Saturday 23 March 2013

A cheaper alternative to Essie's Cute as A Button Nail Polish

I love nail polish and as I said in my Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint review, I think I have an addiction! I have mostly Essie polishes in my collection, I've worn Essie for a good few years now and love that there is a massive colour range, I get at least a week out of a polish and now they are even easier to pick up with Boots and Superdrug selling them, the only thing I don't like about Essie is the price, £8 is expensive for a nail polish although there are 3 of us females in our house and my mum borrows nail polish from me a lot too so we do get our moneys worth but it is still a lot to part with for a nail polish.

Recently I have been loving the coral shades that are about and picked up Essie's Peach Daiquiri a lovely orangey coral colour, it's lovely but I do still prefer Cute as a button also by Essie. On a recent shopping trip with Simon I spotted the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints and was instantly drawn to the colour Grapefruit, a lovely coral almost neon colour. I love the colour it looks lovely and I get a lot of compliments when I wear it.

Last week I decided to use my beloved Cute as a button, I haven't worn it in a while and love it, it is one of my favourite Essie shades and a lovely colour for spring, not that it is very spring like at the moment! When I'd painted my nails I thought the colour was very similar to the Barry M Gelly polish I have in Grapefruit so decided to have a little test, comparing the two and it is very similar indeed, I'd almost go as far to say it could be a dupe.

Essie Cute As A Button rrp £7.99
3 coats and using Orly's Glosser Topcoat

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint In Grapefruit rrp £3.99
3 Coats and using Orly's Glosser Top Coat 

Side by side 
Barry M on the left Essie on the right

As you can see from the photographs the colours are very similar indeed, I used 3 coats of both polishes and used my Orly Glosser top coat too. I think the Barry M polish could almost be a dupe for Essie's cute as a button and at half the price it's a bargain. The Barry M is slightly more pink toned where the Essie is more coral but as my grandma used to say, a man on a galloping horse wouldn't notice and saving money is always a bonus, and in this case means you can buy 2 Barry M polishes for 1 of the Essie polishes. 

Essie polishes do last a few extra days compared to the Barry M Gelly polishes but when your saving £4 does it really matter? 

Have you found any good dupes for Essie? let me know. 

You can buy both Essie and Barry M at Boots, here's a link -

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Sunday 17 March 2013

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints - Dragon Fruit and Grapefruit

As you are probably already aware, I like nail polish a little bit, well ok then, I have a bit of a problem with buying nail polish, ok ok there I said it, it's out there, I am a nail polish addict!

I first spotted the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints on one of my rare trips out to the shops, I was in Superdrug and the colour of one of the polishes caught my eye, I was ready for home though, tired and in pain and really couldn't be bothered to queue, but later on in the day I wished I'd picked it up, typical!

Last weekend Simon was heading to the local retail park to go to Pets At Home for our animal supplies,  and he asked if I'd like to go with him (wow he knows how to show a girl a good time) joking aside, there is also a Boots and Next on the retail park so it means I can go to a couple of the shops I like without having to take a trip to a shopping centre, meaning more walking and travelling both of which really do me in.

Whilst in Boots I noticed they had all thirteen of the colours of the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints in stock and they had an offer on, if you bought two you got £1.00 off, not the greatest offer in the world but a pound is a pound I suppose. I was drawn most to the two pink colours Grapefruit and Dragon Fruit, it was Dragon Fruit I had spotted a few weeks ago when I first saw the polishes so I knew I wanted to get that one and I really liked the vibrant shade of the Grapefruit. I have read a few reviews on the gelly polishes and also watched you tube reviews and have seen lots of people say they are "exactly like a gel manicure" they "last for so much longer than normal Barry M" and "you only need one coat" so I thought for £3.99 and a pound off for two, I couldn't go wrong really could I? Or could I?

Barry M Hi Shine Nail Paint In 'Dragon Fruit'

The first polish I tried was Dragon Fruit, first of all I applied my Orly base coat Bonder and then three coats of the Dragon Fruit, yes you read that bit right, three coats. As I mentioned previously I had seen reviews on these where people said they only needed one coat, I'm going to be blatantly honest now and there is no way on Gods green earth you could get away with one coat of these, even after two coats I could still see those annoying little gaps you get in the polish just on the odd nail, you know the ones I mean. I am a bit of a perfectionist and maybe you could get away with two coats but for the opaque finish I like I needed to use three coats. I finished off by using my Orly top coat Glosser.

