Thursday, 22 September 2011

Premium VS High Street

It's always a fight with myself when I go and try and purchase new skincare and I'm so easily pulled in by new beauty offers or promotions so I tend to be a sucker for anything the women at the counters tell me. But recently, I've stuck to these few products which I change and swap between depending on how I think my skin is feeling. So the real question is, out of the two, premium brand skincare or high street skincare, which is the best?

High street skincare:
I went out on a whim one day when I was in Body Shop and looking for a gentle face wash when I came across the vitamin E range. I'd seen that it was highly recommend to those who suffer from normal/dry skin so I thought I'd give this a go. At the time, it ran in a special offer when I could get the facial wash, day and night cream and a facial brush all for £20 so I snapped up the deal without really thinking about it. Another thing, cheap prices for a lot of items always gets the better of me.

The night cream which is shown at the top, I have hardly used. I personally don't like the cream or feel that it is particularly moisturising. When I first purchased this set, I stuck to the day and night routine with this set but found that when I applied the cream, it sat on my skin instead of soaking in leaving my skin feel greasy. The cream is very thick and not a lot is needed but I found that when I woke up the next morning, my skin still felt dry and tight.

The day cream I use before applying make-up, it's a good base and moisturises the skin well but the effects are not long term. The cream has a more runny consistency in comparison to the night cream and is more easily soaked into the skin but I found that later on during the day, my skin still felt quite dry. Overall, this cream is good but generally, it's only really good as a quick fix whereas I need something that will keep my skin moisturised for the whole day. Another disadvantage to the creams is that they do not contain an SPF.

Premium skincare:
Clinique's big beauty and skincare marketing campaigns make it easier for the naive such as myself to fall straight into their traps and come out of the store pounds down and a heavy bag in hand. This Superdefense cream is actually marketed as an anti-ageing cream and said to "fight the effects of emotional stress, which can damage skin with effects much like sun and pollution". Realistically this cream is not really suitable for me because I am 18 but it's never too early to start, right?

Again, this is a cream I've used a lot, I'm nearly at the bottom but a little does go a long way. Generally, the consistency of this was very rich and when I applied it to my face, my skin soaked it up immediately. The only downfall to this cream is that, if I apply too much it can leave my skin feeling greasy and looking shiny.
The cream is very moisturising and keeps my skin soft all day long. I find that this is a perfect base for foundation such as Double Wear which can be very drying. It also has a high SPF factor of 25. I really would recommend this product to anyone with very dry skin but only to apply small amounts liberally to the skin.

Everyone gets blemishes, spots, dry skin or a rash of some kind and these products are the most suitable products I own to combat the problem.

Sudocrem: If anyone hasn't used this, it's a life saver. It retails around £1-50-£5 depending on what size you buy, it's so cheap and so good at what it does. If my skin is ever irritated or I get a spot, I immediately apply this and within the next day, the problem has more or less vanished. On the traditional tub it does say that it is for nappy rash, bed sores and eczema, but it can be used to treat sunburn, rashes or scars. The consistency of this product is very rich white formula which requires a lot of rubbing in so minimal amount is needed, meaning that a large tub could last years.

Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream: This product is totally different in comparison to Sudocrem. When I visited the Elizabeth Arden counter at my local store, I asked the woman about the cream and what is it specifically targeted for, she replied that it is used to do the same job as Sudocrem and it can be applied to spots, sore skin or rashes and have the same outcome. The texture of the cream is very different to Sudocrem, it is more of a greasy gel a lot like Vaseline which means applying it to the face can make the skin look oily. The 8 hour cream retails around £20 in stores but does last a long time because of the minimal amount needed. Celebrities for years have been swearing by the 8 hour cream but personally, I find that this isn't for me. I only really use the 8 hour cream as a lip balm and rarely use it for dry skin around my face during winter. Overall, I wouldn't repurchase this product as I think it's too much money for what it does.

What are you favourite premium/high street skincare products?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Nail Magic Nail Strengthener

As winter comes in and the sun goes out, we're faced with serious Vitamin D withdrawal and cold weather and that means one thing - brittle nails. I'm a typical girl and love nothing more than pampering myself, doing my nails and painting them so when they break and split, I can't help but die a little inside.

The past few years, I'll hold my hand up and say I've neglected my nails. I've bitten them, had acrylics, worn false nails and then tore them off (pretty horrific!) and they've always been in bad condition, until I discovered Nail Magic.

It was my mum who first came across the product and she is the same as me, she loves getting her nails done and the abuse of nail glue over the years left hers, like mine, feeling very weak, so when she looked for nail treatments on eBay, she came across Nail Magic. I personally didn't have much interest at first, I thought it was just another bottle of rubbish pretending it can do your nails good. I've always used Nails Inc A&E which was recommended by my auntie but it's nothing compared to Nail Magic.

"Get the Ultimate Natural Nail Hardener, with 37 years of Excellence! Nail Magic is a unique combination of ingredients which stimulates healthy and beautiful nail growth while strengthening and conditioning weak or damaged nail tissue. The formula was perfected in 1960 by Martha Peterson, of Portland Oregon, a professional manicurist for 35 years. Nail Magic was used in beauty salons throughout the country for many years before being made available to the public. Nail Magic can be used as a base coat, top coat or clear enamel polish. Application is simple, usually requiring less than three minutes twice a week."

Application: Clean nails with nail polish remover to begin even if you're not wearing any polish, it removes any residue on the nail. Then apply 2 coats of the Nail Magic and wait to dry. Once dry, leave, then reapply 2 more coats the following day. On the 3rd day, remove all polish from the nail and then reapply again. After a week, you will see a dramatic appearance to the strength of nails. Continue the process for around 2 weeks. The Nail Magic should have drastically improved the strength and appearance of your nails. I personally always apply as a base coat before adding colour polish to my nails too.

My Verdict: This product is just amazing! When I first started a proper course using the Nail Magic, I had been in a obsession with false nails, applying and painting them, then if I got fed up, I would bite them off which tore layers of my nail off and the glue damaged my nails so I finally packed it all in and started with the course.
I have to say that this is the best nail treatment I've ever used, my nails are so much stronger, none have broken since applying the Nail Magic (touch wood) and it's definitely made my nails appear healthier. Admittedly, my nails need a lot more TLC and there still is a long way to go and from the photo, it doesn't look like they're very long, but to me this is a big improvement (I know my cuticles look dry also, I'm improving that too). I am so impressed with the appearance of my nails in such a short space of time. If your nails are in need of a treatment or you just want them to grow longer, I cannot recommend this enough!

In this photo I'm wearing the Nail Magic as a base coat and top coat.

Nail Magic retails around £9 depending on the shop and can be found on various internet sites such as eBay, One Click Pharmacy and Amazon.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Bonacure Repair Rescue Collection

The website claims:
"NEW BC Repair Rescue revolutionises hair care with the FIRST Biomimetic hair repair technology. BC Repair Rescue not only repairs the cells within the hair but also recreates the hair surface Biomimetically; for hair returned to its optimal level of health. BC REPAIR RESCUE; for a 100% Healthy hair surface, down to every last strand."

I bought this shampoo of the website Cheapsmells - which in a nutshell, is a website which sells beauty, perfume, skincare and haircare products at a discounted price, definitely look at the perfumes because they have some really good offers. Buying from the website meant the set was actually a little cheaper than buying it from a salon.
This shampoo is specifically designed for hair that has been chemically treated or bleached so when I had highlights (and ends of my hair were breaking off - booooo), I decided to invest in this set the salon were using. I have previously used the Colour Save shampoo by this range when my hair has been dyed brown and I definitely recommend that for maintaining colour and shine.

My Verdict:
Shampoo - The shampoo is very good, when you apply, it lathers up quickly and is very moisturising, almost like you don't need to condition because it makes your hair very soft but because my hair is dry, I do need to apply conditioner. If you're like me and you use a lot of shampoo, this is the shampoo to change you, you only need a good size amount in the palm of your hand because it rubs in very well. Lather then rinse or Lather, repeat then rinse depending on your regime.

Conditioner - I don't like the conditioner, it's very watery in consistency which is disappointing at £20 a bottle. I apply the conditioner just to my roots and then rinse. The shampoo out of the two appeared it was giving my hair more moisture and after I'd rinsed out the conditioner, my hair felt quite dry at the ends again and it felt like the product wasn't doing what I wanted it to.

I'm actually rather disappointed with this product, my hair is quite dry on the ends after having it bleached but the conditioner didn't seem to improve the condition of my hair, the shampoo made my hair soft but it doesn't provide the moisture my hair needs. I noticed a lot of product buildup on my hair from using the shampoo and conditioner, after washing well and leaving to dry and not styling my hair, I'd notice the next day it would start to look greasy and being someone with bleached hair, that's the last thing I expected. I don't think I'll purchase this set again but I really recommend the Colour Save for anyone with coloured hair!

If you are interested in trying this set for yourself, you can purchase it from selected hairdressing salons or Cheapsmells. I also know Sallys stock this product in the retail and salon size.
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