Thursday, 23 July 2015

Multi-Purpose Balms - What are they & What do they do?

I must, subconsciously, have a real obsession with these weird waxy multi-tasking balms that claim to  solve all of the skin ailments you can possibly think of. I didn't realise that I had bought so many, but here we are... with a ton of different kinds, each with different benefits and uses. So I figured I'd do a bit of a multi-purpose balm breakdown... Let's do this... *insert muscle emoji*

A full breakdown of numerous world famous multi-purpose balms, with all their uses and gimmicks
These four I own full-size of, and use regularly; Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (fragrance-free), Glossier Balm Dotcom, Homeoplasmine. None are excessively impressive in the packaging department sure, but its the performance that counts, right? I figured to make things simple I'll look at the texture, price, availability and the most functional uses of each product...

A full breakdown of numerous world famous multi-purpose balms, with all their uses and gimmicks

The ever famous Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream needs no introduction; everyone and their mums, grandmas and goldfish have at some point used this gooey orange balm. The texture is very sticky, but thins out once it comes into contact with skin. Despite its long list of uses, I use it most as a lip balm, a highlighter on my cheekbones, and even using the teeniest amount to groom brows. (Yes, really.) Typically priced around £26 it isn't the cheapest lip balm, but is easy to get hold of, being stocked on numerous online sites and is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters. Despite being fragrance-free, it still has a weird lingering smell that puts me off using this on my lips during the day while eating or drinking.  

Yu-Be is a Japanese product, which has just recently made its way overseas after gaining cult status. It appears as thick as 8hr cream, but when you start to apply, it thins out completely and feels almost like nothing on the skin, meaning you need a very small amount of product. Its strong camphor smell and thin texture means it doesn't work too well as a lip balm, but is as I've found, an INCREDIBLE foot cream. The glycerin base in the cream seems to create a barrier, which allows hydration to go much deeper, hydrating feet quickly, and leaving them soft for days. Needless to say using it as a foot cream uses up a lot of product, so the £13.50 price tag, and Space NK availability makes it a bit of a pain when it comes to repurchasing.

A full breakdown of numerous world famous multi-purpose balms, with all their uses and gimmicks

Another foreign import is the French Homeoplasmine (which according to my family looks like nappy cream. Glam.) which is available in this currently through Escentual at £9.95 for a huge tube. It's texture is slightly waxier and thicker than Vaseline, clear in colour, and has a natural matte finish when applied. While it's best used as a lip balm, I've found this to work really well at aiding the healing of spots, and preventing any later scarring. The added bonuses for me, are the pleasant texture, absence of fragrance and cheap price.  

And yet another foreigner, Glossier's Balm Dotcom is something all of those in the beauty loop got highly excited about. It's the cheapest (in theory) at only $12 a pop, but its US only availability makes it nearly impossible to get your hands on without an unlimited stream of money. Like Homeoplasmine, its a clear waxy balm, with a natural matte finish which works best as a heavy duty lip balm. The super thick texture means you need the smallest amount of product, and thanks to the small tube, its significantly more handbag friendly than the others. 

A full breakdown of numerous world famous multi-purpose balms, with all their uses and gimmicks

Overall, I'd say that the endless lists of uses for each product that seems to be promoted with multi-purpose balms are really unrealistic. Making the term "multi-purpose" pretty ironic when it comes to  I cannot imagine for a second using any of these as moisturisers, either for my face or my hands (really, Elizabeth Arden? THE STICKINESS.) But, they are without a doubt amazing products to have in your arsenal, depending on exactly what you're looking for. If I'm going to suggest one right now, it's going to be Homeoplasmine. It is easy to get hold of, and much unlike 8-Hr cream, won't leave behind any smells, stickiness or an empty purse.

What do you all think of multi-purpose balms? Have you ever tried any of these, or do you use another multi-purpose balm in a similar way? Next on my list? Paw-paw ointment. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Growing Out Hair - NEW Redken Extreme Length Products

I feel like I may possibly revisit the gross comment I made about wanted and unwanted hair a couple weeks back, but I'll censor myself (this time) and instead get into my intended purpose... raving about the wonders of Redkens latest additions to their ever-popular Extreme range.

New products to the Redken Extreme Length Range reviewed. For growing out hair and management of split ends.
New products to the Redken Extreme Length Range reviewed. For growing out hair and management of split ends.

While I've not had these for anything close to long enough to actually establish whether or not these do help your hair to grow, I can establish to a certain extent that I do think these will encourage hair growth. Bearing in mind that neither are applied at the root, they aren't going to stimulate the scalp and encourage growth there, but instead (like the rest of the Extreme range) will work on the ends, which at a certain length will become dry and parched, eventually snapping off. Thus preventing split ends, will in turn help hair grow to a longer length instead of breaking.

Now my hair has reached a length I truly thought it would never see, the need to keep the ends thoroughly hydrated is becoming more and more prominent. Which is why the Extreme Length End Sealer is an absolute winner for me. It comes with a little brush which applies the product directly to the ends of your hair. With an quick amount of massaging it in, and about ten minutes to let it settle and stop looking like product, ends are left looking much more hydrated, and as if your hair has been freshly cut. I get the feeling this will eventually become something I cannot live without. I'm just hoping that Redken makes a smaller, travel size one I can keep in my handbag. (hint, hint.)

The Extreme Length Primer, is something I'm much more on the fence about. I don't understand why they created it, given the range already has a protein based treatment (which I stupidly forgot I already own) but it's still pretty good as far as hydration goes. It's applied after shampoo, but doesn't establish whether it is prior to, or in the place of conditioner. So I've been using alone with shampoo, and my hair hasn't seen any amazing results, but I have only given it four attempts as of right now. Hopefully the proteins and biotin in both of these products are something which you will see long-term results from.

