Thursday, September 17, 2015

Product Review: Bumble and Bumble's Don't Blow It (H)air styler

If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't, why not?!! click here) then you would have seen a few pics featuring Bumble and Bumble's Don't Blow It (H)air Styler.  This is truly my holy grail hair product! The majority of the time, I don't blow dry my hair. Firstly, I don't really have the time or patience to blow dry it properly, and secondly, now that I have lightened my hair significantly, my hair is not in any shape to be subjected to heat on a regular basis. However, my hair, which is super fine, with a bit of a curl (in parts only), and prone to frizz, means that if I let it air dry, I invariably end up putting it into a pony so that it looks half way decent.

When visiting Mecca recently, the sales assistant was putting out Don't Blow It, and mentioned it to me saying that even though she had only been using it for a few days, she was calling it a miracle product. Sucked in by the sales pitch, I bought the little travel sized tube to give it a try. And you know what, it may have been a sales pitch, but she was right - this is a miracle cream, and I have since gone on to buy the full size!

So simple to use, you simply wash your hair, then a apply a dollop (I use about a 20c piece) through out your hair, including the roots, then let air dry. You can tousle or twirl to bring out more of a curl, you can brush through for a straighter finish, and you can layer with other products like surf spray for even more effects. If you head to B & B's site, they have a number of video tutes showing different effects.

The first pic shows it brushed through after applying for a straighter effect. It gives my hair that "cool French girl" kind of vibe - that textured, slightly dishevelled but still put together look! I simply washed my hair, towel dried, applied the styler throughout the hair, and combed through. Once dried, I combed through again, adding a touch of Kerastase Elixir The Imperial oil to the ends.

These two pics show the effect when I want to embrace my waves. The pic on the left was achieved by applying the Don't Blow It to towel dried hair, combing through, then giving my hair a good allover spray with Pureology's Sea Kissed texturiser, their salt-free version of a surf spray. A quick scrunch with my hands, then I left my hair to dry. Once dry, I gave my hair one more quick tousle with my fingers, especially in the root section, as otherwise I find you can see the product there, almost like you put hair gel in. Once tousled, it disappears completely.

The pic on the right takes a little bit of pre-planning, if you are like me and your hair takes forever to dry. I washed my hair at night instead, towel dried, applied styler throughout and then put my hair into four even plaits. When I got up the next morning, I simply undid the plaits, and gently broke up the hair with my fingers - do not brush! Again, a tiny bit of Kerastase oil on the ends. These curls come out looking so pretty, and lasted all day.

The best way to describe Don't Blow It is like a light leave in conditioner, with a touch of styling hold. It gives my hair just the right amount of weight to hold frizz at bay, without weighing down my hair at all.  Most important, it does not leave your hair feeling sticky or crunchy, my two big bug bears with leave in products.

The fragrance is fresh but very light - TBH once applied, my shampoo scent still takes over, so it is probably safe for even those who a fragrance sensitive.  I can't speak for how this would work on some one with thick hair, but for fine haired ladies like myself, this product is truly a godsend, and I highly recommend it!

 Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post - all products mentioned have been purchased by me.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pattern Review: McCalls 9424 Pioneer Costume

My favourite project in the last month has been making Irini a costume for Book Week. In Australia, Book Week is a week long celebration of all things to do with books, often culminating in a book week assembly and dress up day at school. Irini decided quite a while ago that she wanted to go as Laura from Little House on the Prairie, and I though this would be just the project to get me back in the swing of sewing. 


 After browsing many pioneer/colonial costumes, I decided on McCalls 9424, as it had good reviews, and it looked really cute. Being from Australia, I can't comment on it being historically accurate, but it certainly fit the idea I had in my head of a Laura Ingalls costume!

Of course, the best part of sewing is the fabric, and despite having shelves of unused fabric to choose from, I had to make a stop at Spotlight, where I came across this gorgeous lightweight printed cotton, and a linen look fabric that matched the peachy coloured flowers in the print perfectly! Finding these two fabrics, how could I not come home with them?

I made up the dress first, with three alterations. Firstly, this pattern is clearly made for giants, and this is my only real complaint about it. The patterns are dual sized, eg the size M which I used is for size 10-12, and they are obviously aiming the length at the upper end of that size spectrum. After cutting out the paper pattern, I realised I would need to shorten the pattern by at least 4 inches, and that meant that I didn't need as much fabric as I had purchased. In the end, I shortened the dress and sleeves a little bit more so that I would be left with a full yard of fabric leftover, which I will turn into a non-costume blouse for Irini at a later date.

My second alteration was to remove the button holes, since I am rubbish at doing button holes, and replacing them with sew in snaps, with some decorative (non functional) buttons sewn on top. For a costume, I think this was a perfect solution, as it still looked great, but makes it easy for Irini to put on and off.  Finally, I did not use any of the recommended interfacing (collar, placket, yoke), as honestly, I just couldn't be bothered. Regardless, it turned out fine!!

After making up the dress, I realised how pretty the front yoke detail is, especially with those cute little heart buttons, and decided it would be such a shame to cover it up with the pinafore included in the pattern. So instead, I just made a basic waist apron, with gathers over each hip, flat over the tummy, with four tucks and a hem ruffle as detail. 

Finally, the bonnet. I had assumed that this would be the trickiest part of the costume, and while it was a little bit more complicated, it was in no way difficult, and the instructions were very clear. I did add a tucked frill made from the apron fabric to the brim, and used the apron fabric for the ties. I really felt that this made the whole lot come together as an outfit. 

All in all, this is a great pattern for a gorgeous costume. I am sure we will repurpose this costume in the future, perhaps as Anne of Green Gables (without the apron and bonnet), definitely as Australian Colonial with a mob cap added, and maybe even as Little Bo Peep somehow!


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