Magazine Freebies; May 2015

It’s that time again! The sun comes out and with it brings a whole bunch of magazine freebies. Strangely, though, I haven’t bought any of them. I think this may be the first time that there has been multiple freebies and I haven’t indulged in even one! This may yet change, but for the moment, let’s just move onto the list. I would normally start with the one I’ve bought, so let’s just start with the one I’m most likely to buy.

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In Style

Clinique smart custom repair serum

I am soooo tempted by this. So very tempted. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this serum, and I’m totally getting into serums at the moment. This may be a match made in heaven. The only thing putting me off is the magazine; I’ve never been a huge fan. This feels silly, however, as I would totally buy the serum for £4. I would through to recommend you buy this; it’s a bargain and apparently awesome. I’m going on a plane next week, so I can totally see myself buying this at Heathrow. Watch this space….

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Percy and Reed

Hair Volumiser No-Oil Oil.

My hair is pretty big already, but it’s also quite fine. As a result, I do have an interest in volumisers, and I’m intrigued by the ‘no oil’ concept here. Again, the only thing putting me off is the magazine. That, plus I’ve never been blown away by the brand. I imagine this one will pass me by.

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Marie Claire

Neal’s Yard Mint and Bergamot hand cream.

I actually don’t mind Marie Claire, and if this was the Clinique I would already Have bought it. I really don’t need anther handcream though: I already have about 7. I also don’t think much of Neals Yard creams, I tend to find them a bit watery.

So there we have it; the best of May offerings. If you indulge let me know!

Glossy Box Review: July 2013

My excitement over the Summer and everything that comes with it meant that I was extra excited by this month’s glossy box, which had a beautiful, bright blue, sea themed box.

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Heeeeeeart it. The contents inside excited me too at first glance- a motley crew of skincare, haircare, nails, makeup and even a little extra. Lush.

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So let’s dive straight in then, starting with the little extra.

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Green and Blacks 70% dark chocolate.

G&B are obviously top of the chocolate game, and I’m always hearing about how dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and a ‘superfood.’ I’m obsessive about superfoods, and as a result I like the idea of having this mini bar of goodness in my handbag, just in case I need a boost. Plus, you know, chocolate!! Win!!!

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Anatomicals Spray Misty for Me Facial Spray

Amusing name aside, this product caused me great excitement simply because it was a case of ‘exactly what I wanted at the time.’ A few days before I had been whining about wanting a facial spray to take around for the hot weather, and boom- glossy delivered. It’s purple too, lavender scented, and does exactly what it says on the tin- gives you a nice cool face. Awesome.

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Essie Nail Wraps

I keep meaning to do some nail wrap reviews- I have so many stored up, I’m just waiting for my nails to get to a length where I feel like it’s worth it! But even though I haven’t used many yet, I do love them, and I ADORE Essie, so this was a good start. The only thing I’m not too sure about here is the pattern- brown tiger stripes aren’t very me. I’ll give them a go, though, and like I said- nail wraps are awesome, and I expect Essie ones to be especially fab.

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Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist.

As with the face spray, this was another case of the universe (and glossy) delivering exactly what I wanted at the right time. Literally days before this got delivered I had spent a day at the beach, and had loved the beach waves the sea salt had left in my hair. I had even been researching salt spray- and then this arrived. Maximum levels of win. I haven’t tried it yet, but if it’s anything like the real thing then I’m expecting lush, textured waves.

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Coola mineral sunscreen

Another great one for me- gingers of course need sunscreen by the bucketload, and a mini tube is great for keeping in my bag in case of unforeseen sun bursts. SPF20 too, which is a decent level of protection, and the cream seems pleasant enough. A great handbag addition!

Sleek Pout Paint

Now we come to the controversial item in the box- sleek pout paint. I’ve used sleek before and liked it, and a quick Google tells me that these pout paints have a fond following online, so all signs were looking good. Then I saw the colours I had been given.

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Yep. Blue and coral. Blue. And coral. What?? I stared at the blue for a good long while before deciding that it was too much for my brain to handle and turning to the coral. That at least is a shade that lips can believably be. Couldn’t be so bad, right?

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Hmmmm. Not so bad… but not so good either. The pink is just too bright, too pastelly, to be anything that would ever make it’s way into my regular makeup set. And as for the blue

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….its….blue!!! Blue!! Do people ever really paint their lips blue?? There’s nothing more to say about this, except that it did a winning job at making me look like the aliens from the argos advert.

So there I was, confused by the mental colours, when a colleague helpfully pointed out that the point of these sleek pout tubes is to mix them and make a whole new shade. She also pointed out that pink and blue would likely create a shade I’m not un-fond of- purple. My hopes were raised once more as I mixed up some of each on the back of my hand, and created what looked like a soft lavender. Joy surged through my veins as I applied it to my lips…

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Yes, you’re right. It doesn’t look purple. It looks grey. And as confused as I was why anyone would ever want blue lips, grey is a whole different matter. It’s unflattering and weird. So all I’ve really done is given myself a whole new list of ways to look like a corpse. Putting aside the issue of the shades for a second, I feel compelled to add that the products themselves were winners- they did indeed blend beautifully, the colour on your lips was 100% true to the packaging, and the staying power was intense- once this stuff goes on, it aint coming off. But don’t buy the blue. Just don’t.

Generally I liked this month’s box, I just think I suffered from a few bad colour selections. A beige or red lip stain and a nail wrap more too my taste and I’d have loved it. so basically, if you are lucky enough to get nicer designs than me, the July box is nothing but win!

Magazine Freebies roundup: April 2013

Yep, it’s that time again: a run through of all the awesome free stuff you can get with magazines this month. They’ve been very generous!

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I’ll start with my least favourite, an extra firming body cream by Cowshed that came free with this month’s In Style.

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The cream itself was nice and thick, but the smell put me off- it was very strong and spicy, I imagine because of the herbs and oils that make it firming. Whatever it was, it was very overpowering and not at all pleasant. There’s no way of telling after only a few applications if the firming effect would actually work, but even if it did the smell wouldn’t make it worth it in my opinion. Not for me!

With Cosmopolitan this month was a rather exciting tube of Argan Oil hair cream by Phil Smith. (side note- has anyone actually heard of Phil Smith? I hadn’t! He sounds more like an accountant than a hairdresser imo!)

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Now this I was excited about. I’m on an eternal quest to find a miracle product for my hair, and anything with argan oil is a massive bonus at the moment. this is a blow dry cream, and whilst it didn’t turn me into Kate Middleton I am happy to report that it tidied up my hairdrying process somewhat, and made my hair very soft the next day. So a great freebie, but probably not amazing enough to repurchase. The hunt continues!

Finally we have Marie Claire, who really came up trumps with 2 freebies on the cover! Also, bonus; Keira Knightley was on the cover. Love her! The first freebie was a little bottle of Jergens body cream. (Apologies for the blurry picture, I took a good one but for some reason it didn’t come out!)

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I am having a recent love affair with the whole Jergens line, after they put them all on half price in superdrug last year and I went mental and stocked up, so I was delighted to see this. This particular cream is lovely- thick but light, and with a lovely, delicatle scent. Perfectly handbag sized= win!

The other freebie with Marie Claire was a bottle of Ciate nail polish, an absolute bargain considering how expensive they usually are. I’m not sure if there was a choice of shades, but there was only one when I looked- a slightly boring shimmery gold.

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I’ve mentioned before that I love dark, striking colours, so I’m afraid this wasn’t for me. its pretty in a mundane way, but I expect original, striking shades from big brands, not vaguely nice colours you can get anywhere, which is what I felt this was.

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It was nice enough in the light, but I have a lot of gold, and this one didn’t really catch my attention. It took 3 coats to build it up to this level too. I think maybe one coat over a dark shade would look nice, and I’m happy to have Ciate, but it was hard to get too excited.

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So there we have it- everything I could find for the month of April. Hopefully next month’s magazines are as generous!

Glossy Box: March 2013

 Welcome to the (slightly late) edition of my March GlossyBox review. This month was an interesting one- on first glance I wasn’t too impressed, but since then I’ve found myself using the products more and more, and as a result this may be one of my favourite boxes yet! Let’s dive right in!

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You’d be forgiven for thinking this box, like last month, had some sort of valentine theme going on, as the contents are predominantly pink. The theme, however, was in fact ‘City Chic’, and the products were aimed at keeping us looking fabulous at the minimum effort. Surely that’s what all products are meant to do…..?

 

 Juicy Couture: Couture LA LA Perfume

 I’ll start with the obligatory ‘boring’ product- the perfume sample. These seem to be appearing with more and more frequency, and whilst in theory I don’t mind them (love a new scent!) I do think it’s a little stingy considering they are free from most perfume counters. Still, this one was nice enough- a bit overly sweet for me, but summery, fruity and sharp enough to make it more interesting than the classic fruity floral.

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 Tre Semme Extra Hold Salon Finish Hairspray

 This was perfectly timed for me, as I always keep a hairspray in my bag and had literally just used up the last of my previous one. Whilst it’s not my go-to hairspray, I have used this one before and it does exactly what it says on the tin- gives an extreme hold, and smells rather nice while doing it. What more can you want??

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 Nails Inc Bruton Street

 Ah, Nails Inc: they can do no wrong in my book! I’m always chuffed to bits to get a Nails Inc product, and this was no exception. Whilst this one was not my usual colour- a very pale pastel pink- I slapped it on anyway, and 2 coats later had this.

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 Either my tastes are changing or Nails Inc really are the king of varnish, because I adored this shade. The soft, subtle, matte pastel pink for some reason really appealed to me, and I got soooo many comments whilst I was wearing it.

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 It’s the kind of shade that’s warm enough for spring/summer but smart enough to wear in the office; a perfect all rounder. As always with Nails Inc, flawless application, speedy drying time etc; hardly needs to be said! Win!

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 Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream

 This is one of those cult products that I’ve always meant to try, so I was happy as larry to get it. From what I’ve heard it’s the king of multi tasking, but I only had one use in mind; a face cream. My skin has been looking less than flawless recently, and this stuff is so revered that I couldn’t resist slapping some on my face. It’s a really strange looking cream, let’s get that out the way- more of a thick wax than a cream, and a dark orange/brown colour with a very funny smell. You barely need any, and you really have to rub it in- after that though, it’s all worth it. this stuff is so super thick that it really gets deep into your skin and basically soaks it in moisture- I woke up with baby soft skin, although it did have a slight residue. Once I’d washed it off though, it looked fresh and bright- I’m super impressed! I’m not sure how other people use their 8 hour cream, but I can really see why it’s got a cult following. Lovely stuff.

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 Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush

 I’ll finish on the product I was most excited about- I actually whooped when I opened the box and saw it. This is because this Jelly Pong Pong lipstick is the spitting image of the lip pens that are doing the rounds at the moment, all inspired by the Clinique chubby stick. I’ve got so many lip products that I couldn’t bring myself to get one, but I’ve been dying to try it, so I was super happy to get this one. As far as I can make out it’s only available in one shade, a warm, bright pink that on first glance looked waaaaay too Barbie for me. I’m happy to say that it applies with a mite more subtlety than appearances would suggest!

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 I actually adored the finish- it’s very light, and if you are looking for a matte, subtle pink for the day then this is perfect. Since this is exactly what I was looking for, I was beyond ecstatic, and this has quickly become my current staple. Super pleased!

 So this month’s box was a massive win for me. What did you think? Was the abundance of pink a win or a lose for you? Let me know!

Magazine Freebies Roundup: March 2013

Unbelievable as it sounds, this is the first feature on magazine freebies that I’ve been able to write this year- 2013 has not been good for generosity from our favourite publications! But good things come in threes, and it is now, finally, in the third month, that three magazines deigned to give us free stuff. Awesome!

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I’ll start with Marie Claire, who were offering a free tube of Neal’s Yard handcream.

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I’ve got handcream coming out of my ears, but this one immediately jumped to the top of my list- it’s gorgeous, really sinks in and immediately makes your hands feel amazing. you only need a tiny bit, or else it’s rather greasy, but if you get the balance right it’s divine. It’s a special edition made to help save the bees, and as such is scented with honey. Therein for me was the only real problem with this product- to me, it smells rank.

It’s mixed with some sort of citrus oil, and the result gives my hands a weird, bittersweet smell. Ick. I kept getting comments on how great it smelt from the world and his wife, though, so clearly it’s just me- maybe my nostrils are extra fussy, but I rather disliked it. that aside, though, the cream was great enough that the smell didn’t put me off, and I’m still using it every day.

Now onto Cosmopolitan. Cosmo were offering one of three Elemis skincare products- you could choose between a lip balm and 2 face creams. Being a lip balm obsessive, I had to physical restrain myself from buying that one, but really- I have hundreds. Instead I picked up a face cream- you could choose from ‘Softly Softly Day Moisturiser’ or ‘Skin Clear Mattifying Moisturiser.’ I went with the latter, as my skin is more oily than dry.

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It’s perfectly nice as far as creams go- light and fresh, and made my skin nice and soft. I’ve been kipping it in my gym bag for post- workout, but since it has no SPF it won’t be taking the crown from my usual day cream any time soon.

Finally we have Glamour, my favourite magazine and usually the best at gifts. This time they were offering a choice of 3 hair products from Percy and Reed, a brand I’ve used before. There was a shampoo and conditioner, but the product that caught my eye was a serum- more specifically, the ‘Volumising No-Oil Oil’. I have light, flat hair that gets greasy quickly, so this sounded right up my street.

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I don’t really have much luck with hair products, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It did indeed seem to make my hair lighter and more volumous than usual, and it was also very soft- I kept fiddling with the ends! I liked it better than the serum I’ve been using, and a quick Google tells me that the full size is £14- it’s definitely worth that. Very happy!

So that’s the rundown for March- a good bunch in my opinion, and all perfect for travelling. Did you choose another product from the options? What did you think? And do you disagree with my verdict on the smell of the handcream!? Let me know!

Batiste Cherry Mini

I’ve spoken before about my love for Batiste (for love, read obsession) so it will come as no surprise to learn that I have quite the stash of them going on. Up until this morning I had been using Graffiti, and when that died on me I reached for my most recent acquisition- the mini Cherry.

Cherry is one of the scents that’s been out a while, but It’s just been released in mini, which we all know makes it 100% better. Cherry is one of my favourite scents, and I’m happy to say that in batiste form it’s no less awesome. The smell is distinctively and obviously cherry, with floral and slightly sugary undertones that make it smell like a super sweet cherry perfume as opposed to just plain old cherry. Batiste are really good at making their spray’s smell like an actual scent you would want to smell like, as opposed to just a typical hair spray. Just another reason to adore them!

I really can’t rant enough about how awesome batiste is. I go through about a can a month, and I keep one in my gym bag, at work, in my car, my handbag…….. I can’t be without one. It’s a total must have product in my opinion, as it’s great not just for between washes but for giving your hair a real boost- my hair is very fine and flat, and if I’m going on a night out I always spritz some on my roots to make my hair big and volumatic.

If you’ve never tried batiste, what are you waiting for? Dry shampoo is a revolution, one of those staple products that everyone should try at least once- it will give your hair so much body, and leave it feeling so fresh, I guarantee you will love it. And once you do, you’ll probably end up fixated like me, buying every single smell! Sorry about that!

Do you love batiste too? What’s your favourite smell? (Mine is probably wild!) Let me know!

 

Product provided by PR

Charles Worthington At Home: Moisture Seal Intense Rescue Melting Balm

This product is one of those semi-cult things that seems to be the toast of the blogger circuit right now. To my knowledge it hasn’t been out very long, but everyone seems to adore it, so I thought it was about time I weighed in with my opinion.

I. LOVE. This. Product. Seriously. True love. Not in the haphazard way I’m guilty of using it all the time, but actually love. It’s amazing. I have a long and disappointing relationship with hair products- I’m constantly buying new ones, desperate for them to make such a magical difference to my hair that I spot it straight away, and this is the first one in a while that’s actually delivered on its promise. I’m going to tag it as a staple switch, despite the fact that it’s not got me to switch from anything- unless you count ‘endless disappointing hair masks’. Basically this puppy is now eternally living in my hair drawer, a definite repurchase, and so is deserving of staple status, even without the switch.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I start gushing (a bit late) I should give you the info. Part of the Charles Worthington at home range, this product is an intensive rescue balm/oil masque which “deeply conditions and rescues thirsty, damaged and over-styled hair.” It starts life as a heavenly smelling, semi opaque white solid in a tub, and you scoop out a little lump and rub it in your palms until it melts into a luscious oil. You then rub it onto your DRY hair (mid-lengths to ends only, you know the drill) and leave it to soak for 20 minutes before washing it off. I actually ended up leaving mine on for an hour as I put it on before a gym workout, putting it up in a bun- a trick I highly recommend as it gives it time to penetrate, you don’t have to worry about leaning on anything and leaving a greasy mask plus- seriously- who cares if your hair looks like a greasy ball of oil in the gym?

