My experience with Brazilian Blow Dry to relax very curly hair

Foxy Burlesque's Laura Lawton after Brazilian Blow DryI have naturally VERY curly hair!  So curly, in fact, that if it’s just left to be it’s natural curl, my hair would never grow past my shoulders as the curl just seems to get tighter and tighter.
Foxy Burlesque's Laura Lawton pre Brazilian Blow DryMy solution for a long time was to have it relaxed by having perming solution combed through it, which was fantastic the first time, but as the process was repeated to relax new hair coming through, the already relaxed hair would end up treated again.  Over time this resulted in hair that would just snap if I scrunched my hair in my hand.
I remember vividly the horror of being told my hair was in such bad condition I would need to have it short and grow out all the treated hair.
It took a very long time growing it again as it grows in such tight spirals, but I eventually got there, I think about 2.5yrs down the line, if I remember correctly, and it was at this point that I was told there was a new relaxing product I could try which would be much kinder to my hair.
…And so the cycle started all over again.  The good news was, it was much kinder to my hair, but it was still being re-treated all the time which meant I ended up with nicely relaxed hair at the roots and straight hair at the ends, which I would then spend my time trying to scrunch into some kind of curl to match the top.  It was a mess…
I then had my two babies and through pregnancy and post pregnancy I had huge amounts of hair loss, so my hair was actually a whole lot more manageable and it gave me plenty of time to grow out the treated hair once again.  Thankfully without the need of a drastic cut.
The last thing my then regular colourist in London said to me after my last relaxing treatment was, make this the last one, grow it out as long as you can bare it for and then no more relaxing.  I think you should try having a Brazilian Blow Dry on it instead…
So after my babies, I decided I needed to find a more local hair dresser who could do this ‘Brazilian Blow Dry’ or ‘Brazilian Blowout’ for me and I was recommended Yasmin Brockbank at RUSH in Tunbridge Wells and I have not looked back since.
I have now had this treatment done a few times and learnt a lot along the way, so I thought I’d share the findings in a hope that it would help anyone out there with really curly unmanageable hair, who wants to stay curly, but with manageable curls.

The Brazilian Blow Dry theory:

Foxy Burlesque Laura Lawton's hair before Brazilian Blow DryWhen hair is dry, frizzy and/or damaged the hair cuticals are raised like fish scales. The keratin used for a Brazilian Blow Dry goes into the gaps and works like a polyfiller which smooths out the scales and dramatically improves the condition of the hair so it is much easier to manage.  Many people don’t even need to use conditioners afterwards due to the huge improvement made.

The Brazilian Blow Dry process:

1) Foxy Burlesque's Laura Lawton Brazilian Blow Dry process just washedYour hair is washed with clarifying shampoo to remove all oils and product so it is properly clean
2) Your washed hair is brushed/combed through (I’d recommend brushing it through before washing it, as well, as this makes the brushing through after the wash a little easier)
Foxy Burlesque's Laura Lawton Brazilian Blow Dry after rough dry3) Hair is rough dried with a hair dryer
4) Next taking small sections of hair, the lotion is applied and combed through root to tip. The lotion is pure manmade keratin.

Brazilian Blow Dry manmade keratinThe one used on my hair is ‘Nanokeratin System Hair Therapy Treatment‘.

5) The lotion is then kept on the hair for 45mins to absorb into the hair cuticles

Brazilian Blow Dry keratin soaking into hair

6) Taking small sections at a time the hair is then blow dried straight using a medium round brush. This dries the lotion in to the hair. The steam at this point, which I think some people mistake for smoke, is just residue from the product. This steam from the product used on my hair doesn’t really smell of anything, though apparently some people don’t like it. Maybe different makes smell different. There are many different ones.
Brazilian Blow Dry blow drying keratin into hair7) Sections of the hair are then straightened.  Each section being straightened for up to 7 times to make sure it is as smooth as possible. This seals the product into the hair. Special straighteners have to be used at this point. They have titanium plates, not ceramic, so the heat stays in the plates.  They are also extra hot, getting up to 230 degrees and are used on the hottest setting.
Brazilian Blow Dry straightened hair8) At this point your hair salon experience is finished and you leave with silky dead straight hair, but the hair now has to stay straight, using no hair clips or bands and you must avoid any humidity and damp environments for the required period of time (3 days if you are wanting a straight hair result. 1 day if you are wanting a relaxed result, so hair is still curly but not as tight a curl as previously)
9) After the required time (see above) wash the hair and style as normal.

The result:

Brazilian Blow Dry resultSo, I washed my hair after a day and a half and I am so pleased with the result.  My hair is shiny and silky.  It feels and moves like hair should, whereas naturally my hair is so curly and dense, is just doesn’t move like hair.  It is now a much more manageable and more attractive curl.  Plus, when I want to create a vintage style for a Foxy Burlesque performance or shoot, it is much better to work with.
The reason why this works so well for relaxing curly hair, is it lasts for three months (depending on how often you wash your hair), so when you have the treatment redone, the entire length of your hair needs the treatment again, rather than just the roots.  So, no repeatedly treating the longer sections of your hair.
The other great news is, it doesn’t affect you having your hair coloured you just can’t have it coloured in the first week following the treatment.

A little bit about Yasmin Brockbank and RUSH:

RUSH Hairdressers Tunbridge Wells Yasmin BrockbankYasmin started out in an apprenticeship and has now been hair dressing for 7yrs and for the last 4yrs, she has been at RUSH. Yasmin trained with RUSH to do the Brazilian Blow Dry. They give 1 day salon training and then have refresh training and updates 3-4mthly. For RUSH this treatment is very popular and growing in popularity all the time. I was surprised to hear it even works for people with fine hair to help it feel thicker.
I think the thing that says it all is Yasmin has Brazilian Blow Drys herself! It always fill me with confidence when someone practices what they preach. For Yasmin it works really well reducing frizz, and it reduces her hair styling time from 1.5hrs to 45mins! That’s a selling point for any Mummy, surely! Basically, it’s brilliant!!
So if you are frustrated with crazy curls and/or frizzy hair I couldn’t recommend having a Brazilian Blow Dry more.  If you are also fortunate enough to be in the Tunbridge Wells area, you should definitely get yourself to RUSH to see Yasmin.
(RUSH pricing is £150-£200 depending on the length of your hair.)
Advertisements

The Cashmere Sale!

The Cashmere Sale Ponchos

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.

The Cashmere Sale PonchoHow did ‘The Cashmere Sale’ come about?

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!

Emma Sharp founder of The Cashmere SaleWhat is your background?

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

The Cashmere Sale TopsWhat are your aims for the business?

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.

The Cashmere Sale Top and Hat Laura LawtonWho are your customers?

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.

How can people get to see your products?

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.

The Cashmere Sale Pink ScarfSo what are your personal favourites?

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! 🙂

http://www.thecashmeresale.co.uk

Botox! Why the big secret?

(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.

Laura Lawton frowning before botoxFor years my Mum has said to me, ‘don’t frown, you’ll give yourself wrinkles’, but more recently ‘don’t frown, you ARE giving yourself wrinkles’ would have been more appropriate.

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.

Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin & Laser ClinicThey 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.

My Botox Consultation

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.

Laura Lawton smile lines round eyes, before BotoxSo, 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:

  1. You MUST keep your head up (so no lying down, looking down at a book or laptop etc…) for 4 hours after treatment.
  2. No vigorous exercise for 24hrs.
  3. No facials, exfoliation or massage to the areas treated.  Make-up application and gentle make-up removal would be fine, but nothing requiring more pressure for 10 days post treatment.

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.

My Botox experience:

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.

Laura Lawton Botox injection marksFirst 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.

Laura Lawton of Foxy Burlesque having Botox injectionOnce the needle was removed each time Nina wiped the area clean of any blood and the white dots, which were no longer needed.

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:

  • If you are on your period it will be more painful, so it’s worth avoiding that time if you have a low pain threshold.  Also at this time you bleed more and are therefore more likely to bruise.
  • If you are taking Aspirin, your blood will be thinner and again you will bleed more and are more likely to bruise.
  • Likewise if you are very nervous and your blood pressure is high.

Laura Lawton of FOxy Burlesque straight after BotoxOnce the final injection was done and the area wiped clean, Nina applied Arnica gel to soothe and calm the skin more quickly.

And that was it! All done! It was just a case of waiting to see the results gradually take effect.

My BOTOX results:

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.

Laura Lawton of Foxy Burlesque after BotoxOtherwise, 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.

My Botox conclusion:

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.

So, Botox…Why the big secret?

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.

My semi-permanent make-up experience! Part 2

*This is part 2. You may want to read part 1 first* 

Well, four weeks had passed since the first stage of my semi-permanent lips procedure, so last Thursday I headed back to Canterbury to see Helen for stage two.

Semi-permanent Lips stage 2 anaesthetic cream onYou 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.

Semi-permanent lips liner tool headAnyway, we chatted about the colour and agreed it looked really nice already, so it was decided to stick with the shade from stage 1, but to just intensify the colour by repeating the process.

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.

Semi-permanent lips liner tool head in useA 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.

Semi-permanent lips large tool head in useHelen 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.

Semi-permanent lips large tool head in use 2So, about 40 minutes later, Helen was finished and it just the healing process ahead of me.

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.

Semi-permanent lips immediately afterHere’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.

Semi-permanent lips day twoI’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’.

Semi-permanent lips day three

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.

Semi-permanent lips day three 2Here I am heading off to teach my Saturday morning Pump class, looking like I’m still wearing last night’s make-up.

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)

Semi-permanent lips day fourYou 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.

Semi-permanent lips day fiveThat last little bit was gone in no time and I am now the proud owner of very beautiful lips, with zero effort.

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.

Helen Porter of Evolution Skin StudiosShe 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:

  1. Eat and drink something substantial before your treatment, as you won’t want to for a while after.
  2. Give everyone special a kiss, as you won’t be able to kiss them for a few days.
  3. Have ibuprofen to hand, as you may want to take some.
  4. Arrange your treatment so days 4 and 5 are days when you can avoid seeing too many people as you will look ridiculous.
  5. Try out your aftercare cream before applying it to the treated area, as it’s not fun if you have a bad reaction.
  6. Smooth aftercare cream on, don’t dab or pat, as it pulls the scabs off.
  7. Do your research. Don’t see just anyone!

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

The little gem on your High Street!

Foxy Burlesque at Tunbridge Wells Vintage FeteTunbridge Wells Vintage Fete

The Vintage Clothes Fete

Foxy Burlesque at Tunbridge Wells Vintage Fete 2There 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.

My 8mth old son’s new party trick is sticking his arm out to grab anything close enough.  We would have had beautiful things flying everywhere. Gil Elvgren prints at Tunbridge Wells Vintage Fete

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….

‘So Very’

So Very Red ShoesThey 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!

There are times in life, when you really really wish you had size 5 feet, and this was one of them. Black patent shoes at So Very Tunbridge Wells

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.

Looking at the wonderful clothes, there were lots of recognisable high end high street labels (Karen Millen, Per Una), but also some names which were new to me. Samantha Sung at So Very Tunbridge Wells

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.

Inside So Very Tunbridge WellsThey have many branded charity shops, but decided to try something a little different with ‘So Very’. Aiming to draw in people who may not think to browse their usual branded shops.

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.

Inside So Very Tunbridge Wells 2The great news is they have a long term lease, so they will be there for the foreseeable future, for us all to enjoy.

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!

My semi-permanent make-up experience! Part 1

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!

It then progressed to Semi Permanent Make-up.

Foxy Burlesque Semi Permanent Make-up experience 1

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.

Foxy Burlesque Semi Permanent make-up 2 I had taken with me a lip liner to be matched.

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.

So with the colour selected, it was time for the lip line to be drawn in (below left). Foxy Burlesque Semi Permanent Make-up 3

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.

So, how is it done and how does it work?

Well the skin is scratched, to break the surface and pigments are then implanted.  Much like having a tattoo.

Helen had warned me it would be painful and yes there were parts which made me clench my teeth and take deep breaths, but in all, it was less painful than I had thought it would be.  Result! Foxy Burlesque Semi Permanent Make-up 4

So this is the before shot…Foxy Burlesque Semi Permanent Make-up 5

…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 hadn’t really thought my timing through terribly well, as I had dancing to teach in the evening.  Maidstone burlesque beginners, followed by intermediates doing the Small Fans course.

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.

Foxy Burlesque Semi Permanent Make-up 6When 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:

Foxy Burlesque Semi Permanent Make-up 7

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.

Foxy Burlesque Semi Permanent Make-up 8After that, the procedure is complete, so no more lip liner!  YEY!

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