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4 Oct 2011 your hair

My mum phoned from Spain wailing that her freshly dyed blonde hair had turned green. What to do? Well, I suddenly remembered that ketchup, when applied to the hair can remove the green tint that is left by the sun and chlorine.

First of all apply ketchup (any brand) to dry hair. Allow it to sit for a while and then rinse it out. The acid in the tomatoes should remove any greenish tint from dyed blonde hair. If you're in a similar predicament go ahead and try it!

3 Oct 2011

Makeup Brushes

If you're serious about your makeup application then I imagine you've paid quite handsomely for your brushes, but regardless of your collection the brushes do need cleaned and often! There is no need to dispose of brushes unless the bristles are really tired, instead why not try cleaning them with Johnston's Baby Shampoo? Yes! It really does the job.

Bacteria builds up on your makeup brushes and can lead to spots, so save your face and your pennies by trying this at home.

Buy a bottle of baby shampoo, any brand is okay so long as it is mild. Run the water tap, preferably hot and work up a lather. You'll notice the makeup lifting from the brushes, you might need to repeat this step a few times to remove all of the makeup. For best results keep the tap running as you rinse, don't dab them about in a sink of water as this won't remove the grime. Remember: you can repeat these steps with the cold tap, there is no need to waste hot water! I usually do this at night time and allow the brushes to dry overnight but if you're in a rush you can blast them under the dryer.

Hey presto, you're left with sparkling new brushes!

2 Oct 2011


It's been a while since I've used foundation, about three years perhaps. I used to use Chanel or Dior photo finish foundation, the kind that contains clever light reflectors but it's not cheap and the downside is that it lasts about as long as regular store brands. However, the coverage was fantastic.

The trouble with a liquid foundation is that you want it to have good coverage but also be light and kind to the skin, I can't stand makeup that has a scent because it usually blocks the pores and I can smell it all day, it is headache inducing!

Thank goodness that I found Loreal True Match. I suppose now that I am in my 20's and not a teenager this foundation has been a God send, I am not sure how it would work on teenage skin, but then again, if you're a teenager, you don't need a lot of makeup! I have pale, sensitive skin and all in all the product has been a dream. I use it very lightly and I set it with an oil absorbing transparent powder (Rimmel, actually) and it keeps all day. I am very active in work and it still holds up.

As you can see from the photo below it really does give good coverage,  it matches my skin tone without caking or turning yellow/orange. Fabulous. And yes, I am naturally this pale!

It retails around £11. I've been using it every day for about 7 wks now and it still had loads left in the bottle.  For the record, I use the shade N1: Ivory.

P.S. more to follow on designer makeup brands vs cheaper alternatives! 

1 Oct 2011

Sleepy Eyes

This applies to me today more than ever. Run out of eye drops and need to wake up tired eyes? Try tea spoons. Take two tea spoons from the cutlery drawer and place them over your eyelids for a few seconds. It really works!

29 Sep 2011

Mayonnaise Mask

I like to have big hair but to have big hair is a bit of a double edged sword. First of all your hair must be squeaky clean and free from product build up or else it begins to look heavy and heavy hair always weighs down, secondly, constant back combing begins to resembles a 'birds nest' look of knotted roots. I have shoulder length hair and it's quite thick, I detest conditioner because it makes the hair too slippery to work with, but I do like to have smooth ends and hair that isn't brittle. So what do I do to remedy this? I use mayonnaise. 

Chatty magazine articles recommend egg yoke for shiny hair and olive oil to relieve dry hair. This can be disastrous, first of all, I once tried the egg formula and the blasted thing cooked in the water pipes! Olive oil does work but it's a nightmare to really rinse out and it drips. Mayonnaise is the lesser of two evils as it combines both eggs and olive oil and it goes onto the hair like conditioner thus no dripping!

You can apply it to wet or dry hair and it rinses out like a dream. What you are left with is soft, shiny and manageable hair.

28 Sep 2011

On The Rocks

Got some pesky bumps which are forming into spots? Kill them before they reach the surface. Ice cubes are a great trick for reducing the swollen area. Although, it can lead to numb fingers!

Stained your clothes or delicate fabric? Rub an ice cube across the fabric, the cold water will lift the stain without going to the trouble and expense of having the item dry cleaned. I figured this out when I spilled red nail polish on my mother's leather sofa! I allowed the ice to melt into the sofa and then chipped the polish off!

26 Sep 2011

A Tonic for All Seasons

If there is one thing that I swear by it is Apple Cider Vinegar. I drink it morning and night and when I feel a cold coming on I immediately overdose on it. Abandon all vitamins and minerals that you have been accumulating in the medicine drawer for ACV contains enough of them to keep any health junky happy. Not only is it great for the immune system but it also works its wonders in a variety of ways:

Taken as a tonic:
ACV cleans the blood and therefore contributes to a healthy complexion.
Helps fight insomnia. 
Wards off colds.
Cures migraines.
Soothes sunburn.
Stabilizes the metabolism. 

And other ways...:
Can be diluted with water to act as a facial toner.
Brightens up scars.
Removes product build up from the hair.
Fades hair dye.
Great for mosquito bites.
Steralizes wounds.
And for curing colds try this remedy: Mix honey and apple cider vinegar with hot water. 

If you're wary about drinking apple cider vinegar straight try mixing it like a gin and tonic. Add a cap full of ACV to a tumblr and dilute with water. You can also drink it through a straw if you have sensitive teeth. Don't drink malt vinegar as this is a different concentrate and will more than likely make you very sick! P.S. adding ACV to orange juice kills the acid taste. 

Zapping Spots

Got some pesky spots that just won't go away? Dab Savlon cream onto them before bed time. The next morning they'll be considerably reduced and within two days they should have disappeared! 

25 Sep 2011

Blitz Beauty

Not even the Luftwaffe could stop Sadie from looking glamorous. During the height of the Blitz and rationing my great granny had become very inventive with her makeup regime, always a fan of red lips she discovered a rather ingenious makeup trick- beetroot juice.

In theory this is the same technique as Benefit's Benetint lip and cheek stain but at a fraction of a price and it tastes good too! Apply with a lip brush, cotton bud or your finger, but remember this will stain!

You can use beetroot juice in a variety of ways:

Adjust the colour by adding more or less beetroot juice. A light coat will give off a pinky red colour, but adding a few layers will enhance the depth to a more purple red. Add or subtract at your own perfil. As the texture is dry you can use this as a primer for reddish toned lipsticks, as the lipsticks wears off the pigment of the colour will remain. You can also add some vaseline or clear lipgloss for a high shine red finish.

Now for cheeks: You can lightly dab this onto the apples of your cheeks to pick up a pasty complexion and it will also serve as a primer for your blusher. Add some light moisturizer to turn the beetroot juice into a creamy blusher. How inventive! 

Sadie certainly had style!

Au Revoir Chanel...

Hello Barry M! With great sadness I've decided to give up my habit of using Chanel nail polish, well, any expensive nail polish for that matter. Thank goodness I have discovered Barry M which retails at £2.99. I always wear red, sometimes dark purple or navy depending on the season but reddish tones are my staple and let's face it, a good red is hard to find. Nail polish, in particular red, must be chip resistant, remember that reds are very pigmented and they do chip easily, also it can be quite a thick messy consistency, so an easy application is a must. A thin coat with plenty of colour is ideal. I'm not asking for much am I?

Barry M does a fab range of nail polishes in a variety of colours from pale pink to outrageous shades of green. The colour has fantastic depth and the application and consistency is identical to expensive brands. I have been using Bright Red and Raspberry (see photos). First of all, I advise not to put a pre coat of clear varnish on simply because I feel too many coats can cause the polish to peel off. I dive straight into the colour and it doesn't stain my nails at all, so this is a good sign. Also, allow the colour to dry completely, I use the trick of dabbing my painted nails against my lip, if they stick then the colour needs to dry some more. Once dried, apply another coat to add depth to the colour, but you can get away with one coat of Barry M's Bright Red. And then add a clear coat to add high shine, but again this is a personal preference. My Barry M nail polish has lasted about 5 days...a world record for red!  The bottles also last forever.

24 Sep 2011

Aspirin Mask

Back in the day when things were pretty splendid I used to indulge in micro-dermabrasion treatments and at £50 a session these things weren't cheap.  I don't have bad skin, or spot prone skin but I do have temperamental skin that freaks out at any sign of change in the climate or in cosmetics, so as you can imagine it's an on-going battle to keep it happy! My granny told me about aspirin masks which are great for calming redness, reducing spots and keeping your skin clear.

You can buy the regular supermarket branded aspirin but ensure the tablets are not coated. Take a strip of aspirin, you can vary the amount of aspirin depending on the size of area you are treating, add small amounts of water to soften to the tablets, the goal is to make a paste. Once the tablets have softened you should be left with a thick, white paste. Apply it to your face and allow it to dry, it will turn quite chalky and there will be minimal mess as it is very drying. It's great for oily skin! Leave it on for as long as you wish, ten minutes is usually enough for great results and then rinse off.  Foolproof! 

A Taste Of Honey

Goodbye expensive face creams. Hello...err, kitchen cupboard. I don't know about you but this temperamental weather is wreaking havoc with my skin, my co workers and friends are all complaining about sudden breakouts and since I am not prone to spots I have been a little annoyed that I am starting to get them. So what suits our sudden cash woes? Honey!

Regular breakfast honey will do the job, there is no need to splash out on expensive Manuka honey if you don't have extremely bad skin, a little supermarket honey will go a long way. My friends were dubious at first but after smearing honey on their face and leaving it to sit for ten minutes they were over the moon, it really brightens up dull skin, giving it a matte even look as though you've had a facial. Honey will kill those angry spots, lighten up dark marks and cure dry skin. Get into the habit of using it every day, morning and evening. It's perfect.