Friday, 17 October 2014

Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser

Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser* - £52.50

Having fallen completely head over heels for the Claudia Louch Hydrating Mango Face Cream it was a very sad day when that sleek black bottle ran out of product. Despite my fussy combination skin type, my face got on incredibly well with it due to it's deeply hydrating properties & velvety matte finish. Whilst the Hydrating Mango Face Cream is meant for normal to dry skin types, the Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser is ideal for those with combination or oily skin. I had high hopes for this moisturiser so I jumped at the chance to try it out. As this one is actually intended for my skin type I figured that I would love this product even more. Changing up your moisturiser is always a bit of a gamble but I have tremendous faith in this brand. All of the Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic products are natural and plant and/or mineral-based, hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, non-comedogenic & free from harsh chemicals. Each blend of natural botanical ingredients is designed to work in perfect harmony with your skin & this moisturiser is certainly working wonders on mine.

The key active ingredient in the Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser is, of course, jojoba oil. This acts as an anti-inflammatory & helps to dissolve excess sebum which is the cause of blocked pores & breakouts. Pretty impressive for a moisturiser! This high-performance 94% natural product boasts an excess of 18% oils (jojoba, avocado & grape seed), 2% shea butter, vegetable glycerine and vitamins A & E. It's a deeply nourishing blend that feels weightless on the skin. The texture feels quite similar to the Hydrating Mango Face Cream but with a bit more slip to it & not as thick in consistency. I use about two or three pumps each time which is plenty for my face. A little goes a long way with this stuff so you definitely get your money's worth. It makes a lovely silky base for makeup as my skin gets less shiny throughout the day. I don't have to wait around for it to sink in either. Although it is labelled as a day moisturiser, I've been using it day & night as the formula feels light yet hydrating enough for both occasions. I normally just apply it over a facial oil at night to really lock in moisture & add some radiance to my complexion. As a result my skin is looking very clear, more even toned and it feels beautifully soft. This moisturiser is wonderfully comforting to the skin & is a brilliant skincare addition for this transitional season.

Claudia Louch's botanical skincare range sets the bar really high & once you try one of her products, you won't want to use anything else. The price might not be within everyone's budget but you can rest assured that this luxurious moisturiser has been produced by utilising Claudia's masterful knowledge of skincare. The Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic skincare range is available to buy online exclusively at with free UK delivery.

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Friday, 10 October 2014

Beloved Brands: Bumble & Bumble

I'm pretty big on brand loyalty. There are certain brands that I consistently buy products from, wholeheartedly love & recommend to all of my friends. Today I'm starting up a new feature to highlight my favourite products from these brands & maybe give a few hints as to what to avoid as well. First up we have Bumble & Bumble. Their products tend to come with a hefty price tag but they're one of the few hair care brands that I'm willing to save up for. My introduction to Bumble & Bumble came when I first had my hair bleached blonde at Taylor Taylor in London. Prep & Thickening Hairspray were always spritzed into my hair before blowdrying. I repurchased both of those products for years as they worked wonders on my hair. Prep was especially effective at making my hair grow faster. When I had my hair cut into an asymmetric crop a combo of Defrizz & Styling Wax was my go to for smoothing & shaping my short locks. I honestly feel like their shampoos & conditioners are ridiculously overpriced for what they are though. Unless I'm getting some huge salon size bottles I'm simply not prepared to drop 30 quid on a hair washing duo. However their styling products are simply to die for & can make such a difference to the appearance of your hair. I wouldn't have spent so much money on them if I thought otherwise! Here are my top picks from their collection:

My favourite hair product of all time has to be Brilliantine. This stuff is absolutely amazing & I can't wash my hair without running some of this through it afterwards. It takes away any fluffiness & frizz, smoothing everything down without making it look greasy or flat. It adds just the right amount of hold & definition whilst giving your hair a beautiful shine. My hair feels lovely & soft when I use it too. You only need a tiny amount of it & you can use it on wet or dry hair. I normally just put it on my dry hair but if you apply some before blowdrying the glossy sheen it gives to your locks is unbelievable. It makes your hair look super healthy even if it's as damaged as mine. If you buy one product from Bumble & Bumble make sure it's Brilliantine.

Dry sprays are still all the rage & one of my favourites is the Thickening Dryspun Finish. This is like a step up from a dry shampoo as it doesn't make your hair feel matted & gross afterwards. It gives your hair an instant shot of volume & plenty of texture. Whenever I want really full & bouncy hair I always spray some of this through my top layers. A quick ruffle with your fingers is then all you need to give your hair some oomph. It works perfectly if you're doing a voluminous updo like a beehive too. Another product that I always find myself reaching for is the Thickening Creme Contour. I mainly just use this on the front layers of my hair to give them a bit more hold & make sure they stay flicked outwards. It adds loads of volume & definition. I have quite fine hair & this stuff definitely plumps it up & makes it look thicker. Use these two products together for some seriously big hair!

Bumble & Bumble do some fantastic creme products all with completely different results. The two I reach for most often are the Hair(Un)Dressing Creme & Grooming Creme. I normally go for the former if I want a messy look & the latter if I want a sleeker look. The Hair(Un)Dressing Creme adds the perfect amount of volume & texture to your hair without overloading it or making it look greasy again. It's great if you hate how your hair looks on the day you wash it. The product is a thick, flexible hold styling creme for lived-in, messy hairstyles complete with a matte finish. A tiny blob of this stuff ran through your roots before blow drying will give your hair some grit & lift so it's a good alternative to backcombing. The Grooming Creme is better if you want your hair to look smooth & polished. It gives my hair separation & hold so it stays looking exactly how I want it. I always blow dry my hair & if I use this beforehand I find that my hair stays straighter for longer. It also works really well on curly hair. If you run some through before leaving it to air dry, this creme helps to reduce frizz & define curls. The soft satin finish adds some elegance to your hairstyle.

