13 Perfect Moissanite Rings

There are a fair few misconceptions about moissanite and what it is, as well as what it isn’t, and so hopefully reading this will clear up any misinformation you have about this often overlooked crystal. Moissanite is a mineral that occurs naturally on earth, but large moissanite crystals are rarely used in jewellery due to their immense scarcity. However, because moissanite has highly desirable qualities for a jewel, scientists have worked to recreate it in within the lab, and have been successful in doing so thanks to years of research, experimentation, and scientific advancements.

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Moissanite Rings

Some believe that because the moissanite used in jewellery is lab-made, moissanite is a “fake” jewel, however just as certain medicines have been created through a scientific process but we would not call them “fake medicines” it’s false to consider moissanite “fake”. Moissanite is simply not mined – this is no reason to damage moissanite’s status as a marvellous jewel. A lot of time, effort and skill are required to produce moissanite, and scientists and craftspeople must labour for months before the remarkable final product is produced – moissanite is a child of both awe-inspiring art, and methodical science.

Some people have the misconception that moissanite is actually diamond or some form of it. This is likely because of moissanite and diamond share incredibly similar optical (though not chemical) properties, making them appear, in many cases, as identical. This is why moissanite is touted as a great alternative to diamond. Another similarity between diamond and moissanite is durability. Moissanite beats ruby, sapphire and emerald in terms of hardness (how easy it is to scratch a mineral), coming second only to diamond. This means that moissanite can only be scratched by diamond, or by itself. It is extremely resistant to inclusions such as chipping, fractures and abrasion, which means that you can have peace of mind that this precious jewel won’t get damaged if you store it with your other jewellery. Moissanite is undoubtedly a jewel that will go the distance, and could even possibly last a lifetime. What’s more, in the rare event that the moissanite incurs inclusions of some kind, these defects will not be visible to anyone unless observed by a microscope, due to moissanite’s impressive clarity.

Another significant advantage of choosing moissanite over the traditional diamond is that moissanite is obtained through cruelty-free means, seeing as it is lab-made. It is more ethical to opt for moissanite over diamond because there is no pollution or harming of animals and humans as a by-product because moissanite (for use in jewellery) is not mined. Mining for diamonds is infamously a dangerous trade for those involved, and it also has a negative impact on our environment.

Moissanites are the perfect jewel to celebrate milestones and achievements – be that a wedding, engagement, graduation, or a new addition to the family. Traditionally a jewel for women, a moissanite ring will be greatly treasured by the special woman in your life, perhaps your wife, your mother, or your grandmother. Moissanite has a universal appeal, and no matter the age and preference of your lady, she will no doubt be charmed by such a mesmerising jewel on her finger. Moissanite dazzles with its flashes of whites and the sparkles it produces in the sun, and can even refract rainbow to give you a truly wondrous light show. Moissanite’s scintillation means it will be sure to twinkle and shine, even if you’re not in the most flattering lighting, or are standing in dark lights. It’s available in a spectrum of hues, ranging from cooler to warmer, depending on what catches your loved one’s eye. Moissanites have a vivid and rich “brilliance”, exhibiting the kind of clean and crisp colours that even a diamond would fail to match.

However, if we are honest, moissanite is probably not the first jewel that pops into our minds when we consider jewellery and rings in particular. In fact, if you had to think of the most precious, and most memorable ring you could ever buy for say, an engagement, there’s no doubt that one jewel would stand out above the rest. Diamond. Diamonds have long been seen as the pinnacle of luxury and indulgence, as the most beautiful and decadent of all the jewels. There have even been various songs about diamonds and diamond jewellery, and the jewel has been put on a pedestal within popular culture.

Our infatuation with diamonds has been fuelled in part by rigorous marketing campaigns over the decades that have targeted women, in particular, conveying the message that diamonds are superior to all other jewels, and the ones to be desired (“diamonds are a girl’s best friends”). In reality, you have many more, equally gorgeous, options other than diamond such as ruby, sapphire, opal, and of course, moissanite. If you really do prefer the charm of a diamond above all other jewels, that’s no problem, but you should consider looking into moissanite as an alternative, as it comes with many of its own perks.

Moissanite is almost identical to diamond, some would say indistinguishable, and yet it retails for anywhere from 10% to 30% the cost of a diamond, so your bank account would no doubt be thankful if you opted for moissanite! Most certainly, your friends and family would never know you were wearing moissanite rather than diamond unless you told them. In fact, even some industry experts have been to known to be unable to identify a moissanite ring from a diamond one! Not bad going, eh?

Moissanites are likely the choice for you if you are considering investing your money in something other than jewellery, or perhaps in a jewel other than diamond, but still, want to own a jewel similar to a diamond. If you are willing to look beyond convention, moissanite can also make the perfect ring for your wedding or engagement. Even though it is much more affordable, you will never have to sacrifice or compromise on the glamour and charm that you would get with a diamond ring. Moissanite is the perfect accompaniment to any joyful occasion, and its mesmerising glow is not one that will be quickly forgotten by anyone who is lucky enough to wear it!

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.otomo.co.uk/blogs/news/20-perfect-moissanite-rings

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The Best Hair Straighteners – 2018

Are you looking to get those curls under control? Read on for our recommendations for the best hair straighteners in 2018 from £25 to £165.
GHD arguably changed the way that women do their hair when they launched the first commercially available hair straighteners in 2001. Now nearly 17 years later, it is estimated that more than a quarter of women in the western world own a set of hair straighteners. With more brands and options available than ever before, and even men beginning to take advantage of this wonderful technology, we have never been more spoilt for choice when it comes to hair straighteners.

Best Hair Straighteners

 Hair Straighteners Plate Size Price
GHD IV STYLER – Editors Choice 2.7cm Check Price
BABYLISS 3Q 2.8cm

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CLOUD NINE ORIGINAL IRON 4cm

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TONI & GUY STYLE FIX 2cm

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CORIOLISS C3 2.2cm

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T3 X SINGLEPASS 3.8cm

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HERSHESONS TITANIUM IONIC PROFESSIONAL 2.3cm

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WAHL PENCIL 1.5cm

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A quick search on Amazon and you’ll come across a huge quantity of customer reviews for hair straighteners and it quickly becomes apparent that not everyone is happy with their purchase. Like most other electrical goods, hair straighteners have a shelf life, so even if you liked your last ones, new advances in technology invariably mean that your old ones are no longer available or are no longer the best available.

So without too much further ado, here’s our guide to the best hair straighteners available today for frizz-free, sleek and glossy locks. Whether you want perfectly straight hair, sensual waves or classy curls, these are our favourites. If you also want help finding out what all the different features mean before deciding to buy, then read on.

How to buy the best hair straighteners to suit your hair

Hair straighteners are relatively simple devices, they tend not to come with a range of buttons or a collection of interchangeable attachments, their goal is a simple one, which is to create smooth and straight hair. As they all do the same thing, it would make sense if there wasn’t much between different between models and that they would all cost roughly the same. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Does Size Matter?

Everyone knows that wider plates are the best to use as they’ll work their way through your hair in no time at all, right? Wrong! If you happen to have curly, thick or long hair, then large plates are definitely the way to go. The major drawback is that you’ll not be able to do much in the way of curling or styling with thick plates. Plates that are under one inch are much better suited are much better suited to this and are likely to be better for most other types of hair. If you have short hair, you’ll definitely benefit from thinner plates which are less than one inch, this will allow for greater control and afford you the precision you’ll need.

Are hotter hair straighteners better?

I have in the past bought hair straighteners with the highest claimed temperature setting, crank them up to the maximum setting and assume that my hair would straighten faster and stay straighter for longer. However, this can do more harm than good. High heat can break and irrevocably damage fine hair, even if your hair is thick and curly, you’ll only need plates that are slightly hotter. It’s worth noting that keratin, which makes up your hair, starts to melt at around 233 degrees.

One of the more recent advances in hair straightener technology is the introduction of plates that can automatically detect your hair type and adjust the temperature to match. If you have a straightener that requires manual adjusting, you can follow the basic recommendation that fine or treated hair should be set to around 160ºC, else you risk damaging your hair. Medium textured healthy hair can use straighteners set to around 185ºC. And for anyone with thick, tightly curled or coarse hair, you can probably set the temperature to around 210ºC, but only if you straighten our hair infrequently. If you’re straightening your hair on a regular basis then it’s best to keep the temperature at around 185ºC.

What are the must-have features?

It perhaps goes without saying but a long cable is an absolute must-have, you really don’t want to be tethered to the wall socket, especially if it’s in an inconvenient location. Anything less than 2m can be considered unworkable, ideally, you’ll want a cable of around 4m. As an added bonus, if you can get a rotatable cord which can swivel 360 degrees, then this can make your job much easier, allowing you to reach all parts of your head with relative ease.

If you’re someone that travels a lot, then cordless straighteners would be an obvious choice, the downside is they will not heat up as quickly as a mains powered straightener. Safety should also be a consideration when looking for the perfect model, some irons will switch off automatically if they’ve been left idle for a period of time – this can prove a great deal of peace of mind, especially if like me you begin to wonder if you switched everything off when you left the house this morning. A straightener that heats up quickly can shave a decent amount of time off your morning routine, which is especially important if you’re someone that’s frequently in a rush. Lastly, if you plan to do any styling with the straightener, creating curls, flicks or waves, then an iron with curved edges is a must have.

The best hair straighteners to buy – 2018

GHD IV Styler Review – The best hair straightener under £150 – Editors Choice

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Despite an ever-increasing amount of hair straighteners available in the world, you can invariably rely on the legendary GHD to provide products which are well made and capable of lasting a lifetime of use, and they will also straighten and take care of your hair too. Advertised as a straightener which will only ever need one stroke, the plates have been designed to provide the ideal heat for your hair type, and additionally maintain that temperature consistently, ensuring there are no unforeseen temperature surges or drops. This means there is less chance of damaging your hair as you’ll only need to run the hair straightener through your hair once. The obvious upshot of this is that they are very quick, you can be finished straightening your hair in around half the normal time, and additionally, you’ll have less chance of breakages and shinier locks as well.

In terms of aesthetics, the GHD IV Styler is a good looking piece of kit, it’s available in both a traditional understated black. The colours work well and the shape of the straightener is uncomplicated and sophisticated looking. All round is an excellent piece of kit.

