Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Hair Cut!

Happy, happy, happy!


So I went to get my hair cut at The Hepburn Hair Project in Manchester upon recommendation from a forum. I was quite nervous about this as I had never been before and have never had a good haircut. Ever. I have never before had my haircut by someone who knows how to cut curls. But this place is great! My hair was cut by Vicky, who did a dry cut (upon my request) and spent ages carefully taking off only what was necessary in order to retain length.

I didn't have a lot taken off or anything drastic done but I definitely would go there if I wanted to. What I liked most is that they listened to what I wanted and offered honest advice. I think being listened too is the most important thing as too many times I have had hairdressers override what I wanted and I have walked out not really knowing what happened. It was also a really nice, relaxed environment with a genuine conversation not just 'Been anywhere nice on your holidays?' I probably babbled too much about curly hair as I usually do but Vicky listened to me and was constantly checking in to see if I was happy with how everything was going.

I would really recommend this place to anyone who has been struggling to find somewhere to get their curls cut and maybe has any special requirements for their hair and wants somewhere that will listen and accommodate.

How many of you have suffered through endless bad haircuts?

Let me know!




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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti Blemish Moisturiser Review

I have actually been using this moisturiser for a little under 6 months now and I absolutely love it. I have always struggled to find a moisturiser that works for me. I have found some okay and able to get me by, but I have never found them to be of any benefit for my skin. They have always just been more of a layer between my skin and makeup :/

Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti Blemish Moisturiser,
Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti Blemish Moisturiser
So one day when in Tesco I found that they had discounted a large amount of their skin care and beauty items, many seemed damaged and it honestly looked like a shelf must have collapsed and they had to discount everything. Amongst the ruins I found the Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti Blemish Moisturiser. At first I was put off by the 'anti-aging' claim as being in my 20's, its not what I am looking for yet. Then I saw that it was anti-blemish and actually very cheap due to the discount so I thought I would give it a go.

Straight away I noticed a difference and this only got better over time. The best thing I noticed was that it does live up to its claim regarding its 'anti-blemish' properties. It contains Salicylic Acid, which is known for its great anti-blemish properties and is widely used in acne and spot treatments. I noticed a significant improvement in the number of breakouts I had (basically 0) after a couple of weeks. I also like that it feels very calming on my skin. It is not heavy, it is light but and silky but not watery and feels very nourishing. It sinks into the skin really well and feels quite refreshing. I find it also sits nicely underneath my make-up. 

I think it is a great all round moisturiser. I would highly recommend purchasing if you have been struggling for a while to find a nice, reliable, balanced moisturiser. Especially if you struggle with breakouts and slightly troublesome skin.


Whats your favourite moisturiser?

Let me know!

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

10 Natural Hair Boosters!

Here is a list of great natural hair conditioners, many can be found in your kitchen cupboard. Warning: Some are more pleasant than others...


Yoghurt

The proteins that are contained within yogurt can be nourishing and strengthen hair. Yogurt contains zinc and lactic acid which are know to help with blood circulation to the scalp and help with hair growth. Many people mix it with honey and bananas for a delicious hair mask!


Honey

Honey is one of my favourite natural conditioners for hair. There is just something really nice about it and it smells really good. It is super easy to get hold of and most people will already have some at the back of a cupboard, what a great way to use it up! Honey has antiseptic properties, keeping to scalp healthy as well as being a humectant, which means it keeps hair moist.


Rosewater

Rosewater is know to have moisturising and conditioning properties. It helps scalp inflammations ,increases blood flow to the follicles helping with hair growth and is said to aid dandruff. It also happens to smell lovely. I add it to a lot of hair recipes for this purpose. To apply mix a few drops in with your conditioner or add to your favourite oil as a pre-poo.


Olive Oil

Olive oil is a personal favourite of mine as most people have it at home just waiting to be transformed into a hair mask or hot oil treatment. To make a hot oil treatment, heat the oil until it is hot but still comfortable to the touch and apply to the ends of the hair. Some people add other things but I like it straight up.


Catnip or Catmint

I only found out about catnip or catmint having moisturising properties just before writing this and it really surprised me! It also has the ability to strengthen hair, help decrease split ends and make hair shinier! It sounds wonderful! It is definitely on my list to try as I am hoping it will make cats love me and follow me everywhere! :)


Beer

Malt and hops found in beer are full of protein which essential for strong, healthy hair. This is very helpful to repair damaged hair as the proteins bind to the hair patching up lost ones. Beer also contains B-vitamins that tighten the hair cuticle, allowing light to bouncy off the hair more easily which restore shine!