Anyway, after it’s soaked in you wash it out, same as always- standard shampoo, condition etc. After blow drying my first thought was that though it looked more manageable, it was really much the same as ever, so I didn’t think much of it and carried on home. It was only about an hour later that I really noticed the magic. My hair has a habit of going big and fluffy after a blow dry, meaning I usually dry it and sleep on it to make it settle. However, after using this, in barely no time at all it had settled into a sleek, manageable, Kate Middleton style swish. It was then that I noticed how soft it was. And it SO was. for the first time in as long as I remember I kept stroking my hair, running my fingers through it and fiddling with it constantly, just because I was so enraptured by the silkiness.

The box recommends using one or two times a week, which I have done, and on about my third week of this I am overwhelmingly impressed by the healthiness of my hair. It looks better than it has in…well, forever really. The condition is noticeably better, the ends fresher, and just generally it looks 100% improved. Magic.

It’s not cheap, normally £16.99, but it is worth it; plus it’s currently a third off at Boots, so I picked mine up for £11.33. I’m so certain that I’ll keep using it that I’m planning to pop into Boots on my next trip to town and stock up on a few more, just so I’m never without it. If you’ve been on the fence with this one, do give it a go- your hair will thank you!

 

 

Magazine Freebies Roundup: December 2012

It’s funny to think that last month I was rejoicing over the seemingly huge amount of magazine freebies, because this month me has been so spoiled that she feels sorry for last month me. Seriously. I don’t know if it’s because it’s Christmas and they’re being generous, but the quality of freebies you can get with the December issues of our favourite magazines is insane.

For the first time in, oh, EVER, I found myself buying more than one issue of a magazine in order to get extra options. That’s how good this month’s haul was!

I’ll start with Glamour. This month they were offering one of four polishes from Nails Inc. Full size, no less! And a premium brand! Be still my beating heart!

The shades available were Motcomb Street, an almost black navy blue, St James, a pinkish red, Glamour Glitter, clear with gold glitter, and Elizabeth Street, a very pale pink. Nail polish is one area that I really can’t control myself, so it was here I made my double magazine purchase. Since the magazine is £2 and the varnish normally £11 I figured it was justifiable! Anyway, I ended up with Motcomb Street and Elizabeth Street.

My favourite is the dark blue, but I really wanted a pale pink which is why I went with both of them, and as always with Nails Inc they are both great quality! Really happy with Glamour’s freebie, it’s so great to have a really fab product free! (Apologies for the terrible application- it was late and I was very tired!)

 

 

 

Last month it was Cosmo’s gift I was most disappointed with, and this month’s is again the least inspiring. The product is a heat protecting blow dry serum, V05’s Smoothly Does it Frizz Free Crème. I used it last night after my shower at the gym and I really can’t report much. Made my hair sleeker than not using a cream would have, but hasn’t done anything special. Still, at least it protected it from the heat!

Company have really pulled it out the bag this month, as they normally don’t seem to have freebies. (And in some stores they still don’t! Take note: I got my nail polish by buying it in WHSmiths, AFTER I had picked up a varnish-free copy from Sainsbury’s. Gutted! Don’t make the same mistake; go to Smiths for yours!)

Anyway, this month Company were offering a free mini Jessica nail varnish, an expensive brand I’ve loved forever. A mini Jessica is normally around £8, so quite a bargain. There were two shades: Company Crimson, a deep maroon red, and Company Vamp, exactly the same shade but with a metallic shimmer. Being a magpie at heart I went for the sparkly one, and I just adore it.

The colour is very rich and warm, and though it was pretty decent after one coat 2 coats really made it look fabulous, very Christmassy. I think Jessica varnishes are even nicer than Nails Inc, so I was very pleased with this one

Marie Claire caused me the most consideration this month, as I couldn’t decide which product I wanted. They were offering two items by Jemma Kidd: a Skin Perfecting Primer and i-define Volumising Mascara. I have loads of mascara, but I’ve been disappointed by most of my new ones to date so I was tempted by that. I also have a great primer, but one can never have enough, right? In the end, a bad review of the primer led me to the mascara. I am SO GLAD.

This may in fact be the best new mascara I’ve tried all year- and I got it free! I am seriously considering getting another copy of the magazine for when I use this up, as it’s just jumped to the top of my favourite mascara’s list.

It makes them longer, thicker and more defined without clumping, and really made them dark and volumous. The picture below was one coat, but I later built up to three and it really layered well too, making my eyes very smoky and Hollywoodesque! Seriously brilliant mascara.

Whichever of the nail varnishes you use this month you can’t fail, but I would HIGHLY recommend you get the mascara instead of the primer- it’s so brilliant, you won’t regret it.

 

Toni & Guy Cleanse Volumising Shampoo for Fine Hair

There are so many products I love- I have hundreds of favourite mascaras, eye shadows, nail polishes, lipsticks- the list is endless. In fact, the only section of the whole of cosmetics and beauty that I don’t have a total favourite product is hair. I don’t know if I’m fussy or if my hair is beyond saving, but never once have I bought a shampoo that I would re-purchase. Gutting. As a result, I’m treated to an endless high and low of emotions as I buy a new shampoo set, full of hope, and then am let down and devastated when it turns out to be perfectly ordinary. And as much as I would like to say otherwise, I am afraid my most recent purchase is no exception.

These are part of the new Toni and Guy hair care line, of which there are about six different sets, all tackling the most obvious hair complaints. Since my hair is very fine and flat, I landed on the volumising set.

I’ll start by mentioning the bottles, which I love- hairdresser shampoo sets always seem to have a certain look, and these are no exception. The sleek, cylindrical tubes look very ‘high-quality haircare’, and get a thumbs up from me.

The dispenser caused me a slight issue, perhaps because I’m very simple, but it took me a minute to figure out how to open them. Turns out you just press down VERY hard on the button to the right until it clicks open, and from that point onwards press either side to open and shut it.

So now to the shampoo itself. As I said, I wasn’t blown away. It was nice enough, smelt nice, lathered nicely etc. but nothing more than that. After letting my hair dry naturally it looked clean and shiny, but no more so than usual, and I saw no difference in volume. My sister later stole some and used it, and I will admit her hair did look more full of volume than it normally does, but since I failed to see a difference in mine I’m putting that down to the fact that she blow dried her hair, the quick and easy way to add volume.

So sadly my friends I have nothing to report. The shampoo is fine, but nothing special, and certainly not worth the £5.99 a bottle they are asking for it! I’ll use it up and then won’t re-purchase. The search continues..

Review: Batiste Wild Party Trio

Since I only just bought all three of the new batistes I really shouldn’t be buying more, but my mini handbag batiste is on its last legs and the words ‘limited edition’ were enough to scare me into picking up this brand new trio of minis.

These cute little 50ml bottles come in three different animal themes- veteran ‘wild’ and brand new scents ‘mamba’ and ‘savannah’ and they are all in a little pink plastic ziplock bag. The bag is quite sweet, but I don’t think I’ll hang on to it once I’ve finished these. There’s nothing special about it and I’ve just got so many bags! The shampoos are the really important part-I always have a full size at home and I can’t be without a mini one in my handbag.

Wild has been around for some time and it’s one of my favourites, slightly spicy and oriental with slight chocolate vanilla hints. It’s really delish and almost as nice as an actual body spray, so well worth a try!

Mamba has a snake skin theme and a warm, exotic floral smell, quite rich and slightly spicy. Totally delish, naturally, and my favourite pattern of all of them!

Savannah has a funky zebra print and a light, fresh fruity floral smell. It’s really zingy and citrusy and kind of reminded me of the Tropical one but with a little more bite! My favourite was probably Mamba, but as usual all of them are fabulous and a welcome addition to my handbag.

Will you be investing in the new mini Batiste’s? Let me know what you think if you do!