Coffee Chronicles: Monmouth Coffee

Hey boo thangs! How’re you all doing? Easter weekend has flown by and now I’m sadly back at work *weeps into tissue*

Normally over Easter I just chill at home and over indulge, but this year I thought I’d take advantage of my time off work to go out and explore London… and as with any trip out, mine always involves – COFFEE!!!

I am a coffee and tea addict. There, I said it lol. I have a cupboard in my kitchen dedicated to all types of teas; chocolate, lemon, liquorice, chai… anything you could think of, and while I do love sipping a nice warm brew in the comfort of my own home, I do love to treat myself to a cheeky Costa or Starbucks, however, sometimes a girl needs a little change, which is why I made my way to Monmouth Coffee – the best coffee in town…or close enough!

My boyfriend and I decided to take a trip to convent garden in search of what has been described as one of the best coffee spots in London (rated 4.5 on Trip Advisor and ranked 11  out of 756 in London)

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As a Londoner, it’s actually ridiculous that I’ve only been to Convent Garden a handful of times,especially as it’s so beautiful and filled with a good mixture of high street and high end shops…

After a peruse around the shops we made our way to Monmouth Coffee which is about a 5 minute walk from Convent Garden square.

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We spotted it instantly as there was a decent line going outside which is definitely a reflection of how good the coffee is.  After a short wait to get a seat, it felt like we escaped the hustle and bustle of London, and entered a little safe haven. The atmosphere was really relaxed inside, we shared a booth with two other ladies and the staff were so friendly.

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I didn’t really know what to order, as they had a minimalistic menu, normally if I go to Starbucks, I order a White Chocolate Mocha or a warming Chai Latte, but it was time to branch out (within reason) so, I opted for a Cafe Au Lait – a very milky option for those that love a creamy blend, and a Latte – for those that love the full power of coffee as well as a velvety creamy taste.

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Talking to the barista about my preferred taste in coffee she recommended these two, and ‘bae’ got a Flat White.

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I am in no way a coffee connoisseur but Monmouth Coffee tastes amazing and it’s super affordable pitstop. It’s really smooth and each drink tastes different, showing how perfectly blended they are. The distinct taste of each coffee is testament to how they source their coffee too, while they also sell coffee (whole and ground) using organic Jersey whole milk from Jeff Bowles in Somerset along with organic whole cane sugar from Assukkar, Costa Rica.

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My boyfriend always makes fun of me and calls me a ‘Starbucks wanker’ but even he appreciated how beautifully blended this coffee was, so, I will definitely recommend this place to all you coffee lovers and re-visit as soon possible.

What coffee shops in and around London do you think I should visit next? x

 

The Bloggers Hangout Event!

On Monday I attended my first ever blogger event!

Since I started my blog – which wasn’t THAT long ago – I have heard nothing but good things about The Bloggers Hangout events, so I signed up to attend the evening soiree in Hoxton, and it was nothing short of an amazing experience!

On the day of the event I didn’t really have any expectations, but I was a bit anxious, worrying about what to expect, wondering what the atmosphere would be like and if I would talk to anyone… but, to be honest, I had nothing to worry about.

So let me rewind – Just before the event, I had arranged to meet up with a few lovely bloggers that I had become friends through Twitter chats – Laura, Christine & Shannon  x

The venue was a short walk away from Hoxton station and was in a cute kind of derelict building. I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of layout but at first glance it appeared quite small, however, as I made my way throughout the stalls I noticed there was actually two rooms filled with bloggers and great brands!

So, when we first entered the venue, I kind of felt out of my depth, and the best thing to do, for me, in these types of situations, is just dive in. The first brand that caught my eye was a drinks brand called ZEO.

To be completely honest I didn’t really know how to approach the stall, but I went up and the lady was sooo kind. She went through the brand, telling me a little about the drinks – check them out here! They had five flavours to taste, including: Peach and Grapefruit, Zesty Lime, Blood Orange and Citrus, Mixed Berry and Cloudy Lemon, but, I opted for the peach and grapefruit, as I normally got for a safe lemon kind of drink.

