Batiste Dry Shampoo - Hair Benefits Range

If you've seen my previous posts on my hair drama, you know that I am playing around with products at the moment, trying to find a way to get that silk smooth glossy hair that I dream of (we're finally getting our hot water system replaced, so goodbye rust water, hello chelation time!). So I was stoked when I was sent a pack of Batiste's new range of dry shampoos to try out.  In the past I've been a little dubious of dry shampoo because I have horrendously dry hair that seems to just get drier the longer I go without washing. That and if you're a Brad Mondo fan (go check his YouTube if you haven't seen him before!) you know the fear of the white powder! 
So the thing that caught my eye with these products is that they are all for different hair types, meaning us poor dry frizzy mess girls have options! Also 3 of them claim to be invisible - so of course I had to put that to the test. The 4 varieties are Damage Control, Hydrate, Volume, and De-Frizz. All of these come in 2 sizes, and they have a nozzle that evenly sprays the product. I'm not 100% sure on this, but they all seem to be a formula from the original one and smell much nicer (and quite fresh). On their website they have slightly different application methods, but basically spray at the roots/through hair then brush through. Pretty quick and easy for that mid week refresh. So let's look at them all:
Batiste Damage Control has keratin in it and is for helping hair that is damaged from heat and over-processing (yup hand up here, I can't live without my GHD). This is an invisible formula, and as for each of these, I sprayed it onto a black surface to see how invisible it actually is. This one only had the tiniest bit of white and looked more glossy than powdery, and the white was mainly because I sprayed quite close. I think if you don't have specific concerns with your hair and just need something for a midweek cleanse, then this would be the one I would grab.
Batiste Hydrate is for normal to dry hair, and is formulated with moisturising avocado. Perfect for all of us that need to refresh but have gross dry ends. I think this may be my personal favourite of the lot just because it nicely removed any oil I had at the scalp, but the rest of my hair felt like I had just hit it with a leave in conditioner!  There was barely any noticeable white in this spray test at all!
Batiste Volume has pluming collage in it and is for adding volume, body and texture. If you're someone who gets flat on top when your hair is unwashed, or if you're like me and are partial to the scrunched hair look on occasions, then this one is for you. This is the only one that doesn't claim to be invisible, as you can see in my spray test.  A lot of white going on here, but it does add good texture and I didn't find the white too noticeable in my hair when I have it all fluffed up. 
Last of all is my other favourite of the range, Batiste De-Frizz. With smoothing coconut for settling down hair that has gotten unruly between washes. Once again very little white at all. And rather than try to describe my feelings about this to you, let me show you in picture form - the left is before and right after. Yes I did brush my hair in both of these. Kind of incredible right? 
Batiste is pretty much available everywhere, but you can go check out their entire range at their website at www.batistehair.com.au

Flexifinger

When I was studying nails, I picked up one of those $30 training hands that you screw onto a table and clip the nails on to - I'm sure you know the ones, they're everywhere. While it was helpful while I was learning, it certainly had its problems. Because the nail beds clipped on, you had no feeling for applying product around the sidewalls and cuticle area - the areas I had the most trouble learning to get right! Also, when you tried to glue tips on, they just would not stick at all, and the bed was really thick which make sculpting hard too. It was a good learning tool to begin with, but it now sits in my nail room gathering dust. I have seen so many amazing nail techs using the silicone training hands (this video still have to be nail YouTube gold) but they are stupidly expensive so I never had taken the plunge. 
So then the Flexifinger came onto my radar. They were at the Sydney Nail Fest, so I took the opportunity to pick one up. They offer everything from the full hand and foot, down to a single finger. I got the single one on a stand to try it out. It was $29! Compared to others out there, that is a STEAL! The stand is like something you would get in a car kit with a suction cap base - this is literally the only downside.... the suction cap needs a smooth surface to stick to so it doesn't like the table I use so I have it stuck to a Kmart place-mat. The best part of it is that it takes universal size 3 full well nail tips. It did come with a bag to start me off, but at least it's a super easy thing to replace. You literally slide the tip straight into the finger and it stays put! You can see below I have taken pics both without and with the tip on. 
I think the finger is also almost realistic enough to pass on my Instagram images which is a bonus! Although as you can see below that the bit of tip that is inside the finger of course doesn't have anything applied so it wouldn't be useful if you're making display tips to show clients. 
And for the record this wasn't gifted or anything, I bought it myself and I really do love it that much. I feel like this is something every tech should have in their arsenal. 
Check out the full range at theflexifinger.com.au
No tip applied

Tip applied
Insta approved!

