Home Tip; how to organise the cupboard under your kitchen sink | secondblonde

While we’ve been in Lockdown in the UK my husband and I have been getting stuff done around the house. Mostly taking on DIY jobs ourselves giving area’s of our home a much needed face lift and always keeping within a budget. We recently changed our Kitchen Sink (yes I got a new kitchen sink in lockdown haha) we opted for a white ceramic sink and gold taps to replace our tired cheap 11 yr old stainless steel sink and chrome taps. Here’s the finished result – I’m so so happy with it – Well done Tan for fitting it and plumbing in the taps, here it is…632B00B2-2132-4E8E-8E89-36C582B7565ESo on to the under sink cupboards – if you are anything like me your cupboards start off tidy and then end up a mess with random items that do not belong there. I decided to look for a solution to organise my under sink storage better and found the Addis Under Sink Storage.IMG_5018It’s an extendable shelf unit that has 10 adjustable shelves that cleverly fit around your sink waste pipes creating 2 shelves to store all your cleaning essentials. It expands to just over 81cm wide, at it’s smallest it’s just over 46cm. It’s so easy to put together *My Tip erect and screw it together around the waste. No tools needed just tighten screws/caps with your fingers. Adjust the little shelves that slide up and down or click on and off to fit perfectly around your waste.IMG_5017I also bought these little baskets from poundland to store cleaning accessories on the bottom of my cupboard:

Purple basket – micro fibre cloths

Blue basket – Brillo pads, Kettle de-scaler, Astonish Cup clean, Dr Beckmann Glowhite, scrubbing brush, shoe polish brush

Pink basket – Double sided sponges, Dishmatic sponge refills, Floor Wipes, Pledge Dusting Cloths

Then I’ve added my most used cleaning products, also out of shot is furniture polish I use all around the house like mirrors, glass, tiles, taps etc, Jiff Cream cleaner and carpet cleaner/refresh for our rug. I’ve also added a bin to the left.  It’s actually a clear 40 ltr storage box with a grey lid and fits perfectly. (sure beats the unsightly black bin liner we’ve had hanging off a door handle at the other end of the unit)

IMG_5016My fairy liquid and dishwasher detergent are at the front as they are most used. I’ve also used the little space next to them to store our dustpan and brush – for now! Just while we are in the middle of DIY projects and need it to hand. Ideally I need to find a new place for it, hanging if possible. IMG_5015

I’m really happy with it after years of having an untidy under sink cupboard I’ve finally got it organised and can see what I’ve got and use them all up.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this review and it’s inspired you to sort out your cleaning products cupboard, don’t even get me started on the kitchen junk drawer!

Secondblonde x

Hair Salons Coming Out Of Lockdown London – what to think about now! | secondblonde

While Lockdown begins to ease and non-essential retail return on 15th June here’s what returning to the salon in July may look like and what you need to consider now.

The government guidelines aren’t set in stone yet but what we are seeing as probable new protocols is social distancing for your teams and clients, and hygiene. (PPE has not been confirmed yet) however most salons are supplying their teams with masks and or face shields.

With my salon management experience here are some suggestions I think will be beneficial for you as a salon owner to look at so you can think about how you will implement these in your salon ready for 4th July 2020.

Social Distancing The government will most likely insist upon social distancing measures to be put in place. (Some salons have had screens fitted other salons have re-arranged positions to create space between each section. At the moment for retail this is 2 meters – however this is under review and may be reduced to 1 meter by early July (great news for small salons)

In the meantime this means salons will need to consider the number of clients you can safely service in your salon. Making changes to your team rotas( including assistants/foh) to work around this. Your team will also need to be able to keep a safe distance from each other too, so this is another aspect to think about.

You may want to consider the following:

• Operating extended opening hours or seven days a week to cope with demand

• Work out how many clients you can safely hold in your salon and get your stylist rotas sorted early to ensure you can operate.

• Ensure your team have or are provided with and are using the correct PPE such as gloves/masks/face shields.

• Asking clients to attend their appointments alone (as salon will have limited space and no waiting area)

Health and Hygiene Stylists and clients may feel anxious once the salon reopens. Ensure you have the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene and provide the correct PPE.

Visit the salon ahead of reopening to give the whole salon a deep clean. Promote your high standards of cleanliness both across social media and within the salon so clients and staff are reassured and know that they are in a safe and clean environment. Some other points to consider are:

• Discard all magazines

• Include your chairs and all appliances when you deep clean

• Use paper towels in toilets

• Think about disposable towels at backwash. (Be careful with cost as often up to 4 towels can be used per client) If using washable towels do not re-use any towels.

• Deep clean salon gowns, cutting collars and all tools and brushes

• Continual washing of hands after every client

• Antibacterial gel/wipes available throughout the salon for the team and clients – ask clients to use this at the reception desk as soon they enter the salon. Face masks/shields to be worn by stylist if necessary to perform services (waiting on government guidelines)

• Markings on floor to ensure clients know how to move around the salon during their visit. (We aren’t clear if a one-way system will be advised yet)

• If drinks are allowed use disposable paper cups for beverages in-salon. Better still encourage your clients to bring in their own drinks.

Services Offer your normal range of cut, colour, extensions services just bear in mind the duration of each client and manage your bookings to maximise the revenue for each chair. For e.g don’t allow a client to blow dry their own hair after a colour service as that’s taking up a chair that can be earning you revenue! Instead offer them a discounted blow dry with a stylist so the colour chair is available for another colour service

Think about charging a surcharge to cover your PPE costs – I’m sure your clients will understand if it’s a small amount and for a set period. Alternatively you can sell client packs or masks to help cover costs.

• Take card payments only, no cash if possible. Cash tips can be given straight to stylist or placed in a little envelope by the client.

• Clean the styling position fully after every client. In Denmark where salons are now open and operating, one of their guidelines is to thoroughly clean the area after every client. This of course will take a little time, so you will need to take this into consideration when booking clients in.

Coping with Demand The good news is I’m pretty sure you will be in high demand and very busy once you reopen.

I’d suggest putting a list together of your loyal and long-standing clients who visit your salon regularly to offer them priority booking slots. Also it will be good to print out your top spenders of the previous year to cross check if you missed anyone.

Send ALL your clients an sms or email to communicate to them the booking system is open and the date you plan to re-open the salon. Put a call in to your loyal and top spending clients – trust me they will be so happy to hear from you. (Check if they have already booked before you call)

Create a wait list for those that weren’t able to get booked in and monitor it. Add in their name, telephone, service, stylist and how much notice they need to arrive.

Push out communication of your opening date and how to book an appointment regularly on your social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Include links where possible to online bookings.

If you wish you can implement a “pay in advance” system for bookings (speak to your bookings system supplier to put in place) this will insure you have a lower level of “no shows” and help manage income projections.

Think about taking a deposit for all new client bookings – redeemable against their service and non-refundable if they cancel outside of your cancellation period.

Stock, Housekeeping and Services In the next week or so check you have enough stock for when you open including PPE. Contact suppliers ASAP if you need anything to open. Check colour stock (all your most used) and retail stock (top selling and of course your backwash area.

Also ahead of reopening to check the water supply is operating, the backwash boiler is working and front of house pc/internet:bookings system and phones are all working fine.

Appointments for NHS and Key Workers Some salons will want to say thank you to NHS staff and key workers by offering them a hair service complimentary. This is great if you do however think carefully about how you will accommodate NHS/key workers in your already busy schedule. It may be a good idea to put a time/day limit on the offer.

That’s all for now folks, I will be updating once we have guidelines from the government. I’m an open door so if you have any questions or want to chat about anything prior to re-opening just give me a shout.

Secondblonde aka Kelly (The Salon Manager Expert)

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser | secondblonde

There has been a lot of hype around Glossier since it’s launch about 5 years ago and with good reason. I really like this brand here’s a little overview;

Glossier is a back-to-basics, digitally native beauty brand that has built a cult following, particularly among millennials. With a narrow product range of about 40 SKUs primarily focused on skincare, with colour cosmetics and fragrance rounding out the line, Glossier celebrates its customers’ natural beauty, not the artificial, painted-on kind. Its tagline is, “Beauty products inspired by real life.”

The Glossier beauty company grew out of its millennial founder Emily Weiss’s beauty blog called “Into the Gloss.” Starting her career at Teen Vogue, then moving around other slots at Condé Nast, Weiss left in 2010 to launch her blog to share beauty tips and tricks with her online friends.

Weiss’ early engagement with other beauty aficionados revealed where traditional beauty brands were letting her and her fans down. So she created solutions with the launch in 2014 of Glossier’s initial collection of four products, including a cleanser, priming moisturiser, lip balm and a misting spray. The rest is history..

Quite a few of their products have become make-up bag staples amongst bloggers, such as Boy Brow (brow grooming pomade) Stretch concealer (undetectable flexible cover) Balm Dotcom (do everything tinted skin balm) and of course the Milky Jelly Cleanser. 

What is Milky Jelly Cleanser – It’s a gentle effective creamy gel texture face cleanser that’s suitable for all skin types. It includes skin conditioners that leave your skin feeling clean, calm and fresh without any tightness. It’s safe to use on eyes as the cleansing agents used are what are found in contact lens solution. 

When I Use It – I like to use it as a morning freshen up cleanse. It can remove makeup but due to it’s consistency and performance I prefer it as a morning or second cleanse to clean my skin – not to remove make up.

Why I Love It – I love the branding and simple packaging. The pump dispenser is perfect it pumps out little droplets of the opaque gel. I use between 3-5 pumps depending on what I need. It’s great as you never use too much or waste any product. The smell is fresh and clean (it’s un-fragranced) can’t really describe it any better than that but I love it. 

How I Use It – I can easily and evenly cleanse my whole face including my eyes with it, it stay’s the same texture so you can control it while it’s on your skin. It can be used on dry skin for a really good first cleanse (when removing makeup/dirt) or it can be used on damp skin as a lighter second cleanse or morning freshen up. 

I use it in the mornings on damp skin, it does just rinse off however I always flannel off as I like to use flannels to give my skin a light exfoliation (not a hard rub – never rub your flannel hard on your skin just light sweeping movements)

It leaves my skin clean and fresh and kinda bouncy ready to take on my active serums – always a hyaluronic as a first step.  

Would I Re-Purchase – Hell yeah! I love it and will always keep it on rotation in my little cleansing emporium. Mine was a 60ml £8 it also comes in 177ml £15


L’Oréal Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid | secondblonde

L’oreal Rivitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid is an intensive serum. EVERYONE needs to apply Hyaluronic as their first step after cleansing. Hyaluronic Acid is a moisture-binding ingredient capable of holding 1000 times it’s weight in water so it pulls moisture back into your skin like a big drink of water! Hyaluronic is natually found in the skin which helps your cells retain as much mositure as possible. And we all need a little extra help.

It hydrates, smooths and re-plumps your skin and helps reduce appearance of fine lines. I’ve been using a Hyaluronic Acid Serum daily for about 5 years. Once you start using one you will notice a massive improvement in the texture and overall look of your skin. It will be plumper.

The biggest bonus here is that by using a Hyaluronic Acid before applying any other active serums is that it will make those actives will work much better.

I’m currently using this one (well alternating it with my The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid) I really like it. I like the pipette as it means I can drop 2/3 drops without wasting any product. I like the glass bottle packaging. It does have a slight fragrance (which I don’t mind but not necessary) It sinks into my skin so quickly and makes it look so fresh and plumped up. It has different weight molecules so it doesn’t go sticky/tight on your skin. You can wear it on it’s own you don’t feel like you need to add a moisturiser however I always do to seal it in.

• With 1.5% pure Hyaluronic Acid, our highest ever concentration
• Featuring macro and micro hyaluronic acid molecules, for multi-layer skin boosting
• For daily use. Absorbs quickly, for use before regular day or night care regimes and make-up.
• For all skin types, feels light with a non-greasy finish

I absolutely love this serum, it delivers on all it’s claims and I’ve seen great results. I will defo re-purchase again. It’s usually around £25 but often on offer at Boots or Superdrug. Happy Days!

Secondblonde x

Lets talk Lip Gloss by FLOSS | secondblonde

I’m not a big fan of lip gloss in fact I’ve not worn lip gloss since 2005! For lot’s of reasons as makeup trends evolve and change but mainly as I hate the stickiness of it, hair getting stuck to your lips of it, and not forgetting the constantly having to re-apply it!

And then I tried “My New Favourite Gloss” by Floss. It is not glittery, not sticky! It’s hydrating, long-lasting, smooth and surprisingly comfortable to wear.

I normally use it alone for a semi-sheer wash of color that enhances my lip colour during the day. You can layer on top of a matte lipstick for added shine and va va voom!

What I’m really happy with is that I don’t need to keep topping it up. It lasts for most of the day. Plus it smells good enough to eat like vanilla ice-cream. All in all I’m impressed with this little tube of lip gloss it’s definitely converted me! A big thumbs up – it’s the perfect nude pink shade and I also love the packaging.

The biggest bonus of all is that your hair doesn’t get stuck to your lips even in the wind!

Check it out here (no affiliate links)

Secondblonde x

It’s Been A While | Secondblonde

Well how the devil have you all been? I know right… where has the time gone it’s been six months since I wrote a post and here we are in the middle of a pandemic!

I hope you are all doing well. As for me I’ve been furloughed since 20th March and my husbands business has been closed. We have our fingers crossed we can get back to work on 4th July.

So what’s new… well I’ve learnt a few things about myself since lockdown in London. More on that later but for now I’ve got some beauty reviews to catch up on and share with you. Oh and some Netflix series, home workouts and books to recommend you guys.

If you are still here thanks for reading and thanks for your support.

Secondblonde x

Three Hair Saviour Mini’s | secondblonde

Image-1We are in the full throws of Summer so with the extra sun rays hitting your locks it’s a good time to protect, prevent and repair. Here are a few of my fave hair mini’s that I have received (paid for not gifted) in beauty boxes.

Moroccanoil Treatment is an oil that is instantly absorbed by the hair and doesn’t leave you looking oily! It helps to increase elasticity, whilst giving locks a natural, silky finish. Argan Oil is a powerful antioxidant and UV protector rich in vitamins that help to naturally strengthen and renew the structure of the hair.

Apply to your hair after washing and style as normal. I forgot how much I love it as it makes my hair much more manageable and speeds up the drying time. I’ve recently started using it again and it smells so good.

Percy & Reed Hair Wonder Overnight Recovery is a pre-shampoo sleep in hair mask. What’s great about it is that when you apply onto dry hair it dries instantly so you don’t have to wait for it to dry in before going to bed. It contains natural protein to boost the hair’s ability to retain moisture. I do like it, it does help revive my lack lustre hair however, I do find I still need to use a conditioner after shampooing even though they recommend that you don’t. It’s not a problem but worth a mention. It does smell lovely.

Hey Holla Hair Ties fun neon brights and double up as cute wrist bands. Apart form not causing any damage to your hair they also do not leave a ‘kink’ where your ponytail has been. I love the fact that they look cute on your wrist too.

There you are, 3 summer hair gym/holiday hair saviour mini’s that will help to protect, prevent and repair your hair.

Secondblonde x

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid | secondblonde 2019

If you’ve not already heard about The Inkey List where have you been! They are British brand with two co-founders from a science marketing background which has led them to produce their own line of hero products which are simple to use and affordable yet with highly effective and quality ingredients.

They kindly sent me a few samples to try out – more of which later. First I was keen to try out the Hyaluronic Acid (great for all skin types and concerns) it’s my skin care daily staple right after cleansing.

Hyaluronic Acid is a powerful moisture-binding ingredient that works beneath the skin surface holding up to 1000 times it’s weight in water. Think juicy bouncy skin! Hyaluronic is naturally found in the skin to maintain hydration. Your hyaluronic acid levels gradually reduce over time (yes I’m there already) which can result in dullness, fine lines and uneven tone and texture. Hyaluronic acid works like a magnet for moisture helping your cells retain as much moisture as possible so that your skin feels and appears hydrated, plump and healthy.

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid is a clear serum which is easy to use, you only need a small amount for your whole face. I use mine as my first step after cleansing and layer with other active serums depending on what my skin needs. You can use it on it’s own as it doesn’t have that tight feeling you get from some once it’s dried in. (that’s because of it’s clever different molecular weights)

Here’s the science bit… 2% pure hyaluronic acid, low and high molecular weight to ensure penetration beneath the skin surface for maximum hydration, matrixyl 3000 to aid collagen production for an added plumping effect.

Of course it’s paraben and fragrance free and goes without saying cruelty free.

It’s my new favourite Hyaluronic Acid, if you’ve not added hyaluronic acid to your routine yet this will be a good place to start at only £4.99 for 30mls.

Secondblonde x





Happy 8th Birthday secondblonde

Happy 8th Birthday to me. How has my little blog turned 8. Where has all that time gone!

I still enjoy creating posts for my readers and I’m thankful to have an audience (small yet supportive)

A big thank you to you all for reading my posts. I love creating content, taking images and writing honest reviews about products I’ve been using. Here’s to many more in 2019.

With Love

Secondblonde x

My Top 6 Beauty Advent Calendars 2018 | secondblonde

A beauty addicts dream time of the year the “beauty” advent calendars have landed. Move over chocolate these babies are getting bigger than ever! Every year with many more brands jumping on board. I personally love them (of course) it’s such a fun way to count down to Christmas and a lovely way to be introduced to new beauty products.

My heart melts whenever I see the iconic Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar. The Christmas I worked in the Liberty beauty hall (2016) on launch day we had a line of customers all around the front of the store before we opened to be the first to get their hands on one! (if I remember rightly we sold out in 2 days!) fond work memories and a magical time of year to be in store.

So I’ll stop rambling now and get on with my top 6 Advent Beauty Calendar picks. Here they are in a descending numerical order with prices starting at a luxurious splurge at £195 to a cool affordable £35…

1. Liberty The original and mother of all beauty advent calendars containing over £600 worth of products. The box itself is a keeper it’s so sturdy and beautiful. The inside features the new AW18 Juno Feather Liberty print. It’s a splurge but it’s like you are buying a little piece of history as well as luxury beauty. Liberty Advent Calendar, £195, worth £600, available 24th October. (be quick it may sell out in 1 day) 

2. L’Oréal Full of all your favourite mini L’Oréal products, this disco design advent calendar includes brands such as Kiehls, Lancôme, to Urban Decay and YSL. This is the ultimate mix of products for going out makeup, skincare, perfumes advent calendar. L’Oreal Luxe Advent Calendar, £130, available at Selfridges.

3. Lookfantastic This calendar is all your party season essentials in one box with everything you may need form hair, makeup and skincare to bath and body to wind down too. I spy some fantastic brands here – such good value! Lookfantastic advent calendar, £79, worth over £300.

4. Glossybox It’s Glossybox’s first ever Beauty Advent Calendar (whoop whoop) If you are already subscribed to their beauty box you know that they always deliver on fun and quality. This pretty advent calendar from Glossybox includes NARS, Real Techniques, bareMinerals, you name it, your favourite make-up brand is in this one. Oh, and it’s the only one you’ll find Huda Beauty in as it’s exclusive to them. Glossybox advent calendar, £75 (to subscribers) normally £99 and worth £300.

5. Birchbox This beauty claims to have sold out in less than 24 hours last year! As one of the pioneering beauty subscription boxes that launched in 2010 I can believe it! This little gem includes daily beauty treats with all your favourite brands such as OPI nail varnishes and Caudalie skincare. Birchbox Advent Calendar, £65.

6. M&S If you normally only step into M&S to buy your knickers and pick up your on-the-go lunch then think again – over the last few years their beauty halls have really stepped up! This is probably the most affordable but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not as lush. It’s full to the brim of everything you could possibly need with some brilliant brands. – bravo M&S! £250 worth of products for £35 (a no brainer) you need to spend £35 on clothing,beauty or home first)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my Beauty Advent Calendar Top 6 Picks, Now all you need to do is decide which one before they all sell out.

Secondblonde x

p.s no affiliate links are included in this post or pr samples.