Eggs

Eggs are great as they contain lots of protein. Our hair is made up of about 70% protein known as keratin and because of this eggs can help strengthen the hair strand. To apply mix an egg and about 1-2tbsp of olive oil in a bowl and apply to clean hair. Leave in the hair for around 10 minutes. Repeating too often can lead to protein overload so leave to about once a month.


Avocado

Avocado Oil is well known as being a great oil for improving hair condition but did you know that applying it to the hair in its fruit form is also a great way to treat your hair? Avocados are loaded with vitamins B and E that can help strengthen hair and treat damaged scalps. Both of these are key to maintaing length or growing hair.


Banana

If your bananas are looking a little overripe what a great way to use them up! Combine them with yogurt for a great way to add some extra moisture! Bananas can be effective as they contain potassium which is key to maintaining healthy hair and a deficiency can actually lead to hair loss! They also contain vitamin B6 which many people claim they have found helpful for thicker and stronger hair, but there is little scientific evidence to substantiate this. Although again a deficiency in B6 can lead to hair loss.


Mayonnaise

Apparently so. If you are perhaps a little brave than myself, mayo actually has a lot of ingredients in it that are great for the hair. Eggs are great to provide some protein, Oil is great to seal in moisture and vinegar for removing build up and closing the hair shaft leading to shinier hair.



Do you guys have any natural ingredients you like to use?

Let me know!



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Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Body Shop Haul Pt 2.

So I ordered more products from The Body Shop. I just really like them and that coupled with no self control...

Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Make-up Remover, Warming Mineral Mask, Aloe Soothing Night Cream, Indian Night Jasmine Fragrance Mist, Seaweed Pore Perfector.

Camomile Eye and Lip Makeup Remover

I have seen quite a few good reviews of this recently so I was expecting quite a lot. I liked it, I think it is a good makeup remover and not too oily or drying. My eye make-up comes off very easily with it and it doesn't feel too harsh on my skin/eyes. I think I will probably purchase this again but it does seem to be going down quite quickly so we shall see!


Warming Mineral Mask
 I love this mask. A lot. It warms up so quickly that is a bit of a shock but it actually really pleasant. Afterwards my skin looked clearer, firmer and my pores looked smaller. I use quite a lot of face masks and this is one of the best I think I have ever tried. I notice that a lot of mask make your skin feel better immediately but the next day my skin just feels back to normal. This one didn't, the next day I was still impressed.


Aloe Soothing Night Cream

I am not sure about this product yet. The consistency is nice and it smells lovely. It also goes on nicely and sinks into the skin. It is a little thicker than I am used too but it does seem to make the skin softer. I am just not sure I have noticed it having much of an effect. It feels nice when I use it, i just don't know if it is helping my skin. Maybe time will tell...


 Indian Night Jasmine Fragrance Mist

Smells great! Not too strong but its got staying power! I am still able to smell it on myself at the end of the day which I usually find subtle scents just don't quite manage.


Seaweed Pore Perfector

I love this stuff! I swear it vanishes spots! I wrote a separate blog post on it because I think it deserved it. Click here for the link.



Are you loving The Body Shop Products at the moment?

Let me know!









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Are You Damaging Your Hair?


Here are some really easy ways that many people damage their hair without knowing...

My Hair Was Pretty Damaged!

Lack of Moisture

Probably the most common way that people damage their hair. Hair needs moisture in order to be healthy. Frequent heat usage and dying make the hair shaft more porous meaning that more moisture can escape causing dryness and breakage. Lock in moisture! Oils are a great, cheap way to do this as they coat the hair strands and stop water leaving. 


Too many products

Many people will use a frizz serum to control frizz rather than try to find a way to prevent it in the first place. For some people, especially those will curly hair, a bit of frizz is just a given and will always hang around, but for many frizz is a sign that the hair may need some TLC. Whilst frizz serum may hide the problem temporarily, a simple hair mask once a week or introducing oils to your hair regiment may solve it for good.


Stuck in your ways

Update your hair routine regularly, try new products and techniques on a semi-regular basis. As hair grows it may need different treatment and products in order to keep it at its healthiest. Experiment away!


Neglecting your scalp

A lot of people forget to look after the scalp, but it is essential to healthy, strong hair. The scalp is actually quite delicate and harsh products, such as those containing sulfates, can throw it out of balance. Pores can also become clogged due to build up preventing oils and vital nutrients from being able to travel down the hair leaving damaged.


Ignoring your hair

Its very easy to just jump out of the shower, add product and heat style, every day. I did this without a break for about 6/7 years, ignoring it and not seeing it in its natural state for this long. Needless to say it was in a bad way when I finally stopped. I think leaving your hair alone for a few days can really help figure out what it needs so you know how to treat it. Styling and dying can change properties of your hair for instance how porous it is meaning it may need to be treated in a different way to how it was a year ago.


Eating & Drinking

If you want long, shiny hair then eating and drinking right is an important step. Your hair needs the right vitamins and minerals in order to grow healthy and strong. If you are regularly skipping meals or eating badly the hair will not be able to grow properly.


Styling accessories

Many people are using the wrong kinds of hairbrush for their hair. Some people need a good bristled brush whereas others may be better with a wide tooth comb. Make sure to use hair ties that don't have metal on them, as these will catch on the hair and cause breakage and knots. Many hair clips also have a lot of metal in the hinges that hair gets caught on. Try to think about what you are using and minimise the potential damage.

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The Body Shop Seaweed Pore Perfector Review


The Body Shop Pore Perfector.
So I know I have been blogging and tweeting about The Body Shop a lot recently but there products are just blowing me away. I just tried the Seaweed Pore Perfector and I am so impressed. I have had a sudden breakout zone on my chin, probably because I have changed my skincare routine quite a lot recently. I tend to get a mixture of white spots and those under the surface, very painful ones that never come to a head. 

It has a thin gel like consistency that sinks into the skin pretty quickly and feels very refreshing, which is very nice. It also smells really lovely as do all of the Seaweed range they have at the moment. The instructions on The Body Shop's website say to apply underneath moisturiser.

I used the pore perfector and overnight they shrunk to at least half of there size. I then used it the next day and by 3.00pm they are basically gone. I find it rare that a serum would be so good, so quickly, but even more so that it works for both types of spots. I really recommend it for anyone that struggles with breakouts (i.e most people!)

Have you had any luck with anything you've tried for breakouts?

Let me know!
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Accidental Damaged Ends Serum.

So I am trying to make a recipe for a natural, homemade anti-frizz serum in my attempt to defeat my arch nemesis, the dreaded Frizz Halo, but still seem to be missing the mark. Finding the balance between major frizz reduction and greasy looking hair is a very fine line. Whilst I am still trying for an all over serum I managed to create a pretty good recipe for smoothing damaged ends in my experimentation.

The ends of my hair are bleached, damaged and in need of some TLC. They don't look great, sometimes the rest of my hair can be looking pretty good and the ends just look damaged and dry, ruining my good hair day. What I like about this recipe is that it is very nourishing and will really help improve the condition of the hair. It adds shine and is very softening, helping to create (or at least give the illusion of) ends in good condition. I liked it for spot targeting curls that are very badly damaged and need special attention.

Before
After

Recipe


1tsp 
Grapeseed Oil
1tsp Apricot Kernal Oil
1/2 tsp Castor Oil 
1tsp Coconut Oil 



Grapeseed Oil is Light, Non-Greasy and high in linoleum acid, protecting against moisture loss and hair breakage. Apricot Kernal Oil is high in proteins, vitamin A, B Vitamins and Vitamin E. Coconut Oil is a moisturiser, prevents protein loss and is naturally scented. Castor Oil has vitamin E, amino acids, omega-6 fatty acids and helps to stop split ends and breakage. It also smooths out rough hair cuticles.


Recommended Usage

A little goes a long way with this so start small. I just dip my finger in the serum, rub into my hair slowly and then work into the very ends of my hair moving upwards. I tend to twirl it around my finger as well to keep some shape in my curls, but this will depend on curl/hair type. It might take a little experimentation to get the right amount. This recipe could be used for all over the hair, I just found it a tad too strong for the roots. Now to continue my quest for the perfect homemade hair serum...

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Monday, 13 October 2014

Naked 'Little Miracle' Leave in Conditioner

This is a picture of the Naked Little Miracle Leave in Conditioner
Naked 'Little Miracle' Leave in Conditioner
I usually just use my regular Tresemme Naturals Conditioner as a leave in, but thought it was time I upped my game a bit.  So when in Boots the other day I saw Naked 'Little Miracle' Leave in conditioner, I thought this the perfect opportunity. I have heard good things about the Naked range but there website seems to no longer exist which is annoying as I would like to know a little more! The first thing I noticed was the 'Silicone Free' label on the front which I found very helpful!

