Monday, 27 February 2017

TreasureTress | February 2017


I'm no stranger to beauty boxes though I haven't tried anything specifically curated for naturally curly and kinky before. Cue TreasureTress, a UK-based monthly subscription box, unique in that they provide 3 different boxes each month for young children, teens and adults (Mini Me, Tween and Qween) all priced at £20 + P&P.* You simply pick a box according to your age and the idea is that both mothers and daughters can try out a range of new hair products tailored towards their hair. 


I received this month's Qween box which contains Palmer's products mostly from the Manuka Flower Honey range which I've not tried before. Inside was the Manuka Flower Honey Strengthening Shampoo (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Nourishing Conditioner (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Protein Pack Deep Conditioner x2 (£2.99/60g), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Spray (£5.99/250ml), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Cream (£6.99/190ml), the Olive Oil Conditioning Spray Oil (£4.69/150ml) and a useful card containing information about the products and a few tips.

With all beauty boxes the main selling point is that you can try something new for a snip of the usual RRP and you do get quite a lot of products in this box. This is really ideal for those who haven't quite found the right products for their hair yet. The subscription cost is worth it providing you like the products inside and where most beauty boxes fall down is that you don't actually know what's in the box until it arrives. Currently you need to have started your TreasureTress subscription before the 5th of each month to receive that month's box and there's no hints about what might be inside. I think it's quite a lot of products to receive each month too but it is handy to have full size products so you can really get an idea on whether you like them. The subscription can be cancelled at any time too and there is the option to skip the next month when you open an account.


I've had these products for almost two weeks but I usually like to spend a couple of months using hair products to really get a feel for them so I won't be reviewing these in detail here. As you can guess from the name, the Manuka Flower Honey products all contain Manuka Flower Honey as well as Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Amla Oil. The products are also formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates and dyes and are stated to be for all natural hair textures. The products are scented, and whilst I don't love the scent, thankfully it isn't too overpowering. 

So far the standouts at the moment are the Nourishing Conditioner and the Leave-In Conditioner Spray. Both leave my curls feeling really soft and hydrated and I'd buy the conditioner to use as co-wash. The Leave-In Conditioning Cream I had less success with. It's really thick and, whilst I followed the instructions which suggest applying to clean dry hair, my hair didn't really absorb the product - it just kind of sat on top and made it feel a little sticky. I tried it again the next day but this time with my hair still wet first and the product seemed to work better but I have other hair creams which I'd reach for over this. I haven't yet tried the Protein Packs or Shampoo. The Olive Oil Spray works great for added shine but I don't tend to use these types of products often when styling as I only really use oils or oil-based products when I'm conditioning.

Overall this month's Treasure Tress box was a great introduction to Palmer's haircare products and as someone who's tried a lot of products before it was great to experiment with a brand I'm not familiar with already. I'll continue to use the products to see how they work for me over the next couple of months.

If you're interested in subscribing check out the TreasureTress website

*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Have you tried TreasureTress?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 20 February 2017

3Thirty Salon [Revisit]



I've been itching to get my hair cut again so went back to 3Thirty Salon on Old Street, Shoreditch this week. I first reviewed the salon back in June (see ) and I really loved my haircut as it gave my hair so much shape.

Since my last visit the salon has had a revamp. The decor still has a modern yet French baroque inspired feel but there's now a coffee and cake bar within the salon. They do more than just coffee though (for the hot chocolate and tea obsessives like me) and there's also a hot desk area which freelancers can work from.


I met with Salon owner Tiff-J again and explained I wanted a similar shape to before which had slightly grown out and I needed some sort of style to the shorter front pieces of my hair which I usually don't know what to do with when styling. She suggested a moisture-packed treatment before a small trim and she would blend the pieces at the front with my layers to create a slight fringe.*

Similar to my last visit Tiff started by cleansing my hair with  and to condition she applied a mix of and L'Oreal Fiberceutic. My hair was then detangled before Tiff trimmed the ends and brought back the shape. She then re-rinsed my hair and styled and diffused my curls with  applied.

