October’s Top 10 Posts on Strand On Beauty

I’ve cheated a bit because I’m too impatient to wait until 31st….well it’s another hour yet and I’m not known for my patience!

So here are the posts that have been keeping you enterained this month.

10 

Skinade

Down one place from last month but still hanging in there it’s my post on Skinade.

9

Sensibio H20 (2)

New this month it’s my review of Bioderma Sensibio H20 make-up removing micelle solution.

8

benefit Sweet Tintations (Worth £44.68)

It’s my frst mention of Christmas – it’s a post on my Top 5 Christmas Gift Sets from Look Fantastic!

7

Aqualia ThermalHere’s the review of one of my current favourite procuts – it’s Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum.

6

In sixth place it my own take on life in Chelsea – it’s Sunday afternoon shopping on the Kings Road.

5

scarab sapphire goddess pencilIt’s my review of the very exotic Eye of Horus Scarab Sapphire Goddess Pencil.

4

Here’s the first appearance in my top ten chart of the DHC brand! It’s my review of DHC Pore Cleansing Oil & Pore Face Wash.

3

Defining Brow Gel

Sneaking into the top 3, it’s my post from August on GOSH Defining Brow Gel.

2

Skinpep giveaway pic

In second place it’s my current giveaway with Hydra Boost and Ultra Retinol from SkinPep – It’s giveaway time again at Strand On Beauty with SkinPep!

1

3 step system

In the top spot after 2 month’s in second place it’s the amazing La Roche Posay in my Review – La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System!

Thanks to all of you for making this another amazing month for me on Strand On Beauty!

More DHC reviews!

A few  days ago I told you about some of the lovely DHC goodies that I’d been trying. Well since then I’ve been trying out more of their products. As usual I can’t keep my opinions to myself so here’s the lowdown.

0005023_liquid-eyeliner-ex_540

I passed this DHC Liquid Eyeliner EX brush-tip eyeliner pen to my daughter for review. As I’ve said before, black liner is a bit of a harsh look for a woman of my age so I passed it to someone younger and prettier who knows a good eyeliner when she sees one.

They say:

“DHC Liquid Eyeliner EX brush-tip eyeliner pen lets you line and define like an expert. Easy-to-use, it dispenses just the right amount of smudge-proof liner to create any look, from elegant definition to cat-eye boldness.

  • Fine brush applicator lends precision, making thin or thick lines a breeze
  • Water-resistant formula keeps eyes looking alluring all day and night”

Safi tells me that she liked this liner right away. She explained that often when you have a fine point on a liner the product doesn’t disperse right to the end and so you need to use the liner sideways on and that means you get a thicker line. So it was easy to apply and it stayed on all day. Which is pretty much what DHC claim. If you’d like to give this a try for yourself it costs £16.00 here.

0004732_eyelash-tonic_540

I’ve kept the DHC Eyelash Tonic to myself! This is a nourishing gel treatment that they say:

“strengthens for lush, fuller-looking eyelashes. Fortifying botanicals coat each lash from root to tip to help prevent breakage for a more robust lash line. Wear under mascara during the day and all by itself at bedtime.

  • Easy-to-use applicator helps distribute gel more evenly
  • Rich in botanicals, including ginseng, aloe and Swertia japonica extract”

This is a clear gel formula in a see through tube. Like the mascara it has a small thin brush that allows you to get the product right down to the roots. I can’t really tell whether the product is doing my lashes good but I feel like I’m giving them the best chance by giving them lots of attention. If you want to pamper your lashes too you can  buy the DHC Eyelash Tonic here for £10.50 (or £8.75 if you’re quick).

0004950_mascara-perfect-pro-double-protection_540

Finally for today, here’s an update on the Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection. You can see my original review here. Well, I wasn’t that impressed but figured that it might be my eyelashes that were being difficult rather than a fault with the mascara. So I got a second opinion from Safi and…..she liked it. She felt the same as me in that the consistency of the mascara doesn’t plump the lashes but she already has long full lashes so that wasn’t a deal breaker for her.  It did give her long lasting coverage though which is pretty much what what it said on the tin! If you’d like to give this one a try it costs £14.50 here.

That’s it for now – but I’ve got a few more DHC products tucked away awaiting review – so expect more on this brand very soon!

If you’ve tried any DHC products do let me know what you think. I’d love to compare notes!

It’s giveaway time again at Strand On Beauty with SkinPep!

This time I’ve got a really unique giveaway as I’ve got together with SkinPep® the cosmeceuticals company to bring you two amazing anti-ageing skin care products -the SkinPep® Hydra Boost – Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum and the SkinPep® Ultra Retinol 0.5% Serum together worthSkinpep giveaway pic £64.98! Find out how you can enter to win! The details are below.

The SkinPep® Hydra Boost – Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum provides the nourishing ingredients your skin needs to stay radiant and beautiful. In only moments it penetrates deep into the skin, nourishing it from the core. It may boost skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles by supporting the body’s own skin production cycle.

The SkinPep® Ultra Retinol 0.5% Serum helps stimulate cell regeneration and build collagen to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots from both photo-and intrinsic aging. Additionally, it helps minimise the appearance of pore size, while correcting blemishes and blotchiness often associated with problematic skin. SkinPep® Ultra Retinol 0.5% Serum is recommended for blemished, wrinkled and sun damaged skin.

How to enter:

To be in with a chance to win entry is via Rafflecopter here. The giveaway closes at midnight on 09 November 2014. It’s open to UK residents only.

So what are you waiting for? I’m getting ready to wrap up these goodies to send to you!

A little taste of my DHC delights!

I discovered DHC as a brand really recently and really love the different approach that is has to beauty . It’s Japan’s top beauty company and I’m really enjoying trying out all of the products one by one. Some of them are just better versions of what we get here from our mainstream brands whereas others are a little more innovative. They seem to have a product for every eventuality. You might have already read my post about the pore cleansing oil and facial wash hereAnd if you haven’t what are you waiting for – I’m loving them!

Anyway, the thing is I have a whole bunch of DHC products to review for you but of course some of them take time to try out. But I’m just too excited to wait ages to tell you about my experience of new products so I thought I’d tell you about the Olive Virgin Oil Swabs and the Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection.

Olive Virgin Oil Swabs are “Nurturing, natural olive oil–infused DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs easily fix mascara and eyeliner mistakes, and condition cuticles and hard-to-reach areas. 100% cotton buds. Individually wrapped for purity and convenience. Gentle enough to use on baby’s skin.”

I just love these! I’ve needed them 5 or 6 times every day since I got them. They’re individually wrapped and open easily so no fiddling about but you know they are hygienic. They have a little oil on the tip which is just enough to wipe away those smudges of mascara or liner without disturbing the rest of your carefully completed look. I’ve had to share my pack with my daughter as we both agree they are a must have and can’t imagine how we’ve managed without them until now. They cost £5.50 for 50 here.

I was so excited to try out this Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection I’d run out of my holy grail mascara and had tested a couple of others recently that hadn’t really made the grade. Knowing that I loved everything I’ve tried from DHC I was sure that this was going to be amazing too. The packaging is slick and ticked all my boxes presentationally. The wand is very small and thin, with my very short stubby lashes I thought this would be helpful but really it was just too tiny even for me. Still, I applied the mascara hopefully and….I couldn’t really see it. It hardly showed up. My lashes looked pathetic, the mascara didn’t add any length or fullness to them and I felt so disappointed.

I really wonder what I’m missing as this product gets great reviews on-line. DHC say:

“DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection water-resistant tube-technology formula lengthens the look of your lashes. Lush and long-wearing, it lasts all day and night with no flaking, smudging, or smearing. No make-up remover required. Tubes slide off with warm water and gentle pressure. This uniquely lengthening mascara stays on until you decide.

