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Sunday, 14 December 2014

My Hair Care Journey & Softer, Shinier Hair with Mark Betts


This summer I was obsessed with dying and bleaching my hair to create an ombre look, which unsurprisingly, within a time span of a month - my hair was completely damaged at the ends. As I wasn't completely sure what kind of blonde I wanted to go for, I was constantly changing my mind and ended up going for a sort of silvery look. Which might I add, I really loved! 
However, the constant bleaching had completely fried my hair and my ombre ends resembled hay. Not a good look.


At the end of August, my hair looked a little like this. I'm sure some people must be cringing at the sight   of my ombre and how the colours clash (including me).

I then decided to play around with colour and I dyed my hair with a violet, to create a nice purple ombre.


My hair colour didn't look too bad, and the ends of my hair don't look as fried here.
But anyway, fast forward to the end of November, where I dyed my hair again using the La Riche Directions Dark Tulip (my all time favourite hair colour!) and it was during it's phase of fading out. It was a miss mash of purple, red, a bit of pink and it was almost looking quite pastel.

"Where does Mark Betts come into all of this?"

I'm getting to it!

So at the end of November, I decided to go for the chop. The ends of my hair were looking dull, fried and felt absolutely terrible. It was like my hair was constantly going through the worst hangover of it's life. The hairdresser decided to chop off the dead ends of my hair, and add in a few long layers so my hair didn't look so flat and dull.

So, my hair looked a little like this:


Impressed with my new do and determined to keep it in excellent condition, I was on the hunt for a miracle product that will keep my hair feeling soft, shiny and giving me that salon finish every time.

Luckily, last week I was given the opportunity to try a few products from Mark Betts, as I received an email from Mark himself. I hadn't heard of Mark Betts hairdressing salon - which is quite surprising as it's Yorkshire based!

I was sent these products:

Kolor Lok - £12.95
"An exceptional treat for chemically treated/damaged hair. Will incredibly soften & polish. Will add depth of colour & brilliance. Leave your hair feeling sleek. To be used bi-weekly.
Directions: after washing, generously coat from root to tip. Leave in for up to 10 minutes. Thoroughly rinse out with clean warm water."*

Pure Shampoo - £10.95
"SLS free or SLES free shampoos, are one of the hottest products in hairstyling today. Health-conscious consumers are increasingly concerned about the chemicals in everything they use, from food to beauty products. In some cases, SLS and SLES have been known to irritate the skin and hair cells, they can be absorbed by the liver and can mimic the effect of the hormone oestrogen in the body.
Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives, and that’ s why they are found in so many products. They are used to fight bacteria and fungus, are widely available, and cost very little to manufacture and use. Nearly all of the parabens used as preservatives are man-made and not naturally occurring.With all the beautiful attributes of an extremely high end shampoo, it is amazing how exceptional this product is, without the use of so many accepted ingredients!"*

Pure Conditioner - £11.25
"Sodium Chloride, SLS, SLES Paraben and Fragrance free! Formulated for use with keratin treated hair.
A beautiful sodium Chloride free conditioner. Maintains vitality shine and lustre."*

* - information taken from Mark Betts Hairdressing website.

When I first picked up the products, I thought the packaging looked really simplistic yet slick. They really have the salon quality as they looked professional. I didn't expect to be sent the full sized 250ml bottles of shampoo and conditioner, so I am really grateful to be sent these products!

I decided to use all three products as I wanted the full effect and to see what kind of a difference all three made on my hair. After reading that they were free of SLS, I was super impressed as I have tried my best to cut out using SLS shampoos since around February/March this year, as I found that it caused irritation to my skin. So the fact that the shampoo and conditioner is free from SLS, that's a big thumbs up from me!



On the bottle it said that you can use a small amount of shampoo for an exceptional wash, however I felt that I needed around two to three pumps of shampoo, in order for my hair to feel nice and fresh. (I'm just a bit like that, I can't be dealing with a pump of shampoo).
I thought the shampoo did a great job of cleaning my hair, whilst not making it feel too squeaky. Some SLS free shampoos I've tried in the past have made my hair feel quite squeaky and a little bit dry, so this shampoo left my hair feeling soft and clean.

The conditioner I felt was slightly better than other conditioners, as it helped to make my hair silky and soft. I used this on the ends of my hair, which made it very easy to comb through the ends of my hair with my hands. Sometimes my hair can get tangled even after using a conditioner, but I did like the fact that this conditioner detangled my ends.

