I feel like I am forever fighting off dry skin, hair and everything else. In the winter the cold harsh air and central heating leave everything parched but so does sun exposure in the summer, especially now I have my hair bleached. I’ve been trying to rehydrate everything, bring some life and glow into everything.

For me hair has been the biggest challenge, I’ve always had healthy hair but as I did get it bleach it has become inevitably a little bit drier. I tried hair oils and hair mask but felt it was time to cut the problem off (split ends) and get an intensive treatment. I went to House of Rush in Piccadilly where they took care of me, remove a tiny bit of length, added n some body and left my hair feeling as good as new.  I had the Kerastase Conditioning Treatment Hair Masque Treatment which really isn’t too expensive and I would highly recommend if you live near a Rush Salon, it left my hair smelly amazing but more importantly also shiny and soft, meaning I can now comfortably brush it now with no knotty, matted parts. 
Legs are the one thing I only ever thing of in the summer but since I love shorts I do give it a lot of thought throughout June, July and August. I’ve been trying to dry body brush as I know it can really make a difference to the overall look of your skin but haven’t been as successful as I’d hoped. Instead I’ve been exfoliating loads with L’occitane Delicious Paste (£29), trying out a few toning products and moisturising daily. Shaving also really dries out your legs so make sure you are moisturising lots, ideally morning and evening. 
I’m not too fussy about what I use on my lips; Nuxe Reve De Meil (£9.50) or Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour cream (£17) have been what I’ve been reaching for although in the sun I can’t recommend SuperGloop Lip Balm SPF30 enough. 
I’m not loyal to any body products, it’s simply what’s the nearest, smells nice and I feel like using. Still I have been using Weleda Skin Food (£9.95) more than anything else recently although I have also been trying out the new Dove Purely Pampering Body Oil (£8.99- not out yet) and using the Neal’s Yard Beauty Sleep Body Butter (£22.50) in the Evening. 
However if I have been in the sun recently than nothing beats a good after sun, this year I will be taking the Clarins After Sun Moisturizer Ultra-hydrating (£20) away with me but I swear by the cheaper Aloe Vera After suns such as Nivea and Vaseline.
Of course looking after yourself post-sun is all good and well but don’t forget the SPF (This may be getting boring but it’s true!), minimum of SPF15 for the body and SPF40 for the face but obviously much higher if you tend to burn. I also recently discovered that Clarins Radiant Oil Spray (£19can also be used in your hair if you too have dry hair like me. 
And of course drink 2 litres of water a day! 

What products do you rely on to keep your skin and hair hydrated through the summer?

Twitter/ Facebook/ Bloglovin’

I never thought I would sit here and tell you that I went and dyed my hair lighter but I have. I love dark hair but after having very dark hair for the last 22 years of my life I thought it was time to try something different. I haven’t made a drastic change but for me it’s the perfect colour and the perfect way to go lighter.

 Balayage is a movement on from Ombre where ends are lightened but with a more gradual, natural look. Ombre is pretty easy to achieve at home by yourself but you really need a good hairdresser to achieve the Balayage which is why I went to ColourNation. I’ve been to ColourNation in the past for highlights and was very happy with their skills so I knew that they would help me achieve the look I wanted.

I took with me a few photos (Mainly of Khloe Kardashian’s hair, she’s my current favourite!) and we discussed how we could make it work for my colouring and hair type. It’s a very gradual fade which is exactly what I wanted and I love the colour too, it’s just light enough and I even think I’ll love it when it inevitably gets slightly lighter in the summer. As you may be able to tell I have also had my hair extensions removed so I was very excited to get my hair cut and back into shape. Zahra (the hairstylist) removed just the perfect amount so it wasn’t too short but was left healthy and with a little more body.

And the blow dry! The blow dry was amazing too!

Overall I love the change and would really recommend giving Balayage a go this spring/summer. I never thought a lighter colour would suit me but this way I can still keep my darker roots meaning it still works well with my darker features. If you’re a little worried as to where to go to achieve the perfect faded colour (and for an amazing blow dry) check out ColourNation, Zahra done my hair this time but I in the past I have been equally as happy with Lacey.

What do you think of my Balayage effect hair? Will you be going lighter for the summer?
Twitter/ Facebook/ Bloglovin’

*I was kindly invited down by ColourNation to review the service

I have been getting a lot of questions on Twitter about my hair extensions after my original post (here). Mid February I had my Micro Ring hair extensions re-fitted at Vixen and Blush after having had them in for 3 months. As you hair grows you need to have them refitted to avoid the rings being visible and it’s also a great time for a bit of a refresh. It’s nice to get your hair washes with no extensions in and have the extensions trimmed.

My removal took about 30 minutes or so although my hair was a little sticky under the rings. It also looks like you lose a fair bit of hair during this process but it is usually normal shedding that has been trapped in the ring over the three months and I actually expected a little more. We did notice that my rings hadn’t fallen down the hair as straight as they should have but after having a look through my hair and asking my friend to do the same we didn’t think there was any damage as this is always my main worry. It is such a big difference (a shocking difference) between my real hair and my hair with extensions as it is so much finer!

My hair was then washed and blow dried before they remade each individual extension re-using the hair I had in before, they do this as it has been flattened by the rings and it wouldn’t sit as well. They then install the extensions as they had done the first time around using new rings before blending the extensions with your real hair again.

I’m happy to report that even having used the hair now for 4.5months they still look very shinny and I still love them. Sadly I will be removing them in the next few weeks (major sad face) simply because as a beauty blogger there is so much I want to try and I feel that they do restrict me a little but I am sure I will go back to them at some point.

Check out the video below to see the final results…

And don’t forget to subscribe here

The refit is charged at half the original cost, let me know if you would also like a post once they have been removed.

Check out http://vixenandblush.com/ for more info
PS. It’s International Day of Happiness so lets all smile more 😉 XX

Twitter/ Facebook/ Bloglovin’

I’ve wanted hair extensions my whole life, they’re a bit of an investment but what I was most concerned about is the fact they could potentially ruin my hair in the long run. I have never really wanted very long hair but instead was looking for a little extra volume although a bit of length would be a plus. I’ve tried clip-ins which I do think are great but they don’t recommend you wear them daily and it seems a little strange to have very long hair one day and short the next.

I asked everyone I knew that had tried some sort of hair extensions and spent hours on Google but I was never given a concrete answer and everyone was telling me different things. Would it ruin my hair? Was I really choosing the best option? It seemed that everyone favourited what they used and were shocked that you would even consider something else.

In the end I came to the conclusion that they all have their pro’s and con’s, at the end of the day you are attaching something to your hair for a prolonged amount of time which could cause some damage but I was always told that as long as you were careful enough they could cause no damage at all.

I was then recommend to try Vixen and Blush a small salon that does just hair extensions, I’d seen some of their previous work which looked great and very natural so I went for it (with a little more Googling, naturally.)

I went for a free consultation a few weeks before at their salon in Vauxhall, we discussed which hair would work best for me, what sort of length I wanted, what I wanted the end result to be like and most importantly they made sure my hair could handle the weight. What surprised me the most on this day was the amount of rules (but more on that later).

I went in for my three hour session a few weeks later and had about a 3/4 head installed (I feel like I should be talking about a kitchen or a computer software.) I took my laptop but the girls there are all so lovely the time really flew by. They custom blend each section of hair to match (or be slightly different if you wish) your own colour, they then apply them with a tiny hoop and use a plier to flatten the hoop and secure them in place. They then cut into the extensions to the length I wanted and blended them in with my natural hair so that it all looked real. They used Russian hair on me and used slightly smaller hoops towards the top of my head as my hair is a little thinner. I tend to run my hands through the top of my hair so we also decided that they wouldn’t really work all the way up to the top.

Once it was in done and styled they went over the do’s and don’t. The main ones were; don’t flip your head upside down (especially the beginning as the hair is quite tight), don’t tie it in a high/tight ponytale, sleep with it tied up, no conditioner in the roots, keep roots clean and no salt sprays. For me the biggest shock was no turning your head upside down and no high ponytales as this means I couldn’t put my hair in a turban after the bath and no more messy buns.

Before and After
The first few days were okay, I wasn’t overly happy leaving the salon but that was simply because they dry your natural hair really flat. Once I got to do it all myself I was really happy as I was able to add the volume. I was told they are really tight and painful but I would say they just feel a little strange at first and you can feel a slight pulling however I didn’t even have any troubles sleeping at all.

I reached about the end of week two and I was ready to get rid of them, it was a really busy week and I was just struggling with the change in drying time which had basically doubled but now two months in I am so glad I didn’t. After that I got use to them, it doesn’t take quite as long to dry as I know what I am doing and I’m so use to them I am worried about getting them out!

Since getting them I am always on the look out to see who else has them and I always ask about them. These are by far the best I have seen (and I have seen some awful ones!) as they are really neatly applied, with even pressure on the hair and the rings are also smaller than most others I have seen.

I am so glad I went to Vixen & Blush and wouldn’t go anywhere else for Micro rings, I feel that because they only do extensions that is where their expertise and passion lies. They know exactly what they are doing and seem very happy to correct any problems you may have (sometimes you may need a ring removed after the first week because it’s too visible/uncomfortable)

So the big question would I get them again?
In short, yes. I absolutely love them and have been getting lots of compliments on my hair and no one has ever suspected it to be fake. They last about three months which means I will be getting mine out in February and I actually think I’ll miss them. I think I will remove them for a few months just to have short hair for a little bit. I’d highly recommend Vixen & Blush and although it may be a little out of the way (currently in Vauxhall but opening in Shoreditch soon) it really is worth making the effort to get there. If you’re still not completely sure I’d at least book in for a consolation with the lovely girls.

For more info/prices check out the Vixen and Blush Website and Twitter page. I have also included a video I though you might find interesting but let me know if you have any questions below.

Would you consider/have you had hair extensions?
Twitter/ Facebook/ Bloglovin’

I’d been wanted a colour for a little while so I quite excited when Colour Nation invited me down for a cut and colour. When I went in I wasn’t too sure what I wanted but after discussing my options with the stylist we settled for a few high/low lights a shade or two darker and lighter than my natural hair colour and a few inches of the ends.

It was the first time I’d had my hair professionally coloured but I just wanted something to add some movement to my hair. I lost a fair bit of the ends but I do think it’s important to get a good cut every now and then to keep hair healthy. Losing a few inches also makes my hair a little fuller as it means it isn’t weighed down. I left the salon with mid-length hair with a few highlights here and there, the hairdresser also kept my layers slightly longer than normal which I have been liking. All very natural but still makes a big difference to me. I’m very happy with my hair although I am thinking of going slightly warmer next time… we’ll see!

I really liked ColourNation as a salon clean, modern, easy to get to as it is located just off Oxford Street and with very friendly staff. Plus, they have those massage chairs at the basins which are always quite nice!

I haven’t done anything with my hair in the photos above just so you can see the cut clearly. I would highly recommend Colour Nation especially as it reasonably prices for a London salon!
What do you think of my hair cut/colour?
Twitter/ Facebook/ Bloglovin’