Thursday, 30 October 2014

New hair (before and after pics)


My hair's been a bit of a mess lately - totally overprocessed, damaged and a weird mish-mash of blondes.  To give my hair a bit of a break from bleach I decided to go for more of a dip dye.  My hairdresser used three different colours to blend the colours in my hair and keep it looking nice and natural.  I still wanted it more blonde than brown, just a nicer blonde colour.
 
And here's the end result:


I'm so pleased with the results - it's ended up looking a mixture of highlights/lowlights with a bit of ombre/dip dye which I absolutely love.  It looks a lot classier and even my boyfriend likes it (he's not normally one for "fashion" hair).  I've had ombre hair before bit it was darker and less broken up than this, I much prefer how it is now!
 

Really pleased with my new look for winter.  Hopefully it gets the condition of my hair back up to where it should be so I can go back to just having nice natural highlights and lowlights in future.  Being bleach blonde for a while was fun but is far too much upkeep, work and damage for me!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A quick review for a quick product - Pretty Twist & Out Instant Nail Varnish Remover


I got this as a bit of a "stocking filler" type of present but didn't use it until I didn't have any other option and had used up my other removers - I've used this type of remover before where you dip your finger into the middle of an acetone sponge in the pot, twist and it removes your polish.  Except sometimes they don't and it's frustrating!

However, this remover has pleasantly surprised me as it works really well.  Even glitter is removed easily and quickly.  I don't know how long this is going to last and be effective for but definitely worth having in for polish removal situations (especially if you're on the go).  I'd definitely buy this in future!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The National Wedding Show at Manchester Central - what did I think?


At the weekend my future sister in law (argh, weird to type that) and I visited the National Wedding Show in Manchester, hoping to pick some inspiration for my as-yet-not-organised wedding.  We had a fantastic day and it was exactly what I was hoping for - lots of ideas about venues, dresses, entertainment, invitations, catering, wedding make up and venue decoration.


Here's a few of my favourite things we spotted at the National Wedding Show - there was a lot to do and see through the day so this is a tiny snippet of what was actually there:

Drop Top Guest Book



Instead of a boring, traditional paper guest book your guests write their names and/or a message on little wooden hearts that slot into a wooden photo frame.  If you're a Pinterest obsessive (like me), you'll probably have seen these.  I think they're such a lovely idea, way more interesting than a guest book and it's a proper keepsake that you can display as a fab reminder of your wedding day.  You can find them at www.bspoak.co.uk - they come in a range of sizes and finishes and you can personalise them with your names and wedding date...n'aaaaw! 

'Av A Go Taxi Photo Booth


I've never seen this before and I loved it - it's a white taxi, decked out in wedding swag which is actually a photo booths.  I think photo booths are a really popular thing to have at weddings but this is so different and gorgeous, absolutely amazing!  We didn't go in it as the queue was huge but you can find out more at www.avagobooths.co.uk 

Foto Fusion Cards


Again, something I haven't seen before that I really really liked.  I'm not sure how clear it is from my photo but what makes these different is that you can customise the cards to show whatever image you want and they print it on to transparent film that is slotted in to the card.  The overall effect is so different and classy to anything I've seen before.  This example shows some cute baby pictures of a bride and groom for their wedding invitation but I really liked the Thank You cards that showed a photograph of the happy couple on their wedding day.  Check out their range of cards at www.foto-fusion.co.uk/

The thing we got most excited about was the dresses and catwalk shows - throughout the day there were bridalwear catwalk shows along with hair and make up demonstrations where they picked someone from the crowd and made them up into a bride.  The make up demos were run by Andriani Vasilou of L'Oreal Paris and celebrity make up artist Ariane Poole.  Here's a lucky bride getting made over as part of the show - they did a big reveal once she was all done up:


And it wouldn't be right for me not to include an obscene amount of dress and catwalk show photos as the dresses were by far the thing we saw the most of and are still talking about the best part of a week later:










There were some male models on the catwalk too showcasing some groom looks but that's not why we were there so I didn't take many pics!  There are loads of stalls selling wedding dresses of every shape, size and colour (including the ones in the catwalk show).  We saw a lot of teary eyed women trying on their dream dress in front of equally teary eyed family - there are a lot of discounts to be had, so if you're on a budget or you just want to pick up a fab dress for less, this is the place to be!

There were places to get afternoon tea, champagne and food too which is fab if you're treating it as a day out.  There's even a VIP section where you get goody bags and VIP treatment.

If you're a bride lacking inspiration, someone who loves all things wedding or you just want to pick up some ideas it's well worth visiting the National Wedding Show.  I thought I was quite well versed in all things wedding given my obsession with Pinterest and various wedding TV shows but there were plenty of surprises here for me!

The National Wedding Show exhibits around the country twice a year - visit www.nationalweddingshow.co.uk for information about the next show dates and venues.  I actually might go to the show in February provided I've got a wedding booked at that point to pick up some deals and get even more inspiration. 

If you're looking for some wedding inspiration or you just want to have a nosy at some of the wedding ideas I like, you can view my Pinterest wedding board here:

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Marc Jacobs Daisy Delight Eau de Toilette Spray



I've never actually owned any of the Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume - there have been quite a few different editions out I think - which is weird considering that my boyfriend wears Marc Jacobs Bang! aftershave and I love it.  This was another impromptu birthday gift that I'm really pleased with!

It's the perfect mix of sweet, fruity and floral without being too overwhelmingly any one of them.  The top notes of this are apple, quince flower (I have no idea what that is) and freesia.  It also has notes of iris, gardenia and peony.


In terms of packaging and "dressing table appeal" - something that I think is important for a perfume as it's something you leave out as a decorative item as well as a scent - this is a fun, colourful design that looks really pretty on my white dressing table.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Delight is available from Debenhams for £48.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

My first Tom Ford lipstick - Lip Colour Sheer in 05 Sweet Spot



I was lucky enough to get this gorgeous lipstick for my birthday from one of my friends - Tom Ford Lip Colour Sheer in 05 Sweet Spot.  It's absolutely gorgeous to look at, the packaging is typically luxurious, even down to the gold box it comes in.



I actually didn't realise this was sheer at first and thought "ooh bit of a lippie for when I've got a tan this" as I expected it to be a bright, dense orange but it's actually a really wearable, every day sheer orange colour that looks gorgeous on (ignore my pale hand!):


Formulation-wise it's actually really creamy and doesn't have that slippery glossy feeling that sometimes comes with a sheer lipstick.  It lasts really well too, again especially for a sheer lipstick. It also has that sweet, vanilla-y scent that MAC lipstick wearers will be familiar with.

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with this product - my friend obviously knows me well - and it's got me craving more from the Tom Ford cosmetics range, some of which is eye wateringly expensive.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Savings with salon size haircare (Joico K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor for Damaged Hair)


Right, this post might be stating the total obvious for a lot of you but just in case I thought I'd share.

Whenever I find a professional/premium hair product that I find works well for me I always look for a way to make buying that particular product more cost effective - whether that's using discount codes, points totals or buying in bulk.  

With hair products that usually means buying salon-size products rather than smaller consumer sizes, I know I'm going to use it and it works out much better value too.   You don't need to buy from a salon supplier either, a lot of internet retailers sell the salon sizes too.

My latest haircare love is Joico K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor for Damaged Hair.  My hair is feeling a bit sad after bleaching it to an all over platinum for about 6 months so I was looking for some products to help it back up to it's formerly good (for bleached hair anyway) condition.  

This product is fantastic and noticeably makes my hair look and feel much better to the point where people comment on it - this never happens to me!  I genuinely would recommend this to anyone trying to get their hair in better condition.  It's a treatment you leave on your hair for 5 minutes after shampooing and then rinse out, it has a really sweet synthetic smell which isn't really my cup of tea but it does the trick and smells quite nice after it's rinsed out.

150ml of this product costs £12.75 from feelunique.com whereas 1 litre costs £32.95 from besthairbrands.com (and I used a 10% discount code you get with your first order) - ok, you outlay more money initially but you do save as if you bought a litre of this at the price of consumer size it would cost you nearly £85!  Definitely well work investigating...

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

I've been featured in Groupon's Manchester City Guide - Style and Beauty

As a bit of a Groupon fan (currently getting a tattoo removed thanks to a Groupon deal and actually considering an..eeek...Groupon wedding!) I was pretty pleased to be featured in their Style and Beauty Manchester City Guide, written by Jess Hardiman:


You can read the full article, including more about other Manchester style and beauty bloggers here.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Elegant Touch House of Holland False Nails Vamps

!

I bought these on a total impulse buy when I spotted them - red, pointy and bling...right up my street!  They were really east to use and come with glue.  I found they lasted well and I thought they looked absolutely great on!


I actually might pop across to Boots.com* and pick up a back up set in case I want to wear them again - they're £8.99 so they're not cheap but they look amazing!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Caring for hair extensions

I haven’t had my hair extensions in for a while now, but I have turned my weft into clip ins so I can wear them on and off when I feel like it.  I loved the look of them but generally I prefer to tie my hair back for work which can be quite difficult with a weave in.

I do get asked from time to time if there are any special tricks for caring for your extensions and there are definitely a few must-do’s with hair extensions that will make your life easier:

  • Brush your hair carefully – watch your braid/joins at your scalp when you brush and deal with any tangles gently so you don’t cause any unnecessary pulling on your scalp
  • Use a shampoo and conditioner designed for hair extensions  - using the right products for your extensions will make it all easier to care for.  Make sure your daily hair care products are suitable for the type of extensions you have, for example if you have glue in extensions make sure your products are suitable with glue and won’t damage the bonds (like these).



  • Sleep with it tied up or plaited – I learned this the hard way!  Especially if you have long extensions, tying or plaiting it at bedtime will make it a lot easier to deal with in the morning.  Otherwise you run the risk of fighting with tangles and knots!
  • Use a hair oil – extensions don’t get natural oils through them like your own hair does so it’s important to use hair oil regularly to keep your extensions looking moisturised and to stop the ends from going ratty or drying out.  You can also use the oil as a treatment every so often.  Something like Pure Argan oil is great for extensions.



  • Make sure you go for regular hair appointments to get your weft tightened – it can be tempting to drag out the time between appointments to get your weft tightened/reapplied as your hair’s a bit longer and the weft gets more comfortable as time goes on but it really isn’t worth it.  It’ll tangle badly close to your scalp and will reduce the longevity of your extensions.


If you have any other questions about extensions feel free to leave them in the comments or email me at lucy@beautyandtheblogger.co.uk – I’m by no means an expert but I’ve tried a lot of extensions over the year so I can try to help!

*sponsored post

Monday, 25 August 2014

New items added to my blog sale!

I've added a few new things to my blog sale - it's all brand new bareMinerals compacts and blushes much cheaper than retail price.






Take a look at my blog sale page and the items that are currently available here.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Envy Big Hair Root Volumiser


I was sent this to review recently and have to say it's become an essential of mine on nights out where I want massive hair!  I spray it onto my roots when my hair is damp then blow dry with a large round brush to really create lift and volume through my hair.

The good thing about it is that it stays in place too, the lift doesn't just drop out really quickly like some other volumising products I've used.  I have to say it does feel like you've got product in your hair and you'll need to brush it out at the end of the night/the next day but I definitely didn't think my hair felt overloaded or horrible.

It's just a normal spray bottle so is really easy to use - and it smells like grapefruit which I personally really like, hate chemical-smelling hair products.  The packaging is nice and sleek too which is always a bonus on the old dressing table.

Envy Big Hair Root Volumiser is available here for £14.95, I think it's well worth it for the price and I'd totally buy it in future!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Live Color XXL Blonde Toner M01 Icy Platinum


Another day, another blonde toner that I've tried!  This time it was the Live Color XXL Blonde Toner in M01 Icy Platinum which as you can probably get is a cool, ashy toner for natural or bleach blonde hair.

It's ridiculously easy to use, you just shampoo your hair and apply the mousse toner throughout your hair evenly and leave for 5 minutes then wash out.  It should last 3 washes but I really do think mine lasts longer than that - you can vary just how ashy it leaves your hair too.  I find 10 minutes leaves my hair very ashy and grey (especially on top) whereas 5 less so, and probably the right sort of colour.  It smells pretty nice too!

There are no dodgy purple roots or yellow tones in my hair at all and I'm very pleased with the colour and how easy it is to use.  I actually first tried this on the way to a party on the spur of the moment (not a great time to try out new hair colour products) and luckily it turned out ok!

Here's how my hair turned out after 5 minutes with this toner on:


It's pretty reasonably priced too, around £5.  It says that one bottle will last 1 application on long hair.  I'd say my hair is pretty long - about at my bra strap - and it's lasted me 3 applications already and I've still got some left so realistically it's no more expensive than those individual toner sachets you can get.

I would definitely use this again for an ashy blonde look (though I'm officially booked in for a full head of highlights and lowlights at the start of September to go for a bit more of a natural look).  You can find out more information about this product here.

For more hair inspiration and the chance to upload your style pics and win prizes visit the Live Color Lookbook at http://lookbook.livecolor.co.uk - there are some absolutely amazing styles on there and some fantastic prizes to be won!

http://lookbook.livecolor.co.uk/

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Something a bit different - RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Ok as someone who is - and I admit this 100% -just not that into gardening and knows very little about plants other than "that one looks nice" going along to the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park is probably a slightly odd choice for me!  I decided to go to get a bit of inspiration for my wedding flowers and to enjoy a sunny day out in Cheshire but I actually really enjoyed it!

Obviously it's full of plant, flower and gardening supply stalls (a lot of stuff gets sold off on the Sunday in the last hour apparently!) but as well as that there's all sorts going on from demos, to food and drink, furniture and a variety of garden displays developed by all sorts of different groups.  It was a lovely day out and I got lots of ideas for things I like, things I definitely don't and things I didn't even know existed!

There was a bit of a carnival theme going on too.  We just happened to be wandering around looking for a certain stall and we spotted all carnival dancers with huge butterfly wings dancing in a procession to moving, it was so great and well done to the dancers who made it look effortless when it definitely wasn't.

Here are some of my fave flowers that I spotted for the day, I'd quite like to incorporate these into my house or wedding somewhere:





And here are just a few of the fab garden displays that were on show at the event, the stories behind the displays were so good and it all fitted together really well.  There were quite a few displays that local schools had created too and they were so imaginative!





I have to say I really didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did - I'd recommend it as a day out, maybe with family or someone garden minded.  I'm actually thinking about going again next year already and taking some other family members with us!


You can find more information about the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (including dates and tickets for next year) here - the show runs in a variety of other locations too.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

I'm talking weddings again...

Find my guest post on wedding make up and nails over at the Wedding Fair blog.


For more information about the Wedding Fair shows visit theweddingfairs.com/
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