Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Hair Colour-How To

Some of you may know I've been contemplating a new hair colour for some time now and I finally took the plunge last week. I say 'plunge' but actually when it comes to colouring or cutting my hair, I am surprisingly nonchalant about the whole thing. I'm not someone who will cry for days over a botched fringe or bad dye job. Yes I would like 'perfect' hair every day and yes I often have 'bad hair days', but it's not the end of the world, it will grow back and if it's bothering you too much, there's hats and scarves and all sorts of pretty disguises! I know you were interested in a step-by-step guide for how to go about a big change like this and what to use, so here it is. My main tips are:

*if you're looking for a vivid 'unnatural' colour, it's likely you'll have to use bleach first to get the desired look unless your hair is already light blonde (colour on dark brown or black hair will just add a sheen/tint). When your roots grow in, just bleach this regrowth avoiding the previously bleach hair.
*when bleaching; you want your hair to be the palest lemon bordering on white or as light as you can go before adding the colour.
*if it's too yellow or orange, try a toner to take out the brassiness or else consider that your dye colour is technically mixing with orange and the end result will often be different to what you were hoping for.
*when bleaching, work fast (to cover the hair before the bleach stops developing), don't bother protecting your skin as bleach doesn't leave a tint behind (but don't get it on clothing etc), do pay attention and only leave on for the stated time.
*when using the colour, you can work slowly as the dye doesn't 'develop' like bleach, avoid getting on the skin as it will stain (use vaseline around the hairline, the ears etc), leave on for hours for optimum colour results.
*some colours can stain badly (like Special Effects 'Atomic Pink'), wash off the bath,walls, shower etc immediately or they will be stained forever (I used to coat the bath in shower gel before rinsing my hair and ran my hair under the taps first to get the majority of colour out before showering). I've never found another dye quite so potent since, thankfully.
*use hot water on your hair to fade colour
*use cold water on your hair to protect the colour
*add a little dye to your bottle of shampoo to 'top up' colour every wash
*do not use conditioner before applying the coloured dye (the dye does not 'stick' to conditioner), so shampoo only.
*consider mixing colours on your head, rather than in the bowl (for months, over faded Atomic Pink-I've been applying Atomic Turquoise and it turns those sections purple, AP is so strong that it would've stayed pink had I mixed the two shades together before applying to the hair)
*if you need to wear glasses when colouring your hair then cut a couple of 'fingers' off plastic disposable gloves to cover and protect the legs.
So, a little hairstory-I haven't touched my hair since the middle of December last year, so a full 3 months. At that time I'd been using Manic Panic 'Atomic Turquoise' Amplified formula all over, with a dash of Special Effect 'Atomic Pink' on the ends and a streak in the front (which turns purple with the turquoise). Last week, the purple had faded until it was practically gone, it was a very pale silvery lilac. The turquoise is always very blue at the start then fades to green-it was also very light and I was satisfied that there was as little colour left in my hair as possible. I used Garnier Nutrisse Truly Blonde Creme Pre-Lightener+ to bleach my entire head. Obviously starting with my roots which were very dark (as they would take the most lightening). As a sidenote, I've been growing out my super short fringe for the past few months-but am torn with whether to keep going or cut it short again, hmmm!
I was actually surprised with how well the bleaching went, my hair was a pale yellow, white in places. The roots were completely unnoticeable and matched the rest of my hair. There was in places, some very light stubborn traces of pink and a little green. Overall it worked brilliantly though. I did want to take the yellow tone out of it if possible, because my hair has a very golden tone to it and for what I was planning it needed to be cool, silvery toned. I had some Manic Panic 'Virgin Snow' Toner left over (around 3/4 of a jar), so applied this to my whole head. To do this, I washed out the bleach, shampooing only, towel dried my hair and I literally took handfuls of the toner and massaged it into my hair-all over. I wasn't trying to be neat with this-I just made sure it went everywhere and they say to comb these colours through until they foam-I didn't have a comb, so I just used my hands to massage it until it was a little frothy. I can't remember how long I left this on, possibly more than an hour, then I washed it out-again only using shampoo (yeah my poor bleached hair felt gross, but that's the way to do it).
I'm not sure if the toner made all that much of a difference, although the next day my hair was definitely a pale lemon, white colour which was the desired shade.
Next was the colour and I was in two minds about whether I wanted to go lilac or grey. I'd been hankering after greyish locks for a while but I haven't found a suitable colour to do it with yet. I decided on using Directions Silver and Lilac mixed. They come in little pots and I emptied them into a mixing bowl, 1 full pot of Silver to half a pot of Lilac. I've never used this brand before or either of the colours, so it was very much guess-work and I had no idea if it would even work.
My Mummy painstakingly applied this mixture to my hair using a dye brush. Both pots look very similar in the jar, Silver is a dark, dusky blue (above) Lilac is slightly more purpley. In the bowl, when they were mixed, it was a bright blue-purple. On my head it was very blue and in places it looked a little green tinged (eep!), as you can see in the pic below. I left this on for several hours.
This time when washing it out, you can use conditioner (yay). I got a bit of a shock when I came out of the shower and noticed blonde hair under the towel at the roots. Unfortunately my roots don't seem to have taken (the bits that were greenish tinged when the dye was on). I love the rest of the head, it's an iced lilac, slightly grey colour and I really, really love it.
My roots are bugging me though. I'm not sure why it's not taken. Mum wonders if it's when our mixture ran out and we used a dollop of lilac to two dollops of Silver to do the last wee bit of hair and she thinks this has maybe worked better than the other mixture.
I've lived with it for a few days but was desperate to do something about the roots today, which I have. At first I chucked on some Lilac dye in the hope it would take (but because I had conditioner in my hair it didn't). So, I washed my hair (shampooing only), towel dried and then properly applied just the Lilac (straight out the pot) to the really bad bits (couldn't be bothered figuring out how much I would need by using the Silver with it). I left it on for a couple of hours then shampooed and conditioned it. This time on my head when the dye was on, it looked a deeper lilac than the end result above, but I have to admit it's still not totally covered the blonde bits. The colour is brighter lilac now than the greyish tone it was last week (no pics yet sorry), but still the stubborn yellowy bits have only taken a little colour (they're kind of ashy taupe). It's wrapped in a scarf and pin curls just now and is still drying, but I'm a little bit at a loss as to where I've gone wrong. I'm wondering if these bits will take in a months time when fresh roots have come through, as obviously this yellow bit will work it's way down my hair as my hair grows and I don't want a yellow stripe halfway down my head! It's maybe not even root related, but it does seem to just be those bits that have very little colour. It's just odd because they bleached so well and were the exact same shade as the rest of my head before colouring. My Mum says I'm too fussy and that it's fine, but you know when it's your own hair, it bugs you?
I have bought a few products to prolong my 'lilac life', which I would definitely recommend you do if you're thinking of taking the plunge. I got Pro:Voke 'Touch Of Silver' Twice A Week Brightening Shampoo and Intensive Conditioner which are designed for silver, grey or platinum hair to tone down the brassiness. They contain violet colour pigments (there's also a daily shampoo and conditioner available too), so if you leave them on for at least 5 minutes (or longer if you have time), they can deposit a little tint of violet to your hair (like an old-lady purple rinse).
I also picked up a leave in treatment (Bristows from Bodycare) which contains violet pigment and was only 99p and I was going to get the Touch Of Silver Dry Shampoo, but put it back (I may go back for this actually) as it could work just sprayed into the roots and not brushed out to deposit some 'silver' colour.  So there you go, hopefully that's helped a little.  As I said, you just have to trial things and can never be entirely sure how it's going to work especially if you haven't used the brand/colours before.  I'll definitely be keeping this for a little while (even with the dodgy roots), because I really like the colour.  I'm sure the lilac will fade from bright to greyish toned after a few washes, which suits me fine as that's what I initially wanted.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Ridiculous Lipgloss Stash

This isn't a very informative post, but hey it's a Friday and it's been a pretty crappy, stressful day, so how about some makeup porn to brighten the evening?  As you do, I placed all my tube lipglosses on a giant board the other day to photograph them (probably when I had loads of really important stuff to do and instead found other really silly things to occupy my time) and took a giant photo of them all! This is an absolute feast for your eyes and I totally realise that no one person could ever use up this much gloss in a lifetime...ever. It's silly really.  Plus, if I'm totally honest I tend to opt for my wand glosses over these, the majority of the time anyway.  However, like I said earlier in the week, clearly I have obsessive, collector problems in life and seem to have just accumulated these over time ; )
This is all or at least most of my squeezy tube lipglosses ^ eeeek! I'm sure there are others dotted about the place and I know I have at least another 6 Pout Plump tubes which I wear in my bed, that are kept elsewhere.  There's just about every brand and colour on the planet here (from Philosophy to Estee Lauder to to OCC, Tesco, Dior, Urban Decay, 17, No7 and Victoria's Secret...but where are the ultimate squishy-tube glosses I hear you say?
OK, here's all the Lancome Juicy Tubes separately. Poop-loads I know.
Clearing away after my impromptu photo-shoot, I found a rather shy Clinique gloss who had evaded the camera thus-far; perhaps refusing to be photographed with her companions in order to gain a solo-portrait- naughty, diva Superbalm! Your wish is my command...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Searching For A Unicorn

Debenhams isn't the first place I'd look for jewellery but upon chance, I spotted a rather cute unicorn ring on their website-so went hunting for it instore the other week. They actually have a really big selection of jewellery and this particular ring was by Red Herring. It only came in S/M or M/L and trying it on (with the rather chunky plastic security tag), I feared the bigger one still wouldn't fit-it was pretty tight. Once home and off the card, it's actually quite roomy on my (smallest) ring finger. It's really weighty and much bigger than it looked online-I know I have mega loads of animal and horse/unicorn rings, but I loooove this one. I can't remember how much I paid for it, it was originally £6 but there was an event on and I got quite a bit off that.
In my search for the unicorn, I also found some amazing sparkly rings at the Jon Richard counter. They are all adjustable and I had a hard time picking out my favourites. I could not leave without this turtle. He's massive and his head, tails and legs move!! He was £10 down to £9. There were various butterflies, birds and things too.
I also got this little fairy...she's pretty cute and I don't think I have a fairy in my collection. She was also £9.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Vanity Organised

I've been tidying my tip of a bedroom bit by bit this year and the more I do, the more hopeless it seems. I am a collector (if you hadn't already guessed) and have a rather obsessive nature which I've discovered is genetic (we found over 100 pairs of scissors when we cleared out my Granny's house-random I know and she still had her mind!). Basically I own too many things. The shoes alone take up the majority of my bedroom, then there's the dolls I've collected for the past 30 years, the huge amount of cosmetics I own, the large jewellery collection, the hundreds of dresses...I could go on all day. I'm a 'keeper' (prefer that term to 'hoarder'!), I'm not big on throwing stuff out especially if it's got some sort of meaning and I tend to grow attached to all my belongings! With my typical Gemini split-personality though, I do get a huge sense of satisfaction when I throw out a big bag of rubbish, I do love cleaning (not so big on 'tidying') and I don't want to live in a mess. So I figure, all is not lost! A few weeks ago, I decided I would tidy my vanity area. I keep my perfumes and daily skincare items here along with some hair things and it had become rather disorganised and messy. Unfortunately I didn't take a 'before' pic because I hadn't intended to blog about it at all until I'd rearranged it and thought it might be something you'd be interested in.

I was kinda in two minds about whether to make it pretty looking or practical. In the end I went with a mixture of the two and since these pictures, I've tweaked it a little bit, so it's even easier for me to keep and access. It's not a massive space to work with and I've always dreamed of a huge ornate dressing table-but that will remain a dream for some time I think! On the top shelf I put hair products to one side and got rid of a few things I haven't used in a while. At the moment it's all Percy & Reed stuff with the exception of a can of Batiste Dry Shampoo which is almost finished and some Virgin Vie hair sparkle.
At the opposite end there's a few body products (not the body lotions I use every day/week), things like glittery creams and Palmer's Body Gloss which I tend to only use in summer months/special occasions. In between the ends are are my fragrances. This is where I was torn with whether to de-box them all, because they look prettier like that or keep them in their boxes (it's better if they're kept out of direct light etc). I kept most in boxes, the LAMB at the back I haven't started yet (I've just finished a 50ml and this is a huge 100ml), YSL Elle and J-Lo Still are almost finished, so I chucked their boxes as a reminder to use them up. Soap & Glory I spray each night before bed, so it's easier out of it's box and is almost finished too. Other fragrances are my Vivienne Westwood Boudoir, Ghost, Lancome Miracle (not much left), Anais Anais (rarely use this, so probably should've thrown it out), an empty Moschino Cheap & Chic which I can't part with and Jean Paul Gaultier Fragile which I don't like the smell of but bought purely for the gorgeous 'snow globe' bottle.
There's also a couple of shoe themed atomisers which were given to me as gifts!
Then there's my Harajuku Lovers fragrances. I have every bottle they've produced which is a heck of a lot and my Sunshine Cuties and Wicked Style have been dotted around my room for months and I never use them. My globe houses the original scents and out of them I really only use G and L'il Angel, so I did contemplate switching the bases for ones I would use. My Super G and G Of The Sea are too pretty to keep in their boxes, so I put them out. WS Baby I really like, so she's in a box on the top shelf and the others are under the shelf (I want to keep them boxed as they have flocked hair that will gather dust)-it's not ideal but I don't have room for everything! After some rearranging, my summer mini's are piled up in their boxes at the side which will hopefully have me reaching for them more often. The only ones not shown here are my Snow Bunnies, which I've never used yet (they are the original scent).
So my big globe sits on the base with the Wicked Style under the shelf along with a few boxes of hair clips and bows and things. In front of that are the skincare items I use regularly, my eye makeup remover, eye creams, moisturisers etc I also have a little Soap & Glory dish with kirby grips in one side and bands and clasps in the other.
Here's some of what I threw out; old or empty perfume bottles, some finished or nearly finished skincare things. I struggled a bit with this part I have to admit and I buckled and took the Givenchy Organza back out of the rubbish bag! I can remember when this fragrance launched and my work gave me a full-size bottle and I thought it was the coolest thing, so it's sitting on my window-sill now. So I'm getting there slowly...!