Toni & Guy Volume Plumping Whip

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Toni & Guy Volume Plumping Hair Whip Blog Review

I enjoy that this is called a 'whip'. Perhaps because it reminds me of Walnut Whips, and I really like Walnut Whips. Although this is actually nothing like a Walnut Whip (I wouldn't recommend eating it for a start), I really like this Toni & Guy Volume Plumping Whip (£7.19 for 90ml, Boots) too.

The consistency is definitely thinner than that of a Walnut Whip, not runny but still more of a creme than a wax or tough styling product. It smells like a trip to the hairdressers, (if that makes sense!), and the packaging is very professional-looking and dressing-table friendly. To use, you work a walnut-sized amount through your roots before blowdrying and styling.

I definitely noticed some oomph in my roots after using it - especially when blowdrying my hair upside down, my fave volume trick. I've found quite a few volumising products feel sticky and make my hair look super product-ified, but this doesn't do that at all as long as you use it sparingly. It feels a little sticky on application, but after massaging it in a bit and styling my hair, it leaves lightweight volume that still allows me to swoosh my hair about like an emo Beyonce. It doesn't necessarily create the HUGE VOLUME hair that usually comes from lots of styling, but it's definitely a good base for fuller looking styles.

£7.19 isn't bad for a salon-brand styling product, and you don't need to use too much of it to get it working - so I'd say the tub is pretty decent value. It worked well for me, and it's something I'll definitely consider repurchasing when it's done.

Fancy trying before you buy? You can WIN a Toni & Guy Volume Plumping Whip, as well as goodies from Illamasqua and Bourjois in my Latest in Beauty Giveaway. Be quick though - it ends this Saturday!

Some Thoughts On YouTube 'Celebrity' Culture

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

First off – I’m not mentioning any names in this post – as it’s more about the general attitude surrounding YouTube culture, rather than specifically pointing the finger. It’s not any specific YouTuber that’s set this off, it’s more a group and a specific agency (and even that agency have vloggers I enjoy watching as part of their roster). I’d like to know what other people think about the issue, so do leave your comments.

Today I read this tweet by Leanne about Gleam, the agency who look after ‘social talent’ such as the big-time YouTubers, charging fans £75 VIP tickets to spend an hour with their YouTube idols. That is, spend an hour in a room with them with 74 other people. Resulting in less than a minute each per YouTuber. If they’re lucky. Being in my mid-Twenties now I’m probably not the target audience for a lot of the YouTube mania that’s built to a head over the past year or so. YouTubers these days make big bucks, and with it come the likes of Gleam, who milk teenagers (and their parents) for cash. I’ve heard people speak out about bands charging for ‘meet and greets’ before, and it’s something I’m very against.

Whether you’re a band, actor or YouTuber, you’re making the money through your work from people buying into it. So to charge the people who’ve supported you and built your career is, to me, disrespectful and greedy. Yes, it may be part of their Gleam contract to take part in these kind of events. But, surely if these vloggers had the moral backbone, they’d look to leave and find a more appropriate agency, who develops their talent to earn money through less shady channels. But they’ve got it easy – and easy seems to be an increasing motivation for some YouTube ‘gurus’, seemingly.

There are some great and talented YTers out there, who create quality content around a range of subjects, including fashion, beauty and gaming, and great opinionated speakers who offer interesting social commentary. I appreciate the time and work that goes into planning, filming and editing something exciting and inspiring. But vlogs about someone’s ‘busy day’ of…er…making breakfast and going to the beach with their friends, or twentysomethings seeing how many marshmallows they can fit in their perfect-teethed mouths? How is that something for kids to look up to, seriously? Yeah, it’s all a bit of fun and entertainment, but to genuinely idolise these people and want to be just like them? I don’t get it. Why aren’t these vloggers talking about their other projects (beyond just BUY MY STUFF), about the input they have, about how others can get involved in the beauty or fashion industries. Instead of milking being a celebrity for making a few videos a week, these people have a real platform to encourage and advise kids to follow their ambitions.

I’m completely of the view that blogging and YouTubing can be a ‘real job’, and there are bloggers out there who work hard on their blogs, channels and other projects. But when YTers are showing daily vlogs of waking up at lunchtime every day, going out for dinner with their friends, maybe doing some laundry, it doesn’t exactly make their jobs look super hard work – even if there’s more going on behind the camera (which for some, it seems like there isn’t). For many of us working our 9-5s and blogging/vlogging regularly on top of it, seeing these vlogs where the day is spent doing things that would be a luxury reserved for the weekend to most of us, I can understand the resentment. And it reflects badly on those creators who DO make engaging and useful content, who wake up at 7am and spend their full day working on projects. And that’s why YouTube ‘celebrity’ culture needs to go away.

These (mostly) young people are in a really privileged position. They can influence younger teenagers to value the important things in life, rather than just doing a fortnightly ‘LOOK WHAT I SPENT HUNDREDS OF POUNDS ON THAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD BECAUSE YOU’RE PUNY NORMALS (except I didn’t actually spend anything on it because companies gave me it all for free)’ haul. If you’re lucky enough to have a huge platform, use it to inspire others. Create engaging content. Use your opportunities to develop yourself. Be grateful to the people that put you there (and not just in a ‘OOH I LOVE MY FANS’ way). A lot more people will have a lot more respect for you, and it might even make a real difference in the world.

What's (Currently) In My Makeup Bag?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Recently I've found my normal Estee Lauder Double Wear has fallen out with my face for everyday wear, although I still love it for a full coverage going-out look. I've actually had the Rimmel Perfect Match foundation in my drawer for a while - I really liked it when it came out, but it sort of got overshadowed a bit by others I picked up. The shade really is a 'perfect match' for my skintone though, and I'm growing to appreciate a more dewy finish, compared to Double Wear's matte. I've also been trying out Illamasqua's Hydra Veil. I do like it, and it definitely keeps my skin hydrated - but I'm not sure if the payoff is good enough to justify me buying a pot of the stuff, when other, less expensive primers have done just as good a job.

Initially I was pretty 'meh' about the Benefit They're Real liner, but it's actually grown on me quite a bit. I like the gel formula, and after a bit of fiddling when you first get it, it's really easy to apply and great for a bit of a flick. As for the Benefit They're Real Mascara - I've been a fan of this for ages, and I don't see it leaving my arsenal of brilliant products any time soon.

I've already talked about the Bourjois Cream Blush in Rose Tender, Hoola Bronzer and the (now very battered) Barry M Brow Kit. The former is a newer addition to my well-loved Superdrug cheapy bag, but the other two have been favourites for a while now. I feel like my skills using Hoola are improving, to the point where I'm almost contouring and working out how to use it to emphasise my face a bit more, rather than just dusting it everywhere.

I spent a while not really bothering about highlighter, but Smashbox's Baked Fusion Soft Lights has made a bit of a return to glory. It's quite a subtle highlighter, but I find using it on my browbone really draws attention to the actual bone structure hidden by my chubby cheeks. I apply it using my Spectrum Small Contour Brush (full review here!), I love the soft bristles and how they turn a basic makeup application tool into something super pretty.

What are your current makeup bag faves?

Best LDN Walks: Secrets of London Pub Tour

Monday, 15 September 2014

Last week I got to experience a bit of history in the form of a pub crawl (an excellent combination), with Best LDN Walks' Secrets of London Pub Tour. Best LDN Walks is run by the awesome and super-knowledgable Charlotte - and it's not your average London tour company. With a fun attitude and plenty of booze-related touring, it's great for those who want to learn more about London without the stuffy, History class feel of more traditional tours. I also got to meet up with fellow bloggers Katy (who is an absolute babe for inviting me along!), JosieHaydn, Lucy, LucyFlora and Muriel, who were all excellent companions for a night of gossiping and gin-swilling.

Starting off at Blackfriars Station, the tour takes in five pubs in the centre of London, with a dose of the city's history on the way. It wasn't far at all to the first stop, as we nipped across the road to The Blackfriar, which has some amazing original interior features. We stopped off at the Punch Tavern, a Victorian gin palace with a huge range of gins on the menu to choose from - I opted for a Gordon's Elderflower as I was pretty skint and it was the cheapest on the menu - still tasty though!

Next up was Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, rebuild shortly after the Great Fire of London, which in its day played host to the likes of Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's also a Sam Smith's pub, so the drinks are very affordable for central London. After a short walk, we ended up in Ye Olde Mitre, one of the oldest pubs in the city. You also might recognise it from movies such as Snatch and The Deep Blue Sea!

The final stop was the Viaduct Tavern, for more gin and a look around at the old gaol cells underneath - possibly one of my favourite bits of the tour, as I have a weird interest in old prisons. The evening was really fun, and I'd definitely recommend a tour with Best LDN Walks for anyone interested in a sparky, bubbly London historical experience. I've got my eye on the Haunted Walk and Naughty London tours next! I'm now part of their Secret Adventure Society, so expect more of these posts popping up as I explore more of this amazing city...

Secrets of London historic pub tour
Secrets of London historic pub tour Punch Tavern
Secrets of London historic pub tour
Secrets of London historic pub tour Ye Olde Chesire Cheese
Secrets of London historic pub tour Ye Olde Chesire Cheese
Secrets of London historic pub tour Ye Olde Mitre
Secrets of London historic pub tour Viaduct Tavern gin palace
Secrets of London historic pub tour Viaduct Tavern gaol
Secrets of London historic pub tour Viaduct Tavern gaol
Secrets of London historic pub tour Viaduct Tavern gin palace

Weekend Wishlist 14.09.14 - AltGirl Style

Sunday, 14 September 2014

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

At heart, I'll always be a rock and roll kinda girl. Despite my love for florals and girly skater dresses, I do like to incorporate some more aspects of a darker style into my wardrobe, and this wishlist is all about indulging that side of my tastes.

The Pop Boutique Wednesday dress (1) is something I've almost bought (as in, got to the payment stage) twice now, it's absolutely stunning and I love the collar and sleeves - the only thing stopping me is being unsure about their sizing - but I might just have to take the plunge soon, as it's just so cute! Speaking of dresses, I'm also a big fan of this Jawbreaker Ouija dress (4) - the fit looks lovely and I like how simple yet awesome it is. Both were found via Attitude Clothing, which is THE online shop if you're looking for alternative style.

Punky Pins is a jewellery site I've had my eye on for a while, selling jewellery and accessories that are a bit more alternative than the high street. It was hard to pick, but this Sugar Skull Gang Bracelet (2) would add a bit of colour to an all black outfit - especially combined with multiple rings from this H&M set (6).

Boots are a winter staple for me, and the buckle detail on these (5), also H&M, is a nice touch. And a gothic inspired outfit wouldn't be complete without a red lip - so step forward my new favourite lip brand, Illamasqua, with Maneater (3).

What are your thoughts on alternative/gothic style?

AW14 Beauty: Metallic Eyes #FDLFW

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Metallic Eyes

I have to admit, London Fashion Week scares me a bit. I love clothes, and styling, and outfits, but I'm not the most knowledgeable about fashion, and I can't afford to splash out on all the latest trends. However, one aspect of Fashion Week I always get excited about is the beauty side - ogling the new makeup looks that we'll all be trying out in the upcoming season, and it would be bloody amazing to get up close and personal for all the beauty gossip. Even if I'm wearing high tops rather than Loubs...

The lovely team at Fragrance Direct got in touch with me about a competition they're running where you can win yourself an all expenses paid trip to London Fashion Weekend on September 21st. The competition closes on Monday, so if you want to try your luck, get working on your entry now! All you have to do is create a post on your blog that showcases an AW14 beauty or hair trend, include a link to the competition page and tweet the post with the hashtag #FDLFW. Easy!

One of my favourite beauty looks for the new season is metallic eyes - seen on loads of catwalks from Alexander Wang to Derek Lam, it's a really versatile trend that's easy to recreate at home. A great place to start would be with the Glo Minerals Alloy Eyes Collection (£19.80) is a great place to start. Featuring 4 shimmer shades, each with a complimentary matte shade, you can build up your look to be as subtle or as dramatic as you like. In particular, I really like the darkest blue for creating an updated smoky eye for the upcoming party season. If dramatic eyes are the focus of your look, they need to stay perfect, and to keep shadows in place all night I'd recommend using an eye primer, such as the Elizabeth Arden Eye-Fix Primer (£9.99), which creates an invisible shield on the eyelid to control creases, streaks and fading. With this look (and er, generally all the time), a finishing touch of mascara is a must - I'd go for the L'Oreal Lash Architect (£4.99).

The great thing about this trend is that you can go as crazy or as subtle as you want with it. If the full-on silver/blue metallic look isn't your thing, it can be easily done in more natural tones of bronze and brown. The Bobbi Brown Metallic Eye Shadows (£17) add a high-shimmer twist to nude tones, and are great for those who want to take baby steps into statement eyes. Or, for something a bit different, you can always line your eyes with shimmery shades, using an NYC Metallic Eyeliner (99p - bargain klaxon!). Feeling super brave? Team it with a metallic lip a la Derek Lam (second picture above). Really struggling? Bring a little touch of metal into your life through your nails with a polish from the Maybelline Forever Strong Metallic Collection (£1.25 each). 

What's your favourite Autumn/Winter beauty look? If you've entered, do share your link in the comments!

Magnifibres Brush-On False Lashes

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Magnifibres Brush-On False Lashes review
Magnifibres Brush-On False Lashes review
Magnifibres Brush-On False Lashes review

I absolutely do not get on well with false eyelashes. Mine are naturally pretty long and curly at the corners anyway (bragbrag), and I find falsies just get in the way, or I end up glueing my fingers to my face or other such silly things. I'm lucky enough to be able to normally slap on two coats of mascara and be alright, but despite their length, I do crave thicker and fuller lashes.

For their Glamour Beauty Edit box, Latest In Beauty included the Magnifibres Brush-On False Lashes (£15.80, BeautyBay). They're natural fibres with an adhesive fibre coating that are used in conjunction with your normal mascara to create a lengthening and thickening effect. I was initially a bit skeptical and confused by them, as it looks like you're putting fluff onto your eyelashes - which seemed a bit weird to me. To use it, you first of all apply your normal mascara then straightaway brush on the Magnifibres. After a 30-60 second wait, you then pop on another coat of mascara to cover up the white fibres.

In the picture of my lovely mug above, the left hand side (looking at it on the screen, not MY left!) is with just mascara, and the right hand side is after using Magnifibres. As you can see, my lashes definitely look thicker and longer. Result! The effect was less clumpy than I expected, although some of them did stick together a bit - but in a way that makes them look fuller rather than unnatural spider lashes. They stay on well too, without any noticeable fallout onto my cheeks. The fibres are lightweight and you don't notice them at all, and they came off easily with my normal makeup remover.

For me, this is a product I can see myself using on a daily basis, and for the effect they give it's definitely worth £15ish, especially considering the prices of false lashes that would usually get used and thrown away in a drunken state when removing them anyway. One tube apparently lasts for up to 60 applications - I'm yet to test that claim, but it definitely didn't feel like I needed to use a lot to get the desired effects.

Want to win this, and more? Enter my Latest In Beauty Glamour Beauty Edit giveaway!