Monday, 6 May 2013

John Freida Luxurious Volume Collection

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I know what you're thinking...'Someone must have hacked into her blog because she never posts!'. But shock, horror it's me!

I have so many good intentions with blogging. I write lists, take photos and get excited about sharing new products that I've discovered with you - but then life happens, trains become my new home and spending my free time looking at a computer is the last thing on my to-do list after a long week in the office. Excuses, excuses I know!

But when I was offered the chance to review the new and improved Luxurious Volume Collection from John Freida I thought it would give me the kick I need to blog again, and treat my limp, lifeless hair to a rare dose of much-needed oomfph!

I was kindly sent the Touchably Full Shampoo and Conditioner, as well as the Blow-Dry Lotion Root Booster. We all know my battle with injecting bounce and volume into my reluctant roots. As the girl with the world's most defiant hair (it doesn't back-comb, hold volume...basically do anything other than hang limp and lifelessly!) I'm willing to give any 'Volume' promising product my best shot!

The shampoo is a clear gel that lathers beautiful (minimal effort required!) and left my hair feeling thoroughly cleansed, soft and smelling delicious. The conditioner was also a treat to use and the thick, creamy texture felt luxurious on my ends. Both products are described for use on 'Fine hair'. Although I struggle to reshape my hair out of its poker-straight ways, I have quite thick hair and this (combined with my lack of styling skills) contributed to little noticable difference in the voluminous quality of my locks.

However spraying the Root Booster directly on my roots before blow-drying seemed to make more difference (I tried blow-drying using just the shampoo and conditioner, and then with using the root booster too). There was definitely more spring, bounce and movement, but volume? Hmmm not so much.

I've tried every 'Volume' haircare product going and I truly think my hair does not respond well to any of them...perhaps if a professional hairdresser was to work their magic, they could no doubt convert me to a volume-believer. As for now I will continue to use the John Freida Collection as it really does make my hair touchably soft, shiny and I love how a little amount goes a looooong way. But I think as far as Volume Shampoos and Conditioners go, I'm sadly an exception to the rule.

Bouncy, big, voluminous hair...a girl can dream *sigh*

Have you tried this new collection yet? Has your hair responded well to it?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

New Beauty Loves

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Working in London has been keeping me busier than ever. If I'm not commuting, refuelling in Starbucks or attending after-work events, then I'm sleeeeeping, running (yes, I!) or trying to stay awake during catch ups with friends. Oh and freelancing when I can! So sadly blogging has taken a back-seat in life. But I really miss my little space on the internet for head-thoughts, notes and all things beauty, so even if it means sacrificing Sunday sofa time I WILL blog more...

Starting with the products that have made their way into my beauty drawers at home and are now part of my daily routine - here are my new favourites: 2013-02-10 13.58.37_Sophia
#1 No7 Fanomenal Lash Serum - After eight weeks of applying nightly, this lash serum promises longer, thicker and darker lashes - just what I'm after! I haven't used this religiously every night I must say, but I have definitely noticed a difference in length. Albeit more so on one eye?! Isn't it so annoying that one set of lashes behaves oh so well and the other has a mind of it's own. Oh for lashes that did as they're told! 2013-02-10 13.55.32_Sophia
#2 Shu Uemura Lash Curlers - After hearing amazing things about these curlers, and tiring of having defiant lashes that refuse to form any curved shape whatsoever, I thought I'd give these a whirl! I'm still getting used to them but they are now part of my daily make-up routine and I think I'm on the way to perfecting my technique! 2013-02-10 13.57.36_Sophia
#3 Fudge Texture Styling Dust - My new hair saviour! If you struggle to achieve a voluminous look and no amount of hairspray, rollers or back-combing makes the slightest difference, then this is for you (if you don't mind a slightly sticky feel to your roots and a matte finish). Enough said! 2013-02-10 13.59.22_Sophia
#4 Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple - These little cocoa buttery, glossy, delicious sticks of colour are simply marvellous! I've tried several shades but Candy Apple is my newest discovery! A deep red-orange, this nourishing lip colorburst is the perfect pop of colour to cheer up these ever-lasting miserable winter days. 2013-02-10 13.53.33_Sophia
#5 St.Tropez Dark Bronzing Mousse - I've always been a gradual-tan lover. Perhaps I was a little scared to try a tan formula with guide-colour and no professional to apply it for me. But I've since broken that bad habit and braved a stronger tanning product. I even jumped straight in at the deep end and opted for St.Tropez's Dark range! With mousse and mitt in hand I began applying and found a new love! The end result was a gorgeous golden glow that made me feel fabulous. Sun-kissed skin has the power to make you feel so much better, right? 2013-02-10 13.56.32_Sophia
#6 Revlon Gold Glitter Polish - You all know I can't resist adding a touch of sparkle to my nails and this glittery beauty was at the bottom of my stocking - how did Santa know?! The varnish has a mixture of fine and chunky glitter bits, and is really dense in application. Just one coat achieves a gorgeous sparkling effect that will rival any diamond! (It's just a buggar to get off!).

What products have you discovered lately, whether they are new releases or just new to you?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

'Welcome to the team!'

Images sourced from weheartit

So you may know that I finished uni this year and have since been looking for a writing job, preferably in the beauty industry (in-between office temp work to fund skincare and make-up products of course!). However knowing how hard both media and beauty is to break into, I was going through the application process with a very open mind, widening my search and taking any opportunity that came my way.

