Monday, 29 July 2013

My Bodytrim Journey: Week 6 (warning, exciting announcements ahead!)

I have a few exciting announcements...are you ready for them???

  1. I had an awesome week - Woohoo
  2. I managed to exercise 5 out of 7 days last week
  3. I lost 1.3kgs last week - Woohoo
  4. I have lost 7.1kgs in 6 weeks - Woohoo
  5. I am now officially back in the healthy weight range for my height - Woohoo
  6. My BMI is under 25 - 24.3 to be precise - Woohoo
  7. I now weigh less than I did when I fell pregnant with Kiki - Woohoo
  8. I only have 3.4kgs left to lose to reach my target and 8 weeks to do so - Woohoo
  9. My favourite J.Crew jeans are all saggy and baggy on me - not so Woohoo
  10. But it means that I am definitely shrinking - Woohoo
  11. And I am going to need to go on a shopping spree to get new jeans that fit - mega Woohoo
My results for the week


Weigh In:
Starting weight: 72.5kgs
Weight after week 1: 69.4kgs
Weight after week 2: 68.7kgs
Weight after week 3: 68.1kgs
Weight after week 4: 67.2kgs
Weight after week 5: 66.7kgs
Weight after week 6: 65.4kgs
Loss in last week = -1.3kgs
Total weight loss: -7.1kgs  




Measurements:
Starting waist - 89cm
Waist after week 1: 83cm
Waist after week 2: 80cm
Waist after week 3: 79cm
Waist after week 4: 78cm
Waist after week 5: 76cm
Waist after week 6: 76cm
Loss in last week = 0cm 
Total Loss = -13cm 

Starting hips - 105cm
Hips after week 1: 102 cm
Hips after week 2: 101.5cm
Hips after week 3: 99cm
Hips after week 4: 99cm
Hips after week 5: 99cm
Hips after week 6: 96.5cm
Loss in last week = -2.5cm
Total Loss = -8.5cm

Starting thighs - 57cm
Thighs after week 1: 54cm
Thighs after week 2: 54cm
Thighs after week 3: 53cm
Thighs after week 4: 52cm
Thighs after week 5: 53cm
Thighs after week 6: 50cm
Loss in last week = -3 cm
Total Loss = -7 cm

Starting arms - 29cm
Arms after week 1: 30cm
Arms after week 2: 30cm
Arms after week 3: 30cm
Arms after week 4: 30cm
Arms after week 5: 29cm
Arms after week 6: 29cm
Loss in last week = 0cm
Total loss = 0cm


Starting chest - 95cm
Chest after week 1: 93cm
Chest after week 2: 90cm
Chest after week 3: 90cm
Chest after week 4: 87cm
Chest after week 5: 87cm
Chest after week 6: 87cm
Loss in last week = 0cm
Total Loss = -8cm

What is interesting to note is that I didn't lose any centimeters from my waist but dropped a decent amount off my hips and thighs - 2.5cm and 3cm respectively. This must be due to the fact that I actually managed to walk most days last week this is the first week since being on Bodytrim that have managed to fit in at least a 30 minute walk on most days, and it really showed in the results.

I think this was such a good week because I tried really hard to be compliant. After the shit week I had last week I was really hoping to go better - I think my bad week might have inspired me. 

This week I had chocolate for the first time since starting Bodytrim. I think that was the longest I have ever gone without having it!  In the early days of being on Bodytrim I wasn't craving chocolate so didn't want to have any, even on my free day, and risk getting my taste for it back. I hadn't bought any chocolate in that time as it is one thing that I couldn't trust myself from eating if it was in the household (I had been buying lollies for my husband as I am a bit indifferent towards them - it didn't pain me to watch him eat them...chocolate would have been a whole other story!). As soon as I made the decision that I was having chocolate on my free ay I bought a block of Lindt Dark Chocwith Sea Salt. Then I saw that Cadbury had released chocolate and toffee coated popcorn...so I bought that too! However, we just ate the choc popcorn with our Saturday night movie (Magic Mike - surprisingly disappointing) and the Lindt is still in the fridge...so my will power is still intact. Though, when I was eating the chocolate a though popped in my head 'mmmm I could eat this every night' so my taste for it is still very much there!

This week when I spoke with the nutritionist we discussed my end goal. I am actually getting quite close to my goal weight but am still feeling flabby. Not sure whether that is just what my body will be like, post babies, or if I actually have more weight to lose. The nutritionist said to reassess my goal weight once I get there - it has been a while since I was that weight (and when I was I was quite athletic going the gym a few times a week, playing baseball so perhaps I was carrying more muscle back then as well) so, when I get there again  need to decide if I am happy there or if I want to continue on the weightloss journey or if I need to take another approach to tone up. I still have 3kgs to lose. 3kgs of fat would be a lot of flab, so I might end up being perectly happy with my body at 62kgs...I guess we will just have to wait and see!

That's about all I have to say about the last week. I am going out for dinner twice this week and on consecutive days so I won't be able to be fully compliant. I will treat one day as a free day (going out for dinner at a pizza restaurant the first night - impossible to be compliant there) but then, on Bodytrim, should follow that up with a protein only day but don't see myself only ordering protein for dinner the second night. I rarely go out for dinner these days so would prefer to relax and enjoy myself on both nights then, if I did end up falling off the wagon badly, I will follow up with two protein days on the weekend....maybe!!


Follow the rest of my journey here

I am FINALLY on Instagram

I think that I am a little slow on the social media front. I was all over Facebook from the get go but Twitter took forever for me to get my mind around. For a while, that was the extent of my social media dabbling. I then noticed people were starting to pin some of my posts on Pinterist (this one in particular has quite a few pins so it must be one of my useful posts!). I thought that I had better jump on the Pinterist bandwagon so signed up...but then haven't really explored it yet so only have a couple of pins (do I really need another distraction on the Internet taking up my precious time!).

I was then set the challenge by Coty PR to capture pictures of my Marc Jacobs Honey perfume in locations that are sweet to me (#mjhoneyspots), so onto the Instagram bandwagon I eagerly jumped. I have only just started playing around with Instagram and can already see myself becoming a little bit addicted. It is cool! I can turn my lame ordinary pics into funky masterpieces (or perhaps still lame ordinary pics with different filters!).

Anyway, here is my first attempt at capturing a MJHoneySpot. Admittedly, I haven't done anything with filters as I liked it just how it was.


MJ Sweet Spot - Mona Vale, Sydney Australia


If you would like to follow the rest of my sweet spot journey you can find me @skretchs on Instagram.

If you want to find me on the other social medias you can do so:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterist

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Why you should support Genes for Jeans day: an insight into what goes on in CMRI


OK, I know this post isn't beauty related but it is science related so it still fits in with the blog! I recently received a press release about the charity Jeans for Genes day which raises funds for the Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) in Westmead. The reason that I want to tell you a bit more about is CMRI is because I actually did one year of my PhD there so I have a bit of an insight as to what goes on.

On Friday August  2nd 2013, workplaces, schools and streets everywhere will be awash with denim in a united stance against childhood disease. However, this day is more than just an excuse to wear your jeans to work, it is day to raise much needed funds in the fight against childhood disease. One in 20 kids is born in Australia with a genetic disease or birth defect. That is a huge number - 5%. I didn't appreciate how high is number was until I wen through a pregnancy myself. Suddenly, all of these childhood disease that my colleagues had been researching were at the forefront of my mind and growing a human was quite a scary prospect (I was a bit of a neurotic mess with my first pregnancy).

On the Jeans for Genes promotional material they have the following info on where your donations go:
  • $2 will buy enough crucial enzymes to test the blood of one patient for aggressive types of cancers
  • $5 buys a plastic '96-in-one' test tube to screen 96 potential epilepsy drugs at once
  • $10 gives scientists 200 mini test tubes to help discover genes that cause blindness in children. CMRI scientists have already discovered 12.
  • $1000 helps CMRI scientist test a new drug to treat cancer, epilepsy, or other neurological conditions


I thought I might explain these in a bit more detail so that you truly understand where your donations are going. Scientific research costs a LOT of money. All experiments need to be run in at least triplicate to confirm the result.

$2 will buy enough crucial enzymes to test the blood of one patient for aggressive types of cancers
If a Doctor is unsure what is wrong with a patient or suspects cancer, they will collect a blood sample and send it off to be tested for a whole range of potential diseases. Or, if the patient has a lump or a particular area of their body that is causing them trouble, then they will take a biopsy and send this off to be analysed. It is not good enough to come up with a diagnosis of cancer. They need to know exactly what type of cancer it is; whether the cancer is due to a genetic fault; or whether it originated from somewhere else. This is very important when it comes to the treatment approach. Therefore, the blood or tissue biopsy is analysed in a variety of different ways to get a conclusive diagnosis.

$5 buys a plastic '96-in-one' test tube to screen 96 potential epilepsy drugs at once
When scientists do experiments they try to ensure that conditions are identical for each run. The easiest way to do this is on a 96 well plate. By using a plate like the one illustrated below, they are able to test multiple drugs, at once, under the same conditions. They can then compare the results at once and find out instantly which ones are likely to work and which ones won't. Having a plate like this saves a huge amount of time as all the testing can be done on one day, rather than over multiple days if individual test tubes are being used.

When these plates are being manufactured, they have to be done so under extremely strict conditions - the plates have to be completely sterile and uncontaminated. The tests that are done using these plates are extremely sensitive - so sensitive that if the plate were to be contaminated by shed skin cells from someone working in the manufacturing facility it could produce a false result. The strict need for sterile conditions means that these plates are quite expensive - whilst $5 doesn't sound like much, these plates can only be used once and then they need to be thrown out. We would go through hundreds of these.

A 96 well plate


$10 gives scientists 200 mini test tubes to help discover genes that cause blindness in children. CMRI scientists have already discovered 12.
The way scientists discover which genes are responsible for a disease is to screen hundreds of patients with that disease to see if they have a common faulty gene. They also need to screen hundreds of healthy patients to ensure that the faulty gene doesn't occur in people without the disease. When you consider that humans have 20,000-25,000 different genes, that is a lot of tests that need to be run and at times it can be very much like searching for a needle in a haystack. Like I mentioned above, these test tubes have to be completely sterile. I would have easily gone through a few thousand of these little guys during my PhD. Now, when you realise that there are around 100 scientists at CMRI you can imagine just how many of these little tubes they go through.


Mini test tube
Now that you can image how much is spent on the mini test tubes, begin to imagine how much the chemicals cost that we need to put into these tubes. I used bottles of chemicals that contained 8ml of product and cost over $500. I probably used around 200 different chemicals in my various experiments. Now you can begin to imagine just how quickly the costs add up.

$1000 helps CMRI scientist test a new drug to treat cancer, epilepsy, or other neurological conditions
Once the scientists have discovered what causes a disease the next step is to develop a drug to fix the problem. For example, if the cause of a disease is a faulty gene, they will then have to work out what this faulty gene is doing - is it causing cells to send the wrong message to each other; or, in the case of cancer, the faulty cells don't naturally die like normal cells do and instead keep growing and growing until they take over. Once they know what the faulty gene is doing they will develop a drug to stop it. They have to test that the drug does do what it is supposed to and stop the actions of the faulty gene, but they also have to test that is doesn't affect the actions of normal genes - you don't want to stop a faulty gene from doing damage but then also stop a healthy gene from doing its job, thereby creating a new problem.

I haven't even begun to go into the equipment and machinery that is needed at CMRI. During my time at CMRI I did a lot of mass spectrometry work. This is a way of analysing exactly what a sample is made up of. I was looking at the times different proteins appeared during the wound healing process - the aim was that if I could discover when certain proteins were first appearing in a wound and when they were no longer present, you could then know exactly how old that wound was. Below is a picture of a mass spectrometry machine similar to the one I used. These machines cost around $500,000 each. When I was there they had two of these though there may be more now. There were also machines that could analyse different cells (flow cytometers), a whole range of different microscopes (nothing like the ones you used in high school biology - these ones have lasers!) plus many many more pieces of equipment. These all cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

Mass spectrometry equipment


A huge variety of research is performed at CMRI. They investigate what causes diseases and what can potentially cure them. Often, when you are doing a scientific experiment, you start off with a theory as to what might be going wrong. But, before you can test you theory, you have to completely understand what should be going on to work out what is falling apart. Just about every discovery then leads to a whole bunch of new questions that need answering. The more you understand the more you realise that you don't know. There are four main areas of research being conducted at CMRI: embryonic development and birth defects, cancer, nerve cell signalling, and gene therapy.

Jeans for Genes Day will be held on Friday August 2nd and this year is the 20th anniversary of the fundraiser. If you can afford to donate, I strongly urge you to support the fundraiser - if you consider that 5% of children in Australia will be born with a genetic disease or birth defect, chances are you will know one of these children. Please look out for people selling pins or collecting donations on Friday 2nd August or get your workmates together to all wear jeans and make an office donation. You can donate directly to the cause here.

I hope this has given you a bit of an insight as to what goes on in CMRI and many other medical research institutes. Scientific research is bloody expensive but when you think of the amazing discoveries that are being made, it is money well spent.

The perfect product for those who love nail art AND have hairy legs

If you are a regular follower of this blog you are probably well aware that I have a bit of a nail art fetish (here are a few of my recent attempts fluoro chequered, nail sprinkles, velvet nails). What you may not be aware is that I have hair legs...or should I say had! Come winter, when I am in long pants all the time, I can't be arsed shaving (much to the annoyance of hubby!).

One of the main reasons that I can't be arsed shaving is that it isn't an easy process for me. Whenever I have a shower I have two little spectators watching what I am doing. They really don't allow me more than a couple of minutes in the sower before they are nagging me to get out 'mummy come sitting room, mummy come toy room, mummy come outside'. The other big problem I have is my terrible eyesight. Obviously, I don't wear my specs in the shower and since my eyes are so bad it means that anything below my boobs is a complete blur. I would get so frustrated when I would shave my legs, get out of the shower, put my glasses back on only to find patches all over my legs where the deforestation has not occurred.

Well, I have just discovered a product that can address both my love of nail and my rather hairy legs - the Schick Quattro razor with free nail art stickers!

Up until this point I have been using a fairly cheap two blade razor...one that was most like in need of replacing. The Schick Quattro blew this out of the park. It just took one swipe of the razor to remover every hair in that line - I didn't have to do multiple passes over each section to remove the hair. This meant that I could get the job done really quickly - about a minute per leg. And, even though I couldn't see what I was doing, I just had to rub hands over my legs to know that they were completely smooth (well except for the knees - I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to get every hair off the knees when you shave!). I also managed to do it this quickly completely nick free, so that's an added bonus!

The Schick Quattro has 'two conditioning strips with Acai Berry and Jojoba extracts for ultra moisturisation'. I can't say that I noticed any 'ultra moisturisation' as I always use a shaving cream (the Rose and Tea Tree shaving cream from TriShave) which is super moisturising anyway.

Schick Quattro also claim that the shave is so close that you can skip a day or two. You most definitely can. I pushed it out to a week, not saying my legs were hair free for a week...that's just how long I left it, but they were definitely pretty smooth for the first few days.

The razor has a metal handle with rubber grips and I found this very comfortable to use - I actually much preferred it to the straight plastic handle of the cheapie razor that I had been using.
  



The kit comes with a razor and blade, one replacement blade, a hanger for the shower (perfect so that I know that the razor is always out of reach from Kiki and The Crazy Kid) as well as 16 nail art stickers (enough for one application with spares to make sure that you can select the perfect size)



The nail art stickers were really easy to apply and looked fantastic on. I started getting chipping after 2 days - although I wasn't treating my nails especially kindly - I went swimming, worked on a BBQ, did a lot of cooking.

The price of the kit is $11.99, which is good value when you consider that nail art stickers often cost $10+ a packet. You can buy 4 pack refills of the blades for $14.49.

Tell me, right now are your legs hairy or smooth??


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This kit was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How to do fluoro chequered nail art

Friday night had become my nail night. I can't bring myself to go to bed early on a Friday night, no matter how tired I am so it is a good opportunity to get my nails done, after the kids have gone to bed.

I was randomly surfing Bloglovin the other day and came across a beauty blog that had done cello (sticky tape) nail art. The final result looked fantastic so I was dying to give it a try. Unfortunately I didn't save the blog so have no idea which one it was. They actually did a kind of cross/union jack pattern. I was initially going to attempt that but then at the last minute changed my mind to chequered. I am really happy with the final result. 

I used sticky tape to get the neat lines on my left hand but it took me about 2 hours to do the left hand (I was watching Skyfall at the time so had to stop and watch the movie, plus the kids were sick and kept waking so I would have to go in and settle them). I couldn't be bothered doing the same again to my right hand so just free handed it with the same pattern. I actually quite like the free hand look, the only problem was that I couldn't get the stripes to be narrow enough. Maybe if I got a really fine brush, rather than the brush that came with the polish, the result would be more effective.

Here are a few picks of the look then I will go through how I did it.

Left hand where the tape method was used






Right hand - free hand





Step by step guide

What you need:
sticky tape ( the stuff that peels off easily is preferable otherwise you can lift the polish off)
white base colour - I used OPI Alpine Snow from the Top 10 Gift Pack
Top coat - I'm all out so just used my Revitanail Nail Strengthener
Four contrasting colours - I used BYS Smurfs Up  (blue), BYS Pink Frosting (pink), Orly Purple Crush (purple) and Ultra3 Frangipani (yellow).

I applied 3 coats of Alpine Snow to ensure that it was completely opaque. Once dry, I applied the sticky tape where I wanted my first line to go. I then painted on that line, not worrying if it went all over the sticky tape. I then applied the tape to the next nail, painted it, then returned to the first nail, which was now dry, to peel the sticky tape off.


Once all of the first colour stripes are done repeat the process with the second colour, again doing one finger then the next then coming aback to the first to peel the sticky tape off.


The first two colours are complete. I left them for a good 10-15 minutes to dry before starting on the next two colours.


Apply the sticky tape in a horizontal direction for the next stripe.


Once you have finished the third colour, go back and do the fourth colour. I actually found it easier to just apply one piece of tape and carefully draw the line. I tried with the two pieces but found the lower piece of tape ripped off the third colour.



Once all four colours are on, and are dry, finish up with a coat or two of topcoat. I went with two coats as I love the nice thick lookVoilà finished!


Do you like doing nail art? What designs do you tend to go for?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My Bodytrim Journey: week 5


Well, after four great weeks on Bodytrim I was due for a bad week and that came last week. I had a shit week and, unfortunately, had my least compliant week. On the plus, I didn't gain any weight but I also didn't lose any (edit: I have just finished writing this post and uploaded my photos only to notice that I actually did lose 500g. The kids were really sick last week, hence my shit week. I was so damn tired I must have looked at last weeks scales photo and assumed it was this weeks one! I think I might be losing my mind a little bit!). Anyone who has been following my journey is probably looking at the photo below thinking, hey...wasn't she 67.2kgs last week - that's an awesome result...I thought so too...until I realised the scales were wrong. Notice the white thing near my left foot - that is the door stopper which Kiki had pulled off the door and shoved under the scale. I usually do my weigh ins in the living room but this day did it in the bathroom and didn't notice the door stopper. At this stage I knew I was having a shit week (both diet wise and in general) and so when I saw that I had dropped nearly 2kgs in less than a week I was so excited! I dropped any notions of doing this journey, slowly and sensibly and though woohoo...Bodytrim has fixed my metabolism so that I can start eating treats again and actually LOSE weight! Now, I didn't feel like I had lost any weight, my clothes weren't looser, my tummy didn't seem any less flabby but the scales said otherwise so I believed it. The next morning I thought I'd weigh myself again, and sure enough, I got the same result, so it must be correct. The Crazy Kid was watching me so I got him to jump on the scales just to double check my result. The last time I weighed him (5 weeks ago)  he was 14.9kgs, now he was 13.3kgs...dammit the scales were lying! I picked them up to take them into the living room and that's when I noticed the door stopper - it must have been supporting some of my weight. Sure enough, I was back in the 67's where I expected to be.




This little incident reminded me of a funny story from my youth (skip this paragraph if you aren't interested in random stories and want to get back onto my week 5 on Bodytrim). This happened when I was about 24 and had recently moved out of home. I would have been in the second year of my PhD and, if I am perfectly honest, a bit of a wanker when it came to my intelligence and impending doctor status. Back then I thought I was 'above' vanity, that I didn't care about such frivolous things as my weight. It was around Christmas time and I had been over indulging. Back then I weighed about 59kgs and so weighed myself to see how much damage I had done over the Christmas period. To my surprise I had dropped 2kgs - I was 57kgs. Woohoo. So, I continued gorging myself on all of the chocolates that Santa had brought me. I weighed myself a couple of days later and lost another 2kgs. It was crazy - the weight was just falling off me! Now, mind you, my clothes were feeling tight and I was definitely feeling flabby but that didn't matter because I was losing weight! When I next weighed myself I was 52kgs - I hadn't been that weight for a couple of years - it was seriously amazing. I continued to marvel as my dramatic weight loss until I hit 45kgs, the weight I was at 12 before puberty had kicked in, when it finally occurred to me that the scales were actually broken. So, even though my clothes didn't get any looser, visually I wasn't shrinking, I actually believed that I was losing all of this weight and was happy about it. This little episode made me realise that I shouldn't trust the scales - that how my clothes are fitting is a better indicator of my weight; and, also, that there was nothing wrong with being concerned about your appearance. I can safely say that I am much less of a wanker these days!!

Anyway, back to Bodytrim. I will go through my results, then go through why this was a shit week and where I fell off the wagon.

Weigh In:
Starting weight: 72.5kgs
Weight after week 1: 69.4kgs
Weight after week 2: 68.7kgs
Weight after week 3: 68.1kgs
Weight after week 4: 67.2kgs
Weight after week 5: 66.7kgs
Loss in last week = -0.5kgs
Total weight loss: -5.8kgs  




Measurements:
Starting waist - 89cm
Waist after week 1: 83cm
Waist after week 2: 80cm
Waist after week 3: 79cm
Waist after week 4: 78cm
Waist after week 5: 76cm
Loss in last week = -2cm 
Total Loss = -13cm 

Starting hips - 105cm
Hips after week 1: 102 cm
Hips after week 2: 101.5cm
Hips after week 3: 99cm
Hips after week 4: 99cm
Hips after week 5: 99cm
Loss in last week = 0cm
Total Loss = -6cm

Starting thighs - 57cm
Thighs after week 1: 54cm
Thighs after week 2: 54cm
Thighs after week 3: 53cm
Thighs after week 4: 52cm
Thighs after week 5: 53cm
Gain in last week = 1 cm
Total Loss = -4 cm

Starting arms - 29cm
Arms after week 1: 30cm
Arms after week 2: 30cm
Arms after week 3: 30cm
Arms after week 4: 30cm
Arms after week 5: 29cm
Loss in last week = -1cm
Total loss = 0cm


Starting chest - 95cm
Chest after week 1: 93cm
Chest after week 2: 90cm
Chest after week 3: 90cm
Chest after week 4: 87cm
Chest after week 5: 87cm
Loss in last week = 0cm
Total Loss = -8cm


My results weren't too bad considering that I didn't have such a great week. Why was my week so shit? Mostly because the kids were sick. There is nothing more draining than nursing sick kids. They keep you up all night then are so needy during the day. Because they were sick it meant I was disorganised with grocery shopping, meaning that I was without appropriate snacks and meals at times. I was also super fatigued so was back to craving energy dense foods to give me a boost.

The last week I found I was really craving carbs again. This is the first time I have felt these cravings since being on Bodytrim and on a couple of days I couldn't withstand the temptation. I didn't full on blow out but I had a couple of lollies on one day and I made the kids blueberry pancakes for breakfast one day and the little turds didn't eat them...The Crazy Kid told me he wanted nice shop ones, not mummy cook ones. Thanks buddy! So there was a plate of these pancakes sitting there teasing me and I had a couple. It actually took me most of the week to realise that my carb cravings were hormonal related. After not having a period for nearly two years between being pregnant then breast feeding I had forgotten what it was like. At least I will now be prepared next month and will plan ahead and bake lots of Bodytrim compliant cookies and other snacks that feel carby to trick my damn hormones!

I had two functions on the weekend - a third birthday party and a baby shower, so I had planned to make one of these days my free day. However, The Crazy Kid was really sick on Friday and that meant I was couch bound the entire day (he screamed his head off if I even tried to get up to go to the toilet). I had bought lamb koftas for dinner but we had no veggies in the house so we decided to have pizza and I made that my free day. Bodytrim is good in that you get a free day, so you are allowed to 'fall off the wagon', as such, once a week and not feel guilty. I have to admit, though, that I felt a little bit ripped off in that I had been fairly compliant the whole day - that I didn't get to have the few things I have been missing, like milo, on my free day (because I decided at the end of the day to make it my free day). To make up for it, I have bought a block of Lindt Dark Chocolate with a touch of sea salt for my free day next week. It will have been six weeks since I last had chocolate so hopefully I can stick to just two squares...that will be the challenge! The first function had heaps of protein foods that I could munch on, so there were no issues there (though it was a huge tease not having a slice of birthday cake). The second function dn't really have anything that I could eat. I had brought Crazy with me and left a very sick Kiki at home with hubby and he just wanted to play outside rather than stay inside where the party was. That meant that I was able to avoid temptation there (but then didn't snack on anything which isn't great on Bodytrim - I'll explain more below). On the way home I got Crazy Maccas as we would get home too late for hs dinner and I didn't want him to fall asleep in the cr. I was starving so got myself some chicken McBites - the most proteiny thing that I could think of (but I suspect they were prob still pcked with carbs).

As well as having the odd carb treat throughout the week, I also had a hot chocolate on Sunday night. I was froze to the bone and it was all I wanted. I tried to make it as Bodytrim compliant as I could - I made it with the mocha protein shake with extra cocoa added, so it wasn't too bad, but it was made with milk which you are only supposed to have in the morning. I guess it is still better than my previous recipe of 1/3 milo, 2/3 milk!

The other area where I was non-Bodytrim compliant was that I skipped a few meals - not intentionally, but with the kids being sick I slipped back into the old habit of not looking after myself. This highlighted that I need to be more organised  have a few instant meals on hand for days like this. Also, I need to keep appropriate snacks in my handbag to avoid a Maccas run on the way home.

One Bodytrim service that I have been utilising the last couple of weeks is support from a nutritionist. Each Thursday she rings to hat with me and see how I am going. I am finding this hugely beneficial. Last week I was feeling really lost in my snack options so she gave me a few options that  hadn't thought of. This week I mentioned that I hadn't en sticking to the Bodytrim potion size (ie main meals are meant to be about 150g of protein whilst I would be having closer to 250g). Shesaid that it was ok to cook up the full 250g but should try and only have the recommended 150g with my main mean and, if  am still hungry in an hour, have the rest of the portion.

Well, that was my week 5. Hopefully the next week will be a little bit better (I am having a wisdom tooth out on Thus so may be feeling a little sooky so we will see how that affects me!).

I just want to finish with this picture that I saw the picture below doing the rounds on Facebook and it made me laugh. I though, oh crap, they are talking about me...but then decided that if you have made it to the end of this post and the others, then you do want to hear about my diet!




Follow the rest of my journey here

Saturday, 20 July 2013

How to think like a scientist when analysing claims made about beauty products

It can be bloody hard wading through claims about beauty products made by both people within the beauty industry or even by the general public. If you frequent forums regularly you will be constantly bombarded by people making statements about products or ingredient, claiming them as facts, when often they are just perpetuating rumours and falsities. Here are a few tips that I use to navigate my way through and come to my own truth:

  • Question everything - it was part of my scientific training that every statement had to be proven to be true. So, when I was reviewing the literature for my research I had to search both for articles that supported my point of view but also look for articles that were in disagreement. I then had to examine both and work out which was more likely, usually based on the size of the study. How to apply this tip: if someone makes a statement don't just blindly believe it - have a quick Google and see what sort of websites support that point of view and what ones are against it. I find this most useful for backing up statements that I read in forums as I find that often people are unwittingly spreading untruths (ie they genuinely believe what they are saying but they too have been mislead). For example, I once replied to a question on a forum from someone asking what are the best face wipes to use - I said that I just use baby wipes as they are cheaper and come in massive packets. Someone then responded saying that baby wipes are one of the worst things you can use on your face - that the ingredients in them are shocking. I was a tad concerned because, if it is shocking for our face, surely that mean it was bad for baby too? Especially when I would use 1000 a day on them. I did my own research and sure enough, there was nothing bad in them but once again someone was perpetuating a false rumour.
  • Be wary of highly emotive language - as soon as I start to read an opinion that is very forceful, my suspicious goggles come down. I have seen websites claim that certain ingredients WILL cause cancer, and that you are slowly killing yourself/your family and that they MUST be avoided at all costs. In science we are rarely that certain unless something has been absolutely conclusively proven - our statements would say 'there is an association between the use of certain ingredients and the development of cancer' or 'exposure to certain ingredients may increase the risk of developing cancer'. Science uses a very passive language so as soon as I read these highly emotive statements I get suspicious why someone will be making them - what they have to gain from making these statements, which leads to the next point: 
  • Question the motives of the information source - I notice that there is a lot of scare mongering in the beauty industry about certain ingredients - this usually comes from the natural companies scaring people off 'harmful' ingredients. The classic example is parabens. There has been only one scientific study showing an association with parabens and breast cancer and a myriad of studies showing no association at all. The one study only had a small sample size (see below why this is important) and no one else has ever been able to replicate their results, yet it is now 'common knowledge' that parabans are bad. If someone is trying to scare you off certain ingredients ask yourself 'what is their motive?' - are they trying to sell you their products? One day I hope to write a post on 'harmful' ingredients and whether they really need to be avoided.
  • Look at the sample size - if a company has claimed that it has done research they usually say how many people they did the research on - if it is less than 20 the study is pretty much useless. Even less than 100 is not particularly impressive. When you do a scientific study you have to statistically calculate how many subjects (ie the sample size) are going to be in the study for it to have any statistical relevance. This is called a power calculation. There is no magical number that determines how many subjects should be in a study but in something like skincare there are so many variables that need to be taken into consideration - age, ethnicity, skin type, pre-existing conditions etc. All of these can affect the results. Therefore, you need many many people in a study to account for all of these variables. When you see company's using over 1000 subjects, that is a very respectable sample size.
  • Look at how the study was conducted - 
    • was it just an interview (ie 12 women were interviewed and said that they noticed a reduction in their wrinkles), if so that doesn't really hold much cred with me. I'm sorry but I don't trust peoples own opinions. If you start seeing percentages quoted then that means some sort of analysis has been done ie there was a 25% reduction in wrinkles over a 4 week period - it is likely that they have used software to either count the number of wrinkles or the depth of wrinkles or something like that. Again, you want a decent sample size for these results to hold any true relevance. 
    • If you see the words in vitro as in 'in an in vitro study our magic ingredient was found to cause skin cells to regenerate 20% faster' this means that the research was conducted in a petri dish in a lab and not on actual patients. Absolutely nothing wrong with that as that is how a lot of scientific experiments are conducted. Just be aware that just because the magic ingredient works on skin cells in a petri dish doesn't necessarily mean that it will work on the skin.
    • If you see the words in vivo then that means that it was conducted in/on a person (or animal). To be honest, I haven't really seen this phrase used within the beauty industry. 
  • Just because an ingredient is an irritant doesn't mean you need to avoid it - this statement more applied to people with normal skin. If you have sensitive skin you need to tread carefully. You often hear that products are now this or that free, that a certain nasty ingredient has been removed. A good example is SLS, the foaming agent in shampoo. Yes, there is a proportion of the population that react to this ingredient - you will know if you react if you get itchy skin or scalp after shampooing with a product contain SLS - but the vast majority don't. If you have never reacted to it before, then there is no need for you to start avoiding it just because some people are purporting it as a nasty. However, if you do have very sensitive skin then you are best off going back to the basics then slowly introducing products one at a time to determine exactly what it is that you are sensitive to.
  • Just because an ingredient is natural, doesn't ensure that it is harmless - nature has some pretty potent irritants out there or worse there are some highly poisonous plants. Therefore, you can't assume that just because a company claims that it's product is 100% natural or 90% or whatever that it is more gentle than a product not claiming to be natural. We can all react to different things. I am allergic to orange blossom. It doesn't affect my skin but makes me sneeze like a maniac. Therefore, I could never use Lush's Gorgeous moisturiser because orange blossom is a key ingredient. I tried it and it did leave my skin looking great but turned me into a sneezing snotty, red eyed monster...not the look I was trying to achieve. The reverse statement is also true - just because an ingredient is a man made chemical doesn't mean that it is harmful. If anything, these chemicals have been more rigorously tested to ensure their safety, than some of the natural ingredients. 
  • Ingredients are often only harmful at certain concentrations - there might be info out that ingredient X is harmful or carcinogenic or an irritant but there is usually a certain concentration that it needs to be at before it causes any harm. For example, one cigarette is unlikely to cause lung cancer but if you smoke 3 packs a day for 30 years then your chance of getting lung cancer is huge. Another example is sodium chloride (NaCl - better known as table salt). In my science lab we had to store all of the chemicals we used in certain locations based on how dangerous they were. We had a special metal cupboard for the acids, a similar one for the teratogen (chemicals that can cause birth defects) and any chemical that was a potential carcinogen (cancer causer) had to be labelled with such info to alert the user so that they knew that they had to always wear a face mask and gloves when handling it. NaCl was considered a teratogen. This surprised me as it was an ingredient that I used daily in my cooking and here it was in my lab considered a teratogen. At very high concentrations, NaCl can interupt with pregnancy, hence it's teratogen status yet it is completely harmless at low concentrations. The same goes for ingredients in beauty products - they may only be harmful at quantities far in excess that you would ever become exposed to simply by using the product (ie you would have to slather yourself in 5L of the product every day to become exposed to harmful levels when in reality you would be using less than 1ml). 
These are just a couple of tips to help you navigate your way through all the information that we are constantly bombarded with. Google is my best friend when trying to find out more info on a product or ingredient, but my number one rule is to never just read info from one site - have a look at at least three different sources before coming to any conclusions. Remember - any idiot can post whatever they like on the internet so always try to cross check your facts. 


What are your tips to get through the minefield of information out there?

Thursday, 18 July 2013

OPI Pink of Heart Nail Art Pack: 100% of profits donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation

I am not usually one to camp out at department stores when a new product is about to be released. I hear of products selling out in a matter of minutes and it surprises me. I guess I figure that if it sells that well, the company will just release more and more and more so I prefer to wait until either the next present receiving occasion, or until I have read too many good reviews and just can't hold out any longer.

I think I will be making an exception with the OPI Pink of Hearts Nail Art Pack - this looks friggin' awesome! Ok, I have a real weakness for nail polish (my collection is in excess of 100...one day I will do a post on it). Though I love experimenting with colour, my favourites always end up being pinks. Then there is my obsession with glitter. Oh how I love glitter! I spent my late teens and early 20's with my boobs, temples, shoulders and back covered in glitter. Now that I have cracked 30, it is no longer appropriate to cover my boobs with glitter (mostly because, after breast feeding two bubs, the milkies now resemble two sad little teabags and I really don't want sparkly attention brought to that!). So, that just leaves sparkly clothes and sparkly nails. That is why this OPI pack is perfect for me...it's pink and sparkly!!

The Pink of Heart Nail Art Pack is $24.95 with 100% of profits to be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation...so it isn't really like spending money - it is practically just a donation to charity! The pack contains two polishes - the rainbow glitter polish More Than a Glimmer and the pink Pinking of You. In addition, you also get a free sheet of nail art decals - the breast cancer pink ribbon logo and some tiny crystals.


More Than a Glimmer


Pinking of You

This pack will be on sale at David Jones from 13th September 2013 until sold out. Expect to see me camped out at the Chatswood store that day...fine, my two little friends would object to sitting in front of a store, waiting for it to open so I will prob head up some time that weekend. The 13th is actually nine days before my birthday so I probably should hold out for that present receiving occasion...but I won't! I will tell myself that I am just buying it for the kids to give to me for my birthday...but then, that evening, I will get too impatient to wait and will crack open the pack and take it for a test drive. The kids won't be able to give it to me for my birthday because it is too stingy to give someone used nail polish as a present! So, I guess I will they will have to head back up to the shops to get something else!


Has anyone else got their eyes on this pack?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

My Bodytrim Journey: week 4 - one month down and 5.3ks lost!

Wow. My first month on Bodytrim has gone so fast. After my first three days on the carb detox I was wondering how the hell I would ever stick to it and now, a month later, it has just become my way of life. My attitude to food has completely changed. Treats are saved for the free day so they really are treats (and not every day foods like they had become). On my free day I am becoming a food snob - as it is my only day to go nuts on carbs I make sure that I choose carbs that I really enjoy. I don't eat crap for the sake of eating. The last two weekends I have been at functions that have had buffet spreads - rather than eating everything in sight, I choose the item that I want the most and then really enjoy it. Actually - it was kind of funny on the weekend - I was at a Christening and afterwards and they had a huge spread of food, including a giant chocolate cake. When they brought the chocolate cake around the pieces were HUGE. In the past, that would have excited me and I would have probably chosen the HUGEST of the HUGE pieces! I never understood people who would say 'oh no, that's way too big'. When I saw saw the HUGE pieces come around I thought to myself 'oh no, that's way too big'...I had become one of those people (ie sensible people!). So, instead of taking a whole piece I shared one with my husband. It was delicious. I enjoyed it. But, my half a piece was plenty. I had gotten the taste but didn't need anymore. Whereas, in the past, I would have troopered through the whole HUGE piece, started to feel a little sick, not fully enjoyed it, but have eaten it simply because it was there to be eaten, this time around I ate enough to really enjoy it but no so much that I ended up feeling sick.

My results after a month on Bodytrim
I haven't bothered doing weekly photo updates as I thought that the changes in my body would probably be too subtle but I will do a monthly update. I'll start with the weight/measurement results then follow up with the photos (actually, scrap that - photos to come next weeks as it has been a hectic week and I am already late getting this post up).

Weigh In:
Starting weight: 72.5kgs
Weight after week 1: 69.4kgs
Weight after week 2: 68.7kgs
Weight after week 3: 68.1kgs
Weight after week 4: 67.2kgs
Loss in last week = 0.9kgs
Total weight loss: -5.3kgs (very impressed!!)




Measurements:
Starting waist - 89cm
Waist after week 1: 83cm
Waist after week 2: 80cm
Waist after week 3: 79cm
Waist after week 4: 78cm
Loss in last week = -1cm
Total Loss = -11cm (again, quite amazed)

Starting hips - 105cm
Hips after week 1: 102 cm
Hips after week 2: 101.5cm
Hips after week 3: 99cm
Hips after week 4: 99cm
Loss in last week = 0cm
Total Loss = -6cm

Starting thighs - 57cm
Thighs after week 1: 54cm
Thighs after week 2: 54cm
Thighs after week 3: 53cm
Thighs after week 4: 52cm
Loss in last week = -1 cm
Total Loss = -5 cm

Starting arms - 29cm
Arms after week 1: 30cm
Arms after week 2: 30cm
Arms after week 3: 30cm
Arms after week 4: 30cm
Loss in last week = 0cm
Total gain = 1cm


Starting chest - 95cm
Chest after week 1: 93cm
Chest after week 2: 90cm
Chest after week 3: 90cm
Chest after week 4: 87cm
Loss in last week = -3cm
Total Loss = -8cm

I am seriously stoked with my results after a month. Though, the funny thing is that I don't feel like I have lost weight. Yes, some jeans that previously didn't fit now fit again whilst others are getting baggier and baggier but, because I haven't been starving myself (like I imagined it would be like being on a diet), it doesn't feel like I have changed. Though, I never thought of myself as overweight so perhaps my body is now just starting to match up with how I view myself!

Compliance
I stuck the diet very well this week. There was one day, though, where I skipped breakfast. That is a HUGE no no on Bodytrim but I just had one of those hectic mornings where I didn't have a spare minute to prepare a meal, so I just had coffee instead. I paid for it that afternoon when I was absolutely ravenous. I couldn't stop snacking. I made sure that I only snacked on Bodytrim compliant snacks but had much more than what I was supposed to have. I probably ate about $15 worth of Bodytrim pre-packaged snacks, which wasn't ideal (I bought them to have on hand to chuck in my bag when I am going out somewhere and am not sure what snacks will be available to me). This is actually what I always used to do, pre-Bodytrim. Just have a coffee for breakie then find myself with a massive case of the munchies in the afternoon. Interestingly, I was really craving sweets as well, which I haven't done at all, so far, on Bodytrim. So, lesson learnt, I will not be skipping breakfast again. If I am ever super strapped for time then I will, at the very least, have a protein shake (even though I find them feral, it still beats the afternoon munchies).

Long term on Bodytrim
Now that I am half way to my target weight loss of 10kgs I have started thinking about life beyond Bodytrim! The severely restricted carbs might not seem like a healthy eating plan, but I am viewing it this way (analogy ahead...I bloody love analogies!) - if someone was to give me $1000 and ask me what I would spend it on, I would have to confess that I have actually already spent the money, on my credit card, and so would have to use the money to pay off the debt I have created. Once I have squared the debt then I can start spending money again. Same goes for carbs. Carbs are a source of energy. In the past I have consumed excess carbs which have then been stored as fat. Once I have lost this stored fat I can then resume eating carbs. If you have been healthy in the past, and have not stored excess carbs as fat, then there is no reason for you to restrict your carb intake.

You have two options with Bodytrim, once you have reached your goal weight - the carb lovers approach where you are allowed to have carbs with breakfast and lunch and then are allowed one free day a week and then follow that with a protein only day, or the other approach (which I have momentarily forgotten the name of) where you continue to eat as you have been on Bodytrim (ie, only carbs with breakfast) but then get two days off a week, followed by a protein only day. I am not sure which approach I will take and will perhaps mix it up ie if I have a couple of events on the weekend I might take two free days but if nothing much is happening then opt for the carbs with lunch as well as it gives me a few more options on what I can eat.

Common sense
One thing that I am finding is that just about everything to do with Bodytrim is common sense. Apart from the carb detox, the diet really comes down to sensible eating and making sensible choices and not consuming energy that your body just doesn't need. It annoys me that I really had all of this knowledge at my disposal but chose to ignore it. Somewhere along the line, food no longer because a source of fuel for me but something that I had to enjoy ie I was having treats every day and more often than not multiple times a day. Of course I knew this was wrong but it had become such a habit I couldn't seem to snap out of it. At the start of the year I caught up with one of my buddies from mothers group and commented to her that she was looking amazing as she had lost a heap of weight - 15kgs as it turns out. I asked her how she did it and she said it all came down to what she ate and that it was a lot of hard work. At the time I didn't want to hear that. I wanted her to tell me that there was a super easy way where you could keep eating treats and the weight would fall off. Duh...no common sense there. I now realise that I had to get in the right frame of mind to get healthy.

Ok...I think that I have rambled enough this week. I promise that I will update with photos again next week!


Have you ever made a decision to change your life for the better?


Follow the rest of my journey here


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Winner of the L'Occitane giveaway

Sorry...forgot to draw this last night. To busy dyeing my hair bright red (pics to come in an other post).

Thanks to everyone who entered the L'Occitane giveaway. You guys have some pretty awesome dream holidays. Makes me want to travel some more! There were 24 entries and random.org decided that number 18 was the winner.


Who was number 18? Carlie - whose favourite holiday was to Mauritius for her wedding then New York for her honeymoon. That is definitely a holiday that I would have loved to tag along...or is it creepy tojoin someone on their honeymoon??!!

Also, I drew the winners of the John Frieda giveaway on wed but still have not heard from 3 winners and the bonus winner - if you entered that giveaway can you please check here to see if you were a winner and if you see your name there please contact me with your address. Thanks!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

BYS Velvet for Nails mani with Smurfs up and Pink Frosting: lovely furry nails!

There is a huge trend in nails, at the moment, for a textured finish. I thought I was on top of all of the different varieties out there but BYS has come and blown my mind with Velvet for nails. Yep, you read that right - furry nails!

This seem like such a unique concept so I had to give it a test drive. As usual, rather than easy my way in with a new techique, I decided to jump right in and attempt some nail art and do vertical stripes.




The BYS Velvet for Nails comes in a kit with a coloured polish, a tub of velvet and a brush to brush away the excess fluff.




I used Pink Frosting and Smurfs Up to create this look.




The first thing you do is paint your nail with the colour provided. You are then supposed to dip your nail in the tub of velvet, whilst the polish is still wet. I found it too hard to fit my fingers in the little tubs so tipped the velvet into some little sauce dishes that I had. I also found it easier to use the brush to scoop up the velvet and push it onto the nail.




As you need to get your nail into the velvet while the polish is still wet, I found it easier to do one nail at a time. For the stripy look below, I actually did it one stripe at a time to ensure the polish was wet enough for the velvet to successfully adhere to. Make sure you apply heaps of velvet so that you don't end up with any bald patches.




If you are using multiple colours, wait about 5 mintues after doing the first colour to ensure that it is completely dry before you do the second colour. This way, it doesn't matter if you get the second colour all over the first colour as it isn't going to stick to it.




After 5 minutes the base polish should be dry and the velvet securely in place so now is the time to brush all of the excess off. If you use two colours, like I have, you will need to brush twice - 5 minutes after the application of each colour.




The final result - lovely furry nails. My nails feel like tennis balls - that kind of texture. It actually looks really effective. It doesn't look like I have applied the velvet but more like I have cut out little pieces of furry material and stuck them to my nails.







The application, whilst fiddly, was surprisingly easy and the final look was quite funky. I think that I could have a lot of fun, mixing and matching the various colours. Or maybe I could use every colour and randomly sprinkle the velvet over the nails to create a 'rainbow just vomited on my nail' kind of look.

BYS Velvet for Nails is available in the following range of bright colours.



The BYS Velvet for Nails kit retails for $7.95 (bargain - so you can afford to get multiple colours!) and can be purchased online from www.fashionadict.com.au or in tores such as Kmart, Gloss Accessories, Cosmetics Plus or selected pharmacies.


What are your thoughts on the textured nail look?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. These products were provided for consideration.

Dr. LeWinn's Line Smoothing Complex Corrective Line Filler

I am fairly line free with the exception of smile lines around my mouth and eyes and a couple of 'angry' or 'squint' lines between my eyes. For this trial, rather than spread the serum all over my face, I concentrated on the lines around my mouth and between my eyes.



What they say: Containing hyaluronic bio-filling spheres, Dr LeWinn's Line Smoothing Complex Corrective Line Filler smoothes wrinkles line by line, targeting areas that need special attention such as crow's feet, forehead furrows and laughter lines. It is absorbed through the epidermis and uses the skin's own moisture to plump up wrinkles from the inside. It also contains argireline, kigelia Africana fruit extract and palmitoyl to leave the skin smoother, firmer and more moisturised.

What I say: The product comes in a very generous 30ml tube which has a narrow nozzle. The nozzle was absolutely perfect for dispensing just the right amount of product as it only let a small amount out at a time, which was all that was needed for targeting specific lines rather than applying ll over the face.

The product itself felt lovely to apply. It had very little scent - just a faint generic cosmetic smell - not one that would bother anyone. The cream felt thickish but I found that it absorbed easily - though I'd only ever use the smallest blob and tap it into the areas that I wanted to treat. It wasn't greasy or sticky and it didn't sting on application.

I would always apply it after cleansing (both morning and night) before I applied my serum or moisturiser. I would try to give it a minute or two to fully absorb before applying my next product.

The results: I  used this product for three weeks and the smile lines around my mouth all but vanished. Obviously they are still there when I smiled but, prior to this trial, they would remain after I stopped smiling. Now, when I stop smiling the lines all but vanish - you would have to get right up in my face to be able to detect them.

The angry lines between my eyes have not completely vanish but I do think that they diminished somewhat. These lines were definitely deeper than my smile lines so I suspect that it will take a little longer for them to no longer be evident. I have to say, though, the lines are definitely less noticeable.

I was super impressed with how quickly this product worked on my smile lines and I have high hopes that with continued use I will get similar results on my angry lines.

This product retails for $69.95 for 30mls, which isn't too bad value as the tube lasts forever since you only need to use the tiniest amount.

Have you found the magic cure for your angry lines yet?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This product was provided to me for consideration.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Winners announced for the HUGE John Frieda Precision Form Colour giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered my HUGE John Frieda giveaway. Some of your hair disaster stories were seriously cringe worthy (and hilarious because they didn't happen to me!). It was bloody tough to choose a winner but these were my two favourite stories:

1. Cranky mum's skunk hair - I just love that in typical teenage style she did not learn from her first mistake and proceeded to screw her hair up twice! Here is her story:

I went through a stage at 14 where I wanted to dye my brown hair blonde , mum refused . So being the sneaky stubborn teen that I was then I decided when mum went to bed that night I would use the dye I had sneakily bought . I thought I was being smart testing it out on my fringe first , I hadn't expected it turn be quite so bleach blonde though & was to scared to do the rest of my hair , the next day mum freaked but to to teach me a lesson I had to keep my hair the way it was . IT was hideous & I spent a week looking like a skunk , of course I hadn't learned any lessons & sneakily tried to dye it back to brown . Yep you guessed it , my hair went green . Thankfully that was the last straw for mum , she dragged me to the salon & they fixed my stuff up . I'm pretty sure I made a few more hair dye disasters during the rest of my teen years but I've blocked those out , Now karma has hit with my very own teen daughter who likes to change her hair colour just as much as I did , sorry mum :) 

2. Michelle V's story about her Emo, choppy patchy purple hair - what I would giv to see a photo of that hair style - it sounds like a disaster!

My worst hair dye disaster would've been when I was going through my 'EMO' phase.
But I wasn't just dressing in black, I was more a hippy-EMO. Think tie-dye flowing dresses, Dr Martens boots, crochet cardi's, etc. Charming yes?!  So of course, I needed a hair style and colour to match.  I opted for a bob style in different lengths, that is, some pieces were longer than the other. I thought it was cool but in hindsight, it probably looked like I'd had my hair cut in the dark!! I then decided to dye it BRIGHT PURPLE with Fudge hair dye! But I left some pieces in my natural hair colour (boring mousy brown!) The look was nothing short of a traffic-stopper (for all the wrong reasons!!!!) Thankfully I am now older and wiser, and my main reason for colouring my hair is to cover greys!!!

Now for the random winners (I use random.org to get these numbers):

23 = sapshu
9 = samantha
11 = Angie B

After dealing out all the colours to the winners above I still had 3 boxes of Extra Light Ash Blonde left over. So, I have conducted a bonus random draw from all of the entrants who selected the Extra Light Ash Blonde. Apologies to all of the other entrants who didn't select this colour but I figured that unless you had quite fair hair you would not want to win this colour. The bonus winner of the blonde pack is:

Rivernik

Congrats to all of the winners. I will try and contact you by email but, for the winners who entered via the Imotiv comment box, I am not sure whether I can access your email so can you please contact me at starran (at) hotmail.com with your postal address.

Just a reminder that even if you didn't win this comp I have another one running - win a L'Occitane gift pack.