Skincare: Armani Crema Nera

Source: Armani

So, after all the hassle of moving house, I pretty much forgot about my luxe dream cream - Armani's sumptuous Crema Nera (CN). I figured that with all the chaos of living in a house filled with boxes, nothing could keep stressed-out skin at bay, so I placed it back in it's decadently gorgeous black case, waiting for days when order returned.

And so that day came. I had a bit of time spare before I went to the office today and decided to revisit my old love, and all of a sudden, I was back in the first flushes of our romance. I want to hate this cream. It's £250 for a start - the kind of price tag that had even my die-hard beauty chums shrieking. But the problem is, it works. I applied it to skin that's been slumming it on the Sanctuary's pro-collagen night cream and it's companion day cream (this is in no was a put down as I love this product. Just that it's a fraction of the price of CN!) and my skin got the glow that looks like it comes from way deep within: imagine how you'd look if you were madly in love, just back from a month long paradise holiday and found you had the winning lottery ticket. I look glowly, healthy and like I have the best genes in history. Working 10hr days, eating sporadically and not having the best genes ensures that I damn well wasn't born with it, but anyone who says you can't find happiness at the bottom of a pot of cream is lying. It's an evil recommendation, but this product can't be beaten.

I've used the product for 6 months and saw a significant improvement in my skin tone and texture (altogether more even and smooth). It was more radiant, plumper, and looked like the kind of skin you'd pay your dermatologist a hefty sum to achieve. So save your pocket money, ladies, coat your skin in this heavenly concoction, close your eyes and dream away to the island where your cream was born. Perfection.


Testing: Haircare colour defence ranges

Since recently returning to blonde from brunette - I'm naturally somewhere in between - I have finally started to believe the hype about colour defence shampoo and conditioners. So, in the spirit of your average, hard working blogger, I am going to test shampoos and conditioners for the many of us out there for whom collars and cuffs don't match (cheeky). Although a big fan of Kerastase, I am going to test affordable, widely available products, as we all like a cheap hero product!

The first product is blonde-specific but I quickly move on to a generic colour guard. Read on!

1. Trevor Sorbie - Ice Cool Platinum shampoo and conditioner

This product looked so promising after the first wash but really didn't suit my naturally dry hair. After four washes, my hair was dry and dull - definitely not what I wanted from my colour preserver! As I have naturally very dry hair, I wouldn't rule this out for everyone, as I'm sure it's fine on a stronger hair type. For me though, it lacked the essential moisture I need in an everyday product. I'm pleased I bought the trial products, as I won't be going back to this.

2. Elvive Colour Protect

First wash today and I love, love, love it. It smells great and has left my hair bouncy and shiny (not over the top volume, but it's very swishy, which is a definite bonus). This product works on all colours so if I get bored with my colour, I won't have to restock! And that happens...

Definitely happy with the Elvive so far, but I'll update next week!

Nails: Barry Mmm

A few favourites from my Barry M collection

I know that everyone British Beauty Blogger worth her pedicure has posted about Barry M, and I'm not about to break with tradition. It's no surprise that the brand is going from strength to strength and with stands in Boots, Superdrug and Topshop Oxford Circus (my favourite), the rise looks to continue. And it's their polishes that has this girl more than a little excited.
So, if you haven't tried it, no doubt you're wondering what all the fuss is over a bottle of polish that costs £2.95. Back when I was younger, I thought that the more I spent, the better quality I'd get. At 13, I fell in love with a YSL pink polish, saved up and bought it. It was my first 'designer' make up product, and the packaging made me delirious with excitement. You can imagine my disappointment at the resulting gloopy polish, streaky finish and chips within a day's wear. 14 years later, and I still haven't gone back to YSL for nail polish. Similar experiences with Chanel and MAC have left me pretty cold on high end nail lacquer.
If youth and money are wasted on the young, then with age comes an eye for a bargain. My first Barry M purchases were the red polish (number 262), accompanying red glitter (150) and base/top coat. Seven days later, my nails still sparkled like Dorothy's ruby slippers, and off I skipped down the Yellow Brick Road to buy every colour that caught my eye.
Current favourites are Pink Flamingo (305, and upside down on the far left of the above picture) for fingers and Raspberry (273) for toes. Always apply the base/top coat and you are guaranteed days of fuss-free wear. Definitely my number one nail polish around!

Review: Daniel Hersheson Permanent Blow Dry

Now, I know we've only just met, but I am going to let you into a little secret: my hair is a nightmare. All my life I have hidden from humidity, wailed at wet weather, cursed my colour and felt down right sickened by split ends (but 10 points for alliteration!)

Since starting secondary schools, I have become an expert at taming my unruly, frizzy curls into something approaching straight, but not always the sleek and shiny mane I longed for. And no, I couldn't even coax my curls into anything close to appropriate daywear without first blowing my hair straight and then deploying a curling tongue. I mean, can you imagine?

So, high school horrors behind me, when I first read about the Permanent Blow Dry (PBD), my interest was definitely piqued. Three months with hair that stays straight even after a torrential downpour, and aimed solely at us poor girlies bearing the weight of our thick, frizzy mops? It had to be seen to be believed.

I searched all over for reviews and couldn't find many, and I'm assuming the PBD has something akin to celebrity Botox status, leaving the newly lustrous ladies to claim that's how their hair always was. Not me: I want to shout about it from the rooftops. THIS TREATMENT WORKS!

I am on my third blow dry and the every-three-months prediction is spot of for me, and boy, what a three months. Starting from £205, the delightful folks at the Conduit St and Harvey Nicks (Knightsbridge) salons will tame you into the Timotei goddess you always knew was lurking inside. You need a quick consultation (really, this treatment only works on thick, coarse hair, so those of you looking for long term straightening without the taming element required, look to the Yuko system), and then your hair is washed and coated in a delicious, caramel scented conditioner which nourishes your hair while straightening. To those of you who tried chemical straightening back in the day (I still remember my hair snapping as they peeled the boards off my frazzled frizz...), this will seem impossible, but apparently, miracles happen! Your hair is then blow dried and straightened in small sections, and then you see it: shiny, silky, straight, and not a frizzy in sight. You are issued with three small commandments: don't get your hair wet for three days, don't tie your hair back, and avoid touching it. After three days of sporting your salon perfect blow dry - or as I call it, Gremlin Hair (don't get them wet, feed them after midnight blah blah...) you wash it out and start your new life as a glossy gal. Even more perfectly, the treatment fades out, it doesn't grow out, meaning that you don't have the nasty mis-match of frizzy roots and sleek ends. Genius.

For those of you not in London, fear not. I know that the Trevor Sorbie salons offer a similar treatment (outside of London, they have salons in my native Manchester and Brighton) and anything branded as a 'Brazilian Blow Dry' will likely be the same sort of thing. Non-UK residents should look out for the Brazilian Blow Dry (for those of you in Brazil, I'm guessing it might just be called a Blow Dry!)

My most recent PBD was at Conduit Street with Claire and all in all, it gets a stonking 10/10 as an absolutely essential process for me!

Hello and welcome, folks!

Hi everyone!

Firstly, thanks for checking out my blog. I've recently discovered the wonderful world of beauty blogging and I'm hooked. For the uniniated, the beauty blog's sole purpose in life seems to be to unleash my inner beauty zombie. Giddy over all the gorgeous make up collections and endless array of new products, I find myself heading straight for the nearest make up counter, moaning, 'MUST...BUY...LIPSTICK/EYESHADOW/PRODUCT I ALREADY HAVE MILLIONS OF...NNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!' It's only when I tripped over my three post-house move boxes of make up and hair 'essentials', that I realised that I might have some knowledge to share myself!

So here it is. Hopefully you'll find this blog the perfect solution to endless beauty dilemmas, but more likely, the not-really-needed excuse to go out and buy a new lippie!

Enjoy! x

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