Posts tagged ‘hair’

October 3, 2012

Space NK and leaving beauty boxes behind.

I had a subscription to one of the beauty boxes until recently. Each month, I’d get a pretty box filled with a selection of sample beauty products posted through the letter box. And for a while, it was great. I love to get exciting post, and this was a little treat just for me. But after a while, the lustre wore off the whole thing. I heard rumours that beauty bloggers were getting different products to the rest of the subscribers, purely so they could act as free PR for the companies, and then another rumour about a ‘premium, invite-only’ box, that the company were going to just make available to a select few people. Quite how they were going to decide whose £12 a month was the most deserving of this premium line, I don’t know, but it seemed a little bit of ‘us and them’ behaviour to me. Of course, these were just unsubstantiated rumours, and I’m no beauty expert, but I decided to leave.

The other thing that I really realised about the experience is how much I love to go into stores and play around with products before buying them. Even getting the samples in the post wasn’t really the same, because part of the fun for me is chatting to the staff and learning more about the products that way. So, I’m back in the stores, trying things out, and enjoying the great customer service you often find with beauty brands.

One of my favourite places to do this is in Space NK. I like that they have a range of different brands, and that the staff in my local branch all seem to be really passionate about what they do and what they sell. Maybe they’re on commission, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that I always feel as though I’m being treated well and leave the store with a happy feeling.

At a brilliant card holders’ event recently (where I had my hair straightened) I came away with a incredible free bag of lovely goodies, after spending enough money (on gifts and for other people, so not spending money to get freebies, which is really bad maths!) and I really don’t think it would have been bettered anywhere else. I have favourite brands elsewhere (Liz Earle and Neal’s Yard Remedies for example), and favourite brands in Space NK (Eve Lom, Darphin, Caudalie, Diptyque to mention a few) and there is room in my life for them all! I’m enjoying the process of choosing things in store again, and I don’t think I’ll be going back to a beauty box subscription any time soon.

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September 28, 2012

Curls.

On Wednesday night, I had my hair straightened for the first time. At a lovely event at my local Space NK (about which I’ll talk more in another post next week!) I volunteered to be the guinea pig for their new straighteners and it wasn’t until I saw myself in the mirror that I really knew what it would look like.

It was an odd feeling really. You see, I was bullied at school. Not mercilessly, and by the time I’d got to high school it had pretty much gone, but it was enough to reduce me regularly to tears. And it was always about my hair. My mum, possessor of sleek straight brunette hair (apart from an unfortunate period of perming in the early nineties) never really knew what it was like to manage curls, and so would brush it out when it was dry. Which led to it being one eight foot wide mass of frizz, and provided the local bullies with an excellent target, either for words, or on a couple of memorable occasions, for chewing gum.

By the time I got to high school I’d worked out that if it was washed and left to dry on its own, the frizz died down to actual curls, so I rocked up to school with sopping wet hair on many a day, never quite having realised the value of a hairdryer and diffuser. To this day, I’m usually in so much of a rush to get out of the door, it’s still damp when I’m on the school run or waiting for the bus to work.

But it has also become one of the ways I suppose I define myself. If you asked me to describe what I look like, it’d be average. Average height. Average weight (give or take the odd cake) Average looks. Curly hair. Curly hair. The one thing that I hated about myself as a child has become the one way in which I’m more than average. For a moment, looking in that mirror, I wondered what it might have been like to have that straight hair as a child but then I’m sure they’d have found something else. I mean, curly hair  – it’s not exactly three eyes, is it? Not that I’m suggesting people with three eyes deserve bullying either, you understand. But perhaps any little thing that marks you out as being different, in however small a way, is enough. For me though, that little thing has turned into something, after many years of battle, that I rather like about myself.

So, although it was an interesting experience, it’s not one that I’m going to repeat. I like my curly hair now. It’s part of who I am. So there…