Nanoblading Review – going under the mini knife!

I have been unhappy about my eyebrows for some time. After over-plucking them in the 90’s (thanks Madonna in your Erotica period) they had been left sparse and gappy and did not really ‘fit’ my face anymore. I had tried different topical beauty treatments and make-up products and had got to the point where I would want to pencil them in even if I wasn’t wearing make-up that day.

I knew a bit about Microblading but also was fearful of how ‘permanent’ it was. I didn’t like my brows but also didn’t want two thick caterpillars tattooed on me!!!

After hearing great things and seeing examples of her work, I went and visited Sophia Coomber from Beauty and Bloom, a beautician service local to where I live where she told me to forget about Microblading – the future is Nanoblading!

Nanoblading is a new brow treatment that uses ultra-sharp nano needles that can actually mimic the diameter and dimension of a real hair in the skin, It is a form of cosmetic tattooing but it’s not as deep as a conventional tattoo, as you are only going through the top layer of the skin into the upper dermis.  Put simply, it’s Microblading but with super fine, flexible needles.   The technique means you can create a more natural looking brow shape because the beautician can apply more accurate pressure and the pigment that is used is finer too.

First session – consultation and patch test 

After a patch test to ensure you aren’t allergic to the pigment or the numbing cream, you have a consultation to discuss the perfect eyebrow shape and colour for you. Sophia is absolutely lovely and immediately put me at my ease. She explained the procedure and well as how she was trained and the attention to detail she has. She warned me it would hurt a bit and as she had to do a tiny test cut to check I wasn’t allergic to the pigment I discovered she is truthful too! It does indeed hurt!

Second session – Nanoblading procedure

A week later I was back and ready to go for it! I was a little nervous but Sophia made sure I felt very comfortable and assured me we could take breaks if it got too uncomfortable. After applying some numbing cream, your chosen eyebrow shape is drawn on top of your brows so you can check it, before the treatment starts.

I’ve got to be honest the numbing cream doesn’t really make that much difference – Nanoblading hurts! Obviously this is the case wherever you go as tiny, light cuts are being made that feel like deep scratches but hey, no pain no gain! Sophia has a lovely calm and comfortable treatment room and you can have music playing which is a nice distraction. Oh and chatting, that helps too! The procedure itself takes between 1.5 and 2 hours depending on the amount of brow you need creating and at points I found it quite hard and my eyes did water quite a bit but overall it was manageable. You know you are going to get something you really want and I would say just be brave and focus on the end result.

Before and after – 

After the procedure you can see the effect is quite significant but also very natural. The colour looks a little dark at first but Sophia assured me it would fade over the next two weeks, which it did.

The aftercare is much like a tattoo – you clean the area morning and night with cooled boiled water and add a skin healing cream straight after. Sophia provided everything I needed right down to the cotton wool pads for the aftercare which I thought was a lovely touch.

I didn’t feel any real pain or discomfort afterwards and by about day 10 they only felt a little itchy as they were still healing but that didn’t last long. You are also advised to keep out of the sun, to not use certain beauty products and not get your face too wet for the first week or so. The better you look after them the longer they will last before needing retouching.

You’ll need two sessions, the second about four to six weeks after the first, to achieve the finished look, but you’ll still be able to leave the first appointment with beautifully shaped brows that don’t look half-done.

Third session – perfecting treatment – 

So five weeks later I was back! Having lived with my new brows for well over a month I felt they could be a little bit thicker and longer. Sophia added some tiny drawn hairs to the arch and ends and this procedure was much easier. I think its definitely best to err on the side of caution during your first session though as you can always add a little more but you cant remove any!

Straight afterwards  – 

This is just after my perfecting treatment. Again my brows are quite dark but slightly stronger looking which is what I wanted. And no thick caterpillars in sight!!!

2 weeks later…

A few weeks later I have stopped cleaning them and they have faded slightly as expected. I am so pleased – I am not wearing any eyebrow make-up in this photo of any kind and now I don’t need too. Even close up you cannot tell they are not real hairs – it really is amazing!

Overall progress – before, after first procedure and after perfecting treatment –

img_4957-1

I think this series of close-ups speaks for itself. The initial treatment takes about two hours, followed up with a perfecting session that lasts about an hour.  Everyone’s skin is different, but generally the pigment lasts in the skin for 12-18 months without retouches.

Sophia’s treatment costs £250 for the three sessions. She covers the East Kent and Redhill, Surrey area and can be booked here. I thoroughly recommend her.

For those in other areas, to find a qualified Nanoblading beautician look for one certified by a recognised training provider and one that is fully insured.  Plus request to see pictures of other work that they have done or look on their social media before booking in for the treatment. Make sure they are only using their own original photos and look for reviews and testimonials.

I am so glad I finally plucked up the courage to get this procedure done. I feel so much more confident and attractive. Yes, it hurt a bit being done but that feeling of confidence is just priceless!

July Favourites

July has now come to an end…want to know what I fell in love with, bought and found so far this summer?

Of course you do!!!

Jumpsuits
I have worn a lot of jumpsuits so far this summer. Being 5’2″ I often have to have them shortened but its definitely worth it. I find them really flattering for my curvy figure and like dresses they are simple – they are all you need for a complete outfit.

Tassel earrings
Tassel earrings have been everywhere this summer and they are a great statement piece. I have bought them from all kinds of places the cheapest being shipped from China via ebay for less than £2.50. My favourites have to be the now iconic H&M ones – I have them in a few colours and they make any outfit feel special. They are just £8.99 a pair so if you see them in store grab a pair!

Coconut hair products
I love the smell & taste of coconut and have fallen in love with these hair products. The Inecto Naturals range is a low price but extremely good organic coconut oil based range and if you have hair that needs taming it is AMAZING! I also struggle with shampoos making my thick, wavy hair fluffy and unmanageable but since moving on to a low shampoo (find the review here) have found my hair much better. The new Garnier Ultimate Blends are silicon and paraben free and although don’t foam up as much as some shampoos (don’t be fooled, the foaming does little to actually clean your hair) have made my hair feel soft, managable and smelling great. They will now be a regulars on my bathroom shelf.

Basket bags
Summer means the beach and hopefully a holiday and I always find I start to use different bags day to day once the sun comes out as well as packing one for my holiday. These type of bags make you feel so summery, don’t cost that much and I managed to buy 3 this month!

HEMA
HEMA is a company I have only just discovered. Originally from the Netherlands, its a Tiger/Ikea/Paperchase hybrid and as well as all the cute homewares, stationery and food it has a really amazing make-up range! I bought a fab orange/red lipstick and lipliner for under £6 for the 2 and I havent stopped wearing them! The beauty range is huge, is great quality and very well priced. Currently mainly located in London main train stations go check them out if you’re travelling anywhere.

Primark £4 cross-over sandal
Sometimes you find something simple yet stylish that you just love. My advice? If it comes in other colours buy them…you’ll regret it later if you dont. These sandals by Primark have been a fabulous find for this summer and now I have them in 4 colours – and at just £4 a pair you can afford to buy multiple pairs.

Pineapples
OK its bordering on an obsession, but theres just something about a pineapple design that makes me so happy. I love to eat them, look at them, wear them and have them around me!  The homewates were bargains from Asda and Aldi, the necklace was from Peacocks and the shirt was from one of my favourite stores, Zara.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
This stuff is the bomb! You can cleanse your face plus remove any make-up (inc eye make-up) and it softens your skin too. Micellar water is made up of micelles (tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in soft water. The idea is that micelles are attracted to dirt and oil, so they are able to draw out impurities without drying out the skin, therefore, it can be used as a facial wash, makeup remover and moisturiser all in one. It looks like water but when you put it on your finger and feel, it has a different texture than water – I just love it!


Slogans
I do love a cheeky slogan and couldn’t resist this sun hat from Tu at Sainsburys and these adorable pumps from H&M. Both were under £10 too…

I’m off on my holidays now and I’m sure you’ll see a few of these pieces popping up in my Instagram photos.  Finding things you love brings you joy…simple as!  

Enjoy the rest of the summer xx

Keep on Jumpin’

Ah the jumpsuit…

You will of noticed I have quite a few of them (find some previous outfit posts here and here). They are very easy to wear and flattering and don’t take a lot of styling – less is definitely more in the case of a jumpsuit.

Todays (well tonights) look is for a date night with my lovely fiance. We try and make sure we always make time for each other and a romantic meal out is perfect for that – with 4 kids between us and busy lives its key really!

I am wearing a gorgeous sleeveless navy cotton jumpsuit from Next Petite.  It buttons up to the neck like a shirt and looks so elegant. The wide leg shape balances the fitted top and it has pockets, something I just love styling wise. For sizing I am wearing a UK 10 (it has an elasticated waist) but I did have to shorten it! Yes, I am so short, a petite item was too long!!! If youre below 5’3″ I’d imagine you’d have to so the same – I shortened it by about 2″ which on the plus side, means I can wear flats with it too.

A studded skinny belt and earrings from Forever21 with with gold details accessorise the look. The belt cinches in the elasticated waist and draws your eye to the most narrow part of the body.


And on my feet, my new Primark sandals – the pop of cerise against the navy works perfectly and livens up this dark outfit.

As its a date I wore more make-up than I usually do and styled my hair into a messy bun.

Base – Max Faxtor foundation/pan stick in beige, Soap & Glory ‘Love at First Blush’ Eyes- BarryM dazzle dust in 103 and Rimmel Exaggerate liquid liner/Lift Me Up mascara
Lips – Make Up Gallery lipstick Purple Pop (find my review on their make up range here).

I loved this look and felt fabulous in it.  It is dressy but doesnt look like its trying too hard!  Do you enjoy a date night with your other half?  What do you wear to make it feel special?

Jumpsuit – Next Petite

Earrings – Forever21

Belt – Vintage

Sandals – Primark

Poundland Make-Up Gallery

Its been in the press recently that discount giant Poundland has introduced its own make-up range the ‘Make-up Gallery’.  Vogue magazine gave some of the products good reviews and a few newspapers have too. I decided to pop to my local store and try and couple of bits out.  I love a bargain and I’m not particularly brand loyal so I’m ready to embrace a new discount beauty range. 

First of all there is A LOT to choose from.  Pretty much everything that you could want cosmetics wise is there…but for £1! Lipsticks, glosses, lip liners, nail varnishes, eye shadows, liquid liners, foundations and powders…there wasn’t anything that they’d missed.

I have to admit I was pretty impressed.  I decided to get a couple of nail varnishes and a couple of lipsticks for my first ‘go’ at the brand.  Being 40+ the foundation, cover-up and powders I didnt try…I’ll leave that to younger bloggers with younger skin!  I’ve seen mixed reviews on them and would be interested to learn any personal experiences with them – let me know.

So what does a fiver buy you?  Well in Poundland 5 items 😄!!!  I picked 2 lipsticks and 3 nail varnishes for my first £1 beauty experience.  You wouldnt even get a Rimmel lipstick for £5, let alone, say, a MAC one!

The packaging is nicely done – black, white and simple and there’s no way anyone would think they cost a pound each.  However, ultimately the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or in this case, wearing.

I picked a mid purple (10 – Purple Pop) and pinky coral (13 – Pink Pop) coloured lipstick. Both went on nicely and felt quite moisturising.  For a stronger outline, I think investing in a matching lip liner might be a good idea…something for next time.  The colours were strong but not too bright.  Staying power was OK – on first application I applied it twice, the second after blotting and it stayed put until I ate or drank later.  To be fair this product is not selling itself as ‘long lasting’ and for me it was on par with most other lipsticks I wear.

Heres the purple on –

And the coral –

The nail varnishes were available in so many various colours plus oils, fillers and top coats.  I picked a flat pale pink, a glitter filled red and an iridescent blue – three different finishes.  My nails are short and I’m rubbish at keeping nail varnish unchipped so these products had a big job ahead of them!

The nail varnish went on well and took two coats to get the desired level of colour.  The brush covered each nail very well.  Described as quick drying I’d say thats accurate.  Excusing my always short nails, the blue (31 Sapphire Blue) looked like this –

Staying power wise it took a while to totally harden up but them did quite well lasting a few days before needing a touch up on the nail tips.  As I said I am not good with nails – life just gets in the way.  But all in all quite impressive…and very impressive when you consider the price.

Here’s the pink (8 Pink Soda) on my toes – not bad eh?  Although its hard  to see in a photo, it looks very pretty in real life.  

And here is the dark pink glitter (36 Pink Diamond). This felt quite rough after two coats so I added a third coat of clear varnish.



Would I buy more from the range?  That would definitely be a yes – next on my shopping list is some lip liners, more nail varnish and one of the liquid eye liner. Go try it – I bet you’ll be very pleasantly surprised!