Wedding Emergency Action Plan

Two posts in one week – shocking! Once you’ve recovered from the double post, you can fall over again when you read the title. But do not fear – I am not having an emergency wedding! But my cousin is getting married! It’s not an emergency wedding, but a wedding that I’ve only decided this week to attend… did I mention the wedding is in London?

Wedding Emergency Action Plan has kicked into gear – flights were booked yesterday (I leave in 2 days), outfits were selected over the weekend (I hate everything I own), and jewellery was coordinated overnight (I was less than impressed with my options). My WhatsApp has been going crazy with messages back and forth with my cousins, as well as with the bride. I’ll be staying at the brides’ mum’s place, because I want to be in the thick of the action. I’ve decided to forgo professional hair styling and makeup in lieu of my own skills, but it does mean I have to plan wisely – makeup can weigh a lot! My mum will be going with me, so we are both getting things organised for the next day or so.

After some discussion with a cousin regarding my makeup and skincare routine to prep for this wedding, she commented that my mum and I seemed to have a “Wedding Emergency Action Plan” – once given the sign, we started implementing it immediately. I figured it would make for a good blog post!

Wedding Emergency

So my beauty wedding emergency action plan actually started over the weekend – I had quite orange ends in my hair, from all the sun and usual wear & tear that occurs on blonde tones. I called in the Fudge Clean Blonde Toning Shampoo – this stuff works a treat. It’s not the easiest stuff to use; it requires gloves and time, but it definitely does the job. Work up a lather in your hair, then let in sit for up to 5 minutes – it’s the sitting part that is tough for me. I really recommend gloves, and if you do it in the shower like me, try to wash away any splash back immediately. Along with the shampoo, I use the Moroccan Oil Hydrating Mask – regular readers will know I really rate this product. This just involves a bit more time; this one needs to sit for up to 10 minutes. So really, once you use these two together, you need a solid block of extra time with your regular hair washing.

Next is all the pre-skincare work I need. My skin already feels terrible post-Hawaii, so I really need to brighten it up in a few days. Adding in another flight (25 hours, at that) which will deliver me to London 24 hours before the wedding isn’t exactly ideal for beautiful skin. So I’m planning to do the stuff that I’ve only ever read about – inflight skincare. The plan at this stage is to do the SK-II Facial Mask either Wednesday night or Thursday morning – I knew I hoarded the mask for 11 months for a reason. I am expecting pretty spectacular results, but I need to maintain them during the flight. I’ve got my Caudalie Beauty Elixir ready to spray inflight (suddenly travel size seems like a wise purchase) as well as another great mask to apply – the Glam Glow! My plan at this stage is to use the Yes to Cucumbers wipes to keep myself feeling fresh, use the spray as a toner, and then once I’m on the second leg of the journey from Abu Dhabi, to slap on the Glam Glow mask and go to sleep. I’ve hoarded some Glam Glow sachets from Sephora, so it will be easy to take on board. I’m due to arrive in London at midday on Friday, and need to hit the ground running.

So, wish me luck! It’s my first family wedding in 8 years, so I’d really appreciate not looking old and weathered, hence my sudden commitment to inflight skincare. Let’s hope that no irritation occurs…

Advertisements

Trying to be a beautiful brunette…

Well weren’t you a wonderful little surprise, Beautiful Brunette? After years of committing myself as a John Frieda Brilliant Brunette devotee, I never really gave any other coloured shampoos a chance – very racist of me.

Now my hair tale is essentially this – I am brunette. I don’t have dark ethnic locks, I don’t have mousey brown hair – I have a fairly classic brunette colour. A sucker for a trend, I started getting balayage (ombre) done to it about a year ago, and each visit I get lighter and lighter (sometimes intentional, sometimes not so intentional). Post USA, my hair was a darling shade of orange, and I understand the pain of those who have blonde highlights – it is so hard to maintain! Most Friday’s I get a bit of time to browse Priceline, which is one of my favourite past times. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for me to walk out not having spent any money. One particularly orange-y day, I browsed the hair section, particularly the blonde toners. $15 for a bottle I will rarely use wasn’t enough to convince me, so instead I started browsing some of the bargain bins – and discovered the Beautiful Brunette range.

BB shampoo

$6.90 – minimal risk. It was marked down by about $1, but I’m also a sucker for marketing – slap a pink piece of paper on it Priceline, and I’m interested. I picked up the above shampoo, and the below conditioner (Argan Smooth Deep Moisture Conditioner), and figured my hair couldn’t end up any worse.
ArganSmoothConditioner

These were both a very good find! The shampoo seemed to take a bit of the orange brassiness of my highlights off, and the conditioner was looovely. I returned the following week, and bought another pair. If you’re going to give one of the two a chance, I really recommend the conditioner – the combo is nice, but I think the real winner is the conditioner. It’s very moisturising, and smells quite nice. It has a bit of a shimmer to it when squeezed out of the bottle, but don’t let that scare you off – it doesn’t seem to transfer into your hair. I noticed quite an improvement after only a few uses – combine this with coconut oil, and you’ll be unstoppable!

Would I buy it again? Already have – I think it’s a more competitively priced version of Brilliant Brunette.
Who would I recommend it to? Anyone who wants serious moisture – or wants to maintain a decent brunette colour.
Is it value for money? It’s fairly normal shampoo pricing, so yes.
How can you get it? Priceline has plenty of stock – I also spotted it tonight in Big W for $4.80.

Sunday Night Pamper (April)

It’s Pamper Night time… let’s light a candle. This month, I’m lighting up an Ecoya candle ‘Midnight Orchid’. I had waited for weeks for this to go on sale in Myer, and it finally did… and unfortunately was a bit of a let down. The scent pay off just wasn’t enough for me, so I’ll be lighting something different next month.

pamper night april

Hop in the shower, and I’m still using The Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub, but I’ve amped it up by adding in The Body Shop Exfoliating Gloves. This was a tip from my Pac Fair lovin’ QLD friend, Waj, and I’ve noticed a steady increase in the smoothness of my legs. I get a lot of ingrowns on the back of my legs, and since using these gloves in conjunction with the scrub, I haven’t had a single ingrown!

I’m washing my locks with John Frieda’s Brilliant Brunette Shampoo & Conditioner. This is a former love of mine, and I was recently told that Chemist Warehouse sells it for $20 for the 2 – very tempting! It was enough to revive my love for it, but I ended up picking it up from Coles for $11 each (I figured I would lose $2 in petrol going to Chemist Warehouse?).

This month, I’m lathering up with The Body Shop’s Honeymania Shower Gel, and am bloody lovin’ it. As soon as I started using it, I loved it, and rushed back to The Body Shop to buy the lotion – but they don’t sell a lotion (yet)!

I’m still using the Clarisonic, just like last month, but this pamper month, I’m using the QV Face Gentle Cleanser. I think QV is so underrated, and very soon I’ll be doing a blog post about the two QV Face products that I love.

Hop out of the shower, and I’m applying the Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil. This was a deluxe sample I picked up when buying some other products from the Clarins counter, and damn, it’s a gorgeous product.

The final piece of my pamper night is my skincare – this month I’ve done my masks midweek, to help cut the time down on my pamper – so it’s straight to leave on stuff. This is my absolute favourite product of the month, Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil ‘Dehydrated Skin’ (reviewed here). I cannot get enough of this oil, the smell is just gorgeous. Even better – the results are quite noticeable, and pleasing – I’m waking up looking more refreshed, my skin is looking really bright and awake, and I may have even noticed a decrease in my hyperpigmentation! But really, even if it didn’t do anything, the smell alone is worth it! (They also have 2 other facial oils – one for oily skin, and one for dry skin).

Until next month’s pamper night… 

pamper nightProduct List (RRP)
Ecoya Candle – $35.95 [Myer]
The Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub – $19.99 [Priceline]
The Body Shop Exfoliating Gloves – $8.95
John Frieda Brilliant Brunette – $17.95 [Coles]
The Body Shop Honeymania Shower Gel – $12.95 (250mL)
QV Face Gentle Cleanser – $9.39 (250mL) [Chemist Warehouse]
Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil – $62.00 [Myer]
Clarins Blue Orchid Facial Treatment Oil – $49.00 [Myer]

Slap it on… Coconut Oil

Here’s to a new week! My work slows down a bit for the next fortnight, so hopefully I’ll have some time to do some serious testing, reviewing and blogging. I kicked it off yesterday with picking up my first Clarins products. I think I’m one of the last people in my circle of beauty-obsessed friends to use Clarins, but hey, never late than never. If you’re interested in Clarins, stay tuned as I will review what I bought very soon.

Something else that has recently entered my life is Coconut Oil. I bought a jar of this last year, in the hope of using it for cooking, but that never eventuated. I’m far more likely to use something new in beauty than in cooking. Now, there are tonnes of reviews and how-to’s about coconut oil hair masques on the interweb, so I’m not going to pretend that this is something innovative and unique in the beauty blogging world. It’s super simple, and something I’ve wanted to try out for quite a while. The steps are easy and no-fuss – basically scoop out a tablespoon sized blob of coconut oil (for those who don’t know, coconut oil is a solid oil) and rub it in your hands. It immediately melts into an oil, and you can go ahead and slap it straight into your hair. I applied enough that my hair was completely coated, but not dripping. I probably used about 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil, as my hair is medium-long in length. It was coated enough that I could braid my severely layered hair, and not use any bobby pins to secure the short strands at the front of my head.

Image

Now, I’ve used this in two different time formats – I’ve left it in overnight, and also left it in for about 1-2 hours in the evening. Interestingly, they yielded fairly similar results – in fact, I was a bit more pleased with the 1-2 hour application, than the overnight. I slept with a towel over my pillow, and as a night-time bather, had to allocate morning hair washing time, which goes against what I am trained for – so perhaps I had huge expectations for such a commitment? The 1-2 hour application meant I slapped it on after the gym, sat and watched some TV, then washed it out – basically I swapped the hair washing and TV watching around – no biggie.

Either way, the result was quite luxurious. Soft and shiny hair – what we all want, right? To wash it out, I took the advice of a You-Tube tutorial, and washed it three times to make sure all the oil was out. Three times seems to work a treat, I’ve had no trouble removing all the oil with this formula. I didn’t want to be completely wasteful with my shampoo, so really worked up a lather with a small amount of shampoo each time – it’s really what I should do every time I wash my hair, but clearly I have an inconsistent conscience.

I’ve got colour treated hair with blonde balayage at the ends, which I’ve been religiously applying a leave-in hair oil to since having it first done in May of last year. Coconut oil has reduced the need for this constant application, so I can only guess that the claims that coconut oil is very nourishing, must be true!

I picked up my coconut oil jar for $6.95 at my local Woolworths – it was easy to find in the health food aisle. Do yourself a favour, try it out. There is no residual smell from the oil, it just smells a bit nutty when it’s in your hair, and the mess factor was nil.

And needless to say… I’m typing this post with the oil in my hair.

A masque to end all masques?

‘Finally!’ scream my hoards of readers. Finally I am reviewing a birthday present product! As I mentioned in a earlier post, my best friend gave me an amazing assortment of products for my birthday last month, under the conditions that they would feature and be reviewed in this blog. Now, this pushes my usual rules, which is to hoard beautiful things and save everything for a special occasion. All but one of the gifts definitely fall into special occasion category, but MO’s directions were very clear – and I can safely assume she did not mean to save it for a special occasion and then review it in 2 years time after a grand total of 10 uses.

So one of the delightful products is from a line that I haven’t used much, but love the idea of – MoroccanOil. I don’t know a thing about the science of this product, I stupidly assume it’s from some precious tree in Morocco, where they have squeezed all the oil out of the leaves, for my hair’s pleasure. I don’t care to correct this ridiculous assumption. In reality, it’s a mass-produced factory-made product packed with chemicals. But what intrigues me is… do these chemicals do anything for my hair?

Firstly, the packaging of this product is delightful – it screams fancy and was such a nice surprise to discover in my birthday gift. I love the colour of the MoroccanOil brand, that beautiful turquoise blue, with a hint of teal. This masque comes in a tub with a screw top lid (250mL). The tub instructions state to apply it to towel-dried hair for 5-7 mins, 1-2 times weekly, and less frequently once hair improves.

I’ve used it for the past 3 weeks, and used it as often as prescribed. I won’t lie, it is a total pain in the butt to use. It may be less annoying if you have a different bathroom set up. I don’t have a hand-held shower head that can be removed, so if I want the shower head, I have to be in the shower. So for me to use this product, I’m getting in the shower, washing my hair, cleansing etc., then getting out, towel drying my hair, applying the masque, waiting 5-7 minutes (this is death!) and then getting back into the shower. Obviously a person with a portable shower head can just lean into the bathtub and rinse the masque out, but alas I do not have this luxury. Having said that, as much as I’ve bitched about it, that process is actually fine (in the warmer months – I dread winter use). The process is actually what makes it kind of luxurious – it can’t be used quickly and hurriedly, you really have to have time to use it, which by default means you will be more relaxed and therefore enjoy it more. Maybe? That seemed to be the case for me anyway.

MoroccanOil Masque

The masque itself is lovely – it is as thick as I would have liked, the smell is nice (though I do know others who don’t care for the smell), and it’s easy to apply the desired amount. It washes out easily and quickly, and leaves no scent afterwards. The actual result afterwards is noticeably smoother hair. I was pretty impressed during the first week of use, my hair is definitely due for a cut, colour and treatment, and this seems to have bought me a bit of extra time. I did notice a lot of hair loss afterwards, but this could be due to the extra man handling of my hair. I lose a lot normally, but there was definitely a noticeable increase.

Overall, it’s a great product. It is quite expensive though, and this would definitely factor into my repurchase decision. I’ve been a long time user of the Pantene 3-minute Miracle Treatment, which is much easier to use in the shower and doesn’t involve as much fuss. I really rate that treatment, which comes with a price tag of $6.99 for 3 tubes. This masque definitely makes for a great gift for a beauty lover, and I will definitely scrape the tub to finish this off.

Would I buy it again? Potentially. It’s pretty expensive ($49.50), and there are definitely cheaper products on the market that do as good a job.
Who would I recommend this to? Anybody needing serious moisture for their hair. It definitely adds a tonne of moisture and gives you very soft locks.
Is it value for money? It does do what it claims, so in that sense, yes. However, there are a lot of other masques and treatments on the market that are worth trialling.
How can you get it? Hairdressing salons, as well as online (www.activeskin.com.au is one supplier).
‘Till next time, reader.