Sunday 27 March 2022

PR / UNPAID AD - Tackling That Tache - Facial Hair Removal By Jolen*

I can pretty much guarantee that this won't be the prettiest blog post on your feed today, and I can also guarantee that it probably won't be at the top of your mental to read list, but life and beauty isn't all about pretty pictures and beautiful insta worthy products.

Ever since puberty kicked in with a growth spurt something else started to grow as well, and no even though they did indeed grow, I don't mean my boobs, I actually mean my hair, and sadly not the hair on m head!

As my grandma used to say, and my mam continues to say, you can't have hair on your head and not have it anywhere else! Body hair was never really too much of a problem for me, I just shaved it, creamed it, waxed it, or epilated it away, but my facial hair was a whole different gravy!

From the minute it started to grow it was dark and thick, and it was really obvious against my pale skin. The first thing that I ever tried was facial bleach and whilst it helped to disguise the hairs, it didn't get rid of them, so I moved to other things trying everything from tweezing, to various forms of electronic removal methods, to facial and body hair removal creams, and even epilating before finally settling on regular waxing treatments, which at last seemed to the get the little wires under control, at least in the short term!

As I've said before I'm pretty happy with the products that I've been using, but I was recently given the chance to try a couple of products from facial hair specialist, Jolen.

Like so many others my very first foray into facial hair management was with Jolen's famous Creme Bleach. With over 150 years of experience in helping people deal with their facial hair, it wasn't really that surprising that my mam who had already been using the product for years, bought me my first pot, and with those two little pots, my facial hair journey had officially begun!

As I say as time progressed I gradually moved onto other methods, and whilst Jolen have remained true to their Creme Bleach roots, they've moved on to, and have expanded their facial hair range to include two new products, a Facial Hair Remover Kit, and Face Wax Strips, and I was very kindly sent out a few packets to try,

Jolen Facial Hair Remover Kit*

Perhaps on the of the most popular methods for removing excess hair, hair removal creams are pretty simple to use, they can be a bit messy and smelly, but you just pop the cream on, leave it on for a few minutes, then you rinse it off, and voila hair be gone! 

Obviously you should always patch test any product that you use, but it goes without saying that the skin on the face can be a little bit more sensitive, and that can be one of the reasons that people often shy away from facial hair removal creams. If you've been a bit wary of creams in the past though Jolen have included something that might change your opinion, and ally some of your fears.

As well as full instructions the box contains a 19g tube of hair removal cream, and a 1.9g stick of Skin Guarding Balm, which contains beeswax, apricot kernel oil, aloe vera, cucumber extract, chamomile flower extract, safflower oil, and coconut oil, and is designed to be used before and after hair removal, to both protect, and nourish the skin.

Starting off with clean, dry skin, you apply a thin layer of Skin Guarding Balm to the areas that you are going to treat, before massaging it into the skin in circular motions, for around 20 seconds. It comes in a twist up style bullet so it's really easy to apply it has a balm like texture, and little to no scent, and it almost seemed to melt on contact with the skin.

After you've applied the Skin Guarding Balm, it's then time to apply the hair removal cream itself. The angled tip of the tube made it really easy to apply without a spatula, but you could of course use a spatula or even your fingers to apply an even layer of cream


On Application - Skin Guarding Balm

The white cream was of a good thickness so it didn't slip or drip. Unusually for hair removal cream it had quite a pleasant scent with only a small hint of ammonia. It initially felt quite cool on the skin but as time progressed the area did feel a little bit warmer, but there was no burning, tingling or stinging.

On Application - Hair Removal Cream

The instructions advise to leave it for between 5 and 8 minutes. I checked it by removing a little bit after 5 minutes but the hairs were still holding firm, so I ended up leaving it for the full 8 minutes. I actually used a spatula to remove the excess before washing the rest off with a muslin cloth and lukewarm water, before applying a little bit more Skin Guarding Balm.

I'm going to be honest with you, I gave up using facial hair removal creams quite a while ago now. My upper lip hair especially was just too thick and dark to remove it effectively, so much so in fact that I actively switched to using body hair removal creams on my face (I know! I know!), and I only switched to waxing because I was having to leave it for longer and longer, and my skin was starting to get irritated.

It wasn't therefore too much of a surprise that there was a few hairs and a little bit of stubble remaining. To give this cream its due though it did remove quite a bit of all be it, quite long hair, which you can hopefully see below.

So if you want a completely hair free, smooth upper lip, and you have dark, wiry hair like mine, this particular product probably isn't for you, but if you have had a bad experience with facial hair removal creams in the past, particularly with regard to sensitivity, and you have lighter, or finer har growth, then this product could be something worth trying. I don't know whether it was down to the Skin Guarding Balm, but my upper lip area didn't feel dry or uncomfortable, and as I say I didn't experience any burning or stinging.

I did have a little play with this product though and I tried the hair removal on its own, without using the Skin Guarding Balm, and I actually managed to remove more hair and I ended up with a smoother finish. My skin did feel a touch more sensitive and tingly, but if your skin is stronger and your hair is thicker or darker then maybe skipping the first application of Skin Guarding Balm could be something to try.

The Jolen Facial Hair Remover retails at around £4.99 from Boots.

Hair removal is always a personal thing, and what works for one person, won't necessarily work for another, and so on, so for me it's always worth giving things a try. If you're still not convinced by hair removal creams, and if like me you're a waxer, don't fret, Jolen also do Facial Wax Strips.

Jolen Facial Wax Strips*

There is so much that I love about waxing, that every time I whip those hairs away I always wonder why I didn't start waxing my tache sooner! The finish is smoother, and compared to around a weeks smoothness with hair removal creams, even with my wires I can still get 3 or 4 weeks of smoothness.

The box contains an instruction leaflet and a total of 16 wax strips, which contain smoothing and nourishing chamomile and grape seed oil, and are dermatologically tested, and are suitable for even the most sensitive of skins.

Like with most wax strips, each strip is stuck to another one, so it initially appears as though you only get 8 strips in the box, and your first task is to slowly separate them out. The key thing with wax strips for me is to try and keep them in a warm place, because if they are too cold, it can be quite hard to separate them evenly.

I took the picture below after a period of illness, where I never left the house, so there is about 6 weeks worth of growth here, and hairs as you can see are pretty long and thick!


All you do is apply one strip at a time to the area that you want to treat, rubbing it in the direction of the hair growth before taking a deep breath, holding the skin taut, and pulling the strip in the opposite direction to the hair growth, and then you repeat, repeat and repeat until you're done!

On Application

The strips themselves were nice and sticky and they adhered really well to the hairs and the skin, removing even the roots of the majority of hairs, and leaving very little wax residue in the process.

After I'd waxed my entire upper lip and chin, I washed my face with a tiny bit of tea tree wash, and some water to remove any excess wax, before dabbing the area with very cold water to close the pores and calm the skin.


There are a couple of blood spots but that's not unusual for me and it was hardly surprising when you look at just how much hair I actually removed! My skin felt a touch tender which again is pretty normal for me but as a seasoned self waxer this was a quick and pretty painless experience.

I was so, so impressed with these strips, my upper lip was left feeling really smooth and with no obvious stubble, and they were also really easy to use. There was hardly any excess wax left on my skin and they remove even the longest hairs and even the roots, and as you can see below, from another session they also removed really really short hairs as well.

It might take a bit of practise to get your angles right, and at first you might need a little bit of Dutch courage to pull of that first strip, but there really is no need to go to a salon when it's so cheap and easy to wax your own chin and upper lip with these strips in the comfort of your own home.

I'm officially a convert to these babies and I've already stocked up on another 4 packets to take me through to the summer and beyond! The Jolen Face Wax strips come in a pack of 16 and are available for £1 from Savers, and for a little bit more from other retailers including Ocado and Express Chemists.

As I say this won't be the prettiest post that you'll ever read but it will probably be one of the most real. If you're happy with your facial hair all props to you, but if like me and you just want it gone, there are lots of products and methods out there for you try, including these two products from Jolen. If you have any questions or comments then please let me know x 

*Press Samples

Monday 7 March 2022

Trimming My Stash - January 2022 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*

I didn't really intend to post two empties posts in a row, but since this isn't going to be a particularly long post (compared to most of my other posts anyways!), I thought that since I had a little bit of spare time I'd try and get it out the way.

DR Docteur Renaud Mango Hand And Nail Repair Cream - 75ml
Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Gentle Gel Hand Soap - 236ml
Gelicity Gel Spa Just For Feet Jelly Foot Soak - Soothe With Lavender & Lemongrass - 40g - 1 x Treatment
Total - 3 Items

When it comes to beauty empties, January is usually a pretty barren month, so whether it was down to illness, or the fact that December was such a good month empties wise, it wasn't really too much of a surprise that I only managed to finish 3 items in the first month of the year.

1. DR Docteur Renaud Mango Hand And Nail Repair Cream 75ml**

This first item is another one of those products that I rescued from the deepest darkest depths of my beauty stash, and it's another items that's so old, I'm almost too embarrassed to show you. I actually received this product as a press sample way back in 2014, and you can read my full review here.

I recently rediscovered it and there was about quarter of a tube left so I decided to use it up, and do you know what? Even though it was old enough to have started school, it was still as nice as it was when I originally opened it. The smell maybe wasn't quite as strong as it had been, but it was still pleasant, it was still lovely and creamy, and really hydrating. 

Obviously the packaging has changed in the intervening 8 years, but you can still buy the same hand cream directly from DR Docteur Renaud all be it in a slightly small 50ml size for around €9.90, and for about £9.60 from a site called Skin Evolution, and for about £6.51 from My Origines.

2. Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Gentle Gel Hand Soap - 236ml

One of the few good things that came out of 2021 was the official launch of Bath & Body Works in the UK. You've been able to buy it on the secondary market and from the odd website for a little while now, and whilst we don't have any standalone stores yet, you can now pick up some of your Bath & Body Works favourites both online and in store from NEXT Beauty.

Ever since the late 1990's when my godmother first brought me some Warm Vanilla Sugar bits back from Florida, I've been in love with the brand. In the intervening years I've picked up a few bits online and from the US, but having such easy access to brand over the last few months has been dangerous! Their festive ranges are by far my favourites and over the last few months I've stocked up on everything from candles, to shapeable soap, to sparkly body moisturiser, and of course hand washes.

I believe that Bath & Body Works do two different types of hand was, and this one is in their "Gentle Gel Hand Soap" formulation. You only needed less than half a pump of this clear gel, mixed with warm water to produce a gentle, non drying foam.

It is a really nice hand wash but the real selling point for me was the scent, even though I've been introduced to a lot of new scents this season, Winter Candy Apple is probably my favourite holiday scent from Bath & Body Works, and it's the one that I've been buying by any means possible for the last 10 years or so. Officially a combination of red apple, winter rose petals, candied orange, maple and cinnamon it has a gorgeous slightly spicy, festive apple and citrus scent that I absolutely love.

This retailed I believe at £7.50 which is a bit pricey for a hand wash but in my opinion it was well worth it. Other than on the secondary market you'll probably have trouble finding this one at least October / November time when it will hopefully return to stores. Not to worry though I still have lots of Bath & Body Works and Winter Candy Apple bits to use up, so you'll definitely see some more products in some upcoming empties posts x 

3. Gelicity Gel Spa Just For Feet Jelly Foot Soak - Soothe With Lavender & Lemongrass - 40g - 1 x Treatment

One of the most frustrating things about being a beauty blogger, is the fact that both products and brands are either discontinued or just seem to disappear overnight. The amount of things I've photographed, and researched, and then wham! all of that work is just wasted. 

The same thing happened with this particular product, I'd shot some pics and videos, and I was just finishing an Instagram post, and then nothing! The brands social media presence had gone, and after a little bit of digging I found out that the company had actually gone into liquidation :( Since I'd already gone to the trouble of shooting pics that I'd share them with you in this empties post x 

Gelicity were really famous for both of their kids and adults jelly baths - products that you could add to bath to give the water a fun jelly like consistency. I actually reviewed one of their bath products way back in 2013, but this particular product was designed specifically as a treat for the feet.

Containing lavender and lemongrass extract this pedicure treatment was designed to soothe tired and aching feet, as well as helping with odour and fungal problems

The box contained two sachets, 1 to create the jelly, and 2 to dissolve it. Sachet 1 contained pale blue crystals, that resembled salt or sugar. It had a slight spa like scent but it wasn't as strong or as evident as I'd hope or expected.

All you needed to do is to fill a bowl (not a foot spa), large enough to put both of your feet in at once. with 4 - 5 litres of warm water, and then you add the contents of sachet 1 and swirl it round a bit to mix it, and then you need to leave it for two minutes.

In those two minutes the water gradually turns into a thick purple/ lilac, semi solid, jelly like substance.

The instructions advise to give it a stir with your hands to break it up a bit. You can then really see the jelly bead like texture. Once you've done that it's time for the fun and pampering to begin!

Plonk yourself on a chair and just pop your feet into the bowl, and move your feet up and down, scrunch your toes up and enjoy the squish! Turn up the video volume for the full effect!

As well as being super fun, it actually feels really nice and relaxing squashing the jelly underfoot and squishing it between your toes.

I probably kept my feet in the bowl till the jelly water went cold which was about 10 - 15 minutes, if the water was a bit warmer then I would definitely have kept me feet in for longer! When you've had enough, you just add the contents of packet 2 to the bowl, which is basically just sodium chloride, aka salt and the jelly will gradually start to dissolve. 

It doesn't completely return back to water, but it does basically turn into a slightly denser than water liquid with a few small jelly like beads suspended in at. At this point it's now safe to dispose either down the skin, or like I did down the toilet.

After removing your feet you just had to pat them dry (you can still see the odd bit of jelly clinging on!), and whilst there was no real change (bar immersion changes - wrinkles!) to the texture of my feet, they did feel refreshed and very relaxed.

This soak was really fun to use, and it was a really relaxing treat for achey or tired feet, and I would definitely repurchase it if I could! As I say this particular company has now gone in to liquidation but I think that there still are some similar products on the market. I've seen something similar in some professional pedicure videos on You Tube, and I've also seen something similar on eBay which I will definitely be trying out. If you know of anything similar out there then please let me know in the comments x 

So that was my very short January empties list! Not the best start to the year but as the saying goes things can only get better, well fingers crossed they can anyways As per usual let me know if you have any questions or comments, and of course it you have any jelly foot soak recommendations, and I will see you soon with another post x 

*This Post Contains Non Affiliate Links
**Press Sample