Brand Testing: Salon Science Haircare

Posted in haircare
on August 25, 2016
salon science main

 After receiving and loving the Salon Science Swiss Apple Shampoo and Conditioner from one of the Libbie Club Box reviews (which you can read about here), I was contacted by Salon Science to see if I would like to try more products from their different collections and so naturally, I said yes please! Salon Science is a revolutionary beauty regime for your hair and the products contain a fusion of powerful active ingredients and the highest concentration of plant stem cell extracts within the formulations, replenishing and reviving the hair from the inside out. 

salon science main

The range of products are formulated and developed by leading biochemistry experts in Switzerland and are designed to tackle a series of hair problems, concentrating on four key areas… and there really is something for everyone!

PhytoCellTec Swiss Apple – Anti-ageing and restored volume

AnaGain Organic Pea Sprout – Targeting hair loss

GSP-T Swiss Grape – For repair and radiance

AquaCacteen Organic Cactus – For hydration and scalp relief

The first range I was sent products for is the GSP-T Swiss Grape, for repair and radiance, and I was kindly sent the Retextuluxe Shampoo and Conditioner, Recorrect Leave in Treatment and the Reglosse Smoothing Serum. The GSP-T Swiss Grape formula is a powerful and luxurious multi-tasking range which contains a potent antioxidant complex that binds to the hair’s surface to instantly revitalise and strengthen damaged, over-processed hair. 

salon science gsp-t swiss grape

The Retextuluxe Shampoo (£11) and Conditioner (£12) is a restorative cleanser and conditioner to instantly repair, strengthen and retexturise lifeless hair that has been stripped by chemical treatments – we’ve all been there! The duo is formulated with GSP-T which combines Swiss Grape seed procyanides and natural tocopherol to protect from damage and shield against colour fade. Scientific vocabulary aside, it is a shampoo and conditioner that works wonders for damaged hair that needs intensive nourishment. It also smells divine! For an extra treatment, leave the conditioner in a couple of minutes, or longer if you are having a nice, relaxing bath, and enjoy the softness afterwards!

 salon science gsp-t swiss grape shampoo and conditioner

Another product from the GSP-T Swiss Grape range is the Recorrect Leave In Treatment (£14), which is a deeply nourishing corrective treatment for hair that is well and truly frazzled! It contains agents which will immediately saturate, restore and retexturise porous and damaged hair and is formulated with the GSP-T to help prevent colour fade, leaving your hair looking much more vibrant and radiating health. It is super easy to use too – once you have shampooed and conditioned, towel dry the hair, and apply the Leave In Treatment throughout the hair from root to tip. Then simply comb the formula through and style as required. Salon Science recommend using the treatment at least twice a week and it is gentle enough to be used every time you wash your hair.

 salon science gsp-t swiss grape recorrect leave in treatment

Finally from the GSP-T Swiss Grape range I have been trying out the Reglosse Smoothing Serum (£12), which is definitely one of my favourite products in the collection as it is not a sticky, tacky kind of serum, and makes my ends super smooth. It is a rich, smoothing serum containing the tocopherol and grape seed extract to tame and instantly nourish dry, frizzy, uncontrollable hair. It is a little like a glossy top coat for the hair and it works so well at repairing those pesky split ends and smoothing flyaways for a radiant, silky soft finish. It can be used on dry or towel dried hair, by applying one pump of the formula into your hands and smoothing throughout the mid to the ends of your hair.

 salon science grape seed reglosse smoothing serum

The Salon Science range which I had originally tried in my Libbie Club Box was the PCT Swiss Apple, which also smells insanely beautiful and it is for targeting anti-ageing within the hair and for adding and restoring volume to the hair. Swiss Apple is a powerful, youth restoring range which is formulated with award-winning plant stem cell extracts of a rare Swiss Apple for stronger, healthier and younger looking hair.

As I have tried both the Shampoo and Conditioner, and have been really pleased with the results, I was excited to try the Cellutensive Masque (£19), which is a rejuvenating anti-ageing treatment which is enriched with the advanced plant stem cells as mentioned above which protects the longevity of hair cells, whilst also improving the hair’s health, strength and thickness. It has been formulated with Keratin and Wheat Protein and contains powerful repairing actives to prolong vibrancy and shine. It is a lightweight mask, which is to be applied to damp hair after using the Shampoo and before you use the Conditioner, and is to be left on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off and is to be used once a week or more often if required. One thing I did try with this Masque, when my hair was crying out for nourishment and volume, was to leave the product on my hair overnight and then rinsed it off in the morning. It doesn’t feel the greatest when you wake up, but as soon as you rinse it off well, my hair was in such better condition and then I top it up once a week for 5-10 minutes.

salon science swiss apple cellutensive masque

The final products I have been trying are from the AquaCacteen Organic Cactus range for hydration and scalp relief. This collection is a nourishing, gentle and luxurious range of products that instantly restores moisture levels to parched hair and distressed scalps and is infused with an extract of rare organic cactus to soothe and rehydrate the hair and scalp. I think a lot of the time people associate scalp relief products with dandruff, and they are sometimes misunderstood. For example, the heat, the cold, and hair products, and tying my hair up all call my scalp to get a little stressed sometimes, and I don’t suffer from dandruff, but it can do the skin on the scalp wonders by giving it a little TLC, and if your scalp is happy and healthy, then your hair is more likely to grow quicker, and be much healthier too.

aquacacteen salon science

The first AquaCacteen product I am going to talk about is the Hydrafoliant Scalp Scrub (£12), and which the packaging looks quite funky, a little like a toothpaste tube! It is a luxurious pre-shampoo scalp treatment which contains powerful exfoliants to lift and remove skin cells for a visibly smoother and clearer scalp. It looks like pretty much other, regular body scrubs and you can see and feel the tiny scrub particles within the formula which rids the scalp of excess dead skin cells, to leave the scalp feeling so much healthier.

salon science aquacacteen hydrafoliant scalp scrub

It is formulated with the water-binding compounds of a rare Organic Cactus, known for its hydrating and soothing properties and gives relief to irritated and itchy scalps, and the Hydrofoliant works at nourishing and nurturing the scalp, clearing the way for healthy, radiant hair. As mentioned, it is a pre-shampoo treatment, and is to be applied to damp hair using the directional nozzle to target the scalp. You then gently massage all over the scalp, leaving it on for 5-10 minutes and then rinsing thoroughly. I have certainly not seen a hair scrub before but I definitely love it!

Earlier I spoke about the Swiss Apple Masque, and there is also a masque in this collection too – the Hydrasorb Intensive Masque (£14), which is an intensive, scalp purifying treatment which is formulated with anti-irritant actives and ultra-hydrating, water-binding compounds of the rare Organic Cactus as within the Scrub. As I also mentioned, with the Masques, you can leave them on inbetween shampooing and conditioning for 5-10 minutes and then rinsing off, or you can leave them on overnight, which I tend to do, as I find it gives the most amazing results.

salon science aquacacteen hydrasorb intensive masque

From the first use, my hair and scalp becomes saturated with high levels of moisture to instantly hydrate the hair and soothe and protect those irritable, itchy scalps. I have loved being able to try out some of the other products in the Salon Science haircare collection, and although they are not the cheapest products on the market, they are certainly worth the spend, as they are also definitely not the most expensive either. I have found my Swiss Apple Shampoo and Conditioner has lasted me around a month or more now, as a little goes a long way!

You can check out Salon Science’s amazing haircare collections online here.

