Jun 20, 2013

Travel Essentials

I'm beyond excited about my imminent trip to Thailand and I got to thinking about the 'essentials' that I'll need to take with me.
I've got a white, floppy hat like this and you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm taking it. I got caught out in the sun earlier this year and I'm not about to make that mistake again. A nice wide-brimmed hat will protect your face, shoulders and decolletage area.

To go with the floppy hat, I've got my trusty Clarins SPF20 Sun Care Cream. It allows a safe tan to develop but it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. The sun isn't as harsh in Thailand as it is in NZ, but I'd still rather be safe than sorry. Our Pharmacist warned us that our 'anti Malaria' medication may make us sensitive to the sun, so I'm not taking any chances.

A fruity and flirty fragrance like this Island Fantasy by Britney Spears is perfect for walks on the beach on balmy nights. A mouthwatering mix of citrus cocktail, mandarin, clementine, watery melon and red fruits intertwines with refreshing floral notes of jasmine, freesia and violet. A surprising finish of soft musky undertones and sugar cane makes the tantalising aroma carefree, flirty and feminine, just what you'd look for in a holiday fragrance. It's smells good enough to drink and reminds me of a freshly mixed cocktail.

Speaking of which, I will be indulging in a few of these pool-side! A girl's got to have fun on vacay, right?

Ahhh, the less glamourous side to our holiday but crucial to include, because this will be a travel essential for us. Insect repellent is a must for any hilly, bushy or river area, especially at dusk. 

I've bought this Manicare travel boarding set and have already filled it up with my 'Airplane Essentials' (that needs it's own post!). A great size for taking on the plane and surprisingly, it holds a lot.

I've got a fresh copy of this book waiting for me to take on holiday. Will be great on the plane, poolside or on the beach. I'm not that slow a reader but we'll see how we go. I always take books away with me, I appreciate the time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and love unwinding with a book.

Lastly, I couldn't go anywhere without a decent lip balm and this one by Dr. Hauschka is my latest favourite. It's got Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, Apriocot Kernel Oil, Jojoba Oil, Anthyllis, Calendula and real silk in it. It really soaks in and nourishes my lips, rather than just sitting on the surface. It's going to be great on the plane and fabulous on the beach!

So those are my travel essentials. I'll be back to show you what I'm taking on the plane with me, you all know it's going to be a little high maintenance. Otherwise why would I have a blog like this?!

- Lizy x

Jun 19, 2013

Clairol Professional Visible Repair Review

Visible Repair Shampoo 250ml* $16.90
Visible Repair Express Conditioner 250ml* $16.90
Visible Repair Conditioning Balm 250ml* $16.90
Visible Repair Intensive Mask 200ml* $16.90
Dramatize Volume Mousse 250ml* $23.50

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I find it hard to fall in love with an entire range of hair care products. Normally I'd favour one or two products and mix and match with other brands. Well hand-on-heart, this is probably the first range of products to impress me at every corner.

I wanted to wait a few weeks before doing a review on the new Clairol Professional range so I could try it and give an honest review. I was sent the Visible Repair range after it was decided that my hair would benefit the most from it. And benefit it did!

I've never once reached for a different product in the shower. In fact, after 2 weeks of use, I was so happy with the results that I took my other hair care products out of the shower altogether. Read on for my review of the products.

I've been really happy with this shampoo/conditioner duo. I mentioned it before, but it's not everyday that I fall in love with both products and continue to use them until they're all gone. They suit my hair type perfectly and leave it shiny, hydrated and smooth. I've been able to cut down on washing my hair to every second day. Something I'm happy about as previously I was having to do it everyday. 

The shampoo gently cleanses my hair with a pleasing lather and leaves it feeling instantly light and refreshed. It's good to know that the shampoo contains silk and almond oil too. All too often, shampoos are just plain cleansing formulas and all of the nourishment is supposed to come from the conditioner. I like to know that my hair is taken care of every step of the way. 

My hair is relatively fine and so it has a tendency to get 'weighed' down by heavy conditioners etc. With the Visible Repair conditioner, I never find that my hair is weighed down, greasy, thick, oddly-textured or anything like that. It's only left smooth, shiny, hydrated, tangle-free and sweet smelling. I apply a 50c amount to my ends and mid-lengths, massage in and leave it for the remainder of my shower. When it comes time to wash out, it's melted into my ends and left it super soft and silky. 

This mask is a fantastic intensive treatment for the ends of my hair. I use it once a week and leave it on for about 5 mins before washing off. I used to be a bit lazy with hair masks, but after feeling how soft my hair was after the first use, I was hooked. This whole range has increased the health of my hair so much, but I know that an intensive mask is just what the doctor ordered - Concentrated nutrients to repair my ends. Under this 'naturally' brown facade, you can find bleached ends. Don't ask why 20 year-old Lizy thought bleach was a good option. I've been paying for it ever since.

In keeping with the I-love-conditioned-hair theme, I use this Repair Balm most days. It's an absolutely ginormous bottle that will last me an age (thankfully)! I used to use Moroccan Oil but I ran out and never replaced it. This is an awesome substitute for when you feel like you want to add that extra softening step at the end of your routine. I feel like this product protects my hair throughout the day and keeps it tangle free. I use one and a half pumps on my mid-lengths and pay particular attention to my ends. 

I mentioned earlier that I have fine hair and on an average day it doesn't bother me too much. The Visible Repair range doesn't weigh my hair down at all and so I don't notice it. However, some days you just want that va-va-voom volume and wave look. That's when I'll use the Dramatize Volume Mousse. I concentrate a good pump's worth at my roots and massage in when my hair is towel dried/still damp. I dry it with a hair dryer on these days, and give my hair the mandatory flip upside down move. This pumps up the volume even more. I softly brush it out with a boar bristle brush afterwards to avoid a full on 80s effect and mist with a little hair spray. This mousse gives enough texture to hold a style, but it never feels crispy or 'dirty' like some mousses I've tried. The woes of being a woman!

I'm going on holiday next week (follow me around the house doing the happy dance) and you better believe I'm taking these trusty products with me. I found some 75ml containers that are perfect for shampoo and conditioner and filled them up. I'm trying to cut out unnecessary weight in my suitcase and although these containers look small, all I could think of when I was pouring these out was, "this is nearly three months worth"! Haha, you can tell I'm not wasteful. They've worked brilliantly here in NZ for me and I know that they'll be fine in the hot (I hope) Thai climate. I'm going to take them in that Lancome ziplock bag just in case they leak (I doubt it though).

Mandatory photo of me looking all smug with my soft, shiny, volumised hair!

You can also believe there's been a lot of hair touching going on lately. I'm a bit obsessed.

Clairol Professional descriptions:

Clairol Professional Visible Repair Shampoo
RRP $16.90
The salon-exclusive Clairol Professional Visible Repair Shampoo, enriched with silk proteins and almond oil helps repair and nourish damaged hair, while cleansing it.  It provides the hair with a smoother, even structure and an extra shine vs. untreated hair.
Application: Massage on to wet hair, then rinse.

Clairol Professional Visible Repair Express Conditioner
RRP $16.90
This salon-exclusive Express Conditioner provides nourishment and express repair to damaged hair, leaving it stronger, shinier and silkier vs. untreated hair.
Application: Massage onto wet hair for 1-3 minutes, then rinse.

Clairol Professional Visible Repair Intensive Mask
RRP $16.90
This salon-exclusive formula instantly repairs the structure of damaged hair, by filling cuticle micro-cracks to restore the surface of the hair. Clairol Professional Visible Repair Intensive Mask leaves hair looking shiny and feeling nourished, strengthened and more resilient.
Application: Work in to damp hair, leave 5 minutes rinse thoroughly.

Clairol Professional Visible Repair Conditioning Balm (250ml)
RRP $16.90
This lightweight salon-exclusive formula instantly nourishes damaged hair from root to tips, to visibly repair damaged and weak hair. Hair is left feeling stronger, silky and easy to comb. Clairol Professional Visible Repair Conditioning Balm also helps prevents static reactions in hair to ensure you look on top of your game no matter what your day has in store for you.
Application: Apply to damp hair, do not rinse out.

Clairol Professional Dramatize Volume Mousse 
RRP $23.50
Creates fullness and body for up to 24hrs with Clairol Professional Dramatize Volume Mousse. This professional extra strong hold mousse helps strengthen fine hair with a rich moisturizing formula, which washes out easily, and doesn’t leave the hair sticky or greasy.
Application: Shake well before use, apply a small amount to hands and work into towel dried hair, Blow-dry or style as normal

So what it comes down to, is that these products are fantastic value for money. For a professional, salon-only range like Clairol Professional you can expect to pay at least half the price of other salon products. It definitely does not mean that they lack quality or performance, quite the opposite actually. I prefer them to some salon products I've paid four times the price for. I haven't even noticed that my hair hasn't been cut for months, because I have no split ends and my hair is always soft. I've fallen in love with them and will definitely be purchasing in the future.

If you're looking for a fantastic salon range without the luxury price tag, then give these Clairol Professional products a thought. Sold exclusively in salons, you can ring (NZ) 0800 800 128 for details. 

Have you tried these products? Will you look into buying them?

- Lizy x

Jun 4, 2013

Support Your Local Pharmacy

As I'm stuck at home full of sickness today, I thought it fitting to talk about supporting your local pharmacy. Pharmacies have always been my favourite place to shop and explore. I'll tell you a little story. The day after I finished high school, I was sat on the couch thinking of summer and all the free time I'd have to sunbathe and hang with my besties before uni started. My Stepdad had another idea (bless him). He wasn't content with my 10hrs of paid work at a shoe store per week and so threatened to banish Facebook and (shock horror) Bebo from our household. He works in IT so you better believe that I knew that he was telling the truth. That afternoon, I rang around EVERY pharmacy in my city. As luck would have it, the last pharmacy I rang was looking for someone like me to work for them. I got the job and the rest is history. 

I loved working in pharmacy, I learnt so much and went on to work for two more pharmacies before moving up to Palmerston North to study. My boyfriend can attest to the fact that I have to go into every chemist shop I find in a new town we go to. He doesn't understand that new treasures are waiting to be discovered every where we go. 

This is how I found Cook St Pharmacy, a local pharmacy just down the road from where we live. I'd driven past countless times and seen their specials advertised on Facebook, but never had the time to stop and browse, until recently. What I love about local pharmacies, is the service you receive. Immediately I was greeted by friendly staff and was asked if I needed any help. Obviously I was there on a treasure hunt and so was happy just to look on my own. 

I found these gorgeous Mavala nail polishes* on a stand with a 2 for $15 dollar special. I snapped them up, not believing the price (it was a much better deal than was advertised in the local department store). I've used Mavala before and really enjoy their polishes. I find they last well on me, aren't thick or gluggy and come in a gorgeous range of colours. It's a common misconception that these are cheapie, poor quality polishes because not a lot of people know the brand. They are actually lovely, Swiss made nail varnishes of high quality. I was also in need of a new shower loofah* and found one that I liked for a reasonable price. QVS is a great brand of beauty supplies and you can't often find it, so it was great to see it in this pharmacy. I enquired about a student discount and was told that they offer students 10% off (excluding prescriptions I believe).

If you are a student living in Palmerston North, check out Cook St Pharmacy. The service alone is worth the trip, but they stock lovely ranges at good prices.

From memory, they stock:

Om She
The Herb Farm
Dr Bronners Soaps
Some OPI
Karen Murrell lipstick
Tangle Teezer hair combs (?)

and so much more. 

Check out their Facebook page here
Check out their website here

I will always support my local pharmacies and you should too!

- Lizy x

Jun 3, 2013

NEW Dr. Hauschka Body Washes

New Dr. Hauschka Body Washes 200ml - $29

I'm super excited that Dr. Hauschka have just launched four new body washes. Available in the beautiful fragrances:

Rose Nurturing*
Lemon Lemongrass Vitalising
Almond Soothing
Lavender Sandalwood Calming

There is a body wash to suit your every mood or need. Wonderfully creamy, the new formulations are moisturising and luxurious. Dr. Hauschka's resident perfumer Jörg Zimmermann has hit the nail on the head with these four washes, delicately designed to appeal to everyone. 
I already use the Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil and I love it, so when I found out that a new complementing body wash was launched, I had to have it. I find this wash is perfect to use in the morning as it's very energising, vitalising, and refreshing. I love a zingy/citrus wash in the morning to wake me up and when followed by the matching body oil, my skin is left feeling firm and toned. It's still a creamy, moisturising formula containing Avocado and Sunflower Seed Oils so you don't have to worry about tight, dry skin post-shower. In true Hauschka style, it contains natural, soap-free alternatives to gently cleanse your skin too. 

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you'll know that I have a particular affection towards anything Rose scented. This Rose Nurturing wash only works to increase my obsession. Again, a beautifully creamy formula, enhanced by a delicately crafted fragrance of Orange Blossom, subtle Clove, Vanilla, Sandalwood and of course Rose. This wash aims to nourish and comfort, again with the addition of oils. This is a special wash for any time of day, but I always take this into the shower with me at night. 

All of these Dr. Hauschka washes were designed with a total sensory experience in mind and I think they've hit the mark perfectly. Applied with a cleansing sponge ensures that you achieve a good lather while still treating your skin gently. At only $29 they make a perfect gift for a special someone (or yourself), and I guarantee they'll be received well. Why not pair one with the matching body oil or moisturiser? They are perfect to layer with and you'll be able to go sans fragrance as these beautiful products contain enough on their own. I always apply either the Rose or Lemon Lemongrass body oils after my shower, when my skin is still a little damp and I find they last all day. Not to mention, my skin is always left super smooth.

If you're after a beautiful, new body wash, look no further than these four from Dr. Hauschka. Available from this week at all Dr. Hauschka stockists (I got mine from Farmers) or online at this website.

- Lizy x

Jun 1, 2013

Beauty by Lizy Facebook Giveaway

Over on my Beauty by Lizy Facebook Page I'm holding a beautiful Dr. Hauschka giveaway!!

If you'd like to win, follow this link to my page and enter away!

Such a great giveaway.

- Lizy

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