Monday, 16 November 2015

Review: Garnier Ultimate Blends, The Shine Revitaliser

I’ve been on the search for a new shampoo and conditioner for normal hair for a while now. So many brands concentrate on dry and damaged, or volume boosting that us normal heads are often using a shampoo that is too cleansing, or a conditioner that is too heavy for our hair.
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As the weather changes, it’s important to make sure your haircare routine is up to protecting your hair not just from the winter winds and rain, but the drying effect from central heating. When Garnier Ultimate Blends The Shine Revitaliser* arrived on my doorstep with the promise of no parabens, and boosting vitality I had to give it a go! The Ultimate Blends range, made up of six blends tailored to particular hair needs launched in 2014 offers help for any hair type – from dry to dull, frizzy, coloured, split ends, and of course normal.
The ingredients used in the shampoo and conditioner are known as natural agents to boost shine. Mediterranean Lemon extracts along with Chinese Green Tea help bring hair back to its best. I’ve found my hair feels clean, and fresh. I tend to use conditioner every wash, on mid lengths and ends, rather than alternating as I usually do as the Ultimate Blends did dry my hair a little. I'd recommend for ladies and gents who find their hair a little oily, those with dry or frizzy hair, try out The Sleek Restorer products in the range. The Shine Revitaliser has a really fresh smell, and leaves a slight scent on my hair. Even with commuting into London, I find my hair is still feeling good at the end of the day. There is also a Revitalising Dry Shampoo available for a quick boost in between washes.
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Value for money, the Garnier Ultimate Blends comes out top. You can pick up the shampoo and conditioner for under a fiver on the Allcures website at the moment. For a 400ml size bottle that’s not bad at all! It’s definitely worth looking on the Allcures website for beauty buys, there are a lot of big brands at very low prices – along with medicines and other bits you might need to buy.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Perfect Party Accessories

I love a hair accessory, and what better way to add the perfect party touch to your hair. From barrettes to headbands, the possibilities are endless, and no matter what length your hair is, there's an accessory out there for you.
Look to the high street for affordable accessories. River Island have some fantastic 1920's style styles, my favourite is this gorgeous back crown. I can imagine this looking perfect on a simple, sleek ponytail - particularly for ladies who have dark brown or black hair. 
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ASOS as always have a great selection of headbands and clips to finish a tousled up do, or chic bun. I love wearing my hair up to show off my shoulders, or neckline of an outfit. It's helpful they also model a lot of the accessories on actual heads, rather than polystyrene ones. Gives you an idea of what it'll actually look like!
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Finally, the wonderful Crown & Glory - I've bought a few accessories here and there from Sophie & Gareth and have never been disappointed. So much choice, and so much glitter. There's also a great custom order service if you want something special. Also, great gift idea, The Glitterati box and unbelievable monthly subscription service for those love adorning their hair with beautiful accessories.
And if you fancy a bit of a challenge, why not make your own accessories? My latest piece for OVL gives you some handy hints on how to use your jewellery box to get some finishing touches for your hair.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

How About Honest Hair

Ladies (and gents) have been using hair colourants for years. In there various guises and forms, we've been smoothering our strands to change our look. Whether it's covering grey, or to wow with rainbow hair there is a product that promises to change what nature gave us.
Adverts telling us about the 'science part' and promising 'full coverage of greys' have been around for years, with Clairol amongst many to promote their products with celebrity endorsed statements, and lots of swishing of hair. With the recent banning of the Clairol Nice 'n' Easy advert featuring Christina Hendricks (having a hair colour that was anything but Nice 'n' Easy) is it time for brands to release that we are no longer buying an exaggerated offer of amazing hair - isn't it time for the truth?
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The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) ruled that the ad with Christina Hendricks mislead viewers into thinking the finished result could be achieved using the product. Complaints from 'hair colour experts' meant that Proctor & Gamble have had to explain that Christina's hair was actually dyed blonde weeks before, then covered with red, to show off the shade seen in the advert. The clips used were filmed and played essentially in the wrong order to give the illusion of her hair being transformed from red to blonde.
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I have seen a lot of bloggers that have worked with hair colour brands, with amazing results. I think the bridge between consumer and blogger is less, so it's much easier for viewers to relate to and think they can 'achieve the look'. A fantastic advertising opportunity for the brand, but it's also important to keep the truth at the forefront, which I believe using bloggers means there is often more transparency there. However, I have seen a lot of social media feedback on a certain product launched this year - and promoted by a well-known blogger that has received nothing but negative tales from unhappy cutstomers who certainly haven't got the look they were promised.
Consumers aren't stupid, and as brands and companies become more accessible through social media, it means they are open to a lot more public scrutiny. In my opinion it's a welcome change. I have watched as clients I used to colour went to home haircare using box dyes, expecting the results on doctored images or the celeb look - often being incredibly disappointed.
I'd love to know your thoughts on this 
- do you believe all you see and read, 
or have you wised up to the all-isn't-what-it-seems advert?

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Halloween Tutorial: The Mummy

Halloween, not a time for sexy outfits or cutesy make up. I want gore, I want scare, I want gruesome.
Thinking about Halloweening your hair up, combined with packing away lots of hair tools that had taken over the spare room helped me come up with this look. The Mummy.
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Now, this is a super easy look that won't cost a lot. Use whatever you have for material, and you don't even need the Scunci InstaTwist, but it does definitely speed the process up. I'm not the best at make up, but my motto is make it look as creepy as possible and you'll be fine.
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So you'll need to grab the InstaTwist, some ripped material and a few clear, small elastic bands;
- Take a piece of material and place in one of the clips, and a section of hair in the other clip
- Hold the material up to mimic the direction of hair, and give enough tension to avoid it tangling
- Once twisted together. secure with a small clear elastic band
- Continue around your head, use different lengths to give a really bedraggled Mummy look
- Spray dry shampoo closely onto hair creating a dusty, chalky look in your hair
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I've got a couple of easy, and good value ways to spook up your Halloween look and party coming this week so keep reading...

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful #4

A wonderful autumn weekend. I much prefer autumn and winter to other seasons, for me the crisp weather, the gorgeous colours and the warming, home cooked food makes me happy.
Tom and I took some time out to relax this weekend, taking a walk around Woburn - spotting deer, and crunching in leaves. The fire was packed up with logs and coal when we got home - my favourite feature in our house is the log burner, it's just so cosy, and saves putting the heating on.
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I love roasting up dishes of colourful vegetables, and slow cooking delicious stews. The last few years, I've found that I can cook quite well and whilst I need to prefect my baking, my cooking is pretty good. Tom however, can flavour bomb any dish to make it incredible. He has a real talent. As I'm getting home later with work, it's great to know I'll come back and he would have started to create something tasty...just don't mention the washing up. Every pot and spoon!
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We've got lots to look forward to the next few months, so it was nice to take some time and just spend time with each other. There are birthdays. Halloween parties, and of course fireworks to come - how can it not be the best time of the year! Autumn, I love you.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Loose Waves with the Remington Curl Revolution

When is a styler a bit different from the norm, when it rotates of course. The new Remington Curl Revolution* is a rotating barrel styler that has five temperature settings. The 15 second heat up time means you can switch on and be styling in no time at all.
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You take a section of hair and place between the plates, at an angle from your head. The Curl Revolution is able to rotate in different directions to avoid a uniform finish and the styler will feed the section of hair through, leaving a loose wave. I much prefer a more relaxed texture to my hair, and this enhances my natural wave. A quick blast of Batiste XXL Volume Spray and I get the beachy style waves that I tend to pick as the weather gets a little windier and wild. Other features include auto shut off after 60 minutes, worldwide voltage and storage pouch - which I do wish was black rather than a pale pink to match the styler, it just looks a little dated. Priced at £89.99 it's at the higher end of the scale, but I've seen Boots and Argos selling on offers, so think you'll be able to pick this up for less - keep your eyes peeled for a bargain.
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A word of warning, it does take a little while to get used to, but once you have the hang of it, it creates loose waves that don't look too done. I use a lot of different stylers, and this was definitely the trickiest - but stick with it, and the result does pay off. If you have thick hair, I wouldn't recommend this, as the space where you put each section of hair isn't that wide so I think ladies with thick hair would struggle with this aspect. If you have mid length hair, or slightly shorter bob style this would work well to create a disheveled look that is EVERYWHERE at the moment.