Sunday, 26 February 2017

Hair Journey

I remember being about 8 or 9 years old, walking home from school with my mum one day and she told me she'd booked an appointment at the hairdressers for that weekend so that I could get a special treat, something she knew I had wanted to have done for a long time. My first thoughts were "oh my god, I'm going to get princess hair", by which I meant hair extensions. What a ridiculous thought for such a young kid. Obviously, that isn't what my mum had booked me in for, instead I had my hair braided and I thought I was the coolest kid in town. That is my earliest memory of really wanting, and wishing for long hair. Endless day dreams and birthday candle wishes followed that moment, waiting for my princess hair. 

Over the next 10 years, my hair went through many transformations which caused a lot of damage. As lots of young girls do, I experimented with colours and styles and lengths. I have been back and forth from peroxide blonde to blacker than black and a fair few shades in between. My natural hair is medium-thick, frizzy and a mixture of wavy and curly. The fact that its not curly or straight has meant that I have always (and most likely always will) use a lot of heat to style it and get it looking presentable. 

At about the age of 19 I made the decision that I wanted to grow my natural hair firstly long, and secondly healthy. I'd been wearing clip in hair extensions since the age of 16 and was tired of them. I wanted my natural hair to be as perfect as possible. 6 years later, I'm almost there. It's taken a long time because I am unlucky to have very slow growing hair (although this does have the benefit of not having to pluck my brows or shave my legs as often as most girls!) and through trial-and-errors in my haircare routine. As I've mentioned, my hair type makes it difficult to ditch the heat styling appliances, so I never did. I'm sure my hair 'recovery' would have been fair speedier had I retired my straighteners, but that was never going to be an option for me unless I wanted to spend a year of my life looking like something between Tracy Beaker and Janice from Friends.  I also continued to dye my hair throughout this period, everything from professional bleaching to at-home balayage attempts and regular semi-permanent dying. Even the professional bleaching did a lot of damage to my hair, the most recent of these being only about 18 months ago. Before we get on to the things I did to help my hair, I thought I'd post some photos to see how short and how much thinner my hair got during my teenage years. 

The above photos were both taken in 2010, the blonde one whilst I was still at school and the brunette one after starting my first year of university. I thought I'd make a list of all of the things I did to help my hair as much as possible. They're not things I did religiously, or for the whole 7 years since these photos were taken, but they are things that I think helped to get my hair healthier, and are things that I continue to do now. 
  • Don't over wash your hair. For some people this means being able to easily go three or four days, for others it means every other day. Using dry shampoo has been a life saver for me here. 
  • Cut down on heat wherever possible. This is one that I would love to make more effort with, but I definitely struggle here. I try to limit the heat styling to every time I wash my hair (e.g. if I curl it after washing it, I won't restyle with heat until after I've washed it again). 
  • Moisturise! Just as your skin, your hair needs hydration. I use oils, serums, creams and mountains of conditioner on my hair. Looking back I think my hair started to make the most progress after I started making a conscious effort to keep it hydrated. This leads me nicely to my next point...
  • Water. Drink water! Keeping yourself hydrated is vital for a healthy everything including hair and skin.
  • Hair, skin  & nails supplements. I take Hair, Skin & Nails supplements on and off, and sometimes biotin too. 
  • Brushing gently. I use my trusty tangle teezer, always. I find it to be so much more gentle on my hair than other brushes, and I'm always careful to brush the knots out the bottom and move up the shaft to avoid yanking or snapping any knots. It's especially careful to be gentle when your hair is went, as it breaks easier when wet. 
  • Research. I tried to do my homework as much as possible, reading other peoples hair stories or watching stories and haircare videos on YouTube. This is something I still love to do as I am by no means an expert. 
  • Sleeping with protected hair. I was finding my hair would be so knotty and tangled in the morning and it was causing damage to get the knots out. I started putting oil in the ends of my hair and wrapping it into a protective style to sleep, either plaiting or twisting and securing with a small hair tie at the ends. I find twisting rather than plaiting helps preserve the curls too! 
These are the key points I can think of. The biggest recommendation I always see/hear is to get your hair trimmed regularly. Because my hair grows so slowly this is something I've always shied away from as it takes months to recover the length of just a teeny trim for me. I am still yet to reach the ideal length for my hair, but I am so much happier with it's overall health and thickness. Time to finish with some snaps of where my hair is at now, longer and far healthier! 

I would love for you to share any tips or your own hair stories with me!
Thanks for reading, Love K. x 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Rapid Lash

The photo above shows my lashes with and without Rapid Lash. I started using Rapid Lash around Feb/March 2016 and used it fairly consistently until around October last year. I loved the difference that it made to my lashes, but I got bored of daily use of the product for months on end and eventually stopped using it. 

The photo on the right was taken last week, having not used the lash serum for around four months, and now is the time that I am really starting to feel the difference. My lashes, are understandably, back to their natural state. Which in all honesty isn't that great. They're naturally curled, but thin and sparse. As you can see the very tips barely touch the crease of my eyelid, where as with Rapid Lash they were very comfortably extended past the crease. 

Using the product is pretty simple, I applied every evening after my skin care routine to the root of my lashes on my top lid. I'd then gently massage the product in to the roots to help get the product more evenly distributed. Product can be used on top and bottom lashes, as well as eyebrows (although they do make a separate product for eyebrows if that's what you're after). 

Boots and Superdrug stock Rapid Lash, but I recommend shopping around online as it can be considerably cheaper (previously around £18 on amazon as apposed to £40 in Boots). Amazon are currently stocking it for £29.99.  Let me know if you've got any good lash-serum recommendations, can't wait to get mine back to all fluttery and long! 

Thanks for reading, Love K. x 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

koko couture hair extensions

My first memory of yearning for longer hair dates back to the mid-1990s. As a young girl, I wanted nothing more in life than to have hair to rival the likes of Ariel, Jasmine and Pocahontas. I used to close my eyes at night and hope that when I opened them again in the morning I would have flowing, waist-length hair.

Fast forward to my mid teens and I discovered hair extensions. I think I must have been 16 when I purchased my first pack of clip-in hair extensions from a down-market salon supply store in South London. From that moment, I didn't look back. Throughout all the switching and changing between bright blonde and black hair (and all the shades in between) I always had a set of clip-in hair extensions to match the shade du jour.

This set from Koko Couture is my first ever set of synthetic hair extensions. They are heat resistant and incredibly soft, so I can really see the benefit of synthetic hair. Synthetic tends to be shinier than real hair, and low quality synthetic can look down-right plastic. This hair on the other hand, blends perfectly with my natural hair (especially thanks to the perfect colour-match!). The set I have is the Lena, a 3 weft, 22-inch curly set available from KoKo Couture for £19.99*. The third photo above is my natural hair, with no extensions in for comparison. The extensions add not just length, but also volume and an overall healthier look. 

One of the draw-backs of clip-in extensions can be visible clips, which none of us want! My favourite hair-guru, Silvia, has got a great video on hiding the clips in your natural hair. Watch it here.

Thanks for reading, Love K. x 

*This product was a sample, all opinions are my own

Thursday, 18 February 2016

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour

Years ago, I used to have this cheap little liquid lipstick from ELF Cosmetics. It was a beautiful peachy shade, matte finish, long lasting. It was fabulous. Unfortunately the formula changed, and it was never the same again. Heartbroken, I've been on the lookout for a replacement for ages, and I've finally found one! 
In steps MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour, in Back in Vogue. This range has been all over my instagram and twitter feeds lately, so when I spied a peachy shade I knew I had to give it a go.
The formulation is obviously drying on the lips, as mattes and liquids both usually are. However, the longevity I've been getting with this product makes up for the drying nature. I always give my lips a little prep with something moisturising (8hour cream, lanolips, any rich lip balm really) before applying a matte or longer lasting lipstick, and that has certainly helped the texture of my lips when applying this product.
The doe foot applicator makes precision application really easy, although I've been finding that the applicator usually has too much product on it to start with, so I like to remove some of the product before applying to avoid making too much mess!
Best of all with this product, no lip liner necessary! I love having 'finished' looking lips with out having to faff around with 10 different products. Don't get me wrong, I love a good lip liner, but this is perfect for something quick and long lasting. Lips that you don't need to worry about throughout your business meeting, or dinner date. Perfect.
There are a whole bunch of beautiful colours in the line, but of course I went for the neutral shade! If you're a little braver than me make sure you check out the rest of their collection - gorgeous.
Thanks for reading, Love K. x 

Sunday, 14 February 2016

everyday make up 2016

I'm the sort of person that enjoys make up every single day. I might not do anything ground breaking, or even particularly exciting, but every day I enjoy a little transformation in the morning. 

I thought today I'd share with you a typical everyday look for me, with some of my favourite products. What I reach for does vary on a daily basis, but the end result is always fairly similar (neutral tones on the eyes, contour, 'naked' lip colour).

I recently made the leap from always using liquid foundations, to using powder or mineral based foundations. I love the bareMinerals matte foundation for a light and flawless base. For a little more help with coverage I also love the Max Factor Facefinity Compact Foundation

For many years I have been wildly in love with the Urban Decay Naked palettes, and the original is definitely my One. All of the palettes have soft, neutral tones that are easy to wear everyday and easy to build into something more dramatic when wanted. They're the perfect do-it-all palettes and I'm dying to get my hands on the Naked Smokey. 

Despite my most recent blog post (red lips - read it here) I've always been more comfortable with 'naked' lip colours, where my lips are just sort of perfected but not really changed. NARS Dolce Vita lipstick is nailing this look for me, it's a soft pink just a few shades brighter than my natural lip colour.

I feel like I've only recently become satisfied with my eyebrows. I've almost fully recovered from years of over-plucking, their shape is really coming back nicely, and I've found two perfect products for getting them 'ready'. The most important of these would definitely be the Anastasia Brow Wiz. It's the perfect ashy colour, has the perfect fine nib, has a perfectly handy spooley on one end. It just does it all, effortlessly. I find it's perfect for getting the shape and filling in any sparse areas, while a nice dark eyebrow gel (recently been obsessed with the L'Oreal one) completes the look and makes the hairs more defined for a more natural effect. 

Contouring is an everyday thing for me. You know that meme that makes a joke about being super moon-faced before contouring? That's me! It's essential. If you want to see me demonstrate how I sculpt on a daily basis, I made a video on it and you can watch it here

My eyelashes are not quite what I'd love them to be, so I always require a little extra help from something magical like Charlotte Tilburys Full Fat Lashes. Luckily they're naturally quite curly, so I rarely curl them but always put heaps of mascara on.

What are your everyday essentials? Thanks for reading, Love K. x 

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Rimmel The Only 1 - Best of the best

I absolutely love a new drug store make up treat. There's something so satisfying about getting stuck in at the stand, picking up the bullets or palettes that catch your eye, swatching on the back of your hand and adding your favourites to the basket. So when I saw that Rimmel (one of my absolute drug store favourites) had launched a new line of lipsticks, I was in. 

The packaging of this lipstick is almost there but not quite. I like the black cover and base, and I love having the shade of the lipstick visible, but the shape of the lid is a little odd and less comfortable to hold, and the plastic feels a touch cheap. 

The colour I selected is a seductive red, bolding named Best of the Best and I must say, I'm convinced. Usually a little scared by reds, the dark, cooler tone of this one drew me in and I have to say it's one of my best drug store lipstick purchases. 

The formulation is opaque yet smooth, it glides on the lips with an almost glossy texture but soon dries to a satin, comfortable finish. It's quite long lasting, not as long standing as some liquid or matte lipsticks, but the comfort factor is worth the extra need to reapply. 

At £6.99 with 15 shades available, I think I can say Rimmel have done it again. Available to buy at

Love, K. x 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

A few weeks ago I did something radical. I went off piste, and bought a new concealer. For what feels like forever, I've used the oh-so-predictable Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer every single day, and it has never let me down. So when I had the urge to purchase a new concealer that I'd never tried before, it felt more than a little alien. 

I knew exactly which one I wanted, so got my butt over to my nearest MAC counter. I have to say, I've always had mixed experiences at MAC, and mostly found it overwhelming and the staff a little intimidating, but this time around it was probably the best make up counter experience I've ever had.

I've been testing this out and used it almost every day for the last two weeks, and at first wasn't sure how I felt about it. I've used it with both powder and liquid foundation, and applied it using fingers and a beauty blender. I've had the best results when teamed with liquid foundation (L'Oreal Infallible Matte) and applied with a beauty blender. This, however I am a little disappointed with as I've recently been moving to using powder foundations on an everyday basis and saving liquids for days requiring more coverage. 

The concealer is quite light in texture, certainly lighter than our beloved Collection one, but still offers good coverage for under eyes and blemishes. One of the main things that I love about this concealer is the amount of product that you get. 9ml for £17.50. When compared to NARS Creamy Concealer at £22 for 6ml, this seems like a total bargain! Of course, nothing beats the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer on affordability, but for a long lasting, good coverage concealer from MAC I think this is pretty good going.

I have no doubts that I'll be reverting back to my Collection favourite, but it's always good to shake things up and try something new, especially when you find something that works! 

Love, K. xInstagram | Twitter | Bloglovin | Youtube
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