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Qualified beauty therapist looking for work.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our Little Secret hair extensions

As many of you know I recently got hair extensions applied by a company called Our Little Secret. I applied to be a model for one of their training courses, which meant I got a discount and paid €89 for a "full head" of single strand extensions, €89 more than they were worth imo. As you will also know if you read my blog, I generally love to give credit where credit is do, and rarely write a bad review.

Firstly, let me say that my problem is not in any way related to the people running the course. The guy who did my hair was lovely, as was the trainer. My problem is with the quality of extensions I received on the day being so poor that I had to pay to have them removed after less than 2 weeks.

When I applied to be a model I explicitly explained that I had had a very bad experience with micro bead extensions before and was very dubious about getting them again. I was repeatedly assured that the beads used were so small that they would be virtually invisible in my hair, and was linked to the below picture as proof. That all looked very convincing to me, so I followed through.

Image from
How obvious the beads were.

While my extensions were being applied (which took about 5 hours but I was prepared for that) I was very aware that there wasn't an awful lot of hair being used. When the trainer brushed my hair through on the day it looked fine, unfortunately I'm not a professional stylist so it never looked that way again.

I first started noticing problems when I tried to tie my hair up. The beads were painfully obvious from every angle, as you can see below. They were also sore for nearly 4 day after, again something I was assured wouldn't happen. They were so sparse that I couldn't wear my hair down as the extensions were very ratty, gappy and wispy, basically it was blatantly obvious that I had extensions in.

I emailed Our little secret on the 4th day that I was in discomfort explaining the situation and with pictures of the state of my hair. When they replied they said that extensions can take up to a week to settle and "bulk out", contrary to what was said on the day. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and persevered.

After a week and a half there was absolutely no improvement. If anything they looked worse as almost every time I brushed my hair I was losing strands, before taking them out I lost 7 strands. On the day we were told we could lose between 1-5 strands, but any more than that is excessive. I explained this in my email too.

I had to get the extensions removed during the week, leaving me a further €50 out of pocket. The hairdresser removed a total of 68 strands, plus the 7 that fell out makes 75 individual strands, which for someone with quite thick hair is just no where near enough.

For nearly 2 weeks I had hair that I just couldn't do anything with. At no stage in my correspondence with the company did I ask for a refund, as I knew I was part of a training course. That said, the quality of the extensions I was left with was still tied to their company, and was a reflection on them, it's not a reflection I would want on my company. In the last email I received from them i was offered €89 off a full head of extensions (valued at €299-599) as a goodwill gesture, but once bitten twice shy, I wouldn't even trust them to remove the extensions. I'm sure anyone would be extremely reluctant to let anyone near their hair who had done such a bad job in the first place. I told them this, and explained that I feel that they should at least cover the cost of having them removed, and they never replied. Their attitude towards an dissatisfied customer seems to be 'ignore them and hope they go away'. Their customer service leaves an awful lot to be desired.

If anyone is thinking of taking part in one of their training courses I urge you to tread very carefully. I am now €149 out of pocket for absolutely nothing. I would never recommend them to anyone. Had they had dealt with my complaint better I probably never would have written this review but I think that people should be aware that if they are unhappy with the level of service they receive from Our Little Secret that they will do virtually nothing for you to rectify it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Waxperts in Zinc Hair and Beauty

Today I took a HUGE step and braved my first ever all off Brazilian wax. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. Not so much about the pain, more so about lying legs akimbo in front of some poor stranger.

I've been shaving for years, but having to do it so often and having almost constant razor burn for the sake of a day or two of being smooth has gotten really tiresome. So a few weeks ago I got in touch with the lovely folk at Waxperts and was talking to Trish who very kindly put me in touch with my nearest Waxperts salon, Zinc Hair and Beauty in Kilmainham.

I was super impressed with the salon, everyone was absolutely lovely from the second I walked in. I was even given a coffee with a little mars bar! The salon is decorated really girly and classy, and was really comfortable to wait in. I was booked in with Tanya, who was brilliant! She was nice and chatty and kept me distracted by talking throughout the entire wax, so I wasn't even concentrating on it at all. I really couldn't praise her enough. She made me feel so comfortable, and told me loads about Waxperts!

Onto the waxing itself! As I said, I was nervous, and had worked myself up quite a bit. But to be honest, there was no point. Yes, it did sting, but literally for about 3 seconds. The entire experience felt much gentler on the skin. Normally after any waxing the skin can be quite tender and sore, and you'd know you had something done. By the time I was walking to my car I'd almost forgotten I'd been waxed! It was so much less daunting in every way than I'd built myself up for. I almost felt embarrassed for being so embarrassed!

So would I go back? Absolutely! I've already booked my next appointment and threw all my razors in the bin when I got home. If, like me, you're too afraid to wax, don't be! It's nowhere near as bad as you think. And don't be embarrassed either! Just remember that this is their job! They see countless clients a week, you'll be no different!

Finally, I just want to thank everyone in Zinc and Waxperts for the fantastic service I got today! I can see myself becoming a Waxperts addict!

You can get any info you need about Waxperts and find your local salon by getting in touch via Facebook or Twitter

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

HD Brows in Nu Essence Beauty

A few weeks ago I replied to a tweet looking for models for HD Brows. I'd been toying with the idea of getting them done for a while, but both the cost and how precious I am about my brows always put me off. Your brows can really make or break the overall look of your entire face, so once I find a waxer I like I tend to stick to them like glue.  Being between waxes because my current waxer is on maternity leave I jumped at the opportunity of getting them done in Nu Essence, and I'm so glad I did!

Firstly, I was running about 20 minutes late, and the girls were completely accommodating. The salon itself is really lovely and relaxing,  and I felt really at ease as soon as I walked in.
My brows were done by Joanie, who was brilliant. She talked me through every detail,  and always made sure I was comfortable and happy with what she was doing. Her attention to detail was amazing,  she tweazed and threaded my brows to perfection. Even the waxing was so much less painful than I'm accustomed to. I haven't touched them in weeks so they were really unruly, and one brow is naturally fuller than the other so she really had her work cut out for her. She even custom mixed my colour so I have lovely cool toned brown brows that really suit my complexion and hair colour.

I'm so, so happy I took the plunge,  and couldn't thank or recommended Nu Essence enough. Everything was absolutely lovely and I'll definitely be going back to keep up my new brows.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Living with mental illness

This post is completely out of character for my blog, I rarely post anything of a personal nature. But my life has taken a turn in the last week or so, and this issue is weighing heavily on my mind. I feel like if I don't get what I have to say out in some form I will explode. I've never felt frustration, despair or sheer anger like this issue has caused me, and those closest to me.

The only bit of background I can give you is that we have been living with mental illness in the family for the last 9 years. My brother supposedly (I say supposedly only because I don't believe that is his definitive diagnosis) has a mental illness called semataphorm, an illness that constantly causes him to think and feel like he is dying. He has constant panic and anxiety attacks and for this he was prescribed a drug called Zimovane, which he quickly became heavily addicted to and which now rules his, and by extension, our lives. He took Zimovane to such an extent (10+ a day) purely so he could function. He was also a very heavy drinker, one who would be bed ridden with the hangover for 3 days, but didn't have the intelligence to connect the two. He regularly threatens to kill himself, but when he presents himself at a hospital he is turned away.

He was thrown out of the family home, where I still live, because his illness and addiction led him to steal from us all, and steal my mothers bank card to use online (it's politically correct to say his mental illness made him do it, in my opinion he is a morally vapid low life who cares about nothing but himself, a crippling opinion to have of your big brother). Besides being a thief, he is also a bully and an abuser. He gives us all an awful life, but to an outsider he is the most well adjusted, happy chappy you could meet once he has zimovane or alcohol in his system. And now he is home again. Today for example, while my parents were out he had an attack. My evening then involved me hiding in my room while he screamed for my help from the sitting room, dry retching and begging me to drop him to a hospital, standing in my bedroom sobbing because in his head he was dying, then calling me every name under the sun when I refused. That is a standard day in my house. He begs and pleads like a child to be brought to a hospital, purely so he can feel safe.

I guess the point of this post is purely to rant about how shitty mental illness is. My brother's illness has absolutely tore my family apart, and I have no doubt that the stress it has caused my parents will be the death of them. They are both two thoroughly broken individuals, and that breaks my heart. Finding my mam sobbing at the kitchen table is just something that happens now. Saying this will make me sound like the most selfish individual in the world, but a lot of the time I feel burdened and forgotten about. I have been living with this since I was a young teen, all the while working through my own battle with depression, one that I haven't fully come through, but can proudly say I'm on top of. No one who knows the extent of the situation ever asks how I am. No one asks if I'm ok, everyone assumes I am. My brother's mental illness hasn't just claimed one victim, it's claimed 4. He may not be my child but I have to watch what he's doing to my parents, and the pain he causes, and it's extremely hard to live with, because I love them dearly and they are suffering. It's dragging us down a black hole and we just can't find a way out. Every time we think there's a light at the end of the tunnel its quickly extinguished. The only way I can describe our day to day life is.... hard. It's so hard to remain patient and understanding. My lack of tolerance with him, because of the way he treats us, really makes me doubt myself. Am I a horrible person because I just can't stand to be in the same room as him? There's only so much you can blame on illness.

To top thing off my brother is a father. He has one of the most beautiful, intelligent, and entertaining two year old's I have ever seen. She is absolutely glorious, and oblivious. It breaks my heart that she was born into this, and will likely grow up feeling the a similar way about her father as I do, a mixture of  pity and resentment.

Please don't misinterpret this post, I am by no means trying to vilianize my brother, or make him sound like some sort of monster. But nothing I have written is untrue. He has become completely consumed by his illness, it has taken over his world, and most of ours. I would have a lot more respect for him if he didn't fight help every step of the way, but he does. In his head, he is physically ill, not mentally. I know he didn't ask for any of this, no one invites mental illness in their front door, but neither did I and it is a part of my every day life.

As it stands the only way I can live my life is to try stay as far away from him as possible, which is difficult in a 4 bedroom house. There are times I just want to scream at my parents for not adopting a more tough love approach, and reminding myself that he is as much their child I am is very difficult when im miserable because he's gone off on a tirade.

I realise this has made very little sense, but my shoulders feel a little bit lighter

Sammy Fat Hair Thickening Creme

I was browsing in Superdrug last night and came across this hair care brand that I have never heard of before. It was all half price, and the range included a  shampoo, conditioner, masque and creme, all aimed to thicken your hair and give you lots of volume. I'm constantly on a quest for big hair, and as this was half price it seemed silly to not try at least one of the products. 

I opted for the creme, which you apply to towel dried hair and style as usual. The creme itself has a lovely clean,  fruity smell and is easy to dispense evenly through your hair. 

But did it do anything? In my opinion, kind of! I have hair that is naturally quite thick anyway,  but I'd never fall out with extra volime, which my hair seemed to have. I'd be very interested in using the entire range together to see what the results are.