Thursday, 30 December 2010

Festive NOTD: Nails Inc Milan & Lippmann Boom Boom Pow

Disclosure: Boom Boom Pow was a PR sample

Once again, sorry, my cuticles are still horrible.  Blame the cold and the snow.

This is two coats of Nails Inc's classically clean, bright red Milan, topped off with a single coat of Lippmann Collection Boom Boom Pow.  Firstly, I absolutely love Milan - it's such a classic red, which applies and wears really well: this photo was taken a staggering five days after application, and the amount of tipwear is minimal.  Milan was one of the Diet Coke freebies released a few months ago - I reckon it's pretty close to the regular range's St James shade though, should you be crazy enough to want to pay full price for it (if not, just wait a few months and another freebie collaboration is sure to turn up).

The Lippmann Boom Boom Pow is an unsurprisingly fabulous glitter.  You get three sizes of gold glitter that's not too warm - I often have trouble with gold against my cool skin, but this doesn't look weird, just gorgeously pretty and sparkly.  It's a very universal gold which should work well with most skin tones.  A single coat gives a dusting of sparkle, and should you be so inclined, you'll find that it builds up well to give an opaque, very bling finish.  It is, however, a pain to remove - no surprises there.

What manicure did you wear for Christmas?  Let us know in the comments!

January Sales Roundup

Even though it's not actually January yet, plenty of sales have kicked off in style.  Here's our pick of the sales!

With blush from £8, eyeshadow from £7.50, and the famous Intense Lipgloss from £9.38, llamasqua are offering some pretty good prices on soon to be discontinued products.  This isn't the first time Illamasqua has had a 50% off sale for old stock, though, so don't expect the shade range to be great.

ASOS have reductions on Soap and Glory sets (we all love those, right?), Bliss, Too Faced, St Tropez, Eyeko, Paul and Joe, and many, many more.

Cowshed are also having a sale, although there's not a huge variety of products on offer.  That said, with cute sets containing three mini bath and shower gels and a travel candle costing just £7.50, you could stock up with a few last-minute standby gifts for those occasions when you've forgotten to buy something. have cut prices on hundreds of products - with bargains to be had on RMK, Neal's Yard, Melvita, Tigi, and Louise Galvin.

High end e-tique Zuneta have some gorgeously luxe products in the sale - including some hefty discounts on Becca - I'm quite tempted by this set of three Beach Tints for £31.

SpaceNK are, as always, a great sale destination, with brands such as By Terry, Lipstick Queen, Laura Mercier, Lubatti and Nude on sale.  Whilst there are some good deals to be had online, I've often found a much wider range of products on sale in store - well worth a trip to your local store if you have one.

Debenhams are also having a beauty sale, with up to 50% off fragrance and beauty products.  Benefit's Powder Time Lover includes mini sizes of the ever popular Coralista, Dallas and Dandelion - and costs just £16.67 in the sale.

Have you spotted any bargains, online or in-store?  Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My cosmetic travel essentials

Disclosure - Paul & Joe and Clinique items are PR samples

Hello! Hope everyone has had an enjoyable Christmas and you're looking forward to 2011. I'm staying with my parents this week and I've packed light - all my clothes, books, laptop and toiletries were crammed into a single backpack for the trip. The picture above shows the contents of my makeup bag. It might look like a lot to some people, but I had to be really strict with myself to get it down to just 10 items.

Left to right -

Too Faced "Flatbuki" brush. This was a GWP and is very slimline - that's the main reason I chose it. It's Taklon, not too densely packed but very soft and well-shaped.

Revlon Vital Radiance angle brush. This is for brows. It was a bit of an expendable choice, this one - I didn't want to pack my more expensive angle brushes in case the bristles got squashed out of shape. This has natural bristles which are quite rigid, but it's fine enough to define brows well. (This is now discontinued but can be found on eBay.)

Clinique High Lengths mascara. We received this as part of Clinique's Holiday collection 2010, and I've been using it as my day to day mascara. I like it a lot, although it was a bit eclipsed for me by the gorgeous Strawberry Fudge palette from the same collection. It has a curved comb brush which I really like. It's a good mid-weight mascara that can be worn lightly or built up with a few coats for dramatic looks.

GOSH Velvet Touch eyeliner in Hypnotic Grey. I have pretty much every shade of Velvet Touch available. These are exceptional quality, offering smooth application, vivid pigmented colour and rock-solid wear once set. They're only £5 each too, and compare well with long-wear pencils twice the price. Hypnotic Grey is a metallic dark charcoal colour.

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer. This is hands down my favourite concealer.It blends well, lasts well and is a good match for my skintone. I would happily pay more than the £3.99 pricetag for this product. The fact that it's so cheap to replace makes it great for travel.

MAC Mineralize blush in Dainty. This is my daily default blush, and has been for some time. It's a dusty mid-pink with a slight shimmer. It's very natural and goes with most looks. Kind of unremarkable, but reliable and good quality.

Urban Decay Primer Potion. Surely needs no introduction.

Illamasqua Eye Brow Cake in Motto. Discovering this shade was an epiphany for me. I'd all but given up on finding a brow colour that would work for me - everything else had a reddish tone that looked totally garish on my skin. This ashy grey-brown (see pic below) does the job nicely, and the compact has a mirror in the lid which is very handy for application.

Ruby & Millie Eye Color in Beige 840P. This product really deserves a whole post to itself. It's been in my collection for many years and I've never found a taupe to rival it. It's got that magical blend of brown, silver, mauve and grey that brings out green and blue eyes perfectly. It's also buttery soft and wears like a dream. Ruby & Millie have a few gems in their range, and this one is the crown jewel. Here's a swatch -

Paul & Joe powder compact. Good quality powder is good quality powder, and this is excellent - finely milled and not too drying. But the reason I chose this to bring away with me is the crescent of pearlised powder on one side, which doubles as a highlight for eyes and cheekbones. The mirrored compact is also very sturdy and durable.

You might notice a lack of lip products - that's because I keep a small task force of lipsticks and balms in my handbag at all times anyway. Currently, Lanolips is my balm of choice, with a selection of NYX lipsticks.

Tell me - what's in your makeup bag when you travel?

Friday, 24 December 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

Whether you celebrate it or not, here's to a fabulous Christmas break, with lots of relaxing, pampering, and hopefully a beauty-related gift or two.  Posts might be a bit thin on the ground between now and New Year as we chase around the country visiting family... normal service will resume in the New Year with a fantastic giveaway to chase away the January blues.

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Unique techniques from Paul & Joe's Global Makeup Artist Craig-Ryan French

Disclosure - we received product samples at the Paul & Joe event

A couple of weeks back, Gemma and myself were invited to meet Paul & Joe's Global Makeup Artist Craig-Ryan French during his visit to London. With a table full of products and an audience full of willing volunteers, he quickly won our admiration with his friendly enthusiastic personality (just look at that smile), and his amazing cosmetic know-how.

We were also totally blown away to learn that he was the makeup artist for the "Saw" films. (His background is in special effects makeup.) As major horror movie fans, Gemma and I were both instantly star-struck when we realised we were chatting to the guy who'd created some of cinema's most wince-worthy visuals.

From gore to girliness, Craig-Ryan embraced his career move to Paul & Joe with characteristic enthusiasm and is now a passionate advocate of the line. He talked us through some of his favourite Paul & Joe products and imparted some pearls of wisdom along the way. Here's what we learned...

  • Craig-Ryan's core belief is that beauty arises from a sense of balance. Good makeup isn't about any one area of the face, it's about a harmonious interaction between all the elements. Symmetry, contrast and minute adjustments all help to create this balance. For example, he told us that lip colour is not about complementing the natural colour of the lips themselves - it's about playing up the colour of the eyes. Contrasting the eyes with the lips can shift the perceived colour to make them really stand out. 

  •  Makeup looks best about 25 minutes after application. This is because the oils on the skin will have begun to show through the makeup to create a more natural effect. This applies both for film makeup and everyday. Craig-Ryan advises us to hold back on our urge to powder and learn to love a bit of natural glow. The new Paul & Joe pressed powders have a pearlised component for just this reason - to prevent powdered skin looking too flat and artificial.

  • Never underestimate the power of a well-groomed brow. Craig-Ryan is especially fond of the Paul & Joe brow pencils, which have two ends - a thin, precise point for drawing in individual hairs, and a softer smudgier one for shading. His technique for filling in brows was a true revelation to us - instead of following the line of the brow exactly, he makes subtle alterations to widen the eye. He works from the nose outward, beginning underneath the brow. Then at the point where the brow arches (this should be directly above where the white of the eye meets the outer corner) he takes the colour above the line of the brow - only by a couple of millimetres - to create the impression of a higher brow and more space above the eye. Genius.

  • Lips aren't symmetrical. (And balance is beauty, remember.) When we highlight our lips with strong colour,  we also highlight that asymmetry, often in a way that makes our lips look a little "off". We might blame the colour or the texture when lip colour doesn't suit us, but usually it's the way we're accentuating the shape of our lips that's causing the problem, says Craig-Ryan. Instead of following the line of the lips exactly, use the rest of your face as a guide to create a symmetrical lip, adjusting where you put the colour to create an impression of evenness. The nostrils should line up with the top of the cupid's bow, and the curve of the lower lip should sit directly underneath. Sketch these in with lip pencil and you've created the framework for a perfect lip. When applying lipstick, work from the corners inwards to give a softer, more forgiving edge to the colour. Paul & Joe's double-ended lip liners do the job of both lip liner and lipstick, with a matte, pigmented colour at one end and a sheerer more glossy texture at the other.

  • Paul & Joe's waterproof mascara is apparently possessed of some serious staying power. Neither of us have tried it, but we took Craig-Ryan's word for it that it's quite hardcore, even requiring its own dedicated remover. We watched with interest as he showed us how it could be used to tightline the eye - pushing it right into the roots of the upper lashes with an eyeshadow brush to give definition and eliminate that "gap" effect that can occur when black mascara is applied to paler lashes. 

  • Going out for the evening and not keen on lugging around a makeup bag for touch-ups? Craig-Ryan has a simple solution. Pre-load a lip brush with your favourite concealer and carry it with you to ensure a flawless complexion at all times. (NB do choose a lip-brush that comes with its own lid, or this could prove messy). Paul & Joe's Portable Touch Up Brush is perfect for the job.  

Paul & Joe's Holiday Sparkles collection is out now. You can find the brand on counter at London branches of Harvey Nicholls and Harrods.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

NARS Sheer Lipstick in Damage

If you read my recent post on meeting David Scheffen, international artist at NARS, then you might recall that I mentioned his amazing ability to pick out perfectly suiting shades almost immediately.  I also mentioned that he'd chosen the most beautiful lip colour for me - and this is it!  NARS Damage is a sheer, muted grape shade, which isn't too purple, and yet is far away enough from pink to be something a little different.

Needless to say, as soon as David applied this to my lips, I decided I had to have it, and immediately ran to Selfridges.  And I've used it rather a lot since - it's a great subtle colour to pair with a more dramatic or colourful eye without resorting to a nude lip.  The sheer formula is very buildable - I've layered a couple of passes up here so you can see the exact colour - and it's very moisturising.  

Moisturising sheer lipsticks don't often have great staying power, and this is the case here - I get maybe an hour or two out of an application before it fades and slips off my lips.  As it's so sheer, though, it's easy enough to slap on a little more without a mirror, so I don't really mind reapplying.

I can see this lipstick becoming a worn-down stump rather quickly, as it's quite unique in my collection, and as it's so very easy to wear.  Lovely.  

NARS lipsticks are available at the NARS website or on for £17.  I've got my eye on the cult favourite Dolce Vita next!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

NOTD: Essie Luxedo

My recent experience at Scin Spa Great Portland Street saw me leave the spa with freshly painted nails in one of the colours from Essie's Winter 2010 collection, entitled Luxedo.  A deep, glossy plum, it looks almost black on the nail, but doesn't look quite as harsh as a true black would.  It was absolutely perfect on my freshly shorn nails - I'd just clipped them off thanks to several major breakages - rich, dark shades like this look great on shorter nails.

I'd like to tell you about wear, but in typical fashion I smudged one finger on my other hand on my way home and thus had to remove this perfect polish application as soon as I got home.  Boo.

If you'd like to try Luxedo, you'l find it on, where 15ml will cost you a reasonable £8.50.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Review: Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eyeshadow

Discount website SecretSales recently had a one off sale on whimsically pretty brand Rouge Bunny Rouge, and as I'd tried their blusher and rather liked it, I decided that ordering a couple of eyeshadows was entirely reasonable, despite my eyeshadow collection standing at well over a hundred shades already.

I bought Tantalising Lovebird, described as a frosted, cool toned coral pink, and Veiled Lyrebird, described as an iridescent pale pink copper with peach overtones.  I suppose if I'd been paying more attention, I'd have noticed that the two shades are very similar; Tantalising Lovebird has a touch more red in it, but that's pretty much all the difference I can see.

I had to really load a brush with colour to get a good swatch of these eyeshadows.  Whilst the texture is supremely buttery soft and very easily blended, the colour payoff is a little on the sheer side for my liking.  The overall effect is soft and subtle, rather that overtly flashy.  Which is fine, but not usually what I go for.  That said, the finish on these eyeshadows is absolutely beautiful - the shimmer is so finely milled that you get a beautiful sheen rather than an obvious glitter or sparkle.  They're very reflective, but there's no chance of disco-ball sparkles, and no fallout.

The photos above show Veiled Lyrebird on the lid with a touch of Tantalising Lovebird applied at the outer corner and in the crease.  The effect is a subtle, flattering wash of colour with that very pretty sheen.  It's a pretty sophisticated look, when paired with black liner, and it works very well with a brick red lip.  The peachy pinky tones are very flattering to my hazel eyes.

The "long lasting" qualities in the name of the product relate to the 8 hour wear promised.  I routinely expect my eyeshadow to last 14 hours and up - and it usually does, thanks to some excellent primer, so I don't really think that this is a massive selling point.  If you're looking for long lasting eye makeup, I think primer is the key, rather than specially formulated eyeshadows - particularly if, like me, you suffer from oily lids.

Overall, I quite like these shadows - the buttery soft texture is a dream to use, the colours blendable, and the finish pearly and gorgeous.  For £11, I'm pretty happy.  But these shadows retail at a whopping £22 each at full price - which for me is just too much.  If you like to wear one or two colours as a wash across the lid in a more understated and subtle style for your eyes, you might find these more desirable, despite the price.  For me, though, they're just a little too expensive for a product that, whilst perfectly lovely, doesn't stand out enough to justify the difference in price.

If you'd like to explore Rouge Bunny Rouge's Long Lasting Eyeshadow, you'll find a full complement of shades at Zuneta, where they will cost £22 each.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Review: Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille EDP

Disclosure: PR sample

Described as "a modern take on an old world men's club", Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille is a very rich, almost cloying vanilla based Oriental.  As part of the Private Blend Collection, it's a very luxurious fragrance - with prices ranging from £115 for the smallest 50ml bottle, to £260 for the giant 250ml bottle.

On first spritz, I can smell the notes of tobacco leaf, made buttery and almost overpowering in its intensity.  On the dry down, though, the tobacco disappears completely, settling down into a rich, warm vanilla which confuses the hell out of my nose - because the vanilla base doesn't tally with every other vanilla-y scent I've ever experienced.  This vanilla, paired with tonka bean, doesn't really have that overly sweet or powdery note that some other fragrances can have - it's much darker, more refined, and much more grown up.

The final fragrance on my skin is a deep, rich, mysterious blend which smells distinctly foody but with a dark, sour edge to it that makes it feel very sophisticated.  It puts me in the mind of 1920s jazz clubs and flapper dresses; it makes me feel feminine and soft with an edge of femme fatale.  This fragrance tends to gather compliments and questions when I wear it - there's something very unusual about it. 

Whilst it's undoubtedly expensive, the luxuriously heavy, smoked glass packaging make it an absolute luxury to use, and the scent is so compelling that I rather think I'll be scraping together the pennies to buy another bottle when I reach the end of my sample.  I'd definitely recommend heading down to Selfridges to have a sniff if you can - the complexity and depth is so hard to describe.  Similarly, if you're looking for an absolutely luxurious, complex, and exclusive fragrance to make your own - I'd highly recommend smelling your way through the entire Private Blend Collection; there are some extremely unusual scents in there.

If you're interested to read more, you'll find the full description of the fragrance at the Selfridges' website, where you'll also be able to purchase the largest sized bottle (at an eye watering £260).   

Have you had a sniff of any of the Private Blend fragrances?  Which are your favourites?  Or is £115 just too high a starting price for a bottle of scent?  Let us know in the comments!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Review: Lippmann Collection Stripper To Go

Disclosure: PR sample

Sarah and I love a bit of Lippmann, not least because they make some of the most original, unusual, gorgeous glitter polishes we've ever seen.  Glitter polishes, beautiful as they are, are a bugger to remove, requiring lots of scrubbing with harsh polish removers to get the nail totally clean.  I'm not sure if the Lippmann Collection Stripper To Go finger mitts were designed with glitters in mind, but they sure do help loosen up even the heftiest of glitter polish applications.

Essentially, these are little pockets of cotton, saturated with polish remover.  You stick your finger inside, and whilst you remove polish from your other nails with the outside of the mitt, the remover on the inside is soaking into your lacquer and making it easier to remove.  Randomly, they're lavender scented - in the name of fair experimentation I had a good sniff, and after I'd finished coughing I did indeed detect a trace of lavender after the polish-remover-smell had disappeared.

Supposedly, each mitt will remove ten fingers worth of polish (or eight fingers and two thumbs for the pedantic).  I'm sure this is true for non-glitter varnishes; there's plenty of remover soaked into the mitt itself, and the dual soaking/scrubbing action is sure to help remove every last drop of (normal) lacquer.  For heavy glitters, though, you're unlikely to get everything off with the one mitt - by moving it from finger to finger, however, you get enough loosening of glitter to reduce the number of cotton pads + normal remover used.

At £14 for 6 sachets, each containing a single mitt, this definitely isn't a cheap way to remove your polish.  Compared to the cost of using normal cotton pads and remover, these are undoubtedly expensive, and given that they're not going to fully remove a really sticky, glitter manicure, they're not something you absolutely desperately need in your life.  That said... I really like them.  Mostly because they're so very portable - if you wanted to be able to remove your polish quickly if it chips, popping one of these in your bag is much, much easier than conventional cotton pads and remover, or even pre-soaked thin cotton pads in a pot.  

So, while this isn't a product I'll be clamouring to buy regularly, I can see myself buying the odd pack for travel - particularly as I find it very difficult to leave a manicure alone once it chips, and can scratch off a chipping polish application quite quickly, damaging the nails underneath.  If you'd like to try these for yourself, you'll find them at House of Fraser's Apothecary, where they will cost £14 for 6 sachets.  These (and the glorious Lippmann nail colours) should be available online in early January.

What do you think?  Worth the price for portability?  Waste of cash?  Let us know in the comments!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Boots Gift of the Week - Soap & Glory tote bag less than half price

Boots have saved the best til last with their final Gift of the Week - another bumper Soap & Glory gift set to reprise last year's Big Thrill Giant Hatbox. The Pink Big Tote Bag is £25, reduced from an RRP of £60 - saving £35. 2009's hatbox was offered at £20 (RRP £50), so it's an even better deal than last time. 

Some of the Gift of the Week deals from Boots have made me a little suspicious this year - I've found myself wondering if the original RRPs had been inflated beforehand to make the deals look more impressive. However the total for all the products included in the Pink Big Tote Bag would be £66.15 if bought separately, so it's definitely a bona fide bargain. 

The Pink Big offer went live in the early hours of this morning, and is currently available instore and online. My local Boots is very well-stocked with tote bags piled up to the ceiling, so the stores are definitely expecting a rush, but all the same you'd be wise act fast if you want to take advantage; last year the hatboxes flew off the shelves and couldn't be found for love nor money after a couple of days. 

If you're partial to some Soap & Glory I definitely recommend getting your hands on this. It contains some of the brand's most popular products including Scrub Your Nose In It, Flake Away and The Righteous Butter. It's also a fine introduction to the brand for a friend or relative - although I'd suggest buying it for someone young with oily tendencies as it's rather scrub-heavy (3 different scrub products are included). 

The tote bag contains:

- Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel (500ml)
- The Righteous Butter Body Butter (300ml)
- Flake Away Body Scrub (300ml)
- Girligo Scented Body Moisturising Mist (100ml)
- Glad Hair Day Ultra-Shine Super-Shampoo (250ml)
- The Breakfast Scrub Body Smoother (300ml)
- Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream (125ml)
- Scrub Your Nose In It Face Scrub And Mask (125ml)
- Super Colour Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss in ‘Pink Apricot,’ (7ml)
- Off Your Face Cleansing Wipes (25 wipes)
- Giant Super Sudsy Shower Puff
Have you tracked down a tote bag for yourself or someone else? What did you think?

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Review: Dr Nick Lowe The Secret Is Out Day and Night Cream

Disclosure: PR samples

At a recent event, Sarah and I got the opportunity to listen to Dr Nick Lowe himself talk a little about his experiences, his skincare brand, and about skin in general.  A consultant dermatologist with 400 papers and 17 books under his belt, he knows what he's talking about.  And after a few minutes of listening to him explain, patiently, what he believes does and doesn't work for skin, it's clear that this is a man more interested in talking about the science than promoting his products.  Which is refreshing indeed!

We left the event having been unable to speak to Dr Lowe one to one - hardly surprising when you've got 20-odd beauty enthusiasts in a room with a skincare expert - but clutching a bag of products to try out.  Fast forward a month and a half, and I've used up around half of each pot of the moisturisers in the Secret Is Out range, which is Dr Nick's most hardcore anti-aging line.

The Secret Is Out Lift and Repair Night Cream is geared towards dry and mature skins, with the words "tightening" and "hydrating" being the two used to describe its effects.  A very thick, almost heavy cream, it has a balm like texture, and despite its thickness is relatively easy to massage into the skin.  Only a little is needed to cover the whole face, and it remains on the skin for some time after initial application - and indeed, leaves a thin film of product even after half an hour.  Left on overnight, I awake with skin that feels soft and very plumped up, albeit with a little oiliness around my nose.  Despite being very, very hydrating, I've not found my skin rebelling and breaking out.

The Secret Is Out SPF 15 Anti Age Lifting Cream is also targeted at dry and mature skin, and has a lighter, more readily absorbed texture.  In fact, I need to use a fair bit of this to cover my whole face, as it begins absorbing into the skin immediately as you apply it.  I usually start off with a blob of cream and then massage it across my whole face, but with this product, I've been applying to one area of the face at a time, to avoid oversaturation.  The cream keeps the skin well hydrated throughout the day; I really appreciated this when I was sitting on top of tour buses in New York in bitingly cold cross winds.  The addition of SPF15, particularly that with UVA/UVB protection, makes this a great all round winter day cream.

And in terms of visible effects?  My skin has been kept very well hydrated this winter, and I've appreciated the richness of the products in protecting my skin from freezing temperatures and cold wind.  My dreaded frown lines don't seem to be showing much of an improvement, but my skin generally looks and feels well - and it definitely feels firmer to boot.  All in all, I'll continue to use this just because of its superb hydration - it performs better than any other moisturiser I've used recently - and I could definitely consider purchasing again next winter.  With my slightly-dry skin, though, I wouldn't use this year round; it's far too heavy for summer unless your skin is ultra-parched.

If you have dry or mature skin which needs some heavy duty moisturisation that lasts all day, then these products are well worth a try.  At £24.95 for the day cream, and £26.99 for the night cream, these are well priced mid-range products, which help the skin to look and feel healthy and well moisturised.  You'll find them exclusively in Boots stores, and online at

What do you think?  Tried any Dr Nick Lowe products?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Word to the wise - look out for Pengaligons Olfactory Owl in London this week

The Olfactory Owl roosting in Burlington Arcade
I have to hand it to Penhaligons - they come up with the most original marketing ideas of any brand I know. First it was the scented taxi roving the streets of London, and now it's a perfumed bird of prey in Victorian formalwear.

The Olfactory Owl will be touring London's landmarks this week, travelling on foot, by tube and on public transport. He'll be giving out discount vouchers and fragrance samples, and if you're lucky enough to spot him out and about you can win prizes by uploading your pictures to Penhaligons' Facebook and Twitter .

My first thought when I saw the press release for this campaign was the "A OWL" sketch from Channel 4's PhoneShop. However I think this owl is considerably more classy than the menacing "Mr Wise"... (link NSFW)

Here's the Olfactory Owl's schedule over the next few days:

Thursday 16th December – Oxford Street, Bond Street, Savile Row, Burlington Arcade, Fortnum & Mason
Saturday 18th December – Regent Street and Trafalgar Square
Sunday 19th December – Knightsbridge, Sloane Square, Green Park, Piccadilly
Tues 21st December – Covent Garden, Somerset House, British Museum

Have you seen the Olfactory Owl out and about in London? Will you be looking out for him?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Review: Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof Mascara

I'm a firm fan of Lancôme mascara.  When I reviewed Hypnôse Drama last year (before I started blogging with Sarah), I found true mascara love and repurchased at least three times - something virtually unheard of for me.  Having recommended Lancôme as a brand to my best friend for her wedding, I was reminded that the waterproof version of Hypnôse is now available - and chose to pick up a tube in New York a month ago.

With the same deeply bristled, curvy brush, the biggest difference between the waterproof and non-waterproof versions is in the formula, as you'd expect.  I was very disappointed to find that the addition of waterproofing ingredients had changed the formula from something layerable into something undeniably clumpy.  Check out this photo from a year ago, showing a grand total of three coats of the original Hypnôse Drama mascara, layered up but still well defined.

Unfortunately, I've not managed to work up to three coats of the waterproof variety.  I don't mind mascara that requires a bit more work to get a clean look, and this is often something that comes with using a waterproof formula; wiggling the brush carefully through the lashes for maximum definition, and using a clean spoolie in the case of bad clumping.

For this mascara, though, it's the inconsistency of the clumps that get on my nerves.  Some days, it goes on relatively well, requiring only a little bit of tidying, and some days I have to spend five minutes with a clean spoolie, trying to stop the uber-lash thing that has appeared over my eye.  The following photo shows the same amount of mascara applied in the same way on two different days.

The bottom two photos show much more clumping, even after working through with a spoolie, whereas the application in the top photo didn't require combing with a spoolie at all.

This inconsistency is pretty much the reason why I wouldn't repurchase this mascara: I simply don't trust it.  I can't rely on knowing how long it'll take me to get a good application with it, and so I won't use it in the mornings when I'm rushed for time.  Which, to me, means essentially I'm paying £20 for a special occasion mascara - which is a high price to pay for me, especially given that it will dry out within three months, and thus will have a very high cost per wear.

If you're looking for a rich, black, waterproof mascara that gives a very dramatic look, and you're perfectly happy to toil to achieve the look, this mascara is worth a try.  If, like me, you're a bit lazy and don't want to put in a variable amount of work to get decent definition... you'll probably find this to be too much work.

If you'd like to try Hypnôse Drama Waterproof, you'll find it at Lancôme counters at Boots, the usual department stores, or online at the Lancome website, where it will cost you £20.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Makeup Tips from David Scheffen at HQHair

Disclosure: Samples were received at this event

A few weeks ago, I popped down to HQHair's central London salon to have a general look around and to meet David Scheffen, international makeup artist at NARS.  First and foremost, I was staggered that I'd walked so close to the salon so many times - it's situated just off Regent's Street - and had never ventured in.  It's a veritable haven for beauty fanatics - products from the likes of REN, Mario Badescu, Too Faced, Urban Decay and Philosophy sit just in front of a bustling hair and manicure area, with a surprising number of treatment rooms located in the basement.  Walking through the retail area, you find much of what you'd find browsing on - so if you prefer to get your fingers into samples before purchasing, it's probably your kind of place.

Anyway, after some initial product-related distraction, I found myself sitting in a chair in front of David himself.  He's one of those people for whom makeup and colour come absolutely naturally - possibly because he likes to partake in the painting of canvases as well as faces - and I'd been sitting down for about five seconds before he decided that I was just screaming out for blue eyeshadow.  Dabbing his brush into the NARS Okinawa trio, he gave me a punchy blue look which wasn't too much, and had the most gorgeous sheen.

He also surprised me by pairing the cobalt blue eyeshadow with a deep olive green liner.  The overall effect brought out the green in my eyes, brightened my complexion up, and brought a big smile to my face.  David then chose a lipstick so perfect, I rushed straight out to Selfridges and purchased it.  More on that later.

Throughout the process, I asked David for a few tips, most notably on blush.  He feels that blush is one of the most important products in our makeup arsenal - and one which is all too often overlooked.  A woman can look groomed in no time, he says, with a little mascara, eyebrow colour, and a good application of blush.

He advocates using blush along the cheekbones for most women; it serves to highlight them further if they're high already, or to give some definiton if they're not.  The traditional "apply blush to the apples of your cheeks" thing suits very few people, he said - although he was keen to point out that makeup is personal, and if the person wearing the look thinks it looks good, then that's all that matters.  Holding up his index and middle fingers alongside my nose, he showed me the boundaries for the most flattering blush - the closer you get to the nose, the less well defined the face.

Finally, David said that he wished women wore more colour - in particular purple, which he says is flattering to all eye colours.  

When I stepped out of the chair, I felt fabulous - David's one of those people who makes colour selection and makeup application look so easy, and thanks to him I've renewed my love of cobalt blue eyeshadow!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Review: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye

Disclosure: PR sample

Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair serum is a bit of an anti-ageing skin classic.  Now it has a little sister - Advanced Night Repair Eye.  Housed in the same iconic brown glass packaging, this "serum-gel" product claims to reduce the appearance of pretty much every sign of ageing skin: dark circles, uneven tone, fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, and dryness.

The texture of this product is lovely - serum-gel is very descriptive.  It's very silky, yet absolutely light.  While it doesn't linger atop the skin for long, it doesn't absorb immediately - you get to spend a little time smoothing and patting it into the skin.  Once absorbed, the skin feels well hydrated and smooth, but not coated - in the morning, concealer applies just as easily as over untreated skin; no irritating bobbling.

The packaging might be made of the same iconic brown glass as the original serum, but to my mind, it's not quite as easy to use.  The jar does come with a small applicator stick, but I lost mine pretty quickly, and soon resorted to sticking my fingers into the pot, which is always a little bit less hygienic.  Due to the narrow neck and wide bottom of the jar, once you're halfway through the pot, you're faced with having to stick your applicator or finger right down into the jar to scoop out product, and although this is easily remedied by storing it upside down, it does make the packaging slightly less effective in my mind.

So how does it perform in relation to reducing the appearance of dark circles, dryness, puffiness etc?

On the left, a photo of my eye from when I finished my last eye cream.  On the right, a photo of my eye after about a month of using Advanced Night Repair Eye.

