Love Beauty and Planet – Shampoo and Conditioner Review

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I picked up Love Beauty and Planet Blooming Colour Shampoo and Conditioner in Asda when I went shopping last month. I had been looking for a new shampoo and conditioner to replace the ones that I had just finished using, and while I am a huge lover of Lush Godiva shampoo I knew that I wouldn’t be going anywhere near a Lush store soon.

The shampoo and conditioner by Love Beauty and Planet usually retail for £7.50 each but were on rollback when I spotted them, at £4.00 per bottle. Each bottle holds 400ml which is a fair amount of product even if you were to pay the full amount!

The bottles themselves are straightforward bottles with black push down lids. The label is what caught my eye – the label shows pink roses with a rectangle in the middle where the “Love Beauty and Planet” wording is placed. The rectangle is pink on the shampoo and white on the conditioner, there are a few other differences but I’ll let you try and spot them in the photos!

There are a few different formulas to choose from

· Blooming Colour – Rose and Muru Muru Butter

· Volume and Bounty – Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower

· Happy and Hydrated – Shea Butter and Sandalwood

· Hope and Repair – Coconut Oil and Ylang Ylang

· Delightful Detox – Rosemary and Vetiver

These come as shampoo and conditioner though there are other products in the range, dry shampoo and hair masque in other scents.

I have been making a conscious effort to change my buying habits and become more aware of what I am buying. This product is packaged in 100% recycled and recyclable packaging, the products are vegan, organic, ethically sourced, paraben, silicone, and colourant free, the company is trying to keep its carbon footprint as low as possible…so it ticks a lot of boxes for me.

The shampoo is rich and lathers easily; a little goes a long way and is easy to work through the hair. It rinses out easily. The conditioner is creamy and slightly thicker in viscosity than normal conditioner, which makes it feel luxurious, and a treat to use. It speads through the hair easily and rinses out fast too with no nasty residue feeling.

My hair was soft and easy to manage straight after washing, through the drying process and even in the days after, my hair seemed to be tangle-free and soft feeling!

The scent is lovely, as I had chosen the Blooming Colour shampoo and conditioner, which had extracts of rose and muru muru butter, the scent was full of roses. I would liken the scent to a walk around a rose garden in the evening after a hot summer day, and it lasted until the next wash!

I can say, hand on heart, that these products delivered everything I could have wanted and more! I will definitely be buying these again!

Stress Less Cards – Review

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I’ve added another item to my Mental Health Toolkit in the form of these Stress Less Cards.  I stumbled on these cards when perusing Amazon one evening around a month ago and decided to add them to my basket before checking out.  I was drawn to the idea of having a set of cards that I could carry around and use when I felt my stress and anxiety start to kick in as, even though I have had mindfulness classes and have other things I can use to bring my stress and anxiety back down, I was finding that I would forget them if I got too stressed out.  Having something written down that I could follow had a really big appeal.

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As these cards are roughly the size and shape of a deck of playing cards they fit into my pocket or into my bag without taking up much space at all.  There are 50 cards in the pack and have various mindfulness exercises printed on one side of the card and the Stress Less Cards name and mandala print on the reverse.  The cards are numbered at the bottom of the exercise side so you can work your way through the exercises from 1 to 50, or, like I prefer, take one out of the pack at random when you want to use them.

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The exercises only take a few moments out of your day and are designed to help lessen the anxiety and stress you are feeling.  The cards can be used anywhere, the size makes them perfect to use in work as they are small and not very noticeable.  I have used them in work and at home and feel that they really do help me to stress less, I have also found that they can really help with my concentration levels, which, at times can be sketchy at best.

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I’m not sure how well the cards will survive in the card box that they come in or the cards themselves with repeated use.  I would love the box to have been made of something sturdier (a metal tin would have been perfect) and perhaps having the cards laminated would help them to be a bit longer wearing, but for the moment I am happy with them, though I may transfer them to another container soon.

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Overall, I am really happy that I found and purchased these Stress Less Cards.

What things do you have to help you when your stress and anxiety starts to rise?

Product Empties

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I have a really bad habit of opening products and using a bit of them before abandoning them to try the next, latest, fad in the beauty products aisles.  This has meant that I have accumulated a whole host of half used bottles, tubs, jars and containers which are starting to take over storage space in my room.  I decided that I would place myself on a beauty product buying ban and in the last few months, I have been making a concerted effort to use up any products I have laying around open before I purchase any more.  I thought that I would share the product empties with you today, give a brief review and share whether I would purchase these products again.

