Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hair loss and young women - two things you wouldn't think go together but do.

As aforementioned in my last post, for the past year and a half or so I've been suffering from hair loss. I want to share with you my story as well as ways to stop hair loss and encourage healthy regrowth. A couple of months into my hair loss I started to feel -as my friends like to put it -rather sloth-like; exhausted to the point that simply getting up and doing my make-up was exhausting. Of course that in itself rang alarm bells! I had a blood test which confirmed that I was both anaemic and deficient in folic acid. I didn't understand how this could have happened, because in general I have a balanced, healthy diet, and a stress-free lifestyle. After doing rigorous research it dawned on me that simply being on the pill long-term was accountable for my state of lifelessness and low self-esteem. I was shocked by this information because it was completely new to me. Of course I started taking iron prescribed by my doctor and folic acid supplements, and within a month my hair loss had subsided. If you've been on the pill for a while, I would strongly encourage you to take iron and folic acid supplements, or simply a multivit. 

Even though I had found out the reason behind my hair loss, I wanted to get my hair to grow back as quickly as possible, as thickly as possible. I explored other products I could use to stimulate hair regrowth, and actually came across some really successful ones. 

1) Boar Bristle brush - £9.90 on Amazon

Unsurprisingly, when I started to suffer from hair loss I stopped brushing my hair because I was scared of losing yet more hair! How wrong I was! The natural boar bristle brush is fantastic because it actually stimulates the scalp, thus encouraging regrowth. I've been using one for the past few months for about 5-10 minutes every day, and I've definitely noticed a difference in the quality of my hair. The new hair that is growing through feels stronger and thicker. Because the bristles are so soft they wont pull or rip out the hair and unlike standard brushes, they distribute the natural oils from your scalp throughout the hair, nourishing it even more. 

2) Hair Stimulant for Growth & Strength - With Essential Oils - Bergamont, Ylang Ylang, Lavender - £2.11 on Amazon. 

Oooh my, this product is sweet! Like the boar bristle brush, this hair stimulant encourages hair regrowth, and really works. I massage this into my scalp before I shower, leaving it on for around twenty minutes. When I rinse it out, I find that even before shampooing and conditioning, my hair feels so soft and luxurious. After about three weeks of using this, I found that my hair started to feel thicker. For such an affordable price and such a yummy smell, this is an absolute must! 

3) Palmers Coconut Oil Formula conditioning shampoo and repairing conditioner - £3.99 each

Coconut oil is another oil that is amazing for your hair and scalp, the reason being because of its strengthening properties. Because of its protein, it helps to build up the hair strand, making hair thicker. It is also another hair stimulant, encouraging yet more regrowth. I've found that together with the other products, it's definitely helped to transform my hair and stop hair loss. For such a decent price, this is another product that you just can't go wrong with.

Since I began using all of these products along with my supplements, my hair loss has stopped. Hooray! My hair is finally back enroute to fuller, thicker hair. If you're experiencing hair loss, I would strongly encourage a blood test. Even if you're not anaemic, you may have a vitamin defiency, your hormone levels may be off, or you could have Polycystsic Ovary Syndrome, which majorly affects hormones. Once you have this information, you can finally begin your journey back to a healthy head of hair.

I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! Hair loss in young women is something that isn't really discussed, but it does exist, and should therefore be addressed openly without embarressment. 

Sibley x

Monday, 21 October 2013

The best beauty tool

In my first blog post I wrote about my much adored Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser - the only product to get rid of my little under-the-skin bumps. See here: 


I do swear by this product, and I encourage anyone who has acne to give it a shot if they're willing to cash in twenty-something pounds every few months.  As a student however, It's a lot for me to spend so I wanted a product which was a little more cost-effective, which is why I came across:

No 7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Brush - £24.95 (but currently on offer at Boots for £15.00!)

You can see if you look at that blog post ↑ that as soon as I stopped using the Dermalogica my forehead started to break out, so the fact that I've weened myself completely off the cleanser using this facial brush therefore shows you how great it is! 

This product claims to clean the skin extensively removing dirt and unclogging pores. I found out that the reason little bumps were erupting underneath my skin was because my skin was congested, so immediately I was attracted to this product. 

A lot of the reviews I read before purchasing this product (or working the puppy-eyes so my dad would buy it for me!) said that the brush was too harsh on their skin. Luckily this hasn't been a problem for me and I use it twice a day... when I'm not feeling like a lazy bugger. 

Originally when I first got the brush I only used it in conjuction with Dermalogica, but have gradually lessened the use. Now I use it with L'oreal Skin Perfection Purifying Gel wash in the mornings (to refine texture), and Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2 in 1 Wash & Mask in the evenings (with clay to unclog pores). They both cost only a few pounds from any drugstore. 

For me, my skin started to look amazing after around two weeks of use. The reason I love this product is because you can feel the product penetrating the skin, giving it a clean I don't think a bog-standard hand wash could. My face feels incredibly soft and fresh after each use, and for some reason the products I apply afterwards seem to have more effect. 

A lot of women have said that they don't think this product would work for acne, but I would disagree - for mild acne anyway. My face has remained acne-free. It has also reduced my blackheads mahoosively. The pores are much smaller so they are no way near as noticeable. I had some red patches on my forehead from where the skin hadn't completely healed and that has now dissapeared, revealing an even complexion. 

Though twenty five pounds may seem like a lot to pay initially, the great thing is that you don't have to replace it. You only have to replace the heads, which is every few months and only a few pounds if you have one of those five pounds of No 7 vouchers. I've had the product for about two months now and no sign of needing to change the batteries yet either.

Anyway the brush is on offer right now and like I just said, if you have one of those No 7 vouchers you could get five pounds off. Only ten pounds! I personally think that if you purchase it you won't look back. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Free yourself from flyaways

To say that I hate flyaway hairs is an understatement. I have a burning resentment towards them because they seem to have ruled my life for a fair amount of time. My hair story is a little long but it's going to be a big part of this blog so not to bore you, I'll try to be as brief as possible. 

It's not something that is common or seems to be discussed between women of my age at least, but I have been experiencing hair loss for around a year. It hasn't taken form as a bald spot, but rather just all over my head. Handfuls would come out several times a day and only naturally, I started to freak out!!! I'm serious when I say that I actually blocked the shower drain entirely because of my hair loss. It's not surprising, that I was a little alarmed to say the least. I had a blood test which confirmed that I had low iron stores and that I was deficient in folic acid, and it's important to say that this can be caused from being on the pill which I have been taking for five years now. I also experienced an increased amount of stress in my second year of uni which I think was a contributing factor. Anyway through a holistic approach including supplements, oils etc my hair has started to grow back and I promise that I will do a seriously in-deapth post on this shortly. I just want to have given it a proper period of time before I start making absolute conclusions. 

Anyway, I wanted a product that would smooth down both my weak, wispy hair and the new shorter hairs coming through. Annoyingly, lot of the frizziness occurs at the front of my crown where the hair is probably most visible. So the product I purchased for this was:

John Freida Full Repair Touch-Up Flyaway Tamer - £10.99 

As you can see it consists of a wand that you brush through your hair to distribute the product. I think this form of application works really well because it spreads the product evenly. In terms of the substance inside the container, it can work well but the trick is NOT to use too much. It can get a little sticky and clump the hair together which obviously we don't want. Although if you wanted to go for a slicked back/down style (apparently the Kardashians' favourite look these days) then this would actually work in your favour. If you just go through the area of the hair once of twice however, I think it really does get rid of flyaways and make your hair look shiny. I also just sort of run my fingers through it to make sure the hair doesn't glue together. Another plus is that is lasts so well! If I put it on in the morning I will still be free of flyaways in the evening. The only thing I wonder is whether it would survive through rain? Maybe someone can tell me. 

The price is quite expensive but you only use a small amount of product at a time so it lasts for a while. I've had mine for three months and I'm not even a quarter of the way through. Also if you think what you would spend on an actual mascara, it's pretty equal! I would certainly reccomend this product, as I think it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Anyway if anyone who is experiencing hair loss at all has any questions or tips please let me know as it's something I'm constantly learning about and needs to be acknowledged more in my opinion. 


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Can a blush that costs next to nothing actually do the trick?

I have an all-time favourite blush: Lancome's Magique Blush. I always used to sneak into my mum's make up bag and apply it to my cheeks in a guilty rush - she didn't like me stealing her make up and I was always scared I'd get caught! I loved it because it was so velvety and soft, and the colour was dense but subtle (depending on the shade), if that makes sense? It lasted until the very moment you wiped off your make up which is unusual as I find blushes tend to fade away during the course of the day. It pains me to say Lancome have discontinued it. Please bring this joy back into my life!

