Wednesday, 28 October 2015

5 Ways to prevent single strand knots

Anyone else plagued by the killer that is single strand knots will understand how frustrating these can be. They're a natural feature in coily and kinky hair and I've been getting them ever since I started transitioning to a curly texlaxed texture last year. There are ways to prevent single strand knots though and here's how I minimise how many I get.

1. Keep hair moisturised
It's always when my hair is at it's driest when I start to see the knots appear as my hair is more likely to tangle around itself. Staying on top of moisturising and applying a little extra oil to your ends is key to keeping them smooth and knot-free.

2. Stretch it out
I don't ever remember having a problem with single strand knots when my hair was fully relaxed and the more stretched I keep my hair the less I find my hair knotting. This doesn't mean you have to use heat or wear it straight, but try rocking a twist or braid out instead of that wash and go constantly to see an improvement. Keeping your ends stretched and tucked in with protective styles like buns, braids and ups dos will minimise knots too.

3. Detangle regularly
So technically I don't detangle as often as I should but allowing my hair to get tangled is usually what causes my knots in the first place. I'm definitely trying to make an effort to lightly detangle throughout the week now and not just on wash day to avoid the knots. Always detangle from ends to roots to gently remove the knots and prevent snagging on the hair.

4. Swap cotton for silk or satin
Cotton bedding and clothing saps the moisture from your strands causing friction and frizz. You can avoid this by making the switch to silk or satin which is a lot more gentle on your hair. For years I've been using satin pillowcases, bonnets and scarves to protect my hair whilst I sleep or to protect my hair from clothing. My hair remains moisturised for longer as a result and doesn't get tangled whilst I sleep.

5. Trim
Hair that is split or weak is more likely to knot. If you've tried all of the above sometimes you just have to reach for those shears. By giving your hair a little trim you can prevent the knotting and cut off those that have already formed.

How do you prevent single strand knots?

Lesley x

Monday, 26 October 2015

How I Cover Scarring & Pigmentation [Video]

Last summer I was badly bitten by an unknown insect several times and it left my leg with severe scarring. I've always suffered with hyper pigmentation but this is the worst I've ever had. It's led me to either not get my legs out at all since it happened or cover my legs with makeup when they're out.

I'm currently undergoing treatment to reduce the scarring which I'm about half way through (my scars were so much darker a few months ago) but I thought I'd show how I cover it with makeup as it is currently. If you look closely you can see it's not a perfect fix as my scars are pitted which makes covering it awkward. However using makeup definitely makes me a lot less conscious about how my legs look when they're on show.

The Video: 

I'm hoping that my scars will lift eventually but until then I hope this helps others who have scarring or pigmentation that they want to cover.

How do you deal with scarring & pigmentation?

Lesley x

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Beauty | Favourite Nude Lip Colours

I've already spilled my favourite lip shades to wear this time of year here but I've also been loving a lot of nude lip colours recently too. Natural-looking makeup is my go-to most days so a nude lip usually works best.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick (Birthday Suit), Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick (Notting Hill Nude), KIKO Smart Lipstick (Natural Neige), MAC Satin Lipstick (Mocha) and NYX Butter Gloss (Ginger Snap).

For something that can finish off an effortless makeup look, finding the perfect nude lip colour can actually be a bit of a struggle. You have to navigate carefully between tones which might wash you out or make it look like you've accidentally smeared foundation over your lips. As a result it took me a long time before I stumbled upon a few solid nude-toned favourites that work well for my medium skin.

I usually swatch several tones in-store before settling on makeup products and the same goes for nude lipsticks. My lips are quite dark and brown in colour so I usually have to pick tones that are similar or well pigmented. The best nudes I own have a hint of shimmer or colour to keep the look fresh and healthy-looking and less 'corpse-bride'.

I tend to favour creamy products for nude tones like Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in Birthday SuitRimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick in Notting Hill Nude and KIKO Smart Lipstick in Natural Neige. I do have semi-matte nude tones too though, MAC Satin Lipstick in Mocha is my absolute favourite (reviewed here) and I also have the drugstore dupe of this - Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Mauve It Over.

For some (usually sheer) products I apply a very small amount of foundation around the edge of my lips beforehand to stop my smackers showing through the product or I just use something that matches my lip colour already like NYX Butter Gloss in Ginger Snap*.

*sample received at an event - read my disclaimer here.

What are your favourite nude lip shades?

Lesley x

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Which KeraCare Shampoo should I use?

KeraCare has a range of shampoos for afro-caribbean hair on offer and here's how to decipher which one you might need and when you need to use it. I've already reviewed the KeraCare Dry & Itchy Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo and the KeraCare Natural Textures Cleansing Cream but as they are my favourites and most used I thought I'd mention them again here.

KeraCare 1st Lather Shampoo Sulfate Free (£3.85/240ml)*
If you need a deep clean, reach for this bottle. I tend to use this once a month when my hair is looking a little lacklustre. It's for all hair types and cleanses the hair of build-up, dirt and styling product with just one sudsing. This shampoo is designed to prep the hair to respond better to your usual wash routine so it's best to follow this with a gentle moisturising shampoo before conditioning.

KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo Sulfate Free (£4.45/240ml)*
This is the perfect partner to the 1st Lather Shampoo as it lightly conditions the strands preventing your hair from feeling stripped post-cleanse. You can also use it alone to gently remove dirt. It gives it a great amount of slip for a shampoo so this is best for dry or delicate hair types which are prone to tangling.

KeraCare Dry & Itchy Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo (£7.20/240ml)*
If your scalp is persistently dry and itchy this will whip it into shape. This product is more than just a shampoo. I consider it a treatment for troublesome scalps and an absolute necessity in my haircare routine. It's made with various flower extracts including Ivy and Matricaria (German Chamomile) which soothes itchy conditions. My scalp knows when I don't use this, so I usually have to rely on it every 1 to 2 weeks. It's supposed to moisturise the scalp and hair, but I find it can leave my locks a little parched so I always apply an oil or conditioner before using this.

KeraCare Natural Textures Cleansing Cream Sulfate Free (£6.35/240ml)*
This beauty was made with drier curly hair in mind and if you want a way to gently wash your strands this product will be your go-to. It's the best ingredients-wise out of the shampoos here with Ayurveda Botanicals and various oils all inside the bottle. I prefer to use this whenever I'm not using the Dry & Itchy Shampoo or post-workout for a quick cleanse which can be once a week. It won't give your hair a deep clean, but the results are the equivalent of a co-wash, so if you're a little strapped for time you don't have to condition afterwards.

KeraCare Moisturizing Shampoo For Color Treated Hair (£5.75/240ml)*
You guessed it, this product is made for colour-treated hair and protects it from dreaded fading. KeraCare also claims this shampoo shields hair from UV rays. It's moisturising and strengthening with a 'Fiber Strengthening Complex' which is great for maintaining delicate relaxed and fine hair too.

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Which shampoo do you like to use?

Lesley x

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Tips for Transitioning to Texlaxed [Video]

I've been meaning to put together a video on transitioning tips for some time as I get so many questions about it but I wanted to wait until my transition was over. I didn't really change my hair routine a whole lot throughout my transition but it does require a lot of patience and care to manage all of the different textures. At times my transition was very difficult and I wouldn't say it was an easy process but I hope the tips covered in the below video help some of you who are considering or are already transitioning to texlaxed.

The Video: 

I tried to keep the video as short as possible so if you have any questions let me know!

What have you been doing with your hair lately?

Lesley x

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Favourite Fall Lipsticks Collab with Nikki [Video]

As it's Autumn (Fall) I've started digging out the typical lip shades I like to wear this time of year. In that same vein, me and fellow YouTuber Nikki Beauty Bliss have teamed up to create a video of our favourite fall lipsticks. It's my first collaboration video which I'm quite excited about as I'm used to creating blog posts/videos without any input from other bloggers. Nikki has loads of videos on fitness and beauty and posts regularly so definitely check out her channel and her video on her favourite fall lipsticks here.

I'd love to do more collaboration type posts/videos so if you're interested, drop me an email.

The Video: 

What are your favourite lipsticks to wear this time of year?
Lesley x

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Review | KeraCare Intensive Restorative Masque

The KeraCare Intensive Restorative Masque (£15.99) has been a staple product of mine for over a year. I remember buying it for the first time, my hair was feeling pretty lack lustre from heat use the week before and none of the deep conditioners I had on hand at the time seemed to be making the impact I needed to get my hair back on track. I wasn't sure how well this product was going to work, but gave it a whirl and it's been in my hair stash ever since.

This product is a deep conditioner formulated for weak and damaged hair and claims that it can make it 42% stronger. I don't have any way of measuring whether that's really the case but my hair does feel noticeably stronger with more elasticity after each use. It's made with plant and fruit extracts such as camellia, apple and lemon which are stated to reinforce weak areas whilst leaving the hair silky soft. You can use this product weekly but I tend to use it once a month. I like to rotate my deep conditioners and prefer to focus on moisture heavy formulas, not to mention this is one of the pricier masques I own.

I usually apply this sparingly post-shampoo. The texture is quite gloopy and stringy but this makes it really easy to distribute throughout the hair and it means you don't have to use a huge amount of product. I usually keep it on my strands for about 15-30 minutes either with a plastic cap or under my steamer. My hair always feels soft and detangles so much easier when I use this.

I'm on my third pot of this masque and will continue to buy it when it runs out. As this product is pricey I tend to purchase it online from Beauty Bay or Look Fantastic where it's slightly cheaper than in the Afro-Caribbean haircare stores near me.

Do you use a hair masque?

Lesley x

Friday, 9 October 2015

Review | Latest In Beauty Get The Gloss Box

I love the idea of subscription beauty boxes but I've been looking for one that gives more freedom with allowing me to choose when I want to buy one and what's inside. Latest in Beauty appears to deliver this perfectly. Their main appeal is their boxes are released seasonally or you can build your own out of their selection of products, without being tied into a subscription. The samples in each box allow you to get a feel for the brands and if you like them you can purchase the full-size products using exclusive offers included.  

Their latest box - the 'Get The Gloss Cult Collection' (£15.95 + delivery)* features 8 'hero' products handpicked by the beauty experts at getthegloss.com. Included is (from left to right above) St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion, Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner, Ciate London Paint Pot in Mistress, Dr Lipp Miracle Balm, Prismologie Indigo Foot Cream & Pink O'Clock Hand & Cuticle Cream, Nude Skincare Pro Genius Rescue Oil and Bee Good Youth Enhancing Lift & Brightening Eye Cream. I'm familiar with all of the brands but hadn't actually tried any of these products before. 

My favourite product is the Dr Lipp Miracle Balm. It treats dry, rough and sore skin and has so many uses. You can apply it for priming the lips before lipstick, adding shine to your cheeks, taming your brows, softening dry elbows and cuticles, the list is endless! It's colourless, odourless and tasteless so really is the perfect versatile product. It retails for £12 which is 6 times the amount I'd usually pay for a balm but I'm actually pretty sold on this product already. I'm stashing it in my handbag for the foreseeable future. 

I also love the Ciate London nail polish in a classic red tone and the Eyeko Fat Liquid Eye Liner. These are similar to some of my staple beauty products. The Ciate polish is such a flattering shade of red and I think it can work for anyone. I have few Eyeko liners but haven't tried the 'fat' version. The thickness of the liner makes it much easier than I thought to get the perfect flick or graphic effect. 

My skincare collection is lacking in any eye creams so I was excited to try the Bee Good Youth Enhancing Eye Cream. I really don't get enough sleep leaving me to often look quite tired with dark circles and I was hoping for a brightening effect. I've only used the cream a couple of times and I haven't noticed a difference yet but I probably need to give it a little more time. Products which I have noticed a difference from instantly however are the Prismologie hand and foot creams. They smell amazing and with one use my skin feels baby soft. The full size products are definitely too pricey for me at £30 a pop so I'll just have to enjoy these whilst they last. 

Even though I have oily skin, I love facial oils but recently I've neglected to use any completely. The Nude Skincare Pro Genius Rescue Oil boasts a blend of so many awesome oils in the ingredients that I'm not surprised this is considered a hero product. I haven't used this yet but applying a few drops to the skin is stated to leave it nourished and glowing. I also have yet to experiment with the St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion. Tanning is something I rarely do especially as I've always found application awkward or too much work. I love that this product can be applied on wet skin and after 3 minutes you can rinse it off. I'll be giving this product a try when my legs eventually see daylight as they're looking a little pale! 

You can get this box from the Latest In Beauty website now and if you're interested you can get it delivered free with the code GTG2015 until 11th October. 

*Sample. See my disclaimer here.

Have you tried a beauty box before?

Lesley x

Monday, 5 October 2015

Top 5 Autumn/Fall 2015 Nail Shades

I love nail polish but it rarely makes it on to my fingernails as I don't like the slightest smudging or chipping which can occur after a couple of days of wear. I've recently discovered nail wraps (see here) but I still wear polish on my toes often as I'm less worried about the polish staying 'perfect'. With the change in season it's these tones I've been relying on the most.

From left to right - Seventeen Colour Carnival Nail Polish in Red (023), Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in Intense Plum (24), Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Plum (248), Rimmel London Lasting Finish Polish in Block Your Green (700) and KIKO Quick Dry Nail Lacquer in Taupe Brown (816).

Rich tones are usually my go-to for this time of year. Deep plums, purples and earthy browns are typically my favourite colours to wear but I've been loving wearing emerald green recently too. I haven't bought new nail shades in a while as I'm trying to minimise my nail polish collection so these are tried and tested favourites. All of them are easy to apply, last fairly well and are opaque with two coats.

What nail shades do you like to wear this time of year?

Lesley x