A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

29 Jan 2012

The @Aussie_Hair_UK #AussieMore challenge final and round-up

So for the last 2 months (almost) I've been trying out the new Aussie bigger bottles

Ok, they're not really that big!!


Here's the new ones next to the old smaller bottles.


The challenge was to take a photo of your hair every time you wash and style with the new bigger bottles and create a diary of the looks. I REALLY enjoyed this challenge as you might be able to see! 29 washes later, here's the looks I created:

Wash 1 - Curly posh up do

Wash 2 - French pleats into a bun

Wash 3 - double halo braid

Wash 4 - Messy bun

Wash 5 - Croyden facelift hight ponytail



I created a video for how to do a simple halo braid which you can watch here



Wash 6 - sideways French pleat

Wash 7 - high backcombed bun

Wash 8 - inside-out french pleat

Wash 9 - straightened hair

Wash 10 - not sure how to describe this... a messy spiky thing?

Wash 11 - a sideways ponytail


I created another video to show you how to do the inside-out french pleat and also the sideways french pleat


Wash 12 - a faux bob

Wash 13 - a french pleat into a sideways bun

Wash 14 - my natural down hair

Wash 15 - a hair bow

Wash 16 - my first day of my new job so a ponytail with wrapped over bobble

Wash 17 - half-up half-down with a beehive

Wash 18 - just a hairband


I created another video to show how to do the faux bob with long hair



Wash 19 - curly hair (I was trying to copy Zooey Dechanel!)

Wash 20 - a plaited bun. Apparently looked like a danish pastry

Wash 21 - some up, some down and a flower

Wash 22 - huge 60s hair with pinned back fringe

Was 23 - Crazy buns! (not a winning look here!)

Wash 24 - Plaited fringe hairband



Wash 25 - volumous hair with a low ponytail

Wash 26 - wavy hair to compliment my 1920s look

Wash 27 - grown-up low pigtails

Wash 28 - a ponytail with ribbon bow (ribbon stolen off the Christmas cake!)

Wash 29 - French pleat pigtails

Overall, my bottles have around 25% left and that's after almost 2 months of washing my hair every other day. I've been really impressed with the bottles although I am facing the challenge all long-haired girls face... I use much more conditioner than shampoo and the conditioner bottles are smaller than shampoo ones! I tend to be ok though as I use 3 minute miracle once a week which saves some conditioner.

I've loved this challenge, and I hope you've enjoyed my regular posts and get some hair-spiration!

22 Jan 2012

Where have I been?

I have been very rubbish at blogging in the last couple of weeks and if anyone has been disappointed in me for that I'm really sorry. I thought I'd explain myself.

  • I have loads going on in my life at the moment. Most of you will be bored to death with me going on about my house (www.laurenmakesahome.blogspot.com) and I'm getting ready to move in now so spend most my time packing when I'm not working.


  • I've got a new job! I'm working with people with learning disabilities and mental health problems and it's fantastic! However I'm still in the "first month, learning the ropes" area which means I come home and fall asleep every night because I'm so tired.


  • I've started volunteering once a week giving phone counselling to people in need (I don't want to say the name of the company because it's a very small service and I don't want survivors finding me on google!


However there are lots of exciting thngs coming up on the blog too!

  • At the end of the month I'm getting a big blog re-vamp! I'm moving back to Blogspot from Wordpress because Google Friend Connect is disappearing for non-Blogger Blogs (see Miss Drifted Snow White's post for a great summary). If you also want a blog revamp make sure you

    • Check out THIS POST where I got blog readers' opinions on what they love about blogs


  • The #AussieMore challenge comes to and end at the end of the month! It has been a great 2 months of testing out the new Aussie bigger sizes and I've yet to do 2 of the same hair styles! Here's the posts so far


To round up this week, here's my list of things I want but can't afford!

I'm obsessed with novelty animal rings! I'm loving these gorgeous ones

Enamel Bird Ring - £15

Bunny Rabbit Ring - £8.50

Mr Octopus ring - £15 (I love how the fish is shouting!)


Brass cat ring  - £56

19 Jan 2012

Hair Diary Challenge with @Aussie_Hair_UK #AussieMore Styles 19 to 24

I'm still doing the AussieMore challenge! Here's my styles 19 to 24 and also check out these three posts for the older ones

Post 1

Post 2

Post 3


Wash 19 -  curly down do (trying to copy Zooey Dechanel's hair in New Girl but it didn't work!!)

Wash 20 - a pleated high bun - the boyf said it looked like a pastry!

Wash 21 - a floral, feminine half-up half-down

Wash 22 - massive 60s hair with pinned back fringe (I copied this picture but toned-down for work!)

Wash 23 - this do was a bit way out but I don't think I'll do this again!

Wash 24 - French Pleat hair band (great for growing out fringes)

What do you think of my efforts on the challenge so far? Not long to go now!


16 Jan 2012

How crackle nail varnishes work

Our favourite scientist, Natasha from The Science Informant is back with another edition of the Science Behind Beauty Project. This week she's investigating the science behind crackle nail varnishes.


One of the fashion crazes that took over the cosmetics market last year was crackle nail polish. In all colours and from various different brand, this cool new nail look took has become an overnight hit! But how it work? Here’s a how to on the best way to apply and a simple explanation on how the magic works!

How crackle nailvarnish works

First apply a base coat – I use CHANEL BEAUTÉ DES ONGLES Manicure Base Protectrice – it works great as a protector, my nails are now never stained by dark colours and reds.

Second apply your base colour (you want this coat to be a very different colour to your crackle as that will give the best effect) – I’ve chosen black as well nothing contrasts better with white than black! Plus I’d rather the slightly subtler version of the crackle look and i think monochrome black and white achieves that! The polish I’ve used is Barry M Black (might as well all the way with Barry M on this one).

Then apply your crackle nail varnish – I wanted to try out the Barry M range so used Barry M Crackle White Frost. I’ve found that applying a relatively thick even coat is best as it covers the base colour better and cracks more evenly. Watch it shrink before your eyes – it’s quite cool and surprisingly easy to do!

Lastly apply a top coat to protect your new nail look – I use Sally Hansen Double Duty Base Coat – it’s not particularly expensive but really tough – I work in a lab so my hands and nails undergo pretty rough treatment – this makes my colour last much longer!



So now for the science! How does this miracle of the makeup world work?

It actually all stems from one key ingredient: ethanol (which is a type of alcohol) often used as a solvent for substances intended for human contact like medicines, flavourings, or the alcohol that ruins my nails in the lab!

Adding ethanol to the normal formulation of nail varnish actually makes it do something we all try to avoid with our normal nail varnish: dry unevenly. This is achieved by the two main properties of ethanol:

1. Ethanol evaporates very quickly

2. Adding even a small percentage of ethanol to a liquid reduces its the surface tension

So when the crackle varnish is applied, the ethanol in it evaporates quite quickly. This lowers the ethanol content in the varnish, leading to an increase in surface tension which makes the varnish bead up and dry unevenly instead of as a smooth layer.  And voila! Crackle-tastic nails every time!


Thanks for that Tash!


Does anyone have a beauty product they'd love to know the science behind? Let us know in the comments and Tash will endeavour to find out how for you!


13 Jan 2012

Style Before Meets After - New Year Makeover

Disclaimer: Sponsored post, but as always I only post them when I actually mean it!

I'm soooo jealous of you girls with Sky TV! Have you seen this advert around recently?

This is the advert for the new Style Network channel which looks RIGHT up my street! Sex and the City, Glam Fairy (making over people - one smoky eye at a time!) Tia and Tamera - following our favourite sister sisters! (can you believe they're grown up now!), How do I look (fashion help for the clueless), house makeover prgrammes and wedding programmes! As I said totally jealous - I want to watch this kind of thing all the time. I hope they bring it to Freeview soon but if you have Sky then tune in and keep me updated on twitter!

12 Jan 2012

Sponsored - Merino Wool - no finer feeling

Disclaimer: Sponsored post, but it's an important cause!

Merino wool's No Finer Feeling campaign is a 5 year educational proramme which is trying to teach all of us about Merino wool and its benefits in an age where our fashion is made from man-made fibres and environmentally un-friendly things.

Designers have always favoured Merino wool for its quality and luxe feeling, plus the lack of that wooly "itch" and the way it holds its shape for years; and when you think about wool, Merino is always a lovely, soft option (I love my soft wooly jumper and being wrapped up in it over the winter). Sadly though, and I'm openly admitting I'm one of them, most youn people don't know the benefits of wool and we all choose man made fibres and wool-alikes bur really we should be choosing wool and trying to get the shops to sell wool! Wool is much better for the environment - natural, renewable and biodegradable (and think of the cute sheep!)

The campaign has released some gorgeous imagery to try and catch fashion-consicous young people's eye. I love the image above and this one (which is a little naughty but reminds me of a way of updating boring tweeds!!

If you're interested in getting involved in the campaign, head to their website and find out more about wool and why we need to start trying to buy it! and check out this racy video


8 Jan 2012

Weekend OOTDs and small haul



I had a weekend off decorating and painting the house this weekend so got to relax in some normal clothes and post some OOTDs!


Saturday - leather skirt, knitwear and red lippie

Wearing - Jumper-dress from ASDA, leather skirt from Charming Magpies (eBay shop), necklace and earrings - Christmas presents. Lipstick is Sleek True Colour in Cherry (review here)


Sunday - more chunky knitwear and layering, perfect for shopping!

Cape/caridgan - ASOS, Dress - New Look, Jeggings - Marks and Spencer, Boots - Office, Snood and Beret - present but from H&M. Pink lipstick is Barry M touch of magic green lipstick.

I went shopping, and typically in the month where I have no money, Boots has Model's Own "Juicy Jules" in stock which I've wanted for ages! Obviously I bought it! Here's some pics

I love how holographic the bits of glitter are. This is 2 layers but I guess you can build it up to be completely opaque.

I also bought some shoe-boots from New Look with a gift card I had left over from last Christmas. I think they'd go perfectly with the outfit from Saturday! They make me quite tall (being a tall girl already at 5 foot 9 I tend to avoid big heels) but they are lovely and I guess I'll have to put up with being "man in drag" tall.

Sorry for the poor photos of today - my camera battery had run out so I was using the in-law's!


7 Jan 2012

Survey Results: What readers want to see from blogs

So for the last couple of months I've been asking blog readers to say what they love and hate about blogs and I'm now sharing the answers for all bloggers who are looking for inspiration updating their blogs. The words used are the exact words people said when responding. I'm sorry I've written it out with graphs like a lab report but I am a scientist after all!



Q1 - What kind of things make you love a blog?


Q2 - What kind of things do you HATE when reading a blog?

  • Photos are bad quality

  • Cluttered blogs

  • Bad spelling/grammar

  • No home page

  • Too many colours

  • Too many posts on expensive items

  • Press photos

  • Forceful/desperate writing

  • Dark backgrounds

  • No post varietyToo much self indulgence

  • When everyone has the same item to review

  • Small writing

  • Obvious advertising and lack of genuineness


Q3 - What topics do you like to read about? (I'm afraid the crimes of fashion one is specific to my blog as far as I'm aware)


Q4 - How do you like posts laid out?


Q5 - Do you mind adverts?


Q6 - What type of layout do you prefer?

  • Minimalist

  • One main column and 1 or 2 side columns

  • Clear to read

  • Maintaining some sense of personal style - too many blogs are the same looking at the moment

  • Black writing on white background

  • Nice tabs and a good header

  • Obvious what words are links

  • Cute, eclectic and feminine

  • No gadgets such as music players

  • Follower and search tabs should be easy to find


Q 7 - who's blog layouts do you like?



6 Jan 2012

Hair Diary Challenge with @Aussie_Hair_UK #AussieMore Week 3.5 and 4

So a month has passed and here's hair styles 12 to 18! I've also done a couple of how to videos at people's requests. If you want to see the other hair do's I've done, see post 1 here and post 2 here!


Here's the rest of the months hair styles.

Wash 12: faux bob

Wash 13: half halo pleat from the front into a side bun

Wash 14: Big hair down day

Wash 15: Side of head hair bow!

Wash 16: Posh ponytail with wrap around (first day of my new job!)

Wash 17: Beehive half-up and half-down

Wash 18: 1960s style big hairband down do

The Faux Bob tutorial video

I also did a tutorial video for the sideways french pleat

And here's the video I used to do my hair bow (by Imogen Foxylocks)

Hope you enjoyed this installment! If you want any videos let me know, or if you have any hair ideas I can try then let me know!


2 Jan 2012

Review: Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Cherry

In the search for a perfect winter berry, I was drawn to the Sleek Berries gift set but only wanted the Cranberry lippie and not the red kohl! (Yeah, loving the haven't slept, red-rimmed eyes look).


I went to Superdrug and got the closest match which was Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Cherry - a moisturising formula rather than one of their matt formulas.


The packaging

 The packaging looks really "sleek" excusing the pun. It's matt and shine black and oval and looks much higheer-class than the £4 I paid for it. The bullet of lipstick is shaped well and makes it easy to apply.


The formula

The formula applies well and is nice and moisturising although due to the colour it does need applying with a brush. I have very dry cracked lips but you can't really tell which is good. It does bleed so you'll need a lipliner.


Overall 4/5 - for £4 it's worth a shot if you want that winter berry colour and the formula applies well. Shame about the bleeding but I think that's due to the moisturising formula.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig