It’s been a while..

Almost a year – what have i been up to i hear you ask – and by that I mean the family members who occasionally stop by here to see  if I have added anything…

If only I could say I was travelling, exploring the world, creating new memories, starting a new project, decided to live life as a hermit, but alas none of those things, for the most part, would be true (I do have a touch of the hermit about me though)

I thought I would take up my metaphorical pen once again and see what I could conjure up – The first thing being a link to my friend Rosie’s new blog. Having jetted off to the states they call united, with her husband she’s found she has some time on her hands and is sharing that time with you lovely people

Stop by, give it a read and ask her very nicely for a slice of her banana bread…

Rosie’s Blog

Thumbs up!

Limp and Flat

I love my long hair, although that’s not always been the case, at the moment, I love it. Mostly I think because it’s taken so long to get it this length after the last time I decided I didn’t love it and cut a rather large amount of it off. For now it seems to have decided this is as far as it will go, perhaps in protest against the last cull, something along the lines of ‘fine well if you’re just going to cut me off again I’m not getting any longer’,  but, I’ll take what I can get.

There is a problem though, long as it is, it’s just sort of ‘meh’… you know, when it’s just there, a bit limp, a bit flat, a bit well… just OK. I don’t want OK, I want lush, silky, flick my head and my hair ripples across my back… to achieve this, short of wearing a wig, I thought I’d try a new Shampoo & Conditioner combo. Enter Kerastase – Fondant Nutri-Thermique.

Shampoo & Conditioner

Shampoo & Conditioner

Prior to my new purchase I’d been using TREsemme, I believe the smooth/silky variety. It’s fine, it does a fairly good job, my hair hasn’t formed into dreadlocks in a greasy filled slop on my head. And for £8 for both a Shampoo and Conditioner not bad value. My new purchase was £34 for the two, now that’s a pretty big step up, over 4 times the price, surely for 4 times the price there must be 4 times the wonder ingredients in them?

I was looking forward to this, I had often flitted between expensive and ‘Drugstore’ price hair products in the past and for some reason never made a note as to whether the expensive ones really were worth it, but this time it was different, this time I was taking field notes, observing, is it 4 times better.

The answer, in this instance, is a resounding NO.

Now Kerastase is a good brand, it’s well known and I’m sure many would recommend it. So let me explain, first off the smell, it’s crazy strong and not a lovely fruity or perhaps coconutty smell, it’s chemically, harsh and makes you feel as though what you’re putting on your head is something super strong, medical grade.

Secondly, I like a conditioner that I can feel working as I’m applying it to my hair, it starts to feel soft and as I wash it out, the hair feels smooth. That doesn’t happen with this product. I apply a good sized blob, as I’ve said, my hair is quite long so it needs a good sized dollop, but no matter how much I apply it doesn’t feel quite enough.

And finally, the outcome, how does my hair feel and how does it look…… ‘Meh’

If not even a little ‘Humph’

It’s been a little tricky to style over the last couple of weeks and it’s a bit unruly. It’s certainly not 4 times better than it was with TREsemme, no luscious locks flow down my back, no advert worthy head flicks. Lucky as I am, my gentleman friend (read boyfriend) was playing with my hair the other day and noticed that my scalp seemed a little red, the only thing I could put this down to is the change in my haircare, with the smell the product has, that harsh chemically smell, it’s hard not to place the blame on the product.

I wasn’t as gun-ho as you might think, I bought my Kerastase from a hairdressers and talked through with them which of the different products from the variety they had on offer was for me, so I’m stumped.

Anyone else had the same experience?

Carla

A fruit based snack

I have my boyfriends little nephew to thank for this and for it I think he’s a star. It was a quiet Sunday with a trip to the city farm and a picnic lunch in tow. Now the nephew is a very generous little chap and he offered me one of his snacks, It can be difficult sometimes to find a little something that curves your hunger but doesn’t have a bazillion calories or cost a fortune. Enter ‘snacks designed for kids’

A tasty treat

A tasty treat

I just want a little tasty treat, something to keep my mouth occupied without expanding my waist line, something I can throw in my handbag to have on the go. Now what the nephew gave me was actually a banana chip, but it got me thinking, what other things do these children’s snack type people make…

Off I popped to the supermarket and found myself in the baby isle a most odd sensation for someone who doesn’t have children and has had very little exposure to them… but I persevered. What I went for was these ‘Kiddylicious Smoothie melts‘, 100% fruit, freeze dried so that it melts on the tongue. I can’t say I like their name, but I sure do like their taste ! and they’re only 22 calories, which as something that stops me snacking on anything larger, I’m pretty happy with. Give them a try, sure I get a few odd looks at 28 munching on something that’s Kiddylicious, but darn it, I like them!

Carla 

Oil me up!

Diptyque

Diptyque

So it’s been a while, I’ve been quiet, I’ve not written, I’ve not called… it’s not you, it’s me…. I joke. In the mean time however I’ve shopped, I’ve tried and I will review, so lets crack on.

Luckily for us, July was rather a warm month in the UK, the sun was out and as a result so were my legs, in all their pale glory. They needed a bit of work, a tidy if you will and it’s times like this I turn to Diptyque. In times gone by I would have turned up my nose at the idea of using an oil moisturiser, surely it would leave you feeling greasy? I was wrong, at least with this one.

The scent is what I would say is the sort of scent you would expect from Diptyque, a little woody, a hint of what I think is Sunflowers, a warm scent that melts into your skin. It comes with a little pipette, which is also a little fiddly so I tend to put a few drops in my hand, warm them up to bring out the scent and rub slowly into my skin.

It’s great for keeping your legs feeling silky smooth after you’ve shaved, which I did when getting my legs out for the sunshine, or as I get the occasional patch of dry skin on my upper arms, marvellous to sooth them into submission.

I’m a fan of Diptyque candles so I think this was always likely to be a winner for me, sure, it’s not the cheapest of moisturisers, but as a treat it stays with you all day.

Carla 

Not So Lovely Lips…

Super Stay 24 Hour

Super Stay 24 Hour

So, I am going to digress from my original planned post to tell you about something new, something I tried…

Now I’m a fidget, I wriggle, I can’t sit still, I play with my hands, I bite my lip, so lipstick has always been a wee bit tricky for me to master. As soon as I feel something on my lips I can’t help but chew, poke my tongue out, in general mess it up.

I’m always on the look out for a lip product that can resit my attempts to remove it, or at least let me relax enough to forget I am wearing it until I look in the mirror and think ‘blimey, doesn’t that look smashing’… so far said product has eluded me.. and then along came Maybelline. They’ve been going all out on the promotional front for their ‘Super Stay‘ range. There are lip sticks and glosses offering between 10-24 hours continuous wear (on a side note, who on earth would need one that lasts 24 hours??). 24 hours huh, I’m after 5 hours max, this product should look at my lips and laugh at a minuscule 5 hours wear, or so I hoped.

There are actually two stages to this product, a balm and the colour. Starting with a clean lip apply the colour to the lip (DON’T apply the balm first, this will only make what happens below worse.. trust me), allow the colour to dry and then apply the balm.

Step by step

Step by step

First off, I have a few problems with this, 1.) Allowing the colour to dry, odd with a lip gloss product and it doesn’t feel great as the product dries, it dries out the lip and feels rather uncomfortable. 2,) it’s incredibly sticky whilst drying, again not the nicest feeling in the world. Putting on the balm gets rid of the stickiness, but that’s where the biggest problem starts, the balm causes the colour to go grainy. No matter how long you leave the colour to dry, once the balm is on, you’ll start to see the colour clump together and you really can’t wear the colour without applying the balm, it would feel awful.

In the images you can see how the colour wears, and this is within the first 15 minutes, let alone 24 hours! (not even the 5 hours I was happy to aim for).

And it only gets worse, topping up the balm as it suggests results in grains of the colour on the balm stick and a delightful ‘I appear to have eaten some coloured sand’ look, not quite what I was aiming for.

Given time

Oh dear…

The lip gloss fairs a little better, but with this product, for me at least, there is a stinging sensation for the first 10 minutes of wear, perhaps this is how it binds itself to your lip? Again, not pleasant, that said, the 10 hour lip gloss is far more wearable than the 24 hour gloss.

10 Hour gloss

10 Hour gloss

So all in all a bit of a #Fail for Maybelline, I shall actually be heading back to Boots on the weekend to ask for a refund I think they are that bad. It’s very rare that I would consider returning a make-up product, but at £8.99 a piece, these just don’t deserve my hard earned cash.

My advice, give these ones a miss

Carla

Oh So Smooth

La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay

From a young aged I have be graced with the wonderful combination of greasy yet sensitive skin. For years, as my skin was greasy I thought this meant that I needed industrial strength cleaners to keep the oil slick from staking its claim on my T-zone. Having cleaned my skin with what I am pretty sure was paint stripper in a fancy bottle, imagine my surprise when within an hour my skin was, yet again, a shiny beacon.

I can’t remember the exact breakthrough moment, but I’m pretty certain it was during a facial when the lovely lady told me the simple fact that if I stripped off all the natural oils from my face then my clever skin was going to try to replace them and fast. Light-bulb moment. I’d been working against my skin, the poor thing was probably exhausted trying to keep up with my stripper antics.

Side stepping the gap between light-bulb moment and now (another story for another day) since then I have always cleansed and always always moisturised afterwards. What’s key for me now is finding the right moisturiser, something that will be kind to my sensitive side, yet not smother me with layers of additional grease. Enter La Roche-Posay with their brilliant  Hydreane Legere.

I was a little worried when I first started using it that the as it was part of their range that targets congested skin it may be a little too strong for my skin, but it appears to be the perfect balance. It absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. The scent is lightly floral (to my nose) if perhaps a little chemically, but it’s light enough that I don’t find it offensive. As I have quite large pours, I notice quickly if I am becoming congested, a nights sleep after a lazy evening where I haven’t taken off my make-up (bad Carla) and I’ll see it in my pores in the morning. This helps prevent and when needed combat the problem.

The ‘Moisturising cream‘ is my daily staple and 2 perhaps 3 times a week I’ll swap it out for the ‘Corrective and unglogging anti-imperfection care‘ which is a little stronger, I think of it more along the lines of a treatment. It’s too strong for my eye area though so I avoid this area and stick with the Moisturising cream.

Next on my list is to see if there is a serum in the range as well that I can add to my ‘to try’ list. If these two are anything to go by I won’t be disappointed. Anyone whose tried these products, or a serum drop me a note and let me know how you got on!

Carla 

Oh what a wonderful morning…

Quick one for you all, what a lovely way to start the morning. I have plenty of candles scattered around, but for some unknown reason I don’t often light them.. Some of them the scent is strong enough that you don’t actually need to light them to have the scent drift around the house, but a candle is a candle.. it’s meant to be lit.

Ambre

Ambre

With a lovely warm breeze making its way through the window, the warm scent that comes from this Diptyque candle is heavenly. A little musky, which I like, it contrasts with the normal floral, fruity fresh sort of smells in a more traditional summer candle, I’ve got that coming in from the garden already.

With a cup of coffee in my hand I sauntered around getting ready for the day, in bliss.

Carla