UK: The ‘Pressure’ on Women to be Bleached Blonde

Ok, ok, I was one once. The ‘pressure’ got to me too. It was all in the magazines and on TV, movies etc. It was ‘wrong’ to have your own hair colour.

I tell you what, I didn’t like being bleached blonde after a while, and nor did my hairdresser who moaned about my split ends and thinning hair which became ‘brassy’ over time.

For a time, it was ‘ok’ but as years went by, I recognised that people treated me as ‘less’ and I got patronised and I even had women being ‘jealous of me’. Men definitely changed and treated me as a woman that could be ‘dominated’ or ‘ignored’ my voice. At the time, I didn’t always realise this but over time I did.

It got to stage that I got sick of being ‘someone else’, ignored and patronised, and I didn’t want my hair, already thinning, being destroyed to bits. I now embrace a natural, shiny, healthy and authentic look, and I love it. My hair is mine, unique and it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. And, if I carried on putting this nuclear colouring, I would not have any hair left. When you get older, it is normal to have thinning hair, let’s not make this happen even quicker!

I was at a café today in Kent and I noticed that all the women had ‘bleached blonde’ bobs, like some kind of clones. I have never seen so many in one café. They looked unconfident. Would they go back to being brunette? Probably not. I suppose at the time, they thought the bleached blonde looked nice, it covers their natural hair and grays, but when you see everyone in your cafe friend group looking all the same, it is kind of weird. It is like stepping in some horror film actually.

They were clearly terrified of, dare we say it, looking older. It was weird, you could hardly tell them apart. Maybe they’re only friends with people who look like them? It seemed all of them felt pressure to have this clone bleached colour and hairstyle. Granted that bobs can be convenient, and I do like them. Maybe they wore bobs as their hair was too unhealthy to grow it longer? I know some people who have really, long, healthy silver hair.

The women were in their forties to sixties. It frightens me that I was once like them, thinking it was cool to be bleached blonde. Maybe they all bought Sainsburys ‘No 4’ box blonde? There must be so much pressure for these middle aged women to be blonde and ‘young looking’, so that perhaps their man doesn’t run off with a younger woman. Listen, you have chosen THE WRONG MAN! I wonder if they feel they are a ‘loser’ if they don’t colour their hair blonde? Some stay chemically bleached well into their OAP years. Catherine Denerve, seems to get away with it, somehow, but her hair must be completely wrecked. Maybe she has a blonde wig, like Barbara Windsor? As more and more women, get cancer, particularly breast cancer in middle age, and companies are secretive about what they really put in their hair colouring, you would think they would want to try and prevent early cancers?

Now I have decided to be an authentic, confident, woman and not give into chemical Blonde Pressure. It saves me money and time too. Ironically, do I have any bleached blonde friends, ha, no but I have a few independently, minded, chemically-free brunette and ‘other’ friends! I get more respect, people listen to me to more, in general, but I look ‘free thinking, confident and independent’ and not chained to the hairdresser for a bleached, blonde, unnatural, and that is the key, look. I have confidence, and the balls, to be myself.

Maggie Thatcher was bottle blonde, but then she was Tory, and you cannot be a ‘successful woman’, unless you are bleached Marilyn Monroe blonde? I wonder where she should be if she was an authentic, chemically- free, brunette?

My heroine is Boudicca, a feisty and powerful, natural red beauty, proud to be herself.

Facepack Review: Lush ‘Mask of Magnaminty’

image

I went to a Lush Blogger’s Event and chose to try out this product. Yes, I got this for free! Like many people, I love Lush!

This is a basically a pale green, minty Facepack. The aroma is nice, and so is the texture which is fairly thick. The product is supposed to be ‘good for skin that has spots’.

Good things about it:

1. It has lots of natural ingredients, and, as an extra bonus, it has NO microbeads, which is brilliant. Instead of nasty micro beads, it use primrose seeds. I like that Lush have taken care to not use the beads. It reflects how progressive they are. I care about the planet, and I would never use any product with micro beads in it. It also has honey which fantastic for the skin too. However, it doesn’t say what quality of honey they use. (I can be a bit picky what kind of honey is used).

