Little Lottie: 2014

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Christmas Look

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, can't believe it's already over. New Year next!

Our traditional family Christmas means my Auntie from London staying with us and my Nan coming over for the day, with lots of party games and champagne in the evening. I couldn't imagine not being around my family and friends at Christmas time and I always look forward to it, not to mention the time off work!

It was a usual pajama day this year involving wrapping up in new fluffy clothes and eating a lot of food, chocolate and drinking wine.

I dolled up a little bit for our evening celebrations, the look I went for was simple winged eyeliner and a dark lip with lashings of my favourite mascara.

I also couldn't wait to use my Remington Pearl curling wand which was a gift from my mum and I was very impressed with the results. I did the curls in different directions to make them look more natural. I love how the curls made my Ombre look.

The wand gets thinner towards the end so you can control what size you want the curls or how tight you want them. It also has temperature controls, I used mine on 180 rather than the max 210 to prevent as much damage. Brushing through the curls with my fingers and flipping my hair back and forth created a more messy look which I prefer.
I set with some Treseme Hairspray.

For my eyes I used Collection Extreme 24 hour Liner to do a simple wing to line the eyes and coats of my favourite mascara to finish. 

For the dark lip I used my current favourite lip combo, using Loreal Indefectible lip liner in 701 to line and fill, topped with No7 matte lip crayon in Rasberry Wine. The colour stayed all night even after many wines.

I finished off by clipping back sections into a half up-do.

Happy New Year!
From Little Lottie

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Winter Hair Care

From going abroad to 30 degree heat (read post here) to coming back to 4 degree winter air, then bleaching it for my Ombre look (read post here) my hair has definitely taken more of a beating than usual. The dry winter air is taking it's toll and frizz has arrived for the season.

I had to get out the big guns and take control of the situation, for the sake of my locks. First of all I had my dead ends taken off, after using bleach on my hair the splits became much more noticeable and a trim was WELL overdue.

My love of natural skincare has spread to my love of natural hair care and more big brands are cutting out perfumes, parabens and other chemicals that strip hair of it's natural oils. Herbal Essences have released their Naked range and Garnier have cut parabens out of their Ultimate Blends products. When an offer came on in Boots I couldn't resist trying Garnier's 'The Sleek Restorer' Ultimate Blends set and grabbed both shampoo and conditioner for £3. I have found this to be much less drying than my previous hair care routine and my hair is lapping up the moisture this time of year.

My staple hair oil has been Jojoba oil as it is light however coconut oil is much thicker and usually leaves my hair greasy but recently after a wash I have been applying small amount of coconut oil to damp hair all over my lengths and it has worked wonderfully. My hair is bouncier and looks shiny again, it has also helped keep frizz at bay during the day. It is easy to go over the top with the oils but a bit of dry shampoo hides those mishaps.

Dramatically reducing heat in my routine has been key this winter, although it may be hard it has allowed me to be creative with up-dos. I have also been curling my hair with no heat and love the look of it! I've ended up doing it every night throughout Christmas, read my post on heat free curls here.

Investing in the right hairbrush has never occurred to me before but by switching from plastic to wood you can lose less hair and the wood spreads moisture from your roots to your ends, helping hair grow and be extra shiny, even in winter.

Switching from cotton bedding to a silk pillowcase of head scarf can prevent dryness as well, not only do we roll around and tangle our hair at night but cotton is a material that naturally sucks moisture from our skin and hair, make the switch and see the difference.

There isn't as much need to wash hair in winter because we aren't as sweaty or greasy (nice) but whilst I have been washing I've only been applying shampoo to my roots and letting it wash over my lengths when rinsing, this means using less shampoo (money saver) and also doesn't strip oils from our oldest strands of hair! It's a no brainer.

Drinking plenty of fluids helps our bodies on the inside and out, I've been particularly enjoying big mugs of lemon green tea and almond milk hot chocolates. Mmm.
Be Merry Mug - Sainsbury's 

Christmas tree decs - Next

I hope my hair care tips can inspire you, they've made my locks very happy.    

Don't forget to follow for more Little Lottie 
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

My week at the Bay

The Alps from the Plane

My love for travelling has taken me to destinations like China, Turkey, Tunisia, Spain and Cyprus and my recent absence from the blogging world is because of my latest adventure to the less desirable holiday destination of Egypt.

Egypt has been getting a lot of stick in today's press but when it comes to November sun there aren't many locations to choose from. My mother was eager for a break from work and as a close knit family my sister and I just couldn't refuse the invite. After careful TripAdvisor research we choose Makadi Bay as a peaceful beach getaway paradise. 

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from Egypt, I know there are troubles all around the world and how can we live without taking risks so we booked a weeks stay at Fort Arabesque Hotel which I cannot fault, but more about that later.

Living down at the tip of the UK in Cornwall means a lot of travelling, just getting to the airport in London was a 6 hour drive. Don't get me wrong I love a good road trip but you can only take so much McDonald's and biscuits in the car. We stayed overnight at Holiday Inn to prepare for our early morning flight, I was already missing my other half who couldn't make it on this adventure, thank god for Facetime.    

Egypt isn't the shortest flight at 6 hours but I've had longer. I avoided coffee all morning to prevent my anxiety reaching a high but despite this suffered a wee anxiety attack on the plane. Dealing with my anxiety is do-able, however when you are enclosed in a small space, experiencing a lot of turbulence (thanks English weather) it becomes undo-able. 20 minutes later the embarrassment kicked in but we landed safely in Hurghada, Egypt at 4pm. The excitement of feeling the heat take over once the plane door opened was overwhelming and compared to the 6 degrees we left behind 26 was lush!
The pool bar at the hotel

The hotel was gorgeous and the Bay itself was a blue paradise in a midst of dusty dessert. My sister Hanna and I shared a room, we had our own front garden and huge walk in shower. 

Once we woke up feeling refreshed it was time to explore, I had a stack of pancakes smothered in chocolate sauce, which after all the insanity workouts I did in prep for the holiday I think I deserved. 
The hotel had many pools, one of which had its own bar peeking out of the water and seats under the surface. The private beach was our first stop and after hearing we were expecting 30 degrees later in the afternoon I couldn't wait to lounge about on the sunbed doing nothing. I bought the Divergent series of books to keep me occupied whilst lounging and I know I'm very late on the bandwagon but my pride and commitment to Hunger Games kept me away. However I could not tear my eyes away, there was always something going on and even though I had already watched the film it was really gripping!

One trip on the bucket list for us was to visit Luxor, home of Valley of the Kings. It was a long and bumpy 4 hour bus ride to the tombs with not much out the window but dessert and sand. One stop we made showed us the real Egypt and many children were homeless and begging the tourists for food, they rode on donkeys and carried goats, their only livelihood. It was upsetting to see but really makes you think about how much we really have and was a wake up call. 

Luxor itself was in the valleys of the blinding dessert heat, our guide was really knowledgeable and told us all about the kings and queens that were buried there. We ventured down the tombs which were carved meters into the rock through intricate passages, all done by hand with just a chisel and hammer. We weren't aloud to take photos as the heliographics may fade. We visited 3 king's tombs and they constantly amazed me, to think they did everything by hand made me think we have taken a step backwards and become lazy. The stories of the afterlife were carved in symbols reaching from the floor to the ceiling, the Egyptians believed if the King had been good they would pass judgement and their heart would be lighter than a feather meaning they could go to the afterlife. They traveled to the afterlife by a boat in the sky and had to fight many obstacles on the way, they certainly were creative! 

We also visited a temple created for a powerful Queen who ruled for 20 years with no war, longer than any man (hmm, has anything changed?) 
Boat Ride on the Nile
The crocodile at lunch

A beautiful boat ride up the river Nile opened my eyes to how tropical it looked, it was blue not murky and brown like I pictured it. We had lunch by the Nile but the restaurant had caged animals like wolves and foxes which was shocking to see. I asked our guide if Egyptians liked animals and cats, of course they were famed for worshiping cats and we definitely treat our cat at home like royalty. I wasn't all that surprised to hear that they don't respect them at all so my family and I fed the local cats our meat from lunch, call us soft but they needed it much more than us.
The huge Karnak temple
To finish off the day we drove to the Karnak Temple which was huge in scale and the Nile used to flow past the doors where the people would enter. The Egyptians go big or go home! There were statues of kings and their many wives and an offering table that the public would leave gifts on.

The days after were getting hotter and hotter, its hard to fathom that they have this heat all year round, it is a luxury to us but they struggle. One of the staff told us she was working at the hotel for a year but she is originally from Switzerland and missed the different seasons.

Our next trip to celebrate my mother's birthday was on a glass bottom boat, it was a small boat big enough for only 8 people, we went miles out to see all anticipating what we would see under the glass and after minutes of darkness the tropical red sea appeared below us, the water was so clear and coral caverns were what felt like centimeters below the glass. Lots of sting rays buried under the sand and tropical fish of multi colours swam around the boat without a care. The coral itself was very muted with the odd pop off pinks and purples.

We carried on out to sea stopping at the odd patch of coral until we reached a shallow area, my mother's partner is a keen diver and persuaded us to all go snorkeling to see the reefs but it only worked on me. I was very nervous as we were miles into the ocean but the water was so shallow and I was too curious. I put on my flippers and mask and not so gracefully fell into the water, my main worry was inhaling water through the mask so I bit down as hard a I could and started to swim.
So Graceful
The diver from the boat took me around the entire reef, we were instructed not to touch the fish or coral but he showed me plants that I could touch, they felt like rubber and sponges. Lots of fish were feeding off the coral not even noticing us, it was like a different planet with brain looking plants covering the seafloor. After getting very tired I swam back to the boat, my panicked mother and sister awaiting me.

It's amazing that we have explored outer-space more than our oceans and they are truly beautiful.
Though miles out at sea the water only reached my waist
Although I missed Nick tremendously my mother, sister and I have always stuck together like 3 musketeers, my adventures with them will always stick with me.  

So I'm back to reality, 5 degree weather and best of all CHRISTMAS!  

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Lottie tries: Bblonde Ombre

Lately I have had to urge to change my hair, except when that happens my mind resorts to the most extreme change out of curiosity. For what feels like forever I have been growing my hair after one of my 'urges' turned into a disaster, I went shoulder length and had blonde highlights. Gradually as my hair grew the blonde grew with it and when the Ombre craze hit I had convenient roots. About a month ago my hairdresser said the blonde had to go, the bleach in my hair was years old and doing alot of damage. 2 inches came off and ever since the condition of my hair has been the priority but the boring single tone of my hair made me miss the old look so I was thrilled when Jerome Russell got in contact.

Jerome Russell are a salon quality brand that have created a range targeted at lightning the hair drastically at home! The range called Bblonde was interesting to me because it came with powder bleach and cream peroxide which are mixed together to lighten the hair, I personally hadn't come across this in a home dye kit in the drugstore before and went straight for the Maximum Ombre Kit No1 to finally try out the look properly. 

After reading tons of great reviews about the golden tone the kit gave I couldn't wait to see the results. I will always be brunette at heart and didn't want to go too light which is why this kit is great because you can experiment and leave the dye in until you are happy with the colour.  

It is important to do the strand and skin test to know how long to leave the mix in before you have your desired colour and to ensure you aren't allergic.

On go the old clothes, I'm sporting my fabulous 'Barbie' t shirt throughout so please enjoy the romantic shots of Barbie and Ken.

To prepare for the strand test you don't need much of the mixture just a couple of teaspoons.

Mixing the powder and cream makes this familiar blue colour, don't be alarmed!

The brush provided is so useful and makes even coverage really easy, so no need to be concerned about patches! 

I coated a strand from the back of my hair, concentrating particularly on the ends although the blending lotion does a great job with the gradient look.
For the skin test a cotton bud is the tidiest way to apply the mixture. I ended up leaving the mixture on for an hour, checking the colour every 10 minutes then reapplying until I achieved the colour I wanted. The maximum time is 90 minutes.

I was so impressed by the results and could see a big difference from my natural colour. Time to do it all over!

Firstly applying the blending lotion to achieve the gradient, ombre look. This made application really smooth.

Mixing all the remaining powder and cream gave me a really generous amount and considering the length of my hair I didn't need to buy a second box. If after using the kit you wanted to go even lighter Jerome Russell sell the Powder Bleach and cream Peroxide on their own so you can literally go as light as you want! The price is super reasonable and available at Superdrug.

Using the brush to apply to my mid lengths was so simple, the most difficult thing I found was making sure I started from the same place all the way around my head. Most people use their jaw as a starting point for the Ombre affect but I started at the middle of my neck to make the ombre very gradual, applying from the bottom upwards also helps with the gradient look. Make sure to cover your glamorous old clothes with an old towel! Who said the actual process was pretty...
Once fully coated the dye starts to dry, I left the mixture on for around 50 minutes and chilled out with Netflix.

So here are the results! I'm so happy with the look and have no idea why I didn't do it sooner. After reading so many positive reviews about Jerome Russell I didn't worry about the Ombre looking orange or coming out in a block of blonde it is truly gradual and subtle.

The box was stocked with everything I could possibly need and was simple to follow. 

The kit promises to lighten hair by 8-9 shades and it certainly did!

Thank you to Jerome Russell for letting me review the gorgeous kit!
Browse the range here!

Little Lottie xo