The Brazilian Blow Dry theory:
The Brazilian Blow Dry process:
The one used on my hair is ‘Nanokeratin System Hair Therapy Treatment‘.
The one used on my hair is ‘Nanokeratin System Hair Therapy Treatment‘.
Well it certainly seems like winter is well and truly here. Time to snuggle up in lovely warm clothes. But, let’s be honest, how glamourous and sexy does your winter wardrobe make you feel? Well worry not, I have the solution: The Cashmere Sale!
I was very lucky to recently be asked to model for this fabulous new business, so I have seen and worn these beautiful clothes and accessories and they are VERY special.
I knew I needed to spread the word, so I asked Emma Sharp, the founder, to answer a few questions for me.
Its all thanks to my brother really. He is a wonderfully gifted designer who sells under his own label ‘William Sharp‘ to Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason in the UK as well as various other stores around the world. I have watched his business grow over the years and then one day I suddenly had an idea for my own business. I approached my brother and asked him whether I could buy any remaining stock at the end of the season so that I could sell it at private events at a discounted price. Thankfully he thought it was a great idea and so The Cashmere Sale was launched!
I have always worked for national newspapers or magazines. For the last 10 years I have worked for the biggest publisher in the UK, working across magazines such as Marie Claire, Woman & Home and most recently Horse & Hound. I have always taken great pride in my career but once my husband and I moved out of London and started a family, I found it more and more difficult to give both my job and my family 100%. I could never get the balance right and a demanding job in London with a long commute meant that I barely got to see my son during the week. I had my 2nd child nearly a year ago and that’s when I decided to say a fond farewell to my career in London and officially launch The Cashmere Sale
I really want to get the right balance between work and home life, although I often wonder whether that’s possible! My business is fairly seasonal, so most events are arranged between September and February. I love getting to know my clients and really enjoy the intimacy of doing sales at people’s houses. Many woman arrive, a little stressed, clearly thinking about all the things going on at home, but as soon as they are handed a glass of wine and then glance over at the abundance of cashmere filling the room, they relax and really start to have fun. It’s all about shopping in a relaxed and comfortable environment and treating themselves to a little bit of luxury that makes them feel and look great.
My brother is so clever. He designs clothes and accessories for women from 18 to 80. In my opinion that’s why the William Sharp brand is so successful. The range of appeal is reflected in my customers who are wonderfully varied, but they all share one thing – an appreciation and passion for good quality, timeless cashmere! I really enjoy watching someone pull on a poncho or wrap a scarf around their neck. They suddenly start smiling and almost wriggle into the comfort of the cashmere. That’s when I know that they’ve found something they love.
I do corporate events and private events, but I will be exhibiting for the first time at the Wealden Times Mid Winter Fair at Bedgebury Pinetum from 21st – 23rd November which I’m really excited about as the setting looks amazing.
I absolutely love the cashmere ponchos. Wear them with skinny jeans and knee length boots for a super cool, super sexy look or with a pair of flats to be casual and stylish. The great thing is that you always look good! When I was heavily pregnant I wore my poncho every day when I commuted up to London. Despite feeling fat and very unattractive a lot of the time, I always walked with my shoulders back and my head held high because my fabulous grey poncho always made me feel better
I love the bright scarves with the subtle crystal design on them. They make a fantastic Christmas present for anyone as they are so ageless. However, I do think that we focus so much on everyone else at Christmas, that sometimes it’s important to treat ourselves too!
Well, Emma, I couldn’t agree more!
Ladies, you all deserve at least one item! GO SHOP! 🙂
(I am going to apologise now, about the awful photos of me, with no make-up on, looking truly shocking. Cannot believe I am going to share them, but hey, here goes.)
I am quite horrified by the fact that I turn 38yrs old in November, when in reality I don’t feel any different to how I felt when I was 25yrs old. One thing I have noticed however, is that since having my two babies (now a 2.5yr old crazy lady and a desperate to walk by himself 10mth old baby boy) I spend a great deal of time frowning. The fact that I have been massively sleep deprived for months is a large contributing factor (our son has only just started sleeping through the night) but also just the challenging day to day of trying to get little people to comply has resulted in much frowning. In fact, I think more frowning time than not frowning time.
I’ve been lucky in that I don’t have lines on my face yet, but I was getting frustrated by make-up collecting in the lines where I frown, giving the impression of wrinkles that I don’t even have yet. It was becoming more and more clear that the lines I have when frowning, would be a permanent feature if I didn’t relax a bit or get a little help.
