Friday, 26 August 2016

My Favourite Hair Tool: The Irresistible Me Diamond Hair Straightener


Straighteners are a tool I have always been loyal to, whether I want to curl or have my hair straight they are pretty much the only hair styling tool (alongside a hairdryer) that I use frequently. When I was contacted by the lovely people at Irresistible Me to try their Diamond Hair Styler Straightener,* I jumped at the chance as I have used the same straighteners for 8 years now, shocking I know! It was definetly about time I tried something new.

The straighteners come in a lovely, sleek looking black box, they retail at $149 which is around £90 I believe, so the packaging is what I would expect from a hair tool of that price. The straighteners themselves are lightweight which does make them easier to use, although they do still feel sturdy and well made. In terms of both the packaging and initial presentation of the straighteners themselves I was pretty impressed.


So, the important bit, the straighteners themselves! I have never experienced straighteners that heat up as quickly as these do, once selecting the desired temperature the LED display shows the temperature rising (which is actually pretty satisfying) and then it stops at the selected temperature once it is ready, for 200C this took around 10 seconds!

Although this is pretty impressive, the most important thing for me with straighteners is the plates themselves, I have pretty fine hair prone to breakage and I've found some hair straighteners in the past to pull out my hair as I use them, it's one of those cringe moments when you can just feel your hair being ruined! With these I was amazed at how soft and frizz free my hair felt after, the plates glided through my hair easily without catching or pulling any of it out, winner!

One thing that my old styler was lacking is the ability to change the temperature, I was shocked that I was able to both straighten and curl my hair using only 160C heat, when for the past 8 years I've been using straighteners that heat up to 230C - sorry hair! I don't think I could go back to a straightener without this option after using these, especially having such fine hair, the combination of a lower heat and the high quality blades makes for a hair tool causing a lot less damage.


My preferred style has always been a relaxed wave so I curl my hair usually. Since bleaching my hair it has become natural quite straight, but also slightly frizzy too. The straightener managed to tame all the frizz and leave me with a smooth finish, I don't love wearing my hair straight but if I ever want to, I know that these leave my hair looking tamed!



It may seem silly not to use a tool specific for curling my hair, but I just love the loose wave and more natural effect I can get from using a straightener. When curling my hair I wrap it around the plates and pull down, I'm so impressed with how well my hair manages to glide through the plates without any pulling. I managed to create this style in 7 minutes (I posted it on my Instagram story and that is how long it took)! I'll be doing another before and after on Sunday once I have washed my hair so you can see just how much of a good job these do.

So from hair that looks pretty flat and life less, I managed to create either a straight style or a loose wave/ curl. I'm so impressed with this tool and it is safe to say it has replaced my old straightener for sure, which was something I never thought would happen!
Follow me


SHARE:

Saturday, 20 August 2016

3 things more important than your grades


Don't get me wrong overall I did love uni, I gained a lot from it and I do value education. However, there is a big but... I knew that just having a classification wasn't enough, especially if you are having to compete for a job, which is often now the case. I actually went to University without a specific career in mind, I just really wanted to study psychology and learn more about the subject. I quickly realised that if I left uni with a degree and nothing else, then I would be back to square one.

My A Level grades were important to get me into uni, offcourse they were! If you need certain A Levels to get into uni, then you best get revising and working your butt off... But even then it might not be good enough. If, like me, you are plodding along unsure of where life will take you, then it is best to make the most of your time, not just working 24/7 towards academic work.

1) Experience

Every experience is valuable! If you are unsure of what sort of job/ career you would like in the future then get experience in absolutely anything/ everything through opportunities such as work shadowing, volunteering, payed work and internships. One thing I regret not doing at a younger age is gain more experience. Experience itself opens so many new doors, it allows you to network whilst also finding out whether a potential job is for you or not. I did a 5 week placement last year, from that I was able to gain another opportunity through networking there and I found out that the profession that my placement was focused upon, wasn't really for me! If I hadn't have had that placement I would have carried on trying to gain experience in the wrong area, being a total waste of my time for what I'm doing now.

2) Confidence

In uni for some reason I kept myself to myself, and I lost quite a lot of confidence (I've wrote a post about confidence here). I really regret not doing even more with my time, even though I did do quite a lot of volunteering and I did work part time, if I had the confidence I definitely would have put myself out there even more. One thing that really helped me was to do something that put me out of my comfort zone every single day, whether it was chatting to someone new or just walking into town on my own (I used to get quite anxious in some social situations), the more I kept pushing and believing in myself, the less anxious and more confident I felt.

Imagine having 3 A*'s at A Level or a 1st Class Degree without the ability to be confident enough to sell yourself in a job interview... Or to ring up that company you really want to work for! I've started to realise that without self belief and confidence it is so hard to get to where you want to be, I started to fake being confidence and with that it started to come naturally. Being confident isn't a bad thing, I feel like arrogance and "loving yourself," is commonly associated with it, but not everyone that is confident is those traits also, which I've definitely come to realise.

3) Motivation/ Drive

I know it's so cliche but if you want something enough then you can get it. When I'm feeling really motivated and driven with whatever I'm doing, 9 times out of 10 it goes well and I see good results. Having motivation sets you aside from other people, one of my favourite quotes to keep me motivated is "go the extra mile it's never crowded."

I hope these points haven't been too obvious, I just feel like so much emphasis is put on getting amazing grades when really its everything else that has got me to where I am! Don't worry if you're not excelling when it comes to your studies as there are so many other options! Sometimes I wish that I had been top of the class instead of just "middle of the road" with everything, but I'm really happy with where I am at, and so happy that I actually did make the effort to put myself out there.

Is there anything that you think is more important than grades? I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this!
Follow me
SHARE:

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A new bronzing favourite



The Rosie Huntington-Whiteley makeup collaboration with Marks and Spencers went big in the world of beauty, I added Rosie on snapchat and it was only then that I caved into the hype and decided I needed a bronzer, a lipstick... Basically, everything! I was actually lucky enough to find the bronzer on depop at a fraction of the retail price and unused, this bronzer has now become an everyday makeup staple.

The colour 

I don't have too many bronzers in my collection so I needed to try some more, having a pale complexion my usual option is something like The Body Shop honey bronzer as its a pretty neutral shade that isn't too dark or warm, perfect for me in the winter. There are two shades "Bronzed Beauty," and "Magic Contour," I have the latter, which for a contour shade isn't great for me, but as an overall bronze I love it. Like The Body Shop bronzer this is a very middle of the road shade, helping to provide a natural looking glow without looking at all fake. This is slightly darker and warmer than a bronzer I would usually go for, but it is perfect for the summer or if I'm wearing fake tan.

Formulation/ Pigmentation/ Longevity

The powder matches up to the price tag as it is incredibly silky soft and light weight, I find this blends really easily and sits well on top of my base. One thing I would say is that this stuff is pigmented, not to the point where it is difficult to work with, but I think without a light hand this can look a little over done. One thing I find always sets premium and high street products apart is how well they last on the skin throughout the day, I was so impressed to find this still on my face after 8 hours of wear. On my oily skin that is pretty much unheard of!

Is it worth the money? I actually think it is, the packaging is gorgeous, the product itself feels premium and you get a good amount of product... I am yet to find another bronzer that lasts this long on my skin, which is a massive bonus as no one wants to be topping up their makeup throughout the day, especially in summer.

Follow me
SHARE:

Saturday, 13 August 2016

*CLOSED* GIVEAWAY! Ft Urban Decay, Makeup Forever & Too Faced...



I know a lot of people do giveaways on their blog/ social media to celebrate a particular milestone, mine is pretty vague, this time last year I finally plucked up the courage to share my blog on social media, and it was definitely one of the best things I did. I have managed to chat to so many lovely people, discovered so many amazing blogs, and also found a love for photography... I could waffle on about all of the amazing opportunities and moments that blogging has brought for me, but I think I'll save that for another post.

I have been collecting some products for a couple of months to do a giveaway, I really appreciate everyone that follows my blog, comments and those who interact with me on social media and support what I do, I can't even tell you how much it means to me. It never gets old receiving the little bloglovin' notification to say someone has followed my blog, or going on Instagram to see someone has left a nice comment!

A quick disclaimer, the Urban Decay eyeliners I did win in a giveaway, but the other products I bought with my own money. The giveaway will be running from the 13th of August until the 31st of August, and the winner will be announced on the 1st of September. I have decided to make this giveaway open internationally, so regardless of where you are in the world you can enter. 

What you could win...

Too Faced Melted Lipstick in the shade: Chocolate Milkshake
Makeup Forever Eye Shadow Pencil in the shade: D-10
Urban Decay Eyeliners x 6
Accessorize Bee Necklace

Good luck to you if you enter, and again a huge thank you for being so supportive and helping me get to where I am today! I have recently set up a snapchat (I'm still pretty nervous about it), but I'm going to be doing mini vlogs and product reviews so please leave your usernames in the comments. My username is jodiemelissaxo


a Rafflecopter giveaway
SHARE:

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Changing my Skin with Philosophy


For my birthday my Auntie kindly introduced me to the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar gel cream, a light weight, gel moisturiser recommended for oily/ normal skin types. If you have skin that can resemble that of a typical teenager and is a pain in the butt, then you should probably give this a whirl...

THE INGREDIENTS

Now I'm no Caroline Hirons but Philosophy have named this "Renewed Hope in a Jar," so I wanted to see exactly what ingredients they thought defined that. The ingredients list on any product usually starts with the main ingredients leading the products that only contribute to usually a mere 1%. The second ingredient on the list is something called "Glycerin," although there is some debate about this ingredient (when isn't there) it is said to attract moisture to the skin. This is absolutely perfect for me as I often suffer with some dehydration in areas, plus a lot of acne and spot treatments can be drying on the skin, so this ingredient is perfect to help hydrate and soften the skin. I have noticed that my skin does feel hydrated when I use this cream, helping it feel supple and soft.

There are also some acids in this (who doesn't love a good acid - in skincare), the main one being Glycolic Acid. We all know the benefits of acids in skincare so I won't harp on, but glycolic acid is a AHA, a chemical exfoliator that helps to remove the outer layer of the skin, hence why my skin feels soft and refined after using this. One huge thing to note is that SPF should be worn even more so when using products like this, I know I don't want a burnt face and wrinkles any time soon. This moisturiser is also oil free, again making it a fabulous option if you have oily skin or your skin doesn't react well to oils.

THE RESULTS

For the past three weeks my moisturiser has been this, morning and night most days. As I mentioned this is a gel moisturiser making it is incredibly lightweight, the gel texture means a little product goes a long way and it absorbs into the skin instantly. I have visible pores on my cheeks, nothing major but they are something I want to tackle early on, since using this I have noticed a decrease in their size which I just think is absolutely amazing. Another claim that this moisturiser makes is that it will refine skin and provide it with a glow, again this is something I am noticing more and more with using this product, good old Glycolic Acid.

In terms of my skin breaking out, I haven't had any new blemishes, my skin has (fingers crossed) been really good at the minute even before using this, so I'm just hoping that this continues to keep on top of that. I do think that if you do have the occasional break out or blemishes that this would really help to clear things up well, although I've not been able to fully test that yet.

Looking into this product further it was tested on 52 Asian women for 8 weeks, using this morning and night 84% of those women agreed that their skin looked "fresh with a shine-free glow". Retailing at £35.50 it isn't the most affordable option out there, however I have hardly made a dent into this after three weeks of use, and if you have the budget to pick this up then I would seriously consider it. I am excited to continue using this, I will be doing an update in a couple of months to let you know the more long terms effects.

I feel like Philosophy is a brand that never gets that much attention, after trying this I can safely say it is a skincare brand I will try other products from.
Follow me

SHARE:

Friday, 5 August 2016

Two from TOM FORD




Before these purchases the most highend makeup that I had bought was from Charlotte Tilbury, I decided that I wanted my first (painfully expensive) makeup purchases to be from TOM FORD, a brand I have lusted over for years! Everything screams luxury to me, the packaging is quite clearly beautiful, everything down to the little TF embossed into the lipstick, but does the quality live up to the packaging, and the price?


When I tried the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks I thought that I had found the perfect matte formulation for me, but then I tried this (sorry CT). I feel like this lipstick was made for me, after around 20 minutes it dries down to a matte finish without feeling heavy or drying on the lips. For me this lasts for around 5 hours looking perfect, but reapplying this again is also not a problem, it doesn't cling to any dry patches and just leaves my lips looking as good as they did when I first applied it. The ingredients sounds gorgeous so I'm not surprised about the amazing finish and feel of this.

The shade is PUSSYCAT (04), when I looked at all of the shades in the stand this one called to me, it is a deep mauve shade which is what I go for in the A/W months. I cannot wait to pair this with a smoky eye. Although the price tag is ridiculous, if you like high end beauty and love a luxurious lipstick then you need to try one, I'm sure it won't disappoint. 


Ahh the eyeliner, if you follow me on snapchat (which if you don't already my username is jodiemelissaxo, come say hi!) then you will already know my thoughts on this. Firstly, when has an eyeliner from a brand been more expensive than their lipsticks? I have always struggled with finding a liquid liner that would last on my (pretty oily) eyelids, I absolutely love wearing winged liner but half way through the day it is bound to have smudged. I had heard so many rave reviews about this so I decided to take the plunge and buy it.

 At first glace this looks fab, it is double ended, the pen is weighted which makes it really easy to use, and the liquid is really black. I used the bigger end and preferred to use that, I found the application to be quick and easy which made me so excited that I may have finally found an amazing liquid liner. After 30 minutes the wing started to smudge, a new record! I thought I must have done something wrong so I tried it again the next day, 30 minutes later there was smudging. I am pretty pissed about this, how can a brand charge £43 for a liner and it not be perfect? 

So the lipstick is gorgeous, but the liner is a fail for me... Have you tried anything from TOM FORD and more specifically this liner? 
Follow me

SHARE:

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Canon 700D // Should you upgrade to a DSLR?


For a while now I have been wanting to up my photography game, I was sick of not being able to get any depth of field and being stuck with taking flatlays, and not to mention having to edit the crap out of my photos to make them even look semi light. About a year ago when I first started taking my little blog more seriously, never in a million years did I think I would be forking out £££ for a camera, but now I have a DSLR I couldn't go back to basics. The camera I went for was the Canon 700d... (if you hadn't already guessed)

WHY I CHOSE THE 700D

I did a helllla lot of research before buying this. I knew I wanted a camera that was fairly new to the market and no more than £500, so that narrowed things down nicely. I did consider the 600D and 650D which are older models from Canon, but thought I might aswel pay the extra and go for this. There is a more up to date version of the 700D (the 750D), but when looking at the differences the main one is the built in wifi, which I felt I could live without, and if I do want it I can pay around £40 to have it installed into the 700D. I did also consider the Olympus Pen camera, this looks great for travelling and much more portable, but I knew that I wouldn't be travelling that much, and after reading some online reviews I decided Canon was the brand for me.

LETS TALK LENSES!

I decided to buy both the body and kit lens, so for the first few months of using this I just had the kit lens, but my other half kindly bought me the 50mm lens for my birthday a few weeks back.

THE KIT LENS (18-55mm)
This is the lens pictured above, as you can see it is pretty hefty! Obviously the perfect lens for you will all be down to what you are photographing. As a typical blogger does I love taking shots that are up close and allow a lot of detail and a good depth of field to whatever the subject of the image is, this lens does allow you to do that, however the 50mm lens is much better for the close ups as it has a more shallow depth of field (really blured background). It is the shots that I want to take from a certain distance that I love the 18-55mm lens for, this lens has a zoom feature meaning that I can fit so much more in a shot without having to move too far back. I love to take this lens travelling as I can take a variety of different shots with it.

THE 50MM f/1.8 LENS (pictured below)
I've seen a lot of bloggers suggest not to bother with the kit lens and just use this instead, and I can kind of see their point. The lens is much smaller in size, so does make it so much more travel friendly. It allows for those beautiful blurred backgrounds we all want when taking product shots too. Another thing I love about this lens is all the light it lets in, making my images clear and bright.

One massive difference between this and the kit lens is the zoom feature, I think this would come into play more so if you were wanting to film Youtube videos, being about a metre away from this lens you would probably just get your face in the shot, which isn't going to be any good. I do really love this lens as the smooth blurred backgrounds behind the subject, and extra light for my images was exactly what I wanted, but the 18-55mm lens is easier to use when I want to take a quick flatlay or when I need to capture more in one shot.


So that was a very quick overview of the Canon 700d and the two lenses that I have. I'm going to write a post on "going manual" with the camera next, there is no point in upgrading to a DSLR if you are not going to use it in manual mode. Although it can be scary having to adjust all the settings yourself, it is seriously worth it to achieve the photography you want and I got the hang of it within a few weeks. If you are wanting to improve your photography and willing to learn manual then definitely upgrade to DSLR, practise makes perfect!
Follow me

SHARE:
© Jodie Melissa | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig