September Empties (Again)

So, even though I already did my empties for September, I managed to sneak in a few more use ups in the last week, and I refuse to move what’s effectively rubbish back to college with me! I’m off to Oxford today, so you might have to bear with me for posts for a couple of days while I get myself unpacked and sorted – I’ll be back soon, though!

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Review: Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo and Conditioner

had to have this shampoo and conditioner scent as soon as I heard about it – I’m a big Herbal Essences fan, and a big honey fan, and my hair is still very damaged from two-year-old bleach. This couldn’t be more made for me, and I have not been disappointed. I love Bee Strong!

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Review: Superdrug Coconut and Almond Conditioner

I go through conditioner like there’s no tomorrow, so I’m always up for seeking out cheap but effective brands. I usually stick with Alberto Balsam, which you can usually find for £1 a bottle, but my tiny local Superdrug was completely out – so I decided to try this, since it was only 99p. Well played, Superdrug.


I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest fan of coconut scents, but this is actually quite a sweet, almondy scent, not too overpoweringly coconutty. The scent actually doesn’t linger too long, and has vanished once my hair is totally dry, which suits me perfectly.

I had actually tried this before, in a mini bottle from the gym, and was impressed by the softness it gave to my hair. This is a really gorgeous thick formula, thicker than some deep conditioners I’ve tried, and it smooths through your hair very easily, making it super quick to comb through (even with the tangle-nest that is my hair). I’d say this tames my hair to an average degree, maybe a little bit more than Alberto Balsam  – no miracles, but good enough for frequent use.


The pump looked like it would be handy in limiting how quickly I went through it, but in reality I just pumped it about twenty times to get the amount I wanted – not so useful then. I expect I’ll get about 8 washes out of this bottle, which is about fair, and for 99p you really can’t go wrong! I’d definitely buy this again, perhaps when I want something a little thicker than my usual conditioner…

Do you have any recommendations for cheap, effective conditioner? I’m glad I’ve added this to my haircare arsenal, but I’m always on the lookout for more options!

Asha x

Review: John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shampoo and Conditioner

P1010066I used to use nothing but John Frieda’s Brilliant Brunette range when I was about 15, so I was excited when my mum said she had some spares of the shampoo that she didn’t want! I went and bought the matched conditioner so that I could get back into the whole range, and I’ve been using these now for a few weeks (hence the half-empty bottles).
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April Empties

Empties! Hurrah! (Many of these are minis or travel sizes, that’s just how it panned out this month…)
IMG_1935N-Spa Vanilla Crème Brulée Shower Gel, 100ml. This is a really lovely wintery scent, and the gel itself was nice and thick (too thick for the non-bendy bottle!). This was from a little gift set bought before N-Spa’s product redesign, so they don’t make this anymore!

Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Intensive Mask, 200ml. I’ve featured this a couple of times before – my go-to intensive conditioner, and I’d definitely buy it again if it was on offer.

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Lush Stash Part Three

A warning: this is a new area of my stash, all accrued in the last week or so, and so it mostly consists of samples. Without further ado, Lush hair care!

hair samplesI spent an incredibly fun couple of hours in Lush last week, chatting to the very lovely assistants. They drew my attention to the hair care range that Lush does, which I’d never considered before, being a) quite loyal to Aussie for shampoo and b) a bit scared of the high prices!

However, the prices aren’t too daunting, because of how generous Lush is with samples. I love this attitude because you really get a chance to try things before you splash out. I ended up taking home lots and lots of haircare samples to try, and this is what I thought…

1. Blousey shampoo (the tub on the right). This looks really strange, because it’s made from bananas, so it’s a glossy, silvery brown. It smells incredible – it has the same scent as Flower’s Barrow, the perfume I fell in love with last week, and I just can’t stop sniffing it. I actually cheekily got two samples of this, and the first little pot did me two washes – I usually use loads of shampoo, so I was very impressed. This doesn’t lather very well, which is an odd feeling, but it left my hair impressively clean and soft and shiny! I would like to buy this, but at £18 a 240g pot, I don’t know if I can justify it, however little I use. Perhaps a birthday list item.

2. Retread conditioner (second from right). This is a smooth, white conditioner that smells like Parma Violets. I haven’t used it yet, but it smells delicious and is apparently great for damaged hair. This is slightly cheaper than Blousey, £9.95 for 245g, but I use even more conditioner than shampoo, so I need to test how much of this I have to use.

3. Jasmine and Henna Fluff-Eaze (second from left). This is a conditioning mask – you put it on your hair 20 minutes before you wash your hair. I have enough here to do the ends of my hair, but I’m putting off using it because I’m not a big fan of the smell… I’m not sure why, because I love jasmine, but this just smells too sharp for me… Working up the courage!

4. R&B styling cream (on the left). This is a much nicer jasmine smell. It has the texture of butter, and works into the hair really nicely to kill fluff and frizz, without being heavy or sticky or crispy. I’ve used about a quarter of the amount I was given, using it on the end of my hair every day just to tame the ends, and I love it. This is £10.95 for 100g, but I reckon that would last forever, so I’m seriously considering repurchasing this!


This last product is not a sample, but I will admit it was a freebie. I visited some friends last night who work in Lush (hello!) and they were incredibly sweet and gave me a pot of Hair Doctor mask, saying they had trouble using up all their freebies (it is a bit out of date, but I didn’t think it was any less effective). It’s so lovely! It smells herbal-ish, like Olbas Oil, and I couldn’t stop sniffing it on the way home – cue weird looks on the bus. I used this tonight, and I love it.

You apply this mask to dry hair half an hour before washing it. In order to cover my hair well, I used about 2/3 of the pot, and I’ve saved just about enough to do my scalp and the ends of my hair another time. It feels very cooling and tingly (partly from the peppermint, partly because it’s a fresh mask that has to be kept in the fridge). Then you wash it out with shampoo and conditioner (I used Blousey and then the end of a Herbal Essences conditioner) and  let your hair dry – voila! I didn’t even feel like my hair needed washing once I’d rinsed the Hair Doctor out, it was so soft and nice (even though it was wet…). My hair takes ages to dry, but already it looks a bit less tired than it did, and it is so soft. If I only get one and a half uses out of it, this is a little bit expensive to buy regularly, at £6.95 for a 95g pot, but if used as a scalp treatment, I could probably get 3 uses out of it, and I would certainly consider buying it as a restorative treat every three months or so, perhaps as an end of term pick-me-up so I look a bit less shattered.

So, that’s my thoughts on my foray into Lush hair care – have you got any Lush holy grail hair products?

Asha x




January Empties

I know this post is well into February, but here’s a little round-up of what I used up in January.


Johnson’s Daily Essentials Hydrating 24hour Day Cream

This day cream is really moisturising, and it’s great value for money at around £4 for 50ml. This pot lasted me about 4 months, and I’ve moved straight onto my next pot. I like that it’s light enough not to feel sticky – you can put make-up on right away – and it contains SPF 15, which is great for giving just a little protection on a normal day. I also like the glass jar, which makes it feel a lot more expensive than it is!


Samples of Lush Eau Roma and Ultrabland, Sample of Dove Visiblecare Renewing Creme Body Wash

These small pots from Lush are part of my long-term hunt for a good, adult cleanser after years of using harsh Clean and Clear anti-acne cleanser (despite never having any problem with spots as a teen – go on, hate me). I realised that it was far more astringent than my slightly dry skin needed, and started to look for a more comforting cleanser. I love Clarins’ Water Comfort peach cleanser, but at £19 for 200ml, I thought that was rather too much for my student budget!

I popped into Lush, where the very helpful assistant offered me samples of a few things to see what I liked, and wow, am I glad that she did. Many people had recommended Ultrabland to me, so I got a sample of that…

I hated it! It was so greasy and horrible, like rubbing butter into my skin. The consistency really made me squirm, and even after very very liberal application of toner to remove it, I still had to actually wash my face with soap to get rid of the feeling (which is really not the point of cleanser). I used the rest of this sample up as a shaving cream. I can’t say I’d recommend it!

The top pot contained cotton pads soaked with Eau Roma toner water, which I love, and have repurchased a big bottle of (£7.25 for 250ml). It’s really refreshing and soothing at the same time, even though I’m not the most enormous fan of lavender, and Boyfriend always says I smell nice when I’ve used it. I also got a sample of the 9 to 5 cleanser, which I love and have repurchased (£9.25 for 240ml). Post about that coming soon!

The little bottle I can only assume I got free as a sample from Dove at some point – I discovered it while I was having a clear out in my room. For that reason, my review might be slightly un-useful, since I disliked the consistency of this product also (but it might have been past its use-by date). I found this far too thick for a shower gel, and while it was very very moisturising, its lack of foam meant I didn’t feel like it really made me clean! Very nice for shaving with, though.


Alberto Balsam Raspberry Conditioner, L’Oreal Elvive Nutri-Gloss Shine Conditioner

Is it just me, or does everyone go through conditioner about three times as fast as shampoo? Maybe I just really use a lot…? Anyway, here are two conditioners I got through while using my Aussie Miracle Moist shampoo (still going!). The Alberto Balsam is fairly basic, and while it does the job, I’ve used far better conditioners that make me think it’s worth spending £3 rather than the £1 this costs. The L’Oreal Elvive conditioner, though, I loved, and would definitely repurchase if it were on offer. I think its regular price of £4.50 is a little steep – I don’t mind spending a lot on shampoo, since it lasts me ages, but when I go through a bottle of conditioner every two weeks, it needs to be a bit more economical.

What have you enjoyed using in the cold weather? Have you got any recommendations of cleansers for 20-something, slightly dry skin?

Asha x