Sunday 16 July 2017

Nair Argan Oil Salon Divine Body Wax* - Pain Free Waxing?

You should know by now that I'm not the type of blogger that shies away from less glamorous side of beauty. Over the years I've covered all sorts of topics from dental health, to products that you can use when you have aches and pains, and cold cures, one of the less attractive topics that I keep coming back to though, is hair removal.

I know I keep saying it but body hair is really one of those taboo subjects and to be honest I don't know why - body hair is completely normal, and we all have it, some of us have more of it, and some of us have less of it, and that's just the way it is. When it comes to hair removal I firmly believe that it should be down to personal choice - if you don't like it get shot of it, if you're happy to have body hair then that's fine as well, it's up to you and nobody should judge you for what you choose to do with your own body!

I've said it so many times before but I am pretty lazy when it comes to hair removal, it's a chore, and an energy sapper that I can quite frankly do without. Whilst getting busy with a razor is probably the easiest and laziest option, I've got to be honest and say that I'd rather spend a little bit longer on a method that's going to give me a longer term result. Shaving my legs every day or every other day just doesn't make sense to me, I'd rather take a little bit of time and wax or epilate them and have hair free legs for about a month instead.

I was 17 when I first waxed my legs, and to be honest I have no idea why I kept going back for more, it was torture! I just didn't understand why people could put themselves through that - but as the years have gone by, my leg hairs are patchier and finer, and I can honestly say that the sensations is barely more than a little bit of stinging now. I'm sure both mine and my mam's waxing technique has come on a long way since then but I definitely think that there has been a big improvement in home waxing products.

Pain is probably one of the biggest reasons why some people shy away from waxing, and whilst it can smart a little, a lot of products are now promising a relatively painless waxing experience. I've got to say I'm pretty sceptical about that whole claim but I was recently sent one such product to try out and see for myself.

When you think of home hair removal brands, I can pretty much guarantee that one of the first brands that you would think of would be Nair. After many years of focusing purely on hair removal creams, they've successfully moved into the home waxing market with a wide range of strip waxes. Recently though they branched into the scary world of hot wax and released the Nair Argan Oil Salon Divine Body Wax.

Crammed full of nourishing and moisturising Argan Oil and Vitamin E, and fragrant Orange Blossom, this formulation has been dermatologically tested and especially created to be as pain free as possible, in fact they even use the tag line "Bye Bye Pain", and by and large they seem to be able to back that claim up with 93% of participants in a consumer test reporting a relatively painless hair removal experience.

So what did I think, well lets start at the beginning and talk about what you actually get in the box. Obviously the most important thing is the instruction leaflet, and if you're messing around with something that's very hot then you need to be safe, so you need to read the leaflet thoroughly. The box also contains a wooden spatula, some aftercare wipes, and a large plastic pot which contains solid creamy white, slightly pearlescent wax.

Surely there is something missing I hear you cry? Well no, not in this case, the majority of home, hot waxing kits come with either paper or cloth strips to remove the wax, but this one is a little bit different, it's basically a peel off formulation which may be one of the reasons for the relatively pain free claims? It's definitely more professional and a lot of salons now use similar products but how suitable is it for home use?

Like most home hot waxes, you need to use a microwave to heat up the wax, but in this case there is no other option, no microwave no can use! The instructions give full timings depending on the power of your microwave but basically you want a smooth, easy to stir consistency with no lumps. Once you've reached the ideal consistency I found that the wax was way, way too hot to even patch test so I left it cool for a little while before testing the temperature on the inside of my wrist.

Then you can probably guess what happens next, apply an even layer with the spatula to clean, dry legs, in the direction of the hair growth. It takes a little bit of practise to the strip thickness even and to work out how thick it actually needs to be but once you get into the swing of it isn't that difficult to do. Then you leave your strip to set for a few seconds, before pulling it off against the direction of the growth, then repeat, repeat and repeat till you are done.

Although I've tried a lot of different waxing products over the years, I've never tried using a strip free wax before, and after giving it a go and I can see both positives and negatives. The wax in this case doesn't feel particularly like wax, in fact it almost feels slightly rubbery or plasticy, which I guess is what makes so easy to peel off. It also smelled way nicer then some of the waxes I've used you could really smell the orange blossom, and almost a white flower like aroma, and believe it or not it wasn't that painful. Admittedly I'm a waxing aficionado and my legs are probably used to be assaulted now but all I felt was a bit of warmth and a bit of stinging. My legs did look red and a bit like a plucked chicken but aftercare wipes, calmed them down, and removed the excess blobs of wax. I didn't find the wax that drying thanks to the high concentration of moisturising and nourishing ingredients but the wipes, which had a pleasant fresh scent and a slightly oily feel definitely added an extra hit of moisture.



So it worked, it removed pretty much all of my leg hair without too much pain but I still don't feel as though I can recommend this product, why? Well this was probably the messiest hot wax product that I've ever used. Hot wax can be messy but this went above and beyond as you can see from the finished state of the pot. It was impossible not to get dribbles down the side of the tub, on other parts of your legs and in my case all over my sheets. It was easy enough to get off the tray, other hard surfaces and my legs but the wax that went on my sheets was another story entirely, you could pick the hard bits of when they cooled but even after washing you could still see and feel the odd sticky patch. If you have any leftover wax it can be reheated but my poor spatula was just a massive blob of rock solid wax and ended up in the bin :(

I've read a few reviews of this product since I tried it and quite a few them have basically said that this product just doesn't remove hair that well, that wasn't my experience though. I had no problems with it's hair removal ability, it smelled nice, and it removed all of my hair in a relatively pain free way, so in theory it did exactly what it promised but I just couldn't deal with the mess! If you're one of those people that loved peeling glue off your hands then you might enjoy this but in future I think I'll stick to Nair's cold wax strips. To find out more about Nair's hair removal solutions then please check out their official website. Nair Salon Divine Body Wax retails at around £12.59 and is available from various retailers including Boots. Are you a hot wax fan or are the cold strips more your thing? or do you just leave it to the professionals? Let me know in the comments x 

*Press Sample

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Primark Haul - Jewellery, Shoes, Clothes And Some Beauty Reviews

As I mentioned in my previous post June was a pretty rubbish for me health wise, in fact I can count the times that I left the house on one hand! One of the outings that I did make though was a big one and it was worth all of the pain and the exhaustion that it lead to. No I didn't run or marathon or go rock climbing, I just went to Newcastle with Mummy Lou.

Mummy Lou very rarely makes it in to Newcastle so it was a nice change for both of us, I had my brows tinted and waxed at Benefit and Debenhams, we went to Patisserie Valerie for afternoon tea, and on the way back home, I managed to have a little look into the Intu Metrocentre branch of Primark.

Because I'm in the process of losing weight at the moment, buying clothes isn't a huge priority for me, I'd rather loose a bit of weight and fit into the stuff that I already own then go out and spend money and things that might not fit in a month or so, that said though I did pick up a pair of trousers.

I'm going to be honest and say that these terracota coloured pants don't look like much on the hanger, but on the body they are so, so flattering and easy to wear.  They are basically a pair of slightly cropped wide culottes, with a paper bag style, tie waist. They are a just a pull on pant with an elasticated waist and I love them. I don't normally like tucking tops into my trousers or my skirts, but in this case I'm going to make an exception, I'm planning on wearing these with maybe a black vest or camisole tucked into them in order to show off the waist detailing. By doing that I'm probably drawing attention to the area of my body that I'm most self conscious about but sometimes you just need to do something that scares you. These trousers were just £10 and they also come in a navy blue, so even if I hate how they look and I don't think that I pull them off, I haven't really wasted a lot of money, nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say.

That was it for clothing but I did pick up a couple of pairs of shoes, including another pair of Primark's metallic faux Converse.

These are just a metallic silver, low top, lace up pump, with grey laces, and grey rubber detailing, they were only £8 and I think they are a good alternative to real Converse if you're on budget. I already have the metallic teal, turquoise pair, and I believe they also do them in metallic copper, bronze and in a few plain and patterned canvas designs

Converse and Converse a likes, are probably my go to shoes at the moment, I wear them with pretty much anything from leggings and jeans to jersey dress, they are a real all rounder shoe and I know that I'll be able to wear them all year round. The other pair of shoes that I got though are a little bit more summery.

I've seen just read something on Twitter that the temperature in Cyprus today hit 42 degrees, and what do I see outside of my window? Nothing but rain, rain and more rain, I know it been nicer down south but in my little corner of north east England, today's weather's been more akin to January rather than July! but I have to keep praying that weather will get better and I will at some point be able to wear my pretty new sandals.

I first saw this Valentino esq sandals on +suzyheartsbeauty  Instagram and I fell in love on sight. Primark's shoe game is red hot at the moment, and these sandals are just one example of their designer inspired designs. These particular ones come in a few different fabrics and finishes but I love these nude suede effect ones. They have a zip at the back and the straps are covered in a mix of square studs and faux pearls. These were just £10 which is pretty decent for a designer inspired look.

If you were to ask the average person on the street why they shop at Primark - probably the most common answer would probably be because of the price, and I think that's probably the reason I shop there. I'm one of those people who likes to get a lot for their money, and I love that I can buy a whole load of things for maybe the price of one, similar item, elsewhere. One of the reasons that I love Primark though is that it gives me the chance to try out different styles and different looks without spending a fortune, and without potentially wasting a fortune. I do buy a lot of clothes in Primark but I also buy a lot of their jewellery and accessory pieces. If you love an outfit but you want to switch it up a bit and give it a bit of a refresh, then just change your bag, or your shoes, or add a difference piece of jewellery, to update your look in an instant. I love high end jewellery pieces as much as the next person but I also have a huge collection of fashion jewellery pieces and budget buys, and Primark is one of my favourite places to pick up on trend, purse friendly jewellery pieces.

Pick up any fashion magazine at the moment, and I can pretty much guarantee that you will spot a long length necklace, they are everywhere at the moment, and predictably Primark is there to fulfil all of out long line necklace fantasies. As well as the length, this one also combines several more of these seasons key jewellery trends, tassels and discs or circles. This gold tone necklace was only £2.50 and I think it will look equally good worn over a vest or a floaty top in the summer, as it will with a roll neck or chunky jumper in the colder months.

Given the versatility of the long length necklace, it made sense to buy all of them, well okay not all of them but I couldn't resist this one which has a bit more of an ethnic / boho vibe.

This necklace was £3 and to be honest I would have paid way more for it. It's made up of gold tone filigree designs, and embossed discs, with lengths of gold tone, snake chain in between the discs. It's a lovely necklace and I really don't think that my photographs do either the detail or the length any justice.

Now something that I dabble with occasionally is Primark's beauty range, the cleansing wipes, cuticle oil, make up brushes and nail polish remover pots are staples in my beauty routine, and every now and then I'll maybe try a nail polish or a make up item. Primark's beauty range has gone from strength to strength, and you can now find on trend items such as contour sticks, strobing palettes and even Ms Jenner esq matte lip kits on their all be it, chaotic beauty stands. Despite that, you still don't see a lot of Primark items on beauty blogs, but at long last all of that seems to be changing, and there seems to be a bit of a buzz about some of their most recent releases.

Described by some reviewers as MAC inspired, the range is comprised of several different make up items, all with a hint of designer like, rubberised pastel pink packaging. I got a couple of bits just to see whether or not the hype was justified.

The first thing that I got was the PS...Eye Candy Eye Pigment in the shade Iced Gem which was £1.50.

From the outside this is the most MAC like item of all of the pieces, it's almost identical to a MAC pigment pot, in design, size and shape. Unscrew the lid though and your met with an internal cap to stop any accidental spills. I must admit it's been years since I last bought a MAC pigment, but none of the ones that I have, have anything like this, maybe MAC can learn something from Primark here, it's a great idea and I really do think that it will cut down and both wastage and spillage.

I must admit I wasn't expecting a lot from this product but I actually really like it, it's a lovely pinky, brown, nude shade that is packed full of sparkle. For just £1.50 the pigmentation is excellent, it's blendable and it's one of those colours that you could wear on it's own whether your just going to work or whether you're going out on the town.

Like most pigments you do get a bit of fall out, only in this case it's sparkly fall out, as long as you have some loose powder or a fan brush on standby though then you shouldn't have any real problems. For the price I think that this pigment is great value, the colour is perfect and a little goes a long way. I could only find this one colour, but if you've seen any more shades then please leave me a comment and let me know X

The final item that I bought was a lipstick from the same line, and keeping UP  with current beauty trends it's a matte shade, and it's one of the PS...Super Matte Lipsticks

In case the packaging isn't very MAC like, instead you have a pastel pink, rubberised, chunky, angular style tube.

These lipsticks come in several shades, and annoyingly Primark have done it again, and don't seem to have given any of these shades a name, the only way of identifying them is via the colour of the lips on the outer box that you can see in the second picture.

It actually looks slightly different in the tube but when it's swatched this one is in a warm bright pink shade.

It's has a pleasant fruity, taste, and as you can see the pigmentation is superb.

I love the colour but for me this is just a bit too matte. It drags ever so slightly on application, and once it's on the lips it just seems to suck every ounce of moisture out of them. It clings to and emphasises every lip line, and every dry patch. Understandably it wears incredibly well before gradually fading down and giving that not so attractive butt hole lip type look! If you love the matte lip look, or if you have perfect lips with no lines and no dryness, or if you love slapping on a that lip balm like it's going out fashion, then these may be worth trying. I really do love the colour, it's very me but unfortunately I just found the formula too drying.

You win some, you lose some I guess and least I didn't spend a fortune on it, I think I'll try layering it up with a bit of lip balm and a bit of gloss, to try and up the hydration a bit, never mind x I've filmed a little You Tube video to accompany this haul and I would love it if you could a little watch of it below or via this link, and pretty, please maybe subscribe to my channel as well x.

Have you bought anything nice in Primark or anywhere else for that matter? Let me know the comments and don't forget to let me know if you have any questions on any of the items in this post x

Saturday 1 July 2017

Life Lately, Social Media And Trimming My Stash - June 2017 Edition

Hey Guys? Remember Me? It's safe to say that when it comes to blogging, June was a little bit of a fail. I managed to upload quite a few videos to my You Tube channel but the words on the screen thing just didn't really happen for me last month.

I seemed to spend most of June in a weary, Fibro and ME induced foggy haze, I had the best of intentions to get out there and get things done but for most of the month neither my mind nor my my body would play ball.  As I say I managed to upload a few videos to my channel, and I was pretty active on Instagram, but the thanks to a lot of brain fog the words just wouldn't come, so I took a bit of time out, had lot of me time, and as a result I feel a little bit more refreshed.

I firmly believe that sometimes you do need to take a bit of time out, and spend some time concentrating on yourself and your own well being. Like a lot of bloggers I do feel guilty when I can't and don't post as frequently but I'm really trying to teach myself not to. I love my blog, my followers and the little space that I've created for myself online, but my blog is only part of me and my life, and sometimes as much as I love it, I just need to focus on the bits away from the camera and the screen. I've seen a few people saying that they'll stop following a blogger or a You Tuber if they don't post every single week, and I guess what I'm trying to say is for those people, no matter how "big" (I hate that term!) or small a blogger is they deserve to take time out and have some time away from it, we're are all but mere mortals and sometimes you need to say enough is enough, I need some R & R.

