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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique

I don't know how my poor hair puts up with me. It's been put through hell with bleaching, dying, and constant heat application. So I decided it was time to treat my hair to some products that would help it out, especially if I ever want it to grow. One product that my friend Simone raves about is the Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique, she's even put down her hair growth to this product. So I decided it was time that I invested in some quality hair care products, and gave this a try.

The Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique is a thermo-protective nourishing leave in treatment for dry, very dry, or sensitised hair. It helps to moisturise and protect your hair from heat, something which I use all the time. It can also help to make your hair look softer and shinier, as well as improving hair drying and straightening performance. 

Before I was recommended this I'd never used anything from Kérastase before, so I wasn't sure how their products would work with my hair. I've always used heat protector sprays, but as my hairdresser pointed out they're not great at applying the protection where you hair needs it directly. Using a coin sized amount of this in wet hair I can directly apply this to areas that need more protection, like the bits directly around my face to give them a maximum amount of protection. I've found that this product is also great at taming my frizz and gives me a great sleek blow dry look once I've dried my hair.

 I really think this is a wonder product, since using it the condition of my hair has drastically improved. It feels so much softer, smoother and healthier than it did before, it's hard to believe that I have the same head of hair! I can certainly see why everyone raves about this product, my hair has never been happier since using this. My first try of a Kérastase product has really impressed me, and I really don't ever want to be without my Nutritive Nectar Thermique. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Origins No Puffery Roll On

Lately you might have seen on my blog that I've had bit of an Origins Haul, and one of the products I decided to treat myself to was the No Puffery Cooling Roll On for puffy eyes. Since I've started working full time and staring at a PC screen for 8 hours a day, I've found it can take it's toll on my eyes, making them feel tired, sore and puffy. Nothing I seemed to do would help to soothe them, and then a friend recommenced Origins No Puffery. 

I'd heard some good things about No Puffery, and if you look on the Origins website it's full of great feedback for this little roll on tube. I've never really tried many eye care products, or anything roll on for my eyes, so I wasn't too sure what to expect with this. But of course being a complete self confessed Origins addict, I had to try it, and of course I had high hopes for it. No Puffery is described as a cooling roll on treatment containing yeast extract, which helps to instantly de-puff the eye area and brighten the look of dark circles. And the hoelen mushroom extract helps to calm the skin and keep the look of visible redness from settling in. I find it incredibly soothing to roll on after a long day at work, and it even helps to wake me up if I apply it first thing in the morning. One way to make it feel even more cooling and soothing is to keep it in the fridge, it then feels amazing when I apply it when I get in from work! When it comes to helping brighten the look of dark circles I've not noticed anything myself, but I do find it helps to calm my eye area down and reduce redness at the end of the day. 

Once again Origins has wowed me with another product that I've decided I have to keep in my life. It's fantastic to wake you up if you're feeling a bit tired, and can even be applied thickly as an eye mask. It's also quite small, so it's easy to carry around in your handbag if you need a pick me up for your eyes during the day. Only problem is that it retails for £24, making it quite a pricey purchase for what it is, but I am finding it to work wonders. I'm going to keep a look out for a more purse friendly alternative, but in the mean time I'm completely addicted to Origins No Puffery.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Sunday Post #10 - Road Trip Music

To make the most of the bank holiday weekend and a few days off work, me and my partner are making the 300 mile trip up to Sunderland to visit his parents. Taking the best part of 6 hours to drive from one end of the country to the other, it's not the most exciting of journeys. Recently I dug out my old iPod that I got for my 16th birthday, which I completely forgot I had, to entertain us on our long journey. My old iPod is probably the oldest chunkiest thing I've come across compared to recently technology, and when you turn it on you can actually feel it wuring away to turn on. It's a bit rubbish compared to iPod's these days, I even had it stolen off me once and returned because it was so rubbish. But by the looks of it I haven't updated it since 2010, so there's a few musical gems on there.