  • Long-wearing water and oil-resistant formula
  • Lashes look thicker and longer
  • Precise brush defines from root to tip
  • Tubes slide off when you massage them with warm water “

I really feel bad that I can’t agree and can only think it’s just not for my kind of lashes. I’ve passed it to my daughter to see what she thinks and will get back to you if she has a different story to tell.

If you’d like to try it out it costs £14.50 here.

I’ll be covering more of my DHC goodies here soon so be sure to look out for them!

Hazel

*These products were gifted to me for review. The views are my own.

A fresh look at Bronnley

Bronnley3

A couple of weeks ago I came across a brand that I had kind of discounted as not being relevant to me and my beauty needs. I had Bronnley down as the brand that makes traditional boxes of soap that you buy for your Gran for Christmas that she then donates to the church raffle. So  when this range for Christmas came onto my radar I hesitated before deciding to take a proper look and getting in touch with them. Straight away I could see that while Bronnley have retained some of their traditional English heritage products they’ve also made the brand fresh and relevant.

So I asked to take a closer look at a couple of the Christmas 2014 items:

Bronnley2

New for 2014 is their Red Berry & Wild Blossom Fragrance .  The soap tin is so gorgeous, it contains a single soap 50g (£6 ) and is available separately or as a set with the Eau de Toilette 50ml (£25). They say:

“This winter-fruit fragrance has top notes of mixed berries that surrenders to a citrus heart and rests on a bed of spicy pink pepper, rose and musk.”

For me I find this is a warm wintery fragrance that smells of fruit at first and then settles down to a sweet candy fragrance. It’s quite different to what I would have expected from Bronnley and is lovely and fresh-  even a bit girly. Personally I prefer liquid to solid soap but I can understand that this is something inherent to the Bronnley brand that it’s hard for them to leave behind totally. I’d definitely purchase hand wash and hand cream in this fragrance if it were available.

Bronnley1If you’ve read more than one or two of my posts you’ll know that I often rate products by their packaging and this Eau de Toilette came in the beautifully designed box which was almost japanesque with its floral design and then opened up to show a gorgeous, heavy weight glass bottle with an atomiser. I love how it looks on my dressing table and I’m really pleased with it overall as a new addition to my fragrance collection.

Xmas soapI

I’ve also been gifted this cute Christmas soap which is the Heritage Red Christmas Tree Soap Box – Apple & Cinnamon (£5). Basically this little box just contains the smell of Christmas!

So what do you think? Has this made you feel differently about Bronnley ? Or have you always loved it English traditional feel? Either way I think it’s taught me to be open to revisiting brands.

Hazel

These items were gifted to me for review. The views are my own.

Strand on Beauty & the Superdrug Swap Shop

Last month I went to the Superdrug Unlock AW14 Event and I filled in a Superdrug Swap Shop card which asked me some questions about the products I use each day. Superdrug then matched those products with their own brands and have worked out that if I switched to their alternatives I would save £143.34 every year.

Well of course this isn’t a perfect calculation ( I couldn’t find all the products at the prices they used). I like to select products that make me feel good and part of that is about the look of the product, the packaging and the brand image. I know I’m shallow but the price isn’t the only issue here. Of course Superdrug hope to show that they have good quality products as well as value for money.

So what was the swap?

I stated that I was using:

Colgate White ToothpasteVichy cleanser, toner and moisturiser and Rituals Shower Foam.

They challenged me to use these Superdrug alternatives:

swapshop

Pro Care Whitening Toothpaste, B. Clean Melting CleanserSimply Pure Refreshing Toner, B. Ready Day Cream, and Superdrug Fruity Shower Foam.

I’ll be trying out the Superdrug products over the coming weeks and seeing if any of them match up to their more costly equivalents. You can expect to read a review or two and maybe even see some of these products in my empties posts.

Have you tried any of these products? Which do you prefer?

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links

Strand On Beauty’s Top 5 Christmas Gift Sets from Look Fantastic!

