Coloristiq nail polish rental service – reader offer!

My Coloristiq box contained L to R Tip Your Hat, Snow and Motown Magic

What is Coloristiq?

It’s the UK’s first, multi-brand, online nail polish rental service.

How does it work?

It’s a service that allows members to set a wish list from a collection of nail polishes including Essie, OPI, China Glaze and Morgan Taylor. You are sent 3 nail polishes and can use them for nine paintings (three per bottle) for a month. Once you’ve returned  the bottles (for free), the next three shades will be sent to you.  Each bottle is closely inspected before being sent out and carefully sanitised to ensure the highest hygiene standards.

What’s are the benefits?

It’s simple and its eco-friendly – you won’t end up throwing away half full dried-up bottles and you get to try out colours before buying a whole bottle.

You get access to salon quality brands with the most up to date colours and it’s convenient. Each box is delivered to your door in a box designed to fit though your letter box and the packaging and return post is included.

Ok, I’m interested how much is it?

You’re in luck there is a special offer for Strand On Beauty readers! Here’s the deal:

  • Every reader can get the first month free. Just subscribe using the promo code: Strand1.
  • Plus If you subscribe before Christmas Day you will receive the Coloristiq subscription for £9.99 per month throughout the subscription, instead of the £14.49 standard price!

So what are you waiting for? Here’s where to go to get started!


L’Erbolario – beauty Italian style in Islington

PicMonkey Collage

Last Wednesday evening after a long day at work I set off to Islington. Now let me tell you that I don’t often go this far north of the river. I live in a part of South London that my daughter prefers to call “near Wimbledon” and so my journey North on the Northern line was a little adventure.

The purpose of my journey was to visit a beautifully styled and laid out shop in Upper Street Islington called L’Erbolario. It’s absolutely packed with every fragrance and product that you can think of and yet it’s all accessible and ordered and most of all welcoming.

I tried to think of what high street store I could compare it to in the UK – maybe it little like L’Occitane – but Italian and not French. Maybe a little like Crabtree and Evelyn but not so English Country Garden. No, it wasn’t like anything I could think of it was just L’Erbolario, classic, Italian and stylish.

This store is the first of its kind in the UK although L’Erbolario was founded in 1978 in Italy. Its founders had a passion for the healing properties of plants and flowers that led them to create this range of perfumes, oils, soaps creams and conditioners using extracts such as rose, lavender, honeysuckle, white tea and moss.

The products combine the best of traditional herbalist methods with the most advanced cosmetics research whilst meeting ethically acceptable standards.

The team that run the shop are so lovely and friendly and happy to help you find just the right treat or gift. There is such a wide range which includes items for children, suncare, a mens range, candles and cosmetics. Too much too choose from and everything comes in beautifully illustrated packaging which is an absolute delight!

I’ve been lucky enough to come home with a few goodies to try and you’ll be able to read my reviews on how effective the products are very soon. There’s a sneak peek of some of them on my instagram account if you can’t wait!

If you want to find out more about the products and the brand before you visit then there is plenty of information on the website but I promise you that if you visit you won’t come away empty-handed!

Have you tried this brand before in Italy? I’ve heard it’s really popular there. Do tell me what you think of the brand.


Reviews – La Roche Posay Serozinc, Toleriane Ultra & Physiological Cleansing Gel


Last week I went to a launch event for La Roche-Posay Serozinc Sulfate Solution Spray. (You can read about that here if you missed it.)  I was really spoiled on the night and went home with a goodie bag full of La Roche-Posay goodies. I’ve now had the chance to try 3 of the products and so it’s time for me to tell you all about them.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc Sulfate Solution Spray

This is the product that beauty lovers have been crossing the channel to buy and now it’s available in the UK, well almost. It’s available from January 2015 but you can pre-order it here.

