31 August 2013

My current top 5 hair products!

I have a slight hair obsession! I know every girl likes her hair to be 'just right' but I am obsessed I tell you, especially with hair masks and treatments! It all started several years back when I suffered quite a lot of stress and my hair started falling out. A lot. Almost over night my hair went from being strong and shiny to breakable and dull.

These days it is dry at the ends and, despite regular (ish) hair cuts, I still suffer with trying to keep it top notch. I try a whole load of products, regularly buying samples of treatments before full sized ones, just to see what effect it has on my hair. 

So, here are my current 'top 5'. I haven't included shampoo and conditioner because I really do mix this up a lot. If I was put on the spot I would choose Aussie Mega Shampoo and Mega Conditioner as a good staple couple as the shampoo cleanses your hair without stripping it of natural oils and the conditioner is light enough for everyday but doesn't weigh the hair down. I am a bit of a believer in switching your shampoo and conditioner quite regularly (although I am clearly no professional, that just works for me and for my hair type). 

These products are things that work well for me and I purchase them regularly so I know they are good! My hair type is oily at the roots and dry at the ends, so if that's you then these may work for you too...enjoy!

1. Leo Bancroft 'Totally Protected' Spray £4.00 from Tesco - I have tried several products that protect against the heat before but none that actually hold the style as well. I am sure there are others out there, but at £4.00 you can't grumble! This is exclusive to Tesco so easy to lay your hands on. The good thing about this product is that you can use it twice, first on towel dried hair before blow-drying and secondly on dry hair before using further styling tools, such as curling tongs. It protects up to 230 degrees, and smells pretty good. It doesn't leave your hair 'crispy' either - so all in all a good 'un!

2. VO5 Hot Oil Deep Nourishing Treatments £4.29 for 4 from Boots - These are the best hot oils treatments I have tried, and good value for money too. When I have these I use them once a week on dry hair. You fill a cup, or your sink, with hot water and float the little capsule inside to heat up. Once warm just massage into dry hair, focusing on mid-lengths to ends. Most of these recommend you don't exceed 1 minute on the hair so be sure to read the packaging. These are really moisturising and softening on the hair and the effect lasts longer than just the day of use. The also smell great! I use these all year round and would highly recommend trying them.

3. Lee Stafford 'Breaking Hair' Leave in Treatment £7.00 from Boots - This creamy product is fab! I discovered it recently when my hair just needed a bit of something extra. You put it on to mid-length to ends of hair (towel dried) and massage in. If your hair is very dry or damaged they recommend using it every other day but otherwise once per week. It really protects and moisturises the hair, leaving it soft and conditioned. It also contains a UV filter which is great, especially for taking away with you to protect from the sun. I usually spray the Leo Bancroft product over the top to add protection to the rest of my hair after using this. 

4. Herbal Essences Hair Masks £4.19 from Boots - I have tried a few of these and the following are my favourites. The Bee Strong mask is very rich, smells delicious and claims to strengthen the hair. For me it softened my hair and created amazing shine, I am not sure about the strengthening bit but the ends of my hair were less dry which made styling easier. I also love the Tousle Me Softly mask and the Hello Hydration treatment. Keep your eyes peeled in supermarkets for offers as I got mine in Sainsburys at just £1.50 each and another few on 3 for 2. They are a bargain and easy to pop onto your hair after shampooing in the shower as you only leave them on for a short amount of time.

5. L'Oreal Matt and Messy Salt Spray £3.75 from Boots - So, after all this time spent trying to make my hair shiny I buy a product to make it messy and matt huh? Yep! Sometimes you just need that 'just got out of bed' look! I roughly blow dry my hair, run the irons through the ends only, just on a low heat and then spray this onto my hands and 'scrunch' into my hair to create texture and body. I also use this when I have curled my hair in the same way to hold the curl. I really like this spray. I know that there are other 'cult' products out there which are triple the price but this really does work well for such a small price. Try it!

If you have any high-street recommendations please comment below or Tweet me @lucycarterart, I would love to know what works for you and try some new products.


28 August 2013

New Video: August Collective Haul Pt 2: Beauty!

Today sees the second part of my August Collective Haul on my YouTube channel. This is only my second video ever so I hope you like it! I am reviewing a few products I have purchased over several weeks from Boots and Superdrug.

Today I have been filming a 'Get Ready With Me, Everyday Make-Up' video so you can expect to see that up on my channel and blog soon!

In the meantime enjoy this video! If you look in the description box below the video you will see all the links to the products I am showing as well as links to the various ways you can get in touch with me...I would love to hear from you.

