Category Archives: Bridal Beauty

How I Rescued My Bleach Ravaged Hair

ps babes (399)

I’ve been bleaching my hair on and off since I was 16. I started doing it myself at home, and then progressed to getting it done at a salon every six to eight weeks. Not really knowing any better, I was going to a well known chain (one that rhymes with ‘phoney and pie’… ahem) for around three years, and unwittingly allowing them to ravage my fuchsia tresses more and more with each visit!

I’m not really sure if it was just inexperience with unnatural colouring or what, but when I became friends with Elbie and decided to go to her for my hair preening instead, she informed me that my hair was… to put it bluntly… completely fucked.

Obviously we can’t know for sure, but she suggested that it looked like the bleach had been applied really carelessly. My hair is naturally very dark so perhaps it was just left on for too long, under too much heat. She said it also looked like the bleached areas had overlapped each time, again, most likely in an attempt to get it as light as possible.

When I started to see Elbie, my hair resembled chewing gum when it was wet (stretchy and thin!) and was like crunchy straw when it was dry. It was also THIN AS HELL. What a cacophony of delights!

You can see how awful it used to be in these photos. Look at the ends especially – frazzled! My hair also wouldn’t grow any longer than this, it would just snap off. Sad times…

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Still don’t believe how bad it was? How about an extreeeeeme close-up?!

bleach damaged hair

I’m not gonna lie, when I first had this realisation I cried. A lot. I was actually very near just chopping the whole lot off and starting again, or at least going back to my natural colour. Luckily my fairy hairmother pulled me back from the brink and promised that we could fix it. That was probably about two years ago, and now my hair has never looked better!

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Blissed Out Birthday at The Nirvana Spa

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When my Mum asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, there was only one thing on my mind – some rest and relaxation! So, after quickly tearing into my other presents on Monday morning (I was totally spoilt by my friends, I love you guys!) Gareth and I hopped into the car and headed to the tranquil oasis that is the Nirvana Spa, located just outside of Reading.

We were booked in for a Time Out Package which gave us access to everything the spa had to offer for three blissful hours. There’s outdoor jacuzzis, six pools filled with pure spring water, a sauna, steam rooms, the new Tepidarium suite which has heated ceramic loungers, and my personal favourite – the bubbly hydrotherapy surf pool!

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DIY Tutorial: Glitter Gel Manicure

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I’m slightly obsessed with gel manicures. I find nothing more annoying than nail varnish that chips the first time I wear it, so I love that gels last up to 4 weeks and without damaging your nails underneath. However getting them done professionally all the time can be really blooming expensive. After realising what a dent in my bank balance my love affair was having, I decided to see if there was a DIY option. And so I uncovered a brand new obsession.

Unfortunately I quickly found out that the gel brands used by the professionals (Gelish, Shellac etc) aren’t available for purchase by us mere mortals. Everywhere I looked you needed a trade card to be allowed to buy them. BOO to that!

Refusing to be beaten I kept on searching high and low, and I think that I’ve now not only finally uncovered my perfect formula, but I’ve figured out how to do a DIY glitter manicure too! Even the professional manicurist I went too didn’t have glitter options with as much coverage as this method gave me.

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The first thing that you’ll need is a UV LED lamp, which cures (hardens) the gel. I did a little test to see if it was possible to do it without one and it’s just not. I left some gel polish on a piece of paper and 24 hours later it was still sticky.

I bought the SensatioNAIL Starter Set from Boots. It comes with the lamp, nail primer, cleanser, base and top coat, and your choice of colour polish. While the lamp does the trick I was disappointed with the colours available. I bought ‘Rose’ which was the brightest pink they had in stock but the results were baby pink, almost nude finish nails. That simply would not do! I also found the top coat to not be very effective. The first time I did it my nails started to peel within 2 – 3 days.

The starter set costs £69.99, which may seem like a lot initially, but when consider that getting them done professionally costs upward of £30, it pays for itself after just a few uses.

In terms of the colours, Bluesky is the best non-professional brand I’ve found so far. You can buy them on Amazon, they’re only £5 a pop and there are literally hundreds of colours to choose from. There are so many in fact that it’s a little overwhelming. The one I’m using in this tutorial is Neon Cherise, a super hot neon pink. Love it!

OK, so enough gassing, on with the tutorial!

Supplies Needed

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♥ UV LED lamp
♥ Gel nail primer
♥ Gel nail cleanser
♥ Gel base coat and top coat
♥ Gel polish colour of your choice
♥ Pot of glitter, mine was from Hobbycraft
♥ Tissue/ cotton pads
♥ Orange stick
♥ Nail file

Method

Step one: Trim and file your nails to the desired length. Prep the nails by wiping with the gel cleanser and then apply a thin coat of the pre-gel primer. Leave to air dry for 30 seconds.

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DIY Tutorial: Half Up, Half Down, Hidden Hair Braid

©markbrooke.com

Today I’m sharing the second hair tutorial from my collaboration with Your Cloud Parade and 10.11 Make Up (you can see last week’s faux hawk here!) This is a elegant and ethereal a half up, half down hidden braid style would be perfect for boho or casual brides. And I promise it’s not as complicated as it sounds!

The best bit? It uses all the same supplies and products as last week’s tutorial so if you tooled up for that one you can now give this one a bash too!

Supplies Needed

♥ Hairspray (we used Kenra Volume Spray)
♥ Bobby and hair pins
♥ Curling iron (we used Hot Tools - barrel size may vary based on length of hair, just for adding texture)
♥ Texture spray (we used Kevin Murphy Resort Spray) or spray wax (we love KMS Hair Play spray wax)
♥ Backcomber (we used Tool Structure Tortoise Backcomber)

Method

Step one: Add some texture to the hair by adding some curl. Spray with some texturizing spray or spray wax.

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Step two: Add volume by sectioning out the hair around the crown of your head, leaving out the front and sides. You will want enough hair on each side for braids, as well as any hair you want framing your face based on the desired finished look you would like.

Backcomb or tease the hair you have gathered at the back of the crown. Start the backcomb about 3 1/2 inches from the scalp, pressing the hair down towards your scalp to create a cushion.

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DIY Tutorial: Faux Hawk Bridal Hairstyle

©markbrooke.com

Over the next month, every Friday, I’ll be showcasing an original bridal (but not super-traditional, obviously!) hairstyle idea. These super simple but utterly gorgeous DIYs have been pulled together by the fantastic Your Cloud Parade, the first online marketplace dedicated to weddings, and 10.11 Make Up exclusively for Rock n Roll Bride!

ENJOY!

Supplies Needed

♥ Hairspray (we used Kenra Volume Spray)
♥ Bobby and hair pins
♥ Curling iron (we used Hot Tools)
♥ Texture spray (we used Kevin Murphy Resort Spray) or spray wax (we love KMS Hair Play spray wax)
♥ Backcomber (we used Tool Structure Tortoise Backcomber)

Method

Step one: Add some texture to the hair by adding some curl. Spray the hair with texturizing spray, as well as a little hairspray. This will help the hair hold the backcombing/ teasing for the next step.

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Step two: Part the hair into 3 sections so that you have a mohawk section of hair starting from the front hair line, down to the nape of the neck. Because this is a fun and de-constructed style, your partings do not need to be perfect. You may even choose to not part, and gather hair from the center as you work your way back during the style.

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Step three: Take the mohawk section, and backcomb/ tease the hair. Gather small section of the hair at a time, place the comb about an inch from the scalp and pull the hair down with the comb, spray a little hairspray and continue as you work up the strands of hair from that section. Repeat until you have successfully backcombed/teased the entire mohawk section.

As you backcomb each section of the mohawk parting, you can lay that hair forward as you work your way back. Leave the two side sections alone, or pin out of the way.

©markbrooke.com

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The Ultimate Beauty Product Guide For Brides-to-Be (and Me)

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MAC

A few months before our big day, I started hunting for the very best beauty products to get me wedding day perfect… and when I say ‘hunting’ what I really mean is ‘completely obsessing over’. I had to find the most budge resistant lipstick, the moisturiser that would make me look dewy and glowy but not at all shiny and the hair products to make sure my tresses were in tip top condition.

Now I don’t for one second think I am some kind of beauty guru, but I do happen to love scouring the aisles of Boots more than life itself.  One of my intentions for 2014 is to take waaaay better care of myself (and have facials much more regularly!) and what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t share all of my findings with you too?

To kick off I wanted to share my favourite ‘can’t live without them’ products. These are all the items I completely swear by and use on a regular basis.

Hair

fave beaty products hair

♥ If your hair needs some serious TLC then get your mitts on a bunch of Moroccan oil products. I’ve been using their hair oil treatment before I dry or style my hair forever, and while I was in Australia I treated myself to some of their Intense Hydrating Mask too.

My hair is really damaged (like really, really damaged) from so much abuse and after three weeks of non-stop travel, air conditioning and sea water it was well and truly crying out for some love. This stuff made my hair so soft, smooth and lovely that I’ve been using it every time I wash my hair since.

♥ If your hair is, like mine, really damaged from bleach, over-use of products or heat then you need to get yourself some Redkin extreme shampoo, conditioner and treatments. My hairdresser Elbie recommended them to me when my hair was so seriously bad that it snapped off every time I brushed it, and it’s worked wonders.

My hair is by no means perfect now but it is a million times more healthy than it was. A little warning though, this product contains a LOT of protein which will help to repair damaged hair that just snaps off. However if you use it for too long it will put too much protein in your hair which will make it stretchy and stringy. Only use this for as long as you need it and then move onto something less intense!

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