First Impression: L’oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Range

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When I heard about the L’oreal Clay range I got really excited – “A treatment, shampoo and conditioner range combats the excessive oil production at the roots but also any dehydration throughout the lengths and ends.”

I get so frustrated with all the shampoos and conditioners on the market as everything is made for dry and damaged hair, generally because in this day an age everyone is using excess heat on their hair or dying their various colours. Although I tend to use heat on my hair, I don’t colour my hair due to being allergic to most hair dyes so my hair is actually in a good condition but I do suffer from oily hair. I sometimes find myself so envious at those lucky people who could leave washing their hair only once or twice a week. It’s quite the opposite with me, I have to wash my hair 4-5 times a week and on those in-between days I will nearly always need to wear my hair up to avoid my hair looking dirty or lifeless. And what with needing to blow-dry my hair every time because it takes so long to air dry, washing my hair is a lengthy process and quite frankly a pain in the arse!

The main products in the range is the pre-shampoo clay mask, shampoo and conditioner –

L’oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Masque Pre Shampoo Treatment – this is a bit of a strange concept to get your head around. It’s a blue clay-like liquid (similar to a clay face mask) which you rub into your roots whilst your hair is dry, leave for 5 minutes and rinse well. For me, this sensation feels a little gross as your hair feels gungy, matted and I can’t wait to rinse it out and give my hair a proper wash. It also (unsurprisingly) smells very clay-like, just so you’re warned in case you don’t like the smell.

L’oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-Balancing Shampoo & Conditioner – To be honest, not a great deal to write home about for these – they are just a normal shampoo and conditioner, however I was interested which products really made the difference?

I’ve used the products now about three times, twice using the clay mask treatment beforehand and once without and just using the shampoo and conditioner. My first impression is – the mask makes all the difference! When I used the shampoo and conditioner on their own, I still needed to wash my hair after a couple of days and I actually also felt it left a strange residue in my hair – nothing too drastic but my hair did feel like there was almost some product build up. Using the shampoo and conditioner with the mask however still left my hair feeling the same but my hair definitely lasted an extra day without washing, so the feeling of slightly residue is a feeling I can definitely live with if it means I can leave washing my hair for an extra day!

My next experiment will definitely be to try using the mask and maybe using another kind of shampoo and conditioner afterwards to avoid the residue feeling, although I am worried it won’t have the lasting effects of not needing to wash my hair as frequent.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have you tried the L’oreal Clay Range yet? What are your thoughts?

Podcasts – Top-Picks

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As I spend the majority of my life these days commuting back and forth to London, I have really starting enjoying podcasts and here are my top picks.

Girl Boss Radio – I am probably the only person in the world that has not yet read Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso (but don’t you worry, it’s on order from Amazon as we speak), but when I saw that she had started her own podcast I thought it was worth a listen. Each and every week Sophia interviews an influential #girlboss and talks about how they got to where they are today. It’s inspiring and with Sophia’s has a great sense of humour it makes for perfect commuter listening.

Serial – If you haven’t heard about the Serial podcasts before, where have you been? The strap line for the podcast is- one story told week by week. The first season investigates the true story of the murder of Hae Min Lee and interviews everyone involved including Adnan Syed who is currently serving time for the crime. It keeps you hooked week after week, and it’s now back with season two looking at the true story of Bowe Bergdahl who was a U.S solider who has held prisoner by Taliban for nearly five years. Warning – as they are based on true stories, you find yourself spending your lunch breaks on trying to research more and more into the story.

The Lively Show – A podcast from the blogger Jess Lively. I first came across Jess’s podcast when Anna from Vivanna Does Makeup spoke about her – Anna actually appeared in one of the episode and Jess interviewed Anna on how she became a blog/YouTuber. As described on apple podcasts “The Lively Show is a weekly podcast designed to add a little extra intention to your everyday. Episodes will touch on various aspects of our lives including possessions, personal habits, relationships and careers.” Jess is currently on her 120th episode and you always come away from listening to her podcasts feeling up-lift, thoughtful and inspired.

Woman of the Hour – I’ll be completely honest, I am still making my mind up about Lena Dunham (watch Girls – liked it, read her book – didn’t like it) but I actually really enjoyed her podcasts. Firstly because it didn’t just revolve around her (a little grudge I have about her work) but it approached often taboo subjects which others are too afraid to speak of and talks to people who actually have the life experience. Over 5 episodes (plus a few extra bonus episodes) Lena tackles 5 different subjects – Friendship, Body, Love & Sex, Work and ‘The Big Picture’ with the focus of women. Although there are not many episodes, it’s worth a listen too!

Do you listen to any podcasts? What would be recommend?

Review: Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

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I had heard a lot of great things about the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, and whilst having a mini splurge in Space NK I decided to pick it up and give it a go! I have tried quite a few cleansers in my time, and there is only one or two that have stood the test of time for me and remain in my bathroom cabinet (Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser being one of them!) and the Oskia Cleansing gel might be one that makes a return as well.

As it is more on the expensive side than what I am used to spending on cleansers (everything I use is generally under the £20 mark, however compare to what other cleansers on the market it’s not too bad at £28) I tended to only use this in the evening – but what a treat it was after a long day!

My routine in the evening first starts with removing my make-up with a micellar water and then using the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel as a second deep cleanse. I try to ensure I gave myself a good 15mins for my evening routine and the majority of the time is always given to using the this cleansing gel. With the gorgeous gel consistency  and using the golden advise of the great Lisa Eldridge,  I massage the gel into dry skin for at least a full 5mins – if you haven’t watch her YouTube video on facial massage I urge you to watch it (LINK here). After a long day of work it feels so good and take some ‘me’ time to release all the stress and tension built up naturally in your face, and if it can help prevent wrinkles than I’m all for it! The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel moves so nicely across the skin, skins really nice and leave me skins feelings super clean and soft.

I have tried other cleansing gels before such as Emma Hardie’s Cleansing Balm, and although I did like Emma Hardie’s I actually prefer the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. I think it smell nicer and is way more hygienic with being a pump bottle rather than dipping your hand in a pot every time. The only down side to the Oskia bottle is due to the non-transparent white tube it’s difficult to tell when you’re near to reaching the end. My advice, if you love it too always have a back-up on hand – no one wants that awful evening you go to cleanse and nothing comes out.

I would absolutely recommend Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, and it will be definitely making a return in bathroom cabinet!

Have you tried the Oskia Renaissance  Cleansing Gel yet? What did you think?

New App: Want List

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Basically Tinder but for fashion!

I was actually served their ad via Instagram and I thought it looked interesting, so downloaded on my phone for a closer look. And I think the idea is great!

On the discover tab you are faced with an image of a fashion item, whether it be a dress, pair of shoes, a top, a piece of jewellery or a handbag – it has is it all, then it’s a case of swiping to the left if you don’t like it or swipe to the right if you do. You can also click onto the item to find out more and view more images of the item.

With all the items you swipe to the right, they are saved in your ‘My Want List’. Everything that you liked is collated for you in one place which you can categorize by different items – shoes, accessories, bags, dresses, etc.  There is also a sale section, so can instantly see at a glance if there is anything on your Want List that’s on sale!

I think this is a great idea, although the only downside I would say is the amount of brands they have currently on the app. Apart from the odd brand, there are quite a lot of high-end brands such as – Kate Spade, DKNY, Jimmy Choo and Balenciaga to name a few which are out of my price range but it’s a really nice way to gain some inspiration. Hopefully the more popular the app gets, we might start seeing a few more high-street brands on there but for the moment I will still keep swiping away to gain some fashion inspiration.

Have you tried the Want List app yet? What do you think?

My New Love – Gel Nails

gel nailsI got my manicure at MW Nails in London and the colour is called Determination.

Since working in London, I sometimes get treated to a gel manicure and since experiencing them, I’m converted!

The photo above shows my manicure after one week, and I am usually useless with my nails! I never put on gloves when I wash up, always end up ripping open boxes before think about my nail polish or end up picking off my nail polish after the tiniest chip – I’m terrible! Even with the best top coat, normal nail polish only usually lasts at the very best 4 days on me. Sometimes this isn’t too bad as I often become impatient and want to change up the colour of my nails, but when your fiancé cannot stand the smell of nail polish it becomes hard to find time to sit down and re-paint them.

Not only do they look lovely, neat and shiny, they are meant to last up to two weeks but from my previous experience I have managed to maintain them for nearly three weeks before they start chipping and looking scruffy. Yes a gel manicure can be expensive, however I do think they are worth it –

  • As a previous acrylic nail wear, gel nails are much kinder on your nails. I personally found acrylic nails ruined my nail beds because generally the manicurist has to file down your nails in order for the acrylic to stick, whereas gel nails simply sit on top of your natural nails.
  • I also found my nails need much less recovery time compared to having acrylic nails too. A word of warning though – always remove your gel nails professional. I’ve been really naughty previously and peeled my gel nails off and it ends up peel always ends up peeling away layer of your natural nails.
  • Gel nails take much less time than acrylic nails. It’s simply a routine of file, base coat, first and second coat of colour and top coat. After each coat it’s just a case of needing to seal under a UV lamp – which takes less than 30 seconds! Acrylic nails is a little more of a lengthy process and it kinda smells too. Gel nails are odourless.
  • Gel nails are more natural looking, but if you’re looking for more length then acrylic nails may be the way for you.

The only down sides, is that they don’t last as long as acrylics and ideally you need to go back to nail salon to have them soaked off (although I tend to do this myself using acetone), but apart from that I love them!

Although I won’t be completing converting to gel nails all the time – I am way to impatient with wanting to change my nail colour, I do think for every once and while or for going on holiday they are perfect! And a little tip – its always worth having a look at Wahanda or Group On for a deal on a gel nail manicure!

The next thing I want to try is at home gel nail sets – anyone tried them? What would you recommend?