• Key specs – 2.7cm-wide ceramic plates
• Maximum temperature: 185°C
• Universal voltage
• 2.7m swivel cord
• Automatic 30-minute shut-off
• Two-year warranty

BaByliss 3Q Hair Straightener Review

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BaByliss is no stranger to making hair tools and accessories, their innovation in the industry dates back to the 60’s. Many of its inventions, which includes the Perfect Curl and Big Hair, have made a huge impact in the industry and have likely changed more than a few lives. These are just a few of BaByliss’s latest straighteners and we absolutely love them, from the way they heat up quickly, through to how well they can transform even the most unruly hair into something glorious, they are fantastic. That’s without even taking the ‘Protect’ feature into consideration, which quickly and accurately adjusts the straightener’s temperature to avoid damage to your hair. The BaByliss 3Q Hair Straightener is no exception, it features several features which are normally only found on professional or very high-end models, for example, the sensors which work out the perfect temperature for your hair type, to the slick plates which consistently maintain an accurate temperature. But, they aren’t without their minor niggles; the straighteners can be quite noisy, producing a sometimes unpleasant buzzing sound. You’ll also need to be careful when manually selecting a temperature to not overheat your hair on the highest temperature setting. Overall they are a very capable set of hair straighteners and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.

• Key specs – Quartz-ceramic 2.8cm plates
• 12 digital heat settings
• Maximum temperature: 235°C
• 3m swivel cable
• Automatic 72-minute shut-off
• Five-year warranty

Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straightener Review: The best GHD alternative

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What happens when the original founder of GHD leaves in order to make something even better? If you have correctly guessed that the result is the Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straightener, pat yourself on the back, because you are of course, correct. It’s perhaps no wonder that these beauties slide through hair with very little effort, leaving behind flawlessly shiny, silky and most importantly, straight locks of hair. The straightener has a choice of six heat settings to choose from, but in our testing, we found that the lower temperatures would normally do the job perfectly well. This can mean less stress placed on your hair and decreased the chance of damage. In terms of ergonomics, they felt great in my moderately sized hands and are lightweight as well, I personally found them very easy to use for curling and flicking. It’s worth noting that there have been reports of the straighteners breaking after a year or two, especially with very heavy users. We’re told measures have been taken to avoid this happening in the future, but only time will tell as to how successful this has been.

• Key specs – 4cm-wide mineral-infused ceramic plates
• Five temperature control options
• Maximum temperature: 200°C
• Universal voltage; 2.6m cord
• Automatic 30-minute shut-off
• One-year warranty

Toni & Guy Style Fix Straightener Review: The best cheap hair straighteners

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One of the most striking features of these straighteners is the vivid and cool blue plates, which is a unique selling point and helps them stand out from the normal blacks and whites. Additionally, they’re also perfectly proportioned for the frequent traveller, easily fitting into a handbag and they weigh next to nothing. If alarm bells are now ringing in your head due to the smaller size and diminutive price, then you can rest assured that the straighteners actually work surprisingly well. They are ideal for someone with short to medium length hair. The plates heat up very quickly and are more than capable of giving your hair a nice gloss, but the downside is you’ll need to work on smaller sections of your hair at a time due to the smaller plates. They are less than ideal if you have thick or very long hair, if you do, you’re better off picking a model with thicker plates. There are several other hair tools in the Toni and Guy range if you’re looking to complete the whole range.

• Key specs – 2cm-wide tourmaline plates
• Maximum temperature: 210°C
• Universal voltage
• 1.8m swivel cord
• Power on/off indicator
• Five-year warranty

Corioliss C3 Gold Leopard Hair Straightener Review: The best £75 straighteners

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The gold leopard c3 hair straighteners are a sight to behold. They are bold, bright and not shy about their looks, whether you think they look gorgeous or garish is a matter of opinion, but regardless of how they look, they definitely do the job. These straighteners will effortlessly glide through most hair types to create ruler straight classy results. You’ll need to spend a bit of time experimenting with the different heat settings in order to identify the optimal temperature for your hair type. Generally speaking, a lower temperature is better for finer hair, while a hotter temperature is better suited for thicker hair. Once you’ve found the golden temperature setting for your hair, the extra-long titanium plates will make short work of your hair, leaving you with soft, smooth, frizz-free perfect locks. Thankfully the straighteners don’t pull on your hair when using them and the swivel cord affords a ton of manoeuvrability, which makes the job of straightening so much easier. The C3 uses infrared technology to heat hair, which should, in theory, result in more uniform heat coverage and increased efficiency, this was difficult to test and we cannot honestly say if this method is more effective compared to traditional heating methods.

• Key specs – 11.5cm extra-long floating titanium plates
• Maximum temperature: 235°C
• Universal voltage; 3m swivel cord
• Automatic two-hour shut-off
• One-year warranty

T3 X SinglePass Straightener Review: The best hair straighteners – if you can afford them

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Reassuringly expensive. These glossy white multi award-winning straighteners are universally praised by A-list celebrities and top hair stylists from every corner of the world. The extra wide plates which heat up in a meagre six seconds are capable of straightening, curling and flicking even the coarsest, thick and longest hair in just one pass. Clever engineering has integrated a digital microchip into the design which keenly monitors the performance of the straighteners; making adjustments to the temperature in fractions of a second in order uniformly straighten your hair with the minimal of fuss. As the plates are made from tourmaline and ceramic, they are exceptional when they need to tame frizz and wiry locks; hair will end up looking healthy and full of life. So, if you’re looking to spoil yourself or be spoiled, we can without a moment’s hesitation recommend these hair straighteners to anyone that doesn’t object to spending a little bit more.

• Key specs – 3.8cm-wide ceramic and tourmaline plates
• Maximum temperature: 220°C
• Worldwide voltage
• 2.7m swivel cord
• Automatic one-hour shut-off
• Two-year warranty

Hershesons Titanium Ionic Professional Straighteners: The best straighteners for £100

If you’re looking to create perfectly straight hair with no sign of kinks, then these are probably the perfect hair straighteners for you. The blurb for the straighteners tell us that the straighteners impressive ability is down to the innovative titanium production, the results really do speak for themselves, with shiny, glossy hair which is soft and an almost liquid appearance that easily lasts a full day. No bulky arms required, the straighteners are very lightweight and will never snag, which is largely due to the very flexible rotating cord. The plates heat up in a matter of seconds, which is perfect if you find yourself in a hurry in the mornings, and the temperature panel is conveniently located so it’s dead easy to see. We didn’t find many drawbacks with the plates, but we have seen reports of inaccurate temperatures, which is something we didn’t personally experience.

• Key specs– 2.3cm-wide ionic ceramic plates
• Maximum temperature: 230°C
• 2.5cm rotating cord
• Automatic one-hour shut-off
• 180-day warranty

Wahl Pencil Hair Straightener Review: The best budget hair straighteners for short hair

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If you have short hair, then this might be the perfect product for you. The Wahl Pencil straightener has been designed with short haired women in mind and has ultra-thin plates to make the job much easier. So, whether you’re looking to tame a frizzy bob or create a sleek fringe, these are ideal for long lasting straightness. As a testament to their effectiveness at quickly styling short straight hair, they are increasingly popular with men as well. These are a no-frills hair straightener, with limited features and no way to change the heat settings, but they are effective and heat up quickly, the plates are very smooth and the cable length is generous. We used these for every hair type we could find, from thin hair through to thick curls, and they worked on everything, creating sleek straight hair which any professional hair stylist would be proud of. At this price point, these straighteners are an absolute bargain and come highly recommended.

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.otomo.co.uk/blogs/news/the-best-hair-straighteners-2018

13 Perfect Moissanite Rings

There are a fair few misconceptions about moissanite and what it is, as well as what it isn’t, and so hopefully reading this will clear up any misinformation you have about this often overlooked crystal. Moissanite is a mineral that occurs naturally on earth, but large moissanite crystals can’t be used in jewellery due to their immense scarcity. However, because moissanite has highly desirable qualities for a jewel, scientists have worked to recreate it in within the lab, and have been successful in doing so thanks to years of research, experimentation, and scientific advancements.

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Moissanite Rings

Some believe that because the moissanite used in jewellery is lab-made, moissanite is a “fake” jewel, however just as certain medicines have been created through a scientific process but we would not call them “fake medicines” it’s false to consider moissanite “fake”. Moissanite is simply not mined – this is no reason to damage moissanite’s status as a marvellous jewel. A lot of time, effort and skill are required to produce moissanite, and scientists and craftspeople must labour for months before the remarkable final product is produced – moissanite is a child of both awe-inspiring art, and methodical science.

Some people have the misconception that moissanite is actually diamond or some form of it. This is likely because of moissanite and diamond share incredibly similar optical (though not chemical) properties, making them appear, in many cases, as identical. This is why moissanite is touted as a great alternative to diamond. Another similarity between diamond and moissanite is durability. Moissanite beats ruby, sapphire and emerald in terms of hardness (how easy it is to scratch a mineral), coming second only to diamond. This means that moissanite can only be scratched by diamond, or by itself. It is extremely resistant to inclusions such as chipping, fractures and abrasion, which means that you can have peace of mind that this precious jewel won’t get damaged if you store it with your other jewellery. Moissanite is undoubtedly a jewel that will go the distance, and could even possibly last a lifetime. What’s more, in the rare event that the moissanite incurs inclusions of some kind, these defects will not be visible to anyone unless observed by a microscope, due to moissanite’s impressive clarity.

Another significant advantage of choosing moissanite over the traditional diamond is that moissanite is obtained through cruelty-free means, seeing as it is lab-made. It is more ethical to opt for moissanite over diamond because there is no pollution or harming of animals and humans as a by-product because moissanite (for use in jewellery) is not mined. Mining for diamonds is infamously a dangerous trade for those involved, and it also has a negative impact on our environment.

Moissanites are the perfect jewel to celebrate milestones and achievements – be that a wedding, engagement, graduation, or a new addition to the family. Traditionally a jewel for women, a moissanite ring will be greatly treasured by the special woman in your life, perhaps your wife, your mother, or your grandmother. Moissanite has a universal appeal, and no matter the age and preference of your lady, she will no doubt be charmed by such a mesmerising jewel on her finger. Moissanite dazzles with its flashes of whites and the sparkles it produces in the sun, and can even refract rainbow to give you a truly wondrous light show. Moissanite’s scintillation means it will be sure to twinkle and shine, even if you’re not in the most flattering lighting, or are standing in dark lights. It’s available in a spectrum of hues, ranging from cooler to warmer, depending on what catches your loved one’s eye. Moissanites have a vivid and rich “brilliance”, exhibiting the kind of clean and crisp colours that even a diamond would fail to match.

However, if we are honest, moissanite is probably not the first jewel that pops into our minds when we consider jewellery and rings in particular. In fact, if you had to think of the most precious, and most memorable ring you could ever buy for say, an engagement, there’s no doubt that one jewel would stand out above the rest. Diamond. Diamonds have long been seen as the pinnacle of luxury and indulgence, as the most beautiful and decadent of all the jewels. There have even been various songs about diamonds and diamond jewellery, and the jewel has been put on a pedestal within popular culture.

Our infatuation with diamonds has been fuelled in part by rigorous marketing campaigns over the decades that have targeted women, in particular, conveying the message that diamonds are superior to all other jewels, and the ones to be desired (“diamonds are a girl’s best friends”). In reality, you have many more, equally gorgeous, options other than diamond such as ruby, sapphire, opal, and of course, moissanite. If you really do prefer the charm of a diamond above all other jewels, that’s no problem, but you should consider looking into moissanite as an alternative, as it comes with many of its own perks.

Moissanite is almost identical to diamond, some would say indistinguishable, and yet it retails for anywhere from 10% to 30% the cost of a diamond, so your bank account would no doubt be thankful if you opted for moissanite! Most certainly, your friends and family would never know you were wearing moissanite rather than diamond unless you told them. In fact, even some industry experts have been to known to be unable to identify a moissanite ring from a diamond one! Not bad going, eh?

Moissanites are likely the choice for you if you are considering investing your money in something other than jewellery, or perhaps in a jewel other than diamond, but still, want to own a jewel similar to a diamond. If you are willing to look beyond convention, moissanite can also make the perfect ring for your wedding or engagement. Even though it is much more affordable, you will never have to sacrifice or compromise on the glamour and charm that you would get with a diamond ring. Moissanite is the perfect accompaniment to any joyful occasion, and its mesmerising glow is not one that will be quickly forgotten by anyone who is lucky enough to wear it!

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.mypearls.co.uk/blogs/news/20-perfect-moissanite-rings

Why Moissanite is far Superior to Diamonds

Diamonds are well known as the undisputed king of engagement and wedding rings. Perhaps only slightly less well known is the often dark and exploitive history of the stone which you might already be wearing. Most people are aware that diamonds often originate from war-torn countries, where adults and children are often exploited to produce blood diamonds, which go on to finance all sorts of nefarious industries, not to mention the impact that diamond mines can have on the environment. Coupled with the fact that it’s nearly impossible to identify the true source of a diamond, it’s basically impossible to hand on heart declare that your diamond ring was ethically sourced and not mined by an 8-year-old forced to spend hours toiling in a catastrophically unsafe mine.

Diamond vs Moissanite

DeBeers have managed to not only perform a miracle of marketing, but they have also created a near impenetrable monopoly on diamonds. There is already so much information on the internet as to why diamonds are a ripoff and why even diamonds that have been ethically sourced rarely are. Check out this video which shows how one of the biggest suppliers of ethical diamonds actually has no idea where their stones originate from. Do you really want to support an industry that has artificially inflated prices and has blood on its hands?

So, what’s the answer? No other gem even comes close to a diamonds clarity, brilliance, fire or hardness, right? There are of course many alternatives to mined diamond, including lab created diamonds, but we’re here to talk about a very little know gemstone that hands down kicks diamonds butt in nearly every way. This gem is called a moissanite.

What is Moissanite?

Moissanite is an extremely rare gemstone which was first discovered by Henri Moissan in 1893. Henri was surveying a meteor crater near Arizona when he came across rock samples which he at first thought contained diamond crystals, it wasn’t until 1904 that further analysis proved that the crystals were, in fact, a new type of gemstone (silicon carbide). Thus moissanite was born. Some years later advances in analysis techniques showed that the moissanite in Henri’s crater wasn’t formed during any natural processes on earth, or when the meteorite impacted earth, these mysterious gemstones didn’t even originate from our solar system. These gems are quite literally gifts from the stars, or giant branch stars to be precise.

To this day moissanite is only very rarely found in the wild, making it one of the hardest to find gemstones around. However, lab-produced moissanite has been produced consistently and efficiently for a number of decades now, and it’s an amazing gemstone.
While most diamond alternatives are often poor imitations of the real thing, normally displaying characteristics that are similar to diamonds, but just not quite as good. Take Cubic Zirconia, for example, it’s Refractive Index, Dispersion and Luster are less than Diamond. However, the opposite is true of moissanite, which exceeds diamond in every single one of these criteria, it’s more refractive (brilliance/sparkle), it has better lustre (shine) and it has a higher dispersion (fire). And like a diamond, it’s incredibly durable, with a nearly unparalleled hardness. Check out the chart below which illustrates these points brilliantly.

 Brilliance Refraction Index (RI) Fire Dispersion Hardness Mohs Scale Toughness
MOISSANITE: 2.65-2.69 MOISSANITE: 0.104 MOISSANITE: 9.25 MOISSANITE: EXCELLENT
DIAMOND: 2.42 DIAMOND: 0.044 DIAMOND: 10 DIAMOND: EXCELLENT
RUBY: 1.77 RUBY: 0.018 RUBY: 9 RUBY: EXCELLENT
SAPPHIRE: 1.77 SAPPHIRE: 0.018 SAPPHIRE: 9 SAPPHIRE: EXCELLENT**
EMERALD: 1.58 EMERALD: 0.014 EMERALD: 7.5 EMERALD: GOOD TO POOR

 

Moissanite Cost

One of the biggest appeals of moissanite vs diamond is the fact that it can be manufactured efficiently and reliably in a laboratory. The end result is a flawless and brilliant gemstone which costs roughly 10% of the equivalently sized diamond.
For example, a 1.0ct diamond white gold solitaire ring will cost between £3500 and £8000, depending on the diamond characteristics and setting. A 1.0ct perfectly formed moissanite white gold ring will cost between £400 and £1000. That’s an incredible saving, one which can make the difference between years of debt, a luxury honeymoon or the beginnings of a deposit on a house. Why would anyone want to buy anything else?

20 Reasons Why You Should Think Twice Before Buying a Diamond Ring

1. Diamond Engagement Rings are a Marketing Ploy

The tradition that dictates that you must have a diamond engagement ring in order to propose doesn’t ark back to some olden day tradition. The admittedly brilliant concept was made popular during the 20th century by De Beers, which perhaps unsurprisingly controlled in excess of 90% of the operational African diamond mines.

2. Diamonds Are Not As Rare As You Might Think

One of the ways we’re manipulated into believing diamonds are worth a lot is by the fact that they are incredibly rare. In actual fact, they are one of the most common gemstones available on earth.

3. They Don’t Increase In Value Like Other Assets

Diamonds are sometimes portrayed as a sort of investment, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you ever try and sell a diamond ring yourself, you’ll be lucky get around a third of its original value.

4. They Are Overpriced

There’s a persistent myth that you need to spend at the very least 2 to 3 months salary on a diamond engagement ring, which is an incredibly large amount of money to fork over for a ring. If you do, you might be surprised to hear that the diamond may have been marked up between 200% – 500%. So that £6000 ring you bought might have cost the jeweller £1000.

5. Synthetic Diamonds are Superior in Many Ways

Diamonds that have been created in a lab are just as good as mined diamonds but are also substantially cheaper. A synthetic stone is typically between 20% – 40% cheaper than a mined diamond, and they are physically and chemically identical.

6. Their Quality Is Often Exaggerated

A diamonds value/quality is based on the 4 C’s, cut, clarity, colour and carats, but you shouldn’t necessarily trust what the jeweller tells you. In 2014, a study found that the European Gemological Laboratory was consistently misrepresenting the qualities of the stones that passed through its walls to be graded.

7. An Expensive Diamond Can Spell Catastrophe For Your Marriage

Spending a princely sum on a diamond does not necessarily translate into a lifetime of wedding bliss. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Emory University discovered a correlation between marriage happiness and engagement ring price, generally speaking, couples that opted for a cheaper ring tended to have happier and longer lasting marriages.

8. You Really Can’t Tell Where They Came From

While the stones might be beautiful, the stories behind them are often appalling. Some companies have attempted to implement schemes where they guarantee ethically sourced diamonds to assure buyers that they are purchasing a conflict-free diamond. But the truth is that it’s near enough impossible to accurately trace a diamondback its roots. Several outstanding journalistic articles have come out to expose this deception, but sadly the practice is still popular.

9. The Demand Can Bring Out The Worse In People

A large proportion of the diamonds originating from Africa are unregistered, which means they are ripe targets for smugglers, some of whom are in a desperate situation. In 2012, the South African police force arrested a smuggler who had swallowed close to £1.8 million in diamonds in a failed attempt to smuggle them out of the country.

10. Many Communities Associated With Mining Are Exploited

A study by Manchester University found that De Beers avoided paying taxes in many of the countries where its diamonds are mined. These avoidance schemes directly impact some of the poorest nations on earth, where even a small amount of money can have a significant effect on communities.

11. Many Diamonds Are Mined Using Slave Labor

Diamond mining is hard, dangerous work, and modern day slaves are exploited in many countries to perform this work. Sierra Leone and Angola are both known for using forced labour to mine diamonds.

12. Children Are Exploited

It’s not just adults that are forced into mining. Children are also often basically slave labourers, either forced to work in the mines themselves or in the processing of stones. Liberia, Zimbabwe and some parts of India are all guilty of this practice.

13. Mine Workers Are Under Paid

Any worker that voluntarily enters the mining world won’t necessarily be paid a fair wage. A mine work in Zimbabwe will typically earn around £180 a month.

14. Many Workers Live In Horrendous Conditions

Meager wages aside, a diamond miner will often be without access to any health care or insurance. If they are involved in an accident while working they can expect to receive no compensation. Basic amenities such as clean water and plumbing are not guaranteed.

15. Physical Abuse Is Commonplace

Physical violence, which is a frequent occurrence is some mining camps, is often a direct result of workers being unable or unwilling to pay bribes to soldiers. A Daily Mail article detailed firsthand accounts of miners being beaten and tortured in mines in Angola.

16. STD’s Are An Epidemic Within Mining Communities

Sex trafficking has partially lead to an incredibly high rate of HIV and other forms of sexually transmitted disease within mining camps. In one study of workers in India found that more than 10% of miners had an STD.

17. Diamond Miners Face A Range Of Health Problems

Working in a diamond mine can pose other health problems beyond contracting an STD. One study of diamond miners in South Africa found a significant link between mining and asbestos-like respiratory symptoms.

18. Diamonds Contribute To Wars

As popularized in the 2006 film ‘blood diamonds’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio, mining for illegal stones has a direct correlation to wars all over the world. Amnesty International has estimated that the wars in Angola, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo have claimed the lives of 3.7 million, at the center of which is a thriving trade in ‘blood diamonds’.

19. Corruption In Diamond Mining Countries Is Widespread

The worldwide demand for diamonds continues to drive up prices, and in some instances it’s the corruption at the top of the government which is reaping the rewards. A report delivered in 2012 estimated that $2 billion worth of diamonds has been diverted directly into the pockets of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe and his inner circle.

