Tuesday, 26 March 2013

How to: Fashion blogging

Last week, Kellie from Big Fashionista asked for guest posters and I shoved my hand in the air like an over-excited school kid who really knows the answer. It gave me a chance to write something a little bit different.

Head over to Kellie's blog to have a nose at my post - but first, here's a couple of the full sized pictures of my attempt at fashion and posing for 'selfies'!

My guest post can be found here: How to fashion blog - the REAL story

Enjoy xx

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Happy hair days

My hair has been through a lot. If it could talk, in it's therapy sessions, it would probably say: 'I'm so tired. The bleach and endless ponytails are killing me!' Hmm. And how does that make you feel...? *ahem*

Image: Noukka Signe

In the absence of hair counselling, I spend quite a lot of time into searching out products to help my hair get through the tough times and make life better for it. Here's a run down of my hair routine and products I recommend...

Like it or not, I tend to wash my hair every 2-3 days. I try to leave it as long as possible for several reasons: it's not great for your hair and scalp to strip the natural oils too often and it means your hair gets greasier quicker, I have very long hair and it takes up valuable time, I have tired, bleached hair which needs as much respite as I can give it, - oh and I like to save water and the environment cos I'm eco-friendly and stuff! So most of the time I use TRESemmé Colour Thrive or Colour Revitalise shampoo and conditioner. These are somewhere between basic and designer products wand you can get it in massive bottles for really affordable prices - as little as £4 for 900ml, sometimes better value if you grab it on offer!).

As my hair has been bleached, I like to use a silverising shampoo every three or four washes or so to keep the orangey, brassy tones at bay. John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Corrector is a 'blue' shampoo (yes, they are a bluey, purple colour - don't freak out!) which is great for reducing brassiness and general hair maintenance. I wouldn't advise using it too often though as I have found that it makes my scalp a bit sore and sensitive after a while. By nature, I'd expect silver or blue shampoos to be harsher on the hair and in turn they are a little harsher on the scalp. Buy John Frieda from Boots from £5.89.

When my scalp is feeling sensitive Schwarzkopf Professional Igora Senea Colour High Scalp Comfort can really help calm it down. These type of sensitive scalp products don't always seem to have much of an effect or can leave your hair feeling a bit ropier than usual but not this one! The conditioner deeply conditions hair and leaves it feeling really nourished and the shampoo is very gently on sore scalps. This is a salon product but you can purchase it online from several places - Escentual offer it at affordable prices.

I find my hair really needs a lot of conditioning so I use a conditioning mask once or twice a week as well as a leave in conditioner. My current favourites are from Andrew Barton's S.O.S. Help Me! range. The mask is particularly thick and nourishing and the leave-in conditioner just gives an extra conditioning boost after rinsing. These are very affordable and I pick mine up in Asda for around £3-£5!

I also have a few favourite styling products but I'm going to leave them for another day! Till then, have happy hair days!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

New York and Laura Mercier speed review

I haven't written a blog post in a long time. Frankly, I've just been busy with life outside the internet!

Before Christmas, I went to New York which was fab. It was my first time in the US and I also got engaged which was nice!

The shopping was very hard to resist and I did treat myself a bit. I was on holiday and it was Christmas! Here's a few of the things I bought...

I'll save the much-raved-about Clarisonic Mia 2 for its own post but here's a quick speed review of the Laura Mercier primer and secret concealer.

Both of these were a repurchase for me. I discovered Laura Mercier a few years ago while on a makeup course. The primer is an absolute must for long-staying makeup - particularly bridal makeup which needs to last all day. It comes in several types - I use the oil free as my skin can be oily in places but there is a hydrating equivalent for drier skin. This feels very wet when you apply it and is really nice and moisturising. You don't need to use a lot, a little goes a long way. It evens out the skin surface and foundation applies flawlessly over it.

The Laura Mercier Secret Concealer is by far and away THE best concealer I've ever used. I find a lot of concealers seem to just highlights dark circles and leave orange blobs where blemishes used to be. Not this one. With Secret Concealer it literally melts into skin and blends into my skin tone. The only downside of this product is that it doesn't come in a very pale shade. I use number 1 which is the lightest shade and I'm well aware that there are paler ladies out there that this will be too dark for. However, if you can find a shade to match - you'll never be without it again.

Neither of these are cheap - although I saved a little bit by buying in New York - but they are seriously worth every penny and will last for ages.

More New York purchases to come!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

A new way to floss and keep smiling!

I've always been very lucky with my teeth. Apart from the usual teenage orthodontic nightmares, I have all 32 teeth present and correct. Until last year.

Ever since my first (traumatic) filling, I am not friends with my dentist and very keen to do whatever I can to avoid a repeat of that assault. I brush twice a day, even when I'm drunk/tired/not leaving the house and use mouthwash too. I once read somewhere that when you're in your teens you can get away with not brushing twice a day, and in your twenties it won't do too much damage if you don't manage twice a day every now and again, but into your thirties it really starts to have an effect on your teeth. Remembering that always makes me brush when I'm feeling lazy! My real problem though is when it comes to flossing.

We're told it's brilliant for reducing plaque and looking after your teeth but I really struggle not just with remembering or making time to do it when I'm tired or in a rush, but also with actually holding on to the little slippy blighter and getting into all the awkward corners. So when I was asked if I wanted to try the Philips Sonicare AirFloss, I have to say I jumped at the chance.

The AirFloss looks a bit like an electric toothbrush but with a little nozzle on the end. The way it works is genius but actually very simple. You fill the barrel at the bottom of the nozzle with water or mouthwash, point it at a gap between your teeth and press the button. The AirFloss shoots out a jet of air and water in a quick burst which gently blasts out any debris between teeth. How cool is that?

The first time I gave the AirFloss a try, Mr. BB and I spent a good ten minutes in fits of laughter. If you're not quite sure what to expect the AirFloss can take you by surprise a bit! I ended up with water sprayed up the bathroom mirror and also all over me. It was much fun before bedtime! Rest assured that once you get the hang of it, you learn to keep your mouth a bit more closed so water doesn't go all over your bathroom mirror and you really do end up with super clean, sparkly feeling teeth! It also makes a really cool 'floof' noise when the air jet is fired which has resulted in it being called 'The Floofer' in our house!

Having had this for a few months now, I can say it really works and I would definitely recommend it over traditional floss any day. It's so easy to use, gets into all the tricky corners - even around wisdom teeth - and you can 'floss' completely in about a minute. Really beats struggling to keep your grip on twiddly bits of waxy string as well as the waste of chucking it in the bin when you're finished.

Philips Sonicare AirFloss has an RRP of £90, however, it's currently on sale for around £74.99 at Boots, Amazon, John Lewis as well as other retailers. Although this isn't necessarily what is I'd call a cheap buy, worth the investment long-term for saving on dental floss and potentially even dental bills!

Will you be investing in looking after your smile?

*PR sample sent for consideration

~ Don't forget my blog sale is still live! ~
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