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How to Combat Product Build Up

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

I’m Natalie and I write the Defacto blogs. But, every now and then I like to take the blogs and make them a little more personal. So, today I thought I’d talk about something that has been affecting me. Product build up.

combat product build up

Not the sexiest of topics, sure, but something that happens all too frequently. Product build up is what it says on the tin. It’s a build up of product, specifically in the hair. It might not seem like a big deal but it can strike unexpectedly and honestly ruin someones day. More often than not, mine.

What is product build up?

It can be caused by a few things. Most common, however, is residual chemicals in the hair. Some of the gels, mousses, hairsprays, shampoos and conditioners contain chemicals that don’t dissolve in water. They leave tiny amounts of residue every time you use them. Over time, these residues accumulate, leaving a coating of gunk on your hair and scalp. So if you dry your hair and find yourself saying: “How the hell is it possible for my hair to be greasy, I just washed it!” You guessed it, product build up.

combat product build up

I have fairly long hair and it takes its sweet time to dry, even with a hair dryer. So I am guilty of washing it the night before and sleeping with it wet in a loose plait. I also get colds and sneeze a lot and they may be linked… So I can often wake up with a case of product build up and no time to fix it. It can make your hair; hard to style, greasy/dirty looking, dull and lifeless. It can also cause a situation that looks a lot like dandruff. It’s not! But the people around you wont know that…

How does it happen?

It could be that you’re not shampooing enough. If you’re a dry shampoo abuser and do your best to go as long as possible between hair washes then this could be an issue. Adding products on top of products without regularly washing them will inevitably result in that familiar residue on your scalp. This could also tie in with overuse and misuse of products, as well as not rinsing properly. If there is residual product, you’re going to end up with build up.

combat product build up

Like I mentioned earlier, the product build up could be caused by chemicals. Silicones and petroleum oils are added to shampoos to de-tangle and “moisturise” your hair and scalp. They give your hair that lovely soft sheen. The ironic thing is that they don’t moisturise at all. The simply coat the hair to make it seem softer

How to deal with it.

Obviously you’re going to want to get rid of it. The best way to do that is to identify what it is that’s making your hair a flaky, limp mess and eliminate it from your life. If you use cheaper shampoo brands opt for a clarifying shampoo like the Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo. Or spend a little more on salon approved brands that will genuinely give you what you want without the build up.

combat product build up

Also be sure to brush your hair regularly, this helps to break through the gunk at the root, making it easier to get rid of.

My personal hair care items of choice are the Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, Neutrogena T-Gel Theraputic Shampoo (mainly for my psoriasis but it works well as a clarifying shampoo too) and Lush’s I Love Juicy!

I hope you manage to blast your way through that product build up! If you have any tips you’d like to share with me I’d love to hear them! Drop them in the comments section below.

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How to Stay Focused When Working From Home

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

I believe that I am lucky in having the opportunity to occasionally work from home.

On days that nobody else is coming into the Defacto office or if, for personal reasons, I require to work from home, I am given that opportunity to do so. Although, it may seem like the dream to work in entirely your own space, working from home is a lot harder than you may think.

working from home

It’s not for everyone; I imagine some people find the office environment more stimulating and productive. Some may enjoy the lack of time constraints from being able to work from home. I consider myself pretty versatile in this aspect. I enjoy both!

However, whether you’re a student studying from home or running your own business or anywhere in-between, I would like to offer you some tips! So, without further ado here are my tops tips on how to stay focused when working from home.

Create a workstation.

working from home

You don’t need to have your own office desk. Although, that may be a good idea! Create a space in your home where you can work. It can be easy to fall into the trap of working in your bed or on your comfy sofa. Don’t! You brain should associate these places with rest and relaxation and that’s not what you want on a productive work from home day. Create a space that your brain knows is for business. I currently share a desk with my boyfriend in our spare room, it allows me to be in a totally different space to work and I find that incredibly helpful in staying focused.

working from home

Set times for yourself.

If your working day is 9am – 5pm, stick to it. Or do a close variation. This should stop you from straying from what you’re meant to be doing. Sticking as close to my regular hours as possible is something I find ideal when I work from home. It means I finish up when I usually would and stops me from working into the night when I could have finished it earlier. Your commute is cut out too so you get a little longer in bed…

Eat and drink like you would in an office.

working from home

Usually in workplaces there are set hours for lunch and maybe even breaks. If you have those, stick roughly to those too! Breaks when you’re working are important. It gives your brain time to refresh. I take my breaks when I usually would to keep me in my routine. My body is used to having lunch around 1pm so I don’t like to disappoint.

Avoid distraction.

So you’re at home. You know there’s a bunch of housework sitting there, or a pet to play with or a TV show to catch up on. Don’t give in to yourself. It’s so tempting to pull up Netflix and see what’s on or do that washing that really needs done. However, it’ll be three hours later and you’ll wonder where the day went. I always find it hard not to do some general tidying up when I’m at home. But, it’s going to be there when you’re finished for the day and you’ll enjoy it more when you’ve finished your work!

working from home

Get up and get dressed.