It’s hard to describe what it is and what it’s for because well it’s a toner, in that you use it after cleansing and before moisturising. But it’s not that harsh drying kind of toner that you think of when you hear the word toner. It’s a gentle spray mist of what is essentially water. But of course this is not just any old water – it’s La Roche-Posay water – so it’s designed to purify blemish-prone, troublesome skin. It’s a toning mist enriched with zinc sulphate.

Serozinc is created with thermal spring water, zinc sulphate and sodium chloride which  together target blemishes, marks and excess oiliness. As well as being the perfect toner it can be used at any time of day to refresh and treat your skin.

I love how refreshing it feels, particularly in the morning and I’ve been using it as part of my cleanse tone and moisturise routine which is working a dream.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel

This as it says in the header is  gel type cleanser. It comes in a pump dispenser which I love. There’s no mess or waste and I use just one pump onto a muslin cloth. It’s a scented product which was a bit of a surprise really. It smells gorgeous but it’s the kind of scent that I would associate with a shower gel rather than a facial cleansing gel. It leaves my skin feeling really soft and fresh but not tight. It’s soap-free,alcohol-free, colorant-free and formulated without parabens. You can buy it here right now.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra – Intense Soothing Care

This is the third of the La Roche-Posay products that I’ve been trying this week. To be honest I think it’s the one that I like the most. It’s designed for ultra-sensitive or allergic skin  and whilst I have normal-combination skin that isn’t particularly sensitive I’ve really appreciated the gentleness of this product.

The formulation has been stripped down removing all potentially irritant or allergy-inducing substances. It contains glycerine shea butter and  La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. The intense soothing power comes from the active ingredient Neurosensine.

It’s 100% hermetic. Non-comedogenic. Ultra high tolerance. Tested on allergic skin. 0% preservative / paraben / fragrance / alcohol / colorant / lanolin. Here’s where you can buy La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra.

I love how great this has made my skin feel. I can’t stop touching it. It feels soft and velvety. I’m guessing that it’s feeling the effect of these three La Roche-Posay products together on my skin.

So now you know what products I’ll be using on my skin for the foreseeable future. Have you tried any of these products yet? Do you love La Roche-Posay?


This post contains affiliate links.

Space NK, Laura Mercier & See You Later Nars Sheer Glow!

FoundationI arranged a lunch time outing with a work mate this week to introduce her to the delights of Space NK. Of course I knew that I would want to buy something myself but was struggling to think of a way to justify a purchase when I still have loads of Christmas stuff to buy. I convinced myself that I was “nearly at the end” of my NARS foundation though and decided that I might allow myself a purchase if I could find something I liked.

Regular readers will have read here about my last visit to Space NK, how much I like NARS Sheer Glow and how much I hate not having a pump in the bottle. I did take a look at the NARS counter and briefly consider buying another bottle but decided to see what else might fit the bill. To be honest there isn’t a single thing in Space NK that I don’t want to buy so when I allowed the assistant to show me a few products I knew that I would end up with something I liked.

I briefly considered trying out the By Terry foundations but thought I should steer clear as they were significantly above my budget and instead explored the Laura Mercier counter. With a lot of care and attention from the assistants I decided on the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Cashew. It costs £34.00.

They say:

“A long-wear, oil-free foundation that magically blurs the line between real skin and makeup. Shake & tap to activate this unique formula. This revolutionary bi-phase, two-part formula is designed to deliver the most natural looking colour and lightweight coverage. Colour true pigments rest at the bottom of the package while reflective waters (Hydro-Brilliant Technology) float to the top. Vigorously shaking the package before each use ensures the pigments blend with the reflective waters to create fresh colour every time.”

I have to say that I really love the effect of this foundation. It’s not like any other I’ve tried before. It gives a medium coverage but is such a light fluid formula it doesn’t feel like you have anything on your skin. I’ve also avoided the whole pump issue as it comes in a tube. You do have to shake the product before dispensing but this isn’t really a hassle and you only need a tiny amount.

I’m not sure whether this is a foundation that I’ll stick to going forward because there are so many different formulas and brand for us beauty bloggers to be tempted by, but I can say that I won’t be heading back to the NARS counter for Sheer Glow anytime soon.

If you’re wondering what my friend thought of Space NK I should say that she was really impressed. She got a lovely welcome from all the staff and after a mini make over she had a lovely chat with a chap who specialised in skin care and left with a gorgeous REN Rose Trio gift set (a gift for herself!).

Oh and I also managed to pick up my free birthday gift from Space NK which was a mini Kevin Aucoin Eyeliner!

All too soon it was time to go back to work and we scurried back up the road clutching our Space NK bags with delight.

I can’t wait to “run out” of something else so I can return to Space NK. Do you love it too?


Reviews – Nails Inc. Gel Effect & Vichy Purete Thermale Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

I’ve got a couple of reviews for you today. They’re not remotely connected to each other but I thought that you’d still like to hear what I have to say – I mean – I don’t really need to have a brand focus or a themed post so that I can present you with a review or two do I?

Nails Inc Gel Effect in Beaufort Street

Beaufort Street

This Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish in Beaufort Street is one of the AW14 Gel Effect Trend Shades that were created to complement the seasons catwalk trends. The Gel Effect formulation uses a unique plasticizer and polymer technology to create a plumped, high shine finish with no need for UV or soak off.

I found it really easy to apply and it had great coverage. It lasted for a few days without too much wear. The colour is really rich and deeper than it looks in my photo. I would say it’s more like a deep raspberry or mulberry shade that’s bang on trend.

It’s also available in Hyde Park Place (Pale Grey), Old Bond Street (Deep Violet), West End (Tomato), Grosvenor Crescent (Aubergine), New Oxford Street (Mauve), Uptown (Winter Pink), and Old Burlington Street (Navy). They are available here priced £14.00.

Vichy Purete Thermale Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

Purete Thermale 2

I find that it’s often difficult to strike the right balance with products to remove makeup from the delicate eye area. I want a product that removes all of the guck I put on my lids and lashes but I don’t want to have to rub and scrub or use a product that makes my eyes water.

That’s where this Vichy Purete Thermal Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover gets it just right. As well as being kind to sensitive eyes and removing eye makeup it refreshes them too. It’s also paraben free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. But it doesn’t stop there as it actually benefits your eyelashes too with Argenie and Taurine which have an anti-eye lash loss effect.

I’ve used this Vichy product for about a week now. I apply it with a cotton wool pad and only need to pat it lightly on my lids and lashes to remove every trace of makeup. It’s not greasy and doesn’t need to be rinsed off after use.

It normally retails at £11.00 but it’s currently on offer here for £9.35 – so be quick!

Let me know if you love these products as much as me.


This post contains affiliate links

La Roche-Posay – The Secret’s Out!

When I get invited to an event whether it’s a blogging event, a work conference, or a dinner party invitation I’m always intrigued to see where it’s being held. I’m not much of an expert on architecture and my taste is eclectic but I know what I like when I see it and wow! was I blown away when I arrived at the venue for last night’s La Roche-Posay product launch. It was held at The Magazine Restaurant in Kensington Gardens and it was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects if you’re interested in that side of things.

magazine restaurant

Aside from the glamorous location their was an air of intrigue about the whole thing. We were told that a secret was to be revealed, we had to walk through the park at night to reach our destination and there was a huge moon lighting the way as well as the twinkling lights of the Winter Wonderland in the distance!

When we were shown inside the venue we were greeted with champagne and cocktails and canapes and straight away the secret was revealed when we espied a huge bottle of Serozinc! Kal the brilliant blogger Cluttered Closet and Hannah who is the amazing northern girl behind the A Day In The Life Of A Northern Girl blog were keen to show their love for this super new product!


They say:

“Purify your blemish-prone, troublesome skin with La Roche-Posay Serozinc, a toning mist enriched with zinc sulphate.

