Review: L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray

I spend quite a bit each year on disguising my grey roots.  I always joke that I’ve no idea what my true hair colour is because nobody’s seen it for years!

When I was young, it was the lovely reddy gold colour that Ieuan has now but I actually think my real colour now is a dark brown, almost black with the odd grey.

A while ago I had the chance to try L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray and I chose the brown shade to test. If I had to choose again, I’d select a colour that matches my hair dye rather than my natural hair colour for a better match.

root concealer spray - L'Oreal Paris Magic Retouch in brown

The product comes in a little spray can which promises enough contents for up to 30 applications. The product is also supposed to last until you wash it out.

The size of the can makes it ideal to slip into your makeup bag or handbag.

I got the husband to apply the spray for me down my centre parting (cue much shouting of “keep still”) and it took two good blasts of the spray to cover the roots.

The greys are also a lot less visible with just those couple of sprays.

As I’ve already mentioned, the only issue I have is that I chose the shade to match my roots but this does not blend in with my dyed hair.  I would have been better off selecting the dark blonde shade and plan to give this a try.

If the dark blonde shade gives as good a coverage as the brown one I tested then I think I could extend the time between salon colour appointments by a good couple of weeks.

My usual salon offers a root touch up service where your roots can be dyed literally down your centre parting and you have the choice of either paying for a wash and blow-dry or going home and washing it off yourself.

The charge for this is around the £10-£15 mark (the wash & blow-dry is extra of course) but you do have to find the time to get to the salon.  Not so easy with the kids in tow – and impossible now we’re still in Lockdown thanks to COVID-19!

This does, of course, hide all the roots and the greys but, aside from the expense, not everyone enjoys going to the hairdresser, do they?

The Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray, on the other hand, retails at £5.99 for 75 ml in Boots or on Amazon and comes in 5 shades – Light Blonde, Dark Blonde, Brown, Dark Brown and Black. You can also buy a 150 ml bottle – the XL version for around £9.30.

And, as you can see, it does a pretty respectable job with, if not total grey/root coverage, almost total.

If you want to eek out your salon colour and possibly save yourself some money into the bargain, I think this particular root concealer product is well worth a try.  Even if you don’t get quite the right shade the first time around, even buying a second can of Magic Retouch means you’re likely to be quids in on what your hair salon would charge.

That said, I’d still rate L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer Spray as an ’emergency’ product for those times when you want to look groomed and you just haven’t got the time or cash to go to the salon.

I’d certainly class Lockdown as an emergency scenario when it comes to hiding those grey hairs!

4 Things To Look For In Beauty Product Reviews

When making any type of investment, most of us conduct a bit of research to learn more about whatever it is that we are thinking of buying.

After all, regardless of the product in which we are thinking of investing our hard earned cash, it is often really useful to learn how other buyers perceived the product and what features they found to be the most useful.

woman holding lip balm in front of her eyes, beauty reviews, beauty,

If you are searching for a new beauty product to add to your daily routine, it is just as important to research product reviews for these as it is before purchasing a new television.

Here are some tips on what to look for when reading beauty product reviews – and they just might help you make a better-informed decision on your next beauty product. I suspect many of us have drawers full of unloved beauty purchases we really wish we hadn’t bothered with – at a not insignificant cost to our pockets!

Customer testimonials

These are a great (and some would say the best) way to find out what customers, like you, thought of the product. The most compelling reviews tend to be in a video format or if it is in a blog format, photos help bring the post to life. A good customer review will talk about the products pros and cons as well as different ways in which the customer found the product most effective. For a good customer review of a great beauty product, check out


If you are interested in purchasing a new beauty product, it is likely that watching a video of a consumer applying the product will be helpful. The most compelling videos are those that show before and after photographs or images on how the product worked. Other great videos provide visual examples of how to apply the product for the best results.


lipstick, beauty, beauty products

Truthful product reviews

While it is important to watch videos on how to apply a product or read customer testimonials on how the product worked best, it is also smart to read product reviews.

Be sure to do research on the ingredients and if they are made of natural ingredients, do research on those too. Understanding the product completely can help you determine if the product is right for you.

If you do not do research on the product, you could likely invest in something that may not work for you. Perhaps you have an allergic reaction or maybe you don’t enjoy the flavor of the supplement. To avoid mistakes such as this, read some product reviews.

Customer service

It is particularly helpful when you find a great product review that shares information about the customer service experience.

Often times a beauty product that is advertised on TV will offer a money-back guarantee. If you choose to try out a product because you know you will receive your money back if you do not get the results you were hoping for, it is helpful to read a review that this is in fact true.

It can be very frustrating to give a company a call in an effort to return an unused product only to find out that they actually do not accept returns. It is best to read about the reputation of the company’s customer service team before making a purchase.

So there you have it.  A little research before you splash the cash may save you pounds down the line and prevent you from adding yet another product to your make-up stash that never sees the light of day again.

What have been your most ill-advised beauty purchases?

Look Fabulous This Festive Season With Joan Collins Timeless Beauty

Having grown up watching Dallas and Dynasty,  I have long been an admirer of Joan Collins.  A fellow Gemini, she embodies glitz, glamour and chutzpah by the bucketload.

I recently discovered Joan’s range of beauty products which are just as glamorous as she is.  And, as you might expect, Miss Collins has some great tips for staying fabulous at Christmas.

*The sun may be disappearing but protect your skin all year around by using a foundation with an added SPF.

*Always remember to eat a balanced diet.  Avocados are great for inside and out!

*Make your lipstick last longer whilst sipping cocktails by blotting your lips after application.

*Instantly take yourself from desk to dance-floor and feel glamorous, confident and sexy by wearing a bright and bold lipstick.

Joan Collins Paparazzi Compact


*Always remove your makeup every night with a deep cleanse and finish with a good overnight moisturiser.

*A good base is the secret to amazing makeup and will disguise ageing.

*Blending makeup with good quality brushes is vital if you want your makeup to look its best for the camera.

*For a sultry, smokey eye look for the office party, double up your eyebrow pencil by using it as an eyeliner and smudging it across the lids.

*Clutch bags are limited for space so use a lipstick as a blusher and blend it out onto the apples of the cheeks.

*Tired looking eyes?  Soak some cotton pads in a bowl of ice and place on your eyes to refreshen and reduce puffiness,

The Joan Collins Timeless Beauty range consists of three different categories: Skin Care, Cosmetics and Fragrance. The products are presented in a striking, luxurious packaging inspired by Hollywood glamour and Joan’s love of Art Deco. The formulations are based on “cutting-edge, effective, multi-active ingredients” and the range is aimed at women from 40 to 70 and above.

“Beauty is not just for the young. I believe with a little care and attention any woman can look good through her 40s, 50’s, 70’s and beyond.” – Joan

I was sent the Paparazzi Compact Duo (£34) to try.  This sleek gold compact contains pressed powder and one of the Divine Lips lipsticks together in a mirrored compact.  The powder is ‘skin responsive’ and the lipstick is hydrating.

Joan Collins Paparazzi Compact with Divine Lipstick in shade Helene

Joan’s lipsticks come in 16 shades, each named after her favourite roles – Alexis is there as you might expect!  I chose ‘Helene’ which is a lovely red which is easy to wear with a slight orangey undertone.

The Divine lipsticks retail at £18 and simply slot into the front of the compact.

The packaging is very glamorous, as you would expect and although not overly weighty, it closes with a satisfying snap and is big enough to be noticed, should you ignore etiquette rules about removing applying your makeup in public and pose with it whilst out and about!

I am looking forward to trying some more of Joan’s products – particularly the fragrance “I Am Woman” which has citrus top notes, a sensual musk and wood base with romantic floral scents at its heart. Then there’s Contour Eyebrow Pencil Duo in black and dark brown – the idea being that short strokes of both colours will create the look of fine hair. And of course there are matching nail lacquers for all of Joan’s lipstick shades.

This is make-up for grown-ups and I love it.

You can find out more at

Review: Necta Perfecta Beautifying Mask By Bee Good

When I was much younger, we used to holiday in Dolgellau, mid Wales and the gift shops used to be full of gorgeous smelling creams and lotions made from local honey.  I can still smell that wonderful warm and comforting honeyed scent now.

Fast forward a few (cough) years and I haven’t managed to find anything that captured the same home-grown, organic, good for you, honey-scented luxury cosmetic feel until now.

In fact, I discovered Bee Good’s Necta Perfecta via a review by one of my favourite bloggers, Rachel Montague-Ebbs (LadyM) and Bee Good were kind enough to send me a sample to try for myself.

Necta Perfecta is a 4-in-1 face and body enzyme mask which you can use

– as a weekly scalp treatment to promote overall hair and scalp hydration

– as a facial complexion booster to refine, hydrate and visibly improve skin suppleness whilst actively targeting the signs of ageing

– as a hand rescue remedy to moisturise and restore vitality to hands and cuticles

– as an SOS mask for sore, dry or challenged skin on areas such as elbows, knees and feet to soften and gently remove dead skin cells.

It’s made by awarding winning company Bee Good who launched their range in 2013 inspired by Simon, their expert beekeeper.  They are encouraging everyone to plant a meadow, even if it’s a few bee friendly flowers – and my package contained a bee-mix seedball containing seeeds of Birdsfoot Trefoil, Red Clover, Wild Marjoram and Echium.

There was also a little package of very cute bee chocolates which did indeed taste of honey.

Necta Perfecta contains:-

* natural alpha hydroxyl acids from 5 fruit enzymes
* wheatgerm oil, rich in Vitamin E
* a blend of British honey and beeswax with three natural waxes, jojoba, mimosa and sunflower
* British Propolis and the wonder ingredient Bisabolol which is naturally found in Chamomile

I tried the product as a facial mask and left it on for 20 minutes.  I was expecting it to smell divine (it does) and to soften my skin (certainly does), but I was surprised to find that it left my skin firmer, clearer and had removed the dry skin from the two annoying small patches that have been troubling me around my mouth.

This is one of those products which, though luxurious, is the kind of go-to you can rely on when all else fails. I am rubbish at sticking to a consistent skincare routine (I have two kids, did I mention that?) but it’s good to know that there are products you can turn to that will work.

I also love that Bee Good has a great ethos without being preachy and it’s British – the beeswax, propolis and honey used in all their products comes from British bees.

I’ll certainly be trying Necta Perfecta on my feet and hands and I may even try it on my scalp.  Lots of the ‘performance’ shampoos seem to be incredibly drying.

Plus,  I’ll be doing my bit for the bees. Bee Good actively supports our British bees with charitable donations and by a support programme which includes the education of young beekeepers, supporting apprentice bee farmers and the planting of wildflower meadows across the UK.

Find out more at

*A PR sample for received for the purpose of this post.

Review: Elizabeth Grant Hydra Cell Active Skincare

Promotional feature

As a 50+ woman, I am always on the lookout for the Holy Grail of skincare products – in other words, those that both offer effective protection against anti-ageing and are within my budget.

I was recently sent three new products from the Elizabeth Grant Skin Care Hydra-Cell Active range which are exclusive to Ideal World who recently launched the brand’s highly successful Collagen Reinforce range in the UK.

I will be giving these a thorough road test over the next 28 days and these are my initial thoughts about the products.

My 52 year old face!

Whilst the Elizabeth Grant range is new to me, the company is hugely successful in Canada and focuses on producing highly advanced luxury skincare products using the company’s exclusive anti-ageing compound called Torricelumn™.

This is a blend of vitamins, proteins, botanicals and anti-oxidants designed to penetrate into the skin to make it firmer, smoother and younger looking.

Torricelumn™ was discovered by Elizabeth Grant in 1948 when she discovered a natural substance that was used to treat war wounds. She had it specially formulated with other ingredients and began applying it to her own damaged skin. Gradually, she found there was a very noticeable transformation and within eight months, she was able to discard the dark glasses and drooping hats that she had been wearing to disguise her skin in public.

Elizabeth went on to become a professional make-up artist to the stars but this anti-ageing compound has now been added to the Hydra Cell Active range whose key ingredients are all designed to bind up to 1000 times their weight in water to give maximum hydration and a plumping effect.

The range contains products for face and body and I was sent:-

Hydra Cell Active Intensive Hydra Treatment Activating Liquid
Hydra Cell Active Day And Night Face Cream
Hydra Cell Active Day And Night Eye Cream

The first thing that strikes you is the packaging which has a very classy ‘e’ embossed on the lid.  When you open the creams, there is also a silver foil seal over a white plastic protector – three layers to protect the cream inside.

Hydra Cell Active Intensive Hydra Treatment Activating Liquid

Elizabeth Grant Hydra Cell Active Treatment 55ml is an intensely hydrating skin treatment that helps to restore the look of plumpness and volume to the skin. You apply a small amount to your face and neck before moisturizer.

The product contains a combination of Tri-Complex Hyaluronics which helps reduce the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These provide skin with a moisture barrier which helps lock in hydration and delivers moisturisation throughout the day. The liquid also contains Torricelumn™ and tamarind seed extract.

This treatment is designed to help to tighten the look of skin, leaving it feeling lifted and, over time skin is promised to feel more supple and smooth, with a decrease in the look of lines and a reduction in dryness.

The product is 2 phase and you need to add the Sodium Hyaluronate Powder which is contained in a flat lid, then discarding this and replacing this with the stopper-lid and shaking the liquid to mix.

There is no fragrance and the resulting white liquid is quite runny and drops easily.  You really do only need a couple of drops and the product absorbs immediately without leaving any sticky residue.

Hydra Cell Active Day And Night Face Cream

This cream delivers hydration, to tighten and plump the look of skin, and helps to decrease the look of lines. Also formulated with the combination of Tri-Complex Hyaluronics, it helps protects the skin from dryness, delivers moisture, and hydrates the skin throughout the day. I’m particularly interested in this one as it claims to help skin appear plumper, make cheeks look fuller and also reduce the look of hollows under the eyes.

This product also contains peptide technology to decrease the appearance of deep wrinkles, collagen to help to improve the look of facial contours and firm up the appearance of skin and Edelweiss plant stem cells to help to improve the skin’s overall complexion.

I found the face cream had a pleasant fragrance, was quite light and runny and, again, was very easily absorbed.  I did find it made my skin tingle ever so slightly but this effect was short-lived. My skin did feel rehydrated and it kept the two annoying small patches of dry skin around my mouth at bay for a few hours. Not bad for a first application.

Hydra Cell Active Day And Night Eye Cream

This eye cream is designed to reduce the look of ageing around the delicate eye area with this moisturising cream and its formulation complements the other two products.  As well as the combination of Tri-Complex Hyaluronics, it contains Torricelumn™ and marine collagen extract, and Silk Tree bark extract and darutoside from siegesbeckia orientalis help to provide the look of a lifted upper eyelid, reduce the appearance of puffiness, and minimise the look of crow’s feet and dark circles.

The eye cream has a thicker consistency and no fragrance and, again, it was easily absorbed. There was no tingling from the eye cream.

The Hydra Cell Active range is available from Ideal World.TV and all three products are priced £29.95 for the bundle but they are usually priced together at £87.97 so there is a whopping saving of 65%.

Nevertheless, these days we all want the maximum bang for our buck so I will be testing these three products over the next month and reporting back.

On the first test, things look promising. I love the formulation of the products and the packaging and despite some initial tingling, my skin quickly settled down and looked refreshed.

You can stay connected with the home of shopping TV, Ideal World, on Sky 654, Freeview 22, Virgin 747, Freesat 812 and online at

*PR samples were received for the writing of this post.

Review: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil Spray

I was recently given the opportunity to try the newest product in Elizabeth Arden’s legendary Eight Hour Cream Range – Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil.

As a busy mum,  I’m doing well if I can get into the bathroom in the morning, let alone find the time for any kind of beauty or self-care regimen.

Created in 1930 by Elizabeth Arden herself to soothe skin, Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant became an instant success. It was made from a combination of petrolatum, a skin-soothing beta-hydroxy and vitamin E.

Miss Arden even used it to soothe her famous thoroughbred horses’ legs and its name came about when a loyal client used it to treat her child’s skinned knee and “Eight Hours” later, the skin was all better.

Elizabeth Arden Miracle Oil

The new product, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour All-Over Miracle Oil Spray, is a versatile, multi-tasking formula for the face, body and hair. It is infused with Tsubaki oil, an ultra-hydrating ingredient that works to deliver long-lasting moisture.

Like the other products in the range, Elizabeth Arden Miracle Oil can be used in numerous ways. Elizabeth Arden suggests:-

– apply for all-over moisture

– use it to smooth rough skin

– apply to dry dull hair to add shine

– slather it on skin post-shave

– use it as a massage oil

– use it as a cuticle softener twice a day

It comes in a handy pump spray which is easy to throw in your bag and carry with you.

I found it to be pleasantly scented, easily absorbed and very hydrating.  It is quick to apply and doesn’t leave greasy marks on your clothes – a really useful multi-tasking product.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour All-Over Miracle Oil Spray costs £29 per bottle and is available here.

Review: Tiana Organics Fair Trade Coconut Oil & Rose Fresh Coconut TLC Anti Ageing Moisturiser

I was recently sent two products from TIANA Fair Trade Organics – the experts in organic and fair trade certified coconut products to try – their Rose Fresh Coconut TLC Anti Ageing Moisturiser and The World’s Premier Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

Tiana Extra Virgin Coconut Oil & Rose Fresh TLC Anti Ageing Moisturiser - Health -
Tiana Extra Virgin Coconut Oil & Rose Fresh Coconut TLC Anti Ageing Moisturier

As I’m sure you know, coconut oil has undergone a massive boost in public interest and awareness being championed by health and lifestyle celebrities such as Joe Wicks and Lucy Bee.

There is a myriad of suggested uses for the oil which is claimed to have a range of health benefits such as slowing ageing, helping your heart and thyroid, protecting against illnesses like Alzheimer’s, arthritis and diabetes, and even helping you to lose weight.

I have tried coconut oil for oil pulling which is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action supposedly draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health.

I found that it does make your teeth a lot whiter and leaves your teeth surprisingly clean.  It is hard, though, with two kids, to fit oil pulling into your daily routine!

Coconut oil advocates also use the oil as an all-over moisturiser and a hair conditioner and, because it is a natural product, you don’t have the worry of the usually unknown blend of additives which could penetrate your skin with manufactured skincare products.

All these beauty serums may (and it’s a very large may in most cases) reduce wrinkles and fine lines, or help with age spots but what are the additives doing to our bodies?  The skin is the largest organ of the body and some chemicals may pass directly into our bloodstream!

TIANA Fair Trade Organics is an established UK importer, manufacturer and supplier of premium quality, organic and Fair Trade, food, drink and beauty products. Their Extra Virgin Coconut Oil became the first fair trade certified, organic coconut-based product on the market. It has also won numerous awards from consumer publications.

TIANA Fair Trade Organics Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is the only coconut oil on the market which is 100% guaranteed 1st pressed from selected ripe fresh organic coconuts, unlike any other virgin coconut oils. Those other oils are produced from coconut flesh that has been dried in the sun for up to 36 hours before being pressing or centrifuged, and then expeller-pressed or produced from coconut milk by fermentation.

It is a multi-functional product and is not just a cooking oil. TIANA say it is essential for your well-being as part of a healthy balanced diet because it contains the highest content of Lauric acid, unlike other virgin oils. The same amount of Lauric acid, which has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, is only available in breast milk.

The well-known TV and Radio Presenter, Janey Lee Grace, who has carved out a niche for herself as a spokesperson for the organic and natural health world is a big advocate of TIANA Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

Tiana Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - Health -
Tiana Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Solid At Current Room Temperature

I found the oil to be excellent to cook with and, for oil pulling purposes, to have a pleasant, slightly nutty taste.  You use it in exactly the same way you would use olive or other cooking oils.

Coconut oil is solid below 25 C so depending on how warm your house is, it can be either solid or liquid. You may find you need to scoop out the oil rather than pour but that’s the only difference when it comes to cooking.

You might expect that cooking with coconut oil makes everything taste, well, coconut-y – but actually it doesn’t.

You can also add a couple of tablespoons to a smoothie or spread some on toast. You can even take a teaspoon neat or, as I did, try your hand at oil pulling.

The coconut oil costs from £8.75 for 250 ml.

The TIANA Fair Trade Organics Rose Fresh Coconut TLC Anti Ageing Moisturiser was a bit of a surprise to me (in a good way!).

It is a rich ultra-concentrated face cream made with high-quality Rosa Damascena pure essential oil, produced by distillation containing more than 300 active nutrients along with organic raw cold-pressed coconut oil and fresh organic coconut butter.

Tiana Rose Fresh TLC Anti Ageing Moisturiser - Health - Beauty -
This moisturiser looks a little different

Most moisturisers have a high content of water, sometimes up to 70%. This creates freezing in really cold weather which can accelerate the process of getting wrinkles. This one is great for use during winter and in particular wet and windy weather conditions as it contains no added water. This is absolutely unique and makes the product suitable for elderly and young people. It can be used sparingly to give a high concentration of anti-oxidants.

When I opened the moisturiser I found it to be solid and to start off the pot had to spoon a little out but, as you can see, as soon as it hit my skin it liquified and was nicely absorbed. There was no stickiness left behind but I could feel that the moisturiser was still on my skin quite a while afterwards.

Tiana Anti Ageing Moisturiser on the back of a wrist - health - beauty -
The moisturiser quickly liquefies with the warmth of the skin

The rose oil gives a delicate fresh scent to the product which smells more of rose than of coconut.

It feels quite different from your usual moisturiser but I found it to be surprisingly effective and have no doubt that I could quickly get used to it.

The moisturiser costs £17.99 for 100 ml.

I really liked both products which are safe enough for all the family to use and TIANA makes a range of coconut-based products which you can find out about at

You can also find TIANA products at your local Holland & Barrett and at independent health food stores.