Tangle Teezer

This windy weather we’ve been having in London has been a nightmare for my hair. I enjoy wearing it down but the wind has been whipping it about all over the place leaving it knotted (just how does that happen!?)
So me getting a Tangle Teezer last week couldn’t have come at a better time! 
Shaun P, the creator of Tangle Teezer, appeared in front of the Dragons of Dragon’s Den trying to get an investment many years ago – unfortunately (at the time) none of the Dragons wanted to get in on the act. Fortunately the Tangle Teezer took off after it’s release in 2007 –  they are now used in many salons, backstage and sold shops worldwide in a variety of colours and styles.
This is the orignal Tangle Teezer – It may look a strange shape for a brush, and yes, there’s no handle – but the design means it fits perfectly into the palm of your hand. 
The bristles of the brush vary in length – there is one set of long bristles, and another of shorter. The design means that they don’t grip the hair like normal brushes do – instead, gliding through undoing knots and tangles with ease as well as distributing hair product evenly through the hair without any waste.
My daughter has also been thankful of the arrival of the Tangle Teezer in my house – it means mornings aren’t met with screams that I’m hurting her when I brush her hair, although this teamed with the fact it’s pink has meant she is ‘looking after it’ for me in her room. Hmmmm.

My New Ombré Hair at Eleven Hair

I had been umming and ahhing over having my hair ombréd for ages – yesterday I finally decided to take the plunge, and I am so pleased with how it turned out! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the picture I added at the time, but if you’d like more details and pics then read on!
In one of the beautiful little streets around Bond Street, lies Blenheim Street, home of Eleven Hair. It was my first visit to this particular salon and was greeted with a round of friendly faces and smiles. 
The staff that worked there were so welcoming and chatty; while I was having my hair done I honestly felt like I was one of their friends – to the point I would be happy going out for a drink with them – that’s how comfortable they made me feel. A little glance round the salon would lead me to believe this is how they make all their clients feel – everyone was having a giggle with each other, kisses on the cheeks when they left – it just all had a lovely feel to it.
One of the owners, Jason Welch, is one of the InStyle Beauty Award judges and was also named in ES magazine’s little black book as the man to go to to get your hair blonde in London. Since then, a lot of his work does involve giving people shimmering golden highlights, but with the current dip-dye trend, a lot more people are asking for ombré.
The gorgeous lady who took care of my locks was Jacqueline Tarlier, a certified Redken colourist hailing from Canada who very clearly loves her job. As we were chatting I discovered she is really into high fashion and she loves doing ombré dyes – perfect! 

After spending the past few years trying to make my hair light after it being black, I was worried about darkening the tops of my hair and it looking too dark overall. Both Jason and Jacqueline agreed that it would be a good idea to give me a few soft highlights around my face to stop it from looking too harsh – so that was done and then Jacqueline set to work on the ombré. 
She bleached the ends of my hair, darkened the tops and then blended the two together to give the gradual colour fade rather than strong contrast line which was something I definitely wanted to avoid.
Once it was done and washed off I had a toner applied to get the correct shade of blonde, then a treatment to reseal my cuticles. My hair honestly feels so amazing now, even after all that bleach – and here is the finished result!
I am absolutely in love with it! The blonde is the perfect, creamy tone, and I love the transition colour between the blonde and brown parts of my hair. It’s going to be so low maintenance too – win! If I had a little black book, I would say that Eleven Hair is the place to go if you want your hair ombréd! 
Eleven Hair is situated at 11 Blenheim Street, Mayfair. For further info, check out their website www.eleven-hair.com 

Charles Worthington Miracle Repair Elixir Oil

Charles Worthington recently released his Salon at Home Secrets collection – hair products designed to give a salon finish in the comfort fo your own home.

I’ve been using the Miracle Repair Elixir Oil, which is a blend of five precious oils, including Argan Oil, which claims to leave your hair “like shimmering silk”, for the past few weeks and really like it!

It can be used in a number of ways – I have mostly been using it as a pre-wash mask, by putting a good amount all over my hair starting at the ends and leaving it on for 5 minutes. My hair feels a lot more manageable in the shower, and feels so soft once it’s dried and not at all greasy. You can also add it to your conditioner to give it a bit of a boost, use it as a heat protecting shine serum by putting it on damp hair before styling, or also for a shine once you’ve styled your hair.

I find that as a serum, it is a little too lightweight for my big fat thick head of hair – but for a normal, or finer haired person I think it would be perfect. If you find Moroccan Oil a little too heavy, or a little too expensive, this may be a good alternative.

The icing on the cake is it smells absolutely delicious!

The Miracle Repair Elixir Oil is available from Boots for £9.99, but there is currently 1/3 off selected Charles Worthington Salon at Home products.

T-H-X Wave Hello 32mm Wave Tong

A couple of a weeks ago I attended the launch party for T-H-X, or Total Hair Experts – a range of hair styling tools exclusive to Tesco. I had the opportunity of having my hair done by celebrity stylist Desmond Grundy with the Wave Hello 32mm Wave Tong.

Yes, I have my very own, very high, ombre going on 😉
So, this was me before…
And this was me 10 minutes after…

I got to take a set of tongs home for a play. As a total novice at tonging my own hair, this could have been interesting!

The tongs heat up in 30 seconds and reach temperatures of 230C. The very long ceramic barrel means that even long hair can now get tonging treatment without getting the tell-tale kink.

I even managed a little sumthin’ sumthin’ on my own – yay!

The Wave Hello 32mm Wave Tong is priced at £18.50 from Tesco – an absolute bargain!

ghd Pink Cherry Blossom Stylers

Ever since I first tried ghd hair straighteners 10 years ago, I have never looked back – finally I can have hair which is smooth, and not a wild mess, without it taking forever to achieve.

I have very thick hair and usually use the wide plated ghds for that reason, however I was asked if I’d like to give their new, limited edition Pink Cherry Styler a whirl – I was very interested to see how they compared.

The Pink Cherry Styler is the standard size ghd straightener, but design wise, there’s a twist! The ceramic plates on them are pink and sparkly – luckily they’ve managed to do this without them being tacky. The matt black plastic of the straightener has a glossy design on it, and detailing is in hot pink. All in all, they are girly but classy. The rounded barrel means this size straightener is perfect for curling your hair using your ghds.

They are so easy to use – it’s literally just a case of turning them
on, running them through your hair, and seeing fabulous results! I was
very surprised at just how quickly I managed to get my hair looking
normal – 5 minutes was all it took, just as quick as the wider ones.

They transform my hair from a frizzy, fluffy mess to smooth, straight and flowing. If I spent longer, going slower over each section, I could get it very sleek looking too using these; I have so much hair that it’s not often I get round to doing that!

Although I do love my wide ghds, they don’t have the rounded barrel so
I’ve never been able to use them for curling. I will definitely get good
use out of these, once you know how, it’s so easy!

I have made a video showing some of the detail in full, and also some techniques to achieve curls and waves using ghds. Check it out below!

The limited edition Pink Cherry Blossom Styler are available for £129 and includes a Satin heatproof storage bag. £10 of each sale is donated to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

What do you think of this new design? Do you use ghds to curl your hair?

label.m Brunette Dry Shampoo

Most standard dry shampoos seem to be a white spray which can cause problems for those with brunette hair. The talcum-powder-in-the-hair look isn’t in at the moment, so the darker haired people of the world are missing out on the power of dry shampoo!

More recently dry shampoos have come onto the market specifically for certain hair colours. label.m, which is part of Toni & Guy, has joined this list with their newly launched Brunette Dry Shampoo.

It comes in a 200ml, sleek looking aerosol spray can which is priced at £10.50. It’s very easy to spray, from all different angles enabling you to get to your whole head of hair.

It can be used to refresh hair or styles in between washes, help absorb excess oil, or give your hair a bit of a lift. I purposely left my hair an extra day without washing to test it out.

The first thing you may notice is that my hair is a slightly different colour – this is due to the fact I’m not totally brunette, and this spray is brown in colour! I sprayed some onto the back of my hand to give you an idea.

I don’t think this caused too much of a problem – as in, it doesn’t look like that’s not my natural hair colour because it blends in so nicely.

I sprayed it on the roots of my hair from the underneath right up to the top, in short, sharp bursts as recommended. I then sprayed all over the rest of my hair. The smell reminds me of spray tans but luckily that doesn’t seem to last! It looked quite wet on my roots once it was sprayed on, but after about 20 seconds it was completely dry and left my hair looking normal.

It definitely left my roots with more volume and my hair
looked a lot less skanky and greasy. Although I still feel like I need to give it a
good wash, it will be useful in emergency situations!

label.m Brunette Dry Shampoo is available exclusively at Toni & Guy, essensuals, and specially appointed label.m salons worldwide. For more info check out their website www.labelm.com

Have you tried any dry shampoo for specific hair colours? What do you think of them?

Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine Treatment

Liz Earle recently launched their Botanical Shine Treatment, an intense conditioning treatment for frizzy, dry, or very coarse hair.

I have very thick, coloured hair, and lots of it! I am constantly on the look out for products that will help to keep it well conditioned and make it more manageable when styling it, as it’s one hell of a job to do!

You use the Botanical Shine Treatment in place of your conditioner, so to start with, shampoo as normal. I
have been using Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine Shampoo which for an
SLS-free product I was extremely impressed with. Every SLS-free hair
product I had used prior to this just didn’t lather up no matter how
hard I tried. This it was a different story – you’d never know it was
SLS-free unless you’d read it on the packaging.
You then apply the Botanical Shine Treatment to your hair and leave it for 10-30 minutes while it does it’s magic.
It is a thick white cream-feeling conditoner which has a refreshing citrus smell, and a slight hint of tea (I’m pretty sure there’s no tea in it, but it smells like that to me!). It has naturally active ingredients of red algae, sumac wax, blue seakale and extracts of cotton, apple and orange. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know what the benefits of those ingredients are, but the squeezy tube claims that it will leave hair frizz-free, shiny, tamed and manageable.
On rinsing the conditioner out I could instantly feel how much smoother my hair was. Brushing my hair was a dream – normally it’s a tangled mess after a wash but when I use this treatment my brush just glides through.
I would normally add Moroccan Oil to my barnet at this point, but for the purposes of trialling this product I decided to see how it managed on it’s own. 
I dried my hair off with a hair drier, then straightened it using GHD flat irons.
My hair was frizz free and smooth, but best of all, it felt in fabulous condition. It didn’t feel sleek enough for me to wear it down – it was a bit too big, so I tied it up after taking these photos but found I have been constantly touching my pony tail as my hair just feels so silky and nice!  
My best swish…
…teehee, I don’t really know how that came about, but I kinda like it!
So, in conclusion, if your locks need a bit of TLC then this would be the perfect little treat for your tresses. If your hair is lacking in condition – this will come to your rescue! It’s available from lizearle.com or John Lewis for £14 for 150mls.
Have you tried any Liz Earle hair care products? What do you think of them? What do you use to get your wild hair under control!?

AOFM Week Three

Thank you very much to the person that reminded me yesterday I hadn’t written up week three of my course at AOFM (Academy of Freelance Makeup)!

So… on the Saturday at the end of week two we’d completed the make up part of the course. On the Sunday I had my photoshoot. This is included as part of the course – you get to make up two models – one has to be a natural look, which would be used as a beauty shot, and other had to be an editorial look, but nothing to ‘out there’!

We had a week to plan and make mood boards, so by the time the day came round we knew what we were doing. We had our photoshoots in groups of 6, so it wasn’t too crowded in the rooms we were working in. We didn’t know which model we would get – just whoever sat at our stations first! All of the models were gorgeous, but I was really happy with the two I got!

We had a hair stylist working with us – Jan Prezemyk, who asked what kind of thing we wanted, asked what kind of clothes we had chosen (we had a stylist and a big rack of clothes to choose from) and he then created a hair style based on that. We then went and shot the photos in one of the rooms that had been converted into a studio for the day, with photographer Lou Denim.

We had 45 minutes to create each look…

For my editorial look I went with smokey eyes and nude lips.

And for my beauty shot I tried to make it look like my model wasn’t wearing too much make up, while enhancing her natural good looks.

On the Monday, we started learning about hair. We had a different teacher on each day, again, which was really interesting as we got the chance to find out different tips and tricks that each of them had. Our teachers during the week were Jan Prezemyk, Desmond Murray, Ben Gregory, Chrysostomos Chamalidis and Simon Maynard. We learned a variety of stuff but a lot of it was aimed at the editorial route.

We learned about the products and what they did, how to reate texture, how to blow dry properly, how to section, how to curl using rollers (wet set, directional set, and brickwork), GHDs, curling tongs, tin foil and wands. How to get wavy hair, how to get mad crazy hair, how to give someone with straight hair an afro, how to crimp, back comb, finger wave, and make dread locks.

We learned hair up styles – pony tails, low bun, chignon, a bun, how to use padding and nets, how to create volume on the top, putting hair into a bow shape, a french pleat, onion hair, glam big hair, fishtail plait, rikracking, sleek hair, and how to apply extensions.

On the Saturday we had to take in an image we wanted to recreate, which we did under the guidance of our tutor.

Here are a few pictures of some of the things I did in hair week:

I feel like I learned a lot, but as I had absolutely no hair experience before I found it quite a lot to take in. I have written a zillion notes so I plan to buy a dummy and practise at home.

AOFM do offer a fourth week, which I decided not to do – it covers nails and air brushing, which I couldn’t really justify the cost of learning about to be honest! So at the end of the Saturday, we all graduated. We were given a certificate and had a 5 minute feedback session each – we all had champagne and chocolates and said goodbye to one another. Working with people in such an intense environment for three weeks solid created some really good friendships and it was hard to say goodbye! We’ve created a Facebook group so we can keep up with what each other are doing – in the 4 weeks since we graduated we have been busy! Two of the girls are working for MAC, one for NARS and one for Chanel. Another is working for an agency which provides luxury department stores with make up artists. Others are doing their own thing, getting shoots organised and trying to build their portfolio.

Once you graduate from AOFM it acts as an agency, posting jobs on it’s Facebook page which the graduates of the three and four week classes are invited to apply to. I have done some amazing jobs through them – Profile 2011, The Ideal Christmas Home Show, Fashion In Style, Sheer Cover launch and I assisted the amazing Yin Lee on a music video. If you’d like to keep up with my journey as a make up artist, please ‘like’ my personal Facebok page.

Also on offer to graduates are the free aftercare Masterclasses. I attended a MAC Masterclass at the MAC training centre which was learning about the new season catwalk trends, and a Dior Masterclass where Dior PRO artist Jamie Coombes gave a stunning make up demonstration and showed us the new seasons products about to launch, and we had a chat with Lisa Oxenham, Beauty Editor of Marie Claire magazine, about what she looks for when hiring a make up artist, the trends from fashion week, and her advice for us.

I think the aftercare is one of the best things that sets AOFM apart from all the other make up schools. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to do a make up course.