Lure of the Dark Side

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook may have noticed one particular topic that has been dominating my thoughts lately – the colour of my hair.

Ok, so me changing my hair colour isn’t really that big a deal, it’s not like I haven’t chopped and changed colour regularly over the past few years and I have been just plain blonde for quite a while now. The problem is that now I have submitted my thesis and am looking for a big, proper, grown-up job, I can’t really go indulging my desire to have funky coloured hair (as hard as it is to resist).

Black or Blonde

I first started going blonde three years ago, and I have loved it, but I am increasingly feeling the pull to go back to black. However, in the three years of being blonde there have only been a very few occasions when I have actually achieved the shade of blonde I have wanted – pretty much platinum – without any nasty yellow variation at the roots. Also, after three years of bleaching, with the addition of re-colouring, stripping and toning, my hair is in pretty poor condition ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Which are the main reasons why I’m considering the change.

I put together this little collage of two of my big hair inspirations – Dita Von Teese for Dark and Gwen Stefani for Blonde. Ultimately I think it comes down to the fact that, while I think I’d prefer to have Gwen’s hair, I’ve never properly achieved it and it’s slowly wrecking my hair. Given that, it seems like dark might be the way forward, and using Dita as inspiration seems like some pretty decent motivation.

Gwen and Dita

Also, I figure I know a lot more about hair colouring and bleaching now than I did when I last went dark to blonde, so if I do want to change back sometime in the future (which is, let’s face it, is quite likely) – but my hair probably deserves a bit of a break. I think I have, eventually, come to my conclusion, but I do wonder what other people think, actually, genuinely think – I just don’t buy these “Well you look fine either way” responses, I want to know your preference! I’ll keep you updated on what I do, but at the moment I’m thinking of heading to Boots tomorrow to buy dye and an intensive conditioner.

Hope you are well,

Love,

Betty

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New Hair

So, despite my previous determination to grow my hair, about a month ago it all got too much for me so I rang my hairdresser and had the whole lot chopped off.

My hair is really thick and as it got longer I just found it harder to manage the condition and the style. I hadn’t actually intended to have so much taken off, but when I spoke to my hairdresser we both came to the conclusion that this style is just me, so we went with it.

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I do love a good undercut – easy to manage and but it still reasonably out of the ordinary and makes a good impact. I do miss being able to do things like victory rolls, but it seems to be growing at a rate of knots, so I’ll probably be able to do them again soon!

A few days after the cut, just as I was planning on putting some more interesting colour in myself, I got a call from my hairdresser who was in need of a colour model! Perfect timing. Amazing colour for free. Honestly, my hairdresser is so good I usually don’t have to give her much in the way of instruction – she just does her thing and I don’t think I’ve ever been unhappy with the results ๐Ÿ™‚ I obviously jumped at the offer.

She was very excited about a new turquoise they had, so created something glorious based around that.

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I love it. I think the turquoise and blue colours do a lot for my eyes. Plus, I love wearing my bright pink Gosh lipstick with it – it’s definitely got me noticed ๐Ÿ™‚ (Reminds me, I need to try and replace that lipstick soon).

The colour is from Elumen by Goldwell – it’s not supposed to fade like other colours, especially bright fashion colour like these. I have to say I’m a bit disappointed though as I do think these have faded over the last few weeks though. My roots are already coming through too, a major downside of such a short style, so I am planning to remove the blue, bleach my roots and then go for something different, probably pink.

It feels so good to have colour in my hair again. I’m really not looking forward to finishing my PhD and having to get a real job where I expect I’ll have to have boring hair ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Don’t suppose any of you have jobs that allow brightly coloured hair do you?

Love

Betty

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Get the Look (Beauty)

Last week I put up a post about Look Beauty finally being available online, having launched their own website.
I’ve been waiting for Look Beauty to be available online pretty much since in launched towards the end of last year, but no Superdrug near me stocked it and , despite regularly asking, they never got around to putting it on their website. So, when I heard they had got their own website, I headed straight over and started picking out things to try!
While I haven’t been able to try or even see any of the range ‘in the flesh’, I’ve seen and heard plenty about it online – through both the Look Beauty Facebook page and other blogs.
I was most keen to try out their Nail Pop nail polishes, as I’m a bit of a nail polish addict, and their Double Hit Lip lipstick and gloss, as I liked the novel combination of lipstick and gloss in one product. In the end I ordered 2 Nail Pops, one in a pinky-coral shade called Ribbon and another in a purple shade called Flares, and a Double Hit Lip in Pink Punch, a bright hot pink ๐Ÿ™‚
Delivery was really quick, especially as we’ve had the epic Easter Bank Holiday weekend, and it was nice to get my hands on my products so quickly! They arrived a few days ago now, so I’ve had a bit of time to play with them. As I was one of the first 100 people to place an order through the site I also received a free Stretch Factor mascara!

The nail polishes were the first thing I tried out. It’s been ages since I last painted my nails, partly because I’m a bit bored of all the colours I have and don’t think any of them are particularly Spring-y. I like these two shades, they feel quite spring appropriate but without being too pastely, I’m still not convinced I can pull of pastels. The polishes have quite a thin consistency, not that that’s a bad thing, it’s easy to start off with a thin coat and then build up. I often find I make an awful mess with thick polishes anyway. I got a good opaque finish in 2 coats still. They dry really quite quickly and have a really high gloss finish, although I would be interested to see them under a matte top coat too. I only painted them yesterday, so they haven’t had to suffer much wear and tear, although I did do the washing up earlier and they’re still fine!

I bloody love the Double Hit Lip!! The colour is fab and the product is easy to use. I was expecting the lipstick to give a bit more of a matte finish, but I still like the slight gloss it has. I’ve been wearing the lippy with gloss over the top all day and have only reapplied once, after lunch, so it’s standing up quite well. It definitely wouldn’t last long in kissing situations though :/ I think, personally, I would always use the two together, but you can easily mix it up between just lipstick, just gloss or combining them.

The mascara is also really nice. I don’t actually change mascara brand a lot, I’ve been using Max Factor Masterpiece or Masterpiece Max for ages. I like the formula, the brush and the finish. I often can’t get on with mascaras with standard brushes anymore. The Look Beauty Stretch Factor has a variation on the Max Factor type brush being made of plastic ‘spikes’ rather than the more traditional bristles. I find I get a more even application, fewer clumps and better lash definition with these brushes. The Stretch Factor brush is also a bit strange having longer spikes on one side, for upper lashes, and short on the other, for corners and lower lashes (I presume anyway). Given how devoted I have been to Max Factor, the fact that I’m impressed by this one is actually a really good sign!

Please excuse my awful eyebrows :/

So, overall, I’m really impressed with Look Beauty. I will be making many more purchases in future (maybe not this month though :/). Has anyone else checked out their website yet?

On another note; what do you think of the slideshow? I was just messing around with new features I found on Photobucket, is it too much?

Hope you’re well,
Love,

Bargain Hair Recovery

When I keep going on about having no money at the moment, I am really serious. Despite the ever worsening condition on my hair, I can’t even afford to treat it, let alone get it cut! Or at least that’s what I thought.
Earlier this week, I was reminded of a bargain hair solution by @QueenOCuts – Coconut Oil! So yesterday I finally got round to heading out to a shop to pick some up. Unsurprisingly, my local Co-op didn’t have any, but the international food store just down the road did. I picked up a 500ml tub for ยฃ2.39!
For those of you that aren’t familiar with coconut oil; it comes in a tub as a solid, but doesn’t smell of coconut – so it might seem like the name is a little misleading.

To use as a hair treatment;

  • Scoop some of the oil out of the tub, I used my fingers, but you could use a spoon or some other implement.
  • The oil will melt pretty quickly with the heat of your hands, then massage into your hair, focusing on particularly dry or damaged areas – that’ll be the ends then – and into your scalp if you feel the need.
  • Next, take a damp towel and microwave for 2 or 4 minutes, then wrap around your hair – do be careful that the towel isn’t too hot though. Once the towel got cold I took it off and just left a shower cap over my hair for about an hour, as I had the time and my hair is a state, but you could leave it for less time if you need.
  • When you’ve left the oil in as long as you want, rinse with warm water and thoroughly shampoo. I also put a basic conditioner through it quickly, just for luck!
After Treatment
My hair looks and feels amazing! It’s shinier, smoother, less frizzy, less brittle, thicker, fuller – basically fully revived! This is even after blow drying and straightening. I’m really impressed
I hardly made a dent in the amount of oil in the tub, so it’s going to last quite a while. Especially as this isn’t an every wash type treatment. I don’t think I’ll need to do this more than once a week, but we’ll see how it goes. Through all my bleaching, colouring and styling my hair is really, really damaged, so will need more treating than most.
It’s also a double bargain, as I believe coconut oil can also be used as an intensive body moisturise.
Even if you can afford ‘proper’ hair treatments, I’d really recommend you give this a go. I plan to keep on using it even after my financial situation improves – who doesn’t want to save money when they can!?
Let me know if you try this out, or if you have any other cheap beauty alternatives!
Love,

