I've never been someone who hits the shops (online or offline) and spends a great big whack of money in one store. I've always preferred to buy little things from varied places, I'm too much of a bargain hunter to ever buy anything at full price on a whim and typically I have numerous 'wishlists' running at one time so when I have a bit of splurge money I tend to know exactly what I want.
Hubsters tried getting me to become a little bit more splurgey but nope, I can't shake the need to buy things I will use from start to finish.
Just My Look contacted me to see if I wanted to review any of their products, straight away I knew I'd be choosing a product for my scalp and my nails. I've had lots of problems over the years with hair loss and hair shedding and I quickly realised that I needed to treat the scalp rather than the hair strands. I hadn't decided what product I would be using because I tend to have dry skin (what dermatologists say is dehydrated rather than dry) as well as crazy sebaceous glands that make my skin and scalp both dehydrated - and - oily. It's really a no-win situation because most products either add moisture or reduce oil.
My product choices were...
Indola Innova Specialist Dandruff Shampoo | A specialist dandruff shampoo that's supposed to be gentle on the scalp while helping to clear away any built up skin that would result in dandruff flakes. This shampoo contains zinc which helps the skin to heal and regenerate, you'll also find zinc in products such as Sudocrem for the same reason - because it heals.
I used this continually for over a month and it seemed to be perfect. But, because I wash my hair every day it dried out the skin on my face while working miracles for my hair. That being said it wasn't enough for me to stop using it because it did settle down the hair shed and my hair felt so soft and flake free.
OPI Mariah Carey 18k Top Coat | This is a £30 nail polish topper guys, but this was in the sale at only £9.95, of course I was going to snap up one of these, I remember when this topper was just about to launch and I was coveting it so hard but at the time I couldn't justify spending £30 on a polish topper. I don't mind spending less than £10 however on one, especially when it's made with real white and yellow golds and silver leaf flakes.
OPI Lights of Emerald City Top Coat | This is supposed to cost around the £12 mark full price, but this is now in the sale for only £4.95. It's a gorgeous all year top coat that you can wear alone or over your polish. What I liked about this one is that the squares are opalescent so change colour depending on what polish you wear or what type of light hits your nails. There are fairy colours, oranges, blues, greens, golds and whites in this one bottle.
I tend to opt for toppers rather than full coats as my nails are dry and I can't handle the constant applying and reapplying of coats just to maintain a glossy finish. Toppers and glitters tend to last longer so there's less need for using nail polish remover all the time. The OPI Mariah Carey 18k Top Coat was tested out both on my natural nail and I also then tested it over the same red polish you see in the photo but, I forgot to photograph that due to us moving house - doh!
On first application the top coat was found to go on easy, it dries super quick and there's a pretty even coating of flakes. What you see in the picture was one quick swatch, if you applied two swatches you would have p-l-e-n-t-y of flakes on show.
Onto the negatives....
When I applied the 18k top coat to my natural nails (as above) two days later the clear base turned yellow. I looked like a forty-a-day smoker. The next day it literally peeled off my nails while I was at work. This is what lead me to apply it over a coloured polish, to see if the same thing would happen. It didn't. The top coat remained put for over five days and didn't discolour the polish either. I would advise either wearing this for one day on the natural nail or on top of a coloured polish.
The OPI Lights of Emerald City Top Coat was chosen for the same reason as the 18K top coat, I wanted one that I could wear all year round, that I could wear on my natural nail and that wouldn't look crap if it chipped. This was certainly it. What surprised me even more is that when I applied it over different colours the actual square pieces seemingly changed colour.
This is opalescent in the bottle but a dark polish changed this to look more golden, a light base polish made this more fairy like. Similarly daylight resulted in the fairy tones and inside the house or later in the evening I was left with more oranges and golden tones. It's really quite beautiful.
Overall I'm really chuffed with my product choices. Yes the yellowing of the clear coat was disappointing but at least it resolved with a polish base coat. I can't recommend the Lights of Emerald City enough and the Innova was superb, if you have scalp issues I would absolutely recommend you try that shampoo before splurging on costly products that don't work.
* Products were given for review - I chose these and all words are my own *