Kiko and Autograph Haul

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I’m a serious nail polish addict. My favourite brand at the moment is Kiko. I did a full review of Kiko nail polishes here. Their nail polishes are super long lasting and come in a great range of colours. Just make sure you use them with a base coat or they will turn your nail yellow.

This time I got four shares- red (shade 239), violet (243), Tiffany blue (389) and a chocolate brown with bits of gold glitter (373). They were about £3.50 each.

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I also got one polish from L.A Girls in a rusty, shimmery gold/orange/light brown which I thought would be perfect for Halloween and autumn. Below a simple stamping nail art using L.A Girls nail polish.

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I also got Kiko’s powder eye shadows in a stick in a shimmery taupe shade. It’s called Eyecatch Look, shade 116. It’s super easy to apply but unfortunately it creases on me.

The final product I bought is Autograph’s cream eye shadow in Russet. I saw this in A Model Recommends favourites video and decided to try it. I am a big fan of cream eye shadows. It’s a fantastic product and I will do a full review soon.

Regener8 Skin Regenerator: first impressions

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I received this product from Chemist Direct – a UK-based website that sells a variety of beauty and skincare products, health supplements, perfumes, toiletries and electrical items (link here). They kindly sent me this product to review.

It’s a natural food supplement formulated by pharmacists and nutritionists to help repair and heal skin from within. It works for scars, stretch marks, ageing and dehydrated skin. It has a unique blend of hydrolysed collagen, seaweed, vitamins, minerals and botanicals. I was interested in this product mainly because of the collagen. While I don’t have wrinkles, at 32 I have noticed that my skin isn’t as firm as it used to be.

One package contains 60 one-a-day capsules. They are quite large and I really like that the capsules are clear and you can see the ingredients inside. It costs £29.99 and you can purchase it here.

I’ve only started using this product recently so I will do a full review once I finish the entire package. In the meantime, here is some additional information about the ingredients and how they work from  Chemist Direct website:

  • Peptan promotes younger looking skin, improves skin moisture level, improves skin smoothness, prevents formation of deep-winkles & improves skin suppleness
  • Seaweed is packed with vitamins & minerals that help repair damaged skin cells
  • Zinc aids in collagen production, decreases free radical activity, helps prevent the growth of bacteria and reduces inflammation
  • MSM assists with the formation of keratin, collagen and elastin–compounds essential to skin health and flexibility
  • Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties that enable faster healing of wounds & burns
  • Vitamin A enhances cellular growth and promotes healthy skin cell development
  • Vitamin C is an essential component of collagen and helps maintain skin’s elasticity and flexibility
  • Vitamin E enhances collagen production, increases skin elasticity and reduces scar or stretch mark visibility
  • Calendula has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that promote skin healing
  • Lavender has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which attack bacteria causing acne infections
  • Rosemary tones and firm skin
  • Chamomile may help calm the inflammation and irritation associated with acne

1 Year Anniversary

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Youngforgood is one year old!

Due to work commitments and other ‘life’ stuff I have been somewhat MIA lately and haven’t been posting as much as I should be. Still, I just wanted to take a moment to list some of the things I really loved about blogging this year (in no particular order):

  1. London Beauty Bloggers meetups. Organised by lovely Rebecca from Biteablebeauty these meetups are a great way to meet other beauty bloggers and enjoy a night out in London. I met some amazing girls and shared a few laughs. It’s nice to be a part of a community and it keeps me motivated to continue blogging.
  2. Wonderful bloggers I found on wordpress. I met a couple of really cool people through commenting on each other’s posts. An honourable mention to Kareen from Ziba a fantastic blogger and a genuinely nice person.
  3. Products! I’ve learned so much and tried so many new things thanks to all of you and your blogs. From new beauty discoveries to great new cooking recipes. For example, back in January I read a post on how to make an overnight coco and berries porridge and loved it so much I have had it for breakfast EVERY DAY since then. I can honestly say it changed my life J.

I’m also very thankful for all the feedback I received this past year and in general for all the great things I experienced as a result of having a blog. I hope to blog more next year and take more time to read other people’s blogs. I think with blogging, like with so many other things in life, you get as much out of it as you put in and I definitely have more to offer!

iWhite Instant Teeth Whitening Kit

Note: this product was sent to me by the distributor.

