Tag Archives: bridal beauty

Eternal Beauty from the Inside Out AKA How I Transformed my Bleach Damaged Hair

Around five years ago, after way too much abuse from DIY bleaching, my hair was in a bad place. It was dry and brittle and wouldn’t grow past my shoulders before breaking off. Naturally, my hairdresser wasn’t impressed and helped me to see the damage I was doing to it through over-bleaching. If you’re partial to a splash of unnatural colour in your hair the chances are you can totally relate to this problem.

Fast forward to now and the difference is night and day. My hair is longer, stronger and so much softer. And I know it’s not just me seeing the difference, people are always asking on my Instagram how I manage to keep the bright colour without causing damage. Among the shopping list of tips I always give them is Xtend-Life’s Omega 3.

It was actually a friend who recommended this fish oil supplement to me and I first wrote about it in 2014 as a satisfied customer. This stuff literally transformed my hair in about six months and I’ve been a convert ever since. Here’s a quick before and after comparison of my hair for you to judge:

So, having used their products for five years or so I was super-interested to find out more about their new Eternal Beauty Collection – six solutions which promise to rejuvenate, strengthen, protect, repair and otherwise pamper you… from within! I could very easily spend all my money on all the latest beauty products and be very happy indeed. However, there’s really no point slathering ourselves in creams if we’re not taking care of what’s going on inside our bodies first.

The Eternal Beauty Collection, made up of six of Xtend-Life’s most popular products, is a daily supplement program complimented with some of their most popular topical skincare items. It’s specially designed to help support the healthy growth of hair and nails as well as promoting radiant skin and a strong immune system. As a bride-to-be, I reckon this is the perfect pre-wedding pamper kit for glowing skin, hair and nails (collagen and omega supplements). It even comes in a branded wash bag and saves you a whopping $40 over buying them individually!

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The Life Changing Power of Amazing Eyebrows: Getting Microbladed by Sian Dellar

By now you’ve probably already heard of, or even considered, having your eyebrows microbladed. A few of my friends have had it done and always raved about it, but I’d honestly never really considered it for myself.

I’ve always been pretty proud of my brows. Thankfully, I managed to swerve the over-plucked trend of the late 90s (due mostly to laziness than anything else!) so I didn’t think I really need it done. However when I was invited by Sian Dellar to try it out, I thought it would be a really interesting experiment.

Here’s what my browns looked like before, photographed with no extra brow products or make up…

My right brow was a little off-centre compared to my left making them look slightly asymmetrical, and they were a little far apart, but neither of these things massively bothered me. After all, they’re only brows right? Wrong! Since having this treatment done I can tell you that ‘on fleek’* brows make all the difference!

*OMG did I really just say that?

Here they are before with my eyebrows filled in. If you’re curious I use either the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz or the NYX Tame and Frame Pomade, which one depends how much brow-effort I want to make (ha!)

I arrived at Sian Dellar’s clinic, located at 1 Harley Street, and was met by the lovely Carrina, who was doing my treatment. After a quick patch test (a little scratch behind the ear, left for 15 minutes to see if there was any reaction) and we were ready to go.

I told Carrina I didn’t want anything too extreme, “Insta-brows” were definitely not my goal. I just wanted to see what difference a more subtle treatment might make. She then did all kinds of measurements before drawing a template on so I could see the shape she was aiming for to make sure I was happy with it. She suggested bringing them inwards a little, raising my arch slightly and extending them just a touch at the ends.

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The Ultimate Guide to Dying Your Hair Fantasy Colours: Keeping it Healthy, Rescuing it When it’s Damaged & Making the Colour Last!

If there’s one thing I get asked about more than anything else, it’s my hair! Whenever I post a selfie I have at least a couple of questions about how I keep it healthy, what to do when its damaged from bleach and how I make my colours last. While I’ve written a few posts on this individual topics before, I thought it was time for an update (things are changing all the time) and I figured one ULTIMATE post, covering everything might be helpful. I hope you agree!

Keeping Hair Healthy

Bleaching

First of all, unless your hair is naturally super light blonde, you WILL need to bleach it if you want to dye your hair a bright, fantasy colour. The colour simply won’t show up, or will look muddy, on hair any darker than light blonde. This is the one stage I would never recommend that you do yourself! It’s very, very easy to fry your hair if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing so the best thing you can do for your hair is go to a colour specialist for this part.

The brighter and more saturated you want your colour you look, the lighter you hair will need to be (however if you want a pastel look you’ll also need a super light base to work with too). It can be difficult to get very dark hair, light enough in one sitting to get the exact colour results you need. Everybody’s hair is different though so speak to your colourist and take their advice! The texture of your hair may mean you need a few gentler bleaching sessions over a series of months to get to your desired base colour.

I also never, ever bleach my hair more than once. I’ve heard about people doing two or even three passes of bleach over their hair in one sitting and the idea makes me wince! Even using protection such as Olaplex (see below) this just seems like a really terrible idea. When I get my hair bleached, we only ever do the roots. If I need to fade my colour to change it up, I just quit topping up the colour for a few weeks before I go to the salon to get it as light as possible.

Olaplex (or similar)

Olaplex revolutionised the hair care market when their three step system launched a few years ago. So much so that there are now 32 competitor brands producing a product that (claims to) do the same thing! I’m yet to use any of them other than Olaplex, but I’m going to a salon soon that uses Innoluxe so I’ll report back. Using these products not only limits the damage the bleach does to your hair, but it can also help rebuild damaged hair too! As soon as I started using Olaplex, my hair transformed. I can not recommend it enough.

These products are salon-only meaning you have to go to a hairdressers to use them. While you can buy them from places like eBay and Amazon, I’ve heard that due to the popularity a lot of them are fake, so I wouldn’t recommend risking it! The cost is between £30-£50 on top of the usual cost of having your hair dyed.

If you want to read more about Olaplex and my experience you can do so here!

Rescuing Hair When it’s Bleach Damaged

I have written extensively about this before so if you haven’t already, you should definitely read this article first.

My biggest tip for fixing your hair when it’s either breaking off, or super stretchy and springy is to give it time. It WILL take a long while for it to get healthy again so you need to treat it with kindness and have patience. Depending on the extent of the damage you may also need to cut some of it off and start again. I had to do this and it was painful but so worth it in the end!

Restore the protein

The reason hair gets damaged by things like bleach and heat, is because they attack the natural proteins (also known as keratin) in your hair. In order to get it healthy again you need to restore these proteins with treatments such as the Redken Extreme range.

Slather it in moisture 

As well as being deficient in keratin, your hair will likely be very, very thirsty. Healthy hair has the perfect balance of both protein and moisture in it, so you need to make sure you restore both. A lack of moisture is what makes your hair straw-like or causes it to snap off when it gets to a certain length. I love anything by the Moroccan Oil brand.

Avoid heat (as much as possible)

Even though my hair is pretty healthy these days, I try to leave it to dry naturally as often as I can. Intense heat, like bleach, is one of the biggest things that will damage your hair fast. I then style it with straighteners on the lowest setting. Always use a heat protecting spray too! If your hair is in a really bad state, you should avoid heat at all costs, however if, like mine, its in pretty good condition then using heat on it occasionally is OK.

Give it a break

It should go without saying, but if your hair is damaged you need to treat it with care and that means no more bleaching, no more heat and lots of lovely treatments to help it recover. You should also avoid brushing it too often, rough-drying it with a towel or wearing tight hairstyles.

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Are Long Lasting Liquid Lipsticks Worth the Hype?

Are Long Lasting Liquid Lipsticks Worth the Hype2

I’m wearing Rio by Anastasia Beverly Hills in these photos

I’m really into watching beauty reviews on YouTube right now. I know, I’m about 5 years late to the party and probably about 10 years older than their average viewer but it’s SO FASCINATING. I did actually momentarily consider filming this post rather than writing it, but then I decided to stick with what I know because being on camera is the cringiest thing ever (I just joined Snapchat and I’m trying to get better at it though, My username is kat_rocknroll if you want to follow me!)

Aaaaanyway… Apart from YouTube, the other thing I am unashamedly obsessed with right now is liquid lipsticks. I swear to God buying them is such a compulsion and I literally can not stop. I really wish they’d been around when I got married too because something with staying power that’s also kiss proof is ideal to wear on your wedding day.

There is always a lot of chat about the best long lasting lipsticks in the Rock n Roll Bride Facebook group, and as I’ve now amassed quite the collection of brands and colours, I thought I’d put together a little side by side review for you.

I’m rating each brand on overall pros and cons, how long they last, if they come off when you kiss someone (thanks for being the guinea pig Gareth!) how drying they are (1 being the sahara desert, 10 being as moisturising as anything) and the cost.

Lime Crime Velvetines

Pros:
♥ Loads of colour options.
♥ New colours released all the time.
♥ One of the longest lasting.

Cons:
♥ Lime Crime don’t have a great reputation.
♥ The swatches online are often quite inaccurate.
♥ You have to order them from the US which can be expensive, especially if you’re stung with customs.
♥ They have a weird kind of a chemically, fake sweet smell.

Lasting power: 9/10
Kiss proof factor: 10/10
Dryness: 8/10
Cost: £14 + £8 shipping + £8 customs. Total: £30 (approx)

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick

Pros:
♥ The wand is super easy to use, flexible and very accurate. It’s definitely the best one of all the liquid lipsticks I’ve tried.
♥ Really, really long lasting.
♥ Creamy consistency.
♥ You can mix these really easily to create your own colours (I use the nudes all the time to lighten up other ones).
♥ Allegedly you can also use them as eye liners, but I haven’t tried that myself.

Cons:
♥ The most popular colours always seem to be out of stock.
♥ The colour choices that I’d actually wear are a bit limited. I love you Jeffree but I have no desire for white, blue or green lips.
♥ While there are some UK stockist, they never seem to have many colours available.
♥ Shipping/ customs from the US makes these pretty expensive.

Lasting power: 10/10
Kiss proof factor: 10/10
Dryness: 9/10
Cost: £13 + £8 shipping + £8 customs. Total: £29 (approx)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

Pros:
♥ Shipping from the USA is super fast (within 2 days!)
♥ The colours are super bright and the swatches on their site are very accurate.
♥ They last almost all day with no need to reapply.

Cons:
♥ There are no UK stockists. You have to order them from the US which is expensive.
♥ Flakes a little after a few hours.

Lasting power: 8/10
Kiss proof factor: 10/10
Dryness: 7/10
Cost: £14 + £13 shipping + £8 customs. Total: £35 (approx)

LASplash Cosmetics Lip Couture

Pros:
♥ Loads of colour options.

Cons:
♥ The colour doesn’t go on very evenly. I generally need to apply two coats and then it feels really thick and heavy on my lips.
♥ They flake really badly after wearing for just few hours.
♥ Shipping to the UK is ridiculously expensive.

Lasting power: 2/10
Kiss proof factor: 7/10
Dryness: 8/10
Cost: £10 + £20 shipping + £8 customs. Total: £38 (approx)

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour

Pros:
♥ Available to buy in the UK.
♥ Super bright colours and the online swatches are very accurate.
♥ Lighter weight than a lot of the others.
♥ I love the packaging, very simple but very ‘MAC’.

Cons:
♥ One of the most expensive ones (but if you’re in the UK, once you’ve paid shipping and customs on the ones from America, they’ll actually work out about £10 cheaper!)
♥ A lot of the colours are sold out right now.
♥ Not as budge-proof as some of the other brands and I had to reapply after I ate. However when it starts to fade it does so evenly, rather than flaking.

Lasting power: 8/10
Kiss proof factor: 9/10
Dryness: 10/10
Cost: £21

There’s no such thing as too many pink lipsticks

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How To Keep Your Hair Happy and Healthy When You Dye it Unnatural Colours

headshots 2015 shell de mar (13)

One of the things I get asked about more than anything else is my hair and some of the most popular articles I’ve ever written are about it too. Maybe I should just ditch the whole wedding thing and become a hair blogger instead!? HA!

Maybe not, but I got so many questions when I posted about my new pink-blue do, that I figured I’d do a quick Q&A.

How much does it cost to get your hair dyed?

The cost will vary depending on where you are based, the products used, the length of your hair and the expertise of your stylist. I get my roots bleached every 8-10 weeks at Blue Mango Salon in London, by Elbie. Elbie is at the top of her game, specialises in unnaturally coloured hair and is based in London, so the price I pay reflects that. Bleach, Olaplex (more on that below), cut and colour costs me around £150 a time.

I love the idea of having colourful hair but am holding off because I don’t want to destroy my locks with bleach. Any ideas on how to dye my hair a funky colour without bleaching it first?

The short answer is, unless your hair is naturally very light blonde, you can’t. Unnaturally coloured dyes such as blue, purple, green, pink etc only show up on light bases so the blonder you can get your hair before you add colour, the brighter the result will be. If your hair is light brown, some colour MAY take, but you certainly won’t get the vibrant results you want.

My hair is naturally very, very dark brown (see!) and it taken a long time to get it light enough to hold the colour that it does. When it comes to putting bleach on your hair I would always recommend going to a professional. Take that from a girl who used to bleach hers herself and completely destroyed it! You may also need to bleach it slowly over time to get it light enough (in order to keep it healthy) before you can get it to the colour you’re hoping for.

I also can not rave about the magical properties of Olaplex enough! It is a 3-step salon product meaning you need to go to a hairdressers that carries it to have it done. When your stylist uses it with bleach, it not only enables you to get your hair lighter in way less time, but it also protects it from the bleach’s damaging effects and repairs past damage. It is truly AMAZING and since using it, my hair is in almost as good condition as it was before bleach came anywhere near my head.

Olaplex isn’t cheap. The treatment on hair my length is £50 on top of the usual cost of having it dyed, and a 100ml bottle of the Step 3 (which you use regularly at home) is £37. I know this sounds mega expensive but it is soooo worth it. The instant Elbie used Olaplex on my hair it felt softer, smoother and unbelievably silky – and it’s stayed like that ever since. As long as you regularly use No. 3 in between going to your stylist to have your roots done, there’s no reason your hair shouldn’t stay happy and healthy forever!

headshots 2015 shell de mar (8)

What products did you use? Your hair always looks absolutely beautiful!

I think a lot of people think you can just bleach the shit out of your hair and then go back to using you supermarket shampoo and all will be fine. This is certainly not the case.

I want my hair to look the best it possibly can so I invest in the products I put on it. For shampoo I use Redken Extreme and for conditioner I rotate between Redken Extreme Strength Builder and Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask. I also use Redken One United and Hask Placenta (which are both leave in conditioners) on my hair when its wet and a heat protector spray before I blow dry. I use Olaplex Step 3 about once a week as well.

Have a chat to your hairdresser though and ask for their recommendations. Everybody’s hair is different and other products may be more suitable for you.

I love the idea of having rainbow hair but I can’t be bothered faffing around with dying it every few weeks. Your hair is always so bright, do you just dye it all the time?

I used to but since discovering oVertone I NEVER HAVE TO DYE MY HAIR between root touch-ups! It’s a colour-depositing conditioner that comes in a range of unnatural colours (red, blue, teal, pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, silver) that are made to fight the fade. I use it every time I wash my hair, after shampooing and before I use a deep conditioner.

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Solve These Three Common Bleach Damaged Hair Problems FAST!

headshots 2015 shell de mar (14)

When I published an article 18 months ago about how I rescued my bleach ravaged hair, I never knew it would be so popular! In fact it still gets traffic and comments every single day from people struggling to fix what constant bleaching has done to their tresses. While everything I wrote in that post still stands, I have discovered a few new wonder-products recently so I thought it was high time for an update.

The three most common gripes with dyed hair seems to be damage, colour fade and thinning, and I’m pleased as punch to tell you that I’ve found ways to combat all of these problems. I kid you not!

If your hair is damaged: Olaplex

I don’t think I can properly express how amazing this miracle product is. And yes I said MIRACLE. From the first treatment my hair felt AMAZING, like virgin hair. For serrrrrrrrrrious.

Olaplex is a salon product meaning you need to go to a hairdressers that carries it to have it done. While I have heard of people buying it online (but not from Olaplex directly) and doing it themselves at home, this is not something I would ever recommend. Ever since Kim Kardashian reportedly used it to go from dark brunette to bright blonde, the demand and publicity around this product has been astronomical, and with that comes a slew of knock offs. That’s not to say that every bottle of the stuff on Amazon is fake, but you just never know.

So how does it work? OK let’s get a bit sciency for a second. According to their website,

“Olaplex is an additive that eliminates the bad reaction oxygen has with broken sulphite bonds in chemically treated hair that leads to breakage. For hair that has been compromised chemically or thermally, this should be your first step. The Bond Multiplying System can be used as a reset button for your client’s hair and by doing so allows you to rebuild the strength, structure and integrity to the point where a colour or chemical service would then be feasible once again. This treatment may be done before and/or after a chemical service and may be applied in the salon once a week or more. Compatible with all hair types from virgin to extremely compromised chemically treated hair.”

In layman’s terms this means that when Olaplex is added to the bleach, it not only protects your locks from being further damaged by the process, but it also repairs the already broken disulfide bonds (which are what give our hair its elasticity and strength) in the hair. My hair now feels as healthy and silky as was before it ever saw any bleach (not that I can really remember back that far, mind!)

Olaplex is a three-step process. Your colourist adds No. 1 to the bleach before they put it on your hair and then washes through No. 2 after the bleach/ colour is rinsed. You then take No. 3 home with you and use it once a week for at least 10 minutes on unwashed, wet hair (so wet your hair, apply it, leave for at least 10 minutes, rinse and then wash hair as normal).

Olaplex isn’t cheap. The treatment on hair my length was £50 (its cheaper if your hair is shorter and more expensive if its longer or they have to use more product) on top of the usual cost of having my hair dyed, and a 100ml bottle of No. 3 to take away was £37. I know this sounds like an expensive fad but believe me IT IS NOT. The instant my hairdresser used Olaplex on my hair it felt softer, smoother and unbelievably silky – and it’s stayed like that ever since!

If you’re interested in trying it for yourself, I get my hair done by Elbie at Blue Mango Salon in London. Just check out this before and after if you still don’t believe just how amazing it is!

olaplex

If your colour fades too quickly: oVertone

I discovered oVertone a few months ago and I have been OB-SESSED ever since. They offer a range of colour depositing conditioners in unnatural colours (red, blue, teal, pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, silver) that are made to fight the fade.

For the past eight or so years I have been washing my hair in cold water (to fight fading) and having to re-dye it every couple of weeks. Not fun. So when I found out I could just use this conditioner every day and my hair colour would never fade, I was totally sold!

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