Tuesday, 9 February 2016

How To: Pancaking Plaits

Happy Pancake Day! Doesn't seem like the strange terms for hair styling will be stopping anytime soon. We've had plopping, the 'mun' and now pancaking. Not adding some lemon and sugar to the top of your bonce (although get this on your pancakes you are flipping tonight!) this is all about flattening and giving the illusion of more hair.
 photo pancake plaits_zpsrbkjkjlp.jpg
Stylists have been using this technique for ages, Jenny (Confessions of a Hairstylist) being one who automatically springs to my mind. So, how do you 'pancake' hair? It's all about tugging and pulling either side of a neat and tidy plait to flatten it and make it larger. This works really well on Dutch plaits rather than French plaits and those with long hair will get a much more dramatic effect. However, it's a great way of helping shorter, thinner hair seem fuller. Try doing a few dutch braids and then pancake them on shorter hair to cheat an up do. Prepping hair with a texturising spray,a little Percy & Reed Wonder Balm, or even a good blast of dry shampoo will help add grip and once you've pancaked your plaits, probably time to go treat yourself with some real pancakes!
 photo pancake plait klghair_zps4nbr8qyk.jpg

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Textured Hair & How with RUSH and Redken

After cutting my hair shorter, I visited the new Hair Gallery at the House of Rush in Piccadilly for a fantastic styling masterclass. I like wearing my new bob style in a shaggy, rough style letting my natural wave show (with a little help from my faithful H2D tong) so the done undone masterclass was perfect to give me some tips on how to get the textured look I was after.
 photo textured hair_zpsn7s6h6ka.jpg
Whilst I was with one of the RUSH experts, they recommended giving my randomly tonged pieces (they used the ghd Curve Classic Wave Wand - which I really need to get my hands on now) of hair, a blast with Redken Wax Blast 10, a great way to add some grit without making hair heavy -full review coming later this week. Using a spray means you can lightly go over areas of hair and using your hands move hair, and twist pieces between your fingers for added definition. I was sold! It's been ages since I've been so impressed with a hair product. My RUSH hair expert told me it's best to hold the tong so the tip is directly pointing towards to the floor, and when wrapping your hair around, leave the ends out to give a more undone look. A quick blast of hairspray will help to hold. It's all about using products to help the undone style, but avoid an over styled look. 
You can have your own 45 minute masterclass and get some great expert advice at the Piccadilly salon, give them a call to book in. It's a great way to learn a new style and ask as many hair questions as you want. I'd love to go back and have one every week, it's still great picking up new tips even if you are a stylist yourself. I love the little styling stations with lights around the mirror, and the handy tablets showing videos of different looks you can achieve. 
 photo Hair-Masterclass-The-House-of-Rush_zpsb38z6tld.jpg  photo The-House-Of-Rush-Hair-Gallery_zpsoyggd3ma.jpg

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Review: Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shampoo & Keratin Cream Rinse

I love Paul Mitchell products (always want to say Phil Mitchell, definitely not the right Mitchell) and have tried out a few of the ranges available (I reviewed the fantastic Lemon Sage Thickening Spray here) so had high hopes for the Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Shampoo & Keratin Cream Rinse when I started using them as part of my haircare routine.
 photo IMG_3624_zpspwchrxhd.jpg
It's paraben and sulphate free formula means it's great for coloured hair, and the awapuhi extract moisturises leaving hair with shine and manageable. KeraTriplex (an exclusive blend of keratin protein) rebuilds and repairs hair and is featured in both the shampoo (£16.95) and conditioner. The Keratin Cream Rinse (£18.95) is thick and a little goes a long way, it really helps to detangle hair, and before I chopped mine off it was great at tackling tangles. Of course, one of the really great things about Paul Mitchell products is the fact they don't test on animals.
 photo IMG_3626_zpscz3oibx5.jpg
The blurb on the back says it's suitable for all hair types, and ideal for chemically processed and colour-treated hair, however I found the shampoo and conditioner a little too moisturising. My hair felt heavy if I used both products, so found just using the shampoo and then the conditioner once a week. If your hair is dry and in need of moisture, this shampoo and conditioner combo would work well, I'd say for ladies who have perhaps overdone the bleach or find their hair to need a lot of moisture. This is definitely one to treat damaged hair and get it back to its best!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Try it: Natural Deodorant

Thinking about the amount of things you put on, and in your body without really taking into account the ingredients that are in them, is a pretty scary thought! Research into certain elements of many of our spray on deodorants have pointed towards health risks due to levels of Aluminum, something we shouldn't have long term exposure to. It's been linked to breast cancer, and Alzheimers disease as it's a known neurotoxin. Whilst there aren't definitive answers on this yet, it's worth looking into alternatives to see if you can learn and change certain products. I've been trying out natural deodorant and reading up a little more on the reasons we should be thinking more about what we use and reading those labels. I'm guilty of not reading the majority of labels when it comes to make up and beauty products, something I'm trying to make a conscious effort to change. As consumers, we seem to have become a lot more aware over the years of what we are eating, and where our food comes from, so hopefully it'll be the same for our beauty regime.
 photo IMG_3668_zpspprtqsyv.jpg
I don't want to smell. And I do sweat, not a huge amount but the normal. Walking to work, commuting on the train, getting nervous before a client meeting, I don't want to lack confidence and be sneaking a secret pit sniff to see if I smell. The first natural deodorant I used was Neal's Yard Lemon & Coriander (£8.50) after being given it as a Christmas gift. First spray, I couldn't help but think of a G&T, not a bad thing. Using essential oils of lemon, lime and grapefruit give a fresh smell, and it dries quickly on the skin. Grapefruit seems to pop up in a lot of natural deodorants, as another, PitRok (£4.99) contains this, along with Aloe Vera. The PitRok crystal in the spray stops the bacteria that cause underarm odour from growing, and whilst it takes a little longer to dry, has kept me feeling fresh - even when tackling some bookcase shifting at the weekend.
When it comes to exercise, I don't think these natural deodorants would stand up to sweat - but many don't, and that's what the showers at the gym are there for after all. For daily use they are fine to tackle body sweat. It's a different scent from your usual sprays, and most don't mask your smell, which after using the perfumed, powdered sprays for years, took a while to get used too. A word of warning, it takes a couple of weeks for your body to adjust and sweat glands to level out, but it does happen. I still use perfume, and Impulse body spray (which is a quick spray all over rather than a concentrated area) however, I think I'm going to carry on using natural deodorant in place of usual sprays.
 photo IMG_3673_zpssduku2tv.jpg
Have you tried out natural deodorant? Would love to know your thoughts...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Travel: Copenhagen on a budget

Telling people Tom and I were going to Copenhagen for a few days seemed to give a very similar reaction. 'Ooh it's pricey there' and 'You'll spend a fortune!' - as we are on a bit of a budget at the moment I was slightly panicked but vowed to not spend lots, and still have a great time.
 photo FullSizeRender 1_zpswymit7up.jpg  photo FullSizeRender 5_zpsxdxpuofa.jpg
Eat & Drink. If you are on a budget, and want something to eat whilst wandering around, look out for the hot dog stands. They are everywhere, and it costs around 35 Kroner (about £3.50) for a hot dog with all the toppings. And they are pretty tasty! We managed to visit a few great places to eat - mainly in the meat packing (Kodbyen) district of Vesterbro. Warpigs is a fantastic brewpub that also cooks up some amazing BBQ style food. We ended up having some 'snacks' here two nights in a row, consisting of gorgeous brisket, and some hot buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce. Delicious food, great beer (and root beer) and friendly staff. Highly recommend!
 photo IMG_5524_zpsk22s8zt1.jpg  photo IMG_3386_zpsasdiqwvk.jpg
If you like pizza, definitely make a trip to Mother for one of their famous sourdough pizzas. If it's busy, have a cocktail whilst you wait for a table, it's pretty quick so you won't be waiting long. We shared a pizza and some bruschette and the bill came to 112 Kroner (approx £11) with drinks.
 photo IMG_5555_zpswkx0fvyf.jpg  photo IMG_5556_zpstmczkyrk.jpg
We also tried out a smorgasbord and some pickled herring at Nyhavn, it's worth a look around for the best deal on smorgasbord, as often places will offer a variety for around 119 Kroner. Tom and I settled on this as it was a great way to try out a few different options.
If you want to try out beers brewed in the local area, the Taphouse (central Copenhagen) might just be the place for you. They have a whooping 61 taps, ready to pour any kind of beer, at any kind of strength. Not a bad price either if you visit during happy hour.

There is so much to see in Copenhagen and the surrounding districts, do some research before and plan your days to make sure you get in as much as you can. We picked up a map from the hotel which had the districts listed and a few points of interest, only managed to get lost a couple of times! The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) is a must, and bigger than I expected after being told it was 'disappointing' - goes to show how people's opinions can differ! Before we saw The Little Mermaid, we visited the best preserved star fortress Citadel (Kastellat) completed around 1664 which was a cold but lovely walk. The National Musuem is free to visit and has a lot of interesting information about Denmark's history which I enjoyed learning about.
 photo IMG_3353_zpsrgq78dok.jpg  photo IMG_3329_zpsrcozz4vj.jpg
Nyhavn is the 17th century canal district lined with colourful buildings ready to sell you smorgasbord. It's a beautiful part of the city and we strolled down the canal path whilst on our way to The Little Mermaid. Not so much of the sailors and prostitution it was known for many years ago, still lots of beer though.
We also had a look around the freetown district Christiania, which has around 850 residents regulated by special law. The cannabis trade, which is tolerated by government means that photos in certain parts of the town are not allowed, and walking through this area kind of spoilt the freetown for me. It had a slight feeling of Glastonbury, without the commercial side of things, and I loved the art that has been painted on building walls and the bohemian feeling of the place. Tom also got told he was beautiful by a lady as we walked through the town so that pleased him! (he's is rather pretty though)
 photo IMG_5563_zpszoi0ibvs.jpg  photo FullSizeRender_zpsjrrkzbwm.jpg
We stayed at the Hotel Danmark, which was pretty central and only a ten minute walk to the train station. Our hotel wasn't the fanciest, but it was a great base for sleeping, and warming up after a lot of walking in the cold Danish weather. I paid 1,112 Kroner for two nights for a standard double room, toiletries were included (mini Ren products) as were fresh towels daily. The room was clean, and shower was hot and powerful - two of the most important things to me.

Might be helpful. I booked our accommodation through booking.com and it was all very easy (and cheap) They give you a great personalised guide you can download to your phone that has details of the area your hotel is, and places nearby. The flights were booked a couple of months in advance (£40 for both of our return flights) with Ryanair and we only packed hand luggage (for a few days it's easier and cheaper than taking a case) If you fly into Copenhagen airport, get the metro/train to Central Station, most hotels/places are walking distance and it's cheaper than getting a taxi - our tickets cost 72 Kroner each way, and added to the adventure of learning about a new country.
I'd love to go back to Copenhagen as there are some things we didn't have time to do, such as visit the Round Tower. It's a friendly, chilled city and if you are on a budget, it's definitely still worth a trip.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Review: Charles Worthington Colour Revive Mousse

If you colour your hair, but find a couple of weeks before you freshen up your shade your hair looks dull and lacks a bit of colour oomph, then the Charles Worthington Colour Revive Mousse may be just the thing to help. The temporary tinted mousses, in a range of colours (including a Clear Gloss for those who just want a little more shine) are the perfect pick me up and really easy to use.
The Revive Mousses can be used 2-3 times a week, and are applied to freshly washed hair. You simply comb through 1-2 pumps of mousse on each section of hair (comb hair into four sections for easy application) and then blowdry as normal. They recommend to use a cleansing shampoo between uses to avoid product build up. I've tried out the Clear Gloss option and found it made my hair look glossier and calmed frizz. My hair has coloured ends, but the majority is my natural shade so the Clear Gloss was the perfect option for me. I am surprised they haven't launched a red shade (currently there are Light Brown, Dark Brown, Violet Toning and Blonde) but perhaps this is in the pipeline as I think it'd be great for ladies who find their red tones lack vibrancy and need a pick up, for now they could use the Clear Gloss though. 
 photo c44aae6d-e96a-4533-b25b-99cdabf6064b_zpsffd7zkfr.jpg  photo IMG_3633_zpsvg24m6g1.jpg
The Revive Mousse lasts 2-3 washes, and is free from parabens and ammonia. It smells great, and didn't leave my hair feeling heavy. The Mousse formula is very easy to apply and feels like a styling mousse you'd prep hair with. If you use the colour mousses it's worth popping on some gloves to avoid staining, although if you wash your hands immediately after application you should be fine.
You can pick up your colour boosting shade at Boots for £9.99, but there is currently a buy one, get one half price on selected Charles Worthington products. A good price for a quick colour boost!