Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Review: Clairol Colour Booster Conditioner - Cool Blonde

Brand: Clairol
Product: Colour Booster

What is it? An in-shower conditioner to prevent brassy tones in blonde hair

Clairol's Colour Booster ^TM is a conditioner for cool blonde coloured hair to help keep it glossy and brassy-free. I wanted to try this as part of my seemingly never ending search for the perfect conditioner. In fact, I was hoping that it might be a replacement for my much loved and coveted, but now no longer available, Clairol Nice 'N Easy CC Plus Color Seal Conditioner, Brilliant Blondes.(image below)  Why they stopped making this, I don't know, but it was cheap and AMAZING.

So I had high expectations going into this.

Although Colour Booster seems primarily concerned with preventing brassiness, I really bought this hoping it would make my hair soft and glossy like the the Color Seal Conditioner. I only needed that once a week and my hair was happy, so happy - hard water, soft water, you name it.

Unlike the Color Seal Conditioner which was white, this is a dark purple colour as you'd probably not be surprised. 

The directions: Apply to clean, damp hair and distribute evenly. Leave for 3-5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Use after every wash, also for daily use.

The results?

It's worth noting my hair type and water situation. My hair is very fine and thin, but I have lots of it. I'm also currently in hard water land. (I tried hooking up a softener to my shower head, but it's not really made much difference). In soft water, I don't have any issues with shampoo and conditioners, but in hard water, I have so many hair woes. Many shampoos and conditioners are too heavy and leave my hair feeling greasy, and my hair isn't as shiny as it is in soft water.

Well, I don't know. Maybe my hair isn't brassy, or at least isn't any more brassy. So I can give Clairol that much. As for glossy and soft? Well, it's another dud for me. I wouldn't say it's a bad conditioner, but it just didn't deliver the soft silkiness I was hoping for. In fact, it didn't really make my hair nicer, or much worse. I'd have to say, personally, I won't be buying this again, but it's not a bad product. Just nothing in it for me.

Please Clairol, bring back the Nice 'N Easy CC Plus Color Seal Conditioner! Ah, that stuff was amazing.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Review Neutrogena Shampoo, Anti-residue formula

A couple weeks ago I reviewed a build-up cleansing shampoo which did not work for me. It prompted me to review a shampoo that I have been using for build up.

On to the review.

Brand: Neutrogena
Product: Neutrogena Shampoo. Anti-residue formula
What is it? A shampoo to remove build up on hair

The directions: Wet hair thoroughly. Massage shampoo into hair, lather and rinse well. Repeat if necessary.

The results?

It's worth noting my hair type and water situation. My hair is very fine and thin, but I have lots of it. I'm also currently in hard water land. (I tried hooking up a softener to my shower head, but it's not really made much difference). In soft water, I don't have any issues with shampoo and conditioners, but in hard water, I have so many hair woes. Many shampoos and conditioners are too heavy and leave my hair feeling greasy, and my hair isn't as shiny as it is in soft water.

With that said, I find I only need this shampoo in hard water areas. I don't use products on my hair generally, so I really find the only build-up I have is from shampoos and conditioners, or hard water (I guess?!).

This one is a keeper. I'm happy with this shampoo. My hair feels light and clean and shiny after using - in hard water. I have actually been using this shampoo for years, and I use it only occasionally, so I find the little bottle lasts me ages.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Review: Thinx period proof underpants

I wanted to share with you my thoughts about Thinx underwear. In case you haven't heard of them, they are basically period underwear, i.e. you can wear them with tampons and not worry about leaks or even wear them alone. Some pairs can hold up to two tampons worth.

I had been thinking about trying them for awhile before I caved. They are pretty expensive (about $30USD per pair). I started with 3 pairs around Christmas 2017 and well, I haven't looked back! I now have about 10 pairs.

I mostly have the hip huggers, which are my favourites, but I also have a couple of the cotton bikinis which I also like. I have not tried the thongs or the sports shorts.

What are they and how do they work? 

Basically they are underpants that can absorb your period, almost like pads, and are reusable. They absorb the liquid leaving you not feeling like you're sitting in your,,, well, period discharge, and won't leak out. Thinx recommend you use them with a tampon if you have heavy flow to catch leaks, or for lighter flow days you can wear them alone. (I wear them, no pads or tampons for my entire period without issue! You can tell when they are starting to feel full.)

You just pre-rinse them in cold water when you stop wearing them and then wash them on a gentle cycle when you do your laundry. They can be washed with other items - just hold the fabric softener and make sure to let them air dry.

