Do Not Settle for Shampoo… Demand Real… Oh

Hi again guys!

Yesterday I posted about trying out imPRESS press on manicure and I said that my next blog post would be about Shampoos and Conditioners.

Over the years I have put my hair through a lot of abuse, it’s been a lot of colours and styles and it gets heat treated on a nearly daily basis so I am always on the look out for products that will help keep my hair looking healthy.

A Selection of my Hair Styles

My hair is currently in the style directly above- an A-line bob with blonde highlights throughout and due to the bleaching my hair is starting to dry out and the ends are looking a bit worse for wear. 

For many years, I have used the Red L’Oreal Colour Protect Shampoo and Conditioner. It always left my hair feeling silky and smelling lovely, but with bleaching my hair more and more I decided that I needed some shampoo that is more conditioning.

I had previously used L’Oreal’s Re-Nutrition Shampoo and Conditioner with Royal Jelly  and found that it smelt gorgeous and left my hair feeling very smooth, silky and with few fly aways. On the downside, due to it being highly nutritious, I found that it was making my hair extra greasy in a shorter period of time than usual. I like to wash my hair every other day, using dry shampoo on a “non wash day” and I am a bit of a perfectionist about having hair that looks greasy so this shampoo just didn’t really work for me. 

When shopping in ASDA the other day, and knowing that I was soon to run out of my traditional “Red L’Oreal”, I decided to have a browse at the shampoos available. 

I perused the John Frieda Sheer Blonde range as I had sent off for a sample of the new Everlasting Blonde Shampoo and Condition but given that it retails (in ASDA at least) 
for £4 per bottle and I could get two bottles of L’Oreal for the same price I decided to hold fire on the Sheer Blond until I had tested it. (When I next get my hair coloured, I will start using the Everlasting Blonde and I will let you know how I feel about it and whether it does help preserve my fresh colour!)

Eventually I decided to try L’Oreal’s Nourish and Shimmer Shampoo and Conditioner designed for highlighted hair. The bottle says that it contains Royal Jelly and lighteners that nourish the hair and make the highlights appear brighter and shinier. 

When I first used the shampoo and conditioner together I really wasn’t expecting much. I was expecting my hair to look sleek but ultimately become greasy quickly and that the highlights would look the same as they did before.

I was very pleasantly surprised! My hair does feel more nourished than it did when I was using the standard colour protect shampoo and some of my damaged ends look a little less straw like. My hair smells amazing, I can assume that it’s the Royal Jelly as this shampoo smells like the Re-Nutition shampoo that also contains Royal Jelly and I actually do think that my highlights look brighter than they did before. 

For the price, I really do like this shampoo and conditioner for my highlighted hair. L’Oreal is often on offer in ASDA which makes it more appealing. When I have used the Sheer Blonde I can say whether I think you are better off spending a little bit more or whether the L’Oreal is the better option for blondes.

Are there any Shampoos and Conditioners I should be trying for my slightly knackered, bleached hair?

Thank you for reading!

Stay Safe and Wonderful!


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imPRESS: Press on Manicure- Impressive?

Hi All!

Sorry again for another massive delay between blog posts, there’s been a lot going on here with job hunting (I have a job now- yay!), my other half having a proficiency test and celebrating my 2 year anniversary with him. 

Anyway, on to what this post is really about- the imPRESS press on manicure. 
I like fake nails. I think they look pretty but I am usually too cheap to keep up with having them done professionally so I have often done my own. I’d seen the imPRESS nails in the press (no pun intended) and in the shops so decided to give them a go. 

I’ve happily used traditional “DIY” fake nail kits at home, using the glue and a steady hand to achieve pretty nails but as the imPRESS ones are advertised as easy to put on and remove I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give them a go.

I got the traditional french manicure style nails that were the short length. I bought mine from Asda for £7.99 but they are available in Boots and Superdrug for a similar price and with the added bonus of getting your more points on your reward cards. 

General Comments about the imPRESS Press on Manicure
I like the packaging for these nails. Having everything in a small, nail polish sized container means that they are perfect for putting into a handbag or travel case so you can take them away with you should you so desire. They even come with a mini nail file that is attached to the instructions and all in the little container. Very nifty. 

The finish of the nails was good quality. There were no chips in the french tip or bumps or rough edges of the nails themselves. 

The imPRESS nails come in 12 sizes and state that most women will be able to get a perfect fit for both hands out of the sizes available. Usually with DIY fake nails I have no issue with size (apart from with my odd index fingers) but with the imPRESS ones I found that they just didn’t go big enough for my thumbs! I don’t think I have particularly fat thumbs as my thumb ring is actually a size smaller than my fingers. Sadly, this left a slightly unsightly gap down the side of both my thumbs and I felt like it affected the strength of the bond between nail and fake nail.

Thumb nail from the side

Thumb nail from Above

Application and Removal

These nails are advertised as easy to put on and easy to remove without damaging your natural nail. 

I would agree that the application was simple: once I had picked out the best sizes for my nails it was simply a case of pulling off the plastic and pressing the false nail firmly onto my own. As I wasn’t using a liquid glue, there was no sticky mess, no glue on the nails, and no visible bubbles underneath the false nail. Once the nails were on they felt secure, I didn’t experience any pinging which I usually do with DIY fake nails. 

As I said previously, imPRESS nails say that you can just pull them off to remove them and they will not damage your natural nails. I have a habit of getting fed up with fake nails and just pulling them off, not doing it properly, and ultimately weakening my natural nails. However, when removing the imPRESS nails although I did have to get under them with tweezers just to get leverage, they came off easily with no damage to my natural nails. Exactly as advertised! 

Overall Thoughts

I actually really liked these nails (I didn’t wear them for a week to test the longevity claims fully) as they looked nice and were very simple to apply and remove. My only real issue with them is the fact that the thumb nail sizes were not big enough for me personally and they are a little bit on the expensive size. They do, however, do a lovely range of really nice patterns and designs and I would certainly consider using them again for a night out or an event. 

Here’s a couple of photos of my hands with nails so you can see the full effect!

(Please excuse the laptop and nail paraphernalia in the background!) 

Thanks for reading!

Next time I want to discuss shampoo and conditioner!!

Stay Safe and Wonderful!


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Mini Bargain Haul from Superdrug Review!

Hey again everyone!

After my last blog post, I asked some of my friends on Facebook if there was anything they would particularly like to see and the overwhelming response was more “bargain” reviews and recommendations. 

As someone who has been recently made unemployed and is trying to spend as little as possible, I understand the desire to find good products that don’t break the bank. I do maintain that the MAC Prep + Prime Primer is worth the £22.50 price tag but mostly for that high SPF value. 

Anyway, I had to go to town the other day to the dreaded Job Centre and with summer threatening to hit any time soon, I decided I would grab some anti allergy tablets in preparation for the onslaught of pollen. I opted to go to Superdrug as that was the closest and usually the cheapest. 

For a while I had been debating with trying a felt tip style liquid eyeliner so I thought that I would look in Superdrug for a cheap one, along with my hayfever tablets, to try out. As soon as I walked in I saw that they had a 3 for 2 offer on ALL cosmetics and I was suckered in. 

For less than £13 (including the hayfever tablets) here is what I got:
MUA Extreme Felt Eyeliner in Black, Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara in Black and Maybelline Colour Show Polka Dots Nail Polish in Speckled Pink. 