My dark circles have deepened slightly, although that might well be to do with lack of sleep and lifestyle at the moment- but still, I'd definitely say that this product is less effective on dark circles than the Hylexin cream I trialled a while ago.  I think there's a definite difference in the level of puffiness between the two photos - on the left, my upper lid and the area immediately below the outer corner of my eye look quite puffy, with the skin looking much less puffy on the right.

I don't really have a lot of wrinkles (yet) to observe much of a difference there, but for me the biggest difference is in the level of hydration in the skin around my eye.  This isn't really something that can be seen in the photos, but my skin hasn't felt at all dry this winter, which is impressive.  It's been an exceptionally cold winter so far at that, and I've also had a week of very cold holidaying in New York, and I've felt absolutely no dryness or tightness.

At £35 for 15ml, it's certainly expensive, although I believe I'll easily stretch this little pot out for a good three months, making it less expensive over time.  I love the texture, the fact that it doesn't interfere with my concealer, and the smoothing, anti-puff effect it's had on my eyes.  For me, though, the dark circles are the deal breaker - they are the thing I hate the most about my eye contour area, and so unless a product is effective at reducing dark circles, I'm unlikely to keep buying it.  If your eyes suffer more from dehydration or puffiness, though, this could well work wonders for you.

If you'd like to try it for yourself, you'll find it at Boots, the usual department stores, and online at Estee Lauder's website, where a 15ml pot will cost you £35.

What do you think?  Have you tried this product?  Would you like to?

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Fancy a year of lipbalm? Bon Bon has you covered.

We told you earlier this year about natural lip balm company Bon Bon, and their very original lipbalm subscription service idea, Club Bon Bon. Back then it was in the pipeline, but it's now up and running, just in time for the new year.

Once a month, subscribers receive a Bon Bon balm by post in one of many food or fragrance-based flavours including December's Balm of the Month, a festive-sounding Tangerine. A gift subscription is available too, so if you're stuck for late gift ideas, you could do worse than give someone 12 (or 6) months of lip balm love.

Club Bon Bon is live now and costs £5 per month - head to the Bon Bon site to find out more.

Friday, 10 December 2010

9 Days Of Blush

A while ago, a colleague and I were discussing blush: I own rather a lot of them, and she owns only a couple.  In her opinion, blush just pretty much looks pink on the skin - so why own more than one or two of them?  I decided that I'd take pictures of my makeup in the morning, with a variety of blush shades in use, and stick them all together so she could see the differing effects.  And use that as an excuse to buy herself some more blush, of course.

Excuse the varying degrees of poutiness or morning gormlessness.  These were mostly taken at 7.15AM, which is not really a time of day I'd choose to see, if choice came into it.

From left to right....

First row: Rouge Bunny Rouge Powder Blush in Florita, Le Metier de Beaute Cream Blush in Tenne, Philosophy Supernatural Mineral Blush+Bronzer in Healthy/Happy
Second row: MAC Powder Blush in Peachykeen, Laura Geller Baked Blush in Sunswept, Le Metier de Beaute Blonzer in Maldives Magic
Third row: Laura Geller Baked Blush in Pink Grapefruit, Shiseido Accentuating Powder Blush in Deepest Rose, Cargo SuedeBlush in Barbary Coast

From this, it looks like I mostly wear rosy pinks and neutral tawny colours.  Clearly, this means I need to experiment, probably by buying some new colours.

What colours do you wear most often?

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Malin + Goetz at St Martin's Lane Hotel

Disclosure - goody bags/samples were distributed at this event

Inside the St Martin's Lane Hotel pop-up shop
Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, eponymous founders of the Malin + Goetz brand, are currently visiting the UK and have set up a pop-up shop at the St Martin's Lane Hotel. I went along on Monday to meet them and explore the Malin + Goetz range up close.

Malin + Goetz is a brand that's well-known for its design-led unisex appeal, and for products that are pared-down, stylish and highly effective. You may have seen the distinctive white packaging, with its strong, simple typography and colours, beckoning you from beauty spreads in magazines and newspaper supplements.

The brand is decidedly niche, but has been expanding rapidly in the UK over the last year thanks to a winning combination of style and substance. It's currently available at Liberty and online at Zuneta, and has just been introduced nationally at Space NK. International exposure is set to increase too, with a new contract supplying amenities for the Morgan Hotel Group. ("Amenities" meaning those little complimentary bottles of goodness you find in your hotel bathroom.)

The Malin + Goetz story is one of passion and individuality. The brand arose from the unique combination of Andrew Goetz' design and marketing background (he has a long career in the design industry) and Matthew Malin's beauty industry experience as a buyer for New York department store Barney's. The two fixed on their idea, took a leap of faith, and began their journey with a store in New York's Chelsea district, where they sold their products to local shoppers.

From these hands-on beginnings, they developed a sense of their brand as an apothecary service. Customers arrive with specific needs or concerns, and are provided with specific, effective solutions. At first over the counter in the store, and with time, nationally, internationally and online.

There's a sense of sea-change about Malin + Goetz, a backlash against over-marketed and over-complicated regimes and product concepts. Malin + Goetz maintain that for women in particular, skincare concerns are often self-perpetuating - we blitz our skin, overloading it with too many products, and it reacts by becoming sensitised and problematic.

The Malin + Goetz range is, in response, relatively simple (although it has now increased to nearly 50 products - not all of them skincare). For example, the brand only offers one cleanser, one treatment mask and one moisturiser. This seems surprisingly limited. However, Andrew told me these are a "toolkit" for customers to use, rather than a prescriptive regime. Skin's needs vary according to the time of year, lifestyle and other factors, so the products can be used in different ways - for example, a hydrating face mask following a flight, or serum in place of moisturiser on a muggy summer's day.

In addition to the skincare line, there's a delectable fragrance range including some very covetable scented candles, plus some luxuriously perfumed hair-care. A mother & baby range is upcoming too.

Find Malin+Goetz at Space NK, Zuneta and Liberty, or if you're in London visit the pop-up shop to buy directly from the guys themselves. It's a short walk from Leicester Square and is open until the end of the year.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Mum Reviews: Filorga Liss & Go

Disclosure: PR sample

Laboratoires Filorga started life as a science driven, high technology lab developing glycolic peels and and injectables such as dermal fillers.  In 2007, they branched out into similarly high tech skincare - as their website puts it, "the first French dermo-cosmetic range directly issued from aesthetic medicine".  If you like your skincare full of natural and organic ingredients, this range isn't for you - it's chock full of ingredients with long, chemical names, and is more concerned with function than any eco credentials.