  • Convenient - no need to carry pads or tampons if you don't have a heavy flow. This is amazing when you're going on a night out and don't have to use precious handbag space for bulky pads!
  • No leaks - As long as you change the pants often enough (They can leak if they get too full, but I haven't had that problem. I have a medium flow I'd guess, and I find that during heavy rotation, I might change 3 times a day, but that's more down my choice, when I've been too busy or unable to change, I've found no problems wearing one pair all day. I often put on a fresh pair each night though. 
  • Comfort - Maybe girls who wear tampons will argue with me, but I usually wear pads, which can rub and irritate and these are just like wearing normal underpants, so I find no rubbing or irritation down there. Especially when riding a bike, that's a win for me! 
  • No more ruining good underpants! (Or let's be honest, keeping old skanky or stained underpants for period days). And no more worrying about spotting. When it's close to my period, I just start wearing these and relax. I guess this is kinda an overlap with 'no leaks' but I feel it's worth it's own pro!
  • Better for the environment - No more throwing out all those disposable feminine products. I have been using pads for years, so much less bulk going in the rubbish. 


  • Expensive - A pair of these babies aren't cheap and cost in the region of $30 USD. This becomes a bit more affordable if your flow is light enough to use these as a replacement and they last a year or longer, then you may find that you break even or you save money.
  • Heavier than regular underwear. Yes, they are a bit bulkier than your usual undies, but honestly, it's not that much heavier - I do not feel like I am wearing a diaper/nappy!  
  • Drying time - Outside of the US, we are used to letting things air dry rather than always using a dryer / tumble dryer, and these underpants require air drying. When I'm in the US (usually a place with air con or low humidity) these guys dry overnight, but here in the always damp UK, especially the winter, these can take up to 2 days to air dry. This is actually the reason I have so many pairs now. If they don't dry fast enough, it's hard to rotate them. Also you have to be able to wash them quickly to reuse them on the same cycle (if you only had 3 pairs, which I discovered quickly). 


I've been wearing Thinx for almost 2 years now. I literally use just Thinx when it's my period. I still have some pads I bought before I had tried Thinx and I keep them around for when I haven't had a chance to do my laundry, or whatever. I mean, I'm not going throw them away, but honestly I probably don't need them anymore! I really would recommend these to anyone with a period. They are life-changing!

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Review: Living proof. Perfect hair Day(R) Triple detox shampoo

I got a sample of this from Sephora with points and I thought I'd give it a try. When I saw it was a detox shampoo, it sounded appealing because I have issues with build up on my hair when I'm in hard water areas (which sadly is often now!)

I have to admit, I've never heard of either the brand Living proof. or the product.

Side note: 
I also have very fine, but lots of, highlighted blonde hair and I currently live in a very hard water area. I do have a softener on my shower head, but I find it only makes a minimal difference. I have issues with build-up on my hair especially in hard water areas - I don't use any styling products. This is just from shampoo and conditioner, and I guess the water. ugh. I've found my hair less fussy in soft water areas. I can use a variety of shampoos and conditioners in soft water areas, but in hard water, many of the same shampoos and conditioners deposit too much gunk on my hair leaving it feeling heavy, sticky, and dull dull dull.

On to the review! 

Brand: Living proof. 
Product: Perfect hair Day (R) , triple detox shampoo
What is it? A shampoo to remove build up on hair

The directions:
Apply to wet hair. Lather. Rinse. Follow with conditioner. Use in place of regular shampoo as needed. For hard water buildup removal, leave on for 1-2 minutes before rinsing. 

Excellent, so they know about the hard water issue! 

I was surprised when I opened the product to find it's black! An opaque creamy black. 

My first thoughts were 'um, is this going to leave colour on my light blonde highlights?' 

I went ahead anyway. Wet, lathered, waited and rinsed. Then used one of my lightest conditioners. 

My results? 

Well, before drying my hair, I was not convinced. Sometimes you can't tell when your hair is still wet, but I can tell if my hair is going to be a tangley mess to deal with, and it didn't feel smooth and happy like my hair does after what I consider to be a good shampoo and conditioning experience that usually then dries to a glossy and soft, not-weighted down finish. 

Upon drying my hair, my suspicions were confirmed. My hair felt heavy and there was a bit of dull tinge to my locks, especially the lightest bleached strands. (For those with light blonde hair or highlights, it was a bit like when you use the purple shampoo/conditioners a bit too often, only instead of a bit purple, it was a bit grey). I caution to say this was only slightly noticeable. 

Overall, I wasn't happy with this product at all. I'm glad I could try it without cost, but I think it's safe to say I won't be spending any money on this product in future. In fact, I'm actually not finishing this sample bottle. It didn't seem to detox my hair of anything, it deposited a bit a colour (which did wash out in the next shampoo), and it left my hair feeling heavy and what I describe as 'dirty' - to be fair, with fine hair I find many shampoos leave too much behind. I wouldn't recommend this if you have fine hair, or very light blonde hair. So to me, it didn't deliver - my hair felt heavier and grosser than before I had washed it. I'm not sure what the triple element of the detox in the title of the product was referring to, but given the poor result, I don't even care to look on their website for more info. Sorry! 

However someone with darker and thicker hair types may find different results. Also if you have soft water rather than hard. As always, hair products really do need to be tailored to your hair type. Any quality hairdresser will tell you that, yet so many brands of shampoo/conditioner trade on the premise that 'hair is hair' as if they are all the same! 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Clearing out the clutter: my two rules

It's still the darkest depths of February, and I don't know about you, but I can't wait for Spring to spring.

I find February the hardest month to get through since I moved to England. At first, it was fine, but now after many consecutive winters, February always feels like that last month before there feels like there is hope of more sunlight and warmer weather. It may be the lack of vitamin D that builds up from October or that fact that February just seems to go on for so long... and despite Valentine's day, several friend's birthdays, and it being the shortest month of the year, I really struggle through it.

One thing I've been working on for the last few years is the accumulation of sheer clutter - clutter in my closet, in my makeup drawer, etc. You name it, I hoard it.

Thankfully you won't see me on any reality TV shows for hoarders, but I struggle to live like normal folk (apparently I have an appalling number of shoes on par with celebrities rather than regular women, but that is a post for another time!)

I was suffering from 'well, it's nice and I may need it one day' syndrome. Actually I still suffer a bit from this, but after hoarding clothes in sizes from UK8-14 since my weight kept fluctuating, I finally bit the bullet and started seriously purging my clothes as I started to lose weight and fit into those 10s and 8s.

Now, you can read plenty of lists on the internet that advise you how you should sort your clothes and what to get rid of. I'm sure if you're interested in de-cluttering or clearing out, you've already done that so I won't repeat those strategies here.

The hard part is when you have some crazy emotional attachment to stuff. That's when you look at an item and think about the good times you had while wearing it, or think about the good times you may still have while wearing it... while conveniently forgetting the fact that you've literally had it for 15 years and every time you try to wear it, you try it on, and decide it's just not right.

So I have now implemented a new rule: Wear all of the things. 

That's right, I will wear all the things I own. Okay, maybe not immediately, and some things will be needed less often than others... ball gowns, big winter coats, or swimsuits, however the rule is so simple and useful. If I need a jumper, and I have a jumper I haven't worn in a while: pull it out. Put it on. If you don't want to wear it, get rid of it. There's a reason you aren't wearing it. In the most quoted lines of the last few years: Let it go!

My second rule isn't really a rule so much as  reminder - Emotional attachment to people is healthy, emotional attachment to objects, especially clothing, is not.

If I get rid of that UCSB hoodie from undergrad days, it does not erase all the good times I had while I was a student. Actually, I am not wearing this hoodie and it's just taking up precious space. I will hold onto the memories and maybe take a photo if I really can't part with it (this applies more to things like presents from people or random trinkets than clothes).

When you hold on to all these things, clothing, books, whatever, emotionally, it really weighs you down. If this is your issue, once you start parting with things and realizing that not only are you okay emotionally after parting with those jeans you haven't worn in 5 years, you actually feel less stressed because you can see what you do own in your closet, easily.

Of course, I am still no where near that perfect state. But I am trying. I will continue working on it. If you are also on that path, good luck. The hardest step to take is the first, but you can do it! Good luck!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Revlon Nearly Naked 110 Ivory Review

I hardly ever win anything, but somehow I managed to luck out and get this Revlon Nearly Naked foundation in 110 ivory from a Revlon campaign on Facebook.

I had heard lots of great things when this came out and so was really excited to try - especially as it was free.

I meant to review this ages ago, but only have gotten around to it now!

So here it is, the foundation in 110 Ivory. It comes in a lovely glass bottle...

I took the photo with a tissue, since you'll need at least one or two while applying this foundation. Getting the liquid out of the bottle without spillage or waste was not something I could manage.

I know that this retails as a drug store foundation so perhaps I was expecting too much. Honestly, I haven't used any other drug store foundations before.

It seems odd to me to splash out on a glass bottle, but then not have a good pump or applicator. I'd rather have a plastic squeeze tube. In fact, some of my favourite premium foundations have come in the plastic squeeze tube over the years. I actually prefer this - lighter to carry for travelling and no struggling to try to pump out the last bits.

So, aside from it being a bit messy to work with, it was a decent foundation. Here's a swatch above of the colour blobbed on my arm on the left, and then rubbed in on the right.

It went on smoothly, but left my skin a bit shinier than I would have liked. I am a fan of matt foundations. I also have normal to dry skin, so bear that in mind.

It also smelled a bit chemically. Actually it kind of reminded me of playdoh. Not usually something I look for in foundation, but I guess it could be worse.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Cute stationary - Dr Grip and Sanrio collab

Last month, I discovered something amazing:

Dr Grip, one of the best mechanical pencil and ball point pens, from Pilot, Japan, have teamed up with Sanrio to bring us adorably cute pens and pencils!

If you haven't seen a Dr Grip before, they're chunky really comfortable to hold pencils and pens. They write so smoothly as well. They are also usually pretty expensive for a pen or pencil, but not ridiculously expensive. 

I got these Kutsushita Nyanko and Rilakkuma Dr Grip pens from ModeS4u

and I got this Rilakkuma pen from Artbox at their store in Covent Garden

These have been retailing for 800 yen in Japan, if you're lucky enough to get them direct.

 I got mine for £10.30 each from modeS4u (this includes fees and shipping, so is the price I paid in total) and £11.90 for the one from Artbox.
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