REVIEW: TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)Done Salon Ceramic Waving Wand

I recently decided to buy a curling wand after my last visit to the hairdressers. I usually just use my straighteners to create a curl but I had been struggling with the technique now that my hair is a bit longer. My hairdresser used a curling wand instead and I really liked the finished look, so I thought I should investigate.

After an evening spent looking at reviews, I plumped for this one, the TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)Done Ceramic Waving Wand (£22.99), which seemed to get consistently good feedback. It can heat up to 200 degrees and it has a large 28mm barrel for looser curls.

Unfortunately I can only say that I am really disappointed. Before I go on, I want to say that my hair is not usually difficult to style and holds curls in pretty well when I use my straighteners – they’re not perfect by the end of the day but if I curl my hair in the morning, the curls haven’t completely dropped out by the time I go to bed. Therefore I was hopeful this wand would work well for my hair. Not so.

Whatever I do I can’t seem to get them to have any impact on my hair – the most I can achieve is a very limp half curl even after I have held the hair around the barrel for a good 10 seconds (I’m afraid to damage my hair by holding it any longer than that). I’ve tried just doing really small sections at a time and also gently pulling the wand through the curl to get right to the ends of my hair, without burning my fingers, but neither thing seems to work.

Does anyone else find curling wands to be completely useless or is it just me?!

I am aware that this is at the lower end of the price range for this kind of tool so perhaps this is what can be expected. However the reviews on Amazon and Argos for this product suggest that many people have been happy with it so I don’t think it should be necessary to spend over £100 investing in GHDs or similar.

I’m prepared to keep trying with it as maybe I just haven’t got the technique right yet and I would definitely welcome any tips!

But for now, I certainly can’t recommend this styling wand!!

REVIEW: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

In my first post I talked about my experience having a Daily Detox at the Clinique counter and what I thought of the products. You may remember that I was also given a 4 week sample of the new Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (£34, 50ml) so this is my review after using the product for a few weeks.

Firstly, a little goes a long way with this product so although it is quite expensive, I think if you had the full sized container it would last a good while. Although I haven’t used it absolutely every day, it’s been over 6 weeks since I got the sample tub and I still haven’t used it all.

Initially I liked this moisturiser – it is more like a gel than any other moisturisers I’ve had so it’s very light and it absorbs into the skin very quickly. It also isn’t greasy in the slightest, which I find is often a problem with more intense moisturisers.

However after having used it for a reasonable amount of time now, I haven’t seen any noticeable difference to my skin. I get the same results just by using my Vitamin E moisturiser from The Body Shop or even my Simple light moisturiser, both of which are much cheaper alternatives.

After the recommendation of the beauty advisor at Clinique, I was also hoping that this might become a product I could use to help manage my eczema, specifically for areas on my face, but unfortunately this has not happened and this product doesn’t make any impact at all. I know that this moisturiser is not marketed as a suitable product for treating eczema and Clinique doesn’t make any claims to suggest this, so it is probably unfair to judge it on this. However other people must get dry, flaky skin from time to time and although this cream is designed for dry skin – ‘thirst relief’ – I don’t think it provides the hydration that it claims to offer.

Secondly, I just don’t really like the gel formula of this moisturiser in comparison with the creamy ones I usually go for. This is mainly just personal preference so it is not really a criticism in itself. But I did find that this product leaves a sort of residue on my skin that I don’t like very much. ‘Residue’ is probably not the right word but the best way to describe it is that if I run my fingers over my face a few minutes after applying the cream, it feels like there’s a odd friction, rather than being just completely smooth. Weird!

Overall, I definitely won’t be buying this product and it’s also put me off using gel-type moisturisers in the future. I still like Clinique as a brand but I just don’t think this product was for me.

My Favourite Eyeshadow Palette Ever!

I absolutely love my eyeshadow palette from Sephora. I’ve had it for about a year now and I keep returning to it because it is so versatile.

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It has 12 neutral shades, from a pale nude, which I often use as a base, to darker shades and more stand-out shimmer colours. I honestly feel like I can use it for any occasion, whether that is an everyday natural look or a more vamped-up smokey eye for going out. The colours blend really well too so it is so easy to layer the different shades to create a real variety of looks.

You can see how much I have used the 4th shade along – this is definitely my favourite shade in the palette. It just creates a perfect coffee coloured base that can be simply worn on its own or I can add some of the shimmery shades to transform it into an evening look.

The palette also comes with a dark brown eyeliner, which I really like too. I do usually prefer a black eyeliner because it gives more definition and impact, but using a brown makes a nice change and it definitely works really well for a more relaxed, daytime look. It is a great pencil that goes on very smoothly without catching on the skin of my eyelid so it is lovely to use.

In addition there is also a double ended brush for application. This has a soft round end, perfect for shading and then a more stiff and stubby brush for definition – I usually use this end for adding a dark colour in the crease of my eyelid. This brush is great when I’m travelling because it fits neatly in the case but when I’m just at  home I like to use two ecotools brushes. These also have two similar ends to the one included in the palette but I really like the additional small soft brush (bottom right in my photo). I’m not sure what it is called but it absolutely perfect for smudging and blending the different eyeshadow shades.


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I love the ecotools brushes because they are gorgeously soft and they have a wide range of different ones. They are also inexpensive – I think these ones were the Enhancing Eye Duo and although I can’t remember exactly how much they were, it was definitely under £10 for both. Everyone raves about the Real Techniques brushes and I’m sure that is for good reason, but I personally can’t justify spending £15-£20 on a single brush. So for me, these are a great alternative.

(And if you’re interested, the background of my photos is a tea towel from Zara Home – I love the patterned pears!)

Choosing the Right Foundation

Choosing the right foundation can be a such a difficult task that I sort of dread my foundation running out and having to buy a new one! This wouldn’t be the case if I had managed to find the perfect one and then I know I could just re-purchase (how I long to find this elusive product!!) But I don’t think I’ve got there yet.

That’s not to say that I haven’t used some good ones. I am pretty pleased with my latest foundation, which is the Fresh Nude Foundation with SPF 15 by The Body Shop (£15).

The best thing about this foundation is the shade, which is an almost perfect match with my skin. I have the shade Chelsea Porcelain and when I tried it in the store, I just couldn’t not get it. I have pale skin with pink undertones and I often find that the palest shades are more yellow so it was nice to find one that is right for me. It was also refreshing to find this shade easily in store without having to go through the rigmarole of a beauty counter (sometimes I find the asssitants trying to convince me they have got the right shade so I’ll make a purchase even when I can tell that it just isn’t quite right).

I’m also pretty pleased with the texture and consistency of this foundation. As my skin is dry, I definitely need a more creamy and hydrating foundation – I absolutely cannot have anything that dries my skin out even more, otherwise I turn into a horrible, flakey mess! I also like to have a foundation that blends well using just my fingers. I have used brushes and sponges before but I find that it takes me too long to apply foundation using these, so on a day-to-day basis I just use my hands and save the other applicators for special occasions when I want more coverage. This foundation ticks both of these boxes. I make sure that I have applied moisturiser and primer first, otherwise it can be just a tad chalky, but overall I find this foundation really nice to apply.

In terms of coverage, I personally only like light coverage for daily wear and this foundation fits the bill. If I wanted more coverage I think it would be easy to build, but if you’re looking for more full coverage every day then this probably wouldn’t be quite right.

I think the price is very reasonable, especially when I compare it to a couple of more expensive foundations that I have tried and been quite disappointed with. One in particular that springs to mind is the Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation (£34); the shade match was excellent but I found the application of this product to be really difficult. Firstly there is no pump in the bottle, which makes it very hard to get out (this was just annoying) and secondly, despite being a foundation designed for dry skin, I found that it really did not blend well on mine. It seemed to crease and cake very easily, even when using a minimal amount. I definitely expected better from a premium product!

I’m still on the hunt for my perfect foundation but this one from The Body Shop is a solid 4 out of 5 and I would definitely consider buying again.

Don’t Forget to Pack Suncream…

I’ve just got back from my holiday to Mallorca and it was wonderful. But with the temperature reaching the mid-30s and the UV rating Very High, protecting my skin was a top priority. While I do try to tan, my pale skin is not always cooperative (!) so making sure I don’t burn is the main thing.

This year for the first time I’ve used Piz Buin suncream. Usually I’ve always gone with one of the old favourites, like Garnier Ambre Solair or Nivea, but I recently read an article about the grades of protection in suncream and I wanted to make sure I bought a product that was giving me the best protection.

The SPF is the most important factor when choosing suncream and I usually have a bottle of factor 30 for sensitive areas such as my face and places which tend to be exposed more, such as my shoulders, and then I get a bottle of factor 15 for everywhere else. The SPF will protect you from UVB rays, which as I understand it, are the rays which cause burning and can increase your risk of skin cancer.

The second thing to consider is the star rating, which until recently I was completely unaware of. I chose the Piz Buin suncream because it has a superior rating (4 out of a possible 5 stars). The star rating shows how effective the suncream is at protecting you from UVA rays, which can also cause damage to your skin. UVA rays penetrate deeper into your skin and can be responsible for premature ageing. Therefore you want to use a suncream that protects from both.

The best thing about this suncream is that it didn’t cause any adverse reaction for my skin. Unfortunately I’ve had bad experiences with Boots Soltan and Hawaiian suncreams in the past, where they have caused a very itchy and red rash, so I tend to be cautious with using a new brand for the first time. No such problem for Piz Buin! I also found it to be quite moisturising, leaving my skin nice and soft, with a noticeable difference in certain areas, such as my upper arms, where my skin can sometimes feel bumpy and dry.

I also love the smell of Piz Buin! It definitely smells better than other suncreams I’ve used previously and it makes it feel like you’re using a more luxurious product rather than just one that is a necessity. Overall I think it is a really good product and I will definitely use the brand again.

The Ordinary is Anything but Ordinary

I first heard about The Ordinary brand through Lily Pebbles blog and I was pleasantly surprised by the very reasonable price of their products when I looked on their website. I was then excited to find that you can order it on Asos so I promptly ordered the Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5 formula (£5.70) to see if it would work for me.

Due to my eczema, the main problem I have with my skin is dryness and hyaluronic acid is supposed to work really well for moisturising. It is a substance that is naturally found in your body’s connective tissue and one molecule can hold up to 1000 times it’s own weight in water! Therefore it has unique properties for holding water in your skin, thus helping skin appear plumper and well hydrated. Sounds perfect!


I’ve been using the Hyaluronic Acid formula for about a week and a half now; I use it in the evenings after cleansing and before moisturising. The bottle comes with a little pipette so I tend to put it on a cotton pad rather than directly on my skin.

It feels quite gel-like and only a few drops are needed per application. I’m not sure how effective it would be purely on it’s own, but it certainly helps my moisturiser to absorb much more easily than normal, so in combination, the two products work really well to make my face feel gorgeously smooth and soft.

I was hoping to see a noticeable difference in my eczema (which is often a problem around my lips and eyes) and so far I don’t think I’ve seen any vast improvement. However, I often need to use a product for a more prolonged period to see if it will make an impact on my eczema so I may yet see some results.

I like the packaging of the product – it feels quite clinical, which can sometimes put me off, but in this instance the simplicity is really appealing as it reflects an unfussy brand that tries to produce ethical and effective skin solutions.

I also like the website which is easy to navigate and the product descriptions are great for understanding exactly what is in the individual products. The only thing I think could be improved is for the brand to have a better guide about which products are best for which skin problem. For instance, there are a lot of products for hydration, particularly the oils, so it is quite difficult to know which ones to choose. I understand that it may be best to actual visit the store in Spitalfields, where no doubt a shop assistant would be able to advise me but nonetheless I think a little bit more clarity on the website would be great.

I am definitely considering trying some of their other products and I am excited to have found a new brand to explore.

Summer Nails

I only moved to London a few months ago and I couldn’t bring all my stuff straight away so a lot of my non-essentials, e.g nail varnish, were left behind. I did bring a few colours with me – a couple of my current favourites from Topshop: Rainy Day (grey), Pendragon (bottle green) and Moonshine (metallic) – but none of these felt summery enough or looked particularly good on my toes!

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I decided to try a nail varnish from OPI. I’ve always quite fancied trying this brand and because I just wanted one colour to last me the through the summer, I thought I would treat myself.
The colour I chose is called Shorts Story (£12) which is actually a bit of weird name and certainly didn’t attract me to buying it – I only noticed the name afterwards – although I guess it is kind of apt because I’ve definitely been wearing shorts and sandals a lot so far!

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The colour can best be described as Barbie pink and I’m really pleased with it! I actually had in mind a more berry pink shade but now that I have this one, I love how vibrant it is as it instantly makes me feel in a summer, holiday mood.

The colour looks exactly like it does in the bottle which is good because often nail varnish dries a slightly different shade to what you expect. It also paints on really nicely, although I think I would have preferred a wider brush as I find this makes it easier to get even coverage. I’ve also been very pleased with how long it lasts without chipping. I’ve had it on my toes for almost 2 weeks now and it looks pretty much as good as when I first did them! I do think this is the main thing that you get from a high quality nail varnish that you just don’t get from cheaper versions. I love the Topshop colours I have and they last pretty well but certainly not as long as this one.

I prefer this colour on my toes as I usually like something that feels a little bit more grown-up for my hands, but I wore some peep toe wedges the other day and my toes now have some rather unsightly blisters so here’s a photo of the colour on my hands instead!