Just a *little* disclaimer…all products were purchased by myself or given to me as gifts by friends and family.  All opinions are my own and I am not receiving any money from this post in affiliate links or as any form of advertising.

First up is my bath and shower empties…

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Radox Feel Lively 12 Hour Scent with Wild Peony and Lychee.

The packaging of this shower gel is nice, the tube meant that the product was always able to be dispensed easily through the snap shut cap.  I really liked the scent of this product but found it a little on the thick side to distribute very well, that said, when using a shower puff or scrub mitts I had no issues.  I liked the smell of the product but didn’t think that the scent lasted as long as it states on the tube.

While I liked the scent of the product I felt that I needed to use quite a bit of it in order to wash my whole self due to product consistency.  I probably would not purchase this again unless it was to take on holiday as I think the packaging would make this product easy to transport.

NSpa Cherry Shower and Bath Gel.

This product is packed in an eye-catching clear bottle and I really like that the cap colour matches the colour of the product inside.  For the price, you get a lot of product which makes this really good value for money.  The product can be used as a shower gel or bath gel.  In the shower, this gel lathers up really nicely with lots of lovely suds and when used in the bath you get a lot of bubbles.  I liked the scent of this, the cherry scent lingered in the bathroom and on my skin for quite a while afterwards.

This is quite a big bottle so it would be ideal to decant if you were going away and there are lots of other scents in the range.  I am a huge fan of multi-purpose products and this one gets brownie points for being a shower gel and bath gel.  I have bought this product several times in the past, in several different scents, I will definitely be buying this again!

Original Source Mango Shower Gel.

The packaging for this gel is really nice.  I have noticed with some shower gel packaging that the bottle can be a bit hard to squeeze, become slippery in the shower and hard to keep hold of.  The bottle of this shower gel is slightly textured so it is easier to hold on to, and the plastic seems to be a bit softer than other bottles which make dispensing the product really effective.

The product is a good consistency and lathers up really well.  I found that the scent was really fruity and natural but not overpowering.  I also found that the product left my skin feeling cared for and didn’t seem to dry my skin out like other shower products can.

As you can see from the picture, I used another of the Original Source Shower Gels and will definitely be buying their products again!

Calcot Manor The Lazy Evening Sweet Fig and Chamomile Luxury Bath Essence.

I love to relax with a good book in a hot bath that is full of bubbles at the end of a hard week and this bath essence lived up to my expectations!  The scent was lovely and calming, not overly strong but the scent did linger in the bathroom for a day or so and I noticed that I could smell it on my skin the following morning.

The bottle that I used was from a gift set that I received at Christmas and it lasted for a fair few baths, a little bit produced a large number of bubbles so I can see the larger bottle that is available to buy being really good value for money.  This is another yes from me and I will be adding this to my basket when I need bath essence in the future.

Original Source Rhubarb and Raspberry Shower Gel.

I really liked the Mango shower gel from Original Source and was pretty impressed with this version too.  This one smelled exactly like rhubarb with a touch of raspberry scent in the background.  In terms of the actual gel, it was the same consistency as the Mango, lathers well and didn’t dry my skin out.  I would definitely buy this again!

Sure Shower Fresh 48 hr Anti-Perspirant.

This antiperspirant was pretty effective though I really am dubious about the 48hr freshness claim from any product like this as after around 12hrs I did feel that I needed to re-apply.  I wasn’t overly keen on the fragrance, while it smelled fresh and lasted for quite a long time, for me it was a bit powdery smelling which I didn’t really like.  I have used other scents from Sure in the past and have liked them more.

I would buy this product again if other scents were unavailable.

Next up is the hair care products…

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Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Colour Mate.

I bought this product when it was on a 3 for £10 offer in my local supermarket along with the Aussie Colour Mate Shampoo and Conditioner.  I really liked the packaging of this though, without reading the back it took a while to figure that all you needed to do to get to the product was to squeeze.  The base is where the product is dispensed from and all that is needed is to hold the bottle over your hand and gently squeeze away!

The product is creamy in consistency and is neither too thick or thin.  It applied easily to my hair and smelled a bit like peaches.  I do have overly processed hair (I love to change the colour of it on a regular basis and use bleach once every 8 weeks or so) which can be fairly dry and brittle but this product really stood up to its name, it worked a miracle on my hair and left it feeling soft and manageable without fading my hair colour.