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Verdict: good but not brilliant. Won’t be repurchasing as there are more attractive and less expensive options available

I used Crest Whitestrips in the past and while it’s a great product and it worked very well, it’s a bit difficult to find in the UK. So I was very excited to hear about a new whitening product that is available at Boots across the UK.

iWhite is a professional teeth whitening kit for instant results: it’s safe even for sensitive teeth, removes stains and whitens teeth to up to 8 shades whiter. It comes with 10 read-to-use trays that you can use for both lower and upper teeth and it whitens both the front and the back of teeth. I used all 10 trays.

Here is what I liked about the product:

• First of all, it is safe and I didn’t experience any pain or sensitivity. I heard this tends to happen with Crest Strips. iWhite didn’t irritate my teeth, gums or tongue.

• It did whiten my teeth, although not as much as I hoped it would.

• I like the fact that I can buy this product at Boots. It costs £29.95 in Boots (currently on offer for £19.96) and for £24.99 on beautybay.com. The problem with Crest Whitestrips is that you need to import them from the US or buy on eBay, especially if you’re after the version for sensitive teeth.

• It’s quick to use. You put the trays in and leave them for 20min. Each tray is vacuum-packed and easy to open.

What I didn’t like:

• I was surprised by the fact that it didn’t whiten my teeth more. I suppose I would work better if I used more than one package but that works out a bit expensive. I took a ‘before’ photo and was going to take an ‘after’ photo as well but the camera didn’t pick up the difference in shades. • I don’t like the packaging. It’s really messy. I’m not a fan of trays in general and prefer strips. With iwhite the product spills from the trays before you open them. You need to use a toothpick or something else to distribute the product evenly in the tray. In addition, a lot of the product stays in the packaging and not on the tray. I think the manufacturer should really come up with a better of preparing the trays. That was my least favourite thing about the kit.

• The box is half empty – only half of the box contains trays. I hate when companies do this: make the packaging twice as big to trick you into believing that you’re getting more for your money than you really are. It’s a cheap trick and so old it’s almost embarrassing for companies to use it nowadays.

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You can see the product spilling out if the tray

 

Overall, it’s a nice product. I feel it’s a bit too expensive for what it does. I didn’t feel it whitened my teeth as well as Crest Whitestrips and it’s about the same price. Perhaps if it was less expensive it would be a more attractive option. However, I really like the fact that it’s so easily available. The product does work and if you can’t be asked to look for Crest strip it might be the right choice for you.

Moga London Hair Salon Review: Avoid!

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I posted this review as part of my previous post, but I thought I’d post it again on its own to make sure it comes up in search results for Moga salon and to make sure that other girls living in London won’t make the same mistake.

I don’t often write bad reviews, products that don’t work for me might work for other people. But bad customer service is never good. And I had a really bad experience at Moga.

I went in to get Yuko (Japanese permanent hair straightening). I decided to go to a Japanese salon as I thought they would be experts. It was also significantly cheaper- about £100 cheaper than in other London salons. While I’m loving Yuko, Moga is not a good salon. I also went back to Moga two weeks ago for a haircut. I thought that since now my hair is straight I don’t need to spend a fortune on a haircut to make it look good. I was wrong.

Moga is a name of a famous hair salon chain in Japan. The one in London probably just uses the name and is not related to the Japanese chain. It’s quite well known amongst Japanese people living in London. Some of my non-Japanese (gaijin) friends have heard of it as well.

So after two visits what can I say about Moga? Poor customer service.

Even though they have Western models on their website they are NOT gaijin-friendly. I know the manager speaks good English but I was stuck with a girl called Mia both times. And she doesn’t speak English. At all. And I mean at all. How do you become a hairdresser in London without knowing the English word for ‘layer’?! To be honest I don’t think she knows what a layer is in any language cause when she cut my hair her technique was like I imagine a 5 year old would approach cutting hair. I was really tempted to ask to see her qualifications.

I heard other hairdressers chatting with their clients, so I know that other people at Moga speak the language and make an attempt to connect with their customers. The salon manager seemed really lovely and friendly. However, for some reason the receptionist insisted on booking my appointment with Mia.

And this brings me to the main reason why I would not recommend Moga to anyone: when I asked the receptionist why she didn’t get someone who speaks English to cut my hair she said that it’s a Japanese salon for Japanese people. Message received – non-Japanese not welcome!

