Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Review: Nioxin System 3 Cleanser - shampoo for normal to thin-looking hair

Nioxin is not a brand I've dabbled in before now. The very name sounds medicinal and not particularly inviting to someone who's into 'luxury' brands for the most part . However, I have fallen in love with the one product of theirs that I've used: Nioxin's System 3 Cleanser. I got the one for fine, chemically treated, normal to thin-looking hair.

I found the names and different systems of these shampoos really hard to understand! I ended up picking the closest one to my hair type, which is fine and coloured.

This shampoo doesn't call itself a clarifying shampoo outright, but its claims to 'remove environmental residue that can build up daily' and its aim to refresh the scalp as well as the hair makes me think it's from the clarifying 'family'.

However, this is not one of those shampoos you can only use once a week to completely strip your hair of product build up. It's much gentler than that. As someone who has oily hair which can't go more than 24 hours without a wash usually, this has been a small miracle. The emphasis is on the word small, since it probably allows me to go an extra half a day only without looking like I've just plunged my head into a deep fat fryer (ew, sorry). But an extra half a day sometimes is just what I need!

The product itself is a gorgeous icy blue gel that makes you feel clean just by looking at it. Unfortunately this photo doesn't do the colour justice, so just think 'swimming pool' and you'll be able to picture its true hue.

The smell is mint and tea tree at the same time (I've never been good at describing scents :)

It's refreshing, doesn't make my head tingle (a feeling that I hate!) and leaves my hair soft and bouncy. Every time. I've not had dryness or colour fading from this so far and I've been using it a couple of weeks now, every day. I'm super impressed.

I'm hoping to combine this with another product I'll be soon to purchase - I will update this blog when I get this mystery product - to reach my ultimate goal of attaining that elusive two days of oil-free hair between washes :) Wish me luck....

Have you tried anything from this brand?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Review: GOSH Smokey Eyes Palette in Brown

I was so excited when I saw this. I am all about neutrals and this just looks so pretty! It even has a little plastic diagram card inside demonstrating where to place each shadow.

I love the packaging for a drugstore brand. It's plastic, yes, but is sleek and lightweight, with a magnetic lid that just *clicks* into place.

The four eyeshadow shades are a gold/champagne highlight shade, a light peachy bronze, a warm taupe and a deep smokey brown.

These are my perfect colours, especially the peachy bronze (second from left). I particularly love that none of these are in your face shimmer; they are all what I would call satins, and have a subtle sheen that is perfect for daytime or work.

So what's the downside?

I am disappointed in the colour payoff of these shadows. Initially when you swatch them on your finger they are so soft and buttery to the touch and look like they pick up a lot of colour.

The disappointment comes with trying to apply to the lids with a brush or finger. First of all the fall out was a shock. They seem almost chalky, with actual flakes falling down.

Secondly, the pigmentation seen on the fingertips doesn't translate to the lids at all. Cue sad face :(

The swatches in the photo above took a lot of work. The colours just would not stick and kept flaking off! Almost like plaster...

And the colours are so beautiful as well! So close, Gosh, so close...

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Origins review: Checks and Balances cleanser & Modern Friction exfoliator

On a little trip to my local Origins counter to purchase some face masks, I was given some generous samples of other products to try out. I was so excited to get my hands on these! I've wanted to try out this cleanser in particular for a while now after hearing so many raves about it on YouTube.

Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

I am utterly in love with this cleanser. It's intended to balance out dry and oily areas. I have extremely oily skin in the centre of my face with the occasional dry patch on the sides of my face, and have found that this does an excellent job of cleansing my face without stripping it of oil, and I haven't had any dry patches since using this. I just love the texture - it's creamy and rich, and lathers up incredibly. Actually, it's a pleasure to use :) It feels luxurious and refreshing especially in the mornings. It is a little TOO frothy to use with a Clarisonic however - it flings it everywhere and I do not recommend getting this in your eyes :) ouch!

Modern Friction; Nature's Gentle Dermabrasion

'Skin-refining rice starch cushioned in cream': this is how Origins describe this exfoliator, which contains Lemon Oil and Vitamin C to tackle dullness and discolouration. In terms of exfoliation this is super, super gentle and the flakes remind me a little bit of porridge oats! They are held in a rich cream that spreads easily on the skin. Although I like this product for its ingredients and the fact it is not at all harsh and doesn't scratch the skin, personally I prefer something with a bit more 'oomph'. My skin doesn't feel smoother afterwards, and I can't comment on the skin brightening properties as I use other products aimed at that as well, but I feel this would be good for use as an every day exfoliator as I think the cumulative effects are probably more noticeable if you use it regularly.

(Checks and Balances on the left; Modern Friction on the right)

So Checks and Balances is going on my shopping list, and I will be getting the full size version. I'm going to skip buying Modern Friction, as I prefer other exfoliators and skin brighteners (more reviews to follow on my testing of lots of those).

Can you recommend any other Origins products to try? This is an interesting line that I've dipped in and out of over the years but haven't ended up with any HG products (although Checks and Balances is a definite contender...).