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 😦 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 🙂 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 🙂 (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 😦

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

Love

Betty

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Vintage Nation

Vintage Nation, from the people behind Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, is being held at Brighton Racecourse on Saturday June 9th 2012 (10am til 11pm).

I really want to go, but at the moment, haven’t found anyone to come with me, so I thought I’d put some feelers out to see if any of you lovely people would be interested.
There will obviously be vintage shopping, but also vintage cars, live music, vintage hair styling and make-up, burlesque, a village green (brought to you by Crabbies), a man-made beach, G&T’s, champagne, DJs, dancing and the promise of fireworks!
Check out both the Facebook page and event.
Let me know if you’re interested, or already going! I think it looks like a fantastic day out 🙂
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 £2.39!
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,

We’ll gather lilacs

When I first heard that pastels were going to be a big thing this spring I was distinctly underwhelmed. Obviously I recognise that pastels are pretty, but I’ve never felt like a very pastel sort of person, usually preferring bolder and darker colours. However, the though of pastels has definitely been growing on me over the past month or so and I’d actually say I’m quite looking forward to an influx of ice cream candy colours into my wardrobe.
I’ve only really come to fully realise my growing appreciation for pastels through using Pinterest, which I only joined a week ago. I’ve not become as obsessed with ‘pinning’ as I feared, but I do enjoy going on a little pinning spree every now and again. My boards are currently being populated with pictures of cupcakes and hair and nails and Dita Von Teese – most of which have a distinct pastel tone, with a particularly large amount of baby pink and lilac.
Lilac?
I’ve definitely never been a lilac person.
But, things change, and now I’m so much a ‘lilac person’ that I’m considering it as my next hair colour move. Maybe not all over lilac, I’m liking the idea of a lilac slice through the centre section to the left of my parting (basically, where I always put a section of colour). I usually use Manic Panic hair dyes, and I think Lie Locks might be the best for achieving the colour I want, or maybe Mystic Heather. Either way, they’ll probably need mixing with a toner to dilute them to the exact shade I’m hoping for. Although, ultimately these things turn out how they turn out!

As I’m now a Pinterest user I thought I’d include a selection of my current hair inspirations, some lilac, some not.

I really, really want to colour my hair now! Will have to wait a while until I can afford some dye, and I also need to decide what colour I actually want. Maybe I’ll just stick them all in a hat and pull one out… What do you think?
If you’re on Pinterest, you can have a look at my boards (http://pinterest.com/bettyleopard/) or leave me your user name and I’ll have a look at yours!
Anyone else gone for a colour change lately?

New Year: 2012

This time last year I set out a short list of resolutions, things I wanted to achieve and develop during 2011 (here). Looking back over this list one year on, I’ve done ok, better than I expected anyway 🙂 This is a bit of a wordy post I’m afraid, but is something I really want to write about.

Reviewing my 2011 Resolutions

1. Lose Weight/Tone Up
Over the summer I put in a lot of effort and lost half a stone in about 2 months. While the amount of effort I’ve put in since has tailed off a bit, I haven’t put any of it back on, just lost a little bit of tone.

2. Invest in a more grown up skin-care regime
Well, I’ve written quite a lot about this over the course of the year (here). I’ve experimented with a fair few products and have found something that is certainly more suitable for my skin than what I was using before.

3. Make more time for the important people in my life
My efforts on this haven’t been wholly consistent. I’ve gone through phases in the amount of effort I’ve made, and overall probably haven’t made as much effort as I had intended 😦

4. Work on being happier/more confident and enjoying life more
My mood has fluctuated a lot this year, for various reasons, but I have definitely made significant efforts towards being happier and enjoying life more. Pete and I have made more efforts to do fun things together and I have really tried hard to stretch myself and do things that wouldn’t normally be within my comfort zone (eg. Blogger Meet!).

5. Work harder
This had probably been my area of least success. My dedication and motivation has taken a fair few hits at various points, and I think I’ve probably spent more time wishing I wasn’t doing a PhD than I have feeling positive about finishing 😦

So, that’s probably 3 and a half out of five? Could have been better could have been worse. But it’s important to keep focussing on the future, moving forward and continuing to better ourselves, not dwelling on the past and the things we could have done better.
Which brings me nicely to my resolutions for 2012. I’ve actually written a big long list of things in my ideas book, but I’ll limit myself to the key ones here.

1. Lose more weight/Regain my tone
I am very happy that I managed to lose half a stone this year, but my ideal weight is about 10 stone, which is still another half stone away. I’ve done it once so I am confident I can do it again this year 🙂
While exercise is going to be the biggest part of this (Gillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred), I want to improve my diet too, largely by reducing the amount of unrefined carbohydrates I eat.

2. Continue my efforts to be happier, confident and to enjoy life more
Again, I laid a good foundation for this is 2011, but there is more I can do. While money is always a limiting factor, I hope to get out and have fun as much as possible, with friends, family and Pete. I need to do at least one thing this year that scares me (another Blogger Meet could fulfil this one).
For the sake of minimising the number of resolutions, I should also throw making more efforts with the people I care about in here too. These people are so important and it’s too easy to forget this before you realise they’re gone.

4. Get more work published
In 2011, I had my first article published by an online magazine. I intend to get more work published, by the same magazine and, hopefully, beyond! Writing is still a career I think I might like to pursue, so I’ll need all the experience I can get.

5. Develop my skills
Specifically, I want to improve some of my craft skills, take a class on cupcake decorating and learn more about photography.

6. Leave Southampton
I have been in Southampton for more years than I care to think. It’s not a bad town, but after so long it seems a bit boring to me. I don’t want to be limited by location, there has to be somewhere better!!

7. Grow my hair
Well, it might be a bit overwhelming if all my resolutions were big ones! I’ve tried to grow my hair before and always got annoyed with it at that in-between stage. This year I really want to try and get past that. I might still want to go back to being short, but I at least want to try it longer 🙂


The prospect of an entire new year spread out in front of me, with so many things I want to achieve, is quite daunting. I am hopeful for a year of positive developments and making happy memories.
Have you taken any time to think about your ambitions for 2012? Whether you have or haven’t, I hope the year holds good things for you too.

Love,
Betty
x

That Was The Year That Was: 2011

So, the end of another year is upon us, and it seems to have come around so quickly! Although I’ve had this blog for a while, 2011 has been my first year of ‘proper’ blogging, and I think it’s gone pretty well; I’ve certainly enjoyed it 🙂
I hope you have too. Thank you all for reading and I hope you stick around to see what 2012 brings.
Here is a brief overview of my 2011.

A Review of 2011 in Headshots
Those of you who know me will know that I like to change my hair quite a lot, so here is a brief overview of some of the looks I have sported this year. For those of you who don’t know, see my post My Many Faces.
Some Of My Favourite Moments of 2011

Family Holiday to Gozo, Malta (June 2011)

I hadn’t been on holiday with my family in so long and this came at a point when I was really stressed out with work, it was so nice to spend a week with the people I love, in the sun, eating cheese 🙂

Meeting Wolf Puppies at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust (June 2011)

There aren’t many opportunities in life to sit with a litter of wolf pups in your lap. Due to Pete’s involvement with wolf research and the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, I was lucky enough to do this 🙂

My 26th Birthday (July 2011)

Although Pete was away at the time, my mum came to visit and two of my very good friends went out of their way to help me celebrate with a whole lot of cake 🙂

Going to Cornwall with Pete (September 2011)

On Pete’s return from working in the US (for 3 months) he took me away to Cornwall for a week, where we stayed in a lovely little cottage, saw some great sights and enjoyed glorious weather 🙂

Xmas Blogger Meet (December 2011)

This time last year, the prospect of me travelling to a city I had never visited before, on my own, to meet people I had never met before, would have been unthinkable. I am so proud of myself for doing this and so glad I managed to find the confidence as I had a fantastic time and met some great people.

These aren’t the only good things from this year; if I were to list them all we’d be here for a very long time. These are just a few events that jumped out at me while I was going through photos from the year. There are a couple of things I’ve done in December that I still need to write about so haven’t included either.

Today is my dad’s birthday, but if I get time I will be writing a resolutions post later. If not, may I wish you all a very happy New Year. Have fun and stay safe 🙂

Love,
Betty
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