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Friday, 15 July 2016

L'Oreal Steampod Brazil Fantasy Edition

I live in a little sport-free bubble, and I love it very much, but I'm sheltered to the extent that when a bunch of Brazil-themed beauty products started arriving recently, I was a little confused.  Then they launched Brazil-themed M&Ms, and my thought process went: "Hey there official food of athletes around the world! Man, is it the Olympics already? Aren't they in South America this time? Rio! Brazil! D'oh!" And lo, a mystery was solved.  Now, if only I could solve the mystery of where my reading glasses keep disappearing to, my life would be complete.

All of which is rather roundabout way of pointing out that I'm not always the sharpest tool in the box. But that shouldn't put you off this rather marvellous version of the Brazil-themed Steampod that I fell in love with way back in November last year.  Covered in tropical flora and fauna, and in a crazy-pretty box, I love these.

I'll be honest, the Steampod has taken over from any and all other straighteners of choice. My hair just seems to love the extra level of straightening that it gets from the hit of steam, and even though there's definitely a learning curve involved with these  that you don't have with traditional straighteners, it's really worth getting to grips with them if you have slightly  ... recalcitrant ... hair.

The L'Oreal Steampod Brazil Fantasy Edition is available from Look Fantastic and costs around £145. The creams and serums you'll need to make the system really worthwhile are available there too, and cost extra (sadly - but I have backups of all of them, you'll have to prise these from my cold, dead hands, frankly), but they last a long, long time.
The Fine Print: PR samples and purchases

This post: L'Oreal Steampod Brazil Fantasy Edition originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

L'Oreal Steampod Review

I don't actually remember the last time I straightened my hair on a regular basis.  There was a time when my (naturally) curly hair was kept such a secret that it frequently came as a huge surprise to people that my hair was anything more than just slightly bouncy. I went through straighteners like no one's business!  For the last year or so though, I've been embracing my inner curly-girl, and occasionally cursing the fact that, actually, curls are a lot more work than straight hair!   And don't even talk to me about frizz ...

Anyhoo, I've about reached the end of my tether with my curls at the moment, so when the chance to review a Steampod Straightener from L'Oreal came up, I kind of leapt at it. Well, not kind of, actually leapt! The system - for it is a system - use both steam and keratin-enriched styling creams to infuse conditioning ingredients into the hair, before the ceramic plates seal the cuticles and straighten your hair.

Inside the rather imposing box are one pair of straighteners (which come complete with a comb attachment, which I love), one steam pod itself, one replenishing styling cream, and one smoothing serum.   The straightener and steam pod are attached to each other by a very sturdy wire, and the pod (which you must keep on a flat surface when in use, as it is full of water - the water chamber itself is removable for easy filling and emptying) comes complete with sucker pads to keep it in one place. 

You do NOT use this on wet hair.  You apply the styling cream to damp hair, and either blow- or air-dry until your hair is 100% dry, then, after applying a little of the protective serum to the ends, you then use the straighteners as you would any others.  Well, almost.  They're a little wider than normal straighteners and this is to encompass the row of steam nozzles (which only activate when the plates are pressed together), and the comb attachment below the heated ceramic plates.  You have to ensure that at all times the steam-holes are below the ceramic plates, so the steam infuses the creams first.  This can mean a bit of manouvering (especially around the back), but the set has arrows to show where the steam holes are - after a bit of practice, it's quite easy to remember.

The Steampod promises mirror-like shine at a lower temperature than a normal straightener, so does it deliver on that promise?  The first time I used these, no it didn't, actually.  I initially used mine at 180 degrees (I usually use my traditional straighteners at the highest  temperature, having learned the hard way that whilst my curls aren't the tightest, they are incredibly tenacious) and tried out the "normal" hair styling cream alongside the low temperature.  I found that my hair needed several passes with the straighteners to get straight, and even with a liberal application of the protective serum, the ends were still a bit frizzled, and, I admit, I was disappointed. Frizzy bits and hard work?  No thanks.

Nonetheless, I tried again (for it is not only my hair that is tenacious, at times), this time pushing the temperature up to maximum, as I am ordinarily wont to do, and this time using the replenishing cream for thick hair. I used it over wavy, air-dried hair, and the difference was amazing.  I won't go so far as to say my hair was mirror-shiny, but it was soft, shiny and straight, and best of all, felt like natural hair.  Sometimes I find that straightening my hair with a styling cream leaves my hair feeling slightly plastic-ky afterwards, and without an ability to bend naturally.  I didn't have this problem this time. Hair felt natural, and looked like naturally straight hair, rather than "ironed" hair. I loved the results, second time around.

Plus, it lasts.  The publicity for this states that it "can last up to three days" (emphasis mine) I've found that it does last at least that, and it has survived several bouts of rain this week too, both drizzle and proper stormy wind and rain without any permanent damage.  I'm impressed.   

So yes, there's a bit of a learning curve with this one, taking time to figure out the best positions to straighten your hair in, and figuring out which temperature works best for your hair (personally, I never put much stock in anything that says "styles at a lower temperature", because, frankly, my hair doesn't work that way) and making your choice of styling cream correctly in the first place - my hair isn't particularly thick, but there is a hell of a lot of it, and the ends of mine are bleached, to boot. I'd recommend anyone with anything but the very thinnest/finest of hair avoids the "fine/normal hair" cream, and just goes straight for the "thick/very sensitised" version.

All of which brings me around to the price.  It's £170 (though I have seen it for £143 on LookFantastic this weekend), which is a heck of a lot of moolah.  And then there are the creams/serums at £15 each to boot.  I can't deny that it's a lot of money.  A lot of money.  Do I think it's value for the money?  I'm  not sure, actually.  Yes, it's quicker than traditional straighteners (the combination of the steam, the comb, and the plates mean you can straighten more hair in each "grab" than with just ceramic plates), and yes, hair feels healthy and conditioned - once you get the balance right - afterwards, but £170?  I just don't know.  £143 (even though it is on offer), feels like a better price to me.  Mind, Cloud 9s retail at £130, and even GHDs cost over £100 these days, and I do feel like any of them would be an investment purchase, to be honest.

I tell what though, I have just bought backups of the creams and serums, because I can tell there's going to be a lot straighter hair in my future ... make of that what you will.  My GHDs were binned long ago, and my Cloud9s have been quietly gathering dust under the bed for over a year now. Has the Steampod replaced them?  Only time will tell, but I will be using it again this very evening ... 

The Fine Print: PR Sample

This post: L'Oreal Steampod Review originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper


Thursday, 17 May 2012

L'Oreal Hair Expertise EverPure Colour Care and Smoothing Hair Care

I can't even begin to tell you how much I didn't want to love this range.  I lack the words.  I have a bathroom full - FULL - of expensive shampoos and conditioners, and the last thing I wanted to fall in love with was some £5.99 shampoo and conditioner from L'Oreal.

But I have.  So there. 

Supposedly a "no suphate" range (but I noticed the little asterisk next to this claim on the tube, and it's actually "no sulphate surfectants", which is a bit of a cheat - naughty L'Oreal!),  I've used this alongside super-expensive salon ranges, and absurdly expensive "lifestyle" ranges, but, as you can probably tell from the state of the tubes, these are the products I keep coming back to, because, unlike a few other "free-from" ranges I've tried recently - and, by "recently", I actually mean, "this year", I get through shampoo very slowly - these have never, not once, irritated my notoriously sensitive and temperamental scalp.

The shampoo foams exceptionally well for an SLS-free formula, the conditioner gives plenty of slip, and my hair is its usual super-shiny self.  It's just my inner snob that's offended at the price.

Try them, they're brilliant. 

 The Fine Print: PR Samples from the launch event.  Back in January.  What?  I *said* I'm slow at getting through shampoo!

This post originated at: All rights reserved.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Makeover: Sarah C - The Return

It's Sunday, and, as always, that means it's a makeover day Chez Lippie.

Remember Sarah C?
She had a pretty dramatic Theda Bara-style makeover last time, but she also wanted to learn how to use bright colours in a simple, and  subtle way.  We had a look through my entire eye-shadow collection - which took quite some time - and Sarah decided on MAC's Humid, which is a glorious tropical green shadow.  With Sarah's olive skin-tone, and gorgeous brown eyes, it was a lovely choice.

We used the same base as last time, and then primed the eyes with Urban Decay Primer Potion, and used a tiny hint of MAC Behold to define the crease:

Once that was in place, we used Humid as a liner:


We added a layer of L'Oreal Collagene mascara, and finished with a slick of Prescriptives lipgloss in Stellar:

Here's how she looked after:

Pretty as a picture.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Lip of the Day - Studio Secrets 411

Today, I wore my new L'Oreal Studio Secrets 411 lipstick.  It's a lightly pink "nude" shade, and I bought it as part of my ongoing quest to find the perfect nude lipstick.  What I want is a lipstick that'll make it not look too obvious that I'm wearing it, yet give me a polished look.

Here's how it looked on:

L'Oreal have arranged their Studio secrets by hair and eye colour, which is a fad I thought went out in the late eighties.  I'm also bemused by the blurb on the stand that says "light brunettes" should go crazy with colour on the lips, then provide a selection of all nude shades to "go crazy" with.  It's a nice lipstick though, gave a good coverage after just one coat, and didn't wear off too quickly.  It lasted till lunchtime without really needing touching up, even though the transfer onto cups was dreadful. It feels moisturising when you're applying it, but I think after a few hours of it totally wearing off, my lips feel slightly drier than they did this morning.  The colour doesn't quite work for me, I don't think, but it doesn't make me look dead, which is a nice change for a nude.

But we really have to talk about the packaging.  I like the idea of the clear central section - so you can see what colour the lipstick is without taking the lid off- but this packaging just doesn't work for me.  It looks cheap.  In fact, it's beyond cheap-looking, it is cheap.  The plastic feels flimsy and brittle in the hand, and the top just barely snaps into place, so it doesn't feel very secure.  It's a shame, as this isn't cheap lipstick, it's currently £8.99 at Boots, many of the budget ranges do better packaging than this, it's the sort of plastic that will shatter if it gets left at the bottom of your handbag.

All in all, I give it 6 out of 10.  Nice lippie, shame the packaging belies the price.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Lipstick haul

Last week, I may have gone a bit crazy buying lipsticks ... I really shouldn't buy any lipsticks whatsoever, the collection I have already numbers three figures as it is.  I went through my handbag the other day and realised there were 12 lip products in there: 8 lipsticks (including the five you see below), three glosses and a balm.  I guess you could say I'm a lip product junkie, but this is excessive,  even for me.

Here's are my latest haul (with flash):

Left to right we have Ruby & Millie lipsticks in Orange 360c, Nude 840m and Brown 910p  (all a snip at £2.75 each from Boots at the moment!).  I think I may have been having a brainstorm when I bought them though, as I appear to have picked up two of the brown, so look out for the spare in a giveaway soon! Then there are two L'Oreal Studio Secrets lipsticks in 411 and 460, as I'm still on my quest to find the perfect nude lip, after the GOSH disaster of the week before.

Here's how they swatched on my skin (without flash)

The 411 is slightly too pink for my lips, and the 460 is slightly too brown for a proper nude, but I'm planning on mixing these together in a palette, as I love the colour I get from using a mixture of both the colours.  Lip of the Day posts will follow every day from Monday, as I fully intend to wear each of these to work this week ... I'm really looking forward to seeing if anyone will comment on the orange, I think it's a fantastic colour!

How many lipsticks do you  have around at any one time?

Makeover Sunday will actually be Makeover Monday this week, I'm very sorry ... 

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Holdover Makeover and Foundation Review

Okay, it's a couple of days late, I apologise, but here's the latest pics of the FotW I promised you on Thursday.

First of all, the obligatory shot of me without makeup. I'm shiny, and my pores are ENORMOUS:

It is also 6.30 in the morning, hence the simplicity of this make up, and my dopey expression. First things first, this complexion needs foundation, and needs it quick! 

So, a layer of  L'Oreal Studio Secrets foundation in Gold Ivory, and a dab of Benefit Bluffdust later, here's what you get:

Nice and matte and even. Now, I quite like the L'Oreal foundation, it applies well - and easily - and you don't need to use a huge amount to get good coverage. Admittedly, I really only use it on my T-Zone and to cover up some of the redness I tend to get around my nose. The foundation has a built in brush, but I find the bristles are a little too short for it to be really useful for blending, and I worry about the hygiene issues of not having a separate applicator, but for makeup in a hurry, it's not a bad choice - as far as application goes, it's actually fairly foolproof!

That said, it's not very long lasting.  It gives good coverage for the first two hours or so, then wears off pretty quickly, especially around the nose - where skin tends to be oilier - and after four hours or so, I find it's pretty much entirely disappeared, and/or been absorbed into my skin.  I find this with a lot of High St foundations though, ranges like Rimmel and CoverGirl and the like are cheaper mainly because they use less pigment and setting agents.  However, this is being sold as a "Pro" range, and it's not, as the High Street goes, all that cheap (currently £15.99 at Boots, though I paid about a tenner for mine a few weeks ago), so this lack of durability is very galling. It's not something I see myself buying again, I'll be honest.

However, onto the rest of the makeover ...

After applying my foundation, I usually do my eyes first, and that's what I've done here.  As I'm going for a quick, office-suitable look, I apply UDPP, a colourwash of the Bare Escentuals Bravo, then line the upper waterline only with a smudge of MAC Feline eyeliner, and add a single layer of Lancome Hypnose Drama in Black:

I have hooded eyelids, and it's hard to get a shot of how the eyeshadow looks on my lids from directly in front, but it's a lovely soft, shimmering silvery-brown colour, with a but more depth than you'd expect from that.  It's a loose shadow though, so it really, really, really needs a primer underneath to "lock" it in place.

Once my eyes are done, I add blusher (Chanel Rose Defile - the colour of which I love, even as I HATE the texture of the powder. Chanel are only really getting their act together with regards to their powder cosmetics right now, and the way all their old products dry out, and harden so quickly and have a tendency to be rather under pigmented is infuriating) and Bare Escentuals Buxom lipgloss in Brandi.

Here's how the colours look together:

And here's how it looks from the front:

 Again, my stupid hooded eyelids make it difficult to see the shadow that's applied, but you can see a hint of greyness there. I think I've gone a little too heavy on the blusher there, but that's because the lighting in my room - there is NO natural light in my bedroom at 6.30am on a weekday morning at the moment, so I have a tendency to overapply in the mornings, so before taking this last shot, I blended it out a bit:

So there you go, a simple work look that takes - if you're not trying to photograph it in a dark room! - about 7-8 minutes to apply, start to finish.

I think I need a fringe.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Face of the Week

I'm a very lazy person, and i appear to be addicted to routine at the moment, so whatever makeup I find myself wearing on a Monday is what I tend to find myself wearing for the next few days! Here's the products I've been wearing this week, it's very plain and simple, but quick, and pretty.

Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser (which I'm trialling for a blog post later this week)
Benefit Bluffdust - which I love for dealing with my red patches!
L'Oreal Studio Secrets foundation in Gold Ivory
Chanel blusher in Rose Defile
Urban Decay Primer Potion (depotted)
Bare Escentuals Glimpse e/s in Bravo
MAC kohl pencil in Feline (inner upper eyelid only - have I mentioned how much I love that look, and this eyeliner? Well, I do!)
Lancome Hypnose Drama in Black (of course!)
and the look is finished off with a tiny slick of Bare Escentuals Buxom lipgloss in Brandi.

Pictures of the finished look will appear tomorrow ...
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