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Leather and Glitter

Badass, with a bit of bling!

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Beauty

My Face Base

Hello readers. Since my last post was a skincare post, I decided to go to the next level and share with you my favourite base makeup products and how I apply them to get a flawless finish to set me up for the rest of my makeup look. As I mentioned before, I have oily skin and rosacea; which means makeup is always a struggle for me. But yet again, as with my skincare, I’ve managed to get my makeup base application down to a great routine.

Now before I start, I will just say that this is the base for a full face of makeup. I don’t wear this every day, because there is no need for a full face unless you really need it; and also, who has time for a full face every day? I will probably share my fast, everyday makeup routine in another post. Some great ideas to look flawless on a time limit – I’ve been practising because I know when I’m a mum, my makeup time might be a little sparse. But without further ado, keep reading if you want to know how to get a flawless makeup base that will last all day, even with oily skin. I am sure that all of the products except the first one I mention have been previously talked about on my blog, both here; and here. There’s a reason I raved about them so much then, and why I’m still using them now. They’re just so good; however this is a slightly more in-depth post about the way I apply each product and why I love them.

Step 1 – Primer

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I’m a firm believer that a primer can make or break your look. There’s a bit of a science to it. If your foundation is oil-based, you’ll need an oil-based primer. If your foundation is silicone-based, you’ll need a silicone-based primer. And if your foundation is water-based, you’ll need a water-based primer. My foundation is silicone based, so I opt for two different primers. The first primer is the No7 Airbrush Away Colour Balancing Primer in green. I apply it with a damp sponge using a dabbing motion (The AOA Wonder Blender from Shop Miss A is my Favourite sponge currently) to the areas that are in need of some redness neutralizing – usually my cheeks.

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Then I go in with the Max Factor Facefinity Primer; which I apply with my (clean!) fingers, all over my face. It’s a really great mattifying primer that doesn’t feel too heavy on the silicone which means that the foundation doesn’t slide off. It also has some serious staying power; which is what I look for in most of my base makeup – because my oil usually makes it slide off within hours if it’s not a long-lasting product.

Step 2 – Foundation

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I freaking LOVE this foundation and have yet to find anything better. You should have guessed it by now, but in case you haven’t, it’s the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. For oily skin types this is so good. It’s not full coverage but a couple of coats nicely covers everything I need it to; and if you’re using concealer anyway (Which I do) then it won’t matter. I apply a few drops to the back of my hand (usually 2-3 pumps) and dab it on with a damp sponge (the one I’ve used for the primer is totally fine to use).

For info, I use the shade 2C3 – Fresco

Step 3 – Concealer

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When I’m done with the foundation and happy with the coverage, I go in with the concealer. My all-time favourite concealer to date has to be the Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer. It’s supposedly a dupe for Tarte Shape Tape – but since I haven’t tried it yet I can’t say how it measures up. This has a doe-foot style applicator, so I paint it onto my face in the areas that need extra coverage – usually my forehead, under my eyes, my nose, lower cheeks and chin; plus any blemishes. I then blend it out using the same damp sponge in dabbing motions. The dabbing is important because if you wipe or sweep the sponge, all you’ll end up doing is pushing product around your face and wiping off what’s underneath; making you look streaky. This concealer is such a good, full-coverage concealer that by this stage I usually look like I’ve had all my features erased. When I paint them back on, my “second skin” looks so flawless.

For info, my shade is C3 (I used to use C5, but found I looked a little too tanned)

Step 4 – Powder

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Now, I love having flawless, matte skin; but I don’t want to look flat. It needs to have a little bit of dewiness to it in order to look like actual skin. So the setting powder needs to be the product that does that. And a trick I like to use is to mix a very small amount of loose highlighter pigment into my loose setting powder to give that gorgeous healthy glow.

The base powder that I use is the Maybelline Fit Me Loose Powder. It’s not yet available in the UK directly from Maybelline (despite so many beauty influencers begging them); but you can get it on eBay at a reasonable price. For info, I use the shade 05 Fair (I used to use the shade 10 Fair / Light, but it was a bit too yellow for my skin)

The powder highlight I mix with the setting powder (in a ratio of approx. 1:5) is the Makeup Revolution Pearl Lights Loose Highlighter in the shade “True Gold”. When I’ve mixed the two together I use that same damp sponge (I know, it gets a LOT of use) to pick it up and press it into my skin. Dabbing again; I pack it all in, all over my face. A lot of people bake at this stage, pressing it into the oily areas and under eyes then gently and dusting off any excess, adding a sheer dusting to any areas that haven’t been covered; but I tend to just push it right into every part of my face; because I have such bad oil that the powder helps to keep it under control.

Once I’m done with the powder, then I’m ready to go on with the other parts of my makeup routine, including the bronzer, blusher, highlighter, eyes, brows and lips.

Step 5 – Setting Spray

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The final part to a good base is actually the last step in the routine, but it takes all that powderiness and turns it back into flawless-looking skin. Normally I use two setting sprays. One to give me a little bit of extra glow; and one to seal everything in and make sure it all stays locked in place. The first spray I use is the BarryM Mist & Fix Dewy Finish Setting Spray which I shake vigorously to release all the shimmery particles; then spritz on. Before it dries I use my sponge (again!) to dab at any chunky spots of shimmer so it doesn’t look like I have sparkly freckles. Then I use a fan to dry it.

The second spray is the famous All Nighter setting spray from Urban Decay. I spritz it on once my face is dry and then fan again.

And there you have it. My steps to a flawless base for creating looks that will stay in place all day long, even with oily skin; that looks smooth and matte, without looking cakey.

Do you have any other steps? Any products you would recommend? Would you use these products / techniques? Drop me a comment below. And don’t forget to follow me if you want to see more of these posts. Your following really makes me happy!

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My Skincare Regime

Hi Guys! Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I have to admit that since going on maternity leave, the nesting instinct kicked in, and I have been so busy with preparing the house for our little arrival! Now It’s March! Where has that time gone? Little one could arrive at any moment now as I’ve reached early term. February was also a really busy month because it was my birthday, and I literally had people visiting all the time. I’ve never felt so popular or so loved.

So anyway, I thought I’d share with you my skincare regime with you guys because after a lifetime of trying products and not quite getting in quite right, I feel like now, I have my routine perfected. I have found products that are perfect for my skin type and the order in which I put them on has made such a huge difference to my skin that I feel totally confident going makeup free most days now. In all fairness, it’s probably just as well, since I probably won’t have much time to do my makeup when baby girl arrives.

Before we begin, let me tell you a little bit about my skin type, so you’ll have some idea why I use the products I do, in the order that I do. I have a very oily skin type with fairly visible, sunken pores; and rosacea. I also have dark circles occasionally too. I very rarely breakout, but when I do, the blemishes are usually hormone related and appear in clusters of huge, nasty spots. So, here’s how I manage my skin and make sure it stays radiant and (ideally) blemish free:


Morning Routine:

Cleansing:

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I love to exfoliate; but unfortunately, due to my rosacea, I used to find that exfoliation left my skin very red and sore. The granules in most facial scrubs were far too abrasive and gritty, meaning that I was only exfoliating maybe once a week; when really, because of my oil, I should have been scrubbing much more regularly. That was until I found the holy grail of facial scrubs. Over a year ago, I went into a lush shop, and as usual, the friendly staff were more than helpful when I griped about abrasive cleansers and my awful, aggravated red face. They let me try their “Herbalism” Cleanser. Made with almonds (the nuts, not the shells), and chloroform water (which gives it that funky green colour) it was a match made in heaven. You take a pea sized blob of the powdery substance, mix it with a couple of drops of warm water to make a paste, the slather over your face and rub in circular motions until you feel thoroughly buffed. The almond is so gentle – because it’s the softer part of the nut that’s used as opposed to the hard, abrasive shells – that it works on sensitive skin, and the green pigment really helps with redness. It also contains a lot of other skin friendly ingredients that help with oiliness too. I’ve been buying pots of this stuff for, like I say, over a year now and really believe this was the first step in being confident in my skin.

Toning:

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Now, toners were something I used to use to suck the oil right out of my skin before I put on a moisturiser. I now know that this was where I was going wrong. If you suck out too much oil, your skin is going to overcompensate, and by the end of the day, it will be slick with lots of shine. Not. Good. I went to a beauty masterclass one evening with Arbonne, and learned a few things about humectant spray toners. Best invention ever. Up until recently, I used this rose water as a toner in a spray bottle; but then about a year ago I was reading up on some good skincare ingredients, and found out about the wonders of hyaluronic acid. It hydrates your skin deep down, penetrating the epidermis (outer skin layer) and moisturising the dermis (second skin layer); which in turn, prevents excess sebum production (makes you less oily). So now, I use the B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz. Not only do I use it as a toner (about 7 sprays each morning usually works for my whole face), but I also spray it over makeup to keep me feeling refreshed throughout the day – especially in the summer. I used it on my wedding day to stop my makeup from feeling too heavy; and it make me look and feel radiant right up until I went to bed!

Moisturising:

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Now, dependant on my plans for the day, I have 2 different approaches to moisturiser. If I know I’m going to be indoors all day, or if I plan on wearing makeup, I’ll use the Garnier Skin Active 3 in 1 Hydrating Aloe Water Jelly – which is made from ingredients that are 96% natural origins, contains soothing Aloe Vera for my rosacea and is silicone free – which stops my makeup from sliding off.

Afterwards I go in with my favourite oil reducing serum – Soap and Glory The Fab Pore Oil Control Serum. As you know, I’ve raved about this in the past and I still to this day have not found anything better! So I apply sparingly to my oily areas and the shine stays under control all day.

My other approach is for no makeup days, when I plan on being outside, or if I want a little bit of a glow. I’ll start with the serum, instead of the moisturiser; and then I’ll go in with E.L.F. Beauty Shield Tinted Moisturiser. It is the best tinted moisturiser I have ever tried. It doesn’t leave you orange, and gives a lovely, radiant glow. It also has an SPF in it, so if I plan on going out on a non-makeup day, I know I’ll be protected. On the days I do wear makeup, I always make sure my foundation has an SPF in it too.


Evening Routine:

Makeup Removal:

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So in the evening, I always take off my makeup if I’ve been wearing any. I like to use good old fashioned coconut oil for slightly thicker, more stubborn makeup; and for less stubborn everyday makeup, I’ll use Micellar Water. Personally I favour Simple’s Micellar water because it’s nicer on my sensitive skin. I’ll use these products on a soft microfiber flannel or a bamboo fibre washcloth as it’s much more environmentally friendly than using cotton pads and the fibres actually get more makeup off per swoop.

Cleansing:

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I cleanse my face after makeup removal, just to make sure I got every last trace of makeup; because moisturising right after could mean pushing any makeup left on the skin into the pores and that’s not really going to help with breakouts. Also, if I’ve used coconut oil, it will eliminate that too. Coconut oil is good for some skin types (hello dry skinned ladies) but not for us oily gals. I like to use Garnier Skin Active Micellar Gel Wash for Combination & Sensitive Skin. I foam it up on a flannel with warm water and cleanse away any traces of makeup & dirt that’s left. It’s amazing that when you think you’ve got it all, there’s still makeup on the cloth after cleansing. A runner up product which I also like to use if I don’t have any of the gel cleanser is the good old fashioned dove crème bar. It’s great value for money and since they can be bought in multipacks, they’re great to have in the cupboard as a backup in case you run out of cleanser.

Toning:

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Now, I feel like when you’re winding down in the evening, spraying an invigorating spritz on your face is only going to wake you up. It’s fabulous for a morning routing but for the evening I prefer to put the toner on with my hands. I also like something super hydrating, so I opt for B. Refreshed Essence Lotion. It’s got more of that lovely Hyaluronic Acid in it and it feels silky smooth. It’s a liquid, so I just pour a few drops onto my fingertips, then massage into my freshly cleansed face.

Facial Oil:

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Yes, oil for oily skin sounds crazy right? But it really does work and since I started using oil on my skin at night, my skin condition has never been better. There is a catch though. Some facial oils are no good for oily skin as they are made of a different composition and are better suited to dry or combination skin types. The better oils for oily skin types are jojoba oil – which is very close to natural sebum – Argan oil and Rosehip Oil. These are antibacterial, and very lightweight, so perfect for those of us with oily skin. Personally, I use Boots Botanics Organic Nourishing Facial Oil with Rosehip. It also contains sweet almond oil which has sebum dissolving properties; and Argan Oil. I massage it into my face until it’s almost absorbed and leaving me looking a little bit greasy. But as I’m going to bed, it doesn’t matter, right?

Moisturising:

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The last step in my evening routine is to put on a deeply nourishing moisturiser. My personal favourite is Lush’s Vanishing Cream. It sinks beautifully into the skin, and contains antibacterial Lavender – which means you also get a really great mini aromatherapy session before bed, and gets you all nice and relaxed.

Masks:

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Once a week I like to give myself two different types of mask. A clay mask, and a deeply moisturising mask. I do the clay mask after cleansing and before toner. Usually I do this of an evening because in the morning my skin looks even more radiant, but also because I have more time in the evenings to relax with a face mask on. Currently I’m favouring the B. Detox Clay Mask; however my other favourites include the L’Oréal Pure Clay Detox Mask, and Lush’s Rosy Cheeks Mask (which is also great for rosacea and smells a-maz-ing!). The best way to apply these masks is with a brush, as it’s so much easier and less messy than applying with your fingers. I use an old foundation brush which I wash after every use; but you can buy specific brushes for face masks.

The deeply moisturising mask is just a thick layer of my moisturiser, left on for 10 minutes or so before wiping of the excess with a dry flannel. I tend to do this mask as the last step in my routine; and again, it works better for me if I do it in the evening as I have more time to relax.


So there you have it. My fairly simple skincare regime for oily, sensitive skin. Do you have oily skin and have any product recommendations I could try? Do you have a simpler or more complex regime? Drop me a comment below! And don’t forget to follow my blog if you liked this post!

Every Sulphate-Free Shampoo I’ve Used, Ranked from Worst to Best

Hello lovely readers! How is your December going so far? If you’ve seen my instagram, you’ll know I got my decorations up at the weekend and despite it being a tiring job with this growing bump, I’m rather proud of my decorating skills – if I do say so myself. I have a few Christmas themed blog posts lined up; but in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you my favourite (and not so favourite) sulphate-free shampoos. As someone who colours their hair; I have read a lot about the benefit of going sulphate-free. Sulphate-free shampoos are less drying and a lot less damaging over time; but they also have the added benefit of being less harsh and therefore more preventative of fading on colour-treated hair. Which is great for me, because when my brunette colour fades; it leaves behind a coppery undertone that washes out my skin tone. Before anyone asks, my natural colour is so close to the colour I usually dye it; but as it grows out it does the same thing – goes copper. There’s nothing wrong with copper hair if you can pull it off; but my more cool-toned skin and dark eyes lend themselves to a nice dark brunette. Anyway; I’ve been experimenting with sulphate free shampoos for about a year and a half now; and I have finally found what I believe to be “the one”. Keep reading to find out how my testing has gone over the months and which one I rank most highly.

L’Oréal Elvive Colour Protect Low Shampoo – £6.99

L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect Low Shampoo 400ml

When this came out, I was thrilled, because it was the first drugstore shampoo that contained no SLS, which meant it slowed down the coppery effect that washing had on my hair and prevented fading of the dye. I had been looking for an SLS free shampoo available in the shops (So I didn’t have to buy online) for ages. Unfortunately, despite it’s ease of access and good price, it wasn’t for me. It protects coloured hair, yes, but it has a TON of silicone in it. It felt more like a co-wash – and for someone with greasy hair, co-washing is not something I make a habit of. Due to the heavy silicone content, the more you use it, the thicker that layer of product film gets on your hair, making it lank and greasy looking. Eventually a regular shampoo is needed to wash off the residue. Not good. On a side note, if you don’t struggle with greasy hair and your strands are lightweight, this stuff is great, because it will tame your flyaways and protect your colour. I know someone with fine, blonde hair who swears by it as it stops her hair from going really brassy.

Score: 2/10

Roots Double Effect Shampoo for Coloured Hair – £9.99

Again I was thrilled when I heard about this release as it is available in Superdrug stores. Unfortunately, though, it too contained silicone. It was a very small amount, but the formula wasn’t all that nice either. It was kind of thick and jelly-like, I couldn’t get it out of the bottle particularly easily and it made showers a bit of a faff if I’m honest. As far as price goes, it was a lot for the quality of the product; and I wasn’t all that thrilled.

Score: 3/10

eSalon Classic Shampoo – £13.00

Classic Shampoo

This was a lovely formula which felt just like a regular shampoo; but without the sulphates. The ingredients are derived from sulphates to give the foaming effect everyone knows and loves; but the chemical compounds are much less dying / damaging / fading to hair. But aside from feeling nice and clean, and preventing colour fade, this really didn’t do all that much for me; and I certainly wouldn’t pay £13 for it again! It was a bit “meh” if I’m being honest. And also, points deducted for containing silicone, again!

