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Category: Beauty

KMS California – Free Shape Quick Blow Dry Review

I’ll be honest, I was a bit sceptical when my hairdresser (the wonderful Harley at Hectik Hair in Bromley) started telling me about KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry. She’d just liberally sprayed it all over my hair before a blow dry and apparently, it was going to help my hair dry more quickly.

Erm, what? Like how?

That was my initial mental reaction. But she continued to sing its praises as she blow dried and it really did feel quicker than usual – that, plus the fact that I was feeling a bit flush, meant I took the plunge. I still have no idea how it works, but it does.

KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry

The description says that Quick Blow Dry: “Speeds up drying time up to 50%. Reduces friction while conditioning lightly. Provides heat protection.”

I can honestly say that it does speed up drying time significantly. I can’t tell you if it’s by 50% but it’s quite a lot, that’s for sure. I’ve accidentally found myself using this almost every day – because why wouldn’t you want to shave off a few extra precious minutes in the morning?!

It’s really easy to use – you shake to combine the two liquids and then spray all over your towel-dried hair and blow dry as normal.

My hair is usually pretty soft but there’s a noticeable extra sheen when I use this which I love. The formula is super lightweight – so much so that you can’t even feel that you’ve sprayed it. For comparison, I also have an Aussie leave-in conditioner which is meant to be lightweight but you can tell it’s there whereas with this, there’s been a couple of occasions in my pre-coffee haze where I’ve actually forgotten that I’ve sprayed it already until I’ve seen the liquid is cloudy from already being mixed…!

I rarely style my hair with anything other than a hairdryer so I don’t really know whether this provides adequate heat protection, though I should point out that it was all my hairdresser used – and I trust she knows what she’s doing!

I’ve had the first bottle for at almost 3 months and it’s not quite finished yet, but I’ve actually already repurchased – my salon often has 2-for-1 deals so we took advantage when my husband needed some his hair wax. You can definitely get it cheaper online though, from sites such as

If you’ve ever tried this product, or can recommend something similar, let me know in the comments below.

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Poundland – A Nail Varnish Goldmine

The other week I popped into Poundland for some cleaning products and while wandering aimlessly through the beauty aisle, I accidentally stumbled on a nail polish goldmine.

Now, I’ve read many a blog where girls have found lots of bargains in these  stores but never once have I found anything! This time, I found these bad boys:

Poundland Nail Varnish(L-R) Revlon 92 Grey Suede; Revlon 410 Dreamer; Sally Hansen 800 Lick-O-Rich; Revlon Blue Lagoon 705

They had some other shades too, including some lovely yellows that would be great for spring, but unfortunately don’t suit my skin tone when I don’t have a tan. Ah well – I was happy with my finds. One pound each! Total bargain. Here’s some close ups.

Revlon Grey Suede

Revlon Dreamer

Sally Hansen Lick O Rich

Revlon Blue Lagoon

I’ve yet to try all the shades but to give you an idea, Dreamer is a deep sky blue colour, while Blue Lagoon is a bit lighter, slightly more turquoise, and has a subtle shimmer. Grey Suede also has a light shimmer which I tried to show above, and looks like it could be a perfect nude! You can still pick up Grey Suede and Dreamer on for £6.49. Sally Hansen’s Lick-O-Rich sounds intriguing as it’s part of the Sugar Coat range… a textured finish, in black. I’ll definitely review that one soon!

Here’s a couple of quick swatches of Blue Lagoon. It’s really hard to capture the shimmer in the photo but in real life it’s lovely when it catches the light. The formula is much lighter and more sheer than I was expecting though, so it took 2-3 coats to get it opaque.

Blu Lagoon Swatch


Buoyed from my finds, I went into the 99p Store which is just around the corner, however their beauty range was very small compared to Poundland. I’ll definitely be popping in to the latter a bit more often!

Have you found any beauty bargains in the pound shops recently?


See my other Beauty posts here.

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Beauty Review: L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara

Recently I discovered Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel and fell in love – but I only use it for big nights out and special occasions, as at £24 a pop it’s not ideal for day-to-day use, however much I love it! So, I’ve been on the lookout for a new budget option.

I popped into the shops a few weeks ago and noticed that the new L’Oreal Miss Manga mascara was on offer at an intro price of £5.99 so thought I’d give it a go! (Since back up to £8.99 at

Miss Manga mascara

If you know anything about manga or have seen the adverts for this product, you’ll know that it’s all about the wide-eyed look. I was expecting brilliant separation and that’s exactly what I got! (excuse the dodgy iPhone snaps!)

Before using Miss Manga mascara
After using Miss Manga mascara

The wand is bendy, just below the brush – you can see the dent in the picture below. This takes some serious getting used to, but if you’re careful and give yourself a little extra time on those first few gos, you’ll get used to it in no time. The conical brush allows you to pick out the shorter lower lashes and those pesky corner lashes with ease. It’s a really light formula, if a little wet straight out of the tube (again, taking some getting used to) but I’ve sometimes forgot I’m even wearing it. It has serious staying power and still looks fine with no smudging after a long day in the office. I have long lashes, so I don’t necessarily need to curl, but this still gives a very natural, subtle-looking curl effect.

Miss Manga mascara

My one gripe… the descriptions claim it’s volumising, but to be honest I wouldn’t necessarily agree; even with a couple of layers it didn’t really add much depth compared to other “volumising” mascaras (including the Chanel.) I’ll continue to use Chanel for evenings as I am partial to a smokey eye and so need all the volume I can get! For a simple daytime look though, L’Oreal Miss Manga fits the bill perfectly.

If you’ve tried Miss Manga, what were your thoughts? or if you haven’t, are you tempted?


See my other Beauty posts here.

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