HD Brows on fleek!

…it was time to correct myself before I wrecked myself.

Years of tweezing and waxing have seen my eyebrows take on all of the geometric shapes they could muster, from the ‘comma’ to the ‘flatline’, they’ve done it all! In September, I decided to let my eyebrows grow out where they have been waxed and plucked in the hopes of a new shape presenting itself by years end. By November, it had become too much and there were only so many two-inch hairs I could pull out by hand, it was time to correct myself before I wrecked myself.

I have always lusted after beautifully arched and perfectly lined eyebrows; eyebrows that are matched to the facial shape without looking like they’ve been glued on. I am fortunate in that my eyebrows are still very thick and grow rather long (in the places that they grow) however they have always been relatively short on the ends and bushy as hell. A car accident in my early twenties left me with eyebrow scarring which I have learned to fill (thank you Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade) and dotted hairs line my unibrow. I would love to have my eyebrows microbladed to shape but now that I cannot tattoo (for the moment), it was time to do the next best thing…

H:Room business card and High Definition Brows patch test

High Definition Brows

I must be honest, I usually pop down to the high street salon (American Nails) and have my brows done for a fiver, this is just a tidy up of growth. This time, I did a bit of a Google and found H:Room in Reading that specialises in HD Brows and this concept that is relatively new to me but well known to others.

High Definition (HD) Brows is a bespoke concept, specialising in tailor making your eyebrows for you. This is about using various tools and techniques to give you the brows you so desperately desire by working with what you have and enhancing it. The process involves tinting, measuring, waxing, threading and some trimming to get your eyebrows squeaky fleek.

I called into H:Room to see what it was all about, they advised me that having not had HD Brows done before, I would need to get a patch test from them and make an appointment in salon. Naturally, I sent hubby down to the salon to pick up my patch test, book my appointment and put down the £15 deposit that the salon required (as a new client). The overall cost for the HD Brows treatment at H:Room is £35 and the £20 balance was due on the day of the appointment.

It is important to note that yes, I did find other salons that do HD Brows for a slightly cheaper price (Ranging from £15 to £35) in and around Reading but I liked the look of H:Room and their various services on offer so I chose to pay the £35 and I am very happy that I did!

HD Brows Process

As soon as I arrived at H:Room, I was made to feel very welcome. I chose a nice, quiet morning for a treatment as I don’t even recall seeing another person in there. Lauren, my stylist, came over to me and ushered me through to her brow station.

We had a brief chat about the patch test and how I had no reaction on my arm after application a few days earlier. She looked at my face and listened to my monologue on arches and length and my Psoriasis and so on and so forth and then she got stuck right in. The process took about 35-40 minutes in total, I actually forgot to time it but I know I walked out of there at 10:40 and we got started just before 10am.

First, the brow tint was lathered over my brows (I wish I had actually taken a picture) and left for some time. I have very dark eyebrows so I wasn’t expecting much from the tint but Lauren assured me that despite that fact, the tint will darken any lighter hairs hiding underneath so it can make a difference (note, this tint does not stay on the skin). Next, she measured up my brows in line with my face and came at me with the scissors and trimmed my eyebrow curtains. We then moved onto waxing – which I absolutely abhor – and I was well impressed with how quickly my eyebrows were waxed and tidied after which the threading above and around my brow was done.

At this point, I had a look at my newly shaped brows in the mirror and absolutely loved what I saw, the arches that I longed for were clearly visible without being filled in and falsified. Lauren then went in with the HD Brows Pro Pencil (I am buying myself this pencil!) to fill in any gaps and elongate the brows on the ends leaving me with full, long, arched, fleeky eyebrows! Afterwards, she applied some balm to sooth the skin after all the poking and prodding and I was ready to put my glasses back on and see the final product.