Kathryn xxx

*This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own

Skincare Series: Prai Skincare

Posted in america, beauty, skincare
on August 25, 2016
prai skincare main

The next instalment of my skincare series is all about Prai Skincare, who offer luxurious, yet accessible products which are made in the USA. Their skincare products are never tested on animals and are Leaping Bunny certified. The Prai extract used to be historically reserved for the Thai Royal Family, and it is now reserved exclusively for the Prai Beauty brand.

prai skincare main 

Prai Beauty was first founded in 1999 by a lady called Cathy Kangas, who at the time had over twenty years of luxury beauty expertise. Prai’s unique ingredients and innovative technologies delivery instant and long-term results, that have generated awards across the world. Later, Cathy created Prai’s philanthropic initiative, The Cathy Kangas Foundation for Animals, which dedicates a portion of Prai’s sales to animal welfare organisations. Therefore, you are not only looking after your skin when using Prai Beauty, but also the welfare of animals!

 prai skincare

I was recently, very kindly sent four products from Prai’s skincare collection, and first up is the 24K Gold Concentrate Retinol+ ($29.95)…

Firstly, can I just say how adorable and very Instagrammable the Prai skincare collection is – all the gold and rose gold chrome – heavenly! The 24K Gold Concentrate has micro-encapsulated Retinol that dramatically transforms your skin, diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, whilst leaving the skin brighter, firmer and more youthful but increasing the skin’s natural moisture and elasticity levels.

 prai 24k gold skincare

It contains 24K gold to help the skin maintain its healthy collagen by combating free radicals and environmental aggressors and the Retinol helps to renew the skin by igniting its cell turnover, meaning that the skin process happens much quicker, ridding the skin of dead cells so that  the new skin cells are produced quicker. Coconut fruit has also been added into the formula which is great to act as an emollient and stimulator for the skin, as well as preventing moisture loss.

prai 24k gold concentrate retinol 

The Prai oil, of which the brand is named after ensures the skin is kept smooth and supple, while Nulastic Silk helps build the skins structure and releases key nutrients to the skin as needed, whilst also smoothing targeted areas. To use the 24K Gold Concentrate Retinol+, you simply apply to cleansed skin, and blend into the skin using your fingertips on an evening, which is the best time of the day for skin renewal.

Another stunning product from the 24K Gold range is the Precious Oil Drops ($39.95) which is designed to nourish, hydrate and refresh the skin. Like the Concentrate Retinol, it contains the 24K gold to help the skin maintain its healthy collagen by combating free radicals and environmental aggressors. Another key ingredient in the Precious Oil Drops is chamomile botanical, which is included to soften, soothe, and heal the skin as well as providing anti-oxidants to the skin. Chamomile botanical is amazing if you have quite sensitive skin, or your skin is prone to redness as those soothing and healing properties will work wonders.

prai skincare 24k gold precious oil drops 

To help keep the skin well moisturised, there is the inclusion of avocado oil, a natural moisturiser and of course the Precious Oil Drops contains the Prai Oil to keep the skin smooth and supple. To use the Precious Oil Drops, blend a few drops into the skin after you have cleansed and toned it. It honestly makes such a difference to my skin, as I mentioned in previous skincare posts, I do suffer from redness in the cheek area, and sometimes my skin is quite sensitised, and when I am feeling like that redness is creeping back, I simply add a few drops into my skin routine to calm and soothe my skin.

prai 24k gold precious oil drops 

Another beautiful collection from Prai is the Champagne collection, and my favourite product from the range is the Champagne Skin Renewal Concentrate ($49.95). Prai have named this the Sleeping Beauty for your skin, and this sweet essence has been produced with Chronocyclin, which is know to help reduce the appearance of age, as well as optimising the skin’s natural recovery cycle during the evening.

 prai champagne skincare

Chronocyclin is an innovative anti-ageing chronopeptide targeted to address and optimise circadian rhythm, which is the skin’s master clock regulator that allows your skin to adapt to changes in a timely fashion by supporting its resistance to anticipated daylight environmental stresses. The Skin Renewal Concentrate also includes White Truffle Extract, of which I have seen quite a lot of skincare products containing in the last year or two, so it’s obviously a wonder ingredient, which imparts amino acids, minerals, trace elements and keeps a good moisture balance.

