Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Masterclass - Eye Brow/Lash tints

We are now gearing up to the time that most people are going through pre-holiday checklists, that includes the de-fuzzing, tanning (so it looks like you've been there a few days), and the famous "No carbs before marbs". Then there's the clothes and of course make up, trying to find the right mascara that would streak in the pool but also won't melt in the heat. This is where tinting steps in.

With tinting its very similar to hair dying, it is a long lasting treatment that adds colour to highlight the brows and lashes without looking over done. Because of the delicate nature of the area around the eye (it's very sensitive and thinner than other skin), it uses a different dye that is used on head hair.

Every reputable salon should always do a skin test of their dye brand as well as a consultation to make sure that there is nothing to stop you having treatment. This is important as we are dealing with dyes there is a risk of allergy. This should be done 24 hours before any treatment is done, so preplanning is needed if you are gong to an event. Contact lense wearers will need to take them out before the appointment or wear glasses.

After a negative allergy test you will be taken into the salon and told to lay down on a couch, for an eyebrow tint you will have a petroleum jelly put around the outline of the eyebrows so the tint doesn't go onto the skin. If you are having the lashes done this will put around the lash line with a cotton or tint pad undernethe the lower lashes. The dye will be mixed into a dish then brushed onto the area and left for 10 minutes. Any stinging or discomfort should be said immediately so the tint can be removed and area washed out. Then it would be thoroughly wiped off with damp cotton wool.

To top it up you will need to plan in appointments for eye lashes every 6 weeks while eyebrows are every 4 weeks (for some reason the hair on the eyebrows don't seem to last as long). Prices are around £6 for eye brows, £10 for lashes with discounts for doing both at the same time (check your area - I'm South-East near London).

A quick note on home kits: Please follow instructions, they are safe to use and all last around the 4 week mark. I do feel to get the best results a little help may be required (espically as those who can get things in eyes easily like me).

Next week - Eye lash perming

Saturday, 26 May 2012

1000 Blog Hits

This morning I hit 1,000 hits on the site, and I'm very proud of that. I started this at the beginning of the year as something of a hobby as well as somewhere that I can throw my two cents in. 40 (this being the 41st) entries later its something not only I love but has kept me sane and something to do to distract from life. I'm constantly am thinking, "should I blog this?", it's also developed my own skills as I try out things I've read.

So Thank You to everyone that has read my ramblings, if you want to keep in touch then the links are below:

Hellocotton (Awesome woman blog site, I've spent hours on here!)

Bloglovin' (Some really good selection of blogs - some of the bigger names use this)

Twitter (More up to date ramblings!)

Facebook (Like me :D )

Enjoy the sun (but please use SPF!) and have a great weekend!

Friday, 25 May 2012

NOTD No7 Pink Grapefruit

No7 £5 vouchers are now back! Love these vouchers means I can update my varnish's. No7 are great quality and always as colours that are not only in fashion but they have enough to tailor to a wide age ranged. I've used they're varnish's for many years (since I worked for them in 2002, I used to top up my phone just to get vouchers), and own a collection of colours.

This one is my favourite summer pinks, not a bright but not too coral number. Not bad for someone who's not normally a "pink" person :) The nail stickers are a eBay purchase which are floral with a little glitter, looks great against the matt cream pink colour.

Masterclass - Laser Hair Removal

We've talked about hair removal a few times now (If you like to see the original Masterclass and Threading Update click the titles), and like all the beauty industry is something that is ever evolving. Today I want to talk about another emerging home treatment area.

There are two that get linked to around this subject: Intense Pulse Light (IPL) or Laser Hair removal. IPL uses light waves to reduce hair but can also be used in the treatment of skin aliments. Laser hair use those highly accelerated beams to damage the hair follicles thus reducing the hair growth. All of this systems have not been approved to say they "permanently removal hair" as this is a false claim as it reduces hair not removes.

Previously these systems have been exclusively for the people who can invest in £1,000 a whole body treatment. However, with demand now increasing for products that deliver long term results the home market is now booming. With any beauty product it is important to follow the manufactures instructions, not only to get the best results but also for the your own safety.

The benefits of having a at home system do outweigh the cons (In salon taking up to 2 hours of your time in front of a therapist, however that therapist can reach unreachable places). The maths look good as well, you will need to start 8 session over 6 months which works out £125 a session, that doesn't include the top up treatments that will be required.

A good quality home system should set you back about £349 (Award winning TRIA system), and I am on the believe that you get what you pay for. Maths wise it is a wiser investment, on the basis on 8 treatment it works out at £43.63 a session not including the quick top ups you can do yourself whenever you need around your sheadule. 

OK so the big question, does it hurt? On the first treatment you should expect some skin redness and some people have said it can feel like an elastic band pinging against the skin. After 2-3 months hair will begin to grow lighter and finer, at the 6 months mark the hair follicles deactivate and hair is reduced.

I think it may be time to say goodbye to the lady shave.....

This is a sponsored post but the opinion is my own after researching the market and product.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Hope You're OK

My name is Helen and suffer with bouts of depression.
On my darker days I cannot get out of bed, even getting dressed is an accomplishment. I'd rather hide away and disappear into my shell then having to deal with situations. Most of time I feel like I am the only person in the world dealing with this, and constantly feel emotionless. I call my depression "black cloud" because it builds up and rains when it wants to.
It can affect anyone, not only the people themselves but the knock on effect on families, loved ones, friends. A depression suffer will often suffer in slience because they feel they don't deserve help or don't want to bother anyone. The biggest thing for anyone to do is admit that they need help and actively reach out for it.
There is still much of stigma attached to having a mental illness, all most of us want is someone just to show that we're there when we need them. The Mind Charity were there when I needed them (and still there for me while I battle on through bouts), they provide a safe welcoming, enviroment where people can get help or just be with people who are going through the same thing.
You want see true beauty and strength, go to twitter and search #mymind.
If you want more information on how you can help, please go here 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Belated Masterclass - Face Masks

Face masks are a preparation of different ingredients to give a short term treatment for the skin. They provide a deep cleansing, toning, nourishing or refreshen effect through the following actions:
  • If it has ingredients to absorbed, dead skins cells, sebum and debris will be adhere to the mask when removed.
  • If it has ingredients that are an astringent on the skin, the pores and skin will tighten.
  • If it contains emollient ingredients, the skin will then fell softened and nourished.
  • If it contains soothing ingredients, then the skin can be desensitised to reduce skin irritation.
There are two types of mask, a face mask which will dry and set and a face pack which remains soft and doesn't set.
Setting Masks are applied in a thin layer over the skin and then allowed to dry, a dried out mask can be become uncomfortable and difficult to remove. They come in different commerical varieties:
  • Clay masks - Absorbs serum and debris from the skin surface, leaving it cleansed. It can also stimulate the skin depending on the ingredients used. There are different variety of clays that have different uses, they start off a powder form and is mixed with a liquid to create a mask.
  • Gel masks - is a mixture of biological ingredients like gums, starches or gelatin. As soon as it is applied to skin it then starts to dry and then can be peeled off.
  • Thermal masks - More mineral based as they warm when put onto the skin to enlarge the pores, making it easier to clean the skin.
Non-setting masks stay soft when applied, others do become firm but they do not contain the tightening functions of the setting masks. Non-setting masks include:
  • Oil masks - is warmed then applied to the skin, after a period of time the excess is then removed.
  • Gauze mask - is a cloth that has eye, nose and lip holes cut in. The cloth will has some liquid/oil infused into it then placed over the eyes for between 10-15 minutes.
  • Natural masks - are made of fruit and vegetables which in themselves have astringent and stimulating properties. Usually crushed up and applied onto the skin.
  • Cream masks - are prepared treatments similar to moisturise cream, can be left to absorb in or have the excess wiped off.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Things That I Can't Live Without (For Now)

The Collection

While I am working on this weeks Masterclass and I thought I'd show you the loves of my life (currently and including husband before he starts sulking).

Starting from the left:

Bach Flower Rescue Remedy and Night Tine Rescue

Many moons ago when I worked in an office, my so-called manager had a go at me and being the delicate youngster I was cried my eyes out. Our receptionist can to my rescue after discovering me in the staff room, got me drink of water and produced this yellow/brown bottle and told me to add a few drops to my tongue. After a few minutes the tears were gone and I felt rather more human.

This works on the calming effects of a combination of flower essences, and has been in use since 1930's. It's ideal for any stressful situation or one when you need some focus. I've recently had problems sleeping sleeping to all my worries going round my head at night. I've been using the night version and found a great help as part of winding down, a few drops in water while reading a book and it seems to be working.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

Why? Oh why have you named it a cream when it's more of thick gel? Apart from that its awesome. I burnt myself last year and once the stinging went down I put this on top, not only did it quicken the healing but I think it lightened the mark behind. Everyday use I use the tinest amount on my dry flaky lips when not split. It now comes in a fragrance-free version, hurrah!


I used to be addicted to Blixtex when my lips are sore, cracked and just not even worth going out in public, however with my economy drive (and it's price at £2.79) I was open to a new alternative. Browsing the blogs a few weeks back The Lipstick Blog wrote a blog on lip care (Please look here) and sang the praises for this. Was in Boots and I thought why not, it was only £1.79 (on offer, usually £2.19) and was expecting not alot. I like being surprised with a few uses lips improved, it is a barrier cream used to protect babys' bums from nappy rash. I got the smallest (30g but also comes in 50g and 100g) and I've only used a quarter of it, great value.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Never got the hype of this product when I worked in a department store, it wasn't until I had some given to me that I gave it a try. My poor skin is now starting to show signs that I am no longer twenty, and it's starting to lose some of it's glow. I used over the top of my moisturiser and got on with my day, walked past the mirror a few hours later and was surprised that my skin not only looked healthy but looked a lot more fresher. Under foundation I looked liked I'd had a decent nights sleep for a change and was being told that I looked great. A pea sized amount does fine for the face so you don't need to nuts with it. Well lived up to the hype.

Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Serum

I blame this one squarely on March's Glossy box (Read about getting it here and reviewing it here), fell in love with it the first time I used it. It is a lightweight oil/serum that has a nutty/musky scent. It tames my frizzy hair into soft curls and leaves no residue behind (as long as you stick to amounts the label says). With this my hair could easily rival the Duchess of Cambridge's.

Sally Hansen Double Duty

As I've mentioned I'm in a economy drive, and I love products that I can double up as something else. I have used Sally Hansen and knew they had something that I could use a top/base coat. I know that most peoples reservations on product doing two jobs is that it may not live up to using those product separately, I found with this that it gripped my colour but also still had that glossy top coat finish.


I had this companies catalogue from Professional Beauty 2012 after I was searching out suppliers to use when I open my own beauty treatment business. It's really great at the moment trying out different companies to see who I want to work with (if you are interested, please see my email in the about me section). What drew me to Sparitual is that they are PETA approved and Vegan products, so I applied for an up to date catalogue. Not only did they do that but sent a huge sample bundle worth £5.00 (they do take what qualifications you have so not everyone gets this, they can be purchased!), and I have been working through them since. I came out of the first time using them floating and after the second time my mind was made up who I am using when I get my funding. The names of the products are delightfully named (like Infinity Loving Oil and Open Your Eyes Bath Salts), and use the holistic approach to healing and pampering. I'm looking forward using them (and the rest of the samples up!).

Don't forget Materclass this weekend will be face masks and back to normal next week!

We are also now on Facebook :)

Monday, 14 May 2012

NOTD Pretty nude with flower

I fancied something really simple as my nails are really short at the moment and I'm still going to interviews for work. This has OPI`s Makes Men Blush (A pink/nude with a slight shimmer) with a small white flower with a silver gem in the middle. Very pretty :-)

A quick note, I really hate it when you`ve painted your nails then you really need a bathroom! Argh!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Masterclass - Tanning

Aka. Fake it, don't bake it!

No, just no!

There nothing like the sun peaking through the clouds that make you want to shed some winter skin and get the look like for the 10 wholes minutes we had sun in the UK, that you've caught every single second of it. I love a little glow going on, it definably makes me feel a bit more perkier and puts a spring in my step.

However when the sun does come out for me I have to lock myself away because of my hayfever allergies so this way I can look like I've caught some sun without having to add the appearance of the red eyes and streaming nose.

Having a tan become the fashion in the 1920's after Coco Chanel came back for a French Rivera holiday with a tan after catching the sun. Fake tan then came along in the 1960's when scientists discovered that pro-longed sun exposure causes long term UV damage. Fake tan itself isn't a dye rather than a complex chemical reaction of DHA (dihydroxyacetone) to the oxygen in the air as well as the amino acids on the skin.

The best way to get the flawless tan is to first start with the correct prepping, without this you have a tan that not only will last you longer but will look like you've been yachting round the med rather than standing in your bathroom.


Self tan sinks into deeply hydrated skin, so really while you skin goes into hibernation under winter clothing maintenance hydration should be carried out. This is even more important for really dry skin as tan loves to cling to dry skin and that why you see darker patches on the prone areas like knees and elbows.

Exfoliation is also a great way to get skin ready as this will get rid of any dead skins cells that tan can cling to. There are designated pre-tan exfoliates that can be used (normally 24 hours before depending on the instructions), so why use these? They are designed that the ingredient will not react to the tan and not give the natural result you want. Removing hair should done 24 hours before for shaving and 48 for epliation as this strips away the top layer of skin which can also give a patchy result.


There are two types of tan that can be used the self tan or gradual tans, I'm a big fan of gradual tans as it gives my pale skin a light glow and I can build it to what I want. The self tan market is starting to realise this, you can buy self tanners that you can leave on then remove after the colour you want is developed. First time? Try one with a tint so you can see where it's going and you won't miss a bit, a good friend can also help with the bits you can't reach.

Investment in a good glove or mitt will also give a smoother finish, it will also give the control and quantity of product wanted. It's easier to start in thins layers and build up the colour, going to circular motions towards the heart (also giving yourself a detoxing massage at the same time - bonus!). A good tip I've read is to leave it for a few minutes and then run the mitt over the same areas again as this can polish off the finish product and pick any excess off.

After Care

This will go against what you want to do but to keep that glow going exfoliate every five to seven days, this will mean that the tan will fade more evenly and will more ready for you next dose of colour. Hydrating needs to also be carried on and massage it in making sure that it sinks into the skin. Also keep an eye on what washes you are using anything with a pH too acid or alkaline or is oil based will make you tan wash off quicker and/or patchy.

Here is how not to look

Next week - Face Masks

Friday, 4 May 2012

NOTD Instyle's Free Nails Inc Varnish - Bluebell

Oh my, this colour is just so pretty and it was just the one missing from my collection. I have a jumper in this colour and was dying for a varnish to match. I do have one little moan - I found it was a little watery to paint on and I didn't like the brush (OK two moans). I also want the other colours, Powder Pink and Peach Sorbet - They're perfect summer colours. Go and buy now!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Masterclass Update - Threading

aka. The start of revamping myself.

Regular readers would know that one of Masterclass's last month was on hair removal (see it here), I did say that I would follow up on it one day. Due to money problems (having none and any that we had went on mortgage), I had to put a slight brakes on this until well I had enough of looking a little bit like a wookie for interviews.


I went in search for a threading person who was reasonable and good at twhat they did, in where I live they have popped up all over the place so the market is very competitve around here, I counted in all about 6 places offering it and we are not that big of town. This does mean however that prces can be very reasonable the one I went to was £3.00 (The most expensive was £13.00 at House of Fraser and was dead, wonder why?).

In threading the practicer uses twisted cotton to pick up hairs and pull them from the roots to give a smooth defination shape. The difference with tweezering and this is that the later you are only pulling out single hairs while threading you can pull out a whole row of them.

Does it hurt? Yep, you're pulling hair out, but only the first few times and it really does depends on how taught you pull the skin while its being done and how good the person actually is. I was really luckly the woman I was quick, by the time I was starting to sting she was finished. The skin around the plucked area will swell and will looked pretty bad for a few hours (because mine was so bad it took nearly 24 hours before it calmed down), so not something to be done just before a night out.


It had been so long since I had my brows done that the next day I got a little over excited with the brow powder and was sporting a big scouse brow. I did not get any photos but in case you don't know what a scouse brow is painted you eyebrows until they're solid, developed by Jodie from Desperate Scousewives (which sadly I did love the show).

Love the rest of the make up in this

The next step will now be to control the frizzy mane into a glossy wavy haricut, but thats for tomorrow ;).

Next week - Tanning (but not The Apprentice way!)