Thursday, 6 March 2014

REVIEW - Halo Hair Extensions 'The Halo'

Did anyone else used to glue in their hair extensions? With that tar like glue which smelt like fish? That's my first memory of hair extensions - helping my sister glue hers in before she headed out, I must have been about 13 at the time! Anyway. I soon learnt that clip ins were the way to go for me, but the boffins at Halo Hair had another idea all together - no clips, no glue, no fuss - and so, 'the halo' was born...

So what is a 'halo' exactly? Well, it's five layers of hair weft stitched together to create one thick hair piece which can then be attached by a wire. Yup. A fine, little wire.

Attached to the weft is an adjustable loop of clear wire, which you knot to fit your head perfectly. No stinky glue, no clips digging in and pulling your hair, in fact - nothing damaging at all.

Just pop the halo on around the crown of your head, pull your own hair through and style it as usual. It feels surprisingly secure and so light weight you can easily forget you're wearing them! Halos come in both human hair and synthetic forms - human hair can be heat styled, dyed etc whereas the synthetic versions can not.

Here's my usual, shortish hair. When straightened it comes roughly 1" below the collarbones.

And here's my hair with a 16" halo. I think you can only tell it isn't my own hair because the colour is off (the extensions are jet black, my hair is naturally around 1b - natural black). Now, indoors, it aint that obvious, but in daylight and under the flash of a camera you can certainly tell.

You can email a picture to Halo to get an accurate match, I was matched to black but the difference between black and 1b is so subtle it's hard to tell in pictures! 

The 16" Halo I'm wearing costs £89.99 - which is roughly the same as a full set of decent quality clip in extensions. That may seem steep if you're used to cheaper, lower quality sets (trust me, with extensions, you get what you pay for) plus Halo Hair pieces come with a lifetime guarantee - any breakages? No worries. Send them back for a fast repair any time.

Now, as a trained wig and hair piece maker, I'm super fussy with extensions - but Halo get the thumbs up! Thick enough for my CRAZY thick hair, quality hair itself, lightweight, super fast and easy to apply, affordable for quality hair with a lifetime guarantee - what more could you want?! 

Product provided for review purposes. All opinions 100% mine and 100% honest - as always!

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Empties/ Mini Reviews

I seem to have amassed quite a few empties this time around, perhaps because I've started a kinda almost sorta low buy. I have two Ikea boxes full of perfectly good products I just don't use - mainly hair and body things and found myself contemplating getting a third box recently, madness! Instead of buying and hoarding more, I'm using up what's in those boxes before buying anything else.

Bit of a mix this time...

Superdrug 'Coconut and Shea Butter Body Lotion' - This smells SICKLY sweet! I actually loved the smell when I first bought it, but eventually it became a little over powering. The moisurising properties are nothing special, but okay for daily use on normal skin. Repurchase? Maybe in a different scent.

Creightons 'Raspberry and Pomegranate Bath and Shower Gel' - A cheapy bubble bath that doubles as shower gel, it has that sweet, slightly naff fruity smell we've all probably come across before but at less that £2 for 500ml I aint gonna complain! Repurchase? If strapped for cash and in need of shower gel, I can't see why not.

The Body Shop 'Strawberry Beautifying Lotion' - I adooore this stuff! Oils are a God send and this ticks all the right boxes. Great for skin and hair, plus it smells amazing and you can usually snap up a bottle pretty cheap in The Body Shop sales. Repurchase? I'm 3/4 the way through my second bottle!

Boots 'Simply Sensitive SPF 15 Moisturiser' - Truth be told, I haven't finished this, but it has sat unused in a box for about the last year. It's light, softening and sinks into the skin quickly - it's actually great, I just prefer something that feels a bit more luxe for face cream. Repurchase? Nope, I'm becoming a face cream snob *hides*

Marshmallow Blends 'Apple Jack Body Butter' - Great for SUPER dry skin, definitely one to apply at night because it sits on the skin quite heavily. However, it smells amazing and does a good job of banishing dry patches. Repurchase? No, I'm not a huge fan of the feeling of products sitting on my skin.

Lush 'Happy Happy Joy Joy Conditioning Hair Perfume' - I barely made a dent in this as the smell of it made my Mum, sister, boyfriend and (probably) housemates want to run for miles in the opposite direction. I actually liked the herbal scent but I guess it isn't a very popular one! Repurchase? No!

Tresemmé 'Platinum Strength Conditioner' - A fantastic day to day conditioner for those of us with very dry or damaged hair. It makes my bleached, frizzly locks feel much smoother and stronger. Repurchase? Already have.

Pure Coconut Oil - I'm so lucky I live somewhere with a huge Asian community, as my local Morrisons stocks this stuff for just 99p in the Asian cooking section - winning! I find it's a lot more effective than the Superdrug stuff, plus the glass bottle makes it easy to melt the oil inside. Repurchase? I think I'm on my third bottle now... 

Phillip Smith 'Dry Clean' Dry Shampoo - A dry shampoo is a dry shampoo is a dry shampoo...Repurchase? Nah, the bottle top stopped working so I only used about half of it!

Superdrug 'Deep Action Facial Cleansing Wipes' - While I don't believe facial wipes do any more than baby wipes, I do enjoy Superdrug's own versions. They're strong and moist enough to remove most make-up in a doddle. Repurchase? I've been buying these for years!

Yes to Tomatoes 'Skin Clearing Facial Mask' - Probably the worst mask I've ever bought, it wasn't even enjoyable to apply or relax in (which, let's face it, is the reason we really buy face masks!) and dried out really quickly. Plus I believe it was about £13 - eek. Repurchase? Never.

MUA 'Lash Boom' Mascara - I wish I'd noticed that it has one of those silly torture device type wands before I bought it, because I dislike them greatly! However, at £3 it wasn't just wasn't good either. Repurchase? Nope.

Maybelline 'Stay Matte' powder and Collection 'Lasting Perfection' concealer - Do I need to say anything?! Repurchase? Aaaall the time!

And now I can go and fling this lot in the recycling and start another 'empties' box - a little strange when you realise just how much you actually get through! 

See anything here you use? Link me to your last 'empties' post!

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

REVIEW - Illamasqua 'Freak' Eau de Perfume

When Illamasqua launched 'Freak' a few years back, it sounded just my thing - however, samples were not available for purchase and I was unwilling to part with cash for something I might not even like... 'Freak' sat in the back of my mind along with other curiosities, until I received a sample with an order and knew I had to make a bottle mine...

Please remember that perfumes and scents are hugely reliant on personal opinion and body chemistry - while I love 'Freak' and it works on me, it may be different for you :)

Black davana, opium flower and belladonna.

Poison hemlock, datura and queen of the night blossom.

Aromas of frankincense, oud and myrrh.

Truth be told, the only notes I know the scent of off the top of my head are frankincense and myrrh thanks to Christmas room sprays (what?! Christmas smells gooood!) However, the witches brew sounding notes were enough to get me interested! When choosing perfume, go for base notes that you love before anything else, as these last the longest - then heart notes, then top notes.

To me, 'Freak' smells warm, mysterious and a little decadent. Upon first application, it smells like a really beautiful mens' scent - not spicy, woody or cheap like a lot of blokey scents on the market! After about an hour the scent starts to soften down, eventually becoming something a lot more feminine after around three hours. While 'Freak' is overall fairly masculine, I would say that it is more delicate than your average male scent and crosses into the 'unisex' boundary confidently. However, if you're more into your typical ladies floral or sweet scents, perhaps track down a sample before taking the plunge.

And, of course, the bottle! The 30ml version (like mine) comes in a simple glass bottle with 'Freak' scroll text and snail logo, which personally, I love. How many perfumes would use a slimy little mollusc as their symbol? The 75ml version's bottle comes at a jaunty angle with a little silver snail crawling up the side - beautiful!

I bought my bottle in the sale for £15 (bargain) - if you fancy treating yourself, the sale is still going on, and if you use the code 'sale10' you get an extra 10% off!

Do you own 'Freak'? What do you think of it? I'd really want to try 'Scarab' next!

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Monday, 13 January 2014

Darling Girl Cosmetics 'Oh the Horror!' Swatches

I love seeing what indie companies have been cooking up when it comes to Halloween, being a complete horror whore (sounds much worse than I intended it to...) myself. Last year I couldn't resist ordering from Darling Girl Cosmetics Halloween collection, 'Oh the Horror!' seeing as it took inspiration from old school horrors - my favourite kind!

Lets see what I bought...

Brocade - This wasn't part of the collection, it came as a free sample, but it's so pretty  had to share it in this post! Gleaming golden rose which is more intensely metallic when foiled. Applied dry with a light hand, it would make quite a nice blush.

Heads Will Roll - Glowing medium grey-purple with violet iridescence. Brighter and more pigmented than my swatch (darn flash) and reminds me of MAC 'Violet' pigment. 

The Count - Vivid blurple with sparkles, lies somewhere between royal blue and a true purple. This would look ace paired with a brilliantly metallic gold or silver.

Attack of the 50ft Woman - Bright yellow with red iridescence , which makes it look quite orange toned. A pretty unique shade which looks awesome foiled.

Frankenstein - Soft grey-green toned brown with coppery shift and sparkles. This is utterly stunning both dry and foiled and would make a fab 'one colour wash'.

The Boogeyman - Soft golden toned taupe with slight coppery shift and sparkles. Such a pretty neutral which would look great with flicked out eyeliner.

Here's Johnny! - Red toned purple rammed full of sparkle! I'd say this was mostly glitz, and definitely one to be applied over glitter glue. It's simply stunning and would look incredible as part of a dark smokey eye. The darker swatch is 'Here's Johnny!' applied over black eyeliner.

King Kong - Black base with lots of turquoise sparkle and glitz. This seems more green-grey toned that blue to me, not a shade I'd usually choose, but the sparkle makes it a bit more 'me'.

The Monster Within - Very similar to 'King Kong', but much bluer and sparklier. The strong teal shift really compliments the deep purple hue this takes at certain angles - my favourite of the bunch!

Each shade is well pigmented and buttery smooth, although I would say that 'Here's Johnny' works more as a glitter than an eyeshadow. Also keep in mind that 'Brocade' and 'The Count' are definitely eyeshadows you have to pat rather than swipe on - else you end up with a smear of the base colour with no sparkle and an uneven finish.

I used the 'international baggies' option as this saves a TONNE on shipping, and decanted the eyeshadows into 3g jars purchased from an eBay seller. This is pretty easy to do and well worth it for saving on shipping - jars are cheap after all!

All eyeshadows swatched over glitter glue.

Full size Darling Girl Cosmetics eyeshadows are priced at $5.90, petit eyeshadows (what I buy) are priced at $2.50 each. 

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Friday, 10 January 2014

OOTD - Pushing Up Daisies

I'm a little bit daisy obsessed at the moment, which is handy since daisy print seems to be everywhere recently. I've never been a floral girl - either in prints or scents, but I think this may be changing seeing as I also can't stop wearing Marc Jacobs 'Daisy' perfume...daisies everywhere!

Something I wore to take the boyfriend out on Monday - how very modern! We wined (cocktailed) and dined at 'Revolucion de Cuba' before heading off to 'Matt and Phred's' for the blue jam, which was ace. If you ever fancy a chilled out evening of music and a drink or two, definitely check out what's on at 'Matt and Phred's', it wont disappoint.

Cardigans and lace aren't very 'me' either, but for some reason I couldn't pass on this one when I saw it. It's probably the '50s/ rockabilly lover in me!

Naturally, with so many typically 'not me' things, I had to bring it back around with a spikey necklace, fishnets and creepers.

CARDIGAN - Primark
NECKLACE - Primark
TIGHTS - Primark
CREEPERS - Demonia

All in all a top night - though now I need to find a fellow rum lover I can drag to the 'Havana Club Bar' in the 'Revolucion de Cuba', those rums be callin' my name...

Link me to your last OOTD!

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

BBHB on Instagram!

This year's the year I got a phone which can do more than sends texts and call people, which means I've actually been able to join Instagram instead of just stalking people on it...
So if you fancy following, you can find me here - beautysbadhabit. Leave me links to yours too, I'm in need of people to follow!
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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

REVIEW - MUA 'Irreplaceable' Power Pout

Last year everyone hopped aboard the 'lip crayons' train, with Clinique taking the lead and everyone willingly following suit. Colour plus convenience and for the most part - comfort, it was a winning combination for many brands. Not totally convinced I'd be into the lip crayon thing, I opted to try out the most purse friendly version - MUA 'Power Pouts'.

Power Pouts are tinted lip balms, which deliver instant gloss and colour as well as instant relief from dry lips. The packaging looks and feels a bit naff, but for £3 who can moan? I quite like that the outer casing matches the colour inside, as it makes finding whichever shade you're after much easier in a crowded make-up bag.

'Irreplaceable' applied smoothly, gliding on without dragging on the lips or feeling waxy. These also have a minty fresh scent, which fades quickly.

The colour applies evenly, with enough pigmentation to actually be worth buying (aint tinted lip balms that show up clear a pain?)

On my lips, 'Irreplaceable' shows up as a medium, warm, soft pink - keep in mind that it will look different depending on your natural lip colour.

All in all a winner if you're after a lip crayon on a budget - sheer pigmentation, glossy, comfortable to wear and easily available. 

Priced at £3 each, available from Superdrug and online.

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