A Sincere but Light-Hearted Mission To Make More of Myself!

Posts Tagged ‘Hair

Happy, happy

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Happy, happy!

Hey, I can tell you that I was one happy girly on Sunday :)

I was preparing a future post about hair extensions and as I took the few prequisite “before” shots, I had the chance to compare my natural hair with some shots took earlier in the year.

This was my natural hair in July.

This is my natural hair now.

Yay, happy dance!

There is certainly some extra length there.

Now I’m not sure why. It may just be normal growth or maybe it is the Moroccan Oil and the less heat I consequently use on my hair or the fact that I am no longer wearing the heavy sew in extensions but exploring other methods such as the clip ins or taped. Or just maybe it is the Hair Growth and silcia tablets that I have been trying to pop daily.

Ok, so I still need extensions of one form or another to leave the house but I finally feel as if I’m getting there. My hair is getting longer and who knows? Just maybe by this time next year, I will dare to leave the house with locks that are 100% mine.

Spookily Nicoletta did a fab post on hair growth at the weekend. Have you got any tips for hair growth?


Written by essjay23x

December 4, 2010 at 11:19 am

Posted in Hair

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Magik results!

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Magik results!

Hey, it seems that my recent ‘hauling’ did not end with fashion.

I have suddenly hunted down and stashed various goods in a final (some may say, desperate) frenzy as my mission grows ever closer to a year of age.

These include to name a few, a Kiehls eye cream; the Origins mushroom moisturiser; the Liz Earle cleanser; the Lush Mask of Magnamity and these little gems here.

Last night, I used a couple of these products. It was, in fact, a return to a couple of products that I raved about in one of my earliest posts, a shampoo and serum from Dead Sea SPA Magik.

The shampoo and conditioning products that I have mainly used for about the last eight weeks or so, have been the Rainforest shampoo and body butter from the Body Shop. Now although I have no complaints over the product and, indeed, am impressed that the products have lasted me so long. It seems my hair has now decided that it is stalemate time. For the last ten days or so, my hair has appeared increasingly blah. Lifeless and dull, I guess.

It may be that all it needed was a good clarifying shampoo but of course, since I’ve used these paraben free products such as Phyto and The Body Shop, I have suddenly become a bit too fearful of more “chemical” products. It is a silly psychological side effect but still I kept putting off finding a nice harsh shampoo because to me clarifying surely equals lots of scientific, tough, unforgiving ingredients to give the barnet a proper going over and clean the locks properly.

Giving the holy grail status that the Morrocan Oil Treatment has so deservedly earnt (in my opinion), I was very tempted to try the rest of their haircare range. With my main qualm being only the price.

So there I was in Holland and Barrett the other day, looking at face masks when the Dead Sea Spa Magik products caught my eye. I remember been so impressed last christmas with the products especially the serum that really you have to agree, I had nothing to lose by forking out just two pounds ninety five for a couple of sachets. One of the shampoo and one of the serum (they come together, the shampoo one is meant to be a freebie).

Now last time I remember my focus was on the magic serum (It really is called Hair Magic Serum and apparently it was voted best conditioner by Woman magazine) and the gloss and shine that this was to deliver. I also wanted the ‘thirst quenching’ ingredients that the products claim to contain. This time my hair is probably more hydrated maybe even slightly weighed down with conditioning products.

Therefore my focus was on the revitalising promise. I do remember the life that this brand gave my hair before and it just seems lately that my increasingly flat mop of hair, especially the roots, is crying out for some life and to be frank to, dance again.

Dead Sea Spa Magik claims this shampoo revitalises hair and wow, it really did. Again! My hair actually had proper volume (even after my normal mandatory application of moroccan oil) and looked a lot thicker after using these products. And in a strange but good way even though it looked like I had more hair (I love the way it bulked my layers out and made them look longer), my hair actually felt lighter and freer. It seemed easier to get the brush through and style.

And as if this was not good enough, it looked glossy. Yay. I think the serum may have had a hand in that.

I used the magic serum as a conditioner and massaged it right in to the scalp and down the length of the hair. I then left it about five minutes before rinsing out. Trust me, this stuff is magic and it probably would not be advisable to leave it in too much longer.

I shampooed generously twice and I still have maybe half the sachet of both the shampoo and serum left which I will be stowing away very safely.

I am really torn now between the moroccan oil haircare purchase plan or just buying the full size of these products. They really do seem to be that good.

Oh and yes, these Dead Sea products do claim to be made from the mud, salt and mineral extracts of the dead sea with some certified organic ingredients and no parabens.

So a volumiser, a clarifier and a moisturiser; these products could be billed magic and amazing. Maybe that is where my worry lies. In the long term, are such results too good to be true?! What do you think? Have you tried this brand? Do these products sound of interest to you? What haircare is making your hair sing and dance at the moment?


Written by essjay23x

October 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm


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Ooh, have you seen Cheryl Cole’s new hair?


Btw, I love the colour of her dress too.

As unoriginal as it may make me, Cheryl is one of my style inspirations.

This image was found through a Google image search. It is from

I have tried a few different tutorials based on Cheryl’s look and in celebration of her new hair (and health), I thought that I would share a couple of them with you.

This first one is based on a couple of tutorials on the Barry M website It was one that I wore out (that is why the photo is blurry. Oops, it seems I was not the only one drinking!) so I did tweak it a little to suit me.

This look uses the Barry M dazzledusts.

I used mushroom (51, my favourite dazzledust) on the lid and chocolate to contour (53). You can see I also used a lot of black shadow and liner. I’m sure for once I actually managed to stick a pair of false lashes on (whoo!) but interestingly they are Nadine’s and not Cheryl’s from the orginal GA lash collection. I think you can see that I tried to wing the shadow and liner out a bit as Cheryl has that cat look going on. I remember it all got a bit messy and as usual when using dazzledusts, I did the eye look before I did the rest of my face (phew). Hmm, dazzledusts are messy but there is something (maybe the dazzle) very starry and glitzy about them!

I have also created a Cheryl look based on a Pixi2Woo tutorial I was trying to see what colours worked together.
This time I used MAC Sable, Jest and Carbon with lots of liner and mascara to make up the eyes pictured above. Tanya used the MAC lipstick, Girl About Town. However I improvised and used another lipstick, Barry M 144. I love this lipstick but I never really wear it. Well, not outside the house. It is such a beautiful, vibrant colour. It is quite classy too. 

Sometimes it can be hard to find a strong pink that does not look too tacky and indeed, lasts. This pink is blue toned and original. It reminds me of a very, very full on Creme de la femme even though they do not look that alike when swatched.

However, there seems to be a some resemblance between them on the lips. 144 is very, very bright but as I’ve said before, I like it a lot and would like to wear it out and about. However, I still have one problem. Look at my inner lip here.

I painted it but lipstick just doesn’t seem to stay in this area and I always end up with these horrible patches. Does anybody else have this problem, what can I do so that I can wear these beautiful colours?

So what do you think of Cheryl’s new hair and her look in general? Who are your style inspirations?


Written by essjay23x

August 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Cheating my way to silkiness!

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Cheating my way to silkiness!

One fact about me, dry shampoo has always disappointed me. I did a review earlier in the year  and my biggest concern was that I had trouble brushing the flakes out and when you have brunette hair and you are using the tropical Batiste or Boots own brand, this can be a bit unsightly and annoying. Even if I was using a Brunette Batiste, I’m not sure if I like the idea of flakes in my hair.

I wanted to write a post today that revealed a great product that you can use instead of fallible dry shampoo. I was very excited about sourcing a ‘find’ and an ‘exclusive’ of my own. I found a spray with a fine mist instead of lumpy flakes to silken my locks. A perfect subsitute for dry shampoo, I wanted to post. However, I now realise that unfortunately it would be a step too far to advocate the product in question that way.

Lately I have been trying to wash my hair as and when it needs it. Apparently the longer your hair goes between washes and the more frequently you employ such gaps then the more your hair manages to maintain itself and the less washing/ ‘baddie’ products are then needed. Get in!

Sounds a great idea except for one thing . . , my hair is not very cooperative. It can look fresh, clean and soft before I go to bed one night and the very next morning, I can wake up with greasy roots, quite crunchy ends (Sorry but it is the horrific truth)and little time to spare. Eurgh, what a great start for the day ahead.

At that time of the morning, I never have time to wash, dry and style my hair from scratch so I have to look to my hair products (yes, what I was trying to avoid in the first place) for a helping hand and yes, I have quite a few hair products but that doesn’t mean I can rely on them to save the day.

Most of my products -bar the dry shampoo- are to actually flatten my hair further because it is so puffy after a wash.

However I have recently been employing one little product to help and it is Hair Extensions Maintenance Spray from ion moisture solutions.

I used to use it on my clip in hair extensions to freshen them up and make them silkier and softer as they aged.

One day I noticed that it can be used on natural hair too and blimey, does a spritz of this make my hair soft again! I’ve been trying to find out how it works but have drawn a blank so far. However I think it works as a bit of a moisturiser and you can see from these photos that my hair just looks so much healthier and less wiry (indeed silky) after a spritz of this.

AFTER (spritzed, fingered through, left 2mins and brushed)

I’m so impressed that I was tempted to use this as my dry shampoo subsitute and tell you all about it but no, I can’t.

This spray just doesn’t do enough for the roots to equal a dry shampoo. My roots may feel a little softer after some of this but they still fall on the wrong side of lank.

I have worn my ‘I need a wash’ hair out after a spritz of this and I got away with it maybe because the rest of my barnet looked so fresh but it is not enough because I do not feel that I have clean hair and you can see I’m right if you look at my roots closely enough.

Saying that I am glad that I have this spray, it is a great product to have. It has a nice pleasant fresh, possibly slightly floral, scent and there seems to be no product build up. I can not recommend this product enough if you want to silken/detangle hair (extensions or real) as a ‘pick me up’ occasional product.

I think it could work as a daily moisturising treatment too for the lengths and ends but the only thing I would say here is that I have only used this product occasionally and am a bit wary of the ingredients listed alcohol denat, butane, isobutane, propane, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone. I am tempted to use this product daily because it makes my hair so soft but at the same time, I’m sure many would see these ingredients as ‘baddies’ and could this mean evantually with such frequent use, it would dry the hair out instead of rejuvenating it?

Going back to occasional use, you could maybe even use this product to change your hair style from day to night. After all, it seems to break down product ok and leave your hair soft but personally I find it is more of a maintanance/polish product rather then a cleanser.

When the lank roots need a wash, I think they need a wash more because of physiological waste such as sweat and oils. This ion spray will not clean such hair but then it was never designed to, extensions don’t have to deal with physiological issues!

Dry shampoos do though and dry shampoos haven’t really worked for me yet so I’m just starting to wonder if there is such a thing as a short cut or even a quick fix just to get you through the day when it comes to matters of beauty.

I got my Ions Hair Extensions Maintenance Spray from Shear Beauty ( It is currently £8.99 there. You could google other retailers too.

So for me right now, it is either get up earlier and wash my hair properly as required, or try out the Big Sexy Hair products that Nicoletta has recently posted about!

Do you believe short cuts ever pay off? What do you think of dry shampoo?


Written by essjay23x

July 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Making the best of a bad hair day!

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Making the best of a bad hair day!

Oh, I had a bad hair day today.

It was my hair appointment day. I normally have one about every 10-12 weeks. New hair extensions and a cut.

I hate the process. The hour or so when my old extensions are out, but my new ones are not yet in, is agony. It sounds pathetic but without the security of those extra inches, I do not feel like me and of course, in the hairdressers there are all those silly mirrors and all I can see is this reflection that does not look like me at all. It is horrible and really throws me. For that hour or so, I act differently and squirm a lot. I’m not always the most confident or bubbliest of people but there I am so, soo lost, so awkward and completly dazed. I guess for more then four years now, I have worn extensions everywhere. I even made sure my clips in were in securely when I did a parachute jump in Australia. For me, they have become like a piece of clothing (and more), without them I am naked and very self-concious.

I don’t really know how to explain it. I know how silly it sounds but I can’t help the way I feel. Somebody said maybe I feel how those girls feel who get their nails done every week or so and then for some reason stop.

I know it is a silly thing to get so worked up over and I know, that it is all relative. If, God forbid, I had some awful news at the salon about my health or somebody close to me or some other real ‘crisis’ happened then I know that my hair would be forgotten just like that. I know there are many people in the world with real, real worries that I can not even comprehend but when it is just me, my hair and the mirror then I can’t help it, a switch goes off and I do not think about that and all I think about is my hair. It is not necessarily that I think the extensions look better. It is just that I identify myself now as somebody with all that hair and when there is some reminder that I haven’t really got all that much hair then something in me gets confused. I’m not sure, it is difficult to explain. I think if you’re thinking of getting extensions or indeed any kind of fakery, you should consider the addiction factor and what that could cost you both in money and confidence.

Anyway, never mind, normally it is just a hour or two and before long, I’m skipping out of the salon with my extra inches and for the first two weeks or so, that new hair is so shiny, soft and silky and basically I’m a very happy girl.

Normally . . .

Not today!

Old extensions out and then argh, I’m told my new hair hasn’t arrived and I have got 24 hours plus au naturalle.

Oh and by the way, au naturelle was cut quite nicely at the back (free of charge, for obvious reasons ie. I had lost half a barnet!!!) but the front (where the work was so badly needed) had to be left until extension time for blending reasons.

My first thought was rush home, lock the door and cry (again pathetic, I know).

I didn’t cry (maybe because my Sideways Cross necklace was waiting for me) but I did rush home and I did think about getting my clip in extensions out but then I thought, this is bad. Nobody can see me and well, I’m not planning on having short hair for a while so make the most of it so I had a bit of a play. Styling my hair this way and that and I have to concede that my natural hair is slightly more versatile then I feared.

This is my favourite style of the day.

I love this look. I think it is really girly, pretty and timeless. It took me two minutes at the most.

I can do it with my extensions but normally don’t bother as it takes, at least, three times as long and is a bit more complicated. I had a bit of help from the hairdresser with this version (shown above) last year. It is all that trying to backcomb the hair without matting or getting it caught/tangled in the rows, pulling the sides of the hair back smoothly while trying to keep all the rows concealed, trying to find and attach a clip (or combination of clips/bands) to keep all that hair in place.

So in conclusion, I will be going back for my extensions tomorrow but the surprise break we had from each other was maybe not as painful as I imagined.

Maybe in fact, it was a very, very, very small step on the road to recovery from my chronic addiction which is good in light of the infamous Naomi Campbell picture which hit the newstands recently. It is alleged that she may have some form of alopecia due to adorning hair extensions.

Like some smokers and many people addicted to all different things, I do intend to give my extensions up. One day!

Have you ever had any shock, horror experiences at the hairdressers? Do you change your hair often or is there only one way/colour/length you would ever have your barnet styled?


Written by essjay23x

July 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Posted in Babble, Hair

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Ins and outs for June!

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Ins and outs for June!

Ooh, the 5th of July. It is almost too late to be talking about June so time for me to pour a green tea (an honourary In), find a comfy position and get this post down.


*Phyto or Morrocan Oil or something in my hair routine

I have never known a spell like it. A spell where everyday is almost an ok hair day. Never known it before, too scared to even dream about it but lately my hair has been on its very best behaviour and obviously, I’m loving that.

Please bear in mind, this is relative. My hair is never going to be up there with Cheryl’s or Pixie Lott’s (new hair crush). In other words, it is never going to have a ‘good’ hair day but my barnet currently gets an A* for effort. I haven’t isolated the magic key yet but have narrowed the suspects down to a few products/habits currently dominating my hair routine.

You know that I think the world of Moroccan Oil. There is no doubt that it makes my hair more managable but recent performace seems to go beyond this even.

Admittedly I have got a bit bored with the whole velcro roller flaffing and lazily tend to use just one or two but I do let my hair dry naturally so much more then I used to. Maybe miracles can come from such simple changes in a hair routine?!

Then again maybe the magic lies in the Phyto products that I have been using and loving. I have two standard sized products but have also dabbled in a couple of samples so have used four Phyto products in all on my hair recently and honestly, I love all of them and my hair certainly seems to have no complaints. Obviously, there will be a post soon.

*Boots No 7 Hot Pink Nail Varnish (40)

I brought this earlier in the year and was really disappointed. The colour just looked wrong, too bright, too loud and too girly but now in the summery sunshine, I am surprised by how much more ‘Me’, this vibrant pink is. Bright but ever so slightly more delicate and girly then my Claires Accessories, Neon. This polish is typical of one from the No 7 line, the formulation is good. I always use my little till vouchers for the on a No 7 nail polish. I probably would have explored the other products in this brand a little more if the varnishes were not so good.

*Sigma SS209

I think I finally have a grip on eyeliner. I use any black eyeshadow (Carbon looks better but seems harder to work with) to apply to top lash line with my Sigma 209. This is a perfect brush and I can’t believe that I was using the thicker 219 before. The 209 gives a fine, precise line which can be built up or flicked out. After a series of disastorous flicks, I’m giving them a miss at the moment. I am happy just tracing my natural eyeline with the 209 and powder and then going over this with my Bad Gal pencil and ta dah, my eyes make their presence known without tunelessly taking over the show. Sometimes I line the bottom lash line and I’m liking a Ruby and Miller eye brush to do this. This is a sqarer brush and it keeps the line softer which seems slightly more flattering. I don’t usually pencil over this lower line for a day look.

*L’Oreal Color Riche in Cashemere 232

I have had this a long time but picked it up the other day and was surprised how much I liked it. It is like the ‘Ghost’ of lipsticks. A very, grown up, sensible dark maroon red boardering on brown that reminds me of how make up smelt to me when I was little. Quite sombre (and a little bit drying) but all the same it is very flattering and has an interesting shimmer. Something I can see myself wearing for those more grown up classic occasions. You could look at this on my lips and it would give nothing away about me or my personality but it would look very nice and would probably make me look a bit more organised and on the ball then I am. Yep, that is it. This is the type of lipstick a lady would wear who never gets flustered or trips up. Yeah well . . , that is who I pretend to be when I wear this and just while I have this on, it seems to work.


*Passion Fruit Body Butter from The Body Shop

I went in for Vanilla or Coconut or Cocoa Butter but none of them were reduced from £12.50 to £5.00 so reluctantly I put them back down and picked up one of the last Body Butters in the reduced section, Passion Fruit.


Now as usual, I have only praise for the butter itself and it’s moisturising qualities. I adore The Body Shop Body Butters. They do the job but I do not like the normal retail price and in this case nor do I like the scent. In fact, I barely tolerate it. I thought Passion Fruit would be summery but is like a potently stale cocktail. I feel hungover every time I have used it. It smells like the morning after. The irony is that it probably smells a lot worse because I am slapping a lot more on in a bid to hit pan because only when I have none left, can I justify going and buying a more gorgeously scented full priced one. I just know there is a Vanilla one sitting on the shelf waiting for me. . ! Until then headaches await me!!!

*The L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara (well, only the smell)

Another one down to scent, I am afraid.

I only brought this today and as soon as I took off the cap, it was like chemicals were in the air. I have never smelt a mascara so strong. Now I’m not adverse to putting chemicals on my lashes to make them grow but I brought this product as a mascara. I have never smelt a mascara smell before. Let alone so strong. I’m hoping that even though I never got used to the Passion Fruit pong, I will get used to the Million Lashes scent because I have quickly swiped this mascara across my lashes and I likey. I actually swiped it over some dried up Max Factor Lash Extension Effect applied earlier in the day and the result was so intense. Most likely too intense for the day but maybe once applied alone, it will come down a notch and be just right. I’ve got a good feeling about this one.


I started using their Anti-Blemish range a few months ago as I had a small cluster of horrible spots around my neck (see neck neglect finally caught up with me) that wouldn’t shift and they still didn’t shift even with the Clinique Anti-Blemish. I am now using Clearasil and this seems to be working. They are disappearing, so soo slowly.

I’ve got to gove it to Clinique, I liked the moisturiser and all the steps seemed to look after the rest of my face fine but the regime costs quite a lot and I can’t help being just a little disappointed that they were not more effective at zapping the demon spots.

*My indecisiveness

Finally me. I can not make decisions about anything. I thought Jazzed was too orange for me but I still had to go and read the reviews and watch the videos and then I decide that maybe it would be nice for me but of course, it is then sold out online and now I can’t decide if I really want to traipse to MAC, about an hour and a half away, where I will probably only change my mind again.

For the umpteenth time in my life, I find myself wishing I had been born with some conviction!!

Hmm, must be time for that Green Tea! Do you have any beauty ins and outs or thoughts for me to ponder (while I sip)?


Colour Me In (No 1)

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Colour Me In (No 1)

I was looking through what I have been ‘hauling’ recently and it suddenly struck me as I considered the new gems that most of the products were about colour in one way or another. I guess that is not surprising really. Isn’t make up all about colour? If a product is not changing the colour of our lips or other features then it is there to enhance the colour we already have. Foundation just makes our colour look a bit more smoothed and refreshed. Even beauty products are all about enhancing our beauty through colour. Exfoliators scrubs away the baddies and gives us the glow while cleansers are meant to keep those nasty red blemishes at bay.

Anyway enough of the babbling. The next couple of posts will concentrate on two different types of products that I use to colour (me!) in. My next post will be about a couple of fake tan products but this one is all about hair dye.

Yes, those of you who follow me on Twitter may already be aware that I dyed my hair last weekend. It was very brave of me, I don’t colour my hair at home very often and there is a very good reason for this which is that on the odd occasion where I have dyed my hair at home, disaster has struck.

First when I was about 17, I dyed my hair jet black and much of my skin too. It was a permanent colour as well. Ouch, there were a few lessons that I should have learnt there but I think that I only learnt one and that is, that there is a world of difference in the colour between Jet Black, the blackest of black hair and dark brunette. Oops. It looked so wrong. My Granny used to shake her head everytime that she saw me.

The second time I used permanent dye again, duh! It was one of those highlighting kits where you dye your hair and add your highlights. The permanent hair colour was fine, the highlight one not quite so. They were a red, red, red disaster and why did I have to highlight so much around my face? Again it made me look ill and seemed to bring out a very uneven skin tone. Needless to say I was at the hairdressers within a week!

Not this time, I am very impressed with my new colour this time. The delightful colour is NATURAL MEDIUM GOLDEN BROWN 117, a semi-permanent from Clariol Nice n Easy. I heeded what I’ve learnt in the past. Stay away from red, home highlights and permanent dye.


To be honest, I wasn’t sure about the word Golden as when I’ve previously gone ‘golden’ at the hairdressers, the colour quickly became straw-like but I was reassured by the fact that this was predominantly a medium dye.

I was right, there was no need to panic. This dye worked for me!

My barnet was quite dark when I first dyed it but the ‘golden’bits which are more shimmer then golden broke it up just enough to keep the colour soft and flattering. My eyes seemed to look quite bright and more awake.

Since the initial dying session last weekend, I have washed my hair twice and the colour has lightened a little but I still like it. Now it is more or less a glossier and more lively version of my natural hair colour. I doubt you can see the difference in photos hence the lack of. I just look more groomed and that is ok since that is a major part of what my mission is all about!




I also just need to say how impressed I was with the conditioner included in the box with the dye. My hair felt so soft once it was applied, while it was left in and after it was washed out of my hair. It really felt like my hair had enjoyed a good going over and pampering. A softness I did not really expect when I had just dyed my hair.  I left the dye on my hair for about 20 minutes at the most and although the colour change is there subtly, the vibrancy of my colour has increased immensely. There was also plenty of dye in the box. I purchased two boxes (It was 2 boxes for £8 in Boots) because it said you might need to if your hair is longer then shoulder length but one was enough for me. I did panic because I caught my skin a little (again!) but within 24 hours and a couple of scrubs, any staining seemed to disappear. You can never use too much vaseline when dying your hair though!

So do you feel the need to change your hair colour or even just liven it up a little once the summer comes? What hair colours do you recommend?


Written by essjay23x

June 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Posted in Babble, Hair

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