I absolutely love the cut and like before I feel like it's made such a difference. My hair has grown a lot since my last cut and I think the extra weight was making certain areas look quite flat so it's like it's had some life injected back into it.

As I've had two really good experiences at 3Thirty I will definitely be returning when I need another haircut. Whilst they're most known for styling afro hair, they also have expertise working with European and Asian hair. If you're interested there's more details on their services on their website .


*complementary treatment received - read my disclaimer here.

Do you go to a salon?


Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 13 February 2017

Valentines Day Beauty 2017


Looking back at last year's Valentine's Day makeup post made me realise how much the products I use and my approach to beauty in general has changed in the past year and I think this makeup look really reflects that.

I try to keep a 'natural' base now and wear less foundation in general. Before my foundation always had to be high coverage because I felt like every inch of my flaws had to be covered. I think the change is mostly as I'm a lot more confident in myself as a person and less caring when it comes to what others think of me or the fact that I didn't bother to conceal that annoying spot on my chin. I've (finally) accepted that my skin won't ever look perfect too. I have under-eye bags, hormonal acne, smile lines and random broken capillaries and it's okay if the world sees that (occasionally).


I started by priming with Smashbox's new Radiance Primer which I've been using on and off since it launched in January. It highlights the skin and makes it look really dewy and you can also use it over makeup for an added glow. Next I applied a little of the EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation which gives pretty light and natural-looking coverage. It doesn't really cover scarring or blemishes but I love that this evens out my skintone and gives a smooth finish without it being really obvious I'm wearing makeup. I swept a few shades from the new NARS unfiltered cheek palette over my lids and cheeks for a pop of colour and extra highlight. This palette is so amazingly pigmented I had to have a really light hand with this! I then filled in my brows, added a little mascara and a simple slick of gloss on my lips to finish as I didn't want to look too overdone.


Base 
Smashbox Radiance Primer*
EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation (7.0)

Highlight & Blush 
NARS Unfiltered I Cheek Palette (Watch Me & Me First)*

Lip 
3ina Lip Oil Balm (Rasberry)*

Eyes 
NARS Unfiltered I Cheek Palette (Me First, Out There & Chic)* 
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (Black)

Brows
Benefit Precisely My Brow Pen (05 Medium)

Powder 
NARS Pressed Powder (Eden) 



*samples - read my disclaimer .

How will you be wearing your makeup for Valentine's Day? 

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 6 February 2017

Review | Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips


I've been collecting a lot of liquid lip colours in the past year and my latest additions are the Lip Whips by the adorably branded  best known for their smudge-free formulas.

The American beauty brand first caught my eye a few months ago on Instagram with their bright lip colours and cake-inspired products. Creator Cashmere Nicole is also an intriguing and admirable woman and has made it her mission for Beauty Bakerie to perpetuate the message that it's okay to be sweet and kind which I love. I've always been called 'cute' as I don't have this badass, super sexy persona, and I like that a brand is actually celebrating that. To top it off, Beauty Bakerie's Instagram is full of videos (like showing lip colour swatches being rubbed under a tap and not budging at allI was hooked, I had to try them for myself. Could these sweet lip colours really smudge-free?


I have 4 Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips (£16/5ml) currently, 2 matte and 2 metallic (I did have another matte but annoyingly I haven't been able to locate it since returning from holiday). The two matte shades - Gingersnap and Syruptitious* are my favourites and most worn as the shades are perfect for everyday wear. I reach for the metallics, Berried* and Cinnamon Roll, less often but they are both absolutely gorgeous shades.

I'm an absolute sucker for the packaging of these and the branding is almost spot on. The products have adorable cake-based names and cute 'nutrition facts' on the boxes (all of the Lip Whips are 'No Calories' and '1 Sweetie Per Serving'). Only one thing is really missing - none of the products actually have a sweet scent or taste and the Lip Whips don't exactly look 'whipped' but this is something the brand is working on.

Shades left to right: Cinnamon Roll, Berried, Syruptitious and Ginger Snap 

The Lip Whips can last throughout the entire day without touch-ups depending on what you're eating/drinking as these only come off with an oil-based remover. This means if you're eating anything oily or greasy you'll have to reapply but otherwise these stay on amazingly well. I find the mattes tend to be easier to apply as they are more opaque whereas the metallics can look a little patchy without enough coats. The key to perfect application is to apply thin coats and allow each layer to dry fully before applying another. This can take a few minutes but the results are worth it.

Whilst these Lip Whips do wear well, I find the mattes in particular a little drying (see ) so I really make sure my lips are buffed and smooth before application. Usually I dab on a little balm underneath to counter any dry lip products but this does affect how well these stay on. For maximum staying power the brand suggests to avoid using lip-liners, moisturisers or balms with the Lip Whips.

Overall it's hard not to love these and I can forgive the dryness as the staying power is so good. They are a little on the pricey side in comparison to some of the other liquid lip products I have but as reapplication tends to be minimal I do think they're worth it and I will be grabbing more soon.

The Lip Whips are available from or in the UK or you can buy directly from

*the two shades marked are samples from the brand - read my disclaimer .


Have you tried Beauty Bakerie products? 

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Look Fantastic Beauty Box | Jan 2017


To usher in the new year this month's beauty box from Look Fantastic is all about refreshing your beauty routine and it's fair to say that it's always in January I get the itch to try something new.

Inside January's box are 6 products - (left to right) (£12),  (full size £14/200ml),  (£15.96),  (full size £30/236ml),  (£17.95) and  (£8)*.


I haven't tried any of the products before but I am familiar with a few of the brands included. Of the 6 products the Pixi Brow Tamer and Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask peaked my interested most. I've been trying to not be so obsessed with filling my brows in everyday but I struggle to leave them bare so I've relying on clear gels like the Pixi Brow Tamer. It's not really noticeable on the skin - as you can't really see or feel it - but it holds really well and lasts. I haven't tried the Briogeo Mask yet (as I'm saving it for when my ends undoubtedly feel really dry when I'm on holiday in colder temperatures next week) but it's made with various natural oils and flower extracts like Avocado and Argan Oil and Marigold extract. The tube is only 29ml so I'd definitely need to try the full size to get an idea of how well this works for my hair but I've already tried and love the Briogeo Rosarco Repair Conditioner (see here) which has similar ingredients.

Highlighting is now an essential part of my makeup routine - even when I'm skipping foundation - so it was hard not to be intrigued by Trifle Cosmetics Liquid Glow. It's a pink-toned illuminator formulated with Cocoa Butter to give the skin a glittery flush of colour. It's not something I'd ordinarily go for as I prefer warmer-toned highlighters but it looks beautiful dabbed onto bare cheekbones as it can kind of double as a blush.


I've been a bit obsessed with using astringents after cleansing lately in an attempt to curb breakouts so I had every intention of using the Nuxe Nuxellence Éclat Lotion Tonique Douce regularly to see if it was worth purchasing - that was until I managed to drop half of it on the floor when I first opened it! I lost a lot of product so whilst I have been using it most nights I'm now almost finished. It leaves my skin feeling really soft and it's quite gentle but it's hard to tell at this point whether it's something I need in my skincare routine.

I haven't used the Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Mascara or The Vintage Cosmetic Company Rose Gold Tweezers yet, mostly as I have other products which do the same job, but it's great that there's been a real mix of products in this month's box.

As ever you can get this box from .

*samples - read my disclaimer .

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? 

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 9 January 2017

Skincare | Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix


Founded by Maria Hatzistefanis (aka Mrs Rodial), skincare brand  aims to provide 'premium skincare and everyday prices' with most products retailing between £8 - £25. The brand creates a whole host of products aimed at helping improve skin hang-ups like cellulite, scarring and anti-aging. I've been using a variety of their products which were sent over in September last year but the range has held my attention most.


