Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Review: L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Range #HairGrowthChallenge

This is the first installment in my Hair Growth Challenge series (find out more here). As promised I'm reviewing L'Oreals new Elvive Fibrology range, which promises to increase your hair's natural thickness, provide body and bounce. The range contains five products (I couldn't get hold of the serum as it was out of stock everywhere I looked but I'll try to get my hands on it soon) a shampoo and conditioner, a thickness masque, a thickness booster and a double serum which also acts as a leave-in conditioner. 

A product which claims to actually thicken your hair from within sounds ridiculous, surely such outlandish claims cannot be true? Well, L'Oreal have developed a new breakthrough ingredient called Filloxane after 17 years of research. Filloxane can physically penetrate the hair shaft, once inside it expands and thickens the fibre and remains inside for a long lasting effect, the more you use the Fibrology products, the more Filloxane can fill your hair fibres, resulting in thicker, fuller hair.

I don't have fine hair, which is what this product is predominantly aimed at however I do love thick hair-the thicker the better in my opinion. As I'm trying to grow my hair long I'll take all the help I can get. I started using Fibrology almost 3 weeks ago. I used the shampoo and conditioner each time I washed my hair (which is about 2-3 times a week). I used the masque 1-2 times per week. The thickness booster is an odd product which you mix in with the conditioner, it's consistency is water-like and it melts into conditioner when combined, I used this each wash as well. The products are surprisingly light-weight and easily rinsed out. The masque is a thick, rich, almost sticky consistency but like the rest of the range, it's easily rinsed out. Notably, each time after use my hair looked fuller and bouncier. I'm not sure if you'd say they've made my hair thicker, it's too early to tell but certainly so far, so good!

What it's supposed to do:
  • Increase hair's thickness over time
  • Provide long lasting fullness and bounce
Does it do it?
  • It's early days yet (I've been using the range for 3 weeks) but certainly my hair is looking fuller and healthy
  • Inexpensive
  • Light-weight products
  • Leaves hair feeling and looking fuller
  • There's not enough Thickness Booster for the amount that you need, so it wouldn't last very long
Price:The range starts for €3.99-€8.99 and is currently on special offer in Dunnes Stores

Have you tried the Fibrology range yet?


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Hair Growth Challenge

I want super long hair and I will stop at nothing to get it. For the last two or so years I've been extremely careful with my hair, using very little to no heat, using the most natural products I could source, oiling my hair regularly and most importantly limiting colouring. It was a slow process bringing my hair back to full health after years of abuse from highlights, bleach, continuously colouring it and hair extensions (you can view my hair story here) but right now my hair is the healthiest, shiniest and thickest it's ever been. One mission complete.

But now that I've gained thickness, shine and health I want more, I want length. Not just regular length, I want super long, thick hair. You might wonder why I don't just fork out and get extensions? Well asides from "been there, done that" I absolutely hate hair extensions, I don't care if they're Great Lengths and cost +€1,000 or if they're any other brand, they just don't look natural. I can always tell when somebody's wearing bonded extensions, even the expensive ones. Natural hair doesn't blend well with extension hair, it leaves a segregated look to the hair. Nobody with naturally long hair has that extreme volume right to the tip. Aside from the obvious (cheeky pun!) hair extensions, no matter what they claim, are terrible for your hair. Never mind the glue and the removal, it's the fact that your hair literally is being smothered by hair that's not yours and being pulled at the roots by an artificial attachment...no matter what they say it's not good for you.

I've recently started watching Game of Thrones and I'm obsessed with Daenerys' hair even though it's a wig. However, long, thick hair is possible-just look at Felice Fawn (though she recently chopped her hair into a bob) and Canadian beauty blogger and YouTuber Farah Dhukai, her hair is my dream. I've posted my inspiration pics below...

 Daenerys from Game of Thrones

 Blogger and model Felice Fawn

Beauty blogger Farah Dhukai

Fashion blogger Vera from Yucky Duck Fashion who's hair is completely natural, she even won Herbal Essences #SherzingHair competition...hairspiration or what?!

