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Greasy hair be gone! This morning Batiste’s Tropical Dry Shampoo made my hair semi respectable and even better…it was free.
When it comes to choosing between an extra 20 minutes in bed and washing/blow-drying my hair there’s really no contest. Sweet slumber triumphs every time. This means I’m often faced with the unsightly problem of dull, greasy (sob!) and unkempt hair.
Dry shampoo has quickly become my morning saviour. In one short spritz it can soak up any grease and instantly refresh dull hair. I’m a big fan and often stockpile the stuff like it's WW3. I've tried a few different dry shampoo brands in my time but I've always liked Batiste.
There are so many different fragrance variations to choose from with something for every hair type, colour and style. Plus, unlike other brands their products don’t leave a powdery matte coating, often making my dark hair look grey. Not a great look!
They recently had a Try Me Free offer, which we featured on MagicFreebiesUK, so I decided to take advantage and buy another to add to my growing collection. As I was off on holiday I bought a mini travel-size version of their Coconut & Exotic Tropical shampoo. It was a good size to cram into an already bulging toiletries bag and the scent was deliciously fruity.
I used it a few times over the holiday and not just when my hair was in need of a refresh. My limp locks can get quite lank and lifeless so it was perfect for quickly adding some volume on nights out. It also added a nice subtle fragrance to my hair - nothing too overwhelming.
I've been using it lot since I got back - it reminds me of holidays - and for a travel-size it’s still got lots left. Great value for money considering it was only £1.50!
You can buy Batiste products from online retailers and the high street including Boots. Prices range from £1.50 to £4.99 but I was lucky enough to be able to claim my money back through the Try Me Free offer.
You can also keep updated with all the latest Batiste freebies, news and offers by Liking the Batiste Facebook page.
This week I've been rekindling my love of glitter and tried out 2true's Glitterati and Colour Quick Nail Polishes.
Read my review here...
Since going on holiday recently I’ve rekindled my love of all things pink, and after spending the last six months in a sea of black and navy, I’m now enjoying something of a girly renaissance.
l'm finding myself being drawn to all the glitter nail polishes and topcoats out at the moment, and as I was walking through Superdrug the other day, like a moth to a flame, I discovered 2true’s Glitterati Nail Polish. This new Limited Edition range comes in six shades including a deep turquoise and electric blue but naturally I was drawn to Shade 6 - an orangey pink.
At £1.99 it was a complete bargain but as it was three 2true products for £5 at Superdrug I thought it’d be silly not to get another 2 products.
I picked up two bottles of Fast Dry Colour Quick Nail Polishes in Pink and Warm Coral, and decided to go on a full on girly assault and use the bubblegum pink nail polish as a base and Glitterati as a topcoat.
The first thing I noticed about the Fast Dry Colour Quick Nail Polish was the flat brush. These were once only found on high end nail polishes but a lot of budget beauty brands now boast them, too. I do enjoy using a flat brush and this one certainly helped to evenly distribute the nail polish.
It was, surprisingly, quite runny but this meant it dried quickly and I was able to apply two coats in quick succession. The light consistency didn't have any effect on the colour – it was nice and intense. I topped it off with the glitterati nail polish, and the mix of large glitter chunks and tiny sparkles looked really pretty. It also dried fairly quickly. I've used other glitter topcoats before and they've taken an age to dry, so I was impressed.
The nail polish lasted a few days and apart from a small chip here and there, it stood the test of time well. When it came to removing it, it did take a bit of scrubbing with the nail polish remover pads but it's inevitable with glitter.
Overall 2true's nail polishes were affordable, easy to apply, fast drying, intense in colour and long-lasting – everything I would want in a nail polish.
I’m looking forward to trying the Glitterati nail polish on it’s own and also combining it with the warm coral shade. I have a feeling these polishes will be seeing me through the Summer!
If you'd also like to try them then 2true cosmetics are stocked at Superdrug where you can pick up 3 products for £5. They’ve also got a great competition running at the moment where you can enter to Win 1 of 50 sets of 2true PRO Salon Shine and 3D Candy Nail Art.
Morning Freebie Finders,
This morning you can enter for a free 100ml Sanctuary Spa Body Butter. All you need to do is enter some quick details and if you're one of the first 500 people to register they'll send you a free body butter.
I've got this body butter at home - it's luxuriously thick and leaves your skin petal-soft.
Here at the MagicFreebiesUK office we like to whistle a jaunty tune or hum along to a happy melody.
So much so that we have music playing at nearly all times. From easy listening in the mornings (with some Rage against the Machine thrown in for good measure on Mondays) to feel good tunes on a Friday, the choice of music always seems to reflect the mood in the office! Or rather the person on music duty.
I won’t name any names but we've got a big folksy, acoustic fan who enjoys Ben Howard, an old school R'n'B nut and a fangirl who plays nothing but 1D and Taylor Swift much to the annoyance of everyone else.
We take advantage of the free digital music service Spotify to play free music in the office which means we can play whatever takes our fancy. If you haven’t yet used Spotify then you can create a free account and listen to millions of songs on your desktop and laptop. Just hit play! You will have to accept ads but for a completely free music service it’s a pretty small inconvenience.
I recently got to try out Clayspray. Read my review…
When I received a bottle of Clayspray in the post I had already heard whisperings of this new product launch so I was more than a little excited to try it out.
Clayspray is the first clay emulsion to come in a spray can which not only helps keep the clay fresh and pure but also completely fuss-free. Great news for me as clay masks have always done wonders for my complexion but I tend to avoid them as they can be a real mess,
The clay itself is sourced from deep within the Iberian Mountains of Spain, and is only mixed with cardamom and spring water to create what Clayspray promise to be the purest clay on earth.
Here comes the science bit…
To also retain the natural moisture and skin nourishing properties of the clay, it’s been enriched with 'macromolecular hydrogels' to moisturise the skin and enhance the properties of the clay.
I got to try the Pore Refining White Clay Masque which suited me down to a T. The recent muggy weather has left my skin feeling sticky and congested, and with Clayspray promising to exfoliate, remove impurities and nourish deep down it was just what the skin doctor ordered!
When I got home that evening I was truly knackered and my skin looked awful – large pores, dark eyebags and a shiny t-zone (nice!). I removed my make-up, splashed my skin with cool water, as recommended, and dispensed the clay from the can. In my head I had visions of it spraying out like a hairspray but in reality it was more like a mousse or shaving gel effect with the clay coming out smooth and dense.
I gently massaged a 50 pence-sized amount onto my face and it immediately felt nice and cooling. Like most clay masks it felt tight across my skin as it dried and after 20 minutes I was definitely ready to take it off. After I removed it my skin felt really fresh and clean. I really didn't want to put anything on my skin but I applied a light moisturiser to stop it from drying out.
I was really impressed with Clayspray. It was easy to use, mess-free and my skin felt daisy-fresh. I've since found out White Clay contains minerals including potassium, calcium and silica which is great for moisturising and anti-aging so it seems to have most bases covered.
I've since tried it another three times and my skin not only looks smoother but my pores don't feel as congested by the end of the day. My make-up has also been blending in better which is always a good sign. Clayspray is a pricier product than most at £44.50 for a 125ml bottle but with 17 treatments per bottle it works out around £2.60 per go. My skin has been feeling as fresh as when I've had a facial so I'd say it was a pretty good alternative to a professional treatment.
The Clayspray range also includes both a Brightening and Toning White Clay Masque as well as Red Clays which comes in Glow, Mattifying and Deep Cleansing versions. There are also two hydrating H20 Sprays that can be used pre-clay as part of your skincare routine.
We love delicious Sacla' pesto at MagicFreebiesUK, so I decided to see what I could make with it! My second recipe is for Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pull-Apart Bread - best served fresh from the oven.
How to do it...
I took them into MagicFreebiesUK HQ and everyone in the office got to try some. Nick had this to say, "A fantastic alternative to garlic bread."
Why not check out the Sacla' website for more information of their products?
We love a good beauty freebie here at MagicFreebiesUK so hurrah for these free samples of E45 Lotion.
