Advice for Beauty Reviews You Will Be crazy Not to Take

Honest Beauty Reviews

The beauty reviews become important when I am looking into purchasing any new products that come onto the market, whether they are face creams, make-up, hair products, face washes or any other imaginable “beauty” products. I always search online for the reviews written by beauty bloggers and other every-day bloggers that have tried the products.  I do this for a whole host of different reasons..

I’ve been suckered into buying a product just by the appearance of the advert.  The advertising companies job is to produce a slick advert for the product, whether to appear on the tv, in magazines or on-line, the purpose is to draw people in and create a buzz around the product, creating a need and want among the masses.  This want and need is then translated into sales. 

The products look good, whether it’s a shampoo advert, the girl having long, shiny, swishy hair, or the latest foundation where the model used ends up with flawless looking skin that is bright and youthful, it draws people in, they want the product as it seems so full of promise, you, as the consumer, end up wanting the shiny, swishy long hair and the flawless complexion that shaves years off your appearance, so you dutifully go out and purchase said product.

  Then, you get the product home and find that the foundation you bought might work but has the finish of sticky tar and doesn’t blend easily, and that shampoo seems to have the same effect as the cheap one you bought between paydays in the local supermarket – and I’m talking from experience.  Being able to read reviews about these products from other people who have tried them, and getting an honest opinion about all manner of the product’s traits,  from the smell, texture, effectiveness, and everything in between gives a much more realistic view of the products than the adverts would have you believe.

The function of Beauty Reviews

Companies always want you to believe their product is the “Miracle Product of the Year” and will solve all your problems.  This goes hand in hand with the advertising campaigns and I’ve been drawn into this one so many times, I have the proof in many an over-stuffed beauty cupboard.  I bleach my hair and have combination skin which flakes around the nose and forehead, and I used to be constantly buying the newest products on the market that promised to be extra moisturizing for my battered hair and the best cleanse-tone-moisturiser set for my skin type that will Oh-My-Gosh fix that problem skin, hardly any of them worked, were too harsh or didn’t live up to the claims they were making.  I have several product regrets (that expensive face wash I bought that set me off in a rash being one…) which if I had spent the time reading reviews from other bloggers I really wouldn’t have purchased.

More expensive or cheap options are not always the best… I am a sucker for a deal, you know the kind… you are walking around the local supermarket, doing your weekly food shop, when suddenly, at the end of an aisle you spot the deal of the century…. (and this is all true…) Argan Oil Shampoo, Intense Conditioner and Hair Oil, each for £1, so you pile them into your trolley thinking “OMG, that’s so cheap and my hair really could do with a treat, its been so dry recently, and I’ve heard Argan Oil is the bees knees in hair products recently…”.  Then you get home and decide to treat your hair with the new products, starting with the shampoo – lather up and your hair starts to take on the texture of wet wool… “Ok, maybe this is how it is supposed to feel” you think, as your hair knots and mats up even more, “No worries, it will all be ok when I put the conditioner on…”. 

Rinse, rinse, rinse, then slap as much conditioner on as possible… “Ok, it’s still a bit knotted and matted, just chuck some more conditioner on…” you think.  Still, you try to justify the condition of your hair…” it will be fine once it’s drying and the oil is applied…I’m sure the products all need to be used together for the best effects…”.  Rinse, rinse, rinse again, towel dry and apply the oil before trying to blow dry.  You can’t even get a brush through it by this point and start freaking out that your hair is going to stay in that bird’s nest formation FOREVER.

  It’s not until the second or third time of using the products and having the same response from them each time that you decide to sit down in front of the Googlebox and do some research and find that every other person who has used this product has had the same effects as you.  Then you do some further research and find that the product is full of silicone and other “cheap bulking ingredients” and contains just over 1% actual real Argan Oil that you realise the “bargain of the century” you bagged is not much better than some cheap carpet cleaner and, funny now you mention it, has a similar smell too :/ . 

This happened to me, and it has taken weeks and weeks to break down the silicone that is coating my hair and getting it back to a reasonable condition, and though I have talked about the “cheap deal”, I have had similar experiences with more expensive products that have been on a deal too.  The lesson to be learned here is that it pays to do some research.  I now either stick to the products I know work for me or if I see a “deal” on products that I’ve not used, I write them down – where I saw the product, how much the product was, the product producer, company etc, then I go home and research the product, from the ingredients to the company and the reviews.  I want to know as much as I can about that product before I use it, especially the opinions from other people who have already tried the product.

The biggest thing to remember about beauty products is that we all have different skin types and hair types, we all take different medication, have different allergies, react differently to certain ingredients, and no one product will be suitable for everyone, while we can read reviews on products, they are only there as a form of guidance, and should be used as such.  I form opinions on products in so many different ways, from looking at the adverts, looking at the ingredients used in the product, knowing what other products the company has created in the past and whether those products have been successful, whether the production company is well-known, and the views of others. 

If a product has more negative reviews than positives I tend to stay clear of that product, the opposite if the product has received really good reviews and then I tend to make up my own mind on products that have a mixed set of reviews, using research methods to help me make that choice.  I believe it is important, as consumers, to be more knowledgable about the products we buy and use, it would save so much money and product waste, if we all knew the ins and outs of the products and even knew more about our own skin and how it reacts, whether your skin is dry, oily, combination, prone to breakouts if using certain products, becomes dry and itchy in certain situations, or reacts badly to some ingredients.  The beauty industry is one of the biggest in the world and is growing every day, more and more products are being made, some good, some bad, some being produced using the best ingredients and some using the cheapest of the cheap…research and reviews is the way to go when looking to buy new beauty products in the future.

And talking about reviews…I shall be getting back into the swing of posting reviews soon!  I have a ton of products that I have been wanting to share for ages but work commitments (both home, college and regular (9-5) work) have been slowing me down recently!

Hand Care Favorites – Product Reviews

I have had several comments made on my pricing of nails and hand treatments recently and I cannot help but wonder if part of this is down to a few other “nail techs” in my area advertising on the local selling sites a full set of acrylics with “bling” (otherwise known as gems and bows and other nail additions) for around the £12 mark. My prices have always been set at similar prices to other QUALIFIED techs in my area, and the clients I do have are happy to pay the prices I set.

Anyway, back to the £12 nails, I do have some problems with understanding how this pricing works… Firstly there is the wage you pay yourself, which when a set of acrylics should take between an hour and a half (for basic acrylics) and 2 and a half hours (depending on many other factors including artwork and “bling”), you could be paying yourself £4.80 per hour.

Secondly, you have to take into account the cost of your products, from monomer and polymer (the liquid and powder acrylic that is used to form the nails), the nail tips and forms (used to create the free edge and provide length), the disinfectant solution (used to disinfect tools to prevent infections and cross contamination), the disposables (wipes, files, couch roll, orange sticks etc.), the tools (brushes, dappen dishes, nail clippers, cuticle pushers etc.), and other nail essentials (sanitizer, oils, cuticle creams, cuticle removers etc.) and nail art (polishes, gems, glitters, bows, decals, base and top coat etc.). Once you add up the cost of these items (and I haven’t provided a full list) you then need to divide this by the amount of nails you can produce from all the items and take that away from the cost of the nails… I’d say by a rough calculation you are now down to paying yourself a wage of under £1.00. And that is if you use quality products.

The third point you need to take into consideration is training, how long was the training for, are their qualifications available and how much did this training cost? I, myself trained for a year, gained a distinction and have the certificate to prove this. I also paid extra to be trained in gel polish by O.P.I and am undertaking further courses, regularly, to keep up to date with trends, fashions and new products that come out onto the market almost daily. This should be factored into the cost of the nails.

Insurances are the fourth point; letting someone carry out nail services on your nails when they are not insured is just plain crazy. If they aren’t insured then they probably do not have any qualifications, understand and follow proper health and safety and hygiene and could end up ruining your nails and causing infections and all manner of horrible problems. To put it into basics, you wouldn’t allow someone who couldn’t drive and wasn’t insured to drive your car so why let an unqualified and uninsured person do your nails?

Now, onto my nails and my costing’s… I charge from £23 for gel and acrylic nails. I am fully qualified and hold a City and Guilds certificate in Nail Technologies where I gained a Distinction for my work. This work covered all aspects of the nails, from the structure of the nail to nail problems, contraindications, and other nail problems, it covered health and safety in the workplace, why sanitation and disinfection was a highly important factor in the nail industry, working with chemicals and how to safeguard yourself and client from any potential hazards, how to correctly use tools so that there is no damage caused to the natural nail, correct application, and removal processes and how to create the best, long-lasting nails. I am insured with ABT insurance, for the client’s peace of mind and for my own. In this industry, I feel that this is such an important factor.

I use NSI products, which is the brand that I used through training. NSI products are good quality and a trusted brand throughout the nail tech world; you can ONLY purchase NSI products from them if you are qualified and have certificates to prove this. Yes, you can buy their products from e-bay, but this to me is not professional and raises  questions about the product such as : how do you know it is the genuine product? How do you know that it is good? How do you know that it doesn’t contain MMA*, the only way of knowing really is by buying the genuine product DIRECT from the supplier and as I said previously, you can only do that if you are qualified.

Paying for cheap nails has so many potential hazards and health risks, you as a client need to ask is it worth it? Is the tech qualified and insured? Do they sanitize and disinfect their equipment prior to use or between clients? Do they have insurance? And are they using good quality products to create nails that will last?

Is your nail and hand health worth only £12?

*MMA is a DENTAL ACRYLIC which is not suitable for the nail and can have so many risks associated with it… Read more about the health risks associated with MMA HERE

Meaningful Beauty Reviews

Soap and Glory Righteous Butter is one of those products that I don’t use all the time but when I do I wonder why I don’t use it more often, I suppose it’s partly because in my head this product is a luxury and it makes my skin feel so lovely that it couldn’t possibly feel that way again!  I first tried this product when I received a Soap and Glory mini’s set for Christmas one year and since then receive a set every year for Christmas, between purchasing my own products from them!  This product is a really rich and soothing body butter, it is thicker than normal lotions, so much so that I would liken it to a pat of butter. 

This is made with aloe vera and Shea butter which are soothing and nourishing to dry skin.  It is scented with a mix of “bergamot, rose, peaches, strawberry, gardenia, jasmine, patchouli, and warm amber” (The Original Pink fragrance) and to me, this scent is comforting whilst still being womanly and light.  I normally use this product after an evening shower, as a treat for my skin, probably once or twice a fortnight.  It is a great product to use when you want to feel pampered or special before a night out.

Soltan After Sun Spray is a staple in my summer life.  I spend a lot of time outdoors and away in the summer, having a camper van means I go to loads of festivals and other outdoorsy events where my skin is exposed to the elements more than normal.  I love that this product is a spray formula that I can apply myself, and get onto hard to reach areas such as my back and shoulders without too much effort.  This absorbs quickly and cools the skin instantly.  It isn’t greasy (I hate products that just sit on top of the skin) and it seems to do the job moisturising and protecting my skin.

Malibu Factor 10 Sunscreen is really a no brainer when it comes to protecting your skin.  Having sunburn is painful, and even minute amounts of exposure to the sun can do your skin damage that the naked eye may not be able to detect for quite some time.  I love the scent of this product, it always reminds me of beach holidays, it’s really coconutty!  I like the spray bottle for ease of application and the product itself, is a bit oily but leaves skin feeling moisturised rather than suffocated.  I probably go through about 3 or 4 of these bottles during the summer months.

Garnier Body Summer Body moisturising lotion is a lotion with a hint of tan which is perfect to use in the pre-summer weeks to build up a bit of colour and also used after you have gotten a tan to prolong the colour.  This product is available in two tones, “Light Sunkissed Look” and “Deep Sunkissed Look”.  I tend to go for the darker tan as my skin tone is not that pale and I have found the Light Sunkissed Look doesn’t really show up on my skin that much. The product smells quite fruity and absorbs well, doesn’t seem to streak although care needs to be taken when applying around the knee and elbow area. 

The only downside I can find for this product is that a few days after use you can start to smell that trademark fake tan biscuit smell which, to be honest, I really don’t find that offensive.  I like to use this product after a shower and apply it to the whole of me, using it as a moisturizing lotion with the benefit of a hint of tan.  I don’t tend to keep this product confined to the summer months either and use it all year round.

The Body Shop do some fantastic body butters and this Satsuma one is one of my favorites.  The product is thick and nourishing to dry skin, absorbing well and leaves skin feeling really soft and cared for.  The scent lasts for ages on your skin afterwards too (which is always a bonus!)  I like to use this product in the colder months as I sometimes feel that my skin is less looked after, more neglected in autumn and winter as it is bundled away under layers of clothes and, as it is not seen so much, we care for it less.  You can buy different sized tubs of this product although the smaller sized ones can be found more readily in their gift sets.  I always buy a big tub as it seems like good value for money and lasts me for ages!  A little of this product goes a long way!  The Body Shop do lots of different scents in their Body Butter range and you can buy matching items from shower gel to perfume to use.  Its worth keeping an eye out over the months for limited edition sets, a few years ago there was a cranberry set released for Christmas that smelled divine!

Nip and Fab 365 Body Glow Fix is one of my favorite self tanning products.  The product comes in a gel form and is so easy to use and doesn’t ever seem to streak.  It smells of white tea and contains vitamin e which help to boost the skins moisture content and make the skin look brighter.  It dries really quickly and the tan develops within 4 hours leaving the skin with a nice healthy glow.  It doesn’t go patchy like other self tan can as it wears off and this formula seems to leave a colour on the skin for longer than other types I have tried. I use this product on my legs and arms around once a week to once a fortnight to prolong my tan and give me a bit of colour in the darker months of the year.

FCUK Pure Body Lotion is a really lovely product to use when you want to smell and feel fresh.  It contains jojoba and coconut oils which really moisturise the skin and also contains vitamin e.  This product seems to deliver a long-lasting burst of moisture to the skin without leaving a greasy film lingering.  The pump-action top helps to dispense the perfect amount of lotion

Soap and Glory Girligo Moisturising Body Mist is in the same fragrance as the Soap and Glory Righteous Butter (above).  I like to use this product in the mornings as it is moisturizing and quick to use.  It leaves the skin soft and scented all day.  I really like the spray applicator, it means that the product is applied evenly and quickly and no product is wasted.

Next Gold Body Lotion came as part of a set I purchased a while ago. I love this for the scent which reminds me of evenings out and special occasions.  The scent contains amber and vanilla notes along with flower nectar which make it perfect as an evening scent.  I like to use this product before a night out, layering it with the matching perfume to make the scent last longer.  This product is really moisturising which I was really surprised about as a lot of lotions I have had as part of a set don’t seem to be that good in terms of the ingredients used and the products have seemed like not very good value for money.  I’m nearing the end of this product now and can’t wait to be able to go and purchase another!

Soap and Glory seem to feature on many of my top product lists and this Daily Smooth body butter is no exception.  It has the same fragrance as the other Soap and Glory products mentioned in this post so I won’t be talking about that, I will just focus on the actual product!  This product is by far my favorite product for its moisturizing properties and it’s really long-lasting, both in the effects on the skin and in the actual product!  You do not need a lot of this product for it to work, a little goes a long way due to the makeup and texture of the product.  It is a very dense cream that is almost solid on appearance, however, when you use it you realize that this is just a super thick cream that is easy to spread and work in.  The product is absorbed easily and doesn’t leave the skin feeling smothered, in its place is soft, smooth skin which feels moisturized.  This product is great on legs after hair removal and also on feet, elbows, and knees, where any dry skin patches can occur.

Where to find the products

Soap and Glory Righteous Butter
Soltan After Sun Spray
Garnier Body Summer Body moisturizing lotion
Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter
FCUK Pure Body Lotion”>FCUK Pure Body Lotion
Next Gold Body Lotion”>Next Gold Body Lotion
Nail Room Set Up

I thought I would write a post about my nail room as even though I am a mobile nail tech I like to be able to give clients the option to come to me if they prefer.  This is also the room that I store my products and equipment in and also where I can sit and practice my nails and try out new things.

I set up my front room as a nail salon (I prefer the term “Salon” as a bar to me doesn’t sound quite right) with everything I need to hand.  I have an Expedit shelving unit from Ikea which is really handy for keeping everything within reach, and because the shelves are that little bit deeper than normal shelves, all my equipment fits into it nicely.

On the top set of shelves I keep all my manicure and pedicure products, my acrylic products and nail tips.  I have some metal shelf “stepper” inserts which are super handy and mean that make all my products are visible to me at a glance.

The second level of shelving houses my “The Guild” and “Scratch magazines, A5 folders of nail art that I have created, nail art books, my manicure tools, and nail art box.  These are items I use regularly and are handy to have within arms reach.

On the 3rd set of shelving are my training manuals and notes (though I am looking for a better place for them to live at the moment!) , a basket that contains my towels, couch roll and manicure pillow, my UV lamp and my Leighton Denny box which contains some nail art supplies which I don’t use as much or have excess of.

And the fourth set of shelves that run along the bottom hold my pedal bin (keeping it safe and out-of-the-way so it doesn’t become a trip hazard!), storage for things I don’t use that often, a cool drawer that holds paperwork and receipts and boxes which hold other paperwork.  I’m not completely happy with the bottom shelf yet and am considering purchasing some more drawer units to store my things in which will make it look so much neater in the long run.

And, finally, the last addition to my nail room are my framed nail certificates.  I sourced the frames from our local Asda, they are ok but not the ones I originally wanted (which were not in stock at the time), however, they do the job and look clean and simple and tidy, fitting onto my radiator cover neatly and allow clients to see my qualifications, my grades and what procedures and treatments I am trained in.

Make Up Beauty Reviews

This post covers make-up products that I use on a day-to-day basis and has become my “Staple – I Can’t live without” products.

The Bodyshop Extra Virgin Minerals Powder Foundation is something that I purchased the first time (I’m now on my 4th pot!) when there was a lot being written about mineral make-up and how much better it was for your skin than traditional liquid foundations.  This has been a staple in my make-up routine since I first tried it.  It is a powder that gets tapped through a fine sieve like piece in the lid and buffed onto the skin with a large brush.  I like that with this product you can really control the coverage you need, applying as sheer as you like or building up the layers for a more opaque finish. 

The powder format means it is easy to get into all areas of the face, it blends easily and doesn’t seem to “sit” on top of the skin like a lot of foundations can.  It is good for normal to oily skin as it absorbs some of the oils and doesn’t slide off or melt.  The range comes in 9 colors which means there is something to suit most skin tones, I have 2 colors – one for winter, one for summer, and then I blend for spring and autumn to get a perfect balance.  This product also contains an SPF of 25.

Collection 2000 Colour Pout is a felt tip colour marker for your lips.  This is a fantastic product which comes in several colours, the one I use is called “Pout”, a bright pinky coloured lip stain.  I love lip stains and have owned loads in different formats, from colour stain balms and sticks to liquids and pens. The felt pen format is by far my favourite, you can get a nice clean line around the edge of the lip, it dries pretty instantly and leaves no sticky residue after.  Other good things about lip stains are that the colour takes ages to fade, far longer than a lipstick, it doesn’t smudge or leave tell-tale marks on cups and glasses, its something you can put on and then forget about.

I have had several shimmer bricks before, all by different brands and I really do love them all, but Seventeen Instant Glow Shimmer Brick has become a speedy favorite because it has graduated color strips, making it easier to use and blend the perfect color for your skin.  I apply this with a kabuki brush and use the darker tones to contour my skin and the lighter tones to add a hint of shimmer where needed (brow bone, top of cheeks, etc).  This is a really fab product that can enhance a tan and brighten the skin. I like that this product contains enough shimmer to be subtle but not too much that you end up sparkling like a glitter ball!

I found out about Model Co from a magazine that was promoting the company with a free eye pencil.  Since then I have now become the owner of 4 of these Model Co pencils, mostly because I carry them around everywhere!  i have one in my work bag, one in my holiday/going away bag, one upstairs on my dresser and another in my front room!  These are really lovely pencils, they are not too hard or soft, retaining their shape for precision lines and don’t drag the skin.  The texture is soft and you are able to smudge them easily so the lines are not harsh.  And, the best bit…each comes with a built-in sharpener in the lid which means you do not have to worry about carrying around a separate sharpener with you, saving space in your make-up bag and time spent looking for one!

The Maybelline Master Smoky pencil was an impulse purchase that I made a few months ago.  I had been picking up some other make-up bits that I needed and were on an offer so I grabbed this to see what it was like!  I’m a fan of chunky eye-colour pencils already and find them really easy to apply and blend and this is no exception.  I bought the Master Smoky pencil in the Grey colourway as sometimes black can be a bit harsh but it also comes in several other options (navy, brown and a purpley colour).

  The Master Smoky pencil range is a chunky eye pencil that is really soft, on the opposite end to the product is an applicator-like sponge that can be used to smudge the product and create a smoky-eyed effect.  The beauty of this product is that once it has been smudged you can then build up the intensity of the color around the eye to create a graduated design.  The pencil can then be used to line the eye as well.

Where to Where to find the products –

Collection 2000 Colour Pout”>Collection 2000 Colour Pout
Model Co pencil”>Model Co pencil

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