At a recent introduction to the brand, I was introduced to the product pictured above, Liss and Go.  It's essentially a portable cotton bud, with the stem filled with a lifting serum designed to smooth out the undereye area.  I was told that it was ideal for occasions when you need to look and feel your best - an important meeting, first date, etc.  At £32 for 5 single use sticks, though, I'd probably need a very important occasion to justify the price.

Anyway - being that I've yet to hit my 30th birthday, I decided that my eyes, tired as they are, weren't the best test for this product.  So I asked my Mum to try them out and let me take close up photos of her undereye area.  Surprisingly, she agreed.

To use the sticks, you simply snap the white plastic tip and allow the serum to slide down into the cotton bud. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, you gently run the bud over the undereye area, paying particular attention to any crows feet, until the bud is empty.  There's plenty in each bud to adequately smooth over both under eye areas.

And the results?  Let's look at some before and after photos.



If you look closely, there's definitely a difference in the depth of some of the lines around the undereye area.  The crows feet at the corner of the eye definitely look plumped up, with the expression lines immediately under the eye looking less deep.  Overall, the effect is a smoother looking eye area - in context with the whole face, it makes a definite difference, but not an obviously noticeable one.  As well as the effect on the depth of the wrinkles, the serum also imparts a slight brightening effect.

The question remains - is this product really worth a whopping £6.40 per application?  Yes and no.  If I had a very special event coming up, which was likely to involve lots of being photographed (such as a wedding, my own or otherwise), then I might well be tempted.  For every day use, though, this product is just too expensive to be affordable to most women, however impressive the results.

If you'd like to try Filorga's Liss and Go, you can find it at House of Fraser's Apothecary, both instore and online, where it will cost you £32 for 5 sticks.

What do you think?  Is the effect worth the cost?

Review: Scin Spa Great Portland Street

Situated at one end of Great Portland Street, home to private hospitals, doctors and expensive flower shops, Scin Spa London promises an altogether more superficial type of healing.  A bright, open reception area, with blinding white walls and matching sleek white furniture is the first glimpse you get of this rather large spa.

On arrival, I was quickly taken down into the rabbit warren of treatment rooms set under the reception and manicure area.  The usual pre-treatment questionnaire was quickly filled in, and I was taken into a cosy, clean treatment room fitted out with the usual comfy massage bed.  Having purchased a rather splendid Wahanda Mobdeal, this was a treat I'd had to book two months in advance - and with a 30 minute back massage, 30 minute mini-facial, Essie file and polish, and Murad product to take away on offer, I certainly didn't mind waiting!

Although the Mobdeal had promised a Murad facial, my therapist Amy was a Dermalogica facialist - and I was quite happy to switch, looking more for relaxation than for a heavy duty facial.  My 30 minute back massage was heavenly - using Aromatherapy Associates oils, Amy focussed on the areas of my back which were tense and knotty, even going so far as to apply some muscle gel at the end of the massage to help relieve the tension further.  The pressure was even, firm yet not too painful, and I found myself feeling more relaxed than I'd been in ages.

My mini facial was just that: a comprehensive double cleanse, tone, exfoliate, mask and moisturise.  I was very pleased to get a very effective hand massage whilst the mask was on my face - it's a pet hate of mine when therapists take the opportunity to leave the room after applying the mask part of a facial!  Again, Amy was very attentive - talking to me enthusiastically about all sorts of beauty products when I talked to her, but lapsing into silence when I was quiet.  My skin, post facial, was left looking very well rested and effectively cleansed - no massive differences, but my skin (and I) were definitely left feeling relaxed.

The Essie file and polish was excellent - often, quick nail treatments can involve just a rapid slapping on of polish without much finesse, but despite my just-cut-down short nails, the deep burgundy Luxedo shade was layered on immaculately.

Unfortunately, Scin had run out of the promised Murad product - although apparently it will be coming in the post at a later date.  But still - given the hour and fifteen minutes of relaxation I experienced for the tiny price of £28, I'm not too fussed - it was still a fantastic deal!

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Scin - my therapist was wonderful, the environment was quiet and relaxing, the premises clean and bright.  With spa treatments, it's often the little thoughtful touches that make the difference - and one such little thing at Scin was the artfully flickering LED candles; designed to give a warm, cosy glow without the risk of burning or accidental knocking over!

If you'd like to check out what Scin Spa have to offer, at either their Notting Hill, Great Portland Street, or Liverpool locations - you'll find plenty of details on their website.

What do you think?  Tried Scin?  What's your favourite spa?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Review - Rodial Glamtox Cleanser (AKA A-list Cleanser)

Disclosure - PR sample

British Beauty Blogger often asks how cleansers can have meaningful skincare benefits when they spend such a short time on your face. Even the most lavish of daily routines won't keep a cleanser in contact with your face for more than a few minutes. After that - it all just goes down the drain. What's the point? I've heard BBB ask this question of various PRs and experts, and I've never heard any truly convincing answers (yet).

Expensive cleansers with reputable ingredients are legion, however, so the practice of loading up cleanser with claims and hero ingredients must have some benefits, even if they're only psychological.

Rodial's Glamtox is one of these high-powered cleansers, containing almond, jojoba and wheatgerm oils, waterlily, plus (unspecified) amino acids and Vitamin C that are apparently able to lighten hyperpigmentation. I don't have any hyperpigmentation to speak of, but I do like a nice clean face and a luxurious cleansing experience, so I was pleased to be able to test this one out.

The product comes in a big silver tube, quite solid and sturdy to handle. There's an equally large and sturdy pump under the cap which neatly dispenses an appropriate amount of product. (So far 10/10 for user experience.)

The product itself is a semi-liquid balm with a colour and texture similar to Eve Lom's famous cleanser. It has an unusual but quite pleasant smell. The best way I can describe it is like an inadvertent mix of ingredient smells, rather than a deliberate fragrance. It smoothes over the face in a rich, oily layer, spreading easily and massaging in to lift off all dirt and makeup. I found that it removed all eye makeup very easily and without any irritation, even when massaged into the roots of the lashes.

Removal is easy, as the balm emulsifies off very well with water. I've been using one of Liz Earle's muslin cloths dampened with warm water to remove it. (Liz Earle's muslins are probably the best on the UK market.) This adds a bit of exfoliation to the process too.

After removal, the skin feels very soft, very smooth and definitely "cared for". I don't know if the active ingredients are at work or if it's just the combination of oil and massage, but I definitely feel that this cleanser does something to improve my skin's condition each time I use it.

I will probably not repurchase this as at £48 for 100ml, I can't afford to keep replacing it. However if your budget allows, I would recommend trying it, particularly for dry skin that's struggling in harsh winter conditions. It could make the difference between dry, dull flaking skin and a nice peachy glow to take you through to Spring.

Glamtox Cleanser (previously sold as A-List Cleanser) is available from Rodial online at

Monday, 6 December 2010

Cult Beauty: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Review

Given all the great things I've heard about Cetaphil's cult Gentle Skin Cleanser, I had to pick up a bottle when I spotted it in New York.  Billed as a gentle but effective cleanser that removes dirt, makeup and impurities without stripping the skin, it can be used with or without water.

Strangely, despite the ultra-gentle claims, it's largely made from water, SLS and parabens.  So this isn't going to be one for you if you like your cleansers organic and paraben free.

The texture is that of a light, cooling gel - although I've begun using this in winter, I'm sure it'll be very refreshing for summer mornings.  On application, it spreads easily, and even when applied to a wet face, doesn't really foam.  I've tried mixing a bit in my palm with a touch of water to see if vigorous rubbing produces any foam at all, and I've largely been disappointed.

Despite the lack of visible proof that it's working, once rinsed away, my skin feels very soft, clean, and not at all dried out.  In fact, it almost feels like it hasn't been washed at all - but a slightly paranoid sweep across my face with some cotton wool and cream cleanser confirms that there's no dirt left on my face.  Magic.

I'll definitely be ordering more Cetaphil from the UK stockist, Victoria Health, when this bottle runs out.  I've recently tried cleansers which left my face feeling too squeaky, and which didn't make me feel really clean.  This one leaves my skin feeling just like my skin, which makes it pretty much a winner for me.  If you'd like to try this for yourself, you can buy it online from Victoria Health in the UK, where a 250ml bottle will cost you £7.95.

What do you think?  Tried this yourself?  Heard good things about it?  Share your opinion in the comments!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

NOTD - Models Own Green Tea vs. GOSH Rainbow

You know your nails are looking pretty special when a male colleague compliments them. This manicure attracted the notice of a passing programmer yesterday in the office kitchen. "Nice nails!" he said. I decided if they're good enough for blokes to notice they're definitely good enough to blog about.

This is Models Own Green Tea, a kelly green matte, finished with two layers of GOSH's cult Rainbow, a clear polish with holographic flakies (I love that term).

Here are a couple of close-ups to show the holographic effect slightly better.

I think it looks sort of festive, don't you?

I've been keeping an eye out for Rainbow whenever I pass a GOSH stand in Superdrug, as I'd quite like to get a backup. I haven't seen it for a while though and I've got a feeling it may have been discontinued. So if you see it, snap it up!

Green Tea, meanwhile, is available from Models Own and in selected branches of Boots.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Full Cargo Range back in the UK via

Got some Cargo items on your Christmas list? Good news - the full range is once again available in the UK thanks to

We got all excited when Cargo was introduced at Sainsbury's nationwide last year. Unfortunately that didn't pan out, and it's now only available in a limited form at Boots. (Quite a few branches have a Cargo display, but only a tiny capsule collection of products is currently available.)

Happily, we're now re-united with the full Cargo range, including their buttery-soft blush tins (pictured left), the innovative Colorcard eyeshadow sets and the Blu-Ray collection, which is designed for close-up perfection.

Beauty Bay currently has all these, plus some interesting-looking kits and palettes, with prices starting from about £15.

If you're after the Cargo Plant Love range, you can find those at Puresha.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Review: Kiehl's Sunflower Colour Preserving Conditioner

A short while after starting my new job about six months ago, I wandered down the Kings Road one lunch time, only to find a Kiehl's shop.  The lady in there took me round, showing me gorgeous products, and finished off by giving me a hand massage (free of charge).  So, you know, I felt compelled to buy something - and given my never ending obsession with silicone free conditioners, I ended up walking out with a tube of the Sunflower Colour Preserving Conditioner.

Not only is it free from silicone, it's also free from sulfates and parabens.  This virtuous conditioner contains apricot kernel oil and sunflower oil, and claims to "protect colour-treated hair from becoming dry and dull".  If you go back and read that sentence again, maybe you'll agree that the name of the conditioner - which puts the emphasis on preservation - doesn't really match up with the description, which talks about dryness and dullness.  Still, this doesn't really bother me, as I don't really believe that conditioners can help preserve colour all that much - in my mind, it's the shampoo that contributes to fading.

Anyway - the absolute best thing about this product is the scent.  Despite being named for the sunflower oil, it smells gloriously, intensely, freshly of apricots, in a way that takes me back to being a teenager, purchasing Aapri cleanser (which I thought was so expensive at around £4) and using it oh-so-slowly, whilst luxuriating in the scent.  It's a good thing that the instructions for this state that it should be left on the hair for a few minutes, as I very much enjoy relaxing for a short while, just inhaling the scent.  It lasts for around an hour after rinsing, and while it's a shame that it doesn't last longer, I suspect it would interfere with fragrance if it did.

The texture is thick, rich and creamy, and despite the lack of silicone, it does have a decent amount of slip, distributing through the hair easily.  After rinsing, my hair always feels soft, and thanks to the thickness of the product it clings to the hair well enough to help with stubborn tangles.

I've also found that a teeny tiny dab of this conditioner is effective as a leave in conditioner; despite the richness, it's pretty light in texture, and a drop or two doesn't overload the hair so long as it's kept close to the ends.  Added bonus is that the sumptuous fragrance sticks around a little longer, too.

Overall - I love this conditioner.  However, at a whopping £18 for 200ml, this isn't the kind of conditioner most people can afford to use on a regular basis.  For a special treat, though, it's gorgeous - mostly because of the scent.

If you'd like to try Kiehl's Sunflower Colour Preserving Conditioner for yourself, you'll find it in Kiehl's stores, department store counters, or online, where it will cost £18 for 200ml.

What do you think?  Would you buy a conditioner (or any product bar perfume!) purely for the scent?
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