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Before and After using the HD Brows treatment
Before and After my HD Brow treatment

HD Brow Result

While I know that HD Brows are not a permanent solution to a growing problem (literally, a growing one), it was a great way to get a decent shape to my brows so I once again have a new and fresh canvas to work with. I would recommend contacting your nearest HD Brows stylist as soon as possible and having them done, after all, your eyebrows are the focal point of your face.

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Before and After my HD Brow treatment

I will be back in 4-6 weeks (budget permitting) for a top up!

Have you had HD Brows done? What was your experience?

Shevy

Xx

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NO MAKE UP SELFIE

Special thanks to the H:Room in Reading for the great treatment.

I wanted to confirm that I have NOT been paid or compensated in any way for this review – This was paid for out of my own pocket and is an honest recommendation.

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10 November Netflix picks!

… I couldn’t help but feel like I was stuck in a Tenacious D music video…

November has been a particularly busy Netflix month for me, being home and in recovery means that a lot of time was spent laying in bed or assuming the position on the sofa in front of my favourite Netflix series or movie. It also saw me watching a lot more movies than I normally do (which is hardly any) so those have been included for you below.

October the 27th not only happened to be my birthday but also the day that the second series of award winning Stranger Things was released. The reason I am mentioning this is because Stranger Things is NOT in my Netflix picks list – Yes, you have scoured the internet and here she is, the only NON Stranger Things fan. Despite my ‘seriesaholic’ faux pas, I know that all is forgiven as I bring a whole load of other suggestions of what you can watch once you have finished binge watching ST or any other series and / or movies not mentioned below.

So here they are, starting with the most recently watched in this order taken straight from my viewing activity history:

1. She’s Gotta Have It – Season 1

This 10 part series is an easy binge watch and I raced through it over a period of two days or so, each episode only a little more than half an hour. Directed by Spike Lee, this is a new take on the 1986 movie by the same director of the same name. It has been modernised and revamped for a naughties audience yet still retains that 80’s charm. I found myself having to shoo the children out of the living room on more than one occasion when watching this, there is a reason for the age restriction of 18 as Nola Darling navigates the world of polyamorous pansexualism in the most honest way. I absolutely loved this series and the way it is presented to a modern audience, it is identifiable in all kinds of ways and will definitely leave you questioning your feminist views.

She's gotta have it Nola and Mars

2. Hacksaw Ridge – Movie

I really dislike war movies so when I came across this one in the recently added category, I was going to give it my usual skip. Then I remember seeing a tweet (I can’t remember by who, I am sorry!) suggesting to another user that they should watch this movie so I decided to give it a bash. It is safe to say that for 2 hours and 19 minutes, I was absolutely glued to the screen in what I would say is the best work Mel Gibson has ever done (on and off the screen). The story focuses on Doss who, with his blinding faith, enters into a WW2 war zone with all of the Spiderman strength Andrew Garfield can muster. There are so many elements to the movie including a complex father-son relationship, a beautiful love story and a crisis of Christianity that it makes up for how gory and realistic it is. It’s based on a true story, it is personal, it is excellent and if the end credits don’t bring a tear to your eye then I don’t know what will.

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3. The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones – Movie

If, like me, you are an absolute fantasy addict, this movie is a must see. I absolutely love and adore the books written by Cassandra Clare (Both the Mortal Instruments and Infernal devices series) and am currently making my way through the Dark Artifices series. The movie was released in 2013 and though steering very near to the book storyline, did not do so well at the box office. If you want to see Lena Headey play someone other than a Lannister and Lily Collins develop a complicated love triangle between a Lestat de Lioncourt lookalike and the nerdy neighbour next door mixed in with a little bit of demonic deviancy, this is the movie for you. The acting isn’t world class, the effects are behind the times and the ginger is unnatural but it will make a perfect date night movie because you don’t have to pay too much attention. Oh, did I mention Jonathan Rhys Meyers?

Poster of City of Bones actors

4. Horns – Movie

Where has this movie been all my life? It is so terrible it is brilliant! Again, you have found one of the only NON Harry Potter fans so the thought of seeing good old HP in a dark comedy like this was hardly appealing… and then I watched it! This movie is pure gold, from the awful special effects to the rather odd storyline and yet I couldn’t look away. It delves deep into the human psyche and the darkness laying dormant in all of us and I couldn’t help but feel like I was stuck in a Tenacious D music video. It is the story of a man fighting for his innocence and searching for the truth in a world that has gone mad, he also has a pretty badass snake collection as for as unrealistic looking snakes go. As the world confess their sins to a horned man, the man himself loses his identity; there is some heavy innuendo in this movie, but only if you’re looking for it.

Horns movie actor smoking cigarette

5. Once Upon a Time – Season 7 (Weekly release)

I must be honest with you: I am not even sure why I still watch this, I just do. I have watched OUAT from Season 1 and so I feel like if I stop watching now, I am missing out and yet when I watch it I question my taste in series. The reboot in Season 7 has taken the storyline on a whole other tangent that gets a little confusing and with two Hooks, one here and one not, it is difficult to see the same character played by the gorgeous Colin O’Donoghue as someone else. Confused yet? I usually am too at this point. I can’t say too much as we are 7 seasons in and you would need more than a few sentences to catch you up. The special effects have gotten a little better over the years and the acting isn’t as amateur as it once was but there is little change to the story and the characters are becoming so warped and out of sync with their fairy tale that the book no longer starts with ‘Once upon a time…’

once upon a time henry and cinderella on a motorcycle

6. Crazy ex-girlfriend –Season 3 (Weekly release)

Can we all just give a massive round of applause to the creators of this absolutely epic series? Rebecca Bunch has been dancing, prancing and singing all over our screens since 2015 and despite its stalker like undertones, the show has had a rather jovial and light-hearted feel up until now. Season 3 of CexG is going where not many TV shows or movies have gone before, delving into the deep darkness of mental illness and the importance of being diagnosed, not to mention the repercussions of being misdiagnosed. In this realistic portrayal of a woman battling her own demons and their attached stigma, the show hits the nail on the head in dealing with mental illness’ incurability. Rebecca Bunch is a W.I.P and I couldn’t identify more!

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7. Riverdale – Season 2 (Weekly release)

When did this series get so dark and when did Jughead get so badass? I remember when I started watching Season 1 of Riverdale and how excited I was that it was ‘based on the Archie comics’ (Please imagine in your mind, me using these parenthesis over my head in a sarcastic manner). The only thing that Riverdale has in common with the Archie comics is the character names; that is pretty much it. Instead, it has been perverted into a Halloween High School Musical and I feel that most of the characters lack depth and development. Perhaps I am not the intended demographic and those who recognise Cole Sprouse are better suited to an opinion on the series but that said, at least it tackles some important topics that are pertinent to the target audience such as date rape and peer pressure. It has all of the ingredients for a really good ‘series cake’ and instead we have been given dough balls. Make sense? No? Neither does Riverdale.

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8. Designated Survivor – Season 2 (Weekly release)

Surely I cannot be the only person that wants to nominate Kiefer Sutherland to take over from Donald Trump as US president? I mean, he does a fantastic job in this series and anyone else would be better at it, right? I was really hooked to this series from episode 1 and I feel like the first season followed a good storyline throughout the season; that said, Season 2 has more of a story per episode feel. Despite Mr President’s unwavering acting performance and aside from a small handful of regular cast members, the show can be a bit wishy-washy; it is easy to mentally switch off and play Pocket Camp with Maggie Q running around in the background constantly looking for an unobtainable target. It can’t be that bad though, I am still watching it.

designated survivor cover

9. Dynasty – Season 1 (Weekly release)

If you want to constantly feel jealous and envious of another person’s wealth, this is the show for you. Dynasty follows the Carrington family in a soap opera like offering with all of the trimmings, money, fame, sex and scandal. There is jealousy, trashiness and bitchiness at every turn, from the boys and girls alike and every episode comes with some major revelation to keep you wanting more. Despite this not being my usual cup of tea, I am thoroughly enjoying waiting for someone to get demon possessed. To be honest, this remake of the 80’s classic could probably pull it off with the brilliant acting these characters offer. Yay for trash TV!

