Tuesday, 30 April 2013

#Btonbloggermeet Review and The AMAZING Goody Bag

So, it was the Brighton Blogger Meet (#btonbloggermeet) on Saturday and as promised, here's my review of the day.

I know I - and all the other ladies in attendance - were absolutely amazed by the hard work Laura (of lolaandbehold.blogspot.co.uk) put into organising the day's demonstrations, as well as the contents of our ABSOLUTELY AMAZING goody bags! You can see what I got in mine later in this post.

Like some of the other girls, I was quite nervous at first but everyone was really nice and we all quickly relaxed (this coincided with the bar opening...what are the chances...ha!)

The Lush Demo: Cosmetic Catastrophe Fresh Face Mask 

Lush Demo Btonbloggermeet
Lush demo at The Globe pub, Middle Street. Image credit: Hannah of makedoandpush.co.uk - Thanks for letting me use your event pics Hannah!
Shortly after everyone had got their first drink inside 'em, two lovely representatives from Lush showed us how the company's 'Cosmetic Catastrophe' face mask is made, through a live demo.

This face mask contains fresh blueberries, almond oil, rose absolute and Irish moss gel, and is designed to rescue skin on the verge of a breakout, due to hormones or stress. Not only is this mask designed to draw impurities out from the skin, but it also helps to replace the essentials skin needs to thrive.

The mixture (which Lilla of lillaloves.com enthusiastically helped to bash up) was served up into 20 pots, and we were each given one to take home with us. I've never bought a Lush face mask before, but this one smells gorgeous! The full-size 75ml pot we were given contains around four applications too, so I'll really get to test it out properly.

I'd like to try some more Lush products in the future - seeing this demo has increased my confidence in the brand's position as a company believing in handmade, fuss-free beauty.

Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask blueberry fresh
Made in front of our very eyes! RRP: £5.95
Before we headed to the My Salon Looks hair and tanning salon for some more demos, Laura handed out the before-mentioned goody bags, as well as some Birch boxes.

Birch Box April 2013
Inside my #btonbloggermeet Birch Box (April 2013 box): Birch Box-branded 'Let The Sunshine In' mirror, Mirenesse Glossy Kiss stick in 'Starlet',  Savon Surfin La Violette de Parme (this soap smells just like those Parma Violet sweets - delicious!), Weleda Skin Food sample, Gerda Spillmann Renaissance Age Serum sample, and Natio Aromatherapy Renew Radiance Foam Cleanser sample.

Laura also and ran a raffle for prizes kindly donated to us by some really generous sponsors like Washi!, Batiste, St. Moriz and Boux Avenue. This was my raffle prize (#18!):

Boux Avenue toiletries raffle prize
Boux Avenue Indulgent Scented Soap & Pink Taffeta body lotion. Mmmmm!
Before I show you my goody bag, er, goodies, let me tell you about our stop at My Salon Looks...

Thanks to Chelle - of uniqueandchic.co.uk - for this Vine video (can you spot me? Ha!)

My Salon Looks Demos: Moroccanoil treatment and Tissue Highlights

My Salon Looks Brighton btonbloggermeet
Image credit: Hannah of makedoandpush.co.uk
My Salon Looks Shu Uemura Treatment demo btonbloggermeet
Preparing the hair for the Moroccanoil treatment... Image credit: Hannah of makedoandpush.co.uk
We were invited to the luxurious My Salon Looks salon to watch demonstrations of two hair treatments - the Moroccanoil treatment, and 'tissue lightening.'

The first saw Styling Director George gently dab the original Moroccanoil oil treatment onto the areas of the client's hair which needed the most TLC. After letting the oil do it's magic for a while, George then combed it through the entire lengths before rinsing. Once blow-dried, the hair was left looking noticeably healthier and softer.

Moroccanoil hair treatment
The original Moroccanoil hair treatment - accept no substitute!
Another stylist meanwhile was lightening a woman's hair using tissue wraps instead of traditional foil ones. We all found this quite bizarre initially, especially because there was nothing particularly special about the loo roll that was used. When we saw the final results however, we could all see how this method is far better for the creation of well blended highlights (i.e. avoiding clashing 'badger stripes' in the hair.)

We all received a voucher for £15 off our first cut or colour at the salon, an offer I am sure I will be taking up! My Salon Looks is more than a salon - it's an indulgent experience!

All treatments offered by the salon are catered to the individual needs of each customer's hair. Clients sit in a deluxe vibrating massage chair while having their hair rinsed in the colour-changing Oasis. I tried out the chair and enjoyed a Homer Simpson 'Spinemelter' moment!

Oasis area My Salon Looks
The Oasis at My Salon Looks (Image credit: mysalonlooks.co.uk)
Each customer is also gifted the use of an iPad while they're having their hair seen to, which I consider quite novel!
Ti Creative Sensual 3600 hairdryer
Ti Creative Sensual 3600 hairdryer.
Laura, My Salon Looks' Area Manager, also surprised us all with the gift of either a brand new, salon professional hair dryer, or set of hair straighteners. I was lucky enough to receive the Ti Creative Sensual 3600 hairdryer, which is ergonomically designed and comprises 'Argan Oil ceramic grill' technology for extra ion transfer.

I've yet to try it it out, but I'm sure it's a massive improvement on my current Mark Hill one! I feel so spoilt, and I'm astounded by the Salon's generosity!

Inside my AMAZING goody bag...

Beauty Blogger goody bag skin goodies A
SKIN SELECTION A: Jamela 24K Gold Under-Eye Masks (I'm so excited to try these!), Amie 'Spring Clean' Cooling Clay Mask, Nourish Radiance Rejuvenating Peptide Serum, St. Moriz Instant Face Tan (Medium Matt) and Bodhi samples: Jasmine Falls Relaxing Body Moisturiser, Mint Bath and Shower Therapy, Rosemary Chi  Bath and Shower Therapy and Neroli Luce Rivitalising Face Oil, (I'm also stoked to put this to the test!)
Beauty Blogger goody bag skin goodies B
SKIN SELECTION B: Boux Avenue Pink Taffeta hand cream (matches my raffle prize - yay!), Beyond Organic Skincare Firming Eye Cream, Weleda Baby Celendula Lotion, Blend Collective samples: Star Jasmine Hand Cream & Sicilian Lemon Hydrating hand and Body Cream, and a selection of samples from Green People: Fruit Scrub Exfoliator, Gentle Cleanse Makeup Remover, Hydrating Firming Serum and Vita Min Fix 24-Hour Cream.
Washi! Skin Polishing Kit
Washi! Skin Polishing Kit: I look forward to giving my face  a good ol' scrub with these hot cloths!
Beauty Blogger goody bag makeup goodies A
MAKEUP SELECTION A: The Vintage Cosmetic Company 'Gracie' lashes, Eldora handmade eyelashes, ILAH Brows Semi Permanent Mineral Brow Travel Kit (I'm utterly intrigued by this!), Helen E Cosmetics Glamour Colour Gloss in Shade 22 'Maraschino', and Revlon Super Lustrous Lip balm in 'Pink Crystal'.
Beauty Blogger goody bag makeup goodies B
MAKEUP SELECTION B: Carmex 'Lime Twist' lip balm, Blistex 'Lip Brilliance', Smooch lipstick in 'Inferno' (this is so much like Hayley Williams' recent MAC lippy - LOVE!), Nail Girls nail varnish (shade name unknown, but the Nail Girls' team picked it out especially for me), Helen E Cosmetics nail varnish in 'Minted' (LOVE this shade!), Angelica nail colour in 'Bondi Beach', Mavala nail varnish in Malibu (also gorgeous!) and two Mary Greenwell EDP samples: 'Lemon' and 'Plum'.
ESPA £30 Gift Voucher
£30 gift card from Espa: I was shocked, but delighted, to find this in my goody bag too! I wonder what I'll spend it on?
Brighton Blogger Meet hair goodies
Hair goodies: Batiste Dry Shampoo for red hair (thanks for putting this one in my goody bag Laura - apt!) and Neal Wolf Daily Cleansing Shampoo and Conditioner samples sachets.

Thanks so much once again to Laura for organising all of this! I'll be sure to review as many of these items as possible in the near future - you can hit the 'Follow' button to the top right of this page so you don't miss anything!

Kat x

Friday, 26 April 2013

Stunning Mesh Fringe Necklace, from olivia-accessories.com

 Olivia Accessories gift bag and mesh fringe necklace KatSick

You may remember I became quite ill towards the end of 2012. It was nothing serious, but if you had told me that at the time, I'd have ripped your head off - I had EPIC (wo)man flu, which left me absolutely drained for weeks, and fall behind with my blogging exploits.

In my mucus-fuelled haze, I forgot to review a gorgeous necklace gifted to me by olivia-accessories.com, an online shop offering a plethora of gorgeous jewellery and accessory items.


Be sure to check out my Olivia Accessories wishlist, included after my necklace review, too!

Black Mesh Fringe Necklace Review

Black fringe necklace from olivia-accessories.com
I have to say, the light weight of this necklace really surprised me - I imagined it would be quite heavy considering it's complex construction! But no, while the super-reflective chain is very durable, it sits incredibly comfortably - it's so easy to forget I'm even wearing it!

While light, the necklace never moves out of position on it's own accord, which is a great design feat.

I never thought I'd ever wear this necklace during the daytime before it arrived, but it's really quite versatile - I've teamed it with both casual and more dressy, evening attire (but then again, I was never one to shy away from mismatched outfits and accessories!)

The fact the chain is adjustable is also a bonus, since you can position it optimally to sit above - and draw attention to - your shirt puppies... *SNIGGER*

Black fringe necklace adjustable chain

I've included a couple of high resolution pictures, taken directly from the Olivia Accessories website, too.

I'm still limited to the camera on my HTC (boo!), which isn't too great at picking up finer details, and I really wanted to show you the tactile texture of the strong, glint-in-the-light mesh:

Black fringe mesh necklace: olivia-accessories.com

Seriously, the metal mesh used to construct this necklace is awesome! It's so intricate.

At just £10, this necklace is fantastic value for money!

My Olivia Accessories wishlist

These are my most wanted items, from the selection currently available on olivia-accessories.com - I NEED MO' MONEY!

Green and white paved stretch bracelet (£8 - STUNNING!), Blue and yellow heart earrings (£5 - I really dig the contrast!), Pearl bracelet (£5.50 - I adore vintage-esque faux pearls) and Pink and black heart necklace (£8 - long length beads are a staple of my jewellery box, and this heart one is adorable!)

Which is your favourite item from my wishlist? I'd love you to tell me in the comments below - I read, and really appreciate, every single one! 

Be sure to check out olivia-accessories.com for yourself, and follow the brand on Twitter!

Kat x

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

So It's The Brighton Blogger Meet On Saturday...

Brighton Pier sunset lips

It's the Brighton Blogger Meet this Saturday (April 27), and judging from recent updates from the event's organiser - Laura of lolaandbehold.blogspot.co.uk -  it's going to be a fantastic, and very busy, day!

What are we up to?

Brighton Blogger Meet sponsers

We're meeting in a pub called The Globe in Brighton's South Laines around midday, and we'll be joined by a representative from Lush who will be giving us a few demos (exactly what kinds of demos is still hush-hush!)

We'll also be joined by a representative from Nail Girls London, who has apparently picked out some varnishes for us, based on our blog-themes/personalities! Exciting!

After a couple of hours, we'll be heading to the My Salon Looks beauty, tanning and hair salon for another demonstration - something related to Moroccan oil I believe, which is great since I looooove Moroccan oil hair products!

There may be some more demos on the day, but these are TBC. Hopefully they'll be time for some shopping though!

Laura has been working really hard collecting bits and pieces from some very generous brands who volunteered to sponsor our blogger meet, and fill our goody bags (take a look at the logo collage above for a few!) Lilla has also secured us ladies some post meet-up treats from The Body Shop, which is obviously awesome as well!

We're scheduled to eat at Oregano - a yummy Italian by Brighton Pier - in the early evening.

Lilla (of lillaloves.com) has also booked a table at Brighton's Funfair Club, for the girls who're still full of beans when the clock hits 11pm.

Unfortunately  it's unlikely I'll be able to stay for dinner, let alone go clubbing, as my Aunt has decided this is the weekend to pay my family a visit (I do love you if you're reading this Bev, but proper poor timing! Ha!)

Brighton Blogger Meet - whose going?

There's 20 Brighton bloggers attending the event, and so I know I've missed a couple of ladies who should also be on the list below. If you're one of them - sorry! Let me know and I'll add you ASAP!

I must admit I'm quite nervous to meet everyone - I'm initially much shyer than people expect for a ridiculously tall and neon-haired bird! I'm sure everyone will be super lovely though, and life's all about doing the things that scare you...right?


Me (duh!)
Laura of lolaandbehold.blogspot.co.uk (double duh!)
Lilla of lillaloves.com (triple duh!)
Annabelle of annabelle-miller.com
Jessica of fashionmeasmile.com

You can follow what we're all up to on the day by keeping tabs on hash tag: #btonbloggermeet Let's hope our phone batteries don't die too quickly!

I'll be sure to tell you all about the meet here afterwards too - why not follow me on GFC (button to top right of this page), so you don't miss my recap post? If you've attended a blogger meet up before, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. Were you nervous?

