Wednesday, 20 August 2014

BIG HAIR BOOSTERS: TRIED & TESTED





My hair is pretty straight and flat, the end bits tend to get a little frizzy.  I have tried so many products to tame and give it some volume in the past.  In the past year my focus has been on 'the big hair' look, especially around the crown area.  The most recent three products I have tried are worth a little blogging about so here I am....

The 'Oh I needed some volume on the go' - VO5 Give Me Texture Instant Oomph Powder (£4.19) - The cheapest option of the three.  It's ideal to bring it with you on-the-go as it works well styling on dry hair.  Sprinkle as little or as much of these white powder along the roots of the hair and work it in.  You will notice that the powder provides a 'friction' and 'grit' to the hair to create the volume and give it a little oomph.  It doesn't leave any whitecast on your hair so that's a plus point.  However because of the texture of the powder that it gives makes working to the hair a little tricky.  It does give quite impressive volume once styled, however the lasting power isn't all singing and dancing.

The 'natural hair thickening agent' - Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray (£21.5) - One of the most expensive hair thickening agents on the market.  I'm never a Bb fan as I'm often fazed by the price tag that comes with every product.  I adopted this little baby from my sister (@forksandbrushes).  I have to say I'm impressed by it.  This is sprayed onto damp or wet hair.  The best result is that if you spray it to the roots of your hair by section, and at where your hair needed the most volume.  For me it's the crown of my head.  After spraying, styling as usual but I would concentrate on giving where the area has been sprayed a bit more heat than the rest of the head.  Something quite magical would gradually form, I noticed my hair would slightly thicken and it stayed put fairly well.  Of course, it collapses after a couple of hours but as would other volumising products I have tried.  If you have spare cash and want to splurge on a little bit, I would recommend this.

The 'pro salon-feel-like hair thickening product' - Head & Shoulders Extra Thickening Treatment (£9.99).  The newest hair thickening product kid in town that I tried.  I am currently using this with the Head and Shoulders Thick and Strong Shampoo and Conditioner.  You get the hint, I'm seriously working some volume to my hair.  I feel like this product has won my heart both in terms of application and end result. Similar to the Bb thickening spray, it's used on wet/ damp hair. I spray this onto the roots of my hair by sections, repeat in areas where it needs more thickening agent. My scalp would then feel a slight tingly sensation after around 30sec of application, but don't worry it doesn't hurt your scalp at all.  However it's worth doing a skin test prior using it just in case if you are allergic to this product. This made me feel like it really is working its magic to my hair. Then I would style it as usual. My hair does look like as if it's been thickened slightly. Again the result isn't "dramatic" but definitely looks natural enough! The lasting power is better than the Bb thickening spray. I'm not sure if it's due to the fact that I also team it up with the thickening shampoo and conditioner but nevertheless, for £9.99 I think it's easily the best and most effective product on the market.

Do you share the same problem with me that you are always looking for that bit of oomph to your hair? Have you tried any of the above? What's your hair thickening routine?




Wednesday, 13 August 2014

NATURAL REMEDY TO FIGHT AGAINST COLD WHEN PREGNANT


Catching a cold makes you feel run down and sick, and want to be in bed all day.  It's not nice for normal healthy and fit people to experience cold/ flu, and it's even worse if you are pregnant (like me!) and trying to fight off a cold.

Last week, I've managed to catch Mr Holiday's cold and suffered from it as a result!  I have a few tips I wanted to share with you all pregnant ladies, and perhaps those who like to fight off cold/ flu the natural way.

My doctor has told me that I can actually take paracetamol (follow the instructions and seek individual medical advice) during pregnancy, although ibuprofen is a No-No!  She also advised me that if I have a temperature, it's best if I take paracetamol to bring the temperature down, luckily I didn't.  Your little one inside your tummy isn't going to be affected by the cold/flu you are suffering from, so that's one piece of very good news!

But for those of you who are like me, who is a little sceptical about taking medications during pregnancy, what can you do to make yourself feel better apart from drinking plenty of water and having lots of bed rests?

I have two tips for you:


Lemon & Honey for the Sore Throat: The good old trick to cure nasty cold.  This combination is known to help soothens the sore throat.  I don't have it excessively though, instead I have it around 3 times a day.  A couple of pieces of freshly sliced lemon, together with 2 tablespoonful of honey (any honey will do); mixed with very hot water (some might say hot water actually makes honey tastes sour but you've got the lemon in there anyway so who cares?!), sip through it whilst the drink is still quite hot, with cautious though.  It really works to soothen the sore and dry throat.


Eucalyptus Oil and Tissues for the Blocked and Stuffy Nose: This time round I had particularly bad blocked nose and there were a couple of nights I could only breath through my mouth which was quite difficult when trying to fall asleep.  A quick google search, and a private consultation with my friend who is a qualified medical herbalist, Eucalyptus Oil is what you need to help unblocking the blocked nose the natural way (again please seek medical advice before using it).  I have never heard of this essential oil before, and the good news is that it's very accessible in your local pharmacy, and I got mine from Boots. I dropped a few drops of it onto my tissue to inhale and when I needed to blow my nose.  It's got quite a pungent minty scent so do be careful before sniffing it.  As it's quite strong it seems to have the power to send the scent down my nostrils to unblock what's been blocked.  It also helps to 'awake' the head and clear the mind a little bit just when you feel you are dying!

I don't know whether it's the cold or the pregnancy that has weakened my immune system, it's taken a good whole week for my cold to clear!  I've certainly had worse cold/flu in my life before but having had to rely on my body to fight against it is a bit of a first for me.  I'm glad to report that I am now well, and the two things mentioned above that I tried were of great help!

How do you fight off nasty cold/ flu?  Do you turn straight to medications or are you a natural kind of girl who likes to fight against it organically?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Ooooh! POWDER?! BEN NYE LUXURY LOOSE POWDER



There is something about my preference and habit of my makeup routine that is changing over time.  Last time I talked about eye primers, today I wanted to share with you a face powder!  Never have I wanted to 'powder' my face as I have quite dehydrated skin.  Any products that are less than hydrating or moisturising will end up clinging onto my dry patches.   Recently though, the word 'powder' kept creeping into my mind, especially after applying make up, I feel that it's lacking of something without a light sweep of powder.


May I introduce to you Ben Nye Luxury Loose Powder (£9.95).  It's not your average high street or high end face powder that you can get as easily.  I bought mine at IMATS 2014, you can also purchase it easily from Guru Makeup Emporium situated conveniently at High Street Kensington.  Check out here for a more in-depth detailed blogpost by my sister (@forksandbrushes).
If you look at the powder from the outside of this little bottle, the powder looks quite yellow and even when I swatched it on my hands, it looks yellow and rather chalky.  However, once after it's been blended, it's all transparent and smoothened out.  It's pretty good.  I have wearing it for a good few weeks now and it's never dried up my skin or looks cake at all.  It's got such a soft and thin formulation that it disappeared once blended but yet it's able to brighten up the skin complexion further in a very natural way.


There are two brushes that I use to powder.  If I just wanted to powder small areas in my face, e.g. under the eye areas, I would use my Real Techniques' setting brush.  If I wanted an all-over the face powder then I would reach for my Zoeva #101 Luxe Face Definer Brush.  Just to add that, you might think that the Zoeva brush looks gigantic, its tapered shape made it ideal to target those delicate under eye areas and round the nose areas!

Are you a powder kind of gal?  What is your favourite face powder?



Wednesday, 30 July 2014

TO HUNGER MIST OR TO BEAUTY ELIXIR?



I simply cannot live without a face mist since my discovery of Caudalie Beauty Elixir.  It's become my handbag essential, especially when I found myself stuck in traffic or in crowded areas.  It also works amazingly when I'm on long haul flights.  A quick spritz of this gives such a 'pick-me-up' SOS lift to my life.

Recently I got my hands on the Omorovicza Queen of Hunger Mist.  It's something very similar to Caudalie Beauty Elixir.  It can be used as a toner as well as a face mist.

Which is better?  I think I prefer Caudalie's.  It's got a stronger scent that it's fantastic to 'wake me up' but I feel that it's a bit too strong to use as a toner.  Queen of Hunger Mist, is the opposite of Caudalie's beauty elixir, it's got a milder scent full of neroli and rose flavours.  It feels more 'water' which is more suitable to use as a toner (less harsh to the skin I feel) but less powerful to use as a 'wake-me-up' spray.  So, it really depends on what you prefer then.

If you haven't tried either of these, I strongly suggest you to have a little spray on yourself to give it a go!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

EAT BRUNCH ON A SUNDAY: IMIL STREET



I don't blame ya if you were already planning on what to do next weekend! Perhaps today's post (wow it's my first ever food-related post, too!) can give you a little inspiration.

It was a Sunday, I woke up wanting pancakes, American style preferably. To think pancakes are such common food types, it's actually not the easiest find to "eat" in restaurants in London.

A quick search of "pancakes in London" on Google wasn't all that helpful. The Breakfast Club came up as I expected. Honestly I'm not the biggest fan there (perhaps it's to do with the "age" thing.... "Cringe").

Nevertheless I said to Mr Holiday, "OK let's try to see what the queue was like at The Breakfast Club...."

It was horrendous when we got to BC in Soho, I would have stupid counting the number of people in the queue; I would be there until dinner time. 

So we kept walking and suddenly I saw IMIL STREET and I remembered having dinner here once, they serve street style Indian food and it was "OK" but when I saw it had a "Weekend Brunch" sign, I was intrigued. Then we saw people eating some lovely looking food by the window seats, I took a closer look to the menu, I found "Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup"! Without me realizing it, we were seated inside the restaurant. 



It's much more "peaceful" and "tranquil" here. There's a great vibe inside, people were enjoyable their brunches, the staffing team was chilled.  Even though I knew what I wanted to order, I still took a closer look at the menu, it's an extensive one with a mixture of standard full English, to American pancakes, and some of IMIL specialties, breakfast with an Indian touch. 

We've ordered a Pancake with bacon and maple syrup, an Egg Benedict; and Masala Chai with Milk. 



The food came and I was impressed! I was offered extra maple syrup immediately had I happily said, "yes please!". I don't know how the Egg Benedict tasted but Mr Holiday enjoyed it.

I loved my pancakes, there were 3 and sandwiched in between were a generous helping of bacons. Pancakes were light and fluffy, bacons were grilled to perfection, together with my overindulgence in maple syrup; it was food made in heaven!


We have enjoyed every biteful of it, the Masala Tea tasted just right too! All in all a very surprising find in try middle of Soho area. I would give 5* for both the food and ambience of the restaurant and its service. The only down side is that Weekend Brunch at IMIL STREET is only available at weekends from 9am to 1pm. For leisurely people who want to brunch on weekdays, sadly this isn't an option.

Next time if you run out of ideas on brunch and wanted a quiet place, do give IMIL STREET a try!

Where to find IMIL STREET?
167-169 Wardour Street, London W1F 8WR
Tel: 020 7287 4243

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

THE EYE PRIMERS EDIT



Something strange has happened in my own little makeup world.  I'm reaching for the use of eye primers regularly, almost every time when I wear eye makeup.  It's never something that I wore but now, I needed it.

Things started to change a few months ago when I saw that the eyeliners on my eyes started to smudge and move; which never happened to me.  I also realised that my makeup doesn't stay put as well as they use to (still pretty well but it's changed slightly).  I don't think my skin has turned from dehydrated to combination/ oily, but for some unknown reasons, applying eye primers seem to help my eye makeup to stay put a little better.  Naturally, I started my journey on looking for a perfect eye primers.  You can read a previous review here.  

Since then I've now tried a few more eye primers and I wanted to share with you what I thought of them.




NYX Eyeshadow Base (£6) - For the price you get quite a large pot (7g) of product, bargain!  It's a beige colour/ skin tone cream textured eyeshadow base that works as an eye primer, too.  The skin tone colour is great for smoothening out any discolouration on the eyelids.  It does the job well but when I first used it, I found the formulation a little bit dry.  It's difficult to smear the product out of the pot, it needed a bit of temperature from the fingers in order to 'melt it out'.   However, recently I thought I would give it another go and I found that the formula has become a little bit more creamier than when I first bought it half a year ago.  I started enjoying using it, it works for me as an extension to my foundation, but on my eyes.

Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer (£4.99) - I've tried the Nars eye primer which is a silicone based product, it works even though I wasn't keen on the formulation.  However it's a little bit too pricey to my liking so when I saw this one by Rimmel, I thought perhaps this could be a 'dupe'!  It comes in a tube form with a dover applicator.  A convenience design for application.  The product comes in as a (pearly) white silicone based primer.  It's quite a wet formula and therefore I found it a little too slippery and difficult to blend on my eyelids.  It also takes a little while to dry before I can apply my eye makeup.  Does it work?  Yes it does but because I tend to like to apply my makeup quickly.  I don't like to be waiting around for it to dry.  I tried to apply eye makeup before the primer dries up, the eye shadows would either slip everywhere or is not ready for the eye shadow to adhere to my eyelids properly.  If you like a silicone base product and wanted something budget friendly, this could be a product for you.

L'Oreal Color Riche Eye Primer (£5.99) - The latest primer addition to my stash.  This primer comes in a chubby stick/ crayon pencil shape.  It's got a skin tone/ nude shade, quite a 'chalky' formula.  I normally apply it to my eyelids straight from the stick itself which works really well.  It's very easy to blend and counteract any discolouration on my eyelids that need to be done.  It works excellently as an eye primer which my eye makeup would never move.  It's easy to control how much of this you want to apply on your eyelids.  You can apply eye makeup straight after.  I like this one the most!

No 7 Stay Perfect Smoothing Eye Shadow in Iridescent Purple (£8) - The most expensive one out of the four, and technically this isn't an 'eye primer'.  This was a bit of an unexpected purchase from Boots a while ago.  However on a few occasions when I have opted out on applying an eye primer on, I used this as an 'eye base'.  The 'wetness' of the eye shadow is just right and easy to blend.  It works especially well if you apply a similar colour powder eye shadow afterwards.  This stuff really helps to intensify the powder eyeshadow and stay put really well.  It's got a nice sheen to it (not shimmery) that works well if applied alone.  

Are you an eye primer wearer?  Have you tried any of the above primers before?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A MAKEUP STORAGE IDEA



I found that I'm never satisfied with the way  my makeup is stored.  I'm constantly thinking of ways to improve it, and new storage bits to add to.  Last week when I was in IMATS, I saw this Cosmetic Organiser (£8) I knew I had to snap it up, as I have been looking for one like this for ages.  You can also get an identical one here.

I'm storing my makeup stash slightly differently as I'm spending time away from 'home', so my makeup collection has greatly reduced.  This cosmetic organiser seems to work perfect for me at the moment but I'm sure I will keep this forever for my makeup to display nicely.


I especially like that fact that I can choose up to 12 lipsticks on display at one time, which is what I have at the moment (hard to believe I am only carrying with me 12 lipsticks and left my others behind....)  In other compartments, I decided to put my base products that I'm using or reaching for on a regular basis.  I also put eye primers, mascaras, eyebrow pencils and other tube-shaped products on this organiser.  


I keep the rest of my eyes and cheek products in another tray.  It works for me I feel.  I like the acrylic material as it keeps everything look chic and goes with any design you may have in your room.

What system do you use to keep your makeup neat and tidy?  Do you use something similar to this?