prai champagne skin renewal concentrate

Now onto the exciting part – the Dry Champagne Extract, which is produced from the finest Chardonnay, Menier and Pinot Noir grapes from France’s Champagne region and is known for supplying antioxidant protection to the skin, as well as protecting the skin’s Adult Stem Cells from environmental free radicals that can jeopardize their ability to renew themselves and regular skin cells. The last but certainly not least key ingredient is the Nulastic Silk, which is also in the 24K Gold range, and it’s scaffolding structure acts as a repository for key ingredients, releasing them onto the skin as needed, controlling their delivery and helping smooth the skin in the areas it is most needed. To use, simply apply every evening to cleansed and toned skin, and let it work its magic.

The final product I have recently been trying out is the stunning Champagne Skin Renewal Creme ($39.95) which has been designed to offer the perfect antidote to help relieve the changes in ageing skin. When I studied Beauty Science at college, I got told that without being ridiculous, it’s never really too early to start using anti-ageing skincare, and so I don’t consciously look for anti-ageing products, but if they do have ingredients to combat that, then that’s definitely a bonus.  

prai champagne skin renewal creme

The Champagne Skin Renewal Creme has a whole host of skincare ingredient greatness including Reforcyl to help energise and regenerate the skin’s protective barrier while providing skin nutrition and renewed resistance, Dermaxyl for wrinkle repair, Sepilift for its firming action, Cactus Extract for providing five additional hydrators for deep moisture and plumping, Nulastic Silk to support the appearance of smoother, younger looking skin and of course Champagne Extract for the Polysaccharide energy and vitality it supplies to protect the skin’s ecosystem.

prai skincare champagne skin renewal creme

To get the most from this Renewal Creme, Prai recommend blending the formula into cleansed and toned skin. The Creme is thick and luxurious without being sticky and even though it is quite thick, it doesn’t take forever to melt into the skin, which is a definite bonus for me. Scent wise, the products do have a delicate scent to them, without being overpowering, which again is brilliant for sensitive skin.

You can find Prai online here, but they also sell the items on the TV shopping channel QVC UK, who also have a website stocking the items online here.

Kathryn xxx

*This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own

New In: The Body Shop Down to Earth Eyeshadow Palette

Posted in autumn, beauty, eyeshadows, make up
on August 23, 2016
the body shop down to earth eye palette

One of the things I admire most about The Body Shop is that they are constantly refreshing their product lines, but still keeping the same, good quality formulas and collections. One of their newest cosmetics lines is the release of their Down to Earth Eyeshadow Palettes (£15).

 the body shop down to earth eye palette

There are five different colour-themed quad eyeshadow palettes and one larger, eight eyeshadow palette within the collection. I have been trying out the Smoky Grey version of the quad palettes, which includes the following colours – I always look forward to the names of makeup colours, (as sad as that sounds!);

·         India Rose Quartz – a delicate shimmering pale pink

the body shop down to earth eye palette india rose quartz

·         Atlas Rhassoul – a true matte grey

the body shop down to earth eye palette atlas rhassoul

·         Cerro Rico Silver  – a light grey, with multifaceted shimmer running throughout it

the body shop down to earth eye palette cerro rico silver

·         Siberia Anthracite – a deeper grey with a light shimmer

 the body shop down to earth eye palette siberia anthracite

This stunning range of neutral shades have been designed to highlight the natural beauty of all skin tones and eye colours. The palettes themselves have a built in mirror, but the best thing about the packaging is definitely the fact that each individual eyeshadow can be popped out of the casing and so you can switch shades between the palettes to create your own personalised quad!

 the body shop down to earth eye palette swatches

The nature powered formula comes in eight different shades with three different finishes – true mattes, iridescent shimmers and pretty sparkles. Each shadow can be used dry for easy blending, or wet for a more intense, vibrant colour, which can help you to create defined lines and strokes.

the body shop down to earth eye palette x 

I think the only thing missing within the Down To Earth palettes is the fact it doesn’t have an applicator brush, which I don’t always use, but it can be good to have the option for on-the-go applications. On the back of the outer packaging sleeve there is a handy illustrated guide on how to create three different smoky grey eye makeup looks, which is great whether you are a beginner or an expert at eye makeup.

 the body shop down to earth eye palette xx

As I am going to Florida in November, I definitely think I will be investing in a couple more of these palettes so that I can create my very own quad to take away with me. The Down To Earth Eyeshadow Palettes are available instore at The Body Shop, but it is also worth signing up for their newsletter as they often have amazing online offers such as 30-40% off regular priced items. You can check The Body Shop online out here.

Kathryn xxx

*This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own

New In: Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse & Golden Goddess Shimmering Dry Body Oil

Posted in beauty, fake tan, self tan, skincare, Tanning
on August 23, 2016
cocoa brown main

Okay, so I am pretty sure we are going to have another British Summer minus the Summer part and so recently I have been using a lot of false tan because personally I feel and look better and healthier with a little bit of colour, and if nature isn’t going to provide me with that then I will have to fake it.

 cocoa brown main

One of my cult tanning brands Cocoa Brown recently sent me their 1 Hour Tan Mousse along with their most recent release, their Golden Goddess Shimmering Dry Body Oil. Cocoa Brown have won a multitude of awards since its release into the beauty market and continues to do so in 2016.

One of the cleverest things about the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse (£7.99) is the fact that the depth of the colour depends on how long you leave the mousse on before showering – therefore having total control over the shade of the tan to suit your skin colouring and needs. With the 1 Hour Tan Mousse you can achieve a light, medium and dark tan, leaving the tan mousse on for 1 hour, 2hours or 3 hours respectively.

 cocoa brown 1 hour tan mousse

It is super easy to use, and I always recommend using a body scrub before you apply a tan, Cocoa Brown have one called Tough Stuff, but any body exfoliator should help achieve a nice clean base before tan application. The luxurious mousse formulation glides over the skin, and is lightweight, fast drying and non-sticky during and after application. I find the mousse streak free, and all of Cocoa Brown’s tanning collection is infused with their signature Tahitian Gardenia fragrance, which is a refreshing change to those icky smelling false tan products which are on the shelves these days.

 cocoa brown 1 hour tan mousse dark

Once applied, you then wait for your chosen time between one to three hours, and then wash it off in the shower. After rinsing the tan off, it gives you colour for between five and seven days, streak-free and stink-free! I suffer from quite sensitive skin, but I find that the 1 Hour Tan Mousse is gentle enough to use on my face and the areas on my body where my skin seems to be sensitised without having a reaction or the product drying my skin out.

Now that you have your base tan, you can step it up by using the recently released Golden Goddess Shimmering Dry Body Oil (£9.99), a dry shimmering body oil designed to add an illuminating glow to enhance your tan. The Oil comes in a glass bottle, much like that of a perfume bottle, and when it settles it looks a little like glittering sand, but before use ensure you give it a good ol’ shake up.

 cocoa brown golden goddess shimmering dry body oil

It allows you to squirt out a small amount and so you can control the depth of the shimmer you are wanting, and it is totally buildable too. It creates a gorgeous silky smooth finish on the skin, with that added subtle, or not so subtle glow depending on how shimmery you are wanting to go. It is perfect to highlight your best features, such as the cheekbones, décolletage and down the front of the shins, or to create an overall glowing complexion.

cocoa brown golden goddess 

The Cocoa Brown Golden Goddess Oil can be worn with or without false tan, and so if false tan isn’t your thing, but you are still wanting something to enhance your natural tan or skintone, this is the perfect solution.

cocoa brown golden goddess swatch cocoa brown golden goddess shimmering dry oil swatch

You can find Cocoa Brown instore at Superdrug or you can check out the complete collection online here.

Kathryn xxx

*This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own