Monday, 31 October 2016

Wild Olive Luxury Bath Melts

RRP: £14.95 for a box of six

--What does the promo say?--
"Deliciously delectable and sumptuously indulgent, these beautiful Bath Melts make a fantastic gift for anyone; or a luxurious treat for yourself after a long, hard day’s work. Decorated to look like yummy cupcakes and arriving in the sweetest pink egg box, this is a tub of treats nobody will be able to resist - and better still, no calories!
The gorgeous gift box contains 3 tranquil bath souffles and 3 soothing sundaes, all enriched with creamy cocoa butter creating super soft skin and a gorgeously indulgent bath.
Create a unique atmosphere with each Luxury Bath Melt, whether it’s natural and fresh or romantic and sensual; each bath melt is fragranced with a different essential oil to suit every mood."
The pink egg box is original, pretty and eco-friendly, as well as protecting the melts securely, and while the papers are tricky to peel off the bath melts initially, they come off quickly once the melt has been immersed in your bath water for a couple of seconds. This wrapping, too, is recyclable, so the company's philosophy and innovation in packaging design is certainly to be applauded. The only minor gripe would be the proofreading errors on the packaging itself, which detracts slightly from the brand's professionalism.
Drop the melt into the bath and let it melt away. The paper case can be easily slipped off and discarded after a couple of seconds. Very easy.
Beautifully decorated and designed to resemble cupcakes and fairy cakes, these bath melts catch the eye, and their natural origins are augmented by the decorations of dried flowers, which float in the bath once the melt has dissolved for an extra luxurious touch. Some bubbles of cocoa butter will float on the water's surface as well. Depending on which bath melt you drop in, the bath water can appear opaque, milky, glittery or translucent. No visible residue is left on the skin.
The melt perfumes the entire bathroom stunningly well, not just thanks to the essential oils used but also due to the dried flowers used to decorate. The scent is natural, too, rather than being overridden by artificial soap smells.
--Texture and consistency, and effects on the skin --
The bath water feels smooth and moisturising, and thanks to the melts' high concentration of cocoa butter and essential oils leaves your skin feeling wonderfully soft.
--Value for money--
The highly appropriate size of these bath melts (especially compared to Lush's, which some may consider oversized), along with the luxurious experience evoked by the scents, pretty styling, and the moisturising effect on the skin, make these of excellent value, and a wonderful gift at any time of year. I was sent mine for free by Prezzybox, but will definitely be buying as a present for relatives this Christmas.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder

RRP: £31
# of shades available: 8

--What does the promo say?--
"Composed of a custom blend of Pearl Powders rich in amino acids, Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder offers a natural, buildable foundation for sheer to full coverage. With its creamy texture, the oil free, water-resistant formula adheres to skin for a colour-true finish all day."

The square plastic compact looks elegant and sleek thanks to its minimalist black and silver design. The package in general, and specifically the click mechanism, seem robust, and the compact contains a goodly-sized mirror also. Unfortunately the applicator is a sponge (albeit generously-sized) rather than a brush (my own preference).

The brand recommends that you use the sponge to continue layering the powder until the desired coverage is achieved. Easy enough, even if I do prefer a brush (see below as to why).

I purchased the lightest shade - Tender Rose. Eight shades represents reasonable availability, although other high-end brands provide many more. Tender Rose works well for me, matching skin tone flawlessly and providing the requisite level of coverage. However, throughout the day it does appear to cake more on the skin, clumping together in patches, which means that it looks a little more uneven as the day goes on. This could, however, perhaps be remedied by applying with a brush instead of the supplied sponge.

Smells slightly nutty, which is a little surprising as none of the ingredients appear to indicate the presence of nuts. But it's not in the least unpleasant.

--Texture and consistency--
Very light on the skin on first application, and doesn't feel like it weighs the skin down throughout the day. 

--Value for money--
Coverage is good until it starts to clump, and skin tone matching is equally promising. The ingredients promise to do the skin good, and one compact lasts a long time. All of these elements justify the price tag. My only complaint - as you can probably tell - is the sponge applicator. Use a brush instead - they are easier to clean and the powder will likely stay even throughout the day as a result.

perfect partners
Blending Brush, £32
Long Lash Mascara, £19.50
Hydrating Foundation Primer, £29
Second Skin Cheek Colour, £21.50
Kohl Eye Pencil, £19
Silk Creme Moisturising Photo Edition Foundation, £35

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

LQ Liquid Health Skin Hair and Nails

RRP: £29.99 for 10 x 50ml

--What does the promo say?--
"LQ Skin, Hair & Nails is a scientifically formulated daily liquid supplement and is part of the LQ Liquid Health Supplement range. Each daily bottle contains multiple key active ingredients and includes marine collagen (7000mg), hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, silicon, glucosamine, selenium and vitamins. Collagen is the most abundant, naturally occurring protein in the body and each bottle contains 7000mg of high bioavailability Peptan™ marine collagen. High grade resveratrol is extracted from red grapes.

In addition to the multiple key active ingredients LQ Skin, Hair & Nails contains:

- Vitamin C which contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of the skin. It also contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress
- Selenium which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin and hair
- Biotin (vitamin B7) which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin and hair
- Vitamin E which contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress."

The magenta labels are bright and vibrant and the plastic bottles themselves are practical for travel thanks to their small size and secure screw caps. They are also recyclable, so a win-win situation all round.

--Usage instructions--
Drink one 50ml bottle per day. This can be mixed with water (fizzy or still) if you choose.

An opaque orange colour reminiscent of the passion fruit it contains. When diluted it turns slightly yellower. No visible residue is left on teeth, lips, tongue or drinking glasses.

A very sweet, rich taste. Luckily, despite this, it's only 31 calories a bottle, so even those on calorie-controlled diets can easily take advantage. This does, however, need to be clearly labelled on the packaging so that dieters are not deterred.

--Texture and consistency--
Slightly cough-syrupy, but mixing this with fizzy water makes it a more palatable supplement to consume. It's also very smooth, not at all bitty, so in this sense it's no struggle to drink either.

--Effects on the body--
As this is supposed to maintain normal skin, hair and nails, the product embodies the same irony as with anti-ageing products: if it works, then nothing should happen! However, nails appear to be strengthened and skin seems clearer. Longer-term use is possibly necessary for effects on the hair to be perceived.

--Value for money--
At £29.99 for 10 shots, and with a minimum of one month's use apparently required for results to be visible, you're talking about a cost of nearly £90 for one month's supply, which is a luxury for most people. Even if you take advantage of deals such as Boots' current offer of 3-for-2 on the product, that is still a monthly cost of £60, which for many is difficult to justify. People would need to see real tangible results after a month to continue investment in the product. If LQ can find a way to bring the price down, more people would potentially be persuaded to buy. This could potentially be done by reducing packaging costs (e.g. sachets containing dissolvable powders, instead of ready-mixed bottles, which also are heavier and cost more to ship than sachets). In short, the product has potential, but still requires improvement in order to boost sales.

perfect partners
Joint Care, £24.99
Advanced Skin Care, £29.99
Heart Care, £24.99

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Wash Wizard

RRP: £7.99 for 5

--What does the promo say?--
"Wash Wizard is the number one solution to getting shower fresh without the shower!
  • Ideal for festivals, camping, sports, work, travelling, kids, only a dash of water required to activate
  • Impregnated with a body wash solution suitable for body and hair. No additional liquid, gels or creams required and no need to rinse
  • Hypoallergenic and unscented it contains organic Aloe Vera to moisturise and soften the skin
  • A perfect alternative to wipes, it leaves no sticky residue and it's light, small and easily transportable. Fully recyclable and reusable."

The 5 sponges come in a cardboard box, which is very eco-friendly even if a little plain. The sponges themselves are individually wrapped in recyclable plastic. This is significantly less plastic and packaging than many other body cleansing options, and the blue Wash Wizard logo is cheerful too.

The yellow sponges look like any other conventional sponges, with the exception that when water is added, a white foam oozes from them thanks to the added aloe vera. No visible residue is left on the skin once the foam has been rinsed away (that is, if you choose to rinse - the blurb says you don't need to). 

No detectable scent.

--Texture and consistency--
The foam is not too foamy, but comes in larger quantities than perhaps expected. This is not a bad thing!

--Effects on the skin--
While the sponge may feel different to use, as most of us probably use flannels or just our hands in the shower to wash our bodies, there's no reason why your skin should feel irritated by this product - especially as it's hypoallergenic and unscented. The body feels clean after use.

--Value for money--
£7.99 for a box of five represents excellent value for money given that a) they are reusable (unlike wipes, which are single-use), b) they have worthy credentials (organic and designed by teens who are donating a percentage of the product's profits to homelessness charities) and c) they are perfect for on the move, whether you're a festival-goer, commuter, or busy mum, making them convenient as well as eco-friendly. They go the distance and get you clean wherever you are. A hand-baggage must! Would recommend.