Friday, 18 December 2015

cute christmas snow angel frozen cute look for all girls very CUTE

L-R finger swatches: MAC Lazy Sunday, MUA Shade 22, Topshop Holograph, Topshop Hematite. Wrist with both Topshop Hematite and Holograph.

Now I have blonde hair and look truly and properly angelic (as all my fans keep telling me), I have started to really enjoy products which play off my new celestial vibe. Things which are cool-toned and cute, but also somewhat glittery and ethereal. And before some pedant comes along, no, I'm obviously not talking about the angels from all of those "religion" thingys, who seem to be mostly either blokes or fat babies, and come to signal the end of the world with a trumpet or something (I have an A* at Religious Studies A-Level, so don't try to tell me I'm an ignoramus). Put your death trumpets and fat baby costumes away, this is about a nice snow-queeny, flightly frostbitten but essentially angelic Christmas look.

I'll start with the real star of the show and newest inductee to the Annie Hall of Fame (makeup bag) - MAC Casual Colour in Lazy Sunday. In the pan this looks like a normal, cool toned pink cream blush, but it's so much* (*a bit) more than that. It comes off an almost white based baby pink, which is dewy and pale enough to be a dual highlight & blush. For a long time I was against pink blush as I felt it gives a real flustered mum on school run / Yarn Tethers look. (PS - if you understand the Yarn Tethers reference we must immediately become friends.) But this is pale, so you don't look at all flushed, just cutely pink. I also put this on my lips to pale them out a bit without looking concealer-y, just a very slight bit frostbitten and dead. Very slight. 

Next, a £1 product which is well worth it if you're not sure the whole dead/angel look is for you - a MUA eyeshadow in shade 22 Pearl. This is a frosted pink with subtle iridescent blue reflex. I like to use this not as an eyeshadow but as a highlight/blush: just a small dab along the cheekbone tops - not applied anywhere near as liberally as Lazy Sunday. Perfect for non-subtle winter highlighting, because it's not like you'll be in direct sunlight for more than fifteen seconds throughout the day anyway.

Now, Topshop eyeshadows have long been documented as some of my favourites for really unusual finishes and shades. These two (Holograph and Hematite) are absolutely perfect winter colours, because, when applied together, they make your eyelids look like an artistic depiction of a snowstorm. For a more "subtle" look (not that subtle because it still involves blue eyeshadow and glitter) I like to gentle press both into my inner-eye-corners with my finger, which deposits less stark colour and more just glittery shine. And if that doesn't make you feel festive, I don't know what will.

Friday, 11 December 2015

blonde expectations

I have had blonde hair for about two weeks now, which I believe officially makes me an expert. These two weeks have been a pretty steep learning curve, if you call "altering your hair routine" "learning", which I, of course, do. So here are some valuable life (*hair) lessons and observations. Also, I want an excuse to ramble on about my hair, because people in my actual life are getting fed up of me.
First - having blonde hair is ace. It makes whatever boring, pyjama-esque clothes you're wearing look about 80% better. It's like an accessory in itself! Also, it has reinvigorated my lipstick wearing habits (priorities). Instead of being trapped in a nude world, I've been really enjoying "statement lips" again. FUN! Having light and interesting-coloured hair makes getting dressed and doing makeup so much easier. The commitment of blonde upkeep thus balances out, and I am pleased.
Secondly, the battle against yellow is ongoing and difficult. I don't want white or grey hair, but what I do want is a pale and very very cool toned blonde, which is apparently a struggle to achieve. I was asked by my boyfriend the other day, "what would you do if you woke up and your whole hair was one brassy tone?" which I supposed shows how much my hair talk has infiltrated his brain. I've experimented with tons of toners and purple shampoos and dyes and I'm enjoying it as a mini-project
Also, you'll be amazed to hear, bleached hair is very dry and damaged! I bet you've never heard that before! My previous hair was somewhat tangly, but otherwise full of health and vitality. Now I have the equivalent of lots of straw attached to my head. In some ways, I actually prefer my new hair, not least because it actually has volume and holds a style and needs washing so much less. Nonetheless, I have to treat it with a lot more kindness than ever before. Some total saviours are my Aussie Three Minute Miracle, which I use every time I wash and sometimes mix with purple shampoo as a brightening mask, my OGX oil mists (keratin, argan and kukui are all good) and my Denman Small Grooming Brush. I was using the Aussie Leave in Conditioner and I must warn you - I think it is total trash. The second ingredient is alcohol (after water) and all it seemed to do was dry out and tangle my hair. Get the OGX oils instead.
So, overall. If you are thinking about bleaching you hair, I think you should just do it. Everyone told me I shouldn't do it myself and I did and I'm happy with it. Stick it to the man! Know that you'll be at least a bit yellow for a while, stock up on deep conditioner and the Provoke Touch of Silver. Don't brush it while it's wet. And enjoy a new world of rarely having to wash your hair, of actually enjoying your lipstick collection again and of dressing like a total bum and still looking kind of cool.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

extremely cheap, extremely good hair products

Of all of the superficial things you can spend your money on, hair stuff must surely be the most boring (except maybe body care - I think I speak for all of us when I say "who cares?"). But having good hair is a (very, very far off) aspiration of mine. Inspired mostly by Sali Hughes' 50 products under £20 I think I have discovered some otherwise hidden hair gems (weird mental image).
Firstly, all my blonde bitches, just buy the Provoke Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo. I'm pretty sure everybody knows about this, so I won't ramble on for too long. This turns warm blonde into cool blonde, and can even be used as a mild lilac dye (both on purpose or by accident). Cheap, smells good, easy to find, the end.
Ok, onto some more surprising bits. Mousse has a bit of a bad, crispy reputation, but the Boots Extra Firm Hold one seems to defy them. It's a mousse, sure, but it's a good one. Used in wet hair it stops your hair drying slippy and useless. This is probably also top for people who do fancy "up-dos" or such things I don't have the skill set for.
A bit of a strange one, the Boots Essentials Curl Creme is an exceptionally satisfying pale pink paste which looks like it belongs to your grandmother (and it very well might). I don't even have curly hair and I love this. It makes hair more malleable and kind of separated. It also adds hold without feeling like product in your hair, so whatever you do to it will look better for longer. For "science" purposes, I also used this in my boyfriend's long and curly hair, and it did seem to dry nicer, (although he was all, "why does my hair feel so ... firm??" - sigh, boys). Sounds (and looks, and is) weird, works really well. Try it if you, like me, want cool-girl hair with absolutely zero effort or money.