Review: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Posted on May 18, 2015 under Reviews

When I was staying with Aisling at the end of March, she mentioned that she had bought the Garnier micellar cleanser and didn’t like it. It was her first experience with a micellar water, and she was not impressed! Specifically, she noted that it did not do a very good job at removing her eye makeup.

I was a bit curious about it as I’ve personally found micellars to be great, but have only tried more pricey ones, so while staying with her I test drove it for the whole weekend.

I have to say, despite the hype and generally excellent reviews online, I’m inclined to agree with Aisling!

I normally use a dedicated eye makeup remover or an oil cleanser to get rid of my waterproof mascara and eyeliner, but I’ve used micellars in a pinch and they work pretty well as long as you let them soak the eye makeup off. This one, however, barely made a dent in my Stila Stay All Day liquid eyeliner – it took quite a bit of rubbing to get it all off, even after holding a soaked cotton pad against my eye for half a minute.

It took off my face makeup much more thoroughly, but it really dried my skin out – it felt very tight. This is disappointing and, quite frankly, unacceptable for a product that claims to be soothing! If my skin is screaming for moisturizer, it is not soothed. These days my skin runs more on the normal side of things, and cleansers don’t typically leave it feeling so parched!


With a mini Eiffel Tower, because it’s imitating the cult French pharmacie product. Or something.

Most of the reviews of this product on the Boots website seem to indicate that the users haven’t tried any other micellars before (“I bought this product 2 months ago after considering spending £16 on the infamous Bioderma Micellar solution”), so I’m guessing a lot of the positive reviews come either from people who don’t have anything in the same family of products to compare it to, or from bloggers/vloggers who are being sponsored by Garnier. I allow that this product may simply have not worked for Aisling and I, but I am a bit taken aback by the 4.7/5 average rating on considering how lackluster the two of us found it!

At just £4.99 ($9.38 CAD) for 400mL (£0.012 or $0.023 per mL), this product is much more affordable than micellars from other brands such as Bioderma ($26.95 for 500mL, or $0.054 per mL), La Roche-Posay ($22 for 200mL, or $0.11 per mL) or BioBeauté ($19 for 200mL, or $0.095 per mL). I’d say if you have a dedicated eye makeup remover and skin that leans more on the combo to oily side rather than dry, this is a good budget option. But if you’re on the drier side or want a micellar that will be much better at removing eye makeup, I’d recommend either Bioderma or La Roche-Posay (but only when they have their micellar on special – double the amount for the same price). Those two are legitimately effective products and they are both great for sensitive skin. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little extra! It pains me to admit that a budget option is simply not as good as the fancy stuff, but in this case I think that’s very much the case.

Review: John Frieda Go Blonder Shampoo and Conditioner

Posted on April 30, 2015 under Reviews

A fake blonde’s work is never over. Maintaining the perfect hue requires constant vigilance, lest we be visited by the dread B-word – brassiness. It does not do to simply tone your hair to perfection and hope it will last, because it won’t. That is a fact. Blonde is not for the lazy.

Unfortunately, after arriving in Glasgow in September with the perfect ashy platinum, I fell down on the job. I had a brief flirtation with lilac, which faded to silver, which faded to a greenish-blonde. In March, I decided that enough was enough.


And so, I picked up the John Frieda Go Blonder Shampoo and Conditioner, after scouring the internet for reviews. I read mixed things, but most of the people who didn’t like the products seemed to have only used them one or two times. In the interests of fairness, I opted to give these a test drive of at least five washes, so as not to be like all the outraged customers who don’t seem to understand that short of bleach, nothing you put on your hair is going to instantly lift colour in any noticeable way. Much like blonde, these products are not a short-term commitment!

Also in the interests of fairness, I decided not to use my beloved L’Oreal mask as conditioner, and rather to just use this system on its own. This way, I could see how the texture of my very damaged hair fared with John Frieda at the proverbial wheel.


Here is my hair before using this product. My iPhone camera doesn’t pick it up terribly well, but there is a bit of yellow running through, particularly at the roots. Hot roots are real, people! And that green is unmistakable. (Also, excuse the greasiness in the first picture – I took it immediately after returning from Warsaw, and the travel did not make my hair any cleaner.)

I used these two products for about a month (and sadly had to leave them in the UK because NO SPACE IN MY SUITCASE). They made my hair feel rather soft after washing it, and I could brush through it with relative ease. (When I don’t use any conditioner I literally cannot get a brush through it. Bleach is fun.)


I did notice a change in colour, though subtle. It absolutely did not immediately tone my hair to a cooler blonde, but over time it helped take some of the brassiness out and definitely eliminated that green tinge. It also lightened my naturally medium-brown roots a touch after a month of consistent use. It didn’t take my hair to my ideal colour, but it made it a far more reasonable shade. I’ll take a slightly warm blonde over green any day! Plus, look how shiny and smooth it looks in that close-up – does that look like the texture of 10x bleached hair to you?!

I was previously using the John Frieda Sheer Blonde purple shampoo, which was okay – but Go Blonder is infinitely better, and once it’s on sale I’m going to replenish my stock. I think it was much more effective than Sheer Blonde at slowly toning my hair. It’s certainly not a replacement for a proper toner (Wella T18 for life!), but it’s effective for slow, long-term toning.


I also recently did my poor CAVERNOUS ROOTS OF DOOM and toned my hair to an ash blonde, so I’ll be interested in seeing if Go Blonder is good for maintaining that ashiness. Toned hair doesn’t last very long on me, and I am very interested in prolonging the results!

Long story short, I am pro-Go Blonder. It’s a bit of a pricer option for the drugstore, but I’m willing to pay the $14 for a product that works. I’d have no business being blonde if I weren’t.

On the comfort zone

Posted on April 24, 2015 under Thoughts

I am, generally, quite adventurous with my makeup. I’ll wear a dark purple lipstick or blue eyeshadow in public. Sometimes I’ll even wear them both at once. Hell, I own black lipstick.

In the past year or so, I have considered myself a fairly adventurous person when it comes to makeup. But lately I’ve been thinking, and even though I wear makeup that a lot of people would consider adventurous (or even too much), I still have my own comfort zone. That comfort zone just happens to include several shades of purple lipstick.

Like, there aren’t many colours I will wear on my eyes. Anything that could be reasonably classified as a neutral, check. Purple, check. Blue, check – but generally in small doses. Red, orange, yellow, green? Anything neon? No way.

I generally avoid wearing false eyelashes, because I feel overdone with them on. I hate that feeling, that people think I’m trying too hard, that I’m wearing too much makeup, that I have something to hide. And for some reason, false eyelashes make me feel like that. Wearing red lipstick to class does not make me feel like that, and it makes no sense. It’s the same damn thing! It’s indulgent, it’s unnecessary, it’s a noticeable alteration to my appearance. But, even though I think false eyelashes are fun, I just cannot abide by them for myself.

And lipstick – well. Lipstick is where I have the fewest boundaries. While I’m still tentative about adding colour to my eyes, I rarely go anywhere without a bold colour on my lips. But survey my collection and you’ll find a variety of colours – but only one orange, and one warm red (which is sheer). No peach, no coral, no beige-y nudes, no browns. I do not do warm colours on the lips, hardly ever. I’ll do them on the eyes, I’ll do them on the cheeks, but I will not do them on the lips.

And why? I look good in my orange-red. I look good in my straight-up orange. But those colours are just not in my comfort zone, and so I avoid them. How many times have I worn my orange lipstick in half a year? Maybe three. And yet it’s sitting there, alongside so many other lipsticks, and it looks just as good on me as plenty of the other colours I own, and I ignore it because it scares me a little bit.

So I guess I’m as much in my comfort zone as anyone else. Because even if it’s bigger than other people’s, it still exists. And it’s always hard to get out of your comfort zone, because even though I have that orange lipstick and I can put it on just easily as any other colour, it’s tragically underused.

One of these days, I’m either going to have to use that lipstick or give up and get rid of it. It’s sure as hell not doing me any good sitting stagnant and unused.