20. Diamond Mining Wrecks The Environment

The various mining and processing methods used when mining for diamonds can have a long-lasting and devastating effect on the local environment. Diamond mining causes toxic air and water pollution and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

8 Reasons Why Moissanite is Superior to Diamond

1. Engagement / Wedding Rings Are Not An Investment

Weddings rings can be priceless in terms of sentimental value, but they are not an investment. A wedding or engagement ring needs to do two things, look pretty and symbolize the commitment two people have made to each other.

The wise thing to do is buy the best quality ring that meets those two requirements at the best possible price. The quality, durability and price point of moissanite makes it an incredibly attractive option.

2. Every Moissanite Gem Is Near Perfect

As the processes that go into making a moissanite can be tightly controlled and monitored in a laboratory setting, it’s far easier to carry out quality control. So, rather than selling everything that has been mined, even if they are far from perfect, any flaws in moissanite can be readily identified and discarded. For the purchaser, it means you’ll end up with a far superior stone for much less money.

3. Spending Less On Stone Allows For More To Be Spent On The Perfect Setting

After noticing the stone, the setting is the next thing that draws peoples eyes. If you’ve spent less money on purchasing an amazing stone you suddenly have far more options available to you for purchasing a perfect setting. Side stone, engraving and personalized accents can now all be considered to truly make an amazing ring.

4. You Won’t Begin Your Married Life With Unhealthy Debt

One of the biggest contributors to an unhappy marriage is financial worries and arguments, which can occasionally even lead to divorce. It makes an incredible amount of sense to start your married life together with as little debt as possible. Having the financial freedom to create an emergency fund, to save for a luxury purchase or to save for a rainy day is incredibly liberating. This is much easier to accomplish if you don’t have to pay hundreds of pounds every month to the financial institution that lent you the money to buy a diamond ring.

5. As Moissanite Is So Affordable, You Can Probably Pay By Cash

If you plan your purchase ahead of time, you’ll likely be able to pay for your ring with the balance in your account or by cash, which will save you any credit charges, 19% APR is never fun.

6. Other People Will Probably Think It’s A Diamond

I’m not one to advocate passing one thing off as another, but the reality is that most people assume that an engagement ring is a diamond ring, so anyone that sees your fiancés stunning moissanite ring will assume it’s a diamond. In all likelihood, it’s probably not worth your time explaining that it’s not, unless of course they specifically ask what kind of gemstone it is, which is never likely to happen. I wouldn’t suggest passing it off as a diamond to your future wife, honesty is an important trait.

7. You Can Be Guaranteed That Your Purchase Isn’t Inadvertently Financing An African Warlord

Sleep with a clear conscience – no innocent children, men or women were killed in order to create your engagement ring.

8. You Get Far More For Your Money

With a fixed budget, you so much more creative freedom to get the perfect ring with moissanite than you’d ever have with a diamond of the same price. Would you like to get a 2-carat solitaire the size of a grape? Go for it! A custom designed setting is also very affordable. Design the perfect ring the match your fiancés style and tastes! Your bride to be will likely love the fact that you put so much effort into creating the perfect ring.

Take a look at moissanite yourself

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re massive fans of moissanite and not just because we sell some on our site, we truly believe that moissanite needs to claim its spot as the number one choice for engagement and wedding rings. Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at some of the stunning options we’ve included in this page, some are sold by us and in the interest of being impartial, some are sold by our competitors. I can almost guarantee you’ll love moissanite as much as we do.

Good luck in your search for the perfect engagement/wedding ring and we hope you have a very happy life together.

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.mypearls.co.uk/blogs/news/why-moissanite-is-far-superior-to-diamonds

The Best Hair Straighteners – 2018

Are you looking to get those curls under control? Read on for our recommendations for the best hair straighteners in 2018 from £25 to £165.
GHD arguably changed the way that women do their hair when they launched the first commercially available hair straighteners in 2001. Now nearly 17 years later, it is estimated that more than a quarter of women in the western world own a set of hair straighteners. With more brands and options available than ever before, and even men beginning to take advantage of this wonderful technology, we have never been more spoilt for choice when it comes to hair straighteners.

Best Hair Straighteners

 Hair Straighteners Plate Size Price
GHD IV STYLER – Editors Choice 2.7cm Check Price
BABYLISS 3Q 2.8cm

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CLOUD NINE ORIGINAL IRON 4cm

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TONI & GUY STYLE FIX 2cm

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CORIOLISS C3 2.2cm

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T3 X SINGLEPASS 3.8cm

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HERSHESONS TITANIUM IONIC PROFESSIONAL 2.3cm

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WAHL PENCIL 1.5cm

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A quick search on Amazon and you’ll come across a huge quantity of customer reviews for hair straighteners and it quickly becomes apparent that not everyone is happy with their purchase. Like most other electrical goods, hair straighteners have a shelf life, so even if you liked your last ones, new advances in technology invariably mean that your old ones are no longer available or are no longer the best available.

So without too much further ado, here’s our guide to the best hair straighteners available today for frizz-free, sleek and glossy locks. Whether you want perfectly straight hair, sensual waves or classy curls, these are our favourites. If you also want help finding out what all the different features mean before deciding to buy, then read on.

How to buy the best hair straighteners to suit your hair

Hair straighteners are relatively simple devices, they tend not to come with a range of buttons or a collection of interchangeable attachments, their goal is a simple one, which is to create smooth and straight hair. As they all do the same thing, it would make sense if there wasn’t much between different between models and that they would all cost roughly the same. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Does Size Matter?

Everyone knows that wider plates are the best to use as they’ll work their way through your hair in no time at all, right? Wrong! If you happen to have curly, thick or long hair, then large plates are definitely the way to go. The major drawback is that you’ll not be able to do much in the way of curling or styling with thick plates. Plates that are under one inch are much better suited are much better suited to this and are likely to be better for most other types of hair. If you have short hair, you’ll definitely benefit from thinner plates which are less than one inch, this will allow for greater control and afford you the precision you’ll need.

Are hotter hair straighteners better?

I have in the past bought hair straighteners with the highest claimed temperature setting, crank them up to the maximum setting and assume that my hair would straighten faster and stay straighter for longer. However, this can do more harm than good. High heat can break and irrevocably damage fine hair, even if your hair is thick and curly, you’ll only need plates that are slightly hotter. It’s worth noting that keratin, which makes up your hair, starts to melt at around 233 degrees.

One of the more recent advances in hair straightener technology is the introduction of plates that can automatically detect your hair type and adjust the temperature to match. If you have a straightener that requires manual adjusting, you can follow the basic recommendation that fine or treated hair should be set to around 160ºC, else you risk damaging your hair. Medium textured healthy hair can use straighteners set to around 185ºC. And for anyone with thick, tightly curled or coarse hair, you can probably set the temperature to around 210ºC, but only if you straighten our hair infrequently. If you’re straightening your hair on a regular basis then it’s best to keep the temperature at around 185ºC.

What are the must-have features?

It perhaps goes without saying but a long cable is an absolute must-have, you really don’t want to be tethered to the wall socket, especially if it’s in an inconvenient location. Anything less than 2m can be considered unworkable, ideally, you’ll want a cable of around 4m. As an added bonus, if you can get a rotatable cord which can swivel 360 degrees, then this can make your job much easier, allowing you to reach all parts of your head with relative ease.

If you’re someone that travels a lot, then cordless straighteners would be an obvious choice, the downside is they will not heat up as quickly as a mains powered straightener. Safety should also be a consideration when looking for the perfect model, some irons will switch off automatically if they’ve been left idle for a period of time – this can prove a great deal of peace of mind, especially if like me you begin to wonder if you switched everything off when you left the house this morning. A straightener that heats up quickly can shave a decent amount of time off your morning routine, which is especially important if you’re someone that’s frequently in a rush. Lastly, if you plan to do any styling with the straightener, creating curls, flicks or waves, then an iron with curved edges is a must have.

The best hair straighteners to buy – 2018

GHD IV Styler Review – The best hair straightener under £150 – Editors Choice

Image result for ghd IV Styler

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Despite an ever-increasing amount of hair straighteners available in the world, you can invariably rely on the legendary GHD to provide products which are well made and capable of lasting a lifetime of use, and they will also straighten and take care of your hair too. Advertised as a straightener which will only ever need one stroke, the plates have been designed to provide the ideal heat for your hair type, and additionally maintain that temperature consistently, ensuring there are no unforeseen temperature surges or drops. This means there is less chance of damaging your hair as you’ll only need to run the hair straightener through your hair once. The obvious upshot of this is that they are very quick, you can be finished straightening your hair in around half the normal time, and additionally, you’ll have less chance of breakages and shinier locks as well.

In terms of aesthetics, the GHD IV Styler is a good looking piece of kit, it’s available in both a traditional understated black. The colours work well and the shape of the straightener is uncomplicated and sophisticated looking. All round is an excellent piece of kit.

• Key specs – 2.7cm-wide ceramic plates
• Maximum temperature: 185°C
• Universal voltage
• 2.7m swivel cord
• Automatic 30-minute shut-off
• Two-year warranty

BaByliss 3Q Hair Straightener Review

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BaByliss is no stranger to making hair tools and accessories, their innovation in the industry dates back to the 60’s. Many of its inventions, which includes the Perfect Curl and Big Hair, have made a huge impact in the industry and have likely changed more than a few lives. These are just a few of BaByliss’s latest straighteners and we absolutely love them, from the way they heat up quickly, through to how well they can transform even the most unruly hair into something glorious, they are fantastic. That’s without even taking the ‘Protect’ feature into consideration, which quickly and accurately adjusts the straightener’s temperature to avoid damage to your hair. The BaByliss 3Q Hair Straightener is no exception, it features several features which are normally only found on professional or very high-end models, for example, the sensors which work out the perfect temperature for your hair type, to the slick plates which consistently maintain an accurate temperature. But, they aren’t without their minor niggles; the straighteners can be quite noisy, producing a sometimes unpleasant buzzing sound. You’ll also need to be careful when manually selecting a temperature to not overheat your hair on the highest temperature setting. Overall they are a very capable set of hair straighteners and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.

