Saturday, 17 January 2015

Grahams Natural Shampoo and Conditioner

RRP: £11.99 each
--What does the promo say?--
"A gentle blend of organic and natural ingredients to relieve and protect a dry and sensitive scalp."

The bright yellow and blue combination is bold, youthful, unisex and unique, meaning it would definitely stand out on the shelf.

Business as usual here: lather up the shampoo and massage through wet hair before rinsing out. Follow this by smoothing the conditioner through the roots and leave for a few minutes before washing it out. The usual amount required; a blob around the size of a 50p piece should suffice in each case.

Both come out an unorthodox blue colour; no idea where this comes from. They foam whiter, though, and leave no visible residue.

--Texture and consistency--
As is normal, the conditioner doesn't lather as such, but just remains a blue, creamy, slightly pearlescent lotion. The shampoo foams up a bit into a slightly whiter concoction with some effort, but again, is a blue nacreous cream to start with. Both rinse out without difficulty.

Weirdly, slightly pepperminty or menthol-ish. Again, no idea where this originates. You can smell the coconut a bit if you sniff hard enough, which is good for those who aren't especial fans of the coconut scent.

--Effects on the hair--
Easily as effective as any commercial shampoo and conditioner, leaving hair softened, volumised and degreased. Scalp-wise, dry skin is definitely reduced and there is no irritation.

--Value for money--
Admittedly I balked at the price when I saw it online, but we perhaps shouldn't be so surprised: if we want quality results on our hair without the artificial ingredients, we surely need to pay for the care that goes into selecting authentic components. Commercial products are frequently so ludicrously cheap that we just aren't used to paying what things actually cost anymore. If by buying this you get good results without the chemicals, and kick dry and itchy scalps into touch too, then tant mieux. However, I think Grahams need to pimp the packaging if they want consumers to believe this is a high-end product that delivers equally good results. While this current packaging is unique and eye-catching, sophisticated it ain't. It's also significantly more expensive than, say, Lush's natural shampoo bars, which also deliver excellent results through natural ingredients, without the plasticated packaging. So while Grahams' hair products ultimately have a good basis, I'd say there's still a few tweaks to be made.

perfect partners
Grahams Natural Soap, £5.50
Grahams Natural Sooth-It Balm, £17.99
Grahams Natural Bath Oil, £14.50
Grahams Calendulis Plus Cream, from £13.95
Grahams Natural Kids Eczema Cream, £18.99

Thursday, 1 January 2015

TEN Revive Eye Contour Cream

RRP: £21.99 for 30ml

--What does the promo say?--
"-TEN-™ Anti-Age Revive Eye Contour Cream with dual synergy action, reduces fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area, using a combination of sweet almond oil, shea butter and argireline. The skin around the eye is ten times thinner than other areas and with 10,000 movements a day just from blinking, an eye cream is an important part of your skincare regime to reduce wrinkles."

The bronze and white colour scheme is modest and modern, while the large pot is a generous size compared to normal eye creams. The opaque plastic jar also gives a sophisticated feel to the product, while the plastic white screw-top lid makes it easy to use. However, the pot is slightly bulky due to its size and shape, meaning it could be less productive for travel.

Gently use your ring finger to blend a small amount of the eye cream (think the size of your smallest fingernail) into the skin around your eye. Easy.

A white cream that leaves no visible traces on the skin.

Nothing discernible; surprising, given the presence of the shea butter and almond oil.

--Texture and consistency--
Absorbs quickly and without stickiness, caking or excess product being left on the skin once dry. Good stuff. 

--Effects on the skin--
There is definitely increased radiance, and the delicate skin around the eye seems well-protected from dryness. There also does appear to be a small reduction in wrinkles, although this could be just an illusion created by the greater radiance.

--Value for money--
It's well-known that for anti-ageing anywhere on the body, use of a good moisturiser is required (not even specifically an anti-ageing one), and since I like the radiant and softening effects that this one gives, I would definitely consider using it, particularly given that the RRP represents superior value for money given not only the quality of the product but also the amount that you get. Even though I was sent my pot by TEN's lovely PR, I would without doubt purchase my own and recommend that others do the same.

perfect partners
Luminescence Skin Exfoliation Cream, £23.99
Instant Lifting Face Cream, £23.99
Anti-age Complete Rejuvenating Care, £23.99