Hair Tool Storage With The Polder Style Station

While I'm not the most organised of people I do like everything in its place, and the floor is definitely not the place for storing hair styling tools. The tangled bundle of wires not only offended my eyes but also confuddled me, and I was forever plugging in my laptop and wondering why my straighteners weren't heating up.
After some searching on Pinterest and Google (and dismissing some very overpriced pieces of metal), I found the perfect way to store my hairdryer and brush- a 5 Hook Over-Draw (or door) Hanger that works a treat and was only £2.48 including p&p! It has more hooks than I have things to hang, but it's definitely always better to have too many than too little in my opinion.
When searching for a holder for my other tools I had some trouble, the few products that looked they would do the job weren't available in England, and any of them that were were far too expensive. I finally happened upon the answer to my prayers- the Polder Style Station (£19.99) (they also do a Mini £16.99) available exclusively from Lakeland, with silicone pads and stainless steel mesh that means you can put your hot tools away straight after use.
The Style Station has three round compartments with the largest big enough to store a hairdryer, but I've also found it perfect for my Babyliss Curl Secret. In the other two I keep my Remington straighteners and Braun straighteners (review here). At the back there's a large hook (supposedly for hanging the holder from a towel rail), a hole for wall mounting and a section for storing the cables. I've found this section too small for storing the cables of all three tools and have instead been winding my Braun stylers wire and securing the loop with Velcro for easy access. Luckily though the wire pocket makes a great place for my Yogi Heat Proof Glove!

I keep the holder next to my plugs and I think it looks really attractive and neat as well as actually doing the job of housing my hair styling tools and cables. I knew there were over-door hooks available but I wasn't really sure if anything actually existed that would be suitable for the rest of my tools, so I'm so pleased to have found the Style Station as I've finally put my storage and messy wire woes to rest! 

Body Contouring with No More White Bits Self Tan

No More White Bits is a new self tanning brand from Anatomicals which launches into Asda this month and aims to provide tans for 'active lifestyles' that are quick to apply and easy to maintain. With all its products, which include mousse, cream and gel, priced at £4 or less, the brand has hands down beat other affordable tans for price alone before you've even opened the bottle.

While I'm not the biggest fan of the blue and white packaging it does stand out, and I haven't tried any other tanning products that openly market themselves towards men as well as women. Honestly on first use of the Instant Self Tan Mousse in Dark* the instructions did baffle me a little- it states that it's an instant tanning mousse (which to me means wash-off and non developing) but that it does develop, although it doesn't say how long to leave it on for. The mousse applies very dark and turns into an easily spreadable liquid on the skin with that slightly greenish tinge that we've now come to expect from self tans. It has a strong lotus flower scent that isn't for sensitive noses and I have to make sure I've oiled my knees and elbows well as it tends to grab these areas if theyre dry. I'm so over waiting around for tans to sink in or getting dressed and sticking to my clothes, so I'm really pleased that this formula dries quickly and feels smooth on the skin. On first go I took a guess at the developing time be around 4-6 hours and I think I was right, even though washing off the guide colour leaves me a bit pasty in comparison, the tan gradually gets darker over the next day or two so I actually end up darker than expected (no complaints there as I'm a natural ghost!).

The colour is a nice natural deep brown and the wear time is about 5 days for me before I start to look like I've got a farmer's tan. Thankfully it doesn't leave me scaly or patchy like a lot of dark tans can. I'm really impressed with No More White Bits as it's definitely the best budget tan I've tried, and I'll definitely be picking up the cream formula when I next do my shopping!

Body contouring definitely isn't something I'd do every time I wear self tan (which is often) but it's great for a special ocassion or if you just need a little body confidence boost. I first came up with the idea when for some reason my chest was a looking a little less than full, and from there it spread through trial and error to the rest of my body. The principle is really the same as contouring the face- to define, create shape and give the illusion of a slimmer form. The effect is subtle once the tan's guide colour is washed off but it definitely makes a difference and once you try it, you'll see for yourself.
This works equally well with mousses or creams and a mitt (which is essential for ensuring everything is buffed out), and can be achieved either by applying one layer of tan, washing off and darkening specific areas with another layer, or by waiting for the first layer to dry and then applying on top straight away, which is much quicker and easier.
As with bronzing the cheeks, the idea is to blend the second layer of tan into the first to ensure there are no harsh lines or obvious streaks. The highlights really aren't as important as the shadows but they do give more contrast, and can be created by simpling buffing away at the first layer of tan with a dry mitt or sponge. My drawing skills haven't really done the poor lady in the image above any justice, so I've run through each area below and the ideas can be modified for other body shapes.  

THE BOOBS-  I was given the bittersweet blessing of small boobs (can't fill out a top properly, but also don't get back ache), so this is the area I focus on. I can't speak for other shapes but deepened shadows underneath and to the sides really make them look fuller and more shapely against my (boney) chest.  A highlight just above the shadow will create the contrast which gives the illusion that the nips are sitting further out from the body.
THE WAIST- As with a bodycon dress that gives the look of a smaller waist by making the edges of the body almost disappear, a darker shadow will draw the eye to the smaller lighter area at the centre of the body (the same idea can be applied to the dreaded 'bingo wings' at the underneath of the arms).
THE STOMACH- A layer of tan will darken all shadows, whether wanted or not, and a shadow below the stomach that shouts 'look at me, I'm a muffin top!' is something no one wants. This can be evened out by blending a darker line along the most projecting part of the stomach, and buffing away the tan underneath where the darkest shadow lies to almost reverse the effect.
THE HIPS- I really like the look of wide hips so if anything I would highlight them, but there is the matter of stretchmarks which I don't really want to show off. My tiger stripes have faded to a point where I don't dislike them as much as I used to, but a good layer of tan helps hide the 'shine' and mackerel effect that they can give to the skin.
Thigh gaps are so last year, but for those of us in the touching thigh crew a little slimming illusion with a second layer of tan doesn't go amiss!  This also helps prevent the tell-tale faded tan patches from hair removal.
THE LEGS- A dark self tan buffed under the bum can make it look perkier but, as I talked about in my Vita Liberata Skinfinish post, a highlight down the centre of the legs can do wonders not only for slimming but for adding a little glamour that makes you look put together for an evening out. If the thought of rubbing off your lovely deep tan doesn't appeal, a liquid highlighter or even a sweep of highlighting powder can work wonders for the pins!