I’m really sorry for introducing the C word in October but there are so many amazing gift sets available right now and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on anything!

So I’ve been rooting around on Look Fantastic and these are my favourites at the moment but there are way more than I can list here so be sure to take a good look around. They always have amazing offers and gifts with purchase too so fill your boots!

1. Benefit Sweet Tintations

benefit Sweet Tintations (Worth £44.68)

The benefit Sweet Tintations set contains benefit benebalm lipbalm 3g, benefit benetint tint 4g, benefit lollibalm lipbalm 3g and benefit lollitint tint 4g

The set cost £19.50 here.

2. OPI Gwen Trend On Ten – 10 Piece Mini Kit

OPI Gwen Trend On Ten 10 Piece Mini Kit

The OPI Gwen Trend On Ten 10 Piece Mini Kit contains:

- Haven’t the Foggiest (Metallic silver shimmer)
– Alpine Snow (White creme)
– Bubble Bath (Pale milky pink)
– Tickle My France-y (Pale/brown nude)
– Princesses Rule! (Pale sparkly pink)
– Toucan Do It If You Try (Coral orange creme)
– Cajun Shrimp (Red hue with a hint of coral)
– Big Apple Red (Bold red)
– Malaga Wine (Deep red)
– Lincoln Park After Dark (Shimmery eggplant purple)

The kit costs £29.95 here.

3. Elemis 12 Days of Beauty

Elemis 12 Days Of Beauty (Worth £113)

The Elemis 12 Days of Beauty, worth £113.00, contains 12 luxurious skincare treats. It contains:

  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (20g)
  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (15ml)
  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream (15ml)
  • Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm (7ml)
  • Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel (15ml)
  • Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules (14 x 0.21ml capsules)
  • Elemis Revitalising Babassu Facial Wipes (4 Sachets)
  • Elemis Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream (50ml)
  • Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil (35ml)
  • Elemis Skin Nourishing Shower Cream (50ml)
  • Elemis Pro-Radiance Hand & Nail Cream (20ml)
  • Elemis Treat Your Feet Foot Cream (20ml)

It costs £59.50 here.

4. Ciate Mini Manor Advent Calendar

Ciate Mini Manor Advent Calendar (Worth £128)

The Ciaté Mini Manicure Manor Set Contains:

  • 22 mini nail polishes (5ml) in an array of colours, ranging from glittery and neutral shades to block coloured reds and blues
  • Fairisle Style Transfer that will add a gorgeous Christmas effect to your nails
  • Secret Full Size Ciaté Nail Polish (13.5ml)

It costs £49.00 here

5. Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath Jewels

Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath Jewels

The Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath Jewels contains:

- Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– Light Relax Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– Revive Evening Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– Support Breathe Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– Support Lavender & Peppermint Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– Support Equilibrium Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)
– Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil (7.5ml)

All that loveliness costs £55.00 here.

Seen anything you fancy? Tell me what you get and I may just have to pop the same in my shopping basket!

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links.

Strand On Beauty’s Top 5 Beauty Picks From Neal’s Yard Remedies

1

Bee Lovely Handcream

This Bee Lovely Hand Cream has to be my number one pick because ….it’s the only Neal’s Yard Remedies product that I’ve ever tried! There I’ve said it. I’m a little ashamed that I haven’t tried more to be honest as this product worked so well. It smells amazing and I love the whole “Softens hands and helps SAVE THE BEES” thing.

The Bee Lovely Hand Cream as moisturising organic honey blended with energising orange essential oil to nourish the skin and lift the spirits. The 50ml size costs £10.00 here.

2

Frankincense Intense

In the second slot this Frankincense Intense™ Concentrate is brand new for delivery from 22 October.  If it can do what it claims then I’m sold – it’s organic and they say:

✔ Within 30 minutes smooths & reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles
✔ In just 7 days boosts skin’s plumpness, firmness & tone
✔ Instantly hydrates
✔ Optimises skin’s radiance

Active ingredients include organic, wild-harvested and FairWild frankincense, plumping gardenia stem cells, a line-smoothing 3-peptide complex, nourishing organic argan oil and a synergistic blend of gums that deliver an immediate smoothing action. It costs £65 for 30ml here.

