If you are a fellow beauty addict, you will – like me – be excited and enthralled by the prospect of trying and trialling new products to hit the market. Aged 16, I had a Saturday job in my local Boots (which only heightened my interest in beauty) and took great pleasure in having a little sneak peek of what was going to be loaded (by me) onto the shelves, and aged 20, I’m no different. The only thing missing is my Saturday job in Boots. Luckily however, I’ve been able to try a whole host of new, exciting beauty products ready to win us over for the summer season, so I thought I would split them up into a three or four part series, reviewing several each week. From big brands, to independent beauty companies, hopefully the posts will open my eyes – and yours – to the ever changing, innovative world of beauty.
The excitable 14 year old girl in me returned when these gorgeous lip glosses from MAD Beauty popped through my letterbox. I don’t know what it is about lip balms (especially if they’re in novelty packaging) but I’ve always been a huge fan and I’m not ashamed to say that I have almost a whole drawer dedicated to chap-sticks, carmex, lip scrubs and glosses. In an assortment of fruity flavours including the more grown up Pina Colada version (yes please) the MAD Beauty accessories are the perfect addition to any holiday make-up bag and make the ideal treat or gift. Very affordably priced at £2.99 each, you can justifiably order a few, guilt free. The site also offers an array of cosmetic bags, nail files, brushes (with a twist) and make-up kits. It’s well worth a little visit.
If you’re a long term reader of my blog, you will have probably come across my desperate plight to grow my hair. No matter what I try, no matter how little I use heat treatment and no matter how long I leave it between colourings, my hair stubbornly stays put at a rather annoying mid-length. So whenever a product claims to help lengthen, strengthen and thicken hair, I need no further persuasion to purchase. Michael Van Clarke, who is already renowned worldwide for his hair masterpieces, has brought out a brand new ‘3 more inches’ Leave In Styling Treatment which claims to naturally rebuild every strand for longer, stronger, younger-looking hair. It follows the premise that split, wrecked and damaged hair is hair lacking in moisture, it is old hair that cannot replenish itself because it has been subject to wear and tear, chlorine and heat treatment galore – not to mention environmental factors, so what this treatment does is protect the cuticles that let out and absorb water, meaning that it slows down the ageing process, allowing hair to grow longer before it dries out.
The science behind hair completely baffles me, because as soon as it grows out of our scalp, it is no longer living – so it is difficult to keep it looking healthy, without it looking a little lack lustre. However I have found that certain products can inject moisture and life back into your hair – as long as you’re committed to growing it and start limiting the amount of heat treatment you use. The 3 more inches leave-in styling treatment has already helped my hair immensely, not only acting as a frizz deterrent when I leave my hair to dry naturally (which is a win win situation since no heat is required) but also giving it a much needed boost of moisture. I really miss the ‘just trimmed’ soft feel your hair has, but for some strange (but very positive) reason, this product manages to emulate this. With a spray bottle, it is so easy to spritz on, brush through and leave. And at just £19.50 for a huge 500ml bottle, it’s very affordable. If I had to choose just one product as my summer must-have, it’s this.
As the weather starts to get warmer and the clothes start to get a little more skin-revealing, fake tanning starts to become a little more of a priority – warming up our skin-tones to a more summer friendly shade. However at some point over the dark, dreary Winter, I seem to have lost my knack for applying fake tan – peaking at a ridiculously (almost laughable) attempt at bronzing my skin, which left me looking like a streaky oompa loompa, for which the only solution was to wash it all of again in the shower. To cut a long story short, my main problem is prepping, as dead skin cells and dry spot can lead to uneven application and hideously patchy results. Last year, I experimented with a few body scrubs, but found that many of them made my skin even more dry than before, stripping away at the surface rather than gently removing what needs to be. This time around, I have been introduced to St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Body Scrub, which is made up of tiny gentle exfoliating beads rather than harsh large ones, leaving your skin soft, smooth and smelling ah-mazing!
When I posted a little picture of Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimiser on Instagram, I wasn’t expecting so many of you to share your success stories with this product – but after much encouragement, I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. I don’t suffer from dark circles regularly, but if I’m not eating well enough – or am up all night blogging, I do find that my under eye area is very dry and a little ‘sunken’ looking. With a very soft, creamy texture and hydrating and cooling properties, this instantly soothes the under eye area leaving it feeling far healthier. It has a glittery beige tint to the formula, meaning that it boosts the area under moisturiser and foundation. At £32, it is an investment purchase, but if dark circles are something you suffer from, then this comes highly recommended.
Area H20 is a really exciting new haircare brand to hit the beauty market, tailoring its products to the type of water you have in your area. London and the surrounding areas are notorious for their hard water type, so it is interesting to see whether this affects how your shampoo and conditioner work. Whenever I’m on holiday (especially when I visited The Alps) I always find my conditioner especially works far better, usually because the softer, more frothy water lathers it and rinses it more thoroughly. According to the packaging the science lies in metal ions, which are present in all types of water, but react differently with shampoo to form mineral deposits that cling to your hair. It all sounds rather complicated, but essentially the AreaH20 shampoo is designed to act as a magnet, attracting the ions and allowing you to wash them away far more easily, resulting in cleaner, smoother, shinier and less flyaway hair. Result!
Upon the first few uses, I certainly felt a difference in how fresh my hair felt after blow drying. Usually the roots can cling to my scalp (I never know whether this is the amount of shampoo I’m using or the brand) resulting in greasy, limp looking hair. Luckily, the shampoo counteracted this and I was left with much shinier, bouncier locks – which I never thought I’d achieve. The scent of the products contributes to how fresh and healthy your hair feels after use. It’s an interesting concept, but most of the time – the best new products are the simplest ones. This included. And if you don’t know your area’s water type, the website provides a handy little map.
As stated previously, I seem to have a million and one Carmex balms on the go at any one time, at least three in each ‘on the go’ handbags and several stashed away in a drawer. Every time I pop into Boots I slip another into my basket, so it’s safe to say – I’m an addict. Nothing quite beats that tingly, hydration sensation and it’s fruity flavour, so when I heard that they were bringing out a Strawberry version, I could quite easily justify fitting another into my collection. Applied as often as you see fit, it moisturises and hydrates lips in addition to providing a much needed SPF 15. It’s a little essential everyone can afford to splash out on, at £2.69.