• Key specs – Quartz-ceramic 2.8cm plates
• 12 digital heat settings
• Maximum temperature: 235°C
• 3m swivel cable
• Automatic 72-minute shut-off
• Five-year warranty

Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straightener Review: The best GHD alternative

Image result for Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straightener

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What happens when the original founder of GHD leaves in order to make something even better? If you have correctly guessed that the result is the Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straightener, pat yourself on the back, because you are of course, correct. It’s perhaps no wonder that these beauties slide through hair with very little effort, leaving behind flawlessly shiny, silky and most importantly, straight locks of hair. The straightener has a choice of six heat settings to choose from, but in our testing, we found that the lower temperatures would normally do the job perfectly well. This can mean less stress placed on your hair and decreased the chance of damage. In terms of ergonomics, they felt great in my moderately sized hands and are lightweight as well, I personally found them very easy to use for curling and flicking. It’s worth noting that there have been reports of the straighteners breaking after a year or two, especially with very heavy users. We’re told measures have been taken to avoid this happening in the future, but only time will tell as to how successful this has been.

• Key specs – 4cm-wide mineral-infused ceramic plates
• Five temperature control options
• Maximum temperature: 200°C
• Universal voltage; 2.6m cord
• Automatic 30-minute shut-off
• One-year warranty

Toni & Guy Style Fix Straightener Review: The best cheap hair straighteners

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One of the most striking features of these straighteners is the vivid and cool blue plates, which is a unique selling point and helps them stand out from the normal blacks and whites. Additionally, they’re also perfectly proportioned for the frequent traveller, easily fitting into a handbag and they weigh next to nothing. If alarm bells are now ringing in your head due to the smaller size and diminutive price, then you can rest assured that the straighteners actually work surprisingly well. They are ideal for someone with short to medium length hair. The plates heat up very quickly and are more than capable of giving your hair a nice gloss, but the downside is you’ll need to work on smaller sections of your hair at a time due to the smaller plates. They are less than ideal if you have thick or very long hair, if you do, you’re better off picking a model with thicker plates. There are several other hair tools in the Toni and Guy range if you’re looking to complete the whole range.

• Key specs – 2cm-wide tourmaline plates
• Maximum temperature: 210°C
• Universal voltage
• 1.8m swivel cord
• Power on/off indicator
• Five-year warranty

Corioliss C3 Gold Leopard Hair Straightener Review: The best £75 straighteners

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The gold leopard c3 hair straighteners are a sight to behold. They are bold, bright and not shy about their looks, whether you think they look gorgeous or garish is a matter of opinion, but regardless of how they look, they definitely do the job. These straighteners will effortlessly glide through most hair types to create ruler straight classy results. You’ll need to spend a bit of time experimenting with the different heat settings in order to identify the optimal temperature for your hair type. Generally speaking, a lower temperature is better for finer hair, while a hotter temperature is better suited for thicker hair. Once you’ve found the golden temperature setting for your hair, the extra-long titanium plates will make short work of your hair, leaving you with soft, smooth, frizz-free perfect locks. Thankfully the straighteners don’t pull on your hair when using them and the swivel cord affords a ton of manoeuvrability, which makes the job of straightening so much easier. The C3 uses infrared technology to heat hair, which should, in theory, result in more uniform heat coverage and increased efficiency, this was difficult to test and we cannot honestly say if this method is more effective compared to traditional heating methods.

• Key specs – 11.5cm extra-long floating titanium plates
• Maximum temperature: 235°C
• Universal voltage; 3m swivel cord
• Automatic two-hour shut-off
• One-year warranty

T3 X SinglePass Straightener Review: The best hair straighteners – if you can afford them

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Reassuringly expensive. These glossy white multi award-winning straighteners are universally praised by A-list celebrities and top hair stylists from every corner of the world. The extra wide plates which heat up in a meagre six seconds are capable of straightening, curling and flicking even the coarsest, thick and longest hair in just one pass. Clever engineering has integrated a digital microchip into the design which keenly monitors the performance of the straighteners; making adjustments to the temperature in fractions of a second in order uniformly straighten your hair with the minimal of fuss. As the plates are made from tourmaline and ceramic, they are exceptional when they need to tame frizz and wiry locks; hair will end up looking healthy and full of life. So, if you’re looking to spoil yourself or be spoiled, we can without a moment’s hesitation recommend these hair straighteners to anyone that doesn’t object to spending a little bit more.

• Key specs – 3.8cm-wide ceramic and tourmaline plates
• Maximum temperature: 220°C
• Worldwide voltage
• 2.7m swivel cord
• Automatic one-hour shut-off
• Two-year warranty

Hershesons Titanium Ionic Professional Straighteners: The best straighteners for £100

If you’re looking to create perfectly straight hair with no sign of kinks, then these are probably the perfect hair straighteners for you. The blurb for the straighteners tell us that the straighteners impressive ability is down to the innovative titanium production, the results really do speak for themselves, with shiny, glossy hair which is soft and an almost liquid appearance that easily lasts a full day. No bulky arms required, the straighteners are very lightweight and will never snag, which is largely due to the very flexible rotating cord. The plates heat up in a matter of seconds, which is perfect if you find yourself in a hurry in the mornings, and the temperature panel is conveniently located so it’s dead easy to see. We didn’t find many drawbacks with the plates, but we have seen reports of inaccurate temperatures, which is something we didn’t personally experience.

• Key specs– 2.3cm-wide ionic ceramic plates
• Maximum temperature: 230°C
• 2.5cm rotating cord
• Automatic one-hour shut-off
• 180-day warranty

Wahl Pencil Hair Straightener Review: The best budget hair straighteners for short hair

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If you have short hair, then this might be the perfect product for you. The Wahl Pencil straightener has been designed with short haired women in mind and has ultra-thin plates to make the job much easier. So, whether you’re looking to tame a frizzy bob or create a sleek fringe, these are ideal for long lasting straightness. As a testament to their effectiveness at quickly styling short straight hair, they are increasingly popular with men as well. These are a no-frills hair straightener, with limited features and no way to change the heat settings, but they are effective and heat up quickly, the plates are very smooth and the cable length is generous. We used these for every hair type we could find, from thin hair through to thick curls, and they worked on everything, creating sleek straight hair which any professional hair stylist would be proud of. At this price point, these straighteners are an absolute bargain and come highly recommended.

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.mypearls.co.uk/blogs/news/the-best-hair-straighteners-2018

10 Stunning Celtic Rings

Celtic History

To truly understand the rich history of Celtic jewellery, you must understand the history of the Celtic people. Celts rule lands throughout Europe for hundreds of years. Today’s main population is centred in parts of Ireland and the beautiful highlands of Scotland. The Celts were proud warriors, merchants and rulers. Nomadic in nature, which allowed them to learn much from other cultures, including the Druids. Celtic lore was passed down through legends and word of mouth across the clans and timeless stories of battle, romance and mischief are the chief underpinnings of Celtic jewellery symbols such as the Claddagh and the Trinity Knot.

Celtic Jewellery

Celtic jewellery dates back to around 2000 B.C. Celtic rings, shields and other stunning metalwork have been discovered all over Europe and are celebrated examples of this rich culture. Tribute to nature of one of the most common themes in Celtic culture and Celtic clans would emblazon symbols onto their swords, clothing and even on their bodies that would reflect a kinship with the land, people and God. These symbols were also incorporated into various types of jewellery as adopted by very talented craftsmen across Europe.

The art of Celtic jewellery craftsmanship is a time-honoured one that has been passed down from generation to generation. This mystical craft incorporates intricate knots and geometric symbols with the precious metals of gold, silver and bronze. Some of the earliest pieces of artwork can be found today at the National Museum of Ireland. Irish monks have honed the tradition further by creating the revered Celtic Cross that is prominently featured in so many ancient illuminated manuscripts such as the Books of Kells and Durrow.

The unique style of the Celtic jewellery attracted many traders and who began to sell the jewellery to foreign buyers. Celtic jewellery continues to hold a special meaning for many people all over the world. There is a unique piece of jewellery for everyone!

The Different Types of Celtic Symbols – Rings

Various popular Celtic designs are incorporated into beautiful rings made out of gold, bronze or silver. Some the designs consist of the following Celtic symbols; Trinity Knot, Celtic Spiral Knot, Celtic Love Knot, Sailor’s Knot, Dara Knot, Shield Knot or the Celtic Cross. Each of these Celtic symbols has a unique meaning:

• Trinity Knot: The Celtic Trinity Knot, which is also known as the Triquetra and is one of the best-known symbols in Celtic history. It has been used by the Celtic Christian Church in earlier times, but other cultures used the symbol too and each attached its own meaning. One of the great things about the Trinity Knot is its versatility; it has been used as a symbol in a variety of religions and even today, it has new significance. According to the Celts, the most important things in the World came in threes: three domains, three elements, three stages of life etc. It is also thought that the Trinity knot signified the lunar and solar phases. In today’s times, you can find the Trinity Knot on jewellery, clothing and even CD covers!

• Celtic Spiral Knot: Derived from the Greek word “Triskeles” meaning three legs, the spiral knot is a complex ancient Celtic symbol, which was used consistently in Celtic art for 3 millennia. The triple spiral is often interpreted as standing for the three realms – land, sea and sky.

• Celtic Love Knot: The Celtic Love knots are complete loops that have no start or finish. It’s believed that they represent eternal loyalty, faith, friendship and love. Interestingly only one thread is used in one design which symbolises how life and eternity are interconnected.

• Sailor’s Knot: The Celtic Sailor’s knot is made from tow inter-twined ropes and dates back to ancient times when the Celtic sailors who spent long months at sea would remember their loved ones. The knot consists of two entwined knots and so, symbolizes harmony, friendship, affection and deep love.

• Dara Knot: The word ‘Dara’ can be traced back to the Irish word, Doir which means ‘oak tree’. The Dara Knot is associated with the root system of grand oak trees. The oak tree symbolizes destiny, power, strength, wisdom, leadership and endurance.

• Shield Knot: The Celtic Shield knot is an ancient and while known symbol across the world. The Shield knot has been used for thousands of years by a variety of cultures for protection and warding. Although the common design is most often associated with the Celts and ancient Norse, the most basic form goes back much older. There are two different versions; the Fourfold and the Four-corner emblem. The Fourfold version is older and is associated with protective spells invoking the Gods of the four corners of the earth. The Four-corners emblem is the newer version and used in the Kabbalah as a symbol of prayers to invoke the four Archangels and in still used in magic today. This knot is sometimes referred to as the ‘Earth Square’. The Celtic version of the knot is used for the same purposes of protection but are related to the fourfold solar cross in origin.

• The Celtic Cross: The Celtic cross is probably one of the most popular ring symbols and is a form of Christian cross featuring a nimbus or ring that emerged in Ireland and Britain in the early middle ages and it has become a staple of Insular art. Essentially the symbol is a Latin cross with a nimbus surrounding the intersection of the arms and stem.

Buying Your Statement Celtic Ring

Celtic rings and various other jewellery pieces are highly popular and desired, despite being age-old designs. The patterns found on rings are magnetic and highly alluring and the majestic beauty that the Celtic era signifies flows through these rings and it comes as no support that many jewellery stores are proud stockists of Celtic jewellery. 

When buying your ring look for a jeweller that uses excellent quality silver, gold and platinum and remember that your ring can even be adorned with corals, semi-precious stones or even precious stones like emerald and rubies when creating your unique piece. Keeping the advice listed below will go a long way in ensuring that one is able to pick the right kind of Celtic jewellery.

Celtic rings can be for everyday wear! Not all of us go to jewellery stores looking to buy grand and expensive pieces. Most of us are hoping to buy jewellery that we can wear casually too. Celtic designs can easily be incorporated into your daily wear, despite their grand designs. Try and pick Celtic patterns that look complete even though they have been incorporated into smaller pieces.

If you are looking for a special occasion, then larger Celtic rings are sure to be awe-inspiring. Pick out a slightly larger piece than a smaller one. These can be in either gold or silver, according to your budget and preference.

You can even get Celtic wedding rings! Celtic bridal jewellery is very popular since it lends a majestic aura to the bride. You can pick designs that have semi-precious and chunky stones in them in order to add some colour to the jewellery piece. Working with moonstones and even corals will work quite well since these stones blend rather nicely with the Celtic patterns. Keep in mind that these designs usually look better in an antique finish as opposed to a glossy one.

The bottom line is that when choosing a Celtic ring there are no restrictions. Be it traditional wear or everyday casual attires, these rings mix and match with everything. The very fact that Celtic jewellery has been around for all these centuries goes to prove that these patterns are going to live as long as your ring does!
Caring guide for your Celtic ring

Over time, jewellery rings can become a very precious family heirloom. However, taking care of your ring to keep it in prime condition require effort. The gemstones of your ring can lose their clarity from things such as daily wearing, pollution, and fine dust. The surfaces of gold, silver, and platinum rings can become dulled. This is why it’s essential that your Celtic jewellery ring receives the proper care and attention it deserves.

We recommend that your ring is professionally cleaned at least once a year in order to maintain its clarity and beauty. For the ‘in between’ care we suggest the following:
Platinum, Gold & Silver Celtic rings: A non-abrasive cleaner will help to maintain your gold and platinum jewellery between annual professional cleanings. Salt air and products containing sulphur, even some papers and rubber bands, can cause rapid tarnishing in sterling silver jewellery. Silver will stay at its best through regular use of a non-abrasive silver polish.How you store your ring is also a very important part of taking care of it. We recommend that it always be placed in a lined box or pouch, such as the original case, when not being worn.

Cleaning your ring: Your ring is prone to getting dusty, soiled and smudged, the natural oils from your skin, lotions, powders and soaps can all create a thin film on the surface of the metal and in between the groves of the Celtic design. There are several ways to clean your ring:
• Detergent Wash: You already have what you need to clean your ring: an old toothbrush and some dishwashing detergent. Dish detergent is designed to cut through grease and grime and to rinse off easily, which are exactly the properties needed to clean jewellery. This can be used safely for cleaning both gold and silver jewellery, etc. It will not harm gems or metals.
• Cold Bath Water: Using 4 parts of cold water and 1 part of a very mild dishwashing detergent, make a solution to soak your ring in for several minutes.
• Dip Method: Find the brand name liquid jewellery cleaner that’s best for the kind of ring you have according to the stone and metal type. Follow the instructions on the label of the cleaner carefully.

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.mypearls.co.uk/blogs/news/10-stunning-celtic-rings

Fashion as Rejection, Fashion as Submission: A History of Opposing Trends

Every generation struggles to reject the culture of the previous generation and create its own unique style of music, art, literature, politics and even food. Although some aspects of culture change permanently, there is also a sense that everything comes full circle. The swing music of the 40’s became popular again in the late 90’s. Nostalgia for the past prompted auto manufacturers to build cars reminiscent of styles from the 40’s and 50’s. There has even been a resurgence of fondue parties, a throwback to the 70’s. Reflections on these defiant changes and inevitable returns to the past can be found nowhere more prominently than in fashion. Like a rebellious teenager, fashion continually defies old styles, yet ultimately revisits its roots.

This is evident in the flow of fashion styles over the last half-century. Inhibition leads to rebellion, which leads to a longing for the good old days. The starched repression of the 50’s giving way to the flowing looseness of the 60’s, the flashiness of the 70’s paved the way for the elitist preppy look of the early 80’s, angry punk succumbed to grungy slacker in the 90’s. Today in the early 21st century, when we should be wearing shiny space-age fabrics cut in utilitarian styles, our fashions seem to encompass the gamut. Anything that is old is worthy of respect.

Fashion is a statement of rebellion against many aspects of our culture. We are constantly crossing ethnic, gender and economic boundaries, but after a while, we rebound back to our true heritage. In searching for their cultural and personal identities, teenagers often find it necessary to cross that ethnic fashion bridge. We romanticize what is not right in front of us, whether it is the past or the future, another group of people, or another environment. Malcolm X wrote about his experience “conking” his hair to make it straighter and more like the white man’s ideal. He later realized that these efforts were more than a fashion statement-they were a rejection of his ethnic identity. As the civil rights movement progressed, more and more blacks began to reclaim that identity, celebrating traditional African customs, food and dress.

Fashion tells us that it is all right to cross boundaries, as long as you are doing it at the right time when the right people are crossing them as well. Years ago, a man who wore an earring in his left ear would have been sneered at. Today, it is socially acceptable. The same is true with tattoos-whereas they were once reserved for men only (and tough, weapon-toting men at that)-women from all types of backgrounds now freely get tattoos.
Fashion is often used as a form of expression: of values, beliefs, protest. Women suffragists in the mid-nineteenth century shocked society by wearing bloomers instead of dresses. These garments served two purposes: they were practical and comfortable, as well as a symbol of the women’s rights movement.

A similar trend occurred over a century later in the 1980’s, as more and more women were attempting to break into the male-dominated corporate world. In order to be taken seriously, women’s attire became more masculine. Feminine colours and lines were traded for mannish suits, shoulder pads and even ties.

In current times, as women have established themselves in the business world, their fashion styles have softened. Women are encouraged to use their femininity to their advantage. It is encouraged, even trendy. Corporate professional females are depicted on television shows as constantly wearing short skirts and revealing blouses. Pop singers in tight jeans and revealing tops climb the music charts. Girls wear t-shirts emblazoned with self-descriptive words like “princess” and “cutie” (and even more suggestive phrases). We boomerang from one fad to the next, and back again once the mission has been accomplished. We remain complacent until the next uprising.

So who decides what the next trend will be? Designers may create the clothing, but the people who take those trends and turn them into fashion crazes are our cultural leaders-film stars, pop singers and athletes. Millions of Americans tune into celebrity awards shows, where the primary focus seems not to be on the quality of the art produced, but on what everyone is wearing. Red-carpet pre-shows consist of interviewers inquiring about designers and styles. Entertainment magazine articles either admire or attack the best and worst dressed celebrities.

There is also an underground fashion world, made up of those who resist whatever is considered by the mainstream to be trendy, not modelled on the runway, but just as popular. In a world of six billion people, it is difficult to be unique, to stand out from the rest of the crowd. The leaders of the underground strive to be different, whereas their followers just want to fit in. It seems that as soon as something becomes fashionable, it goes out of style and even becomes the subject of ridicule. And so the underground style works its way into the mainstream, resulting in the need for a new movement.

Fashion runs in circles. It is a continual give and takes the trendy defiance of a select few and inevitable surrender to the masses. If everyone is wearing conservative clothes, a select few will be outrageous and provocative. We go from baggy to skintight, from neon to monochrome, from ear piercings to ear, nose and mouth piercings. Just as a virus mutates to stay alive, fashion styles must change in order to stay cool and hip. And although it seems sometimes that fashion is dead, that there is nothing left to regurgitate, something either new or twisted will always come along.

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.mypearls.co.uk/blogs/news/fashion-as-rejection-fashion-as-submission-a-history-of-opposing-trends

The Promise Ring

Promise rings may seem like a modern piece of jewellery or tradition, but they have actually been around since the 16th century when they would be exchanged by couples too young or too poor to wed. Rings have always been used to symbolise commitment, but there are also biblical references to the religious rings of the devout. It became popular in the in the 15th and 16th century for couples to exchange rings to communicate and solidify their love.

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There have been several different types of engagement rings over the centuries:

• Scribbling rings – in the 16th century, lover exchanged scribbling rings which were inlaid with uncut diamonds or crystals. The wearer would use the sharp points of the diamonds to etch their beloved’s names or vows into window glass.
• Poesy rings – during Shakespeare’s time poesy rings became very popular among young couples. The bands would be engraved with romantic sayings and banded the lover’s words to the beloved’s body.
• Pre-engagement rings – these rings reflected the optimism and romance of the 19th-century era. They were more ornamental than their predecessors and reflected both the growing availability of semi-precious stones and the new influx of wealth into the middle classes.
• Regards rings – these rings were often used as engagement rings, but non-engaged couples and even best friends exchanged them as well. These rings featured a serious of semi-precious stones which spelt out the “R” for regards, the beloved’s name or the word “dearest”. They would be adorned with emeralds, garnets, amethyst, ruby, diamonds or sapphire stones.
• Modern promise rings – during the 20th and 21st centuries promise rings became very popular again. This was the era where courtship or dating became longer than ever and couples became frustrated with the lack of progression or commitment. Exchanging promise rings became a way that couples could transition into their relationship without the greater pressures of engagement.

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Some believe that exchanging promise rings is a way of expressing their intention to eventually marry, but the tradition is open to interpretation. A promise ring might signify a decision to remain abstinent before marriage or engagement. These rings are also referred to as “purity” rings. Some couples exchange promise rings when they decide to live together before getting married, to mark the milestone of co-habiting as a couple. A promise ring can also signify a promise that one has made – pure and simple!

How to wear your Promise Rings

There is a variation in how promise rings are worn. Some people wear their rings on their left-hand ring fingers, like an engagement ring. It is also popular to wear a promise ring on the right ring finger of the right hand to avoid confusion that one has got engaged or wed.

Promise rings can be worn by men and women and a rising tradition is coupled purchasing a “pair” of promise rings that match, similar to wedding bands. The most popular styles for modern rings include sterling silver, three small diamonds and a heart-shaped stone design.

Buying Your Statement Promise Ring

If you are thinking of buying an engagement ring, then try and be unique! Unlike engagement rings where diamonds are generally used, a promise ring can be anything that you can imagine. If you are planning to invest in a diamond engagement ring then you may prefer to get a different promise ring with a different kind of stone, setting or style.
A very popular tradition is using birthstones in promise rings, in the Victorian era, men often gave this to their intended brides. In fact, Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a promise ring with an emerald snake on it! Promising your commitment to a birthstone ring makes a personal statement that your beloved will cherish no matter how many years pass (or how many more rings you give them!).

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You can use different types of precious and semi-precious gemstones to pick unique designs. Gemstones are excellent as they not only provide options for all price ranges but the can also be personalised to a large extent. If you decided not to use your beloved’s birthstone then a ruby ring could represent romance, passion and indulgence while a sapphire or tanzanite ring could be used to signify purity and soulmates.

It is also important to consider budget when choosing a promise ring as this will set the benchmark for future engagement and wedding rings. Once you have decided on a total budget for a promise ring, engagement ring and wedding ring then it is advised to allow 1/6 of that towards the promise ring.

If your budget is limited then don’t worry as you can still choose an economic but statement ring thanks to the selection of beautiful semi-precious stones available today. Aquamarine, citrine peridot and amethyst rings are not only affordable but they are also unique and beautiful. You can also replace gold with sterling silver to make your budget go further. If you wish to go bold and simple then go for eternity bands which are available in a range of metals to suit your budget.

Caring guide for your Promise ring

Over time, jewellery rings can become a very precious family heirloom. However, taking care of your ring to keep it in prime condition require effort. The gemstones of your ring can lose their clarity from things such as daily wearing, pollution, and fine dust. The surfaces of gold, silver, and platinum rings can become dulled. This is why it’s essential that your promise ring receives the proper care and attention it deserves.

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We recommend that your ring is professionally cleaned at least once a year in order to maintain its clarity and beauty. For the ‘in between’ care we suggest the following:
Platinum, Gold & Silver Promise rings: A non-abrasive cleaner will help to maintain your gold and platinum jewellery between annual professional cleanings. Salt air and products containing sulphur, even some papers and rubber bands, can cause rapid tarnishing in sterling silver jewellery. Silver will stay at its best through regular use of a non-abrasive silver polish.How you store your ring is also a very important part of taking care of it. We recommend that it always be placed in a lined box or pouch, such as the original case, when not being worn.

Cleaning your ring: Your ring is prone to getting dusty, soiled and smudged, the natural oils from your skin, lotions, powders and soaps can all create a thin film on the surface of the metal. There are several ways to clean your ring:

• Detergent Wash: You already have what you need to clean your ring: an old toothbrush and some dishwashing detergent. Dish detergent is designed to cut through grease and grime and to rinse off easily, which are exactly the properties needed to clean jewellery. This can be used safely for cleaning both gold and silver jewellery, etc. It will not harm gems or metals.
• Cold Bath Water: Using 4 parts of cold water and 1 part of a very mild dishwashing detergent make a solution to soak your ring in for several minutes.
• Dip Method: Find the brand name liquid jewellery cleaner that’s best for the kind of ring you have according to the stone and metal type. Follow the instructions on the label of the cleaner carefully.

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.mypearls.co.uk/blogs/news/the-promise-ring

Babyliss Curl Secret Review

If like me you have straight and sometimes lifeless looking hair, you might be forgiven for dreaming of a having a head full of perfectly formed, glossy and sexy curls, or at the very least having loose beach waves that will stay in place for the whole day. I never really thought it would be possible, but I now have a secret weapon at my disposal, the Babyliss Curl Secret. I’m very excited to share my review with you and hope you’ll find it useful.

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To give you a little bit of background on my situation, my history with hair styling is a bit and misses, but mostly miss. I have been lucky enough to have worked with many hairstylists and been privy to professional advice, tips and tricks, as well as being in a position to try out many new gadgets which should have made me a hairstyling whiz. However, my ability to style my own hair is woefully lacking. I know exactly what I should be doing, but I can’t seem to put the theory into practice.

I’ve tried nearly every available hair curler on the market, from wands, tongs, heated rollers, ceramic curlers and GHD. Unfortunately, the result has nearly always been a disappointing failure; I just couldn’t get it right.

Often one side of my hair looked great and the other side looked like a complete dogs dinner, the hair strands where ridged or the ends just never looked right, the curls never made it past lunchtime and nearly every attempt resulted in a minor burn to my hands, scalp or ears, all from using the device badly.

My saving grace is that thankfully I have yet to completely burn off a strand of hair during one of my doomed attempts at curling. Sadly this was my first thought when I heard about the Babyliss automatic curler, but as it turns out, my concerns were completely unfounded, as you’ll discover in this review.

Fear and unfounded prejudice aside, I can hold my hand up and say that the Babyliss Curl Secret is, without a doubt, the most capable curling device I have ever used. In the rest of this article I’ll tell you about my experiences using this product, how to use it successfully, some tips and tricks I’ve picked up and anything else I think is worth mentioning.

The Curl Secret Review

The Babyliss Curl Secret is the consumer version and name given to the professional tool from the same brand, the Perfect Curl. The clever technology automatically draws in strands of hair into its ceramic chamber and heats it to the perfect temperature and from every angle in order to create a flawless curl. Once the process has completed simply release the hair and you’ll end up with a beautiful curl.

Even though the hair seems to be sucked up into the device, the technology actually uses a specially designed catcher that winds the hair into the heated chamber, it’s in this chamber that the hair is suspended and then heated from all sides.

This treatment technique is actually pretty interesting and is well worth knowing about, it’s this method that allows the product to work so effectively. Rather than holding the hair against a barrel or against a heated plate under tension, the hair is free and unconstrained. This is far gentler on the hair, which is reflected in the curls and in how shiny your hair will look after treatment.

In only a few seconds, you’ll have a stunning looking ringlet. So, depending on your hair type, length, thickness and all that stuff, in around 20 minute your hairstyle will be completed. One of the best features of this gadget is that it’s an absolute breeze to use and the curls last far longer than they do when using hot rollers, curling wands or a straightening iron.

Babyliss Curl Secret Review

Even if you have no training or instructions you can literally just pick up the machine and get to work curling your hair, I’m a testament to how idiot-proof it really is. With two heat settings to pick from and three timer settings, you can quickly and easily create a range of types of curls, from defined ringlets to natural waves or even free-flowing loos beach waves.

Additionally, the Babyliss Curl Secret will automatically alternate the curling direction to give your hair a more natural look, it will also minimize frizz thanks to what they call the Ionic conditioning system which also prolongs how long the curls will stay in place, often changing into beautiful waves after a night’s sleep.

I especially love how easy it is to do the back of my hair without any additional hassle and that it’s all done very quickly.

How to use Babyliss Curl Secret

You might be one of those women that can use a straightening iron to easily achieve beautiful waves, but I have never been one to have much success with this method, I would invariably end up with ugly looking ridges where I started the curl. Using curling irons, I would have problems curling the end of my hair without creating a ridge.

As you might have guessed, I have no hair skills whatsoever and my only option if I ever wanted to curl my own hair was to use an automatic curler. It really is incredibly easy to use and it only takes a few seconds to create the flawless curl, which is not only strong and flexible but is also well defined.

The number one thing to remember when using the Babyliss Perfect Curl is to always position the barrel of the curler towards your hair. That means the heating chambers opening should always be angled to face you.

The second most important thing to remember is to ensure your hair is clean, free of tangles, straight and frizz free. Don’t add anything to your hair other than maybe a heat protectant. DO NOT use any sort of styling products i.e. hairspray or mousse.

Getting started with the Perfect Curl is very straightforward. I’ll normally start by sectioning my hair while the device heats up. You’ll know when it’s up to temperature when the light on the device stops flashing. As a safety feature it has a 20-minute sleep mode function, which means if you leave it idle for too long, it’ll turn itself off and begin to cool down.
If you’re like me you’ll usually try to split your hair into three sections, consisting of two lateral sections and one back section, this works when I use a curling wand. When I was using the Curl Secret, I found it easier to work slightly differently, starting at the base of one side and gradually working my way backwards. I then reverse the process and start on the other side. It sounds more complicated than it actually is and shouldn’t cause you any problems.

The curler allows for one of three predefined heat settings to be selected – 190c, 210 c and 230c. Additionally, there are three timer settings:
• 3 beeps which equate to 8 seconds and will create loose wavy hair.
• 4 beeps which equate to 10 seconds and will create soft flowing curls.
• 5 beeps which equate to 12 seconds and will create more defined curls.

You can adapt the heat settings to your hair type and to whatever look you’re going for. For defined curls, use the 12 seconds setting and hold the hair in for longer, for loose waves, bring down the temperature setting or the time.

I would suggest that if you have dyed, fine or damaged hair that you try the lower heat settings first until you get an idea of what will work for you. If you have thicker hair feel free to start on the higher heat settings and see what your results are like. At the end of the day, experiment to see what works and what doesn’t.

I personally use the 12-second setting to curl my hair, which means it’ll take me on average 15 minutes to complete my hair for the day. I’ll end up with defined curls that’ll last the whole day and into the next. I’m trying not to sound too overenthusiastic, but the Perfect Curl is truly one the best curling methods I have ever used.

You’ll receive an audible warning of four beeps in quick succession which is your signal that the curl has completed and it’s time to release the handle and see what you’ve got. The only reason I mention this is because I’ve seen more than one youtube video which shows the user releasing their hair far too early.

If you attempt to curl any sections of your hair that are over 3cm thick or you haven’t correctly placed your hair into the curlers barrel, then the built-in sensors will warn you to release your hair to try again, either by inserting less hair or by eliminating any frizz which is adding extra volume.

The warning sound is quite unmissable, it sounds angry, and it’ll refuse to swirl your hair around the barrel chamber. The only thing you can do is release the handle, remove your hair and rectify the issue.

Once you’ve combed your hair, smoothed out any fuzz and perhaps placed the device a bit further down from your hair root, you’ll probably find your hair is accepted on the second attempt.

If you’ve done everything correctly releasing the handle will allow your perfectly formed curl to be released from the chamber. While you wait for the ringlet to cool move onto the next strand of hair. When you’ve finished allowing around 5 minutes for your hair to cool down and settle into its newly curled state.

Avoid brushing your hair as this might straighten it slightly. The best thing to do is run your fingers through your hair in order to separate the curls. If you wish you may apply a bit of hair wax in order to define the ends and use a bit of hairspray to set the style.

Once you’ve got to this point you can branch out and complete your look with some gorgeous Updos, like a messy Knot Top for a sexy chic look, or a Curly Chignon. With the Curl Secret, you’re really only limited to what your creativity and imagination can come up with, from braids to buns or anything else. I can almost guarantee that once you try the Curl Secret you’ll love it as much as I do.

