Review: Indeed Labs Hydraluron and Pepta-Bright

Saturday, 18 May 2013

I bought these products from Indeed Labs after they were given a thumbs up by Caroline Hirons, which basically meant that they were automatically added to my mental shopping list. I really like the fuss-free packaging and the tubes, as it's convenient and hygienic to use.

Hydraluron (£24.99)
After reading Caroline's cheat sheet about dry/dehydrated skin, I was convinced that my skin was dehydrated, as my 'symptoms' seemed to fit into the dehydrated category. So I thought: 'Brilliant, Hydraluron will be a much needed moisture boost for my dehydrated skin'. The texture is a gel, which sinks into the skin quickly and doesn't have a scent. Hydraluron has been raved about by a lot of people, but I was disappointed when I used this as I don't feel like it made any difference to my skin. I used it daily in the morning for about 4 weeks, but I haven't been using it for the past week or so and don't see any difference between when I use it and when I don't.

Pepta-Bright (£29.99)
My opinion of Pepta-Bright is the opposite of Hydraluron. I absolutely love this product and it definitely works. Pepta-Bright has a cream like texture and sinks into the skin quickly. I didn't find this broke me out at all. I've noticed that my post acne dark marks are not hanging around as long as they usually would and my skin tone is looking a lot more even overall.

Have you ever tried products by Indeed Labs?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

N.B. Please remember skincare is subjective. Something that may work for me, might not work for you and vice versa.

Review: Nioxin System Kit 2

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

My hair has never been thick, but it had recently been feeling really thin and damaged. I also felt that I could have made a wig using the hair that fell out when brushing or washing my hair! I have tried to combat this before by doing the '4 Week No Heat' Challenge and using products, such as the Lush New Shampoo Bar, but this time I decided to try the Nioxin System Kit 2, which is designed for fine, natural hair which is noticeably thinning. I'd read good reviews about this and it claims that '70% of users notice thicker, denser looking hair in 4 weeks'. I have been using this Nioxin Kit for over 1 month now and thought I would give you a run down of my thoughts on it.

The kit comes with a 150ml Cleanser, 150ml Scalp Revitaliser and 40ml Scalp and Hair Treatment - aka a shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment. I felt that for the price of the system (Around £25), you don't get a lot of product, however the shampoo and conditioner have lasted for a month and half so far (I wash my hair with these products 2-3x a week) and I feel like there's still about half left in the bottle. I think the leave in treatment will last me ages, as I don't use much each time and I will continue to use it even once the shampoo and conditioner are finished.

The Cleanser is a green, gel like texture which kind of reminds me of a gel facial cleanser and the Revitaliser is a typical, white conditioner consistency. They both have a subtle minty smell, which isn't my favourite, but isn't too overpowering. The Cleanser lathers well and my hair felt clean, but not stripped and the Revitaliser gives the hair a nice amount of slip once applied. The Scalp and Hair Treatment is a foam-like texture, which you apply all over the scalp. I was a bit sceptical of putting it near my roots as I was worried it would make my hair greasy or feel like there was product build up, but it didn't. I was unsure how many pumps to use each time, so I generally stick to 2-3 and hope for the best. The instructions say that it "may cause temporary redness and a warming sensation following application", which scared me a little when I read it, but I have never experienced this.

During the use of this kit, I have also stopped using heat on my hair. I still blow dry my fringe, but I don't use my straighteners or curlers unless I'm going out. After using this system, my hair feels quite dry and I feel like I don't need to wash my hair as often. Every now and again, instead of using this every time I wash my hair, I have been using it twice a week and using another shampoo and deep conditioner the other time.

The Nioxin System claims to "deliver 5 effects for thicker looking hair":
1. Reduces hair fall due to breakage - I have definitely noticed that I have less hair around the shower drain after washing my hair.
2. Delivers denser-looking hair - I feel like my hair retains its natural bounce a little more and looks more voluminous. Due to less styling of my hair, I have found that my hair doesn't look as flat either.
3. Amplifies hair texture - I think that by making my hair feel drier, it has given my hair some texture. My hair no longer has that silky, slippy, first day hair feeling and instead retains my natural wave quite well.
4. Helps strengthen hair resilience against cuticle damage - In combination with using less heat on my hair, I have noticed that I have less split ends.
5. Cleanses excessive sebum from scalp - This has definitely happened, as I feel like my hair is quite dry and I feel like I need to wash my hair less often. I usually try to combat this by using a hair oil through the ends to try to help my hair retain some moisture.

I am happy that I have been using this kit. My hair will never be thick, but I have seen some great results. I am sceptical about what will happen once I finish these products and if I don't continue using them, as a lot of hair thinning products require constant use and results stop after stopping use. I will do an update a few weeks after I finish the products if there is anything to note. I can't see myself using this as my only shampoo and conditioner combination as I like to chop and change the products I use, but I would definitely repurchase the products. The kit is a great way to try these products to see if they're for you and I think you can buy each of the products individually in bigger quantities, which is also useful. If you're into SLS free and natural products, then this range will not be for you as you can see the ingredients list, above, is fairly extensive.

Have any of you tried this Nioxin System Kit?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

NOTD: Prickly Pear, Florals and Polka Dots

Friday, 10 May 2013

'Another NOTD already?!' I know my last post was also a NOTD, but I change my nail polish fairly frequently and I am so in love with this colour and my little attempt at nail art, that I had to share it with you.

3 coats of Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in 'Prickly Pear'

Left: Berry Ice Cream, Right: Prickly Pear

I resisted buying Prickly Pear for as long as I could. When it was released, I knew it was one of those colours that I would love. It is a pretty light purple, which I would say is slightly darker than your typical pastel lilac. The colour is similar to Barry M 'Berry Ice Cream', which is another of my favourites, but comparing them side by side, you can see the difference in colour tone. The formula was easy to work with and needed 3 coats to become fully opaque. The colour is super glossy, even without a top coat. It has lasted well on my nails so far and there are no chips yet.

Nail art and I are not best friends. However I was inspired by Milly's pastel floral nails in her recent post, so I decided to give it a whirl. The technique she linked to was a tutorial by Corrie and it really was as simple as pi. I think the whole nail art process took less than 5 minutes. I didn't trust myself to decorate all my nails, but I threw in a little polka dot design and really like how it turned out. I didn't use any fancy dotting tools or stamps - I just did a few circular blobs of Essie 'Off The Shoulder' using the brush and then swirled in Sinful Colors 'Easy Going' with a cocktail stick, before dotting mini leaves and polka dots using the same cocktail stick and Barry M 'Greenberry' and finishing off with a top coat. Simples.

Have you tried any Barry M Gelly nail polishes? Do you like nail art?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

NOTD: Greenberry

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

3 coats of Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in 'Greenberry'

I picked up a few Barry M Gelly nail polishes from Superdrug after initially trying to resist buying them. They were on 3 for 2, so I couldn't really pass them up, could I?! I chose Greenberry as I don't have any other colours like this. The colour is a gorgeous, vibrant Tiffany blue kind of colour with a tinge of green. I am currently wearing this on my fingers, but I think this would also look great on the toes with a pair of sandals or paired with a gold accent nail. The polish applied extremely streaky for the first coat, but became opaque on applying the second coat. I decided to do three coats for optimum opacity. The formula is really easy to use. It applies nicely and dries fairly quickly. The colour is really lovely and glossy, which I love. It has lasted fairly well on my nails. I hada few chips on the tips after a few days, but nothing too major.

Have you used the Barry M Gellys before? I also picked up Prickly Pear and Papaya, which I'm excited to try!

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Botanics 100% Organic Face Oil

Monday, 6 May 2013

I bought this Botanics 100% Organic Facial Oil from Boots for £4.99 (half price, original price £9.99) after deciding that my skincare routine was severely lacking a facial oil, as it was feeling rather dry and flaky a few weeks ago.

I currently use a few drops of this face oil every evening and occasionally in the morning if my skin needs that extra moisture boost. I like that it comes with a pipette to distribute the oil, as you can choose how many drops you need with minimal wasteage.

The facial oil has a strange smell. It isn't offensive or overpowering, just slightly strange. I think it may be the smell of rosehip, however I don't know what rosehip smells like, so I won't assume anything... I found that I got used to it quickly and don't mind it that much now.

The oil is a little thicker and isn't as runny as the Vitamin E Facial Oils that I have used in the past. I find that it doesn't sink into my skin that quickly and sometimes sits on top for a while (leaving you looking rather glossy), before finally sinking in and leaving my face feeling soft and moisturised. I did not find that this broke me out at all. This has really helped to get rid of any dry, flaky patches on my skin and I have noticed that my post acne marks are lightening and going away quicker (I think this in combination with some of the other skincare products that I've been using lately).

I think this facial oil is great and it has become a firm favourite in my skincare routine. The price is brilliant, especially if you catch it on offer and I love that this is an easily accessible brand, so you can just pop to your local high street and don't have to wait for online deliveries.

What's your favourite facial oil?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #23

Saturday, 4 May 2013

My empties for this month seem to be mainly skincare and haircare products. I always find that I finish way more skincare and haircare products than makeup - Probably because I'm fickle with my makeup and change it up fairly often, whereas I generally stick to the same products for my skin and hair. Does anyone have any tips on how to use up makeup items quicker? As I feel my collection will never decrease in size and the products seem to last forever!

Skincare Empties:
I got this mini sample of Bioderma Matriciane Rides when I bought my new bottle of Bioderma Crealine Micellar Solution. I really enjoyed using this moisturiser, as it was quite thick and left my skin feeling really soft. This is definitely a contender for when I have to buy a new moisturiser. I also finished another tube of my beloved La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. I'm not crying too much about finishing this tube, as I already had a back up tube in the wings and I have started using it already.

Haircare Empties:
This bottle of John Frieda 3 Day Straight is my best friend when I heat style my hair. It really helps to keep my straightened style in place until my next wash and my hair feels sleek and soft. I have repurchased this already and will definitely continue to do so. Batiste is my favourite dry shampoo, however I don't think I will repurchase Batiste Boho again. The scent was a little questionable. I can't quite pinpoint what it smelt of, but it definitely wasn't fruity or sweet (even though it claims to have a 'heavenly sweet fragrance'). I personally still prefer the Tropical version, which smells like coconuts. I have had this Tara Smith Feed The Root Conditioner for ages. In fact, the packaging of this has changed and they have now started stocking it in Marks and Spencer. The scent reminds me of minty chewing gum and unfortunately, as I didn't really like the scent, lingers in the hair. I really like how this product has no nasty ingredients (e.g. SLS, parabens, etc) and that it isn't tested on animals. It doesn't have much slip when applying to wet hair, but it does leave the hair feeling super soft and not weighed down.

What did you finish last month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

P.S. As a quick side note, I thought I'd let you know of the free mini Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara with the June issue of ELLE (the one with Miley Cyrus on the cover). The magazine costs £4 and you get a generous 4g sample worth £9.50. A full sized tube of 'They're Real' is £19.50 for 8.5g - You do the math.

The Staples: Collection Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

I have repurchased this eyeliner more times than I can remember. It's extremely easy to use and is perfect for eyeliner amateurs and pros alike. The eyeliner is like a pen, so it's easy to hold and the nib can give thick or thin lines (as you can see in the picture above), depending on how thick you want your eyeliner to be. The formula is super opaque and I find this lasts on me all day without smudging. This is also easy to remove with a swipe of Bioderma or a face wipe, so you're not left with a grey 'tattoo' after makeup removal. The eyeliner only costs £2.99 and Collection (I believe Collection 2000 dropped the '2000') is easily accessible to buy in the UK, which is great as you don't have to wait for online deliveries or go to special stores to buy it.

What's your favourite eyeliner?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy