I dampened my hair, parted it down the middle, cornrowed the top on each side and then finished the style by pulling it into a simple puff. I used more gel than usual and it's meant my hair has held up so well since. I took these pictures today and it's still in place! This has been a great low manipulation style which I'll definitely be doing a lot more often. All I've had to do is refresh my curls a little each morning with some newly purchased Mizani 25 Miracle Milk and it's made my mornings even faster than usual.

What have you been doing with your hair?

Lesley x

Sunday, 1 November 2015

How I Air Dry My Hair [Video]

How I air dry is one of my most highly requested videos which has always surprised me as I don't do that much at all. The best thing about air drying is it's super simple and requires little fuss. I think it worries a few people though because you can get more frizz, shrinkage and it might take a long time compared to using a blow dryer. None of those factors really bother me (apart from the time it can take), though there are ways to minimise some of the drawbacks of air drying which I explain in the below video.

The Video:

I hope this helps a few people that were curious about my process and if you have any questions let me know. 

Do you air dry your hair?

Lesley x