Hair

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a review on Olaplex for a while now. Pretty much ever since the day I got my little mitts on a bottle of the famous stuff. Having friends who are hairdressers on Facebook, I’d seen the term/product been thrown around with the highest of praise so naturally I was keen to give it a go myself to see if it could work its magic on my ol’ mane. One of my friends from dancing, an avid believer in the product, warned me that you do need to give it some time before you start to notice results but that the wait is totes worth it. Well I waited (’til I finished the whole bottle) and finally.. here are my thoughts. Please note that I am in no way, shape or form a hairdresser or hair guru of any kind, just a mere mortal with hair, sharing her experience with a product 🙂

I guess I’d better start with what Olaplex actually is for all those people out there who don’t know. For those of you that don’t care though, I’d suggest you just jump this paragraph and head to the less informative drivel below 🙂 So, this is what olaplex.com has to say about itself; “Olaplex is the original, unique and patented chemistry that multiplies bonds and cross-links broken bonds. Olaplex did not create a product category – Olaplex is the product category.” *DROPS MIC* Boom! What a bloody statement. It IS the product category fellas. So basically, hairdressers are obsessed with this stuff because it allows them to become total #Superhairoes, (see what I did there 😉 don’t deny it, you’re going to use that term now) giving them the power to colour or lighten hair at any level without the risk of breakage. Great for hairdressers I initially thought, but I didn’t realise that they actually sell it as a 3 step process and that the only bottle I (a non-hairdresser) should really be interested in is No.3 the “Hair Perfector” which can be used at home as a stand-alone treatment. No.3 acts as a sort of magical elixir for your hair, repairing it from within. This got me excited because my hair goes through the absolute ringer enduring things like gel, extreme hold hairspray and rhinestone glue on a monthly basis and is often in need of some serious TLC. Olaplex to the rescue!

Ok, so onto my experience. I recently just finished my bottle and I have to say I was a little bit underwhelmed with the product. “WHAT!?” I hear you say, but yes it’s true I was a little ‘meh’ about it UNTIL… I used it for the very last time. I’m not pulling your leg here, I legitimately was not going to write a blog post about Olaplex because I don’t like writing about things that I don’t believe in but upon my last try of this product, I was changed. Things were a little different on this last try though, I had just gotten back from a month in the UK and after doing a few competitions (dance hair included obviously) and washing my hair in UK water, my hair was looking sub-par. That’s a pretty big understatement guys, my hair was actually a big, frazzly, broken-ended mess. So I thought I’d use the last of my Olaplex and rather than leave it on for the minimum time of 10 minutes I decided to leave it for about 40 minutes. I then followed that by doing what I would always do and that’s wash my hair twice with red shampoo and conditioning as normal.

I’m not sure if it was due to leaving the Olaplex on my hair for much longer than I had before or if it took my hair being in such a dilapidated state for me to notice, but I’m saying it now – this product really is worth all that hype! I noticed a difference in the feeling of my hair straight after I rinsed the Olaplex out before shampooing it. The texture of the strands felt stronger, sturdier, more protein-ier.. really great descriptions here I know. But seriously, it felt like my hair was strong enough for me to use as rope to abseil my way down a cliff face. After I had roughly blow-dried it I could see that it looked so much shinier and that the colour was seriously vibrant. Granted I did use my De Lorenzo colour shampoo which never disappoints, but the colour had not looked this deep or rich for a while. It was noticeable enough for my boyfriend to comment so yeah, enough said! All of my split ends had been repaired (see photo) and trust me there were a lot beforehand as I haven’t had my hair cut in over a year and a half.. I know, I know, shame on me! The results were all there and I immediately wished that I could go back in time and leave it on for longer on all those previous occasions. Alas, I can’t.. but the good news is YOU CAN!

So, the moral of my story with Olaplex is, the longer it is left on – the better the results. I’d say for pretty damaged hair you could leave it on for anywhere between 30-45 minutes like I did and you will notice a difference immediately. I’m not sure if the minimum time of 10 minutes really allows the product to do itself complete justice but I’m sure that even in that short time it does do something! Either way, it’s not a sham, it does work and your lengths will thank you for it. If your interested in giving it a go for yourself, my friends over at Salonstyle.com are selling the 100ml No.3 Hair Perfector Bottle at AU$44.95. Go check it out here!

Have you tried Olaplex before? How’d you find it? Hit me up in the box below and leave some of your thoughts!

 

Pretty over-dramatic title up there I know, I mean talk about #firstworldproblems, “Oh no, I can’t live without this specific Shampoo or my life will literally end!” But c’mon we’ve all been there right!? You’ve finally found that amazing product that takes all of the stress of searching through the aisles (or pages if you’re a bit of an online shopper!) away and then POOF! Its been discontinued. Truly devastating. Its like recently my hairdresser has decided to move forward with his studies and has therefore decided to stop hairdressing which is obviously so great for him but when I was on the receiving end of the news I was gutted! I felt like it was the end of the world or he had died or something (again, slightly over-dramatic maybe?). But anyway, I’ve gotten over it now and I’m working on ways to move forward *enter gentle sobbing*. So today I wanted to talk about my good old shampoo and conditioner. Two very important products in my life and if you love your hair, they should be important in yours too! I did a post similar to this last year but I wanted to give an updated version because a) they discontinued my shampoo (I know!) b) I’ve tried some other mediocre products which made me love mine more and c) I really need to harp on a bit more about how banging my conditioner is.