So, Botox………..what’s it really all about? My friends and I have joked about needing it, but I decided maybe it wasn’t a joke anymore and I needed to look into it, so I booked myself a consultation at the Skin & Laser Clinic in Tunbridge Wells.
They are market leaders in facial aesthetics and anti-aging. I made sure my appointment was with the Clinical Director and Cosmetic Doctor, Dr Nina Sheffield, who I have dealt with before.
I read their website information about Botox, which I found really helpful, so have a read yourself. Still, there is nothing like sitting in front of a professional to get the information and reassurance you need.
I have to say I was a bit nervous as I’d been told if I was happy with what Nina said, I would be able to have the treatment straight after the consultation, as it only takes 10 minutes.
So, in I went. Nina is such a lovely warm and approachable lady, so had me at ease straight away. I showed her my frown, raising my eyebrows and smiling, for her to see the three typical Botox areas and she confirmed Botox would help in all three areas to prevent me giving myself wrinkles.
I have to say, my biggest concern was what it would be like afterwards. Being able to move my face and express myself in a cheeky way, is vital for Foxy Burlesque courses. How am I going to teach ladies to use their faces to express themselves and tease their audience, if I can’t show them how to do it?
Nina reassured me I would still be able to move my eyes and mouth and express myself properly in that way, but that no I wouldn’t be able to frown or raise my eyebrows anymore…. It was a concern, I have to say.
The really important thing that Nina explained to me was that I should think of wrinkles in the same way as a bruise. If a bruise was continually being knocked it doesn’t get a chance to go, just as skin which is regularly being creased in the same place, doesn’t get a chance to smooth out and in time the crease becomes permanent. By having the Botox you can no longer crease your face in those typical areas and so the skin has a chance to smooth out. Fantastic!! Can it really be that amazing….?
What really made me smile was when I asked Nina if she has Botox. Her answer was ‘of course’ and then explained that every one of their therapist has it too. In fact I would apparently be amazed by the number of woman and also men that have Botox, but for some reason it seems to be a secret thing that no-one talks about, but so many people are having.
Nina explained some very important aftercare points:
I had appointments with the hygienist and dentist straight after, so I knew having the treatment would have to be another day. Also it would give me time to have a good think before taking the plunge. So, before I left, I booked my treatment in for the following Monday.
The freakiest thing happened as I left; I got a message from a distant friend asking me if I’d ever had Botox or if my friends had, as she was thinking of having a consultation. Now I have never before discussed it seriously with anyone and at that point didn’t personally know anyone who has it, that I could have talked to myself, so this was beyond strange.
I filled her in on my consultation experience and she soon after booked her own, local to her.
So the big day arrived. In the week leading up to it, I had thought long and hard, but decided to just go for it. If I couldn’t express myself as much as I wanted or needed to after, it would wear off before long and I could then be more particular about areas I wanted done next time.
Before anything could be done Nina went through the aftercare with me again and I completed the necessary forms. I didn’t have any questions, so Nina got to work.
First she wiped the areas clean and took photos, then she used a white marker to mark the areas where she would be injecting. Some areas are more sensitive than others (round the eyes and between your eyebrows), so Nina gave me an ice pack to hold to the area right before injecting, to help make it more comfortable and to reduce the risk of bruising.
The needle used was tiny (30g) and each injection only lasted about 3-4 seconds.
I was a little alarmed to see in the mirror that each injection point now had what looked like a hive, so I had a bumpy forehead, but Nina explained it was perfectly normal and the liquid takes about 10-15mins to disperse.
For anyone reading this who may be concerned about my mention above about blood, don’t worry, it was only a tiny bit. I did ask Nina about it though and got the following advice for people:
And that was it! All done! It was just a case of waiting to see the results gradually take effect.
I have to say for a couple of days I did experience the very mild headache described in the Botox information on the Skin & Laser Clinic’s website, but that was it and it certainly wasn’t bad enough that I needed to take anything for it.
Otherwise, it was just the pleasure of seeing the change slowly taking effect. In all it took about four days and each morning I would wake up and look in the mirror and see the difference from the day before and have a little hop, skip and jump with joy!
Here is a picture of me post Botox and with some make-up on, I’m sure you are pleased to see! There are definitely less creases round my eyes and my forehead and between my eyebrows are noticeably smoother and more relaxed (well they are to me, anyway!).
