These are a selection of the products I have been trying out during October, and the ones that have made it to the bathroom shelf. Quite a long post but I hope it’s useful – or just pick out the bits of interest.
First off, hair products. Having had my hair restyled at the beginning of Autumn I am struggling a bit with how to style it. Before I had it done it was in a straight bob, but I wanted to have a little more volume and style it in a less “perfect” finish. TRESemme 24 Hour Body sounded like the perfect products to try. The shampoo and conditioner were on special offer in Boots at two for £6. Which although may sound pricey the bottles are huge at 500ml, so will last well even if you wash every day. I also bought the 24 Hour Root Boosting Spray and the intriguingly named 24 Hour Sky High Plump Powder.
All the products smell wonderful and my hair certainly looked and felt good after shampooing and conditioning. I think I may have overdone the root spray a little – as once dry although bouncy my hair didn’t have that just washed shiny clean look. As for the intriguing powder it certainly is very different to any other hair product I have used. It is a bit like talcum powder but when you sprinkle it into your hair it gives great lift – a bit like you would get from back combing. I’m pleased with the shampoo and conditioner and will definitely use the powder again. I think next time I will ease up a bit on the root boosting spray though! …Update… I have washed and styled again and was very happy with the result, I even got caught in light rain and the shape stayed for the whole day.
Next up, skin care – my skin seems to have noticed already that the days are getting cooler, and was looking a little dull. I had read about Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil and it had some rave reviews so I decided to give it a try. If you have never cleansed with an oil you may find the concept a little strange. However, this stuff is fantastic! I was really unsure but after using my skin not only looked clean and plumped but it felt softer than I can ever remember and that was on the first use. I can be a bit of a beauty product flitter so it takes a lot to impress me but I really think this is the cleanser for me from now on.
I also decided to try a serum to use under my day cream and liked the sound of one that claims to even out skin tone, reduce sun damage and leave skin looking luminous. The product is Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skin Tone Illuminator. I have been using it everyday for about a month. I’m not sure that I have noticed a difference in any sun damage I have to my skin (some dark spots) but it does give the skin a lovely glow, in fact as “it says on the tin”, it does make the skin look luminous. So I will be continuing to use it and may try the Advance Night Repair next which despite having won loads of beauty awards and plaudits I have for some reason not tried yet.
On to makeup – I think like most women I have probably tried every mascara in existence. However, I’ve never found THE one that I stick to through thick and thin. Because I wear contact lenses I tend to be a little nervous of build-up mascaras in case they drop bits into my eyes and don’t often use waterproof because I feel it needs more effort to remove. I had several “freebie” mascaras that I got as part of a free gift with purchase and I also wanted to try out some colours, so here are the contenders and the results:
Maybelline Volume Express Mascara £6.19 Unfortunately I found that this mascara smudged during the course of the day and the brush comes out rather caked so it’s easy to overdo and make a mess. Not one I would choose again.
LOreal Volume Million Lashes Luminizer (Green Eyes) £11.29 This mascara comes in variations for green, blue and brown eyes. Although mine are brown I went for the green as I fancied trying green mascara. Much prefer the brush on this one and it is easy to build up the layers. The green is subtle and I really liked it.
Lancome Hypnose Drama £22.50 (special gift pack currently from House of Fraser Includes eye liner and eye makeup remover for the same price as just the mascara) I’ve actually had this one for a while and bought it when they did it in purple which I could no longer find. It’s a real shame because the purple is stunning. Not so keen on the brush but it doesn’t smudge, so I would probably only buy again in a colour – there are black mascaras I prefer, although the current deal is worth buying.
Clinique High Impact £27 gift set including eye pencil and de-puffer. I really like the brush, the fact that it doesn’t come out clumpy and doesn’t smudge. One I would buy again.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara Set £19.50 – with a similar offer to Lancome, this one is currently on sale in a gift set with an eye cream and eye makeup remover. Interestingly I didn’t think I would like this one because the brush is quite thin. However, this is my top pick, it goes on beautifully, easy to build up, doesn’t smudge and separates the lashes, I really noticed a difference and will be buying this gift set for myself. This is going to be THE one!
Lipstick – I never get bored browsing and trying lipsticks, and it is one of the makeup products I never go without. Even when I do a very natural face I still need colour on my lips, so it’s a bit of an obsession that I “play” with lipsticks in the cosmetic hall. Anyway this is a long winded way of telling you about a new lip purchase – Laura Mercier Shimmer Lip Colour in Copper. Gorgeous, gorgeous – copper with the right amount of shimmer and density – love it, but it’s only suitable colour wise for warm skin tones.
Eyes – a new eyeliner to try Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner from Beauty Bay which for £13 I think is an absolute bargain. It’s highly pigmented and waterproof with vibrant colour. The colour I chose is Moray – it’s hard to see from the picture on Beauty Bay but it’s an olivey, shimmery gold and is really beautiful. I’ve used it on three willing guinea pigs and they all loved it! It’s self sharpening and glides on without pulling. I will definitely be trying some of the other colours.
Finally after trying to get it on the high street and failing Boots came to the rescue and I got my hands on the much desired Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Peridot. Its is absolutely stunning and I cannot wait for an occasion to wear it! It’s a mix of a light green and gold, but so much prettier than any of the photos I’ve seen. If you are quick you might still get a bottle.
Other products tested that didn’t make it permanently to the bathroom shelf:
Lee Stafford Arganoil Shampoo – I liked the sound of this as I have read all the hype about Moroccan oils, however, I just couldn’t get it to lather and although my hair was clean it just didn’t give me the satisfaction of feeling like I had really shampooed.
Leighton Denny Expert nail varnish – nothing against the product, the colour a summery blue, just wasn’t for me, and after all I have found my one true love Autumn colour – see above!
Mascara – Maybelline, see above.