This is my first time using CND nail polishes & let me give a spoiler - I was very impressed by them. I was kindly set quite a selection and while wearing one at work, it got commented on a couple times & it became a quick favourite of mine. A mixture of the CND NightSpell (dark, sultry, and full of drama) collection & Glacial Illusion (arctic elegance) Collection. I have to say that I'm seriously loving these shades, NightSpell is perfect for coming into Autumn and Glacial Illusion brings us into Winter but this is beauty - where are the rules?

NightSpell Collection

"Will take you from day to night in the twitch of a black cat's tail"
▸ Berry Boudoir - deep mulberry plum.
▸ Mercurial - holographic silver.
▸ Hypnotic Dreams - magical autumn brown.
▸ Eternal Midnight - midnight periwinkle purple, shining in a sky of azure blue hues.
▸ Viridian Veil - chrome aquamarine blue.
▸ Lilac Eclipse - warm lilac crème.

Glacial Illusion Collection

"Trends straight from the catwalk to your fingertips"
▸ Alpine Plum - icy muted lilac shade with metallic silver undertones and a sophisticated satin finish.
▸ Radiant Chill - silky rose gold shade with undertones of bronze and copper and a flawless metallic finish.
▸ Winter Nights - rich navy blue colour with a luxurious crème finish.
▸ Ice Bar - pearlescent creamy white with hues of pink and a shimmer finish.
▸ Mystic Slate - creamy mid-tone grey with blue hues and a crème finish.
▸ Cashmere Wrap - dusky crème nude.
Also included is the CND Vinylux Weekly Long Lasting Topcoat. The weekly polish and weekly top coat have a system uniquely designed to work together. The weekly polish lasts up to 4 times longer than traditional nail polish, when used with the Vinylux top coat as a system. Exposure to natural light secures the ProLight technology, creating an enduring, long-lasting polish. Berry Boudoir & Hypnotic Dreams make sure a great pairing, layering Hypnotic Dreams over Berry Boudoir gives a beautiful new colour. Winter Nights + Ice Bar also work well as a pairing with Ice Bar being a sheer, shimmer finish it's a good top coat. I do have to admit that this nail polish after a week to take off was hard! Talk about chip resistant, it's nail polish remover resistant lol.

Have you ever used CND before? What shades are you loving?

Purchase: NightSpell Collection £6.95 each | Glacial Illusion £7.95 each
RRP £12.95


Samples.


CND Vinylux NightSpell + Glacial Illusion Collection.

Wow, it feels like yesterday I was talking about their pastel & bright polishes for Spring & Summer and now it's their Winter. Yeah this year has gone by so quickly. When looking towards Winter, we've got a few occasions such as Christmas & New Year Eve, thinking about our outfits are one thing but also our beauty & our nails can be at the spotlight, holding the mistletoe and when sipping out of a flute glass. This collection is inspired by the city that never sleeps - New York City.
▸ Ring in the Bling - ruby red pearl tinged with light navy blue.
▸ Be Cherry! - bright crimson red.
▸ Suit & Tied - sandy beige
▸ Social-lights - slate grey glistening with amber warmth
▸ On Your Mistletoes - oxford blue
▸ New Year, New Hue - rich magenta purple.
I've got a few favourites here, Ring in the Bling is beautiful, with two coats it gives such a ruby slippers appearance, that screams Christmas. Social-lights, is a shade that isn't like one I've got. I was very taken by On Your Mistletoes, it normally wouldn't be me, but this shade is a definite yes. New Year, New Hue, a couple of layers and it dries down darker than what is displayed in the bottle but my goodness, it's sexy! Suit & Tied would definitely be in rotation for me, I do like nudes / beige shades when I don't know what to put on and this one isn't going to be an exception. I think Be Cherry! will grow on me, it's more a shade that can be worn any time of the year (like all colours for me) but I wouldn't pin it down to just Winter. Quite looking forward to displaying these nail shades this upcoming Winter.

Which one is your favourite?

Purchase: essie Winter Collection £7.99
Available from 25th October until 28th December 2017 in Boots.


Samples.

essie Winter Collection 2017.

About Mazuri Products

Mazuri is a seven-strong product range of shampoos, conditions, sprays and creams that are comprised of natural unrefined Shea Butter combined with essential penetrating oils, Olive, Avocado, Sweet Almond & Sunflower Seed Oil. These ingredients have been carefully created to deliver hydration, shine and definition to mixed race, afro and all hair types.

I've tried one product from this brand before, Mazuri Organics Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise Steam Treatment. I quite liked it but at the time being a hair product junkie it was never repurchased. When I was given the opportunity to try the Mazuri Naturals Shea Butter Collection, I thought why not see what else this brand has to offer. At the moment I'm going between straight and curly quite often as the weather is significantly cooler.

I decided to try the following three items Shea Butter Naturals Fresh Start Shampoo, Shea Butter Naturals Fresh Start Conditioner & Shea Butter Naturals Leave In Oil Moisturiser. The shampoo is made with natural ingredients to condition & strengthen hair whilst repairing damaged areas deep within. The conditioner seals in moisture, repairs and strengthens hair too. Leave in Oil moisturiser, can be used as a daily oil moisturiser to strengthen and promote hair growth whilst hydrating and reconditioning dry hair and repairing damaged bonds, can be used on damp hair as a blow dry lotion.

These bottles are pretty large at 335ml each and the shampoo & condition have a RRP of £6.99 and the leave in oil moisturiser is RRP £6.69. Which I find very reasonable especially if they're effective. With anything we do, having a good clean, well prepped base is what gives us the best results we want and our hair is no different. Overall I've been using these for all my wash days since receiving them, even after colouring my hair also. I like the leave in oil moisturiser, I will use it to blow dry and straighten my hair and I have the most lightweight but moisturised hair. Even putting a small piece through before sealing with oil is amazing and gives me great results. The shampoo & conditioner also are effective in not stripping my hair while washing but I know it's clean and also the conditioner doesn't coat my strands but I can feel they're hydrated. I definitely would repurchase without a doubt. I'm not even half way through the bottles and I've had these for a little while now and wash my hair 1 - 2x a week, the 335ml is worth it and the price is budget friendly in my opinion.

What have you been loving for your hair lately?


Purchase: Mazuri Naturals Shea Butter Collection

Samples.

Mazuri Naturals Shea Butter Collection Review.

Hello October and the end of BST, although since August these nights have been drawing in past 8pm anyway, so come Winter, we’re getting up in the dark, leaving work in the dark and of course going to bed in the dark. I don’t know about you but as someone who suffers with mental illness, different seasons can affect my mood doubly more than normal so I started early to help combat these mood changes. October is bringing a few changes for me personally and although I’m ready for the challenge, it’s a huge one for me. Therefore, I want to go into it with a positive mindset from every angle and yes that can start from getting a good night rest and waking up as peaceful as possible but what else besides the regurgitated tips could I do to aide this process?

A light therapy energy lamp!!

I’ve heard about the lights for those with SAD but didn’t really think much about them because if I’m in a depressive mood Summer doesn’t help much but Winter, I’m a lot more withdrawn, hard to get up and motivated. With the help of Philips, I trialled their EnergyUP Energy Light for 2 weeks as they said “With daily use, you are likely to feel EnergyUp's energising effect within 1-2 weeks.” Can’t hurt to try. With a few things occurring in September, it’ll be a great time to see how this helps me in the morning and feel during the day. Being that our lifestyles these days demand more which means we need to give more energy and alertness it can be a hard feat if we're also fighting energy dips. These can happen in the middle of the night (somewhere between 2:00am and 4:00am) and just after lunchtime (around 1:00pm to 3:00pm) when people tend to crave a post-lunch nap.

What is an light therapy energy lamp?

Philips EnergyUp Intense Blue is intended to make people feel more energetic, to adjust circadian rhythms and to provide relief from the winter blues. Medical uses of the EnergyUp is to treat winter depression or SAD. With daylight being essential to keeping fit, well-being and feeling energised throughout the day, EnergyUp mimics the natural energising power of daylight on a bright sunny day. It stimulates special receptors in the eye to trigger the body's natural response to sunlight. Helping fight energy dips, so we feel more energetic, alert and active & improving our mood.

Philips EnergyUP Energy Light
Feel more energised with light, naturally.
Intense blue light
As effective as 10,000 lux (the recommendation that a SAD light box light must emit)
Results in just 20 – 30 minutes per day
Even brightness, 100% UV free light (safe for eye & skin)
Improves energy levels, alertness and mood
Fights energy dips, fatigue and winter blues

How to use a light therapy energy lamp?

I think knowing when to use this is the most important part of getting it to work for your needs. It can be used for up to 30 minutes but it can be used for longer if used at the correct time of day. If you spend a lot of time indoors with little daylight and artificial light, then you may feel the energising effects of the EnergyUp very quickly after it being switched on, it can be used throughout the day to compensate for the natural light source but not during the evening or night.
This is how I've been using it, when I get up the sun hasn't risen yet therefore it's still quite dark, I will switch this on as soon as I get up & for the first 10 minutes allow the light to give me a boost & encouragement to rise. There is 3 brightness settings, the 3rd being the most intense. Depending on when my energy is needed due to the dips, that is how many pulses (brightness settings) I set it too. Now my problem isn't that I can't get up, it's just I find it hard to get up, my energy after a full nights sleep is still low, making me feel more fatigued. This is why I use the third pulse light.

Week 1.

The day this arrived, I felt extremely lethargic, the weather was pretty dull, on / off raining and from after 2pm, I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I kept nodding off for 5 - 10 minute intervals whilst watching "It." but I had, a pretty full night sleep of 7-8 hours so I should of felt pretty rested but I wasn't. Now because my body clock wakes up before the sunrise naturally, I'm still tiresome and feel extremely tired no matter how much sleep I get, my body feels as though I should still sleep. Preparing myself for the next morning, I set my light up next to my bed & went to bed pretty early and when I awoke coming up 6am, put the light on and clicked it a couple times to get the 3rd pulse. Each morning for the first week, I did this for 30 minutes, sometimes longer & I made sure as soon as there was natural daylight to allow that into my space and face it directly. As the days went by, I noticed the lethargic feeling during the day began to ween.

Week 2.

I was quite shocked at how much this can help in the morning. I'm sleeping early but of course waking up in the dark isn't easy but I find popping this on first thing, really helps me give me a boost in the morning while getting ready and while leaving the house, I'm not tired and I'm ready to go all day. As I'm on my feet all day and pretty active, it's also easy after lunch to feel slumped and tired but I don't find that happens, my energy is still pretty high to keep me going onward. I was doing a clients make-up one morning and she commented on how energised & talkative I was for being early morning. I told her about this light and I told her I recommended it especially if you can get pretty low in the darker morning months and can't find the motivation to get going. Even to have people who don't know me see the energy, alertness and how wide awake but also relaxed that I am, is a huge bonus.

I've been using this for about a month now and see how much this helps. When it's my lunch and tea break, I make sure that I go outside especially if it's bright to get the Sun beating down on me whether it's warm or cold, I need to get away from fluorescent lights and soak up the natural light on offer. Of course on glum days it's not possible but at least getting some fresh air can help.

Have you ever used an energy light? Would it be of interest?

Purchase: Philips EnergyUp Energy Light £150.00

Samples. // Outward links are affiliated.

Fighting Winter Blues with EnergyUp.

They may look like ordinary, plain black socks but Beautyfeet Heel Pad Socks are unique. The heel of these socks have integrated nourishing pads that contain a secret patented formula containing advanced moisturising ingredients, a Chinese herbal recipe and Nano Silver. You may of seen me rave about Nano Silver last year on my blog here. They say wearing Beautyfeet daily assists the sebaceous gland, sweat glands and skin to revive damaged heels, usually takes 7-14 days to completely revive heels but some see results after one days. Can it really be that easy as slipping socks on to heal our feet?
With 4.75 / 5 star reviews from customers it has to be. Wearing for at least 8 hours a day will give the best results, slip them on in the morning or before bed and let the socks do all the work. For some it may be easy to wear at night, I find it near impossible at times to wear socks to bed as I get too hot but during the day. They'll get the most use, especially in these cooler months. Let's clear this up, I don't really suffer from dry, cracked feet but sometimes with my overly hot baths it can lead to my heels getting more dry so I use a lot of emollients and heavy creams for my feet to make sure they suck up a lot of moisture and sometimes I like to do a peel to fix issues but is this less messy & quicker?

In one word - Yes.
Best believe I was shocked at these socks, I was wearing these to work and being that I'm on my feet for the majority of the day. These not only kept my feet more moisturised but cracking? Where? Nowhere! Come payday I'm going to order more because I'm still wearing them and probably the herbal recipe is long gone and been soaked up by my feet but as I'm heading into the busy period, my feet are going to need all the aid it can get this upcoming season. I don't know how it manages to do it, but it does it.

Have you ever tried Beautyfeet Heel Pad Socks?


Purchase: Beautyfeet £7.99 for women + men.

Samples.

SockShop Nourishing Heel Pad Socks.

Underneath my dark brown hair there's bleached blonde ends, on top of that is an old dye from like a year or so ago. Now the ends where the blonde has been covered up are beginning to lift and go a cooper brown, my aim is to have a uniformed, shiny and healthy colour. For the first time I'm using Herbatint Permanent Herbal Hair Colours

About Herbatint

Herbatint is free from Ammonia, Resorcinol, Parabens, Fragrance and Alcohol. Their natural range of colours reflect all natural hair colours of the colour spectrum. It's a PETA certified and Vegan hair colour brand that is also gluten free! Antica Erboristeria S.p.A was founded in 1960 by Michel Albergo, Antica specialise in permanent hair dyes formulated without ammonia and based on vegetal extracts which are currently manufactured in Rome. In the 60's the hair care industry was dominated by large chemical companies, Mr Albergo was a pioneer in the fact he had the idea to formulate dye mostly based on natural ingredients, finding a way to protect the hair structure by reducing chemical ingredients & making the most of the natural synergy offered by some vegetal extracts.

Herbatint Experience

Naturally my hair isn't jet black, it is a very dark brown, I decided on the shade 2N (brown). First off once I opened the box, I come to notice that this is a product that doesn't use an applicator bottle. You get a gel colorant, developer, normalising shampoo sachet and royal cream (regenerating treatment for coloured hair) and gloves. Therefore you do need a bowl to mix and a brush - I wasn't prepared so I used an old Tupperware container. You have to mix with a 1:1 ratio of the hair gel colorant and developer but mix the amount you need & save the rest in the bottles for future applications, perfect if you're just touching up areas, I needed all so I mixed them both into the gel consistency. And began to apply from root to top but I was more focused on my mid-length to tips as this is where the colour is changing more. My mum had trimmed my hair as it needed to be rid of the dead ends and it also got rid of most the tip colour prior to application. I noticed there was none of that strong smell that hair dye can bring which was a relief, it didn't drip and once applied. I just did a loose bun and clip. Waited 40 minutes and began to the process of washing it out. From my experience of darker shades, takes FOREVER to rinse it out and the water to run clear. Of course the colour was all one shade but also what I was most pleased with is the fact my hair did not feel dry, there was no negatives👍.
It still felt how it would of on a normal wash day which is a positive. I did my usual hair-care routine regardless and allowed my hair to soak up the hair mask under a steam cap. I applied my hair oil and dried my hair with heat as it was pretty late and I wasn't going to bed with wet hair. Next day the hair still feels soft and in natural light I can see how well the colour looks. I'm pretty much sold on Herbatint.
Walking in like...

Do you colour your hair, at home or professionally?

Purchase: Herbatint Permanent Herbal Hair Colour £9.50

Samples.

Herbatint Vegan Hair Dye Gel.

