A Sincere but Light-Hearted Mission To Make More of Myself!

Posts Tagged ‘Holland and Barrett

Magik results!

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Magik results!

Hey, it seems that my recent ‘hauling’ did not end with fashion.

I have suddenly hunted down and stashed various goods in a final (some may say, desperate) frenzy as my mission grows ever closer to a year of age.

These include to name a few, a Kiehls eye cream; the Origins mushroom moisturiser; the Liz Earle cleanser; the Lush Mask of Magnamity and these little gems here.

Last night, I used a couple of these products. It was, in fact, a return to a couple of products that I raved about in one of my earliest posts, a shampoo and serum from Dead Sea SPA Magik.

The shampoo and conditioning products that I have mainly used for about the last eight weeks or so, have been the Rainforest shampoo and body butter from the Body Shop. Now although I have no complaints over the product and, indeed, am impressed that the products have lasted me so long. It seems my hair has now decided that it is stalemate time. For the last ten days or so, my hair has appeared increasingly blah. Lifeless and dull, I guess.

It may be that all it needed was a good clarifying shampoo but of course, since I’ve used these paraben free products such as Phyto and The Body Shop, I have suddenly become a bit too fearful of more “chemical” products. It is a silly psychological side effect but still I kept putting off finding a nice harsh shampoo because to me clarifying surely equals lots of scientific, tough, unforgiving ingredients to give the barnet a proper going over and clean the locks properly.

Giving the holy grail status that the Morrocan Oil Treatment has so deservedly earnt (in my opinion), I was very tempted to try the rest of their haircare range. With my main qualm being only the price.

So there I was in Holland and Barrett the other day, looking at face masks when the Dead Sea Spa Magik products caught my eye. I remember been so impressed last christmas with the products especially the serum that really you have to agree, I had nothing to lose by forking out just two pounds ninety five for a couple of sachets. One of the shampoo and one of the serum (they come together, the shampoo one is meant to be a freebie).

Now last time I remember my focus was on the magic serum (It really is called Hair Magic Serum and apparently it was voted best conditioner by Woman magazine) and the gloss and shine that this was to deliver. I also wanted the ‘thirst quenching’ ingredients that the products claim to contain. This time my hair is probably more hydrated maybe even slightly weighed down with conditioning products.

Therefore my focus was on the revitalising promise. I do remember the life that this brand gave my hair before and it just seems lately that my increasingly flat mop of hair, especially the roots, is crying out for some life and to be frank to, dance again.

Dead Sea Spa Magik claims this shampoo revitalises hair and wow, it really did. Again! My hair actually had proper volume (even after my normal mandatory application of moroccan oil) and looked a lot thicker after using these products. And in a strange but good way even though it looked like I had more hair (I love the way it bulked my layers out and made them look longer), my hair actually felt lighter and freer. It seemed easier to get the brush through and style.

And as if this was not good enough, it looked glossy. Yay. I think the serum may have had a hand in that.

I used the magic serum as a conditioner and massaged it right in to the scalp and down the length of the hair. I then left it about five minutes before rinsing out. Trust me, this stuff is magic and it probably would not be advisable to leave it in too much longer.

I shampooed generously twice and I still have maybe half the sachet of both the shampoo and serum left which I will be stowing away very safely.

I am really torn now between the moroccan oil haircare purchase plan or just buying the full size of these products. They really do seem to be that good.

Oh and yes, these Dead Sea products do claim to be made from the mud, salt and mineral extracts of the dead sea with some certified organic ingredients and no parabens.

So a volumiser, a clarifier and a moisturiser; these products could be billed magic and amazing. Maybe that is where my worry lies. In the long term, are such results too good to be true?! What do you think? Have you tried this brand? Do these products sound of interest to you? What haircare is making your hair sing and dance at the moment?


Written by essjay23x

October 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Coconut Oil and a skin update!

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Coconut Oil and a skin update!

Going back, do you remember I was trying to embrace beauty au naturale? Unfortunately my obsession with natural remedies turned out to be a bit short-lived after a horrible rash materialised and all fingers (well, mine) pointed to something annoymous in my new natural routine.

Well, it now turns out that I may have been a little hasty and the skin reaction may have had nothing to do with oils and everything to do with . . . eggs!

I was consuming more eggs (I hardly ate any before) then usual to increase my protein intake and I was also using some hair treatments which involved slathering my barnet in a couple of smashed eggs (a beauty secret from back in the day) and it now looks that this may have been what my body did not like hence the not so attractive rash.