This morning I received my free samples of E45 Lotion and it was perfect timing. Just as my skin felt like it was going to crack with dehydration, this little pack from E4 landed on my desk.
I was lucky that when applying for the free samples I selected the Nourish & Restore option as, where I've recently been away in ridiculous 40 degree heat, my skin is now really parched.
I ripped open one of the sachets (quite a decent size!) and smothered my arms in the lotion. It's quite a runny formula so I was half expecting my skin to feel greasy but it sank in fairly quickly. A good burst of moisture - just what my dry skin needed.
I'll be keeping my sachets in my desk drawer. They'll be handy for when my skin needs a quick moisture boost!
If you haven't applied for yours yet then don't worry there's still loads of free E45 samples left.
Regular blog readers will know we love a good cup of char here at MagicFreebiesUK so when teapigs sent us some of their delicious teas to try we were very excited.
The morning the tea arrived we all gathered around to ooh and ahh over the immense selection. We’re already big fans of their everyday brew and a few of their herbals but we had no idea just how many different varieties were available.
From Chilli Chai to Popcorn there were all kinds of exciting flavours and not a dusty teabag in sight! They all smelt so fresh and even the bags - or tea temples as they are lovingly referred to by teapigs - were high quality and biodegradable.
The healthy team members went straight for the Lemongrass and Silver Tip White whilst the rest bee-lined towards the fantastical-sounding Chocolate Flake tea.
We've all been in our element trying them all out and it's safe to say it's been a pretty tea-tastic week here at MF HQ. Here's what happened...
I rekindled my love of Sausage Dogs and Darjeeling.
“Having dabbled with Darjeeling Earl Grey before I was expecting a strong taste but this wasn’t at all overpowering. Full of flavour yet easy to drink. The blue cornflowers were a nice touch and I LOVE the little sausage dog packaging”.
Tom discovered a decent Lemongrass tea.
“As a fan of Lemongrass I had high hopes for this. It didn’t disappoint - it was light and refreshing. Really nice compared to other brands' versions – I’ll be stocking up” .
Rachel craved Popcorn.
“The Popcorn tea smelt just like popcorn but tasted of green tea. There was also a distinct taste of rice crackers in there. In a nutshell, it made me really want to eat popcorn”.
Oosh rated Mao Feng Green tea.
“I’d drink Mao Feng again, it had a lot more flavour to it than my usual green tea of choice. Surprisingly not bitter to taste but slightly sweet. 4 out 5”.
John tried Liquorice tea for the first time.
“I don’t overly like liquorice or tea, but to my surprise I was made a ‘Liquorice flavoured tea’…while it has not changed my opinion on either, it was nice all the same”.
Colleen went crazy for Chilli Chai.
"Before my lips touched the mug my nose was fully aware I was in for a delicious treat. Having requested a "surprise" teapigs tea, I was both happy and amused - I already drink chai fairly regularly - but never Chilli Chai and I quickly became the world's biggest fan”.
Mark pondered Peppermint.
“Peppermint Leaves - compared to other mint teas, this has a more refined flavour. It somehow avoids the bitterness sometimes found in a minty brew. The second best after fresh mint”.
If you'd like to try some delicious teas then skip over to the teapigs website and pick a brew. There are over 26 teapigs varieties to choose from and they'll even suggest a tea depending on your mood! If you work in an office then become a teapigs office fairy and you could land even yourself and your colleagues some free tea.
I've also been experimenting with teapigs Organic Macha tea, a super concentrated green tea powder packed with antioxidants (one cup is the equivelent to 15 cups of regular green tea!) and making lots of treats so watch this space for a review.
Anushka and I both have dark locks, so when it came to reviewing John Frieda's new Everlasting Blonde shampoo and conditioner, we turned to Mel, our fair-haired friend.
What product did you review for us?
John Frieda Sheer Blonde 'Everlasting Blonde' shampoo & conditioner.
What did you think of Everlasting Blonde?
Upon opening the bottles I loved the smell of both the shampoo and conditioner - it made my hair smell great too!
My hair felt really soft and manageable after just one use. They seem to be the perfect product for keeping highlighted hair as light as possible.
