Saturday, 12 September 2015

Spa Technologies Flower Acid Peel

RRP: £25

--What does the promo say?--
"An anti-inflammatory concentrate of hibiscus flower and green tea acids fortified with salicylic acid for problem skin. Flower (Pyruvic) Acid peel comes in a soothing seaweed -based gel. Gradual exfoliation without irritation associated with alpha-hydroxy peels. Helps to decongest pores consistent with acne. Essential in treatment of rosacea. Allows basal cells to fully mature, strengthening the connective tissue matrix."

The weight of the glass makes you feel like you're holding a higher-quality product in your hands, and the metallic banding is a thread that runs throughout the brand identity. The pump-action dispenser is convenient, and it's always nice to be able to see how much product you've got left at any given moment.

It's recommended that you apply this at night, after cleansing, so that it has a few hours to work. You then wash your face in the morning as normal.

A golden brown serum that leaves no visible residue on the face.

A really pleasant, naturally sweet, 'treacly' smell.

--Texture and consistency--
Neither too runny nor too sticky; however, I would definitely stick with the advice of only applying this at night, solely for the reason that when it dries it can feel a little taut on the face, as if you've applied a mask. In short, don't expect it to leave a completely smooth and absorbed finish like a moisturiser.

--Effects on the skin--
Skin does appear calmer, smoother and more radiant after use, and doesn't have the irritating qualities of many commercial peels in the short or long term.

--Value for money--
While £25 for a 30ml bottle can seem expensive, it's nothing compared to the cost of the equal number of spa treatments - one bottle does last a long time and yields good results. Great for giving yourself spa-level results at home. Would recommend.

perfect partner
Vital Energy Capsules, £25

Saturday, 5 September 2015

No7 Gel-Look Shine Nail Colour

RRP: £7
# of shades available: 21

--What does the promo say?--
"Our patented technology makes the polish tough and flexible to help prevent chipping and improve ease of application to help achieve a streak-free finish. Complete coverage in just one stroke, with outstanding and durable gel look shine. Helps to smooth and plump nails so natural ridges can't be seen, for best results use in combination with the top coat. Rich colour pay off in one coat. Plumps and volumises in 2 coats."

Sophisticated and minimalist with a pleasing and ergonomic curve on the lid for easy handling. The No7 logo is centre stage on the bottle, clearly demarcating it as one of Boots' own. The lack of unnecessarily massive stickers is equally pleasing, allowing you to always see how much you have left. The brush is a bit big for my liking, though, although I suppose this does mean you have a greater chance of covering the nail in one stroke.

Apply a base coat and allow this to dry thoroughly before painting one stroke down the centre of your nail. Add a further stroke down each side if necessary, so that the entire nail is covered in colour. Leave this coat to dry before attempting to apply a second coat. Finally, finish with a top coat once the colour is dry.

The shade I was sent by Boots' PR (thanks guys!) was the rose gold shade, which I really love - perfect for both summer and Christmas, it adds a bit of shimmer to any outfit and goes with basically everything, whether you're wearing silver jewellery or gold. I tend to go for metallic nail colours for this reason and this is a great one to have in the kit alongside the classic silver, gold, copper and bronze.

--Texture and consistency--
Perhaps a little thick for my liking, but this is easily sorted by putting a couple of drops of nail varnish remover into the bottle and giving it a good shake.

To be honest, I didn't find this polish to be any more robust than others I've tried. A shame, as this whole 'gel-nail-a-like' concept really appeals to me (I find that real gel nails are often too damaging).

--Value for money--
At £7 this is about standard for nail polish. Truthfully, without the longevity claims stacking up, I wouldn't want to pay any more for it, regardless of how much I love the colour. However, you can buy nail polish from other brands that specialise in nails for the same or less money, such as Sally Hansen or Mavala, so I can understand why you'd go for this option instead. It would be great if Boots could maybe go back to the drawing board on this one so I could feel that I could get the longevity they promise without having to spend more on their gel-a-like line of base coats and top coats.

perfect partners
Stay Perfect Base Coat, £6
Stay Perfect Top Coat, £6
Nourishing Nail and Cuticle Care, £6
Strength and Growth Treatment, £8