Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Review: Avon Advance Techniques Lotus Sheid Frizz control serum

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The claim

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Avon say that their new Advance Techniques anti-frizz serum LOTUS SHIELD forms a protective lightweight barrier on hair that is capable of holding up in up to 97% humidity.

The real difference between this and other serums is how Avon claims that the results last through two washes, so this only needs applying every third wash.

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The bottle

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The screw cap bottle is bright orange. Not pretty, but it certainly stands out.

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First impression

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The serum is clear and has a lotus fragrance - lovely and fresh - that is hard to distinguish once the product has been applied, apart from the occasional whiff when my hair blows into my face.

My hands aren't left with a greasy film after applying the product, which is a good sign.
To apply; Shake bottle, rub small amount over hands and smooth over the ends and mid lengths of clean, still damp hair.

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The results

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This is what my hair looked like after air-drying.
This photo was taken a week or so before I begain using Lotus Sheild. Stunning isn't it?!

I took the below photos after using Lotus Sheild continusly for one month and being left to air dry in order to maintain the same conditions the Before picture was taken in.
I used no other products in my hair, apart from my usual shampoo and conditioner [L'Oreal Re-nutrition].

No washes: I was stunned. This is the first Avon product I've owned that has delivered the same results as promised. My hair is almost 100% frizz free, feels very silky, doesn't look lank or greasy, didn't tangle overnight [I was ill and spent 12 hours in bed tossing and turning] and feels even more lightweight than usual.

Even if the results don't last after my hair has been washed I'll still re-buy LOTUS SHEILD as I've never used a serum that has worked so well on my hair before.

After: No Washes...

One wash: I couldn't believe it. My hair still remained almost entirely frizz free and silky after being thoroughly washed. My shampoo and conditioner are good, but my hair was still noticeably easier to manage then normal. It still seemed easier to detangle as well.

I usually wash my hair every other day, but have been leaving it for two to three days as I thought the serum would make my hair mega greasy and heavy, so I wanted to see the results. My hair still looked as clean as it did on the day I washed it, every day between it's last wash.

After: One wash...

Two washes: The ends of my hair were frizzy after styling - not as much as normal though. By the end of the day there was more frizz.

After: Two washes...

Three washes: At first I gave it another day serum-free at first to see if there was any any improvement. My hair looked and felt the same as it did before I started to use LOTUS SHIELD. Verdict? Avon has delivered on their promise.

Avon have always been a hit or miss brand with me and I don't like any of their Advance Techniques range, so I've now been using this product for a month before finishing my review to check for consistency in the results and I'm still very impressed.

I've mentioned this in other haircare reviews; I'm in the process of growing out a disastrous perm, so I'm suffering from more then my regular frizziness - I've got fried hair and look like I've been sticking my finger into electrical sockets. If something is capable of taming the artificial, chemically imposed mess on my head, imagine the results it will give to natural frizz?

When I first read that it will last for up to two washes I thought it'd be heavy and leave a residue that would build up, but so far so good. The only thing I'd caution you with is that the second wash results can vary slightly. It's always given me less frizz then usual, but there is some the majority of the time, whilst other times it can remain frizz free.

Lotus Sield csts £7 for a 60ml bottle.

It's not the cheapest but you only need to use it half as much as other anti-frizz serums, so it's good value. T

Friday, 20 August 2010

Online shopping: Fairy Goodies

This site hugely appeals to my inner girlie girl. If I weren't on a strict no-buy I'd cause some serious damage... Just look at the range of products on offer:

Fairy Wings
Fairy Wings & Wand Sets
Fairy Wands, Fairy Tiaras & Feather Fans
Feather Boas
Cake Glitter And Edible Glitter
Butterfly Garlands and Butterfly Decorations
Floral Headdresses & Flower Head Garlands
Fairies In The Home!
Fairy Crafts
Fairy Dust
Iron On Clothes Decorations
Fairy & Cake Candles
Fairy Party Products
Glamour Fairy 1: False Eyelashes
Glamour Fairy 2: Hair & Make-Up
Bird Decorations and Bird Mobiles
Sprinkles & Confetti
Sparkly Bumper Stickers
Boxroom Babies
The Fairy Family
Fairy Greetings Cards
Noteables: Fairy and Fantasy Note Card Sets
Blessing Stones
Fairy Gift Bags

I first came across the site when Look magazine showed a few of the stunning headbands they offer - for only £5!! But of course when I visited the site I found lots of other things that I need too - My favourites are the coloured hair exension pieces [99p] and the vials of fairy dust [£1.33] that will really make your make-up look sparkle.

The prices are unbelievably inexpensive [everything that I've seen is well under the £10 mark] and first class shipping starts from only £2.55, so I've already bookmarked the site and can feel my no-buy resolve crumbling...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

New in stores: Heat EDP by Beyonce [Review]

I made a rather basic mistake with this 'celeb' fragrance; I had decided I'd love it before hand based on my love of beyonce. I set myself up for failure right from the get go: I don't think HEAT is bad; It's just that it's not anywhere near original, so is therefore boring: It shares elements with Hypnotic Poison, Provocative Interlude, Black Star, Fancy and Halle, among others.

The good news is that's cheaper and easier to find than a lot of it's scent-a-likes, so it is worth a test. I've picked up a 50ml bottle for a casual day-to-day fragrance.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

New fragrance: Radiance EDP by Britney Spears

Radiance is a new perfume from the famous pop star Britney Spears, which will be available on the market in September 2010. Her ninth fragrance is a feminine blend of red berries, delicate flower petals and soft musk, packed in a bold and girly, light blue and pink bottle, decorated with fake rhinestones.

The alluring aroma of the composition includes notes of berries, tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, iris and musk. The fragrance was created under the patronage of the Elizabeth Arden brand.

It is available as 50 and 100 ml EDP.

[Source: Fragrantica]

I'm looking forward to testing this. I know I'll look somewhat cheesy and Tweeny, but it's produced by a respected brand, doesn't cost a lot and the Britney brand is easy to find. But most importantly: All of her previous fragrance releases have been nice and easy to wear.

But yeah, that bottle is - umm - tacky colourful...

New Fragrance: Royal Desire EDP by Christina Aguilera [Autumn 2010]

Christina Aguilera's new perfume is expected in the autumn of 2010. The name of this edition is Royal Desire, dedicated to women who feel like queens. If you enjoy luxurious things, seduction and finding yourself in the center of attention, this fragrance was created just for you. The fragrance is available as 15, 30 and 50 ml EDP.

Top notes: white marshmallow, blackberry and mandarin.
Heart: honeysuckle, herbs, rose and lily.
Base: sandalwood, musk and cedar.
[Source: Fragrantica]

I'm not sure how marshmallow is supposed to represent royalty, but her past fragrances have been pleasant [also; inexpensive and easy-to-find], so this should be OK too - though admittedly the notes do sound like a mix of her P&G debut fragrance and last year's By Night...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

FOTD: Dramatic wing

This FOTD is a few months old now, but I'm posting it because I now use the style all the time, day or night, for casual wear and for going out.

Rumour mill: Is there a Project D cosmetics line in the works?

Australian singer/actress/designer/X Factor judge Dannii Minogue has become a popular style icon over the past year or so and you may have seen the recent ITV2 three part reality show - Dannii Minogue: Style Queen - that filmed the final six month run-up to the launch of her latest fashion label Project D.
(The label's co founder/designer is handbag designer Tabitha Webb).

Dannii's twitter follower @xxGemz_Danniixx was watching and noticed something interesting; During a scene in the label's head office, there was a file in shot labeled 'Project D Cosmetics'. Dannii herself has confirmed that the brand will launch a fragrance later this year, so will a new make-up range be following in it's footsteps?

I've been a fan of Dannii's for over 15 years and can recall many interviews in which she's clarified her love of fashion, beauty and designing, so can't wait to see what her [genuine] lifelong passions will create.

