Thursday, February 28, 2008

HAIR: Home Colouring


Today is all about hair colouring, the history, why we do it and what you can use at home.

I colour my hair to brighten up my complexion and to cover those unsightly grey hairs. Some people may wish to copy a celeb's locks, some may wish to see if blondes do have all the fun; the reasons for changing their hair's colour are varied. Why do you colour your hair?

The earliest known hair dyes were made of ingredients such as henna, indigo, sage and chamomile, and could only darken the hair.

It is said that from as early as 500 AD, people were wishing to lighten their hair and tried many solutions. Ingredients such black sulphur, alum, and honey, or saffron and onion skin, were painted onto the hair and left on in the sun.

Around 1860, hydrogen peroxide first came into use as a hair bleaching agent. Sometimes combined with ammonia and soap flakes, hydrogen peroxide was commonly used to lighten hair through the 1930s. The process was quite harsh on hair, and it was not uncommon for hair to break off during the bleaching procedure.

Two of today’s most well-known hair colouring products got their start in the early twentieth century. In 1907, French chemist Eugene Schueller developed the first safe commercial hair colourant, a synthetic formulation based on the chemical Paraphenylenediamine (Paraphenylenediamine or PPD, and its chemical derivatives are key dye components for hair colourants, most widely used to create dark shades such as brown and black) . Schueller originally called his product Aureole, but it was later renamed L’Oreal.

In 1932, New York chemist Lawrence Gelb developed a hair color product that penetrated the hair shaft, and started a company called Clairol. In 1950, he introduced the first one-step hair colouring product, Miss Clairol Hair Color Bath.

Things have changed quite a bit since the 1950's and there are now hundreds of different hair colouring products on the market. We have an amazing choice of colours we can pick from, and several different hair colouring treatments that can provide us with permanent colour or something fun just for an evening or two.

Temporary Colour
Comes in the form of mousses, shampoos or even hair mascaras. Some are in bright hues and are fun for parties; most are designed to brighten natural hair colours. They wash out after a few shampoos.

Semi-Permanent Colour
These products coat hair with colour that washes out after 6-12 shampoos. Unlike most temporary colour, semi-permanent dyes bond to the hair. However, the pigment molecules in temporary hair colour are too large to penetrate the hair shaft, so that hair is still “coated” with colour rather than fundamentally changed. Since the dye sits at the surface of the hair, this type of hair color is generally used to achieve brighter, more vibrant shades that may be difficult to achieve with permanent hair colour. Semi-permanent products do not contain ammonia or peroxide so they are not able to lighten hair.

Demi-Permanent Colour
This option will last twice as long as semi-permanent colour and is perfect if you wish to enhance your current hair tone or blend away that grey. Like semi-permanent dyes, this type of colour contains no ammonia and thus cannot lighten hair, only add colour to it.

Permanent Colour
The longest-lasting of hair dyes, permanent colour cannot be washed out. It contains both ammonia and peroxide, which raise the cuticle of the hair in order to allow the tint to penetrate to the cortex and lighten the hair by breaking up the melanin that gives hair its natural colour, fundamentally changing the shade of the hair.

This process lifts the colour in individual strands of hair to heighten the level of lightness in your hair. Your kit will include either a cap and hook, which is better for short hair, or a special application brush that lets you “paint” on the highlights, perfect for long hair. Highlights are permanent and use peroxide, bleach and/or ammonia to lift the hair pigment from the cortex.

This process consists of taking strands of hair and darkening them at least 2 shades darker than the rest of your hair. Lowlights are often the best option for individuals who wish to blend away gray hair in a natural looking way. The application is the same as highlighting, using a cap and hook or an application brush.

Herbal Essences Color Me Vibrant


An at-home colouring kit with results that last up to 8 weeks. The Color-Amplifying Conditioner helps to preserve and enrich the colour.
Available in 27 shades

Clairol Perfect 10


This colouring kit works in only 10 minutes providing high speed, high gloss permanent colour. and helps to repair damaged hair -it even leaves your hair soft and smelling delightfully fragrant. Six weekly treatments of the ColorSeal Intensive Conditioning Crème keep your hair glossy and your colour from fading.
Available in 15 shades

Superior Preference Dream Blonde Color & Care System


Launching in April 2008, Dream Blonde delivers a new spectrum of brass-free shades that are clean, clear and bright. With the help of the Pre-Color Moisture Infuser, Blonde Supreme Shampoo and Conditioner, and the Continuous Shine Crème, even the most delicate blonde hair is safe with this colourant.
Available in 10 shades

The Mixer


A salon-quality root touch-up that will cover those nasty roots with permanent colour without being messy or needing to pre-mix - just point, push, apply and leave on for thirty minutes, shampoo and condition. It even blends in perfectly with any brand of hair colour, so no worries if you’re concerned about a conflict with another product.
Available in 6 shades

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jessica Alba: Get The Look

Academy Awards presenter and soon to be yummy mummy Jessica Alba, radiated on the red carpet with her makeup look perfected by Revlon's Lauren Anderson.

Here is how to achieve her look:

Light and Natural Custom Creations Foundation was applied for Jessica’s base. A Floral Affair in Hushed Blush (natural shimmery cream hue) swept over her cheekbones. Golden Affair Naughty or Spice (deeper bronze blush) accented the look.

Revlon Diamond Lust Eye Shadow Grab Me Gold was swept over her eyelids blending to a jewel toned violet, Revlon Make a Sheen Plum Like it Hot, toward the outer corner of her eye, complementing her gorgeous Marchesa gown.

Both brown and deep purple were smoked together on her lower lash line to make the eye pop. Anderson used Marble-ous Match (Liner/Shadow Duo) Orchid You Not.

Finally, a light shimmer was added to high light the inner corner of her eye with Colorstay White Whisper (a crème color shadow) and Extreme 3D Mascara was used to give her lashes a full complete Hollywood glamour look.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Shine City (sheer but glassy long-wearing gloss) complemented her jewels by Cartier.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Win a skin consultation with Dr. Murad have a great contest on at the moment - enter to win a skin consultation with Dr. Murad, plus he'll send you all the products he recommends for your skin.

Here are the prizes:
GRAND PRIZE (two winners!)
Receive a one-on-one telephone consultation with top dermatologist Dr. Murad and a basket containing all the products comprising the day and night Murad product regimen he recommends.

FIRST PRIZE (five winners!)
Receive a collection of free Murad products comprising a Murad regimen for the winner's skin type.

SECOND PRIZE (ten winners!)
Receive one full-size Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reducer, worth $150.Receive a $50 gift certificate to

For more information on how you can win, visit

Contest ends February 29, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. ET

HAIR: The Brushes

We always think about shampoos, conditioners and styling products, but what about the hair brushes? Here are the facts...

Why Do We Brush?
Daily brushing is essential for maintaining good hair condition and keeping it glossy. Brushing stimulates the glands in the scalp to distribute oils. This process tends to normalize an oily scalp as well as a dry one and subsequently enhances the overall appearance of the hair.

The other reason is, of course, because we are want to create a certain hair style and look fabulous!

What Brush?
The Round/Barrel Brush
A small to medium round brush works best on shorter hair and will give it texture and curl. Big round brushes are great for blow-drying medium-length to long hair.

The Half-round Brush
Suitable on both wet and dry hair for all types of grooming, styling and blow-drying.

The Vent Brush
Designed with holes in the base, allowing the air to circulate through the hair while blow-drying. This speeds up the drying process and boosts volume.

The Paddle Brush
A large flat, square surfaced brush. This is the brush you want if you have medium-length to long hair and are looking for that smooth look. They are also good for detangling.

Natural Boar
Good quality boar bristles have a natural stiffness to brush thoroughly yet "give" as they are drawn through the hair. They maintain good hair condition by keeping it clean, stimulating the scalp and distributing oils for a healthy, glossy look, without ever damaging it or causing split ends.

Synthetic bristles are either singular or tufts of multiple strands known as "fill", and are made from nylon or stiff plastic. It is important that synthetic bristles are round and smooth at the tips to avoid tearing the hair.

Ball or Epoxy Tipped
Bristles are ball tipped or feature a tiny ball of resin to ensure hair is not damaged while being brushed.

Stronger than boar or nylon, wire bristles are perfect for thick, coarse or curly hair. They are embedded in a pneumatic cushion so that they "give" as the brush moves across the contours of the head.

Clean Your Brushes
Use the end of a tail comb to lift and loosen hair.
Soak brushes in warm water with a bit of shampoo.
Rinse in clean, clear water and remove any remaining hair.
Shake or pat the brush with a towel to remove excess moisture, then place the brush cushion-side down on a towel and allow to air-dry.

Brush Suggestions

IM Beauty

I have had a set of these brushes for almost a year now and really like them. They have the most comfortable handles and make styling my hair a breeze.

These brushes are not for the gal that wants one brush only. These are for those of you that want to achieve those runway looks. Each brushes has a fabulous ProPlasmium gel grip handle, colour protective bristles and ceramic and tourmaline infused barrels.

There are three collections within IM Beauty:
- Start: Detangle & Dry
- Style: Volume & Curl or Volume & Straighten
- Finish: Smooth & Shine

The Styling Therapy Collection caught my attention recently. I have not personally used them but they suggest that they will reduce dandruff, add shine or protect your colour. Sounds great to me!

Reduce Dandruff

These brushes are infused with copper plated bristles, a natural bactericide, which kills up to 88 percent of bacteria and fungi that are the leading cause of dandruff.

Add Shine
The Add Shine brush is infused with jojoba oil, rich in Vitamin E to condition and hydrate the hair. It replaces moisture lost during shampooing, and smoothes the cuticle to add shine and stop those dreadful fly-aways. What a smart brush!

Protect Color
Boar bristles infused with questamide, an ingredient that mimics ceramide, which is found naturally in hair, is what you will find in the Protect Color brushes. When brushing your hair, questamide is deposited onto it and closes the cuticle to prevent fading. It also smoothes hair strands to enhance shine and reflect vibrant colour while hydrating and conditioning to prevent daily damage.

Whether you're a brunette, blond, or red head, these brushes will help keep colour locked into your locks.

At the Holidays I gave my mother a Raincry brush from their Care Series. She was thrilled. These brushes are made in France and engineered to help recondition and enhance the hair in between salon visits.

Boar-bristle Brush
This brush is designed to be used on wet or dry hair, and helps to reduce split-ends, decrease static and restore the hair's natural elasticity.

Detangling Brush
Gently removes tangles while decreasing the likelihood of breaking thick and unruly hair. The soft cushion design helps to massage and exfoliate the scalp, increasing vital blood flow, while comfortably contouring the bristles to the shape of the head.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, February 25, 2008

Which Dress Do You Prefer?

cameron-diaz-at-oscar 2007

cameron-diaz-oscars-2008-01 2008

022507_cruz_200X400 2007

Penelope-Crus 2008 2008

Cate 2007 2007

Cate 2008

022607_kidman_240X320 2007

Kidman_preview (2) 2008

Labels: , ,

Red Was HOT at The Oscars

These celebs rocked the red carpet last night in their stunning outfits.

Anne Hathaway looked stunning in her Marchesa rosette-trimmed gown and 10-carat drop earrings from Harry Winston, worth over one million dollars.

Heidi Klum was a red carpet knockout in this red John Galliano couture gown. Her earrings, rings and cuff were from the Heidi Klum Collection for Mouawad.

On a side note - This gown will be given away on to benefit women's heart health.

Katherine Heigl emulated old Hollywood in this Escada gown and elegant Ryan Ryan jewelry.

Miley Cyrus looked all grown up in a classic Valentino.
Can you believe she is only 15?

Helen Mirren looked absolutely regal in a vibrant custom-made Georges Chakra satin gown, embellished with Swarovski crystal sleeves.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Waiting For The Oscars

Well, here I am sitting on my sofa with the Pugs, in pjs and eating my pasta dinner. I LOVE the Oscars and am enjoying the E! Live From The Red Carpet show as I wait for 8pm.

I did say after the Golden Globes that I would never share my winner picks again. I bombed and did not pick a single winner. Tonight I am suddenly feeling confident and so have changed my mind, and will share my Oscar picks (in red).

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
George Clooney in “Michael Clayton”
Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood”
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah”
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises”

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”
Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men”
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War”
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild”
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton”

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
Julie Christie in “Away from Her”
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose”
Laura Linney in “The Savages”
Ellen Page in “Juno”

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There"
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster”
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement”
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone”
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton”

Best Motion Picture of the Year
“Michael Clayton”
“No Country for Old Men”
“There Will Be Blood”

Will I have picked any winners? Check back tomorrow and I will share with you how many I got correct, and I'll have pictures of the best dressed celebs from the red carpet.

Labels: ,