Girl Problems 2

The title of this made me laugh. It sounds like a very boring, formulaic, straight-to-TV tweenie film from the early 90s.

It’s time for my eagerly anticipated (thank you two people) new installment of my series on female-related problems. This time: HAIR.

You’ve got too much. You don’t have enough. You want it long, You want it short. Then you want it long again. You want it a different colour. You get roots. You never should have dyed it. You’ve got split ends. It looks like someone has accidentally microwaved it and scrubbed it with a brillo pad. It’s the colour of boiled potatoes that have been cooked for two weeks solid. You get a hair cut. You get manipulated into spending £50 on products ‘specifically designed for your hair type’. You break up with your boyfriend. Time for a new hair cut! “That’ll show him I’m over him, and also a much newer, more attractive and all-round better person!” Your hairdresser is thinking: fierce bob. You’re thinking “What if I get mistaken for a man?”* You’ve got mousses and waxes, pomades and serums, sprays and oils, mists and cremes. And that is just for the hair on your head.

The way your hair is does say a lot about you. Absolutely. But with a guy, really all it has to say is: I get it cut. I’m neat. I’m clean. It costs £7.50 every six weeks. If you’re a man and this does not apply to you, say for example you have it long, or get it coloured. That says something different to me. Like, you’re not my type.

I’d like to take a minute, though, while we are talking about men and hair to mention that I know they do go bald. And I think this must be quite a hard thing to come to terms with. When I first met my husband, he had a full head of sandy-blonde hair. “He looks like Prince William!” I used to think. Now he really does. Because they have about the same amount of hair. His crown looks like a really shiny place where only five reclusive hairs grow, steadfastly remaining in the area, despite the fact everyone has left. Like some kind of extremely localised follicular apocalypse.

All of my life has basically been spent either: growing out a fringe, craving a fringe when I see the one picture of me where it actually looks nice, then absolutely hating my new fringe. Then the whole stupid cycle begins all over again, as if to remind me: “You are thick. You never learn. And you have a stupid fringe. Haha.”

The single "good fringe" photo

The single “good fringe” photo

Part of my problem is that I fucking love going to the hairdresser. Making the appointment, looking forward to it, and (now I have a child) enjoying three beautiful hours where I don’t have to pretend that I’m Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, or the big bad wolf, or Rapunzel’s Mummy, or pick little bits of dried-up playdo off the sole of tiny little Peppa Pig slippers.

Someone takes my jacket! And makes me a cup of tea! And looks at me in the mirror and asks me what I’d like! Then I get to sit and talk nonsense, read shitey magazines about how some lassie from TOWIE has lost 3 stone eating only green and purple foods. Then they wash my hair! And dry it! And tell me I look awesome! And then they say “You must be going out tonight now!” And I say “No… I’m just going to stay in and catch up on my washing…” But at least I’ll look amazing doing it! *Swishes head around, in the style of Jet from Gladiators*

Another problem is: bobbles and kirbies. Like, WHERE THE FUCK DO THEY ALL ACTUALLY GO? Because I’ve never found them. I must have owned millions of these things. I have visions of people living in houses I used to prising up a floorboard and just finding it stuffed full of brown kirkbies and black bobbles. CCTV would reveal I’d been putting them there myself while I was sleeping. Chilling.

Hair also gets everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. It clumps up behind doors and in corners, covers all black clothing, and generally just floats in the ether. And also: Plugholes. It has to be the worst job in the world to dislodge what looks like half a head of hair from the shower plughole. It’s like a slimy, smelly, dry-boking scene from The Ring, especially if you have dark hair. I imagine for men, living with a woman with long hair must be a little bit like having a high maintenance pet that constantly moults. Strands of hair, bottles of product, and piles of kirbies mark out our territory. I remember feeling different about a boyfriend when I found one of his ex’s (blonde) kirby grips at his house. You’re not over her! She’s still here, like a wiry ghost! She watches us while we sleep! Also, you prefer blondes. I’m leaving! Don’t call! And all that perfectly normal, not-overreacting-at-all stuff.

All of this stuff basically comes down to one thing. I always think: I’d be happy if I had X or Y. Or “I would have enjoyed that night out if I’d had the red dress on.” Or “Once I’ve got that I will not need to buy anything else.” Or “This haircut will define me. It will crystallise who I am as a person. Everyone will know with a single glance.”

But this is nonsense. I get no self-fulfillment really from how I look, or from waiting for a new dress to arrive or from getting my nails done or getting a new colour. I feel good when I look good. But there is something missing. And I am not going to find it by getting stuff and things or through beauty services.

Although it is marginally less problematic than a drink problem, I grant you.

*This has happened to me.

 

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Current beauty favourites!

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I’ve been enjoying lots of new beauty products recently so I thought I’d share a few with you. I’ll start with the ones i’m wearing in the photo above.

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Sleek rose gold blush, superdrug, £4.95
This stuff is a total dupe for NARS orgasm, which retails for around £25. Sleek is a brand exclusive to superdrug and it’s well worth checking out. This dupe is not a personal find; I heard about it on the blogging circuit but it is such a good one that I have to share. The blush is mineral based, but it’s not proper mineral makeup as it had Talc in. Because of it’s mineral properties, though, it’s really pigmented so you don’t need much! Just keep buffing to get the true colour. The only downside to this is that quite a lot of people know about it so it’s often out of stock.

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Revlon nearly naked foundation, £8.99, boots
I’ve got lots of love for this foundation. It comes in lots of light shades for pale skins and feels totally weightless. The coverage is medium but totally buildable. This is a great everyday foundation. I add a squirt to my Laura mercier tinted moisturiser for added coverage…. Talking of which…

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Laura mercier tinted moisturiser, nude, Harvey Nicholls, £30 approx
Light coverage and super velvety. It’s like putting on a familiar soft and fluffy jumper on a cold day 🙂 This was a present from my friend Laura and she bought it without me being there- and the shade matches perfectly! Skills.

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Maybeline, the rocket, volume express collection, £8.99, boots
I didn’t think I’d ever say this. It’s the new Falsies! It’s got more definition than falsies but it’s still quick to build up drama.

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Collection 2000, cream puff in fairy cake 3, approx £3
Sorry about the terrible photos by the way, my camera won’t flash. My friend Laura had been wearing this loads and it’s looks amazing on her- pinky coral. On me it’s more reddy as I have a deeper natural lip colour. It’s still nice though and I’d been asking her for ages where she got it from. In the tube, this is a really nice pink brick colour with a lovely texture which goes on smooth and matte. It doesn’t feel dry at all but velvety and comfortable. The shade is very flattering, and pals-it’s a pure bargain!!

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Bourgois healthy mix correcting concealer, approx £6, boots
I’ve had this for ages but i’m rediscovering my love for it’s fruity softness and blendable goodness. I find it particularly good under the eye! It’s anti-fatigue. I’m sad to report I still feel pretty fatigued. As a concealer though, it hides my circles pretty well. Best applied with the ring finger in a gentle patting motion. I’ve never understood concealer brushes.

Talking of brushes…

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Real techniques shading brush, £8.99, superdrug
I’ve been looking for a shading brush for ages and this one gives loads of control for tricky eye contouring and blending. It’s really good quality for the price and it’s so soft which is really important for the eye area.

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Channel foundation brush, £34, John Lewis
Get saving your Pennies because this is the best foundation brush around. It was sold out for ages but I got my paws on it eventually! Fingers do the job (fnar) but this brush makes you feel like da Vinci when you’re putting on your makeup.

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Rimmel professional eyebrow pencil, brown/black, £3.99, boots.
I’m trying to grow in my brows which is a depressing and slow process. I feel I look a mess if my brows aren’t groomed so I’ve been patting a bit of concealer over the unsightly bits then filling in the bald patches with this bad boy. It does a fab job for the price. I’ve been using this instead of my £35 channel eyebrow palette… it’s quicker. If I was going out, I’d use both though, as the powder would set the pencil nicely. There’s nothing worse than a smudgy eyebrow. It really gives the game away.

And finally, I’m currently in love with Revlon lip butter in candy apple, £7.99. If you’ve not tried the lip butters yet, I’d get involved. They are balmy in texture, quite nourishing but most shades are pretty pigmented. This colour would suit any complexion; it’s a sheer red colour. Great if you’re keen to try out the siren look, but don’t feel confident to go for it! If you want to graduate into a real red, I rate the Kate collection for Rimmel, shade 001.

Ttfn x

Some Serious Scrutiny- Max Factor Facefinity and False Lash Effect Fusion

I’ve had a few new products recently, and I’m going to write about two in particular. Sometimes when I buy a new product, I purchase impulsively (usually prompted by some kind of money off offer or a persuasive sales assistant- “I look great? Of course I’ll buy some!”) but more often I buy based on recommendation. I have also most recently started to trawl the ‘tinterwebs for some reviews. Both the products tonight are Max Factor. The make up of make up artists you say? Give me 12.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion

The ‘Fusion’ going on here is between volume and length. This mascara will be perfect for you if you like a real separated look. You don’t need to comb through afterwards; it gives a really lovely ‘perfect’ lashes look. It really does lengthen, but I am not entirely satisfied by the amount of volume it gives. Predictably, it also does not give anything like a ‘false eyelash’ effect. Despite this, I don’t really think that any mascara can stand in for the amazing glamorous look you get from a pair of well-applied eyelures. Overall, this is a good everyday mascara, and with a bit of zig-zagging and a couple of coats you can build up some decent volume, but you do need to work at it a bit. On the plus size, it is a really good lengthener and not cloggy at all, for those of you that prefer a more natural look. I just like a bit of a trashier, clumpier appearance, which I feel gives more drama. I shan’t be changing from my usual Maybeline Falsies, but I am still using this, and don’t feel it was a waste of my cash. I’m glad I tried it.

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Max Factor Facefinity

You may be surprised by this, as it is well-documented how much I love Bare Essentuals. However, buffing takes time, which as a baby mama, I don’t always have if I only have ten minutes before I need to get out of the door to apply a face of make up. It takes me about ten minutes just to do my base if I use my BE. I saw this in Superdrug last week on offer with a few quid off it, so I went for it as it claims to be a long-lasting primer, concealer and foundation all in one. The consistency of this foundation is very loose and quite runny and a little goes a very, very long way. I use about three quarters of a pump for my face and and there is a little left over to use for areas that need a bit more hideage. It is very smooth and with a medium coverage, and when it is applied lightly, like a concealer on spots, dark circles and general yucky bits, it really does do the job. It gives a nice natural finish, not too matte or too dewy and leaves you with a nice glow. It is super quick to apply, and has taken residence in my make up bag with a blusher, mascara, eye liner and taupe eye shadow. I can get all this on my face within ten minutes, and I have worn make up most days this week when I haven’t had the 20 minutes or so I’ve needed when using BE. I’d recommend this if you are pushed for time and need to get your face done fast. BE will still feature in my routine when I have time to lovingly apply my make up and I believe it really is better for my skin, but Facefinity is a great multi-tasking product that saves me precious time when I need to get out fast!

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Shaving Face

Now, I like real men of the muscles and DIY variety. Given the right set of circumstances, I don’t even mind a bit of sweat and dirt. I think we can all agree, though, that grooming is not, now more than ever, a pursuit restricted to the ladies.

My husband- let’s call him Yumbeedad (YBD)- has a set of products that he has come to rely on now. After all, men need to shave and wash (hopefully)- isn’t shaving your face a hideous thought girls?!- and so using a facial wash and slapping on a bit of moisturiser is only a logical extension of this. In addition, those men with enough hair may wish to use some sort of taming product. I once went out with a boy who used hairspray and I confess this put me off him somewhat. There is something very girly about hairspray. So unless your manfriend is honing some kind of outlandish mohican, a wax or gum is good.

Men also need to smell good. And while it is OK for women to be perfume butterflies, intoxicatedly buzzing about from one fragrance to the next, men need a signature scent. A day one and a night one the very most. Incidentally, let it be known right now that I don’t believe in ‘natural musk’. That is just the beginnings of BO.

V05 Extreme Style Texturising Gum

I only have to see this pot and I think of YBD. He has been using it for years; long before we were together. I feel a bit sad to write about it now because YBD has just given into his baldness and shaved his hair, thereby removing the need to use any product on it. Anyway, he swore by this stuff for keeping his hair in style. He has a ‘very strong pull forward’ according to his barber, but this stuff would spike his hair up and keep it that way all day. He would never every even try any thing else. Even I used to use a little on Blow Dry day 2 to add a little texture and lift to my hair. It also smells amazing, sort of like tropical bananas?! You get a little smidge of it and ‘texturise’ it between you fingers then apply to your hair. A word of warning though- it’s VERY sticky. Hand wash required post use.

Chanel Allure Homme Sport

I am the sort of sad pathetic creature that goes all knock-kneed and giggly at the whiff of a nice bit of cologne. Even if the wearer is a hairy, 5’4”, socks-and-sandals-wearing, beard-sporting, balding, fat man. No joke. Anyway, this is the kind of man-smell that people respond to with a “Hmmmm… what is that?!” It’s almost like the Lynx-effect, if that actually worked. I exaggerate. But it smells really good. The Sport one is much younger and fresher than its Allure Homme parent, so more suitable for a man in his 20s/30s. The only downer is, it is really expensive; about £60 for 50ml. But Chanel fragrances are pricey. It makes you want them even more!!!

L’Oreal Men Expert Anti Perspirant 48Hr Dry Non-Stop

I do feel a bit weird writing about deodorant. I do most sincerely hope that everyone reading this uses it (if you think you don’t need it, then you have finally found out why you always get two seats to yourself on the bus) but it is a bit like writing about tampons or loo roll (this one’s super-absorbant!) Anyway, YBD likes this one because he has to use roll-on, as a spray irritates his skin, poor love. It has a nice big ball (lol) which rolls around easily, distributing the product well and he says it’s a very good anti perspirant. A few times I’ve forgotten deodorant when I’ve been in the bathroom (where I keep mine) and then notice YBD’s (he keeps his in the bedroom) when I’m moistursing, but I never have actually used it. I just think of all the awkward situations which could be created when I break into a sweat at a crucial moment and people notice I smell like a man.

Bull Dog Natural Skin Care Range (Face Wash, Shave Gel and Original Moisturiser)

This range has made a nice wee cosy place for itself amongst YBD’s few but trusted products. The range is organic, or at the very least paraben-free, which is good, and the range has a nice fresh, clean tea-tree type fragrance which really makes you feel clean. I have the advantage of having used all of these products either because I have been caught short in the shower (not in the toilet sense) or because I was just curious. The face wash is nice and lathery, although it is not foamy because of the lack of Sodium Laurel Sulphate (Parabens). It leaves your skin feeling very clean but not tight or dry. The shave gel is lovely and smooth and makes the razor glide. It is moisturising and you really don’t need much. A blob the size of half a walnut did both legs, and both my oxters too. The moisturiser is light but nourishing. It isn’t greasy and also comes in a sensitive version for the more irritable-skinned man in your life.

King of Shaves Azor

This razor is sleek and simple, and is not over packaged like lots of razors. It is well worth noting, as you may not know, that dermatologists recommend no more than two blades on your razor. Any more than two, and you risk exposing new and very delicate skin to the elements. You are getting such a close shave because you are taking layers of skin with the hair. Over time, this can even lead to scarring. Hideous. So switch to two blades tout suit. This razor molds to the shape of your chosen shaving site and it’s nice light design is a pleasure to shave with. How do I know, I hear you cry? Well, they do a lady version too which is shocking pink! His ‘n’ Hers. Gotta love it. We’ll be wearing matching Kagools next.

Lynx Rise Shower Gel

YBD isn’t a slave to this shower gel, it just happens to be the one he is currently using. It gives a good foam without having to use loads of gel and it smells nice. Could be a good one for the Christmas stocking?

Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose in it

Now YBD would never buy this for himself, as all his products have to be packaged as ‘For Men’. However, he really likes this and uses it as a scrub for himself when it is available in the shower. There are a real lack of good exfoliators on the market for men, so YBD tends to use mine. This one is good for him as it has a real lemony-limey scent (which if I’m honest, smells a bit like Jif) but the granular texture really works a treat. Like, you can feel it working. Also, if you leave it on post scrub, it acts as a face-brightening mask. Multi-tasking? What could be more masculine than that? NOT.

Scraping the Barrel

As a complete beauty junkie, I have cupboards, drawers, boxes and make up bags full of half/hardly used products. So I thought it would be worthwhile to do a post about products I have liked so much, I have used them ALL up! I am ashamed to say, I regularly throw away rubbishy products, so this is a real endorsement!

The Body Shop Clementine Shower Gel: I love this stuff. It has an incredibly fruity scent, it is soap free and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. It’s a fantastic alternative to those limey ‘wake-up’ shower gels that you get and puts you in the mood for your tropicana 🙂

The Juiciest shower ever!

Nivea Soft: I love this stuff. When it was originally marketed, it was described as being “like soft summer rain on your skin!” Cheesy, but this is actually what it feels like! I have tried loads of creams, but I always come back to this one as a day cream. I have loads of people say snobbily “I would never put that on my face” but I think it is gorgeous. And, it’s a total boost that it costs about a fiver for a big tub. I have used loads of big name fancy-nancy skin routines, but nothing feels nicer than this on my skin.

Pond’s Cold Cream: I know there was quite a lot of hype around this a few years ago, and it was recommended to me not long after that and I got a pot given to me. I have had about 5 pots since then. This gloopy stuff smells like something your granny would have used (it’s retro-glam!) which I love. It is also really multi-tasking. If you have a big face full of make up that your wipes just could not handle, smoosh on some of this and it will glide off a treat. After a winter walk, and you skin feels all weather-beaten, smooth some on with a cotton pad. If your skin starts to feel like a brillo pad (we’ve all been there), just put a thin layer on before bed, and you will wake up looking ten years younger! Apparently (although I can’t vouch for this) it has an accumaltive affect, so you will notice a bigger difference the more you use it. I LOVE it.

Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Body Lotion: I have had countless bottles of this, and feel a sense of inward panic if I run out of it. It was discontinued (worst discovery EVER) but then they brought it back. This has brought out the bulk-buyer in me as I am terrified it will happen again. This makes my rough and dry skin smooth and lovely and gives it that lovely healthy sheen. Do it. NOW!

One of three bottles of this I have in my house!

Paul Mitchell Firm Style Freeze and Shine Super Spray: This is a must-have if you often wear a style that you need to last. I love the smell of this and the hold is excellent. I also love that it is not an aerosol. It does give your hair a nice shine as well and doesn’t look crispy or hard. I often use it when I tong my hair and it holds in a good old back comb a treat too.

Marks and Spencer Royal Jelly and Pure Honey Intensive Facial Moisuriser:I use this as a night cream, and my skin feels all silky in the morning. I got it in a set as a present and I like all the products in the range, so worth a look.
Soap and Glory Hand Food: For those of you with very dry, irritated skin like mine, don’t be put off by the garish packaging. Soap and Glory is a fantastic brand, combining humour, gorgeous scents with products that actually work. I find this stuff really comforting and highly moisturising and softening. I’ve used this loads since I had my baby, as I always have my hands in water, washing them, and it really dried them out. I really recommend this.

OPI Nai Envy: I have really dry, brittle nails that break really really easily. It is because of this product that I have been able to grow them. This, and Shellac, are the two products I really recommend if you have problems growing your nails. I buy mine from Amazon, and it’s about £10, but truly worth it. You do have to apply ir regularly, but it works well as a basecoat too.

Poppy gazes enviously at OPI Nail Envy

Batiste Dry Shampoo: I am a firm believer in not washing your hair every day; it is not the washing, but the inevitable heat styling that does the damage! This can of wonder helps me get through to my next washing day! It also smells good too! Tropical is my personal favourite. Simply shoosh your hair upside down, spray about 5 inches away and brush through. Et Voila! Bed Head to Crowning Glory!
Hope you enjoyed! Comment below 🙂 x