Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Split and Twist Braid

Good evening!

Today I thought I'd teach you how to do this incredibly easy, yet very pretty hairstyle. I've seen Cheryl Cole wear her hair in a similar way and loved Nicole Guerriero's video tutorial on how to do this braid (which she called a bubble braid) last summer, but thought I would do my own spin on it by pinning up the front of the hair in a sort of quiff if you will. I had no idea what to call this hairstyle so settled on the 'Split and Twist Braid' as it takes plenty of splitting off sections of hair and twisting them from start to finish (very lazy naming, I admit). You may recognise some of this tutorial from a previous hair blog post I wrote on how to do a Springtime Messy Bun. The twisting technique used in both these blog posts is clearly fast becoming one of my favourite ways to style my hair.

For this look, you will need: a comb, hairspray, several hair grips, a normal hair bobble and thin snag-free hair elastics. These are different from the trusty hair bobble in that they are a lot thinner and the elastic is not covered in material. These are important for this look as you want them to look as discreet as possible. You can pick up a pack from Boots for £1.99 and they look like this:

So without further ado, here's how you do it:

1. This style works best on hair that has not been freshly washed to help it stay in place. Grab your comb and style your hair into a side parting.

2. Using the same technique to pin our hair back as we did for the spring time messy bun, pin the front section of your hair (about the same amount as you would use for a side fringe) back, twisting once before fixing with a hair grip. Unlike last time though, back brush and hairspray this section of hair before pinning to give it more lift and make a more voluminous quiff.

3. Take a section of hair from the side of your face and underneath the section you just pinned up and twist and pin in the same way.

4. Repeat step 3 again if you want more twists.

5. Be sure to backcomb and pin back your hair on the other side of the side parting. This doesn't have to be anything fancy, I just find it looks better if the whole head of hair has a bit of added volume before you make your ponytail.

5. Tie your hair into a side ponytail using a normal hair bobble. The ponytail should start at the nape of your neck (I don't know why I'm pouting so furiously in this photo, I can only apologise).

6. Tie one of the hair elastics round the ponytail about two - three inches from the top.

7. Poke your thumb and index finger through the section of hair between the hair bobble and the hair elastic from the back.

8. Grab the bottom of the ponytail and pull it through the gap created by your fingers. This will create a twist effect.

8. Tie another hair elastic about two - three inches below the first one. Once again, poke your thumb and index finger through this new section and pull the rest of the ponytail through the gap.

9. Repeat step 8 as many times as the length of your hair will let you.

10. Tug a little at each section of the braid to make it look a little less neat and hairspray the whole thing in place.

11. (Optional) Once you are happy with your braid, carefully remove the normal hair bobble at the top. I think this looks better as it makes the whole thing look a bit more relaxed and messy. You may have to pin up a few loose strands that fall out of place.

12. Pull a few strands of hair free from around your face and voila! You're all good to go. Unfortunately I only took one picture of the completed look so here's my cheesy smiling face one more time for your viewing pleasure.

I hope you like this hairstyle and it inspires you to get creative with splitting and twisting (no euphemism intended, seriously). Please leave any blog posts or videos with quick and easy hairstyles in the comments that you have seen recently and enjoyed - I am really loving experimenting with my hair at the moment!

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Monday, 21 April 2014

Minty Fresh

Hi everyone and happy bank holiday weekend! I hope you're all enjoying a relaxing few days off.

You may have noticed that mint-coloured clothes, accessories and make up are literally everywhere now spring has begun. I absolutely love pastel colours and mint is just that little bit less girly than pastel pink which is perfect for me as I don't consider myself to be too much of a girly girl.

The other day I went into New Look and had a bit of a mint moment. The first thing that caught my eye was this crop t-shirt. 

Turquoise Crop T-Shirt (R.R.P £12.99)

New Look is selling these tops in several colours - they are such good value and so versatile. I tried to buy one in cream as well but they had, alas, sold out of most sizes. I love wearing this simple top with skinny jeans and a statement necklace to add some detail to the outfit. Here I am smiling away on Brighton beach (the necklace is from ASOS and was bought for me by a friend years ago but I still love it). I'm also wearing slim, maroon converse trainers but these didn't quite make the shot.

I also bought this lingerie set from the Kelly Brook collection at New Look.

Kelly Brook Turquoise Lace Overlay Balconette Bra (R.R.P. £14.99) and Brazilian Brief (R.R.P. £6.99)

Some of the range is pretty tacky (soz Kelly) but this set is really pretty and the colour looks great against a tan, making it a great alternative to white. I will definitely be looking out for a mint bikini for my summer holiday for that very reason. 

What's your favourite pastel colour this season? Let me know in the comments!

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Friday, 11 April 2014

GlamGlow face mask - is it worth the hype?

You may remember that last month I popped along to the opening event of So Me Beauty & Wellness in Clapham. In the goodie bag that I came out with was a sample sachet of GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, the tingling, exfoliating mud mask that I've heard many people raving about.

Well the other night, I decided to give it a go. I am quite ignorant when it comes to face masks but I know others who swear by them. I guess my skin has never been that bad and any problems I've had in the last couple of years have been purely hormonal, and there's not much one can do about that. One thing I was hoping to achieve, however, is for my pores to look minimised. I said to myself that, despite the hefty price tag (it's a whopping £49.99 for a 50g tub on the official website), if I was super impressed with this face mask, I would put it on my birthday list for next month.

It says on the directions that you should feel a tingling sensation in 10 minutes or less. I felt this almost instantly to the point that it was almost unpleasant. This feeling didn't last though as my face got used to it pretty quickly. I don't know if it's meant to look as lumpy as it does in the pictures (I look a little like I have some sort of disease) but it was easy to apply and wasn't uncomfortable when it solidified. It was also easy to take off with circular, exfoliating motions. 

And here's the end result (just can't get enough of the no make-up selfies nowadays)! All in all, I am quite impressed with it. My skin does feels super smooth and I think my pores did appear to be tightened. However, I don't think it's worth the price tag and i'm sure a cheaper exfoliating mask could pretty much do the same job. Unfortunately, it won't be making the birthday list cut.

Have you tried GlamGlow? And if so, what did you make of it? Let me know which face masks (with a smaller price tag) work best for you and I'll be sure to give them a go as I venture deeper into the world of skincare.

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