Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wella Shockwaves Shaping Wax

Hair styling in my house is something of an art form - I have a shelf of everything from gel, to putty to wax. 

After years of trying to find the right products for my hair I’ve even dabbled with mousse and clay.

Wella was always a favourite after first having my hair cut into spikes. The length went from around nine inches in length to 3 inches. As I decided I liked the look I went even shorter to an inch.

Being as adventurous as you can be when choosing what to slap onto your hair I opted to part with just £2 for a small 75ml tub of the Wella Shockwaves Shaping Wax. 
Source
The Shockwaves range has always been a personal favourite but in a nutshell this stuff is pants and in a true Bryn style* and in my best Welsh accent I tell you for why. 

The products claims to offer quick and easy styling. This is meant to be a strong hold wax that will sculpt and shape any hair, individually separate strands, give texture and brush out easily after use. It doesn’t.

I’ve had a numerous bad experiences with wax in the past, and found that once it had been applied, it could take days to wash out leaving my hair looking greasy and unkempt. 

After looking at the product in the tub it was clear that this wax wasn‘t as thick as others and I was fairly confident that this one wouldn’t be as bad.

I applied the wax to my hair after it had been dried. White in colour, it has a similar colour and texture to lard. Nice! 

Surprised by the fragrance, while looking vile it actually smells lovely. A clean crisp aroma not too dissimilar to Nivea body lotion. It was very subtle and definitely not overpowering.

My hair at the time of using this wax was around two inches in length. I needed to use a substantial amount of wax to completely cover my hair. The wax was absorbed very quickly. 

Styling was a breeze, the new texture to my hair was wonderful. As the wax hardened my hair became very rigid, but not crisp (likes it does when I use a gel). 

It did take about 30 minutes for the wax to start to harden, so this did mean that I had to keep checking in the mirror to make sure it was still looking OK.

Once hardened the wax didn’t make my hair shinier, it started to look greasy. The longer it stayed in, the more it looked greasier and greasier. This has never been a look I’ve aspired to have, even when under the influence. 

The wax kept my style in place all night, but sadly another downside was when it came to washing it out. It doesn’t brush out, and it actually took three washes to get all traces out of my hair.

So the good points:
  • It’s easy to apply
  • It’s Cheap
  • Holds hair in place for in excess of 10 hour
The bad points:
  • A lot of wax was required for styling
  • The tub didn’t last very long
  • It took 30 minutes for the wax to harden
  • My hair looked greasy 3 to 4 hours after application
  • A nightmare to wash out


Would I recommend this product. No.

While it smells nice and does have great hold, the fact that your hair looks like it has been dipped into a deep fat fryer means that you will look a state. That’s a guarantee.

Combine the look with the fact that it will take you around an hour to remove all traces of it then it’s sadly one of those products you should just steer well clear of. There are better waxes on the market that offer better hold, better value for money and are easier to wash out.

NOT RECOMMENDED

Have you had a hair product nightmare? Why not share it with me in the comments section below.

*Post note/obscure cultural reference

If you are not familiar with the BBC comedy Gavin and Stacey - the actual reference can be found here and if you scroll to two minutes and sixteen seconds you’ll see what I mean! 




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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Himalayan Detox Bath Salts from Therapie

Confession time, we have a very small bathroom and the space issue isn’t helped in the slightest by rafts of beauty products stacked like a game of Jenga gone wrong!

I like a soak in the bath, and for a long time was in love with Calvin Klein Eternity Bath Salts. They left my skin smooth and the fragrance was amazing. However I’ve become a little tight in my old age and spending in excess of £20 on bath salts is not something I do.

It had been a while since using bath salts but boom, amongst the hundreds of products that block my way to the sink on a daily basis was Himalayan Detox Bath Salts from Therapie.

To be blunt I’ve become instantly hooked on them.



Created by aromatherapist Michelle Roques Oneil the salts contain over 84 minerals and are infused with essential oils such as Lemongrass, Lavender, Juniper and Geranium.

It's at this point that I have to confess that every time I pick up the packet I giggle - if the salts were blue they would look just like a batch of blue Crystal Meth from Breaking Bad! 

As soon as the salts come into contact with the water there is a scent explosion. It’s awesome and the Lavender and Geranium are really evident but not overpowering and as you lay back into the warm water the stress eases away.

Personally, after a long day in the office the bath salts had a massively therapeutic effect – my eyes always feel heavy, my head clears and I feel totally at ease. This is valium in bath salt form.

The marketing blurb says: 

"A blissful cocktail of therapeutic Himalayan mineral salts, powdered Amethyst & essential oils of Lemongrass, Juniper & Geranium; these pink crystals work to balance pH levels & positive/negative ions, to help the body establish equilibrium. The Amethyst has a high mineral content, to heal & clarify problematic skin whilst counteracting the electro-magnetic energy we absorb from modern day gizmos. Add to this blood purifying & anti-inflammatory properties & discover that heaven is a bath soak".

Having used them a few times now, they never fail to send me off to a blissful sleep. My skin is smooth and soft to the touch. Combine the results on my skin with the beautiful aroma and therapeutic effects and you have a product that falls into the bath heaven category.

At £10 for a 100g pouch it is cheaper than Calvin Klein and has more benefits.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

What do you add to your baths?
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Tigi Bedhead Giveaway

I have now reached 250 followers on Twitter and to thank you all I am hosting my very first giveaway which is a TIGI BED HEAD SUPERCHARGE SET.

Tigi Bed Head Supercharge Set

Tigi Bed Head Supercharge Set

This set contains the following products:

TIGI Bed Head Elasticate Shampoo (250ml)
Created to transform weak, dry hair, the Elasticate Shampoo contains a formula rich in proteins and elastin to repair and nourish.

TIGI Bed Head Elasticate Conditioner (250ml)
Working against breakages and frizz, the Elasticate Conditioner transforms dull hair to refreshed and rejuvenated locks. With protein and elastin for flexible hair.

All you have to do to win this prize is complete the giveaway form below, please note that this is a UK ONLY giveaway and some of the options are mandatory and will be checked, so please ensure you complete them!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fat Fish Pliable Hold Easy Sculpting Stick

Having been a Wella fanatic for years I was well and truly converted to Fish products after my visit to Amsterdam.

Taking #hairontour with the SuperFish Hardcore Hold Matt Effect Putty and nearly being washed away by the rain made me change brands. The hold was fantastic.

After I had sung the praises of the product I was asked to try Fat Fish Pliable Hold Easy Sculpting Stick. This is how a 75ml, 2.5fl.oz stick fell into my hands.


Fat Fish Pliable Hold Easy Sculpting Stick


You can expect to pay £7 for the stick. When it arrived I took one look at the tube and thought it looked like an old school roll on deodorant rather than something for my hair.

First of all, the marketing blurb,

‘Perfect for that ‘just out of bed look’, use Fatfish to give a textured pliable hold with control and shine. Designed for short and mid-length hairstyles, it allows you to apply a controlled amount of wax onto your head without getting messy hands. Fatfish uses natural Candelilla Beeswax so you can easily mould, shape and define your style.’

At the moment my hair is around 3 inches in length - I’d consider this mid-length.

After washing my hair I tried applying using small circular motions as directed. It was evident that wax was being rubbed onto the strand of the hair and I didn’t have to push to hard. A fair amount of wax accumulated.

I found that due to the length of my hair I had to use my hands to style the spikes and I did get messy hands, something that the stick is designed to avoid.

Fat Fish Pliable Hold Easy Sculpting Stick

Fat Fish Pliable Hold Easy Sculpting Stick

Fat Fish Pliable Hold Easy Sculpting Stick


However, the hold was great and as it’s a wax there was no residue in my hair of those ghastly white flakes I find on my shoulder later in the day as gels wear off.

Does it offer control? Hell yeah. It controls for hours on end, in fact after applying in morning at 8 a.m. it was still holding firm at 3 a.m. the following morning.

Does it offer shine? In my opinion, not really unless you really massage the wax in for a few minutes. If you do spend the time, and I’d say around 15 minutes massaging it in yes you would get a better shine but this isn’t a look I’m after.

If you are looking for a messy bed-head look and have short hair, really short then this is for you. It would also suit a sort of Gareth Bale style (he’s a footballer for Real Madrid). 

Since I first tried this I’ve had my hair cut back to around an inch and it does offer a great hold and texture for short hair.

Looking at the wax as a whole it looks good but I have never really been a big fan of wax and I’m not sure if that’s swaying my opinion. This product sits there with TX wax from my teenage years, it does the job but only until my hair, which is quite heavy reaches 2 inches in length. It’s good with certain styles but I personally like a product that is suitable for all lengths - yes, I know, high maintenance!

It is easy to apply to short hair and with short hair it will be easy to style. If that’s your bag then this is for you as applying it couldn’t be simpler and is seems to last for ages. I never notice the stick getting smaller.

RECOMMENDED for short, under an inch hairstyles.

Let me know what your favourite hair styling product is by commenting below.

Thank you for reading.

Postnote:

Want to read more about #hairontour and the fabulous hold of SuperFish Hardcore Hold Matt Effect Putty, you can HERE.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 01 Face Scrub

I’m a big fan of Ted Baker and Paul Smith, I love their clothes - you can’t beat their suits, t-shirts and underwear in my opinion but grooming products wasn’t something I’d associated them with, particularly Ted Baker.

The lovely people at Ted Baker sent their ‘Ted’s Grooming Room’ press release and asked if I’d like to try some. Now that was the first time I had heard of the range or the Step 01: Face Scrub.

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 01 Face Scrub

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 01 Face Scrub


Naturally I jumped at the chance and have been using it as part of my daily skincare routine.

Ted’s Grooming Room is actually a man’s barbers and offers haircuts, smooth hot towel shaves and other treatments. They have walk in stores or the more exclusive, and appointment only Ottoman Lounge.

The products are an offshoot of this line of the business and they have added the Ted Baker mark to the marketplace.

Ted Baker is by no way and means a discount brand in my opinion and at £8 for a 150ml tube of the scrub seems expensive, but the acid test really has to fall down to a number of factors, including price when deciding whether to use the product again.

The face scrub comes with the following marketing blurb:

‘No one likes an ambush, and in-grown hairs can sabotage a perfect shave. Battle against dirt and dead skin every other day with Ted’s Face Scrub, with added jojoba beads, for skin that‘s ready for shaving.’

I’ve used the face scrub now for around tree weeks and as directed have used it every other day. While using the scrub I’ve temporarily stopped using the Swisa Dead Sea Facial Peel to really test the effects the product has in terms of removing dirt, cleansing my face and how smooth my shaving experience has been.

The face scrub is clear in colour and you can see the tiny micro-beads of jojoba suspended within it. As soon as it leaves the tube the aroma is so clean and clinical you almost feel instantly clean.

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 01 Face Scrub


I couldn’t place the smell at first and then it struck me - the first ever Co-op type cheap hair gel I’d used as a teenager! Bang on and oh the flashbacks, some good (no responsibility), some bad (Global Hypercolour t-shirts have a lot to answer for). If asked, I would say the fragrance is not unpleasant.

Easy to apply, as soon as a 50 pence sized blob was massaged between my palms I could immediately feel the beads - it was bizarre, like rubbing a wet, smooth yet gritty texture!

Gently massaging it into my face it didn’t lather as such, the scrub soaked into my skin really quickly leaving the beads as an abrasive - the aroma changed as well, it got a little floral and was really very pleasant.

Rinsing my face off the first time (and about 3 days after a facial peel) I was appalled, even a little sick in my mouth. The water was so filthy I was ashamed. Dirt and dead skin were banished from my face, sent into exile - chuffed.com

I kept using for two weeks as my beard continued to grow before taking the plunge and shaving. Did it make a difference? Yes it did, the beard was much softer to the touch, as was my skin. I wouldn’t say my skin glowed or that I was radiant but boy as the razor crossed my face it was evident that shaving was much quicker.

Using Ted’s Face Scrub has made a visible difference - I’m not using as much of my L’Oreal Men Expert range as the need to just isn’t there.

I’ve probably used about a quarter of the tube in three weeks and that’s using it every other day. It may seem expensive, but I’m going to add it to my collection along with a few of the other Step 02, 03 etc range as I’m impressed by the positive effect it has had on my shaving experience.

If it was a little cheaper to replace I’d have said this represented great value for money and would have highly recommended it. As I class it as a luxury product and weighing up price and results I would have to say that it falls into the category of being:

RECOMMENDED 

What’s your favourite face scrub? Let me know in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading.

Post note/random flashback:

As an aside, in my youth I was obsessed with Ted Baker in Manchester and loved their bright pastel coloured shirts - they were expensive but boy did they last. Looking back I must have looked a right sight but I regret not a thing!
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Monday, March 24, 2014

No stink, just ink - Southgate Ink and my tattoo



Tattoos used to be something of a polarising issue, growing up my grandfather had a few faded ones from his days in the Navy and they always fascinated me. It was rare that you would see someone in the street with a tattoo unless they were a biker, a former guest of Her Majesty (a convict) or a member of the armed forces.

Nowadays they are everywhere and it’s socially acceptable – footballers have full sleeves, Mike Tyson has his faced tattooed and the range of breadth of designs is mind-boggling.

My parents being somewhat traditionalists were not in favour of me getting my body inked, but this didn’t stop me. At the ripe old age of 18 and somewhat sickly I thought it would be a good idea to get an ironic inking – the result was the Japanese symbol for health on my right upper arm. A few years later I added another Japanese symbol, wealth.

All was not well with the second tattoo, it became infected and the ink actually faded so that I was left with an unsightly scar. A very painful re-colouring followed. The picture below shows the final result of my youthful folly.


Fast forward 18 years and I’d grown tired of the tattoos I had and gave serious consideration to finding a way of covering them with a new design. After seeing some really cool half and full sleeve tattoos I started badgering for one.

It took 12 months to finally work up the courage but I took the plunge at the start of 2014, and after speaking with friends and doing some research both Beautyqueenuk and I stepped into Southgate Ink, a small tattoo parlour based, yes you guessed it, in Southgate, North London.



Stepping through the door my eyes were assaulted by an array of pictures, drawings and designs. You immediately enter into a small seating area/waiting room where you can browse until your heart is content – at the time there were a number of sketches on the wall that had been drawn by the two resident artists and wow, they were amazing.

I’m not a big fan of hard sells and at Southgate Ink you don’t get this – the owner, a larger than life heavily tattooed Turkish guy leaves you to browse and consider your options. This I found refreshing.

In my head I really wanted either a Maori or Aztec tribal design but after browsing the books couldn’t find something I wanted. After asking for advice I showed him my arm and he made a suggestion of a Japanese garden with Koi carp. The justification was that the rich colours in the design would act as a good cover-up for my existing tattoos.

I explained what I was looking for and he suggested that one of the artists – Sonad, could draw up a design for me to review. I noted down the kind of tattoo I was looking for and what to include on a piece of paper to give Sonad an inkling of what to aim for.

We then started to talk money.

For an initial one off design and drawing the cost was £40. This is also their minimum price for any tattoo no matter how large or small.

The price of the drawing is deducted from the cost of the first sitting, but at £100 per hour* a full sleeve design I had asked for was estimated at around £700-£800. Not bad I thought and money was exchanged.

*As they have reached their fifth anniversary Southgate Ink have reduced their prices to £60 per hour, however its always best to get an estimate before starting any work.

An outline of my arm was taken using a large sheet of tracing paper and my existing tattoos outlined. Given that the artists draw and tattoo I was advised to come back the following week.

On my return I was presented with a full A3 sheet of paper – the sketch was out of this world. All of the artists at Southgate Ink are incredibly talented and to be honest I’m slightly jealous.  The only issue was that the drawing included three faces, a Mayan priest, a candy skull and a female priestess. I didn’t like the idea of having them tattooed onto my body.

I could see the look of disappointment on the faces of the guys in the studio, but with some guidance (I showed them the Mayan calendar, a massive intricate piece of carved stone that was found in Mexico City) I was asked to come back and they promised to have another go.

On my next visit I was even more amazed with the resulting sketch. The Mayan calendar, including the Mayan god of sacrifice had been added as had a rather sinister looking smiling face. I’ve included a picture of the sketch below.




Being slightly OCD I still didn’t like the candy skull and asked for the sinister face to be mirrored onto the other side. Symmetry – ahhh that satisfied the OCD. Their response at the request? No problem at all, it’s your body and your choice.

Nothing was too much trouble for the guys and they treated me to perfect customer service. This didn’t end there, throughout the entire experience, and I spent a lot of time in the studio they were kind, thoughtful and kept me well hydrated.

The first sitting was to start the cover up and was for five hours – the photographs below show some action shots. Oh the pain….



Tattoos are painful – it isn’t roll around on the floor pain, more of a stinging, but boy after a few hours and after my arm had started to swell it felt as though my skin was being ripped from my arm.

The outline was done with a single needle, however the shading, and there is a lot of shading was done using a series of needles. The ink was mixed with water and the needles dragged to create shadow effects on my arm.

