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, 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
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