Sunday, 26 July 2015

Nano-Keratin Treatment Review

For the longest time I've been thinking abut getting a keratin smoothing treatment on my hair but I've put it off because I've not known where to go, what brand to go for and because it's expensive and I'd be rather pissed off if I'd spent that much money on something that doesn't work.
Since I had my hair cut shorter it's actually become more un-mangeable, I can't leave it to dry naturally because it dries a kinky mess and when I blow it out it becomes frizzy so I the have to use a flat iron on it to make it look decent.

before: hair slept on wet

before: hair blow dried

Add in the fact that I'm going back home on holiday soon and would like to have some half decent pictures of me where I don't have to have my hair scraped back off my face in an attempt to make it look okay.

I finally decided to take the plunge and booked an appointment at Umberto Giannini's in Selfridges Birmingham as this is the place I last got a cut from.
I had to have a consultation first so they could assess my hair strength and texture, my expectations of the product and pricing, I booked and appointment then and there as I was so fed up with the barnet.

What is it?
It's a semi-permanent blow dry designed to make your hair more manageable by reducing frizz and speeding up the time you spend styling your hair. It also infuses your hair with keratin increasing hair strength and shine. The result vary depending on hair texture, this isn't a chemical relaxer but rather a smoothing treatment, think "your hair but better" and should last beetween 3-6 months depending on hair type and how you look after it.

The Process
My hair was washed twice with a clarifying shampoo to make sure that all product build up was removed and to lift the hair cuticle as this will help the product work more effectively, then my hair was rough dried to a frizzy ball of fuzz.
My stylist Ryan then began taking small 1inch sections and painting them with the smoothing solution which essentially looks like a thick conditioner and combing out the excess so that the hair is coated but not dripping, I was then left for half hour to chill on my phone while the keratin treatment worked it's magic.
Then the hair is blow dried with the treatment still in it and then a flat iron is used to "seal" in the product, there was a lot of smoke coming off the hair at this stage and this is where most people complain about the fumes stinging their eyes or making them cough but I was fine and could barely smell the product.
Once that is done the treatment is complete! I was told not to get my hair wet, put it in a ponytail or tuck it behind my ears for three days, my hair was very flat, completely pin straight and  felt coated but not as much as I expected it to.
I ended up buying the shampoo and conditioner that they recommend because you have to use sulfate and sodium free shampoo otherwise it strips the keratin off your hair and off I went praying that this treatment would be worth the money.

What about formaldehyde? 
As far as I'm aware it's formaldehyde free but if I'm totally honest I'm not that fussed, there's chemical in everything and a lot of it is scaremongering. Trust me even if it's formaldehyde free it will have another chemical in it's place because the reality is keratin on it's own will not smooth your hair out.
If your scared of chemical don't get it done simple as that!

Day 1
I can't get used to how pin straight it looks and it feels quite flat to my head. My hair feels slightly coated but not as bad as I thought it would, by the end of the evening my hair and scalp feel slightly greasy but not un-bearable.

Day 2
I wake up with my hair stuck to my face and I'm starting to resemble Severus Snape I'm that greasy!
I really didn't think this would be so hard but I can't wait to wash my hair and get back some volume in 
the roots.

Day 3
I'm not gonna lie I was counting down the hours till I could finally was my hair, it felt so gross! I looked oily, it felt oily and quite frankly by now I was scaring members of the public because I seriously looked like I'd not washed my hair in weeks, for me the whole "3 day rule" was the worst part of this treatment by far!
The first thing I did when I got home was jump in the shower and I could tell straight away that my hair felt different, normally when I wash it it becomes a tangled mess but my fingers where gliding trough and my hair felt a lot smoother and silkier even while wet.

The Result

after: hair slept on wet

after: hair blow dried with paddle brush

I let my hair air dry after I washed it the fist time and it dried mostly straight with a slight wave and not a single bit of frizz in sight, I was actually amazed! I then proceeded to prance around my living room winding up the little sister about how easy my hair will be to look after when we are on holiday in a few weeks time, she told me to do one, lol
I went out the next day and got caught in the rain and my hair staid smooth instead of resembling Hermoine Granger pre-frizz ease!
The second time I washed it I blow dried it with a brush, it took me 10 minutes to do and looked better then when I use straighteners on it!
For me it's worked better than I expected it to and I wish I had done it sooner! It's made my hair so easy to manage and it's improved the condition of my damaged hair making it feel softer and look shinier.

I got mine done at Umberto Giannini's in Selfridges Birmingham by Ryan but Mark does them too. You will need to book a consultation prior to scheduling an appointment as they have to assess you hair before they can quote you a price.
Call 0121 6333434 for more information.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Review: Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam in Dark & Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk

I'm one of those people that loves being tanned but I'm aware of how damaging the sun is and I end up feeling guilty that I've ruined my skin if I sit in it for too long.
I'm also one of those people that hates the process of self tanning because it takes ages to put on, you spend the next 6-8 hours feeling sticky waiting for it to dry, you stink in the process and it never look natural.

I've tried every tan imaginable and while some of them have been awful (think oompa loompa who's eaten to many carrots) others have been okay but not enough for me to use them on a regular basis.
My main problem is that while I'm fair I like to look dark and most self tanners marketed to my skin tone either make me look yellow or orange.
I kept seeing pictures of Bondi Sand on Instagram and people raving about it on Youtube saying that it was the most natural dark tan even on fair skin so I picked up a few products while they where on sale in Superdrug.

Self Tanning Foam Dark 
The best self tanning foam you will ever use, period! This gives the darkest, most realistic looking tan of any product I've ever used, I use a mitt and the guide colour helps it go on really evenly.
The colour is a true brown with a olive undertone, no trace of orange here, it literally looks like I've spent a week in the Bahamas!
It's a mousse so it does dry my skin out but as long as I moisturise daily I'm fine, if I don't moisturise my skin I do find that it will fade quite patchy on me but again this isn't down to the product but more my lack of aftercare.

Gradual Tanning Milk
My favourite product, hands down! I normally hate gradual tanners because they take ages to soak into the skin and I don't see a difference. This one is great because it soak in straight away, moisturises my skin and leaves me with a nice subtle but visible tan, it's also perfect to top up your existing tan.
It smells just like cocoa butter and this one does not have that typical "fake tan" smell so there's no need for a shower in the morning!

Bondi Sands can be found on the Bondi Sands website or in Superdrug if your in the UK.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick Review and Swatches

I was first introduced to the world of Gerard Cosmetics by Jaclyn Hill on youtube, I love that girl's tutorials and 1995 looked liked the perfect Kylie Jenner lip colour.
I placed an order but to be honest I wasn't expecting much, I'm always sceptical of products and brands that are over-hyped on youtube.

I will go ahead and say that these are currently my favourite lipsticks of all time!!! That's quite a bold statement for me as lipstick is my favourite makeup thing to buy, but I'm 100% telling you all that these are amazing!

(Nude, Buttercup, 1995, French Toast, Underground, Tequila Sunrise, Lilac Moon, Cherry Cordial)

Okay, so I don't love the packaging, it's a bit too "blingy" for me and it also feels quite flimsy but the product inside more than make up for it.
These lipsticks come in two textures: a creamy opaque matte which is my favourite as it glides on in one quick swipe and a semi-shiny slightly sheerer texture that feels really buttery and soft on the lips.
They aren't particularly moisturising but then again that's what balm is for, I hate lipsticks that are too nourishing because they don't last and I constantly find that I have to re-apply. Another major bonus is that they are completely scent free which is nice.

Do I think they are worth $19? No, I don't but they alway have a discount code (I'll pop the codes at the end of the post) so you never pay full price for them anyways and they offer free shipping worlwide which is brilliant and the shipping is fast!!!

So lets have a look at the shades that I have:

Nude: Finally I nude that I can wear! I hate anything too pale as it washes me out but this leans more to the warm, peachy nude side of the colour spectrum, I actually love this one more than I thought I would.

Buttercup: A beautiful nude pink that again isn't too light, there is nothing more un-flattering than a lipstick that drains all the colour from your lips. I'm not gonna lie I bought this shade because it's one of the products that Jaclyn Hill as collaborated on and she can do no wrong in my book.

1995: Another Jaclyn Hill prompted purchase! I'm going to make quite a bold claim here and say that this is my most favourite lipstick of all time and the one I get the most compliments on. It is the perfect darker, rosy nude shade and is so versatile, this is "Kylie Jenner Pout" in a tube.

French Toast: Very similar to 1995 in colour but the texture as a lot more slip an the finish is a lot shinier.

Underground: This is a very unusual shade, a very cool toned darker beige nude, strangely I actually do quite like it even though it is a little bit harder to pull off.

Tequila Sunrise: A gorgeous peachy coral, this is the perfect summer shade and would look absolutely amazing with a tan. I will say that the texture of this one was a little bit more on the sheer side so I had to build up the colour.

Lilac Moon: I love the look of this one in the tube but sadly it just does not work with my complexion and it makes my teeth look yellow.

Cherry Cordial: A deep dark black cherry shade, this is very vampy and possibly not everyones cup of tea but I love it! I also love that after this wears off it leaves the most pretty stain, I'm going to get so much use out of this one in Autumn and Winter.

If you fancy getting your hand on some of your own here are some discount code to save you money.

3 Lipstick for $28 use code PromPout
4 lip products of your choice use code j4u38
5 Lipsticks for $45 use code GCDeal45

All in all I I love these lipstick and I'm already planning my next order.