22 February 2015

3 Great Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin can be the biggest nightmare when looking for skincare products. I've spent more money than I care to admit on ridiculously expensive cleansers, drugstore cleansers and everything in between. Ultimately, it has taken me years to find cleansers that make my skin feel clean and not stripped out or dry. I have used all of these cleansers in combination with each other (double cleansing) and they all work well. I would recommend to anyone to invest in skincare and buy drugstore makeup (if there had to be a toss up!). Makeup is only as good as the skin you put it on!

Jurlique Rose Moisture Cleanser, £18.50
Don't let the "foaming" by line fool you on this product. The ultra creamy product smells divine and leaves skin feeling soft. A small amount is all that is required. I was super impressed by the consistency of this product and the anti-oxidant ingredients really help to make it a great cleanser. The whole Jurlique line is very impressive as is the brand's history- it's all created on a biodynamic farm in Southern Australia. This is a great cleanser for both day and night.
Best for: dry and sensitive skin

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, £28
Oskia is a brand, like Jurlique, that I have truly fallen in love with. This cleanser comes in a pump (extra marks just for this) and is dispersed in a thick, orange gel form. The super-powered cleanser includes Vitamins A, C and E and pumpkin enzyeme (hence the colour!). Like all Oksia skincare, the natural ingredients including their special MSM complex make this cleanser a hero products. I prefer to keep this cleanser for night time as it's quite rich. I would occasionally use it in the morning if my skin was very dehydrated or I had a late (*gin induced*) night.
Best for: tired skin

Yon-Ka Lait Nettoyant, £29.50
Since having a Yon-Ka facial with Deborah Harper in 2014, I have not put this down. I'm on my second bottle- always a good sign of how much I like something! As with the other two brands featured, Yon-Ka uses natural ingredients to maximise skin care benefits. I love this cleanser as it can be used on the eyes too. The milk texture leaves the skin super silky. I apply it to damp skin and remove with a warm flannel. Often I will use this as my makeup remover and use one of the other cleansers to make sure my skin is as clean as possible.
Best for: lazy girls, if you travel a lot

Let me know what your favourite cleanser is below or by tweeting me @GemmaLEBond. 

*All of these products were sent to me as PR samples but this is no way influences or shapes my opinion of them
07 February 2015

A fabulous hair experience at Andrew Watson Hairdressing

Andrew Watson Haridressing is quite a recent addition to the Lisburn Road. The road is well known for being a wealth of hairdressers so it can seem like a bit of a nightmare as you don't know where to start! I was delighted to be invited down as stylist Leighann wanted to take part in the big blow-dry challenge. Leighann is an experienced hairdresser in all aspects of the trade but also in the application and maintenance of hair extensions. 

From the exterior, Andrew Watson Hairdressing so a no fuss hairdressers. Facing the police station, its inoffensive exterior sits amongst a row of shops and it could so easily be missed. However, the interior of the hairdressers is one of the nicest I have ever seen. It's not fancy or in your face but rather it is calm, unfussy and quiet. I have to say I've never been in a hairdressers quite like this and even before my hair had been touched, I had a lovely vibe about the place. I visited on a weekday and it was very busy but it was not noisy or overwhelming like many salons can be.

Leighann looked at my hair very closely before she decided what we would like to do. She suggested cutting my extensions as they had a lot of weight at the bottom that was making them sit a little bit too heavy. I agreed and post washing with the Wella range that they use in the salon, she set about chopping into the extensions. I was so happy with this and allowed her to cut more length off them. You can see from the picture that they are much shorter now but I think they look much more natural and they are also easier to manage. 

Leighann prepped my hair with Wella SP Style Resolute Lift which is a blow-dry lotion. She sprayed this liberally throughout my hair and sprayed the ends with Wella SP Luxeoil. I loved the idea of a spray oil as it made life a little bit faster and easier! My hair was rough dried then sectioned. The sections were then blowdried with a medium sized brush and set to cool in a velcro roller. Leighann worked in a New York salon for two years so I was fascinated with her blowdrying technique. This involved lots of movement rather than tension. You could see how much curl she could get just from the brush. This was a sign to me that the blow-dry was going to stay in well! Leighann was great at giving me tips about blowdrying my hair including how to blow-dry the front of your hair forward in order to get it to sit back off your face. There were lots of rollers in my head as you can see and my hair felt very smooth when these were removed. 

She curled the odd section with Cloud Nine straighteners just for a little extra face framing. She then lifted the roots and sprayed underneath with hairspray. This was something I haven't seen anyone do before but it really helped to keep the blow-dry volume in around the front of my hair. Obviously as I have extensions, the roots are more likely to drag down but I feel like she managed to get really good volume in my hair. I will be back to get her to blow-dry my natural hair in a few months as I know she could have it sitting SO huge!

I was so impressed with my blow-dry. I'm currently on day three and it's actually got nicer as the days have gone on. I haven't used any dry shampoo or product in it yet! I have it up in a big curly pony-tail today and I imagine I will get another day or two out of it if I use some dry shampoo.

I honestly would advise anyone to visit the salon. It's such a haven of relaxation and as someone who finds it hard to relax, that's no mean feat! Leighann was a lovely, friendly girl and I know I'll be back in the near future.

Thank you to Andrew Watson Hairdressing for a truly fabulous experience. For more information on the salon, visit: