Saturday, 21 February 2015


Earlier this week I wrote about a facial oil that I really loved. Today I'm reviewing the Redken Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine Intense, which I am sorry to say I was really disappointed with. For a product renowned for its performance I really expected a lot more.

The aesthetics of the product are great - the diamond shape of the bottle to reflect the brand range is stunning. The bottle fits perfectly in my hand and it is easy to control the amount of product that comes out of the pipette. The formula is a silicone free hybrid oil containing 99% pure oils including olive, jojoba, coconut, apricot and coriander all designed to strengthen, smooth and soften hair. So it's got all the components to be a great product. But then I checked the ingredients list and found out that it contains isopropyl myristate to promote absorption in the hair. However, an overuse of the ingredient dries out skin which I would also assume may be transferred to hair products.

I use the leave-in oil on the ends of towel dried hair and work my way up to about half way up my hair follicle. On application to the hair the oil feels light and despite being intended for coarse/ dry hair there is a serious lack of absorption in the hair follicle. Applying too much leaves hair feeling heavy and oily in comparison to products like Moroccanoil which is much better at being absorbed. Here are the broken down the claims and the results:

Strengthens hair - Redken Diamond Oil claims to strengthen hair up to 3X and prevent breakage. My hair frequently breaks when brushing and using this product has not reduced the amount of breakage.

Smooths & softens hair - I can assume that due to the inclusion of isopropyl myristate and as I use this product every time I wash my hair (so two or three times a week) it actually may be increasing the courseness of my hair. This may then also be encouraging me to use more of the product which then puts me in a catch 22 situation. You don't want to use the product, but you don't know what else will solve the problem (probably another hair oil, duh!).

Improves shine - I did to an extent see my hair more shiny however, not enough for me to say that this claim has been substantiated in reality.

Therefore, considering Redken Diamond Oil is £27.20 for 100ml and Moroccanoil is £31.85 for the same volume, the extra few pounds is worth a product that fulfils its legacy.

Andrea x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


For years and years I have struggled with oily skin which was as oily as John Travolta's hair in Grease. In the summer my make-up would slip off my face like wax dripping down a candle - far too many times I felt like I had a melting clown face. No matter what I tried whether it was a gel moisturiser or one designed for oily skin my oil-spill of a face remained. That is, until I started reading about facial oils. For months and months I had read about the benefits of facial oils, but putting an oil on my face? Surely that would make it worse? Wrong. It made it so much better!

The Clarins Lotus Face Oil Treatment is the first (and at the moment only) facial oil I have tried so I can't compare it to other products in the market. However, because of this little gem my face isn't the valley of grease that it used to be.The oil comes in a 30ml glass bottle. The lid is actually a pipette which allows you to easily control how much product you are using. However, I do find that sometimes if I accidentally squeeze the pipette too hard it is easy to get an excess amount of product.

I apply the product to a damp face, after toning and then dab my face with a cotton pad to absorb the excess oil. Since using this twice a day (along with cleansers and toners intended for oily skin) the release of sebum in my skin has evened out. The result being that no more foundation runs off my face (yay) and my skin is left feeling soft and hydrated. The redness in my T-zone and cheeks has also nearly disappeared. Although the product also claims to tighten pores I can't say that I have seen this happen. Unfortunately for those of us with large pores, pore size is genetic so as much as we can try to make them smaller we won't. What this product will do though is ensure that pores are purified so that they don't stretch further.

The facial oil is formulated without parabens, sulphates and phthalates. As from the name, Lotus is a key ingredient in the product - and was really a great choice - which is full of antioxidants, flavinoids, vitamins and proteins to help purify skin by shrinking pores (again not completely sure I can agree with this), hydrate skin, reduce redness and repair proteins in the skin's structure. Lotus also contains natural AHA's which also help to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin. Not only this but the product is formulated with 100% pure plant extracts meaning that not only do you get the amazing benefits of Lotus extract but of rosewood, geranium and hazelnut oils just to name a few. All of which are intended to regulate oil control, purify and soften the skin.

- Ingredient choice
- Regulates skin's sebum
- Reduces redness
- Leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated

- Does not reduce pore size (although may prevent them from enlarging)
- Can be easy to use an excess amount of product

Andrea x

Monday, 9 February 2015


I've always loved Benefit since I first visited a counter at twelve years old. Nine years later and my love for the brand is still going strong; their products never fault and their packaging is always super cute (and being an absolute sucker for packaging I can never resist a Benefit product). Benefit's new Puff Off Eye Gel hasn't let them down.

So firstly, I need to talk about the packaging. The gel comes in a soft tube roughly the size of my hand, making it perfect to hold and to apply onto the eye area. The design maintain's Benefit's signature style - quirky and retro - with a miniature silver 'shield' on the lid. However, the innovative applicator is the most interesting of all. 

The 'ironing tip' as the box refers to it, allows probably the easiest application of all eye gels ever. Following the instructions, I dot the gel onto my eye straight from the applicator and then go back and 'iron' over the gel to smooth it into my skin. I apply this before applying my make-up although according to the website you can actually apply this over your make-up but you need to pat it in with your fingers. I have also tried this and the results are pretty good. 

The creamy formulation contains sunflower oil which is high in vitamin E to fight free radicals and prevent damage by ultra violet rays as well as vitamins A, C and D to regenerate skin cells and prevent premature signs of ageing.

On application the gel has a gentle cooling sensation on the eyes. I use it in the morning and afterwards I can see the fluid has drained from under my eyes and that the puffiness had significantly reduced. However, what it doesn't do (and it doesn't claim to do it) is reduce discolouration under the eyes, so if that what is what your looking for in an eye product this isn't the one for you.

As of yet I am really impressed with the product and really looking forward to trying their new Roller Lash Mascara!

Andrea x

Monday, 2 February 2015


When I think of winter make-up I always think of dark colours - sultry reds, black kohl smokey eyes and deep purples. Sometimes these looks can look really dramatic against my pale skin and so I tend to shy away from these looks (although it depends on the occasion of course!). Instead I have found that an all-pink look is much more wearable. The trick is to find pink shades that are a similar colour (so you don't end up looking like a clown) and to make sure that the colour you use compliments your skin tone. Rosy tones are usually great pale skin. I chose Elizabeth Arden in Iridescent Pink, P.S Love Blusher Stick (found at Primark) and Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Pout. If you're nervous about doing an all pink look, slowly work up the colour. I apply a small amount of blush and rub it in with my fingers and will add more if I feel like I need it, alternatively just leave out the blush completely.

Andrea x