Currently my hair is just below my boobs, which is quite long. I had my hair trimmed in early January so it's in good nick. Time to bring out the big guns. What I plan on doing is this:

  • Use only the best hair products, this doesn't necessarily mean expensive. In my case I'll be looking for the natural (preferably silicone and sulfate free) options.
  • Do a hair oil treatment with a natural hair oil such as coconut, mustard, almond or olive oil twice weekly.
  • No backcombing whatsoever.
  • Very limited heat and only when absolutely necessary.
  • No GHD!!!
  • Limit colour to once every 8-10 weeks. Personally I don't need colour more than that. The only reason I colour my hair is because I'm going from a very dark black-brown to my natural dark brown and this is causing a very obvious sort of backwards ombre effect, so colour helps the transition.
  • Getting trims as required. I personally don't agree that trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks makes hair grow faster, how could it? But if you're prone to split ends, regular trims will keep your hair healthy and strong. I'm lucky that I don't really ever get split ends, however my ends have a tendency to look a bit "ratty" if I leave to long between hair cuts.
  • Indulge in regular head massages. Even DIY ones. This stimulates the blood flow and hence stimulates growth. 
  • Increasing protein intake. I already have a relatively high protein diet but I'll be keeping it that way and looking to include more eggs and fish in my diet. Protein makes keratin which is what your hair is made up of.
  • Supplementing fish oils/omegas. As previously mentioned fish is a great source of protein but fish oils themselves are full of omega oils which are the best thing for stimulating hair growth and  keeping hair hydrated.
  • Water and lots of it. Admittedly I'm dreadful at drinking water, I often go days without drinking any. This has got to change and I'll be ensuring I'm drinking at least 2 litres a day. 
My hair right now...

The challenge:

By the end of 2014 I want really long thick hair. So I'll be following all of the above and tracking my progress. I'll be sharing my progress here on my blog, on twitter and on instagram using the hashtag #HairGrowthChallenege. It would be great if you guys who are looking to gain a little length got involved as well! If you are thinking of it then comment below with your details and we can all support each other and share progress, tips etc.

My first update in the Hair Growth Challenge will be my review of L'Oreal's new Fibrology range, which will be up later this week!

Who's up for it?


Monday, 3 February 2014

Review: Estee Lauder Double Wear

Do you ever reach a stage where you're sick and tired of your usual make up? Well, two weeks ago I got to the end of my usual MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation which I've been using almost religiously since I was twenty. I do like SFF but I wanted to try something new, so I posed to Twitter, "What's the best med-full coverage foundation that really lasts?" The response was almost all in favour of Estee Lauder Double Wear so I decided to try it.

I went into Debenhams and got my colour matched to the frightfully light level 2 shade "2C3 Fresco" (two years ago I was colour matched to an Estee Lauder level 4!) I'm about a MAC NC20/25 right now and Fresco melted into my skintone, it actually matches better than MAC, which I was impressed with. As always I moisturised and went about applying Double Wear with my MAC 187 stippling brush but found that the brush seemed to be absorbing all the product rather than spreading it. The only solution I could find to this was using my fingers (personally I hate sponges), this warmed up the foundation and helped it spread. This is a thick formulation, there's no escaping it and as a result it does feel heavy on your skin. The coverage is great but I found it was easy to apply too much, equalling a cakey face. Another thing I noticed was that as the day goes on it looks quite chalky in texture. At first I thought this was down to using powder over it so the next day I just left it bare but I was left with the same chalk-like look. Although in it's favour, everynight when I washed my make up off, Double Wear was still intact, I never had to touch up or powder my T-Zone during the day.

One notable difference I did see was how dehydrated it was making my skin. It's tough to remove so each night I had to double cleanse before applying a moisturiser before bed. I have oily skin and dehydration is not something I'm accustomed to. Each time I used it I had a sufficient amount of my moisturiser underneath and still dehydration prevailed. Unfortunately it didn't stop at dehydration and I also noticed blackheads around my nose and chin that definitely weren't there (or at least as noticeable) before using Double Wear.

However, I wouldn't call it a bad product my any means. I would use it again just not on a continuous basis. It's an ideal product if you know you need long-lasting coverage, but at risk of upsetting my skin I won't be using it daily.

A selfie wearing Estee Lauder Double Wear in 2C3 Fresco...

What it's supposed to do:
  • Long-lasting (15 hour staying-power) foundation
  • Flawless appearance
  • Light-weight
  • Oil-free
  • Won't change colour or fade as the day goes on
  • Semi-matte, medium-heavy coverage
Does it do it?
  • I definitely wouldn't describe this product as light-weight but besides that claim it does what it promises.
  • Doesn't wear off
  • For me the colour match was spot on
  • Very long lasting with no need to touch up ever!
  • Reasonably priced at €36.50
  • Glass bottle equals the fear of smashing!
  • Feels heavy on your skin
  • I found it made my skin dehydrated and clogged my pores
  • A little too matte, it looks a bit chalky as the day goes on
Have you tried Estee Lauder Double Wear and if so, are you a fan?


Sunday, 2 February 2014

SS14 Trend Report Part 4

Firstly just want to say a big thank you to those of you who tuned into Griff FM this afternoon, I was asked to come on and talk about SS14 fashion trends. It was my first time on radio so I was pretty nervous! For those of you who didn't catch it I should have audio in the next week or so, which I'll be posting!

This is the final part of my SS14 Trend Report. I hope you've found them a useful breakdown of the season's biggest trends. If you missed any of the previous parts you can find them by clicking the following links- part 1, part 2 & part 3.

Monochrome Magic

We normally reserve monochrome for the colder months however monochrome is sticking around this season. Taking on a 60s twist, you can expect to see a lot of pattern play-stripes, zebra print, polka dots and geometric prints were everywhere at Fashion Week. This is a great trend for those who aren't big trend-followers but want to look stylish. Monochrome is always on point.



 Marc by Marc Jacobs

 Ralph Lauren Collection


Saint Laurent

Globe Trotter

Taking inspiration from lands afar, this ethnic infused trend combines a mixture of subtle textures, exotic designs and desert tones. Designers took inspiration from everywhere from Indian saris to Japanese kimonos to tribal fashion. 


 Dries Van Noten



 Donna Karan


Pastel Perfection

In my opinion I've saved the best 'til last. Pastel is my favourite trend this season and it's one of the most wearable. Particularly great for paler skinned girls, pastels are easy to infuse into your wardrobe. Whether you wear a key pastel piece or head-to-toe pastel, this is the biggest trend of the season and it has manifested itself onto the high street too, thankfully!

 Burberry Prorsum

 Christopher Kane

 Christian Dior

 Miu Miu



I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Spring/Summer 2014 trends!


Friday, 31 January 2014

Beauty Wishlist

Isn't it mad how all of your make up products always run out at once? I'm at that stage at the minute, but instead of looking back at my "old reliables" I'm curious to try some new products. The start of a new season is an exciting time as it's also new collection time and personally I always prefer Spring-Summer make up, it's fresher, brighter and lighter. Right now I'm itching to try some products from Hourglass, Michael Kors, Tanya Burr, Charlotte Tilbury and Burberry to name but a few!

Beauty Wishlist

If any of you have tried any of the above I'd love to hear your feedback!


Thursday, 30 January 2014

SS14 Trend Report Part 3

The penultimate chapter of my SS14 trend low-down. If you didn't catch part 1 and 2 you can find them by clicking here and here.

A Fashionable Sport

One of my firm favourite fashion styles is back with a bang this season, the stylish athlete. Hi-tech fabric, old school trainers, racer backs, mesh and track pants are key elements to look out for. Not only is this trend stylishly comfortable, it's also highly adaptable-dress it up or down, the choice is yours.

Emilio Pucci


 Tommy Hilfiger


Marc by Marc Jacobs

Say It With Words

With the re-emergence of the sports luxe trend, this season we're also seeing an infusion of street style and last seasons infamous "fake tee". Now you can literally wear your thoughts on your sleeve, but whether you opt for a slogan or a brand name, keep it classy.


 Alexander Wang

 Christopher Kane

 Paul & Joe


Jeremy Scott

Fringe Benefits

Trimmings, tassels and anything that moves and swings. Fringeing is a simplistic take on the exotic tribal trend that's been taking the high street and the catwalks by storm. 


 Calvin Klein Collections


 Junya Watanabe

 Emilio Pucci

Roberto Cavalli

The final installment to the SS14 Trend Report will be live this weekend. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Spring/Summer 2014 trends, would you wear them?


p.s. to any UCD students who like what I write, pick up a copy of the latest edition of The College Tribune to read my latest style piece!