Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Review: Tan Organic Self-Tan & Glove

Pharmacy shelves are awash with various self-tan brands that promise gorgeous colour with minimum fuss. Not all these brands deliver. Lets see how Tan Organic Fares:

As the first  (and only) Eco Certified self tan brand, Tan Organic's original Self Tan (€19.99) contains 87% certified organic ingredients and no synthetic ingredients. As it is Aloe Vera based, it moisturises while it colours which is great, as well moisturised skin holds onto tan much longer, so you will get better wear out of an application.

Tan Organic Self-Tan Original 

The Tan Organic Self-Tanning Glove (€7.99) is really Luxurious. It feels like soft velvet and its a real treat to use on your skin. It has a thumb on it too, so the glove doesn't slip off your hand while you are applying tan and because both sides are the same (the inside is lined so tan can't bleed though either side), it doesn't matter if you are a lefty or not, it works for all of us. It applies any kind of tan like a dream and it doesn't absorb product like some gloves/mitts do. I love it even more because it is big enough for my whole hand.

Tan Organic Mitt so you can see the size. 

While Tan Organic claims that the tan develops without any "unpleasant aroma", it does still smell like self-tan after its been on your skin for a few hours. Its not over-powering, but it is still definitely there. I prefer applying my tan at night after a shower so it can develop over night, then I jump into a quick shower in the morning to rinse off the formula and smell.

My pale legs before Tan Organic

The Tan Organic Self Tan liquid smells divine upon application: a gorgeously soft citrus scent that lingers for a little while until the DHA starts to do its work. But generally I am sleeping by that time so I get to enjoy the faint scent of warm summer. And when I wake up (after a quick shower) I get to enjoy my tan.

As with all self tans, you need to prep your skin before hand. A good exfoliation never goes amiss, even if you aren't tanning followed by a thorough moisturising session. Even though Tan Organic Self Tan is a moisturising formula, Hydrated skin always looks healthier. And don't forget to shake the bottle of tan well to ensure the formula is well mixed.

The bottle stopper allows you to get just the right amount of tan out without wasting fluid.

One application leaves a light colour that isn't at all orange. But getting an even application is a little bit tricky and takes a little practice to get it perfect. Tan Organic Self Tan is tinted,  but once you spread it in it is a bit difficult to see exactly where you put it as skin absorbs it quite quickly, so you need to work quickly and methodically to get a good finish. I tend to focus on the big areas first and make sure I blend and buff the liquid into my skin really well, then I used what is left on the glove to go over tricky spots: Toes, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers, that way I don't get patchy brown toes, knees, elbows etc. For me, this is the best way to get a good even tan.

The tinted fluid before I buff it in

One application leaves skin with a definite tan but it is still light. To get a deeper colour you will need to layer the tan and build it up over a few days. It takes a bit longer, requires a bit of dedication and patience, but you will be rewarded with a deep natural looking tan that will last a good 2 weeks and won't fade in patches. I am well past the days of needing a deep tan though, so one application on a Sunday night is all that I need.

After one application

And I have used this with great success on my face. It wasn't heavy and didn't streak, it just looked like I had spent a few days away in a somewhere sunny. I am prone to hyper-pigmentation though, so I don't like to use self tan on my face very often. But if I did need to tan my face then this would be my choice.

One 100ml bottle contains enough product to do 5-6 full body application tans, but I generally only ever tan my legs, arms, chest and face and I have used this bottle of Tan Organic Self Tan at least 9 times over the last 4 months and I still have a little more than half left.

It is a bit more labour intensive than my favourite tan ( CocoaBrown), but the results are well worth it. If you are after something that is organic, certified by PETA, The Organic Trust, The Ethical Company Organisation AND approved by the Irish Eczema Society then Tan Organic is a great Irish brand that is well worth your money and your time.

You can find Tan Organic products in pharmacys and online at .

PR sample gratefully received, Opinions my own.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

New: Pit Protection from Mondss Underarm Wear

Here's something I've never seen before, its a little bit of genuis, if a little odd looking. Mondss Underarm wear are absorbent patches that you stick on your pits to stop sweat stains making their appearance on your clothes in situations where you want to appear cool can composed. Clever. Especially since there have been at least 3 times in the last 2 years that I have been tempted to stick panty-liners to the inside of my shirts to prevent wet marks that I KNOW will appear 10 minutes after I leave the house.

Invented by an Irish Woman who was sick of sweat stains spoiling her clothes, Mondss Underarm Wear is admittedly a little bit odd. It looks like a big plaster, a plaster that you stick on your underarm. And its sticky... so it won't move until you take it off. 

For your €9.99 you get 10 pieces in the box, enough for 5 outings. And instructions that are clear and exact (finally!!) and show you the best way to apply these patches. 

The patches are big enough to cover most of the sweaty-betty pit area, but small enough to be quite discreet actually, and they are really absorbent. Instructions say that you can also put your antiperspirant onto the absorbent side of the patch to help keep odor in check, but you need to apply the patch to clean, dry, deodorant free skin, a couple of hours after shaving. This is so that you don't irritate the skin. 

Mondss patches are made with surgical grade adhesive, so you can use this on sensitive skin. But if you are like me and are one of the few unlucky sods that is allergic to most surgical adhesives (but that doesn't stop surgeons and nurses using it on you after surgery even after you watch them write down that you are allergic to it!), then you need to use caution with these. I am the only one of all my friends and all my acquaintances that has this stupid Plaster-allergy and I am actually ok to use these! Yay!

If you follow the instructions, application is easy enough. It is a little uncomfortable, but then you are wearing a giant plaster in your pits. After 20 minutes though I was ok with them and was able to mostly forget about them, but not completely. I was always aware of them, I could feel them but they worked, I could live with a little discomfort. For special occasions, these would be fab.

If you have a special occasion coming up and you know that the dess/shirt/top may show sweat stains, then give Mondss a go. Its way cheaper and less painful than Botox injections. You can buy your box here:

 **PR Sample Gratefully received, opinions my own.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Very late: June July 2014 Empties or Garbage Pail Review

It seems that my theme for the last few months is me running late. It's a miracle I have been able to get the kids to school, its not my fault really, I was standing at the door this morning with the car running chasing the kids out the door at 8:45am. The kids were playing Minecraft. Cos Daddy lets them.

Anyways. These are my June and July Empties. I know its September. It takes me forever to use up products so I figure doing an empties post every 2 months gives me a good few products to write about. I do enjoy reading empties posts. Bloggers usually mention if the product is worth re-purchasing or not, and based on this, even if its a PR sample, you can tell if its worth it.

I have a little basket that I keep under my sink, and instead of the bottle going in the bin straightaway, it goes in the basket. I was quite surprised at how quickly it filled up actually... So I will try keep it brief:

Aveeno. Aveeno Anything rules in our house for dry body skin. Its one of the only body moisturisers that doesn't cause my daughter's eczema to flare up and its one of the only ones that calms down any flares. We ALWAYS have at least 2 or 3 tubes or bottles in the the house, and we always will. The Skin Relief Lotion is great for mornings as it sinks in quickly but leaves skin hydrated and comfortable. The Moisturising Creamy Oil is our favourite for after baths/showers. 

It just works. Its a bit more expensive than the lotion, but I tend to pick up 3 or 4 tubes or bottles when they go on offer at my chemist.  Re-purchase Oh yes.

 Dove Men +Care Deodorant in Clean Comfort is for men. And himself Likes it, it does the job and he likes how it smells. I like this because I love how this smells. He says it does the job and he's never some home stinking, so I'm inclined to believe him. And I have used this on the sly now and again too, I can't confirm the 48hr claim: We shower every day. Bonus is that Dunnes frequently has them on offer in double packs making them great smelling value. Repurchase: Yes to keep my man smelling yummy .

 Kerstin Florian Correcting Rescue Créme (PR Sample). I have reviewed this already and its great for treating the skin, especially now when the temperature is all over the place (woollen scarves and sunscreen in my bag at all times from now until November). Great for dry skin, good for skin during colds/flu. It is pricey at €60, but you get 50mls and its lasted me just about a year of mostly everyday use and would have lasted me longer if I didn't give my sister-in-law and a friend of mine 2 hulking samples to try out. The Friend loved it and subsequently purchased her own tub. Re-purchase: If I win the lotto I'll probably get it again, but until then I'll make do with something in my budget...

 Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Facial Wax Strips. This is not an empty. But I'm binning it anyway because it just didn't work for me. It only ripped out some of the hairs, not all of them. And something that baffles me, is that they supply 20 wax strips (which you pull apart to use) so you should get around 8 - 10 uses out of the box. But they only supply 2 Pre-wax wipes, and 2 Post-wax wipes. WTF Nair? And I haven't seen a place that you can buy extra wipes...
Re-purchase: Not a chance.

 Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash Mask. I like this. Its a clay based cleanser that you can use as a mask as well. Its cheap (around the €5 mark) and I didn't mind if himself used too much of it as an occasional cleanser. Skin felt Clean but not dessicated. Re-purchase: Yup, as soon as my other clay mask is finished.

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner for Dry Skin with Almond Oil I already reviewed this, and I am still loving it. I already have a new one in my shower and a spare in the cupboard. Re-Purchase: Uh-Yup its a no-brainer.

Nuxe Rêve de Meil Face Cleansing and Make-up Removing Gel. I wanted to love this. I couldn't. But I couldn't just bin an almost full bottle of cleanser that cost me £12 (plus shipping). I'd use this as a first cleanse on my good skin days to start the cleansing process. But it was a chore. Re-Purchase: No way Jose.

Oral B Pro Expert Fluoride Toothpaste: I liked this, the rest of the family not so much. They were put off by the grittiness of the toothpaste, I liked it. I love how it tastes too. Its a nice toothpaste, but because I am the only one who likes it and the only one who used it, I won't buy it again unless they take out the gritty bits so that the rest of the family will use it too. Repurchase: No

Pantene Classic Clarifying Shampoo: It is the family shampoo of choice: Its cheap, it lathers like nobody's business, it works and it rinses out easily. Winner. Repurchase: Yes. And you can put it in with the groceries.

Roger & Gallet Liquid Soap in Cédrat (€12 for 250ml): Oh my lord this stuff is awesome. A Luxury, but one that I am happy to save my pennies for, and keep in my En-suit to savour by myself. I don't like to share this. Lemony, Citrussy fresh and freaking fabulous: I Really love this. Really Really. This one was a PR Sample, but I will treat myself to a new bottle for the festive season. For some reason Lemon Scented anything puts me in mind of Christmas. Re:Purchase: For special occasions and my own private use. I might add the EDT to my basket if I am feeling rich.

These next two are just gorgeous. Even on my combo-oily skin.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil €22 for this little Pipette-topped bottle of loveliness. I already have my 2nd bottle. But I got a friend to get it for me "Up The North" where its only £12.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum (I got it on special for €11): I've had this for a while and used it almost every day. But I have never blogged about it for some reason. I finished the bottle, and didn't realise how much my skin actually loves this because 2 days after it finished: my skin rebelled like a hormonal teenager. Seriously. Its still rebelling. Repurchase: as soon as I can.

Vichy Eau Thermal: €10 I liked this, but I haven't really missed it since its been finished. And its been finished a while. Re-purchase: Not unless its in a GWP (gift with purchase)

Right. Thats that. Stuff I liked. Stuff I didn't. Are there any bits I finished that ticked your boxes or just ticked you off? Anything I should try instead? Let me know in the comments...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Giveaway: Back To School Autumn Birthday Giveaway

I have already professed my love for anything that YoungBlood Mineral Cosmetics do and I can't wait for the Autumn/Winter collections to launch (especially those metallic creams!!!!). And I'm super excited to get back into a routine with the kids and back to a proper routine with blogging. I also can't wait for scarves and hot chocolate and snuggles with cosy blankies. Yes folks : "Winter is Coming...."

To celebrate the fact the the house will stay clean for longer than 20 minutes and that Winter-Woolies-Weather is on its way, the fabulous folks at YoungBlood Ireland have given me one of their Moulin Rouge Eyeshadow Quads for one of my readers.

If you have kids going back to school: Enjoy the peace of the first few days
If yours are going to school for the first time: Good Luck!

All you need to do is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Vichy Capital Soleil BB review & competition

August is still technically summer in Ireland and we are praying that the sunny weather sticks around a wee bit longer before Autumn arrives. But you still need SPF if you are going to venture outside and if you are dry skinned then Vichy Capital Soleil SPF50 BB cream is going to have your spf and hydration needs covered.

To give it the full name, Vichy Capital Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream SPF50+ comes in a 50ml flip top tube and costs somewhere around the €20 mark. Its a tinted cream that is fairly thick and you do need a good dollop to cover your whole face and neck, but it does work into the skin really nicely and gives an instant hydration boost as well as delivering moisture throughout wear time.

On The bottom of the box you can just see it says "Ideal Tan Revealer". I don't know how it does this but it does, when your tan is on its last legs this faintly coconutty (reminds me of holidays) scented cream brings it right back out again... you are left with a glow that makes folks think you have spent a restful few days on a private Island in the sun. But only if you have dry skin... I used this on both kids throughout July and Hannah's dry, eczema prone skin looked bloody perfect. Liam just looked like he had come from a summer spent in the game parks of Africa. It didn't cause any irritation to Hannah's skin and she got full coverage sun protection with no effect on her sensitive skin. Win. And I only had to get them to stand still long enough to get one application on and they were rather well protected.

As soon as I flipped open that top and smelled its gorgeous scent I was in love. But no matter how I applied this (fingers, brush, sponge) it just didn't sit right on my normal/combo skin. *Sob* But I tried it multiple times anyway on days when I knew it wasn't going anywhere special. And I liked that I got lots of moisture and my SPF. I didn't like that I got no coverage and a very "sweatyglowy" complexion.

the bare faced cheek. 

 Just so you could see it on my face, the above pic is me. Bare faced, just freshly cleansed and toned. The next picture is with half my face done. Can you see which half? Yeah me neither, but if you look closely you can see on the right hand side my lip is slightly more covered than usual. So that is the side that got the BB.

Half assed  faced application

And below is the full face. Not much coverage, and I pretty much look the same just a bit more glisten-ey. Eh. Ok.

All covered up but still looking pretty bare...

Time for a "Bit 'O Slap": This is what I used to go for a coffee with a friend of mine.

 And here is the finished face. I had to keep blotting papers handy to keep shine at bay and it didn't last very long before I looked like a shiny mess.

I have passed this on to a friend of mine who has dry skin and have tasked her with trying it for a little while. I am waiting for her to get back to me, but I am pretty sure she is going to get on rather well with this. As much as I wanted to love this it, Vichy Capital Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream SPF50+, just wasn't right for my skin type, I'd love to try the Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 version though.

Vichy is available in most Pharmacies around the country and you can get it on Feel Unique too.

But if you want to win a hamper full of Vichy Capital Soleil products (sponsored by the fabulous folks at Vichy) then enter via the Rafflecopter link below:
Competition closes on the 31st of August 2014 please be sure to read the T&C's!!!
Irish entries only on this one.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product gratefully received for review, Opinions my own.

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus: Cool Calm and totally Zen

The latest addition to the Voyage Fragrance Collection from The Body Shop is called Fijian Water Lotus and it is a great summer scent: light, floral and  And I know I'm late to the party and it is already almost Autumn and the wasps are out in force (oh gosh see THIS POST from Sera for some LOLS), but once you try it you'll be hoping the warm evenings linger a little longer.

The Body Shop sent me the Eau de Toilette (€25.95) and the Body Lotion (€15.95) to play with, but the collection also contains Perfume Oil, Fragrance Mist, Shower Gel and Body Butter. The idea is that you use a few products and layer the scent on your skin to ensure it sticks around the whole day. While Fijian Water Lotus is light and refreshing (a combination that normally disperses very quickly as opposed to a heavier arrangement) if I layer the EDT over the body lotion after a shower, it manages to stick around until well after lunch time. And the 50ml bottle isn't too heavy so it can come with me in my bag if I'm out all day.

I am rarely out all day so it lives on my dressing table. I quite like its cool blue minimalist look in amongst the general clutter. Its just very Zen, sitting there, cool as a cucumber. And the Fijian Water Lotus body lotion is fabulously cooling and refreshing, delivering a lovely hit of moisture that keep my skin moisturised all day.

Uplifting top notes of mandarin and litsea die down quickly, giving way to Fijian Water Lotus flower and Rose before blending into a light and refreshing marine accord. Perfect for the very humid muggy days that Ireland has been getting just lately. I'm loving it and its getting frequent outings at the moment. I'd say its pretty much getting the same use as my beloved Tarocco Orange.

I am loving everything The Body Shop is doing at the moment and this is no different. I will definitely be adding the Fragrance mist to my collection ( I already have the Coconut one and the Brazil Nut one).

And since its the Blog's Birthday Month, you can win a Bottle of the Fijian Water Lotus Fragrance Mist. Just fill in the Rafflecopter widget and you're sorted! Good Luck! (this prize is not sponsored by anybody, it is purchased by my own good self)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Products provided for review, opinions my own

Friday, 8 August 2014

Jessica Custom Nail Colour Summer Loving!

I am, without doubt, a massive fan of budget nail polishes. I generally refuse to spend more than €6 or €7 for a bottle, with Catrice and Essence being some of my favourite budget brands. But Jessica has convinced me to splurge a little on myself with gorgeous summer colours that are only a few euros more than I'd normally be willing to spend.

Jessica is the baby of Jessica Vartoughian. And Jessica is a very hands on lady where her baby is concerned: all of the treatment range products are designed by the lady herself.

I was skeptical about the Jessica Fusion Treatment (€19.95), as I had already declared OPI Nail Envy my holy grail base coat. But the thing with OPI is that is is incredibly expensive (€21.95 from Boots stores) and you had to keep re-applying it every 2 or 3 days, which meant that you'd go through this at a rate of knots. Not good for those of us with splitty weak nails on tight budges. And even after 4 bottles of the stuff, my nails were still splitting. Still.

But Fusion has been WAY better for my peeling nails. "The treatment fuses nails together through rubberised resin, strengthening and conditioning nails for better growth". I have been using Fusion for a little over 2 months now and I can see a massive improvement in the condition of my nails, the peeling has stopped completely, and my nails are much tougher and are growing like bamboo. They haven't been this long in months. I will need more of this, but (frustratingly) I can't find it on the website, so I'll phone one of the stockists listed at the bottom of this post and make sure they have one for me and pop in to collect it when I'm next in Dublin.

On a Sunday night I paint 2 thin layers of it on my nails (it is quite runny), ensuring to cover the tip and paint a little way under the nail to make sure I get the best possible outcome. It dries very quickly, so I don't have to wave my hands about like a mad thing and then I top it with two thin coats of whatever colour takes my fancy. And the manicure lasts all week with no tip wear and no chips. More-over: no peeling. And I'm not even an 8th of the way through the bottle.

Anyways, then a few weeks ago the wonderful folks at Jessica sent me a few of the new colours for Summer 2014 (RRP 12.95 per bottle) and I fell in love! They also sent me the Nourish Cuticle Oil, Nail File and the Brilliance Top Coat so I could get a good feel for the whole range, and by golly they are all pretty awesome.

The two colours they sent me are part of a 6 strong edit of beautiful colours that is called "In Bloom" inspired by a blossoming rose garden. And so far the pastel blue of Jessica Custom Nail Colour 885 Enchanting is my favourite.

It is quite a thick polish, but if you work carefully you can get a thin coat of colour on to the nail (remember to pain the free edge) and it dries fairly quickly (within 2 or 3 minutes) and then add a 2nd thin coat for full opacity and colour depth. Remember to paint the free edge of the nail as this helps to seal the nail edge to prevent the nail from splitting and prolong the colour. Finish with a quick coat of the Jessica Brilliance top coat (€16.30) and you are done with your manicure for a solid 7 days before tip wear makes an appearance. The above picture was taken on Day 8 of the manicure and you can just see a bit of tip wear on my index finger and middle finger. But nothing in your face.

The other colour is a gorgeous creamy lilac called 888 Awakening. I have been wearing it on my toes, sans top coat and it has lasted surprisingly well, even after multiple trips to the beach (our beach is more mudflat than proper beach sand). I might only update the colour on my toes every 2nd or 3rd week and this still looks pretty good when it comes time to take it off.

Jessica Nourish Cuticle Formula comes in a little acrylic pot and resides next to my bed. It smells lovely. I use it in the mornings when I wake up:
- I put it on then massage it in while drinking my coffee and browsing instagram
and at night:
- I put a good amount onto each nail bed and massage it in while reading my book (I am engrossed in the Game Of Thrones books currently) and then pop on my Cotton Moisture Gloves for as long as I can stand them before dying of the heat.

And I think its making a difference in the condition of my cuticles, which I've never really paid much attention to before. Rather irritatingly I don't have a price for Nourish. Pffft.

Something I wouldn't mind getting my hands on is the Jessica Awesome Neons Kit (€27.50). You get 3 mini polishes (7.4ml) as well as a mini Reward, which is a treatment base coat, and a mini Brilliance Top Coat. Jessica say these are proper fluro colours and I would love to give my daughter and I lovely summery nails, as I know these are the kinds of colours she would love! But first... I'd have to get the Jessica Nibble No More for her because she is a villain for biting her nails.

image from (before the site went down)

I haven't used the Jessica Custom Nail Colours without using the Fusion base coat so I don't know how the colour would fare on other base coats. I previously did a review of a Jessica Custom Nail Polish for the lovely ladies at Closer2Fabulous, and while the colour Sensuous didn't float my boat at the time, I'm looking forward to the cooler months so I can give it a go with Fusion and see if it goes a little better.

I do know that Fusion performs really well under ANY polish. Which makes this pretty darn special.

You can get Jessica Custom Nail Colours and treatments from the stockists listed below and online from The French Beauty Room . The site is up and running again, I checked!

Irish Stockists:
Dublin : Ebano, Ballinteer, Dublin • Ebano, Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Dublin • Howth Haven, Howth, Dublin • Invogue, Blackrock, Dublin •John Adams, Cleary’s, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 • Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Parade, Dublin 2 • Midas Touch, Newlands Retail Centre, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 • Refresh, Leapardstown, Foxrock, Dublin • Refresh, Clontarf, Dublin 3 •Refresh, Sandymount, Dublin 4 • Kildare : Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare • Laois : The Spa, The Heritage Killenard, Portarlington, Co. Laois • Meath : A N U, Clonee, Co. Meath • Wexford : Kelly’s Spa Resort, Rosslare, Co. Wexford

 Products provided for review, Opinions my own

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Super Surya Brasil Conditioners

While my review of the Surya Brasil Henna Powder was less than positive, their conditioners are actually pretty ace, especially the Surya Brasil Colour Fixation Leave-In Cream Conditioner.

As part of the Surya Brasil Colour Fixation Range, this leave in conditioner is a really lovely product. Natural and vegan (cruelty free) this leave in conditioner is well within my price range coming in at just €10.99 for a massive 300ml bottle. Completely affordable, if you ask me, because you only use about a teaspoon's worth of product meaning the 300ml bottle should give you around 60 applications.

This leave in-conditioner is designed for hair in need of additional support. It hydrates, detangles and protects and the rich formula is balanced to provide smoothness to the strand and control volume, which is great news for me as volume is the last thing I need...

Amazonian buriti oil and cupuaçu butter provide carotenoids which absorb UV rays, Surya Brasil Leave In Condioner is also designed to extend the life of your hair color as it is enriched with rice proteins that strengthen the keratin in the cuticle of the hair as well as 15 extracts of herbs and exotic fruits from India and the Amazon forest which add to the conditioning effect leaving your hair shiny and healthy tangle-free.

I don't use it every time I wash my hair, as it is quite rich, so I use it every 2nd of 3rd wash instead of using conditioner. After shampooing and rough drying with a towel, a teaspoon smooshed though my hands spreads far enough to do my whole head (I have lots of long hair, and its quite thick) and it doesn't leave a heavy coating on my hair, my hair just drinks it in and the comb goes though it with ease. Drying time is shortened too, if I decide to actually properly blow-dry my hair, it takes about 30 minutes as opposed to the usual 40 - 50 minutes to get completely dry and smooth. But usually I just blast it to about 80% dry with the hair dryer on a medium heat setting and curl it up into a bun and sleep in it. When I take the bun out the next morning I have soft waves and soft hair. Nice.

The leave in conditioner has a vague herbal scent, but once your hair is dry the scent is gone and hair just smells clean. I like it. I also like that the bottle comes with a nozzle. This allows you to dispense just enough of the cream, so if you want to section off your hair you don't have to worry about dolloping out too much all at once.

I am also finding this very useful in the gym. Before I get into the pool I spread a teaspoon of this through the ends of my hair, plait it up and pull on my swim cap. Then I swim my 20 minutes and squeeze out the excess water and go sit in the sauna for a few minutes. I do my normal shower & shampoo and run a bit more through the lengths, shove it up in a twist and go about the rest of my day.

My hair is still looking pretty darn good considering I haven't had a trim in about 6 months. The ends are starting to feel a bit dry, but I haven't seen any split ends yet and so I recon I'm still ok for another few weeks. Normally the chlorine would do a real number on my hair and I would be needing to go for a trim every 6 or so weeks. I could probably do with a trim just to get the shape sorted again, but its not anything major that has to be done immediately and the ends don't look ratty.

If you are keen to try a natural conditioner without having to commit to a whole bottle, you can try the Surya Brasil Single Application Intensive Hair Treatment (€3.45). It isn't a leave in conditioner, this is a proper mask.

 Lash it onto clean, damp hair, put on a shower cap, wrap head in a towel warmed over the radiator (in winter) and relax for 20 minutes. Rinse it out, dry+style and enjoy your gorgeously soft, manage-able hair. It smells pleasantly herbal, but the scent doesn't linger. There is actually enough for 2 applications in the bottle, if you have short to medium hair, so its a great little treat to take away with you on holiday.

I must be honest and say I prefer the leave in conditioner. Purely because you get the same results without having to rinse out the mask. The full sized tub of mask also costs €10.99 but you only get 230mls, and generally I use less of the leave in conditioner than I did of the mask. I suppose you would use a mask less frequently, but I still prefer the conditioner. I just do.

Your Tonic is the only Irish stockist of all things Surya Brasil, they offer super quick delivery great service via the website or instore.  I highly recommend the Surya Brasil Henna Cream Colour, its the only way I will colour my hair now, not just because the colour is really lovely, its the condition that my hair is left in after I rinse the colour out that I really love.

*Samples provided for review, Opinions my own.
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