12 reasons why you should try pole dancing (or pole fitness) this summer

butterfly move pole dancing pole fitness

Working on my ‘butterfly’

I have been pole dancing or doing ‘pole fitness’ on and off for about four years now. I absolutely love it – so here are 12 reasons why you should seek out your nearest class and give it a go this summer!

  1. It will increase your upper body strength – trust me you may not be able to lift your own body weight now but in just a few weeks you’ll be doing moves that will surprise you.
  2. It’s a fun way to get fit – give me a pole over the treadmill any day.
  3. You’ll lose your inhibitions and get body confident – I turned up to my first class wearing a baggy t-shirt and and the longest shorts I could find, now give me booty shorts and a sports bra and I’m ready.
  4. You’ll amaze yourself – I’ve never done gymnastics in my life, yeah I did handstands and cartwheels whilst playing outside as a child but that was it. Now, I can climb a pole and hang upside down with only one leg holding on.
  5. You’ll increase your flexibility – I still can’t do the splits, but my body feels so much more open than it used to.
  6. It will make you feel sexier – I’ve been to many different classes, some where the focus was on pole dance and sensuality and others where the focus is pole fitness and simply getting a specific move, like in a gymnastics class. The dance element certainly makes me feel sexier and the fact that I can accomplish all of these new moves also makes me more confident in myself – and confidence is sexy!
  7. If you are ever in a club that has a pole you will impress everyone – when I was in Mexico I climbed the pole and did a simple move – I impressed the crowd so much that I got a bunch of free tequila shots that night….good times.
  8. It will impress your other half – my man loves that I know a few moves on the pole.
  9. You’ll transform your body – my core strength is so much stronger and I have the flatter stomach to prove it. The conditioning and strength exercises will help tone your entire body.
  10. You’ll be proud of your bruises – now this sounds like a strange one but a bruise in the pole world is a sign that you have attempted a new pole move. Yeah you hit the pole but so what, you’ll soon master that nemesis move!
  11. You’ll be more up for trying other daring exercises – since doing pole I’ve found a love for all aerial exercise. Aerial silks is another one of my favourites and makes me feel like I’m in the circus – in a good way, not an American Horror Story Freak Show kind of way.
  12. There is a whole aerial network out there that you can be part of – pole dancing advocates are everywhere, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and it’s great to connect with them. I’ve lived in NYC and the UK and I’ve made friends with so many people all because of our love of aerial sports.

So – what do you think? Will you give pole a go this summer?

Superman pole move pole dancing pole fitness

‘Superman’

hanging upside down pole dance pole fitness

Literally one of the most relaxing poses…

JG x

Get the look: Cheerleader fancy dress makeup

Cheerleader makeup fancy dress

I have wanted to be a cheerleader since I was in my teens and went to live in Florida for a year and saw the cheerleaders, the basketball team and the football team up close. Alas, I’ve never been a great dancer, definitely can’t do the splits and if I attempted to balance in a human pyramid I’d either break my back or someone else’s. However, the Bournemouth Summer Ball this year offered the perfect opportunity for me to dress up as a cheerleader and have a fantastic day with great company and music (and I didn’t have to do the splits once)!

Cheerleader ingredients

How-to guide

Apply the primer, I have to say the Rimmel London stay matte primer was one of the best I’ve used in a while. I wore it on a hot summer’s day and my face stayed matte all day! Next follow my JG contour guide to even out your skin tone and highlight your face or apply your foundation as usual.

Then, apply the Kimberly false eyelashes. I absolutely loved these, they gave my eyes volume without looking fake. I used the glue that came in the eyelure kit and was pleased when it lasted all day.

Eyeliner girls aloud eyelashes Kimberley

Whilst waiting for the eyelash glue to dry do your eyebrows, I used a dark brown pencil that I got from a London black hair and beauty shop. Line your lips with the red diva liner and then apply the GOSH lipstick (some people prefer to lipstick before liner but I’m a liner before lipstick kinda girl).

Next, apply an amber or gold coloured powder all over your eyelids (I used Elite Paris iridescent loose powder in shiny amber but I’m not sure where it came from) and then use the darker Kiko eyeshadow to contour your lids. Apply a little underneath your bottom lashes to make them look thicker. Use the Rimmel gel eyeliner to line your top lashes, adding a little flick if you want as well to give yourself a winged look.

cheeleader makeup fancy dress

Contour with eyeshadow

Lastly, apply a little mascara to your bottom lashes, you don’t really need the mascara that I used – I only used the first step of the two-step process anyway.

cheerleader makeup fancy dress

Last step, get dressed and haAAve F-U-N (said in my best cheerleader chant)!

