Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners review and giveaway

I’m still very much a novice when it comes to hair, really it’s only since I had it cut and coloured in October that I’ve managed to get any kind of grip in styling it myself and my once neglected hair straighteners became one of my most used items. I’d had them for a few years already by this point and over the last few weeks I’d noticed they were failing to heat properly and were losing their ability to you know, actually straighten my hair. So when an opportunity came up to review the Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners* the timing could not have been more perfect.
I’m not hugely au-fait with many hair styling brands but Lee Stafford is one I know well [by which I mean I already own one of his hair dryers]. My previous straightener was by Corioliss and I have never owned a pair of GHDs. Because of this I also roped by Mum in on this review and we both tried out the product- she is the queen of hair straightening so if something impresses her then it’s definitely a good ‘un.
I know looks aren’t everything but these are some sleek looking straighteners which gave a good first impression. I was a little worried about the size of the plates as my hair is very thick and there is a LOT of it and I was concerned that it would prove too much for this tool to cope with. I needn’t have worried.

Thanks to the adjustable heating settings [up to 230 degrees] and handy quick start guide I quickly established the optimum temperature for my hair, waited a mere matter of seconds for the straightener to heat up and got going. This straightener made short work of getting my hair smooth and sleek which in itself is no mean feat. More impressive was that after sleeping on it my hair was still straight the next day- with my old straightener I found that I needed to re-do it the next day as my natural waves had fought back.
Mum thought the same, she was impressed with how easily this straightened her naturally curly hair [please note I have never actually seen it curly] and how sleek a finish it left.

Because I tend to straighten my hair and then curl or wave the top layers with a curling wand I decided to have a go at creating curls with this as well. I probably should have taken a picture but being me I didn’t think of it at the time but this straightener also creates smooth and shiny waves quickly and easily without looking like they had obviously been done with a straightener if you know what I mean?

I 100% would recommend this straightener for anyone who’s on the lookout for a new one, with an RRP of £79.99 it’s on the more affordable scale of things and at the time of writing it’s currently on sale on Amazon for £49.95.

I also happen to have one of these straighteners to give away to one lucky reader- see the widget below for how to enter and the T&C [and good luck!]

Win Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners #1

The giveaway will run until 29th March and the winner will be contacted directly by Review Directory.

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Product sent to me for purpose of review. Opinions and shiny sleek hair are entirely my own.

When Jeans met Dress (again)

Honestly, I never thought I’d go back to being a jeans person. Having spent my teenage years literally living in my old faithful Topshop Haydens (which I must try again) before shunning trousers in favour of skirts and dresses I assumed I’d never look back. I certainly never anticipated becoming a fan of skinny jeans, but after some trial and error in finding brands that suit me I’m proudly back in denim- not every day as I’m hugely guilty of falling in to sartorial style ruts but I’ll concede they have a time and a place and a decent pair or two are a must in any wardrobe.

Jeans: H&M (£7.99 cheapies until I can afford the oh so popular Joanie style from Topshop) | Dress: Topshop (old) | Boots: Long Tall Sally (c/o)

As I mentioned last time I featured a dress worn over jeans this is definitely not a look I ever envisaged dragging up from my past and yet it’s one I’ve recently grown to love. Perfect for a bit of extra warmth against the cold days and a really good way to make a slightly dressier dress more casual or inject new life in to a tired piece.

Looking at these photos I really hadn’t noticed until now just how faded my hair had got, wow! Not that it’s a bad thing or even a bad style (in my humble opinion) but having since had a much needed cut and colour boost I’m loving the vibrant red/pink I currently have and I’m enjoying the confidence that seems to come with it.

I hope everyone is having a great week- any one get up to anything exciting yesterday? I spent the day with my Mum which was perfect- I don’t know why I thought I might be dreading Valentines Day this year, I honestly couldn’t be happier with certain aspects of my life right now and I’m working hard on the bits that still fall short…

Anyway I don’t know where I’m going with this post so I’ll leave it there- if you have any recommendations for jeans shopping then do let me know, I plan to splurge on a really decent pair once I reach my healthy weight point again.

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The New Beauty Wonder Oil- Cacay Naturals

I’ve been a fan of using oil based products in my beauty regime for a few years now. I first picked some up whilst on holiday in Spain- my hair was feeling the wrath of 40 degree heat and having spied Argan oil in a shop I grab some out of desperation and the rest, as they say is history.

Since then it’s not just been on my hair that I’ve used oils. Although I’ve not ventured in to the territory of facial skin care I do use coconut oil on my very dry elbows and knees with excellent results. When I received an e-mail about a new oil on the beauty block that is suitable for all skin types, is 100% natural/organic/vegan, is cruelty free and contains more benefits that my old faithful Argan oil I was intrigued.

Cacay oil claims to be the purest anti-ageing oil out there, rich in vitamin E and linoleic acid and with skin healing properties I was really eager to try this for myself.

But first, what is Cacay oil? Not something I’d ever heard of that’s for sure. Apparently it is an oil made from the highly nutritious nut of the Cacay fruit. This edible, protein rich oil has been used for centuries by indigenous Amazonian people to treat skin irritations and to help with wound healing.

Sounded good to me!

There’s not much to say about the oil itself, I was a bit surprised that it doesn’t really have a scent to it but that’s not a bad thing. I really liked that the bottle comes with a pipette dropper which makes application really easy and precise. Over the last week I’ve been using this oil in all aspects of my beauty regime- and that includes, out of interest on my hair.

Does it work? Well, I can’t claim to look ten years younger after such a short space of time but the fine lines that insist on appearing around my eyes are less noticeable to my eyes. My elbows and knees have never been so soft and my hair is loving this (applied with a light hand before blow drying) and feels silky smooth and nourished. Being somewhat haphazard whilst making mince pies the other day I also popped a drop of Cacay oil on to a rather nasty burn on my hand that was driving me mad and although it didn’t magically heal up it did sooth the searing pain and scorched skin feeling.

So overall I’m impressed. As I mentioned it’s really hard to gauge the anti-ageing properties after only a week but I am happy to report back if anyone wants to know.

Cacay oil is available to buy on amazon (direct link) at £32.75 for a 30ml bottle which strikes me as reasonable given a) the sheer number of ways you can use this and b) you only need the tiniest amount so it will last forever.

Let me know if you give it a go or want a more in depth review of any of the claims.

Trollied Dolly

Hello there first outfit post featuring my new hair- about time really since almost two weeks has passed since I had it cut and coloured. It’s amazing what a new style and shade can do for a girl, I’m having so much fun styling my shorter locks and the vibrant colour has made me feel like the “real me” again. Under some lights it looks pretty pink, something very new for me and I’m just loving it.

Dress c/o Trollied Dolly | Boots c/o Long Tall Sally

If I can now draw your attention away from the hair, how gorgeous is this dress from Trollied Dolly? They are a brand I have long since admired for their fabulous retro styles but it was this 1970s inspired bohemian beauty that captured my heart, if it’s possible to fall in love with first sight at a dress then I definitely did with this one.

Trollied Dolly dresses are all lovingly made in small runs from hand designed fabrics and this dress is the most amazing quality. I went for the size small (UK 10) and it fits like a dream, just add a chunky cardigan for colder days and you have my ideal Autumn outfit. Equally it’ll be super easy to spin this in to evening attire with the addition of a pair of heels. I’d show you how I styled it for an evening but truth be told I don’t have a social life so you’re getting standard Laura “chuck on some trusty ankle boots and call it a good ‘un” instead.

Next on my Trollied Dolly wish list is this awesome playsuit which the lovely Char has styled to perfection on her blog- I think out of all of the bloggers I know Char has THE best collection of shoes and the wardrobe I’d most like to raid.

What would you pick from the Trollied Dolly website? And dare I ask what you all think of the new ‘do?

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Jazzing things up with Pimps & Pinups

Up until now I’ve managed to resist the trend for adding pastel colours to my hair. I did have a brief foray in to ombre a few years ago but the ensuing damage of a DIY bleach job was enough to put me off attempting it again- that and not wanting to commit to anything permanent. All of the temporary fixes I had come across involved yet more peroxide and knowing I’m somewhat phobic of hairdressers (although I did brave a cut and colour last week, yay!) I decided it was in my best interest to just steer clear.

That was until I was introduced to Pimps & Pinups and their high voltage hair pop paint (available from their London salon and on ASOS).

*products c/o Pimps & Pinups*

These sprays have a unique wet to dry formula and come in seven intense shades (I managed to fail to picture the blue and green ones, oops!). You simply spray these on to your hair- either directly or in to the palm of your hand first and wait literally seconds for it to dry. These are non-permanent and take to any hair colour, from icy blondes to deepest auburns. They are also rain resistant and stain proof and simply shampoo out, damage free.

Now, I have experimented with coloured hair sprays in the past including ones which claim to take to any hair colour and have been less than impressed with the results. I was slightly dubious that these could live up to the hype but always willing to be proved wrong I used Panther Pink and Purr Pull to colour the ends of my hair.

temporary-hair-colours
As you might have gathered by now I am somewhat inept when it comes to my hair so the result isn’t the neatest it could be but as you can see the colours did indeed take and this was with just a small amount of product. Because it dries so quickly the colour could easily be intensified by adding another coat or two on darker tones.

The only issue I had with these paints was going it alone (also explains the dodgy selfie) as things did get a bit messy (although it must be noted that not a trace is left on our white bathroom suite). I think that with a helping hand, or even a steady hand some really spectacular effects could be produced. As promised the colours washed out really easily although it did take a couple of washes to get the last traces of purple out!

On the whole I think these are fantastic, and at £7.99 per colour aren’t going to break the bank either. I’m looking forward to using them again especially in the run up to the festive season where it’s always fun to experiment with bolder looks. They are also an excellent way to test out if a certain bold colour will suit you before taking the plunge with bleach and actual hair dye.

What’s the wildest colour you’ve ever dyed your hair?

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