Serozinc is created with just three ingredients: La Roche-Posay’s ultra-soothing thermal spring water, healing zinc sulphate (0.10%) and astringent sodium chloride (0.75%). Together, these three ingredients target blemishes, marks and excess oiliness, ensuring your complexion feels fresh and comfortable at any time of day.

The versatile formula is perfect for use as a toner between cleansing and moisturising, or it can be used at any time of day to refresh and treat your skin. It’s a simple and effective solution to help mattify oily skin, prevent excess shine and tighten the appearance of pores every day.

After cleansing, close your eyes and mist onto skin. Leave to absorb, and gently pat away the excess. Follow with an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturiser such as Effaclar Duo +.

Hypoallergenic, non-perfumed, suitable for acne-prone skin.”

Serozinc is due to launch in the UK on 1 January but you can pre-order it right now at Escentual here!

All that goodness for only £7.22 till 20 December and then it’s only £8.50.

We had a lovely evening meeting up with blogging pals and hearing a talk or two from La Roche-Posay experts.

All too soon it was time to leave and head out into the cold. The blow was softened by a very generous goodie bag including the new Serozinc! So you can  be sure that you will be getting loads of product reviews very soon.

Here are a few more pics from last night. Such fun!

PicMonkey Collage


This post contains affiliate links.

Strand on Beauty Giveaway – Get your skin ready for Christmas!

Giveaway 5Giveaway 1


In the last few weeks we’ve all been bombarded with posts about what to buy for Christmas and  I’ve started to wonder whether some of us might be spending so much time on shopping for gifts for others and forgetting that we need to take care of our own skin so that we look our best through the festive season.

So here’s your chance to get something just for you. You’ll remember that I’ve been telling you about the magic that Dermalogica can do here and now I’m giving you the chance to WIN this brilliant Limited Edition Dermalogica Set worth £30! It contains five travel friendly favourites –  Daily Microfoliant®, Multi-Active Toner, Skin Hydrating Booster, Skin Hydrating Masque and Multivitamin Power Firm.

You can enter via Rafflecopter hereThe giveaway is available in the UK only. The give away is now closed. The winner is Katie Skeoch. Look out for more gieaways soon.

And if you fancy picking up some other Dermalogica goodies while you’re waiting you can get stockist details by calling 0800 591818 or visit


Review – Dermalogica Super Rich Repair Set

Dermalogica gifts

I had been given some Dermalogica skin care samples in a goodie bag way back but hadn’t tried them as I wasn’t sure whether they were right for my skin type. When I read about these super gift sets I asked which would be the best one for my fifty-something skin. I was recommended to try the Super Rich Repair Set and was lucky enough to be gifted it for review.


The Super Rich Repair Set (£62.20) – contains a 50ml Super Rich Repair moisturiser for mature skin conditions, specifically paired with  Soothing Eye Make Up Remover and Age Reversal Eye Complex travel sizes.

I’ve been using the products for about 10 days and I’ve found them to be just right for my skin type. (Good choice Dermalogica!)

The Super Rich Moisturiser was …well…rich! What was impressive though was that it was rich and nourishing without feeling at all greasy. It is quickly absorbed and I can feel that the collagen had made my skin feel toned. I apply it in the morning over a serum and it the smooth toned feeling lasts all day.

They say:

“This deeply nourishing, heavyweight skin treatment cream helps combat chronically dry, dehydrated skin while replenishing critical moisture levels. Powerful peptides help stimulate collagen production while an acid-free smoothing complex helps improve elasticity and tone. Use as a protective salve to shield against cold, dry environmental conditions. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.”

The Soothing Eye Make Up Remover is a clear gel that is cooling as well as being an efficient cleanser. I did find that I managed to dispense too much each time I used it but I’m putting that down to it being in a mini size and more difficult to handle. A little goes a long way.

