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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sally Hansen Triple Strong Advanced Gel Nail Fortifier

The Monday Boxing Day Sales led to me spending a large amount of time in a chemist, looking through all the polishes that were on sale. One of the ones I purchased was Sally Hansen's Triple Strong Advanced Gel Nail Fortifier. All I have to say is WOW!

It's no secret that I'm a massive fan of Sally Hansen. I am embarrassed to admit that it was only this year that I discovered her range. The polishes are always gorgeous, easy to apply, and last well. Her treatments have so far impressed me. My only problem with them is the expense. At least in Australia, they tend to retail for no less than $15. Being a poor university student, that is realistically a lot. This is why on Box Day I decided I'd buy the Nail Fortifier.

The ultimate strengthener for nails with a unique triple-strength combination of nail fortifiers:
Epoxy Polymer: Reinforces as it adds flexibility; protects against breaking, peeling and splitting
Calcium Complex: With Pro-Vitamin B5 and Iron helps strengthen and enhance the structure of the natural nail to help nails grow longer and stronger
Titanium: Helps mend and bond weak, fragile nails. Instantly, nails become harder and more durable

The gel itself seems to leave almost a layer on top of the nail, which I assume is what makes them immediately stronger. It can either be applied alone or with nail polish, and works as a base and top coat (at least for me). Considering I've only just started using it, I'm waiting on the edge of my seat to see whether or not it will actually help my nails grow longer and stronger. Fingers crossed it does!

From what I've seen so far, this is definitely a must have for girls with weak or brittle nails!

Skin School: How to Prepare Your Skin for a Party

I know that, for me, having clear skin when I'm going out is super important. Parties are all about having fun and being confident, and bad skin can really bring you down. This is a plan you can follow that is based on what I do in the month leading up to the big party to ensure that I wake up with gorgeous skin.

A Few Weeks Before the Party
This is the absolute latest time that you can make a big change to the quality of your skin. You need to make sure that you are removing makeup and cleansing daily, and exfoliating at least twice a week. Exercising to increase blood flow and therefore increasing the nutrients to your skin, helps with complexion. Also ensure that you drink lots of water to help cleanse your lymphatic system which helps to remove bacteria from the body (think blackheads) and helps manage and house white blood cells (think whiteheads). It’s time to keep your pores clean, avoid processed foods, start doing exercise, and sipping lots of water!

A Week Before the Party
Here is when you should start getting plenty of sleep to help with your complexion. Continue your skin care routine and health changes. If things are getting stressful, or you’re starting to freak out about the party, you need to do some deep breathing. Five to ten minutes of day of focused, deep breathing will help reduce stress dramatically, lessening the chance of any last minute breakouts!
Around three days before the party, you should try to avoid caffeine (coffee, cola, energy drinks and chocolate) as they dehydrate the skin, making your complexion and eyes look dull.

The Morning of the Party
Avoid harsh cleaners that can dry out the skin and cause impurities to become more noticeable. It is best to use a gentle cleansing mousse instead as well as an exfoliator to smooth out your skin.

The Day of the Party
Before you begin to get ready, use a soothing face mask to soften your skin and let it glow. It is best to avoid clay masks before big events as they won’t have the same effect as a soothing one.

Party Day Pimples – it’s not the end of the world!
Avoid touching the pimple! I’m sure you’re well aware that trying to burst them makes the skin around that whole area become very red and painful. It is best to use a good spot treatment, and then cover them with a concealer.

Remember to take your makeup off before you go to sleep after the party, no matter how tired you are!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Different Types of Cleansers

The Balms
Balms are useful because they both cleanse and moisturise your skin at the same time. They are best used on oily skin, but they are generally more expensive than other types.

The Wipes 
Wipes are perhaps the fastest and simplest way to cleanse. They are best if you don’t wear a lot of makeup or just want to quickly freshen up. They can also be used to fix up stray makeup, or to soak up residue after using a creamy cleanser.

The Exfoliator
Exfoliating cleansers (not the same as actual exfoliants) contain certain acids that get deep into your skin to clean your pores. They are very thorough, and generally should be used twice a week at most to avoid drying out your skin. They work well on all skin types.

The Creams
Creams are very slippery and packed with oil to soothe dry skin. They aren’t as thorough when it comes to cleaning your pores and remove much less surface oil than other types. Luckily, new milkier formulas have been put on the shelves, generally oil free and gently cleanse and hydrate sensitive skin very well. 

The Gels
Gels are usually the cleansers that foam and lather, working very well on your skin. They’re a little bit more messy than the other types, but they are super effective at fighting blemish-causing bacteria.
Pevonia Timeless Balm Cleanser
Swisspers Facial Cleansing Wipes
Sephora Exfoliating Cleanser
Nivea Visage Water Cleansing Gel
Dove Deep Cleansing Cream

How to Get Soft Feet

For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, Summer is finally upon us. This means sandals and other open shoes, and even barefeet. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, it might be cold, but that's no excuse to forget your feet by covering them up with socks and giving them little thought. So, here are my top tips to getting soft soles!

1. Soak
The Body Shop Foot Scrub

Soaking your feet in warm water softens the skin. I tend to use my shower time as the soaking process, as realistically I don't have the time to sit and soak in a foot bath. I wish I did!

2. Exfoliate
Exfoliating with a foot scrub is the best way to exfoliate. As long as you've soaked your feet, the exfoliation will work wonders. Hint: you can use a facial exfoliator for this step instead. Once done, you can use a pumice stone to smooth out the skin and ensure no dead skin is left. Do your best to wash and dry your feet after the exfoliating stage to ensure that no product is left on your skin.

3. Moisturise
Sally Hansen

The final step is to apply a foot moisturiser. I find that the best way to do this is to do one foot at a time. Cover in moisturiser (thicker than you would on your skin) and put on a sock. This helps the moisturiser to fully enter the skin, and ensures no stains on your clothes or carpet. After 30 minutes, take off your socks. I can assure you that your feet will feel so incredibly smooth. If your feet are really dry, follow the process just before bed and leave your socks on all night. Cracked heels should follow the same process, but instead of using a moisturiser, apply a specialised product such as Sally Hansen's Overnight Heel Repair.

If you do not have the time to do this whole process and just want a quick foot softening, put on your moisturiser and some socks. The effects won't last as long without step one and two, but the temporary changes are the same. This morning I had work, so as soon as I woke up, I put the moisturiser on and some socks on top. Just as I was leaving for work, I took the socks off and threw on some sandals. Even now, hours later, my feet feel lovely!

For feet that are always smooth, you'll need to do this process regularly. Eventually you'll have soft feet all the time!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

How to Paint Your Nails Properly

I have a confession to make: I paint my nails almost every single day. I absolutely never leave them without polish (but for aesthetic and nail care reasons), and any chips in the polish result in a full redo of each of my nails. Needless to say, I have a process set when it comes to painting my nails (different to preparing them for painting, which I will cover later). So, here it is:

I use the pink one - moisturising!
Step 1: Remove ALL nail polish from your nails. This ensures you have a clean base to work with, and it also removes any oils that could potentially ruin your application.

Step 2: Use a base coat. If possible, find one that is specialised for nail strengthening or the like. You can never have too-healthy nails. The base coat also helps to prevent stains. A couple months ago (before I started using a base coat), I wore a dark blue nail polish for a couple days. When I went to remove it, I realised that the polish had left a deep stain. Nothing removed it! It took at least a month for it to disappear. As you can expect, I have never gone without a base coat since.

I have this on right now!
Step 3: Use a good nail polish. There is a massive difference between cheap store brands that tend to require 3 or 4 applications to look nice and a Sally Hansen colour that requires only one application. Of course you would do best buying expensive brands, but being a uni student, Sally Hansen is perfect. Nail polish and hair care products are different in the sense that there IS an important difference in the results of the products based on their price.

Step 4: The best way to paint your nails is to brush the excess off the brush into the bottle, and then paint one line in the middle, starting from the cuticle. Without dipping the brush in again, paint another two lines on either side of the middle line. This should cover the whole nail, and you shouldn't need to go back for more. Of course this varies based on the quality of the nail polish.

I have this on top!
Step 5: If need be, you can apply another coat. Preferably, this won't be necessary, providing that your nail polish is reasonably good quality. If you choose to do so, make sure your nail is completely dry, or else you risk smudging or streaking the first coat.

Step 6: This step is definitely optional, but with the current trends, adding some form of decoration to your nail is quite common. Currently, I am painting my nails a base colour, and then adding a polish of glitter/sparkles/stars either to the tip, the bottom, or all over. I promise you that it's simple, and looks amazing.

Step 7: Apply your top coat. Top coats are very important, especially if you've decorated your nails. While a base coat is quite thin and used to protect the nail, a top coat is thick and used to protect the polish. They do so very well. If you've ever worn glitter polish on your nails, you'll know that it feels scratchy and uneven, and tends to chip very easily. A top coat thickens your nail, and therefore evens out the glitter.

I hope this has given you some handy tips (get it?). Christmas and New Years Eve are perfect times to experiment with colours and decorations, and this year, nails are a focal point of all fashion icons.

Something like this is simple to do, but looks amazing.

Note: I am working on getting an SLR camera very soon so I can take and publish my own photos of my own makeup, nail polish, hair and hair products, etc

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Right Hair Cut For Your Face Shape

There are four basic face shapes. Although we rarely notice them while looking at people (except those who have a big shift towards a certain one), they can really influence what hair cut suits you. For this reason, it's helpful to have a basic understanding about what cuts you should stick to, and which you should avoid.

Celebrity examples: Hilary Duff and Jessica Alba

Girls blessed with oval faces should celebrate - almost all styles will suit you. The basic rule is to style your hair to show off your best feature. You can tell if you have an oval face if the length is approximately 1.5 times the width of the face. Gorgeous eyes will shine with blunt or whispy side bangs, while prominent bone structures will be highlighted with a sharp bob.
Avoid: There is no particlar style that should be avoided, so experimenting is something to take advantage of.

Celebrity examples: Jennifer Aniston and Demi Moore

A square face can be softened with long or short layers that frame the face. Texture is important, so go for curls and choppy ends that are layered, starting around the face and continuing downward. Longer hair works much better than shorter, but cuts that end at the chin will still work to soften the jaw. Hair colour is best if it is darker around the face to soften sharop lines. If highlights are added, they should be placed around the cheek bones.
Avoid: Any form of bob haircut should be avoided, as they have the potential to make your face look even more square.

Celebrity examples: Rachel Bilson and Reece Witherspoon

Heart-shaped faces tend to exhibit a very prominent chin. Luckily, there are styles that you can do to take the attention away from your chin towards your eyes and cheekbones. Sideswept bangs can do wonders, as can a shorter fringe that is accompanied by medium to long hair. Long layers that sit around the cheekbones can be stunning for those with a heart-shaped face. For short hair, consider a soft fringe with a short, choppy style. Pixie cuts can be incredibly cute, as well as work to decrease a wide forehead. My current favourite colouring style - ombre - suits heart-shaped faces very well.
Avoid: Short, blunt bangs and harsh layers.

Celebrity examples: Catherine Zeta Jones and Kirsten Dunst

Layers close the to face can add the illusion of length to its shape. Bangs that are long and whispy suit best as they make the face look slimmer. Consider an asymmetrical style, such as a deep side part. Short hair cuts can be cute if they are accompanied by long, side swept bangs. Any hairstyle that adds volume and body works wonders. Experiment with poufs, high ponytails, and half-up/half-down styles.
Avoid: Any haircut that makes your face look bulky, such as a boy cut.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

How to Turn Weak, Split Nails into Long, Healthy Nails

While growing up, I spent many years biting my nails. Looking back on it, I think it was more so out of habit than anything else. I didn’t have the excuse of anxiety; it was simply a matter of motivation. During the later years of high school, I can remember looking with envy at my friends’ long, beautiful, white-tipped nails. I was lucky in the sense that I never really bit them that badly. I knew a girl who would end up all the way down to her skin! Once I reached university, I found the motivation to grow my nails and care for them. Generally, they have white-tips and healthy skin around them, and it wasn’t that hard to achieve, once you know what you’re doing. Here are my tips for growing long nails:

If you spent a long time biting your nails as a child, you need to be aware that your nails are naturally weak. They will start to seem fairly long and you will be very excited, and then they will break. Without fail. They will break. It’s awful, but it’s just what happens. Even now, if I’m not careful, mine will still break, and I haven’t bitten them for years. 
For this reason, you must always wear nail polish. People might tell you that you should let your nails breathe (even though they’re dead?), and that it’s bad to continually paint them. Ultimately, it’s a matter of having them long, or letting them breathe. This is the absolute number one rule to growing your nails. 

There are two reasons this works.

Wearing nail polish helps give strength to your nails. It provides a support, leaving them much less vulnerable to damage. If I left my nails clear, I would only have to wait a couple days before I’d be starting to try and grow them again.

Wearing nail polish makes you less likely to bite them. Chipped nail polish never looks nice. Also, you are generally biting your nails because it gives you a satisfaction (even if this is unconscious). If you replace this satisfaction (biting your nails) with bad fingernails and having to repaint them every single time you chip them (keep nail polish on you at all times), it shouldn’t take too long until you unconsciously prefer good nails.

Here is a tip for those who just can’t stop biting, or for those who aren’t allowed to wear nail polish. Find a terrible tasting nail polish remover. I know they exist from the number of times I have accidently tasted my finger after giving myself my (usually) daily manicure. Optimally, you should choose one that specifically says it ‘strengthens’ or ‘moisturises’. Moisturises might be better considering you’re going to be putting it everywhere. Each morning after you have finished getting ready and you’ve had your breakfast, put some nail polish remover onto a cotton pad. Wipe it over your finger tips and all around the finger nail area. If you’re not wearing nail polish, put it on your nail as well. Anywhere you bite, it should go. If your nails and skin are really damaged, this could potentially sting, so be careful and logical if you try this. As long as the nail polish remover truly tastes awful, it won’t be long until your nails start to get long enough for you to appreciate them (and hopefully stop biting them, considering it takes three weeks to break a habit).  

Avoid getting acrylics (fake nails). They look great, but once they fall off your nails are left incredibly thin and vulnerable. Acrylics are best for those whose nails are already strong.

Once they have started to grow, you need to look after them. This can be completely new to those of you who have spent their life biting their nails, or having their nails break every time they reach a moderate length. Ensuring that each of your nails are of equal length dramatically reduces the chance of breaking one, for obvious reasons. Try to buff and shine them at least a couple times a week, especially if they are looking unhealthy or begin to split. 

If one of your nails does break, you should never bite or pull it off. You should always file it down. For this reason, I leave nail files in my bag and in my car. If you bite or pull it off, you could potentially put yourself back on the road to old habits, and you risk making it more vulnerable. 
Finally, you need patience. Your nails will not grow over night. I find that I can grow my nails to having fairly long white-tips (assuming no breakages) takes me a couple weeks. I am sure that some people will find that it takes them much longer. Just give it time. Each day that you keep this up, they are growing longer and longer. I can assure you that once you grow your nails to a nice length and see them shining with health, you will never go back.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Skin Care, Breakouts, Causes, Solutions

Of the several people who I asked what they would like to see a post on, each and everyone one of them wanted a post on skin care and skin problems. Ah, yes. Arguably the biggest beauty problem that we all have. Skin breakouts do not discriminate. They happen to everyone. It's the joy of growing up. So I did some research and discovered some things that even I didn't know. Here is your guide to looking after your skin.

The Most Common Types of Skin Breakouts
Blackhead: an overactive oil gland that is blocked with oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and hairs, making the top appear black. When the breakout becomes inflammed, it turns into a pimple (zit).
Whitehead: sebum and bacteria that is trapped under the skin, making the top appear white

Causes of Skin Breakouts
Diet: new research suggests that foods high in saturated fats and processed sugars are definitely linked with bad skin. This is because those fats and sugars raise blood sugar levels quickly, leading to rising insulin levels. High insulin levels, especially those that are maintained, can make skin drier, thicker and flakier, which blocks pores. They can also increase the levels of free androgens (male hormones) which make our glands produce more oil and trigger acne. Researchers believe that the reason adolescents in Papua New Guinea and Paraguay don't get any pimples is because they don't eat foods high in saturated fats or processed sugars. 

Hormones: similar to the effects of bad foods, general hormonal imbalances that occur (particularly during puberty, pregnany, menopause, and pretty much whenever you really want to have good skin) influence skin quality. As above, an increase in androgens occurs at these times.

Stress: stress triggers the release of androgens (male hormones) which is why when we are feeling frazzled, our skin feels worse and begins to breakout

Genetics: if both of your parents had acne at any point in their lives, you have a 50% chance of also getting it!

Smoking: the chemicals in cigarettes damage the cells in the body, leading to bad looking skin. Similar effects are seen on the nails and the teeth.
(Fact: human cells sustain about 10,000 damage hits each day from things like air pollution. Smokers receive one to five million extra damage hits PER INHALATION!)

Generally, researchers believe that skin breakouts are caused by hormones, usually androgens. While natural hormone fluctuations can't be avoided, keeping stress minimal and eating in moderation means less chance of the hormones reaching levels where they begin to cause skin problems.
Keep your skin clean

Solutions to the Most Common Types
Blackheads/Pimples: these require non-comdogenic products. Look for anti-bacterial ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, and zinc gluconate. You should exfoliate two to three times a week to make sure your pores are clean. Be sure to keep your hair away from your face, especially when it hasn't recently been washed. You should also consider using a facial steamer to help clean any blocked pores.
Warning: avoid products that include alcohol, peppermind, menthol, lemon, lime or eucalytpus, as these can increase oil production. Also, remember that blackheads are too deep in the pore to be removed away by yourself, so it is best to take the solutions as preventative.
Whiteheads: exfoliating and skin softening (moisturisers) help treat whiteheads. Generally, the same rules apply for whiteheads as well, especially in terms of taking a preventative approach. Many resources suggest that using products which contain witch hazel is very effective in treating whiteheads. However, I've looked around and I can find very few products that actually contain it!

Consider using Olay Deep Cleansing Face Wash as a cleanser.
Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Exfoliating Face Scrub has also recieved many great reviews
Also look for Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Complexion Perfection Moisturiser which has both tea tree oil and witch hazel!
A healthy glow

Main Steps to Good Skin
Sleep: tired skin lacks lustre, therefore the gorgeous healthy glow we all want has no chance of coming through
Lifestyle: say no to all cigarettes and avoid a continuous consumption of saturated fats and processed sugars
De-stress: try some meditation or slow breathing to help calm your body, and therefore help reduce your androgen levels
Treat it properly: DO NOT BREAK YOUR PIMPLES! There are so many things wrong with doing it. You risk creating scarring as well as spreading the bacteria from inside them. It really isn't worth it!

Coming up on skin:
Skin care myths
How to hide breakouts
Making sure your skin is ready for a night out
The best breathing exercise to de-stress

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Removing Makeup - My Method and an Effective Secret Product

Okay. I'll admit it. Up until this year, I never removed my makeup. I know, it's disasterous. Removing all makeup before you go to bed is one of the most important rules. I remember my skin feeling horrible the next day after using soap and water, and so only used that process if I was wearing enough makeup that it would get all over my bed. Let's just be glad that I discovered makeup remover wipes.

Makeup remover wipes are amazing. As well as cleaning up your skin, they can also cleanse, tone and moisturise, depending on the type you buy. Since this discovery, I have not worn my makeup to bed. Generally, it isn't hard to find affordable brands that work in exactly the same way as expensive brands. Depending on how much makeup you use, and how often you clean your face during the day, the cost of makeup wipes can quickly add up. Here's a brilliant alternative which is much cheaper and has a lot more uses in it.

When I first (finally) progressed from glasses to contact lenses, I could never put in my contacts after I had applied my makeup as the solution would always make my makeup run very quickly and easily. It didn't take me too long to realise what an amazing eye makeup remover contact lense solution is. The exact same thing happens with eye drops. I was mindblown.

A brilliant alternative to makeup wipes is to pour several drops of the solution onto a cotton pad, and there you go. The same can be done with Q-tips for removing stray mascara during application.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

How to Reconstruct and Grow Damaged Hair

Back in Primary School, I had soft, lovely hair filled with curls. Looking back through my school photos, I become quite upset at the 12-year-old me that decided using a hair straightenner was a brilliant idea. For the last 7 years, I have been straightening my hair almost daily. Over the last 2 years, I have added a hair dryer to the mix - without a diffuser - leaving me with short, dry, unhealthy hair. I had no idea how to look after my hair, and only focused on making it as straight as it could possibly be.

For the last two months, I have let my hair be. The straightener has only come out a few times to straighten my bangs. Instead of attacking it, I have been nourishing and caring for it. Already, I can see an amazing improvement in both quality and length.

Here are my steps to reconstructing and growing damaged hair.

Learn about the basics of hair
1. Borrow a couple of books about hair from your local library

As easy as it is to simply read a couple tips from the Internet, I found that I understood so much more by reading a couple books. It's also helpful to find one that is specialised to your type of hair - e.g. curly, African, dry, short, etc. I read:
Curly like me : how to grow your hair healthy, long, and strong by Teri LaFlesh.
Curly girl : more than just hair-- it's an attitude : a celebration of curls : how to cut them, care for them, love them & set them free by Lorraine Massey. 

2. Realise that there really is NO difference between salon and supermarket brands

Supermarket brands work just as well
For years I was convinced that expensive salon brands were much better for my hair than anything I could find in a supermarket. I was aghast to discover that there is very little difference between them. Reading Don't go shopping for hair care products without me by Paula Begoun taught me how to read the labels on hair products, and what I should look for and avoid. Needless to say, I went from spending $35-$50 to spending $6-$10. This means more money for hair treatments and styling products!

If your hair is dry, buy products that state they are for "dry hair" or for "coloured hair" - they are more moisturising, and are much better for dry hair than "normal hair" products.
Similarly, if your hair is oily, buy products that are for "oily hair" - they will have products in them that soak up the oil in your hair and likely make it last longer without becoming oily.
Products for "normal hair" should only be bought if your hair is truly normal - it is almost always better to buy products that are made for either dry or oily hair.

3. Wash your hair properly

Use your fingertips
There is a process that you should follow when you get into the shower to wash your hair. I will do a more extensive post on this, but for now it's fairly straightforward.
As soon as you get in the shower, make your hair absolutely soaked with water. Lift up sections of your hair to ensure your whole head is wet. Take your shampoo and massage it into the roots of your hair - not the ends. Be sure not to use your fingernails as this can hurt the scalp and hair roots. When in a lather, rinse it out with water. Take a towel and soak up excess water from your hair. Make sure it is more damp than wet so your conditioner can stick and absorb into the hair shaft. Put the conditioner in your hair, focusing on the ends. If you need help getting it through your hair, you can use a very wide-tooth comb and move it through the hair very slowly and carefully, as hair is more vulnerable when wet. Leave it for as long as you can. This is when I do anything else necessry in the shower. After some times has passed, wash out the conditioner. Once again, if you have trouble with washing out all of the shampoo and conditioner in your hair like I used to, you can use your comb to help rinse it all out. When you're done in the shower, your towel should only be pressed onto your hair - it should never be rubbed as this can damage and break your hair.

4. Don't use tight hair clips or elastics

You should be able to see down the middle
Tight hair clips and elastics can break the hair shaft as well as pull out your hair from its roots. This means you'll damage or lose hair that isn't ready to fall out naturally - leading to thinning hair. The same thing can also happen if you pull your hair back or braid it too tightly. Buy hair clips that don't close onto their opposite sided teeth - you should be able to see down the middle. Avoid using hair elastics that aren't covered in material.
Since I've given up the straightener, my hair is curly. Even though I'm leaving it natural, I would choose having straight hair over curly hair any day. Currently, I have been putting it up into a loose clip on top of my head, and adding a few bobby pins to hold it together. This way, it isn't really being pulled or stretched.

Treat while showering
5. Use hair treatments

If your hair is dry, hair treatments are a God send. The feeling of your hair after washing the treatment out is considerably different from the way it feels after a simple shampoo and conditioner. Also, they really leave your hair more soft and shiny. I prefer using treatments in the shower after I have washed out my conditioner. The steam from the hot water also helps the treatment get into your hair shaft. Consider doing a treatment at least once a week, but twice a week will leave your hair totally soft.

6. Use your hair dryer properly

Dry top, then bottom
If we're honest, using a hair dryer really does help with styling. It can both make your hair straighter to prepare it for your hair straightener and give your hair more volume to prepare it for big and bouncy styles. There are four main things to know when using your hair dryer, especially on damaged hair:
-  Use a diffuser so a strong heat isn't focused on a small section of your hair
- Continuously move the hair dryer and your hair around while you dry it
- Dry the top of your hair first. Then clip up the top sections, and dry underneath. This way, the ends of your hair (and therefore usually the parts that recieves the most damage) have less time under the heat.
- It is best to dry your hair to 80%, and then let the rest dry naturally. Some people think that it will help their hair to let it dry naturally for a bit first, and then to use their hair dryer to finish it off, but this is the worst thing you can do. Wet hair that is electronically dried has a threshold afterwhich the heat from the hair dryer becomes damaging. The first 80% of the drying process can usually take the heat well and recieve very little damage, while the last 20% of the drying process is when any heat is very damaging.

7. Hair oil is your best friend

Smells amazing!
Had you asked me 6 months back if I would ever put oil into my hair, I would have laughed. It sounds unhealthy, but that is mostly due to our association between oil and bad food. Specialised hair oils are a massive trend right now, and for a good reason. Currently, I use Macadamia Oil, but there are many others out there that people are raving about (e.g. Moroccan Oil). There are two ways to use it:
a) Put some through your hair at night and leave it in as a treatment to wash out the next morning - this is usually the best option for people who already have oily hair
b) Put it into the ends of your hair in the morning to help condition, as well as lightly through your hair to give an amazing shine (and smell!).

Colouring can be conditioning
8. Colouring can be conditioning

Although some people might think that colouring damaged hair is a terrible idea, certain colours are very conditioning. The most moisturising colours are those that are darker - think black, dark or chocolate browns, and deep reds. As well as not requiring bleach, coloured hair is happiest when you are going darker than lighter.

Hopefully you've learnt a couple things and can start your hair improvement process like myself. Let me know if you have any questions or conmments. I'd also love to hear any stories from those who have attempted and hopefully completed their own hair improvement process.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Introduction (12/12/11)

Being on holidays from uni definitely has its benefits when it comes to magical makeup, charming hairstyles, pretty nail polish, stunning fashion, gorgeous shoes and sparkling jewellery

I get to wake up every morning, and spend quality time filing, buffing, shining, and painting my nails
I can spend time away from the hair straightener, giving my locks time to grow and feel healthy
I am able to waste hours trawling through blogs, searching for inspiration and ideas on fashion, hair, makeup and jewellery
I can get in my car and drive to one of many shopping centres to purchase new items that appeal to me, spending the money that I am saving from train travels to the city for university
I don't have to make sure I have comfortable shoes to wear all the time - I can buy and wear heels and wedges
I have time to get ready for the day, instead of rushing my hair and makeup to ensure I am on time

I want to use this blog as a platform to file my ideas and experiences based on fashion and beauty, as well as to provide information to other people interested in similar topics.

I am bursting with creative thoughts and images to publish and share.