Video | August Favourites...

I thought I'd start doing a blog post to go alongside my monthly favs vids on youtube, just so I can go into a bit more detail and include any other important bits that I can sometimes forget as I stubble through a rather inarticulate monthly overview in front of a camera ha!

So let's go...

Mrs Doubtfire - Of course, noone could escape the tragic news of Robin Williams suicide this month. I feel like he is one of the people responsible for how my sense of humour turned out and I think he was a big presence in pretty much most peoples childhood around the 90s onwards. I had to revisit this film as it's one of my all time favourites.

Caudalie Vinosource Range* - This is a range I have been blown away by this month. I'd heard so many great things about it and was so excited when Look Fantastic provided me the opportunity to trial it. Despite having oily skin I am very dehydrated and the S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum is an absolute dream for dehydrated skin. It's super lightweight and feels so nice on the skin, it absorbs quickly and definitely injects some concentrated hydration where you need it without overloading areas that don't. I have been using this whole range specifically following evenings when I'll do a face mask, usually a clay mask and I feel like my skin needs some TLC and I need to replace lost moisture. I follow the serum with the Overnight Recovery Oil. Oils can be pretty daunting for those of us with oily skin but they are fantastic, especially going into the colder months. Despite being targeted to dry skin specifically, I find this oil in particular is great because it's so light. I apply 6 drops as directed all over my face, with some oils they can sit and 'cook' on the skin for a while and I'll feel an uncomfortable residue for a good while after application, but this, like the serum this sinks in beautifully. I then finish with the Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet. And sorbet is a great description for this moisturiser as it's light, whipped texture melts into the skin and I feel fresh, nourished and plumped for days afterwards! All this skincare may seem really overwhelming for an oily skin but it really doesn't feel like half as much as it is. These products work harmoniously together and going forward, I really cannot imagine my routine without this range, a real game changer in my opinion.

Dr Brandt SPF 30 for Face - I'm not the biggest fan of SPF's espcially not for the face. I usually find them heavy, greasy and take far too long to sink in. However this has changed everything for me. I'm gona go into too much detail as it's not the most exciting product to me but here's a round up, it's very light so sinks into the skin quickly, no waiting around to apply makeup. It works under foundation really well and hasn't broken me out or irritated my skin. Overall a no frills, foolproof SPF that's great for everyday wear, finally!

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Fragrance - The weather has taken a turn in the UK, Autumn is a foot, and I never really thought I was one for changing my fragrance according to season but it turns out, I am. I've switched my Chloe Eau Fraiche for this on the colder, greyer days of late. When it comes to fragrance, I do prefer a heavier, very fragrant fragrance, if that makes sense. Woody, spicy scents appeal to me over fruity, floral or citrus all day long. This fragrance is the perfect mix of fruity and spice me, I feel like it's my most girly fragrance as it has a sweet depth to it which is made suitably dark from me with the spicey undertone. I wouldn't say I'm a connoisseur in fragrance so my descriptions probably make no sense but, I urge you to sniff this as we creep into the colder months to give you a homely but sultry warmth...ok I'll stop now.

Schwarzkopf Moisture Kick Leave In Conditioner  - One thing I have to have, is good leave in conditioner. My hair is so dry and so frazzled from bleach I cannot get a brush through if I don't use one. And this one from Schwarzkopf is a beaut. Super lightweight but you really feel the benefits, once my hair is dry there have been days I just CANNOT stop stroking it because it feels so so soft. But not static, flyaway soft, it's still workable and I can get some good texture going but the parched, thirst I'm so used to disappears. A must as it gets colder and we subject out hair to central heating and tight top knots.

Label M Texturising Volume Spray - I spoke about this in this post here as a product I couldn't live with out, and I absolutely can't. This is my go to pray on a daily bruv...no powdery overload and all day volume, what more could you want.

Go watch the vid and it even includes a few bonus extras!


Brand focus | Jurlique...

It's not often you come across a brand where you feel like you love absolutely everything about them, ethos, packaging, formula and product. But Aussie brand Jurlique has truly stolen my heart over the last few months.

I rarely do entire brand focus posts, I think my last one was on Tigi's Bedhead range, but I have been lucky enough to sample a number of treats from Jurlique as well as work with them on a Google Hangout, and thought the easiest thing to do would be to initially put them all up in a post together and highlight just how fab I think this brand is.

Now I think this may turn into a rather long post if I individually reviewed each thing, and I will definitely have some stand out favourites which will make a few edits in the upcoming weeks where I will go into more detail, but overall, I am so impressed with Jurlique as a brand. It's beauty with a conscience which I really like and love how they promote, alongside healthy skin, a healthy lifestyle and massively important these days, a healthy mind as well as being huge advocates of female empowerment around the world. 

Not to veer off course too much but I think beauty and specifically skincare lends itself really well to mental health. Encouraging a pamper sesh a couple of times a week is something I really believe in, not only for the benefits to your skin, but it's an excuse to really take some time out, relax and escape from all those tensions that can make us feel trapped or lost day to day. A time to refocus and prioritise and I genuinely think it's a really positive thing to introduce into your routine, as well as being pure indulgence which we all love a bit of! Honestly though, if you're struggling to keep it together, get your self a good face mask, I can highly recommend the Jurlique Purifying Mask, glass of wine and a cheeky bar of choccie and treat yourself to a much needed evening of you time. 

All the products in the Jurlique range are from natural and organic sources, and ingredients are assured to be the purest and highest potency available. I find everything really calming and soothing, a great way to wind down at the end of a busy week. But don't be put off by thinking you need the real harsh chemical stuff to sort out your skin concerns, I can assure you Jurlique's formulations are so beneficial to the skin and I can really feel, and see a difference, every time I use them.

So this has turned into a slightly longer than planned post but honestly, I really cannot rave enough about Jurlique. Have you tried anything from their range?

*products very kindly supplied by Jurlique


Blonde series | tone on tone...

I came across this image on this instagram and immediately thought this is perfect for deciphering the difference between tones of blonde. This girl is also just amazing at blending and makes me really hopeful that one day I can be as amazing a colourist.

I think tones can be one of the most confusing parts of going blonde and it's really good, if nothing else, when you go into the hairdressers, to have a good idea of at least what tone you like. This makes our job as hairdressers so much easier, and we can tell you if this is achievable as well as advising on what aspect of tones to play with. If it seems confusing at first, just answer the essential question, do you prefer warm tones or cool tones, are you more Jennifer Anniston or Rita Ora? Once you have decided this you can then explore more options in each category, and believe me there are many!

So to start I will outline what in my opinion are the 3 main tonal families within colour, specifically referring to blonde.

Ash/Cool tones -  this is a really clean, crisp way of using blonde, it plays with tones of blue, grey, silver and mauve, but be careful with this as it can easily look quite flat and one dimensional. Extreme versions of ash take you into the cold pastel tones as seen on Kelly Osbourne and Lady Gaga. I would recommend ash if you are going for a more blocky or all over blonde.

Golden/warm tones - think Jennifer Anniston, the traditional california girl, sunkissed blonde. With warmer blondes you can play with tones of honey and caramel, it's a really nice tone to go with if you want to enhance your natural hair colour, or create a soft sunkissed look, it also looks great in ombre styles for a natural lived in and low maintenance colour.

Neutral tones - so neutral is a happy marriage of cool and warm tones. I love to describe these shades as creamy, beige or smokey blondes depending on how light you want to go, you can even play with rose and mahogany shades. Perfect for achieving an effortless natural blend and my preferred tone over ash when doing extremely light, all over blondes. Emily Weiss of Into the Gloss is a great example of my perfect creamy, beige blonde.

I know this is all pretty overwhelming and perhaps they all look the same to you, but I really hope I have at least given you an easier understanding and vision of all the different blondes there are to be had, and perhaps even guided you into finally finding your perfect tone.

Look out for the next post in my blonde series where I'll be guiding you through colourist terminology and techniques!

Catch up on my last post in the Blonde Series here.


It's love | Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation...

Being an oily girl one of the hardest things to find is a good foundation. So when you come across one that seems to tick all the boxes, it's a pretty big deal. The Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation is something that's majorly hyped in the beauty world, and something I'd always wanted to try. When it comes to bases, I think it's safe to say that Laura Mercier is one of the go to gaaaaaals and I'd seen so many oily skin babes singing Silk Cremes praises, on a quiet Tuesday jaunt in town I decided to get matched...which of course lead to purchasing, and here we are!

I'm not quite sure where to start with this one except to say, I love this stuff. I was matched to the shade Peach Ivory which is one I saw and wouldn't have thought was right at all , but funnily enough, has turned out to be one of the most perfect shade matches I own, and I have a lot of foundations. Now this foundation is very thick so it will cling to dry patches, and one thing I must point out is despite it saying luminous, it really is not, and I would not recommend this for dry skin. Saying that the finish is definitely not matte either, I suppose satin would be the closest description. Another thing I love about this foundation which is so important if you have oily skin, is it does an amazing job of disguising enlarged pores WITHOUT using a primer, plus it's very long lasting, it doesn't oxidise and pretty much stays put all day. Yes I have to powder but to be honest, with skin as oily as mine, I'd be slightly concerned if a product completely stopped any oil production throughout the day, all I really want is for a foundation not to break down, collect or move throughout the day and that's exactly what this does. I really cannot sing it praises enough. 

At £34 it's a really expensive product in my opinion, but I barely use a pea sized amount on top of concealer and as it works so well, I'm OK to suck it up and repurchase this time and time again. Although I have to say, I'm pretty sure this will last a good 6 months if not more and that's using it everyday.

Have I convinced you yet?


Weekend wantlist...

The weather has taken the dreaded turn, prepping us for the big change of summer to autumn. So this has of course got me thinking about an AW wardrobe - any excuse! So here's a few bits I've been coveting so far...

Topshop Boutique Silk Joggers - Ever since I got my Zara ones (similar) all I can think about is getting more and more pairs of these 'pyjama' type trousers. So chic but so comfy, perfect for layering up as the temperature drops.

Zara Trench Coat - Come rain or shine, a lightweight trench is always a good call. This slouchy take on a wardrobe classic is perfect for my kind of day to day wear, relaxed, effortless but eye catching, I gots to make it mine.

Weekday Jumper - I'm going to Berlin in October and one thing I cannot wait for is a trip to the Weekday store. I love this brand but never buy too much as funnily enough, I hate shopping online. I'm a funny size in clothes and like a certain fit so I always prefer to try before I buy and am to much of a tight arse to order two sizes just to send one back. This jumper will be top of my list.

Missguided Curve Hem Top - I have a confession to make, I never checked for Missguided, but having a look recently they've got some pretty good offerings, not to mention how great the prices are. this nude top is the perfect layering piece for the colder months. I think it'd be so classic with a pencil skirt or mid calf maxi dress and creepers, understated beaut.

Cos Striped Top - Who can resist stripes for any season, but navy blue, perfect for the latter end of the year. 'nuff said

Sienna Miller's Rose Gold Hue - So I'm booked to go way blonder next week and I'm toying with giving rose gold a go...I may not right this instant but I really love this tone on blondes, not too fashion blogger, pastel overkill and really wearable for pretty much anyone...top marks whoever Sienna's colourist is (please can I come and work for you?!)

Are you looking forward to the new season?


Can't live without | Haircare...

I was thinking about what post to do today and I realised, I'd been hopelessly devoted to these four products in my haircare routine for the best part of the year, and not really given them any air time. Hair is such a big thing these days and being a hair stylist, I use A LOT of products, so if something makes the cut for more than a couple of weeks, let a lone can't live without status, I gotsta tell you guys about it.

I of course, have so many other hair stuffs I can't live without, but these are the most recent additions.

