Showing posts with label guest review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest review. Show all posts

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Guest Review: Clairol Extreme n'Easy in Cherry Red

Today we have a guest review from my friend and work colleague Marby.  She kindly volunteered to try out Clairol's latest home colour, Extreme n'Easy, on her naturally dark, already colour treated her.  She says...

"Instructions were very easy to follow in the box and it came with the hair dye, activating lotion, seal conditioning gloss and plastic gloves.  I have naturally very dark brown hair (with a bit of damage on the ends from past bleaching) so I left the hair dye in for 45 minutes as suggested in the instructions, just for a bit more intensity."

"Colour was intense and vibrant, a bit darker than I expected. The conditioner was amazing and totally sorted out my dry and brittle hair and split ends. The effects of it lasted for around 3 days after one application so I had lovely soft and silky hair for 3 days!  Whenever my hair is in sunlight it gives a beautiful, radiant red glow. Quite subtle but really lovely."

"One small con about the product was there was a lot of red washing out of my hair, even a week and a half after the initial dyeing. Even though I rinsed it under water for a long time, the dye was still running out in the water. It just meant I had to be very careful about drying my hair and not using light coloured towels in case of staining them." 

"Other than that, I highly recommend this dye and would use it again, the colour sealant serum really works wonders and they provide enough for another 2 applications after the first wash. Unlike other dyes that dry my hair out, this one felt super soft and shiny and nourished from the conditioner in the colour sealant."

You can find Extreme n'Easy at Boots and other hair colour emporia now, where it will cost you £5.99 a pack.

Disclosure: Colour provided as press sample

Friday, 29 April 2011

Penhaligon's fragrance profile and Opus 1870 review

I recently attended a blogger event held by Penhaligon's in Shoreditch, London, where I was able to experience the Penhaligon's fragrance profiling service, and get a deeper insight into the brand from some of the very knowledgeable staff in attendance.

Gemma previously reviewed the fragrance profiling in Penhaligon's Kings Road store, while my profile was taken in a booth at a rather decadent East London evening venue. Nonetheless, I think it's fair to say that both of us were equally delighted with our outcomes.

The fragrance profiling is a kind of olfactory journey through the Penhaligon's range - which is really quite vast. I didn't realise how many scents were offered until I saw them all laid out together (the picture above shows only part of the range). You sniff your way through a range of scents, guided by a staff member, until you arrive at "your" smell.

My friend and I were encouraged to smell deeply, close our eyes and then give answers from the heart about whether we liked a scent or not. As we sniffed, our guide enriched the experience by talking us through the scents we were smelling. As I inhaled a sample of Bluebell, he said - this is not a direct quote - "imagine you're walking your dog through the woods in springtime. It's a fresh, bright day, cool breeze, the sun is shining, and suddenly you come across a clearing in the wood that's absolutely full of bluebells."

I was surprised to learn that Penhaligon's, which I think of as mainly a feminine sort of perfumer, was originally exclusively a manufacturer of men's cologne. Most of the early scents (Hammam Bouquet, for example) were designed for men, and even now most of the scents are unisex.

The scents I really liked, and which made it to my "final two", were Opus 1870 (on the right, above) and Quercus, both of which are quite masculine scents. Quercus is fresh and bright, while Opus 1870, my final choice, is much more deep and earthy.

I have a sample vial of Opus 1870 beside me now, and I'm amazed at how accurate the "diagnosis" was for me. Even in a crowded bar with the air thick with perfume, it was still absolutely the right choice.

Opus 1870 reminded me straight away of Ormonde Jayne's Orris Noir. It has that same earthy coolness to it (I thought this was the orris root, but I actually don't see orris in the notes for Opus), a kind of steady, calm, level-headed mintiness with a soapy cleanliness on top. Opus is more "peppery" than Orris Noir, which is sweeter. It has a similar calming, comforting effect on me.

If I had to sum up the smell in one word, it would be "undergrowth". That might not sound very appealing, but what I suppose I mean is that it smells of the combination of good mineral-rich soil and fresh herbaceous leaves that you might find growing on a forest floor. There's also a shady, mysterious aspect to it that fits that word too (for me, at least). I would be very happy to wear this myself, or to smell it on a guy. It has a loveliness that isn't really gender-specific.

During the event we also sniffed some forthcoming releases from Penhaligons - a new fizzy, flirty gin-based scent for autumn as well as some gorgeous new (or revisited) smells from their Anthology revival line, which showcases some gems from Penhaligon's 140-year back-catalogue.

Keep your eye out in the coming months!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Guest Review - Biotherm Source Therapie 7

Disclosure - PR sample

Writer and editor Vix Guthrie has been getting to grips with Biotherm's classic Source Therapie serum and has kindly agreed to share her findings with us in another guest review. Here's how she got on...

They Say:
7 benefits concentrated in one serum. Visible results. Now even faster.

The Biotherm biologists have immersed 7 ionized minerals in an ultra-sensorial velvety-gel to obtain a formula that catalyzes skin perfection: cellular renewal increases hydration flows within skin’s surface layers, and skin appears revitalized. Instantly skin feels incredibly velvety-soft, it is hydrated, and feels smoother. After 7 days, it is more even and radiates with a new healthy rosy glow.
A daily dose of perfection to enhance your beauty ritual. With 7 benefits:
Instantly smooth skin
Complete hydration
Regenerates youthful skin
Tightens visible pores
Mattifies skin
Evens out skin tone
Instant velvet touch
I Say:
A) What the heck are these ionized minerals and what do they do to my face?
Biotherm are a brand well known for their top quality products, formulated with a unique spa ingredient sourced from Thermal Spring Water. As well as this unique ingredient, Biotherm’s new product Source Therapie 7 contains seven ionized minerals (Copper, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium, Potassium and Calcium, Pure extract of Thermal Pankton) that they have tagged their 'revitilising oligo-mineral complex'. After a quick pootle on Google, it turns out that this fancy-pants sounding complex boosts skin cell regeneration, for fresh, re-energised skin. 

B) My, what a lovely glass bottle you come in. And with such a cute, yet practical squirty lid, too. And oh, you feel so luxurious and silky!
My skin is really sensitive, and has always had quite a rough texture and large pores but Biotherm’s Source Therapie 7 noticeably smoothed out the feel of my skin. The consistency of the serum itself was a cross between a gel and a rich, luxurious cream. I do believe it’s the silkiest face product I’ve ever had the pleasure of feeling! With a fresh cucumber smell, the serum left no greasy residue, and only took a couple of minutes to completely sink into my skin.

C) Gosh darn it, after a week of testing, this product seems to do everything it says on the bottle!I did need to use the serum combined with my regular moisturiser (as recommended) to keep my skin hydrated. Whilst using the serum, my skin felt great, but once I stopped, I really noticed the difference. Though Source Therapie 7 does cost a lot (price ranges from £28-£36), a little goes a long way - you only need one small squirt to coat your entire face. I did notice that when I scratched my face during the day, I found a light blue residue under my nails, so it appears that the serum does leave a fine residue on the skin. After a week of testing this product, I can honestly say I’m in love with it! It smoothed out my imperfections, closed up my pores, and my skin was noticeably clearer and smoother after only two days use! Source Therapie 7 is the best product I’ve used on my face this year! It’s the perfect product for someone who is showing the signs of getting their first wrinkles!

Source Therapie 7 is available at, starting at £28.60 for 30ml.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Review - Ruth Mastenbroek Eau de Parfum

Readers of British Beauty Blogger will know the name Ruth Mastenbroek thanks to BBB's glowing coverage, but for many people outside the niche fragrance world, she's a relative unknown. However, you've almost certainly come into contact with her work - she's a very well established "nose", and one-time president of the British Society of Perfumers. She's created fragrances for Jo Malone and Kenneth Turner, among others, during her 25 year career in perfumery.

These days, she's based in London and runs her own company, with her own lab and studio on site. "Ruth Mastenbroek" is her signature scent, and is a culmination of her personal passions and years of experience.

It's a chypre, which means (not to patronise - I had to look this up myself) it's based around an accord of citrus top notes, a floral heart and an oakmoss base. However it's anything but formulaic. It's deeply complex with a wide variety of ingredients including pink pepper (mmm), pineapple, rose, patchouli, musk and bergamot. There's no one note that jumps out at me, but the pattern is definitely a bright, lively start, mellowing towards a warm and sensual closure.

When I uncapped my sample vial of RM, my first impression was "sunshine". Late summer afternoon sunshine to be specific, with a rich ubiquity that commands attention. There's an overwhelming golden warmth emanating, almost blaring, out from it. There are lively fruity elements to it, and a hint of sharpness that prevents it being too honeyed and floral. Just a hint, but enough to make you stop and think "hmm, what's that?"

It's the final dry-down that really has me sold on this fragrance. I'm a sucker for skin-type scents and the warm musky base of RM is just delicious. I frequently reach for this and dab it on my wrists before I go to sleep, because I love drifting off to the warm, comforting smell of the base note. In fact I'd probably be a good customer for the scented bathrobe that's also available in the same fragrance - it's grabbed a fair bit of media attention already thanks to its unique micro-encapsulation technology which apparently allows it to keep its scent for 20 washes.

"Ruth Mastenbroek" starts at £50 for 50ml of Eau de Parfum, which I think is very good value for an EDP of this quality. It's available to buy online from the Ruth Mastenbroek website.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Guest Review - Bourjois Smoky Trio eyeshadow in Nude Ingenu

Disclosure - PR sample

A guest review from writer Vick Guthrie.

When I hear ‘smoky eyes’, I think dark, dramatic and sexy. So when this palette turned up on my desk, I was a little surprised to find the Smoky Trio in Nude Ingenu consisted of a shimmer and a medium and dark brown (complete with a dinky little applicator).

I enjoy most of Bourjois’ products, but found myself not using the light, shimmery colour; I felt it worked best with the two browns on their own. Personally, I would swap the shimmer for a natural, matt skin tone. However, if you like a bit of glamour then this trio would be perfect for you. The deeper brown looks really dark in the palette, but you need to apply a few layers for it to show up the same colour on your lids (the shimmer and darker brown work well individually, too). I’d recommend using the two brown shades in the day, then adding the shimmer and reapplying the darker brown for an evening look.

As far as wear goes, the Smoky Trio is pretty average – though the packaging says it lasts for eight hours, I’d suggest using a primer to keep it in place and in tip top condition all day (I’d recommend a GOSH eye primer). The consistency was quite smooth and creamy for a powder eye shadow, and the colours merge together easily, but the shimmer is really difficult to blend into your skin. Unless you use a primer, don’t expect it to stay on crease free all day.

This palette comes in trusty Bourjois packaging, albeit with dodgy hinges (maybe I need to take care of my products better – anyone else have this problem with their packaging?). But, for the price, you can’t go far wrong with this product – it’s effectively four different effects in one, and comes in eight different colour variations.

The brown trio gives a sultry, yet sophisticated look for everyday wear. Team it with a slick of peach lipgloss and a flawless matt foundation for an undeniably sexy look.

(Right eye: medium brown and dark brown. Left eye: all 3 colours)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Guest Review: Facegoop Tries YSL Teint Radiance

Disclosure: PR sample

M: So, E.

E: What, M?

M: What do we look for in a foundation?

E: We wish it to make us look like Christy Turlington. And attract owls. That's very important.

M: Erm. Riiiiight. Can we deconstruct Christy Turlington's face please? I feel it's important to understand the individual components.

E: Uh. Dewy. Perfect. Smooth. Nice shape. But don't forget the owls.

M: Of course, E. Owls are good. OWLS ARE ACE.

E: Yes. My foundation better fucking attract owls or I want my money back. Why do you ask?

M: Well, I've been asked to review this foundation for London Beauty Review.

E: Oh?

M: It's YSL. TEINT RADIANCE, it is called.

E: YSL. Hmm. I had a bad experience with them back in 1994.

M: Oh yes?

E: They said I was autumn and made me wear orange lipstick.

M: Oh god. How can you be a season? HOW? (and why would autumn wear orange?)

E: Dunno. Like a pumpkin maybe? Do you think they've mended their ways, M?

M: I don't know. Back in the nineties I had this sort of base product, which was just sort of vaguely pink and did nothing.

E: Sounds... rubbish.

M: Here's what they have to say about this though:

"Just like an Yves Saint Laurent dinner jacket in the closet, TEINT RADIANCE is the classic indisputable foundation in your make up bag".

E: Ha. Like le SMOKING? For le face? Wow.

M: Yes. It is supposed to be le SMOKING of the foundation world. I am not adding the capitalization, by the way. That is all them.

E: D'ACCORD. Does your face have shiny lapels? Does it look like Bianca Jagger?

M: Ssssh.Do you want to know the secret of its effectiveness?


M: "the transparent mineral particles that reflect the light and the dual-reflecting pigments that sculpt the light ad shade of your face to enhance its glow". Eh?

E: I've read that three times, I still don't understand it.

M: Nope. Nada. Zilch.

E: what is "dual-reflecting"?

M: Reflects both ways? like... erm. A double faced mirror?

E: Oh, like in a line up in The Bill. Ok. It almost makes me nostalgic for the orange lipstick/pink goop that does nothing days.

M: I don't know. TEINT RADIANCE makes no sense. BUT.

E: Mmm?

M: I actually quite like this. Well, I hate the rather strong smell. And the sample I was sent was a bit too light.

E: So far so .. crap.

M: But my skin feels... naked. And smooth. And dare I say it, RADIANT.

E: LORDY. Well. That's impressive.

M: Yes! I am touching my face, and I can't feel anything. It's just a shame it smells like a grandmother. One of those antique french ones who lives in the 16th arrondissement.