The first thing I noticed was the 'Silicone Free' label on the front which I found very helpful! It smells really nice. Not too strong just hints of shea butter which is nice but sadly doesn't last when dry. The constancy is a little thicker than a normal conditioner and feels a bit gel or almost wax like, which I wasn't sure about at first as I thought it might just sit on the hair and coat it leaving build up. It actually sinks into the skin pretty easily so I thought that was a good sign.

Before I applied it I had just used a hair mask as usual and then dried with my micro fibre towel. It recommends to use 'sparingly' 'avoiding the roots' which I usually ignore with these kinds of things as my hair needs so much moisture and just applied as I would my usual leave in. I then styled as usual with my Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Holding Foam and the two products seem to blend quite well together actually. They felt really well combined and seemed to compliment each other.

I then styled as usual and left to dry. A few (many) hours later by hair looked like this.


For me, the curls are pretty defined and I am happy with the outcome. My hair feels a little softer than it normally would and perhaps a little less frizzy. I am not sure if it has made a huge difference to my hair, compared to just using my normal conditioner as a leave in, but I think it is better. I also think it will be a bit better for my hair in the long run. I would recommend this product and I would buy it again. 


Whats your favourite leave in for curly hair?

Let me know!


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Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Body Shop Haul!

So I bought some products from The Body Shop with the £50 for £25 voucher (Code 14670) and I just really loved the products I got...

Left to Right - Seaweed Clarifying Toner, Radient Highlighter, Atlas Mountain Rose Fragrance Mist, Hemp Lip Conditioner, Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser.


Atlas Mountain Rose Fragrance Mist.

Love it. Smells amazing and is quite a light fragrance. Perfect for everyday to avoid having to use expensive perfumes. It also stays pretty well. I usually still notice it on myself when I am going to bed, which is something I often find expensive perfumes fail to master.


Hemp Lip Condtioner

I don't have a lot to say about this one except it is doing the job very well. It is moisturising and definitely improving the overall condition of my lips. I have very dry, cracked lips naturally and this is really helping. Overall I would say the condition of my lips has improved because of this product!


Radient Highlighter 

So every time I use this my makeup just comes straight off with it. I really don't know why, it came highly recommended and many people love it. I have never used a highlighter in this form before so I tried watching videos of people using it but still no luck. I think this is more of my problem/doesn't suit my skin, than the product being bad.


Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser

 I was a bit unsure about this at first. It has a very creamy, moisturising consistency and I wasn't too sure what it would do for my skin. It is not one of those products that I can immediately feel working when using it but it does seem to have made an impact over a few days. I use it every night before the Seaweed Clarifying Toner and massage it into my skin for a few minutes. I do think it has made my skin look healthier and clearer. I suffer naturally with very red skin and I have seen it make my skin look calmer already. It also smells wonderful. 


Seaweed Clarifying Toner

I really love this toner. It actually smells pretty nice, which considering its a toner is amazing. It is also alcohol free so it is not drying and quite gentle. Although its gentle it does still give a slight tingle when you use it, which I really like as it feels refreshing but I know it is not drying. 


Side-note: No matter what products I have used on my skin in the past, the next morning I wake up with a layer of grease on my skin. Since I have started using the Seaweed Clarifying Toner and the Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser products my skin has felt grease free, soft and clean in the morning. They are both such nice products to use and although my skin has broken out a little since using them (which is normal when you mix up your skin regiment) I can see that my pores look smaller and the overall condition of my skin looks better already! 

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6 Cheap Ways to Help your Hair.



Hair Oils

Oils like Olive or Coconut are often already in your kitchen but if not they are pretty cheap to buy and very economical. The average bottle of Olive Oil is around £3/4 a litre and the average 500ml jar of Coconut Oil being about £8. Not only are they cheap but I find them one of the most effective ways to care for your hair.


Satin Bonnet/ Silk Pillowcase

A bonnet is a cheaper option costing around £2/3 whereas a Silk Pillowcase is about £10-20. I started with a cap then upgraded to a pillowcase. They are beneficial as they are softer than a regular pillowcase and rub on the hair causing friction, frizz and breakage. They also are better for your skin as they don't soak up moisture drying out your skin overnight. They also feel great!


ebay

I often get products from ebay. Brands such as Bumble and Bumble or Ouidad on ebay for about 1/5th of the retail price. Its a great way to get good quality products for little money. Alternatively its a great way to try out products you aren't willing to pay full price for unless you know they are good.