2. Like many Lush products, there was picture of the person who made this product, which was Jeff.

3. You don’t need much to make a full facemask, so there is plenty left over.

4. After I cleaned it all off, my face went a bit pink and glowing, and there was gunk on my facecloth, including some traffic pollution, so it ‘did its job’. My face felt clean and scent of the peppermint oil still lingered. I don’t have any spots so I wouldn’t have seen the difference from the ‘spot aspect’.

5. It comes in a recyclable pot which you can return after you collect 5 Lush pots. It is made from 100% recyclable plastic.

Bad things

1. I suppose it is a bit harsh for my dry skin. It doesn’t say what skin the mask is for. I kept it on for 10 minutes, although I think, with my skin, I should just use it for 5 minutes. It went a bit dry and tight but obviously, that’s what it’s supposed to do!

Would I buy it again? Well, it was nice, but a little bit strong for my skin. I am definitely going to use the rest of the product on my skin anyway though. I do like the peppermint aroma!

Wellbeing: DIY Coconut Milk & Rosewater Facial Wash for Dry Skin – Review

delete

After watching some YouTube videos on making a facial wash, I thought I would be confident enough to crib together some of my favourite ingredients and ‘make up my own’ favourite facial wash and let you know what I thought of it.

This would be one that I would recommend to people and those in my family. It would be a ‘family secret formula’ that I would ‘hand down’, like ‘Granny’s favourite’ (not that I am a granny, but you know what I mean)

This one really is my ‘piece de resistance’; it just goes to show you how much I love it.

I am inspired by people from Asia, who use a lot of coconut milk for their skin and haircare. In Western culture, we seem to be obsessed with harmful chemicals, which I find really strange. I was also inspired by the Persians and Phoenicians who loved rosewater too, and used it for all sorts of things. I bought my large bottle of rosewater and almond oil from a good Turkish grocer in London and it lasts a long time.

I was actually making this facial wash for a friend who buys that nasty, chemically stuff from Boots (so I had to put a stop to that!)

For me, this facial wash is not only gentle to the skin, but it makes my skin feel super amazing and makes me feel great too, particularly when used at the beginning of the day, so it has that ‘warm, wellbeing’ ‘hygge’ factor. I feel like Cleopatra using it. I am a bit of a Roman freak and I love using rosewater which the Romans also loved. Ok, Cleopatra was Eqyptian.I like my facial wash to have a bit of ‘history’ in it.

I would go so far as to say this makes a nice DIY gift too, perhaps as a ‘thank you’. Keep it simple, and add a pretty tag to it.

Ingredients (Eyeball)

Castile Soap (a natural ‘must ‘in your house)
Rosewater
Distilled Water (to top it up) (you can boil it and let it cool down)
Coconut Milk
Honey (great to reduce spots)
A few Drops of glyerin (optional)
A few drops of johoba oil
A few drops of almond oil (brilliant for dry skin)
Poppy seeds

Method:

Just mix up the ingredients and give it a good shake before using.
I keep it in the fridge before I use it. It’s so refreshing

Tip 1: If you don’t have all the ingredients, you can get away with just castile soap and honey, although it won’t have that ‘luxury feel’. It is very natural too and honey is great for the skin and does so many good things to it.

Tip 2: This is a special facial wash, so use a pretty glass bottle for it. Some small vinegar or bath salts bottles can be very attractive. You can get some pretty bottles from charity shops too.

Tip 3: If you want to tailor make it for men, swap the rosewater with drops of peppermint essential oil (keep away from eyes) and remove the poppy seeds. However, if your man loves ‘rosewater’ leave it in!

Tips 4: Always use cotton wool pads for this facial wash, it really adds a touch of luxury and gets the nasties off.

Tip5: For heavy make up, go over with a few cotton wool pads of almond oil.

Review:

I would give this 10/10. My skin feels clean and moisturised, the almond oil gives it my skin a touch of silky luxury and the light scent of the rosewater really gives it a wonderfully ‘homemade’ luxurious touch. I will never go back to shop bought facial wash ‘nasties’ again.

London Review: DIY Orange & Lemons, Lavender & Poppy Seed Natural Hand Lotion

del1

del3

I made this gorgeous hand lotion this afternoon and I really was pleased with the results.

To make this lotion, I was inspired by the traditional English children’s nursery rhyme and singing game, “Oranges and Lemons” which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London:-

“Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chip chop chip chop the last man is dead”

INGREDIENTS (I eyeballed these)

Coconut oil (in solid form (I got mine from Tesco which was under £3) (Avoid being ripped off by specialist health shops)

Shea butter (I always keep some of this in my cupboard)
Grated Lemon Peel
Grated Orange Peel
Lavender Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil
Poppy seeds
Lavender Flowers (edible version, I used some lavender tea)
Orange, Tangerine or Mandarin Essential oil
Olive Oil (a nod to the Romans)
Organic Beeswax (from a local farmers’ market)
A silicon soap mould of your choice or you can use the ‘square’ of a milk box

I heated the ingredients up by putting a bowl and saucer as a cover in the microwave for a few minutes (I checked it every so often). Hot oil is dangerous so keep away from small kids.

I then poured the content into a silicon mould, left it to set outside and then put it in the fridge.

Tips: Be more liberal with the beeswax to make the mould harder. Be generous with your grated orange and lemon peel but it needs to be dried so the lotion lasts longer. Try to keep the lotion in the fridge, away from each other.

Suggested uses: As gifts and, even better, as a random act of kindness! Love to hear if you do that….

REVIEW: 9/10 The first time I did this, I forgot the beeswax, which meant a lot of it was used really quickly as it was too soft. This time I used the beeswax and the lotion didn’t fall apart. I also used too much olive oil the first time, so it was a bit oily. This time it was perfect and I didn’t have to use much for it to go a long way. It has a really lovely vintage, summery smell, great for wellbeing too.

Review: DIY Natural Hair Pomade

image

I was given a slab of organic beeswax after going to a Food Festival in London the other day and thought it would be interesting to make something different from beeswax.

I wanted to use totally natural ingredients.

I made the pomade with a mix of:

Organic beeswax
Shea Butter
Drops of almond oil, olive oil and caster oil
An essential oil of your choice

    (I always keep some shea butter handy at home as it is great as a natural hand moisturiser too)

    Verdict: My pomade was fairly hard (maybe I used too much beeswax and shea butter!) but when I used it, it kept my hair under control and, with the oils, made it all shiny without ‘being greasy’. It also didn’t look so dry and thin. The more beeswax you have, the stronger hold it will hold.

    It’s particularly effective with short, layered hair, as, on a bright sunny day it captures the sunlight. It makes your hair look look healthy. It could be used as unisex product too.

    I would probably not use it all over the hair, but have it on bits that need a bit of highlight. It is excellent for the hair and moisturises it well. I didn’t have to use gloops of it too and can last for a long time.

    Verdict: 9/10

Facepack Review: 7th Heaven, Strawberry Souffle (Self Care)

I bought this facepack from an independent chemist in Kent. It claimed to moisturise and soothe.

I love facepacks and I love to try out new ones. Facepacks are great for a bit of self-care in a crazy world, and it can be a bit silly too, as we can look ridiculous. It is even more fun, if you get your boyfriend to do it too! And even if your man feels that men don’t do this, all men love to feel pampered and do silly things sometimes.

So I tested on myself and on a man’s skin. He said it was fine ‘as long as no one saw him with it on’. The majority of the ingredients didn’t look too bad, although it had a few unnatural ingredients. It claimed to be cruelty-free.

When I looked in the packet, there didn’t seem to be an awful lot there but there was just about enough for a small adult face. The cream was a very pale pink colour, but when you saw it on the face, it looked white.

Both of us liked the strawberry aroma and we both have sensitive skin. Our skin felt fine- at first. The man’s skin had a kind of grubby London skin which seemed dry and covered in pollution. He had never had a faceback before!

We kept it on for 10-15 minutes and washed it off with a warm flannel.+ When it was all taken off, both our skin did look and feel great. Though my skin felt great, the man’s skin, which was more sensitive than mine, started to go mildly red and stung a bit. The man’s skin looked great at first and I think it knocked 5 years off his face, as it removed a lot of dry skin cells. His skin had a very light shine which made him a look much healthier. However, ten minutes afterwards his skin started to tingle and go mildly red. His skin did look much clearer which was great to see.

Verdict: Me – 8/10 (could do with more cream and fewer chemicals)
Him: 6/10 (only as it was mildly tingly, but he now loves facepacks, even if he does it in secret!) Personally I think all men should have facepacks, they will really see a difference to their skin. My male friend said he would try a more natural facepack though.

Would we use the product again: Yes (Me). The Man (No)

image

I am not going to colour my hair anymore – Going Silver with Pride

As I am middle aged, my brunette hair is starting to go slightly ‘salt and pepper’. On seeing this, most women because of ‘pressure’ would normally try and colour it up, but I now think, why should we be ashamed of going silver? It is normal. We should be proud that we have lived long enough to have these sparkly hairs?

Yes, I think it is great to go ‘natural’. We’re not stuffing ourselves with chemicals that could risk all sorts of cancers.So, not only am I going to shampoo my hair with toxic products from shops, I am not going to colour my hair either. I love the sense of rebellion against consumeristic society, and nasty organisations that are trying to sell us this toxic stuff.

Colouring your hair in middle age seems to be  a very old fashioned thing to me.It also shows peope have self-esteem issues. Sometimes it makes people look much older and the hair looks horribly flat, frizzy and dry.  It also feels fake. I now much rather grow old ‘gracefully’. Harsh colours look wrong on our skin as we get older. Even then, there are lot of young people who have some gray hair, so it is not necessary an ‘old age’ sign.  I want my hair to be more healthy, and I want to ‘be authentic’. I want to save loads of money too.

I am seeing  a lot of people online look fantastically stylish with silver hair now, and they look far more comfortable and confident too. They are embracing their silve. Some women are even growing it when society says ‘we should not’. Good for them.

I am really looking forward to this journey of discovery.  I am already bored of my brunette hair. Bring on the  silver hair on and all the  uber chic hair styles.

 

 

Review: Natural Hair Shampoo/Conditioner – ‘No Poo’ or Coconut Milk method

I chose to cut out chemical shampoos and conditioners by going ‘No Poo’ or mixing Dr Bronner’s Castile  Liquid Vegetable Soap, Essential Oils and whole Coconut Milk.  A lot of shampoos these days tlook ‘healthy’ on the front of the container, but you only look at the ingredients on the back and they are often riddled with artificial nasties and you don’t need any of these to  have healthy hair.

I gave away my shop bought shampoos and conditioners (the ones that I could) since 1 January 2017.   I wanted to help the environment, avoid cancer,  to reduce  plastic clutter and waste and save the pennies, as well as to improve my dry hair. Castile soap can be used for a whole range of things too, not just hair shampoo which is a real bonus too.

It is amazing how many toxins we are using these days in our hair products. It is such a delight not to shop at Superdrug and Boots for hair shampoos any more. I am even dumping hair dye because of the toxins too.

Shop bought shampoos with all their chemicals are designed to strip your hair of its natural oils, which is the worst thing. No wonder people are shelling out on  more products to deal with dry hair. Hair companies love this.

My hair now feels a lot healthier. One of the best things is that it is less frizzy, particularly, in humid weather. It is much more manageable.Shop bought products had really wrecked my hair, even the so-called sensitive ones.

I have mostly been using Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap, with peppermint essential oil and coconut milk, and occasionally going ‘No Poo’, which is just water, scrubbing the scalp and combing, during the week with no ill effects.

I read that it is better for your scalp to have some kind of anti-bacterial product every so often which I think coconut milk and essentials oils have.

When I go ‘No Poo’ my hair is much easier to manage the next day and isn’t so heavy and oily.  When I use coconut oil, it can be a bit of a nightmare the next morning after I have slept in it, although it feels much healthier after a bit of a comb. Having fine hair can make my hair a bit lanky with coconut milk but what I may do is add more Castile Soap and use less coconut milk and see what happens.

However, I love the luxuriant feeling I have when I have just washed and dried my hair when I use the Castile/coconut formula. And a few days after, it feels healthier, though a little heavy.

I think the night before work or an event,I will use  the ‘No Poo’ method but other times, use the coconut milk. I may add a bit of olive oil to give my ‘No Poo’ hair some lustre.

Generally I am very happy with it, and I love the smell of natural peppermint in my hair, it feels really fresh and non-chemically. When I go to the hairdresser next, I am looking forward to seeing what she says about the condition of my hair. I am not colouring it anymore so it will be even healthier.

I am currently making apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ to condition my hair, but this will take ages though to make so my review on this won’t be for a while.

Someone suggested I try using ‘mud’, as apparently the iron age people used that. This will be interesting, particularly as Bermondsey mud is probably contaminated with all sort of nasty stuff, including car and HGV engine oils. Maybe my hair will glow-in-the-dark.

 

 

 

Small Christmas Presents on a Budget

As I been on a budget this year, it was a challenge to get presents so I made a few handmade gifts for a personal touch.   These are not the ‘main presents’ but some that kind of add ‘bulk’ under the Christmas tree. Some I didn’t make, but I wanted practical presents.

Here are some inexpensive presents I made or bought this year:

  1. Homemade lip balm using coconut oil, beewax, Vit E oil and essential oils.I bought some small lip balm tins online. It is amazing how many you can make, one or two for each person. And the benefit is that you are not using any toxic ingredients. A hipster bonus.You can add wintery spices with ginger, tangerine oil, lavender flowers and clove oil if you wish. Coconut oil (the lardy type) can be purchased from a health shop, but it is hugely expensive there, but you can get them at a good Tesco or an African supermarket at a fraction of the price.
  2. Make your own candles, so easy to make. And, you can recycle your old candles too. You can easily get candle wicks (and ends), candle wax and dyes online. And you could even use them for next Christmas too.
  3. Moisturiser with shea butter, essential oils, beeswax, Almond Oil.  Once you have got these ingredients you can easily rustle up a good quality gift at a moment’s notice. This is excellent product is totally natural. Always keep these items in your house for birthdays, Christmas etc. You can make them seasonal too with appropriate essential oils. This year I used peppermint and chamomile essential oil for my moisturiser.
  4. Bath salts. These are incredibly easy to make.  However, if you are lucky to be in London, there are some excellent Turkish supermarkets and you can get Himalayan Pink Salts for just 85p for a small bag. Just add a bit of almond oil, essential oils and food colouring of your choice, but even this is not necessary. You can also layer the colours to add interest. Like the previous gifts, this is totally natural and non toxic.
  5. Anchovy Butter, so easy to make and quick to do. It is also so versatile to use.
  6. Sugar Scrub – just caster sugar, essential oils, almond oil and essential oils. You can add food colouring to add interest.
  7. Flower Arrangements – It is easy to make a candle flower arrangement and if you have conifers in your garden, you are halfway there. Additionally, you can easily make a flower headdress for Christmas Day, with real or fake wintery flowers. With the candle flower arrangement, add cinnamon sticks and Christmas tree baubles
  8. Make a DIY breakfast cereal. You can often pick up large biscuit jars at the pound shop. It is a lot of fun designing your own granola. I got this for my mother as I didn’t feel she was eating healthily.
  9. Practical present ideas -pajamas, even some food items, basic clothing as it is amazing how difficult it is for some old people to shop and some old people don’t have enough for basics too. Even simple foods they love, like Angel Delight, and they can enjoy remembering. My mother is foreign so I bought her some gingerbread biscuits, black treacle she loves, and sauerkraut. Even socks are great, even though they are supposed to be ‘boring’, but find some nice ones. Socks wear out, and we always need them
  10. I made a ‘Snow’ Conditioning Shampoo with natural incredients like castille soap, almond oil, essential oils, rosewater and Vitimen E oil. This was great as a winter gift..The majority of these ideas are on Youtube, so you can choose your own instructions. I am really looking forward to seeing what people will think on Christmas Day.

Update: The winter spiced  lip balms were very popular, including the bath salts.  Lots of people were very impressed by the high quality natural  beautifully smelliing products, and one was inspired to make some natural beauty products herself. Even my relative, a bloke, said he loves the homemade bath salts as he gets lots of migraines.