24 Aug 2015

Products for Breaking Hair

 Hi all!

So today I thought I'd share with you my favourite products for damaged hair.

I bleached my hair for about 5 or 6 years, and over that time accumulated a lot of damage. Since about October last year that damage has been getting more and more obvious, so I've been spending some serious time lately trying to find a routine that helps smooth, nourish and protect my hair.

To help my hair grow, I take a 10,000mcg tablet of Biotin every day, and a Selenium supplement as well. I've found the Biotin in particular really helps my nails to grow stronger and longer than usual. My hair has grown much thicker than usual, and although I can't really tell for sure, I think it's been growing a little more quickly.

My natural hair is currently at a rather awkward length, with quite a few layers. The longest parts just about hit my armpit area, whereas the shortest lengths are just passing my earlobes. I currently wear extensions to hide my (unwanted!) mullet-like haircut I was given in February.

The first product I have here is Lee Stafford's Leave in Treatment for Breaking Hair. This stuff is awesome! I find that this makes my hair feel just so much more normal. As in, it works to smooth frizz and keeps my hair feeling sleek.

I put this on when my hair is still wet from the shower, though I will also dab a little on to dry, frizzy parts if I feel like I need a little touch up.

The smell is quite mild, I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but it's quite distinctive and overall pleasant. The smell doesn't last once it's in your hair which I quite like.

I only got this a few days ago and I'm already absolutely raving about it. This is Urban Fudge's Miracle Ends Treatment. When I first got hold of it I put it on dry hair, but I soon realised that wasn't how it works.

To get this to work to it's full potential, this needs to be applied to your hair just as you come out of the shower. I applied about a hazelnut sized amount and spread it through the midsection and ends of my hair, rubbing whatever was left over on to my scalp and roots.

After I had blow dried my hair the results were astonishing: my hair was soft, silky and there was no sign of damage whatsoever. This stuff really is a miracle worker! And as I picked it up on sale at Superdug I only paid £2.70 for it! If you're near a Superdrug I highly reccomend popping by and grabbing this at that price while you can.

My only drawback is the smell. It's nice, but reminds me of the scented makeup I had as a kid. It just isn't a very sophistocated kind of smell, however it doesn't last long after application.

18 Aug 2015

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge: Review and Final Thoughts

Let me start this review by saying just how much I love Real Techniques products, and my opinion on this one product has not in any way affected my views on their other products.

But let me just say.... This sponge was incredibly disappointing!

Yes, it applies makeup beautifully. But there are so many cons that I really see no point in purchasing it again. Yeah, that's right: again.

After about 3 weeks, my sponge went mouldy!

There were little black spots of mould appearing on the surface, which obviously cannot be good for your skin. I cleaned the mould out, only to find it reappeared again after a few days. I emailed Real Techniques to complain about my obviously faulty product, and my reply was that this was normal, and the sponge needs to be replaced every month or so.

That's fair enough, I guess, although it does not display this information anywhere on the packaging (unless I am mistaken) and I really have to wonder - how long had the mould been embedded in the centre of the sponge, where I couldn't see it, before it appeared on the surface?! In my opinion I don't think anything like that should go anywhere near your skin.

If you're looking for a good product that applies foundation beautifully, I'd be far more inclined to suggest the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush - or if you're looking for a complete set of fantastic brushes, go for the Core Collection.

You cannot go wrong with their brushes, I'd just give the sponge a miss.

16 Aug 2015

Bollywood Beauty

Hi all!

So recently it was one of my friend's birthday, and as she is Indian, and rocks some of the most glamourous, fantabulous makeup looks of all time, I figured I'd do a makeup look influenced by the style she wears.

I made good use of the Naked palette for this look, along with my Maybelline gel eyeliner to create the dramatic black wings. I made sure to extend the liner to the inside of my eyes as well, which really emphasised the feline look.

I finished off with some subtle contour and a slightly stronger brow than I would normally do, to balance out the drama of the eyes.

3 Aug 2015

A 60's Vibe

Hello all!

So I've been pretty busy lately, and I figured what better way to catch up than to do a quick post about all the stuff I've picked up!

I spent the last week in Manchester with my boyfriend and his family, and although the weather wasn't great it was still a really nice trip. We visited the Trafford Centre a couple of times and to my surprise, they had a Forever 21! I love Forever 21 but living down in the South West means that there isn't one within my vicinity and I've only ever been in their stores in London and New York.

They had a really awesome sale on - everything in the store was buy one get one free, so I took full advantage of that! I bought 3 plain bodycon dresses, one in black, one grey and one red. And as I had an extra product free I asked my boyfriend to pick something for me.

As I always wear black he was determined to find me something that was a different colour, so in order to 'ease' me in to colour (ha!) he found me this white blouse. It's long and floaty, and the concealed buttons are a nice touch. I think it's got a bit of a minimal, 60's vibe which is perfect for this season. I think it's also smart enough to wear to job interviews which will definitely come in handy!

I also found that my hair curlers broke last month. That was pretty annoying as I really liked the ones I had (for the record, they were Remington. It was some kind of clipless model).

This meant that I had to invest in a new model, so I decided to go for a Babyliss one, as I've always had good experiences with their products (I have their Deep Waver, it's fantastic) and they are fairly inexpensive. I spent £17.99 on this one from Amazon.

So far, I haven't been able to get that familiar with it but I like the multi heat setting and the rotating cord. My only real bummer about it is that the clip itself gets really hot too, and it's pretty easy for your finger to slip from the safe black plastic bit onto the scalding hot ceramic - ouch!

I also needed some new heat protectant and hairspray, so I picked these up in Boots for a 2 for £4 deal. The deal was great, as it was almost a 50% saving and they're working really well for me. The hairspray is fantastic, it holds well and I love the matt finish. It's perfect for second day hair as the mattifying effect gives an anti-greasy illusion.

Finally, today I picked up these babies from - can you believe - Sainsburys! I've been on the hunt for a pair of patent, 60's inspired boots for ages and these fit the bill just perfectly. Originally I was looking at knee high gogo boots but these are way more casual.

They remind me of the YSL boots I love so much, and they were only a fraction of the price at £25.

I had to picture them with my Rubix cube (given to me by the boyfriend's grandad) just to emphasise that 60's feel!

Have you been shopping lately? Picked up anything good? Let me know in the comments!

 - Alice x x x

PS: If you fancy checking out a new project of mine, I'm starting to do some t-shirt designs on Teespring - if you wanna take a look, maybe even purchase one, click here to see my first design!

22 Jul 2015

Palma Nova - Mallorca Holiday!

Hi guys!

As I said in my last post, I went to Palma Nova, Mallorca a couple weeks ago, and it was awesome! We went to the beach, visited Palma aquarium (which, for the record, was the best aquarium I've ever been to) and even went on a glass bottom boat trip. We also came home with some little holiday souvenirs....

Palma Aquarium's friendly turtle

A drop in the ocean during our Glass Bottom Boat trip

Obligatory sea selfie
Cocktails on the last night!

A little holiday memento... Not henna

I hope you like my holiday photos!

Have any of you been on holiday? How was it? I bet you didn't lose your tan as quickly as I did (ha!)

 - Alice x x x

3 Jul 2015

Holiday Packing!

Hey all!

So I'm off to Mallorca on Saturday, and I figured I'd share with you some of the stuff that's going in my suitcase. I'll be there for 7 days so I would imagine I'll add a few more essentials before I go, but these are the main items I will be needing. Hopefully this can inspire anyone who's also going on holiday soon!

So first off I pack my absolute essentials. I always like to start with the things I can't live without so that I know I'm not going to forget anything important.

Most importantly: my passport! I freak out at even the thought of forgetting my passport, so it was the first thing I laid out on my bed ready to pack. Mine has an 'A' drawn on it in biro, so my dad could tell mine and my brother's apart more quickly when we were younger (fun fact!)

The second most important things are suncream and sunglasses so that my skin and my eyes are protected. I'm extremely pale so I know that I'll burn really easily. I watched a Pixiwoo video a few days ago where Nic said that you should use 2 tablespoons per application - useful to know!
I also find that my eyes get sunburnt. Yes, my eyes. They feel dry and scratchy and go red in the whites, I'm not kidding. I've had these sunglasses for ages and I think I got them from New Look.

I also added in my swimming costumes, a cute top I got from the H&M Coachella collection and some hair ties. I always seem to forget hair ties and they're one of the most important things!

Next I got together my kimonos. I love kimonos, and they're just perfect for summer. You may remember the green one from my shopping haul the other day, and the grey one I've had for awhile now. I wear the grey one on nights out all the time and it's probably my favourite item of clothing. It fits in my little nightclub bag perfectly, which saves me on cloakroom fees!

Ok, apologies. I don't really iron my cotton clothes. The wrinkles come out when I wear them so I've never bothered, but now I realise how bad they look in this picture - ha!

These are just a couple of black essentials. A black t-shirt and a plain black dress. These are both super old but I consider them to be my core pieces in my wardrobe.

