Rahua Hair Detox and Renewal Treatment kit

For the last 18 odd years, I have dyed my hair. 

I literally have no clue what the natural colour of my hair is, if indeed it does actually have colour at all.  At this point, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if ti actually resembled one of those fibre optic lamps from the 80’s.  Sort of hollow and quite pale. 

When one dyes one’s hair for that period of time, depending on the colour and process of course, the condition has a tendency to fluctuate.  

Mine is largely dependent on the quality of product I use on it I have learned.  I find that most synthetics tend to make it a bit crispy, and a bit difficult. 

Rahua (pronounced Row-ahh) has absolutely none of these in any of their products, boasting a miracle oil from the Amazon that strengthens the hair from the inside, and repairs and revitalises.  Any of the products has this ingredient, and having used the shampoo and the conditioner for a bit, I can vouch for it’s non heavy, life giving goodness. 

The new Hair Detox and Renewal Treatment kit is 100% organic, vegan, cruelty and gluten free. 

Obviously with these credentials, it is a lot gentler on the scalp and hair than most other hair ‘detox’ products.  Designed to gently break down any of the build up that occurs with any haircare, and environmental damage, and also treats the scalp and hair, and genuinely makes it feel like babies hair. I have never seen my hair look so shiny, or move quite how it did after one use.  I suspect this was more to do with the conditioning element rather than the detox, but hey ho. I’m happy either way. 

It comes with two pots, of which you add half of the oil into one, and use that.  Then whenever is necessary, use the other half on the other pot and done.  I have relatively short hair, and have used the same mixed pot twice, and the effect is the same, so don’t fret about it ‘going off’ or being unuseable once the oil is added. Especially given the price!

This is definitely a luxury treat, a bit of a caviar boost for the hair, as I say given the price.  But twice a year, and that should be plenty IMO. Do try it.  Your hair will thank you.

Rahua Hair Detox and Renewal Treatment kit, Available at Liberty, Urban Retreat Harrods, £88. 


Festival Essentials for MUAs

I am writing this being slightly battered and bruised after having worked at a music festival over the weekend. 

I am NOT a fan of festivals, or certainly haven’t been. I have a simple rule No hairdryer, no holiday, so as you can probably imagine, they are not my first choice of places to be of my own free will.  However, working them is an entirely different kettle of fish. 

Whilst I was working (in a very hot an humid tent) I realised that there were some things I had with me that turned out to be life savers, and some that I wished I’d brought!

The below is generally aimed at makeup artists, but I do realise that this is entirely applicable to attendees also. 

MakeupForEver Flash Colour Palette, Guru Makeup Emporium. 

Save for the already excellent foundation palette they have in the same format, this is the most useful thing I have in my kit ever. The colours are essentially greasepaint, but super highly pigmented.  So good for amping up colour in lipsticks, on the face, as beard cover, as a colour corrector, all sorts of uses in one.  Mix the colour with IPA and it makes it a little more resistant to smudge as well. Life saver. 


Urban Decay All Nighter Fixing Spray. Debenhams

Again, a good tool to help any makeup stay put!  I have used many of these, and this is the most peasant to use in a normal makeup environment (there are ones that are A LOT stronger, but I’d only really use those on prosthetics etc..). UD have also cleverly got them for different skin types, so one for everyone here. Again, essential.


Travel Fan, Amazon?

I didn’t actually have one with me as I completely underestimated just how humid a tent in the sunshine would get. I know right? However I normally have one of these that I can clip to something, like the edge of a table, or a mirror, so me and the talent can at least feel like we’re getting some air,  they’re so inexpensive and invaluable.  I think I got mine from Amazon, but you can literally google travel fan with clip and a ton come up. 


Wipes!

I am a sweater! At the gym, walking about, any kind of activity really. 

I often see people being much more active than me, and wonder how the hell they are not drenched in the same way I am.  As such, and in the absence of an available shower, these are also pretty darn essential. I went through about 2 boxes of the 4711 Eau de Cologne Tissues (available at Boots) in a 16 hour period.  I have loved this scent since I was a kid (I grew up in Germany and this was pretty much everywhere) and these are absolutely perfect for taking away that awful close clammy feeling.  The zingy scent cuts right through it.  The same with the Hermes Eau D’orange Vert wipes.  On the expensive side at £20 a box, but they are a bit larger, and have exactly the same effect of cutting right through any not-so-fresh feeling. 