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10. Fallen – Movie

Based on the book of the same name written by Lauren Kate, this 2016 movie was a great one to watch with my 11-year-old daughter as I tried to convince her to read the book series. It follows Luce and her otherworldly love triangle with Daniel and Cam as it spans the test of time since the fall of the angels. It is the young adult (YA) version of the battle between good and evil influenced by an inexplicable love story. Yes, the movie is aimed at a more teenage audience who appreciate the good looks of the actors over their acting abilities but it is a somewhat decent portrayal of the book (which I loved) and offers easy watching. Say what you want about my taste in weird; fantasy; YA type movies, I liked it.

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I have stopped the list at 10 but I can assure you there were many more, I found myself watching Merlin (I am now on Season 3), Scorpion (all seasons), The Sinner (which I did a separate review on as I absolutely loved it!) and the Good Place (this one deserves it’s own review), all of which have kept me pleasantly entertained for the month of November.

What did you watch on Netflix recently? Give me your top picks and opinions and maybe I will watch that next.

Shevy

Xx

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Battle of the face masks – Part 4, bonus lip mask review & verdict.

In case you missed it, head on over to Battle of the face masks – Part 3  where I look at the second Lush Jelly mask and a 7th Heaven peel off mask.

L’OREAL 

Pure Clay Detox Mask

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I may not have expressed it enough in the Battle of the Face Masks – Part 2 but I was actually very impressed with the L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay multi-masking play kit and I really wanted to try out the clay masks one at a time, purely because I wanted to have a fully black face mask. I also have a little obsession with clay masks and how they dry out so this Detox mask was a winner for me and with up to 10 applications inside this 50ml jar, I will get many more uses out of it.

Like with the play kit, this is a thick and creamy product. I applied this to my face by hand but if you are not a fan of getting your fingers dirty, I would recommend using a brush (A foundation brush will do). It smooths out evenly on the face and need not be thick at all for desired results, be sure to cover your face in full for an all over cleansing experience.

After only 5-10 minutes, this mask is dry. Literally, from jar to face and the mask is already drying out which is great, it does exactly what it says it will do. In that time, the quality ingredients go to work on your skin, Kaolin -a natural clay- starts work on absorbing any impurities on the skin as well as any excess sebum; Montmorillonite -mineral rich clay- begins eliminating the imperfections and Ghassoul -pure clay- clarifies the complexion. Together with charcoal, the 3 clays draw out impurities, detox the skin and really get into your pores to focus on the nasties. This mask is particularly well suited for blackhead prone skin (ie. Me) – I get very noticeable blackheads in my large pores across my nose, it is a wonder to me how this mask (after drying) illuminates those pores and targets the impurities inside.

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Don’t be fooled by the darker patches after drying, these are not wet spots that haven’t yet dried (Unless you have applied the mask too thick). Instead, this is as a result of the different oils on your skin reacting with the mask – the darker areas indicate your oilier areas, particularly in and around the T zone but anywhere on the face depending on your skin.

I absolutely love this mask. After use, my skin really felt clean and look cleaned too. My nose, despite looking horrifying beneath the dried out clay mask, was surprisingly clean once I had washed the mask off and any visible blackheads I had before I started were long gone. I was left with an allover firm, clarified feel and that is after just one use. The packaging recommends 2-3 times a week using this mask and after a week, the skin will be fresher and more luminous. As a clay mask, this one takes the cake. It is an unrivalled, excellent product and well worth its value, I would recommend going out to buy one immediately if you have the £8 to spare.

  • Price – £7.99
  • Where to buy – Boots / Superdrug (Various)
  • Mask duration – 5-10 minutes
  • Claims – Purer, clearer skin (after immediate use)
  • Mess – A medium messy, dries quickly.
  • Easy to use – Simple application but just in case, instructions on the packaging.
  • Smell – Smells really nice, you can smell the clay and charcoal
  • After use feel – Firm, clean and tight.
  • Number of uses –10 applications
  • Shevy score out of 10 – 9/10

7th Heaven

Dead Sea Sheet masque

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I was hoping that like the 7th Heaven mask I reviewed in Part 3, this Dead Sea sheet mask would not disappoint, sadly I was mistaken. In fact, I would like to start off by saying that I don’t recommend this, which I wouldn’t normally do, here is why.

Coming out of the packaging, the tissue mask is folded which, when undone, is not as fluid filled as other tissue masks I have used, an early indication of an ineffective mask as there isn’t enough product in the tissue to work on the skin. When unfolded, it is quite clear to see that the face mask is huge and doesn’t have any slits allowing for overlap and a better fit. I had only had it on a few minutes but it fell off multiple times and my early annoyance was not going to see me getting scissors to cut it down.

The packaging shows a mask that fits to the face shape with blue waves across it, the mask that came in the package was a plain white sheet mask that does not fit at all. The packaging also makes mention of its calming and cleansing properties thanks to the chopped seaweed, dead sea salt and red algae. Sadly, I was left with unpleasant smelling skin and a tingling underneath my eyes and around my mouth that I was a bit concerned about… after a few minutes, I actually washed my face to make sure I had removed all of the product.

I firmly believe that there are much better tissue masks out there (Including one of my favourites mentioned in the Battle of the masks – Part 1) and a baby wet wipe would better do the job than this one. This is the harsh truth. Not recommended, not at all.

  • Price – £1.08
  • Where to buy – eBay / Boots / Superdrug
  • Mask duration – 5 minutes
  • Claims – Smooth, Hydrated Skin.
  • Mess – None.
  • Easy to use – Very easy to use, not easy to keep it on.
  • Smell – I am sorry to say but it smells like a toilet cleaner.
  • After use feel – Tingling, no visible change.
  • Number of uses –1 application
  • Shevy score out of 10 – 1/10

Bonus REVIEW – PIL’ATEN

Pink Collagen Crystal Lip Mask Membrane

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If you are a fan of keeping your mouth closed or looking silly, this one is for you. I may even use this on my children, as, you know, a treat. 20-30 minutes (Where possible) of silence and breathing solely through your nose in order to have moisturised, plumper looking lips is the name of the game.

I originally saw this on one of my favourite YouTubers Snapchat accounts when she received it and tested it out. Then, a few Instagram stories ago, Grace Davies (Of X-Factor fame) had also been relegated to the no talk zone. I was uber curious and ordered myself one off eBay at the bargain price of £0.99 with free shipping.

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand a damn thing on the packaging but after a brief internet search, I discovered that this collagen and strawberry infused lip mask was designed to soothe the lips (You can smell the aloe vera from across the street) and moisturise, some reports even mentioned plumper lips thanks to its collagen base. Pil’aten’s own website claim that this mask is perfect for tired and cracked lips, the strawberry gel and collagen working together to restore moisture.

So did it work? Well, I managed to keep it on my lips for about 15 minutes after which I felt like it had started drying out and wouldn’t stick to my mouth and lips anymore. While I should have taken my piercings out for better application, I can honestly say that my labret ring was a little tighter on my bottom lip – Did I just give myself 99p lip fillers? My lips felt a little tingly but no more moisturised than they were before I started. A fun little mask and great for a pamper day in with your friends, don’t forget the cucumber.

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VERDICT

I have spent a few weeks and a few £££’s trying out some of the most accessible face masks out there and I started with a favourite which is yet to be out done, the Garnier Tissue mask. As far as the other masks go, based on my views I think it is fair to say that the L’Oreal Clay Mask is a pretty close second with all other masks falling behind. I didn’t think it could get worse after the Lush Jelly Masks, obviously I am not a fan, then the 7th heaven dead sea sheet masque popped in and took bottom spot.

Ultimately, the age old saying rings true when it comes to face masks. You get what you pay for. Tried and tested beauty brands may get lambasted for the prices of some of their products and yet when you can buy them, they do exactly what they say they will do. Ultimately, it is all down to personal preference and what works for some, may not work for others.

That said, buy the lip mask. After all, you’ll have enviable Instagram photos.

Until next time

Shevy xx

Tried and Tested – Gioventù Liquid Coconut Oil

Gioventù Cosmetics have been able to tap into the core of natural skincare and in their short time on the market, have given us the essential products for all of our beauty regime requirements.

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. This post contains affiliate links*

It is no secret that coconut oil has been likened to the universal remote of the beauty world; a one product fixes all solution. People living in a coconut-laden climate have been reaping the benefits for centuries, having only recently relinquished their secrets to the modern beauty world. Gioventù Cosmetics have been able to tap into the core of natural skincare and in their short time on the market, have given us the essential products for all of our beauty regime requirements. One of which I have been fortunate enough to receive and test, the Liquid Coconut Oil, my new go-to product on my dressing table.

Coconut Oil is essential for a myriad of beauty and skincare uses, those include but are not limited to:

  • Delaying the effects of premature aging
  • Moisturizer
  • Wrinkle reduction
  • Hydration
  • Softening
  • Antimicrobial properties
  • Hair growth, health and shine

As a Psoriasis sufferer, my main interest in this product was the effect of the oil on the plaques and dry cells that build up on my skin. I can safely and confidently say that I was not disappointed, not in the slightest. I have tried various coconut-based products in the past as moisturizer and a common complaint I have is the smell – I just do not enjoy the lingering aroma left behind after coconut oil application. With this liquid coconut oil from Gioventù, those smelly concerns are behind me. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the oil itself didn’t have a smell at all and so of course, I proceeded to rub the coconut oil into my skin, from hair to toe. The oil is not thick and ‘gloopy’, it is thin and liquid and spread onto my skin well, it was absorbed almost instantaneously and I was excited to discover that a little bit of oil goes a very long way. I applied the product twice a day, morning and evening, over my psoriasis patches and the scaly build up was non-existent after only a few days of application. My skin remains hydrated, non-itchy and completely odour free.

Gone are the days of quality, cruelty free products costing the proverbial arm and leg, Gioventù Cosmetics Liquid Coconut Oil is 100% organic and free from artificial additives or preservatives. This product comes in two convenient sizes with an almost unbelievable price tag:

Liquid Organic Coconut Oil 15ml – £2.99

Liquid Organic Coconut Oil 100ml – £7.99

For 10% off your first order, use coupon code ‘gio10’ at the checkout!

(Click on the links above to shop for your own Liquid Coconut Oil)

Gioventù Cosmetics, the masterminds behind this power product, are a UK founded company that have been in the business since 2016. Their goal was to create a cosmetics and natural skin care range that was honest, nourishing and responsible. Where possible, Gioventù source organic and fair-trade ingredients for all of their products that are assuredly cruelty free. As someone with incredibly sensitive skin, the fact that they do not use any additives or harsh chemicals means I can use this product with confidence. This is definitely a brand that I am happy and confident to get behind.

Other than the liquid coconut oil that I have been lucky enough to test, they also specialise in Vitamin E and Moroccan Argan oil products – You can view more about these skincare options on the Gioventù Cosmetics website. If you have the time, mosey on over to their site as they also have an extremely informative Skin Care Advice page which addresses some common skincare issues and combative measures to assist you with your day to day beauty regime. You can read more about Gioventù here – Gioventù Cosmetics

Thank you so much to the team at Gioventù for sending me the product and giving me the opportunity to sample this great offering. I am certain that this will make all the difference to my own skincare routine, in fact I am already planning this evenings Coconut Oil bath.

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You can read more about Psoriasis and my ongoing journey in my previous blog, just click here.