Much like working from bed, working in your PJs is a recipe for laziness. Im not saying you need to get up and apply a full face of make-up and do your hair. But, it’s always good to get up, have a quick shower to wake you up and put on some clothes you’ll be comfortable in for the rest of the day. Staying in my pyjamas for any amount of time when I’m working from home keeps me in that groggy, post wake-up stage. Rip the plaster off and get up and ready for the day!

Do you have any tips on working from home? How do you stay focused, let me know!

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Why Self-Care is the Most Important Part of Your Beauty Routine

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Despite the title, self-care doesn’t always include beauty items. But, it should be a part of a routine to make yourself feel beautiful, inside and out.


There’s no doubt that life can be stressful at times. I’m sure the majority of us are guilty of letting that get on top of us. I know I am. Currently, I am trying to buy a house with my boyfriend. So, if I have a particularly stressful day, going home and dealing with all the stuff that comes along with buying a home leaves little time for me to relax. That can get very tiring very fast.

That’s why I wanted to talk about why self-care. Ensuring that you get me time is essential. It can be hard to find the time but if you’re able you should make time. It lets you wind down, do something for yourself and it does a lot to recalibrate where you’re at mentally. We all need that sometimes.

SO! Lets brush aside the idea that me time has to be bubble baths and manicures. For some that’s the ideal self-care routine. However, for others, others not so much. Personally, I’m very much a fan of doing things that I enjoy. Doing something that will make me feel better about myself. Or allowing myself to have or do something I really want to do.

Taking more time to do my make up


taking your time to get ready is always nice

If I’m going on a night out or to an event, I like to set aside as much time as possible to get ready. Yes, sometimes this can mean four hours. I’m not slightly ashamed, I love every second. This allows me time to really slow down my make up application and make it perfect. It means I am a lot happier with how I look by the time I leave and I’m not stressed and rushing. I always end up rushing somehow. But at least I got a good chunk of self-care time anyway.

Bingeing on Netflix


Netflix binges are nothing to be ashamed of

Or any other TV watching service. I love TV shows and catching up or starting new ones is a great way for me to relax. Obviously I was one of the many fans of Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ and if you haven’t seen it then you’re obviously living under a rock and need to get your head in the game. Another favourite of mine recently was ITV’s period drama Victoria. If you like period dramas definitely give this a go. Sure, people might see you as a couch potato but who cares!

Pampering myself a little


A warm bath has a good reputation for a reason

I’m tying in baths and manicures and all that jazz into this section. Doing beauty things I don’t normally have the time to do is a big part of self-care for me. Taking time to do my nails properly, doing a proper all over moisturising session, doing a facemask or having a relaxing bath are all things I struggle to do regularly. Maybe it’s laziness, maybe its how busy I am. That’s for me to know. Doing this on a Sunday night is a great way to set your mind in the right place for your office return on Monday morning.

Cooking something I love


one of the cakes I am most proud of

I love to bake and cook. Making something from scratch, no matter how simple, is a great way to take your mind away from what you’re stressed about. Then you get a great meal or treat at the end of it! What’s not to enjoy about that! In my humble opinion, food is a great way of self-care. Having a healthy meal can make you feel great inside. (Ordering a Chinese is great too though)

Going for a walk


how lucky are my parents to have this behind their house?

My parents live right on the edge of a forestry walk. So, when I visit and the weathers good, going away out into the wooded area for a walk around can be really relaxing. You’re getting so much fresh air and beautiful views. It’s exercise too and we all know that does wonders for both physical and mental health. Exercise should be a part of your self-care routine, but I wont pretend I’m not incredibly guilty for neglecting that.

Getting time to yourself is absolutely essential. Try not to neglect it. I’d love to hear what your self-care routine is! Maybe I, and whoever reads this, could get some tips for the future! If you agree with some of my methods or have some of your own you’d like to share, let me know in the comments!

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An Interview With Peaches Wax Bar

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Recently I met up with Kerri from Peaches Wax Bar in Glasgow to talk about her business, her waxing tips and where she wants to go from where she is now. Her current salon in Glasgow is under refurbishment, a perfect time to think about what else you want to do with your accelerating business.

Hello again, it’s Natalie here; if you’re on our site a lot you may be aware of my previous blogs (Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams Review, House Martin Stole My Boyfriend and the one where I tested a load of Beauty Blenders). If not, welcome and settle in because my blogs can be long!



Initially, it seems like Peaches Wax Bar was a girly haven, mainly due to its eye-catching glitter walls, I would maintain that after the refurb that it still will be. However, they seem to be heading in a more modern and relaxing direction, just in time for the start of their Academy of training, which we will get to.

Kerri began Peaches Wax Bar back in 2011, at the time she says she was still renting from salons and hairdressers but with the level of clients she had, it wasn’t worth the long days and busy schedule to just be operating out of a room in a salon. So, in 2013 she bought some shop space and the Peaches we know today began. Her company has sky rocketed, she is clear and concise on what the goals of the business are. She wants to get rid of the fear people have of getting waxed, people get one bad wax and they think that’s what they’re all like. She tells me about some advice her husband gave her at the time:

““My husband told me ‘get a grip and get some staff in’ you’ve got this massive shop now! So I hired Michelle and she still works for me now, its three years to the month that we’ve been open.”


We get on to the discussion of waxing, obviously. She owns up to the fact that she hated waxing when she was out of college but forced herself to do waxing at least once a day to build her confidence and gain experience. This is why she decided to help students who come out of education by getting a teaching qualification to allow her to teach from her shop. She wants to educate those who can’t or are fearful to wax, how to do it and how to do it well. This is where the Waxing Academy comes into play:

“My next goal is to get into the colleges and actually show them that there is actually a light at the end of the tunnel. They don’t have to hate waxing and they don’t have to be scared of it.”

“We’ve had a good few training courses now and we get them in and the models in and I’ll demonstrate in the morning before we take everyone through it one by one until the days out. We’ve had a lot of good feedback from it and I’m glad that there’s people out there who actually know how to do a Brazilian wax now.”

peaches wax bar

I decide to bring up my own bad waxing experience from back in my teens, I committed to my first full leg wax and got one strip in because of the excruciating pain and then later what I perceived to be an allergic reaction. I thought this because I have a handful of weird allergies and quite sensitive skin. Kerri assures me that a good wax shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

“We’ve had people come in so nervous to get waxed because of their past experiences and the end up leaving bouncing on air because it was nowhere near as bad as they thought it was going to be.”

She also goes on to say they get a lot of clients who come in and ask for a patch test because they think they are allergic to the wax strip and a lot of the time that isn’t true. Once again its bad technique, at Peaches they will do a patch test for you and ensure that they choose the right wax for you:

“We’ve got around 20 pots on the go at the one time, we have so many notes on our existing clients that we know what they need but for any new ones we will have a consultation with them and do the tests and take in the pot that suits them best. We’ve never had anyone who’s allergic to the wax and we have a book now of almost 4,000 clients.”


Its not all about the waxing though, aftercare is just as important, Kerri stresses this to me. They hand out leaflets to inform clients how they should look after their skin after they’ve had a wax done because 9 times out of 10 they don’t know. Kerri recommends:

“Try not to touch your skin for 12 hours, 24/48 if you’re a brand new client and you’ve never been waxed before, don’t go for baths, don’t put product on the waxed area, try and avoid heat and don’t go to the gym. The reason is that it takes up to 12 hours normally for your hair follicles to close back over, so anything can get into them since they’re bigger than your pores so people can end up with little pimples or irritation that they think is an allergic reaction.”

Peaches Wax Bar use Perron Rigot, a French brand of waxing products in their shop. The products they use on your skin are designed to look after it and keep it calm after the wax, for 12 hours, and the products are designed specifically for the wax they use. All the girls in the shop, including Kerri, use the products and are fully educated in how they apply, feel and last. You can tell how much she values these products, she knows all you need to know about them and that alone convinces me of their quality. Kerri is their Scottish Ambassador because she has a really good relationship with the other ambassador and the head office (and just genuinely loves their products). All their waxing hopefuls in Scotland and the north of England are trained through Kerri and that’s pretty impressive. Although she does love to travel now, she is a proud mother to her baby son and teenage daughter and doesn’t like to go too far from them at the moment. She does have big ideas for the future though:

Peaches winning their Scottish Business Award 2016

Peaches winning their Scottish Business Award 2016

“Glasgow is probably where my heart is, I love working here, and I have a Falkirk shop which I love as well and it’s really different from Glasgow. It’s in the centre right across from Costa but I want to open more salons in the future.”

She goes on to tell us that she wants to aim for Newcastle since its similar to Glasgow and Dubai because people over there love getting waxed.

I round off the interview by asking her what her tips would be regarding before and after getting a wax and she tells me that her after tips are pretty much what we covered earlier but her before tips are to leave your hair for 4 weeks if you want to get the perfect wax. Otherwise the hair will be shorter and may grow in quicker. Every 4 weeks should slow your hair growth over time. Exfoliate your bikini, your dead skin will still build up in this area like everywhere else and exfoliating it will stop you getting ingrown hairs and a bumpy surface after waxing. I admit that I would never have thought to exfoliate my bikini area, yet here we are!


It’s clear from her passion and enthusiasm that this business is her third baby, but her in-depth knowledge and business savvy shouldn’t be over looked either. You’ll be in wonderful hands if you decide to head over to Peaches Wax Bar for your holiday waxing. In fact I’m considering braving another attempt at it myself!

To find out more about Peaches, find out their location or book an appointment you can view their listing on our website HERE. 


If you don’t know who we are, we’re Defacto Salons, a UK based listing website. We’ll help you find the perfect salon close to you! All you have to do is go to our homepage HERE and type in your location or the name of a salon and we’ll find it for you!

If you’re a business and you want to get involved with us you can contact our social media guru by email at or you can call our offices on 0141 4189659 or 0141 3336535. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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How I Fell in Love With Beauty

Friday, August 12th, 2016

If you’re a Defacto regular you’ll know me as the resident blog writer by now, if it’s your first time… Hi, I’m Natalie! Since this is a beauty based blog I thought I would share the story of how I fell in love with all things beauty.

How i fell in love with beauty

I wasn’t always into beauty. At a young age I was more of a tomboy and at that age I thought I would always be that way. I liked wearing camo and jeans with chains (I thought it was cool at the time!) and I didn’t really have an interest in make up. If my past self could see me now she would be very shocked.

My first foray into beauty was around the age of 13 where I delved into the world of emo culture. Im sure a lot of people from my generation will either have been there or have been highly aware of ‘the emo phase’. This is the only photo that exists of this time and it’s not even that emo:

Found in the depths of Facebook, identities protected so they don't also feel my shame.

Found in the depths of Facebook, identities protected so they don’t also feel my shame.

I started a relationship with black eyeliner on the weekends that has never truly died. However, any other kind of make up was deemed “too girly” for me. Honestly I was interested on the down low but didn’t want to let on incase it ruined my rep as a “misunderstood”, non-mainstream teen. At this point in my high school career I was surrounded by girls diving head first into using make up, resulting in a lot of foundation chinstraps, orange shirt collars, electric blue eye shadow and spidery mascara. We’ve all been there I’m sure…

I gradually moved out of my emo phase and into this kind of weird “quirky” era of my life, where I wore loud patterns, glasses that were far too big for me and whatever random things that I could clip into my hair. Depicted below:

So much is going on with my image in this. I apologise.

So much is going on with my image in this. I apologise.

It was around this time (I must have been 15ish) I began using foundation. I started off with a cheap low coverage formula from a brand I found in Boots. If memory serves it was by the Colour Foundation by Natural Collection, but it wasn’t long before I graduated to a serious foundation. That being, Estee Lauder’s Double Wear in the shade 1C0 Shell and I still use this to this day, I never ever found a foundation that matched it and my pocket money didn’t quite have the reach to justify buy high end foundations to test. My mum wore it too (in a darker shade because we’re not all Wednesday Addams) and I trusted her judgment. This is when I truly started getting into make up.

This is a photo of my mum and I when I was a tot. Do you think we look alike?

This is a photo of my mum and I when I was a tot. Do you think we look alike?

My mum always bought high quality make up and in the end I did too. Although, to me, my mum is a very beautiful woman, she was never heavily into make up (maybe she just didn’t need it) and so what she taught me about make up was the basics and to always buy good quality brands. Thank god I was born in the generation of YouTube that’s all I can tell you. So all my skills became self-taught and I loved playing around and trying out new looks. Unfortunately this meant I decided to wax my eyebrows too. I’ve always had very full eyebrows but when I was in my teens we hadn’t quite hit Cara Delevigne’s reign yet so I waxed them down to sad little darts that I thought looked better. (Note: if you’re a teen DO NOT wax your eyebrows down to nothing, it looks bad).

THIS is why you don't over do your eyebrows. What a disaster.

THIS is why you don’t over do your eyebrows. What a disaster.

In what I assume was me yearning for my fallen brows, a year or so later I was in full swing with the beauty products. I was ‘filling in’ my eyebrows, obsessed with Urban Decay eye shadows and began my affair with red lipstick. I use the term filling in loosely, as to be honest, there wasn’t much to fill in and when I did it they looked so penciled in and fake. But that’s okay! It’s all part of the learning process.

Many YouTube videos and eyeliners later, I was getting somewhere, I became inspired by vintage make up and stars like Dita Von Teese and my love for panda eyes never left and now took place in the form of a heavy smoky eye. My eyebrows had also started growing back! My small collection of Yves Saint Laurent lipsticks grew whenever it could and I had gathered so many eye palettes I could sell them.

These are the first expensive lipsticks I ever got and I still love these shades. (Instagram: nataly_woods)

These are the first expensive lipsticks I ever got and I still love these shades. (Instagram: nataly_woods)

At this point I thought I was practically a beauty guru, I was complimented on my make up skills frequently and I had now advanced to false lashes and hair extensions. Around this time I realised how much I loved make up and beauty. The feeling of sitting in front of a mirror and transforming yourself and highlighting your features fascinated me. The idea that woman applied make up to impress others (typically men) alluded me, I applied make up for myself. I applied it because it was like art to me, I loved all the colours and I loved looking at myself and feeling confident. I had a bit of a journey to the way I do my make up now but the basis for my infatuation with it set in around this time. It may not have looked the best but I loved it anyway.

Very dramatic.

Very dramatic.

As my eyebrows came back, thicker than before somehow, I learnt that powder and gel to define them made them look much more natural. I discovered how to blend my eye shadow properly, how to contour and highlight, how to pin curl my hair to make it look more authentically vintage and my passion for beauty grew and it continues to grow. Now I have my beauty staples that I cant do without; my foundation, my brow kit, my favourite naked palettes and my favourite lipsticks. Current stand outs are MAC’s Russian Red, Velvet Teddy and Charlotte Tilbury’s Very Victoria.

My make up favourites! (instagram: nataly_woods)

My make up favourites! (instagram: nataly_woods)

This was my Xmas outfit in 2014 and i was very proud of my pin curling. (Instagram: nataly_woods)

This was my Xmas outfit in 2014 and i was very proud of my pin curling. (Instagram: nataly_woods)

I don’t stick to one thing; I try vintage looks and experiment with weird make up hacks (currently loving the baby powder as setting powder one, very good for my pale skin). I try smoky eyes with berry-toned shades and I’m contemplating if I could rock a black lip. I love sharp, winged eyeliner and love smoked out, smudged liner. I love nude lips, dark lips and red lips. I love hair extensions and wigs and false eyelashes. I still want to try thousands of different products and I know I probably still have so much to learn but I like being able to change my outward appearance to suit how I feel that day. I fell in love with make up and beauty because it gave me confidence in myself and it allowed me to experiment with how I wanted to look!

(Instagram: nataly_woods)

(Instagram: nataly_woods)

I’m 21 now and I really like how I do my make up, I might over line my lips sometimes and I might make my brows too dark on the odd occasion but that doesn’t matter. Beauty is about self-expression; it’s not always about having the perfect cut crease or artful bed head it’s about looking how you want to look. If you want to dye your hair turquoise then you should, if you want to be covered in tattoos you should be and if you want to look like a Kardashian go for it! Lord knows I wouldn’t be upset if I looked like a Kardashian. In the end beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and you should be the beholder and be the kind of beautiful you want to be.

I'd like to thank Snapchat and their filter for this look. (Instagram: nataly_woods)

I’d like to thank Snapchat and their filter for this look. (Instagram: nataly_woods)


If you don’t know who we are, we’re Defacto Salons, a UK based listing website. We’ll help you find the perfect salon close to you! All you have to do is go to our homepage HERE and type in your location or the name of a salon and we’ll find it for you!

If you’re a business and you want to get involved with us you can contact our social media guru by email at or you can call our offices on 0141 4189659 or 0141 3336535. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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Weaves World Are Here to Save Your Hair!

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Hi I’m Johanna. I’m 18 years old and from Germany.


I’m in Glasgow for the first time because of an internship with Defacto. Today I went with Defacto’s Social Media guru, Natalie, to Masters and Weaves World Glasgow because I have heard a lot different opinions about weaves and I wanted to form my own. I know they are a good way to change your hairstyle completely in a very short time and I have always been interested in having a weave but good ones are very expensive for a student and I wasn’t sure if the money was worth it.

I normally have braids or I just relax my natural hair because I don’t have the time and patience to blow-dry it every morning. I know that relaxing your hair is a very bad way of straightening the hair, that’s why I relax my hair only once every three months, to give it enough time to rebuild from the damage the chemicals have done. After that I usually put olive oil or coconut oil in my hair because the air can be very arid in Germany.

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In autumn and winter I usually wear braids because it rains too often in autumn to leave my hair straight without any protection. To me, it doesn’t make any sense when you took so much time straightening your hair to just let the rain destroy your work; it only takes a few raindrops to make your straight hair develop curly areas. With braids you don’t have this problem because it doesn’t matter if your hair gets wet or not, it will always look the same. Having braids in winter makes me feel warmer in the colder temperatures and in spring and summer I mostly have my hair relaxed and straight. I only do it now while I’m still young and my hair is still strong because after a few weeks I feel like I have damaged my hair and like it shouldn’t feel the way it does. That’s when I started to think about weaves because I think that they are the perfect solution for every season. I didn’t know much about them and I’m happy that Ivy, the owner of Masters and Weaves World Glasgow could help me.

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The salon is cosy and cute and I felt very comfortable as soon as I stepped in. It has a lot of windows and is furnished with light colours that compliment the space very well. The silver and rose themed details throughout the salon demonstrate Ivy’s attention to detail and love for her space. There are two rooms for customers. The first was more public allowing other people in the room to see you and it has some stations for the stylists to work at. The second room was a lot more private; you can close a door, which would separate the two rooms to be more discreet if a customer looking for more privacy should come.

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Ivy was very friendly and enthusiastic when she started talking about her salon and the customers. When she explained why she opened the salon you could hear that she’s passionate and, obviously, well informed:

“I’m trying to re-educate the masses, a weave doesn’t have to wreck your hair, I just took mine out yesterday…”

She shows us the length of her hair by indicating with her hands and it’s a fairly decent length.

“… I’ve gone completely natural, no relaxer in my hair and no chemicals and the condition of my hair, its never been healthier and never been stronger. People have a lot of confusing information, they think a weave is extensions and they think that they’ll damage your hair and that that’s the price you pay but I’m trying to show people that isn’t true. It’s a protective method and that’s why it came about.”

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She tells us that when wearing weaves that you shouldn’t experience damage to your hair or scalp, like many people believe, and that this misinformation is one of the reasons that she set up her shop in the first place. She started Weaves World in June 2011 and has expanded since then, she tells us that she’s always had a passion for hair but didn’t think she could have a career in it. She has done hair from home, braiding and doing cornrows in her living room for years, but it was only in her early 20’s that she decided to make it a business. After going to salons and not getting the treatment she wanted due to her hair type, she decided to do it herself. In her eyes she is her own client, she wants to provide a place where people like her, and me, can go and have their hair done by someone who knows how to do it.

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Ivy talks a lot about the history of braiding and dressing hair in Africa. How it was a social thing and, like Ivy herself, women were proud of their hair and well groomed. She also mentions how through slavery and the passing of time the image of the beautiful African woman with dressed hair was lost and replaced with relaxing and trying to make their hair more manageable. It’s fascinating and honest, and she considered herself ‘blessed’ with her hair type and its versatility. She’s glad more and more people are starting to own and experiment with their natural hair, as long as they do it right.

Ivy wearing a full head custom unit to show how varied and natural they can be

Ivy wearing a full head custom unit to show how varied and natural they can be

Her love for weave shines through, she mentions how much she loves doing them on any client, but particularly the ones that it helps. She has several clients suffering from things like alopecia and trichotillomania (the irresistible urge to pull out your hair). Her weaves and hair pieces have changed their lives, the hair in the weave covers their problem areas and gives them their confidence back as well as protecting the hair and allowing it to grow back. Whether she is working with afro or Caucasian hair she swears by the protective methods of weave, but urges people to be aware you have to look after it properly:

An example of the work of Weaves World. Ivy's Instagram

An example of the work of Weaves World. Ivy’s Instagram

“My ideal client is someone like me, who understands the process, how long theyre going to keep it and how they have to look after it. That way I’ll try and recommend things that suit and are reasonable. When people come in who just want longer hair but expect the damage I aim to reeducate them on how to keep their hair strong, long and healthy.”

In the end, a weave is too expensive for me right now but I know I will get one in the future. I think if you want something like this done you should go to someone like Ivy at Weaves World, she knows exactly what she needs to and how to do it. Her passion and drive is inspiring, you would be in the safest of hands with a woman who will instantly put you at ease and do everything she can to ensure your hair is healthy and beautiful.

You can check out Ivy’s page HERE.

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Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams Review

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Hi its Natalie, I’m back again and I’ve got more to say about make up. This time around liquid to matte lip colours. Specifically the Sleek Matte Me range.
The full sleek matte me range

The full sleek matte me range

This range has been out for a while and their full name is the ‘Sleek Matte Me Ultra Smooth Lip Creams’, by my estimations they were released early this year in the UK. However, still a lot of people don’t seem to know about this incredibly affordable lip range.

Coming in at £4.99 a product, I couldn’t resist getting some to try. There are 12 shades in the range; pinks, nudes, purples and reds. All are gorgeous colours and I decided to pick out 8 of my favourites. Or more honestly, the only 8 I could ever seem to find in my local (and not as local) Boots stores.

Professional swatch of all the colours in the range

Professional swatch of all the colours in the range

The sleek range hasn’t been in Scottish Boots stores all that long and I’ve splurged on a few products from there since, the make up is pretty good and really affordable and the lip creams weren’t a change to that.

The formula for all the shades obviously doesn’t change all that much between products and it is, in fact, ultra smooth and almost feels velvet-y on the lips. I’m not the best at applying liquid or cream products (apart from liquid liner) but I was raring to give it a go. So here are the colours I tried.

Birthday suit

Birthday Suit
I really liked this colour, I’m a big fan of nudes because I feel like its easy to use them to accentuate your lips and make them look bigger. It would be a good dupe for Kylie Jenner’s KoKo K lip kit, very much a ‘my lips but better’ shade. It was easy to apply and took one coat to get it even.


This was a nice coral-ly pink, not one of my usual shades but I liked it in the tube. It’s a shade that would suit the majority of skin tones and again it’s easy to apply. This is the only summery shade of this range I bought, autumnal is more my style.

Fandango Purple

Fandango Purple
This is a very bright purple, it definitely accentuates my skins natural pallor and I think of it as more of a fun, festival shade myself. Maybe that’s because it’s a little out of my comfort zone… it’s a little harder to apply than the nudes and in result it ends up a bit uneven. Id still recommend it if you’re looking for a stand out shade.

Vino Tinto

Vino Tinto
I was so excited about this shade, any chance I get to look like a movie villain is a chance I will take. I thought this shade would make that happen. It’s incredibly pigmented but not as opaque as the others, it was very hard to apply and as you can see, it ended up being very uneven. It was the only shade I was disappointed with.

Fired Up

Fired Up
Now if you know me you’ll know that red lipstick is my absolute THING. Any kind of red lip colour I love. This didn’t disappoint. Although it may look a little patchy in the photo I can only blame my over-swatched and chapped lips for that. Every other application of this rich, vintage red has been nothing less than excellent. Similar in looks to MAC’s Ruby Woo and much smoother to apply.


As I keep reiterating, brighter summer shades aren’t always my jam but I didn’t feel like it was fair to not include some. In the tube this was more a nude looking shade but when I applied it, it came out as a very light baby pink. Not really my kind of thing. (Don’t tell anyone I actually kind of liked it though). Again very smooth to apply and pretty even.

Velvet Slipper

Velvet Slipper
This is darker than it looks in the tube. It’s a more autumnal, berry toned purple and in my opinion it would look great with a light berry or golden smoky eye. It was a little harder to apply but I find that the darker the pigment the more uneven it can get,

Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic
This was out of the park one of my favourite shades out of the ones I bought. It’s a kind of mauve shade and a suitable dupe for Kylie Jenner’s Posie K. I loved that it made my lips look super full and it went really well with my skin tone. It was also one of the easiest to apply, although, I maybe just had the hang of applying them at this point.

Why not go out and give these a try! You cant always argue against price giving you a better product, but, these lip creams are certainly fantastic for the value of them.

If you liked this blog you can read my other ones “I Test A Lot of Beauty Blenders so You Don’t Have to!” and “House Martin Stole My Boyfriend”. I’m here all week every week!



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I Test A Lot of Beauty Blenders So You Don’t Have To!

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Anyone in the know about make up will know about beauty blenders.

Small, egg shaped sponges that help you blend your make up to a photo finish standard.

This one (1)

I’m Natalie, I’m the Defacto blog writer, you may know me from other hits like “House Martin Stole My Boyfriend”, and I love make up, but… beauty blenders just always seemed to pass me by. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted one but could never justify the price of them. However! In the name of work I am going to get a bunch of beauty blenders and pit them against one another so you don’t have to!

I will try the Original Beauty Blender, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, as well as New Look and Primark’s offerings. In the name of work obviously, this isn’t just an excuse for me to own a bunch of Beauty Blenders.

The Original Beauty Blender - paintedladybeauty

The Original Beauty Blender – paintedladybeauty

I started with the Original Beauty Blender (£16), because if you start anywhere it’s at the beginning, on this day I was going out for dinner after work. I want high coverage every single day, no matter the occasion, I like to feel secure that my noticeable dark circles are under control and that my skin looks even.

I started off with moisturised skin and followed the standard beauty blending instructions; saturate the sponge, squeeze out the excess and squeeze in a towel to allow maximum damnpness. This one does actually double in size when water is applied, which is cool, its porous, light, easy to squeeze and manipulate and its nice and soft. It bounces delicately on your skin and amazingly gave me full coverage first layer. My dark circles and spots were diminished and it felt like I had found my own holy grail.

The Original Beauty Blenger

It used a bit less than the amount I usually apply to fully cover my skin and it done it in a fraction of the time. The rest of my make up applied smoothly onto the base and this was quite a heavy make up look, so over all I am very impressed. I also like that the packaging can be used as a stand and storage as well.

The next one I tried was the Primark Beauty Blender (£1.50), I’m not sure if it has a real name so I’ll stick with that for now in the pack you get two differently shaped blenders. For the purpose of this trial I stuck with the egg shaped one.

Primark Beauty Blender - beautyaddicts

Primark Beauty Blender – beautyaddicts

The packaging for this isn’t really reusable, its kind of just classic Primark packaging but for £1.50 for two of them you cant really complain. This one is a lot more dense, its harder to squeeze and its not as porous. Its not as soft and the saturating and squeezing method was a little harder this time around. It was also a little rougher to bounce on your skin.

The coverage was a good bit lighter on this, i needed to apply concealer on my spots and under my eyes to get the kind of finish I like. Again it cut the amount of foundation I needed to apply to my skin. However, the coverage was still very even and if you’re someone who doesn’t need a lot of coverage then honestly this would be ideal for you. It might not have been as good as the Original Beauty Blender for me BUT it certainly wasn’t a disappointment.

The Original Beauty Blenger (1)

I then tried the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge, it was £5.99 and I was very excited. I see a lot of beauty bloggers using this so I was dying to give it a go… for work of course. I was going to work this day so it needed to be fast and it needed to cover a lot. It did I was so impressed with this sponge!

Real Techniques Miracle Sponge - their website

Real Techniques Miracle Sponge – their website

This again was firm and quite dense but it had a dry and wet usage option, which was pretty cool! You use it dry for fuller coverage and you use it wet for a dewy glow. Since I like fuller coverage I used it dry. It didn’t disappoint the coverage was amazing! I used one layer of foundation and it concealed everything, this may have been due to its different shaping, the fact that it had a flat side meant that it got right under my eyes and around my nose.

The Original Beauty Blenger (3)

I love this one! The packaging is nice but only reusable if you’re absolutely dying to reuse it. So it’s not actually reusable, just good packaging.

New Look’s beauty blender was last. This was another work day and I wanted similar results to the Miracle Sponge, I didn’t quite get that but it was nothing to turn my nose up at.

New Look Beauty Blender – There isn’t a picture for it online

This had a random little ridge around it that I’m not sure of the purpose of but that aside I pressed ahead with it. It was soft and smaller than the rest even after it was saturated with water. Although I was dubious after the Primark one, the £3.99 sponge actually gave decent coverage. I still needed concealer under my eyes a little but otherwise it was a one-layer job. It was gentle on the skin but the pointed end of the blender wasn’t dainty enough to get in and around my nose and eye area.

The Original Beauty Blenger (2)

Nonetheless I was impressed enough with this beauty blender. The packaging was similar to the Primark one, but at £3.99 you can’t really expect it to be jaw dropping.

So, at the end of the final day I sat down and I said to myself, “Natalie. Which one was the best and which one was not the best?” So I ranked them.

1. Real Techniques Miracle Sponge
2. The Original Beauty Blender
3. New Look Beauty Blender
4. Primark Beauty Blender

In conclusion, none of them were by any means dreadful but the Real Techniques one was outstanding. Im in love! It takes no time to apply your foundation and you get a flawless finish. I highly recommend that and you get change of a tenner! Which one was your favourite?

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House Martin Stole My Boyfriend

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

I’m Natalie and I’m going to review Glasgow’s House Martin Barbers even though I’m not a man and I did not get my hair cut there, I sent my boyfriend instead!

When Conor needed a haircut I knew we were going to end up in House Martin.

I’ve banged on and on about their interior and their promise of a unique experience for months after seeing them featured on Defacto Salons listing website. Spoiler alert: House Martin definitely delivers on their promises.

This is Conor and I

This is Conor and I

Conor has really thick, stubborn, ginger hair that always gets handled and forced into a slick back when he attends his usual hairdresser so he was ready for a change and I’m really nosey so I wanted to come along and review it in one of the Defacto blogs.

We went at 6pm on a Wednesday night so it was nice and quiet for me to prowl around and stick my nose in things, a common hobby of mine. We were greeted by Jamie, he was really welcoming and made my boyfriends day by getting him a beer and made my day by getting me a lot of water, because it just so happened to be the warmest day of the year.

I rearranged the table to take this

I rearranged the table to take this

Shop owner Stephen Martin would be cutting Conor’s hair. Before owning House Martin Barbers Stephen was head barber at Murdock London, which is one of the most prestigious barbers in the country. He spoke about naming the shop and getting his hair cut himself:

“I met a girl in London who done our graphic design and I had to come up with a name and my family are barbers, I wanted something fairly short but fairly classic and my surname is Martin so that’s how we got it”

“I’ve not had my hair cut in 4 weeks, you’d think working in a barber shop it’d be easy but… [he laughs]”

Outside House Martin

Outside House Martin

The shop itself is tucked under a waxing salon on Bath Street, but you can’t miss the classy black and gold sign, it’s a hint at the interior that you’re about to experience. The inside of the shop has clearly been well thought of. It’s very much a gentleman’s club. It boasts old leather barber chairs and borderline hunting lodge decoration. Faux taxidermy, leather armchairs and a little burner in the far left as you walk in. Jamie gave me a tour while Conor was getting his consultation. Not only do they have gorgeous interior and a whiskey bar, they even have a secret poker room inside a bank vault! You couldn’t get much more niche really and I loved it.



IMG_6955 (1)

House Martin’s waiting area

Jamie is evidently very happy to be at House Martin, saying:

“My job is focusing on hospitality so coffees, whisky and gin, beer as well. I think what House Martin has above other barbers is hospitality and aesthetics it’s beautiful in here.”

Stephens work station

One of the work stations

The barbers in the shop have individual work stations and you can see that in the fact that they have all their tools set up ready to work with in their own way. Tuning into Conor’s consultation I was made aware of the fact that he was going ahead with his original haircut idea. Game of Thrones fans tune in…

Now, Conor wanted to go for a textured look, and what I mean by that is that he mentioned that he wanted textured hair as many times in the one sentence as he could. He decided to take a photo of Ramsay Bolton as his hair inspo… Yes really. To be fair he has lovely hair.

The whiskey and gin section of the shop

The whiskey and gin section of the shop

Obviously this spurred a full on Game of Thrones chat, in which I got Stephen to reveal his favourite characters:

“Tyrion, although it comes and goes, it used to be Arya but I don’t like her most recent story line. I used to like Stannis and Tywin because I thought they were more captivating, they’re really good actors. Brienne is great and I like Bronn. I’ve cut Sam’s (Natalie Note: the actor, John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarley in the show) beard before! That’s what he’s like in real life I promise you! That was about 2 years ago.”

Stephen and Conor bonding over beer and GoT

Stephen and Conor bonding over beer and GoT

He washed Conor’s hair and began scissor cutting, when I asked if they worked primarily with scissors he said:

“We like to have a good consultation at the start and we will do our best to get the client exactly what they want. Whether that’s clipper work or scissor work, we use what will be best for the cut they want.”


It’s clear they do focus entirely on what the client will want, during the consultation time. Stephen fully explained what they could and couldn’t do, due to Conor’s hair, and went on to explain how he would do it. Right down to the product application. The attention to detail and the hospitality in House Martin is truly outstanding. He showed Conor how to maintain the look; he made sure he knew how to dry his hair, how to style it and what kinds of products to use. Multiple different clipper heads were used to make sure that the back of Conor’s head had the exact fading and attention was paid to every minute detail. He also used a little hoover on his head to remove all the excess hair and I was truly quite jealous, looked really relaxing.

House Martin Pin

House Martin Pin

Stephen styled Conor’s hair and even gave him a spritz of aftershave for the road! It was at this point I noticed that they all wear small pins on their clothes, of the bird featured on the House Martin logo. Stephen confirmed that these were their uniforms and that’s a really unique way to tie you staff together in my opinion. We were also given a little tour of a secret room they found once that was filled with old bank documents, haircuts and history!

The poker room inside the bank vault

The poker room inside the bank vault


Now obviously I loved the whole atmosphere but I didn’t my hair done. Conor got the exact textured look that he was looking for and since going he’s been continually chuffed with it every morning. He looks at it in the mirror a lot. Here’s what he had to say about his time at House Martin:

“I was gonna give up hope on getting a haircut that actually felt like mine. I was treated like an individual; it was cut differently than any other time. The conversation flowed, the place is gorgeous, you’re made to feel so at home that I didn’t want to leave. What a smashin’ place I’m 100% going back!”

Conor's hair before

Conor’s hair before

Conor's hair after

Conor’s hair after

So there you have it! The place looks amazing, the staff are fantastic and their haircuts are even better. If you’re looking for a totally unique experience then you should seriously give House Martin a try!

Contact them HERE 

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