I know everybody expects us bloggers to rave about the brands in these blogs, but I was pleasantly surprised about Zeo’s refreshingly fruity taste, which wasn’t too overpowering or too fizzy, making it a great treat if you’re trying to ween yourself off of fizzy drinks, yet still want to fill the void with a sparkling treat.

After tasting, I got talking to the brand representative and she basically explained the drinks in more detail: “We add a tiny amount of South American Stevia and just a touch of beet and cane sugar for sweetness. Our six bright, crisp and refreshing flavours are carefully crafted in small batches and are under 30 calories for a 275ml bottle.”

I’m not a fan of juices or fizzy drinks, but this is a drink I would genuinely buy from time to time. What really interested me though is that the drinks are perfect for experimenting with, say if you wanted to make a low calorie Mojito or create a zesty icing for a cake!

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After speaking to Zeo, I felt a lot more confident about talking to other brands. At these types of events it’s so easy to feel out of place, but I just went to the next stall which was Jurlique!

I’ve heard of Jurlique before through some of my fave vloggers on YouTube, but had never tried them for myself. Jurlique is a natural skincare brand from Australia and they are amazing!

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I was immediately drawn in by their cute stall, which was decorated with their new hand creams – I’m sure you know how much I love hand creams and lip balms now – so I had a peruse and the representative, Claire, got talking to me. I told her my obsession with hand creams like a complete nerd, and she offered to give me a hand massage using the new hand cream range! Let me just say… this hand cream DOES work. I dunno if it was the hand massage combined with the cream but my hands felt supple and moisturised. Normally if I wash my hands they get tight and really dry, but I woke up the next day and they still felt soft, even my boyfriend noticed, and that says a LOT! So check them out!

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Claire was so personable and I feel like we really got on, she also kindly gave me this rosewater balancing mist that smells divine. It refreshes and revitalises your face and can be sprayed over your makeup after a long day or just used to calm and rebalance you.

Next up was Kenneth Turner, I am a huge candle fan, I have so many sweet homely scented Yankee Candles in my room but, Kenneth Turner is master florist who embraces floral couture and has turned his passion into a niche – floral scented candles that are long lasting!

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This was the amazing Kenneth Turner table, all the scented candles and incense sticks were on display and truly smelled divine. Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I was actually quite good at deciphering the ingredients in each candle – the lady was suprisingly impressed – my favourite being Spirit.

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I chose to take the scented room cologne in Signature a quite spicy and classic scent, which is a completely different scent  from what I would normally, but I’ve never had a room cologne so I thought I’d try a different type of product.

During the event, there were a lot of stalls to choose from, but I tried to only go to brands that I thought I would be genuinely interested in… I feature nail styles and trends quite a bit on my blog which is why I had to visit ThumbsUp a brand that specialises in cool graphical nail wraps – just look at their amazon patterns *dreamy eyes*

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I don’t know if you know this, but I work in the jewellery industry, which means I’m always drawn to really sparkly pretty jewellery. Dolly’s was one of three jewellery stalls featured at the event, but out of all, I really liked her pieces. Dolly’s pieces were all handmade – she was kind enough to gift me this gorgeous skiver feather charm bracelet which will look wicked stacked against my watch and other cool bracelets.

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By this point, I had nearly been around all the stalls for the event, but I feel I really had left best until last – I found a stall for L.A.B2 and SensationNAIL !

L.A.B2 are a brand that creates professional makeup products and tools for makeup junkies – making it easy for normal people like me with a real interest in makeup to make our makeup look flawless. I received a gift bag which contained some makeup brushes and a cute sponge applicator – The box also featured a diagram on how to actually use the sponge applicator which will come in handy as I’ve had no luck in the past.

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I’ve actually used the makeup brushes once to create a glittery eye look and they were so nice to use. The brushes were fluffy and dense and picked up product quite well. They are simply designed too, which I love!

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SensatioNAIL is probably the brand I was most excited about trying after I left the event, offering shiny gel nails that are achievable from your own home. I don’t know how to explain just how excited I was, but getting shellac every two weeks can become expensive, so this is a great and affordable alternative, especially as you don’t have to use special gel colours, but can use your own nail varnish and mix it with a gel formula to created a gel polish from your already existing collection! whoop whoop!

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The pack contained an easy three step guide and to set the nails AND it comes with a snazzy LED Lamp! I mean – this is crazy!

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As you can probably tell from all the amazing goodies I picked up, the event was totally beneficial, although, I do wish it was more social, in terms of meeting bloggers as everyone was occupied with talking to brands – It seems like I walked passed many Twitter friends without even knowing lol

As a new blogger, The Bloggers Hangout event was really cool, and a great way to interact with brands I wouldn’t have, from behind a screen.

Have you been to a Bloggers Hangout event? Do you recommend any other blogger events? Hit me up x

 

 

Spring: My Favourite Lippies

Hey honeybuns, this month has been a really bad month in terms of how much money I’ve spent and how much beauty I’ve accumulated, but the sadder thing is, is that most of the things I’ve bought haven’t even been delivered yet – sad times 😦

As it’s finally spring, and the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping (earlier and earlier -_-) and the days are becoming longer -yipee! I thought let you in on all the lippies I’ve been rocking this month… well, just because!

I’m a simple kinda gal, so I always stick to similar colours that suit my skin tone and that I feel confident wearing. As I’ve had a couple of days off work, I’ve been getting out and dressing up a little more than usual, so take a look at what I’ve been using on my lips, maybe you’ll try these out for yourself…

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So first up – it obviously has to be a lip balm – a staple product in my makeup bag and if you read my Beauty Blogger Tag, I’m sure you know what it is. Last week I visited Lush and  I was actually in need of a new lip balm as my old faithful – Carmex -had run out. I chose Honey Trap as it’s quite thick and instantly moisturising, and it smells like honey – can it get any better? The only downside is that it’s £6 for a small tub, but if you’re obsessed with lip balms like I am, take the plunge it’s a beaut!

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Next up is my NYX Strawberry Parfait Butter Gloss. This is a very recent buy for me, but I’m loving this gloss. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of NYX products but this gloss is perfect for me, it gives a great pink finish that’s not too offensive and ideal for wearing to work. The applicator is a great size too as well as the consistency – if like me and you get annoyed with really sticky formulas that are horrible to apply, this is a pleasant buy.

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I’m a diva at heart, so when I saw this beautiful MAC lip liner and looked at the name I knew it was meant to be lol. Ms Diva is a beautiful wine colour that looks great as a lip liner to add a deeper tone to a pink gloss or just great you want to use all over your lip. It has great lasting power too.

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I love, love, love this lippie, it’s one of my all time favourite and it’s a great colour for all year round. I bought this Urban Decay lipstick in Shame last year while in Barcelona and the packaging is so lush. I think its great for making an instant and easy statement, especially if the rest of your makeup is quite natural. The consistency of this lipstick is really creamy and not at all drying, which is what keeps me coming back!

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I’m always on the hunt for a good nude, but its so hard to find a great shade that compliments me #blackgirlproblems. On one of my last trips to Mac I found this lipstick which took forever to find – there’s just so much choice! Polished Up is a beautiful brownish pink shade that gives my lips a nice flush of colour. I often grab this one on work days or when I don’t want anything too noticeable on my lips. Again it’s really creamy, lending itself to natural makeup looks.

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Last but not least is an unexpected find – Barry M’s Cor Balmy in Rose Lea! It smells like marshmallows and gives me an iridescent pink hue on my lip, which I love for spring. This is my go-to lippie for every day, it’s so effortless and complements any makeup look I do.

lips109Top to bottom: Barry M’s Cor Balmy – Rose Lea, Urban Decay – Shame, Mac -Polished Up

So what lip products are you loving for spring? Let me know hunnies! x

The Beauty Blogger Tag!

Hey lovelies, I feel like it’s been a bloody lifetime since I last posted as life has just taken over, but I’m back with something fun and quite unexpected!

I’ve been nominated to do the Beauty Blogger Tag by the amazing Invoke Delight and Inspire (be sure to check her out!) so here goes!

The Rules for this Tag:

Tag the blogger that nominated you
Answer the questions you were given
Nominate 10 bloggers whose blog is about beauty/lifestyle/fashion
Name 10 questions for your nominees to answer
Inform the bloggers you chose that you nominated them.

Do you prefer matte or dewy foundation?
As I suffer with oily skin it’s quite funny that I actually don’t prefer matte foundation. I thought that it was the best foundation for my skin, however, I feel that matte foundations make my skin more oily! Instead, I use a dewy foundation but then set with a matte powder, so I get the best of both worlds and my skin doesn’t end up looking super oily or really dry and greyish.
What’s your favourite high end product?
This is quite sad that I don’t own any high end kind of makeup, although, these days I am constantly reaching for my MAC Burgundy 9x palette which is a luxurious palette, I love using it!
What’s your favourite drugstore bargain?
I don’t think I have a drugstore bargain, but I on my lips I use Barry M’s Cor Balmy in Rosie Lea – It gives a lovely soft pink colour to my lips perfect for a neutral every day look.
Do you spend more time doing your hair or your makeup?
Definitely doing my makeup! Most mornings I whip of my head tie, shake my hair and I’m ready to go, but no matter if I’m running late to work or not I love to take my time to do my makeup – it’s really relaxing!
Do you co-ordinate your shoes/purses?
One of my pet peeves in life is being too coordinated.
If you could only use one brand of makeup for the next month, which would you choose?
It has to be MAC! The most affordable brand that cater to every skin type.
What’s your skincare routine?
Since the beginning of the year, I made a conscious effort to take off my makeup and show my skin some well needed TLC. At night my skin regime consists of taking off my makeup with Body Shop’s Camomile Cleanser, I’ll then further clean with Garnier’s Charcoal scrub or wipe away any leftover makeup with Garnier’s Micellar Water and follow with moisturising with either Simple’s Rich Moisturiser or Body Shop’s Drops of Youth. In the morning I always use a face scrub, usually Garnier’s Charcoal scrub and moisturise with Drops of Youth. Quite straight forward but depending on my skins condition I alternate between different products.
Would you ever/have you done the no-poo shampoo method? If you’ve already done it, what were your results?
If you’ve read my hair post  I follow a regime that is quite effortless, however I only use a conditioner ONLY when I’ve coloured my hair, otherwise, I’ll use Tresemme hair shampoo and their conditioner which helps strengthen and volumes my hair.
What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve found about blogging?
It definitely has to be how supportive the blogging community has been. And getting to know other bloggers, so much so that I can genuinely call them friends! Also the twitter chats which are often hilarious!
Name your go-to lip balm?
I am obsessed with finding the perfect lip balm. My failsafe go to balm is Carmex, but on a recent trip to Lush, I treated myself to their Honey Trap Lip Balm, and O-M-G it is the best lip product ever. It’s quite thick so it coats the lip without being suffocating and greasy, instantly moisturises and smells delicious! Try it!

There you go! I hope you enjoyed my answers, and if you have any recommendations please let me know!

I now nominate:

Shannon Kara

Natalie Onoita

Rosie Kaloki

By Tisha

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Christine John

Rachel

Laura Living Life

Holly Cassell

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My Question For You:
Where in the world would you love to holiday next?
What’s your staple beauty item right now?
Name your go-to lip balm?
What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve found about blogging?
What’s your favourite Twitter chat and whyDo you spend more time doing your hair or your makeup?
High Street or High End?
Do you prefer matte or dewy foundation?
If you had to choose one beauty item to use forever, what would it be?
What makeup item is your go-to item for a holiday?

Tag me when you’ve completed x

Nail it with Rosie Fortescue!

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I have an endless love affair with nail polishes (owning a few 200!), and this week I was fortunate enough to try out some cool nail products by Rosie Fortescue!

For those of you who don’t know who Rosie Fortescue is, she stars in reality series; Made in Chelsea – a major guilty pleasure of mine, and has had some of the most spectacular on screen dramas – my most favourite scene being when Rosie was exposed for having an affair with her best friends boyfriend -ABSOLUTE DRAMA!

Branching off of the MIC franchise, Rose has released a her own jewellery line and most recently; NAILED LONDON – her nail polish brand, which I was pleasantly surprised about and just needed to try!

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Nailed London is described as a fashion forward brand with a patented, revolutionary 3-step system, developed to closely match the look, feel, wear and gloss of a professional gel polish that provides superior longevity. This is an effect I love in nail polish as I adore super glossy or absolute matte finishes – I think it juts looks really chic, so I was intrigued to find out if it really played up to its promises.

The Nailed collection is also said to be inspired by catwalk looks with is not surprising as Rosie is an avid blogger and has been spotted at many a London Fashion Week.

Looking at her collection I picked out her Base Coat, Top Coat and a beautiful bubblegum/ Barbie pink – Booty Call because who doesn’t like one of those, ey! – along with a few other colours

When I first saw the colour of Booty Call I was in love, I’ve got a thing about pink, which is quite weird as it’s not my favourite colour, but I immediately prepped my nails (filed and buffed)

As I explained before in my previous nail post – I use Mavala’s nail strengthener and a 2 part fibre which helps protect your nail. I ditched the two part fibre and went in with the Nailed Base Coat – which was really easy to apply and dried quite quickly.

Next, my favourite bit… applying the colour! I went in with a thin first coat, and I found the varnish really smooth and easy to apply. The nail brush is tapered which allows it to go as close as possible to the cuticle without getting nail varnish everywhere. I followed  with a second coat and then the Top Coat, which was noticeably more shiny, although when it dried it was just normal.

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The colour and finish was beautiful – what do you think?, however, I found that the overall finish wasn’t gel-like at all, which was disappointing. On the plus side the varnish dried quite quickly, making it easier for me to get on with the rest of my day (as I was cheeky and did my nails at my desk at work)

After a couple days of wear I did notice a few chips here and there (but I do find my nails chip very easily), which you would definitely not get with shellac or professionally done gel nails, and the fact that the appearance of a gel finish was next to none, made the experience disappointing.

However, if you are looking for a new nail brand and are pulled in by one of her 28 shades, which is a quite vast range, I would definitely go for it, as I feel the colour selection is great and the names are cool and quirky.

What do you think, have you tried Rosie Fortescue’s NAILED LONDON range yet? Will you be? Let me know, I love interacting with you x 

 

6 Beauty Products I Wish I NEVER Bought

Over the past few months I’ve accumulated  a lot of beauty products, LOADS of which I’m a fan of and would definitely repurchase, but there’s been a few that I’m just NOT feeling, no matter how much I try to use and get used to them, so I thought I’d share my experiences.

First off is Sleek’s Matte Me. I bought this lippie last month on my hunt to find the perfect matte lipstick – I’m actually obsessed with any matte look but I find it hard to find colours that sit well against my skin tone. I decided to give these a go, they were cheap and every one had been raving about them. I picked up Birthday Suit that had been sold out everywhere and Fandango Purple. However, these lippies looked terrible on me and felt really drying and papery on my lips – am I the only one? 

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Next up is NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser. I’ve really got a love hate relationship with NARS, they have beautiful products that I would love to try, but their foundation shades just don’t cater to my skin tone, which leads me on to this product. I bought this tinted moisturiser for a holiday I was going on – I didn’t want to wear makeup, but I didn’t want to go bare faced, so I thought a tinted moisturiser would be the way to go. I bought this tinted moisturiser in Polynesia, which was the darkest they went up to (i don’t think they’ve got anything darker) but it definitely wasn’t my shade even after being recommended it in Selfridges. I was also disappointed with its coverage.

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One thing that really annoys me when applying makeup is my visible pores. It’s one thing I would definitely change if I could, but I’ve come to learn that no matter what I do, nothing tremendously improves their appearance. I bought this Garnier Smoothing Correcting Primer, and after reading what it could do for me, I was sold! I did notice a difference in it smoothing over my pores, making my makeup look that extra bit flawless, however, it made me super SHINY! – absolutely not a good look, especially as I suffer with oily skin.

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I’m sure you know by now that I’m in love with Nails Inc from my last nail inspired post. I received this Nails Inc Nail Polish in Uptown for Christmas, and I instantly fell in love. It truly is the perfect nude pink. I love it, but sadly it just doesn’t suit me 😦

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I think it would suit a fairer skin tone though, but to be completely honest, I just like looking at it *covers face in shame*

Carrying on with the whole lip pie saga, I recently found out that NYX is now available on ASOS- yes, hunny! I had heard so many people raving on social media about NYX products, saying they were really good and super affordable, so I thought I’d give them a go. I would never normally recommend buying lip gloss/ lipstick products online as you just don’t know if the colours you’re seeing are true to life, but I went with it anyway – more fool me!

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I chose Prague in the soft matte creme and Merengue in the butter gloss, which really do look beautiful, but look terrible on me. Again I found the matte gloss felt papery on my lips – I think this is a sign that I stick to matte lipsticks as I just don’t find matte glosses are my cup of tea. Does anyone else have this problem?

The last item on my list is Decleor Aroma Night. This is a night balm, which you put on after cleansing your face. I found this product left my skin sooo hydrated and smooth, however, it STANK. The smell was just not pleasant and actually put me off, because it’s all over your face, you cant escape it lol. The only thing I could compare it to was black Liquorice, like those black jack sweets lol. I wouldn’t say this product was a complete fail, but I won’t be re-purchasing, simply because of the smell.

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So tell me, what products have you been loving and hating? Let me know x

My Hair Disaster!

This is all about the time I ended up with pink/blonde roots and burgundy ends! YES you read that right!

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This is the only photo I could find with my pink roots – but it doesn’t give it justice, thank god!

For us girls, our hair – as much as we like to deny it, is a big aspect of our appearance. We love to take care of it, colour it, cut it and play around with different styles, so when it goes wrong it’s very much a big deal – it’s kind of like having a big spot on your face – Everyone will pretend they don’t see something majorly wrong, but we all know the problem, its right…there! And sadly, it’s an unspoken etiquette that I’ve experienced all too well.

So if you didn’t already know, I’ve had dreadlocks for about 8 years (take a look at my recent hair post) – and very recently cut them into a lob – the length and weight of my hair was just too much.

Anywho, one day I decided to dye my hair red! I love seeing coloured dreads and I just wanted a change. Throughout my childhood my parents never really let me experiment with my hair, which is why I thought I’d finally give it a go.

Once I decided on the shade of red I wanted (I think it was postbox by Schwarzkopf), I visited my usual hairdresser, who I don’t actually think is a trained hair colour specialist, but I did it anyway and it looked bomb! I was so happy!DSC01245

Being a red head was all I imagined lol, I constantly got compliments, even got a new nickname – rasta red! But very soon I learned it was too much to maintain.
I was colouring my hair too often in order to keep its deep colour, which led to my hair becoming super damaged.

I decided to leave the colour for a few months, while treating my hair, using natural products and Jamaican Castor Oil, which really thickened up mu roots.

Skip forward, I had a holiday to Barbados coming up and wanted to have my hair colour popping again, so I booked an appointment to bleach my dark brown roots so the red colour would catch and then colour the rest of my hair.

Well. What a mistake that was.

You know when you sit in the chair and you just don’t feel confident. Like you know something’s up.

All I remember was looking in the mirror and seeing blondey/ginger roots. Errrrm is it meant to be like this? “Yeah, yeah it will be fine, just wait ‘til I put the colour on” – was what my hairdresser replied. To be honest I should have known it could only end badly.

Instead, I decided to stay put and watch my hair being put to the test.

You know when you just don’t know what to do – cry, laugh, refuse to pay?

I left the shop in utter shame, no confidence and a greasy head, smh!
My roots were pink with blonde baby hairs and burgundy ends, three tones in one.

I knew it was game over as everyone on the bus home was just giving me that sympathetic look.

I went to Barbados looking ‘interesting’ to say the least. Everyone told me it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was but talking to my sister about it, and now she actually admits that it was terrible – thanks sis x

I guess the moral of the story is go to a qualified colourist and listen to your gut feeling!

I can obviously laugh at this now, but it’s taken so much for my hair to get back to normal, although I am thinking of colouring my hair again… what can I say, I’m a gluten for punishment.

I know I’m not alone though, what dire hair mishaps have you been through, I really want to hear your stories, I can’t be alone on this one. x