What do you think of body contouring, is it something you've tried, or might try in the future?

Braun Blogger Challenge with the Satin Hair 7 SensoCare Styler

A little while ago I was asked if I would like to take part in the Braun Blogger Challenge to recreate one of three hairstyles created by UK Style Director Peter Beckett with the Braun Satin Hair 7 Sensocare Styler*. These straighteners really are the bees knees and use clever new technology in the plates that detects the moisture levels in every strand of hair 20 times a second, and adjusts their temperature accordingly during every stroke to minimise hair damage. When you first turn it on, the styler asks you to create a 'profile' of information about your hair- the length, thickness and whether it is coloured, in order for it to heat to the right temperature. The heating time for my profile is about 60 seconds which is amazingly quick compared to others I've used! 
In order for the Sensocare technology to work properly your hair needs to be thoroughly dried and you need to move slowly down each section; the stylers let you know whether you're moving at the right speed by showing a graphic after each stroke, ranging from a happy face to a rather grumpy face when you go too fast. I wasn't sure whether I wouldn't notice any difference from this new intelligent styling technology, but after the first use I was actually really impressed- using straighteners on my hair usually leaves the ends looking a little crisp and my splitends very dry and obvious, but with the Satin Hair 7 the effect is really minimal and my hair looks kink-free and healthy. 
As well as the SensoCare technology, these straighteners also have rounded edges for curling, floating plates, and tips that stay cool enough to hold which I've found really handy during styling. You can also set up to three hair profiles, or choose not to use the profile function and decide your own temperature if you need a specific heat.
Of the three hairstyles I was challenged to recreate I chose curls, which in this look are created by wrapping and pinning the hair. Keep scrolling to find out how to recreate the look and how I did with the challenge!

I was quite pleased with my attempt at the pin curls and I really enjoyed trying something new, curls drop quickly out of my hair because of the weight in the length but this style gives them a chance to set and helps them hang on for longer instead of turning straight into waves. Pinning all my hair to my head was a bit tricky (especially at the back!) and a few of the kirby grips didn't want to stay in place, but having the hair cooling out of the way would be really handy when I need to finish off my makeup or get changed for going out.I finished my style off in the photos above with a bit of dry backcombing spray and hair spray to hold the hair and make the look a bit less sleek and defined as I dp like a messy 'do.  

If you're on the hunt for a new pair of straighteners I would really recommend the Braun Satin Hair 7 SensoCare Styler (£89.99), the SensoCare technology really does make a difference to the hair and I don't think you'll find many others with as much intelligence as this one!

Avojo Black Peel Off Mask

I'm a big fan of peel off masks- while they often don't do as much as those that sink into the skin, they do have their uses for skin texture and oil control, and they are so satisfying to peel off! The masks that I usually use are green, so I was really intrigued by these Avojo Black Peel Off Masks* which come in 10ml sachets and are £3 each or £10 for 5.
Avojo is a new Danish brand, the masks have been sold since November in Denmark on and have only just launched in the UK. These facemasks are designed to remove blackheads, dirt and oil from the T Zone, while leaving skin soft and revived. While these are interesting for being black, the most interesting of the ingredients list are Kaolin and Allantoin, which absorb excess oils and promote smoothness of the skin.

The mask is applied in a thick layer to the T Zone and left for 25-30 minutes, before peeling off and rinsing the skin. On application mask is thick and reminds me of very dark marmite, and it is possible to apply it too thickly and risk runs and drips. It has quite a strong scent, a nondescript skincare smell, and my eyes watered a little as I applied it to my cheeks, but that may have also been from the alcohol content of the mask. 10ml really is plenty for the T Zone- I've applied one sachet to my whole face and still had some left over so I think I would have preferred to see this product in a tube so that there isn't as much wastage. 
After drying it has a smooth rubbery texture and, while it does peel off, it does so in small pieces so it takes quite a while to pick everything from the face, and you need a mirror to make sure that you've taken all the pieces off. I would say this is much more a liquid extraction strip than a peel off mask- it removes debris and blackheads from the skin (especially well on the nose) but it does hurt. It isn't unbearable, but its a pain similar to fabric pore strips when they've dried and the removal made my eyes water a bit more than application, so I don't think these would be suitable for dry or sensitive skin. Spreading the mask thinly on the skin makes it easier to peel off in larger pieces and also creates less pain, but the results aren't’t as good as thick layer.

All told, the masks do give results- while they didn't remove all my blackheads (I suffer from them frequently as my T Zone is so oily), what they did remove was visible on the peeled pieces and it was a lot more than I was expecting. My skin also felt and looked smoother once the redness from the peeling had subsided. If you suffer from occasional blackheads then this may be all you need to keep them at bay!
If you have oily skin and are looking for something new to give your skin a deep clean to remove blackheads and dirt then I would recommend giving the Avojo Black Peel Off Masks a try, as long as you’re not averse to a little pain!

© Taupe & Pearl: UK Affordable Beauty and Accessories Blog . All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig