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colleen_uk
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Member since: 06.05.2008

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    • Jack Wills / Apparel Store / 89 Readings / 87 Ratings
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      09.11.2011 11:57
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      A great brand which doesn't deserve so much of the stick that it gets.

      *About Jack Wills
      Jack Wills was founded in 1999 by Robert Shaw and Peter Williams. They named the brand after Williams' late grandfather named Jack Williams and their first store was based in Salcombe in Devon (the original address is still printed on clothing labels). Jack Wills pride themselves on being a premium British clothing brand which view themselves as "university outfitters". Their tagline is "fabulously British" and they provide goods inspired by sporting events such as polo and rugby. They also own another brand Aubin and Wills which is aimed at mature 25-35 year olds in full time employment. There is currently 10 Aubin and Wills stores in the UK. They have a great website which is located at www.jackwills.com where you can view and purchase their products and information about upcoming events.

      *What attracted me?
      The opening of the first Edinburgh Jack Wills store was something of a big deal and meant that we received much propaganda with exclusive tickets for those who wanteed them to attend their launch night. As I was at a private school in Edinburgh (one of their original target audiences) this meant that they held a private fashion show for us before the shop launched and we were able to view the collection. It was since then that I have been a repeated customer due to their great customer service and high quality goods.

      *Locations
      Jack Wills currently operate 49 stores in the UK. They have 9 stores in London, 4 in Scotland and 3 in Ireland. Their flagship store is currently located in Chelsea. They also have 3 outlet stores which offer sale garments to customers all year round but I have yet to visit one of these. The outlet stores online have an exclusive membership which you have to be invited to join after registering meaning that this service is not universally available. A detailed list of their UK stores in available on their website. In summer 2010 they opened three American stores in Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Boston In the summer of 2011 they opened a further eight stores throughout the US.

      *Price
      At is full retail price, Jack Wills' products are rather expensive for a high street brand though not dissimilar to that of their American competitors: Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch. A t-shirt currently retails for around £35 and their sweatpants range between £39-£49. In terms of winter warmers, a gilet costs £98 and a hoodie is around £69 (£98 should you wish for a fur lined hoodie). Though this doesn't sound too much they always have products which are more expensive in each range - for example some of their t-shirts are upwards of £100. The great thing about their sale is that they will usually have upto 75% off!

      *Goods
      Though Jack Wills previously had a range with little variety which was mainly made up of casual wear - largely sweatpants/hoodies/shirts - they now offer customers a huge variety of different products (all proudly supporting the Jack Wills logo). I have since bought long socks from Jack Wills which I love - they look great with boots or under Wellington boots. They now have a home ware section and offer acessories such as bags, makeup and jewellery. I have to say that I personally tend to stick to their original clothing products as I have something of an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" attitude towards the brand. My latest addition was a lovely gilet for winter which is great on top of a hoodie to combat the cold weather.

      *Quality
      I have never had any problems in relation to the quality of my goods, nor has anyone in my family. I still have shirts that I bought over 5 years ago and they are in perfectly good condition. Though their prices are slightly higher; you are receiving a good quality product - meaning that parting with a little more money ensures that you will have a lasting product. They pay attention to packaging and your goods will be held in a lovely little cardboard bag with a string handle - supporting the distinctive navy/pink candy stripes which are reflected on their tags.

      *Logo
      Most of the Jack Wills products come with a logo or indication of their brand that is easily visible. It is through this that it is clearly evident that you are wearing a Jack Wills hoodie or top. Their most easily recognisable logo is the pheasant with a top hat, though they also have goods with JACK WILLS written proudly across them or a simple JW. That is something which I like about the brand; they are happy with the quality of the goods that they product and therefore ensure that it is easily noticeable when someone is wearing one of their garments.

      *Customer Service
      I have primarily shopped in their Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews stores. One thing that I have found always to be a great in all of their branches is their customer service. Their staff often support a "university look" in keeping with the brand and will be friendly and approachable at all times. I have never had a bad experience with rude/inattentive staff - and with customer service lacking somewhat in the past few years I think that this stands alone among many other high street stores. Staff are obviously briefed to ensure that they acknowledge all customers, whether it be with a smile or some polite conversation.

      *Returns
      I have never had to return a product due to any fault however I have returned them in terms of being unsuitable or not fitting. Each time the transaction has been swift (with money returning to my bank in around 3 days) and staff have always been especially helpful - not rude which I have sometimes found when you decide to return something. As long as you return an item within 28 days of purchase you can benefit from a full refund. Jack Wills state "We exchange or refund any* unworn and unwashed items that are in their original condition." (excludes bikinis, underwear etc). Which I think is pretty reasonable for a store. I have often returned goods that I have bought online in store so that I can avoid another delivery charge.

      *Sales/Discounts
      Unfortunately they do not offer a student discount (which seems strange as they advertise themselves as university outfitters). I am guessing that this is because primarily their customers are students and therefore it would not benefit them to offer any discounts. They also do not offer any free delivery on their website - regardless of how much you spend - which seems a shame as most websites seem to offer this privilege now. Their sales however are great and I have often found some real bargains. You can find items reduced up to 75% off and this is a considerable reduction on expensive goods. I have bought sweatpants for £18 which were otherwise £49 and a hoodie which was £69 down to £29. You may have to be prepared to que, especially during their Christmas sales, as I have seen queues outside the door with bouncers letting customers in at intervals (all very exclusive). I also recently benefited from an online discount code which allowed me to receive a 30% discount - meaning that my £100 gilet was considerably reduced. The voucher code was simply something I stumbled across therefore they are worth keeping an eye out for!

      *Delivery
      One concern that I had was that when I ordered from their website they simply sent the packages without recorded delivery - this meant that had the post office lost the goods or delivered them to the wrong place then my goods could have been unrecoverable and wouldn't have been insured. With my order being worth £150 I have to say that I wouldn't have been too pleased had this been the case. However the delivery was prompt and I received my goods on Tuesday - having ordered them on Thursday night with a £4 standard delivery charge. An £8 charge is placed on premium delivery (1-3 days) which is quite steep. The website also provides international shipping to Europe, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Hong Kong for a £12 fee.

      *Events
      The thing that I like about the Jack Wills brand is that they do not limit themselves simply to selling clothes. They also sponsor events and festivals for unsigned bands which they call "seasonaires". I recently received an invite to their Oxford/Cambridge polo match and after party for which tickets are priced at £15 each. I have only been to a couple of their events in Edinburgh which have been held in a few clubs throughout the city though I have never found them to be overly different to a normal night out - except the scantily clad staff supporting Jack Wills underwear and t-shirts.

      *Conclusion
      Jack Wills is a great brand which I think is underrated amongst most high-street retailers. Their attention to quality products is something rather different from other retailers and though their prices are slightly higher they are worth paying (and worth keeping an eye out for sales). They are always making additions to their collections in order to compete and follow trends and it is for this reason that I am happy to shop there.

      Love Colleen
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      • OPI Nail Laquer Shatter / Make Up / 71 Readings / 66 Ratings
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        05.11.2011 02:14
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        A great product for nail lovers!

        Crackle paint has become a cult favourite for nail fanatics - so is it a product which can be easily used by an everyday consumer?

        *Overview
        Crackle Nail Varnish has become a popular addition to many nail enthusiasts' collections. It is a top coat which once drying, painted over an underneath colour, begins to split apart and reveal the colour beneath. This means that users can vary their different nail looks with the simple addition of one product. Nail leaders, OPI, have their own version of the popular paint which they name "Shatter Paint" and tell consumers "Our shatter range creates a matte "shattered" effect when painted over your nail laquer.". So why is OPI shatter paint one of the most popular of its kind currently on the market?

        *About OPI
        The OPI brand name stands for Odontorium Products Inc and was founded in 1981 by George Schaeffer. He founded the business after taking over a dental supply company which was previously owned by his Grandfather's cousin. He first produced a high quality acrylic based nail laquer which was sold to salons on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles. The popularity has spread from these salons very quickly and caused demand to soar. It still remains a family owned business despite its global success and prides itself on producing salon quality products with worldwide distribution. OPI has been endorsed by an extensive number of celebrities including: Lady Gaga, The Muppet, Katy Perry and most recently Nicky Minaj. The OPI website excites me more than any other cosmetic website. You can try on their HUGE range of colours onto different hand models and mix and match their various products to see how they look together. It is every girl's dream and I suggest that you pay it a visit (www.opi.com).

        *What attracted me?
        I purchased this product because my friend is a nail technician and she has often used this shatter paint when giving me a manicure. I have always loved the results that the paint gives and though there are cheaper alternatives to this I am too brand loyal to use any other. My friend also swears by the OPI range and fortunately holds a Sally's card which means that we can purchase beauty products at a discounted rate. This particular shatter paint was available on promotion and meant that we paid only £5 for a bottle - a considerable reduction on its RRP.

        *Price/availability
        The RRP of a 15ml bottle of shatter paint is £10.50. It is available in many different beauty salons and department stores - with John Lewis charging £10.50 the black/red/blue/ variety. As I previously mentioned it is also available at Sallys for £10.50 but you can benefit from discounts with a trade card. It is available from ASOS.com (black/silver) for £10.50 - I have also spotted that the navy shatter paint is only £6.95 so that is quite a bargain! There are various different companies offering the paint much cheaper online but I always think you should air on the side of caution as these are often fake products which are much less effective than the original product.

        *Design
        One thing that I love about this product is the cute bottle that it comes in. The bottle is slim at the top with a paint effect on the silver stem which demonstrates the results that the product gives. The bottle is large and rounded at the bottle with the OPI label at the front. The bottle looks really sleek and stands out well amongst other nail products - whilst having a shape that is in keeping with the whole OPI range. The stem allows for a comfortable grip which is key when trying to keep a steady hand for applying the polish. As the brush is relatively thick this means that fewer strokes are needed for application - which lengthens your nails and is especially important for shatter paint. The lightweight feel of the brush means that you won't over exhort pressure on the nails and you will be able to glide along - ensuring even application.

        *Shades
        I first purchased the product when shatter paint wasn't so universally available and therefore OPI only had one shade (black). However they now boast a wide range of colours which I love - including a limited edition shatter paint specially for the Nicky Minaj range which I am highly excited about! The colours currently on offer are:

        ~ Turquoise
        ~ Navy
        ~ Silver
        ~ Blue
        ~ Red
        ~ White
        ~ Black
        ~ Gold
        ~ Pink

        The wide range of colours mean that you can make on-trend colour matches which will compliment whatever you wear. I am definitely a fan!

        *Consistency
        The paint itself is quite thick (which is to enhance the effect) and it means that it can look quite daunting or low quality to begin with. However this is simply so that you only need one layer that will shatter - two layers will mean that the effect is ruined and you will just have a thick layer on top of your original colour. I do find that sometimes the paint can dry out because of the air and therefore the brush becomes rather clumpy and hard. When this happens I simply give the brush a wipe with nail polish remover. If I have had the bottle over 3 months it sometimes starts to dry out and congeal inside but you can combat this by simply pouring a small amount of nail polish remover into the bottle and shaking.

        *Use
        Using the paint does take some getting used to as it is quite a pernickety process which requires good judgement and plenty of practise. It is like everything - the application is a skill and once you work it out you can use the product with ease. You need to get the amount of polish right:

        ~ If you apply too little: you will have a broken up look which simply looks like you have been wearing the polish too long and it is beginning to chip
        ~ If you apply too much: the paint does not shatter and instead looks as though you have quickly attempted to paint another colour over your nails which is slightly messy.
        ~ If you apply the paint in an even layer: then you will have the perfect shatter which will make nails looks patterned evenly and gives an ideal crackled effect.

        You should apply the paint over two coats of a contradictory colour which are completely dry. This means that I will usually leave my original colour for at least an hour before I apply the shatter paint. The shatter paint will initially cover this original colour and then within a minute you will see a complete transformation before your eyes. The paint will begin to split and reveal the colour below in an even fashion. The paint doesn't take long to dry - probably a maximum of five minutes. In order to achieve a high glossy finish which will last longer I then apply a clear top coat.

        *Effects
        The nail paint looks great and gives texture to your nails. I find that the paint will last at least 3 days without any signs of wear and the great thing is that even once the nails do begin to chip this doesn't look quite so noticeable as it is in keeping with the design of the nails. I do find that without a top coat this can mean that your nails are more easily chipped; however I would say that this is the same with most nail polishes.

        *Conclusion
        This is a great addition to your nail range and one that I will always use. I think that it is great that you can quickly add a twist to otherwise plain nails which, with some practice, is so easy to do. The wide range of colours mean that there are many needs which are catered for and you can add variety to all of your nail colours. It is a breath of fresh air for nail addicts. A great tip is to use a glittery colour underneath as it looks great contrasted against the matte shatter paint. OPI have done it again!

        Love Colleen
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        • More +
          05.11.2011 00:33
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          A good lengthening mascara, but not quite thickening enough!

          The make-up industry is facing scrutiny after false advertising and airbrushing in order to enhance the effects of their products. Mascara has been one of the products most heavily involved in these claims; so are there actually mascaras out there that can deliver on their claims?

          *Overview
          As with all make-up products, mascara is designed to enhance the features which you already possess. Therefore if you don't have long eyelashes I am afraid that you will have to accept that without the use of extensions or falsies you will never have the long, thick (and artificial) eyelashes that you see predominantly see littered throughout magazines and television adverts, however with a good mascara which suits your lashes you will be able to enhance your eyelashes length and volume; resulting in more aesthetically appealing eyes. Maybelline claim that their Lash Stiletto Voluptuous Mascara "does for lashes what stilettos do for legs. Your lashes will have the most luscious length that they will ever wear. The mascara lengthens and plumps with every stroke giving dramatic length with impact volume". They also state that their mascara is suitable for sensitive eyes or those who wear contact lenses.

          *About Maybelline
          Maybelline was created by the chemist T.L. Williams in 1915. His sister used to apply Vaseline and coal dust to her eyelashes as a make shift mascara. He altered this method and in his laboratory managed to produce a product that would be sold locally and named Lash-Brow-Ine. Although the profuct was successful, the uninspired and awkward name meant that it prevented it from having its potential success. Williams' sister was called Maybel so he decided to change the name to Maybelline (incorporating the original use of Vaseline). 1917 saw the company produce their Maybelline Cake Mascara, "the first modern eye cosmetic for everyday use".
          In 1991, Maybelline coined their world famous slogan - "Maybe She's Born With It. Maybe It's Maybelline" and this added greatly to their success, along with heavy celebrity endorsement. From 1996, the Maybelline company was owned (as with many cosmetics producers) by L'Oreal which has seen it go from strength to strength in the make-up industry. As with most make-up manufacturers Maybelline promote a great website (www.maybelline.co.uk) where they give you make-up tips, full product descriptions and also application videos.

          *What attracted me?
          I love my eyelashes and my make-up product that I can't live without is mascara. I often use up to 5 different mascaras in one application in order to benefit front each of their qualities; building/lengthening/curling/thickening etc. For this reason I am always keeping my eyes peeled for a new mascara as I often find that they will be on offer when they are first introduced. Lash Stiletto was no different and when it first launched I benefited from £2 off. There was also a sleek and sexy campaign which boasted long lashes and a mascara look that compared to stiletto heels - what more could a girl want?!

          *Price/Availability
          Maybelline Lash Stiletto Voluptuous Mascara is slightly pricier than regular mascaras available on the high-street but it does still fall into the mid-range pricing category. From Boots the mascara will cost you £8.19 for 27.8g. Luckily the mascara is also available from Supermarkets so you are able to pick one up along with your weekly shop. Tesco and Waitrose both charge £8.16 each for the mascara while Asda undercut this slightly at £8.12. You can also purchase the product online from www.feelunique.com for £6.95 with free delivery.

          *Design
          ** Bottle
          The outer packaging of the mascara is a deep red which is rather eye catching and part of what appealed to me. I believe that the brownish black version comes in a black tube however other than the colour difference the design is largely the same. The bottle is a rectangular shape and is rather thin - meaning that it slots into a make-up bag in a well organised fashion.

          ** Brush
          The brush is one of the key features of this product as it is in an S like shape. This sets it aside from other products and is one of the reasons that I was attracted to the product as it was subject to much promotion. The S shape means that one side of the brush pushes the lashes upwards while the other side scoops them upwards - meaning sky-high volume. The brush can sometimes look as though the mascara is slightly clumpy but I think that this is due to the fact that the strands of the brush as so close together and these clumps are not reflected on your lashes. I find that the brush does dispense a good amount of the mascara and you do not pull it out to find copious amounts on the brush meaning that your lashes become heavy through over application.

          *Colour
          The mascara is available in two shades. I personally use the black one as I have dark hair and brown mascara doesn't frame my eyes enough; however the brown is perfect for those with lighter hair or who prefer a more natural look. The two available shades are:

          ~ Very Black
          ~ Brownish Black

          I find that although the mascara claims to be "very black" it is not largely different from the other black mascaras that I own. I am guessing this is more of a marketing ploy to set this product aside from all the other black mascaras. The two shades are also available in a waterproof version which I have yet to try.

          *Use
          I personally find that it is best to apply the mascara in upwards motion - yet also vibrating the wand from side to side while you do so in order to spread out the lashes and coat them efficiently. This helps to prevent any clumping and means that you cover even the smaller lashes which are often missed. The thing that I like about this mascara is that because it is rectangular tube this helps to make it easier to use. I have found that with rounded brushes it is often harder to twirl the brush as you are using it. Because the bottle is square this means that you can rotate it with ease and keep track of how much you are twisting the wand round. I usually coat my lashes a couple of times in order to build my look, but it should be noted that you always coat lashes whilst the mascara is still wet to avoid clumping. As I don't always find that I get a particularly full look from this mascara I will follow it with at least one more, namely Masterpiece by Maxfactor. However I would contextualise this by saying that as I am rather fussy, I have never been able to find a mascara that I can use on it own - and trust me I have used a lot of the mascaras which are on the market!

          *Effect
          The results from this product are very noticeable. With just one simple, quick application my lashes are considerably lengthened and defined as well are being somewhat thicker. I do find that this mascara has to be applied carefully as it does have the potential to turn your lashes "spider-like". My lashes do remain the same way from application, all day, until I remove my make-up at night - meaning that they need no reapplication (you are advised not to reapply mascara once the initial coat is dried anyway). I do sometimes find that you will get better, more naturally fuller looking lashes, if you mix and match the product with other mascaras.

          *Removal
          The good thing about this mascara is that it is not overly difficult to apply - I simply use a non-make-up removing make-up wipe and find that with a slight scrub I have removed the majority of the mascara. This should be expected as the mascara is not waterproof which I usually find is the reason that you will struggle to remove a mascara. I tend to wash my face afterwards as you will often find that though the face wipe is not removing anymore mascara some hot soapy water will cause some more to budge.

          *Conclusion
          I find that this is one of the best mascaras that I have tried. There are a lot of mascaras on the market making all different claims and this is the best one for giving yourself lengthened lashes. Though it may not be the most volumising mascara around it is often difficult to find a mascara which lengthens and thickens without using more than one mascara. Maybelline's Lash Stilleto Mascara doesn't cause your lashes to clump and it gives you framed eyes which will last all day. The product claims that you will have long lashes which won't be skinny. But unfortunately I don't find that this is entirely true - instead I find that I have extra long lashes with a little volume. I guess we can't ask for everything!

          Love Colleen
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          • Darphin Fibrogene Cream / Darphin / 46 Readings / 43 Ratings
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            01.11.2011 00:08
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            Definitely worth a try for dry skin

            Preventing aging is highly popular in the current social climate, so are there really moisturising products which can do so?

            *Overview
            Moisture is highly important in order to keep skin healthy and prevent the early signs of aging. Cooler weather can cause skin to dry out as it is constantly facing wind and rain; while hot weather can draw the moisture out from the skin. With the British climate being so varied and unpredictable I find that it is important to own a product which will keep skin hydrated and moisturised during these extreme circumstances. Darphin have developed a their Fibrogene Line Response Nourishing Cream for dry to very dry skin and state that you should invest in the cream if:

            ~ You wish to prevent early signs of aging
            ~ You prefer rich, creamy moisturizers
            ~ You suffer from a drab, moisture-depleted complexion
            ~ You battle with the tightening feeling associated with dryness

            They claim that their Fibrogene Line Response Nourishing Cream will provide its consumer with benefits such as:

            ~ Nourished skin
            ~ Immediate relief from the tightening feeling
            ~ Reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
            ~ Improved skin density and plumper skin appearance.

            These are problems that I am sure many people can relate to and therefore I would expect that if this product does work it is going to be universal successful. Darphin state their cream is "a nurturing, delightfully scented cream with Omega 3, 6, & 9, helps reduce the appearance of first lines and wrinkles while nourishing dry skin and promoting renewed density" Time to put this to the test!

            *About Darphin
            The Darphin products begun primarily as a spa line developed in 1958 by Pierre Darphin, an eminent French dermatologist. His used the knowledge of a physiotherapist, a chemical engineer and a group of aestheticians to help inform him about how to better the products that he was developing. The whole "core-belief" is that their products are inspired by the importance of balancing the body, mind and soul. Darphin have researched and developed a sophisticated range using a high concentration of the most active plant extracts and botanical oils and pride themselves in products which have an immediate effect on the skin. The company was acquired by the Estee Lauder cosmetics company in 2003 but they have changed few of their products and have launched very few new products. Darphin is still used in various different spas where they promote their products in the use facials and massages.

            *What attracted me
            As I have previously stated I was an avid sun bed used and this has left me particularly paranoid about the negative impact that has had on my skin. I tend to notice that my skin is now much dryer than it was before (with the exception of my eczema which has always been problematic in areas) and I particularly notice the impact that the weather is now having on my skin. It is inevitable that my skin will suffer as there is little/no way of avoiding the British weather which is ideal for affecting your skin and so when I was raking through my mother's various skincare samples I came across this little gem which seemed to provide everything that I was looking for. Though I wasn't initially looking for a product which would provide my with anti-aging properties it has always been my opinion that you should work to prevent aging when you can; instead of reverting to using over priced products which claim to reverse the signs of aging in years to come.

            *Scent
            The Darphin moisturiser has quite a heavy floral scent - which I would say is one of its possible downfalls. Though it has a nice, musky scent which lingers on the skin othis is quite strong and I would usually go for a scent-free moisturiser due to my concerns about heavily perfumed products causing breakouts. Fortunately because I only tend to use the cream for a couple of days at a time this means that I don't have any problem and it has always allowed my skin to remain healthy and clear. However if you are looking for a non-perfumed product then I would advise you to steer clear of this cream.

            *Price/Availability
            As I previously stated, I first tried a free sample of the product meaning that I was unaware of the retail price. I have to admit that I am often dubious of the results that more expensive skincare products will provide the consumer with and therefore I would usually be put off paying higher amounts without having tried the product - however now that I have made use of the product I am happy to part with the RRP. Darphin Fibrogene Cream costs £48 for 50ml and I usually purchase it from Harvey Nichols. It is also more widely available at the House of Fraser and Debenhams at the same recommended price. The cream can be purchased online from Amazon for the same price as well as slightly cheaper from feelunique.com (£43.20).

            *Design
            The cream is held in a small pot which is a heavy pearled plastic, meaning that it is sturdy and doesn't smash when it is dropped. It is smooth and rounded and the lid screws off to display the cream which is held inside. The outer packaging is particularly plain - which is actually quite appealing as you can easily read the Darphin logo on the front which is written in black and there is a simple gold band around the upper connecting section. I like the pot because it allows you to limit your use accordingly and means that you are unlikely to suffer from the iddue of dispensing too much out of a tube and wasting it. In my eyes the packaging is pretty perfect - simple yet effective (just like the product).

            *Consistency
            This moisturising cream is very rich and thick - making it ideal for hydrating dry skin. Because it is not too thin this means that it does not leave your skin feeling greasy or oily and instead the skin absorbs it where necessary. I realise that sometimes saying a cream is rich can make it seem as though its heavy but this has a very light texture which feels great when it is applied thinly to skin. I feel that because it is less obviously emollient this proves advantageous because it means that it does not simply sit on the skin and form a barrier - instead it is absorbed by the skin.

            *Use
            I always find that it is best to take into account the directions for use for a facial product. All different creams can require different care and therefore it is best to see their recommendations in order to get the best out of a moisturiser. Darphin state that you should massage the product in hard in order to stimulate the blood flow as is provides better anti-aging qualities. Although I take this into account I do not follow their directions entirely. They give instructions to use upward and outward circles whereas I personally tend to simply massage the cream in hard using circular movements and I find that this is effective and still promotes good circulation in terms of increasing the blood flow. I wash the remaining patches of the moisturiser off in the morning and I then follow this with a small amount of cleanser which I leave on for 5 minutes and then remove followed by my daily moisturiser.

            *Effects
            I find that this is one of the best creams on the market so its moisturising properties. If I find my skin is suffering particularly from dryness this is always the first product that I will turn to. I find that just with night application after 2-3 days the dryness has been relieved and my skin looks much healthier and far more radient. If I could use this product every night then I would but I just don't have the means to afford it at the moment. In terms of the age prevention qualities; I think that the jury is still out. I have always had faint lines however they haven't intensified since using this cream which is surely a good sign. As I don't use it as a daily moisturiser I don't think that I have experimented fully in terms of the anti-aging affect that it would have but I can say that I have not had any further aging since using it so surely that is a good sign.

            *Conclusion
            Darphin Fibrogene Line Response Nourishing Cream leaves my skin feeling soft and supple as opposed to dry and rough which surely is what you would expect from a moisturiser. With the price tag being slightly higher -however not extortionate - I think that you are paying around the right price for the treatment that your skin is receiving. As always I would suggest that you visit department stores and enquire about products (this often results in free samples) and find a product that is best for your skin. In terms of those who suffer from dry skin then this is definitely recommended by me!

            Love Colleen
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            • More +
              29.10.2011 02:18
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              A bargain find that I hope to come across again!

              Timotei are a long-standing hair care brand who claim that they wish to make things simple - natural products which are effective and good for consumer's hair.

              *Overview
              Keeping hair well-conditioned is essential to prevent it from breaking and snapping when it is brushed, along with the aesthetic effect that it will have on your hair. If you get the right conditioner then it will leave hair looking and feeling silky smooth as well as protecting it against weather damage and damage from any products that you use or heated appliances. For coloured hair it is essential that you find a shampoo and conditioner that helps to prevent colour from fading - in order to prolong the time you need between visits to the hairdresser. Timotei describe their Vivid Colour Conditioner stating:

              ~ "With 100% natural extracts from Chile, Brazil and South Africa. (Acai oil, Camelia extract & Rooibos leaf extract.)
              ~ A blend of acai oil known for its conditioning properties, Camelia extract and Rooibos leaf extract known for their anti oxydant effect.
              ~ Timotei Vivid Colour conditioner reveals the vibrancy of your colour for longer, bringing out its intensity. A recipe enriched in açai oil, camellia extract and rooibos leaf extract, with nurturing ingredients that protect your coloured hair for an amazingly soft to touch end result Long lasting color shine."

              *About Timotei
              The Timotei brand falls under the wide spanning umbrella of the Unilever group. Timotei shampoo was first launched in Sweden in the 1970s, and introduced to the UK & Ireland in 1983. Their name was derrived from
              a wild grass called Timothy grass and they made a that had never been made before. They claimed that their product was 'So mild you can wash your hair as often as you like'. This phrase was to be one of their greatest assets and a huge selling point which was key to their success. This caused them to introduce a matching conditioner in 1985. 1988 saw the introduction of a skincare range and 1990 saw the first anti-dandruff shampoo. Timotei launched an extremely successful range of shampoos and conditioners for all hair types in 2002 while they also introduces the Golden Highlights and Henna varieties of their shampoos and conditioners - specifically designed for Blonde/Brunette hair. In 2008 Timotei decided to go green and produce their products in new look bottles which were kinder to the environment and recyclable. It was in 2010 that Timotei decided to redesign their whole range in order to formulate their products with 100% natural extracts. So now they provide products which are mild and environmentally friendly.

              *What attracted me
              My hair is in particularly bad condition at the moment and I have been getting particularly concerned about it because it is becoming more and more obvious amongst my facebook photos (how very egotistic, I know!). For this reason I have decided to go a bit wild with my hair care and try out a wide variety of conditioners in the hope of finding something that helps my poor hair to recover. When doing my weekly shop in Tesco I had a look at the conditioners because I realised late at night that I had run out and really wanted to give my hair an overnight condition. I was browsing through them and my eyes became quickly drawn to an offer right at the bottom stating "buy one get TWO free". To top this off I noticed that the Timotei range that this was referring to was also on price drop. I have never seen this before and I jumped at the chance - taking the only 3 remaining bottles which happened to be the colour enhancing range.

              *Price/Availability
              The price for Timotei seems to be around the same mark and it seems to be on offer in the few outlets that it is actually available. I am assuming that this is in order to encourage more people to use the product and then the prices will be going back up again. I have listed the price for a 300ml bottle from the outlets that I feel will be most useful and accessible to those wishing to purchase it:

              ~ Tesco (currently on price drop/3 for 1) - £1.97
              ~ CO-OP (currently on price drop) - £1
              ~ ASDA - £1
              ~ Waitrose (currently buy 1 get 1 free) - £2.03

              Though Timotei was previously a widely available before and was sold in both chemists and supermarkets alike but now I can only seem to find it online in supermarkets and so I am assuming that they have now limited their distribution. This doesn't pose as too much of a problem in my eyes as it is often easier to purchase hair care/body care along with your weekly shop.

              *Design
              The design of this bottle is not an asset to the product; but at the same time it is as functional as it could be and therefore doesn't pose as any disadvantage. It is a simple bottle which stands upright the shelf and dispenses the product from a hole at the bottom which has a lid over it. The bottle is quite bland - white slightly pearled plastic with the plastic for the lid in a deep green shade. I understand that this is in keeping with the product (simple and inspired by plants) so this is not where the problem lies. It is instead a minor flaw in which the plastic thick and you cannot see through it - meaning that you are left to guess how much conditioner is left simply by shaking it or guessing. This is only a minor flaw and so I would only deduct about 0.5 of a star for this.

              *Smell
              The Timotei shampoo has a great smell when you consider that it is made entirely from natural extracts. You can smell the cherry (though I am not sure where the cotton would come into this) It is a very classic berry smell which is mixed with something slightly more resembling of musky vanilla. The smell may not be particularly strong but it does not smell too heavy or perfumed and therefore leaves your hair smelling lovely and fresh. I have washed my hair this morning with the conditioner (not the corresponding shampoo) and I can still smell the scent faintly but pleasantly from my hair. I would imagine that if you used the matching shampoo then the smell would be even more apparent.

              *Consistency
              Though the conditioner does not have a particularly thick consistency this does prove to be somewhat advantageous. It is not so thin or watery that it slides from your hands however it is thin enough that it coats your hair thoroughly and is easy to massage along the full length of your hair without loosing half of it down the plug hole. As the conditioner is a daily conditioner, which in the words of Timotei is "so mild that you can use it everyday", I think that it is important that it is not so thick that it leaves hair feeling heavy and weighted down with product. The consistency of the conditioner means that it is easy to wash out and this allows for better blow-drying and styling as the hair becomes more manageable.

              *Use
              The conditioner is simple to use - as the Timotei products promise. I personally wash my hair twice to ensure that it is really clean and make sure to give it a thorough rinse. This ensures that my hair is then wet enough that the conditioner will massage in properly. I personally use quite a large amount of conditioner (roughly an apple sized blob) as I have long hair and it is particularly damaged. I then massage this into my hair thoroughly and leave it for 2-3 minutes to ensure that my hair gets a thorough treatment. Once I have left the conditioner on I use a shower comb in order to detangle my hair and then rinse the conditioner. I sometimes repeat this if I feel that my hair is still tangled or it does not feel particularly soft. The conditioner does not take as long to rinse out as some others that I have used before and only takes a minute maximum to ensure that all traces of the conditioner are removed from my hair.

              *Effect
              The conditioner makes two claims - that it will provide you with conditioned hair and to help to maintain your artificially coloured hair. Firstly focussing on the conditioning aspect of the product: this is where the conditioner performs particularly well for me. My hair was considerably softer after two uses however it should be noted that for one of those uses I used it as a deep conditioner over night. So far this has been the best performance from a conditioner that I have used recently and I am really impressed with the results - especially for such a cheap conditioner. It terms of the second claim - I have my hair dip dyed by I didn't see must of a difference to my colour. I have yet to find a shampoo or conditioner that does perform particularly well when it comes to enhancing your colour so I guess if my colour doesn't look any duller then it is doing its job.

              *Conclusion
              I have been really impressed with the effects that this conditioner has provided me with. I have to say that I wasn't particularly optimistic but I thought that the offer was too good to miss out on. I now wish that there had been more bottles so that I could try the whole range. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Timotei products in the future because I think that they provide great results for a fraction of the price that many high-end manufacturers are charging.

              Love Colleen
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            • More +
              28.10.2011 23:34
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              A great treatment for anyone who loves their lips.

              Carmex keep their promises simple - to keep lips and skin happy. With such longstanding products, surely they must be doing something right!

              *Overview
              The weather has a massive impact on your skin - not only can sun damage your skin but also the cold, harsh weather can cause your face and lips to take a beating. This results in dry, chapped skin that can appear at any time. It is for this reason that it is important to shield and protect as well as soothe the symptoms of dry, tired skin. Carmex have formulated a product for your lips that they believe does just that. This long standing lip therapy comes in a variety of forms and flavours; cherry being the most popular flavour among their product portfolio. They describe their Carmex Cherry Tube as "sweet and popular" and Boots describe the product as "A favourite with celebrities and make up artists all over the world, Carmex now comes in a new juicy Cherry flavour! Not only does this fruity balm heal dry, cracked lips, it also acts as a sunscreen with the added protection of SPF 15." But being indorsed by celebrities doesn't make it a product that actually works..

              *About Carmex
              Alfred Woelbing founded Carma Laborities Inc in the1930s. After experimenting with cosmetics, Woelbing created Carmex on his family's stove top. He continued to spread word about his new found product by selling it out of the boot of his car. He increased popularity byword-of-mouth because the product that he was selling was a quality product which worked to remedy problem lips. The liquid which he sold found its way into yellow capped tubs through the help of his wife - and they have kept this signature packaging ever since. In 1957, the family finally moved their business out of th0eir kitchen and into a rented building.
              Carmex began producing the product in squeezable tubes in 1988, and shortly after this they followed it with a traditional stick form - that of ChapStick and Blistex (Carma's major competitors in the lip balm market. Carmex is a family driven business and Alfred Woelbing continued to head their offices until 1997, when he suffered a stroke. After his stroke, he continued to work in the office at least once a week until his death in 2001. In 2002, Mint flavoured Carmex with SPF30 was introduced and then in 2006 internet voters picked strawberry and cherry as the newest Carmex flavours. Carmex is still highly popular to this day and it still remains under the ownership of the founding family. Carmex have a great website which contains lots of useful hints and tips about lip and skin care along with descriptive list of all their available products (www.mycarmex.com/)

              *What attracted me
              In order to clear my problematic skin I began a serious course of medication that I was prescribed my dermatologist. The medication cleared your skin by drying up all the natural moisture that is transported to your pores. Unfortunately this meant that for sometime my skin, eyes and lips were dry and particularly sore. This meant that I needed products which would not only moisturise my skin but also heel the damage that the medication was causing for a short period of time. My mum and dad mentioned a lip balm that one of their employees used by they (annoyingly) couldn't remember the name of it. They described it with such enthusiasm that I pestered them for weeks to discover the name of the product which eventually transpired to be named Carmex. I rushed out to get some straightaway and I have never looked back since. I first purchased the original Carmex in a small tub. I loved the product but I found that the tub was relatively difficult to prise the product from and the taste was also slightly off putting (yet both these things were both made up for by the quality of the product and the results it produced).

              *Price/Availability
              I tend to purchase Carmex at Boots, simply because I do most of my cosmetics shopping there and I will often pick up a tube of Carmex as an impulse purchase at the counter. Boots charge £2.69 for a 10g tube (plus some trusty advantage points). However Carmex is widely available and therefore retails at Superdrug for £2.54, Tesco will cost £1.99 and ASDA charge £1.80. You can also buy Carmex Cherry online from ASOS for £2.55. I don't often see it on any price deals but I am guessing this is because it is such a successful product that they do not need to marketing their products through price promotions.

              *Design
              The thing that I love about the design of this product is that it eliminates the problem that I found when I first used Carmex. Because it was in the small tub this meant that it was really tricky to get out and I always ended up with lots left at the bottom that I couldn't manage to get to. I also found that because this design allowed a lot of air to get at the product it would often dry out quickly and means having to buy a new one. This particular Carmex comes in a squeezy tube and this means that it is kept fresh in the tube and you do not have to struggle to get the product out. The tube is the trademark Carmex yellow with red and white writing and a red lid. The Carmex is dispensed through a pin prick at the end of the rounded tube and this means that it glides along your lips smoothly. Precise and efficient application means that you lips receive a great conditioning treatment through the even application. The plastic is particularly flexible meaning that you will not struggle to dispense the product and you will be able to make use of the whole product throughout its lifetime.

              *Smell
              The thing that makes the cherry Carmex different from that of the original Carmex is that it masks its sometimes unpleasant scent with that of one which is far more in keeping with your regular lip balms. Though it will never smell as sweet or appealing as that of the Bodyshop Lip Butters, for a medicated product, I think that Cherry Carmex does provide consumers with a great product. I may not want to lick it from my lips but I am not finding myself squirming upon application while I wait for the lip balm to sink in. The Carmex does still have undertones of a medical product which is somewhat menthol, but it is masked by a classic cherry scent and this allows for those who find the original scent of Carmex unpleasant to take some comfort in its more regular appearance with a Cherry twist.

              *Consistency
              Carmex treatment balm has a thick consistency in comparison to most lip balms. Though this may at first appear to be a disadvantage, this characteristic actually proves to provide the product with many strengths; it means that the lip balm coats the lips well, it is absorbed by the lips effectively and it means that it leaves lips looking healthier for longer. The balm doesn't leave the lips looking greasy or feeling slimy and equally it won't leave your lips feeling sticky. This is perfect because mixed in with the SPF that it contains it is the perfect lip balm for use in harsh sunlight as it won't cause a sheen that attracts sunlight and burns your lips. So as well as healing you lips it is also protecting them.

              *Use/Effects
              The lip balm is particularly easy to use because the tube that it comes in is so easy to use and allows for the simplest of applications. There are no tricky instructions or precautions that you must follow and therefore you can just apply the treatment, rub your lips together and you are on your way to healthier, happier lips! The lip balm is very effective and I have found that when I am suffering with chapped lips, after just a couple of daily applications between 2-3 days my lips are back to their healthy norm. As the product states that it is for external use due to its medicated properties I will tend to use it around once every 2-3 days - only altering this temporarily to more frequent application if I find that my lips become dry for any reason. This allows me to have healthy lips all year round without having to shell out obscene amounts on high-end products which make false promises. I do not tend to suffer from cold sores however Carmex is also claimed to be medicated to relieve those who find themselves suffering from such. I also find that as your lips can sometimes become sticky and your lips colour/gloss becomes worn in parts after you have been wearing it for a couple of hours, Carmex can remedy this. If you put a layer of Carmex below your colour or gloss this enhances its longevity and can also give your make-up look a whole new image.

              *Conclusion
              Carmex - in each and every form - will always be one of my beauty must haves. It is an inexpensive product which I swear by to keep lips looking healthy and moisturised no matter the weather. With SPF and a handy compact case this means that your Carmex Cherry Tube is perfect for taking away and carrying on you all the time. As Carmex say "I am never caught without my Carmex" and it gets a huge recommendation from me!

              Love Colleen
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              • More +
                27.10.2011 01:12
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                Surely there are better products on the market for far less

                These days it seems to be less about growing old with grace; more about avoiding aging at all costs. So it possible to reduce the signs of aging without turning to cosmetic procedures?

                *Overview
                I previously suffered from a long standing addiction to sun beds. I originally began using them in order to combat my eczema - which worked wonders as I had never found any of the creams prescribed by the doctor to be of any use - however with a particularly addictive personality I found myself quickly hooked upon my daily visits to tanning salons. I later put this into prospective and looked into not only the aging affects that this could have on my skin but also the potentially life threatening links to skin cancer. I am now paranoid about the effect that sun beds are going to have on my skin as I already suffer from faint laughter lines and fine lines under my eyes. To put this in context I am only 20 so you can imagine I am keen to prevent aging as soon as possible and as my mother swears by various different anti-wrinkle creams I am often benefiting from her cast offs. Guerlain describe their Impériale Exceptional Complete Care Cream as "The new-generation Orchidée Impériale Cream is the fruit of 10 years of research within the Guerlain Orchidarium, a unique worldwide research platform dedicated to the orchid. At the heart of the Cream, the new generation of Imperial Orchid Molecular Extract has now the power to "turn back cellular time" for an ultimate global anti-ageing power. This exceptional skincare for all the signs of ageing visibly infuses the skin with an even more extraordinary longevity." These are bold claims - and with a high price tag is it really possible?

                *About Guerlain
                Guerlain is one of the longest standing universal producers of high-end beauty products to date. The House of Guerlain was founded in 1928 through the opening of its first perfume store in Paris. Its founder, Pierre-François (along with the help of his two sons), produced cosmetics commissioned by the Parisian high-society. With its dedicated customers and high prices, Guerlain were capable of opening their next store - which would later be known at their flagship shop - and take the Parisian fashion scene by storm. The Guerlain label peeked when they were commissioned to manufacture a perfume for Napoleon III and his wife, later to become known as Eau de Cologne Impériale. Through this success, Guerlain earned the prestigious title of His Majesty's Official Perfumer. Guerlain were then to develop fragrances for many Royal figures - including Queen Victoria and also Queen Isabella II. Throughout its history the role of the head perfumer at Guerlain has been passed down throughout the family - until its acquirement by the LVMH group in 1994. Jean-Paul Guerlain was the final of the Guerlain family to hold the title and he retired in 2002 leaving no heir - meaning the family legacy was to end. Guerlain still continue to manufacture high-end cosmetics and they are regarded as innovative leaders in the production of skincare and anti-aging products.

                *What attracted me
                My mother often purchases anti-aging products from Harvey Nichols and therefore she receives a range of samples from all different manufacturers. She is also compulisve in her use of anti-aging products meaning that she has tried and tested most products on the market. I personally see little difference as she has always aged well and her looks would deceive you - at least by 10 years - that she is far more youthful than her birth certificate tells. Through researching the damage that my skin would be likely to have suffered due to my sun bed use I found myself in something of a panic and therefore decided to rake through the various products she had stashed away over the years. She had a number of samples of the Orchidée Impériale Cream, which I recognised as being the same item taking pride of place of her dresser, and so I took a couple home with me to try out.

                *Scent
                One of the advantages of this cream is that it is only lightly scented. I have previously suffered at the hands of high-end products which have been too heavily perfumed and have therefore caused me to break out. As this cream is designed or everyday application I think that it is important that it does not damage your skin at all while attempting to repair it. The scent has a faint musk that seems to smell more natural that those of the heavily perfumed variety however I would note that the ingredients list is full of chemicals and therefore I doubt that the scent is quite as artificial as it smells!

                *Price/Availability
                This is where I got quite a shock - this product has an extremely high price tag which I never would have paid myself and I am glad that I decided to take my mother's free samples instead of taking her own full-size pot as there is no way I could afford to pay her back! This cream will set you back an astonishing £255 for 50ml. As with most high-end beauty products, Guerlain have a relatively limited distribution and therefore you are best attempting to find them in department stores - such as Debenhams, House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols. There products are always found at Guerlain counters and therefore I think that you are best visiting them in store instead of purchasing them on the internet as you will find that the shop assistants can give you a better idea of which products you are best using and give you advice in terms of skin types and allergy advice. I see that online there are retailers offering the product for less, however I would suggest that should you be intending on purchasing the product you air on the side of caution, as there is no guarantee that you will be purchasing a genuine Guerlain product.

                *Design
                As I said, I personally used a sample and therefore wouldn't have experience the design of the product had it not been that it is a product that my mother uses herself. In order to write this review I decided to ask not only for her opinion on the product but also to borrow the cream and its container. The packaging of the cream really is gorgeous (and wouldn't you expect it at £255!) It is a heavy pot with a gold lid which boasts the Guerlain signature engraved around it. The bottom half is a deep blue colour which resembles an enamel antique which is then surrounded by heavy glass. I have to say that I would be particularly careful with the container as if it was to be dropped onto the like of a glass cabinet by accident then it would be likely to shatter (the cabinet as opposed to the heavy duty glass pot). The pot looks gorgeous on a cabinet and could easily be mistaken for a 19th century antique - it is in keeping with the history of Guerlain as well as their prestigious name.

                *Consistency
                The cream is really rich - and it surprises me to learn that there is an even richer version which is designed for dry skin. This product is designed for "all skin types" and I think that this seem appropriate as I have rather sensitive, combination skin and it did prove to be a hydrating product for me. Because the crean is thick this means that you do not find yourself accidentally using excessive amounts of the products and you are able to limit your use (which is undoubtedly what you will wish to do with this price tag). I found that the consistency was advantageous to the product as it meant that you skin was not left greasy or slimy - the skin absorbed the cream as if it was quenching a long felt thirst.

                *Use
                I personally dab the cream onto my problem areas (laughter lines and fine lines under my eyes) and then massaged it in circular movements in order to aid the absorption by the skin. I found that this was hardly necessary as the product absorbs surprisingly well into the skin, despite its rich and thick nature. I decided to do this before bed and I think that this would be a better idea as the cream gives quite a thick coverage which could feel quite heavy on the skin were you to make it a product for daytime use. I also feel that because the product is quite heavy it is key that with younger skin you try to use only the slightest amount as it could block pores and cause breakouts. For those in a 50+ age category I would assume this to be less likely and therefore they could probably use the cream more liberally and upon a wider area of their skin. My mum has been rather luckily when it comes to aging and therefore she too only makes use of the cream around her eye area and also on laughter lines. She began using the cream a month ago but she says that although the cream helps her with radiance and glow throughout the day, as well as a primer for make-up she is yet to see any remarkable results and therefore once her pot does run out she won't be repurchasing it. This was in fact a gift from my father and I think that this product is largely marketed at males buying for females as they are likely to be aware that there are better skincare products on the market for less.

                *Conclusion
                I have to say that I would recommend this product for its moisturising qualities; however I do not feel that it provides much (if any) anti-aging benefits and therefore I couldn't justify its excessive price tag. It is worth keeping an eye out for free samples of the product but I wouldn't encourage anyone to rush out and buy the full size product. If you are really set on buying it then you are best buying the 15ml Eye And Lip Cream (£102) and if you find works for you then you can invest in this expensive skincare luxury.

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                  26.10.2011 01:18
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                  Steer well clear of this awful product!

                  Clearasil offer a well known brand name in the treatment of blemishes and breakouts, but are you simply paying for the label rather than a product that actually works?

                  *Overview
                  I previously suffered from problem skin which meant that I was prone to breakouts. I couldn't tell you a time that I didn't have at least one spot and even once I seemed to combat the shininess of my skin I still wasn't able to prevent the appearance of blemishes and blackheads. As a teenager this made me particularly self-conscious as there is only so much that make-up can conceal and so I decided to turn to a tried and tested manufacturer of all things spot related! Clearasil claim "The oil free gel wash starts working instantly to fight 100% of spots by fighting the bacteria that causes spots, removing dirt and oil from the skin surface and helping to unblock pores." This sounded like the perfect remedy to my problem skin and so I decided to give it a go.

                  *About Clearasil
                  Clearasil was coined in America in 1950 by Ivan Combe along with the help of chemist Kedzie Teller. Clearasil was the first dermatological brand created specially for younger skin to combat teen acne. The active ingredients in the original product were sulfur and resorcinol, meaning that they were similar a product which already existed on the market at the time called Acnomel, except this was product was aimed at adults. Combe used the ABC TV American Bandstand to help promote the product and its apparently superior smell. He thought that by marketing the product to teens he would tap into their often self-conscious egos meaning that he could exploit a gap in the market. Clearasil has been sold between various chemist producers and retailers.
                  In 1961 saw the acquirement of the brand by Richardson-Vicks. Vicks continued to own the brand for 24 years until 1985 when the Richardson-Vicks brand was bought over by Procter & Gamble - meaning that Clearasil also became owned by Procter and Gamble. In 2000 Clearasil moved to the Boots Group portfolio who launched the clearer skin in 3 minutes campaign along with the re-branding of the product's image. Boots Healthcare International then purchased by Reckitt Benckiser in 2006 to date the Clearasil range is a part of their product portfolio.

                  *Price/availability
                  The Clearasil range is rather expensive and I reckon it would sit in the mid-high range within everyday spot prevention products. I paid £4.50 for the wash in Boots, however I justified it because I thought that if it really did clear my skin then it would be priceless. The Clearasil range is widely available both online and in stores. You will find that most high-street retailers such as Boots, Superdrug and Bodycare stock at least some of the wide range of Clearasil products.

                  *What attracted me
                  I purchased this product because I was bombarded with advertising from their "clearer skin in just 3 days" campaign. I have to say that I do not usually succumb to advertising but I with my particularly problematic skin at the time I was willing to try anything and everything that promised me better looking skin.

                  *Usage
                  The treatment wash is easy to use and is similar to most products of the same nature. The product is applied to damp skin and I find it best, as with all washes, to use warm water so that you can open your pores and this allows to clean skin deep down. The gel is slightly thick and has quite a horrible feel which when scrubbed enough does develop into a fair lather. After use your skin does feel clean however I think that this is down to the fact that it is stripping away the moisture from your skin. I used the treatment wash twice a day as directed. The product was advertised as being able to give you clearer skin in three days - however I saw no improvement in its condition over the first three days. My skin wasn't getting worse through the use of the wash so I decided that as it wasn't making my skin any different I would continue its use for a little longer. I continued to use the wash for a further week because I thought that perhaps certain types of skin would clear in three days and others would take a little longer to balance out their pH however I still saw no change after further use. I can be prone to dry skin and using such a harsh alcohol based product really seemed to irritate and dry out my skin and gave me large dry patches. On the whole, there was very little change to the state of my skin and the wash is only for external use so I decided to resort back to using my regular face wash - as well as to use plenty of moisturiser to combat the damage that the wash had done to my skin.

                  *Effects
                  Clearasil make two claims of their Deep Pore Treatment Wash. They claim that it will:

                  ~ Provide oil control that lasts all day.
                  ~ Deep clean pores, helping to treat and prevent spots.

                  In terms of preventing oil I would say that the product is successful. However it does not do so by balancing out the oil levels of your skin - instead it simply dries your skin out so that there is no moisture whatsoever and it can actually become somewhat painful. So really it is doing what it says, but in the worst way possible. As far as treating and preventing spots - I saw absolutely no difference and I continued to breakout for as long as I continued using the wash. So really it didn't deliver on either of these claims and it was entirely unsuccessful.

                  *Conclusion
                  Not only is this an over-priced, overrated product it is one which I feel caused more damage to my skin that it did benefit it. I would recommend that if you are looking for a wash that is going to clear your skin then you should steer clear (excuse the pun) of this one. And if you are really struggling with blemishes or acne then my best advice is to visit the doctor repeatedly until they provide you with something that helps to clear your skin - it is the best thing that I ever did!

                  Love Colleen
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                  • Benefit Gilded / Make Up / 42 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                    25.10.2011 20:25
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                    Three stars - a good highlighter but there are better products out there!

                    Benefit provide consumers with quirky products at high-end prices. Can you really justify the high prices in comparison with the results they provide?

                    *Overview
                    The proper use of a highlighting product means that you can make the most of natural light in order to define your features. By using a highlighter you can add some shine to your make-up without looking greasy or like a plastic doll. The key to highlighting your best features - without overdoing your make up - is simple. You need to find and highlighter product which best suits you and find out how to apply it properly. A proper highlighter can allow you to widen eyes, highlight features and also brighten your complexion. Benefit's Gilded Highlighter Pencil is "like 24 carat gold in a stick... and just as valuable! This versatile pencil adds sheer golden highlights to your eyes and a soft sheen to lips... it catches the light in the most provocative ways you have to see to believe. Keep this pencil with you at all times to easily transition from day to night." Sounds easy to use and like an asset to every girl's make-up collection..

                    *About Benefit
                    Benefit Cosmetics were founded in San Francisco, California in 1976 by twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford. They initially founded their business as a beauty boutique, and they then specialized in quick-fix products for beauty dilemmas. Benefit Cosmetics have been into a global beauty brand and they are now sold in 30 countries. Their first shop was named The Face Place and their first product was a blush and lip tint called "Rose tint" (now renamed "benetint"). Benetint was originally designed for an exotic dancer who was in need of a nipple tint and remains the company's best-selling product. In 1989, they developed their extensive catalogue of products and soon after the original Face Place was re-named Benefit Cosmetics. In 1991 Benefit opened up in its first U.S. department store - Henri Bendel, in New York City. Benefit went international in 1997 with their expansion into Harrods in London. Soon after, the Benefit Cosmetics product website was launched. They have had continued success and they are ever expanding their product range full of fun and innovative products for every girl's beauty dilema.

                    *What attracted me
                    I love the simple use of highlighters however I sometimes find that if I am too tanned then a pink/white highlighter (which is the most common type) causes too much of a contrast to my skin tone and therefore leaves my make looking less chic and more coco-the-clown. As a huge Benefit fan I was extremely excited when they began offering their products free to Glamour reader - and I bought three copies so that I could take advantage of Bad Gal Eyeliner, Benefit IT stick and also their Gilded Highlighter Pencil. These three products have since been discontinued which I am guessing is why they were available from Glamour - but they are still available at the likes of StrawberryNet and other retailers which seem to have been lucky enough to stockpile them. This comes as quite a blow to me as I am a fan of each - but Bad Gal Eyeliner is still available from the US.

                    *Price/Availability
                    As I previously stated the Gilded pencil has since been discontinued and so I have edited my review accordingly. The highlighter would previously set back consumers £12.50 for a 2.4g pencil. This seems rather reasonable to me as you are able to get a long use out of one pencil - I have had mine for about a year now and use it on and off and have just under half left. The good thing is that because the product has been discontinued they are also slightly cheaper - with Amazon offering one for £11. I think I am going to have to stockpile before they disappear altogether! However I would always advise consumers to steer away from buying products from Ebay where I know that they are regularly available because they will not be genuine products (no matter how much they seem to be) instead they will be cheaper products which have been manufactured abroad and then packaged to look like the benefit products you see on the high-street.

                    *Design
                    One thing that I really love about the Gilded pencil is the fact that both the pencil and its packaging reflect the name - and they are truly gorgeous. The box is black and has Gilded written across it in a handwriting styled font in golden lettering. As with all of the benefit products it contains a little black leaflet which provides you with a list of ingredients as well as hints and tips for using the product. The pencil itself follows the same format as the most of Benefit's other pencil products and therefore consists of a wooden pencil with a golden cover and a black plastic top and corresponding lid which attaches to the end of the product giving the consumer a better ease of use. The pencil has Gilded written down the middle along with the rest of the details: the weight, description etc. The creamy tangerine/gold coloured product is contained in place of the kohl which would replace your usual pencil. The great thing about the product being a pencil is that you do not need to make use of other brushes for application and therefore you can carry the pencil around with you by itself - simple and effective.

                    *Colour
                    I first found that as the highlight was described as "tangerine" this had quite negative connotations for me and I was slightly reluctant to make use of it. However when I did build up the courage I found that in fact it suited my tanned skin tone quite well. Lucikly the golden glittery partials - used primarily for reflecting light and thus highlighting - seemed to provide an undertone for the otherwise subtle orange glow and infact it gave my dark complexion the radiant boost that it was in need of. The downside of this is that I do not think that the product would be particularly suited to those with paler skin tones and unfortunately the pencil is only available in this golden tangerine shade.

                    *Consistency
                    The pencil provides a creamy highlighter which glides onto the skin with ease and can easily be blended into your skin for the look that you wish to achieve. You can therefore apply a little more of the product and use a simple blending technique to tone down your use in the way that you feel will suit your makeup. I have sometimes struggled with powder highlighters due to the fact that they are harder to control when you apply them and you need to blend them along with your foundation in order to give a more natural look.

                    *Application
                    As I mentioned, because the product is a pencil this gives the consumer an easier application. This means that you can dab the product into the areas that you wish to use it - for example if you dab the product in the inner V of your eye then you will be able to use it to widen your eyes and give the illusion of big and beautiful eyes. Should you wish to use the highlighter to bring attention to your cheekbones then you are able to draw a line below them (or above depending on how dramatic a look you are going for) and then simply blend the product into your foundation with your fingers. As the pencil is so creamy and smooth this allows for perfect blending into your skin. I primarily use the pencil to widen my eyes by applying it below my eyebrows and above my eyebrow bone. The causes your eyes to look wider as well as bringing definition and shape to your eyebrows. The pencil is really great for first time users of highlighting products as there is really little skill needed due to its ease of application. There are lots of tutorial videos online which will give you great instructions for using makeup products and I find that these are really great for finding out hints and tips about products that you are unsure how to use otherwise.

                    *Last
                    One thing that I do find about this highlighter is that because it is a cream that glides on so easily, this does prove a downfall in parts because it does rub and transfer off very easily, meaning that the product does not last particularly well. This means that I will often have to carry it with me on a night out in order to keep the look in check - without it beginning to look overly childlike and glittery as is seems that the golden flecks in the product seem to stay in place better than the tangerine highlighter. As the product is light and compact, this doesn't prove as too much of a problem, however this isn't something you would expect for a mid-high range product.

                    *Conclusion
                    I am gutted that Benefit have discontinued their Gilded Highlighter Pencil because I do think that it's a great product and my make-up regime is going to suffer without it. However I do understand their decision because the pencil's colour causes it to be rather limited in its suitability to all skin tones. I definitely would recommend it to those with mid-dark skin tones as it really brings out your features as well as giving your look that little bit of glamour. If they ever reinstate the product then I will be first in line to buy it again!

                    Love Colleen
                    x

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                    • Benefit Smokin Eyes / Make Up / 58 Readings / 54 Ratings
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                      23.10.2011 00:07
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                      The contents certainly are hot!

                      Benefit provide consumers with quirky products at high-end prices. Can you really justify the high prices in comparison with the results they provide?

                      *Overview
                      I am a huge fan of the smoky eyes look but I always found that I was having to pick an eye-shadow from various different ranges, a highlighter from another and an eyebrow pencil from yet another. So you can imagine that I was pretty excited when I was informed that Benefit had developed "sexy eye & brow makeover kit" which could provide me with all of these in one handy little compact. Benefit say their Smokin' Eyes Compact "This complete eye and brow kit has everything you need for that sexy, smoky look. Now even amateurs can go pro! Colours are build able for extra drama. Ideal for travel or the girl on the go!" It seems like a make-up artists dream, but is this the perfect product for everyday consumers alike?

                      *About Benefit
                      Benefit Cosmetics were founded in San Francisco, California in 1976 by twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford. They initially founded their business as a beauty boutique, and they then specialized in quick-fix products for beauty dilemmas. Benefit Cosmetics have been into a global beauty brand and they are now sold in 30 countries. Their first shop was named The Face Place and their first product was a blush and lip tint called "Rose tint" (now renamed "benetint"). Benetint was originally designed for an exotic dancer who was in need of a nipple tint and remains the company's best-selling product. In 1989, they developed their extensive catalogue of products and soon after the original Face Place was re-named Benefit Cosmetics. In 1991 Benefit opened up in its first U.S. department store - Henri Bendel, in New York City. Benefit went international in 1997 with their expansion into Harrods in London. Soon after, the Benefit Cosmetics product website was launched. They have had continued success and they are ever expanding their product range full of fun and innovative products for every girl's beauty dilema.

                      *What attracted me
                      I was walking through Boots one day after having made some impulse purchases and was pounced upon by one of the Benefit Cosmetics girls at the counter. She seemed desperate for someone to take the time out to listen to her and to be honest I only really allowed her to test out the product on me because I felt sorry for her. However after she enthusiastically explained the product to me and tested it out I realised what she was offering was in fact a great product and (much to her delight) I decided to snap one up. I thought that it was a reasonable investment as I love teaming a smoky eyed look with my false eyelashes for dramatic, statement eyes on nights out and this would stop me from having to waste time opening and closing various different pots and pencils - as everything was contained in one handy compact box with a mirror, which would slot perfectly into my handbag for a night out.

                      *Price/Availability
                      The kit will cost you £28.50. While this seems like a lot to pay for one kit - it should be noted that to buy each of the products separately would set you back over £50 so really you are making a saving and it means that you do not need to buy each of the products separately. You can buy Benefit products online from their website (www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk/gp/home.html) and also from ASOS online. Benefit cosmetics are far more readily available on the high street than they used to be and you will now find them in Boots as well as most department stores - for example House of Fraser, Debenhams as well as Harvey Nichols. They are always sold at a benefit counter meaning that you get help and advice with the use of your products and therefore you get a shopping experience far from just making a simple purchase. I would always advise consumers to steer away from buying products from Ebay where I know that they are regularly available because they will not be genuine products (no matter how much they seem to be) instead they will be cheaper products which have been manufactured abroad and then packaged to look like the benefit products you see on the high-street.

                      *Design
                      What I love about this palette is that it literally has everything that you could possibly need or wish for in a simply compact form. The kit contains:

                      ~ 3 different coloured Benefit eyeshadows:
                      ~ pink highlight shadow (1.10g)
                      ~ pewter base shadow (1.10g)
                      ~ deep charcoal shadow (0.90g)
                      ~ Mini "smokin'" eyeliner pencil (0.39g)
                      ~ "Brow zings" eyebrow shaping wax (1.00g)
                      ~ "Eye bright" cream eye brightener (0.09g)
                      ~ Eye shadow/hard angle brush
                      ~ Mini Benefit tweezers
                      ~ Mirror
                      ~ Product Guide
                      All these little gems come beautifully presented in the compact palette and so you are not only getting an item which works brilliantly, but one which looks gorgeous too. The flat silver box is magnetic which is perfect as it means that you item will not open and shatter in your makeup bag and pieces such as the tweezers and the brushes will not fall out and become lost. The front has found graffiti styled pictures of eyes - from start to finish from using the product and it says "Smokin' Eyes" across the middle from the bottom corner to the top and it states that the contents are "extremely hot". If you open the palette you will find a mirror on the top side and on the bottom each of the items neatly arranged - with the shadows at the top, then the brushes and eyeliner below, with the brow wax/eye crème underneath and finally the mini tweezers stored in a little magnetic indent in order to keep them in place. The inside of the palette looks lovely and is designed so that the user can make perfect use of the contents. The lesson sits neatly onto of everything but I quickly lost mine because it wasn't attached.

                      *Application
                      The excellent thing about this kit is that it comes with a leaflet which explains how to use it and the steps that you should take to create your smoky eyes. Not only this but the Benefit website also has a handy step by step guide about how to use the palette available in downloadable PDF format (www.benefitcosmetics.com/medias/sys_master/8796533882910.PDF). I personally do my foundation and bronzer before applying this product. Benefit advise that you refrain from putting your skincare products below your eyes so that you can brush away any loose powder from underneath once you have completed your eyes and then complete your face however I found little/no advantage of this method. I think begin by sweeping the pink highlighter across my eyelid (using the shadow brush) all the way to just above my brow bone. I then use the cream eye brightener as a highlighter below my eyebrow. After this I sweep the base colour along my eyelid and above it - to just below my brow bone as this opens my eyes and causes them to look bigger. I then use the hard angled brush to fill the eyelid from the mid point to the outer edge of my brow bone with the charcoal shadow, using only a little amount as it is a very strong colour. I use my finger to blend the colour on my eyelid and make it look a more natural transition between the colours. I tend to use my own eyeliner on my lower eyelids (Benefit Bad Gal Kohl Eyeliner) as it is thicker and easier to smudge below the eye. I then go over this with charcoal shadow using the hard angled brush in order to make the look deeper and properly blended. I use the smokin' eyeliner to line the corner of my top eyelid and define my lash line. I tend to use my own eyebrow pencil (Benefit Instant Brow Pencil) as I prefer to fill my eyebrows in with a pencil and I then use the brow zings wax to seal the look and make the pencil effect less harsh. I often apply false eye lashes after to really enhance the dramatic look of my eyes.

                      *Lasting Finish
                      I stated that the compact is great because it means that you can carry it in your handbag although I have to admit that I find that the final look is so long lasting that I don't have any need for touch ups and instead I tend to leave the compact at home. The only thing that I would say is that I tend to take/use a different eyeliner as I am not a massive fan of the eyeliner in the kit as I find it is slightly too thin and does sometimes slip out of place over time. Other than that the eye palette provides you with the perfect smoky eyed look which you do not need to touch up and can last through even the wildest of nights.

                      *Conclusion
                      I love this handy kit and I think that it provides everyday consumers with a professional attempt at a smoky eyed look without needing to invest in numerous expensive tools and products. It will allow you to try out a number of the Benefit products without having to commit to a full-sized, full-priced purchase. I would recommend it to anyone who likes bold, bright eyes which are going to stand out amongst the rest. It may be pricey but my kit has lasted me almost a year now with on and off use and I have been able to make myself a sexy, smoky eyed wonder time and time again!

                      Love Colleen
                      x

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                      • Benefit BadGal / Make Up / 40 Readings / 39 Ratings
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                        22.10.2011 22:25
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                        Go on - be BAD.

                        Benefit provide consumers with quirky products at high-end prices. Can you really justify the high prices in comparison with the results they provide?

                        *Overview
                        With the smoky-eyed trend having a long-lasting affect on the make-up industry there is a constant demand for products which will give girls a sexy, sultry, smoky-eyed professional look without being to tricky to apply. Most eyeliners provide their users with a fine and precise application which is difficult to smudge - perfect if that's the look you are going for - however this makes it harder to accomplish this signature smoky-eyed look. Benefit were leaders of the industry when it came to big "fat" products which gave their consumers the ability to make a statement with their eyes. They describe their bad gal eyeliner saying "This big, BAD, black eye pencil is a beauty addict's dream and a makeup artist's must-have. Dark, smoky, mysterious...being BAD never looked so good! The powdery consistency makes this black pencil ideal for smooth, straight lines, and can also be smudged for a smoky, sexy look." So is it a smoky-eyed beauty must have?

                        *About Benefit
                        Benefit Cosmetics were founded in San Francisco, California in 1976 by twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford. They initially founded their business as a beauty boutique, and they then specialized in quick-fix products for beauty dilemmas. Benefit Cosmetics have been into a global beauty brand and they are now sold in 30 countries. Their first shop was named The Face Place and their first product was a blush and lip tint called "Rose tint" (now renamed "benetint"). Benetint was originally designed for an exotic dancer who was in need of a nipple tint and remains the company's best-selling product. In 1989, they developed their extensive catalogue of products and soon after the original Face Place was re-named Benefit Cosmetics. In 1991 Benefit opened up in its first U.S. department store - Henri Bendel, in New York City. Benefit went international in 1997 with their expansion into Harrods in London. Soon after, the Benefit Cosmetics product website was launched. They have had continued success and they are ever expanding their product range full of fun and innovative products for every girl's beauty dilema.

                        *What attracted me
                        Even before smoky, sexy eyes were the trend I loved eyeliner. I was a complete addict and used to layer on eye-liner to achieve the look that I was going for. I would regularly visit the benefit counter and I was informed of their new range of "Bad-gal" products. I loved the whole idea of it and the gorgeous hot pink and black packaging and therefore I decided to give the eyeliner a try. I bought this Bad Gal Kohl Eye Pencil along with the Bad Gal Lashes Mascara and the Benefit Sharpener (as I was advised by the make-up artist that this would be the best one to use with the eye liner). I always put my trust in Benefit Cosmetics and believe that they offer great products even if they do have a rather higher price tag.

                        *Price/Availability
                        The eyeliner is in keeping with the Benefit range and would fall in the mid-high price range as they charge £12.50 for a 1.4g pencil. The great thing about Benefit is that although you do pay a bit more for their product - they do last and therefore in the long run they are a worthwhile investment. I will tend to have my eyeliner for between 3-6 months even though I make regular use of the eyeliner. You can buy Benefit online from their website (www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk/gp/home.html) and also from ASOS online. Benefit cosmetics are far more readily available on the high street than they used to be and you will now find them in Boots as well as most department stores - for example House of Fraser, Debenhams as well as Harvey Nichols. They are always sold at a benefit counter meaning that you get help and advice with the use of your products and therefore you get a shopping experience far from just making a simple purchase. I would always advise consumers to steer away from buying products from Ebay where I know that they are regularly available because they will not be genuine products (no matter how much they seem to be) instead they will be cheaper products which have been manufactured abroad and then packaged to look like the benefit products you see on the high-street.

                        *Design
                        The great thing about Benefit is that they always pay extra attention to making their products eye-catching and stand out amongst others. While many cosmetics companies opt for the sleek and subtle approach to their products - Benefit pushes the boundaries and instead they opt for quirky, fun designs for their various different cosmetics. Bad Gal Eyeliner is no different in this sense, as it boasts an eye-catching hot pink, rectangular box with Bad Gal written across the front in big, bold, black letters. I love that their products come in their own little boxes and they always contain a care leaflet which notes the ingredients, directions for use and some great hints and tips about making the most of your product. The pencil itself is lightweight and wooden with a pink outer coating and a black plastic tip at the end which you can slot the corresponding black plastic lid onto during use. The pencil is much wider than a standard eyeliner pencil which is perfect as it means that you are not required to "top-up" your liner with various coats.

                        *Application
                        The pencil is extremely easy to use as it is a powdery kohl which allows for a precise application, while also provides the wearer with a deep, dark shade of black under the eyes. The intensity of the liner can be varied through the pressure that you exert when using it and this means that it can be suited to different make-up looks. Benefit advise "Sharpen to desired point and line eyes. For a smoky eye look, gently smudge and smoke out liner." and this is a great tip as it shows how you are able to make all different uses of the liner - either by letting your eyeliner blunten or by giving it a precision point through lots of sharpening. I suggest investing in a smudger as this means that you can blend the look and give gradual accentuation from the outer area to directly under the eye. What I loved about this eyeliner is that you don't need to do your eyeliner and then wait for it to settle and work into the skin - meaning that you achieve your desired look an hour after application. Instead you can draw the liner under your eye, smudge it as desired and you have the look you are going for. I would also suggest you buy the specific Benefit sharpener because it avoids snagging on the wood which I have found with cheaper sharpeners and they end up destroying the eyeliner.

                        *Last
                        As I previously said, you get the look that you want without having to wait an hour for the liner to sink into the skin and look natural. You also "benefit" because your eyeliner does stay in place and doesn't end up smudging out of place out of a couple hours so that you look tired and worn. Instead the eyeliner stays where you want it and you are given a fresh and sexy look which lasts all day/night. All I would suggest is that you put a coat of mascara on after in order to fully ensure that this is the case.

                        *Conclusion
                        I am a Bad Gal Kohl Pencil addict. I love the product and I can't imagine having to use any other eyeliner to achieve a smoky eyed look for a night out. I suggest teaming it with Smokin' Eyes Eye Palette by Benefit because with them both together you will have truly show-stopping eyes.

                        Love Colleen
                        x

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                        • Benefit Boi ing / Make Up / 34 Readings / 33 Ratings
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                          22.10.2011 20:24
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                          Bounce back against those unsightly blemishes

                          Benefit provide consumers with quirky products at high-end prices. Can you really justify the high prices in comparison with the results they provide?

                          *Overview
                          Luckily I don't yet suffer from lines or circles but like most people I am prone to the odd unsightly breakouts on my face. What I need is a concealer strong enough to mask these imperfections but kind enough not to make any spots even worse! And that's where benefit's Boi-ing concealer comes in handy. Benefit describe Boi-ing by stating "This industrial-strength concealer camouflages dark circles, shadows and discoloration for a seamless, natural-looking finish without creasing or fading. You name it, boi-ing helps hide it! Available in three shades...when in doubt, choose boi-ing" So is their advise worth following or avoiding at all costs?

                          *About Benefit
                          Benefit Cosmetics were founded in San Francisco, California in 1976 by twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford. They initially founded their business as a beauty boutique, and they then specialized in quick-fix products for beauty dilemmas. Benefit Cosmetics have been into a global beauty brand and they are now sold in 30 countries. Their first shop was named The Face Place and their first product was a blush and lip tint called "Rose tint" (now renamed "benetint"). Benetint was originally designed for an exotic dancer who was in need of a nipple tint and remains the company's best-selling product. In 1989, they developed their extensive catalogue of products and soon after the original Face Place was re-named Benefit Cosmetics. In 1991 Benefit opened up in its first U.S. department store - Henri Bendel, in New York City. Benefit went international in 1997 with their expansion into Harrods in London. Soon after, the Benefit Cosmetics product website was launched. They have had continued success and they are ever expanding their product range full of fun and innovative products for every girl's beauty dilema.

                          *What attracted me
                          I first tried this product before my senior ball. We went to get a makeover by benefit in Harvey Nichols in order to free ourselves of any make-up related crisis and to get some professional advise. This involes a make-up artist from the Benefit cosmetics counter using a variety of their products in order to achieve the make-up look that you have specified. Before this I hadn't really been a big consumer of concealers as I would instead just put extra foundation over any imperfections however this admittedly doesn't provide you with the most natural looking coverage. So just my luck that because we had a ball and everyone would be looking their best I had to get a huge spot on my face. And I have to say it wasn't just a little one that could easily be hidden, it was the sort of thing that could have rented out a room for itself. Being a teenager and particularly highly strung when I woke up to this blemish on my face I immediately informed my mum that I wouldn't be going out tonight and instead I would be hibernating until my skin decided to heal. Luckily she convinced me to go get my make-up done (which is free if you have an appointment/a benefit gift voucher) and thankfully I did because I was introduced to a product I have used ever since, Benefit's Boi-ing concealer.

                          *Price/Availability
                          The concealer is quite pricey as you will be charged £16.50 for 3g of the product. However although it is quite a small amount that you get it lasts ages because you don't need to apply too much and it is really long lasting. You can buy Benefit online from their website (www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk/gp/home.html) and also from ASOS online. Benefit cosmetics are far more readily available on the high street than they used to be and you will now find them in Boots as well as most department stores - for example House of Fraser, Debenhams as well as Harvey Nichols. They are always sold at a benefit counter meaning that you get help and advice with the use of your products and therefore you get a shopping experience far from just making a simple purchase.

