Tuesday, 29 August 2017

5 curl defining products which actually work


I'm constantly asked "What hair products do you use?" and any curly will know that finding the 'perfect' products takes a lot of trial and error. Achieving defined curls in particular was something I used to struggle with and I've tried so many gels, creams and mousses in the past which don't work well for my hair at all that I thought I'd share what does.


All have pros and cons but these are the products which always deliver for my hair which is mostly closest to 3c in texture (see Naturally Curly chart). How I prep and care for my hair for definition is key and I've detailed my full process in post but the most essential part is having clean, wet hair first. I've found that gel-based stylers and creams are most effective for me and I don't tend to use any of these products together as I've found they work enough on their own to provide the kind of hold I'm looking for. The definition from each product usually lasts for a couple of days before it wears off and I can usually get away with spritzing my hair with a light moisturiser or water to revive the product between washes.


The Gels 
I currently rely on the  (£14.99/227g) most. It was originally gifted to me by the brand last year and I've been buying it on and off since as it's not always easy to get hold of and I've confused it with the As I Am Coil Defining Jelly so many times which performs entirely differently. The Curling Jelly is a gel-like liquid texture containing Aloe Vera, Beetroot extract and Vitamin E. You don't need a lot of it for definition as the hair can look a little crispy if you use too much. My hair needs to be well moisturised with a leave-in before applying but my curls always look beautifully defined with this. I just rake in small amounts in sections and let air dry.

I also love the (£9.50/340g)* which contains Aloe Vera, Sunflower Oil, Marshmallow Root and Coconut Oil. It's much thicker than the As I Am Curling Jelly but I can go heavier on application without the hair looking coated and the hold is natural-looking. I've found the Design Essentials Gelée works best with other Design Essentials products (posted here) as I've found it can go a bit flaky or leave a residue when I've used it with some of the other leave-ins I have - a good way of testing out whether products will work together in your hair is to rub a little of each of them together in your palms before applying.

One of my other favourite gel-like products is the (£10.99/326ml). It's the easiest product for me to get hold of as it's available from Superdrug or Boots, tends to be on special offer a lot and the product lasts me a long time too. You only really need a small amount for hold as too much can also make the hair sticky. Like the other products it contains Aloe Vera (I'm starting to sense a pattern) and I'm convinced the Agave Nectar inside (a humectant which provides hold) makes this product so good at giving my hair definition without drying it out.

The Creams 
I love to use creams too as I've found they provide a more hydrating, natural hold than gels in general. The two cream products I use most are the (£21.50/200ml)* and the (£24/250ml). The Aveda curl enhancer contains Aloe Vera and Marshmallow Root like the Design Essentials Gelée but the texture is quite runny - it feels and looks like a light conditioner. The Bb Curl Creme is much thicker and needs to be smoothed and worked into my low porosity hair for definition and it contains Babassu Seed Oil, Brazil Nut Seed Oil and Beeswax. Both also contain 'cones' which can build up on the hair if overused and not shampooed out thoroughly so I tend to apply small amounts of either of these products on wet hair after conditioning. I've found that I mostly use these when travelling as, unlike the gels, they don't require a leave-in to be applied beforehand. 


These are my favourite products to use but this is not an exhaustive list. I've always made a point of trying as much as I can to find what works best and with curly hair experimentation is key. If you're struggling with styling try the products you have in a different way or add something new. It definitely took me a while to figure out my hair so don't be discouraged if you haven't figured out yours yet.

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Style | Adidas Co-Ord


Adidas is one of my favourite sports brands currently and as comfy casual is always the order of the day this jersey two-piece was always going to make it into my wardrobe. It's Adidas without being in your face about it and the embellished eye motif with trefoil logo adds something different - or at least it seems different to the girl with 6 very similar looking logo tees.


I'm planning to see out the rest of the (mildly) warm weather in this pair. On chillier days I just add a denim jacket. The heatwave has cooled off so we're past shorts weather and it's been one of those months where you have sunglasses, an umbrella and a jacket on hand just in case - in other words it's been utterly unpredictable.

Co-ord - Adidas* via | Shoes - Vans via | Watch (custom)* -  






Photography - Mike Burchardt | 


*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Christine Stewart x

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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Style | Logo Tee & raw hem denim


I'm an explorer at heart but in lieu of a holiday abroad I've been roaming a lot around Manchester. Despite living here my whole life there's just so much I haven't seen and one thing I love about Manchester is there's such a clash of cultures and architecture that so many parts that feel like you're in a different country or era entirely. The backdrop for these photos is one of those spots and for roaming I keep it simple (as with most of what I do), so a tee and denim skirt was a natural fit.

Top - Lee* | Skirt - Topshop | Shoes - Converse | Watch - Timex* | Bag - Monki (old)







Photography - Mike Burchardt | 


*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 7 August 2017

Nudestix #BABEBOSS Faves Box


I've been obsessed with 's easy to apply makeup crayons since last year and they recently released the limited edition #BABEBOSS Faves Box (£59/$59)*. It contains a mix of 6 full size bold and nude lip pencils curated by Nudestix Co-Founders (and sisters) Ally and Taylor Frankel with 5 Nudestix 'Babebosses'. If you're a Nudestix fan or want to try the pencils at a slice of the usual RRP this kit has got you. 

As I've posted about a number of Nudestix makeup crayons already , here and here, I'm only loosely reviewing these shades in this post, focusing on swatches so you can get an idea of how these look on medium skin. 


The basics
1 13x10cm tin with a built in mirror, 6 lip pencils and 1 sharpener

The shades
Purity Intense Matte Lip + Cheek (soft matte nude) picked by Jalessa Moses @saythelees
Pulse Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm (glossy nude) picked by Samantha Ravndahl @ssssamanthaa
Sin Lip + Cheek Cream (buttery pink) picked by Ally & Taylor Frankel
Boho Magnetic Matte Lip Color (matte brown) picked by Lynette Cenée @lynettecenee
Burgundy Magnetic Matte Lip Color (matte red/purple) picked by Cydnee Black @cydbee
Stiletto Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Color (soft matte red) picked by Karen Yeung @iamkareno


Lip Swatches 



Shades top to bottom: Purity, Pulse, Sin, Boho, Burgundy and Stiletto 

Arm Swatches 

Shades left to right: Purity, Pulse, Sin, Boho, Burgundy and Stiletto 

The Tea

There's a real mix of shades and finishes including Magnetic Matte, Intense Matte, Gel Color and Cream so if you've not tried Nudestix before and love pink/red tones this is a great tin to start with. I love all of the finishes though I'd say the Intense Matte finish is the most versatile as it's long-wearing, feels moisturising and can be used as a blush too. Consequently the Intense Matte pencils are my favourite Nudestix lip pencils to wear and I've reviewed them more in depth . The Magnetic Matte finishes last a lot longer but are more on the dry side which you'll be able to tell from the swatches as I didn't apply any balm underneath the lip colour to give a true reflection of the finish. The gel color has more of a wet, glossy look whereas the cream lip + cheek pencils apply more like your standard buttery lipstick. All of shades are very pigmented and can be worn on medium skin, though I would say Boho can make me look a little washed out now that my skin has tanned a little. Most Nudestix lip pencils retail at £24/$24 each so at £59/$59 for 6 full size pencils this is one of only a couple of their kits which gives you the most bang for your buck.

It's a limited edition so you can get it whilst stocks last directly from if you're in the UK or  (the code 'FRESHLENGTHS10' gives you 10% off orders) and  if you're in the US.


*samples - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried Nudestix?

Christine Stewart x

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Style | ASOS AW17 Preview


In April global fashion retailer showcased their collection for the AW17 season in Fitzrovia, Manchester and whilst I'm always excited for new clothes I've been sitting on this preview post for a few months. I definitely wasn't ready to let go of Summer before it had even really begun but somehow we're already in August. So with Autumn right around the corner, expect a season with ruffles, florals, tartan and 80s tailoring firmly on the fashion menu.

I didn't document everything here as the ASOS AW17 collection is so huge I focused on the pieces I've got my eye on or may be popular pieces for this season. The vintage washed denim mini skirt will be the first item I'll be picking up when it's available as it's one of those all-rounders that'll work with a lot of what I have already. The gold caged bag, studded boots and green wide leg trousers with taped detail are also earmarked for my wardrobe and I'm in love with the the neutral colour palette of the menswear pieces.

Womenswear

Menswear

Shoes & Accessories


As you'd expect, a few AW17 pieces have already started dropping on the ASOS website but most will be available from September to December.


Christine Stewart x

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