Xtava Twist Curling Wand review and giveaway

Over the last twelve months I’ve really got in to styling my hair, ever since I took the plunge and went for a new style and bold colour I’ve been determined to make more of an effort with it, both in taking care of it and in how I wear it. My army of tools is basic- a dryer, straightener and a curling wand. My current wand has definitely seen better days so I welcomed the chance to try out a new one as well as give one away to one of my readers.
This is the xtava twist curling wand* which costs a very reasonable £20 from Amazon. Call me a snob if you must but I do seem to have fallen in to the habit of spending a fortune on hair tools with the belief that they’ll somehow be better for my hair, or give greater effect so I was interested to see how a budget curling wand would perform.

This is the 1-1.5 inch conical wand, it’s thicker than the one I currently own and for me that’s a good thing. I prefer a looser curl over tight spirals and this gives me exactly that. In true Laura style I haven’t yet managed to photograph the results (watch this space!) but it gives a wave type curl (technical term) which I’m really enjoying for an every day laid back vibe.

In terms of quality I’m really happy. It uses ionic technology to keep frizz at bay and the barrel is coated in tourmaline and ceramic to help minimise heat damage to the hair. There are many temperature settings on this wand with a guide of what heat will suit your hair type best- the LCD display is a helpful feature too as you can keep track of how hot you’ve got it.

The look and feel of this curling wand would have you think it costs far more than it does- from the luxe packaging to the weight and feel of the tool itself- I’d definitely recommend this for anyone looking out for a new curler whether you are on a budget or not.

I also have one xtava curling wand to give away to one of my readers so you may get to try it out for yourself! Just follow the simple instructions below.

Win the xtava Twist Curling Wand #11

Let me know in the comments what your favourite hair styling tools are and if there are any you’d especially recommend.

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Beauty- my first ever Glossybox

I think pretty much every blogger out there has heard of Glossybox. It was the first subscription box I was ever aware of and tempted by, yet for some reason I had never got around to it.
It would appear that August 2017 was a great month to finally get acquainted with Glossybox as I was pretty impressed with every product inside it. The box itself was pretty special too- a gorgeous pale blue and emblazoned with “girls just wanna have sun” (so very true, I’m so tired of grey skies and rain) which just added to the experience.
As with any kind of subscription box I think it’s pot luck each month as to the actual value of the products included. I haven’t done the maths on this one but I’m pretty certain it exceeds the price paid for the box- and to be honest, the box could be packed through of high value products that were frankly rubbish, just as much as it could contain cheaper items that make a big impact. Although this box was sent to me free of charge I can hand on heart say I would have happily paid for this one.
I was very excited to see Essence products included in the box having already given their my must haves palette a rave review. I love the pretty packaging on this one and the shades included just so happen to be right up my street- for me this was the star product of the August Glossybox and it’s been in near constant use since.
Other highlights included the suede lips pencils from Rodial- again the shade is right up my street and this gives an amazing, soft looking matte lip that lasts.
I’m also a big fan of the safari sun bronzer from model launcher cosmetics. Obviously bronzer is a pretty essential summer product for many and this one is up there with the best I’ve tried in terms of being a good suits everyone shade, and it has a great texture.I’m yet to try the hair Replacement care products- I’m intrigued by the 2in1 shampoo and conditioner from Batiste, it’s designed to shampoo the roots and condition the lengths which sounds perfect for my thick and often unruly hair. I’ll be packing this for my holiday next month as a week in a caravan in the Highlands means dry shampoo is going to be 100% necessary.

Probably the most intriguing product in the box is the ice hair mask from Total Repair- this apparently has a cooling effect which powers up the macadamia oil it contains making even more efficient at hydrating the hair. My hair is in dire need of a cut and colour, it’s long overdue which also means the ends are somewhat fried right now…I’ll be giving this a try next time I was it and will report back if anyone is interested…

Anyone here a Glossybox subscriber? After the success of my first ever box I am sorely tempted to sign up and make it a more regular thing but I do worry that it won’t consistently live up to the hype, I’d love to hear other people’s experiences in the comments.

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Glossybox sent me this box for blog consideration, I was under no obligation to post and all opinions are my own.

Lee Stafford Ubuntu Oils Hairdryer

I’ve become one of those girls I never thought I’d become. One who relies entirely on her hair styling tools and who panics at thought of being without them. I’ve also become very interested in new ideas when it comes to heat styling hair so when the opportunity came up to review a hairdryer infused with Ubuntu Oil to help heal your hair I was very intrigued to say the least.

All this from a girl who up until about a year ago only actually dried her hair about twice a year!

The Lee Stafford Ubuntu Oils Hairdryer*
promises a lot of things. It claims to dry hair faster, give you salon quality at home and heal your hair. Big talk for a little device that costs under £25 right?

But somehow it does it all. It certainly made short work of drying my hair which is a massive bonus for me because it usually takes me ages and I get incredibly fed up doing it. My standard (as in non-infused) hair dryer is also a Lee Stafford model and that’s also pretty quick at it’s job but this one has a noticeable edge.

Salon quality wise I’m not really able to compare because I rarely get my hair dried at a salon but as with all Lee Stafford products that I’ve tried (my thoughts on the academy hair straightener here) I’ve been genuinely impressed especially with the small price tag attached.

Of course the really interesting and unique thing about this model is the African Ubuntu Oil infused grille. It’s designed to pamper, nourish and repair your hair after drying making frizz a thing of the past. I’ve only used this a couple of times so far so there hasn’t been time for a dramatic difference but I would say my hair is less frizzy than usual- which is no mean feat at this time of year when the struggle against humidity goes up a notch. I’ll report back on any longer term effects but even if the Ubuntu Oil turned out to be nothing but a gimmick I’d still be more than happy with this dryer- it’s lightweight, good looking and gets my hair dry in around 2/3 of the time it’d usually take. At £24.99 you really can’t go wrong with this.

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The Denman Cocktail Collection

Ever found yourself wishing that your hair brush could smell like your favourite cocktail? Nope, me neither but when I heard about the new Cocktail Fragrance Collection from Denman Brushes it suddenly seemed like a very appealing, not to mention genius idea.

With flavours such as Strawberry Daiquiri, Pina Colada and Berry Martini these are fun and funky brushes that are the perfect size for popping in your handbag and would make an awesome birthday gift for your girl friends.

Denman kindly sent me the Strawberry Daiquiri brush so that I could see how the idea translates in to real life. It’s a lovely, grown-up looking brush and, despite it’s small size and “novelty” factor it lives up to the renowned quality of Denman Brushes.

The scent of this is SO good, so very good. Good enough that I have to stop myself sniffing my hair brush in public.

I’m not sure if I like the fact that the scent doesn’t transfer to your hair or not though, on the one hand I can see why Denman have done this- walking around smelling like your favourite drinks could grow old fast. On the other hand though, the idea of Strawberry scented hair for the Summer is really kind of appealing!

The brushes retail at £8.00 each and are available from the Denman online store.

What do you think of this idea? And what’s your favourite cocktail?

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Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners review and giveaway

I’m still very much a novice when it comes to hair, really it’s only since I had it cut and coloured in October that I’ve managed to get any kind of grip in styling it myself and my once neglected hair straighteners became one of my most used items. I’d had them for a few years already by this point and over the last few weeks I’d noticed they were failing to heat properly and were losing their ability to you know, actually straighten my hair. So when an opportunity came up to review the Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners* the timing could not have been more perfect.
I’m not hugely au-fait with many hair styling brands but Lee Stafford is one I know well [by which I mean I already own one of his hair dryers]. My previous straightener was by Corioliss and I have never owned a pair of GHDs. Because of this I also roped by Mum in on this review and we both tried out the product- she is the queen of hair straightening so if something impresses her then it’s definitely a good ‘un.
I know looks aren’t everything but these are some sleek looking straighteners which gave a good first impression. I was a little worried about the size of the plates as my hair is very thick and there is a LOT of it and I was concerned that it would prove too much for this tool to cope with. I needn’t have worried.

Thanks to the adjustable heating settings [up to 230 degrees] and handy quick start guide I quickly established the optimum temperature for my hair, waited a mere matter of seconds for the straightener to heat up and got going. This straightener made short work of getting my hair smooth and sleek which in itself is no mean feat. More impressive was that after sleeping on it my hair was still straight the next day- with my old straightener I found that I needed to re-do it the next day as my natural waves had fought back.
Mum thought the same, she was impressed with how easily this straightened her naturally curly hair [please note I have never actually seen it curly] and how sleek a finish it left.

Because I tend to straighten my hair and then curl or wave the top layers with a curling wand I decided to have a go at creating curls with this as well. I probably should have taken a picture but being me I didn’t think of it at the time but this straightener also creates smooth and shiny waves quickly and easily without looking like they had obviously been done with a straightener if you know what I mean?

I 100% would recommend this straightener for anyone who’s on the lookout for a new one, with an RRP of £79.99 it’s on the more affordable scale of things and at the time of writing it’s currently on sale on Amazon for £49.95.

I also happen to have one of these straighteners to give away to one lucky reader- see the widget below for how to enter and the T&C [and good luck!]

Win Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners #1

The giveaway will run until 29th March and the winner will be contacted directly by Review Directory.

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Product sent to me for purpose of review. Opinions and shiny sleek hair are entirely my own.