I have heard great things about Moroccan argan oil and have been been wanting to try it out for a while now but just never got round to it. The Mark Hill MiracOILicious Moroccan Argan Oil is actually not just argan oil but is a blend of 14 essential oils and plant extracts. A small drop is enough for your whole head as it is really concentrated – the first time I used it I made the mistake of putting too much onto my hair so ended up looking more than a little greasy! I can’t decide whether or not I like this product. Some days it seems to work brilliantly and gives my hair a glossy, frizz free shine, but other days it seems to dry out the ends and make my hair really static. I have no idea why this is happening! I think that there must be an exact right amount that you need to apply and some mornings I must be using too little meaning it doesn’t really help my ends. I plan to try the pure Moroccan Oil to see whether that is any better but in the meantime I will make do with the Mark Hill version. The major upside to the Mark Hill oil is that it is around half the price of the pure Moroccan Oil!
Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner is without a doubt the best conditioner I have ever tried. I’ve been using it for a few years now and even though I have tried loads of others, I haven’t managed to find a conditioner that even comes close! It is an intense hair mask which is actually designed for afro hair. I find that most conditioners designed for frizzy hair are nowhere near strong enough for my hair but this one is amazing. I try to use it every two or three weeks, leaving it on for an hour or so with my head wrapped in cling film. It has a gorgeous orange smell! I usually buy the Replenishing Paks from Boots (92p)and use the entire application in one go. You can also get the conditioner in a bottle which does around 6 applications.
Sun cream – This year I’m trying the Piz Buin sun cream which can be applied to wet skin so will be good for using after a swim. I’ve also got the Oriflame Sun Zone Lotion for Face and Body which I plan to use on my face as it’s not quite as oily as the Piz Buin!
Insect repellent – I usually get horribly bitten on holiday (unless I am with my blonde sister – all the bugs love her!) so always smother myself with insect repellent. I used Ultrathon last year when I was in Kos and barely got any bites so have decided to use the same brand this year. I hope it works as well!
Deodorant – Everyone needs a good deodorant, especially when it’s hot and sunny. I am taking the Sure Maximum Protection with me which is twice as strong as most deodorants and doesn’t smell too strong.
UV protection for hair – My hair does not like hot weather! The sun dries it out completely and makes it even more frizzy than usual. I am really excited to use the Tints of Nature’s Seal and Shine Leave-In Conditioner which smells amazing and as well as being a conditioner also has UV and chlorine protection.
Foot file – To keep my feet looking smooth I am taking an S-Ped foot file. It’s a much better shape than other foot files so is easier to use.
Nail varnish – As you know I am addicted to nail polish. I tend to use a pale colour on holiday so that it’s not too obvious when it chips. This year I’m taking Models Own Indian Ocean which I got from Littlewoods. It’s a gorgeous colour and perfect for summer!
Shower gel – I love the new range of Radox shower gels! Coconut Kiss is my favourite scent but Berry Burst and Cherry Blast are lovely too.
Tropic Skincare is the skincare range created by Susan Ma (from The Apprentice) and is 100% natural and organic. I have been using the Organic Luxury Oil for a couple of months now and was looking forward to trying it on my hair which has been drier than usually recently. When the oil arrived I was surprised to see that it wasn’t runny but then noticed on the bottle a note saying that it can solidify when it gets cold. As it was delivered when it was snowy, I didn’t think it was unreasonable that it was solid. It is easy enough to turn it back into a liquid – just leave it in a basin of hot water for a few minutes. In the few months since I’ve had the oil, there hasn’t been a day where it hasn’t solidified which is getting really annoying and puts me off using it! Even recently when it’s been up to 24°C, it hasn’t been warm enough for the oil to stay liquid.I love the design of the bottle and the oil smells lovely and fruity. It would be such a good product if it wasn’t such an effort melting (is that the right word?) it each time I want to use it! It means that I can’t just apply a little bit to get rid of frizz before I leave the house in the morning without leaving it in hot water first. And sometimes in the evenings I am too tired to wait for it to melt to use it as more of an overnight hair mask. When I do get around to using the oil a few days running it definitely does improve the condition of my hair so I really wish it didn’t solidify all the time! It seems especially good when I use it overnight.The oil costs £25 for 100ml and I would say it is worth it if you don’t mind melting it when you want to use it, or if you live somewhere warmer where it won’t solidify all the time! The oil itself is brilliant and I barely need to use any to see an effect on my frizz!
Over the past few weeks I’ve had the chance to try the Hairy Jayne Hair Perfume with Heat Protection. It recommends using it if you don’t wash your hair every day but I always do so have mainly been using it if I am going out in the evening and haven’t washed my hair since before work. I also use it on days when my hair is frizzier than normal as it is good at calming it down. Hairy Jayne have a few different scents for their hair perfume but mine is the neroli, vetiver and patchouli. The smell is quite strong when you first apply it but it quickly fades to a more subtle scent. The hair perfume costs £11 for 50ml but is lasting me well so far as you don’t need to spray much due to the strong scent. I’d definitely recommend it and have been impressed by how good it is at minimising my frizz!
I was also sent a sample of the Treatment Conditioner in the same scent. Again, I was impressed with this as it left my hair feeling lovely and soft. I’ve tried a few treatments recently and this is the only one which seems to have had any effect on my hair! You can buy the hair perfume and a full size treatment in a gift pack for £17.50.
This is one of the most disappointing hair masks I’ve ever used. The description on the tub sounded perfect – suitable for dry, curly hair, hydrates but doesn’t weigh down hair. Exactly what I need. However, this made no difference at all to my hair, if anything it seemed to make the ends feel even drier than normal! To start with I only used a small amount which I left on for 10 minutes. That didn’t work so the next time I took a big handful of product instead. Still didn’t work. I even left the mask on overnight but it made no difference! I started to use the conditioner as a regular daily one but it still wasn’t really hydrating enough for my hair.Has anyone else used this treatment? I have read other reviews (like this one from The Sunday Girl) which have been brilliant so maybe my hair is just too dry! You can buy Indola mainly in salons and can find stockists here.
Hand cream: I think hand cream is an all year round essential but I find that I especially need to use it during the winter. Neutrogena have some really intense but affordable hand creams which are perfect for protecting your hands against the cold. The Nourishing Hand Cream (£4.09 for 75ml) is light enough for everyday use and the classic hand cream (£3.85 for 50ml) gives extra moisture.
Body Lotion: I am always looking for good body lotions. I like to use the Body Shop body butters – I had the Coco Butter for Christmas which is gorgeous – but they are quite expensive. I tend to swap between using my fancy moisturisers and more everyday ones. I think the Vaseline range are great and are really affordable at £4.49 for 400ml from Boots. I’ve also used the Aveeno Skin Relief Shea Butter (£5.49 for 200ml at Boots) a few times as well. This winter though my favourite has to be the Dove Winter Care Cream (£3.29 for 150ml) which smells amazing and makes my skin feel really soft. They also have a body lotion version which costs £3.99 for 250ml.
Lip balm: This winter my favourite lip balm has been the Lanolips 101 Ointment which costs £11.22 for 17.5g. It’s so good at repairing chapped lips. The Qsilica Paw Paw Rescue Ointment is a similar but is cheaper at £8.95 for 25ml.
Hair care: My hair gets really, really dry in cold weather if I don’t use a good leave in conditioner. Over the years I’ve tried so many different leave in conditioners but the best by far is the Advanced Techniques Quick Touch Leave In Conditioner from Avon. It is really light so doesn’t weigh down your hair or make it look greasy and it is really cheap! I use it almost every day to control my frizz and stop my hair drying out. Another brilliant product which I’ve only found in the last few months is the Carino Miracle Oil from Aldi. It contains argan oil which is very moisturising and it good for keeping hair looking healthy. It is also much cheaper than proper argan oil!
What are your winter essentials? I would love to know!
Carino Miracle Oil contains argan oil which, despite all of the hype, I haven’t actually tried out yet. The main reason I haven’t tried argan oil yet is the price. I’ve had bad experiences with hair oils in the past so didn’t want to spend lots on argan oil which might not even suit my hair! Miracle Oil was one of the “Special Buys” from Aldi back in September and only cost £3.99 so was much cheaper than proper argan oil. I was a little worried that the oil would leave my hair looking greasy but it is actually really lightweight. I use a few drops on the bottom inch or two of my hair after I’ve washed it. I get very frizzy ends but the Miracle Oil makes them look much better. I think the oil has made my hair stronger as well as I haven’t had it cut in a while and I’ve got far fewer split ends than I would normally have after leaving it so long to have a hair cut! I also sometimes use the oil on my hair once it’s dried to give the curls a bit more definition.
As Miracle Oil was a Special Buy it is hard to get hold of as it was only available until the stock ran out. Hopefully Aldi will run it as another Special Buy sometime soon as I would definitely buy it again!
Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram might know that I went back to Cardiff last weekend for the wedding of one of my best friends. It was a really lovely day and the bride looked so beautiful! We were so lucky with the weather as well – it was sunny all day and warm enough to wear our dresses outside for all of the photos. It felt more like June than October!
Anyway, the reason for the post, other than showing you some wedding photos, is to tell you about how I did my hair. As you probably already know I have really curly hair naturally but it tends to be much curlier at the front and annoyingly flat at the back. For a while now I’ve been looking for some tongs to get the back of my hair to match up with the front and I finally got around to getting some just in time for the wedding. I went with the THX Hold Tight 19mm Curling Tongs which you can get from Tesco for the bargain price of £21.94. The tongs heat up really quickly and you can start off with them not too hot and keep increasing the heat until you find the one that works for your hair which is great if, like me, you are paranoid about burning your hair! The barrel is the exact right size to match my curls at the front which makes the back look much more natural. You can see from this photo how curly the front is (sorry about the colour – it gets dark early up here in Aberdeen so there is no daylight left when I get home from work!). The other photo shows the back of my hair after I’ve used the tongs on the top layer. It makes the back less flat and the curls more defined.I’m so pleased with these tongs at would definitely recommend them!
Has anyone else tried anything from the THX range?
I bought this solid shampoo from Lush after seeing Mallory’s video on how she looks after her curly hair. I’ve never really found a shampoo that I love and tend to flit between brands, just buying whatever is the best value at the time. As much as I enjoy looking around Lush, I’ve never really bought much aside from the bath bombs and an occasional hand cream so I thought I might as well try something that had been recommended. I was a bit unsure about the shampoo being solid but it is actually so easy to use. At first I tried rubbing it between my hands like the woman in the shop told me to but I found it hard to get any sort of lather that way so now I just rub the whole bar over my hair. It lathers up really well and, even though I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, the bar still seems to be the same size as when I first bought it! Trichomania contains coconut which is good for dry hair and I’ve found that my hair is definitely easier to control since I started using this shampoo (and it smells so good as well!). I used to spray my hair with leave in conditioner once it was dry and sometimes during the day too if I was having a particularly frizzy day but I’ve hardly touched my conditioner spray in weeks. This is the best shampoo I’ve tried in years and I think anyone with dry, frizzy hair should give it a go.