Sunday, 18 March 2018

IGK Hair Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat

IGK Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat Review

Us beauty addicts in the UK are finally getting a huge whack of fantastic brands making the grand leap across the pond. A selection of Kate Somerville products have wheedled their way into my basket at Cult Beauty, and I hear that Drunk Elephant is on the horizon; however, I was most excited for the achingly cool IGK Hair to make their way onto British shelves. Being a recent texture spray convert (thank you, Sam McKnight) and knowing from a life of frizz that curls are often neglected/badly provided for in a brand launch, the Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat was top of my test list.

IGK call this product a "basecoat" for curls - enriched with almond oil and sea kelp, and designed to hold curls without frizz. The spray is extra fine which makes it a pleasure to use, even on my bird's nest of curls. Sold Out smells really fresh, modern, slightly botanical and not at all cloying - the scent dissipates relatively quickly so you're not left smelling like a garden. I've used it both on damp post-shower hair, and to refresh curls in-between washes, and it definitely works much better for the former. I find it feels a little tacky used on dry hair, but on damp tresses before mousse, heat, or air-drying, this spray performs solidly in the frizz reduction department.

IGK Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat Review

Overall, a solid performance. Sold Out does (mostly) what it says on the tin. For very fine curls, this may be a bit of an unnecessary step, but on my super-thick textured mop it's a really effective product.

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned here bought with my own money.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Review

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Perfume

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land has been on my fragrance hit-list for a while, and thanks to a very generous husband, it now takes pride of place on my dresser. The name, wildly romantic on the stark white label, makes reference to the real roses of no man's land - the nurses on the front line in World War I. The blurb promises a "sophisticated and fortifying bouquet" - intriguing - and as the name would suggest, a whole load of roses.

Scandi, minimalist, millennial packaging aside, this fragrance is a rose lovers' dream. The official notes are pink pepper, raspberry blossom, Turkish rose, papyrus and white amber. It opens with a slightly spicy, warm, peppery flourish, but quickly settles in to a grown-up, jammy, delicious rose scent. If you are familiar with the delectable Rose Jam from Lush, this is the less sweet, deeper, big sister in EDP form. Rose of No Man's Land is a huge pile of rich rose petals in a bottle. To my nose, it's a very "real" floral scent - no Mrs. Doubtfire-esque bouquet or cheap synthetic flowers here. It isn't overwhelming, however - it's fresh enough to feel modern, and lingers for about 6 hours on my skin, leaving just a warm woody ghost of rose scent on the skin.

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Perfume

Yes, it is esspensive - but it is a joy.

Some links above are affiliate links. This product was a gift.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Aldi Lacura Caviar Illumination Serum, 3 minute mask and Cuvee Royal Cream Mousse - the verdict

Aldi Lacura Caviar Skincare Review

Aldi wasn't exactly the kind of place I had in mind for finding my next skincare holy grail product. I mean, everyone loves a special buy, but I wasn't seriously expecting much from their skincare range. However, my interest was piqued by rave reviews, impressively luxe packaging and a lot of Lacura Caviar : La Prairie and Lacura Cuvee: La Mer comparisons being touted about. Aldi also recently were awarded cruelty free status for their cosmetics and cleaning products. This winning combination resulted in the haul you see before you.

Now. A disclaimer. I am not rich enough/on the spectacular PR lists for mega-glorious products like those produced by La Mer and La Prairie. On the other hand, I've spent a small fortune on skincare in my life, and have quite hard-to-please combination/oily, sensitive, acne prone skin. I'm also a huge fan of things that just work, regardless of price point. Make of that what you will.

The Lacura Caviar Cell Renewal 3 Minute Mask is supposedly Aldi's answer to La Prairie's Cellular 3 Minute Peel, which costs a magnificent £168. The packaging is (I'd imagine deliberately) very similar, with a brush and a hefty glass jar. The formula relies on papaya enzymes, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, as well as caviar extract (don't think about it too much, fish eggs, ick) to provide chemical exfoliation. This thing packs a punch. As a PTR Pumpkin Enzyme Mask devotee, I'm pretty used to seriously powerful masks these here days, and the Lacura Caviar mask has shot right up there to the weekly-use box. The smell is inoffensive and cosmeticky, and the texture is a thin cream. This won't set to a peel-off mask, just rinse it off after 3 minutes, but it is properly good. My skin is smooth, refined and exfoliated without being stripped of all moisture. I was genuinely amazed at how good this mask is.

Aldi Lacura Caviar Illumination Serum Concentrate Review

The Lacura Caviar Illumination Serum Concentrate is another beautifully packaged product (this time with a decent, airtight pump). The blurb on this is that each little suspended bead in the oil/paraben free serum contains ceramides, as well as Chrondrus Crispus extract/caviar extract (again, don't think too much about it) and Corallina - a seaweed with antioxidant properties which is also found in some Elemis skincare. The formula also contains humectants, other antioxidants and skincare compounds like decarboxy carnosine HCL - sounds terrifying, but basically a quick flick through Paula's Choice ingredients encyclopaedia of dreams shows that this stuff means business. The serum texture is absolutely feather-light and absorbs very quickly into the skin, leaving no sticky residue at all. If you are dry skinned, you may need a moisturiser on top of this serum. I cannot stress to you how much I love this product. I've been using it religiously, morning and night, for 3 weeks now, and my skin has honestly never looked better.

Aldi Cuvee Royal QT40 Intensive 24hr Cream MousseLast, but certainly not least, is the Lacura Cuvee Royal Intensive 24hr Cream Mousse. Again, super-luxe packaging, and this little tub comes with one of those annoying (but hygienic, I suppose) little spatula things that you find when you clear out your skincare cupboard. The texture is a light, smooth, creamy-mousse that doesn't overwhelm my oily skin at all. The formula contains grape seed extract, and again a highly Paula's Choice approved ingredients list.

I'm using the Cream Mousse as a night cream, and it is just lovely. Moisturising without smothering, really soothing and a joy to use, it is just as good, if not better, than my usual moisturisers.

Aldi, you've nailed it.


Monday, 22 January 2018

Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texture Mist

Hair By Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texture Mist

Texture Mist? Isn't "texture" just what a whacking overdose of dry shampoo and a few days of benign neglect will do for you?

Well, yes. Yes it is. If you want to forgo the required general dilapidation required to get there, Sam McKnight seems to have basically bottled it. Friend to the fun-bun, the big braid, the effortless updo and the I'm-too-cool-for-a-hairbrush brigade, Cool Girl Texture Mist is a complete surprise winner in my styling product drawer.

Cool Girl Texture Mist really comes into its own for me when it comes to plaiting of any kind - a quick skoosh of this into the braid, a bit of teasing and hey, presto: enormous covetable bohemian braids. I can get that deliberately tousled, not dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards thing that I think people with more malleable locks find a bit easier to achieve. I don't find it remotely drying (and bear in mind, I have a bird's nest of twigs for hair) and doesn't leave hair crunchy at all.

Oh, and the best bit? This smells absolutely divine. A lush forest on a cool, misty Spring morning. It's botanical, fresh, light, and delicious. I'm not even kidding. I've had more people ask what my perfume is on Cool Girl days than any other day.

Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texture Mist

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own money. 

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