Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Care Routine: Nails

This is the follow up post from my first Care Routine blogpost series. The first was Hair care and what I do to my hair to keep it healthy and looking good which can be found here:
http://bellezzaisbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/care-routine-hair.html

This one is all about my nails, how I care for them, what I do to them, and about my journey of growing them out. 


Firstly, I'll start with the journey of growing my nails out - as that's how I discovered these magical products that are now my holy grail products, and that I have repurchased several times and, shall continue to do so.  



It all started back in July 2012 when I went to a local salon to get acyrillic nails done for my holiday to Spain. But, they were the worst done ever! They looked awful! I wanted French manicure but the lady couldn't do that so I had them painted instead...it wasn't good at all! Even worse, when I soaked them off they were absolutely terrible; weak, brittle, breaking, ridgeds... 

I do believe that It is only due to these products that I have long nails now. 

Treatment



I have repurchased this Sally Hansen Maximum Strength countless times now! I have recommended it to several people and also blogged about it too. 

This was the first treatment I tried. Although, the first time I used it I didn't like it - only because I didn't use it properly! 

It's a weekly treatment and to use it, you apply 1-2 coats on bare nails on day one, then apply another coat ontop everyday for a week. It makes your nails really strong and hard, also I painted over the nail on the 7th day, it was so thick that it made them look like gel nails! 



The Sally Hansen is a deeper and more concentrated treatment then the Essie Millionails which I have moved onto now. I use this one now because I don't feel like my nails need such a deep treatment, they're strong on their own now and I just use the Essie to maintain that. 

To use it I apply 1-2 coats onto the bare nail as a base coat then apply a colour and then use it as a top coat as well. I find that it works really well on helping to maintain the nails strength but I wouldn't say it's as good a treatment as the Sally Hansen product. 



Friday, 7 February 2014

Sensationail Starter Kit: Review


This is my guide/review for the Sensationail French Manicure Gel Nail starter kit.

I have wanted this gel nail kit for quite sometime now, from when I first saw it many months ago in Boots. However, the price put me off, as it retails at £69.99 from Boots. 

For that price you do get quite a lot for your money. This is what you get in the kit:


Firstly the main products in the French Manicure kit you get:

- Gel Cleanser (which gets rid of any dirt on your nails before hand and also removes the moisture layer that curing causes at the end)
- Gel Primer (which primes for nails for the gel application) 
- Gel Base and Top Coat 
- White Gel Polish -> which is a bonus in this kit I got! 
- BabyDoll Pink Gel Polish 



As well as this you also get some application tools:

- Manicure Stick 
- Nail File
- Lint Free Pads (for use with the Gel Cleanser)
- White Nail Tips (you get a lot of these but I am yet to use them) 

As well as all this you get THE LED LAMP! 

Moving on the use of the kit....


Step One: 

Remove all traces of previous nail polish. 


Step Two:

File your nails to your desired shape, using the grey side of the nail and then GENTLY file the nail bed using the pink side of the file. 


Step Three:

Use the Gel Cleanser on one of the Lint Free Wipes. 


Step Four: 

Use the Gel Primper over the nail in order to prepare the nails for the gel. You have to wait for this to air dry: at least a minute for this to dry although it tells you to wait only 15 seconds.


Step Five:

This is the first step of the Gels! Very exciting! Now you apply the Gel Base Coat thinly over the nail BUT most importantly you have to not get it on the cuticle or the surrounding skin, because it will cure (harden) on the skin. After you've applied it you then have to cure it (harden it) under the LED lamp for 30 seconds. You press the white button on the lamp to do this and it will beep when 30 seconds is up!


Step Six: 

Next Is the Babydoll pink colour! Again just like the base coat you have to apply it thinly and careful not to touch the cuticle or the surrounding skin, but instead of 30 seconds you must wait 60s seconds. To do this you must press the button and wait for the light to turn itself off again (this means 60 seconds is up).


Step Seven:

Reapply the Babydoll pink colour as before, just to make it more opaque. 



Step Eight:

Apply the White Gel colour ontop of the pink at the tips, again thinly and for 60 seconds. At this point you can also use the White Tip Stickers but I am yet to try those yet.


Step Nine:

Reapply the White Gel Colour to the tips.


Step Ten:

Now you've finished apply the Top Coat and cure for 30 seconds. 


Step Eleven:

Use the Gel Cleanser and Lint Free Wipes to remove the moisture layer from the nails which is caused by curing. 

Et Volia you've finished! 

Optional: I applied Essie Appricot Nail Oil to my cuticles after application. 


The Result:

A beautiful Salon looking result! 

I am so happy and proud of the results I've achieved after my first attempt at using this kit! It really does look like it is professionally done, however I am not qualified in nails.

I really think this kit is worth the money! It's salon qualify and you can also use normal polish with it too if you: 

Do the first steps as normal - Paint on the base coat - cure as normal - apply polish colour - let it air dry - Paint on top coat - cure 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Care Routine: Hair

 I am going to do a little series called 'Care Routine' which will focus on my beauty and hair care routines, what products I use and why, etc. 

Firstly, I will start off today with my hair care routines, focusing on what products I use in my hair, how I care for my hair, what I do to it in terms of colouring and so on... 

Other posts on this series will be, 

- Skin Care 
- Face
- Tanning
- Nails 

So without further ado lets get started! 



About my hair

Style & Length: 

Natural 

Naturally my hair is very wavey with a slight curl it in, it is also naturally quite thick, more so than usual as I am growing my layers out. It's natural length as of now is some inches past my collar bone. My natural hair colour is also a level 7, although I started colouring my hair at about 12/13 and I've not had my natural colour since then! 

Modified 

I have my hair in lots & lots of different styles now, straight mainly or curled, braids...all sorts! 
My hair colour now is platinum blonde. It took a while to get it back to this colour as I had it a very dark brown, nearly black colour at the start of 2012. I did this process gradually with foil highlights of bleach and an all over high lift colour. Now, I only have the high lift colour on my roots and sometimes on the ends as they tend to get a little darker. I'm not 100% sure what the colour is as I go to the salon however! I do know that it uses 9% developer and when it develops the colour goes purple. I once heard her say to the assistant 9.12 when asking for the colour to be mixed so I'm guessing the colour number is 12? I also wear 18" extensions on a regular basis to make my hair longer. 

Care Routine 


Washing: 

I use salon products on my hair to keep it healthy and not leaving it dry and damaged. 

I really like Wella products as on the bottle they show an intensive rating on how much they repair your hair on a scale of 1-4, one being a little repairing and 4 intensive repair.

For shampoo I use Wella SP Repair Shampoo which makes my hair really soft even after using the shampoo, it lavers up really quickly and smells nice too!

Being a blonde a silver shampoo (also called purple shampoo) is a must! It gets rid of any yellow brassy tones in the hair, because purple on the colour chart is opposite to yellow. For this purpose I use the Wella SP Silver Shampoo or the Provoke Touch Silver Shampoo although I don't have a photo of these because I've ran out. Although I don't use this sort of shampoo every wash because it can leave your hair purple after a lot of uses and also can be quite drying! So I only use it when I see my hair is getting a little on the brassy side. 


For conditioner I use the Wella SP Repair Conditioner you don't have to leave this on long only for 30 seconds or so and when you wash it out your hair is sooooo soft and silky I love this conditioner so much! You also don't need to use a lot of it, otherwise your hair will go kind of lank and greasy because of too much product. 

I also use a hair mask from time to time when my hair gets a little damaged or dry looking from colouring, heat etc etc the one I use is Wella SP Repair Mask which intensively repairs damaged hair. This product for me is a holy grail product, it really works it's beautiful and leaves your hair feeling like silk! You leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing out and then wow! It smells lovely too! I've nearly ran out again though I have a little left but I'm trying to save it, before re-purchasing it again (which will be for the 3rd time!). I hope they never ever ever discontinue this product! 

I know that salon products are expensive but they seriously are worth the money, it's definelty quality over quantity! Also some of these products I have got at half price as at my salon they have a card scheme and with your 3rd appointment you get half price off retail (excluding GHDs) also for Christmas I got a shampoo set: 


Blow Drying: 



For blow drying my hair I use a mix of products, both salon products and drugstore products. 

I start off by towel drying my hair, I'll also leaved my hair wrapped up in a towel turban for quite some while to let It dry abit naturally first before using heat. My hair honestly takes hours to dry! It's insane! 

When I do get to using the hairdryer I use the Mark Hill RAW Hairdryer which I got years ago from Boots. I first start off by using a hair oil...



My favourite one is Wella SP Luxe Oil I have tried many other brands; Moccroan Oil which I found did nothing, Macadamia Oil which again did nothing, and Kerastate Oil which I did love but I got it free when I worked in a hair salon and well I won't let myself pay that much for the full bottle, but it is a lovely oil!  My hair really does soak up the oil though so I use about 3-4 pumps on my hair when damp because 1-2 as recommended just doesn't work on my hair. 



After the oil I will use a heat protector I'm currently using Tony & Guy Prep Heat Protection Mist which I got from boots. If I don't use that then I'll use Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave in Conditioner. 

Then if my hair is really in need of repair I'll use Aveda Damage Remedy which again I'm nearly running out of although I've had it now 2 years or more! So now I am just using it sparingly. 

If I get really dry and spilt ends and my hair is snapping off, which it used to do a lot but now not so much as I've had it trimed and I also think it's due to this product Redken Extreme Anti-Snap which I'll just use on the ends, but I hardly need to ever use it anymore. 


Using heated tools: 




I use GHD Straightners as they are the best ones around, again with the quality and not quantity. I've had mine for gosh maybe 7 years! ...now I feel old... 

When straightening my hair I always use heat protector the Tony & Guy one mentioned above and in conjunction with that I use the Wella SP hair oil both before and after straightening! Also, sometimes I will use some hairspray but only on my fringe, but it's a very rare occasion but if I do use hairspray I use the Wella SP Perfect Hold Hairspray which actually came in the Christmas gift I mentioned earlier however I forgot to photo it! Oops!  


Monday, 20 January 2014

Top 10 Favourite Makeup Brushes


So this evening I was cleaning some of my brushes (I have A LOT) and whilst in the lengthy process of this I thought it would be a good idea to make a blog post on my favourite brushes. I haven't seen many like this. However, I think that it maybe useful to those who are just starting out in makeup, building a collection or just people in need of new brushes. 

Finding a brush you love can be a lengthy process, over the years I have tried many different brushes, for different things. My favourites do change throughout the years, what is my favourite now wasn't necessarily my favourite a few months ago. Also sometimes you don't like a brush (or even a product for that matter) the first time you use it, and you leave it for a few weeks or months, discarded, until one day you try it again, perhaps a different way, or with a different product, and you instantly love it! 

As of this moment in time my top 10 favourite brushes are:

(In no particular order) 

1.  Urban Decay - Shadow Brush



What I use it for: I originally used this brush for applying eyeshadows, but it didn't like it too much that way as it's not really soft, it's a very hard and sturdy brush. However, I have been using it for cream eyeshadows and bases and I absolutely adore it that way! It works perfectly for creams. 

How I use it: I use it an eyeshadow base mostly, usually MAC paint pot in painterly. I apply it after I have done my eyebrows, I use the very edge of it to create a perfect smooth line underneath the brows. 

How long I've used it for: over a year 

How often I use it: daily  

What I like about it: it's perfect for cream eyeshadows because it's not at all fluffy, it's great as because it's a sort of hard brush you can get a lot of coverage and pigment pay off with this brush.

Where I got it from: it came with the Urban Decay Naked Palette 

2. MAC - 266SE



What I use it for: I originally started off using this brush just for eyebrows, but lately I've also been using it for gel eyeliner too. 

How I use it: I use it with both eyebrow cream/gel as well as powders for eyebrows, I usually use Sleek's brow kit (in light) or a MAC shadow such as Omega. I also use it with Gel eyeliners. 

How long I've used it for: years 

How often I use it: daily  

What I like about it: because it's a really thin brush it's great for my eyebrows as they're quite thin, it's also great for gel eyeliner as you can create a really small thin line, or build it up to a thicker line. It is also sturdy but yet flexible so you can create a perfect straight line as well as a beautiful eyeliner flick. 

Where I got it from: it came with a MAC Christmas brush set, years ago. 


3. Real Techniques - Brow Brush 




What I use it for: I use it for doing my brows. The first time I used this brush I instantly loved it!  

How I use it: I use with Sleek's brow kit

How long I've used it for: a few months  

How often I use it: most days   

What I like about it: it's a great width for doing brows, that's what I love. It's also great with both powders and gels.

Where I got it from: Boots

4. MAC - 239SE



What I use it for: Applying eyeshadow

How I use it: I mainly use this brush on the eye lid for packing on colour. Mostly, I use it for frosty colours as I find that it packs those on really well and gives a great deal of pigment.

How long I've used it for: years

How often I use it: daily

What I like about it: it's really good at packing on colour because it's a flat fluffy brush. It's great with frosty colours that sometimes don't show up so well because this brush really packs it on.

Where I got it from: MAC from a Christmas set


5. Real Techinques - Deluxe Crease Brush




What I use it for: Applying eyeshadow and blending. 

How I use it: My favourite way to use this brush is on the crease, it's a big fluffy brush so great for blending! I mainly use it with darker colours on the outer part of the crease both to apply the colour and to blend. Apparently it is also a great brush to use with concelar, although I am yet to try that out.

How long I've used it for: a few months  

How often I use it: most days   

What I like about it: it's a big fluffy brush, but not massively big. It blends really nicely and gives the eyeshadow a nice rounded shape to it in the crease, when applying eyeshadow to the crease directly. 

Where I got it from: Boots


6. MAC - 217



What I use it for: Blending eyeshadow. This was the first MAC brush I brought, well not this particular one, I have 2, a big one, which is now old, slightly worn with the MAC writing no longer visible on the brush. I still use that one however, I also use the smaller version too (plus that looked better in the photo than an old worn out brush). 

How I use it: I use this brush for blending, in circular motions as well and back and forth. 

How long I've used it for: many years, the 217 was the first MAC brush I ever brought!  

How often I use it: daily  

What I like about it: it's one of my most loved brushes. This brush (when clean) blends perfectly and seamlessly, this brush, in my own opinion is the best blending brush you could ever have!  

Where I got it from: MAC

7. MAX FACTOR - Eyeshadow Brush 






What I use it for: Applying eyeshadow.

How I use it: I use this to apply eyeshadow to the lid and under the eye. I use it to pat on the eyeshadow on the lid, and to blend shadow underneath the eye. I also find that swiping the brush down the eyeshadow helps it to pick up and deposit a lot more eyeshadow. I love using it with the Urban Decay Palette espically with the more golden brown tones as it picks up a lot of the glittery pigments in them and makes it stand out a lot more. 

How long I've used it for: years

How often I use it: daily  

What I like about it: it's really dense and is great for applying eyeshadow especially when you want an eyeshadow to be super pigmented! It picks up colour beautifully. It's also a perfect size for under the eye too. 

Where I got it from: Boots


8. MAC - 275SE





What I use it for: Applying eyeshadow. 

How I use it: I use this brush for applying eyeshadow underneath the eye, as well as to create a harsher line on the outer corner of the eye. 

How long I've used it for: many years   

How often I use it: some daily  

What I like about it: the fact that this brush is angled makes it very useful for applying eyeshadow underneath the eye, as well as to give a harsher edge to the outer corner of the eye.  

Where I got it from: MAC Christmas set


9. MAC - 187SE



What I use it for: Applying foundation. I know that the full size of this brush in MAC is about £50! Which I think is a rather extortionate price for one brush. 

How I use it: I use this brush by stippling the foundation into the skin, then blending it in circular motions which creates a more full coverage finish. It also works better with a heavy foundation such as MAC Studio Sclupt or Rimmel Stay Matte which is more of a heavier gel consistancy a posed to a liquid. 

How long I've used it for: years  

How often I use it: daily (however, I usually swap between foundation brushes) 

What I like about it: I've always wanted this brush from MAC, I was so excited when I saw it in the Christmas set for less than the single full sized one cost! I've always liked stippling brushes and I like how you can create a really full coverage and flawless finish with it. 

Where I got it from: MAC Christmas set 

10. MAC - 190SE



What I use it for: Applying foundation. 

How I use it: I use this brush by sort of painting the foundation on, starting at the middle and then blending it outwards. Sometimes if I have a problem area (e.g. Redness, spots...) I will use this brush to pat the foundation on over that area that way it gives a more fuller coverage in said areas. This brush works best with liquid foundations.  

How long I've used it for: years  

How often I use it: daily (however, I usually swap between foundation brushes) 

What I like about it: it's a lot better quality than most other flat foundation brushes, all the others I have tried in the past (mainly drugstore brands) have been flimsy and soak up a lot of product. This one doesn't do either, it's a very well made sturdy brush, that's very flexible, and that doesn't soak up a ridiculous amount of product, it can also create a flawless finish and you can use it to build up the coverage. 

Where I got it from: MAC Christmas set 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

My Miracle Nail Product: Sally Hansen Maximum Strength



This product is really quite amazing! 

I simply love it and, I am now on my 4th bottle of this wonderful stuff! 


The product I'm talking about is Sally Hansen's Maximum Strength nail polish. Which retails in Boots for £4.85 I believe (although I can't find it on the website). 

In the past I've used this product before but not properly, I just used one coat as a base coat and not as a proper treatment. 



Now I've been using it the correct way, applying 1 coat everyday for a week. Then taking it off and doing the same for the next week, etc. However sometimes on the end of the week, or towards the end I'll paint them because they're strong enough to handle it. 


It really does make a difference! My nails are much stronger, no longer do they break as easily, bend, or just being really brittle. 

It also helps my nails grow, after getting acyrillics done for my holiday in July, my nails have been awful! Before my holiday they were fine, but after I got the acyrillics off they wouldn't grow, because they kept breaking and so on. 

However, now in December my nails are long and strong, I honestly do think that it's due to this product! 

Photo from 8th December 

New Platinum Hair Extensions


I am so glad to see the back of Foxy Locks hair extensions! If you've been reading my blog, as you may know I absolutely despise these extensions....

I have finally got some new extensions! 

I went to a local hair supply shop where I live and got these extensions by a company called Sapna, I've never heard of this company before but so far I am loving these extensions! 

What extensions: 


The ones I have are Sapna - Snow White extensions they are 113 grams of 100% human hair, and 18 inches long and they cost £45.99. 


I brought them without clips, so you just get one long strand of hair. I used the Foxy Locks extensions to measure out the pieces to size before cutting them. Also, the reason I wanted to get them without clips is so that I could double them up (cut a strand twice then sew the two pieces together) so that they were thicker. 

I also had to sewn on the clips myself; the clips are actually from my old set of extensions from 2012, I just cut them off. I also used 2 clips from the Foxy Locks set, because I was 2 short. 



With this set I have managed to get the same amount of wefts as in the Foxy Locks set plus, they're doubled up so I have a full set of hair extensions: 

2 x 4 clip wefts
2 x 3 clip wefts
2 x 2 clip wefts 
4 x 1 clip wefts 

Although because they're doubled up I find that I don't need to use both of the 4 clip wefts, but I tend to anyway just to have that fuller look. 

They are also blunt cut at the ends, just like the foxy locks ones! 


Colour: 

As blonde girls will know trying to find platinum coloured hair extensions is quite hard. Many extensions are too golden, or too yellow. Not many extensions are actually platinum coloured, meaning that you have to either colour them or use silver shampoo on them. 

However, these are different they actually are platinum coloured and are the same colour as the Foxy Locks extensions. 

This photo has not been edited

In comparison to the colour of Foxy Locks - Platinum the Sapna - Snow White are practically the same. Although as you can see from the photo the Sapna ones are shiner; this is due to that, I've yet to wash them, so they're still coated in that shiney silicon stuff that all new extensions have. 

photo not edited: foxy locks weft on top of a cut strand of sapna

What they look like wearing them: 


So far I love these extensions! Although I've only worn them twice, and I am yet to wash them. However, I shall update you on how they are lasting!