Score: 4 / 10

Roots Double Effect Sensitive Shampoo – £9.99

Tying in score with the eSalon Classic, is this. It contained no silicone – a first for this list so far. The formula was better than the colour protect version; but the results, again, were a bit “meh”. I also didn’t like the really strong smell of tea tree. I like tea tree, but when you want to incorporate aromatherapy into your shower routine as I often do, it’s hard to smell certain scents when the aroma of tea tree is fogging out everything else up. Maybe I’m too fussy; I don’t know.

Score: 4/10

eSalon Repair Shampoo – £13.00

Repair Shampoo

I have to say, I really liked this one. I actually thought it was “The One” until I read the ingredients only to discover yet more silicone! How do I escape this madness?! The formula was a bit less runny than the last 2, which made application easier. It lathered up nicely and I felt like it was actually helping my hair. But I learned of that nasty ingredient, and it made me realise maybe it was just the silicone building up on my strands.

Score: 6 / 10

Aveda Shampure Shampoo – £14.50

This is a beautiful shampoo. It nourished. It strengthened. It didn’t fade my colour. It smelled awesome; and is made with lots of natural goodness. It did, however, lose points for containing silicone AND a sulphate which was not SLS but still a sulphate all the same. I naively thought that because Aveda market themselves as a natural company who use the power of plants in their ranges; that they would contain no harsh chemicals. Alas, I was wrong. But it was a great shampoo all the same. The only downside is the price – the most expensive on this list so far.

Score: 7 / 10

Kind Natured Colour Care Shampoo – £4.99

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Yes. Yas. YASSS! Holy Mother of haircare! This is the BEST Shampoo I have EVER used. Ever. No sulphates. No Silicone. No Parabens. Vegan. Cruelty Free. 97% Natural. AND Available at boots! It smells awesome; and as it says on the bottle, cares for my coloured hair very well indeed. It wins extra points for all the good stuff but also for the price! This is now my regular shampoo; and I challenge you to find me one that I can pop into boots and buy, costing less than a fiver with all the natural benefits and free of all the nasty chemicals. If they ever discontinue this without a comparable replacement; I will actually cry!

Score: 10 / 10

So there you have it. A pretty extensive, tried and tested list. I will definitely be trying out more from the “Kind Natured” range; and should there be any newbies that I spot; I’ll be giving them a go too. I’m also thinking of writing a silicone-free conditioner post. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see. Have you gone sulphate-free? What are your thoughts? Drop me a comment as usual. Don’t forget to follow me and give this post a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading!

Shop Miss A

Hello Lovely Readers! I’ve been waiting to write this post for a while now! I was supposed to upload it last week but due to some issues with my cloud storage, I’ve only just been able to get it done. If you’ve seen my instagram lately you’ll already know that recently I bought a few items from a site in America called “Shop Miss A”. It’s a website that has hundreds of makeup items for sale that are $1 each! Yeah, you read that right! Now I’d always been told if something seemed too good to be true then it probably was, but after hearing some positive reviews from some of my favourite youtubers, I thought it was worth a shot. So, here’s a detailed list of each item I bought (I got 19 x $1 things in total), what I thought about it and how it performed when swatching / wearing. I’ll add some more thoughts of the site in general down below.

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AOA POW-Lighter – Galactic

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A cute little pot of loose highlighter with a pink/blue chrome tint; that was much smaller than I’d imagined. Beautiful highlight – it was a perfect colour match for me with my favour of cool tones. There were also some more warm shades available too. Very bright and pigmented – you definitely don’t need a lot. It was a mix of very finely milled highlighter which gave the chromatic finish, and a slightly chunkier powder which made me sparkle like a goddamn unicorn! There was quite a lot of fallout so again, a little goes a long way. It wore well and stayed in place throughout the day. I reckon this could easily be used as eyeshadow or eyeshadow topper for that extra bit of shimmer.

Rating: 8/10

AOA Wonder Matte Lipstick – Tease

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This was a nice big tube, so you get lots of product. It dried down very quickly, and felt a bit too dry for my liking; and went a bit cakey. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long either. Colour-wise it was gorgeous with a really good pigment, so it’s a shame that it didn’t wear so well. I did find that it worked well with a lip balm to turn it into a vinyl finish lipstick rather than matte, and this actually helped it to last a bit longer.

Rating: 5/10

AOA Wonder Liquid Liner – Black

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Basically, I’m in love with this eyeliner. It’s SO Good. REALLY black – the pigment is darker than I expected and gives my current rimmel liner a real run for it’s money, thanks to it’s superfine applicator just like the rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Liner. The application is smooth and the wearability is awesome! It lasted through my tears during a hormonal pregnant cry; and it came out the other side looking untouched!

Rating: 10/10

AOA Starlet Eyeliner – Superstar

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A metallic eyeliner with a gorgeous blue colour. Unfortunately though, the pigment isn’t all that good and it doesn’t last. You have to layer it up to get a good colour but then as it dries it can go a bit cakey. It also takes a long time to dry. Disappointing to say the least.

Rating: 3/10

Polka Dot Ears Headband – White

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These are the cutest things since fluffy puppies! They’re soft and fleecy and really good quality considering the price. My only tiny complaint is that they are a little tight on me, but I do have a big head!

Rating: 9/10

AOA Wonder Blender – Black Teardrop

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This really is a wonder blender. I wonder how they make it for $1. I wonder how they get it so soft. I wonder if the beauty blender is as good as this. I still don’t have a beauty blender. Someday I’ll invest in one I’m sure, but when there are blending sponges out there that give a smooth even finish and great coverage for only ONE DOLLAR, then why would I bother spending a stupid amount of money on a sponge, I wonder.

Rating: 10/10

AOA Studio Lashes – Alexis

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These looked, on the site, like Ardell Demi Wispies. I Love the Demi Wispies, but when I tried these AOA lashes on, they were MUCH longer. I have small eyes, so sometimes lashes can look huge on me. These were no exception. In all honesty, though, they were really comfortable to wear; and I’d imagine on larger eyes they would look great. They don’t come with glue but I use the Duo Dark lash glue. They stayed on all day and looked great when I figured out how to make excessive lashes work for me. You can see the look I created down below. I have noticed though that the site offers a handy size guide for all AOA lashes, so maybe I can find something a little shorter. Fingers crossed, as they’re much cheaper than Ardell!

Rating: 8/10

Princessa Tru Fusion Blush – Peach

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The packaging looks cheap, but this is actually a really nice formula. It’s buttery soft and really highly pigmented. Not much fallout and buildable colour. Not bad for $1.

Rating: 7/10

Rose Cheek Pop Blush – Peach

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This one has some shimmer to it and it’s a really pigmented blush. You don’t need very much and it lasts all day. The packaging looked cheap, but the rose pattern pressed into the powder along with the sponge applicator are actually quite nice.

Santee Blush Me – Toasted

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The packaging of this one again looks cheap; but the product itself is actually really nice. The formula is buttery soft and the pigment is perfect. It’s a matte finish and the colour suited me really well.

Rating: 6/10

Rose Matte Blush – Dusty Rose

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The packaging on this one looks more expensive with a sliding lid and a nice big mirror on back. There’s also a hidden compartment where a brush is stored, although the brush is cheap and nasty. There’s a pretty rose pattern pressed into the powder again with this one. The product is buttery and buildable, but not overly pigmented like the others. The cool neutral shade is a great one for everyday wear; especially at the price!

Rating: 7/10

LA Colors Tinted Cheek & Lips – Blushing

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When I placed the order, I was pretty sure I ordered the shade “cheery”, Even though that’s not what came through on the order confirmation. Despite that, I kind of like this shade. It’s got a lot of shimmer to it which I was not expecting. It also feels quite tacky. I used it as a lip balm and it’s really great as it adds tint and shimmer without feeling sticky like a gloss. I probably wont use it as a blusher but I will likely get some more shades to use as lip balms.

Rating: 8/10

Loose Eyeshadow Pigment – 19

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This is a beautiful coppery glitter. I love the little pot that is comes in which makes it look quite expensive. The only problem is it gets everywhere! You’ll need a good quality glitter glue or eyeshadow primer to hold this stuff in place.

Rating: 7/10

AOA XL Shadow Stick – Matte Mellow

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I got this with the intention to use it as an eyeshadow primer and for cut creases, but it’s not that great. It doesn’t apply well, dragging a lot. It was the perfect skin tone colour for me and it wears really well but because it’s quite dry and waxy I wasn’t a fan of the application.

Rating: 4/10

9 Colour Eyeshadow Kits – Colour 1, 2, 3 & 4

YASSS QUEEN! This is what we came for! These are gorgeous. Cannot believe they were only $1 each. In my opinion they are so worth it. They are a beautiful buttery formula with a really good pigment for the money. There’s not much fallout either. The metallics are SUPER bright and the Matte colours build well for a gorgeous colour finish. The packaging looks a bit cheap, and was quite scratched and battered, but the product quality is way above what my expectations were. I’ve basically fallen in love with the warm neutrals and have been wearing them as part of my everyday makeup since I got them. These will be regulars in my kit from now on.

Rating: 10/10

LOL Crème Glitter – The Joker

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These are a bit like Vaseline mixed with glitter. They’re not all that great but still better than I expected. They do sink into creases and longevity s not a strong point for these glitters, but for use on the face (as opposed to the eyes) at festivals and the like would be ideal.

Rating: 3/10

So, with all these products I’ve created two great full face looks so far, which means I have managed to use everything and do a couple of wear tests:

Here are the important details about buying with Shop Miss A. The carriage to the UK is just under $10 for any orders under $40 which means for my order I paid less than £7.80* for shipping. One thing to bear in mind is the duties and taxes. The more expensive your order is, the more you’d have to pay. If you keep the goods value less than £15 – which I did, just – you wont have to pay any duties and taxes, which is definitely worth bearing in mind. I ordered on the 28th October and my order arrived on 6th November; so not a bad delivery time. I was expecting a much longer wait. The tracking was brilliant and I was able to track my order right up to delivery. I also loved the little freebie they threw in – some pure cotton squares. Pretty handy to take off all that makeup when you’re done playing!

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So, would I buy from Shop Miss A again? Absolutely! Some of the products will be making my regulars list and I love trying new products. When each item costs less than 78p each* there’s certainly no harm in it. There’s also no harm to animals either as all their products (as far as I can tell) are vegan and cruelty free. I think at some point I’ll be trying out some of their more expensive items too. They just recently released a new collection of eyeshadow palettes which I’m dying to try!

So, would you buy from Shop Miss A? Have you ever bought from them? What are you’re thoughts? Drop me a comment!

*Conversion correct at time of publishing.

5 Things – The Youtube Edition

I’ve been youtubing a lot lately. Particularly beauty vloggers, because there’s something so relaxing about watching people do their makeup. I also love haul videos and reviews, because I’m such a makeup junkie. I’m going to share with you my favourites because there are a few who I watch all the time.

1. NikkieTutorials

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Of course, she makes the list. I LOVE her! And so too, do 11 Million subscribers. She’s got such a cheery personality and her reviews are so honest. She’s incredibly talented and I am so inspired by her with my own makeup looks. I also kind of love her accent. One of her recent videos  – the what’s in the bag challenge – has inspired me to do something similar, but with my husband choosing my makeup. I’ll let you know how I get on.

2. Nikkia Joy

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Another beauty vlogger whom I love the accent of, Nikkia Joy is an Australian beauty Vlogger; and like me, she has hella oily skin. Her videos include high-end and drugstore products; and she talks a lot about skincare for oily skin, which has helped me to no end.

3. SophDoesNails

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She doesn’t actually do nails. She did, but she’s moved onto makeup. I love watching her because she’s so chirpy and super honest. She also kind of reminds me of my cousin. Her skin type is also oily so it’s really helpful for me. She mainly uses  drugstore products, which is great because who has the money for high-end everything? She has also collaborated with my all time favourite makeup brand, Makeup Revolution.

4. Casey Holmes

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Her channel is actually not just beauty, but I love the makeup content. I love watching her create a look, and she always looks amazing when she’s done. She uses quite a lot of high-end stuff, but it’s really useful to know if it’s worth it. She’s also inspired me to do the blindfolded makeup challenge thanks to this video. Keep your eyes peeled on here, as I’ll be blogging about how it went.

5. Stephanie Toms

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She’s so relatable! The most down to earth beauty vlogger I watch regularly. She’s also a bit of a badass who doesn’t give a rats ass, and I totally dig that. She does a LOT of “Full face” videos using ridiculously cheap makeup. She’s done poundland, shop miss a and primark to name a few. It never ceases to amaze me how she can turn such cheap products which might not work for mere mortals, into some amazing looks.

So, there you have it. All the Youtubers I love. If you’re looking for some makeup inspiration, or just want to watch some incredible artists at work, I would recommend all of these women.

 

5 Under £5 – The Makeup Revolution Edit

Hi Guys! Welcome back. So, the second half of this year will see me being a little more frugal – a wedding and a house move will do that to a girl. But me being me, I do love a good treat. I’ve decided to start a new idea. 5 little treats for under a fiver*. It will help me be a little more frugal, and learn to shop for the best bargains out there. Now since I’m a beauty junkie, I knew my first 5 treats had to come from makeup revolution. They are one of my favourite budget makeup companies and the products are such good quality. So, without further ado…

1. Revolution Pro Conceal and Camouflage concealer in C5 – £5

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I have tried their conceal and define concealer which is my go-to concealer for full coverage. I wrote about it in my 10 things post back along. This one comes in a tube without an applicator, and has a bit more product. I chose C5 because my other revolution concealer is in the shade C5, and the description for both was the same, so I thought I’d be safe, right? Wrong. The shade is MUCH darker. It’s gonna be great when my tan starts to sow through, but for everyday wear, it’s a bit on the dark side for my liking. As far as the product itself goes, I still prefer the conceal and define. This one is a bit more of a pasty texture with a very dewy finish. Not so great for oily skin types like myself. It still blends out really well and gives great coverage (although I would say slightly less coverage than the conceal and define). So all in all? Not such a good one for me. Onto the next!

2. Revolution Pro Supreme Pigment Dip Liquid Eyeliner in White – £3

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I have been wanting a white eyeliner for ages! I’ve been seeing them used for some beautiful arty looks on Instagram and pinterest and I really wanted to try it for myself. This little baby will be my new favourite. I can already tell. It’s got a great, fine applicator. It’s highly pigmented and it dries quickly. What more can I say? For £3 it’s totally worth it!

3. Eat Sleep Makeup Repeat Palette – £3

The first of three palettes – I now have around 20. I think I may have a problem….. So this one’s neon colours and Oh. My. Gosh! They are SO bright! I cannot wait to turn these bad boys into a look for everyone. Keep your eyes peeled over on my Instagram for that look soon. They are super pigmented (as always. I totally trust revolution’s eyeshadows) and buttery soft to apply. They don’t have much fallout either which is awesome. Buildable from subtle neon glow to full megawatt bright, I would have gladly paid more for this palette!

4. Eyes Like Angels Palette – £4

Yes. Yes! YES! This is my new favourite. After LOVING the neutral shades of the “fortune favours the brave” palette, I wanted a big palette that gave me more brights and metallics. This one delivered. I am in love! Again, the pigment and texture is perfect; but the colour choice is what’s got me hooked. My new summer favourite for do-all looks.

5. Makeup Geek Palette – £4

Yes, I realise I bought three huge eyeshadow palettes. No, I’m not sorry. This one has ALL the colours. It’s a great all rounder if you’re away and can’t take it all with you (I’d need an extra two suitcases for all my makeup!). But what I really love is the texture. All the other revolution palettes I’ve tried have been a little more on the powdery side, which meant great buildability and blending, with a little fallout. But this? This is in a league of it’s own. It’s so damn buttery. Almost a cream eyeshadow palette but not quite. One sweep is enough to get a great colour. And I thought this would be the worst one of the lot. I also love the holographic design on the packaging. Total bonus.

So there you have it. 5 little treats for under a fiver*. The postage wasn’t too bad either at £1.95 for standard delivery (It did take a little while to arrive – 4 days – but I wasn’t in any rush).

Will you be stopping by Makeup Revolution anytime soon? Keep your eyes peeled for my next round of bargain hunting!

*Prices correct at time of purchase.

10 Things – The Makeup Edition

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Now, I was going to make this a simple 5 things post; but since passing my makeup diploma, I’ve been buying rather a lot of makeup; and in preparation for my wedding I wanted to make sure my face looked it’s absolute best. It sort of spiralled out of control from there, but in the process I found some amazing things! Here are the ten best that I have been using lately.

  1. Max factor facefinity all day primer – £10.99 – BootsThis stuff keeps your makeup on all day! It’s sticky (in a good way), mattifying, and goes on smoothly. If you leave it for a few seconds to go tacky before applying your foundation, it will hold it in place for hours. It is very runny when it first comes out, so you don’t need a lot. It feels refreshing on your face and once applied it blurs out most imperfections. My only fault is that it doesn’t cover rosacea, so I have to mix it with No 7. Airbrush Away Green CC primer to hide my redness.

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  2. Makeup revolution conceal and define concealer £4.00 – SuperdrugThis! Quite possibly the best concealer I’ve ever used! SO full coverage and so smooth. It blends out flawlessly and stays on for hours. It’s a bargain at £4 a tube. I’ve bought up a stockpile of these babies because they are so awesome. And their shade range is ever increasing.
  3. Maybelline fit me loose setting powder – £7.49 + 5.23 P&P – EbayNikkia Joy recommended this stuff, and it’s a total game changer! If you haven’t watched any of her tutorials or reviews, they’re totally worth a nosey. Her Australian accent is adorable and she’s so relatable. Anyway, back to the setting powder. It’s not yet available in the UK, but you can get it from eBay using the link above. It’s so finely milled and sets makeup beautifully without looking cakey. For someone with oily skin it’s worth the wait for the delivery.
  4. Makeup revolution pearl lights loose highlighter in True Gold – £5.00 – SuperdrugNow, I never expected this. I’d been struggling with my highlight game for a while. No matter what I did, I seemed to look too matte, or WAY too shiny. I’m an oily creature, but I still want to glow (just not drip). This was the answer. I mix it with my loose setting powder to pack in the shine without making me an oil slick.

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  5. Urban decay all nighter setting spray – £10.00 – FeelUniqueThe best setting spray on the market. I’d been putting off buying it thanks to it’s hefty price tag, but when I found out it comes in a travel size, I just had to try it out. Best. Decision. Ever. I used it on my wedding day, and it kept everything in place. It didn’t feel tight like some other setting sprays do; and the spray nozzle delivers a super fine mist. It does smell a little funky but that soon disappears when it dries.
  6. BarryM mist and fix dewy finish setting spray – £4.99 – SuperdrugI use this over the top of the Urban Decay spray, as an extra bit of shimmer. It definitely doesn’t hold like the All Nighter, but it does make your skin glow on another level. It does need a LOT of shaking and can sometimes leave a few little spots of pink glitter on your face, but a gentle dab with a sponge soon sorts that out.
  7. Maybelline lasting drama gel eyeliner – £8.99 – SuperdrugYES! Finally an eyeliner that does both inner waterline and tightlining. It can be used for wings too if you have an ultra-thin brush. It paints on smoothly, dries slowly (which means if you make a mistake you can use a cotton bud to correct it) and smudges beautifully if you want that “Billy-Joe Armstrong in 2005” look.
  8. Makeup revolution flawless 4 palette – £8.00 – Makeup RevolutionNow a few years ago, I HATED warm coloured eyeshadow, opting for silvers, blues and purples. Then, I tried out gold for the first time, and have been experimenting cautiously ever since. Now, I tend to opt for the warmer colours out of choice, and love the vibrant looks that can be created with them. I bought this palette to continue my experiments, and found that it’s so smooth and highly pigmented. There are a good share of more subtle colours which are great for everyday wear. The metallics are so sparkly, and can work fantastically for evening looks. Then there’s the bold, bright pinks and oranges. They blend so well and make an amazing cut crease. This palette – for anyone who likes war hues – is definitely worth buying. Especially at the price. Makeup Revolution never ceases to amaze me with their value.

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  9. BarryM holographic eyeshadow topper – £4.99 – SuperdrugYes. Yes. YES! These little creamy wonders turn you into a unicorn! They are translucent, duochrome creams, that come with a doefoot applicator. So far the colours are all more on the cool side. I have 3 out of the 4 available shades and use them all the time. They also look great on their own. The effect is stunning, and looks remeniscent of mermaids, unicorns and fairies – and all the other magical things that are trendy right now.

     

  10. Finishing touch flawless by JML – £19.99 – SuperdrugOK, I know it’s not technically a makeup item, but it’s been a crucial part of my kit ever since I got it. I am so DONE with waxing, plucking and using hair removal creams that all leave my face sore, dry and red. This thing is a razor, yes; but it doesn’t make you stubbly. The hair that grows back is fine and fluffy, and it takes half the time to quickly rub away those pesky facial hairs. I still pluck my eyebrows, but for upper lip and even cheek hair (which I never realised how much I had until I removed it) this little gadget is worth every penny. It makes makeup application so much smoother and I cannot recommend this one enough.

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So, have you guys tried any of these? Will you? What are your thoughts? What are your favourite makeup products?

“Natural” Makeup

Hi guys! It’s been a hell of a long time since I published a post so I figured I’d better get typing! It’s been crazy over here in Leather and Glitter world, with my wedding fast approaching and now a house move on the horizon as well, it’s been non stop. I’ve finally got a spare few minutes to get some words on a screen, so I thought I’d share with you a few tips and tricks for a natural, glowing look that requires minimal effort. Sound good? Great, let’s do this!

Another reason for the radio silence might also have something to do with the fact that I’ve been studying hard, and have now passed a diploma in makeup artistry. Woop! I have no idea what – if anything – I’ll do with it, aside from be able to say “I’m now a qualified Makeup Artist” and to frame my certificate on the mantlepiece… But I did learn a few techniques I wanted to share with you all about the “Natural” Look.

I was always on the fence about this look for so long because I love wearing makeup – and lots of it (check out my instagram if you don’t believe me). But I have had to come to terms with the fact that a day at the office does not call for a full face of megawatt glamour and glitter. *Sobs dramatically*

Enter the natural look. Using only six (yes, you read that right, SIX) products, your face can look just a little bit less tired and a little bit more “I woke up like this, honest!”

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The first step is a do-everything base. A lot of people like BB creams, and I’m one of them (Rimmel 9-in-one is my all time fave!)- however if you have skin that’s on the drier side then a tinted moisturiser with plenty of hyaluronic acid will do nicely. It’s simply a case of rubbing it in with your fingers like you would a moisturiser. This will NOT fully cover blemishes, dark circles, rosacea and freckles. It simply blends everything in, so your skin looks dewy and natural, and the imperfections fade to a less obvious state in the background. If you feel you need extra coverage, add a concealer, but most days, I skip this step.

I have also had a go at making my own tinted moisturiser. There’ll be more on how that went later.

The next step is your brows. I use two brow products – one to fill them in, and one to define them. The pencil I use is a shade lighter than my natural brows, so they don’t look too severe. Natural is the key here, not power brows. My favourite pencil is the Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel. The fact that it has a brush on the lid is a Godsend. It, like the BB Cream, this has been a staple in my everyday makeup bag since the beginning. I dot it in the sparse areas and blend it out with the brush. Then I apply a darker gel with a spoolie. My current favourite is W7’s Majestic brow mascara, in brown, as it’s a beautiful cool tone and the applicator is so precise.

After the brows, I add a quick smudge of a chocolate coloured eyeshadow in my eye creases. I have so many of them, it’s hard to recall which is my favourite, but I do favour the stick variety on those days when I’m in a rush, as there’s no applicator needed. Just sweep, smudge and go. Hello Maybelline!

The last eye product is mascara. I’m slightly addicted to W7’s Absolute Lashes, as it gives them a little volume and definition, without looking like I’ve applied ten tonnes of mascaras. I’ve heard it’s a dupe for Benefit’s “They’re Real” but I’ve not tried this so can’t really comment.

Lastly, I apply a tint to my lips and cheeks. My favourites are the genie from BarryM, and a new contender, Maybelline’s Baby Balm and Blush. They both give a delicate tint to lips and cheeks without it looking like you’ve applied a product. The Genie is a stronger colour and lasts much longer on the lips, but the balm is more moisturising and great for a dewy look.

So there you have it. A nice, fixed up look that takes all of five minutes to apply and makes you look naturally flawless as opposed to a hot mess! (We’ve al been there – or is it just me?)

Do you have any tips for looking “Naturally” flawless in a short time?

Drop me a comment!

 

eSalon

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I mentioned eSalon a while ago in my first “5 Things” Blog post; but felt as though they didn’t get the credit they deserved. I’m now on my third dye from them (time flies!); and I couldn’t be happier with everything so far. So I’m going to go a little more in depth with my eSalon experience and give you some insights if you are thinking of colouring your hair.

So I’ve always been a DIY hairdresser. My future Sister-in-Law is a professional hairdresser, and she used to hate me for it in my teen years when I was a little more… experimental. But since I’ve been playing around with my hair for over a decade, I’ve learned a few things. Unfortunately, some mistakes took longer to recover from than others and after a second run of becoming a “suicide blonde”, which resulted in half of my hair falling out and the other half going dry and brittle, as well as very coppery – despite the huge amount of ashy dyes I put on my hair – I decided enough was enough.

I made a brave move, and decided on a new years resolution to stop dyeing my hair. I then took steps to take much better care of it, including low-sulphate and sulphate free shampoos, silicone free conditioners; and henna treatments from Lush to keep the colour vibrant.

After two years, my hair started to feel fuller and thicker again. Not to mention glossy and lightweight, thanks to the lack of silicone build-up from those disgusting, greasy conditioners. The only problem was the colour! The bad bleach job was coming through on my ends, and my roots were quite dark in comparison. I had a ginger ombré thing going on which is not what I was aiming for. At. All. I looked at salon prices online for a quote to restore it to a nice natural colour, and the cost was somewhere in the regions of £80 – £90, because of the length of my hair (waist length). Sh*t! I thought. I’m not made of money! So I hit my old faithful in times of meed – google – with the hopes it would provide the answer. I searched for “Custom made hair colour online”, keen to get something a little more tailor-made to me, and not go back to those pesky packet-dyes. The first result was eSalon. I read some reviews and found out that although they are based in the USA, they ship to the UK and it’s free if you spend over £20 on products.

The process of signing up was fairly straightforward. I answered a handful of detailed questions about my hair colour, hair treatment history, hair type, and even my eye colour, and then wrote a fairly lengthy message about what I hoped to achieve from colouring my hair. I attached a photo of my terrible ombré hair and chose my desired colour. It cost around £30 for my first box, because I also purchased a sulphate free, strengthening shampoo, and a toolkit for dyeing which included a tinting bowl and brush, some clips and a timer. It took just under two weeks to arrive, and I signed up for the subscription service to dye my hair every eight weeks as I knew it wouldn’t damage it so much if I did it less often. You are also able to opt for a one-off colour, but it costs more for each product if you do.

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So, when the package arrived I was excited and nervous. I hadn’t put any colour on my hair for two years, and I had a bad experience back then. But I was sure it would be OK as these people who made this dye made it for me, and they were professionals, right? Right. I followed the easy-to-read instructions (that come with a handy sticker so you can put them up on a wall for hands free reading – a huge bonus BTW) which were customised to my specially made formula, and watched a bunch of handy how-to videos as I went along. The toolkit really came in handy at this point and I was glad I ordered it. The result was a beautifully natural brown shade that was exactly the same colour from root to tip. Finally!

After several washes, I noticed the colour was going slightly too warm, and as my roots started to come through, I realised just how light the shade was, so I asked if they could make the next batch of dye more ashy and darker. They complied and my current colour is so close to my natural colour that I struggle to see when the roots grow out.

The customer service is fantastic – I even asked for some advice about scalp care as I suffer from dandruff from time to time – they suggested coconut oil, which works really well to soothe without damaging the colour.

All in all, I would 100% recommend eSalon as it’s so much more affordable, and with a little practise, colouring your hair at home is a doddle. It’s so much better than using a drugstore dye as it’s made especially for you. I love how sleek and well thought out everything is, from the packaging, to the website, to the instructions. I also love how easy and affordable it all is, and I absolutely LOVE my colour.

I’m looking at trying a lighter shade and using lightlab – eSalon’s version of DIY Balayage – after my wedding in the spring, and hoping eSalon can do it without making me ginger again. Fingers crossed. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Have you ever used eSalon? What did you think? Will you try it now? Let me know in the comments below.

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