Sunday, 24 April 2016

How to get PERFECT Ombre Hair at Home

I've had ombre hair on and off since late 2011 and I've always done it myself. I've perfected the method by now so I thought I'd share how I do my hair! I'm not a professional by any means, just a regular girl who likes to save money. Bleaching your hair will damage your hair, but we can ameliorate the damage as much as possible by following proper steps and a good aftercare routine for your hair.

In terms of supplies, you will need:

  • Bowl and Tinting Brush (can be bought in a set from stores such as Bodycare - and they're really inexpensive)
  • Tin Foil
  • Powder Bleach (I use Jerome Russell brand)
  • Cream Peroxide (I use 40 Vol Jerome Russell)
  • Platinum Blonde Toner OR Permament Light Ash Blonde Hair Dye
  • Any brand Silver Shampoo

First, you want to trim off your split ends or give your hair a decent trim before you ombre or else you'll be bleaching the hair that you're just about to cut off so it makes sense to cut first. Make sure to brush your hair out fully. It would make sense to wash with a clarifying shampoo prior to this but it's not essential.

Next you should cut your foils. Cut your tin foil into long relatively thin strips. If you have longer or thicker hair then you will need more strips. 

Now it's time to pop a towel over your shoulders, secure it with some separating clips if you have them. Mix your powder bleach and cream peroxide in your bowl - definitely open the windows and make sure that the room you're in is well aired generally as you don't want to be breathing these fumes in in a poorly ventilated area.

Brush your peroxide mixture onto the parts of hair that you'd like to bleach. Start at the ends and work your way up - it doesn't have to be neat at all as ombre hair isn't neat! After you've covered each section then wrap it in foil. 

Once your whole hair is done wait between 30 - 90 mins, lifting the foil every so often to check the colour of your hair. Remove the foil when your hair is your desired lightness, but no longer than 90 minutes.

Wash your hair with silver shampoo or just regular shampoo if you don't have any silver shampoo. Towel dry your hair well and then you can go down two options to counteract the yellow tones in your newly lightened hair:

  1. Use a toner. This is a temporary solution and may not remove all the yellow hues. However, toners do not damage your hair so can be used as much as you like.
  2. Use a Light Ash Blonde permanent hair dye. This will last a long time and the pigments in this particular colour of dye will counteract the yellow tones in your bleached hair perfectly. 
Enjoy your gorgeous ombre hair!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Review: Weleda Skin Food

When I first started this blog, I still worked at Holland and Barrett. Whilst working there, I got into using Weleda products as we sold lots of them in store but have never gotten around to doing an actual review on here about any of them. Weleda's haircare and skincare are absolutely amazing - I love how natural they are too!

The products that I'm going to talk about today is called Skin Food. It's been around for 90 years, having been introduced in 1926! It's totally affordable and is filled with natural botanical extracts. Skin Food is a balm which is designed to soothe the skin and promote radiance. It's perfect for my hands as they tend to get dry and rough from using gym equipment. When I use it on my hands after exercising they really drink it in and feel totally nourished. The product is suitable for vegetarians and comes in a recyclable metal tube.

Skin Food has become really popular over the last few years - with many celebrities famously swearing by it including Rihanna, Adele etc. And it's also used at London Fashion Week behind the scenes. In fact, it's Weleda's #1 selling skincare product in the UK and has won 23 awards in the past decade in the UK alone. 

So let's have a closer look at the ingredients of Skin Food. It's made up of organic plant extracts, oils and waxes which are rich and deeply penetrate the skin as well as being incredibly gentle. The distinctive and uplifting fragrance comes from essential oils - namely orange and lavender. I love the smell of lavender and I love the smell of orange, but I'd never actually smelt them together before using this product and it really is a divine scent.

The base of the product is organic almond oil, sunflower oil and organic beeswax. Other plant extracts include:

Chamomile Flower Extract
Chamomile flowers are thought to possess gentle healing and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Calendula Flower Extract
Calendula is often paired with Chamomile, the combination having a soothing effect on the skin. For centuries, Calendula has been used to calm irritated or inflamed skin and it also has anti-bacterial properties.

Rosemary Leaf Extract
Rosemary is revitalising and stimulating and is used to perk up pasty skin.

Wild Pansy Extract
Wild Pansy is often used on rough, cracked skin. It's perfect for restoring skin to its soft and smooth state!

