30 Sept 2011

Dove damage therapy and hair therapy shampoo and conditioner review

Dove was a brand totally off my radar when it comes to haircare until I went to the 'the only way is blogging' event in July.  Dove came along and introduced us to their nourishing oil care express treatment conditioner.  

At first I was rather wary about 'oil care' as I have hair that gets oily or greasy too quickly but I was given the advice that even oily hair needs conditioning you just have to make sure that you're using the right type of oils that will nourish the hair.

It's a constant battle that I have with my hair as the roots get greasy quickly but my ends and mid-lengths can be dry and frizzy.  In the past I've tried lots of shampoos formulated for hair that gets greasy quickly.  None of them have stopped me form needing to wash my hair every day, but some of them have left the lengths of my hair feeling awful and looking really bad too.  

Being given the Dove conditioners made me want to try a new approach of accepting that my hair needs washing every day and to start using products that really take care of the length as that's what's on show!  I needed a shampoo to go with them but couldn't get my hands on the matching one.  I tried the local Boots and Superdrug to me and they didn't stock any Dove shampoos - disgraceful! I managed to find two options in the supermarket - normal hair and Dove pro-age and got the normal shampoo as I really wanted to have a Dove shampoo to go with the conditioners.

I really liked using the intensive conditioner, you only need to leave it on for a minute and I noticed a difference in how easy it was to manage my hair when it was wet.  

I love the stripe in the conditioner!

After using the shampoo and conditioners my hair started to return to what I would call 'normal' after the damage that was done by the greasy hair shampoos stripping away at the lengths of my hair.  Even though the shampoo I was using wasn't the right one I was pleased with the results so when they started to run out I went out to look for Dove damage therapy volume boost shampoo and conditioner.  

I went to a bigger Superdrug but they still didn't have it.  Instead they had the intensive repair shampoo and treatment conditioner so I decided to try those.  

I'm really pleased that I got these even though they weren't the ones I'd planned to get.  I've been using this combination for a couple of weeks now including the whole time I was on holiday swimming every day and I can honestly say they've made a massive difference.  Using the normal hair shampoo and the oil care conditioners brought my hair back to a normal standard but I really think the damage therapy range has reversed some of the damage I've done to my hair.  It's easier to blow dry and is looking sleeker even without using straighteners.  Generally it looks and feels so much healthier.  

It's a bit of a pain that I can't get the Dove intensive repair shampoos and conditioners in my local shops but I really like what they've done for my hair so it's worth making a special trip to get them - I'm definitely re-buying.  

I'm still intrigued by the volume boost range which I've also now read about on Siobhan's blog, so I'll keep my eye out for it and may get to try it in the future.  She's also having a massive giveaway at the moment including tonnes of Dove products plus other fab goodies - check it out here.

Dove seem to have another type of shampoo and conditioner called silk and sleek on their website - I've never seen that one in shops either - has anyone tried it?  My shops need to get their acts together so I can try them all!

Don't forget to enter my 500 followers giveaway to win loads of MUA goodies plus Liz Earle cleanse and polish, Lauren's Way tanning mousse and a Models Own polish.  Click here to enter.

28 Sept 2011

NOTD - models own orange sherbert

When I ordered Models Own orange sherbet I had no idea just how orange it would be - it's practically radioactive! 

I took photos in different lighting to show you it really is this bright!

I'm not sure it's a colour I'd wear every day but it was certainly good for brightening my mood when I got back from my holiday to a grey day in London!

26 Sept 2011

Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint review - shade 2 beach

A little while ago I was sent Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint to review and I've been trialling it over the last few weeks.  

My Mum has been using Liz Earle products for years and I've recently become a devotee to cleanse and polish - you can read my review of that here.  To me Liz Earle is a range of natural products which I feel like I can trust not to break me out or give me a reaction because they're actually good for the skin, so I was really interested to hear that they have ventured into make-up products.

I was really excited to try Sheer Skin Tint but as soon as I did I remembered how much I need a full coverage foundation to feel confident about my skin.  Sheer Skin Tint isn't as sheer as a tinted moisturiser, but it's more similar to quite a light coverage foundation in my opinion.  On a daily basis, for make-up that lasts all day I'll need to stick with my full coverage foundation, but for off-duty days, going to the gym and on holiday when a heavy foundation is too much, this is the perfect product.

This is shade 2 which is called beach.  It goes on really easily and blends to a nice finish.  It contains vitamin E as well as spf 15 so if you're using it in summer or on holiday it also doubles up as your sunscreen.  

I just added my usual elf mineral booster over the top to prevent shine.  The only place it went on less than perfectly was my nose because I think it was a tiny bit sun burnt.  When I tried Sheer Skin Tint out before going in the sun I didn't get this issue.

The coverage was just perfect for a hot and humid evening when full on make-up would have been far too much.  I actually didn't take my normal foundation on holiday with me at all!

For the rest of my make-up I'm wearing:

elf mineral booster finishing powder
elf eyebrow treat and tame
Maxfactor falsh lash effect mascara
Illamasaqua precision ink eyeliner
Sleek oh so special palette eyeshadows
No7 bronzer
Sleek pout paint in mauve over mixed with vaseline

Sheer Skin Tint is available now in three shades and it costs £21.  You can get it here at lizearle.com and you don't have to worry about choosing the right shade as they'll send you a sample of all three to make sure you're happy before you open your full size tube.  If the shade's not right they'll exchange it - a fab policy and I hope other brands start doing the same.

As I said, my Mum has been using Liz Earle skin care for years, but she doesn't wear any make-up other than mascara and eyeliner - shocking I know!  I think she'd really get on well with Sheer Skin Tint and I know she'd be the palest shade so I'm intending to treat her to it soon =)

Have you tried this?  Does it seem like a product you would like?  

You can win a Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish starter kit as well as loads of other goodies in my 500 followers giveaway so please check it out here.

25 Sept 2011

Birthday cake pancakes!

I made these for my boyf yesterday as a surprise and he absolutely loved them, so I thought I'd share the recipe. 

It wasn't anyone's birthday, and really you could just call these 'cake pancakes' rather than 'birthday cake pancakes' I suppose, but they're a fab treat all the same.

First of all, mix up your cake batter - this makes about 6 - 8 smallish pancakes

1 egg
50g self raising flour
50g caster sugar
50g margarine / butter
A drop of vanilla 
A splash of milk

You want quite a thick consistency so that the batter holds its shape when you put a blob in the pan so if it's too runny add a little more flour or too stiff add more milk

When you see bubbles it's time to flip the pancakes.  They burn easily so use a medium - low heat

As the pancakes are ready, stack them on a plate

Make your icing / sauce using icing sugar and milk (I didn't measure how much I used) then add sprinkles

Pour over your stack for gooey delishiousness

The pancakes are quite thick and sweet, so two was enough for me... 

....but the boyf wolfed down a stack of 5!

I got the idea for these from pinterest which led me to this blog post.  It's an American recipe and it uses a ready made 'yellow cake' mix which I didn't have, so I made up my own recipe.  It might be nicer with the cake mix.  

Let me know if you try this, you won't be disappointed!

Don't forget to enter my 500 followers giveaway to win loads of MUA goodies plus Liz Earle cleanse and polish, Lauren's Way tanning mousse and a Models Own polish.  Click here to enter.

24 Sept 2011

*CLOSED* 500 followers giveaway *CLOSED*

Welcome to my 500 followers giveaway!  I got to 500 a little while ago now, but I wanted my giveaway to be a bit special rather than hastily thrown together, so I took some time gathering some fab prizes.

In the past I think I've over-complicated my giveaways and I've not let them run long enough for everyone to have a chance to enter, so that's all about to change....

The rules are simple!

Follow flutter and sparkle through GFC
Comment below that you'd like to enter
Leave me your email / twitter so that I can contact you if you win

for an extra entry...

Follow me on twitter - @fluttersparkle
Tweet about the giveaway providing the link and include me in the tweet
Write in your blog comment entry that you've tweeted and leave your twitter name

That's about as easy as I can make it!  

The giveaway is open internationally and closes on Sunday 23 October

Here's what you could win!

That's right, nine whole MUA pro eyeshadow palettes!

Plus an MUA pro mosaic blush and three nail quake crackle polishes

You'll also get Models Own Coral Reef as seen in one of my NOTD posts a few days ago

And a full size bottle of Lauren's way tanning mousse

Lastly, a product that's quickly becoming one of my desert island must haves - Liz Earle cleanse and polish starter kit (it includes two muslin cloths in the pouch)

Well I'm rather pleased with that little lot even if I do say so myself.  What a shame I can't keep all the prizes for me!

Good luck everyone and a huge thank you to Liz Earle and MUA cosmetics who provided some of their amazing products for me to give away =)

Bosh's baby shower

You may have seen this post which was about me and my friends planning a baby shower.  We got lots of lovely ideas from pinterest and it helped us decide on a  bit of theme and ways of doing things that we'd never have thought of.  

I thought I'd share how it turned out....

Naturally there was lots of cake - I love baking cakes =)

And mini doughnuts

I was so pleased with myself over these oreo pops but I think they could have done with being double dipped in white chocolate next time.

I tried my hand at crepe flowers 

My friend Erica made these super cute little hearts with everyone's name on as shower favours

Check out our balloon skills!

We went a bit crazy with the crepe paper... just look at the fish bowl!

Buck's fizz for mummy's arrival

And here she is enjoying the spread

Some more substantial food was added later, we didn't just gorge on cake all afternoon, honest

A classic baby shower game of... errr... pin the sperm on the egg / uterus 

Mummy to be got it bang on, nobody else was even close.  Obviously that's why she's the only Mum in our group of friends!

Unwrapping presents - cute snowsuit

We also had a couple of other games but I didn't get any photos.  We made 'wishes sheets' which have a list of different wishes for the baby which everyone fills in.  ie "I hope you grow up to be..." and you fill in the rest.  

We also played a game we saw on pinterest called waters breaking which involves freezing plastic babies into ice cubes.  The game is to see who can get their waters to break fastest by melting the ice cube and freeing the baby.  

The babies were a bit scary and by the end of the night and after a few drinks, they were getting up to all sorts of mischief.  We decided they didn't really look like babies and were more like freaky little blow up dolls!

The baby shower was lots of fun and luckily we had lots of people all helping each other to plan and set things up so it wasn't too stressful!

22 Sept 2011

NOTD - holiday nails Models Own Coral Reef

These were my holiday nails and wow did this colour look bright in the sunshine!

It' Models Own Coral Reef and I'll be giving a bottle of this away (together with lots of other amazing stuff) in my 500 followers giveaway which will be coming up this weekend, so keep 'em peeled!  


18 Sept 2011

Little updates: the holiday edition

Here are some snaps from my hols.  I went to Costa Del Sol and stayed between Benalmadena and Fuengirola at a hotel called Polynesia which is part of the Holiday World complex.  It was a huge resort with its own water park!

The hotel was huge and modern.  It had a Polynesian theme and there were animals in the hotel too - birds, fish and turtles.  It wasn't near the beach or shops (the nearest beach wasn't very nice anyway), but the hotel and pools were lovely and it was easy to get a bus or taxi to and from town.  We also had a little day out to Marbella and Puerto Banus.

Enjoy - quite pic heavy, but I just love photos, sorry!

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