I remember when hair straighteners were chunky plastic tongs that had plates 3 inches wide, creaked open and shut, and didn’t do much actual straightening. In high school I had a friend who took 45 minutes each day to straighten her hair, and she’d still have tell-tale curls all around her hairline where the straightener was too unwieldy to reach.
Anyway, straightening isn’t like that anymore. You can get functional straighteners for an affordable price, and brands are coming out with novel straightening devices all the time. One such device is the Remington Keratin & Argan Oil Nourish Straightening Brush*, which I was sent to try. Was I intrigued? Yes. Skeptical? Even more so, which makes for my favourite type of hair-instrument-review.
I don’t write a lot about hair on here because I am Not That Great at it, as the polish (or lack thereof) on this hairstyle will betray. I do enjoy playing with my hair, though, and in particular with my hot rollers. I learned how to use hot rollers at makeup school and I largely rate them above a curling wand for their versatility. (That being said, I just wrote about using a NuMe wand on xoVain, if you’re interested to hear my thoughts on YouTube’s favourite hot tool.)
Callum and I have been watching the BBC’s Farm series (Victorian Farm, Wartime Farm etc) and despite my mixed feelings on Ruth Goodman (I love her really, but she’s hard work to watch sometimes) I was really interested to try copying some of the hairstyles she had in Wartime Farm—ordinary everyday 1940s hair, not glamorous pinup shit.
I swear I’ve spent every spare minute in the past week washing my hair. At school we have to be hair models for each other, so my hair is getting absolutely thrashed daily. So. much. hairspray. It’s almost enough to put me off doing anything with my hair besides a ponytail, but Kate from gh0stparties came to my rescue with a half up top-knot video that was perfect to try with the Fudge Powder Styler*. I’m no stranger to styling powders, but this one is a particularly fine specimen.
Purple lipstick is my jam. I crowned MAC Heroine as my favourite when I was interviewed for FishHead Magazine, and I think it still holds true. So rarely are purple lipsticks a) actually purple, rather than simply a purple-toned pink, and b) somehow still acceptable enough for you to wear them all day without everyone commenting on your lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I like when people comment on my lipstick, but sometimes it’s more of an ‘oh, your lipstick is …interesting‘, rather than a genuine ‘I really like your lipstick’. (I’ve swatched some of my other favourite purple lipsticks further down this post.)
Second note: My hair is finally long enough to do a ballerina bun! I figured I should try the bun donut I bought, seeing as how it didn’t get used in my xoVain hair tutorial.
I got a fringe cut in last time I got my hair done, because I’m an idiot and I was bored with growing my hair out. Of course, I regretted it immediately. The fault is one hundred percent my own, and zero percent Matt’s (he’s my hair stylist). I am lazy when it comes to styling my hair. I’m also not very good at using a straightener, and a straightener is what my fringe needs to look normal.
I wrote about this for xoVain in a post that went up today, but I wanted to include some anecdotes that got cut in the xo editorial process.
When I started watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, the most confusing part was the references to so many different makeup brushes, all labeled with letters and numbers with no consistent system of categorisation. Oh, the MAC 217? OF COURSE. While that ‘of course’ was initially sarcastic, I quickly learned that if there was one brush to have, the MAC 217 was it. Fluffy and good for everything from blending powder eyeshadow to undereye concealer. Expensive, but one day I must have been feeling flush and I ordered myself one from Nordstrom for $24 USD and I use it for everything ever since.
The thing with brushes, though, is the fewer you have, the more you have to wash them. Washing brushes is boring. So I decided to buy myself some more blending brushes… but slightly cheaper this time. I had heard the Bdellium Tools 776 was a good dupe for the MAC 217, and much less expensive. Now that I own both, I thought it might be useful to compare them (along with some other, inferior blending brushes).
It me, Harriet, here for a little guest appearance. This has been sitting unfinished for a little while but my positive vibes re: these products have not changed. Stay fancy xo.
I’m currently sitting up in bed with wet hair, fresh outta the shower, so this seems like an extremely appropriate time to talk about the shampoo, conditioner and cleanser that I’ve been using and loving lately. I found Sorbet while reading back through Kirsty’s weekly favourites at Makeup Obsessives, and pretty much right away I had eight tabs open with stuff I wanted to try. Brianne was kind enough to send a few things to try, and the short answer is that I’m really, really impressed.
By now you probably all know that I used to have bleached blonde hair. If you didn’t know that, well, now you do. Given my hair is naturally so dark, it was quite a mission to maintain the very pale blonde that I was after. It was an incredibly expensive time for me, and an incredibly damaging time for my hair. I’ll throw in some pictures of what my beautiful stunning perfect post-salon hair looked like, and then what it looked like every day (not so beautiful stunning perfect, no matter how hard I tried). The products pictured above are what kept my hair from dissolving completely!
Reverse washing doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. You put your conditioner in your hair first, rinse it out and then go in with your shampoo. I was reluctant to try this because my current haircare (Bumble and Bumble) is expensive, and I don’t want to waste it by messing around with weird old wives’ tales, but Kate swears by it. There aren’t many bloggers whose advice I take without question, but she’s definitely up there.
I have to be honest, I’ve never really been one to curl my hair. Up until this point, all my ventures with curlers have resulted in tangles or a disappointing poodle situation. See this photo of me at prom in 2008 as evidence of the latter.
I took this as a sign that I should never curl my hair again, until my girl Ruby Frost (you know, my girl, like we’re mates) teamed up with V05 and shared these sweet hair tutorials, and I figured I should make another attempt at curls that look natural. I used Ruby’s tutorial for the VO5 ‘Give Me Moisture’ look as inspiration and came up with something I’m definitely going to try again.