Look Fantastic Black Friday beauty box review 2019

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 Beauty Box review

With the lead-up to Christmas, I always end up taking forever to write up my Black Friday beauty box. You may remember a few years ago I finally wrote my 2016 Black Friday box review… a year later! LOL It’s a mix between procrastination, being busy with family and the children (I had Little Miss in April 2016) and then being sleep-deprived meant that anything I did, I took like a million years to do so. I’m a little faster this year, only a month out! Haha! 🙂

The Black Friday Edit box: first impressions…

On first impressions, the box looks pretty fancy!

I really like the black and gold marble design and the gold text ‘The Black Friday Edit‘ adds modernity to the box. I can’t seem to find the 2017 design however the ‘Back for Black’ 2018 was super sleek and was actually my favourite design but I never bought the box.

I’m happy with the design of this year’s box and the products look really good. I can see one repeat product (the eyeliner) from last year but the others are new. I think for 2020 I would love to see a new design however something similar to this year’s or last year’s would be fantastic. Now let’s get on to the products…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 Beauty Box review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 Beauty Box review
The Black Friday Edit: I love the fancy black and gold design

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty Box Review

What’s in the box?

Here are the products I got in my Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 box:

  • Luxie 504 Large Angled Brush*
  • Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Exfoliating Moisturiser
  • Eve Lom Cleanser including facial cloth
  • Ciaté London Glow-To Highlighter*
  • We Are Paradoxx Hangover Hair Elixir
  • Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (Scarlet Sorbet)*
  • Eyeko Eye Do Mini Liner
  • Seoulista Beauty Charcoal Mask
  • Naobay Radiance Body Lotion*
  • Crystal Clear 10-minute Glow mask

The majority of the items are full-sized products. I’ve added a star (*) next to my favourite products which I am still using now. I’ll write a little more below about why I love them so much…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 Beauty Box review
Inside this year’s box / Photo Credit: Look Fantastic

Luxie 504 Large Angled Brush * (my fave!)

I absolutely ADORE this brush! I’m not sure if it’s because of the pretty pink handle or the softness of the synthetic bristles, but I do know it’s a really good brush. One of my favourite angled brushes and currently my go-to for when I need to apply my bronzer or highlighter across cheeks and hollow for contouring. It’s super soft and so easy to use whether you have powder or cream textures.

I can’t seem to find the brush for sale on the LF website, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s because it’s sold out. There is the Luxie 741 angled contour brush which would be a good alternative.

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Exfoliating Moisturiser

For a long time I really thought I had combination skin with an oily t-zone. Turned out that my skin isn’t actually oily but dehydrated. When the skin is severely dehydrated (lacking in water, tight-feeling skin) it will start producing excess sebum. To re-balance the skin, I introduced serums and facial oils into my skincare routine which has helped a lot.

Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta exfoliating moisturiser is a product that really works. The ingredients list checks out and even though this product does contain silicones (dimethicone! there are other cones too) which I am not keen on but it’s near the end of the ingredients list which is a little more forgiving. The creamy texture is lightweight but hydrating and once applied, my skin feels super smooth and matte soft.

Packed with a cocktail alpha-beta acids and fruit actives, this moisturiser not only hydrates and brightens the skin, it also improves radiance (ginger) and re-balances the sebum production (lavender). When using this moisturiser, I avoid using my usual peeling exfoliator (The Ordinary AHA/BHA peeling solution) on the same day. I’d use my facial oil and day cream in the morning then use the peel in the evening before my night routine. Remember to use a sunscreen during the day when using skincare products with AHA acids (Alpha Hydroxyl Acids; Glycloic, Lactic, Tartaric and Citric).

Also be aware that excessive exfoliation can over-stimulate the skin which can cause uneven skin tone, hyper-pigmentation, sensitivity and redness. So use with caution – you’re using two or more exfoliating products daily or regularly, you could be over-exfoliating.

Eve Lom Cleanser

I’ve heard so much about this Eve Lom cleanser. It’s a trending product and so many beauty magazines rave about it so I was very intrigued to see it in my box. I haven’t tried it out because when I look at the ingredients, the first ingredient is Paraffinum Liquidum… also known as Mineral Oil – same stuff baby oil is made from. Not bad, but it doesn’t scream out luxury to me like how the brand markets itself. They also use lanolin which is a great emollient for dry skin (it’s used in nipple creams) but again, I expect more from Eve Lom. Where’s the high quality oils like rosehip oil, jojoba oil or evening primrose? There’s none.

I’m not impressed… and the 8ml sample size pot is even more laughable.

If you love rich balm cleansers, you’d be better off with the Elemis Pro-Collagen cleansing balm which is only £43.00 for 5g/5ml more (1ml = 1g) and contains skin nourishing oils however you can’t use this product to remove eye makeup. Another great value-for-money alternative is the Trilogy Makeup Be Gone cleansing balm 80ml for £20.50 (more than half the Eve Lom price!) which is on my to-buy list and can be used for both face and eyes. Winner!

Ciaté London Glow-To Highlighter (shade: Celestial) * (my fave!)

The packaging of this highlighter is so pretty. The Ciaté Glow-To highlighter is a powder texture, almost baked-like. The Celestial shade is beautiful (an iridescent peach/gold shade) and perfect for my medium olive skin tone. Little Miss likes putting this stuff on herself too and it also looks beautiful on her caramel complexion. The shimmer is very strong so you really only need a light sweep and you’ll be good to go!

I liked brushing it over the top of my nose, under the brow bone and lightly dab over cheekbones. The little mirror is really helpful and a useful tool for anyone who likes doing their makeup/touch-ups as they go. Be careful as it does crumble easily, well… mine did anyway.

We Are Paradoxx Hangover Hair Elixir
Free from parabens, PEGs, sulphates, perfume, mineral oil and toxins.

I’ve not used this leave-in hair treatment just yet but will get round to trying it once I’ve washed my hair. I’m glad that Look Fantastic are including more vegan-friendly products in their beauty boxes. The We Are Paradoxx hair elixir contains silica and alcohol which is also why I am a little hesitant to try out the product. It does says that the alcohol content comes from the Irish whiskey and the silica (natural quartz, absorbs moisture) – which is different from silicone (a synthetic plastic). The hair elixir isn’t exactly CG-friendly but if you decide to give it a go, see how your hair reacts then make sure you give your hair a good cleanse the next wash day with a low-poo cleanser or an ACV (apple cider vinegar) or rice water rinse.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday Box review
Inside this year’s LF Black Friday Box

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (shade: Scarlet Sorbet) * (my fave!)

Infused with shea butter, this Pixi lip balm keeps my lips soft and hydrated throughout the day. I do find that I have to re-apply but no more than my usual lip balm. The Scarlet Sorbet is really pretty like a bitten lip red colour but because it’s a lip balm, it’s more of a subtle tint than full on pigment.

It’s one of my favourite product because it’s something I can use daily and it does the job very well at keeping my lips moist. I also like using it in-between top-ups with my Doucce liquid lipstick (fave shades are rusty red and red velvet). It’s one of the best tinted lip balms that I’ve tried and is a staple item in my beauty bag.

Eyeko Eye Do Mini Liner

So this eyeliner is the only product that made it into both last year and this year’s box. Perhaps people just really love the Eyeko Eye Do eyeliner! I think I had this product from another beauty box before and did enjoy using it. I never got the chance to use it this time round as Little Miss got her hands on my box when I was at work one day and decided to use it like a marker pen… then left the lid off. Yep, it died that same day which is sad times as it seems like a really good eyeliner.

I love pens as they give the user much more control when drawing the line. Liquid brushes create the best thin lines but are so tricky to get right and when you’re short on time, it’s way to fiddly. If you like doing your makeup on the go, I’d recommend using a pen like this one by Eyeko.

Seoulista Beauty Charcoal Mask
Free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oil and artificial colours.

Seoulista is a Korean skincare brand and everybody knows how amazing Korean skincare is so what’s not to love about this natural purifying face mask? Get a thorough deep-cleanse without stripping the skin thanks to the charcoal and volcanic ash extract. Unfortunately my skin is too dehydrated to use this mask so I’ve given it a miss.

Seoulista offer a few other types: super-hydration (hydration) version as well as a gold glow (anti-ageing) and brightening (radiance) so I’ll have to get my hands on one of these instead!

Naobay Radiance Body Lotion * (my fave!)

I love this body lotion so much. It’s lightweight but totally hydrating on the skin… no wonder why it’s completely sold out on Look Fantastic! Hopefully they will restock this item soon as I’m sure many people will be chomping at the ankles for this.

Naobay is a natural skincare and body care brand hailing from Australia. I do love my Aussie natural skincare brands! Enriched with olive oil, shea butter and avocado oil, Naobay’s radiance body lotion is going to leave your body feeling super soft and nourished. The soothing aloe vera extract helps to calm and protect the skin, this lotion would be gorgeous in the summer.. better stock up now!

Crystal Clear 10 Minute Glow

Another sold out product on Look Fantastic! This peel-off mask is said to work its magic on your skin in just 10 minutes, leaving you with a radiant glow. Again, it’s another deep cleansing product so a pass from me but lots of people seem to love it. You can choose to apply this Crystal Clear 10mins glow mask over the whole face or just on targeted areas ie nose, forehead, chin.

With alcohol denat present, I would assume that this product will leave your skin feeling ‘squeaky clean’ and matte soft. Just be careful if you have skin that’s a little on the dehydrated side as it will make it drier.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday beauty box review

…and that’s a wrap!

I hope you enjoyed this beauty unboxed review – I really love reviewing beauty boxes but I get so lazy to write it all up! I guess one of my new year’s resolution can be to make sure I always review my unboxing. I need to find a better way putting up the content because I can never get those beautifully curated shots like other beauty bloggers. When you have two messy-wild kids to manage, the house is always a state and I’d be lucky to find a corner of peace where I can shoot from… however, there is a little co-working space next door to me so I might have to take a look and see what they can offer. 🙂

Happy Holidays!


P I N  T H I S  P O S T!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday Box Review

My Curly Girl Method 18 months update: progression and regression photos

Can you believe it’s already been 18m (that’s 1 year and 6 months!) since I started my CGM journey and created my original Curly Girl post! So what are my thoughts on CGM after a year and a half of plopping, squish to condish-ing and scrunching?

Well what can I say really? I still see myself as a newbie; still learning every day and still finding it hard to work out my hair. Just when I think I’ve got the hang of it – BAM! Back to square one but then again it’s self-inflicted as I am to blame for that. I constant colour my hair and lighten it; just a last month I processed the hell out of it with bleach to lift it light enough to go pinky/peach.

I thought I’d create this post so you can see the highlights and the struggles of my wavy hair journey. It’s not always been rainbows and sparkles but can if you stick at it (unlike me and avoid chemical damage which is just as bad as heat damage) and really take the time to learn about your hair, you will yield much more. Now enough of the hair lecture, here are my progress/regress photos for you to feast your eyes on:

December 2017

The photo below was taken pre-CGM by a week or two. WOW. As you can see it’s pretty much straight but there’s a few slight waves in the middle section at the back of my head.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method Hair Journey Process

January 2018

A month into my Curly Girl Method hair journey…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: My wavy hair journey

May 2018

Then 6 months post CGM, my waves are looking more stringy which could be due to the colour processing or could be because my hair seems to be curling a little bit more. My hair doesn’t seem to clump as much as when I started but the waves have more of a squiggly pattern than a loose S pattern.

August 2018

I’ve gone pink! In this photo my hair is a little more undone but those are waves after being out all day. More clumping happened that day and I have a better curl pattern. The more frequent deep conditioning also helped.

October 2018

Had my first wavy cut at Jones & Payne Shoreditch but a fellow wavy called Lisa. She cut my hair really well and my hair felt much lighter. Unfortunately because she had to comb and brush it so much the waves were almost gone and she styled it by twisting strands to encourage clumping. I actually love this technique and it helped my wavy hair look more defined.

Once the pink colour faded I threw on a teal (semi-permanent) colour followed by intense deep conditioning to save it as much as I could. Here’s a photo of my hair wet and dry so you can see how different it looks. When my hairs wet, my waves always look good but by the time it’s dried (usually air dry) it looks a little more fluffy and wavy with a curly twists.

The two photos below are from one of my best hair days; I had the most curl clumps this day and cannot for the life of me remembered what I used or what I did because I didn’t keep a record! Argh! It looked amazing from the back and there was so many chunky, twisty waves I loved it. I do remember applying the Cantu curl activating cream but that’s about it. :’-(

wet waves

hair when it’s dried

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My complete wavy hair care routine
The BEST clumping I had in a while!
November 2018

Colour has faded but waves are curling slightly more. The photo below is actually around day 2 refresh and it looks good. Slightly fluffy but overall, okay. I find that my hair always looks good on refresh days; days 2 and 3 are usually the best.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Noughty Haircare Review

December 2018: 1 year post CGM

So I went back to dark hair and that marked a year since I went CGM. The condition is not bad and a slight change since I started. Not bad but a lot of other CGM wavies have had much better transformations than I but I’m not too sad about it. I put in as much effort, time and money as I could and this was the result. With two children, it’s not always easy to even spend 15mins on my hair let alone longer.

waves on a pretty normal day

The photos below are from one of my rare best hair day. The waves looked amazing! It was one day post-wash day and I started off my wetting the hair with water, scrunching in mousse but then the waves were too hard but had beautiful definition so I did a light prayer hand over the top of the hair with some leave-in conditioner and lightly scrunched.

waves from my BEST HAIR DAY

BEST hair day: what the waves look like from the back
March 2019

I decided to do a DIY chop at home to see if it would help my hair wave a little more and it did a little but not much. My hair did feel much healthier and all the dry ends were gone. I stopped deep conditioning regularly and only did it when I felt like my hair needed it and felt too dry.

If you like, I would say my wavy hair regression started from here – when I started to bleach my hair. Usually I would have my hair lightened in the salon but I was really broke so opted for a box job, which even though it looked nice, it really dried out my hair. I went back to deep conditioning my hair on a bi-monthly basis.

June 2019: 18 months post CGM

Then went blonde in May and kept the blonde from becoming brassy with a regular treatment of silver semi-colour and silver shampoo which unfortunately contains sulfates. It really dried out my hair so each time I used the silver shampoo I would always follow with a deep conditioner. Last month (June) I added a pink semi-colour to my hair which is fading to a lovely peach over the weeks. I continue to deep condition and used a protein pack for the first time which worked really well for my high porosity, chemically-damaged hair. It left my hair feel UBER soft!

Soo, to summarise…

Let’s just say my hair journey became LESS CGM and more about processing the F*** out of it but hey! I get bored of my hair so quickly and couldn’t help it. Because it’s been processed, the condition and texture of the hair is no longer the same as when I started. It’s now more drier and coarse due to the chemical processing and damaged (a lot of deep conditioning helps!) and the curl pattern is less wavy than before but I’m slowly getting it back on track. I recently used a protein pack hair treatment which my hair loved so much, I was surprised how well it worked. As my hair is highly porous due to the damage the protein is necessary to help the hair repair.

To get the best results from doing the Curly Girl Method;
  • Avoid chemical processes to your hair ie. bleaching, dyeing, colour stripping
  • Deep condition your hair at least once a month or once a week/two weeks if you have damaged hair with a suitable hair masque
  • Keep a record of ALL the products you used on your hair each time you wash it or style it and take a photo to make a visual note of how your hair looks and responded to the products
  • IF you need to change a product from your current routine, change one product at a time so you can pinpoint exactly whether that product works/doesn’t work for your hair
  • Be patient. Getting the best results from CGM takes time… I’m still learning and I’m 18 months post-CGM!

Like living a healthy lifestyle, following CGM is not about getting to the end, it’s about the journey and the processes in between – learning what works, what doesn’t and how you can do it better. I don’t think I will ever stop colouring my hair so I have to learn to adapt CGM to a way that suits my hair best. The only time I had been really strict with CGM IS when I first started but right now, my modified way works. So the take-away lesson here is to not be afraid to adapt CGM to make it work for your hair. There is so much information out there on the web that you’re sure to find another wavy/curly girl in a similar situation to you so don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Read the articles on NaturallyCurly.com and BritishCurlies.co.uk because they are so helpful and on BC you can even sign up and chat on the forum with other wavies and curlies.

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Slowly getting my waves back to a better condition
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PEACH HAIR / waves getting back on track!

Hair: Wash day routine + products list Wk3

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3

So this post is a little late as I wanted to wash my hair twice last week. Last wash day Thursday and I washed it again last night Sunday. I’ve also purchased a new product – As I Am conditioning cleanser, £9.99 from Look Fantastic. It’s a gentle co-wash and apparently great for wavy hair as it’s really lightweight but still cleanses well. If you’ve never used a conditioning cleanser or know what it is, it’s basically a conditioner that has been formulated to cleanse and condition the hair without stripping it of natural oils. It’s great for curly girls but for wavies, it can be hit and miss as a lot of conditioning cleansers are too heavy for fine waves.

My hair is 2A but very ‘sensitive’ as the wind can blow my waves away and leave me looking a hot mess. I also find that my hair usually looks its best on refresh days, compared to wash days. I think that’s because my hair’s had time to ‘settle in’ and the gel has had time to work in the hair and the reviving mist of water just creates something beautiful.

My day 2 refresh hair always looks better than wash days
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
My new favourite: As I Am Coconut Cowash!

The cleansing conditioner worked really nicely on my hair and I felt like it did feel a little bit more moisturised than when I just normally cleanse with a low-poo. After rinsing out the co-wash, I still carried out my normal routine: conditioner, leave-in, and gel.

I thought to include photos of my hair immediately post-wash after styling this time so you can see how it looks when it’s wet and dry. Below, my hair is about 70% air dried after scrunching in gel with an old tshirt. My hair still looks quite stringy because my hair still doesn’t clump very well. My clumps are very thin and I still need practice with getting larger sections to clump together. I think I need to leave more water in my hair for when it dries, that will also help with the moisture but I need to figure out a way to lock that moisture in without weighing down my hair. I think I also need to switch back to my old gel; I love my Bouclème gel but it’s not giving me that super strong hold like my ECO olive oil gel did. It’s also a lot cheaper so I’ll have to give it a try again.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
Immediately post-wash after scrunching out the crunch (70% air dry)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3

And here’s my hair the next morning after wash day. As I usually wash my hair the night before, when I’ve gone to bed with damp hair I tend to accidentally alter the wave pattern as I probably lie on it and squish my waves flat. I always consciously plop my hair to the top of my head but don’t use anything to cover it when sleeping. I’ll wash my hair during the day next week so you can see how it looks after air-drying… minus the squished waves!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
Next morning’s hair post wash-day + squished waves
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
Right side
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
Left side

See week 2’s hair wash day photos here


List of products used this wash day:

Cleanser: As I Am Coconut Cowash conditioning cleanser

Conditioner: Noughty Wave Hello conditioner

Leave-in: As I Am leave-in conditioner

Gel: Bouclème curl defining gel

Styling: ‘scrunch out the crunch’ technique

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NB. this post contains affiliate links

Hair: Wash day routine + products list Wk2

Last week I let my hair go almost whole week without cleansing. OMG right? You’re probably thinking you’d NEVER go that long without washing but actually, I find it much better for my hair strength, condition and growth to wash less and brush less. When you first start it will feel odd and seriously greasy but over 3+ months you’ll adjust and your scalp will start producing less oil and only what it needs. That’s because switching to no-sulfates or a low use of sulfates avoids stripping your hair and as a result your hair and scalp feels happier and performs better.

So I eventually washed my hair Saturday night and there was some natural oil build up but not too major despite the warmer weather. Most days I wear my hair in a bun with a little bit of leave-in conditioner at the ends to keep it moisturised. I hardly do a refresh unless I have my hair down; in that case I’d go in with a dollop of leave-in, wet hands (water) and finish with gel to revive the waves. I also coloured my hair (semi-permanent) the same night as I wanted to have my pink hair back in time for The Ends Festival on Sunday which was amazing!

Here’s how my hair looked the next morning, post-wash day:

I wanted to bring out the curls more so I used flexi rods with a bit of gel, left them in for a few hours Sunday morning and this was the result. I still have a lot to practice with flexi rods because I can’t always get the technique right which affects the look of the curl. Hence why the right looks much more curly and defined than the left side lol – the right fringe/side fringe looks so pretty!

I also needed more rods. I had 4 for the crown, 9 for mid-section and 3 for the bottom which wasn’t enough – the mid sections were getting stretched out because they needed more rods and also I think because my hair doesn’t have a curl pattern, the chunks of hair being wrapped around the flexi rods need to be quite small/slim.

Stupidly, I had too much fun at the festival and didn’t take any photos of myself or my outfit when I was out but I went for the classic “festival look” of denim shorts, floral top and trainers. Simple yet practical as I had to walk a mile or so to the destination across some hilly roads (it was located at Lloyd Park in Croydon). Plus it was BOILING HOT so I’m glad I opted for the mesh top, it kept me cool.

So, back to all things hair… here’s the products I used for this wash day. My hair is starting to curl more in the shower again after giving up sulfates which is great but my blonde is starting to go brassy again so the pink hair helps! I’m loving the colour too – it’s light but I would want to go lighter. 🙂 I used Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Brights in Raspberry Rebel – it’s a 2 in 1 colourant so you can choose to have it as vibrant as you like or mix with conditioner to make it pastel. I add a large dollop of conditioner with a drop of colour to get my shade but some parts of my hair didn’t take to the colour as much as the others so it’s trial and error but I don’t mind. I don’t think this colourant is CG friendly but couldn’t see any sulfates or silicones but there are parabens so not great on the hair but more gentle than a permanent colourant.

See wk1’s hair wash day photos here

 

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curls maintained day 1 post-wash
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right side
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left side

Products I used this wash day:

Low-poo: Noughty Wave Hello shampoo

Conditioner: Noughty Colour Bomb conditioner – I use the ‘squish to condish’ method

Leave-in: As I Am leave-in conditioner – I use the bowl method by @PowerDomi

Gel: Bouclème curl defining gel – ‘squish to condish’ to apply

Styling: flexi-rods to style hair

Hair: Wash day routine + products list Wk1

I don’t wash my hair very often, probably 1-2 times a week simply because I can actually go that long now without massive oil build-up on my hair and also I find that washing less helps my hair grow longer faster. I don’t know if that’s a real thing but it seems to be working.

Since going blonde I’ve been using a silver shampoo almost every week and because it’s got sulfates in it, it’s been stripping my hair. So I’ve decided I’m going to cut back on the silver shampoo and go back to low-poo and hopefully introducing in a co-wash conditioner soon.

In the meantime I thought I’d show you what my wavy 2A hair looks like on wash day (next morning as I wash my hair at night). Unfortunately I still have trouble with getting my hair to clump and the curls to define. Straight after washing when my hair’s still wet it looks fab but as it starts to air dry I lose definition and the curls drop. If your hair doesn’t clump, try this advice from Naturally Curly.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wavy 2A Haircare Routine
Waves and baby curls are more defined when wet

For the amount of times I’ve been using the sulfate silver shampoo, my hair doesnt look too and waves are still there (just about!).

I’m going to try and document my hair after each wash day to see if there is any difference when I change products or technique. It will be interesting to see what the results will be like.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wavy 2A haircare routine
Next morning’s waves post-wash day
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wavy 2A haircare routine
Right side: some kinks and loose waves
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wavy 2A haircare routine
Left side: loose waves with one slightly defined clump

Products used on this wash day:

Low-poo: Noughty Colour Bomb shampoo (1st cleanse) & Noughty Wave Hello shampoo (2nd cleanse)

Conditioner: Garnier Ultimate Blends argan richness mask (deep conditioning hair mask)

Leave in: As I Am Leave-in conditioner

Gel: Bouclème curl defining gel

Will update hair routine on the next wash day. xx

My Christmas Hair & Beauty Wish List 2018

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

With less than a week to go until C-day, what better way to celebrate than to let you guys know what’s on my Christmas wish list for my favourite hair and beauty products! 🙂

Some of these brands I’ve discovered through my new workplace (I’m working in a spa again, yay!) and from recommendations by other hair and beauty bloggers. I always find the blogging community a great place for finding new products because the reviews are great and I trust the reviews. Being a blogger myself and writing brand collaboration reviews, I always write from the heart and it’s always based on my own opinions.

If I really unlike the product/service I reviewed, I would usually not post the review because if I do have to post it, it wouldn’t be a totally positive one.

For my wish list, there’s 10 things I’d absolutely LOVE to receive this year. There’s actually loads of products I’d love to get my hands on but these ten things are my ultimate must-haves this Christmas…

MY HAIR & BEAUTY WISHLIST

1. Book my appt with Lashes by Linda

This is probably number 1 on my beauty wish list – to get my lashes redone and ditch the eye makeup! I love a natural look and nothing beats a set of individual lashes by my family friend and fellow beauty professional, Lashes by Linda. She is amazing and a master at her craft! If you live in London, she offers appointments at her home otherwise you can find her at the nail salon in Sittingbourne where she can also do your nails too!

You can choose from a classic full set (light and natural look) or a Russian full set (volume and dramatic look) – I’ve tried both and personally prefer the classic, natural look. I have decided that I love the C and D curl and alternate between the two but I keep my lengths short because I wear glasses. If you don’t wear glasses or are a contact lens wearer, go for your maximum length to really get that beautiful fluttery look. Linda also does LVL treatments which is popular and really helps to lift the lashes. I had this treatment once before and it looked good but my lashes are quite short so I do prefer having the lash extensions.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Christmas Beauty Wishlist
I really love my lashes thanks to Lashes by Linda!
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
No need for eye makeup when I have my Lashes by Linda!

2. Cinq Mondes dry body oil

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
Cinq Mondes Ayurvedic dry body oil

Cinq Mondes is a popular French brand that smells great and feels fab on the skin. I am super in love with their hair & body mist, especially the Eau de Siam which smells absolutely amazing! That combined with the Cinq Mondes Universal Ayurvedic dry body oil is totally amazing! The dry oil is great for all skin types especially oily skin as it sinks in immediately and doesn’t leave a greasy film. For dry/mature skins, use when skin is slightly wet and combine with a moisturising cream.

