Thursday, 30 January 2014

Dusting for long hair [Video]

A lot of advice on how to achieve long hair emphasises the need to trim often. I agree that cutting the ends of the hair periodically helps keep them 'fresh' allowing you to reach longer lengths, though I think it's more important to cut hairs effectively rather than obsess over getting full trims.

In this video I explain how I 'dust' rather than trim to get rid of any split ends or thinness which I think really has helped me maintain long hair. I feel silly saying dusting but I can't think of another word for it, so hopefully people understand what I'm talking about!

Do you prefer to trim or dust?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Hairstyle | Super textured braidout

In the midst of filming a totally unrelated video for YouTube I thought I'd share today's hairstyle - a super textured braidout.

I've got so much texlaxed hair and 16 weeks of natural new growth now it's just easier to do my hair in several small braids as opposed to the 2-4 I used to do for my whole head. Doing several braids has kept the tangles at bay as putting them in has made me actually detangle my hair fully for a change. I'm so lazy usually and just throw my hair up in a bun 24/7 when relaxer day is imminent.

I think I did about 4-5 braids on each side for this style before bed and slept on them overnight before gently unravelling the next morning. With this many braids I end up with big, textured and fluffy hair. When I only do 2-4 braids my hair seems to stay more compact and smooth usually. I've always loved big hair - though not normally on me - but I'm really starting to love how thick my hair can at least appear with super textured styles.

Do you like to do braidouts?

Lesley x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

DIY Hot Oil Treatment

There's now well and truly a chill in the air and the cold can be so harsh on our bodies, especially our hair. Each time the winter rolls around I rely on hot oil treatments more and more to inject some life back into my winter-beaten tresses. They're inexpensive and you can use as many oils as you like. I like to do hot oil treatments before shampooing on wash days - though you can use them as a deep conditioner too.

All you need is an oil of course, some bowls and a shower cap - oh and some time to spare too!

1 Grab your oil(s) of choice and measure out about 1-2 tablespoons into a bowl. My favourite oils to use are a mix of Coconut, Avocado and Sweet Almond oil

2 Warm the oil by placing the bowl it into another bowl filled with boiling water or you can just stick it in the microwave for 20 seconds

3 When it's cooled slightly so it's not too hot pour the oil a little at a time into your palms. Apply the oil generously to your ends and then start spreading to the rest of your strands. I tend to keep the oil off of my scalp as mine gets quite oily naturally. If your scalp is dry using oil can help nourish it and protect it from over stripping shampoos. 

4 Once applied clip your hair up and put on a shower cap to keep the heat in - or sit under a steamer if you have one

5 After 10-15 minutes rinse off and follow with shampoo and your usual wash routine

Have you tried a hot oil treatment? 

Lesley x

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Post updated & reposted 23/01/14

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Black Beauty & Hair | Feb/March 2014

The latest issue of Black Beauty & Hair has hit the news stands. With Valentines just around the corner (eek already?) BBH brings you the latest beauty products and fashion picks to keep you looking on point. Also in this issue is makeup artist Joy Adenuga's tips for contouring and highlighting, the winning collections from the Black Beauty/Sensationnel Hair Awards and ways to zap cystic acne.

My article this issue is on porosity. I had a lot of fun writing this one as porosity seems to be something that not a lot of people know about or it gets forgotten about as the importance of knowing your hair texture or typing is emphasised more. Porosity to me is a major indicator on how to care for your hair as it can affect how your hair reacts to products and chemical treatments. Want to know what it's all about? It's on page 114 of the issue and there's a sneak peek below

Have you got a copy?

Lesley x

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Style | Topshop Leather Panelled Leggings

I'm back with another outfit post. I love keeping things simple and I often wear a lot of black so I think this outfit pretty much sums up my sense of style to a tee. It was quite cloudy and grey strolling around central London yesterday but surprisingly not too cold for January and my coat kept me pretty warm. I'm not usually a fan of leather but have somehow built up quite a collection of leather trimmed pieces. I especially love these leggings.

