28/02/2012

Zebra

Shirt - H&M
~Disco Pants - eBay
Belt - Dad's
Creepers - eBay
Triangle Ring - Topshop

Haven't worn this shirt in ages. Everytime I dig it back out I fall in love all over again and then I happen to forget about it for another couple of months! Haven't worn my ~disco pants in quite a while. I still need to get round to wearing my new red pair! My leg looks weird in the left photo but if you look carefully it's the shadow behind my leg. That's what I get for photographing my outfit at dusk. I was debating whether to post these or not. I hate flash but I really wanted to blog a new outfit. Must photograph with daylight!
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27/02/2012

Happy 40th Martina!


It was my Godmother's 40th birthday party on the 19th and I was meant to take loads of pictures for her. However, I knew nobody and I have never really photographed any kind of event before other than a wedding so I was super nervous and only took a few! 

I wore my black lace playsuit from River Island.. the expensive one that I can't believe I paid for but I fell in love with the pleather peter pan collar and just had to have it! I also wore cosy tights (best invention ever, right?) and my Daisystreet chloe boots.

The top picture is my Sister. We was messing about with my camera for half the night and that picture's a little random but I like it!
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26/02/2012

My Week in photos 20.02.12 - 25.02.12

Starbucks hour with Iddy · Lunch time readings · Mounted my photography work myself! · DaisyStreet sent me a present (review coming soon!) · Black shoe dilemma · Wednesday's face · My six exhibition prints on display · Belated Wednesday pancake day (sugar, lemon & syrup to be precise!) · Mini Ben & Jerry's · USA print leggings! (review coming soon!) · Sister's prom dress for the Summer! · Relevant tumblr picture.

Had another really easy week. Surely there must be one of you who reads these weekly posts of mine and thinks I'm a lazy person who just posts pictures of food! I promise I am not.  I'm usually really busy!

I exhibited at my second photography exhibition on Wednesday 22nd with my college class. The title was 'Community in Art'. You may remember me posting the test digital photographs here. I also designed the poster advertising the exhibition and blogged about it also here. That was a part of my graphics side of the assignment which I am glad is over!
I mounted my own work which wasn't recommended but I felt if my images were framed, it would defeat the whole purpose of the meaning behind my work. I bought A3 3mm foam board from eBay and planned to stick the images to the foam board using double sided tape, however it was too thick so I needed a plan b. I went to Hobbycraft before meeting up with my friend Iddy for a cheeky Starbucks (caramel milk based frappichino, you so good!) and got told they can't sell me a can of Hobbycraft's own spray mount because I am under 21. You can imagine how much I was stressing. Two days till my exhibition opening night (it ran for three days)... and no where near close to displaying any work. Well, I bet you're wondering what I did? I begged a little old lady (thank you so much!) to buy it for me if I gave her the cash. She agreed and the cashier even had to hand the woman the change to give to me. Job's worth, eh?

The exhibition itself went really well and quite a lot of people turned up. I wasn't around to see if the other two days were as successful but I'm really proud of my college class. We all mucked in together and organised a whole exhibition with a lot of stress and the odd dilemma here and there! Well done dawgs(!)

In other news...

· My second driving lesson went really well. I have them every Monday and I can't wait for my next one. I actually drove the car properly and so far haven't stalled. I find it so fun and I can't wait to buy a car!

· I bought Reveal magazine for the first time in ages and it's reminded me why I never buy gossip magazines anymore. They're rubbish. Elle and Company <3

· How cool are my new leggings? I found them via another blogger. All will be revealed soon! 

· As for the tumblr picture. I always get commented on, especially in work, that I have an expressionless face. I read a blog post on this ages ago and for the life of me cannot remember who's blog it was but it was SO relevant. It's impossible for my facial muscles around my mouth area to remain raised for a whole 8/9/10 hour shift. If you smile at me, I smile back. If you look at me, I smile. I really don't see the problem, but hey-ho!