Dragon Fruit after three coats
 (This photograph was taken before I applied the top coat) 

When painting my nails with Grapefruit I decided not to use a base or top coat as I wanted to see if it made any difference at all to the way the polish looked or lasted on my nails, I do always use my Orly Bonder and Glosser whenever I paint my nails, but I wanted to see if they made any difference. (It does state on the bottle that a base coat should be used)

Barry M Hi Shine Nail Paint in 'Grapefruit' 

Grapefruit after three coats 
 No base or top coat applied

As you can see from the photographs the polish is very glossy, Barry M claims that the polish gives you an extra glossy finish, which it does indeed, but having had gel nails (Gelish) quite a few times over the last couple of years I don't think the polish resembles a gel manicure, it is a little more glossy than other polishes I have tried but in my opinion the finish is that of a thick polish rather than a gel finish. As I mentioned I needed three coats of polish to get the look in the photographs which was a little annoying, especially when I had read and seen so many claims of "only needing one coat." The polish does dry quite quickly which I found a bonus, I am very impatient and hate waiting for my nail polish to dry so I was impressed at how quickly they dried, the polish was as easy to apply as any other Barry M polish I have, there was no difference at all there but they are definitely more glossy in their finish.

I used a base and top coat with the Dragon Fruit and nothing with Grapefruit, Dragon Fruit lasted a lot better than Grapefruit, I painted my nails with Dragon Fruit on the Saturday afternoon at around 4pm and they chipped on Thursday, mid morning. I used the Grapefruit on Friday morning at around 9am and it chipped on Saturday, mid afternoon. So as you can tell there was a massive difference with not using the base and top coat with the polish. I would say I got the same amount of wear time out of these as I do with a regular Barry M Nail Paint when I hadn't used a base or top coat. 

Overall I think the colour range is brilliant, thirteen colours is a good range to choose from and there is definitely something for everyone, the price is great compared to Essie and Orly, the brands I usually choose, but then I did need three coats and only usually need two with Essie and Orly. I would definitely purchase more of these, I have my eye on Prickly Pear, and I never wear lilac nail polish but there is just something about it and I quite like the look of Lychee too, I wasn't put off by the wear time without base and top coat or having to use three coats, I think the polishes are worth checking out if you haven't already done so, there are some lovely colours from pastels to dark shades and they are super shiny and they are also a reasonable price too. I would advise the base and top coat for longer wear time but apart from that, I would say go and try these out if you haven't already. 

You can purchase Barry M Gelly Hi Shine at Boots, hereSuperdrug, here or The Barry M website, here

Have you tried the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine polish? What are your favourite colours in the range? What did you think of them?

Thank you for reading, much love as always

Zoe x

Thursday 7 March 2013

Good Things Skin Care - Review

Good things skin and body care is a brand primarily aimed at young skin, but can be used by anyone of any age. The lady behind the brand is Alice Hart-Davies a British beauty journalist who with in her words a little help with the technical side of things created Good Things.

Good things don't contain Animal Ingredients, Mineral oils, Parabens or Sodium Laureth Sulphate which I personally do look for when buying skin care or body products, my youngest daughter is vegetarian so she is especially pleased that the products don't contain animal ingredients and I am happy that should she use Good Things, she won't be using products with any of the other "bad" ingredients in either. The products contain 'super fruits' as well as other ingredients and the Good Things website is excellent and really informative, they have a section all about the super fruits used and other ingredients they use in their products, each super fruit is listed with a description telling the reader what it is beneficial for, I found this really helpful and informative.

