Knotty Hair

I’m really digging knotty hair at the moment… and no, I don’t mean the kind you get when you don’t brush your hair for days on end.

This style is such a simple, but interesting way to do your hair and takes all of 2 minutes. So here’s how to knot your hair the right way.

Brush your hair into the part you want to have (I tend to go for a side part, but sometimes I just brush it all back).

Separate your hair into two sections and twist each section away from the scalp (so you’ll be turning the left hand side anti-clockwise and the right hand side clockwise). This is really important because the two sections of hair need to be heading in the opposite direction, so that there is more distinction between them when you knot your hair.

Once each section is twisted, simply knot the hair until you can’t knot any more. With each knot, make sure you aim to knot on top of the last one. It looks more flattering to have the end result sitting high up on your head, rather than sagging past the nape of your neck.

Tuck the rest of the hair that you weren’t able to form a knot with, in behind the knot and pin with bobby pins.

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Met Gala 2012 Beauty Trends

Ohhh la la la.. How I love the Met Gala. Beauty and talent all rolled into one and trends, trends, TRENDS GALORE! But the biggest trends seemed to be on everyone’s lips….

Who ever told the vampy lip to move over for neutral shades owes those dark hues an apology. Deep shades of plum, brown and red were on some of the finest pouts of the evening. Lana del Rey, Kate Bosworth and Leighton Meester all sported a simliar shade of plum, set off with completely different looks – fringed, embroidered, beaded dresses that were long, short and in between; ballerina buns and whimsical hair – proving it can be worn with everything!

Camilla Belle, who never fails to look anything but sensational, teamed her sweet chocolate hued lips with the currently on-trend bold brows making for a statement look against a neutral coloured dress, while Jessica Alba looked absolutely stunning in a gold Grecian dress with screen siren curls and deep red lips.

However, it wasn’t all gothic glamour, vibrant orange was popping up everywhere. The one rule that seemed to apply? Needing blonde tresses to match. Luckily, Scarlett Johnasson, Dree Hemingway and Amber Heard all sport golden locks.

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The Faux Bob

Everybody’s doin’ it….

I’m talking about the faux bob. Have you ever wanted to step out with shorter hair but didn’t necessarily want to chop off your luscious locks? Well then get into the spirit of the faux bob. It was all the rage at Oscar de la Renta, Jil Sander and Rodarte’s Spring Summer collections and Christian Dior’s Spring Couture. It’s been spotted on celebrities from Kate Beckinsale, to  Vanessa Hudgens, Leighton Meester and Eva Mendes. So here’s how to get the hottest look this season.

Firstly, divide your hair into top and bottom half sections at the level of your ear.

Pin the top section of your hair up and didvide the bottom section of your hair into two.

Create two braids and pin them so they lie flat on your head.

Release the top half of your hair and spritz with Bumble and Bumble’s Does It All Styling Spray, this will give allow you to munipulate your hair as well as provide a good amount of grip.

Once you have styled your hair, whether you decide to have waves, curls or keep it dead straight, tie into a loose ponytail at the nape of your neck with a clear hair elastic.

Tuck your ponytail and the hair elastic underneath and pin it to the braids using bobby pins.

Oscar de la Renta SS12

Jil Sander SS12

Rodarte SS12

Christian Dior Spring Couture

Kate Beckinsale

Taylor Swift

Vanessa Hudgens

Leighton Meester

Eva Mendes

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Benito WOW brows

This morning I had a rather interesting experience… my first visit to a brow bar. I’ve been intrigued by the ancient Indian technique, threading, ever since my friend Gabby told me about it years ago before it was hip to do it, but I’d never taken the plunge myself. Luckily I had the Beauty Editor of Harper’s Bazaar pushing me to go and review the Benito bar in Debenhams, so there was no way of opting out.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, threading is a method of hair removal. Therapists use a pure thin, twisted cotton thread which is rolled over unwanted hair, plucking them out at the follicle level. The beauty of it? Instead of removing the hair one by one like tweezers, it can remove a whole row in a single sweep. That all sounds swell, doesn’t it? But for someone who’s eyes water if a makeup artists applies my mascara, it sounds daunting! On top of that, the weather in London has been completely miserable, so walking in the rain from the Harper’s HQ to  Debenhams was absolute torture.

It wasn’t easy to find, but after walking through the mayhem, that is the beauty department at Debenhams, I found the Benito Brow brow bar nestled at the back of the store in the left hand corner. On my way, I had passed the Benefit brow bar that was smack bang in the centre of the store and considering I’m not much of an exhibitionist, I was happy to be in a more discreet location.

The bar itself simply consists of several leather reclining chairs and a modesty room for those who aren’t willing to get their eyebrows done in front of gawking eyes. My therapist, Gupreet, warmly gretted me and led me to my chair to lean back and relax while she worked her magic. Firstly, we both had a look in the hand mirror at my eyebrows to assess the situation. Surprisingly she told me I had already given myself a great shape by personally tweezing them for the past 4 years and said if I was happy she would do a simple tidy up. I closed my eyes and Gupreet went to work on the top of my brow. The intial pull shocked me, causing me to jump and laugh nervously but that didn’t seem to deter Gupreet in any way. She’s probably used to it. Surely enough my eyes watered like crazy, but the pain was surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely more painful than plucking and because it takes more time, it’s a longer pain than waxing, but after the stories I had heard, I was pleasantly surprised.

The next move was to tidy my arch. I was asked to place a hand on my eye socket and a hand on my forehead and pull the skin taught. I could feel myself going blind from the pressure of my hand and when Gupreet asked me to have a look at her handy work, all I could see was black. After a few seconds, my sight returned to normal (thankfully) and although mascara trails were flowing down my cheeks, I knew I had converted. My eyebrow had never looked so damn good!

Unfortunately there are two of these little suckers, so back down I went to do the other side (and yes… a few in the middle). The whole session took no longer than 15 minutes and I managed to score a complimentary face and hand massage. I did leave looking a little red, cursing myself for not bringing oversized sunglasses, but by lunch time the redness was gone and immaculate eyebrows were all that remained.

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Daisy by Marc Jacobs: Petite Flowers on the Go

Don’t you love those little tester perfumes you score at the beauty counter? I do. I collect them, because I love being able to have a spritz handy if I need one and there’s no way I’m carrying around a 100ml bottle of my favourite perfume. I tried that… the lid came off… and let’s just say my bag smelled very nice but that didn’t make up for the lump I felt in my throat as I realised my £60 bottle of Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb had literally wasted itself throughout my bag.

The problem is, there’s just never quite enough in those little testers and before I know it, I’m heading back to the counter only to be told that they’ve “run out”. Embarrassing! I guess I’m becoming a regular customer for the good free stuff. Not any more! Marc Jacobs is set to launch his Daisy fragrance (definitely in my top 5 list of favourite perfumes) in a new, fresh way come the 4th of April. I give you the irresistable and totally portable, Petite flowers on the go.

With a wink to the original daisy bottle, these portable posies are encased with chic rubber petals to ensure the glass capsule is safe in the centre and with a lid that fits so super snug that you actually have to give a good yank to pull it off, you won’t be having any accidents in your clutch.

The original Daisy, classic with it’s sparkling floral bouquet of wild strawberry, violet leaves, ruby grapefruit, gardenia, musk, white woods and vanilla infusion,  pops in white; while Daisy Eau So Fresh, with it’s bright, elegant fruity fragrance charms in pink.

These are limited editions, so grab a bouquet while their still in season!

£25 – www.daisymarcjacobs.co.uk 

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My Love Affair With Decleor

I have a confession to make. I’ve been cheating on all of my other products with Decleor… in fact… it’s become my main love over the past month. It all started when I found their Aromessence Essential Balm in the beauty cupboard. Now, I know a lot about the brand Decleor and the amazing concotions they create, but I must admit I am always wary of products that cost an arm and a leg. For some reason, I’m determined to find something that will offer the same results for half the price. That said, I just don’t think I could find a product to match the quality of Decleor for the price at which they sell.  In fact, I would put this brand up there with Crème de la Mer and Carita.

You know I’m a sucker for oils, but I’m always on the look out for something else that will quench the thirst of my skin yet not make it greasy. The beauty of this particular balm is the way it dissolves into the skin quickly. I despise beauty balms that sit on the surface of my skin for hours after I apply it. After a few days of applying Decleor’s balm on my face, I noticed that my skin was calm, balanced and softer. I couldn’t very well stop there, so off to the beauty cupboard I went to find more…

I couldn’t go past something that was called Hydra-Floral Anti-Pollution Flower Nectar Moisturising Cream. It claims to provide a continuous “drip-feed” hydration, reinforced by the technology of aquaporins, true “water channels” and is combined with an anti-pollution plant active ingredient to protect the skin against harsh environmental elements.

Lately I have been using this as my daily moisturiser and my skin feels like cashmere, which could be due to the Néroli Essential Oil or maybe the Hazelnut Plant Oil or perhaps the Mint and Orange Blossom Floral Waters, Shea Butter, Plant Squalane or Provitamine B5 contained in it.

At night time I have been using their Excellence De L’Age Sublime Regenerating Cream. Although they recommend to apply it in the morning, I wash my face too many times during the day to justify slapping on a £94.50 cream time and time again. Instead, I like to apply it just before bed so that it can sink in for a good 8 hours. It combines a Phyto-Age Complex with a cocktail of 4 Essential Oils to act directly on wrinkles, loss of firmness and pigmentation irregularities. When it comes to anti-aging creams, I tend to focus on my neck and décolletage – the areas we seem to forget, but show signs of aging much earlier than the face.

I also like to follow a very simple rule which is to use an eye cream separate to my daily moisturiser. I apply eye creams twice a day to keep clear of puffiness, dark circles and fine lines. The Excellence De L’Age Regenerating Eye and Lip Cream has cemented itself as a favourite of mine. For years now I have been applying ant-wrinkle eye creams to not only my eyes, but the areas on my forehead where I might one day get frown lines (of which I don’t have any yet- thank god!) and the areas around my mouth, mainly my cupid’s bow, to keep fine lines at bay. This magical little cream not only states that I’m meant to use it exactly how I’ve been using other eye creams for the past few year; but also contains Aurone Extract which has a lipo-filling effect, meaning the areas you apply it to will be getting a concentrated dose of firming agents. Sounds better to me than needles!

http://www.decleor.co.uk/ www.strawberrynet.com

Aromessence Essential Balm – £32.50/ $37AUD

Hydra-Floral Anti-Pollution Flower Nectar Moisturising Cream – £39.80/ $58.50AUD

Excellence De L’Age Sublime Regenerating Cream – £94.50/ $139.50AUD

Excellence De L’Age Regenerating Eye and Lip Cream – £53.50/ $70.50AUD

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Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012 Backstage Beauty

Christian Dior

“It’s a luxe and slightly minimalist feeling at Dior this season,” explained makeup maestro Pat McGrath of the look she created for the Christian Dior show. Mink shadow was dusted on and around the eyes with a hint of gold on the inner corners and lids, while cheeks were given a touch of warmth and lips were left barely there. Hairstylist Orlando Pita meanwhile, accented the elegant look perfectly with side parted, low ponytails.

 

Yohji Yamomoto

The drama was amped up backstage at Yohji Yamomoto where models’ mouths were firmly on focus.  A budding almost flower-like effect was created by painting their lips black, leaving a blood red centre, while the cupids bow was given a touch of gold. Eyes matched accordingly with the inner corners splashed with pinkish red eye shadow and a shimmer of gold. Hairstylist Eugene Souleiman and his team swept up half the models’ tresses into chic chignons, with the other half having their hair straightened and a swath of red or blue strands added into tresses.

 

Viktor & Rolf

Over at Viktor & Rolf models were given luscious, sleek waves on each side of their heads by hairstylist Luigi Murenu, while the lengths of their hair hung straight, “So we have a sense of hardness and softness at the same time,” he explained. Models’ lips were slicked with a fuchsia-burgundy hue, eyelids got a sweep of light gray shadow and skin was kept pale with a tinge of pink highlights for a look makeup artist Pat McGrath describe as ‘Gothic Elegance’.

 

Lanvin

It was glamour galore at Lanvin with wide, black winged eyes, raspberry coloured mouths and tresses tucked behind ears. “The hair is very simple,” hairstylist Guido Palau said, “So there is a real naturalness to it.” Palau shampooed models’ hair and applied Redken Extreme Anti-Snap leave-in conditioner before allowing each models’ hair to fall into its natural part. Simply stunning.

 

Sonia Rykiel

“Everything is a bit degradé, a little bit worn off,” said makeup artist, Dick Page. Shiseido products such as the blue-black cream eye shadow the models sported, were coated with grease to melt the colour somewhat and give it shine just before girls stepped out onto the catwalk. On lips, Page used Makeup Lacquer Rouge in Nocturn, which was then diffused with dabs of foundation, while lashes were given a bit of mascara and black liner was swept across the inside of eyes. Meanwhile, hairstylist Guido Palau accessorised wet – stringy looking hair with a black band covering the models’ forehead and ears. Very Apres Ski.

 

Jean Paul Gaultier

Makeup artist, Stephane Marais referenced ‘glam women going out in the Eighties’ when he created the beauty look backstage for Jean Paul Gaultier. ‘They have no fear. They can assume anything. They feel chic’, he said about the somewhat androgynous appearance. A black liquid liner followed by grease paint was slicked onto eyelids and then using a small brush, Marais spread the colour out, making it look worn and destroyed. Models hair was then sprayed a few inches from the middle part down by Guido Palau for a grungey tough look.

 

Stella McCartney

It was all about ‘neat and clean’ at the Stella McCartney show. Models had their hair pulled back off their faces into chignons and finished with a spray of Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Hairspray, making it quite textured and raw. Makeup artist Pat McGrath kept skin au naturale with groomed brows and applied a coat of Cover Girl Lashblast 24 Hour Mascara in black to eyelashes, followed by a blue pigment gel.

 

Chanel

 Backstage at the Chanel show, Peter Philips painstainkingly measured the perfect brow height to create dazzling crystal face appliques, while Sam McKnight made sure each individual hair on the models’ super sharp ponytails was running in sleek, straight lines. “It’s all about creating a uniform model army today,” Peter said.

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