5 blogs I like this week:
5 things not mentioned that I have done this week:
  • Finished The Secret Circle series and waiting for the last episode in the season to upload!
  • Watched 'The Break-Up' and laughed and cried.
  • Took advantage of the weekend Papa Johns deal: Buy one get one free on pizzas plus two free mini Ben & Jerrys.
  • Sorted out all of my emails!
  • Got tweeted by Yvan Rodic (fashion photographer)

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25/02/2012

five tips #1: Advice for first time bloggers

Lots of people have been emailing/tweeting me about doing this post and I've put it off for so long but now I have some time to actually sit down and think! There is by no means a right or wrong when it comes to blogging. Everything is personal preference and everything I am about to say is my own opinion which some of you may or may not agree with!

1) BLOG DESIGN:
Not everybody understands Photoshop and it's definitely a program that needs more than a week to understand. You probably know that I spend way too much time designing my blog and am forever changing bits about! I think to attract a larger number of visitors you need to have a good blog design. It doesn't matter if you have no idea how to create graphics as that's just an extra when it comes to how your blog looks. Just little things make a big difference. 

a) Don't have a flashing/busy background that is going to make the reader either click off straight away or not read.
b) Always have your blog content background colour white. It's easier to read black on white and looks a lot more professional!
c) If you're going to have an image as your background, make sure it tiles! There is nothing worse than one that doesn't match up with the above piece!
d) Make sure your body font is of a reasonable font size and a readable font. Don't use the curly, horrid fonts that Blogger provide. The best ones to use are Arial, Tahoma, Verdana and possibly Georgia. At no smaller than 11px and no bigger than 14px. 

Typing this big on a blog post just looks ridiculous, come on now.

2) CONTENT:
There's a lot of blogs out there with different types of content. For example, ASHLLYD is primarily a lifestyle blog and was actually started to showcase my photography work, however I feel it has developed into a mi-match of beauty, fashion, lifestyle and photography. Don't blog things that you think people may read. You should blog about things that you are interested and not worry whether people are reading your posts at all. The idea of a blog is to write about things you enjoy and want to write about. Obviously it's always lovely to sign in and find a bunch of comments on your latest post, but don't feel pressured to "fit in" with other blogs. There is nothing worse than all the "big blogs" being all the same. That is probably my biggest blogging pet peeve: smaller blogs take a while to get noticed.

3) TRAFFIC & FOLLOWERS:
Gaining followers doesn't happen overnight. Don't be surprised if it takes you a month to gain 10 followers. You have to work hard and advertise quite a bit to attract a larger amount of traffic which then hopefully leads to 1+ follower. Having Twitter helps so much as it's the biggest network that bloggers can communicate via. I am approaching 700 followers and I know that at least 75% of those following me are bloggers. It's also good to sign up to following platforms such as Bloglovin as this provides a way for people without blogs to follow blogs that they read. I know quite a few people from my college and at work read my blog, so this is a great way for them to save all their favourite URL's and have a good old Sunday catch up!

4) COPYRIGHT:
When I first started blogging, I had no idea about what was right or wrong. If you find a background you like for example, there are ways of taking it. However, you should always email the blogger first to find out whether the image is theirs. If not, feel free to use it but sometimes you have to be careful incase they've made it themselves. Same with blog graphics. If you see something you like, email the blogger to ask if you can use it. Don't feel offended or insulted if they say no. As a blog designer it's annoying when people copy and steal things so I would rather people emailed me first rather than just taking things. Fortunately, I haven't found anyone using my photographs or graphics but this is just a warning!

5) PICNIK?!:
Please, please, please don't create headers/grab buttons/nav buttons via picnik. It's the worst website in the world and I will celebrate on April 19th (closing down!)

As I've already mentioned, blogging is personal preference so don't feel offended if some of the things I dislike are something you have on your own blog. I'm sure some people look at my blog and think negative things whereas I know a lot of you like my design! A few other things that I think need mentioning but once again, are my own opinion are:

- Align post text from left to right. It's easier to read and how a blog post should be laid out. 
- Have big images, at least 500px wide. This is especially if you have a fashion/beauty blog. It's much easier to see what you are reviewing or wearing for example. Having small pictures is really annoying.
- Remove the grey shadow borders around your images. There is a code here that can be added to your CSS (template designer > advanced > CSS) that will instantly remove the borders.
- Have a readable font.
- Have clear links to things. Example, if you are reviewing a lipstick, have a clear link as to where the reader can find the item!
- Don't leave your blog URL's in comments. It makes you look a 'tad desperate and nine times out of ten I check out all my commenter's blogs anyway.
- Make your adverts and any images in your sidebar the same size!

Hope this hasn't offended anyone's blogs. Let me know if this has helped you out at all and if you would like to know anything else!
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23/02/2012

February Wishlist & Catch-up

12345678, [minnie top now sold out*]

Haven't done one of these posts in a while and I'm lacking inspiration so thought I'd put one of these up as they're easy to do! I've literally thought of things I've wanted for a while including the Chanel cream bronzer and the pink creepers whilst also looking for new things that caught my eye. I absolutely adore my black creepers. I know they're not everybody's 'cuppa tea but they are the most comfy shoes I own and are just ugly but pretty. I really want the pink ones for Summer but I may get them customized so I don't have the black stitching at the front.

I need a new hoodie as I live in my current one and I think grey goes with everything. I found the t-shirt via a blog post that Hannah did and I fell in love straight away. Unfortunately, it's now sold out from Urban Outfitters. Talking of which, I really want the army camo jacket. I saw a girl at my exhibition yesterday wearing one and it reminded me how long I've actually wanted one. This one is only £48 which I don't think is that bad considering I will wear it a lot!

I will eventually get round to trying the famous Elasticizer that Lily reviewed. My hair is pretty damaged at the ends down to nobody but myself for my dire need to bleach in an ombre. I've been using Aussie's 3 minute miracle lately and it's been leaving my hair super soft! Maybe I will do a review soon?

I will soon be selling this layout that I am currently using due to a new layout that is currently being designed. There is a direct link on my shop if you are interested. I am also taking in orders for blog designs for the months of March-April. The price is still £25, link here. Remember to email me after you purchase!

Recently reached 400 GFC followers to thank you so, so much! I squealed in delight when I signed in yesterday. I have also forgotten to mention that I have started to learn how to drive! I will be having my third lesson on Monday and I'm so excited!

I am working Sunday and then seeing Harry Potter DHP2 with my friend Iddy which is showing at work for some bizarre reason so I'm looking so forward to that. I still haven't managed to get any of the DH's parts on DVD as HMV are always sold out!

I hope you are all having a lovely week. It's nearly the weekend! I haven't done much this week so don't expect too much from this week's 'my week in photos' post (on Sunday to be precise). My exhibition went really well yesterday. Quite a lot of people turned up and my friend Daniel decided to come along which was lovely as things seem to be quite normal between us and that makes me ever so happy. 
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19/02/2012

My (chocolate and bubblebath fulfilled) week in photos: 12.02.12 - 19.02.12


Galaxy that Iddy bought me :) · bubble baths ·walking dead s2e8 (waited three whole months!) · valentines lunch with mumma · colour film · jessie j top (topman) · jessie j disco · hello it's me

Had quite an easy week if I'm honest. It's been bubble baths and chocolate days with my bed and the secret circle which I am addicted to! Was really excited for the new episode of the walking dead considering I've waited ages but felt it wasn't that exciting to watch? It really disappointed me! Didn't end up doing anything for valentines other than have lunch and a spot of shopping with my mumma! I found the rolls of film in the pound shop so ended up buying ten. I spend around £4/5 on ONE roll usually and that's WITH student discount so I had to snap these up! The Jessie J top is something I've wanted since my friend sent me a picture. I'm addicted to Domino too, as is my mum and sister who decided to have a disco in my room!

Met up with some old friends yesterday. I did do a quick blog post before I went out last night to a family party but I felt so happy. I hadn't seen them in nearly two years (next month!) so I was feeling pretty awkward (like always, Iddy if you are reading this I bet you are smiling........... -___-) and nervous, and contemplated a few times whether to drop out but I'm so glad I didn't. We're currently organising our next meet-up so I will keep you all posted! Hello famous three if you are reading! 

I have laughed SO much this week! I can't really explain why cos ~certain people read my blog oooooopz~ but hahahahahaha HOVIS! Private jokes with my new friend Iddy. Tuesday will be even funnier. I wish I could explain the "joke" but I can't! If you have me on facebook I've made a few statuses about HOVIS. I'm not weird, there is a purpose behind them ^_^

Not sure what to blog about next week as I haven't bought or received any items to review for a while so what would you like to see/read?
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18/02/2012

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!


Webcam quality but I don't even care. I need to blog. I've had SUCH a good day! Caught up with  my old best mates who I haven't seen in nearly two years and saw Jack and Jill at the cinema (you must go see it, sooo funny!). Then I saw my friend who I mentioned in last week's post; Iddy outside of the cinema, cos that's where I work and that was the icing on top of my whole day. HOVIS! (private jokes lolzzzzz~) And now I am off out to a family 40th party!  Just thought I'd do a little post which is quite late but I am so happy and wanted to share it with all of you! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY! ^_^

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16/02/2012

blush 88 palette

Blush Professional 88 colour palette* - £8.99 from here

Alongside planning a fashion photoshoot, I always insist on doing the makeup myself. I'm rubbish with hair so never bother with it but I don't see the point in wasting money on an average makeup artist for photoshoots when you can get some materials and resources needed, watch a few youtube tutorials and do something if not near enough brilliant, then even better!

I purely got this palette to use on photoshoots. My sister is my usual model. She has been featured in a lot of my work so I don't mind using my own makeup on her (providing it all gets cleaned properly afterwards). However, I would never use my personal makeup on other people so I needed something that could serve that purpose! 

The 88 palette consists of 88 shadows ranging from pale pastels to brighter colours to the darker smoky browns, greys blacks. I was pleasently surprised how pigmented the shadows are. Even the lighter shadows in the top left area are really pigmented. I wouldn't say they're 'buttery' which is probably my favourite consistency when it comes to eyeshadows (oh naked palette, all eyes are on you), but for a price under a tenner (£10), it's got the wow-factor! As you can see, I only swatched a few of the brighter shadows and the darker green and black which I am now really excited to use properly!

I think this palette is great value of money and something everyone should have. I now really want to try all of the other products from the website! 
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14/02/2012

Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend

03.11.2009 - 11.02.2012
You were such a huge part of my life.
I will never forget you.

You was my first true love and my best friend. We have laughed so much, cried together, had silly arguments about absolutely nothing and fought. I never wanted it to be like this. I wanted us to last forever. Two years, one week and one day was not enough. I hope you have made the right decision and will not live with regrets. I hope you're happier without me and life gives you everything you have ever wanted. I love you, just like Carl loved Ellie*.

(*Pixar Up mention - the film we watched the night we met).
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12/02/2012

My Week in photos 05.02.12 - 11.02.12

epic film fest · creepers · nicest yoghurt ever · more snow! · setting up for a test shoot · college work · thursday's outfit · pink dip dye! (review will be up in the week!)

This week has been pretty long and tiring and I'm glad it's over and half term is beginning. I am having a photography exhibition with the rest of my college class on 22nd February so we've all literally been running around trying to organise everything. Fortunately, I have my prints and I have ordered foam board to present my work so that's one less thing to worry about. If anybody's interested in coming, let me know! There's going to be food + alcohol and all that jazz.

I dip-dyed my ombre on Thursday, partly as I was curious and partly because I was bored. I absolutely love it. It's only a wash-in, wash-out application but I really recommend it, so I will write a review at some point in the week! 

I have been talking non-stop to a new friend who I've surprisingly become quite close to? We actually work together but have never really spoken until the first time a week ago! If you read my blog post about why I'm socially awkward then you'd understand that making friends is such a big thing for me! So hello to Iddy if you're reading (: You are amazing. 

I am so unbelievely busy for the upcoming week. Marketing for my exhibition, photoshoots, a family party on Saturday and of course... LONDON FASHION WEEK! Next week's 'MWIP' post will be a hefty one!
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11/02/2012

Revlon ColourStay foundation

Revlon ColourStay Foundation - £12.49 Superdrug

I'm always for blogging about foundations. I'm as white as snow (reference to our current winter conditions!) and find it hard to find foundations to match my skin tone. It's near impossible  to find a foundation from every brand that suits pale skin tones, and I should imagine that goes for darker skin tones too. My favourite foundation by far is Maxfactor's weightless foundation which I have already reviewed.

After reading Leanne's from Thunder + Threads review (read it here!), I knew it was something I had to try. Me and Leanne have the same skin tone so I knew the colour match would be the same etc. It's around about £13 which is pricey for a 'drugstore' foundation, which did make me a little apprehensive. I bit the bullet however, and I've been using it on and off since before Christmas. The colour match is perfect for me. I'm not one of them people that is a different shade in Summer and Winter. I'm one shade all year round, which is perfect as I know all of the foundations in my collection will get used. As for the coverage, I would say it's a medium coverage and slightly buildable but can look rather cakey if not blended and powdered after use. Saying that, it's a satin finish which is great as it doesn't make you look too shiny. I prefer a completely matte base so always use powder to set my foundation but it's all down to personal preference! 

ColourStay comes in a wide range of shades and has different versions for different skin types. I generally have really good skin. It's never really dry and never oily. I rarely break out and if I do it's only if I change my skin care routine slightly. I went for the 'normal-dry' version just because I think that's what I'm most suited to. 
I apply it with Elf's powder brush which is the best brush in the bloody universe, use collection 2000's lasting perfection concealer and finally MAC's mineralized skin finish natural in light to set everything 

Overall, it is a really lovely foundation but I wouldn't purchase it again. The one thing that severely annoys me is the packaging. The foundation is in a 30ml glass bottle with no pump or squeeze application (?). The only way to get the product out is to pour it either onto your hand, finger or even the brush. Saying that, if they changed their packaging to something easier, I probably would re-purchase this.
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07/02/2012

Jeepers Creepers

shirt - new look
hoodie - h&m 
jean jacket - diesel
~disco pants - ebay (review here)
creepers - ebay £73.99 inc. p&p

Top left: I am not pregnant, it was the wind lol.

My babies are here! I finally caved in and bought them after much deliberation of not knowing whether to buy them, what colour to choose and whether to get my size or a size smaller. After chatting to my blogging best friend Vicky and fellow foot twin (private joke), I decided to go for the size 5. I am a size 6 normally, but a 5 in vans and doc martens. So glad I went for the 5 as they are still a bit big but with the laces tightened they're fine! I got them from an ebay seller that are a family run business and handmake every shoe. It's nice to know these were especially made for me :-) I REALLY recommend this ebay seller though! Their customer service is really good. I was going to get the hot pink ones but they don't sell them. After chatting to the lady behind the company, she said they could custom make some pink ones for me. How nice? I will probably get some pink ones for the summer!

Not the greatest outfit post as I've had a really lazy day and only got dressed to pop down the shops. My mum is ill so I had to buy dinner for tonight and some chocolate as I'm having the biggest craving at the moment. I will definitely photograph different ways I style creepers. My mum and sister hate them, my boyfriend isn't sure but he's already stated he hates them anyway. Definitely not everybody's 'cuppa tea but I absolutely love them. Ugly clothes and shoes are my biggest love. 
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06/02/2012

New Project: Studio based fashion advertisement

Who needs a stylist when you can do it all yourself? Providing you love fashion of course! I have my outfit sorted for the photoshoot I am doing soon. It's a studio project, however I will be working on location with an outdoor lighting kit. I'm pretty excited for my model as she's really gorgeous and not someone who I have used in my work before. On the plus side, we went to school together so I don't have to worry about meeting a 50 year old fat man who wants to eat me.

The clothes and dreamcatcher necklace are kindly being provided by Pop Couture. The shoes are from ebay and obviously ~inspired JC Litas. The shoot has to advertise something so I'm making the shoes the main focus. You may remember me tweeting about what pair to get a few days ago. When I put together this collage, I was stuck between these three pairs but have decided I'm now going for the red. The silver are gorgeous but a bit random and the black won't stand out against the skirt.

Super excited about the shoot now! Going to be blogging about it all tomorrow and sharing my references etc!
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05/02/2012

My Week in photos 29.01.12 - 04.02.12

 bubble bath with a teletubbie flannel (never too old) · matte leopard nails · new fur coat ~poses · soppy texts · morning alarms · functional skills lesson: writing a love letter formally (impossible but funny!) · college think ASHLLYD is offensive and tasteless · GBK visit yesterday with Todd · starbucks mm · found the shoes i've wanted for ages in the topshop sale! · cute jumper i also found in the sale · snow starting last night (04/02) · more snow · even more snow!

This week has been pretty bland. It seems to have got really cold in London this week, so I'm glad I bought that fur coat! The snow, as predicted, started last night as I was walking home after a satisfying meal at GBK with Todd. Nothing exciting has happened so there's not much to type about! However, I did find the shoes that I posted about in a wishlist a few months ago in the Topshop sale! Reduced from £58 to £25 so obviously I had to have them. They also had them in blue so if you're looking for them, it's worth checking out your local TS! I haven't been shopping in well over a month so I still have lots of birthday money to spend! I ordered some more ~disco pants the other night in red, so I'm looking forward to getting them! I also bit the bullet and finally ordered some creepers! Was torn between bright pink and plain old black but I gathered I would wear black more (goth) so ordered them!

Hope everyone's having a fab weekend and wrapping up warm. I reckon there's more snow to come!
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03/02/2012

GRRRRR.


fur coat - asos
£54 in the sale.

I had been eyeing up this coat for ages but was a bit apprehensive with the original price of £90. When I saw it had gone down to £54 in the sale, I obviously had to snap it up! I originally wanted the black version but it had sold out so I went for the 'cream' one. It's super thick and warm and I absolutely love it. Feel like a fat person in it but I guess all fur coats do that?
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01/02/2012

Disco pants?!

 jumper: h&m
mickey t-shirt: h&m
~disco pants: ebay
shoes: topshop
jewellery: cross cage ring* (covet jewellery) + topshop evil eye ring

Second post of the day! Not something I usually do but this post has been requested quite a lot! Rushed home from college to take these so the quality's a bit crap (let's ignore the fact I'm a photography student okay?). I also forgot to shoot RAW! 

I have been lusting over the disco pants from american apparel for ages, just like every other man and his dog! However, the price tag puts me off! I'm always on ebay looking for dupes of things and came across some leggings that looked exactly the same as the real disco pants, except they were just under £7! They're actually from an ebay shop in Shanghai though. I've never ordered anything from overseas so I was a little anxious whether I would receive them or not. They arrived in exactly twenty working days as estimated.

I have instagram'd (username is ashllyd, follow me!) two pictures of them since receiving them yesterday and I absolutely LOVE them! If I was to compare them to the AA pair, then they don't have a button to do them up. They're just like a normal pair of leggings except the same material as AA disco pants! They only have one size, estimated UK 14. (I'm a size 12 for reference) Not gonna lie, I opened them and they looked far too small, however they magically adjusted! I would say they would fit sizes 8-14. They're unfortunately not high waisted but I can live with that. I wouldn't recommend them if you're taller than around 5ft6" though! I'm a measly 5ft4" and any taller they would be above my ankles. Not sure how other people prefer leggings but I like them to sit preferably below my ankle or sitting just on top! My sister's a few inches taller than me and they sit just above her ankle (yes she tried them on!).

What do you think of them? Will you be buying them? Let me know if you do!

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Andrew Barton's Hair Mask

Andrew Barton S.O.S hair mask 300ml
Exclusively at ASDA
(No idea on price!)

This product was used up about a month ago but I've meaning to review it because it's magic cream in a tub! You may or may not know, but I bleached the ends of my hair to achieve the ombre look ages ago now, but it left the ends of hair feeling like straw. This is a mask that you leave on your hair for around three minutes or so, but I tend to leave it on for a lot longer, maybe twenty minutes or so. It's a thick, white cream that smells like fudge! After washing it out, it left my hair feeling soooo soft! I've since had all of the damaged ends chopped off but even so, I will re-purchase this! I can't remember how much it was as my mum bought it but honestly, if you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for?!

Hope everyone likes the new look of ASHLLYD? It's the same 'layout', just changed around a lot!
Also a big well done to Katie who won my blog design giveaway!
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