The tip removed



Revlon ColorStay Look Book Eyeshadows

I've got a fun set of eye shadows to share with you today - these are 3 of the ColorStay Look Book palettes from Revlon. I've been eyeing these off for ages, as someone who is not an expert in makeup (although I love it and learning as much as I can!!), I'm not great with choosing which colours to wear together. So having little palettes where the colour story all matches up so perfectly makes my life really easy! 
I started by swatching each of these dry over a primer on my arm - you can see below how they all turned out. Although I discovered after wearing them that if you apply the metallic shades with a wet brush, they look very foily and pretty on the eye. I had no problems blending any of them (and goodness knows I have some palettes in the same price range that are impossible to blend!) so that was a nice surprise. Pigmentation is ok, sure it's not as good as my Stila or Too Faced palettes, but it's also a quarter of the price, and still much better than some other more affordable ones out there. For each of my looks, I applied over a very small amount of the ColorStay Eye Shadow Primer (something I have been using daily for months now!) and everything stayed in place for the day. There was a small amount of fallout from the shimmery shades, but I really did slather them on and I don't think there are many shadows this metallic out there that don't have a small amount of fall out. It wasn't enough to be a problem anyway. 
When you put them all side-by-side, I think the gold shade may be a double up, but the rest of the colours are all very individual. I also appreciate that in each palette there is a good mix of lights, darks, and metallics for us novices, which makes choosing what to put on the lids/crease easier, and there are enough options that I can get a few quite different looks from each palette. The only downside I can find is that it is quite a small palette, and the pans are quite small so you have to be very careful with your brushes to make sure you don't pick up any colours on the side. 
Ok so let's jumt into the palettes:
Enigma (920) is matte and shimmer purples and nudes. This is my personal favourite of the 3 just because even though I am pasty white, my skin is warmed toned and I feel pinks and purples always look really nice on me. I found the purples lent a bit more pink when I applied them (as you can see in the swatches) but I still really like the colours they are.

Player (910) - a mix of matte and shimmery nudes, blues and greens. I'm not normally huge on the blue look on my complexion, but holy moly I have fallen in love with the metallic (second from the top) blue. You can't really tell in my selfie, but it is BLING! I also love that it has the browns in the mix so I can tone down all the bolder colours for a day look.

Maverick (930) is a combination of matte and shimmery browns. It's very versatile for those who like a neutral look - definitely pick this up if you're a nude kinda gal! Extra points for the rose gold shade!

These palettes all have an RRP of $19.95 (although if you hunt, they do on sale regularly), and for a palette where every shade is wearable, it's worth it!


Another Born Pretty roundup.... and drama?!

So before I launch into this months' Born Pretty store, I think it would be amiss of me not to address
the drama that has been going around. If you have missed it, go check out this thread on reddit:
There have been numerous people having the same issue - I have pictures and receipts, but as they are taken from private FB groups I won't share. Just trust me this isn't a one-off occurence. So I know this is a person's reaction to someting in a product, and does sometimes happen. What concerns me is their customer service lack of care and refusal to give an MSDS. Will this impact me using their products? Heck no, I love my BP nail products! But I personally don't feel comfotable using something on a clients nails that I can't obtain an MSDS to. Happy to do it to my own nails, but to someone paying for a service - not so much. So I will personally keep using everything on my own nails, but will restrict what I use on others to products that I know will be safe, like stamping plates and foils. 

Ok, rant aside, let's launch into my latest round of pretties!
All these are available on their site www.bornprettystore.com, but they have requested that I also give out alternative links, so that's why the details look a little different to usual. 


First up is a glittery poly extension gel. I'm beginning to get the hang of working with this stuff. I just used one of my gel brushes and alchohol as the slip to work it. They have a whole bunch of elegant neautral colours and glitters, and I love that this one is a subtle gold that is almost a rose gold. It's super pretty! And of course I had to top it off with some flame stickers (from my store) because I can't leave anything plain!
http://bit.ly/2Mvgpxa          
ID=AXP46671

I grabbed a few plates this time - along with a whole bunch of extra ones that I bought from Aliexpress, because a girl can never have to many stamping plates! This one is a mandala plate that has a whole bunch of patterns to layer together. I used a Born Pretty grey gel polish, stamped in white and black, topped with matte top coat and a black gem. Like all their plates, great quality and really easy to stamp.
http://bit.ly/2ZkWZge         
ID=AXP46961

This stamping plate I chose because I liked all the long patterns that I could do right across my nails (as you can see!). That and it had a few snowflakes and stars that will look great on some Christmas nails, but it has enough designs to use year-round. Like the other plate, it was really easy to stamp with - no problems to report!
http://bit.ly/2ZkWZge         
ID=AXP46961

Lastly is a glittery shimmery dipping powder. Forgive that these nails aren't as smooth and perfect as they should be, but lately I've taken to using dipping powders on my right hand as they are so easy to apply, but I did do these over tips - so future note blend your tips properly! Anyway this powder was sooooooo pretty. It has so much depth to the colour that I couldn't stop looking at. Definitely want more from this series (and might have to turn into a traditional acrylic). 

And as always, if you do decide to order from the Born Pretty website, use my code VHW10 to get 10% off full priced items. 

Curly Girl Method

Earlier this year I tried out the Curly Girl Method on my hair to see what happened. If you're not familiar with this routine, it basically comes down to getting as much moisture as possible into your hair and styling it to enhance your natural curl as much as possible.  Almost everyone in my family has some intense curls, but mine is this weird mix of straight with some high intensity frizz. I have spent most of my adult life just straightening the heck out or it, or putting it into a pony and having a halo of frizz, so I was curious to see how my hair turned out.
So let's jump into what the routine entails!
Here is a great image I stole from Pinterest (if anyone knows the original creator let me know so I can credit). I think according to this I'm either a 2a or 2b (but my mum is about a 4a! Weird genetics).  Basically the different curl types can react differently to different products, so that along with how thick your hair strands are (fine to course) can help you work out the best routine for you.
For products you have to choose products that have NO sulfates, silicones or alcohols. Surprisingly hard to do. There are some great Facebook groups dedicated to this method that have some good guides, but otherwise you can use https://www.curlsbot.com/ to copy and paste your ingredients list and it will tell you if it's safe to use or not.

Here are the products I started with (I did acquire a LOT more, but I can since destashed and didn't tale photos...)

For a basic run down of what I did, although there are variants on this (if you want to try I suggest looking these all up on YouTube and look at https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/no-poo/the-curly-girl-method-for-coily-hair):
1. To start you use a safe shampoo to do one final wash, and then from then on you only co-wash (ie scrubbing and washing your scalp only using conditioner).
2. Squish-to-condish (squishing in the conditioner to your hair and adding a little water at a time) and leave a little bit of conditioner in the hair.
3. While the hair is soaking wet, I used 'praying hands' (put your hands together lathered up with product and gently run them down the hair without pulling on it).
4. I then used a large amount of gel and with my hair upside-down, scrunched it in.
5. I then plopped it in a tshirt (lowering my head down onto the shirt so the curls naturally curled up together) and tied in onto my head to drain some of the moisture.
6. Diffuse with a hair dryer on low heat.
7. Once a week I did a deep condition, and left leave-in in my hair for 30min.

THIS is what it comes out looking like:
Pretty epic right? Yeah I love the look, and I kept to this for a few months but have now had to stop.
So what happened?
As you do this method your curls are meant to improve and your hair is meant to feel really healthy and soft. But this just didn't happen for me. I kept conditioning like crazy, even bought some rather exxy products in case it was the products I was using, but my hair just kept feeling dryer and dryer. All those beautiful curls started to turn into the worst dried out frizz ball imaginable. All I can think is either a)My hair type just doesn't mix with these products or b)we have a LOT of rust in our hot water, so my water may be too hard.
So since then I have gone back to my usual silicone-laden conditioners, and my hair is a bit better, but ever since I still struggle to get my hair back to it's normal full and soft self.
That said, if you have curly hair I TOTALLY recommend trying this out for yourself. I have seen so many amazing transformations, just sadly I wasn't one of them.
If this is something you want to try, I highly recommend joining this FB group, as they have loads of documents on products available in Aus and information on the routine, and of course support for anyone trying it out.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/curlygirlsaustralia/


Just for comparison here is my hair if I don't do anything at all:

And how I normally wear my hair (aka straightened with a bit of hair oil to weigh it down):




SpaScriptions


A few week ago I went to the launch of a new-to-Aus skincare brand called SpaScriptions. Skincare is one of those things that throughout my teens and twenties I couldn't have cared less about, but now I'm hitting mid 30's I'm really taking the time to take care of my skin and do the research as to what does and doesn't work for me. So of course I was happy to get my hands on some of their products to have a play with. They have launched with a tonne of different masks (22 of them!), 2 cleansing strips, 4 cleansing wipes and 2 accessories. You can tell just from looking at my pictures that they are quite fun and colourful without being tacky. They're all quite affordable and decent quality, and not tested on animals which is always a plus! 
So let's run through what I've gotten to play with....
Hydrogel Under-Eye Masks - RRP $11.99. You get 4 pairs of these pink under-eye pads in a box. They are filled with collagen proteins and fatty acids to help with elasticity and minimise fine lines. I've really enjoyed using these as they had a cooling effect and were very soothing on. As someone with chronic fatigue I think I have the worst possible under-eye bags in the world, and these did ease their appearance a bit and make the whole area feel really nice to touch (because everyone pokes their bags right?).
Product link here..
Hydrogel Anti-Ageing Mask - RRP $17.99, 3 treatments per pack. These also have collagen proteins and fatty acids. They felt a lot like the under-eye pads, but full face. I don't think it's possible for facemasks to ever be flattering, but I am partial to the squidgy pink look. Once again it left everything feeling smooth and soft. Very pleasant!
Facial Cleansing Power Brush - RRP $19.99. Oh boy I've been wanting something like this for ages, so I'm very excited about it! It's nice to see a cheaper version on the market - I think the savings come from it using 2 AA batteries instead of being rechargeable, but it still works a treat. My skin is super duper sensitive so I've been very cautious around the sensitive parts and going to town on the rest of my face. It makes cleaning your face the laziest task ever, and I'm living for it! Pop some cleanser and water on it, turn it on and it just takes everything off.
Product link here..
Gel Face Mask Pack - RRP $19.99. 3 pots of different masks and silicone applicator. Anti-ageing is collagen again; moisturizing is coconut oil, shea butter, vit a and e; pore refining is aloe, collagen and tea tree leaves. This pack is a good way to try different things for your skin, but I also think this would make a great gift pack - instant pamper in a box! I haven't tried them all yet, but the moisturising I can attest to being incredibly moisturising... just what my crinkly dry winter face needs!
Metallic Wash-Off Mask in Glowing - RRP $14.99. This is a luxe treatment with gold, manuka honey, and royal jelly. These come in a whole bunch of different treatments and colours, but this one is so bling of course I love it. Just look at my tragic selfie - LOOK AT THE BLING! Does't everyone love rolling their face in gold? And yes make my skin feel all nice and moisturised afterwards. The only downside is that because it is a wash off mask, expect to be finding tiny particles of gold everywhere for a few hours after it comes off! But hey, I like looking like I just walked out of a Twilight set!
Product link here..

SpaScriptions is available through their website, and you can use my code onemorecoat to receive 25% off any Spascriptions order (nope not affiliate, just a good discount).
And they will also be available at Big W.



Beauty Expo Roundup 2019

Last weekend was the Sydney Beauty Expo, and like every year I went a long to check out what was new in the nail world. I know there has been a little bit of tea spilled about this event this year so I know not as many nail techs went, but rather than go in depth into it, I'm here to share with you all what  you missed out on!
Although some of our favourite brands were missing, there were still lots of great brands there to check out. There were a lot of dipping powders systems, polishes and gels to looks at. So here are the new items that I saw and got excited about. 

First up was the SNS Air Ombre. I'm not hugely into the whole dip thing, but I have to admit these were a cool idea, and I will be picking up some when they hit my local supply store to see how well they work. They are spray bottles filled with dipping powder so rather than struggling to get the ombre effect with a brush, you can just spray it on. It almost looks like air brushing but WAY less expensive!

Apres was there for the first time this year, and this was the stand I was most excited about visiting. I have seen SO much around the internet about the Apres system and I desperately want to buy it for myself when I have the cash, but in the mean time I wanted to get a sample nail just to see how it feels on and see the whole application process. Long story short, I freakin love it! Below is a picture of the nail I got, and as I write this I have had it on for a week and it still looks perfect. So quick and easy, I will 100% be buying the system to use myself. Also I should probably mention that they do also have a great range of magnetic gels and alcohol inks - including a range of metallic ones that are very cool. 

Magpie Beauty were also there this year - I think this was their first time (but don't quote me on that, but certainly the first time I've seen them!). They sell all kinds of pretty gels, but their glitters are SPECTACULAR! I spent a good 10 minutes trying to work out which one to get - I was on an extremely/non-exsistant budget so don't judge. I ended up buying Rosie which is a pinky almost rose gold fine glitter and I sugared it on my nails and it is hands down the prettiest glitter I have ever worn. So yes, you need to go order all the glitter. Since the show I see they have also released an acrylic system, so be sure to go hit up their website and have a drool. 
Super close up of Rosie

But Victoria, you only care about nail art? Why on earth are you looking at pedicure treatments? Because these actually looked really neat! I don't personally offer pedicures but I did get suckered onto this stand with how incredible their demos looked. Footlogix is new to Australia and was developed as an alternative to using a scalpel to fix up crusty feet. They have a range of both professional items for techs to use, and home use treatments for customers to use between services. They have different products for a whole range of foot problems. And as someone who really struggles with dry cracking feet (and yes I do take care of them on a daily basis, they just hate me) I really love the idea of products that don't just tell you to scrub your feet constantly. I didn't pick up any on the day, but this has also gone onto my list of things to buy!

Young Nails always seem to have some sneaky cool new thing slip into their range. This fairs newbie I saw was the Synergy Gel in an applicator tube. It is traditional builder gel, but the tube means you can get it onto the nail without all the mess of picking up beads and getting sticky threads everywhere. The tubes also sit on your table this way up so the product is at the tip ready to go. 

Lastly was the huge range of gorgeous press-ons from Dashing Diva. I have a real soft spot for press ons personally - particularly as I can't do my right hand with acrylic very well so if I have to go somewhere that I want killer nails I do like to have press ons in my collection. Their range has short, long, toe nails, and even some Swarovki ones that were so incredibly bling! I got a sample one put on which was very pretty (although only stayed on my nail for a couple of days, but they claim they do last a week. I think proper prep is the key here! But I want to get a proper set and do a wear test soon). They are also great for when there are younger teens around who aren't great at keeping acrylics on but want nails for an event. In my head In my head I have a daughter of a client who is always jealous of mums nails, so there would be perfect. 
These are also available at Priceline, so anyone can pick them up.
Here is my teeny tiny haul. I got the tweezers from RAFN Australia because they had a cool holographic effect and were glittery, and as I said above this glitter because it is perfection in a bottle.
So what do you think? Did you go to Beauty Expo or have any cool new nail items you think I should look into? Let me know!
Visit Beauty Expos website here