E: Oh, I like that smell. Eau de mamie. What is the colour range like?

M: Hold on, let me check (I am clicking on the bit that says" DEVOTE YOUR FACE TO THE GLOW!). Oh, I get it now. This is the Touche Eclat of the foundation world. Why don't they just say that?

E: Aha. Ze ways of YSL zey are mysterious.

M: Well, the colour range is not bad... if you're somewhere between sickly marble white and mildly coloured.

E: Ok. Le Smoking Pour Le Face. We like?

M: I think so. You know, this is one I might just have to go and try for myself. I may even like it more than gasp! Mr Armani's foundation.

E: NOOOOOOOOOOO (ducks in fear of attack from lizard empire).

M: (Makes goat offerings to the lizard king).

If you liked that, you'll find more Facegoop at their truly excellent blog.  If you'd like to try YSL's Teint Radiance for yourself, it's available now at all YSL stockists, including Boots, where it will cost £28 for 30ml.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Review - Eyeko Graffiti eyeliner pen

Disclosure - PR sample

A reliable eyeliner is one of life's true comforts. Call me shallow, but I stand by that statement. Knowing that there's something that will make you look and feel good and won't smudge, run or otherwise let you down is important. I'll be honest - I wouldn't expect to find such a product within a range where most things cost a fiver. But this felt-tip liner from Eyeko has thoroughly surprised and pleased me.

It's a fairly standard felt tip liner in appearance - a round barrel about the size and shape of a standard pen, with a snap-on lid and a tapered, flexible fibre tip with a fine point.

The silver barrel is decorated with text and simple graphics. I really liked the way the text had been written specially for the purple shade, and wasn't just a generic description across all the liners in the range (there are four - brown, purple, navy and black).

It applies very smoothly and is liquid without being watery or running into the creases of the lid. A couple of strokes gives a bright, even line. And look at these amazingly intact cateye wings after 14 hours of wear!

You might feel less impressed when I tell you that I applied it over UDPP - that generally improves performance of any eye product dramatically and can turn a dud eyeshadow into a gem. But today was such a swelteringly hot and muggy day that I actually creased my way through that layer of UDPP, while the Graffiti liner held firm. See:

Nice work Eyeko! We are impressed.

You can pick this up for just £5 from Eyeko

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Guest post on Zuneta - "What are we avoiding again?"

Today's Zuneta guest post is the last in a series of 3. I'll be taking a break and (hopefully) be back on Zuneta in a few weeks with more posty goodness.

I've chosen to write about a few of the "bad" ingredients we're often told about - including mineral oil, parabens, and sulphates, and I've given a quick run-down of the reasons (if any!) to avoid them.

Please head over to Zuneta and check it out - I'd love to know what you think!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Zuneta guest post

Today we're going to do something a little different. Instead of reading here at the blog, I'm going to ask you to go somewhere different for your daily dose of LBR.

Think of it like a school trip. Has everyone got their packed lunches? Everyone got their spending money? Are you excited? OK. Listen carefully. No talking at the back. 

I want you to head over to, where there will be a guest post written by myself, all shiny and new, ready for you to read.

Your homework is to have a look around Zuneta's website and ogle all the awesome products, then tell me which ones you think you'd like to learn more about or see reviewed here on LBR.

Seriously though, I hope you like it. Do feel free to leave a comment there if so, as I'll no doubt be peeking at the page with ridiculous frequency.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Guest Review: Facegoop Tries SheerCover Mineral Makeup

Disclosure:  This product was sent to us for consideration by PR.

The lovely Madevi of Facegoop very kindly reviewed this SheerCover set, which we were sent in too dark a colour for either of our pasty skins.  If you've not read Facegoop before, you definitely should - it's a beauty blog with a twist and one of our favourite sites of the moment.  Read on to find out what Madevi (and her partner-in-blogging E) made of SheerCover.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Wanted: SheerCover Mineral Makeup Guest Reviewer

We've received a SheerCover mineral makeup kit from the PR agents for Guthy-Renker in the Tan/Dark colourway - which is too dark for both Sarah and I.  So, we need YOU - if your skin is likely to match the Tan/Dark foundations of Almond and Mocha, and you're prepared to write an honest, unbiased review of your experiences using the products, we'd love to hear from you.  Included in the kit:
  • Instruction DVD
  • Powder brush 
  • Concealer brush
  • Almond and Mocha foundations
  • Lip to Lid sampler
  • Concealer duo
  • Extra length mascara
  • Base perfector
If you'd like to help us out and try these products out, please email us at admin (at) by midnight on Tuesday 16th March.  Thanks!
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