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!


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.


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!


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?


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!


Video | August Favourites...

I thought I'd start doing a blog post to go alongside my monthly favs vids on youtube, just so I can go into a bit more detail and include any other important bits that I can sometimes forget as I stubble through a rather inarticulate monthly overview in front of a camera ha!

So let's go...

Mrs Doubtfire - Of course, noone could escape the tragic news of Robin Williams suicide this month. I feel like he is one of the people responsible for how my sense of humour turned out and I think he was a big presence in pretty much most peoples childhood around the 90s onwards. I had to revisit this film as it's one of my all time favourites.

Caudalie Vinosource Range* - This is a range I have been blown away by this month. I'd heard so many great things about it and was so excited when Look Fantastic provided me the opportunity to trial it. Despite having oily skin I am very dehydrated and the S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum is an absolute dream for dehydrated skin. It's super lightweight and feels so nice on the skin, it absorbs quickly and definitely injects some concentrated hydration where you need it without overloading areas that don't. I have been using this whole range specifically following evenings when I'll do a face mask, usually a clay mask and I feel like my skin needs some TLC and I need to replace lost moisture. I follow the serum with the Overnight Recovery Oil. Oils can be pretty daunting for those of us with oily skin but they are fantastic, especially going into the colder months. Despite being targeted to dry skin specifically, I find this oil in particular is great because it's so light. I apply 6 drops as directed all over my face, with some oils they can sit and 'cook' on the skin for a while and I'll feel an uncomfortable residue for a good while after application, but this, like the serum this sinks in beautifully. I then finish with the Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet. And sorbet is a great description for this moisturiser as it's light, whipped texture melts into the skin and I feel fresh, nourished and plumped for days afterwards! All this skincare may seem really overwhelming for an oily skin but it really doesn't feel like half as much as it is. These products work harmoniously together and going forward, I really cannot imagine my routine without this range, a real game changer in my opinion.

Dr Brandt SPF 30 for Face - I'm not the biggest fan of SPF's espcially not for the face. I usually find them heavy, greasy and take far too long to sink in. However this has changed everything for me. I'm gona go into too much detail as it's not the most exciting product to me but here's a round up, it's very light so sinks into the skin quickly, no waiting around to apply makeup. It works under foundation really well and hasn't broken me out or irritated my skin. Overall a no frills, foolproof SPF that's great for everyday wear, finally!

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Fragrance - The weather has taken a turn in the UK, Autumn is a foot, and I never really thought I was one for changing my fragrance according to season but it turns out, I am. I've switched my Chloe Eau Fraiche for this on the colder, greyer days of late. When it comes to fragrance, I do prefer a heavier, very fragrant fragrance, if that makes sense. Woody, spicy scents appeal to me over fruity, floral or citrus all day long. This fragrance is the perfect mix of fruity and spice me, I feel like it's my most girly fragrance as it has a sweet depth to it which is made suitably dark from me with the spicey undertone. I wouldn't say I'm a connoisseur in fragrance so my descriptions probably make no sense but, I urge you to sniff this as we creep into the colder months to give you a homely but sultry warmth...ok I'll stop now.

Schwarzkopf Moisture Kick Leave In Conditioner  - One thing I have to have, is good leave in conditioner. My hair is so dry and so frazzled from bleach I cannot get a brush through if I don't use one. And this one from Schwarzkopf is a beaut. Super lightweight but you really feel the benefits, once my hair is dry there have been days I just CANNOT stop stroking it because it feels so so soft. But not static, flyaway soft, it's still workable and I can get some good texture going but the parched, thirst I'm so used to disappears. A must as it gets colder and we subject out hair to central heating and tight top knots.

Label M Texturising Volume Spray - I spoke about this in this post here as a product I couldn't live with out, and I absolutely can't. This is my go to pray on a daily bruv...no powdery overload and all day volume, what more could you want.

Go watch the vid and it even includes a few bonus extras!


Brand focus | Jurlique...

It's not often you come across a brand where you feel like you love absolutely everything about them, ethos, packaging, formula and product. But Aussie brand Jurlique has truly stolen my heart over the last few months.

I rarely do entire brand focus posts, I think my last one was on Tigi's Bedhead range, but I have been lucky enough to sample a number of treats from Jurlique as well as work with them on a Google Hangout, and thought the easiest thing to do would be to initially put them all up in a post together and highlight just how fab I think this brand is.

Now I think this may turn into a rather long post if I individually reviewed each thing, and I will definitely have some stand out favourites which will make a few edits in the upcoming weeks where I will go into more detail, but overall, I am so impressed with Jurlique as a brand. It's beauty with a conscience which I really like and love how they promote, alongside healthy skin, a healthy lifestyle and massively important these days, a healthy mind as well as being huge advocates of female empowerment around the world. 

Not to veer off course too much but I think beauty and specifically skincare lends itself really well to mental health. Encouraging a pamper sesh a couple of times a week is something I really believe in, not only for the benefits to your skin, but it's an excuse to really take some time out, relax and escape from all those tensions that can make us feel trapped or lost day to day. A time to refocus and prioritise and I genuinely think it's a really positive thing to introduce into your routine, as well as being pure indulgence which we all love a bit of! Honestly though, if you're struggling to keep it together, get your self a good face mask, I can highly recommend the Jurlique Purifying Mask, glass of wine and a cheeky bar of choccie and treat yourself to a much needed evening of you time. 

All the products in the Jurlique range are from natural and organic sources, and ingredients are assured to be the purest and highest potency available. I find everything really calming and soothing, a great way to wind down at the end of a busy week. But don't be put off by thinking you need the real harsh chemical stuff to sort out your skin concerns, I can assure you Jurlique's formulations are so beneficial to the skin and I can really feel, and see a difference, every time I use them.

So this has turned into a slightly longer than planned post but honestly, I really cannot rave enough about Jurlique. Have you tried anything from their range?

*products very kindly supplied by Jurlique


Blonde series | tone on tone...

I came across this image on this instagram and immediately thought this is perfect for deciphering the difference between tones of blonde. This girl is also just amazing at blending and makes me really hopeful that one day I can be as amazing a colourist.

I think tones can be one of the most confusing parts of going blonde and it's really good, if nothing else, when you go into the hairdressers, to have a good idea of at least what tone you like. This makes our job as hairdressers so much easier, and we can tell you if this is achievable as well as advising on what aspect of tones to play with. If it seems confusing at first, just answer the essential question, do you prefer warm tones or cool tones, are you more Jennifer Anniston or Rita Ora? Once you have decided this you can then explore more options in each category, and believe me there are many!

So to start I will outline what in my opinion are the 3 main tonal families within colour, specifically referring to blonde.

Ash/Cool tones -  this is a really clean, crisp way of using blonde, it plays with tones of blue, grey, silver and mauve, but be careful with this as it can easily look quite flat and one dimensional. Extreme versions of ash take you into the cold pastel tones as seen on Kelly Osbourne and Lady Gaga. I would recommend ash if you are going for a more blocky or all over blonde.

Golden/warm tones - think Jennifer Anniston, the traditional california girl, sunkissed blonde. With warmer blondes you can play with tones of honey and caramel, it's a really nice tone to go with if you want to enhance your natural hair colour, or create a soft sunkissed look, it also looks great in ombre styles for a natural lived in and low maintenance colour.

Neutral tones - so neutral is a happy marriage of cool and warm tones. I love to describe these shades as creamy, beige or smokey blondes depending on how light you want to go, you can even play with rose and mahogany shades. Perfect for achieving an effortless natural blend and my preferred tone over ash when doing extremely light, all over blondes. Emily Weiss of Into the Gloss is a great example of my perfect creamy, beige blonde.

I know this is all pretty overwhelming and perhaps they all look the same to you, but I really hope I have at least given you an easier understanding and vision of all the different blondes there are to be had, and perhaps even guided you into finally finding your perfect tone.

Look out for the next post in my blonde series where I'll be guiding you through colourist terminology and techniques!

Catch up on my last post in the Blonde Series here.



Latest Video