Messy ponytail hair tutorial

As priveleged people, we take a lot of things for granted. Everything from the roof over our heads to, well, the hair on our heads. As a follically blessed human myself I'm just as guilty as the next person when it comes to taking my hair for granted, and it makes me sad that I've only just realised exactly how much of a privelege it is to be able to comb the tangles out of my hair every morning. It sounds silly. Hair is's just that stuff that sprouts from our bodies. But just think for a minute about how much our mood drops if we're having a bad hair day, or if we can't quite make our eyeliner match on both sides. Now think of those people who have - or are still - bravely battling against cancer. A full head of hair or a flush of colour on the cheeks can make the world of difference to how they feel.

I'm a firm believer that when you look good, you feel good. Now I can't and won't speak for anyone suffering with cancer right now, but in my own every day struggles I've found that how you look on the outside really does affect how you feel on the inside. Can a curling wand cure cancer? Probably not, but it can give you that motivation to get up, get out and try again.

For today's post I've been given the opportunity by ghd and Look Good Feel Better to create a hair look that makes me feel confident, but more importantly (and hopefully) open your eyes to a cause that's very close to my heart. 

Studies show that 1 in 3 of us will be affected by cancer at some point in our life, and whilst we can't cure it ourselves first hand, we can do our part. Every week, Look Good Feel Better host workshops for women across the UK to help them combat the physical side effects of cancer. Just in time for Christmas, ghd have launched their limited edition Platinum pink stylers, with £10 of each sale going towards Look Good Feel Better.



Safety first ladies and gentlemen! With every style like this I like to make sure I use a good heat protectant to keep my locks in tip top condition. First I brush my hair through and then spray the ghd Heat Protext Spray all over my mane, and then I run my new ghd Platinum Pink Stylers through my hair to make sure there are no crazy kinks. Since we're going for a super voluminous pony today we want to add as much bounce as possible. To do this, grab a small section of hair and curl away from the face. Repeat all around, leave to cool and shake it out!





To create a super voluminous ponytail add volume and texture to the hair by spraying the Batiste XXL Volume Spray through the roots. Wait for the product to sink in and massage through to add a bit of oomph to the locks! Want more texture? Of course you do. Apply Batiste's XXL Plumping Powder (can you guess what this stuff does?!) through the crown and the roots and rub in. Then once your hair has doubled in size (literally!) grab your favourite hair band and tie your mane into a loose high ponytail (two wraps of a hair band should do).




Next, pull the front sections of your hair down to help frame the face - you don't have to do this, but it does make the look feel a little bit less formal. Next is probably the most important part of this entire tutorial, so brace yourselves. Split your ponytail in half horizontally and wrap the rest of the hair band around the bottom section to help lift the top part of your pony. This works best if you have an Invisibobble style hair band but you can do it with just about any hair band you have lying around. Pull both sections tight to add more volume.



Once you're happy with the position of your ponytail back brush the underneath of the top ponytail section to add more volume and bounce. Next, flip the top layer back down and smooth over any fly aways using the same back combing bruah (one of my favourites is the one on the right from Technic - and it's cheap as chips). I decided to re-curl a few sections of my ponytail with the ghd Platinum pink styler to give my hair more bounce and add definition to the ends. Pop a bit or hairspray through the hair if you curls have a tendancy to drop a little.



Now it's time to neaten up that pony of ours. To do that, take a small section of hair from the bottom of the ponytail, pull it tight and wrap it around the base of your pony to cover up the hairband. Fix it in place using a few bobby pins and voila! What hairband!? Next wrap your front parts of hair around the ghd Platinum pink styler and curl away from the face to frame that pretty little face of yours! Finish  by applying Goldwell's Split End Recovery to the ends of the hair and get rid of any pesky fly aways using the Mark Hill Perfecting Polish.

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* This post is in collaboration with Best Beauty Bloggers and GHD *

The big liquid lipstick review

I don't know whether I should be proud or ashamed of the amount of liquid lipsticks I own - especially considering the fact that the majority of them are all a remarkably similar shade of nude and/or pinky nude. And - let's face it - they're pretty much all matte as well. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit. 

But anyway. I've been hoarding these babies for a good few years now and - after realising I had accumulated over one hundred of them (gulp) - I thought it was about time I did a full in-depth review on my favourites. Where you can buy them, and what they're best for. Why I love them, and why you should too.

I mean, that kind of justifies that amount I have, right? I can totally put all of this spending down as research. Doing it for you guys, etc etc. And whilst I am mostly joking, I do like to think I know a good liquid lippie when I see one. It's not been easy (you know, painstakingly playing with lipstick all day and all that) but I've finally narrowed it down to the most notable. Wallets at the ready!




I received one of these in a Love Me Beauty box a few months ago but neglected to try it up until recently. Whilst a little more drying than some of my faves, these babies absolutely do not budge. The matte version comes in twenty four different shades but Cailyn also stock velvet, mousse and metallic varieties too. At £14.95 they're some of the more expensive liquid lippies in my collection, but I definitely recommend the investment if you're looking for an every day lip colour or something super specific.



The Ciate Liquid Velvets have to be some of my most favourite liquid lipsticks ever - and that's a pretty bold statement coming from the liquid lip obsessive that I am. At £17 each, they're some of the most expensive that I've come across, but in my opinion they are absolutely worth it. The finish is matte, but the product itself never dries down completely, so they're really comfortable on the lips. They come in thirteen different shades, including a really unique blue / grey shade. Definitely worth a go.



You guys know how much of a Freedom makeup fanatic I am, but one of the best products I've come across since discovering the brand is their Pro Melts that come in at just £3 a piece. The Pro Melts come in twenty eight different shades ranging from nudes to navy blues and are all super pigmented with a glossy finish. They last around 2-4 hours on the lips, but if you want something more matte and long-lasting try blotting the gloss with a tissue, reapplying, and blotting again.




A recent obsession of mine are the Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes. I'd never really heard much about the Balm's liquid lipsticks, but decided to give them a go after seeing some swatches online. At £13/50. they're not the cheapest you'll come across, but they're one of the more comfortable matte liquid lippies I've tried. There are currently twelve shades available - most of them airing on the nude or pink side of things. The colour range isn't amazing, but the product itself is one of the best.



Another recent drugstore favourite of mine are the Sleek Matte Mes - specifically the shade birthday suit. At £4.99 each they're super affordable but the quality is great. They have an almost creamy consistency that dries down matte in less than a minute, and whilst they're a teensy bit drying, a little bit of lip balm underneath solves that issue completely. The Matte Me liquid lipsticks come in twelve different shades and have a good mix of both natural and vampy colours. 



Unfortunately, as far as I know these babies aren't available in stores any more, but they're easily accessible online and - better yet - they usually cost you a couple of quid compared to the original £6.49 retail price. They come in around sixteen different shades (four of them matte) and last for around 6 - 8 hours on the lips, so super long lasting. The product takes a little while to dry down (so you might have to keep your gob open for a good minute or so) but once they dry they're nice and comfortable to wear.


I thought I couldn't love the NYX Liquid Suedes more than I already did, until they decided to add another twelve shades to the collection. The new shades are currently only available in the US (although click here for a sneaky way to get them in the UK..) but there are still twelve other amazing shades available now, including everything from a greyish blue to a super vibrant purple. They're matte but comfortable, insanely pigmented and take just a few seconds to dry down on the lips. By far my favourite liquid lipstick on the drugstore at just £6.50 each.



A surprising discovery for me was the MUA Velvet Lip Lacquers. At just £3 each they're incredibly pigmented, and come in twenty one shades including white (!) and pastel purple. The product is highly scented, which can be both a turn on or off for some people, but there's no scent once they dry down, which takes little to no time at all. Try not to layer these up as they can get a little crumbly if you over apply, but once you've mastered the application these budget buys are pretty great.



Another recent addition to the liquid lippy fam are the Milani Amore Matte Lip Creams, which come in a whopping twenty eight different shades. I've heard so much about these, so decided to give one a go and I'm absolutely obsessed. The formula is quick drying and completely matte, whilst still being really comfortable to wear. The colour is really pigmented and at £8 a piece here in the UK ($8.99 if you're in the US) they're a touch pricier than other drugstore brands, but the quality of the product itself is tip top.




The most affordable of the bunch is the I Heart Makeup Lip Lavas which are a dupe for Too Faced's Melted Liquid Lipsticks. For less than three quid the packaging is super cute, and the product inside is pretty great as well. The colour range is pretty limited with just five colours available, but they colours they do have are all amazing. Since the formulation is a gloss finish they're not the most long lasting lippies on the market, but they fade nicely and - since they  contain Vitamin E - they're nice and moisturising too.



The Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks recently made their away into my collection and - I have to admit - they are absolutely, 100% worth the hype. At £15 each they're not exactly the cheapest, but they come in thirty different shades so chances are you'll be able to find at least one perfect shade to invest in. They do exactly what they say on the tin, in that they last and last and last. You can pick up a deluxe sample on Love Me Beauty right now for just a fiver using the code 'cocochic50'.



Bagsy are a brand that I've heard very little about, but the general jist is that they're beauty products you can just chuck in your bag. Get it? I think the Bagsy Lip Velvets might have been my first ever liquid lipsticks, but because I'd never heard of the brand I wasn't in a rush to try them. Once I realised the potential of liquid lippies I dug these out and gave them a go and they're actually really, really good! They only come in four shades which isn't ideal, but the formulation is super matte and comfortable to wear.



The Colourpop Ultra Mattes were the reason I became so obsessed with liquid lipsticks, and since Colourpop now ship internationally I don't feel guilty about recommending them any more! There are around thirty eight shades in the Ultra Matte range, including everything from dark greys to emerald greens. They are a little drying compared to other matte liquid lipsticks, but a little bit of lip balm underneath solves that problem. They come in at just £4.50 each. Bargain.



Whilst these aren't quite as amazing as the Liquid Suedes, the NYX Lip Lingeries still hold a very firm place in my heart. If you're a nude lip obsessive like me, these definitely deserve a look in. They come in twelve not-so-different-bit-equally-amazing nude shades and dry down to a super matte finish. They're a little more sheer than the liquid suedes, but they're nicely pigmented and perfect for every day. And at just £6.50 each you could even pick up the entire collection without breaking the bank.

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Love Me Beauty Review - September

Last month I travelled up to London for a very exciting photoshoot with none other than Kat Von D (the brand, sadly not the lady herself) in celebration of their super exciting launch with Love Me Beauty. As you guys know, I'm a big LMB fanatic, so I was super honoured to find my face appear on the website when shopping for my favourite Kat Von D goodies earlier this month (be sure to check out my liquid lipstick hacks as well!). Now it might just be the excitement of my face featuring on the website, or maybe, just maybe it's the excitement of KVD coming to the UK, but you guys managed to crash the site on the day of the KVD launch. Good job. So now the craziness has settled, I thought I'd throw up my full review of this month's box (and trust me, it's a good'n) and give you guys time to pick up your favourite pieces. Don't forget to use the code 'cocochic50' for 50% off of your first Love Me Beauty box, taking a box full of Kat Von D down to just a fiver. I mean, you couldn't even buy one product for that - let alone five. Let's get onto the reviews, shall we?



During my shoot with Kat Von D I also wound up staying behind and helping out with a little skincare tutorial with Omorovicza - a brand I've been dying to try for a while now. I filmed a few short clips with Margaret - the co-founder of Omorovicza - who got me super excited about trying the products, and I was practically a convert by the end of the shoot. The Thermal Cleansing Balm is amazing at removing makeup, but my favourite product by far has to be the Deep Cleansing Mask. It left my skin not only feeling good, but also looking pretty great (if I do say so myself). I actually spent the rest of the afternoon out and about. 100% makeup free - something I hadn't done in a while.




I've been using Aromatherapy Associates products for years, so I was super excited to see their name pop up in this month's box! I mostly know AA for their bath oils (which by the way, are like crack for your bath - once you start, you'll never stop) but I have tried a few of their skincare products in the past - including their Renewing Rose serum which I loved. I'm still yet to try either of the products but I'll definitely be popping them in my travel bag the next time I go away. The Renewing Rose Cleanser is supposed to be amazing for radiance (um, yes please) and the Rose Skin Tonic is a great way of finishing your cleansing routine. Plus it smells good. Real good.



I'm a self-confessed liquid lipstick obsessive, so when I heard that Love Me Beauty were going to be stocking some of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks I nearly spontaneously combusted, since I've heard they're some of the best. Saying that, I can indeed confirm that they are seriously, seriously good. I have the shades Outlaw (a bright red) and Double Dare (a nudey-pink Kylie Jenner shade) and I'm already eyeing up a ton of other shades in the collection. This is going to get dangerous. I filmed a video all about my liquid lipstick hacks over on the product page, so be sure to check it (and my sweaty faced self) out.



Mini lipsticks give me all kinds of feelings. When I see miniature things I just want to collect them all (which is pretty much how I'm feeling about everything KVD right now), but I also feel a lot less wasteful stocking up on sample sizes. I don't know about you guys, but I don't think I've ever, ever, finished a full lipstick in my life. What can I say? I'm indecisive / a hoarder. The fact that these are smaller (a) give me hope that I may be able to finish a lipstick one day and (b) give me more space in my handbag for - you guessed it - more lipsticks. I now have three shades (Lolita, Magick and Bachelorette) so I think it's safe to say I'm a big fan of these babies too.


I know you've all been waiting for this one. I've been hearing so many great things about the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner that I was almost nervous to try it in case it didn't live up to the hype. But boy oh boy, did it live up to the hype. I've never been amazing at winged liner - in fact, I pretty much have to dedicate my entire morning to making sure my eyes are at least remotely even (sticky tape also works a treat). When I tried this liner in Trooper for the first time I managed to do both my eyes in just a few minutes. And they look pretty good (and even!) if I do say so myself. It's now a firm favourite in my makeup collection. I have three back ups already.


Thank you guys SO much for getting me into the final 10 for the #iamfreedom makeup awards! I honestly can't believe it. If you want to help me get into the final round (and make all my dreamz come tru) then it would mean the world to me if you voted for me (Steph) down below! You can vote three times, per day, per person, per device. Thank you to everyone that's gotten me this far!x

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Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation Review

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation Review

on end. Trust me, I wore the stuff on a humid day for almost fourteen hours, and it barely budged. And that's coming from an oily forehead-ed female. I'd cover my whole body in the stuff if I could.

I'm often very much stuck in my ways when it comes to foundation. For me, a base is one of those things that can either make or break your makeup look (I mean, it covers 90% of your face!) and so I'm often sceptical about trying new foundations - especially ones that claim to pretty much do it all.

However the other day I received a sample of the new Urban Decay All Nighter foundation prior to UK launch, and in the space of a week I've managed to fall head over heels in love. Seriously - this is the best foundation I've ever used. 

The foundation comes in 24 different shades and has a full coverage finish that covers just about anything, without being even remotely cakey. The finish on the skin is demi-matte
which requires minimal (if any) powder and lasts for hours


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Love Me Beauty - August Review


Last month you guys seemed to really love my review of the July Love Me Beauty box, so this month I decided to give you a run through of all the products available in this month's Happily Everlasting edit. As always, the products are all on point and there's not a single dud to be seen, which is what I love most about Love Me Beauty, but this month's box actually comes with a free £10 gift card for Vita Liberata as well. And if that wasn't enough, Kat Von D makeup is coming to the boutique on September 1st - before anywhere else in the UK. So if there was a time to subscribe, it's now.





Yes, this is a balm for your nipples - or at least, that's what it was originally made for. Now, despite the name, it's more commonly known as just a really, really great lip balm. It's 100% natrural and made of pure medical grade lanolin which is famous for it's moisturising benefits. I use this every single night before I go to bed (on my lips, not my nips) and it's an absolute must in my handbag whenever I'm travelling to and from London. 








Recently I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not getting any younger, and so I've started to take more of an interest in anti-ageing skincare. This month's LMB box came with a Cellular Repair Serum by Madara, and so naturally I've been slathering my self in the stuff. It's super light weight and sinks in almost instantly, so there's no sticky skin feeling.








As an avid brush cleaning procrastinator I'm always buying new brushes just so I don't have to clean my old ones (yeah, I know). But despite my ever-growing brush collection I've never actually tried Eco Tools, so when I saw this six piece starter pack I was pretty damn excited. I'm yet to use them properly but I have been brushing my face with them for the past hour. So. Soft.












Nuxe is a brand that I was actually introduced to through Love Me Beauty. I love just about everything I've tried from them so when I came across the shimmery Shower Oil (something I haven't yet tried from them) I was so pumped to give it a go. It smells amazing - just like everything else from Nuxe - and leaves a super subtle shimmer to you skin after showering. I love using it straight after an intense self-tanning sesh.






Vita Liberata are one of the newer brands that have made their way to the Love Me Beauty boutique, so I was really excited to see them in this months box. I've heard so many great things about their tan but I've always been apprehensive about shelling out incase I didn't like it, so I'm excited to give it a go! Plus, aren't these mini tanning mitts just the cutest things ever?


Use the code 'coco50' for 50% off your first Love Me Beauty box!

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