Anyway while I wouldn't have minded splashing the cash for this special product, as a student I just don't have the expenses to be paying twenty pounds, give or take, on a blush. On my search for a new blush, I came across:

MUA Blush Perfection Cream Blusher in Bittersweet

I don't love this blush anyway near as much as Lancome's Magique Blush, but I do really, really like it. I like a blush with a blast of colour as sometimes I feel like my face can look dull, and this really brightens it up. This colour certainly has an electricity to it, and it can be a little shocking at first glance! But no need to be intimidated; if you start slowly you can build it up in colour. If you just apply a little to the apple of your cheeks  it comes out as a little pop, but if you want more you can create a serious POP. I think in that case it would look great with a tan and a simple coat of mascara. Simple but dramatic. 

Anyway in terms of the consistency, I like the creaminess of it because it's very light meaning that it's fairly easy to blend. Depending on how much you use, it can either be slightly sheer or more opaque. Rather than the velvety effect of the Lancome blusher, this gives more of a dewiness as it's slightly shiny rather than matte. This may discourage some people, but as someone that uses a matte foundation (Estee Lauder Double Wear) it's good to use something that provides a bit of a glow. If you use a BB, CC, DD (the list seems to be expanding!) cream or a light foundation that is more radiant, then it might be better to use a matte, powder blush.

Now I wouldn't say that this product would last all day, but because the colour Bittersweet is quite bright the colour does seem to last. As for the more natural shades I'm not so sure. My best friend has this blush in Blusher Blossom, and she loves it, and I think it also looks really good on her. So it shows that the nude shades are just as good.

To be frank, this blusher is £2.00, and for such a low price there is just no going wrong. My only issue is that I wish they would bring out some more colours, like coral. All-in-all, it may not be Lancome Magique, but it will certainly do the trick for me. 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Full Coverage Concealers

What I look for in a concealer is something that does just that; conceals! I find that so many concealers don't actually cover redness or broken skin. So today i'm going to tell you the three concealers I use that have maximum coverage. Preference in terms of texture might change from person to person which is why I'm reviewing my favourite powder concealer, liquid concealer, and stick concealer.

1) Bare Minerals Well Rested Concealer - £19.00

This is my all-time favourite that I use everyday. You wouldn't think that a powder could have so much coverage but this really does. It is actually meant to be an under-eye concealer, which it is also excellent for, but for me it covers everything. I think it's because the powder is so pigmented.

For me, this is absolutely fabulous at covering redness. This is my go-to concealer for covering spots. What I also love about it is that it can conceal scabs well. I always find then when you've picked a spot and it's scabbed over concealer may not really cover it. I don't know whether it's because it's a powder but the concealer is able to get into all the nooks and crannies and cover all the surface area visible.

As I previously mentioned this product is also brilliant at concealing dark circles. What I do is I use a softer slightly larger brush for the eyes so that the powder blends really well, and then I use a smaller, more dense brush on spots so that the product is more concentrated, and it works excellently. The main thing I love about this concealer is how long it lasts. It's like it sticks to spots because as soon as you put it on it doesn't budge! It may seem pricey but I have had this concealer for over a year now and I'm half way through. It lasts SO long. I think it's because it's so pigmented you use the tiniest bit at a time. So I know this is an under-eye concealer but it is absolutely worth investigating as a full facial concealer. It gets 10/10 from me! The only thing I would say is that it only comes in one colour, so you would have to go to a store and try it first as it may not be the colour for everyone.

2) MAC Pro Longwear Concealer - £15.50

I don't actually normally like liquid concealers because I've found that they don't last that long at concealing but this one is pretty good. For me it's fantastic at concealing dark circles or larger areas of redness rather than spots. 

Like the Bare Minerals concealer, the product is really pigmented so you only need a very small amount. What I particularly like about this product is that even with a tiny amount of product you can blend and spread it really well, which is why I think it's better for larger areas. But to try and cover a spot, I find that the product disperses too much so you don't get as much coverage on that concentrated area. 

Anyway when I use this product I find that it does last all day. My dark circles are concealed from morning to evening. Again, the price of this concealer is a little pricey, but like the Bare Minerals it lasts for a very long time. I've had this one six months and I've barely used any of it. So I would absolutely reccomend.

3) Maybelline Cover Stick - £4.09

I've read quite a lot of bad reviews for this product which is odd because I find that it works really well for me. What I've read in the reviews is that it either makes the skin look very dry, or very greasy. I would say for this product that you definitely would not want to use it on dry skin as it'll just make it look flakey. As for making the skin greasy, it definitely doesn't do that to me and my skin is slightly oily. Maybe it's just with people that have very oily skin.

For me this concealer unlike the MAC concealer, is best for covering spots and not for concealing dark circles. The reason for this is because of its chalky texture. If you were wanting to cover a larger area, it probably wouldn't work because it doesn't blend/move that well on the skin. But for small areas like spots, the chalky texture is good because it really masks it, and then it's easy to blend a small amount around the edges etc. For me, this concealer is great at concealing redness.

I wouldn't say that it lasts as long as the other concealers but it's also less than half the price of the other two. For an affordable product I would say that it's excellent quality. I've also had this for a year and it's still going. Anyway if you do buy it and find that it's not for you, you haven't broken the bank! 

Here is a photo of all three, so you get an idea what the actual products look like:

Left to right: Bare Minerals Well Rested, Mac Prolongwear NW20, Maybelling Coverstick in Ivory 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Liquid Bronzer: Yay or nay?

I'm reviewing and comparing two liquid bronzers today because I think that they can be a great addition to your make up bag for the reason that mixed in with your foundation or on their own, they can give an all-over facial tan that powder bronzer may not give as effectively. I find that sometimes if you don't have anything on your face powder won't sit properly, which i've definitely found with a few bronzers. So the first bronzer I'm reviewing is:

1) Stila One Step Bronze - £24.00  

Ok so the description of this product says that 'This innovative triple-swirled helix serum instantly illuminates, bronzes, primes and nourishes the skin. One Step Bronze immediately improves the skin-tone, evens out your complexion and helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles.' 

I have to say, that I don't really like this product. I found that the colour was more of an orange than a gold/brown so I definitely couldn't wear it on it's own, and even mixed in with foundation the orange still came through. If you like more of an orange tone then this may be for you but if you prefer to look more natural then it probably won't be. The liquid itself is also quite sparkly. I don't mind a little bit of shimmer because it gives a dewy appearance, but the sparkle is too much!

As to what the product claims to do written above, I found that it does illuminate and bronze the skin (not neccesarily in a good way!) but it doesn't nourish, prime or even the skin at all. I used it consecutively for a few weeks, and not only did I not see an immediate improvement which it claims, but I didn't see any improvement over the time which I used it. 

I've added a photo of what the product should look like, and did initially when I bought it. The reason for this is that after a few months the consistency you see here completely changed. It went from being a liquid consistency, easily blendable, to a mousse-like texture. Very weird! With this texture it certainly wasn't easy blending the product and gave a streaky appearance to my face, so had to stop using it all together. I've posted the picture below, so you can see the difference. Tried shaking the bottle but made no difference. It is safe to say that for the amount it costs, I won't be purchasing again.

Anyway now on to a product I love!

2) Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator in 400 Bronze Light - £11.99

This product claims to give 'a healthy glow in any light. Banish dullness and even out skin with light-capturing crystals and photochromatic pigments.'

This product is still a tad orange, but much more of a brown tone unlike the Stila bronzer, so it looks more natural. It has a vey slight shimmer to it which I like, as it gives a radiant complexion. I would say that it definitely does what it says in terms of giving a healthy glow and banishing dullness. 

I think that if you have oily skin like I do, then it would be best to mix it with a matte foundation. I mix it into my Estee Lauder Double Wear, and it works brilliantly. I don't think I would mix it in with my Touche Eclat foundation though, which is much more dewy as I think it would look too shiney. Because I have oily skin when I wear it on its own I have to put powder on my t-zone to mattify it slightly. If you don't have oily then I doubt you would need anything to accompany with it.

As you can see, the consistency is very smooth and light which makes it super easy to blend into a foundation or onto your skin. 

For half the price of the Stila bronzer, and its lovely look on the skin, I would say that this product is absolutely worth buying! I am looking into buying this product in another colour as a highlighter, so see if there's a match for Benefit's Moonbeam!

The Verdict:

If you like a bronzed look like I do, then I think a liquid bronzer is a great way to go. I do think however it's important to find a natural-looking, blendable product like Revlon's. I don't know about any other liquid bronzers on the market however, and would love to hear of any good ones. I think Estee Lauder have one and if you've tried it I would definitely want your opinion!


Saturday, 17 August 2013

My Top Three Products

As this is a new blog I thought a good way for me to introduce myself would be to tell you three of my most cherished beauty products and why they are so precious to me. 

1) Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser

To me, beautiful skin is everything. I generally had perfect skin until I reached the age of seventeen. About twice a year I would have two months of forehead acne which consisted of lots of tiny little bumps under the skin. When I was younger La Roche Posay and Vichy products would resolve it however this year has been different. I don't know whether it was down to university stress or hormonal imbalance (coming off then going back on the pill) but nothing would get rid of my bumpy forhead. I had researched and researched, tried countless products including Manuka Doctor and Garnier but no luck. It was red and inflamed and becoming difficult to conceal, and as time went by I became extremely self conscious and genuinely didn't want to leave the flat! Then I came across Dermalogica, an absolute savior in my eyes. 

The first night of using it already made a difference. My forehead was already more refined. After two weeks my forehead was literally completely clear. Three months on, and it is still crystal clear. I recently went on holiday and wasn't able to take it with me and as soon as I stopped using it, the bumps came back. Luckily as it was only a week it didn't get too out of control so as soon as I got back on the clay cleanser it cleared up again. I have read many reviews of this product which say that the cleanser caused them to break out, but it didn't do that to me at all even on the rest of my face which has no blemishes. 

If you look hard enough online you can find the cleanser for about twenty pounds, which is obviously pricey. In my opinion I think it's an amount worth paying for such a fabulous product. I will certainly continue to purchase this cleanser which has done wonders for me. If you don't want to fork out that much initially you could just buy a travel sized bottle which is much cheaper, and see if it works. Because the consistency is quite runny it spreads easily so you don't need to use too much of it. 

2) Maybelline Super Stay 24 Bold Matte

I have found it extremely difficult to find a lip product that lasts all day, but this one truly does. I found that it outshines YSL lipsticks and MAC lipsticks for staying power. I can put it on in the morning and it's still on at night time even with eating and drinking. Because you only have to apply it once rather than having to reapply it time and time again like other lipsticks, it also lasts longer. I've had mine for four months now and I'm not even half way through. 

I would say about this product that you absolutely cannot apply it after having applied lip balm or any kind of lip product even if your lips are dry. If you do, the product doesn't sit properly and it falls off very easily in quite an unattractive manner. But as I said, that's only if there's some sort of barrier between the lips and and the product. That works the same for lip liner. Don't try it because it won't blend, and you'll have an obvious separation of the products. I would also say that after you let the colour dry you HAVE to put the balm on, otherwise the product is very sticky and won't stay on as it should. Basically, if you use the product as you should then you'll have beautiful results. 

I absolutely adore the bold range as the colours are so bright, and they keep intensity as time goes by. My lips are still as bright in the evening as they are in the morning. For £8.99 and often on offer, I just don't think you can go wrong. I have the product in three colours and use them all the time. I haven't tried the simple lipstick version of the product yet, so you'll have to let me know if that's any good or not.

See below in Fire Coral (it really doesn't capture how bright it is):

3) Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Bronzer
This product took me completely by surprise. I popped into M&S with my mum one day and I got this on a whim but it has now become one of my staples. This bronzer is great for me because it's matte with the tiniest bit of shimmer. I have normal to oily skin so when I use a product that has a lot of shimmer in it, it makes my skin look greasy. Another great thing about this product being matte is that you can use it for contouring. They have it in two colours, Light and Dark. Light is perfect for contouring and light bronzing, and dark is perfect for full fledged coverage. I only have it in light but I plan on getting it in dark for a deeper tan. What I really love about the bronzer is that it's not orange at all, and easy to blend. With a lot of bronzers I find that it doesn't look natural and when you use them to contour they give you a line that just doesn't match. This one has more of a golden tone than an orange tone I would say.

I have had it for a year now, and I've still not finished it. It's only £5.00 which is an absolute bargain considering how long it lasts and how well it works. I would highly reccomend!
If you'd like a bronzer that has more deepness and radiance to it, I would reccomend Bare Minerals All Over Face Colour, which i'll do a review of soon. 

I look forward to this Blog journey. 
Sibley x