Friday, 30 December 2011

Bumble and Bumble Quenching Shampoo & Conditioner

I don't know why, but this winter has played utter havoc with my hair. It hasn't even been that cold, but it has been chronically dry for weeks now and styling was verging on a total impossibility, due to the fly-away-ness of it.

The perms I have to add texture & body obviously dry my hair to a certain extent, but that's always been manageable. Recently, I've been finding it harder to form 'natural' curls, with the perm just looking frizzy and if I left it straight, it would be sticking to my face & generally just being a big ol' ball of static. It was getting so bad, I was using a giant blob of intensive hair masks each day instead of a regular conditioner, just to try & keep it under control!

I wouldn't normally spend £45 on shampoo & conditioner but I was desperate! My hairdresser used to use Bumble & Bumble and my hair always looked incredible, so when I was in John Lewis the other day, I bit the bullet & picked up the Quenching range.


When I smelled it in the shop, I was not impressed, but once it was on my noggin, the smell was light, fresh; a bit apple-y without a fruity chemical overload like Herbal Essences.

From the first use, my hair has been transformed. Unlike other 'intense' products I've used, my hair still blow-dries full of body and doesn't freak out when I take my red-hot GHDs to it, to smooth the ends. Perfect! My only concern is that I will not be able to live without these 2 little bottles from now on & it will cost me a fortune!



I struggled to find a UK Bumble & Bumble site, which is why the link is to the US, but it is available in-store at John Lewis.

Monday, 26 December 2011

GHD Scarlet Collection

Christmas came a day early in the BBB household when I collected this from the post office depot, delivered from the lovely peeps at GHD HQ.

This the latest Classic Styler from the GHD Scarlet Collection. The styler is the Gold Classic but with gorgeous red plates (which are sparkly!).


The collection comes in a beautiful art-deco inspired box with a gorgeous red satin carry-case and heat mat. There are also 2 clips included for when you're styling away!




One of the first things I noticed when I took mine out the box was how light it was. I thought it was something I was just imagining, but then weighed it against my old stylers (which are a good 5 years old) and there was a noticeable difference. Then, I read the back of the box and whaddya know? This is their 'lighter body' model! So, in summary, these stylers are light!

As someone who mostly uses their stylers to create curls, I was really pleased to see how curved the barrel is, allowing the hair to glide through. The edge of the plates is quite rounded too and I've noticed that these don't create that line where you first apply them, before pulling them through. Will be particular good for those who use straighteners on their fringe.

Most noticeable was how cool the outer casing remains whilst I'm using them. Curling requires a lot of handling of the area around the plates and husband is used to me squeaking F%*K@NG OWWW on a regular basis when I'm doing my hair. But these were cool and a pleasure to use.



If you are sitting with a pile of Christmas Cash, wondering what to spend it all on, then I wouldn't hesitate to highly recommend a pair of these. This collection is £129 and with free delivery.

I will have a video up in time for New Year's Eve, demo-ing how to achieve the perfect GHD curl. In the meantime, I'm going back to my dressing table to admire them. Look... how pretty!

These were sent for review purposes, but all opinions are my own

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Festive Nails - Essie 'A Cut Above'

It's Christmas Eve! The next 3 or 4 days will be a constant merry-go-round of visiting, drinking, eating and general merriment and I always find at this time of year, nails need to scream PARTY but be very low maintenance.

Gorgeous nails (in my book) are one of the ultimate accessories, meaning my outfits can be a bit more low-key, but I still feel a bit glam. I've had this beautiful gem of a polish in my store for about a month, but this is the first time I've tried it out and what better time to start!





This is 3 coats over bare nails. I was going to put a base colour under but when I tested it out, it looked so pretty & delicate on it's own I decided just to go with it. I'm surprised at how smooth it has dried and I haven't bothered with a top coat. The best thing is if it chips slightly over the next few days, it will be disguised and I can get through the party season without fretting!



Sunday, 18 December 2011

Chanel Lumiere Scultpee De Chanel

I nipped to the Chanel counter the other day to re-purchase their amazing loose face powder Poudre Universelle Libre in Clair and whilst I was waiting on the Sales Assistant finding me one, this caught my eye.

The Lumiere Sculptee De Chanel is a compact highlighting powder that claims to light the face with "an ivory halo sprinkled with golden and pearly particles".

The compact on display looked fairly mundane, just like a block of peach powder. I was about to turn my nose up, when the SA presented a brand new one to me. The intricate design is gorgeous, apparently inspired by a baroque-esque belt worn by Coco Chanel. It is one of these things of beauty that I knew I was going to buy, before I'd even swatched it. I'm SUCH a sucker!

So anyway, I swatched the one on display and the payoff was a gorgeous satin peach that didn't look at all glittery. I gave a nod of the head to the SA and the deal was done. Imagine how disappointed I was when I got mine home to discover it was a block of silver glitter!! Noooooo! Once I'd calmed down, I realised it was just overspray and a few swipes of a brush soon got rid. I don't know why brands bother with overspray, it just annoys me.

Don't be put off by how glittery it looks - this was pre-overspray removal

Now it's back to it's normal peachy satin non-glitter state, I have been using this across my whole face, not just as a highlighting powder. In fact, as a highlighter it's pretty cack, as it doesn't have anywhere near enough glow. But as a face powder, it's bloody incredible!! I was a bit worried it would be too sparkly, but it just gives the skin that beautiful finish that you'd pay £££'s in microdermabrasion for.

For me, this is a massive win. Unfortunately, it seems it's limited edition as it's part of the christmas collection. I'm seriously considering a couple of back-ups. I think it was £41, but it's a fairly hefty size that should last a while. Anything that can have that effect on my skin is worth it!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Heeled Winter Boots

Living in the north of Scotland, footwear causes outfit dilemmas for a large proportion of the year, particularly in winter. It can be icy, wet and snowy all in one day and usually by about January I've given up trying to look stylish and resorted to my ski jacket, thermal leggings and hiking boots.

Heels are definitely not my thing when the temperature plummets (I am far too accident prone to risk it) but I do miss the height and spend a lot of winter feeling a bit frumpy in flat, functional boots. I think these are my winter-wooly saviour!!


These are so so comfy - I wore them to a job yesterday which included 6hrs driving & 5hrs on my feet and they were great. The heel is not too high so the balls of my feet weren't burning and I wasn't desperate to kick them off at the end of the day.

The sheepskin-esque lining goes down to the ankles and even though the foot section isn't lined, they are super cosy.


The sole has a kind of rubbery feel, so completely non-slip.


I have been wearing mine with my skinny jeans tucked it, with the tops of the boots just left to kind of do what they want. I'm looking forward to wearing them with thick tights and skirts too.

Screen shot 2011-12-17 at 07.56.25

Just to prove how versatile they can be, this pic is of the boots plunged into a foot of snow! I went for a bit of a trek through Glenshee on my way home last night and stopped to take some pics. Clambering to get a good view & my boots kept my feet dry & warm. My socks weren't even the slightest bit damp!


Now, I'm sure you're all wondering where you can get your mitts on a pair! Soooo - these are from Primark & cost £18!!!! They had them in black and I think there was also blue. I think I'm going back for a black pair and possibly a back-up brown pair. Mine are a size 6 and fit perfectly, with a little room for extra thick wooly socks.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Party Nails

I'm back!! Not that I technically went anywhere, but boy have I been busy!! Work is off the chart at the moment, I've been squeezing in 3 Personal Training sessions a week at the gym, on top of my regular work outs and with Christmas coming, I've barely stopped for breath!

First Christmas party of the season was on Friday and to celebrate (and a chance to relax in my favourite city salon) I headed on over to Preen Beauty for a Bio Sculpture manicure with a twist! Check out my party nails!!

These were created by applying 2 coats of black gel, then pressing pink glitter on with the tip of a sponge. I went for 1 accent nail on each hand where the glitter was applied over and the rest of the nails have a graduated effect. Love!!




Sunday, 20 November 2011

ow ow ow

Excuse me while I digress from all things beautiful to bring you a blog post on all things evil.

Yesterday, I had a PT session at the gym. Occasionally we do circuits and usually I manage without too much complaining. Enter the kettlebell. *shudders*. If you've never used a kettlebell, let me appraise you of all the information you'll ever need. They are of Russian origin. They are heavy. They are MEAN!
The exercises were not overly complicated & didn't look too bad when being demonstrated. I am used to my PT making everything look easy, but even by those standards, I figured these couldn't be too bad. A few squats? *shrugs*

(don't know what the fluck she's smiling about)

Today, I am dying. Every fibre of every muscle is in utter agony. I can't bend my right leg to walk properly and my arms are being supported by pillows to reach the keyboard to type up this post. I literally would sleep on the road.


I fully expect to look like this in a few more classes. non?


Just for fun, doesn't everyone's Zumba classes look like this?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Lush Snow Fairy

I must have been living under a rock for the last few years as it is only in the last fortnight that I discovered Lush Snow Fairy shower gel. An annually limited edition product that comes out each year around November, it is Lush's No1 Christmas best seller and it is absolutely delicious. It's so popular, in fact, it has its own Facebook page!!


Lush say it smells of 'candy floss and pear drops' and I'd say it's probably even sweeter than that. It's like sticking your head in a bag of pic 'n' mix. It is shot through with blue silver sparkles that look pretty when you're using it, but don't leave you covered in glitter after. I've found it's gentle enough to use on my hair & if you do, the heat from the hairdryer will make the yummy sweet smell fill the room.



This year, you can also pick up the Magic Wand Bubble Bar, a solid version of the shower gel that can be used in the bath. Will make fabulous stocking fillers those extra girly girls!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Getting my Twig on

I've been loving bottom lash mascaras recently, giving my eye makeup a whole new dimension. The 2 I've been using are Clinique's Bottom Lash Mascara and Daniel Sandler's Baby Jet Mascara.


The brushes are completely different, with the Baby Jet probably quite suitable for short lash owners to use on their upper lashes too. Baby Jet is slightly more difficult to use on the lower lashes as the wand is so long, meaning you can't 'wiggle' as much as the Clinique. The result is more 'dainty' looking lashes.

I like both results and sometimes find the Clinique means I'm a little heavy handed, resulting in quite heavy looking lashes. The real test for this product is smudgeability. In this contest, Clinique wins hands down. This stuff does not move, whereas I find the Baby Jet moves at the sign of the slightest hint of oilyness around my eyes. If you don't have oily lids, you'll get a super performance out of either.


Daniel Sandler Baby Jet

Clinique Bottom Lash

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Bare Necessities

A few weeks ago, I wasn't feeling 100% and went to work with no makeup on. One of my colleagues I have worked with for years didn't recognise me and it got me to thinking if I wear too much makeup and how I take for granted the adjustments I can make to my face each day without even really thinking about it.

When I take my makeup off at the end of the night, I always do one side of my face first, then the other side. I thought this would be a fun way to compare the difference between a made-up face and a bare face!

This is just my quick & easy office makeup; tinted moisturiser, a wash of a neutral eye colour, some mascara & a sweep of blush.

What do you think?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Bourjois Ultra Care Mascara

I very rarely review mascara. My reasons are 3-fold; 1 - I generally find them bloody boring, 2 - I find mascara a very individual product & results are not guaranteed and 3 - I very very rarely find a mascara that actually does a good job!

Bourjois' Volume Glamour Ultra Care Mascara for Sensitive Eyes has come totally out of left field & has completely blown me away. I literally look forward to using it every morning, which I know is weird.


I am a through & through waterproof mascara fan. I struggle to remember my last non-waterproof mascara. But after removing my latest round of semi-permanent lashes, my poor wee lashes were sparse, brittle & very delicate and my go-to tube of MUFE's Aqua Smokey Lash just wasn't cutting it. I scoured Boots for something cheap but gentle that I could use for just a couple of weeks, whilst my lashes went into respite.

I chose this specifically because it claimed to be for sensitive eyes. It had the word 'care' in it, so I was sold. It was either that or I didn't wear mascara at all. I didn't expect much (I am famously not a fan of Bourjois), there were no testers and so I had very low expectations. I have never been so wrong about a product (I actually feel a little guilty for being so harsh on big ol B).


The bristles on the brush are soft and there's no 'stabby' feeling along your lash line as this goes on. The formula is nice & wet, but there's no splodging. I've been using this for about 4 weeks now and it's still nice & wet. There's lots of good things I could say, but the absolute, without a doubt, stand out feature is the fact it doesn't smudge. I have oily lids which is the reason I normally opt for waterproof formulas, but this stuff doesn't budge! I wear it to the gym every night (and I am a girl who doesn't feel like I've achieved unless I have sweat dripping down my face) and not once have I gotten home to find I have sweaty black streaks down my cheeks. It is incredible.

Since I've started using it, my eyelashes have returned to their normal, full selves. They are in superb condition and look great with this mascara applied. I can't see any reason why I would go back to any of my former favourites and think this has secured it's place in my makeup bag long-term. Plus, at about £6, it's about 1/2 the price of any of the others I would normally use. Result!