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: 


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! 


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 


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! 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