Oct 15, 2011

Review: Charles Worthington Salon at Home Straight & Smooth

Humidity and rain are my enemies, transforming my naturally wavy hair into a frizzy afro. So when Charles Worthington offered to send me their new Straight & Smooth Hair Straightening Kit I was more than happy to say yes. Any product that claims to “leave your hair straighter and smoother for up to 6 weeks” was worth trying!

What is CW Salon at Home Straight & Smooth?

It’s a semi-permanent straightening treatment that you can do by yourself at home. The product contains proteins and argan oil along with Cysteamine, a straightening agent that apparently ‘re-programmes’ your hair to keep it smoother for longer.

CW Salon at Home Straight and Smooth

Application

There are 2 versions, for coloured hair and non-coloured hair, so if you’re thinking of buying it make sure you choose the appropriate one (if you use the non-coloured, as I did, you can dye your hair 2 weeks later if you wish).

Please make sure you conduct the all important allergy test! There was an awful story in the news this week about a girl in Scotland who died whilse dying her hair herself so please don’t be lazy/reckless and just test it first!

The application is much like a dye-at-home job. There are 2 products to be added to clean, wet hair, the Straightening Treatment then a Conditoning Neutraliser, with a rinse in-between. Then you just blow-dry your hair straight (I used a round brush and concentrator nozzle to get mine as sleek as possible) and straighten if you like too.

I wasn’t sure if any other products could be used so I skipped my usual Frizz Ease and heat protection cream just to be on the safe side (plus it gave me the chance to see what this treatment is capable of!).

Results

I applied the straightening kit in the evening and I could see the difference as soon as I woke up the next morning. Instead of my usual messy bed-head (sadly not the good kind of bed-head) my hair was extremely straight except for a small flick at the ends.

This evening I washed my hair for the first time since applying the treatment (thank god, you have to leave it for 48 hours the first time and I’ve felt disgusting all day!). I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my hair and I’ve rough-dried it as usual: it’s definitely straighter than normal, though not poker straight (personally I’m happy with that as I prefer my hair to have a bit of movement because it’s not very thick so it can look flat if it’s too straight).

I could definitely get away with not straightening it if I didn’t want to. I think that besides the fact my hair is now more manageable and I’m saving time every day, that’s another huge bonus as I won’t be damaging my hair as often over the next few weeks.

I’ll keep you updated about whether it lasts the full 6 weeks!

Pros

- PRICE: The RRP is £19.99 (but it’s currently £13.33 at Boots on special offer!) so this product is significantly cheaper than salon straightening treatments, which cost around £100+.

- CONTENTS: The products in the box are generous in size, I actually threw away half of the first tube (any unused product has to be disposed of). You are also provided with gloves and an After Care Conditioner.

- RESULTS: This has definitely made my hair straighter and smoother so it does what it says on the box! I might not apply it on a regular basis but I’d definitely consider using it before going on holiday, for example. If it cuts down on having to blow-dry my hair (to be honest something I was too lazy to do properly most of the time anyway) then straighten it every day it’ll save me a lot of time!

Cons

- SMELL: There’s no denying the stench this product gives off and it’s alarmingly similar to hair removal cream (although Chris said I smelt “like dog food”, no idea what he fed his dog). The odour has lingered even after a shampoo but the box did warn this might happen for a couple of washes.

- PROCESS: It’s a long-winded process (it took me around an hour) and I was really paranoid about keeping my hair straight and tangle-free as instructed so I spent much of the time combing my hair and worrying about my shoulders and ears causing kinks!

- 48 HOUR WAIT: After the initial application the guidance is to not wash hair for 48 hours, and as someone who washes mine daily I felt pretty greasy by the end!

Buy Charles Worthington’s Salon at Home Straight & Smooth (currently on special offer!)

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Oct 13, 2011

One Day

I’ve been ill today so left work early and climbed into bed with a copy of One Day that I finally picked up a couple of days ago. In between naps have read the remaining 400 pages today. I usually feel let down by things that are so hyped, finding them unable to live up to expectation, but this book is fantastic and I really get the “big deal” status it has. I literally felt winded at that bit – if you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean and if you haven’t you must get hold of a copy immediately. Seriously, don’t even finish reading this post. (Ok do but then go and buy One Day!)

Despite the fact that being ill is crap, the silver lining is the quality time I’ve been able to dedicate to finishing this book. However I’m actually really annoyed to have fallen ill today of all days as I’ve missed not one but two events as a result! If you were at the GANT or Desigual events tonight don’t gloat too much about how amazing they both were!

Bistro du Vin, London

Last night I attended a blogger’s dinner – nothing to do with my illness I hasten to add, there’s a bug going around the office! – at Bistro du Vin in Clerkenwell. We were treated to cocktails, wine, and several courses of delicious food: you can see my priorities in the specific order of that list! Too busy chatting, I didn’t even glance at the drinks menu before being asked for my order but luckily the knowledgable bartender rustled up a ‘D.C. Frank’ (named after one of their regulars) which consisted of homemade vanilla-infused tequila and berries over crushed ice and was recommended based on my vague requests of ‘fruity’ and ‘any alcohol’(!). The lovely Nic, Director of Communications for Malmaison and Hotel/Bistro du Vin, also let me try a sip of her marmalade martini which was divine!

We all shared several platters (my personal favourite being the seasonal roasted pumpkin) before moving onto the meal. I had paté with sourdough bread to start, followed by fillet of sea bass (along with some of Becky from holdtheanchoviesplease‘s straw fries, yum!) then finally the most enormous profiteroles you’ve ever seen. Here’s the one photo I took, of my scrumptious sea bass, using my crappy camera phone. iPhone 4S donations welcome ;)

Bistro Du Vin fillet of bream

Off-topic

This is clearly a bit of a rambling post and I’m aware that this week has been lacking in outfit posts but I should be blogging as normal this weekend, all being well. I’ve made a few clothing purchases this week plus I’ve also tested a few more beauty products so lots of your usual girly topics coming up soon!

Have a lovely Friday and if it’s payday for you tomorrow, as it is for me (hurrah!), then happy shopping!

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Oct 11, 2011

Review: MeMeMe Goddess Collection

I must confess that whilst I’m no designer cosmetics snob I am wary of make up brands that I don’t have much knowledge of. My skin is sensitive and often breaks out when I use new products, plus I tend to make the (usually unfair) assumption that if I’ve not heard of a brand it can’t be all that.

Whilst I haven’t previously come across MeMeMe I have been stuck in a make up rut of late so when the folks at Findmeagift.com asked me to review the MeMeMe Goddess Collection I decided to give it a go – now that I’ve had time to play with it and try all of the products properly here are my thoughts.

Contents and packaging

MeMeMe Goddess Collection

The collection comes in a gorgeous patterned box which contains:

1) Bronze Shimmer Stack

2) Nail Gloss in Elegant

3) Light Me Up Lipgloss in Captivate

4) Powder Eyeshadow Quad Palette

5) Illuminating Complexion Enhancer

The packaging feels satisfyingly chunky and the black plastic aspects e.g. the Bronze Shimmer Stack and the lids of everything else have that luxurious matte texture. The lipgloss has a cool little secret but we’ll get to that ;)

MeMeMe Goddess Collection Make Up

Lasting Finish Nail Gloss in “Elegant”

One of my two favourite products from the set, this nail polish is like painting molten gold onto your nails. The consistency is perfect; it’s really easy to apply yet only needs one coat. The brush is just the right size to be easily manageable whilst covering each nail in just a couple of strokes. LOVE.

Baked Powder Eyeshadow Quad

This quad contains a range colours: cream/pale gold, bright gold, bronze and dark metallic brown. It’s not very highly pigmented so it’s great for subtle daytime use but the colour can also be built up for a more dramatic evening look. I was really impressed with how long this lasted. I have deep-set eyes so eyeshadows tend to crease quite quickly on me and I usually use a primer, but for the purposes of really testing this I went without – it still held up for a few hours and even then it didn’t crease much.

Light Me Up Lipgloss in “Captivate”

MeMeMe Light Me Up Lipgloss

A sucker for a gadget so I am in love with the idea of this lipgloss. The tube has a generously-sized mirror down one side and as you unscrew the lid a little (but very bright) light switches on to help you apply properly in less-bright conditions.

Unfortunately I’m less of a fan of the contents of this lavish tube. It’s a bit too gold for my liking and just looks a bit unflattering on my skintone. I might use this in the center of my lips to give them a fuller appearance but I can’t see myself wearing it as a full-on coat.

MeMeMe Goddess Collection Facial Products

Illuminating Complexion Enhancer

Similar to Benefit’s famous ‘Moonbeam’ highlighter (although I can’t compare the two as I’ve never used Moonbeam). What I can say is that this is easy to apply, gives a sublime subtle sheen, and is long-lasting.  Wholeheartedly recommended!

Bronze Shimmer Stack

My joint-favourite product from the collection, this pressed powder gives a gorgeous healthy glow without that glittery pre-teen look. It’s also a versatile piece of kit as the seperate colours can be used as eyeshadows. Plus there’s a handy mirror in the inside of the lid so you can pop it in your handbag and use it on the go.

Overall verdict

The colours/shades of these products are great all-rounders that will look amazing with a tan on holiday but I can also use them over the winter for all of the parties I’ll be attending! This collection is definitely better than I thought it’d be and I will definitely be using all of the products again, most of them on a daily basis. Winner!

Buy the MeMeMe Goddess Collection at Findmeagift.com.

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Oct 10, 2011

Smythson: The Jonathan Saunders Collection

I am the kind of person who gets psyched by stationary, as sad as that may sound. Actually, can I just add that I don’t just mean any old stationary. I don’t get giddy of your bog-standard biro. Pretty stationary makes me happy; I often spend longer in Paperchase than should be humanly possible.

So to hear that Scottish fashion designer extraordinaire Jonathan Saunders has teamed up with luxury stationary and leather goods retailer Smythson of Bond Street had me rather excited. The results of the partnership are as gorgeous as I expected, what do you think?

Shop the Jonathan Saunders Collection for Smythson.

Smythson Jonathan Saunders Soho Diary

Jonathan Saunders Soho Diary (green) £295

Smythson Jonathan Saunders Panama Notebook

Jonathan Saunders Panama Notebook (red) £110

Smythson Jonathan Saunders iPad Case

Jonathan Saunders iPad Case (green) £395

Product images screengrabbed from Smythson, compiled by myself.

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