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Hair And Graces | Five Favourite Hair Products.

Hey guys and gals! So it’s time for another Five Favourites. Rather than going for  specific brand today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite hair products. I’ll admit, I have kind of cheated a teeny tiny bit (I did warn you this would happen) and there are more than five products here but if it’s a shampoo and conditioner duo that’s fine, right? Good.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy and find it useful. So, let’s get started…

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment

I mentioned this product earlier this week but I’m not even sorry –  I adore this product. It is the first hair growth treatment I have ever used that actually works and I literally used it ALL the time when I was trying to grow out my fringe and bob. I still use it once every few weeks just to keep my hair growing nicely. The formula works by fertilising the follicles, which helps your locks reach their maximum potential length.

It also makes my hair super silky and smell like a SNACK, which always helps.

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Image from amazon.co.uk

Aussie Hair Miracle Moist Shampoo and Conditioner

Aussie is one of my absolute favourite hair brands. They do some fantastic products from shampoos and conditioners to hair masks and oils. It was a tough one to narrow them all down but the Aussie Hair Miracle Moist Shampoo and Conditioner are my absolute ride or die shampoo and conditioner. They smell amazing and make my super duper dry hair feel nourished and super soft. They’re a little pricey but I really do think they’re worth it.

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Image from aussiehair.com

Elvive Nutri-Gloss Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

A slightly cheaper alternative to Aussie shampoo and conditioner are the Elvive Nutri-Gloss Shine Shampoo and Conditioner and they are still really good. I have really noticed that since growing my hair long it gets lifeless and dull really quickly, but these are great for giving a bit of life to your long hair. My hair always feels super soft and looks really shiny after I have used this. It doesn’t last for ages (ie. it gets dull quicker that when I have used Aussie) but it is more affordable and still pretty good stuff.

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Image from boots.com

LUSH American Cream Conditioner

Next up is another product I have mentioned on the blog before. The LUSH American Cream Conditioner is one of my favourite conditioners EVER. It smells like a thick, delicious strawberry milkshake you get from an American diner, which is so beautiful and indulgent. Not only does it smell like heaven, it also makes my hair look super sleek and glossy.

I always get compliments after using this and it leaves me smelling like strawberries and cream for the rest of the day – it’s incredible. Go and buy it. 

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Image from lush.com

Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Shampoo

Last but certainly not least is a silver haired gals best friend. I have naturally blonde hair but tend to have highlights every few months that can go really brassy when it’s time for them to be redone. This shampoo is the best out there for brightening and reviving my hair and helping to keep any yellow brassiness at bay. As a shampoo it is not the MOST nourishing but it is still pretty good and doesn’t need another shampoo used alongside it (maybe just a conditioner afterwards). 

Word of warning though, leave it on too long and you’re gonna have yourself some lovely lilac locks so be careful. Unless that’s the look you’re going for then by all means leave this bad boy on!

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Image from lookfantastic.com

So there you go, my top five favourite hair products. I actually found this a lot harder than I expected as there is so much good stuff out there for looking after your locks. A go to of mine is the humble coconut oil (I tend to just put this on the tips overnight if my hair is feeling super dry) but in terms of products specifically designed for hair, these are the ones that made the chop. What are some of your favourite hair products? Let me know in the comments down below. 

Jamie x 

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Favourites Of The Month | July.

Hey guys, how are we all?

It’s time for my favourites of the month again. I’m loving writing these posts and sharing what I’ve been loving – it is a great chance to reflect on the month (and also to judge myself in hindsight for how much money I have spent on new beauty bits and bobs – not quite as fun!). I have been super excited for this one as I always find I get a lot more experimental with my beauty, skincare and fitness regime during the summer months – must be the warm weather inspiring me! This month has been no exception and a lot of categories have actually got an overall winner and a runner up in them.

  I have a lot to share this month so I’ll get straight into it. 

Fashion

My fashion favourites are usually something that I have been wearing a lot, however, this month is a little different for two reasons. First, July saw me chilling by the side of the pool in my scruffs a hell of a lot (I am definitely not one to be seen in heels and jewellery by the side of the pool) and as much as ‘oversized, ugly t shirt’ is a staple part of my wardrobe, it doesn’t exactly scream fashion. Second, I have been eyeing these trends for a long time but I have also just moved into my first ever house and so funds are a little short to say the least! I did still want to share them with you guys because I think they’re really cool!

Ever since I saw Dani Dyer rocking that denim jacket/skirt coord I have been seriously lusting after one! It also just so happens that after Dani Dyer rocked that denim jacket/skirt coord that they popped up literally everywhere – what are the chances, ey? I have been searching the internet and one of my favourites is this Red Contrast Stitch cropped denim jacket and denim skirt. I am a huge fan of wearing red and this coord from MissGuided is such a beauty! For both it would come in at £57, which is okay…I guess. 

Image from missguided.co.uk

If you don’t fancy red, head over to PrettyLittleThing and check out their gorgeous pink one! This one comes in at £50 so with the £7 you save you could buy yourself… well, not a lot but still. They also have one in white, leopard print, pale pink check (very ‘Clueless’) and a questionable blue one. Each to their own I guess…

Image from PRETTYLITTLETHING

Make Up 

Although I tend to wear less make up during the summer months, I have actually been experimenting with a lot of products throughout July. This months winner is a little bit of a surprise to me. I’ve actually had it for a long time but I have always avoided it due to the fact I cannot stand the packaging! However, I decided to give it a go and the product itself is stunning. The Benefit Sugarbomb Blush has been my go to blusher this month and even featured in my graduation day make up look. It’s a stunning mix of four shimmering shades of peach, bronze/plum, pink and rose together and so acts as a bronzer (and even highlighter) and well as a blush. It’s described as giving an ‘instant sugary flush’ and it really does do just that. It is packed with subtle, beautiful shimmers and the shade range is super versatile.

Look at that peachy glow! 

I’ve used this product almost every single day this month, whether I am wanting a soft glow to compliment a ‘no make up’ make up day or whether I am heading on a night out. If you’re loving peachy summer glowsI would seriously recommend picking this up. You know,if you can get past the packaging…

Although Benefit have stolen the show for me this month, Laritzy Cosmetics came in a close second and so has bagged itself a spot as my runner up. I received their NUE nude eyeshadow collection in lasts months The Pip Box and I knew straight away I was going to love it. For starters the palette is vegan, which is great! It is also full of super pretty, neutral shades that are so wearable. As I mentioned over on my Instagram, it is not the most highly pigmented palette (one of the reasons it did not bag first place) but it is easy to build up and it leaves next to no fallout, which is great. The neutral browns and coppers are great for everyday where and you can actually get quite a lot of different looks.

Apart from the pigmentation, another reason this palette did not bag first place is the price. I did not pay retail price for this product but if you did it would come in at £35.99, which I think is a little pricey. The colours are nice and I have worn it a lot over the month but I still find myself reaching for last month’s favourite, the MUA eyeshadow palette in Burning Embers. This palette has 25 gorgeous shades and are so much more versatile and affordable (it’s only £8). Neither come with a mirror, which I don’t mind when it’s £8, but I would have liked to have seen a mirror and slightly more sophisticated packaging on the Laritzy palette. This is not to say this palette isn’t good (it did make it to runner up for heavens sake!) but these are just some of the reasons it was pipped to the post.

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Still my go to eye shadow palette! 

Image from www.superdrug.com

Exercise 

Whilst at University I spent a lot of time in exercise classes but now I have come back I’ve had to wave goodbye to Les Mills (at least for now anyway) and go back to my home gym. This has meant a serious change to my exercise regime, which has worked wonders in shocking my body and helping me to start seeing results again. Throughout July I did a lot of HIIT and functional training at home (climbing in and out of wholes, lifting logs and all that jazz) and resistance training at the gym. Whilst I have been really enjoying both of them and every single session has been different and pushed my body in new and challenging ways, the winner for July is functional training.

If you’ve not heard of functional training before and are wondering why in gods name I am jumping in and out of holes, don’t worry! Functional training is basically adapting training to mimic everyday actions. Basically moving fitness outside of the gym. You’re still building strength, power and mobility but in a way that is more suited to ‘real world’ fitness requirements. There’s a lot of bending, sitting, reaching, balancing and unilateral training! It’s challenging but really good fun and has helped me see some serious results over the past month or so.

For more information on functional training and how you can incorporate it into your work out, check out this post. It’s full of top tips, advice and videos to help make your training more functional.

Music 

Leaving University has meant many things. My working weeks now consist of a lot more than 9 hours, I can’t afford to recklessly go for 5 coffees a day to avoid the library and I’m no longer on the radio every week. The latter has seriously impacted my knowledge of new music. As you might remember from a few months back, my music taste is very much that of a 50 year old man. I have, however, been loving a very recent album that I think you should all be listening to!

 

Image from Wikipedia 

High as Hope is the newest album from Florence and The Machine (you know, dog days are over and all of that!) and it is truly beautiful – I swear it actually gave me goosebumps! I always loved her music and find her voice so haunting and soothing. The album has some wonderful songs on it – you might have already heard Hunger, one of my favourites on the album. If you enjoy indie rock and older songs from Florence then I’m sure you will love this album.

Skin Care 

My July favourite when it comes to skincare is an oldie but a goldie. I have very fair, sensitive skin and I don’t really tan. I kind of tend to go a nice shade of salmon covered in little spots instead – get in line boys. The Dove Summer Revived, however, is my go to gradual tan and moisturiser as it gives me a nice, healthy glow and means you can look at my legs without having to protect your eyes from the glaring white.

It’s super easy to apply and, even with my lazy application style (splurt on, rub it in a bit and hope for the best), has never left me looking streaky unlike other false tans. It’s super affordable, super moisturising and super natural! I was using this for the whole of July and every evening when I was away on my holiday to keep my skin healthy and smooth. I like to think I will continue to use this throughout the year to keep up the glow all year round but, who knows, I’m pretty lazy…

So there you have it, some of my July favourites. What do you think? Were you loving last months The Pip Box? The warmer weather got you loving going out for walks rather than hitting up the gym? Can’t get past the Benefit blusher packaging to purchase sugarbomb?

Let me know and, as always, I also want to know what you guys have been loving this month. 

Jamie x 

Beauty without the Cruelty.

Hey guys. As you will probably know if you have been following me on any form of social media, I am currently in the process of incorporating more cruelty-free products into my make up and beauty regime, with the view of going entirely cruelty-free (vegan if possible!) in the future. I thought I would share with you guys some of the things I have been using so far if any of you are looking for cruelty-free, high quality alternatives. Look gorgeous whilst doing your bit for animals and the environment – win win!

PS. None of these reviews are sponsored and I either bought the products myself or was given them as gifts. 

First up is a shampoo and conditioner that I was gifted by the lovely ladies from my Women’s Health Internship. I’m a pretty committed Aussie user, and with very temperamental hair, changing my shampoo and conditioner was a little bit daunting and something I haven’t done in years. The brand is called Kind Natured (already we’re off the a good start) and both products are 97% natural, not tested on animals at any point during production and totally vegan. Great, but how did they compare to my usual haircare? I have to say, I haven’t noticed a difference. My hair smells fab and is super smooth and shiny. The only thing I will say is that neither seem to go quite as far. You feel like you’ve hardly put anything on your head and don’t get that super washed feeling (anyone know what I mean?) but then you hit it with the blow dryer and you’ve got yourself luscious, smooth locks. I guess it’s not really a negative, just something to bear in mind that you’re not going to get a super foamy, TV commercial-esque shower time experience. I checked out their website and they’re really reasonably priced at £4.99 a bottle, working out at very similar to my usual Aussie shampoo and conditioner. They also have loads of other products, from hand cream to kiddie detanglers and a section of all their entirely vegan stock so it’s super easy to get what you’re looking for. No sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals (I could go on) just lovely products and fab results. Overall: 8/10.

Kind Natured 

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Next up is a product that I have actually been using for ages without really realising it was vegan. 100% vegan society approved, Original Source is pretty famous for that Mint and Tea tree tingle. Not a fan of the tingle, no worries! They have loads of different scents with different feels. I would recommend trying the raspberry and vanilla – it feels really soothing and gentle. I’m actually a big fan of the mint tingle as well, just maybe avoid your private parts… They also do hand washes, scrubs and moisturisers so there is plenty to have a go at. There ethos is all about respecting the world we live in, which I absolutely love. I would definitely recommend these products! You can pick them up from your local supermarket for about £1 and they’re usually on offer. Overall: 10/10.

