Friday, 3 October 2014


I'm a sucker for a beauty box. I'm not a sucker for subscription services however - I feel like it's far too easy to sign up and then forget about it, adding to the stack of costs we part with on a monthly basis. I find the subscription boxes tend to be a bit lacking in their contents too, and they keep you interested by throwing in one really good product every couple of months. Sneaky. For this reason I prefer to satisfy my beauty box craving with those more of the Latest In Beauty and Memebox ilk - one off purchases, generally offering a much higher quality of contents, and often only a few pounds more than the subscription services. But now there's a new box on the block..

This is actually the second month that the Look Fantastic box has been available, but the September edition sold out in the blink of an eye. It contained some amazing products however (including Kerastase, St Tropez and Caudile), which prompted me to preorder this months. At last, October has arrived and the box is in my hands. So what lurks inside?

Wowsers trousers. That's my kinda beauty box. 

  • L'OREAL PROFESSIONAL SERIE EXPERT PRO KERATIN REFILL SHAMPOO AND MASQUE. Phew, these names keep getting longer and longer. This was the first thing that caught my eye as I instantly recognised the packaging. The Serie Expert range is a very highly rated collection of salon quality hair products, offering a vast range for various hair woes. Funnily enough I actually purchased the Vitamino Color Masque from the range yesterday, though have yet to use it. The Pro Keratin products are right down my street though, being aimed towards weak and damaged hair. They contain keratin (duh), which is the protein building block of hair and provides strength and elasticity, and also contain ceramides (branded as 'Incell'), the lipids which hold the scales of the hair cuticle in place - sometimes called hair glue or hair cement. These products are therefore brilliant for repairing the damage that heat styling, colouring and even the environment can inflict on hair. Basically, I'm pretty jazzed to try these out!

  • KMS FREESHAPE QUICK BLOW DRY SPRAY. One for those of you more blessed in the hair department, this spray claims to cut drying time by up to 50%, while also providing heat protection and light conditioning for soft, smooth and hopefully dry hair. My hair isn't too much bother to dry anyway, but I'm definitely interested to see if it lives up to its claims as it strikes me as quite a unique product in the hair care market.

  • GATINEAU COLLAGENE EXPERT ULTIMATE SMOOTHING CREAM. This is probably the least interesting product for me, but only because I'm very particular about my facial moisturisers. It's primarily intended for skin showing signs of ageing, and contains collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin and a variety of vitamins and minerals to give plump, moisturised skin with less visible wrinkles (apparently). It doesn't strike me as particularly ground breaking product but has a hefty £60 price tag. Its consistency is gel-like and therefore too lightweight for my liking anyway, and also has a complete lack of any smell whatsoever? Bizarre. 

  • BALANCE ME FACIAL EXPRESSION FILLER. I sometimes wonder if Balance Me actually make any profit - I'm forever seeing their products being given away in beauty boxes and on magazines. Another one primarily for signs of ageing skin, this is to be be applied to expression lines on the forehead, mouth and eyes. While I'm thankfully still wrinkle free, I'll probably try this round my eyes as it also contains the moisture retaining ingredient hyaluronic acid. It has a strong scent however - as lovely and relaxing as it is, some skin types might not tolerate this well.

  • KORRES CITRUS SHOWER GEL. I get through shower gels like nobodies business, so these will always get used. It's a fantastically refreshing scent which will definitely help to get you going in the mornings, but would I ever pay £8 for the full size? Nah. Get real, it's a shower gel. Plus I'm totally hooked on the Right Guard Shower + Oils at the minute - by far my favourite shower gel of ALL TIME. Moisturising, gorgeous but not overpowering scent, and can usually be picked up for 99p. BRILL.

  • THIS WORKS SLEEP PLUS PILLOW SPRAY. This has come at just the right time for me - I've been having some rather uncharacteristic difficulty sleeping lately (usually I'm asleep in seconds and will proceed to sleep in a log-like fashion for the following 8+ hours). The smell is gorgeous - like most of these sort of products it's predominantly lavender, which is a favourite of mine. I'm not entirely sure of the difference between this and their Deep Sleep Pillow Spray though, with the product descriptions not giving much away. The price difference is big though - £25 for 75mL of Sleep Plus, versus £16 for the same amount of Deep Sleep. I probably wouldn't be willing to part with so much money for what is actually a very basic product, but that's why these boxes are great!
I'm really pleased with the selection in this months box, and while there's a couple of products that I probably won't use, the variety of quality brands, the size of the samples and the good mix of hair/skin/misc products is what sells it for me. I'm definitely looking forward to next months.. and feeling quietly glad I cancelled my Birchbox sub!

The Look Fantastic beauty box retails for £15 with free delivery! The box is currently out of stock (no surprise!), but will be available again (phew).

Peace, pals!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


I don't often find hair products that really do it for me. I read the bold claims on the packaging, throw my money at someone, and then.. disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind spending out a little for something which really works, but finding that something is often easier said than done.

This stuff though. THIS STUFF.

I've had my eye on these Revlon Nutri Color Cremes for some time - starting way back when I had postbox red hair circa 2011. They were considerably more difficult to come by at the time, and therefore more expensive to boot. They stayed out of the reach of my measly student budget, and my hair was sad. On my recent return to the gingery side, it turned out I had forgotten just how much the colour fades, despite me only washing my hair every 4/5 days with sulphate free shampoo and cold water. So much suffering, such little gain. Turns out these little beauties are much easier to get hold of now, so I parted with my ~£11 and waited eagerly.

So what even are they? A colour depositing conditioner designed to work in just 3 minutes, basically. Apply 8-10 pumps of product evenly through the hair, et voilĂ ! Not just for the redheaded amongst us, these are available in 15 shades (though some appear easier to come by than others).

They're designed to maintain colour after dyeing, which in turn means less frequent dyeing and therefore less damage. This is fantastic particularly for difficult to maintain colours, but of course anything which makes your hair super soft AND reduces the need for colour maintenance is a blessing for all those who dabble in hair dye. You can apply it with each wash in place of your usual conditioner, or as often as you feel the colour needs a little refreshing, and like dyes you can mix shades to get the colour you're looking for.

I only got hold of this product about 3-4 weeks after colouring my hair. By this point the colour had lightened up a fair bit and was looking uneven, but no way was I going to recolour so soon! The results are therefore probably different to if I had started using it immediately after colouring, but are brilliant nonetheless.

deep and brooding

The above pictures were taken today, which was the second time of using the nutri colour creme (having also used it on my previous wash 5 days ago). I originally dyed my hair 5 weeks ago (you can see my post showing the initial colour HERE), and while the colour is certainly lighter and more copper than it was, I'm really pleased with how much life this has given it! The colour is looking even and my hair is feeling healthy, plus it's saved me from having to recolour so soon.

I can't recommend these enough for anyone with coloured hair, but particularly for redheads. They vary in cost between about £10 and £15, so I would advise shopping around. I picked mine up off eBay, but they're also available through Beauty Bay, Fragrance Direct and most salon supplies retailers.

Peace, chums.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


September has been a month of limited spending. Why? I got a new job, HOORAY! But it's taken two months for me to get a start date (thanks, bureaucracy), so I've been all about embracing old and long forgotten purchases, and steering well clear of Boots where at all possible. And god damn, I LOVE Boots.

But, I done good.

An effective, albeit sparse selection.
  • ROSE HIP OIL. I'm a big fan of pure oils when it comes to cleansing and moisturising, but I always tend to opt for coconut oil over anything else. However, as much as I (still) love it for cleansing, I feel like it hasn't really been packing the moisture that I need right now. I picked up some rosehip oil a while ago as it was supposedly good for eczema - SOLD. I promptly received the bottle and forgot about it for several months, but following a stress-induced bout of facial scab this month, I gave it a go with pleasant results. It's no miracle worker - I still rely on my usual prescribed creams to really bring my skin under control, but it provides lovely long lasting moisture which doesn't irritate, and unlike other oils I've tried (*cough*hemp oil*cough), it doesn't smell like rancid arse. It supposedly has great anti-ageing properties too.. thankfully not something I can confirm or deny though!

  • A-DERMA EXOMEGA EMOLLIENT BALM. Oat-based emollient balm. Saviour of all things dry and irritated. Fancy? Nah. Entirely practical? Very. This is a very rich balm which I use alongside my other eczema-centric products, though mostly for night time use only. I tend to favour very rich, heavy products at night to save my skin soaking up all the moisture within a few hours, and me then waking up with painfully dry skin. This is the unfortunate thing with eczema - because it impairs the barrier function of the skin, moisture is constantly lost (more so than normal anyway). If at home I'll usually moisturise 5 or 6 times through the day, but otherwise a rich, soothing balm of this sort at night really helps to lock in what moisture I can.

  • BURT'S BEES REVITALISING LIPBALM WITH BLUEBERRY& DARK CHOCOLATE. Long-ass name for a lipbalm. I am utterly in love with the Burt's Bees lip balms, and while the original is still my favourite (some hate it, but I love the pepperminty tingle), this and the mango are a close second. It's a lipbalm, so there's not an awful lot to say, but it achieves its moisturising purpose no trouble. I do quietly wish it was a little more blueberryish(?!) though..

  • CLARINS GENTLE EXFOLIATOR BRIGHTENING TONER.  A fairly gentle AHA based exfoliating toner, this is something I've recently come to love despite having used it for a couple of months. Smoother skin? Yep. More even skintone? Mmmmhmm. No dryness or stinging? You got it. Don't be fooled by the small bottle, as you'll only need a small amount for your face and neck. While it's not cheap at £25 a pop, it's definitely better value than it first appears when you see how far it goes. I absolutely love chemical exfoliants, and this is definitely my favourite, despite having been a long time lover of the Nip+Fab glycolic fix pads. They're both great, but I feel the results from the Clarins toner are more noticeable. Also I just BLOODY LOVE CLARINS. 

  • NATURAL COLLECTION MOISTURE SHINE LIPSTICK IN FIG LEAF. This isn't something I would have normally considered, and not for any lack of love towards Natural Collection. I'm a HUGE fan of their super cheap mascaras, but for some reason I just assumed their lipsticks would be a bit naff. NEVER ASSUME. I saw these featured on Miss Budget Beauty, and when I saw Fig Leaf I was all like..

To be honest, it's not a particularly exciting colour. BUT I'm all about nudes at the minute, having previously been all about purple lips at any given opportunity. However, this in particular ticks my requirements of a) CHEAP, and b) cooler toned. I love cool-toned looks and have a drawer full of lipsticks just not fit for that job.

While there's certainly a hint of pink there, this colour almost takes on a somewhat grey tone in person. And shit, if there's a colour I love, it's GREY. Which says a lot about me. Anyway, this little treat will set you back a measly £1.99, and yeah the packaging is cheap and the lipstick itself is kind of an odd shape, but can be just reiterate the fact that this is £1.99!?! Check out the whole range if you're passing though - their range of lip colours is much larger than I thought, and I'll definitely be trying a few more after this success!

That's this months more restrained selection of favourites. While living with no income isn't ideal, it's been good delve in to some older purchases and try some more budget-friendly beauty options. But man, I sure am hankering after a few MAC lipsticks right now..

Peace, chums!

Monday, 22 September 2014


Yeah yeah, it's that time of year. Four years ago I set off on my adventures to university. FOUR YEARS! I graduated last year, and still over a year later I find myself fondly reminiscing on an all too frequent basis. I can say with no caution that my time at uni was a resounding success - not to say there weren't some ups, some downs, and some wholly ludicrous mistakes on my part, but such is life's way. It's not always plain sailing though, nor is it always the right choice for people - but consider this my Buzzfeed-esque list of hopefully not all too patronising tips.

  • Be Prepared. It's a solid motto that's worked for the Scouts for over 100 years, and is perfectly applicable to university too. I'm not talking the "take cake for your new flatmates!" or "don't forget an extension lead!" kind of prepared - but on that note, do take a couple of extension leads. Useful as f*ck. But be prepared from the start - researching your course, your chosen unis, noting any UCAS deadlines, student finance deadlines, setting yourself up a student bank account. The boring stuff. Your first few weeks of uni will be much easier if you actually have that highly anticipated student loan sitting pretty in your bank account. 
  • Get a Job. Ok, this one is optional. But there aren't many courses which won't allow you the hours for a part time job - I only worked one 6 hour day a week, but that ~£40/week made a HUGE difference to my otherwise measly budget, allowing me a night out and a marginally better diet without any sense of guilt. See if your university has their own job centre, or ask if you can transfer your current job to a location near the university. 
  • Don't Fret Your Friendships. Will I like the people I live with? What about the people on my course? Classic frets of the fresher. Friendships come naturally and can't be forced, so don't shit bricks if your flat is full of dicks - I lived in the affectionately titled 'Shit Flat 10'. No, not wildly creative I suppose, but accurately descriptive nonetheless. I wound up with one very close friend in my flat, and one on my course. But there are plenty of other people I'm still very close to who I only met through others - so don't feel that your course and your flat are your only two sources of friendship. Moreover, I didn't truly get to know the people I consider my close friends now until late in to my second year. It's not that I didn't have friends through the first and early second years, but they're not the people who've made the biggest impact on my life. 
  • Listen to Your Gut. While you shouldn't necessarily let it hold you back, the gut it often right. I applied to university twice, and wound up retracting my first application just a couple of weeks before I due to leave home. I wasn't scared, but I didn't have the enthusiasm for the course I had applied for, and was entirely unprepared in every possible aspect. I applied again for a different course later in the month, and had myself a totally unplanned gap year. No, not a gap yah - zero travelling was done but a healthy lining to my bank account was earned, I had all my paperwork sorted in uncharacteristically good time, and I purchased myself more useless kitchen paraphernalia than you can shake a spatula at. By the time the next September rolled around, I was near bouncing off the walls with excitement. 
  • SAY YES! There's no time in life quite like university, so use it as an opportunity to say yes to new things - see a new band, go a new restaurant, visit a new country! Respect you bank balance and use your common sense, but you'll meet tonnes of new people with all manner of experiences to offer. At worst, you'll probably waste a small amount of your time and maybe a few quid, but I can bet that in the end you'll be glad you said yes.
  • DOWN IT FRESHER! Or don't. Yes, to this day I have not downed a dirty pint (nor a 'clean' one for that matter) because I literally do not possess the capacity to down drinks. This seems like a relatively minor point (pint?), but you will hear that statement more times than you care to remember. To expand, peer pressure can sometimes rear its ugly head in a massive way at university, so stick to your guns if you're not comfortable. Besides, downing pints definitely falls outside of my 'say yes' point; I can promise you that your university experience will not be damped by any lack of downing drinks. It'll probably be a little less vomit stained though.
  • Buy a Dressing Gown. Two words: FIRE. ALARMS. Not a myth, highly infuriating. At least you can stay cosy while you stand outside arms folded and frowny faced.
I suppose the gist here is not to feel under any pressure to meet the stereotype of a fresher. Embrace new opportunities, but don't feel like you have to persist with something which clearly isn't for you. Just be glad you tried. Don't try and change - spruce up the ol' wardrobe maybe, but you are who you are and there WILL be like-minded souls around, even if you don't find them immediately. Go in with an open mind and savour every minute, both the good and the bad. Your experiences at university will likely shape your as a person. But most of all, BLOODY ENJOY IT! There's nothing quite like it and hopefully it'll be an experience you look back fondly on for years to come.

Boring side note - the library is your friend. Get to know the library. Take a couple of hours out in the library. Find your favourite seat in the library (and the proceed to refuse to accept that you could possibly work ANYWHERE else, whatsoever). Semi-frequent interaction with the library will make your academic life so very much easier - just so long as you're not that guy who uses the time to indulge in the latest feature length film. Library space is precious; Don't be THAT GUY.

Back to beauty related antics next time, but for now - freshers, I hope you're loving EVERY GOD DAMN SECOND. I'm jealous. And I really miss my student loan.


Tuesday, 2 September 2014


August was pretty hot on the favourites front. A healthy combination of skincare, makeup and non-beauty purchases made for a lot of new loves, and a minor dent in my bank balance. But what's money for if not to be enjoyed, eh? (She says, frantically scraping funds for car insurance.. and an MOT.. yeah, cars are NOT on my August favourites, for sure).


MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation has made a return in to my life after a rather lengthy absence. I start using this years ago when it was branded as the Mineralize Satinfinish foundation. It's been reformulated, and is now more moisturising but still with the same finish I always loved. As the previous name suggests, it's satin finish - definitely not one for matte lovers, and probably not ideal for the oily skinned amongst us. My sad dry face loves it though!
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium was something I'd had my eye on for a long time. It's widely raved about and reviewed, and in good reason. Lightweight and subtle when applied with a fluffy brush, this provides just enough setting power for my foundation, while not compromising the dewy finish. Best of all, a powder which doesn't emphasize dryness? HOLLA AT ME.

mmmm.. silky.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray an old favourite, but I'd put off purchasing this again for a while since I had a few cheaper options to try. They don't compare though - a quick spritz of this keeps my makeup on lockdown for the day.
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara I never purchase mid/high end mascaras. I feel like no amount of money does great benefit for my short, sparse lashes, but this came as a freebie with my previous purchase. I'm surprisingly sold on this though, it gives good separation and lengthening with no transfer or clumping in sight. Would I purchase the full size? Maybe, but I'm still pretty hooked on the £1.99 Natural Collection offering...

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask I've been trying to reign in the skincare spending recently, but it was my birthday and ehhh.. gotta treat yoself. I purchased this with the intention of using it when my skin is extra dry and irritated, but is is INCREDIBLY highly fragranced. For that reason, I've kept it as a little biweekly moisture bolstering treat instead. It has a lovely thick consistency, and while I find the scent pleasantly relaxing it's certainly not suitable for irritated skin. Keep it as a treat, not a treatment.


I've been on the look out for a trinket jar of sorts for some time now - I tend to accumulate a lot of odds and sods with no discernible home. I found some incredibly similar to the one above in Laura Ashley, but didn't fancy the price tag - enter, Home Bargains! I picked this up for £2.99 and it's currently the perfect dumping ground for hair elastics and grips. 

I'm something of a lover of all things Swatch, and have 8 to my name at current. I didn't pick one up for a few years due to a bit of a lull in their designs - I like my watches ridiculous (no Marc Jacobs on these wrists), and their designs got a little boring for my tastes. Things have picked up though, and I got this eye wrecking number for my birthday. The model is Green Spell, and I'd definitely recommend checking out their current collections for something a little different (and usually quite affordable!).

And finally..
image -

Not my own picture - mine's currently in several pieces in the dishwasher. But say hello to the Breville Active Blend, my favourite piece of kitchen equipment EVER. An individual blender which blends IN the the bottle - just pop in your fruit and/or veg, screw the blade on to the top of the bottle, dock and go. It's quick, it's powerful, it's INCREDIBLY easy to clean, and it makes it even easier for me to satisfy my smoothie addiction. My favourite combo is spinach, mango, pineapple and banana blended with water - full of vitamin goodness, and blending with water saves on the fat from milk (but the banana and mango still provide a delicious creaminess). This is frequently on offer and can be picked up for as little as £20! 

Apologies for the lengthy post, but there's just been too much worth raving about in the past month! Time to reign in the spending though - car related expenses aside (and a rapidly approaching holiday!), I hate to say it but.. Christmas is coming! Definitely not excited on anything. Nope. Surely not..

Ciao for now chums!

Thursday, 28 August 2014


So my previous efforts to make a return to the auburn side were something of a flop (to put it gently). An inhaler, some antihistamines and a self imposed ban from box dyes later, I was left with a shade I struggle to describe - copper, but not, but kinda ginger, but also just like a really unhealthy shade of urine. Like, the kind that gets people hospitalised.

And so, FUCK YO BOX DYES I said, did a vast amount of Googling, and wound up purchasing a couple of tubes of L'Oreal Majirel hair colours and some 20vol cream peroxide. Good choice, me.

DISCLAIMER! These are professional products, and I am very much not a professional. If you give it a go and it all goes Pete Tong, I ain't hearing none of it. Soz.

In the end I settled for a combination of two shades to get the colour I was after - 7.44 (very close to what I'd used previously, but more intensely copper), and 6.46 (a darker copper with more red/mahogany tones). I opted for half of each, and hoped for the best. Tres scientifique.

The Majirel colours work like most standard box dyes in that you mix your colour with your developer, only allowing you the option of a) mixing colours,  and b) choosing your preferred strength of developer. As a guide, 10vol is fine for depositing colour only (so if you're going darker than your current colour), with 20, 30 and 40vol providing increasing power of 'lightening'. Going too many levels lighter than your natural colour tends to look a bit bizarre anyway (as well as being more damaging), so 20vol is often sufficient. I'd definitely recommend reading up about the numbering system for determining hair colours however - it'll make choosing your dyes considerably easier.

So, what do I need? Nothing particularly flashy. Here's my little set up;

A plastic tub (never metal! And your mum might not appreciate you using the china. If you don't still live with your parents though, GO MENTAL). A tint brush. Gloves (no shitty freebies here). Something to measure your peroxide in. TOWELS. GRIMEY OLD TOWELS. A source of entertainment while you paint your head (if in doubt, Archer).
Don't forget your colour(s) and peroxide - I grabbed both off of eBay (cheap, cheerful, trusted sellers, VERY quick delivery).

The colours in question. Each tube is 50g, and half of each for a 50g total was enough to cover my head. So if you're just using one colour, go ahead and use the whole tube. If you have long or thick hair, purchasing more than one might be pertinent. The ratio of colour:developer varies between brands, but for Majirel that ratio is 1:1.5 - so if you're using 50g, you'll need 75mL of developer.

Mix that baby up in your tub and get a somewhat concerning colour..

No, I didn't make a completely balls up of my colour choices. Once it makes its way on to your head you'll notice if goes orange fairly quickly. The left pictures shows the colour after first mixing the colour and the developer; the right shows the colour after 15 minutes. I have no idea why, but you're supposed to leave the mix to stand for a while before slapping it on. Like I said, definitely not a professional.

Beyond this point it's all just slapping some dye on and making a right mess of the white tiles. Apply the colour to the lengths first and roots later (the heat from your scalp will cause the colour at your roots to develop faster). The processing time for Majirel is 35 minutes, so keep an eye on the time, watch some daytime telly (#noshame) and then get rinsing. As usual, don't use shampoo. Rinse until the water runs clear (ideally with cold water if you can bear it), and then liberally condition. 


HOOOO-FUCKIN'-RAY! A non-disaster! This is definitely more the colour I wanted in the first place (maybe a little less red but this is a HUGE improvement), and I'm no longer embarrassed to leave the house. EXCELLENT. So how much does it cost? The initial investments are minor (assuming you have some old tupperware kicking around, all you need is a tint brush and some gloves), and the dye and developer are better value than you'd think. I paid £8.95 per tube of Majirel, and £3.75 for 250mL of developer. Considering I'll get two full applications out of the Majirel tubes, and three (and a bit) out of the developer, that puts my per application cost at £10.20. While it's slightly more expensive than most box dyes (though the Feria was definitely the worst £5.89 I've spent in a while), it's vastly cheaper than having it done professionally, with a full head colour often costing upwards of £40. So if you have a little faith in your ability with a tint brush, I'd certainly advocate giving it a go.

I also went a small step further.. given that my eyebrows are quite a dark, ashy brown, they look vastly out of place with my new colour. So what did I do? Slap some leftover dye on them, of course! This is almost definitely not recommended (probably), but I saw it on YouTube so WHATEVZ. You can see the result in the above pictures (filled in with UD Buck eyeshadow as well) - I left the colour on for about 7 minutes in total, checking the progress every 2 minutes or so. They're not an exact match for my hair - still a little darker, which is good since matchy matchy hair and eyebrows doesn't look quite right on most people.

I have every right to look worried - this could've gone so much worse.

Excuse the length post, but thankfully that marks the end of my two-part quest for ginger. To summarise:
  • fuck Feria
  • hooray for Majirel

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Poor bloggy, you've been somewhat neglected lately. Life's been hectic, but it's paying off - I've gone and got myself a new job! Hopefully once I'm settled in a routine with that, blogging will make a return to the foreground of my life again. But for now: HAIR.

Hairdye and myself have a somewhat turbulent history. My first foray started during the school holidays, aged 13, armed with a box of purple dye. Surprisingly my mother didn't object, and even more surprisingly it looked good - or at least I thought it did, but regardless I still look back on it fondly. I moved on to some 'subtle' streaks - turquoise, and later blue, which again I loved. Late high school and early college saw a return to brown, and an ongoing journey in red hair started around age 17.

Oh, red hair.. you and me have had some times. Some ups, some downs. Red hair is tough, because while it's a hard colour to maintain anyway, finding the right shade is more difficult than you'd anticipate. The pinnacle of my red haired adventures came during university, first year, when I started sporting the most startling postbox red barnet known to man. See posey Facebook profile picture of times gone by:


Pictures don't do it justice, it was RED. I would never sport it again now, but it was obviously the look I was going for at the time and whatevz, I clearly loved it. Loved it so much that I kept dying it even though a concerningly large quantity of my hair dropped off my head. lolwhoops.

For that reason, the adventures stopped circa 2012, and since then I've been varying shades of light brown with distinctly ginger undertones. Following an extended period of my natural mousey brown and a really shitey "ombre" (never let your hairdresser charge you £50 for what is quite clearly a dip dye), red is making a return. Not so bright this time, but the more auburn end of matters. Hopefully, anyway - the start has been a rocky one. 

I opted for L'Oreal Feria in Mango Intense Copper (7.4) on the assumption that since my hair was darker in the roots and some of lengths, it wouldn't be quite as intensely copper as the box - because as anyone who's ever dabbled in hair dyes probably knows, the results are usually somewhat darker than the colour on the box.
Yeah, to my dismay (and horror, really), this dye lifts reeeeeally well. On the downside, while my hair is light the colour is dull, so the result is me looking pretty washed out and icky sicky.

WHAT HAVE I DONE. The horrors of this outcome are not damped by the fact that I'm desperately overdue for a haircut. Ick, ick and thrice.. ick.

So what about the dye itself? It's not my fave. I'd always recommend the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour dyes because I feel that they're hassle free with pretty true to colour results, but unfortunately their range is limited. This L'Oreal offering seemed very well reviewed, so a whimmy trip to Boots commenced, and 30 minutes later I was back home slapping dye on willy nilly.

Consistency - weird. Runny, but a slightly jelly like texture?
Colour - Purpleish when it's first applied. DON'T PANIC! This is no reflection on the final colour.
Extras - Good conditioner. Shit gloves. I always use a separate pair of latex gloves because those freebie ones are like trying to work with mini bin bags on your hands.
Smell - On this basis alone, regardless of your desired colour, I would NOT recommend this dye. I'm well accustomed to the smell of dyes - that delicious waft of ammonia - but this BURNS. My eyes burnt, my nostrils burnt. I persevered but after about 20 minutes I had a lot of tightness in my chest, so grabbed my inhaler, popped a Piriton and washed that shit off. I have an inhaler anyway for some mild hayfever related asthma, but this was considerably worse than anything I've previously experienced, and unlike anything I've felt from other hair dyes. It was a little scary to be honest - a tight chest, palpitations and general panic all in all amounted to a fairly unpleasant hair dying experience. Weirdly, I didn't experience any tingling in my scalp which I find pretty common with most dyes - it is feeling distinctly itchy today however.

So, an unpleasant colour and an uncomfortable experience. I'll be colouring over it soon (following a patch test of course!) with some better researched colour options, so an update will be due in the near future hopefully.