Review: Nioxin Diaboost hair thickening extrafusion

Nioxin’s new hair serum (R695, selected salons) is a daily leave-in treatment that promises to increase the diameter of each existing hair strand. So, to avoid any confusion, it’s not going to stimulate more hair to grow, it simply plumps up what you’ve got for a fuller, more luscious-looking head of hair. It makes use of a ‘HTX complex’ of caffeine, panthenol and niacinimide that, according to Nioxin, can help hydrate and plump your locks.

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Nioxin Diaboost thickening xtrafusion treatment

Application-wise, you’re to slap it on your hair at the roots, massage it in and then style as per usual. It can be used on wet or dry hair, but I made a point of using it on damp, fresh from the shower hair so that I could use my blow drier to style it. In your palms, i feels like non-sticky glycerine and has a fresh, minty smell that isn’t really detectable when it dries.

The results? I love it!

I liked that my hair definitely did feel thicker – as though it had more body and bounce – and sat a bit away from my scalp without feeling fluffy or sticky. The latter was one of my concerns; that it would feel ‘tacky’ afterwards or, worse yet, cause my roots to look oily. But I needn’t have worried; the awesomeness of Diaboost is that it literally feels like nothing. Your hair gets a volume boost but there’s no ‘I have a product in it’ feeling; the kind I sometimes get from using a mousse or root lifter. It doesn’t have any ‘hold’, if that makes sense. This also makes blow drying easier. You don’t have to worry that you’re possibly drying it in a direction that could look rubbish if you’re in a hurry.

Yeah

Total sidebar here: Did anyone else randomly catch Tangled on Dstv and then fall madly in love with it? I literally bawled my eyes out when she finally found her folks.

The only negative here is that I’m not sure how long the bottle would last me and, at just under R700, it’s only going to suit someone who isn’t cruising Groupon for Botox. Still, I do love this product and am using it sparingly, on days when I want to look and feel extra mooi. (So it’s safe to assume that when I do run into any ex-boyfriends, I probably won’t be using it. I’ll also probably be wearing an old tracksuit and have a forehead pimple…)

Anyway, if you’ve spotted this is magazines and felt a bit torn, rest assured it’s worth the cash if you’ve got it. To find your nearest Nioxin stockist, call 0860 104 109.

Love, love

Leigh

Women’s Health magazine South Africa have their own Beauty Awards

To increase awareness regarding their Beauty Awards, Women’s Health magazine sent me a copy of their latest issue.

Looking mooi Shakira!

Only Shakira can pull off black bin liner panties and a Mr P-quality top.

I’m always hesitant to get involved with any type of ‘beauty awards’ if it’s not a bunch of dermatologists doing the vetting. I have my own very rigid ideas about what’s ‘best’ in that I’m very formulation focused and detest jar packaging. I’m also a tricky customer in that I know certain products get a lot of love in the press due to the fact that three are sold every second or whatever it is and while that perpetuates their impressive popularity, it certainly doesn’t make them ‘the best’ in regards to performance.

But in saying that, Women’s Health’s selection is definitely more on the money than it’s not. I’ve also had the pleasure of using and reviewing every single item on their list save for the Woolworths body scrub and AMLA shampoo (Yep, as a beauty editor and blogger, I’m pretty spoiled) and found myself nodding in agreement with a large number of their top picks.

Of their choices, these are the goodies that also really float my boat. Clicking on the links will lead you the reviews I wrote about them back in the day:

  • Batiste dry shampoo – I’ve used almost every dry shampoo on the shelf, including ridiculously overpriced ones from super fancy salon brands, and this boy hits it out of the park every time. Seriously amazing stuff!
  • ghd’s Eclipse’s flatiron – This is considered the Ferrari of flatirons for a reason. Just don’t cry into your pillow at night at if you have baby fine hair and can’t afford one. In that case, your regular ghd will do the trick just as well. But, if you’ve got coarse or ethnic hair and flatiron it every day, please know the Eclipse is a very good investment.
  • Davines OI All In One milk – This is a lovely product provided you don’t mind the smell of musk and pachouli in your hair all day. An antioxidant-infused spray-on conditioner, it hydrates, detangles, de-frizzes and offers heat protection too. I also like that it didn’t weigh my hair down.
  • Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit facial wash – If you have oily to normal skin, this is the bomb diggity in that it does the job, smells good and contains salicylic acid to help exfoliate your pores. In fact, when I’m not using whatever I’ve been given via my blog, this is the product I buy. Anyone with a drier skin type, however, probably won’t like it as they’ll find it too ‘strippy’.
  • Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist SPF 50 is a joy to use as it feels like you’ve got nothing on and Eucerin’s Dry Skin Complete Repair body lotion with 5% urea is body lotion perfection from a formulation point of view if you genuinely suffer from dry skin. Anyone who’s doing okay in the hydration department might find it feels a bit ‘heavy’ though.
  • Make-up-wise, Smashbox’s Liquid Halo foundation and Always Sharp eyeliner, Estee Lauder’s Disappear Smoothing concealer, Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express mascara and all by no means ‘the best I’ve ever used’ but they’re all very, very good at their jobs. I’d be happy to toss them in my trolley and actually have all of them rolling around in my make-up bag right now (told you, spoiled!) save for the Lauder concealer. (Sorry Lauder; we had to break up after I discovered Lancome Effacernes and Catrice Camouflage Cream.)

Anyway, beauty awards aside, I really enjoyed reading Women’s Health. It’s been a while since I’ve picked it up and clearly they’ve had some sort of revamp or something. Everything felt fresh, it was jam-packed with content which would’ve made me feel like I’d gotten my money’s worth if I’d bought it. It’s definitely not a ‘read and toss’. I’m now itching to try their Maize meal pizza recipe (gluten-free and just 543kj per 211g serving!) and maybe – just maybe – I’ll attempt their celeb-inspired red carpet body fitness plan. If you see me rocking arms like Sandra Bullock two months from now we’ll know it (and I) worked out.

To see Women’s Health’s full list of beauty winners simply pick up the mag. It’s on shelf as I type.

Love, love

Leigh

Don’t forget to book your tickets for this year’s Five for Change charity ball

I don’t know about you but when I hear the words  ‘charity ball’ I think of stuffy old ladies wearing Chanel-style crop jackets over their ball gowns while everyone does a weird square dance-type of thing while a string quartet plays in the background. Five for Change, however, is nothing like that at all. If anything, its one of the biggest, baddest, maddest, funnest black-tie parties of the year and all for a good causes, five of them to be exact.

5forchange_invite

See you there?

This year, Five for Change’s chosen charities are as follows:

  • Earth Child Project - helping to develop children, teachers, schools and communities in underprivileged areas.
  • Girls and Football SA - helping to develop young women through sport, media and education.
  • Rock Girl - helping to inspired girl-initiated and girl-focused projects in the private and public sectors.
  • Milkshed – transforming reclaimed wood into artworks for sale with the profits going towards social change.
  • I am somebody - using ‘storytelling, nature based rites of passage and resource exchanges’ to help develop young people and their communities.

The event takes place at The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront on the 31st of this month (May 2014). Guests can expect welcome drinks, yummy canapes and the entertainment includes SA band The Kiffness. I’m also thrilled to see my old Perspectives building buddy/sort-of neighbour Siv Ngesi who also happens to be an actor and comedian, is going to be the evening’s MC.

So, if you’re keen on going, best you book your tickets now via Quicket for R400 a pop and I’ll see you there.

Love, love

Leigh

What’s New in the Zoo featuring Accessorize, El Jimador tequila and Blistex

So Accessorize sent me the cutest little friendship bracelets (R169).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ag cute man!

It was a belated Easter surprise and came with a box of choc and jelly eggies. I totally intended to set them aside so I could snap piccies of the bracelets along with the sweeties but came home a leetle dronk the other night and pretty much funnelled the entire box into my face before crashing into bed. (Sorry Charli!)

I’ve had fun wearing these and like that you can use ‘em to make cute li’l ‘combos’ or separate the pack and dole them out to your friends and watch while a cat fight ensues over who gets the heart and owl strings.

Prettiness!

The stripey heart watch, in case you’re wondering, is a limited edition Swatch the company created for Valentine’s Day.

Anyway, if you’re digging these little guys, you know where to get ‘em. And if your Cape Town-based, make a point of popping into Accessorize’s new flag ship store in Canal Walk next time you’re in the mall. It’s huge!

More cool stuff that crossed my ‘desk’? A big ass bottle of El Jimador 100% pure agave tequila!

Yes please!

Yes please!