Glycolic acid helps clear blocked pores, remove dead skin and deeply cleanse. I've dabbled with applying home chemical peels in the past including Glycolic acid (see here) and it made a massive difference to my skin. The problem was I like skincare to be convenient and I found the process of using home peels a bit cumbersome. I'll admit I am lazy with skincare. I like to apply a product and just leave it to work it's magic but this is where Nip + Fab really have it nailed. There's a lot of products to choose from in the range so it's easy to get your ideal 'fix'.

I have 6 of the 10 products in the Glycolic Fix range and, whilst I've loved all of the ones I've tried, realistically it's quite difficult (and unnecessary) to use any more than 2-3 products in the range at a time, especially if you're looking to still use other products/brands alongside them. My favourite products of the 6 I have are the Cleansing Fix (£7.95/150ml)*, Night Pads Extreme (£14.95/60 pads)* and Radiance Shot (£19.99/30ml). 

The Glycolic Cleansing Fix sees the most use as I tend to reach for in the morning and at night. I've used this cleanser consistently since I got it and you only need the tiniest amount. It cleanses so well and my skin feels so smooth and moisturised afterwards. I've already purchased a replacement for when this runs out so this is now a staple in my skincare routine. 


I use the Night Pads less often - usually 2 or 3 times a week just before bed as recommended - and my skin feels brighter in general and less congested. The name 'Extreme' makes it sound scary but you barely feel the product on the skin and I've not found any redness or irritation when using these. The pads are soaked with 5% glycolic acid (the highest concentration in the range) alongside salicylic, lactic and hyaluronic acid. They're not as concentrated as the home peels I mentioned above but the convenience of using these sold it for me. I usually just smooth a pad over my face before my head hits the pillow and that's it. There's enough product on the pads and the tub hasn't dried out since I've been using them. As you don't need to use these all of the time they last for months and are well worth the price.

The Radiance Shot launched fairly recently is the priciest of the bunch and the size of the product is quite small at 30ml but this is ideal for more targeted treatment. I didn't really need it (as it's effects are quite similar to the Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel I already have) but I bought it anyway. I was kind of swept up in it being new and I was totally sucked in by the packaging. I have no regrets though as I've been massaging a couple of drops of this directly onto any scarring and stubborn areas seem to disappear much faster than usual. You can also mix in a couple of drops of this with your usual moisturiser.


Overall I was a bit dubious about how much difference this range could actually make to my skin but having used a few of the products consistently I have noticed improvements. The tone and texture of my skin feels more even and smoother so I'll definitely continue to use products from the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix range.

*samples - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried anything by Nip + Fab? 

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Hello 2017


Happy New Year! I know I'm a week late but I hope you've all had a great start to 2017! 2016 has been an interesting year to say the least. It was filled with highs and lows, so like many I'm definitely ready to start fresh this year.


It's not all doom and gloom though as I achieved a few personal goals in 2016 which have been on my to-do list for a while - I passed my driving test after putting off learning for many years, started blogging full-time and finally transitioned to natural. There's so much more on my list to be done but those small achievements have definitely made me more motivated to achieve bigger and better things in 2017.

The cliché goals are still on my list - like eat healthier, be more active etc - eating yourself into a food coma each Christmas makes those kind of goals inevitable. Some of my goals for 2017 are almost identical to my 2015 New Years' Resolution post  but I am more determined to actually make changes this year.

One thing I really want to change is my blog which took a backseat in the second half of 2016 for a number of reasons. I've taken a lot of time over deciding where to take this blog next, mostly as I feel like I've restricted myself a little in terms in content by sticking predominantly hair and beauty. I want people to know what they're getting with my blog content but at the same time I am about more than what I look like. I was thinking about a whole re-brand but instead I might just start small and expand the type of content I create. I'll still stick to mostly hair and beauty as I still like creating this type of content and that's what I know a lot of you are here for but what type of content do you like reading most? Do you like just reviews, tutorials and looks or would you like to see some personal or lifestyle content too?

As ever, let me know in the comments as I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Do you have any goals for 2017?

Christine Stewart x

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