Dear Reader: I Finally Love My Hair

 

Unruly, fine, wavy and frizzy (course even, before decent products were invented) were the words I would use to describe my hair.  I hated my hair being combed as a child and developed a habit (that I still have to this day) of twiddling it.  Knots are my nemesis.

 

For years I’ve used products to wash it that ‘help’ a comb or brush glide through it.  I can really pack on the conditioner and I love my in-shower Tangle Teezer Hairbrush that helps me through the unpleasant task of clearing the knots post-wash.

 

Using over-the-counter shampoos and conditioners I didn’t care that there was a build up of ‘coating’ that never appeared to wash away.  In all honesty I was just glad to get some shine and it be more manageable.

 

However, I noticed that the ‘coating’ was enabling my hair to become a little slick.  In an oily, rather than an effortless way.  It never felt clean after washing and I had to wash it every other day or it appeared to be moulded plastic rather than a gorgeous glossy mane.

 

In true Gail Painter-style I thought ah well that’s my lot.  But it so isn’t.  I must tell you about an absolutely fantastic shampoo and conditioner that has absolutely changed my hair.  Really.

 

I didn’t go looking for it in all honesty (see above, GP settles statement).  I was approached by the Josh Wood Colour team to try its range.  To back up my review, a good friend of mine also tried some products.  We have different hair colour/treatments – I have highlights and she has coloured dark brown hair, which is lovely and thick, where I have fine hair, but both of us have waves to be tamed.

 

On holiday with me in Amalfi, Italy, last year.

I just want to jump straight to the punch here and tell you that since trialling the products, which was nearly a year ago, we have repeat purchased and notify each other if we ever see money-off deals so that we can stock up.  In a nutshell, we’re loyal fans.  I know that I and other bloggers review products all the time, but this trial has triggered a permanent purchase change for both of us and that’s why I feel so strongly about sharing it with you all these months later.

 

So, what do I buy?  I use Josh Wood Colour Uplifting Shampoo for blonde hair prone to frizz (RRP £10), Josh Wood Colour Shade Refreshing Conditioner for fine blonde hair (RRP £10).  I also have the Josh Wood Colour Everything Mask (RRP £15), but I’ve only used it a few times.  I don’t need it that often.  That says a lot.  The range is sulphate and paraben-free so gentle on your hair and leaving it free of the synthetic feeling I had gotten used to with other products.

 

Just using the two main products – shampoo and conditioner – is enough for me.  I also use these sparingly.  I do apply two washes because the shampoo doesn’t lather up very much (no sulphate) and the old me has been trained to see a lot of bubbles.  At first, I was put off because there didn’t seem to be much lather and I doubted its ability to work, but now I use a short squirt to get rid of the top layer of everyday grime and a second to give it a good clean.  Then its conditioner, Tangle- Teezer and I’m done.

 

For the first time my hair is manageable, while also being clean.  I don’t need to have lots of product on it to manage the waves. It doesn’t look frizzy.  It doesn’t feel or look greasy.  It’s proper hair.

 

I’m obsessed with it.  Can you tell.

 

My friend absolutely loves the Everything Mask. She was really pleased with how much shine it gave her hair and that it was so soft.  She also loved the pump applicator, which was easier and more manageable to use than squeezing a tube.  I’m guessing the aim is to provide you with just the right amount to use, rather than overloading your palm.  She also has the Josh Wood Colour Darker Brown Blending Brush (RRP £15), which really impressed her for its coverage of those annoying grey hairs.

 

 

We buy ours from Boots and I’ve spoken to my hairdresser about it several times, because she has noticed the difference in the manageability and colour of my hair. It offers a salon quality, but with a high-street price.  It’s not your value brand, but it’s a great halfway house and for the results an absolute steal.

 

 

I love, love, love it and simply had to share.  My crowning glory is here at last!

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Gail xx

 

Holiday Make-Up Made Easy

I look dreadful without make-up.  I’m not one of those women who wears make-up at night or jumps out of bed before her husband wakes so that he never sees her without war paint, but I know I need it during the day and I’m happier, more confident when I have a little ‘slap’ on.

 

I’ve recently reverted to ‘carving out time’ to put it on, as I did in my youth.  In my thirties, there was no time, or maybe I thought I didn’t need as much time, and my face was done in minutes.  Now, as I get older, I’m building up the drugstore again and I’m starting to think I might end up like Barbara Cartland as my bathroom overflows with colourful goodies.

 

Hopefully SP will stick around and forewarn me of graffiti-style war paint wearing as I get older, but that’s down the line and my immediate problem lies in the holiday make-up bag, which is a bone of contention between us.  It all started when we couldn’t carry anything over 100ml in our hand luggage and I couldn’t hide ‘all that stuff’ in a tote.  I know it’s for a good reason, but now all my make-up is visible in the shared suitcase (obviously where I’m going wrong) and ‘make-up control’ guidelines dictate very serious restrictions. The trouble is SP considers said make-up kit a luxury, I consider it First Aid.

 

Without make-up my head looks like a spud and it’s particularly worse when I expose my skin to the sun.  I do not have summer-friendly skin.  I’m naturally pale and really have to stick at the sun worship to gain any colour, always being mindful of how long I’m out in it,  as I can scorch like a tomato on a grill.

 

I wear high factor protection on my face the whole time I’m away and then add a swish of MAC Bronzer to give my face a sun-kissed look of an evening.  These items are non-negotiable, but with make-up space at a premium I need to limit myself with the rest of the ‘equipment’ and not take the complete drugstore, which is how I found myself fine-tuning my kit to the items below for my last holiday.

 

 

Wearing high factor protection is great for your skin, but try standing next to a bronzed beauty in the Med, it ain’t so hot.  So I always take foundation and powder away with me.   This time I wanted to find a 2-in-1 product that also didn’t break the bank.  Chatting to beauty bloggers on Twitter and doing some digging around I found a 4-in1 product, True Match Genius by L’Oreal.

 

A primer, concealer, foundation and powder in one compact, it comes with a built-in mirror and application sponge.  It’s creamy to touch, but transforms to a matt texture with a satin finish once on the skin.  It offers medium coverage and because it comes in a small case I could take it with me everywhere and touch up should my skin get ‘flushed’.  I really liked the result, but I think I’m going to go a shade darker this next holiday to give me a little more colour.

 

I was also advised to try eyeshadow sticks or crayons, which meant I didn’t have to take any brushes with me – hoorah – see saving space comes naturally to me!  I found these by Max Factor.  They aren’t new in the world of beauty, but certainly a fresh idea to me.  These are 2-in-1 Gel Shadow Liners.  They offer a high pigmentation and I bought a light brown/gold colour for day wear and a metallic grey for an evening.  In truth they are quite chunky sticks so I didn’t wear them as a liner and drew over the whole eyelid, but that suited my needs.  I think you’d need a pretty steady hand to just use them as a liner.  I loved the colours and coverage though.

There are some nights of course when you want to add more sparkle to your look and for that I bought Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner that I kept reading about all last year.  I bought Midnight Cowboy which offers a wash of gold glitter that can be delicately worn on the outer rim of your eye, or hell-for-leather over the whole eyelid.  It depends on what you’re looking for and whether you’re going to an Abba tribute gig or not, but I found a tiny amount really makes your eyes pop in a pretty way.  I wore mine with Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara (not pictured), which is my currant fave.

 

Lastly, I had a sample (must have been from a magazine) of Benefit’s Hoola Lip Gloss.  It does say Ultra Plush on the packaging, but I did find it really quite heavy to wear and it took a little getting used to.  It’s pretty much nude on the lip, but does offer some shimmer.  I’m not convinced that it did much for me, I’m too pale and need colour, so I will be reverting back to a pink gloss for the next holiday.  But if you go a gorgeous nut brown (please don’t stand near me) then this could be a gloss for you.

 

And that was it, my holiday ‘look’ with just a few products.  I literally got a gold star from SP.

 

Don’t worry, I got my own back. I more than made up for it with shoes!!!

 

Have a nice weekend.

 

Gail x