Archive | February, 2011

Because he’s worth it?

25 Feb

Dry shampoo is a complete lifesaver for most women, especially on those greasy days between washes. Now Batiste is extending it’s helping hand to men – with a unisex range – but will he realise it’s worth it?

The lovely people at Batiste were kind enough to send me the three products from it’s unisex range – Original, Brit and Fresh – to see if they really are man-friendly.

The products (left-right) Original, Brit, Fresh

I was already familiar with the Original product as I have used it myself and although it isn’t my favourite scent (I prefer Diva or the specialised product for brunettes) it certainly does the job – but would men agree?

The mens verdict:

Dan:  The smell of Original  is akin to a mixture of perfume and hairspray but that doesn’t matter because, unlike many other products, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s perfect for those ‘in-between’ days when you haven’t got time to wash your hair, you get an extra few hours of clean-feeling, managable hair after just a few minutes work. On first inspection, it does appear to be marketed towards females but as with most other male beauty regimes (and the ever-present ‘metrosexual culture’), their girlfriend’s paraphinalia is up for grabs for use on their own skin/hair/nails. If they like it, they then buy it too.

Tom: I have fine hair so it goes greasy quite quickly, I have to wash it everyday. Dry shampoo could be very useful, I would certainly give it a go. Brit is the most manly of the three and my favourite, I think the packaging would appeal the most to men and it has a more manly scent. The packaging of Original  isn’t too bad but the smell is a bit girly, mixture of lemon and flowers and I think Fresh smells very girly.

Paul: The packaging of Original doesn’t look very manly, the design is ok but the colours are a bit feminine. It smells of sherbert lemon, pleasant but sharp, I wouldn’t say it is manly but not overly feminine. The packaging for Brit is very feminine, although it is just the Union Jack, making it floaty makes it appear feminine. It has a lighter smell than Original, it’s not overbearing and reminds me of aftershave. The packaging of Fresh is similar to Original and smells quite feminine, it reminds me of Dove soap. If I was going to buy one in a shop it would be Original, as the packaging is bland and simple, looks the most manly.

Overall:

The male guinea pigs all agreed that they would use the products again, Original was deemed the most “manly”. Two of the men think the products need to state it is unisex as otherwise they would presume it was a woman’s product but one said that it doesn’t and would not stop him from purchasing. Another suggestion that came up was a product purely for men.

The woman’s view…

Steph: Brit smells and looks the best, but does look like a limited edition. Fresh is the next best and the one I think would appeal to men the most. Original is the most feminine and least pleasant smelling. I think Fresh and Brit style bottles would appeal to men most and look the most manly dur to the colouring. However if I was a man, I wouldn’t be attracted to this product and wouldn’t know whether it was for men, women or unisex. I think maybe Batiste should make a special male version or put unisex on the front. I think if they did this, men would be more likely to use it and I think they would. I have male friends who use talc in their hair so I think if there was a Batiste product towards men it could sell. Also advertising is directed towards women so I think they could have a campaign with a guy using it at a festival or something.

Me: Personally I love all three products. I can understand that they could seem a bit feminine but so do most shampoo brands – even those for men! All of the products in this brand do an amazing job. Brit is my favourite scent, I think it is quite a unisex product and the design on the can is fantastic. Original is my least favourite scent and the one I would not buy by choice. I’m a fan of the whole Batiste range. They rid the roots of grease, give a touch of volume and leave hair smelling fresh – all within a minute. For me, dry shampoo is the best quick-fix beauty product there is and Batiste are my favourite brand. Other brands I have tried just haven’t lived up to it (especially the Lee Stafford  one – it made my hair look greasier, avoid at all cost!).

The jury is still out as to whether the male species as a whole are ready for dry shampoo, perhaps it would be a good idea for a specialised product ? However, if you haven’t tried the product before then I strongly suggest you pop down to your nearest Boots, Superdrug, Home Bargains, B&M and pick up a can. There are so many scents to chose from you will be spoilt for choice and won’t regret it, whether you are male or female!

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And the winner is….

13 Feb
As you may know, last week I had a blog giveaway.

First of all thank you to everyone who entered, I appreciate you taking time out to read and comment on my posts.

The competition closed at 12pm on Friday 11th Feb and once it had ended I put all of the entrants names on a piece of paper, folded it over and put it in a bowl..

Hopefully more entries next time!

I then got my workmate Tom to pick a lucky winner…

Excitement building....

Who’s won Tom?

And the winner is.... Sarah!

Well done!! Rimmel and Bourjois goodies are on the way to you!  Thanks again to everyone that entered, better luck next time! 

A tasty treat for feet

13 Feb

The latest craze to rid feet of dry skin is to plunge them into a tank of flesh-eating fish.. here is how I got on.

Through my job, I was given the opportunity to try out a fish foot spa at a local salon. The treatment involves plunging feet into a tank of Garra Rufa fish, so  I jumped at the chance to try it out.

I’m not too proud of my feet and have been saying for months that I would get a professional pedicure to try and get rid of the hard skin that’s accumulated on the balls and heels of my feet, but never got round to it. I also figured that fish wouldn’t judge the current condition of my feet so it was win-win.

 The treatment  orignated  from Turkey  and promised great results as the clever  fish nibble away dry skin.  The fish also stimulate acupuncture points to regulate the nervous system and increase the blood circulation and flow. To say the least  I was very curious and eager to try it out for myself.

When I arrived at the salon and saw the tank, I felt a mixture of excitement and nerves. The fish only arrived two days before and I was told they had not totally settled in their new environment and kept jumping out the tank – hence a lid that was kept over them. They looked pretty settled to me though, and were happily swimming around oblivious to the fact they were about to get an early lunch.

After a  five-minute foot spa, to  rid the feet of sock fluff and attempt to take off a layer of the night-before’s fake tan, it was time to take the plunge.

Despite being told the fish had no teeth I was slightly apprehensive about immersing  my feet into a tank full of 100 flesh-hungry fish, especially when I was told not to make any sudden movements. The nerves were building but when I cautiously dipped my feet in I was pleasantly surprised.

The fish immediatley swam up to inspect my offering and before long set to work removing my dry skin. As they nibbled away I felt a slight tickle as they gently sucked away at my soles, heels and toes  but that subsided into a soothing tingling sensation. I was expecting it to hurt, but I’m pleased to report it was not a painful experience.

My foot getting nibbled!

Watching them at work is both fascinating and relaxing, I can see why people go back again and again. At one point one of the fish made a bid for freedom and jumped out of the tank, which provided me with some amusement!

 The fish are not interested in healthy skin and after about 10 minutes they lost interest  and I pulled my pampered feet out of the tank.

Unfortunatly I wasn’t that impressed with the result. As I said before my feet have some very hard skin and even after that experience, I have some very hard skin. I was told that dry skin is not the same as hard skin, so perhaps thats not reason enough to knock it, but I was dissapointed that I hadn’t got the perfect feet I imagined I would.

Although, my feet were glowing and I could feel a MASSIVE improvement in my circulation so it does have it’s benefits.

I would recommend this treatment to anyone who has a spare 10 minutes as it is definitely an experience but would mostly benefit those with  dry skin or circulatory problem.

I don’t know if I would pay for this treatment (it varies between £10-£20 for either 10 minutes or 30 minutes) but I’m glad I can say I tried it.

WIN! WIN! WIN!

5 Feb

I’m proud to present, my first blog giveaway! I’ve been blogging for a month now, so it’s high time I gave something back to those that have supported me!

I’ve got the following to give away to one lucky winner..

Bourjois Lovely Brille Lipstick
Bourjois Vernis a Onles Nail Polish
Bourjois Eau de Gloss Lipgloss
Bourjois Duo Chrome Eyeliner
Rimmel Mono Eyeshadow
Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish Nail Varnish
Rimmel Shine Temptation Lipstick

ALL you have to do is leave a comment on an existing post. Its that easy! All names will be put into a hat & the winner will be chosen on Friday 11th Feb.

Good luck xx

Celebrity nails without the celebrity price tag

5 Feb

Those of you flicking through the latest issue of More magazine would have seen the Lohan flaunting a rather unique design on her nails.

If it's good enough for the Lohan..

The good news is, this look could be yours within 5 minutes, for the budget-friendly price of £3.99 thanks to Barry M’s Instant Nail Effects.

As an avid nail varnish lover, when I heard about this product about three months ago, I went out that day and purchased it. As it is just becoming the “must-have” I thought it was time to review it!  The excitement was too much for me and  waiting till I got back to the comfort of my own home to apply it wasn’t an option, so I put it on then and there, sitting in my car in  Boots car park!   

I was a bit nervous when my carefully painted pink nails were hidden underneath the blackness and waited with baited breath for it to reappear. I didn’t have to wait long, within second the blackness shriveled and cracked to form edgy patterns that added instant cool to my manicure.

Instant cool

For me, the best thing about this product is how quickly it works. Just one coat is needed over already painted nails and within five minutes it is dry, leaving you to get on with your day. It’s the perfect way to update your look.

It’s taken time, but this product is finally getting the recognition it deserves, thanks to celebs working the look.  It’s flying off the shelves and many friends have told me they can’t find it anywhere! When at a beauty salon yesterday, I had all of the beauticians cooing over my nails – they have had the product on order for weeks apparently and were yet to see the results in the flesh! If you can track it down it is worth buying, the compliments keep flooding in and you can experiement with different base colours (although light colours obviously work best). I’d recommend using a top coat to seal the deal though, without the effects can wear off very quickly!

For the official tutorial and to buy online visit the Barry M site here: http://www.barrym.com/make-up-tutorials/video-tutorial.asp?vid=107

Have you tried it? What did you think?

Glam hair for £10

2 Feb

Payday brings out the urge to shop in all of us, so when my hard earned dosh had made its way into my account yesterday I made my first beauty purchase of the month.

In this months Cosmopolitan magazine WAG Alex Curran raves about Backcomb In A Bottle, a new product by Umberto Giannini. I’m a huge fan of big hair and I’m constantly backcombing in an attempt to add some volume to my fine locks, so this product seemed like a must-have.

On my lunchbreak I popped into Boots and was pleasantly surprised to find that all Umberto Giannini products were 3 for £10. It would be rude to ignore such a generous offer so after spotting the miracle in a bottle I scanned the shelves for two more treats.

After much deliberation I settled for Pump & Sexy Volume Conditioner and Indulgent Beauty Moisture Mask and made my way to the till. I left the store triumphant that I’d saved just over £6 and gained 40 advantage points, every little helps!

3 for £10.. bargain!

Backcomb In A Bottle and Pump & Sexy Volume Conditioner are part of the same Glam Hair range. I’m a fan of the sleek and sexy packaging although it wouldn’t look out of place in the adult section of Ann Summers!

Last night after shampooing my hair I applied the Indulgent Beauty Moisture Mask. It claimed that the shea butter would replenish dry, damaged hair whilst the soothing scent would pamper the senses. My senses certainly were pampered, the mask’s lightly perfumed aroma is gorgeous and although the texture of the mask looks thick, it didn’t feel heavy, which was a good start. As with all hair masks, the longer it is left on the better the result so I waited at least 10 minutes before rinsing it off. After a quick blow dry I examined the results and was impressed, my hair looked glossy and felt very soft – it will be used on a weekly basis now to make ammends for the daily straightening!

Backcomb In A Bottle vows to create the instant texture and volume of backcomed hair without causing any damage and unbelievably, it does! As my hair is fine, I didn’t need to use too much of the product to get the full effect. After a quick spray my hair looked fuller and had the toussled look of being attacked with the comb and after a quick jujj I had plenty of volume – more so than when I backcomb! The product is very similar to hairspray and kept its hold throughout the day – very impressive!

I’m yet to try the conditioner but if the other two products are anything to go by it will be a good choice and I recommend you nip down to your nearest Boots and snap up some hair treats for yourself.

Have you found any lunchtime bargains recently?