Monday, 18 August 2014

A Hair Update And A Review Of Some Hair Care Products From Naturalmente*

It's probably been pretty obvious by my sporadic posting and disappearing acts this year but at the moment I'm having a few more health problems than usual. As well as not having the energy or inclination to blog, ill health and medication are playing havoc with my body and with my skin. The thing that's suffering above all else though is my hair - it's breaking around my hairline leaving wispy ends and every time I brush it I'm losing enough to stuff a cushion. It could always be worse though and whilst it's definitely thinner than what it was I still have full coverage. As a result I'm being careful with it, I've been limiting the use of heat tools, products and colourants and to be honest a good haircut is long overdue!

Talk about sods law though, since Christmas I've received lots of hair things to review from extensions, to wavers, treatments and masks and of course shampoos and conditioners. Understandably I've been a little bit scared of trying out new things but in the last month, I've reached the stage where I'm thinking hell why not! I'm debating a haircut and I'm starting to have a play with some of the goodies I've been sent. So over the next month or so I'm going to start reviewing some of my hair care things. The easiest place to start was shampoo and conditioner, so today I'm going to review a couple of hair care products from a brand called Naturalmente.

Naturalmente are an Italian hair care brand originally founded in 2004 that only launched in the UK last Autumn. They produce a wide range of shampoos, conditioners and styling products containing natural plant ingredients that are grown to strict organic and bio dynamic standards. This range is free from synthetic fragrances, preservatives, parabens, DEA, MEA, TEA, Formaldehyde, Mineral and Petrochemical oils, and SLS or SLES. The range also comes packed in recyclable and biodegradable plastic bottles.

I was very kindly sent a small bottle of shampoo and a small bottle of conditioner to try out. They have several different varieties of shampoos and conditioners in the line so I chose the ones that were most suited to my hair type at the time.

Naturalmente Rosemary and Lavender Shampoo 

The shampoo that I went for is described as the most detoxifying and purifying one in the Naturalmente range. Specifically designed to treat a dry scalp, this shampoo is also recommended for hair that needs a deep clean, and hair that suffers from a lot of product build up. It also contains a lot of ingredients that can help to stimulate the blood circulation in the scalp and therefore encourage new hair growth -bring it on! 
Obviously that was the major selling point for me but I do sometimes suffer from a dry scalp and up until recently I was a total product junkie, dry shampoo, serums, oils, heat protection spray you name it, it went on, so there was no question that this was the one that I should try.

This shampoo contains extracts of lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon and sandalwood, all of which are designed to cleanse, detoxify and stimulate the hair and the scalp. As you would expect the smell of this was amazing. Even before I'd opened the jiffy bag it came in I could smell a strong, natural, eucalyptus aroma. I have to say it took all my strength not to use this as an great, morning invigorating body wash but I was good and just used it on my hair.

The shampoo itself was colourless, and had quite a viscous texture. As you would expect from a SLS /SLES free shampoo, you didn't get lots and lots of lather, but it produced quite a creamy foam, that was easy to work though and rinse from the hair. This shampoo left my hair and scalp feeling squeaky clean but not stripped or dry. My hair was left feeling fresh and bouncy but I personally felt that I did need a little bit of conditioner on the ends.

I can't say in the long term whether or not this shampoo helped with hair growth but it certainly left my hair and scalp feel refreshed and comfortable and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is feeling a bit meh about their own shampoo or who wants to switch to a more natural brand. The main reason I would recommend this product surprise, surprise is because of the smell, the scent was so invigorating I can imagine that this would be the ideal product to use when your feeling a lit bit fluey or under the weather, or if your need a bit of a wake up call in the morning. For a natural and organic product I don't think that this shampoo is priced too badly either. The Naturalmente Rosemary and Lavender Shampoo retails at £2.60 for a 50ml bottle which easily lasted me a couple of weeks and its just £9 for a 250ml bottle.

Naturalmente Conditioner with Fruit Acids

There are about 4 accompanying hair conditioners in the Naturalmente line and again I went for the one that was most suitable for a dry, itchy scalp. The Naturalmente Conditioner With Fruit Acids is also their most versatile and the one that's generally recommended for all hair types.

It's designed specifically for detangling and moisturising and contains extracts and essential oils of both mint and orange, and well as mango, lemon and menthol, to moisturise and revitalise the scalp.

The smell on this one is a little bit strange at first you definitely get a bit of the citrus but you also get a bit of mint and quite a big hit of  menthol. I've been thinking about what the smell reminds me of and I've finally decided that it reminds me of some cough medicine that I once had when I was tiny. Odd I know but there would definitely have been a bit of menthol in there and some fruit to make it a bit more child friendly so I guess it kind of makes sense :)

The conditioner itself is quite thick and the further and further I get down the bottle the harder it is to get out without adding a little bit of water. That said though despite being quite thick it's also very creamy and quite lightweight and it takes hardly any effort to massage it in to damp hair. It instantly feels quite cooling on the hair and scalp probably down to the menthol.

It rinses away easily and the hair is left feeling fresh, clean and dare I say it a bit more revitalised. I don't think that this conditioner would be suitable if your hair was very dry or very damaged, there are probably better conditioners in the range for that but if you want a good everyday, natural, conditioner that detangles and leaves the scalp and hair feeling clean, moisturised, and refreshed then this could be something to try. Again the prices are good with the Naturalmente Conditioner with Fruit Acids retailing again at £2.60 for a 50ml bottle which will easily last me about a month, and just £9 for a 250ml bottle.

I've really enjoyed using both of these products, and in particular the shampoo. To be honest I think this range was just what I needed at the moment, the all natural ingredients were gentle and did the job without causing any more damage or irritation to my poorly locks. I know a lot of people are leaning towards SLS and SLES free shampoos now and if that's you, then this new natural brand on the block could be a one to try. You can find more about the brand on their own website here and the salons in which it's stocked, and you can buy online here via the Gentle Bodycare website x Do your prefer to use shampoos without SLS or SLES? Leave me a comment and let me know x 

(*Press Sample)

Monday, 11 August 2014

A Late July Haul Featuring W7, Avon, Primark, Make Up Revolution And More - Pic Heavy!

I'm late again I know but it's July haul time x I had quite a few opportunities to go shopping in July and I took advantage of every single one of them :)

First up Primark, every time I go into Primark lately I want to buy everything, thankfully though for my bank balance it's nigh on impossible at the moment in my local store to get anything above a size 12, grr. By going in on a regular basis though I managed to pick a couple of things up including this kimono.

I'm a huge, huge kimono fan and I have been for quite a while now. They're fab if your conscious of your upper arms and there great for dressing up just a plain pair of jeans. This one has an cream / ivory base and features a bright almost neon, floral design, which features abstract birds and butterflies. This was £10 and they also had a similar one in black.

Speaking of kimonos I also got this one from Primark, this was a little bit more expensive at £15 but it's the type of thing that you would pick up in Monsoon, or Zara and pay a lot more money for.

It's looking quite grey here but it's actually more of a light duck egg blue shade. It's made of a sort of chiffon trimmed with a distressed tone on tone lace. It's so so unusual and reminds me a bit of the old Hollywood era, and all those glamorous bed jackets :)

This next purchase from Primark is something that is just me. I love, tunic tops, I wear a lot of leggings, jeggings and skinny jeans and I love long tops to cover my bulgy bits. Sorry the pics are a bit blurry these couple were taken on my phone.

The feel and texture of the fabric is amazing, it's so soft and silky. It comes compete with a detachable chain necklace that graduates from silver to gold. This was £8 and also came in a coral.

My final clothing purchase was just a basic mint / aqua vest top, which was just £2. This vest matches the floral print, H&M trousers that I got here perfectly. I just hope the sunny weather comes back so I get a chance to wear them!

My final Primark clothing and accessories purchase were these earrings. They are gold tone and in a tear drop shape studded with crystals, and bright blue enamelling even though it's looking more black here. I love these and I actually went back to get them after I'd left the shop. I love the colours and the shape and to me they really have a Bollywood type feel.

I only made one other jewellery purchase in July, and that was from the new Purple Ivy range at Poundland. I was a little sceptical at first but they actually have some really nice bits. I indulged in my bow obsession and got this cute stretch bracelet, with a crystal bow detail.

My final clothing and accessories buy of the month was this not overtly trendy bag for life from Tesco. They seem to have a few cartoon and Disney style bags in and I fell in love with this Bambi one. They're just a £1 and I think I'm going to be using mine to keep my monthly haul items in :)

On to beauty buys and back to Primark - first up something I seem to pick up every time I go, their tea tree and witch hazel face wipes.

Although the packaging has changed they are exactly the same as they were and you get 2 packets for a £1. As well as the wipes I also got this nail polish remover pot.

I have mixed feeling on these pots if I'm honest but the Bourjois one is by far my favourite and this is supposed to be a pretty good dupe. It was only a £1 so I'll let you know how I get on.

Although I'm supposed to be calming it down and buying less nail polish, I still managed to accumulate 3 new ones in July, all from Avon, including Cultured Purple and All Khakied Out.

As well as the two nail polishes I also got a couple of make items including the Extra Lasting Eyeshadow Ink in Forever Bronze.

This is basically a long wear cream eyeshadow pot, in the most gorgeous shade of chocolatey, bronze. I am a huge lover of cream shadows and I can't wait to try this out. I'll let you know how I get on x

Next up something else that I can't wait to review, the weather really is playing havoc with my make up at the moment, and setting and cooling sprays are a must. I'm still a MAC Fix + devotee but like everything else I'm looking for a cheaper alternative so I thought I'd try out this Avon Makeup Setting Spray.

Again I'll let you know how I get on x They were the items that I purchased in July from Avon but didn't I say I get 3 nail polishes? Well they had an offer on where if you spent so much you got a free gift pack and I did so I got one x There were a choice of nail polishes and I went for Naked Truth - a proper pink / nude.

I also got a free Super Shock Vivid Liquid Eye Shadow in Chromed Cocoa, a sort of metallic brown.

As well as these two items I also got something else free but I've added that to my prize package for my upcoming 400 Bloglovin followers giveaway. I'm not quite there yet but the prize package in coming along nicely with some bits of Avon, Purple Ivy, and Make Up Revolution already added to the prize pot. So if you want a chance to win click here and follow me on bloglovin :)

I bought quite a few make up bits in July including a couple of bits you've already seen - the Make Up Revolution I♥MAKEUP I Heart Chocolate Palette and the Make Up Revolution I♥MAKEUP Blushing Hearts Triple Baked Blusher In Blushing Hearts; You can read my reviews here and here if you haven't already but I've been loving both throughout July and the early parts of August x As well as these I also got a few bits from Superdrug including this NYC Beautifying Blushable Cream Stick in 001 Soho Pink.

Quite a while ago now I got a couple of these in a UK / Canada swap with Michelle from Lipstick Rules and although they were supposedly coming to the UK there never arrived, until now more than two years later, when they've supposedly been discontinued in the USA and Canada. The colours aren't identical so I could easily justify picking up another one. These sticks are super pigmented, and smooth and creamy. They look quite scary but they blend out to give the skin a lovely flush. We only seem to be getting two shades but at about £1.99 they are well worth picking up.

My second Superdrug purchase was one of the new Maybelline Electro Baby Lips in Berry Bomb.

For someone who doesn't get the Baby Lips phenomenon I certainly seem to have quite a few in my collection. Berry Bomb is bright purple in colour, and tastes of fruits and berries. The purple looks scary but these only give the tiniest hint of colour, and the result is more a sheer lilac. I'm not sure these are worth the hype but they are nice moisturising balms with just a hint of colour.

Finally from Superdrug I picked up another of the Imperial Leather Foambursts, this time in Bewitching Blackberry and Wild Fig.

You can read my original review here x This one is gorgeous it's fresh and fruity but not sweet or sickly. It actually quite a sophisticated fragrance which is a pleasure to use. I completely forgot about this so it isn't in the video below but it definitely deserves a mention x

My final proper purchases of the month came from the cheap make up stall - Making Faces in the Metro Centre. These little stalls are always worth a look and you can often pick up some real gems. Last month I picked up a couple of W7 items including one of the W7 Chunky Lips in Scandal.

Just about every brand under the sun seems to be doing these chunky lip crayons at the moment and this is W7's version. I have to say I'm pretty impressed, although it has no discernible taste or smell, it's soft and creamy and the pigmentation is immense.

The colour I went for was Scandal, a cool toned, but wearable hot pink. I only paid about £1.50 for this one so it was a real bargain  x

As well as the Chunky Lips I also picked up something that I mentioned recently that I really wanted to get my hands on, W7 The Honey Queen Honeycomb Blusher.

I screwed my description of this on my video up a bit but what I was trying to say is that this has been compared quite a lot to Benefit's Rockateur and whilst I can see where they re coming from I'm not sure I agree.

I don't own Rockateur but when I've swatched it, it has a lot more of a metallic, shimmery, rose gold finish. In my opinion  Honey Queen is more like Benefit's Sugarbomb.

Sugarbomb is one of my all time blush / bronzers, that adds just a hint of peach, bronze nude colour to the cheeks. The colours in Honey Queen are almost identical to those in Sugarbomb, and although I haven't swatched Sugarbomb here, it is very, very similar, if maybe only a touch darker.

This was just £1.99 which to be honest I thought was a mistake. The quality is fantastic and it's a worthy replacement when my Sugarbomb gives up the ghost.

Like every other month of 2014 so far I think in July I picked up a pile of magazines with some pretty decent freebies in them. Alas I didn't manage to get my hands on a copy of Glamour with a free Clinique Chubby Stick, neither I think did anyone else in the north east of England but I did buy a copy of Cosmopolitan.

July Cosmopolitan came with a free New CID product. They had a couple of different ones to choose from but I went for the i-crayon Lip and Cheek Tint in 9055 Rose Tint.

I've tried a few products from this brand over the years and to be honest on some I have mixed feelings (I really must get round to reviewing some bits for you!) but this is a definite winner - it has  a lovely taste and smell and feels really nice on the lips, and the colour is really wearable.

I also got a couple of skincare items including this 40ml Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm with Marie Claire and this mini Malin + Goetz skincare kit which came with ELLE.

So that was my pretty substantial haul x If you have any questions please leave me a comment and I'll do my best to get back to you x Oh and don't forget to watch the accompanying video here if you haven't already, and of course don't forget to follow my blog and follow with bloglovin if you aren't already - only 3 more followers to go till giveaway time!! xx

P.S I'm so sorry about the video quality it honestly wasn't that bad when I edited it :(.
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