Kat x

Monday, 15 April 2013

Poundland Purchases: Collection 2000 Poptastic Eye Pallet & Miners' Complexion Collection

Poundland Purchases both KatSick

I popped into Poundland after work today to stock up on conditioner, but I couldn't resist basketing these two bargain beauty buys also...

Collection 2000 Poptastic Eye Pallet

I actually bought this pallet last week after reading about it on Hannah Marie's blog (I'd been tempted to get it for quite a while), but I picked up another one today because I like it so much!

Collection 2000 Poptastic eyeshadow x 2 KatSick
See, I told you I have two!
Collection 2000 Poptastic eye pallet

Collection 2000 Poptastic eye pallet top two rows swatches
The first six eyeshadows' swatches (first two rows, from left to right). My faves here are the two blues, and the final 'lime'  colour, which looks more yellow here than it is in reality!
The final three swatches. While I'm not particularly keen on the navy blue or slate-black shadows, I LOVE the shimmery green one!

A lovely french girl browsing the cosmetics section of pound shop complimented me on my duo-green eyeshadow (seen in the pic below), and I immediately pointed out the Poptastic pallet to her - she was really taken with it too!
Duo green eyeshadow KatSick
Today's eye makeup, using colours #6 and #7 from the Poptastic pallet. I still need a decent camera, eugh (keep dreaming, girl...) Also, the 17 mascara I used BLOWS - I'll moan about it in an upcoming post, don't worry ;]
Returning the favor, she then recommended my second Poundland purchase; Miner's Complexion Collection.

Miner's Complexion Collection

Miners Complexion Collection boxed

I'm yet to try out the highlighter and two blushers in this kit properly, but they look pretty good judging from the swatches. It'll be nice to have some more subtle blushers in my makeup arsenal - I've gone off the vividness of my usual "go-to."

Miners Complexion Collection raised texture
I really liked the raised textures :]
Miners Complexion Collection swatches
The pale pink highlighter (left) will likely become a favorite of mine...
Have you picked up any brilliant beauty bargains in Poundland recently? Maybe you're a brand snob, and wouldn't dream of buying makeup from a pound shop? I'd love you to share your thoughts with me in the comments below.  

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

GIVEAWAY: Win Manic Panic Hair Dye in ANY Colour (5 x WINNERS!)

Manic Panic tubs various colours

Last weekend I reviewed Manic Panic's 'Pillarbox Red' hair dye, kindly gifted to me by crazyhaircolour.com.

You lovely readers now have the chance to win a tub of the fantastic semi-permanent hair colourant (RRP £10.99), in ANY colour of your choice!

FIVE WINNERS will be selected once the entry period is up (see the Rafflecopter widget to the bottom of this post for a countdown clock).

Manic Panic hair dye colour chart
Manic Panic: Which colour will you choose?

How to enter this Manic Panic hair dye giveaway

Entering is really simple. All you have to do is 'LIKE' the crazyhaircolour.com Facebook page, and leave a comment on the wall detailing the colour you'd like to win, and why. 

Be sure to do this through the Rafflecopter widget to the bottom of this post to register your entry! 

There are other things you can do to earn extra entry points too - the more you earn, the higher your chance of winning! 

You can earn 10 extra entry points if you follow me via Google Friend Connect, for example, or an extra five if you tweet about my giveaway (again, be sure to use Rafflecopter to complete these extra tasks, or the points won't count towards your entry!)

All that's left is to decide which shade from the Manic Panic rainbow most takes your fancy!

Good luck to everyone who enters! Make sure you register your entries using the Rafflecopter widget below.

This giveaway is sponsored by:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
T&Cs of this giveaway:
  • This giveaway is open to citizens of the UK only (sorry!)
  • The giveaway closes on Monday 24 April, 2013. Please see the Rafflecopter widget for remaining entry time. 
  • The prize will be posted to the winners by crazyhaircolour.com on my behalf, so you'll need to provide me your address to pass on, should you win. All winners will be notified by email. 
  • I am not responsible for any giveaway prizes lost in transit. 
  • Rafflecopter makes use of random.org to select winners. However, I reserve the right to deny the prize to any Twitter/GFC/Facebook (etc.) account I deem created for the sole purpose of entering competitions. Rafflecopter will be used to select a different winner in this instance. 
  • The prize is as stated - 1 x pot of Manic Panic hair dye, in a colour of the winner's choice. No other prizes are available, and there is no cash alternative (why would you want that anyway!?)
  • Five winners will be selected only. 
  • No purchase is necessary to enter this competition. 

Monday, 8 April 2013

My Thoughts on Manic Panic 'Pillarbox Red', from crazyhaircolour.com

Manic Panic Pillarbox Red Electric Amysthst Fuchsia Shock
Manic Panic dyes: Pillarbox Red, Electric Amethyst & Fuchsia Shock. These  are £10.99 each on crazyhaircolour.com.
It's been a while since I posted - my recent solo trip to Amsterdam left me rather exhausted! I spent a lot of time walking around sightseeing, shopping, stopping in coffee shops, and getting lost, but in a comfortable way - I could always find my way back to key landmarks.

I'm glad I beat my personal challenge of travelling there alone, and it was very interesting to see the city from a very different perspective, compared to my previous visits with others.

Introducing crazyhaircolour.com

Anyway, upon returning I found a delivery waiting for me from crazyhaircolour.com. crazyhaircolour.com sent me three pots of Manic Panic hair dye to try - I picked the three colours pictured to the top of this post.

The site specialises in bright hair dyes and stocks the Crazy Colour, La Riche Directions and Stargazer brands in addition to Manic Panic.

The site also provides awesome discounts on multiple dye orders, and free UK delivery. Click the banner below to visit the site.

crazyhaircolour.com logo

I've never used Manic Panic before...

Although I have dyed my hair many bright shades over the past decade, Manic Panic is a brand I'd never used previous to this review. I've wanted to try it out, but in my experience this dye has always been scarce compared to the other brands stocked in the UK.

But finally I can see if these dyes live up to the strong reputation they hold among fans of vivid hair dyes...

Manic Panic Pillarbox Red hair dye review

Of the three dyes I received, I decided to use the Manic Panic Pillarbox Red first.

Before applying this dye, my hair was coloured with Special Effects' 'Virgin Rose'. I liked my hair freshly dyed this colour, but it faded quickly and I also fancied a change from my now-sorta-signature shade.

Special Effects Virgin Rose dye hair swatch
A photo of my hair pre-colouring. Shade: Special Effects' 'Virgin Rose' (faded). Sorry, I didn't noticed the lack of camera focus until after colouring my hair!
I did not pre-lighten my hair before using Manic Panic. I simply applied the entire pot of Pillarbox Red after shampooing and towel-drying my hair. I didn't apply any extra heat like the packaging suggested for 'extra vivid results' either, since I wanted a subtler red  (though I think I ended up with the "vivid" results anyway!)

When I first started application, I started to worry a bit because the dye has quite a lot of yellow in it. This made me think my hair would end up a light-gingery brown. This was this actual result:

Manic Panic Pillabox Red dye hair swatch
My hair coloured with Manic Panic Pillarbox Red. It's not orange (at least, not yet...) This pic was taken without the flash on.
Pillarbox Red Manic Panic KatSick
 My previous pink seems to peek through the red  in certain light... I suspect I will need to apply more red dye sooner, rather than later! This pic was taken with the flash on. Like my dressing gown? Ha!

Why I like Manic Panic's 'Pillarbox Red'

  • You can apply it without gloves: As the dye contains a lot of yellow, it barely stains skin at all! I noticed this when I accidentally touched it with a fingertip, and so didn't bother with gloves. My hands returned to their normal colour after washing them with everyday household soap.
  • It's not (very) messy: I was expecting the bath to look like a murder scene after rinsing out the dye, but no! The water was tinged red but it was not nearly as bad as I expected - it seems my hair absorbed most the colour! Application-splatters wiped off of the tiles really easily too, though there were few because...
  • The dye doesn't drip: This conditioner based dye sort of 'lathered' up during application, which made it really easy to smooth evenly through my hair.
I am worried that this dye is going to fade more quickly then I would hope considering it didn't stain my skin of the bathroom surfaces though! 

I am a little put off by the price of £10.99 a pot too - whether this equates value for money will depend on the dye's staying power. Assuming it doesn't fade too terribly, half a pot would probably be sufficient for each colour refresh.

Whether or not this dye fades quickly or not remains to be seen, but I think might stick to red for a while regardless. I've just ordered four bottles of 'Fire' red dye by Crazy Colour, from crazyhaircolour.com (only £14.99 including P&P - bargain!) so I can top up the colour as needed.

This should prove far more economical than using Manic Panic each time - though I am certainly impressed with the brand, and I look forward to trying the other two colours I was sent in the future.

I wonder how long will pass before I'm bored of my hair colour this time...

What do you think of my new 'do? If you fancy trying out some Manic Panic dye yourself, be sure to check back to my blog soon - I'll be running a giveaway sponsored by crazyhaircolour.com, through which five of you can win a pot of your choice!

/KatSick xx