Wax On. Wax Off?

I hate the rigmarole of hair removal.

I do it (some of the time) because I like being hair free and so I can break out my summer clothes and get some air on my skin*, but I hate the process.

I’ve tried so many different ways of shedding the fuzz ; shaving, depilatory creams, epilating, sugaring, waxing – pretty much any hair removal product available in Boots (I’d love to give Laser Hair Removal a go, but I don’t have anywhere near enough £££ for that!).

In the cases of shaving and depilatory creams the regrowth is so quick (and itchy!) that it’s barely worth bothering. Epillating is too painful and leaves my legs covered in little red dots (inflamed follicles I guess) that can take days to go away. So that leaves me with sugaring and waxing….

My problem is, I’m really bad at waxing. I don’t know if it’s just me, maybe I’m just a total wax-clutz, but it never goes well for me. I miss bits, I get wax everywhere, I always run out of strips, I take forever, the wax needs reheating constantly and when I do reheat it I always make it too hot…..Basically, a waxing disaster. Still, I persevere in the hope that I’ll get better and also because, for the patches that I do manage to actually wax (patches are better than nothing), the results are still better than shaving or epilating.

So, in the brief period of warm weather we had a week or so ago, I decided to bite the bullet and get my wax on (and off, that’s how it works). I got my wax and strips out, then I hit a barrier – our microwave suffered a small but fatal explosion a while back and we are no microwave-less.

No Microwave = No Molten Hot Wax = No burns, but also no waxing. Bugger.

It was this conundrum that led me to discover the Veet Easy Wax Electrical Roll-On Kit – a unit that heats and melts the wax so that you can just roll it on.
Brilliant! A solution to my lack of microwave but also my inability to get wax at the right temperature and the mess I usually end up making while waxing! As an extra bonus, Veet products were also half price in Boots last week, although sadly not any more.

As the weather took a downturn it has taken me a week now to test the thing out, but I finally got round to it today.

The kit contains the self-heating electrical unit, a stand, a plug, one wax roll-on, 12 strips, 3 post-depilatory wipes and some instructions. To use it, you insert the wax roll-on into the self-heating unit, attach the cable and plug in, then leave in the stand for 20 minutes to heat up.

Pros and Cons
The main things I liked and disliked about the Veet Easy Wax Electrical Roll-On

      + Self-heating (No Microwave needed)                               – 25 Minute heat-up time
      + Constant temperature (no reheating or burns)                – Only 12 strips included (not enough)
      + Cleaner than other wax (though I still made a mess)      – Not water washable (limited use on strips)

I actually had to wait around 25 minutes before the wax came out of the roll-on. It’s quite a long time to wait and makes it a long process, but I’m never going to wax in a rush and don’t have a microwave as another option, so it’s just something I need to live with (not the worst thing in the world!).

Only having 12 strips included is optimistic at best, although you do get new strips with the wax refills. I still had to use all those included and a load I had stockpiled in the bathroom. In addition, this wax isn’t water soluble so you can’t wash the strips – you can reuse them a few times, but ultimately they need to be thrown away, which I’m not very happy about (I’m very much about waste reduction). Wax left on skin can be removed with the wipes included, or baby oil on a cotton pad – I used a lot of baby oil on cotton pads, even thought this is meant to be a clean system, I still managed to make mess :/

I had a look at the wax insert after it had cooled down, its not easy to tell how much wax I used but it doesn’t seem like a lot. I did buy an extra arm & leg insert as well as a bikini and underarm insert which has a smaller roller for more precision application.

Overall, I’m happy with the Veet Easy Wax Electrical Roll-On. I might have thought harder before buying if I had known strips couldn’t be washed and needed to be thrown away, but I have bought it now and do need it if I want to wax my legs.
If you have a microwave I would probably recommend you just stick with other microwavable waxes, although I guess this might be useful for taking away with you (as long as you’re prepared to set aside a good chunk of holiday time to waxing!).

Now you know more than you probably needed to about my hair removal regime – just be glad I didn’t take any before pictures (or after actually, I may need to have another go to ‘re-touch’).
I hope you are all well,
Thanks for reading 🙂

Love

*Disclaimer: I’m not putting any judgement down on women or saying they have to remove body hair in order to wear skirts, shorts, vests etc – it’s a personal choice, but I choose to remove.

My ‘accidental’ Lulu Guinness sunglasses

Just over a week ago I decided to go and get my eyes tested for the first time in as long as I can remember (I’m guessing at least 10 years). Having spent the last 8 years studying, and the past 4 staring at a computer almost every day, it seemed like it was about time – plus I found a voucher online for a half-price eye test at Boots Opticians.
Turns out I’m slightly short sighted.
In fairness, the selection of glasses in Boots wasn’t overly excited, and the selection of sunglasses was especially limited. I tried on loads of pairs of glasses before I actually found a pair I actually liked and was pleased that they weren’t too expensive. Then it was on to the sunglasses.
The lady helping me pointed out the Boots own sunglasses (cheaper) but my eyes had already fallen on these ones but didn’t know they were Lulu Guinness. I was pretty smitten from first sight but once I tried them on, I was in love! At that point price was barely an issue for me, I tried on some similar ones in other ranges, but they simply didn’t compare. I knew they were fairly pricey, but had kind of expected to spend a fair amount on glasses – I’m just grateful Boots do 2 for 1 on glasses/sunglasses (you don’t have to go to Specsavers for that, although their range of glasses is better overall).

It genuinely wasn’t until today when I picked them up and saw the (huge) case they came in that I realised they were Lulu Guinness. I was pleasantly surprised actually. I’m not exactly one to go out in search of designer labels and don’t have much affection for designer brands in general, but Lulu Guinness is a label I do like – I’d love to own one of her lip clutches, especially the new black studded one. Thankfully the sunglasses cost considerably less than one of those though.

I am very pleased with the sunglasses, even if the label was a complete surprise to me.

Just for good measure, here’s me in the glasses I got as well.

I’m hoping it’s just the angle of the photo, but I think my face looks a little chubbier than normal here :/

The lipstick in all these pictures is Lime Crime Velvetine in Red Velvet – I completely adore it and am wearing it all the time, even when it’s a bit over the top :p

I hope you’re all well and are enjoying the glorious weather,
Love

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).

Me – Blonde or Black? I haven’t found this particularly helpful as I like my hair in all these pictures!

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 😦 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.

All Pictures from Pinterest. Each Section, clockwise from Top Left
Dita 1, 2, 3, 4
Gwen 1, 2, 3, 4

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,

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.

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 🙂 I obviously jumped at the offer.

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

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 🙂 (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 though, 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 😦

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

Love

Japonesque: Breast Cancer Awareness Collection

I’m back! Finally. Unfortunately I have been suffering from a mixture of bloggers block and having loads of work to do for my PhD. My apologies.

I received this Japonesque Touch-Up Tube in Pink a few weeks ago. The touch-up brush set includes a blush/powder brush, a lip brush, a foundation brush and two eye detailer brushes all packaged in a cute pink metal tube that can easily be thrown into the bottom of your handbag for make-up touch-ups on the go.
While the touch-up tubes come in a number of colours, the pink edition is part of Japonesque’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. The press release says $1 from every item purchased will be donated to Breast Cancer Awareness Research, although I can’t see anything about this on any UK site where the tube is available, which is a bit disappointing.

I really like the set. The brushes are all really good quality, as you would expect from Japonesque, with the added bonus (for me anyway) that they are also made from synthetic fibres. They are all soft and nice to use and give a nice finish. To be honest, I have such a small brush collection as it is, I have been using these brushes for more than just touch-ups.
I also think the tube is a really good idea. I don’t often carry brushes as they can get a bit mashed in my super tightly packed make-up bag, so this is a really good solution. The tube has been rolling around in the bottom of my bag for ages and still looks great and, obviously, the brushes have all stayed in great condition too!

The set is available on HQHair.com, priced at £16.95. Other products in the Japonesque Breast Cancer Awareness range include a Brow Kit, Mini Heated Eyelash Curler, a Pocket Lash Curler and a Mini Manicure Set (which does say money will be donated to Breast Cancer Research).

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is important to raise awareness even if there isn’t any money going to charity. Breast Cancer doesn’t just affect older women, it’s important that us younger ladies are also aware of our breast health. Check out CoppaFeel for information on breast cancer awareness for younger women.

Hope you are all well,
I hope to be back blogging much more regularly again now.
Love,

John Frieda Full Repair presents Summer Hair Tutorials

I’m sure most of us will have heard of John Frieda’s Full Repair range by now, particularly if you style, colour and generally torture your hair as much as I do!

Unfortunately for me, the range launched while I was going through a particularly tight period financially, so it took me a while to jump on the bandwagon. I have used John Frieda products for years, from when I first discovered Frizz-Ease serum when I was about 15 to the Sheer Blonde Tone Correcting range in my latest blonde incarnation.

As well as a great range of products, John Frieda also have a YouTube channel, where they have videos showing you how to achieve different styles using John Frieda products. Some of the recent additions to the channel show you how to do a perfect straight blow-dry and a full body blow-dry as well as how to style a top-knot and a 60’s beehive, all using the Full Repair products.

I love the look of the beehive, but unfortunately I haven’t quite got enough hair to pull it off yet. I have had a go at the perfect straight blow-dry and I’m starting to get the hang of it, blow-dry styling has never been my forte :/

The videos make the styles all look really simple and achievable. I like the fact that they get the models to do bits of the work, to give a better idea of how to create the styles yourself.

Full Repair Products

I’m always keen to try out new hair treatments, as regular bleaching, straightening and other styling mean that my hair is frequently dry, fuzzy and often has split ends. So the Full Repair range was a bit of a no-brainer for me.

John Frieda Full Repair Range

I’ve now had chance to try out most of the range, with the exception of the Root Lift Foam and Perfect Ends Mist. My two favourite products from the selection are definitely the Deep Conditioner and Styling Spray. The Perfect Ends Deep Infusion is good, but I generally find I need something more intensive for my dry ends (I’m loving Macadamia Oil at the moment). The shampoo and conditioner are also good products and definitely improve the look and feel of my hair. I tend to alternate between the Deep Conditioner and standard Conditioner to get the most benefit without overusing the Deep Conditioner.

Overall I really like the range and would recommend it. The products work well, although in some instances I feel I need a little more treatment due to the extreme condition of my hair. Although I couldn’t afford it at first, the products are actually quite reasonably priced and give value for money (I was just really, really poor earlier this year!).

Let me know if you have a go with any of the videos. There’s a new tutorial for a hair bow that I’ve just seen and would love to try, need to will my hair to grow faster!!

Love

NB. The Full Body Shampoo and Conditioner were sent to me as promotional items, but I have bought the rest of the range myself

My Fickle Face: Soap & Glory

I have had a bit of a revelation on the matter of skin care.


Regular readers will already be aware of my slight obsession with the condition of my skin and the multitude of products available claiming to improve it! I have long been searching for that miracle product, or range of products, that will give me the gorgeous, blemish free, perfectly moisture balanced, glowing complexion of my dreams.


But, this recent revelation has shown my quest to be entirely misguided. It would seem that my skin, instead of needing one perfect product, actually responds better when I vary the products I use to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise.


Almost no matter what products I was using, no matter how much they had improved my skin when I first used them; if I stuck to the same ones for 5-7 days or more, I would get blemishes cropping up in the usual places (forehead, chin and the sides of my nose, classic T zone afflictions!). However, changing between three or four products every two or three days seems to be noticeably reducing the frequency and severity of my break-outs!


It is largely due to my, now diminishing, beauty box subscriptions that I have accumulated a good variety of skin care products to dip in and out of in order to make this discovery. However, I am not solely reliant on beauty boxes (which is probably best as I’m distinctly losing my enthusiasm for them) and I have ventured out to Boots and picked up some proper products to add to my rotation.


At the moment Boots have a 3 for 2 offer on indulgent bathing that includes a lot of Soap & Glory products. I really like Soap & Glory, from the styling and packaging to the scents, product names, and also the fact that every product of theirs I’ve ever used has worked really well (without being ridiculously expensive)!
I picked up Face, Soap and Clarity 3 in 1 Daily Detox Vitamin C Facial Wash (£7), The Greatest Scrub of All Facial Exfoliator (£9) and  The Fab Pore Intensive Action Pore Refining Facial Peel (£8).

Unsurprisingly, none of these products have disappointed 🙂
All three products are easy to use, smell great and leave my skin feeling amazingly clean and smooth. I’ve been using the face wash morning and night about 4 or 5 days a week (usually with a gap somewhere in the middle to keep my variety method going), the exfoliator once or twice a week in the evening and the peel no more than once a week. So far so good, with the exception of one massive spot that popped up in my eyebrow, I haven’t had any major blemish complaints for about two weeks now.


I would definitely buy all three products again; Face, Soap and Clarity cleanses really well without being drying, The Greatest Scrub of All is a gentle exfoliator with small grains but still does a great job at making skin look and feel cleaner and fresher and, although I don’t have particularly large pores generally, The Fab Pore definitely makes my skin feel less oily and very soft.


Although it doesn’t have anything to do with the effectiveness I love the pink and turquoise colour combination of Face, Soap and Clarity too!


Depending on my finances, and whether the offer is still running at Boots, I might try out some different products from the Soap & Glory range too. I could really do with some more Righteous Butter.


Has anyone come across anything new in the way of skincare recently?


Love