3

Frankincense Body polish

In the bronze spot is Frankincense & Mandarin Body Polish. I think its important to keep skin smooth and supple even when it’s covered up in the cold damp autumn weather. This sensually scented body polish contains “gently exfoliating cranberry seed and rice powders combined with cleansing green clay, nourishing olive, pumpkin and hemp seed oils, and a toning aromatherapy blend of frankincense, mandarin and bergamot oils to soften, tone and smooth the skin.”
The 150g size costs £14.00 here.

4

Lengthening Mascara

When it comes to cosmetics I tend to want amazing results over organic or natural ingredients. But with this new Lengthening Mascara clinically proven to lengthen lashes by up to 85% – I’m sold! They say:”Dial up the drama with our curl-enhancing and lengthening all natural mascara. 78% organic ingredients enrich the 5% natural minerals for stunning lashes that are beautifully nourished, conditioned and protected. Naturally effective. Clinically proven. No parabens. No silicones. No BHT!

This extemely promising product costs £16.00 / 7ml here.

5

Power Berry Wash

Finally for today it’s my number five choice the Power Berry Facial WashIt’s a gentle daily cleanser with some great ingredients to cleanse and protect. They say:

“A gentle yet effective foaming wash containing the powerful antioxidant combination of acai, goji, bilberry, rosehip and Fairtrade rooibos, that cleanses without stripping the skin of its natural oils and nutrients. Specifically formulated with gentle, skin-kind detergents naturally derived from coconut and vegetable oils and soothing aloe vera, reputed to have been used by Cleopatra as a skin cleanser to enhance her beauty and skin health.”

It’s £15.50 / 100ml here.

Would you have picked the same five products? Have you tried any of these before? I’m thinking perhaps of making the Top 5 Beauty Picks into a series. What do you think? Would you like to see more and if so what brands/websites do you think I should cover?

This post contains affiliate links

Reviews – DHC Pore Cleansing Oil & Pore Face Wash

DHC cleansing oil & pore wash

Ever since I’ve been blogging about beauty I’ve heard such great stories about products from Japan. I’d never come across any of them on-line or in the shops and so when I got news of these two new cleansing products from DHC just dropping into my in-box recently I was really excited! So, it didn’t take me long to say that I’d like to try out these two new additions to the DHC Pore Series skin care collection. They are Pore Face Wash and Pore Cleansing Oil

Not heard about DHC UK either? They are a subsidiary of DHC Corporation, Japan’s No. 1 direct skin care company. The discerning taste of the Japanese and their stringent quality standards in skin care are reflected in DHC’s carefully formulated products. DHC beauty products are a result of extensive research and development, as well as tailoring and expanding the range to suit the particular preferences and needs of its customers. Plant extracts, especially Asian botanicals, are used extensively in DHC formulations for their nourishing properties and are balanced by cutting-edge scientific research to create only the best, most effective and safest products.

These two products are aimed at minimising the appearance of enlarged pores and to leave skin feeling clean, healthy and refreshed. I’ve been trying out these two for a week now and here’s what I’ve found:

Pore Cleansing Oil (£25.00) They say:

“a luxurious make up remover that deep cleans skin using nine emollient and antioxidant botanical oils: argan, coconut, evening primrose, olive, grape seed, jojoba, avocado, sesame and rice bran.  Dirt, make-up and excess sebum are removed at the deepest levels and skin is left ultra-clean and soft.”

I was a little nervous about using an oil on my face as I thought it might not work with my combination skin. So I decided to use it to remove my make-up at the end of the day and to follow it up with the Pore Face Wash. The oil is beautifully clear and pure and as I massaged it into my skin it felt so comforting. It lifted the make-up off really easily including mascara. I rinsed it off with warm water on a muslin cloth. It came off with no trouble and didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. But just to be sure that there wasn’t any oil left on my skin I followed it with the Pore Face Wash.

