Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Review: Bumpits!


Barbarella- the original 60's siren!


Apologies for the dodgy facial expression and lack of make-up - I can't pose properly unless I'm tipsy...



I have Bumpits!!! And boy, am I excited about it. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on these for the longest time, since hearing raves from bloggers across the Pond about them. But I couldn’t find them anywhere, even on eBay. It seemed the world wasn’t catching on as fast as I wanted.

Then on Monday I was at my local supermarket picking up the ingredients for my lamb tagine, and there they were, staring at me! I was hugely excited! I wouldn’t have thought Asda would catch on where Boots and Superdrug haven’t, but I guess you can never tell.

For years, my beauty icon has pretty much been Barbarella. I love the smoky, fluttery bambi eyes, arched brows, pink pouts and big, wavy hair of the era over every other beauty look and return to it time and again. And yet achieving the ultra-volumised hair to go with that look can be difficult. I’m not very skilled at backcombing, and I’ve never managed to achieve enough lasting height through this alone, so I thought were going to be the answer to my prayers.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of these items yet, they are sort of spiked plastic arches that you grip into your hair near the roots to ‘lift’ it and create that 60’s style volume at the crown that stars like Cheryl Cole and Pixie Lott always seem to have. If you want to create a beehive, a volumised ponytail or even just a nicer shape to your hair, they’re supposed to help. And if you’re like me and would describe yourself as ‘rubbish with hair’ (while still wanting it to look great!) they are a cheat’s way to look as if you’re blessed with thicker hair. Already being a fan of false lashes, self-tanners and teeth whiteners (in moderation of course – there’s no way I’d want to end up looking like Jordan and it’s a fine line!) this seemed like the logical next step.

I paid £10 exactly for my pack of three. I’m not sure if this is a good deal or not, seeing as I haven’t found them any other place, but it was worth it to me, as I’ve been itching to try them. You can buy then in a blonde colour option or a dark brown/black, to blend in with your hair. Unfolding the pale pink tissue paper in the box (nice touch) I uncovered the three Bumpits – medium, large, and a very small one which must be intended for fringes or something. I’m not sure because the instruction booklet – despite being touted on the box as a ‘styling guide’, was fairly pants and didn’t include that information. There was also a black plastic teasing comb included in the package. The instructions give a basic ‘how to’ which is not that informative – you’d be better off having a look on YouTube for some instructional videos – with a couple of styling ideas – a sort of mini-beehive or volumised chignon/French pleat, using Bumpits with a pony tail, ‘double Bumpits’ (using two at once), and the basic inserting method.

I didn’t really get the time to have a proper play with them at the weekend although I wanted to, so before work on Monday morning, I thought I’d just have a quick go with them. I didn’t expect them to be very easy to insert or to be possible to use for a quick hairstyle before work. I was thinking of them more as something for going out that would need a bit of work to use. But actually, they were both very quick to put in and fairly easy. I can tell they’re one of those things that look better the more practise you get, but my first attempt looked passable enough to wear to work, which was more than I expected.

I just went for the one Bumpit, and used the medium sized one. To insert, I made a horizontal parting in my hair, across from ear to ear, just before my crown. I brushed my hair upwards, so I was holding the ends, pulling it up towards the ceiling. My hair is naturally used to parting at the side and wanted to naturally fall back that way, so I made sure to give the roots a liberal blast of hairspray. I then backcombed the bottom three inches to the scalp. I could have done more here to make the hair even bigger but I was pushed for time, so I went quickly. Spraying and combing as I went, I built up a little volume. Then it was time to insert the Bumpit. I put it next to the base of the section I’d lifted upright, and wiggled it around to give the teeth of it some grip into my hair. I was most concerned that it wouldn’t stay in properly and might fall out on my walk into work, although it actually held really well. The parted section of hair is then brushed back over the Bumpit to cover it up and sprayed again. The makers recommend using a strong-hold hairspray for the backcombing and a medium hold one for replacing and holding the hair on top, but I just used my usual hairspray for both. Now I had a little instant beehive – although because I was worried about walking to work destroying all my handiwork, I also added two hairgrips to each side to pin the raised section of hair and make it stay in shape.

Once in, they recommend that you don’t keep touching them, as this can cause the hair on top to shift and the top of the Bumpit to show through. I ave to admit I didn’t manage to follow this, and my hand automatically went to my hair all the time to check it was still in place. But I think this is down to the fact I haven’t used them before and didn’t know how well they would stay in. Now I know they pass the acid test of a full working day still in place, I probably wouldn’t touch them all the time.

I’m pleasantly surprised by how easy they are to use and how well they work. Give me some practice and some hairspray and I’ll be a pro in no time! The only drawback for me was that I thought they gave me a slight tension headache during the day – like wearing a tight headband when I was in school, but it wasn’t unbearable or anything. I think Bumpits are a wonderful idea for creating hairstyles for special occasions or just trying out different twists on standard hairstyles and I’m really pleased I’ve managed to track them down!

I’ve since found you can order them at Amazon.co.uk or at the JML website if you want some in the UK.
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