3. Noughty intensive hair mask

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Noughty Haircare
Noughty To The Rescue Intensive Hair Mask

There’s a lot of Noughty haircare products that I love but my ultimate fave is the Noughty To The Rescue intensive moisture hair treatment. This mask will give you heavenly soft hair that you won’t be able to resist touching. I love using it as a deep conditioner and especially after a clarifying cleanse, this moisture mask puts back all the needed moisture into my hair. There’s no protein ingredient in this hair mask so if your hair needs protein, you’ll need to alternate with another product.

4. Aveda Shampure comp oil & hand serum

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
AVEDA Shampure – made from 25 pure flower & plant essences

Two products that I absolutely adore from the Aveda range is the Aveda Shampure composition oil and Aveda Hand Relief Renewal Serum.

The Shampure aroma is made up of 25 pure flower and plant essences and smells absolutely divine! I love using the composition oil on wet skin just after a bath or shower. It’s a great multi-functional oil that you can use on hair, body and oils. The hand relief serum smells less of the Shampure aroma and a bit more orange which is nice and refreshing.

5. Boucleme hydrating cleanser (low-poo)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser for wavy hair

I first saw this brand at Stylist Live 2017 and didn’t really know much about the brand. However since my wavy hair journey I’ve been discovering it more and more. It’s a UK brand made for wavy and curly hair that’s free from chemical nasties, silicones, sulfates and parabens. I would love to try the Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser (blue packaging) which is made for wavy hair. Their original conditioning cleanser (green packaging) for curly hair has had nothing but positive reviews from curly bloggers.

I’ve tried the US’s popular Devacurl and found that I only really like their hair styling whip, Wavemaker. Their ‘Delight’ range for wavy hair hadn’t really impressed me as the hype did, which is a shame because I wanted to love it. Boucleme also offer a 30-day money back guarantee (UK only) if you purchase directly from their website and are not satisfied with the product.

6. Birchbox’s December edition

The Greenwich Mummy | Christmas beauty wishlist
Birchbox December edition

I want to get my hands on the Birchbox December edition because it looks great and I am really in love with the box itself! It looks really Christmassy and the products seem like all new products I haven’t received before from past boxes.

Get 20% off gift subscriptions using code SANTA at Birchbox

I’ve actually already ordered the box so it’s on its way to me as you read this so I’ll get the review out for it by Christmas. The subscription boxes are usually sent out the beginning of the month but if you’re new and have just subscribed for the first time you’ll receive your box a week from your order date. You can read my past Birchbox reviews here.

7. Spa day gift voucher

Ahhhh a spa day with a facial!! My fave wishlist item

This month I started my new job as a spa therapist! I’m so glad to be back in spa therapies again but I’m not going to lie, it’s taking its toll on my body and I’m only working part-time on the weekends! People don’t realise that spa therapies can be strenuous/exhaustive work. A spa looks glamorous but there is a lot going on to make it look like that (think of duck gliding along the water but its feet paddling like crazy to keep it looking effortless). If I could, I would love to be treated to a spa day complete with treatments – lunch included would also be fab!

Travelzoo currently have some good offers on and I found two I love. One is a trip to North Wales for a spa day with a facial, body massage and lunch for only £55, or stay local in London and visit The Athenaeum Spa for treatments and a glass of bubbly with a friend (or Daddy P) for £135 which is dirt-cheap for this luxury hotel spa (that works out to £67,50 each!)

8. OPI nail polish collection

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
OPI Nails – 6 Piece Winter Collection

I LOVE the OPI brand – the polishes are super glossy, the colours are opaque and beautiful and the names are quirky! I came across this beautiful OPI 6 piece winter collection on the QVC and fell in love straight away. It has one of my favourite dark purple shade called “Lincoln Park After Dark” which is what caught my attention. A collection set is always cheaper to buy that individual ones as OPI polishes are around £15 a bottle. Best thing about QVC is the instalment payment plan – that’s really helpful at this time of year to be able to split the cost over a period of time to make the cost more affordable.

9. Packs of Flexi-rods

These cheap and cheerful styling tools are a wavy (and curly!) girl’s best friend when you want a really defined curly look minus the damage. As the CG method doesn’t allow for heat styling, flexi-rods allow you to create curvy or wavy styles easily without heat. They have always worked for me and I can get several different curly styles from them.

Got these curls by using my flexi-rods

I would love to do a really tighter ringlet style like in the photo below but need a lot more rods to achieve the look as I’ll need to create the curls with thinner strands. Chunkier strands create more wave and body, thinner strands create more curl and definition. There’s so many ways to use the flexi-rods – they really are a curly or wavy girl’s best friend! Natural hair Youtuber, Actually Ashly (@actually_ashly) does an amazing tutorial on how to style/set your hair with the flexi-rods as below. Defo check it out her vids if you’re looking for some curly hair inspo!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
Watch Actually Ashly’s video for creating this beautiful curly style! / credit: @actually_ashly

10. Swiss Clinic Derma Roller

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
Swiss Clinic Skin Renewal kit

I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and I would really love to get my hands on a derma roller. It’s a small beauty tool that has lots of tiny needles which pricks the surface of the skin to encourage collagen production and helps increase skin cell regeneration. It’s also a tool that can help push in your skincare products deeper into the skin’s layers. It’s supposed to be fab for acne scarring especially ice-pick scars which I actually have quite a few of. I’ve enquired about the derma-pen treatment at SK:N Clinics but the price is around £300 per session which is not cheap and more painful than the at-home versions.

The derma roller I have my eyes on is the Swiss Clinic skin renewal kit for £89. It features a 0.2mm microneedle derma roller, a storage box to keep the derma roller in and a rejuvenating serum to use with the roller. The Swiss Clinic website has a little online quiz you can complete to see which product is best for you as a guideline on what to purchase if you’re also interested in purchasing one.

Don’t be tempted to buy cheap ones – sometimes if it’s too good to be true, it really is. I know Amazon has some great reviews on their £20 roller but it’s a little risk to take. The price is amazing but maybe the roller would need replacing more frequently hence the lower price. I won’t use mine frequently but at least once a month so I’d like to have one that lasts a little longer.


NB. This post contains affiliate links

My Noughty Wave Hello Haircare Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Noughty Haircare Review

…so Noughty it’s good!

I LOVE British brands when it comes to beauty. Especially now that we’ve been able to step up our game in offering high quality, natural products that actually work! I’ve become a convert with my skincare and have left a lot of my beloved Dermalogica products behind, swapping it for more natural brands like Neal’s Yard Remedies and Australian skincare brand, A’Kin because I also really like Aussie skincare and haircare brands.

I recently got my hands on some lovely samples of the Noughty Wave Hello range. I’m no newbie to the products, I’ve used them before and fell in love with some instantly but then moved away to try others, so it was nice to give them a go again. There’s also a vlog review which you can watch at the end of this post.

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Check out my vlog at the end of this post!

I love experimenting with products but there are a few ranges that I really can’t be without and these definitely include the Noughty Hair care products. So without further ado, here’s my review on Noughty’s Wave Hello haircare range. If you don’t fancy reading, you can watch the video review instead. 🙂

My Noughty Wave Hello Haircare review…

For my loose wavy type 2A hair, I really love it! It’s nice and lightweight, cleanses my hair properly but still remains gentle and smells lovely and fresh. I used the Wave Hello shampoo, conditioner and curl creme in a number of different variations and can say after two weeks, I prefer using just the shampoo and conditioner as I found the curl creme just too heavy for my hair.

Wave Hello Shampoo/Low-poo
Enriched with sea kelp (to help soothe the scalp) and avocado oil (locks in moisture, strengthens hair), this low-poo gently cleanses the scalp to leave it fresh and clean without stripping it of natural oils.

As I only wash my hair twice a week maximum, I tend to get oil buildup on my scalp but just one application (sometimes two if it’s VERY OILY) and my scalp is squeaky clean. I feel like the shampoo lathers up much more than when I first tried out the range but that might be due to my hair now being used to non-sulfate/non-silicone cleansers. When I first used this range my hair was still getting used to changing over to the natural products so maybe it was more greasy then making it seem like there was less lather during each wash.

IMG_4375    IMG_4404
Post-washed hair (left) and 1st day after washing (right)

I cleanse my hair either in the bath if I’m having a soak or over it if it’s just a hair-wash day. I run warm water down the hair and lather up with this low-poo once or twice depending on how much buildup I’ve got. I concentrate the low-poo on my roots and spread the lather to the ends to keep them from being over-cleansed. I then rinse and always follow up with conditioner. When I am doing a clarifying wash, I would follow up with an intensive hair treatment/deep conditioner instead.

Wave Hello Conditioner
Definitely one of my favourite conditioners. The conditioner contains the same active ingredients as the shampoo. The two that I think really comes out in this product is something called ‘Quinoxy’ which somehow reminds me of ‘quinoa’. It’s similar – quinoxy is Noughty’s “blend of wheat extract, camellia oil and linoleic acid to blitz flyaways, decrease volume, boost smoothness and retain shape”. My fine to medium hair always seems less frizzy with the shampoo and when I mix it with water as part of my 2nd day hair refresh mist (1 part water, 1 part conditioner) it really revives my waves and keeps it as frizz-free as possible…

IMG_4600
2nd day hair: near enough frizz-free!

I also really like Shea Moisture’s weightless coconut-fusion range and find it a great alternative to my Noughty Wave Hello collection. I alternate between these two as Shea Moisture products contain protein-based ingredients, Noughty doesn’t.

Wave Hello Curl Taming Creme
As much as I wanted to love it, it wasn’t for me. It made my hair feel heavy and just weighed down my sensitive, loose waves. From the video, you can see that my waves will literally straighten out if you brush them with your fingers. I think curlier hair or wavies with a tighter pattern will benefit from this cream, especially curlier hair as it’s a rich cream. It’s just too heavy for my fine and sensitive waves. My daughter’s 3A/3B curls really loves this cream and so I use it for her instead.

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I use the Noughty curl taming creme on Ame’s 3A/3B curly hair

**Get a third off all Noughty hair care products on Boots.com**
shop here

So… do I recommend Noughty?

Hell yes! If you’re based in UK and following CGM, you will love this brand. It’s curly girl friendly and whether you have fine, loose waves like me or super curly hair like my daughter, there’s going to be a product that you will love. And with most products priced at £6.99 what’s not to love?! They have just launched their Christmas gift sets so you can even try a whole range for less. There’s also a promo on at Boots (see above link) and if we’re lucky we might see a half price promo on their website like we did on Black Friday! 🙂

What’s the ONE Noughty product I can’t live without?

This one I can answer hands down, without a doubt.. the To The Rescue intensive conditioning mask. O. M. G. I have not had anything like it! Super weightless but super hydrating and moisturising! The closest consistency I could measure it to would be the Shea Moisture JBCO leave-in conditioner; super creamy but super light like a whip.

It’s definitely going to stay on my shelf for many more years. A little goes a long way so I don’t need more than a scoop for my long hair. I love using the deep conditioning mask straight after a clarifying cleanse or whenever my hair seems a little dehydrated.

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My #1 ultimate favourite Noughty product: To The Rescue intensive conditioning mask

… et voila!

And that’s my Noughty Wave Hello haircare review done!

If you’re planning to give Noughty a try, go for it. They’re an affordable range (all around £6.99 per 250ml bottle), 97% natural which is pretty damn good, cruelty-free (no testing on animals), vegan-based ingredients, and free from all those chemical nasties ie. silicones, sulfates and parabens.


Watch the vlog review:


NB. I received a sample of Noughty Wave Hello haircare collection (shampoo, conditioner and curl creme) in exchange for an unbiased review on this blog and vlog post. All opinions, photos and content are my own and shouldn’t be used without my consent.

My type 2 wavy hair care routine (CGM friendly)

The Greenwich Mummy | My complete wavy hair care routine

If you read my first post about starting my Curly Girl Method hair journey, you’ll be able to see how my hair has transformed so much since then. Before I started bleaching and dying my hair for the second time, my waves and curls were much more defined but they’re slowly starting to return to their lovely shape.

My curl pattern has changed slightly, my hair doesn’t clump well so it’s difficult to tell how it’ll look on a daily basis. Some days the waves look more defined and I even get a few loose ringlets forming. Other days I get a loose S-shaped wave, it all depends on how much I scrunch and which products I combine together. I need to keep a journal because weeks later I can never really remember what I did.

Since my 6 months update which you can read here, I’ve had my hair cut professionally at Jones & Payne in Shoreditch by a lovely lady (who’s also a fellow wavy) called Lisa Ind. I was my first wavy girl cut so I really didn’t know what to expect but it was fab and she styled it fabulously. She did do lots of hair combing which made me want to die inside as I haven’t combed my hair since going CGM (I only finger-comb when in the bath/shower) so I wasn’t sure there’d be any waves but she managed to really bring them out which was fantastic. The cut set me back £80 but as I only get my hair cut once a year, it was a good investment! Here’s a photo of my hair post-cut:

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My complete wavy hair care routine
Instagram: @mannyngo_yogi

As I mentioned above, my waves pretty much change daily. I usually wash my hair at night after putting the kids to bed so it gets a little squished and looks a little different the next morning. I find that by the afternoon the curls spiral more and looks a little more stretched out.

The Greenwich Mummy | My complete wavy hair care routine
Top 4: morning hair / Bottom 4: afternoon hair

My hair still has difficulty clumping which I think is because I don’t have a specific curl pattern, it’s kind of waves, bends and curls in all directions. My hair looks shorter in the first photo but it’s not shrinkage, I think it’s just the angle of the camera and maybe because the curls are more defined and haven’t dropped yet. Personally, I prefer when my waves hang loose although sometimes I do wish they were a little tighter.

So here’s my current routine for my wavy type 2 hair:

1. Cleanse & Condition (1-2x weekly)
I use a low-poo and conditioner – either the Noughty Colour Bomb range or Shea Moisture Weightless Coconut Fruit Fusion range which smells divine. I alternate between the two as I have coloured hair but love using the Shea Moisture weightless range as it gives me just enough moisture but feels completely weightless. To my surprise, this Shea Moisture low-poo lathers up more than the Noughty Colour bomb one. My other Noughty fave is their Wave Hello range which is great for wavy hair. Noughty is cheaper too! 😉

Once the conditioner is on, I sometimes finger comb my hair to detangle it then scrunch my hair to ensure the product goes into the hair. I then move on to rinsing using the Squish to Condish method.

2. Hair Mask (bi-weekly)
I use the Noughty ‘To The Rescue’ hair mask once a week. If my hair doesn’t feel like it needs the added boost that week I skip this step. The Noughty hair mask smells soooo good and works really well. Despite it feeling really thick to apply, once it’s on, it feels really lightweight. Very surprising but a nice surprise. 🙂

3. Leave-in Conditioner (each time after step 1)
I use the Shea Moisture JBCO leave-in which not only smells good, it is also feels super lovely on the hair and very weightless. It’s the ideal product if you have coloured/chemically processed/damaged hair. I scoop a good amount and apply when my hair is still wet using the prayer hands method then squish to condish again to get all the product into the hair.

I tend to skip the curl cream step (Cantu Curl Cream Activator) because it can weigh down my hair however when I prefer not to style it with gel, I’ll use the curl cream. I then scrunch-dry my hair until it’s about 50% dry then go in with the gel.

4. Enhancer & Gel (each time after step 3)
I use the Eco Styler olive oil gel for a hard hold gel but also light switching between my Umberto Giannini scrunching jelly which is a medium hold. I make sure my hands are wet with water before adding the gel to my hands. I gently rub my hands together then apply to my hair. I apply the gel with prayer hands then cup the ends of my hair to my head without closing the fingers. I do this instead of fully scrunching because I find that I get less frizz like this. Once fully dry (the next day if I’ve washed my hair at night), I scrunch out the crunch using my hands and a cotton tee or a microfibre cloth whichever I get first.

And there you have it!

I will eventually get round to writing a review on the actual products as well as writing my review on the popular DevaCurl range. I have recently bought the DevaCurl Wavy hair mini kit so will be excited to give that a try as so many wavies and curlies swear by this US brand. I purchased it on a UK website called NaturalisticProducts which I think are one of the only UK stockists of the brand.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My complete wavy hair care routine
Can’t wait to try out this set! 🙂

Have you tried CGM and it didn’t work for you? Here’s an article by NaturallyCurly.com that can help: https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/regimen/curly-girl-method-letting-you-down-you-re-not-alone

Beauty: May BirchBox Review

So it’s been a long while since I last did a Birchbox review on my blog and when I saw the May 2018 edition, I couldn’t resist but to order it… the decadent palm print was calling me!

I was pleasantly surprised with the products I received in this box and THANK THE LORD there were no samples I’d previously received before. This was one of the reason why I stopped subscribing as I had so many products in the end and a lot of them were doubles of what I’d had before.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty Box Review

The products I got in my May Birchbox 2018 were:

  • Doucce luscious lip stain in steaming red
  • Greenfrog Botanic geranium and peppermint body wash *fave product*
  • Native Unearthed activated charcoal natural deodorant balm *fave product*
  • Marcelle new age precision 8-1 power serum
  • Eyeko skinny liquid eyeliner in black
  • Smith & Cult the shining lip lacquer (free promo gift)

My views on the products…

Smith & Cult
Baby Girl Ams and I really enjoyed playing about with the lip gloss, we also had a go at the lip stain but it wasn’t as fun. The glossy look on Ams looked very natural and I quite liked the glossy effect on my lips too. It’s been donkeys years since I’ve worn lip gloss so wasn’t too sure of what to make of it. The Smith & Cult lipgloss smelt really nice and sweet but was quite thick to spread across the lip but as much as I hated the heavy feeling, it definitely made my then-dry lips look more moisturised and hydrated. It’s also a full size product and the packaging is gorgeous so it was a really nice free gift.

Get a full-size Lip Laquer with your first Birchbox in February with code: GLOSS

Native Unearthed
My ultimate favourite product from this box has to be 100% the Native Unearthed natural deodorant balm! It’s a really amazing product and I can tell you for a fact, IT REALLY WORKS! I am not normally a stinker but every now and then I would notice that occasionally one underarm tends to whiff a little more than the other… but since using this deodorant balm – nothing! I’m definitely a convert and natural deo balms have now changed my life. I really don’t think I’ll ever go back to using standard roll-ons and definitely not sprays. Apparently the toxin-slaying activated charcoal combined with the sweat-absorbing arrowroot and antibacterial coconut oil and lavender oil makes this deo-balm the s**t! 🙂 A little really goes a long way with this product and I will definitely be purchasing the full size product!

Greenfrog Botanic
I’ve been looking for a “grown-up” botanic body wash other than the lovely Liz Earle range and this one by Greenfrog Botanic wash seems to have done the trick. To me, the scent is amazing!! It smells so fresh and natural but that’s really appealing to me. You can really smell the geranium and a bit of the peppermint in this wash, mind you though – it’s not really a lathering type so if you love your bubbles this one will have to be a miss.

The body wash is also vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and free from all those chemical nasties so it’s a major winner for me.

Doucce 
I quite liked this lip stain. It definitely stayed on well for a couple of hours but once I started eating and wiped my lips with a tissue (I forgot I had lip colour on) the lip stain was near enough gone. A little disappointing as some other high street brands would have better staying power. The colour is gorgeous though but I wouldn’t really call it a red. The steaming red shade which I had was more of a “natural lip” pinkish red colour. The matte effect was lovely and I would continue using it but I wouldn’t decide to repurchase once it’s all used up.

Marcelle
Unfortunately I stayed away from this serum, it looks great and all but it has some silicones in it and my skin doesn’t agree with silicones. I’m sure the cones would really help to create a brilliant base like a primer but I’ve used skincare products with silicones before and I am not a big fan. I’ll be adding this product to my box of unused/unwanted products which I will be giving away so keep your eyes peeled! 🙂

Eyeko
I’m a big fan of eyeliner but not yet had the chance to try this one out simply because I have so many eyeliners already on the go and they’re nowhere near finished so once again I will have to pass on this product. It’s said to be very easy to use and the fine tip means you can really get more precise lines with this skinny liquid eyeliner. It’s also fade resistant so you should be able to wear it all day without needing a topup.

The June box is now out on sale. You can claim your free Smith & Cult lip lacquer with the new box by using the code GLOSS.


NB. This post contains affiliate links

6 months update: My Curly Girl Method hair journey…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: Straight to Wavy Hair Journey

From straight hair to wavy hair…

Last year, December to be exact, I decided to start a hair journey called the Curly Girl Method (CGM). This method is known by many hair bloggers as the technique to really bring out your natural waves and curls. The method encourages using natural hair products that contain no parabens, SLS, sulfates, silicones, alcohol denat and other chemical nasties. It’s said that by eliminating these ingredients, wavies and curlies will be able to unleash their hair’s full potential.

My hair has always been – what I thought – was pretty much straight hair (fine/medium density) with a few kinks. It wasn’t until I started looking back at some of my photos that I noticed I did have a wave halfway-down my hair and thought I might as well give the Curly Girl Method a try…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: Straight to Wavy Hair Journey
Before and After CGM: The waves are coming through!

Here’s a pic of my before and afters. Wow oh wow! What a difference right?! I’m telling you, no matter how much I tried to scrunch my hair before going CG, there were no waves were coming through. Now I can even get my waves to come through with a quick spritz of water on the second day!

My hair type:
Curl Type – a combination of 2A/2B
Density – fine/medium
Porosity – high as it’s coloured
Length – long

Here’s what I was using/am using now:

  • Shampoo: I used Noughty Wave Hello until March when it ran out and switched over to Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion as I bought it when it was on sale for half-price on Look Fantastic.
  • Conditioner: I used Noughty’s Wave Hello conditioner and also switched over to Shea Moisture’s Fruit Fusion weightless conditioner in March.
  • Deep conditioning hair mask: I didn’t use one to start with as I couldn’t find one that was good and cheap but then found Garnier’s new argan silicone-free mask in February and was using that once a week. I now use Noughty’s Hair To The Rescue mask once a week.
  • Styling: for styling I was using a CGM favourite, Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly which smelt amazing and worked well however I got tired of scrunching out the gel cast and moved over to my new fave styling product, the ECO Styler olive oil gel (green one) which I got from the African/Asian hair shop. I still use both. When I prefer to have a natural, softer wave I opt for my daughter’s leave-in product, ORS anti-breakage monoi oil curling creme however it’s too heavy for my hair so I’ve been thinking about purchasing the Noughty Hydrate & Shine serum. As my hair is fine/medium it needs really light products and I’ve found Noughty is great for this (more below)… 🙂

My favourite products/brands

There’s no doubt about it, the two brands I really love is new UK brand, Noughty and popular US brand, Shea Moisture.

I first heard about the Shea Moisture brand from my friend who is mixed (Jamaican/Chinese) and she has coily hair (roughly 4B curl type) and she recommended the castor oil range for my children’s hair. When they launched their weightless Fruit Fusion I decided I had to give it a try. Unlike Noughty, Shea Moisture’s shampoo still lathers up quite well without SLS and sulfates. For people who are just starting out on CGM and feel like their hair might not be able to handle the little/no lather and have fine to medium hair will love the Fruit Fusion range. It smells really nice too and the coconut water in the Fruit Fusion range seems to help my hair stay a little more hydrated.

Noughty is a brilliant UK brand and I can’t recommend it enough for curlies and especially wavies. The products are always weightless and smell amazing too! Every product is 97% and vegan-friendly – they never test on animals. I was sent the ‘to the rescue’ hair mask by Noughty to try and I was a little skeptical at first because I tried the Garnier argan range and as lovely as it smells and feels on my hair in the bath (the only silicone-free range by Garnier), it tends to weight it down – it’s great for Baby Girl’s curl type 3A/3B hair though! Noughty’s hair mask is extremely lightweight, easy to apply and smells absolutely delicious – think sweet, sweet almonds! The mask was light enough to not even fully rinse out. I really loved it and it definitely offers my hair more moisture without weighing it down. On the Noughty website, they offer free delivery for orders over £10 – happy days!

Another brand I’d like to try is Boucleme, I’ve heard lots of good things about their products so might try them out once my Shea Moisture products have finished.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: Straight to Wavy Hair Journey
My CGM hair journey from December to April

6 months on…

I started off with straight hair that had a few kinks in it here and there. After six months of going CGM, I would say my wavy hair curl type is a combination of 2A/2B. There’s few good clumps of 2B but it’s mainly type 2A. I’m really excited to see how my hair journey progresses in a few month’s time, and eventually in a year’s time.

It’s been a difficult six months as I loved dying my hair and now it’s so tricky as each time I dye it, it gets damaged. Hair masks with protein does help but my hair eventually feels weighed down by it so I’m still looking for a protein-based hair mask that doesn’t do that… still searching! If you know if any, please comment and let me know asap. Plus if it’s available in the UK that’ll help as US products are really expensive to ship over. I would love to try out the Deva Curl range but it’s expensive to ship and I’ve read reviews about it being watered down from Amazon purchases… yeah I’ll pass on that one.

My top tips and advice for fellow wavies…

  1. Squish to condish is one of the most important steps in our hair washing routine. After adding conditioner, I comb through my hair with my fingers to detangle then squish to condish from there to rinse and finish.
  2. Don’t fully rinse out all of the conditioner – stop rinsing one cycle short to leave a little conditioner in, I find it helps with the flyaway hairs. If you find this too ‘greasy’ you can run water over the top of your head and cradle your hair to prevent the waves from stretching out.
  3. Scrunch scrunch and scrunch! When towel-drying use an old cotton or jersey tshirt as it’s much softer and prevents frizz. Stop scrunching halfway to add your styling product however I found with gel it’s best to add it to the hair when it’s wet then add in again when it’s halfway dry.
  4. Plopping works great unless your hair is very long. A quick blast with a diffuser will help cut drying time and helps prevent the waves from stretching out, I usually switch from a blast of the hot setting to 5 secs of the cold setting then wait 3-5 secs before taking the diffuser away to do other sections.
  5. Regularly trim your ends to keep your hair healthy.
  6. A weekly hair mask is vital especially if you have coloured hair like me. Experiment between products with and without protein (if your hair is low porosity, it won’t like the protein).

The Curly Girl Method does really work but it is definitely NOT a quick hair fix. You do really have to work hard for your waves and watch out for the products that are not CGM-approved. British Curlies can help with their extensive list of ingredients to avoid if you get stuck.. there’s lots to remember! Learning more about my hair has also made me realise how much I need to teach Baby Girl about her hair when she gets older. Unfortunately our products are different and she requires a little more care than I but it’s a good learning curve. She loves her curls and I’m so glad that she does! 🙂

If you haven’t had a chance to read my first Curly Girl Method blog post, you can do so here: https://thegreenwichmummy.com/2017/12/22/curly-girl-method-for-wavy-hair-my-haircare-journey-and-routine/ – there’s some pretty useful links on there too and good to know hair tips and advice for wavies and curlies starting out their hair journey.

The Greenwich Mummy | London Family Lifestyle Blogger


I was kindly sent a sample of Noughty’s ‘to the rescue’ hair mask to try in exchange for a product review. All words, photos and opinions are my own content. This post also contains affiliate links.

The Curious Comb Greenwich Hair Salon Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family & Lifestyle in London: The Curious Comb Greenwich review

Finding a hair salon you love can be difficult and sometimes looking for a new one is even more difficult. I’ve been going sulfate-free and silicone-free for just over a month and starting to get a few more waves out of my hair although they’re not fully there yet.

One day I walked past my local hair salon, The Curious Comb and saw a sign in the window stating that they were looking for models so I enquired about colour for me. I was asked what I’d like to do and had been thinking about going mermaid hair for a little while but didn’t have the courage to do it but that day I decided to bite the bullet and take a chance. I booked myself in for a total colour transformation and am sooo glad that I did because I really love my hair!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - The Curious Comb Greenwich Hair Salon Review

If you’re not sure what mermaid hair/unicorn hair/rainbow hair is, check out Pinterest and you’ll find a plethora of this new and popular creative colouring technique that’s taken London by storm. As I booked in as a hair model, I needed to start my appointment at 08:30am before clients arrived to avoid disruption to the salon and also give the colourist enough time to perform the service. I also had to pay a small fee for my model colour as the salon has to cover their cost for the materials/ingredients used, naturally.

On the day…

Tuesday, 08:30am I was greeted by Chris at reception who checked me in and introduced me to my colourist Vivi – a funky lady whose work I had been admiring on the salon’s instagram page, @thecuriouscomb. Vivi greeted me and sat me down, offered me a drink and asked me what I’d like to do to my hair. I told her that I wanted to have mermaid hair and was looking for pinks, purples, blues and greens. She explained that as my natural hair colour was such a dark base, it would be possible to achieve mermaid hair but not to the pastel colour I’d like. Chris, who was overseeing Vivi also told me that it would be impossible to go from almost black to pastel in one sitting unless we were there for a whole day as in 8hrs+ and use high-strength bleach which would be really damaging to my hair. This I knew so it was no surprise to me, I confirmed that I would be happy with any lift and know that I won’t be super light but as long as I can get a vibrant colour, I’d be a happy bunny. Chris mentioned that Olaplex would be added to my colour to help protect my hair from excessive damage – Olaplex is a protein based treatment that actually helps the hair to repair. The Curious Comb also offer it as a stand-alone treatment for about £30.00.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Curious Comb Hair Review
Post-blending of the colours

Chris and Vivi spoke about how she was going to do my hair – I mentioned that I’d like a balayage application and Chris recommended Vivi to use foils instead of freehand. My hair went through one process of bleach which lifted it to an orange colour – this, I’d also expected to happen. Vivi applied the foils and bleach evenly and with speed for a colourist in training. My head felt so heavy from the foils and this part of the process took about 2hrs. After the foil application was done, Vivi rinsed my hair and sat me down again with another lovely coffee and showed me the colours she was going to apply on my hair. She applied the colour carefully and blended them well using a special hand-blending technique. I sat and watched my hair changed colour… multi-colour. 🙂

The blending by Vivi was absolutely amazing! My own unique mermaid hair which I liked to call Watermelon Hair. There’s even a hashtag for #watermelonhair on the gram and it describes my outcome perfectly.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Curious Comb Hair Review
The end result was beautiful! / Instagram @mannyngo_yogi

And for the guys who love ‘before and after’ photos… here’s mine. What a drastic colour change – a super transformation!

The result

My hair still felt surprisingly soft. I really thought it was going to feel like hay but it didn’t. Maybe that was thanks to the Olaplex? I’m not 100% sure. Vivi told me that my colour will last aroun 8-10 washes and the less I wash my hair, the longer the colour will keep. That’s great news for me as I only wash my hair 1-2 times a week and it’s with a low-poo (a sulfate-free, silicone-free shampoo).

Vivi styled it for me using hair tongs and curled it beautifully. The curls lasted for 3-4 days and it was the first time in about a month since I had used any heat products or styling on my hair since going CGM.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Curious Comb Hair Review
Before and After / Instagram @thecuriouscomb

Three months on (it’s now March) and my colour has only faded about 60% – the multi-colour tones have somewhat blended into each other and the colours are no longer as vibrant as it was on the first day but I still love it so. I have been thinking about going back for my Olaplex treatment and also a colour refresh. I will be sticking with The Curious Comb from now on for my colour.. now I just need to be brave enough to go in for a cut! 🙂

GlossyBox UK January review

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family & Lifestyle Blog

I’ve not been a GlossyBox subscriber in a little while so last month I decided to give it a try again and have fallen in love with the beauty box once again. The December box was fantastic and had a different packaging from its standard pretty pink shade.

There was also a promo on for December; two boxes for the price of one so of course I couldn’t miss out on subscribing! I really need to write a review for those boxes too so will post those up soon. Blogging has become a little tricky again with everything else going on in life but I guess that is life – it doesn’t always run as smoothly as you want it to.

I really felt like GlossyBox UK have stepped up their game in these past couple of months. The products in December’s box were fantastic and the same with January’s box too.

Here’s what I got in mine:

  • Evelyn Iona Cosmetics green tea primer
  • Dr. Botanicals Moroccan rose superfood facial oil (my fave product)
  • Nail Medic nail and cuticle energizer
  • Apicia cream blush
  • Boots beauty beneath supplements (60 capsules)

My favourite product out of all these has to be the Dr. Botanicals Moroccan rose facial oil followed closely by the Evelyn Iona cosmetics primer.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Glossybox January 2018 Review
Photo Credit: Glossybox

The facial oil is nothing like I’ve used before – it’s really light and more of a liquid texture and consistency than oil. This superfood product is packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin C (helps to make the skin look more radiant), vitamin A (an antioxidant that helps reduce the signs of ageing) and almond oil (nourishing to the skin).

I think this facial oil would suit combination to oily skin types a little more than other skin types as it’s so light. My skin type is combination and dehydrated and I found the product went on really well and felt very nice on the skin. It also left my skin feeling hydrated for the rest of the day. It smells absolutely gorgeous too. Like almond sweets. 🙂 I did think that if my skin was more drier like it usually is during the colder seasons, this product probably wouldn’t be able to provide me with enough moisture to be used alone without moisturiser on top.

I used the Evelyn green tea primer on top of the facial oil and my skin felt really soft, moisturised and oh so smooth. The primer has a lot of natural ingredients which is a bonus for me as I am really loving the natural/organic/free-from-chemicals hair and beauty products that are on the market. They always smell amazing and feel amazing on the skin! So back to the primer, it’s paraben-free and also contains aloe vera, avocado oil, jojoba seed oil – all of which are nourishing for the skin.

However, I did notice something naughty at the top of their ingredients list… dimethicone. A well-known silicone that’s neither natural, organic nor good for our skin. According to the brand’s website, Evelyn Iona states that they will be removing this ‘cone from their formulas in “early 2018″… we’ll see if they stick to their word. Ever since embarking on my natural hair journey I’ve been more conscious about checking the labels to see what goes into my skincare products.

The cuticle oil energizer was really nice to use and also smelled like sweets. It sinked into my cuticles fast and didn’t leave any oily residue behind. The cream blusher was nice to use but I’m not a big fan of blusher so not used it apart from testing it once and therefore can’t really comment on it. The food supplement I’ve not used at all so can’t comment on that either.

Beauty box giveaway?
I’ve also realised that I’ve accumulated a LOT of samples over the year – there’s so many  that haven’t been opened. Once I even ordered a box by mistake and ended up with two! So I decided I will be giving away some of these products – either as a giveaway or something… any ideas?

Have a lovely week! x


*this post contains affiliate links

 

The Curly Girl Method: from straight hair to wavy hair

As long as I can remember, I’ve always considered myself as having straight hair. It was only until two years ago when I had my hair cut by my favourite stylist at my previous workplace, she told me that my hair was wavy. I’ve always had bends and kinks in my hair – it’s not dead straight so I should’ve thought about it more before and researched it. However, all of my family members have straight hair plus I’m Asian and there’s not many of us who are naturally curly girls.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to make straight hair wavy!
Dreamy waves / Photo by Averie Woodard on Unsplash

As I’ve been looking after Baby Girl’s hair better and researching the different types of curl types, hair density and porosity, I think I’ve worked out her hair type and mine. The articles on British Curlies and Natural Barnet have helped me out a lot. They are UK sites and feature more products that we can get our hands on. For the US, I love NaturallyCurly.com, Hairstylehub.com and All Things Hair.

According to British Curlies, I have S’wavy/Wavy hair which is great but because I really do have to work hard to get my curls going once it dries, I think I err more on the s’wavy side. 🙂

 

 

I would say my curl type is 2A, fine to medium density, and low porosity. I have a slight wave in the hair which I had never really noticed before. I always thought my hair was just a little thicker than normal and hard to manage because of the frizz. It responds really well to heat but I try to avoid heating tools because of the damage. I colour my hair a lot so I have to try and reduce the damage by cutting certain things out.

So with my new-found waves, I began researching more into the Curly Girl Method. It’s a method of hair maintenance using sulfate-free and silicone-free products and conditioning as these ingredients can really damage and weigh down curly hair types. Silicones can build up in the hair and are known to prevent natural curls from unleashing their full potential. As my hair is fine/medium density, I am choosing to not co-wash but using a low-poo (sulfate-free shampoo) instead.

What is the Curly Girl Method?

If you’ve been looking into the Curly Girl method and not sure where to start, here’s what you should be doing… Do not use conventional haircare products, all haircare products must be free from silicones and sulfates!

Cleansing – choose to either wash your hair with a low-poo (sulfate-free shampoo) or co-wash (with a conditioning cleanser)

Condition – use a conditioner that is right for your hair density and porosity, if your hair is fine-medium use a lightweight conditioner, if your hair is medium-thick/coarse, use a very moisturising and nourishing conditioner

Treatment – use a hair masque once or twice a week to treat the hair to extra moisture. Just like the conditioner, use a product that is ideal for your hair condition (curl type, density, porosity)

Styling – choose your weapon! If you have waves to loose curls, use something lightweight like a gel or mousse to define the waves. If you prefer a softer look, use a lightweight cream, lotion or milk. If you have tight curls or coily hair you will need a more moisturising product to control frizz and manage your curls. A leave-in conditioner or cream would work best on your hair.


Which curl type are you?

Check out the illustrations below to help you identify your curl type. I started off with hair type 1B with odd kinks and now have 2A hair type with the odd 2B strands.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Curly Girl Method Hair Journey
Types 1 to 2 / Source: Rebloggy
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Curly Girl Method Hair Journey
Types 3 to 4 / Source: Rebloggy

Product ingredients to avoid…

British Curlies which has become my ingredients list bible – it displays all the product nasties you’ll need to avoid: https://www.britishcurlies.co.uk/2014/10/cg-method-which-products-can-i-use-and-what-ingredients-do-i-avoid/ – it explains the difference between insoluble and soluble silicones and alcohols to avoid.

I really want to purchase some of the haircare products that are a CGM (Curly Girl Method) staple but 1. I can’t afford it, or 2. it’s just available in the US – boo! So I tracked down a few UK brands that specialise in wavy hair to try out and hopefully bring out my new waves/curls. 🙂

Brands that free from silicone, sulfates and other nasties:

  • Cantu
  • Noughty
  • Shea Moisture
  • Boucleme
  • Kind Natured

Liz Earle is a British brand that I really love – they are a botanical product company with haircare products that are free from all the nasties above. The only thing is they don’t have a specialised range for wavy/curly hair but it’s a brand I’ve tried before (pre-CGM) but would love to try again once my waves have come into full swing.

My CGM routine

Right now, this is my Curly Girl Method routine which I do about twice a week. I’m a month into CG and have not looked back! Apparently it’s said to take around 6-8 weeks before my natural curl pattern will start coming through however I can already feel my hair texture is changing. The curls are becoming more visible week by week (I’m now in week 4) and I am loving it!

Here are the products I’m using:

Cleansing/Low-poo – Noughty Wave Hello shampoo (I don’t co-wash)
Conditioner – Noughty Wave Hello conditioner
Treatment – I’m not using a deep weekly treatment but I recommend Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Weightless Masque (once weekly) for wavy hair
Styling – Umberto Giannini Scrunching Jelly (a CGM staple product) which I am totally in love with! I also use Giovanni GNV styling mousse which is so lightweight. Both products are fantastic and do not leave a sticky feel. I’ll do a Youtube review of these products soon and will embed the video on here once it’s published.

I took a photo once every week to see how my hair has progressed so far and it’s really come a long way! When my hair is wet it curls much more but the hair underneath the head feels more thicker and heavier so it still doesn’t curl much but there’s a few kinks coming along so hopefully in a few month’s time, that will improve.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: My wavy hair journey
Week 1
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: My wavy hair journey
Week 2 (slept with hair in a bun)
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: My wavy hair journey
Week 3

*1 year update post-CGM*

One year on… here’s a before and after photo for you. Now, I have to mention that the after photo was taken post-wash and styled so well as I can NEVER get my hair to look like that daily. It was a combo of using mousse to scrunch and then gentle prayer hands over the top mid-lengths with leave-in conditioner to tame the strays.

Left: before CGM, type: 1B / Right: 1 year post-CGM, type: 2A

Products used in the right photo:

Cleansing/Low-poo – Shea Moisture weightless shampoo
Conditioner – Noughty Wave Hello conditioner
Leave-in conditioner – Shea Moisture JBCO
Styling – Boucleme curl defining gel post-wash, Giovanni GNV styling mousse the next day

A guide to helping your child develop a skincare routine (guest post)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

Looking after children’s skin is very important. For my own kids, they don’t go a day without cleansing with water and a face cloth and moisturising with shea butter/coconut oil whip that I made. I know that when the kids get older I’d have to step up their routine.

A contribution post by Jane Sandwood

Children can grow up so fast. One minute, they’re running around and scattering Lego on the floor, and the next thing you know, they’re spending lots of time in front of the mirror, worrying about their skin and hair. Throughout the changes that they’ll go through in life, it’s important to be there for them every step of the way, especially when it comes to hygiene and skincare.

According to a survey, 81% of young girls said that having clear and healthy skin was very important to them. However, because of lack of skincare knowledge, 45% of girls ages 12 to 14 are choosing to wear too much makeup to cover up their bad skin. It is important to let children know that applying too many layers of makeup can lead to greater skin problems and having a skincare routine is essential to one’s overall health. It’s never too early to let your child know some healthy skin habits, so follow these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine.

Teach your child about her skin type
Most children have healthy skin, but by the time they turn 11, some will experience having acne, oily skin, or even dry skin. Assess your child’s skin and teach him or her about her skin type. If you’re not certain, you can find out by doing this simple test to determine his or her skin type. Have your child wash her face with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. After two hours, observe how the skin looks. If her skin looks tight, dull, and feels itchy, then she has dry skin. Oily skin looks and feels greasy, has large pores, and is prone to breakouts. Knowing about skin type helps you and your child find the right skincare products before he or she starts doing a regular skincare routine.

Cleanse well
The first thing that you need to teach your child is to cleanse his skin well. Proper cleansing can help to clear up acne and prevent breakouts, especially if your child has very oily skin Encourage him to do this at least twice a day—once in the morning before going to school, and once in the evening before bedtime. Your child should cleanse all the way up to the hairline and behind the ears every single time. Choose a mild, pH balanced, milky cleanser with little to no scent. Gentle face washes, hypoallergenic products, and cleansers with few synthetic ingredients are ideal for young skin.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger
Source: Unsplash

Moisturise
Applying moisturiser is an essential part of any skincare routine as it keeps the skin supple. Moreover, it is beneficial in improving the skin’s texture, and whether your child has oily or dry skin, it is crucial to use the right type of moisturiser to ensure the skin’s health. A gel-type moisturiser may be more suitable for oily skin, while dry skin will benefit from a lotion or cream formula.

Sun protection
Protecting one’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun should be a priority. Sunscreen prevents sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer, so kids, especially those who participate in outdoor sports, should make it a habit to use sunscreen every day. Let your child bring a small tube of sunscreen to school as well so he or she can reapply as needed.

Having good skincare habits at a young age can help a child have healthy skin that will benefit him as he gets older. Try these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine. In case of serious skin problems, consult your dermatologist.