I love tequila so this was a much appreciated gift from Butter Knife PR to celebrate the launch of the 100% Agave Surf Classic in Big Bay near Blouberg. This goes down between the 24th and 31st of this month and promises to be a fiesta of hot surfer boys and tequila that culminates with a rocking after party at local beach bar Boardhouse. For more information about the event follow @agavesurfcomp on twitter.  

Last but not least, Blistex sent me a li’l pakkie containing their new Nurture & Nourish lip balm.

Blistex DCT and new Natural & Nourish lip balms.

Blistex DCT and new Natural & Nourish lip balms.

Their new balm is jam packed with mega moisturisers like olive, grapeseed and sunflower oils, lanolin, beeswax, jojoba esters and cocoa seed butter. There are also a couple of antioxidants in the mix – think vitamin E, acai and goji fruit extract – plus an SPF of 15. Wear-wise, it goes on clear, feels nice and light on your lips and tastes ever so slightly sweet.

Still, while the new balm is a lovely addition, my heart will always belong to Blistex DCT so I was thrilled it was included in the press drop. I’ve been using this baby since high school and love everything about it, from the fact that you can lay it on thick like Vaseline right the way through to it’s weird, medicinal smell. There was also a time when DCT was formulated with AHA acids (amazing!) but now the formula’s been edited slightly as I can’t spot them on the ingredients list anymore. Still, in the same way you get Zambuk people and Lip Ice people and what not, I reckon I’ll be a DCT girl for life, yo.

Love, love

Leigh

Sublime steak, sinful tiramisu and lots and lots of wine – Societi Bistro’s Tour Through Italy is back! (2014)

It’s that time of year again – Societi Bistro’s holding their now infamous Tour Through Italy!

Yum

That pasta on the left was awesome.

This is how it works: Each week for ten weeks the restaurant creates a special three-course menu paired with carefully selected wine that’s inspired by one of ten different region in Italy. It kicks off tomorrow in Siciliana and works its way around the country, eventually ending up in Veneto and Fruili-Venezia Guilia.

To celebrate the new menu, Societi invited a bunch of media as well as friends of the restaurant to come and try a selection of what’s cooking. Of everything I tried, as always, I most enjoyed the simple elegance of chef Stefan Marais’ Bistecca alla Fiorentina, grilled T-bone steak served with a squeeze of fresh lemon. The meat literally melted in my mouth. Another goodie? The Cape fish of the day served with Caponata, a tangy eggplant relish. This was my foodie friend Robyn’s favourite dish.

Clouds and Marky Marky are top left and the fish is bottom right but you're probably only have eyes for that steak.

Clouds and Marky Mark (@theblenderswine) are top left and the fish is bottom right but you’re probably only have eyes for that steak.

I’ve never been big on ordering desserts in restaurants. For the most part, I find them dull and overpriced. I’m a bit of a ‘stuff it, I’ll rather pick up a slab of Peppermint Crisp’ on the way home kind of girl. But when it comes to Societi – hot damn, do you really want to order dessert. Their tiramisu is basically three shots of booze with a dash o’ dark, fully saturated sponge which is just the way I like it. And as for their chocolate gelato (served in a sugar cone, but of course) it actually tastes ‘sticky’ and you won’t want to stop after just one. In fact, I may or may not have had three of these in a bid to ease the pain caused by Clouds ‘Bitchface’ Drummond who told me I looked old and tired that day. (Love you Clouds. Hate you Clouds.)

Robyn and I being slette for roomys.

Gelato mania, Robyn and I and the best tiramisu in Cape Town.

Wine-wise, I tried several but most enjoyed region 1’s Terra del Capo Pinot Grigio. It’s crisp, ‘minerally’ and nice and light, all of which make it very easy to drink. I was thus thrilled to receive a bottle as a gift upon leaving along with a goodie bag filled with all the ingredients needed to make spaghetti alla puttanesca from Flat Roof Manor vinos. Oh, but the radness didn’t stop there…  I found myself surrounded by several Luddites who don’t appreciate the awesomeness that is anchovy so I made a point of ferreting the bottles out of their bags and am happy to announce that I’ll be eating anchovy-riddled pizza and Caesar salad possibly until 2015.

I noticed that whenever Mark went to get wine he got more than the rest of us so he fast became our vino-fetching bitch boy.

I noticed that whenever charming Mark went to get wine he got more than the rest of us so he fast became our vino-fetching bitch boy.

Anyway, if you’re looking to enjoy a delish Italian meal with carefully considered wine in Cape Town’s cosiest, friendliest, most winterlicious l’il bistro, Societi is where it’s it.

Love, love

Leigh

To view Societi Bistro’s Tour Through Italy menu get clicky clicky over here. To make a booking, give them a shout on (021) 424 2100.  

So I chatted to Pantene’s hair doc about what you can do to make your hair grow faster. Brace yourselves girls…

Last week I attended a delish little tea at the 12 Apostles hosted by Pantene. It was a chance to meet their specialist hair doc, Dr John Gray, but there’d been some sort of flight stuff up so we ended up on super interesting Skype date.

To give you the low down on Dr Gray, he’s a practicing GP and trichologist, the latter a dermatologist who specialising in scalp and hair health. His published several books on hair and is generally regarded as a top hair care expert so this is a dude who knows his shizz.

P&G's trichologist, Dr John Gray.

P&G’s trichologist, Dr John Gray.

After a general talk on hair health, we all got to ask the doc our burning hair questions and I wasted no time in laying the one I’m most commonly asked by you guys, my readers: ‘How do I make my hair grow faster?!’

Dr Gray’s answer is simple: ‘You can’t’.

Me: But… but… isn’t there something topical you can apply? Or something you can ingest?

Dr Gray: Nope.

So that settles that then.

I also went on to ask him if there’s any truth to the old adage that, if you only wash your hair a few times a week as opposed to every day, can you ‘train’ your scalp to become less oily?

Again, the doc’s answer was ‘nope’. The amount of oil your scalp produces is dictated by your hormones and there’s nothing you can ‘do’ in terms of ‘scalp-training’ to change that.

To be honest, I kind of knew the answer to this one already but relished hearing it come from the doc. Due to having fine hair and scalp that gets greasy pretty fast (I’m combo to oily-skinned too), I wash my hair every day. People have often chastised me for this, saying I’d ‘damage my hair’ or that I was only making it greasier in the long run but I’m perfectly happy in how I’m treating my hair and don’t feel like a daily wash and condition is doing it any damage in the least, something the doc also confirmed.

If anything, regular conditioning is your hair’s best friend and that’s Dr’s best advice for healthy, happy-looking hair: ‘Condition, condition, condition.’

After the tea I walked off with a bag of Pantene products of my choice (thank Pantene!) and was happy to snap up the goodies in the Aqua Light range.

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Pantene’s Aqua Light collection, aside from the sham and con, includes a light conditioning mask (not pictured) and spray conditioner.

My little sister’s a fan of the shampoo and left it in my shower once and I’ve enjoyed using it ever since. It’s super duper light (perfect for every day use) and dye, silicone and paraben-free.

Initially, I thought it was a clarifying shampoo and assumed it would feel SLS (foaming agent) heavy and strip my hair to the point where it would be difficult to brush. The reality is that it’s actually ‘low foaming’* and leaves my hair feeling swishy, clean and light. A very mooi maatjie for anyone with fine hair soos ek.

Love, love

Leigh

*To clarify, this is definitely not SLS-free. It just feels that way! I.e. You don’t feel like you’ve just used Sunlight dish liquid to wash your hair.

Best you make friends with a treadmill – Magnum are now making pints!

Because Magnum hates you and doesn’t support you in your bid to get an ass like Jessica Alba, the company’s now started making pints. Yep, you heard me. Flippin’ 450ml tubs of deliciousness available in three evil flavours; Vanilla & Chocolate; Raspberry & Chocolate and Hazelnut & Chocolate.

dfg

#CouchMoments = #TreadmillTime

I was sent the mooi press pack above containing the latter and can attest to its deliciousness. Think hazelnut ice cream strewn with cracking chocolate wrapped around a molten choc-hazel core. Oh! My! God!

dg

When you open the tub you’ll see the ice cream even has choc sprinkles on it!

My top tip for destroying this baby in style is to let it melt, mix the molten stuff in the centre through the ice cream and then dig in. Afterwards, if there’s any left, stick it in the tub so that, when you’re ready for round two, you’ll have a serious chocolate swirl to deal with.

Thanks Magnum, you made my day. (But my bum still thinks you’re horrid.)

Love-hate,

Leigh