Saturday, 16 August 2014

Snake Venom Eye Cream from Balance Active Formula

So I was in Home Bargains, drooling over all of the hair and beauty aisles, and spotted Snake Venom Eye Cream from Balance Active Formula. I am down to my last eye cream sample from various beauty box subscriptions I was signed up to last year, and have been looking for a cheap but moisturising eye cream that wont upset my sensitive skin. As this eye cream was only £1.89 for 15ml, I grabbed it thinking that it would probably end up in the bin didn't!!

Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream

This eye cream does not contain snake venom, and the packaging clearly states '...a snake venom-like neuropeptide'. How refreshing to see a company use non BS, clear as day, truthful spiel (and in big readable letters!) on their packaging.

The active ingredients are Syn-Ake (the snake venom-like neuropeptide) which claims to soften the look of wrinkles and reduce expression lines, and EyePro 3X which claims to reduce under eye bags and dark circles and boost collagen production and hydration. The product is also paraben free and contains a small amount of lactic acid.

I don't suffer from under eye bags (yet!) nor dark circles, but I do have some beautiful laughter lines rapidly appearing. My main need in an eye cream is continued hydration and for it not to upset my sensitive skin. I would dearly love the crows feet laughter lines to disappear, but am well aware that unless I'm prepared to have Botox injected it's never going to happen. I would just like them 'softened' and to look better by being hydrated.

This eye cream is utterly fantastic for what I want an eye cream to do. My eye area is instantly soothed and moisturised on application, the cream does not affect my make up and I have not had one iota of sensitivity since starting this cream 3 months ago. I cannot comment on any of the under eye claims, but I can certainly vouch for the hydration claim. Even at the end of the day my eyes feel comfortable, and there has been a definite improvement in the softness of my under eye area. I use it day and night after cleansing and application of serums and before moisturising. My laughter lines do look better and less harsh, but obviously they are still there. I use this cream all over my eyelids and have no intention of looking for another eye cream as this is,by far, the best I have tried in years.

I cannot believe how good this cream is whilst being so cheap! You can check out their other products here and if your local Home Bargains does not stock it, you can purchase from here or look on Amazon.

I will definitely be trying out some of their other products, if anyone else has please let me know what you think.

Caiti xxx

*Product purchased with my own money*

Friday, 15 August 2014

Superdrug Superberry Mud Mask

I am nearing the end of my beloved Sanctuary 5min Thermal Detox Mask which although pricey (around £10), has lasted me around 8months per 100ml tube. I only apply it to my T-zone and use it once or twice per week. I have also started using it on my teenage son's T-zone to help combat newly emerged oily/blackhead prone/upset skin.

Not wanting to spend £10 on future masks (as now sharing with aforementioned son) I picked up the Superdrug Superberry Mud Mask on my last online haul.

Superdrug Superberry Mud Mask Exfoliator

It is a china clay based mask with exfoliating raspberry seeds (I don't recommend using this mask as a scrub!!) and contains 'antioxidant rich Superberry Extract to help protect the skin from free radicals' which makes no sense to me whatsoever, but it smelt nice so I bought it!

My skin does not like this mask at all. It felt fine when I put it on all over my face and wasn't particularly uncomfortable, however when I washed it off, my face looked sunburnt and was very sensitive for about 3 days afterwards. I have dry sensitive skin (which was dehydrated until I finally managed to combat that-blog on my new skincare regimen to follow) so I shouldn't have really put it all over my face, but I'm an 'all or nothing' type of person :0)

My son's skin did not react in the slightest to this mask, in-fact it definitely cleared up his face and I could see his skin becoming less oily for a few days. He has (reluctantly) continued to have this slapped on his T-zone every Sunday and will continue to until it has run out.

So I've reasoned with myself that I should not try a new one for me until this Superdrug one has run out, incase my skin doesn't like it and I end up using it on my son.....ooops I seem to have placed an order for the Sanctuary 5min Thermal Detox Mask! No guilt though as I used my Boots Advantage points ;0)

Caiti xxx

*Products purchased with my own money*

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Herbal Essences 'Bee Strong'

I haven't used Herbal Essences products for donkeys years. Not since I was at secondary school (19 years ago!!). I loved the scent and the incredible shine they gave my hair; I have no idea why I stopped using the range. I suspect I was seduced by newer products with flashier packaging and inflated prices *hangs head in shame*

Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo

The 'Bee Strong' shampoo was absolutely gorgeous, a lovely yellow pearly colour with a subtle happy summer scent. Not exactly 'honey' but lovely all the same. The kids loved it, my husband liked it, and I loved it. It lasted around 6 weeks with all of us using it. My boys have very short hair and my husband rocks a shaved head, I have a short pixie crop so none of us have to use much shampoo. I could definitely see the boys had very shiny hair from using this, and mine was just as shiny as my previous shampoo (but at a fraction of the price).

