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Bleach London I Saw Red Dye and Wash Out

6 Jan 2016

I love Bleach London hair dyes and have previously experimented with Rose and Awkward Peach. However the second I got in from work on the last day before Christmas break I knew I wanted to go bold - bright red! This is Bleach London - I Saw Red which was £5 from Boots.

I have naturally blonde hair, with some bleach highlights on the top layers and this is how it turned out. It was so bright! It also gave a really even colour and I loved it. However as always, I got a bit panicky and couldn't find any other reviews which showed how it washed out (or even if it ever did!) so I decided to document how it washes out. 

Each time I washed it I used Head and Shoulders shampoo to lather, rinse and repeat. I also used Aussie 3 Minute Miracle to condition and in the later, blonder stages, I used John Frieda Tone Correcting Shampoo and conditioner to neutralise brassier tones. 

Wash 1

After wash one, the colour changed from bright red to bright pink instantly. I wasn't upset - I love pink and was delighted to get another colour from the dye. The colour disappeared from my natural hair colour more quickly than the highlights, giving a dark root look but it was ok! 

Wash 2

On wash 2, my hair was a Barbie pink, faded from the bright pink but still consistently pink all over!

Wash 3 

This was probably my favourite stage - my hair was almost a rose gold colour, with natural blondes coming through and highlights remaining a light pink. 

Wash 4 

After wash 4, there was more blonde peeking through. I felt this was quite a light candifloss shade, maybe what I would have achieved with the Rose colour.

Wash 5

On Christmas Day my hair was a slight pink colour which was really cute! I felt like a fairy! 

Wash 6 - I didn't manage to get a good photo but my hair was barely, instagram-filter pink at this stage. 

Wash 7

New Years Eve and my hair is basically back to normal. It has a slight bit of warmth in which isn't really noticeable and I think looks nice for winter. I'm sure it will neutralise with purple shampoo. You can't really see any pink in it at all anymore so I would say it's basically washed out!

Dressing Table DIY - wallpaper top with #CristyCraft Challenge

4 Jan 2016

A little while ago I was contacted by the people at Christy - the gorgeous (fancy) home and linens company. They had teamed up with Harlequin who create beautiful wallpapers and fabrics to create  a Cristy-Harlequin towels range featuring Harlequin inspired prints. To celebrate, some bloggers were challenged to craft something using Harlequin wallpaper. I chose to do my dressing table/vanity table. I got this table about 4 years ago in an Oxfam for £10. It's an old-fashioned style, walnut veneer dressing table which was peeling and looking very sad for itself. Rather than bin it, I was inspired to "upcycle" it! I thought I'd show you how! 

 So here she is, looking a bit over-loved and not her best. Excuse the mess in the mirror - I had to clear the dining room into a little corner to do this DIY! It took me 2 days of painting plus a night of drying to complete and was fairly easy.

Initially, I convinced Sam to take the mirror off and take the handles off the drawers. I bribed him with a cup of tea

Then I ran to Homebase for the supplies - quick drying filler for cracks, chips and holes in the drawers, Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish furniture paint in Clotted Cream, Rust-Oleum furniture lacquer in clear, PVA glue, a filling knife, paint brushes and sanding paper.

I chose the Rust-Oleum paints mainly because they were cheaper than my usual Farrow & Ball, and they promised you didn't need to use a basecoat/primer first. I found the paints harder to use than Farrow & Ball Eggshell as the paint "pulled" where it was so thick, meaning it took a lot of paint. Plus the finish needed three coats. The lacquer was a shock - it wasn't clear at all but slightly brown. I was heartbroken at first but actually I like the slight dark wash it gave the paint. I chose to lacquer the chalk paint to give it more strength - I tend to bash around and knock furniture so wanted to give the paint a chance! You could also use the wax to coat the paint.

First, I filled the holes. There were chips out the top of the dresser, old handle holes and some corners missing on the top which needed filling and building up. Then I waited for them to dry, sanded them down and at the same time gave the whole dresser a light sand and then a clean.

I then painted the dresser, heart in my mouth as I watched it dry. This is after the first coat where I wondered if I had made the wrong decision! 

After 3 layers within about 4 hours and a good overnight dry, I could use the wallpaper to top the dresser. This is the Harlequin Limosa wallpaper which features watercolour painted feathers. I first cut a big enough piece, then placed it on the top, weighted down with tins. I made sure the straight edge and the side lined up with the straight edge of my dresser.

I then used the filling knife to firmly press down on the wallpaper, following the curve of the dresser. This line then served as a guide to cutting the paper perfectly.

I then generously painted the top with PVA glue, and with the help of Sam, carefully placed it on. I smoothed out as many air bubbles as I could, but the dresser wasn't that smooth to begin with so I could only do my best! I then painted the top with a good layer of PVA, paying extra attention to the edges.

Once this had dried clear, I applied the lacquer all over the dresser, including over the wallpaper to make it extra waterproof.

Next I got an old stool from my parents, it was falling apart but I liked the wood inlay so chose not to paint it.

I took it to B&Q and they cut me a piece of wood the exact size of the seat. I then got some upholstry foam, a staple gun and glue gun from Dunelm Mill. I also had the Limosa fabric to cover the seat with. 

Using the piece of wood as a guide, I drew on the foam and cut it out with a bread knife. This was a really messy process and my poor Teddy dog became very allergic and his whole face and eyelids swelled up that evening so be really careful. 

 You can make the seat curved by carving off the corners, then using some wadding to keep the foam smooth looking. Then fold over the fabric, making sure you make the edges neat and staple on.

I glue-gunned the seat to the wooden frame and it was ready!

Finally, I got some glass drawer knobs from Dunelm Mill and Sam drilled some holes into the drawers. Then I cut some drawer linings from the remaining wallpaper (there is still loads!) and put the drawers back in! Here she is, looking fresh! I sent photos to my mum who said it looked "very modern" which I think is code for not my taste!

Then finally we carted it back upstairs and now its my dressing table again! Look, posing with the towels!

Review: Simply Glamorous Book - the Beauty Bible

2 Jan 2016

 I've been meaning to blog about this for ages! This is Simply Gorgeous - a book on makeup, how to apply it and how to look great by Gary Cockerill, celebrity hair and makeup artist. This is basically the beauty bible and has been living on my bedside table, guiding me calmly through Christmas!

The book is great for everyone - from beginners who don't know much about makeup, how to apply it and colours, to those who are much more confident, but maybe want some inspiration or pointers on how to apply contour or eyeshadow. 

The book cleverly guides you through the basics like skincare, moisturiser and how to prep your skin, and then through each element of makeup. For example, in the foundations section it helps you decide your skin tone and colouring to what texture of foundation you would suit. In the eyes section it talks about eye shapes and how to flatter each eye shape to make it look the most gorgeous. 

 The book then talks you through some makeup looks which I really enjoyed. It talks about a feature such as eyes, suggests several different looks such as bright eyeshadow, and then talks through how to put together a full look.

I particularly enjoyed the bright lips section, and there are chapters for older people focussing on how to change makeup looks to be more flattering and make older skin and eyes look younger. I found it really user friendly with lots of helpful tips and tricks on how to apply makeup perfectly. I have since had a makeup brush cull - keeping those which are useful and which I know how to use! I have also thought more about my skincare pre-foundation such as primers and serums, and am creeping into feeling more confident about contour - although I'm still too scared to buy a range of foundation shades Gary suggests! I've found it really inspiring for Christmas and party season looks and think it has meant my makeup is more playful - I'm trying to get out the eyeliner and red lippie rut!

December catch up

30 Dec 2015

I'm back! I'm blogging again and feeling very rusty, but thanks for sticking round. This has been a crazy few months, with thesis madness, family time and lots of prep for Christmas but I think I'm starting to see a little break in my week where I can get some blog posts written down!

I thought to kick off, I'd catch you up on my Christmas

I had lots of Christmas meals, as expected. I went out with my doctorate cohort - these are my best girls! We tried to take a selfie but it turns out we aren't able to. Concerning as we qualify in 9 months

We went out for Christmas/Hannah's birthday on Christmas Eve Eve

Hannah (middle blonde) made this amazing Jamie Oliver Jaffa Cake!

I then went to the traditional Secret Santa on Christmas Eve - we've met up outside One Stop at 7 for years but I haven't done it for the last few years. It was great to get involved again!

Christmas day was lovely! It was different this year as my dad isn't well, but was still really great to hang out with my family and get spoilt! We've already agreed to have another Christmas in a few months when he's better!

My brother James has just got his own house and keeps calling mum for recipes so I made him a cook book on Blurb  - it was super easy, I used their software and cook book templates, then got all my family to email me their special recipes. I then cooked as many as I could and photographed them and put it all together. Blurb do the binding and post you a real cook book!

I also knitted him a badger head from the Sincerely Louise faux taxidermy knits book  with a top hat handmade by The Curious Panda

On Boxing Day, Sam and Teddy came home from Dover and we had our Christmas, and inevitably Ted was dressed up!

Overall lovely Christmas break. It's been wonderful to catch up with people, get some DIY and Thesis written and do lots of knitting and snuggling up with tea! 

Lazy Sunday Snuggles Set-up

6 Dec 2015

Some Sundays I feel so exhausted from everything, I just need to set up camp on the sofa to knit, nap and hang out with the pets. I thought I'd share my set up with a few treats from Flamingo Gifts. As you can see, I've turned this side of the lounge into a little den! If you're struggling for Christmas presents for a snuggler in your life, check out the things I've listed below! They're reasonably priced and super-sweet!

What I'm snuggling with this weekend: Faux fur throw from Primark, Storage bag with my knitting in from Sass & Belle, Fox cushion from Sass & Belle, Cat microwavable cosy, real cat - adopted, world map flask by Wild and Wolf, seagull mug and lemon curd candle from Flamingo

My boyfriend jokes I'm the only person in the world, but I love seagulls - they're my favourite bird! They remind me of the sea and hanging out with my family in Weymouth as a kid. The lemon curd candle is really fresh and sweet - a lovely balance which doesn't feel sickly! Plus the thermos means I don't have to get up repeatedly to get more tea!

Button the cat seems to like the microwavable cat plushy, but Teddy the dog hates it! He keeps trying to push it off the sofa or bury it under blankets!

What's your lazy Sunday set up?
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