Wednesday, 30 October 2013

REVIEW: Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave in Conditioner

Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance

As I have mentioned before, my hair is bright blue, and to achieve this, I have to bleach it up from a dark brown, which in turn, has caused massive breakage. On top of this, the lovely people at South Kensington Toni and Guy gave me a full head of extensions for free, so now, for the first time ever, my hair is shoulder length and blue. It rules! Due to the upkeep necessary for keeping extensions healthy, i've been told to invest in a leave in conditioner. Being pretty poor right now, money wise, I couldn't do  my usual running to Keratase for some fancy potions, so I popped to Superdrug with a fiver and hoped for the best.

I found this!

So, no messing about. What does it do for me?

Well, I wash and condition my hair, and right afterwards I spray it over the entire length to assist with detangling, as well as making it smell absolutely lovely. It gives it a nice sheen, and I definitely am seeing results regarding the epic dryness of my natural hair. 

In between washes, I spray this on every morning and comb in through, and it actually stops me always needing to use my straighteners, because it tames frizz and flyaways, yet doesn't flatten or make it look greasy or mucky. 

My hair feels soft, smooth and smells great! 

I recommend this very much! I purchased it from Superdrug for £4.49

Breaking Beauty Rules: Concealer application for flawless joy

Hi there.

Sorry for my recent silence. Heartbreak has been getting the better of me again, but the best way to get over that is jumping back on the rambling about cosmetics horse. So here I am.

This is a post that I hope will be of some interest to people. Now, my skin, it's not the worst skin on gods earth, but I really don't like my face at all. This probably has something to do with my endless pouring over fashion magazines where all the girls have skin like pink velvet and eyes that gleam like sunshine. I have mentioned before I am extremely pale, but I have uneven skintone, large pores, and areas of redness that rage through foundation and it's IRRITATING.

So, what's this post about? Well, generally you always hear the rule with base application, that you apply foundation, then apply concealer. Fair enough, makes sense. However, after many years of experimentation with various products and finishes, I have discovered that sometimes, the reverse is true.

Firstly, after my serum and moisturiser, I always, ALWAYS prime. Some people don't see the point in primer, but I can tell you first hand, there have been three occasions i've forgotten primer on my face, and I regretted it BIG time. My make up slid around my face, it was horrendous, I felt sad. BAM. Lesson learned. This below product is my hero in every way...

Mac Natural Radiance Primer - £29.00

It controls oil, evens skintone, gives a slight radiance, and keeps your foundation on. I have many many primers, including the Smashbox one, which was a disaster for me. I'll do a mega primer review post soon. You'll be disgusted at how many I own.

After my primer, I let it sink in for a minute, and then I grab my Mac Pro Longwear Concealer (£15.50) and a flat topped concealer or foundation brush, and buff it under my eyes, around my nose, along my jawline, and any other red areas. It applies in a very thin layer, sticks like glue and is virtually undetectable. 

Mac Pro Longwear Concealer (£15.50)

After this, I put a TINY amount of foundation onto the back of my hand and buff it into the skin with a Real Techniques Buffing Foundation Brush, and voila! Flawless skin that lasts all day! 

Hope this was helpful to some. Honestly, I used to end up building and building foundation, but if you find a high coverage, long lasting concealer, you can use much less product and look ten times better! WINNER!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

REVIEW: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

When I heard that Real Techniques (as in, Sam from Pixiwoo, a big ladycrush of mine) were releasing a sponge, I knew it was going to be a winner. What I didn't reckon on was how bargainous it was going to be, and HOW RUDDY GOOD.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I shall make no bones about this. I LOVE THIS GUY. Now, since i'm a bit of a heartbroken mess, I am prone to extreme mood swings, but extreme enthusiasm isn't one of those emotions, sadly. However, this sponge, it has got an ounce of positivity out of me, and frankly, thats big news.

What's the corporate blurb then?

"Apply your foundation flawlessly with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. With rounded sides to blend and smooth foundation over large areas of your face, it also features a flat edge to glide around the contours of your eyes and nose. Finished with a precision tip that's ideal for covering spots and blemishes, this easy-to-use sponge will give you the perfect airbrushed effect"

So, why is this fellaguy good? Lets go list crazy!

He's cheap

He's multifaceted. You can use the flat side for application, the rounded for cream blush and highlighter, the pointed end for concealer, and the rounded side for powder. One for ALL!

He's easy to clean, just pop him under the tap with some shampoo. Done!

He gives a super airbrushed finish


So how do you, or I, use this?

Easy. I dampen it under a warm tap, squeeze out the excess water, dot foundation over my face, use the flat side to distribute foundation around my face in a wiping motion. For areas I need more coverage, I use a dabbing motion. Then I apply concealer to areas that need even more coverage, and use the flat edge to apply around the eyes and nose area. Then I apply dots to areas where I have blemishes, and use the pointed end to gently blend the edges for undetectable full coverage. I then use one of the rounded sides to dab into my creme blush, say, Mac Posey, a personal fave, and dab it onto my cheeks. I then apply NARS illuminator in copacabana with the same area of sponge to the high points of my face, and finally, dab the other side of the sponge in my loose powder, apply in a rolling motions all over my make up, and i'm DONE! 

It's THAT easy. 

I can't say ANYTHING negative about this product. It's quarter of the price of a beauty blender, and a better product, so....BUY IT!

You can purchase this at Boots or HQ Hair for the bargain price of £4.99

Saturday, 5 October 2013

REVIEW: Swarzkopf Got2b Oil-liscious Tame and Shine Styling Oil

Continuing on the hair theme, i'm chucking this review out too. My ends are BEYOND dry. I have spent so many years bleaching, colouring, stripping, and straightening my hair, without properly conditioning, because of the desire for volume, that my hair is broken to hell, and beyond a mess. When I got these extensions courtesy of the lovely guys at South Kensington Toni and Guy in London, I was told that extension hair needs constant nutrition to stop it becoming a ratty matted mess of gunk.

Full disclosure, I am poor right now, really poor, I haven't even got enough to have my daily subway sandwich. Thats what happens when you get your heart stamped on sadly, you lose your work and you end up a rotten mess rambling about hair oil. 

Sorry....back to the review....

So a year or so ago, I would have treated myself to Kerastase Ultime Elixir, which is AMAZING, and I can't knock it, regardless of it's stupid price. However, I don't have any money so I can't really be buying hair oil for thirty plus quids. So to superdrug I went and searched for the cheapest hair saviour I could find...

This is what it says. 

"Got2b Oil-licious tame & shine styling oil is enriched with Argan oil and designed for everyday use. Say goodbye to frizzy, flyaway hair and hello to sleek, glossy styles, without leaving residue on the hands."

And thats what it does. I put two pumps through my damp hair and blow dry, and I get a much sleeker frizz free finish. Once i've finished, I pop another pump in my palm, and smooth it on the ends and over the myriad of flyaways I have from my very broken bleached hair, and it gives me SHINE (my hair hasn't shone in two years), it looks nourished, and it smells nice.

What more do you want?

You can get this from Superdrug for £4.05, it's a bargain, it'll last you ages and it's works hard for you! Yay! 

REVIEW: Head and Shoulders Extra Strengthening Tonic Thick & Strong.

Head and Shoulders?! The child in me has always been totally turned off ever having ANYTHING from Head and Shoulders, because all it screams is DANDRUFF. However, when I saw a little box nestling on the H&S display in Superdrug, I was intrigued. 

So what enticed me to buy this? Well, there's eff all about it on the internets, but basically there are two tonics, one is called Extra Strengthening Thick and Strong, and Extra Thickening Thick and Strong. So, basically, you look at the box blurb, and they say exactly the same thing on the back. They're are leave in treatments, that you can use on wet OR dry hair, and they thicken every strand of hair, whilst also improving strength and preventing breakage by conditioning and moisturising your scalp, whilst poofing up your barnet. 

I didn't really know whether I needed it or not, but since i've had extensions (don't label me Katie Price, it's a full head of blue messy hair because my hair is so weak and pathetic it doesn't get past chin length) I have no idea how to get volume in it at all, so the top, which has no extensions in it, sits flat and makes my chubby face look rounder. NO THANKS.

So in comes this tonic to save the day, and it REALLY DOES HELP. Now, I cannot vouch for the strength it imparts quite yet, but I do know that the moment it hits my hair, I get a very obvious boost of volume. Now, if I was using my usual volumising regime, I think you could get some real massive volume out of it. The fact that it's helping my very broken hair is frankly a cheeky bonus. My hair is so desperately damaged on my crown area that parts are barely two inches long, so I can do with the help!

So if you're interested in a results before your eyes volumiser that also treats your hair and scalp, I say give this a go! It's a lot cheaper than Kerastase Initialiste, so if it works, you've saved yourself a load of quids. Also, it smells like sunshine!

Available from Boots online and in superdrug stores for £9.99.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

NEW: Bleach London hair dye - Exclusive to Boots.

Bleach London are clever sods. They really really are. The whole concept is basically the same as a salon that existed in High Street Kensington Market in the early nineties. They've jumped on the early nineties trend (which having been there the first time, I still don't really get), taken the name of a massively successful album from Nirvana, to reference that they're, in fact, a populist appropriation of alternative culture, and thus, they're LOADED.

I have had brightly coloured hair since about 94, but it's made a real constant resurgence on my head for the past seven years, going from blue, to orange, to pink, to lavender, and then back to bright blue green right now. I remember going along to Bleach to ask about a price to get a pink through to orange fade, about three or so years ago. The price they quoted was INSANE, and they were using Crazy Colour, which I felt miffed about paying that price for, because its longevity is the worst of all the bright dyes out there. Manic Panic, great, Special Effects, even better. I'd rather ruddy Directions frankly! 

So given their massive success, and they do some fantastic work, don't get me wrong, they've decided to launch their own brand of brightly coloured dyes, bleaches, and clarifying products. It's a long unfilled gap in the market, which i'm still confused by, given the market for bright hair being a continual thing over the past thirty or so years.

Anyway, this is what Boots say....

"Young British hair brand BLEACH, creators of the biggest hair colour trends of the last three years; silver sheens, sea-punk, recession roots, dip-dyes and rainbow hues, will be launching shiny new kaleidoscopic home hair colour in October 2013.

The gang behind BLEACH are hair COLOUR and STYLING specialists whose expertise has been channelled into an at-home hair colourant and care product range launching exclusively at Boots. With bleach, toner, 12 super cool colours and a selection of aftercare."

I'm particularly intrigued by the colour fader, i'd be interested to know whether it's just a clarifier or a bleach bath or what. It's a welcome addition to the shelves though! 

These will be released on October 8th 2013 in selected Boots stores exclusively! Exciting!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Purchases that i've not shared.

I haven't told you all the stuff i've picked up at my local drugstores. Mostly because I was a raving loon of epic proportions. I have a habit though. If i'm sad, I buy stuff. That stuff, because I haven't much money, is make up stuff. Thus I can test everything first, and save you the bother. I'm a completist and obsessive. More luck when it comes to a comprehensive covering of all new releases.

Anyways, reviews that will be coming up of stuff will include....

Gosh CC Cream in Porcelain

HEY PALE LADIESSS!!! Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding etc. This stuff is PALE and NEUTRAL. I haven't tested it properly yet but MA GAWD it's a pale friend. I have the BB cream, which is super pale too, but this promises luminous coverage, so, y'know, promise me luminosity and I am ANYONES. 

Well. No, but yeah, make me shine y'all! 

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Foundation

I LOVE THIS FOUNDATION. Again, it's pale, it actually suits my complexion. Not perfection, but pretty close. It's luminous, it covers really well, it STAYS despite being hydrating and luminous.

It's a foundation wet dream. Of sorts. Review a comin!

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Beauty Blender? Twenty plus quid? For one sponge that splits after three months? FUCK OFF. Sam Pixiwoo's range of beauty tools has WON with this release. It's resilient, easy to use, super effective, versatile, and CHEAP.

Sign me up. Sign me the fuck up.

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara

I love this. I absolutely love it. I shall explain why soon. It's not an answer to all my brow woes, because my brows are thin and pathetic, but this combined with shadow and an angle brush. It's AWESOMENESS.

Thats it for now.


When Favourite Brands Disappoint : Dear MAC. Stop pissing me off please.

As i've mentioned before in a previous post, I have had quite a love/hate relationship with MAC over the past year or so. Having been on of my most beloved and favoured brands since I first fell in love with make up, I have obsessed about nearly every limited edition drop, every new formula, every visual, the LOT. I have poured much of my money into MAC, and therefore, now and then, just maybe, I expect a little joy back.

My recent joy was found in the Retro Matte collection release, something that was, as I mentioned in the post referenced above, was WAY overdue, just as the brow collection was. These things had been trending for a few years, so why they are releasing collections AFTER the drugstore brands is beyond me, yet chucking out 1000000 collections a year, ALL containing the carbon eyeshadow (probably) over and over. FIX UP MAC. FIX THE HELL UP. (sorry capitals, I'm still heartbroken so prone to inappropriately placed anger).

So why am I pissed off again. I went to MAC a few days back. I was feeling particularly low, had had one of those walking and crying in public sessions and I thought the shiny joy of a freshly stocked MAC counter would suffice to lift the darkness a little. Clearly I was mistaken.

I walked in, and when i'd bought the Pro Longwear liners the week before, i'd actually picked up neither of the ones that i'd previously intended, which were Trust in Redd, and Dynamo. I looked at the Retro Matte display stand, an example of which is below...

MAC Retro Matte Stand 2013

Now above is what it SHOULD have looked like. Now, bearing in mind that Clapham MAC has been opened two weeks in total, you would expect it to be vaguely close to perfect. Unfortunately the lipsticks that were stocked (not their fault if they're sold out, don't get me wrong) were a mucky rancid mess, and the lipliners apart from two, weren't even pro longwear, they were just the Magenta regular wear liner, which I already own two of, although I'm totally fine with the hard sell of it, it's a nice colour, but you never need six on one display surely!?

So what the hell is my problem then? Well, I located a member of staff who'd been merrily ignoring me for a while, and I asked for the Pro Longwear liner in the shade Dynamo and Trust in Red. It wasn't a big ask really, I just wanted to be an easy customer. Get me stuff and i'll pay, y'know, not really a big issue for anyone particularly. Anyway, she asks me what colour the liners are, and I say Dynamo is bright-ish pink, and Trust in Red is, well, RED. She went back to the draws of new products, couldn't find them, so went back to the stand and picked up one of the Magenta liners and asked if it was that. 'No' I said, 'I own that, it's a regular liner, I want the longwear ones, they're great!' she looked at me like I was asking her to wipe my bottom with her face, and then said 'You can only get them in the MAC pro stores, like carnaby'. I looked confused, and i'm pretty short of tolerance right now as it is. 'Erm, no, it's not a pro release, it's a permanent release, i'm sure'. 'No' she replied, it's not, you can't get it any more, you'll have to go to a pro store'. I frowned at her again. 'NO' I reaffirmed. 'That isn't the case, despite having that stand, they are nearly ALL permanent except a couple of the lipsticks'. 

Then she really started to PISS ME OFF.

She looked at me like I was really stupid 'You can ask around, anyone will tell you the same, you're not going to get them'. She then turned around to notice another customer, turned again to another member of staff and said 'deal with her, I'll deal with this other customer'. 

And with that, she just walked off.


The member of staff was much more agreeable to say the least. She asked what I needed, and I explained again, and she replied that she was visiting from Guildford store to lend a hand, and yes, the items I wanted WERE permanent, and she in fact had a ton in her store as they'd been restocked a couple of times, and they just hadn't come into Clapham yet but they should do soon, so I could either order online or just come back. She also apologised for the dickhead I had been talking to, which was nice.

So I implore you, the workers of MAC, and the employers, if you're going to deploy girls to talk to other human beings in your store, please make sure they have a basic idea of products, and if not, try not to treat customers like total MORONS, and just ASK someone who does know. It's not a good look when someone is struggling with their love for you already, and had, before this point, actually always raved about your customer service, despite the rest of the blogging world disagreeing BIG TIME. 

Phew. And thus, my rant is over.