I was pretty impressed with this product overall so it will be something that I would buy again.

Jerome Russel Bblonde Cream Peroxide and High Lift Powder Bleach.

I’ve been bleaching my hair for as long as I can remember and this is the only peroxide and powder bleach that I trust after trying a few different hair lightening products in the past  I have found that Jerome Russell bleach works the best for my hair type and provides me with the best base colour for me to work with.  I think, that for as long as I continue to bleach and dye my hair, I will always choose Jerome Russell bleach products.

Bleach London Reincarnation Mask.

This product comes in a metal tube.  To get at the product you need to unscrew the cap and then push the end of the cap into the tube to break the seal before you can dispense the mask.  I find that it is easier to break the seal before washing my hair as trying to do so with soapy hands can be a bit difficult.

The mask is really rich and thick though a little goes a long way and it is really easy to distribute evenly through the hair.  It has a pleasant smell which is reminiscent of lavender which I really like.  The product works really well, is easy to rinse out and leaves my hair feeling soft, easy to brush and is probably the only product that manages to make my hair shine!  I don’t think I would swap this for any other product so is on the list to replace already!

Bleach London White Toner.

I don’t tend to use toners on my hair that often unless I have bleached my hair and want to colour my hair a pale pastel shade.  Using a toner can remove the brassy, yellow tones (you know the one, it always reminds me of fluffy little ducklings…) that bleaching just doesn’t remove.  I used this toner with trepidation, other toners I have used have smelled a bit like a damp dog or some sort of weird chemical but I was pleased with this as I didn’t really find it had much of a smell at all.  The toner also lived up to its name and left my hair super bright and almost white which was the perfect base for the lavender colour I wanted to put on my hair.  I think in the future when I want to dye my hair a pastel shade I will be using this again.

Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Brights in Sea Mermaid.

Hmmm…I am a bit 50/50 with this hair dye, while the product worked in the same way as most other semi-permanent dyes, covered well and, initially, left me with a lovely colour on  my hair I was a bit disappointed to wash my hair the first time after dying it to find that most of the colour washed out and left me with a strange, patchy green and yellow toned hair.  I have never experienced a hair colour wash out in such a way, most dyes that I use have faded down really nicely over a period of weeks but this left my roots yellow, my mid-lengths a weird green and the tips of my hair a blue/green shade.  Because of this, I would not use this colour again though I would be interested to try other colours in the range to see how they fade down.

Tresemme Firm Hold Hairspray.

I’ve used Tresemme products for years but never used a hairspray of theirs before, and in all honesty, I don’t use hairspray a lot unless my hair has been tonged.  This spray was pretty inexpensive and didn’t seem to have that really strong “hairspray” smell to it, instead, it smelled much like most Tresemme products.  That is where my liking of this product ends, unfortunately.  For a firm hold hairspray, I was expecting for it to keep my hair in curls much of the day but by mid-morning, my hair was starting to drop and by the end of the day my style had pretty much gone which was disappointing.  There was one positive for this product, it did make my hair feel thicker which made it the perfect texture for styling the day after it had been washed.

I doubt I will be buying this again and am searching for a better hairspray.

And finally, the miscellaneous items (the ones I didn’t have enough of to make into their own categories!)

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Garnier Pure Active 3 in 1 Clay Wash, Scrub, Mask.

I’ve written about this product in two of my previous posts (here and here).  This wash, scrub, mask is one of my favourite face cleaning products.  As I said before, I really like multi-purpose products and this is no exception.  I have the most ridiculous facial skin, parts of it are oily, other parts are drier than the desert, I have eczema, have breakouts, blackheads and my skin likes to change depending on the weather, its sensitive to say the least.  This product, whichever way I use it always leaves my skin looking clear, feeling soft and calms it down.  I have used so many tubes of this now and it is a regular feature in my beauty routine.

Carex Bubble Gum Hand Wash.

Handwash seems like one of those essential items that you need to have near every sink in your home but I have used so many different hand washes, ones that smell weird, take forever to rinse off or leave your hands feeling dry.  I like the Carex range as the scents are good and linger, the wash leaves your hands soft and clean and feeling moisturised, and what better than having a fun scent?  This product gets a thumbs up from me!

Collection Extreme Coloured Lengthening Mascara.

