Sunday, 28 January 2018

Mane 'n Tail - Hoofmaker 🐴

Healthy hooves - right down to your finger tips!

I first tried this hand and nail cream because I just loved the name - Hoofmaker.  It also turned out to be a really fab product that works.

It's been around since 1979 originally used on yep, horses to condition their hooves but it was also found to benefit human hands and nails too.

I swear by this stuff to not only soften my hands (plus, feet and elbows) but also condition and importantly strengthen my nails.

It is super easy to use.  A lovely non greasy formula that my skin and nails just drink up.

I have in the past tried other equine inspired beauty products but for hands and nails Hoofmaker is the one I come back to again and again.

If you are bothering to apply a hand cream it makes sense to get one that is good for your nails too.

The only thing I think it is lacking is an SPF, so if applying during the day remember to layer your SPF on top.

It does have a scent, but it isn't floral.  I am struggling to describe the smell, it's pleasant, but once on the hands it quickly disappears  - maybe it smells of hooves!!!

The size I currently have is a 6oz tube which I purchased in the UK from Fragrance Direct for £7.50*, it is going to last me ages as 6oz is a pretty big tube.  I have seen it in a 32oz dispensing tub, which would be a tad big for even my hand bag.

Mane 'n Tail also do a range of hair care products which I haven't tried... yet, if you would like to know more why not trot over to their website :

*December 2017


Monday, 22 January 2018

I am going to nail it with MAVALA

MAVALA Swiss nail care

Up until the age of 25 I bit my nails, and I mean really bit them, right down with some skin chewing thrown in for good measure!

One of those moments in time I remember, at work, made me stop...
I was sending a fax (it was the 90's) when someone commented on my grubby nails and said "you'll never be able to grow them as you have bitten them for too long".

I didn't flinch or react, but I did take it personally (how could I not ?)  There and then I made up my mind to stop the biting and see if she was right.

Luckily for me she was wrong as my nails grew long and strong, I should have known they would,  my Mum always had great nails.

Mavala nail care products

My nail care regime started with the purchase of just one product by MAVALA  - Scientifique which is a nail hardener with formaldehyde.  A bit of a controversial ingredient for some (one of its uses is as an embalming agent) but it worked for me then and still does now.

Over the years I have stayed pretty loyal to MAVALA with the occasional flirtation with Sally Hansen   and Cutex.

New Year New Nails

Nails grow which is useful (!) for the times that you break them.  I like to usually keep my nails long (maybe too long for some) but I am also a great believer in cutting them short at least twice a year - kind of like pruning the roses.

January is always a good time to give them a cut as it should mean by April/May they will be back to the right length and in tip top health.

To help me with this years growth I picked up a MAVALA kit which contains all the essentials you need to grow them long and strong.

These products may be new to you but I have tried them all before and already have some but at £25.40 for the kit from it seemed too good to miss.

Ongles Fins & Fragiles?

The name of my kit, which translates to "Thin & Fragile?" well that is not exactly my nails however I think any nail however tough it is, is going to flourish with a bit of TLC.
Mavala nail care

Kit contents


The nail hardener.

A bright blue watery liquid which contains formaldehyde as the second ingredient after water.
Mavala Scientifique

The kit contains a 2ml bottle, might not seem much but this stuff goes a very long way and won't go off.

You must apply it to the nail growth only - so the dead part of your nail only, please don't get carried away and apply it to your whole nail.

This is a penetrating liquid which you apply to clean, dry, polish free nails and you need to let it soak in.

Don't use it more than once a week.

Nail Shield

This is a two part system, you apply it like polish.
Mavala Nail Shield

Bottle number 1 (phase 1) is a white liquid which contains tiny nylon fibres that form a protective network over the nail to help support it.  You apply it to the whole nail.  As my nails start to grow I also apply it underneath the nail tip.

Bottle 2 is a nail shield which looks a pinky/brown colour.  This will seal in the nylon fibres and give your nail a smooth surface.

It says to apply 2 coats but I find one is enough - once done it looks very natural has a very soft sheen - not glossy almost matt.  You can apply regular polish over the top as you wish.

Comes off with nail varnish remover.


I can't tell you how many pots (or tubes) I have purchased of this wonderful cream over the years.  You can apply it to bare nails (best option) but also on top of polish.
Mavala Nailactan

The key is to apply it regularly at least once a day and apply it first round the cuticle and really massage it in.  I am sure this helps with the blood flow and therefore nail growth.

With the pot you get a little spatula that they suggest you use to scoop it out - but I just use a finger.

Nailactan comes in a little glass jar (pictured) but you can also purchase it in a tube - exactly the same product, and it works.

Hand Cream

I am not so loyal when it comes to hand cream.  I like to find one with an SPF and some sort of nail benefit too.
Mavala Hand cream

This hand cream doesn't have an SPF but it does have marine collagen🐟, which is something I blog about a lot as it's just what your skin needs to keep it looking good.

The addition of collagen in this non oily hand cream is going to be great for my rather dry and tired looking hands

Nail files

Matches style packaging, six tiny nail files 10cm long.

Rough and smooth size, perfect for the glove box of the car where they live.


BeautyBoo44 - Project Nail

Below is a picture of my right hand, nails cut short, no nails varnish, no filters!

It is not pretty, the left is just as bad.
Mavala mini nail files

I will post again in April/May with the results of the MAVALA routine... so please follow me, subscribe to emails and watch this space.

Shop the Post

Post contains some affiliated links

Monday, 15 January 2018

2018 wish list - so far!

2018 - Hope the new year is going well for you.

I must admit I really like January (!!)  I like getting a shiny new year to look forward to and plan for.

New year doesn't mean making resolutions for me though or not exactly... I prefer to call them plans... Planning takes a bit more thought and a plan sounds more achievable somehow.

Whilst buying skincare, makeup etc may not sound like the hardest plan in the world, with so many fab products out there it's not always an easy choice.

For my 'planning' I like to do some research (aka endless Googling and reading Blogs) and therefore feel I am making an informed choice when I go shopping.

Plans of course come with the caveat that I am perfectly entitled to change my mind, but for now at least here is the 2018 plan:

Protein drink

Not exactly skin care but you are pretty much what you eat and I have really shaken up my diet in the last 12 months.

Along with a 2 stone plus weight loss (which was all done via a 'diet') my energy levels have improved.  However there has been a downside too - my skin.

Whilst cutting back on the sugar and more or less cutting out refined sugar I am protecting the collagen in my skin which of course is great.  But, 2 stone lighter and being middle aged I have been left with some pretty (and it ain't) lax skin and parts of me have really lost their shape (including my Boom Boom - see below*).

I need to start building muscle to help firm me up and have for the first time in my life started to lift weights and do some proper weight training (which I am really enjoying).

Being a nearly veggie I can struggle a bit with protein, there is only so much Quorn and natural yoghurt I can take!

I think the time has come to try a protein shake, at least on the days when I am pumping iron!  Having read a lot about them I want to make sure I am going to take the right one, not full of anything nasty and as natural as it can be. do a 'Discovery Box' box for £12.99 which gives you 6 sachets all different flavours to try.

I like the sound of this company and that they talk about proper food etc.

ESHO Sculpt

I am quite happy with my lips but want to stay happy with them.

Last year I started to apply a daily SPF via a lip balm, it varies but between Ultrasun (clear and tasteless) SPF30 and Malibu (clear but oh so slightly flavoured) also SPF30

Recently I have been reading a lot about Sculpt which is from Dr Esho.  He does several lip product and the range can be found at

Sculpt is designed for natural lips 'shape and volume' ('Pause' is for lips with fillers).

In theory you can buy at but they are currently out of stock, which of course makes me want it all the more.

Bum Bum Cream

The cult  Brazilian body cream - aimed at yep your bottom by Sol de Janeiro.

I am not expecting a miracle on the firming front (or should that be behind!) but I really want to try it for the texture, smell and the added sparkles.

I can be a bit hit and miss about using body creams and lotions but if it smells good and feels good I am going to want to use it.

Always a good idea to layer products when it comes to getting a lasting fragrance.  There is also a matching Shower Gel - shower gel then body lotion seems like a good match.

*Bum Bum - pronounced Boom Boom in Brazil (see above).


I will let you know how I get on with the above once I have them in my life.

New Year new things to try and try to do.... what are your Plans for the year??

Be good to know, why not leave a comment below?

#post includes one affiliated link


Monday, 8 January 2018

Beauty Budget Balance

The cost of good skin

Keeping things for best, I think we all have a tendency to do this, I know I certainly do.

In my case it goes for a few things including keeping clothes for best and then hardly ever wearing them.  And then when I do I often find them too small (I only buy clothes when I'm at my happy weight).  Or they end up disappointing and not being as good on as I remember them to be!!

I also do this with skincare, it's in regard to the expensive items.  When I pay a lot for skincare I expect it and want it to not only perform but also to last - and a way of doing that is not to use it!  Which of course makes no sense what-so-ever!

Buying and then sporadically using a product is not the way to go, as it could:-
  • a) go off (everything has a shelf life)
  • b) the effects might be cumulative, and you can't ever really expect to see a difference after just one use
  • c) you could be missing out on a great product.  You got it,  so you wanted it? Err... so why not use it?

Spending a lot on skincare

High end, expensive, luxury skincare call it what you will.  The large cosmetic and skincare companies are often the trail blazers when it comes to skincare.  These guys have a lot (and make a lot) of money to invest in research into the latest 'miracle' ingredient.

If you want to get the latest skincare tech on your face then high end is where you will more than likely find yourself - but my advice,  only spend what you can actually afford to use.

Looking for a bargain

Previously I had tried a Vitamin C serum from a very high end company and I paid a £60+ price tag.  To cut a long story short it was just too strong for me, my skin could not tolerate it, even when I cut it back to once a week.

Fortunately for me I purchased it direct from a Doctor led clinic who agreed to buy it back from me. 

But... I still wanted to try a Vitamin C serum as it helps with my one true skin love - collagen.  Benefits of Vitamin C to the skin are:
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Evens skin tone
  • Prevents and repairs sun damage
  • Increasing collagen and elastin production
  • Reduces breaks outs and help spots
What I didn't want to do though was spend a lot of money on a product that I might again have a bad reaction to.

Fortunately I found Balance Active Formula  - who do a Vitamin C serum for a very low price.

I then started looking at all the other Balance products and ending up buying the above all for less than £15!

At these prices I have no qualms about using the products every day.

Vitamin C Power Serum

The only product I originally intended to buy!
I purchased this online from and the cost was £4.99, I paid for standard delivery but it came the next day so super happy with that.

I am using this just at night, the instructions say day and night but I am sticking to just bedtime.  The bottle itself is coloured which is good as I understand that Vitamin C has to be kept 'stable' and could oxidise (go off) if exposed to the light.

I like the medical feel of the dropper, however the bottle is plastic not glass.

The serum is an orangey colour, not runny, plus it smells nice (if you like orange).

I am really enjoying using this product, after about 6 weeks of use I have half a bottle left, so it is very good value.  My skin is behaving well and looking good.

If you are interested in adding Vitamin C to your routine but are unsure where to start I would recommend this one as at £4.99 you can't really go wrong (its also an award winner πŸ†).

So glad I found it.

Hyaluronic Acid - Serum and Moisturiser

I purchased the serum first and then soon followed with the moisturiser.

There are plenty of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) serums about, but this is by far the cheapest I have ever found -  £3.99 from Fragrance Direct.

HA is a great addition to skincare as it locks the moisture into your skin and therefore keeps your skin looking hydrated and smooth.

The serum I have, Hyaluronic Youth Serum has one active ingredient which is 5% Hyasol PF  - this is the Hyaluronic Acid.

After doing some research it looks like Balance have tinkered with the ingredients for their HA serum.  The latest version is now called Hyaluronic 554 Youth Serum and has two active ingredients (HylasomeE® EG10 and SYN®-AKE).

Back to the serum I have... This serum is a great texture (not runny) clear and fragrance free.  Because it is a bargain price I have been applying it not only to my face and neck but also the back of my hands - morning and evening.

The moisturiser cost me £2.50 - yes really that little.  I really like it, it is very lightweight more of a lotion than a cream.  Not thick so quickly absorbed and a great base for make up.

I use the serum first and then follow up with the moisturiser - I am convinced my foundation is lasting better (no SPF in the moisturiser so I top off with a decent SPF).

Snake Venom Eye cream

This was purchased at Home Bargains.  I am a sucker for eye cream as my dark shadows are probably (along with sagging) my major skin concern.

They are definitely age related as I didn't suffer at all (or at least I didn't notice them) until I got into my 40s :(

This is the cheapest product I purchased at £1.99 so about the same as a large coffee!

It has two active ingredients that I have not heard of before - SYN®-AKE and EyePro™3X  The 'snake' one I hope doesn't contain any actual snake!  (Balance also do a Dragons Blood range which I doubt very much harmed any dragons πŸ‰)

This is a nice lightweight product which is easily absorbed and not greasy.
Claims are that it 'reduces under eye circles and bags'.   Plus the EyePro 3X mentions collagen stimulation and collagen :)

Results?  I am not sure that any eye cream will ever make me happy about my dark circles - even the best concealer in the world doesn't disguise them...

However what I can say is that this eye cream is very hydrating which is great.
It means my concealer is getting a good base and not drying (into the fine lines) and flaking.  Whatever is does and doesn't do at £1.99 is has to be worth a try?

Beauty does not always have to cost £££

So there you have it, four great products that don't cost fortune.  I haven't quite bought into the whole Balance range... yet.

There are other products in the range Dragons Blood and Wrinkle Freeze.  If you want to find out more here is the link to the website -


I have just discovered and am enjoying using a new brand - if you know of a great skincare brand please let me know so I can check them out.

Thanks xx

© All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig