Curling irons need not apply

The artillery  

The artillery  

During our latest trip to Kauai, aloha, I haven't done all that much with my hair thanks to the humidity hovering well above 30% on most days. To add insult to injury, my hair is in a wretched state from repeated heat styling, and transitioning from bronde ombré to red. First world problems.

Before leaving for Hawaii I went in search of a leave-in treatment that would protect my fragile strands from the harmful UV rays, as well as give them a potent dose of hydration. Enter De Lorenzo's Intense Hair Moisturiser, specifically formulated for dry, colour treated hair.

There's a bit of a learning curve when it comes to applying this stuff. The first few days of use produced greasy strands near the nape of my neck, while the remainder of my hair continued to feel straw-like. To avoid over hydrating the healthiest bits of my hair, I first concentrated on my ends, and finger combed the rest near the crown of my head.

This post isn't meant to be focussed on hair care product, per se, but I felt it prudent to at least provide a mini review😊

Ponytails (I'll land the plane, promise). I've never liked wearing ponytails, except for when I'm exercising; besides, I don't think I have the profile to pull one off (an odd quirk of mine). In an effort to not fall into yet another hair rut I've gotten into the habit of inverting my ponytail (the one where you split your hair apart just above the hair elastic, and then flip the ends up and through). It looks effortless, especially as it becomes undone throughout the day.

The inverted pony

The inverted pony

After leaving my hair to air dry for a few hours never did I expect to unfurl loose, beachy waves. Mind blown.

 Hair how to:

  1. Start with damp hair, the saltier the better
  2. Part hair down the middle or to one side
  3. Comb through a leave-in treatment, focus on the ends
  4. Pull hair into a low ponytail and secure with an elastic hair tie
  5. Split your hair apart just above the hair tie, twirl the loose ends, and flip them up and through
  6. Allow your hair to air dry for around three hours, it should feel dry to the touch
  7. Gently remove the hair tie, and finger comb your waves

For an added bonus if you didn't take a dip in the sea, set your waves with a sea salt spray. My personal favourites: Frederic Fekkai's Soleil Beach Waves Tousling Spray, or John Freida's Beach Blonde Salt Spray.

For girls with longer hair: double or triple up on the number of inverted ponytails.

The results

The results

Tip: leave some slack when you're tying on the hair elastic to avoid the dreaded hair dent. If it feels too loose, pull the ends apart to tighten your inverted pony.

 

 

Holiday makeup inspiration

Believe it or not these photos were taken back on the Fourth of July, and I suspect I was feeling semi-patriotic with my blue spotty sweater, and Ruby Woo lips.

Here's hoping these photos will give you a bit of holiday inspo for your next holiday party.

Now, some time has passed, so I'll do my best to remember everything that I put on my face.

The look:

What are some of your favourite makeup-y things to wear during the festive season?

How to create effortless waves with your straightening iron || video tutorial

Last week my friend, Diana, e-mailed me with a request to teach her how to create waves with a straightening iron.

Admittedly, this technique takes a little bit of practice, but after a few times I promise you'll be able to do this too.

Before you start, be have the following items handy:

  • Dry shampoo (not mentioned in video) -- if the hair framing your forehead is on the greasy side, it's always best to prep this area first.
  • Flat/straightening iron with a slim profile, preferably with ceramic plates as I find it leaves hair with a smoother finish.
  • Texturising spray to set the waves.
  • A comb
  • A few hair clips to section the hair off.

Hopefully this video gives me a good kick in the butt to start blogging again.

Going red, root canals, and a few of my favourite makeup bits from September

September was in all honesty a blur of a month, I turned 32, celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary, got a root canal (ouch doesn't quite cover it), dyed my hair red, and managed to apply some makeup in between countless appointments to the dentist. 

Blogging unfortunately moved to the back burner as a result, because I couldn't quite get myself to sit down and write. So instead of going into detail about the root canal, let's touch on the light-hearted stuff, makeup.

First up, brushes..

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

In late August Real Techniques released seven new brushes in order to appeal to both their grassroots fan base, as well as brush snobs like myself. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye with their angular lines and precious metal finish (rose gold, gold, and silver), and synthetic bristles -- read: animal-friendly. While I do love gold as much as the next gal, I cannot overlook the fact that the brush handles won't stay gold forever. Greasy fingerprints and annoying/tricky packaging take these seven brushes down a few notches in their hot pursuit of luxe-ness. RT brush prices range from $39 AUS to $65 AUS, and in the event you head to your local Priceline to check them out be sure to hit up the cashier as you won't be able to find them on the sales floor. 

Hits

  • Brush 301 - holy contour, Batman!
  • Brush 202 - the petite multi-tasker for lining the eyes and creating natural brows.
  • Brush 300 - this tapered blush brush was made for pairing up with Hourglass' Ambient Light Blush palette.

Misses 

  • Brush 101 - the triangle foundation brush fails to compute, I just don't get it.
  • Brush 100 - the arched powder brush.. been there, done that. Plus there far better and cheaper alternatives out in the market.
  • Brush 200 - The oval shadow brush is too large for my small eyes. It can blend, but not with the same precision as MAC's 217.
  • Brush 201 - The pointed crease failed to leave a lasting impression.
Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush

Speaking of brush snobs, I picked this brush up, Chanel's 2-in-1 Foundation Brush Fluid and Powder, way back in August, and it's become the brush I'd like to master using. When used correctly Photoshop filters and the Healing Tool will quickly become obsolete. Sabrina's in-depth review definitely justifies this spend-y indulgence. 

Evo's roy wide-tooth comb (pictured in the first image) was an anniversary gift from Scott. Don't knock this comb until you've tried it -- made from recycled wood, this tooth-y comb really gets into the roots while the rounded ends massage the scalp.

Moisturiser

Renewed Hope In a Jar Dry, as commented by my facialist, has left my skin looking and feeling plump, hydrated and youthful. Filled with AHA's, Philosophy's revamped formula spreads on evenly as it melts into the skin to moisturise, fill in fine lines, and promote gentle chemical exfoliation throughout the course of the day. Because of my sensitive skin I tend not to slather this stuff on morning and night in fear of having a negative reaction. *touchwood* Highly recommend this lightweight moisturiser for Spring and Summer, and don't forget to apply SPF!

And the scent, I can't help but think of babbling brooks and gentle streams.

Eyes

Wearing look No. 2 from Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

Wearing look No. 2 from Urban Decay's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

When smoky eyes became a big thing again in the early aughts, the three colours of choice were black, silver and white; when executed on me I was left looking like a sad panda. Well, we've come a long way in the past decade, because UD's Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette for lack of a better word is sexy. From its plastic packaging, magnetic closure, and built-in mirror I seriously cannot get enough. Let's not forget about the four looks broken down in one handy insert created by Urban Decay's in-house makeup artists -- watered down instructions for the makeup impaired and uninspired, they help make the trickiest looks achievable. I was on the fence about picking up palette number four, but it was love at first swatch.

Maybelline's The Rocket Volum'Express was like a shot to the heart (in a good way). Mascara and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years. Just when I settle on a brand or a formula, without fail, things breakdown, and I'm left looking racoon-like. The Rocket Volume'Express' thicker consistency coats the lashes evenly and sets/dries rapidly, a feature more to my liking. My lashes are left looking fuller, albeit slightly crispy which I'll gladly accept in lieu of smudged mascara along the under eye area. Thank you, Diana 😘 

Face

Becca's Champagne Pop

Becca's Champagne Pop

I like my bubbles right where I can see them, preferably in a glass. For the days when I can't imbibe Becca x Jaclyn Hill's Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop gives the structure of my face that extra oomph with a touch of ethereal glow.

Wearing Champagne Pop on my cheekbones and Marc Jacob's Role Play on my lips

Wearing Champagne Pop on my cheekbones and Marc Jacob's Role Play on my lips

Going Red

Growing your hair out is such a bear. Tired of seeing the dreaded line of demarkation between old and new, I made a huge leap of faith and dyed my hair RED, and I, of course, left this to the pros.

I won't go into huge detail, but I tried out a new salon and a new hairdresser, and was left with a sour taste in my mouth. I eventually grew to like the results (it took a couple of days), but now the hunt begins to find yet another hairdresser to take the reigns -- the red hair is here to stay (I think).

*PR samples provided (Real Techniques and Philosophy) –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.