Growing My Hair...

Monday, 22 August 2016

I'm not gonna lie this growing your hair business is tough!

There's been plenty of times over this last year where I've been on the verge of just walking into a hairdresser's and asking them to cut it all off!!! However, I've been super patient and I've nearly got my hair into the style and shape that I want... a MESSY BOB

(Clare Elise Messy Bob 2016)

My Hair Story...

When I was a young and at school, my hair was cut into the perfect bob shape. Mum took me to a lovely hairdresser in Sheffield to get my hair cut every month and yeah, it was the PERFECT BOB! By that I mean that it was a bob and a very untrendy bob! Now don't get me wrong it looked nice, HOWEVER, it wasn't all that fashionable, although to be honest most of us growing up in the Eighties / Nineties probably ended up with a similar haircut as it seemed to be the "In Thing!".

Anyway, enough about that! 

During my college days whilst I studied music, I started to really experiment with my hair. I grew it long, I dyed it dark purple, dark red and black and I even started to plait red hair extensions into my hair which I bought from a little store in the Nottingham Victoria Market place. I totally loved the idea of red and black hair but at that time I just wasn't brave enough to take the plunge...! 

(Clare Elise & Subject2Status Band photo shoot)

Then in 2002... it happened... I booked an appointment at Toni & Guy in Nottingham after a breakup with a boy! I walked into the hairdressers that day with messy, long dark hair and asked them to cut it all off and dye it red and black... this was the result and I blooming LOVED IT!   

(Photo thanks to Robin Hosgood)

Anyone who follows me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will know that my hair has stayed short and messy and has been red and black since then. However, last year I decided enough was enough it was time for a change and as soon as we arrived back in the UK I started to grow my hair.

In September 2015 my hair looked like this... 

(Clare Elise hair 2015)

Still short however a lot flatter in shape and style and ready for growing....

By February 2016... my hair was ready for a cut and colour. So I stepped into Rush Hairdressers. This was the end result... a lot darker than before however really funky hair and still red and black.

(Clare Elise hair Feb 2016)

Hair Styling....

When I had short and messy hair like this...

(Clare Elise 2015)
Styling my hair was super easy. I simply did a quick blow dry in the Morning and followed that with a little bit of styling putty to add definition and add shape and style to my hair! TBH it was the perfect hair cut.. especially for after having Lewis as it was easy and quick to do.

As my hair grew it became a little more difficult to get the right feel to the look... I decided to leave my hair for five months without any proper cutting or colouring... I did have a little trim during that time but that was it. I did this so that I could start to get the layers to grow down and so that I could get the fullness to my hair back after breastfeeding as whilst breastfeeding my hair went a little thin. 

During this time I discovered got2b by Schwarzkopf. I now have two products on my beauty shopping list that are must haves! They are Schwarzkopf got2b Powder'ful and Schwarzkopf got2b Made 4 Mess. These two products are awesome! I simply spray Schwarzkopf got2b Made 4 Mess through my hair whilst it's wet and then blow dry and once blow dried I simply sprinkle a little got2be Powder'ful onto my hands and massage that onto the roots of my hair. DONE. Messy Perfection! 

(Clare Elise got2b)

If you follow me on social media you'll know that recently on Instagram I posted about my new hair! It's nearly a year since I started growing it and now my hair is like this... 

(Clare Elise hair Aug 2016)

It's a perfectly messy, red and black and it's in a gorgeous bob shape. I love it! 
(Thanks, to Rush hair salon / Schwarzkopf got2b styling range for helping me get my hair sorted.) 

(Schwarzkopf got2b)

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Why I'm in love with Glitter Lips by Beauty Boulevard

Friday, 12 August 2016

Firstly can I start off by saying this isn't a sponsored post... HOWEVER Beauty Boulevard did send me a red sparkly lip set across simply because they know how much I LOVE SPARKLES! 

I'm not gonna lie when I opened up the white jiffy bag and was greeted with a pot of sparkly goodness it did feel like Christmas had arrived early.


Most of you will know how my blog name came about but just in case you're new to the Sparkly Blog I'll share right now.... Clare Elise is my name and Sparkles is my nickname. My nickname Sparkles came about from my gigging days. I love glitter so much always have and always will and before going on stage at any of my gigs whether it be a pub / club or a dinner dance I would spend up to an hour applying my makeup and glitter to my eyes and face! Many an entertainment team laughed at me saying that they knew whenever I'd been to a venue because there would be BIG a trail of glitter on the floor from the dressing room to the stage and from this, I got the nickname Sparkles, the rest as they say, is history! LOL!  

(Clare Elise live on stage 2007)
So back to this packet of awesomeness that I received in the post. GLITTER LIPS! If you've not seen these already on Instagram or on Facebook I would be very surprised as Glitter Lips by Beauty Boulevard Ltd are everywhere right now and the easiest place to get hold of a packet for the weekend is from Superdrug. 
(Clare Elise wearing Ruby Slipper - Glitter Lips by Beauty Boulevard)
So how does this whole Glitter Lips work then, I hear you ask... 

