Thursday, 31 March 2016

OUTFIT POST: TIME SQUARE


Yes I know...another NY related post. When she will shut up I hear you cry ? Not any time soon I'm afraid. There's too much I still have to say about my adventure in the Big Apple. I will try and separate my NY posts with some non NY posts, so if this isn't of interest don't think you have to abandom my blog completely. 

As you will have gathered so far, my trip was generally a roaring success. Most of the sights I'd always hoped to visit all these years, well and truly lived up to my expectations. Sadly I didn't end up managing to see Lady Liberty up close, but even from a distance it was an integral part of a thrilling NY view. Brooklyn Bridge was just as iconic and spectacular as all those sindicated art prints in the likes of Ikea had made me believe. Central Park was the perfect destination for people watching - with photoshoots, dog walking, fishing, boatings and picnics simultanesouly decorating the vast space. However, there was one place that didn't compare to the image I'd jigsawed together from thousands of photos and clips from TV and movies. 

Till I vistited I have always thought of that naked cowboy, clips of MTV TRL with Carson Daly, or awkward outdoor broadcasts by the likes of Good Morning America.  Now I just think of a fairly unrelmarkable overcrowded space. Yes the surrounding buildings were so high I crooked my neck gazing up at the,  yes there were those huge signs and LED advertising of very attractive people selling stuff....but it wasn't a square.

I don't know whether my expectations of what I square is were so because I had reference in the form of Leicester Square and the wonderful squares in Europe which are outlined by bars and restaurants with outside seating. Either way it didn't feel very square like and it just felt like a bit of chaos and added hubub aside of the road. Not a particularly notable floor surface space and cluttered to a stress-worthy level due to the conveyer belt of commuters and tourists.

I may be completely harsh in my view, perhaps I just went at the wrong time of day. I can only assume the lights make it look rather spectacular at night. Next visit I'll make a point of checking it out once the sun sets. 

MISSGUIDED BOMBER
URBAN OUTFITTERS BEANIE
PRIMARK CORD PINAFORE DRESS
PRIMARK BOOTS
PRIMARK TIGHTS
VINTAGE 90'S NECKLACE

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An Easy Way to Disguise Your Roots?



Until a few years ago I was rather stubborn when it came to dying my hair. I prided myself in the fact I was a natural blonde, and felt that if I faked it that I wouldn't be able to feel as chuffed if I was ever complimented on it's shade. After-all, how could I fully embrace it if I knew it was manufactored and the result of chemicals? Surely that means anyone can achieve it if they want to?

Then as I got a bit older some new factors came in to play. When I was a wee little thing my hair was pure white blonde. This disappeared as did my cherubic ringlets, and I was left with what I guess people would call a medium blonde. 

Then we had a few very disappointing summers, with some rather predictably dull winters, and my medium blonde became a very unremarkable murky brown colour. I hadn't realised till then how much I'd relied on the sun's rays to inject some natural highlights.

I still persisted in my resistance of artificial colour, using lemon juice and combining with hear to try and lighten up my depressed mane. It worked, rather well actually, but my boyfriend found it a bit embarrassing when I squeezed an actual lemon  on my barnet in public, nor did he relish finding pips and other lemon innards tangled within it.

I won't go into my complete hair dying timeline - which has been mixed in terms of colours and success levels, but I'll give you a brief overview....

It got to the point when everyone I knew was dying there hair, they were looking suitable sunkissed in summer, and sporting winter warming hues in the colder months, and my hair looked, well, crap in comparison. Due to the pressures of social media and the fact that being able to achieve very polished styles at home is so doable with the help of current appliances and products, I felt I needed to keep up. 


Despite giving in to modern day superficial pressures, I knew my limitations. After one sit in the colourist chair I knew it wouldn't be a process I could stand to do regularly. I was shocked at just how long it takes, and I couldn't help but think of all the work I could be getting done in that time. It was also pretty expensive - luckily I generally use press reviews to get mine done - but I was still shocked at the expense. 

So I knew from that point that I'd have to request dye jobs that would allow for regrowth. So dip dyes, balayages etc. So when I wasn't going for temporary wacky Bleach London rinses, I was going for blonde looks that mirrored those of someone returning from their gap year. The sort of look that would work a few months down the line, as if the lightened hair had grown out as the tan faded. 

This means for the majority of the year I sport roots or have them covered with a beanie. Because I have always favoured highlights rather than block colours it is in no way offensive, and even looks intentional, but they are present all the same. On those days when you look in the mirror and feel like your skin looks like it's turning grey, you really want your hair to give your face a helping hand. I always find freshly coloured hair gives me a boost and makes me look a bit younger and...well, alive. 

So rather than change my habits and book more regular dye appointments I was hoping for a more cost effective solution.  I recently tried a spray root cover up product, but it wasn't quite the right tone of blonde, and just wasn't pigmented enough to make a notiecable difference and made my hair look slightly greasy. 

Then this last week an email arrived in my inbox regarding The Hair Experts UK and their powder palette solutions. Now this I had to try.



They kindly sent me two shades of blonde to try, as well as a black one. At first I didn't see what I could do with that one, but was then reminded how darkened roots are a thing now - See Kylie Jenner and grunge icons for inspo. 

They come in very compact and sleek packaging, pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a nice mini eyeshadow or brow set. Inside you'll find a trip of the coloured powder and a double ended brush. Two sized of brush mean you can pick the most suitable according the amount of hair you are wishing to cover. 

My partner Simon is half Japanese, so he has that very course, shiny black hair. I hope he won't mind me telling you all, that his jet mane is now decorated by hundreds of silver strands. It's not at that desirable salt and pepper level that you'd fully embrace, nor that trendy silver fox territory. At the moment it's at the stage where each shining new discovery is a pain, and is at risk of being plucked. 


I decided he'd be the guinea pig for the black shade, and first I decided to tackle his sides, including the sideburns. He's just had his long hair cut, so it's now fairly short at the sides. It was shaved. but has had a week or two to grow. I applied the black and it covered the greys extremely successfully and  easily. It's a buildable product, so if they were glistening through the first layer, I want back to the powder to apply another dusting. Now, because the hair is so short there you can see the skin through the hair. It was impossible to cover the greys without the powder getting to the skin and therefore darkening the area in general. This is not a problem, in fact it could be used to define your hairstyle even more, but it is essential that the level of darkness is the same on each side. For instance, I was able to create a very believeable strong side-burn, but you'd want to make sure they came as a pair. 


Next I wanted to try and cover some of the long strands on the top, which are very sparsely distributed. In most cases there were just lone strands that needed covering. To do this I stretched them out as much as I could, supported by the other hair underneath. Due to the length of the strands this was a slightly more difficult task, and required a few layers. This turned the area that the hair was stretched over to be covered in the powder too. This isn't a problem either, but you do notice a slight difference in terms of texture. The powder gives the hair a slightly more matte/chalky finish. 

It would be a very painstakingly long process to cover each long grey in this manner. From experimenting on Simon's hair I realised that this product it better suited to covering short areas of hair, over blanking out one off long strands found scattered over the head 9as the product states it is intended for root coverage). There was a bit of issue when using the product near Simon's forehead as there was some fall out. Make sure you waft it off, otherwise he'd look like he's been chimney sweeping. 

Despite his hesitance I tried it on my Dad while he was glued to his latest box set. His hair is a lot greyer than Si's so I thought it would be useful to showcase the effectiveness of the powder. 
As you can see it covered fairly well, but the black was a slightly blue/black shade perhaps due to the powdery texture. The added bonus of this product is that it washes out in the shower, so there's no commitment. 

It's known as a root cover up, so here is where the real review begins. My roots are about 3 inches now. Below my hair is a sun-kissed medium to light blonde (a mix, as it has highlights combined with my natural colour). My root is probably a dark blonde/mousey brown colour - so it's not as drastic a comparison between root and coloured hair as many others may experience. 

First you need to decide on where you are going to part your hair for the day. Unless you are willing to separate your hair into various partings so that you are covered however you end up flipping your hair throughout the day. I decided to tackle one side of my chosen parting first, so that I could get a kick out of what I hoped would be a drastic before and after. 


As I don't have just one shade of blonde I decided to use a combination of the warm blonde and the other blonde shade to match it as best I could. As I said before it is a buildable product, so keep layering till you feel that it has had a noticeable effect. I got to a point where the roots weren't completely eradicated but they looked far less harsh. It did a very decent job at disguising the extremity of my root situation. It didn't completely eradicate it, but I think a product any thicker or pigmented than this powder would look to obvious, too uniform, or create a texture very dissimilar to hair. I was pleased with the overall results. 

Left of the parting is untouched (showing my roots)right of the parting is after applying the powder

Overall though I think the success of the product will vary, according to a few different factors. I believe this will be extremely useful for those people that are fairly regular with their hair appointments, but would like some help for those few short weeks inbetween - when there's an inch/ince 1/2 of root regrowth for instance. I think it will be very easy to blend the faux powded colour with the dyed part of your hair with this amount of regrowth. 

In terms of covering greys, I think it works great if you are tackling a parting or greys on the sides of a short haircut, but it's fairly difficult and time consuming if you want to cover the odd strand of long hair. I wanted to push the limit on this product to see whether it could achieve even more than it promises, but I do think it serves best as the stated root cover up. 


Right side of parting with powder applied (excuse my split baby hair, and don't paint your scalp like I did)

I think I will get the most use of it when I sweep my hair back and up in a ponytail and want to lessen the roots at the hairline. It will also be extremely useful when I sport my low ponytails with a parting. The fact that the hair is secure and the parting won't change will make the product easy to apply. I believe these are the instances where the product is particularly successful. 

I will definitely be using it for a wedding up-do this weekend. It will make me look more like one of those groomed ladies, one that keeps up to date with her salon appointments, and I won't have to suffer the horrible sticky or greasy textures that other options may cause 

I'll be reviewing this product further after next week. I am due to be transformed into an on trend denim haired blogger courtesy of L'Oreal, so I plan to use the black powder to create those intentional dark roots that are currently saturating tumblr and Instagram. For those with different colour hairs to mine, they have various blonde, brown and red shades, so do check out their range - available at boots at a very reasonable £9.99.
 
Will you be giving this product a try?


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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

KIKKI.K'S LAUNCH NEW SKANDI HOMEWARE RANGE


Last week I was invited to a Scandinavian cooking demonstration at the home of interior designer and cook Hanna Geller Goldsmith, otherwise known as cooking blogger extraordinaire Building Feasts.

We'd be eating the resulting brunch via the new Home ware range from Kikki.K

If you've been to their Covent Garden store, you will have no doubt noticed the beautiful light filled interior and the beautiful pastels, metallics, and whites covering their ever so easy on the eye product range.

Even if you think you aren't familiar with the range, I will guarantee you will have seen some of their adorable notebooks and journals posted by many a influencial blogger on Instagram. 

The products I've been particulraly obsessed with are their adorable Inspiration journals - little pastel coloured books designed to help you get the best out of yourselves, and out of life in general. There's a book fitting for various areas of your life that you may feel need work - Mindfulness, Goals, Habits, Happiness. Gratitude and Dreams. I'll be honest with you, I could probably do with the whole collection. My needs aside, what a lovely gift they could be for someone in your life that needs a bit of a boost or motivation.


 Anyway back to their brand new Homeware, which is in-keeping with the brand's stunning aesthetic.

Inspired by nature, and using the patterns found within in a simplistic and clean fashion, the new kikki.K Homewares Collection, Svenska Hem Små Stunder, incorporates natural veined wood, speckled matte porcelain, and polished brass to embody the best of traditional Swedish design. 

Beautifully unfussy in style and ultimately practical in nature, kikki.K’s Homewares Collection combines texture, shape and fine materials with a touch of gol, delivering a cost effective route to achieving the oh so trendy Skandi chic. 
Some of my favourties include the white porcelain cups featuring cute and relatable quotes like “There is always time for tea”, as well white glass bottles with the message 'make more time for those little moment' - adorable! Also in the range are milk jugs, sugar bowls and teapots decorated with muted gold florals which are all screaming to be posted on Instagram.

If you're looking to add a touch of style and serenity to your work space then the collection's desk clock, notepads, clipboards and scented candle are the perfect way to inject it. I promplty added the the 3 shaped dishes with their flecks of shining metallic to my wish-list.

Finally, If you're looking to add some Skandi freshness to your living space then the Svenska Hem Små Stunder vases and wooden framed prints, trays and vases do so effortlessly.


The items photographed in this post were all contained in our lovely goodie bags from our morning of Scandinavian  brunching. It included a matching teapot, milk jug, and cup, complete with it's light wood saucer - the same light wood finish used throughout the range.


 Milk Jug £6.00
Teapot £14

You can see/follow the Scandinavian Brunch recipe's demonstrated by Building Feast in this video...




You can bring some added fun to your baking, cooking and kitchen organising with this pretty Paper Lover’s Book. It featues Recipe Cards, Notepaper, Table Place Cards, Stickers, Labels, Tags and more, so you can get creatuve while tending to your OCD.It almost makes you want to go to the hosting an afternoon tea or dinner party. To avoid the stress that may cause I might cerate some foodie presents for some upcoming birthday's.


Paper Lovers Book: Love Food £18


What do you think of the collection? Are you into this clean minimal style? What piece are you coveting?


The Svenska Hem Små Stunder collection is available in store and online

www.kikki-K.com
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