New Hair at BLEACH London

It was safe to say, once I’d dabbled with Fudge’s Paintbox colours, I got the colour bug. In that post I spoke about how much I wanted hair like My Little Pony, and I’d toyed with the idea of bleaching my whole hair in order to get a whole head of pink.

I loved the pink hair so much that I decided I was going to go for the kill and do my whole head. I knew I needed to go somewhere amazing who knew what they were doing – BLEACH London were the first people I thought of. All the session stylists I work with rave about it, and it’s well known that if you want a crazy colour in London, BLEACH is the place to go.

BLEACH has recently opened a concession in Topshop Oxford Circus, but I visited their original Dalston salon to get my pink-on. It’s based in the heart of East London, slotting in nicely with the local vibe.

The salon is lined with glass bottles, once holding soft drinks, now where the magic dye is kept. The colourists mix up their own potions and tones at the back from the nameless containers. Very mysterious and so very cool.

I spoke to Sapphire, the manager, and also the lovely lady that would be doing my hair, about what I wanted.  I have so much hair, that is very thick, and I use straigheners almost every time I wash my hair – all these factors were working against me in my quest for a full head of pink locks. She advised me that my hair would snap off, and would be very coarse… it was all of a sudden sounding less appealing! I was disappointed that I couldn’t have the hair I had envisioned, but at the same time I was grateful that Sapphire was professional enough to notice the warning signs to stop me from ending up with a rubbish head of hair!

She said she could take my blonde up a little further, giving me more area for the pink to work with – but when I thought about how that might look once I’d decided I had enough of the pink, I decided against it. Although now, I’m kind of wishing I did it!

In the end I went for, what they call, a ‘Super Cool Colour’, and boy, is it super cool! I had seen an image of a girl with pastel pink hair, with turquoise and purple running through the ends that I was using as hairspiration. I showed it to Sapphire who said that my hair probably wouldn’t go those tones as it wasn’t quite blonde enough, but she could make it quite strong, which would eventually fade down to a more pastel version of itself. I was sold. 
She took her time thoroughly coating all of my hair, and blending the purple and blue into the ends. It was a much better than what I’d managed when I did my own dye job a few weeks previously! It was left for 20 minutes before being rinsed and I actually said “wow” as I saw it being dried. I was in love.

The only problem is, now I really really want a whole head of it!

To find out more and to book an appointment, visit www.bleachlondon.co.uk

Illamasqua Paranormal Collection

Next Tuesday (30th April) sees the launch of Illamasqua’s latest collection – Paranormal – where everything is not as it seems. I went along to the launch this week, which was very eerie, and had a look at the new things on offer.

The new range consists of 3 nail polishes which – to the eye look like normal, pretty nail polish, but are secretly UV nail polishes that glow in UV black light – Parnormal UV Nail Varnish is limited edition and comes in Ouija (bright pink), Omen (bright green) and Seance (bright purple) as well as a clear UV topcoat – Geist.

The eyeshadow quad, Paranormal Palette, looks just like a palette of pink, green copper and purple shadows – but when you touch them they are squishy – kind of Moondough-esque.

The new gel liner, Infinity, promises to be blacker than black… and the rest of the things, I was lucky enough to get to take home for a play…

Hydra Veil was one of the most exciting discoveries for me on the night. I rarely get in a fluster over skincare, but this is something else – literally like nothing I have seen before. It’s main purpose is to be used as a primer before foundation, to get rid of those flaky bits we get near the nose (or anywhere!) and to hydrate under the eyes – but could also be used to hydrate the whole face as part of a skincare routine or on a long haul flight. When you open the tub, there is a little scoop spoon attached – and this is where the fun begins.

Hydra Veil looks like any thick, gel-like product. To the touch, it’s bouncy – like a jelly. You use the scoop spoon to get some product out – and the jelly just grows back over and settles back down to a flat topped product again, with no indentations – it really is magic!

I had a chat with David Horne on the night, Illamasqua’s Director of Product Development – and he said that he rejected so many products before this because it wasn’t settling perfectly. This one has definitely hit the nail on the head – I can’t stop testing it!

As for the product itself, when you rub it between your fingers it turns to an almost water-like substance. One scoop is enough to apply to your whole face. It smells divine and leaves skin feeling hydrated and ready for make up. David said it works in perfect harmony with Skin Base Foundation, so I shall be giving that a go tonight.

There are two new matte lipsticks – Posture (as above) and ESP – a darker, bolder purple. Posture is a cool toned purple which can look different in different lights. Sometimes it looks really purple, others pinkish, and sometimes a little nude. If you like MAC Blankety, I think you’d like this. It’s the more purple, matte version. I am wearing it in the photos below.

The new Gleam highlighter shade is a warm bronze illuminating shade. When I first laid eyes on it, it reminded me of MAC’s Cream Colour Base in Seaside – but it’s much more coppery and fluid than Seaside.

As I swatched it, I thought it would make a perfect highlighter for a darker skinned person – absolutely beautiful on black skin… so me doing what I always do – put it on my eyes.

It looked really pretty colour-wise, but formula-wise, the eyes weren’t the best idea as it creased within 5 minutes. I decided, after all, to try it on my cheekbones – and WOW, I’m in love! The Gleam actually worked quite well as a base for a more grungey, smoked out look too.

The nail polish I have is Ouija. It looks bright pink in the bottle, but when you catch it, you see silvery tones to it too. On the nails it looks almost metallic – then in UV light it is gorgeous and luminous (but unfortunately I don’t have a black light to show you!)

My thumb nail shows the colour of Seance polish, which I had applied at the event… and this is Ouija!

It hits stores and online at www.illamasqua.com on Tuesday 30th April. Whatcha think?

Clinique Chubby Sticks for Eyes

When the nation went crazy for Clinique’s Chubby Sticks for Lips, it seemed natural for them to extend the range. The Chubby Sticks are a perfect design for easy application on the go and next week, they are introducing 12 shades for the eyes to the Chubby Stick range.

I went down to the Clinique Head Office last week for their launch, which featured a cute little candy shop and teeny milkshakes from bottles… and got to play with all 12 shades of the new Chubby Sticks.

I was given 2 to take away with me – was complete luck of the drawer as to which 2 that would be – I ended up with Portly Plum and Big Blue.

The outer design is exactly the same as the Chubby Sticks for Lips – they are in a crayon shaped barrel and removing the silver lid reveals a crayon-like product, which you twist the base of to get more of the product out. The only noticeable difference is that Chubby Sticks for Eyes are rounded at the end for easy application to the eye lid, while the lip version is pointed to apply to the lips with ease.

Neither of these are shades I would have picked out – my initial reaction would be to go for the neutral and bronzey shades (Whopping Willow Fuller Fudge and Ample Amber in particular, I’m talking to you!) which, with about 5 different tones, are just gorgeous. However, I seem to be having a little affair with purples at the moment, so was pleased I got to try out Portly Plum. It is a dusky purple with a hint of pinky purpley iridescence. Big Blue reminds me of the colour of Cinderella’s dress – it’s a very pale blue with an almost frosty finish, with pale blue iridescence.

I applied the Portly Plum for the first time and noticed that once it’s on the eyes it is much more sheer than when I had swatched it on my hand. One sweep left a sheer wash, which I patted in with my 4th finger to create a base. One more sweep left a much more opaque finish – it is definitely very buildable and I could have gone over it again and again to create a more dramatic look. I found the shape of the bullet easy to apply the product under my lower lash line too. I used a brush to blend out the edges of the shadow then added some eyeliner and mascara and this is how it looked. (I put a dab of the blue in the inner corners too just to see if it could be used for highlighting purposes… I think it looked ok!)

I found it to be a purpley brown on the eye which is right up my street, so will definitely wear it again! I’d also like to try it as a base to eyeshadows – I think this would look great with a black smokey eye over the top.


The full range of colours is Bountiful Beige, Lots O’Latte, Fuller Fudge, Ample Amber, Whopping Willow, Portly Plum, Pink & Plenty, Curvaceous Coal, Lavish Lilac, Big Blue, Mighty Moss and Massive Midnight. I swatched all of the 12 shades at the event….

There are some lovely ones there aren’t there?!

They launch on 15th February at Clinique Counters nationwide, and www.clinique.co.uk priced at £16

Nails of the Day – Paul and Joe 018 (The City Never Sleeps)

The instant attraction to Paul & Joe’s make up collection is the packaging – it’s gorgeous, with an elegant edge and a 50s vibe going on – making them products I wish I had a dressing table that I could leave them out on!

The nail polish is no acception to that – the bottle is almost a curved triangle, with a floral motif in the glass, with a long faux pearl handle with some gold detailing – just beautiful.

I find it odd when products don’t have names – but I’ve Googled about and found that in America this is also called The City Never Sleeps. I feel better now, and I think the name is rather apt!

018 is the first of Paul & Joe’s nail polishes I’ve tried. It’s a deep purple colour which looks almost black in some lights, with tiny flecks of pink and blue microglitter.

It was very easy to apply – the long handle helped that – and was a good consistency to paint two coats to get complete opacity then dry to a gloss-tastic finish. As it was drying I noticed that, rather than smelling like nail polish, it smelled of old fashioned lipsticks – it’s a good smell!

I love this polish – the shimmer isn’t too shimmery, but it’s just so interesting to look at up close!

Nails of the Day – NARS Purple Rain

I remember when this polish came out, I just had to have it, and strangely enough I don’t wear it very often at all. This is probably the fourth time I’ve worn it! It’s a really gorgeous deep purple colour, and if you look extremely closely you can see tiny blue and red/pink flecks of microglitter. It’s multi-tonal without being frosty or too OTT, which is what drew me to it in the first place.

It is very dark, and in some lights can almost look black, but in daylight (like when this photo was taken) it is most definitely the most stunning jewel shade of purple.

This is the first and only NARS polish I’ve owned – I love the sleekness of the bottle with the matte lid, the only down side is that the brush is relatively thin so it’s near on impossible to do a ‘3-stroke manicure’. The polish is very opaque – you could definitely get away with just one coat, although I did two for the purpose of the photo.

I’d definitely like to explore more of the NARS nail range. Do you have any of their polishes that you would recommend?

Nails of the Day – Accessorize Electric Purple

I’d never tried an Accessorize nail polish before – but as soon as I saw this on the display stand it jumped out at me, I had to have it!

I’m not really keen on the short, stubby bottle – I like a longer wand as I find it easier to apply the polish with. The polish seemed to rub itself off if I went over where I had already painted, so had to leave it to set slightly before adding a second coat. It was fine after that, and was totally opaque after the two coats.

The colour is a very blue purple. Purple is one of the hardest colours to photograph and get a true representation, but I think the photo has depicted the colour pretty well.

I fancied shaking it up a bit, so added some pink Nails Inc Shoreditch splodges and outlined them with my black striper and dotter and ended up with this…

As well as in Accessorize stores, their polishes can be bought at Superdrug, or online, and are £4 for a 10ml bottle. 
Do you own any of their polishes? What’s your verdict?

Nails of the Day – Color Club Gimme a Grape Big Kiss

My nails are in seeeeeerrrriously bad condition at the moment – they keep peeling and splitting, so I’ve had to cut them really short. So short that they hurt (physically, I’m learning to live with the emotional effects). I know they could do with a couple of weeks of Dr Lewins treatment, but I just can’t face the thought of two whole polish-free weeks!

I think bright colours look absolutely fab on short nails, so I took the opportunity to try out Gimme a Grape Big Kiss by Color Club, a scented neon purple shade. This polish is part of the Wicked Sweet collection – a range of foodily scented nail varnishes released for Summer 2011. The scent on Gimme a Grape Big Kiss, is obviously grape – but that fake grape smell that you used to get on scratch and sniff stickers as a child, and very highly scented. I applied two coats of the polish, and because I was more fussed about preserving the colour than the scent, I used Seche Vite over the top. The smell was still very strong, but not overpowering in any way.

The swatch photos that I’d seen had shown Gimme a Grape Big Kiss to be ultra-neon, when in fact it’s not. It is definitely the brightest purple polish I own, but not sure I could go as far to giving it a “neon” tag. It has a fuchsia tone to it but would definitely fall into the purple category.

This is the first Color Club polish I own and I’m thoroughly impressed. I’m not sure if it’s the formula of the polish, or the fact I have super-short nails at the moment, but this has lasted for four days on my nails without any sign of wear and tear, and that is a long long time in my world!

I’d really like to try some other Color Club polishes – if you have any recommendations please let me know in the comments box 🙂

Revlon Scents of Summer Nail Polishes

I heard about Revlon’s scented nail polishes via Twitter and immediately decided I neeeeeeeeeeeeded the Bubblegum one – I love the smell of bubblegum, and I, personally, can’t have enough pink polishes in my collection. I kept going to Boots in the hopes of finding it but all I kept seeing were the purple (Passion Fruit) and frosty green (Beach).  I was told to try in larger stores, which I was all set to do, until the lovely Revlon sent me a package with 5 of the 8 scented polishes in it.

I love the idea of scented polish – it’s something I’ve never seen before and it leaves me wondering what will be next in the nail polish world. You would think that the fact the polishes are fragranced highly enough for you to smell them, they would be laden with chemicals which can’t be any good to sniff. Revlon have actually been free of DBP, Toulene and Formaldehyde since 1992. Sniff away.

I have tested these out over the past couple of weeks and really enjoyed them. The scents are meant to be reminiscent of summer, and while they are summery smells, I can’t help think that some of them have been named wrongly! Bubblegum smells of watermelon, Passion Fruit smells of raspberries, and Peach Smoothie of refreshers! Whatever their names, they are all yummy smells.

I noticed that Mad About Mango, and Ocean Breeze seemed to be the strongest smelling – I could smell them every time my hands went near my face – including while eating which was a little weird. Peach Smoothie’s smell seemed to fade the fastest.

I used two coats of each polish, without a base coat. I was advised that the smell would be more present without it. The nail polish has lasted well, with tipwear after a couple of days but no major chips. I love the formula of Revlon polishes and Passion Fruit is a prime example of how a formula should be – it glides on so effortlessly which really helps to get that perfect manicured look.

I’m really pleased I got to try these out – thank you very much Revlon!

These polishes are limited edition, after August 2011 you won’t find them on your shelves. They are priced at £6.49 but are on special offer of 2 for £8 at Boots at the moment. I highly recommend them!

Nails of the Day – OPI Houston We Have a Purple

Houston We Have a Purple is taken from OPI’s spring collection – the Texas Collection. It is a really nice raspberry toned colour, which is highly glossy. I have come to discover that I don’t like jelly nail polishes. I don’t like being able to see the line of the white of my nail under my polish, I don’t like the opacity.  I am normally a massive OPI fan – I think they are great colours with great staying power, but in this case it began chipping after just one day. I was so unimpressed that it’s already gone on eBay.

Nails of the Day – Sephora by OPI Casting Call

A friend of mine picked this up for me on a trip to the States. I haven’t worn it for ages but fancied it… I have had it on for 4 days and still no signs of chipping (2 coats with Seche Vite). While we’re on the topic of Seche Vite… there’s nothing like the feeling of a brand new bottle of topcoat is there!? Posche and Seche Vite both tend to go thick half way through, but I love love love them before they get to that point!

Casting Call is a heathery-pinky-purple colour, a dusty-rose quite similar to Eyeko’s Tea Rose. I think it would look fabulous with a tan.