Friday 11 November 2011

Wahanda Treatment Review

This is my first post after a rather busy month of not writing, and I'm glad to finally be back!
I didn't mean to be away for so long, but 2 weeks of working every single day meant I was too drained to post. Then I got ill and DEFINITELY wasn't up to writing (I wouldn't have made much sense any way).
But I'm happy to say I'm better now, and won't be stopping again any time soon!

I thought I'd start my posts with a catch-up by reviewing a mini spa day I went on via Wahanda.

Last year for mine and my boyfriends 2 year anniversary I purchased a 1 hour dermalogica Swedish massage plus full use of the gym, sauna and steam room facilities. Through Wahanda this cost just £20 each, and the voucher was valid for a year. Though stupidly we left it right to the last minute to book it, we were lucky enough to get an appointment for October 1st.

The Park Plaza Victoria Therapy Suite was about a 5 minute walk from Victoria Station, and the suite was on the bottom floor of the hotel.

Above are a few shoddy photos of the inside, on the left is part of the gym (the main area you walk into), and the middle and right photo's are of inside the changing room. The photo's don't do the place justice as it was difficult to take them when no one was around.

In the photo of the gym you can just about see me reflected in the mirror - behind me is where the sauna, steam room and changing rooms are, and the therapy rooms are to the left of the mirror.

I went for my massage first while my boyfriend worked out, and then we changed over once mine was done.
Once he was out we relaxed in the steam room and sauna.

This is us after we left, looking and feeling a bit more relaxed.

Overall it was a really lovely day. The massage was amazing, and the masseuse was lovely. Though I would recommend arriving early so you can use the gym BEFORE your massage, or you'll end up undoing all the work the massage did, and end up tense again like me! :/
The suite as a whole is small, BUT it has a lot packed into it, and you definitely wouldn't leave feeling it lacked anything.
The sauna was lovely, but personally I find steam rooms very claustrophobic so I didn't stay in there for long - I don't think I even lasted a minute!

I would definitely recommend both Wahanda and the Park Plaza Victoria Therapy Suite, and would 100% go back sometime in the future. Though getting to London takes about an hour for me, so it would be a rare treat, rather than a regular indulgence.

Have you used a deal through Wahanda/Groupon before?
Would love to hear your recommended bargains!


Monday 10 October 2011

DIY Acne Treatment: Sea Salt Steam

If you haven't seen it already, I'd urge you to check out my Sea Salt Toner post (here) as this will be 
used at the end.
-I love this toner, and have been using it every day since I wrote the post. Although I didn't have any breakouts when I started, I have noticed a big difference in the condition and surface texture of my skin. It's less 'bumpy' (I had a huge insecurity of the surface of my forehead, but I don't have to worry any more!), and any breakouts I DID develop went away very quickly. 
Anyway, onto the point of this post: 

The Treatment.

Difficulty Rating:

This was another sea salt recommendation from Andreas Choice, so I've decided to put this to the test as well.

I'm using a Facial Sauna, but you can use a saucepan and heat it over the stove (though you want to make it produce steam at a comfortable temperature, as you don't want to scald yourself).

Before You Start: Ensure your skin is thoroughly cleansed (but don't moisturise).

-Saucepan: fill the saucepan up to about a 1/4 (or less) with water. Add 1-2 tsp of Sea Salt (depending on the size of the saucepan) and then heat. Once you have steam, either lower the heat or take it off the stove completely, and hold face at a comfort distance over the steam (if you wish you can put a towel over your head).

-Facial Sauna: Fill the bowl with the stated amount of water on the products instructions. Add 1/4 tsp of Sea Salt to the water, attach the facial mask and switch on the appliance. Once steam is produced, hold your face as close to the steam as feels comfortable.

After The Steam:
Take a cotton pad, and apply the Sea Salt Toner to it. Use this all over the face, concentrating on 'problem' areas (like blackheads etc)
The toner should help remove any impurities that the steam would have brought to the surface, as well as closing the pores to prevent any dirt getting into them.
-You can now moisturise as usual.

After doing the whole thing I noticed my pores were a lot clearer, and the toner definitely helped remove a few blackheads and impurities.
The results were definitely positive, and I am 100% going to keep this up and continue to do this once a week.

I hope this recipe helps someone. Has anyone tried steaming with sea salt before? Or any other addition for that matter. Any recommendations?


