Sunday, 31 May 2015

How-To | Henna Hair Dye Mix [Video]

I've been itching to use henna as it's been quite a few months since I last tried it. I mixed up a batch recently and decided to film a video on exactly how I do it for my YouTube channel as I've never shown how I make my henna hair dye before. It's a bit of a niche topic as henna definitely isn't for everyone but it works so well for my hair and I'm still in love with the colour after several years of using it. I kept this video strictly about the mix itself as I know I could talk for hours about this stuff. I'll be making a video on how I apply my henna soon.

The Video:

If there are any aspects of my henna use you'd like to know more about let me know or you can read my Henna FAQ.

Have you tried henna before? 

Lesley x

Friday, 29 May 2015

Style | All Gold Jewellery

I think there's so much beauty in simplicity. I'm always drawn towards minimalism and if anyone raided my jewellery stash they would find various dainty gold pieces. Currently I'm in love with gold bars as throwing one on can easily pull together any outfit regardless of the occasion.

My favourites to wear at the moment are these two necklaces from H&M and I love that they both can be layered with other pieces to create more dimension to an outfit. The first has a long chain and falls roughly at my waist and it goes perfectly with a couple of my midi dresses or cami and jeans combos. The other is much shorter, stopping at my collar bone, and works best with tunics and blouses (I'm wearing it in a post here). Both were a steal with the long gold bar costing £1.99 and the short one £2.99.

Necklaces - H&M | Watch - Olivia Burton

I've also been wearing this Olivia Burton watch a lot recently (seen here). This is my third watch from this brand and I'm totally hooked (the other two I own can be seen here and here). It's a relatively inexpensive brand but the products are really well made and look really beautiful in person. I would definitely buy another watch, though I don't think I could justify the need for another!

What have you been wearing recently?

Lesley x

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Review | Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

I've definitely become more of a fan of mascara in recent months and currently the Benefit Roller Lash is the mascara I always reach for.

I was happy to get the sample version of this mascara in Glamour magazine a couple of months ago as there's been a lot of buzz around this product in the beauty sphere, but at £19.50 I didn't think I'd ever get to try this. I've had a few benefit products before, and loved them, but the cost is just a bit too high for me, especially as I stick to throwing out old mascaras every 6 months.

Cost aside this is a great little product. The design of the mascara wand is slightly curved and it gently pulls up the lashes whilst coating it in mascara. It's supposed to help curl straight lashes but where my lashes are naturally curly anyway I haven't noticed a huge difference in this. It does define and lengthen each lash however.

The formula is buildable which I love as there's no clumpy, spider-effect. I'm a bit clumsy when it comes to mascara application (mostly as it's done amidst my morning commute to work), so thankfully this has a comb-style mascara wand making it easy to apply without making a mess. This mascara stays put pretty well too. I've been rubbing my eyes a lot lately (due to hayfever) and this stuff doesn't budge at all.

In all definitely a winning mascara, though the cost does put me off buying the full-size version. I'm definitely going to enjoy this sample size whilst it lasts!

Have you tried any Benefit products?

Lesley x

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Hair Update | May 2015 [Video]

Hair updates have been few and far between over the last couple of years, especially on my YouTube channel, so here's the latest. I'm still transitioning to texlaxed (more info here) and my hair is a mass of textures which is the main reason low maintenance is key for me. You can see exactly how my hair looks post-wash with barely any product in the video.

The Video:

I never really wanted to do 'chatty' videos when I first started my channel and I always had tutorials in mind but it's difficult for me to do styling tutorials as I'm trying not to manipulate my hair too much. I could do some updated videos of older content like my 'Wash Day' routine or how I moisturise. It really depends on what people want to see from me. I definitely want to be more active on YouTube though as I'm slowly getting the hang of filming and editing! Let me know if there's anything in particular that you would like to see (it doesn't have to be hair related).

What have you been doing with your hair recently?

Lesley x

Monday, 18 May 2015

Skincare Routine | May 2015 [Video]

I haven't made a skincare routine post since Spring last year so I thought I'd run through what I do and my favourite products to use on my YouTube channel.

I really love to keep things simple as my skin is spot-prone and can get irritated quite easily. I've found that since I started using milder or natural products my face has been a lot clearer, though my skin isn't perfect.

The Video:

What's your skincare routine?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

HOTD | Twist Out Ponytail with braided front

I've been wearing my hair without the wigs recently and most days it's been my usual bun but it's causing so many tangles I've had to switch it up a little. I 3 strand twisted my hair Sunday night (there's a great tutorial by Alyssa Forever here) and I'm still taking advantage of the resulting loose, disheveled waves from when I took the twists out. Today I tried (and failed) to dutch braid the front as this area can tangle a lot but I'm not that great at braiding so it's pretty messy. Regardless, I tend to prefer 'worn in' styles so I thought I'd share a few snaps here.

What have you been doing to your hair lately?

Lesley x

Monday, 11 May 2015

Review | KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp Products

I've been using a lot of KeraCare products of late and whilst my hair has been in and out of braids over the last couple of months I thought it was the best opportunity to get to grips with a few of the KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp* products. Out of all the KeraCare products these have the most colourful and exciting packaging, differing from the usual luxurious all gold branding. I was really excited to try this range as they are so visually different from many of the other KeraCare products.

I haven't had any major issues with dandruff or a persistently itchy scalp but I was worried that wearing braids under a wig for most of the day would start to aggravate my scalp. My wig routine did make my scalp a little dry and itchy at times so it was great to have these products on hand to provide some relief.

KeraCare Dry & Itchy Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo (£7.20/240ml)*
The shampoo is possibly my favourite of the products here, which speaks volumes as I don't generally tend to love shampoo. After initially applying to wet hair, lathering and rinsing, I apply this again, leaving it to sit for 5 minutes. I can really feel this working on the scalp as it's so tingly and refreshing. Once it's rinsed my head feels so clean but not dry. This is supposed to be a gentle shampoo suitable for relaxed, permed, dyed and natural hair but this does leave my strands a little stripped. The menthol scent is similar to medicated shampoos but I've come to like it.

KeraCare Dry & Itchy Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Conditioner (£8/240ml)*
Despite religiously following the instructions to leave this on for 10-15 minutes, this conditioner just doesn't give the kind of slip and moisture that my hair needs. I always use a deep conditioner with each wash and I can't skip that step after using this conditioner. The ingredients in this particular product don't seem to be to the same high standard as other KeraCare products. There just isn't that je ne sais quoi which is possibly why this doesn't do much for my hair. On the plus side I haven't noticed any issues with my scalp when using this product so it at least ensures dandruff is kept at bay.

KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp Glossifier (£6.55/110g)*
The formula of the Dry & Itchy Glossifier is like a solid wax but the surface melts into a liquid when you touch it. I tend to pick up a small amount of the glossifier at a time by dabbing my finger into the pot. I then place the product directly on any itchy areas on my scalp as and when needed. As a result I can reach for this daily or it might be a few days between each use. It provides quick relief from itching and soothes my scalp. I barely use any product with each application so this product will probably last me a very long time.

These products work well together and my scalp has been less irritated as I've continued to use these regularly. My hair is now out of braids and it's been really satisfying to not have to deal with an itchy scalp so I'll definitely continue to use these. However, I don't think these products perform so well on my hair so I'll also keep relying on other products to keep my strands hydrated and strong.

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried any Keracare products before?

Lesley x

Sunday, 10 May 2015

New In | Maybelline & Rimmel Makeup

I cleansed my beauty collection of a lot of old gear a few months ago and I felt it was time I ushered in a few makeup products. For a beauty blogger I think my makeup stash is quite small and I want to keep it that way so I didn't buy a lot, only a couple of bronzers and lip products from Boots to refresh my everyday makeup look a little.

Rimmel London Sunshimmer Bronzing Powder in Medium (£5.59)
I've been looking for a product to give me that 'glow' without it being overpowering so I thought this would be a good fit. The medium shade is probably a little light for my skintone but the subtle flush of shimmery bronze is exactly what I was looking for.

Maybelline New York Dream Sun Triple Bronzing Powder in Blonde (£5.99)
As well as a bronzer I needed a new highlighter and I thought the multiple tones in this compact would serve as both. I accidentally picked up the Blonde compact rather than brunette but the products looked almost identical on the shelf. This product isn't suited to my tone at all and the lightest shade is kind of chalky. I've still managed to make it work as a highlighter by swirling a blush brush around the pot and applying the product to my cheeks, brow bone and cupids bow. 

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick in Birthday Suit (£4.99)
Nudes are easily my favourite tones to wear currently. I love Rimmel Lipsticks so it was only a matter of time before I added 'Birthday Suit' to my collection. I didn't think this tone would work for my skin originally as in the bullet it looks quite light. In reality it's a perfect match for my skin as the finish is quite sheer so my natural tone can still be seen slightly underneath. 

Maybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencils in Berry Much, Red Essential and Nude Perfection (£4.99)
I adore these lip pencils. I've seen them in Boots and Superdrug for some time but I've had such a long love affair with lipstick that they didn't really appeal to me before. There's so many shades to choose from but in natural fashion I picked the tones I love to wear time and again. They provide a good amount of pigmentation which lasts fairly well. The formula is a little dry so I just add a little balm to my lips before applying. 

Swatches from left to right: Rimmel London Sunshimmer Bronzing Powder (Medium), Maybelline New York Dream Sun Triple Bronzing Powder (Blonde),  Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick (Birthday Suit), Maybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencils (Berry Much, Red Essential and Nude Perfection)

What beauty products have you been using lately?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Review | Stylish Lace Wigs Malaysian Lace Wig [Video]

I've been experimenting more with wigs recently and UK company Stylish Lace Wigs were kind enough to send me one of their Malaysian full lace units which is 18 inches. 

I've never heard of the company before so I didn't know quite what to expect from the wig. The hair is absolutely gorgeous and I run through a few of the pros and cons in this video for my YouTube channel.

Wig details
18" Glueless Malaysian Virgin Full Lace Wig (Natural Colour) £228*
Available online here

Wig Specifications
Hair Texture: Natural Straight Unprocessed
Length: 18"
Hair Density: 130%
Hair Colour: Natural Colour
Cap Style: Glueless, 4 combs with adjustable strap
Lace Colour: Light Brown, swiss lace
Cap Size: Medium

The Video: 

*sample - see my disclaimer here for more info.

Have you heard of Stylish Lace Wigs? 

Lesley x

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Hair | Styling with Curlformers

I bought a Curlformers Styling Kit (long and wide version) way back when I started taking caring for my hair seriously in 2011. I was into all things 'heatless' and Curlformers seemed like the ideal way to style my hair without causing any damage. If you're not familiar with Curlformers, they're like long coily rollers which you hook your hair inside to create perfectly shaped curls. You can get Curlformers in different varieties of lengths and widths and the two colours indicate which direction the curls bend in (left or right).

You're supposed to use these on wet hair, allowing your hair to airdry so there's no heat involved. I used them twice before giving up on Curlformers for almost 4 years! I couldn't fault the curls they created, which were perfect, but I couldn't stand having to use them on wet hair (as mine can take hours to dry) and I didn't like having to drag my tangle-prone hair into the curlers. I also have a lot of hair on my head and even when it was short it would take hours to put these in as they need to be small sections to dry evenly. I was about to throw them out, but curiosity made me try the Curlformers on my wig and the results are just beautiful.

This is now the main way I style my wig. It takes little to no time to prep and the curls can last for a few days before I need to repeat the process. I only spray the ends of my wig with a little water and hook small sections into the Curlformers. I then leave the hair to airdry on my mannequin head overnight.

The pictures here are from the first time I tried them last week. The curls held up for most of the day before dropping into loose waves. I didn't use any product on the wig, only a little water, and these shots were taken at the end of the day. I'm definitely going to continue using Curlformers on my wig as it doesn't cause any damage to the hair and the results are so pretty.

Have you tried Curlformers?

Lesley x