                          *Design
                          One thing with is a shame about the product is that they have changed the packaging from the first time that I bought it. When I first got the product it came in a compact style which had a small mirror on the side opposite the concealer. This was really handy as it meant that you could carry it in your handbag and you didn't need to carry a separate mirror. However they have now changed the packaging and it comes in a small circular black tub which has a screw off lid with see-through plastic on the top so that you can see through to the product. The plastic has the "Boi-ing" logo written on it in black letter and I am guessing this is because the product was previously black and sleek but didn't give many clues about the make-up range that it was from. To be fair the new packaging does seem more in keeping with the rest of the Benefit collection - which have a fun and flirty theme. They state that Boi-ing's "See-through lid helps you easily locate boi-ing in your makeup bag or handbag!" so maybe that was the reason for the change and I do agree the product still looks great, it is just that I have a bit of a biased view of it as I first purchased it in its original compact.

                          *Colour
                          Though the Boi-ing range does not come with a large range of shades - this is actually quite handy as sometimes you can be overwhelmed as there are too many to choose from. And you should still blend it with your foundation or tinted moisturised therefore this is in fact more advantageous than it first seems. The shades offered are simple:

                          ~ 01 - Light
                          ~ 02 - Medium
                          ~ 03 - Deep

                          The shades seem fairly self explanatory - I personally use shade 02 (medium) - but I would always suggest that you go and visit Benefit yourself so that you have an expert's advice as to which colour suits you best. I love that this concealer looks really natural and does help to hide blemishes without sitting on top of the skin and because it is light reflecting it helps to draw attention away from the imperfection.

                          *Coverage/Last
                          The great thing about this concealor cream is that the consistency means that you get a great coverage - without it being so creamy that it simply slides off your face within an hour of application. The concealer can cover an unsightly blemish upon application and this result then lasts me the whole day without sliding off or drying out. A good concealer is key because if not you can end up highlighting the imperfection instead of concealing it. Personally I find that Boi-oing provides me with lasting coverage all day long without any need for reapplication.

                          *Application
                          Another thing that I like about this product is that it is very easy to apply. I personally use a concealer brush to apply it because doing so means that you are not wasting the concealer that will absorb into your skin if you use your finger. It also makes blending a whole lot easier. However Benefit advise that you should "Pat concealer between your thumb and fingertip to warm it up...it will glide on more seamlessly". Whether you choose to use a brush or your finger you should "dab boi-ing on the darkest areas you want to target...underneath each eye, at the inner corners by the bridge of your nose, or over any other flaws. Pat gently outward to blend." I do sometimes use my finger to dab some on if I don't have my brush with me and I find that works just as well.

                          *Conclusion
                          I love benefit Boi-ing and have never found a concealer that compares. It provides a great product that really lasts, both throughout the day and throughout the products lifespan as you use very little. I would look upon Benefit's Boi-ing concealer as a sensible and worthwhile investment for your make-up bag.

                          Love Colleen
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                        • More +
                          22.10.2011 18:23
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                          An expensive treat for luscious locks

                          Lee Stafford is committed to providing consumers with products which are a cut above the rest. It is for this reason that they are my hair-care range of choice.

                          *Overview
                          My previous addiction to straighteners has left my hair in serious need of some love. Not only do I need to deep condition my hair on a regular basis to try to reduce the frequency of it snapping but I also need a shampoo and conditioner set which is going to sooze my frazzled ends and provide my with sleek and smooth straight hair. I always use coupled shampoos and conditioners so after using Lee Stafford Poker Straight Shampoo, I make use of Lee Stafford Poker Straight Conditioner. They introduce their conditioner and explain it's benefits on the Lee Stafford website "To silken, soften and shine your second step to poker straight hair. Your second step to beautiful, sexy, smooth, straight hair is this thick, luxurious, softening conditioner. I've designed this gorgeous little conditioner to silken, soften and shine; leaving your hair in fantastic condition and Poker Straight. For the next generation of heat tool junkies we've added the P2FiFTY COMPLEXTM to keep our hair safe and healthy from the scorching heat of professional straightening irons up to 250°C."

                          *About Lee Stafford
                          Lee Stafford is an Essex born hairdresser who first opened a salon in 1996 named The House That Built Hair. In 1997 he earned the coveted "Men's British Hairdresser of the Year" and it was from there that his career blossomed. His hairdressing skills have attained many awards such as:
                          ~ National Hairdressing Federation Celebrity Hairdresser Of The Year
                          ~ Hair Magazine Hairdresser Of The Year
                          ~ Best British Hairdresser of 2004 - Fellowship of Hairdressers Awards
                          ~ Most Influential Hairdresser of the Year 2001
                          ~ Men's British Hairdresser of the Year 1997
                          He opened his second salon in London in 2000 which has also allowed him to achieve:
                          ~ BHBA Business & Website Innovation of the year
                          ~ The BHBA Salon Design Award 2005 for Brighton salon
                          ~ Growing Business of the Year Award 2002
                          ~ Training and Development Award 2002
                          ~ Investors in People Award 2002
                          ~ British Manager of the Year 1999 - 2000 (1 of 6 nominees)
                          ~ British Salon of the Year 1999 - 2000 (1 of 6 nominees)

                          It was 2001 when the Lee Stafford range was introduced providing consumers with girly products presented with hot pink packaging and the sweetest of smells to cater for all their hair care needs. Lee Stafford states "I never decided to create a range of products, but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it. I mean, to have my own products is a dream come true...
                          The products have given me the opportunity to develop what I've always wanted for me and my clients. Since we started, it's incredible the wish-list that we've been able to turn into reality." The wide range of products that are offered by Lee Stafford can be found at www.leestafford.com/uk/products/ and even from the format of the website you gain an insight into the style and creation behind the products. Their vast product range includes hair tools, fake tan, full-size hair care products as well as mini-sized products and also fragrances.

                          *What attracted me
                          I love my hairdresser, but I understand that every time I visit he feels a sense of desperation at my ruined hair and how long it takes to detangle because of its poor condition. He will often deep condition my hair and advise me to purchase their expensive in-salon products. I was reluctant to pay their particularly steep prices and so instead I headed to my local Boots to see what they had on offer. I was first attracted to the Lee Stafford products of their eye-catching packaging and their quirky design as they write their letters in a mixture of capital letters - a BiT LiKe ThIS. It was also in a 3 for 2 offer in Boots and I really can't resist a bargain! Upon deciding that the offer would be too good to miss and I bought their shampoo, conditioner and heat protection spray. I was attracted to their Poker Straight Conditioner because I am a real straightener addict and not only do I need protection from this but this particular conditioner also claims to keep your hair straighter due to its "extra special ingredient Mega Quat" which neutralises the negative energy which causes static in your hair. 5 years on and I still have a major soft spot for the Lee Stafford range.

                          *Price/Availability
                          Boots are currently charging £5.29 for 250 ml/8.4 fl. Oz of Poker Straight Conditioner. As you can see this is not the cheapest conditioner on the market however it is less than you will pay in most salons and therefore it sits in the mid price range. Lee Stafford products are often on 3 for 2 in Boots which mean that you can at least but the shampoo and the conditioner and then you can pick something else from the range to get for free. As with all Lee Stafford products, you will find Poker Straight Conditioner either from the official Lee Stafford website (http://www.leestafford.com/uk/products/product.php?pi=11), through visiting Lee Stafford salons themselves or it is handily available at Boots stores. The range is exclusive to Boots so unfortunately you won't find it in other high street retailers - meaning that it can be slightly more difficult to find.

                          *Design
                          As with most of the products in the Lee Stafford range, the chosen colour is hot pink and the white writing and barcode theme stands out well upon its background. The conditioner bottle matches that of the shampoo and therefore is held in a hot pink, opaque, plastic bottle which has a flip lid at the top from which the conditioner is dispensed. The bottle is quite hard but when some force is applied you can squeeze it to release the liquid. Asthetically it is an excellent bottle and looks gorgeous sitting in your shower however I can't help but feel that a squeezy tube may be better in this case in order to get the conditioner out with more ease. At least it means that you don't use too much and the bottle lasts longer!

                          *Smell
                          All the Lee Stafford range of products support a similar smell which is something that I love as it causes them to be very distinctive and a great investment. I would compare their scent to that of Angel by Thierry Mugler as they almost mimic its sweet, musky smell (at a considerably lower price). What I love is that once you have used any of the Lee Stafford products, their smell will linger in your hair for hours meaning that it is not only a pleasant smell when you are using them, but it provides you with a great scent which lasts all day. I always use the conditioner along with the shampoo and heat protection spray which means that I have three times the intensity of the Lee Stafford scent, however I have no doubt that through using this product solely you would still benefit with great smelling hair.

                          *Consistency
                          The conditioner is a particularly thick, pearly-white substance which means that you don't need to use too much to coat your hair thoroughly. I tend to use a lot of conditioner because my hair is in such a bad condition and I then leave it on for at least 3 minutes. However if the conditioner was to be used on normal, mid-lenth hair then I would say that you would only need around a walnut-sized amount and therefore you can get plenty of uses out of a bottle. If you prefer to you can always dilute your conditioner with a small amount of water before use which will mean that it lasts you even longer.

                          *Usage
                          This product makes two claims; that it will protect your hair from the use of heated tools and it will also provide you with poker straight hair. You are directed to that after shampooing with their Poker Straight Shampoo and rinsing the product out well, you should work the conditioner into the palms of your hands and distribute it evenly through your hair. This is easy enough as the conditioner is nice and thick and therefore it absorbs into your hair well. It doesn't say that you should leave the conditioner in your hair however I always feel that you gain the best results through doing so and therefore I leave it on for at least 3 minutes. Lee Stafford says that to remember to rinse your hair thoroughly, as the better the rinse that you give your hair, the straighter the end results you will gain with your hair. After rinsing thoroughly and towel drying my hair too add some volume I always apply some Lee Stafford Protection Spray and then blow dry. The good thing about this conditioner is that I notice fewer knots and tangles in my hair when brushing (and that is something that I suffer from greatly). I blow dry my hair at a downwards angle with a rounded brush and always find that after using the product the need for using my straighteners is considerable less - maybe this is partly where the protection lies. I notice that when I do use both my Poker Straight Shampoo and Conditioner the condition of my hair is greater and it is much softer and smoother, it's just a shame I can't afford to make it my regular shampoo and conditioner.

                          *Conclusion
                          As much as I love this product and think that it is a great asset to my hair care routine, I use too much conditioner to justify buying it on a weekly basis. Until my circumstances change I guess I will just have to stick to using this as I treat as and when I can. But if you wish you are a heat-driven addict and you wish to give your hair a little TLC I think that this is just the product you have been looking for.

                          Love Colleen
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                          21.10.2011 19:04
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                          A fair hairspray for a fair price.

                          Having been let down by the Got 2 B range before, I had my reservations about this hairspray. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised!

                          *Overview
                          Personally, I think that smelling good is one of the most important features of a hair product. Don't get me wrong - you do want a hairspray that is going to keep your hair in place - but what's the use if it leaves you walking around smelling like an advert for Ronseal? The beauty of this product is that it really does smell delicious. Schwarzkopf advertise their Sparkling Shine Hairspray by saying "sparkling shine hairspray - dress up and astonish with dazzling shine and luxurious hold - that will make heads turn. Simply style and fix your hair with this fabulous spray for a luminous look that lasts. It will be hard to ignore your captivating shine - just indulge yourself!" So is this hairspray really a hair indulgence or just a hair let down?

                          *About Got2b (Schwarzkopf)
                          Schwarzkopf first began 111 years ago and was unusually founded by a chemist named Hans Schwarzkopf who ran a small drugstore in Berlin. Today Schwarzkopf boasts an impressive catalogue of products as it is a brand which runs under the operation of Henkel. Schwarzkopf has a range of products and specialises in hair coloring, care and styling. As well as its common retails products Schwarzkopf also provide professional products to stylists. Henkel describe the Got2B range as " Inspired by street styles. Designed by stylists. got2b is the cult styling brand that lets you express your attitude!" They launched their Got2B range in the USA in 2000, it is now an international success and is sold in over 20 countries throughout the world. The Got2B motto is "got2b - attitude for hair. It's got to be got2b!" They pride themselves in innovative products with attitude - with Henkel holding patents for over 7,600 products. Got2B products boats colourful graffiti-like packaging which are eye-catching and stand out amongst others.

                          *What attracted me
                          I initially bought this product due to its low price. I was looking for a hairspray that smelt good and when looking in Bodycare, I noted that this product fitted the bill (£1.89). At the bottle was pink and sparkly this provided another attraction towards this product for me. However the selection was relatively small so my friend and I decided to go check out Superdrug and see if we could find ourselves and better bargains. The prices there seemed quite expensive as there were few deals on and I noted that the hair spray was £4.05 in Superdrug. So I dragged her back to Bodycare where I then purchased both this product and Got 2 B's collagen affect hairspray and decided to give them a try.

                          *Price/Availability
                          I paid £1.89 in Bodycare for a 300ml bottle, however it is not always available there and appeared to be a one off. Superdrug and Amazon have it placed more around the £4 mark. As I said you are best hunting about as I did find it for much cheaper in Bodycare, but their stock is ever changing! I would have been less happy with the product had I paid the RRP for it, but with it costing under £2 I was pretty pleased with the results. I guess as a branded product that would place it in the low-mid price range so it could be justified as an everyday product. It is available from most high street retailers including Boots, Superdrug and Bodycare. Always keep an eye out in discount retailers such as Savers because you may manage to find yourself a bargain.

                          *Design
                          I love this bottle because it is particularly girly - the main colour being pink as well as silver. The bottle looks slightly different as it is bottom heavy as opposed to most hairspray bottles which are evenly proportioned and this causes it to stand out when placed amongst other products. This prevents accidents which is perfect for me as I once managed to spray furniture polish onto my hair instead of hairspray so a bottle that is a little different helps me greatly. There is a darker pink dispenser at the top which works well and only needs pressed lightly - however this can prove a problem as you do need to be careful when using it that you don't use too much. Although the can is pink and glittery it is in sleek, subtle way and it really does look like a little accessory for my dresser.

                          *Smell
                          I would say that the smell of this hairspray is definitely its greatest asset. It resembles that of candyfloss, and has a very sweet scent which masks that awful trademark smell that most hairsprays seem to posses. I do love the smell, however I can see how some may feel it is slightly sickly upon first application. However the great thing is that this product leaves your hair smelling great for quite some time - without being too overpowering. It definitely ranks above the likes of Insette and Silvikrin which I can't stand the smell of and really puts me off using those products respectively.

                          *Usage
                          The important issue is whether a product does deliver on the claims that it makes. The hairspray is distributed quite from the bottle however at times I do feel if you press down fully then the stream of hairspray is slightly too generous and therefore it can cause your hair to go slightly sticky. It is vital that you spray the product at about 30cm away from your hair to insure that you don't spray the hairspray onto your hair too directed and cause it to matte. . For a straight, natural style I find that it is very effective to spray hairspray onto a round brush and brush this through my hair, pushing it inwards. This prevents hair from flicking out and means that you can give your straight style a longer lease of life and you will have a shine through all your hair instead of just giving the top layer shine which can result in hair looking unclean. The hairspray provides itself on giving hair a healthy looking shine without looking oily or glittery. I have to say this was where my biggest reservations lay. I don't find myself much of a fan of shine sprays as I do feel that they can sometimes leave your hair looking greasy as opposed to shiny, however this product did pleasantly surprise me. Hairspray can often leave your hair looking brittle and dry but with that added shine, though it may not be "sparkling" as claimed - it does seem to give your hair a healthy little glow. The can is slightly heavier than most that I would use and this does sometimes cause problems because it affects the ease for which you can manoeuvre the bottle around your head and may cause an uneven distribution of the hairspray in places. As long as you are careful then you can make good use of the hairspray and you will be able to give a lasting finish on a natural hairstyle.

                          *Hold
                          I think that as this does not claim to be an extreme hold hairspray, it does its job particularly well. It does not leave your hair looking unnatural and glued into position, but instead provides your hair with a tight hold yet the flexibility that is needed to keep your hair from looking too stiff. I am a huge fan of backcombing so I find that this is perfectly suited to keep a back-combed quiff in position throughout the day without any need for re-application. This probably wouldn't be my chosen product for a more extreme style as it only lasts a couple of hours without gradually collapsing and therefore I would use a freeze-hold hairspray instead.

                          *Conclusion
                          It may not work miracles, however I think that this product does deliver in the areas that it claims to. It provides lovely shiny hair, with nice bounce-ability and smells gorgeous (as far as hairspray can). I would recommend this product to anyone who likes girly fun items that deliver what they promise. It is a cute, vivacious product which I am happy to say holds a spot amongst my vast array of hair products. However my recommendation would be to find it when it is on offer as I don't think that the product that is provided is entirely worth £4 and there are better products on offer around that price.

                          Love Colleen
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                            21.10.2011 04:13
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                            A little gem for a compulsive straightener

                            Lee Stafford is committed to providing consumers with products which are a cut above the rest. It is for this reason that they are my hair-care range of choice.

                            *Overview
                            I have always struggled when it comes to keeping my hair healthy due to my addiction to heated styling tools and excessive blow drying. I have often visited a salon to then be told I can't have my hair dyed any lighter because I haven't look after my hair correcting. For this reason I now try to take better care of my hair and I am always trying to find products that promote this. Lee Stafford promote a wide range of shampoos, coupled with conditioners, which cater for all kinds of hair issues. Lee Stafford claims "The best place to start for a beautiful, straight, sexy look is at the beginning; my Poker Straight Shampoo with silken, soften and enhance shine. Our extra special ingredient Mega Quat is attracted to the negative charge on the surface of your hair, once there it neutralises the charge and reduces static. So not only are you helping the condition of your hair, you're flattening it at the same time. For the next generation of heat tool junkies we've added the P2FiFTY COMPLEXTM to keep our hair safe and healthy from the scorching heat of professional straightening irons up to 250°C." Lee Stafford himself states "I used to recommend hair products to my clients, but I never found a range that offered everything I wanted; it was always a shampoo from this range, a conditioner from that and a styler from another." He then goes on to explain that his range boats shampoos and conditioners to match one another in order to benefit his clients. I completely agree that finding a shampoo and conditioner that compliment one another is important and feel that this range provides the perfect products.

                            *About Lee Stafford
                            Lee Stafford is an Essex born hairdresser who first opened a salon in 1996 named The House That Built Hair. In 1997 he earned the coveted "Men's British Hairdresser of the Year" and it was from there that his career blossomed. His hairdressing skills have attained many awards such as:
                            ~ National Hairdressing Federation Celebrity Hairdresser Of The Year
                            ~ Hair Magazine Hairdresser Of The Year
                            ~ Best British Hairdresser of 2004 - Fellowship of Hairdressers Awards
                            ~ Most Influential Hairdresser of the Year 2001
                            ~ Men's British Hairdresser of the Year 1997

                            He opened his second salon in London in 2000 which has also allowed him to achieve:
                            ~ BHBA Business & Website Innovation of the year
                            ~ The BHBA Salon Design Award 2005 for Brighton salon
                            ~ Growing Business of the Year Award 2002
                            ~ Training and Development Award 2002
                            ~ Investors in People Award 2002
                            ~ British Manager of the Year 1999 - 2000 (1 of 6 nominees)
                            ~ British Salon of the Year 1999 - 2000 (1 of 6 nominees)

                            It was 2001 when the Lee Stafford range was introduced providing consumers with girly products presented with hot pink packaging and the sweetest of smells to cater for all their hair care needs. Lee Stafford states "I never decided to create a range of products, but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it. I mean, to have my own products is a dream come true...
                            The products have given me the opportunity to develop what I've always wanted for me and my clients. Since we started, it's incredible the wish-list that we've been able to turn into reality." The wide range of products that are offered by Lee Stafford can be found at www.leestafford.com/uk/products/ and even from the format of the website you gain an insight into the style and creation behind the products. Their vast product range includes hair tools, fake tan, full-size hair care products as well as mini-sized products and also fragrances.

                            *What attracted me
                            As I previously stated, I was often being encouraged by the hairdresser to purchase products to give my hair protection and improve its condition. I was reluctant to pay their particularly steep prices and so instead I headed to my local Boots to see what they had on offer. I was first attracted to the Lee Stafford products of their eye-catching packaging and their quirky design as they write their letters in a mixture of capital letters - a BiT LiKe ThIS. It was also in a 3 for 2 offer in Boots and I really can't resist a bargain! Upon deciding that the offer would be too good to miss and I bought their shampoo, conditioner and heat protection spray. I was attracted to their Poker Straight Shampoo because I am a real straightener addict and not only do I need protection from this but this particular shampoo also claims to keep your hair straighter due to its "extra special ingredient Mega Quat" which neutralises the negative energy which causes static in your hair. Although this was over 5 years ago now I still use the Lee Stafford range on a regular basis and feel that they provide consumers with a great quality product.

                            *Price/Availability
                            Boots are currently charging £5.29 for 250 ml/7.4 fl. Oz of Poker Straight Shampoo. As you can see this is not the cheapest shampoo on the market however it is less than you will pay in most salons and therefore it sits in the mid price range. Lee Stafford products are often on 3 for 2 in Boots so I will tend to take advantage of this offer and stock up - which at least brings the price down a bit.
                            As with all Lee Stafford products, you will find Poker Straight Shampoo either from the official Lee Stafford website (www.leestafford.com/uk/products/product.php?pi=12), through visiting Lee Stafford salons themselves or it is handily available at Boots stores. The range is exclusive to Boots so unfortunately you won't find it in other high street retailers - meaning that it can be slightly more difficult to find.

                            *Design
                            As with most of the products in the Lee Stafford range, the chosen colour is hot pink and the white writing and barcode theme stands out well upon its background. The shampoo is held in a hot pink, opaque, plastic bottle which has a flip lid at the top from which the shampoo is dispensed. The bottle is quite hard but when some force is applied you can squeeze it to release the liquid. The design of the bottle does look good - however my one observation is that I feel the shampoo would come out better if it was a squeezy tube as opposed to a bottle. However the benefit of the shampoo not dispensing too quickly is that at least you can covet it more and make a longer use out of one bottle.

                            *Smell
                            All the Lee Stafford range of products support a similar smell which is something that I love as it causes them to be very distinctive and a great investment. I would compare their scent to that of Angel by Thierry Mugler as they almost mimic its sweet, musky smell (at a considerably lower price). What I love is that once you have used any of the Lee Stafford products, their smell will linger in your hair for hours meaning that it is not only a pleasant smell when you are using them, but it provides you with a great scent which lasts all day. The shampoo works this smell into your hair and you will find that if you also make use of the matching conditioner then you will have great smelling hair all day long - no need for perfume! So that's protection, cleanliness and a great scent all in one product.

                            *Consistency/Lather
                            The shampoo consists of a relatively think, clear serum which is great as it prevents the shampoo falling off your hand as I have experienced this before and it means that half the shampoo ends up down the plughole! The shampoo lathers well and this means that you do not need to use excessive amounts of the product in order for your hair to become clean. I have long hair and use a walnut sized blob which I then work in, especially focussing on the ends as they tend to be the places where my hair frys the most through straightener use. You can wash the shampoo out easily and quickly meaning that you do not end up with excess shampoo littered through your hair. After use your hair feels clean, however not overly soft and therefore I would always recommend that you make use of a conditioner to follow up your wash. Lee Stafford, as with all their shampoos, offer a twinned conditioner to further benefit your lovely locks.

                            *Usage
                            So the thing on everyone's lips.. Is this product with all its high-tech hair care and bold claims actually one that delivers? I would say that yes this product does deliver on the claims that it makes. The biggest priority for me is whether or not it provides the necessary protection for your hair. Personally I find that when I switch to using the Lee Stafford Poker Straight Shampoo and Conditioner my hair condition does improve and it doesn't seem as though straighteners are abusing it quite as much as when I leave my hair to fend for itself. It has to be highlighted that I do always make use of Lee Stafford Heat Protection Spray too when I am using heat tools and therefore this also helps to provide my hair with maximum protection. Not only is this shampoo supposed to protect your hair, it is also supposed to help to maintain your straight style after use of straighteners. The product does help to reduce static and a big problem I suffer from is not only frazzled ends but also fly away hair - a big problem when you are aiming for a sleek look. Whether or not it is down to the use of Mega Quat is hard to judge, however something in its make up must benefit your hair and you will notice a difference if you give the product a try. The benefits do only tend to last the one day that you have washed your hair but really I think it would be unrealistic to expect anything more. I don't wash my hair too frequently as it strips your hair of natural oils and so I would instead recommend using a protection spray if you decide to use heated tools the days after washing your hair.

                            *Conclusion
                            I would love to be able to use this product on a regular basis, but unfortunately I use too much shampoo to justify the price. I tend to use this when my hair gets particularly out of condition or when I fancy pampering myself a little. I think this does reflect well on the product though as I would happily substitute my regular shampoo if I could afford to. If you fancy showing your hair a little care and would like Poker Straight Hair then this is the product for you.

                            Love Colleen
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