Monday, 24 March 2014

March Empties!

Another month, another stack of used up products! The following are what I have used up this month and don't forget I will also be talking about these products on my newly established channel!

1. Pixi Glow Tonic: There's not alot more I can add about this wonder product, other than what I have previously mentioned here. An all round, amazing skincare product that everyone should try in their lifetime.

I should mention though that it is a little difficult to get hold of, and my replacement bottle took over 2 weeks to get here because of a backlog of orders, so be sure to order in advance or from their store if you can. It's really worth the wait though!

2. Hydraluron: In short, this is a product to go underneath your moisturiser to essentially make it work better and leave the skin even more hydrated and feeling refreshed, than it would be with just moisturiser on it's own. I especially like this product at night as part of my evening routine. I will definitely be re-purchasing, and at the minute it's currently on offer in Boots.

3. L'Oreal Ever Riche Mask: I am particularly fond of the "Ever Riche" range as they are completely sulphate free, although is also fantastic at deeply nourishing my hair without leaving it feeling weighed down. It also smells exactly like vanilla cupcakes, so for that alone is a definite winner in my book!

4. Avon Super Shock Max Mascara: I seem to have had this mascara for ages, and it's served me pretty well over the time I've had it. Maybe not the best for creating a real curl to the lashes as the brush is quite flat, although it has lots of bristles to help reach every lash. I'm not sure it wowed me enough to re-purchase, although you can definitely do worse.

5. Pantene Repair & Protect Conditioner: This bottle seems to have lasted me absolutely ages, as you only need a little to get through even thick hair like mine. It leaves my hair feeling really soft and smooth, and is a general all round great product. I really recommend this if you hair is feeling a little lackluster and you want to put some shine back into it.  

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Lights.... Camera... Pale Skin Make Up!

As some of you may know, I originally tried out for this years Dailymix beauty bootcamp, although didn't make it into the top 5. However for me, it was more about having the confidence to upload a video in the first place rather than getting through. In retrospect, I've also enjoyed watching the other contestants take part much more than I ever would have if I was watching myself. I know for sure I would have fallen to pieces having to do make up on the Pixiwoo Sisters!

To cut a long story short, Dailymix called me up a few weeks ago to invite me to join a new network they are starting with the 5 bootcamp finalists, and around 15 others who they liked but didn't make it through (myself included). At first I needed some time to think about it, as the thought of showing my awkwardness in video form actually terrified me. Although It's not everyday Dailymix comes-a-knocking! Plus, I felt it could be a really good opportunity to expand Pale Skin Make Up and reach a whole new audience, so I said yes!

To celebrate the launch of this new network myself and all the new bloggers attended YouTube HQ in London last Saturday for the launch.
We had a workshop with a camera/lighting expert as well as talks from Anchal and Mark who were contestants on last year's beauty bootcamp. We were also interviewed and photographed by the Observer. All in all, it was an amazing day and I am so glad I agreed to do it and didn't shy away from signing up.

In the long term, I'm hoping that this will be a way of putting pale skin on the map. I said from the beginning that my blog is not a pale vs tan debate - I just want to encourage self confidence and positivity in those with pale skin to recognise it's beautiful too. Oh, and to let make up companies know they don't go far enough in catering for those of us with ultra fair skin tones! 

I'm hoping you will all bear with me whilst I find my feet, as you can probably tell if you watch my first video that vlogging doesn't come naturally to me, although I'm determined to try.  I want to create a channel whereby pale skin is celebrated and for it to be a place where you can find products and information that genuinely suit you and make you feel better about yourself. 

Wish me luck! I have some exciting news to share with you in that my Youtube channel is now *LIVE!*

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Aveda Institute - Express Blowdry Review!

It's going to be one bumper week for posts on the blog this week! I was invited to YouTube HQ by Dailymix over the weekend, for a network launch event, that I will be posting about in the next few days. 

I'm breaking it up into separate posts, so that I can go to town on the content and hopefully give you the best possible account of each experience. So onto the hair as it's as good a place to start, right?!

I wanted my hair to look nice for the event, and as I have mentioned before I find traveling with all my hair accessories quite troublesome... my bag is often heavy enough with make up and shoes! A few bloggers in the past have reccommended the Aveda Institute, quaintly nestled in Holborn. As the salon is literally a minutes walk from the building that is also home to YouTube, it seemed like the ideal choice!

I booked through email about two weeks in advance, and I would recommend doing this especially if you have to be somewhere and need to be guaranteed a spot. Although, with 70 members of staff at it's helm they seem to be very well organised. 

When you enter a new salon for the first time, it can often be quite daunting but honestly, from the moment I opened the huge sleek glass door (with "Pull" written on it for fools like me who always open doors the wrong way...doh!) I knew I had walked into somewhere special. 

I was greeted by the sight of very neat shelves full of Aveda products that seemed to blend seamlessly into different sections of styling counters. I was promptly approached by a stylist with a warm smile on his face asking if I was "Julia"(nope!), and then he directed me to the tills to check in. After checking in, I was told to wait on the yellow bench and after asking where this was, the lady said "oh, are you new here?! Let me show you around!" - which I thought was so incredibly thoughtful and welcoming. 

After sitting down for all of thirty seconds, I was approached by a lady who would be washing my hair, who took me over to another lady would be styling my hair afterwards called Joon. This was cool as Joon decided how she was going to style my hair before washing, and asked me how I would prefer it to look, whilst also giving her expert opinion and actually ended up giving me a brand new take on my style, yet most importantly having it still feel like "me".

Perhaps the most unusual thing of the process is they actually give you a scalp and neck massage prior to shampooing whilst still sat in the styling chair. The first lady took care of this, and had her hands covered in a special relaxation product placed infront of my face, telling me to breathe deeply to inhale the product (an Aveda branded one, although I am not sure what the exact name was). It smelled quite deep yet rejuvinating and definately had a spa like quality to it. She then worked this in though my hair and scalp, and the back of my neck. I was also asked if they could get me anything, such as a drink or any magazines.

Onto the hair washing, and the area where this happens is enclosed in it's own little area, and it feels quite private and quiet. The interiors of this section are dark wood, but in a very calming sense and it really puts you at ease. They also have separate foot stools which are really comfy, and make a change from typical salons where your feet remain on the floor. 

After the washing, it was back to Joon in the chair and no I was not left waiting with soaking wet hair as I have been in many salons before - she was straight there to take over and very attentive throughout. She firstly went over again what she planned to do, and made sure I was happy with it. She also asked if my hair tends to hold a style well, which I think showed real attention to detail as infact my hair doesn't hold styles all that well due to it being quite deceptively thick and heavy.

For an "express blowdry" the service was not in the slightest bit rushed - at no point did I ever feel like I was just another client, or that they were on a tight schedule. Infact, Joon in particular really took her time to get to know me and ask me questions about my blog after I mentioned why I was getting my hair done. She even brought over another member of staff at one point who was also pale, and told her about my blog too! I couldn't quite believe just how lovely they all were to me, especially as they must see thousands of clients pass through their doors each week. 

What fascinated me from a hairdressing point of view, is that Joon blowdried my hair in a completely different way to how I or my regular hairdresser normally does. She actually dried it straight using mainly a paddle instead of a barrel brush, as I normally do so at home. She explained this was to minimise volume at the root, yet the volume would still be achieved as she planned to use flat irons to add subtle curls throughout. 

At first I was unsure how this would look, as it's a completely new take on how my hair has been styled previously. I was genuinely amazed as it started to come together, and equally impressed that Joon didn't rush or use the hairdryer on a super high setting to get through my hair quickly because it's so thick (as has happened to me before with similar services and ended up burning my scalp!)

The experience did take a little longer than the 30 minutes it was supposed to, however I genuinely couldn't have cared less as I was enjoying every minute of it. I let Joon know I had to be there at 2, and she made sure that she finished my look on time and nothing seemed to much trouble for her.

When she passed me the mirror at the end, I don't think I could have felt any happier with the result. My hair felt light, bouncy and fresh yet not laden down with product either, infact she barely used more than a little hairspray on me. My hair has continued to feel nice, and smell nice too.

Whilst in the building, I was also complemented by about 4 different staff members on the dress I was wearing and "how nicely it worked against my skintone". I thought this was a lovely touch, as you could tell they were being genuine with you, which unfortunately is something you don't always find in salon environments. It also meant alot, as I was there to represent pale skin and having people tell you that you got it right, made me feel confident in not only how I looked, but also in what I was there to achieve on a personal level. 

I guess to sum it up, a visit the Aveda Institute is something that really should be on your bucket list. Yes, I would really go that far as to say that! The whole process from start to finish was relaxing, welcoming and every member of staff you encounter genuinely treats you as a friend, not just another head to wash and style. The passion they have for their craft really shines through, and this is clear to see as they actually care about you and want to get to know you. Joon even offered to take the pictures of my hair at the end, I mean how nice can you get?! If you are reading this, thankyou so much!

The one thing that leaves me gutted, is that I am from up north and The Aveda Institute is down south. But as I told the lady at reception before I had even left the building, I'll be back!!!

The Aveda Express Blowdry costs £33 and can be booked through email or phone.

*A couple of the pics taken from the Aveda website.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Earle of Liz-Zurious Scents

Some of you may be aware that Liz Earle have brought out a new "Bath and Body" range, in addition to all the wonderful skincare and makeup products they currently sell (although no bases as of yet for ultra pale skin). 

I was lucky enough to recieve two samples this week from their Newsletter and also from an order I placed with them, of their new body lotions in the scents "Vanilla and Saffron" and "Tiare and Jasmine". Whilst body lotions typically aren't my thang, I thought they were worth a mention as the scents are particularly uplifting and aromatic. 

My favourite from the two (there is also a 3rd variety available - "Bergamot and Ginger") is Tiare and Jasmine, as it's quite soft and subtle. I am quite a fan of lavender, and the fragrance emitted from this one isn't too disimilar, yet isn't overpowering either.

Vanilla and Saffron would be ideal for all those who love the smell of pick n mix, as this is what it really reminded me off (oddly). It's a much stronger fragrance, but the initial hit of sweets does filter down and you are left with a much gentler smell. 

With Mother's Day just around the corner for us Brits, this could be an ideal present in it's full size, especially as the 3 varieties are also available in shower gel form. I would personally be more inclined to go for the shower products, as I am always on the lookout for something new and special to leave my skin smelling nice throughout the day. Also can't go wrong with the packaging! 

If you'd like to purchase from this range, you can find out the prices and more info here. I would also love to know your thoughts if you have tried this range, so please leave a comment below! 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Oscar De La Pala'

There's no denying that pale skin on the red carpet gives instant sophistication. Whilst there wasn't any super pale looks seen as recent awards ceremonies, I did noticed a definite steer away from super full on tans. The tans are getting increasingly fairer, almost to look natural and those who are naturally fair are getting ever more confident in showing it. 

Whilst the photography is a little misleading (making her look slightly more tanned than what she is), Cate Blanchett looked truelly effortless in her nude coloured gown. Cate is a great example of a pale/pink undertone, and her skin up close is absolutely flawless, even when wearing no make up.

It was also refreshing to see pale skin paired against deep blue, as demonstrated by Amy Adams. The rest of the look was quite paired back, but again the colour although it was bold - didn't work against her fair skin, infact allowed it to be contrasted beautifully.

What is refreshing with these ladies, is they are a true example that you can be successful and equally beautiful, whilst remaining true to your natural skin tone. It's the personality and true elegance that shines through with these ladies, and not the "glow" of the bronzing products, proving that you can rock a red carpet, yes even with pale skin.

And no red carpet look would be complete without make up right?! Above are what I'd pick for an ultra glamorous look. My Oscars invite seemed to have got lost in the post this year, but if I wanted a glam look then these are the types of products I would go for. For my base, I would use Porcelain foundation in Bobbi Brown (one of the palest high end colours available), and the new lancome concealer palette which is ultra pale and mixable (hurray!). I would complete my look with a brown smokey eye, and red Tom Ford Lips.

What looks did you like from this years Oscars, and what make up would you wear for a glamorous event?! Leave me a comment below, and don't forget to follow me on twitter/instagram @paleskinmakeup