This Works In Transit First Aid, £15. 

Last but by NO means least was this. 

Working in a hot tent, and running between different stage, through wildlife we were all a bit burned and bitten. One artist was actually stung by nettles!

This was an absolute lifesaver! 

Fist aid as the name suggests this is a go to for any thing that might irritate until you can get to something else.  The other bonus is it being almost entirely natural, containing lavender geranium and rosewood essential oils to soothe, calm, and relieve.  This is a multi use that went on my bites, the artists legs when she got stung, and any little nicks that happened on the day. Amazing smell, and an amazing product.. 

The festival was the awesome Electric Daisy Carnival in Milton Keynes. If you want to see pictures of that and what I did there, take a look at my Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/p/BHrDh7yBoaP/?taken-by=lukesmua


Maison Francis Kurkdjian - Petit Matin & Grand Soir

If you know me you know I am a bit of a perfume freak.  I love smell of all kinds, and continue to be fascinated with it,  From the my very first fragrance purchase all those years ago, to now there have been many love affairs (with fragrances).  Some have lasted, some have fallen by the wayside, some are just casual encounters when the mood takes me. 

I don’t need to tell you how much of a genius Francis Kurkdjian is, his fragrances do that for you. If you are not familiar with them, seek them out and try them. 

With every new addition to the family tree that already exists in the range, there truly is a fragrance for very occasion.  Especially so with the new Petit Matin, and Grand Soir. 

With the emphasis on simplicity, the two have Paris very much at the forefront of their creation.  As the names suggest, one for the morning, and the other for the evening.  

if you have experienced the beauty that is Paris, you’ll know it all just a little bit magic.  One of my favourite things to do is to get lost, no map, and just wander for hours.  Weather permitting of course.  The two fragrances capture the early morning light, and the spectacle of the evening in Paris. 


The first, Matin, is a light, fruity zingy scent.  I am a big fan of citrus and of colognes, but they characteristically don’t last long on the skin, Annoying.  But this has all the good qualities of a traditional smelling cologne, lemony, zingy freshness,  with the lasting power of the EDP that it is. 

The second Grand Soir, is a darker liquid, and it’s scent suits the colour.  It has all the hallmarks of an ‘evening’ scent, the warmth of the benzoin, and the punch of labdanum, it’s a very sexy, very slightly naughty smelling fragrance.  Definitely not for the wusses amongst you that can’t get on with a strong oriental smell. (I say that with affection).  Very seductive indeed. 

He’s really nailed these two. And they are a joy to wear. 

Petit Matin & Grand Soir EDPs. 70ml, £140 available September 1st. 


Coconut

Since we’ve been seeing a bit more of the sunshine here in the UK over the last few weeks, the warmth and light seem to have triggered some sort of obsession in me with the smell of coconut!


I think it started a wee while back when I bought the Neal’s Yard Remedies Coconut Oil, which I literally use for just about anything.  Face, body, hair. EVERYTHING. 

Apparently the coconut has a multitude of benefits for all of these things, including teeth and, in my opinion, the rather labour intensive Oil Pulling.  I haven’t attempted this, purely because at the hour of the morning I wake up and brush my teeth  a) I don’t have 20 mins to spare to be swilling oil around, and b) the taste of coconut whilst very much appealing in a Bounty Bar, is not something I’d be too wild about that early on in the day. 

I also noticed that a conditioner I use for my thatched hair smells vaguely of coconut (although I can’t find it in the ingredients list).  I’ve become obsessed. 

As such, I’ve been hunting down some coconut scented things for me to satisfy my nostrils with. I am quite fussy when it comes to this it seems.  I want to smell the most natural coconutness I can.  there are a ton of products that claim to be coconut, but that are in fact slightly off the mark IMO. 

I have been in love with this fragrance for a long long time, but the Creed Virgin Island Water is a coconut lovers dream!  One sniff of this and you are instantly transported to a hot desert island paradise in the cool with the divine smelling coconut scent wafting about you.  Not as heavy or creamy as coconut pure, but tinged with something a lot fresher, and almost minty in sensation, this is almost a perfect summer scent, and rather unique.  Around the hundred pound mark for a large bottle, this is on the pricey side, but I really haven’t found anything that smells quite like it. 


Enthused as I was by this, I remembered that The Library of Fragrance have singular note cologne’s.  I looked, and Fresh coconut was one of them.  It arrived, and I’m certainly not disappointed.  Despite the ‘fresh’ in the name, this is more of a scent that manages to include the WHOLE coconut.  Not only the fleshy part that we all associate with the smell, but also the woody husk, and possibly the delicately scented milk.  An excellent one worn alone, or in my case, over the coconut oil, or even to punch out the coconutty elements to the Creed. And. it’s only £15. 

Another one that is all over me at the moment is The Body Shop coconut range, Obvs, being Body Shop it pretty much comes in everything, although oddly not a shampoo. Please work on this! My faves being the famous Body Butter, and the shower wash.  The range starts from about £4 I think. So plenty of opportunity to smell tropical for very little outlay at all. 


National Fragrance Day

It’s National Fragrance Day here in the UK, and though far from a national holiday, it does open a discussion from other people about scent, or what fragrance they wear.  Fun as you can learn a lot about someone by what they wear, how many they have, and what they consider to be a sexy fragrance. 

I am obsessed with fragrance. I love that it can be an extra part of your wardrobe dependent on factors like mood, what the weather is doing, or even whether you just like the bottle. 

My first fragrance I ever bought was Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Le Male.   You can probably see why by the bottle design alone, but I used to coat myself in it as a teenager.  If your familiar with it, you’ll know it’s a rather strong solid mix of lavender mint and some other quite robust smelling notes.  As such, I/it was by no means subtle. Years later as a grown up I met the perfumer, Francis Kurkdjian who designed Le Male as a relatively young man.  He now has his own fragrance empire which is just as captivating and intricate and I strongly recommend you seek them out. His take Oud is truly exceptional. 

As a grown up (arf) taste has changed, and I’d like to say that my choice of fragrances I wear regularly remind of things.  Weather, childhood, first dates, and so on. Discovering new ones, is like discovering new music, Always very exciting. 

These days, I don’t have a ‘signature’, but there are favourites. 

The a fore mentioned Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a superb example of high class, and sophistication in my opinion. 

Dior Homme is a very definite 3rd date fragrance. There are few that smell as sexy and intriguing as this in my opinion. If I’m wearing this, LOCK UP YOUR SONS!

On the newby/relatively recently discovered (by me at least) end, the divine 4160 Tuesday’s Sunshine & Pancakes is a lovely, sugary, floury, gorgeous warm scent that takes me to a happy place. It really does smell like Sunday mornings, and a slow steady spoil yourself breakfast on the go. 


Concealers

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding a good flawlessly applied complexion is about concealers.  What works? What stays on? What ACTUALLY covers?

It’s a tough one to get right, and the answer is different for different people.  

As a very general rule, your under eye should be treated a little differently to anything you cover on the face, like the odd spot.  A one product fixes all is a rare commodity, as such I’d recommend nailing the perfect ones for each.  

Wax based, opaque is better for the face I find.  A good solid concealer that really covers, and doesn’t move will work best so you’re not having to worry about it during the day. A decent small synthetic brush (so as not to absorb any of the product and get it directly onto the face) is best for application, and then a gentle patting in should suffice.  

Lighter texture and creamy for the under eye works best for me I find.  They are more supple and move around a bit more so they don’t crack or look cakey.  Make sure to get right into the corner of the eye, and bout a quarter way underneath.  Pat the rest along the under eye area, and the pigment should do the covering, and not the product.  That way you avoid any overkill. 

My favourites for each are:

NARS radiant Creamy Concealer is without doubt one of the best I have used for undereyes. Light texture, and really covers! Can be used straight from the sponge applicator. but be sure to pat it in. 

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for the face.  Comes in a rather intimidating looking compact but don’t be spooked.  It has two sides so you can custom make your colour for different areas of the face, for example, you might be a bit warmer on the cheeks, than you are on your forehead, so you can adapt to suit. 

Vichy Dermablend Corrector Stick is another super all rounder.  Comes in a stick, but please don’t be tempted to use it straight from that, as it is very high coverage. 

The Dermacolour Camouflage Cream is a great concealer, and actually works well under eye as much as it does on the face. Very opaque this, so a very little amount is all that’s required. 

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