Basically, it's super simple. You get a little pot of super sparkly glitter in your Glitter Lips kit (there are several shades I used Ruby Slippers), you also get a little applicator which has a brush on it and a pad and you get the magic sticky glue stuff in a little pot in your Glitter Lips kit which you use to stick the glitter in place on your lips.

I seriously so wish that this had been around when I was gigging as I used to apply glitter on top of my lipstick and I would end up with a microphone covered in sparkles by the end of the weekend and regularly use to have to dismantle my microphone and wash the cover.

So... Step 1. Apply the Glitter Lips glue to the lips.
        Step 2. Apply the Glitter Lips coloured glitter to the lips using the enclosed applicator.
        Step 3. Tidy up the lips by brushing off any loose glitter using the little brush enclosed.


So what did I think?

I think Glitter Lips by Beauty Boulevard is just FABULOUS! I genuinely LOVE IT. I love the idea, I love the company (which is run by two lovely ladies in Lincoln) and I really wish that this had been on the scene when I was gigging. The thing that I really liked about the Glitter Lips is the staying power, once applied it sticks in place so you don't have to worry about reapplying. Removing it is pretty easy, however, you're best using an oil based remover.

ALL IN ALL A FAB PRODUCT which only costs £12.50! Bargain... 

ALSO super exciting news... Glitter Lips by Beauty Boulevard will be featuring on Dragons Den on the BBC this weekend 14th August so make sure you tune in to see how the ladies do in front of the Dragons and to see how Peter Jones likes sparkly lips... enough said! 

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Vitamins for Skin, Hair, Energy... Inner Me (As Seen On Dragons Den)

Monday, 8 August 2016

As you know I'm a HUGE fan of all things health and beauty related. I'm always reading up and finding out about what the latest health food craze is or what supplement is a must have! 

I discovered Inner Me back in 2012. Now I'm going, to be honest, the packaging was the first thing that appealed to me back then as it was super cute, the second thing about Inner Me that appealed to me was the convenience of the product, all the vitamins that I needed were placed in one small packet which meant no longer did I have to worry about filling up my cupboards with jars of vitamins that I'll never remember to take. Instead, there was just one cute packet of vitamins sat there next to my coffee cup ready for me to take first thing in the Morning. 
(Photo thanks to Inner Me & Selfridges)

Inner Me was founded by Nikki Cooper a lady with a vision. She decided to put all the vitamins that us girlies need in our day to day lives into one little packet so that it made the life of us busy bee's just that little bit easier and helped stop us all from falling into the trap of spending hundreds of pounds a years on jars and jars of vitamins that we might not ever actually get around to taking. Brilliant, just brilliant... Well Done Nikki!

(Nikki - Inner Me, photo thanks to InnerMe.Com)
I can genuinely say that Inner Me has really made a huge difference to my life.. hence me writing about them. I'm really passionate about the brand and I genuinely think Nikki's idea and business is just awesome! 

I tried Inner Me like I said years ago however Inner Me has recently made an even bigger impact on my life more recently.
In January 2015 I became a Mum. As many ladies do during birth I lost quite a lot of blood and was left very anaemic and it took me quite some time to get those iron stores back up to a good level. Throughout pregnancy, I had taken vitamins and just after pregnancy I took vitamins. HOWEVER, I still wasn't feeling 100% by the end of last year. 

(Lewis 1 Month Old photo property of Clare Elise)

I remember sitting down one day whilst Lewis was napping and tweeting Nikki as I decided to revisit Inner Me to see if they might have a solution to help me get back to feeling 100%. I asked Nikki if I could take the Daily 4 30+ vitamins whilst Breastfeeding. Within hours she tweeted me back saying yes! That was that, and within a couple of days, a box of Inner Me vitamins landed on my doorstep and my first month of taking Inner Me Daily 4 30+ began. 

I soon started to feel a difference in myself. I felt more alert, my skin looked brighter and I felt generally a lot better. I kept taking the vitamins for a few months and I couldn't believe just how much better I actually felt.

(Clare Elise)

Then... life got busy... we moved house again, Lewis was teething, Chris started his new job and I totally forgot to look after myself! By this I mean I totally forgot to order and take vitamins. For the first month I felt fine then by month two I started to feel lethargic again and drained. I normally nag Chris to take his vitamins, however, this time, it was all about Chris reminding me how important it was to take the vitamins ESPECIALLY whilst still breastfeeding.

I'm glad to report that since then I've sorted myself out and the Inner Me vitamins are a permanent fixture in my kitchen and every day I take them.

Why so many tablets? 

(Inner Me Packet)

Nikki at Inner Me has really researched health and nutrition and has found out what vitamins and minerals / supplements will benefit ladies at different ages. Hence her coming up with the 20+, 30/40 + and the 50 + boxes of vitamins. Nikki wanted to also make taking the right vitamins / supplements affordable hence her also coming up with one box full of vitamins for each age group and enough vitamins in there for the whole month.... plus you can also save money by subscribing and getting your vitamins sent out to you monthly OR by purchasing a bundle of health goodies like below. Looking after your health and saving time and money is a plus surely for any busy mum or girlie on the go ! ! ! 

(Inner Me Bundle)

This is the first month of me trying out The Epsom Salts and the Children's Vitamin Powder and so far I'm super impressed with those too. I simply add the recommended amount of Children's Vitamin Powder to Lewis' Morning Bottle Of Milk (he seems happy with the taste!) and regards the Epsom Salts.... Well, let us just say I've enjoyed having a long soak in the bath using them! #RelaxTimeWhenLittleOneIsInBed ! 

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Can you help Jeff Price?

Tuesday, 26 July 2016


Just to update you all on the below post. Thanks to all you wonderful people. Jeff's fundraising money has been raised 65,000 GBP in 3 DAYS! Thank you all from the bottom of mine and Chris' heart, you've helped to get the much need treatment for our friend Jeff.
Jeff's sisters recorded this video... 

Every day people walk into your life and out of your life. Some friendships are silver others are gold. Some friends stay by your side no matter what and some friendships drift apart. That's life! 
However, this my friends is a story of a precious Gold Friendship! 

In 2011, Chris & I were newbies in a country that we'd never even visited before. Yup, we had moved to Dubai to live. We had discussed it over and over and decided we could give living in Dubai a year! It was 4 nearly 5 years later that we returned home.

(Clare Elise & Chris in Dubai)

I remember Chris coming home from his new radio job in Dubai and sharing with me about his day and the people who he'd met at work and during this conversation he spoke fondly about a bloke called Jeff who seemed like a pretty decent guy from what was said! 

(Jason King, Jeff Price, Chris Birks)

It wasn't long until I met Jeff and his lovely wife Cynthia. I remember we were at a Birthday Party in a hotel in the centre of Dubai and it was a rather humid and hot night, however, we all braved sitting outside and before long Cynthia and I were chatting away and saying how lovely it would be to meet up again soon.

(Cynthia - Jeff's Wife & Clare Elise)

Let's just say the rest is history! Jeff kinda took Chris under his wing at work in those first months and along with others in the team became a great friend to Chris over the years and before long Jeff and Cynthia, Chris and I were meeting up for a catch up over coffee or enjoying a meal out here and there.

As our friendship developed we grew even closer and Maddy, Jeff's daughter became like a little sister to me and I guess I took her under my wing. Soon she was at our apartment baking Rainbow Cupcakes in the afternoon and chatting to us about school and swimming and everything else. 

(Maddy - Jeff's Daugther and Clare Elise)

Jeff, Cynthia and Maddy were a very big part of some very special occasions in the life of Chris and I and when Cynthia gave birth to CJ. Chris and I stood firmly by their side to give them all the support that we could.

(CJ - photo thanks to Cynthia)

When you're living in Dubai as an expat, friends and by that I mean REAL FRIENDS become your family. Your Mum, Dad, Grandma & Grandad are at least a 7 hour flight away and I think that this is what makes Dubai friendships a close friendship. Your friends are the closest people to you and the ones you rely on in the good times and the tough times! 

(Friends in Dubai)

It's fair to say that Jeff, Cynthia, Maddy and CJ are part of our official Dubai Family and that we love them dearly.

So why am I sharing all this?

Well, if you follow me on social media you'll have noticed I've been constantly sharing a post for fundraising. You'll know that I don't normally ever do that however in this case I have shared across all my social media simply because it's an urgent situation affecting part of our Dubai Family! 

Jeff Price was diagnosed with a rare brain condition a little while back. He's already had operations to try to help sort out the problem, However, something isn't quite working right and the consultant he see's has told him that he needs more treatment / surgery to help get him to be 100%! 
(Jeff Price in hospital - Photo thanks to Cynthia)

Now here's where the problem lies... 

Jeff has health insurance (which you need out in Dubai as you have to pay for treatment) however his insurance won't cover any of this treatment or operations and so far he's had to rely on savings and family donations to get the care and help that's been needed..

Here's where they're at now...

The money's run out... and URGENT life-saving surgery and treatment is needed to help Jeff to get better. The cost of this treatment is 300,000 AED which is basically 65,000 GBP!

Jeff Price is a caring, kind, family man who's done do much for so many over the years in Dubai and who's supported and cared for others in need. He's done so much also for the Dubai Media Industry and has even set up and been running the first ever children's radio station in Dubai.
(The original line up at Pearl)

If you can please donate, however if you're not able donate right now please share this post and let's get Jeff the treatment he so desperately needs.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart Sparkly Ones xxx 

CLICK HERE >>>>>>>


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