My Tattoo is not a Bumper Sticker, It’s a Custom Paint Job

There has been an article doing the rounds on the internet this past week that criticises women who have tattoos. The article, titled “Why put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?” argues that women are beautiful as they are, and that getting a tattoo is pointless and un-classy.
Now, I can’t argue with the first point; women are beautiful in all our varied shapes, sizes, and colours. Indeed, I also agree with the author in her point about the how attractive a trait class is. However, beyond that, our views diverge.
I am a tattooed woman. Not to the extent of some women, and not as much as I would like to be, but I have chosen to go under the needle and put ink to flesh, on more than one occassion. As such, I am quite offended at the incinuation that my decision makes me a woman without class. I do not consider my body art to be ‘vandalism’ of ‘my temple’; it is exactly what it says it is – body ART – decoration that I have chosen, that has expression and meaning.
I strongly disagree that you get nothing out of a tattoo. The author asks if your tattoo has caused you to learn something new about yourself? Has it challenged you? Has it led to self growth? I would answer yes, strongly yes, to all of those questions. However, these things are not something that can be easily understood by someone who does not have, or care for, tattoos. My tattoos hold great meaning for me; I remember who I was when I first formulated the ideas, where I was when I drew them up, how I picked where to have them done, who was with me when I did have them done, how I felt and all the craziness associated with the whole process. My tattoos are memories and feelings far beyond anything the actual images represent.
I don’t see why the author will advocate women dressing themselves up in nice clothes, high heels, painting their nails and doing their hair as means of appreciating and enjoying their bodies but feels body art is not just a further step in dressing up, styling yourself, expressing yourself through your appearance or appreciating your body. I love my tattoo, seeing it makes me smile, it makes me feel good about my body; plus, I’m willing to put in extra effort to keep myself in shape so it stays in shape too ๐Ÿ˜‰
I am also deeply offended at the prospect that my body art will corrupt the morals of my grandchildren. I have little to say about that as it is such a ridiculous idea. I have a tattoo but am in no way morally corrupt, and far be it for any distant news editor to accuse me of such.
And I won’t even start on the double standards……

My tattoo is not a bumper sticker; It’s a custom paint job. And I LOVE IT!

I think tattooed woman are beautiful, powerful symbols of feminity that no-one else has the right to judge. Class, elegance and beauty are not one thing, set out as rules in stone. The best thing a woman can be is herself; tattoos, piercings, scars, moles, wrinkles and all.

I will add one caveat; that a tattoo should always be well thought out and well executed, don’t cheapen yourself with a cheap tattoo.

I will leave you with some images of my favourite beautiful, strong, inspiring tattooed women to think about (without even starting on the Suicide Girls).

Anna Fur Laxis (photo from annafurlaxis.com)
Cervena Fox (photo byTina Korhonen, taken from facebook)

ReeRee Rockette (photo from Rockalily.com)

Ok, rant over, for now.
Love,

How should I feel about Anti-Wrinkle Creams?

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’m 26 (rapidly heading towards 27) and have a bit of an obsession with my skin and how a 26-year-old should be looking after theirs.
I’ve touched on the idea of more ‘grown up’ skin care before, and speculated about using anti-ageingย creams, although, as yet, I’ve still not bought one. However, as a result of my beauty box subscriptions, I am increasingly getting the feeling that the beauty industry is strongly of the opinion that someone my age should definitely be using some sort of fancy potion to ward off any future signs of ageing. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this.

A selection of the anti-ageing product samples I have been given

The angry, self-righteous feminist in me wants to scream and shout about how the media/beauty industry shouldn’t dictate what beauty is, what I should look like or what I should plaster on my skin, and when. Surely, my ageing status and desire/requirement to use any beauty product is my own decision? Then there’s the more, rational and realistic (but still feminist) side of me that wants to look my best now and in the future, accepts that anti-wrinkle creams will likely play a part in that at some point sooner or later and that my beauty knowledge can be somewhat lacking.
Up until now, I’ve put all my anti-ageing samples to one side and ignored them, clinging on to my right to be youthful, young-at-heart and not having to think about wrinkles. But now I’m getting paranoid, if these people who know about beauty products think I should be using something in the anti-ageing line, maybe I should be. Maybe, if I don’t start soon, I’ll look like one of those wrinkly dogs by the time I’m 40! Maybe it’s already too late!

Picture from Pinterest

Ok, so I’m not quite that paranoid yet, but I have decided to start giving the creams a try. Unfortunately, as these treatments are meant to be pre-emptive, it’s kind of hard to judge their effects. Plus, as I’m only going to be using samples, I’ll be chopping and changing products, so I’ve no idea if they’re still going to work.

Do any of you use any sort of anti-ageing product? What do you use and when did you start?

To be honest, if I had any spare money to be spending on these things, I’d probably just get something from the Boots Protect and Perfect range, as I’ve heard good things about that. For now, random samples of otherwise expensive products is all I’ve got.

Love,
Betty
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Beauty Scribbles

A couple of weeks ago the gorgeous ladies over at Beauty Scribbles ran a giveaway to celebrate Jo’s birthday, and I won!
Now, I’m pretty sure everyone says this but, I never win things! I was so excited ๐Ÿ™‚ Then I received my parcel of prizes, and was even more excited!!

The prizes (pictured below) included; Fearne Night Compact, Max Factor Lipstick in Pink Brandy, Fearne Leopard Print Nail Art wraps, 3 MUA Eye Liner Pencils in Bright Orange, Starry Night and Silver Sparkle, Rimmel ScandalEyes Mascara, Collection 2000 Luscious Lashes and a No7 Nail Collection containing 5 polishes in Totally Teal, Damson Dream, Vivid Violet, Hot to Trot and Sing the Blues. I think you’ll agree that’s a pretty impressive haul!

Left to Right; Sing the Blues, Hot to Trot, Vivid Violet, Damson Dream, Totally Teal

I’m not sure if there’s one item I’m more excited about that the others! I think I will definitely get use out of all of the items, with the possible exception of the orange eye liner.
I do love nail polish, and don’t actually own anything that’s really similar to any of the ones in the No7 set, so that’s nice. I only own one other No7 polish and have always thought of it as a really good product. I’m not an actual beauty blogger, so I’m not just going to apply all the polishes one after the other just to show you what they look like, but I did start having a play with them the other night. I went for Totally Teal, then because I was feeling experimental, I added leopard print (using my Konad set) in the Hot to Trot gold. I quite like the finished effect actually. The teal was quite a thick polish, not too thick though, and gave good coverage in two coats. The gold is much thinner and was a bit tricky in the Konad print set, as it recommends a thick polish, but it still worked and gave a nice but quite subtle effect (if gold leopard print can ever be subtle!).
All the shades except the teal are sparkly and would be perfect for the glittery party season (not that the teal isn’t, I just get a bit obsessed with sparkle at this time of year).

Totally Teal with Hot to Trot Leopard Print

The lipstick is lovely too. An interesting but wearable shade with great coverage and consistency. I wore it during the day earlier this week as, personally, I see it as more of a daytime colour than the bolder lippies I would normally wear of an evening. It would also be a great summer shade as, as much as I love bright red lipstick, it can be a bit much on the beach (crikey, did I actually say beach in a post 2 weeks before Christmas!?).
I also gave the Rimmel ScandalEyes mascara a test run. Now, mascara isn’t normally a product I change much, and I’ve been using Max Factor Masterpiece for years now, but I like Rimmel as a brand and there’s something very appealing about that big chunky orange packaging! I have to say I was a little taken aback by the size of the applicator wand though, it’s huge!! (Sniggers) Especially compared to the thin rubber applicator from my usual mascara. It took a fair bit of getting used to and doing my lower lashes was especially difficult, but I managed to do it without stabbing myself in the eye. Apart from my personal issues in wielding the thing, the mascara applied well, wasn’t lumpy and lasted well.

Wearing Max Factor Pink Brandy Lipstick and Rimmel ScandalEyes Macara

There’s so much in this awesome prize haul that I still haven’t got around to trying it all out. Basically I won hours and hours of fun! I’m saving the lashes and nail wraps for wearing at a Christmas party, so I’ll show you those when I get round to it. The Fearne Eyeshadow set is so beautiful, with the beetle design pressed into the actual shadows, that I’m not sure I’m ever going to want to use it! Well, I will, but I’ll have to look at it a lot first.

Fearne Night Compact

I would like to thank Jo and Lauren at Beauty Scribbles once again for having a great blog, running an awesome giveaway and selecting me as their winner! If you haven’t checked them out before then head over there now – BeautyScribblesย – or follow them on Twitter @beautyscribbles.

Have you used any of these products before?

Love,
Betty
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