This shampoo is supposed to strengthen your hair shaft and is aimed at damaged hair, I'm not sure if it made a difference strength wise but my hair was definitely sitting well/looking less ravaged despite my serious love affair with my straighteners and hair dyes.

This will be repurchased unless the 'Hello Hydration' version is better- it is the next one from my Superdrug online haul to try. My eldest son has asked me to get again just for him, and took some convincing that we need to try and use the next one before buying any more.

I also purchased the accompanying 'Bee Strong' strengthening intensive conditioning mask. I never buy 'normal' conditioner as I have so many tubes from all the box hair dyes I use, and only use a tiny bit as I have such short hair. I am running low on hair treatments, so thought I would try this for an intensive once weekly conditioning treatment.

Herbal Essences Bee Strong Strengthening Intensive Mask Conditioner

The mask has a thick creamy consistency and is white in colour, with the same scent as the shampoo. As I intended to use this as a weekly pampering treat, I washed my hair and slapped this on all over my hair and left it in all day as I did face masks, my nails, caught up on You Tube never seemed to rinse out as the tub says it will, so I always ended up having to wash it out. I don't mind doing this as I like to wash my hair daily anyway (I know I shouldn't but I like my hair and scalp to feel clean) and as I leave it in all day it's nice to wash from head to toe in a steamy shower.

As a conditioner it is so-so, as an intensive conditioner it seems no better than leaving a regular conditioner on my hair all day. I will finish using it up (or putting it in the 'bag of crap' my girlfriends and I share out with each other) but definitely will not be repurchasing. Perhaps if I had long hair it would be a fairer test, but I can see no benefit to using this over any other conditioner, whereas the shampoo has become a firm favourite.

I got these from Superdrug online when they were on offer, and having just checked they still are! Find the range here.

Caiti xxx

*Product purchased with my own money*

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Rio Total Body Deluxe Soft Wax

I bought this wax as part of my Superdrug online haul (see previous post), but I already had a wax heater at home. I only wax my eyebrows (bye bye mono-brow, and those pesky ones way above my actual brow) and top lip. I have tried and failed miserably at waxing my underarms, bikini line and legs myself, and leave that to the professionals at my local salon. However, after constant skin damage to my eyelids from various beauty therapists I now only pluck my eyebrows (super sensitive eyelids apparently!), and nobody can ever remove my top lip hair as well as I can so I prefer to do it myself.

The Rio soft wax is absolutely hands down the best wax I have used for my face in years, and removes hair easily without causing any skin irritation or the need to go over any areas again (I know I shouldn't, but I have had to when using a few other brands). There is no scent and the wax spreads well, meaning it is all lifted off with wax strips with one movement (again with some other brands I have had to go over the wax again to lift it all off, which has obviously irritated the skin).

The price point is great (currently £5.95), it is fantastic that you can get such a good wax from a drugstore (I am not a professional so do not have access to any local beauty/salon supplies stores) and I have nothing bad to say about this product whatsoever.

I will spare you the before and after moustache photo's :0)

Rio Deluxe Soft Wax Professional Hair Removal
You can purchase the Rio waxing kit from Superdrug for £39.99 if you do not already have a wax heater (it also includes a DVD, spatulas and wax strips, plus hot film wax (no strips needed to remove it). If you only require a heater, or only spatulas and strips I recommend Amazon or Ebay for the best prices, much cheaper than salon websites and exactly the same products!
If you have never waxed your top lip or brows before, I would strongly suggest getting a professional to do it first. There is a skill/technique to waxing (head to You Tube for hours of entertaining tutorials on how to/how not to do it!) and although it doesn't hurt at all when I do it to myself now, it did when I first started years ago. My skin cannot tolerate the pre-waxed strips that you warm up between your hands, plus I found they do not remove the hair effectively, but one of my friends swears by them- so you will spend time and money on trial and error before you find the right system and right wax that works for you.
Also, if you are planning on waxing your eyebrows for shaping purposes, please see a professional first and then you will be able to maintain the shape yourself. I speak from experience. I didn't wax them off in the 90's I plucked them into the 'trendy' thin line, they have never recovered fully and are permanently wonky requiring 10 minutes everyday of filling/shading/shaping with make up. Not cool. Don't do it. Ever.
Caiti xxx
*Product purchased with my own money*