SOCIAL MEDIA

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Self care: building yourself back up again






When things become overwhelming, whether it be family issues, work related stress, or even small, daily struggles it is so easy to let them consume you. It's easier said than done to simply shrug it off, and I have to say that doing so does. not. work. Attempting to ignore your feelings can result in a backlash that is ten times as worse. I am definitely one of those people that tends to bottle up their feelings, and I find it very difficult to openly speak about how I'm feeling as I hate to be a burden to others.

For example, I have faced many obstacles over the past few years and have realised that when it is an issue that effects anyone else i.e another family member, I cannot bring myself to show emotion or be upset as I feel as though there is always someone that feels worse, and I can't help but consider their feelings first. However it is crucial to remember yourself.

In the words of good old Aibleen 'You is kind, you is smart, you is important'. 

I had a bit of a meltdown the other week, due to the build up of various different thoughts and feelings that I had previously tried to contain (as well as feeling unwell). Something as small as feeling under the weather, and being completely overtired resulted in me experiencing a surge of emotions, that I didn't quite know how to handle. I also suffered from a panic attack (something I luckily don't regularly go through) and I just could not stop crying. This is really unlike me, but after a good, hard cry, a restful few hours sleep, and a huge hug off my Mum; I eventually felt relieved.

This brought me to thinking about the best ways to pick yourself back up when you have a rough patch like this, and what simple yet effective steps you can take to refresh yourself, in order to feel better.

Cry, as much as you need to and get it all out of your system, it honestly does help and it's human! Even if it is something that seems silly or small, when you're faced with stress crying is a natural reaction and it seriously isn't something to be embarrassed about.

Rest and listen to your body, don't feel guilty for having a nap, or simply slumping on the sofa with a hot drink when things seem a bit too much to handle, it is so important to look after yourself. Take a few minutes out to just breathe without worrying too much about what everyone around you is doing.

Exercise really isn't my best friend, and when I mention the dreaded E word, it doesn't instantly mean go to the gym or have an intensive work out but go for a long walk, or go for a swim, it will really help invigorate you and even better; it releases hormones that uplift you instantly. As much as I sometimes don't want to work out, once I do I never regret it.

Pamper yourself, enlist a few products, and maybe put together a box of go to beauty items for when you're feeling like you desperately need some TLC. A few of my favourite tips are to have a long soak in the bath with some candles on, do a hair mask, go makeup free for a day (honestly you will feel fab for it) and also - look after your skin. As I've mentioned before in previous posts, I'm all for skincare. Stick to the basics when it comes to looking after yourself, cleanse, moisturise, maybe do a face mask and don't forget to take care of your body too.

When I am run down or upset, I tend to get extremely puffy, swollen eyes that can feel sore and I also suffer from headaches. When I feel like this, my cooling eye mask is a miracle worker. I simply pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes and lay on my bed in darkness wearing this, it feels like heaven! It definitely helps and is yet another way to help me relax and calm down.

I have recently bought a new Clarins Body Balm, which smells incredible; it is exactly like the products used in a spa and has a slightly menthol effect, that cools and tingles on your skin once applied. I gently massaged this in after a bath, and it was so calming and made me feel super refreshed and soothed. You can't go wrong with a good old lip balm, the rose tinted Vaseline is one of my favourites as I find it to be simple and affordable yet so effective. I slathered some of this on after I had cleansed my face.

Treat yourself, whether it is something insignificant or something more pricey, you deserve it! My go to treat is more often than not makeup, however I find that even buying yourself flowers, or your favourite food/drink is such a small gesture, yet it goes a long way. I'm lucky I have a fab family that treated me to all these things post meltdown, however doing so yourself is just as rewarding.

The power of a good cup of tea is so underrated, they seriously do seem to solve many problems. For those extra anxious times, try a cup of Chamomile tea, it really helps to calm any worries and is perfect for sipping straight before bed as it clears your mind, and enables you to drift off easily. This was my go to drink when I was juggling my dissertation and driving test(s)!

Write things down. As I said, I find it very hard to express my feelings a lot of the time, but I have actually found writing this blog post in itself to be very therapeutic, if you struggle to voice your emotions, then get a notebook, and write it all down. Have a rant, or write a positive 'to do' list of things that will have you on your way to feeling yourself again. I love to positively plan my week and ensure I will make the most of it by putting myself and my needs/wants first.

Last but not least, start each day fresh. Forget the previous day, it doesn't matter how crap you felt, or how much of a mess you were, wake up in the morning with a clear mind, and think of the day ahead as another chance for a successful day. Nobody is perfect and things don't always run smoothly, just remember to take the bad with the good, and don't be too hard on yourself, too much self pressure will push you to breaking point. Allow yourself a day or two of being 'selfish' it really is essential sometimes, and if you have understanding people around you, then you will be sure to bounce right back!

Do you have any self care tips? What do you find yourself turning to when you're feeling down or overwhelmed? 




Sunday, 12 March 2017

My travel essentials





Whether it's a long weekend or a break in the sun I am not very good at packing light - yes I'm one of those girls that takes half her wardrobe and the kitchen sink in her suitcase (always a suitcase, bags are too small of course..) However, I do try my very best to narrow it down to the essentials and I thought I would share a few of my all time favourite items that I always take with me when travelling.

A good sized makeup bag 

This is obviously one of the most important on the list, making sure you have a practical, travel friendly makeup bag that has plenty of room in makes life a whole lot easier. Having all your toiletries and makeup in one place helps you to feel organised and also takes up less room in your case. I have a Victoria Secret's one that has lasted me years, it has lots of room in it and was definitely a good investment as I get so much use out of it.

Phillips Sonicare 

A toothbrush might seem like a strange thing to include on here, but after switching from a standard brush to an electric brush, I feel as though my whole routine has improved. I have had the Phillips Sonicare toothbrush for nearly a year now and I can't imagine not using it. It honestly gives a dentist clean feel and has a range of different settings such as 'white' and 'sensitive' which all give amazing results. It is easy to use, the charge lasts around 3 weeks and it even comes with a travel charging case making it perfect for taking on the go. Of course I got it in pink.



An eye mask 

Everyone seems to laugh when I tell them about my little obsession over eye masks, but I genuinely find I have a much better sleep when using one. They block out every bit of light, are great for if you fancy a nap when on a plane, train or coach and are just as good when it comes to bed time. I have a bit of a collection of these, my favourite for travelling is this satiny pink padded eye mask, and my favourite for night time is an 'eye cushion' I bought from TK Maxx which has two padded cushions that rest on top of each eye made from a super soft, fleecey material. It also has a lavender scent that helps you relax and aids a good nights sleep.




Portable phone charger 

How many times have you been out and about with low phone battery, or needed back up for a long journey? Portable phone chargers are a life saver, they're compact and lightweight making them the ideal travel item to throw in your handbag.

Garnier Micellar Water 

When travelling, it's not always sensible to take your entire skincare collection so having a fuss free alternative is key. I love the Garnier Micellar Water especially in this handy, on-the-go size it is fab for easily removing all your makeup with minimal mess and effort. I also love to take a sleeping mask with me, which is a super simple way of adding hydration to your face and is great for using on flights to prevent dehydration. The Body Shop Vitamin E range does a gorgeous sink in moisture mask that I can't be without.

A good read 

I love nothing more than a good book when going on holiday, I don't find enough time in my day to day life to just sit and fully immerse myself into something, but I always make sure to take a book away with me. I tend to go for something easy to read, like a soppy romance novel, or something typically girly that I can easily get into when I'm relaxing. 


The perfect pair of lashes 

I don't tend to opt for false lashes every day, but when I'm away I love to take a versatile, high quality pair that I can wear at night time to instantly change my look. At the moment I am in love with Lilly Lashes they are so soft, fluffy and look incredibly natural. They do a huge variety of styles but I like something that adds length without being too bold. Luxe are definitely a favourite.



Travel sized toiletries 

Trying to narrow down your toiletries can be such a pain, which is where travel sized goodies are a godsend. I love that you can find near enough anything in a cute, miniature sized version meaning you can easily take them away with you without having to carry round huge bottles.

I absolutely adore all Soap and Glory products, so their minis are so useful to me. I always try and take the few bottles I know I'll use such as a body wash, body butter and hand cream for the flight or journey. I am also loving the small sized perfume I received from my February Glossy Box it is the perfect size for popping in your bag and smells amazing.

What are your travel essentials? Do you have one or two items you cannot go away without?  




Thursday, 2 March 2017

Makeup staples for spring



Spring is fast approaching, which means we can drop the winter wardrobe, as well as heavy, full coverage makeup. Light, fresher looks are more favourable, and subtle skin is definitely my favourite switch that comes with the change of seasons! 

I thought I would mention a few of my go to products for achieving a simple, stripped back look. 
For a base, I like to have as light a coverage as possible in spring and summer (as my skin will allow). I recently discovered Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder foundation and absolutely fell in love with its creamy formula. It glides on like a dream, and provides just enough coverage to even out your skin tone and softly hide imperfections. It has a dewy, sheer finish and is gorgeous for every day. 
If I feel I need slightly more coverage, or want to set my under eyes I love the Ben Nye Translucent powder in 'Pretty Pink'. It has a lovely, brightening effect thanks to its pale pink colouring and is a great finishing touch, without being too heavy or 'cakey'. 



Unless I am going out at night, I tend to keep things simple with my brows, as I get them regularly threaded and tinted I like a pencil type product for easy application and a natural finish. At the minute I am obsessed with the Benefit Goof Proof eyebrow pencil, the nib is the perfect size for thickening the appearance of my brows, without being too heavy. I love how quick and simple it is to use, and it has become one of my essential makeup products. 

I personally feel as though my makeup isn't complete without blusher. I think it gives such a healthy glow, and everyone looks better with a flush of colour on their cheeks! The current colour blusher I'm using is Mac Mineralize Blush in 'Warm Soul'. This is a stunning shade described as a 'mid tone beige with gold pearl', but I would definitely say there is a soft, hint of pink. I find myself turning to this product a lot as it's just such a versatile shade that goes well with any other makeup look. 

As I have mentioned before, my all time favourite lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury's Penelope Pink, and I finally repurchased it the other day. I just love how moisturising the K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula is, making it ideal for day to day wear. For me this is the perfect nude shade, with just the right amount of pink. It is subtle but really compliments my fair skin and I think I will struggle to find a lipstick that will beat this. 




Mascara is one of my most important beauty products as I think it makes the biggest difference to your face and overall look. Eyelash curlers also improve the performance of mascara, and really help give an eye opening effect, making you look refreshed and wide awake. I have actually had the same eyelash curlers from Primark for about 3 years, I simply replace the pads every few months and I have to say it surprisingly does a fab job! Maybelline mascaras are such great value for money, and I find their formulas to be so impressive. My current mascara is the Maybelline Falsies in Dramatic Black which I will be doing a post on soon, sharing exactly why I love it so much.

What are your favourite makeup products for a simple look? Do you make any switches to your routine for spring? 





Monday, 13 February 2017

L'Oréal bargain buys
































One thing I've learnt when it comes to beauty products, is the price tag doesn't always necessarily
reflect the quality. Over the years I have grown to love cheaper 'drugstore' products and there are a
fair few I actually prefer to pricier items. I recently had a mini L'Oréal splurge and I ended up 
bagging myself some really good bargains which I was super pleased with!


L'Oréal True Match foundation is often raved about and used  by makeup artists and professionals, and after trying it a couple of years ago I could see why so many people loved it. It offers a fab, full coverage and lovely formula that lasts all for under ten pounds a bottle; you can't go wrong! While I think it suits those with oilier skin more, when my skin isn't too dry I love this foundation for all occasions. I made the mistake of getting one too dark for my skin last time, so I opted for the Rose Vanilla shade this time round and it's a lovely match.



























As you may have seen in my recent post about my favourite lip shades, I am running low on my number one go to choice (Charlotte Tilbury's Penelope Pink), so I thought why not try and find a lower end 'dupe'/alternative for every day? I have been wanting to try the L'Oréal JLO nude for aggges but after reading some reviews and swatching it in store, it looks a gorgeous shade but has barely any pigmentation once applied. I decided to try Eva's nude instead, and I'm so glad I picked this up! It's a lovely subtle, nude with a hint of pink that is perfect for my pale complexion. I also thought I'd get a similar shade lipgloss to apply on top for more special occasions, I went for the 'Cream' lipgloss in shade '110' (I got the power). This gloss has an amazing, rich formula and the shade matches the lipstick really well, it's not too sticky and has an incredible shine; I love this combination!

I am planning an upcoming post all about my favourite mascara (which also happens to be under ten pounds) but I thought whilst I was taking advantage of the three for two offer, I might as well give a Loreal one a try. I've heard good things about L'Oréal mascaras, and decided to try bestseller Volume Million Lashes. So far I am really impressed, I love the plastic bristles for separating my lashes and adding length as well as volume, without clumping. I can definitely understand why these are so well loved!



























I use a bronzer every day to add a bit of a healthy looking glow to my skin (it's needed, I am soo pale!) and I have currently been using Chanel's Universal Bronzer - which is my holy grain bronzing product, but I feel as though it's too nice for every day when I'm just going to work. I bought the L'Oréal Glam Bronze Bronzer in shade '10' which also has a highlighter in it, a mini applicator brush and a mirror; all in one compact. This works so well with a big, soft, fluffy face brush and adds a really natural looking colour to your skin, without looking orange or too dark. As far as bronzers go, this seems to do the job without breaking the bank.

I have wanted to try a liquid highlighter for a while, with me having dry skin I feel like it would suit me so much more. I loved the look of the pink L'Oréal True Match highlighter in shade 'Icy Glow/Rose Glace Glow'. After applying it with a beauty blender, it gives such a gorgeous rosy, pink glow that looks great either on it's own or on top of blusher, and you can also mix it with your foundation or use as an illuminating primer, which I'll definitely be trying!

I managed to get all of these products as well as a free L'Oréal blending sponge for 23 pounds! (Mainly thanks to my friends 30 percent workers discount), but I also got two products free using the 3 for 2 deal, and the sponge was an extra offer as well, what a bargain! Even without the 30 percent discount I think it should have come to 33 pounds, which is still good considering I would spend that on a higher end foundation alone. I really rate L'Oréal products, they're probably my favourite in comparison to other 'drugstore' brands on offer.

What L'Oréal products do you own? What are your favourite drugstore bargain buys? 



Thursday, 9 February 2017

My four favourite lip shades for the Winter season



It may seem a little late doing a 'winter/fall' related post, but with the weather becoming increasingly chilly over the past couple of days it made me feel as though Spring is in the distant future, which has good and bad points - the positive being that the nude/brown lip shades can stay a little longer!

I don't tend to be too exciting when it comes to experimenting with lipsticks, having very fair skin I find it difficult to get shades to suit me perfectly. However, I do have a few firm favourite choices that I always find myself turning to; particularly in Winter.


(Left to right)

1. Chanel Lipgloss in 206
2. Chanel Lipgloss in 608
3. Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink
4. Mac Lipstick and Lip Liner in Whirl



Chanel Lipgloss in 206




I bought one of these as a birthday gift for a friend, and ever since I was jealous I didn't get one for myself! I managed to pick it up a few months later for a lot cheaper whilst on holiday in Gibraltar and I am so glad I got it. It is almost like the lipgloss version of Penelope Pink, meaning that they go perfectly together, and it also looks gorgeous on it's own. I love Chanel Lipglosses, they last ages, aren't overly priced and have gorgeous colours available. This is definitely a staple in my collection.

Chanel Lipgloss in 608




I don't feel as though I really suit a red lip, and if I do wear one I am super fussy about the shade. I got this as a present for my 21st and when looking at the colour in the bottle it looked quite dark and not something I'd typically opt for. When I tried it on I was surprised a how much I loved it! It's not really an everyday shade, but is a lovely deep wine colour that is gorgeous for nights out and special occasions where you want to take your look from day to night.

Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink 




This is definitely my go to lip shade, and is the perfect every day lipstick. I fell in love with everything about this product the minute I bought it last year, the formula is so creamy and moisturising and the colour is a lovely subtle nude that isn't too pale so that it washes me out. I wouldn't really say it was pink although it leans more towards a pinky undertone rather than a yellowy one like Nude Kate.

Mac Whirl Lipstick and Liner 





I have had the Whirl lip liner for a while now, and use it alongside many nude/brown lipstick shades as it's just so versatile. I recently decided to purchase the lipstick (for a bargain £10!) to see what I thought. My initial reaction was wow, that's a tad dark, however it very quickly grew on me and I think it's a perfect Autumnal/Winter shade. It's a really rich, deep brown and is very pigmented. It of course pairs with the lipliner beautifully, and I think it's lovely if you fancy something a bit more bold and daring, but still fancy a brownish shade.


What are you favourite lip colours at the moment? Do you love one brand in particular? What is your signature shade? 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

My skincare essentials


As I've mentioned before, I have a huge love for skincare products and have always looked after my skin as a teen. I think I do have slightly good skin genes (thanks to my Mum's side where they don't seem to have any wrinkles or blemishes) which I'm very thankful for. However, I have suffered from dry skin for years and it has taken me until now to know exactly what suits my skin and what products benefit me. I would say I have normal to dry skin, which flares up randomly, but at the moment it is behaving and is more on the 'normal' side. I have tried endless amounts of cleansers, moisturisers and all round skincare products, but there are a few I swear by and end up repurchasing again and again!

Cleansers

When it comes to cleansing, I am definitely one for a good old face wash. I just feel 10X fresher and cleaner, and feel its the most effective way of removing my makeup. I am always switching my cleansers up to try new products, but my two all time favourites have to be the Laura Mercier Purifying Cleansing Oil and the Philosophy Purity One Step Facial Cleanser. The oil is my go to for when my skin is feeling particularly dry, as it removes your makeup whilst locking in moisture and giving a lovely, glowy finish to your skin. Purity is just such a staple skincare product in my collection (although I am currently in need of a new bottle). It lasts forever and removes every single trace of makeup in a matter of minutes; even heavy eye makeup. It doesn't leave your skin feeling tight or dry, and is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. These are definitely my top two cleansers.

Toner

I have to be honest, this is often a step I skip out of my routine, (out of pure laziness) and as I just feel as though it doesn't do anything overly significant. One toner I do like though is the Body Shop's Vitamin E Hydrating Toner. It smells lovely (as does this entire range - I looove it), and it also helps your skin feel slightly more refreshed whilst removing any excess makeup you may have missed when cleansing. It doesn't have a harsh formula, or seem to strip your skin like many strong toners do, it just leaves it feeling hydrated.

Moisturisers

A lot of the time, despite what anyone says simplicity is best. I have tried a range of different moisturisers from Embryolisse, to Clinique and I can honestly say, Aveeno moisturising lotion works wonders. It is fragrance free, has no nasty ingredients in and does exactly what it says; hydrates and soothes. I tend to use this all over my body near enough every day when I get out of the shower, and it is the only body moisturiser that has got rid of my dry skin, leaving it super soft and supple. I go through bottles of this stuff! In the summer, I tried using some on my face and it worked just as well. It leaves a great base for makeup and doesn't irritate at all.

At the moment I have been using Nip and Fab's Kale Moisturiser which I received in my January Glossy Box. I hadn't used their products before so I didn't know what to expect, but I really have fallen for this! It has a strange slightly sticky texture that feels as if it is going to apply greasy, but it glides on beautifully and sinks in really fast leaving your skin looking and feeling fab. I feel it also reduces the appearance of my pores and smoothes my entire face.

Eye Cream

This is a new addition to my skincare collection, and it's a step I really wish I'd incorporated sooner! I recently visited the Rituals shop in Cheshire Oaks, which was amazing, and the lady was so helpful I couldn't resist picking up something from there. I had been after an eye cream for a while, as I get quite dark, puffy circles under my eyes which make me look really tired and washed out. I explained what I was looking for to the lady, and she recommended the Eye Smoothing Lotion that targeted dark under eye areas, and worked to reduce puffiness. I have been applying this both before bed and first thing in the morning, and I don't know if it's psychological but I really feel it's making a difference. My eyes don't look as tired, and I definitely think they aren't as dark or puffy. This has made me want to stick to using an eye cream now, and also try more Ritual's products; the shop itself was so pretty!

Night face mask

Before bed I religiously remove my makeup using a wash off cleanser, and if my skin is drier than normal I will then tone, apply moisturiser and follow with an overnight mask. At the moment, with my skin being okayish I have been skipping the moisturiser and just using the overnight mask, otherwise I find my skin feels a little too greasy. My absolute favourite is The Body Shop's Sink In Moisture Sleeping Mask. This is seriously such a nice product! It says on the label to apply a generous amount and leave to sink in overnight, I have been doing this ever since I bought a tub in the summer (which still has plenty left) and it keeps my skin in such good condition. I put quite a lot all over my face and when I wake up the following morning, my skin is really hydrated and moisturised, and looks healthy and refreshed, like I've had a good nights sleep - even on the occasions I haven't. I have tried serums at night and heavier creams, but have to say I prefer the effect this gives hands down.

Next on my list..

Some skincare products I would like to try in the next few months are the Charlotte Tilbury Multi Miracle Glow, I had this applied to my skin on a recent visit to a Charlotte Tilbury store and it was absolutely gorgeous. It comes in a big glass tub that looks as though it would last a while, and can be used as a cleanser, a mask or simply to apply on patches of dry skin anywhere on the body. The visible effect it has on your skin looks incredible (watch the video on the Charlotte Tilbury website to see exactly what I mean - that glow!)

I have also been wanting to try Kiehls products for a while now, they seem to have such a good reputation and I have my eyes on either the Ultra Facial cream or the balm. They have great reviews and I know a lot of people love the brand.

I will definitely be investing in more sheet masks - I think they're my new obsession! I loved the Starskin Hydrating Mask, as well as the Manuka Honey mask I received in my Glossy Box. I have had a look on the Vita Masque website and think I want to try the pomegranate sheet masks next, they're so reasonably priced and look lush!

What are your skincare favourites? Do you stick to a strict routine, or are you constantly trying new products?

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Top hair care tips: my all time favourite products


 
 
Having naturally thick, curly hair can make taming it a daily struggle. I often find myself throwing it up into a top knot for work, as drying and straightening it seems like too much effort (I'd much rather the extra half an hour in bed). When the weekend arrives, or I simply feel like having a pamper, there are a few tips/products I swear by for keeping my locks in tip top condition.

Invest in a good shampoo & conditioner:

Having my hair coloured, and bleached from time to time can result in extremely dry ends, as well as a knotty, hard to handle mess. However, since I spend quite a bit of money getting my hair done in a salon, it only makes sense to continue the up keep, and buy a good quality shampoo and conditioner. My hairdresser recommended I did this, and since spending a little more than I used to, it really has paid off. I use BedHead Colour Goddess shampoo and conditioner - which smells like caramel! I buy the salon sized bottles which really do last ages (when my brother isn't sneakily pinching some.) Not only do these help to prolong my colour, they enhance it really well and give it an incredible shine and soft-touch feel. I don't think I could go back to using a cheap 2 pound bottle of shampoo now - I did whilst on holiday in October and it just didn't have the same effect.

Have a good cut every 6 weeks:

It's easier said than done, but once you ensure you schedule in a haircut every few weeks and get into a decent routine, your hair will thank you for it. I don't know if it's a myth, but I personally find my hair grows so much faster when I keep on top of having it trimmed, and nothing feels better than being able to run your fingers through your hair without them getting tangled!

A Tangle Angel:

If you're like me and have hair that seems to grow outwards rather than downwards, this right here will be your life saver! I used to have a tangle teaser which was fab but I struggled without a handle. I was recently gifted this for Christmas, and it has been amazing. It's the perfect size, and works just as well on wet hair as it does on dry hair. I really couldn't cope with my hair if it wasn't for a good quality, detangling brush. I still need to get into the habit of giving it a good brush before bed though..

Blow Dry Cream:

Another BedHead product I have fallen in love with, is the 'Blow out Golden Illuminating Shine Cream'. Not only does it smell amazing (like all of their products), it has a gorgeous, shimmery appearance that gives your hair a stunning shine. It says it 'adds luminous, sparkling shine' to your hair, whilst smoothing it in preparation for your blow dry. I find that this really helps to smooth away any frizz, and tame flyaway hairs in an instant. It's also the perfect size to pop in your hand luggage bag when travelling, I always use this when blow drying my hair, or even if I am letting it air dry; as it just gives such a lovely softening effect.

Hair Oil:

If you suffer from dry or slightly damaged hair, then hair oil is undoubtedly your best friend. I wouldn't recommend using one if you have hair that tends to get greasy quickly/easily, but if you feel your hair needs a hydrating boost then this is your best bet. I find that many hair oils tend to work the same, but my personal preference is 'Loreal's Elvive Extraordinary Oil'. It brings out the colour of my hair beautifully, whilst making it silky soft and shiny. Either apply to wet or dry hair (or both) and it really will make a visible difference!

Top quality Straighteners:

I don't often have time to straighten my hair, and I don't like to overdo things on the heat front, as I try and take care of my hair as much as possible. However, when I do straighten my hair, I like to ensure I have the best straighteners to suit my needs. I used to always opt for GHD's in the past, probably due to their reputation, but when a new name surfaced that everyone was talking about, I couldn't resist giving them a try.

Cloud Nine straighteners were introduced into my salon, and my hairdresser raved about them, as did numerous people on social media. I did some research, and found they were being dubbed the new and improved version of GHD's. I have to say, since purchasing some I have never been more impressed with a pair of straighteners (and I have tried quite a few different brands.) They have touch technology which means there's no need for an on off switch, you simply press the plates together and they heat up in seconds. This is ideal if you are clumsy like me and often forget to switch your straighteners off, as they automatically do it themselves if they are inactive for a few seconds. They don't pull on your hair at all, they simply glide through and literally halve the time I used to spend straightening my hair. I really wouldn't be without my Cloud Nine's now! They did break after a year, however the customer service team were brilliant and immediately sent me a brand new pair in time for my holiday - panic over!


Crease proof hair bobbles:

I feel as though I need to start using these more, but I went through a phase of wearing them daily in my previous job as I suffered from splitting headaches which I firmly believe were partly due to my extra tight ponytail. Since switching to these, not only do they not leave a harsh crease in your hair but they are sooo much more comfortable. They don't pull on your hair, or rip any hairs out and are perfect for shoving round your wrist and throwing your hair up at any time. (P.S they get extra points just for being pink.)

Sleep in hair rollers:

For a fuss free, quick step to voluminous hair that doesn't take precious time out of your day, sleep in rollers are a saviour. Simply section your hair and pop them in, and leave on overnight - you will wake up looking like you've had a blowdry! They give a gorgeous bounce and wave to your hair that is hard to achieve otherwise, perfect for taking on a weekend away due to their handy drawstring bag, these are so underrated!

A decent hair dryer:

A lot of the time I tend to let my hair dry naturally, as I go swimming around four times a week, it just isn't worth me doing often. I have realised over the years the importance of not just having a hairdryer, but having a good quality one that really works well. I have had a Mark Hill one that wasn't overly expensive, for the past few years and I only notice the difference when I go away and have to use a hotel hairdryer! Having a powerful hairdryer, with a good choice of settings really gives better overall results. I find my hair doesn't turn into a frizzy, dishevelled mess - instead it goes a lot smoother, and dries in half the time.

Dry Shampoo:

Arguably one of my ultimate go-to hair products is Batiste's Dry Shampoo. I'm sure every girl has a bottle of this in their drawer! It helps me out so much, when I don't have time to wash my hair, or just want to refresh it a little in between washes. This immediately gets rid of any visible oil, and freshens your hair adding texture and slight volume. It also smells quite nice too which is always a bonus! I couldn't get through a week without using dry shampoo at least once; I'm definitely guilty of relying on this bad boy!


Magical Quick Dry Potion :

Last but not least, my hair is a nightmare to get dry and it is also important to ensure it is fully protected from heat damage prior to blow drying or straightening. This is where the Cloud Nine Magicial Quick Dry Potion comes in extremely handy! Spritz over damp hair, and not only is your hair protected, this amazing little bottle speeds up the time of drying incredibly. You can also spray it on before you straighten your hair for an extra effect. A tiny bottle lasts ages, and it really does help. Loreal also do a similar product called 'Hot N Go' which works to cut down the time it takes to dry your hair, whilst acting against heat damage. Perfect!

What are your top products or tips for looking after your hair? Do you have a specific 'haircare' routine?