This is a product that I really enjoy and totally believe in. Natural, high quality skincare need not be unaffordable and this product reflects that. Skin Food is a thick balm which rubs in and absorbs quickly whilst leaving a light sheen on the skin. It's not greasy whatsoever and I love to use this to hydrate my thirsty skin at the end of the day.

Check out Weleda here.

Review: Karma Se7en Body Jewellery

I've reviewed a selection of Karma Se7en's excellent body jewellery before - and I have some more pieces to show you today! The quality of the jewellery from Karma Se7en is second to none - it's all unbelievably beautiful and well made. I came straight in from the gym and found the package and immediately wanted to try my earrings in so apologies for the sportswear and slightly gross looking hair.

I went and got a double helix piercing last summer and it's finally healed so I got myself some lovely pretty pieces from Karma Se7en to celebrate removing my original bars! Helix earrings are available to view here.

Karma Se7en package their jewellery in these little purple gift boxes, and inside the box the jewellery is secured inside a plastic box with a screw lid which is so handy for storing jewellery and is such a god send when travelling - I never lose my earrings anymore!

All of the earrings that I have to show you are of a botanical theme. I love flowers anyway but when it gets to spring and summer I go a little bit flower mad. The close up of the Rose Helix Piercing Bar (here) highlights how pretty the detailing on these earrings are. I don't have a photo of this one in my ear as above because I didn't want to irritate my ear by keeping changing out the jewellery - I will definitely take a photo soon though and post it to my Instagram as I can tell that this one is going to look beautiful. I love the fact that the stem part comes out of the back, it's really unique - it wouldn't be comfortable for sleeping in though because of this.. but not all earrings are meant to be slept in!

I'm currently wearing the Pretty Flower Upper Ear Stud (here) in my conch as you can see in the photo above. It fits perfectly into the hollow of my ear and looks gorgeous. It's such a nice change from having a plain bar.. my conch piercing is a really old one and I never really change it out to put a pretty earring in, except for perhaps a gemstone one! But I will definitely wear this one in my ear until I get bored of it... which I honestly don't see happening!

In my helix piercings, I am wearing the Tea Roses Stud Helix and Cartilage Stud in Crystal Clear (here) and the Leaf Cluster Cartilage Ear Stud (here). I had already intended to wear these two together when I spotted them on the website. It creates such a cute effect - I had my fingers crossed that it would look awesome and I'm more than pleased with how they look.

In terms of the practicalities of the earrings, they have surgical steel bars so will not irritate your piercing whatsoever. The accents on the ends are done in sterling silver. The picture above shows that the bars are shorter than what you will get pierced with, but this is completely normal as piercers use longer bars in order to account for any swelling which might occur during the healing process. So definitely wait until your piercings are healed before you go ahead and wear anything from Karma Se7en - definitely pick some things up though so that it's on standby for the exciting day that they're all healed!

When I was putting them in, I noticed how easy it was to screw the balls on - I'm hopeless with screwing balls on to my body jewellery and I'm usually trying for ages making my ear all red in the process. But these slid right in and screwed on easily and tightly.

I 100% recommend Karma Se7en for high quality, safe and beautiful body jewellery. I'm going to grab some nice septum jewellery next I reckon..

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Review: theduckeggdinosaur @ Etsy

theduckeggdinosaur is an Etsy store that I was drawn to initially due to the cute quirky name! The store sells lots of hand made home decor items such as lamp shades, memo boards and photo frames. The items are crafted with really quirky, pretty, retro fabrics so they totally speak to my heart. Emma also uses lots of florals which I love, and her creations are often finished with cute crochet lace ribbon and pretty pom poms.

The first item that I have to show you is a botanical print handmade lampshade which is totally beautiful and so dainty. I need to get an actual lamp to fix her to but as I'm still in the process of moving house, I'm yet to acquire anything and all my belongings are everywhere. I'm in love with the botanical print, it's beautiful - and the green pom pom trim is adorable. Inside, it's finished with crochet lace ribbon top and bottom. I'm so in love with this and cannot wait to grab a vintage quirky ceramic lamp to use it with!

The second item is this lovely shabby chic picture frame with a fabric floral decorative piece inside. The frame itself has been weathered and sanded to give a nice effect and then been decoupaged with florals. I love this and it will go on the wall nicely next to a framed floral tapestry that I picked up from Oxfam a while ago.

Have a look at theduckeggdinosaur, as I've said there are lots of unique fabrics on there! It's not a store to be missed - everything on there is so pretty, quirky and beautiful! And of course the items are top quality.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Review: Vector Coast UK @ Etsy

It's been ages since I've bought some pretty hair grips so when I came across the selection on Vector Coast UK on Etsy - I had to order some! There's a large selection on there, my favourite were the roses. The store also sells lots of different handmade jewellery. Look how gorgeous the packaging is! I'm loving copper at the moment. Everything is really co-ordinated which is cool. 

I chose red grips because I usually go for pink. These are so precious, I'm literally in love with them. The actual grips are steel and the roses are resin. I have worn them for a full day, in very thick hair and they have kept my hair up which is awesome. With the bog standard brown hair grips, I constantly have to adjust them but once these were in I didn't have to worry about re-doing my hair at all. ANDD, I got compliments on them which is always a plus.

A pack of 2 grips are just £1.25 which is super super cheap. They are definitely worth more than this as they are so sturdy, well made and pretty. They arrived within a couple of days of ordering. 

It would be criminal not to check out Vector Coast UK. I love my purchase and - considering the price - it's ridiculously cheap and the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. 

Review: this geek love @ Etsy

this geek love is an Etsy shop filled with crocheted goodies such as blankets, brooches, decorated pegs etc. There's also cute home decor - like pom pom garlands which are ADORABLE!

I am reviewing a custom crocheted rose brooch. I ordered the medium brooch in dusky pink with some green leaves attached which usually come with the red roses. I love the leaves though they're so cute so I asked for them to be attached to a medium dusky pink brooch. I received it in the mail today and I'm in loooove... 

The box that my brooch came in was covered in cute colourful washi tape samples which made me smile, and inside the brooch was wrapped in tissue paper held together by a little star and a cute bunny post it thanking me for my order. My order came packaged with the standard order confirmation and a little yellow crochet heart which tells me that I'm loved which is sweet. I'll definitely recycle this heart somehow, I'm thinking of popping it on a jar lid to pretty it up or hanging it from a cupboard door knob. It will be looking cute somewhere! 

On to the actual brooch that I ordered, it's lovely! For a medium brooch, it's pretty sizable and the leaves add a lovely touch to it. The yarn feels great and the pin is secured safely on the back as you can see from the photo. I love the colour of the rose, it will look lovely on my Cath Kidston dresses or on my coats over a floral dress on a cold day. It'll even look lovely displayed in my home on my vintage cake stand that I use to display jewellery and accessories. 

Definitely go check out this geek love on Etsy. This brooch is amazing quality and the packaging and delivery speed exceeded my expectations. I will definitely be ordering more bits from this shop, I'm obsessed!!

Review: Poppet Cheeks @ Etsy

Poppet Cheeks is an Etsy store which specialises in illustrated china plates, embroidery art and crochet + knitted jewellery/accessories. Items are crafted by Verity and her mum so the business is a joint venture which I think is really sweet!

I've got 2 brooches to review, both of which are flowers! Upon opening my package, I was greeted by these two cute little pink baggies with the most adorable stickers on them. I'm a sucker for cute packaging and these are lovely. Considering the affordability of these items, it's soo great that such attention to detail is paid to the packaging and presentation of the items.

Underneath the tissue paper, they're packaged in little ziplock bags which is awesome - it protects them from any water damage and keeps them nice and safe. 

The first brooch is a daisy in an aqua blue colour with a lovely patterned button sewed on the middle. Everything is very neatly done and the brooch backing is secured on safely. This is so pretty and such amazing value for only £4. I can't wait to pin this to my dungaree dresses and my Cath Kidston bags - it will look so adorable. 

The second brooch is a pastel peach rose. I'm in looove! This is such a unique colour for a brooch and it will look absolutely perfect on my denim dungaree dress with a cute blouse. I love brooches like this and this one really is unlike any I've seen in terms of it's beautiful colour! Again, this one is only £4 which I'm so impressed with. Everything is perfectly stitched and the back is on properly, I even gave it a tug to check as my pet hate is when backings are poorly secured and I end up losing my badge during the course of the day.

Definitely go and visit Poppet Cheeks, the shop is adorable - there's so much choice on there and they take so much care in both their products and how they are packaged.