Coat Forever21 | Cardigan - Primark | Shirt - H&M | Leggins - Topshop | Shoes - River Island | Bag - La Moda UK

What clothes do you love to wear?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Coconut Oil

I started using Coconut Oil at the beginning of my hair journey back in August 2010. I barely used it and I knew so little about oils then that when winter rolled around and the Coconut Oil solidified, I threw it out because I thought something was wrong with it (FYI Coconut Oil is solid when kept at temperatures less than 75°F/24ÂșC)

Fast forward 3 years and I finally decided to buy it again. I now I can't imagine my hair regimen without Coconut Oil and feel so stupid for ever throwing this precious stuff in the bin. It has so many uses, for the hair, skin and body, but this post concentrates entirely on it's benefits on those tresses.

The Good Stuff
Coconut Oil is packed with vitamins which help keep the scalp and hair nourished. Coconut oil is one of the few oils which can actually penetrate the outer layer of the hair strand. It effectively holds in moisture and prevents protein loss. Coconut oil greatly benefits damaged or high porosity high, as these types absorb the oil when wet more readily than healthy hair. It is also claimed to help with hair growth and slow hair loss. I especially love that this oil provides all these benefits whilst being very lightweight and leaves the hair with a gorgeous shine.

Cold Pressed, Virgin, Unrefined?
You'll often see these terms to describe oils. The Coconut Oil I use is Virgin Coconut Oil which is unrefined and has been extracted using a cold pressing technique. Essentially what this means is nothing has been added to the oil - it's pure and totally natural. Cold pressing allows the oil to be extracted without any of the goodness being lost. Generally, if you want to get the most from your oil, I'd say go for something that is as close to it's natural form as possible by having the above qualities.

How I use it
I like to apply Coconut oil to damp hair before shampooing to protect my hair from the process. I love to scoop about a teaspoons worth into the palm of my hands and rub it together to warm it up. After it's melted, which usually takes a few seconds, I apply it to my hair. I start by generously saturating my ends with it and then move up to rest of my hair before giving my scalp a quick massage. I leave this on for 10 minutes or so, often with a plastic cap on to warm up the oil with the heat from my head.  

I love to use Coconut Oil pre shampoo as it prevents the hair strand from taking up too much moisture. When the hair is washed it swells to take in water and it contracts as it dries. I always emphasise the need for moisture in the hair but this repeated swelling and contracting of the hair strand during the washing process can cause damage over time. Coconut Oil therefore protects the hair from overswelling making it an effective pre shampoo treatment.

Where to buy?
Coconut Oil can be found in supermarkets or health food stores. I'm currently using The Groovy Food Company Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (£6/260ml) which I purchased from Tesco

Do you use Coconut Oil?
Lesley x

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Review | Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter [Brown Sugar]

I'm fast becoming a lipstick junkie. It's scarcely believable now that a few years ago I only had about 4 lipsticks in my possession. Though balm is my go-to lip accessory, I'm almost always applying a bit of lippie after too.

One of my latest loves is Revlon's ColorBurst Lip Butter in Brown Sugar (£7.99). Boy does the name say it all. The colour pay off is less than I was expecting, but of the reviews I've read so far most of the colours from this collection give a sheer coverage. I adore the tone, which looks nude on me. It's perfect for adding shimmer and it leaves my lips super soft. For me, it's like wearing a lip gloss without the stickiness.

Have you tried any lipsticks by Revlon?

Lesley x

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Post updated & reposted 05/02/14

Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette & Swatches

I feel like I'm a little late to the party with this post as so many of my favourite bloggers have already posted about the Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette before it even came out! I didn't get the third palette from Urban Decay's Naked collection until Christmas but I was so happy I did. I'm so excited to play around with this palette. This is my first Urban Decay palette. Ever. I've had their eyeshadows in the past, which I loved, but currently I do not have any other products from this brand.

At a quick glance, the colours in this palette are so gorgeous. I wasn't sure how these would suit my skintone (medium with a yellow undertone) but the rose-gold tones are so flattering. There's a mix of matte and glittery shades in the palette. From swatching I think Trick, Factory and Darkside are going to be my favourites. I found the right side of the palette which contains the darker shades a lot easier to swatch than the left side and coincidentally they showed up better on my skin. Dust in particular I found really hard to pick up and I think this would be hard to work with. In all though, considering I don't generally like to wear pink unless it's on my lips, I'm really surprised how much I like the shades in this palette.

The palette comes with a useful double ended brush so you can apply your eyeshadow and blend them out. It also comes with samples of the Urban Decay Primer Potion in the 4 different formulations. I really love the packaging of this product, which feels very durable and is similar to the Naked 2 palette. A lot of the eyeshadow palettes I own already are on the cheaper side and the packaging has broken or feels quite flimsy.

Overall, my initial impressions are that this is a great palette with a wide range of shades that work well together. I can now sort of understand the huge hype around the release of this product and the previous Naked palettes.

Have you tried anything by Urban Decay?

Lesley x

Thursday, 2 January 2014

What is texlaxing?

Instead of processing my hair bone straight I purposely underprocess my hair to leave some texture which is called 'texlaxing'. Texlaxing is done with a relaxer, there isn't a product I'm aware of called a 'texlaxer'.

Why did I start texlaxing?
I first started texlaxing my hair by mistake in 2011. I wanted healthier hair and I was so scared of overprocessing I started leaving the relaxer on for less time. The result was slightly textured roots. At first I hated my texlaxed hair. To me it looked odd and, weirdly, damaged next to my bone straight hair. It was actually healthier than my straight hair, but I ended up trying to 'correct' it by reapplying a relaxer to the underprocessed parts. I did this several times but I never managed to successfully correct the texlaxed areas. The same areas even now are still texlaxed and this led to an impromptu transition to texlaxed hair. I love my texlaxed hair now and eventually want to cut off all the bone straight parts. 

What are the benefits of texlaxing?
Texlaxed hair is stronger than bone straight relaxed hair. When you relax your hair bone straight all of the protein bonds are cut and this leaves the hair significantly weaker than in it's natural state. This means when you reach for the heat, style roughly or neglect it, the hair can be damaged more easily. By leaving your hair with some strength it can resist damage better. Also, the point where your texlaxed and new growth meet (line of demarcation) isn't so pronounced so it's less likely to break.

What are the cons of texlaxing?
(These apply to those who choose to transition from relaxed to texlaxed hair)
- 3+ textures which can be difficult to blend
- Moisturising regularly is key or you might see breakage where the different textures meet
- Texlaxed hair is different to the bone straight ends so may require different treatment or products
- The texture (or lack of) of your ends might make them look thinner than the rest of your hair

How do you texlax?
- Use a mild relaxer rather than super or medium strength
- Put oil on your hair or in the relaxer itself to prevent it processing fully
- Leave the relaxer on your hair for less than the recommended time
- Skip the smoothing process which makes the hair straight
- Use only some of the activator liquid for no-lye kits

Have you heard of texlaxing?

Lesley x

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Post updated & reposted 02/01/2014

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Style | Primark Tartan Shirt

Happy New Year! I've recently cleansed myself of a lot of clothes (some still with the tags on) and I'm trying to get into the habit of only owning items I absolutely love in the hope that this will make choosing what to wear a little easier!

This is an outfit that has seen quite a bit of wear recently. I'm hooked on the tartan trend and I love big thick cardigans. I'm not sure how it happened but I seem to be hoarding a lot of navy blue clothing too.

Coat & Trousers - H&M | Cardigan - Forever 21 | Shirt & Socks - Primark | Shoes - Dorothy Perkins | Bag - La Moda UK

What do you love wearing lately?
Lesley x