Original Source 

This next brand is one I absolutely adore! It isn’t something I use every single day but Illamasqua definitely deserves a mention! Before starting to use MAC, I wore Illamasqua Skin Base Foundations and it is definitely something I will be going back to. It gives amazing coverage (if you like the natural look this might not be for you – I used to use this brand as stage make up!) AND is vegan. Not every single product in the range is vegan and some of them contain Carmine but all is cruelty free. It’s a fab brand for the experimental make-up lovers out there ad the ethos is so fun. If you haven’t checked them out they are worth taking a look at – even if it is just to be in awe of their incredible MUA work! Overall: 9/10

Illamasqua 

Next, I have started to hit a bit of a dilemma. Brands that I have been using, loving and believing were cruelty-free have a parent company that isn’t – L’Oreal. I decided to still post about these companies but that is something to consider and certainly something I hadn’t thought about but definitely will now. Urban Decay is a favourite of mine. I’m a huge fan of all of their palettes and the staying power on their lipsticks is fab. I am sure you’ve seen many a beauty blogger chat about these palettes over the years so I won’t repeat what has already been said, however, I am a huge fan. Another brand I love and is cruelty-free is NYX, however, again their acquistion with L’Oreal back in 2014 means it gets an * next to it’s name on cruelfreekitty.com‘s fantastic, comprehensive list of cruelty-free products. The products, however, are high quality and really affordable. I’m a huge fan of their Soft Matte Lip Creams and the colour choices are second to none so there is something for whatever your style – from neutral to bright blue! Lastly in my ‘conflicted’ section as I am going to call it is The Body Shop. I have always really loved this company (that chocolate moisturiser though!!) and I got gifted some lovely products for Christmas that I have really been loving. I have only ever tried a few bits of their make up range but from online reviews it seems that the products are comparable to some middle end brands. Rating these brands has to be lower due to the fact none can be considered vegan and both are affiliated with L’Oreal. Overall: 6/10 for both urban decay and NYX and 7/10 for The Body Shop.

Urban Decay

NYX

The Body Shop 

So, as I have said this marks only the beginning of my journey I have had loads of new brands I want to try over the next few months so I thought I would share a few with you guys.

I want to start being kinder to my vagina with TOTM (Time of the Month). Them make femcare products, which are 100% organic cotton without any nasty chemicals that can’t be doing my privates any good! They’re ethos is fantastic: Why is this important? Your body deserves better than harsh chemicals, synthetic materials, and unnatural additives. We choose to be transparent about our ingredients so you know what you are using on your body. Taking a stand of menstrual health in the kindest of ways.

TOTM 

I have always been a LUSH fan but don’t often use their products, they are more things I receive as gifts. However, they have just releases vegan cleansers and scrubs, which look fantastic so I really want to try some of these. I might pick up a cheeky bath bomb too while I am there, got to get that Instagram picture you know!

LUSH

My friend did a year abroad in the US and recommended ColourPop to me. I’m currently in a purse-pigment battle as to have it shipped over here is not going to be cheap but oh, the pigment of their shadows! Totally cruelty-free as well, but do I really need to be shipping stuff over just to make my eyelids look pretty? Might have to wait until my next US trip and stock up then. Element of Surprise Palette I am coming for you!

ColourPop

Last but not least, if you’re in the blogger world I am sure you have heard of the next brand. I kind of wanted to give it a try just to see what all the fuss was about and when I found out it was also cruelty-free it became a must. If you haven’t guessed it yet, it’s Glossier. Apparently perfect for those who like natural make up, this would be fab for everyday/work make up. ‘A Beauty Brands inspired by Real Life’ created by beauty editors sounds right up my street.

Glossier 

So there you have it, my favourites at the moment and some of my favourites yet to come. Keep your eyes peeled for more updated in the Beauty Not Cruelty series and keep those recommendations coming in. Huge thank you to Ana (@Faded_Spring) for all her help in pointing me in the right direction. I can’t wait to continue on my journey. 

Jamie x 

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