; une tasse: a beauty and casual fashion blog: August 2010

Caring for dry/damaged hair

I recently bleached the ends of my hair - it's not as contrasted (or stupid looking) in real life, to be honest no one has even noticed! I wanted something different, which I definitely acheived but the downside was that it didn't leave my hair in very good condition. The ends are really dry, having been stripped of moisture along with the colour and I get new split ends everytime I brush my hair. The first two weeks afterwards were awful and my hair felt like straw, so I began trying out new products to try and repair the damage I caused.

These are the current things I'm using to help repair and maintain the condition of my hair:

1. Tresemme Thermal Recovery Intensive Repair & Rehydration Treatment - For something that sounds like it would be amazing, I haven't really noticed it do much. It has almond and aloe vera extract which I feel should have done something but honestly, it feels like any other conditioner rather than a deep conditioning treatment.

2. Herbal Essences Beautiful End Split End Protection Intensive Mask - Their shampoos don't agree with me but I saw this on offer in Boots and wanted to try it. I use it everytime I have a shower, leaving it in for a good 10 minutes and my hair feels so silky and smooth. For all I know, it could just be all the silicon but I REALLY LIKE the results.

3&4. I've done too many posts on these - read more here and here.

Is there anything you would reccommend for dry/damaged hair? I need all the help I can get!

Blair Waldorf in Paris

source: ontd
Loving these new stills from the upcoming season of Gossip Girl on the basis of Blair's dresses alone. My love for her style is already well documented (and Paris!).

Naked Bodycare - Wake Up Naked White Ginger Body Wash + mini giveaway

I first became aware of the Naked brand last year and although I have only tried a few products, they have always left me more than impressed (especially Coco de mer body butter!). The added bonus is that Naked is 97% natural and free from chemicals such as parabens, petrochemicals and sulphates - which is great for those with sensitive skin (you can read more on their values  here).

I have been using this body wash for a few weeks and would happily replace my usual one for this. The true ginger scent is unusual but definitely invigorating and does a great job of waking me up in the mornings. It leaves my skin soft and I feel really clean which is the most important thing. I would reccommend this for people who love zingy shower gel scents, but if you don't, get Coco de Mer instead - it's lush!

The white ginger body wash is £3.99 and is an online exclusive but Naked are currently offering a free bottle with any purchase (see here).

Have you tried any Naked products? If not, here's your chance to....

I received a bottle of Coco de Mer bath foam in a competition a little while ago but I don't take baths so I thought I would pass it on to someone who does.

Leave a comment below if you would like to be entered and so it isn't boring, let me know what bath/shower products you're currently loving. This will close at 10pm (GMT) on Tuesday the 7 September 2010 when I shall pick someone at random. Good luck! xx

Update: Inglot AMC Face Blush

Not too long ago I bought two blushes from Inglot, one being the AMC Face Blush. As I mentioned in my post, I wasn't at all impressed  with the formulation nor the pigmentation. However I thought I would trial it before coming to a final conclusion. I thought that with use, it would oxidize and would perhaps thicken, making  it easier to use. How wrong was I?

As you can see from my photos, what has happened is that it has separated. It is just as rubbish as before because whether I use my fingers or a stippling brush, it applies patchily and NEVER sets. If I were to accidently brush my face, it would come off in one swipe.

If anyone else has this and knows how to make it work, please let me know. Otherwise this is destined for the bin . What an utter waste of money.

I don't need it but I WANT it!

 Image: Sephora

Givenchy Le Prisme Blush in Blooming is oh so pretty and I must have it in my life. Has anyone got a spare £33 lying around?

Movie themed engagement photos

I am obssessed with all things wedding related, and a teeny bit of that crazy will sometimes manage to find itself on here. I apologise in advance but promise to never post anything too sappy/vom inducing!

I found these these beautiful photos on TresSugar last week and had to share them! They are from real life engagement shoots that are based on movies, more specifically The Notebook, Atonement, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Up.

Can you guess which is which?

Monthly Favourites: July 2010

 I know we are halfway through August but better late than never!

1. Aussie Dual Personality Heat Protection and Leave in Spray - Rolling over from last month, I am still loving this product, especially as my hair is really dry and damaged at the moment. I often spritz this onto my hair when I feel that it could do with a bit of moisture and it does a great job without feeling sticky or greasy.

2. Cutex Moisture Guard Nail polish Remover - Nothing outstanding but it does what it says and does it really well. The big plus is that it doesn't have a strong chemical smell, so I can use this with ease without the fear of passing out from fumes (as is the case with most other removers).

3. Vaseline Sheer Infusion Mineral Renewal Body Lotion - Bought this on offer and it isn't like anything I've used before. It has an almost gel like consistency but is really moisturising (without feeling sticky) and smells so good. It also claims to contain "enriching minerals like those found in healthy skin" but to be honest I don't really know much about that...

4. Coconut Oil - I've already done an entire post on this but also wanted to add it here as I've been using it every day! My ends are really dry despite using an intensive conditioner, so I try to lock in moisture and keep them in good condition by rubbing in a pea sized amount.

5&6. Mac Mineralize Blushes in Warm Soul and Dainty - I'm not really wearing any makeup at the moment but can't get enough of blushes. These are great in summer as the shimmer really reflects in the sunshine (when it decides to make an appearance).

Benefit Coralista and some pondering

My sister recently went to an in store Benefit event and to my delight, came home with a little bag of purchases. Finally, a chance to steal and play with her makeup as she does to me!

I was really keen to try the much talked about Coralista and began swatching and applying away. And what did I think? Not worth the hype and slightly disappointing. It took a few layers to get it to show up on my cheeks and even though I love coral blushes, this one is just "meh". The colour looks alright but it isn't anything special.

The sheer colour and the amount of shimmer reminded me of Nars Orgasm which is pinkier but much preferred. Even in terms of quality you can see that Coralista is slightly chalky. The packaging may be cute but it's impractical - the dinky box would take up half of my makeup bag. And at £23.50? Pah, I would rather spend £19.50 on a sleek, and highly pigmented Nars blush (which has a mirror and would slot neatly into my bag!).

Moving onto Dr Feelgood - "a velvety comlexion balm". Apparently it is an "invisible refiner, blended with Vitamin C to smooth away the appearance of fine lines while leaving skin feeling and looking more silky, flawless and matte to the touch. It is a colourless, weightless miracle worker".

It came with a smooth sponge puff which I used to apply to my skin but I didn't see any change. It just seems like a gimmick. Looking at the ingredients, the main one is modified corn starch along with wax, parfum and other complicated sounding ingredients that need to be googled. Why not just buy some loose/blotting powder? I don't get it.

This made me think about Benefit cosmetics in general so I compiled a list and my thoughts on all the products I've tried:
  • Erase Paste - Loved this at first but then I discovered Mac select moisturecover which rendered this obsolete. I don't like the way it looks so obvious and it has been rotting in my makeup drawer for the past year.
  • Posietint - Doesn't really show up on my skintone and there are many other cheaper dupes.
  • Highbeam - Really liked the trial version but I wouldn't buy the full sized product. Especially after realising the iridescent white eyeshadow from my Ben Nye palette was better.
  • PowderPop trio - Colours are okay but I never reach for it.
  • Badgal Lash Mascara - This mascara was too natural for me and didn't enhance my lashes in any way.
  • The Glamour Freebies - Badgal eyeliner pencil was absolute rubbish. Not pigmented at all so it made lining my eyes difficult. Rubbed off so easily as well. Eye Bright didn't do anything and I have no idea why I bought the It concealer stick which was aout 4 shades too light.
  • Big Beautiful Eyes kit - Already did a review about how it did not work for me.
With the exception of their creaseless cream eye shadows, I don't rate any of their products at all and feel that they don't work for me and my skin tone (or any darker skintones). I think it's really overpriced and that I'm actually paying for the cute, retro and sometimes impractical packaging (which suckered me in, in the first place!). Obviously this is my own personal opinion based on my own personal experiences with the brand. I know there are many others who swear by many of the products I disliked. I just wanted to share my thoughts.

H&M Divided F/W 2010

Images: noirfacade

These photos are from the upcoming Divided Winter/Fall 2010 collection.  H&M is one of my favourite shops (if you couldn't already tell from how much I post about them) but these promos are just....blah. The clothes are uninspiring and boring. Not even a selection of top supermodels could persuade me to purchase anything.

Sort it out H&M!

Olay Beauty Fluid

When I last ran out of my usual moisturiser, I picked this up in Sainsburys after lots of umming and ahhing. Despite being a well established and long running brand, I have never used anything by Olay  before but I thought I would give it a go.

What I like most is the fluid consistency and how easily it's absorbed. I found this strange at first as I'm used to thicker and creamier products which need to be rubbed in. However, this is light and non greasy which makes it a perfect moisturiser for summer. It has a pleasant fragrant scent and does the job well. Coming in at under a fiver, I can't complain and will be buying another bottle when this runs out. I'm also keen to try other Olay products. Any reccommendations?

1,2, buckle my shoe

Forgive me for the worst photos ever and try to ignore how stumpy my legs look. I don't wear my jeans like this but I was trying to show the new shoes I bought from Primark in their entirety.

These open toed buckled wedges are REALLY similar to the much lusted after buckled boots by Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony . ASOS had a similar pair on sale but I thought they looked too "plasticy" and were too high for me.

These are made from a faux suede material and don't look too cheap. They are also really comfortable to walk in as the wedge isn't too high. Another major plus is that they're only £15!

I know they're not to everyone's taste but I love them so much.

Hair Inspiration: Braids

All images taken from FYBH

I love braided hair, especially fishtail plaits which I only recently learnt how to do! I just need my stupidly short layers (no thanks to vidal sassoon academy) to grow out a bit more. Bah.

Mac Mineralize blush in Dainty

The only items of makeup I seem to buy these days are blushes. I can't get enough of them and this is my most recent purchase.

Mac mineralize blush in Dainty.

When I first got it I couldn't stop cooing (like a loser) over how pretty it is.

A light pink with sheer golden shimmer (which doesn't show up here does it?). It's very sheer and the colour has to be built up but I think it's a great colour for summer. I  like wearing it to work with simple winged black eyeliner and mascara.

Are there any other Mineralize blushes you would recommend? (I already have Warm Soul). What's your favourite blush at the moment?

Beauty on a budget: Coconut oil as a hair treatment

I have never liked using hair oils despite being aware of it's benefits. My mum actively encouraged the use of olive oil but I couldn't stand the smell nor the way it left me feeling like a huge greaseball. In my ignorance I assumed that all hair oils (well the limited few I knew) were the same so avoided them. It was only when I started reading blogs that I learned coconut oil could be used as a hair treatment.

This is what I currently use (99p from Asda). It comes in solid form and has to be warmed up (I usually use a hairdryer) before it turns into an oil. I apply this to my hair every Sunday as a deep conditioning treatment, leaving it in all day before washing it out. I love that it has no discernible smell nor is it as viscous as olive oil - in fact it's quite light. I straighten my hair a lot and I feel that using coconut oil has helped to repair and prevent any further damage. My ends are quite dry but the coconut oil leaves it moisturised and looking shinier/healthier. With regular use it has made a noticeable difference to the condition of my hair.

I was reading up on the scienfics and came across this study in The Journal of Cosmetic Science. A few excerpts:

"Coconut oil was found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product".

"Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft".

Interesting non?

Rhamnousia and Amina have both done posts on hair oils which are worth a read.

Further reads
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil for Hair
The Benefits of Coconut Oil in Black Hair Care