Thursday 30 December 2010

Dove Hair Damage Therapy Range

Oooooh soft soft soft! 

With my recent ASOS order (lots of knitwear!) I got a free sample of Dove Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner... what can I say?! That was my own little Christmas miracle! 

I'm not one to normally fall for all the scientific jargon associated with beauty products, but whatever is in the Micro Moisture Technology that Dove boasts about, it really does work. [The patented Micro Moisture Serum technology works in conjunction with the Fibre Actives to restore and replenish hair from the inside out. Rather than just masking the damage as some products can do, the Fibre Actives actually penetrate into the hair’s fibre to repair, protect and condition at the deepest level, while the Micro Moisture Serum technology works to nourish the surface of the hair, from root to tip.]

"Celebrity stylist and Dove Hair Ambassador, Christian Vermaak, says: “My Clients range from A-List stars to women working nine to five, but they all have one thing in common - damaged hair.  The new Dove Hair Damage Therapy range allows women to carry on with their everyday hair-styling habits, whilst giving them much stronger, healthier and protected hair.  It’s a very easy recommendation for me to make!” and me!!"

Not only is this product literally a God-send, but it won't break the bank either:
Intensive Repair Shampoo (250ml, RRP £2.69) 
Intensive Repair Conditioner (200ml, RRP £2.69) 
Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner (180ml, RRP £3.29) 

So, give your hair a treat in 2011. Enjoy.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Add a little sparkle to your Christmas! - gift ideas and inspiration

Remember being about 13 and thinking body glitter was like the best thing ever! Well re-live your youth with Barry M glitter stacking sets - I was in the big Topshop in London a few days ago and had so much fun trying out all these cute little pots, my favourite had tiny little red hearts in it (though if I put these on my face I'm pretty sure it'll resemble a tropical disease rather than look all cute and lovely!). Even still, being fully aware that I will look horrendous wearing them, I want some!!!

This isn't the actual set I tried out, I was using the pre-mixed ones, they're in a sort of jelly so you just rub it straight on to your skin and it dries almost instantly. I only tried the pots out on my hands, but ended up covered in sparkles and glitter! I think you'd have to be super careful on application for fear of looking like a child playing dress-up.

Add some sparkle to your Christmas! Barry M also do some very nice glitter nail polishes, the red one is very festive!

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Be warm this Christmas!

I feel like I spend half of my time over the festive period taking on and off different layers of clothing. So I was very pleased when I got sent a Haramaki - I tested it out on a freezing cold day in London this week. 

The haramaki is a Japanese garment worn for health and well-being. This modern version is double layered and super comfy to ensure you stay nice and toasty! "Keeping the abdominal organs warm helps the body distribute warmth and energy all-round. Circulation is improved, so even hands and feet feel warmer."

The Haramaki also claims that it can, aid digestion, ease menstrual cramps, give support during and post-pregnancy and soothe common abdominal ailments... I'm not sure about all of these but it certainly is warm and comes in a wide range of colours so you should be able to find one to suit! I also like the fact that it just looks like you've got another top on under rather than obviously being some sort of thermal old lady vest. Be careful when deciding what size to get, I had the medium one and it was huge! The fabric is super stretchy so I'd imagine that the medium would fit most people.

Blogger, Elizabeth x (me)

More Pretty Nails!!! - stocking fillers

Something a bit different. Ice-cream nails.

I tried these out today, but just quickly on one nail to see if they go on easily - they do! With one coat you get a nice coverage, with two you get a totally opaque look - almost gives you a fake nail look because it sets quite thickly.

These are the colours I got (Images off Google):


Monday 20 December 2010

Christmas Nails! - great little stocking fillers

Sorry for the lack of blog yesterday! My internet went down until about 11pm and I was too sleepy to write by then... but I did do lots of nail colour swatches :) ... Because, every Christmas outfit needs great nails! (I've use two layers of varnish on each nail so you can see the difference between the brands and colours).

ASOS nail varnish in Olivia, yes it's a very bright colour, but it goes on so evenly and is a rich orange rather than a brassy one so still looks great. D'Awwwww look it even has a little bow on it!

I can't remember seeing anyone wearing such black nails since the emo kids at school. However, I bought this one at halloween (Star Gazer 129) , I can't remember from where exactly (sorry!) but it was very cheap! I paid £1-2 for it, and for that money you'd think it'd be awful, but really it's quite good. The brush keeps its shape so applying the colour evenly is easy. Only problem I had was - I was in a bit of a rush when I used this one and I didn't put an undercoat on, my nails were stained for a week!!! GRIM.

Star Gazer

Boots always seem to be giving away those £5 No7 vouchers, I usually buy a nail varnish with it... that way you're getting a good quality varnish for a couple of quid. I love this one, Oyster 50, it's great for everyday wear, a little bit mumsy perhaps but goes with almost anything!


My Barry M bottle was a little camera shy! Every photo I tried to take was out of focus and this was the best I could manage.  A gorgeous varnish, NP 292, it has a little sparkle to it - just enough so as not to look tacky... but allowing for a slight shimmer in the light. Beeaaaautiful.

Barry M

A pink nail varnish is an essential! This one is by Rimmel, 331 Speed Dating, it claims on the bottle to last up to 10 days - I've never managed to keep it looking good that long, even with a top coat. Not the easiest of varnishes to apply but it does dry quite quickly!


I was really disappointed when I bought this Bourjois So Laque! Bleu Violet 31, it's really gloopy and almost impossible to apply. A very pretty colour and bottle - just a shame I can't wear it :( (though I never learn and keep trying it again!)


If you hadn't guessed by the shape of the bottle this one is by OPI - the colour is so rich that I can't actually read the black etching on the bottle! The colour is a very deep purple and looks great with vintage wear. Just be careful when applying as with this one being so dark messy application is amplified!!


Which one is your favourite?

Saturday 18 December 2010

Christmas gift ideas - for Mum!

Mum's can be difficult to buy for, they don't want chocolate (the usual easy choice when in Christmas present idea hell) for fear of even more calories over the festive period... they've already got a house full of photo frames and little nick-nacks and buying booze for your mother is just plain wrong! So what do you do? Pampering products never fail! (Just as long as you steer well clear of the anti-wrinkle creams... yes Mum, we can see straight through that forced oh-isn't-that-lovely-thanks-smile!)

Create your own little pamper-hamper and be the favourite child this Christmas! 
Always a great place to start for any pamper gift, Lush. Have a look in-store or online for present inspiration:

What does every bath need? Candles of course! This one is from Pevonia:

I just love the look of these patchouli scented soap flakes, the glass jar and the label have an antique look, they're not just to be great for the bath but also as your fancy guest soap or to gently wash fine linen, get them here:

No pamper-hamper would be complete without a body scrub! Grab this one from ASOS. It's organic and just packed with essential oils to soften your skin!

Finally, a luxurious body lotion - how about this one from The Body Shop. Keep the festive cheer going well in to the New Year with this berry scented shimmery lotion, it hyrdrates normal to dry skin leaving it feeling soft and smooth.
Of course you can add more to your pamper-hamper, how about some exfoliating gloves, pretty nail varnishes or some indulgent face-masks?

You've got just 7 days to go, happy shopping!!!!

Friday 17 December 2010

Gorgeous Nails - Stocking fillers

Mr and Mrs Claus
Somewhere Very Cold

Dear Santa,

I'm not a nail biter... honest! Yet I can never seem to grow my nails to any sort of length. So please could I have some more of these lovely Cosmo nails for Christmas?

These please Santa!
I'm not too sure if you make them in your toy factory or not, but if you don't perhaps you'd have time to pop to Superdrug before then to pick me up some more? They come in such lovely colours but my favourite are the ones pictured, Secret Rendezvous. Instant nails without the hassle of all the maintenance, or the cost of going to a salon to have them done - fantastic! I bet Mrs Claus would like a pair too - would go well with the Santa Suit!

Beauty Grooves nails (sorry for the shadow!)

I also like the beauty grooves range - the nails are quite a bit shorter so they're really practical and once they're on you really don't notice they're there (until someone says Ohhh nice nails!). I was pleasantly surprised how well they lasted - I only lost one little gem and managed to reapply it with some of the nail glue.

I'll be sure to leave you out a mince pie and some carrots for the reindeer.