JG x

How to get my honey blonde vixen hair: Part two

Honey blonde two part vixen sew in

I am so into honey blonde hair, it’s perfect for summer and warms up any skin tone. Last week I installed a gorgeous two part vixen sew in weave which is a great protective hairstyle whilst also being versatile. This week I’m going to show you how I achieved the honey blonde colour. Take a look at ‘How to get my honey blonde vixen hair: part one’ to find out how I put the vixen sew-in in.

Honey Blonde colour: Hair ingredients 

Weaveland ombre hair extensions

Ombre hair from Weaveland

How to guide 

Step one 

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do a strand test on your hair and a patch test on your skin, trust me you do not want to have an allergic reaction to hair dye. The picture below shows the strand test that I did. The second strand of hair shows what it looks like after I left it on for the recommended time of 30 minutes, as you can see it almost looks brown and in the light it had weird red tones. The first strand of hair was after I left it on for five minutes and was the exact shade I wanted.

L'Oreal Recital Preference Florida Honey Blonde 7.3

The strand test

Step two 

Because I decided to dye the hair after I had installed the vixen sew in, I had to tie my leave-out out of the way.

two part vixen sew in

Tyeing the hair out of the way

two part vixen sew in

Step three

Mix the dye as instructed in the packet and then start applying it to the back of your hair first only covering the blonde parts of the extensions. You’ll want to do this to keep the hair out of your eyes and also so that you can control exactly how long the dye stays on. I left it on for five minutes exactly in the back and then washed it out.

two part vixen sew inL'Oreal Recital Preference Florida Honey Blonde 7.3

Step four 

Next you’ll want to dye the front of your hair and leave it on again for five minutes.

two part vixen sew in L'Oreal Recital Preference Florida Honey Blonde 7.3

two part vixen sew in L'Oreal Recital Preference Florida Honey Blonde 7.3

Looking like a golden drowned rat

Step five 

Wash it all out and apply the conditioner that comes in the box. Leave it on for a few minutes, wash it off and then blow-dry your hair. I blowdried mine until it was a tiny bit damp and then left it to finish air drying after spraying a bit of argon oil in it.

Et Voila the colour is complete.

L'Oreal Recital Preference Florida Honey Blonde 7.3

Styling the hair extensions 

I took about three inches of hair in the back by literally just bringing the hair forward and cutting it. Then I got my sister to even it out for me. I absolutely love the finished result, it’s still got a lot of length yet also feels and looks thicker.

two part vixen sew in L'Oreal Recital Preference Florida Honey Blonde 7.3

Vixen sew in cut styled

This is after I cut it but before my sister made sure it was straight for me

Weaveland Malaysian body wave hair review 

If you are thinking about investing in hair extensions whether it’s clips in or hair on the weft I would definitely recommend Weaveland Marketplace. There is a fantastic range of hair for no matter what mood you are in. I cannot wait to try out another look from them.

Pros

  • The hair is so thick and ridiculously soft even after dyeing it.
  • Hair lengths were accurate.
  • NO SHEDDING!
  • The waves look amazing and it doesn’t go frizzy. Sometimes I plait my hair at night, other times I put it in a ponytail – either way the waves look great in the morning.
  • It blends SO WELL with my relaxed hair – I’ve got quite a bit of leave out with this vixen part and you would never know.
  • The hair looks healthy without that synthetic shine that some hair extensions have.

Cons

  • The colour was a little lighter than expected but on the plus side it made it easier to dye it.

JG x

How to get my Honey Blonde Vixen hair: Part one

Honey blonde ombre vixen part sew in The two part Vixen Sew-in

It’s no secret that I love the versatility that hair extensions can bring, from different colours to lengths, playing with extensions is so much fun. However the annoying thing is that often you are limited to either having your hair down or in a low bun/ponytail. Yes, you can create a ponytail with clips ins but half way through the day you can’t just take out your hairband and flick your hair like they do in the movies. That’s why when I got my new ombre hair extensions from Weaveland Marketplace* I knew that there was only one way that I was going to put them in, why, a vixen sew-in of course.

What is a Vixen Sew-in?

As the name suggests the wefts are applied by sewing them onto pre-braided hair. But what’s different to a regular sew-in is that the hair is braided in such a way that you can put the hair in a bun or half up half down. With a four part vixen sew-in you could wear your hair in four ponytails (why you would do this I have no idea) or bunches or two plaits…the possibilities are almost endless.

two part vixen sew-in half up half down

This hairstyle (with the part on show) would be impossible with a regular sew-in weave!

So in this tutorial I’m going to go through how I installed the hair extensions and next week Tuesday come back to see how I got the honey blonde colour and styled the hair. So make sure you follow my blog!

