Friday, 28 November 2014

Bleach London Beach Lights Review

I've been wanting to dye my hair blonder for so long but kept putting it off. After almost two years my ombre is gone. The end of an era. Ombre is so easy to maintain and gives the appearance of overall lighter hair. However my hair has become very damaged and requires a regular deep conditioning treatment and could probably do with a trim, but I just can't bring myself to do it!

While in a Boots in Manchester recently I came across Bleach London and was immediately captivated by their branding. An entire product range based on the hipster dip dye and pastel coloured hair, with sliver & rose shampoos, deep conditioners, dip dye and beach light kits and pastel hair dye. I decided to try the Beach Lights to create natural, blonder highlights rather than a whole head of colour. 

It came with a mini version of their Reincarnation Mask conditioning treatment sporting puns such as "Hair Dyed?", two sachets of bleach powder, a small bottle of peroxide, mixing bowl, plastic gloves, instructions, brush and balayage board. Although my hair has always been done at home ever since I was a toddler, (due to my mum's previous hair dressing experience) I have never heard of a balayage board or what balayaging even was! After some internet research, it turns out it's just another word for ombre or dip dye! Pinterest have a range of lovely examples.

After reading some other Beach Lights reviews and watching balayage tutorials online, it turns out it is still intended to be a form of dip dye. Sections of the hair are thread through the comb section and rested on the main rectangle, acting as a surface to apply the dye. Moving the balayage board down as you apply the dye to the whole strand of hair. The instructions given weren't very clear, so I recommend watching a video on youtube to clarify. :) But it was definitely easier than it sounded.     

I sectioned the hair according to the illustration in the instructions and worked on picking random sections and applying dye along the whole length rather than just the end. At first I was worried there wouldn't be enough dye, but it expanded once mixed. However I found the mixing bowl provided was pretty small and limiting when combining the bleach powder and peroxide. 

Having fallen in love with the ombre affect and low maintenance, I wanted my highlights to be similar and gently blend in appearing natural. My hair hasn't been highlighted in years so I am unsure how easy maintaining roots would be and didn't want a harsh grow out as associated with block colour dying. 

As my hair has been previously ombre-ed however I focused on applying more dye to the upper sections and hardly any to the ends of the hair. I didn't cover the applied sections with foil or anything and just let it sit gently on top of all the others regardless of whether they had dye on or not. This didn't seem to mix or affect the outcome at all fortunately. 

The bleach was incredibly strong and gave off a strong scent and burned my fingers slightly as I'm silly I didn't use the plastic gloves provided, I just find them a hinderance. However the Reincarnation Mask worked incredibly well and my hair felt in lovely condition after the process rather than dried out, easy to break and unmanageable. I'm incredibly pleased with the mask and glad that I also bought the bigger bottle. 

I left the dye on for 40minutes and conditioning treatment for 30minutes.

I would greatly recommend this product. If I was to go back in time and repeat the process, I would have saved more dye for the top section of my hair, blended it more at the roots and worn my gloves! Yet for my first attempt at home high lights I was incredibly pleased.  

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Trust is a Hard Thing

Let's be serious here for a second.

Life is hard, but it's also this big grand adventure. One we would be silly to let slip past us. It seems everyone is off traveling or landing fancy graduate jobs or getting married or having babies. And in all honesty, a great deal of it seems like utter madness.

A scary, big adventure. Finishing university is hard. No lie. But then a lot of things are hard. Structure is something we all crave. It sets us up to do more. While strolling through my endless facebook newsfeed about a year or so ago I remember thinking how interesting it will be to see how everyone's lives pan out after graduation. After education.

That is when the real fun and real risks begin it seems. Almost that university it itself is no longer a privilege but an accepted, expected part of life's journey. That it is the very notion of finding oneself launched into their 'dream career' that is the privilege. Especially in terms of the creative industries. The dedication, sacrifice and raw perseverance that is first required.

It is easy to lose sight and to forget oneself. To lose confidence in yourself. To become frustrated, confused and discouraged. To fail to trust yourself. Your ability to choose the best and most happy choices. Your ability to discern the course of action or hope for yourself. Yet this is a time when such hope is vital. Such love of oneself.

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope:.." 2 Nephi 31:20

Often not all things fall into place all at once. We must believe in ourselves and our grand potential. Our capacity. We are children of the very creator of the universe! The maker of the stars and great oceans! Of the birds and the gentle breeze! What greater reason to rejoice and to love yourself. Marvel at your great potential. Whether or not you are religious or hold any belief of any greater purpose or being. You are of great worth. Look at all you have accomplished and all that you have yet to achieve. Have trust in yourself. It will all work out.

"Sometimes receiving inspiration is like a foggy day. There's enough light that you can tell it's not darkness anymore, it's not night. But it's not brilliantly illuminated, you can see just enough to take a few steps ahead into the cloudiness. I don't know about other people, but it occurs that way for me all the time. There's enough just to take a few steps and then the light continues to help me see just far enough ahead that I can continue to press forward." - Patterns of Light Part 3: Spirit of Revelation by David A. Bednar

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Embracing the Chef

I've always been a fussy eater. Once my friend even made a list of all the things I didn't like so she would never accidentally serve it to me when I came to visit. I however, never thought I was that particular. I just liked certain things :) and not others. I can never understand it when people say you just have to get used to certain foods. Why would I continue eating something if I didn't like it?! 

When my partner first discovered my 'unusual' palette he was utterly bewildered! (Especially as he used to be a chef.) And ever since it's been a mission of his to convince me of the flavour enhancing properties of things such as onions, mushrooms and peppers (to name a few). Cooking them up in various fancy ways, helping me to branch out and try new foods and enrich my overall dining experience. While I'm still not a huge fan of onions, I'm starting to see what he means. 

Even at restaurants I would always be that awkward person altering their order to take out ingredients and add others. But my very perspective on food has begun to change. I've started to trust the judgements of those who have created the menu and carefully put together it's recipes. In hindsight it seems silly to disregard the talents and skills of those who prepare and essentially design our food. 

Menus are given to us for a reason! I have loved food for a long time, but I'm certainly no expert (unless maybe in chocolate or dessert aha). Now when I order food at a restaurant I always try to consider the talents of those involved and be open to trying new foods or food combinations. It's important to trust other's expertise and have creations as they are intended. Although of course I still go for my favourites and mix them up according to my own preference. 

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Feeling Self Conscious in Relationships

From the age of fourteen I began wearing make up, not only wearing it but relying on it. I haven't left the house without at least wearing mascara in seven years. Even on holiday on the beach or at water parks I would still wear waterproof mascara and pray that it would stay in place. It doesn't help that I have very fair, blonde eyelashes framing my eyes as without mascara I look as if I haven't even got any! While make up can be fun and a personal choice, we should never have to rely on something so much to feel comfortable in front of others. 

Especially when it comes to relationships. In the beginning of a relationship it's very understandable. You want to look your most attractive, feel your most attractive, you want to make an impression. But as that relationship goes on and becomes more secure you won't always be going out on dates or be in situations where you need to dress up. You might spend the day in the house together, watch movies, take naps, go on holiday, etc, etc. Times where make up isn't required. You should not panic at the thought of your signifiant other seeing you without make up on. It isn't fair to put that pressure on yourself. You should feel comfortable in your most natural, raw state around yourself and those you love the most. Their love for you should be unconditional. You should not feel that way. It is not kind on yourself nor is it healthy. 

Your partner should be supportive, caring and frankly not bothered. If you do not feel comfortable enough to be relaxed about yourself, especially in long term relationships. That is not ok. When my boyfriend first saw me without make up I was so nervous and scared. What would he think? What would he say? I made it into much more of a big deal than it needed to be, that he teased me about it and pretended to be ever so shocked and sarcastically told me that I looked "So different!" until he laughed and told me with almost a sense of relief that I look far more beautiful without make up than I do with it. That he loves me for me, he loves the natural me more than whatever I choose or would ever chose to do it enhance it, including make up or any form of plastic surgery (if I was ever to go down that route). He explained that while make up aids girls in looking hot it is not what makes them beautiful. 

Now I don't even think twice about not wearing make up in front of him. I used to always feel that whoever was looking at me was judging how awful I looked, but with him it doesn't even cross my mind. He helps me to feel as beautiful as he sees me. Even in my rawest form. While I still need to work on being self confident going out in public without make up, I have really come along way. It is up to you to feel comfortable, but having support of those closest to you truly helps. Don't settle for anything less.  

Friday, 7 November 2014

Making the Most of Your Priesthood Leaders

Most churches will have some form of hierarchy. Leaders who ensure the church organisation is running smoothly and teaching doctrine in keeping with the word of God. Taking on the responsibility of leading the church itself and in turn the people in a righteousness manner and helping to maintain the integrity of it's fundamentals as an organisation  They come under many names; Pope, Prophet, Priest, Bishop, Minster, etc. The majority of whom are good and wonderful people. They do a lot for the church in which they work and often the community as a whole, but have you ever considered what they can do for you?

When I was younger I always thought that going to see the Bishop was a terrible thing. That it meant you had committed a great sin and that everyone would know. I have gone on to learn that that is utterly false. Church leaders are not there to condemn, belittle or cause you to feel terrible. Often if you do feel any of those things, it is a result of whatever wrong doing you have performed. Aside from situations where you are in the wrong, there are hundreds of reasons for you to seek a meeting with your church leader or for them to seek one with you. They are there to be your support, to encourage, to offer advice as a servant of the Lord, to bless, to be a friend. 

When I moved to university three years ago I didn't know anyone in my new congregation. At first it was incredibly difficult and strange. I had to remember why I attend church. That while I love the social aspect, it was truly for my faith, learning and because God has commanded it. I gradually got to know people and flourished while I was there. I eventually fell in love with that little congregation! During my time at university I began dating my wonderful partner and he later decided to join the church and was baptised. During this whole process I had countless meetings with church leaders. Chats about how school was going, how my leadership position was going, how can I help those I volunteer with, how my partner is doing, how we can work together, how my faith was doing and simply whether I was ok! Everytime I went away feeling renewed. I was entitle to divulge as much or as little information as I liked, to initiate meetings or decline them. However they were always an option just incase I needed them.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the majority of church leaders whether it be Bishops for local congregations or those higher in the organisational hierarchy, are not paid. Whether or not they were suited for or considered for any kind of leadership position is greatly prayed about by other leaders 'higher up' in the church and then they are very kindly asked whether or not they will accept the position. To volunteer in a very time-consuming, intense capacity to help God's children. We believe that God personally chooses each person for all positions within his church. We can know for ourselves whether or not he chose them through personal prayer and receiving a spiritual witness through his Holy Ghost.     

Hebrews 2:4 "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"

I have learnt that it is incredibly important not to be afraid to ask for your Bishop's help, it doesn't matter if it's with a huge life decision, something that you feel is silly, like there isn't very much wrong or you just want someone to voice things over with. Sometimes a quite chat with the servant of the Lord is just what you need. 

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