Archive | December, 2012

Easy Plaited Bun

24 Dec


Oh the weather outside is RAINY, and my hair is looking CRAPPY.

It’s not quite the traditional Christmas song, but that’s how it is when you’re spending the festive season in South Wales.

So I’ve decided to show you the very simple updo that I’m wearing today in order to escape the frizz.

Step 1: Brush hair back into a high ponytail and secure.

Step 2: Braid your hair into a basic three strand plait.

Step 3: Wrap the plait in a circular motion to create a bun, ensuring the shape of the braid is visible around the edges, and fix in place with hair grips.

See, it really is easy! Happy Xmas lovely people x


Head of Hair and Make Up – National Theatre

20 Dec

Giuseppe Cannas, head of make up and wigs at the National Theatre

I recently interviewed Giuseppe Cannas, Head of Hair and Make Up at the National Theatre. The article hasn’t appeared yet (although you can read a great interview with him in The Guardian here). but just a few facts and figures that impressed me:

– Every single actor and understudy at the National has their own custom made wig. It takes 40 hours minimum to make by a team of expert knotters, at a cost of £1500-£2000.

– The hairs – which are real – are knotted onto the wigs one at a time. Imagine the concentration needed!

– At one time, the hair and make up team will be working on nine plays – six in performance, and three in production.

– Giuseppe’s predecessor, Joyce Beagarie, had been in the job for 38 YEARS before he took over – that’s since the National Theatre first opened.

– The team gets just 6 weeks to prepare for a show, including research, making the wigs, dress runs and choreographing quick changes.

– Quick changes have to happen in literally seconds – that can include new costume, make up and hair/wig change. Phew!

Illustrated Beauty – Stylist and Company

19 Dec

I love it when magazines decide to do something a bit differently, whether it’s finding an original way to illustrate their articles or taking a completely new direction from other publications.

Two magazines that have particularly exemplified this for me are Stylist and Company – both of which have strayed from the path of the typical woman’s mag and experimented both in terms of subject matter and design.

Today Stylist launched their illustrated issue – every single picture in the mag has been drawn by a team of brilliant illustrators, including the beauty pages below:



stylist-illustrated-issueIt reminded me of some other great beauty illustrations I’ve seen recently, including these lovely perfume depictions in Company:

company-perfume-illustrationsAnd another one from Stylist last week – again pushing the boundaries forward but this time through the medium of knitted perfume bottles!


stylist-knitted-perfumeAs well as coming up with some eye-catching and unusual design ideas, I think what these magazines are both really good at is making beauty relevant to the reader. So rather than just ‘here’s a model looking hot in some expensive make up’, they deliver articles about translating beauty trends to real life – whether it’s Stylist’s ‘Trends on Trial’ or the ‘D.I.Y Beauty’ style features in Company.

In many ways this brings them closer to the beauty blogging culture, the popularity of which is no doubt fuelled by the fact we want to see products tested on everyday, un-photoshopped faces and hear advice on how to create certain looks ourselves, not just look at pictures of beautiful faces that have been worked on for hours by professional make up artists.

I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!

London Marathon – I’m in

18 Dec

Runners cross Tower Bridge during the 2008 Flora London Marathon.

I’ve gone and done something crazy. Crazier than the time I gave up a stable job straight out of uni to intern unpaid at The Telegraph and sleep on a floor for three months. Or the time I told the manager at the local Natwest that I wouldn’t leave until she gave me £100 and a bottle of Moet to compensate for accidentally cancelling my card. Both of those paid off so I’m hoping this will too. I’m only running the frickin’ London Marathon.

As someone who has run fairly regularly for a couple of years, including two half marathons, this is of course the natural progression. Except, of course, that by mile 9 of those two half marathons I wanted to lie down/cry/give up/faint and generally thought “wow, anyone who does double this distance must be a nut job.”

Now I’m a nut job.

However, as my mum informed me – and hell, haven’t we all come to realise that mums are ALWAYS right – if I don’t do it now, I never will. This is true – I’m 24, have pretty much no responsibilities, and can do what I want with my time i.e. spend every weekday evening and Sunday morning training to run a silly distance round London. I’ve printed out a marathon training schedule, and just looking at it nearly made me weep, but the good thing about getting a last minute place is that I don’t really have time to think about it. I just have to do it.

Also, the fact it is my first, and probably my only marathon means I’m not trying to beat a certain time and set a new PB – I literally have to get round and survive, even if that means crawling the last six miles (probably more likely than you would think).

So here goes – except some whingey running posts soon, but I’ll be damned if I don’t do this thing!

Sparkly Nails of the Day – Purple Rain!

13 Dec

models-own-disco-nailsModels Own MirrorBall in Boogie Nights – £5, worn over Models Own Sterling Silver Nail Polish – £5


Straight hair is back

11 Dec

Felder Felder show, Spring Summer 2013, London Fashion Week, Britain - 14 Sep 2012

“And do you always use a heat protection spray when straightening your hair?”

The hairdresser eyes me in the mirror. We both know the truth, just like when the hygienist asks me if I floss every day. “Yeeees,” I answer. “Kinda. Well sometimes…”

The hairdresser raises an eyebrow as she starts snipping off the frazzled split-ends that say otherwise. “Well you’re going to have to start,” she warns me, “because straight hair is back.”

Yes people, you heard – poker straight, super-sleek, high-shine hair has made a comeback, gracing SS ’13 catwalks from Marios Schwab to Felder Felder. Sometimes worn with a dead sharp centre parting, at other times in a long, flawlessly straight ponytail, this trend is set to be the look for 2013 – a statement which will strike fear into the hearts of those with even so much as a kink in their locks.

It’s a stark move away from the boho waves or Cheryl-because-I’m-worth-it-big hair that have both reigned the manes over the past few years – straight hair is minimalist, controlled, austere.

At this point I realise they’ll be those with say, Afro or curly hair, who look at this trend and think, “I just can’t be f***ed’. Well I say, power to you. Rock the curls.

However, if you are keen to try out this look, here’s my advice:


1) Start by washing your hair with a shampoo and conditioner that will leave your hair soft and detangled. For a high street option, I love the Aussie range (nearly always on special offer in Boots or Superdrug), or for a more high end option, TIGI’s new Recharge Shampoo and Conditioner are great.

2) After you get out of the shower, comb through your hair using a Tangle Teezer. This little brush first found fame when it was turfed out of Dragon’s Den by the unimpressed investors, but its inventor Shaun P stuck to his belief that we all need pain-free detangling and by god he was right.

3) Next step – hair oil. It’s emerged as a hair wonder product for good reason, particularly if your hair is coarse, dry or prone to flyways. Moroccanoil costs around £30 a bottle, but has great results and lasts for ages. Smooth a drop or two through the midlengths and ends of the hair.

4) PROTECTION SPRAY (see I’m being good!) Toni & Guy Prep Heat Protection Mist is a goodun – doesn’t leave hair smelling burnt unlike some others I’ve tried. Plus it’s only £6.39. Mist all over the hair before you start blow drying to prevent damage and split ends.

5) When blow drying the hair, keep the nozzle of the hairdryer pointing down the shaft of the hair for a straight, glass-like finish. To keep volume at the roots, turn your head upside down and blow dry hair downwards for a while (i.e. not long enough for you to pass out.)

6) Finally, the straighteners. As a bit of an industry insider, I’ve tried my fair share of straightening brands, and although it’s boring, I have to say you can’t beat ghds. Using a paddle brush in one hand, comb slowly through sections of the hair, following each stroke through with the straighteners held in your other hand. Avoid going too close to the roots unless you want flat hair/a burnt scalp.

7) Go forth and show off your straight hair, but FOR GOD’S SAKE avoid rain. your other hand.

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