Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Unexpected product love

I am a sucker for expensive beauty products. A real sucker. I have a whole bag full of expensive make up that I rarely use.
I go through phases of loving a blusher or lipstick until it is, at most, half used and then deciding it is too pink/peach/orange/red/any combination of the aforementioned and hitting up the Liberty beauty hall for a replacement.
When I am panicking, Boots will also help, but it is less satisfying because the things do not come in stupdily nice packaging. A nicely finished cardboard box or matt plastic container will do wonders for the way I feel, although not so much good for my bank balance.
Sometimes, however, these products really are worth the money. One of those is Laura Mercier's mineral powder foundation.
For a long time I thought mineral powder sounded like it was for wimpy hippies who were scared of parabens, or people with too many allergies (I am actually a bit of both of those but try to give off the opposite impression through sheer force of will).
But then the recommendations started popping up all over the web, and I am also a sucker for recommendations. And honestly, it was worth every single penny.
It takes a bit of working in, but gives amazing coverage and doesn't mess up my skin - no clogged pores, random spots, dry bits or weirdly temporary red patches. In fact, if anything, it is actually helping clear up my skin which, despite being mercifully well behaved during my teenage years, has been bothering me for most of my 20s. It doesn't feel like I'm wearing a mask, which is how I usually feel with foundation. And everyone keeps saying my skin looks really good.
Plus, and this made me do a jolly heel kick in my head, despite my pale, pale face, I found a good colour match that wasn't even the palest option available.
But I have also discovered another product, one that came with no recommendations from my favourite bloggers. And one that is mercifully cheap. Dirt cheap. Poundland cheap.
Let's be clear here, I am not a beauty snob. I swear by cheap and cheerful classics like aqueous cream and Palmers Cocoa Butter.
But I have been on a long and arduously expensive mission to find the perfect shampoo for about as long as I can remember. I have long-ish, fine, hair that doesn't tend to hold hairstyles well. Its lack of volume makes it useless for top knots and it gets lanky and greasy very quickly.
I have tried all sorts of products from all price ranges - dry shampoo, expensive volumising things that make it feel sticky/heavy/crispy/gross, cleansing shampoos that were too cleansing, the very expensive Fekkai and similar products used and recommended by my hairdresser - all to no avail.
Then I discovered Klorane, which is expensive enough to satisfy my urge for lovely looking products (around £6 - £7 a bottle) but didn't seem too bad. And it was good for a while. But now I've found something better.
Alberto Balsalm Tea Tree Tingle shampoo and conditioner. No really, the stuff on the bottom shelf in the supermarket. It's roughly £1 a bottle and is making me ridiculously happy, despite not being in lovely packaging or making ridiculous promises on the label.
I'm going to sound like an advert fronted by a sickeningly well-paid celebrity here, which I am obvioulsy not, but it really does make my hair feel fuller, glossier and softer. And it doesn't go lank after a day. And it smells clean, but not in a creepy anti-dandruff and hospitals kind of way. It's minty and fresh and works as well for JFK as it does for me. I look forward to using it in the mornings, not something I ever though I would say about a shampoo. Or anything else for that matter - I kind of hate mornings and everything associated with them (except brunch).
Anyway, there you are, the unexpected product love.

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