Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Hair Care Routine

Hiya! I hope you're okay.

Oh, hair care. Unfortunately it's something I've been pretty slack with over the years! However over the past 2 years, I've been caring for my hair more than ever and the results have been shocking. My hair has been on a wild ride. I've been every colour you can imagine and at one point just over 2 years ago, it gave up the ghost. It held on to a green/blue colour I really didn't want and just started literally breaking off EVERYWHERE. That was when I decided to start from the very beginning. Have a complete do-over. I cut my hair into a long bob and didn't dye it at all for just over 2 years. I managed to get it completely back to my natural medium brown colour and I enjoyed that for a long time. Until now. I've actually started the process of going all over bleached. I'LL NEVER LEARN! Honestly I think if you've been a fan of colouring and experimenting with different shades, you'll never really stop. This time is different though, I swear. My hair care routine has been amped-up and I'll share it with you now. Including styling tools I recommend!

I guess I'll start with the tool I use the most. Hair straightener! There's just something about super sleek, straight hair that makes me happy. I feel sexy and mysterious. High fashion etc etc etccc. When I'm shopping for straighteners I always look for fancy features. I'm looking for something that is looking to work with my hair, rather than just looking to fry it off. These beautiful Panasonic Nanoe straighteners have a pretty nifty feature. Air holes at the tip of their ceramic plates which create little particles that work to prevent heat damage by controlling the moisture in your hair. Leaving your hair super silky.

Next up, a curling wand! Personally, I love curling wands with bobbly bits on the barrel. I just can't make the straight barrels work! And don't get me started on those curlers with the little bits that clip your hair to the barrel. I feel like that's just asking for split ends. These wands with bobbly barrels do all the work for you, and they stop your hair from slipping around. I'd recommend this BaByliss Diamond Radiance wand. It is perfect for creating loose, beachy waves and require no effort on your part. Bonus.

Now we get into the true hair care. If you're using the tools I've listed above, you're in desperate need of a heat protector. Especially if your hair is processed, but even natural virgin hair benefits from heat protection. I swear by this Paul Mitchell heat styler. It doesn't dry your hair out or make it feel crispy, it doesn't make it greasy either! It leaves your hair smooth and protected. Plus, it's sulphate free. Which is important.

Ah, on to my favourite shampoo IN THE WORLD. This is Kevin Murphy's Angel Wash shampoo. I've noticed such a positive different in my hair and my scalp since switching to professional sulphate free products.

"But Gemma, What made you choose to avoid sulphate in the first place?"

Well I didn't really know much about them before speaking to my hairdresser about wanting to improve my hair care routine while being bleached all over. She informed me about the bad effects sulphate can have on you. It's been known to cause scalp irritation. It can irritate acne. With sulphates being a detergent, they strip your hair of oil, but they do this too well and leave your hair dried out. Sulphate can also cause your hair colour to fade, seeing as they are there to strip your hair of oil. It has also been linked to increased hair loss. Seriously give it a lil Google. Sulphate isn't my friend anymore.

This shampoo is so gentle, delicate and caring for hair with any heat damage, split ends, colour damage etc. It's a bit of TLC for your locks. It smells beautiful and leaves your hair feeling weightless.

Another bonus step in my hair care routine are hair masks. Personally I love shopping for moisturising, repairing hair masks like Kerastase Resistance Masque or the L'Oreal Professional Vitamino Colour Jelly Mask. However, you really need to choose a mask that will benefit your personal hair type and specific needs.
I also make home-made masks out of natural oils. Coconut oil, Argan oil, Rose oil etc. There are tonnes of simple recipes on Google if you want to make your own!

I hope this helped!

Til next time,

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Something Like... Gucci

Hiya! I hope you're all good.

This is my second post in my 'Something Like...' series! This series is designed to show you what designer dupes and high fashion inspired pieces are available on the high street right now! If you're a big fan of fashion but can't afford to splash the cash, I have some affordable alternatives in every post.

This week's post is Something Like... Gucci! I was shopping the other day and couldn't help noticing how there are so many items on the high street inspired by Gucci right now. Bees and floral print EVERYWHERE. Let's get into it...

