Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quick Pink Lip Demo From Grazia Daily!

You can check out more beauty videos at Grazia Daily.

Ever since I regained my love for lipstick (and more importantly, bright lipstick), I've been watching tutorials on how best to apply it; and I know it's always best to use a brush, but that way kind of always seemed a bit long-winded and impractical when on the go, but after seeing this video, I'm actually keen to give it another go as she made it seem so effortless, don't you think? I'll let you know how I get on! x

Hair Colouring - Salon or DIY? Plus My New Colour!

Colouring your hair is, to many, a regular occurrence... be it by doing it yourself, or by having it done at a salon. I had my hair coloured yesterday at the the Wella Studio in Manchester, where I’ve actually been going to since I was about 16 or 17!

Whilst having my hair coloured, I had a conversation with the colour technician about home colouring and its advantages/disadvantages, and apart from the cost difference and possibly the time taken to do it (if you use a 10 minute developing colour), I actually couldn’t think of any other advantages... and it got me wondering why some people choose to home colour, and some don’t.

I have done both home and salon colour on a regular basis, but I much, MUCH prefer a salon service and this is my main way of having my hair coloured. I just find it to be so much easier, I am completely cack-handed when it comes to well, anything really, and the risk of me ruining something in the house, or an item of clothing is always very high, since it’s such a messy job. I also hate the rinsing part of the task, it’s so tedious and that just means that I usually give up just before I’m actually supposed to!

Colour developing... I look hideous, but at least it's all neatly done, ha!

Then there was always the risk that I hadn’t applied the colour evenly, or that the colour will ‘take’ differently in different areas of my hair, or that it could react with previous colours (even if from the same brand etc)... there’s just too many factors that could go wrong for my liking!

I know that money is a huge factor with anything these days, unless you are super rich and hair colouring can be very costly in salons, but there are ways to save on this if you know where to look.
My new colour - slightly less pink than before!

Firstly, there are specialist training salons such as the Wella Studio where I go, I pay just £17.50 to have my hair coloured there (it was £15 for many years and has only just increased, but is still very affordable)!

The reason for the cheap price is because they really only charge to cover the cost of products used as they get their real money from running advanced training courses for already qualified hairdressers (usually very experienced ones) which might be showing new cutting/colouring techniques, new products or further, more specialised qualifications such as the MCA/MCS (Master Colour Award/Specialist) diplomas, which are basically like degrees in hair colouring.

It can take a little longer to have your hair coloured here sometimes, if being done by a student, but a lot of the time I find myself being invited to have my hair coloured by a technician or a special guest (somebody who has notable experience/awards etc and usually very well known in the hairdressing industry) and these are usually as a demo to students, sometimes, these has even included having my make-up done as a bonus too!

It’s also not a traditional booking system, they book you in when they have courses booked in (although it’s not impossible to get a regular-ish appointment, I should add)... or you may get a call asking if you can make it in at short notice if they’re caught short etc.

I love going here, I have never had a bad hair colour done and in all the years I’ve been going, I’ve only ever been unhappy with a cut I’ve had twice, just because the person doing it hadn’t taken onboard what I’d asked for as much as I hoped (which can happen anywhere)! I believe there’s another Wella Studio in London, but I think L’Oreal and other brands *may* do similar – it’s just a case of enquiring to see who does, or doesn’t in an area close to you!

If you’re not close to one of these training institutes then there’s always the option of going to your local college (obviously only ones that do hair/beauty courses) as they are usually crying out for real customers for the students to work on. Don’t be too worried about going to one of these, as they’re all supervised by fully qualified tutors, and if you’re ever not happy about the colour, they’ll always be able to rectify it for you as much as any salon would. If you’re still not 100% sure, you can ask for advanced students, or Level 3 as these are basically final year students that have the most knowledge about colouring and techniques.

I’ve also had my hair done in this manner, when I’ve not been able to get into Manchester for whatever reason and have never come away unhappy! Some colleges also do facials, massaging, manicures etc which is also worth looking into – I’ve had many (fabulous) dermalogica facials at my local college! It is cheap and cheerful, you’re generally not surrounded by amazing spa features but your skin/hair will still get the treatment that it is supposed to, and to me that is what matters most.

