Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Nanogen thickening treatment shampoo & conditioner review

Nanogen thickening treatment for women, shampoo & conditioner*

For the last few week's I've been using the new Nanogen thickening shampoo and conditioner treatment. Everyone who reads my blog will know I'm very loyal to the Lee Staffords bleach blondes shampoo ,so it was going to take something special to break this loyalty. Although I'm far from high maintenance the amount of products I use on my hair if a little ridiculous. I seem to always opt for hair treatments and serums and somehow forget the basics of a good shampoo and conditioner.

I'm regularly asked by customers at work, friends and random people how I keep my hair the purple lilac blonde tone and if it's hard work. Honestly it's not hard work maintaining the colour, however the bleaching is very damaging. Now although I love my hair and the colour all the damage means my hair is rather fine.

When I was introduced to the Nanogen thickening range I knew this was something I wanted to try. I was a little sceptical how well the products would work as the reviews seemed too good to true. Now I wasn't expecting one wash and my hair to come out like Cheryl Cole but I was defiantly impressed. From the first use my hair defiantly felt thicker and revived. I would say it was very noticeable difference in my hair. 

The shampoo was rather gloopy and thick and I couldn't work out if it smelt like rose or peppermint (although that's probably my cold). However the shampoo lathered up well and felt luxurious even though it didn't have the best scent. The conditioner was quite thin but rinsed out of my hair without leaving any residue.

The one small problem I did have was it made my scalp a little itchy but this didn't last very long. For the excellent results I will be defiantly making a re-purchase. 

Have you tried the Nanogen range?


*Product sent for review purposes, all opinions are my own*

Sunday, 23 March 2014

All grown up

So this weekend has been a rather eventful one. It's also safe to say I'm suffering a little today. This weekend I attended the wedding of one of my best friends. Now although going to weddings isn't typically that big of a deal, for me this one was. It was the first of my friends to get married! 

Although I'm amazingly happy for my friend having met the person she will spend the rest of her life with and she really couldn't of married a nicer man, I found the day really quite strange. Seeing her walk into the room in a wedding dress was really emotional and it really shocked me. This was one of my best friends taking one of the biggest steps in life and it really hit me how everyone's growing up. I genuinely found myself most of the day going to my friends "look at us were all at a friends wedding". It was surprisingly emotional seeing all the lads suited and booted and all the girls in their best dresses, It really hit how fast everything in life changes. It kind of also made me pleased I started my blog as It allows me to in some-ways keep a time line of memories.

Congratulations to the happy couple! 


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Afternoon tea at Just Grand! Hand Picked Hall Leeds

Sunday afternoon me and Kel took a little trip for afternoon tea at Just Grand at Hand Picked Hall. I'd read some really mixed reviews so it was nice to go and check the place out for myself. 

For all of you guys unaware hand picked hall is in the Grand Arcade Leeds and hosts a selection of craft and vintage shops. It really did feel like a typical Sunday shop browsing the cute craft items and the vintage clothes. I did however feel a bit like a child in some shop and could hear my mum in the back of my mind telling me not to touch anything. 

After a good browse we seated ourself down for afternoon tea. The seating area is a real mix of vintage items from all different eras with unmatched chairs and retro/vintage lamps . For some people the unusual mix of taste may have felt like a charity shop but I adored it. Sat working out if I was in a 1930's cafe a 50's diner or a 70's kitchen, it was fun and had so many little details which made quite the talking point.

I ordered the grand afternoon tea £9.50 (sorry no pictures) which included 4 mini sandwiches (olive and houmous, egg mayonnaise, ham and cream cheese and cucumber), fruit cake with Wensleydale cheese and a scone with jam and clotted cream. 

I liked the addition of the olive and houmous sandwich it was pretty unusual for an afternoon tea choice but I really liked the thought of something a little different on there. My favourite was the scone with clotted cream and jam.

Overall for a cheap afternoon tea and a trip through a tardis it's worth a visit. It may not have the most glamorous of settings but it's certainly fun and quirky. 

Where would you recommend for afternoon tea?