I'd say the star product for me is the Kolor Lok product! 
Mark told me he also included this in the package, which I was very happy to receive. This is the product that I had been needing during the time when I had my ombre, as this mask helps to treat damaged, coloured and dry hair.
Despite the fact that my hair had been cut, I still had many strands that were a little bit dry from the previous bleaching. I'd applied this hair mask mainly on the ends of my hair for around 7 minutes, as those were the areas that needed the treatment the most.
On the tub, it says to leave in for no longer than 10 minutes, which I think is more than enough!
After washing the hair treatment out, I noticed that my hair became incredibly soft - even softer than it was with the conditioner. And it felt really nice to run my fingers through my hair - which was something I didn't really like previously as my hair was really dry.


After blowdrying my hair using a round brush, I noticed that my hair didn't frizz up afterwards. My hair has a tendency of becoming a little frizzy and 'poofy' - as I like to call it! - after I've blow-dried my hair, which meant I couldn't wear it down on the day that I'd washed it. 
However on this occasion, I felt like I was having a great hair day! It looked, felt and smelled amazing, and the scent lingers on the hair even until the next day.
Even my mum complimented on how my hair looked softer - which she decided to touch it and then keep touching it haha.


This is my hair after I had used all three products.

As you can see, my hair looks noticeably softer, shinier and there is no frizz or any dryness. To me, this looks like I've been to the salon, had my hair washed and styled by a professional. 



I highly recommend the Kolor Lok hair treatment if you have damaged and dry hair, as that will definitely sort it out. 
If you're looking for a shampoo and conditioner that is SLS free, do check out the website as there are a lot of shampoos and conditioners on there that are free of sulphates, and you will definitely find a combination that works for you!

I hope you guys have liked this review, and thank you for reading
~ xoxo

Friday, 12 December 2014

Benefit Bronze Of Champions Makeup Kit Swatches & Sunkissed Bronze Makeup Tutorial


I don't know what it is about Benefit that really lures me in... their packaging, the catchy product names or the fact that their products look really intriguing. I'm not sure, but I finally bit the bullet and bought one of their makeup kits.

Not just any makeup kit.

Their 'Bronze of Champions' kit!

It was on Friday night within the final hours of the Black Friday sale on lookfantastic.com, and it was one of those moments where I thought, "I know I'm going to get something, I just know it. But I don't know what…"

And it wasn't because I wanted to buy a makeup product for the sake of buying it, but more because I was torn between 'Bronze of Champions' and 'Primping With The Stars' kit which includes the well known Benetint and Porefessional Primer (both of which I am dying to try!)

However, I settled on The Bronze Of Champions Kit as it included the Watts Up Highlighter and famous Hoola bronzer. I've always seen beauty YouTubers use the Hoola bronzer and rave about it, and I thought that rather than buying the individual product, I'd buy the kit as I'd be able to try a variety of items - even if they are smaller sizes.

The Bronze of Champions kit includes:
Hoola Bronzing Powder 3.0g
Ultra Plush Lip Gloss 'Hoola' 6.5ml
Watt’s Up! Soft Focus Highlighter 2.5
Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow 'Bikini-tini Cream' 3.2g
Longwear Powder Eyeshadow 'Thanks A Latte' 1.2g
They’re Real! Beyond Mascara 3.0g
Powder brush


And here are the swatches:

Swatches in order:
1) Watts Up! Highlighter
2) Bikini-tini Cream Eyeshadow
3) 'Thanks A Latte' Eyeshadow
4) Hoola Plush Lip Gloss
5) Hoola Bronzer

If you want to know my initial thoughts on the products and a tutorial on how I used the products, check out my YouTube video:


~~

Overall, I absolutely love the Hoola Bronzer and the Watts Up Highlighter - and those are two items I will definitely be repurchasing in their full sizes! 

I found that the Watts Up highlighter sat better on my skin compared to liquid highlighters that I've used. And it created a soft dewy appearance on my face rather than making me look like my face is overly shiny. This cream highlighter blends in very well on the face, even after you've applied foundation, and adds a soft radiant shimmer to your face :)

The Hoola Bronzer I found that it was an excellent shade for me, as sometimes I find bronzers to be a bit too brown or orange, or even too shimmery. However this bronzer gave me a nice sculpted look when I used it on my cheekbones and for contouring my nose. Plus, I wasn't left with two dusty stripes down the sides of my nose, which is a huge plus! I feel that you can really add as much bronzer as you like and really build it up, and you're still able to achieve a nice finish.

After trying the Cream eyeshadow, I knew that this wasn't my kind of product as I found that it was a bit too creamy to sit properly on my eyelids - especially as my eyelids are pretty oily too. I loved the shade of it as it was a pretty champagne colour which helped to minimise any darkness or redness on my eyelids. 

I've tried the 'They're Real' mascara before when it came with issue of Elle where Miley Cyrus graced the cover. I initially loved the mascara as I felt that it lengthened my lashes, and as this is in my Top 3 Mascara's list (in my head), it's not as great as the Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara that I absolutely love! I've recently been taught a trick to getting very long lashes using the They're Real Mascara, so if I see some sort of difference I guess that may up it's ranking ;) 

The 'Thanks A Latte' eyeshadow is a gorgeous shade, and I felt that despite it being a neutral colour (for my skin tone), it did show up on my eyelids and created a nice Cara Delevigne Grungy kinda look (that's who I can describe it!). I wouldn't say that these are the best eyeshadows, as I felt the pay off and pigment could've been slightly better. However, you are still able to build up on the eyeshadow and create more intensity. 

Finally, the Hoola Lipgloss is a 50/50 with me, as I felt that the colour was literally clear for me. In the swatches, it has a golden bronze tint to it which didn't really show up on my lips. However, that being said, this lipgloss is so soft on the lips and keeps them very hydrated! Generally my issue with lip glosses is that they can be quite drying, or they're very tacky when you put your lips together. But the Hoola lipgloss has a nice consistency to it that doesn't glue your lips together, nor dry out the lips. 
I'd love to try a different lipgloss from Benefit that has more colour to it, as that would be a more ideal for me!

I hope you guys liked this review - if you've made it this far! This is a brilliant kit and I definitely do recommend trying out the kits as you're able to try a variety of products.

Thanks for reading!

~ xoxo

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

My Skincare Secret | How I Got Rid Of My Acne

Hey guys! I hope you have all been well over the past few weeks (well, since I had last posted!)
I have a hugely, massively exciting blog post for you all today and I know a lot of you will like this post. 

So recently, I've been receiving a lot of comments on my YouTube videos, other comments and messages on Facebook from a lot of readers and subscribers, asking how I've managed to really improve my skin in a short amount of time.


(I may have foundation on, but look, no bumps! And my scarring isn't as visible now :D) 

I remember during November last year, I broke out pretty badly on my cheeks - which sadly, this was the result of using a particular foundation that I shall not name! This break out continued over the New Year period and into the first few months of 2014. For someone who has dealt with acne since the age of 13, you can see how frustrating this was for me as I'm fed up with having breakouts and continuously finding a solution.

Fortunately, after learning about adding oils into my skincare, going SLS-free and adapting to a much simpler skincare routine, I managed to calm down my acne a hell of a lot! I'm writing this now, thinking when I last had a breakout (and I can't remember). 

{{I will have a skincare routine video up soon that I will also share on this blog too! This is the skincare routine that I have been using since the end of August, and it has helped my skin improve dramatically!}}

Whilst on this new skincare routine, I found that despite not getting breakouts, my skin still had a lot of redness. Around my cheeks and nose area. Over the past few years, my cheeks, nose and chin have been problematic areas for me and these areas have always looked quite sore and red from my acne troubles.
But within the last two months, I was introduced to a new skincare secret that has helped to calm my skin down dramatically and improve the appearance of my skin. 

Check out my before and after:

Before, taken around December 2013.


After, taken 25th November: 


You can see that my redness has reduced so much, my scarring has faded very well and also no breakouts! 

My Skincare Secret is…


Help:Clear Skin is a basically a little powder formula that you can add to your morning beverage, porridge, post-work out protein shake (you can get creative!) and you just drink it.
I'm honestly not that creative, so I've just been adding it in my hot chocolate and cuppas. 

According to the website, Help: Clear Skin: "contains PravENAC™, our proprietary formula incorporating a clinically proven bioactive protein rich in lactoferrin. Lactoferrin has been shown to reduce the development of the bacteria responsible for many skin impurities due to its anti-microbial effects."

And in case you're wondering, Help: Clear Skin is suitable for vegetarians, diabetics and anyone lactose intolerant. Gluten free.

Additional Information:
Each 3.5g skin food supplement sachet contains 200mg of lactoferrin, the full recommended daily intake.
Each serving also contains high extract aloe vera and zinc gluconate which have an antimicrobial and nourishing effect on the skin and oligofructose which is a source of soluble fibre extracted from the chicory root.

I've been drinking Help:Clear Skin for several weeks now, and even after the first week, I noticed a difference in the texture of my skin. I've found that my skin is much more softer, supple and less oily - which is a big plus!
After another week of drinking the formula, my scarring has been clearing up and I have literally no redness on the areas where I once did.
This is a product that has really improved my skin (as you can tell from my recent photos), and I highly recommend those with problematic skin, acne and blemish prone skin to give this a try! 

If you're interested in trying out Help:Clear Skin, click here and it'll take you straight to their website. 


And incase you guys are here before Black Friday (Friday 28th November 2014), feel free to use discount code BFCM25 for 25% off! This offer ends on 1st December at midnight.

Thank you for reading this lengthy post, I apologise for how long it is, but a lot of people requested it and I wanted to explain in depth about this amazing product! If you have any questions about the product, feel free to leave a comment below or on my YouTube channel :)

~ xoxo

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Are You Ready For Halloween?

If you're new to this blog or my YouTube channel (or you've been hiding under a rock), you probably haven't seen my Halloween Makeup transformations yet! So to save you the trouble, I have a selected a few of my favourite Halloween makeup looks for this blog post and written up simple step by step instructions on how to create the makeup!


Avatar Neytiri Makeup:
This is possibly one of the simplest Halloween makeup looks I've done, as it mainly requires blue paint, dark blue eyeshadow and white paint.
1) Apply the blue face paint evenly all over the face and neck with a large spine - large because you can get it done quicker!
2) Set the paint with a blue powder (I used a royal blue eyeshadow), this helps to keep the face paint from slipping and sliding after a few hours!
3) With a navy blue eyeshadow, dust this over the eyelids for a bit of depth on the face. Make sure to blend it out a little bit so you don't have panda eyes.
4) Using a thin angled brush and the navy eyeshadow, start drawing lines on the forehead starting from the centre of the forehead. 
5) Finish off the face with white dots on the centre of the face. This is completely random but I used a reference photo of Neytiri when I did this.

And that's your finished Avatar makeup!


Baraka Mortal Kombat Makeup:
This one is a little tricky for those who don't have a steady hand and patience! but the overall result and outcome is amazing and I love seeing these kind of makeup looks. 

1) Starting off with a neutral matte brown eyeshadow, start drawing out the folds in the forehead and the outline of the mouth. 
2) Using a white paint (or a white eyeliner pencil in my case), start drawing the teeth. It really helps to start from the middle outwards, as you're able to control where each tooth is and not get too carried away drawing one side different to the other side.
3) Taking a black eye shadow, draw around the teeth - this will be the open mouth.
4) Using a gum/flesh coloured pencil or paint, draw the gums.
5) Using a darker matte brown eyeshadow, use this to create more depth around the mouth and use this to contour the face a bit more accurately. So around the eyes, nose and sides of the drawn on mouth.

This definitely does require a bit more time and patience, but it will look great in the end!


Burns / Scars / Wounds Makeup:
This is quite an easy makeup look to create as it doesn't require an exact set of rules as to where the burns or scars are placed. Also, this is completely mess free! I wanted to create a slightly gory makeup look that didn't require putty or latex, or anything that is really tedious to use. (I've tried using Putty and I just couldn't get the hang of it)

For this makeup, I used the Mehron Bruise Colour Wheel Palette, as that had all of the shades that you need!

1) Taking a mustard yellow paint, dab this on different areas of the face where you want the burns to be. This creates a sort of discoloured appearance of the skin. For a natural effect, use a slightly old sponge that has been used many times
2) Taking a blood red paint, dab this a little on top of where you had applied the red paint, this will help to create a build up of a sore appearance. You want the skin to look bruised and charred.
3) Taking a thin brush, dip it into a Maroon coloured paint and begin to outline the wounds and burns. This is completely random and you can place these how big or small you want. For a bit of a realistic effect, try a big wound surrounded by a mix of small and tiny wounds. 
4) Using the same maroon paint, dab this on the outside of the wounds, to make the wounds look a little raised and inflamed. It will also make the wounds look more 3D too!
5) Taking a dark blue paint, apply this in a corner of the wound as this will give more dimension and depth to the wound - making it a bit more realistic. Also, just apply this on one side of the wound.
6) Fill in the wound with a mix of the red and maroon paint, and don't be scared to apply the paint a little chunky too! This will obviously contribute to the 3D appearance of the wound.

