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Curves n Curls Beauty Faves 1: Feat Barry M, Colour Freedom, Lush, Merumaya & Instanatural

I am a bit of a beauty addict. Actually I'm a super duper beauty addict. I think I always had this tendency, and then when I was 18 I spent a year working behind the beauty counters in Selfridges and it turned an interest into a full blown obsession. I have always loved makeup - putting it on makes me feel more like myself. Not like a mask, more like an expression of who I am. I also love pampering and looking after my hair and nails. Personal grooming takes up a lot of my time, and while I may occasionally have a bit of a whinge I do enjoy doing it. I find it meditative, and a form of self care important for my mental health. 

So with this love, and more than a little bit of knowledge I thought I would write my first post - about some of the best products I've come across lately from hair to nails to skincare...

Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint in In A Flash
Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint in Personal Best
Gelly Hi Shine Nail Pain in Pink Lemonade,
Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint in  Freestyle
(All available at Superdrug and Boots)

I love Barry M for their affordable, bright, fashionable cosmetics, and I am a real sucker for gorgeous nail polish. At the launch event for Barry M's Spring collection I was immediately drawn to these pinks and mauves. I am usually one for bright, bold colours, but the more muted prettiness was just so feminine and perfect for Spring. I usually struggle with nudes and pale polishes - they just don't seem to work with my skin tone for some reason, but the pink tones in these colours really compliment my skin.  

Perfect for: Pretty nails on a budget

This is, hands down, the best serum I have ever used. I have been known to spend over £50 in the past when promised all the moisture and plumping a girl could ever desire from high end beauty brands in swish department stores. So imagine my utter joy when fellow blogger babe GG from She Might Be Loved gifted me a little bottle of Insta Natural Hyaluronic Acid Serum and at £15 it answered all of my skin’s fervent little prayers. I have combination skin, which is more dry than oily, and in the winter it’s dull and flaky with dehydration. I also have pretty big pores, which are just pores and I have not spent a lot of energy worrying about them, but I wouldn’t mind them a little daintier. Ha!

Hyaluronic Acid was the new go to ingredient for serums last year, and it’s not surprising with its incredible hydrating properties. It also includes Vitamins C and E, Green Tea and Organic Jojoba Oil, which are said to help diminish the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and any discoloration or hyper-pigmentation on the skin.

As I hadn’t bought this or really researched it, I didn’t really know what to expect and in my rather haphazard fashion just started slapping it on – the serum has a gel-like texture that glides onto the skin and absorbs quickly. I used it under my moisturiser at night, and alone under foundation during the day. I was immediately overjoyed with the total moisture burst it gave me. My skin got back it’s dewy summer glow in a matter of days, and my usually flaky forehead was smooth and happy. What I wasn’t expecting was the pore minimising effects or the reduction of my skins natural redness. I noticed a pretty dramatic difference in the size of my pores which I’ve never achieved before, and my skin looked calmer and less red! I was thrilled!

Perfect for: dehydrated skin, big pores, and uneven skin tone

Melting Cleansing Balm - Merumaya

I am usually one for foamy cleansers, because I have always felt that nothing else truly gets my skin properly clean. On a day to day basis I wear foundation, blusher, a bit of powder and highlighter, so I want to make sure I get all of that off! However, I don't like that tightness I feel in my face afterwards, and always rush to the moisturiser as quickly as possible. But when lovely Maleka from Merumaya gave me some of their popular Melting Cleansing Balm to try I was not convinced it would be for me.

This gorgeous smelling cleanser contains sweet almond oil, echium oil containing omega 3,6,9and anti-oxidants, meaning it nourishes while it cleans. You apply it to a dry face and massage in while it begins to 'melt' any makeup and dirt. It kinda makes a bit of a smeary mess which is fun. Then you add some water to the mix, which turns the cleanser milky which means it runs off the face. This is pretty awesome because often nourishing, moisturising cleansers are really hard to rinse off, but this is not the case here. And afterwards I find my face totally feels clean, and yet beautifully soft, hydrated and calm. It's definitely reduced the redness in my skin, and I am quite the convert. I think I'm gonna be buying this one again when it runs out. 

Perfect for: Dry skin that likes a good clean

Now, I need to admit my dirty little secret - when it comes to hair and beauty products I always initially judge on packaging. I try things because I love the bottle, or the coloured branding, or the font. And unlike in many areas of my life, when it comes to cosmetic products I get drawn in by clean and simple packaging a lot. And honestly, the packaging is the reason I bought Colour Freedom for the first time. (One of the above has already been stained through use - oops!)  

As you may have noticed, I have a LOT of hair! Like loads and loads of the stuff. And keeping it coloured is a lengthy battle I signed up for, because when you love red/pink hair you're gonna spend a lot of time with brightly coloured goop on your hair  (I can't help it that might life long dream has been to have Ariel hair). Ideally I'd get all my colouring done in the salon, but time and money being precious I do a fair bit of self maintenance. Reds and pinks are notorious for fading fast, so in between permanent colours I top up with some semi permanent to brighten me up again. 

I love Colour Freedom's Semi Permanent Magenta Dream for a number of reasons - firstly, it gives my hair the pink hue I desire, with a bit of purple for depth. To get the intensity I desire I usually leave it in quite a bit past the recommended 20 mins, but it really depends what colour you're after.

Secondly I find it easy to use - the squeezy tube makes it easy to get the product out, and I cut it open at the end to get every last drop. The consistency is also pretty thick and gloopy. I prefer this to dyes that are too wet and end up running all over the place. My bathroom has more than enough pink splodges already! I also find that I can usually refresh my colour with about half a tube, making this also a more reasonable alternative. All in all Magenta Dream is just that, a dream... 

Perfect for: Punk kids and those with Ariel fantasies

H'Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment – Lush

You can imagine with all that hair dye, my hair takes quite a bashing. As my hair is naturally curly as well, it's quite dry anyway. To counteract that I use the curly girl method - this means I wash my hair with conditioner instead of shampoo (a process called co-washing) and avoid damaging chemicals as much as possible. I will write a post about this process at some point. But suffice is to say, I am always looking for natural products, rich with moisturing ingredients.

GG from She Might Be Loved used to work at Lush and has all the insider info on the best products - I would definitely recommend her Lush Top 10 post. In this post she mentioned the moisturising marvel that is the H'Sua Wen Hua hair treatment. I have no idea how to say it, but I do know that it means God of Hair which is pretty accurate!

It's pretty much food for your hair - with ingredients like mashed up banana and avo, fresh eggs and olive oil, it's intensely moisturising and softening. I slathered on about 3/4s of a pot (in hindsight I could've used a half, and wish I had as this product is around a tenner) and let it sit for about half an hour. I washed it out, then conditioned, and wow! My hair honestly felt like silk! I am quite sold on this - because it really works and is largely made up of natural ingredients. The price tag and my amount of hair means it's going to be a treat, rather than the norm.

Perfect for: Tired, unmanageable hair that needs a little TLC

I love feedback so tell me what you'd like to hear about beauty wise in future. What are your favourite products at the moment? What have you been using? I'd love to know... 


  1. I'll have to try some of that Lush stuff, I have very sensitive skin so the only skin products I can use are the stuff lol, but will have to check out the nail varnish too.

    1. The Lush her stuff is truly, well, Lush! Going to check out Dr Harley myself, thanks for the tip x

  2. I have tired, frizzy, curly and unmanageable hair too that needs some serious TLC. I like Lush anyway but have never tried their hair products!

    1. It's such a great product for our sort of hair, and smells delish too!

  3. I wouldn't manage to live without my coconut oil! I swear by that for most things really from hair mask to lip balm. I do like Lush products as they are cruel free and natural. :)


    1. I love coconut oil too, and use it as moisturiser and for hair masks. But this really was a nice change - and a little bit less of a bitch to get out ;)

  4. Great post and great blog!! :) Have a nice day!! :)

  5. I did have red hair for about 6 months but I actually gave up on it last week! (although I'm still currently dark brown with a red tinge). I did like it but it was high maintenance, but the main reason was because I work in TV and film and although there were very few period roles when I dyed it there's been a shift and now about 75% plus are currently period roles. So I've gone back to brown because I'm missing out on all the roles! x

    Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

    1. Makes sense, but you must miss the red! I was brown about 7 years ago (well a brown red) and I just didn't feel like myself. Which is silly because I am mousey naturally! Ha!

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