Last for clothing items was my shorts. I wear these Nike shorts a lot when I hang around the house. I did buy them for the gym but they're super super short and ride up my butt when I walk around a lot so I don't think they're all that practical for exercise. They're really comfy though and I think I'll use them as pyjama shorts when I'm away. The floral shorts were also from my summer haul.

I got the sparkly shorts from the kids section of TK Maxx. I think they're age 15 or something, but because they're quite stretchy they fit me just fine. These will be nice if I fancy a change from wearing black all day.

Lastly I got together my shoes. I bought the plimsoles and sandals only the other day because I don't really own summer shoes. I wore the heels on a night out last weekend and they were super comfortable. Like, surprisingly so.  You can see where my toes have shaped the sole a little, which shows just how pillowy they are.
I'm going to bring my Nike Air Force sneakers because they're the comfiest shoes I own and they'll be great for walking around all day sightseeing. They're also a bit of a statement, and they'll probably sparkle loads in the sun!

Are any of you going on holiday this year? Let me know in the comments!

 - Alice x x x

1 Jul 2015

Life circa 2015

The only posts that I have done over the last year or so seems to be catch-up posts (lets get it overwith quickly: completed 4th semester at university, gotten a job and generally feel more grown up and put together by the minute - just kidding about the last part, I have no idea what I'm doing). And since it's summer and I have more time on my hands and Alice has seriously started blogging, I feel the need to post something.

The only problem is that the kind of posts that I like the most are the wordy lengthy posts. They're not exactly the most blogish. When it comes to blogs, I do tend to like the ones where the writing is kept short and to the point. Which is exactly what I'm bad at. Just look at this. Is there a purpose to my rambling right now? The answer to that question would have to be no. Writing for me tends to be a dictate of what I'm thinking at that moment. Along with a strong dislike towards re-writes and re-readings, my writing isn't exactly what you would call concrete, short and precise.

I started blogging when I was 13. That means that I've been doing it on-and-off for 8 years. I find that as I've grown more comfortable in the field, that my posts have also gotten a certain ease and therefor length. I guess you can say that I've discovered a personal writing style along the way. For me, it's crucial that what you read has a sense of personality. I'm a very private person and there's a true conflict for me with writing personal things online, so I always unconsciously try to make up for the personality lost topic wise in my writing style.

A personal voice makes a writer, and even though I'd never call myself an actual writer, and it could be argued that my voice is still in development (to which I would agree), I take pride in knowing that you can read this post, and get a sense of me. Of who I am. If you ever want to start a blog, what matters for me the most is not what you blog about but how you do it. The voice you instill in the writing makes and breaks it all.

Someone who truly does that for me, who has a true sense of personality in whatever she chooses to write about (although it doesn't hurt that her favorite topic happens to be the same as mine: fashion), is someone called Leandra Medine, also known as the Man Repeller.

Leandra writes about fashion in a serious, insider kind of way, but somehow she still manages to keep things fun. For me, it's not her huge knowledge about fashion that makes me love her blog, but the way that her writing portrays her goofy personality. She has inspired me to be less serious in more ways than one. Letting your personality utterly shine through in whatever you choose to do in life (not just in writing), is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. 

Consider this post an ode to personality, yours as much as my own - oh, and Leandra Medine's. 

My Summer Faves 2015

Hey all!

Happy July! This year is going so quickly. Today I thought I'd share with you a few of my favourite makeup products at the moment as the weather gets warmer.

I've had this BB cream for awhile now, and this is the second kind I've bought from Skin 79. I originally had their Hot Pink version, which I really liked as well as this one. This is a genuine BB cream, so unlike a lot of the creams you find in drugstores in the UK this BB cream isn't just a tinted moisturiser. This has SPF25 in it which is great for summer, and the coverage is very buildable. I like to use it as sort of a primer for my makeup when I want my skin to look really glowy, because this product is so moisturising and rich that my skin feels super super soft after every time I use it.

I also quite recently got this Nivea day cream. It was on sale at Tesco for something silly like £1.50, so I figured why not. It's a nice, rich moisturiser and doesn't feel too heavy on my skin. There's also a little SPF in it (15, I believe) and that's a nice bonus, particularly for when I go to the gym when I don't wear my foundation or BB cream with SPF.

Even more recently I picked up this Real Techniques Beauty Blender. I've not owned any kind of makeup sponge like this before, so it was a totally new experience for me. I actually love it, the finish on the skin is so natural and dewy (especially as I wet the sponge before use) and the shape is really good for getting in all the cracks. Obviously my foundation has stained the sponge, and it's shown up a lot more in the photograph but I guess it's not there to look pretty. It's to make me look pretty! And I sure think it does. It's definitely worth the money, as £5.99 really isn't bad at all.

And these are my favourite eye products. I love Maybelline Great Lash, it has a super firm wand and it's not too oversized either making for much more precise application. I always buy waterproof mascara because the rain in England is unreal on mascara, and I find that in general waterproof flakes less and lasts longer. I've also got Maybelline's gel liner, which is seriously good for the price. I've had this awhile and it lasts ages. It's so creamy and thick. I think it makes the perfect cat eye.

I have a massive obsession with brows at the moment, and I used eyebrow pencil for ages to do my brows. But since I dyed my hair black I've needed something a little different. I've had this elf eyebrow kit for years, and never really gone near it. And I'm so pleased I now have. The brow gel is the perfect colour for me, it's a nice, ashy, buildable brown and it applies perfectly with this Real Techniques concealer brush. The fine tip on the brush allows for me to create some little eyebrow hair strokes and gives a really natural finish.

So what are your favourite products for summer? Let me know in the comments!

 - Alice x x x

26 Jun 2015

Armpit Hair: How to Get Super Smooth Pits for Summer

 Hi guys!

So, here's an intimate topic: armpit hair. Most of us ladies have it, and most of us ladies go to some measure to remove it.

Personally, I always used to shave my pits, though over time I've found it to be annoying - particularly now that I've started taking Biotin, which makes hair grow that little bit faster. I have to shave my underarms at least once a day, and twice if I want a smooth finish for a night out or something. That's a lot of shaving, and shaving can irritate the skin a lot.

Another issue with shaving I've always hated has been that stage in between being stubble and smooth. That sort of "5 O'Clock shadow" effect if you will. I don't like it, and particularly for summer I would prefer it to be gone.

So let me introduce you to my favourite little gadget at the moment; the Silk Epil 7 Epilator by Braun. I've had this a couple of years now and I still think it's amazing. The charge lasts for hours and hours and you can use it in the shower too which is very useful, and I'll explain why in a bit.

It came with 3 attatchments for the head. A beginners head, which you see here, a plain head (which isn't a lot different, it just doesn't have the beads) and a detailer head which is about a third of the size of the one I have pictured.  I'm fairly sure the reason for the rolling beads on this one is that it massages the skin and reduces the pain a little.

Speaking of pain, I'm sure you must be wondering if it hurts. And I'm not going to lie, it really fecking hurts the first time. It's really hard to keep going when it hurts so bad, but it helps to exfoliate first and to go at your own pace. This is where being able to use it in the shower helps, as when you're epilating under hot running water your pores are more open and you can sort of mask the pain with the hot water. If you can only remove a little bit at a time - don't worry! Once you've removed it once, the second time you do it it hurts considerably less, and once you're into the routine of it there's little to no pain at all. And the results make it all worth it.

I know it's a little weird, but I had to prove to you guys how good it looks. I pictured my own armpit just so you can see how smooth it is. There's no 'shadow' effect, no stubble, no stray hairs or anything. I'm always super pleased with the result, and they feel really really smooth. Lovely and smooth actually. I had only epilated my armpits the day before this photo, so the pores are still a little raised and bumpy but that should be gone by tomorrow.

I also use the epilator on my legs in the summer. It doesn't hurt half as badly on your legs, it's more of a little pricking sensation than actual pain. I don't find that all the hairs get removed on my legs, so I shave as well as epilating, but doing the two together allows me to leave longer spaces between shaving and keeps my legs nice and smooth.

Oh, and if you're wondering.... I don't reccomend using it on the bikini area... That hurts more than being towed to hell with a rusty hook attatched your nipples.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe even found it useful!

 - Alice x x x

22 Jun 2015

Shopping Haul!

Hi guys!

So I'm off to Mallorca on the 4th July (which is soooo soon, I'm very excited) and I needed to go shopping. Big time. My wardrobe consists of black, black, more black and absolutely nothing summery whatsoever. So today I stepped out and went on a well needed shopping trip with my girlies and picked up a few things!

 First stop: Primark. Ok, I know it's not high fashion or anything, but money is pretty tight right now (I'm what you call 'in between jobs' at the moment - ha!) so I needed some clothing that was pretty, and also pretty cheap.

I stumbled upon this kimono and I LOVE it. The only ones left were in size XL but I tried it on and the massiveness isn't that bad. I feel like a wise old shaman in it or something. The pattern is pretty ethnic but I found that it matched my nearly all black ensemble perfectly. £10 was a little expensive, to me, for a kimono, but I definitely think it was worth it quite simply because I adore it!

 I also picked up a pair of plain black plimsoles, as I literally don't own any decent flat shoes. My checkered Vans are almost completely destroyed, they're full of holes and I get lectured by my boyfriend every time I wear them because they are so disgusting. These were only £3, and I'm sure they'll serve me well during the summer.

There were also these pretty floral shorts, which match my everything black wardrobe and are actually pretty girly for me. They were £4 so a pretty decent bargain as well if you ask me.

I felt like I needed a pair of sandals too. These are really cute, and not really that high considering they are heeled. I like chunky heels, and these are really really comfy. There's a padded effect on the sole, and maybe the wide fit helps? I'm not sure. I don't consider my feet to be wide but this was the only fit they came in.
I'm sure these shoes will be great for summer nights out, and I should hope they won't be too uncomfortable after dancing the night away either.
 Soooo swimwear. I don't really own any swimwear. Don't get me wrong, I love swimming, but I tend to borrow my mum's costume whenever I go. I figured for maximum tan coverage I'd have to invest in a couple of bikinis. I picked up this navy bikini for £3 (Primark, again) and this stunning black bikini top in H&M. It's so me it's unreal. It's the ultimate high-fashion-goth bikini top. I love it. At £12.99 it was more than I wanted to spend on just one segment of a bikini, but I know that I'd have walked away full of regret if I didn't buy it.

Just because I'm so in love with this bikini top I had to add in some pictures of the back too. The straps are super thick - the design is very Herve Leger-esque actually. There's a small triangular cut-out part just between the bust, with some sheer fabric between. It's a nice touch. If I were brave enough, I'd wear this bikini out clubbing or something. It's just that awesome.

You'll also noticed I've popped some suncream into that photo. Suncream is soooo important (as I'm sure you all know) and I'm so pale that I would probably turn to ash if I wasn't wearing it. I got factor 30. This wasn't because I don't want to tan, it was because I know that I am very, very likely to burn. Factor 30 isn't sun block, so I'll still be able to bronze nicely without coming back looking like a lobster. You may be wondering why I chose kid's suncream. It's literally because it's £1 cheaper than the adult alternative. I don't know why, but I wasn't about to pass up saving a pound for slightly more adult packaging.

Lastly, I went into Hollister. Hollister isn't usually my thing, but I do appreciate the softness of their t-shirts. My boyfriend buys a lot of shirts from there, and I looooooove the texture. This long sleeved shirt is super soft, and I like the contrast of the tight fitting sleeves and the looseness of the middle. I chose the darker version, as there was another style which had more of a focus on the white stripes. This was on sale, so I only paid £7.99 which is extremely reasonable if you ask me, for such good quality fabric. This will be nice for the cooler, summery evenings and it shouldn't get too hot as it's not overly fitted. I really like that the sleeves are super long too, I have a habit of pulling my sleeves down over my hands anyway, so this will save me stretching the fabric.

So after all this, I picked up some painting gear and a few other nick nacks before heading to Nandos to fill up on delicious spicy chicken (mmmmmm...)

What will you be buying for summer? What's your favourite summer outfit? Let me know in the comments!

 - Alice x x x

PS. I'm Kylie Jenner today ;)

21 Jun 2015

Beauty: The Alex Vause Effect

Hi all!

Back again, and this time it's not been months!

So Orange is the New Black's 3rd season was released in full on Netflix the other day.. And I've already binge watched all 13 episodes. It was awesome.

Every time I watch OITNB I become more and more enthralled with Alex Vause. Her character is incredibly sultry. I love her geek-chic-rockabilly-goth vibe and Laura Prepon's deep, husky voice. There's something about her that's just plain sexy.

Since watching the series I've dyed my hair black (unintentionally, for the record), started to wear my glasses again (they're cool now. Alex Vause made them cool.) and started to work a thick, black feline flick on my eyelids. I just love her look, and the best part is that it's simple.

But the main thing about Alex Vause is her character. There's nothing more sexy than a woman that can stand up for herself, knows herself and doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks about that. Vause is sassy without being a bitch, and she isn't afraid of admitting when she's going a little crazy.

Perhaps we could all learn something from Ms Vause?

Over and out,

 - Alice x x x

2 Jan 2015

Procrastination made me do it

I'm working on my second exam paper out of three within one month, so I think it's safe to say that I've done a lot of procrastinating as of late. Here's the things I'm planning on buying and/or saving up for the next following months. My so called fear of color kind of shines through. I just always seem to be drawn towards neutrals. I'm all about quality over quantity and that always demands a bit more thoughtful planning. Not that I mind. 

Hope you had a good Christmas and a happy new year. Throw me a comment to let me know how you're doing.