Monday, 17 March 2014

The Botanist Leeds review

The Botanist Leeds

The Botanist Leeds

The Botanist Leeds

The Botanist Leeds

The Botanist Leeds

The Botanist Leeds

The Botanist Leeds

The Botanist Leeds Cocktails

The Botanist Leeds Cocktails

The Botanist Leeds Cocktails

Down at the bottom of the garden..well actually hidden away at the outskirts of the Trinity Centre in Leeds lays The Botanist.

Walking through an outdoor patio area and past the open air outside/in kitchen you cant help but feel that everything is a little higgledy piggledy. When you finally enter into the surprisingly big dining area you walk almost into what can only be described as a garden shed and enter into the secret world of the Botanist. It's a genius tone of walking through the garden into the garden shed that really wowed me and it's safe to say my expectations remained high. 

I was here for the Botanist tea party and it's fair to say it was a very special event where attention to detail had clearly been paid. I was seated in a cosy charismatic area of the restaurant and the table was laid with cute mix matched crockery, tea pots, china cup and tea strainers. I started the evening lightly with a intriguing cup of "smoky Russian caravan" tea which was very pungent and although I wasn't sure if this was my cup of tea it was one to be tried. My next drink was something I was more familiar with and a lot more bubbly. 

Once everyone had a chance to mingle the starters arrived. I was delighted and amazed to see the garden theme ran into the menu with potted chicken liver and rum pate with a ginger crumb topping served in a miniature plant pot, accompanied with tangy plum and apple chutney in a mini wheelbarrow. I will admit secretly this made a little sceptical had so much attention been paid to the presentation taste had been compromised? No. It was divine and very morish with all the flavours coming through and it certainly tasted as special as it looked. 

In addition to the pate we were also served up the classic favourite of houmous board with crudities and flat bread and a portion of salt and pepper onion petals with a sour cream dip. The presentation of the houmous board was rather unique served in cabbage leaves it was simple yet impressive and cleverly in-keeping with the tone of the restaurant. 

For the main course I had the deli board in which I could pick 4 items to create my own board. I resisted from all cheesing and tried to create a balanced bored with sun dried tomatoes, pickled beetroot and carrot salad, roast chicken and Sharrock's two year aged Lancaster cheese. I don't like to blow my own trumpet but I think I did a pretty good job. All the elements were seasoned well and each cooked perfectly, my favourite was the roast chicken..sounds a little dull but it was tender, meaty and basically a good old piece of chicken, although I also cannot fault the sun dried tomatoes oh and the mouth watering cheese. 

To bring the fabulous evening to an end in style I was treated to some very delicious cocktails. I won't lie I've tasted many a cocktail in my time but these were special. Again in keeping with the tone the cocktails still kept the botanist theme with ingredients such as fresh cucumber, basil and elderflower they were very refreshing and went down a little too easy. My favourite was their signiture "the Botanist" cocktail with Green Mark vodka, Bacardi rum, elderflower liqueur, red amaranth, mint, jasmine syrup and lime juice topped with lemonade. 

Have you tried The Botanist?


*Evening in collaboration with The Botanist and Hartington Carroll PR *

Monthly Shoe Wishlist

Top left: 
Puma St Runner (youth - size 5) 
These may have accidentally fallen into my shopping basket already. Well what can I say this week was a revelation, for someone who loves all shoes when I actually realised kids trainers go up to a size 5 and are basically half the cost I've been eyeing up rather a lot of pairs. I think only Sunday I greedily picked out 3 pairs in the shop. It was only when one pair looked silly, one were out of stock and then the shopping assistant tried fobbing me of with an ex-display pair did I leave empty handed. I've also been a little more cautious about wasting money on shoes I've been paid a whole of 2 days and bought 2 pairs already, plus when I gave it a thought I really only ever were trainers on Friday which would mean a new pair for each Friday this month, silly really. (Total hypocrite right here, P.S I've currently just been out bid on eBay for a gorgeous pair of tan Kickers and could cry).

Top right:
DM Clemency boots
Dr Martens
As below (little out of sync pictures) but after I got browsing the DM website these stunning beauties caught my eye. 

Bottom left:
DM Sadie boots
Dr Marten
I'm pretty sure I walk with my head to the ground looking at peoples shoes. Sunday walking through Leeds I suddenly stopped in my tracks let out a little gasp and grabbed my friends arm...I had witnessed heaven. Heaven for those of you who don't know is a black patent boot, with signature yellow stitching and the iconic DM tag on the back. I already have a pair of DM heels and I love them! So seeing these stylish boots styled to perfection my eyes turned green and my head hit the clouds. Shoe envy does not describe how nice these boots looked in person. elegant yet chunky I just need to think about how I would style these before making a commitment. 

Bottom right:
Nike elite (junior) 
JD Sports
I love how these trainers look in some ways understated and not to mention the bargain price. I've been to the shop twice now and twice have these been sold out. I really see these as a throw on pair of trainers, you know the kind that typically get a lot of wear out of, throw them on to the shops, throw them on for a walk, throw them on for casual Friday in the office, throw them on to buy more stop it!

What shoes are you loving this month?


Monday, 10 March 2014

Leeds to Liverpool


High street hair masks review

TRESemme - Keratin smooth deep treatment mask
Firstly the first thing I notice about this product is the smell. I wouldn't call it a nice smell but it basically smells like hair salon products. Now I know that doesn't mean a lot to very many people, well actually no-one but me, however it did make me smells professional..must work. In fact I wasn't wrong. Let's be honest no hair masks every really give dramatic results, or if they do please share them with me. All I really want from a hair mask is for my hair to feel softer and look shinier. Now I'm not a scientist and don't know much about hair in detail so all I want is more shine, softer locks and less breaking. I've been surprisingly impressed with the Tresemme mask. All day I've been touching my hair as it just feels super soft. I've also notice there was no breaking during styling my hair. For £5.50 it's a real bargain. I've probably had 3 uses from the pot so far and there's still about half a pot of product left. 

Macadami - Oil extract hair mask
300ml - £0.99 - (Home bargains) 
I've tried to find a link for this online but I really can't find one at all. I picked this up in home bargains a few weeks ago although I've notice this in cheap shops such as pound land, pound world and all that jazz. Now for 99p I wasn't expecting much. I didn't notice any difference in my hair except it felt nice and conditioned. I'm not sure if this is simply as hair masks are left on for longer than a simple typical conditioner. Basically all I got from this was it made me feel like I was been nicer to my hair and didn't notice much difference. Although for 99p it's worth a try. 

Lee Stafford - Breaking hair leave in treatment
I first picked this up and thought that's surely a little expensive for such a small hair mask. Although in my hair mask haul around boots I got a little shopper happy rather than reading the actual labels. When I got this home I noticed its actually a leave in product to smooth over towel dried or dry hair. I've been using this on slightly damp hair before I blow dry. I've found if I use the product on dry hair it makes my hair feel sticky...yep sticky. Although It does seem to prevent breaking when I use the product before styling. A little of this product does go a long was so it is good value in terms of an alternative to a hair mask but I'm not really sold. If i'm using a hair product before styling I much prefer hair oils and show beauty is still my favourite. 

L'Oreal Elvive - Full restore hair mask
This is a product that has been out a while. Although L'Oreal sell some amazing hair care in there more luxurious ranges such as L'oreal expert I've never really used much of the regular L'oreal hair products. I tried the Elvive hair mask and I must admit I was very disappointed. Although I left the hair mask on for around half an hour instead of the 3 minuets as advertised. Seriously does anyone leave a hair mask on for just 3 minuets? What's the point applying one? Even leaving the hair mask on for a lot longer than required I found no change in my hair what so ever. Although the product is thicker than the TREsemme one and feels nicer to apply it didn't seem to make any difference to my hair at all. 

What are your favourite hair masks?


Sunday, 2 March 2014

February Beauty Favourites

Richard Ward - Keraine smoothing mist*
125ml £5.99 (exclusive to Waitrose)
Now if you've ever questioned who is behind the bouncy world famous locks of Kate Middleton than look no further than Richard Ward. Now I've never met the guy but something's telling me the beauty queen's famous lock's don't come cheap. However the good fella Richard Ward is, he has launched his own hair care range so we can all at least try and achieve something along the standard's of the Duchess's. The keratin smoothing mist is a leave in condition and helps restore some life back into dull dry hair. I found a few squirts of this left my hair shiny and smooth. Unlike some leave in conditioners that can feel a little sticky it left my hair feeling soft and refreshed. I wouldn't say this product had a fantastic smell but it smelt basically like a typical hair salon product. At £5.99 it's a bargain in terms of high end hair care. I've found I've been using this through the day to give my hair a little pick me up. I can defiantly say I will be repurchasing this product. 

Lierac - Cleansing oil
150ml £6.99 TK Maxx (In store)
Lierac seems to be a brand that seems to pop up on randomly and to be honest It's a brand I've not really seen much of in the UK. I have a few products by the brand already (not sure where from though) and I recently came across the cleansing oil in TK Maxx. I've been wanting to try a cleansing oil for a while and since the product was on offer (well in TK Maxx if that counts) I thought I'd try it out. The cleansing oil is perfect for removing make up and is very gentle on the eyes. It's perfect for removing the  likes of stubborn mascara and eye shadows and I no longer come out the shower with panda eyes. It leaves my skin feeling soft and doesn't leave behind and residue which was my main concern with a oil based product. Overall if you come across it's definitely worth a try for an inexpensive cleansing oil.  

La Roche posay - Effaclar duo[+]
40ml £15.50 - Boots
If you're a regular blog reader or youtube watcher you will of already read a million reviews on this product, it's really taken the beauty world by a little storm. On the other hand if your me you've only just purchased it. I never really jump on the band wagon of the next big product (errmmm yes you do Sammie) however I saw this in boots with a little sticker promising me my money back if I wasn't happy. On that note I finally made a purchase. Well the product really does live up to the hype, it's really cleared my skin as before I had a few breakouts around my chin what didn't seem to want to go. I've also noticed my skin looks a lot smoother and fresher with a more even skin tone. I best stop before I start sounding like an advert. Some people may consider this a little pricey for the size of the tube but a little does go a long way. 

Rootflag - Blonde root touch up*
The concept behind this product is amazing, a lightweight hair powder to help hide my roots available in different tones. However I spent an awful long time trying to get the product out and fully working. The idea is to twist the base to release the product through the brush and brush over your roots. That aside the product did disguise my roots a little when I finally got some of the product out, there was no wow factor but it did help. On the grounds of the genuine idea here and the fact it makes going out with roots more bearable this product is making my favs list. I have since been informed the packaging has been redesigned so the application of the product is a lot easier. 


This town ain't big enough ft

Dress: Dress Lily *
Cardigan: Primark (old)

So recently I discovered Dress-Lily a Korean based fashion website with quite frankly amazing prices. I'm usually a little sceptical about ordering from these websites as it's usually a bit hit and miss when it comes to what size to order.  I ordered this gorgeous dress in a size medium. As all the measurements and size guides are on the website it made ordering a lot easier instead of my usual guessing method. I will admit though for about a 3 days I was in a little huff that the dress didn't fit until I realised there was a zip on the side on day 4.

I love the colour of dress and it's the perfect length for work or as I prefer taking a cheeky day of and enjoying cocktails. The dress is actually a perfect fit (I'm typically a UK size 10) and the material is good quality and flows nicely. Considering the amazing bargains to be had on this website I'm stocking up on dresses for the summer. The postage can take a little while but isn't it fab when you forget all about it then the postman brings you some goodies? 

I also thought I'd share with you a rather cool little bar I've found recently 51% bourbon.Hidden away on Hirst Yard this is such a little gem. Selling obviously bourbon the bar is set out like a scene from a western film, with a fairy light log fire (fairy lights are clearly in all western films I tell you) cask barrel tables, brick walls and exposed wooden beans running through the roof it's such a little gem. 


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