So watch out and you may notice in the near future that I start referring to lavender, rosewood, other oils and the alike again as I’m thinking of slowly reintroducing them in to my skincare routine.

One ingredient that I did not cut from my routine was Coconut Oil even though it is fair to say that Coconut Oil and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship.

Regardless, it is only fair to say that Coconut Oil is an investment. It can be used in so many ways that I am sure most people will find one way or another that suits them. There is no need to leave it standing wasted on some shelf just because it has not worked one way for you, use it another.

Hair Treatment

This is why I initially brought Coconut Oil. Muhsine ( and others have discussed the intensive conditioning treatment that this oil can provide for your hair.

In the colder months, I was using it as a hot hair treatment. My coconut oil was solid and needed melting down. So I would melt a couple of tablespoons in the microwave and then let them cool a little and apply to preshampooed hair which you leave in for a while or overnight and then rinse out.

The treatment worked fine, the scent wasn’t great but tolerable and besides my hair was shiny. However, it was difficult to rinse out. I would often blowdry after the treatment and the result would be hair that looked good but felt as if it was coated in some horrible residue. Even when I managed to get the Coconut Oil out, my hair would quickly go lank and need washing again within 24 hours. For me, rinsing with water was often not enough and I had to actually shampoo the oil out. So in later hair treatments, I would just apply the oil straight to damp, unshampooed hair to minimise the products going in to my hair but then I’m not sure if the Coconut Oil was absorbed quite as well.

In summary, I would suggest using this oil as a hair treatment and seeing if you can find a way to work it and then repeating the process as an occasional treatment.

Body Moisturiser

There is no doubt that when I apply Coconut Oil to my skin, it intensely moisturises as good as any body butter. However, it leaves the skin (and floor!) very slippery and seems to absorb slowly. It is a fab overnight treatment with a “unique” scent.

In the winter when the air temperature has not melted the solid coconut oil down, I usually take a slab and apply it like a Lush massage bar. As soon as my little slab of Coconut Oil made contact with the skin, it started to melt for me. In the summer when the air temperature has done the melting, I use Coconut Oil like a body oil. The results appear to be the same whichever way I apply!

Coconut Oil is also good when used as a balm, soothing particularly sore or dry bits of skin, in the same way that Eight hour cream or Vaseline might be used.

Body Scrub

This is my favourite way to use the coconut oil. I jut mix some liquidfied oil in with salt and use it as a scrub in the bath. This works really well. My skin feels as if it is been worked by the salt and then soothed by the coconut oil. You can also change the ratio of salt to oil, when you are making the scrub yourself, according to how much each specific skin area needs exfoliating. I usually keep the salt and oil seperate then mix it as needed during application. I might take 1/4 of a handful of salt for my kness and then just 1/8 for my decolletage.

I must admit that I do like the fact that the oil gets rinsed away when you use it as a scrub as – and I know that I’m always talking about this- the scent is one I only tolerate, nothing more. I certainly do not embrace it!

I got my Coconut Oil from Holland and Barrett. I think the packaging has changed but this product number (13182) and weight (453g) is currently reduced from £11.99 to £5.99 on their website.

So that is how I use my oil. What do you think of Coconut Oil?


Written by essjay23x

July 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

What you put in . . .

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What you put in . . .

What is it, that they say?! You get out what you put in . . .

So you all know that I want the locks of Rapunzel, Angelina Jolie or at a push, Catherine Zeta Jones. Fussy, me?!

Anyway, it follows that I’m always very aware of the products that I use on my hair but I am also now thinking of how I may affect my hair and appearence generally by what I put in to my body.

At last, I do seem to be drinking a little more water. Last week, I was very, very good and drunk lots and lots of water. This week, well, I’m drinking a little more then I’m used to and I’m determined to drink more. It was watching one of Kandee’s vlogs that did it, she explained how if you weren’t drinking water, your toxins would escape another way through your pores causing spots etc. Oh! I knew that but maybe it was the way she put it but I just had visions of all this mud like substance coming out of my face leaving big boils behind. Eurgh, I must go and get a glass of water . . !

So maybe at last, I’m nailing the water thing but that is not the only goodie that I’m putting in to my body.

I am also taking Evening Primrose oil tablets every day and a teaspoon of cod liver oil plus a multivitamin tablet to see if this makes any difference to the health of my hair.

Evening Primrose Oil is more of an all rounder which I first heard Tanya, Pixi2Woo, talk about. It is supposed to help balance hormones a little which in turn is supposed to be of benefit to the skin. And although, my main focus has always been. and probably always will be, my hair (I think every girl is either a hair or skin one, which one are you?), any help with my skin will not be thrown back at ya. My skin is an absolute nightmare at the moment and yet tomorrow, it could be perfect. Ever since I began this mission, my skin has being one extreme or the other. Before the mission, my face was quite soft but I did get the occasional spot. Now I’m either broken out or glowing. When it is bad like today, it feels so bad and I’m almost craving my old skin and am so tempted to go back to my negligent old ways. For now though, I have products to use up so I will persevere and hope that the Evening Primrose helps.

Cod liver oil has vitamins and good fats for good hair and skin. Again I’ve been using Cod Liver oil after seeing Kandee’s vlog. I’m not sure if it is really necessary if I’m taking the Evening Primrose Oil but hey, at least I’m doing things wholeheartedly. I will probably only use one in the future and it may well be the Evening Primrose Oil because I’m not sure if Cod Liver Oil does so much hormonally and also the recommened Cod Liver Oil dose is two teapoons a day which is 80 calories! So on good days. I have only been taking one. I am only 5ft2 (if that) so hopefully this is enough but I’m afraid to say it is the calorie intake rather then the taste that actually puts me off this product.

Saying that, my hair does seem to be quite healthy at the moment considering that it is my hair. It could just be that it was cut only a couple of weeks ago or it could be the natural product approach I’m trying to take such as The Naked Haircare range or it could be the Coconut/Olive oil treatments I have been conjuring or it could be the supplements or it could be the amazing Morrocan Oil!

I must say I think the Morrocan Oil is helping. Touch wood but I do not seem to have to straighten my hair just to get my hair flat enough to leave the house anymore. I can honestly say that on a daily basis, I am only straightening my front sections very briefly and other random strands occasionally as and when but the whole head of hair is actually only been straightened once after a hair wash, two to three times a week. Considering that once upon a time not so long ago, my whole head was often been straightened very throughly at least once a day, this is exemplery behaviour from me and I’m expecting to reap big hair rewards in the long term. Just maybe real, real long hair could be all mine!

In the meantime, feel free to comment. I love to hear what you all think. You could always tell me if you are more about your skin or hair, make up or clothes? It always seems to me that a girl favours one over the other. Also any skin remedies for consistently clear skin or hair conditioner recommendations, I’m looking for a new product to retry.

Hope you are all ok and having a sunny weekend despite the weather.


Written by essjay23x

May 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Waving goodbye to the uninvited!

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Waving goodbye to the uninvited!

Uh oh, you would think that I would know not to tempt fate but no, I tempted and now, I have a slight crisis.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have noticed a few skincare posts floating around. Now I am very proud of the fact that about eighteen months ago, I pretty much cleared my back which is the only place I’ve ever had a MAJOR spot problem. It took a while to clear but, after a few months, it was a good job done for Slave Clearasil, Slave Routine and Slave I. So I commented on a couple of posts more or less sharing this and I also mentioned, how I always seem to have one or two spots somewhere but never ones that are too big, blotchy or in a great number. In other words, blemishes were part and parcel of my daily living but not something that I worried about.

So on Tuesday morning, of course, I woke up to a crisis of the spotty kind. Thankfully, it wasn’t on my face but it was just below in the decollatage area. An area I tend to keep exposed. Somewhere too low for much concealing make up to be applied ‘naturally’ but too high to be covered by any of my tops.

I had no choice but to wear these spots but I decided there and then, as soon as I spotted them in the mirror (imagine admiring new Satin Taupe eyeshadow and then seeing them as your focus moved down, eurgh. They seem to come from nowhere, horrible moment.) that we wouldn’t be style partners for long. If they were going to turn up uninvited then they would have to enjoy whatever entertainment I threw their way. Ok actually, they were going to have to endure whatever methods of elimination I bombarded with them until they ceased to exist.

So an action plan was drawn up and supplies procured. Please note, I’m not sure why I’ve given up on the Clearasil, it wasn’t responsible for these gatecrashers. The Clearasil products were only ‘on the door’ on my back. I think it was just that my current tube and bottle were nearing the end and I knew that I would need something to cover the new area too. In the back of my mind, I’ve always been planning to take a more natural route so let me introduce you to the members of my new troop who are going to win this battle with me.

Deep Sea Spa Magik Salt Brushing

I decided to get this Dead Sea Salt product to exfoliate as I don’t just want spot-free skin, I want flawless skin!

Exfoliation is something that I should be doing anyway (and usually do but I get a bit lazy repurchasing when I run out) and I guess it more or less scraps all of the bad stuff away. I have dry combination skin so it is important that I let the bad, dead skin go. My new skin needs to breathe and also moisture needs to be able to get down in to my skin. Exfoliation removes any obstacles and I believe this is the case too with greasy skin. Dead greasy skin flakes can become an obstacle as they are greasy and stick to the skin instead of falling away.Of course, if we exfoliate and remove all this dead skin then not only will moisture be able to get through and hydrate the skin but my other gorgeous products will also be able to work more effectively on the skin cells that are not about to flake away. Whichever way you look at it (and I expect some areas of my body are actually greasy or oily rather then dry), exfoliation is key.

My Clearasil wash was also a scrub. So I really wanted to keep exfoliation in the equation. This is not the time to be withdrawing parts of my skin care especially an aspect as important as exfoliation. I chose this brand because it is natural and this is the brand who produced the Magik hair serum sample that I raved about after Christmas. The only question mark that lingers over this product is the fact that it is meant to be applied to dry skin and then rinsed off. I’m finding it hard to work in to my dry skin. The product has Coconut oil in but a lot of it still seems to fall to the floor. I normally use scrubs that are applied to wet skin. Maybe with a shake (of the pot) and practise . . ! It does have a lovely healthy scent. It smells like I’m doing good when I’m using it and so far, it hasn’t stung or irritated.

Optima Australian Tea Tree Organic Tea Tree Deep Cleansing Skin Wash.

This is to replace my Clearasil wash. I used tea tree as I always think it equals spot treatment in the world of natural remedies. Is that right? I know that it has been used for years on the skin. Apparently, this product also has Lemongrass, Bergamot, Eucalyptus and Aloe Vera which all sounds very good. Aloe Vera is supposed to calm things down. I don’t understand Parabens yet. All I know is that they can be bad news so maybe this product is good as it has none.

I like this as a product. It is a bit thicker then some washes, almost like a gel or thin jelly, and feels very nice to apply. It also lathers easily. It doesn’t feel particularly medicinal.

Herbal Authority Tea Tree Oil Lotion 15%

As spot treatment is the focus, we have tea tree again. This is to replace the Clearasil toner/deep pore treatments and I apply it directly to the skin. This does feel more medicinal and has that very clean, overpowering tea tree scent but hey, if it is going to do good work then I may have to get used to it. I also use this product if I have a bath. I apply one to two capfuls of this instead of bubble bath/ bars etc. It is not as much fun or anywhere near as lovely smelling as the Comfortor but I do get out feeling clean and with skin that feels revitalised.

Warning, this is where the gross pic of Spot Attack comes up. If you don’t wanna see, I can’t blame you. Run away now and come back when all the nasties have gone away. Soon! ;-)

For those who continued, thank you!

The battle is to be won with my little spot-fighting super duper troop of products (all purchased at Holland and Barrett). I’m just not sure when yet. It has being almost a week and the initial problem has calmed down a lot. This is where we are now.

If I had woken up wearing these spots last week then I would not have been quite as distressed as I was. I did take a picture last Tuesday but I deleted it. I couldn’t put that up on here. Things are now better and I don’t mind showing you where I am now at but there is still some work to be done, I want to clear this area completely and then after that, it doesn’t matter how gorgeous they smell, I must go easy on the perfumed body lotions. I’m pretty sure that they were the trigger. You know how I love scent and one way I make it last all day is to smother this area in scented lotion as it is the one area out in the open where the scent can freely waft from and the one area that does not get too wet (compared to hands etc) and where the scent does not get washed away in my day to day routine. I think I just blocked everything up. I’ve had a similar reaction overdoing it with Johnsons baby oil before.

What about you? When it gets tough, what approach do you take? Natural or the most scientifically advanced products out there?

Thanks for getting to the end, us girls are made of strong stuff (and demon spots should remember that)!

If you want to cheer me up, then you could always comment (nicely!), subscribe and/or tweet with me!

Have a fab evening, Girls!




Written by essjay23x

March 1, 2010 at 7:10 pm