Battle of the Brands: Heat Defence

I’ve decided to start these battle of the brands posts, simply because I think they would be the most helpful kind of review. Realistically, when you’re shopping you’re weighing up options. This first post will focus on heat defence products for hair styling. Something that has always been a struggle for me to find. My hair is very particular about what it accepts – a lot products tend to leave it sticky, dry, tangly or just… unfavourable, so taking the risk of spraying something on my hair post-wash is not one to be taken lightly.

Heat DefenceIn this post I’ll be comparing the Tesemme Heat Defence Styling Spray and the Dove Mist Heat Defence. Sorry that these aren’t all-natural wonder-products, but this is always something I don’t think about ordering in advance, and just ends up being a panic purchase at the supermarket. (Cue your comments suggesting good heat defence sprays I can order here!)

DoveThe Dove Mist Heat Defence Spray (150ml – £3.58) boasts a micro moisture serum, and in case, like me, you were wondering what that actually is, here is a quote: ‘Dove advanced damage care and repair technology: Micro Moisture Serum creates a shield around the hair to help protect its internal structure against damaging effects of heat styling.’

I am always super sceptical of products that claim to ‘repair’ hair – simply because it cannot be done, but otherwise, this spray is easy to use, smells okay, is great on damp hair, lightweight and does the trick. So long as I use a heat defence, my hair stays in pretty great condition between my bi-annual haircuts (don’t judge me) but what I really don’t like about this product is that it doesn’t help to keep frizz at bay. I dread blow drying my hair, simply because I cannot tame the fly aways afterwards, which often results in me straightening my hair or just tying it up so I don’t have to deal with it, which isn’t ideal..

TresemmeThe Tresemme Heat Defence Styling Spray (£4.99 – 300ml) is overall very similar. It’s great to apply to damp hair, smells okay, keeps my hair protected and doesn’t leave me with any sticky residue which is fantastic.

Although this product by the millilitre is cheaper, it makes bigger claims than the Dove alternative… it says it’s a ‘professional quality product’, seals in shine, protects your hair from heat damage from blow drying and straightening as well as preventing frizz and fly aways. Where do I start? I would agree that this spray does offer great protection and helps to keep hair glossy and shiny, which is definitely an added bonus, but again, it doesn’t help to control frizz or fly aways!

The Comparison:

Overall, it’s kinda difficult to compare these products, simply because they are pretty much the same! They both offer great heat protection, are lightweight, seal in shine, smell okay, are widely available and are easy to use. Sadly neither help me to combat the frizz attack after blowdrying, so for this reason I’ll be moving on once I’ve used them all up. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend either of them, but if your hair is relatively easy to control, I’d definitely go for one of these! They’re cheap and are a great staple for styling hair! If I had to choose a winner though, it would have to be the Tresemme Heat Defence spray – it’s cheaper, comes in a bigger bottle and will look much better on your shelf!

What are your favourite heat protectors? Feel free to leave any recommendations below!

Battle of the Brands: Heat Defence

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara

An unusual post for me I must admit, but what you all don’t know (I refrained from resolution posts) is that one of my New Years resolutions was to wear more make up; simply because I’d like to start looking nicer! My make up collection is made up of 5 items: one lip glosses, mineral powder, concealer, mascara and blusher, all except the concealer are over a year old and barely touched! I gave up wearing make up every day a couple of years ago when I started to commute to college, my 3 hour round trip made looking nice simply not worth getting out of bed, and I decided to sport the bare faced look more often. Admittedly this saw an incredible improvement in my skin, so I didn’t feel like I needed it, which gave me a much needed boost in my self esteem. All of this aside, I feel like I’d like to start wearing the basics more often because I think it makes me look a little smarter for work and just because I fancy it.

Eye of Horus Mascara

Enter: Eye of Horus Mascara*! Mascara seemed a good place to start as I have incredibly sensitive eyes. Since I stopped wearing make up I have found myself reaching for more natural, gentle products to use in place of drug store alternatives – especially since I don’t need to buy them so often. I usually end up pulling my eye lashes out by the end of the day if I do wear mascara, so I need to be sure what I pick is suitable for sensitive eyes, which this Eye of Horus mascara certainly is! The Eye of Horus founders’ sensitivities to make up actually inspired the mascara as they needed something a little more gentle!

Eye of Horus is a new brand to the UK, but one that has already reached ‘Cult Beauty’ status in Australia, with further success in New Zealand and the Philippines. Their initial range consists of the ‘Goddess Mascara’ and the ‘Liquid Define’ eye liners and ‘Goddess Pencils’ eye shadows, which look beautiful!

So, what did I think? My first impressions were mixed. From the information on the website I was expecting to have no reaction at all, but I have to admit that at first my eyes felt a little… unusual – not quite itchy, but not quite normal – but I think this is purely because it’s a new products, and the last time I wore any make up was about a month ago! I’m pleased to say that after a minute or two this subsided and I was really happy with the results. The mascara applied really well, but I did use my eyelash curler to make them perfect (again, this could have caused the irritation) and I was delighted by the non-existent clumpage! Although this mascara is black, it made my lashes look natural and not too dressed up. I have really long eye lashes, so when I apply mascara it sort of looks like I’m ready for a night out, but with just one coat of the Goddess Mascara this wasn’t the case which was fantastic.

Eye of Horus MascaraThe mascara is enriched with Moringa Oil, which is famous for it’s use in Ancient Egypt. It was discovered in many Egyptian tombs, and even after thousands of years it was still stable! It has many health benefits, but it’s purpose in this mascara is to strengthen your lashes over time, which never goes a miss of course. The product utilises as many natural waxes and oils as possible, and also contains Bees Wax, which helps to nourish the lashes – fantastic!

I have used this mascara a couple of times now, and I am really happy with it. It makes the perfect everyday essential, but is also perfect for building up for a stronger look. Even after a long day (15 hours to be exact) it stayed perfectly in place and wasn’t causing me any irritation at all. One thing that may be worth  noting is that it crumbles upon removal. I really don’t mind this at all as ultimately it prevents smudging and stops my eye area from staining, but each to their own. I was a little surprised at first, and was worried I was doing something wrong, but I’m sure it’s just down to it’s unique formula. So overall, it’s a fantastic product and I am really really pleased that I was introduced to such a fantastic brand!

The Goddess Mascara retails for £17.00, which I think is really great value as it ticks all the boxes! I’m definitely after their Goddess Pencil next after seeing a model shoot on their Facebook page – the teal one is absolutely stunning!

Have you ever used any Eye of Horus products before? I’d love to know what you think! Please feel free to share your make up tips with me below, too!

Ingredients

Aqua, Acrylates copolymer, Cera Alba, Cera Carnauba, Stearic Acid, Oryza Sativa Cera, Candelilla Cera, GlycerylMonostearate , PVP, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, Methylisothiazolinone, CI 77266 Black 2

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara

Spa Find Heavenly Hydration Salt Brush

So, I’ve heard it on the grapevine that salt brushing is all the rage right now, so I was more than a little intrigued when Spa Find kindly sent me their lovely Heavenly Hydration Salt Brush Treatment to try! Now I regret having to say that I was so excited to receive this, that I forgot to take pictures before using it, so sorry there aren’t any of my own photos!!

Spa Find Salt Brush

Spa Find are one of those ‘at home’ Spa brands that seem to be creeping up on us quite quickly at the moment. The industry seems to be steering away from treatments at the spa, and guiding us into the ‘1/2/3 minute facial’ direction, which is fine of course! I really love Spa Find’s ‘holistic’ approach to the products, everything is inspired by mother earth – just the way it should be.

Although I obviously love natural products, I am always a little wary of using natural exfoliants as I have heard so many things about them being too harsh for your skin, and I must admit, I once used a salt face scrub that tore my skin, so I’m a little sceptical! It has got to be said, this product is luxurious – it contains 100% natural salt minerals, mixed with coconut oil and a citrus oil blend to keep your skin wonderfully hydrated. It is rich in Vitamin E, so it also boasts excellent anti-ageing effects, too.

The instructions say to apply this to dry skin before your bath or shower – and I’d suggest standing in your bath or shower whilst you do this, as it does tend to go a little bit… everywhere. Although I do see applying the salt to dry skin as necessary, it is a little bit awkward just standing there with no water running scrubbing yourself, but it’s worth it in the end! I tend to apply this mainly to my legs as they tend to get neglected. My skin gets quite dry, tight and itchy so this is a lovely relief. The salt removes all dead skin cells and the oil blends leave my skin moisturised, but not greasy at all. It is suggested to use this as a weekly treatment, but I simply use it when I feel like I need a little pick me up, so it really is up to you.

My only negative comment is that the salt is quite abrasive on dry skin, and it can sometimes irritate my hands a little bit when I’m rubbing it it, so if you have a little wash mit, brush or sponge I would recommend using that to protect your hands. Otherwise I really do enjoy using this product, and hope to incorporate some more Spa Find products into my skincare regime – I happen to have my eye on one of their masks.

This salt scrub retails at £13.15 for a huge 500g tub, so it’s really affordable and has worked it’s way up to their best seller! It has even been rated as the ‘Best Body Scrub’ by You magazine. There are so many other products in the Spa Find range that take my fancy, they do sand scrubs, mud masks, bath salts.. loads of stuff! Have you ever tried any of thier products, what did you think?

Spa Find Heavenly Hydration Salt Brush

RoseIsle Caaalming Bath Oil Review

RoseIsle Bath OilI think you’re silly if you aren’t partial to a little pampering every now and again. Lord knows we all need it after a busy festive season! For my own little routine I have been on the hunt for an affordable yet organic/natural bath oil for a while, so I was delighted when new natural skincare company RoseIsle followed me on Twitter and said hello! I love investigating new, small companies so after flicking through their website and discovering the Caaalming Bath Oil* (£20.75 150ml) I was intrigued to say the least, and delighted when they offered me a little sample to try at home!

Created by Reflexologist Paul Hammond, RoseIsle was born when Paul moved to Scotland and started to study and create  natural products that would be beneficial to the whole body. He explains “We are but simple country folk and we think it makes sense to steer clear of unknown” – a wonderful philosophy I say! RoseIsle manufacture only natural and organic skincare goodies, including a full facial, hair and body care ranges, plus a few little extras such as baby care and lip care. They’re a really great small, ethical company – definitely worth checking out!

I was so excited when I received my bath oil, and put it to the test almost straight away! I’m usually a morning shower person, but treated myself to a little weekend pamper at my Fiancé’s house (he has an amazing roll-top bath… don’t mind if I do!) The things I would look for in a bath oil would be quite a strong fragrance for the duration of my bath, good texture to the oil and a sense of luxury, and I’ve gotta say that this bath oil ticked all the right boxes. Admittedly I did leave the bath a little oily still, but I think that’s simply because I added too much. The suggestion was to add about 2 tablespoons, but as my skin struggles to absorb much I think I could get away with a little less! The scent of the oil is incredible, and features some of my favourite fragrances: bergamot and mandarin, which are carried by rosehip and castor oils. Rosehip Oil is extremely beneficial to our skin; not only does it have wonderful anti-ageing properties, but it also helps to heal and regenerate our skin, reducing the appearance of our scars and making our complexion glow. Prickly Pear Seed oil also makes an appearance, which isn’t an ingredient I know much about. It is said to prevent dehydration, keeping our skin plump and smooth, whilst also helping to minimise the appearance of pores… yes please!

My only word of advice? Use this at night! I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried putting on jeans whilst covered in oil… but it’s an unpleasant experience. This oil would be absolutely perfect to use on an evening after a stressful day with candles lit and a good book, allowing your skin to drink up all the oil overnight. I would definitely 100% recommend this bath oil to anyone, and will definitely be repurchasing in the future. Their ‘Bathing Plus’ range also features Shower Clay, Bathing Salts and Bath Bombs, which all sound really intriguing and lovely – this is definitely a great, affordable brand with plenty to offer, so please do give them a try!

Ingredients (* Organic)

Vitis vinifera (grapeseed) oil*, ricinus communis (castor) oil*, leurites moluccana (kukui) nut oil*, opuntia ficus indica (prickly pear) seed oil, rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil*, citrus bergamia (bergamot) ess.oil*, citrus sinensis (mandarin) ess.oil*, origanum maiorana (marjoram) ess.oil*.

RoseIsle Caaalming Bath Oil Review

Neals Yard Remedies – Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner

NY SignI have wanted to try something from the Neals Yard Remedies range for a loooong time. It was Christmas 2012 that my friend introduced me to their range via their Facebook and since then I have been lusting after their products, but without the budget to buy myself some! I’m always a little dubious about buying products from ranges I haven’t tried before, especially when I can’t get to a shop for advice or to test out the products, but since 2012 something amazing happened. I won’t try to explain the concept of an Isle of Wight garden centre to the big wide world, but over here they are something pretty special. Local green finger phenomenon, Busy Bees (aka Christmas WORLD) recently expanded their store (making Island-wide news for months of course) and had the decency to add an amazing health food and natural cosmetics section… for whatever reason! I was overjoyed, and this saw the introduction of Neals Yard Facial Care to the Isle of Wight – so I finally decided it was time to treat myself.

Frankincense TonerI love a good toner, and it just so happened that I actually needed something for my daily skincare regime, so I picked up the Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner, which is suitable for all skin types, and designed to absorb sebum and moisturisers, resulting in wonderfully balanced skin! This is absolutely perfect for my combination/oily which skin becomes incredibly unbalanced (my main skin concern) and is notoriously adverse to most moisturisers! This toner is available in a gorgeous 200ml bottle, which takes pride of place on my dresser – it looks absolutely stunning, and definitely makes me want to expand my NYR collection! At £20.50 I think it is great value – I have been using mine daily since the beginning of December and have barely gone below the neck of the bottle – I expect it will last me a good 6 months or so.

The toner is light in consistency, and smells really herbal and amazing. I haven’t used frankincense in skincare before, but I’ve been impressed so far! It doesn’t leave a greasy residue at all, and does really well at refreshing the skin in the morning if you cleanse at night. My only complaint is that it takes a couple of minutes to fully dry, but it really isn’t any hassle. This product is 97% organic, so it’s definitely a skincare purchase you can feel good about. I think this will definitely work it’s way into my skincare regime for the foreseeable future, and I can’t wait to discover other Neal’s Yard Products! If you have tried some please please do share them in the comments section below! You can buy your own Frankincense Toner here!

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder*, Palmitoyl tripeptide-5, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Citrus nobilis (Mandarin) peel oil expressed*, Citrus bergamia (Bergamot) peel oil expressed*, Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh) gum oil, Coco-glucoside, Levulinic acid, Potassium sorbate, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool.

Neals Yard Remedies – Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner

Dead Sea Spa Magik Duo

Dead Sea Spa MagikI absolutely love trying out new brands (in case you couldn’t tell)! So when I was sent some Dead Sea Spa Magik products I was completely overjoyed as this is a brand I’ve had my eye on for a while.

Although I’m an Islander, I went to a sixth form college on (what we call) the mainland, so I got to go to super exotic shops like Debenhams (seriously, the Island doesn’t have a department store it’s terrible) so needless to say I went shopping in every given opportunity! I was once pulled over by a sales assistant with some Dead Sea Spa Magik salt scrub, who told me and my friend it would make our skin ridiculously soft… we were sold! We tested it out on our hands, and genuinely couldn’t beleive how silky smooth our skin was! Sadly, on our measley weekend job wages we simply didn’t have the funds for the products, and I have never bought any from the brand since, as I don’t think it’s available on Isle.

I was kindly sent quite a few Sea Spa Magik & Spa Find products to try out, but will focus on the Refreshing Bath Shower Gel and Silky Smooth Body Lotion first of all! Read on to hear my thoughts.

Refreshing Bath Shower Gel

Refreshing Bath Shower GelSo, my first thought about this shower gel…. It’s blue!! Definitely something you don’t ever expect whilst using natural cosmetics regularly. I love the fact that this product is multi-purpose – it can be used as a bath foam or shower gel. I’m a shower person, and have been regularly using this product for a couple of weeks now. The benefits listed on the product are: ‘helps to maintain skin’s elasticity and texture, relaxes your body and mind, deeply moisturises and rejuvenates the appearance of skin’ – that’s not far off! I really like the texture of this product, as it is thick and creates a rich, creamy foam, meaning it doesn’t feel drying or ineffective. After using this product your skin does feel moisturised and soft – exactly as desired, so it really does do what it says on the tin. The only thing I’m not so keen on is the smell, and that is a great shame. I absolutely love using products that smell natural and herbal, but although this product has added perfume and flower waters, it still smells a little strange to me, but each to their own! It might smell delicious to you.

It would be an amazing product to keep in the shower for the whole family to use – it comes in a huge bottle (as you can see it’s a 40% extra free product) and will last for ages, which is definitely a perk as it only costs £7.55 for a 350ml bottle from Holland and Barrett.

Silky Smooth Body Lotion

Silky Smooth Body LotionAnyone that knows me or reads my blog regularly will know I don’t get on well with moisturisers of any description. For whatever reason my skin just refuses to absorb pretty much anything, which means I never ever buy any because I’ve just lost hope (cue violins), but this just makes it even better when I get sent some unexpectedly and test it out. I was pretty much astonished when this body lotion sunk in pretty much instantly, and I was able to use it in the day time! I think I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m getting older, and my skin is becoming a little more accepting of moisturising products, but it’s always good to have a revelation such as this!

The body lotion is really really light, but a little thicker than a ‘milk’, which smooths onto my skin effortlessly and sinks in very quickly. It’s perfect to use after your shower with the Refreshing Bath Shower Gel as it just tops off your routine, and keeps your skin ‘Silky Smooth’ as the product claims! I would definitely recommend this product, as it is suitable for all skin types and is paraben free with UVB protection. The reviews on Holland & Barrett say that it makes a fantastic after sun – I’ll definitely be putting this to test in the summer!

Again, this product has been formulated with the potent extracts from the dead sea combined with organic ingredients and no parabens – wonderful! Both products contain ‘Harmonised Water’ which has been de-ionised to remove even the smallest impurities and makes room for the added minerals.

Have you ever used Dead Sea Spa Magik products? I’d love to know your favourites 🙂

Dead Sea Spa Magik Duo