About a month ago I was informed that De Lorenzo had decided to can my colour (Claret) in their shampoo range. After continuously shouting “WHY, WHY, WHYYY DE LORENZO!” and other profanities such as “IT WAS JUST THE PERFECT COLOUR, WAAAHH”, I pulled myself together and decided to try something new. After doing my usual read a million reviews online, I narrowed it down to a red shampoo by Davines. People were saying it was awesome and I thought man this stuff is gonna be good surely! Well, turns out most of those people probably haven’t tried De Lorenzo’s products or they were looking for something a little different to me. Maybe the shampoo would be really great if you wanted to add some soft red tones to your already light, blonde hair but for me having already red hair, it wasn’t very noticeable. Usually I would get out of the shower and be like BAM! New colour! To the point that sometimes people ask me if I’ve just gotten my hair done (yes, it’s that good). But after trialling this stuff for a few weeks my hair was starting to look a little dull and with my colour only being a demi-permanent it wasn’t helping it fade gracefully y’know. What a bummer.

So a few days before I went on a month away trip I decided to head to some shops in search of my old faithful De Lorenzo to see if I could scramble up any last bottles of Claret. Upon my looking I saw they had a few other red shampoo’s available in their range (Claret was well and truly gone) and I went with a bottle of ‘Fire Red’. Fire Red is said to enhance vibrant red-orange tones in coloured or natural hair. Could be a win or could be a total fail, but luckily for me it turned out to be a win! The colour was so similar to Claret it me wonder if that’s why they discontinued it in the first place. So whatever your hair colour, or whether your hair is coloured or not, definitely go and check out the De Lorenzo range to see if they have any shampoos or conditioners which might help you enhance your tresses. Be careful as to not make it become your only shampoo though as it can be a bit drying and that’s not what you want! I usually go with using it every second wash and that works a treat for me. The best thing is that the shampoo is made from all natural plant products and it’s made right here in Oz! I love a good Vegan product that can stand up to others and the pigment in this shampoo is so potent that it literally colours my hands and nails when I’m applying it! But fear not worry warts! It all washes off by the time I get out of the shower so don’t think you have to go all crazy wearing surgeon gloves in the shower to save your manicure 😉 Head on over to http://www.salonstyle.com.au to shop the range or click here to check out my home boy, Fire Red.

While I was away on my recent dance trip/holiday (which you can read about here!) I ran out of conditioner. Now again I know it sounds like nothing and I thought the same, I was like that’s fine I’ll just grab something else and my hair will remain in its awesome state. BA BOWWWW. I headed to Boots and hit the conditioner section; popular brand – check, slightly expensive – check, pretty packaging – check, picked a winner, no problems. Ah, where to start.. I had to use half the dang bottle to coat my long, thick hair (I usually only use about a 50c piece worth), I had to leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes (hate that, especially in a shower in Blackpool which is more like a scolding hot drizzle from a teapot than a shower AND when I usually only have to wait 30 seconds to a minute) and I got no bloody pay off after waiting all that time! After using it for a couple of weeks my hair was becoming pretty dry and after all the torment I was giving it from being styled into lavish dance do’s (lavish, dahling) this stuff wasn’t helping  to restore it back to its usually happy, bouncy self. Once I got back to my house and a bottle of my conditioner – Pureology Hydrate Condition, I was home. My hair was back! Having that time without it made me realise how great it makes my hair feel and look and made me love it even more *insert heart eyes emoji. It may sound so ridiculous that a conditioner can bring so much joy but I’ve tried SO MANY conditioners over the years from Pantene to high end salon brands and this stuff just takes the cake. This conditioner is also 100% Vegan created with the best and purest products specifically for colour specialists and their clients. So if you have coloured hair, this stuff is for you! You just bang it on, wait 30 seconds and rinse off to feel the magic it has worked; it brings hydration, strength and shine all back to your hair without using any nasties. Did I mention it’s inexpensive too so just quietly.. TRY IT!! You can only buy this brand in specific salons but to make things easier click this link to purchase it online and get it delivered to your door!

Thanks for reading my little bloggity blog and if you haven’t already please SUBSCRIBE!

Love, Rachelle xx

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Let’s address the ginormous elephant in the room here before we get started shall we? I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks… apologies for that. Life is a rollercoaster ride and sometimes you’ve just got to hang on tight, close your eyes and feel your way through those ups and downs. For me these past couple have weeks have been just that, up and down. But mostly down. In positive news, my partner and I got a new car (after driving around in a 2000 Toyota Echo for 8 years, basically ANYTHING is an upgrade!), I’ve gotten to catch up with some friends and family (yes, this is a luxury for me!) and I’ve been trialling a few products to post about. But the bad news has kind of been what’s been consuming most of my time and energy the past week and a half and that has been the passing of my Opi (it’s how you say ‘grandfather’ in German, and yes I’m half German). It’s never easy losing someone you love and my Opi was so special to me which has made it even harder. Those happy memories of him will last forever though and the thought of that has definitely helped, but it for sure has been difficult to get on here and pretend that nothing has happened so I decided to take a little bit of time 🙂 Alas I feel that time has passed now and I didn’t come on here to be a negative Nancy so I shall speak sadly no longer and I’ll jam on through to some of those products I’ve been wanting to post about!

Today it’s hair masks but make sure to stay tuned for the next episode! I’ve been trialling a couple over the last 3 weeks and one has definitely been a stand out. I love the luxurious-ness of hair masks and I especially love the way they leave my hair feeling silky and sleek like I’ve just walked out of the salon. Each of the masks I’ve been testing have different “priorities” shall we say but the general gist of any hair mask I feel is to replenish damaged hair, giving it back its strength, smoothness and shine. So if you’re interested in splashing out and giving your hair a good masking then read on sister!

Evo: Mane Attention Protein Mask

Suitable for: coloured hair, damaged hair, people with hair, people with split-ends, hair.

First impressions: Nice simple packaging, easy to use and LOVE that I only need to leave on for 3-5 minutes. Smells fruity, floraly, pretty-y and is transparent in colour (does that even make sense?) Probably better to say the product has no colour?  Ahh forget it. It doesn’t have much of a ‘mask’ type feeling to it and could actually pass as being a conditioner. Due to lack of richness/thickness it doesn’t go very far on my super thick hair and I have to use a gallon.

After drying: Well considering it claims to be the “psychiatrist for split ends” and states it provides “boosts for the shoots” (ahem, whatever that means!) I feel it kiiiiiiiiind of lives up to its name. My hair did feel different in a slightly courser, stronger way and there did appear to be less split ends. I guess if you are looking for that silky, slippery post-mask hair feeling then this isn’t really the guy for you. This bloke is more about fixing past damage and protecting the hair from future inflictions. The concept is that the more you use it the stronger the hair becomes and after a couple of washes I was all out of product and I couldn’t really tell if my hair was that much stronger. I would have loved to have tried this product 2 years ago when my hair actually was totally stuffed from bleaching it platinum so that I could really put it to the test because at the moment my hair feels in pretty good nick so I’m not sure if that’s why I didn’t feel much change? Not my favourite hair mask but definitely not something that I would say is totally hopeless.. give the little sampler a go and see if it helps you 🙂 You can find it over here at Salon Style.

Davine’s MINU/hair mask

Suitable for: coloured hair, non-coloured hair, transparent hair? women, hair, everyone.

First impressions: Cute little tub for ease of getting out the product. Oops, maybe a little tooooo much product. The blue goo smells like citrus which reminds me of how much I hate citrus. The citrus does become bearable for all non-citrus lovers. It definitely has that rich, thick, mask type consistency but you have to leave it on for 10-15 minutes #youwinsomeyoulosesome. I combed it through the ends, shaved, brushed my teeth, exfoliated my face and knitted 10 sweaters before finally washing it out and… my hair felt like it belonged in a Disney movie. Totally worth the time.

After Drying: The Disney hair feeling didn’t go away and on top of that my hair was uber shiny. My hair seemed to dry really easily and was so silky and smooth that it just went where my hair dryer blew it. No need for extra styling because it looked like I had already done that just from rough drying it with my old scabby hairdryer! It definitely replenished my hair like it said it would and the satin finish lasted a good 4 days of beating ranging from tears to hairspray. Looking forward to using it again and getting my Ariel hair back #underthesea. To find prices and sizes check it out here at SalonStyle.

snapchat-me
Follow me on Snapchat 🙂 rachellemp. Taken the other day post protein mask!

I do have a few more reviews on other beauty products to come so don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE if you enjoy my nattering!

Love, Rachelle xx

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I don’t know about you, but I have to wear my hair up pretty much every dang day and have had to since I was in pre-primary (fancy private school = hair up at ALL times… groan!) Luckily now it’s a little more on the relaxed side and I can rock a bit of a half up half down situation but it still really is a must to have it off my face when I’m at dancing. I was taught from a young age that you must never wear your hair out whilst having a dance lesson and I guess it’s now become something that I live by. Gotta respect that history guys! So naturally you can understand why I like to get a little creative with my ‘do especially now that my hair is getting looooong. When I was younger my mum used to always give me the ‘topsy tail’ pony tail but back then she used some weird plastic gadget to get the effect. If you grew up in the 90’s then you know what I’m banging on about.. those little plastic sticks with the holes on them. These days I get the same outcome without the topsy tail tool and it’s so quick and easy that I pretty much do it everyday. Lately I’ve been lucky enough to receive a few compliments here and there on my hairstyles so I thought why not spill the beans! Share the love! The awesome thing is that these styles can be done with short, medium or long hair as I have actually tried and tested these with all above mentioned lengths.

As all of these styles are pretty basic and are all based around a similiar theme I thought I wouldn’t bore your eyes off with giving you a step-by-step run down on each of them. All you really need to know is how to do a simple ‘topsy tail’ and then most of the other stuff will make complete sense 🙂 So basically I secure the hair as per normal with a hair elastic, I then loosen the hair tie a little so that I have some room to create a hole above the hair tie using my thumb and index fingers. Once I’ve created enough of a hole I then take the pony tail and flip it up and tuck it through the hole so that it does a loop. It should then come back down out the other side back to where it initially was sitting but now there will be some hair detail around the hair tie, giving you the tucked effect. Hopefully that makes sense, if not maybe the pictures will help you along the way. Time to get into it!

Half up/ half down with a twist, or two, or three:

This is a hairstyle I’ve been rocking a lot lately as my hair (and layers) are that bit longer now so it sits really well throughout the day and paired with a little bit of hairspray goes NOWHERE! For this one its best to use those thin rubber elastics, I love these by Lady Jayne so that the lackeys aren’t too chunky and it gives more of a sleek look. There are a few variations on this look as you could do one twist or as many as your little heart desires! My max is 3 because I’m too lazy to have tried anymore but you do you girl because 7 could totally look amazing 😉 With this style I only grab very small little sections of hair from either side of my face and pull them to meet at the back. It’s best to make sure your hair is brushed down nicely the way you would usually like it to sit so that when you pull the two sections around to meet at the back the top part of your hair sits smooth. Once I’ve pulled the hair to the back, I then secure with the elastic and topsy tail that guy by flipping the tail up and under so that it creates a twisted effect. If you want even more of a tighter, intense twist then you can topsy tail it again 🙂 Repeat this process as many times as you like.

Half up/half down pony tail:

Rather than continuing with the small sections pulled to the back sometimes I just do one or two twists and then grab the remainder of my hair and brush into a pony tail ( and because my hair is too thick for life, I have to use a normal elastic to secure this part). I then topsy tail the pony tail.

Or some other variations are to either plait, braid or fishtail the remainder of hair rather than the standard old ponytail.

Half up/half down with gibson tuck:

When I want a little more of an up-do I like to do a bit of a gibson tuck on the ponytail part of my hair. For this I secure the ponytail slightly higher than the nape of my neck and pull the elastic outwards rather than downwards. I then create the hole above the elastic but only on the top section (not at the hair underneath the elastic.. don’t split the sections in two). Then I literally tuck the hair into the little hair pouch created and I secure it with some bobby pins. This works great for shorter to mid length hair but now that my hair is a little longer I like to shorten my pony tail by creating a loop in the end with a small rubber elastic. This way it’s easier to tuck 🙂 This hairstyle is so great for those warmer days or for when you want a bit more of a polished look!

Aaaand thats all folks! I hope you enjoyed and that you found a little bit of new hair inspo. Everyone feels better when they are having a good hair day and I can especially vouch for that. The best thing with this style is that there are so many different variations and once you learn the trick it becomes so simple! I also love how the finished effect hides the hair elastic   which gives it a more finished off look. Most of these styles only take 5-15 minutes maximum and paired with a bit of hairspray can last you all day. So go on, get onto it and start having a play! Or not.. no pressure 😉

Any questions, comments or queries? Please comment below! Also let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to see a blog on.. I’m open to any suggestions 😉

 

Hello and Happy 2017! So sorry I have been MIA for the past couple of weeks, I really wanted to have a bit of “do absolutely nothing” time whilst I was home in Western Australia and I may have accidentally let the electronic side of that creep into my first week of being in the UK. Whoopsie 🙂 But alas, I am back now and ready to go!

Over the Christmas period I enjoyed the usual Aussie shenanigans; beach, alcohol, sun and food. After not enjoying most of these things for the past 10 months I had become a little bit of a rookie on the sunscreen front. In which case I mean I forgot to sunscreen my face completely and then decided to head to the beach. BIG FAIL. So obviously I got burnt, it hurt, I peeled, yadda yadda but the peeling was not so hot to look at. So to cover my flakey forehead I decided to cut in a fringe (or “bangs” for those of you that call them that.. never understood that term btw?) It turned out not so bad actually and did a really good job of hiding my sunburn too! Cutting in a fringe is often something I do myself whether it’s because I happened to have a bit of a break out from eyebrow threading or if I just feel like mixing it up and having a fringe for a while. It really isn’t too hard to master once you know what suits your face and I don’t find it too hard to push mine back as I often curl my hair so i just incorporate it into some curls around my face 🙂 That way I get the best of both worlds! So if you would like to rock out something new and fresh for 2017 then let’s get into it..

You’ll need:

  • scissors
  • comb
  • hair (quite important I’d say)
  • courage

Just a quick note, you can do this with wet or dry hair but I prefer to do it dry as that way I can see where it will truly sit as wet hair will definitely shrink up a bit once dried. Also I didn’t take any pics when I was actually cutting my fringe in (silly me, I know!) so I’ve just tried to do it with a small thin section so that you get the overall idea 😉

  1. First up, section how thick you want your fringe to be. Do you want it wispy, medium and choppy or blunt and thick? Decisions, Decisions! Try to get the section even on both sides and do this while your hair is parted where it naturally sits.
  2. Pull the excess hair out of the way and comb the fringe section down and forward onto the face.
  3. Time to get ballsy people! Comb through a section of hair (I like to start somewhere close to my temple) and hold the comb nearest to the length you would like. Remember it will bounce up a bit so start longer rather than going too short! Cut straight across using the comb as a guide. I like to aim for around top to middle of eyebrow for this part.
  4. Continue to cut all the way across the fringe using this same method, tidying up any stray long strands along the way. If you find the comb annoying then you can do it free-hand, I just feel it helps at the beginning to get it all even then I ditch the comb and go back in again.
  5. If you want your fringe blunt, then your done! But I like to go a step further and chop into mine a bit to soften the edges and give it a bit more of a feathered look. I simply hold the scissors upright and chop small little sections up into the ends only really going a few centimetres into the fringe. Keep snipping until its sitting the way you enjoy 🙂

You may want to give it a bit of a blow dry afterwards and I always find that after I wash my hair I have to go back in for a little re-trim as some new random long bits decide to join the party! Hopefully this helps my fellow fringe go-ers out there and maybe converts a few non-fringers to give it a go! It’s such a great way to soften the face and it really isn’t too hard to do yourself, you just have to have a clear image of what you like/want first before you get into hedging your new ‘do.

Happy snipping!

Love, Rachelle xx

Following on from my previous post about Ballroom makeup, it’s time to continue with Part 2 of mine and Rachel Macintosh’s collaboration; the Ballroom Hairstyle! This can be an ever frustrating topic and I’m hoping to shed a little light on the subject and hopefully help you on your merry way so that it’s not something that you dread but actually something you begin to enjoy 🙂 The main factors that contribute to a sleek and professional do are the products, the idea and the execution. All sounds easy peasy on paper but those of us that have attempted ballroom hair before know that this is a different story altogether in reality..

Let’s start with the tools as these are generally what you should (I hope) organise before you even try to start having a crack at that awesome hairstyle you saw on Pinterest the other day. Here’s a little list of the things I always make sure to have on hand:

  • Strong hold Hairspray (I love Schwarzkopf Silhouette.. the BEST!)
  • Hair Gel (optional)
  • Bristle brush or any other brush
  • Comb
  • Hair elastics
  • Hair nets/ bun nets
  • Hair pins (not bobby pins)
  • Hairdryer
  • Craft Glue (UHU is awesome if you can find it!)
  • Diamontes (optional)

I listed Hair Gel as optional as I’m not a massive fan of using it as it will make your hair look darker than it is. Great if you have black hair but if you are blonde or red like me then it will alter the colour of your hair and can sometimes make it appear quite dull. Also, I feel you can create the whole look by only using hairspray (which won’t change your hair colour) and can make it even more immoveable than if you were to use gel! The trick is in the hairdryer.. but we will get to that in a mo. Avoid bobby pins and try to buy hairpins that are ‘U’ shaped as these hold much better and can be hidden easier too. With the hair nets make sure to buy thin nets that have small holes so that your hair stays within the net and you have no escapees! Don’t go for big thick nets as these can sometimes look a little granny-esque and the whole reason for the net is to hold the hair together whilst still being invisible. Which brings me to my next point of making sure to buy nets that are closest to your hair colour, sounds obvious I know but you would be surprised!! Lastly, if you would like to take your hair to the next level then try stoning it! This may be a little tricky on your own so try to get some help if you can. Apply some craft glue directly to the hair and then start with the stones. A little trick I learnt when stoning is to get a pencil and place a bit of blue-tac on the end and then pick up the stones face side up. When washing the glue out, I’ve found that combing through hair lathered in conditioner works best. I simply shampoo and condition my hair as per normal and slide the bits of glue down the hair whilst the conditioner is still in 🙂 ahhh the things we have to do huh!?

When creating your hairstyle it’s best to have a few visual aids of what you would like to create. I like to either have a couple of inspo pictures on my phone or even just an idea of something in my mind so that I can go in with a battle plan. This way I can also revert back to what I’m actually trying to do when I lose my way (often). When choosing your hairstyle, try to think about what will suit your face, body, dress and any other factors that might come into play on the dance floor. For me, I know that Steve and I have a little bit of a height difference so I always opt for piling my hair on top of my head to give me height and length. Also I feel the higher styles elongate my neckline which is great for Ballroom but might not necessarily be the right option for Latin. Beyond that, I often look to my dress design as I feel it always gives me clues on what is and isn’t going to work with the chosen image. If I have a headpiece I like to work around that or if there is something strong like line detail on the dress then I try to relay this theme into my hair. These are just some things to bear in mind when you are deciding as sometimes what you like may not be the most flattering for you or for your partnership.

hair inspo
Little bit of inspo!

Once you are ready to start letting your creative side loose, it’s best to start by sectioning the hair off into smaller sections. This way you can work step-by-step through the hairstyle and perfect each part along the way. I always try to leave some hair out at the front, closer to my face and have a section which becomes the ponytail/bun. I find it best to tackle the bun and ponytail first because doing this sets up the grounds for what everything else will work around. Once the bun is done then styling the smaller sections at the front of the hair is the easy part! Try to always do this bit with hair that has no product in it by smoothing the hair into the way you wish it to go first and then hitting it with the hairspray, hairdryer combo. This way the hair should turn into what I like to call Lego hair and coupled with a few pins, won’t be going ANYWHERE! No matter how fast your head flicks are 😉

For a little more detail and a walk through of how I do Rachel’s hair into a basic, sleek low bun watch the video below!

I hope these few little tips have been helpful and the best advice I can give on this subject is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!! This is not something that you will be legendary at straight away (if you are then damn you! ha ha) and it’s something that you will have to do over and over again to learn the way your hair wants to go. I’ve been doing my own hair now for around 10 years and sometimes it still gets the better of me! But that doesn’t stop me from trying new things and playing around with different ideas! Oh and one last thing, always make sure your hair is relatively dirty as it will hold better and give your self plenty of time before hand to avoid the pre-comp stress. Happy Hair-styling 🙂

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my blog in the box listed waaaaay below. If your on a mobile keep scrolling to the very end and you will find it 🙂 Also go check out Rach’s YouTube channel by searching Rachel Macintosh for more Ballroom related content and many more funnies. Follow me on Instagram on @rachelle.plaass and follow Macca on @rachelmacintoshmua!

Braids are IN! They have been popping up all over my social media for a while now and they are a trend I quite enjoy. I like to rock a braid when my hair is on the dirtier side, when the weather is hot and sometimes – SHOCK HORROR! just because. Whilst learning the art of braiding is not what I would describe as ‘easy’, once mastered it’s a skill that you will have forever and it does come in very handy. Once you’ve practiced the basics 527 times then you should be well on the way to gaining a bit of a rhythm with your hands and soon you wont even have to think about what you are doing. Good old muscle memory! Bit like driving a manual car.. (I assume? Automatic gal over here).

I thought that today I would mention 3 different braided ideas, 2 that I do a lot and 1 that seems to be exceedingly popular on the inter-web. I will try my very, very best to explain what my fingers and hands are doing through this process but I suggest you maybe also try to watch a couple of YouTube videos before hand just to scrub up on the basic idea of what’s going on. The only words of wisdom I can give are; be patient, keep calm and keep your braid tight! This is not something you will be able to do straight away and it is a skill that needs to be learnt but if you already know how to plait hair then you are halfway there! If not, then what were you doing all those years of primary school if you weren’t plaiting other girls’ hair? Actually learning?!!

THE FRENCH BRAID WITH TUCKED TAIL

This is my most loved braid of choice. I haven’t yet learnt how to dutch braid so all my braids at the mo are of the French variety 🙂 I love this hairstyle because it’s a great option for getting dirty, unruly hair up and out of the way and has a lovely effect.

  1. Brush all of your hair back and away from your face
  2. Take a small section of hair from the front of your head (from your forehead to the crown) and separate from the rest of the hair
  3. Split this section into 3 smaller sections. If we are working from your left to your right, lets label each section A, B and C accordingly
  4. Take section C and pull it over B (so that it becomes the new middle section) and then take section A and pull it over C
  5. Now you have done a plait and set up your braid. This is where you will want to find a way of holding all 3 sections with one hand. For me, I start by holding with my left hand. I hold section C (left section) between my thumb and index finger, I push down section A (middle section) with the middle part of my index finger and hold section B (right section) between my index and middle finger
  6. I then use my right hand, using the thumb as a type of parting tool to pull a section horizontally from my face toward my crown. I then take this parted section and place between my index finger and middle finger to join section B
  7. Once joined, pull section A (middle) with your right hand to the right place section B over A and hold down with your index finger of your right hand and take hold of section C with your thumb and index finger
  8. Repeat the process done in step 6 using your left hand and join with the thumb and index finger of the right hand (section C)
  9. Repeat step 7 doing the same thing done on the right side. Pull the middle section to the left (B), Pull section C across B and push down with the middle of the index finger and hold A between the index and middle finger. Continue with this process until you make your way down the whole head and get to the nape of the neck
  10. Plait the remaining length of the hair to form a tail and secure with an elastic band
  11. You can either leave as is from here, but I like to fold the tail up and under and tuck into the braid and secure with some pins
  12. To tidy up any loose bit of hair I comb them through toward the braid and then secure into the braid with some pins. I then just give the whole thing a good spray with some hairspray

THE HALF FRENCH BRAID

This one’s for those days when you want a bit more of a relaxed look and you would like to leave some of your hair out and free-flowing like the beautiful goddess that you are! I recently did this hairstyle for a floor show and straightened the hair that was left out and the look came together really well. Straightening the hair is a nice way of taking this look to the next level if you are going out and want to look chic. Rather than repeating myself I will just refer to some of the steps above mentioned in the full braid.

  1. Follow steps 1-9 of the full braid above but only braid half the head
  2. Once you have done to about your ears, stop braiding and plait the remaining length of hair
  3. Secure the plait with an elastic band
  4. Pull a section of hair from the right and a section from the left across meeting at the elastic
  5. Secure these two sections with a small plastic elastic if possible and on the last loop of securing incorporate the plait too
  6. Finish with a bit of hairspray

THE PIGTAIL BRAIDS

This hairstyle is super popular on the net, thanks mostly to the Kardashians. It’s great if you are looking for an edgy yet girly look to your braids and can be used as a great base for a couple of different options that I mention below! Aahh, pigtails take me back to my childhood 🙂

  1. Part your hair down the centre of your head using a comb
  2. Secure one section loosely with a hair tie so that its out of the way
  3. Start braiding the first half of your hair once again using the technique mentioned in the full braid above. Taking hair from the part now rather than from the side like the full braid
  4. When you get closer to the ear make sure to pull tight on the sections of hair closest to the ear so that the braid isn’t loose and hanging straight down but follows the curve of your head
  5. Secure at the end of the braid with an elastic
  6. Proceed to do the same with the other half of hair and secure with an elastic

SLIGHT MODIFICATIONS:

  • to go for a bit of a Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games-esque hairstyle then grab both tails and pin across and around each other in a type of figure 8 along the nape of the neck
  • tuck the tails up into the braid the same as step 12 on the full braid

Hopefully with the warmer weather coming your will thank me for some of these up do ideas! Also, if you’re like me and tend to opt for a braid when your hair’s dirty then maybe try to smooth on some form of leave in conditioner before hand. I like to use Davroe Ends Repair Leave-In Treatment. This brand is 100% Aussie made, plant-based and vegan friendly.. plus the product smells gorgeous too! I have really noticed a change in my ends and when purchased on Salonstyle.com is only $10. Using a leave in treatment is a double win really because its able to work its magic whilst your hair is up and out of the way and it makes the hair slightly tacky and bendable which makes life so much easier while braiding (ain’t nobody want to braid slippery, just washed hair!)

Check out some more awesome products for your hair over at Salon Style!

Love, Rachelle x

 

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A good set of brows in my opinion, can really do wonders for the face. I like to think of them as the cherry on top of my daily makeup regime. In saying this though, I wasn’t always in this frame of mind. It actually took me roughly 20 years to even realise that my brows were an integral feature of my face. I went through those first 20 years completely oblivious and eyebrow-less (because I’m quite fair), which looking back at old photos now is pretty darn hilarious. It wasn’t until I learnt a bit more about competitive dance make-up and make-up in general that I started putting a little more care into my little friends. When I say putting a ‘little’ care into them that might be a slight understatement. At first, I went to TOWN on those bad boys. I got my brow pencil, sharpened it and didn’t know when or where to stop (photos of this stage, also hilarious). My brows back then are what some may say “large and in charge” and in short, I looked like I had been attacked by Mr. Squiggle. I had never plucked, waxed or given any time into grooming them before and this definitely showed when I decided to colour them in. It wasn’t until one trip to the UK in 2011 that I decided to bite the bullet and try threading.

I remember my friend had just gotten her brows threaded the day before I did and once I had seen how amazing hers looked I was SOLD! Tentative, but sold. I sat down at the brow stall and told the lady that I had never done anything to my brows before so I was nervous, trying to hint that I was a total rookie when it came to brow pain. It hurt a little bit and some tears were shed but not because I am a total wuss but just because that is a natural response when it comes to threading. I know this now after 5 years of crying my way through the ordeal. Wow, I am not selling this at all! Believe me the pain is not that bad and its very quick and efficient 🙂 Once she was done, she gave me the mirror and I was so shocked at how it had completely changed my face! My eyes looked more open and my face had some structure! I also remember the first time I did my make-up afterwards, marveling at the size of my eyelids! Hair free eyelids!! As an added bonus, I also started to receive compliments on my brows, which was something I was not really used to.. this threading stuff was a winner!

It was also around this time that I then started getting my brows tinted as well. If I didn’t get them professionally tinted then I would do a good old DIY job at home with some brow dye from Priceline. This was fine when I was blonde as I would get my brows coloured medium/dark brown to match my regrowth. This all changed though when I decided to go red. No longer did my brown brows look right with copper-y auburn hair. It made my hair look super fake and my brows stood out in a way that was not very Cara Delevigne-esque, After a little bit of playing around with different products and colours I finally found a concoction that I now use daily. Coincidentally, I already had a red eyeshadow in my makeup bag (Cranberry by MAC) which I mix with a little bit of brown eyeshadow and apply with an angle brush. Obviously my hair colour is quite unique and it was a little harder to find the right colour so that’s why I’m a big fan of mixing a couple of colours to come up with the perfect match. I also find using eyeshadows great because my hair colour is quite strong when its just been dyed and naturally fades so I can ramp up the colour and lighten it as I please from day to day.

Another product I use pretty much daily and have been for the last year or so is some form of eyebrow gel. I love Benefit’s gimme brow, but I’ve also used other products too that work just as well. At the moment I’m using Rimmel Brow this way Eyebrow gel and it’s a real treat for the eye..brows. This stuff sets and gives definition to the individual hairs in your brows, which is great if you are fair like me. Also, on those days that I just cant be bothered doing a full on eyebrow, I simply pop some of this stuff on and away I go! It’s a very natural look that takes less than 30 seconds to apply.

post thread
Post-threading on Snapchat! Follow me @rachellemp

So, if you haven’t tried threading before then I highly recommend it! There are brow stalls popping up everywhere these days, I see at least one at every Westfield I go to. It’s quick (only takes about 5 minutes), relatively cheap (around $20), and lasts for a good while (I only tend to get mine done every couple of months or so). All of the ladies that I have had are professional and don’t really need any advice on what you would like done as it seems they generally try to go with your face structure and work from there. I have sometimes asked if they can give me a high arch from which their response is “I will do my best”, haha meaning.. your face really isn’t helping me with that one. You simply sit down, pull your eyelids and forehead apart and they get to business!

One word of warning though, try to go there sans make-up around the brow area. Or if you are wearing make-up ask the lady if she will kindly remove it for you before she starts. The reason being that it’s easy for dirt and excess make-up to get clogged in the open pores which can then result in an unwanted breakout. I speak from experience here, I once got my brows done with a full face of make-up on and didn’t get it removed. I thought nothing of it and headed home and cleansed and toned as usual but the damage was already done. I woke the next morning to a rather large colony of pimples framing my new fabulous brows (62 to be precise, yes I counted). This is not ideal when you want to show off said fab brows but then feel like hiding them under a heavy fringe for a week until the pimples have racked off! So take heed ladies, cleanse and tone before and after! I have also read that witch hazel is great to apply afterwards to calm down sensitivity and close the pores and that anything too oily/creamy should be avoided for a couple of days.

Got any brow advice? Products you love? Hit up the comments below and share 🙂

I’m a big fan of curls. Curls get the girls, my boyfriend always likes to remind me. Not that I’m particularly interested in ‘getting’ the girls, but I am interested in liking my hairstyle. In reference to the girls though, I find that something I am asked ALL THE TIME is “how do you curl your hair like that?” to which I reply “my straightener”. Makes sense right?! Most people think I’m being my usual sarcastic self when in fact I’m being deadly serious. Following their look of disbelief I usually feel compelled to show people how I achieve my curls using random hand gestures mimicking a flat-iron and giving them a list of complicated instructions. Fail. So I thought, what the heck I’ll do a blog post on it! Mum, you can thank me later!

curls

Now, first off, if you are looking for beachy, wavy curls that almost every woman on the planet is rocking at the moment well this blog post aint for you. Sorry gals, but I’m a bit of a fan of the 50’s and I’m taking it back to the glamour days where pin curls ruled supreme. Think Marilyn Monroe. Sophia Loren, Liz Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. These women know what’s up on the sexy front.. none of this fake lips, fake ass, fake everything nonsense. Just pure class and feminine beauty. Back in the day, these women dedicated hours to their hair, pinning it up into curls every night before bed so they could wake up with glorious curly manes in the morning. Lucky for us modern ladies though, we now have the help of heated utensils which save us the man hours and also give us a super professional effect. My trusty styling sidekick is the GHD straightener. It always gives the perfect tight 50’s curl that I am after and makes the job super quick and easy. The best part being that I only curl my hair after I have washed and blow-dried it and the curls last for 5 days. YES, 5 DAMN DAYS! This suits me down to the ground because I’m really not one for dealing with my hair every day (not a morning person, remember?) It usually takes me around 20 minutes and bear in mind my hair is super thick and semi-long so for you it may be even quicker!

Oh, and I recommend you try this first with your straightener switched off, just so that you can learn how to maneuver your hands and what not without trying first off with a super hot iron and burning the eff out of your hair 🙂

  • First up I section my hair horizontally leaving out a thin section of hair and tie the rest out of the way
  • Then I grab a small section of hair (working from the hair closest to my face outwards) and clasp the straightener around it
  • Next I wrap the section of hair around the GHD, working in an under and over the top motion. I then rotate the GHD, whilst still clasping the hair in a 180 degree circle away from my face. It should end up that the ends of the hair are poking out of the GHD facing the mirror.
  • I then pull the GHD down the hair slowly all the way to the end

Check the quick little video below to see how I do it if my typing doesn’t make sense!

  • Wa-Lah! Perfect curl!
  • Repeat this same idea making sure to work in sections all the way up the head. You can make the separate sections as big or small as you like!
ghd-curling
Nearly Done!

When I get closer to the top of my head I start to pull the GHD up and outwards rather that in a downward motion, this just gives a little more volume to the curl closer to the root. Depending on whether you have a side, middle or no part will depend on how you choose to do the top. I have a fringe that I am growing out so I opt for a side part, because of this I section the fringe into 3 small sections and curl them exactly the same so that the curl goes up and over.

That’s it, you’re done! Ha ha.. I kid. You should now have a head full of ringlets Shirley Temple style. Now it’s time to brush out some of that craziness, I opt for a round bristle brush but any type of bristle-y brush will do. The bristles will keep the curl soft and fluffy whilst also helping them mold together. If it ends up being too ‘brushed’ for your liking flip your head over and shake your fingers through the ends to break them up a little. This will also give some SERIOUS volume! Don’t be put off if it’s still quite curly, if you keep brushing it you can brush out some of the curl and it will continue to drop as time goes on. On the other hand if you don’t want it to drop, hit it up with a decent amount of strong hairspray.. this is how I roll. That way the curls really have some lasting power 🙂

finished
Finito!

I hope this all makes sense, maybe soon when I get a little better at the whole video side of things I might make a tutorial where I curl my whole head so you all can see the wizardry! But for now this is what I’ve got.. if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!

 

 

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Going from platinum blonde to deep red 2 years ago was a bit of a biggie for me. I had been dyeing my hair blonde since the age of 14 and really didn’t know if returning to the ol’ roots would be a hit or a miss (my natural colour is strawberry blonde.) I had been toying with the idea in my mind for a while until one day whilst blow-drying my hair I noticed I had the beginnings of a very sexy bowl cut appearing from my fringe around the side of my head. Breakage… nice to meet you. I decided it was time to jump off the “fun” boat and head home.

A couple of years on and some very interesting shades of red later I feel I have finally found the concoction I’ve been looking for. Most of it boils down to my awesome colourist but I also have some at home upkeep so that my colour stays fresh and my hair healthy (well as healthy as possible bearing in mind I go through a large can of silhouette a month thanks to competing!)

de-lorenzo-shampoo
De Lorenzo colour care shampoo in Claret

First off, let me mention the one thing that as a red-head I could not live without. Ok, slight exaggeration but it’s bloody good alright! De Lorenzo nova fusion colour care shampoo in Claret has been an absolute life saver. I’ve tried a fair few different shades over the past 2 years changing bottles with my forever changing tones of red but can I just say they are all AMAZING. Anyone that has coloured hair prone to fading really ought to give these a go! They are all natural plant-based colours that are so vivid it’s like a trip to the hairdressers! I shampoo my hair with this bad guy every second wash and always shampoo twice as per the instructions. You can get this product from Hairhouse Warehouse and they have hair swatches with all the different colours available so you can match to your hair tone.

pureology-conditioner
Pureology Hydrate Condition Revitalisant

Another thing that I have been using of late is the Pureology Hydrate Condition Revitalisant. This stuff has really improved the quality and vibrancy of my hair. I tried so many things to replenish my dead and dull post blonde hair; masks, oils, serums and I just wish that I had found this sooner! The product is also plant-based and is quite high potency so you really only need a 5 cent piece and you’re good to go (believe me, my hair is thick and I only need that much.) Even better is that you only need to leave it on for 1-2 minutes.. #yessss! Because who else cringes every time they see “wait 15-20 minutes” on the back of hair products, what on earth do they expect us to do for that long in the shower? whip up some pancakes? The conditioner leaves a kind of minty fresh feeling which at first was a bit of a shock to be honest, but now I actually quite like it 🙂 I know some hair salons stock this brand, I get mine from a local hair supplies store but if you have trouble finding it have a look online!

goldwell-spray
Goldwell Color Live Conditioner

Last on the list and last in the method is Goldwell Inner Effect resoft and color live conditioner. I spray this onto my hair after its been towel dried and it acts as a sort of colour lock spray. I’ve been using it for the past year now and I have noticed that it helps prolong the fading of my red from one hair appointment to the next. Its nice and light and definitely doesn’t leave your hair feeling crunchy. I get this from my Hair salon but I know Price Attack stock Goldwell products too 🙂 edit: After doing a little research I sense this product may have been discontinued but check out the link for a website still stocking the product!

Go check out http://www.salonstyle.com.au for the hair products listed plus many more! If your intrigued, give these guys a try! (See what I did there..)