Watching Sonad at work was truly an experience I’ll never forget – it was awe-inspiring to watch such a talented artist enjoy his craft.

Breaks for cigarettes were plenty, coffee was on hand and banter was in abundance.

I found it fascinating to watch the comings and goings of a studio. All manner of people from all ages came and went, some were tattooed, some pierced and there was always friendly chat to be had. I actually enjoyed my time in the chair despite the pain.

The first sitting included the Mayan calendar and the cover up and I was impressed.

The second 4 hour sitting resulted in the first of the faces being inked onto my arm. I didn’t find the second sitting that bad. I’ve attached more photographs – yes my arm is red but it had been through a serious level of trauma.

The third sitting didn’t hurt at all, until after I’d walked away from the studio. As the tattoo got closer to my armpit and the inside of my arm the pain was horrific. It genuinely felt like I’d been skinned for a few hours after. The pain subsided though.



After sitting in the chair for over 12 hours it was an interesting experience to see how the studio worked. The owner was brutally honest with those wanting to get tattooed or pierced, even if it resulted in lost business.

Sound advice was dispensed to those who when just passing that popped on a spur of the moment. At one stage I saw him recommend medical intervention for a young girl wanting to have a stud removed from her finger. She was desperate to have it removed no matter what but he stood by his guns, it wasn’t a procedure he could carry out safely – nor indeed could any studio.

I have taken a break from the tattoo for a few weeks – mainly to save up for the second section. As it’s difficult to transfer as arm sizes differ Sonad will be drawing the design for my forearm direct on the skin. He’ll do this in pen first obviously but I have no doubt that whatever he draws will be amazing.

Aftercare advice was dispensed in the form of a leaflet and a 10 minute chat. I’d heard that Bepanthen baby cream was the best to use. I was advised that yes, it’s good to use, but mainly after a range of colours are used. It makes them more vibrant by all accounts.

As my tattoo is grey and black Sonad advised that I use Vaseline and keep it covered with clingfilm.

Advice on washing a few hours after to clean off excess ink was given and regular changes were needed to avoid infection.

Yes my arm ached for a few days but I think it was well worth it.

I love my tattoo and can’t wait to get the entire arm covered. Most of all, I can’t wait to go back to Southgate Ink, they have made the experience and the result so  much better than I thought and every time I look down at my arm I smile.



If you are looking for sound advice, great artists, a relaxed atmosphere and a tattoo that will have you beaming you should head down to Southgate Ink.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Southgate Ink
96 Crown Lane
Southgate
London
N14 5PA

Telephone: 0208 920 2517

The studio is located just behind Southgate Underground Station on the Piccadilly Line.

You can see the inside of the studio, my design on the wall and shots of their sketches and tattoos by visiting the video here at Youtube and their page here on Facebook.

In the hours since finishing this post I've learnt that Sonad has left, however I'll be staying with Southgate Ink and passing my arm over to one of the two other talented tattooists who are still there. I've seen their portfolios and watched them work already - I wouldn't go anywhere else.


TOP TATTOO TIPS:

  • Don’t be rushed into having a tattoo – a good tattooist will not rush you;
  • Review the portfolio of the artist;
  • Ask for them to draw the design for them to trace;
  • Don’t let someone tattoo directly onto your skin without an outline;
  • Cleanliness cannot be understated – Southgate Ink was spotless and they cleaned around the clock;
  • Always make sure you see the tattooist unwrap fresh needles that haven’t been tampered with;
  • Always follow the aftercare instructions;
  • If you have even the slightest of doubts don’t do it – wait until you are 100% sure;
  • Relax and try to enjoy the experience.

What are your thoughts on tattoo's? Do you have any and if so where?


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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Calvin Klein Eternity for Men

If you were to buy a bottle of Calvin Klein Eternity you can expect to pay in the region of £30 for a 50ml bottle of the EDT. All Calvin Klein products are widely available from all good perfume counters in most major supermarkets, but you will find it cheaper online, where you can find this scrooge finding new aftershaves for his collection.

Eternity, in keeping in line with other Calvin Klein fragrances comes in very minimalist packaging that is easily identifiable.

Calvin Klein Eternity for Him

Calvin Klein Eternity for Him


The bottle itself is nothing special, made from glass it’s a sign that this fragrances doesn’t have to do anything special to attract attention to itself.

The notes to Eternity describe it as a fresh, yet warm fragrance containing lavender and nutmeg combined with tobacco!

On first application the aftershave smelt extremely overpowering, heavy and musky with delicate spicy undertones. Personally I could smell a combination of the lavender and tobacco and to be honest, the fresh smell did nothing for me.

Due to the strong nature of the fragrance only a tiny amount is required.

The saving grace for Eternity is the fact that the smell changes dramatically after five to ten minutes. It becomes slightly lighter; the hints of tobacco disappear completely leaving a more spicy citrus scent that is very easy on the nose. Lavender and lemon become more evident and a woody undertone lingers.

Although it does become lighter the fragrance is still evident to the wearer and those standing down wind!

Calvin Klein Eternity for Him


Calvin Klein Eternity for Him


Personally I’ve received compliments when wearing this mainly because it has such a lovely long lasting fragrance that lingers for well over 8 hours. Even though I’ve received compliments when wearing Eternity I would class it mainly as a daytime fragrance or one for a more formal occasion, but definitely not for that special date or night on the town. There are better fragrances to get the ladies swooning as you pass by.

A 50ml bottle of Eternity will last an absolute age, making a purchase at £30 very good value for money and the perfect gift for that man in your life.

Eternity was one of the first fragrances launched by Calvin Klein and over the years the successful formula hasn’t changed one bit. It doesn’t need to. Eternity is for those men who appreciate a mixture of fragrances that combine to produce a consistent and long lasting smell.

Not a pulling fragrance but it is recommended.

RECOMMENDED 
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Diesel Zero Plus for Men

Diesel Zero Plus for Men - an aftershave I picked up on impulse when buying the ill fated Gucci Rush for Men. In terms of an impulse buying, this shopping trip it was a disaster!

Why did I buy an aftershave I’d never heard of nor indeed smelt? Simple really:
  • Diesel is a pretty well known brand;
  • It was cheap;
  • The packaging was unique;
  • I’d never tried it before and was curious
When I think of a Diesel product the first thing that springs to mind are jeans! Until I spotted it on the shelf I didn’t even know that Diesel had any fragrances on the market for men. Their marketing must have completely passed me by. Curiosity struck me and I bought a bottle for £7.99, yes that’s right, it was only £7.99 for a 50ml bottle. Alarm bells should have starting ringing but they didn’t…

Since buying my bottle I have seen this on sale all over the place and online. If you like it, don’t pay more than £12.99 for a bottle. Anything more than that and you are being taken for a mug. It can retail in some shops at up to £27.99.

Apart from the price and brand name the actual bottle and packaging does look rather funky as the pictures show.


Source
The male and female versions come in the same style bottles with the only difference being feminine and masculine written on the side.

The actual bottle is a deep red colour and comes enclosed within a clear plastic capsule. It looks good and doesn’t look out of place on a shelf with more expensive rivals in the fragrance market.

Launched in 1995, Zero Plus is classified as a refined, oriental woody fragrance which should blend to give a manly masculine fragrance suitable for eveningwear.

On first application the first thing that struck me was the actual grip I could get on the bottle rather than the fragrance. It is easy to grip, even with wet hands and the atomiser released a healthy amount of the fragrance with a fair amount of force.

As soon as the fragrance is released from the bottle it was like there had been an explosion of smells in my bathroom. This is one spicy fragrance. It quickly became evident that it’s a very heavy fragrance, the spicy fragrance became less obvious and yes it did have an oriental feel but the overriding smell after ten to fifteen minutes was that of an oak tree. Woody is an understatement; it was like sniffing a freshly chopped log at close quarters.

As the fragrance mixed with my skin over time the woody smell also became less obvious but it was still the strongest of the notes by far closely followed by a spicy assault on my nostrils.

As the smells changed and settled the first thing that sprang to mind was that I had smelt this somewhere before. I wasn’t imagining it, and after further investigation I realised that this is nearly identical in smell to……….Old Spice……..

The actual fragrance lasts for well over 8 hours as it is exceptionally heavy and it seems to cling to clothes.

As I only used two sprays from the atomiser I have to say in it’s defence, it would have been good value for money had I been able to wear it again as this would last for a number of months even if used on a daily basis.

I found Diesel Zero Plus for Men a cheap and nasty fragrance that left me feeling very self-conscious about how I smelt.

I’ve worn this once, and that was to smell what the fragrance was like and I won’t ever be wearing it again.

Designed for eveningwear my a**e, it’s designed to repel all known forms of life more like.
At £7.99 for the bottle I should have expected a nasty fragrance but I didn’t. I must have been having a ’senior’ moment in the shop.

Had I paid more for the bottle I would have been most upset but it’s true what they say. You get what you pay for, and in this case you most certainly do…….

To summarise:
  • NASTY 
  • NASTY 
  • NASTY

NOT RECOMMENDED
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pantene Pro-V Classic Care Shampoo

In our house as a child the choice of shampoo was staggering (taste the sarcasm), it was Vosene, Vosene or Vosene. Eurgh, just the saying the name brings back horrid flashbacks of the smell and sends a shiver down my spine.

Thankfully, as more and more brands came onto the market and I managed to start to control purchases I was firmly converted to Pantene Pro V Classic Care shampoo.

After first having my long hair cut and styled into short spikes, my use of gels and waxes resulted in a scalp that had dried significantly - worst of all, dandruff was beginning to appear. Oh the horror and shame!

Pantene Pro-V Classic Care ShampooI’d tried Head and Shoulders but it didn’t remove the hair products I was using completely so no matter how much I used it my hair never felt entirely clean. You can usually buy these on special offer but you can expect to pay around £1.89 for a 250ml bottle.

Pantene Pro V Classic Care shampoo claims to leave your hair healthy looking and manageable from root to tip.


Pantene Pro-V Classic Care Shampoo

Pantene Pro-V Classic Care Shampoo


As this is shampoo application is easy, simply wet hair and apply the product as necessary. With my hair short only a small amount of the shampoo is needed which means that a little goes a long way, and for the purchase price it offers good value in comparison to other brands. Squeezing the shampoo, roughly the size of a two pence piece produced enough lather to wash with.

The shampoo itself is white in colour and has a fresh clean wonderful smell that is very easy on the nose. It has an overwhelming apple fragrance that I personally adore.

After lathering the shampoo in my hair for a few minutes the shampoo rinsed easily. Whilst rinsing I noticed that my hair felt really smooth to the touch. After drying my hair with a towel and then blowing it dry I noticed an improved shine to my hair and instead of looking limp and lifeless it had body and seemed slightly thicker/heavier than normal.

Pantene Pro-V Classic Care Shampoo

On inspection of my scalp there were no noticeable traces of dandruff and I’m happy to say that after using this product for years I haven’t seen any dandruff in my scalp or on clothes.

In addition to this my hair is shinier, more manageable and stronger than before I started using Pantene.

As stated earlier, the smell of the product is very clean and fresh but not too overpowering. After my hair had been dried the smell of the product became more subtle but lasted for hours after.

Would I recommend this product?

Yes, I would - Pantene Pro V Classic Care really is a classic. It will leave your hair dandruff free, shiny and full of extra body.

RECOMMENDED

I wouldn’t say that I highly recommend this product. I have been trying out a few other brands recently and living in London in a hard water area, I‘ve found something that leaves my hair so pliable and easy to style I can only reserve the rating for it. More on that one to follow soon!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Gillette Fusion Proglide Shaving Gel

Every time I pick up Gillette Fusion Proglide I have to say I chuckle to myself in a kind of schoolboy way. Probably a reference to first ever seeing a tube of lube called ultra-glide as a kid.

Anyhow I digress; I’m here to give my thoughts on a shaving gel not my adolescence!

Every since entering the world of shaving (and mainly bleeding as a result) I’ve never been a fan. Maybe I’m a sensitive soul (thousands who know me are now laughing themselves to an early hernia), but no matter what I used in my formative years I always ended up with dry skin after shaving, red blotchy marks and usually a face looking more akin to Freddy Krueger than the soft smooth finish I was looking for.

Gillette back in the day offered a few products that really helped - my skin would always feel dry but the red blotchy marks were less noticeable.

Ever since I’ve been hooked. The products and range on offer has expanded and apart from King of Shaves I’ve rarely ventured further, I’ve never needed to.

My current favourite is the Proglide. The marketing blurb says that it “makes it easy to get the look you want”.

The shaving gel comes in a squeezable tube and is ice blue in colour. While a ‘clear’ shaving gel there is clearly a colour. To cover my beard in the gel a squeeze to release a blob about the same size as a 50 pence piece is needed.


Gillette Fusion Proglide Shaving Gel

Gillette Fusion Proglide Shaving Gel

Gillette Fusion Proglide Shaving Gel

Gillette Fusion Proglide Shaving Gel

Gillette Fusion Proglide Shaving Gel

As soon as you start to rub the gel in what strikes you immediately is the lack of lather - it’s actually like rubbing hair gel on your face. A bit weird at first, but it is easier to apply and doesn’t seem to disintegrate on contact with water.

A little goes a long way with this, so no need to be over the top. It might not seem like a lot of gel but really, you don’t need it. As the gel is spread a lovely fresh Aloe Vera fragrance fills the room. It adds a kind of clean and sanitised feel to the shaving experience in my opinion.

Personally I let the gel soak in for a few minutes and start to shave. The hairs on my face seem softer and easier to remove and after rinsing off my face my face is beautifully smooth. The acid test for me is the look and feel after about 30 minutes after drying. With Proglide I’ve never been let down.

My face is always smooth and even the morning after shaving there is an absence of dry skin. For the first time in my shaving life (22 years) I don’t get red blotchy skin after shaving. Rejoice people - rejoice.

£4.49 for a 175 ml tube is in my humble opinion well worth it. It will last for weeks if used daily and months if you like to grow a bit of five o’clock shadow now and again.

It stores well if you are a more infrequent shaver and if you fancy chancing your hand at a new brand or a different line of the Gillette range then you should look no further.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lush I Should Coco

I had been mildly successful in avoiding Lush stores – while being able to smell them a mile away I've never really managed to get over the general sense of revulsion I experience when walking near one. I bit the bullet and actually decided to venture into their Manchester store a couple of years go (looking back, sadly for me it was actually close to a decade ago) – yes the hype I’d read about Lush overcame the rational (well I think I’m rational) thoughts bouncing around my noggin (that’s head for you non-Northern readers).

"I Should Coco" soap bar. I’d read about the "I Should Coco" soap bar online and saw it as too girlie to actually use. I bought a 100g bar and from the first time I used it I was hooked.

The pictures show the bar in all its glory and I won't be going into any amazing description of it. The only thing that you tend to miss nowadays when buying it online like some sort of subversive is the coconut on the top as shown below from my latest eBay purchase. For £1.95 for a bar weighing 100g it was never cheap soap by any stretch of the imagination. 

Layered into three shades of pink the topside of the bar was coated in flakes of coconut making it very easy to grip, even when wet. Basically the soap looked and oozed a very feminine vibe. It’s not something you’d be rushing to take into the showers at the gym.

Lush I Should Coco

Lush I Should Coco


Lush I Should Coco

Lush I Should Coco

The bar itself contains creamed coconut along with Orange and Coriander oil which smells almost sickly sweet. I wasn't never sure whether I should be washing with it, or indeed taking a sizeable bite from it. The mild coconut aroma is striking and blends fantastically well with the Orange oils.

After it is immersed in warm water, the aroma from the bar increases but never becomes overpowering on the senses. I'm now down to my last nub of the soap and actually worried about the day it is no more, deceased like a certain Norwegian Blue (if you don't get it reference 'Dead Parrot' by Monty Python).

The beauty of this soap is that that it lathers up superbly, with a little going a very long way. The coconut flakes act as a mild abrasive, exfoliating dead skin as you wash meaning that not only did you not need to use half a bar in the shower, but you also didn't need to use a different product to moisturise after washing.

The final results were and continue to be amazing, my skin felt clean, fresh and above all moisturised. Any traces of body odour after travelling on a packed tube train were removed and the soap left a very subtle but noticeable coconut fragrance that lingered for a few hours. What more could you ask from a soap?

I now regularly use this in the shower and haven't noticed any adverse effects at all. I'm actually quite tight with the use now though! The only problems apart from the actual price is that when used in the bath the soap does fall to pieces rather quickly. It turns the water pink, there is an oily residue around the bath and floating pieces of coconut seem to take an absolute age to remove when getting dried!

Overall I love this product and will not be returning to 90% of the major high street brands.

Using this encouraged me to try more from the Lush range. I’ve been converted – I’m no longer a Lush-o-sceptic!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


BeautykingUK needs you! 

I'm so in love with this soap that I think we should let Lush know how we feel. 

Show your support for the reintroduction of "I Should Coco" by clicking on the poll on the right hand side of this page - two seconds of your time could sway opinion.


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