Tag Archives: haul

High End Hair Haul

11 August 2016

high end hair haulFor someone who generally despises hair washing and the palaver that comes with it, this haul might seem a bit excessive. But, I’ve recently acquired the motivation to find the products that work for me and have come to the realisation that salon brands work better. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Brazilian blow dry, but the costs and the possible long term issues have put me off. Just a little context before you start reading: my hair naturally sits somewhere between a 3a and 3b curl (if this means nothing to you, you have probably been blessed with hair that’s a lot easier to handle), however I never wear it curly. It gets the GHD treatment after every single wash, which probably explains the split ends. It’s naturally very dry (it takes A LOT of oily product before it even begins to look greasy), prone to frizz and quite brittle. So, all in all, pretty shitty hair. I’m currently trying to grow it, and probably haven’t had a cut in around 2 years. I know I should get the ends chopped off, but I’m hoping to find a way to stop any more breakage before making a trip to the hairdresser.

So, after much research, I armed myself with a list and whipped out my credit card. I’ll be doing a review on any of these that particularly stand out (which better be all of them after the silly amount of cash I spent) or God forbid, any that are disappointing. I tried to choose something for each step of the washing/styling process, so here’s what I picked up.

The scalp and hair cleanser: Kerastase Chronologiste Revitalizing Exfoliating Care
Inspired by skincare, this golden baby contains actual beads like you’d find in a face exfoliator, which work to physically scrub the scalp and hair roots. Because of all the serums and oils I have to use, I get a lot of build up which shampoo alone doesn’t seem to completely get rid of. I’m genuinely excited about trying this.

The pre-shampoo treatment: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme
This is the only item that I have used before, and I’m not really sure why I stopped. It’s pretty unique to anything else on the market, and aims to strengthen, soften and nourish and it genuinely does what it claims. I do however think you need to keep using it for the benefits to hang around.

The shampoo: Philip Kingsley Moisture Extreme Shampoo
I am a shampoo floozy and don’t really stick to one particular brand but I picked this up as it was aimed at coarse and Afro-Caribbean hair (my hair more Afro European, for reference). I always choose something moisturising, so I was pretty keen to see what Mr Kingsley has to offer.

The conditioner: Philip Kingsley Moisture Extreme Conditioner
Same reasons as above – I just feel like there is more scientific basis to PK products, so I have high hopes for this one.

The hair mask: Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Super Treatment
I’ve wanted to try this for years so I thought now would be a good time to try it. Like I said, nothing is too much for my hair, so the words ‘soft’, ‘heavy’ and ‘cream’ are music to my ears. It claims to target brittle hair from the inside out, so hopefully it will reduce my never-ending breakage.

The heat protector: Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique
I have had a quick go with this, and I can confirm I LOVE it, and it is SO MUCH MORE than a simple heat protector. Unlike the L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Oil-in-Cream treatment that I often bang on about, this keeps my hair soft, supple, shiny and moisturised, even overnight, meaning I don’t have to faff with my frizz in the morning, which honestly buys me an extra half hour in bed. And I’ve since found out that this is Kate Middleton’s pre-blowdry cream of choice, which explains why her hair always looks bloody flawless.

The split end treatment: GHD Advanced Split End Therapy
Like I say, I have no intention of braving the hairdresser anytime soon, so this split end fixer will hopefully be my saviour. It claims to seal split ends as you straighten, while also helping to prevent any more splitting.

The hair serum: Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum
I needed to run some moisture through my hair when I was out and about the other evening, so nipped into Boots to pick this up. It’s pretty rich, and does a nice job of moisturising and softening the ends of my hair. But even for my barnet, a little goes a long way, especially when you move away from the ends.

The overnight moisturiser: Mizani H2O Intense Night-Time Treatment
I’ve noticed Mizani being used when I’ve been to hairdressers who cater for non-Caucasian hair which is why I wanted to try something for myself. As I mentioned before, my hair really dries out overnight and I usually wake up to a bit of bird’s nest requiring a lot more than a quick brush. I figured a night cream for hair would be a good option – I mean we moiturise our skin before bed so why not our hair?

So that brings us to the end of my massive high end hair haul. I feel a bit giddy and a bit sick looking at how much I’ve bought but also excited in equal measure. I’ll be sure to report back soon! And do let me know if anyone has ever tried any of these products!

Hong Kong Beauty Haul

21 February 2016

hong kong haul
As promised, I’ve taken on the mammoth task of writing up my Hong Kong beauty haul. If anyone is curious, Hong Kong is an amazing place to shop for makeup and skincare. You’ll find many of the standard Western brands but also plenty of Korean and Japanese brands too, which I was mostly frothing at the mouth with excitement over. I did the bulk of my shopping in the flagship Sasa store in Tsim Sha Tsui (it’s a bit like Sephora) and the Etude House store in Causeway Bay. I went a tad mad with the old credit card but I justified it by telling myself I can’t get most of this shizz in the UK. I’m yet to try any of these products out, but I’ll be sure to write about any stand-out products as and when I use them. So, make sure you’re sitting comfortably, here goes!
hong kong haul 2
In case you didn’t realise, East Asians are OBSESSED with sheet masks. Go into any Hong Kong pharmacy and you will find a butt load of masks – literally hundreds. I picked up some black head ones, some brightening ones and some moisturising ones. I’m especially looking forward to trying this ridiculous-looking ‘pig nose’ mask, and the little honey packs too, which contain honey (obviously), ginseng, cactus and angelica. Most of these masks have very little English on them so it’s a case of trying them out and hoping for the best. This is what I picked up:

  • Combos Skin Brightening Dual Booster Masks
  • Etude House Skin Note Deep Moisturizing Mask
  • Etude House Skin Note Brightening Hydrogel Mask
  • Etude House Black Head Remover Dual Sheets
  • Etude House I Need You, Honey! Wash Off Packs
  • Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Black Head Kit
  • Hadatuko Eye Masks

hong kong haul 3
Hong Kong is the place to go if you’re looking for false eyelashes, especially natural looking ones. There were so many varieties that are harder to get hold of in the UK, like bottom lashes and outer corner lashes. I also bought some brush-on false eyelash glue which could be handy for on-the-go applications. I’ve no idea if this stuff is waterproof like my usual Duo adhesive but I’m sure it will go the inevitable Friday night post-happy hour sobbing test. Mascaras are pretty big business in HK too, it took me an age to settle on the two I ended up buying, one being a fibre mascara. This is what I bought:

  • Canmake Glitter Powder Frosty Clear
  • Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base
  • Koji Charming Kiss Eyelash Glue
  • K-Palette 1 Day Magic Fiber Mascara Black
  • Sasatinnie Bling Bling Mega Eyes Mascara Black
  • Koji False Eyelashes No.5 Little Feminine

hong kong haul 4
I didn’t go too wild in aisles of the nail section, but I did choose this fabulous looking cuticle pen. It pushes, it trims and it dispenses cuticle oil, so I’m curious to see how well it works. Usually I run a mile when I see any hint of rhinestone but these Swarovski nail art gems caught my eye. I think a couple of them would look beautiful with some nice nude nails. I picked up:

  • Sasatinnie Gel Topcoat
  • Jewelry Stones Art 3D Rubber Art Collection
  • GR Collection 3-in-1 Cuticle Pen

hong kong haul 5
Does anyone know if this Maybelline makeup remover is available in the UK? This stuff is awesome! I was in desperate need of an oil based makeup remover and saw this. It’s a dual phase formula and it lifts off stubborn waterproof eye makeup SO EASILY. I’m kicking myself for not buying more of it. I’m also champing at the bit to slap on this ‘mermaid skin’ gel onto my ruddy winter skin. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure what it does but it’s got a whopping SPF of 50, and anyway, who wouldn’t want the glow of fish scales on their face?! I bought/received as free samples:

  • Lepoze Heat Clear Cream
  • Maybelline Clean Express Total Clean Eye & Lip Makeup Remover
  • Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Cream
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Emulsion
  • Etude House Collagen Moistfull Facial Freshener
  • Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Samples

hong kong haul 6
Surprisingly, I displayed a decent amount of restraint in the lip product department. I was intrigued by these L’Oreal lip tints that are in powder form (a similar version are making their way to the UK I hear). A nice idea but lips must be buffed smoother than a baby’s behind before you put these anywhere near your face. Etude House had some nice lip products too, the lip liner is especially creamy. All in all, I picked up:

  • L’Oreal Tint Caresse Tulip Blossom
  • L’Oreal Tint Caresse Peach Blossom
  • Etude House Rosy Tint Lips 07 Tea Rose
  • Etude House Soft Touch Auto Lip Liner 01 Soft Rose
  • Princess Majoca Lip Scrub

hong kong haul 7
By no means do I need another Shu Uemura eyelash curler but these cost half as much as they do in the UK so I thought I’d pick up a spare set. I also bought a metal lash comb to help sort out over-zealous mascara application, and a lip brush with a lid for my handbag. I bought:

  • Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
  • Shishida Seishindo Metallic Lash Comb
  • Lu.Face Lip Brush

And there we have it. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products out, or if there’s anything in particular you want a review on. Like I mentioned above, I’ll write up posts about anything that’s especially good (or, God forbid, shockingly bad).

Bye for now, gals and guys!

Cult Beauty Haul

18 November 2015

cult beauty haul
When I heard last week that Huda Beauty Lashes were finally available on Cult Beauty, I dropped everything and fired up the laptop to place an order. Since Huda Kattan launched her lashes a couple of years ago, I’ve been desperate to try them but the international shipping costs put me off. They are pretty pricey compared to Eylure or Ardell but the Huda lashes are handmade, include human hair and are designed to be used 10-12 times, so I’m hoping they’re worth the money. I also picked up a couple of other things while I was in my lash-fuelled frenzy, when in Rome hey?

Huda Beauty Lashes Samantha #7, £15.50
If you spend as much time as I do on Instagram drooling over the glam makeup looks, you’ll realise that a LOT of them feature the Huda Samantha lashes. They’re stacked into a more natural 3D formation so they look dramatic without looking super fake. Definitely going to pop these on next time I’m going out-out.

Huda Beauty Lashes Giselle #1, £12.50
Apparently these are suitable for daytime wear but the last time I wore false eyelashes during the day, I was a 20-year-old hair-extension-wearing scallywag. However, these lashes are gorgeous and fluttery but less dramatic than the Samantha lashes. I think they’d look fab with a simple gold eye and red lip.

Huda Beauty Lashes Alyssa #2, £14.00
When I can be bothered, I love individual or cluster lashes. Definitely the most natural looking falsie. I’m interested to see how these fare compared to other brands as I’m usually less fussy with individual lashes when it comes to brand or quality.

Anastasia Brow Wiz Ebony, £15.50
This is my third or fourth time repurchasing this so there’s not much to say (also, I did a full review here). Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ebony has become one of my makeup staples and I can see myself buying it until they stop making it (Anastasia: if you ever discontinue it I will hunt. You. Down.)

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner Intense Black, £13.00
I’m forever searching for the perfect eyeliner so I thought I’d try this one out. I’m sure this is one of Estee’s holy grail products but I doubt her eyes get as infuriatingly watery as mine do. I’ve been trying to master the inner corner point and I’m hoping the Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner will be the one to take on the challenge.

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint Deep Bronzed, Sample
The search continues for the perfect tinted moisturiser, so I was drawn to the fact this one from Jouer claims to be luminizing. I find most tinted moisturisers aren’t all that moisturising on my dry skin so I’m hoping this could be a decent contender.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, Sample
I do love me a chemical peel. I know Caroline Hirons is a fan of these so obviously I had to try them. It’s a two-step process – step one is a refining, alpha based pad and step two is a deeper beta based one that you simple wipe around your face and leave – no rinsing required. Sounds good to me!

Have you picked anything up from Cult Beauty lately? What are your must have products? Also, has anyone tried the Huda lashes before? Thoughts?

French Pharmacy & Makeup Haul

23 March 2015

french beauty haulApologies for my hiatus, I was busy getting married and mini-mooning in Paris! I had the BEST time but I know how boring weddingy stuff is if it’s not on your radar so I won’t go on about it. Anyway, I was more excited to get to Paris and feverishly raid the pharmacies and Sephora. Looking at my bounty, I’m both shocked and appalled at myself for not going more wild in the aisles. However, I am rather pleased with my purchases and got my mitts on a lot of products I’d been fantasising about.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
I already have this in a smaller size but it was a bit cheaper in France so I popped the larger tube into my basket. A nice and basic moisturiser for underneath foundation and great for travelling.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc
Apparently it’s sacrilege to set foot in France and not load up on this spray-on toner so I bought three. I’ve just started to use it to see what all the fuss is about and so far it’s a pleasant enough spritz, much like the Avene thermal water, just a little saltier. I’ve got some blemishes on my forehead so I’m excited to see if this magic water clears them up.

Bioderma Micellar Solution
Need I say more?

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I’ve resisted giving into this for the longest time and still don’t really understand what it’s supposed to do but it was 7 or 8 Euros so of course I was going to buy it. Looks like a good one for the summer.

Caudalie Moisturising Toner
This French skincare haul seems to be full of things that have a very vague purpose. I’m not massively into toners but there was something about this one that caught my eye so I’m looking forward to incorporating this into my skincare routine.

Makeup Forever HD Foundation
This is what I was most excited about and despite a very dubious matching process with A LOT of language barrier issues, I came away with the perfect shade for my skin. I used this for the remainder of my time in Paris and it was flawless. I’m excited about using it more.

Makeup Forever HD Loose Powder
I’m not a big powder kind of gal but while I was getting the companion foundation, I had to stick my finger into this powder. And let me tell you, it was like stroking the undercarriage of angel kittens. I’m waiting for a decent night out with lots of sweaty dancing to put this to the test but holy moly, this stuff is special.

Mini Maybelline Haul

5 November 2014

Here ye, friends.

I was supposed to get my October favourites up for you today but I stupidly forgot to take the damn photographs. I did however make 2kg of chilli last night which will see me through the next five years’ dinners, leaving me more time for blogging and photo-taking. Three cheers for bulk beef!

Anyway, today I bring you a recent Maybelline haul from when Boots had a 3 for 2 on (which seems suspiciously permanent). Two items were blogger-enabled (can you guess which ones?!) and the other I managed to choose using my own free will which is becoming incredibly rare these days.

Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Black Drama, £7.99

Whatever you think of Tanya Burr, you have to admit her lashes look fabulous. The Falsies from Maybelline is her weapon of choice so I had to try. On first impressions, I’m pleased to see this is a fibre wand rather than plastic which is becoming a rarity in these plastic-y times. The formula seems very wet too which makes me think it won’t be too clumpy – particularly good for the lower lashes.

Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer Nude, £7.99

My on-going battle with dark circles is driving me mad. After hearing the whole world and his horse rave about this, I had to try it. On first impressions, I like it. It’s not as heavy duty as I expected but it’s pleasant enough to use. People have complained about the applicator being a bit unsavoury but my gross-threshold is fairly high and it doesn’t bother me. I’m finding that the spongy tip is quite comforting and does a good job of blending.

Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick Tantalizing Taupe, £6.99

‘The Buffs’ lipstick collection as our US friends know it, caught my eye when I was looking for a brown-nude lipstick. I thought this would be a good match but as usual, the colour I was interested in had no tester in Superdrug. I took the risk anyway. Having quickly tried this out, ‘Tantalizing Taupe’ is more ‘Tantalizing NOPE’. I’m going to play around with it some more, but worn alone, it’s way too light for me. Great colour though if you’re paler than me.

MAC Haul

29 July 2014

mac haulAlthough I live in constant fear of Mr TBL discovering how much I spend on makeup, I thought take I’d the risk for you guys and bring you a MAC haul which happened last week. I went in for a MAC 239 brush and maybe red lipstick but again, succumbed to sales assistant pressure and left with four products.mac haulMAC Matte Lipstick Ruby Woo, £15.50
Prior to this haul, I only owned one MAC lipstick (Mehr – you can see it on here) which is also a matte and I quite enjoyed the formula. Already owning a nude, I thought it wise to opt for a red so I went for the infamous Ruby Woo. I wore this out on Friday night along with a lip liner and the staying power was quite frankly, incredible.

MAC Lustre Lipstick Syrup, £15.50
I’m not in need of another pink-nude (see my recent round-up here) but I gave in to the MAC girl’s peer pressure (to be honest it didn’t take much). I’m thinking this looks a bit like Revlon Pink in the Afternoon which you can also see in the link above.

MAC Lip Pencil Cherry, £12.50
I got this to go with Ruby Woo and I must say, this pencil has transformed my red lip. Because it’s an actual pencil rather than one of those wind-up ones and isn’t too soft, it sharpens beautifully giving an exact line.

MAC Brush 239, £21
Seems excessively priced for what is essentially a few strands of goat hair but after giving into the MAC 217 hype and realising it was essential for a smoky eye that wasn’t utter crap, I knew I had to try the equally-hyped 239 – apparently essential for packing on colour to the lid.

Bobbi Brown Haul

5 May 2014

bobbi brown haul

I’ve decided to address my worrying spending habits and go on a bit of a makeup spending ban for a month or two but I thought I’d have one final hurrah in the form of a Bobbi Brown spree. Here’s what I picked up.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in Honey, £29.00
I’ve always been curious about trying a foundation stick but had dry, cakey visions a la 90s stick foundations. The Bobbi Brown version was the only one I’d really heard people raving about but I was still sceptical about how my dry skin would deal with a solid foundation. But when I heard it had been re-formulated and released as the new ‘Skin” version, enriched with shea butter, coupled with Wayne Goss’s sparkling review, I knew I had to have it. I had the lady at the Bobbi Brown counter do my face with it and I was sold. The shade Honey is a perfect match for my golden toned medium-dark skin.

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach, £18.50
While I was getting my face put on at the Bobbi Brown counter, the makeup artist hid my dark circles by applying this corrector first. The shade peach is a, err, peach shade which is what I like to use to cancel out the darkness before applying concealer. It’s a similar shade to my Laura Mercier Under Eye Perfector (review here) but a little lighter and creamier. Not sure if I needed this but it was pay day and I was feeling loose.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Honey/Pale Yellow, £24.00
The final thing I bought from the counter when I got my makeup done was this concealer duo which was used under my eyes, on top of the corrector. I’d heard so many good things about this and was definitely in the market for a high end concealer. I didn’t need much convincing and am excited to play around with this.

Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Eye Palette, £37.50
The next day Mr TBL and I went to John Lewis on Oxford Street to spend some vouchers we were given recently. I was literally begging him to indulge in some skincare products but he was weirdly timid. I finally convinced him to get a Clinique moisturiser but he told me to spend the rest on myself, how gallant! After an eternity traipsing around the beauty hall feeling very uninspired but in the market for an eyeshadow palette, I found myself at Bobbi Brown again buying the Nectar & Nude palette as the mix of nudes are to die for! It’s so pretty that I haven’t used it yet but I will be soon!


15 December 2013

kiko haulkiko haulA few weeks ago I scuttled down to the KIKO shop in Westfield Stratford in search for a metallic gold eyeshadow. The good news is I found exactly what I was looking for. The bad news is I ended up buying 6 surplus items. But it isn’t really bad news because I’m in pigment heaven. I’ve since had a quick try with the bits and bobs and will do reviews of the most interesting in the coming weeks. Here’s a run-down of what I bought.

KIKO Water Eyeshadow 208 Light Gold (£8.90): This is the eyeshadow I was hoping to find when I embarked on my KIKO trip. It can be used dry or wet for extra colour payoff, and really, I couldn’t resist the stunning swirl design.

KIKO Eyeshadow Matte 158 Dark Violet (£2.90): Great pigmentation for a matte eyeshadow, at an unbelievable price, this was a no-brainer.

KIKO Eyeshadow 134 Pearly Cocoa (£2.90): Again, I didn’t need this but at that price, how can you actually say no?

KIKO Colour Sphere Eye Shadow 16 Gold Special FX (£5.90): The whole range of the Colour Sphere eye shadows was mesmerising. I was in a goldy mood so bought this in this goddess-like gold glitter shade.

KIKO Glamorous Eye Pencil 400 Gold (£4.20): Surprise, surprise, gold again. This looks fabulous in the inner corners of the eyes for an ethereal kind of look.

KIKO Double Glam Eye Pencil 104 Misty Green and Blue Teal (£7.90): You know when you’re paying for your goods at the counter and the cashier asks you if you’d be interested in the special they’ve got on? (Incidentally, does anyone ever buy those massive Milky Bars at the WH Smith till?!) Well, for once, I said yes I’ll take one. I didn’t even realise it was almost double the price of the regular eye pencil. Anyway, this is a double ended pencil with a complementary shade either side. I’ve not worn these properly yet but when I swatched the two colours on my hand, they literally DID NOT BUDGE for the entire day. Impressive!

KIKO Full Coverage Concealer 04 Dark (£7.50): Finally, I idly picked up this little concealer pot from the sale section. I’ve no idea if it’s any good but I was seduced by the NARS-like packaging. It was £5.90 so there was a nice little saving to be had.

KIKO is available online at kikocosmetics.co.uk or instore in both Westfields and on Regent Street, all in London. If you do pop in the store, just a word of warning. From what I remember, the colours are only named by number. I had to go online to find the actual names so keep that in mind if you’ve chosen what you’ve wanted online before popping in – make sure you’re armed with the numbers!kiko haulkiko haulkiko hau

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