31 August 2013

Skin Care Diary: August 2013

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It was Annabel's blog post that inspired me to start keeping my own skin care diary so I can keep track of what products I'm using, how often and how they're effecting my skin. It was then Jessica's monthly skin posts that inspired me to share the products I've used most often that month.

At the end of each month I'll tally up all the products I've used and which are clear favourites or one's that I've used the most and post a photo. I'm not going to go into detail on each product but I'll link any reviews or mentions I've written.

Avene Micellar Lotion // La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water // REN Clear Calm Clay Cleanser // La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 // Caudalie Lip Balm // Alpha H Absolute Eye Complex // Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins // Melvita Rose Water // Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. 

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30 August 2013

The Last Of The Monthly Favourites

august-2013-monthly-favourites-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog As you can probably tell from the title of this blog post, I've decided to stop writing monthly favourite posts. For the past few months I've found it harder and harder to pick out favourites to feature. It's not that I haven't been buying new products or falling in love with others, I just seem to be using old favourites that I've already mentioned a lot whether it's in favourite posts or others. I also don't want to start including products that I don't 100% love just so the posts look a bit better. Instead I'd prefer to just start writing current favourites whenever I feel like it and not be tied down to just posting at the end of every month.

I'm also putting myself on a spending ban so I'll be using older products even more so and don't want posts to start getting repetitive.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 - This month I've been looking for an alternative to Mario Badescu Control Cream to soothe the eczema on my face. I was google-ing recommendations when Jessica's post came up, I read through all of the comments and by the end of it I had a list of about 20 new products to try. One of them was this cream from La Roche-Posay which I actually already had in my stash. I originally bought this for the eczema on my legs and arms but it didn't work well so it was put to the back of the drawer. I decided to test it out on my face anyway as I had nothing to loose and it really impressed me. It soothed the eczema and made the dry patches of skin disappear, very similar to how the Mario Badescu worked. So for now, while I wait to see if they're going to bring Control Cream back, this is a great alternative.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy & Vivia La Juicy Noir - I got a sample of Viva La Juicy Noir in last months Glossybox and fell in love with it. I was going to buy the full size but I saw this duo rollerball on theperfumeshop.com and ordered it straight away. I'm still planning on buying the full size of Noir but for now this is perfect for just throwing in my bag.

Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm - Finally, I was able to try out the infamous Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm! A mini tub was available from Latest In Beauty so I added it to the order I was already making. It's just as good as everyone says it is and once I finish a few other cleansers I'll be buying the full size. It's also going to be perfect for the winter when my skin is dryer. At the moment I don't use it every night as overall my skin isn't too dry at the moment. I also love the scent and find the whole process of applying it and taking it off really relaxing.

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins - I tried a sample of this at the start of the month and fell in love with it. I was then making a Origins order for a couple of other products and saw this for free if you spend over a certain amount so I did. I just love the orange scent and how it makes my skin feel. It quite a thick moisturiser but doesn't feel heavy on the skin. Again I don't use it every night but another one that will be perfect for the winter.

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29 August 2013

Beauty Empties: August 2013

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Cutex Nail Polish Remover - For some reason my Asda has stopped selling Cutex nail polish removers so I really did want to buy another bottle but I couldn't. For now I'm using an Asda own brand but once I finish that bottle I'll try and find Cutex else where.

Original Source Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel - I love the seasonal scents Original Source come out with but I really wish they'd make them all permanent. Especially this one and the pineapple one from summer last year. I've already bought another bottle.

Lush Dream Cream - I think this is my fourth pot of this stuff and I love it. It's light but moisturising and helps to soothe eczema patches. I will be picking up another tub when I'm next in town and by the Lush shop.

The Body Shop Chocomania Body Scrub - I featured this in my Disappointing Products post so since I'm throwing it away, practically full, I thought I'd pop it in the Empties post as well. It's not often I come across a product that I don't like, especially a bath product, but I really hated this one. It doesn't exfoliate and just turns into a sticky mess on the skin.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub - This has to be one of my favourite body scrubs of all time purely because of the scent. It smells like coke and lime but it's also a really great scrub. It doesn't leave a oily residue behind but my skin is still left feeling soft and smooth. I already have another tub to use so a repurchase isn't needed yet although I will eventually.

Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo - Another shampoo that I can add to my list that actually help my scalp from being itchy. It smells of apples and reminds me of a shampoo I used when I was little. It lathers well and makes my scalp feel really clean but also very soft. I've already bought the full size bottle.

Avene Skin Recovery Cream - It took me a long time to finish this face moisturiser as I didn't really like it.  Despite having very dry and flaky skin, this felt a little a bit greasy on my skin. I also think my skin might have reacted to it but I can't be certain as I try so many different products. Definitely not one on the repurchase list!

Blistex Med Plus Lip Balm - Technically I haven't finished this one but the expiry date says twelve months and I've had this little tub for probably over four years. It was about time I threw it out. I do really like this lip balm and I've used quite a lot of it. I would buy another tub if I didn't already have so many others to finish.

Carmex Cherry Lip Balm - This is another lip balm that I've had for years and when I say years I probably bought it in like 2007 or 2008 so it's about time I got rid of it. I haven't used it for ages anyway and it's probably expired. I prefer this version of Carmex as it smells delicious. Again another one I'd repurchase if I didn't have so many more to use up. Seeing a pattern here? I just have too many products to use!

Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask Sponge - Although not technically an empty but since I am throwing it out I thought I'd include it. These are my favourite sponges to remove face masks, especially clay based masks that dry. They just seem to remove the mask better than a muslin cloth and also exfoliate the skin a little bit. I'm not really sure how long you're meant to keep these before throwing them out but I've had this one for a while and it's looking a little worse for wear. You get two in a pack so I've still got one more to use but I will be rushing out to buy another set once I've finished with it.

Barefoot Rosa Fina Lip Salve* - It looks like I have a lot of product left but without cutting the packaging, I just can't get any more out. This was a good lip balm for during the day as it leaves a nice glossy finish, like lipgloss but without being sticky. The reason I wouldn't buy another one is the price, £12 is a lot for a lip balm that isn't incredibly moisturising.

Blistex Relief Cream - This is another one that I had a tiny amount of product left but I looked at the expiry date and it said March last year! Again, I'd buy another tube of this if I didn't already have a ton of lip balms. I tend to use this one at night as it's more like a cream for your lips and does leave a little bit of a white tint.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara - Oh how sad I am to see this little mascara tube empty! Surprisingly this has lasted a really long time, probably longer than you should keep mascaras but oh well. I will be buying another tube of this as nothing beats it but for now I'm using a similar mascara that I already had.


27 August 2013

Bedroom Alterations Part 1

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I'm the type of person who gets bored of their surroundings pretty quickly and I'm constantly changing how my bedroom looks. I usually have a furniture switch around every six months or so. I also have a lot of junk stuff which from looking at the photo above, is looking extremely cluttered and not at all how I want my room to look. Despite most things having a place, it all just looks very messy. A quick look at my home board on Pinterest and you can sort of see how I want my room to look eventually. Every thing is very minimal and everything has it's own place, a lot of pastel accents, plain walls and white furniture.

The first thing to do: paint over the lily wallpaper.

I want to try and make the two bookcases stand out more and look like decorations themselves instead of just housing all my books. Despite all the little touches like my perfume bottles, decorations and colour co-ordinated books, it all just looks lost among the wallpaper. I still like the wallpaper and it's been up for a good 5 years or so but it's just not my taste anymore. I've decided to paint the wall a light grey which should go with everything else in my room. It also means whatever duvet cover I have on my bed wont clash with my wall paper anymore and nearly all colours go with grey.
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My next project? Sort out this side of the room! Again, it's too cluttered and messy despite everything having it's own place. I'm hoping a couple of cardboard boxes from Ikea to store my handbags and a change around of furniture will help a lot. Also quite a bit of decluttering is in need.

Once my room is all done I'll be sharing more photos but I want to try and get it so I'm happy with all areas of it first.

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26 August 2013

NOTD: Bourjois Amande Défilé

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Supplies used... 
Orly Primetime Primer
CND Stickey Base Coat
Bourjois Amande Défilé // three coats
Nubar Diamont Top Coat

This is the first polish I've tried from the So Laque Glossy line from Bourjois although I do own a couple of polishes with the really long handles. Those I like. This one, not so much.

First off the packaging, so much better! I can stand these properly in my Helmer unlike the others which I have to lie down. I really didn't like the brush though and found it made the already horrible formula so much harder to apply. The bristles are quite hard so they don't flatten to the shape of the nail meaning you can't really get a neat edge by the cuticle.

Even after three coats a few nails were still patchy which I was disappointed about. If a polish needs more than two coats then it's pretty rare for me to reach for it again. I'd prefer to just find a similar colour with a better formula. It took a while to dry and bubbled quite badly once I put the top coat on.

The colour is gorgeous and just the right mint ice cream colour I was after but is it really worth all the hype it got? No and I wish I'd done a bit more research into it instead of just looking at the colour. Here's to hoping the other two colours I bought are better.

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24 August 2013

Project Sample Use Up 008

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**This post was meant to go live September 14th but once again Blogger's scheduling option has not worked and has published this a month early. I haven't finished all these samples in a space of a day which it looks like from my last post, I always write them ahead of time. Since it's already gone live I might as well keep it up.

RMK Rose Cleansing Balm - I really enjoyed trying out this cleansing balm and I'm so glad it was included in a Birchbox. Even before finishing this little tub, I ordered the full size using some Birchbox points so I managed to get it a bit cheaper. It's not cheap, £29 for 100g, but it's definitely worth it. It has a really nice rose scent as you'd expect. It's a solid balm in the tub but once it hits your hands and face it turns into an oil and just feels amazing on the skin. It then emulsifies when it touches water so is easy to remove with or without a muslin cloth. I've only tried a handful of cleansing balms but so far this one is my favourite. I have just ordered a tiny jar of Emma Hardie so we'll see how long the RMK balm stays in 1st place.

Liz Earle Sensitive Shave Cream - I really liked using this shaving cream. It isn't as good as Blue Beards Revenge but it's in 2nd place. It lathers nicely, doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and helps to reduce razor burn. I particularly like using it under my arms as it's quite moisturising. I have a couple of other shaving creams to use before I think of buying another one but I will probably buy a full size tube of this at some point.

Lush Ambrosia Shaving Cream - I wasn't a fan of this shaving cream and am glad I only had a little sample tub. It doesn't have much of a scent which I was surprised about seeing as it's from Lush. It was like applying a moisturiser to wet skin which I didn't really like and I found it clogged up my razor. I wouldn't buy the full size.

Liz Earle Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash* - I've used this shower gel before and loved it so I was glad to see another tube in the Advent calendar. It feels so luxurious and nice to use and lathers well. It's not often I'll spend anywhere near £12 on a shower gel but if I fancied a treat sometime I'd buy the full size. I also seem to be breaking the lids of all the products I have, so annoying!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance - The only other eye shadow primer I've used is the Urban Decay and while I do really like it, after a couple of repurchases I wanted to try something new. I decided to go with the Too Faced Shadow Insurance and in the same order I bought the natural eye palette. This little sachet of SI came with the palette and although a bit useless as you could only get one use out of it, I was at least able to try it out before opening the full size. It pretty much feels and works exactly the same as Urban Decay and so far I'm glad I bought it. With the full size though the oil seems to separate if I don't shake it up before use which I was disappointed with.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Noir - I absolutely love the scent of this and have since gone out and bought a rollerball version of it along with Viva La Juicy.

Liz Earle Super Skin Concentrate - I think this was the first facial oil I ever tried and I've gone through a couple of vials since. Not only is this great for the skin, the herbal scent is really relaxing and it makes for a wonderful cuticle oil. I still have another vial to use and I do want to buy the full size at some point.

Caudalie Divine Legs - I never would have tried this or even thought about trying it as I'm very pale and extremely scared of anything fake tan related. I got this little sample tube with an Escentual order and actually enjoyed using it. It's an instant tan that you apply and can pretty much put clothes on straight away as it dries so quickly. It also has the nice divine oil scent which helps to mask the tan smell. It's not at all waterproof though which is probably why I wouldn't buy the full size bottle. If the product didn't start to run when you get a bit of water on yourself then it would have been perfect for night outs and parties. It also didn't make me look orange despite being so pale and it applied nicely.

ESPA Dual-Action Shavemud - I really liked this shaving cream and I could tell it had some mud in it as it left my legs feeling nice and soft. This was also a nice one to use under the arms as my skin is particularly sensitive there. I'm not 100% sure if I'd buy the full size as the Bluebeards Shaving Cream is cheaper but it was nice to try the sample.

Clinique High Impact Mascara - Out of the four mascaras from the set I bought around Christmas, this has to be my favourite and the only one I'd buy a full size of. It has a pretty standard brush which is the perfect size for my eyes unlike Benefit Bad Gal. I was surprised I liked this one so much as I usually prefer plastic wand mascaras. This creates full lashes with length, volume and definition while still looking natural.


23 August 2013

Project Sample Use Up 007

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Elie Saab Perfume - I really like this perfume and I've been trying to save this tiny little sample. It's not a perfume I would normally go for but for some reason I love it and will be buying the full size. It's a very strong scent which lasts a really long time so a good one for night time. The notes are mandarin blossom, gardenia, orange blossom, jasmine, vetiver and rose honey.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Perfume - I got this tiny little bottle of perfume from a Latest In Beauty box ages ago and I really like it. Its notes are bergamot, grapefruit, peony, magnolia, violet petals, vanilla, cedar and musk. Although I do like it and have been enjoying using it, I don't like it enough to buy the full size.

Escentual Micellar Blind Trial Sample C* - This sample was the Caudalie micellar water which I knew straight away because of the scent. I've had a couple of travel size bottles in the past and it has a very distinct scent. It works really well to take my make-up off but Bioderma works slightly better and is cheaper so I wouldn't buy the full size of the Caudalie.

Escentual Micellar Blind Trial Sample G* - This sample was the Vichy micellar water which I was surprised about as it as it has a similar scent to La Roche-Posay products which is what I thought it was.I have bought the full size of this one and a couple of others from the trial as I wanted to try them out further.

Liz Earle Smoothing Line Serum* - I never thought to try the Liz Earle serum despite loving all other products from the brand. I enjoyed using it but it's not really suited to my skin type, I'm not really looking for anti-aging line smoothing products which this one is aimed at. I'm hoping they'll bring out a serum aimed for dry skin at some point as I'd definitely be interested in that. I wouldn't buy the full size.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips - Since everyone started raving about this, I've wanted to try it. A mini sample of it was included in a Latest In Beauty box along with other products I wanted to try so I ordered it. I don't really think it's as good as everyone says it is. Yes it works well but not any better than all other lip balms. I still think Nuxe Reve De Miel is the best lip balm. This has a similar texture as Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant and works in pretty much the same way just without the scent. As I have so many lip balms already I don't think I'll be buying the full size.

REN No1. Purity Cleansing Balm - Despite this being my second mini tube I've finished, I'm not a fan of this cleansing balm. I don't like the texture, it feels like I'm spreading vaseline on my face and I find it doesn't wash off as easily as other balms do. I won't be buying the full size.

REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk - I've already raved about this in my Cleanser Wardrobe post as well as including another mini tube in a previous Project Sample Use Up post. This is the cleanser I use in the mornings as it's very gentle for my sensitive skin. I already own the full size so don't need to repurchase just yet.

NUDE Radiant Day Moisturiser - This has a really nice fruity scent which is the same for most NUDE products. Despite being a pretty thin cream, it takes a while to sink in which I'm not a fan of when it comes to day creams. Once it has sunk in it leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft, almost like a silicone primer does. I'm happy with my current day cream so I don't think I'd buy the full size as it is very expensive.

Origins Plantscription SPF 25 Anti-Aging Cream - While it was a nice cream to use in the mornings I was just trying to finish up my samples. I wouldn't buy the full size as there's another Origins moisturiser I want to buy.

Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream - This eye cream smells like cucumbers which I really liked. It's a nice one to use in the morning as it's very light and refreshing but still moisturising. I would really like to buy the full size of this but could I really pay £75 for a 15ml pot of eye cream?? The 2ml sample I tried is worth £10 which just seems crazy.


22 August 2013

NOTD: China Glaze Sweet Hook

Supplies used... 
Nail Tek Foundation II Base Coat
China Glaze Sweet Hook // two coats
Nubar Diamont Top Coat

If you look through my nail polish collection, this light pink-lavender this the colour I have the most of. For some reason I just gravitate towards it. It's such an easy colour to wear, not too bright but still colorful.

This one from China Glaze is from the Spring 2012 Electropop collection and luckily is still available. Although the formula is slightly on the thicker side, it still applies nicely and only needs two coats.

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21 August 2013

Beauty Box: Birchbox August 2013

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Molton Brown Ylang Ylan Shower Gel - I don't think I would have ever tried this if it hadn't come in the box as I'm not usually one to spend a lot on shower gels. I tend to stick with what I can buy in Asda. Saying that though I do really like the scent and will enjoy using up the sample bottle.

Montibel.lo Gold Oil Essence - I don't do a lot to my hair but I always put oil in it once it's been washed. I haven't heard of this product or brand before

Bluemandarines SkinLife Energetic Cellular Cream - This one is going to be passed onto my mum if she fancies giving it a go. It's not really a cream targeted to my skin type.

Gerda Spillmann Hydro Pearls Make-Up Primer - I don't really have that much experience when it comes to primers but this one feels a lot more like a moisturiser than a primer which is nice. Will have to report back with how it makes make-up last.

Laqa&Co Fat Lip Pencil in Wolfman - This is such a cute little lip pencil! I'm pleased with the colour I got as it looks like the perfect every day pink. It also twists up so no need for sharpening.

Propercorn Fiery Worchester Sauce & Sun-dried Tomato Popcorn - I'm so glad I got a bag of popcorn instead of the vitamins that was included in other boxes. I loved the taste of these, not sure if I'd buy more bags but I'd try making something similar myself.

Also as an added bonus, a gel eye mask was included. I have a similar version of this already and it's a lifesaver for when my hay fever is bad. Leave it in the freezer for a couple of hours and it feels heavenly on the eyes.

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20 August 2013

Boots Shopping 002

Those vouchers that Boots send out every few months offering so many extra points when you spend over £30 are a killer. I went it to use one of them and ended up spending about £45! I did get some products that I've wanted to try for a while as well as some new discoveries.

The first place I go to in Boots is the skin care isles as it's my favourite thing to spend my money on at the moment. The past few visits I've zoomed in on the Una Brennan section and have nearly added both of these products to my basket on a couple of occasions but I've always put them back. This time though there was a 1/3 off offer going on which made these already pretty cheap products even cheaper.

The Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil ended up only being £7.33 which I am hoping to review along side the Origins version which looks very similar. I've really been liking oil cleansers at the moment and am hoping this one lives up to expectations.

The Superfacialist Rose Miracle Makeover Facial Oil was down to £9.99 and has been raved about by Caroline Hirons. If it's got her seal of approval then I just have to try it! I haven't tried either one yet but am excited to do so and I'm sure I'll be blogging about them at some point.

Boots always seem to have a 3 for 2 offer on Soap & Glory products so I took advantage of this along with a 250 extra points voucher if you spend £10 or more on S&G. I'd just ran out of Sugar Crush Body Scrub so I picked up another tub as it's my favourite. Nothing beats how effective this is and the scent is incredible, it smells like coke and lime!

A new product which I haven't heard a single thing about is Hand Dream Super Cream. I already have and love the original Hand Food so this one looks like a maxed up version. It contains AHA's to exfoliate the hands as well as offering a lot of moisture. As this is a little thicker it'll be perfect for the winter when Hand Food doesn't quite cut it for my extremely dry skin. It almost has a balm like texture to it. It still has the same scent as Hand Food which I love. This was £7 so the cheapest item and the one I got for free.

Although expensive and I haven't really read any reviews of it, I added the Sit Tight Intense XS Body Firming Serum to my basket. My legs, especially my thighs, are the one part of my body that I really don't like so any type of product that can help with firming I'll give it a go. I really like cooling sensation of the metal and the process of massaging in the product. It sort of has a minty menthol scent which I like although it is quite subtle. I will report back if I notice any difference!

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19 August 2013

NOTD: NYX Pastel Coral

Supplies used... 
Nail Tek Foundation II Base Coat
NYX Pastel Coral  // two coats
Nubar Diamont Top Coat

NYX nail polishes have become some of my favourites and although I only have four and they're all pretty standard colours, the quality is really great for the price. You can now buy them from the NYX UK site and they only cost £4.50. They apply really nicely and smooth, dry quickly and are opaque in two coats. So far I've also swatched Pastel Mint and Pastel Pistachio.

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17 August 2013

Disappointing Products 001

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Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser -  Before I bought this I'd read so many great reviews on it so I assumed I'd like it as well. I don't like to just wipe off a cleanser so I was this off with water which I've read other people doing as well. You can see I've used about a third so I have given it a good try but it just doesn't seem to work for me. It doesn't irritate my skin or cause breakouts and it's not a bad product, it just doesn't really do anything to my skin. It's like my skin would feel the same way if I'd just washed it with water. I wish I'd saved my money and spent it on a cleanser I know actually benefits my skin.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips - I wasn't sure if I should put these nail polish strips in this post as I've since tried a different design and they worked really well. I was disappointed with this green design as they just would not stick to the nail at all. The packaging was properly sealed so they shouldn't have dried out. I'd still recommend giving these a dry, just with an open mind as they might not work!

Maybelline The Rocket Mascara - This is another product that has gotten a lot of hype recently but it just doesn't work for me. I usually prefer plastic wands to brushes so I thought I was off to a good start but this applies horribly on me. It clumps and doesn't give any volume at all. Not worth the money at all and I'm going to struggle to use it up.

The Body Shop Chocomania Body Scrub - I was really surprised to be including a Body Shop product in this post as I've liked everything I've tried from the brand so far and I've bought from them for years. I was excited to add this to my order as I love chocolate scents and had heard great things about this scent. It does smell amazing but it's the formula which turns it into a horrible product. It looks promising in the tub but once the product hits water it just sort of forms a paste and doesn't even feel like it has any exfoliating particles in it. It sort of turns into brownie batter and just clumps in the bottom of the bath tub. I never throw away products that are hardly used, even if I don't like it I try to make it work but I just can't with this. It's going straight into the bin.

Dainty Doll Eyeshadow Primer - I'm glad I only paid about £1.50 for this eyeshadow primer as it's certainly not worth the £10.50 price tag. I don't have a problem with shadow creasing and I can wear shadow without a primer but when I used this my shadow creased within a few hours. It's also quite hard to blend out and doesn't have a very nice formula. Despite being a cream product, it feels really dry and chalky on the skin.

Pommade Divine Hand Cream - I've heard great things about the original Pommade Divine so I thought I'd try out the hand cream. I really hate the scent, it smells like cologne but not in a nice way, and it's what's stopping me from using it. Smell is a bit thing for me when it comes to products, it's a nice hand cream but the scent, urgh ...


16 August 2013

In A Skin Care Rut

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These past few weeks I seem to have gotten stuck in a skin care rut and not really sure how to get out of it. I think a mixture of constantly switching up products, not having a proper routine and not eating very healthily or drinking enough water is making my skin go crazy. I'm also not really happy with the moisturisers I have at the moment. I've got a couple that are good for the morning but nothing that's really working for evening. I was using Liz Earle Skin Repair but I think it might have been clogging up my skin so I've stopped using it for now.

Back in January I bought the Origins Super Spot Remover and was given a couple of samples from the Mega-Mushroom range. I fell in love with the serum and moisturiser but didn't buy the full sizes as I had other products to finish up first. Fast forward to today and I finally bought them in the hopes that they'll help to clear up my skin. I also bought the Clean Energy Cleansing Oil so I can compare it to the Una Brennan Cleansing Oil.

The Clean Energy Cleansing Oil doesn't come with a pump and although it isn't available on the Origins website, Debenhams stock them so I picked up two. I had hoped I could use the second pump for the Una Brennan cleanser but it doesn't screw on properly. I haven't had a chance to use the cleansing oil yet but so far it's beating the Una Brennan version purely because it doesn't have an added perfume. Despite all the wonderful oils it contains the scent is very subtle which I really like, it's less likely to irritate my skin.

The Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Serum and Moisturiser are both aimed at soothing sensitive skin and that it does. My skin can get quite irritated from cleansing, not from the products, just the process, so I like to counteract this with the products I apply after. Lets hope my skin and I still really like these two!

Since I'd spent over £50, which is easily done on the Origins website as everything sounds so good, I received a 30ml tub of High Potency Night-A-Mins which I've also had a sample of before and loved. As well as a 15ml tube of Make A Difference Plus+ which I already have a full size of and love, this mini tube will be great for travel. Other mini samples I received include Plantscription SPF 25 Face Cream and Eye Cream, Modern Friction scrub, Drink Up 10 Minute Mask, Mega-Bright Serum and GinZing Eye Cream.

If you're thinking of ordering from Origins do it now so you can take advantage of this offer too. I only bought three products and look how many I got free!

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15 August 2013

NOTD: Orly Coachella Dweller

notd-orly-coachella-dweller-nail-polish-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog Supplies used... 
Nail Tek Foundation II Base Coat
Orly Coachella Dweller // three coats
Seche Vite Top Coat

Although I haven't got any plans to go, if I went to Coachella this would be the polish I'd wear simply because of the name. This was part of the Spring 2013 Hope and Freedom Collection and is one of my favourites as I love them all apart from one. I'm not a huge yellow nail polish fan. Despite loving them, this is the first time I'm sharing one of them.

Although I love the shade of green, I don't have anything like it in my collection, I'm just not a fan of polishes that need more than two coats and this one needed three. Even with a fast drying top coat like Seche Vite I'm usually too impatient to apply that extra layer so these types of polishes usually go untouched in my drawers. As I use a base and top coat that means I'm putting on five layers of polish!

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14 August 2013

Beauty Box: Glossybox August 2013*

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Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Noir Perfume - I actually don't own any Juicy Couture perfumes although a couple of them have been on my to try list for a while. The notes are honeysuckle, gardenia petals, jasmine sambac, berries, mandarin, strawberry, amber, caramel, vanilla and sandalwood. I really like it and have finished this little sample vial so quickly. It's definitely one I'm going to buy at some point.

Jelly Pong Pong 2-in-1 Eyeliner & Shadow Pencil - I was a bit disappointed to see another Jelly Pong Pong product in the box as I haven't liked any of the other products before. I actually like the look of this one though as it's a dark, almost black, green with a hint of shimmer.

Oceane Make-Up Remover Pen - I have nail polish remover pens but didn't know the same sort of thing existed for make-up. This could be quite useful if you travel a lot or to keep on your desk at work. It also comes with a couple of extra nibs to switch out.

Emite Eye Lash Curlers - I think this is the second or third set of eye lash curlers I've received in a beauty box! I really like the design and it feels better quality than others I have. These will be used until I buy a pair of Shu Uemera.

Tresemme Platinum Strength Concentrated Treatment Shot - This is another product I've wanted to try since it was released but I can never find it when I look for it. I use deep conditioners/treatments every time I wash my hair as it's extremely dry so this sounds perfect for my hair. Will be giving this a try next time I wash my hair!

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12 August 2013

NOTD: Orly Cotton Candy

notd orly cotton candy nail polish rottenotter rotten otter blog
Supplies used... 
Nail Tek Foundation II Base Coat
Orly Cotton Candy  // two coats
Seche Vite Top Coat

Orly Cotton Candy is from the Spring 2010 Sweet collection. It's a gorgeous pink-peach creme pastel and is what I was hoping Barry M Papaya would be. The formula for this one is pretty thick but surprisingly, easy to work with. It will need thinning at some point though when it gets a bit old. A lot of people have said they had to apply three coats with this polish but somehow I only needed two.

This is still available from Beauty Bay which is where I bought mine from but it's just over £10 which I wouldn't pay for and didn't. If you want it I'm sure you can find it cheaper on Ebay.

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10 August 2013

The Skin Care Tag

the skin care tag rottenotter rotten otter blog Describe your skincare routine in 5 words:
Simple, gentle, hydrating, calming and rotation.

What's your skin type?
Definitely combination - my skin is sensitive and eczema prone, can be dry or oily and I easily get spots. It's a nightmare!

What's your favourite skincare product?
Mario Badescu Control Cream, I can't seem to rave about it enough. After months and months of having two horrible patches of eczema on my face this cream treated it in a couple of days. It's the one product I know I'll be repurchasing for the rest of my life or until they stop selling it. which they sort of seem like they're doing now ...

Top blemish zapper?
Liz Earle Spot On but I've just learnt it's been discontinued which I can't believe. Luckily I have a lot of it left which should last long enough for them to bring out the reformulated version. It just works so well, even better than the Origins Super Spot Remover which I was a little disappointed with.

Face wipes yay or nay?
I don't use face wipes and never really have. I've always just used a cleanser to remove make-up and cleanse my face and more recently a micellar water.

Toner yay or nay?
Definitely yay for this one. Although I've only started using it on an every day basis over the past few years it's become one of my favourite steps. At the moment I'm using the Ren Hydrating Mist and Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I haven't tried an exfoliating toner yet though as I'm a bit scared to as my skin is so sensitive.

High end skincare or high end make up?
High end skin care. I like to focus, and spend my money, on skin care so I can get my skin to look it's best and then I don't feel the need to wear much make-up.

What's the most unusual skincare product you've tried?
I don't think I've tried any unusual skin care products! I did have a couple of sachets of Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum but I was too scared to try it so gave them away.

You're in a French pharmacy and can only pick one item - what is it?
French pharmacy brands are more readily available now so I've tried quite a few of the products I had on my wish list. I'd probably go with the La Roche-Posay Serozinc that everyone's been raving about or failing that I'd probably just buy another bottle of Bioderma. Can't have too many back ups!

Tell us your top skincare tip?
Drink a lot of water and eat a healthy diet. I can always notice it in my skin if I haven't drank enough water or eaten rubbish food that week and vice versa.

Rebecca From Roses
Estée Essie Button
Annabel Fragmented Splendour
Sophie The Private Life Of A Girl

And anyone else who wants to do it, leave your posts in the comments so I can read them.

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09 August 2013

Mini Reviews 008 // Super Facialist By Una Brennan // Nude // Melvita // Ren

mini reviews 008 nude perfect cleansing oil melvita rose nectar ren hydra calm global protecion day cream rottenotter rotten otter blog
Super Facialist By Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask - The mask goes on a bit gritty feeling which I wasn't expecting, almost like the oils in it had hardened but it didn't irritate my skin. As the name suggests it has a lovely natural rose scent which is very strong so if you don't like roses, this one may not be for you. You apply a thick layer all over the face and leave on for 5 minutes then wash away with warm water or with a muslin cloth. It dries a bit as it's on your face and feels quite cooling which was nice to use in the hot weather we had last month. Once washed off I did notice that my skin felt a lot smoother and more plump. Any dry patches I had disappeared and it definitely added a lot of moisture back in to my skin. I bought it from Boots for £8.99 but when there was a 3 for 2 offer. A nice alternative to the Origins Drink Up Mask if you're looking for something a little cheaper.

Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil - Despite the raves about this cleanser, I'm not a huge fan of it. I will be finishing it but I wouldn't repurchase. It hasn't wowed me like I thought it would. It removes make-up well but it just doesn't feel nice when applying it. It's almost like the oil is too thick so it sort of drags on the skin while I'm trying to apply it, if that makes any sense! It's definitely not worth the £28 price tag and I do sort of regret buying it and wouldn't recommend it.

Melvita Moisturising Rose Nectar - I think I got a sample of this moisturiser in a Latest In Beauty box ages ago. I probably wouldn't have tried it if I didn't but I'm so glad I did. The eczema on my face was driving me crazy and I'd tried every single cream I owned but nothing worked. This was the only cream left untried so I thought, what the heck it can't hurt to try it and it worked! It didn't make my eczema vanish but it did soothe it and help to calm the redness which nothing else did. Until I discovered Mario Badescu Control Cream but I've raved about that enough. My skin can get a bit irritated after cleansing so this really helps to get it back to normal so I can get on with my day.

It's a very light moisturiser which is perfect for morning use and has a light rose scent but nothing as strong as the Una Brennan mask. It sinks in straight away but is still very moisturising. It isn't the cheapest moisturiser at £27 but if it helps to sort out my eczema then I'm all for paying a bit extra.

REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream* - I really like the REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk so was excited to try the moisturiser from the same range. Again, I have sensitive skin and this it what this range is aimed at. It has the same herbal scent as the cleansing milk which I find really relaxing. It's slightly thicker and more moisturising than the Melvia one so I use this when my skin is drier. It sinks in really quickly and leaves a sort of matte/satin feeling the skin so makes a good base for make-up.

A bonus is the packaging, like most REN products, they all come with a pump and you can actually see how much product you have left. Also with the pumps, they seem to give you just the right amount of product so I never waste any which is great when you're paying £27.


08 August 2013

NOTD: Essie Super Bosa Nova

notd essie super bosa nova nail polish rottenotter rotten otter blog 2 notd essie super bosa nova nail polish rottenotter rotten otter blog 1
Supplies used... 
Nail Tek Foundation II Base Coat
Essie Super Bosa Nova // two coats
Seche Vite Top Coat

I thought I'd found the best nail polish formula which was China Glaze Strawberry Fields but this one from Essie is even better. It almost has a gel like formula and just glides onto the nail. I didn't even need to clean up after applying it. You can almost get away with one coat but I always like to apply two as I find it lasts better. The only downside is that it does dry to a slightly matte finish so I apply a top coat. Also without a good base coat, this will stain your nails pink.

Super Bosa Nova is a bright hot pink with a hint of raspberry. It's also packed with magenta/blue shimmer which isn't that obvious on the nail, only when in direct sunlight. In other lights it just sort of adds a blue hint to the pink.

The best thing about it was the price, I bought it from Fragrance Direct for only £1.99 but it doesn't seem to be available anymore. Keep an eye out though as they might bring it back.

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06 August 2013

Trilogy Sensitive Skin Very Gentle Calming Fluid

trilogy sensitive skin very gentle calming fluid mario badescu control cream rottenotte rotten otter blog 1 trilogy sensitive skin very gentle calming fluid mario badescu control cream rottenotte rotten otter blog 2
A few months back I bought the Mario Badescu Control Cream for the stubborn patches of eczema on my face and it worked miracles. Fast forward to today and this holy grail cream is out of stock everywhere. There are rumours it's been discontinued and others that it's being reformulated. Beauty Bay said they'd get it back in stock in a couple of weeks but that was two months ago. After being used pretty much everyday my little tub is nearing being empty so I began a search to find a replacement until control cream is back in stock.

I haven't found a product that comes anywhere near to how good control cream is but this one by Trilogy is helping my eczema. It's the Sensitive Skin Very Gentle Calming Fluid. I haven't tried anything from Trilogy before and hadn't even heard of this product. I discovered it while adding the Trilogy Rosehip Oil to my Escentual basket and thought it sounded like a good cream for my sensitive eczema prone skin and perhaps an alternative to control cream.

This can be used in a number of ways; as a serum underneath moisturiser, in between serum and moisturiser or as a lightweight moisturiser on it's own. It's aimed at skin that reacts to pollution, prickly heat, skin irritations, hormones and adverse reactions. The key points for me is that it's fragrance-free and alcohol-free as they're the two things that my skin reacts to when it comes to products.

This cream hasn't been able to stop my eczema flaring up like the Mario Badescu Control Cream can but it's really helped to soothe my skin and to stop the itching. I've been using the two creams in conjunction with each other and it's working really well so far. Also means that I'm using a lot less of the Control Cream so it'll last longer. I tend to apply the control cream in the morning which keeps my eczema at bay for the whole day and then use the Trilogy cream at night.

If you've used the Caudalie Vinosource SOS Serum, this fluid has the same sort of texture, it's very light and feels more like a serum than a cream. One pump is enough for the whole face and it sinks in almost immediately. I also like that it comes with a cap so if you're traveling with it, it won't leak in your bag.

The Calming Fluid is available from Escentual priced at £22.80 for 30ml.


05 August 2013

NOTD: Essie Maximillian Strasse Her

notd essie maximillian strasse her nail polish rottenotter rotten otter blog Supplies used... 
Nail Tek Foundation II Base Coat
Essie Maximillian Strasse Her // two coats
Seche Vite Top Coat

Essie Maximillian Strasse Her, not a summer shade at all but one I was drawn to out of my collection. These murky dirty type of colours are my favourite! Maximillian Strasse Her is from the Madison Ave-Hue Spring 2013 collection and is currently available for only £1.99 from FragranceDirect. As soon as I saw this, I bought all the collection! How can you say no to cheap Essie polishes?!

It's a grey-green creme which sort of reminds me of two Models Own polishes. If you mixed Grace Green with Concrete Mixer, this is the colour you'd get. Two coats are needed and they apply nicely especially with the diffusion line wide brush.

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03 August 2013

Project Sample Use Up 006

project sample use up 005 rottenotter rotten otter blog 1
Escentual Micellar Water Samples A, D & F* - Sample A was the Dior Instant Cleansing Water, the most expensive out of the seven we tried. I love the scent of this one, sort of reminds me of parma violets. I liked the feel of the water, it didn't irritate my eyes but did leave them a little bit red which died down pretty quickly. It easily took off my mascara but failed to completely remove all my waterproof eye liner.

Sample D was the Avene Micellar Lotion. This only has a hint of a scent but it's a very natural scent, so subtle I can't really tell what it is. This one took ages to take my mascara off and it wasn't even waterproof. I seem to have to use a lot of product which I don't with other waters.

Sample F was Bioderma, my all time favourite micellar water and the one that was the best in the trial. It removes make-up without any effort and doesn't irritate my skin. I already have a couple of bottles to use and I will always repurchase.

Taylor Swift Enchanted Perfume - As I've already said, I prefer the second enchanted perfume by Taylor Swift but I can see myself buying another bottle of this at some point. Also this mini bottle is just too darn cute to throw away, I think I'll have to keep it.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50 - These little tubes of sun tan lotion have been so handy! It's allowed me to try out a couple of different versions to find the one I want to buy the full size of. It's light weight and sinks in pretty quickly, it does leave the skin feeling a little tacky but that goes away eventually. I bought the full size of this one but bought SPF 30 by accident but I'm going to use it my body and make it work so it's not wasted. I have another SPF 50 which I use on my face so it isn't the end of the world.

Urban Decay Primer Potion - I haven't tried that many eyeshadow primers but out of the few I have, this is my favourite and it's my second one. Despite this being a mini, it's lasted such a long time. When using it my shadow doesn't crease and lasts longer, it creates a nice base and evens out the colour of my eyelids.  I'm currently using up a couple of my other eyeshadow primers but if I do buy this again, I'm so glad it'll be the new packaging.

Moa The Green Balm - I wasn't really a fan of this balm as it took forever to sink into my hands. I use a balm on my hands as an over night treatment and it's really been helping with my eczema. I wont be buying the full size of this and will be sticking with the Liz Earle Super Balm.

Oskia Perfect Cleansing Balm - This cleansing balm was one of the samples I picked with a Cult Beauty order and I really liked using it. I got about three uses out of the tub which was enough to know I want to buy the full size and it's been added to my to-buy list. It's got a nice fruity scent and just feels very luxurious on the skin. This would be a good one to use in the winter as it's very moisturising.

Liz Earle Super Balm* - This is my third little pot of super balm that I've finished so I think I need to buy the full size now. I mainly use this an overnight treatment on my hands and I wake up with incredibly soft skin especially around my nails and cuticles. I will be buying another jar of this but I want to try and finish up a couple of other balms before I do.

Caudalie Fleur De Vigne Shower Gel - I absolutely fell in love with this shower gel and I'm eagerly awaiting the time that I can buy the full size. I'm on a mission to use up all the products I have before buying anymore so it might take a while! It smells amazing and lathers really well.

Espa Restorative Bath Oil - These little glass vials of bath oil are slowly going down! I think I only have one or two more. I can get about four or five baths out of each one and they give off the most amazing scent as well as being very moisturising. I will be buying a full size of one of the scents once they're all finished.

Morroccan Oil - I'm quite sad to see this bottle empty as it's been the only oil I've used for the past few months and I really love it. I do have to be careful to not apply too much as it can make my hair look a bit greasy. The perfect amount thought keeps my hair at bay and times the frizz while giving it a bit of moisture. The scent is also amazing, by far my favourite! I will buy the full size at some point but I want to finish a couple more hair oils first.

Taylor Swift Enchanted Wonderstruck - I knew I was going to purchase this perfume when I heard it was being released as I love the original Wonderstruck. Luckily I got a sample of it with a Feel Unique order so I could wear it for a day before buying it. From the first spray I knew I loved it and even prefer it. The notes are peony, freesia, berries, passion fruit, pink poppy, musk, vanilla and blond woods. Despite it being a very floral scent, the musk, vanilla and woods makes the scent more me and I've already bought the full size.

REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk - I got about three uses out of this little sample and it was enough for me to buy the full size. The formula isn't what I'd say a milk cleanser is which I expect to me quite watery , it's more of a cream cleanser. Either way it works. It's perfect for days when my skin is more sensitive or for use in the mornings as a very gentle cleanser.

Benefit They're Real Mascara - I love this mascara but it dries up so quickly! I've been using this tiny sample for what seems like ages and not believing everyone when they said it dried up quickly when all of a sudden one day I used it and it was totally dry. I have another baby size but we'll just have to wait and see if I do buy the full size after that one is finished.


02 August 2013

Mini Reviews 007 // Aesop // Antipodes // This Works

mini reviews 007 aesop parsley seed facial cleansing mask antipodes aura manuka honey mask this work perfect skin super moisturiser rottenotter rotten otter blog
Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing MaskThe purified clay draws out impurities; the Aloe Vera ensures this doesn't leave your skin feeling tight, while the Rosehip & Parsley Seed extracts deliver a big dose of anti-oxidants to perk up your skin. - Cult Beauty. I use this mask when my skin is feeling congested and like it needs a deep clean. Think your clarifying shampoo but for your face. It's also suited to dry and sensitive skin which not all clay masks are so this is perfect for me. It's thinner than most clay masks which makes applying it easier. I leave it on for 15 minutes after cleansing and then wash it away with a muslin cloth or a Liz Earle Sponge. The scent is a mix of lavender and herbs which makes it relaxing and perfect to use before bed. Once washed off I'm left with fresh feeling and looking skin. It's expensive though at £27 but I've had my tube for a few months and it looks like I've barely used any.

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask - This is a two in one mask I use when my skin is needing both hydration and deep cleansing. The manuka honey draws moisture to the skin and it has a lovely vanilla and mandarin scent. I apply a thick layer and leave on for around 15 minutes before washing away with a muslin cloth. I find this really calming to my sensitive skin and leaves it feeling very soft. I bought it from Feel Unique for £21.50.

This Works Perfect Skin Super Moisturiser - You can probably tell this post has been siting in my drafts pile for a while as I've since finished this moisturiser and featured it in my June Empties. I know products don't always work for everyone but since this moisturiser was raved about so much I thought it would have to be good. I was quite disappointed with it and wont be buying another tube. It's a good moisturiser and didn't irritate my skin but it's just that, a good moisturiser. It isn't worth the £22.50 price tag. I do really like the packaging though but wasn't a fan of the scent.


01 August 2013

Mini Reviews 005 // Philip Kingsley Hair Care

philip kingsley hair care rottenotter rotten otter blog
Just by looking at the photo you can probably see a theme here. A month or two ago I had a horrible itchy and flaky scalp because of pesky eczema. I've tried everything and I thought I'd found a good shampoo, Barefoot SOS dry scalp which worked amazingly well when I first tried it. I know the shampoo isn't the cause but I thought I'd mix up my hair care completely in case my scalp had become sort of immune to it.

Exfoliating Scalp Mask - I've never tried anything like this before and I wasn't sure how my sensitive scalp would get on with it but I just had to get it. You can only get this in a 20ml tube for £4.70 so it could get expensive as it's recommended to be used weekly until your itchy scalp disappears. I've managed to get three uses out of it. You dampen your hair and apply it to your scalp in partings 3cm apart, massage into the scalp and then leave on for 10-20 minutes and rinse away. You then follow up with your shampoo and conditioner as usual. I couldn't feel this on my scalp when it was left on, for some reason I was expecting it to tingle or something. I did find it hard to use on myself so next time I'm going to see if my mum will apply it for me, this is when you really need eyes in the back of your head! It's easy to wash out and has also really helped my the dry patches I get from eczema. My scalp and roots of my hair felt really soft after using it which I've never noticed before with any other product.

Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo - This smells like apples and reminds me of shampoos I used as a child which I love. This has really helped with my itchy scalp and apart from a bit of eczema at the base of my neck, it's pretty much gone on my scalp and I really think it's down to this. It lathers up really well and cleans your hair and scalp without stripping it and actually feels quite moisturising. I've already gone out and bought the full size bottle as this little travel sized tube was running low!

Moisture Extreme Conditioner - There isn't a flaky/itchy scalp conditioner so I went with the Moisture Extreme as my hair is very dry and I wanted to try a full set of Philip Kingsley products. You only need a tiny amount of this as it has a thinner texture than most conditioners meaning it applies better. I only had to leave it on for a minute or so before rinsing off and my felt amazingly soft. The ends of my hair have been incredibly dry recently but using this, even after the first use, has made such a difference. It's also helped my hair to look less frizy.

Flaky Itchy Scalp Toner - You separate your hair into one inch sections and apply the toner to your scalp, massaging it in as you go. It's used in a similar way to the Moroccanoil dry scalp oil which I talked about the other month. Luckily I'm able to have my mum apply this for me, I have no idea how I'd do it myself without pouring the whole bottle on my head! Maybe if it was in a spray bottle you'd be able to apply it yourself, I've no idea.

You can either apply it to dry hair or once you've washed and towel dried it. I tend to use it on dry hair at the end of the week when my scalp is at it's worst. I find if I use it on towel dried hair it messes up how my hair dries naturally but if you use a hair dryer or straighten/curl your hair then you wont have this problem. It isn't an oil so it doesn't make your hair look greasy once it has dried. About an hour after using it I can go out and no one would be able to guess I'd just applied anything to my hair which I was a bit concerned about before I bought it. I'm pleased it's worked out this way as it means I can apply it during the week and my hair will look fine for work without needing to wash it more often than once a week. Washing it more often will keep my scalp clean which helps my eczema but then the process of washing my hair irritates my scalp, it's a viscous circle. This, and the shampoo, have really helped with my itchy scalp and apart from a couple of stubborn patches, I'm itch free.

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