Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bloggers Christmas Beauty Brawl 2016

This year I'm lucky enough to be taking part in the Bloggers Beauty Brawl for Christmas 2016. 

If you're unfamiliar with this, the basic idea is that a group of lovely ladies get together and review a list of ten products over the next ten days and mark them out of 100 in a "top trumps" way to battle it out for their best products. 

Now as you guys know I don't, and wont beat around the bush. If the item is rubbish I'm going to say it and score it accordingly. I will link all of the other lovely ladies' blogs down below if you want to go and see any of their reviews, also look out for the #beautybrawl2016 on Twitter and Instagram. 

Here is the list of products:

1. A moisturiser 
2. An eyeshadow palette 
3. A highlighter 
4. A mascara 
5. A blush 
6. A brow product 
7. A lipstick 
8. A Foundation 
9. A hand cream 
10. A concealer

Bloggers taking part:

Love and Light XxX

Sunday, 13 November 2016

I had Day Surgery and kept control of my Anxiety (warning graphic images)

June 2016, I noticed a small mark on the sole of my foot, about 1/2 a cm away from a mole that I've had in the arch of my foot for pretty much all of my adult life. I even tried to wipe this "mark off" in the shower, until I realised it was a new freckle, which of course is odd as freckles are usually signs of skin damage from exposure to the sun and your body producing melanin in that area as a result, and I don't go out in the sun as it is, let alone sunbathe or catch the sun on the sole of my foot.

Anyway, I kept an eye on it, but soon forgot about it, then August hit and I randomly thought to check it one night and discovered it had grown, and not only had it grown, it had doubled in size, it now had a white dot in the middle and my mole next to it had changed and extended and of course I freaked out. One of the down sides to studying beauty therapy and skin analysis is knowing all the nasty things your skin can do. I went to my GP who put me on a two week emergency referral to a Dermatologist, initially I had some serious issues, first of all my appointment letter was sent out THE DAY BEFORE my appointment, so I got it through the post while I was at work the morning of the appointment, and my post is usually around 11am and the appointment was for 10.30!!! So I phoned and explained what had happened and got a new referral, this extended the time from two weeks to 3, then as the new referral had been made to a Dermatologist that worked in a doctors in a town miles away from where I lived, I don't drive and i'd have had to taken two buses to get there, and with no lift available on the date I was originally given I then had to change that date too, so my two week emergency referral turned into a 4 week hell of worry and phone calls until I managed to get an appointment at my local hospital, and before I knew it I was sat nervously in outpatients waiting to get my moles looked at, with my friend Anna who came along for morel and anxiety support.
I felt sick just waiting for the examination. But my friend was a rock and kept me occupied.
When I entered the room I gave a brief explanation to the lady who was lovely and she requested I undressed down to my underwear and she looked over every mole I had, which is quiet a few. She seemed fine with all of my other moles, even though some had changed over the past few years it was more likely down to further damage than anything sinister but the one on my
foot and my "new addition" had to go. She wasn't happy with them one bit. The new one had irregular lines around the outside, white dot in the middle and the one I've always had on my arch had visibly extended. So again I was put on a two week emergency referral to the hospital...but that actually came through really quick and for the right place too. I was referred to a Plastic Surgeon who did a quick initial examination and then said he was happy to remove them under local anesthetic and he would send an appointment through ASAP. By this time it was mid October and I just wanted these moles gone.
I got a letter through really quick and it was for a date within two weeks (4th November) so I booked the day off work, and subsequently the week after too to allow for healing and nervously waiting for the 4th to roll around.
Now anyone with anxiety will know the wait is possibly the worst bit, and for me what made it even harder was on the letter it says you cant take anyone into day surgery with you. I wont lie. I freaked. Despite what these moles could be I was going to cancel and just hope for the best.

I ended up phoning the day surgery unit and explaining my situation with my mental health issues etc. and on the day I couldn't have asked for a better team to be there. They allowed my husband
through with me to wait in pre-op with me. They took my blood pressure when I got there and it was super high, I was shaking, nervous, felt sick, I wanted to run away, I was constantly on the edge of a panic attack. In fact I think if I hadn't have been distracted by work all the week previous and leading up to my operation I would have entered full melt-down. To most people these kid of operations may seem ridiculously minor but i'd never had anything like this before! I didn't know what to expect, I had to wait around in pre-op for ages and that just make everything worse. But with my husband there, and the loveliest nurses checking up on me, they put the TV on for me to distract me, got me to get changed, explained everything in detail to me so my anxiety wouldn't freak out. I got to sit with the surgeon beforehand and just explain my mind was being a poo. Which he laughed at the way I explained that I had a "logical" side of my brain and my anxiety side is like a small child, hyper on sugar and set on fire, let lose to run around and destroy every reasonable thought.
The operation was in a proper huge operating theater, like you see on tv, lights and surgical staff, and i'm guessing a few intrigued students too, (it's not every day someone grows a mole on the sole of their foot). There was a nurse there, who I want to say was an assistant too, but i'm not sure. she distracted me with talking about my tattoos, said she was a white witch, we talked about my work etc. she sat up by my head and held my hand, answered all my questions was the nicest human to me ever.
The worst part was the injections. I had 8, I think. It was the worst pain. I'd rather have my dental injections. Getting several injections in the sole of your foot is not how to spend a good friday afternoon. The surgeon was really quick, took a maximum of 15 min. stitched me up and I WALKED out of there. I have to put my weight on my heel encase of too much pressure on my stitches because of where they are placed and then was told I had to walk on my heel for two weeks until my stitches can be removed, so as of now that's a week today.

The evening and night after it stayed really numb. I used a crutch to add support as walking on my heal with my wonky legs and scoliosis aren't great when I don't have stitches! My brother and his mates took me to see a really late viewing of Doctor Strange which was amazing. It also meant we got back late enough for me to fall straight to sleep when I got back. I spent the Saturday morning with my sister buying hair colour and eating out, and I relied on my crutch a hell of a lot that morning. Then I spent the Saturday afternoon and evening sulking because I was in pain but wanted to see the fireworks and couldn't go. I was prescribed pain killers but the side effects of them far out weight just keeping weight off my foot and it stinging a bit so I chose not to take any. Although I did end up taking Ibuprofen because I ended up with a migraine all that Saturday and most of the Sunday probably due to stress.
The Sunday my mum and step dad took me out for a Christmas costa! whoop! and then brought me back home and I've pretty much been resting every since, other that another appointment and a quick
bus trip into town my husband and my cats have been looking after me really well and I've just got to wait for the stitches to be taken out before I can go back to work. Which is the most frustrating part. I don't like sitting around not doing anything, I don't like losing money and the worst part of the healing process is what I like to call the "20 min sting" where it just kills for 10-20min for no reason and then it's fine again. I'm hoping once the stitches are out that will stop.

I'll update this with the results when I get them, and probably how its healed after the stitches are out. Thanks for reading and remember to keep an eye on your moles and check your skin monthly at least!!! even if you don't sunbathe!!!!


Saturday, 12 November 2016

How to remove green hair (direct dye)

Well then, my beautiful faces!
We all knew this day would come...I'm proud I managed a whole 8/9 months with one hair colour (give or take a few minor changes), do you remember my blog post I published back in April, where I dyed my hair green, with the help of my beloved sister. and I SWORE I wouldn't change it for a long time, green was a ridiculously hard colour to remove so i'd keep it for ages... (link HERE)  well I did keep it for a good long while, in retrospect to the lifespan of previous hair colours and styles. But the green/turquoise mermaid epicness that was my hair is no more. I killed it.
...and now I'm ginger. Remember... I tried doing this the year before when I had Galaxy hair and the green just WOULDNT GO. (link to that one here)  well this time I found something that worked.

First of all a background on my hair. It was black, with green highlights, then black to green ombre, then I decided I wanted an all over green so I had it Alpine green, into Apple green, into Spring Green (all dyes are by La Reich Directions dyes) and then as we hit summer I went full mermaid turquoise.
Black to green Ombre

Alpine Green/ Apple Green/ Spring Green
Apple green all over

Multi Colour (I got bored but this faded within two washes)

I couldn't recommend La Riech dyes highly enough. They are long lasting and grab well on damaged hair. Especially the green and blue tones as they are horrific to get out. After doing a lot of research I found new products becoming available on the professional market that were specifically aimed at removing fashion colours and Direct Dyes; Joico Colour Intensity Eraser, Malibu DDL, and Loreal Efassor. 

I've not linked any of these as they are easy to find on amazon and ebay but range HUGELY in price. After looking at reviews I decided "screw this" and saved up to go get booked in at my local salon. After a consultation and getting all excited the timing and funds just werent going to be friends and I had to resort back to looking into DIY and risking it myself. And that's where my darling sister stepped in...(again).
After looking at reviews and youtube videos I decided to opt for the Joico Color Eraser as it has the best results and was designed for direct dyes, as was the malibu one but they were so expensive and I ended up finding the Efassor for sale in my local Sallys. (around £6.59 exc VAT) and I ended up getting that instead. Even though it says its for use on oxadised colours, so technically it wouldn't work on a Direct Dye, but the lovely girl in the salon said this was the product she was going to use to remove my green anyway so I figured its worth a shot! All these saches come with the option of different lifts depending on colour, saturation and damage to the hair. My hair was badly damaged but it needed a high lift so rather than mixing with water I chose 20Vol developer but I also mixed in some Color Secret 2 Step hair Strengthening system.  I've linked the salon/trade size pack which is £32.99 but I got a single shot "try me" kit for £2.99 also in sallys)
Before/After Indoors/After in Direct Sunlight
I mixed it together exactly as the instructions say and very carefully, quickly and evenly applied it all over my hair but I avoided my roots as it can still lighten your natural hair, I wrapped it in tinfoil (classy) and sat in the sun for even all over heat. After 20-30min I washed it off and voila!

 As you can see the results were pretty darn epic. I already had a whole pinterest board dedicated to my new colour but the dye I had bought to match came out quite "flat" when I did a test strip so my sister suggested we add another colour to the mix as a kind of toner, to create a multi-tonal effect. I knew that I still had some green residue and I wanted a Copper shade, but i'd need more red tones to cancel out any green still left in my hair so I opted for a slightly redder colour that originally wanted and equally the darker colour we added as a toner was red-based rather than copper based too. We added more of the 6/47 to the Roots then we did to the ends as the roots came up brighter than we wanted as they were still my natural colour. (I had about an inch re-growth).
I noticed my hair felt amazing as I was washing the dye off. I had a few rough feeling ends and a lot of breakages throughout this process due to now having very heavily processed hair, but i've just got to look after it and be nice to it now, and it shouldn't need re-colouring until my roots come through again.
But as you can see the results were epic. So much better than last years disaster which saw me give up on my redheaded dreams and go brown (then green) and although I know i'll miss my mermaid hair on occasion I feel a lot more like "me" as cleche as that may sound, with this vibrant copper/red colour. I will confess though that as soon as my hair is longer and healthier, so probably summer time, I do want it ombred, as my pinterest board is full of images of Lau P from Le But thats another adventure for in a few months time. Until then, if I ever have any money I may invest in some extentions instead! 


Friday, 11 November 2016

Make Up Revolution Haul (Tam Beauty)

Hello Beautiful Faces!
My blog posting was on such a roll, but life and tech issues are a plague upon the modern blogger!
Excuses aside...
I am a qualified make up artist. I'm allowed to have an unhealthy obsession with make up, but unlike other artists I have a low budget, no savings, I live pay to pay and sometimes cant afford to buy food... so when I do have spare money I don't really want to be spending ridiculous amounts on designer and trend make up. But I still want the outcome...and all I can say is THANK GOD FOR MAKE UP REVOLUTION.
I'm utterly in love. Its well priced, drugstore make up with the pay-off of a high quality brand, the added benefit of having vast amounts online, in store and being cruelty free too! BOOM

Over the past 5 months I've been picking up the odd item here and there so I thought i'd share them with you guys! I also created a couple of Halloween looks using these items AND I even did swatches of the lipsticks for you beauts! As usual links and current prices at time of posting are all below photos.

As much as I adore all their products I have to say the lipsticks have to be my favorite of them all.

(Left to Right)

Swatches (left to right) 
Chauffeur Matte, Chauffeur Rose gold, Private members club, Liberty Matte and Deepen.
 My first purchase was the Chauffeur in Rose gold, and I'm not going to lie, it was because of the packaging. My magpie mode engaged, I had £3 and a "F*ck it" moment. Then that lead into the pinky and berry shades, then the darkest berry matte and then Chauffeur in Matte because...well sometimes a girl needs a matte shade.

I also bought some of their Salvation liquid Lacquer- which I shall openly admit is not as good. It's a bit drying, if you eat with it on it seems to go powdery and its STAINS. I bought the shades "Velvet Vamp", "Velvet Reble" and "Velvet Black Heart", another disappointing part of this was Vamp and Black heart are identical shades. If i took the stickers off the packaging I wouldnt be able to tell them apart except in opacity. They also take a really long time to dry! 

and then stained for hours after...
They can all be found HERE and are all £3.00

 Next is Palettes. I have 3 eye shadow Palettes and one blush Palette and every morning it is always an annoying choice between them all as I usually want to wear all of them. But they all cater to my inner unicorn as much as my inner goth.

Mermaids Vs Unicorns £4.00
The colour pay off on this isnt as intense as you may think first off but it is totally worth the extra effort to drag across another layer. Shades are easily bendable and all of them pretty much work with one another. There are a few shades with added glitter just to appease that inner unicorn!

This was actually my first ever Make up Revolution item and it's now about a year old. I bought it because at the time I had just coloured my hair bright green and I wanted the brights to contrast with my hair. Its well used and still not touched pan!


Flawless Matte £8.00
This is for my inner goth and grunge days. Every single shade in this palette is highly pigmented, and some even come out a lot darker than they are in their pans. I am very pale so do take into consideration that any colours will appear more pigmented on a blank canvas. But I truly Adore this palette. (there's now a flawless matte 2)

I use this every day. I use the bottom right, non shine brown for contouring, the 3rd top for my blush and the white for highlight. And when i'm doing bridal make up i use bottom row and second in for blush as it has a pigment to it that also acts as a highlight and the soft rose colour works on all skin types and is amazing on every bride. 

Odds: Individual eye shadows and highlight.
Make up Revolution Eye shadow £1.00 each!!! There are loads of colours to chose from I have "Insomnia, Purple Heaven and Good Life"

(Pink lights is no longer available on there website so I linked a coral highlight called "Rose Gold Lights")

(if you ever see my amazing cat-eye I usually wear daily on my Instagram, THIS is what I used)

If you've made it this far down the post here are some bonus Halloween pics using Make up Revolution products!