Category: Looking Pretty

Make up review: Wunderbrow

Over Christmas I was using Facebook on my laptop (as I was waiting for a mobile replacement following the great phone vs booze debacle of December) and so I started getting adverts pop up which I wouldn’t usually see. Coincidentally I had some birthday money from my Mother in Law which I was looking to spend, and that’s how I came to buy Wunderbrow.

I’d never heard of it before but the promise of hair fibre complex that improves the original brow shape and permafix gel that last for days was enough to get me wanting more. Now I’m a marketing person’s dream to be honest, but the advert came with a video which was incredibly impressive, plus the company offer a 30 day money back guarantee so it seemed to be win win.

See what I mean?

On arrival I excitedly ripped open the packaging and was immediately disappointed. I had ordered black/brown and my first thought was that I had been sent the wrong one. But no, this is what Wunderbrow class as black/brown.

Undeterred, I thought maybe it would look darker on my skin. Unfortunately not. It has a sludgy brown appearance with (to me) a hint of khaki. I don’t want army eyebrows!

Wunderbrow black brown sample

My first try was highly disastrous as I found the application incredibly difficult due to the length of the handle and the long bristles of the brush. I abandoned it and it lay unloved for a couple of weeks.

Thinking perhaps I was missing something, and that it was user error rather than the product’s fault (quite likely) I decided to try again.

Here’s me with naked eyebrows (oo-er!)

Naked eyebrows

They’re annoyingly thin, which is strange considering they were behemoth monstrosities when I was a kid (I’ll share a pic one day). I’ve tried to regrow them to a thicker point but they’re having none of it.

Next is one eyebrow.

One eyebrow

The shape was better this time around as I was more patient with applying it and used smaller strokes. I couldn’t see the hair like fibres though.

Both eyebrows done.

Two eyebrows

The second was more difficult, not sure why, and I ended up with the product a little bit above my natural browline which gave me a funny expression!

I went to bed with it still on to test the endurance (the website says it can last two to three days). To be fair it was still all in tact when I woke up, so I decided to leave it on for the day, even though I wasn’t entirely convinced.

Well, once I was able to see it in daylight (first time as I applied it in the evening and it was still dark when I left for work so the previous photographs are taken in artificial light) I decided to definitely send it back.

Wunderbrow following day close up

It just doesn’t work for me. The shade is too light (in fairness my hair is very dark) but more than that it just looks like I’ve painted creosote on my eyebrows. There are no fibres. It looks like bloody felt tip! Worse still, I had to endure the rest of the day like that at work, wondering if anyone had noticed (this is a very narcissistic comment to make, as I’m sure no-one cares two hoots about how I look).

This is it at the end of the day, it had started to wear off. If you could see more closely it looks flaky and patchy,

Wunderbrow end of day

Huge amounts of disappointment.

The only good thing is that, as I mentioned, the company offers is a 30 day money back guarantee, so I don’t have a £20 waste of birthday money on my hands. I haven’t had my refund yet, but I’m trusting them!

Obviously this is only my own experience, and I’m not particularly beauty minded (or patient) so I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from trying it themselves, especially if your hair is lighter than mine. The reviews on their Facebook page are outstanding and there are lots of YouTube videos showing perfect brows as a result of this product.

It also comes in 3 other shades – blonde, brunette and auburn.

You can buy Wunderbrow directly from their website (free P&P), on Amazon, or at selected Boots stores.

The £1.80 spend that’s going to make me a better groomed and put together person

How’s that for a click-bait headline?

But seriously, I recently spent £1.80 that has already made me look less shabby and more put together.

What is it, I hear you ask? (well, maybe not…)

These two products of wonder, from Primark.

Primark nail products

I’ve blogged before about the fact that I have lots of bad beauty habits, and neglecting my nails is one of them. I put nail varnish on and then leave it to wear off, or flake off, or  pick it off. I might then paint over the top of it. Basically I’m a nail sloven.

There are two reasons for this. One is sheer laziness. Whenever I think to get my scruffy nail varnish off I don’t have the tools to hand (and obviously it’s such a long way to walk to my bedroom to get cotton wool and varnish remover). The other is that I always apply nail varnish on the go and it ends up smudging. It doesn’t dry fast enough for my liking, mainly because I don’t allow enough time for it to dry properly and I’m always keen to be getting on and doing other things.

So how will my bargain bits help?

The nail polish twist pot (£1) is simply full of sponge soaked in nail polish remover. Dip your finger in, wiggle it around a bit, et voila! Varnish free nails. So, if I keep this pot to hand (pun intended) I don’t have to faff about with bottles and cotton pads and throwing them away. Can you say “first world problems”?

The fast dry spray dries your nails in 60 seconds. Simply spray it on and wait. I know some nail polishes profess to dry in 60 seconds, but I’ve never found that. Plus this spray gives an extra shine.

I have so many nail varnishes that I’ve never even used (oops) because I see pretty colours and get sucked in and it’s such a cheap little treat, but I never actually get round to wearing them. That’s going to change.

Is this a late New Year’s resolution?

To prove just how much this has revolutionised my lazy ass, here’s a (very poor) manicure shot of Collection 2000 “Shameless”. I don’t know how long I’ve had this, or even if it still exists, but it’s so very very pretty and I wish I’d used it before.

Collection 2000 Shameless

Collection 2000 Shameless in daylight

Are you a nail varnish hero, or zero?!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

 

 

 

Disappointment – bad for the soul, good for the bank balance

I’ve had 3 major disappointments with online orders recently. These are things that I’ve been hankering after for ages (in some cases, years).

The timing is probably good, because between Christmas shopping and spending money on our home I’m not exactly in the best financial place. But you know when you really really want something to be great? And your mind has already run away with you about how your life is going to be better as a result? That!

The first thing is this grey fur coat.

Dorothy Oerkins grey fur coat

Now I know I said I wasn’t in the market for a new fur coat. But I was lying. I’ve been hankering after a grey one for ages; in fact this very coat is the one that prompted me to put that post together, although by the time I got round to it the grey had disappeared (hence me featuring the cream). But then it came back online; in the Dorothy Perkins half price Black Friday sale (is it just me, or do they always have discount offers on?) It was set to be my find of the season at less than £30.

Alas, it made me look like the honey monster. The shape made my posture look wrong; all round shouldered and weird, plus it was the kind of hairy fur that moults and gets everywhere.

Boo.

Second fail was this coat from New Look. Be still my inner Penny Lane (read my review of Almost Famous here). I’ve wanted a suede and shaggy fur coat like this in forever. OK, this is faux suede, but that’s ok, I’m not a fabric snob.

New Look 70s suede coat

Unfortunately it didn’t even resemble faux suede. It was more like orange cardboard. And the shaggy fur looked like it had been left to dry after being submerged in a muddy puddle. Penny Lane was not to be.

Finally, on a different tip, a hairstyler which I was sure would revolutionise my barnet (I haven’t moaned about it for a while!) I found the UK version of the one handed blowdryer from Revlon, on Amazon, and kindly told asked the husband if he would buy it for me if it was any good.

Revlon blow dryerRevlon blowdryer

Unfortunately it wasn’t. It took ages to dry and it was awkward to get right to the roots. I gave up in the and finished off with my hairdryer and straighteners. Such a shame as I was mega excited about that.

Have you had any shopping disappointments recently?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

All I want for Christmas is a new…big toenail

I’m currently living in the aftermath of an incident.

(building some drama!)

Toes

I hate masks. They freak me out. Even the fun ones. I think it’s because you can’t see people’s eyes properly.

Anyway. The husband bought a Guy Fawkes/Anonymous mask around Halloween time. I don’t like it.

Anonymous mask

On our recent day off, he randomly put it on. I ran off. He chased me. So we had a Benny Hill style race around our flat, with me freaking out. Naturally I headed for the bathroom and shut myself in.

Thinking it would be safe to leave after a few seconds (what with the husband having a short attention span), I gingerly opened the bathroom door. The coast was clear. Then he poked his head round the corner, still wearing the blasted mask. I screamed (I know, it’s not like I didn’t know it was him!), retreated into the bathroom, and got my big toenail stuck under the door.

Carnage ensued. I swore (a lot). I blamed him (a lot). I poked at my toenail (a lot) expecting it to fall off.

So far it’s still attached, but feels very loose. It’s turning a rather peculiar colour. I have no doubt that it’s going to fall off and leave a big old ugly gap where my toenail should be.

Wah!

Last night I painted all my toenails metallic cherry red (it’s the equivalent of turning the radio up when you hear a noise in your car – just pretend it isn’t there). Now it’s started to ooze with goop.

I don’t think that bodes well.

(sorry for the TMI!)

I’m now mourning all the pretty sparkly sandals that I can’t wear (ok, it’s winter and I don’t wear them anyway).

Can you buy false toenails?!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

5 things you only know if you dye your hair red

While red hair is incredibly cool, it’s also an incredible pain in the ass at times.

Red hair

Here are 5 things you’ll be familiar with if you’ve ever gone scarlet.

1 – It fades. Really quickly and disappointingly. If you’re naturally blond you’ll start to look pink. You need to colour it at least every 3 weeks to keep it at it’s best, which is expensive and time consuming.

2 – You can’t use white towels. Staying in a hotel? Take your own (or face the wrath of the laundry people who have to bleach/throw away your towels after use). One year, on holiday in LA, I hid my hotel “hair towel” in the wardrobe every day before housekeeping came in so I didn’t have to wreck a new one whenever I washed my hair. You can imagine the state of it when I handed it back at the end of our trip.

3 – If your hair is longer, you can’t leave it to dry naturally – unless you want pink stains all over your t-shirt/jumper/pyjama top.

4 – Swimming pools are a source of worry. “No I didn’t get my period in the water! It’s just my head leaking!”

5 – It can be annoyingly wardrobe limiting. Rendering a chunk of your existing wardrobe redundant.

Have you got any hair colour tales or disasters? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

B.Flawless Wrinkle Filler (an oldie but goodie)

I bought this stuff yonks ago after reading about it in the Daily Mail (don’t judge me – it’s not a regular occurrence). It came highly recommended and I spotted it on half price in Superdrug (which it is again now)so thought I’d give it a bash.

B.Flawless wrinkle filler tube

Because I have done nothing to prevent wrinkles (as in daily moisturiser or night cream), it’s likely that I will need to resort to things to make them look better. And while I don’t have wrinkles as such, I do have a bit of creasing on my forehead that I wouldn’t mind not being there (actually laughing at myself for the optimism of describing my none wrinkles! Next I’ll be saying they’re laughter lines!)

Back to this little tube of glory. Because that’s what it is! I used it religiously when I first bought it and even roped the husband in (to cries of “what is this sorcery?) because it does seem to just smooth out your wrinkles, like someone’s got a pencil eraser and rubbed you out around the edges.

Forehead before

Forehead before

Forehead after

Forehead after

Good eh?

You only need to use a little bit and it tends to work best if you pat it in to your skin, rather than rub it. You can use it with make up and it’s good for any areas you may want to look less “creased” like eyes or mouth.

B.Flawless Wrinkle filler cream

Not sure why I stopped using it, probably misplaced it knowing me, but now I’ve rediscovered it I’m thrilled! I’ve even been and bought a new tube.

Do you have any “forehead crease” minimising tips?!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Two hair stylers I *need* in my life

I’m a marketing person’s dream when it comes to hair stylers – I totally believe the hype. If you read this blog regularly then you’ll have seen my moans and groans about my barnet (which has now changed colour again, BTW, I’m back to brown). I want fabulous hair but in truth I don’t have the energy or inclination to really work for it.

Hairstyle image

(image via pinterest)

I wash, dry (and by dry I mean aim the hairdryer at it, not blowdry, I’m not dexterous or patient enough for that, so I go for the quicker “dry but frizzy” effect) and straighten. Occasionally I muss it up with some product, or curl it (I’ve learnt how to use my straighteners for curling – this is revolutionary stuff). I’ll wear headscarfs, quiff the front with grips or wear a messy bun. I’m not uncaring with my hair – it doesn’t just hang there. But I’m always looking for something else as well.

I’ve tried (and owned) most hair stylers going over the years – from the Braun cordless gas curling tong and hotbrush (remember those?!) to heated rollers, to electric tongs, wide barrel tongs, curling wand, Babyliss Curl Secret. The texture of my hair seems to have changed recently and, annoyingly, it doesn’t hold a curl very well anymore.

And anyways, I don’t always want a curl. Sometimes I just want bounce.

I digress.

I spotted this Revlon Pro Collection One Step Hair Dryer and Styler recently on Target viaGoogle – it’s a one handed blowdry! The problem I have with blow drying is that I can’t coordinate the hairdryer in one hand and hairbrush in the other (*rollseyes* I know) but I do love the look of blowdried hair – bouncy and voluminous without being too straight. This would be perfect for me. All the reviews say it’s fantastic too.

The only trouble is that I can’t find this available from a UK seller yet, and by the time you add on shipping and taxes from the States, it’s pretty much doubled in price.

I’ll definitely look into getting one of these when it hits UK shores though, hopefully not too long (and maybe in time for Christmas so I can get it as a gift from someone!)

The other one is this Beautiful Star Electric Straightening Brush I saw featured on the lovely Confetti and Curves blog (check it out, Karen’s lovely and has some fab beauty content). An alternative to traditional straighteners it gives a more natural straight look. But again, alas, I can’t find this online for UK!

Gah!

Anyway, some food for thought and definitely two products to look out for in the coming months.

Are you a dabhand with hair stylers?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Bad beauty habits (aka being lazy)

I read beauty blogs and twitter feeds that are full of gorgeously groomed and put together ladies and I wonder how they do it! Maybe I’m just not cut out for it (which sounds better than being lazy). I thought I’d share my bad habits (and maybe shame myself into being a better person…doubtful!)

Bad beauty habits

Eyebrow pencil
I leave my eyebrow pencil as long as possible between sharpening it – it’s usually flat before I get round to it. At the moment it’s because I can’t find my pencil sharpener. I need to buy a new one.

Plucking my eyebrows
God. this is such a chore and so I end up leaving it longer than I should which makes it even more of a chore! I don’t know why, because I hate hate HATE unruly eyebrows. I just always seem to get distracted and then realise that shit, I really need to tame those beasts! I should build it into my daily makeup routine really.

Cutting my toenails
I clip my toenails quite short. I can’t stand them long. My big toe nails especially seem to itch underneath?! They’re not disgustingly short; certainly still long enough to paint and wear open toe shoes. But my Mom always tells me off.

Intermittent body moisturising
It seems such a faff to moisturise after every shower; plus the time that’s needed for it to dry properly before you put your clothes on. I got into the habit of using Nivea in shower moisturiser last summer, but then that novelty wore off. I recently bought some Vaseline spray moisturiser, but still haven’t got into an every day routine.

Fake tanning
It doesn’t help that I’m rubbish at tan; even the gradual build up ones. I feel so much better when I’ve got some colour and every time I do get round to it I promise myself that I’ll keep it up. But I don’t. And then I regret it. But not enough to do anything about it, evidently.

Poor skincare routine
I’m very lucky to have good skin, I know I’m lucky. My only routine, if you can even call it that, is cleaning my face every morning, with face wipes. I use serum some days (I haven’t this week because it’s still in my case from holiday – more laziness, I’m not fully unpacked!). I don’t get my make up off before bed. I don’t deep clean or exfoliate, or tone or regularly moisturise. Having said that I don’t wear heaps of make up (I only use a light base like a BB cream, never a full foundation) so it’s not like there’s much to take off. And at weekends I quite often wear none. As I said I’m lucky. It also works for me so I don’t want to upset the proverbial apple cart! I tried a facial cleansing brush last year and ended up with a complexion like a loofah. So I figure I should just stick with what I know until I need to do something else.

Getting one more day from my hair before I wash it
Dry shampoo is my friend! I hate washing my hair. Actually that’s a lie. Love washing it, hate drying it. It’s not been such a burden while it’s been shorter, but when it was long it was such a drag. And will be again, I’m sure. It’s awesome when I’m somewhere hot and I can wash it, have a little siesta and leave it to dry naturally. Even though I end up with some wild woman of Borneo curls. Everything is ok on holiday. If I leave it to dry naturally at home it takes about 3 days and goes like cotton wool. Not ok.

Chipping my nail varnish off
Rather than remove my nail varnish properly I usually pick and peel at it once it starts to chip. Or, worse still, I leave it to wear off until it’s just a patch of stripy bits on each nail. It’s not on purpose. I just seem to forget or get distracted.

Aside from that, there’s the oodles of lotions, potions and tools of the trade that I’ve bought with the intention of making my life infinitely better but now languish somewhere (in some cases I don’t actually know where). Like a body brush (fad), Emjoi foot pedicure which I previously reviewed (immense, but I forget to use it), aforementioned cleansing massage tool type thing (scared of it since it ravaged my face – could have been my fault though as I think I used the wrong attachment for facial skin), hot cloth cleanser (faff), body scrub (I forget), fake tan mitt (I don’t fake tan enough to bother).

To everyone who is successful at being groomed, primped and preened; I salute you. I just don’t know where you find the time, energy or inclination!

Do you have any bad beauty habits?

Thanks, as always, for reading!

Arrivaderci rossa

What’s the first thing you do when you get back from holiday?

After the mountains of washing, obvs.

Visit family?

Restock the fridge?

Book your next holiday?

Not in my case. You strip your hair!

I decided, on landing at Birmingham airport, that I was done on red hair. Despite the hideously tortuous journey I went through just a few short months ago to get to any semblance of scarlet.

So – goodbye red! Arrivaderci rossa.

And, in usual me style, I couldn’t wait. It had to be done immediately.

So I found myself back in stinky boring tiresome dull hair stripping territory.

With the intention of then dyeing it brown.

But I kinda liked the stripped result. Ginger according to husband (pah). Golden according to me. With darker ends (will I never be rid of them?)

This will be unsustainable as my dark roots will start showing within a couple of weeks, but I quite like the change of tone for a short while. So I’m going to ride it out while I decide my next move.

(and also because the husband is so against it, I find it kind of funny to torment him. I didn’t just say that. OK I did).

Stripped hair

Christ, my mirror is dirty!

 

My journey to red (ish) hair

So yesterday I declared that I am past hating my hair. It’s finally getting to a stage where I think we’ve turned a metaphorical corner, and I no longer cringe in the mirror and want to pull it out of my head.

Progress.

It’s been slow going but colouring it has definitely helped.

I first pondered going red a couple of months back, in an effort to get through the god awful in between stage of dull-boring-bobbed-notgrowingfastenough hair (which is entirely my own fault as I decided to cut it all off last October). I thought it would be fairly easy. I’ve been there before. OK, so I can’t get as red as I’d like (because I’m not willing to too lazy to bleach it; the upkeep sounds too much hassle) but by using an uber-bright Schwarzkopf dye I can at least get some semblance of red colour, albeit dark.

Me, around 4 years ago

Red

As of last summer I’d been dying my hair very dark brown for a while, but the roots were fading fairly quickly whereas the ends were saturated with colour and looked black. As I wanted my hair very dark, it seemed to make sense to proceed to a black dye. I’ve been stung by this before, about 13 years where I had to grow it out (ugh) so I only ever used semi-permanent. Because, by default, it’s not permanent, right?

Hmm.

I stripped it using a Colour B4 application (which I have used successfully on previous occasions).

Colour B4

But the semi permanent seems to have worked quite literally. But only the roots were truly stripped. The other half…wasn’t. The ends seemed to have retained their darkness, although this wasn’t apparent at first. Only when I put the red colour on did the roots go dark red and the ends black. The red wasn’t bleaching out the remnants of the black.

I had reverse ombre hair.

Blaming myself for not applying a “second coat” of stripper as I had first intended, I gave my poor barnet a break for a couple of weeks (during which time I shampooed religiously with clarifying shampoo to remove any build up) before stripping it again. Twice. If you’ve ever used a colour stripper then you’ll be familiar with the time consuming, laborious and stinky process. If you haven’t – it’s a very time consuming, laborious and stinky process. It took me a whole afternoon of application, sitting with my head wrapped in a carrier bag to retain heat, rinsing, boosting, rinsing, drying and then doing the whole bloody thing again.

I’ve had more interesting Saturdays.

The good news was that this time I was 100% sure all the black was gone. I had pictorial evidence. Look! Brown! (with a hint of ginger!)

Stripped hair

Next step was to try red again.

Schwarzkopf XXL red hair dye

Schwarzkopf hair dye

Well blow me if the previously black section of my hair didn’t go dark again! Admittedly it was dark red this time, very dark red. But I was still two tone.

I sought assistance and advice from the husband – a man who has no hesitation in laughing at me when I’ve cocked up.

And he said it looked OK!

Kooky.

Almost deliberate.

And so I stuck with it.

I’ve coloured it a few more times since then and each time the ends are getting slightly redder (or I’m kidding myself). Obviously, as it’s growing, I have more “naked” hair coming through which picks up the red. So I’m not going to redye it black (toys out of the pram reaction number one) or cut it all off again (toys out out of the pram reaction number two).

I’ve come up with three conclusions following this experience. You may think that one of them would be to go to a hairdresser in future. It’s not (I still can’t get over my fear of the hairdresser).

No, my three conclusions are:

  • Don’t use black dye – even semi permanent. EVER
  • If you’re not sure whether something has worked, it’s probably best to make absolutely sure before continuing with the next course of action
  • I have far more patience and sense of humour with my hair than I ever thought possible

I can categorically guarantee that I have only taken this in good humour because it was at my own hands and not particularly expensive. If this had happened via the hands of a hairdresser and cost me oodles of pounds (which of course, technically, it wouldn’t because they’re professionals), I’d have been apoplectic with rage. Even the fact that when I wear it up in a messy bun (because it’s now long enough to do that, hurrah!) I look like I’m wearing a fake clip on because of the colour difference is just about ok.

Here’s where I am right now. It looks different in different lights, sometimes very red, sometimes not (and absolutely nothing like the box!)

Me dark red hair

It might not be quite a crowning glory. But I no longer want to walk round with my head in an opaque bucket to hide it away. So that will do for now.