This is quite an easy look - although it requires several paints - but it can look pretty realistic and effective!


Leopard Print Makeup:
This is a pretty easy makeup look as it requires black paint - and a bronze colour too although that is optional!

1) Using a bronze paint, dab this along the temples or wherever you want your leopard spots. This will give you an indication of where to draw the outlines of the spots.
2) Using the same bronze paint, apply this around the nose and mouth - to give a more feline appearance to the face.
3) For the spots, you can use an eyeliner or a face paint but I used a face paint as it was easier for me to work with. Begin to create 'C' shapes rather than circles, and also use the same paint to draw the dots on the upper lip and create the nose.

It will help to use a reference picture of a Leopard! :)


Pop Art Makeup Look:
This too, is quite an easy makeup look as you're basically using white, blue and black paint (if you're wanting to emphasise the lips you can use a lipstick).

1) Start drawing dots along the face using a white paint or eyeliner pencil. I chose white as it really stands out, although I know some people have used red. Use your jawline as a guidance of where to place your dots. Try to keep your dots in a line and equally sized.
2) This is optional, but if you want to add a tear, create large tear drop under one eye to make it look like you're crying.
3) Taking a black paint or eyeliner, start to outline areas of your face including your eyeliner, eye crease, tear drop, face creases, nose bride, lips and cheekbones.
4) Also, draw your eyebrows thick and angular!
5) For the lips, you can apply your lipstick of choice and use a white paint to emphasise a light. Although this is optional! 

This is a super easy makeup look and looks very effective :) You can also play around with the facial expression too!


Bite Wounds Makeup:

This is pretty much the same as the Burns / Scars / Wounds makeup, as I used the same palette and process. The only difference with this makeup, is that I drew red and purple lines to look like veins. You can follow your natural vein lines or draw more to emphasise the wounds. 
This look requires a lot of dark blue as that will help to emphasise how deep the wounds are, and it will make it look really realistic.

Feel free to check out my YouTube channel for my Halloween makeup tutorials as I have plenty more on there :)

10 Reasons Why You Didn’t Peak During High School

Was High school really the best years of your life?

To answer that question... No. Probably Not. 

I don’t want this post to be a reminder of how shite your High School years was, but, it might take you back there.

I think we can agree that the main people who ‘peaked’ during High School had a whale of a time. But for those of us who weren’t so lucky, here are:
10 Reasons Why You Didn’t Peak During High School.

  1. The music you liked wasn’t so mainstream. And by mainstream, I’m talking about artists that pretty much everyone knew and heard of on the TV, (Beyonce, Rihanna, Pussycat Dolls - I’m struggling to remember artists that everyone liked back the 00s).
  2. Instead you liked music that was considered ‘weird’ so maybe a bit of Panic! At The Disco, Linkin Park, The Killers, Fall Out Boy. Yeah I’m struggling to find a reason why this music was considered ‘weird’ too...
  3. You were very smart at something or you were keen to learn. Which led to you being called a ‘swot’ or a ‘geek’. But to the majority of the world’s population, you were considered ‘a student who wants to get somewhere in their life’. 
  4. You didn’t follow school trends, and I’m talking about those headband things that people wore on their foreheads and those disc belts. Yeah, it may have been a trend but they’re so last decade.
  5. You actually got on with your teacher, and I mean in the sense of getting your work done and talking to them about how you could improve. (I’m sure you guys can tell I was nowhere near peaking during High School).
  6. You were shit at sports. Literally. C’mon guys, we can be honest here. I was terrible at sports and still am, in fact the only thing I can do is walk and sometimes I don’t do that properly. (I have an amazing talent at tripping over flat surfaces).
  7. You couldn’t wait to get home from school so you could play The Sims. Don’t lie. I know I wasn’t the only one.
  8. Or, you were excited to hop onto MSN Messenger and update your screen name with lyrics to a song that was a not so subtle hint to someone you liked... even though they most likely never paid attention. Although now we have websites like ask.fm and Tumblr, where you can tell them your real and honest feelings... as Anonymous.
  9. Even your group of friends liked the same music as you, had the same interests as you and even disliked the same people.
  10. But despite these reasons, you still had a decent time during High School... minus the bullies, the negative comments and P.E classes.
This may seem like a negative post - which I hope it doesn't come across that way - because I guess things… worked out? 

Feel free to share this post if you agreed, or leave a comment if you have any reasons you'd like to add! :)
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