Well the month's of searching, email sending and contributing free work have paid off and I've been offered an internship at a beauty PR company in Covent Garden!! I'm soo excited and cannot wait to start working with the team. My role is to help manage the social media outlets and channels for three of their brands alongside the Social Media Manager - so who knows, I may be chatting with a few of you if you are users of the products...and I'm pretty sure you are!

I'm so happy to finally be working in the industry and to be able to put all my skills and knowledge to use. It's so frustrating when you know you are perfectly capable of doing a job, and doing it well, and not being given the chance to prove that. Well now I have and I'm so grateful!! Where better for a beauty-obsessed writer to be working eh?? And who knows where it may lead...

Do any of you hope to have a career in a similar field? If so, would a 'Tips' or 'Do's and Don'ts' post help at all?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Louella (bdellium) Mineral 5pc Brush Set

Having lusted after the MAC contour and blusher brushes for a while, I decided that I simply couldn't part with the rather large amount of money I'd spend in exchange for them - however beautiful they are.

Needing to update my powder brush and invest in a good contourer, I began to look for alternatives and decided to give the bdellium brand a whirl. I discovered them through Louise and Zoe who have since set up their own shop (Louella) selling three different bdellium sets - plus a kabuki brush - after finding the make in America and falling in love with their softer than soft synthetic bristles. And I thought 'if they love them, then they must be good!' Who better to trust for a review or recommendation than your favourite beauty bloggers, right?

So I went ahead and bought the 5 piece Green Bamboo Mineral Brush Set for £33.95 which includes a Powder Blending Brush (#959B), a Slanted Contour Brush (#942B), a Precision Concealer Brush (#934B), a Large Tapered Blending Brush (#787B), and a Large Shadow Brush (#778B). They come in a cute little tube and each is protected in a plastic sleeve. I have since got the Kabuki Brush too which comes in an even cuter little tube - a great travel brush!

I'm particularly impressed with the #942B Slanted Contour Brush, and the Kabuki - both are now part of my daily routine. The things I love about this brand are that they are of a professional quality without the huge expense, the bristles are synthetic and therefore don't shed compared to natural hair, and they are eco-friendly! Plus they wash really well and are the softess things you will ever know! Don't you just love that new brush feel?!

You can't purchase the brushes in the UK (only through American websites) so Louella saves a lot of hassle with shipping fees and delivery times. Plus they send your brushes in bright pink jiffy bags and include a personal handwritten note. Baby Glitter was helping with the orders when they processed mine and scribbled her own little message - cute huh?!

So if you are looking for a professional brush set that doesn't break the bank, I recommend bdellium. What's your favourite makeup brush brand?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stain

I was recently asked what my favourite beauty product is and whilst I could never pick just one, currently the number one contended is Revlon's Just Bitten Chubby Sticks. A brilliant dupe of the Clinique Chubbies, these crayon-like stains are my ideal lip product - I only wish I'd found them sooner!

The firm, shapely product allows for great precision and glides on smoothly, leaving a high-shine gloss. As the formula intends, this actually stains your lips, and the more you apply (the shine wears off, as does some of the colour so I tend to re-apply every 3 or 4 hours) the stronger the staining.

They have a scent which I'm not actually a lover of. It's minty fresh but reminds me of the fragrance most 'plumping' lip products hold, and I've never liked a tingly plumper! However this is really only apparent during application so don't be put-off. You won't be walking around with a chewing gum aroma under your nose all day.

Now on to the colours - DON'T go by the packaging or sticker colours, they are COMPLETELY different when actually used. Take for example Lovesick, a scarily vibrant plum package that would be way too garish for me, but when applied it's actually a purple-based magenta that I would describe as a dark-pink opposed to a bright.  So don't be fooled by the tube.

To summarize...I love a good lip stain. And these are what you call a good lip stain. Moisturising, glossy, easy to use, good staying power, smooth texture, hydrating and it comes as a chubby stick! Who doesn't love a nostalgic chubby reminding you of childhood days spent drawing with chunky crayons?!

And at £7.99, they're certainly giving the Clinique Chubbies some competition. Which do you prefer?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Ombre-ing shorter hair??

Images sourced from weheartit

So after seeing Zoe, Louise and Lily ombre their hair to perfection, achieving a gorgeous natural fade from dark to light and creating a really pretty, interesting effect, I've decided....I want it too! I like the colour of my natural hair and therefore have never been tempted to dye it or highlight it, but I love the ombre look and feel it's a great way to have a change, trying something new that isn't too drastic.

However as amazing as it looks on the likes of those with long, luscious hair who compliment the dip-dye with pretty curls, my problem is my hair length. It is a few inches longer than shoulder-length - but is this long enough to pull of ombre??

I wouldn't want the straight-line effect but a blended look of perhaps a very light, honey brown opposed to blonde. But I'm worried that because my hair isn't as long as those who sport ombre so well, that it will look pants, I'll hate it, and either have to chop the ends off (which scares me more than spiders!?!), have an all-over colour, or wait for it to grow out. Needless to say I don't like any of those options.

Miley Cyrus managed it on short locks and looked stunning - not too sure about the new very short look huh girls?! - but I'm just not sure if it would work on me. Also, I have a full fringe so do you think this would look odd combined with ombre?

Hmmm I just can't make my mind up because once it's done, there's no going back.

Any thoughts?