Sunday 9 October 2011

Project Pan Update + Empties

So I completed my September Project Pan! (despite a slight hiccup)

It definitely contolled my spending (ignoring the afore mentioned 'hiccup'), and I'm still trying to decide if I should carry it on for this month.
Although I've already bought things this month, I may put myself on a ban for the rest of it.

After just a month I've managed to use up more than I thought I would, and here are my empties at the end of it all:

Dior 5 Coleurs (pink Idol): I LOVE this palette. It's hard to tell in the photo, but I have hit pan on the bottom 2 colours. I'll be very sad once this palette is gone as it's my baby.
Repurchase: Definitely!

Treseme 24 Hour Body Shampoo & Conditioner: You may have seen these in a previous post, and I do really like them. They work well for me, though they are no miracle product. My hair wasn't any bigger after using them, but I really like the scent of them both.
Repurchase: I would consider buying these again, though for now I am using something else (you should alternate shampoo & conditioners to prevent product build-up)

Clarins Cleansing Milk: A holy grail of mine, I absolutely love this cleanser. It works perfectly on my sensitive/combination skin, and never lets me down.
Repurchase: Absolutely!

W7 Honolulu Bronzer: I really like this bronzer, again it's one of my holy grails. It just gives a nice bronzed look without being too orange or too dark. 
Repurchase: As soon as I can find it again (I can no longer find it in my local Savers) I will be buying this for sure.

George Ultra Matte Pressed Powder: This always gives me a nice matte finish to my make up, and doesn't come out blotchy or orange. The colour is a really good match to my own, and it is an amazing bargain.
Repurchase: Yes

Lush Vanishing Cream: I think I'm saddest to see this one go, as it's one of the few moisturisers that my skin actually likes. Yes it is pricey, but (for someone who finds it hard to find a suitable moisturiser) it's definitely worth it, and it's lasted me since April.
Repurchase: Yes


Boots 200 Clear Nails Verdict

You may have seen my previous post on the 200 Clear Nails from Boots last week.
(if not, you can find it here)

The box stated that the nails last up to a week, so I tested them out, and a week later I'm back with my verdict:

Nail Quality: I really like these nails. They get thicker towards the end of the nail, blend well around the cuticle, and are very strong and resilient. I did find one of the nails developed a split, but that was due to it coming off, and then getting reapplied a few times. But then you have a whole stash of replacements to go to!

Durability: Did these last the full 7 days? Not even close. The day after I applied these, one fell off. And over the next few days the rest followed.
These are, however, great for a night out and will definitely last the whole night.
The main thing I worried about was losing them in the shower, but they managed to cling on and I had absolutely no trouble with the hot water affecting the glue. (I can't comment on how they'd last in the bath as I didn't text that out).

These are easy to glue back on once they start falling off, and you definitely notice when they come loose, so there's no chance of losing them. I have used cheap false nails before and looked down to find one (or more) has completely disappeared without even realising. But you don't get that with these, which is great as you can just quickly glue it back on!

Possible Disadvantage: There are food allergies I have which means I'm pretty low on calcium. Because of this my nails are very weak, don't grow properly, and are quite flat. The Boots clear nails are curved (like normal natural nails), so the stress of having to hold on to flat nails may have taken its toll. This may be why the nails didn't stay on for as long it claimed, so I won't fully blame the product for that.

Repurchase: Definitely! Though I'd be tempted to buy a stronger glue. But these are definitely great value for money, and it's worth purchasing just for the nails alone.

Despite the fact they didn't last a week, I do like these nails a lot. Now I'd love to try out the Kiss nails to see how they compare to one another. I have used Kiss's Everlasting Nails before, and was very impressed, so I wouldn't be surprised if their glue was a lot better than the one in this kit.
-But then you get half the nails for £1 less.

Would you be likely to purchase these? I'd love to know if these have impressed/disappointed you after this review.


Tuesday 4 October 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month NOTD

Products Used:

-Famous in Tempting Taupe
-MUA in shade 3
-Rimmel 60 seconds Clear nail polish
-Thin Eyeliner Brush

Cancer is a terrible disease which has, in one way or another, affected most (if not all) of us at some point in our lives. It comes in many different forms, but each one is just as horrible as the next. I will definitely be supporting Breast Cancer Research this month, as well as other types in months to come.

There are many ways to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, and one of the ways I thought I'd show mine (as well as donating) was to also wear the pink ribbon in this way.

Unfortunately my work uniform is all black, so I thought this would be a nice subtle way to show support at work, as well as by wearing the actual ribbon.