And then there was the way she cut my hair… it took me 2 years to grow out the last bad haircut. I have a note from a good hairdresser I used to know and  I always bring with me – it has clear instructions on how to cut my hair. I’ve show it to many hairdressers in the past and they all got it instantly. No surprise, Mia didn’t. This is probably the worst haircut I ever had.  Any other hair salon I would go back and complain. But with Moga there is not point cause they won’t understand me anyway.

One of the most amazing things about Japan is their customer service. They are the best in the world when it comes to making customers feel special, taken care of and appreciated. Japanese people are also famous for their punctuality. Moga doesn’t do Japanese- style customer service. It’s just a horrible and frustrating experience: customer service is poor and they don’t understand what you’re saying. And they even make you wait.  It’s pretty clear they are not looking to expand their customer base to gaijins.

I will definitely not go back to Moga. And I don’t recommend it.

Yuko: Japanese Permanent Hair Straightening and Where (not) to Get It Done in London

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Yuko: worth every penny!

Moga Hair Studio: avoid, avoid, avoid!

This weekend I’m going to Hyper Japan festival in London. To celebrate the occasion I’ve decided to write a Japan-themed post.

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What is Yuko?

So I finally got Yuko back in June. Yuko is one of few truly permanent hair straightening systems based on a bespoke thermal reconditioning technology. Yuko is similar to Loreal X tenso but stronger. It doesn’t wash off, like the Brazilian blowout, it just grows out. All you need to do is to re-do your roots every 6-8 months. It doesn’t’ contain harmful chemicals and there are no harmful gases being released when you blow dry your hair after the treatment (as in the case of Brazilian Blowout). Obviously, it’s not a natural treatment so it does contain chemicals but as far as permanent straightening is concerned it gives the best results and is the least damaging for your hair.

Why did I decide to do it?

In the past, I needed to schedule at least 1h for washing and styling my hair, otherwise it would look horrible (I have very thick wavy hair). On top of that almost every morning I needed to straighten my hair/fringe with a straightening iron- and it still didn’t look good. After about 5 years of iron straightening my hair was very dry and damaged. I’ve been thinking about getting a permanent straightening for a while and spent a lot of time researching various straightening systems. I had two standard thermal reconditioning perms in the past. They helped to make my hair less frizzy for a while but didn’t straighten them and damaged my hair even more. If you had perms before and were put off by them, or if you watch Scrubs and think perms are for trailer trash, trust me : Yuko is completely different.

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My hair before Yuko

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My hair after Yuko

How does it work?

Yuko is simply amazing. It’s brilliant. Worth every penny. It sounds a bit superficial to say that it changed my life, but it kind of did. I think most of us want to have a hairstyle that requires no styling and looks perfect every day. This is what Yuko does. I am now able to wash my hair, blow dry it or leave to dry naturally and it looks as if I just had them professionally styled. It saves me so much time and money. I stopped buying styling products and all I use now is a fast drying heat protecting spray (KMS Free Shape). My hair never looked that good, perfectly straight and shinny. It also feels healthier than it did in a long time: I stopped using the straightening iron, styling products and conditioners with silicones and only use natural hair care products. I had Yuko for a month now and it’s only getting better. I will continue having it done every 6 months and can’t imagine going back to my natural hair.

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One month after Yuko

Are there any drawbacks?

It takes a while to get it done – I was in the salon for 5h! And it it’s a bit pricey (£250-£350). However, if you’re like me and are sick of spending hours trying to style your hair and failing, seriously – it’s worth every penny. Also, just think of all the time and money you’ll save.

Before I had it done, I was warned that it can make the hair really flat – which is fine for me cause I have a LOT of hair. The first couple of days however, it was really flat. I was a bit worried but after a couple of washes it started to look more natural. If you’ve got really fine hair, or just not a lot of it, perhaps something less strong, such as X tenso might be better for you. On the other hand, I have a friend with an afro and she says Yuko is the only treatment that tames her curls. Just make sure you know what you’re after before you get Yuko.  

The only other drawback is that I find it really difficult now to comb through my hair when they’re wet. This never happened before but apparently it’s normal with Yuko.

Moga Hair Salon: Avoid!

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Moga salon and Mia

There is a number of places in London that do Yuko. For example, Toni and Guy. However, Yuko (the company) strongly recommends that you should only have it done by a specially trained hair stylists: someone who attended Yuko training. So I decided to go to a Japanese salon – Moga. It was also significantly cheaper- about £100 cheaper than in other London salons. While I’m loving Yuko, Moga is not a good salon. I also went back to Moga two weeks ago for a haircut. I thought that since now my hair is straight I don’t need to spend a fortune on a haircut to make it look good. I was wrong.

Moga is a name of a famous hair salon chain in Japan. The one in London probably just uses the name and is not related to the Japanese chain. It’s quite well known amongst Japanese people living in London. Some of my non-Japanese (gaijin) friends have heard of it as well.  

So after two visits what can I say about Moga? Poor customer service.

Even though they have Western models on their website they are NOT gaijin-friendly. I know the manager speaks good English but I was stuck with a girl called Mia both times. And she doesn’t speak English. At all. And I mean at all. How do you become a hairdresser in London without knowing the English word for ‘layer’?! To be honest I don’t think she knows what a layer is in any language cause when she cut my hair her technique was like I imagine a 5 year old would approach cutting hair. I was really tempted to ask to see her qualifications.

I heard other hairdressers chatting with their clients, so I know that other people at Moga speak the language and make an attempt to connect with their customers. The salon manager seemed really lovely and friendly. However, for some reason the receptionist insisted on booking my appointment with Mia.

And this brings me to the main reason why I would not recommend Moga to anyone: when I asked the receptionist why she didn’t get someone who speaks English to cut my hair she said that it’s a Japanese salon for Japanese people. Message received – non-Japanese not welcome!

And then there was the way she cut my hair… it took me 2 years to grow out the last bad haircut. I have a note from a good hairdresser I used to know and  I always bring with me – it has clear instructions on how to cut my hair. I’ve show it to many hairdressers in the past and they all got it instantly. No surprise, Mia didn’t. This is probably the worst haircut I ever had.  Any other hair salon I would go back and complain. But with Moga there is not point cause they won’t understand me anyway.

One of the most amazing things about Japan is their customer service. They are the best in the world when it comes to making customers feel special, taken care of and appreciated. Japanese people are also famous for their punctuality. Moga doesn’t do Japanese- style customer service. It’s just a horrible and frustrating experience: customer service is poor and they don’t understand what you’re saying. And they even make you wait.  It’s pretty clear they are not looking to expand their customer base to gaijins.

 

So the bottom line is: while I’m pretty sure I will continue to have Yuko done every 6 months, and while this is a completely brilliant treatment, I will definitely not go back to Moga. And I don’t recommend it.

Lush Mermaid: Northern Lights in a Bathtub. Plus Last Chance To Enter My Giveaway

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Yesterday was my birthday so I pampered myself by taking the best bath in the world: Lush Mermaid. It’s like diving into an Aurora Borealis spectacle.

I’m not referring to the newly released Lush Mermaid bath bomb. What I mean is a bath cocktail of two Lush products that for years has been unofficially known as the Mermaid. It looks like golden northern lights: rays of gold glitter and sparkle swirling in deep jade water. The glitter looks like a school of microscopic fish and it’s constantly moving. It’s the prettiest bath in the world!

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For the Lush Mermaid you need two Lush products: the Big Blue (an amazing bath bomb and a reference to a great movie) and the Sunnyside. The Big Blue smells of sea and salt. No wonder since salt and seaweeds are the main ingredients of this bomb. The salt softens your skin and helps it release toxins. The Sunnyside is a bubble bar scented with citrus oils. It has sweet wild orange oil, lemon and tangerine oils. And glitter. Tons of glitter. It’s a good ‘pick-me-up’ after a long day. The glitter tends to get everywhere and you are likely to find bits of it in your closet, in your bed and in your bag for the next couple of days. It will make you smile. Hopefully.

To make the Mermaid Bath you will first need to fill your bathtub with hot water. Place the Big Blue in the bathtub and let it melt. Crush the Sunnyside and gently add it to the bath. If you stir the water too much or forget to crush the bubble bar it will create bubbles. It won’t spoil the effect but it will make it more difficult to see the water. And trust me: it’s quite a sight.

Apart from looking stunning the Mermaid really softens your skin. When you’re done admiring the view remember to give your skin a good rub and make sure you exfoliate to get the most of your bath.

Giveaway

It’s the last few days of my giveaway. Make sure you enter to win some goodies. See here for details.

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