When it comes to cooler months, I don't mind wearing my hair straight because there's less humidity and therefore the press lasts a lot longer than it would in more humid temperatures. When I decide to wear my hair straight, I will do my usual haircare routine but I will then section my hair and blow dry my hair to stretch out my waves to lessen the tension and heat that I have to use with the straighteners as I will ideally only have to do a one pass over each section (keep in mind, I will do very small sections so each strand has a chance of being passed over the iron).
Now the L'Oreal Steampod 2.0 (the one featured is a limited edition 'Kawaii Krush' design inspired by Japanese pop culture besides that everything I'm going to tell you is the same as the original 2.0 version) is a product like no other and one I've never tried on my hair, to begin with, this uses a combination of steam and pro-keratin technology, that'll help tame hair movement, leaving it silky smooth whilst protecting from heat damage. Hello!! WTF!! When I think steam after I've pressed out my hair, listen girl. I am out of there, who is sweating out this blow out? Not me BUT here's where the difference of this steampod comes into it, this is actually opening the cuticles of our hair and putting the moisture back in that heat takes out. So it's basically telling me my hair is going to be smooth, shiny, hydrated and bomb AF!? I feel if this works out it would be an Oprah moment and I want to say, YOU GET A STEAMPOD & YOU GET A STEAMPOD AND YOU AND YOU AND YOU!
But, I'm not Oprah, so...don't hold me to that promise😊!

What is the L'Oreal Steampod?

This hair styler tool is powered by steam, used mainly for straightening hair but you can also create loose waves & curls. There are 2 versions and the updated one comes with a water demineralisation filtration system, five temperature settings (140-210°C), anodised floating plates, a removable comb that helps to detangle and smooth hair with each pass and it's smaller & lighter.

How does the L'Oreal Steampod work?

The Steampod uses a continuous flow of high pressure steam to straighten & style the hair resulting in a glossy and smooth finish. Water in a pod is heated up to create steam, that is passed through the cord of the straightener, the steam comes out through the steam outputs and into the hair. Allowing the hairs cuticles to open up and receive the nourishing products to penetrate deeper - it's like me doing a deep steam on my hair but during the finalised step. It'll keep hair straighter for longer. L'Oreal claim the results using the Steampod are up to 50% faster and 50% smoother than a regular straightener & with the steam being indirect heat, it's a lot easier on the hair than regular straighteners.

My experience with the Steampod

My hair type is medium density but fine. My hair can range from waves and curls but it's very loose and when straight, very light and flyaway. But like a lot of women, I enjoy switching up my hair occasionally and as I'm off the colouring, playing with the versatility I have is my fun. This September, I've been wearing my hair straight but before the Steampod, there was a couple of session after a wash and deep condition that two types of heat was used. Eager to see the differences between regular straighteners and the Steampod. I did all steps I normally would do if I was straightening my hair. I put serum or an lightweight oil in before I blowdry, then a bit more if it's too dry because I prefer to put in as I go than have too much and have weighed down hair. I put water from a water bottle up the the max line and switch it on, (the water tank, slides off the pod to make it easy to fill up and to get rid of the excess water when finished) as it begins to heat up, there's burst of steam. I sectioned my hair as normally and begin from the back. Now I find that I do have to lower the heat around the nape of the neck where the hair isn't a thick and there's a lot more baby hairs. But I can push it to 200 - 210 as I move forward. Holding the straighteners following the directions of the arrow on the appliance - basically the comb must be at the bottom, as you put your section in and begin to close the steam comes out and then the hair connects with the plates. The steam is already putting the moisture back into the hair and the plates will close and lock it in.

Final Thoughts...

To be honest I was quite surprised at the results. It took me less than an hour to do my hair and once finished I would also put more serum in. It's a lot bigger than most straighteners, also I like thinner ones to get around my hairline quicker, this can do that but with the steam it can hot with the burst of steam. If you travel often and like to wear your hair straight, then these aren't the most travel friendly due to the size but I could see a lot of people trading their normal straighteners in for these as, it really does promote shine and my hair smells just like it should. Without a doubt I can feel and see the benefits that it claims..

I think these just became my crowns new FWB! LOL!

Slaaaay those silky tresses - my crown deserves a crown. Just saying...

Purchase: L'Oreal Professionnel New Generation Steampod 2.0 RRP £185




Samples. // Outward Links Are Affiliate.

L'Oreal Professionnel New Generation Steampod 2.0 Kawaii Krush LE.

Coming off the back of my Exuviance skincare regimen that I'm still using, is this new addition to my Exuviance family: Exuviance Bionic Oxygen Facial.

What is a Bionic Oxygen Facial?

It aims to re-energise dull, tired skin. If you suffer from stressed tired skin this facial mask will help to restore a bright and youthful complexion. The triple oxygenating blend delivers molecular oxygen to stimulate cellular energy while providing support for optimal collagen levels. The Bionic Complex reveals soft, supple and radiant skin. They claim after just one use skin is transformed feeling refreshed, revitalised and luminous.

Benefits of Exuviance Bionic Oxygen Facial?

Increases suppleness for younger looking skin, ideal for those who may use an Exuviance peel or when the skin needs a boost of radiance. Helps to revitalise skin for a bright & radiant complexion.
- Plus it's paraben & fragrance free.

How to use:

After I cleanse my face, I use about two pumps and massage onto my clean & damp skin. It comes out as a blue cream but applies as a white soft lightly whipped cream. As it's left on the skin for the recommended 5 minutes, a froth begins to foam and dissipate. As it does this, I massage it into my skin more before rinsing and continuing my skincare routine.

Experience

Besides it being fun to use cos I'm a child lol with the foam appearing and looking like a light cloud on my face. When it's first applied, there's a slight tingling but after continuous use, I noticed the tingling doesn't happen much. When it begins to froth, it's as though I can feel it working and getting deep into the skin, to me the mask smells like fresh cucumbers. I did notice how over time and even after the first use that my face did look brighter and felt supple. After use it feels wrong to now put make-up on such a clean, soft base. I think it works amazingly before I do my weekly PMD microdermabrasion pen to keep the skin looking bright. Now I'm wondering if this would be the same as an oxygen facial at a spa because if so I'm sold but this is probably cheaper and more convenient for me. I could see this being used for upcoming important events or if you're needing to have bright appearing skin during the cooler months when our skin can suffer more from a dull appearance.

What's your favourite mask for dull skin? Would you be interested in a Bionic Oxygen Facial?

Purchase: Exuviance Bionic Oxygen Mask RRP £60.00


Samples.

Exuviance Bionic Oxygen Facial.

RPR Haircare is an Austrialian brand made with Botanical actives, advanced proteins, vitamins, keratin, UV Protectors and fresh fragrances. Within the range you can find shampoos, conditioners, treatments, styling and finishing products that work for our lifestyle choices. RPR products are paraben free. Treat your hair right, it'll treat you right. Over the months my hair has gained considerably a lot of length but underneath the dark brown / black hairdye is previously bleached blonde hair and over time the ends are suffering until I completely cut it off, I must protect and heal my ends. I'm that type who hangs onto those ends & slowly trims probably a millimetre off lol.

Rejuvenate My Hair Treatment

Anti Ageing Mask to restore with youthful lustre.
Treatment that is enriched with RPR signature blend of Rosehip, Baobab and Biotin will transform fragile lifeless or damaged hair into lustrous healthy hair with body, bounce and shine. Dry scalps will be hydrated and oily scalps balanced. Once I've washed my hair a couple of times with my chosen shampoo, I apply this to my hair from mid-length to the ends and put a shower cap on to steam my hair, you can leave it on for a couple of minutes. I tend to keep it on for about 5 minutes and rinse it out. My hair feels smooth and soft but I always have to remember that it's wet and I don't suffer from dry hair but it can be a little thirsty at some points of the year, therefore hydration is key.

Smooth My Ends Leave in Treatment

Leave in treatment to moisturise seal and protect ends.
Infused with Aloe Vera, green tea & lime, this leave in aims to moisturise, seal & protect split ends and reduce frizz. In the past probably 4 years, I've noticed the benefits of leave in treatments and if I skip the step, my hair doesn't feel the same but I've never had one aimed for this particular purpose. I've learnt my hair can't take a lot of leave in, so I do have to be cautious with the amount I apply through. I will do it in sections to make sure the ends are coated well then leave my hair to somewhat air dry depending on what I'm going to do with my hair for that week.

Overall

Pleasantly satisfied. Maybe I'm taking better care of my hair or these really do contribute. My ends seem well protected, no frizz. My hair worn straight is light and continuously feels hydrated while curly, it's got nice definition. I can't comment on shine because I use oil in my hair regardless of what I'm doing with it, so my hair will always have a shine.

Purchase: Rejuvenate My Hair Treatment £14.99 - Smooth My Ends Leave in Treatment £14.50


Samples // Outward links are affiliated.

RPR Hair Treatments.