The Perfect Shampoo & Conditioner For Combination Hair

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Everyone has heard of ‘combination skin’ but many people also have ‘combination hair’ too. Y’know, greasy at the roots, average or coarse in the mid-lengths and dry or fluffy toward the ends. Most generic shampoos for greasy hair strip roots of ANY oil but pre-shampoo conditioning masks or oil based leave-in-conditioners can often only be used on ends. It can feel like a crazy balancing act with too many specific products, time and money.

Here’s my hero duo…

Faith in Nature – Brave Botanicals, Shampoo (£4.50, 250ml) Shampoo which cleanses greasy roots, while Demask rose and Argan tame frizz and replenish important oils, to give hair strength and shine. Certified vegan and Cruelty Free Internal/BUAV approved. This also quite kind to coloured hair I’ve noticed.

Noughty Intensive Care, Leave-in Conditioner (£6.99, 150ml) One of the very few leave-in-conditioners which doesn’t leave roots feeling flat or heavy. Argan oil, Shea Butter and Natural Source Vitamin E leaves hair naturally balanced and healthy. Oh, and I’ve just noticed this conditioner has won multiple awards and is certified vegan.

If your hair is long and combination like mine, this duo will reduce your shower time dramatically and save the strength in your arms for styling!

Chrissie

 

 

Slap Stick Foundation LUSH

I care a lot about environment because the planet is my home and also home to so many other people, plants and creatures who depend on it functioning properly. I’m doing my best to support companies committed to reducing waste packaging or using recycled/recyclable packaging so I was looking forward to trying Slap Stick £16.95, 30g from LUSH. It’s a solid foundation egg, flat on one side and coated in wax (so you have some part to hold), which lives in a little cardboard box…

…That was until I opened it and it already looked a mess and then when I tried to lower it back into it’s box, I covered the sides in foundation and when I tried to close the lid it skimmed some foundation off the top of the stick! I get that LUSH are trying to reduce packaging but to reduce it to the size that it doesn’t actually fit the product? Ah – no.

The second thing that really attracted me to this product was the range has 40 shades, including warm, neutral and cool undertones and yellow/golden tones in general. The website matches the staff from LUSH to the shades in videos and there is a handy comparison photo showing three peoples arms sampling the whole range. I think I have pale-medium skin with warm (yellow) undertones as my veins look purple and teal; not blue or green as is the most common way you are supposed to be able tell. So I chose 12W.

The line in-between the shadow on my face near my ear and the glow of light on the front of my cheek, is where I’ve left the foundation unblended. Perfect match! Even though the stick looks too dark, the colour is surprisingly sheer but the coverage is still medium.

Slap Stick contains a massive 45% coconut oil as well as Jojoba oil so it moisturises skin. I know that some people do tend to break out with coconut oils because of allergies so I’m a little surprised they chose this ingredient but fortunately my dry skin absolutely loves it!

The texture is like a cream to powder compact and the only way I was able to spread it was to apply, leave for a few minutes and then spread with the warmth of my fingers. It stayed put all day though and covered any redness I had.

Rating 3/4

Chrissie

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Monthly Round-up June

Style

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Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

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I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

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When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

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I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

Food and Drink

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Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

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The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

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We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

Beauty

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Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

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These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

Lifestyle

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I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

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I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

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I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

Chrissie

Hair Styling Essentials from Hemp

Finding beauty products that aren’t animal tested is fairly easy these days but finding cruelty free hair styling products – especially one’s which work on natural, coarse, wavy hair – is almost impossible.

So I was thrilled to get a chance to try some of Hempz Herbal hair styling range, which include nourishing hemp seed oil and also smell so good, that if they were a cocktail, I’d be ordering three of it.

Instant Dry Shampoo

This changed my hair from greasy, split mess to fairytale-like tresses. I just spray it on (with no powder residue) and gently brush my hair through with a paddle brush with thick plastic bristles. My hair looks clean and shiny and smells of pineapples!

Rating 5/5

Workable Hairspray Medium Hold

I have a love hate relationship with hairspray; I love that it holds my wild hair in place but hate that it makes  tangled mess when I try to brush it out. Hempz hairspray is tough on holding a style but fairly easy to brush out and leaves hair feeling soft and looking shiny. Then there’s that uplifting pineapple scent again, so you don’t even have to leave the room for a moment, after you’ve used it. I wouldn’t say this could hold a large volume of hair in a gravity-defying style but then it is only supposed to be ‘medium hold’.

Rating 5/5

Flexible Styling Sculpt

My fringe is a cartoonishly-big, frizzy canopy when freshly washed but using this made having a fringe enjoyable, rather than a chore for the first time, ever! I can absent mindedly shove it into a quiff off my face if the weather is too hot and then just spread it out again into smooth waves when I want. If I want a glam look, I can sweep it into a low side parting and it just stays there, looking effortless. It’s also useful as a curl cream if there are unruly strands that hair oil cannot shape and tame. Just for example: Here is my hair before I’ve oiled it, with the front strand covered in Flexible Styling Sculpt and gently twisted.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Monthly Roundup – May

I started May being a little obsessed with everything pink and grey and wore the same two basic outfits for most of the week. Check out the OOTD post to see the other outfit and where to shop both looks.

I’ve returned to The Body Shop now that they have a parent company who are committed to be cruelty free. I love a non-drying lip colour you can apply easily so I use a lot of tinted balms and glosses. Unfortunately Born Lippy gave me a sore throat immediately! Some do and I’ve never figured out why. I’m using it as a blush instead as the colour is very subtle and sheer.

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It was my birthday so me and the Bloke headed off for An Afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.  Which involved picking up my first ever comics for Free Comic Book Day, trying some new health foods, taking photo’s like a tourist and then dinner and cocktails at V Revolution.

 

After hearing of the demise of Polyvore I posted all of my style mood-boards and outfit boards that I’d made over the years in two posts here and here.

I decided that now my skin has changed from oily-combination to dry-combination I’d try B. Pure Micellar Water instead of cleanser and toner.

Another OOTD, this one inspired by Johnny Cash; Smart, Dark, Country.

I’d not received any blogger nominated awards for years and then two came along at once. I decided to go with The Mystery Blogger Award as it sounded a bit different and I only had the energy to do one!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We decided to eat again as we’d had a tough week and I’d been inside for days. So we cashed in our Tesco vouchers and headed to Pizza Express for large glasses of wine, gluten free pasta, a giant super food salad and caramel gelato with salted caramel sauce.

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I was in the mood to do a wish list post and chose the Woodland Trust S/S shop. I think it’s importance is growing along with issues like global warming, extinction of native species and disappearing woodlands, due to mass farming of mono cultures and countryside being built on.

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My skin has a nice healthy glow to it, thanks to the sun but my foundation kinda kills that a little so I thought I’d try and put some back with Drops of Glow, Lustre Finish Creator in Illuminator. Why do products practically have two names squished together, these days?

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It was also the Blokes birthday recently so I got him a dragon.

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I’ve been watching Heart of Dixie; Jessica Jones S02, Startrek: Discovery; Lucifer S03 and Freaks and Geeks. I’ve been listening to 90’s R&B; Gary Newman’s latest album and The Crow Soundtrack.

Chrissie

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The Body Shop, Drops of Glow Lustre Finish Creator – Illuminating

The Body Shop, really?

I avoided the brand for years when it got purchased by animal testing L’Oreal but now it’s been bought by Natura Cosmeticos (the largest beauty producer in Brazil) I’ve started to tentativley buy from them again. Natura Cosmeticos use natural ingredients that are cruelty-free (as are their finished products) and sustainably sourced. They also pledge to now reduce the carbon footprint of their brands and stores and do not sell to China.

The Body Shop, Drops of Glow Lustre Finish Creator – Illuminating (£12, 15ml)

I wanted an illuminating product that could be worn under foundation and patted over it as a subtle highlight on cheekbones and collar bone. I use a medium-full coverage ELF foundation because it’s one of the few foundations that actually matches my skin tone and stays put. Unfortunately, it also makes my skin look totally matte so I thought this would be perfect to give it a lift.

Without foundation

Gives a very sweaty gym bunny look – next!

Under foundation

Gives my matte foundation and new lease of life. I looked glowy and healthy, even when I applied powder. Unfortunately I had to apply bronzing because my face was radiating so much white light, it looked too pale and also like I was sickly and sort of clammy.

Unfortunately this is just too pinky/cool for my skin tone. If I used too much, I could easily be heading down the yellow brick road into Tin Man territory. But pale girls could totally carry this off for an ethereal look, I’m sure.

Durabilty wasn’t great. I noticed that after around three hours of hot, humid weather, my amazing wear-proof foundation was gathering in my pores, in my (ahem) lines and literally sliding off my face.

Under foundation

As a highlighter on cheek bones, nose and chin

This is a winner when applied sparingly, as it’s sheeny and glowy, rather than obviously sparkly. You can build it up though to have more impact and it stayed on in the club. I didn’t expect that!

Over all 

I get that The Body Shop has these ‘drops’ to mix with your foundation to make it lighter or darker or for a strobing effect but I think the names of these products are a little OTT; as if the longer the tittle – the better the product. This one is a liquid highlighter basically. I like the glass bottle and pipette as you can apply directly to face or sponge with no mess. Sadly, it just wasn’t versatile enough for me.

Rating 3.5/5

❤ Chrissie ❤

 

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Is B. Pure Micellar Water Any Good?

In the past I’ve used my fair share of toners that stripped my skin of any natural oils or gentler one’s which didn’t remove any dirt. Cleansers that efficiently removed dirt and makeup but needed to be thoroughly rinsed off. A pain in the arse at 2.00am when my tired ass needs to get to bed.

I now have a bottle of B. Pure Micellar Water and cotton pads on my bedside table; this way I can melt away dirt, makeup and balance my skin, in bed! I can then apply a night moisturiser or just leave my skin to breathe. When I wake up my skin isn’t paper dry or flushed and sensitive.

My only problem is that when I applied it in the morning and didn’t moisturise (I thought the oil in the micellar water would be enough and wasn’t planning on wearing foundation) my skin felt slightly tacky for hours. I ended up applying a light moisturiser anyway in order to fix the feeling.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Melts away all traces of dirt and makeup
  • Refreshes and balances
  • Soothes

Cons

  • Oddly tacky
  • Doesn’t mean you can skip moisturiser

Chrissie

Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30

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Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (£60 50ml) combines, vitamin C for radiance and firmness, antioxidants to shield skin from environmental damage and  sun protection against UVA and UVB rays.

If you are anything like me, you might have cringed, just reading £60 never mind spending it. Here’s why I did a) My skin needs all of the technical and biological help it can get b) I ALWAYS forget to wear suncream on my face c) When I do remember to apply some generic one that’s around the house, my makeup slides off within the hour d) As I’ve hit my mid-thirties my skin has become a lot dryer to the point where it makes the best foundation look like cement on application.

Pro’s

  • Non greasy
  • Doesn’t have an obvious suncream scent
  • Makes skin look naturally radiant, even under medium-thick coverage foundation
  • Keeps skin moisturised all day
  • A little goes a long way

Con’s

  • If I’m going to pay £60 I either want more product or a fabulous looking jar
  • Too heavy for oily or combination skin
  • Not an all-in-one product. You’ll need to use a separate primer after this if you want your makeup to last in a hot club/at the gym etc.

Note:

For the golden skinned or the old-school tan lovers out there, please don’t be put off by SPF 30. If you are out in the sun for hours your skin will noticeably thank you for protecting it (especially as you age) and SPF does not mean total sun block so you will still tan, even on days with light cloud.

Chrissie

Norvelle 4 Faces Facial Tanning Spray & Body Buff Exfoliating Ph Balancing Mitt

Norvelle are British brand who serious about tanning, they are even used on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars. They offer a comprehensive range of products depending on how dark you want to go and how you prefer to apply your product. They are BUAV (leaping bunny) approved to not test on animals.

4 Faces Facial Tanning Spray (£9.99 2floz)

The Science Bit

Time Release Micro Capsules bind moisture within the skin, for 24hr hydration.
Natural Enzymes repair weak, dehydrated skin.
Unique Dermal Barrier locks DHA within the top layer of skin, priming it for Longer Lasting, Deeper, Sunless Results.
Advanced DHA Odor Encapsulation molecules ‘trap’ and virtually eliminate common sunless odor.
Non-Comedogenic Facial Quality Formula designed for delicate facial skin and will not clog pores.
Just of the Beach Color™ patented blend of DHA and bronzers found only in Norvell Professional products.

Application of Facial Spray

It’s suggested that you spray this facial tan onto a beauty blender to apply it. The first one absorbed most of it and then it ran straight off the second one. Clearly, I need to up my beauty blender game! So instead, I prepped my face with some rich moisturiser and sprayed this straight onto my skin and blended with my fingers and palms. The spray is very uneven and does not come out like a mist. The nozzle is incredibly hard to press down (and not just with my hypermobile fingers, my friend struggled too) so some work is definitely required either way you apply this. I’m going for the mouse if I ever buy this myself.

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Please excuse the shadows on the left of my face, this was the most true light, rather than blanching me out in glaring sunshine.

Result! (Yes, I am actually shouting that out loud)

Spray tan usually makes my skin so dry and it settles in all of my expression lines but my skin remained hydrated, even through the next day. When my skin was wet I patted it dry with a white towel and the tan didn’t transfer. Well, that’s a first! I have been wearing darker coloured tops incase it rubs off around my neckline though. I had a very faint freshly painted smell but that faded quickly. I’m still waiting for it to go patchy five days later but it’s not budging. I’ve just exfoliated (because my skin needed it, not the tan) and even now I’m still tanned and glowing!

I have a realistic colour that works wonderfully with my natural skin tone and I wonder if this is because I diluted the colour a little with my moisturiser. I can imagine you could go really quite dark with a few layers of just this product, even though there are much darker one’s available in the range.

Pre Sunless Body Buff Exmitt Exfoliating Ph Balancing Mitt (£5.99)

The Science Bit

Boosts Amino Acid Levels on the skin surface, which works directly with the active sunless ingredient, DHA, to produce maximum color results.
pH Balancing Skin Primer balances out skin surface prior to tanning to minimize orange look for that natural just off the beach™ color.
Hydrates skin for even and maximum absorption of sunless solution.
Advanced DHA Odor Encapsulation molecules ‘trap’ and virtually eliminate common sunless odor.
Time Release Micro Capsules bind moisture within the skin.
Unique Dermal Barrier locks in DHA.

Application

Even though this mitt is really big it’s soft and easy to use. I didn’t realise it comes with a lot of moisture, so much that I dripped it everywhere taking it out of the foil – oops! It moved along my limbs fine but didn’t feel very exfoliating. There was enough moisture left to be able to reuse it, so I put it into a zip lock bag for next time.

Result

My legs felt moisturised and a little smoother and the tan glided on really well. I was worried about the colour payoff because my legs were actually wet from the mitt before applying the tan. I was left with subtle, natural looking colour as if I’d been running errands, during a week of sunny weather, rather than on holiday or outside gardening all day. A huge bonus for me was that there was no freshly painted smell at all! My skin stayed moisturised, with no patchiness, colour change or spray tan scent and those really are the most important things for me. Low maintenance and a believable result.

Chrissie

 

This product was gifted to me.

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Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

What is it?

Don’t let the very specific tittle put you off, Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£35 200ml) gives your skin a helping hand with cell turnover and hydration to reveal smoother, more radiant skin.

How does it work?

It uses gentle Salicylic acid (BHA), Lactic and Glycolic acids (AHA’s) to dissolve dead skin cells. AHAs are water soluble and do not penetrate very deep into the skin of the person, while BHAs are oil soluble and often do penetrate much deeper into the skin, even past the oil barrier of the face. AHAs are good for eliminating dead skin cells on the surface that are caused by sun damage. The oil solubility of BHAs make it better suited for clearing up clogged pores deep in the skin, so that they can be removed.

Jojoba beads are also used to exfoliate and to boost hydration.

My skin type

I have high maintenance and very indecisive skin. Flakey, dry and oily. I seem to have a very quick cell turnover but the cells just build up (because they stick to the natural oils) instead of shedding to reveal the new skin underneath. Basically, I’d make a terrible snake. I also have a collagen disorder thanks to Hypermobilty Syndrome which means I have less collagen in some places but more in others, thanks to acne scarring in my teens and 20’s. As a result, my cheeks have ended up with a very dimpled, orange peel effect going on. Gimme the Pollyfiller, now!

Verdict

This is one of the most effective cleansers I’ve ever used. The beads are natural so no damage to the environment and are incredibly fine so a little bit really does make a big difference. I’ve been using this three times a week as my skin really needs it. I wouldn’t say I have very sensitive skin but it can go red easily when massaged too much using harsh cleansers and soap. Even though this contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate it is still very gentle and does not irritate my skin or strip it’s natural oil barrier.

My skin feels incredibly soft and looks surprisingly smoother and more radiant. It also means that my serum and moisturiser can actually sink into my pores now and foundation just glides on without looking dry or dull. I’m actually not bothering with my medium-full coverage foundation as much, even on nights out.

Honestly, after four weeks of using this, I looked in the mirror and did a little happy dance!

Rating 5/5

Chrissie