Scalp Massage

Massage your scalp for a couple of minutes regularly to increase circulation delivering nutrients to the hair follicles. This will improve the overall condition of your hair and promote growth. I usually do this while co-washing my hair. Scalp health is very important to maintaining healthy hair.


DIY products

The internet is full of recipes for DIY hair products. You can make anything from your own hair masks to your own hair gel! Purchasing quality ingredients and making your own can be much cheaper and better for your hair than ones from drugstores. Be careful though, many of the ingredient swill last a long time and be very economical but it can be easy to go overboard and buy stuff you won't get much use out of. Shop smart and research.


Research

Completely free, just a little time consuming. Its well worth doing your research and reading a few blogs/sites dedicated to curly locks. I know it sounds obvious but a lot of people spend a lot of time figuring out stuff so you don't have to and its all just out there. From watching youtube videos to reading about  I also have a list of some great resources on here already.


Do you have any low-budget ways you maintain your hair?

Let me know!









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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Garnier Ultimate Blends Conditioner Review


I was really excited when I heard that Garnier had brought out multiple conditioners that didn't contain silicones and were CG. So when I ran out of Tresemme Naturals Conditioner I thought I would give these ago instead. There are multiple ones to try but I used 'The Nourishing Repairer' and 'The Sleek Restorer.


Garnier Ultimate Blends 'The Nourishing Restorer' and 'The Sleek Restorer'.

Pros
  • Smell - Great, not too strong and quite natural. I could smell the Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter.
  • Packaging - Allows for maximum usage, not wasted bits stuck at the end
  • Usage- Seemed to last well, a good amount of product in the bottle.
  • Nourishing - Hair felt soft and in good condition
  • Cost - The price isn't too bad and often on offer in Boots and Sainsburys.

Cons
  • Slightly watery texture - I prefer a creamier texture, but that may be personal.
  • Detangling - Not great for this, may be due to the watery texture.
  • Sleek - Not sure I noticed an improvement in the 'sleekness' of my hair.
  • Overall I don't think I noticed an improvement in my hair.


Overall I liked both of them and would buy them again. They are fairly well priced, there is a good amount of product in the bottles and they have thought about the packaging. I preferred 'The Nourishing Repairer' over 'The Sleek Restorer' as the formula was a bit thicker and creamier and seemed more beneficial for my hair type. Saying this I did still like both and would buy both of them again. They are not products that excite me or are 'revolutionary' but they are reliable, readily available and overall a good product.


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5 Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Curls.

Here are 5 really basic things that I did WRONG for so long...


Overwashing

Washing hair too frequently strips it of its natural oils and makes it dry and damaged causing frizz. A lot of people are paranoid about leaving there hair for more than a day without being washed but if you can, try it. Try cutting down by one day a week to begin with and see if it really is all that bad. 

Too much heat

This can be a tricky one, some people can just cut down heat usage easily but for others its a long term habit that can be tricky. Now I have found that if you are happy with shorter hair then using frequent heat can be alright, its still bad for hair condition but can be manageable. Whereas if you are like me (wanting it as long as it will grow) you will just be fighting a losing battle if you are using lots of heat very regularly. 

Not Conditioning 

I can't believe that when I used to bleach and straighten my hair I would sometimes not condition. *Facepalm* Looking back it was so damaging to my hair and I could have prevented so much damage if I had taken conditioning seriously. That sounds a bit dramatic but imagine having naturally  very dry skin, using a facial toner everyday and then never moisturising. Your skin would be a mess. 
P.s Using leave in conditioner is probably one of the best styling products I own.

Not knowing your hair.

This may sound like a strange one but I think the best thing you can do for your hair is leave it alone for a few days/weeks. Try to cut out all styling and products and then play around with it. Before I stopped using heat I had not seen my hair in its natural state for over 7 years. I would shower and blow dry it straight away, then straighten. I just never wanted to see it. I altered it so much I had no idea of its actual texture, thickness, natural moisture levels etc. I used more heat than necessary out of habit. If I had known all of these things I could have prevented a lot more damage without even changing my habits too much.

Going Six Years Without a Hair Cut.

 I don't actually have any advice haircuts. I have never had a good one. I will say that hair tends to even itself out quite quickly if its cut a bit unevenly but breakage will only get worse if you ignore it.






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