Hair ingredients

Weaveland ombre hair extensions

Beautiful ombre hair from Weaveland. It’s so soft!

How-to guide

Difficulty rating: Hard, this tutorial assumes that you know how to braid and sew-in hair extensions (I’ll do a video on the basics soon). It also assumes you have the patience to braid your hair or a good friend who will do it for you.

Step one

Sectioning the perimeter leave out

Sectioning the leave out

Sectioning the middle leave out For the two-part vixen sew-in to work you need to have leave-out around the edges of your hair, all the way around (about an inch to an inch and a half depending on how well your own hair blends with the extensions). This is so that when you put it up in a ponytail or a bun your own hair covers the wefts and tracks. You also need to leave a section across the middle of the hair so that the extensions can be worn half up half down. You will want to keep the leave-out out of the way when you start braiding your own hair. I braided mine very loosely so that I wouldn’t confuse it with the tighter weaving braids. Also section the leave-out for your part, I chose a side part.

Step two

The sew-in braids on the vixen sew-in

The sew-in braids

The sew-in braids on the vixen sew-in Braid the top and bottom sections, above is the pattern that I used. Tip: When I do my next sew-in, i’ll use the same or similar pattern but to ensure my hair is super slick when I put it up I’ll do the braids half the size.

Step three

Sewing  through the weft on the first incision only. Two part vixen sew-in

Sewing through the weft on the first incision only

Lay the 18” hair out and fold the wefts in half, then sew them together. I do this to sew double the amount of hair on in half the time. You will want to sew through the weft for the first incision and double knot the thread, after that sew around the weft to prevent shedding and ensure that you can use the hair again. (I’m planning on starting a YouTube this summer so that I can demonstrate how to sew hair in).

Step four Start sewing the wefts on your braids but remember don’t sew the leave out! I put one 18″ bundle in the back and one 16” bundle and half of the 14” bundle in the front so that it would give the hair a layered, thicker look.

Two part vixen sew-in

Me sewing one bundle in the back – the hair is lovely and thick!

FYI: I chose not to use a weaving net as I have a dry scalp and I like to be able to get in with the dry shampoo and hair oils to condition and moisturise.

Starting to sew the wefts in the front of the vixen sew-in

Starting to sew the wefts in the front

Sewing in the final weft on the two part vixen sew-in

Sewing in the final weft

Tip: When you sew-in the final weft around the leave-out for your part (see picture above) don’t use the double weft technique. Just sew on one weft so that it sits flatter and it’s easier for your leave-out to cover it.

Two part vixen sew in ombre

The final look ready for a cut and colour!

Total time I’m lucky that my Mum taught me how to plait and canerow (braid) at the age of five or six so it comes pretty naturally – though braiding the back of my head isn’t the most comfortable of things! In total the braiding took about an hour and a half (I did a lot of faffing around to make sure I left out just the right amount of leave-out) and the sewing took about two hours.

Come back next week Tuesday for a review of the hair and to find out how I gave my hair a warm honey tone and styled the extensions.

JG x

Wilko False Eyelashes Drama for only £1: A Review

Wilko false eyelashes drama on Jade Gabriell

I was out shopping with my mum the other day when she dragged me into Wilko so that she could get some bits for the garden. As I was in there I thought that I might as well pick up some lotion and body wash and was surprised when I stumbled across Wilko’s range of false eyelashes. At only a pound for a pair including the glue I had to give them a go!

Wilko False Eyelashes Drama

I chose the Drama lashes because they were super thick and weren’t as spidery as some of the other ones in the range. The installation of the lashes seemed to be the same as any other pair I’ve bought before. Apply glue, wait till tacky and then stick on. However, the Wilko glue dried way too quickly, smelt fishy and was difficult to apply. In the end I got fed up and used my leftover eyelure glue from my Katy Perry lashes instead.

Wilko False Eyelashes Drama

The difference between my natural lashes and the drama eyelashes was incredible, although they definitely didn’t look natural and they had a weird shine to them that made them look plastically. These lashes are better suited to a night out where you can hide under the club lights rather than day time wear. I also found them a little heavy and my eyes burned a little; I’m not sure if that was the combo of heavy lashes plus mixing two types of glue to get them to stick.

Wilko False Eyelashes Drama

Overall these lashes were alright but the artificial shine, heaviness and not-so-great glue makes me give these lashes….

5/10

I have another pair from the range – they’re are bit spidery but I’ll give those a go at the weekend. Here is a picture of them, I actually think they might be a bit more natural-looking…well fingers crossed.

Wilko False Eyelashes Drama

Have you tried any other lashes in the Wilko range?

JG x