Pore Face Wash (£20.00) They say:

“a foaming daily facial cleanser that helps reduce the look of enlarged pores by cleansing and refining.  Active ingredients include two gentle exfoliants – baking soda and AHA from pear juice – to leave skin feeling smoother and looking brighter, whilst the addition of botanical humectants ensures that skin retains its natural moisture barrier and is not left feeling dry or tight.  The gorgeous natural grapefruit fragrance makes this cleanser the perfect morning wake me up.

This Pore Face Wash smells beautifully fruity and again I used it on a muslin cloth to gently rub it over all my whole face and then rinsed it off. My skin felt absolutely squeaky clean. I loved the feeling but did follow it up with my usual night-time moisturiser and eye cream to ensure that my skin got it’s night-time fix of moisture. In the morning I use the Pore Face Wash on it’s own to cleanse and then follow my usual daily skin-care and make-up routine.

When I’ve looked closely at my skin I can see that the pores are clearer and my skin feels really clean and bright. I’ve read that there are more products in the Pore Series collection include Pore Milk, Pore Lotion and Pore Essence.

I’d love to try more DHC products and there are loads to try across the whole cosmetic, beauty and hair care ranges. Just need it to be pay-day! The entire DHC range is available from www.dhcuk.co.uk

Have you tried DHC or any other Japanese or maybe Korean brands. I’m so interested to hear more!

Foot-Care Focus

Foot Care

I’ve noticed recently that I’ve gathered a fair collection of foot-care products and that I’d never reviewed any of them. That together with a focus on my feet recently – I’ve hurt my heel on one foot and my big toe on the other – mean that I’ve been thinking about feet alot more than I usually do. so I’ve now tried out all the products and here’s what I thought:

CCS Heel Balm 75ml

This product claims to be really intensive and to mend cracked heels. It’s very rich and definitely mostiurises but the effect appears to be temporary and despite regular use I didn’t see a significant improvement in dry skin. I didn’t have any cracks but I’m not convinced that this would be the one I’d choose if I did. It costs £7.49 here.

Soap and Glory Heel Genius 125ml

This was given to me as a little extra in a giveaway prize that I won a few months back. It’s a lovely rich foot cream although again I find the effect temporary rather than long-lasting. What I do have a bit of an issue with and it’s  not  just with this brand but it’s that someone appears to have decreed that foot products should be minty and this does put me off a bit. Otherwise it’s lovely so if you’d like to try this out then you can buy it here for £5.50.

Superdrug Intensive Foot Cream 100ml

This one contains aloe vera to sooth and vitamin B5, renowned for its conditioning properties. I liked the rich conditioning feel of this one but guess what it still has a touch of that minty smell. Can someone please point me in the direction of foot-care without mint? This option will cost you just £2.32 while it’s on offer!

Superdrug Exfoliating Foot Scrub 100ml

This scrub contains gentle exfoliants, jojoba seed oil and aloe vera to smooth and soften rough and dry skin. The exfoliants are very gentle and smoothed the skin rather than removing any hard skin. I found it soothing and comforting and didn’t really notice the smell too much so perhaps I’ll give this one the thumbs up!

Superdrug Comfort Insoles

Oh dear, I’m afraid this story does not have a happy ending! I was so glad to receive these and with all my foot problems I was looking forward to some extra comfort. I read the instructions carefully. I tried to follow them exactly. The first sentence told me not to cut the insoles to small. Obvious I thought, of course I won’t do that. The second sentence said follow the guidelines. This seemed easy the insoles were marked out with men’s and women’s sizes and so I cut the insole to my size and – it was too small! I should have followed the first sentence and not the second! So I didn’t get any comfort at all and had to throw them in the bin! Not too much money wasted though as you can buy them for £1.32 at the moment here.

I guess then that I’m still looking for some hard-working, comforting, non-minty products. Any suggestions folks?