This is my first ever attempt at any kind of  nail art. I don't have any of the proper tools for it, hence why I used an eyeliner brush. I don't use it anyway, so I'm not too worried about the fact that I've potentially ruined it :/ Woops!
I hope you like it!

How will you be showing your support this month?


Friday 30 September 2011

Denman Brush Review

With my hair naturally being very flat at the roots, I'm always looking for ways to give it more life and body.
I do back-comb my hair in order to achieve this, and I have heard a lot of people rave about back-combing brushes. Though I could not find them anywhere on the high street.

Whilst watching a youtube video by the lovely Sailor Jennie, I spotted she had one of these brushes. She told me she got hers from Amazon, so I went and purchased one straight away (I checked on ebay too, but they were more expensive there).
The Brush:

I chose the Denman brush for just £3.50. It arrived really quickly, and in great condiotion.
The bristles are very strong, and barely move. You can see from the photos below that the brush contains 3 rows of these firm bristles, and they are relatively compact.

How I Use It:
I used the narrow handle to section off the top half of my hair, and clipped the top layer up.
Holding my hair out at a 90 degree angle, I used the brush to backcomb my roots.
I then applied my favourite hairspray to hold the hair in place.
This process was continued all the way up to the crown of my hair.
To stop my hair looking like a birds-nest, I lightly brush the top layer of my hair to smooth it.

Before & After:
Before: Very limp roots                                                                           After: Lift & body   
Overall Effect:

As you can see my hair isn't stuck to my head (like it would be naturally).
This is more of a subtle lift for the day. If you want more volume you can easily achieve this with a bit more back-combing, and doing it further down as well as at the roots.

Overall I am really happy with this brush, and it was such a bargain!


Thursday 29 September 2011

Better Late Than Never!

So it's been an absolute nightmare trying to get hold of my first Glossybox (The Royal Mail lost it), but it finally arrived yesterday!

This is going to be a short one as I'm sure you've read enough reviews on the September box already, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on my first ever box.

Here's what my box contained:

01) Green People Day solution: 
"Suitable for all skin types this alcohol-free daily moisturiser helps to balance & nourish the skin."
02) HD Brows Palette (Bombshell): 
"Eyebrow experts have developed this fantastic multi-use palette containing four matte eye-brow colours. They double up as and eyeshadow and eyeliner & last 24 hours!"
03) Moa The Green Balm: 
"Crammed with organic yarrow and lots of other lovely natural stuff this little pot of Moa balm has many weird and wonderful uses."
04) Plum by Mary Greenwell Eau de Parfum: 
"A stunning classic chypre with a memorable modern twist."
05) Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner: 
"For longer, stronger hair. Adds bounce, body and shine. Ideal for colour treated hair."

My first thoughts:

01) From swatching it it seems like a really good moisturiser. Though I doubt I'll ever be able to get past the smell of it :/
02) I was so happy to see this in my box, as I've said before I am eyebrow obsessed. Though, having dark hair, I'm quite disappointed I got this in 'Bombshell' as it's clearly for blondes. Having said that, I haven't tried it out yet so I won't judge it too much until I've used it.
03) This has quite an unusual smell, but I actually really like it! I love multi-use products, so I will definitely be looking up all its uses.
04) At first I didn't think this perfume was anything special, but once applied it's really growing on me! Its a lovely musky floral scent, and I really would consider buying this (though the £90 price tag does put me off).
05) Finally the shampoo and conditioner: They claim to do everything I want in a shampoo and conditioner. I really cant wait to try these. They supplied 2 sachet's of each, so hopefully I'll get a good enough impression to do a review on them.

Value for money? With the HD palette alone, this box is definitely value for money!

Glossybox's customer service in regards to my lost box was amazing, and I couldn't have asked for any more from them. I always think customer service is so important in a company.
For this I would definitely recommend them to others.

As for the box, (despite the colour of the palette) I am really impressed with it as they definitely fit my beauty profile, and I can't wait to see what's in Octobers box!


Wednesday 28 September 2011

Holy Grail: Haircare

This post was quite hard to write because I'm still learning what works for my hair, but here are the Holy Grail products that I continue to buy over and over.

Without further adieu, here are the products and tools I love:


I use hair spray a lot, particularly when getting ready for a night out.
I use the L'oreal hair spray to hold any curls, or at the end to hold the overall style. I find this works really well.

My absolute favourite is Umberto Gianni's 'Backcomb in a Bottle' (read my review here).
I love volumnous hair, but naturally my hair is quite limp. I use this spray to aid in my backcombing, as it holds it well. Yet it feels like it does less damage when I use this.
-I recommend this to anyone who back-combs, or who needs that extra oomph.


These are two more products I use to give my hair volume. In slightly damp hair I spray Catwalk's Root Boost into my roots (sectioning my hair to reach most of the head). I then massage it slightly in, and lift my roots up whilst blow drying.

I also use John Frieda's Blow Dry Lotion before hair drying, spraying it through sections and brushing through. It works especially well if you blow-dry with a round brush (which I'll admit I cant always be bothered to do!)


I have used GHD's for nearly a decade now, and I can't see myself ever using another hair straightener. In that whole time I've only had to replace them once, and that was only because I stood on my 1st iron :'(


If your hair is limp like mine, you'll probably find no high-street dryer has enough power to give it lift.
Sallys stock dryers with a higher wattage than on the high-street, and they supply hair dressers so you know you're getting the best!

This hair dryer came from Sallys, and it is amazing. With normal dryers I always felt like I'd get more power from having someone blow on my hair instead. It's a little pricey (around £40-50),  but the power is enough to actually give my hair body! Plus it comes with 6 attachments. I can't claim to know what they're all for, but I love using the 2nd one from the right to heat up rollers.


On the left is a cheap brush from Superdrug, which does the basic job of keeping my hair knot-free. The bristles are quite firm, so they are very good at getting through my very knotty hair.

The comb I use to section parts of my hair, and then tease/back-come it for more lift.

On the right is my compact Tangle Teaser. This is for when my hair is a little too knotty, and its amazing at brushing out back-combed hair.


I wear these on a night out, or if my hair is looking a bit limp or thin.
I don't wear them for length (my hair's the same length of them anyway), but I do wear them to make my hair look thicker.

These came from Sallys, and were about £20 each (I have 3). I got them nearly 3 years ago, and they've lasted amazingly as they're 100% natural hair.
I would definitely recommend this for people with limp hair, but don't want to back-comb for thickness (though I'd recommend 4 for volume, or 3 for length).

So that's it for this week! My next Holy Grail post will be up next Wednesday.
Until then I'd love to hear your Hair Holy Grails.


Tuesday 27 September 2011

Boots 200 Clear Nails Review

As much as I hate to admit it, for most of my life I was a serial nail biter. From about the age of 2, up until I finished college, I continued to bite.
I dreamed of having beautiful long nails like everyone else around me, so by the time I did eventually stop I was very disheartened to discover I was never going to have nails like that.

My nails are very weak and bendy. I have grown them quite long(ish) before, but their shape is very distorted and they are very prone to breaking. So I've finally admitted defeat and decided to give falsies a go!


A friend of mine absolutely raves about Kiss's pack of 100 nails, so I popped into Boots to buy some (I tried their Everlasting Nails at the beginning of the year, and they were incredible!).

However, when I go there I saw Boots had their own version, but instead of 100 nails this pack contained 200, at less than £1 more. So I figured I'd give these a try (though I was a bit doubtful about the strength of the glue in this pack).

The pack contains 10 different sizes (20 of each) and nail glue.
Unlike Kiss's sets, these don't come with a nail file, which I think it could have needed.

-To begin with I picked out all 10 nails that were the closest match to my nail size.
-I then applied the glue to one of my nails, and then placed the allocated false nail on top, holding it firmly in place for a few seconds.
(note: I recommend cutting your own nails as short as you can before fixing a false nail to it, especially if your nails are prone to breaking)
-Once the nail glue has set, you can trim and file the nails to your desired length, and then you're done!

To remove these you simply soak them in acetone nail polish remover, and wipe away the nails and glue when soft.

Finished Result
I did go on to paint my nails, and no surprise I went for my absolute favourite colour: Tempting Taupe by Famous (see here).

My nails are naturally flat, but you can see these false nails are not. I have used false nails in the past but with disasterous results. Within 10 minutes I'd notice at least one was missing (with the rest soon to follow), and the glue would barely hold.

BUT, I've had these on for a few hours now with no problems at all! And they promise to last about 7 days.
I will update you to let you know if they lasted the full 7 days. So far, though, I'm very impressed.

I have 2 jobs which are pretty hands on, so if these can stand up to my lifestyle then the are pretty damn good!

I'd love to know if anyone else has tried these before?


