10.01.2014

Unboxing | Look Fantastic Beauty Box...




Here it is the second month of the Look Fantastic beauty box! I previewed last months box over on youtube here and am so excited to bring you the next instalment.

The best thing about the Look Fantastic beauty box is the size of the samples, perfect for giving all the products a real good try before you buy and if you're a bit of a traveller, you've got your travel sizes sorted right here.

On to the contents of this months box

L'oreal Professionel Serie Expert Pro Keratin Refil Shampoo and Conditioning Hair Mask - Damaged, breaking hair, this guys for you. Anything Keratin is protein so if you are a slave to bleach and you can never quite get your hair to grow in the Kardashian locks you so desire, get on this range. As it concentrated protein only leave the mask on for about 10-15 minutes as you don't want to over proteinase the hair as this then does the reverse and hair becomes brittle. Once you use up the range start introducing some more moisture based products as well as healthy hair needs a good balance of protein and moisture.

Korres Citrus Shower Gel - Korres is such a nice brand. Everything I've tried I've been really impressed with and this shower gel is for sure in my travel bag for my birthday trip to Berlin this weekend. I love how the scents are all really fresh, not too overwhelming and not at all synthetic. All Korres products are free from mineral oil and silicone and enriched with plant extracts.

Balance Me Facial Expression Filler - Now this is an interesting one. Focus this product on any lined areas you feel concerned about. And even if you don't have any yet, this contains hylauronic acid which is super moisturising and helps plump the skin so you can age as seamlessly as possible!

KMS Free Shape Quick Blowdry - There are a few blowdry sprays that claim to speed up blowdry time, so especially for you girls with long, thick hair that find blowdrying such a chore this ones for you.

Gatineau Collagene Expert Smoothing Cream - I've heard a lot about Gatineau and never got to try anything. This is a hydrating gel cream - my fav formula of creams, that helps to even skintone, plump skin and overall just make you look banging with no makeups on.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray Plus - Now I don't think this is new version, I wonder if maybe they'll be changing the name as I can't find any info on why this would be plus. This was also in the last beauty box but I'm so glad to have another sample in time for Berlin. I can never sleep anywhere but my own bed, especially if I'm abroad, so this is going to be a big help to comfort me and be a tiny piece of home to help me sleep in an unknown country!

So now you know what's inside, go and pre order your Look Fantastic Beauty Box here...and be quick as once they're gone, they're gone!


9.28.2014

Seriously impressed | Show beauty...



Luxe haircare is a funny one. Nowadays beauty consumers aren't as adverse to dropping £30 or so on an expensive item of skincare but haircare, I think still has a long way to go. Consumers don't seem to place the same emphasis on quality of ingredients when it comes to their hair, a quick jaunt down the isle of Boots and they're good to go.

As a hairdresser, I place the same amount of importance on my haircare products as I do my skincare. Now I'm not saying everything needs to be premium, you can get away with a few cheaper styling products here and there, but do bare in mind silicones, padding (volume) or shaping (hold) ingredients used in these products will cling to your hair and be hard to remove, causing a product build up and then further damage, especially if you heat style. But so often I hear an argument for why people find it so hard to spend more on haircare, 'does it really make a difference, it's only my hair'. The argument for expensive haircare is exactly the same as skincare, if you want the best ingredients, the best research and more often than not the best result, especially if you colour and heat style your hair, you're gona have to part with some pounds here and there.

Step up Show Beauty. A brand that markets their haircare very similarly to a skincare routine, for a great style you need a good base of 'moisturiser', a good foundation, topped off with a good finishing product. All talk and a great sales pitch you might think but, being someone who didn't quite jump on the Oribe bandwagon, I have genuinely been so impressed with this range.

The first thing that screams at you is the scent, all the products have a decadently sweet and really luxurious fragrance to them. Show Beauty employed fragrance connoisseurs Givaudan, who have developed fragrances for the likes of Thierry Mugler, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, to develop the associated fragrance for their products. The result is indulgent, gourmand notes which feature in a lot of my personal favourite fragrances, and make this range a real treat for the hair, and the nostrils! You can really enjoy treating and styling your hair as much as you do a great facemask on a sleepy sunday, something I think is revolutionary in today's haircare market.

My stand out product has to be the Treatment Oil. Now I'm not crazy on oils as I often feel they weigh my hair down and just sit on top of it. On first look of this one it seems quite gloopy, but once applied to towel dried hair it sinks in beautifully and leaves my hair feeling incredibly soft but nourished and substantial, like it really has been rebuilt. It contains argan oil which penetrates the cuticle and strengthens the hair from within, rather than just sitting on top of the cuticle and smoothing it out without actually adding any benefit to the hair. If there was one product I would really recommend from the range, it would be this one, the most perfect treatment and beautifully indulgent product which doesn't overload the hair, and looks pretty nice on the dressing table, I am seriously in love with this.

I also love the Volume Mist. Traditionally any volume product automatically means a tacky and pretty dry feeling to the hair but again, this product is so so nourishing, smells amazing and really does inflate my hair. I have been wearing my hair straight recently which usually I hate as it looks so flat and lack lustre, what I want is sleek, shiny hair with body...this, I thought was completely unachievable until I used this. Again I spray through wet hair and blast dry, it really inflates the hair and I can physically see the root sitting up from my scalp, but no dried out, matte, knotty texture, my hair feels smooth, has some shine and looks pretty damn aspirational, rather than my usual trampy Olsen, dragged out of a hedge chic!

Now I know this line is expensive and as I was so so lucky to receive this as a gift it would be easy to think I was over egging the pudding, but honestly, no bullshit, I have been seriously blown away by Show Beauty, so much so I have a shopping list of about 3 other products I'm desperate to try, all to be funded by myself...if that doesn't convince you I don't know what will.


9.19.2014

Hair update | Going peach with Bleach...


Since going blonde over a year ago I've wanted to play with pastel tones for ages but have never really, not had the guts so to speak, but I've really loved the creamy blonde I've become and didn't want to ruin it. But on my last visit to Bleach to see my most favourite-ist hair gaaaaal, Tasha, we decided to take the plunge.

And I LOVE it. I'm so so happy with the shade and I feel like now I want it forever. I'm pretty sure it's a toner by Wella, so if you go to any salon that uses Wella, you should be able to get this shade if that's what you're after. I know in general Wella do a great range of professional, pastel shades (unlike L'oreal, come on catch up!) I'd really, really recommend Tasha at Bleach if you're in London as she is seriously, amazing with colour and bleach specifically. Being a hairdresser myself I have access to be able to get my hair done for free, but I trust Tasha so much I still pay for her to do it...do you need anymore reason to get yourself hooked up?

Find Tasha here -

Bleach London Topshop - 0207 2759500
Instagram - @tasha_spencer
Twitter - @tasha_spencer

Watch my vlog featuring me getting my hair done here!





9.16.2014

LFW Backstage Beauty | Giles...







We've reached the last in my Backstage Beauty posts!

And what a way to go out, with Giles at The Dairy. When you hear about chaotic backstage set ups, this was it. Press were hustled in, ushered into a group surrounding Toni & Guy Creative Director, Sacha Mascolo Tarbuck, (I still can't believe I've seen her so many times in the last few days, as a hairdresser she's kind of a big deal to me!) and the run down was given. The Giles show was Disco fever so Sacha wanted to go the complete opposite with hair to balance this out and let the clothes play in the strobe lights.

Hair was simple, but elegant and very modern. Huge tear drop sections were taken along the top and centre of the head, fastened into half up half down, and the joined into a ponytail. The sides swooped over the ears into a veil style, some with ears poking out, some not. This was then finished with a textured, grungey finish, simulating down trodden victoriana, set against the bright lights and boogie of Studio 54. No notable product used except the Label M Sea Salt Spray, this was everywhere backstage, on every station. This was first blowdried in, uncombed to create the unkempt texture, and diffused through the ponytail for even more movement.

And with that, I now bid fond farewell to this week of fashion and frenzy, it really is my favourite time of year when it comes around. I must also say a big big thankyou to Toni & Guy and Label M for having me backstage, let's strut the hell out of Autumn Winter and I'll see you in February!



9.14.2014

LFW Backstage Beauty | PPQ...





Nestled somewhere between Marble Arch and Park Lane, more Marble Arch, stands Le Peep nightclub, and the location for my last show on Friday, PPQ.

Backstage was tight so it was a quick pow wow with Sacha Mascolo Tarbuck before she had to squeeze behind the step & pose boards to ensure all models were ready for showtime.

In essence, PPQ was all about a party vibe, what Sacha had created was the modern day tiara. Hair was parted down the centre and adorned with chunky, iridescent glitter. Texture was smooth and sleek, any kinks or movement had been removed from the hair with straighteners and barely any product, just a touch of blowout spray, had been used for a subtle hold, to tame flyaways and encourage the slightest bit of natural shine.

Brave enough to recreate this look?
First define a centre parting, a pintail comb can help to get this really strong and neat. Hair then needs to be smoothed and any frizz tamed. Spritz some Label M blowout spray and blowdry in, a natural boar bristle brush really helps to smooth and frizz and ensure a natural, sleek finish. Of course you can always just blast dry and go over with the straighteners and this will give super sleek finish. To create the modern day tiara, mix iridescent glitter with Label M gel and mould along the parting, then get your best shoes on and you're ready for a PPQ party.



9.13.2014

LFW backstage beauty | Paul Costelloe...






From a very hectic backstage tent to a calm oasis along The Strand. When I arrived at Paul Costelloe, a few minutes early like I always do, it was like being transformed from the typical fashion week craziness of Somerset House, to a countryside retreat, in the middle of london.

With the hair concept created by Toni & Guy's Cos Sakkas, the Costelloe girl took influence from Brigitte Bardot. Voluminous beehives were created with a nod to parisian chic in the form of a cute black ribbon featured on every other girl, all finished off with a very modern, undone, matte texture. This is ultimate femininity, with an imperfect edge.

I think this look is perfect for nights out, or important events when you don't want to look too sleek, but still want to look put together.

Recreate this look:
Saturate hair in sections with Label M Volume Mousse and blowdry in. Backcomb hair up to the root using Label M Resurrection Style Dust to give height as well as creating a sturdy structure. Hair was then brushed back into an undone, soft matte beehive and fastened with a cute, grown up black ribbon. Want more texture? If you've been following me for a while you'll know the Label M Texturising Volume Spray is one of my absolute faaaaaav products ever, slather this on to create a carefree, matte texture. To make this more wearable day to day, go easy on the backcombing and either pull back into a low chignon or a chic half up, half down, relaxed do.

Special shoutout to Paul Costelloe himself for being so welcoming to everyone backstage, he even introduced himself to little old me when I first arrived.




LFW backstage beauty | Jean-Pierre Braganza...

Label M Stylist Indira Schauwecker


Toni & Guy Global Creative Director Sacha Mascolo Tarbuck





Rushed into backstage B at Somerset House I arrived just in time to catch the run down of the hair look by Label M stylist, Indira Schauwecker.

The first sentence I managed to catch amongst the blasting hairdryers and hustle and bustle of backstage was,  'this is a girl on a Harley, who's just had sex, with a hippie edge'...sounds like my type o' gaaaaal. To translate, the JPB girl, is young and carefree. Hair is kept simple; deep side parts with a tuck behind the ear and a lived in (post coital) texture. It's soft, feminine and very, very easy, Indira herself said it shouldn't take more than 5 mins, if the girl comes in with perfect, clean hair that is.

To create this look:
The great thing about a lot of hair looks recently is they are so easy to recreate. Simply blast the Label M Blowout Spray throughout hair, specifically focusing on the roots to get a really smooth, defined side part. Then blast dry the Label M Volume Mousse throughout mide lengths and ends, follow this with tonging the hair and pulling the curl down to set it, this creates more of a lived in, tousled movement rather than a super defined curl. Finish by running some more blowout spray throughout the hair to create separation and lived in texture. Fancy adding a bit of shine? Simply spritz the Label m Hold and Gloss Spray to luxe up those locks.

The main thing I took from this show, I need me some Label M Blowout Spray!



9.08.2014

Update | the centre part...

Not really sure how to start this post but here goes...I'm rocking a centre parting!

Now this may not seem like a big deal to some, but I haven't worn my hair in a centre parting since I was about 12. This is because I have one of the worst hairlines known to man, a pretty severe widows peek partnered with an even more severe cowlick...what even is a cowlick?! So with this in mind I can never have a fringe and seemingly never have a centre parting as my hair just sits awfully...until now.

I had my hair chopped t'other day and the stylist cut and blow dried it into a centre parting, without asking me. She's a friend so it's fine and half of me was intrigued to see how she'd deal with my nightmare hairline. Pretty damn well if you ask me, the pic on the left is just after I had the chop and the one on the right is a couple of days later. With new centre part and pretty dirty hair, I thought I'd take advantage and try and simulate my fash idol Vanessa of The Haute Pursuit by sporting the chicest of dos, the low slick 'fashion' tail as I call it.

Oh yeah I also had my hair poker straight, again something I never usually have, but really works with this style.

Honestly, I don't know how long this way of styling my new bob will stick around. For me a centre part and dead straight hair is just not practical, I defo prefer a huge 90s swept over side part and lots of texture, but I'm happy to know I do have the sleek and chic option now, should I desire.

What do you think of the new sleek do?




9.04.2014

Blonde Series | techniques and terminology...


For the next installment of my blonde series I thought I'd cover a few terms and techniques us hairdressers like to use which make perfect sense to us, but may be baffling to hear.

As you may already be aware, blonde is such a huge trend which means there are now so many application techniques available to stylists that can achieve all sorts of stunning results, no more stripey highlights here. Colour is becoming more bespoke and exclusive to the stylist doing it, they can pick and choose where to place colour in order to achieve a real individual style, tailored to you!

Fun activity - count how many times I say natural, blended and natural blend...

Balayage: This is perhaps the most current way of lightening hair and the foundation for a lot of newer techniques, including ombre and dipdye. From the french 'to sweep', colour is painted onto the hair and left uncovered, this creates a beautiful, soft and more natural looking blend. It's also a great way to play with regrowth styles, rather than having a harsh line, roots can look natural and blended, a lot less maintenance enabling clients to go much longer between appointments. This technique doesn't have to be done alone, colour can also be balayaged in between regular foil patterns. This is usually a darker tone and is a great way of breaking up your blonde if it's become too blocky looking after months of highlights as well as creating a blended out regrowth, it's also great if you fancy trying a slightly darker blonde without taking too much of a plunge.

Diffused and multi tonal colour: I've included these together as I think you can't have one without the other. Balayage is a great technique for achieving this overall look. You can use up to three colours when balayaging and as they are left open rather than wrapped in foil, the colour then diffuses onto each other creating a soft multi tonal effect, not stripey, but beautifully blended and natural looking tones. Tissue can also be used to slightly separate the shade but as it's so thin, the colour still blends together for a soft, natural looking blend.

Winter blonde: Not so much a technique, but a real buzz word to use in salon. This is also known as bronde (brown blonde) but stylists can play with just how dark they want to go. Usually a more gold based or neutral tone is added into the colour pattern to darken and tone down lighter blondes in order to create a richer, more natural looking, blended colour. Really low maintenance and a great way to update your colour for the colder season without too much commitment, as in it won't be difficult to lighten back up come summertime next year. This is usually done using the balayage technique.

Smudged roots: Another way of describing intended regrowth, this can be done using foils or balayage and is used a lot to create ombre styles. Hair is backcombed at the roots, or in the case of ombre further down the hair length, colour is then painted up to and slightly onto this gradient. This creates a soft, natural blend and is a really easy way to banish a harsh line of colour, 'diffusing' the roots for a more natural blend.

Bespoke: I love this word when describing colour. As balayage has allowed stylists to be much more free with colour application, we can pretty much tailor our techniques to you personally, meaning no two colours we do will be the same. We'll take into account your cut, lifestyle and individuality to create a perfect look, exclusive to you, what more could you ask for!

Toner: A semi permanent colour applied over the top of lightened hair to tone down any unwanted tones, ie: oranges or yellows as well as creating a more blended blonde. Basically raw bleach doesn't ever really look good by itself, toners create better depth, richness and blend in blondes, especially if you are quite dark to begin with. They also even out blonde if hair doesn't lift equally. I loooove toners and would never lighten my hair without one. These are especially important if you are doing a full head of scalp bleach, Gwen Stefani style.

I haven't covered everything but these are the terms I think are key right now for understanding all the different options available to you as a client. It's great to have a basic understanding of techniques so you can better visualize the finished result as well as what looks you may prefer.

Look out for next weeks blonde series all about products and preparation!


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