Saturday, 30 November 2013

Review - Bonded Hair Extensions by Platinum

Curious about bonded extensions?
As was I...
I'm hear to give you the low down on & all the info that you need to know!

I've heard all about bonds over the years, all the different types you can get, the prices, some horror stories & people that would never live without them again.

I think all these factors above, relate to different types of hair, bonds 
& the extensionist who applies them.

I'm no expert on hair or bonds but I do know,
 that choosing a bond that is good will be important to the over all appearance of your hair.
As you want the bond to be as small as possible to prevent people from seeing where the hair is attached & also give you the option to wear your hair in up styles etc.

I think, the main factors to look at when thinking of getting bonded hair extensions are;
  •  The type of bond you want
  • Type of hair you want, length, thickness, shade, texture & effect
  • Who's applying them & what it costs
What is a bond? 
The definition of a bond is to join or be joined securely to something else, 
usually by means of an adhesive substance, heat, or pressure.
And this is exactly how the hair extension is attached to your natural hair.

However there are many different types of bond, as you can imagine.
Different methods that extensionists use to adhere the extension.

Some preferred over others, some not as damaging as others, some allot smaller than other
  • Microbead
  •  Wax
  • Glue 
  • or Keratin adhesive
 You can look up more of these methods online
 Above, is a picture of a row of bonds in my hair.
These particular bonds are keratin bonds.
This picture is super close so you can see what they look like.

 On the tips of the strands are micro bonds, this gives the bond an almost invisible effect when the hair is brushed & in its normal position.
This is because of the professional application used by my extensionist, Onagh.

They are as close to the root as possible which will also make them last longer in your hair.

How long do they last?
This all depends on how fast your natural hair grows
If the application is done well
And if you look after your extensions.
They can last from 3-6months.
Above, is a before & after picture of my hair.

(encase your wondering...
My extensionist Onagh, owns the name/company Luscious Lox
But she is now working full time in 'Platinum hair'. 
She is the head trainer & manager there. 
So when I took this picture I watermarked it 'LusciousLox' so others couldn't take it)

You can see from the top left picture, before my hair was very thin & uneven.
I did try using a number of different treatments.
Tried getting it cut regular, avoided using heat on it as much as possible but it never grew or thickened anymore than the above picture, unfortunely.

Why should I choose bonded extensions over clip ins? 
Good question but a simple answer.
9/10 times you get what you pay for.

Bonded extensions blend much better into your hair, giving a more realistic appearance 
because a mixture of tones/shades can be used to blend them in with the natural hair.

Bonds stay in your hair 24/7 unless you choose to remove them.
They last from 3-6months.

Clip ins must be taken out as
1.  They will fall out as there is only a clip to hold them onto the hair, which has a huge weight attached, pulling at the hair.
2. If you try keep them in for as long as possible there is a chance that they could pull your real hair out. As there is constant weight & tugging on a small section of hair.

Bonds feel lighter as they are tiny peaces of hair attached to your natural hair.
Above, my bonded extensions curled

Allot of clip ins are a mix of real hair with allot of synthetic hair running through it.
And others are just synthetic hair.
Synethic hair is essentially plastic & heat cannot be used on it or it will singe & melt.

Previously over a number of years I have tried all different clip in extensions from different brands with different types of hair.

Here is something you may not know....
Clip in hair extensions that state on their packaging that it is 100% human hair.
Does NOT mean 100% of that hair in the pack is human. 

It's just saying that there is in the pack 100% human hair.
This could mean that only be 40% of the packet of hair is real.
You need to be aware of this because the rest of the hair, 
that (60%) is most likely to be synthetic (fake) 
Which will result in your "soft" hair turning to singed, course hair quickly.
Above is an example of a clip in hair extension.
If the wind blows or you haven't got enough full hair on the top of your head to cover the clip in piece this is what you'll see. I also find them quite bulky looking

The platinum hair is soft, thick & comes in a range of lengths.
Platinum uses Remy hair.

Stick to the professionals or someone that is well trained in this profession.

Onagh at Platinum hair is very experienced. 
Onagh trained with platinum three years ago & is now an educator in platinum herself
 She is sought to be one of the best extensionists in Dublin at the moment.
She was very sweet & listened to exactly what I was looking for from the hair extensions. 
Would I reccomend Onagh?
Above, my extensions curled using the wond.
You can see they give lots of volume & length.
Perfectly matched.
I had 150grams of hair applied. 

Onagh actually used a mixture of colors through out to add some light & depth to my hair.
 Some thing thats great about bonds....
You can add an ombre effect or some light to your hair without having to dye it!

But can you dye your extensions?
Yes, its possible with platinum hair as 100% of the hair is real & it will take to the dye.
However I would reccomend you go to a professional hair dresser to do this,
 as you don't want to damage the hair yourself.
Hair Dye may grab & develope to your natural hair quicker depending on its shade etc.

However I did dye my hair with the extensions myself,
as I have been dying my hair a numerous amount of colors over the years 
& I've kinda learned allot along the way. 
Above, is the hair dye I chose as I wanted my brown hair to have a red/plum tinge.
(This is a permanent box dye)
2 boxes are needed for extra long hair
Above, After I dyed, blow dried & straightened my hair/extensions 
 I'm extremely happy with the result.
Onagh applied 20inch strands of hair,
 as I've always desired long thick hair down to my waist.
This wouldn't be possible for me without the extensions.
I feel very glamors with them
I think they look just as pretty straight too.
I found with clip ins they looked very ratty at the ends & I could never find an exact color match.
Do these extensions damage your hair? 
Keratin Pre bonds are NOT damaging on the natural hair
Once maintained, applied, removed correctly & professionally
Your hair still grows as it normally would with them which is great.
Example of extensions applied wrong with bad color matching  
Above, a picture of my hair from the front with a slight kink in it. 
How do you wash your hair?
Simple. You wash your hair as you usually would 
But instead of gathering all your hair on top of your head you just leave it down 
& wash into the roots to make sure everywhere is clean & bacteria can't build up around the bond.
 I reccomend you brush through your hair before you get into the shower
 Just to make sure there's no knots so it won't matte.
Brush your hair morning & evening to prevent the bonds getting matted & to separate them.
I also like to tie my hair up loosely before I go to sleep so there is as little damage to the hair as possible 

What do they cost?
Prices vary but this only will range from €200-€300 & no more (with Platinum)
I know that some can be slightly cheaper but this could be due to someone that is inexperienced
Or cheap hair that won't last.
Some places over charge.

When I was doing my research I found Onagh on Facebook which ill link below
I could see very nice pictures of the extensions that she had done, going up on a regular basis.
She also has a great clientele & when I went for my consultation I could see & feel the hair in person. Consultations are arranged upon request.

After care steps are outlined by Onagh in the consultation phase.
She also gives you an aftercare sheet to take with you encase you forget anything.
I guess the real questions are...
Are they worth it?
Would I go back to Onagh at Platinum hair?
Without a doubt.
 Visit the Platinum website here:
Even to wear my hair tied up in a pony tell looks ten times better than it did previously.
You can see my hair tied up on my 
instagram: littlekivaofficial
Its super easy to style, takes a lil longer to dry because there's obviously more hair
A curl can last for days with the extensions 
I'm so happy, I'm actually so silly for waiting this long.
I spent hundreds on bad clip in extensions over the years when I could have just saved €250 to get these.
 Platinum is located just off Grafton street, Dublin.

Hope you enjoyed reading all about extensions, seeing the pictures & hearing my honest opinion

Wanna see how I curled my hair?
Check out my latest hair tutorial here
This video was filmed before I dyed my hair.

Thanks for stopping by
Little Kiva

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Review - Wow Brown Tan

Use Wow & you're Brown!
It's true...
This tan is exactly what you need to become an instant golden goddess...

I always get asked about false tan from regular clients such as brides to hundreds of followers & subscribers.
So todays the day I share all my Beauty Tips & Tricks with all of you.

Wow Brown is my All time favorite false tan!
I've tried many different brands & formulas of fake tan & for me, nothing beats it.

'Above' you can see they have:
 Two different types of formulas



with three different shades.

DIY "Do it yourself" 
Is a lotion/cream that comes in two shades: 
or Medium/Dark  

 Ready to Glo
Is a liquid/spray tan
With a 100ml of product, its the perfect size to take with you if your traveling on the plane.

'Above' you can see two different types of packaging
'Left' is their older packaging
'Right' is their new packaging

This is a dark tanning liquid, similar to a spray tan at home.
This one in particular is my fave & definitely for the girls that are trying to get a deep tan from a bottle without damaging your skin from the sun.

I will be doing a separate review on Ready to Glo & a Give away in the following months.
Stay tuned to my Facebook page: LittleKiva & Youtube channel: LittleKiva
DIY lotion in light/medium
250ml bottle
  • Instant color guide
  • Streak-free
  • Fast drying
  • Lasts up to 10days
  • Boyfriend friendly scented!
I know that the most complaints about a false tan is the scent/smell
 When a tan is developing its usually at its strongest.
 I don't believe that any brand can be completely rid of the smell. 
However wow brown have done a pretty good job of it!

The scent they provide is actually a really girly smell & doesn't have that tang a regular fake tan would.
Anytime I apply it now, it reminds me of 'Tan Thursdays' 
& getting ready for an occasion to look & feel wonderful
One of the best things about this tan is that it has a color guide.