Ahhh, mascara, that one make-up product that makes you feel a bit more dressed up and ready to face the world even when you have no time to apply anything else to your face.  I love the Collection range, it is purse-friendly and does the job.  I fell in love with this mascara, the wand was the right length, the bristles dense and the mascara did exactly what it says.  It is a deep black, lengthened my lashes, didn’t clump or flake and was generally a fab product.  I was unable to find another one in the stores by me so I have bought another from their range which works just as well but when I do find this again I will be sure to buy it!

Barry M Flawless Original Primer.

Since using up this primer I have actually gone out and purchased another one, it was that good!  I have used this primer alone and under make-up, alone it just makes my skin look and feel better, and using as a primer under my make-up has kept it in place all day.  As I said above, my skin is not the best, it’s dry in places and oily in others which can be troublesome for foundation application but this made my skin even all over.  I can’t imagine my make-up kit being devoid of this product.

Ecodenta Whitening Black Charcoal Toothpaste.

I have issues with a lot of toothpaste, they either foam too much or the taste is too strong but this toothpaste is perfect, the foam isn’t too much and it’s minty without feeling like it is burning my mouth.  It contains charcoal which whitens my teeth and leaves my mouth (and teeth) feeling clean all day.

Product Review – Alberto Balsam 24hr Fragrance Shampoo and Conditioner

I have been wanting to do more reviews on the blog and today I have decided to give you all a review of Alberto Balsam Energise 24hr Fragrance Shampoo and Conditioner that I bought in the fragrance Tropical Peach and Mango.

I can remember being in secondary school and always using the Sunkissed Raspberry Shampoo and Conditioner to wash my hair, there was something about the price (it was super purse-friendly) and the scent which I always loved but, as I have grown older I have found other products that have suited my hair better but I knew when I saw these on the shelf, and running low on my regular shampoo and conditioner that I should give them a try, if not for the product’s sake but as a trip down memory lane!

I can’t find the product on the Alberto Balsam website itself but have found it on the Asda webpage which is where I bought the shampoo and conditioner from a few months ago which I am assuming is because both the shampoo and conditioner are marked as “New” at the top of the tubes.

A bit about my hair…

My hair is short-ish at the moment, it is bob length and has been bleached far too many times to mention.  On top of the bleaching I also regularly colour my hair with non-permanent hair colours, so as far as hair goes it takes a fair amount of abuse at my own hand.  It is fairly dry due to the bleaching but I do tend to suffer from greasy roots and rely on dry shampoo to get me from one day to the next between washes.

About the Product…

  • The Shampoo

The shampoo is marketed towards “normal to greasy hair” and the packaging states that

24hr Fragrance Gives all day fragrance bursts for touchably soft hair that smells gorgeous too.

Energise is a fruity blend of tropical peach & mango scents to help you feel revived & refreshed, starting with your hair.

For normal to greasy hair.  This gentle formula leaves your hair refreshed and volumised, healthy-looking and beautiful.

  • The Conditioner

The conditioner, being part of the same family of fragrance is also marketed towards “normal to greasy hair.  The packaging states the same as the shampoo.

  • The Packaging

The shampoo and conditioner both come in squeezy tubes which remind me of paint tubes that artists have in their kit.  The black lid features a click lid on a hinge opening with a hole through which to reach the product.  The tubes are a pink and white colour with the brand in a black rectangle, there are silver parts that highlight other text.  On closer inspection of the design, there are peach and mango illustrations on the front as well though these don’t jump out at you on first glance.

  • My thoughts

I have been using this product for the last month and there is still so much of it left, it feels really cliche to say that a little goes a long way when reviewing a product, but I found that this is so true!  The shampoo is almost syrupy in consistency, and from experience with other shampoos of this type of appearance, I really was not expecting it to spread through my hair particularly well.  I was pleasantly surprised!  Not only did I need a small amount of product but it spread and lathered up really nicely.  The scent was really fresh and did smell exactly like freshly cut mango and peach.  I found that it was really easy and quick to rinse out too!  The conditioner was on the runny side, though in all honesty, I had been expecting a much thicker product to come out of the tube.  However, that said, I was again surprised at how little I really needed.  On the back of the tube it says to leave in for 1 – 2 minutes before rinsing though, I did leave it in for a while longer as my hair can always do with as much moisture as it can get!  Sometimes when I buy shampoo and the matching conditioner I am disappointed with the lack of scent that the conditioner has compared to the shampoo however, this did not disappoint!  It smelled exactly the same as the shampoo.  I applied it as I normally do with any conditioner, squeeze a small amount onto my palm and work through from root to tip, comb through with my fingers and assess whether I need to add any more product to my hair.  This spread easily and, just with the shampoo, I only needed a small amount.  After having a five-minute sing in the shower I rinsed, sometimes this can be a bit of a battle as some conditioner seems to cling to my hair and feels like it never wants to leave, this rinsed out fairly easily.

I have left my hair to dry naturally and blow it dry with a hairdryer, which can sometimes strip any scent out of my hair but 2 days later I could still smell this in my hair.  I even got my friend to do a sniff test, albeit begrudgingly after I’d half ran, half skipped down the carpark after work one day screeching “Smell my hair!!!” in my best Alan Partridge voice…and they agreed, my hair, in their words “smells fruity, like yoghurt or something…”

So, that’s my honest opinion of these Alberto Balsam products (which were purchased by me, and I have not received any payment or anything for this review!)  For £2.95 per product, I don’t really think you can go far wrong if you are looking for something cheap that work well!

Diary, Planner and Journal Review

I wrote about the diaries and planners that I would be taking into 2019 with me way back in October (Preparing for 2019…) and, today I thought it would be nice to do a little review of how they are still working for me (or not…).

Back when I wrote that post I had 6 journals and planners that I was hoping to use for the year.

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This is what I started out with for 2019, from left to right – Hobbycraft Spiral Bound Planner, Ohh Deer Gemma Correll Planner, Paperchase Organise Me A5 Soft Cover Diary, Filofax Malden with Stripes Illustrated Inserts, The Bright Side Diary and a tiny Doodle a Day Journal.

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This is the pile I am currently using!  As you can see the diaries and planners are still the same as I started out with, with the exception of one…. I have added The Happiness Project One Line a Day 5 Year Diary to the list!

My Filofax Malden comes everywhere with me and has been really handy with writing down appointments as I make them, my work hours and other things that are important.  I have a section that contains lined note paper which I have been using to jot down ideas for blog posts, shopping lists and things I need to do and I reach for this so regularly that it sits on my desk in eye sight most of the day.

The doodle journal I started with great enthusiasm in January but, along the way, I have stopped adding to this daily.  I found that sometimes I just don’t have the energy or creativity to draw every day.  That said, I have still been adding to it when I feel like it and it is still helping me to exercise my drawing muscles.  I have also been looking at monthly drawing prompts and am thinking about undertaking one of those and see how it goes.

The Happiness Project Journal is something I write each day.  It sits beside my bed and I write in it before I go to sleep.  I’m hoping to keep up with this and fill the whole journal with a snippet from each day.  it would be lovely to look back on in years to come.

The Brightside Journal is something I use regularly still, I plan out my months blog posts into the monthly overview section and then make notes of what I need to do before the post can be published and also what I need to do on the days that the posts go live.

The Paperchase Organise Me A5 Soft Cover Diary isn’t getting used much, I decided to use it for home and recording any events in it that take up more space and can’t get recorded in my Happiness Project Journal.  I have recorded things like the outcome of drs appointments, things I have been doing, things I have done and notes on life in general.  Though it is not really getting much use I find it really handy to have something available to record things in that I may need to refer back to but that I don’t want recorded in my Filofax or other diaries and journals.

The Ohh Deer Gemma Correll journal is still being used as my blog ideas keeper!  I write down all my post ideas into it along with a few lines about what I’d like to cover in the post and a list of things I would need for the post such as any image ideas I may have.  This gets used a few times a week, either I am adding to it or flicking through it to find ideas for future posts.  I’m just over half way through it and I have no idea what I will use once it is full!

Finally, my Hobbycraft Spiral Bound Planner which I intended to use as my home planner.  I still use this, but not as much as I used to, I tend to rely on my Filofax to keep all my dates and information in.  I do sit down once a month and map out my month and what I would like to achieve in that month, things I want to do and things I need to do but aside from that I feel that it is not being utilised to its fullest.  In all honesty, I cn see myself not using this much at all in the future.  It was a nice idea, and if there were more than me in my household tracking the families appointments, classes and social activities along with any household tasks and bills etc, then this planner would be ideal as the stay home planner.

What journals, diaries and planners are you currently using?  And are they the same or different to the ones you started the New Year with?