One of the latest additions to the Bumble & Bumble range are their Hairdresser's Invisible Oil products. I really love the original Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. This is the best hair oil I've ever tried, nothing will make your hair feel as soft as this does. When I first tried this I couldn't stop stroking my hair, the transformation was incredible. I apply four pumps through my hair before blowdrying. It's hard to believe how much shinier & softer it will make your hair feel, it is a true miracle worker. This is probably the most expensive B&B product but it is worth every single penny. They recently added a shampoo, conditioner & primer to the lineup. You already know my feelings about their hair washing products but the Heat/UV Protective Primer is phenomenal. As well as protecting against heat & UV damage it helps to detangle, soften, defrizz & tame flyaways. It makes my hair so much more manageable & easy to style. I've had less breakage since I started using this too. If you have fine hair you'll probably get on better with the primer but both are well worth trying out.

Although I've dismissed their daily shampoos & conditioners they do make some lovely hair masks. Deeep is an incredibly nourishing protein mask that would be perfect for anyone with chemically treated, sun damaged or very dry hair. It repairs the hair from within by increasing elasticity whilst adding immense softness. It has a very thick texture so you don't need to use that much product to get results otherwise it can weigh down the hair. This mask is best applied to damp hair for 20 minutes once a week. Pop on a shower cap or a warm towel to intensify it's hair revitalising properties. Plus the scent is utterly gorgeous & it lingers on your hair for ages. Quenching Complex is also a brilliant quick fix for dry hair. This is a light leave-in cream that I like to apply to the ends of my hair before bed. It smooths the hair cuticle, sealing in moisture & protecting the hair. It's just a nice hydrating booster before I wash my hair in the morning. You can also use it before blowdrying as a leave-in conditioner if you prefer.

Now this isn't entirely my pick as I would never use the stuff but my boyfriend loves the Bb. Gel. I actually bought him this as a present and he declared it to be the best hair gel that he'd ever used. I'm sure many of you know how hard it is to get boys excited about beauty products so this was a small victory for me. It gives the hair a strong but flexible hold & doesn't turn into flaky white bits like many gels do. This is a much more modern formula & doesn't look too wet or too dry on the hair. If you want to buy the man in your life a nice hair treat, get him this.

What are your favourite Bumble & Bumble products?

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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25

Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25* - £26

Something that I am becoming increasingly fanatical about is sun protection. I'm the kinda gal who likes to wear sunscreen all year round. I turned 26 this year & I'm getting to the age where I feel like I do need to start including anti-ageing products in my routine. Wearing sunscreen daily is the best way to fight against fine lines, wrinkles & age spots. Not to mention that my love of AHAs & retinol means that I have to apply it or suffer the consequences. During the Summer I normally use a separate moisturiser & SPF product to ensure that my face is getting fully protected. You need to apply 1/4 teaspoon of sunscreen on your face to fully benefit from it so it's better to use separate products. However when the weather is cold & grey, much like it is right now, a moisturiser containing SPF is far more convenient & perfectly adequate for protecting your skin. The vast majority of moisturisers with sun protection only come with SPF 15 which is a little low for my liking. Balance Me's Natural Protection Moisturiser comes with SPF 25 plus protection against both UVA & UVB rays which is exactly what most of us should be aiming for.

As a daily moisturiser I do think that this product works very well. It features 99% natural ingredients including hyaluronic acid for hydration, blackberry seed extract to encourage collagen production and abyssinian, camellia & rosehip oils to nourish the skin. Balance Me have also created a bespoke blend of essential oils for this moisturiser including bergamot, frankincense, chamomile & lavender to calm, soothe & brighten the skin. They give it a really nice herbal scent too. The formula is quite thick yet it feels lightweight on the skin. It gives me the perfect amount of hydration without feeling greasy or heavy. My skin is left feeling perfectly plump & smooth. It doesn't break me out at all so it'd be a great choice for those with sensitive or problem skin. Although it says it's suitable for all skin types I feel like it might not be fluid enough for those with dry skin.

I really like the packaging of this moisturiser. The 40ml tube is very slim with a precise nozzle tip so you can get out just the right amount of product. It would be great to carry around with you too. The sun protection in this moisturiser comes from an innovative natural titanium dioxide-based sun filter. This means that it is a physical sunscreen which protects your skin by reflecting the sun's rays rather than absorbing them. Physical sunscreens are also less likely to cause irritation however they do leave an unpleasant white cast on your skin. When I first applied this product I was shocked by how white my face looked but after a couple of minutes everything sinks in & the white cast completely disappears. It dries to a semi-matte finish and I've noticed that my foundation stays on a lot longer when I use this, eliminating the need for primer. It is such a lovely base for makeup!

Balance Me spent two years developing this moisturiser which I think is shown through it's immense high quality. Sometimes with moisturisers that include SPF you can tell that something has been compromised, either the moisturising benefits or the sun protection levels. The Natural Protection Moisturiser gets that balance just right making this product a great skincare addition for those who don't get along with separate sunscreens. It's a simple one-step no fuss product that does it all. Are you a fan of Balance Me?

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