The Reviews

Maybelline Colour Show Polka Dots Nail Polish in Speckled Pink

When I first put this nail polish on I was immediately concerned because it appeared to be really quite thin. I couldn’t see it providing a good finish in only two coats. I was happily wrong. After applying two coats, I had a good coverage and a very funky, speckled pattern on my nails. It lasted fairly well (the usual couple of days that I manage to maintain painted nails) but when it came to removing the polish it was a little bit of a nightmare! Due to the fact the polish has the circular black and white dots of glitter in it, when trying to remove it with cotton wool I found that the pink colour came away but the wool attached itself to the dots which remained firmly on my nails. With a gentle bit of persuasion with a scratchy nail, I managed to remove all the dots and return to my natural nails.
Overall I was actually really impressed with this polish and would definitely recommend it for the price of £2.99!
Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara in Black
I’d been talking to my friend about this mascara, interested to give it a go after seeing the adverts saying it was a new formula with less wax and that was a mousse, so when I saw in Superdrug I had to try it. 
It gave me good separation of the lashes and decent length although the length wasn’t as good as I have had from some of the more premium brands I have used (Estee Lauder and Clinique freebies). The formula was less flaky than some cheaper mascaras I have used in the past, and as a contact lens wearer I found that my eyes were not irritated. 
Would I buy it again? Certainly. I think it’s a good, all round, every day mascara although it isn’t waterproof and for £6.99 (I think!) it’s definitely a good price point. 

MUA Extreme Felt Liner in Black

This eyeliner was my free item and at full price it would have set me back a whopping £2! As someone who is only really used to using the slim brush liquid eyeliners, I wanted a cheap felt tip one just to see if I could get used to using it without spending a lot of money that could go to waste. 
When I first tried this eyeliner I was not impressed. I couldn’t get to grips with the brush (as I suspected) and the eyeliner was very thin and pale when on the eye. However, after using it a couple more times, I have discovered that I can use the brush and the secret to a decent black was just to layer the product. 
For a £2 (or in this case free) eyeliner I’m not going to complain. It’s actually quite nice to have a liner that isn’t immediately a harsh black for using with yellows and more neutral/natural looks.  I would certainly recommend this for someone who is just getting started with liquid eyeliners as the brush tip gives you more control and it’s not a waste of money if you just don’t like it in the end!!

Thank you for reading! I apologise for the dodgy iPhone photography! 
I hope you all have a great weekend.

See you soon!
Lexy x

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Primed and Ready to Rock!

Hello guys and gals!

As I said in my last blog post, I’m unemployed and having troubles with the Job Centre and this had lead to some financial difficulties and cut backs.

However, when the sun showed its face in a major way last week I knew it was time for “money well spent” purchase.

I have exceptionally fair skin. I just need to stand under a hot lamp and I get sunburn. I’m not sure from whom I have inherited this fairness from given that both of my parents go brown as soon as they look at the sun, not a lobster in sight! 

So because of this I decided I need some really good sun protection for my face but something that would also benefit my make up instead of making my face greasy and slippery.

I decided that what I was looking for was a primer with SPF in it. I found MAC’s prep + Prime SPF 50 on their website but at £22.50 and being jobless I thought this was a little too expensive. I set about looking for a high street dupe that offered the same sun protection. Alas, this was not to be and my skin took precedence over my purse and I purchased the Prep + Prime. 

Was it worth the fairly high price tag?

In my opinion, yes. 

I used it when the sun was at it strongest and not even a hint of sun burn was to be found and the big bonus was that it really did keep my make up in place!

I find it quite common that even with long lasting foundations that they come away around my nose and cheeks due to how dry my skin is, but using the Prep + Prime really helped stop this and made my make up flawless all day.

The MAC Prep+Prime has a lovely formula, it goes on smoothly, has an extremely gentle fragrance and a little goes a long way. If you are looking for a primer that has a high SPF I would DEFINITELY recommend this product!

Stay Safe and Wonderful!

Lexy x

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Keeping you up to date!

Hey everyone!

It’s been a little while since I last blogged so I thought I would do a quick over view on what’s been going on and just touch base.

As I mentioned before, I recently lost my job so I’ve spent a lot of my time recently trying to sort out finding a new job and also trying to sort out getting some money to keep myself going until that happens. This means I have been a bit lax in a) being able to actually really buy any make up bits due to budgetary constraints and b) my time has been taken up with filling in COUNTLESS forms!

Along with this one of my best friends in the world is going to Australia to travel for a year or two at the end of May so I have been trying to spend as much time as her as I can before she leaves.

What I’m trying to say is I do apologise for being an absent blogger and I hope that you all forgive me and keep checking back with me! 

All that being said, I HAVE purchased a few items recently, mostly bargain things but one splurge purchase that I will be reviewing very soon. I’m giving said item a good trial run today to see how it fairs and so I can fully report back.

I hope you all have a great week and I will catch up with you all soon!! 

My First MUA Lipstick!

Hi There and Welcome back to my blog!

This is my second post and this time I will actually be talking about make up and showing off some pictures! 

So today I went shopping with my other half, mainly to get out of the house and wander about in the sunshine and, well, who needs an excuse to go shopping, right?

We wandered around and I eventually decided that I wanted to look in Boots and Superdrug at general cosmetic bits. I was looking to see if either of them stocked Too Faced as I have heard superb things about their lipsticks and was going to investigate them further. Alas, neither of them do stock Too Faced.

However, Superdrug does stock MUA. I had come across MUA a couple of Christmases ago when I purchased an eyeshadow palette for my house mate who wanted some shadows so she could start experimenting. MUA seemed like a good choice as they were inexpensive and the shadows came in a nice variety of colours for experimentation but I had no idea of the quality. Since I didn’t open or use the palette I gave her, I remained none the wiser.

Until today. A few of the beauty bloggers on Twitter that I follow had said how good the MUA Lipsticks are and when I went into Superdrug and saw that they were only a pound (£1! What make up can you get these days for a singular pound?!) I thought I would give one a go. If it was rubbish it was no real loss financially and if I loved it then that was a bonus.

So I purchased the MUA lipstick shade 7 (I think it does have a “name” but it’s not on the tube so I’m gonna stick with 7 for now).

(Apologies for the crappy phone photography done against my duvet!) 

The tube style is pretty basic in design, just your regular lipstick until you come to the very bottom of the tube that has a sample of the colour. I thought this was just for display and convenience so you can easily see what colour lipstick is inside. You can actually unscrew this bottom part and inside it is some of the actual product. I’m not sure really what purpose this serves apart from, I guess, that when your lipstick is pretty much all gone you still have a tiny bit left. Nonetheless, I was really surprised to find real product in there and I approve! 

The lipstick itself smells beautiful. It’s kind of a creamy, fruity smell and I love it. I’m quite particular about the smells of product I use because some things actually give me a headache. I once used a foundation that had an interesting smell and I could smell it all day and by the evening I had a thumping headache.

The colour is lovely and the formula is smooth and glides on really well. When it’s on the lips it doesn’t feel greasy or sticky but it feels quite moisturising.

The only downside to this lipstick, in my opinion, is that it doesn’t last amazingly long on the lips. Mine stayed on for about an hour or so, but I was talking and eating in that time so it would probably last longer if I hadn’t been stuffing my face. 

All in all I love this lipstick. I think that for a pound (ONE POUND! Did I mention it’s only A SINGULAR POUND?!) you can’t really go wrong. Even if you need to reapply the lipstick more often and it runs out faster than a more expensive one I think it makes up for it by being so ridiculously cheap.

Here’s a couple of pictures of me with the lipstick on. I really like the way it looked against my pale complexion. You have to excuse that I look greasy as I have sunscreen on and it’s just… Not a pretty look!

If you are interested in finding out more about my make up in these photos either leave me a comment on here or tweet me @50shadesmakeup.

Thanks for reading! 

My first beauty blog!

Hello there! And welcome to my first blog post on 50 Shades of Make Up!

I want to use this post as an introduction to me, what I like, what I’m about and that sort of thing.

I recently got let go from a job so I decided that it was a great time for me to actually make some time and start doing a beauty blog that I have wanted to do for quite some time. 

I first got into make up properly a few years ago when I started uni. I started watching some gurus on youtube and picking up hints and tips and I learnt that make up is a love and also a real art. So I started using these tips and immediately people started commenting on how good my make up was.

Then I started posting photos online and people were really impressed with my make up and started asking me to show them how to do it! Initially I was just sending people to YouTube to watch my favourite gurus but eventually I thought that I would actually like to start doing tutorials and blogs myself as most of my favourite gurus are based in the States and they have a lot of brands that aren’t readily available over here in the UK.

So here it is; this is the blog that I have wanted to start for ages. I hope you guys enjoy it and get something from it. Even if it’s just a new way to kill time!