My top tips for if you are going to do your own colour would be to:

  1. Make sure the colour you buy is suitable for your hair – both in terms of colour and products already on it, but also that your target colour will be what you’re looking for. Don’t just expect that it will look the same colour as it will on the front of the packet. Hairdressers sometimes have to use 2 or 3 different variations of the same shade to get an even colour from root to tip due to varying hair shades from previous colours, and different hair porosity from root to tip etc! Also remember that not all hair colours are created equally – some will be good, some not so much – research online if you don’t already have a brand that you trust!
  2. Try not to buy permanent colour unless you never plan on having a different colour, as constantly applying permanent colour of a certain colour (ie dark brown) will build up on your hair, and could stop your hair accepting a new colour (like mine did last Christmas after going through a phase of home colouring in dark brown, and then wanting to change to red tones)... and even more so if you’re wanting to go lighter (I would only recommend using a salon service for this kind of colour correction)!
  3. Dedicate 1 towel and one top/outfit for the job (preferably old ones), and only use those when colouring your hair so that you don’t ruin too many other things in the process.
  4. Finally, apply the colour in the bathroom (even in the bath) as there are more surfaces there that won’t be ruined straight away if there are any mishaps... but do wipe up any solution that splatters, spills or drips on both household items/furniture and also on your skin immediately, as you really don’t want to be ruining things or rocking your hair colour all the way down your face/neck, or both!

I hope you’ve found this helpful, sorry it went on a bit longer than I expected it would... if you’re still reading now, thank you (and well done)! Also, sorry for all the photographs of me in the salon, I had to break it up with something - I was only intending on using two of the pictures, until I saw the length of the post!

Which do you prefer/do... salon, or DIY? x

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Models Own - Beetlejuice Polish Collection!

It's got to be said, I am LOVING the look of this upcoming collection from Models Own, especially the centre 3. Actually, they remind me very slightly of the Ozotic Pro Multi-Chromatic Polishes that I have been majorly lusting over for a long time now (shown below)!

Picture courtesy of Vampy Varnish (who also shows swatches of the polish via the link)!

These should be available in November, and whilst I'm not one for wishing my life away, I really want it to hurry up as I don't think I can wait that long, ha! What do you think?

Wordless Wednesday - Blake Lively!

Beautiful sleek hair, and fresh, natural make-up!

Cute Pooch - I want!
Very natural but still stunning.

With Gossip Girl surely coming back to our screens in the very near future, and with my previous Leighton Meester post, I thought it only right that I should also feature the equally beautiful Blake Lively. She's the kind of girl who would probably look as good in a bin bag as she does in couture, yet still manages to keep the natural, fresh faced girl next door appeal all at the same time. 

Her hair is to die for, so long and luscious and she seems to suit any (and every) style that she decides to rock at the time (although I have to say, whilst I liked her with red hair, I do prefer her blonde) - I'm definitely a bit jealous of her hair (and figure, skin, wardrobe, lifestyle etc etc)! ;-)

What do you think girls (and boys?)... do we likey the lively? x

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Beauty Awards 2011!

This is just a quick post firstly to say thank you to anybody who nominated me for the Cosmo Blog Awards, unfortunately I didn’t get shortlisted (which was no surprise as there as soooo many fabulous blogs for them to choose from) but I do appreciate all of you who read my blog, and those who also took the time to nominate me.

This brings me onto my other reason for posting, as I got an email telling me that the Beauty Awards are now live, and there is a ‘Best Beauty Blog’ section that will basically work much like the Cosmo awards did, in that you nominate your favourite blog in that section in the hope that they may be shortlisted.

So, if any of you lovely readers of mine would like to take a couple of minutes to nominate me, I would be VERY grateful and love you forever. If all that isn't heartwarming enough, you could also win some brilliant prizes for taking part in the voting.

Thanks in advance to those that do! x

Voting Link! 

MAC Blue Flame - Swatch & Mini Review!

I’m still currently working on my computer errors (backing up now ready for a reformat) so my ability to photograph, edit and upload new products is very limited (also known as nonexistent) at the moment. However, whilst backing up, I came across a couple of photographs for a MAC eyeshadow that I have yet to post about, I believe that it’s from the Cool Heat collection from about 2008 ish?! I bought it from The Cosmetics Company Store at Bicester Village a while back but haven’t really thought about posting about it until I found the 2 photographs whilst rooting through my files.

Anyway, it’s a really nice shade of blue and actually, I think it could be the one that got me wearing more blue shades again, as I don’t think I had worn them for many years after wearing them (badly) in my teens, ha! It can be a bit patchy when used dry, I find that using a bit of saline/Fix+ on a brush (just a very small amount) and using it ‘wet’ (actually it’s only just damp, so don’t go soaking your brushes) gives a much better finish both in terms of evenness and also pigmentation too!

The photographs were taken on my old camera, and the flash reflecting against the sheen of the shadow has washed the colour out a bit, it’s actually a bit darker on the skin do apologies for that – and apologies for the lack of new products, I think I might just have sussed a way to work around the issue without reformatting straight away, it’s only a theory at the moment, whilst I’ve been writing this post, actually but hopefully I’ll have some new product posts asap.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Celeb Sunday - Rachel Bilson!

I adored The OC, it was full of gorgeous people and totally satisfied my need for (kind of) trashy TV which is (still) a guilty pleasure of mine! There was no denying 'Summer's' beauty back then, and today, Rachel Bilson is still looking bloody good, don't ya think? Her hair is always beautiful, her face flawless, make-up natural and she has some fabulous dresses to boot!

I think she looks amazing with her dip-dyed/ombre hair... she even looks great in rollers and a dressing gown (bitch, haha)!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beauty Blog Link Love!

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed revels in the luxury of lash extensions - come admire her fluttery lashes and find out what they have in common with Gremlins!

Christina Aguilera was the inspiration for the celebrity makeup challenge over at SocialiteDreams. Check out the recreated makeup looks and participate on the next celeb!

Addicted to Beauty gets fresh and fruity with her Strawberry Nail Art Tutorial.

Madame B Fatale finally continues on with her Decades Past series with a 70's inspired makeup look.

From Benefit to Dior, theNotice has all of your new-product-needs sorted. Check out this week's recent launches, products, and deals!

Amy Antoinette reviews Topshop's new Smoke & Mirrors collection.

Midnight Violets shares some bargain brushes that have become a part of her everyday routine!

Kajal Couture shows you a cheap and easy storage solution for makeup and skincare that you use on a daily basis.

Dollar store beauty - trash or treasure? Check out Confessions of a Glitterholic and you be the judge!

Is there a dupe for the new minty-blue shade from Color Club? Find out in polish insomniac's Color Club New Bohemian comparisons and dupe search!

Still looking for the perfect red lipstick? Anita thinks she's found hers in Guerlain's Garconne Rouge G!

Lydia from Perfectly Imperfect shares her daily beauty plan of attack and favourite products.


Head over to Adorable On Your Vanity for a chance to win NINE amazing L'Oreal Paris Color Infallibe Eyeshadows.

Phyrra is giving away the entire Madre Labs bath and body product line from iHerb!

Enter to win a chance to win a NEW Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pink Raspberry from the "Blushes You Can't Have" series on the Pink Sith Blog. Giveaway ends September 30th!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Love/Hate Relationship with Seche Vite!

First of all, sorry for the stock photo of the Seche Vite, it appears that my computer is a bit poorly as it’s now allowing me to do *anything* with my photographs, or photoshop – so whilst I am trying to fix it, I will do my best with what I’ve got already ready to go, picture wise. I'll change it once I can get my computer sorted.

I took my time getting around to trying out Seche Vite as a lot of the time, I don’t use a topcoat due to wanting to take photographs of the product as it is, without the use of topcoats for realistic swatches on here; so I’ve had a bottle sat there for quite a while, just waiting for me to make use of it.

Anyway, I finally put it to the test when getting ready for V Festival last month due to running late and generally being totally disorganised for it. I needed my polish to be dry very quickly so that I could get the rest of my stuff together and catch my train on time, so in stepped the Seche.

At first, when I used it, I could not have been happier, it dried my polish and made my nails super glossy to boot – what was not to love?

It was the next day when my love for it lessened; I first noticed that my polish had shrunk, like a woolly jumper fresh out of a very hot wash from both the top and bottom. I then noticed a weird finish to the previously glossy finish... kind of dull, but patchy and well... just weird, really. I could handle that, it wasn’t hugely noticeable at that point. However, later that day a whole nail of polish peeled off my nail, clean off – like I’d never even had polish on that nail.
Shrinkage, weird matte/patchy finish!

The polish I was wearing was a Nails Inc one, not that old and one that I had worn once previously with absolutely no issues at all! My nails had never been prone to this happening previously either, with any polish so it can’t have been them.

I had to put up with my nails like that for the rest of the festival, since I hadn’t taken polish with me as I never normally need it so soon after painting my nails (unless I choose to take it off in favour of a new colour) – bad times!

Since getting back from V Festival, I tried it with a different polish to try to make sure it wasn’t the type of polish, being in a field or just an unlucky coincidence that this had happened and again, I got the shrinking and peeling. I’m actually gutted about this, as I thought I’d found the answer to my running late/getting ready problems... I guess if I don’t mind the polish only lasting one night, I could still use it, but I’d like to wear polish for a couple of days at a time, ideally.

Has anybody else had this kind of issue with Seche Vite or have I just been unlucky with it? Is there any way at all of getting around it? I've read something about it being to do with 3 free polishes, could it be that causing all these problems? x

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Free Manicure with Errrm... Certain Ladies Products!

Ok, this might not be the most glamorous post I've ever done, but it is one that I thought you lovely ladies would be interested in all the same.

Basically, if you buy specially marked packs of Always and/or Tampax Pearl, you'll be entitled to a free manicure at 'one of hundreds of beauty salons across the UK' - visit here or here to find salons close to you, but do this before you go out and buy these packs especially for the offer, just in case there isn't a salon close enough to you! You also need to be able to print off a voucher, but you can buy multiple packs for extra manicures!

For more information about the offer, you can use this link or the aforementioned links above!

Closing date for the promotion is 31st March 2012 (specially marked packs will be available in store until Decembre 31st 2011), so there's plenty of time to take advantage!

Paul & Joe Christmas Collection 2011!

I can't believe I am saying this, but Christmas is coming(!) and I've already started doing my Christmas shopping and my own wish list (trying to be organised, for once); so I think now is a great time to tell you about the gorgeous looking Paul & Joe Christmas Collection so you can add your favourite pieces onto your Christmas wish list to Santa! The collection includes:

Ornamental Self Select Eye Colour's, £12 each - These come in pretty little boxes with different designs and a ribbon attached, so they can also double up as Christmas Decorations once you've got your shadow out. I love this idea, the hippy in me likes less waste and this is such a great way of doing it.

 Joy To The World
 Silent Night
 Midnight Clear
 Deck The Hall

Nail Colours, £10.50 each - Paul & Joe polish bottles are beautiful, but it's what's inside that counts and these polishes do not disappoint. They're colourful and sparkly amd they're perfect for Christmas (although frankly, I think that you could easily get away with wearing them in the summer too).
 Rockin' Around
 Merrily on High
 O, Holy Night
Home for Christmas

Ornamental Makeup Collection, £30 - A gorgeous case that contains one lip and one eye colour!
L-R - 001 Silver Belles (Metallic Eye Gloss 01 and Lip Lacquer 01) & 002 Noel (Metallic Eye Gloss 02 and Lip Lacquer 02

Body Fragrance Collection, £34 - Body cream, a solid fragrance and a hand cream are included in this set and there are 2 options available, 003 Toyland (sweet and sensual) and 004 Mistletoe (fresh and floral).

Luxury Pouch, £32 -  Limited edition Jacquard clutch-style make-up bag!
Available from October at

Is anything catching your eye, ladies? x

Wordless Wednesday - Keira Knightly!

Fabulously stylish with a classic bob and a gorgeous lip colour to boot!

Eyebrow crush!

Loving the curls, the bob style is so versatile and this really gives her more of an edgy look!

Keira Knightly is a true beauty, she can rock any look with ease... natural make-up, dramatic make-up, long hair or short hair, but I especially LOVE her with a bob. Don't get me wrong, she was stunning with long hair too, but I really think that the bob emphasises her almost perfect facial structure and features to their absolute best!

I would give my right arm to look anywhere near as good as she does.
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