Bumble & bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo - I was never really into this shampoo when it launched, I had no desire to try it as I thought it would be quite stripping on my parched hair and make it feel dry and tacky. How wrong I was, this shampoo smells really fresh and I don't feel any dry, tackiness on my hair, quite the opposite in fact. My hair feels really soft and hydrated without being weighed down, it works perfect with my other texture giving products like mousse, surf spray or root spray, and I even think it stops my hair from feeling as dry with those products as it used to. Is it a must have? At £18.50 I wouldn't say hell yes as I think expensive hair care is even more of a personal preference than skincare or makeup, but as a hair stylist, I will always be an advocate that you really should invest in your shampoo and conditioner, especially if you do spend a lot of money getting your hair cut and coloured, so from that perspective, it really is worth the money, and I must mention it lasts for ages. I must have been using it a good 3 months and I'm only half way through the bottle, I also do two shampoos whenever I wash my hair so when you look at it that way, you wouldn't be pouring money down the drain with this one...

Redken Blonde Glam Colour Enhancer Conditioner - I'm pretty sure this has been rebranded with two offerings now and I've yet to try them but I really love this stuff. This has a very faint purple tinge to it so it's great for keeping ash blondes as fresh as possible and not going too brassy. The reason I prefer this to a purple shampoo is, I usually find purple shampoos can be quite drying, they can also interfere with any toning product which has already been used on your hair and in my opinion, can sometimes flatten the colour rather than freshen it up. I really like the conditioner version as I think it really helps maintain your salon fresh blonde tones if you start using it as soon as you get your colour done. I can use this everytime I wash my hair and it's really nourishing without feeling too heavy, all in all a big thumbs up. I think the newer version comes in two phases and you can intensify the violet depending on how long ago your colour was done which I think sounds fab! There's also a gold one for warmer, more honey blondes, well worth checking out if you feel your colour loses it's 'freshness' easily.

Bumble & bumble Pret a Powder - I was sooo skeptical about this stuff, £21.50 for a hair powder? But having used my fair share of competitor offerings from Redken, VO5 and Batistse, this came out heads and tails above, incredible stuff. For those of you who are unfamiliar with hair powders they primarily give volume, but with that usually comes a quite unpleasant, almost wet, tacky sensation until it dissolves into your hair, it also builds up really quickly and isn't always that malleable. This stuff however; feels a lot talcum powder and dissolves instantly into the hair, no tackiness, no stickiness, just instantly disappears, the white cast does too and you're left with instant volume to those lack lustre locks. It also works as a dry shampoo so no more greasy roots as well as an over all style refresher, you can shake this through longer styles to perk them up a bit and believe me when I tell you, it really works! Yes £21.50 is a lot but I'm telling you this stuff will last you the best part of year and once you have it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

label.m Texturising Volume Spray - If you couldn't tell already, I luuuuurve me some volume. This really smells like Lynx/pre pubescent boy smell but I really like it (cougar) Again it doesn't bulid up, you could add this day after day and still get a fresh effect and it's just an easy option to take that just washed softness out as well as grunging up your natural texture or GHD waves. I have reached for this pretty much everyday since I got it, really, really impressed and I don't see a replacement anytime soon. And yes I have a lot of texture sprays, so that's a pretty big claim.

Any go to hair products you can't live without?


Currently loving | Magnitone Lucid Facial Brush...

Yep, yep, I too was one of those gaaaals coveting the infamous Clarisonic, but painfully lacking in funds to justify a purchase on something that had some great, but also pretty shocking reviews (skin purge anyone?!) So when Look Fantastic offered me the opportunity to trial the Magnitone Lucid, I jumped at the chance,

Now I haven't tried the Clarisonic so I have no basis to make any sort of comparison, so this post is purely my thoughts on my personal experience, with a slightly daunting but thorough way of scrubbing your boat!

Similar to an electric toothbrush, the Magnitone Lucid uses an oscillating brush head to deep clean and exfoliate your skin. There are two settings to choose from, the 'deep clean' setting and the 'sensitive' setting. On first use it is recommended to use it on the sensitive setting and move up to the deep clean if you fancy. Having heard so many mixed reviews on the Clarisonic I have to say, I was a little nervous this kind of exfoliating could do more harm than good, but fancying myself as your guys' own personal guinea pig for all things beauty, I had to give it a go.

And I must say the conclusion is great. I absolutely love using my Magnitone Lucid for cleansing, about once or twice a week. I have congested, oily, uneven(ish) skin and I have found this to be an absolute dream for addressing these specific concerns. I haven't had any irritation or soreness and I definitely haven't experienced any sort of 'skin purging' phase as promised by rival reviews. All I have experienced is squeaky clean skin, reduced pigmentation and a definite difference in the volume of congestion as well as pore appearance around my nose and cheeks.

I've tried a few cleansers with this and for my skin type, I've found gel cleansers have been a definite success, with my favourite being the La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Cleanser.

So is it worth the money? Hell yes, especially as it's currently reduced on Look Fantastic at only £49.99, an absolute bargain when you compare this to the Clarisonic coming in at over £100. The whole thing is also enclosed, making it completely waterproof and able to use in shower. The only thing I'd point out would be to go careful if you do have sensitive or delicate skin and are prone to redness, as it could be a bit hard going, perhaps just stick to problem areas. Other than that, this gets a massive thumbs up from me, as well as Hainsley I should add. For the very few, if any guys that come across this post, I have been having to hide this from Hainsley as he won't stop using it! He even asked if he could 'borrow' it for the week, errrr definitely not love, get your own! (There's a birthday pressie sorted!) I have to say, would it be completely sickening to get him the blue one so we can have some cute his'n'hers skincare...#sorrynotsorry

Would you try the Magnitone Lucid over the Clarisonic? Or have you already got a preference?


Wait for me...


Blonde Series | Dip dye vs ombre...

As summer is here and it's pretty much always going to be a look, I thought I'd do a little series all about blonde hair. I'm not sure how many posts I'm going to do but I plan to chat trends, techniques, tones, products, maintenance, all of it! Some form of blonde is the most popular colour choice in hair salons and is also the most expensive and high maintenance colour choice for the 'wearer' shall we say, hence why I decided to arm you with all the lingo, inspiration and general chit chat so if you fancied dipping your toe in the blonde pool, you'd have a pretty good idea of what you wanted.

The first thing on the agenda, the age old question of dip dye or ombre? I just really, wanted to highlight (excuse the pun) the difference between them as most people will say ombre but mean dip dye and vice versa.

I don't think I need to go into too much detail as I'm hoping my pics above can decipher each meaning for you but to sum up what I'm getting at here's my interpretations of two of the biggest colour trends.

Dip Dye - Essentially, a dip dye to me, is a severe change in colour from dark to light. Of course this can change from light to dark depending on the effect but most of you will recognise it as a transition from dark to light or, from dark to bright, like blue, green or red. There's usually a definitive line between the colours with a slight blend, however updated versions do tend to be more blended, with the most recent interpretation of the dip dye being dark roots and platinum/ash blonde mid lengths and ends with root re-growth taken as wide or narrow as the 'wearer' desires. This is what I would say I have however, I wouldn't refer to my hair as dip dyed as traditionally it is meant to look as if you have literally 'dipped' your ends in dye and surprisingly, some people still don't seem to 'get' why I have roots and I'm constantly asked if I need them done, even by other hairdressers! But you get the general jist, trends are always being reinterpreted and updated but essentially this is my definition of a dip dye.

Ombre - Now one thing to remember is that Ombre is really supposed to be a very natural look. A seamless and subtle blend of dark to light playing on natural tones of brown, caramel and blonde found in your own hair colour. Khloe Kardashian and Sarah Jessica Parker are great examples of this technique and more recent versions do tend to include slightly brighter (when I say brighter I mean very blonde) pieces running through the front section and around the baseline of the hair. Really it is a technique to make your hair look naturally lightened and plays with your own natural tones to create a more bespoke finish. No two ombres should ever be the same and are completely unique to the 'wearer'. Needless to say Ombre doesn't always have to include blonde, you can play with brown, caramel, copper, red even pinks, purples and blues if you want a more updated version, but like I say essentially this is what the traditional definition of Ombre is, soft, natural blends running through the length of the hair to enhance the natural tones.

Ooooh I could talk like this for hours! I'd love to go into techniques in this post but then it really would be never ending, I will save that for my next one.

Any questions that you'd like me to cover in upcoming posts feel free to comment below or tweet me using #hairymary @this_girlslife...yeh I know it's a bit dodge but at least you'll remember it!

Also let me know if this is helpful would ya?!