Above you can see a lil collage I've put together comparing Gucci loafers on the left, to more affordable versions on the right. I love how wild Gucci loafers can look, and high street brands haven't disappointed! H&M have the most beautiful Gucci inspired loafers available right now, but they are selling out FAST. There are none available in any of my local stores, but I'm going to keep trying. They're selling them in black, coral and that beautiful white and gold ornate print on the top right.

H&M Loafers
ASOS Loafers
New Look Loafers

Also a little bonus mention, if by any chance you're in the UK and you're a size 5, these gorgeous vintage Gucci loafers are up for sale on the ASOS Marketplace! Snap 'em up!

Oh bags. Bags... bags. Gucci bags are some of my absolute favourite designer bags, and the bags I've found are so similar! You could buy all three of these more affordable bags, and still be spending no where near the price of a Gucci bag. Winner winner.

Topshop Bag
Primark Bag
Accessorize Bag

That brings me to the end of my findings. Keep in mind that throughout this post, I've linked back to all of the affordable items, ya know, just in case you felt compelled to purchase! These aren't the only Gucci inspired pieces on the high street right now. Keep your eyes open and let me know if you find anything!

If you want to check out the other posts in my Something Like... series, please check the links below :)

Something Like... Balmain

Til next time,

Monday, 4 September 2017

#MusicMonday 04/09/2017

Hiya! I hope you're okay!

Another week, another Monday, another Music Monday playlist! This week's playlist has a very warm, cozy, lovey dovey vibe to it. I find these tracks so relaxing, perfect for a Monday evening and even more perfect when you remember that Autumn is literally just around the corner! The perfect soundtrack for date night.

I hope this playlist chills you out as much as it does me.
til next time,

Monday, 28 August 2017

#MusicMonday 28/08/2017

Hiya! I hope you're okay! Enjoying the bank holiday no doubt if you're in the UK ;)

As a part of my Music Monday series, I'm here to drop some sweet tunes in your ears to help cushion the harsh blow of the bank holiday weekend coming to an end. Sit back and enjoy!

til next time,

Monday, 21 August 2017

Something Like... Balmain

Hiya! I hope you're okay.

This is a series I've been beyond excited to start posting! May I introduce my brain baby,

'Something Like...'

I spend a lot of my personal time searching for high street clothes that are inspired by high end fashion brands. So I figured, why not turn it into a series?! That way I can share what I've found with you! Every week I will be putting together a new post comparing my findings to the expensive versions, and every week will be focused on a specific brand.

This week I am focusing on Balmain. I have no doubt you've seen Balmain designs around before. Whether it was on Brigitte Bardot in her gorgeous gown designed by Pierre Balmain, Audrey Hepburn's wedding dress in 1954 or maybe you've seen it worn more recently by the likes of the Kardashians, the Jenners, Gigi Hadid, Rihanna... pretty much everyone wants a piece of Balmain and it isn't hard to see why. So I've been digging around trying to find wearable, affordable pieces that are inspired by Balmain designs, and I've found some gems. Have a browse...

Missguided came through for me in this search! They stock a lot of pieces that are clearly inspired by Balmain and I'm here for it. I absolutely love these stud embellished high-rise black skinny jeans! The Balmain pair are available in Selfridges for £940. The Missguided stud embellished jeans are available for an incredible £13! The pocket details are missing on the Missguided pair but for £13, they're a pretty solid dupe.

My second finding is this beautiful Navy Military style blazer. I haven't seen a dupe this good in a while! The Balmain blazer comes in at £1,355 while the Missguided dupe comes in at only £40. They're available in many different colours too, just in case you love it THAT much you need every colour. I wouldn't judge you. Honest.

Next up is this cute knitted tartan skirt. Absolutely perfect for Autumn and Winter which are just around the corner. To be fair, everything in this post is perfect for the upcoming seasons. The Balmain skirt is £605 in Harrods and the ASOS skirt is £30. Can't go wrong with tartan.

My last beautiful finding are these black suede ankle boots. The Balmain boots are available on Net-A-Porter for £745 and the PrettyLittleThing boots are available for £35. Paired with some jeans or a skirt, heaven. A heart eye emoji would be included if I could.

So that is the end of this post, but just the beginning of the series! Next week I'll be posting Something Like... Gucci!

In the meantime, if you're interested, here's a fascinating documentary about Olivier Rousteing and his work at Balmain.

Please let me know if you enjoyed this post.

'til next time,

#MusicMonday 21/08/2017

Hiya! I hope you're okay.

I have decided to bring a new series onto my blog! *Insert party popper emoji*
It's called 'Music Monday'
Every week I'm going to put together a new playlist that I'll post on a Monday. It'll contain an hour worth of good music that I've been loving for the past week. There will be a mixture of brand new tracks and some older songs.

Let me tell you, I am literally obsessed with music. It is one of the biggest loves in my life. Other than food. Obvs. I'm putting together these playlists to introduce others to new music, and to have somewhere I can talk about the music I love without my friends getting bored of me ;)

I've arranged the songs into the perfect order. Just let the playlist flow from the beginning, kick back and enjoy!

'til next time,

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Improving Blog Visuals

Hiya! I hope you're okay.

My little blog, my corner of the internet has just passed it's 3rd birthday and it's lead to me thinking, what can I do next to take it up to the next level? How can I improve the overall look of my photos and how can I make everything a bit more 'me'. So I've put together this short list of products I'm currently saving up for, I thought I'd talk about them in a blog post just in case you're in the same position and you're looking for products that can take your blog and your photos to the next level.

Okay, I'll kick off with the most expensive product and work my way down! The first thing on my list is a decent camera. Probably quite obvious to most people but I've been using my iPhone camera for the past 3 years, and while that has been incredible for quality, I feel like I want to take things up a notch. The specific camera that I'm lusting after is the Lumix G 4K Compact System Camera Panasonic, and boi is it fancy. It provides 4k photos and 4k videos, it is sleek, compact and lightweight. Having my Mother working in the photography industry, I've spent time around a lot of photography obsessed people. I know a few people who have owned or do own this camera and I've only ever heard glowing reviews. Which is what originally attracted me to this camera. Their praise is backed up by pretty much all of the reviews I've managed to read online. I've been advised that it is perfect for camera 'newbs' because the controls are very simple. Which, let's be honest, I think I need. Seeing as I've only had experience with phone cameras.
I do a lot of intricate work with makeup and I need something that is really going to pick up every little detail and display every colour as true to life as possible. I have also been told that it is very easy to pick a high quality single frame from a video, which is like music to my ears because eventually I would like to start filming makeup videos. When I pluck up the courage! Picking a high quality thumbnail should be easy with this camera. I am so excited to get my little mits on it, I will definitely do a more in depth review once I've managed to save enough £££ to buy it. So watch this space.

Second on my list is, of course, a Nova Diva Ring Light. This ties in very closely to the camera I just mentioned. I find that I tend to struggle getting nice photos of my makeup looks. Up until this point I've just used natural sunlight. I can never seem find that 'perfect' lighting and I feel like now I need a piece of equipment to guarantee that I'll get good lighting no matter the weather. I know that a lot of bloggers and YouTubers use Nova Diva Ring Lights to improve the quality of their content, it was actually a YouTuber who first introduced me to it. Well, not directly, but they were talking about it in a video! Close enough ;)
The Nova is actually just the base, 'beginner' model of Diva Ring Lights, eventually I would like to move onto the Super Nova which has more features but I'd rather buy the cheapest base model and experiment from there. Blog photos are going to be LIT. Sorry. *fire emoji*

Finally, I want to talk about flat lay accessories. I never used to think about flat lay accessories, I just used to place my products onto the board and take pictures. They still looked kind of cute, but as I said, I'm all about going to that next level now. I want my photos to look more exciting and put together, rather than just having products laying on their own. The other night I was just scrolling around the internet and I found probably the best website ever. It is Not On The High Street. I've been on there before but never really had a look around. They only have a whole table decoration/accessories section!! They stock table fairy lights, table crystals, metal plates in different shapes, small candles, little storage pots, little signs... everything you could imagine. I also recommend Hobby Craft for artificial flowers and small craft essentials like sequins, gems, buttons etc. I can't wait to start jazzing up my flat lays.

So that is my plan for now, a camera, a ring light and taking up my flat lays several notches. If you have any other recommendations or if you've got plans to spice up your blog, please leave a comment and let me know.

Til next time,

Friday, 28 July 2017

Bloggers Recognition Award

A mahooooosive thank you to Megan at Love, Megan Anne for tagging me in the Bloggers Recognition Award! It completely blows me away that I would even be considered or thought of by anyone else, mind extremely blown. I am so so thankful Megan! Make sure you go and check her blog out if you haven't before!

Lipstick Soul: Humble Beginnings:

In the words of the Mad Hatter & the March Hare "start at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop." A fantastic place to start I might add.
I started Lipstick Soul in 2014 when I was just getting back into makeup. The reason I say 'getting back into makeup' is a story I've never really told in detail before and I guess now is a good a time as any.
In 2012 I was studying a "Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair and Media makeup Diploma" I was training to be a makeup artist. It wasn't a beauty course! A lot of people mix those up. I can't do facials or massages and I can't wax, thread or remove unwanted hair. I am trained to do makeup for TV, film, stage, high fashion shows and photo shoots, weddings etc. I was about a year and a half into my course and my unthinkable happened. I noticed I was falling out of love with makeup and the general makeup industry. It took me a while to realise that it was down to the attitude of my tutors. These people were industry professionals. They'd worked on very well known TV shows and films, they'd worked with A-List clients, but they had very toxic attitudes towards the industry. Maybe without even knowing they were doing it. They bad mouthed the treatment of makeup artists to a point where I just couldn't find the energy to turn up to college anymore. I know that they need to tell the truth and get rid of unrealistic expectations, but they really did go overboard and made me totally turn away from makeup.
As a result, I dropped out of the course 6 months before my completion date. Looking back, that is one of my biggest regrets but also it introduced me to the blogging world. Silver linings n all that.
I started to collect makeup again. I started to pick up brushes and tools and experiment with makeup again. I was looking for a place to express my creativity and my love for beauty and skin care, and it was actually my Mum who suggested I start a blog!
Since then I have been recognised by highly respected makeup brands, I've worked with amazing companies, I've had some incredible opportunities and this is just the beginning. Most importantly I have met some of the sweetest, most supportive people through blogging. I am forever grateful for the way things have turned out.

Two pieces of advice:
1. Keep Pushing. I know it's tough when you put a post out there and it doesn't seem to get much interaction or recognition. I know it absolutely sucks when you see other bloggers doing so well that it makes you question your ability. I know it sucks when you're sitting wracking your brain for something to write about, but writers block just has you stumped. Trust me you are good enough and this happens to EVERYONE. Every blogger's 'time' comes and yours will too. Keep writing about your passion and eventually you'll start noticing more engagement and more support from like-minded people.

2. Be yourself. I suppose these two pieces of advice go hand in hand. Be yourself. Write like yourself. The biggest tip that I use, is to write like you're talking to a friend. Not a group of friends, just one really close friend. It makes the post you're writing seem so much more personal to whoever is reading it! As long as you're using somewhat 'professional' decent grammar, you're set. Write about things you feel something about. Even if it's a list of products you don't recommend because of bad experiences, your feelings will shine through. Just be yourself. I found at the beginning I tried to write like other bloggers. I sounded like a robot and it wasn't cute. Be you, hun.

Now for my nominations. These lovely ladies are nominated because I think they're some of the best women this lil blogging world has to offer ;)
I enjoy their blogs, I enjoy their Tweets, I enjoy them and I want to hear how their blog got started. Go and give them all some lovin'!
I am nominating:

Kimberly from TheKimKonnection (twitter: @KayyThevv)
Naomi from OhSixEleven (twitter: @ohsixeleven)
Alicia from UnderBeautysSurface (twitter: @UnderbeautyS)
Francesca from MyLifeInRoseTintedGlasses (twitter: @Francesca_nels)
Em Jane from OutOfTeaBags (twitter: @OutOfTeaBag)
Megan from ItsMeganQuinn (twitter: @itsmeganquinn)
Yasmin from YasminIsabellaBlog (twitter: @cluelessyas)
Faye from Fayebelinexo (twitter: @fayebelinexo)
Megan Beth from MeganBethBlogs (twitter: @MeganBethBlogs)
Kumba from Kumbearxo (twitter: @Kumbearxo)
Charlotte from CharlotteJonsie (twitter: @CharlotteJonsie)
Alice from AliceInWonderlust (twitter: @aliceinwlust)
Saffy from SaffyDixon (twitter: @saffy_dixon)
Sarell from HeySinderella (twitter: @heysinderella)
Char from MemoirsMusings (twitter: @char_x0)

Til next time!

Gemma x