HAIR | The L’Oreal ‘Extraordinary Clay’ saga

L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay hair range

I’ve had a real problem with products over-promising lately. And by over-promising I mean completely misrepresenting everything they are, from ingredients to what they claim to do.

The L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay range made its way to me thanks to Beauty Review (if you live in New Zealand and aren’t a member, definitely go join) and I reluctantly stopped using the L’Oreal Botanicals Coriander range (which I do rate highly) to try it out. It turned into an absolute catastrophe and I am as resentful as a person can feel towards a range of hair products.

I know the photo’s average, but I hate the entire range and frankly gave it a better photo than it deserves. I should have photographed it in the bin (but I can’t bring myself to throw away it away because everything’s practically full so maybe I will offload it onto someone unsuspecting who doesn’t read my blog, in the guise of a generous gift).

HAIR | 1940s hair experiment

1940s hair look

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.

HAIR | Gh0stparties inspired top-knot


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.

LIFE | Last minute prep for a big life change


Today is the first day of March, and tomorrow is my first day of makeup school. I went to my orientation day last week and it sounds like the course is going to be really, really fun. I’m essentially leaving my job to do this, and based on what I heard at orientation, I won’t regret it, but I am kind of nervous and still don’t really know what to expect.

I’ve been trying to get Hyacinth Girl ready, as I don’t want the blog to lapse while I focus on school. I will be reducing my posting schedule ever so slightly – I think I’ll switch from posting every three days to twice a week.

The other thing I got from orientation is how intense the course will be, in all sorts of ways. I’m a little nervous, so I’m taking some time out now (Sunday evening) to get ready: washing my hair, removing all the unwanted body hair I’m usually super lazy with, painting my nails.

HAIR | The fringe I got and regretted immediately

Growing Out Long Bangs

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.

GIFTS | Medium-sized gifts to give – a guide, of sorts


Christmas is coming and I don’t like it. I mean, I like Christmas, I just don’t like how soon it is and how under-prepared and under-financed I am. Gift-giving is so stressful! I want to give meaningful gifts for people and not just useless crap.

I don’t know how many of these ‘guide’ posts I’ll be doing, but here is one about medium-sized gifts to begin with, anyway. Gift guides are hard because I don’t know who you all are buying for, so I have made lists of pros and cons for each of these ideas.

Harriet: Packaging is stupid and Sorbet is great

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.

HAIR | For when your hair feels like a fraying rope


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!

HAIR | Reverse washing and other weird things to do with your conditioner


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.