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Thursday, 28 April 2011

slick lip pick

Dewy Papaya
Big fashion kisses to YSL for their truly scrumptious Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm. When thinking lip balms, it’s usually a dab of a finger in a small pot and a smear on the lips. Job done. But for those wanting a sophisticated balm that guises itself quite beautifully as a lipstick, then look no further than this grown up version. Giving lips the supermodel treatment – hyaluronic acid microspheres trap water for a subtle pillow-ey pout, the bullet imparts a see-thru coloured gloss that settles comfortably on the lips with no sticky gloopiness. With no need to ‘paint’ on a lip, the look is fresh, sexy and altogether mouth-watering.

Available in six fruity colours with names such as Lush Coconut and Succulent Pomegranate, they cost £21 each and are available from Harrods and House of Fraser. Available nationwide 23rd June.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

the fantastic four

When it comes to hair, it’s normally stylists that grab all the headlines, but although I’m not stealing their credit, I personally think it’s the colourists who wield the real power at the salon. Skilfully applied colour turns heads. No question. A trade of shade can do more for your complexion than any blusher as well as make hair look thicker, richer and shinier along with sky rocketing confidence levels.

Step forward FOUR. A new salon in London opened by four female colourists previously from Jo Hansford. With a reputation of being amongst the top colour technicians in town, the go getting girls have also sourced a dream team of top stylists to work alongside them, guaranteeing million dollar hair when you leave their (ever so) swanky salon. Here I caught up with them to talk self dyed blondes, squabbles and savvy techniques.

Hello girls’ can you introduce yourselves?
I’m Maleeka, the organiser. I’m Charlie, the party girl. I’m Brooke who’s IT illiterate, and I’m Denise, a mum!

You all specialise in luxe colour, but what really makes hair colour turn heads?
The expertise of the colourist in colour placement and understanding their client. Using professional products to make sure the colour locks in is key too as it prevents premature colour fade.

What questions should a colourist always ask their client?
How much time are they willing and able to devote to the up keep of their colour? Maintenance is the secret of great looking colour.

What colour crimes do people commit?
Once colour has been professionally done, some clients think it’s okay to maintain by touching up with home colour. They don’t understand that home colour products are totally different to salon professional products. We repair a lot of colour mistakes that are the result of not being in-the-know about the use of home colour.

Which celebrity colour do you admire?
Jennifer Aniston’s hair colour always looks fabulous, like she’s just stepped out of the hairdressers. Yasmin Le Bon – a client of ours, always maintains her hair on a regular basis to make sure it shines and her roots are never showing.

What techniques do you use that raises your colour game?
The one thing we don’t do is bleach bath hair for instant colour change results. If we did clients would be taking their hair home in their handbag! What we do is use a very unique product that allows us to gently lift the hair without damage.

As four directors, do you girls’ ever argue?
What do you think? Yes, we do and we take turns in winning! But seriously, we never close up for the night on an argument.

Can you let us in on a few key trends for summer?
Mad Men’s Betty Draper is setting the trend that has not only inspired Louis Vuitton’s complete collection this season, but has also been responsible for the swarm of women gliding their supermarket trollies down the ‘do-it-yourself-box-blonde’ aisles in the hope of imitating a little of her Grace Kelly look. Don’t do it. Orange brassy hair tones will just make you look mad! Always get it professionally done.

For those whose skin tone may not sit well with Buttercup Blonde, we have a trendful of other options including Peachey Blonde and Light Coppery Blonde that work well using our
Four Way
and Freehand Foiling techniques. For darker hair think Baked Brunette, Bourbon and Tequila Tints. A winner on any menu!

FOUR 62 Conduit Street, London
W1S 2GB. Tell: 0207 297 9600

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

a well tuned ear for better training

When you discover something that improves your workout along with your motivation, it’s usually a fantabulous piece of workout gear, a pair of trainers, or maybe a hot looking personal coach that keeps you coming back for more! For me, it’s none of these things, but a piece of ear equipment that really has made me train faster and better. For years I’ve lost count of the number of earphones I’ve gone through. The cord is either too short making running on the treadmill tricky if you’re plugged into the TV, the plugs fall out of my ears  whereby I have to stop my training to put them back in again, or the audio is just so muffled it’s irritating listening to anything. Then these landed on my desk. Flex headsets from Radiopaq. Okay, they’re a pair of earphones, at first glance they don’t seem very exciting, but boy have they changed my workout. For starters they have a semi flexible ear hook which instantly solves the problem of them falling out. The silicone earphones come in three different sizes and are comfy to wear – this makes a big difference as wearing awkward fitting earplugs is like wearing a pair of too big shoes. And as for the sound quality, it’s superb. What more can I say? They’re my Mr Motivator!

Flex Headsets cost £24.99 from

Monday, 11 April 2011

technicolour toes

As I’ve tweeted, toes without polish is just plain rude, so it would be impolite to ignore these eye – or should I say nail popping limited edition colours from Zoya. Inspired by fashionista colour blocking, they’re great to add a splash of runway cool to flip flop fashion. They work a treat with your Havaianas!
Modmattes aren't formulated to wear with a base coat, top coat or speed dryer, making them the ultimate for a quick varnish.

Chose from Phoebe (blue), Mitizi (lime green) or Lolly (pink) at £11 each.

Friday, 1 April 2011

runaway bride

With all the talk of The Royal Wedding this month, all the fanfare has reminded me of why I ran away and got spliced. The rage to engage took us by surprise whilst holidaying in Crete one summer. A simple silver band set with a sapphire bought from a local jeweller was slipped upon my finger and sealed with a kiss. Along with two of our friends’ who we had gone away with, we celebrated our official coupling with a toasting of champagne and pondered into the early drunken hours about our idyllic wedding. I fancied a Woodstock kind of affair – a long floaty white dress with daisies weaved through my hair surrounded by a gathering of close family and friends.

Arriving back home relaxed and in love, we were bursting to tell family and friends about our romantic engagement. But the minute that sparkler (well, it was a sparkler in my eyes) was shown those innocent wedding thoughts seemed a lifetime away. The heady excitement of the engagement lasted few precious moments as the realisation gripped me that I had quickly become public property for wedding fodder.

Although I had never planned a big bash it seemed like it was turning into one to rival that of a royal wedding. All anybody kept going on about was The Dress. At the time I worked as a fashion stylist so I really felt the pressure was on to look more than just amazing. “How about a Vivienne Westwood number?” said one friend, “or a Vera Wang?” said another. I appreciate that some brides-to-be revel in the whole ceremony of choosing and being fitted for a wedding dress, but for me, the actual thought of spending the price of a small house on a one-day-only dress brought me out in hives. Plus, I loved styling shoots, not necessarily starring in them. And that seemed to be part of the problem. We are not what you call a ‘spotlight’ couple. We don’t do flashy dinner parties, neither do we throw big show off shindigs and this is what my wedding was turning into. The guest list was growing as we were reminded daily who we had to invite. For the reception we had decided to hold it in our house – although the Woodstock theme was quickly falling apart at least I thought I could be bare foot in the garden. However, that caused problems too. How was everyone going to fit in?

I didn’t feel joyful about my impending nuptials, I felt doomed. Everybody but me was directing it. I thought of the scene from one of my favourite films, The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman (Benjamin) falls in love with Mrs Robinson’s daughter (Elaine), and just as she’s about to get married he bursts into the church, snatches her away from the groom, they rush down the road and make their escape on a bus. I wanted that to be me. I wanted to be the runaway bride. And that’s when I had my wedding epiphany. I didn’t have to be a put-upon bride, I was in charge of this show, and I’ll play it out as I liked. I told my boyfriend I couldn’t go through with the wedding as it was, I felt trapped and unhappy. A big smile crept across his face. He felt exactly the same. After weeks of waking up with palpitations I took drastic measures…registry office/caterers/dress appointments all cancelled. We ran away to Bath one weekend and got married. As for the guests, there were none apart from the two friends who witnessed our engagement in Crete and would now act as witnesses for our marriage. I was back at my desk on Monday wearing a gold band and surprising people with the news I had got married at the weekend.   

Big weddings are a production and I personally celebrate and send congratulations to those who can pull one off with grand gestures and style. But for me, two was certainly company and anymore than four would definitely have been a crowd.