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Garnier Ultimate Blends - The Marvellous Transformer

Garnier have recently bought out 6 new hair care ranges designed to target different hair care concerns, all under the name Ultimate Blends.  Earlier this year, probably on their Facebook page or their website (I can't actually remember where it was!) I saw that Garnier were offering something like 100 sets for people to try.  All you had to do was answer some questions about your hair type and provide your details and wait to see if you'd been picked.  I don't really know if you'd call this a competition, but anyway, a few weeks back I received a parcel I wasn't expecting and inside I found three products from the Marvellous Transformer range.

Included was the shampoo, conditioner and the Marvellous Glow oil, all of which are formulated with Argan and Camellia oils and tailor-made for dry, dull hair.  The other ranges available are:

The Sleek Restorer
With Coconut oil and Cocoa butter for dry, frizzy hair.

The Colour Illuminator
With Argan oil and Cranberry extracts for coloured hair.

The Silky Smoother
With Vanilla milk and Papaya extracts for mid to long hair with split ends.

The Shine Revitaliser
With Lemon and Green tea for normal hair

The Nourishing Repairer
With Avocado oil and Shea butter for very dry, damaged hair

As my hair is oily, frizzy and dyed I could have ended up with The Sleek Restorer or The Colour Illuminator and I was actually quite surprised to receive the one I did as I didn't think my hair was particularly dry or dull.  I was surprised to notice that although there are sets for normal and dry hair there's nothing for oily hair, which I would have been very interested in trying, so maybe that's why I ended up with the set I did.

The first thing I want to comment on is the packaging.  If I had to describe this in one word it would definitely be retro!  These are the sort of bottles I would have expected to find on shelves in maybe the late 80's or early 90's and I would have assumed they were from Timotei.  I have to say they're really not my kind of thing and I wouldn't give them a second glance if I walked past them in Boots.  I've also found that the lid of the shampoo feels very loose and that it twists quite far round each way so I'm glad this didn't get knocked in the post or I may have ended up with a bit of a sticky mess in the box.

Neither the shampoo or conditioner particularly appear to have much of a scent to them but the glow oil does smell lovely and this does linger slightly on your hair.  The shampoo is slightly on the runny side but not too bad and lathers up well.  The hole on the shampoo bottle is quite large and is open (you don't have to squeeze to get the shampoo out) so it's best to go carefully when tipping it out.  The conditioner is thicker and does require a little squeeze to get it out and I was surprised to find it looks a bit like custard (I don't know why it surprised me but conditioner is usually white?).

The glow oil is a very light oil that is quite runny with more of a water type consistency.  This has five uses; before washing to pre-nourish, before styling for heat protection, after styling to protect the hair from UV, between washes for a finishing touch and anytime to boost shine and make hair smell nice.  I've only really used this after washing while my hair is still wet as heat protection as I'm not sure about adding oils to my oily hair when it's dry.  I would definitely be interested in giving this a try as a pre-nourish before washing though as I have done this before with other oils and find it works well. 

I found this to be a nice little range that left my hair soft and shiny and strangely I find that my hair appears to dry slightly quicker when using these products.  If you like using oils on your hair when it's dry to add shine and style then the glow oil might be perfect for you.  When it comes to heat protection I personally prefer sprays as I think it's easier to get an even distribution through your hair, so I'm not sure I would buy it again, but I've got nothing against the product.  The products range between £2.49 and £4.49 so it's a very reasonably priced range.

Have you tried any of the Ultimate Blends ranges?
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The original Tangle Teezer

A few weeks back I won one of Tangle Teezers Twitter comps and my prize was one of their original Tangle Teezers.  If I remember correctly the question they asked was something along the lines of 'If your boyfriend was Superman what would you ask him to do?'.  My response was that I'd ask him to put his pants on under his tights as that's really not a good look! 

My Tangle Teezer is actually more of a hot pink colour but my camera has bleached it out to a kind of baby pink.  There are a couple of different designs of Tangle Teezer available including ones that come in a flower pot for kids, mini ones that include a cover for the bristles and non-slip ones for using in the shower.  

I've never actually given a lot of thought to what I use to brush my hair although many years ago I did switch from using a brush to using a comb as I thought this was a bit kinder to my hair.  Back when I had really long hair this would have been a life saver for me.  I'm not quite sure how it managed it but I would often find a huge ball of knotted hair at the nape of my neck underneath my hair.  It would take ages to brush out and a couple of times I seriously thought I might have to give myself an undercut and just chop the knotted bit out.  

Three and a half years ago I went for the chop to shoulder length hair and ever since knotting hasn't really been a problem, but obviously I do want to make sure that my hair endures minimum damage when I do brush or comb it.  As I don't really have any problems with knotting I can't comment on how this copes with it, but it does feel really gentle on my hair when I use it.  It's not ideal for getting a straight parting or trying to get my hair into a ponytail, due to the size and shape of it, but for just brushing my hair it's great.  

The best test for this will be when it comes to back-combing.  Although I don't back-comb my hair myself, two of the shoots I worked on last year involved the hair stylist back-combing my hair to within an inch of it's life.  It was a nightmare to brush out and I remember thinking at the time that I wished I had a Tangle Teezer to try and deal with it!

Tangle Teezers range from £10.20 to £12.98 and are available from the Tangle Teezer website.  Have you tried a Tangle Teezer?

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MUA LUXE Velvet lip lacquer in Reckless

I'd previously decided not to buy any more MUA products due to the way the brand conduct themselves on social media and treat their customers, but when I saw that they were releasing some dupes for Lime Crimes' Velvetines I knew I'd have trouble resisting giving one a try.  

For a while it was easy to resist them as it appears that most stores don't stock the MUA luxe range yet and I didn't want to pay postage charges to get my hands on one.  However when my boyfriend and I went to visit his parents a few weeks back he took me in their local Superdrug, and although as usual the display was virtually empty they did stock the luxe range and there was a couple there.  I was still trying to decide if I wanted to try one but my boyfriend spotted me staring at them so he grabbed one and marched off to the tills!  

Another reason why I was unsure about trying one of these was because although some people have found that these stay put all day and give the Velvetines a run for their money, others have found that they flake off very quickly.  Even though these are only £3 each I thought it was likely that I would probably be a flake off quickly wearer rather than a last all day wearer.

As I said there was only a couple of these there and the only shade options were the orange one and this dark red.  I'm not a fan of the orange one so I went for this, but I didn't realise how dark it actually is, maybe because the frosted tube diffuses the colour slightly. 

When I first applied this I didn't make a particularly good job of it, so it was a good job I wasn't planning on going anywhere!  This is definitely one that you need to apply carefully and try and get right.  It starts off sticky before drying down to a matte finish and unfortunately I found it really was quite sticky and took a while to dry, so it involved walking around with my mouth open for a couple of minutes.  Once dry the stickiness disappears completely and this is set in place.  I found that this didn't transfer if I pressed my finger to my lips or if I had a drink, but I didn't test out the kissability ;)

Although this did feel quite dry on my lips it wasn't too bad considering this is a full on matte product.  I was pleased to see that this didn't flake off quickly but after around three and a half hours that included a treadmill session, a shower and dinner, I found it had disappeared from the inner part of my lips and would most definitely have needed a top up.  I didn't try applying any more so I'm not sure whether this is possible or whether it's very obvious that you've patched it up.  I did wonder whether this may be difficult to remove but a bit of Bioderma on a cotton pad and a few swipes and it was gone, so there's no sore lips from having to scrub this off. 

You've probably seen me mention before that I'm not a fan of matte lip formula's but I really didn't find this too bad.  I don't think I will use this much as I have plenty of other lip products that I would much rather use than this, and also the colour is a little dark for me, but if you're a matte fan I'd say it's worth giving one of these a try for just £3.

Have you tried any of the MUA LUXE Velvet lip lacquers?
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Klorane Nettle shampoo for oily hair

All my life I've battled with oily hair.  Every so often my mum loves to tell me about how I was born with jet black hair (which turned blonde and is now dyed dark brown) and that it was incredibly oily.  Although it has improved slightly as I've grown up it hasn't got much better.  I used to wash my hair every night, which was a bit of a nightmare as back then it was very long.  I've now managed to get it to every other day, but even then I'll wash it one night, leave it the next day but then wash it the following morning, and if I was working 9 to 5 I don't think I could get it to last two full days.  

I know that dry shampoo should be my best friend, but I just don't like using them (although admittedly I've only really tried Baptiste) as for me nothing beats the feeling off clean freshly washed hair and trying to soak up any oil with a powder usually just makes me feel dirty.  So when I spotted that Escentual were looking for bloggers to test out a French pharmacy shampoo for oily hair I nearly bit their hand off!

I haven't personally heard of Klorane before but they are a brand that has specialised in hair care products for more than 30 years and they use carefully selected pure plant extracts to provide gentle and natural solutions for hair and scalp problems.  Klorane Nettle shampoo* contains Scopoletine, an extract from nettle that restores balance to the scalp.

Both the outer packaging and the shampoo bottle are quite simple and kind of medical looking.  When you take the shampoo bottle out of the box you're greeted by a green liquid that definitely looks like it's made from nettles. It has a slight nettle type smell to it (I'm not sure if nettles actually do smell, but if they do I'd say this is what they smell like!) that isn't particularly strong.  

One thing I particularly noticed is that this is super runny, as in so runny it's almost unusable.  At first I did wonder if it might have melted in my house as at the time we had a problem with our heating and each night it tried to roast us alive.  But after asking on Twitter several people confirmed theirs was also very runny.  I did pop it in the fridge over night and it became very thick, but when I took it out later it just melted back to how it was before.

So when you use this you do have to be careful that it doesn't just slip through your fingers.  It's not the best latherer but you can get some lather from it.  A couple of times I decided to skip using conditioner so I didn't add anything to my hair that might contribute to it getting oily quickly and I was quite surprised to find that my hair did feel quite soft despite skipping the conditioner.  

After sustained use oil secretion is supposed to be stabilised enabling you to wash your hair less frequently.  I did only use this for a couple of weeks and I didn't notice any improvement in how quickly my hair became oily.  I know I probably should have given this longer, as I'm not sure how long counts as sustained use, but I really didn't enjoy using this enough to make me want to carry on with it.  This is one of the more reasonably priced French pharmacy products I've come across at just £6 for 200ml (there's also currently 25% off Klorane products on Escentual until the end of March), but even though it's reasonably priced I wouldn't buy this myself.

Do you suffer with oily hair and what would you recommend?

*PR sample
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Lush haul

I realised a few days ago that over the last couple of weeks I've accumulated several Lush products and samples, so I thought I'd do a haul posts to show you what I'll be trying out. 

A couple of weeks ago, despite waking up a bit poorly that morning due to starting some new medication, I headed over to Nottingham to meet up with some other bloggers.  We had a lovely meal in Zizzi's and a good chat and then the others all headed off into the town for some shopping but I unfortunately headed home due to not feeling so good.  We were all given a goody bag and one of the lovely things I found tucked in mine was a bag with a few samples from Lush.  I think I've included the correct samples here but there is a small chance I've got some of the little pot samples mixed up. 

I was very happy to see a nice sized chunk of Honey I washed the kids.  I did have some of this several years ago and I know it's lovely.  I haven't opened this yet but if I remember correctly it looks like a creme caramel desert (I love them!) and I believe smells like toffee or honey or something similar.  Next up there was a small sample of Happy hippy shower gel.  I've tried a couple of Lush shower gels before but not this one.  This is grapefruit scented so I would imagine this would make for a zesty invigorating shower.  Lastly, this one doesn't have a sticker on the top but if I remember correctly the little bag it was in said Ultrabland, which as you can see from the top photo I also have a full size of.  

As you'll know if you've read my recent posts, or if you follow me on Twitter, last week I headed up to Meadowhall in Sheffield for a bloggers breakfast which included a trip to Lush for a little bit of VIP treatment.  We made our own face masks, but this isn't included in the picture as I forgot to take it out of the fridge, which is where you're supposed to store their face masks.

Lush very kindly let us take away a cleanser and toner each and I opted for Tea tree water toner and Ultrabland cleanser.  

I'm sure I mentioned this on my blog recently (although I can't work out which post it might have been on) but I was a mystery shopper for Lush and unfortunately this year they made the decision to stop the scheme.  As a thank you to all the mystery shoppers they credited our mail order accounts with a final £25 (we used to get £30 for each mystery shop).
I only actually ordered two products, but because of some kind of problem somewhere along the way I've ended up with a few extras.  After really liking my Emotional Brilliance lipstick in Believe I decided to order another one in Bubbly.  After using it a couple of times previously I also decided to order Aqua Marina cleanser.  

I placed the order on a Friday and then went away for a week from the following Wednesday. When I got back my order still hadn't arrived so I contacted Lush to tell them it had gone missing.  They were great and arranged for another order to be sent out to me by next day courier.  When I got home from nipping out my order was waiting for me but when I opened it all that was in there was the lipstick and a sample of Herbalism cleanser.  So I contacted them again saying the order had arrived but my cleanser was missing.

Then later on that afternoon there was a knock at the door which was a courier with my full order including an additional full size It's raining men shower gel (to say sorry for the missing order) and a sample of Carrot soap.  It turned out that what had happened was there was an issue with one of the ingredients for the lipstick and my first order had been sent in two parts.  The first part containing the cleanser has obviously gone missing in the post and the second part containing the lipstick took 7 working days to arrive and just happened to arrive the same day as my complete replacement order.  

Lush kindly told me to keep the part of my original order that did actually arrive so I now have two liquid lipsticks in the same shade.  I'm not sure what to do with the spare one yet but might hold a Twitter giveaway for it.  

I probably won't review the samples (except maybe the soaps) as there's not really enough product there, but reviews of the full size products will follow in the future.

Are you a fan of Lush?
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