Back when I was 16 I found myself a bit of an emo kid, and my iPod definitely represents that. It's full of My Chemical Romance, Panic! At The Disco, and Fall Out Boy tunes, which I can still sing word for word even though I haven't listened to them in years. I even have a "depressed" playlist which is full of songs like Stone Sour's "Bother', Papa Roach "Scars" and Evanescence's "My Immortal" back from my 14 year old emo kid ways. There's a lot of old favourites like Linkin Park on there, who was probably the first band I properly loved, and spent hours listening to all their songs and learning to play on my drums. There's also a lot of upbeat dance music on there, and a lot of stuff that was popular in my first year of university - Dizzee Rascal's "Bonkers", Afrojack's "Take Over Control", and hundreds of Black Eyed Peas songs. 

As my iPod hasn't been updated and is coming up to 7 years old, it feel a bit like a time capsule. It's even made me rediscover songs I forgot I loved like Canterbury's "Gloria". Blasting out music in my little KA up the motorway definitely made the long drive a bit easier, and it was a laugh to reminisce with Chris about songs we both loved in our teenage years. Hopefully it will keep us equally entertained on the way back home.

Friday, April 18, 2014

100 Day Spending Ban Challenge - The End

Today marks the end of my 100 day spending ban challenge - hurrah! If you've been keeping up with my update posts you'll have seen this has been bit of an up and down ban for me, but I've learnt a few things when it comes to saving and spending.  It's not been the best of spending bans, and I've broken it a few times. And when it comes to saving money, I've not done so well, although I've paid off a lot of debt. I originally started this spending ban when I was unemployed and had no income, or a way to pay off my student debts. Since then I've got myself a full time job with a salary, which has really helped when it comes to paying back my overdraft.

However when it came to my savings, they're still almost as non-existent as when I started my ban. I set up a standing order to put away £122.50 every month which should cover the cost of my car insurance, MOT, tax and a bit extra in case my car engine decides to fail again. But that's the only form of savings I have going on right now. When I started my ban I hoped that I would end it with a lot more savings to help towards trying to move out and buy a house, but I've mainly focused on paying back my student ways, which I guess is still progress at the end of the day.

I've definitely changed the way I feel about buying more products, and I do find myself questioning if I really NEED another lipstick. But if you've read my previous updates you'll know I did slip up a few times. I'm hoping that now I've finished my spending ban I'll try and keep this attitude towards money and spending, and hopefully I'll finally start to get some savings together! Hopefully in a few months time I'll take part in another spending ban, and actually manage to stick to it!

See how I got on in other weeks - 

Traveling Beauty Essentials

This year I'm making the most of the bank holiday weekend and getting the chance to go away for a few days to visit my partners parents up north. I'm pretty excited as this is the first Easter weekend in years that I'm not working (stupid working in retail) or have 100's of uni deadlines hanging over me. As we're only going for a few days I'm attempting to pack 'light', but for a beauty addict this can prove difficult as there's a few products that I can't possibly leave behind. This time I've been quite good, and managed to get it down to a few essential products that are coming away with me. 

First of all I can't possibly go anywhere without my Batiste Dry Shampoo. Having thick greasy hair I find it a complete life savor, and I always have a back up in my beauty storage. There's no way I could go away for a few days without packing one with me. My Origins Drink Up Intensive mask is one of my favourite products of all time, and when traveling a lot I find my skin can get quite dry and tired feeling. One way to put some moisture back into my skin is leaving a thick layer of this on overnight, and voila! The next day I have my nice hydrated, soft skin back. I'm a terrible lip biter, and when spending a whole day driving I find I can get quite bored and chew my lips. I always carry around a lip balm with me, and my recent favourite is my EOS lip balm is Strawberry Sorbet, which is quick and easy to apply.

My hands forever feel dry, and there's only one hand cream that I like to use - Soap & Glory's Hand Food. No other hand cream seems to compare to this, it softens my hands, makes them feel more hydrated AND smells amazing. I know this is a popular hand cream choice among a lot of my friends too, and even all us girls at work have one on our desks! I've decided to pack Apitiva's Suncare 50+ SPF Face Cream* in the hope that we'll have a glorious sunny bank holiday weekend and I'll be needing it. Knowing my luck now I've packed it we won't, oh well. I've picked up Vaseline's Spray and Go Moisturiser especially for this trip so I don't have to carry around one of my large tubs of moisturiser for a few days. By the sounds of it it makes moisturising a lot easier, so hopefully it works out for me! And finally I've packed my Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique, which not only works as a heat protector, but has a bit of a leave in conditioner effect on my hair, making a little extra room in my suitcase! 

