Friday, 26 April 2013

Oily Skin

I suffer from oily skin. I never used to! I used to have perfectly fine skin, skin that didn't have a particular preference to moisturisers, skin that didn't need toning or primers or the like. Then, at about the age of 19, I became more aware of the fact the skin on my nose and chin was looking pretty grim; oily, a bit spotty, just generally yucky for lack of a better word! I realised action had to be taken...

Since then, I've used a LOT of different oil balancing/cleaning/remover creams/lotions/moisturisers. Today I went into Boots intent on stocking up on some facewipes, and the Boots own brand 'Tea Tree & Witch Hazel' caught my eye (they were having a 2-for-1 offer - I swear the word 'offer' can drag me in from a mile away!) Here's what I got and what I think of them:

First up! Boots 'Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Shine Control Day Moisturiser', £3.59 for 100ml.
Well heck! The first thing I want to say is - look at the price, damn it! Loooook at it!! This is so affordable, even I could afford it (and I'm totes broke at the moment..)

I've used this in the past and I have to say it's really good for my oily skin. I put it on in the morning after cleansing and toning my skin, and it really helps to mattify my chin and nose areas whilst also hydrating the rest of my face (including my forehead which can get a smidgeon dry on occasion). It absorbs really quickly as well which I LOVE because I like my moisturisers to absorb properly before applying primers/foundation. If I don't have time for make-up or I'm just nipping out, I apply this to keep my skin hydrated, fresh and mattified. It smells how you'd expect... kind of clean and good-for-you (if that makes sense!) I love this. Definitely a win product!

Next on the list is the Boots 'Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Nose Pore Strips', £4.99 for 6.

Firstly I'll just say when I double checked the price on the Boots website I was really surprised at the cost! You'd think it would be waaaay cheaper, especially compared to the price of the moisturiser. However the price, to me, means that it'll work really well. This will be one super duper item. Yup.

...Well, it'd better be anyway!

Pure sexiness, I know
I wet my nose like the instructions... ah, instructed, and applied the little sticker type plaster thingy onto my nose. After waiting for it to dry, I gently peeled it off...

Now, these things stick. And I mean... they really stick. I had to be incredibly gentle about taking it off - it made my eyes water! But once off, I felt my nose and could feel the difference it had made. Looking at the sticker, I couldn't really see any gross stuff stuck to it, but then again my nose has been behaving itself of late. The fact it has witchy hazelly goodness in it makes it more appealing, but really, being honest, I think there are cheaper alternatives to be found in other places.

On to the toner! After cleansing my skin and using the pore strip, I put some Boots 'Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Cleansing & Toning Lotion' (£3.59) onto a cotton wool pad and gently worked it into my skin in small, circular motions. It smells really lovely. Compared to the moisturiser, it doesn't really smell of tea tree very strongly at all, and I'd go as far as to say this has a sweet scent to it. It's a very lovely smell, and it has a lovely texture. However, when I was going around my eye area (I'm a bit lazy and tend to wipe off any missed mascara with my toner) this stung... not good! It only lasted a split second and it wasn't that bad, but I'll be more hesitant to use it around my eye area from now on. It left my skin feeling refreshed and clean and not dried out, which was nice. For the price, a really great product!

I just want to add that after putting on my night cream ('Olay Anti-Wrinkle Firm and Lift Night Cream', around £5.00 and is really good, I'll do another blog entry on my regular skincare routine), I can still feel the effects the pore strip had on my nose. I mean, without touching it, it FEELS clean just generally... if that makes sense! 

I think overall this brand is a definate win and I'll certainly be purchasing other items from the collection in the future! I want to try the blemish stick and the night cream next, so keep your eyes out for additions to this post!



Hair Care

On to a subject I love; hair! My hair is the most obvious feature about me. I'm a natural redhead, but I've dyed it different shades of red for many years. My hair is long, layered, very thick, and frizzy. I use heated appliances on it to tame it, and I tie it up a lot. Clearly, my hair needs some TLC!

This is what my hair looks like after it has been freshly washed and has dried naturally.

Merida from Brave. (Not really, it's meee!)
You can see from the picture how unruly/dry looking it is!


These are the products I currently use to look after my locks.

Firstly, I wash my hair every 4 days (I can get away with this because my hair is so thick). I begin my brushing it through with my Remington Keratin Therapy Paddle Brush (£9.99).

This brush has keratin infused into the bristles (apparently). To be honest, it's just like every other brush, but I find it does keep my hair a fraction less frizzy than other brushes and does a top notch job of getting the tangles out.

I'd like to add I have tried tangle tamers before, and to be honest it took about three times as long to get all my hair brushed through! I think they're very gentle and obviously better for the hair, but I don't have half an hour to spare before each shower to get all my tangles out. Totally recommend them for people with short/thin hair though!

Anywho, moving on...

After I'm in the shower and I've finished singing badly to whatevers number 1 in the charts, I shampoo my soaking hair.

My favourite shampoo and conditioner OF ALL TIME is 'TRESemme Colour revitalising Shampoo' (£4.99 for 500ml). Obviously because I colour my hair I like to use products that will give my colour longevity, but will also clean my hair thoroughly, leave it smelling nice and ease the frizz.

This stuff is just the bee's knees. I have never used another shampoo or conditioner that has left my hair as silky and smooth as this leaves it. It's my fave!

My other favourite shampoo/conditioner brand is Aussie, because the smell is incredible (I find it lasts all day and sometimes even into the next, as do the TRESemme items) and it really does do a good job of moisturising my thirsty locks. 

Generally I shampoo just the once, but if I have the time and I feel my hair is in need of a thorough cleaning I'll shampoo twice.

Then I condition with 'TRESemme Colour Protection Conditioner', leave it in for a good 5 minutes, and wash it out thoroughly. 

I HAVE to condition my hair. When I was younger I ran out so just shampooed my hair and, once out the shower, I couldn't even get a brush through it. No joke. 

If I'm in need of a far more nourishing treatment, I'll use this little beauty:

'Macademia Natural Oil Deep Repair Mask' (roughly £25) smells INCREDIBLE. I'll shampoo, get out the shower, slather this all over (focusing more on the ends) and put a head cap on. I'll leave it for as long as possible - once I even slept with this on. (I don't advise it. I'd put it on then wrapped my head with cling film and kept waking up in the night thinking I was bald. Having said that, the next day my hair was BEAUTIFUL after I'd washed it out! Worth it?!)

This is not a 1 minute conditioner. You have to leave it on for at least 10 minutes or you feel like you're not doing it justice. Like putting a face mask on and wiping it off before it goes all hard. IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT DAMMIT.

After I'm done in the shower washing and conditioning my hair and whatnot, I tend to wrap a towel turban-style around my head to soak up the water and keep my hair out the way while I do my face/brush my teeth/do my make-up etc.

Next, I GENTLY brush through my hair again with the same Remington brush as before. I then put in my next product:

'Percy & Reed Smoothed, Sealed and Sensational No Oil Oil for Fine Hair' (£14.00 for 60ml). 

Now, I know what you're thinking; "FINE hair? But you keep banging on about how thick your hair is!" Yes, it is true folks, my hair is indeed thick. But this little gem is a multi-tasker. It 'nourishes and repairs whilst strengthening' (that's from their website). It also has heat protection in! And let me tell you, initially I was a little bit worried (it's not like my hair needs any more volume, let's be honest) and I've tried oils before, used too much and ended up having to wash my hair again. But this is just amazing. It smells like violets, it has a texture that just disappears into the hair like water and it REALLY WORKS. My hair was noticeably softer and smoother after using it. I use three pumps per wash (you should only use one but, can't remember if I told you, my hair is thick) so it'll last for ages. Definitely worth the purchase!

HOWEVER, I'm not sure it's the most amazing volumiser..?

Hmm.. anyway, on with the show!

Next, I use my 'Aussie Dual Personality Anti-Frizz and Conditioning Milk' (£4.99)

I just love the smell of this stuff and I like to use a leave in conditioner to really nourish my hair. Being honest, I only need to use either this or the Percy & Reed oil, not both, but I've been having trouble deciding lately so thought, ah screw stuff it, I'll use both!

It's a testament to the oil that once my hair dries, it doesn't look leaden down with products! I use one pump of this stuff, focusing on my ends.

After that, if I'm not going anywhere I'll let my hair dry au naturale. It does NOT look good like this, but I prefer not to use heated appliances when I can help it.

If I am going somewhere, I'll spritz some more heat protection spray into my hair. 'Mess Head Hair Therapy Heat Protection Spray' (£1 - yeah, YOU READ THAT RIGHT, £1!!) smells refreshing and is really good. I bought a cheap and cheerful heat protector spray from Body Care because I was in dire need of some more, and this has pleasantly surprised me, enough so that I still use it!

After spraying the heat protector liberally into my damp hair, I'll then dry my hair using the 'Remington Keratin Therapy Hair Dryer' (£49.99) and a ceramic barrel brush I bought cheap from Boots. (I've got an expensive ceramic barrel brush but it doesn't do half as good a job!)

This dryer is awesome. It has keratin in it, so when drying your hair it becomes REALLY shiny and beautiful! It also dries faster than other dryers (well, if you believe the jargon it does anyway). I do really like this dryer though, and it's certainly worth investing in a good hair-dryer if you have thick, long, unruly hair. 

I dry each section of hair individually, wrapping sections around the barrel brush and drying carefully (I'll attach my nozzle for more precise aim to my hair-dryer). Once dry (and smooth with a big of a curl) I'll wrap a velcro roller round the section of hair whilst it's still warm. I'll secure with a bobby pin, and do the rest of my hair. I got my velcro rollers from Primark for a couple of pounds and they're brilliant - no need to invest in expensive ones! I have the large, medium and small ones depending on how curly I want my hair, how much volume I want and for my fringe/shorted layers. 

After it's all cooled down, I'll take my hair down. If I'm going on a night out, I'll use a bit of hair spray before taking the rollers out. 

And that is basically how I do my hair!

PLEASE excuse this picture, but it's the only one I can find to show how my hair looks after rollers. This is also halfway through the night, but you can see how it's held!

Also, I'm not drunk. Honest. No, really.

Here's what my hair looks like after I've been at the salon:

So you can see the volume difference! That was done with a hair-dryer and straighteners. 

Anyway, I hope you found this interesting, helpful or at the least entertaining! What's your favourite hair care product?