They say:

“This soothing, conditioning gel is specially formulated to instantly dissolve all traces of eye and lip make-up, including stubborn mascara. Completely oil-free, S.D. alcohol-free and water-soluble, formula helps strengthen lashes and condition the delicate eyelid area with Silk Amino Acids. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.”

The Age Reversal Eye Complex is for night-time use and the directions said that I should use it every other night as it’s a potent formula and the skin needs to build up tolerance. This meant that I wasn’t sure what to do on the nights when I wasn’t using it. So I used my regular cream. I think that I’ve started to notice an improvement but I’ve only applied it 5 or 6 times so it’s a bit early to decide on this one.

They say:

“Reverse multiple signs of aging with this breakthrough treatment for the delicate eye area. Retinol and tissue-regenerating peptides plus Vitamin C fortify skin to help strengthen against fine lines and related signs of aging. Exclusive UGL complex helps retexturize while Oat Proteins and Fraxinus Extract firm. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.”

There are several more gift sets to suit every pocket and skin type. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Body Therapy Favourites Kit (£17.50) – perfect gift for frequent travelers who need some relaxation on-the-go made easy. Contains Conditioning Body Wash, Body Hydrating Cream and Exfoliating Body Scrub
  • Dermalogica Favourites Kit (£30) – the gift of skin health, anywhere, anytime. Five top-selling travel friendly Dermalogica products which are suitable for all skin conditions. Contains PreCleanse , MultiActive Toner, Gentle Cream Exfoliant, Skin Hydrating Booster and Skin Perfect Primer SPF30
  • Active Moist Set (£44.10) – contains a top-selling 100ml Active Moist moisturiser for normal/oilier skin conditions, specifically paired with Soothing Eye Make Up Remover and Intensive Eye Repair travel sizes
  • Skin Smoothing Cream Set (£47.20) – contains a top-selling 100ml Skin Smoothing Cream moisturiser for normal/dryer skin conditions, specifically paired with specifically paired with Soothing Eye Make Up Remover and Intensive Eye Repair travel sizes
  • Super Rich Repair Set (£62.20) – contains a top-selling 50ml Super Rich Repair moisturiser for mature skin conditions, specifically paired with specifically paired with Soothing Eye Make Up Remover and Age Reversal Eye Complex travel sizes
  • Clear Start Set (£14.00) – the Clear As Day (And Night) set contains a Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash; Breakout Clearing Daytime Treatment and Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment to ensure younger, congested skin is clear and healthy for the festive season

Dermalogica products are only available on the recommendation of a qualified skin care therapist. For stockist details, please call 0800 591818 or visit

Have you tried any Dermalogica products? What do you think of them?


The products were gifted to me for review but the opinions are my own and not prescribed.

Review – Glam Hair

Somehow I’ve got a little behind with this blogging lark and have a long list of things that I need to tell you about. I wasn’t planning on writing about these super hair products from Umberto Giannini today but I’ve been using them for  a few days now and I’ve realised that I’ve been having quite a few comments about my hair looking nice. So today the penny dropped that it must be because of these beauties!

These two products were recommended for my hair when I went to the Bloggers Love event at Kanaloa. You can read more about that here. I was told that the range was aimed at managing hair for and after a glamourous night out.



They say:

“Super charge your heat styling. Straight, curl or wave – holds like a hairspray, smoothes like a serum and protects against heat damage for hair as perfect as a princess.”

The idea is that you can put it on wet or dry hair to protect it from heat as well as holding the style whether it’s curly or straight. I’ve got wavy hair that I straighten. It’s dyed to cover grey and so can be a bit dry on the ends. I normally straighten after washing and conditioning and then add oil for a shine. With this Umberto Giannini Princess Purrfect Hot Styler Spray I got a really good result. I didn’t follow the instructions rigidly. (They said that I should spray it section before styling) I just sprayed it all over and then attacked it with the straighteners. It straightened more easily and held well. Although the product brushes out easily I found that it was effective the following day too. It gave it more body and didn’t frizz up when I had to pop out in the rain.



