Posts Tagged ‘Haircare’

Area H20


posted by on Hair, In Praise Of..., Shampoo / Conditioner, Tried & Tested


Area H20 should rename itself to ‘Area H2Woah’. It’s a new hair care range free of fancy schmancy ingredients and instead addresses how the type of water in the area you live in affects the condition of your hair.

Area H2O has been scientifically formulated by biochemists to work with your water type, not your hair type. It makes sense since you may have noticed how different your hair looks and feels wherever in the world (or the country) you are in.

There is a useful illustration of the UK map on the bottles highlighting which areas are hard, medium and soft and it looks exactly like this:


I was sent the soft water shampoo and conditioner because although I live in London (notoriously a hard water area), I have a water softener installed.

The products are scent-free with the shampoo clear like water. It’s worth noting that it takes a few washes before you notice a difference. Actually it’s all part of the detoxifying process with Area H20 filtering out the build-up left behind from other products and the effects of the water type.

So how does this marvellous concoction work? Well it combats the effects of mineral deposits by acting like a magnet and attracting the metal ions that are present in every water type. This makes it easy to wash them away before they react with your shampoo to form deposits.

If you live in a hard water area, limescale is a major factor – it doesn’t lather well with soap and the residue it leaves behind won’t give you the sleek and shiny appearance that you crave. If you’re in a soft water area, water lathers better but the chemical imbalance makes it more difficult to rinse off hence your hair looks limp and lifeless.

It’s also useful to know both shampoo and conditioner contain a PH of 5.5 – the body’s natural PH.

Since switching to Area H20, my hair looks fuller, healthier, smoother and remains this way for a lengthier period of more than a day in between washes. It also ‘feels’ cleaner. Look!

I do get spoilt with all marvellous hair care products sent to me for review but Area H20 is one that’s wowed me without any fuss or frills. If you’re prone to sensitivity of the scalp then this may well be ideal for you too.

You can buy Area H20 at Look Fantastic and what’s more, it’s so reasonably priced.

It’s available in variants of a Hard, Medium or Soft Water Shampoo for Normal to Fine Hair, Coloured Hair at £9.95 (250ml) and Hard, Medium or Soft Water Conditioner at £9.95 (200ml).  Also there are Duo Packs for £17.50. You can also purchase via the official site

*PR samples*

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posted by on Douvall's Argan Oil, Glossy Box, Hair, Mavala, Perfume, The Body Shop


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I wanted to share with you some things that I am really loving at the moment. I’ve never done a monthly favourites type post but there are so many things I’m enjoying using right now that I hoped this might be interesting.

Herbal Essences Dazzling Shine Serum.* I received this last year as a PR sample, loved it then, forgot about it for a bit, then rediscovered it and love it even more now. I think I was using this a lot over the Royal Wedding time as it reminds me of warm weather and Bank Holidays. It smells amazing and really does make my hair sleeker and shinier.

Remember this post I did just before Christmas? It was an entry for a contest run by the high-end makeup accessory brand Japonesque. Well, imagine my delight when I won one of the competition prizes, which so happened to be  this amazing kit. I’m still having loads of fun playing with it all. Lucky me, eh?

Nars Bilbao lipstick. I have a fuller review of the items I bought from the Nars Spring collection coming later in the week but I can’t get enough of this lipstick at the moment. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t really wear lipstick. I like its toffee goodness.

Hugo Boss Orange.  I sniffed this for the first time a couple of years ago in an airport and loved it. Took me  while to actually get around to buying it though. I do like its fresh and light scent though, and the fact that I started wearing it before a nasty bout of flu and still love it now just shows that its a keeper.

Douvall’s Argan Oil. Believe it or not, this is the brainchild of none other than Alicia Douvall. Yes, she of the gossip pages and plastic surgery. Who knew? Anyway, all I care about is the fact that this stuff has done more for my psoriasis-ridden skin in two months of usage than years of steroids, drugs and creams. This is pure argan oil. It smells a little… goaty…but is absorbed fast. My skin has never been smoother and less irritated. It does rebound when I forget to use it, so as a result, I used up my original PR sample of this ages ago and have subsequently repurchased it three times. (from £12.00, available to purchase here

Rituals shower foamsensation in Yogi Flow. This was in December’s Glossy Box. It’s a foaming gel, much like those Imperial Leather ones that have been around for ages. This smells beautiful, almondy and sweet, without being cake-esque.  It cleans well and makes the bathroom (and my skin) smell great. (£6.50, available to buy here)

The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Lip Butter. Usually I’m not a fan of buttery style lip products as I do find they don’t absorb as well into the skin as the more liquid balms but I make an exception here. This smells just like a fresh grapefruit and applies and moisturises nicely. I do wish it was in stick form rather than a pot though. And isn’t “pamplemousse” the most perfect word?

Jo Malone Red Roses candle*.  Just in case you aren’t lucky enough to be bought real red roses for Valentine’s Day. This is nicer anyway – smelling just as good and lasting a darn sight longer. Like all the products in Jo Malone’s Red Rose range, the candle smells like real flowers. Close your eyes, inhale, and you’d never know. This is an ideal way to sample the fragrance, and at £22.00, is a relatively reasonably priced touch of luxury. (available here)

Mavala Mavadry.* It’s been forever since I published my Quickdrying topcoat comparison post but I’m still using up some of the bottles I featured in it. One that arrived after the post aired (and will feature in the next one) is Mavadry. Just as good as any of the usual quickdrying suspects only criminally overlooked. It dries super fast, it lasts well and so far, I love it. (£6.99 for 10ml, available here)

My orchids. Purely for the fact that I’ve managed to keep these alive,where I have miserably failed every other plant I’ve ever owned.