So I've had a mini blogging break, and whilst I can't guarantee that I won't be having another one in the near future, I'm back for now and I'm ready to get my blog on again, and since it's the 1st day of a new month, there is no better place to start than with a empties post x

Primark PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes
Philosophy The Gingerbread Man Exfoliating Shower Gel - 473.1ml
Beauty Bible Face And Body Oil - 60ml
Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Non Greasy Conditioner - 50ml
Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Non Greasy Shampoo - 50ml

Total - 5 Items 

Hmm maybe it wasn't just my blogging mojo that disappeared in June! Again I had the best of intentions when it came to trimming my stash last month but it just didn't really happen. For the second month in a row I only managed to finish 5 items, and 5 very uninteresting items at that. 

1. Primark PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes

Yes, another packet of these, and believe me they only slipped into June's total by the skin of their teeth! There is pretty much nothing else that i can say about these that I haven't already said! They're cheap, they do what they say they do, and they are one of my holy grail products even if I don't really use them for their intended purpose, like most of these wipes that I've used up this packet were used mainly for swatch clean up and freshening up x 

2. Philosophy The Gingerbread Man Exfoliating Shower Gel - 473.1ml

Instead of swapping my Christmas shower products for more Spring and Summer themed ones, this year I've decided just to leave them in the shower and try and use them up. I love Philosophy's Gingerbread Man range, it doesn't smell particularly gingery to me, instead I get sugar, and warm spices from it, and even a little bit of cheap cola but I've used it for years and the scent just makes me think about Christmas. That said this isn't my favourite product in the range, I like a gritty, grainy scrubs, and this one is basically just a whole bunch of fine particles surrounded by a runny, brown shower gel. I love the scent but it doesn't look particular pleasant and it's just not scrubby enough for me.

3. Beauty Bible Face And Body Oil - 60ml

Next up a mystery product, and it's a product that I was sent last year from the team at The Beauty Bible. If you don't know what The Beauty Bible is then where have you been? Basically it's a series of books that are crammed full of beauty product reviews that are written by real women. All you need to do to take part is sign up to be a tester on their website, and if you're selected, you pay a small fee to cover postage, and administration (and to prove that you're committed to taking part), and then you'll receive a huge package of goodies to try out and review. I've done it a couple of times now, and I've discovered some really nice products because of it, the only thing is that you aren''t supposed to share the products that you tried on social media so all I can say is that this was a body and face oil, I loved it on the body, but it was a big thumbs down from me as a facial oil.

4. Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Non Greasy Conditioner - 50ml
5. Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Non Greasy Shampoo - 50ml

Finally two products that came in successive Pink Parcel's and they are hair products from Dove. After a period of relative stability my hair problems returned with a vengeance and the only thing that seems to have helped has been to load it up with as much moisture as possible - I've been layering on the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, and the hair oils, and I've been trying out a few different moisturising shampoos and conditioners. If you look at the Boots website these two Dove products for dull and dry hair have some amazing reviews, and even though these were just travel sizes I can see why. Not only do they smell great, with a fresh and clean scent, but both of these products left my hair feeling smoother, and more manageable, and thanks to the dry oil ingredients, unlike some other oil rich products that I've tried they didn't leave my hair feeling greasy, heavy or lank. I literally have a drawer full of shampoos, conditioners and hair products to use up, but if I was on the lookout for a new shampoo and conditioner I would definitely consider repurchasing both of these products, and if you have hair that needs a little bit of love then this range is definitely worth a try.

So bar a couple of shopping trips, my ongoing weight loss journey, and an afternoon tea, this post has pretty much summed up June in LouLouLand, My aims for July? lots of self care, lots of blogging, a bit of You Tube (check out my channel if you haven't already), a bit of Instagram and hopefully lots more empties x Whatever I do and whatever you do, I hope that July is a good month for all of us x Thanks for reading x