They say:

Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Morning After Dry Shampoo revives and refreshes lank, lifeless hair and gives that second day feeling that keeps hair perky and poised all day.”

I have to say that the dry shampoo trend had mostly passed me by. In the main I look at my hair in the morning and if I have to ask the question “Does it need washing?” then it obviously does and I wash it. So I don’t feel the need for a dry shampoo as a staple.

When the lovely stylist from Umberto Giannini told me about this Morning After Dry Shampoo she told me that most people got the whole thing wrong. She said that you shouldn’t wait until your hair looked greasy and then apply the product but that you should apply it to freshly washed hair to make it last longer. I’m sure that she is right but of course I didn’t think about using the product until I was running late one morning and realised that I should have washed my hair the night before. I gave my hair a quick spray and brushed it through. I was quite pleased with the effect. My hair didn’t look like freshly washed hair does without any products but the roots didn’t look greasy anymore and it had a lovely sheen.

The products are both available from Boots for £6.00 each. I think that they’re well worth it and like I said I’m loving the compliments!


The products were gifted to me for review but the opinions are my own.

Review – Realine Beauty Frown Line Patch

RealineWhen I was asked if I would like to review these Realine Beauty frown line patches. I wasn’t sure what to say. I hadn’t ever thought about my frown lines as a problem that needed solving.

I couldn’t quite grasp the concept. I thought at first that the patches had a serum on them that smoothed lines or worse that had some topical version of Botox in it. I’m not sure how  I thought that might work but I really don’t know much about this area of beauty so I thought I should educate myself.


They say Realine Beauty frown line patches:

  • Smooth out forehead frown lines naturally and effectively
  • Most effectively worn overnight or on long haul flights
  • 92 % of women found the product easy to use
  • 87% of women found the product both effective and comfortable
  • 84% of clinical trial participants said their frown lines appear smoother after using the patch
  • 80% of users said their forehead wrinkles appear reduced after using the patch

So, having read the blurb, it seemed that all you needed to do was stick a patch on your forehead every night and it would retrain your muscles and so the lines would soften.

I was debating whether I could be bothered with this nightly effort when a friend said that she would be willing to give them a try. Here’s what she found:


I tried the patches over the course of a month. They were very easy to apply, and virtually invisible once on, so I didn’t attract the ridicule of my partner when I wore them to bed. They are essentially a triangular piece of clear film and once applied stayed firmly in place.

When I took the patch off the first morning, there was a noticeable smoothing of the ‘11’ lines on my forehead, however over the course of the day the lines crept back and this was basically my experience over the course of the month. My forehead looked good first thing but then the lines gradually deepened again.

Halfway through the month I used a fruit based serum on my face which I occasionally use overnight and applied the patch as usual. The next day my forehead looked fine but during the morning when I caught sight of myself I a mirror, I was horrified to notice a red triangular mark on my forehead, not a good look. I stopped using the patches for a couple of days and stopped the serum and then re-started the patches and have had no further problems. If you do start using them, be aware that some products might react with them though they were fine with my usual moisturiser.

At the end of the month I have to be honest, I didn’t notice a great deal of difference. I’m not sure if they would be more effective for someone who doesn’t spend all day staring at a computer screen as I probably undo all the ‘training’ the patch puts my forehead through overnight, throughout the day at work.

They might be more effective over a longer period of time, but I kind of think they just give a temporary smoothing rather than getting rid of the lines. But maybe it’s just that I’m too old to ‘re-train’ my forehead! 

What do you think? It’s not easy to tell from the before and after pics above as the lighting is a little different but it looks to me as though there is a slight softening of the lines.

Have you ever tried anything like this? Or gone further and had botox?

If you are interested in giving the patches a go Realine Beauty Patches (one month supply) – costs £28 in Selfridges, Fenwick of Bond Street and at