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Sunday 20 December 2009

Makeover: Kerry

After a bit of last minute confusion with one of my other volunteers, the lovely Kerry stepped in to have a makeover, and I'm glad she did, as this is one of my favourites!

Meet Kerry:

Kerry is really very pretty already, with enormous green eyes.  Sometimes Kerry thinks she looks a bit young (never an issue as far as I'm concerned!) so was looking to create a sophisticated "grown-up" look, that was hopefully a bit glamorous too.

As always, we started with the base.  Kerry has beautiful porcelain skin, so we used Bobbi Brown liquid foundation in "porcelain" as the main base, and Benefit's You're Bluffing as a concealer on the birthmark on her upper lip.  I decided against using Bluffdust as a powder because Kerry is so pale, and we used ELF HD Powder to set the look instead:

Then, to make the most of Kerry's gorgeous eyes, I made use of a Bobbi Brown palette I have that features mainly chocolate shades, I applied a shimmer wash of colour over Kerry's lids, then defined the crease with a darker shimmery brown shade:

Once they were in place, I lined the eyes with "coffee, and applied just a little more shimmer to Kerry's  lids:

Once that was in place, I darkened Kerry's brows just a little (with Smashbox brow powder kit), and added a single layer of Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara, the difference was amazing!

A light touch of Cargo Plant Love's Wind (please note no schoolgirl jokes today, thank you) around the cheekbones and temples to warm the look up a bit, and then I used NARS Sex Machine on Kerry's lips, and finished with a tiny slick of Dior lipgloss (the name of which has worn off, but is a very pale pink with a hint of green iridescence.  Nicer than it sounds, honest!)  Here's how it looked when it was all put together:

And here's the before and after:

Many thanks for stepping in Kerry, hope you liked your new look!


Friday 18 December 2009

Onix Blowdry - the aftermath ...

As you probably already know, I had an  Onix keratin treatment/Brazilian blowdry at Compton Hair earlier this week, and I was very, very pleased with it. Well, I let it airdry the other day, and it was with some trepidation I did it, I can tell you!  I was still convinced that the very second I washed my hair, all the FLOOF would be back, and I'd have to break out the straighteners again.

This is how it turned out:

This is my hair, airdried, without any styling product, and just after my having raked it out with my fingers.

Here's a close up of the crown, so you can see how shiny it still is:

Seriously, my hair has been gleaming all week, people in the office have commented on it!

I couldn't be happier with my new hair, it's a whole new lease of life for me!

Thursday 17 December 2009

Competition Entry

I'm entering MizzWorthy's "Think outside the box" competition today, so here's my entry (again, the photos aren't fantastic, but I was rushing this and trying to give myself a facial ready for my work Christmas party tomorrow!) It's not my greatest work, but I was trying to show one very precise look, an one slightly destroyed look at the same time:

Whaddya think?


Wednesday 16 December 2009

Organic Wednesday - Surya Brasil

To continue with Hair Week at Get Lippie this week, we're going to have a look at Surya Brasil's Amazonia Preciosa hair masks, and we have another guest blogger, the lovely Helen, who is going to review the product for us.

About Surya and Amazonia Preciosa

Surya's Amazonia Preciosa line is an incredibly natural range of haircare, all products of which are ecco-certified.  According to the website, each of the products contains: 

  • No sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, artificial colouring or fragrance
  • No parabens, solvents, GMOs or other components that are harmful to health
  • Ethically wild crafted raw materials from the Amazon Forest
  • The Preciosa essential oil is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • The Andiroba essential oil is certified by IBAMA, Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources
  • All flasks and packages are made of recyclable material.
  • Innovative, mild preservative system. No formaldehyde releasers or potential xeonestrogens.
  • Five formulas utilizing Brazilian fruits and nuts to address different hair types.

All the products are suitable for vegans, and are tested on humans rather than animals! Today, we're going to look at the Brazil Nut hair mask which is specifically formulated for dry and damaged hair.

Helen Says:

"Whilst the whole of the UK was watching the X-Factor final on Sunday night, I decided to wash my hair.  This was prompted by the fact that Ms Lippie had passed over a hair mask to try out for her Organic Wednesday slot.  Now I know that she often complains about her ‘difficult’ hair, but I do think that mine puts up a good fight in that category. It has a mind of its own on most days, and any dampness causes a ‘frizziness’ overload.  This Surya Mask was made especially for dry hair and mine was certainly in that state having just come back from a ski holiday where I wore a helmet all day, every day

After washing my hair with my normal shampoo, I took the top of the tube and squirted some onto my hand.  It had a pleasant nutty smell – reminding me a bit of a Christmas stocking from my childhood – the flavour/aroma was Brazil nut. The understated packaging didn’t indicate how much to use so I used a walnut sized lump to start with. As my hair is very short and doesn’t normally need much product, I thought this would be enough, however, this amount disappeared virtually straight away. I'm not sure if I didn’t use enough or my hair was so dry that it needed more help than usual.  I then added extra, using an amount about the size of half a small apple in the end. It went into my hair very easily with no greasiness or stickiness, but unfortunately the smell faded quickly – it would have been nice to smell like nuts for a while.  After 15 minutes sitting in the bath with a towel wrapped around my head, I rinsed off the remainder of the mask.  This process happened very easily with no residue left after a very short period of rinsing.

As for the results, although my hair was definitely softer and more controllable afterwards, it was not a life changing transformation. I must confess that I have had better results from other leave-in conditioners previously. However, the mask was very easy to use and to rinse out, had a pleasant smell and texture and did not feel ‘gloopy’ when on my hair. If you are looking to use a mask with no chemicals in it, it works well enough, but I think I will be sticking to my usual conditioner."  

So there you go.  Have you tried Surya?  The masks are available from Liberty, and cost £10.  I estimate you'd get about four treatments from one tube. I actually have someone else trialling this particular mask (I'm trying to limit the amount of products I use at the moment) and I'll bring you their thoughts on the product when I have them.

Thanks for your input, Helen!

The Small Print: This product was sent to us for review purposes.  All reviews are honest, no matter how the product arrives at GLHQ.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Review - Compton Hair: Onix Brazilian Blowdry

Now, I don't know about you, but I find the thought of trying out a new hair salon pretty terrifying, I've been known to hang around outside salons for ages trying to pluck up the courage to actually walk in and make an appointment!   As a result, it's entirely possible I don't visit the hairdresser as often as I might.

Now, when you consider that I have crazy hair:

(hair after applying straightening shampoo, conditioner, serum, balm, and home blowdry!)

that might seem a bit short-sighted, but ... I've learned my coping strategies over the years, I don't wash it every day, I use my straighteners once or twice a week, and when all else fails, I tie it back. Wash and go hair just isn't something that is possible for a curly-girl like me.

Or so I thought.

When the opportunity came up to visit Zoltan Vargyai at Compton's Covent Garden salon and try out the next generation of Brazilian keratin treatment I nearly bit someone's hand off in my eagerness to say yes! Keratin treatments, also known as a three month blowdry, have been around for a while now. They semi-permanently straighten and condition your hair, so making it easier and quicker to style.  Unlike a Yuko treatment however, the straightening effect fades over a number of months, so they're cheaper, but also unlike Yuko, Onix can be used on colour-treated and/or damaged hair.

Previously, keratin treatments have had the major disadvantage that you have to leave your hair unwashed, untouched and unstyled (literally, you can't even tuck it behind your ears!) for at least three days after having the product applied, but the new Onix treatment renders that obsolete, meaning that you can wash your hair the same day, if you want, and you can style your hair however you want without worrying that your hair will "set" into a new, and unwanted shape. Plus, the treatment can be done in about an hour, if you're lucky!  I have a LOT of hair though, so I was in the salon a fair bit longer than that ...

I spent yesterday afternoon having the process done.  The Compton Hair salon itself is very relaxed, all the staff went well out of their way to make me feel at home, and Tom - who actually carried out my treatment - was, I have to say, utterly adorable.  We spent a long time chatting about my hair, and what I wanted from the treatment, before we got started and the chat continued throughout, so much so, I barely had to pick up my book! There was also a bit of an iPhone application face-off at one point, but I shall gloss over that, I have the least cool selection of Apps, ever.  I also had a chance to speak to Zoltan himself, but I'll bring you more about that in a later post.

The treatment itself isn't that complicated, your hair is washed twice with a special clarifying shampoo to open the hair cuticles, then the keratin treatment is applied and left to absorb into your hair. Your hair is then dried and straighteners are used to set it into it's finished style.  Here's how my hair looked at this stage:

Apologies for the poor quality of the iPhone picture there!  Now, if you wish, you can leave the salon at this point, and leave the keratin on your hair for a couple of days before washing it out, or you can leave it on for another 45 minutes and have it neutralised and removed at the salon.  I opted for this version of the treatment - I'm an instant gratification kind of gal, always have been! Once the keratin was removed, my hair was very roughly blowdried with fingers, NO styling products, brushes or straighteners were used at this point, and here's how it looked when I got home after a slightly rainy walk through Covent Garden:

Lookit that shine!  (Don't lookit the stupid expression on my face ...) Ordinarily after a few minutes in a damp atmosphere I resemble a dandelion clock after a particularly vicious static storm, or Marc Bolan after a nasty electric shock, so just to get away with a little light fuzzing at the ends is amazing. Especially after only five minutes under the hairdryer! Normally getting my hair this straight is about an hour-long job, and it's back-breaking, to boot.

I can't wait to try styling this myself, I specifically requested that Tom leave me with a little root lift, so when it dries naturally it'll be a bit more "bouncy" than it appears here.  I was delighted with my experience in the salon today, seriously, they're lovely people! And I absolutely love the results I've been left with so far.  I'll bring you a further post a little later in the week about how I've found dealing with it at home, I think the key part of any salon treatment is how your hair behaves once you try to replicate the results yourself!

It's important that you use an SLS-free shampoo and conditioner after the treatment, as sulfates strip away the keratin treatment, so I purchased the Onix products to ensure I get the best results, and I'll let you know my thoughts on those too.

You can find out more about Compton Hair here and more about the Brazilian blowdry itself here. Prices start from £145, and the treatment can take from 1 to 4 hours depending on the length and thickness of your hair.  If you do go, ask for Tom, and tell him I said hello!

The Small Print: This treatment was provided free for review purposes.  All reviews are honest, regardless of the source of the product.

Monday 14 December 2009


Get Lippie is going to be all about HAIR this week - if you're reading this on Monday afternoon then I'm actually visiting Zoltan Vargyai at his Covent Garden salon (Comptons) RIGHT NOW - okay, after my doctor's appointment, I will be - and I'll be experiencing the next generation of Brazilian Keratin hair straightening treatments! I've been desperate to get my hair professionally straightened for years and this appointment is something I'm looking forward to hugely.  I'm hoping that I'll look a little less like the Wild Woman of Wongo in the mornings afterward ...

Full story and details on Tuesday ...

Sunday 13 December 2009

Makeover: Jane C

Another Sunday, and another makeover (or two) today!  Please meet Jane:

Jane's great, and I think she's one of the most naturally gorgeous people I've ever met, so having her volunteer for a makeover was a lovely surprise!  Jane was interested in finding out a simple look suitable for daytime, and trying out a more dramatic look too.  Here's what we came up with - and before we start, I must apologise for the quality of the pictures in this post, we lost the light quite dramatically towards the end of our session, and so some of the later pictures have a lot of shadows which I find really distressing!

So, for the daytime look,  as always we started with the base.  Jane is blessed with naturally creamy skin, so, instead of using a foundation, I used Benefit You Rebel in Light to even out her skintone:

I used a very tiny bit of ELF High Definition powder on Jane's T-zone, but there really wasn't a huge amount of corrective work that needed doing here.  We then moved onto Jane's eyes, I dug out my Bobbi Brown  palette, and used Flesh as a colour wash all over the lid up to to brow, then used Naked as a crease contour:


Jane uses a lot of grey shadows ordinarily, but we thought something a little different might work, so, as an eyeliner, we used a Korres pencil in blueblack - I love these pencils, they're buttery-soft and beautifully blendable, perfect for a novice user - to set off the browns in her eyes:

Then, we finished off with a little Lancome Hypnose, a dusting of Cargo Illuminator in Wind on the cheekbones, and a little beige lipgloss:

For Jane's more dramatic look, we removed the eyemakeup altogether and started from scratch.  I was determined to make this as simple as possible for Jane to be able to replicate at home, so I used a very similar application technique, and mainly just worked with different colours.

As a colour wash over the lid, I used Korres eyeshadow in Base 12s, which is a lovely taupe with a slight pink iridescence.  The iridescence made Jane a bit nervous, but once I explained that it's not actually a PINK eyeshadow, and it would just make her eyes seem a bit brighter, she relented and let me use it.  Then, to accentuate the crease, I use MAC Behold, which is a grey-taupe, and possibly the most useful eyeshadow I have in my kit:


I then applied an extremely thin line of black powder eyeshadow in place of liquid liner, and accentuated the lashes with a coat of Lancome Hypnose Drama (forgot to take pictures of this step - sorry!) Once the eyes were finished, I applied Ellis Red from Ellis Faas to Jane's lips, and the look was finished:

Personally, I love how this looks on Jane.  If I were to try to re-create this look, I'd probably do a little cheekbone contouring too - probably using Ilamasqua blush in Rumour - and add another coat or two of mascara.  I'd also make sure the lighting was right!

Thank you very much for being my sitter, Jane, I hope you enjoyed the session as much as I did.

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