And finally…. The Hunger Games trilogy. The sole reason I have not blogged, rarely tweeted, and seen practically no-one for the past couple of weeks. I’m about halfway through Mockingjay (the third book) at the moment, and am dreading it ending, although am excited for the film  – and the China Glaze nail polish tie-in collection. Have you read these books? And if not, why not?

So there we go. A little glimpse into what I’m loving right now. How about you?


*denotes PR sample


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posted by on Hair, On The Fence About..., Personal grooming, Shampoo / Conditioner


I’ve spent the last few months growing out all of the chemical straightening that I’ve been inflicting on my hair for the past five or six years. Not only chemical straightening but also excessive use of the GHDs. My hair has certainly looked better than it does right now, but I figure it is a means to an end.

This does mean that the ends of my hair are not only in need of a good chop (which I am saving for just before the wedding) but also in need of some nourishing and love. Sadly, at the moment, funds don’t stretch to the £38 Shu Uemera hair treatment that set Twitter ablaze recently, so I decided to put some supermarket deep conditioning offeerings to the test.

One note of caution. When my camera’s battery is low, it takes shocking photos, which I never realise til it’s too late as they normally look ok through the preview pane. Sorry folks.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Critical Care Miraculous Recovery Strengthening Creme Masque.

What it claims: “This formula penetrates hair to treat damaged areas, strengthens and safeguards against future breakage and frizz.”

What I think: Not only does this have the longest, most irritating name of the four I tried, it also has the longest application. I’m a shower girl – I don’t “do” baths, and subsequently, nothing irritates me as much as the phrase “apply to towel dry hair”, meaning I have to get out of the shower, wrap myself and my hair up in towels.

The consistency was fine, and the smell, like all other Frizz-Ease products, reminded me of school PVA glue. It rinsed out fine, and there was plenty in the sachet. But despite leaving this on for the requisite 20 minutes required to give my hair a “special treat”, it did nothing. My hair felt crispy, undernourished and no improvement on before trying the treatment.

Score: 2/10. A total let down and disappointment after all the application hassle.

Andrew Collinge Complete Moisture 1 Minute Wonder Deep Conditioning Salon Treatment.

What it says: “Restructures and rehydrates for instant manageability and shine”

What I think: This treatment made me really sad. I thought I’d cracked it. It smells wonderful, applies beautifully, AND you only have to leave it on for a minute.

After getting out of the shower and leaving my hair to dry naturally, it felt smooth, silky and utterly moisturised. Happy days.  However, towards the end of the day, my scalp started itching. Not a little tingle or an annoying twitch, but literally needing to claw and rake my nails through my scalp to try and get some relief. I am devastated as this worked the best out of all the conditioners I tried, but there must have been something in the ingredients that my scalp didn’t like. On a positive note, my hair still felt lovely and soft after I’d washed it the next day with my usual shampoo and conditioner.

Score: 3/10. I urge you those of you with less sensitive skin to try this one out and let me know if you have a reaction. I’m sad about this as I as hoping this would be a 10/10.

TRESemme Deep Smoothing Masque for Frizz-prone, Coarse & Rebellious Hair.

What it says: “Professional performance formula penetrates deeply to transform frizzy hair into hair that is silky and manageable”

What I say: This is the best value for money as at 30ml was the largest of the sachets – I could have got two uses out of this. Left on the hair for two to five minutes, it took a fair while to rinse out. The smell was fine but highly chemical, like it is packed with perfume.

It didn’t soften my hair, like the Andrew Collinge did, but nor did it leave it as dry or crunchy as the John Frieda. It was just kind of blah. No better, no worse. Maybe slightly softer but I certainly didn’t have any real “wow” moment after using it. Unremarkable.

Score: 4/10. Purely for the reason that it didn’t make me itch, but not higher as it was completely unmemorable.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Colour Deep Treatment For Coloured Hair In Need Of Love

What it says: “Our unique formula with Australian Wild Peach extract, is an amazing concoction that takes only 3 minutes to transform dry dull hair into vibrant, luscious yumminess”

I’m not averse to using treatments designed for coloured hair. Whilst I don’t have a drop of dye in my hair right now, curly hair is notorious for being dry and thirsty so I often reach for a deep conditioner designed for coloured hair. I usually absolutely love the Aussie Three Minute Miracle that is grape scented.

Not this one though. I appreciate this is purely a matter of taste, but from the moment I dried my hair, the smell of this stuff just made me queasy. To me, it smells like the pot pourri you get in old people’s homes, or the cheap and nasty peach air freshener in the office toilet. Nasty. Yes, it softened my hair to a point, and made it feel clean and light, without any itching but spending the day battling my gag reflex didn’t really make it worthwhile.

Score 1/10.  This would have been higher had I not had such an aversion to the perfume.

In conclusion. All of these sachets retailed at £1.20 or under and I tried one a week over a four week period. In terms of conditioning and performance, Andrew Collinge would have been my runaway winner were it not for the itching, and Aussie would have been a good runner up, had it not smelled of the office toilet. So all in all, there’s nothing here urging me to buy a full sized version. The search goes on. Do you have any recommendations for me?


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