My first ever D.I.Y. layered haircut!

So me and my friend Leah were discussing haircuts last night. She had just been to the salon to have her hair trimmed straight and it looked lovely. I was mentioning my boredom of my hair – it’s so long now, and kind of lifeless. Leah suggested I get choppy layers cut in – what a good idea! Eurgh, but making an appointment at the salon and having my curly hair washed and fussed with – I didn’t wanna!

Leah said she had seen someone having their hair cut IN the salon by having it all scraped to the top of their head and snipped off in one straight line. This reminded me of a haircut I had once had in Egypt as a child when they did the same thing. I think they actually braided my hair straight up and snipped the end off!

Now me and Dee have been dying and trimming each others hair for as long as I can remember. Her current ombre hair colour and short cut are courtesy of moi! But we’ve never mastered the layering, or cutting of our own hair. 

After a spot of googling and youtubing I found hundreds of videos explaining how to cut layers into your own hair and it looked easy! What better way to spend the afternoon than hacking your own hair off?? There’s something strangely satisfying about it!

I scraped all my hair onto the top of my head and thought – wait – I should really picture document this! So here it is, my picture documentation of my first ever, very own layered hair cut!

Image

 

I have to say I’m super happy with the results. It’s SO easy to do as well and the positioning of the ponytail relative to the gradient of the layers (the closer to the front the more dramatic the gradient) is good to know! The length is hardly changed and it has some oomf to it now. It’ll look super cool when I leave it curly and it’s all shapely now instead of blocky.

You can find hundreds of videos on how to do this – but the basics are covered in my illustration above. Try it, don’t try it, it’s totally up to you (i.e. not my fault if you mess up your hair!), just thought I’d share with ya’all.

Image

Before (left) and after!

 

Toodles for now!

Dal xx

Advertisements

The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Compact Foundation – A review

I’m always on the lookout for my next favourite foundation. I go through phases of loving certain brands then I get bored, and want to try something new. So me and Dee hit the mall to do a bit of make-up research and try out some brands. The first place we went was The Body Shop as Dee had run out of her favourite liquid eyeliner from there and wanted a new one. Now I’ve always loved the body shop for their moisturisers, soaps, body washes and, of course, their famous Christmas gift baskets that they make and everyone loves. So when Dee said her best ever liquid eyeliner was from there, it intrigued me. We went into the Mall of the Emirates branch and took a look around. Then something caught my eye. Was that cream foundation? It had ‘Extra Virgin’ written on it and was in an appealing black compact case. I didn’t know The Body Shop made cream foundation. The texture looked just delicious even from 3 metres away. So I took a closer look.

Image

 

The texture was creamy, not oily, just soft and delightful. I tried a bit on my jaw (don’t use the back of your hand to test colours it is not the same colour as your face!) and went out into the daylight for a better look (shop lighting can be deceiving!). I find that because I’m a yellow brown (wheat as I like to call it) colour matching one foundation to my face is difficult – I tend to mix a few together, which gets tiresome and takes up a lot of make-up bag space! The colour match was fantastic (I got shade 305 – Natural Beige, but it is available in 8 shades). I went back into the store and bought one immediately (only 99 AED!). It comes in a compact with a mirror and the cutest little flat brush that is actually useable! Cream foundations tend to come with a sponge which some people like, but me and Dee rarely use sponges when applying make-up to ourselves or our clients – we’re brush people – so to find a brush, a useful one at that, was a nice surprise. 

Image

 

I applied the foundation to my face and left it on all for the duration of our shopping day to review when I got home. My skin looked amazing. It goes on creamy and stays dewy looking – not like many cream foundations which turn chalky once you put them on. But it doesn’t make you look oily either. The coverage is medium, but you can thin it out or layer it up for lighter or heavier coverage also. The staying power is really good as long as you’re not too much of a face toucher. You can seal it with powder if you’re going for a night out, but if you want a natural looking daytime foundation with the easiest application, I cannot recommend this product enough. The only people I think who wouldn’t necessarily like it so much, are those with oily skin. I fear it may not stay on well and might look greasy without powder, etc. Dee has drier skin than me also and found that the foundation clung to the dry parts of her skin emphasising them – so perhaps the conclusion is that normal to combination skin 

I’m going back to The Body Shop to check out the rest of their line of products. In my opinion they have seriously stepped into the luxury make-up market, and this foundation is a true contender to the top of the range designer brands. Oh, and their whole line is animal cruelty free. Always a bonus for me! I’ll be back with my reviews of the rest of their products soon.

Toodles for now!

Dal xx

My lovely meeting with MyLovelyWedding.com

Image

 

While searching the tinterweb for wedding blogs (something I often do!) I stumbled upon one Dubai-based website calledwww.mylovelywedding.com. It was full of really unique ways to decorate your wedding and ideas for party décor and themes in general. Like genuinely cool ideas that we haven’t seen done in Dubai. Jam jars as centrepieces, chalk boards as signage, bunting, lace – basically all things country chic that I love and miss from the UK’s ‘festival’ style weddings that are gaining massive popularity. ‘We’d better meet this creative creature’ I thought to myself and swiftly set up a coffee date.

Upon arrival we were greeted with a gorgeous individual who introduced herself as Joelle, the founder of The Lovely Group and MyLovelyWedding.com. We sat and chatted forever about décor, our own weddings, her unique style and ideas for every party you can think of. By the end of it we were wide-eyed and pumped about the next party we were going to throw! Cute ideas were overwhelming my brain and, at one point I’ll admit, I did think ‘Dammit, if I’d just met you before my wedding there’s things I would have changed!’. I think we all feel it at some point. I’ve been getting serious theme-envy from looking at these blogs and some CRAZY dress-envy from wedding dress shopping with my bride-to-be friends. But I guess it’s just one day at one point in your life and your likes change everyday – so there’ll always be a point that you go ‘oh that would have been cool!’ and wish you had done it for yourself!

Image

 

Anyhow, I digress. It’s been a week since our meeting and Dee is already in cahoots with Joelle about organising and decorating a baby-shower that she’s throwing for her friend. I can’t rant enough about this girl. Every day she calls Dee with some new fabulous idea she’s had for décor, and yesterday, sorted the whole catering and décor out at an AMAZING price. I’ll never try and organise a party myself again and I urge you – for anything you need be it just some décor to rent (she has an office full of the CUTEST stuff you can use) or a full party planner – call Joelle, you will not regret it!

Joelle@mylovelywedding.com

Toodles for now!

Dal xx

Met Gala Ball 2013 – Our review of the best and worst make-up looks

Image

We’re reviewing the best and worst make-up looks from this years Met Gala Ball. As you may know, the theme this year was punk fashion which meant make-up artists to the stars got to have fun with the looks. But did some celebs just look punk’d? Lets take a looksie..

Image

 

First up in our favourite looks is Anne Hathaway. This silver and black smokey eye look is perfect for the event and her quiffed blonde hair looks amazing. It’s totally different to her usual demure style and is definately punk – but she still looks classy and well put together. While we’ll admit, her look is normally very safe – she has stepped up for this event as we lover her for it. Well done Anne! Keep the risk-taking up!

 

Image

Next up is a pint-sized star that we never thought would be on our ‘Good Make-up’ list – but we can’t deny that Nicki Minaj’s wine lip colour and exaggerated eyeliner looks really good! We’re loving the natural curls in blonde too and her look, altogether, is surprisingly chic! If anyone was going to go crazy at this punk event we thought it’d be Nicki – but she’s somehow toned down her look and we love her for it.

 

Image

 

J-Lo looked fantastic at the Met this year – we are OBSESSED with this hair style, it’s amazing. Her make-up could have been heavier/darker as this soft dark eye is something we’ve seen on Jennifer at many different events. Just goes to show that if you’ve got a look thats working for you, just keep rocking it! I would have liked to see a darker matte look on her lips for this event, but still, she looks great.

 

 

Image

 

And now the celebs who just totally missed the mark. First up, Miley Cyrus. Bold red lips and no eye make-up does NOT a punk princess make. Punk is all about eye make-up, eyeliner, guyliner! Couple the lack of eye make-up with this 13 year old boys first attempt at hair gel and we think she’s totally missed an amazing hair and make-up opportunity here. Such a shame as we’ve been loving her recent looks too. Poor form Miley, poor form!

 

Image

 

Emma Watson. YAWN! What is this understated look all about? Did she not get the PUNK memo on the invitation?? No eyes, no lips, no hair – no fun! We don’t get this at all. What stylist let her go to this hugely anticipated event looking so ordinary? With two simple adjustments she would have passed our gaze unscathed – boof up the top of that hair and line those eyes in smudgy black. That’s it!

 

 

Image

 

This guilty look in Gwyenth Paltrow’s eyes is there for a reason. She’s turned up and realised her bright pink dress, basic daytime make-up and hair scraped into a ponytail, just might not cut the mustard. Again we find ourselves turning to stylists and thinking ‘Did you do this??’, and if so, ‘WHY?’. She looks perfectly pretty, but perfectly wrong for this event. *sigh*

 

 

‘Fro Woe

As some of you may have witnessed, I have incredibly curly hair. When I say incredibly curly – I’m talking tight mini ringlet curls. My hair is about as close to afro hair as you can get, without actually having afro hair!

I spent my childhood running wild, ‘fro n all, as a frizzy-mopped and carefree child. As a teen I’d keep my hair in only one style for fear of my ‘fro unleashing itself in public – it would be kept up in a tight french twist…everyday…for years. I used to dream of thinner hair.

Image

Then at around 13 / 14 (I call these my rock-chick years as my playlists mostly consisted of Nirvana, Metallica and Megadeth and my wardrobe reflected this) I discovered the wonders of 2 things: bleach and hairdye! What followed can only be described as a rainbow of frizzy chaos of epic proportions as I went from all red, to bright purple strips to bleached ‘head bands’. The picture above depicts my ‘essentials’ during this time. You’ll be relieved to hear that this phase of my….’style’….only lasted a couple of years (ok 3 years! don’t judge me!).

This is the part of this story where you’re expecting things to get better for my poor, now even frizzier from all the colouring, hair. This is just the beginning. Because at age 16 I discovered the unthinkable. The thing that is ruining hair and balding women across the globe. The thing that you only turn to when you’re desperate. With a massively thick ‘fro of curls on my head, it seemed like a dream come true…and I did it….I began relaxing my hair at home (roots, scalp, everything got covered!).

Here’s the thing no one tells you about at home relaxers….they’re ADDICTIVE! Ok….so I finally had slightly less curly and almost manageable hair….then a few months later, my roots would grow throw to remind me of what will happen if I don’t buy another box of relaxer and slap it all over my head, again and again and this went on for YEARS!


By the time I hit uni I wanted a drastic change. I thought to myself – what do all these women with curly and afro hair do to look ‘cool’. BRAIDS! I went and got my first lot of braids with extensions and I LOVED them! It was the ultimate solution for the life of a student who liked to party hearty. The more I got them done and watched the process, the more I became confident me and Dal could do it ourselves! So I’d buy batches of synthetic braiding hair and voila! We actually got pretty good at it! I’d like to add that the abuse of my hair at this point was not just restricted to the heavy braids constantly pulling – the relaxing still continued. Everytime I took my braids out, my hair would be brushed, relaxed, washed and the whole process would start over again.

Once I was over my braid phase (still at uni) and was kinda sick of being called a rasta, the braids came off and I did something i’d never done in my life before. I rocked my ‘fro like no ones ever rocked a ‘fro. It was big, it was awesome and it was extreme side-parted. It looked great!…but still….the relaxing continued.

After uni, I moved to Dubai. Nothing could have prepared me for what 100% humidity would do to my ‘awesome ‘fro’. I moved here in the middle of August and needless to say, my hair quickly formed itself into a poof of unimaginable frizz. So now what? No amount of products could help me.

Dal, who’d moved here a year before me, had tried something called re-bonding. Which she explained to me was basically like relaxer, but done in a salon the hair would be relaxed, straightened and left to ‘set’ for 3 days. She told me to try it. So I did. I couldn’t believe how straight and tame my hair was! It was actually almost too straight! I’d gone from massive hair, to flat, straight hair which took some getting used to. But at least I was presentable! when your hair is re-bonded well, when the roots grow even a tiny bit look ridiculous as the result is straight hair with poofy frizz at the top. So as you’ve probably gathered from my history with my hair, re-bonding was my new addiction and it continued for 5 years. Shortly after discovering re-bonding, and with thinner hair from all my treatments, I found the wonders of hair extensions. Glue-ins, clips-ins, weaves, you name it, I’ve had it. This coupled with the re-bonding and the years of abuse – my hair had finally had it with me.

My hair had become thinner and thinner from all the chemicals, colours, relaxers and braids throughout my life. To the point that it was visibly thinner and very brittle. I was now at 27 years old and the realisation hit me – if i don’t stop, I’ll have no hair by the time I’m 40.  

I stopped everything.

Growing out re-bonded is not fun. But it needed to happen.

I’m now 30 and have ceased chemicals on my hair for the last 3 years. My hair is getting healthier, but it will never be as thick as it was. It doesn’t curl as it used to, which when i look back, were the tightest most beautifully defined curls.

 
Chris Rock made a movie a couple of years ago called ‘Good Hair’ which explores relaxers and hair extensions. There was a demonstration that showed relaxer being put on a supermarket chicken and within hours, it had eaten through the chicken to the table. Now it makes me sad to think about what I’d been doing to my poor hair and scalp.

I wish someone had grabbed me at 15, slapped me and shook me and said “STOP! You’re hair is awesome!” I would have all my thick beautiful hair and I’d be proudly rocking my ‘fro. Now I can’t really wear it curly as its so damaged and uneven – so it stays blow dried and I will continue you to condition it and nurture it until it resembles the texture of normal hair again.

Your hair is your hair, own it, style it, rock it. Don’t destroy it.

Dee xxx

 

Our brushes are heeeeeeeeeere!

We’re so excited today! Our Real Techniques brushes arrived from the UK and we fiiiiiiiinally get to play with them! I’m not gonna lie, it was a total mission getting them here. Our wonderful friend Safi had to order them on boots.com to deliver to her home, then her poor big bro had to pack them in his things and haul them to the airport (I can’t imagine what he had to say to customs as to why he was carrying 30 make-up brushes!), onto his flight to DXB and finally to his family home, where we scooped them up and are super excited to try them out (as demonstrated by Dee’s face here)…

Real Techniques brushes are the brain child of UK make-up artist and blogger Samantha Chapman. Sam and her sister Nicky make up the duo known as Pixiwoo. We absolutely love them and have been watching their blogs for years. So when we heard that Sam had designed a range of brushes, with fully synthetic hair, we knew we had to have them! There’s a big debate amongst the pro world about whether animal hair brushes are better (most say they are) – but these fully synthetic animal-cruelty free brushes feel fantastic and look like the way forward for animal lovers like me and Dee 

We’ll be reviewing all the brushes soon – maybe even on a video blog! So we’ll keep you posted.

Dal xx

ImPress Nails Changed My…Nails

So as most of you know, me and Dal recently got an endorsement deal with Kiss USA (yay!) which is awesome as they have a whole bunch of great products, aside from their lashes which we’re completely addicted to.

So when we sat with Kiss, they introduced us to their ImPress nails by one of the companies under Kiss USA called Broadway Nails. To be honest my first impression when they mentioned them was a little *yawn* – so what, everyone makes stick on nails.

Now I’ve always had crappy nails. I have no idea why, but they only ever get to a certain length before breaking and peeling. So I always have them short and they always look kinda scruffy (I’m the person hiding their nails in meetings 😦 ). I’ve used most types of stick on nails and the glue completely trashes my already fragile nails. Gelish I hear you cry? Been there, done that, had the paper thin nails to show at the end of it.

1368447938

So here’s where I go back to ImPress nails. As soon as I took them out of their awesome packaging (packed into a nail varnish shaped bottle – too cute!) I realised they were different from other nails. They were soft and bendy – almost like a thick layer of nail polish. The other thing is that instead of glue, they had an adhesive stuck to them. So you just peel off the sticker and put them straight onto your nail! So they seemed to already be looking like a great product to me – but i won’t vouch for anything until I’ve tried it. If something passes the Dee test, it must be good! I’m very fussy! So right there in the meeting, I opened up a pack and began giving myself an ImPress manicure. OMG! The fact that they’re soft means they form to your nail and aren’t painful when you first wear them, they stick on really well and make your nails look PERFECT!

8010143_orig

But this isn’t the best part. The nails lasted about a week – they probably would’ve actually lasted longer, but my impatience and bored with a colour after a certain amount of time made me do the unthinkable….PEEL THEM OFF! I winced and peeled slowly, expecting to reveal a gammy, thin, demolished nail underneath. My nails were EXACTLY as they had been before I put them on. NO peeling, no damage, nothing! Suffice to say, from this point on – I Was hooked! Fantastic nails as often as I wanted?! And ones I could suddenly just peepl off when i was colour bored and needing a change?! YES PLEASE!

In the following days, our box of kiss goodies arrived (I cannot explain to you how exciting it is to receive a pink box FULL of gorgeous lashes and beautiful nails in all colours – the picture below is Dal beautifully demonstrating her excitement). Me and Dal were like kids in a candy store. Now you will never seen me with ugly, chipped away, naked nails again!
ImPress nails are now a crucial addition to our make-up kit and are available to our clients. You HAVE to try these. Each pack contains a really good range of sizes and they come in awesome colours. You’ll find them at most pharmacies 🙂 Let us know how you like them!

Dee xxx