Monday, 30 June 2014

NOTD | Ciate Caviar Polish by Marie Claire

I love a magazine freebie, especially of the nail polish variety, and I was excited to see this Ciate London Caviar Manicure Mini duo included with this months Marie Claire UK (July 2014 edition).

There were several different colours included with the July issue, though admittedly stock was limited to the Sugar Plum nail colour and Ice Queen Caviar (pictured above) at my local Asda. The magazine was reduced to £2.50 so I can only assume that's what led the stand to look a little bare by the time I had got to it.

I've never tried this brand before or a caviar type of polish. The 'caviar pearls' (which are tiny coloured beads) put an interesting twist on my usual mani. I did imagine all sorts of mishaps when applying the caviar pearls but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

You start off by painting all of your nails with one coat of polish and allow that to dry. Then you apply a second coat and, whilst it's still wet, pour over the caviar pearls and carefully press them down into the polish to make them stick. After my nails were fully dry, I finished off by applying a top coat at the bottom edge of the nail to make the beads more secure. If a top coat is applied over the whole of the nail it can remove the colour of the beads.

The result was really pretty and though I love pastel colours I just didn't think it suited me. I think it's because I'm so used to wearing quite safe and muted colours. I'm also really picky with nail polish - if there's the slightest chip, bubble or streakiness I often end up taking the whole thing off and starting again. Initially the beads seemed to stay on my nails quite well, but after washing my hands several times some of the beads fell off which just made me want to remove it. 

It was definitely cool to try this and if I find out a way to make this last longer I would definitely try it again, but maybe with a darker colour. 

Have you tried a caviar nail polish before? 

Lesley x

Friday, 27 June 2014

Review | GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Boheme

I've always been intrigued by the GOSH makeup stands at my local Superdrug and the current 'Buy 1 get 2nd 1/2 price' offer peaked my interest in the brand. I bought a couple of items by GOSH but it's this Velvet Touch Lipstick in Boheme (£6.49) that I've fallen in love with.

I'm not short of purple-toned lipsticks, and honestly I meant to by something brighter and more 'on trend' but the colour was so beautiful I couldn't pass on it. It's a gorgeous bright plum which is so flattering on the skin. My wardrobe is still lacking some colourful pieces as I bought way too much grey and black clothing last year and this lipstick helps liven up my outfits. I was wearing this lipstick in my last post here.

I love the creamy formula which allows me to skip prepping my lips with balm before application. I'm seriously impressed with the colour pay-off too. This lipstick lasts so well throughout the day and barely have to do touch ups. For the price I think it's a total steal and I'd definitely look at purchasing more GOSH lipsticks though I really don't need any!

Have you tried anything by GOSH?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

What I Wore | Forever 21 Dress

I packed last minute for a weekend at my boyfriends and all I remembered to grab to wear the next day was this dress and sunglasses.

I've really missed wearing summer dresses as I've been living in high-waisted jeans and t-shirts lately (totally obsessed with my Topshop Joni pair). I’d like to wear dresses more but I barely have any, probably because I’m really fussy when it comes to buying them. Annoyingly a lot of dresses from my favourite high-street stores seem to come up quite short on me. I'm only 5'6" but I must have disproportionately long legs! I really love the pattern and halter neck on this Forever 21 dress, and though I would prefer it was a teensy bit longer I decided to buy it anyway. 

It was such a lovely weekend this dress was perfect for exploring the gardens of an Estate in Essex. I was wearing it with a slouchy cream blazer but I really didn't need it with the heat so took it off instantly.

Dress - Forever 21 | Sunglasses - Primark | Shoes - New Look | Watch - Olivia Burton

I'm definitely going to add a few more summer dresses to my wardrobe soon!

What have you been wearing?

Lesley x

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Wash Day | June 2014

I rarely do Wash Day posts, in fact I think it's been a year since I last did one. For the last two weeks my hair has not been responding to my favourite conditioners at all which made me really think about what I've been using on my hair.

I've been alternating between my JOICO regulars, Moisture Recovery and Smooth Cure, and Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme too. These all usually work wonders but my hair has had that lack lustre feeling lately. No buttery softness, limited bounce, serious tangling and my hair just felt so dry.

What was going on? In truth it took me a while to realise as I've changed my conditioner every wash over the past couple of weeks. I also tried using different shampoos to remove any build-up as usually this can cause dryness, but still no change. It wasn't until eventually I thought about something I hadn't been doing lately with the warmer weather - pre shampoo treatments.

I applied Coconut oil all over my hair last week, using a lot more than usual as it helped me to detangle my new growth. I then applied a plastic cap and sat for 10 minutes. As soon as I started to shampoo my hair had changed immediately. The straw-like feeling had gone and the smoothness came back. Finally. I tried it again yesterday to ensure it wasn't just a fluke and after washing my hair felt so soft.

I usually can get away without the pre shampoo treatments in the summer, but I think I'll continue to keep doing them from now on to keep my hair happy. Jen's recent Wash Day post made me want to finish off my usual bun with some accessories, so after airdying I tied a scarf down lightly to keep my edges smooth.

What have you been doing to your hair lately?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Hair Cut | June 2014 [Video]

I finally cut my ends and got rid of 3 & 1/4 inches altogether. I've gone from waist length to bra strap length which is a weird change as my hair feels so 'short' but I am so much happier with how my ends look.

I always cut my hair myself and have done for the last few years. I wouldn't recommend it if you want a precise cut as it is difficult to get it perfect by yourself. I rarely get a 'perfect' cut but I don't mind it this way as I'm transitioning to texlaxed. However, I do start small with any trims, and then go back in with the scissors later if it's not looking quite right.

For the last couple of years I've relied on Feye's self-trim methods. I was planning to cut my hair bluntly but I found so many short layers that I ended up going for a V shape.

I always find it so hard to get good before and after pictures now where I'm mostly having to cut my hair in the evenings so please check out the video to see how my hair looks.

The video:

What have you been doing with your hair lately?

Lesley x

Monday, 9 June 2014

What I Wore | H&M Zig Zag Cami

I've finally been rearranging my wardrobe, moving out the autumn/winter items and gradually building up a collection of my summer essentials. It was nice to clear the space which was previously filled with fluffy jumpers, thick coats and knitted scarves, though I must admit I'll miss the layering that comes with the colder weather.

The UK gets pretty muggy in the summer, which is why Brits tend to strip off at the first sight of sun. It's been so warm lately and, like most, camis are my go-to item when the heat is on. I really love this black and white zig zag cami from H&M. I'm prone to buying very plain items but I'm slowly starting to experiment with more patterns, so this shirt is a welcome change. I kept my outfit simple here (I guess that's just my thing) and I'm also unintentionally wearing almost exclusively H&M clothing. H&M is so affordable I've been getting a bit too carried away with my purchases lately and as a result lot of my summery clothing is from here.

Cami, Jeans & Necklace - H&M | Shoes - Primark | Ring - Forever21 

What have you been wearing? 

Lesley x

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Review | Mixed Roots Curl Stretching Custard

I was sent the Mixed Roots Curl Stretching Custard (£12.99/355ml)* back in April and I've been using it mostly to set my braid outs.

The product is designed for curly and kinky hair. It's best used on wet hair before twisting, braiding or rolling to really elongate your natural curl. My hair is relaxed but I have varying degrees of curls and waves towards the top of my hair because I'm transitioning to texlaxed (see my last post for more info). I've been using the product before braiding and it works really well at giving my hair a defined result after unravelling the braids. I'm especially impressed at the hold on the ends of my hair which are bone straight and usually refuse to curl. 

The texture is quite creamy and gives enough slip to detangle my texture roots. I absolutely love the sweet smell of this product which lingers long after it has been applied. The scent is quite strong though, so some may find this overpowering.

On a price point I do think it's quite high as it's in the same range as a lot of salon brands. However there is at least a generous amount of product for the price. I've found that I don't need to use much product when styling which means I've still got quite a lot left after a few weeks of use. The Mixed Roots range also boasts the exclusion of ingredients like mineral oil and parabens which I think has pushed the price up of the products. 

Overall this is a great product and I would definitely consider buying it when it runs out. 

You can buy the Curl Stretching Custard from the Mixed Roots website.

*sample. See my disclaimer here.

Have you tried anything by Mixed Roots?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Hair Talk | Transitioning and texlaxing

A lot of the relaxed hair bloggers and YouTubers I follow have recently decided to go natural. As a lot of people have asked me if I am too I thought I'd do a video on my future plans with regards to relaxing.

In short, I'm not going natural, though I've thought about it quite a few times and would definitely transition to natural hair in the future. My current plan is to continue texlaxing, leaving a slight curl in my hair (see this post for more details).

The video:

I realise it's often long periods between my YouTube uploads, but I find videos a lot more difficult to put together than blog posts. That said, I do intend on making more videos and I'm hoping when I get into the swing of planning, filming and editing that my uploads will be more frequent. 

What kind of YouTube videos would you like to see from me?

Lesley x

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Review | UKHairWeaves Regal Relaxed 24" Extensions

I've been looking to get extensions recently and UKHairWeaves were kind enough to send me a set of their 24" Regal Relaxed Clip-in Extensions (£135)* a few weeks ago.

The Regal Relaxed Collection has the appearance of relaxed or blowdried afro-hair - perfect for blending this type of hair more seamlessly with extensions. The wavy texture is created through steam pressing on Virgin Indian Remy hair. I've never really worn extensions before but so far I'm really impressed at how well these match my transitioning hair. I bought a U-Part wig back in January which I love but I've only worn it twice because my hair didn't blend with the wig as much as I wanted without using heat. With these extensions I can be really lazy with styling my hair and it's virtually undetectable that I'm wearing extensions. You can see how they look in the shot above with absolutely no styling. I've been wearing the extensions intermittently throughout the last few weeks and so far colleagues, friends and my boyfriend haven't realised when I've had them in. 

In each set there's 8 wefts - 1 8" wide, 2 6" wide, 2 4''wide, 1 3" wide and 2 2" wide. There was a fair bit of shedding initially when I took the extensions out of the packaging but after washing them the shedding has reduced dramatically. The extensions are slightly longer than my own hair straightened and naturally taper at the ends. I wanted a fuller rather than longer look by using extensions so decided to cut about half an inch of the ends. The extensions fall roughly at my waist. 

The extensions only come in the colour 'natural' which is a very dark brown. If my hair wasn't henna treated these would match my hair colour perfectly. However as I do henna my hair regularly (details here) I decided my extensions should get the same treatment. I applied henna to 5 out of the 8 clip-ins (mostly the smaller ones) and now they actually look like they've come from my own head (see the snap below). As henna is hard to remove I'm planning to use regular dye on the other clip-ins so I can change the colour as necessary later on.

The hair is coarse and can get a bit dry so I treat them as my own hair, applying a little of my usual moisturiser to keep them hydrated. Heat can be used on these extensions for a sleeker look but I haven't tested this yet so I plan to make a YouTube video at a later stage when I do.

Overall I love these extensions as they are perfect for my hair texture. I think they may be a little too textured for anyone with bone straight relaxed hair but definitely deliver if you're looking for volume.

You can get them from the UK Hair Weaves website here.  

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Have you ever tried hair extensions?

Lesley x