Oh and for those of you who have read my semi-permanent make-up posts (I have had my eyebrows and lips done), I have no lipstick on in any of the pictures in this post.
IT’S AMAZING! I LOVE IT!
No I can’t frown or lift my eyebrows enough to crease my forehead and when I smile I don’t crease my eyes as much as I was doing, but yes I can still express myself very well and don’t feel my ‘burlesque face’ has in anyway been hindered (THANK GOODNESS!). I look happier and more serene. Just asked my hubby and he says I look more relaxed.
One massive completely unexpected bonus on top of the new non-frowning face, is my face IS relaxed and calm. It’s made me realise just how much tension and stress I was holding in my face before. It’s so nice and refreshing to not feel like that anymore. I just need some Botox in my shoulders, neck and back now and I’ll be completely chilled out!
I gave my friend my feedback and told her to go for it, so she went for her consultation and had her treatment there and then.
We know all the celebs have Botox and we all think they look great. We spend our time looking at pictures of them in magazines, wishing we looked as good as them, yet somehow, there is a stigma for us non-celebs…?
Once I started talking openly about Botox, I was amazed how many people then opened up, that they either have it, want it and/or know friends who have it. It seems everyone is having it! …….But no-one talks about it, until someone else does. It’s a bit like the commuter trains. No-one talks to each other, until they have a clear shared topic of conversation such as a massive delay.
My friend’s feedback on her Botox is much like mine. She is delighted with it and feels much more confident. BUT, she has only told her mother-in-law. Her hubby doesn’t even know, though she was delighted a day or two after treatment when he told her she looked younger.
I asked her why she hasn’t told anyone and she said much what I feel myself, ‘it’s nobody else’s business and people can be very judgemental’.
She is a Mummy of two, but she is also a very successful woman, who keeps herself fit and healthy and takes great pride in doing the best she can with what she was given. How is that a bad thing? Yet like her, I feel people will judge me and think I’m vain.
I actually feel a bit sick about posting this out for everyone to read, but I’m doing it as I hope it helps anyone who is thinking of having it, to just go for it and not care what anyone else thinks. If it makes you happy and you feel great and it’s not hurting anyone, how can it be a bad thing?
Go for it, it’s bloody wonderful! Also, if you are local, then I couldn’t recommend Nina at Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin & Laser Clinic more. She is wonderful, highly qualified and experienced and a truly lovely lady. They also offer many other treatments, so definitely worth looking into ladies.
*This is part 2. You may want to read part 1 first*
You have to wait the four weeks for the full colour to come out, so here is a ‘before stage two’ picture, with the anaesthetic cream taking affect and the lovely cling film in place. As you can see my lip line is nicely defined and I have the blush look I wanted, which is basically the liner colour blended into the lip colour. I have to say, I love it already. It’s very natural looking, but at the same time my lips are ready to go, without any effort at all. I’m really looking forward to getting the final result four weeks after stage 2.
So, back to cling film. I saw a few people find my stage 1 blog post from searching the web with questions about the cling film stage.
So, why cling film? I asked Helen, so I could report back and the cling film is put on the lips to starve the skin of air, so the anaesthetic cream and the pigment are drawn (sucked) in to the skin more.
First was the lip liner, which uses a smaller head on the tool. Here’s a picture of the tool itself and below is a picture of the tool in use.
A bigger head (below right) is then used when it comes to the ‘blush’ (blending the colour from the lip liner, into my natural lip colour). Helen kindly kept me nice and clean for the pictures, but if you do look at yourself in a mirror when you are mid procedure, you could panic. The good news is, it’s not blood all over your face, it’s the pigment. It’s quite a messy business, but easily wiped clean.
As you can see from the pictures, Helen works on one lip while the other has the anaesthetic cream and cling film on, and then she changes that around, to work on the other lip for a while, while the anaesthetic cream is again left to do it’s job. That alternating continues a few times throughout the procedure.
Helen was surprised too, but I actually nearly fell asleep for the second half of this stage. The anaesthetic had worked wonders and the buzzing of the tool was helping me drift off. I really had to fight it. I do also have to be honest and admit, I am massively sleep-deprived and could probably sleep standing up on hot coals right now.
One thing, I didn’t go into much in my stage 1 write up was the immediately after phase. Both times, once the anaesthetic had worn off, my lips were really uncomfortable. They felt like they are burning.
Here’s a picture and if you look you can see they are pretty angry looking. You can see a red line outside of my lips, which is nothing to do with the treated area, it’s just the product of being very sore. I actually popped into a shop and got some ibuprofen this time.
The great news is, this is very temporary and as with stage one, after two hours, I was aware of the pain easing off. A couple of hours later, I started applying Bepathan (nappy cream) as you need to keep the area moist and protected.
I had this stage 2 treatment late in the afternoon and, as you can see below left, by the next morning they were no longer looking angry. They look a bit odd, as the Bepathan is a creamy colour, but they look calmer. They were still a little sore and sensitive, but the painful bit really was just that first two hours each time.
I’m sure if celebrities have this done, they manage to hide away for a few days, but for me, there was no such option, so life as usual continued, I just felt rather self conscious about my very over the top lip colour. As I mentioned in my stage 1 write up, until the lips are healed and the scabs have gone, the colour is about 50% stronger, than the end result will be. It was very much a case of ‘here’s my lips and the rest of me is coming’.
I don’t know about you, but I have this ridiculous need to explain things. I could kick myself every time, but before I knew it, I was apologising for my strange looking lips, which to me seemed HUGE. Reality is, no-one probably even noticed, until I started prattling on about it.
Anyway, by Saturday (above right) you can see my lips were looking a little darker as the scabs had formed.
When Sunday came, the scabs were on the move and you can see here (below right), some have come away already. I did spend the day looking like this, so I would highly recommend anyone having this done, aim to have the treatment at a time that means days 4 and 5 will be days you can avoid seeing too many people. (When counting, day one is the day of the treatment)
You have to keep applying your aftercare cream, but as the scabs form, it’s more tricky to apply it carefully without disturbing the scabs, which you MUST NOT knock, pick, or wipe off, before they are ready to come off naturally, as it will affect the look of the end result.
The great news is, by Monday all but a tiny bit of scab had gone (below left), so I was much more able to take my 2.5yr old to nursery without feeling like a circus performer.
I really couldn’t recommend it enough. I love how they look already, so I’m excited to see what the final result will be in four weeks.
I will of course update you then, so keep a look out!
In the meantime, if you are reading this and you are in the UK (ideally the South) and you are planning to get some semi-permanent makeup done, I couldn’t recommend Helen at Evolution Skin Studios more.
She was filming the day after seeing me, so you might even see her on the TV sometime soon. Oh and just so you know, Helen is understandably a lover of semi-permanent make-up herself. In this stunning picture of her, the only make-up she has actually applied is mascara. She has semi-permanent eyebrows, eyeliner and lips.
Now, if that isn’t an advert for everyone to have it, then nothing is.
So, to summarise, my tips for you, if you have semi-permanent lip colour done are:
As I said, I’ll be back to show you pics in four weeks, so you can see the final result, but in the meantime, if you are local and fancy boosting your confidence, reminding yourself how sexy you are and having a lot of fun along the way, you need to get yourself booked into a Foxy Burlesque dance beginners course. For course dates click here. x
There was a Vintage Clothes Fete in Tunbridge Wells shopping centre a few days ago, so I headed over to take a look.
Timing wasn’t great though, I had a tired and therefore stroppy 2.5yr old and an 8mth old in a double buggy which surprise, surprise wouldn’t squeeze through between the stalls. If I’d tried it would have been carnage.
So, I left my long suffering friend with both our buggies and did a mad flit about, taking a few pictures and grabbing business cards, so I could look into the exhibitors afterwards.
I saw a beautiful wedding dress (above left), some fab accessories and jewellery and I was particularly pleased to see some framed Gil Elvgren prints as well (right).
It was lovely, but I had no time to browse. But, one of the fliers I picked up was for the shop….
They don’t have a website or any real web presence, only a Facebook page, which has nothing on it but contact details.
I was intrigued, so on a less challenging day, I hunted down their lovely little boutique, where I found lots of pretty things!
These red (made for burlesque) beauties, were not the only ones that caught my eye. There was a pair of lovely black patent heels too (right), again size 5, damn it.
Samantha Sung, was new to me, but I have since discovered online, anyone picking up this dress (left), was getting an unbelievable bargain at just £55.00. It most likely had an extra zero on the end when it was bought new.
I knew, I had to blog about this, so I had a chat with the lady in the shop.
I discovered that ‘So Very’ is, in fact, SO much more than just a beautiful boutique selling pre-loved clothes and accessories. It is actually, the genius idea of the wonderful local charity Hospice in the Weald.
It opened right in the centre of Tunbridge Wells in November last year, so only six months old, but doing fantastically well, selling the top end items donated, so they are always offering high class high street and above.
Ladies, if you are not local, it’s worth making the trip to see for yourself!
Shop ’til you drop, take home fabulous finds and know, to top it all off, every penny you spend, goes to an amazing charity, helping people and caring for them in their final days.
If you are lucky enough be the new owner of those glamourous, red, size 5 shoes, I’ll be expecting you in a Foxy Burlesque dance class very soon! Next course dates have just been confirmed, so book yourself in, here!
To say it has been an eventful week, would be a bit of an understatement.
It started with my first post on this blog and lots of great feedback from people, which was lovely and also reassuring!
So, sticking with the theme of never having time to do my make-up and needing quick solutions to allow me to leave the house looking ok and feeling good about myself, I decided to bite the bullet and have the semi-permanent make-up on my lips, that I have been promising myself for a long time.
Well, the big day was Wednesday!
I have to tell you at this point, that I have had semi-permanent make-up on my eyebrows for a long time and it’s BRILLIANT!
I’ve not used powder and brushes to deepen the colour and strengthen the line for a very long time. It’s enlightening!
So, off to see Helen Porter at Evolution Skin Studios in Canterbury. She is the only person I would allow perform such a treatment on me. I found out about her when I asked a specialist at a beauty show, who they would have do theirs. She said the only person she would let do hers was Helen. I think she was a little put out when I then asked for Helen’s details, but I’m very glad I did.
One shocking picture is above already, but I’m now going to put my pride aside and share with you some more really rather horrendous pictures of me, with no make-up on, so you can see step by step, how the procedure is carried out.
Before anything, the area has to be numbed (see above). A large amount of anaesthetic cream is applied to the lips, then cling film placed on top. I can’t even start to describe the look on my 2yr old daughter’s face when she saw me like this. It was priceless and extremely hard not to laugh the cling film off my lips!
Next, the colour has to be selected and mixed.
The bizarre part is the colour you start with is much stronger and in the healing process reduces by 50% to give you the desired colour. The final colour result is present at around 4 weeks after treatment.
After checking and tweaking the line slightly, the treatment got underway.
I opted to have a lip liner and ‘blush’ (colour blended in to the lips), rather than a full colour.
Well the skin is scratched, to break the surface and pigments are then implanted. Much like having a tattoo.
…and below is the immediately after shot! Good lord, I look like Pete Burns!
Helen kindly reassured me that the swelling would go down pretty quickly, thank goodness.
So, armed with my aftercare cream and rather swollen throbbing lips, I headed home.
I have to confess the journey was a nightmare and was not at all improved by the soreness I was experiencing. That said, by around 2hrs later the pain was starting to ease and the swelling had reduced significantly.
I decided to not mention a thing to my beginners and they were very polite and didn’t ask about my slightly different look to usual, but there was no hiding it from my intermediates, I had to tell them what I had done. Needless to say, they were very intrigued, which is the reaction I get the most when I talk about it. Hence telling all on here.
When I got home from dancing, I decided to apply some of the aftercare cream before bed.
Oh my goodness! ‘OUCH’ doesn’t even start to cover the pain I was then in. My lips felt like they were on fire, but there was no way of taking the cream off, so with eyes watering, nose running and ibuprofen taken, I went to bed, a little frightened about what I would look like in the morning.
Fortunately in the morning my lips felt fine, but there was no way I was putting that cream on again.
I called Helen and because I’d had a bad reaction to the cream, I moved over to using Bepanthan instead. No pain! Woohoo! Just looked a little freaky though. Scabbing lips are not pretty. Can’t believe I’m gonna add this picture, but here goes:
Yep, far from pretty!
BUT, I only looked like this until Saturday when all the scabs started coming away and by the end of the day, they were completely gone.
So, I still have to apply lots of cream, but my lips look normal again (below) but with the added bonus that they look as if I have put on the lip liner I took with me for colour matching.
In the next 4wks it will have reached it’s ultimate depth of colour. Very exciting! At that point, I go back and have the process repeated.
Well that’s all I can tell you about it for now. I shall of course let you all know how the next stage goes, but the good news is, so far, I am very happy with the results.
If you have any questions about my experience, don’t hesitate to contact me and if you decide to give it a go, good for you! I hope you will also be very happy with your always made-up, hassle free, beautiful lips! x
* To read part 2 (4 weeks on) click here