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Getting the swish factor

28 Sep

Picture beautiful, perfect waves. The type that’s shiny, bouncy and looks totally effortless – I’m a big fan of the effortless hair look, there’s no point in looking like you’ve had a battle with the hairdryer, straighteners, curlers and a bottle of hairspray! That Serena van der Woodsen easy, breezy, flipable hair. You know what I mean, right? Unfortunately, that type of hair is unattainable by mere mortals. My thick, tumbling locks go flat at the mere mention of a hairdryer so when I had a black tie ball to attend recently, I called in the big guns – Joe’s Salon.

I was a little stressed and tired upon entering the salon and explained to the lovely Oray that I wanted ‘sort of wavy, maybe a little curly, beautiful hair’ in a very vague manner before my hair was transformed. It was a pretty big job, my hair was sectioned and dried using a round brush then my hair was neatly rolled up into a little curl before Oray moved onto the next section. He must have arms of steel after painstakingly tending to my thick mane. After he took the pins out and we shook my hair out, I definitely had big diva Beyonce-esque waves but they settled into a shiny swish of subtle waves which looked uber natural.

I was a little bit stressed about what to wear for the ball and eventually settled on the gorgeous ‘Samantha’ dress by French Connection. I don’t usually shop there but I fell in love with this dress as soon as I saw it. They do an update of their gold sequin dress every autumn/winter and this is my absolute favourite. It’s a little low at the front so I had to pin it, but other than that it fit perfectly. I paired it with some semi sheer tights and my lovely charcoal Georgia Rose courts from Sarenza. I wanted to keep the rest of the outfit plain to dress down the gold sparkles a little but the dark tights and dark shoes had a leg lengthening effect too which was a bonus. I was going to go for a black and gold vintage clutch but it just seemed a bit too matchy, so I went for a deliberate mismatch with this stone, highlighter yellow and snakeskin oversize clutch from Marks & Spencer Limited Collection


HD Brows review

4 Sep

A couple of weeks ago I heard about HD Brows and booked an appointment to get my brows done last Saturday. Here’s a quick vlog I made about my experience…

So as you can probably tell it was my first vlog! I was a teeny bit nervous hence the short video and rather abrupt ending. Blogposts are so much easier, you can write them with your feet up and edit to your heart’s content. So, my verdict on HD Brows? Well, I’m definitely going to get it done again. I’m not sure how different it is to tinting and threading, but for me it felt like it was a lot more comprehensive and precise. The shape is a bit of work-in-progress but only because I want to create more of an arch. The shape is great as it is though and I’ve had a few compliments on my brows since. I had my brows done at Jade’s Beauty, for more information on HD Brows, visit the website

The best blowdry in London

22 Jul

I’ve already posted about how wonderful the guys at Joe’s Salon are and it really has become my salon of choice in London. Last week, I attended the Pepe jeans boat party and I squeezed in some time to visit Joe’s Salon beforehand for a quick blowdry. There’s something about the pristine white interior which is just so relaxing. The salon is such a beautiful space and an oasis of calm in the middle of bustling Mayfair.


Joe was as lovely as always, taking some time out from styling a VVIP celebrity to tend to my tresses. Joe worked his magic and transformed my usual messy mop top into a beautiful head of shiny, tumbling, slightly diva waves. It was the sort of ‘do which bounces as you walk, attracts admiring glances and makes you feel like a million bucks. Huge thanks to Joe and the team for making me feel like a VVIP myself!


Review: Joe’s Salon, Mayfair

22 Jun

My last trip to the hairdressers for highlights didn’t quite end happily, the colourist spent four hours massacring my hair taking it from dark red/brown to orange (like a tangerine!) to blonde to a mid brown colour – which was not even what I asked for. Add to this a junior who was so splash happy that my back, cheek and even arm were soaked in water, I don’t think it’s any surprise that I vowed not to return to any branches of this UK-wide chain. I took a bit of a chance when I saw a Groupon deal for Joe’s Salon, I checked out the website before I booked and it seemed like a good, high-end salon.

The location in Mayfair’s prestigious Burlington Arcade is telling of the level of service you can expect. I was a bit apprehensive when I walked in, but everyone was very warm and welcoming. The interior was beautifully sleek, it wasn’t very busy but the salon felt very intimate and personal rather than empty. My colourist Dan was an absolute angel, we spoke about my colour and what I wanted then he set to work. What I love most about Joe’s Salon is that everything is so relaxed, it’s not a chain where you feel like you’re on a conveyor belt sped through your allocated time slot. 


And the end result? I couldn’t be happier. I absolutely love my new hair colour. It’s exactly what I wanted, and Dan didn’t have to bleach my hair twice and put a ton of toner in. I would definitely recommend Joe’s Salon, it’s a little pricey but the service and end result are more than worth it. 

Eyelash extensions by Lash Lab

15 Feb
They say eyes are the window to your soul. No matter what the beauty trends say, I always pay more attention to my eyes than any other feature. My signature look is a slick of eyeliner and if I’ve got time, a few coats of lengthening mascara. It’s effective but oh so time consuming, especially in the morning before work…let’s face it I’d rather have an extra 5-10 minutes in bed! I’ve been umming and ahhing over eyelash extensions for a while, I’ve heard such good things but also know people who have had bad experiences too. When the lovely Kym from Lash Lab contacted me about getting extensions, it seemed like fate. 

Based in the heart of Shoreditch at 216 Brick Lane (above Winkworth estate agents and across the road from the infamous bagel shop), Lash Lab is a little oasis of calm and Kym is an absolute angel. She explained the process first of all and had a look at my lashes to check out the length and density. She provided a completely bespoke service and ended up using 6 different lash lengths to build up a more natural look which fans out and gets more dramatic at the outer corner. Most lash extension places just use a couple of different lengths which can look quite fake. 

The whole process should take about an hour but it took Kym about two hours to do mine. I’ve got twice as many lashes as most clients, which means twice the work. She’s an absolute perfectionist and attaches an extension to every viable lash so you get a fuller look. It’s not painful at all, not even slightly uncomfortable. I had my eyes closed and was surprised when Kym told me she had done the first one. The next couple of hours flew by as we chatted about everything from where to shop on Brick Lane to Lady Gaga – I told you she was lovely! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I checked out the lashes, they were gorgeous, long and lush without the need for mascara. 

Check out my post next week to see how I got on after a month of lash extensions – this post is a wee bit late and I actually got the lashes done 3 weeks ago. If you have any questions about the process just leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help. 

Edit – They normally last between 4-6 weeks, longer with infills. I have absolutely no need for mascara and it’s been so liberating! Prices vary but they’re £85 at Lash Lab. 

Before

Before
Left – natural, right – extensions

After 

Dying to be a redhead

15 May

I’ve been colouring my hair for about 10 years, so much so that I reckon even my own strands of hair don’t know what colour they’re supposed to be! Not surprising as they’ve gone from black to brunette, redhead, caramel brown and even purple! I used to pay a ridiculous amount to get highlights and colour done from the hairdresser, but I must prefer doing it myself at home. It’s much more convenient, cheaper and you can change your colour as often as you change your mind! So I was tres excited when Schwarzkopf sent me a sample from their new XXL Hot Reds collection to try out. The new collection contains 3 vibrant red shades – Hot Connamon, Cool Scarlet and Dark Spice. I’ve used various Live colour XXL shades in the past as the colours are really bright and they take well. They don’t dry my hair out as much as other home dyes I’ve used in the past, and the conditioner is yummy. 

I’m actually sitting here now waiting eagerly for the colour to develop, and thought I would write some tips home hair-dying for all those who have never tried it before.

Choosing the dye: Firstly, there are two main types of hair dye, temporary and permanent. My mantra is ‘in for a penny in for a pound’ so I always go for permanent, but if you’re a bit unsure, try temporary as it will wash out in a few weeks. I’ve found that they don’t really make a difference to my hair though. Next, you have to settle on a colour. I don’t really rely on the colour at the front of the box and only use it as a vague indication. My hair’s really dark so it never turns out as light/bright/coloured. Likewise, someone with pale blonde hair will have a much more vibrant result. There’s usually a colour guide on the side of the box.

Equipment: Pretty much everything you need will be in the box, however, make sure you have an old top, lots of old dark towels, a comb, vaseline and some clips or hairbands handy. I might just be extra messy, but I find hair dye gets everywhere so I cover my shoulders with a towel and most of the bathroom floor too. Apply vaseline to your hairline before you begin so you don’t accidentally dye your face too…it’s easily done! Always follow the application instructions in the box. Schwartzkopt should be used on dry, unwashed hair and left to develop for half an hour. Some dyes require you to wet your hair first which is a bit of hassle! I always comb the dye through my hair to make sure the dye has distributed evenly then I clip it up and wait for it to develop.

Washing it out: In the shower, I apply a little water then massage the colour out. Usually it takes ages to rinse clear. Always, always use the conditioner in the box. They’re really intensive and leave your hair shiny and silky.

Maintenance: Dying your hair obviously dries it out, so you have to really look after it. Shampoos and conditioners specifically for coloured hair help, as they don’t strip the colour and the conditioners tend to be more intensive. I swear by Aussie 3 minute miracle for keeping my hair soft. As part of the Aussie Colour Tribe, I received a fantastic goodie bag especially for coloured hair. It contained Colour Mate Shampoo, Colour Mate Conditioner and Colour Mate 3 Minute Miracle Treatment, all have their special conditioning ingredient, Wild Peach extract to protect your precious tresses. 

Here’s how my hair looked after 🙂

Cardi – H&M, tee – H&M, skirt – New Look, lippe – MAC (thanks LJ!)