Love, Elizabeth

Thursday 16 December 2010

Strictly Final - Make-up knowledge... and a stocking filler!

Da da da da dada daaa da da da da daaaa!!! 

The final is fast approaching... and I can't wait to see the show dances from all 3 of our couples, Matt Baker and Aliona Vilani, Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev and Pamela Stephenson and James Jordan.

When it comes to the make-up on Strictly Come Dancing - the more OTT the better. Each dancer (and celebrity dancer of course) has their own folder complete with dress designs, hair designs and make-up ideas. They also have their own eyeliner, lashes and mascara as hygiene is of high priority. 

The lead make-up artist for the show is Lisa Armstrong (Ant McParlin's wife!) she says that:

"My absolute top tip would be to use the Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Glitter Eyeliners – we use them all the time on the show! They come in a whole range of beautiful colours – gold, silver, black, orange, red, turquoise...You can easily update your day make up by using them along the lash line for intense colour, or applying over the whole lid for more sparkle." - at just £2.99 a piece (perfect for a stocking filler!!) why not try creating the look at home... perhaps not for day make-up though eh?
I have no idea how I did not find out about this sooner, but Artem used to date Carrie Ann Inaba (the judge from America's Dancing with the Stars).

As for the men - well, they use just as much spray tan as the women but still need a little helping hand with some bronzer and under eye concealers. With such long hours training the dancers are bound to look exhausted - and often bruised so the make-up artists also have to cope with colour correcting bruised limbs.

Despite the 15 year age gap, the couple were together for 2 and a half years before amicably splitting, Inaba says that Artem was "a fine gentleman. I have never gone out with somebody that grounded, always ready to talk it out. I'm very happy for him and the success he's having."  Aww!

Who do you want to lift the glitter ball this Saturday? 


Wednesday 15 December 2010

Beauty Essentials - good brushes! Christmas gift ideas.

As any make-up lover knows, it's not just about the product you use, it's the way you apply it that counts. For those beautifully blended blushers, crisp contoured eyes and lushes full lips you need the right tools!

If your skin needs a little help when it comes to adding warmth and colour, why not try the Silk Pro 4 Piece Bronzing Brush Set. Priced at £29.50 it's cheap for 4 brushes yet a good enough quality to ensure even application. The brushes included are:
1 natural hair SILK bronzer brush, 1 kabuki fan brush which is great for blending, 1 angle brush for blending in your foundation and 1 baby dome brush which allows you to add just the right amount of blush or bronzer to the apples of your cheeks. Oh - and this set comes complete in it's own little black travel bag.

One of the most essential parts of my make-up kit has to be my eyeliner and eyeshadow brushes. Laura Mercier brushes never fail me. The flat eye liner brush priced at £22 allows you to use your eyeshadow as an eyeliner, giving more versatility and a softer look than your usual pencil or liquid eyeliner. The brow grooming brush in this range priced at £10 is great, not only for taming those brows, but if you've a loose hair or bit of glitter on your face you can lightly brush it  away with the grooming brush. Have a look in store and ask one of the make-up artists for help picking out the brushes you need. Consider these brushes as an investment, treat them with care and they'll serve you well!

Clinique pro-style lip brush, priced at just £10! Apply your lipstick the professional way for precise definition and even coverage. Clinique's retractable brush allows you to apply your lipstick evenly and the long handle gives you more control, "Clinique's unique, long-lasting antibacterial technology helps ensure a high level of hygiene." Make sure you wipe clean your lip brush after use, or the lipstick will dry to the brush and separate the hairs.

Keep an eye out in the January sales, I got my Laura Mercier set last year for about half the normal price! 

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Face masks - stocking fillers

Winter can be harsh on your skin, coming in from the bitter cold winds to the hot office your skin has to cope with a lot, as a result may be looking a little dull - so treat yourself this Christmas to a pampering face mask!

I'd love to go all James Wong on you and give you recipes for making your own face masks, but I'm not a Ethnobotanist!  Instead, I'll share with you a couple of my favourite shop bought ones :)

Priced at just 99p, and more often than not on special offer, I give you:

Natural Collection face masks, this range includes wild strawberry and rosemary and witch hazel masks. These little face mask sachets are great for girly nights in too, you can squeeze 3 applications out of one pack if you're not too wasteful!

No self-respecting bathroom cupboard would be complete without a mud mask or two floating about inside. I give you:
Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Masque. This anti-stress and ultra poor cleansing mask will leave your skin feeling silky soft in no time. The Dead Sea has long been known for it's health and beauty benefits, the minerals in the dead sea are said to help heal skin ailments such as eczema, psoriasis and acne! With all these health benefits, and priced at just 99p, I'd class this one as the Queen of the face masks!

Finally, my if I win the lottery face mask choice:
Priced at £100 NATURA BISSE: Diamond Ice Lift transepidermal DNA cryo–mask" is the stuff that face mask dreams are made of! For the price you get 100ml of "The perfect blend between conventional facial masks and transepidermal patches. Natura Bissé's award winning Diamond Ice Lift works in synergy to create an innovative ‘cold–lifting’ effect with a unique Ice Lifting System formulated with high concentrations of marine DNA that nourish and hydrate the skin throughout the day." I've been very good this year Santa!

Make sure you apply plenty of moisturiser after - these cleansing and purifying face masks can also take away some of the moisture from your skin so you need to replace it right away.

Monday 13 December 2010

Mineral Make-up - Christmas Present

Bare Escentuals mineral make-up line is made from 100% pure, crushed minerals, they're free from preservatives, talc, oil, fragrance, dyes and other chemicals that can irritate skin - it's so pure you can sleep in it...Everyone can benefit from Bare Escentuals Bare Escentuals make-up invites women to take a step back from heavier, 'mask' effect make-up and enjoy weightless light-reflecting products."

You've probably heard the benefits of mineral make-up before but were unsure whether it'd give you the same coverage or pigment as your regular make-up. Fear not! This make-up is great if you are wanting to even out your skin tone or just add a little warmth and depth to your face. 

If you've problematic skin you'll probably want to stick with your tried and tested foundation. However, I would recommend giving this make-up a go, as it allows your skin to breathe and heal.

My favourite mineral make-up product is the "Bare Escentuals 4 Piece Tutorials: Intro To Eyes Collection". The box is designed like a little book, so you open up the cover and you have step-by-step instructions to create gorgeous eyes.  The buffing eye brush is just perfect for contouring, feels really soft to touch and still manages to give great definition. The eyeliner included is very useful for your handbag as it is a twist up one, so no need for carrying an eye-liner pencil sharpener too!

So pure you can sleep in it... but I'd still recommend you remove before bed, nobody likes a grubby pillow!

Sunday 12 December 2010

Flawless finish - stocking filler

With less than 2 weeks to go until Christmas, let the shopping commence! Everyday from now until Christmas Eve I'll be posting you stocking filler/Christmas present ideas. 

Get the celebrity airbrush look at home for just £4.95 with Cosmopolitan's Blend Perfection Sponge. You might think the best part of a fiver is a little steep for just one make-up sponge, but give it a go and be converted!  Cosmo say "This innovative new sponge allows smooth, patch free application of foundation to give a truly flawless finish." and it really does.

How to use: dampen the sponge ever so slightly and then apply a little of your foundation and stipple on to blend in your foundation. Use the pointed tip of the sponge to blend your foundation in to the corner of your eyes and nose.

Unlike most make-up sponges I've tried this one doesn't absorb half your foundation, it merely aids application - and with a less porous feel to the sponge I'd imagine it is much more hygienic. If you're wondering where to buy the Cosmo sponge - you can buy it from Superdrug :)

Saturday 11 December 2010

Fluttery Lashes - X Factor-tastic

"It takes a legend, to make a star"

In my opinion, Christina was amazing on The X Factor tonight... and it nicely coincided with the release of 'Burlesque', "the Hollywood movie starring sexy starlets Cher, Christina Aguilera and Kristen Bell, is set to take the world by storm with it's release in UK cinemas on 17th December. Aguilera plays Ali, a "small town girl with a big voice who escapes a life of hardship and follows her dreams in LA" into the steamy and saucy world of Burlesque."

With it being the season to party...and be constantly photographed we all need to take some advice from Christina and don the fake lashes! 

Get your very own Burlesque eye look with the help of 'Girls With Attitude' ... There are 5 different designs in the burlesque lashes range - each with cute names Coco, Trixi, Dita, Showtime and Striptease.

Trixi lashes complete with glue and brush
My favourite from this range are the Showtime lashes - they're similar to individual false lashes, so they're great to give you a little extra va-va-voom without being too OTT. I also love the Trixi lashes, they're surprisingly natural looking once on - I think due to the way the lashes are pointed together as though you just have extra mascara on. If you've smaller eyes I'd avoid the Dita lashes they might be a little over-powering, go for a slightly less intense lash to achieve that wide-eyed bambi look.

Trixi lashes (no mascara)

What I love about this range of lashes is that they come with a little wand so that it's easier to apply the glue to the lashes, and they're re-usable! Great for the environment and your bank balance.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Bad Hair Day.

So, I've got my graduation on Thursday...

Book gown - check.
Buy dress - check.
Book hairdressers - check.
Agree to have blue and purple put in hair - wait what?!!

By now I really should have learnt my lesson. Whenever I go to the Vidal Sassoon training academy I always book in to the classic cuts salon... yet I've never had my hair cut there! Every time I go they see my massive head of Irish hair and send me straight down to the creative cuts salon where I'm always too polite to say no to any suggestions they make. 

Luckily the coloured sections are hidden amongst the rest of the hair (chocolate brown - actually very nice) but the section they're hidden under is my rather gigantic and in-MY-face asymmetric sweeping side fringe. It is a nice cut, but really not my style - and now graduation is every looming I'm desperately trying to find ways to make my hair look more classical for my photo. Seeing as this photo is going to be donning my parents walls from now on and haunting me for the rest of my existence! Saying that - I love a bargain, and the colour was only £18 and the cut was free (and the hairdresser was lovely)

Tomorrow I'm off to find a quick fix for graduation hair - and then to embrace my new haircut... or try and grow it out. Hmmm...

Friday 3 December 2010

Baby, It's cold outside...

In this freezing cold weather getting out of bed is hard enough as it is – hitting the snooze alarm too many times and over sleeping for me often means leaving the house with damp hair (which is so not good if trying to avoid the dreaded winter cold!).

If only there were a solution? Sometimes hair just needs a little refreshing rather than a wash and blow dry – the products I tested were talcum powder (Simple - baby talc), dry shampoo (Batiste Boho dry shampoo), and dry foam shampoo (Tresemme dry foam shampoo).

The results:
Simple Baby Talc
I’ve heard that you can use normal talcum powder on your hair as the talc soaks up excess moisture, however I was left with a grey tone to my hair (great for granny fancy dress) and little shine. If you’re desperate though – better than a greasy mop! – (£1.99 for 100grams) I'd rate this product, if used as a dry shampoo with a 4/10.

Batiste Boho dry shampoo
My favourite of the 3 products,  it had a lovely smell, and it was much easier to apply an even coating of the product without making a mess! (£2.30 for 150ml) – I'd rate this product a 9/10.

Dry foam shampoo

A very interesting product! A bit more expensive than the other two, but I think worth it. Especially if you oversleep after a night out and have a bit too much product in your hair! It really gets rid of any excess hairspray so you can avoid the dreaded crispy look. (£4.29 for 200ml) I'd rate this product a 7/10.

Not quite as good as a proper wash and blow-dry, but a hair must have all the same (would be great for camping!)

Monday 22 November 2010


Ambling around Boots, desperately trying to recall what I actually went in for (curby grips - which I only remembered when I got home) I spotted the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub - priced at around £4.49. I love the smell of grapefruit and wasn't having the best of skin days so decided to give it a go.

This product definitely dries out any blemishes and leaves your skin feeling super clean - it doesn't particularly tackle large/clogged pores from what I can tell so my quest continues! Moreover, (as to be expected) my skin felt extra dry after using the product so I had to slap on the moisturiser like there was no tomorrow.

Smells delicious, but not exactly the next innovation in skin care. 7/10

Blogger, Elizabeth (me) x
© Elizabeth O'Grady | Travel and Lifestyle Blog UK. All rights reserved.