Sunday 25 September 2011


At the end of August I said I'd be starting my Project Pan (here), where for the whole of September I wasn't going to spend any money on make-up, skincare or haircare.
HOWEVER.... I confess I broke my ban :(

You may have all seen that E.L.F. have frequently been offering very tempting deals, and had a few 50% off. Though I had managed to ignore them and resist the urge to spend. Until last week when I received an email from them which read "Last Ever 50% Off!"
-I had managed to resist their offers thinking that they do them so often that they'd have another 50% off by the time my ban was over. But this email showed this was potentially my last chance, so I logged on and and purchased :(

I thought I'd share with you the 9 products I succumbed to:


You may have seen a previous post (here) I wrote in converting an E.l.f palette to house my Dior 5 Couleurs eyeshadows. I wanted to get more to store my other one, plus any other awkward sized shadows I have floating around in my collection.

I got 4 as they're so cheap, and wanted at least on spare in case I need it in the near future.

Eyebrow Kit in Medium
        With Gel                                                                                       With Gel & Powder
You may know that I am a little eyebrow obsessed, so it's no surprise I bought this! I wasn't sure which shade to go for, so I played it safe and got it in Medium. 
I'm so glad I did as you can see the dark would have been way too much, as medium comes out quite dark as it is.

I'm very happy with this product.
The compact has a little mirror inside, and also comes with a tiny brush.
-And when I say tiny, I mean TINY! The dual brush it comes with is ridiculously thin. It's so difficult to handle as it's so small, and this is coming from someone with small hands :/ 
So I don't use the brush it came with, but other than that so far I love this!

Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose
This is great for both lining and filling in the lips. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to add more definition to their lips.

I love this colour. This is the colour I've been hunting for for months. Its a lovely petal/neutral colour, with blue undertones (it's best for my skin tone, and perfect for whiter looking teeth). It's very soft, not too muted and not too in your face. For me this is perfect.
(Lip Swatches found down below)

Fantasy                                                                                                        Gypsy
When buying online it's difficult to truly see what colours your choosing, and these look a bit different to what I thought.
Out of the 2 colours I'd say Fantasy was more suited to my skin tone. Gypsy is a bit too 'in your face' for me, and I can't see myself ever having the confidence to wear this. Though Fantasy isn't really 'me' either. Though I can definitely see these suiting others.

They're definitely good quality lipsticks. It's just a shame the colours don't suit me!
(Lip Swatches found down below)

      Bark                                                                                            Pink Lemonade
I hadn't seen any reviews on these (due to me not looking for them) so I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of the feel of the 'liquid'. I guess I was hoping it would be very smooth, yet when I applied it it did have a sticky consistency.

Now I'm really not a big fan of lipglosses, because I hate the feel of having thick sticky goo on my lips. But the stickyness of this is very tolerable. It didn't feel like my hair would be likely to stick to it (if, say, I got caught out in wind) and these glosses give a nice minty, cooling sensation when applied. They're very subtle colours, so I will be using them on top of lipsticks to make slightly custom colours.

                 Tea Rose                                 Tea Rose with Bark (bottom lip)
Fantasy                                                         Gypsy

I haven't had a chance to use this yet, though I've been wanting to try this for ages.
I'll review this once I've got round to using it.


I had my eye on this for a while as I have a few travel-sized brushes, yet I had nowhere to store them or keep them safe.
You can see it's a little long for my travel brushes, BUT it's better than having them rattle around my bag.

Alternative Use:

You could always use this to organize any make-up you take with you on your travels.
This would store eyeliners & mascaras too, though lipsticks would get lost.

This was my total spend:
Elf Quads: £1.50 (75p)
Eyebrow Kit: £3.50 (£1.75)
Matte Lip Colour: £3.50 (£1.75)
Lipstick: £1.50 (75p)
Liquid Lipstick: £1.50 (75p)
Brush Cleaner: £3.50 (£1.75)
Brush Case: £5 (£2.50)
Total: £13.72

I know I've broken my ban, but this was potentially the last time they have 50% off for at least a few months, so I've saved money in the long term. And other than for swatches, none of this will be used until my spending ban is over. And I will continue this ban until the end of the month regardless.

It probably doesn't count, but it's better I see this as a bump in the road, instead of giving up and spending money with the idea that 'I've failed, so I might as well start spending again'.

Did anyone else take advantage of this offer? Would love to know what you got!

@ Beauty Not Just Skin Deep.