Win! xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Straightener

There is a bit of a fallacy about hair straighteners that they are only useful for people who have curly, or at least wavy hair. But that is simply not the case.Hair Straighteners and flat irons are brilliant for all sorts of shoulder length and long hair types and can add so much in terms of styling, shine and removing static to give us a lovely looking, glossy mane.

The xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Straightener is an affordable (less than £30) Professional Flat Iron with Tourmaline Ceramic Plates. It uses infrared heat technology which causes less damage to your hair – very important if you straighten your hair on a regular basis, and takes just 90 seconds to heat up, which again is important if you are short on time, or want to straighten your hair before you leave for work in the mornings.

The xtava Pr-Satin straightener is very easy to use, the plates are not too heavy which can make your arm ache to use them, and the swivel cord means you are not trying to stay in one position to straighten your locks, you can twist and turn as you need. I love the factIthat the plates are wide, it does mean I can straighten a lot more hair in one go, making these fast and efficient to use.

Another great selling point about these tongs are that they come in their own travel bag that is a foiled, zipped pocket. This makes them ideal for putting in your suitcase for some time away. The foiled pocket means that you don’t have to wait until they have totally cooled until you put them away, and of course gives you a space saving storage option.

I have straight hair, but use straighteners to tame the static. flyaway issues that my hair suffers with, particularly just after washing. I find that the xtava straigheners quickly leave my hair looking shiny and sleek, meaning I am set to go without needing a trip to a salon.

These would make a great Christmas gift and are currently on sale at Amazon for £29.99, but you can win your own set by entering the competition below.



Win the xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Straightener #3

Have You Checked Out Chemist4U?

When it comes to treating myself, I don’t seem to move too far away from beauty and cosmetics treats. A new lipstick in yet another shade of red, a new perfume, or a refill of an old favourite, or a sharp and sexy black eye liner, all these are treats that are guaranteed to put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. As a consequence, finding new places to get those treats is always exciting.

Chemists have always been a place that I could spend hours in – Boots, Superdrug and Savers are always on my list of must visit places on shopping day.But now I am becoming similarly obsessed with online chemists, and in particular, Chemist4U. It has a brilliant range of beauty and cosmetics products, and the prices are so, so good, making real savings from the High Street.

Here are a few reasons why I love Chemist4U.

Elizabeth Arden, Eizabeth Arden, Elizabeth Arden

I have been a huge fan of Elizabeth Arden products since I got married in 2005 and discovered the life saver that is Eight Hour Cream, Chemist4U stocks a huge range of Elizabeth Arden products that range from perfume to skincare, and also cosmetics. I discovered a great range of coloured lip protectant sticks that offer colour and protection for your lips.

The Cost

Prices are very good and competitive at Chemist4U. The brand even has a 99p section and basket fillers which easily compete with the High Street. My bargain was Elizabeth Arden Alcohol Free Toner which cost just £2.99 for a 200ml bottle. Those lip protectant sticks were less than £10.

Men are sorted too.

My husband loves his beard products and Chemist4U has a great, and affordable range including a beard wash and care set from BRISTLR that has an RRP of £29.99 but is currently selling for £3.99. This is a great Christmas stocking idea for the hubby, at this price you can afford to buy a couple.

Christmas Gift Ideas

Yes, I am mentioning the ‘C’ word, because Chemist4U have lots of great Christmas gift ideas, from stocking fillers to special gifts of fragrance, I particularly love the variations on Green Tea fragrance that I have not seen on the High Street, the lavender scent in particular is fresh and pretty.

Luscious Locks: How to Protect Your Hair When You Straighten It Every Day

Does your go-to hairdo require straightening every day? A lot of women (and men, too) prefer hairstyles that entail a bit of maintenance. If you love to wear a hairstyle that you flat-iron daily, be sure you don’t wreck your tresses in the process. Read on to learn how to protect your hair from heat damage and chemical harm.

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Thank heredity for your hair

The manner in which a strand of hair behaves is based on a number of factors. One of the biggest influences is genetic. If the genes you inherit from your parents point to waves and curl, that’s likely the sort of hair you will have.

According to Popular Science magazine, DNA explains roughly 90 percent of curly hair. The other ten percent involves the shape of the follicle from which a living hair emerges. If the follicle is symmetrical, the hair that comes from it tends to be round and straight. If the follicle is asymmetrical, the hair that emerges will be oval shaped and therefore curly. Distribution of keratin and other proteins also contributes to the way an individual hair is shaped. Frizz is a day-by-day occurrence and may be influenced by humidity, hormones, medications, and other temporary conditions.


You’re not stuck with the hair you were born with

The science of hair genetics would be fine and dandy, if everyone was content to walk around all the time, every day, all week, forever, with the shape of hair that they were born with. The thing is, people like to switch things up, follow fashion trends, and generally have fun with their hair, clothes, and overall appearance. For this reason, implements, tools, and hair products have been devised that can take a lady’s locks from bone-straight to wildly curly, and vice versa.

If you were born with naturally curly hair and want to wear it straight for the day or night, expect to invest a bit of time. Start by washing your hair and giving it a good conditioning to prep your hair for the assault of heat straightening, advise beauty pros at Livestrong magazine. Don’t use a blow dryer on hair, but do use your fingertips to work a few dabs of heat protective product throughout damp locks to the ends. Some women prefer a spray-on heat protector; some like a gel or cream. It really doesn’t matter, just as long as you shield your tresses from the heat you’ll use to straighten your hair.

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Amazing argan oil

If you choose to use a professional flat iron, argan oil could be your hair’s best friend. Obtained from a nut that’s native to Morocco, argan oil contributes to strength, moisture, and luster to hair, especially hair that is subjected to the rigors of heat straightening or curling. Safe enough to eat, culinary grade argan oil has been enjoyed as a breakfast food in northern Africa for eons. Today, women around the globe are catching on to the beauty benefits of hair and skin care products fortified with natural Moroccan argan oil. Where argan trees are indigenous, they provide shelter, food, medicine, and erosion protection. Ecologically sound and sustainable, argan oil does no harm to the tree nor to the land where nuts are grown and harvested for beauty and hair care oil.

Argan oil provides beneficial amounts of numerous essential fatty acids, including oleic acid, linoleic, and palmitic fatty acid. Argan oil also offers a significant amount of vitamin E and other hair- and skin-friendly nutrients. If you’re like many folks who try argan enriched hair care products, you may find that a regimen comprising shampoo, conditioner, leave-in treatment, and smoothing mask makes your hair look and feel its best, no matter how many times you straighten or curl. Be sure to use an argan oil enriched thermal protection spray before you fire up your flat iron, as well.

If you want your curly hair to behave and stay straight when you iron it, be sure not to shampoo too often or too much. Curly hair is naturally dry, say beauty editors at Bustle. Shampoo no more than thrice a week, and when you do, focus the foam at the roots.

Argan oil is a good hair conditioner, but you don’t want your hair to ‘get used to’ one specific product. For this reason, be sure to alternate argan with other soothing hair care oils, including coconut, avocado, shea nut butter, and palm oil.


Jay Bell is a hair stylist who loves to gossip and discuss hair and beauty secrets with clients. He is now sharing his tip tips around the internet with his hair and beauty articles. Aside from work, Jay lives with his partner by the ocean and dotes on his 2 small dogs.