Ever tried applying a tan that is transparent?
 Its impossible to know what you're doing & usually results in streaks or blotches!

Wow brown haver that covered.
'Above' you can see the consistency of the DIY lotion & color pay off.
It also can be used on your face & Body
This golden brown tone is suppose to be used as a color quide.
So when applying the tan you can apply it evenly, without over laying an area that you have already done.
It also prevents streaks & blotches.

You put the wow brown tan on the night before 'the big event' 
& the next day its advised that you wash off this color guide to reveal your true wow brown tan.

If you are in a rush & you missed out on 'tan thursday' you can apply the tan the day of the event
 & leave to develop throughout the day. 
After 8 hours the color guide can be rinsed off just before you leave 
or if you have the time, leave it for longer for a darker base.
If you are in a huge rush, you can apply the tan & leave to dry for about 30mins or so before getting dressed.
It will develope throughout the day/night & you will become darker.
However the color guide is designed to wash off, so make sure not to spill a drink or get caught in the rain! 

*Be aware that your true tan may be lighter than the color guide after it is rinsed off.
'Above' is a picture of my arm with the DIY light/medium tan
before the color guide is rinsed away.
My Tips on applying wow brown & knowing what color to choose....

False tan can be used on very pale to medium/dark skintones
You can use tan to give your skin a light natural glow for the winter months 
or fake it with a deep dark tan.
Choosing a tan will depend on what over all look you want to go for.
It will depend on your skin tone what way the tan will develop.

If your skin is naturally pale & you do not tan easily in the sun, false tan will not deepen as much as someones skin that will naturally pick up colour in the sun.

For much darker skin tones, false tan can be used to give the skin a healthier finish & can be used in areas, such as legs to add pigmentation where the skin can be lighter.
My Tips for applying false tan

Exfoliate your body & moisturize well in the days coming up to your tan application.
My day for tanning is '#Tan Thursday' as I always apply my false tan on Thursdays in preparation for the weekend

  1. All week I exfoliate & moisturize my face & body. 
  2.  I shower on Thursday morning, exfoliating my skin with a good body scrub or exfoliating gloves.
  3. After this shower I do not apply moisturizer, as this will prevent your tan from seeping down into the layers of skin.
  4. I use Wow Brown on a velvet tanning mitt, using a fluffy brush to buff out any streaks/lines
  5. Stay naked... Wait 5minutes for the tan to set.
  6. Sleep tight.
  7. Wake up like a little chocolate brownie :) 
  8. Wash off color guide - (advised but optional)
However to prevent darkness in areas such as elbows, knees & heels 
you can apply a thicker cream to that area.
A tanning mitt is essential

However there are some really hideous mitts out there 
& to a tanning virgin these mitts are hard to spot. 

The best mitts you can get are velvet tanning mitts like the one 'above'
Hard to find but well worth the search if you want the perfect tan.
Google is your best option if you've no luck finding them in the shops.

Most mitts that are cheap, are sponge material & absorb most of the product.
They scrape the skin, giving you a streaky finish & take off what you're trying to put on.
A velvet mitt will give you a much smoother even finish.

* Tips & Tricks
When applying tan try apply it in the same direction & do not go over the same area twice with more product as this can lead to blotchiness.
Try put on the amount you need in the first application.
You can always add another coat the next day, if its too light.
A must have for me when applying a false tan is a soft fluffy brush!
I don't share this secret with many but for my readers of course...

I use my mitt to apply the DIY tanning lotion from Wow Brown on main areas.
Before the area sets/drys I use my large fluffy brush from Sigma to buff out any lines or streaks giving you a flawless finish!

This brush is large enough to be used on the body.
The cream/liquids do not distort the bristles.
This particular brush is from Sigma.
It is the: F20
Another brush I would love to buy for face & body bronzing is the: B05
You could also use the: F45 kabuiki brush
 So there's all my Tips, Tricks & Honest opinion on Wow Brown Tanning products.

Products can be purchased from

This is an Irish brand 
created by Fran & Donna 
Which I'm really proud to say.
Supporting Irish business's

Shipping takes about a day within Ireland.
International shipping.

Recently launched in Superdrug UK.
Their website simple & easy to use!

To win a bottle of this product...

Head over to my Facebook page: LittleKiva (follow or add me as a friend)
Follow me on Twitter: @LittleKiva
Join me on Instagram: littlekivaofficial

Thanks for stopping by...
Love always,

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Sigma - Discount Code - October 2013

Sharing my love for Sigma...
You know most of my fave Make up Brushes are from Sigma
I literally want to get doubles of everything...
This code is valid Only for the month of October 2013

 Simply use this link to Shop: 
& at the check out enter the code:  

#LittleKiva #Sigma #Discount #Brushes

Review - Illamasqua: Blusher & Eyeshadows

Here is an order I made with Illamasqua recently

I'm a big fan of Illamasqua products.
I think they have unique shades/tones/textures & original ideas for there campaigns & visuals.

This brand is high quality, well pigmented & good formulations.
Price range is about the same as Mac cosmetics,
It's a British brand with well known artists like Alex box on the team.
Illamasqua Powder Blusher: Hussy (matte)

Above is a beautiful warm coral/pink blush from Illamasqua
It is a matte finish which I tend to prefer when it comes to blush.
Highly pigmented & would work well on most skin tones.
Luxury packaging. The product has a light, sweet smell to it. 

What I love most about Illamasqua is that they look after their mua's.
Make up Artists can get up to 50% discount off their products, 
which defiantly entices me to buy more.

Shipping is well priced & usually free when you spend over €50.
As they are just across the water from me, 
I got my parcel much quicker than original delivery date.

Would I repurchase another Illamasqua powder blusher?

Four Illamasqua Eye shadows
Above, looking at the right side of the picture,
Starting from top to bottom
Matte finish

Four really unique shades
  • Feint is a warm medium brown with a dusty pink undertone
  • Forgiveness is a medium/dark berry shade & works well with Feint
  • Truth is a cool toned brown with a hint of warmth 
  • Vernau is very unique, I would class it as a medium mustard brown 
I chose these shades, as I don't have any other eye shadows in my kit similar to these.
Can be used in conjunction with other shadows, they do not have to be used all together.

I actually ordered duplicates for my sister as it was her birthday.

Would I repurchase Illamasqua powder eyeshadows?

Thanks for stopping by....
Little Kiva

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Review - Ben Nye: Banana powder & Maq pro

Here are some recent products I have purchased
My thoughts & tips....

First up two products that work well together but are also amazing individually
Ben Nye: Banana powder 
Maq pro: 10palette PP.01
€22 excl. tax
I bought these two little beauties from a small secluded store in Co.Wicklow called Sunaura
Let's start with Maq pro...
This was my first time trying out a product from Maq pro.
 This palette is 30ml & in the shade: PP.01

I was firstly drawn in by the packaging.
Simple, compact, see thru & professional, I would say.
Great for a make up artist as all your cream concealers/correctors are in this one small palette, which is about the size of the palm of your hand.
See thru, so if you do buy a few different colored palettes(which they have) you can easily see what you're looking for.
The product can be scrapped out onto a mental palette for hygiene, to avoid cross contamination.

This particular palette would be used to conceal, highlight, shade, correct & add coverage.
Shades can be used individually or mixed together to create different tones.
This product is well pigmented, high in coverage, creamy & light weight. It does not set by itself. Powder can be used to set this product or to reduce shine.
 This palette would best suit very light to medium/dark skin tones.
Yellow shades can be used to highlight the skin, yellow can be lightened using white.
I like to use peach to correct purple tones under the eye area.
The darker browns can be used to conceal medium/dark skin tones or used as a contour on a lighter skin tone.
I love the consistency of this product, works well on most skin types.
Not too creamy, not powdery & blends beautifully.

Would I repurchase?
Next up 
Ben Nye: Banana powder
€12.50 excl. tax
Semi-Translucent powder

As you can see above the Maq pro palette & Ben Nye powder work well together.
Perfect for recreating a Kim Kardashian sculpted/highlighted face.

The Ben Nye powder comes in a couple of different colors & different containers.
White, pink, yellow, tan & brown. The names of the shades are: Buff, cameo, banana & beige suede. 
These different shades are designed to suit different skin tones from very light to very dark.

That's why I would call this powder a semi translucent powder, as it can be seen slightly on the skin because its consistency is not as finely milled as some other translucent powders.
This particular shade: banana is best suited to medium/dark skin tones.
The reason being is, if you applied this powder on a very light skin tone it may not show up as a highlight. In fact it could actually darken the highlighted area & give it a yellow tinge.
If this powder is applied to a very dark skin tone it may show up too yellow/ashy in the highlighted areas.
You must get the correct powder to match your cream/liquid highlight 
or the Ben Nye powder will not work sufficiently.

This is a matte powder & will set your highlight in place,
in tern giving your highlighted areas a matte finish!

I have oily skin & it mattified area for much longer than a regular pressed powder.

Be aware; This powder is mainly for highlighting, so the correct tone of powder needs to match the highlight you will be using.
It will highlight the area but in a matte finish!
Can be used with a sponge to pack on or a soft brush for a more natural finish.
Brush I would use to buff off access powder would be the Sigma E40

Thanks for stopping by...
Check out my latest video using these products
Love always, 
 Little Kiva

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