While it feels relevant; I'd been considering for a while creating a post on a much more realistic routine to help grow out your hair? If this is something anyone would be interested in, do let me know and I'll get to work on it!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Why is "High-Maintenance" A Dirty Word?

Sure, for the eagle eyed, the grammar police, and for well, myself... "high-maintenance" isn't a word, but rather a combination of two. So ignoring this completely, shall we get onto the latest topic that's been getting on my nerves (just one of them, at least. We'd be hear days talking about all of  the things that irritate me.)

Like everything else, phases come and go. (Big butts will be over soon, just you watch.) At the moment, the premise of being someone that is high-maintenance is frowned upon. Looking after your hair, skin, nails and body is seen as something which would make you prissy, and more and more products are being designed to make everything quick and easy. BUT, WHAT IF YOU ENJOY SOME BEAUTY DOWN-TIME?

I can seriously appreciate products that make everything much less of a faff, and those that are designed to look natural, and like, well... nothing. But despite the fact that I try to look as low-maintenance as possible, it doesn't mean I didn't spend ten minutes that morning getting my hair to look "natural" and a good half hour applying fake tan to stop me looking like a corpse.

Needless to say, I'm not going to be supporting those with orange tans, 5 sets of false lashes and even more hair extensions any time soon. (scouse brows, anybody?!) But what if, that fake tan we apply, the expensive perfume, the luxurious lipsticks just make us all feel damn confident? Is that really such a crime?

Of course I'm not the first person to bring up the fact that the internet now seems to prefer shaming those that wear makeup to those that don't. (No, fellas we ain't lying to you by wearing makeup. Did you honestly think we had gold eyelids? Cause in that case, I also shit gold, à la Tywin Lannister.) But why is it really such an issue if someone enjoys an extensive beauty regime? As long as we aren't taking out loans for laser hair removal and Tom Ford lipsticks - shall we just leave everyone to it?

Anyone else feel the same? Why does the world seems to think high-maintenance is a bad thing?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Fake Tanning Tips? I Got Your Back.

While the suggestion of "fake tan" unfortunately is unpleasant biscuity smells, orange palms and streaky legs, there's still the good few of us that, while addicted to the stuff, have no tango syndrome; just the need to look tanned and healthy. Of course tanning isn't a necessity to some, and we all know that one girl who can rock porcelain skin like no other (don't Google Emma Stone... just don't put yourself through it...) But for those that do rely on tan regularly, there's one tip that you probably haven't heard before, is RIDICULOUSLY simple, but will save so much time and difficulty:

To tan the hard to reach areas of your back, turn around your mitt so the applicator side is on the top of your hands. 

TA-DA! That is literally it. So insanely simple you'll be able to do it without any fancy applicators, but the simple 180° turn of the mitt allows you to put your hands behind your back (under your shoulders) and quickly apply to the places you usually roped your family into uncomfortably doing. 

More tanning tips- 
- Always use tan with a guide colour. You'll see where you've missed.
- If you're unsure, go paler. It can always be built up afterwards.
- Give yourself plenty time to exfoliate all over, and only moisturise if you have a few hours to let it sink in.
- Moisturise elbows, knees, hands and toes prior to tanning. If you've none handy use whatever is left on the mitt afterwards.
- DON'T exercise. If it washes off after 8 hours, you're just begging for sweaty streaks.
- Don't forget your face. People don't look like glasses of Guinness. Facial tanners are incredible now, won't break you out and will help you glow. Clarins make my personal favourites.
- Always, always, always use a mitt or glove. ALWAYS.
- The best time to tan is just before bed. (The 8 hour guide time can be extended a little if you prefer 10 hours, don't worry!)

I hope this tip will help some of you - because I know its such a pain, quite literally, to reach the top of your back when fake-tanning. Do any of you have these weird quirks that help in your routine? Share them in the comments!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Ideal Summer Home Prep with Debenhams Flowers

I'm probably one of the first women to say that I mostly dislike flowers. I don't have any local florists, so if I'm buying fresh flowers they have to come from a supermarket. Which, face it... are overpriced and mediocre looking things that die within a couple of days. (Oh, the glamour.) So when Debenhams Flowers contacted me and offered to send a summer bouquet I only needed a quick glance at their images to realise that these are stunning, and I jumped straight on board. 

I picked the peony, rose and lily bouquet which was overflowing with beautiful, elegant flowers and seriously livened up my otherwise simplistic bedroom decor. The flowers themselves lasted a significant amount of time longer than those of the previously mentioned supermarket flowers and smelled so fresh and lovely, I couldn't help but (against my better judgement) stick my hay fever riddled nose straight in there.

The actual flower delivery was easy-peasy, and Debenhams allow you to choose a day which you want them to arrive. I chose a week later, but they do offer next-day flowers incase you're as clumsy as me and often forget birthdays. On that Monday, the door rang with a delivery guy holding one of the biggest, bright purple, parcel boxes to have ever graced my doorstep. Inside the flowers were placed so to not be disturbed, and secured well, wrapped in a bright green tissue paper. These guys know how to make an entrance...

If you're interested in any of their products, I have a discount code for my blog readers, which will entitle you to 25% off whichever bouquet you choose, either for yourselves or as a gift! Which gives you more money to spend on chocolates and wine, right? 

Use code DFBLOG25 for the 25% discount 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Free With Instyle UK - St Tropez

Like the rest of the self tan addicts, I was completely enthralled by the premise of an in-shower tanner - talk about the convenience! However when the reviews started rolling, it seemed mostly like St Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion might be a bit of a gimmick. So I was quite curious, but not willing to part with too much cash. Curiosity got the best of me though, and given that Instyle magazine are giving away a free 50ml bottle on the front, I've no excuse but to finally give it a go. The August issue is in newsagents now... 

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