These are definitely products I couldn't go away without! Hopefully I've managed to get my product addiction under control for a few days away, and hopefully left enough room in my suitcase to buy more products to bring home.

*PR Sample

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Foodies Guide To Italy

It's no secret that Italy is known for its food. From pizza, to pasta, to wine, and ice cream, no one does it quite right like Italy. I've been fortunate to travel to Italy a few times in the past, and I've experienced some great food on my way. Each region of Italy has it's own specialties, and you really need to travel around to make the most of fine Italian cuisine. There are several guides you can find on the best places to eat in Italy, but with so many different regions it can be hard to decide where to start! On my travels I've been lucky enough to try out a few different places, so here's a few places I definitely recommend you should try. 


Puglia is the home to miles and miles of gorgeous sandy beaches and delicious Italian cuisine, surrounded by some beautiful views. Over the past few years the region of Puglia has been discovered as a huge talking point for foodies. Offering foodie events running throughout the year, with at least one event taking place each month. The contemprary fairs still continue on the tradition of producing some of Italy's finest olive oil, as well as being the sixth biggest wine-making region in the world.

Tuscany & Umbria

With its miles of rolling fields of olives and long stretches of vineyards, it's no surprise that Tuscany should win a place on this list. Tuscany is famous for offering some of the finest wines and cuisines that the country has to offer. There's one place that all foodies certainly need to pay a visit to, and that's the Chianti region, the wine-making capital of Tuscany. Wine-tasting and winery tours are of course available here, where you can have the chance to taste some of the most famous wines; Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. On past trips to Italy I've fallen in love with the wine so much, I've had to bring it back home with me! When it comes to the food, Tuscan cuisine reflects the regional way of life, adopting the mantra of taking i slowly. Slow-cooked food and slow-paced dining packed full of flavors are the norm here. 

Neapolitan Rivieria

For those with a well-developed palate and a taste for finer food, a holiday in the Neapolitan Riviera is not to be missed! With culinary delights such as fresh fish from Cetara, a local fishing village, and fresh spaghetti served with a rich anchovy pesto. And of course who could forget the signature dish of the region, Neapolitan pizza! Freshly made, thin-crust bases topped with tomato, mozzarella, and basil, scattered with either fresh seafood, meat or vegetables all cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven - who wouldn't want to visit?

Italian food is certainly more than just pizza and pasta. It's about exploring the different tastes of each region. You won't regret it!

Avène Soothing Hydrating Serum

If you read my blog frequently you'll know I'm bit of a skincare addict. I'm constantly talking about lotions and potions, but something I've only just started using properly is serums. I never used to understand how important they were in my skincare routine, and didn't really know what ones were best for me. I was recently lucky enough to be given the chance to try out Avène's Soothing Hydrating Serum from, a great French skincare brand that I've not had the chance to try.

I've never really heard of Avène, so I wasn't too sure what to expect from this serum, but once I started using it I found I couldn't stop. The first thing I was impressed with was the packaging. I really like pump dispensers, as it's really easy to control how much you use, and it's a lot more hygienic. It also has this frosted glass kind of look, which I think looks really pretty. The serum itself has a nice texture, not too greasy which I've had a problem with in the past, but I find it thick and hydrating. I often have dry skin that feels a bit "meh" and dehydrated, and I've found that using this twice a day has really helped to make my skin feel softer, smoother and more moisturised. I'm glad I was given the chance to try out this Avène Soothing Hydrating Serum as it's really made a visible difference to my skin, and I think it's a product I'll be keeping in my skincare routine for sometime! Avène's Soothing Hydrating Serum retails for just £17, making it an affordable addition to my skincare routine. Avène products have impressed me so far, I'm now eyeing up some new products to try out!

*PR Sample