Monday, 28 November 2016

Busted at HMV LIVE - NIGHTDRIVER RELEASE EVE



Last week was one of those relentless weeks where you're so busy you have to sacrifice one of your meal times each day because there just isn't time (if you know me well and my love of eating, this tells you just how busy a week it was). You find youself having to hold your bladder or clenching your bottom because there's not time to queue in McDonalds toilet when nature calls during a day of activities in London. I even found myself changing my clothes in Claridges toilet inbetween Tueday's events, and having one of those terrifying and sweat inducing 'I'm trapped in my dress' moments.
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RETRO MAKEOVERS AND AFTERNOON TEA AT CLARIDGES


By now you will have seen my vlog from the premiere of Allied, which took place a week ago today. Situated in the foyer of the Odean Leicester Square were some of the stunning costumes from the film. I was unabe to get a proper look at the craftmanship and tailoring as we were ushered in to get our seat pretty swiftly. Luckily I new the next day would deliver an opportunity to get up close and personal to the beautiful 1940's designs.


The lovely folk at Paramount invited myself and some other bloggers and journalists for a day of retro pampering at The Soho Hotel. In one of their achingly cool events rooms there were two beautifying stations governed by gorg ladies, The Powderpuff Girls. Look how adorable they look in their pillar box hats and pink button down dresses! Imagine a uniform being this damn hot!

 
At the make up station this lovely blonde bombshell gave me eyeliner flicks that were bold, but more importantly symmetrical, an attribute I have managed to avoid during the whole of my years applying make up. She also added a matte red lip, making me do that rather saucy looking action of sucking your finger to prevent it from being able to rub off on your teeth. The sultry brunette then went on to give me Veronica Lake waves and a statment victory roll.

Amber Doig Thorne and I trying not to look wkward in an attempt to document our retro makeovers.

After some mingling with some bucks fizz we then had the opportunity to watch the film on one of the hotel's screen rooms. Myself and Amber had already watched it the night before so we left to grab some lunch before meeting the rest of the gang after their viewing session, to then head to Claridges.


I've never been treated afternoon tea before, but all the images on my instagram by fellow bloggers over the years has made it an activity I've been deesperate to experience. How lucky am I that my first experience would take place at the iconic and heralded Claridges. In the sophisticated french salon, we would not only get to pleasure our taste buds, but see the film's costumes up close and personal, and even meet the creative (and oscar nominated) lady behind them.


I was lucky enough to be sat next to oscar nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston, so had a great opportunity to ask her lots about the inspiration behind the glorious fashion featured in the film. I really felt that her choices really helped us as viewers to feel immersed in that war torn era, but it was also a huge part of what injected the glamour and romance into the movie, but also helped to create the more cosey and homely family feel during the shots at home. 
I've always heard positive feedback from film industry people in reference to Brad Pitt, it sounds like he is a thoroughly decent guy to work with, which is something Joanna confirmed. She said working with Marion and Brad was a complete pleasure and they were extremely easy to work with, more than happy to trust her cirection when it came to the wardrobe choices. She said their enviable figures and stunning appearances also make her job more than a little easier in terms of creating flattering looks.


She said that working with actors and celebrities is easier if the project is set in the past. If it's a contemporary feature the talent is more likely to have a strong opinon of what they feel/want their character to wear. Perhaps their personal relationships with brands will play a part for instance. For example if there character is in jeans they may have a personal preference in terms of brand of denim they like to wear. If it's based in a different time, they tend to be willing to go with what the costume designer believes to be right, because they will be more clued up on what is accurate for that time.


I asked joanna whether there is an era she's particularly drawn to, perhaps a style movement that appeals to her more, and brings more joy to the creative process. She talked about her work for the Man from Uncle and said how much she loved the looks from the late 60's, which weren' the hippy dippy 60's, it was the more formed and sophistaced looks that started to emerge towards to early seventies. I asked whether a film's era would be the decider for whether she would want to get involved in the particular project, but she said that it's more about the story for her, if it's a tale she believes and feels invested in. She went to explain how taken she was with the romance of Allied, that she feels it's very relationship that what draws you into the film and truly makes you care about the ending.


The look on the right here very much reminded me of Katherine Hepburn. I always adored how she she wore tailoring. I love how a look can still showcase a woman's waist but have a strong and masculine element too. 


The silk dressing gown is one of Joanna's personal favourites, she adored the feminine print, as did all of us. The scenes of Marion is her nightwear definitely made me feel like I need to up my game - I can't imagine my Slipknot tee would have had quite the same effect on Mr Pitt. She also said she had a particular soft spot for the wool crocheted outfit the baby wears when they are having their picnic.


This green dress was my favourite look from the movie, I loved the subtle green that was used, thefeather bead and embroidery work, and the draping on the hip. It was so luxe, and managed to find a balance between utterly classy but completely sexy. Joanna told us that at one point she had toyed with a blue but felt this hue complimented Marion's colouring the best.


We also found out that she had to make 8 versions of this dress, which isn't something I considered before, but it now seems very obvious. Of course there needs to be back-ups in case anything happens to the dress, film making is expensive and time in money, so filming can't be halted because a rip, stain or other malfunction. Joanna also told us how she needed to amend the design of the skirt for the scenes which require Marion to run - so that was another dress that needed to be made. Then there needed to back up's for the scene where Marion and brad flip the table, in case and liquid got on to the satin. She also nodded when I asked about whether human bodily functions are considerd when you decide on the materials you use - afterall we all know that some fabrics are very effective at showing up sweat patches.


This stunning pleated skirt detail of the ensemble Marion wears when they are sat outside at the cafe was a particularly tricky design for Joanna. The geometric print was a nightmare in terms of it making sense with the pleats. The hard work paid off because she looks draw droppingly beautiful in these scene. She's managed to create a look completely fitting of the era and setting, but one that has a contemporary freshness and unfussy nature about it.



When I met up with the girls after they'd seen the movie, where we shared our heartbreak and confessed to sobbing to an embarrassing extent, we went on to discuss other elements of the film, including Brad's appearance. We all agreed that he is looking better than ever. The new shorter haircut appears to have taken years off, and he looked offensively dashing in all of Joanna's costumes. 
Of course it's not a not a new concept to find a man attractive in uniform, but he somehow looked just as refined in the less formal looks too, when in the desert (that scene in the car....corrr) and wearing that slightly oversized light coloured suit for the scene at the cafe. He has the sort of body and stature that looks great in clothes, they never look like they're wearing him and he never looked out of place in the 1940's environment.

Joanna kindly signing illustrations of her costumes

Claridge’s is famous for it's Christmas tree but this year they have gone a step further. Their offering  has long symbolised the start of the festive season in the capital, drawing visitors and Londoners alike to admire its magnificent design. But this year Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson, and in collaboration with renowned British set designer Michael Howells, have created an immersive festive installation. You will find yourself in a magical, snow-covered forest.


Sir Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, and Marc Newson, one of the world’s most influential industrial designers, are both long-time friends of the hotel. 

“There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology. Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognising our excitement about the future and things to come." 

The high light boxes that glow with black and white photographic images of snow covered silver birch trees, set on a pure white floor. Against this backdrop, rise cast models of Scots pine, layered with both natural and photographed silver birch and fir trees, reaching to a canopy of natural green pine.

This is the seventh year that Claridge’s has invited a favourite guest to reinterpret the tree in their own distinctive style and I've dcided to make it a new tradition of my own, to go and see each year's creation from this point onwards.  

I can't say enough gushy words about my Allied themed day, I was utterly spoiled rotten. But before I go I will urge you to watch the movie. Not only visually stunning, the thriller aspect of the film will keep you glued right to the very end.


Thanks so much to Paramount for inviting me to be part of such a wonderful day, I'm so very grateful.

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

YOUTUBERS AND COSMETIC SURGERY - SHOULD THEY TELL US?


I want to point you in the direction of the first video in my new online series -a collection of chatty videos tackling issues to do with body image/confidence in relation to blogging, YouTube and Instagram. In this episode I focus on cosmetic surgery.

I've wanted to discuss this for a while, because I noticed there was an obvious increase in this content on YouTube in particular. There's boob and nose job vlogs, boob job update videos, and 'my lip filler experiences' and so on. I was always compelled to watch, I'm inherently nosey and somewhat fascinated by our quest for perfection, but I have to admit to feeling a level of conflict when watching them. I'm sure I'm not the only one that can see both positive and negatives about people uploading these kind of videos, so I thought it may be interesting to encourage debate and discussion about it.  

It's also something I was forced to consider myself recently. If you watch my videos you will know that this year I tried laser treatment in the pursuit of a better complexion, one minus the evidence of severe acne. I took some time to consider whether it was something I wanted to document, particularly in truth-baring moving image. I could opt be relatively vague about it, posting the odd still from my visit (or post visit) or tweet 140 characters that would be enough to satisfy the brand that kindly offered the treatment for review. And it was really tempting to do the minium because this is something I've very sensitive about, but because  I didn't want people thinking that by getting this treatment I was somehow say that I believe that people with acne scars aren't beautiful, or less than, or should feel like they need to do something to improve them. In the end I chose to post  quite a lengthy video about the process, the theory behind it as well, as the results and my personal experiences. I decided it would be worth being vulnerable and open about something that has caused me so much anguish if I was able to offer an honest account of something which may have the power to make someone feel a little bit more content with how they look. Lack of confidence can hinder your progress and happiness in such a profound way, so if I was able to inform someone about a treatment that could make a positive difference to them, then that was the right thing to do. 

However, it's not a black and white thing, and there are definitely some valid reasons why people may want to talk about their experiences with cosmetic treatments and surgery, and why some people may decide not to. I'm going to delve in to a few of them now. 

Why they may not share on YouTube....

1.They may be very aware of their influences they have on the people that view their posts or watch their videos and might not want to be seen as endorsing and promoting plastic surgery. Even though it may have been the right decision for them, they may not want to risk influencing someone that idolises them, who may want to follow suit and get the procedure for all the wrong reason. There aren't ways they can guarantee someone who views their videos will use the information correctly and apply it to their own life, so they may be trying to be responsible. The problem with becoming a role model, having fans, having followers, or being idolised, is that whether you like it or not you have influence and many people will want to imitate what you do or mirror what you have. The influencer may be aware that there's no way they can be sure that the images of their appearance, and their openess about how they achieved it, hasn't encouraged someone to get cosmetic surgery, who is actually a really inappropriate candidate for it. Perhaps there are other things, like their mental health for instance, that they should be working on before they consider surgery. 

2.If the creater/influencer has had something done, it may well be that they were/are extremely insecure about that part of their being. Therefore it may be a very sensitive subject and something they don't really feel comfortable talking about, particularly on the internet which is open to ANYONE. Perhaps thet went through some very difficult experiences, like bullying for example, so talking about it is extremely painful.
3. What we choose to do with our body is very personal, and to many people it is incredibly private. Why should they feel pressured to share something to do with their body, that is only their decision to make?

4.When you put anything online you open yourself to opinon. You will inevitably get people offering up opinions on whether you should or shouldn't of had it done, and not all will voice it in a sympathetic or intelligent manner. Some will be cutting, harsh, cruel and if it's something your sensitive about this could be very hard to deal with.

5. Of course there are some instances where the person that has had the surgery has deep emotional or mental issues that should have been addressed first, because they will have found out that the surgery hasn’t rid them of the confidence issues they thought it would. However, unless you've walked in that persons shoes, know their mind and what they've gone through, you will not have enough information to offer fair comment on whether it was right or wrong for them to get it done. So by keeping it to themselves the creater will be able to avoid unwanted and unforgiving opinion on the matter.

6. Perhaps their channel isn’t about image or beauty, so they just don’t see doing a video about it as relevant content. The joy about YouTube is that you have a channel that is yours to curate however you desire. You're at the helm and it can take whatever direction, angle, style you desire. If you don't feel it's a good fit, or you simply don't want it on there, then that is completely up to you...isn't it ?

7. Perhaps its not something they've shared or been open out. Perhaps they feel an element of shame about it. Perhaps they think it shows a weakness. Perhaps they have previously noticed judgement from friends, family or society in regards to cosmetic surgery. Perhaps they believe it will harm their career in some way.

Why they may have chosen to share...

1.YouTube is a fantastic tool for research. If there's anything you don't understand or want to find out more about there will be a video that will cover the topic, however obscure. If a YouTuber is willing to talk about their own experiences of the procedure, from a honest and transparent perspective, this will help people prepare if they have decided on going through with it themselves. They'll know about pain levels, recovery time, potential side effects and risk factors. Their honesty may also deter people from having the treatment too. The information they offer may make people realise it's not the sensible or correct decision for them, or it may highlight medical reason why it may be unsafe for them to go ahead. Before any cosmetic procedure people should do a lot of research, but they may be more inclined to do it if they can acess the information via relatable people from YouTube, rather than a boring leaflet for example. Hopefully most will be honest too and can talk about the risks, side effects, recovery etc - which will make sure people are informed but also prepared.

Of course the problem with this theory is that some of the videos will be sponsored or an AD (even if they don't tell their viewers this). This means that there in no guarnatee that their videos are telling the complete truth or the whole story. There may be vital information that they have been encouraged to omit or water down. 

2. Perhaps they're a YouTuber that wants a very open  reltionships with your subscribers and viewers. They may be happy to share very intimate stuff on their channel and have no problem with being honest about what they've had done and why. Trust is a great way of building a loyal and engaged audience and can make being a YouTuber a very rewarding career.

3. If the YouTuber has the ability to talk in depth via a video, they have the opportunity to tell their personal story, and explain why they feel it's the right decision for them. This may mean that people will be less hasty with their judgements, as they will have gained understanding of that creaters unique viewpoint. By hearing their reasoning and worries, it may in turn also help others make the right decision. 

4. Some people have an innate 'fuck it' attitude. They may not give a monkeys about what people think and happy to talk openly about absolutely anything. God I admire these people, I wish I didn't care what people thought of me....

 So there's a few reason YouTubers may/may not be open about the cosmetic work they've done, I cover more in the video, so please give it a watch.

 

I make these videos and write these post to encourage debate that will hopefully help me to be a responsible Youtuber, but also cause us all to re-access our judgements over others and how they choose to live their lives. Please do join the discussion and leave your views in the comments section here or on YouTube.

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IM NOT VEGAN BUT IM MAKING CHANGES....


This was meant to be a straight forward style post showcasing my new Vegan DM's and distressed khaki jumper from Missguided, but I've had an urge to touch on something important inbetween the snaps while I have your gaze. 

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

OUTFIT POST: MINGLING WITH THE STARS


It feels like an eternity since I've had time to sit at my blogger dashboard and even contemplate posting a blog. I've been trying to be a yes person this last week, in a last ditch effort to make my year end on some sort of positive note career wise. The problem with saying yes to all the opportunities that come your way is that you're so busy attending the events, meetings, activites, you don't actually have time to do the work that should follow it up. Not only that. You also end up sacrificing every other aspect of your life and your ability to function as a human. 

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

HIS/HERS OUTFIT POST: FANTASTIC BEASTS PREMIERE


For the first time ever I was allowed to bring a date to a premiere, so I thought I'd include Si in this largely pictorial style post. Do let me know what you think of our fancyshmansy outfit choices in the comments below.

If you want to find out what I thought of the movie and what it was like to walk the red carpet , make sure you give my vlog a watch.

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VLOG:JURASSIC LIVE & BMTH AT THE O2


The first week of Novemeber was a hectic one, and for a hermit the amount of social activity was both daunting and overwhelming. Due to the quality of the social events I was willing to silence my usual doubts and shut down the voices telling me I was in danger on burning out. 

The first event featured in the vlog was Jurrassic Live at The Royal Albert Hall. I had bought these tickets as a surprise for Si, as he is a huge fan of the 90's classic, but alas it turned out he would be on tour by the time the event was due to take place. When deciding who to take instead I had thought about asking a couple of my bloke mates who I knew would enjoy it. However, this was meant to be a really fun date night for Si and I, and because I knew Si would probably be gutted he couldn't come, I thought it may be even more frustrating if he knew I was enjoying it with another guy. In the end I took my brother, who works in film, and always enjoyed the film when we were young. We don't catch up nearly enough so it was also a nice excuse to catch up separate from the usual family meet ups.


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Monday, 14 November 2016

CB12: Did it cure my bad breath?


Guys, this isn't the sexiest of posts, but you should be used to this sort of content from me by now...If you're new to this blog, then be prepared for some unflattering over-sharing.

There's a lot of aspects of my being I worry about when out in public, many of which are reasons for my preferred hermit state. I worry about my acne ,which has a sixth sense for knowing when I really want to look my best and decides to puss all over it. Then there's my IBS, which makes the prospect of travelling on underground, attending any events with loos that require extensive queuing, or doing anything really, a pretty stressful. And Ironically stress makes it more likely of a code brown situation. Then there's things aside from bodily functions and ailements, the things that you only have youself to blame for. Those moments that keep you up at night, replaying in your head over and over like a recurring nightmare. The incidences that still bring a flush to your cheek and nervous rash to your neck when you recall them a decade later.

The research by CB12 First Class Breath has uncovered the average Brit experiences a cringe worthy situation seven times a month. Potential employers make us feel most uncomfortable when meeting them for the first time (31%), followed by first dates (19%) and our partner’s parents (12%). 

If I'd be included in the survey I would have raised that 7 times a month figure considerably. In fact I feel like more of my life is cringe-worthy than not. In fact, amongst my friendship group the freqency of my mishaps has become renowned, and they are the retold whenever we get together but also whenever I'm introduced to someone new. ' This is Sophie, the one that took of her short in Art class myy accident'. 'This is Soph, who once put her hand in dog poo then waves at her crush.' I'mdreading the day I get married, because I'm pretty sure the speeches are going to be a hefty reminder of my life of embarrassment. 

While us Brits will do anything to avoid these wince inducing situations, over a third have recently made a sweat inducing “greeting faux pas” – including forgetting someone’s name when introducing them (43%), going in for a hug when the other person expected a handshake (25%) and even kissing someone on the lips by mistake (15%). 

I once accidently kissed my friends Grandad on the lips - something I was never allowed to forget. At a gig once I thought someone was familiar so assumed we were old mates and started communicating with them as if we were. It was only later on I realised they were a very famous person, and due to take the stage. Then there's the time I went for a job interview and had a Rachel Green from Friends moment, and ended up giving them an unwanted kiss. Did I get the job? That's for me to know.....


And when we’re not worrying about overcoming a social error, we’re thinking about our appearance and hygiene as over half admit to worrying about their body odour – 45% even said they were conscious about their breath in social situations. And this is something this product can help us with...

As you know I suffer with CFS which aside from the logical symptoms...tiredness, lethargy, painful and aching muscles/joints (and about a hundred other annoying things) there's also the more obscure ones. Everyday I wake up with horrible green mucus in and around the mouth, including being stuck to the roof of my mouth. It's so ghastly I often have to scrape it off with my fingers and waddle to the bathroom (rather creakily) to spit it into the sink. I know this doesn't make for pleasant reading, but honesty's all I got, so I am going to run with it.  


I was reading up on this online (you have to do a lot of your own research as GP's are still largely in the dark about this illness) and it seems a lot of CFS sufferers seem to have issues with their Sinuses, some of the problems caused by Polyps that block the healthy flow of mucus. This is something I need to investigate further, but in the meantime it would be nice to improve one of the side effects of this, which is rather unpleasant breath. Sorry about typing the word mucus....

I also suffer from an intolerance to Salicylates which only compounds the issue. When my levels are too high in my body I become very reactive, so as well as having the skin rashes/breakouts and severe IBS, I also have a very sore mouth. My tongue in particular becomes very sore. They used to say it was geographic tongue, but mine has become more severe, with gaping valleys appearing in it's landscape. I'm pretty sure this, on top of the previous issue, means that my breath has a tendancy to be unpleasant.


Having been with my partner for 5 long years. we are passed the stage of politeness. He'll tell me if he doesn't like my make up (he did it a couple weeks ago actually, apparently the blue eyeshadow was ageing), he'll also tell me if he doesn't like my outfit, and he'll most definitely tell me if my breath is a bit (or a lot) stinky. Usuually he'll just say I smell like a petrol station or bin, and on the most part it's in the morning when he too smells like a compost. To be honest I think most of us are usually aware when are breath is a bit dodgy, we can taste it, but there is the odd occasion when we get caught off-guard, are informed of the odour, then worry how many people have noticed it throughout the day. 


As an interviewer bad breath is particularly worry-some. Sometimes you have to cram yourself on a small noise leather sofa (that squeaks whenever you move a mm) with a band and talk with your mouths only a a few inches away so you can hear each-other over the soundcheck happening in the same venue. The thought of a band I love or admire having a post interview review of me and deciding that my breath is the thing most worthy of comment, well it's horrific isn't. 

I will have already been talking from behind a veil of hair (attempting to hide my acne), keeping my arms pressed against my side (to hide my sweat patches) and either been celebrating the avoidance of an awkward greeting or experiencing the living hell of having to remain calm even though inside I am flapping because of an accidently grope or snog. If you think just remembering the facts, stats, album names, release dates, bandmember names, and making sure you mic and camera is working,  is all you have to think about, factor in all the above on top of that. Multi-tasking at it's peak I think you'll agree!



I've used mouthwashes before, and although intially you feel fresh and new, and confident enough to angle your face in the direction of fellow humans, this sparkle and zing is always rather short lived. This product's promise of 12 hours of pleasant breath is defintely a big selling point for me, because it's not as though we have the opportunity to top up during the day unless we rely on the use of gums and mints.

I've used it for a week and a half-ish now, so I feel ready to give you guys some feedback on the product.

I've not yet noticed the whitening affect of the mouthwash but then again I don't eat/drink many things that cause a huge amount of staining - I don't drink tea, coffe, or alcohol. I also don't smoke, so perhaps I'm not the ideal candidate for testing it's whitening capabilities. However you mouth does feel squeaky clean, so it definitely makes you feel like it looks polished and freshened up in there, plus you feel comforted by the fact that it is non abrasive and not harming your gnashers in any way. In fact it may be doing some good considering it includes fluoride.

One thing I can confirm is that I have felt more confident about my breath since using this mouthwash, because I really feel it's effects are more long-lasting than the norm, or at least any others I've tried. My boyfriend hasn't commented on my breath at all, which is a bit of a revelation, and he's also been coming in for kisses a bit more the last few days, which I'm hoping is because I'm more kissable than usual, and not because he's feeling guilty about something.

Another plus is that is although minty in taste it's not so powerful that it stings. I've tried some in the past that are so strong they make your eyes water, but this one's soft peppermint flavour is refreshing without being challenging to to rinse and gargle with for the 30-60 seconds.

Watch the video below to see Celeb make-up artist Gemma Aldous, psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, Celeb stylist Alex Longmore and dentist Dr Luke Thorley give expert advice on how to boost your confidence.


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Friday, 11 November 2016

New Faves and Geeking Out

Sorry for the lack of outfit posts lately. My face has taken a while to recover from both an allergy break out and an infection in a nerve in my cheek that makes my face swell, ooze, and do some other fairly gross stuff. It's now at a level where I can hide it enough that I feel okay-ish about putting current day pictures of myself on the interweb again. 
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Monday, 7 November 2016

MARIA NILA : COLOUR REFRESH : REVIEW


I'm already a big fan of Maria Nila, their true soft Masque is one of my bathroom stalwarts. As my former blonde self I also tried the their Pink Pop colour refresh, which I was similarly impressed with. 

But this is a new hair era for me, one which see's me having to adapt my well oiled routine and having to figure out how to resolve brand new hair issues.

I am now a redhead, something which feels so odd to even type. I have always been a blonde (even if I have messed around with pink, peach and denim tints for short periods). Because I have had long thick blonde hair for the majority of my life it has become one of the main visual things that people refer to if asked to describe me. It's almost my trademark, if I was big and important enough to have such a thing.


Despite the initial shock, I've become accustomed to the appearance of my new look surprisingly quickly. However there are some down sides about my fiery adaptation.
One of the most surprising and slightly unfortunate things about being a redhead is the up-keep. I've realised just how easy I had it being a beachy blonde. I am a natural blonde, but have 2 or 3 trips a year to have some brightening highlights added. I've always requested that they be subtle and that there is always a few cm of roots so that it wouldn't matter if I didn't return to the salon for 6 months. The aesthetic was of someone who had been travelling, the hair had become bleached by the blazing sun, but now I was back (and probably depressed) and the hair had grown out a bit. It was low maintanence, which was essential for me as someone that has little time, money, or inclination to look after themselves. 


As you can see from the before and after results it gives the effect of a gloss or a tint, and works more of an enhancement of my existing faded shade of red/brown. This isn't a dye so won't lighten the hair, just increase the saturation level of the colour.


I could see some of of my natural dark blonde coming through so I wanted to see if the colour refresh would also work as an affective way of getting my roots done, because I need to save money where possible and regular trips to the salon for maintanance aren't really high on my list of priorites (or at least they shouldn't be). I made sure I put a lot of product on the root area to ensure it coloured the fresh hair, but because of this I ended up with a few patches of tinted skin. Just something to be wary of if your a hair colouring novice like me.


I think this picture best demonstrates the different. It's as though someone has changed the picture settings, increasing the temperature and saturation. After 3 weeks of washing since my dye job (and seeing orange tinged bath tubs and towels) my hair had lost its vibrancy and was on its way to being mousy brown. There's nothing wrong with that but when I saw myself with it, when part way through my transofrmation, I realised it did my face and colouring no favours. I'm a sickly person and my appearance often mirrors this, so warmth in my barnet helps me look more alive.


When I had my hair transformation at Headmasters (from blonde to red) the ends of my hair were more of a dark brown, with far less red content. The colourist told me that's because the hair is old and damaged so it didn't take the dye as well. Although it's still not as bright as the mid and root of my hair, the colour refresh definitely brightened it and injected a bit more of a warmth.


So how did I achieve my oophed hair with Maria Nila? Well, it was ridiculously easy actualy, and seems to me to be perfect product for those that are new to looking after coloured hair or inexperienced in hair dying processes.  Just wash your hair like normal then towel dry. I choose to dab and squeeze my hair with a towel rather than rub vigorously. Because I have lots of hair, with each strand being quite thin, it is very prone to tangles and towel drying can cause havoc. Being rough with hair when it's wet can also cause damage, so I try to handle it with care. Then put on some gloves on to protect your skin from stains, and then pump out the product in your hand. I got out of the bath and stood in front of the mirror so I could be as certain as possible I had covered all of my hair with the product. I've realised that it's a lot harder with darker hair. I'm used to not having a very systematic approach to covering my hair with tints, because when you have blonde hair its very easy to see where the colour has already been added. Next time I will section the hair and apply the product in stages to guarantee I've done a thorough job. 

Slightly unsure I'd applied the product everywhere I combed through to increase the chances of an even distribution. The instructions say to leave from 3-10 minutes depending on the intensity you desire.  I opted for the full ten as I wanted that fiery punch of colour back. It would also mean it may last a lot longer which is ideal for someone who uses the excuse of working from home to avoid washing/grooming of any kind. Once the chosen time was up I rinsed with cool water - you always hear hair guru YouTubers suggesting this over hot temperatures. I then used my normal conditioner, which I guess is a stage in the process which will help seal in that new colour, as well as doing it's usual good work.


As soon as I started drying my hair I could see the difference. Once again it was catching the light beautifully, much like it did on the day I stepped out the salon and swished my way home. It looked healthy and shiny I guess due to the wonder ingredient, Argan Oil and it didn't have a ghastly toxic or chemical smell. It's paraben and sulphate free, as well as being 100% Vegan, so you are left with a very plesant but almost undetectable scent, with hair that feels and looks nourished and re-energised.



There's a whole range of hues within the redhead spectrum, so don't worry if this copper shade isn't quite the level of warmth or tone you're looking to inject. Maria Nila also offer up an aplty titled Autumn Red which will allow you enhance a deeper shade - catering for those that desire plum, wine, and raspberry locks. 

But don't forget there's nothing stopping you from combining these two shades and doing some experimenting. Perhaps a combination of the two mixed together would create your dream shade. Alternatively you could section your hair and incorporate strands of both if you prefer hair that isn't one colour - this could create hair that resembles the stunning amalgamation of warm tones we see covering the treescapes over these insta-worthy post-summer months. 

If you do choose to combine the shades together to create a brand new custom colour, mix in a bowl and ensure theye are completely merged together, but most importantly make sure you have mixed enough to cover all of your hair (or the part of your hair you wish to colour). It's nearly impossible create a DIY shade that is exactly the same, and you don't want to end up with a patchy and unprofessional finish.

The masque contains temporary pigments that gradually are washed out of the hair. The colour stays between 4-10 washes.  The Colour Refresh range comes in 13 different shades - including Cacao Red, Bright Red and Vivid Violet, which would also be fabulous if you are trying to create an autumnal look.
The result of the colour depends on the hair's existing colour or quality. The lighter shades are thereby more suited for light coloured hair while the darker shades works on both light and dark coloured hair. On my darkenedd hair the Bright Copper created a rich and luxurious colour, but I imagine on my former blonde self it would have created a more cartoonish, pop-art orange.


So if you have multi-tonal hair before your session with Mila Nila's Colour Refresh you will still have a multi tonal colour afterwards - albeit with a new tint or level intensity. You can see from my images I don't have one even colour all over because my hair prior to using the Bright Copper masque had section that were darker (the ends and underneath sections).


I like to include negatives or at least consider possible down sides so that my reviews feels honest and well rounded , but it's really hard to think of anything with this particular product. I guess at 29 Euros it may sound expensive, but when you consider how many uses you get out of one 300ml bottle, the brand's values and commitment the company has to treating their workers well and using healthy and ethical ingredients, and the quality of the results, it really does feel like a fair price. Yes, I have used far cheaper products in the past and they were perfectly adequete, but they lacked the richness that this one gives you, and the company that created them didn't have quite as impressive business morals. You also have to factor in how many trips to the salon this will save you from, and the money you will therefore be able to spend on other (perhaps more important) things. 


Plus there's a lot to bed said about the convenience factor. The fact that you can do it whenever time suits, in the comfort of your own home, and in less than 10 minutes. I know that sounds a lot less faff to me, and I have enough faff in my life already, I really don't need my hair to add to that.


Ah yes!! I've thought of one thing, which is really more about me being a mucky pup. I put my gloved hand on the side of the bath which left some of the vivd product glaring against the white of the enamel. I forgot to wipe it off straight away, and now it's being pretty stubborn and left a hefty stain. I've currently hidden it under the bath matt which I drape over the bath over use. I'm hoping to be able to google 'what gets dye off baths' and find a solution before my mum discovers my mishap. She warned me before to be careful and I said 'Yeah, yeah' as if to say she was being silly to worry, which was stupid of me considering my lengthy history and clear proficiency at making a mess!


 New to the brand?

Well where the devil have you been? SKANDI is so big right now and these guys as one of my fave brands under that trendy umbrella. Aside from the quality of the product and the pleasing asethetic of the packaging, the company also have a wonderful ethos which is worth highlighting.


They produce all of their products in Sweden. Their developers and chemists carefully choose every single ingredient that will be processed into a final product. We have product development, production and filling in their own production plant in Helsingborg.

Due to the fact they are in charge of all steps of the production process,  means they are able to guarantee healthy working conditions and the high quality of the ingredients used and the packaging. 

Maria Nilas brand's philosophy is to produce the best product possible without compromising the hairs' health or the environments. They made a choice to take responisiblity and ensure their products and organization make a positive impact on society.

Whenever they look to expand their already impressive range and create new products, they work to delve in to the latest research and find the most healthy ingredients for the scalp, the animals and the environment. None of the products have been tested on animals and they constantly strive to make all of their products 100 % vegan.



 Have you tried these products before? Has this post made you want to try them? Let me know in the comments.


This was NOT a sponsored post, but thank you to Push PR for the review sample.
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