Babyliss Curl Secret Pro’s

It’s easy to use and quick – Depending on how thick your hair is and how long it is, it might take between 10 and 20 minutes to finish curling your hair. This can be reduced with practice until you become an expert at curling your own hair.

The curls last – The curls produced by this styler last far longer than any other device I’ve ever used, whether that’s tongs, curling wands, GHD or ceramic curlers. He curls will easily last a whole day in near perfect condition and well into the next. Absolutely brilliant!
Automatic Alternating Curl Direction – One of the defining features of the Babyliss Curl Secret Pro is the fact that it automatically alternates the curl direction between each use. This makes the curls look far more natural.

Symmetrical Curls – As the Babyliss Curl Secret automatically applies the correct pressure, temperature and time, it means that even I can make my curls look symmetrical which is something I have consistently failed to do with any other method. Most of the time when I attempted to use curling irons on myself I would end up with huge variations in the curls produced. Some strands of hair would have tight curls, some would have loose curls, and some would be a mixture of the two. This would invariably look unnatural and make me wish I had the effort to make an appointment at the hairdressers. This is never an issue with the Babyliss Curl Secret.

Curling the back of your head is easy-peasy – When you need to curl the back of your head you’ll start to see the benefits this automatic curler has over traditional curlers. Rather than trying to dislocate your arm trying to twist your hair strands into curls, all you’ll need to do is part your hair down the centre and tilt your head so you can reach your hair from the side. This, of course, depends on how long your hair is. I have shoulder length hair and had no difficulties with this method.

As the resulting curls are largely unaffected by where you start the curling process, whether it’s higher up near the root or at the tip, you can easily adjust your methods to whatever technique you find easier.

The Cons

Not the best choice for long hair – The Babyliss was not made to be used on very long hair, anything that goes past the bust is classed as long. Nevertheless, there are plenty of examples online of ladies with long hair using the Curl Perfect with long hair. The main issue is that you’ll need to start the curling process further down and you may only end up with loose waves rather than curls. If that’s what you’re looking for then this automatic curler might still work for you.

Not great for already curly or wavy hair – If you’re already blessed with wavy, coarse or curly hair, then I strongly recommend that you do not use the Curl Secret. The exception to this is if you always straighten your hair before trying to curl it.

The price is a little bit on the high side – The Babyliss is one of the more expensive curlers available. It’ll cost you more than curling tongs, wavers and heated rollers, but it works and is very easy to use. There’s a lot to be said for convenience and for something that actually works. For the amount of time and frustration saved I would say it’s worth every penny.

Where to buy

The Babyliss Curl Secret is available from many high street stores, but I’m a fan of Amazon. The convenience of next day delivery is amazing and the returns policy is fantastic. I would rarely shop anywhere else for electronics.

Be wary of fakes and scams that are unfortunately available on some auction sites or in local listings.

To avoid any scams, follow the link and order your very own Curl Secret. Let me know what you think in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to answer any of your questions.

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from My Pearls – Blog https://www.mypearls.co.uk/blogs/news/babyliss-curl-secret-review

The Beauty of the Claddagh Ring

A Claddagh ring is a world-famous traditional ring which originates from Ireland. The ring has three main components, the hands which represent friendship, the crown which represents loyalty and the heart which represents love.

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Claddagh Ring

The customs and designs which have long been associated with the ring originate from the small Irish fishing village of Claddagh, which was historically located just outside of the old city walls of Galway, but is now part of Galway. Evidence suggests that the ring first appeared in its modern form during the 17th century.

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The Claddagh ring is not wholly unique in its appearance and is, in fact, part of a family of rings call ‘fede rings’, which are common across much of Europe. The name ‘fede’ basically translates into ‘hands joined in faith’. These types of rings date back as far as Roman times, where the gesture of clasped hands was linked to pledging vows, and as such these rings were used as wedding or engagement rings.

Fede rings are distinguished by the design of two hands clasped together to symbolise faith or trust. The Claddagh ring is a slight variation on this which also combines a heart and crown into the design.

The interest in Claddagh rings exploded during the end of the 20th century, where it came to symbolise Irish identity and for being a fashionable piece of jewellery. Modern interpretations of the Claddagh ring have begun to incorporate additional Celtic and Irish symbolism, further accenting the Irish origins. These design enhancements correspond directly with increasing worldwide popularity and may be linked with Irish descendants looking to increase their sense of identity.

Claddagh Ring Origins

Galway has long been a producer of Claddagh rings, but the name ‘Claddagh Ring’ was not applied to the ring before the 1830s.

One such jeweller and maker of Claddagh rings was Bartholomew Fallen, who created these rings up until around the 1700’s. Fallen’s rings are some of the oldest surviving examples of this type of work, with many to this day still bearing his mark.

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There are numerous legends surrounding the origins of the ring, many of which involve the silversmith Richard Joyce, who worked in Galway during the 1700’s. The story goes that Joyce was once captured and kidnapped by Algerian pirates during the year of 1675. Joyce was subsequently sold into slavery and ended up working for a Moorish jeweller, who taught Joyce the goldsmith craft. It wasn’t until many years later that King William III sent an envoy to Algeria to demand the release of all captured and enslaved British subjects, this included Richard Joyce. So after 14 years, Richard Joyce was finally released, returning to Ireland with his new found skill and the rings he had fashioned in captivity, these rings are now known as Claddagh rings. The legends state that he gifted one the rings to his sweetheart, married and then became a very successful jeweller. His initials are now on some of the earliest surviving Claddagh rings.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that knowledge of the ring and its customs spread beyond the limits of Galway. During this time Galway jewellers began to market it to British consumers and meaning and use of the ring began to gain traction and the ring became increasingly popular.

Claddagh Ring Usage and Symbolism

A Claddagh ring is unique in its appearance, featuring a heart clasped by two hands and usually, the heart is surmounted by a crown. These three elements each symbolise a different aspect, the heart symbolises love, the hands symbolise friendship and the crown symbolises loyalty. It is also possible to get a Claddagh ring without the crown, these are referred to as ‘Fenian’ rings, but the design is not as popular as the more common crowned version and hasn’t gained as much traction with the public. The rings are especially popular with individuals with Irish heritage, such as Irish Americans, where they are commonly used to show culture as well as symbolising friendship, engagements or weddings rings.

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Claddagh Wedding & Engagement Rings

Claddagh rings can, of course, be used to demonstrate friendship, but they are more often used as symbols of love and as such Claddagh engagement rings and Claddagh wedding rings are more common. A mother may gift the ring to a daughter when the daughter comes of age. There are numerous wishes and statements associated with these rings, including ‘Let love and friendship reign’. It common practise in Ireland, Canada, the United States and other parts of Irish migration, for the Claddagh ring to be passed down from generation to generation, from mother to daughter or from grandmother to granddaughter.

A Claddagh ring can also be worn to demonstrate the wearer’s relationship status.

• If the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing away from the palm, the wearer is indicating that they are single and might be looking for love.
• If the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing towards the palm, the wearer is in a committed relationship.
• If the ring is worn on the left hand with the heart facing away from the palm, the wearer is said to be engaged.
• If the ring is worn on the left hand with the heart facing the palm, the wearer is said to be married.

There are localise variations on the means interpretations of the symbolism. However, all symbolism is a relatively recent addition to the story of the Claddagh ring, there is little in the way of evidence to suggest that the rings have always had this meaning in Galway.

Picking The Perfect Claddagh Ring

If you’ve been captivated by the romance and legends surrounding Claddagh rings, you might be interested in picking out the ideal ring for the loves on in your life – or maybe just as a treat for yourself. The symbolism and stories behind Claddagh rings have endured through the ages as they are fundamentally associated with love, faithfulness and romance, which is something dear to almost everyone’s heart.

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There is perhaps no better way or medium to celebrate your appreciation and love for someone dear to you than to give her or him an ageless Claddagh ring. If you happen to be of Irish descent, then the ring will be especially meaningful to you. Claddagh rings come in a huge variety of styles, finishes and at a range of price points, so you should be able to easily identify something that suits your needs.

Claddagh Engagement Ring

What better way to surprise your future fiancé than buying her a diamond engagement ring with a Claddagh design. So while the central diamond takes centre stage, the subtle or bold Claddagh features can add an increased depth of meaning for both you and her. There is a huge range of Claddagh engagement rings available, so there’s bound to be a style or design which meets your exact requirements. 

Regardless of whether the Claddagh symbols are lightly engraved into the engagement ring, or the ring is fundamentally Claddagh in design with an added diamond, you can be assured that your choice of a thoughtful engagement ring will be especially appreciated and deeply meaningful. A Claddagh engagement ring is a brilliant conversation starter and it will surely always evoke interest.

Claddagh Rings for Men

There are essentially two sorts of men’s Claddagh Rings. There’s the classic Claddagh ring that can be work with its heart facing inwards or outwards, or there are contemporary Claddagh wedding rings that are subtly engraved with the Claddagh symbols. Claddagh rings are not just for women, men have been wearing the rings for hundreds of years, famously both Bono and JFK Jr have both been known to wear a Claddagh ring. The Claddagh wedding ring offers an interesting alternative choice which is often understated in design and looks.

Claddagh Birthstone Rings

A Claddagh birthstone ring is a genuinely lovely gift idea. The rings are relatively inexpensive, which is largely due to the use of silver and semi-precious gemstones. Adding a birthstone to a Claddagh ring can really elevate the thoughtfulness of the ring and can make the gift quite personal and touching. The central heart of the ring can come in a range of birthstones, each one shaped to match the heart shape.

Claddagh Ring Care

As with all jewellery, it is important to care for your Claddagh ring carefully, excessive heat, abrasion or exposure to harsh chemicals may harm the ring irrevocably, so it’s best to avoid wearing the ring while cleaning or performing DIY. If the damage is caused, I would urge you seek the help of professional jewellers to assess the likely cost of repair.

Cleaning a Claddagh Ring

Removing everyday dirt is a relatively straightforward task, but extra care should be taken with rings that contain a gemstone. First, prepare a bowl of warm water with a small amount of mild soap added. Submerge the ring in the water and using a soft bristled brush (such as a baby toothbrush) or by using a soft cloth, work to remove all visible dirt and grime. Take care of gemstones to make sure excessive force is not applied. Once the ring has been cleaned, rinse the ring using freshwater, removing all soap residue. Lastly gently pat the ring dry with a soft cloth and leave in a well-ventilated area to dry, do not leave the ring in direct sunlight. 
If you can, take the ring to be professionally cleaned at least once a year.

from My Pearls – Blog https://www.mypearls.co.uk/blogs/news/the-beauty-of-the-claddagh-ring