Any suggestions of things you would like to see please let me know on Twitter or Facebook!


26 August 2013

A little day out in the big smoke

You may have already seen some of my Sunday snaps from a certain little jaunt into London last week to see Mona play at The Borderline. I thought I would just put a little post together with a few more photos from the day and link some videos that someone has posted on YouTube from the gig!

London is a strange one for me as I find it very scary, what with all the crowds and people all rushing about in every direction, but I do enjoy a one-off visit every now and again! There are probably only three things that will get me to London's busiest streets and those things are art, music and a theatre show! That said I really like The Southbank. On Wednesday there were some cute little 'window gardens' all along the front full of veggies and plants. Last time I visited there were beach huts along the same bit, so you never know quite what you're going to get! There was also a rather funky wall of door bells entertaining some children, but mostly adults, not to mention some graffiti far to amazing to be called graffiti-but then I guess that is cool these days huh?!   

Although I am a country girl at heart I do appreciate architecture and the London skyline is never a disappointment is it? Crossing the bridges you get the most amazing views and get to take in all the atmosphere around you - plus you get to see all the nutters on that ride (below)...I should've gone on there! Right up my street!

So, back to the reason for the trip, the gig... the venue was tucked away next to Foyles book store and looked a bit like a gallery from the outside (above right). It was one of those places where you go in and head down a winding staircase to get to the stage and bar etc. Pretty small on the inside which has its advantages and disadvantages depending on who you are and how much you like to be jumped on by drunk teenagers! Luckily the age ranges varied enough for a few tall 'dad's' to act like a protection barrier when said teens began their haphazard leaping!

Anyway, check out these videos from the gig I found on YouTube and see what you think...

The video below is their music video from their first single released over here a couple of years ago:

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25 August 2013

Introducing the From Lucy With Love YouTube Channel!

You may have already realised, if you have read my blog or any Twitter posts before, that I am an avid YouTube fan... this is a relatively new hobby of mine and takes up way too much time in my life when time is already hard to come by! I love watching beauty and hair posts and adore 'hauls' (in other words watching people show what they have been buying!). What I like about it is that it actually has a functional use in my life as I learn what is good/worth buying and what is not, and when times are tough, as they are for many right now, this all serves a purpose! 

I subscribe to a fair amount of channels, which also, I would like to point out, include a nutrition and exercise channel and some music channels... so it's not all make-up. I decided that I would start up my own channel as a platform for several things that will be coming up on my blog including: handmade arts, crafts and food projects, hair and beauty bits and bobs (including the occasional 'haul') and some lifestyle talk.

It is hard to 'put yourself out there' with videos but hopefully they will be taken for what they are which is a bit of fun and a visual compliment to some of the things I write about here.

You can find my channel HERE

I have already uploaded the Coconut Oil Body Scrub video which I made on Instagram recently (something short and sweet to kick off!). There is also a 'Collective Haul' upload. You will see Part One on my channel (and below!), which is a few clothing bits and pieces and some skincare, and Part Two will be uploaded by Wednesday, which is all about beauty!

Here is Part One...Please 'subscribe' to my channel to stay up to date with what goes up. Coming up soon there will be some make-up 'get ready with me' videos plus some 'favourites' from the make-up, hair and beauty realm. Stay tuned!

Thank you for all your support with the blog so far...


Sunday Snaps!

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1. Off to see 'Mona' at The Borderline on Londons Manette Street! So awesome live people, go listen to some of their music right now! / 2. Me on the train -woo hoo! / 3. Trafalgar Squares new sculpture installation, insert obvious joke here! / 4. Lunch at Giraffe on the South Bank - so good! / 5. Funky lights in the restaurant. / 6. The venue. / 7. The Younger - Monas support band, they were great actually, well worth checking them out too. /  8. The London sky line at night, pretty amazing. / 9. Such pretty lights on the party boat!


24 August 2013

Handmade Clay Hearts

These hearts, made from Polymer Clay, are fairly simple and easy to make. There are so many options for this type of clay and I will put a few more items on here soon that I have made from the material. You need to shop around for the clay but I got mine from eBay. I also brought a lace effect plastic sheet to emboss the clay and create a more interesting final look. I experimented with two colours of clay, including white and a skin tone colour, which I added some paint to afterwards to create a more texture appearance.

This is how I created my hearts:
What you will need:
- Clay (Polymer or Sculpey are great brands)
- Rolling pin
- Cutters (mine are old cookie cutters and come in 5 sizes)
- Plastic texture sheet (optional!)
- Paint brush
- Paint (optional)
- Baking tray
- Letters to emboss the clay if you wish to add words to the hearts.
- Varnish (use a specific one for the clay - mine was a glossy finish)
- Ribbon (if you want to hang them).

What to do:
1. Preheat the oven according to the directions on clay.
2. Unwrap the clay and warm in your hands before rolling it to your desired thickness.
3. If you are using a texture plate then add this to one side and roll over with the rolling pin or press with your hands to ensure the pattern is taking to the clay.
4. Gently remove the texture plate and lay clay down on chopping board or hard, smooth surface.
5. Use your cutters to press out your shape and gently and carefully remove excess clay from edges. You can neaten the shape with a palette knife if you need to by pushing in the edges. If you are wanting to hang the hearts you will need to create a hole in the top. I did this using the end of a paint brush.
5. If you are embossing with letters then this is the time to do this. Because of the pressure you apply to the heart when adding your letters be aware that the heart can slightly stick to your surface so be careful to take your time to remove it.
6. Place on the baking tray and oven as described on packaging.
7. Once thoroughly cool you can add your gloss varnish (2-3 thin coats), or add any paint you may want to. On my skin-coloured clay I used a wirey paintbrush to dry-brush white acrylic paint onto the surface being careful to allow some of the original clay colour to show through and add texture. The trick to getting this right is to use a little paint at a time, this gives you more control. After paint has dried you can then apply your gloss if needed.

These hearts can be made in all sizes. I think smaller ones would make lovely Christmas tree decorations. Maybe you could emboss words like 'angel' or 'noel' on them and hang them on Christmas coloured ribbon! The larger ones look great hanging from door handles or on hooks on the wall, especially several together! And, of course, you could make some personalised ones for the special someone in your life or make rectangular ones for a child's bedroom! Let your creativity go wild!


23 August 2013

Loving, Needing, Meh! #9

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This week I am LOVING:
  • Mona baby!! If you have never heard of Mona before they are a band from the US of A who I first came across when they supported Kings of Leon at Hyde Park a few years ago. They are ruddy awesome and I have been lucky to see them live a couple of times now, the latest being this week. I will be putting some links to some of their stuff on my 'Sunday Snaps' post this Sunday! Check them out for sure!
  • Eating out. It has been an official 'food' week this week which has resulted in me having to cardio my life away in training... had a yummy homemade Paella, a handmade burger, a meal at Giraffe and there will be more where all that came from this evening, oh my!
This week I am NEEDING:
  • Can I mention that I am needing to sort the nutrition??? If you read the above you will know why!! It needs re-jigging and some more meals planned in advance, this has slipped over the summer sightly...(hanging head in shame!).
This weeks MEH!:
  • This weeks 'Meh!' is more of a sob... my besties little pet rabbit passed away and it is very, very sad. R.I.P little fluffster J.


17 August 2013

Loving, Needing, Meh! #8

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This week I am LOVING:
  • A fab shopping trip! Thanks to my dad I was able to get some bits and bobs from town, so needed! I was dying to get some school shoes (love calling them that! Well, I do work in a school!) Got some nice things and have done a 'haul' YouTube video, in 2 parts, which should be up tomorrow! 
This week I am NEEDING:
  • A lay in. For some reason I am feeling so exhausted. I can't seem to be able to lay in either. As soon as the room is light I am awake and my mind is running through the list of things to do. I managed a mini lay in this morning but could do with some earlier nights too.
  • I am also in desperate need of cleaning out my car, I mean it looks like I live in it! Wrappers, clothes, training kit, shoes, squash 'bats'... you name it! (hanging head in total shame!)
This weeks MEH!:
  • Weather! What has happened? Where is the sun? Does it not know I want to get out with my sketchbook over this week? 


15 August 2013

Homemade Turkey Burgers - Super quick and easy!

If you are looking for a healthy meal that everyone will tuck into then you may like to try these! You can adapt these and add chili's or different herbs and spices, depending on your personal preferences, but this is the basic recipe! 

You will need:
- Turkey mince (will make approximately 8 burgers)
- 1 medium egg
- 1 Red onion (finely chopped)
- Tinned sweetcorn (optional)
- Mixed herbs or fresh herbs of your choice
- Salt and pepper
- Plain flour

How to make:
1. Pop your turkey mince into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add your egg, onion, herbs, seasoning and sweetcorn and mix together using your hands, ensuring everything is distributed around evenly.
3. On a plate or large chopping board place a small heap of plain flour.
4. Get a medium ball of mince and start to form into a burger, covering in plain flour to stop it sticking to your hands. 
5. Place on a plate and continue process until all mixture is used.
6. Place into the fridge for an hour or so to help maintain the shape for cooking.

To cook:
Preheat your grill and cook for 8-10 minutes each side. Check the centre of the burger to ensure cooked.

Serving suggestions:
If you are trying to be super healthy these burgers are super yummy with a big, fresh salad or with a small portion of sweet potato wedges. Failing that place in a bread roll and squeeze in some of your favourite relish and enjoy!

11 August 2013

Sunday Snaps

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1. Updating an old chest of drawers right now...here I am applying the undercoat! Look at me concentrating! / 2. My little stampers, I love you (cute!). / 3. Wiltshire ducks. I love how there are lots of signs about saying 'no swimming', I can only imagine this is why they are not swimming...  / 4. Here is my 'project manager'... next doors cat, 'watching over' the proceedings. / 5. Going for a bit of ring finger bling this week. / 6. Finally had my second collarbone injection on Thursday. It hurt a bit... the plaster does not demonstrate the extent of the injury. / 7. My bestie gave me a face mask... this is the shocking picture of me wearing it. Not my best look I feel! / 8. More to come on this: sneak preview of the hearts I have been making of late! Watch this space for more info! / 9. An early start at Box Bell Fit this weekend for Saturday circuits. Just me and a chicken for a little bit!

9 August 2013

Loving, Needing, Meh! #7

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Hi everyone...firstly, my humble apologies for lack of content this week! I am working on a few bits so promise to upload soon. Also, I did produce a video this week which was meant to be on here by now but it turned out that the sound was rubbish! Frustrating!! Anyway, onto this weeks 'Loving, Needing, Meh!'.

This week I am LOVING:
  • Sex and the City! I have had this on in the background whilst doing some bits and pieces this week! Loving it! Haven't seen it for so long...next week will be 'Friends'!
  • Getting crafty. If you have been on my Facebook page this week you will already have seen some new experiments that I have been working on. I will do a post on these over the weekend. If you want one of the new items please get in touch. More info to follow!
This week I am NEEDING:
  • Paint. I am almost ready to start painting a chest of drawers I was given and have decided to paint it cream on the outside but I want the insides of the drawers to be bright pastels so I need to get on to that sharpish! 
  • Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm! My skin is looking almost as tired as I am feeling right now and this stuff is meant to be amazing. It is over £30 for a full sized tub, which apparently lasts ages, but I have managed to order a sample size to try from Latest in Beauty. Can't wait for this little life saver to arrive!
This weeks MEH!:
This week I have had one of those weeks! Here is the list of MEH's!:
  • I dropped a bowl of Pistachio shells...everywhere.
  • I spent 3 hours setting up and recording a video for YouTube which turned out to have what sounded like a manic fly in the mic.
  • I spent an hour putting up some white fairy lights to pretty up the bedroom which promptly fell down as soon as I blinked.
  • I got covered in little tiny flying bugs...they were everywhere...walls, ceiling, cupboards, skin, hair...you get it.
I am pretty sure there was a lot more but that'll do or else I will look like a twit, yes, a twit...bringing it back!


3 August 2013

Loving, Needing, Meh! #6

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This week I am LOVING:
  • Harry Potter Saturdays! (I usually release this post on Fridays but failed miserably yesterday - so, thanks ITV, for providing fabulous HP entertainment whilst I work!).
  • Despicable Me! I know, I know, I am years behind but I only saw the first film this week and loved it! So cute and very funny! 
  • Autumn tasters. My favourite seasons are Autumn and Spring. I know you will all be sighing at me right now and I can almost hear you saying 'but we have only just got summer!', and you are right. BUT... September magazines are out full of the joys of our next season and I love, love, love it! New clothes in the shops, cool boots, cozy home-ware products for those snugly nights in... fab! 
This week I am NEEDING:
  • Art inspiration. I need to get my lazy butt out and take some photos and start some sketchbook work asap! I have the want, just need to get on with it. 
  • I also need to get on and finish sanding and painting a chest of drawers I have had sitting in the garage for an age - not going to get itself sorted is it?! Well, it might if I leave it there long enough. I feel all inspired by that new Kirstie Allsopp programme on Channel 4 - so cool. I am already watching some awesome second hand furniture on eBay to see if I can get my hands on a bargain or two...
This weeks MEH!:
  • I am this weeks MEH! I haven't filmed my hauls that I had planned for this week and, quite frankly, I deserve a slapped wrist - no excuses at all, I am on holiday for heavens sake. I am just needing to sort the camera tripod and I should be good to go. I am loving all the YouTube channels I subscribe too so much and would love to give it go too! You guys will be the first to know when I am go, go, go!!

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