A statement I took from the Good Things website is

"Young skin needs gentle, regular cleansing and moisturising to keep it looking its best, and our products are designed to do just that. They are packed with wonderful superfruit extracts - such as goji berry and papaya
- to give your skin an extra beauty boost too".    Alice Hart-Davis

As I said Good Things is aimed at younger skin, but it is definitely something that can be used by anyone whatever age they may be, as you know I have just turned reached the big 4 0. There is a variety of products suitable for different skin types and different problems someone may have with their skin. And another bonus is they smell amazing! They are gentle yet effective and are also sold at a very reasonable price. They are sold in Boots, Superdrug, Sainsburys so there are many ways to purchase the products, Good Things also have a Facebook page as well as their website and regularly on both the website and Facebook page their is information on any special offers the stores that sell the products have on the Good Things brand, I think that is a really helpful thing, and wish more brands did this.

Two of the Good Things products I have recently been using are the Total Wipe Out Cleansing Facial Wipes* and the Five Minute Facial Face Mask* I have used both products for the last 2-3 weeks now so I could give you an honest review. The first thing I noticed was the smell of the products, they smell lovely, I love fruity smells and absolutely hate herbally smells so these products are right up my street.

Good Things Five Minute Facial Face Mask & Total Wipe Out Cleansing Wipes*

As a rule I don't normally use face wipes to remove my make up, as you know I have very dry skin and find that face wipes make it feel much more dry, so I was a little reluctant to use the wipes, but I was pleasantly surprised, the wipes smell lovely, they have the super fruit extracts of Raspberry and Cranberry both of which have calming properties and the wipes also contain vitamin E and Aloe Vera. The wipes are moist but not so moist that they left my face needing to be towel dried, and they removed all my make up. The first time I used the wipes I used one and then used another to remove any left over make up and there wasn't any, so one wipe was fine to remove all my make up, I had on what I would call a full face of make up too, foundation, concealer, blush, eye shadow, mascara, brow pencil and lipstick, I used one side of the wipe to remove my face make up and then the other side of the wipe to remove my eye make up. My skin wasn't left feeling dry or itchy as it has done when I have tried previous brands of face wipes so I was really pleased, and I have been using the wipes now for the last 2-3 weeks and haven't noticed a change to my skin, it isn't any drier than it was so I am really pleased about that. The wipes haven't dried out at all and still feel as moist as they did when I first opened them, I still have some wipes left and have been using them for 2-3 weeks, admittedly I don't wear make up every day but if you did they would last 25 days if like me you used one wipe to remove your make up. The wipes are biodegradable, suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans and retail at £3.49 for 25 wipes which for such a great product with great ingredients is a brilliant price.

Total Wipe Out Cleansing Wipes rrp £3.49 for 25 wipes*

I was very excited to try the face mask as it contains Green Clay and Kaolin, I have been using an Alpha H clay mask for the past few months and I cannot stand the smell of it, the product itself is fine but I won't ever re purchase it because of the strong scent it is so off putting, I have been researching clay masks for a good while now as I was on the lookout for a replacement for the Alpha H but they all seem to contain ingredients similar to the Alpha H one which means the dreaded scent! So I was so pleased when I read the ingredients and saw it contained the green clay and kaolin which are the ingredients I wanted in a clay mask.  The scent of the Good Things mask is lovely and fruity, it contains the super fruits Avacado and Goji Berry. Avacado is great for it's moisturising properties and contains vitamins A,D and E and Goji Berries contain anti inflammatory properties and help to energise the skin. The mask claims to make skin clearer, brighter and smoother, and contains green clay and kaolin to draw out impurities, avacado oil to moisturise, goji berry extract to soothe and willow bark extract for radiance. The mask can be used weekly or whenever you feel your skin needs it. I used the mask once a week, twice in the first week as I wanted to try it as soon as I got it! I applied the mask all over my face avoiding my eye area, and left it for 5 minutes to dry and then removed it with a flannel which I had ran under hand hot water, this is how I remove all my face masks but the directions on the packaging were to do this or to rinse with water. The mask didn't feel irritating when it was applied, it is a creamy texture and rubbed in nicely with ease, after 5 minutes it was dry and I removed it and patted my face dry with a towel. I was very impressed, my face felt soft and smooth and looked lovely, I got the same effects as I do using my other clay mask which is over £20 more expensive and the smell of the Good Things mask was lovely, I will definitely re purchase this mask, it is lovely and made my skin look and feel amazing. It retails at £5.99 for 100ml and is definitely worth it, I got the same benefits as I have done using a much more expensive clay mask, and the smell of this is lovely too, so an added bonus. 

Some of the Five Minute Facial Face Mask on my hand 

Five Minute Facial Face Mask rrp £5.99 for 100ml* 

Overall I have to say I am very impressed with the two products I have been trying and will definitely be re purchasing the face mask and looking into the brand at other products. My youngest daughter who is 15, almost 16 uses the Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser and the Face The Day Moisturiser as well as the Five Minute Facial Face mask and she had suffered with under the skin spots which were really bothering her and they are so much better now since using these products, so it does go to show that the products can be used by anyone of any age. I have very dry skin, suffer from eczema and sensitive skin and the scent of some products really affects me since suffering from my medical condition and I found the products brilliant for my skin, they haven't caused any irritation at all, and I think they are a fantastic price too. Using these products has definitely made me re think my skin care routine as I use high end products which also carry a high end price and using the Good Things products has shown me that it isn't necessary to spend a fortune to get good products with good ingredients that are good for the skin, so I think Good Things is a great name! 

Where to buy Good Things - 

Boots -

Superdrug -

Sainsburys -

At the moment both Boots and Superdrug have a 3 for 2 promotion on Good Things and Sainsburys have the products on a 50% off discount so it is an ideal time to buy the products. 

Good Things Website -

I hope you found this review helpful and informative, let me know if you have tried Good Things or if you'd like to try them after reading this review. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always

Zoe x

*pr sample

Sunday 3 March 2013

Update - My New Hair Care Routine

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about some new hair products I had bought, if you haven't read that post and would like to, the link to that post is here

I said in that post that I would come back and let you all know how I was finding the products and if they were working for me or not. The products I bought were, Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Number Two, Tigi Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo and Wella SP Luxe Oil. Before I bought these products I was using Phyto Photocedrat Shampoo every time I washed my hair and that was it as far as a hair care routine went.

The products I purchased from L to R
Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two, Wella SP Luxe Oil, Tigi Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo

My hair is highlighted, I am a natural blonde but with age I found my hair looking a funny colour and dull and then the dreaded grey started to creep in, I used to have my hair tinted and it was lighter than it is now but I have a more honey blonde tint now and then 3 or 4 different coloured blondes as highlights just to add a 'little something' to the colour. I don't have my hair bleached, it doesn't need it as it is naturally blonde, but I have it coloured every 4 to 5 weeks and I have it trimmed then too. My hair is very oily/greasy, it has been since I had my youngest daughter almost 16 years ago, I have had to wash my hair on a daily basis since then, the Phyto shampoo did mean I could go every other day or even 2 days.

I bought the hair products because I was finding the Phyto shampoo expensive, it was £11.50 and lasting less than a month, and I was liking the smell less and less, as I said in my other post, I think it may have something to do with my medication but I find I become intolerant to certain smells, and I had done this with the Phyto Photocedrat, and although it was a good shampoo and did control my oily hair, I wanted to try something else. I also didn't like the consistency of the Phyto shampoo as it is very runny and I had to be very careful when pouring it that I didn't waste any of the shampoo. I also wanted to start looking after my hair more. The Luxe oil was something I bought because my sister who is also my hair dresser, always used it when she cut and coloured my hair and she also uses it, she loved it and always said how good it was, and I loved the smell of it and how it left my hair feeling. I bought the products from Look Fantastic, I use this site a lot for hair products and skin care, they offer free delivery and I have always found them a good company to deal with. I had a 15% discount code at the time so I got the products for a really good price too.

Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two

I use the Paul Mitchell shampoo once a week, usually on a Sunday, It does say on the bottle that this shampoo can be used as often as you like and it is suitable for colour treated hair, but I only use it once a week. I wash my hair once or sometimes twice with it depending on whether I have used a lot of hairspray during the week, I towel dry my hair then comb it through with a wide toothed comb, and then dry with a hair dryer, I don't blow dry my hair so to speak I basically just blast my hair with the hair dryer, I cannot sit and blow dry my hair due to the pain I am in because of my condition. This shampoo is amazing and so much better than the Phyto, I thought the Phyto shampoo was the best thing since sliced bread until I tried this, this is cheaper as it retails at around £6.50 for a 300ml bottle, it has a nice scent, it smells of lemons but not very over powering. It can leave my hair a little 'hair bear bunch' like because it is a clarifying shampoo my hair is very clean after using it and it can be a little tangled as I don't use conditioner, I find conditioner makes my hair very oily. But using the wide toothed comb soon sorts out any tangles, my hair is left clean and shiny something my hair has not been before is shiny, it is so nice to have shiny hair, blonde hair never looks as shiny as brunette hair but at least now I can say I have shiny hair, small things amuse small minds and all that! Paul Mitchell also has strong views on animal testing so if this is something you also feel strongly about this brand will be excellent for you. 

Tigi Bed Head, Dumb Blonde Shampoo

I use the Tigi shampoo twice a week, usually on a Wednesday and a Friday, it smells lovely, it has a sweet and sort of fruity scent, again not too over powering but nice and the colour of the shampoo is baby pink, and you know how I love pink! You only need a small amount of this shampoo as a little goes a long way, it lathers up really well too. I wash my hair once with this and then towel dry and again comb with my wide toothed comb and then blast with the hair dryer. My hair is left feeling super soft and again looking very shiny and healthy. I love this shampoo, I always read reviews and really research a product before buying it and this had rave reviews and I can see why, my hair looks lovely after using this, the shampoo claims to enhance the blonde and some people in the reviews I read said they could go longer without having their hair coloured, I can't say I have noticed that aspect but my hair does grow quite fast and like I mentioned earlier I have the perils of grey hair coming through now and I am not about to grow old gracefully any time soon! This shampoo retails at around £8.50 for 250ml.

Wella SP Luxe Oil

I love this product, when my sister first used it on my hair after she had cut and coloured it for me I was very apprehensive about my hair becoming oily very quickly because it is an oil, it smells amazing, very sweet and almost like marshmallows, but lovely all the same. I was pleasantly surprised when my sister used this on my hair as the day after my hair wasn't oily at all, it was a bit of a shock to be honest because I have always had to wash my hair every day for years. After 3 or 4 times of my sister using this on my hair I knew I had to buy some for myself, and with the 15% discount code I had for Look Fantastic it made the oil a fantastic £16.80 or there about, and as it retails at £24.99 I was impressed, it was already on offer for £19.00 but at less than £17.00 I was impressed. I use 1 pump of the oil when my hair has been combed through and before I dry it with the hair dryer, I rub the oil between the palms of my hands and then apply it from the mid lenghts to the ends of my hair and dry as normal. My hair looks so silky and smooth and smells amazing after using the oil and doesn't become oily the day after, I can go 2 days without washing my hair even with using the oil. It is lovely, both my daughters use it too and they love it as much as I do. 

Overall I am very impressed with all 3 of the products and would highly recommend them to anyone, especially the Paul Mitchell shampoo if you suffer from oily hair or use a lot of product in your hair. Both shampoos have made such a massive difference to my hair, I like them both so much I recently purchased both shampoos in the salon sizes, 1000ml in the Paul Mitchell and 750ml in the Tigi shampoo, both came with a pump and both were £14.00 from Look Fantastic, they did have an offer on at the time I purchased mine but they are still much more economical than buying the smaller bottles even at the full price. I think the Luxe oil will last a very long time, both me and my daughters use it and we have hardly used any up at all, and although it is expensive it is most definitely worth it.

My hair is in much better condition now and it is down to me using these 3 products, I have never been this impressed with hair care and have tried lots of different shampoos over the years, especially since my hair became so oily. I have also received so many compliments about my hair from my friends and family and also from the people who watch my You tube channel, and one of the most asked questions over the last few weeks has been "what do you use on your hair?" and I was asked so much for a hair care routine video it became my most requested video. I recently filmed my hair care routine video where I talk about all 3 of the products and show them on camera, if that is something you are interested in I will leave the link at the end of this post. But I cannot stress enough how much I love all the products and I will continue to use them for a very long time. 

Have you tried any of these products? Would you like to try them? Do you have a holy grail hair product? Let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading, much love as always 

Zoe x

Blogger Template Created by pipdig