Would you use it again?
I would 100% use Everlasting Blonde again and I am going to recommend it to any of my blonde friends.
Did you like the packaging?
I thought the packaging looked very appealing and I liked the look they've used (yellow merging to pink). It would definitely be something I would pick out. I also like the use of a tube instead of a bottle - this makes it easier to squeeze out!
Thanks so much for your time Mel and for the review - we think your hair looks fab! If you want to know more, check out JohnFrieda.co.uk. You also have the chance to win 1 of 26,000 trial packs of Everlasting Blonde for yourself - good luck!
We're reviewing the Spa Breaks Spa in a Box experience. Read part one here - a review of the Rituals Luxury Gift Set.
I love a good spa treatment. There's nothing nicer than booking a spa day, sitting back (then inevitably falling asleep) and letting a professional massage and manicure you to your heart’s content. It is splurge though, so for me a rare treat.
The rest of the time I go solo. From recreating a mani-pedi to exfoliating and giving myself a DIY facial. I’m a firm believer in at-home pampering so when Spa Breaks – the UK’s biggest premier Spa Booking website – asked us to review their ‘Spa in Box’ gift experience I jumped at the chance. Spa in a Box is an all-in-one pampering gift that combines a Rituals Luxury Gift Set and spa day (watch this space for a review!).
I’ve always loved Rituals' philosophy that ‘happiness can be found in the smallest of things’.They believe by taking the time to enjoy simple things like a relaxing bath you’ll feel better from within. With this in mind they've created natural skincare and home ranges designed for pampering.
I was instantly impressed when the Rituals Luxury Gift Set landed on my desk. It came beautifully packaged in a Spa Rituals gift box and when I opened it, like a kid at Christmas, I found these four treats:
I was to have a pamper sesh at home but I couldn’t resist trying the Mei Dao Organic White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren Body Lotion. It smelt absolutely amazing, lovely and fresh yet the White Lotus gave it a tropical floral twist. The combination of flowers and fresh cotton sheets reminded me of a Spa I once visited in Thailand.
Once home, I ran a bath and replaced my usual bath candles with the Rituals Home Fragrance. I like fragrance sticks as they give the same warming scent as a candle but without the constant worry of burning the house down. Infused with sweet orange and cedar, this had a heady scent to it with quite a masculine edge. I don’t usually go for strong scents but combined with a hot bath, I found it surprisingly relaxing. I’ve since kept the fragrance sticks in the bathroom as a stylish alternative to an air freshener.
I exfoliate once a week to keep my incredibly dry, flakey skin in check so I'm no stranger to a good body scrub. The Wai Wang Organic White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren Exfoliating Body Scrub had the same comforting scent as the lotion. I used it with a pouffe in circular motions to shift dead skin cells and immediately my skin felt smoother. Unlike other scrubs the scent lingered long after it was rinsed away, too.
I usually apply body cream straight after a hot bath, as I find they work better when the pores are slightly open, so I applied the Mei Dao Rich Nourishing Body Cream. It was a nice creamy consistency, not too thick that it took effort to rub in and not too thin that it felt greasy. My skin felt soft and supple. I noticed that all the body products contained Yi Yi Ren which are seeds that come from coix plants and commonly used in Chinese medicine for their nourishing properties.
The last product to try was the Lao Tze Chinese Mint & Yi Yi Ren Cooling Foot Balm and one I had high hopes for. As the weathers been hotting up, my feet have been feeling hot and sticky so this was refreshing on my tired old soles and my feet felt much softer. The strong toothpaste smell might not be to everyone’s liking though!
As a self-confessed beauty junkie I've tried loads of products so it takes a lot to impress but this gift box was just lovely. Every product was a treat to use and I genuinely felt better after my evening of pampering - I slept like a baby and woke up with really soft skin.
The Spa in a Box gift also comes with a voucher for a spa day which Colleen and I eagerly waiting to go on. If you’d like to try Spa Breaks' Spa in a Box or treat your loved one to this lovely gift then check out the various Spa in a Box options available. There's even one that comes with chocolate and wine!