Just launched: Nails INC Autumn/winter collection 2010 nail polish set

Nails INC have just launched their a/w '10 set, containing four full sized polishes. In this set you get:

Lowndes Square – grilac – THE colour of the season is a unique shade of grey/lilac
Duke of Wellington Place – glossy gunmetal grey
Queensgate Mews – sultry black grape
Palace Garden Terrace – rich dark taupe

These gorgeous colours aren't yet available to buy separately and even if they were the four bottles would cost £42 [£10.50 each].
You can order the set from the official Nails INC site.
[I've ordered things from this site before and have not had any trouble]

Monday, 16 August 2010

EOTD: Supreme

After having a whole head of blonde highlights I decided to lay off the eyeliner and try a softer, more feminine approach to my make-up to match my lighter hair. This look was inspired by Boots 'No 7 Decades Collection; Supreme Seventies' print ads for their recent limited edition make-up collection.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

New in stores: Pink Sparkle EDT by Kylie Minogue [Review]

I used to be a massive Kylie Minogue fan and I still try to keep up with her different ventures, including her fragrance range ; She's just launched her 6th womens EDT - Pink Sparkle. So how was it?

While I don't dislike PINK SPARKLE or think there's anything disagreeable with it, at the end of the day it is just another safe and generic Kylie Minogue EDT, that follows the same old blueprint as her past fragrances: A mild mix of fruit, underdeveloped florals and a musk infused vanilla base. Nice, but nothing new so it's a bit boring.

This would make a good gift choice as it's mild and unoffensive. I also see it as being wearable for women of any age.

I hope her sister's fashion label used a different company for their upcoming fragrance line, because I've now given up on Kylie's. And I think Coty are having doubts too; I've looked in stores and briefly checked online for a 75ml bottle, but can't find one so it looks as though they've not produced one this time around.

And many stores have now stopped selling her past fragrances now. Not a good sign; They'd better up their game if they plan on this venture lasting much longer...

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The fragrance

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When I heard the name PINK SPARKLE I envisioned Hello Kitty, pink hair bands and glitter nail polish; It's certainly not a name that I'd chose for a fragrance. But there is some good news - Coty haven't gone down the 'sweet shop' road again to tempt Kylie's younger fans into parting with their money. PINK SPARKLE is inspired by and named after pink champagne.

On first application the fragrance is slightly sweet thanks to the peach, but the tart grapefruit note livens it up and keeps the sweetness to a minimum.

The grapefruit carries down into the heart, whilst the peach note fades fairly quickly. The floral notes are a let down as they never seem to develop. The gardenia is the only one I can separate - but that is due to the 'champagne' accord. The grape mingles with the lingering grapefruit and smothers the florals, it does give a bit of energy and a sense of bubbles, but it's not wildly different from the top notes.

The vanilla infused musk base isn't too sweet thanks to the sharp vetiver. The vetiver accord is most likely synthetic, since the Kylie fragrances are cheaply manufactured. I like the contrast between the feminine vanilla and the masculine vetiver, but the effect is quite short lived.

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Scent notes

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Red grapefruit, white peach, lily of the valley, champagne, gardenia, Arabic jasmine, Bourbon vetiver, Bourbon vanilla and musk.

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The bottle

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I like how the bottle has been designed around the champagne inspiration. The glass is clear to show off the pink juice and it has a cord pattern embossed around it, mimicking vintage champagne bottles.

The cap is a pale gold and shaped like a stopper on a champagne bottle. I think this is the best bottle design that any of the Kylie fragrances have had.

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Other buying considerations

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As this is a Kylie/Coty collaboration it's no surprise that the staying power is poor; It goes close to the skin within half an hour and I struggle to smell anything after an hour.

The fruits and the watered down florals are a pleasant combination for the current, [supposedly] warmer weather, but I personally doubt I'd go for a fragrance with zesty grapefruit on rainy days and colder weather, so I don't see this as being suitable all year round.

PINK SPARKLE is a nice casual fragrance and can also be worn to work. However I think it's too quiet, safe and is unoriginal, so don't think it's 'special' enough for evening wear or for special occasions.